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Author Topic: The Mayor of Castro Street  (Read 167053 times)

Offline Nikki

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Re: The Mayor of Castro Street
« Reply #825 on: March 11, 2009, 04:01:48 PM »
sorry don't understand, Michael.  I knew the ending way before we discussed the film. 

Exactly my point, Nikki.  You knew because you read and are aware of history.  I just found it (extraordinarily) funny (in an eye rolling sort of way) that Chuck's co-worker's would say that it spoiled the movie by knowing this.  It would be about the same as saying that someone ruined the the Robert Kennedy film from a year or two ago by telling someone that he got shot at the end.

So when you told Jenny 'it's not like I don't know how it ends' it reminded me of that humorous incident from early on in the discussion where Chuck related that story.  Not a big thing either way.

...oh, I get it now.
The shirts hanging on a nail shudder slightly in the draft.

If he does not force his attention on it, it might stoke the day, rewarm that old, cold time on the mountain when they owned the world and nothing seemed wrong.

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Offline dejavu

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Re: The Mayor of Castro Street
« Reply #826 on: March 11, 2009, 04:30:32 PM »
Sorry, who were the cockettes or sylvester? Watched the you tubes above, but don't see the relationship.  Is it me or what? Not impressed with sylvester>

Sylvester was singing in at the Castro Street Fair (where people were out on balconies, etc.) in TToHM, if that helps.
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Offline Nikki

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Re: The Mayor of Castro Street
« Reply #827 on: March 11, 2009, 05:24:49 PM »
Sorry, who were the cockettes or sylvester? Watched the you tubes above, but don't see the relationship.  Is it me or what? Not impressed with sylvester>

Sylvester was singing in at the Castro Street Fair (where people were out on balconies, etc.) in TToHM, if that helps.

...oh, okay.
The shirts hanging on a nail shudder slightly in the draft.

If he does not force his attention on it, it might stoke the day, rewarm that old, cold time on the mountain when they owned the world and nothing seemed wrong.

Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive
But to be young was very heaven!

Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: The Mayor of Castro Street
« Reply #828 on: March 18, 2009, 04:49:44 PM »
I have posted an editoral from the Daily Titan, CSU Fullerton's daily newspaper, encouraging Gov. Schwarzenegger to sign AB 2567, recognizing Harvey Milk Day here:

http://www.davecullen.com/forum/index.php?topic=31729.msg1533791#msg1533791
I do my thing, & you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other - it is beautiful. If not it can't be helped.

Fritz Perls - A Gestalt Prayer

Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: The Mayor of Castro Street
« Reply #829 on: April 02, 2009, 03:03:39 PM »
Just came across this article by accident:

Harvey Milk and Me: The Making of An Activist
Written by Joseph Amster   
Wednesday, 12 November 2008

My life as a gay man and an activist has been inexorably linked to Harvey Milk. With the upcoming release of the film Milk, I’ve been reflecting on my life’s journey and how a man whom I never met, but who influenced me greatly, shaped it. Appearing as an extra in the film is the culmination of a 30-year desire to honor his memory.

I arrived in San Francisco in September of 1974 as a college student at San Francisco State University. Although I knew I was attracted to guys, I didn’t know that made me gay. I was a naive kid from the suburbs of Orange County. I didn’t know about gay bars or anything about gay life. That changed one night in December that same year when my new friend Lloyd told me he was going to take me on an adventure. He didn’t say where we were going, but just to follow him. We rode the bus to a place called Castro Street. I had no idea that it was the “gay district” and didn’t think much about the people we passed on the street. We entered a bar called Toad Hall. As my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I saw men — lots of them — and they all looked alike: short hair, moustaches and wearing nothing but jeans and work boots — the cliché Castro Clone. Here I was with shoulder-length hair and a beard. I felt completely out of place, as if I had entered an alien world. I nervously looked around for a few minutes and quickly asked Lloyd if we could please leave. Little did I know I had seen my first glimpse of our tribe.

This was Harvey Milk’s Castro Street, where he was beginning his rise as a political power that would culminate four years later with his assassination. Milk had a camera store just a block down and across the street, which served as his headquarters. The gay community was on the rise, and Castro Camera was ground zero for a movement that would come to transform San Francisco and the LGBT community forever.

As I became more comfortable with my gayness, I began reading the Bay Area Reporter, where Milk had a weekly column. His writings bristled with the sort of activism that I would later embrace: non-apologetic manifestos of what it meant to be a gay man in the ’70s, chronicling the rising power of San Francisco’s LGBT community, and inspirational writings that touched my heart. He made me realize that it was not only OK to be gay; it was something of which to be proud. Over the next two years, as the city was transformed by Milk’s influence, so was I. He was my first gay hero.

