San Francisco Pride remembers Harvey Milk (May 22, 1930-Nov. 27, 1978)

May 22, 2024

San Francisco Pride remembers Harvey Milk (1930-1978)

On his May 22 birth date, San Francisco Pride joins the Harvey Milk Foundation in observing Harvey Milk Day. Learn more at

From the steps of San Francisco City Hall on Gay Freedom Day, 25 June 1978, newly elected San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk delivered a speech to the crowd and his words still resonate for us as we prepare to march on June 30, 2024. They remind us that LGBTQ+ visibility matters as much today as it did then.

Selections from the speech:

“On this anniversary of Stonewall, I ask my gay sisters and brothers to make the commitment to fight. For themselves. For their freedom. For their country.

You must come out. Come out to your parents. I know that it is hard and that it will hurt them, but think of how they will hurt you in the voting booth! Come out to your relatives. I know that it is hard and will upset them but think of how they will upset you in the voting booth. Come out to your friends. If indeed, they are your friends. Come out to your neighbors, to your co-workers, to the people who work where you eat and shop. Come out only to the people you know, and who know you. Not to anyone else. But once and for all, break down the myths, destroy the lies and distortions.

For your sake.

For their sake.

Let me remind you what America is…listen carefully.

On the Statue of Liberty, it says, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free…” In the Declaration of Independence it is written, “All men are created equal and they are endowed with certain inalienable rights…” And in our National Anthem it says: “Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave o’er the land of the free.”

No matter how hard you try, you cannot erase those words from the Declaration of Independence. No matter how hare you try, you cannot chip those words from off the base of the Statue of Liberty. And no matter how hard you try, you cannot sing the “Star Spangled Banner” without those words.

That’s what America is.”

Harvey Milk was assassinated in his City Hall Office on November 27, 1978.

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