Harvey Milk: An LGBTQ+ Figure Who Changed The World

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Harvey Milk was a visionary civil and human rights leader, who became one of the first openly gay elected officials in the United States when he won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977. In 1972, Milk moved from New York City to San Francisco and settled in the city’s Castro District.

Interestingly, politics and activism were not his early interests. Like many LGBTQ+ men of his era, he was not open about his sexuality and didn’t become civically active until he was 40.

After unsuccessfully running three times, he won a seat as a city supervisor in 1977. Milk served almost 11 months in office and was responsible for passing a stringent gay rights ordinance for the city before a tragedy occurred. On November 27, 1978, Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated by another city supervisor, Dan White.

Despite the fact he had a short career in politics, Milk became a San Francisco icon and was called the “the most famous and most significantly open LGBT official ever elected in the United States.”

In 2008, Hollywood star Sean Penn starred in a biographical film based on his life, and it was well received by audiences and film critics alike. The film received 8 Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, and winning two, for Best Original Screenplay and Best Actor in a leading role.

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