JIM  KEPNER

Jim Kepner, pioneering gay activist, journalist and founder of the International Gay and Lesbian Archives,
addressing NAMBLA's General Membership Conference

Kepner's career as a founder of today's gay movement began at 19 years of age when he learned that many of our cultural heroes -- such as Sappho, Socrates, Francis Bacon, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Shakespeare, Walt Whitman, and Oscar Wilde -- were all part of a vital gay tradition. Click here to read Kepner's own story.

Kepner recognized that boy-lovers play an important role in gay history, which he outlined at NAMBLA's General Membership Conference in 1986. He said, "Too many in our movement, victims themselves of prejudice and discrimination, pass those hatreds and fears to drag queens, pedophiles, bisexuals, leather men and women, transsexuals, and many other minorities within our community. We talk nicely about diversity, but practicing it is more difficult." His statement has been widely quoted on the internet. As a gay historian, Kepner also recognized the importance of Walter Breen's work, Greek Love (published under the pseudonym, J. Z. Eglinton).

Although his health was fading, Kepner marched the entire parade route for the Spirit of Stonewall march in New York City in 1994 with NAMBLA and 10,000 others to affirm the unity of all lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and gay people against oppression.

Copyright © NAMBLA, 2003. All rights reserved.