Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Today Is Harvey Milk Day

Today is Harvey Milk Day--in California—occurring every May 22nd, on Harvey's birthday, to honor the gay-rights activist who was assassinated in 1978. Harvey Milk is only the second person in California state history, after conservationist John Muir, to gain such a designation, and is the only openly gay person in the country to be honored this way.

Harvey would be pleased, I'd like to think.

In 1977, Harvey Milk became the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California. Both he and San Francisco Mayor George Moscone were assassinated less than a year later. Despite his short political life, Milk has become an icon in San Francisco and the LGBT community. Proof that when we stand together, we can do anything.

Now, of course, there is no Harvey Milk Day in South Carolina, which is roughly ten to twenty years behind the times; and there is no Harvey Milk Day in most states, though some communities around the nation will be celebrating. But, maybe, just maybe, each of us, gay, and gay-friendly, can talk about Harvey today, and continue to spread in his word.

It may not be an official Harvey Milk Day, but it can be a day in which all the things he stood for, fought for, and died for, are remembered.

Happy birthday, Harvey.

And Happy Harvey Milk Day to everyone else, and here are some of Harvey's words, still ringing true today: This is Sean Chapin, Andrea Shorter, Randall Mann, Sister Roma, Courtney Walsh, and Aaron Wimmer reading Harvey Milk's famous "Hope" speech in honor of Harvey Milk Day in California.

9 comments:

Ron said...

The absolute best advice that Harvey MIlk ever gave was how to end homophobia. He said (I'm paraphrasing here) "If everyone came out, EVERYONE, homophobia would end overnight" and indeed it would. Harvey MIlk is another example of a gay man who has more courage and balls than all the homophobes but together. God rest his soul.
Retired in Delaware

the dogs' mother said...

:-)

Moving with Mitchell said...

Amazing to think how many lifetimes have passed, how much has changed, and how far there still is to go.

A great man, a constant inspiration, and someone I wish I could have known!

Bob said...

Mitchell
I'm with you.

Anonymous said...

I want to see Harvey Milk Day as a National Holiday.

But you're right - SC is 10 to 20 years behind, and even RI won't do it. But I might start agitating for it here.

Mark in DE said...

I've wondered many times if the GLBT rights movement would be even farther along had Harvey Milk not been assassinated.

Bob said...

@Mark
I wonder that, too, and I think we might have been further along now.

anne marie in philly said...

did the renaming of SFO airport to harvey milk airport ever get settled?

dan white can rot in hell. twinkies my ASS!

Bob said...

@Anne Marie
They named a terminal for Harvey, not the entire airport.