Nowadays, in this age of selfies and social media, it is almost impossible to hide something from the general public. This is especially apparent for anyone that is running for public office, specifically when entering into the Presidential race. With only a few days left until the final vote, we are on the precipice of accepting a new President of the United States in the White House. Americans are all a bit uncomfortable with their choices this year since one candidate has been immersed in scandal and the other has absolutely no political experience. In this race much of the lives of the candidates have been drug through the mud, tabloids and mouths of opponents; but this is nothing new to the cutthroat world of politics.
Since the dawn of America there has been speculation as to the sexual orientation of the President’s that have served over the years. That’s right, gay rumors date all the way back to the times of our founding fathers. Though a lot of the proclamations that politicians are LGBTQ are simply conjecture, many of them have lived on from decades to centuries. These are all of the rumors about our presidents that may or may not have been interested in members of the same gender.
14 Barack Obama
There has been tons of speculation as to whether or not Obama is gay which is certainly news to his wife and co-parent Michelle. Of all of the gossip related to Obama being gay, none of it has grabbed enough attention or truth to stop the news. This year it was thought that one of Obama’s secret service agents and an agent of 12 years just came out with a book that is an Amazon bestseller already. In this tale the former agent reveals that Barack Obama is actually both Muslim and gay. In an interview with Paul Horner, the former agent and author, is 100% sure that Obama is a gay Muslim man. He claims that Obama would have men in his bedroom at all hours during the night and the former presidential security guard says some days he would bring 15 men into his bedroom in just one day. Although these stories have been reported fake by many outlets including Snopes.com, it stirred enough controversy with those that were too dim to notice it wasn’t real; now gay rumors swirl despite Obama’s solid marriage.
13 Martin Van Buren
Martin Van Buren was the very first president that wasn’t a British citizen, the first that was born on United States soil. He also helped to create the new Democratic party using Jeffersonian Republicans that supported Andrew Jackson. The forward thinking Democratic president only served one term in office despite attempting to be reelected on two separate occasions. In 1807 Van Buren married his childhood sweetheart who also happened to be his cousin, they had four children togetherbefore she died of tuberculosis. He never remarried after her death and because of this was often gossiped about among those in Washington DC. Many believed that he preferred the company of men to the company of women because after the death of his wife, Hannah Hoes, he didn’t even call upon other women publicly. Although this is an often referred to rumor it is just that and no concrete evidence exists to prove Martin Van Buren was LGBTQ.
12 John F. Kennedy
This beloved president lived his life in front of the cameras with his picture perfect wife and family. Elected at the dawn of television, Kennedy was a handsome, beloved president that also carried out multiple affairs with very little discretion. One of Kennedy’s lifelong best friends also happened to be an openly gay man, John F. Kennedy and Lem Billings met in prep school and stayed close until Kennedy’s untimely assassination. There are tons of rumors that the two were sexually involved for a large portion of their lives and the most recent book on the pair uses their communications along with the oral history of Lem Billings and other close family friends to draw new conclusions about their relationship. Many sense that Kennedy adored the adoration of Billings but a lot of people say otherwise and oftentimes oral sex between the two is brought into the discussion. Although Billings never came out publicly because of the rampant homophobia of that era, everyone in their close circle knew and respected Kennedy for their friendship despite living in a judgemental world.
11 Alexander Hamilton
Although this entry never got to be President because of his scandalous lifestyle he was a founding father and helped establish countless American political foundations. He was barred from ever running for president because those in power did not approve of his “scandalous” lifestyle. These conclusions were drawn because in the 1790s Hamilton began an affair with Maria Reynolds, wife of James Reynolds who had left her and gone to New York. Eventually James found out about the affair and blackmailed Hamilton for $250 out of what totalled as $1300 from the blackmail scam that Reynolds was running. Word still got out about the affair despite the payments and since that day Hamilton was infamous in the White House.
Historian John Katz has found more information about the secret affairs conducted by Alexander Hamilton through scouring his letters to dear friend and proposed lover John Laurens. Laurens died in a tragic war accident but Hamilton continued his homosexual love affairs with proposed spies and possibly other powerful politicians.
