HARRY HAY
Los Angeles, 1986

The following comments were made by Harry at a panel on censorship and pornography at the NAMBLA conference in Los Angeles on November 8, 1986.  Other panelists were Bob Rhodes and Dan Tsang.




I find this particular situation that we’re coming into, in a way, a sort of replay of things I’ve seen before in my life, and I would suggest that it’s very possible that we are moving into a period where, as the speaker [Dan Tsang] pointed out, we may find ourselves being moved against on all fronts.  Which would suggest, then, that we’re going to have to go back to various forms of underground activity.  I would say that in my life, I’ve spent more time being an outlaw than being an inlaw.  And consequently, I would say that I know a good deal about how you operate as an outlaw, how you operate underground, how you operate in defiance, how you operate, presumably, almost in parallel, but actually in opposition to it.

One of things that I think we have to be concerned about—and here again, I think this is where we begin to see what we can do and how far we can advance ourselves—is the march on Washington that comes up next October.  I think this is a place where we have to find very imaginative ways to reach all kinds of elements of the community that we up to now haven’t thought of touching.  Not only to reach all kinds of elements of our own community, but to find the weak spots, shall we say, within the left, within the progressive forces in the hetero community who might find themselves in parallel with where we are, or in parallel with the way that we feel we are going to go, and make of them willing—or even unwilling—allies in this whole regard.  I think, as a matter of fact, we can count on the fact that we’re probably going to see far more repression on the part of the government for a while.  I don’t think we’ve peaked.  I think we’re seeing ourselves on the beginning of a rising tide.  And we’re going to have to fall back on our inventiveness and our creative imagination.

And here, honeys, I might say that the Radical Faeries are way ahead of you, because don’t forget that faeries can always vanish.  This is one of the things that we’re going to have to learn to do again.  We have to learn to remember that when people lean on us too hard, we just simply aren’t there anymore.  There are ways and means by which we can do that.  I do pass on to you the remark that was passed on to the revolutionaries by Maksim Gorky long ago:  He who fights and runs away will live to fight another day.

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