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Harvey Milk: The Gay Rights Movement Essay

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Harvey Milk-Research Paper

In 1977, Harvey Milk was elected as the first openly gay individual to the San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors. Although, he was defeated in his first two campaigns, he was still persistent in his work. He aspired to change the way homosexuals were treated. Before the fight for gay rights that began in the late 20th century, the way the homosexuals were regarded was abominable (“Bringing People Hope”). Milk was a politician who defended his personal rights, beliefs, and faiths not only for himself, but the entire gay community as well. He believed the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals should not differ from those of any human beings. As a gay man, Milk felt the responsibility to lead a movement to ensure equal rights for homosexuals.
Milk grew up in Woodmere, Long Island in the 1930s and had a nondescript childhood. As a teenager, Milk realized he was gay but felt compelled to keep it a secret. After attending the State University of New York at Albany, Milk entered the United States Navy. Following his time in the military, Milk had a numerous amount of different jobs, including teaching in a high school, however none having to do with politics. However, once he realized the inferior treatment of the gay community, he ended up becoming politically involved. This was when he realized that he didn’t care what the public thought about gay individuals. He decided that it was time to live openly gay. He moved to San Francisco in 1972 with his partner because Milks partner, Jack Galen McKinley, was hired as stage director for the musical Hair (“Harvey Milk Biography Encyclopedia”). They opened up a camera shop on Castro Street, the hub of San Francisco...


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...Milk’s Legacy Is Progress.” SFGate [San Francisco] 22 May 2012: n. pag. Sfgate. Web. 6 Nov. 2013. .
Kuhn, Betsy. Gay Power!: The Stonewall Riots and the Gay Rights Movement. Minneapolis: Twenty First Century, 2011. Print.
Milk, Stuart. “Harvey’s Enduring Legacy.” The Criterion Collection. N.p., 22 Mar. 2011. Web. 6 Nov. 2013. .
Rosmaita, Gregory J. “Harvey Milk’s Political Empowerment of the Gay Community.” The Gay Rights Movement. Ed. Jennifer Smith. Farmington Hills: Greenhaven, 2003. 79-89. Print.
Verger, Michelle. “Harvey Milk Day: Lessons Learned.” Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. N.p., 22 May 2013. Web. 26 Nov. 2013. .



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