Harvey Milk's Camera Shop Defiled, and Other Outrages

Categories: Queer
There's an emerging pattern in Gayville lately. It's not a new thing -- not new to the gays or the general population either for that matter -- but it's still disconcerting. It's called whorishness.

Does everything good have to be sold out, watered down, or compromised? The Human Rights Campaign's plan to move into the retail space that used to house Harvey Milk's camera shop is the latest unsettling example in a string of developments that I find disappointing to say the least.

I'm no purist. I don't demand 100 percent integrity in all matters.

But I'd like to think I could expect to see more righteousness in gay matters in San Francisco of all places. We don't have to dilute ourselves here so blatantly, do we?

The roll call of these instances almost makes me want to tear up my gay card and reconnect with my old girlfriend from junior high. 


Last month the American Foundation for Equal Rights (the organization that hired Ted Olson and David Boies to destroy Prop. 8) announced a fund-raising event to take place in January 2011 that will include a performance by Elton John in a private home somewhere in Beverly Hills.

This event will undoubtedly raise oodles of cash to help pay these two incredible attorneys to keep doing their work. I'm sure it will be exclusive and way above my station and faaaaabulous or ammmmmazing at the very least. Plus, AFER have been raising funds with a real collection of freaks all year: Ken Mehlman, Barbara (daughter of George) Bush, Mary Cheney and others.

But why do they have to use Dame Elton John as a main attraction?

One week after Prop. 8 passed, Elton complained about same-sex couples in California: "I don't want to be married. I'm very happy with a civil partnership. Heterosexual people get married. We get civil partnerships." Earlier this year, Smellton was the singing monkey at Rush Limbaugh's FOURTH wedding. He was reportedly paid $1 million for the performance.

This event is NOT taking place in San Francisco, but why do we have to be subjected to the Rocket Man's toxic waste to support AFER? Maybe exposure to his residue is good practice for what we are about to get from big box retailer Target.

There was considerable guff last summer about Target executives giving $150,000 to a gubernatorial candidate in Minnesota who associates proudly with a virulent anti-gay ministry. Last month, the redevelopment agency in San Francisco gave Target the approval to open the first store in the Metreon in 2012.

Thumbnail image for target_dog.jpg
The world's cutest homophobe?
Where's the beef? Isn't anyone pissed about this? Shouldn't there be a big, fat seething resentment in the LGBT community against these pigs sashaying into OUR city to make money from OUR families, friends and neighbors that will just be turned around and given to another disgusting politician? Do we have to just bend over and take this aggression?

Now comes the story of the Human Rights Campaign moving into the camera shop. Again, it's already kind of gross that the HRC sells mugs and t-shirts with Milk's image on them, so what's the harm of them occupying his space to make even MORE dough off the association with Milk?

Didn't I see a scene in the film Milk where Harvey was dismissively discussing the political strategies aimed at defeating the virulently anti-gay Prop. 6? It's also in the book The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk by Randy Shilts. Milk is credited with referring to "nebulous" campaign literature that doesn't even reference gay people as "shit and masturbation" (page 222). Milk clearly did not approve of the tactics of groups like HRC that do not even refer to themselves as gay yet claim to represent the interests of gay people.

The layers and layers of whorishness are building. One example after another of looking the other way while one more compromise is made ... one more ethical lapse ... one more "oh so what's the harm?" moment.

The only way I would be excited about HRC moving in to that location is if they actually sold a mug that said "shit and masturbation" with the = logo on it.

THAT would at least represent the state of affairs in gayville.

Patrick Connors is an uppity fag wonders why they don't have Target move into Harvey's camera shop and have Elton John sing at the opening.

Follow him on Twitter at @UppityFag and @TheSnitchSF  

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