Would Buttigieg be the first gay president? Maybe not.Breaking News
tags: gay history, politics, presidential history, Pete Buttigieg, LGBTQIA
In a recent interview with political news site Axios, 2020 presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg claimed if elected, he probably would not be the first gay president of the United States.
“I would imagine we’ve probably had excellent presidents who were gay, we just didn’t know which ones” Buttigieg said. “I mean, statistically, it’s almost certain.”
Is he right?
Statistically speaking, researchers put the current lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender population in the U.S. at 4.5 percent. Given that there have been 44 presidents — and, prior to the past few decades, it is assumed most LGBTQ people did not live openly — Buttigieg could have a point.
Historians have speculated that Abraham Lincoln had an intimate relationship with lifelong friend Joshua Speed, as well as the captain of his bodyguards, David V. Derickson. These relationships, some contend, explain his tumultuous marriage to Mary Todd.
Perhaps the most frequently mentioned name in discussions of homosexuality and the presidency is one-term President James Buchanan, elected in 1856.
As a young man, Buchanan wasengaged to Anne Coleman, the 24-year-old daughter of an iron magnate, but she died before the two tied the knot. Buchanan was reported to have never openly courted a woman after Coleman’s death and died a bachelor at the age of 77.
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