Wow. I went to see MILK tonight at the Castro Theatre on Castro Street in San Francisco tonight. What an incredibly well done and powerful movie. It tells the story of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected official in the United States.
It was incredible to be at ground zero for this story, in the same Castro Theatre that you see in the movie, to walk out the door to walk up the street where these events took place and where 30,000-40,000 people marched in silent vigil the night that Harvey Milk and George Moscone were murdered.
Given that it is Thanksgiving, I choose to use today to give thanks to those who have come before me in the gay community who have fought and struggled and been beaten and disrespected and who continued to hold their heads high, claim their place in the world, and say, “we will not be quiet and we will not go along to get along.”
Here we are thirty years later and the instead of Anita Bryant trying to take away civil rights, we now have the Church of the Latter Day Saints spending money and influencing voting to take away marriage rights from gays. Milk fought Prop 6. We just lost Prop 8. The names will change, and the battles will continue because as Martin Luther King said: “We shall overcome because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”
So for Thanksgiving today, I’m going to say thanks to those people who have fought and who continue to fight. I’m going to thank all the people who came before me who have made it easy for those who came later to be truly themselves in the world. I came out in the 1990’s. It was very easy for me because of the struggles of those people in the past. I know that my life would have been very different had I been born a few years earlier and I owe you all a debt of gratitude I can never repay. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you, thank you, thank you.