After an old college yearbook surfaced where Fox News personality Tucker Carlson claimed to belong to the “Dan White Society” — named for the assassin of gay politician Harvey Milk — an organization named for Milk responded and didn’t pull any punches.
The Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club, an organization based in San Francisco that has operated in the city since 1976 and was renamed for Milk after his assassination in 1978, released a statement on Twitter denouncing Carlson and his tasteless joke.
“RE: Your membership in the Dan White Society, and exaltation of the murder of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected official in California and our Club’s namesake,” the statement reads, “Dear Mr. Carlson, F*ck you. Sincerely, The Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club.”
It’s just two words, but it sends a strong message. The organization’s website describes it as “one of San Francisco's largest Democratic clubs, [which] is respected for its progressive history, political actions, empowering activists and members of marginalized backgrounds, and bolstering the resistance to status quo politics, changing rather than obeying power dynamics that leave members of our community out in the cold.”
Carlson’s history of homophobia and transphobia is long and well-documented. Throughout his career as a “journalist,” mostly with Fox News, he has consistently been known not just for his anti-LGBTQ+ political stances, but the cruel way he treats LGBTQ+ people in general.
In 2019, audio of him on a conservative radio show surfaced where he and the show’s host, Bubba the Love Sponge, both repeatedly used antigay slurs. Previously he had bragged about beating up a gay man in a bathroom.
Last year, when trans rights started becoming a daily talking point on Fox News, Carlson turned up his hatred for the community. In December, Carlson said that trans youth getting access to lifesaving health care is “grotesque” and that footage from an HBO documentary about trans children “is so disturbing it would have qualified as a crime not so long ago.”
Later that month, he mocked and misgendered a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention scientist for being nonbinary and having a trans Pride flag on their Twitter profile. The behavior is nothing new to the Carlson family, as his father, Dick Carlson, was responsible for two high-profile outings of trans women when he was a journalist.
In the docuseries The Lady and The Dale for HBO Max, trans filmmaker Zackary Drucker revealed that Carlson’s father had not only been responsible for outing criminal businesswoman Liz Carmichael but also tennis pro Renee Richards. In his six years as a journalist in Los Angeles and San Diego, he wrote over 20 stories about Carmichael and in the documentary still misgenders her. The rotten apple doesn’t fall far from the tree at all.