Writing project: Milk, Larry Kramer, and MLK

Below, you will find some follow-up resources for Milk, The Normal Heart, and Selma: The Bridge to the Ballot.

There are three writing prompts. You will need to answer all three.

Please review the questions and then access (listen, read, watch) the media and make notes before you begin writing. Your answers should be very thorough and complete (a minimum of one paragraph each) and based on your knowledge of the movies Milk, The Normal Heart, and Selma: The Bridge to the Ballot (and the additional resources). Please use specific references from the movies AND the resource materials (links below) in your writing whenever possible.

Work in Google Docs and post your complete answers as a comment to this post by the end of class on Thursday, December 15.

This radio story, “‘Gotta Give ‘Em Hope’: The Legacy Of Harvey Milk” aired in 2009, a few weeks before the movie was released. In it, you will hear people who knew Milk talking about the impact of his life. (Listen, use earbuds or headphones.)

This video interview with playwright/scriptwriter Larry Kramer was made by The New York Times in 2014 when his screenplay of The Normal Heart premiered on HBO. (Watch, use earbuds or headphones)

This 2012 essay by John Blake, religion reporter for CNN explores what Martin Luther King, Jr. may have thought about homosexuality and the gay rights movement, had he lived to see it. (Read.)


1. Harvey Milk and playwright Larry Kramer were on very different paths of advocacy for the gay community. What were each of their causes and what methods did they use to advance their causes?


2. What personality qualities did Martin Luther King, Jr., Harvey Milk, and the character Ned Weeks (Larry Kramer) share? Do you think these three men would have formed an alliance if they had lived at the same time? Why or why not?


3. On his fourth election night, Harvey Milk reminded his supporters, “This is not my victory — it’s yours. If a gay man can win, it proves that there is hope for all minorities who are willing to fight.” Do you agree or disagree with this statement, and why?