MARTIN LUTHER KING’S GAY FRIEND By Andre Austin From the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement in 1954 to the assassination of King in 1968 Bayard Rustin assisted MLK Civil Rights Agenda. “He became very close to us” Mrs. King said Mrs. King stated in her book. “Bayard were indispensable to martin and the movement in the early days. Bayard was enormously helpful in sharing his thinking on nonviolence with us he had been to India, he studied Gandhi…” (My life with MLK p.127) The night before King was shot down in Memphis trying to fight for equality for garbage workers. While King was at the Loraine motel Rustin was putting in calls for him. “ Bayard Rustin was arranging to bring a lot of people into Memphis from other cities, but Mayor Loeb had obtained a federal injunction against non residents marching or demonstrating in Memphis”(My life with MLK p.290). Rustin was a Superbad organizer . He was capable of putting together a coalition almost over night. Rustin was a key figure that organized the march on Washington in 1963 that led to the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act. He was a class valedictorian. Rustin believed in working with the white power structure for mutual gain. Rustin helped create CORE “He became King’s adviser, helping him write speeches” (Let the Trumpet Sound By Stephen B. Oates p91). I do not know if Rustin helped King with his I have a Dream speech, probably not. When king won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 he personally requested that Rustin go with him his wife and delegation to Norway. It was a good thing that MLK took Rustin with him because he ended up saving his peace prize trophy from being tarnished. King’s delegation at the hotel rooms in Norway had white prostitutes running amuck up there. They were going buck wild. The police were called and Rustin was able to convince the police not to arrest anybody. Thank god he had Rustin at his side watching his back. Rustin was born in 1910 and died in 1987.