American flagMitt Romney has been frequently quoting “America the Beautiful” in his speeches. What he may not know is that the song was written in 1893 by Wellesley College professor, poet, and social activist Katherine Lee Bates—who lived with and shared her life with another woman, fellow Wellesley professor Katherine Coman.

Lynn Sherr (Wellesley ’63) wrote about Bates in yesterday’s New York Times, where she also explains why many of Bates’ beliefs stand opposed to those of Romney. It’s a good read.

Despite the flippant title of this post, it may be ahistorical to call Bates and Coman lesbians in a modern sense, but at the very least, they seem to be spiritual lesbian foremothers. (Read my earlier post on Bates for a snippet of poetry she wrote upon Coman’s death. Theirs was no ordinary friendship.)

(And yes, I’m a Wellesley alumna, too. I couldn’t be prouder.)