54+ Best Harvey Milk Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Harvey Bernard Milk was a gay rights activist and an American politician who was the first openly gay elected official in the history of California, where he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Milk was tragically shot and killed the following year, and numerous books and films have been made about his life. Inspirational Harvey Milk quotes will stir your soul and instill hope in you whenever you need is a little push.

If you’re searching for life quotes and sayings that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of insightful Angela Davis quotes, witty Dorothy Parker quotes, and encouraging Maxine Waters quotes.

Most Famous Harvey Milk Quotes

If a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet destroy every closet door. – Harvey Milk

My name is Harvey Milk and I’m here to recruit you. – Harvey Milk

All young people, regardless of sexual orientation or identity, deserve a safe and supportive environment in which to achieve their full potential. – Harvey Milk

If you are not personally free to be yourself in that most important of all human activities… the expression of love… then life itself loses its meaning. – Harvey Milk

Every gay person must come out…. Once they realize we are indeed their children, we are indeed everywhere, every myth, every lie, every innuendo will be destroyed once and for all. – Harvey Milk

I ask for the movement to continue, for the movement to grow, because last week I got a phone call from Altoona, Pennsylvania, and my election gave somebody else, one more person, hope. And after all, that’s what this is all about. It’s not about personal gain, not about ego, not about power – it’s about giving those young people out there in the Altoona, Pennsylvanias, hope. You gotta give them hope. – Harvey Milk

Let me have my tax money go for my protection and not for my prosecution. Let my tax money go for the protection of me. Protect my home, protect my streets, protect my car, protect my life, protect my property…worry about becoming a human being and not about how you can prevent others from enjoying their lives because of your own inability to adjust to life. – Harvey Milk

Coming out is the most political thing you can do – Harvey Milk

I like to sit in the window and watch the cute boys walk by. – Harvey Milk

“Politics is theater. It doesn’t matter if you win. You make a statement. You say, “”I’m here, pay attention to me” – Harvey Milk

To sit on the front steps — whether it’s a veranda in a small town or a concrete stoop in a big city — and to talk to our neighborhoods is infinitely more important than to huddle on the living-room lounger and watch a make-believe world in not-quite living color. – Harvey Milk

I have tasted freedom. I will not give up that which I have tasted. I have a lot more to drink. For that reason, the political numbers game will be played. I know the rules of their game now and how to play it. – Harvey Milk

It’s not my victory, it’s yours and yours and yours. If a gay can win, it means there is hope that the system can work for all minorities if we fight. We’ve given them hope. – Harvey Milk

I fully realize that a person who stands for what I stand for, an activist, a gay activist, becomes the target or the potential target for a person who is insecure, terrified, afraid, or very disturbed with themselves. – Harvey Milk

All over the country, they’re reading about me, and the story doesn’t center on me being gay. It’s just about a gay person who is doing his job. – Harvey Milk

A reading of the Declaration of Independence on the steps of a building is widely covered. The events that started the American Revolution were the meetings in homes, pubs, on street corners. – Harvey Milk

I would like to see every gay doctor come out, every gay lawyer, every gay architect come out, stand up and let that world know. That would do more to end prejudice overnight than anybody would imagine. I urge them to do that, urge them to come out. Only that way will we start to achieve our rights. – Harvey Milk

If I do a good job, people won’t care if I am green or have three heads. – Harvey Milk

If we wish to rebuild our cities, we must first rebuild our neighborhoods. – Harvey Milk

Some people call me the unofficial mayor of Castro Street. – Harvey Milk

The American Dream starts with the neighborhoods. – Harvey Milk

Never take an elevator in city hall. – Harvey Milk

Out of the bars and into the streets! – Harvey Milk

If it were true that children mimicked their teachers, you’d sure have a helluva lot more nuns running around. – Harvey Milk

It takes no compromising to give people their rights. It takes no money to respect the individual. It takes no survey to remove repressions. – Harvey Milk

Rights are won only by those who make their voices heard. – Harvey Milk

Every gay person must come out. As difficult as it is, you must tell your immediate family. You must tell your relatives. You must tell your friends if indeed they are your friends. You must tell the people you work with. You must tell the people in the stores you shop in. Once they realize that we are indeed their children, that we are indeed everywhere, every myth, every lie, every innuendo will be destroyed once and all. And once you do, you will feel so much better – Harvey Milk

Freedom is too enormous to be slipped under a closet door. – Harvey Milk

I know that you cannot live on hope alone, but without it, life is not worth living. And you…And you…And you…Gotta give em hope. – Harvey Milk

If a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet destroy every closet door in the country. – Harvey Milk

