Harvey Milk’s vision was to create a government that ensures equality and authenticity for all U.S. citizens. As the first openly gay man elected to public office, Milk left a legacy of determined enfranchisement that has resulted in over 600 openly gay and lesbian elected officials now serving in the U.S.
Milk became the first openly gay person elected to public office in the U.S. when he won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977. He believed that being out and proud was the only solution to combatting lies and myths about homosexuality, and he consistently encouraged LGBT people and minorities to participate in the political process. Milk only held his seat for less than a year before he was assassinated, and in that time sponsored a ground-breaking civil rights bill that outlawed discrimination based on sexual orientation, which still impacts legislation today.
In 2009, President Obama posthumously awarded Harvey Milk the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
In his speech, President Obama honored Milk saying, “In the brief time in which he spoke and ran and led, his voice stirred the aspirations of millions of people.”
On May 22nd, we celebrate Harvey Milk Day to commemorate the achievements of Harvey Milk and promote equality for all. As Milk himself noted, “Hope will never be silent,” and we must always speak out if we hope to create change.
Honor Harvey Milk’s legacy and have your voice heard at SameSide’s Harvey Milk Boozy Brunch at There… in the Highlands in Denver on May 20th. Honor Harvey Milk Day while enjoying a bottomless brunch and advocating for full and lasting equality for the LGBTQ+ community.
Follow Milk’s vision and work towards a society in which all individuals can fully participate in all societal rights without exception.