Did the Pentagon make a boy-loving ‘chickenhawk’ its ‘Pride Month’ hero?

By Peter LaBarbera

Graphic for the Defense Department’s 2023 LGBT “Pride Month” celebrations shows homosexual activist Harvey Milk, who is said to represent the DoD “Pride Month theme,” “Equality Without Exception.” Milk was a radical gay activist who was homosexually molested as a young teen boy himself, and who went on to have a sexual relationship with a teen runaway boy when Milk was in his thirties (screenshot / DEOMI)

Second in a series; Part one: “U.S. military makes radical gay activist its poster boy for ‘Pride Month'”

Warning: offensive and graphic descriptions

By promoting and whitewashing the life of martyred gay activist Harvey Milk as the symbol of LGBT “pride,” the Pentagon has opened up a can of worms that encapsulates, in microcosm, the problems with “reimagining” America with ‘progressive heroes” and according to leftist ideological narratives.

Milk, a promiscuous homosexual who had a sexual taste for young men – including a 16-year-old boy who ran away from his Maryland home to become a male prostitute in New York City – would be classified as a “chickenhawk,” or “chickenfreak,” in the “gay” city-slang of his day. That is, a man with a “voracious appetite for … young men” (called “chickens”).

And like so many men who embraced a “gay” identity, Milk was sexual molested by adult men as a young boy – another “inconvenient truth” that never makes its way into the “Pride Month” stories, LGBT propaganda and school lesson plans featuring this charismatic man who made his name pleading for others to “come out.”

‘Chicken’ in modern ‘gay’ culture
“Chicken,” according to the 1972 book “Gay Talk: a (sometimes outrageous) dictionary of gay slang,” is defined as: “any boy under the age of consent, fair of face, and unfamiliar with homosexuality.” The gay-authored book, once called “The Queens’ Vernacular,” shockingly defines “chicken dinner” as “sex with a teenager.”

Among the dozens of slang terms for men committing sodomitic acts with underage boys are: “pluck some feathers: to make love with a young boy, especially anally”; “fried chicken: suntanned boy”; and “chickenpox: the urge to have sex with younger men.”

The latter, according to his biographers, was reported to be Harvey Milk’s urge, although you would never know it by the sanitized Milk of today’s “pride” celebrations.

As WND reported in the first article in this series, the Pentagon has chosen to use Milk as its symbol of “Pride Month.” But the DoD’s “educational” material for service members crosses over into propaganda by leaving out or distorting key aspects of his edgy sexual behavior and activist life, simply erasing the politically inconvenient parts of his (and the “gay liberation” movement’s) past. The DoD through its little-known HR educational and communications arm, DEOMI, the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute, is engaged in such a de facto propaganda exercise under the rubric of “diversity and inclusion,” to affirm its “LGBTQ” personnel.

New American hero?
This is an age in which self-styled progressives and violent anarchists are tearing down American Founding Fathers and heroes like George Washington – men and women who once unified this nation and symbolized greatness. Progressives aim to replace them with their own newfangled “heroes” representing secular ideologies and once-subversive goals (think: transsexualism), around which they demand we unify.

Milk is one of those leftist icons, but to make his story palatable to the larger public, including to young children through educational indoctrination, key parts of his life story must either be ignored or distorted. A “mythical Milk” had to be created, disentangling him from perversion and anti-Christian hate.

U.S. military makes radical gay activist its poster boy for ‘Pride Month’

It was not too long ago that the idea of the Armed Forces pushing idealized pro-LGBT themes on its service members would be unheard of. Only in 2011, under Barack Obama's presidency, did open homosexual service in the military become possible. Prior to that, same-sex sexual behavior was deemed "conduct unbecoming" and worthy of dishonorable discharge.

Three successive Democrat administrations – Clinton (1992-2000), Obama (2008-2016) and Biden (2021-present) – have brought U.S. military culture to this present point, with ever-increasing social radicalization of America's fighting forces. The new military flips historic Judeo-Christian values on their head: Once sodomy was an "abhorrent" disqualifier; George Washington, the first Commander-in-Chief, had a man drummed out of the military for attempting to commit such an "infamous" crime.

Now it is the supposedly "bigoted" opposition to the LGBT-activist agenda, which includes encouraging minors to pursue body-altering "gender change," that DoD leaders say is hindering military recruitment efforts. Of course, conservatives argue the exact opposite, with many observing that it is precisely the Biden military's "woke" obsession that has fueled the recruitment crisis.

Cleaning up an anti-Christian sex radical
The DoD's current campaign featuring Milk is part of a larger effort by Democrat "progressives" and the LGBT movement to cement Harvey Milk, a radical San Francisco activist who was assassinated along with San Francisco Mayor George Moscone in 1978, as an American civil rights hero on par with Martin Luther King.

The military's campaign is not done in isolation. It parallels the left's whitewashing of Milk's life to schoolchildren and the wider public through jaundiced "gay history" books written largely by homosexual authors who possess an obvious self-interested bias. No homosexual activist has been celebrated like Milk, whose iconic status was ensconced by Hollywood with the sympathetic yet biased 2008 movie "Milk" (which also left out key elements of his life).

A Google search on 'Harvey Milk books' yields an assortment of books, including 'children's' books. Of these above, only gay author Randy Shilts' biography of Milk documents his disordered sexual life, including his being sexually abused as a boy and going on to have a live-in sexual 'relationship' with a minor boy when he was 33 (screenshot / Google)

Some argue that all icons have deep flaws, but those flaws do not detract from the person's larger-than-life accomplishments. For example, MLK was a known womanizer whose lecherous pursuits with various women who were not his wife were captured on wiretaps by the FBI (and which remain buried in government archives). That does not negate MLK's immense contributions to the black civil rights movement.

However, in Milk's case his "cause" was (deviant) sexual liberation, popularizing out-and-proud homosexuality, and establishing "rights" based on same, in defiance of age-old teachings on sexual morality, especially as taught in the Bible. Thus the facts surrounding Milk's promiscuous, arguably predatory, sexual conduct, as well as his sexual victimization as a child at the hands of homosexual men, are relevant to his story and the presumed larger lessons from his life.

Similarly, Milk's vicious and deceptive way of dealing with critics, e.g., his taunting of Christian conservative Anita Bryant as Nazi-like, should be factored in when attempting to hold him up as a national, presumably unifying, hero.

Whitewashed DoD version: Young Harvey discovered he was gay at an early age

Fact: Harvey Milk as a young teenage boy was sexual molested (raped) by homosexual men who groped and seduced him at the opera house

The story of Milk's embrace of homosexuality is tragic and all too familiar in the lives of adult "gay" men, many of whom were victimized by (homo)sexual predators. After his mother was naive enough to allow him to travel alone, at age 14, to New York City's Metropolitan Opera House to watch opera performances, he was seduced into performing sex acts on homosexual men standing in the back of the theater.

Randy Shilts, Milk's sympathetic biographer and the first "out" gay journalist at a major American newspaper, tells the story of innocence stolen that surely would have horrified his mother Minnie had she known about it (she had warned him about predatory homosexuals). Here he describes 14-year-old Milk's visits alone to the Met to watch opera performances (emphasis added):

Harvey had never heard the jokes about the old Met's standing section; about standees being the only New Yorkers who wore zippers on both the front and the back of their pants, or the one about never being able to tell which sound was louder at the end of an opera, the bravos of the operaphiles or the sound of flies going up in the standing sections. ...

Minnie's eyes lost their usual twinkle when she told Harvey about people called homosexuals. ... They hung around the train depot and did things to little boys, Minnie explained. She never said exactly what they did, but the way she talked about it made Harvey realize that what they did was so bad it wasn't even supposed to be talked about...

Harvey worried about this during those first times at the old Met. Sometimes he pushed back the wandering hands. But the dark tinglings were too powerful to be be long denied. Random gropings led to brief trysts after the performances. The encounters taught him more valuable information: where he could meet other men who liked junior high athletes, how to walk down the streets just so, how to take a casual stroll through the gay sections of Central Park [where homosexual men would "cruise" for sex partners] without getting busted."

Shilts goes on in "The Mayor of Castro Street" to describe how the homosexually initiated Milk learned to score "tricks" with soldiers sleeping in Central Park and how Milk, "by his own account, was leading an active homosexual life by the age of fourteen" – presumably, mostly in illicit homosexual encounters with adult men.

Covering-up homosexual molestation
Clearly, Milk was lured into unnatural homosexual behavior by perverted adult predators who put their own selfish lusts above his childhood innocence. Put more strongly, he was raped; most observers deny that a 14-year-old boy can "consent" to (deviant) sex with an adult. (NAMBLA, the notorious North American Man/Boy Love Association, and some sex radicals, including some famous homosexuals, argue the opposite.) And yet one biographical account of Milk's life after another obfuscates or simply ignores his sexual victimization using soft terms that seem to give agency to the boy as merely living out his "natural" (innate) homosexual inclinations.

For example, here is the Pentagon's  and DEOMI's "Pride Month" version of how a young Milk entered into homosexuality: "Milk realized he was gay at an early age, and reportedly was indulging his desires with illicit trysts by his early teens. However, he also knew full well the need to conceal any signs that would raise suspicion, such as his love of opera."

