You know how when ppl think of San Fran, they think of the gays? The city’s got the highest concentration of homosexuals in the country (maybe the world, mu-hahahaha). Sorry, that just came out. It’s also got the highest concentration of Chinese folks outside the mother-land (being China, duh!); but that’s a story for another day. Or not, we’ll see.
So, San Fran holds the whatever-title in terms of number of gay ppls. Mama must be so proud. Well, ever wonder why? I did & I found out! So whether you wanted to know or not, I’m gonna tell you. If you didn’t want to know, you don’t have to keep reading the rest of this. But I’ll leave you w/ one thought – the military.
Intrigued? Ah, then you’re my kinda person. So, here’s how it all went down. The time was World War II. The US gov’t was discoverin all the gays in the military. The military decided they would seek out & dishonorably discharge all the gays. The San Francisco base is where most of the dismissed men were processed. So, most of them just ended up staying there & settlin; instead of returning to their homes.
I mean, have you eva been to San Fran!?! Well, have you?! It’s amazing, I’d highly recommend it. If you haven’t seen my pics from there, go into my Nov 2005 archive. I’ll put up a link to it later. Maybe. I’m pretty lazy though, remember? So, we’ll see what happens.
Wanna see more? This site has a timeline of the history of the movement in San Fran. If you want to explore gay San Fran, you’ll wanna hit up the Castro. And go here to go on a photo-tour of the Castro Neighborhood. It’s just amazing how much we share online, isn’t it? I’ve learned so much about a neighborhood so far away from me just online!
The one thing I really think you should all read about is Harvey Milk. I don’t know if you know who he is or not, but he most certainly led an interesting life. They made a documentary about him. I haven’t seen it yet so I can’t say if it’s good or not, but it’s on my “to see” list. Anyway, he settled in the Fran after being (honorably) discharged from the military, & became a city supervisor. Another city supervisor, Dan White, who was against Milk’s gay rights bill, stepped down, & returned to City Hall w/ a gun & 10 extra rounds of ammo. He went to see Mayor Moscone, & went to town on him. He reloaded, walked clear to the other side of the building to where Milk was, shot him in the chest, then point-blank in the head for good measure. White got less than 8 years in prison for these two murders.
Anyway, Harvey Milk is on Time Magazine’s top 100 ppl of the century list & they have a great write-up on him. You can also find more info on him at wikipedia, of course.
I hated history when I was in school, but now I find myself fascinated w/ the ppl & events & places of times past. So, I have decided that every time I stumble across something like this, I’ll post it here. To share w/ y’all, & so I have a ref point where I can come back to. It’ll be just like the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler!
Aside: Photo of Goldengate Bridge was taken by bmdoty. I decided that I think it’s amazing how many absolutely incredible shots that we as an internet community take & are willing to share. I’m thinking of joining too; cause I do love to take pics & I like the idea of sharing them as long as you give the pic-taker the credit. I also ‘hotlinked’ the pic itself so that if you click on it above, you can see his/her stuff & even leave comments for him/her if you want. Just sharin the love!
One thought on “the military, the gays, San Fran, & Milk”
Great post Yllw!