Partner John Burnside, buried together
Stanford University, 450 Serra Mall, Stanford, CA 94305, Stati Uniti
2328 Cove Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90039, Stati Uniti
3132 Oakcrest Drive, CA 90068, USA
Nomenus Radical Faerie Sanctuary, 4525 Lower Wolf Creek Rd, Wolf Creek, OR 97497, Stati Uniti
Henry "Harry" Hay, Jr. (April 7, 1912 – October 24, 2002) was a prominent American gay rights activist, communist, labor advocate, and Native American civil rights campaigner. He was a founder of the Mattachine Society, the first sustained gay rights group in the United States, as well as the Radical Faeries, a loosely affiliated gay spiritual movement.
Born to an upper middle class family in England, Hay was raised in Chile and California. From an early age he acknowledged his same-sex sexual attraction, and came under the influence of Marxism. Briefly studying at Stanford University, he subsequently became a professional actor in Los Angeles, where he joined the Communist Party USA, becoming a committed activist in left-wing labor and anti-racist campaigns. As a result of societal pressure, he attempted to become heterosexual by marrying a female Party activist in 1938, with whom he adopted two children. Recognizing that he remained homosexual, his marriage ended and in 1950 he founded the Mattachine Society. Although involved in campaigns for gay rights, he resigned from the Society in 1953.
Hay's developing belief in the cultural minority status of homosexuals led him to take a stand against the assimilationism advocated by the majority of gay rights campaigners. He subsequently became a co-founder of the Los Angeles chapter of the Gay Liberation Front in 1969, although in 1970 he moved to New Mexico with his longtime partner John Burnside. Hay's ongoing interest in American Indian religion led the couple to co-found the Radical Faeries in 1979 with Don Kilhefner and Mitchell L. Walker. Returning to Los Angeles, Hay remained involved in an array of activist causes throughout his life, and became a well-known, albeit controversial, elder statesman within the country's gay community.
Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA
Hay has been described as "the Founder of the Modern Gay Movement" and "the father of gay liberation", and has been the subject of a biography and documentary film.