During my time in San Francisco, I had the opportunity to vote for Milk twice in elections he didn’t win: his bid for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1975 and his run for the California State Assembly in 1976. I still remember passing the “human billboard” of over a dozen of Milk’s volunteers holding “Milk for Supervisor” signs on the corner of Castro and Market Streets in 1975. Unfortunately, I left San Francisco in the winter of 1976 to move back to Orange County, and didn’t have the opportunity to vote for him when he won his seat to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977. I remember reading the papers the day after the election in total elation of Milk’s election. I couldn’t believe that “one of us” had made it — Milk was the first openly gay person elected to office in the United States.

Over the next year, I would scour the paper for any news about him(it’s hard to find anything about San Francisco in Los Angeles papers and vice versa), and was especially elated about his spearheading the campaign against the Briggs Initiative, which would have banned gay teachers. We won that fight, partially due to Milk’s political acumen, and I remember celebrations up and down the state. Yet, less than a month later, triumph would turn into tragedy.

In November of 1978, I was living in Los Angeles and working for a theatrical lighting rental business in the repair department. The shop was filled with hyper-macho men who only talked about sports, pussy and beer. In fact, everyone drank a six-pack on the job daily, except for the boss, who drank two six-packs. To say the least, I was closeted on the job; a decision I felt was in my best interest for job security and my physical well-being. The radio was always on and tuned to a hard-rock station, and I distinctly remember the news flash: San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk had been assassinated. I was devastated and wanted to cry, but I could not betray my emotions. After work, I went home and let it all out, watching the news from San Francisco, reading reports of that night’s candlelight march down Castro Street. I wanted with all of my heart to be there.

Throughout the next year, I followed the news of Supervisor Dan White’s arrest for the double murder, his trial, and eventual conviction of voluntary manslaughter. White’s defense that his judgment had been impaired by over-consumption of junk food (the “Twinkie defense”) worked. Like many, I was outraged at the verdict. Gays and lesbians took to the streets that night in outrage, smashing the doors of San Francisco City Hall and torching police cars. Later that night, the police retaliated, storming the Castro and bashing heads of people who had nothing to do with the violence.

Randy Shilts’ brilliant and comprehensive book The Mayor of Castro Street and Rob Epstein’s moving film The Times of Harvey Milk were released several years later, and both had a profound effect on me. I’ve read Shilts’ book at least four times and had the good fortune a few years ago to find an autographed first edition in a thrift store. Watching Epstein’s film is always an emotional experience, especially the scene of the candlelight march the night of the assassination.

Although always a political person, I wasn’t ready to be a gay activist. Another stint in San Francisco did nothing to change that, even though the city that I moved back to in 1984 had been changed by the first wave of AIDS. It wasn’t until moving back to Orange County in 1988 and hearing of my best friend Gary’s HIV diagnosis that I took up the gauntlet thrown down by Milk’s death. I wanted to do something to make a difference, something that might have an impact on my friend’s life. Gary was involved with ACTUP Los Angeles, and I began attending the group’s meetings in 1989, leading to my joining the Orange County Visibility League and helping to start the Orange County chapters of both ACTUP and Queer Nation. The sorts of protests we held during that period were previously unheard of in Orange County, and I took much of my inspiration from Milk’s life: He was my role model and I would scour Shilts’ book for tactics, as well as quotes from Milk for speeches and pamphlets. Out of that period, I became a gay journalist, first on the cable-access LGBT news show “Spectrum News,” then the Blade (eventually becoming editor) and IN Los Angeles magazine. I viewed reporting, writing and editing as an extension of my activism, but to a much larger audience.

By 2007, I found myself back in San Francisco. The city had further changed from the one I left in 1988. LGBT people are not only accepted here, but in positions of significant power. Something was missing, though; Milk’s memory had faded and there was an overall complacency in the city’s LGBT community.

In the spring of 2008, I was volunteering at Project Open Hand, a nonprofit organization that delivers meals to people living with AIDS and HIV. The city was abuzz about the filming that was taking place around town for the movie Milk, and one of the volunteers heard that the producers had put out a call for extras for some of the scenes. A few of us decided we’d go to the filming of the candlelight march. I was especially excited, because I wasn’t part of the march 30 years before, and now, at least, I could be part of its reenactment.

Before the movie shoot, I dropped into the Castro to see how the filmmakers had transformed the two-block stretch between Market and 19th Streets to look as it did in 1978. I peered into Harvey’s Castro Camera, an exact duplication of his headquarters and was filled with pride and memories. The biggest surprise, however, was walking up the street to find Toad Hall, the bar I went into 34 years prior. The original Toad Hall was long gone (now a part of the Walgreen’s at 18th and Castro Streets), but a bar just up the street was filling in for the film. I went in and had a drink for nostalgia’s sake. Instead of finding a bar filled with Castro clones, it mirrored the diversity of the San Francisco LGBT community of today.

continues:

http://www.gayblade.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=523&Itemid=1
I do my thing, & you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other - it is beautiful. If not it can't be helped.

Fritz Perls - A Gestalt Prayer

Offline Nikki

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Re: The Mayor of Castro Street
« Reply #830 on: April 02, 2009, 04:24:09 PM »


I liked his desription of Milk as "...our John Kennedy, Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther King all rolled into one."
The shirts hanging on a nail shudder slightly in the draft.

