May 22 – Harvey Milk Day, May 26 – Pride Visalia


“Without hope, not only gays, but those who are blacks, the Asians, the disabled, the seniors, the us’s; without hope the us’s give up. I know that you can’t live on hope alone, but without it, life is not worth living. And you, and you, and you, and you have got to give them hope.” Harvey Milk, 1978

Harvey Milk was the first openly gay man elected to political office in the state of California, in 1977. He and San Francisco Mayor George Moscone were shot and killed in their offices on November 27, 1978, by former Supervisor Dan White. Milk became an iconic figure in LGBT culture, known for his work to further the rights of minority groups of all kinds, and a rallying figure for LGBT visibility and political activism after his assassination.

In 2009, the state of California enacted Harvey Milk Day, to be celebrated on May 22 each year, and the bill was signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The day is a “day of special significance for public schools”, who are urged to include information on Milk and his place in California’s history.

Harvey Milk said you have to give them hope. Forty years after his death, much has changed in California, and Visalia.

Last year, I posted this about Harvey Milk Day. In it, I mentioned the first Pride Visalia Festival event (not, however the first Pride celebrations in the area), which turned out to be a spectacular success. Well, it’s happening again!

May 26, 2018, will see the second annual Pride Visalia festival, hosted again at The Old Lumber Yard on Oak Street by the Source LGBT+ Center. This year’s festival promises to be bigger and better than last year’s, with entertainment and fun for the entire family.

Harvey  Milk became the face and voice of hope for people across California and the United States. His call to live our lives as out and proud LGBT citizens led many to do just that, and our society changed in unimaginable ways. The right to serve our country in the armed forces, the right to marry, the right to adopt, the right to be a fully franchised citizen of the United States is now the law of the land.

Much work remains to be done, however. In the past several years, many attempts have been made to roll back the rights so hard won. We must continue to stand for our rights, and for the freedom to live our lives as open and free Americans, fully protected by the Constitution.

Harvey said “you have to give them hope”. Join us at Pride Visalia, and take part in the continuing expression of hope and joy that is the future of this movement.

Pride Visalia

The Source LGBT+ Center  208 W. Main Street, Suite B (downstairs), Visalia

The Source LGBT+ Center Facebook

I am a member of the Advisory Board, former member of the Board of Directors, and community liaison for The Source LGBT+ Center. Image: Harvey Milk 1977 – Associated Press – Daniel Nicoletta

International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia


The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, held on May 17 every year, is a rallying event offering an opportunity for people to get together and reach out to one another.

What is homophobia?

Any negative attitudes that may lead to the rejection and discrimination, directly or indirectly, of gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals, or of anyone whose appearance or behavior does not conform to the stereotypes of masculinity or femininity.

What is transphobia?

Any negative attitude or a negative feeling directed at transgender and gender non-conforming individuals.

Homophobia and transphobia may manifest in different forms. It is sometimes conscious, sometimes unconscious, it can even be internalized.

Verbal and physical violence may be the result of such phobias. Social exclusion, peer pressure, and public ridicule, both in person and now in social media, are some expressive forms of these phobias.

What is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia?

International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia takes place every year on May the 17th. This moment of the year is meant to be a unifying event since a large number of activities and actions take place on this occasion. This day is an opportunity to organize awareness and education activities. Everyone (from individuals to institutions and corporations) are invited to reflect on homophobia and transphobia, and to become aware of their devastating effects.

The Source LGBT+ Center offers resources for individuals dealing with issues related to homo- and trans-phobia.

Contact information:

Facebook: The Source LGBT+ Center


Phone: 559-429-4277

Drop-in Center: Tuesday through Friday, 3pm to 6pm, 208 W. Main St., Suite B (downstairs in the Montgomery Square), Visalia

Some of the above information from

I am a member of the Advisory Board, former member of the Board of Directors, and community liaison for The Source LGBT+ Center.