Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man elected to major public office in California, had held his office for less than a year before he was assassinated. But Milk helped erase some of the invisible boundaries defining who in our country can be elected officials.
Two new works for voice written by two contemporary American composers to be performed in two theatres located two blocks away from each other. No matter what lens one uses to compare these works it's crystal clear that one has a bright future ahead of it while the other does not.
I remain hopeful that further progressive change is not far beyond our reach. Let us celebrate today but continue to fight for a brighter tomorrow. Do not lose sight of the struggles for equality and justice that persist. We will bring light to places still living in fear, hate, and ignorance.
One day in 2011, Tim Seelig, the artistic director of the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus, emailed me and asked me to write a five-minute piece about Harvey Milk for the chorus. I said, "I don't want to write a five-minute piece." Dramatic pause. "I want to write a 60-minute piece."
It seems that the message we too often miss from Milk's work is that all Americans have an interest in equality because soon we will all be minorities in some way or another. Harvey called this his "coalition of the us's" -- not only gays but blacks, Asians, seniors, the disabled.
I'm a member of GOOD, the worldwide community of people who give a damn. We are pragmatic idealists working towards individual and collective progress. And today, I am excited to share the first holiday of the GOOD community: on April 27, we celebrate Neighborday all around the world.
Senator Portman's son Will's decision to come out to his father was a brave one, especially considering his father's public opposition to gay marriage. His bravery is exactly what we all must emulate if we are to defeat those who would see our society divided upon sexual, religious, or other lines.
On this day in a second-grade classroom in the Midwest, Harvey Milk was on the same stage as Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth and Elizabeth Cady Stanton as an 8-year-old gay boy who has never seen the need for a closet told Milk's story.
As our children grow, we look around and wonder, "Is this the right place for us to be? Is this where we want our children to grow up? What is the environment we've chosen teaching them?" These questions were heightened after our oldest son started identifying as gay at a young age.
By any measure there have been tremendous gains in acceptance. But still, the list containing Mollie Olgin and Kristene Chapa, Jadin Bell, Tyler Clementi, Matthew Shepard, and countless others is not shrinking.
While I knew since before I came out to myself that there are many gay people of faith and many faiths that accept gays, God and religion are not where I turned. Learning about the stories of those LGBT people who had come before me gave me strength.