“My Roots are Rambling”: A Portrait of Touching Up Our Roots Co-Founder Dave Hayward

We owe it all to Andy Warhol and Anita Bryant.

— Dave Hayward


In 1991, Dave Bryant Hayward, co-founder and coordinator of Touching Up Our Roots, Atlanta’s LGBTQIA+ story project, celebrated his twentieth anniversary as a resident of Atlanta, Georgia. The same year, writer Edmund White published his edited volume of gay short fiction in which he reflected on the intergenerational ethic of storytelling for gay life: “If gays tell each other—or the hostile world around them—the stories of their lives, they’re not just reporting the past but also shaping the future, forging an identity as much as revealing it.”[1] What follows is neither a complete nor formal biography of Dave Bryant Hayward but more a story that both forges and reveals his identity. As a series of linked vignettes, each of the following sections aims to depict the many roles Hayward has played across his seventy-two years from his birthplace in Newport, New Hampshire to his college life in Washington D.C. to the city where he has spent most of his adult life, Atlanta, Georgia. As Hayward told me, “I sort of feel like I’ve straddled a lot of worlds” in my life. “I’ve been to some places and I’m into all these different things.”[2] Though Hayward’s “world” has centered around the Poncey-Highland neighborhood in Atlanta for the past fifty years, the “things” Hayward has been “into” include his work in the “worlds” of the performing arts, journalism, political activism, and public history. Far from a complete story, this portrait provides but a narrative glimpse into the worlds “straddled” by the man most responsible for the past-reporting and future-shaping work of Touching Up Our Roots; in so doing, it offers listeners embodied and experiential details behind the voice that conducts much of the digital story tour (#TUOR). In 2021, Hayward celebrates his fiftieth year in Atlanta; as he tells me, “Boy, I have seen a lot! You can’t make this stuff up.” As a younger gay man, it is my hope that this portrait documents and preserves some of what Hayward has seen for generations to come.

I am grateful for Hayward’s trust in crafting this biographical sketch. This portrait pulls from numerous recorded conversations between the two of us as well as unrecorded working sessions, email correspondence, Hayward’s published work, and his personal archive. As this project has been completed during the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am especially grateful to Hayward for inviting me into his home and granting me access to much of his unarchived personal collection, some of which I was given permission to digitize and feature in this portrait and across The #TUOR Project website. Direct quotations come from our recorded conversations unless otherwise noted. Some of Hayward’s comments have been edited for clarity or to add context. Additionally, in some instances, I asked Hayward follow up questions via email correspondence to clarify stories Hayward related to me in our conversations or our informal working sessions.

Readers will notice two ways in which Hayward is identified by name in the portrait: David “Dave” Bryant and Dave Hayward. Although his birth name is David Gould Bryant, he prefers to be identified using his professional pseudonym, “Dave Hayward.” Observing him socially, I have noticed he often introduces himself as Dave Bryant Hayward. The following portrait includes details on how Dave Bryant “Hayward” created this public persona, what he calls his “alter ego.” In most instances that concern Hayward’s adult life and remembrances, I have defaulted to identifying Hayward by using his surname of choice.

Finally, this portrait exists—and this TUOR Project exists—only because the man whose life it depicts is here to tell the tale. As I was looking through a box of Hayward’s personal materials during one of my visits to his home, I came across a stack of funeral programs, many of which featured dates in the late 1980s and early 1990s. As a scholar of queer studies, I had a sense of what I was holding in my hands, but I wanted to confirm with Hayward. When I asked him about these programs, he immediately began to cry. “Oh, Eric,” he said once he composed himself, “we lost so many. I can never look at those without crying.” In 1991, for example, there were 1281 new AIDS diagnoses in the state of Georgia. Seventy four percent of men with AIDS and fifty six percent of women with AIDS in the state lived in Atlanta.[3] In a 2019 article for The Georgia Voice, Hayward writes, “For me, AIDS hit in 1991, when I knew about 25 men who died that year. After working out at the Colony Square gym, I sat in the atrium often crying uncontrollably, fearing I would lose my mind, although I am HIV negative.”[4] The numbers tell one part of the story, Hayward’s programs and his memories of the people listed on them another, but many of the stories are lost to memory. “I wish we had been able to get all their stories. As COVID reminds us yet again, life is short, and time is always of the essence.” Though many LGBTQIA+ identifying Atlantans died from (and continue to die from) AIDS-related complications, many others have died from other causes across the fifty years that Hayward has lived in the city. With dedication, with persistence, and with a great deal of heart, Dave Hayward’s lifelong mission has been to honor and remember both LGBTQIA+ pioneers and personal friends, men and women many times gone too soon and often lost to or erased from the historic record.

The Boy: Dave Bryant in New Hampshire

Dave Bryant around age 7, ca. 1956. Photograph from Dave Hayward’s personal collection. Scan by Eric Solomon, 2021. Courtesy Dave Hayward, 2021.

David Gould Bryant was born August 29, 1949, in Newport, New Hampshire, to Donald and Eleanor Bryant. His father was an attorney, practicing law at the same firm for sixty years before his retirement, and his mother was a schoolteacher who worked for the Perkins School for the Blind in Massachusetts for a time before she became a full-time homemaker after Bryant’s birth. Hayward is the second of four children. As he states, “we middle children get all the aches.”[5] Though his parents have passed away, he remains in contact with his older sister, Judy, and his two younger siblings, Nancy and Bob, through family Zoom calls each Sunday.

Hayward’s mother experienced complications during his birth, including a severed artery, and he recalls being told that as a newborn he spent a month in the hospital. “Our family lived in Dover, New Hampshire, but my mom wanted to have the same doctor that delivered my older sister back in Newport, where my mother’s parents lived and ran the Newport House Hotel for many years. This was not propitious. Complications and challenges from the very beginning.” Both mother and child fully recovered, and the family returned to Dover. Hayward recalls growing up in Dover— “just inland from the tiny seacoast of New Hampshire, only 18 miles scrunched between Massachusetts and Maine”—as a pleasant experience. Growing up “near the ocean and near lakes,” the “breathtaking natural beauty of the state,” and the “fundamental decency of the people” shape Hayward’s memories of his home state.

Hayward recalls that his parents “were very active in civic and cultural affairs,” but home life “was dysfunction junction” largely due to conflicts between his mother’s Irish Catholicism and his father’s WASP-Danish heritage. “They fought over what religion we kids would be,” but he notes that ultimately his mother won out as his father signed a paper in the rectory when they were married that the kids would be Catholic. Today, Hayward continues to identify as Irish Catholic. He states, “I remember when John F. Kennedy became President, we were thrilled because we didn’t think Catholics could ever be elected. We experienced discrimination being Irish Catholic in the community and from my father’s own family, especially my paternal grandmother Anna who did not approve of Irish people or Catholicism.” Despite familial discord and some community discrimination in Dover, Hayward remembers many pleasant family outings that expanded his horizons: “we were near Boston and went there often. We also traveled on family trips often across the country.”[6]

“Bryant Family Frames,” collage by Eric Solomon, 2021. Notice the detail in the bottom right photograph: “My favorite picture” Eleanor Bryant has written of her son Dave Bryant as an infant, older sister Judy seated at his side. All photos in the personal collection of Dave Hayward. Courtesy of Dave Hayward, 2021.

