Oct 15, 2013

Woody Guthrie and his Clan: 4 Generations of Pro-Gay Folksingers

If you visit the facebook page of guitarist, drummer, and all-around cool guy Krishna Guthrie, you'll seem some nice beefcake photos.  And this sign:









Krishna is the latest in a dynasty of gay allies.  His great-grandfather was folksinger Woody Guthrie (right), who was introduced to radical politics by the gay couple Will Geer (later Grandpa on The Waltons, center) and Harry Hay, founder of the Mattachine Society, the first modern gay rights organization.

Woody remained close to Will through his life.  No doubt he would have been outraged to hear his anthem, "This Land is Your Land," used by the anti-gay marriage NOM at their rallies.


Woody's son Arlo Guthrie (left, with Will Geer) became the poster boy for hippie androgyny, gleefully transgressing gender norms in dress, hair, and behavior.

He starred in the counterculture classic Alice's Restaurant, which contains as many gay subtexts as the censors would allow.

He often sneaked pro-gay messages into his songs, like lambasting the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in "Alices Restaurant."






Woody's granddaughter (Krishna's aunt), Sarah Lee Guthrie, and her husband, Johnny Irion, often perform at gay venues.

And that's not all.  Arlo and his wife Jackie had four children and ten grandchildren.  There's an entire Guthrie clan out there, all raised to believe that it's ok to be gay.