Even: As you and I – (USA, 1937)


(Harry Hay, along with Roger Barlow and LeRoy Robbins, directed the short film Even As You and I (1937) featuring himself, Roger Barlow, and filmmaker Hy Hirsh.)

Three fellows dream of prize money and a chance for a real Hollywood contract by winning the Liberty-Pete Smith amateur movie contest. They work on a script, as their wastebasket and ashtrays fill.

They head outside to shoot: down a manhole, up a telephone pole, through a keyhole, and at night using binoculars. Next they must edit their film, then it’s time for a first screening of their product, „The Afternoon of a Rubberband.”

It’s a montage of experimental images, including a razor blade cutting various objects, a baby in a cooking pot, and a snail in the path of a steamroller. After the screening, the boys wonder if that was their only shot at Hollywood fame. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Birth Name: Henry Hay Jr.  Nickname: The Duchess

Harry HayHarry Hay was born to a well-to-do family in the U.K, in 1912, and moved with his family to Los Angeles in 1919. He learned early in his life to trust his internal instinct and understanding of truth rather than blindly accept truth from authority. He was a member of the Communist Party and union supporter and advocate in the 1930s. He was the first person to conceive of gay and lesbian people as a cultural minority.

trbl w harryHe founded the Mattachine Society in Los Angeles, California in 1951. It was the first organization to provide support to and advocate the rights of gay men in the United States and was the one of the forerunners to the gay and lesbian civil rights movement. In 1979 he founded the Radical Faeries, a „networking of gentle men devoted to the principles of ecology, spiritual truth, and, in New Age terms, ‘gay-centeredness.'”

Trivia: Married fellow Communist Anita Platky, and adopted two daughters, both of whom survived him.

In 1963, at age 51, he met John Burnside, the inventor of the teleidoscope, a variation on the kaleidoscope, who became his life partner. They moved to New Mexico in 1970 and managed a trading post on a Pueblo Indian reservation north of Santa Fe.

In 1955, Hay was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee, and although he was not charged with any crime, he dropped out of the limelight after that.


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