Here at glaadBLOG, we're really excited because there are only five days left until Gus Van Sant's Harvey Milk biopic Milk hits select theaters! In honor of that special day (November 26) we're bringing you a daily fun fact about the man himself!
San Francisco magazine recently asked public figures what the world would be like if Harvey Milk had lived. Today, two activists, Anne Kronenberg and Cleve Jones, weigh in.
According to Kronenberg, San Francisco would have had more emotional energy to focus on AIDS...
The assasinations happened right after Jonestown. Remember, Jim Jones and Peoples Temple were from San Francisco, so the two events together were a horrible double whammy. There was a pall over everything. It took a long time for the city to recover. We were still recovering when the AIDS epidemic began.
And Cleve Jones says the gay community would have had an effective leader when it needed one the most...
I think Harvey Milk could have made a profound difference in that crucial first year of the epidemic, on issues like what to do about the bathhouses. Because what we needed was somebody who the community really trusted who could go out and say, "I'm for sexual liberation, but we've got to look at this." When I tried to suggest that maybe we should consider fewer partners that that people follow the guidelines of safe sex, I was spit upon on Castro Street. People called me a fascist. But Harvey had that perfect combination of humor, forthrightness, and pride. People would have listened to him in a way they wouldn't listen to anybody else.
For more on all things Milk, check out GLAAD's Milk Resource Kit and learn about the man and the movie.
And check out this special interview with Milk screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, recorded at the world premiere last month!