Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-04-10
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Remembering Harvey Milk
Excerpt by Cleve Jones
2018-11-28

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Nov. 27 marked the 40th anniversary of the death of Harvey Milk. Below is an adapted excerpt friend and activist Cleve Jones sent to Windy City Times from Jones' book, When We Rise, to mark the occasion.

I woke up early on November 27, 1978 and got to City Hall before my boss, San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk. I was a student intern and eager to impress Harvey, who was also a friend and neighbor on Castro Street.

Unfortunately, Harvey was less than impressed by my diligence as I had forgotten to bring back to the office a file that I'd taken home with me. Harvey sent me home to retrieve the file.

Walking down Castro Street an hour later, a bus slowed down to stop at 18th Street. A woman I recognized from the Women's Building yelled at me out of the bus window, "Cleve, it's on the radio, they shot Mayor Moscone." Clutching the file, I jumped into a taxi. As the cab sped down Market Street, I wondered who "they" were. I figured it was either death squads from People's Temple or the cops.

The driver dropped me off on Van Ness Avenue at the western side of City Hall. I ran in, seeing the police swarming around the Mayor's office on the other side of the building. The cops frightened me and I ran up the stairs. The Board of Supervisors was on the second floor and each Supervisor had a small office opening to a private hallway that ran parallel to the public hallway. There was a passageway that connected the ornate Supervisor's Chambers to the reception area and the hall to the individual offices.

Harvey had given me a key to the passageway and as I let myself in I saw even more police officers running up the stairs. I felt panic in my chest and turned left towards the offices, looking for Harvey when Dianne Feinstein and an assistant rushed past me. Feinstein's sleeve and hand were streaked with dark red.

I looked down the hallway and saw Harvey's feet sticking out from Dan White's office. I recognized his second hand wingtip shoes immediately.

Then my memory shifts to slow motion.

I float to the door of White's office and peer in. There is a cop there, on his knees, turning Harvey's body over. I see his head roll. I see blood, bits of bone, brain tissue. Harvey's face is a hideous purple. I feel all the air leave my lungs. My brain freezes. I cannot breathe or think or move. He is dead. I have never seen a dead person before.

I struggle to comprehend, and as my mind begins to understand what my eyes are seeing. The only thing that I can think is that it is over. It is all over. He was my mentor and friend and he is gone. He was our leader and he is gone. It is over.

We are there for hours, trapped in his little office as they bundle up his body. People come in. More cops. We find Harvey's old cassette player and the taped message he had recorded in anticipation of his assassination.

I'd known of the tape and teased him a bit, "Who do you think you are, Mr. Milk? Dr. King? Malcolm X? I don't think you're important enough to be assassinated." We press the play button.

And now he is dead and it is all over and we are listening to his voice tell us that he always knew that this is how it would go down.

This is what he expected.

This is what he was willing to do.

This is what had to happen.

And all I can think, all I can say to myself is, "It's over. It's all over." And then the sun goes down and the people begin to gather.

They come from all over the Bay Area: young and old; black and brown and white; gay and straight; immigrant and native-born; men and women and children of all races and backgrounds streaming into Castro Street—Harvey's street—faces wet with tears, hands clutching candles. Hundreds, then thousands, then tens of thousands fill the street and begin the long slow march down Market Street to City Hall, a river of candlelight moving in total silence through the center of the city.

There were songs and speeches but I remember none of them. I stood there in Civic Center Plaza in the midst of an ocean of candlelight, in front of the building where Harvey died, in the middle of the city he had come to love and that had come to love him back in equal measure. And now it was all over.

My friends and I walked slowly back to Castro Street. Police cruisers lined Market Street and followed the returning marchers but they kept their distance. Had they been closer we might have heard what they were hearing: over the police radio, the cops were singing.

"Oh Danny Boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling.

From glen to glen and down the mountain side…

Oh Danny Boy, Oh Danny Boy, I love you so!"

I was wrong. It wasn't over. It was just beginning.

Today, over 500 members of the LGBTQ community have been elected to public office. We serve as members of the House of Representatives and the US Senate. We are Mayors and City Council members. We serve on School Boards and State Legislatures. We are Governors and judges and county supervisors.

Harvey would be proud of the progress we have made but he would also warn us that everything we have gained could be swept away. He would caution us to be on guard, to build coalitions and to care for each other. He understood that no victories are necessarily permanent and that we must all be vigilant. In the face of right-wing extremism and growing division, he would talk of hope and a better world to come.

Forty years later, Harvey Milk lives.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

STONEWALL AT 50 Fact sheet answers basic Stonewall questions 2019-04-15 - NEW YORK, NY — Monday, April 15, 2019 — The NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project, Making Gay History, the New York Public Library, ...


Gay News

BOOKS Inclusive anthology 'Halal' launches at Poetry Foundation 2019-04-14 - The Poetry Foundation was packed the night of April 11 for the book launch of Halal If You Hear Me, a collection of ...


Gay News

Buttigieg First Openly LGBTQ Democratic Presidential Candidate in U.S. History 2019-04-14 - Washington, DC — Mayor Pete Buttigieg officially launched his presidential candidacy before a crowd of thousands in his hometown city of South Bend, ...


Gay News

NYC's 2019 LGBTQIA+ Pride March announces Grand Marshals 2019-04-12 - NEW YORK, NY, April 11, 2019 — NYC Pride, the official host of WorldPride 2019 | Stonewall 50, announces its five Grand Marshals ...


Gay News

'Still/Here: Torture...' through April 26 2019-04-11 - Chicago Torture Justice Memorials ( CTJM ) commissioned six artists and artist-teams to conceive and develop fully-realized proposals for an ambitious, permanent public ...


Gay News

BOOK REVIEW Dugan's Bistro and the Legend of the Bearded Lady 2019-04-10 - By Owen Keehnen $17; Out Tales Publishing; 148 pages Bob Theiss contained multitudes—most under a completely different name. Known as the ...


Gay News

BOOKS Queer scholar profiles Chicago house music 2019-04-10 - When Micah E. Salkind was a teenager in Kansas, he found the music that would change his life. "I went to raves and ...


Gay News

Nonprofit appoints first Black gay CEO in its long history 2019-04-09 - Chicago-based nonprofit One Hope United appointed a new president/CEO in January—and it marked the first time in the child and family services organization's ...


Gay News

Out at CHM forum focuses on reclaiming history 2019-04-09 - Chicago History Museum ( CHM ) launched its 2019 Out at CHM series March 27 with a forum entitled "How It's Written." ...


Gay News

BOOK REVIEW She He They Me: For the Sisters, Misters and Binary Resisters 2019-04-07 - By Robyn Ryle $22.99; Source Books; 400 pages Imagine being a young, queer or curious child with a lot of questions, but ...


 



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.