LGBT Community Wanted their Rights

In 1972, Harvey Milk and his partner Scott Smith leave New York and move to San Francisco because Harvey Milk wants to accomplish something big as well as be accepted for his same-sex relationship. He starts a camera shop and creates a hotspot for gays and lesbians from all over focusing on being a gay activist. He later transformed to being a political activist and accomplished just that by changing history when he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, being the first openly gay person elected into office in America. Just a year later he was shot and killed in cold blood by Dan White which caused uproar across the world (Cohen, B., & Jinks, D. (Producers), & Van Sant, G. (Director). (2008). Milk [Motion picture on DVD]. United states: Universal.).

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The overarching conflict during this time was that Harvey Milk and other gay and lesbians were not being accepted for their sexuality. Many were “in the closet,” or in other words hiding their true identity to protect themselves from rejection and social discrimination. This prohibited them to live their lives the way they dreamed which in Harvey Milk’s case was to be on the Board of Supervisors which was the main reason he moved to San Francisco. This conflict is seen throughout the whole movie,but especially in the opening scene when he talks with his lover about moving to San Francisco because of the differences. The whole film focuses on the conflict of mass struggle for the LGBT movement.

Labels represent a way of identifying people that is considered by many as a form of prejudice and discrimination. In this particular case labeling people derives from the way of perceiving members of the gay and lesbian gender group. Everybody in the town of San Francisco held a certain negative point of view toward this gay and lesbian group of people because of their homosexuality.

All throughout my life as I was taught from my parents and from the bible was that God created man and woman. All throughout the Bible it speaks of man and woman and nothing else. In my opinion, I do not think it is right to be homosexual or anything else besides being straight. I was also taught that we as men and women we cannot judge one another, but leave that duty to God. I hold tight to the beliefs that I know and hold true to God’s word.

Throughout the whole movie Harvey Milk and his followers were building strategies, holding meetings, and marching on the streets. In many scenes Harvey Milk says that it isn’t about him, but everyone. He did it for the gay community as a whole not just for himself. Towards the end of the movie many marches and speeches took place because the LGBT community wanted their rights, but everyone else was against them. The “We must fight” scene shows power and oppression when Harvey Milk speaks out loudly that everyone must come out of the closet and not hold back while the police and others are trying to hold back this movement. The tension between the LGBT community and the police broke out. Policemen would come into bars and take men out and beat them in the streets. The police would then arrest them for ‘blocking traffic’.

Harvey continues to speak to the huge crowd and tell them that they can’t just let the people tell them what do on television by listening to those with power saying that there isn’t any place for them in this great country, this world. He says they must be active and support their cause.

Prejudice is seen when the negative reactions of society are seen against this gay rights movement. In this film, a small boy comes up to Harvey Milk, not knowing who he truly is, and asks him to vote for the other guy who is running against Harvey Milk. This shows that the boys parents are teaching him to have that negative reaction to gay people when the boy himself doesn’t even understand. Discrimination is the unjust treatment of people based on gender in this instance. During this time the movie took place in America, being openly gay was a huge risk. You could lose your job, friends and family, or even your life. Harvey Milk and mayor George Moscone were assassinated by Dan White because of the difference that lay between them even after Harvey Milk tried to work things out with Dan.

Discrimination is seen when Harvey Milk is running for election to be on the Board of Supervisors. He is mocked for his sexuality while giving public speeches, but he continues to try and run successfully for public office while promoting laws to encourage workers from discrimination in employment due to their sexuality. Again, the reason he moved from New York to San Francisco was to be accepted as a gay man looking for opportunity. Harvey Milk told everyone that people from all over are all looking to San Francisco and this march tonight for leadership. The LGBT community had to give these young people hope.

Even while starting a camera business he was looked down on. Milk and Smith would kiss openly, excited to be in business, and the neighbor makes his displeasure known. Milk says they are opening their business and asks how to become successful. The neighbor responds by telling them they can’t because the police will just shut them down because they are gay. This led to one consequence which was anger, but Milk was determined and didn’t let that stand in the way. Gays from all over moved to that location so that the whole community could feel accepted. This neighborhood was known as Castro Street. Harvey Milk’s determination on not being in secret or invisible anymore is what eventually turned him from his camera business to his study and run for politics. He gave many speeches,but most of them started with a simple introduction of himself and then, “I want to recruit you.” This didn’t settle with the straight people in the community because it made Harvey Milk feel like he had power, but he simply wants the discrimination to end.

Some consequences seen because of discrimination include fear, anger, and even job loss and ruined relationships for different sexually oriented people. One consequence was that Harvey Milk’s relationship with Smith ended because Smith was angered at all the political business. Then, Harvey’s new relationship with Jack Lira quickly came to an end because he was more of an obstacle with the politics Harvey was pursuing. This led to Jack’s death as a suicide and later Harvey Milk’s own death by assassination because of his sexual viewpoint.

Someone with the same culture, identity, biases, prejudices, and stereotypes as me would be someone who is ultimately against the gay community, but still must do good to them. The storyline would have changed in the fact that Harvey Milk would have been able to be on the board easier and their would not have been anybody who had to die although I wouldn’t truly vote for him or against him. Though I don’t think being gay is right at all, I must accept that. I was taught throughout my life that we must only hate the sin, not the sinner. This is true in this case for me.

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Cite this page

LGBT Community Wanted Their Rights. (2022, Apr 25). Retrieved May 17, 2022 , from
https://studydriver.com/lgbt-community-wanted-their-rights/

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