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Was Ghandi Gay?
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mudcub
Was Ghandi Gay? Please read this article:

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2011/03/dissent-of-the-day.html

and then let me know what you think! Straight people must get tired of the question. Was Lincoln gay? Was James Buchanan gay?

If you think of homosexuality as ONLY about the sexual act, then the correct answer is = we will never know. We don't know if Ghandi ever had gay sex because we weren't there. Photo or it didn't happen. However, as a gay man, I sometimes look at historical figures and think, "Oh yeah... I can really relate to that behavior... when I was closeted, I did those exact same things."

For example, read this section from a new book about Ghandi:

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The love of his life was a German-Jewish architect and bodybuilder, Hermann Kallenbach, for whom Gandhi left his wife in 1908. "Your portrait (the only one) stands on my mantelpiece in my bedroom," he wrote to Kallenbach. "The mantelpiece is opposite to the bed." The two pledged "more love, and yet more love . . . such love as they hope the world has not yet seen."

But when Ghandi thought about male-female relations, he wrote this:

"I cannot imagine a thing as ugly as the intercourse of men and women."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

If you are a straight man reading this post... can you read the above and see yourself reflected in those quotes? That straight sex was "ugly", but with a male friend you could make love as "the world has not yet seen"?

I think Ghandi might have been asexual. Bisexual maybe. Gay probably. But definitely not straight.


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Re: it is so passe to think in sexual terms

(Anonymous)
Does it matter? I'd say "yes".

Why? Other than the reason you give (i. e., that you would have felt better about being gay as a kid with gay role models), is there a *compelling* reason that it should be so important for somebody famous to be gay (other than for us to feel good/better about ourselves)?


As a gay kid growing up, it would have been nice if I thought I wasn't the only one. For example, if I was taught that some of history's biggest artists, inventors, and politicians were gay - that might have helped. Instead, I didn't see people like me in history books, so I thought homosexuality was invented in the sixties.

While I identify with this line of reasoning, I've gotten over this excuse of not feeling good about my gay self because I had no gay role models growing up.

While I would agree that it would have been nice to see more positive portraits of gay people in the past - particularly around the AIDS era - as a kid, I was curious enough to find my way to gay personalities via literature, the arts and the media. Because the fact of the matter is no matter how many heroes there are out there, if you don't feel good about yourself and are not curious enough to look for role models, you're not going to find them. They'll do you no good. And you'll stay the way you are.

This is why I think the rhetoric of "I might have felt or turned out *better* if there were more gay role models/heroes out there while I was growing up" does not hold up: If this was true, then, why are there more suicidal gay teenagers today than there were in past decades? For the all the exposure to positive gay models today, "gay" remains problematic for more kids growing up today than ever.

Why is that? Why is "gay" a worse dilemma for more kids growing up today than ever - in spite of the plethora of positive gay models around?

Isn't this why the "It Gets Better" campaign started by Dan Savage which you yourself contributed a clip is so much more popular among the adults who have "made" it and now tell the kids "it gets better" than many of the kids they're trying to reach? I'm not saying that the campaign hasn't reached anyone. I'm just saying: Why don't we talk about "What if it doesn't get better" to the kids and to ourselves?

I don't think it's because of the lack of (positive) gay models, do you?

The fact is life is up to US. Not anyone else like us. Their presence would only help in a superficial way.

This said, I reiterate that in *some* cases, it helps to have positive role models. But if that was true - and we will grant that it is for the sake of this discussion - it doesn't solve the real problems of so many others to whom the presence of positive role models does not help.


Also, it makes Ghandi a more interesting *human* person than that dull lifeless biopic they did in the eighties.

Because he is presumably gay? Sorry, but that seems utterly absurd - that being gay would somehow interject "interesting-ness" to an otherwise bland personality before the speculation has no logic whatsoever! How desperate can we get to feel good about being gay???

If you reverse this rhetoric, you will find the reasoning and logic for coming out in the last 30 years in America: "Look, I'm gay! But I'm the same person/jock/dork you have always known and liked or disliked!".

Isn't this true?

You didn't have any role models. But you're still here. Today's kids have plenty of positive role models but they still don't feel good about themselves and/or being gay, some to the point of taking their lives.

What does that tell you?

That is my point.

Re: it is so passe to think in sexual terms

"Other than the reason you give... is there a *compelling* reason"...?

Um, there were two reasons I gave, not just one, Mr. Anonymous. Please read more carefully. And I think my points are persuasive. And I made my argument using 2% of the wordage you spouted.

"it is so passe to think in sexual terms"

Wrong. I am not talking abut sex. As my post started out - this is not about where Ghandi put his penis. It's about whether he had intimate emotional relationships with men. I think it's interesting, and makes him a more human person than the Ben Kingsley hagiography because it hints at a cause for his problems with women, his alienation from society, and his odd combination of global humanitarianism and local misanthropy.

Some of us like to study history, and learn from it. Create arguments and lines of reasoning, and discuss ideas about primal causes. You seem to be above all that because it's 'passe' to think.

"I've gotten over this excuse of not feeling good about my gay self because I had no gay role models growing up." My interpretation = you are comfortable with the whitewashing of history because you now have privilege.

"Why is 'gay' a worse dilemma for more kids growing up today than ever?" Not sure where you are getting your statistics. I think you're just making them up. Things I've heard from young gay people say that their peers don't care they are gay. Their problem is with the older generation of teachers and parents... the ones who grew up without gay role models or an acceptance of gay culture.

"Why don't we talk about 'What if it doesn't get better'?" Dan Savage's web site has some interesting people who make exactly that point. I'm not sure what you want to add to the conversation. I don't think you will try to add to that dialogue.

"That is my point." Delivered badly, but thanks. Pardon for being cranky - I'm off to a funeral.

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