Harvey Milk was an LGBT activist, community organizer and the first openly gay man elected to public office in the United States. Born on May 22, 1930, Milk was a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in the late 1970s and fought against the discrimination of LGBT business owners in San Francisco and a proposed ban on openly LGBT teachers in the state of California. During his eleven months on the Board of Supervisors, he worked to pass gay rights ordinances in the city of San Francisco and increase the visibility of the LGBT community.
On November 27, 1978, Milk’s life was cut short when he and San Francisco Mayor George Moscone were assassinated by a former San Francisco Board Supervisor. After news of the tragedy at City Hall spread, tens of thousands of mourners gathered in the Castro to hold a candlelight vigil for Milk and Moscone that moved through the streets of the city. In 2009, Harvey Milk’s birthday became a legal state holiday in California.
These are just a few ideas to get you started thinking about how you, your GSA and your school can celebrate the second annual Harvey Milk Day. Since Milk’s birthday falls on a Sunday this year, you can celebrate Harvey Milk Day on Friday, May 20, on Monday, May 23, or all week long!
We know you will come up with more great ideas, so take pictures, make videos and write stories about how you celebrated the day! Once you have compiled your best shots, send them over to Jill Marcellus, our Make It Better Project Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org !
Have fun and Give ‘Em Hope!
“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