If he does not force his attention on it, it might stoke the day, rewarm that old, cold time on the mountain when they owned the world and nothing seemed wrong.

Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive
But to be young was very heaven!

Offline janjo

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Re: The Mayor of Castro Street
« Reply #831 on: April 03, 2009, 04:45:16 AM »
So did I.
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Offline dejavu

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Re: The Mayor of Castro Street
« Reply #832 on: April 03, 2009, 05:26:55 AM »
Good article, I thought.
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Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: The Mayor of Castro Street
« Reply #833 on: May 02, 2009, 01:33:29 PM »
A few things related to Harvey happening in the L.A. area:

1. Harvey Milk and the San Francisco Scene:
Exhibit and gallery talk at Overtones Gallery in Culver City, Los Angeles
May 9 – June 20th, 2009.

Reception: Saturday May 9th, from 7 – 10 pm

Gallery talk:
Sunday -  June 7th, from 2 – 4 pm

(This is also a book signing event for Milk: A Pictoral History of Harvey Milk)

http://www.newmarketpress.com/title.asp?id=899

************************************

2. Official Gallery opening after party at Fubar
hosted by Juanita More
May 9, 10 PM. 
Gallery guests admitted free to Fubar

Fubar, 7994 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA

http://www.fubarla.com

http://www.juanitamore.com

************************************

3. Lecture and slide presentation:

Harvey Milk and the San Francisco Scene

sponsored by City of West Hollywood and PEN USA

When: Saturday, June 6, 2009; 1:30 pm
Where: The Silver Screen Theatre, Pacific Design Center, West Hollywood
Address: 8687 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90069

Contact info for this event:
Michelle Meyering, Event Coordinator/Program Manager, PEN USA
michelle@penusa.org

http://penusa.org
I do my thing, & you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other - it is beautiful. If not it can't be helped.

Fritz Perls - A Gestalt Prayer

Offline Nikki

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Re: The Mayor of Castro Street
« Reply #834 on: May 02, 2009, 01:49:57 PM »

Interesting, Michael.  FUBAR looks like a happening place! ;)
The shirts hanging on a nail shudder slightly in the draft.

If he does not force his attention on it, it might stoke the day, rewarm that old, cold time on the mountain when they owned the world and nothing seemed wrong.

Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive
But to be young was very heaven!

Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: The Mayor of Castro Street
« Reply #835 on: May 02, 2009, 01:51:08 PM »

Interesting, Michael.  FUBAR looks like a happening place! ;)

I'm sure Harvey would have liked it! 
I do my thing, & you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other - it is beautiful. If not it can't be helped.

Fritz Perls - A Gestalt Prayer

Offline dejavu

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Re: The Mayor of Castro Street
« Reply #836 on: May 02, 2009, 06:28:34 PM »
It does look interesting.  A bit strange (or at least inconvenient) that's happening in LA, not SF.  Also brings back memories of being in West Hollywood last year.
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Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: The Mayor of Castro Street
« Reply #837 on: May 03, 2009, 12:28:57 PM »
It does look interesting.  A bit strange (or at least inconvenient) that's happening in LA, not SF.  Also brings back memories of being in West Hollywood last year.

It's not really strange, Debbie.  Danny has been carrying the torch in San Francisco since Harvey's death - he was central in the work to get a bust of Harvey placed in City Hall.  However, much as my letter to Governor Schwarzenegger, Danny has been called to spread the word about Harvey throughout the world - he even went to Berlin for something associated with Harvey.

With the 'Pictorial History of Harvey Milk' being released he is just doing what he has done since Harvey's death - spreading the word.
I do my thing, & you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other - it is beautiful. If not it can't be helped.

Fritz Perls - A Gestalt Prayer

Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: The Mayor of Castro Street
« Reply #838 on: May 06, 2009, 01:03:11 PM »
Copied from another section of the forum so that those who read here don't miss it:

Calif. panel OKs honors for gay leader Harvey Milk

A state Senate committee has approved legislation designating a day honoring slain gay rights leader Harvey Milk.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2009/05/06/state/n111103D17.DTL&tsp=1
I do my thing, & you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other - it is beautiful. If not it can't be helped.

Fritz Perls - A Gestalt Prayer

Offline Nikki

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Re: The Mayor of Castro Street
« Reply #839 on: May 06, 2009, 05:20:03 PM »
Copied from another section of the forum so that those who read here don't miss it:

Calif. panel OKs honors for gay leader Harvey Milk

A state Senate committee has approved legislation designating a day honoring slain gay rights leader Harvey Milk.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2009/05/06/state/n111103D17.DTL&tsp=1


I'm glad it will give Harvey recognition even if it's not a national day dedicated to him.  It will encourage gay youth that a gay man has been honored for who he is and what he's done.
The shirts hanging on a nail shudder slightly in the draft.

If he does not force his attention on it, it might stoke the day, rewarm that old, cold time on the mountain when they owned the world and nothing seemed wrong.

Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive
But to be young was very heaven!