SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — People spent the afternoon in the Castro District celebrating what would have been Harvey Milk’s 91st birthday.
Milk was the first openly gay elected official in the history of California.
He was assassinated in 1978.
The annual event was entirely virtual last year. Organizers still streamed parts of the event online, but they wanted to use this event to ease people back into some semblance of social normalcy.
While it was less of a party than previous years, people were still able to gather and remember Milk’s legacy.
“This is 100% what Harvey would have wanted to see people back on the streets and just celebrating life.”
Hundreds of people gathered in the Castro District to remember the life and legacy of Milk on what would have been his 91st birthday.
“What he’s done for the community is very important that people can keep understanding that LGBTQ visibility is important for everyone.”
Milk was the first openly gay elected official in California history. He served on the San Francisco board of supervisors.
He was assassinated while in office at the age of 48.
“Harvey’s legacy extends to the entire world.”
The event was hosted by the Castro LGBTQ cultural district and several other local organizations.
Organizer Stephen Torres says along with celebrating Milk, they were also trying to help the community take its next steps out of the pandemic.
“We had 200 vaccinations that were given out by the department of public health.”
He says even decades later, Milk’s message of unity is still needed.
“He understood the importance of bringing multiple groups to the table and in San Francisco we’ve lost a little bit of that.”
Castro LGBTQ Cultural District Programming Associate Samual Favela says he was grateful to see so many people back in person.
“To see people face to face, to see people smiling, it being a nice day it just was very nostalgic and feeds the soul.”
Organizers told KRON4 Milk’s birthday is often a soft kick off to Pride Month, which is the month of June.
They’re hopeful to see more people safely gathering and celebrating then.