The Metaphor of Birmingham

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Homophobia and Heterosexism among African-Americans

... Any discussion of King - whose actual views on LGBTQ issues are not recorded - must note his reliance on a young African-American gay man named Bayard Rustin as his most trusted aide. Rustin was the inside man to King's focus outward. He kept the organization going. The leadership all knew he was gay and even back then he didn't hide it. Some revisionists these days are saying Rustin was kept under wraps because of his gayness, but I believe he preferred the relative anonymity he had. But anyone who claims King's mantle while advocating harm and ostracism toward LGBTQ folks cannot ignore that the fact King did not dismiss Rustin. Therefore, anyone claims to follow King but doesn't accept LGBTQ folks is not a legitimate follower.

George Nixon Shuler more than 6 years ago

Editor's Note

A portion of this comment was removed to comply with our editorial guidelines against generalizations about a person or group.

cynthiaadmin (United Methodist Insight) more than 6 years ago

Thanks for pointing this out...

Rustin was deeply influential to King and the movement. He was one of the major proponents of Gandian non-violence, and also the one who pushed King to disarm his bodyguards...therefore practicing what they preached. I have heard it said that the March on Washington wouldn't have happened without him. Your point is very well made.

Eric Folkerth more than 6 years ago

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