30 LGBT Publications Challenge Historians to Get LGBT History Straight
Among the upcoming news features, are these captivating findings:
Benjamin Franklin was the first U.S. military recruiter to enlist a gay man into America's revolutionary ranks.
George Washington, in all probability, was the first American leader to offer domestic partner support for a same-sex couple. During the winter hardships at Valley Forge, General Washington made sure that a same-sex couple had access to housing when it was at its greatest premium. And when faced with a potential homosexual scandal at Valley Forge, he chose a more merciful course at that vulnerable time and embarrassed the officer accused of sodomy rather than imposing the death sentence as Thomas Jefferson demanded.
An African-American gay man, George Middleton, led a troop of black men in the American Revolution.
Several women dressed as men to enlist in America's fledgling revolutionary army. After the war, when they could have returned to living again as women, some instead chose to live out their lives as men.
A lesbian, Katharine Lee Bates, wrote one of America's most beloved patriotic songs, "America the Beautiful."
The director of Wheatland, the home and presidential library of the unmarried President James Buchanan, discloses for the first time that it is impossible to refute that Buchanan might have been gay. In an effort to spur historians to expand their research on this unanswered question, the Wheatland library also has taken down the portrait of Ann Coleman, the one woman Buchanan was ever known to romance.
Following the historic repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," it might surprise many Americans that the individual often considered the father of the United States military was a gay man: Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben. He wrote the "Revolutionary War Drill Manual" and introduced drills, tactics and discipline to the rag-tag militia, which culminated in our independence and victory over the British.
Readers will also be enthralled by the ongoing historical inquiry whether President Lincoln preferred men over women. Many will be surprised to learn, for example that as a young man, Abraham Lincoln might have been one of the first well-known Americans to write a boy-marries-boy poem in 1829.