A book published by Penguin Workshop targeting young readers, "Who Was Harvey Milk?" by Corinne Grinapol, describes young Harvey's entrance into homosexuality this way, similarly with no hint of the molestations that Shilts documented (emphasis added):

"Harvey's mother gave him money for tickets in the standing-room section of the opera house. He traveled there by train. In the city, Harvey discovered many different types of people. He recognized that some of the men in the audience were attending the opera together. They were similar to him in a specific way. Harvey realized that, like them, he was gay – that he was a young man who was attracted to other men. He was not yet ready, however, to let other know how he felt."

Interestingly, as part of the "Gay Talk" gay-slang definition of "chicken freak," author Bruce Rodgers writes, "It is widely believed that chicken freaks were seduced into committing homosexual acts when they were children."

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In 2012, the American Journal of Family Therapy published an article, "Childhood Sexual Abuse and Adult Sexual Identity Formation: Intersection of Gender, Race and Sexual Orientation," which found: "There is a significantly higher rate of childhood sexual abuse among individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or queer."

Whitewashed DoD version: No mention of Milk's sexual conquest of a minor, runaway boy

Fact: Milk entered into a live-in homosexual relationship with a 16-year-old boy when he was 33. 

The DEOMI Press account used for the DoD's Pride Month material makes no mention of Milk's penchant for young lovers, including his sexual "relationship" with a runaway teenage male hustler named Jack Galen McKinley. Neither does it mention Milk's escalating promiscuity and penchant for the raunchiest homosexual sex acts, including "fisting," in the latter years of his life, as documented by Shilts and his letters to a former lover.

Conservative author Dan Flynn, in his book "Cult City" exploring the alliance between San Francisco activist and politician Milk and Marxist genocidal cult-leader and preacher Jim Jones – another inconvenient fact left out of pro-LGBT celebrations using Milk as a hero of "pride – writes that Milk "had a habit of pursuing troubled teens and young men."

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Flynn writes in the 2018 book: "[Milk friend and] Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar stage director Tom O'Horgan pointed out the major problems Milk created by dating minors with problems. Jack Galen McKinley, sixteen when he met the adult Milk, fit into that category. 'Galen was like most of those little boy Harvey [ever] found,' O'Horgan told Randy Shilts. 'They were very dependent, looking for some kind of parent and believed it could last forever. There was a pattern Harvey had of finding little waifs.' The pattern included suicide attempts by the emotionally disturbed youngsters."

Pornographic 'gay history' hidden from the public
In a jarring opening to chapter three of Shilts' book, "Mayor of Castro Street," the author quotes McKinley on why, at age 16, he decided to run away from his hometown of "rural Hagerstown, Maryland" and hop on a bus to seek out "the gay scene in Greenwich Village he'd heard rumors of."

"I came to New York so I could suck [c**k]," he told his much older lover, Milk, according to Shilts.

Here is what Shilts reports about McKinley and Milk: "McKinley had lived with O'Horgan for only a few weeks when he came in one day to announce that a handsome businessman [Milk] twice his age was vying for his affection....McKinley was looking for some kind of father figure...Within a few weeks, [he] moved into Harvey Milk's Upper West Side apartment. They bought a dog they named Trick, a cat they called Trade, and settled into a middle-class domestic marriage. At thirty-three, Milk was launching a new life...."

"Trick" and "Trade" are gay slang terms associated with homosexual male hustling (prostitution).

Conservative commentator and attorney Matt Barber was one of the few on the right to call out LGBT activists and "progressives," including President Obama, for honoring Milk, who Barber called a "pederast":

"Merriam Webster defines 'pederast' as 'one who practices anal intercourse especially with a boy.' It defines 'statutory rape' as 'the crime of having sex with someone who is younger than an age that is specified by law.'

"Harvey Milk was both a pederast and, by extension, a statutory rapist....

"So what does a man like Harvey Milk get for his apparent crimes? While most sexual predators get time in prison and a dishonorable mention on the registry of sex offenders, Harvey Milk got his own California state holiday ('Harvey Milk Day') and, more recently, his own commemorative postage stamp, awarded by the Obama administration's USPS.

"God bless America?

"As troubling as the postage stamp may be, to me – the father of a soon-to-be-teenage boy – the specter of having a 'Harvey Milk Day' forced upon millions of California children, parents and educators is even more troubling. Especially in light of Milk's own sordid history with minors."


This photo of 33-year-old Harvey Milk and his teenage "marriage" partner, Jack Galen McKinley, is found in Randy Shilts' sympathetic biography of Milk, courtesy of the Estate of Harvey Milk. McKinley is 16 or 17 at the time. The "couple" names their pets "Trick" and "Trade," slang terms related to gay male hustling (prostitution).

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