MILK hits theaters November 26! In anticipation of this exciting event, we’re bringing you a “fun fact” every day about Harvey Milk himself. Frank Robinson, Milk’s speech writer, says Harvey “made gays the city’s power brokers,” according to San Francisco magazine. How’d he do that in the 1970s?
Harvey managed to convince all the gays that if they wanted to have political power, they had to vote. When Gay Pride days reached a quarter to a half a million people, even the dumbest politician in town realized he could do nothing that would affect gays detrimentally. And before that, it was totally different. There would be 6,000 or 7,000 votes scattered all over the city, and the gay leaders at the time were too moderate to rock the vote. By 1975, Harvey was pulling down tens of thousands of votes. [San Francisco Mayor George] Moscone, who had squeaked in with 4,400 votes, needed the gays — which is why Harvey had more power than the average supervisor.
Learn more about the man and the movie by reading GLAAD’s MILK Resource Kit.