Harvey Milk's "Hope" speech is worth a revisit today

This excerpt from Harvey Milk's famous "Hope" speech, given at the start of the last anti-LGBT backlash, is brimming with timeless wisdom and inspiration. Another excerpt from the full speech:

I can't forget the looks on faces of people who've lost hope. Be they gay, be they seniors, be they blacks looking for an almost-impossible job, be they Latins trying to explain their problems and aspirations in a tongue that's foreign to them. I personally will never forget that people are more important than buildings. I use the word 'I' because I'm proud. I stand here tonight in front of my gay sisters, brothers and friends because I'm proud of you. I think it's time that we have many legislators who are gay and proud of that fact and do not have to remain in the closet. I think that a gay person, up-front, will not walk away from a responsibility and be afraid of being tossed out of office. After Dade County, I walked among the angry and the frustrated night after night and I looked at their faces. And in San Francisco, three days before Gay Pride Day, a person was killed just because he was gay. And that night, I walked among the sad and the frustrated at City Hall in San Francisco and later that night as they lit candles on Castro Street and stood in silence, reaching out for some symbolic thing that would give them hope. These were strong people, whose faces I knew from the shop, the streets, meetings and people who I never saw before but I knew. They were strong, but even they needed hope.

The Hope Speech : Harvey Milk (via Dana Roc)

Notable Replies

  1. Franko says:

    needed this. thank you. but i'm gonna need a bit of time before i rally to fight. right now i'm processing the magnitude of what just happened.

  2. Today we mourn. My heart is broken. I fear for the future. I fear for the children who have to live though this.

  3. Jilly says:

    Mr. Jilly and I watched a sunset tonight on the front porch. He hugged me close and said, "It will be okay." I don't know if that's true. But I liked him holding me and telling me so.

  4. mewyn says:

    Today we mourn. Tomorrow we act. Tomorrow we act to protect those who tyrants will trample. Tomorrow we act to preserve our environment. Tomorrow we act to make this world a better, more tolerant place. We make it be a better place for those who will come after us.

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