Civil rights activist and leader Bayard Rustin is widely known for his work organizing the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, but in a new film that premiered at Sundance, viewers get a glimpse into his personal life. In Bayard & Me, Rustin's relationship with his partner Walter Naegle is the subject of the short film by Matt Wolfe

During the 1980s, when the conversation surrounding gay marriage was still nascent, Rustin adopted his younger partner to ensure Naegle would obtain the legal protections of marriage. This was common for many couples in the '70s and '80s. Through conversations with Naegle, the film gives deeper insight into Rustin's life. It also provides a new perspective of past civil rights movements through the lens of an interracial gay couple. 

Rustin was a pivotal figure in helping to get the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 passed, and Bayard & Me provides a look into the personal conflicts he faced both on and off the front lines. At a time when civil rights are being challenged by the new administration, looking back at history may help plot our next move.  

A release date for the documentary has not been announced. 

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