As Hayward began to understand his sexuality, he sought refuge from his “Catholic Guilt” in the world of Greek and Roman mythology. “As a young man, I felt attracted to both girls and boys, and mythology was a place where the goddesses and especially the gods were naked and what we might call pansexual today. I felt a total affinity for Greece and Rome and the sensuality and eroticism and the public, highly visual acceptance of that aspect of your life.” For Hayward, growing up was not without its struggles: “I’ve always identified as a boy, as cisgender. I never questioned that, but I was a bit of a sissy, somewhat gender nonconforming as a child. That always brings some bullying. I was interested in emotions and artistic endeavors. I loved to draw. In 1950s America, I wasn’t the all-American athlete. I was interested in exploring my inner life and finding out who I was from a young age.”[7]

Hayward’s memories of the “bias” he experienced “as Irish and Catholic” shaped his perceptions of homosexuality from a young age even before he better understood his own developing sexuality. “You didn’t hear about gay and lesbian people on television, and there was little non-coded material in my local library. But I have memories of a moment, probably sometime around the summer of 1957, when my mother and I were sitting at a picnic table with her father, my Grampa Bobby. He told my mother a story about a woman who left her husband and her two children for a woman. That story still stands out to me. I remember that my mother and grandfather weren’t necessarily judgmental but incredulous that that kind of thing could actually occur. And I remembered that story when I began to realize I had gay feelings. What kind of life did that same-sex couple experience, confronted with incredulity and misunderstanding and a break from family?” In retrospect, Hayward thinks such questions and stories of struggle, bias, and incredulity about the lives of sexual minorities “propelled me to social justice. I wanted to know and honor and respect their stories.”  Though he was close with his Grampa Bobby and Mimi Eileen, Hayward notes that throughout his life he had a strained relationship with his mother, who passed away in 2014. The two often disagreed over topics relating to sexuality and social justice. Though closer with his father, the two rarely discussed Hayward’s personal life. Donald Bryant passed away in 2009.

Becoming a Man: or when a D.C. College Sophomore Called Frank Kameny

Hayward remembers that his parents only united around one major issue when it came to his upbringing: where he would attend college. They both wanted him to enroll at his father’s alma mater, Bowdoin College, but Hayward never thought he would be accepted at Bowdoin. He applied to Bowdoin, but ultimately, he chose to attend George Washington University in Washington D.C. to the sharp displeasure of both of his parents. The choice would change Hayward’s life. Enrolling at GWU, Hayward states, was when he “really broke out of my background and New England and it’s where I really first got involved in what we called then the gay and lesbian rights movement.” Hayward attended GWU from 1967 to June 1971, when he graduated with a B.A. degree in Journalism/ Drama. During his sophomore year at GWU, Hayward’s “failure to seduce one of [his] fraternity brothers” left him “desperate.”[8] From a pay phone outside his dormitory, he called the Mattachine Society of Washington (MSW) phone line, and a chance conversation with Frank Kameny would become what he has written as his “burning bush” leading him to “revelation.”[9]

Front and back cover of the March 1966 issue of The Homosexual Citizen, published by the Mattachine Society of Washington. Notice the announcement on the back cover of the new offices for MSW. Photographs courtesy of Eric Solomon, 2018. Courtesy of the Don Kelly Collection, Cushing Library, Texas A&M University.

Hayward’s revelation was both personal and political, the union of his development as a sexual being and a “homosexual citizen.” According to Hayward, when Kameny answered the phone at MSW, Hayward told him: “I’m homosexual and I feel very bad about it!” Kameny replied with a question, “Why do you feel bad about it?” In their conversation, Kameny became Hayward’s “gay bar directory” and inspiration.[10] He challenged Hayward to attend the local gay bars to meet people, and Hayward began attending bars in May of 1969, one month before the events at New York City’s Stonewall in June 1969. However, Hayward felt that “a lot of the bars in D.C. were black boxes: anonymous and discreet. You would never really know they were gay establishments.”[11] He recalls attending one such bar across the street from the Justice Department on Ninth Street in D.C. “I met my first gay friends at that bar,” Hayward says. Though he would be slow to “come out” and make contacts, Hayward had his first sexual experience on October 14, 1967 during his Freshman year of college. In retrospect, Hayward thanks Carson McCullers and Marlon Brando for losing his virginity. “I was 18. I remember sitting in a theater watching Reflections in a Golden Eye during a break from studying. Marlon Brando plays this repressed homosexual who just becomes deranged because of it. I said to myself ‘I’m not going to be Marlon Brando.’ When I left the theater, I was sitting in a diner and a young college man cruised me. I went home with him, which was so unlike me. ‘I’ve never done this before,’ I remember telling him. I laugh about it now. I’m not going to be Marlon Brando!” It would take some time after this encounter before Hayward would reach out to Kameny and begin to make more lasting peace with his sexuality.

In addition to opening up Hayward’s social life and helping him to “come out,” Kameny importantly introduced Hayward to gay and lesbian movement activism and political life in Washington D.C. In one of our conversations, Hayward summarized Frank Kameny’s importance:

Frank Kameny is often referred to as the George Washington of our movement. He had a PhD in astronomy and worked for the U.S. Army Map Service. The government fired him from his job as in 1957 for being a gay man. It was all part of the Senator Joseph McCarthy purge, the President Eisenhower purge of gay and lesbian people from government service. It was purported that gay men and lesbians were security risks because if they worked for the government they could be blackmailed and outed for begin gay and lesbian. Frank’s response to this, as I understand it, after he was arrested was that he was not a target to be blackmailed because he was an openly gay man. In other words, you couldn’t blackmail someone who was openly gay and did not have a secret to be used against them. Unlike many who were unwilling or unable to do so during this Lavender Scare, Frank fought back! He appealed his firing all the way to the Supreme Court in 1961. They refused to hear his case, and Frank did not get his job back. Frank could’ve been an amazing figure in the space race at the time. The upshot of all this, though, was that Frank’s experience made him a gay activist.[12]

Print edition of Georgia Voice featuring Dave Hayward’s 2020 essay “Retouching My Roots,” in which he recalls the phone call to Frank Kameny and his years as a student in D.C. Scan by Eric Solomon, 2021. Courtesy of Dave Hayward, 2021.

Though faced with unemployment in the aftermath of his firing, Kameny would rally to co-found the Mattachine Society of Washington (MSW) with Jack Nichols in 1961 from blueprints established both by Harry Hay’s founding of the Mattachine Society in Los Angeles in 1950 and other homophile groups such as the Daughters of Bilitis, founded by Del Martin and Phyllis Lion in 1955 San Francisco. For a decade, MSW worked to end discrimination of gay men and lesbians on several fronts. Picketing and publishing were two of the MSW’s tactics. The Homosexual Citizen reached receptive audiences across the D.C. area. Kameny’s 1968 “Gay is Good”[13] message as well as his work with MSW resonated nationally and locally, especially in the ears of GWU sophomore Dave Bryant (Hayward). 

