“We are here to dedicate ourselves to the legend of Harvey Milk,…

“We are here to dedicate ourselves to the legend of Harvey Milk, that word of his dream and his struggle may spread across this and all nations. We are here to continue his struggle, continue his dream. We are here to spread the word, so that our [siblings] everywhere may know of the life and death of Harvey Milk.
.
We send this message to all the small children growing up queer in a straight world. We send it to all the strong women and gentle men, to the old faggot uncles and silent spinster aunts. We send them our love and the legend of Harvey Milk, so they may be strengthened and their lives dignified…We are here to build a legend, but also to remember the reality of Harvey Milk the man, our friend and neighbor. Harvey, smiling behind the counter of his Castro Camera Store. Harvey, the joker, Harvey the clown…
.
We must always remember the man behind the legend—the man who was neither genius nor saint, the man who was not our movement’s first martyr. We must remember that the work done by Harvey Milk is work we all can share, that his achievements are ones to which we can all aspire. We must remember as well, that our defeats, our humiliations, our losses were also all shared by Harvey in his time.
.
Yes, we know well that Harvey Milk was not our first martyr, nor our last…
.
That is why we are here tonight…that is why Harvey lived, that is why Harvey died. That is why we will not rest until Harvey’s dream is fulfilled: when [queer people] of every age, race, and background come out to join in the struggle with all of us who seek lives of freedom and dignity and joy.
.
It will be a long struggle. There will be decades of campaigns and leaders and, no doubt, many martyrs. But let no one misunderstand, our movement is powered by the determination of a people too long denied, too long abused. A people who seek only the freedom to live; to work and to love. Let no one misunderstand—we are deadly serious, we grow daily in power, and we will not be stopped.” – Cleve Jones (@realclevejones), November 27, 1979
.
Picture: Harvey Milk (May 22, 1930 – November 27, 1978), May 21, 1978. Photo © Daniel Nicoletta (@lgbtsanfrancisco). #HarveyMilk #Resist