Posts Tagged ‘Harvey Milk’

Harvey Milk – interviews with his friends

Written on January 15th, 2009 by Suzanneno shouts

Doug from towardequality.com was able to interview 2 of Harvey Milk’s childhood friends and the daughter of one that has passed away. If you want to, you can go read them at www.towardequality.org - just click on HARVEY MILK on the left hand side. It’s really interesting.

Christmas, Milk, and whatever else there is

Written on January 6th, 2009 by Suzanneno shouts

Christmas at our house was rather quiet but very enjoyable.  While I miss the big, huge family holidays, the way they used to be when I was a child, I also enjoy the smaller, more quiet celebrations that I have with my son and my partner.  Christmas Day we went to friends of ours that have become much like a family and we also spent new Years Eve with them.  Though, I don’t think I will ever get used to New Years Eve in the United States.  It is definitely a much more exciting celebration in Germany.  We don’t usually start to party until PM and the party really doesn’t start fully until midnight – after all, we celebrate the New Year and not the outgoing one.  Parties rarely end before 3 in the morning, because at midnight we go outside and set fireworks off – imagine an entire city of 3 million people engulfed by fireworks.  Growing up there wasn’t a house on my street that did not have its own fireworks (oh and – before I forget – we never had accidents either).  I remember standing on the roof of our five story house and shotting bottle rockets into the air.  It was awesome.  The next morning I would get up and watch the New Years Ski Jumping on TV (something I miss a lot here too) and at some point we would go outside, the smell of gun powder still hovering over the city.  New Years Day was always a very quiet day – people were tired, hung over, busy cleaning up from last night’s party, and busy removing the old and letting in the new.  I can’t even describe the mood that day – sadness mixed in with joy – and a general curiosity of what lays ahead.  This day (the fifth of January) also signaled the end of the school break – by the 5th we had to go back to school (that’s also the day many of us took their Christmas tree down and finally removed the Christmas presents from the living room).

 

We went to he movies once during the holidays – to watch Milk, the movie about Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected official.  I wrote about that movie before.  The movie was very well done and Sean Penn did an excellent job.  Upon exiting the movie one of my friends stated that the movie was awesome or something along those lines – I responded that I can’t describe a movie that is a true and sad story with that word – instead I found it aggravating, saddening, and empowering.  Whenever I watch movies like that, I know that the fight isn’t over – not for a long time – and that unless we keep fighting,t here will never be true equality.  I also know that there is something everybody interested in true equality can do to help out.  After the movie my partner and I felt very drained and we both stated that we needed to do something “very gay/lesbian” rather then look at the straight people crossing our paths and be angry at them.  So we did the one thing we knew would lighten out moods and we went to Lambda Rising, a book store for gays and lesbians in Rehoboth Beach.  We purchased, among others, a movie about the Times of Harvey Milk, a book about Harvey Milk, and a book about the AIDS Quilt (the founder of the quilt was on Harvey Milk’s campaign team).  I am glad the store didn’t have a shirt saying “Don’t feed the straight people” — I believe I would have been very tempted to buy it.  I know, not all heterosexuals are narrow minded bigots, but still – after watching movies like that it just stirrs up something inside of me.  I don’t think any heterosexual person will ever truly understand how gays and lesbians feel when faced with discrimination against us and knowing that this discrimination and hatred has taken the lives of some of our brothers and sisters – and they are brothers and sisters even if there may not be anything else we have in common then our sexual orientation.

What else?  Not much – i think it is time to get off the soap box for the moment.  more later — maybe.

Speech by Harvey Milk

Written on November 14th, 2008 by Suzanneno shouts

The Hope Speech

You see there is a major difference–and it remains a vital difference–between a friend and a gay person, a friend in office and a gay person in office. Gay people have been slandered nationwide. We’ve been tarred and we’ve been brushed with the picture of pornography. In Dade County, we were accused of child molestation. It’s not enough anymore just to have friends represent us. No matter how good that friend may be.

The black community made up its mind to that a long time ago. That the myths against blacks can only be dispelled by electing black leaders, so the black community could be judged by the leaders and not by the myths or black criminals. The Spanish community must not be judged by Latin criminals or myths. The Asian community must not be judged by Asian criminals or myths. The Italian community should not be judged by the mafia myths. And the time has come when the gay community must not be judged by our criminals and myths.

Like every other group, we must be judged by our leaders and by those who are themselves gay, those who are visible. For invisible, we remain in limbo–a myth, a person with no parents, no brothers, no sisters, no friends who are straight, no important positions in employment. A tenth of a nation supposedly composed of stereotypes and would-be seducers of children–and no offense meant to the stereotypes. But today, the black community is not judged by its friends, but by its black legislators and leaders. And we must give people the chance to judge us by our leaders and legislators. A gay person in office can set a tone, can command respect not only from the larger community, but from the young people in our own community who need both examples and hope.

