William Percy (Dec 10, 1933 - October 30, 2022) was a well-known Gay Historian.
I am a Southerner; an Episcopal atheist; a former Republican; a capitalist; a refugee from the Ku Klux Klan, the Southern Baptists, and other members of the fundamentalist Protestant right; and a gay activist. I am also the senior professor of history and the senior pre-law advisor at UMB. I attended nine universities and have taught in nine. I have published 5 books, a dozen articles, about 100 notes (short articles), and 100 book reviews. From me you will gain a different perspective. On this politically correct campus I am diversity itself: a semi-expired white male of the old school.
Percy's contributions on the subject of Pederasty are voluminous and highly regarded among social historians and those interested in boys' sexual relationships with older men.
He had already survived much against the odds: HIV, COPD, prostate cancer, a stroke. [...] I first became acquainted with him in the fall of 2002, when I was on the East Coast as a fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and had been invited to lecture at Boston University. I had reviewed one of his books and Bill had reviewed one of my books for the Gay & Lesbian Review. Through a mutual friend (the foundation’s vice president), Bill invited me to a party in my honor at his antique-stuffed South End townhouse. The following spring, when I was a Humboldt fellow in Berlin, Bill somehow showed up in Berlin, where he and I spent more time together, getting to know personalities as diverse as Erwin Haeberle, Arno Schmitt, and Egmont Fassbinder. Unlike me, Bill was a shameless extrovert. We quickly became friends and visited each other at least once or twice a year until the dismal days of COVID. What impressed me about Bill was his willingness to defy political correctness and popular Zeitgeist. Opposed to a gay movement that had become corporatized and obsessed with respectability, Bill sought to reclaim the discarded and more frankly sexual elements of historical gay liberation struggles, what he called “the five P’s”: prostitution, pornography, promiscuity, pederasty, and “paraphernalia” (i.e., sex toys, poppers, other sex aids). I suggested and he readily agreed to a sixth P, which was public sex. Bill himself admitted to personal investment in only one (or maybe two) of the P’s, but what he recognized in all of them were historical aspects of gay life that had come to be swept under the rug and denied by mainstream gay media and organizations, even though they continued to play a prominent part in the lives of many gay men. With this insight was born my proposal that we form the Percy Foundation as an effort to pool the resources of the many gay men who wish to see the gay movement return to the heady liberationist goals of the 1970s, before the reactionary assimilationism and political correctness of later decades advanced limited officially recognized rights at the expense of the very qualities that made gay sex genuinely subversive and revolutionary in previous eras.