Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Gay Martyr for Justice Harvey Milk Celebrated Throughout America

San Francisco, California – Harvey Milk Day, May 22, celebrates the life and legacy of love of Harvey Bernard Milk, born May 22, 1930, and gunned down in his San Francisco City Hall office on November 27, 1978.  He was the first openly gay person elected to a major political office in the United States when he won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.  His close associate,  gay activist Cleve Jones, says of his friend Harvey, “He fought for gay people, against war and for workers and the poor. He stood with women, immigrants, seniors and youth. He forged coalitions that built power for ordinary men and women and moved us all forward with his humor, compassion and great love for his people.” 

In today’s San Francisco Chronicle, Anne Kronenberg, another intimate friend of Harvey’s who managed his successful election campaign to the Board of Supervisors, reflects on Harvey’s legacy of human rights progress in the 33 years since he was assassinated.  She writes, “In 1977” (the year of Harvey’s election), “we were taking baby steps in our fight for equal rights. In 2012, we have come a long way as the dialogue on equality is a top-of-mind issue and specific actions are reaching that goal. Harvey Milk’s life and death changed the course of history,” Kronenberg went on to say. “Milk’s legacy, to give people hope for a better tomorrow, is very much alive in the hearts of anyone working to achieve change. Thank you, Harvey!”

In 2010, the State of California officially set aside May 22, the anniversary of Harvey’s birth, to be an annual celebration of his memory, the story of the struggle for LGBTQ rights, and of the continuing effort to make this a better world.  His work in education (successfully opposing the infamous Briggs Initiative, also known in California as Prop 6), and in youth empowerment is now being championed by the Harvey B. Milk Foundation, founded by Harvey’s nephew Stuart Milk and his friend Anne Kronenberg.  To learn more about Harvey’s life, times, assassination and witness for justice, see the Academy Award winning films The Times of Harvey Milk (1984) and Milk (2009). In book form, the definitive work is still Randy Shilts’s The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk (St. Martins Griffin, 2008).

The Unfinished Lives Project Team joins grateful Americans from every walk of life in the celebration of Harvey Milk, hate crimes murder victim, gay rights pioneer, and friend of all marginalized people.  Though he died, yet he lives in our hearts and minds, and in the living shrine of liberty made up of the lived experiences of increasing millions of out and proud LGBTQ people.  Happy Birthday, Harvey!

May 22, 2012 - Posted by | anti-LGBT hate crime murder, bi-phobia, Bisexual persons, California, gay men, GLBTQ, gun violence, Harvey B. Milk Foundation, Harvey Milk Day, Hate Crimes, hate crimes prevention, Heterosexism and homophobia, Lesbian women, LGBTQ, Remembrances, Social Justice Advocacy, transgender persons, transphobia | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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