Posted By Eric Ethington (Author) on December 7, 2010
The birthplace of the gay rights movement in San Francisco, Harvey Milk’s “Castro Camera,” has been purchased by the Human Rights Campaign to house their new gift shop. What do you think? Just what Harvey Milk had in mind?
Grand opening? On Harvey Milk Day next year of course. Activism meets corporate.
In a press release, the organization is painting the move as a marriage of two greats in the gay civil rights fight: “We are the beneficiaries of [Milk's] groundbreaking activism and are honored to be part of the future he envisioned,” said HRC president Joe Solomonese. But some gay advocates say that’s a bit of a lofty declaration. Let’s remember that Milk was actually effective in rousing San Francisco’s gay civil rights movement in the 1970s. As for the HRC, many accuse the country’s biggest gay civil rights organization of complacency. “I can definitely tell you the grassroots community is very frustrated and feels it’s an insult for the HRC to be in that space,” says Robin McGehee, the director of GetEQUAL, a gay rights org that stages direct protests. “I hope by being that space every day they’re reminded by the direct actions and protests that Harvey Milk and Cleve Jones spurred out of that spot and never compromise equality.”