In 2002, Harvey Milk was referred to as "the most famous and most significant openly LGBT official ever elected in the United States".
In 2002, Harvey Milk was referred to as "the most famous and most significant openly LGBT official ever elected in the United States". Credit:

S. E. Williams

Words spoken at a recent meeting of the Temecula Valley School Board about the late gay rights activist and icon, Harvey Milk, was stunning in its ignorance and hateful in its intent. 

Perhaps what made the comment even more egregious was that it was made by the school board’s president, Dr. Joseph Komrosky. 

Komrosky, unabashedly and inaccurately inferred that Milk was a pedophile, an intentional and degrading misrepresentation of Milk and a direct besmirching of his legacy for no reason other than to make a public display of Komrosky’s own small minded homophobia, an obvious indication he is possibly insecure in his own manhood. 

By all accounts, the comment was not only over the top, it was unnecessary considering the conservative school board had enough votes to reject usage of an elementary school social studies book that included information about Milk.

More details about the meeting are contained in this week’s article by Black Voice News reporter Asante-RA, “While Temecula Valley School District Rejects Book About Harvey Milk, Governor Takes a Stand Against Banning Books”.

Gov. Gavin Newsom (left) has criticized Temecula school board President Joseph Komrosky (right) for calling late gay rights activist Harvey Milk “a pedophile” when the board blocked a curriculum that mentioned Milk. (Newsom image courtesy of Gage Skidmore/Flickr; Joseph Komrosky image courtesy of

People like Komrosky, and others like him, help fuel the hate that results in the terrorizing of members of the LGBTQ+ community across this country. As a result, since 2015, gender orientation related crimes have continued rising across the country. 

Fortunately, despite such hateful bias, attitudes towards lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals continue evolving to be more open and affirming. 

In addition to these changing attitudes it is also important that we continue speaking out against bigots like Komrosky, letting them know their bias may sometimes win at the margins but in the long run, their hatred and bigotry is destined to fail. 

There will be no more pink triangles. 

Of course, this is just my opinion. I’m keeping it real.

Stephanie Williams is executive editor of the IE Voice and Black Voice News. A longtime champion for civil rights and social justice in all its forms, she is also an advocate for government transparency and committed to ferreting out and exposing government corruption. Over the years Stephanie has reported for other publications in the inland region and Los Angeles and received awards from the California News Publishers Association for her investigative reporting and Ethnic Media Services for her weekly column, Keeping it Real. She also served as a Health Journalism Fellow with the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism. Contact Stephanie with tips, comments. or concerns at