A graphic novel biography of Baron von Steuben, the soldier, immigrant, and flamboyant homosexual who influenced the course of US history during the Revolutionary War despite being omitted from our textbooks.
Author Josh Trujillo and illustrator Levi Hastings tell the true story of one of the most important—but largely forgotten—military leaders of the American Revolution, Baron von Steuben, who brought much-needed knowledge to the inexperienced and ill-prepared Continental Army. As its first Inspector General, von Steuben created an organizational framework for the US military, which included writing the Blue Book guide that became the standard for training American soldiers for more than a century.
Von Steuben was also, by all accounts, a flamboyant homosexual in an era when the term didn’t even exist. Beginning with von Steuben’s career in the Prussian Army, Trujillo explores his recruitment by Benjamin Franklin, his work alongside General George Washington at Valley Forge, and his eventual decline into obscurity. In Washington’s Gay General, Trujillo and Hastings impart both the intricacies of queer history and the importance of telling stories that highlight queer experiences.
"Washington's Gay General makes clear that queer people have always existed, even before the word "queer" existed. This book doesn't put Baron Von Steuben up on a pedestal, making clear that "America's founding daddy" is lying, self-aggrandizing, and brutal—in other words, a real person. Trujillo and Hastings gently weave their own insightful personal reflections on living as a gay people in America today into their quest to research the life of von Steuben, making clear that it's important to see queer people reflected in our history."Sarah Shay Mirk, author of Guantanamo Voices
"Trujillo and Hastings have created a gripping biography of one of the most flamboyant and fascinating of America’s founding fathers, all while grappling with the nature and importance of historical queerness. History, after all, isn’t only written by the winners, but also by those with the most fabulous stories to tell."Justin Hall, editor of No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics