Lesbians are at risk. If straight feminists can rally for each other, why can’t they do the same for lesbians? Straight feminists need to ask themselves why 44 years after Betty Friedan declared war on the “lavender menace,” that’s the one tenet of second-wave feminism that straight feminists seem determined to defend.
Okay, I was wrong about that, his Wikipedia page says he was a Democrat. And he did support a lot of good causes when he was on the city council in San Francisco. I think what stuck in my craw about that one post was that it seemed to imply that he was some sort of fiery radical queer when in fact he was in many ways the Dan Savage of his time because he wrought a lot of divisions in the people who initially supported him, and then there are things like this:
Milk, however, took advantage of the opportunity to illustrate his cause that public perception of gay people would be improved if they came out of the closet. He told a friend: “It’s too good an opportunity. For once we can show that gays do heroic things, not just all that ca-ca about molesting children and hanging out in bathrooms.”
It just seems like he won a lot of appeal by playing to people’s stereotypes and being conciliatory. I’m often loath to call people assimilationists but that’s what he strikes me as.
do you seriously not understand that we’re talking about the 1970s, when coming out was a much bigger deal than it is now, much more dangerous and much more rare, and that it actually was important for people like Harvey milk to come out precisely because most straight people had never knowingly known any out gay people, much less looked up to - or voted for! - an openly gay person?
the reason why it’s much easier for many people to be out now is that people like harvey milk dared to be out. calling him an “assimilationist” for acknowledging the disgusting homophobic assumptions many people made about gay people - and still do, but to a far greater extent in the 70s - and risking his career and eventually losing his life to change that, is as appalling as it is ahistorical. God help us all.