Author Topic: Was Grand Duke Ernst really gay/bisexual?  (Read 57040 times)

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bookworm

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Re: Was Grand Duke Ernst really gay/bisexual?
« Reply #30 on: September 06, 2004, 01:58:57 PM »
I'm going to reiterate what I said a few months ago -- people are people, regardless of what century they lived in. Different sexual preferences have always existed. The words "gay" and "bisexual" probably weren't understood in the same context we use them in 1894, but they certainly knew if they were strongly attracted to women or strongly attracted to men or both or didn't care about sex at all. I've seen pictures of same sex couples from that time period who lived together as "husband and wife."

Cultural conditions might be different, but I don't actually see that many differences there either. Whether or not Ernie was gay, it affected his life. I think it's a valid discussion topic along with everything else that was part of his life.

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Was Grand Duke Ernst really gay/bisexual?
« Reply #31 on: September 06, 2004, 03:02:55 PM »
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Good points Louise and Bookworm.  As someone who is slightly older and coming from a provincial town I can remember a time when life was less enlightened.
If Ernie was homosexual life was probably a lot easier for him than anyone from a less exalted background.  Having said that, Ernie did enjoy a very happy second marriage and was completely capable of being a father, and a good one in every sense.  All of this is not incompatible with him being either homosexual or bisexual and he would not be the first man of his age to have these inclinations and yet be married with a family.
I can't quite remember where I read this (or it may indeed have been a TV program) but I am pretty sure that Pce Waldemar of Denmark for many years enjoyed a relationship with Pce George of Greece ( I think that it was George) - both married with families.  Do we think that the rest of the family knew and discreetly looked the other way?


I think it's almost a historical certainty that Waldemar & George were romantically involved (though I don't know if there was any actual sexual relationship). It's not the homsexual aspect of it that I find disturbing but rather the fact that they were uncle & nephew. Marie Bonaparte (an absolutely fascinating woman who wrote many articles on Freud) who was married to George wrote about it pretty frankly, and pretty non-judgmentally, in many letters. Celia Bertran (?) wrote a great bio of MB which details the relationship. Also, if you look closely a certain photos of Waldemar at his desk, you can see a very recognizable photo of George in  a large frame and very prominently placed. I'll have to dig the bio out--it was fascinating. Since the 2 were pretty open about their feelings, I wonder if the rest of the family knew or chose not to see?
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Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Was Grand Duke Ernst really gay/bisexual?
« Reply #32 on: September 06, 2004, 03:05:07 PM »
Yes, I myself (as I've said before) DON'T care on way or the other whether or not he was gay. I think he was a wonderful, kind, enlightened man regardless. I've just always been curious as to the actual FACT--truth or rumor? I look forward to the new biography which will hopefully shed some more light on his marriages to both Ducky & Onor. Regardless of his sexual preference, those 2 marriages couldn't have been more different.
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Michelle

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Re: Was Grand Duke Ernst really gay/bisexual?
« Reply #33 on: September 06, 2004, 04:06:14 PM »
Excuse me, Lisa, and everybody else defending gays, but it was you, Lisa, who actually brought the whole modern aspect of homosexuality into this historical discussion.  The question of Ernst was simply brought up by gdella for more in depth discussion, whether or not it is interesting to all (I'm not downplaying gdella's question,it's obviously sparked passionate responses).  Most responses have been pertaining to the historical quesion at hand--WHERE does Lisa get it that she's one to judge me about my views on gays? Just because I'm only 17, obviously a mere peon in your eyes, doesn't mean that I'm am not "enlightened" yet!!  I should question where YOUR compassion is--or perhaps we should ask your 16 year old daughter ;) :-*!  You put yourself WAY up on a self-righteous pedastal, as well as others here when we were simply trying to discuss the historical character of GD Ernst!

Louise

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Re: Was Grand Duke Ernst really gay/bisexual?
« Reply #34 on: September 06, 2004, 04:50:56 PM »
Michelle, you seem to miss the point. Yes we are discussing the issue of Ernest's sexuality in respect to his historical role in the Romanov chapter. What you brought to this discussion was your misguided views on gay people. No one here had brought up being "out" in today's society. As a matter of fact, this topic is not about being out today, but about Ernest. It was you that brought up this subject, and it was you that offended not only me, but a few others on the board.

This is not the first time that you have been at the center of controvery on this board and I think we have allowed you some latitude because of your age. That said, if you want to continue studying history, you are going to have to allow yourself to be open minded and accept others opinions and now lifestyles without condemnation and bigotry.

