Walt Whitman: One Life

A reader tells me there is an exhibit currently in Washington’s National Portrait Gallery devoted to Whitman. The website is here – and is quite a work of art in its own right. You can even listen to Whitman read "America." 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.