Homophobes Won’t be the Only ones Protesting on Harvey Milk Day: Gays Plan Picket of HRC Store

What better way to observe Harvey Milk Day than by stirring up some shit?

The leftmost of lefty San Francisco queers are planning a protest of the Castro’s new HRC store, located conveniently in Harvey Milk’s former camera shop. Some gays don’t care for the HRC, dontcha know.

What’s their beef? Not enough “grassroots engagement with town halls and open board meetings,” not enough focus on “economic empowerment.”

Also, they’re annoyed about San Francisco’s new law that makes it illegal to sit or lie on the sidewalk during the day, an attempt to incentivize homeless people to get off the streets and into services. What does that have to do with the HRC? There will surely be many people asking just that question at 1pm when they march to the camera shop.

Meanwhile, the Trevor Project is slated to open a call center at the back of the HRC store at around the same time. What a busy day.

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  • Barry O'Bummer

    I have to say a huge FUCK you to Queerty for the elitist liberal attitude that drips from this piece of shit “report”. Why is it that when queers fight for equality but don’t sing the praises of the Democrats or Gay Inc, faggots like whoever wrote this piece ATTACK? Why is it that fags who’ve never fought for shit in their lives ALWAYS attack those of us who do? Gay Inc has sometimes been called the Lavender Mafia. Are you their hit men?

    I call on you to justify the tone of this piece and demand to know why you insist on lying and/or misrepresenting queer activsim. I don’t write for Queerty, but I did a little research and found a WHOLE LOT more to this “report” than this page would have us believe. You’ve done shitwork, Queerty. You can’t say “What does that have to do with the HRC?” when the answer is right there on the very fucking page you stole your graphic from.

    If you are too lazy to report, then don’t.

    Why does Queerty take the Gay Inc approach and attack, ridicule, and play stupid with REAL queer activism? Confined to your comfy offices instead of out there fighting alongside and for the queers you sometimes praise, you will never know.

    Faggots who show such contempt for the tactics, strategies, and politics that won your gay ass the right to get fucked in the first place are exactly why we continue to fight.

    Keep up your obsession with male celebrities in their underwear and your “right” to post such pics. Leave the activism to the activists.

  • Ray

    If I was in SF I would be there with them. Hey I know how we can all contribute. What’s their phone number? We can all call them all day long and ask them for money for a big expensive party we are throwing!

  • Fitz

    I’ll be there. And I’m pro mob. The HRC is part of the enemy for me.

  • JAW

    @Barry O’Bummer: … barry o

    Perhaps all of u freak queers would rather that the place had been rented by NOM or some other far right group rented the store.

    Harvey died over 32 years ago… I bet before most of you were even born. If you queers hate HRC soooo much, then get your ass in gear and do a better job. just like queerty suggested… the extreme left group of the LGBT movement is a joke, an embarrassment to the entire LGBT movement…

    Go go take a bath, get a job and welcome to the rest society

  • JAW

    @Barry O’Bummer: … barry o

    Perhaps all of u freak queers would rather that the place had been rented by NOM or some other far right group rented the store.

    Harvey died over 32 years ago… I bet before most of you were even born. The queers of the world could have been renting the space all that time. DO NOT bitch when a LGBT group rents it and tries to keep it in the family.

    If you queers hate HRC soooo much, then get your ass in gear and do a better job then they do. just like Queerty suggested… the extreme left group of the LGBT movement is a joke, an embarrassment to the entire LGBT movement…

    Go go take a bath, get a job and welcome to the rest society

  • Bob Offer-Westort

    I, for one, am proud to be among the leftmost of the lefty queers. I think the links are pretty easy:

    Many of us who are *not* the minority of gays who have done well in San Francisco’s more gay-friendly environment think that HRC has positioned itself as the lead LGBT civil rights organisation, but that it has not been true to our civil rights values. I think the breaking point for many of us was HRC’s leaving trans folks out in the cold on ENDA in 2007. We ‘leftmost of the lefty’ types believe that no subpopulation of queer people should be left behind in our struggle for civil rights.

    We also do not see the rights that HRC has focused on as being those that are most important for queer people generally, but instead as being those which are most important for queer people who want to assimilate: Generally, gay men who have done all right for themselves in liberal cities. These folks have every right to fight for marriage & for military service (altho, really?), but they cannot do so & pretend that they are representing the real interests of the majority of queer people.

    Their moving into Harvey Milk’s old camera shop is symbolic, as they well know. We think that their efforts do *not* represent Harvey Milk’s legacy. Milk took strong stances for education & for employment opportunities. He opposed the 1970s sit/lie law.

    That’s not a hard link to follow, if you know anything about Milk’s actual politics.

    Also: As for the sit/lie law, it is manifestly *not* an attempt to incentivise service access. Hell, the official Website for the campaign for sit/lie & Mayor Newsom both claimed that sit/lie had nothing to do with homelessness!

