Harry Hay

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The most beautiful gift

LC-14 - Source: Article by Bruce Rind 'Blinded by Politics and Morality - A Reply to McAnulty and Wright' in Censoring Sex Research

Harry Hay (1912-2002) was a leading American within gay liberation. When he was 14 years old, he met a merchant-seaman of about age 25. Rinds writes: 

“One evening, when the two walked alongside the moonlit ocean, Hay was swept by the physical sensations. When Hay clasped the man's hand, the boy was afraid the sailor might respond violently. Instead, it turned into Hay's first lovemaking with an adult. When Hay revealed that he was only 14, the sailor panicked for fear of a lengthy prison sentence. Hay desperately tried to settle the man down, and when he did, the man gave the boy tips on how “people like us” should conduct themselves, which inspired Harry almost as vividly as the erotic memory of [the man].”

Bruce Rind tells us that according to Hay's biographer Timmons, Hay always described it as 

“the most beautiful gift that a fourteen-year-old ever got from his first love!” 

According to another author quoted by Rind, Hay remarked, 

“Wherever he is, I want him to know that my love and gratitude followed him all my days, and all of his."

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