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‘Radical Faeries’ Celebrate Gay Activist’s Centennial

harryhay1Melvin Felix

A group of over 30 people gathered Saturday afternoon at Le Petit Versailles community garden to celebrate what would have been the 100th birthday of gay activist Harry Hay.

Mr. Hay, who died of lung cancer in 2002, was one of the first advocates of the concept of gay rights in the 1950s. He co-founded the Mattachine Society only to be expelled due to his Communist beliefs; later, he and others created the Radical Faeries, a spiritual society of gay men with sanctuaries around the world.

Peter Sturman, who joined the group shortly after coming out in his early twenties, said the faeries almost spoiled him to the realities of the outside world. “We go into a separate space and we get to suspend the rules of society,” he said. Read more…