Harvey Bernard Milk May 22, — November 27, was an American politician and the first openly gay elected official in the history of California , where he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Although he was the most pro- LGBT politician in the United States at the time, politics and activism were not his early interests; he was neither open about his sexuality nor civically active until he was 40, after his experiences in the counterculture movement of the s. He took advantage of the growing political and economic power of the neighborhood to promote his interests and unsuccessfully ran three times for political office. Milk's theatrical campaigns earned him increasing popularity, and in he won a seat as a city supervisor. His election was made possible by a key component of a shift in San Francisco politics. Milk served almost eleven months in office, during which he sponsored a bill banning discrimination in public accommodations, housing, and employment on the basis of sexual orientation.
Tim Dillon Just Wants the Truth
As supervisor, Milk sponsored only two laws--predictably, one barring anti-gay discrimination, and, less so, a law forcing dog owners to clean pets' messes from sidewalks. He lobbied for the latter with a staged amble through a park that ended with his stepping in it. Editors loved the little item, as Milk knew they would, and he explained the stunt this way: "All over the country, they're reading about me, and the story doesn't center on me being gay. It's just about a gay person who is doing his job. Realizing one is gay is usually cause for terror, or at least mortification, but Milk felt too great a sense of entitlement to let either emotion prevail. Born to a successful retail-clothing family on New York's Long Island, Milk was a popular high school athlete and jokester. According to the biography The Mayor of Castro Street by Randy Shilts, Milk had no trouble recognizing his desires; as a boy he would venture to a gay section of Central Park, where in he was arrested for doffing his shirt he was
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Taking a New Gamble: Richard Kwietniowski Returns after a Long Absence with Owning Mahowny, His Obsession-Drenched Follow-Up to Love and Death on Long Island. (Film)
Commissioned by Lambda Literary, this article appeared in August Special thanks to Parrish Turner as editor. It was a journey between islands, after all: from Manhattan, to Long Island, to Fire Island, and the last island of the three was nothing but a sandbar, as a slim as a parenthesis, enclosing the Atlantic, the very last fringe of soil on which a man might put up his house, and leave behind him all - absolutely all - of that huge continent to the west Although I have spent thirty years of my life writing about the heroism of gay men, I have also come to understand their particular brand of cowardice. There is a destructive impulse inside many white gay men, where they become cruel or child-like or spineless out of rage about not having the privileges that straight men of our race take for granted.
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