The only way for Bayard Rustin to legalize his gay relationship was to adopt his partner.
In the 1980s, 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 for legal protections. In this intimate love story, Walter remembers Bayard and how they had to work around the system in an era when gay marriage was inconceivable. He also reflects on the little-known phenomena of intergenerational gay adoption and its connection to the civil rights movement.
Matt Wolf is an award-winning filmmaker in New York. His film work includes 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.
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Director: Matt Wolf
Producer: Brendan Doyle
DP: Pete Sillen
Editor: Conor McBride
Produced by SuperDeluxe and C41 Media