The Satyrs Motorcycle Club of Los Angeles is the oldest running gay men’s motorcycle club and organization in the world. Formed in 1954 during the height of the McCarthy era, seven men came together, bonded by the love of the motorcycle to form a club. It was not an easy time in America for gay men to congregate with fellow gay men. Homosexuals were deemed as deviants and undesirables in society.
The Satyrs was not the first gay & lesbian organization, that was the Mattachine Society formed in 1950. But the Mattachine Society had a Communist “cell structure”and drew the spying interest of J. Edgar Hoover who was focused on getting, founder, Harry Hay. Plus Senator Joe McCarthy’s hunt for “un-American activities and communism, along with internal fighting caused the Mattachine to shut down by 1953. They reorganized again 3 years later with a few rough starts as the One Society. Today, they are known as the One Archives Foundation at the USC Libraries, a respectful national repository of LGBT history.
The Satyrs are currently preserving the club’s archives to be entrusted in the near future at the One Archives Foundation for public and academic studies.