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25 February 2009


A. Martinez

Bayard Rustin was one of the brightest lights of the civil rights revolution. Unfortunately his being gay did not go over well with some of the black church folk (King didnt care) and they have tried to 'dim' his legacy. Well its about time we claimed it for ourselves.

This is a very moving and touching tribute to this man. I never even knew he played football. Thank you Patricia Nell Warren!

Greg G

it is a shame and a disgrace that bayard rustin, the man who organized one of the most important demonstrations in our history ... has been relegated to the "back of the bus." because he was gay. if bayard rustin was good enough for martin luther king he should have been good enough for everyone else. and there would be no "i have a dream" if it weren't for bayard rustin.

thanks for poi8nting this out. i enjoy outsports and patricia nell warren's writing. she is very sharp on sports. i'm so glad she wrote this, there is a whole generation out there who don't know of bayard rustin's accomplishments.


---->He was persuasive. He could sell you anything.”

That's exactly why Bayard Rustin was able to accomplish so MUCH despite being an OPENLY gay black man in the 1940s and 1950s!

This is beautiful, I'm at Outsports now reading the whole thing.

Mel Smith

Thank you Rod for providing me with this information. Rustin is one of my heroes.


What an inspiring story for gay people. A gifted and engaged hero who did what needed to be done, despite not receiving the full credit for what he achieved. He set a strong moral example.


Good stuff. Bayard Rustin is one of unsung heroes of the civil rights struggle. Hopefully there will be a day when his achievements are prominent mentioned in history books. This was a man for the ages.


this was a great essay at outsports!

it is really timely
this being african american history month, hopefully more school children are learning about the many wonderful contributions of bayard rustin. it's very disgraceful he was ignored for so long but with black community and society (obama!) slowly becoming more gay friendly, we are learning more about this man.


When did Bayard Rustin die?

Barry S

Patricia Nell Warren is wonderful writer. Especially on sports and gay men, she obviously is a "she" but she "gets its" for gay men. I just discovered the Front Runner late last year and have read it twice. Verty cool she did this for Outsports.


Just read the Patricia Nell Warren piece. Rustin's combination of academic and athletic superiority reminds me a lot of Paul Robeson.

One pleasant memory I have is of marching along with Bayard Rustin in the Gay Pride Parade in New York in 1986. He was 74 and it was only a year before his death, but he marched down Fifth Avenue along with rest of us. He even gave us a pep speech before we started marching. He was a distinguished-looking man with tall, white hair.

The rumor in the community was that he was the heir to A. Philip Randolph's estate. Certainly they were close and organized together—I believe Rustin was Randolph's protegé when he was young. But Randolph married a widow and had no children, so I often wonder if Randolph might have actually been family as well. Maybe someome reading this knows the truth.

S. Flemming

How I love this man ... I could read his writings all day. His thoughts on gay rights are spot on, espeically in today's climate. A visionary who was way ahead of his time.

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