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For months, one of the most controversial topics in the media has been the opening of an exclusively gay public high school in New York City. The Harvey Milk School attracted national attention when it received public funding for renovations and became a 4-year accredited public school. On Monday, September 8, 2003 Harvey Milk opened it's doors. Unfortunately Fred Phelps, minister of the Westboro Baptist Church and founder of godhatesamerica.com, organized an anti-gay protest similar to the demonstration given at the funeral of Matthew Shepard, where protesters waved signs proclaiming "God Hates Fags" and "AIDS Kills Fags Dead." In response, many peaceful demonstrators countered the messages of hate with ones of encouragement, applauding every student that entered the building.

Irrespective of your view toward the opening of the Harvey Milk School, anti-gay messages such as these are detrimental to the emotional wellbeing of GLBT teens seeking an educational environment free of harassment and violence. It's essential that queer youth receive as much, if not more, positive encouragement to aid in their development.

I am compiling letters of encouragement for gay teens to be presented to the administration of Harvey Milk in hopes that they will in turn be read to their students, creating a positive atmosphere. Click here to submit letters of encourage. Counterpoints concerning the opening of the school are also welcome.
July 16, 2008 at 11:30 pm
(1) lynn says:

wow ……Harvey Milk? That is the WORST name for a gay highschool……

September 24, 2008 at 12:58 am
(2) Roman says:

I’m sorry, but Harvey Milk is an Excellent name for this school…. I believe the person who posted the comment before me is uneducated (i’m not saying you’re dumb) but uneducated on who Havey Milk was and why this is, as I believe, One of the best names for the school.

September 26, 2008 at 1:32 am
(3) niko says:

wow this is great i wish they had a school like this in ga i probably would not have dropped out down here sometimes it can be so crazy for the life i have chosen to live i am so at an aww that kids have a place to go without all the negativity and i am only 19 and i have been through so much jus because of my orientation

October 2, 2008 at 11:31 pm
(4) shannon smithy says:

whoa wat is this world coming to?
this in my opinion ion WRONG
same sex schools should not be permitted…
i have nothing against homosexuals but it’s jus wrong like i said

April 22, 2011 at 8:52 pm
(5) chance morgan says:

Is it fair to say heterosexuality is wrong? How would you feel if the only thing that got you off was called “wrong”, how would you feel if we lived in a homosexual society how would you feel if you were the old hetero that uptight people thought were wrong? Screw you.

November 3, 2008 at 8:29 am
(6) Usa says:

That is awesome.
I wish I could’ve gone to a school like that. I went to a catholic all-girls school and it near drove me crazy.

November 14, 2008 at 9:52 pm
(7) wouldntyouliketoknow says:

wow, i think that’s wonderful…i wish i had heard about it sooner…i would have went.
and i compleately disagree with whoever said it’t not right…it’s not fair to have to go to a predomenatly straight high school…and it’s not harming anyone.

December 15, 2008 at 1:25 pm
(8) Jollena says:

I wish i could go to that school. people look at me and think i shouldnt be who i am (lesbian) i can care less what people think cuz im not going to change who i am so poople will be happy and they think its right. well to me this is right! its who i am! and it they dont like it sorry not my problem tell someone who actually cares what you think! =]
i love being gay! i have the best girlfriend! =]
I proud! i show pride!!!
im glad they mad a school for gays!!!=]

January 2, 2009 at 2:47 am
(9) justme says:

i think this school is an excelant idea, i go through highschool being made fun of and discriminated against because i dated another boy. Although when i think about it they started after we broke up! Talk about scared. Anyway, if we have a chance to get out of what most of us go through then i say we take it and be who we are. NOT WHO THEY WANT US TO BE!

February 18, 2009 at 10:17 am
(10) koolaid says:

wow this is the best idea ive ever heard of. im an the president of my schools gsa and hear homosexual slurs and discrimination against them everyday . i wish there was a school like that in my community were people could be open about who they are and what they want ive seen two of my friends try to kill themselves already over something that is completely natrual .. peace love happiness and equality

May 27, 2009 at 1:17 am
(11) Elayna says:

My goodness, I can’t express how envious I am of the students who get to attend Harvey Milk High School. Alas, I am graduating this June… such terrible timing. Good luck to the students! Don’t let anybody tell you how to be, or how to think. Be yourselves, and screw the people who demand that you think a certain way, live a certain way, look a certain way!

October 9, 2009 at 7:17 am
(12) shaz says:

i think this ia amazing we need one in england !

October 15, 2009 at 9:52 am
(13) 19rockr says:

amazing….! wish there was one down in florida.~sighs~
Wish I went to a school like that…

October 21, 2009 at 4:33 pm
(14) Steve R. says:

So Shannon Smithy, since you think it’s'wrong’, explain please what exactly is wrong about it. And if you can’t intelligently articulate what that ‘it’ is, than perhaps an emotional hang up you have is being triggered.

I think it’s FANTASTIC! HARVEY MILK HIGH! I remember when he was elected, soon to shot dead for being gay. Now THAT is ‘wrong’. And he was a great courageous man.

Congratulations to the school, faculty, and to all who attend forever and ever!

June 17, 2011 at 9:05 pm
(15) Alex J says:

Although the guy who put that probably doesn’t have good reasons, there is one that I can think of.
If separate schools are created for gays and straights, then effectively, we are telling straight people that we are different from them, and should be treated as such. This might bring a happier environment to gay kids while they are in school, but the straight kids will not have as much experience with gay people, and will revert back to where we were a while ago, with a lot of people being afraid of gays.
A better thing to do would be to integrate more education into the curriculums of schools, possibly in the health education departments, so that people are not afraid of gays, and therefore not as violent towards them.
I know that a lot of people might not agree with me, but frankly, every time I see these separate schools for people who are “different” it makes me think of when African Americans and Caucasian Americans were thought of as “separate but equal” and how hard the African Americans worked to show that they didn’t deserve to be forced into schools separately from Caucasian Americans.
If we start off by saying “Oh just put us in our own little schools and we will be happy,” then it opens up doors for people to assume that everything is okay if we are considered separate but equal.

