Fare Thee Well, John.

John Lyon Burnside III was born November 2, 1916. He is the inventor of the Teleidoscope and the Symmetricon, and was the partner of Harry Hay for 39 years. He lived in San Francisco, California until his death from complications of brain cancer on September 14, 2008.

Burnside was sent to an orphanage while still a child because he was caught in sexual play with another little boy.

He served briefly in the Navy, and settled in Los Angeles in the 1940s. He married, but had no children. Burnside met Harry Hay in 1962 at ONE Incorporated. He fell in love and the two became life partners. They formed a group in the early 1960s called the Circle of Loving Companions that promoted gay rights and gay love. In 1966 they were major planners of one of the first gay parades, a protest against exclusion of homosexuals from the military, held in Los Angeles. In 1967, they appeared as a gay couple on the Joe Pyne television show.

In the late 1970s, they founded, along with Don Kilhefner and Mitch Walker, the Radical Faeries.


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