The march rally call says; “Let’s remember gay hero Harvey Milk!”
We say; “Harvey Milk was no hero. He was a straight-pandering Republican, responsible for the gentrification of the Castro and the criminalization of trans sex workers in San Francisco.
If you’re going to celebrate the so-called “revolutionaries” of electoral politics, rather than actual revolutionaries like Sylvia Rivera, Marsha P. Johnson, and Jim Fouratt; it is questionable why you’d pick a white, straight-acting Republican like Harvey Milk.
Why pick someone someone who embodies the “Just Like You!” attitude of the straight establishment; when there are candidates like Jose Sarria, an openly gay gender variant person of color who actively campaigned against police brutality and gentrification, who even ran for the very same office (S.F. Board of Supervisors) a decade before Milk in 1961?
If this rally is for a revolution of social liberation, why did people simply pick-and-choose to celebrate queer history that best fits in with Hollywood’s film screening schedules? (Did anyone even know who Harvey Milk was before the movie came out in 2008?)
Liberation, Not Assimilation: Against the Harvey Milk Day of Action (via socialistexan)
let’s do a little bit of fact-checking - sourced from randy shilts’ “the mayor of castro street:”
1. “republican” - harvey milk was only a republican while he was closeted and working a 9 to 5 job in new york’s financial district prior to his coming out and moving to san fransisco. during his political career, he constantly and consistently railed against the right and against social and economic conservative interests.
2. “straight-pandering” - harvey was anything but. harvey milk’s political career was predicated upon his opposition to the straight-pandering activities of the wealthy, well-established homosexual and democratic party establishment. many of harvey’s contemporaries, wealthy homosexual men like david goodstein and rick stokes, sought to endear wealthy liberals to their cause and used their clout to support straight candidates. harvey was of the gay community and for the gay community; the straight-pandering liberal establishment openly despised him.
3. “responsible for the gentrification of the castro” - oh, undoubtedly, harvey was highly influential in revitalizing the economy of his neighbourhood and turning it into a destination spot and a safe haven for the gay community. but there were other forces at work in 1970s san fransisco - namely, the pro-business economic policies of politicians like dianne feinstein and george moscone. harvey unequivocally supported neighbourhood businesses and the economic interests of the poor.
4. “responsible for the criminalization of trans sex workers in san fransisco” - this is totally untrue. harvey was a supporter of sex workers’ rights and trans+ rights and worked actively to defend both groups.
5. “white” - yes, harvey milk was white, but a quick look through his speeches reveals that he often spent more time talking about race issues than gay issues. he called for the closure of the united states’ embassy in south africa. he lobbied fiercely against legislation that would have reduced the wages of POC city employees. POC san fransiscans had an ally in harvey milk, and his closest friends and political allies - ever heard of michael wong? - were people of colour.
6. “straight-acting” - i literally just laughed out loud in WHAT universe was harvey milk straight-acting oh my fucking god - he was openly, publicly, and vocally gay, he had relationships with men, he marched to his swearing-in with his arm over his boyfriend’s shoulder. straight-acting???? what?????????????
7. jose sarria was a fucking hero. acknowledging harvey milk’s contributions to the gay community does not negate the incredible work that sarria did in san fransisco’s queer community, doesn’t negate his advocacy against police brutality, doesn’t negate his courageous run for office. the reason there’s a movie about milk and not sarria is that sarria only ran for public office once before leaving organized political life; milk ran four times, got elected, enacted massive gay rights reform, and was assassinated for his efforts.
8. by the way, jose sarria endorsed harvey milk. they were friends and political allies.
9. “did anyone even know who harvey milk was before 2008?” - um, try the entire population of san fransisco? most of california? most of the united states when dan white’s trial blew up in the national media? try president carter, who publicly endorsed milk’s causes and personally corresponded with him? are you aware that “the times of harvey milk,” a documentary film about milk’s life, won the 1984 academy award for best documentary feature? yeah, people knew who harvey milk was before 2008.
do you even know who harvey milk was?
because it sure as fuck doesn’t sound like it.
→ Benji Schwimmer’s Naked Truth
What was the final straw that prompted you to leave the church?
When a gay member of the church confesses to even the most minimal of homosexual activity—if you’ve seen the movie Latter Days, it was like that, but it wasn’t as hateful or cinematic. [For me] it was very cathartic. They called me in and explained [I would go through] disfellowshipment, a time where we don’t
participate in activities in the church, can’t pray in public. Every member has a church record, and during the time when you’re disfellowshipped, you have a little asterisk by your name, explaining what’s going on with your situation.
