Wednesday, April 30, 2014

US History 1973 - 2014 Commonplace Book: Lecture 6: Lesbian & Gay Rights in the 1970s (Con't)

Somewhere in Des Moines or San Antonio there is a young gay person, who all the sudden realizes that she or he is gay; knows that if the parents find out, they will be tossed out of the house, the classmates will torture the child, and the Anita Bryants and John Briggs are doing their bit on TV. And that child has several options: staying in the closet; suicide... And then one day that child might open up the paper and it says “Homosexual elected in San Francisco” and there are two new options: [an] option is to go to California; or to stay in San Antonio and fight. Two days after I was elected I got a phone call, and the voice was quite young. It was from Altoona, Pennsylvania. And the person said “Thanks”. And you’ve got to elect gay people, so that that young child, and the thousands upon thousands like that child, know that there's hope for a better world, there's hope for a better tomorrow. Without hope, not only gays, but those blacks, the Asians, the disabled, seniors — the “us”-s; the “us”-s : without hope the “us”-s give up. I know that you can’t live on hope alone, but without it, life is not worth living. And you, and you, and you, you've got to give them hope.

— Harvey Milk, 1978 (from his famous “hope” speech)
Introduction to (and explanation of) this quote series can be found here.  Read this tag to see all of them.

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