Today I would like to honor and pay tribute to Harry Hay. Hay founded the Mattachine Society, a leftist gay liberation organization which worked for the civil rights of homosexuals during the 1950s. The Mattachine Society was tied to the Community Party during the age of McCarthyism here in the United States, which made it difficult to secure consistent leadership. Many members left the society in fear of the consequences being carried out by McCarthy’s henchmen.
Years later, Hay and his partner John Burnside would look to the Mattacine Society and Native American cultures that revered gays for inspiration to start the Radical Faeries in 1979. Today, I am aware of two Radical Faerie communes that still exist; one in Tennessee and one here in Oregon. To learn more about Harry Hay, click here.