Harvey bernard Milk was an American politician who became one of the first openly gay individuals to hold office. He would become americas biggest LGBT politician.
Harvey Milk was born in New york to a jewish family in 1930. He worked at his family’s department store with his brother, Robert. After graduating from teacher training college, Harvey joined the US navy during the Korean war but was discharged when the war ended. He took on several jobs including public school teacher, stock analyst and wall street investment banker.
Growing bored of his life in New york he moved to san fransisco and set up a camera shop on Castro street in the middle of the Gay community. Harvey had knew since high school that he was homosexual but had not been open about his sexual orientation. He became more outspoken as he befriended more radical and outspoken LGBT activists.
Milk soon found his voice as a political actvist. He came discontent with the US government. Finding himself opposed to the U.S invasion of Cambodia and seeing the degredation of public services in favour of the millitary. Harvey decided to run for office in 1973. Becoming a candidate for the San fransisco board of supervisors. Wtih little money he lost his first election, he ran again two years later, narrowly losing again.
As a candidate Milk was outspoken about Gay rights in America and encouraged all homosexuals to “Come out of the closet”. Harvey wanted an equal world and this was at the heart of his politics. He won his third election in 1978. He was locally known as “the Mayor of Castro street” he abolished the anti sodomy laws and passed a string of gay rights laws. Befriending city Mayor George Moscone who had a growing interest in gay rights.
On the other side of the Board of supervisors was vietnam war veteran Dan white. He resigned from the board in 1978. Seeing Harvey Milk as destroying the city’s way of life. On the 27th of November he argued with Mayor Moscone and shot him twice, killing him. On the same day he shot Harvey Milk filling him with 5 bullets. He turned himself in. Controversially being given 6 years, charged with voluntary manslaughter. He killed himself 1 year after being released.
Violent riots broke out in San fransisco and 124 people were in injured. Harvey’s legacy as a gay rights activist echoes down the years. The phrase “Coming out of the closet” being common even today. Harvey was awarded the presidential medal of freedom by Obama which was accepted by his nephew stuart.
On this day in music history: September 2, 1980 - “Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables”, the debut album by the Dead Kennedys is released. Produced by Norm and East Bay Ray, it is recorded at Möbius Music Studios in San Francisco, CA from May - June 1980. The Dead Kennedys are formed after guitarist East Bay Ray (Raymond Pepperell) decides to put a band together after attending a show at the Mabuhay Gardens in SF. Taking out a newspaper ad, it is answered by Eric Reed Boucher (“Jello Biafra”) (lead vocals), Geoffrey Lyall (“Klaus Flouride”) (bass), Carlos Cadona (“6025”) (rhythm guitar) and Bruce Slesinger (“Ted”) (drums). Their name generates controversy immediately, with SF Chronicle columnist Herb Caen criticizing the Dead Kennedys for their moniker being in poor taste. Like the bands lyrics which often carry stinging political commentary and a highly satirical world view, their name comments on “the death of the American Dream” after the assassinations of JFK and Robert Kennedy. Jello and Ray form their own label Alternative Tentacles Records. Shortly after, they release their first single “California Über Alles”, taking a satirized jab at California governor Jerry Brown, comparing his “hippie-fascist” vision of America to the German Third Reich. It is followed by the equally controversial “Holiday In Cambodia”, a dig at the lifestyles upwardly mobile “self righteous Americans” juxtaposed to the brutal genocidal regime of the Khmer Rouge by Cambodian dictator Pol Pot. Re-recording their first two singles, their first album consists of thirteen originals and a cover version of Elvis’ “Viva Las Vegas”. The front cover features a photo of several police cars on fire. The picture is taken during the White Night Riot in SF, with members of the gay community rioting after former city supervisor Dan White’s light sentence for the murders of Mayor George Moscone and openly gay supervisor Harvey Milk. The original back cover features a photo of the band Sounds Of Sunshine, is used after Klaus Flouride finds it at a garage sale. It’s altered placing The Dead Kennedys logo on the drum kit, and skulls and crossbones on the other instruments. The band are threatened with a lawsuit when the unauthorized use is discovered. The cover is reprinted with the SOS band members heads chopped off. Eventually, the photo is removed and replaced with an image of four elderly people sitting in a living room with the Alternative Tentacles logo affixed to a picture on the wall. Though receiving a poor reception from mainstream critics and never charting in the US, the album becomes an underground classic, and is regarded as a seminal and landmark punk rock album. Reissued numerous times over the years and even bootlegged when out of print, it is most recently remastered and reissued in 2008 by Cherry Red Records. “Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables” peaks at number thirty three on the UK album chart.
