When the tea party was gay

Updated
 

Before there was glittering and flashmob dancing, there was Arthur Evans and the Gay Activists Alliance.

When being gay was still a crime in this country, Arthur Evans decided that bigotry was its own crime and he was going to call it out. Mr. Evans died Sunday at the age of 68. His New York Times obituary records this protest:

In the fall of 1970, Mr. Evans and others showed up at the offices of Harper’s Magazine in Manhattan to protest an article it had published sharply criticizing gay people and their lifestyle. It was Mr. Evans’s idea to bring a coffee pot, doughnuts, a folding table and chairs for a civilized “tea party.” When the editor, Midge Decter, refused to print a rebuttal as the group demanded, Mr. Evans erupted.

“You knew that this article would contribute to the oppression of homosexuals!” he yelled, according to the 1999 book “Out for Good: The Struggle to Build a Gay Rights Movement in America” by Dudley Clendinen, a former reporter for The New York Times, and Adam Nagourney, a current Times reporter. “You are a bigot, and you are to be held responsible for that moral and political act.”

Writer Michael Petrelis posts the obit Mr. Evans wrote for himself, in case history forget him or get it wrong. He also posts the video up top, of Mr. Evans and the Gay Activists Alliance taking over the New York City Marriage Bureau in 1971. Below, video from the party they had before the police showed up.

Civil Rights

When the tea party was gay

Updated