This Summer, the New York Times Magazine ran a fascinating feature looking at a movement spearheaded by Harry Hay, founder of the neo-Pagan counter-cultural movement, the Radical Faeries, specifically at one of the communes it inspired. The one in question, has been operating for decades in rural Tennessee, an area known for its conservatism. The fact that it has survived and its inhabitants happily living out their specific lifestyles could be offer a workable model for others living non-mainstream religio-social lifestyles. You have have to figure that Alys Cusack would have at least enjoyed a vacation here!
“In 1979, a gay rights activist, communist and Angeleno named Harry Hay — a founder of a neo-pagan countercultural movement called the Radical Faeries — urged gay men to ‘‘throw off the ugly green frog skin of hetero-imitation.’’ Instead of fighting for the rights that straights had, like marriage and adoption, the faeries believed that to be gay was to possess a unique nature and a special destiny apart from straight people, and that this destiny would reach its full flowering in the wilds of rural America. So it was perhaps fitting that the faeries began to refer to their secluded outposts as sanctuaries. There are more than a dozen loosely affiliated sanctuaries across three continents today, but in the same year that Hay made his pronouncement, the mother ship of the faeries landed on Short Mountain, one of the tallest points in Middle Tennessee. It remains home to what is almost certainly the largest, oldest, best known and most visited planned community for lesbian, gay and transgender people in the country, a place that one local described to me as a veritable Gayberry, U.S.A.”
Read the entire article here: