Rev. Malcolm Boyd (1923-2015)

A full Interview Transcript is available to donors by clicking HERE.

Reverend Canon Malcolm Boyd‘s life (June 8, 1923 – February 27, 2015) was filled with opportunity, and Malcolm incorporated these experiences into his unique spiritual perspective—from an early life of lost privilege in the Great Depression, to his Hollywood career, and finally into his life of service. Malcolm Boyd grew from atheism to spirituality and faith, leveraging his call to service to work on racial and LGBTQ civil rights. His influence was sustained by 30+ years of love and devotion with his partner and husband, Mark Thompson.

Rev. Boyd was an activist for both racial equality and LGBTQ rights. He was involved with Dr. Martin Luther King’s civil rights movement.  When Malcolm declared his homosexuality in the mid-70s, he became one of the most prominent mainstream clergy to do so at the time. It was through his civil rights work that he met Mark Thompson. He then began his final tour of civil rights duty through the living example of a gay marriage that was both intellectually and spiritually collaborative. Together he and Mark settled in Silver Lake and served the community in many different positions, including the Board of White Crane, contributing to its magazine.

Malcolm began writing in middle school and continued to write to the end of his life. He explored the world with a spiritual grace, finding God in all he encountered.  Rev. Boyd authored/edited over 30 books, served three terms as president of PEN Center USA West and frequently wrote reviews for the Los Angeles Times. Late in his career, Malcolm wrote a column for Modern Maturity, a column for The Episcopal News and a regular column for the Huffington Post’s section on religion.

Malcolm was born into privilege as the only child of Melville Boyd, a financier and investment banker, and Beatrice Lowrie, a fashion model. Circumstances changed with the Stock Market Crash of 1929, the subsequent Great Depression and his parent’s divorce. His mother retained custody of young Malcolm, moving to Colorado Springs and then Denver, Colorado. Boyd was an atheist earlier in his life, but always felt something was missing. That something called him to service in the Episcopal Church and his lifelong quest for meaning and substance.

THE LAVENDER EFFECT® was honored to interview Malcolm Boyd and Mark Thompson as part of the first group of Oral History Project interviewees in 2013 (  They again graced us with their presence on our Pioneer Heritage Float in the 2014 Los Angeles Pride Celebration.

Go to to view Malcolm’s extensive biography by decade.



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