Photographs from the White Night riots The White Night riots were a series of violent events sparked by an announcement of the lenient sentencing of Dan White, for the assassinations of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk. The events took place on the night of May 21, 1979 (the night before what would have been Milk’s 49th birthday) in San Francisco. Earlier that day, White had been convicted of voluntary manslaughter, the lightest possible conviction for his actions.
The gay community of San Francisco had a longstanding conflict with the San Francisco Police Department. White’s status as a former police officer intensified the community’s anger at the SFPD. Initial demonstrations took place as a peaceful march through the Castro district of San Francisco. After the crowd arrived at the San Francisco City Hall, violence began. The events caused hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of property damage to City Hall and the surrounding area, as well as injuries to police officers and rioters.
Several hours after the riot had been broken up, police made a retaliatory raid on a gay bar in San Francisco’s Castro District. Many patrons were beaten by police in riot gear. Two dozen arrests were made during the course of the raid, and several people later sued the SFPD.
In the following days, gay leaders refused to apologize for the events of that night. This led to increased political power in the gay community, which culminated in the election of Mayor Dianne Feinstein to a full term, the following November. In response to a campaign promise, Feinstein appointed a pro-gay Chief of Police, which increased recruitment of gay people in the police force and eased tensions.
If a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet destroy every closet door.
Harvey Bernard Milk (1930 - 1978), American politician who became the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in California, when he won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Politics and gay activism were not his early interests; he was not open about his homosexuality and did not participate in civic matters until around the age of 40, after his experiences in the counterculture of the 1960s. Milk moved from New York City to settle in San Francisco in 1972 amid a migration of gay men to the Castro District. He took advantage of the growing political and economic power of the neighborhood to promote his interests, and ran unsuccessfully for political office three times. His theatrical campaigns earned him increasing popularity, and Milk won a seat as a city supervisor in 1977. Milk served almost 11 months in office and was responsible for passing a stringent gay rights ordinance for the city. On November 27, 1978, Milk and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated by Dan White, another city supervisor who had recently resigned but wanted his job back.
Despite his short career in politics, Milk became an icon in San Francisco and a martyr in the gay community. In 2002, Milk was called “the most famous and most significantly open LGBT official ever elected in the United States”. Milk was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.
Today, HRC honors and celebrates Harvey Milk Day.
Every year, the LGBT and allied community celebrate Harvey Milk Day, the LGBT leader and legend who was assassinated in 1978. He would have turned 85-years-old today.
Milk made history in 1977 when he was elected to serve as a San Francisco City Supervisor and became one of the first openly LGBT elected officials in the country. Less than a year later, he was murdered, along with San Francisco Mayor George Moscone, on November 28, 1978.
Milk’s legacy lives on through LGBT activists across the country. He envisioned a world where all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, were treated equally— a goal HRC is still working toward today.
The San Francisco HRC Action Center and Store in the historic Castro District is located in Milk’s former camera shop. In addition to keeping LGBT individuals and allies informed on national issues, the action center engages advocates to push leaders at all levels in support of equality.
Learn more about HRC’s Action Center and Store in San Francisco here and share the image below to show your support in the fight for LGBT equality.
March 1970 – Howard Efland, a gay man who had checked into the Dover Hotel, under the pseudonym J. McCann, was beaten to death by officers of the Los Angeles Police Department.
June 24, 1973 – An arsonist burned the Upstairs Lounge in New Orleans, a gay bar, killing 32 people.
June 21, 1977 – Robert Hillsborough was stabbed to death in San Francisco by a man shouting “faggot”.
