Confused sexual orientation

Pearson Kipp was a bank loan officer who lived in Wallingford and commuted to New Haven in the 1940s. The Historical Society just acquired two of his diaries, from 1947 and 1948. On March 14, 1947, he wrote “On the train coming home there appeared to be a strange reversal of my traditional yearning. I desired a woman. I desired normal marriage. We shall see how far this is a true change. The old way seems damp and cold as it always did; but I am not pleased too highly with the change.” This is the first instance that I know of where someone’s thoughts and concerns about his sexual orientation appear in a diary, at least among those in our collections. I was thrilled when I found the entry. I think it vital that the Historical Society document “alternative” life styles, particularly when gay marriage is such a political issue today.

Kipp admits later in his diary that his sexual problem would only be solved by death. Fortunately, we know from the records, he did not take his own life–he died in Jackson, New Hampshire in 1985, at the age of 76.

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