Giving Us Hope: Harvey Milk’s Top 7 Quotes

Happy Harvey Milk Day everyone! Harvey Bernard Milk was born 83 years ago today and he made history in 1978 when he won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.  Not only was he the first openly gay man elected to public office in California, but also the first non-incumbent openly gay man to win an election for public office in the United States.

During the 11 months he served on the board, Milk was responsible for passing what was, at the time, “the most stringent and encompassing” civil rights ordinances in the nation, outlawing discrimination based on sexual orientation. His tenure was cut short by fellow board supervisor Dan White who assassinated Milk and Mayor George Moscone on November 27, 1978.

Though his life was ended, Milk’s legacy only continues to grow. The 1984 Oscar-winning documentary The Times of Harvey Milk was recently chosen for preservation by the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry and the 2007 Oscar-winning film Milk brought his story to an even wider audience. In 2009, President Obama posthumously awarded Milk with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his contribution to the gay rights movement. Later that year, then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared May 22 as Harvey Milk Day in California.

Today , the Harvey Milk Foundation invites everyone around the world, from the Castro to Moscow, to celebrate Harvey Milk’s life story, message of hope and legacy of inspiring disenfranchised communities.

Check out Queerty’s picks for Harvey Milk’s top 7 greatest quotes.