Louise


RobMoshein

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Re: Was Grand Duke Ernst really gay/bisexual?
« Reply #35 on: September 06, 2004, 04:51:57 PM »
Michelle,
I think you need to relax first, and re-read all the previous postings. When you go back and do so, you will see, I hope that Lisa was not attacking you at all, and certainly NOT judging your or putting herself above you or anyone.  Lisa was pointing out that as the mother of a daughter exactly your age, she understands (probably better than you realize) much of what you think and feel. Trust me, I know Lisa personally and she has been a good friend for years. Lisa is a loyal friend in the most honorable sense of the words, and yes, she has MANY gay friends, who she judges for the people that they are and the deeds they do, not by their sexuality.

What I am almost certain Lisa was trying to say is this: Take her example, and judge others by their deeds and achievments, see them as individuals, look past stereotypes of people (gay, straight, hispanic, arab, jew, etc etc etc) and judge the individual as a whole person. Have compassion for others by putting yourself in their shoes for just a moment and take the time to stop and consider "their shoes".

I have gay friends myself, who would take what YOU wrote and characterize you completely for just those words, without even meeting you, and describe you in terms I will not go further to say, but I am certain you would not care to be so characterized. Just take this to heart "Judge others NOT, unless you are willing to be equally judged yourself by them."

Offline LisaDavidson

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Re: Was Grand Duke Ernst really gay/bisexual?
« Reply #36 on: September 06, 2004, 05:43:01 PM »
Michelle: You are correct that I have defended gays and so I will continue. Guilty as charged. Rest assured, I will follow up any homophobic post of anyone here with a request for civility, and a request that we accept people as they are. By the way, that would also include you, if you are paying attention.

Did you actually read the post I wrote regarding using modern definitions for 19th century people? I was pointing out something that has bugged Bob and I for years - that it is anachronistic to use modern definitions for these people who lived in the past under a different set of rules. I really fail to see how this is "bringing it up". Discussions need to have a proper context.

I do not see teenagers - including you - as peons. How you are perceiving this must have to do with where you are as a person. I agree with Louise - if you are going to participate on a discussion board with a wide range of people, you need to try to keep an open mind. Allowances have been and are being made for you based on your youth, but this only seems to enrage you further.

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Re: Was Grand Duke Ernst really gay/bisexual?
« Reply #37 on: September 06, 2004, 05:50:55 PM »
Michelle,
Do you personally KNOW any gay people? Just curious...and think carefully before you answer....

bookworm

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Re: Was Grand Duke Ernst really gay/bisexual?
« Reply #38 on: September 06, 2004, 05:53:13 PM »
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Excuse me, Lisa, and everybody else defending gays, but it was you, Lisa, who actually brought the whole modern aspect of homosexuality into this historical discussion.  The question of Ernst was simply brought up by gdella for more in depth discussion, whether or not it is interesting to all (I'm not downplaying gdella's question,it's obviously sparked passionate responses).  Most responses have been pertaining to the historical quesion at hand--WHERE does Lisa get it that she's one to judge me about my views on gays? Just because I'm only 17, obviously a mere peon in your eyes, doesn't mean that I'm am not "enlightened" yet!!  I should question where YOUR compassion is--or perhaps we should ask your 16 year old daughter ;) :-*!  You put yourself WAY up on a self-righteous pedastal, as well as others here when we were simply trying to discuss the historical character of GD Ernst!



Didn't you say that you didn't want to read about such things because you find them disgusting and sinful? If you're going to study history, you are going to come across many of the same actions that disturb you in 2004. People's emotions and urges are pretty much the same as they were 100 years ago.  Most of the older people on this board were 17 once too. My views have changed a lot in the last 16 years. I think yours probably will too, though admittedly maybe not in the same direction as mine did. I can tell by your writing that you're bright and curious and like to look at different topics. You may be surprised at how different you feel even two years from now, after you've been out of high school for a year. I don't think anyone's said you're a "mere peon" or "unenlightened." They're just saying that you're young.

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Was Grand Duke Ernst really gay/bisexual?
« Reply #39 on: September 06, 2004, 07:02:19 PM »
OK, I'm sorry I brought this topic up. It was NEVER supposed to get into modern notions of homosexuality, people's views on gays, etc...It was just supposed to ask Did Anyone Know For Sure or is it rumor mistakenly attributed as fact. That's ALL. Everyone has varying degrees of acceptance of homosexuality based on age, religion, class, ethnicity, etc...I myself don't give a rat's behind if someone is gay or not--I have gay relatives and friends. OTOH, I don't want to see this discussion degenerate into name-calling and finger-pointing about who's tolerant and who's not. It's one of those charged issues like religion (where arguments have also broken out) & politics (thank God they're not discussed here!  ;)). I hate to think that it was MY question that starts a big fight. We're such a happy group normally.  :)  
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Robert_Hall

