Saturday, May 22, 2010

Open Forum: What Does Harvey Milk Mean to You?

Slain LGBT civil rights hero Harvey Milk would turn 80 today if he were still alive. Now California has recognized Harvey Milk Day as an official day to recognize his impact on the movement towards equality and justice. Even though he is gone, he has left a legacy and inspired a new generation of activists to stand up, be proud, and demand full equality.

What does Harvey Milk mean to you and what are you doing to celebrate and honor him today?


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately I'll be unable to really celebrate as I'll be involved with a wedding today.

But he was inspirational. That a gay man could run for political office really captured my imagination when I was 15 years old.

Clueless said...

As a straight female, he represents what activism really is, a proud step toward educating others about people who are gay, a damn good politician and hope that the world can become a better place. If he were alive today, I wonder where the LGBT group would be now.

Jen said...

When I read 'wedding' I thought well see there's something that can be done and likely was heavily influenced by Harvey Milk's equality activism. But then I thought if you're in the States, you might not be talking about an LGBT wedding. So in honour of today, I will even more often than usual talk about my wife. Can't hang out with her since she's working. :-(

Queers United said...

To me Harvey means inspiration, bravery, truth, and courage. He is just the sum of an out proud and activist gay man. I love him for what he has done and I love all the Harvey Milk's that follow in his legacy.

Jim Costich said...

I graduated from high school in '75. Harvey Milk meant the beginning of a new world to my friends and I. We had seen the beginning of our civil rights movement in NYC and now we had Harvey and Dan Moscone in San Francisco. We fully anticipated full equality by 1984. I was devistated by Milk's and Moscone's assasination but it got much, much worse. The impossibly light sentance given to their assasin and the complete lack of care by the straight public foretold an ominous future of hate and bigotry we were shocked to discover was there. If anyone had told me that 50 years later we would still not have a single federal law protecting us and that no court would have yet established us as a suspect class - thus still making us less than a minority, less than second class citizens I wouldn't have believed it. But here we are. We still don't even have protection under the law to keep jobs and housing.
We're still beaten in public places by the police just for being together in a public place (Atlanta, last year) and if people kill us in cold blood even if we're children in school our killers only get manslaughter.

Harvey was my hero when I was a kid. He never got to see the "promised land" and it looks like I won't either. My adopted son is gay and now 23 and it doesn't look too good for him either. Blacks didn't win equality until they spilt blood. Non-land owners didn't win the right to vote without it and neither did women. If Harvey was our "Martin Luther King, Jr." who is going to be our Malcolm X"? No minority has won equality without force. I supose we don't have a chance of it either. That's my Harvey Milk Day activity - prayer for Equality - peacefully if possible.

planet trans said...

His life inspires me to reach for the stars barefoot.

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