10 Richard Nixon
This is a president that had many dark secrets and tended to operate the government much like the mob. Charles “Bebe” Rebozo was Richard Nixon’s best friend and a hitman with ties to the mob; he was also presumed to be Nixon’s homosexual lover. This is despite his commonly public homophobic remarks that implied that a man who love men should not be in a position of power. These remarks explain why he would keep his LGBTQ tendencies a secret. Aside from Watergate and possibly being homosexual and in the closet; Nixon was known for beating his wife and referred to as “our drunk” by his aides. It’s clear that he didn’t really have it all together while he was running the country but it seems that he had that in common with best bud Rebozo. Bebe ran a bank that was well known for laundering money and the FBI knew his name from his ties to multiple mob bosses. The pair fit well together, gay or not, and remained close until Nixon’s final breath; Bebe was at his bedside on the day that he died.
9 Hillary Clinton
This woman is simply running for president but in our opinion still deserves a space in this ambiguous list of LGBTQ presidents. Rumors about Hillary Clinton taking female lovers started in 1993 when she became first lady. The rumors picked up more steam when Clinton ran for Senate in 2000 and absolutely surged during her first presidential run in 2008. A lot of these rumors are started by the Right Wing in hopes to shut down her ability to rise up in the political world and because Republicans can not accept that a normal woman could also be a lesbian. This speculation is probably because of her immense support of LGBTQ rights and the distaste that that mouths of most Republicans. Many cite her aide Huma Abedin as her lesbian lover since she is always by Clinton’s side during this presidential race, but the same could be said of all aides to presidential hopefuls.
8 Bill Clinton
Like most liberal presidents, Bill Clinton was rumored to have a secret gay past before being elected. Before becoming a president or even getting involved in politics, Clinton taught law school in Alabama. When he joined the teaching staff at University of Alabama the rumors about the new handsome law professor were abundant, especially the ones that stated he was a closeted homosexual. These students say that Clinton would flirt with all of the women that he could but many believed it was just a cover for his actual LGBTQ background. Many of these rumors stem from the fact that Bill was an unmarried 30 year old man which meant that you were gay in the 1970s South.
Hillary later joined him at the University of Alabama as a fellow professor of law but the rumors only grew since she “looked like a lesbian.” Most of the students believed that the two existed as a couple simply to cover up their true sexual preferences.
7 Lyndon Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson was a beloved president that dealt with a serious and very public homosexual scandal just before his re-election in 1964. The 36th President of the United States entrusted his aide Walter Jenkins with his career, speeches and pretty much everything. In 1964 Jenkins was caught in a local YMCA while making love to another man. At this time in the US being caught in a homosexual affair meant the end of a political career and arrest.
Since aides spend every waking moment with their boss many thought that Johnson knew about the man’s sexuality and was even romantically involved with the Jenkins. After the YMCA scandal first hit papers Johnson was at a loss as to what he should do about it. He really battled with having to let go of his most trusted advisor and spoke in depth about it with his wife and other staff. After Jenkins was arrested and charged in the YMCA, Johnson still won the presidential election weeks later.
6 Thomas Jefferson
This founding father and former president was often referred to as gay by many of the historians who study him, but mostly for controversial and stereotypical reasons. Jefferson was known for his flamboyant behavior and he loved the Parisian lifestyle and birdwatching. He often dyed his hair and decorated his own home rather obsessively while speaking with a lisp. All of these were stereotypical behaviors of homosexuals, and some still are to this day.
The politician was married but his wife passed on when he was just 39, he also had a very public affair with his African American and female slave. Despite these relationships with females most think that him not marrying after the age of 39 meant that he preferred the company of men. The first American foodie who loved to partake in drink and dance could have just been the very first hedonist who wanted to partake in all sexual deviancy possible, or it could all be a rumor. The truth will never be known, at least not until new evidence surfaces on the matter.
