In an essay published in Sunday’s New York Times, Harris Wofford wrote about meeting the second love of his life. His first, Clare Lindgren, died of leukemia in 1996, 48 years into their marriage. It was a romance seeped in civil service and idealism, which he referred to as an “adventure.”
After her death, Wofford (a former US Senator who was once “John F. Kennedy’s presidential assistant on civil rights and an intimate of Martin Luther King Jr.”) didn’t think he’d ever find another person to love. Five years later, he met a man 50 years his junior named Matthew Charlton. And this Saturday, after a decade and a half together, they’re getting married.
In an interview with The Washington Post, Wofford said:
“Most of my life has been with a great woman, a great love, and a great family. Now, I’m with a great love late in my life.”
Wofford went on to say the fact that he’s in love with a much younger man is “sort of funny sounding...with a emphasis on fun.” (Hey-o!) But the fact that it’s a man, he says, isn’t funny at all. It’s just love.
“Did I ever consider myself gay? No. It’s what I think should not be asked of people,” he says. An Old World-style romantic, he discusses the relationship in terms of love rather than sexuality.
“I think this is an example of the most private matter. Most of us are intrigued with the sexuality of friends or others. Perhaps with some close friends you want to talk about this,” he says. “When people want to talk abut their sexuality, either go to confession or be happy about it. I don’t measure myself or my friends by their sexuality.”
Wofford’s daughter will be serving as the “master of ceremonies” at the wedding, and called him a “lucky man to find someone who cares about him.”
Wofford agreed. “For a long time, I didn’t think it would be politically possible. And I was wrong,” he told the Post. “I’m very lucky to have the privilege of having had two great loves in one life.”
Rainbow tears are streaming down my face, and they’re vogueing to the Star-Spangled Banner.
Image via Getty.