poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Harry Hay tried to 'close chapter' on his gayness
Lesbian, gay, bi and trans pride series part 33
By Leslie Feinberg

In 1938, Harry Hay—only a decade away from launching the first mass political movement for homosexual emancipation in the United States—married a woman comrade in the Communist Party USA (CPUSA).

Since the CPUSA at that time did not allow openly homosexual members, it would be easy to jump to the conclusion that Hay, a member of the CPUSA, felt so isolated as a gay man that he married merely in order to hide his sexuality inside the organization.

But Hay knew he wasn’t the only gay party member. He wrote, “I knew a number of Black and white men from the performing arts in the Communist Party who were gay, but the Party didn’t seem to suspect. I realized that since they weren’t that unnoticeable, certain Party people saw the necessity of tolerating and covering for them.” (Stuart Timmons, “The Trouble with Harry Hay”)


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