J. Edgar Hoover: Transvestism & Homosexuality Claims

MrRING

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#1
Okay, for years I have heard that not only was J. Edgar very gay, but that he was also a transvestite whose alter-ego was "Anita".

(Not that there is anything at all wrong with being gay or being a transvestite, but since J. Edgar's outward stance was against anything but traditional values, it's an interesting character study, maybe even a little like gay-bashers who more likely than not are gay themselves)

Furthermore, members of organized crime were reported to have pictures of "Anita" that they used against J. Edgar to keep him from really taking full police action against them.

Now, it is presented as fact when I've read about it, but it also seems like it just as well be an urban legend. Because, in the end, wouldn't a pic of ol' J Edgar in a dress and rouged lips have surfaced by now if this were true? Is there anywhere on-line that has a picture of "Anita"? Or, has it been officially debunked?
 

intaglio

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#2
His alter ego was Mary according to the Independant about 1994. and I seem to recall there was a Channel 4 documentary about this. Perhaps check with them.
 
A

Anonymous

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#3
As I recall,the stories of homosexuality and transvestisism began in the 80's and was started by an interview with a couple of ex-molls of 30's & 40's era gangsters,both of whom had been convicted,or strongly suspected of,perjury

I think Hoover may well have been a latent homosexual,but like"Chinese" Gordon and Field Marshall Kitchener,probably never practiced it.
 

intaglio

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#4
That channel 4 programme - it wasn't it was BBC2 Secret History. Link regarding that here

Perhaps more interesting was Hoover's gambling habit involving off course betting. I know that will not sound much to most of us Brits but I believe it is still criminal in most of the US.
 

escargot

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#5
I have seen photos of groups of men in drag which were claimed to be of Hoover and friends. They were in a book or magazine long before the fillum about Hoover's life so they weren't stills.

Lordy, he made an ugly woman!
 

INT21

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#6
I have read that the FBI was once run by a cross dresser, not a yeti though. Or was that a conspiracy to bring down J Edgar Hoover ?
 

Analogue Boy

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#7
He was a cross-dressing Yeti in a wheelchair.
Definitely a leader before his time.
 

AlchoPwn

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#8
I have read that the FBI was once run by a cross dresser, not a yeti though. Or was that a conspiracy to bring down J Edgar Hoover ?
J. Edna Hoover was a genuine phenomenon who used to fellate attractive young male agents, under the bizarre assumption that nobody knew who she was, when it was patently obvious to everyone. The Mob used blackmail pictures of Edna to make Hoover decline from accepting that the Mafia was a genuine phenomenon despite the mounting tower of evidence.
 

Patrick30

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#10
There are plenty of objective and verifiable assasinations ‘of Hoover’s character without having to buy in to Edna.
 

AlchoPwn

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#11
There are plenty of objective and verifiable assasinations ‘of Hoover’s character without having to buy in to Edna.
The claim is that he was blackmailed by Meyer Lansky and Frank Costello over the photos. LINK.

Neither Lansky or Costello were ever prosecuted by the FBI despite it being an open secret that they were major crime bosses.
 

Patrick30

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#12
The claim is that he was blackmailed by Meyer Lansky and Frank Costello over the photos. LINK.

Neither Lansky or Costello were ever prosecuted by the FBI despite it being an open secret that they were major crime bosses.
Ok. Thats the claim. IDK if its true or not. My point was there is plenty of other well documented historical evidence that JEH was an a-hole. Surveillance and attempts to blackmail civil rights leaders like MLK and others, just to give one example.
 

EnolaGaia

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#13
As I recall, the stories of homosexuality and transvestisism began in the 80's and was started by an interview with a couple of ex-molls of 30's & 40's era gangsters, both of whom had been convicted,or strongly suspected of, perjury. ...
Hoover's personal character had been a subject of popular gossip and satire as early as the Sixties and early Seventies - by which time he'd become one of those public figures so institutionalized as to be his own self-caricature.

You're right about the timing and the primary source(s) ... The bit about cross-dressing and homosexuality didn't receive any substantive (e.g., published) attention until years after Hoover's death in 1972, and then only on the weight of a convicted perjurer's claims surfacing at that late date. It snowballed into a UL and conspiracy trope from that point onward ...


... Perhaps more interesting was Hoover's gambling habit involving off course betting. I know that will not sound much to most of us Brits but I believe it is still criminal in most of the US.
It's not just more interesting, it's more likely to have been the origin of the mob blackmailing claims. Costello, in particular, was heavily involved in gambling and gambling rackets. Hoover and his long-time second Clyde Tolson frequented a California hotel also frequented by Costello and Lansky, in one of the few jurisdictions (at the time) where racetrack betting was widespread and where Hoover was supposedly documented as having played the horses. It's always seemed more plausible to me that the mob blackmail rumors could have originated with respect to gambling rather than "gamboling".

Another angle on this subject - one I don't recall anyone exploring to any depth - concerns Hoover's Masonic connections. He was a quite active Mason during his early career, and references to his Masonic ties curiously fade once he'd achieved national influencer status following WW2. I've often wondered whether the cross-dressing bit could have originated with some over-the-top ceremony or party connected to his Masonic activities.


... My point was there is plenty of other well documented historical evidence that JEH was an a-hole. Surveillance and attempts to blackmail civil rights leaders like MLK and others, just to give one example.
JEH was nothing if not a legally enfranchised blackmailer who sowed fear based on widespread knowledge he kept files on anyone who'd attracted his (and / or his bureau's) attention.

The posthumous homosexuality / transvestism claims make sense as a post hoc slur / slander campaign to damn Hoover's memory using the very same tactics he personally leveraged to obtain his power. Whether this campaign's claims were truth or fiction is a separate matter. My point is that his underhanded actions left him deserving of posthumous ridicule and damnation regardless of the facts.

One last point ... JEH's blackmailing ways were only a rarely mentioned rumor until after his death, when his extensive files of "dirt" were eventually discovered and their existence publicly admitted. These public revelations occurred during the Seventies, thus bridging the gap between his life and the emergence of the gay / cross-dressing memes.
 
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