Outstanding performance by Sean Penn.

A very cute James Franco. Even with that ridiculous hairdo and moustache.

One thought-provoking film.

My film of the year. And yes, I know that the year has just started. It’s just that this particular film has just set very high bars for the upcoming ones.  

Harvey Milk who?

That was my initial response when I first heard about this film.

Prior to this film, I have never heard of this person ever before.

Now, I will never forget Harvey Bernard Milk (May 22, 1930 – November 27, 1978), the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

A man whose life perhaps began only at the age of 40 when he first started to get involved in politics and gay activism, the same life which was unfortunately forcibly ended some eight years later by a gun.

If he was not murdered then, would he be remembered any differently today?

If he was not murdered then, would he have made a real difference in today’s world?

Afterall during his 11 months in office, he was responsible for passing a stringent gay rights ordinance for the city, a task seemingly impossible back in those days and would still be deemed as remarkable in the present. Would it have affected the current Proposition 8 differently?

Well, we will never know. But I know that if I had been Milk, my life had not been wasted, even though it might not have ended the way I would have preferred. I might not have accomplished all those that I was planning for myself, but at least I had touched lives, I had made a difference for some. Perhaps I had let some people down, but I had not let myself down. Maybe this is the type of life I am searching for myself – you don’t always go with the flow, sometimes you get yourself hurt for standing against the currents, but you know and believe in what you are fighting for, and in the end perhaps this is all that matters.

Sometimes even I ask myself why I feel and stand so strongly for homosexuality when the most crooked part of myself is probably my little finger and I do not have any close friends or relatives who are gay (unless they are still closeted). Why does my blood boil instantly when others make discriminating remarks (even if they are out of pure ignorance or stupidity and mean no real malice)? Why am I all out to slash throats and spill blood when I hear “sin”, “burn in hell” or other religious or non-religious related comments? Why do I take something like that to heart when it doesn’t seem to concern me in any way? Why do I seem to make my own life difficult by taking a stand different from the majority?

I think it’s because I just have to do the right thing. Every single gene in me is compelled to adhere to things that I feel are morally right. That doesn’t mean that I try to be a saint. I have no use for the name or reputation of a saint. I cuss, I swear, I flash the finger, I have really evil thoughts like setting your hair on fire if I dislike you strongly, but I also have principles that will literally kill me if I bend any. Hence even though it can be painful standing my ground sometimes and having everyone else bump viciously into you as they go in the opposite direction, at least that doesn’t kill me. I cannot pretend to speak the same words as everyone else and nod my head just because everyone else is doing that, when everything that I have learnt teaches me to look and think beyond ancient beliefs, myths, religions, popular beliefs and everything else.

If homosexuality is not wrong, then I’m on the right side. I used to think that the majority should be correct. If there were 99 people saying that it was A and only one insisting on B, then A should be the correct answer. But now I know that sometimes the seemingly negligible 1% can be the correct one, no matter how ridiculous it may sound.


“Milk” – a must-see.