Don Kilhefner, Ph.D
West Hollywood, CA
Los Angeles psychologist Kilhefner, 72, is one of the founding fathers of the seminal queer spiritual movement the Radical Faeries (along with late pioneer Harry Hay). He also helped start Los Angeles’ Van Ness Recovery House, the first residential program for LGBTs with chemical dependency, and L.A.’s Gay and Lesbian Center.
It’s clear lifelong well-being within the gay male community, both spiritual and physical, has been Kilhefner’s life calling: In 1999 he co-founded the Gay Men’s Medical Circle in West Hollywood, and in 2009 the Gay Elder Circle, which he describes as “a group of old gay men who are consciously embodying and claiming the role of ‘gay elder’ in our community.”
But he doesn’t let the youngin’s off the hook, either. In a column for L.A.’s Frontiers magazine, he wrote: “Forty years after Stonewall, the legacy of the work of my generation, the Gay Liberation generation, is visibility where there was invisibility, self-respect where there was self-loathing, defiance where there was fear, and community where there was aloneness. What will be the legacy of your generation? My heartfelt blessings are on your efforts.”
NEXT: Forty-plus years on the front lines (and headlines) of Chicago