Conrad Ricomora, left, and Cole Escola in 'Oh, Mary!'
Conrad Ricomora, left, and Cole Escola in ‘Oh, Mary!’ Photo by Emilio Madrid.

As you might have heard, Cole Escola’s Oh, Mary! is currently the hottest ticket on Broadway, revealing the untold story of First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln.

And while Escola will be the first to tell you their play is based on absolutely zero research, it seems the acclaimed comedy may have been right about one thing (depending on who you ask): That Abraham Lincoln was not-so-secretly gay!

Whether a very happy coincidence or a brilliantly savvy marketing move, a new documentary is coming hot on the heels of Oh, Mary!‘s success, one that looks to re-examine the past and uncover the truth of “America’s most consequential president’s” sexuality once and for all.

From filmmaker Shaun Peterson comes Lover Of Men: The Untold History Of Abraham Lincoln, which features never-before-seen photographs and letters, re-enactments, and commentary from U.S. and LGBTQ+ history scholars (including familiar faces like Alok Vaid-Menon & Montana Rep. Zooey Zephyr), highlighting how one of our country’s long-standing rumors was based in fact!

Image Credit: ‘Lover Of Men,’ Special Occasion Studios

In a new first look, the film points to two specific men who held great significance in Lincoln’s life. The first was businessman and politician Joshua Speed, who the future president met while living in Springfield, IL. The two lived together and even shared a bed, which was fairly common at the time, but the fact that they did so for four consecutive years still raises eyebrows to this day.

The other was Captain David Derickson, a soldier who served as a bodyguard and companion of Lincoln’s during his presidency. It’s said that, for a while there, the men would share a bed whenever Mary Todd was away, which became hot gossip among his cabinet and other presidential personnel.

Ooh, the tea they were serving at the White House was piping hot!

But Lover Of Men has more on its mind than just who was sleeping next to who. In shedding new light on the past, the documentary aims to to explore the history of sexuality and how social mores have changed over the decades.

After all, Lincoln was far from the only person in the 19th Century “sharing beds” with people of the same sex. It was actually pretty common for men especially to live with other men before they got married. Many historians would even say that sexuality was far more fluid back then—that is, until famed psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud defined things in very rigid categories, and homosexuality came to be seen as deviance in the mainstream.

Image Credit: ‘Lover Of Men,’ Special Occasion Studios

In an age where anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric and legislation is once again on the rise, Peterson’s film takes stock of what it means that America’s highest seat of power was once held by a queer man, pondering how sharing this truth can help inspire the future of democracy.

“Lincoln’s legacy is the insistence on equality,” shares one of the expert commentarors. “If you can accept a queer Lincoln, you can accept queer people over all.”

Lover Of Men: The Untold History Of Abraham Lincoln is coming soon to theaters nationwide, with an official release date to be announced. In the meantime, you can watch the first trailer for the documentary below:

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