To Bayard Rustin, fighting for his equality as a black man, while leaving his identity as a gay man unspoken, would have been an unthinkable betrayal. This Black History Month, we should not forget trailblazers like Rustin.
This month LGBTQ communities are celebrating Bayard Rustin's 100th birthday anniversary. For LGBTQ African Americans, Rustin is the only open gay hero we have, and for many of us, his work and words give us courage to fight homophobia in ourselves and in our communities.
March 17, 2012: St. Patrick's Day, yes, but also the centennial of Bayard Rustin's birth. Rustin's name does not ring bells for most Americans. Yet the impact that this life-long agitator for justice had on America was profound.
One hundred years ago today, an unsung hero of the civil rights movement was born. Bayard Rustin's contributions to the world far outweighed his credits -- and his 100th birthday is an opportunity to appreciate how his lifelong fights for equality live on today.