SAN DIEGO – Thousands of San Diegans will join other Californians this weekend in celebrating the first-ever Harvey Milk Day, an official statewide recognition of the slain gay-rights leader.
Milk, who was born on May 22, 1930, in Woodmere, N.Y., would have turned 80 on Saturday when Californians pause to remember his birthday and his accomplishments.
Milk made history in 1977 when he became the first openly gay man to be elected to a public office in the United States. The so-called “Mayor of Castro Street” served as the District 5 member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors until he was assassinated on Nov. 27, 1978. He was 48.
The story of the gay-rights pioneer was told in director Rob Epstein’s 1983 Academy Award-winning documentary, “The Times of Harvey Milk,” and in the 2008 film, “Milk,” starring Sean Penn, who won the Best Actor Oscar for portraying Milk.
In San Diego, at least five events will mark Harvey Milk Day.
Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast
The second annual Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast will be from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Friday at the San Diego Bayfront Hilton, 1 Park Blvd.
Speakers will include Lt. Dan Choi, who is at the forefront of the effort to get the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy repealed; and Bishop Christopher Senyonjo of Uganda, who has risked his life to fight for LGBT and human rights in Uganda.
Another guest will be Youth Essay Contest winner Natalie Jones, who made headlines last year when she was told she could not share her PowerPoint presentation on the life of Harvey Milk with her sixth-grade class in fulfillment of a class project.
San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders and his lesbian daughter Lisa Sanders will emcee the breakfast.
More than 1,000 people are expected to attend the event, including Grammy Award-winner Jason Mraz.
Proceeds from the breakfast go to The Center in Hillcrest.
EQCA Harvey Milk Day of Action
Equality California volunteers will be going door to door from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday in San Diego to built support for LGBT rights by sharing our stories.
The goal is to make May 22 as the largest LGBT day of action in state history.
The EQCA office in San Diego is at 4506 30th Street.
The San Diego Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence will host the Harvey Milk Legacy Concert, a benefit for The Center’s youth programs, featuring the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus, the San Diego Women’s Chorus, In aChord and a youth talent showcase.
The concert will be at 7 p.m. Saturday at The Center, 3909 Center St. in Hillcrest.