Gay and Lesbian Humanist

Summer 2003

Clarence Arthur Tripp (4 October 1919 – 17 May 2003)

by Andy Armitage

The author CA. Tripp, who is said to have just completed co-authorship of a book speculating that Abraham Lincoln had gay encounters, has died of cancer. He was 83.

Tripp is best known for his 1975 book The Homosexual Matrix (McGraw-Hill), in which he attempted to dispel popular misconceptions about homosexuality. It sold nearly half a million copies.

Dr Clarence Arthur Tripp, psychologist, therapist and sex researcher, studied at the Rochester Institute of Technology and served in the US Navy. He immersed himself in the work of Freud during the 1940s and also worked in photography, while becoming increasingly interested in psychology. It was towards the end of the decade that he worked with Alfred Kinsey at the Institute for Sex Research in Indiana, until Kinsey died in 1956.

His book speculating on the sexuality of Lincoln was co-written with the author Lewis Gannett. It was finished about two weeks before Tripp’s death, and he had been working with Gannett on its preparation for several years. Reports have hinted that the book will reveal that Lincoln had a series of homosexual encounters.

According to Newsweek, Tripp had a straightforward message that “homosexuality is best viewed as an alternative lifestyle and society benefits from tolerating it”.

The New York Times quotes Larry Kramer, author and AIDS activist, who had said in an interview that Tripp’s book was the first to emerge from a “reputable source”, and that it “dared to openly speak of homosexuality as a healthy occurrence”.

Tripp is survived by his companion, Vacharin Prasertthai.

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Created : Sunday, 2003-07-27 / Last updated : Wednesday, 2007-12-12
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