I just saw Milk. Remember–I get a discount on Tuesdays! I had a long day, so I’m not going to write about the ins-and-outs of my reaction to the movie. To be honest, I’m still not sure what all of my reactions are! But here are some thoughts and musings, or ramblings (for my WordPress readers).

There was some tension within me as I watched this movie, with one exception: I turned my head or covered my eyes when men were kissing each other. I’m sorry, but that just doesn’t look right to me! I’m somewhat used to seeing gay couples on TV (e.g., Desperate Housewives), but seeing men kissing or in bed together does not rub me the right way.

Okay, so where was the tension? Part of me really likes Anita Bryant, since she was a celebrity who took a bold, unpopular stand for her Christian values. (I even read The Anita Bryant Story several years ago!) But when she said that her win in Dade County was a victory for “normal people,” I flinched. As a person with Asperger’s, I’d like for society to be open and accepting of all sorts of people, even those not considered “normal.” Sure, I had a hard time identifying with the gay characters, and Sean Penn’s effeminate mannerisms somewhat annoyed me. But a huge part of me doesn’t want to reject someone for being different.

I had mixed feelings on some of the anti-gay legislation in the movie, with the balance going in a negative direction. Personally, I don’t mind working with homosexuals, and I don’t think they should be fired for their lifestyle choice. At the same time, I can understand why people opposed the lifestyle in the 1970’s, since they believed acceptance of homosexuality undermined America’s commitment to Judeo-Christian values and the traditional family. If homosexuality is accepted, can that lead to a slippery slope, as other standards are undermined? Yet, many of these homosexuals didn’t ask for their sexual inclination. They just had it, and my heart had to go out to those who were suicidal because society rejected them.

One powerful part of the movie was when Milk was encouraging his allies to come out of the closet to their family and friends. They were fighting Proposition 6, a measure that would fire homosexual teachers and their supporters. “If they realize they know one of us, then they’ll be more likely to vote with us,” Milk said. That’s a possibility. But the opposite can also be the case, since Milk’s lover said that his father beat him when he found he was gay. And there are homosexuals who have been thrown out of the house because of their lifestyle or orientation, which is why the gay community is so tight-knit and mutually supportive. If a homosexual is thrown out by his parents, other homosexuals are there to take him in.

I’m glad that the movie pointed out that Ronald Reagan was an opponent of Proposition 6. When the movie showed Reagan accepting Anita Bryant’s oranges, I thought it would try to polarize the left and the right. I wish it had depicted Reagan dramatically speaking out against the measure, but at least it mentioned that he opposed it.

I liked seeing Victor Garber. I missed him from Eli Stone! I saw him on Frasier a few days ago.

I thought the campaign manager was cute.

That young guy with the thick curley hair and glasses–that’s Sedgewick from The Emperor’s Club! Apparently, the actor can play a variety of roles: a popular football player who loves the ladies, and a quirky gay activist. (He’s quirky not because he was gay, but because he was just quirky. Even Milk told him he was a prick, but he should be a prick on Milk’s side.)

I admired Milk going to ultra-conservative Orange County to debate John Briggs, the author of Prop 6. Sure, Briggs was courageous to debate Milk in the liberal areas, but it was actually Milk’s idea to debate in Orange County!

There was actually a soft spot in my heart for Dan White, for whatever reason. Maybe it was because he was a conservative, but he had a fairly good relationship with Harvey Milk (until he shot Milk, of course). I also didn’t know that the twinkie defense originated with his trial!

I can probably say more, but I’ll stop here. I may write more about Milk in the future, if I feel a need to.

Have a nice day!

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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