July 5, 1978 – A gang of youths armed with baseball bats and tree branches assaulted several men in an area of Central Park in New York City known to be frequented by homosexuals. The victims were assaulted at random, but the assailants later confessed that they had deliberately set out to the park to attack homosexuals. One of those injured was former figure skater Dick Button, who was assaulted while watching a fireworks display in the park.
November 27, 1978 – Openly gay San Francisco city supervisor Harvey Milk, along with Mayor George Moscone, was assassinated by political rival Dan White at San Francisco City Hall. Outrage over the assassinations and the short sentence given to White (seven years) prompted the White Night riots.
January 1979 – Tennessee Williams was beaten by five teenage boys in Key West. He escaped serious injury. The episode was part of a spate of anti-gay violence inspired by an anti-gay newspaper ad run by a local Baptist minister.
June 5, 1979 – Terry Knudsen was beaten to death by three men in Loring Park in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
September 7, 1979 – Robert Allen Taylor was stabbed to death near Loring Park in Minneapolis. A local reporter interviewed the murderer from jail and was told, “I don’t like gays. Okay?”
October 7, 1979 – 17-year-old Steven Charles of Newark was beaten to death in New York City by Robert DeLicio, Costabile “Gus” Farace, Farace’s cousin Mark Granato, and David Spoto. They also beat Charles’ friend, 16-year-old Thomas Moore of Brooklyn. Moore was critically injured but managed to get help at a nearby residence. Moore identified the four men via a lineup four days after the incident. Farace, the leader of the attack, pled guilty to first-degree manslaughter and was paroled after eight years, in 1988. He, himself was murdered on November 17, 1989.
1984 – Charlie Howard was drowned in Bangor, Maine for being “flamboyantly gay”.
May 13, 1988 – Rebecca Wight was killed when she and her partner, Claudia Brenner, were shot by Stephen Roy Carr while hiking and camping along theAppalachian Trail. Carr later claimed that he became enraged by the couple’s lesbianism when he saw them having homosexual relations.
May 15, 1988 - Tommy Lee Trimble and John Lloyd Griffin, two gay men, were harassed and later shot by Richard Lee Bednarski in Dallas, Texas. Bednarski is later convicted of the two murders but is sentenced to 30 years rather than life in prison. The judge who issued the sentence, Jack Hampton, said later that he did so because the victims were homosexuals who wouldn’t have been killed if they “hadn’t been cruising the streets” for men. Hampton’s comments cause controversy and he is later censured for his remarks. He loses a judicial re-election in 1992.
1990 – James Zappalorti, a gay Vietnam veteran, was stabbed to death.
July 2, 1990 – Julio Rivera was murdered in New York City by two men who beat him with a hammer and stabbed him with a knife because he was gay.
1991 – Paul Broussard, a Houston-area banker, was murdered. He was attacked by 10 young men along with Clay Anderson and Richard Delaunay, who survived. All ten of the attackers were eventually convicted, with sentences ranging from a probation and fine for the respective hospitalization and funeral bills to the 45-year imprisonment of Jon Buice, who confessed to inflicting the fatal stab wound.
October 27, 1992 – U.S. Navy Petty Officer Allen Schindler was murdered by a shipmate who stomped him to death in a public restroom in Japan. Schindler had complained repeatedly about anti-gay harassment aboard ship. The case became synonymous with the gays in the military debate that had been brewing in the United States culminating in the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” bill.
1993 – Brandon Teena, a trans man, was raped and later killed when his birth gender was revealed by police to male friends of his. The events leading to Teena’s death were depicted in the movie Boys Don’t Cry.
March 9, 1995 – Scott Amedure was murdered after revealing his attraction to his friend Jonathan Schmitz on a The Jenny Jones Show episode about secret crushes. Schmitz purchased a shotgun to kill Amedure and did so after Amedure implied he still was attracted to him; Schmitz then turned himself in to police.
November 20, 1995 – Chanelle Pickett, 23, an African American trans woman, died at the home of William C. Palmer after a fight that ensued after Palmer discovered that she was transgender and he demanded she leave his home.
