In a new book, The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln, clinical psychologist Dr CA Tripp’s research discovers that Lincoln reached puberty as early as age nine or 10, which is an indicator, according to Alfred Kinsey, of same-sex proclivity. After he was assassinated, Lincoln’s stepmother said that as a boy he “never took much interest in the girls.” In his review of The Intimate World. . . for LA Weekly, Doug Ireland says that 40 years ago Los Angeles gay activist Jim Kepner wrote about Lincoln’s long-acknowledged intimacy with Joshua Speed, with whom Lincoln slept in the same bed for four years, when both were in their twenties. Illinois poet Carl Sandburg wrote in his biography of Lincoln that both Lincoln and Speed had “a streak of lavender, and spots soft as may violets.”
In a detailed retelling of the Lincoln-Speed love story — including the “lust at first sight” encounter between the two young men, when Lincoln readily accepted Speed’s eager invitation to share his narrow bed — Tripp notes that Speed was the only human being to whom the president ever signed his letters with the unusually tender (for Lincoln) “yours forever” — a salutation Lincoln never even used to his wife. Speed himself acknowledged that “No two men were ever so intimate.” And Tripp credibly describes Lincoln’s near nervous breakdown following Speed’s decision to end their four-year affair by returning to his native Kentucky.