Was J.Edgar Hoover gay? Does it matter?

Right, so are we to assume then, that everyone was gay? Unless they wrote a autobiography, maybe to be published posthumously, or their lover admitted it, we do not know if any one was gay, except back in the ancient days when it was accepted.

The logic here seems to be “Hoover could not and did not admit he was gay= thus he was gay”. Sure he seemed to live an asexual life with a close companion, but you do know that a married person with kids, etc could also be gay, right?

Sure, and is there any such evidence of such extortion? Maybe he was a closet nazi, or a commie, or a necrophiliac or into sheep, or an avowed atheist or maybe none of those things. More likely none of them.

There is simply no evidence he was gay.

You can’t be serious.

I hate conversing with a pure contrarian.
-No you don’t.
Yes I do!
-No you don’t!
Yes, they are boring and tiresome.
-So you’re saying anyone that disagrees with you is a contrarian?
No, I didn’t say that. Sometimes I agree with the opinion of a contrarian.
-So, then if anyone agrees with you, they’re not a contrarian?

I’m not exactly sure what the target of your missive is, but I was expressing astonishment as the outrageous dishonesty of the portion that I quoted.

proof. The word you are looking for is proof: there’s no proof that Hoover was gay.

But there is evidence. It’s been discussed in this thread. You might find it weak, but it’s more than nothing.

(I mean, his lifelong relationship with Tolson is distinct from a situation where Hoover was a recluse, or never seemed to have close companions of any kind. So it is evidence towards a same sex relationship, although it remains an open question whether it had a sexual component)

Another poster, the one you quoted, who seems to be deliberately contrarian. I just used your quote as a jumping off point.

You could provide a photo of J. Edgar Hoover sucking Clyde Tolson’s dick, and some people would say, “That doesn’t prove anything! Maybe Tolson got bit by a snake, and Hoover was being a bro by sucking out the venom!”

The term for this is “queer erasure” - the insistence of absurdly high standards of proof for any sort of non-hetero sexuality, often accompanied by acting as if inquiries about the sexuality of historical figures is some sort of prurient gossip. The effect is to make it appear that queer people have never had a significant role in history, making it easier to cast us as some modern cultural issue, and remove us from having any agency in our own cultures and societies.

I think in Hoovers case, the desire is to go otherwise, to paint Hoover as some sort of hypocritical pervert.

Seems like we have proponents of both desires here in this thread.

I think you’re getting those insults jumbled up. It’s the people who support equal rights and acceptance for gays who want to paint Hoover as a hypocrite for undermining them (if indeed he was gay himself, which does appear very likely). It’s the people who oppose equal rights and acceptance for gays who want to paint him as a pervert, just on the basis of his (presumed) homosexuality.

The people who are pro-gay rights generally don’t consider homosexuality to be perversion, and the people who are anti-gay rights generally don’t consider homophobia to be unethical or hypocritical. They tend to describe the phenomenon of closeted homosexuals being publicly homophobic along the lines of “at least having the minimal decency not to flaunt it”.

Modnote: Please don’t accuse other posters of being dishonest.

In a court, they’d probably call that evidence circumstantial, since all of it is more or less hints and trying to imply that something means more than the actual evidence shows.

Shy of something like a photo, written confession, etc… that has indisputable proof that Hoover and Tolson were a gay couple, it’ll all remain conjecture.

They always arrived at work together and lunched together. They always vacationed together; not just occasionally but always, for decades. A recent New Yorker article says “Social invitations and holiday greetings from anyone who knew Hoover at all well and wanted to stay on his good side were addressed to them both”. Hoover left most of his estate to Colson when he died.

Clearly these men were, for practical purposes, married to each other. Just like any other marriage, nobody outside it knows for sure if they were actually having sex. But if they were of opposite genders, I can’t imagine it would ever occur to anyone to doubt it.

A person can be convicted in court on circumstantial evidence.

Exactly. Nobody is making threads about “Was LBJ straight?” and claiming that we’ll just never be able to know for sure in the absence of video confirmation of his making whoopie with Lady Bird.

This, exactly. There’s an assumption being made by some people here that for someone to be in a homosexual relationship, it must also be a sexual relationship. But that’s simply not true. We can say that Hoover and Tolson were in a same-sex relationship just by looking at the public record. This was the central personal relationship for both men throughout most of their adult lives, even if they never once got naked with each other.

True. It was certainly a close relationship. But that does not mean Hoover was Gay.

I don’t know that my last post necessarily needed an example to prove the point it was making, but I thank you for providing it none the less.

Sure, but you still have to get beyond the reasonable doubt hurdle. And that’s I think where the thread discussion is struggling.

Reasonable doubt is a standard for criminal prosecutions. What is its relevance here?

We have a lot of evidence that Hoover might have been gay. And we have no evidence that he was straight.

We have a lot of evidence that Tolson might have been gay. And we have no evidence that he was straight.

We have a lot of evidence that Hoover and Tolson might have been gay together. We have no evidence that they were straight together.

That’s really all the “Hoover might have been gay” people are pointing out. There is evidence he might have been gay. Therefore, he might have been gay.

I really see no counter argument to that. There is no extraordinary claim here that requires extraordinary evidence. No one is asserting that Hoover might have been an interdimensional alien space wizard with wings.

What exactly are people objecting to here?