Happy Birthday Harvey Milk

Today Harvey Milk would have turned 80. That is, if he hadn't been assassinated way back in 1978. Last year, California finally managed to create a Harvey Milk Day, the first of which is today.

I first heard of Harvey Milk in late 80s at my alma mater (University of Iowa). Many of my friends thought of him as an inspiration to do good. But I didn't realize just how positive a man he was till many years later when I read more about him and understood just how viciously gay people were persecuted in United States. He managed to convince a very large group of gay people to out themselves to fight the Briggs Initiative, at a time when hardly anyone did so voluntarily.

I wonder what would have happened if Milk had been around when the AIDS epidemic started. Would he have spearheaded a push to legalize gay marriage? Would he have managed to convince the American public that gays are not a threat to society - rather their persecution and discrimination against them is...

But these are just philosophical questions today.

Happy Birthday Mr. Milk!

No comments: