Thought of the Day: Nancy Goldstein

“Bitch, I’ve seen queers more fired up when Bed Bath & Beyond runs out of sale items. Where’s the passion?

Was Van Sant afraid that audiences wouldn’t be sympathetic if 70s-era gay activists were people who suffered, swore, fought back, and fucked like they meant it? If the street kids actually looked like dirty, starving, broke-ass teen hustlers?

Gay history — unedited — is ugly, angry, and violent. It’s police dragging us out of cellar bars and down to the station to gang fuck the femmes and face-rape the butches, queens, and trannies. It’s military witch hunts; suicides and “experimental therapies,” from lobotomies and electro-shock to Christian boot camps. It’s Stonewall, where we showered raiding police with bottles, locked them in the bar, and set it afire. It’s ACT UP and chaining ourselves to pharmaceutical companies’ fences to protest AIDS drugs price gouging.

Van Sant’s gentrified Milk reflects gay activism’s increasingly apologetic tone. We don’t always need to be burning police cars to prove our cred, but we shouldn’t be inviting homophobes to the table, then singing their praises if they don’t spit on us. It’s not about hugging Rick Warren and being satisfied that at least he’s being nice about denying us our civil rights. Politeness has become homophobia’s most popular mask.” — Columnist and author of The Gender Politics of HIV/AIDS in Women Nancy Goldstein on Milk, Gus Van Sant’s biopic of gay rights leader Harvey Milk.

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10 Comments

  • Mark in Indiana

    I liked the movie “Milk” but…hell to the yes, bitch.

  • Uncle Mike

    I don’t know what movie she saw, but this 45-year-old (who used to live in SF) thought Milk was a pretty accurate biopic.

  • Joe Lagana

    TELL THAT! Abso-fuckin-lootly.

  • adzomelk

    milk hasnt come to our town yet & probably wont which is fine because the theatre is way to sterile for cruising & i enjoy being @home with a dvd anyway LOL that said ive rioted in the streets ive been beat by cops with billy clubs ive fucked my brains out with some trik in the muni underground because we could & ive pelted fred phelps with rocks in the intersection outside glide memorial church during the randy shilts funeral event it was fabulous & it bugs me that kids today want to think that all we had to do was reach across the divide & extend the hand of friendship to homophobes i survived but i dont know how i had peers who committed suicide in middle school & high school i almost killed myself in college my parents threatened me with the mental hospital my mother actually said she would cut my fucking brain out if she found out i was queer it bugs me when gay revisionists & anti sex addicts want to say weve moved beyond all that its time to be like our heterosexual friends FUCK THAT i wud much rather burn down the mall as a raging faggot than pretend that cleaning up our past is going to change how breederz feel about us

  • noah

    @Uncle Mike:

    It was a Hollywood film, which means that it played things safe in not showing some of the less than a capped teeth version of life.

  • Alan down in Florida

    Hasn’t Larry Kramer been saying similar things for decades?

  • Uncle Mike

    @noah: Oh, I know. I was just saying that, as someone who actually lived there, I thought it was more accurate than she did.

  • Kevin

    Bitch, yourself…please. Spare us the angry radical clone schtick because it’s tired and mundane at this point. Hello Nancy…late 80s calling – it wants it’s spiky hair-don’t and “Silence=Death” buttons back! I saw Milk today in Daly City, CA in a suburban strip-mall theater full of straight couples and if you seriously think that they were too callous or dimwitted to get the many overt references to police raids, gay murders, and homophobia from the Christian Right then you obviously don’t have any faith the people we come from and must learn to live with – typical of the insular and misanthropic cult of “Queerer Than Thou” that never fails to throw in its counterfeit two cents anytime the topic is brought up. Self-appointed guardians and cultural citadels of the LGBT community my ass…and I’ve NEVER SEEN your ass in BB&B! Shrill fundamentalism of any stripe is a major turnoff to any sympathetic and potential ally…so perhaps it’s wise you aren’t running any campaigns other than your own publicity one.

  • nikko

    ADSOMELK, please type properly. That’s really annoying to read.

  • Savio

    @Kevin:
    Kevin – I LOVED your comment! I too saw MILK and thought the depiction of hardship was subtle enough for this 30 year old to get the “message.” There were moments where I weeped…

    All must come to realize that ultimately the “path to peace” is between two extremes – only then can we hope for Unifying one another through our many Differences.

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