Harvey Milk | News | Thanksgiving

Giving Thanks for Harvey Milk


Harvey Milk was assassinated 30 years ago today in his SF City Hall office, as was Mayor George Moscone, by fellow supervisor Dan White. Five years ago today I posted THIS item and am gratified that in 2008 many more people are learning Milk's story.

Two items relevant to that, AFTER THE JUMP...

My thoughts today are also with the people of Mumbai, India as they suffer through a heinous, tragic loss of innocent life.

All of us at Towleroad wish you a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday.

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  1. Andy,

    I saw the movie "Milk" yesterday and was struck by the parallels between Harvey Milk's fight against Prop 6 and the fight against Prop 8. Scary! All of the things that Milk did to win over different groups to support gay rights were ignored by today's No on Prop 8 leaders.

    Posted by: noah | Nov 27, 2008 10:02:02 AM

  2. I was horrified to find out that a young man I know (31) didn't know anything about Harvey Milk. I'm dragging his butt off to see the movie tomorrow night.

    My generation has obviously done an extremely crappy job of educating the Gen X'ers in their gay history.

    Posted by: JoyZeeBoy | Nov 27, 2008 10:19:50 AM

  3. YOU and Towleroad make my life better Andy...and I'm thankful for that!!

    Posted by: todd | Nov 27, 2008 11:08:06 AM

  4. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours too Andy! And thanks for maintaining the very best source of gay news on the web.

    Posted by: Tom Clark | Nov 27, 2008 11:21:26 AM

  5. Andy,
    Todd took the words right out of my mouth.
    Thank you for doing what you do.
    Happy Thanksgiving.

    Posted by: Jesse | Nov 27, 2008 12:01:59 PM

  6. Giving Thanks, Andy. Your website offers us the ability to stay current on the important issues of our day, while also giving us enough fluff and fun to make the other stuff not drive us insane or nihilistic. Our Renaissance Man.

    Posted by: John Bisceglia | Nov 27, 2008 1:08:34 PM

  7. joining in the chorus, thanks for being a leader in today's gay scene, Andy. your work here is not only about news and pop culture, but an organizing location for how I think about gay life - your views and that of all the contributors.

    thanks for building out our community and extending the mission of leaders like Milk - appropriate for the time and focused on the need.

    Posted by: resurrect | Nov 27, 2008 1:44:02 PM

  8. Finally Gay history is being taught, and Not in the schools (even with the passage of Prop8, take that bigots). I saw the movie with a buddy and he was really moved (but not to tears, that's TOO Gay). He's now fired up to get involved with the Civil Rights struggle. Penn did a great job as did the other actors and actresses. As more Gay Americans see the film, I hope they understand the power of coalition building and being fearless. It's interesting how militant Gay Americans were 30 years ago and how timid they tend to be now.
    Thank you T.R. for this blog. Happy T.G.

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | Nov 27, 2008 3:18:58 PM

  9. If you live in the Bay Area, and come to see "Milk" at the Castro Theatre, or come to SF in the next year, you can view the clothes Milk was wearing the day he was shot as part of a yearlong exhibit of the GLBT Historical Society that opened yesterday a few yards down at the corner of Castro & 18th. The exhibit is open every day but major holidays from 11-7.

    I've sent a photo to Andy for those who can't see it in person.

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Nov 27, 2008 3:42:35 PM

  10. Andy...thanks for all the great work you do!

    MICHAEL BEDWELL, thanks for sending a pic of the exhibit to Andy. I can't wait to see it (hint, hint, Andy!).

    On Tuesday night I rented 'The Times Of Harvey Milk', an Oscar winning documentary about Supervisor Milk that was released in 1984. And on Wednesday night I saw 'MILK'. I enjoyed both films, but for me 'The Times Of Harvey Milk' was the better film. It was richer in detail, more informative and more emotional. Unfortunately, it lacked scene after scene after scene of James Franco and Sean Penn kissing, but then every movie has its weak points. If you haven't seen it, rent 'The Times Of Harvey Milk'. It better explains the political climate of San Francisco during Harvey Milk's rise to power and the role the San Francisco Police Department and the San Francisco District Attorney's Office played in insuring Harvey Milk's assassin got off as lightly as possible (they excluded gay men from serving on the jury). And it has some *great* scenes of faggots burning police cars and basically fucking shit up during the White Night Riot that followed the incredibly lenient sentencing of Dan White.

    Posted by: peterparker | Nov 27, 2008 4:41:52 PM

  11. As a 50 year old gay man, this was part of my history. I came out in Texas in1978 after hearing about "people coming out in San Francisco." I also vividly remember not buying orange juice to boycott Florida and Anita Bryant. She really represented the first major push of the "Moral Majority". My knowledge and appreciation for Milk came later. I think Sean Penn did an awesome job capturing Harvey. I really enjoyed the movie and I can't wait to see the documentary spoken of in a previous post.

    Happy holidays to all my brothers and sisters out there.

    Posted by: Pugzz | Nov 28, 2008 8:51:24 PM

  12. Happy Thanksgiving, Andy! And thanks for Towleroad. Keep up the great site, and know that many of us depend on you for information and news that really affect us, and touch us. At this time of being thankful for the blessings in our lives, acknowledging that you and your blog, are among my blessings I give thanks for. OK now how about a shirtless picture of your hot self?

    Posted by: Reggie | Nov 29, 2008 10:50:21 AM

  13. I saw "Milk" and loved it, but I think the 1985 documentary "The Times of Harvey Milk" packs a much bigger emotional wallop.

