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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Hope. We cling to it because it lets us.

Forty years ago, Harvey Milk gave the speech Sir Ian McKellen recreated for this video.

I was a senior in college, terrified of telling my parents I was gay as Anita Bryant's campaign swept the nation; terrified I'd give myself away; terrified because I hadn't, at that point, even gotten past pure theory.

It took me eighteen more years to tell them because I knew how they would respond.

But they were my parents, and I still harbored the idea that somehow it would work out. They would give me hope.

It's what parents do. I read it in some of the best authorities.

I was wrong. They never did, and they blamed me for it.

Harvey Milk was murdered within a year of giving this speech. He was killed by a colleague who was creeped out by Milk's intolerable public gayness.

This week, had he been luckier, Harvey Milk would have turned 87.

Forty years on, we fend off Anita Bryant's grandchildren.


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