Was Malcolm X Gay?

It was claimed in this post that a new biography of Malcolm X claims that he was gay or bisexual. I did some preliminary Googling, and I have not read the biography. Apparently this new bio claims that Malcolm had a long term relationship with a white businessman, and that he supported himself in part before his incarceration where he converted to the Nation of Islam as a gay hustler.

I read Malcolm X’s autobiography, and I am aware that some of what he presented in that book is also false. And Haley, his collaborator in writing the work, appears to have plagiarized much of his other work Roots from another book. So it is difficult to know how seriously to take that presentation of his life.

How strong is the evidence that Mr. X was bisexual? Is this perhaps real, or is it an instance of the over-eagerness of the gay community to claim someone prominent as one of their own, long after he is safely dead and not able to deny it?

I believe one of Malcolm X’s daughters has denied it, which I suppose is understandable no matter if it is true or false. And IIRC homosexuality is strictly forbidden by Islam, and was by the Nation of Islam back before it more or less merged with mainstream Islam. It strikes me that back when Malcolm X broke with Elijah Muhammed, if the Nation of Islam had had knowledge of this, it would have much more easily discredited him by publicizing this than by going to the bother of killing him.

Has anyone read the book, or know anything more than that? I started this thread in GD rather than CS, because of the off chance that it might become contentious.

In terms of what it has to do with Malcolm X’s legacy, I would say “not very much”. He was allegedly a cocaine dealer and pimp before he became a Black Muslim, and those are both against Islam as well. If he repudiated his sexuality or repressed it at the same time he quit dealing drugs, I don’t see how that would be any more scandalous than any of his other sins. But I am coming from a Christian perspective, and have little notion of how repentance or forgiveness works in Islam, or the Nation of Islam.

What sayeth the Dope? Rumor-mongering, revelation, or a little about Little that we don’t know for certain?


Malcom admitted to making his living as a hustler in Autobiography, but he claimed to only turn tricks with women. That’s absurd, of course. It’s rarely possible, if ever, for a male hustler to make a living exclusively from women. Male tricks are where the money is.

I haven’t heard of any long term or passionate relationships between Malcom and other men, so I don’t know if I’d endorse a bisexual designation. The gay designation is pretty much out of the question because Malcom pursued and enjoyed lots of sex with a wide variety of women during his street hustler days.

Cite for the bolded bit?

No cite. I thought it was common knowledge that there are many more men willing to pay for sex - gay or straight - than there are women.

For what it’s worth the author of the biography in question was not himself gay, and there’s no obvious reason for him to have included the claim if he didn’t himself believe it to be true.

Thing, is, as an admitted “hustler”, doing the hustling for males or females or both could be quite independent of whether the person’s *own *primary identity is gay/het/bi. Hustlers hustle where the money is, there is such a phrase as “gay 4 pay”. The late 50s/early 60s, though, were not the time of history to admit a same-sex hustle when doing the review of your past sins.

And I also would have expected that if this was known on the down low or suspected at the time, by more than a small handful or by proven reliable sources, Elijah M’s faction would have used it. Or it may be that, again, different times – someone comes up to NoI with that sort of “dirt” on Malcolm and is told “Got proof? No? Get out of here, we bring that up with no proof we’ll look like desperate loons”.