Tony Kushner moved into the upper echelons of US writers with his two-part, Pulitzer Prize winning play Angels In America – A Gay Fantasia On National Themes. However his latest job has seen him take on Abraham Lincoln for Steven Spielberg’s biopics. When he was hired many wondered whether the gay writer would touch on Lincoln’s sexuality and the long-stand rumours that the President was gay.
Turns out he wasn’t going to do much about it in Lincoln, as the film is more interested with Honest Abe’s manoeuvring to get slavery finally abolished and not what he might have wanted to get up to in the bedroom.
However in has touched on his personal thoughts about Lincoln’s sexuality in an interview on GoldDerby. He says “I wanted to write about a very specific moment and I chose this moment and I don’t feel that there’s any evidence at this particular moment that Lincoln was having sex with anybody. He seems to have not slept and taken no time off and during this period I think he was beginning to feel ground to a pulp by the war and by the pressures of his job. I find it difficult to believe that Lincoln was ‘banging anybody’. Now maybe he was. I personally believe that there is some reason to speculate that Lincoln might have been bisexual or gay….
“There are, unfortunately, no memoirs, no diaries, nothing to say for sure. I don’t say in the movie whether the Lincoln character that I wrote was gay or straight. You could ask Daniel (Day-Lewis) what he was playing, but it did not seem to me a thing to make a movie about now….
“I absolutely believe that the Lincoln’s marriage was a real marriage. These two people loved each other…Whether he was gay or straight or bisexual, they had a real deep, meaningful relationship that was probably the most significant relationship in Lincoln’s life…
“It wouldn’t be the first time that a gay man and a straight woman hooked up and had a great marriage. But I don’t know. I really don’t know. And I think that’s what we have to say about it. We keep the door open and people should talk about it. I don’t feel, finally, that my politics are entirely determined by the fact that I’m a gay man.”
You can see Kushner’s remarks below.