1912 April 7

Harry Hay, Gay Rights Pioneer, is Born


Harry Hay, a pioneering gay rights activist, was born on this day. Hay was a co-founder of the Mattachine Society, established on November 11, 1950, the first public gay men’s activist organization in the U.S.

Hay was both a gay rights activist and a member of the Communist Party in the 1940s and early 1950s. The Communist Party asked him to leave the party because he was gay, while the Mattachine Society asked him to leave because he was a Communist.

See the Mattachine Society picketing of the White House to demand equal rights for homosexuals on April 17, 1965.

Read: Harry Hay, with Will Roscoe, Radically Gay (1996)

Watch “Harry Hay: Radical Activist”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWddMmLOgHw

Learn more: Stuart Timmons, The Trouble with Harry Hay: Founder of the Modern Gay Movement (1990)

Read: James T. Sears, Behind the Mask of the Mattachine: The Hal Call Chronicles and the Early Movement for Homosexual Emancipation (2006)

Read about the history of the GLBT revolution: Lillian Faderman, The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle (2015)

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