December 4, 1995 – Roxanne Ellis and Michelle Abdill, a lesbian couple in Medford, Oregon, were murdered by a man who said he had “no compassion” for bisexual or homosexual people. Robert Acremant was convicted and sentenced to death by lethal injection.
January 4, 1996 – Fred Mangione, a gay man, was murdered in Texas by two Neo-nazi brothers. His partner, Kenneth Stern was also attacked, but survived. One of the attackers, Ronald Henry Gauthier, later received at 10-year probation sentence.
May 1996 - Julianne Williams, 24 and Lollie Winans, 26 were murdered at their campsite along the Appalachian Trail on Virginia’s Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park. They were bound and gaged and their throats were slit. To date, there has been no conviction in the murders.
August 1, 1996 – Nick Moraida, a 34-year-old Latino gay man, was murdered during a robbery. His murderer, Richard Cartwright, was sentenced to death penalty.
February 21, 1997 – The Otherside Lounge, a lesbian nightclub in Atlanta, was bombed by Eric Robert Rudolph, the “Olympic Park Bomber;” five bar patrons were injured. In a statement released after he was sentenced to five consecutive life terms for his several bombings, Rudolph called homosexuality an “aberrant lifestyle”.
October 7, 1998 – Matthew Shepard, a gay student, in Laramie, Wyoming was tortured, beaten severely, tied to a fence, and abandoned; he was found 18 hours after the attack and succumbed to his injuries less than a week later, on October 12. His attackers, Russell Arthur Henderson and Aaron James McKinney, are both serving two consecutive life sentences in prison.
February 19, 1999 – Billy Jack Gaither, a 39-year-old gay man, was brutally beaten to death in Rockford, Alabama. His attackers, Steve Mullins and Charles Monroe Butler, were found guilty of murder and were both sentenced to life imprisonment without parole.
July 1, 1999 – Gay couple Gary Matson and Winfield Mowder were murdered by white supremacist brothers Matthew and Tyler Williams in Redding, California. Tyler Williams was sentenced to a minimum of 33 years in prison, to be served after his completion of a 21-year sentence for firebombing synagogues and an abortion clinic. Benjamin Williams claimed that by killing the couple he was “obeying the laws of the Creator”. He committed suicide in 2003 while awaiting trial. Their former pastor described the brothers as “zealous in their faith” but “far from kooks”.
July 6, 1999 – U.S. Army Pfc. Barry Winchell was murdered in Fort Campbell, Kentucky by fellow soldier Calvin Glover. Winchell was beaten to death with a baseball bat after rumors spread on base of his relationship with transgendered author Calpernia Addams. Glover was sentenced to life in prison. The events that lead up to Winchell’s death are depicted in the movie Soldier’s Girl.
September 1999 – Steen Fenrich was murdered, apparently by his stepfather, John D. Fenrich, in Queens, New York. His dismembered remains were found in March 2001, with the phrase “gay nigger number one” scrawled on his skull along with his social security number. His stepfather fled from police while being interviewed, then committed suicide.
October 15, 1999 – Sissy “Charles” Bolden was found shot to death in Savannah, Georgia. Police arrested Charles E. Wilkins, Jr., in July 2003; he admitted the killing, and was charged in two other homicides, according to the Savannah Police Department.
On April 29, 2009, The U.S. House of Representatives voted to extend federal law to classify as “hate crimes” attacks based on a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity (as well as mental or physical disability). The U.S Senate passed the bill on October 22, 2009. The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act was signed into law by President Barack Obama on October 28, 2009.
July 3, 2000 – Arthur “J.R.” Warren was punched and kicked to death in Grant Town, West Virginia by two teenage boys who reportedly believed Warren had spread a rumor that he and one of the boys, David Allen Parker, had a sexual relationship. Warren’s killers ran over his body to disguise the murder as a hit-and-run. Parker pleaded guilty and was sentenced to “life in prison with mercy”, making him eligible for parole after 15 years. His accomplice, Jared Wilson, was sentenced to 20 years.
