Why, I wonder, is Whitman not central to gay studies in American universities? Why are young gay students not being taught about their extraordinary cultural inheritance? Why do straight students not know that one of America's greatest poets, one of this country's great patriots, was proudly, openly gay well over a century ago? It would do a great deal to dispel the ignorance, philistinism and stupidity that lies behind the homophobia of so many.
I agree with Sullivan’s point, but it’s not as if Whitman is the only public figure whose unacceptable proclivities have been erased from RC (religiously correct) education. Much sexuality remains to be reclaimed from the neutered history with which we are presented.