“If a bullet should enter by brain, let that bullet destroy every closet door.”
Today in America it’s not unusual for a gay man or a lesbian to hold public office. Among them include Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, and New York State Senator Thomas Duane. But years ago that idea seemed unfathomable.
That was the status quo…until Harvey Milk changed everything. In 1977, Milk was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and became the first openly gay person to do so. However Milk’s life and that of Mayor George Moscone ended on Nov. 27, 1978, when both men were assassinated by former supervisor Dan White.
The story of Milk and the San Francisco gay rights movement is told in the documentary film “The Times of Harvey Milk.” Released 25 years ago, it is one of the greatest documentaries ever. Thankfully this Oscar-winning movie is now available in its entirey both on YouTube and Hulu. It is must-see viewing for everybody, especially for those who have only seen last year’s Gus Van Sant-directed dramatization “Milk,” for which Sean Penn won an Academy Award for his portrayal of the slain supervisor.