11 December 2008


You gotta go see it. The story of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay politician ever elected to office (where else, but in San Francisco? One more reason why I LOVE THAT CITY).

Me and Pete saw it opening weekend, and it was just...awe-inspiring. I wish that I had been alive at this time. And the thing is, I talked to my parents about it afterwards (this isn't really a spoiler, but Harvey Milk was assassinated in office in 1978, a couple years after he had been politically active), and they had NO REMEMBRANCE of this happening. They don't remember a gay politician, they don't remember an assassination, they don't remember Proposition 6, which was all about firing openly gay teachers, and the people that support them...

And the thing that I found so odd about this was that my parents are extremely open. I mean, we live in SOULARD. I love Soulard, with my whole heart. I loved growing up around lots of gay men and lesbians, because this is one of the big reasons why I am so open towards all types of people. I was exposed to all types of people as a kid, and from a young age, I have HATED hearing anyone say "that's gay" or "ooooh you're so gay". I HATE it. I correct the kids at Wilson who say it (which happens so much. It breaks my heart.) I correct my friends.

I remember one time, my friend Katrina was over at my house. We had a list of emergency phone numbers by our phone in the playroom, because I was probably in like 6th grade. We still had babysitters sometimes, but if mom and dad were just going to be next door, me and Emme would just stay home by ourselves. The "emergency" list consisted of phone numbers of our neighbors, doctors, family members, etc...and John and Steve were at the top of the list (which makes sense, because they live next door). So Katrina is reading the list, and she reads "John and Steve", and says, "Hey, Kaylen. Where's the lady in that one?" And it was at this time that I realized, hey. Most kids my age have NO clue whatsoever. They think that "gay" is demeaning, and vulgar, and gross. They think it's a joke.

And unfortunately, I still believe that most people my age (and really, lots of people EVERYWHERE) don't understand being gay. They don't understand that it isn't a choice. They don't understand that when two people love each other, they should have ALL RIGHTS POSSIBLE. So many married couples that I have known haven't had kids. So many straight couples I've known have gotten divorced. There are so many families that I have seen torn apart, because of divorce, because of cheating, because of problems...and I know many, many more long-term happy gay couples than long-term straight couples.

In short, this is a topic that I am extremely passionate about. I'm not the type of person to shove thoughts and ideas down another's throat...but this is something I just DON'T UNDERSTAND. I hate that people so strongly oppose gay people's unions. Like I said, what about the straight couples that get married and don't have kids? It's the exact same thing. And no one says that you can't get married unless you plan to procreate.

Anita Bryant said (this is in real life, in the 1970s) "If homosexuals are allowed their civil rights, then so would prostitutes, or thieves, or anyone else." They showed archive footage of this interview in the movie, and I think that the whole theatre just sort of gasped. I was amazed that this woman thought this at all! And then I realized, well, if she thinks that...then lots of people must think that.

Harvey Milk said, "All men are created equal. No matter how hard you try, you can NEVER erase those words!"

No words have been truer. To Harvey Milk, thank you. Thank you for putting yourself out there. I wish I could have met you. I think we would have had a lot of fun together.

Now, please, everyone watch this. I cannot think of a more inspirational movie that I have seen. Everyone is brilliant. And please, please, PLEASE...go see it.

Also, if you are so interested, here's an article that was published on Thanksgiving of this year. This was the 30th anniversary of Harvey being assassinated. Reading this made me cry, so be forewarned. The movie and this article have lots of parallel thoughts and ideas, so it's nice to supplement.


Bridgett said...

Well said.

Laura said...

I am dieing to see this movie...& get this - the Carbondale theater is refusing to show it because "it's too controversial" ...WTF? Seriously? What year is this again? It makes me sick.

Lauren K said...

Wow, Laura that's shocking honestly. I look forward to seeing it over my holiday. My boyfriend is currently living in San Francisco and had the chance to see an early showing of it in their historic theater...so, jealous!