Larry Kramer's American People in 4,000 Pages
Though The American People includes controversial sections set in worlds and times Kramer has himself experienced, it is his “queering” of beloved historical figures that will surely get the most attention. “His idea of history is that everyone was gay: Joe Louis, De Gaulle, anybody,” jokes Kramer’s friend and Yale classmate Calvin Trillin. With Lincoln, at least, Kramer isn’t alone; recent academic studies, and articles in the popular press, have debated the nature of Lincoln’s feelings for his roommate Joshua Speed, with whom he shared a bed for four years and a loving correspondence thereafter. But Kramer says he has new evidence, including details of other male lovers, that expands on accounts that first came to light when a diary and stash of letters were supposedly found under the floorboards of a building in which Lincoln and Speed lived together. Even so, what he writes about other famous names in American history will, he advertises, prove “far more stomach-turning” to the masses.
“I do not think it is too much to state that Washington was major gay,” he says. “That the big love of his life was Hamilton, who returned that love, and that Lafayette and Washington were involved with each other romantically over many years. Others I go into include Lewis, who was desperately in love with Clark, and who committed suicide when the expedition was over and he would be with Clark no more.” He says he has “much, much better stuff” about J. Edgar Hoover than anyone has reported, as well as on FDR’s foreign-policy adviser Sumner Welles, former CIA counterintelligence chief James Jesus Angleton, and even Kramer’s old nemesis Ed Koch, who has lived in the same building as Kramer since he left Gracie Mansion, and who always denied joining the fold.
Larry Kramer Takes Historians to Task for Denying Gays a History [tr]
Larry Kramer Rails at Yale's 'Conspiracy of Silence' on Gay History [tr]
Larry Kramer Slams Gay Orgs: 'Lazy, Torpid, Unimaginative, Useless' [tr]