Page 42 - Fyne SUMMER2012-proof

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It became clear to Milk in his teenage
years that he was more attracted to men
than women. But he was happy to keep
his sexuality to himself, and friends
from the time say that they were totally
unaware of his homosexuality. After
school, Milk attended the New York
State College for Teachers where he
majored in mathematics. After college,
Milk decided not to go directly into
teaching but instead joined the military
and was sent to fight in the Korean War.
He took a commission in the US Navy
and served aboard the USS Kittiwake,
a submarine rescue ship. Milk left the
Navy in 1955 having achieved the rank
of lieutenant (junior grade).
After the Navy he initially decided
to use his college training and begin
a career as a teacher. He started at
George W. Hewlett High School back
home in Long Island. There, he started
to frequent some well-known gay
hang-outs. One of his favourite was a
notorious beach in Jacob Riis Park. It
was on this beach that in 1956 he met a
young man called Joe Campbell who was
to become Milk’s first long-term partner.
The relationship lasted six years before
they both went their separate ways.
Another lover came along in the form of
Craig Rodwell, a younger man who was
deeply involved in the newly emerging
gay rights movement. Milk was nervous
of his new lover’s involvement in the
cause, especially when Campbell was
arrested after a swimsuit protest which
left him locked up for three days under
the charges of indecent exposure and
inciting a riot. The relationship was
over soon after this.
Harvey Bernard Milk was born to a middle class family
residing in a small district of Long Island. His father William
and mother Minerva were Lithuanian Jews who had managed
to earn a good living in the USA.
February 2012
GAY GREAT ... Harvey Milk