Though Frank Kameny’s directorial control of MSW slipped away in the latter half of the 1960s, as is well documented in Eric Cervini’s biography of Kameny, it remains plausible that he was in the office to receive Hayward’s phone call in the early spring semester of 1969. Cervini notes the office of the Mattachine Society of Washington, opened in January 1966 at 1319 F Street NW, contained “a staffed telephone. Each weeknight, Washington’s homosexuals could call the Society’s new number for information, advice, or, if facing trouble, help.”[14] Kameny’s phone call advice and “Gay is Good” message helped the young Hayward make peace with his own sexuality as he began to become more involved in D.C. activist work. Kameny “was a real role model,” Hayward states. “I follow in his footsteps.”[15]

In 1971, Frank Kameny became the first openly gay person to run for Congress. In his candidacy announcement, Kameny states, “I am a homosexual American citizen determined to move into the mainstream of society from the backwaters to which I have been relegated. Homosexuals have been shoved around for time immemorial. We are fed up with it. We are starting to shove back and we’re going to keep shoving back until we are guaranteed our rights.”[16] Kameny would lose the election, but his candidacy changed the local (and national) political landscape. Though Hayward volunteered for Kameny’s campaign, he had already been working and “shoving back” in D.C. activist groups. He notes, “Even before I fully ‘came out’ in D.C. I was marching against the Vietnam War, and after I came out, it seemed natural to me that we, gay men and women, needed to be out here in the streets protesting for our rights.”[17] Hayward was active in the founding of the D.C. chapter of the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) in January 1970. “It seemed to me that by the time I met him Frank didn’t have that much of an organization,” Hayward reflects, “But the D.C. GLF, which of course owes a debt to MSW, really had a solid organization. And Frank would come to our meetings as an ‘elder statesman.’”[18]

“The key to my journey,” Hayward has written, “[was] the consciousness-raising cell groups we hosted in D.C and in the Georgia Gay Liberation Front in the ’70s.”[19] Hayward’s elevated consciousness, his development into a younger “homosexual citizen” modeled after the example set by Kameny, paralleled the increasing activist ethos of the city around him. Hayward reflected on his participation in GLF and the atmosphere of late 1960s and early 1970s in Washington, when

the zeitgeist in D.C. was one of what we would call coalition building. The GLF was really about an inclusive, diverse push for social justice. It felt like something out of the musical Hair, for example, when I attended one GLF meeting at a ballroom in Georgetown. People of all kinds and backgrounds in attendance who supported what we were attempting to do. I do remember there being a debate within GLF about whether we should align with the Black Panther Party. The question became: how can we organize alongside other groups when we are not organized as a group first? But I do want to highlight that the GLF understood that we stood on the shoulders of so many previous movements, including the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements. I remember the GLF hosted consciousness-raising sessions in people’s homes that were modeled after similar tactics in the Women’s Movement. What stood out for me in D.C. was that we really had a personal base for our political work. It was family.[20]

Though GLF continued the anti-discrimination and consciousness-raising work of MSW, Hayward remembers most fondly the social life that GLF fostered. His first makeshift “Pride” event occurred in June 1970 while he was still a student in D.C.[21] As he recalls, GLF and other groups held a “huge picnic in one of the D.C. parks.”[22] Hayward says the group gathered in the park “really didn’t know history was being made. We were just finding our way. We were aware we were a movement, but we didn’t know ‘Pride’ would become a national, even international, annual event. But, as of 1969, we at GLF did feel we were a part of the ‘New Left’ movement.”

And yet, for Hayward, the most indelible memory from his first “Pride” event is not its historic importance but the image of two men kissing and claiming their sexuality: “there were two guys that were part of the D.C. Gay Liberation Front, and they decided to have a passionate make-out session—to kiss passionately in the middle of the park—and I’ll never forget one of the mothers there in the park was totally horrified, trying to hide her children. It was pretty bold; I mean they could’ve been arrested. But they wanted to just show you, ‘hey, we’re gay.’ And they did. I’ll always remember that moment.”  Hayward says such moments of open and unvarnished displays of same-sex intimacy were rare in D.C. even in the earliest years of gay liberation.

Not long after the picnic in the park, Hayward took a trip that changed the course of his life when he first came to Atlanta, Georgia. In the final semester of his senior year at GWU (February 1971), Bryant accompanied his friend Jack, who worked for GWU, to Atlanta. Jack’s Atlanta friends had visited D.C. when their car broke down; they flew home, and Jack repaired the car. Hayward remembers, “Jack asked me, ‘Do you want to come with me down to Atlanta?’ And I said, ‘Sure.’” Hayward joined Jack for the drive south and the flight back to D.C. In Atlanta, Hayward met Jack’s friends, including a local Atlantan named Jerry Stacks. “I remember we went to Underground, and Underground was fabulous back then,” Hayward states. “But I thought, well, now I know people in Atlanta, and maybe I could move here after I graduate.”[23]  

Advertisement for Chuck’s Rathskeller, David. December 1971.

After a post-graduation summer trip to Europe, Hayward came back to the U.S. interested in a change of scenery. Hayward reflects, “I had some great times in D.C. but it didn’t really have much of its own identity as a place. I thought it might be interesting to be in a part of the country that really was different, that had its own unique culture. So, I moved to Atlanta, which to me had its own flavor, in October of 1971. It’s funny, you look back at your choices, and you think ‘why did I do that?’ But that’s what I did, and the rest is history.”[24] Initially, Hayward stayed with some of Jerry Stacks’s friends before securing his own apartment in Atlanta.

One of the primary reasons Hayward mentions for deciding to move to Atlanta after graduating GWU was the openness of the gay networks and community spaces he encountered, an atmosphere that resonated with him as much as the earlier scene of two men kissing in the park in D.C. “I was stunned how well-lit gay bars were in Atlanta,” he recalls. “I didn’t know there could be gay bars like that! The scene in Atlanta, for me, felt a lot more ‘out,’ a lot more prominent than what I had experienced in D.C.”[25] One memory of a gay bar is particularly vivid for Hayward: “I remember after I first moved here standing at the corner of Monroe Drive and 8th Avenue, looking at where the Trader Joe’s is now, and a friend pointing out to me Chuck’s Rathskeller/ Chuck’s Rose Room. He said, ‘that’s a gay bar Dave.’ Chuck’s had this huge purple-blue-neon sign. I mean huge. I just thought, wow, that’s a gay bar?! There it is, a gay bar with a bright neon sign, in the middle of the parking lot where everyone can see it. That felt really shocking in an amazing way to me, very much unlike the non-descript black boxes I had gotten used to in D.C.”[26]  As with many gay nightlife venues across Atlanta, Chuck’s Rathskeller, which marketed itself as “the largest gay bar in the U.S.A.,” held frequent and memorable drag performances. “I noticed that drag was a mainstay in Atlanta,” Hayward recalls. One of the famous centerpiece performers at Chuck’s was Neely Demann, who Hayward affectionally remembers as the “queen” of Chuck’s. Hayward describes observing Neely’s allure:

The pinnacle of her performance every evening was when she would lip synch to Shirley Bassey’s ‘This is My Life.’ She would do this whole theatrical imitation, and at the climax of the song, she would yank her blond platinum wig off and thrust it toward the audience and shake it saying ‘This is my life! This is my life!’ And people would go nuts! They would run up to her, and she would hold the wig out. People would put all kinds of money in there. That was Neely. ‘For that’s what I was born to be. This is me. Let me live. This is my life!’[27]

The Performer: or How Dave Bryant Became Atlanta’s Dave Hayward

Dave Bryant as Prince Elmwood the McRoyal Oak in A Saturday Afternoon in Take Me There Park, 1973. Photograph in Dave Hayward’s personal collection. Scan by Eric Solomon, 2021. Courtesy of Dave Hayward, 2021.

