“We must continue the education that began in this campaign. We must destroy the myths, once and for all, shatter them. And most important of all: every gay person must come out. You must tell your family. You must tell your friends, if they truly are your friends. You must tell the people in the stores you shop in. You must tell the people you work with….”
Harvey Milk on the night of the defeat of the Briggs Initiative which would have banned the employment of gay and lesbian teachers in the California school system. November 1978
“As the years pass, the guy can be educated, that’s where we disagree. Everyone can be reached. Everyone can be educated and helped. I’m gonna sit next to him every day and let him know we’re not all those bad things he thinks we are.”
Harvey Milk on Dan White
“ A true function of politics is not just to pass laws, but to give hope. There have been too many disappointments lately. The real abyss lies not too far ahead when a disappointed people lose their hope forever. When that happens, everything we cherish will be lost.”
Harvey Milk’s inaugural remarks
“Hope is fine, but we can’t live on hope. The name of the game is six votes.”
Dianne Feinstein’s inaugural remarks
The American dream starts with neighborhoods. If we wish to rebuild our cities, we must first rebuild our neighborhoods. To sit on the front steps—whether it’s a veranda in a small town or a concrete stoop in a big city—is infinitely more important than to huddle on the living room lounger and watch a make-believe world in not-quite living color.
I can be killed with ease.
I can be cut right down.
But I cannot fall back into my closet.
I have grown.
I am not by myself.
I am too many.
I am all of us.
If I turned around every time someone called me ‘faggot’ I’d be walking backwards. And I don’t want to go backwards.
If a bullet should enter my brain
let that bullet destroy every closet door.
You don’t hear so much about AIDS anymore….at least you don’t if you don’t know anyone living with AIDS or HIV. But the fact is that 33 million people around the world are living with HIV…..up some two-million-plus in 2007. So on this, World AIDS Day, we need to be aware, to remember those we’ve lost, those we may yet lose. We need to be aware that cases of HIV and AIDS are on the rise; we need to be educated and knowledgeable; we need to be safe.
There are a couple of great places to go and read up on what you can do, from making a donation, to volunteering, to writing letters to keep all governments, all nations, working together to find a cure.
Check out the Gay Men’s Health Crisis and World Aids Campaign to see what you can do. I know personally what a difference it would make in my life to have AIDS and HIV a thing of the past.
A few years back Carlos and I went to see the AIDS Memorial Quilt when it was in Miami. It was a shocking site, all those panels and yet many more still dying; and it was a beautiful site, when you realized how much love was in each stitch and what each thread meant to the person who created the panel. These are just a few of the words, the memorials, sewn into fabric, that I saw that day:
Death is nothing at all—I have only slipped away into the next room. Whatever we were to each other, that we still are. Call me by my old familiar name, speak to me in the easy way which you always used. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without effort.
Life means all that it has ever meant, it is the same as it ever was; there is absolutely unbroken continuity. Why should I be out of your mind because I am out of your sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner. All is well. Nothing is past; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before—only better, infinitely happier and forever—
William Davis Austin
Even in the final months of his illness Bill would say, “I’m so lucky, I’ve had it all.” Of course, it may be that Bill was no luckier than the rest of us, except that he had the ultimate wisdom to know he was blessed and to live every day of his life in awe and with gratitude.
The hardest thing is to remember to say ‘I’—not ‘We.’
For Grady Harwell 1952-1991
God saw you were getting tired,
and a cure was not to be..
So he put his arms around you
and whispered, “Come away with me.”
With tearful eyes we watched you
And saw you pass away.
Although we loved you dearly
We could not make you stay.
A Golden Heart stopped beating
Hardworking hands at rest
God broke our hearts to show us
He only takes the best.
For Desiree p. Pope 1980-1997