At no time in history have gay men and women been more public than we are today. With so many out and proud homosexuals, we almost forget how few were able to be out of the closet in the past. In fact, most of the gays were so hidden that no one even knew their true sexuality.
Or so they thought. The investigative team here at Instinct have discovered quite a few famous names that were not known to be gay until now. Join us on a tongue-in-cheek (not those cheeks!) look at surprising gays throughout history.
Lewis & Clark
Although they met in a park on their lunch break, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark bonded and quickly became a well-known same-sex couple. Told by one straight New Englander after another that "the gay beach is just around the next corner", they kept migrating in search of sand they could call their own. Deciding to try the Pacific coast, they eventually set out across the country to find their own place where they could lay their beach towel. Joined by America's first fag-hag, Sacagawea, they crossed the country in search of a new Fire Island. Things began to fall apart when Sac, as they called her, continually joked about them being "queer as a three-dollar bill" and they retaliated with a curse that she would be an "unloved and unused dollar coin." It was at that point that their relationship became as rocky as the mountains they were headed toward.
Well-known as the mother of the American flag, she was better known to locals as one of the nation's first drag queen superstars. Ross Bledsoe by day, the unassuming blacksmith performed at Philadelphia's Revolution to packed crowds. Since Madonna hadn't been invented yet, Betsy’s most popular routines were patriotic numbers. Wearing a red, white and blue bustier, she wowed the crowds by dramatically swinging a cape she had sewn together on a whim. She wasn't sure how audiences would react, but before she knew it, they were giving her standing ovations every time she entered the room.
The American Gothic couple
While most people think they're stoic farmers on the midwestern plains, they're actually a lesbian couple from upstate Vermont. Candice (the butch one) and Hillary (the more butch one) posed for artist Grant Wood, a neighbor and good friend of the couple. He had promised to paint a flattering portrait of them for their 1930 Christmas card in exchange for him borrowing, and ultimately ruining, their chainsaw. Upon seeing the finished painting, Candice felt the work made her look “frumpy” and Hillary said the holding of the pitchfork was all wrong. The couple moved away in 1931 and never spoke to Mr. Wood again.
The British and Americans had a lot of tense moments, but they also knew how to party. Historians are just now learning of the legendary orgies that were held in and around Boston. Ongoing war and the lack of Grindr made scheduling the orgies a difficult task. As the twink of the group, Paul had the task of alerting the townspeople of the orgy's location. "One if by land" meant it was held downtown while "two if by sea" let the crowds of horny men know to get down to the waterfront for a good time. The meaning of Revere’s other expression, "The Redcoats are coming!", should be self-explanatory.
George Washington Carver
Introduced to schoolchildren every February when white teachers frantically search for Black History Month examples, many do not know that Mr. Carver did much more than just invent peanut butter. He also invented the first gay-specific lube. Created accidentally when he was trying to perfect his more famous invention, his lube quickly became popular in first the African-American gay community and then throughout the broader gay population. To this day, people have sex by making a "peanut butter and KY jelly sandwich" as a tribute to George, especially in February.
History's first known lipstick lesbian, Lady Godiva's reputation was of superstar proportions even before her famed ride. Brass and defiant to all, she refused to conform to any of society's preassigned gender roles. When the British government prohibited women wearing men's clothing, she stood up for her lesbian sisters and protested by riding naked through the town of Coventry. By the end of the ride, she had not only convinced the government to repeal their new policy, she also had a dozen date offers, four from men, four from women and four from men who wanted to watch her with the four women. She settled for being named for overpriced chocolate centuries later.
Not all gays in history are shining examples to be proud of. Edward Smith was Captain of the Titanic on its maiden voyage. Known for his partying ways, he had spent most of the previous night in a pub doing body shots off of a young blonde twink. While he impressed the patrons with his story of piloting the Titanic, his jokes about his vessel being the longest and hardest one in the world that was full of seamen quickly grew tiresome. Going home alone depressed him so much that he almost called in the next day. Instead, he took the wheel, fired up the laser show for what he tought to himself was "the world's first gay cruise" and made the mistake of asking for his drinks to be, ironically, "on the rocks."
So there you have it, gays that you may not have known about. Or maybe shouldn't know about. Or possibly weren't even gay. Whatever! Remember, this is Instinct you're reading. It’s entertainment. If you want facts, use a reputable source – like Wikipedia.