“I basically have always considered myself to be a creative person, essentially an artist,” Hayward states.[28] When Hayward first moved to Atlanta in 1971, he thought he would put his drama degree to use and build a career as a local actor. “My life was going to be in the theatre, as they say.” He went on multiple auditions, made several theatrical appearances, and was featured in television commercials for clients such as Heidleburg Beer, Peachtree Doors, and Georgia Consumer Services. Theatrically, he starred in The Disintegration of James Cherry at the Alliance Theater in May 1972 and as “Richard Coeur de Lion” in a 1976 production of The Lion in Winter with Actor’s Ensemble. In the 1978 On Stage Atlanta Summer Workshop Productions, Hayward starred as “Victor” in John Steinbeck’s experimental Burning Bright. It was on the stage during a production of As You Like It that Hayward fell in love for the first time with a friend named Peter Barnhart. “For the first time sex and romance coalesced and it prepared me for Greg,” Hayward writes.[29] “Greg” is former partner Greg James, with whom Hayward lived for one year in the late 1970s and with whom he created and hosted a weekly show, “Gay Digest,” for WRFG (Radio Free Georgia) for the 1977–1979 season. Though neither his acting nor radio careers manifested lasting success, throughout his time in Atlanta Hayward has continued to champion the artistic community. His later work with Touching Up Our Roots reflects this commitment: many theatrical companies and media groups and their locations are featured on The #TUOR Project routes.   

Within Dave Hayward’s vast personal collection of ephemera is a page with the doodle “Affectation = Effective Way of Living,” signed by Dave Bryant, ca. 1978.

Perhaps Hayward’s greatest performance is the one he fashioned for himself: the writer-activist “Dave Hayward.” How did the young man Dave Bryant who moved from Washington D.C. to Atlanta to act on the local stage become the larger-than-life Atlantan known to many as Dave Hayward? Like many writers, Dave Bryant created a pen name, a means used by many gay and lesbian people at midcentury to mask their identities. Hayward learned this tactic from earlier homophile activists, who would often conceal their legal names in their written work or when attending organizational meetings. Such protective concealment occurred frequently during a time when one’s public exposure could result in professional consequences such as job loss, criminal prosecution and incarceration, psychiatric evaluation and institutionalization, and the loss of personal networks, consequences Hayward’s D.C. contact Frank Kameny knew all too well, using his experience to fight against such discrimination and existential oppression for all gay and lesbian people. The name “Dave Hayward,” then, performed multiple functions, the first of which was a shield behind which Dave Bryant kept fighting. 

Hayward’s decision to adopt a pen name also invokes the queer creative tradition. Though Hayward would say he was not of their “caliber,” the persona of “Dave Hayward” reflects the literary tradition of midcentury gay writers like “Tennessee Williams,” pen name of Thomas Lanier Williams III, “Claire Morgan,” pen name of The Price of Salt author Patricia Highsmith, or “Edgar Box” and “Katherine Everard,” two of the pen names Gore Vidal used to craft his erotic pulp fictions. Further, “Dave Hayward” speaks to the tradition of drag performance; Dave Bryant chose his pen name’s surname “Hayward” after one of his favorite actors, Susan Hayward, another North-South transplant to Georgia. The name “Susan Hayward” was also a creation, the stage name studio heads gave to Edythe Marrenner, one of the many aspiring young actors who moved to Hollywood to audition for the role of Scarlett O’Hara. Perhaps unbeknownst to him, “Hayward” as Bryant’s chosen last name contained layers upon layers of performative signification, like the stage make-up painted for the theater’s upper gallery. Hayward recalls, “Growing up I watched Saturday Night at the Movies every weekend on TV and Susan Hayward was in tons of them. I remember watching I Want to Live! vividly! So, in the early 1970s, I thought, how about Hayward as a pen name? It has a ‘y’ in it and it’s not that far from Bryant.”

Header of one resume of David Gould Bryant showing his pen name, David (Dave) Hayward, circa 1980. Scan by Eric Solomon, 2021. Courtesy of Dave Hayward, 2021.

Although the creation of “Dave Hayward” was not an overt play with gender roles, Hayward’s creation does mirror what Martin Padgett writes about drag performativity: “If you could wipe the slate and create a new identity, what would it be? … Drag teaches an important lesson: Sometimes, to find out who we really are, we have to become someone else.”[30] Although Hayward did not start out with deliberate intention to use the pen name consistently in his writing, “Dave Hayward” would become a way for him to differentiate his professional writing-activist life from his personal life. “In creating ‘Dave Hayward,’ I freed Dave Bryant from many reservations about what was acceptable to write about and I allowed some of what I consider to be private and sacred to be reserved for Dave Bryant,” he states. “It helps immensely to have an alter ego and see yourself objectively. I can leave the troubled past, and I can start anew. I’ve succeeded more as Dave Hayward.” Within Hayward’s vast personal collection of ephemera is a page with the doodle “Affectation = Effective Way of Living,” signed by Dave Bryant. According to Hayward, he scribbled this on a piece of paper after hearing Judy Lambert say this on a television program alongside fellow Georgia Gay Liberation Front co-founder Bill Smith. For Hayward, such a mantra is reflected in the success and effectiveness of his greatest performance: “Dave Hayward.”

Dave Hayward, “Elizabeth Taylor.” Steel Daisy, November 9, 1993. Scan by Eric Solomon, 2021. Courtesy of Dave Hayward, 2021.

The creation of pen name Dave Hayward, taken as it was out of a love for actor Susan Hayward, shaped the subject matter of many of the essays Hayward would craft across his varied career. As Hayward says, “I’m a total star fucker.” In addition to “Gay Digest,” the WRFG radio show he co-created and hosted with former partner Greg James and James Moody, Hayward interviewed celebrities like James Kirkwood for the weekly Gazette beginning in 1979 and worked as a writer-researcher-booker for Turner Broadcasting and CNN in the early 1980s. In 1979, Hayward and James created one of Atlanta’s first loosely-defined gay film festivals at the Atlanta MCC on N. Highland (June festival and October festival). One can witness his ongoing fascination with film, celebrity, and performance, and specifically his love of female actors, in his 1993 profile of Elizabeth Taylor for Steel Daisy, a “fun variety magazine for the Gay South.” Hayward writes of Taylor, “Yes boys, her face is still breathtaking and she’s pleasingly curvaceous… [she] now presents a persona that seems somewhere between Joan of Arc and Mother Theresa” in her “decade-long crusade to combat AIDS.” Hayward quotes Taylor, visiting Atlanta to promote perfume as well as discuss her AIDS activism, as saying, “I admire a lot of people. They don’t have to be famous. People go out and do something, make something of their lives and make a difference in this world.” 

