Hold on! Johnny Appleseed Was Gay?

11 November 2016 by , No Comments

Sharp-eyed readers of Man & Beast might recognize that the book’s hero, John Chapman, is based on an actual historical figure that we rather condescending refer to today as Johnny Appleseed. While I can’t prove John Chapman was gay, no one can prove he wasn’t either. And I think my reading of the few facts that we do know about John Chapman is as good as anyone else’s.

What specifically makes me think the relatively well-educated, soft spoken John Chapman might have been gay? For starters, John was never married and the historical record doesn’t indicate him ever having had any kind of romantic relationship with a woman. There isn’t evidence of one with a man either, but then again, plenty of historical figures have had had their romantic lives pinkwashed to make them more palatable for American consumption. (And I’m sure he was just as sexy as the guy in the picture!)

In addition to Chapman having been well educated for the time, history shows him as having been a very gentle, soft-spoken man with a fondness for animals. And there has to be some reason he left the relative comforts of Massachusetts for the wilds of the American frontier. It sure wasn’t for the fine frontier dining. (See: Calipash. Yuck, just yuck.)

It seemed to me a pretty strong possibility that John’s homosexuality might have pushed him to head west. After all, with settlers busy trying to hack a living out of the wilderness, they were a lot less likely to have time to pay attention to what their neighbors did. Or to much care if they did.

Plus there were men on the frontier. A lot of men. Hunky men. (Well, I’m assuming that was true…) It isn’t hard to imagine a man with same-sex attractions finding opportunities for relationships that he wouldn’t find at home.

No doubt the American Family Association would disagree with me.

Interested in reading Man & Beast or Man & Monster? Head over here and here!

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