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LGBT People Of History Part Sixty Eight Gore Vidal

Updated on April 13, 2012
Photo of Vidal by Carl Van Vechten, 1948
Photo of Vidal by Carl Van Vechten, 1948 | Source
Vidal in New York City to discuss his 2009 book, Gore Vidal: Snapshots in History's Glare
Vidal in New York City to discuss his 2009 book, Gore Vidal: Snapshots in History's Glare | Source

Gore Vidal

Born Eugene Luther Gore Vidal, October 3rd 1925 in West Point, New York. He was the son of 1st Lieutenant Eugene Luther Vidal and Nina Gore. Nina had been an actress on Broadway making her debut as an extra in 'Sign of the Leopard.'

He was raised in Washington DC where he attended the 'Sidwells Friends School' and went on to attend 'St Albans School'.

He left St Al bans and went to study in France in 1939, though with the outbreak of World War Two he soon returned home to America. He joined the United States Army in 1943 and was deployed to the Aleutian Islands.

He became well known as an American author, playwright, essayist, screenwriter, and political activist.

He has had relationships with both men and women. His life partner was Howard Austen (died 2003) who he met in 1950. According to Vidal, ‘the only person he ever loved’ was James Trimble III. His views on homosexuality can be summed up as follows: ‘homosexuality is as natural as heterosexuality – notice I use the word ‘natural not ‘normal’.

His first important book was ‘The City and the Pillar’ (1948). This caused outrage at the time due to its matter of fact depiction of homosexuality. He also wrote plays and for movies and TV. He was involved in inserting gay subtexts into ‘Ben Hur’. More novels followed including ‘Myra Breckenridge’ (1968), a story about a transsexual. Later in life he concentrated on fiction dealing with American and ancient history and satire. He is a champion of the satirical essay offering clear unambiguous and controversial views on contemporary issues. He pillories American expansionism.

Politically he has little time for either of the two main US political parties, citing them both as being part of the ‘Property Party’. He is a staunch supporter of everybody’s human rights. He supports certain conspiracy theories and is very scathing of the George W Bush administration. He did stand unsuccessfully for Congress and garnered a lot of support.

He continues to this day making people think and analyse contemporary society with his perceptive work.


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    • calpol25 profile image

      Callum 5 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland, UK (At Home With My Wonderful Partner)

      Me too he is a great man :)

    • alian346 profile image

      alian346 5 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

      I love all the controversy he creates!