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Re: Was Grand Duke Ernst really gay/bisexual?
« Reply #40 on: September 06, 2004, 07:23:30 PM »
I would not worry about it, GDElla.
I have taken personal offense at a few of the words used here [effiminate?red-blooded male, is there any other kind?and especially CLOSET] However, I have refrained from jumping in as I do not think it worth the effort nor the place for such a "discussion".
AND, that weird frenchman, he calls EVERYONE a cowboy, even me!! It is okay though, as no one pays him much attention, as no one can understand what he is ranting about !
Cheers,
Robert

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Was Grand Duke Ernst really gay/bisexual?
« Reply #41 on: September 06, 2004, 08:40:51 PM »
Quote
I would not worry about it, GDElla.
I have taken personal offense at a few of the words used here [effiminate?red-blooded male, is there any other kind?and especially CLOSET] However, I have refrained from jumping in as I do not think it worth the effort nor the place for such a "discussion".
AND, that weird frenchman, he calls EVERYONE a cowboy, even me!! It is okay though, as no one pays him much attention, as no one can understand what he is ranting about !
Cheers,
Robert


Ah, you know the frenchman from another site! He really blew me back--I had no idea what he was talking about!   (And it wasn't due to my bad French!) . He is an odd duck.  That's why I hang out almost exclusively here and why I especially don't want to see bad feelings. Some of the other groups (like that one) have feuds that seem to have gone on for years!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by grandduchessella »
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Louise

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Re: Was Grand Duke Ernst really gay/bisexual?
« Reply #42 on: September 06, 2004, 08:45:33 PM »
GDella, please don't worry about this post. I thought and still think it is very interesting and educational for all. In today's society we take for granted the liberties and freedoms that we have. It is interesting to look back and see how other individuals handled their lives and the effect it had on others. That is why we study history. :D

Louise

Michelle

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Re: Was Grand Duke Ernst really gay/bisexual?
« Reply #43 on: September 06, 2004, 08:48:01 PM »
Dear Rob,

What difference does it make if I know any gays or not?  And if you really want to know, then yes, I do.  
Have I ever said that I hate anyone who's gay?  I don't think so.  I highly disapprove of their way of life because they are going against the Bible and God.  But I don't HATE them.  

And just out of curiosity, Louise, what other controversies have I been the center of?  Are you talking about me believing AA?  If I'm not mistaken, I thought that SHE was the center of that controversy.  Oh well.  I guess I'm delusional. ::) ::) ::)

And for those of you that think I brought up the modern aspect of this subject, have you completely overlooked Lisa's post where she talks about gay weddings?  I was merely responding that that kind of stuff has no reason whatsoever to be discussed on a historical discussion board, because to some it is inappropriate, and sparks situations just like this.  

Lisa: Why should I pay attention to you if you're just going to insult me by dismissing what I have to say because I'm younger?  And also since you can't handle someone disagreeing with you?  And yes, I did read your posts about the modern definitions bugging you.  And I don't recall that I was bothered by that post.  It's when people such as yourself that start talking about gay weddings, etc which some people (or I guess I'm obviously alone in this) simply don't want to hear about.

Robert_Hall

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Re: Was Grand Duke Ernst really gay/bisexual?
« Reply #44 on: September 06, 2004, 09:21:02 PM »
That's it.
Michelle, if you insist on imposing your religous views, you are abandoning historical objectivity.  And yes, you have illustrated your intolerance elsewhere on this board.
It is historical FACT that gay people have had relationship of various kinds in all eras of history.  And I, like most, prefer GAY as "homosexual" is far too clinical. None of us are lab rats.
It  is pretty well accepted that GD Ernest did have such relationships, how he dealt with them is what is interesting to me. He was no Felix, but neither did he seem to be terribly shamed. I am sure further research may well reveal just that.
It was/is fairly common to destroy a person's papers, diaries, letters, etc if it was felt to expose something distasteful to the family- look what happened to Victorias papers.  So a lot of reading between the lines may prove necessary. The fact remains- gay people did exist and they did have long term, as well as short term relationships. In every social class, in all income brackets.
Now, I was at that previously mentioned gay wedding as well. I do not recall any invitation to hop in bed with them. What was asked, ---love, support, fortitude, caring.
I have been in the same gay male relationship coming on 35 years and not much has changed, the style but not the substance perhaps.
It is attitudes like yours that keep honest historical research & reading suppressed and society at large to progress.
I do not care how old you are, you are displaying ageless bigotry.
Best,
Robert