November 19, 2009 at 1:23 pm
(16) jarod says:

this school is, for lack of a better word, amazing. If there was a school like this down here, i would probably cry with happiness. And shannon, how dare you. Your probably o straight women “who has no problems with homosexuals as long as they stay away from you and your family.” Am I right? You don’t know haw hard it is for a gay teenager to grow up in an all straight high school. Well, I do.

And by the way, I can’t stand ignorant speakers. Please do learn to read and type correctly.

December 23, 2009 at 2:30 pm
(17) Joe Schmoe says:

Ideally, there should be no need for such a school, it’s segregation. However, it’s needed because of the homophobic environment that still persists to this day in many main-stream high schools. Hopefully, someday this won’t be the case, and this school will either shut or become just another high school for all. If it shuts its doors under those circumstances, it will have accomplished its purpose!

January 23, 2010 at 7:52 pm
(18) Kole says:

If only they had a school like that in every state. I so wish they would put one in Washington so my boyfriend and i could go to it. It is really hard to go to a school were they look down on the homosexuals and then go home and be yelled at by your mom because your gay. Well it is life i guess. The people in New York are so lucky. :-)

February 10, 2010 at 2:04 am
(19) Kayte says:

You know,
people just,
are rude.
Gay people are fine.
There not ganna hurt you,
or do anything to you?
A gay school, is a wonderfull idea.
So they can interact with there people,
instead of having to be pushed around
by homophobics.

March 25, 2010 at 9:09 am
(20) Nicholas says:

Saying it’s “just wrong” doesn’t really do it for me idiot. That would be like saying black colleges are “just wrong.” When persecution is what you live by and you find an escape to live a life that is normal and not threatening then it is right to have a gay high school. It is right to live a life that meets the standards that you want. It is right that the American dream (our dream) that is to be free of persecution and pain; the right of every american to pursue happiness be upheld. You saying it’s “just wrong” is all in that; you are “just wrong.” Now stick that air quote up your ass and shut up.

May 13, 2010 at 8:01 pm
(21) Elle says:

I really think this is a amazing idea but we still need to fix LGBT discrimination in all schools. Also i would love to go to this school and im straight :)

June 22, 2010 at 1:26 pm
(22) Trevontae Torrez Daniel says:

Wow… all of the comments are intresting. I mean im 17 and knew i was gay at age 12 but didnt come out until the end of my middle school year. and now since im in high school me being gay has only brought me nuthin but pain, sorrow, and torn friendships. so im glad and estatic they have a gay high school. so that the gay community can have at least some rights in the so called usa.
but i do wish the had one 4 griffin,georgia

December 22, 2010 at 5:05 am
(23) Eugene says:

Wow!! it sucks that im in my senior year next year. Kudos to whoever decided to open that school. And to shannon smithy. You contradict yourself by saying you have “no problem with homosexuals” in a homophobic statement. I wish I could go there, Id love to be in a school where people could empathize with what you went through. And can you imagine all the cute boys, Its like an all-you-can eat buffet :) . Not like in other schools where the guys you crush on are all straight

April 27, 2011 at 8:18 pm
(24) JRT says:

Wow, this sounds like a good idea. To follow up on the “all you can eat buffet” comment… lol, I hope they make a concerted effort to have serious sex education in that school that is mandatory for all the students. Imagine the promiscuity being promoted just by the high concentration of gay teens in one place! Perhaps they should also be providing sex counseling and free contraception so the students are at least smart about their choices. Some positive reinforcement and education along those lines may actually reduce the rampant hormone-driven sex that could occur there! Anyway, I think it’s still a great idea from the standpoint of providing a safe and positive environment for supporting teens in the LGBT community and that perhaps someday we won’t need a separate institution for this.

June 11, 2011 at 6:18 pm
(25) Thomas says:

“applause” I am so envious of those kids, I would be ecstatic if there was one in Australia and jump at the chance to attend. My congradulations to all those associated ( in a good way) to that school for putting a brave and glorious foot forward.
And to (forgetting name) the lady who said it was wrong well booooo to you as this school is a calm peaceful oasis in a merciless desert of hostility, intolerance, pain, torment and crulty. Best wishes to all who attend may lady luck shine apron you and some twisted, tortuous creature from the pits of hell create havoc for all who apoze, belittle and are ( for lack of a better word) stupid ignoramus’.

June 19, 2011 at 1:52 pm
(26) eric says:

this is one of the best things i’ve heard of in a long while this is with out a doubt the best school for homosexuals in the country if i had a chance i would go now if only it had dorms for those who would get kicked out of their house if they attended it would be fantastic if it did i would take my boyfriend and go right now =D

sorry i have bad grammar and this one one run-on sentence

June 24, 2011 at 4:11 am
(27) Tim Scott says:

Not to worry about your grammar dude; it will improve with time. Dorms would not be good a solution. Good parental understanding and guidance would be better. They should be happy that you want to “love” instead of hate; with just that. they would be truly lucky parents. We don’t choose to be gay, we are born that way. Good luck guy.

April 30, 2012 at 12:25 am
(28) Austin says:

Great but it’s sad that it had to come to this. In a perfect world this school Ian necesary

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