Tuesday, January 20, 2009
I celebrated inauguration day by paying tribute to another great leader who stood for hope and change - Harvey Milk. After Rick Warren's creepy Christian prayer session, and Obama's eloquent speech, I watched the documentary, The Times of Harvey Milk, at home and made it to the theatre tonight to finally see Gus Van Sant's interpretation of his life, Milk.
I was struck by the parallels between Barack Obama and Harvey Milk, who as supervisor in San Francisco's 5th District in 1977, was the third openly gay elected official in the United States. Both persevered enormous odds and rallied community support through their charisma and idealism and their ability to embrace and to inspire people in the margins. Both describe their own experiences with discrimination and talk about a message that is bigger than them - and not about them - but about us.
Watching the gay community and it's supporters celebrate Milk's victories and mourn his death brought to mind those same raw emotions that surround Obama, and I hope we are not robbed of his leadership under similar tragic circumstances. And I hope as President, Obama reconsiders his position on gay marriage, and truly realizes his promise of equality.