As of early last year, when I went through it, my stake president said, that asterisk will stay forever on your record. You can still become active after this year, but there are some limitations. You won’t ever be able to serve with the youth of the church. And I thought to myself, I am no pedophile, and in no way does homosexuality equate to pedophilia. I never doubted one thing in the Mormon church until they changed that policy. Then I had a spiritual experience that said, it’s time for you to leave. It was the most divine, true, soul-searching experience that I’ve ever felt.
And you got an asterisk symbol tattooed just behind your ear…
I’ve had about six other friends get the same tattoo. It’s kind of like we were marked. However difficult it was, we do remember the pain that we went through—and also the progress. It’s nice to be a part of a movement, a moment, that helped change your life or someone else’s. Once I kind of came to my senses and I saw things from the outside, and wasn’t so brainwashed, I realized—we can change.
We can make a difference. Even though I would never want to go back to the church, I feel bad for little Timmy or little Susie, who’s a lesbian and theoretically wants to stay there because she likes the community. I can see that appeal.
We all need community, no matter who we are. We all fear rejection from our family, faith and friends.
→ A Father, a Son and a Fighting Chance
I would describe to you what this article is about, but I want you to be as touched and strengthened as I was by the emotional impact of this story.
I will say that it is about the love a father has for his son and his son’s partner who wish to get married before they become fathers themselves.
As the country celebrates LGBT Pride month throughout June, photographer Samantha Box aims to remind us that, in spite of tremendous progress, vulnerable LGBT youth still suffer in the shadows.
On any given night in New York City, an estimated 4,000 LGBT youth roam the city without a home. As the country celebrates LGBT Pride month throughout June, Box aims to remind us that, in spite of tremendous progress, vulnerable LGBT youth still suffer in the shadows. According to a recent study by the Empire State Coalition of Youth and Family Services, an estimated 25-40% of homeless youth in New York City identify as gay, bisexual, and/or transgender. These young adults must navigate a social and cultural landscape punctuated by multiple layers of stigma in regards to race, gender, class and sexuality. Many suffer from a history of trauma. Most, if not all, have fled broken homes.
Read more: http://lightbox.time.com/2012/06/12/invisible/#ixzz1xe92OcIx
LGBTQ* 2011 Movies You May Have Missed
- Tomboy (French Film) — following a move, a 10-year introduces himself to his classmates and friends with pronouns he feels more comfortable with. Things become tense when adults and other children learn that his biological sex doesn’t reflect his presentation
- The Beginners — a series of flashbacks carries the audience through Ed Nortons current life and his father’s coming out promise (which begins in his golden years)
- Pariah — story of 17-year old African American teenager Alike and her experiences as she embraces her identity as a lesbian
- Albert Nobbs — Glenn Close stars in this period drama about gender expression, sexual orientation, gender roles and class structure
- Every Day — the story of a family under strain after years of marriage and a son’s coming out process and desire to find love
- Weekend (British) — film about a one-night stand that turns into something neither party expected and everything that can change someone’s outlook
ugh no don’t watch albert nobbs
still need to see pariah tho!
While pop culture makes the 80s out to be all bad perms, neon, and saccharine pop songs, on a deeper level this was a profoundly transformative decade for the arts. The AIDS crisis brought about the foreboding feeling of the end of times, while feminism ruptured tradition and opened possibilities for a new relationship between genders. The exhibition “This Will Have Been: Art, Love, & Politics in the 1980s” gives a deep look at the fears and desires that pulsed throughout this tumultuous era.
Figgins tells the teachers they’ve gotta take immediate action to prevent “cluster suicide” (aka “The Werther Effect,” named for The Sorrows of Young Werther, a Goethe novel about a “massive wave of emulation suicides after a widely publicized suicide”), which’d be meta if Figgins didn’t completely miss the mark in his interpretation of how, precisely, to prevent such a thing — while it’s true that increased consciousness, support and empathy from school administration will do worlds to help other kids at risk, that’s not specifically what’s at stake with The Werther Effect.
“Copycat suicide” happens when a person emulates someone else’s suicide based on knowledge gleemed about that suicide from television or the media. “Cluster suicides” happen when a well-known suicide, aka a “suicide contagion,” spreads throughout a school system, community or, where celebrities or other public figures are concerned, nationally. Wikipedia notes that “to prevent this type of suicide, it is customary in some countries for the media to discourage suicide reports except in special cases.”
Just simmer on that for a bit, k? Just absorb this episode and simmer on that.