Meet Bayard Rustin, Martin Luther King Jr.’s Openly Gay Right-Hand Man

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day — the birthday of a man who fought for equality until he was murdered for it. King’s rightfully honored all over the country, with statues and streets named for him. However, his right hand man, Bayard Rustin, is mostly forgotten — because he was openly gay.

The film Brother Outsider takes an in-depth look at Rustin. Originally aired on PBS’ long-running POV series of documentary films and now available for rental on Vimeo, the film reveals the hidden architect of the 1963 March on Washington. (You might remember that as the place where Dr. King delivered his famous “I Have A Dream” speech.)

In 2013, President Obama granted Rustin a posthumous Presidential Medal of Honor. Honor this great hero of the civil rights movement by learning about a brilliant man shunted to the shadows because of his right to live out of the closet.