If you want your biography to stand out from the pack, one of the popular things to do is say that the subject was gay, whether there’s much evidence for that or not. The latest to get a posthumous bisexual title is Marilyn Monroe, in Lois W. Banner’s new book, Marilyn: The Passion and the Paradox.
An extract published by The Guardian says, “She had affairs with many eminent men – baseball great Joe DiMaggio, playwright Arthur Miller, director Elia Kazan, actor Marlon Brando, singer Frank Sinatra, the Kennedy brothers – and she married DiMaggio and Miller. Yet she desired women, had affairs with them, and worried that she might be lesbian by nature. How could she be the world’s heterosexual sex goddess and desire women?”
Banner postulates Monroe as a proto-feminist, far smarter than she’s sometimes given credit for, although tormented by her demons – which the extract suggests included what we’d now call sex addiction. It’s not the first time Monroe’s sexuality has been questioned, although there’s not really all that much credible evidence she was genuinely bisexual. It’s a good way to sell books though.