legacies

How Will Activists Celebrate Harvey Milk Day? By Turning It Into a Fundraising Event

California’s gays have been fighting for years to get a governor to sign off on their Harvey Milk Day — and Gov. Terminator finally did it! So with the first ever state holiday for the renowned homosexual nearly upon us on May 22, surely his hometown of San Francisco is pulling out all the stops to commemorate the special day, right? LOLZ!!

It’s as if SF Weekly‘s Patrick Connors wants to criticize the city for dropping the ball or something.

As you’d expect, there’s lots of stuff happening in San Francisco commemorating the gay icon. What you might not expect is how tame San Francisco’s events are compared to other cities in California and around the country.

Outside of S.F., Milk Day is commemorated with public demonstrations like those we watched (a bit too repetitively) in the 2008 film Milk. New York City is honoring Milk’s activism by organizing a march to City Hall. Los Angeles will have a week of events touching on various topics as well as hosting a Town Hall meeting, a march, and two rallies. Hell, even in St. Louis, they’re marching to City Hall.

Meanwhile, in San Francisco there are no marches planned.

Instead there will be tours and window displays and street fairs and dedications (mostly in the Castro). There will be lots of educational moments and an interfaith blessing. There will be a presentation (but not a demonstration!) against the proposed sit/lie ordinance. That sounds like the most pointed moment of the whole weekend. Did I mention there’s going to be a tricycle race? Let’s not forget the tricycle race.

So if the city can’t get its act together, surely gay activists will fill in the gaps? Enter Equality California’s Geoff Kors — who devoted his life to earning money through activism — who is using Harvey Milk Day to, what else, raise cash with a $75-to-$150-per-head “celebration” the night before. The big draw? House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

But just in case you GetEQUAL activist had some shenanigans planned for an elected official playing ball with Gay Inc., don’t think you can just waltz into the affair with signs and megaphones and handcuffs — EQCA is hiding the location of the event. You will only find out where you need to be in SF to hear Pelosi, Mark Leno, and Tom Ammiano speak after you pay your dues, likely an attempt to keep Pelosi safe in her own congressional district from activists who actually have a problem with her.

So at least one GetEQUAL activist (or an informant) will have to pay up.

Update: A location! San Francisco LGBT Community Center, 1800 Market Street, at 10am. See you there.

[photo: Jerry Pritikin]