    This is a pretty ill-informed piece, Matt. All it’s got going for it is played snark. You know how to reach someone from QUEEN, right? You might have asked them what the link was.

  • Bob Offer-Westort

    Oh, JAW, after this many decades, the LGBT movement needs to get over being embarrassed. Asses are not for sticks.

    They’re for other things.

  • JAW

    @Bob Offer-Westort:

    Some of your theories are a bit flawed… HRC did Not position itself as the leading LGBT civil rights org… THE LGBT Community did. The fact that the HRC has hundreds of thousands of members moved them to that position. Perhaps the far left of the left should get a few hundred thousand people to join them.

    I agree it was a sad day that the Trans people among us were not a part of the bill. Trans people are not understood by many people, including many LGB people. Many LGB people do not understand Trans people, and sadly, many even discriminate against them. I hope that changes one day very soon.

    You being from perhaps the smallest sub group of the LGBT movement, should try to compromise, with some of the LGBT community that is in the center… or perhaps you will find yourselves left along the side of the road.

    I Think Matt got more correct then you did.

  • Bob Offer-Westort

    I don’t think anyone can dispute that HRC is the biggest LGBT civil rights organisation in the country, even if you count just active members & not donors. That’s not the point, & it doesn’t make it untrue that the HRC positions itself in a particular way. The point is the second half of the sentence: We don’t think that HRC has stayed true to our community’s civil rights values. Of course, given that you consider those of us who are more concerned about queer youth homelessness, about transgender unemployment, & about inaccessibility of housing for PWA & queer seniors, than we are about marriage to be “freaks” & an “embarrassment”, you & I probably disagree about who, exactly, our community is.

  • jeff4justice

    Too many LGBT groups wasting resources duplicating the same objectives.

  • jeff4justice

    I hope the criminalization of sitting or sleeping in sidewalks gets thrown out in courts. Fucking anti-homeless, anti-freedom scum.

  • Jeffree

    HRC has let us down on ENDA. They do too little for people who are not urban, upper-middle class, white-collar, white, HIV-, college-educated, cis-gender males.

    Even without the added symbolism behind the location of their HRC store, I would want to be there to engage & protest.

    […I am, however, glad the Trevor Project will be opening up an office…]

  • JAW


    HRC has NOT let Me down, nor have they let down about 95% of their members.

    I have worked with homeless youth both gay and straight, I understand much of what they go through. What I have learned is… Those that just sit their ass on the ground, stay there… those youth that work to improve themselve… get off the street quickly and become members of society and live great lives.

    Those that consider themselves queer and want to sit and lie on the sidewalks will live a sad life… The choice is theirs. Please do not demonize those of us that have made something of our lives, and have worked with and supported LGBT groups.

    As an FYI… I am a Male… not cis-gender… I am Blue collar… and I do not have a college degree. I worked for everything that I have.

  • Bob Offer-Westort

    @JAW: Wow, JAW. I think it’s great that HRC has been able to really reach out to & touch a transgender man such as yourself, & I think it’s both amazing & fascinating that you feel loyalty rather than betrayal after the ENDA debacle, which is so recent, & still feels so fresh for so many in our community. Well. My community.

    For those of us who are “queer” rather than “LGBT” & whom you consider misguided, can you explain what HRC has done for people like you & us who aren’t urban, white, white-collar, HIV-, upper middle class, cis-gender men?

    Also, what kind of work did you do with homeless youth?

  • John

    I’d much rather back an organization that lets me marry whom I love then focus on “Economic empowerment”. Besides, economic empowerment has less to do with being gay, and more to do with the profession you choose and Education you have. Want to benefit the pockets of gay and lesbian people? Let them get married. Time magazine reported that Research by Ohio State University’s Jay Zagorsky shows that married couples increase their wealth an average 16% a year, while those who are single increase their net worth at half that rate. Not to mention things that are important should one spouse die like, oh I don’t know, a right to inherit their partners belongings?

  • JAW


    I am not sure where you came up with the idea that I am Trans… as I said to you, I am a Male, I was born male, I am 100% Male. I do not walk around using terms that were put out there by a Lesbian just a few years ago. I use the tem that has been used for thousands of years to describe who I am. I am sorry that you may not have a term that you feel comfortable using, to describe your gender that all will understand. Because you and a few others have issues, Please DO NOT make the rest of us a part of it.

    Some in the Trans community want the whole world to do whatever they say. Example: here on the east coast, men that have been transvestites have ben told that they are now cross dressers. as a few people have said… who the hell gets to tell me what I am or am not.

    I suggest that you go to to see what they have done for all of us over the years… even you.

