Wednesday, February 17, 2010

“with dignity and respect, proud and free”

I've been reading The Trouble with Harry Hay: founder of the modern gay movement, a biography by Stuart Timmons. One of the first gay rights groups was the Mattachine Society, which Hay helped found in the early 50s during a time in which it was illegal to be gay in most of the country - and I don't just mean sodomy, I mean just being alive.

Here's a pledge they recited as they held hands:

Our interlocking, sustaining and protecting hands guarantee a reborn social force of immense and simple purpose. We are resolved that our people shall find equality of security and production in tomorrow's world. We are sworn that no boy or girl, approaching the maelstrom of deviation, need make that crossing alone, afraid and in the dark, ever again. In these moments we dedicate ourselves once again to each other in the immense significance of such allegiance, with dignity and respect, proud and free.

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