September 22, 2000 – Ronald Gay entered a gay bar in Roanoke, Virginia and opened fire on the patrons, killing Danny Overstreet, 43 years old, and severely injuring six others. Ronald said he was angry over what his name now meant, and deeply upset that three of his sons had changed their surname. He claimed that he had been told by God to find and kill lesbians and gay men, describing himself as a “Christian Soldier working for my Lord;” Gay testified in court that “he wished he could have killed more fags,” before several of the shooting victims as well as Danny Overstreet’s family and friends.
June 16, 2001 – Fred Martinez, a transgender and two-spirit student was bludgeoned to death near Cortez, Colorado by 18-year-old Shaun Murphy, who reportedly bragged about attacking a “fag”.
June 12, 2002 – Philip Walsted, a gay man, was fatally beaten with a baseball bat. According to prosecutors, the neo-Nazi views of Walsted’s assailant’s, David Higdon, led to what was originally a robbery escalating to murder. Higdon was sentenced to life in prison, plus an additional sentence for robbery.
August 6, 2002 – Rodney Velasquez, a 26-year-old Latino gay man was found murdered in the bathtub of his Bronx apartment.
October 3, 2002 – Gwen Araujo, a trans woman, was murdered by at least three men who were charged with committing a hate crime. Two were convicted of murder, the third manslaughter; however, the jury rejected the hate crime enhancement.
December 24, 2002 – Nizah Morris, a 47-year-old black trans woman, was possibly murdered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
December 12, 2002 – Terrianne Summers, a 51-year-old trans woman and activist for transgender rights, was shot and killed in her front yard in Florida. No arrests were made and police did not investigate her murder as a hate crime. Terriane’s high visibility as a trans woman due to her activist role has led her to be included in lists of anti LGBT hate crimes, although lack of police interest in her murder means the motives behind the killing may never be known.
May 11, 2003 – Sakia Gunn, a black 15-year-old lesbian, was murdered in Newark, New Jersey. While waiting for a bus, Gunn and her friends were propositioned by two men. When the girls rejected their advances, declaring themselves to be lesbians, the men attacked them. One of the men, Richard McCullough, fatally stabbed Gunn. In exchange for his pleading guilty to several lesser crimes including aggravated manslaughter, prosecutors dropped murder charges against McCullough, who was sentenced to 20 years.
June 17, 2003 – Richie Phillips of Elizabethtown, Kentucky was killed by Joseph Cottrell. His body was later found in a suitcase in Rough River Lake. During his trial, two of Cottrell’s relatives testified that he lured Phillips to his death, and killed him because he was gay. Cottrell was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
July 23, 2003 – Nireah Johnson and Brandie Coleman were shot to death by Paul Moore, when Moore learned after a sexual encounter that Johnson wastransgender. Moore then burned his victims’ bodies. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to 120 years in prison.
July 31, 2003 – 37-year-old Glenn Kopitske was shot and stabbed in the back by 17-year-old Gary Hirte, a straight-A student, star athlete and Eagle Scout, inWinnebago County, Wisconsin. Prosecutors contended that Hirte murdered Kopitske to see if he could get away with it. Hirte pleaded insanity, claiming he killed Kopitske in a murderous rage after a consensual sexual encounter with the victim, because he felt a homosexual act was “worse than murder”. The ‘temporary insanity’ mitigation plea was not upheld, he was found guilty, and received a life sentence.
August 2003 – Emonie Spaulding, a black 25-year-old trans woman, was shot to death in Washington DC by Derrick Antwan Lewis after he discovered she was trans.
July 22, 2004 – 18-year-old Scotty Joe Weaver of Bay Minette, Alabama, was murdered. His burned and partially decomposed body was discovered a few miles from the mobile home in which he lived. He was beaten, strangled and stabbed numerous times, partially decapitated, and his body was doused in gasoline and set on fire.
October 2, 2004 – Daniel Fetty, a gay man who was hearing-impaired and homeless was attacked by multiple assailants in Waverly, Ohio. Fetty was beaten, stomped, shoved nude into a garbage bin, impaled with a stick, and left for dead; he succumbed to his injuries the next day. Prosecuters alleged a hate crime. Three men received sentences ranging from seven years to life.
