Harry Hay

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Many consider Harry Hay to be the founder of the American homosexual movement.

Harry Hay (April 7, 1912 – October 24, 2002) was a liberal advocate of statutory rape and the widely acknowledged founder and progenitor of the activist homosexual agenda in the United States. Hay joined the Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA) in 1934.[1] Harry Hay was an atheist.[2]

Early life

Born Henry Hay on April 7, 1912, in Worthing, Sussex, England, to Harry Hay, Sr. and Margaret Neall Hay.[3]


From 1936 to 1938 he worked on the End Poverty in California campaign, the Hollywood Writers’ Mobilization, the American League Against War and Fascism, the Mobilization for Democracy, the Workers’ Alliance of America and Labor’s Non-Partisan League.[4]

In 1950, Hay was a founder of the Mattachine Society.

The original founders of the Mat­tachine Foundation were all either former CPUSA members or fellow travelers. The first step Hay took in organizing the Mattachine Foundation was to recommend to the CPUSA that he be expelled in 1951 after eighteen years as a member. Rather than do that in light of his years of service to the party and work as a teacher at the California Labor School,[5] they released him as “a security risk but a life-long friend of the people.” The early leadership of the Foundation shaped the organization to reflect the cell structure of the Communist Party, in which "secrecy, hierarchical structures, and centralized leadership predominated." [6] Hay and his comrades began circulating the anti-war Stockholm Peace petition against the US campaign in the Korean War which was sponsored by the USSR and the East European Communist parties [7] at a gay beach in Los Angeles. Some of the contacts they gained in this way were later organized into their first study and discussion groups. The first months pro­duced hundreds of members.

Hay was a regular speaker at North American Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) Conferences; NAMBLA continues to carry a special tribute to Hay on its homepage along with his published material. Hay was known for making public statements to justify sexual abuse of minors. In 1983 Hay addressed a NAMBLA conference in New York. Hay said,

Because if the parents and friends of gays are truly friends of gays, they would know from their gay kids that the relationship with an older man is precisely what thirteen-, fourteen-, and fifteen-year-old kids need more than anything else in the world.[8]

Radical Faeries

In the early 1950s, Hay and his lover, John Burnside, formed a queer spirituality group named Radical Faeries.[9]


  1. The Boston Phoenix, The real Harry Hay, Michael Bronski, October 31 - November 7, 2002.
  2. http://www.worldtribune.com/worldtribune/WTARC/2010/ss_politics0010_01_07.asp
  3. Encyclopedia of Gay and Lesbian Popular Culture
  4. Harry Hay heard ‘siren song of revolution’, Leslie Feinberg, Workers World, Apr 20, 2005.
  5. In Partial Payment Class Struggle, Sexuality and Gay Liberation (1978), by A. Rausch. Retrieved from Urgent Tasks: Journal of the Revolutionary Left, Sojourner Truth Organization Digital Archive , 10 May 2007.
  6. John D'Emilio, Sexual Politics, Sexual Communities: The Making of a Homosexual Minority in the United States (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983), quoted in Martin Meeker, Behind the Mask of Respectability, Journal of the History of Sexuality, (2001) 78-116.
  7. New Russian Evidence on the Korean War Biological Warfare Allegations: Background and Analysis, Milton Leitenberg, Cold War International History Project, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
  8. The American Spectator Special Report, When Nancy Met Harry, Jeffrey Lord, 10/5/2006.
  9. Lillian Faderman (2015). "12. Say it proud – and loud: New gay politics", The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle. Simon and Schuster, 204. ISBN 9781451694116. 

See also