In one of his rehearsal scripts for what Hayward called his “best theatre experience” on the Atlanta stage, a children’s musical titled A Saturday Afternoon in Take Me There Park produced at Georgia State in 1973, someone sketched the following lines from the play: “Listen real close! My roots are rambling.” Though Hayward has not returned to the theatrical stage in many years, his rambling and roving roots would inform the work that would become most central in Hayward’s life in the last three decades: inviting all to listen real close and act up in the service of LGBTQIA+ Georgians, past, present, and future, through Touching Up Our Roots.

“Listen Real Close! My Roots are Rambling,” handwritten notes in Dave Hayward’s script for A Saturday Afternoon in Take Me There Park, a children’s musical written by John Stephens and directed by Page Lee, Georgia State University, 1973.

Writer and Activist: Dave Hayward in Atlanta

Dave Hayward, “Better Blatant than Latent,” Cover of Charlotte Free Press, July 12, 1976. From Dave Hayward’s Personal Collection. Scan by Eric Solomon, 2021. Courtesy of Dave Hayward, 2021.

“I wasn’t ever interested at all in being in office, but I always saw myself as an activist, a writer. I was delighted to support and uplift others doing that work.”[31] After moving to Atlanta in 1971, in addition to his immersion in the world of the theater, Hayward sought out the gay and lesbian activist and cultural family he had found in D.C. Sometimes, he tells me, his theater and gay and lesbian networks overlapped but not as often as one might think. “Many of the people that I knew in the theater and creative worlds were completely apolitical,” he reflects. “They had no interest in that. And then there would be people I would meet in politics who had no interest in arts and entertainment.” As Hayward settled in Atlanta, he had to seek out his activist home, but before long, he found it. “Atlanta had a lot of opportunities, but you had to seek it out. But I found it.” He recalls seeing “an ad in The Great Speckled Bird for the Gay Liberation Front,” and soon thereafter he joined Georgia’s Gay Liberation Front (GGLF) in October of 1971. “I remember going to one of my first GGLF meetings downtown on the Strip at the Sojourner Truth Printing Press. I arrived late to find 10-12 people sitting in a small circle. In the middle was Severin (whose birth name was Paul Dolan), who really was one of the first gender nonconforming, what we might call ‘trans’ now, leaders in Atlanta. That meeting’s also where I met Bill Smith, who basically called me a Yankee carpetbagger! But it was all in good fun, and I started to get real involved with GGLF.”[32]

Advertisement for Andy Warhol’s Lonesome Cowboys in the July 21, 1969 issue of The Great Speckled Bird.

According to Hayward, in the early 1970s, “to be gay and to be a political activist” in Atlanta was rare. “There just weren’t really that very many of us,” Hayward says, “And I think it was perhaps even more so true here in Atlanta than it had been in D.C.”[33] Hayward speculates that perhaps this was both a result of a lack of a Kameny-like figure in Atlanta as well as Atlanta’s more open accommodationist atmosphere. “I want to emphasize, though, that there actually was a Georgia Mattachine Society run by my late friend Berl Boykin and Shelby Cullum, but it wasn’t quite as high profile as Frank Kameny’s work. So, there was a movement here in Atlanta prior to the 1970s, but according to Berl it didn’t gain much traction or followers until 1969.”[34] Hayward often quips about the LGBTQIA+ rights movement in Atlanta that, “We owe it all to Andy Warhol and Anita Bryant.” Listeners will notice that this Haywardism begins each stop on The #TUOR Project. Why Andy Warhol?

Two things happened in 1969 that galvanized the gay rights movement nationally and locally. In June, the Stonewall Inn and Bar was raided by police in New York City’s Greenwich Village and nights of protest ensued. Though this was far from the first-time sexual minorities resisted, it became an inflection point in the development of gay and lesbian political activism.[35] Roughly a month later in Atlanta, on August 5, 1969, a police raid on an Ansley Mall Mini Cinema showing of Andy Warhol’s Lonesome Cowboys galvanized local gay and lesbian activists and led to the establishment of the Georgia Gay Liberation Front (GGLF).[36] According to Hayward, his friend (and TOUR co-founder) Berl Boykin recalled attending a meeting at the New Morning Cafe in Emory Village shortly after the August 1969 raid of the Ansley Mall Film Forum. This “standing-room only” meeting was the genesis of what would ultimately become the GGLF.[37]

“Origins of Atlanta Pride” narrative posted on Touching Up Our Roots Facebook page, June 18, 2020. Screenshot by Eric Solomon, 2021.

Georgia Gay Liberation Front had two co-chairs: Bill Smith and Judy Lambert.[38] Hayward recalls that “it was really important that we had gender parity in our leadership. Another thing about those early years that we should remember is how radical many of the activists involved were. I never considered myself to be that radical, but many in GLF were parts of groups like the SDS and the Weathermen. But we really were this rag-tag, chaotic band in the beginning. One of the differences between then and now in movement politics is we really didn’t have titles beyond the two co-chairs. That was deliberate. We were a core collective. Nonhierarchical, not patriarchal: those things were really important to GLF.”[39] Hayward’s recollections are in keeping with Martin Duberman’s understanding of the coalitional—what we might call today intersectional—efforts of the GLF.[40]

Hayward writes, “Our indoctrination was weekly consciousness-raising cell groups, where we inveighed against racism, sexism, ageism, and lookism.”[41] And much of GGLF’s early work centered around developing the gay pride march. “I remember vividly that we were organizing to produce what would become Atlanta gay pride,” Hayward states. Though he was not a part of the planning as he was in the process of moving to Atlanta, in 1971, Hayward recalls Berl Boykin telling him,

They did have a march. There were exactly 125 people involved, my friend Berl Boykin said. The city of Atlanta refused to give them a permit to march, and so they had to march on the sidewalks and stop at every intersection, according to Berl. Berl said the small group went to the Georgia chapter of the ACLU about the permit and they were told they could not have a permit because ‘you are not a minority.’ So even the ACLU was not helping at that time. It really is accurate to say that the first Pride as we now understand Pride in Atlanta happened in 1972.[42]

Hayward continues, “What I really want people to know is that we were a minority of a minority. We were such a minority that we did not even appear to exist as a minority to groups like the ACLU.”[43] By 1972, however, the GGLF shoved back forcefully in their first permitted Atlanta Pride march.

