Was Walt Whitman Gay? Who Was He Linked With During His Life?

Walt Whitman Has Been Linked With Several Men, Considering Him a Gay

According to the people, Walt Whitman might have been gay and was linked with several males, including Peter Doyle. While there is no fixed news regarding Whitman’s sexuality, nor did he ever confirm it, it seems that many of his romantic and sexual poems were written about men.

Walter Whitman Jr. was an American poet, essayist, and journalist. He was born on May 31, 1819, in West Hills, New York, U.S., to parents with interests in Quaker thought, Walter and Louisa Van Velsor Whitman. Growing up, Whitman’s childhood was not good, as he lived a generally restless and unhappy life given his family’s difficult economic status.

After working for years Walter started gaining knowledge and writing sentimental bits, and with his hard work and struggle he was able to gain the job of editor in the leading Whig weekly newspaper, the Long-Island Star. By 1840, he started contributing freelance fiction and poetry to various periodicals, including Brother Jonathan magazine, edited by John Neal.

Walt Whitman published his first novel, The Life and Adventures of Jack Engle, in six installments in New York’s Sunday Dispatch in 1852. With the success of his first novel, he started getting recognized among fans, and after that, his other novels started getting published.

According to the people, after reading Walter’s Novel, they started calling him a member of the LGBTQ community. He never came out, but he let the people get information about the third gender. Recently, with all the hype surrounding this, people are wanting to know more about his personal life and whether he is gay or not. To know more, about his sexuality, read this article.

Walt Whitman Was Rumored to Be Gay, but He Never Confirmed His Sexuality

While it is unknown for certain whether Walt Whitman is gay or not but it appears that much of his sexual and romantic poetry was written about males. His most popular writing Symonds read Plato portrayed the love between two men and Leaves of Grass, which was particularly criticized for its overt sexuality and in which he talked about men and women.

Talking about Walt Whitman’s private life, he was never married or had any children in his entire life, but he was said to be in a strong romantic relationship with New York Actress, Ellen Grey. The rumors also said that he used to have her pictures in a locket for many years and called her an old sweetheart. He is also claimed to have had six children with different women, but there is no proof of the news.

Well, there was no understanding or awareness of LGBTQ persons at the time When Nobel was published. His books were often regarded as being extremely divisive, including Leaves of Grass (1855), which was particularly criticized for its overt sexuality and in which he talked about men and women.

While many, including Ralph Waldo Emerson, praised his revolutionary writing style, some critics, particularly those who complained that his poetry was vulgar and indecent, did so. His writing still stands to potentially affect the education of millions of children in California, and people are pointing to him as the country’s finest LGBTQ writer.

Walt was also speculated to have been in a relationship with a bus conductor named Peter Doyle and a young boy named Bill Duckett. The rumors about Peter and Walt were almost confirmed when, in an 1895 interview, Doyle was asked to express his feelings toward the writer, and he stated;

We were familiar at once, I put my hand on his knee, and we understood. He did not get out at the end of the trip and went back with me.

In terms of Bill Duckett and American Bard at Last’s relationship, the two met in 1884, when Whitman was 65 years old. There is a two-page description of their life together in Walt Whitman’s handwriting that purported to be written by Duckett, possibly for Whitman’s biographer and friend Richard Bucke. Bill recounted their lives in the letter writing;

I became acquainted with Mr. Whitman in 1884 when he bought and moved into the little house at 328 Mickle Street, within three doors of which I lived. We boys had a quoit club, and W. made us a present of a handsome set of quoits for pitching. 

The two were reported to have lived together for a while before splitting up on bad terms, with Whitman claiming that his housekeeper, Mary Oakes Davis, had welcomed the youngster in, while Bill claimed Whitman had taken the initiative.

Aside from Bill and Peter, the Bard of Democracy was also linked with Oscar Wilde, an Irish poet, and playwright. Oscar was accused of sleeping with Whitman, and he was said to be obsessed with the American writer. Well, in 1882, Oscar Wilde met Walt Whitman in America and told homosexual rights activist George Cecil Ives that Whitman’s sexual orientation was unquestionable and that they had shared a kiss that was still on Oscar’s lips.

Oscar Fingal O’Flaherty Wills Wilde aka Oscar Wilde was an Irish poet and playwright who was born on 16 October 1854 in Dublin, Ireland. After writing in various formats during the 1880s, he became one of London’s most prominent playwrights in the early 1890s.