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  • Lawrence of Arabia

    I just saw a show on T.E. Lawrence and I am curious about something. Was he Gay? Does anyone know?


  • #2
    I couldn't say specifically one way or the other, but in the movie by David Lean there certainly seems to be a suggestion of that. Probably had to be coy about it for the sensibilities of the movie going crowd of that day (late 50s?/early 60s?).

    Scene I'm thinking about is when Lawrence (O'Toole) is being interogated by two Turkish soldiers and then their commander (Jose Ferrer) walks in and starts his own questions. Definate twinkle in the eye. Lawrence is tossed out into the street the next day
    Last edited by Canuckster; 13 Sep 07, 22:22.

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    • #3
      Lowell Thomas, the reporter that made him famous, hinted mildly at it, but primarily stayed away from any mention of his orientation. In the "7 Pillars of Wisdom", Lawrence's relationship with the two boys that traveled with him is a little better defined. A homosexual relationship in the early 20th Century was viewed completely different by native Arabs than those in "post" Victorian England. I'm not aware of any concrete statements on the subject by those in closest contact with him, but my reading makes me think he found comfort with his young companions. The general assumption of his treatment by his Turkish captors was that he was raped. The full story of what happened at that time was never published, but most agree that his personality underwent a dark change from which he never fully recovered.
      My Avatar: Ivan W. Henderson Gunner/navigator B-25-26. 117 combat missions. Both Theaters. 11 confirmed kills. DSC.

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      • #4
        Through years of reading about Lawrence, I found that no one offered hard evidence of his sexuality--it was a period when such things were not publicly aired. His rape at the hands of the Turks seemed to have been a personal trial for him.

        I've come to a conclusion that Lawrence was such an ascetic in all facets of his personal lifestyle, that while he may have experimented, I believe that he personally was not interested in sex. He would have made a faithful, devoted monk--he certainly was a secular monk.

        rna
        Last edited by R.N. Armstrong; 14 Sep 07, 14:14.
        Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post
          Through years of reading about Lawrence, I found that no one offered hard evidence of his sexuality--it was a period when such things were not publicly aired. His rape at the hands of the Turks seemed to have been a personal trial for him.

          I've come to a conclusion that Lawrence was such an ascetic in all facets of his personal lifestyle, that while he may have experimented, I believe that he personally was not interested in sex. He would have made a faithful, devote monk--he certainly was a secular monk.

          rna
          Excellent explanation. Rep coming!
          My Avatar: Ivan W. Henderson Gunner/navigator B-25-26. 117 combat missions. Both Theaters. 11 confirmed kills. DSC.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Miss.Saigon View Post
            I just saw a show on T.E. Lawrence and I am curious about something. Was he Gay? Does anyone know?
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T._E._Lawrence#Sexuality

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            • #7
              You know, it is an interesting question, but then again should it be? Does it really matter if he was or not? I suspect not. On the other hand, is it historically relevant to know?

              Look at Roosevelt. The press hid his affliction from the Nation. Of course we know now, but at the time few did. Is it important that we now know these facts about him?

              Kennedy was a real horny goat, but is this too any of our business? Because he is an historic figure is his sexuality a legitimate area of inquiry? Not easy questions to be sure.

              In the case of Lawrence particularly It is hard to see the relevance. After all, he was single and his deads speak for him. In the case of Kennedy he was married and I suppose you can make judgments about his Character because of it. I don't think his private life is any of our business, on the other hand I would feel sorry for Jackie.

              In my mind these are really tough questions.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Miss.Saigon View Post
                You know, it is an interesting question, but then again should it be? Does it really matter if he was or not? I suspect not. On the other hand, is it historically relevant to know?

                Look at Roosevelt. The press hid his affliction from the Nation. Of course we know now, but at the time few did. Is it important that we now know these facts about him?

                Kennedy was a real horny goat, but is this too any of our business? Because he is an historic figure is his sexuality a legitimate area of inquiry? Not easy questions to be sure.

                In the case of Lawrence particularly It is hard to see the relevance. After all, he was single and his deads speak for him. In the case of Kennedy he was married and I suppose you can make judgments about his Character because of it. I don't think his private life is any of our business, on the other hand I would feel sorry for Jackie.

                In my mind these are really tough questions.
                It's unfortunate but true that people include those perceptions as to their overall judgement of that person, even if it is irrelevant.

                FDR's physical conditions would probably have been translated as a weakness in leadership.

                Robert Stanfield was running for PM up here a while ago and they say part of the reason why he lost the election was that he looked like such a dufus trying to kick a football during a pregame ceremony.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Miss.Saigon View Post
                  I just saw a show on T.E. Lawrence and I am curious about something. Was he Gay? Does anyone know?
                  Ummm nah I won't be a nag just took me by suprise seeing this is very interesting can anyone show me a link to site abour Lawrence I havn't really heard much about him
                  http://g.bf3stats.com/pc/1LP76r6C/melba_101.png

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 150935 View Post
                    Ummm nah I won't be a nag just took me by suprise seeing this is very interesting can anyone show me a link to site abour Lawrence I havn't really heard much about him
                    Look up ^ in the thread and you will find one.

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                    • #11
                      I remember an allegation made that he was very "attached" to a fellow airman in the RAF after he joined under a false name. There are many types of Gays and they do not always go out looking for sailors in bars, if you know what I mean. If he was "unofficially" know as Gay in the British Military, that might explain why he did not stay on as an officer. I imagine that quite a few Gays saw service in World War 1 and did fine jobs. It is a bit hard to figure out after all this time. Being gay did not disqualify you from the British Military unless you did something embarrassing. Talking about rough sex with three Turks might qualify!

                      Pruitt
                      Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                      Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                      by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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                      • #12
                        An English Guy

                        Last edited by Miss Saigon; 16 Sep 07, 23:56.

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                        • #13
                          Artillery

                          The film makes a great issue of artillery. How the British would not provide the Arabs with any. However, I have not read anything about artillery anywhere else in the Lawrence of Arabia story. Not that I have read or seen a great deal about him. Just Wiki, some snippets on the web and the PBS show.

                          So my question this time is, was artillery a significant issue for Lawrence as it was portrayed in the film?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Miss.Saigon View Post
                            The film makes a great issue of artillery. How the British would not provide the Arabs with any. However, I have not read anything about artillery anywhere else in the Lawrence of Arabia story. Not that I have read or seen a great deal about him. Just Wiki, some snippets on the web and the PBS show.

                            So my question this time is, was artillery a significant issue for Lawrence as it was portrayed in the film?
                            Offhand, I would say that artillery was power of an earth-shattering variety and the British had to be very careful as to how they bestowed this particular power to an endlessly changing, questionably-reliable and ever shifting power such as were the Bedouins.
                            "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Miss.Saigon View Post
                              The film makes a great issue of artillery. How the British would not provide the Arabs with any. However, I have not read anything about artillery anywhere else in the Lawrence of Arabia story. Not that I have read or seen a great deal about him. Just Wiki, some snippets on the web and the PBS show.

                              So my question this time is, was artillery a significant issue for Lawrence as it was portrayed in the film?
                              Lawrence in his secret dispatches noted the Arabs were terrified of artillery fire. "While they are not afraid of bullets, or of being killed, it is the manner of death by artillery that they cannot stand." Such a conclusion may have led to an assessment that if they did not like its manner of death, they may not use it effectively to inflict it.

                              rna
                              Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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