Hayward recalls the support from the Atlanta Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) minister John Gill in the lead up to the 1972 Pride march.[44] MCC started in January 1972 in Atlanta, and Hayward was one of the charter members. “I really want to give props to MCC,” Hayward notes. “They had just started, and to be clear not everyone supported John’s decision to march with us, but he did.” At that time among many groups, Hayward says, “there seemed to be this tacit arrangement that there could be this gay life and this gay subculture but don’t rock the boat. Don’t be ‘out there’ demonstrating, marching in the streets. But we have pictures of John in the 1972 march holding signs. That was important.” Hayward has critiqued the MCC in his recent writing for what he sees as their objectification of male bodies and lack of collective commitment to gay liberation.[45]

Advertisement for The Cove, March 1988. From Dave Hayward’s personal collection. Scan by Eric Solomon, 2021. Courtesy of Dave Hayward, 2021.

However, support from gay and lesbian community businesses was not always guaranteed. “I don’t recall the support of any gay bars” in the early years of GGLF in Atlanta, Hayward states. In Hayward’s recounting, Frank Powell, the owner of The Cove and the Sweet Gum Head, told the GGLF members who wanted to leaflet about the forthcoming Pride march, “No we don’t want any of that radical shit in our bars.”[46] In a contemporaneous article Hayward wrote about the events, he quotes Powell more mutedly: “we don’t want none of that in here.”[47] However Powell’s objections were voiced, some GGLF members, including Hayward, ignored his warnings and went to leaflet anyway.

For much of his activism career, Hayward has seen himself more as a witness than a direct participant, as someone who stood as much on the outer perimeter to observe, document, and preserve the experiences of his community. One such experience in which Hayward literally remained outside the direct action as a watchman was the GGLF leafleting at Powell’s the Cove. “I had resolved after leaving D.C. and witnessing the ‘Gays of Our Lives’ drama there not to be thrown out of a gay bar. So, when the GGLF went against the bar owner’s wishes to drum up support for the 1972 Pride March at gay bars, I volunteered to patrol the parking lot. I wasn’t going to go into the bar and be thrown out. I remember they had these saloon doors at the Cove, and I was standing there near the entrance, and I saw one of my GGLF friends, Kevin, being thrown out of those swinging saloon doors! Luckily he didn’t break anything! I mean it was quite a violent act. I learned then that sometimes you’re fighting people within your own community for reasons you don’t always fully understand.”[48] 

Dave Bryant’s “Sexism in the Gay Bars,” The Great Speckled Bird, June 26, 1972.

Although Hayward may have kept some distance from zap-like actions popularized by the GLF and Gay Activists Alliance (GAA), he used his voice in other ways. “For me it’s always just as much about being politically active in the streets as much as I could be but really going back and writing about it. That was always part of it for me. It’s the action and the documentation of it.”[49] When Atlanta’s alternative newspaper, The Great Speckled Bird, dedicated the cover to Gay Pride for their June 26, 1972, issue, Hayward wrote an editorial about Frank Powell. “That was my way of calling out what I saw to be an injustice.”[50] In the editorial titled “Sexism in the Gay Bars,” Hayward—who was still publishing under his birth name of Dave Bryant—writes, “Frank Powell… wants to stifle Gay Liberation.” Further, the article attacks “Atlanta’s sexist supermarket, the Cove” and offers Hayward’s view of the proper orientation of gay and lesbian politics and spatial order: “The bars help to perpetuate sexism more than any other institution in gay life. Within the bar the worth of a person is decided almost entirely upon his physical appearance, most commonly if he is lean, muscular, handsome, and white.” Hayward encourages his readership to consider an alternative, the GGLF, in which “our brothers and sisters probe their racism and sexism and work towards relating to people on common ground.”  

Though GGLF’s ethical mission was clear, the aims of the group often failed to materialize in coalitional actions. Hayward continues, “I noticed in those early years in Atlanta with GGLF we experienced a lot of pushback both from so-called members of the ‘New Left’ that we weren’t radical enough and also from those within the gay and lesbian community who expressed a deep fear about there being a Pride march and wanting no part in it, people who, like Frank Powell, didn’t want to associate their businesses with any kind of political activism. In some ways, that tension is still with us.”[51] Though Atlanta’s Pride parade is now a community event with sponsorships from many companies based in the metropolitan area, Hayward notes, “Originally, the community at large in Atlanta did not want to be involved with Pride.”[52]

If the police raid of Andy Warhol’s Lonesome Cowboys instigated the creation of GGLF, resistance toward Anita Bryant’s appearance in Atlanta pushed the gay and lesbian activist community into new territory. As the 1970s continued, the GGLF became increasingly fractured. However, Hayward remained “on the front lines” of activist engagement. Hayward remembers what he thinks of as the most pivotal protest moments in Atlanta queer history: the March 1978 protest of “Save Our Children” crusader Anita Bryant’s speech at the Southern Baptist Convention in Atlanta.

We led a huge demonstration against Bryant. I tell people now that this is our Selma moment, not because the degree of violence or the situations were similar in any way shape or form, but because the degree of solidarity with our movement shifted enormously as a result of the protest against Bryant similar to how public perception shifted with the media portrayals of Selma. We had a march on the World Congress Center following Bryant’s visit, and we had thousands who joined us. We had a group called Clergy and Laity Concerned Atlanta, a heterosexual, white group, that marched with us. There they were, showing up! People like that can be incredibly galvanizing. People got off the fence. People realized all our rights are threatened when any of our rights are threatened. 

“The ’70s in Atlanta: A Decade of Gay Pride,” Compiled by David Hayward, Gazette Newspaper, 2, no. 25, June 18–24, 1981. From Dave Hayward’s personal collection. Scan by Eric Solomon, 2021. Courtesy of Dave Hayward, 2021.

In the aftermath of the demonstration, public support surged for the community. Hayward notes that the community was able to open the first Gay and Lesbian community center (which was once located on Ponce de Leon and containing Christopher’s Kind Bookstore) based upon the fundraising received after Bryant’s visit and the counter protests. “I like to say Anita Bryant was our chief fundraiser,” Hayward states. “When I say we owe it all to Andy Warhol and Anita Bryant—these two non-Atlantan polar opposites—what I mean is that Warhol’s film brought upon the raid that really launched the GLF in Georgia and Bryant’s reactionary moralism and presence in the city helped to galvanize financial and organizational resources for the community, which would prove to be incredibly important in the 1980s and 90s as the AIDS crisis would devastate us.”[53] Though much of his memories of the early AIDS-crisis in Atlanta are emotionally difficult to conjure, Hayward acknowledges that he was one of the co-founders of the first chapter of ACT-UP, the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power.

In addition to Hayward’s persistent presence at demonstrations across the 1980s, he continued to write prolifically for many LGBTQIA+ publications. “I wanted to write about other things [beyond queer life]. I had written for the Hatchett (at GWU). I wanted to do more writing in the arts, interviews, reviews, but most of what I could get and what people wanted was the ‘gay stuff.’ Which, in retrospect, is fine and led me to Roots. I realized that in telling the stories of ‘gay stuff,’ there were many lesser-known figures in our story. It’s all a continuum.” Hayward’s “gay stuff” includes work for the Gazette, Frontiers, The Advocate, and other local, regional, and national queer publications. His work in “gay stuff” would shape his commitment to public queer history, achieve its fullest form in his co-founding of Touching Up Our Roots.

