In a recent panel discussion Harvey Milk’s nephew, Stuart Milk, said his uncle played a key role in his coming out.
‘Harvey knew that I was gay. He never went there with me, but he talked to me about feeling different.
‘He gave me a book of Native American traditions called Seven Arrows. Inside the cover he wrote: “You and all your differences will heal the world, even when the world doesn’t recognise that”‘.
The missive, he claims, lies behind his decision to spend his life as an activist for gay rights.
‘We try and do away with the word tolerance. It’s really a bad term. Nobody wants to be tolerated.
‘I tolerate mosquitos. We should be celebrated and we should be embraced.’
Milk goes on to say he believes coming out is a political act, and encourages LGBTI people to be more visible. ‘Coming out is the most important thing that you can do in terms of
‘If you are an ally, encouraging LGBT friends to be visible is the most political thing you can do.’
He was speaking after a screening of his uncle’s biopic, ‘Milk’ for National Student Pride weekend.
Milk also said he agreed with singer Will Young’s criticism of education secretary Nicky Morgan.
Young said at an earlier event: ‘The problem with homophobic language in schools is it is simply not being addressed.
‘It can be changed in the education system.
‘I don’t see the education secretary, whom I’m not a big fan of, I don’t see her addressing this at all. The only conclusion I can draw is she doesn’t give a shit about it.
‘I will picket outside the Department of Education until she fucking gives me some answers.’
In response, Milk said: ‘You’ve got to call people out if theyare not doing enough. I agree with Will Young, people should be asking what they are doing to help.’
Harvey Milk was a US politician, and famous as the first openly gay politician in the country.
He was assassinated along with mayor George Moscone by Dan White, following a controversy around White’s resignation from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors – to which Milk was appointed.
Today, Milk is a considered a gay icon and martyr for the LGBTI community.