Bayard Rustin is often considered the forgotten voice of the US black civil rights movement.
Despite being Dr Martin Luther King’s right-hand man, being openly gay in an era of segregation meant he was doubly discriminated against. The only way for Bayard to legalise his relationship was to adopt his partner.
Bayard & Me is a short doc about how the openly gay civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, best known for organizing the March on Washington and advising Martin Luther King Jr., adopted his partner Walter Naegle in the 1980s for legal protections.
In this story, Walter remembers Bayard and how they had to work around the system decades before gay marriage was legalized. He also reflects on intergenerational gay adoption and its connection to the civil rights movement.
Matt Wolf is an award-winning director in New York. His films include Wild Combination, about the avant-garde cellist and disco producer Arthur Russell, and Teenage about the birth of youth culture. His most recent shorts include HBO’s It’s Me, Hilary and The Face of AIDS for TIME Magazine.
Director: Matt Wolf
Producer: Brendan Doyle
DP: Pete Sillen
Editor: Conor McBride
Produced by Super Deluxe and C41 Media
The film is available on Youtube, but is a large file (20MB)