Dr. Jillian T. Weiss

You Gotta Give Em Hope: Saturday Is Harvey Milk Day

Filed By Dr. Jillian T. Weiss | May 21, 2010 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics, The Movement
Tags: Harvey Milk Day, march, protest, rally

On Saturday, the nation's LGBT community will remember Harvey Milk.

Nationally, thousands of activists, allies and community members are organizing local actions to demand full federal equality for all on Harvey Milk Day and during the week of the International Day Against Homophobia.milk.jpg

In New York City, local grassroots activists, including me, are holding a march from the Manhattan LGBT Center to City Hall, starting at noon. I hope those of you in the NYC area will join us. I will be speaking, and speaking my mind.

But while it is fitting that we celebrate Harvey Milk Day with marches and rallies and speeches and activism, I feel a special place in my heart for Harvey, himself, as a person.

"You gotta give em hope." I love that. Just yesterday, our own Austen Crowder wrote a post on how frightening the climate is for trans and genderqueer young people. The same's true for gay and bisexual and intersex youth. How do we give them hope?

After the jump, a sweet and touching video done to mark Harvey's birthday. Particularly nice touch with the soundtrack: Pure Imagination, from the 1971 Willie Wonka and The Chocolate Factory. I love seeing the old photos. It gives me hope.

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“You gotta give em hope.”
Those were great words and very true.

I’ve learned over the years helping active duty US Military personel who come to the realization that they are trans that those words are true. Without hope, thousands of miles away, alone in a war zone, surrounded by militants, terrorists and their own troopers all of whom would love to bring some serious bodily harm to them…well, they need the hope that someone can bring them.

Telling them that they can transition or live their lives free. That its easier than they think and that it is possible to transition out of the military and then procede to transitioning their gender. All they need is the hope that their lives have meaning and that they can live them freely to transition and live the rest of their lives in happiness.

Some times its very hard to ‘listen’ to someone in a chatroom or a chat window who you don’t know anything about. You don’t know their real name or location or anything and they talk about not having any hope at all in their life. That the next day they’ll be rolling out to ‘the shootin gallery’ or some other well known local place where insurgents wait to ambush our guys. They talk about looking for ‘the noble way out’ and ‘the selfless act’…or they just tell you that they have no future and the gun is next to the computer. They always say “killing is so easy, I’ve done it so often before” and “I have no tomorrow”.

And you know, that no matter what you do or say, that there is really only one thing you can do.
“You gotta give em hope.”
The hope that for them, there is a tomorrow and a next.

With your enthusiasm and tireless efforts, you have given people hope Jillian. Thank-you.

Yup. It's hard to see sometimes, though.