Harry Hay

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Henry "Harry" Hay, Jr. (April 7, 1912 – October 24, 2002) was a labor advocate and early leader in the American LGBT rights movement. Drawing on his background in the Communist Party USA, Hay co-founded the Mattachine Society, the first enduring LGBT rights organization in the United States, in 1950. Following his ouster from Mattachine leadership in 1953, Hay largely withdrew from organized LGBT activism until the late 1970s. In 1979, Hay and his longtime companion, inventor John Burnside, founded the Radical Faeries. Hay and Burnside remained together for almost 40 years, from 1963 until Hay's death.


Early life

Hay was born April 7, 1912 to Americans Margaret (née Neall[1]) and Harry Hay, Sr. in the coastal town of Worthing, Sussex, England. His father was a mining engineer who had worked for Cecil Rhodes and the Guggenheim family.[2] Hay was raised Catholic, in deference to his mother Margaret's family as a condition for the marriage.[3] While Harry Sr. was negotiating his Guggenheim contract, Margaret gave birth to their second child, Margaret Caroline (nicknamed "Peggy") in February 1914.[4] Hay's family moved to Chuquicamata, Chile in 1914, where his father managed an Anaconda Copper mine.[5] In May 1916, Hay's brother John William (nicknamed "Jack") was born in Chile. Harry Sr. managed the mine until an accident in June 1916 cost him a leg.[6] The family moved to California, where Harry Sr. bought and ran several commercial citrus farms.[7] The Hay family settled in Los Angeles in 1919,[5] and Hay became an avid outdoorsman.

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