I first made and posted this video in 2016 — I was going to reprocess the images and add new photos to the video. Still, I decided to leave it because there is an Easter egg in this video, a moment that seemed curiously out of place at the time, but only evident as disinformation in retrospect.
The photos in the video were taken in 2015 when Pride celebrated the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage.
I used “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge because in the 1970s, ‘We Are Family” was an anthem for the Gay and Feminist movements.
“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”
Harvey Milk was born May 22, 1930, in Woodmere, New York, to a family of Jewish Lithuanians.
His father served in the U.S. Navy as did his mother, who served as a “Yeomanette” in World War I.
“As a youngster, Milk listened with his family to radio reports about the Warsaw Ghetto and the plight of Jews in Europe. There was anti-semitism closer to home as well — nearby towns on Long Island were strongholds for the Ku Klux Klan and the American Nazi Party.” The Essential Jewishness of Harvey Milk
“Jews know we can’t allow discrimination—if for no other reason than we might be on that list someday.” Harvey Milk
In 1972 Milk moved to San Francisco and ran his first campaign for the Board of Supervisors in 1973; he framed gay liberation as part of a fight for the rights of all people.
“I know you can’t live on hope alone; but without hope, life is not worth living,” Harvey Milk
Milk won his 1977 campaign, and on January 9, 1978, he took his seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
Milk was clear about why he ran for office as an openly gay man:
“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.”
Supervisor Milk introduced the Nation’s first bill to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed the bill on March 22, 1978, and Mayor George Moscone signed it into law on April 11, 1978.
Harvey Milk spoke of the value of persisting in the fight to achieve the American ideal of equality:
“…we will not win our rights by staying quietly in our closets. … We are coming out to fight the lies, the myths, the distortions. We are coming out to tell the truths about gays, for I am tired of the conspiracy of silence, so I’m going to talk about it. And I want you to talk about it. You must come out.” Harvey Milk
Harvey Milk served as a supervisor for almost 11 months.
“I can’t forget the looks on faces of people who’ve lost hope. Be they gay, be they seniors, be they blacks looking for an almost-impossible job, be they Latins trying to explain their problems and aspirations in a tongue that’s foreign to them. I personally will never forget that people are more important than buildings. I use the word “I” because I’m proud. I stand here tonight in front of my gay sisters, brothers, and friends because I’m proud of you.” Harvey Milk
Harvey Milk is an American hero because he used his passion and his rights to break through a wall of institutional homophobia and caused the United States to become a more perfect Union.
“Harvey Bernard Milk dedicated his life to shattering boundaries and challenging assumptions. As one of the first openly gay elected officials in this country, he changed the landscape of opportunity for the Nation’s gay community. Throughout his life, he fought discrimination with visionary courage and conviction. Before his tragic death in 1978, he wisely noted, “Hope will never be silent,” and called upon Americans to stay true to the guiding principles of equality and justice for all. Harvey Milk’s voice will forever echo in the hearts of all those who carry forward his timeless message.”
“I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.”
― Malcolm X
“I am just one of the people who is sick of the social order, sick of the establishment, sick to my soul of it all. To me, America’s society is nothing but a cancer, and it must be exposed before it can be cured. I am not the doctor to cure it. All I can do is expose the sickness.”
― Nina Simone
“If by a “Liberal” they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people-their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights and their civil liberties-someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a “Liberal”, then I’m proud to say I’m a “Liberal.”
― John F. Kennedy, Profiles in Courage
What I did not yet know so intensely was the hatred of the white American for the black, a hatred so deep that I wonder if every white man in this country, when he plants a tree, doesn’t see Negroes hanging from its branches. Jean Genet
Disclaimer: To the best of my knowledge the images on this page are in the public domain.
Header photo, Portrait of Malcolm X, by Rob Goldstein (c) 2016