'Wasn't He Gay?': A Revealing Question About Mister Rogers

October 22, 2014 1:21 AM

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'Wasn't He Gay?': A Revealing Question About Mister Rogers

"Wasn't he gay?" That's what people often ask me when they learn that I'm working on a book about Fred Rogers -- the beloved creator, writer, and host of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. I've come to believe that the question, however intended, reveals just as much about the questioners as it does about Rogers.

Sure, the question makes complete sense if a lack of machismo means that a man is gay. After all, Fred Rogers was the opposite of macho. He showed no hint of physical brawn; his chin was weak, his muscles underdeveloped, and his face smooth. Nor was he aggressive. He talked softly and carried no sti...

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