Finally, Hayward is proud of the brief overview of Atlanta’s LGBTQ+ history that he composed for an introduction to a 2015 exhibit at the LGBTQ Institute. It begins, “What a long and strange journey it has been.” You can hear him read it below.

Dave Hayward reads his introduction to a 2015 exhibit. Recording by Eric Solomon, 2021. Courtesy of Dave Hayward, 2021.

The “Local Historian” and the Storytelling Conductor: Touching Up Our Roots as Public History Project

A 2012 article in The Georgia Voice refers to Hayward as a “local historian,” a role which Hayward has performed officially for the last two decades through his non-profit Touching Up Our Roots.[54] As groups like GGLF dissolved, Hayward’s commitment to preserving the stories of the figures who have created and animated LGBTQIA+ Atlanta motivated his continued involvement with other groups such as the Atlanta Gay and Lesbian History Thing (early 1990s), his association with the Historic Atlanta Gay and Lesbian Preservation Committee, and his ongoing work with the Atlanta History Center’s Georgia LGBT Archives initiative. However, it is again his own creation that has occupied most of his “local history” work for the last two decades: Touching Up Our Roots, Inc. Though a separate page on this website tells more of the story of TOUR’s history and the origins of the name, Hayward stressed the importance of TUOR and other comparable public history projects as acknowledging:

the people who were essentially founders. Some who come to mind are: (TUOR co-founder) Berl Boykin. Bill Smith. Judy Lambert. Steve Abbott. Severin (Paul Dolan). Vicki Gabriner. Lendon Sadler. Ara Dostourian. We have to remind ourselves that we’re standing on the shoulders of people whose lives really suffered for their activism. Frank Kameny could have been a world-class astronomer if he had not been fired. In Atlanta, my friend Berl Boykin was expelled from Emory University for having a man in his dorm room; that derailed his life for some time. Charlie St. John, another Atlanta friend, activist and a member of the Community Relations Commission, had his apartment raided for what were unsubstantiated reasons and he and his lesbian roommate Rebecca were evicted. People were evicted, expelled, fired, murdered. For some reason I have been lucky, but we are standing on the shoulders of many people who suffered and died for our rights. I believe it’s our duty to honor and remember their stories.[55] 

Hayward understands his work with TUOR as one of witness and documentation.

I’m in a position now where I can talk about what happened fifty years ago and how it relates to today. There’s a great deal of privilege and responsibility in that position. For me, most of all, in terms of being a witness, it’s remembering our holocaust. We lost so many people as a result of AIDS. So many groups, so many initiatives, have been forgotten as a result of that loss. For each one of us, if we could just use our voices in whatever way we can. You can’t live for anybody. You can’t bring anyone back to life. But you can call them up, call them forth, call them out in the present moment to honor and remember them as you educate the future. That’s why I shifted from calling Touching Up Our Roots a history project to a story project. It’s an invitation for you to tell your story. And it’s a reminder to tell and share the stories of those who are no longer here to tell the tale. Whatever you can do to call it forward.[56]

Touching Up Our Roots Logo, ca. 2017.

“To Have David Away”: Dave as Friend

“I’ve always seen myself as a part of both [the creative arts and political activism], but also as pretty much a spiritual student. I’ve always been involved in metaphysical studies and groups. I believe we are all connected.”[57] Though Dave Hayward has performed many roles in his service and commitment to modern gay and lesbian culture, activism, and historic preservation in Atlanta, I would be remiss if I did not mention in concluding this sketch of Hayward’s life his integral role as friend and mentor to many in the Atlanta community, including myself. Hayward is a networker, a sometimes-relentless force for connection. Though Hayward openly acknowledges that he can be difficult, and the professional process we enacted to work on this project was not without its moments of difficulty, his often-aggressive demeanor stems from his passionate commitment to the people and the community he has worked for decades to champion and uplift. In the process of working on this project, similar sentiments have been shared with me about Hayward’s “difficulty” as ultimately a reflection of his adamant persistence in documenting and preserving the stories of LGBTQIA+ Atlantans. “Time is of the essence,” Hayward has told me many times in our weekly phone calls. There is no time to waste, and the context of this project’s origins in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic has focused Hayward’s sense of urgency. Understandably, COVID has heightened all our sense of mortality. And yet, Hayward’s urgency also stems from the loss of numerous personal friends in recent years, friends such as the gay Atlanta pioneers Berl Boykin and Winston Johnson, who have passed away from non-COVID causes and whose stories Hayward has documented in oral history format with TUOR.

Dave Hayward Birthday Celebration, August 29, 2021. Photograph by Eric Solomon.

And yet, Hayward’s commitment to his friends goes beyond the work of Touching Up Our Roots; many of our working sessions for The #TUOR Project were held outdoors at venues like Woof’s Sports Bar and Manuel’s Tavern. Beyond “work,” such meetings often served as moments where the mutual transfer of knowledge and experience and the formation of friendship bonds between older and younger gay men occurred. In August 2021, a few of Dave’s friends joined him to celebrate his seventy-second birthday under, as Dave campily put it, a “big top” tent behind Manuel’s Tavern. As we sang happy birthday to him in the spirit of friendly celebration, I could not help but dwell on two linked thoughts. First, I reflected upon the work Dave Hayward has accomplished in his fifty years in Atlanta and the legacy he has created that younger generations of queer Atlantans like myself must continue. I recalled a comment Dave made in one of our conversations, “I’ve lived long enough to see things happen that I would have never expected. I never would have thought we would have achieved marriage equality before employment non-discrimination. But we have, and the fight continues.”[58] Second, as I watched Dave smile as we feted him, I thought of the mortality we each confront and prepared myself for the fact that at some point in the future Dave Hayward will no longer be fighting the good fight for an Atlanta that lives up to its motto of a city too busy to hate. As I sat there in that moment, I recalled an artifact from Dave’s personal archive that he shared with me early in our work together and which he has given me permission to share in this context. The artifact is a letter handwritten on Mickey-Mouse stationary to Dave from his late-friend Jim Triola circa 1978. Dave and Jim marched together in the 1973 Atlanta Pride parade. Like Dave, Jim Triola was a working actor in the 1970s, starring alongside Dave in A Saturday Afternoon in Take Me There Park. Triola played “Go Dangle Bird” to Dave’s “Prince Elmswood McRoyal Oak.” Triola appeared “in a hilarious Masterpiece Theatre parody” on Hayward’s “Gay Digest” radio show, and the two were roommates for a year in 1978.[59] As Hayward recalls, Triola passed away from AIDS-related complications in 1990.[60]

Jim Triola’s note to Dave Hayward is a fitting tribute to the complicated man many of us call friend. It is titled “To Have David Away.” 

To have David away is like a day without sunshine.

To have David away is like finding out that you’ve just won the state lottery and there’s 

no one to tell. 

To have David away is to laugh alone. 

To have David away is one cigarette after another. 

To have David away is Mary without Loretta. 

To have David away is no one telling you your pants are too tight.

To have David away is getting grumpy anytime you want… without having to discuss 


To have David away is forgetting what a telephone is for. 

To have David away is having no one to interrupt. 

To have David away is wondering why you’re sitting at home writing this when you

could be at the bookstore. 