    In the 80’s and 90’s I volunteered at Covenant House… I am not sure if they are in SF or not… but if you know any youth in peril have them call the Covenant House 9 line… (800-999-9999). They have several houses etc here on the east coast, they started in NYC in the 1970’s

  • well

    @John: being poor and being queer are not mutually exclusive identities. when you say, “economic empowerment has less to do with being gay, and more to do with the profession you choose” you are inherently employing a very elitist and self-servicing ideology that forgets all types of queer people.

    The HRC’s use of Milk’s shop is just a way for this money-hungry organization to attempt to gain street cred.

    fuuuuuck that

  • Mark Snyder

    It is wrong for Queerty to say that the sit-lie is an incentive. The only thing sit-lie does it put people into jail cells if they sit or lie on the sidewalk. That is not an incentive for anything, especially when the shelters have waiting lists.

  • JAW

    @Bob Offer-Westort:

    SORRY… my last post should have been a reply to Bob… not John

  • Bob Offer-Westort

    Hey, JAW: I came up with the idea that you were transgender because you said that you weren’t cisgender, but you identified as male.

    I feel pretty comfortable calling myself male, altho I only go by the term that’s been used for the past 7–800 years to describe who I am. However, I really do believe that that term & its binary counterpart (also only a few centuries old) are inadequate for describing the totality of human experience, & I don’t blame transgender people or genderqueer people for our culture’s failure to provide vocabulary for the world beyond the gender binary until the 1960s or ’70s. Our culture’s patriarchy, homophobia, & gender binarism are not, I don’t think, indications that trans or genderqueer people “have issues”. Nor is their insistence that your limited use of the term ‘male’ as it’s been used for the past “thousands of years” is not sufficient for a world in which they refuse to be invisible an indication of “issues”.

    I think we may be hitting a never-the-twain-shall-meet mark in this conversation. From my perspective, it would be nice if you would investigate the transphobia in your last comment, & the closed-minded intolerance of your first comment. However, I think I’ve contributed to this interaction’s fruitlessness as well by addressing you with sarcasm, which certainly doesn’t solicit productive dialogue.

    I guess we both have issues.

  • John

    @JAW: It all good! all though I must say i was thoroughly confused while i was reading it.

  • bryan

    HRC may not be perfect, but they have done more to advance the rights of gay people than just about any organization out there.

    Get off the sidewalks, stop your street begging, take a bath, stop doing drugs, and go volunteer for something/anything.

    Lots of us appreciate HRC – we don’t all live in liberal SF, or want to.

  • Cccole

    A sit-lie law as an ‘attempt to incentivize homeless people to get off the streets and into services’? PLEASE. Sit-lie laws are enacted so the police have an excuse to arrest the homeless so they are out of the public eye. It is absolutely an economic justice issue, and since HRC doesn’t really make that a priority (even though the homeless population is disproportionately LGBT), the protest makes sense.

  • well

    your employment of class and drug stereotypes is both ignorant and offensive.

    this is probably why you like the HRC. they do what they can to service white boys like you. but they forget about a lot of other people. and while you might do your best to ignore real problems in the queer community–economic justice organizations will continue to run laps around the HRC in order to “advance the rights of gay people”.

  • Jeff

    I am a progressive liberal blogger and lets cut the shit here.

    HRC went after and got Harvey Milks camera store to originally oprn a glorified gift shop and make some money of Milk names. Nothing more. Nothing less. if that wasn;t the fact they wouldn;t have opened it as a gift shop and would have made it an “action center”. And only AFTER an outcry from the public did they BEGRUDGINGLY let the Trevor Project set up shop in the store.

    Thats what happened. End of story.

    Harvey is probably rolling in his grave because the likes of the HRC A gays are akin to the people who gave him the most troble next to Anita Bryant that is in the 70. The homo’s who want to loook good, not makes waves and take what they can get without getting down and dirty.

    In a perfect world some rich LGBT philantropist should have banded the store and turned it into an LGBT Civil Rights Museum but they didn’t.

  • DavyJones

    I support the HRC in some of the things they do, and disagree with them in others. They’ve done a lot of good; and they have some problems (in message and methods).

    But when we spend our time calling people in our own community the ‘enemy’; and spreading in-fighting for no reason, that does even more damage.

    Don’t like the HRC? Fine, don’t give them your support; support other groups, and bear their messages. But when you start calling other LGBT groups ‘part of the enemy’; that’s a detriment to the entire cause.

  • Jeffree

    @JAW: Good for you. You must have had better experience with HRC than I’ve had. It’s a big organization with many moving parts =ergo, some work better than others.

    When it comes to helping get LGBT university students (or a “male” person such as you) involved in regional/ national LGBT issues (including “male” issues), they weren’t willing to provide any guidance or networking assistance. To add insult to injury, they added us to their mailing list asking for contributions after ignoring & our request.

  • HellsCook

    @Barry O’Bummer: And this is why I hate San Francisco…

Comments are closed.