Jewel Thief Was The “Robin Hood” Of Gay Liberation

eddie sandiferLooking for a nice-time feel-good story? Check out our new hero, Eddie Sandifer. Back in the 1960s, he robbed a couple of jewelry stores in order to raise money for civil rights causes.

OK, so maybe nighttime burglary is kind of a problematic strategy, movement-wise. But Eddie’s heart was always in the right place, and his caper certainly sounds exciting.

Apparently he used to check out a store ahead of time, planning escape routes across train tracks. He would time his heists so that he could get across the tracks just before trains came by, so police would be unable to follow him. It’s like something out of a movie.

This all happened in Mississippi, during some of the hardest struggles of the civil rights era. The money that he raised went towards causes grass-roots organizations fighting for equality.

And LGBT liberation wasn’t his only cause. He was also active with the NAACP — though that group was reluctant to work with queers. (Of course, that’s changed very much these days.) He also advocated for the rights of seniors.

In later years, he provided transportation to people with AIDS who were unable to escape hostile conditions on their own.

And although his burglary career is over, he’s still volunteering to help HIV+ folks. There’s just no end to his selflessness! We hope someone is working on a biography of Eddie Sandifer, because this is one story we just can’t get enough of.

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  • Charlie in Charge

    Hey that’s one way to make a difference. If Robin Hood is a hero for robbing the rich and giving to the poor then I don’t see why we can’t extend the same to Sandifer.

  • Merv

    Whenever I hear “gay jewel thief,” I think of Svend Robinson.

  • Mezaien

    @Merv: “Sven Robinson” what about the “Pink Panther.

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