Thursday, May 22, 2014

Harvey Milk Day 2014

Today is Harvey Milk Day, an international day of remembrance and celebration of the life of political pioneer and gay rights activist Harvey Milk (May 22, 1930 – November 27, 1978), organized by The Harvey Milk Foundation.

Harvey Milk, who was known informally as "The Mayor of Castro Street," was the first openly gay candidate elected to political office in California, and the first openly gay man elected to public office in the United States, winning a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977. His presence, life, and tragic assassination at the hands of a homophobic murderer (an event that triggered the White Night Riots) changed the texture, pulse, and meaning of life for gay men and women everywhere. Cleve Jones, a friend of Milk's and intern for Milk at the time of his assassination, put it succinctly: "His murder and the response to it made permanent and unquestionable the full participation of gay and lesbian people in the political process." The progress we have made and the continued success of gay rights was certainly helped by Milk and his courage. Anne Kronenberg, his final campaign manager, wrote of him: "What set Harvey apart from you or me 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."

And today, Milk was honored with a US postage stamp which was unveiled at the White House in ceremony attended by US ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power and Democratic leader in the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi.

No comments: