Jonathan Zimmerman: The Silly Debate over Ed Koch's Sexualitytags: Jonathan Zimmerman, gay history, Ed Koch, NY Daily News, sexuality, LGBT, GLBT
Jonathan Zimmerman is a professor of history and education at New York University. He is the author of “Small Wonder: The Little Red Schoolhouse in History and Memory.”
Was Ed Koch gay? I don’t know, and I don’t care. And neither should you.
When the former New York mayor died last week, we heard all the old cliches about why he should have come out of the closet-or why it was necessary to “out” him. If he were openly gay, the story goes, he would have done more to fight AIDS during the early years of the epidemic. And he would have made it easier for other people to come out, too.
But as Koch correctly insisted, his sexual orientation was nobody’s business but his own. And to see why, let’s imagine that Koch wasn't male and gay, but female and straight.
Then let’s suppose that Ms. Koch — like 40% of American women — had undergone an abortion. Would it be OK to “out” her for that, too?...
comments powered by Disqus
- Joan Peters’s legacy assessed by one of her fiercest critics, Norman Finkelstein
- West Point historian says if his cadets can understand the history of war, so can Congress
- Australian historian Alan Atkinson wins $100,000 literary prize
- From his perch in Saudi Arabia, Princeton’s Mark Cohen says Jews and Muslims should remember they used to get along
- Duke honors historian John Hope Franklin with year-long series of events