The most famous blind deaf mute in the history of the universe, for what that’s worth (wow you get to meet the President and paw his face with your hands) but I digress.
I know Annie Sullivan taught her to “communicate” beyond the grunts she used to make, but I have never heard or read or seen anything about Keller ever having any boyfriend/girlfriend intimate physical relationships. So, was Helen Keller a virgin when she died?
She definitely had a lover, one Peter Fagan, a reporter for the Boston Herald, and spent time with him. It’s unknown whether they had sex, because, one, such things Were Not Discussed back then in general, and, two, her family treated her like disabled people are often treated to this day: Like a plaster saint, a figure to be put on a shelf and admired but who must never have a fully normal, human existence. Her family did, in fact, get between her and Fagan.
Anyway, here’s a farrago of links I found on the subject:
Given that she often times physically explored other people with hers hands there is a good chance that she did have sexual experiences. Perhaps she and Peter Fagan experimented with each other as couples do, still that doesn’t mean she wasn’t still a virgin upon her death. We most likely will never know the extend of her sexual experience, but the family seemed to be quite upset with the nature of their attraction to each other.
Another factor, specific to Keller, was that a lot of people didn’t want to hear what Keller was saying. They wanted to admire her as a symbol of how people could overcome diversity - and that remains the image people have of Keller today. What gets swept under the rug is Keller’s political views; she was a radical socialist.
Well, damn. Talk about a totally random question. I never really stopped to consider that - and I’m gonna keep it that way.
Why can’t we talk about stuff like “who was Carly Simon referring to in her song You’re So Vain” or “when does a building become a built”. Those were at least fun. We can even discuss the bizarre lyrics to MacArthur’s Park if anyone’s up for it. But this? Helen Keller’s naughty bits? As I said…damn.
That would really suck if you were deaf and blind and you’re Mother drove your chance at love away. Especially given the time period and lack of technology it’s not like there were a lot of ways for a deaf and blind person to try and get in touch with somebody, you’d be totally at the mercy of whomever was helping you with daily living. It would be such a mindfuck for a typical person to imagine living through one day like that, reminds me of Johnny Got His Gun a little bit, but I guess she wasn’t quite that bad off.