Gay Activist Larry Kramer’s Claims Many Actors in Old Hollywood Were Gay

Gay Activist Larry Kramer’s Claims Many Actors in Old Hollywood Were Gay

Did you know Spencer Tracy was gay? No? Well he’s one of many labeled as such in a gay activist’s new book.

The Hollywood Reporter interviewed prominent gay activist and filmmaker Larry Kramer about these claims in his new book, The American People: Volume 1: Search for My Heart.

Kramer is no stranger to revisionist history. Last March, he told The New York Times that most men on our money were gay, from George Washington to Abraham Lincoln. Kramer backed his claims with “historical anecdotes” which sound more like excerpts from an erotic novel. As Times reviewer Dwight Garner detailed:

“Mr. Kramer doesn’t skim demurely over this material. Scenes don’t dissolve when the candle is snuffed out. Lincoln stars in a sex scene in which, his lover reports, ‘my big bed took quite a beating.’”

Founding fathers and presidents weren’t the only ones Kramer insisted are gay. Last week, Kramer revealed more about his book to The Hollywood Reporter and claimed that many actors from Hollywood’s Golden Age were homosexual. His list included iconic actors Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Cary Grant and Barbara Stanwyck.

 Despite Kramer’s efforts, the majority of Hollywood biographers don’t take seriously the hearsay Kramer bases his claims on. Not to mention the fact that some of these actors, such as Hepburn and Grant, denied these rumors while they were still alive. No matter to Kramer, who will run their name through the mud long after they’re gone – with no way to defend themselves. 

The Hollywood Reporter brought up the skepticism surrounding Kramer’s claims and asked him, “How much of it are we supposed to believe?”

“All of it!” Kramer responded. “People say to me, ‘Can you prove x? Can you prove Lincoln was gay?’ And my reply is: ‘Can you prove he was straight?’” (Laughs.)

Despite his dubious claims, Kramer is well-respected in Hollywood, and his work has been promoted and praised by the media.

Last year, HBO adapted his play, The Normal Heart, a semi-biographical drama of one of his lover’s battles with AIDS. The network also just released a “glowing” biopic on his life, called Larry Kramer in Love and Anger

— Kristine Marsh is Staff Writer for MRC Culture at the Media Research Center. Follow Kristine Marsh on Twitter.