Lipton’s Journal/February 21, 1955/644

From Project Mailer

Homosexuality. I would guess that the bisexual homosexual is relatively easy to turn “straight.” The camp among men and the hysteric lesbian among women have a capacity to vary, given their bisexuality. But the unisexual homosexual, the cuff-shooting Lesbian, and the “pure” homosexual have a state of balance already. The woman is a man in woman’s envelope. The man is a woman in man’s envelope—Toby[1] for instance.

So, in their own socially tortured way, they do have a legitimate er balance, for the er demands that one express the male and the female principle in oneself. Of all male homosexuals I would guess that the active unisexual is the most difficult to alter. Gore Vidal for example.[2] The kind of homosexual who likes to prong others. For such a homosexual like the dike has set up a Chinese wall against the waters of wombivity. Their active “male” giving is the defense against an intolerable taking.

And as I wrote in the last installment, a “habit” is overcompensated because the Juggler has decided not to allow that exhausting conflict to be active, but instead will deal with the disadvantages in another way. So the active homosexual has a deep enormous dread of becoming a passive homosexual. Yet because he sees women as bigger givers than himself, women are closed off too. Same with dikes. They despise womanly Lesbians, they hate men because they believe men are bigger givers than themselves.


  1. Toby Schneebaum was a homosexual neighbor of Mailer’s.
  2. Mailer met Gore Vidal (1925-2012) in 1952, and their lives intersected for the next sixty years, not only because they were East Coast novelists of the same generation, but also because they were gregarious, ambitious, ornery, and permanently critical of the imperialistic streak in American foreign policy. Mailer’s surmise about Vidal’s sexual preferences is borne out by Vidal’s friend, archivist and biographer, Jay Parini, in his 2015 biography, Empire of Self: A Life of Gore Vidal.