CHARLOTTE, NC— Glenn Howard, the only queer in an otherwise straight office received a DVD copy of “Milk” for Secret Santa again this year, making it his twelfth consecutive copy since the film premiered twelve years ago. Despite his lack of interest in the film, Howard’s straight co-workers have decided one by one that “Milk” is a film he will probably enjoy because it’s about gay people.
“I saw it in theaters when it came out and I thought it was fine. I’m not a huge Sean Penn fan to be honest,” Howard reported. In his spare time, the 52 year old accountant enjoys river rafting with his husband, binge-watching “The Great British Bake Off”, has a severe fear of public speaking, hates cities, doesn’t pay any attention to politics and hasn’t voted in the last four presidential elections, each time having forgotten it was Election Day.
Shelby Halls, a straight colleague that gifted “Milk” to Howard in 2016, emphatically loved “Milk” and found it to be a very significant film for the LGBTQ+ community. “Harvey Milk was such an important activist and political figure within LGBTQ+ history, the way he spoke inspired so many across the country. Naturally, I knew Glenn would LOVE it. I was thrilled when I got him as my Secret Santa,” said Halls.
Jason Lockhart, another straight colleague who gifted “Milk” in 2014, reportedly thought it’d make a suitable gift for Howard since it’s set in San Francisco. “Glenn has never shown interest in visiting San Francisco that I know of, but I feel like he’d like a movie that takes place there,” said Lockhart.
Since receiving his third copy of “Milk” in 2011, Howard began dropping hints to his co-workers and noting gifts he would actually enjoy. Specifically he requested his Secret Santa purchase just a $20 bottle of cabernet or a deck of cards or anything else.
Howard even considered bringing this issue to Human Resources to avoid another repeat gift. No one in the office seemed to notice this recurrence except for Howard, causing him to deduce that this mysterious repeated gifting stems from his straight coworkers’ sheer thrill of knowing one queer man in his early 50s combined with having watched a movie about an openly queer historical figure, played by a man about the same age. Human Resources responded to the request by ultimately sending yet another “Milk” DVD with a Christmas card that read, “I’m here to recruit you!!”
Over the last twelve years, Howard’s coworkers have gifted him an extensive collection of several editions of “Milk” including Blu-Ray, the director’s cut, a bootleg Italian-dubbed version, the making of “Milk” which includes 4 hours of Sean Penn’s commentary, as well as a mysterious and horrifying 3D version, all of which Howard tosses and leaves in the trunk of his car.
His growing frustration has led him to consider transferring to another branch altogether, affirming, “it’s not that hard to get a decent, thoughtful holiday present for any co-worker.” When asked what present he purchased for his Secret Santa this year, Howard reportedly gifted his co-worker Shelby Halls, a 58 year old Data Analyst and the only woman in the office, a period-tracker key chain.