I come from a generation younger than the late John Lennon, but I know all about conforming to societal expectations and suppressing ones feelings and attractions. I denied admitting who I really was for 37 years. Nonetheless, I surprised to see Yoko Ono state in an recent interview that she thought Lennon was bisexual although she believes he never acted on his same sex attraction. The take away? That many of us live lives that hide aspects about ourselves and try to be what we believe others expect us to be. It can be stifling and oppressive. Some will likely claim that Ono is sullying Lennon's memory. I am not of that view. Here are highlights from The Advocate on Ono's interview:
John Lennon has long been rumored to have been bisexual, and now his widow, Yoko Ono, says he had a desire to have sex with men but she believes he never acted on it.
“I think he had a desire to, but I think he was too inhibited,” Ono told The Daily Beast in a wide-ranging interview published today. She noted that Lennon had to be both physically and intellectually attracted to a partner. “He said, ‘I don’t mind if there’s an incredibly attractive guy.’ It’s very difficult: They would have to be not just physically attractive, but mentally very advanced too. And you can’t find people like that.”
Despite rumors Lennon that had been sexually intimate with Beatles manager Brian Epstein, who was gay, Ono says Lennon was not sexually involved with Epstein or any other man.
“Uh, well, the story I was told was a very explicit story, and from that I think [Lennon and Epstein] didn’t have it [sex],” Ono told the Beast. “But they went to Spain, and when they came back, tons of reporters were asking, ‘Did you do it, did you do it?’ So he said, ‘I did it.’ Isn’t that amazing? But of course he would say that. I’m sure Brian Epstein made a move, yeah.”
Ono believes Lennon’s lack of sexual intimacy with men had more to do with societal limitations than Lennon’s sexuality.
“John and I had a big talk about it, saying, basically, all of us must be bisexual. And we were sort of in a situation of thinking that we’re not [bisexual] because of society. So we are hiding the other side of ourselves, which is less acceptable."