40 Quotes to Commemorate Harvey Milk

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What do we start to tell you abut Harvey Milk? Do we tell you that he was born May 22, 1930 or that he was an actvist for the gay rights movement who became the first city supervisor of San Francisco CA, who was openly gay? I guess we would also have to say he was assassinated and died on November 27, 1978. It is said that Harvey knew that he was going to get assassinated and made three recordings to be played after his death. Regardless of what you know or don’t about Harvey Benard Milk, he left us some quotes that are popular to this day.

Harvey Milk Quotes

1. “You can stand around and throw bricks at Silly Hall or you can take it.” – Harvey Milk

2.”Let me have my tax money go for my protection and not for my prosecution. Let my tax money go for the protection of me.” – Harvey Milk

3.”Get out of the bars and into the streets!” – Harvey Milk

4. “”The American Dream starts with the neighborhoods.” – Harvey Milk

5.”Some people call me the unofficial mayor of Castro Street.” – Harvey Milk

6.”If a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet destroy every closet door.” – Harvey Milk

7.”It takes no compromise to give people their rights. It takes no money to respect the individual. It takes no survey to remove repressions.” – Harvey Milk

8. “The fact is that more people have been slaughtered in the name of religion than for any other single reason. That, that my friends, that is true perversion.” – Harvey Milk


9. “I would like to see every gay doctor come out, every gay lawyer, every gay architect come out, stand up, and let that world know. That would do more to end prejudice overnight than anybody would imagine.” – Harvey Milk

10.”It’s not my victory, it’s yours and yours and yours. If a gay can win, it means there is hope that the system can work for all minorities if we fight. We’ve given them hope.” – Harvey Milk

11.”I like to sit in the window and watch the cute boys walk by.” – Harvey Milk

12.”Hope will never be silent.” – Harvey Milk

13.”If you are not personally free to be yourself in that most important of all human activities—the expression of love—then life itself loses its meaning.” – Harvey Milk

14.”All men [people] are created equal. No matter how hard they try, they can never erase those words. That is what America is about.” – Harvey Milk

15.”I fully realize that a person who stands for what I stand for, an activist, a gay activist, becomes the target or the potential target for a person who is insecure, terrified, afraid, or very disturbed with themselves.” – Harvey Milk

16. “We are coming out to tell the truths about gays, for I am tired of the conspiracy of silence, so I’m going to talk about it. And I want you to talk about it.” – Harvey Milk

17. “Let’s make no mistake about this: The American Dream starts with the neighborhoods. If we wish to rebuild our cities, we must first rebuild our neighborhoods. And to do that, we must understand that the quality of life is more important than the standard of living.” – Harvey Milk

18. “I wish I had time to explain everything I did. Almost everything was done with an eye on the GLBT movement…last week I got a phone call from Altoona, Pennsylvania, and the voice was young, my election gave one more young person, hope.” – Harvey Milk

19. “Every gay person must come out. As difficult as it is, you must tell your immediate family. You must tell your relatives. You must tell your friends if indeed they are your friends. You must tell the people you work with. You must tell the people in the stores you shop in. Once they realize that we are indeed their children, that we are indeed everywhere, every myth, every lie, every innuendo will be destroyed once and all. And once you do, you will feel so much better.” – Harvey Milk

20. “Unless you have dialogue, unless you open the walls of dialogue, you can never reach to change people’s opinion.” – Harvey Milk

21. “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” – Harvey Milk

22.”Coming out is the most political thing you can do.” – Harvey Milk

23.”All young people, regardless of sexual orientation or identity, deserve a safe and supportive environment in which to achieve their full potential.” – Harvey Milk

24. “All over the country, they’re reading about me, and the story doesn’t center on me being gay. It’s just about a gay person who is doing his job.” – Harvey Milk

25. “Rights are won only by those who make their voices heard.” – Harvey Milk

26. “I cannot prevent anyone from getting angry, or mad, or frustrated. I can only hope that they’ll turn that anger and frustration and madness into something positive, so that two, three, four, five hundred will step forward, so the gay doctors will come out, the gay lawyers, the gay judges, gay bankers, gay architects I hope that every professional gay will say ‘enough’, come forward and tell everybody, wear a sign, let the world know. Maybe that will help.” – Harvey Milk

27. “More people have been slaughtered in the name of religion than for any other single reason. That, my friends, that is true perversion. – Harvey Milk

28. “”I know that you cannot live on hope alone, but without it, life is not worth living. And you…And you…And you…Gotta give em hope.” – Harvey Milk

29. “Burst down those closet doors once and for all, and stand up and start to fight.” – Harvey Milk

30. “If you are not personally free to be yourself in that most important of all human activities … the expression of love … then life itself loses its meaning.” – Harvey Milk

31. ” I have tasted freedom. I will not give up that which I have tasted” – Harvey Milk

32. “The only thing they have to look forward to is hope. And you have to give them hope. Hope for a better world, hope for a better tomorrow, hope for a better place to come to if the pressures at home are too great. Hope that all will be all right.” – Harvey Milk

33. “If I turned around every time somebody called me a fa**ot, I’d be walking backward – and I don’t want to walk backward.” – Harvey Milk

34. “If every gay person were to come out only to his/her own family, friends, neighbors and fellow workers, within days the entire state would discover that we are not the stereotypes generally assumed.” – Harvey Milk

35. “Gay brothers and sisters … You must come out. Come out… to your parents… I know that it is hard and will hurt them but think about how they will hurt you in the voting booth.” – Harvey Milk

36. “I have never considered myself a candidate. I have always considered myself part of a movement, part of a candidacy. I considered the movement the candidate. I think that there’s a distinction between those who use the movement and those who are part of the movement. I think I was always part of the movement. I wish I had time to explain everything I did. Almost everything was done with an eye on the gay movement.” – Harvey Milk

37. “San Francisco can start right now to become number one. We can set examples so that others will follow. We can start overnight. We don’t have to wait for budgets to be passed, surveys to be made, political wheelings and dealings…….for it takes no money……it takes no compromising to give the people their rights……it takes no money to respect the individual. It takes no political deal to give people freedom. It takes no survey to remove repression.” – Harvey Milk

38.”If a gay can win, it means there is hope that the system can work for all minorities if we fight. We’ve given them hope.” – Harvey Milk

39. “Politics is theater. It doesn’t matter if you win. You make a statement. You say, I’m here, pay attention to me.” – Harvey Milk

40. “If I do a good job, people won’t care if I am green or have three heads.” – Harvey Milk

These quotes help us remember Harvey Milk as a Prominent Gay Rights Activist

As a very outspoken advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, Mr. Milk was way ahead of his time because he presented ideas that needed to be talked about but, no one took a position other than silence. Harvey Milk was assassinated by Dan White who was angry at the Mayor, George Moscone, who was also murdered by Dan White at the same time. We commemorate Harvey Milk’s memory with some inspiring quotes that are inspirational and empowering. We hope you enjoyed them.


Image Credit: By Artico2Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

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