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Does Sally Field Think Lincoln Was Gay?


The star of the new film bio explains why it's impossible to know for sure.

For years historians have speculated on whether Abraham Lincoln had same-sex lovers, but Sally Field, who plays the 16th president's wife Mary Todd Lincoln in the recently-released film Lincoln says there's no way to be sure. Asked by the Daily Beast if Lincoln could have been gay, Field, who has recently emerged as a major LGBT equality ally, is unsure.

"I don't know," she replies. "Nobody knows. I know that Mary and Lincoln were extremely close, even though she was always haranguing on him like women do. There was some evidence early on in some letters that she was wishing that they were physically more together. She had a real appetite, sexually. And she needed him home. Certainly in the language of the era, they were much less homophobic. Men spoke of their friendships with men with such open-hearted devotion and love. Lincoln had an early friend, they wrote letters back and forth to each other. There wasn't a problem with people sharing beds, either. There weren't enough beds. When they would be on the lawyer circuit, you'd pick your bed partner. Mr. Lincoln had his favorites because Mr. Lincoln was big. And he wanted the little guys. Who knows what went on in those beds?"

Field says she did a lot of research about the period depicted in the film. "I did read a lot about that and the era," she reveals. "It did strike me as sad that we have lost the openness with our feelings of affection for people of the same sex, because we're afraid."

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