Amelia is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. She writes articles about her journey with her son who told her that he’s gay. In an installment at the beginning of March 2013, she writes about him teaching his second-grade class about Harvey Milk when they did their essays on civil rights leaders:
The students spent the first part of their day writing out their essays, then the second half reading them to the class. When it was my son’s turn, he chose not to read but simply to tell his class what he had learned. He told his class that Harvey Milk was gay and fought for the rights of gay people. He explained to his class about what it meant to be “in the closet” and why it wasn’t good. He told them about how Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone were shot by Dan White, and how the city rioted when White was not convicted of murder. And he told them that President Obama presented Harvey Milk’s nephew with “the highest award in the land” (aka the National Medal of Freedom).
The other students had never heard of Harvey Milk. They were engaged in what my son had to say. They listened and then started asking questions and expressing their disbelief. They had the same questions that my son had asked me: Why would people hide being gay? Why did people think being gay was bad? What were Twinkies? My kid answered all the questions like a pro.
What’s amazing about this is not only that the teacher was willing to put a gay rights leader on the list of subjects for the students but also that the students were so receptive to the information and disbelieving of it. This is the future my friends, a future where people will find it hard to believe that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people were viewed and treated as less than. It’s a future that fills me with great hope.