The first gay people we elect must be strong. They must not be content to sit in the back of the bus. They must not be content to accept pabulum. They must be above wheeling and dealing. They must be–for the good of all of us–independent, unbought. The anger and the frustrations that some of us feel is because we are misunderstood, and friends can’t feel that anger and frustration. They can sense it in us, but they can’t feel it. Because a friend has never gone through what is known as coming out. I will never forget what it was like coming out and having nobody to look up toward. I remember the lack of hope–and our friends can’t fulfill that.

I can’t forget the looks on faces of people who’ve lost hope. Be they gay, be they seniors, be they black looking for an almost-impossible job, be they Latins trying to explain their problems and aspirations in a tongue that’s foreign to them. I personally will never forget that people are more important than buildings. I use the word “I” because I’m proud. I stand here tonight in front of my gay sisters, brothers and friends because I’m proud of you. I think it’s time that we have many legislators who are gay and proud of that fact and do not have to remain in the closet. I think that a gay person, up-front, will not walk away from a responsibility and be afraid of being tossed out of office. After Dade County, I walked among the angry and the frustrated night after night and I looked at their faces. And in San Francisco, three days before Gay Pride Day, a person was killed just because he was gay. And that night, I walked among the sad and the frustrated at City Hall in San Francisco and later that night as they lit candles on Castro Street and stood in silence, reaching out for some symbolic thing that would give them hope. These were strong people, people whose faces I knew from the shop, the streets, meetings and people who I never saw before but I knew. They were strong, but even they needed hope.

And the young gay people in the Altoona, Pennsylvania and the Richmond, Minnesota who are coming out and hear Anita Bryant on television and her story. The only thing they have to look forward to is hope. And you have to give them hope. Hope for a better world, hope for a better tomorrow, hope for a better place to come to if the pressures at home are too great. Hope that all will be all right. Without hope, not only gays, but the blacks, the seniors, the handicapped, the us’es, the us’es will give up. And if you help elect to the central committee and more offices, more gay people, that gives a green light to all who feel disenfranchised, a green light to move forward. It means hope to a nation that has given up, because if a gay person makes it, the doors are open to everyone.

So if there is a message I have to give, it is that if I’ve found one overriding thing about my personal election, it’s the fact that if a gay person can be elected, it’s a green light. And you and you and you, you have to give people hope. Thank you very much.

Harvey Milk (cross posted to redwaterlily.com)

Written on November 14th, 2008 by Suzanneno shouts

I rarely ever go to the movies.  However, I know I will be going and watching “<a href=”http://www.filminfocus.com/focusfeatures/film/milk”>Milk</a>”, in Theaters starting November 26, 2008.

Excerpt from the film’s website:  <em>In 1977, Harvey Milk was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, becoming the first openly gay man to be voted into major public office in America. His victory was not just a victory for gay rights; he forged coalitions across the political spectrum. From senior citizens to union workers, Harvey Milk changed the very nature of what it means to be a fighter for human rights and became, before his untimely death in 1978, a hero for all Americans.</em>

After serving less then a year as city supervisor, Harvey Milk was assassinated, together with Mayor George Moscone, on November 27, 1978.  The killer, Dan White, was also a city supervisor.  White had resigned from his job but wanted it back.

This movie isn’t just about gay rights but it is about the fight for civil rights and I believe that every person should watch this movie.  Are you planning on watching MILK?  If yes, what is your motivation for wanting to watch it?

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Harvey Milk

Written on November 13th, 2008 by Suzanneno shouts

I rarely ever go to the movies.  However, I know I will be going and watching “Milk“, in Theaters starting November 26, 2008.

Excerpt from the film’s website:  In 1977, Harvey Milk was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, becoming the first openly gay man to be voted into major public office in America. His victory was not just a victory for gay rights; he forged coalitions across the political spectrum. From senior citizens to union workers, Harvey Milk changed the very nature of what it means to be a fighter for human rights and became, before his untimely death in 1978, a hero for all Americans.

After serving less then a year as city supervisor, Harvey Milk was assassinated, together with Mayor George Moscone, on November 27, 1978.  The killer, Dan White, was also a city supervisor.  White had resigned from his job but wanted it back. 

This movie isn’t just about gay rights but it is about the fight for civil rights and I believe that every person should watch this movie.  Are you planning on watching MILK?  If yes, what is your motivation for wanting to watch it?