In Response to: Best Friend

Published online July 6, 2017

The story about Lem Billings ’39 and JFK was very interesting and even moving (cover story, April 12). I have one additional comment, probably to be regarded as politically incorrect.

Billings remarked (at the end of the story) that had he married and settled down, he would not have been happier than he was as JFK’s best friend. I wonder, if the attitude toward gay men today had been the case when he was young, whether he would have been any happier having come out of the closet. I suspect that it is not only social and legal conventions that make homosexuality difficult; I think homosexuality will necessarily result in unhappiness no matter how society feels about it. It involves feelings of abnormality and difference that no law can abolish, no psychologist can overcome, no change in attitudes can remedy. It is inherent in the soul of the homosexual: that he is not like most people and cannot be. I say this with no negative opinion about homosexuality except that it is a misfortune no matter what anyone says about it. 

Norman Ravitch *62
Savannah, Ga.