San Francisco, CA – David Reddish reports for Queerty that May 22 is Harvey Milk Day. Organized by the Harvey Milk Foundation, and officially marked by the city of San Francisco since 2009, the day commemorates the birthday of the famed gay rights activist and lawmaker, who was assassinated November 27, 1978. Born in in New York 1930, Milk was the first openly gay elected official in California. He joined the US Navy as a young man. He then went into the financial services sector, but relocated to San Francisco in the early 1970s, after experiencing its free-love, counter-culture atmosphere. He opened a camera store on Castro Street and began to become politically active. He was elected as a city supervisor in November 1977; His swearing-in made national headlines. A year later, in November 1978, a disgruntled former supervisor, Dan White, turned up at City Hall with a gun and assassinated both Milk and Mayor George Moscone.

Milk’s life story was bought to the screen in 2008 in the movie, Milk. With a screenplay by Dustin Lance Black, it starred Sean Penn as Harvey Milk (both men won Oscars for their contribution to the movie). It’s as good a place to start as any for an insight into Milk’s life, death and legacy.

Over the years, San Francisco has commemorated Milk in several ways. The Harvey Milk mural by Oz Montania is located on The Cafe at 18th and Castro. It was unveiled in 2018. A relatively new addition, the Harvey Milk stamp mural by artist Jazz Fuller appeared in 2020 outside P.O. Plus (584 Castro). It features an image of Milk on a postage stamp, along with a quote from him: “Hope is never silent.” Harvey Milk Plaza is a transit station at San Francisco’s Castro Muni Metro subway stop. You’ll find it in San Francisco’s Castro District, long-famed for being the center of LGBTQ life in the city. The Harvey Milk plaque is outside Milk’s old camera store at 575 Castro Street. In 2019, San Francisco Airport reopened its refurbished Terminal 1 and renamed it the Harvey Milk Terminal 1. It handles domestic flights from within the US. In March 2020, the terminal unveiled a permanent display highlighting images from Milk’s life. (Queerty – David Reddish at https://www.gaycities.com/outthere/53911/harvey-milk-day-san-francisco-monuments-lgbtq-icon/)