cover image Trouble with Harry Hay

Trouble with Harry Hay

Stuart Timmons. Alyson Books, $4.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-55583-175-2

The gay Mattachine Society was founded in L.A. in 1951 by English-born Harry Hay, whose colorful personality and turbulent life are portrayed in a book written with a verve worthy of its subject. The underground organization skills he used on behalf of the gay movement were honed by years in the U.S. Communist Party, whose homophobia, notes freelance journalist Timmons, pushed Hay into a 13-year marriage. Anecdotes by Hay and his contemporaries greatly enrich this account of his film career; his numerous gay affairs, notably with fashion designer Rudi Gernreich and politically active actor Will GeerGrandpa Walton! ; his divorce; his break with the Party and hearings before the House UnAmerican Activities Committee. Today, at 80, as elder statesman of the gay movement, Hay remains active in the Radical Faeries network. Photos. Author tour. (Nov.)