Hope will never be silent. – Harvey Milk

If I turned around every time somebody called me a faggot, I’d be walking backward – and I don’t want to walk backward. – Harvey Milk

All men are created equal. Now matter how hard they try, they can never erase those words. That is what America is about. – Harvey Milk

Lets make no mistake about this: The American Dream starts with the neigborhoods. If we wish to rebuild our cities, we must first rebuild our neighborhoods. And to do that, we must understand that the quality of life is more important than the standard of living. – Harvey Milk

The fact is that more people have been slaughtered in the name of religion than for any other single reason. That, THAT my friends, is true perversion. – Harvey Milk

I cannot prevent anyone from getting angry, or mad, or frustrated. I can only hope that they’ll turn that anger and frustration and madness into something positive, so that two, three, four, five hundred will step forward, so the gay doctors will come out, the gay lawyers, the gay judges, gay bankers, gay architects I hope that every professional gay will say ‘enough’, come forward and tell everybody, wear a sign, let the world know. Maybe that will help. – Harvey Milk

We will not win our rights by staying quietly in our closets. – Harvey Milk

Gay brothers and sisters… You must come out. Come out to your relatives… come out to your friends… Come out to your neighbors… to your fellow workers… to the people who work where you eat and shop… break down the myths, destroy the lies and distortions. For your sake. For their sake. For the sake of the youngsters who are becoming scared. – Harvey Milk

It takes no compromise to give people their rights – Harvey Milk

I finally reached the point where I knew I had to become involved or shut up. – Harvey Milk

Burst down those closet doors once and for all, and stand up and start to fight. – Harvey Milk

San Francisco can start right now to become number one. We can set examples so that others will follow. We can start overnight. We don’t have to wait for budgets to be passed, surveys to be made, political wheelings and dealings … for it takes no money … It takes no compromising to give the people their rights. It takes no money to respect the individual. It takes no political deal to give people freedom. It takes no survey to remove repression. – Harvey Milk

I was born of heterosexual parents. I was taught by heterosexual teachers in a fiercely heterosexual society. Television ads and newspaper ads — fiercely heterosexual. A society that puts down homosexuality. And why am I a homosexual if I’m affected by role models? I should have been a heterosexual. And no offense meant, but if teachers are going to affect you as role models, there’d be a lot of nuns running around the streets today. – Harvey Milk

Hope is never silent. – Harvey Milk

We don’t want sympathetic liberals, we want gays to represent gays… I represent the gay street people-the 14-year-old runaway from San Antonio. We have to make up for hundreds of years of persecution. We have to give hope to that poor runaway kid from San Antonio. They go to the bars because churches are hostile. They need hope! They need a piece of the pie! – Harvey Milk

I wish I had time to explain everything I did. Almost everything was done with an eye on the GLBT movement…last week I got a phone call from Altoona, Pennsylvania, and the voice was young, my election gave one more young person, hope – Harvey Milk

We are coming out to tell the truths about gays, for I am tired of the conspiracy of silence, so I’m going to talk about it. And I want you to talk about it. – Harvey Milk

I have tasted freedom. I will not give up that which I have tasted. – Harvey Milk

More people have been slaughtered in the name of religion than for any other single reason. That, my friends, that is true perversion. – Harvey Milk

If a bullet should go through my head let that bullet go through every closet door. – Harvey Milk

San Francisco can start right now to become number one. We can set examples so that others will follow. We can start overnight. We don’t have to wait for budgets to be passed, surveys to be made, political wheelings and dealings…….for it takes no money……it takes no compromising to give the people their rights……it takes no money to respect the individual. It takes no political deal to give people freedom. It takes no survey to remove repression. – Harvey Milk

I would like to see every gay doctor come out, every gay lawyer, every gay architect come out, stand up and let that world know. That would do more to end prejudice overnight than anybody would I urge them to do that, urge them to come out. Only that way will we start to achieve our rights. – Harvey Milk

Gay brothers and sisters… You must come out. Come out to your relatives… come out to your friends… Come out to your neighbors… to your fellow workers… to the people who work where you eat and shop… break down the myths, destroy the lies and distortions. For your sake. For their sake. For the sake of the youngsters who are becoming scared… – Harvey Milk

I ask for the movement to continue, for the movement to grow, because last week I got a phone call from Altoona, Pennsylvania, and my election gave somebody else, one more person, hope. And after all, that’s what this is all about. It’s not about personal gain, not about ego, not about power — it’s about giving those young people out there in the Altoona, Pennsylvanias, hope. You gotta give them hope. – Harvey Milk

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