    Posted by: Hephaestion | Nov 29, 2008 7:05:50 PM

  14. Happy Thanksgiving to all... and also many thanks to Andy, for the great work!

    What a great man Harvey Milk was... what a great inspiration. He SHOULD be part of what is taught and celebrated. Hear that Arnie, you idiot? All that was requested recently was a day of RECOGNITION for Harvey and you vetoed it! You are NO friend to the gay community... your lip service is too little too late and a wast of energy, Mr Schwarzenegger!

    Posted by: CK | Nov 29, 2008 9:22:05 PM

  15. Didn't see this mentioned elsewhere -- today's NYT has an editorial endorsing CA's investigation into the Mormon church's activities in connection with Prop 8:

    Published: November 29, 2008

    California’s fair-elections commission is investigating a complaint against the Mormon Church’s role in campaigning for Proposition 8, which made marriage illegal between people of the same sex. Based on the facts that have come out so far, the state is right to look into whether the church broke state laws by failing to report campaign-related expenditures.

    Proposition 8, which California voters passed on Nov. 4, overturned a ruling by the California Supreme Court and wrote discrimination against one particular group of people into the State Constitution. After it passed, tens of thousands of people rallied in cities across the country in support of same-sex marriage. The California Supreme Court said recently that it would review whether Proposition 8 was constitutional.

    Mormons were a major force behind the ballot measure. Individual church members contributed millions of dollars and acted as campaign foot soldiers. The church itself also played an unusually large role. Michael R. Otterson, the managing director of public affairs for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — the full name of the Mormons’ church — said that while the church speaks out on other issues, like abortion, “we don’t get involved to the degree we did on this.”

    Fred Karger, the founder of a group called Californians Against Hate, who filed the complaint, contends that the Mormon Church provided significant contributions to the pro-Proposition 8 campaign that it did not report, as state law requires. The Fair Political Practices Commission of California is investigating, among other things, commercials, out-of-state phone banks and a Web site sponsored by the church.

    If the commission finds that the church violated state reporting laws, it could impose penalties of up to $5,000 per violation, and sue for additional amounts. The Mormon Church, which says it is sending information to the commission, says it did nothing wrong.

    Churches, which risk their tax-exempt status if they endorse candidates, have more leeway in referendum campaigns. Still, when they enter the political fray, they have the same obligation to follow the rules that nonreligious groups do.

    -- end --

    Posted by: todd | Nov 29, 2008 11:25:28 PM

  16. Saw "Milk" today and absoulutely loved it. Sean Penn deserves best actor award. We had lousy seats because by the time we got to the theater it was packed. and one of the most remarkable things was it was a mixture of gay and straight people of all different ages. we didn't mind sitting in the front seats knowing we were seeing something great!! I was moved to tears, especially having just participated in the big march for gay marriage. see this film!!

    Posted by: paul | Nov 29, 2008 11:54:29 PM

  17. I live right across the street from where Harvey Milk had his Castro Camera Shop here in San Fran, and it was fun watching them making the movie out my window last year. Seeing "Milk" has made has reinvigorated my community spirit and activism that has been lax in recent years.....Also check out Randy Shilts' book about Harvey called "The Mayor of Castro Street", which is a great document of those times. Also, thanks for doing this blog,,,,I always learn something or am entertained....keep it up!

    Posted by: chowderSF | Nov 30, 2008 9:19:46 AM

  18. In 1984, I was a Board member for MCC New Haven. That summer, we planned to observe the church's 10th anniversary with week-long events, the culmination of which was a sermon by the Rev. Troy Perry on Sunday. For me, premiering 'The Times of Harvey Milk' as a church funraiser, and interacting with the late Vito Russo (Celluloid Closet) in having the film shown in New Haven at Yale before its public release will stay etched in my mind. That film is one for the ages!!!

    Posted by: Bryan | Nov 30, 2008 10:12:19 AM

  19. In 1984, I was a Board member for MCC New Haven. That summer, we planned to observe the church's 10th anniversary with week-long events, the culmination of which was a sermon by the Rev. Troy Perry on Sunday. For me, premiering 'The Times of Harvey Milk' as a church funraiser, and interacting with the late Vito Russo (Celluloid Closet) in having the film shown in New Haven at Yale before its public release will stay etched in my mind. That film is one for the ages!!!

    Posted by: Bryan | Nov 30, 2008 10:13:26 AM

  20. May the blood of Jesus wash clean your souls! Repent before it is too late

    Posted by: Barb | Nov 30, 2008 10:30:13 AM

  21. Thanksgiving night went to see MILK after a special dinner out --- four gay men treated like kings by the Boston waitstaff, swapping orgy stories we may have heard - and a gay divorce.

    Then MILK in Brookline.

    Could being gay ever had been that hard.
    Nice to be able to feel that so over the rainbow of gay civil marriage.

    Then we have Prop. 8, and Florida to win back.

    new xxx pic updates - Happy Thanksgiving

    Posted by: RJP3 | Nov 30, 2008 11:36:41 AM

  22. Thanks Anita Bry...I mean Barb. Your concern is duly noted and you are welcome to get back to your miserable life now.


    Posted by: Banne | Nov 30, 2008 12:32:47 PM

  23. What a great film. But everyone should alos watch the '85 documentary.

    If only we had someone as charismatic as Harvey Milk on the scene today...

    Or even someone as charismatic as Sean Penn.

    Posted by: Jeff NYC | Nov 30, 2008 4:53:20 PM

  24. Playing in just 36 theaters "Milk" placed 10th at the box office this holiday weekend, with a better per-screen-average
    than the Number 1 film "Four Chistmases."

    On Friday it breaks wider.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Nov 30, 2008 5:41:01 PM

  25. Banne-- I didn't thought Barb was referring to the anti-gay folks, not us. They should repent before it's too late she was saying. I think you misinterpreted her warning. :-)

    Posted by: tjc | Nov 30, 2008 7:45:28 PM

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