If I turned around every time somebody called me a faggot, I’d be walking backward – and I don’t want to walk backward. -Harvey Milk
I have always considered myself part of a movement, part of a candidacy. Almost everything was done in the eyes of the gay movement. -Harvey Milk
Harvey Bernard Milk (May 22, 1930 – November 27, 1978) became the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California when he won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
Harvey Milk was not open about his homosexuality and did not participate in civic matters until around the age of 40.
Milk used the growing political and economic power of the Castro to promote the rights of gays by running for political office.
Milk won a seat as a City supervisor in 1977.
He served almost 11 months and was responsible for passing a stringent gay rights ordinance for the city.
Milk’s final campaign manager, Anne Kronenberg, wrote of him: “What set Harvey apart from you or I was that he was a visionary. He imagined a righteous world inside his head and then he set about to create it for real, for all of us.”
Historically, Harvey Milk is the most important LGBT official ever elected to public office in the United States.
President Obama awarded Milk the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.
“It’s not my victory, it’s yours and yours and yours. If a gay can win, it means there is hope that the system can work for all minorities if we fight. We’ve given them hope.”
– Harvey Milk, after winning a seat on the Board of Supervisors in 1977
The Last words of Harvey Milk–Found at the Internet Archives
(c) Rob Goldstein 2015 All Rights Reserved