A Look Back at Harvey Milk’s Life and Legacy, In 14 GIFs

“We are coming out of the closet!”

May 22, 2024


Today is Harvey Milk Day, a day to reflect on the life and legacy of Harvey Milk, one of the country’s first openly gay elected officials.

Below, you’ll find 14 GIFs from Milk’s political career, along with a fast fact about him.

Who was Milk? Milk was the first openly gay person ever to be elected to public office in California.


Before politics, Milk was a researcher on Wall Street and a U.S. Navy officer.


Milk was fired from his Wall Street job in 1970 after participating in an antiwar protest.


Milk: “The day Nixon invaded Cambodia was the day I had to speak out against war profiteers and large corporations.”


Milk came out shortly after being fired: “I kept walking and announced to the world that I also was gay.”


Milk moved to San Francisco in 1972 and opened a camera shop on Castro Street.


In 1977, Milk was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, making history as the state’s first gay official.


As city supervisor, Milk led efforts on one of the country’s first LGBT nondiscrimination bills.


Milk: “This one has teeth; a person can go to court if his rights are violated once this is passed.”


Milk was also a vocal opponent of Prop. 6, which sought to ban gay teachers from California schools.


Milk also spearheaded the “Scoop the Poop Act” of 1978, which required dog owners to clean up after their pets.


Milk was assassinated by former Supervisor Dan White in 1978. Milk spent less than a year in office.


In 2009, Barack Obama posthumously honored Milk with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.


Milk was the first, but not the last: as of 2023, there are 1.1K+ LGBTQ officials serving across the US.

For more from GIPHY, follow us on @GIPHY on Instagram, Threads, X, and TikTok.




GIPHY is all the GIFs. We’re the first and largest GIF search engine where artists, brands, and users alike go to make everyday conversation more entertaining.