5 George Washington
Not only do historians think that George Washington was a homosexual, they think that he had a sexual relationships with the effeminate Alexander Hamilton. Well, the story goes that Hamilton lusted after Washington, not necessarily that he and Washington took up an actual affair. The founding father and our very first president also loved home decorating and fashion. He actually designed every single army uniform right down to the buttons. Writer Larry Kramer wrote a book entitled The American People: Volume 1 that was marketed as a novel but Kramer claims that is just for the lawyers. The historian believes that the contents of his book are 100% accurate and claims that many more of our founding fathers had sexual relationships with men. Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton and other patriots also loved to take up with men in their spare time. This is more foundation for the common views that Washington and Jefferson were both very gay friendly and would have made gay marriage legal if given the chance.
4 Chester Arthur
There was a lot of scandal and gossip surrounding the presidency of Chester A. Arthur, the first of which was the fact that he claimed to be born in Vermont but could possibly be born in Quebec. This would make his time as president illegal but nothing on the matter has ever been proven. He was a frat boy at Union College where he studied politics and later got his law degree. Arthur also spent some time in the army during the Civil War.
Chester Arthur served as Vice President under James Garfield until his assassination. Like many of his compadres on this list, Arthur was a widower who vowed never to marry again which was natural fodder for the rumor mill. He also loved to dress up and was referred to by many nicknames which emphasized his being a dandy. The rumors about gay presidents almost always include the snappily dressed Chester Arthur.
3 Dwight Eisenhower
Although Eisenhower was married and very against gay rights in absolutely every way Dwight D. Eisenhower could have just been trying to hide his true nature. One of his leading aides in his presidential campaign, Arthur Vandenberg Jr., was all set to start out as one of the heads in Eisenhower’s administration. During this same time J. Edgar Hoover was shocked to find out some compromising information about Vandenberg’s sexuality. Instead of dealing with the nonsense head on, Vandenberg checked into the hospital and then resigned from his post in Eisenhower’s team. Many think that this could be a sign that Eisenhower was hiding his sexuality, but it could just be that Eisenhower was a homophobe. Whatever the reason, Eisenhower cut all ties with Vandenberg after his name showed up in the highly controversial Sex Deviates Program. Vandenberg was even deduced to a footnote in the highly acclaimed memoirs of Eisenhower, only furthering the claim that there was something to hide between them.
2 James Buchanan
The lifelong bachelor was not only never married he also spent almost his entire life living with another man, Alabama born Democrat U.S. Senator William Rufus King. Buchanan instructed his relatives to burn his letters and writings after his death there was still some correspondence that remained in historical societies. In one letter between King and Buchanan it appears that they break up after King is appointed to live in France for work. That same year (1844) James Buchanan wrote to a friend that he was now alone and although he had tried to “woo several gentlemen” he wasn’t having any luck in that department. Aside from this actual documentation Buchanan also spent much time in the gossip world of Washington DC and many referred to Senator William Rufus King as Mrs. James Buchanan. Many believe that Buchanan was America’s first LGBTQ president, among these theorists is famed historian James Loewen.
1 Abraham Lincoln
Lincoln expert Carl Sandburg wrote a biography in the ‘60’s in which he dissected the relationship between Lincoln and his close friend Joshua Fry Speed. Even in the ‘60’s when homophobia was normalcy Sandburg felt that this relationship needed more. When he was a 20 year old young man living in rural Indiana Lincoln wrote a poem that historians have written off for centuries. But now LGBTQ historians do not want it to be ignored any longer, the poem gives a detailed account of a boy marrying another boy.
When he first moved out he shared a tiny bed with Billy Greene, but this was common of poor men at the time; although Greene could give a detailed description of Lincoln’s physique. Later in life he partnered up with Joshua Fry Speed and the two were basically inseparable. For four years the pair shared a bed, but they were of the means to have separate quarters; this obviously has led to much digging among historical societies. When the men realized that political careers required a wife they separated; Speed left Lincoln first and the future president suffered a mental breakdown. This was not the only speculated male relationship in Lincoln’s short life despite his marriage to Mary Todd.
Sources: History.com, GayStarNews.com, NewsExaminer.net, HuffingtonPost.com, TheDailyBeast.com
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