Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King

And the civil rights leader's gay activist Bayard Rustin

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, G Philly wanted to remind everyone to give back to the community. However small or monumental your efforts, they are appreciated.

We also wanted to honor Bayard Rustin, an influential friend to Dr. King from nearby West Chester, Pa., who helped organize the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, and who schooled the Reverend in nonviolent resistance. Rustin was also gay at a time when homosexuality was criminalized – and later in life became an advocate not only for civil rights, but also LGBT causes before his death in 1987.

The Bayard Rustin High School was named for him in his hometown of West Chester. In July 2007, with permission from his estate, a group of San Francisco Bay Area African-American LGBT community leaders formed the Bayard Rustin LGBT Coalition (BRC) to promote civil rights for all people regardless of sexual orientation. Rustin was also the subject of several films, including Brother Outsider and Out of the Past.