To have David away is talking metaphysics to Alene.

To have David away is Farrah without her hair. 

To have David away is going sane. 

To have David away is taking long walks in the rain… when it isn’t raining. 

To have David away is never once considering the fact that you might be wrong. 

To have David away is looking in a mirror and seeing less than you’re used to. 

To have David away is not a few of my favorite things. 

To have David away is longing for the sight of plaid. 

To have David away is Liberace in only black and white. 

To have David away is missing your best friend.

Not Nearly

The End 

Final four lines in Jim Triola’s letter to Dave Hayward, “To Have David Away.” Scan by Eric Solomon, 2021. Courtesy of Dave Hayward, 2021.

Author: Eric Solomon

Originally Published: October 13, 2021

[1] Edmund White, “Foreword,” The Faber Book of Gay Short Fiction, ix.

[2] Eric Solomon, Conversation with Dave Hayward, May 6, 2020.

[3] “HIV Infection and AIDS—Georgia, 1991,” MMWR Weekly, (Nov. 20, 1992) 41, no. 46: 876–878.

[4] Dave Hayward, “Once Upon a Time in Mecca – The ’90s,” The Georgia Voice, November 7, 2019, https://thegavoice.com/community/once-upon-a-time-in-mecca-the-90s.

[5] Email Correspondence, September 11, 2021.

[6] Email Correspondence.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Dave Hayward, “Retouching My Roots,” The Georgia Voice, September 10, 2020, https://thegavoice.com/outspoken/retouching-my-roots/.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Eric Solomon, Conversation with Dave Hayward, September 14, 2020.

[12] Eric Solomon, Conversation with Dave Hayward, September 14, 2020.

[13] see the photograph of his iconic Christopher Street Liberation Day sign inscribed with those words)

[14] Eric Cervini, The Deviant’s War: The Homosexual vs. The United States of America (FSG: New York, 2020), 223.

[15] Eric Solomon, Conversation with Dave Hayward, September 14, 2020.

[16] Washington Blade. Find source.

[17] Eric Solomon, Conversation with Dave Hayward, September 14, 2020.

[18] Eric Solomon, Conversation with Dave Hayward, September 14, 2020.

[19] Dave Hayward, “Retouching My Roots,” The Georgia Voice, September 10, 2020, https://thegavoice.com/outspoken/retouching-my-roots/.

[20] Eric Solomon, Conversation with Dave Hayward, September 14, 2020.

[21] I put “Pride” in quotations to signal that this event was informal and unofficial in Hayward’s recollection.

[22] Eric Solomon, Conversation with Dave Hayward, September 14, 2020.

[23] Eric Solomon, Conversation with Dave Hayward, May 6, 2020.

[24] Ibid.

[25] Eric Solomon, Conversation with Dave Hayward, September 14, 2020.

[26] Eric Solomon, Conversation with Dave Hayward, May 6, 2020. Hayward shared similar sentiments with Gay Atlanta Flashback, another important public history project from Paul Fulton, Jr. See Paul Fulton Jr., “Chuck’s Rathskeller at 931 Monroe Dr. NE,” https://gayatlflashback.com/chucks-rathskeller/.

[27] Neely was not the only drag queen performing Shirley Bassey’s song in Atlanta clubs. As Martin Padgett writes, “Neely Demann had adopted ‘This is My Life’ as her anthem, but it lacked the gravitas Allison had conjured” (65). “Allison” was the performance name of Alan Allison, who had made quite a successful run performing Bassey’s song at The Sweet Gum Head (53). Padgett, A Night at the Sweet Gum Head (New York: W.W. Norton, 2021).

[28] Eric Solomon, Conversation with Dave Hayward, May 6, 2020.

[29] Email Correspondence.

[30] Padgett, 15.

[31] Eric Solomon, Conversation with Dave Hayward, May 6, 2021.

[32] Ibid.

[33] Eric Solomon, Conversation with Dave Hayward, May 6, 2021.

[34] Email Correspondence.

[35] Footnote about Stonewall texts as well as other “raids” here (Compton’s, Cooper’s, etc.)

[36] Include Lonesome Cowboy articles here.

[37] Eric Solomon, Conversation with Dave Hayward, September 14, 2020. Martin Padgett notes that the first public meeting of GGLF occurred at The Morningstar Inn on February 4, 1971 (10).

[38] Martin Padgett’s recent A Night at the Sweet Gum Head (New York: W.W. Norton, 2021) coalesces around a core group of queer Atlantans in the 1970s, including Bill Smith.

[39] Eric Solomon, Conversation with Dave Hayward, September 14, 2020.

[40] “GLF had called for a fierce, full-scale assault on sexual and gender norms, on imperialistic wars and capitalistic greed, and on the shameful mistreatment of racial and ethnic minorities” (xiv). Martin Duberman, Has the Gay Movement Failed? (Oakland: University of California Press, 2018).

[41] See Dave Hayward, “Remembering Atlanta Pride’s radical roots (or why early organizers got thrown out of gay bars), Atlanta Magazine, November 2, 2020, https://www.atlantamagazine.com/news-culture-articles/remembering-atlanta-prides-radical-roots-or-why-early-organizers-got-thrown-out-of-gay-bars/.

[42] Eric Solomon, Conversation with Dave Hayward, September 14, 2020. See also, “Local Historian recalls first Atlanta Pride March,” The Georgia Voice, June 22, 2012, https://thegavoice.com/pride/local-historian-recalls-first-atlanta-pride-march/.

[43] Eric Solomon, Conversation with Dave Hayward, September 14, 2020.

[44] Hayward notes that the MCC in Atlanta is now known as the City of Light.

[45] Hayward writes, “When I chastised the Metropolitan Community Church in 1972, claiming their male beauty pageant was sexist, they stared at me, dumbfounded.” In this same article, Hayward also recounts his experience at the Cove. See Dave Hayward, “Remembering Atlanta Pride’s radical roots (or why early organizers got thrown out of gay bars).”

[46] Eric Solomon, Conversation with Dave Hayward, September 14, 2020.

[47] Dave Bryant, “Sexism in the Gay Bars,” The Great Speckled Bird, 1972.

[48] Eric Solomon, Conversation with Dave Hayward, May 6, 2021.

[49] Eric Solomon, Conversation with Dave Hayward, May 6, 2021.

[50] Eric Solomon, Conversation with Dave Hayward, September 14, 2020.

[51] Eric Solomon, Conversation with Dave Hayward, September 14, 2020.

[52] Ibid.

[53] Eric Solomon, Conversation with Dave Hayward, September 14, 2020.

[54] See “Local Historian recalls first Atlanta Pride March,” The Georgia Voice, June 22, 2012, https://thegavoice.com/pride/local-historian-recalls-first-atlanta-pride-march/.

[55] Eric Solomon, Conversation with Dave Hayward, September 14, 2020.

[56] Eric Solomon, Conversation with Dave Hayward, May 6, 2021.

[57] Ibid.

[58] Eric Solomon, Conversation with Dave Hayward, September 14, 2020.

[59] Email correspondence 9/11/21.

[60] Ibid.