January 28, 2005 – Ronnie Antonio Paris, a three-year-old boy living in Tampa, Florida, died due to brain injuries inflicted by his father, Ronnie Paris, Jr. According to his mother and other relatives, Ronnie Paris, Jr., repeatedly slammed his son into walls, slapped the child’s head, and “boxed” him because he was concerned the child was gay and would grow up a sissy. Paris was sentenced to thirty years in prison.
On February 27, 2005, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, 21-year-old James Maestas was assaulted outside a restaurant, then followed to a hotel and beaten unconscious by men who called him “faggot” during the attack. Although all of his attackers were charged with committing a hate crime, none was sentenced to prison.
March 11, 2005 – Jason Gage, an openly gay man, was murdered in his Waterloo, Iowa, apartment by an assailant, Joseph Lawrence, who claimed Gage had made sexual advance to him. Gage was bludgeoned to death with a bottle, and stabbed in the neck, probably post-mortem, with a shard of glass. Lawrence was sentenced to fifty years in prison.
February 2, 2006 – 18-year-old Jacob D. Robida entered a bar in New Bedford, Massachusetts, confirmed that it was a gay bar, and then attacked patrons with a hatchet and a handgun, wounding three. He fatally shot himself three days later.
June 10, 2006 – Kevin Aviance, a female impressionist, musician, and fashion designer, was robbed and beaten in Manhattan by a group of men who yelled anti-gay slurs at him. Four assailants pleaded guilty and received prison sentences.
July 30, 2006 – Six men were attacked with baseball bats and knives after leaving the San Diego Gay Pride festival. One victim was injured so severely that he had to undergo extensive facial reconstructive surgery. Three men pleaded guilty in connection with the attacks and received prison sentences. A 15-year-old juvenile also pleaded guilty.
October 8, 2006 – Michael Sandy was attacked by four young heterosexual men who lured him into meeting after chatting online, while they were looking for gay men to rob. He was struck by a car while trying to escape his attackers, and died five days later without regaining consciousness.
February 27, 2007 – Andrew Anthos, a 72-year-old disabled gay man, was beaten with a lead pipe in Detroit, Michigan by a man who was shouting anti-gay names at him. Anthos died 10 days later in the hospital.
March 15, 2007 – Ryan Keith Skipper, a 25-year-old gay man was stabbed to death in Wahneta, Florida. Four suspects were arrested for the crime. The Sheriff is calling it a hate crime.
March 16, 2007 – Ruby Ordeñana, a 24-year-old Latina transgender woman, was found naked and strangled to death in San Francisco, CA at 5:40 am.Donzell Francis, who was suspected of raping and strangling Ordeñana, was convicted on December 23, 2009 and sentenced to 17 years and 18 months in prison for forcible oral copulation, robbery, assault causing great bodily injury, and false imprisonment of another transgender woman.
May 12, 2007 – Roberto Duncanson was murdered in Brooklyn, New York. He was stabbed to death by Omar Willock, who claimed Duncanson had flirted with him.
May 16, 2007 – Sean William Kennedy, 20, was walking to his car from Brew’s Bar in Greenville, SC when Stephen Andrew Moller, 18, got out of another car and approached Kennedy. Investigators said that Moller made a comment about Kennedy’s sexual orientation, and threw a fatal punch because he didn’t like the other man’s sexual preference.
October 2007 – Steven Domer, a 62-year-old gay man, was murdered in Oklahoma.
December 8, 2007 – 25-year-old gay man Nathaniel Salerno was attacked by four men on a Metro train in Washington, DC. The men called him “faggot” while they beat him.
January 8, 2008 – Stacey Brown, a black 30-year-old trans woman, was found dead in her apartment. She had been shot in the head.
July 1, 2008 – Ebony Whitaker, an African American trans woman, was shot and killed in Memphis.
February 2008 – Duanna Johnson, a trans woman, was beaten by a police officer while she was held in the Shelby County Criminal Justice Center in Tennessee. Johnson said the officers reportedly called her a “faggot” and “he-she,” before and during the incident. In November 2008, she was found dead in the street, reportedly gunned down by three unknown individuals.
February 4, 2008 – Ashley Sweeney, a trans woman, was shot in the head. Her body was found in Detroit, Michigan.
