Saturday, November 3, 2012

Email exchange between Billy Glover, Paul Cain and Dr. Don Kilhefner on 11-2-2012 regarding Harry Hay
and John Burnside, whether they participated in nudism in their various communes.

Dear Billy and Paul:
Greetings.  I hope you are both well.
As far as I know, Harry and John
were not into nudism or it was very
marginal to their lives.  Harry talked
a liberationist line when it came to
sex and nudism in public but was
rather prudish in that regard in
I lived at the La Cresta Court commune in Los
Angeles with Harry and John for over two
years (1979-82) and there was no nudism
there but also there was no anti-nudism
either--there was mutuality and reciprocity
and we respected each others boundaries
and proclivities.  From time to time a guest
might be nude but it was no big deal to us.
Harry, John, Michael Fleming and I tended
to be clothed even though scantily clothed
sometimes--it was our home.
From the very beginning of the Radical Fairies
(1979) to the last gathering I attended (1985)
in Southern California, clothing optional took
many forms including being nude with bells,
glitter, feathers and so forth being used
imaginatively.  But nudism as such was not
an ideology that was practiced.  It was more
liberation in whatever form we personally needed
to be liberated rather than nudism as such.  Nudism
always had a little 19th century and early 20th century
smell to it by 1969--once daring but by the late
20th century somewhat ho-hum to Gay Liberation Revolution.
Nudism was never was never on the agenda of Gay
Liberation in any significant way--Sexual Liberation,
however, was.
It is late for me and now I'm off to bed.
I'm moving nicely forward on a book tentatively
called You'll Never Be Alone Again: Gay Liberation,
Self-Identity and Community Creation in Los Angeles,
1969-79 in which some of this gets fuller treatment.
Thanks for thinking of me.
Pacem In Terris.
Donald Kilhefner, Ph.D.

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