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6. Harvey Milk, c.1963 (location & photographer unknown)

Dear Joe,
Much has happened to me over the past weeks. I was at bottom, but I'm on the way up now, The salt water, sand and sunshine is better than tranquilizers (I was taking them). In fact, I've been in the sun so much that the hair on my arms is all blond and my eyebrows are much much lighter--I'll be a southern blond yet--then I'll be my own type. Everyone looks so healthy here--the high school kids seem so different than those in New York. Here they are better built and are full of health. Riding bikes and sunshine is the answer. Still living in the dump--a wild hotel--35% drunks, 10% homosexuals, 20% prostitutes, 20% dope addicts, 15% misfits--and those %'s are not far off--you can walk down the hall and smell who's in which room--whiskey, cologne, cheap perfume, and pot. I don't go out at nights except Tuesdays and Thursdays when a group of us goes to a nightclub in Colored Town that is the wildest place I have ever been to in the world. Tuesday is amateur night and Thursday is Ladies Night and you have never seen such dancing and what not--they don't even mind when "we" dance together. It's straight as straight can be with a few white queers and some gay colored but it is so mad that we can't stop dancing for days later. One night there is better than five sessions with a psych--can't spell it--head doctor. We go out about 10:00 and stay till about 3 am and you let everything go and no one cares. One can find work here in some kind of job if you really need to--but with my $50 check coming in each week--well, who's in a hurry. As you can see the typewriter got banged in transit but I think it is nothing serious. Regards to all the boys!


- From a letter to Joe Campbell written by Harvey Milk
on April 6, 1963 from Miami Beach
Joe Campbell Papers,
James C. Hormel Gay and Lesbian Center,
San Francisco Public Library