Got Milk?


I’m an avid movie watcher, I love the cinema, film, the fantasy, the adventure, the romance, the reality….I think I come by this naturally, my Dad, he’s the same way!  However, since I’ve become a Mom, I don’t get to as many movies as I’d like, but I’m catching up through HBO, etc….last night I had the privilege and I do emphasize privilege of watching Milk.  I realize I’m a solid year behind the Oscar-winning performance by Sean Penn, but everything in divine order, correct?

His life changed history. His courage changed lives.

1972: Harvey Milk sets out to make a  significant difference in the world on his 40th birthday by not only moving across the country, but truly emerging into his authentic self.  He leaves New York City and the closet and heads to San Francisco, opens a camera shop in the Castro that becomes the salon for San Francisco’s growing gay community, and where he organizes gays’ purchasing power to build political alliances. Through several elections and losses both for a city seat and a state assembly seat, Milk becomes the first openly gay man in the United States to be elected to political office when he wins a San Francisco supervisor seat in 1977.  Milk was assassinated somewhere around his 48th birthday.  White, the shooter, serves 5 years……5 years (?), is released and commits suicide.

It is 2009, fast approaching 2010, roughly 30 years after Milk fought and protested against Prop 6-California Proposition 6 was an initiative on the California State ballot on November 7, 1978, and was more commonly known as The Briggs Initiative. Sponsored by John Briggs, a conservative state legislator from Orange County, the failed initiative would have banned gays and lesbians, and possibly anyone who supported gay rights, from working in California’s public schools.

Is this as perplexing to you as it is to me?  I went to elementary, middle school and high school in Spring, Texas in the 80’s…there were gay students, gay teachers and quite possibly gay parents, although, I can tell you, I’m not sure who all of them were, because, we didn’t make them wear t-shirts or nametags.  We respected them as educators, mentors, community members…..friends.

As I sit here today, 40 years old, fast approaching 2010, I’m in awe about what was happening in the 70’s in a liberal state like California, I had no idea.  But here is where I’m more in awe…why is this STILL happening?  Why can’t we, as a nation, understand that we ALL are entitled to civil rights?  That love see’s no color, no race, no gender, that people are inherently good until proven otherwise, this is what our judicial system believes, why can’t we span this across the whole tapestry of the human race?  Why does it have to be a segmented world?

We have spanned so much history, although the process of acceptance seems a little slow for my liking.  We elected the first black President in 2008, women were on the presidential ballot, gay men and women were elected state, city and county officials, why?  Why, because they have proven, just like everyone else, to be the best person for the job!  This election had Prop 8-that passed-stating that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.  Now, I’ve never claimed to be hugely political, but here’s what I know to be true, if there is “common law” marriage between a man and a woman who won’t commit to the act of marriage before their God and their witnesses, for whatever reason, they still receive full legal rights as a “married” couple.  Then why is it, that if two people of the same-sex, are devoted, committed and steadfast in their belief of marriage, we won’t allow that to happen?  I need a better reason than, “Proponents of the constitutional amendment argued that exclusively heterosexual marriage was “an essential institution of society,” that leaving the constitution unchanged would “result in public schools teaching our kids that gay marriage is okay,” and that gay people would “redefine marriage for everyone else.”

Hallelujah, I can think of a few marriages that I would love to see redefined!

I am teaching my kid, that ALL marriage is okay, if there is love, honor and commitment, then you have my blessing.  I am teaching my child to have conviction for what is right and wrong.  Love and commitment has never been wrong to me.  I am teaching my child to open his mind and arms and to hold close what is important, to love people for who they are, to embrace their differences, their cultures, their beliefs.  Because, that unifies us as one.  That is a tapestry that I want to see woven before I have grandchildren.  Because, who knows? I could have a son, nieces and nephews, grandchildren, that may say to me, I’m gay.  And you know what I will say to them?  I love you and I support you.

We need to continue the teaching, all it comes down to is understanding, the understanding that we all will find our beloved, whether it is a man, a woman, a mountain or a tree….and we all deserve to be free in that choice.  We all deserve to have the same rights, and I challenge you today, To be the change you wish to see in the world!

Divinely we are one.


One response »

  1. Amen to that sister! As a sister to a gay brother and his LONGTIME partner, it is incredibly frustrating to see their love and commitment to each other devalued simply because of their sexual orientation. They have a healthier, happier and more committed relationship then most couples I know, so go figure!

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