Gore Vidal was a rape apologist and a transphobe. In response to Polanski’s 2009 arrest due to his leaving the US in 1978 before being sentence for raping a 13-year-old girl, Vidal said:
I really don’t give a fuck. Look, am I going to sit and weep every time a young hooker feels as though she’s been taken advantage of?
People claim that the 1968 novel, Myra Breckenridge, should be understood as groundbreaking for its day and whatnot, but all I can see is another novel about a trans* character that: (a) treats transsexuality as a kind of multiple-personality-disorder instead of what it actually is, and (b) prominently features a rape of a woman by a trans woman (including, of course, the common transphobic fear of letting students be taught by trans* people, as Myra is a professor and her victim a student.)
So, no, I’m not going to lionize and mourn Gore Vidal. No matter how “essential” his work has been to American culture or any of that rot.