But sexual attraction is a spectrum, shades of gray rather than black and white, and therefore, academics, particularly those studying queer theory, have problems with that simplified dichotomy.
The terms homosexual and heterosexual weren’t coined until the late 19th century, and it’s not like same-sex attraction didn’t exist before then. In fact, history is populated with famous people who fancied members of the same gender. But can you call them gay?
There are two schools of thought on this, according to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. On one side are the essentialists, who feel that homosexuality is a “specific, natural kind rather than a cultural or historical product.” On the other side are the social constructionists, who say that homosexuality is a “modern, Western concept” and that “the acceptance of the contemporary heterosexual/homosexual dichotomy is conservative … and forecloses the explorations of new possibilities.”
Basically, you have one side saying homosexuality is natural and genetic, while the other says the labels “homosexual” and “heterosexual” are oversimplifications. So, in order to keep the academics happy, here is a list of famous people in history who, from time to time, enjoyed the “company” of the same gender.