February 10, 2008 – Sanesha Stewart, a 25-year-old black trans woman was stabbed to death in Bronx, New York.
February 12, 2008 – Lawrence “Larry” King, a 15-year-old junior highschool student was shot twice by a classmate at E.O. Green School in Oxnard, California. He was taken off life support after doctors declared him brain dead on February 15. According to Associated Press reports, “prosecutors have charged a 14-year-old classmate with premeditated murder with hate-crime and firearm-use enhancements”.
February 22, 2008 – Simmie Williams Jr. was a black gender-nonconforming 17-year-old, who was shot dead on a street corner in Broward County, Florida.
March 16, 2008 – Police say Lance Neve was beaten unconscious in Rochester, New York because Neve was gay. A man attacked Neve at a bar leaving him with a fractured skull, and a broken nose. Jesse Parsons was sentenced to more than five years in prison for the assault.
May 29, 2008 – Eighteen-year-old Steven Parrish, a member of the 92 Family Swans subgroup of the Bloods, was murdered by Steven T. Hollis III and Juan L. Flythe on orders from gang leader Timothy Rawlings Jr., in Baltimore County, Maryland after they found “gay messages” on his cell phone. The felt having a gay member would make their gang appear weak. Hollis III pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison; Flythe was given a life sentence with all but 30 years suspended; and Rawlings was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. A fourth man, Benedict Wureh, pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact and was sentenced to time served, about 17 months.
June 9, 2008 – Jeremy Waggoner, an openly gay hairstylist from Royal Oak, Michigan, was brutally murdered in Detroit. His murder is still unsolved.
July 17, 2008 – Eighteen-year-old Angie Zapata, a trans woman, was beaten to death in Colorado two days after meeting Allen Ray Andrade. The case was prosecuted as a hate crime, and Andrade was found guilty of first degree murder on April 22, 2009.
August 20, 2008 – Nahkia Williams, a black trans woman, was shot to death in Louisville, Kentucky. Damon Malone was charged with her murder, robbery, and burglary, and sentenced to 35 years in prison.
September 7, 2008 – Tony Randolph Hunter, 27, and his partner were attacked and beaten near a gay bar in Washington DC. Hunter later died from his injuries on September 18. Police are investigating it as a possible hate crime.
September 13, 2008 – 26-year-old Nima Daivari was attacked in Denver, Colorado by a man who called him “faggot”. The police that arrived on the scene refused to make a report of the attack.
September 21, 2008 – 22-year-old trans woman Ruby Molina’s nude body was found facedown on the bank of a river in isolated and undeveloped area in Sacramento, California.
November 7, 2008 – The home of openly gay Melvin Whistlehunt in Newton, North Carolina was destroyed by arsonists. Investigators found homophobic graffiti spray-painted on the back of the house.
November 14, 2008 – 22-year-old Lateisha Green, a trans woman, was shot and killed by Dwight DeLee in Syracuse, NY because he thought she was gay.Local news media reported the incident with her legal name, Moses “Teish” Cannon. DeLee was convicted of first-degree manslaughter as a hate crime on July 17, 2009, and received the maximum sentence of 25 years in state prison. This was only the second time in the nation’s history that a person was prosecuted for a hate crime against a transgender person and the first hate crime conviction in New York state.
December 7, 2008 – Romel Sucuzhanya, a 31-year-old straight Ecuadorean and his brother Jose, were attacked on a Brooklyn, New York street for appearing to be gay and for being Latino; they were walking arm-in-arm, which is normal for brothers in their culture. Romel later died from his injuries.
December 12, 2008 – A 28-year-old lesbian in Richmond, California was kidnapped and gang raped by four men who made homophobic remarks during the attack.
December 26, 2008 – Taysia Elzy, a 34-year-old trans woman, was shot to death.
December 27, 2008 – 24-year-old Nathan Runkle was brutally assaulted in Dayton, Ohio outside a gay nightclub.
January 2009 – Caprice Curry, a trans woman, was murdered.
February 15, 2009 – Efosa Agbontaen and Branden McGillvery-Dummett were attacked in New York City by four young men with glass bottles and box cutters who used anti-gay slurs during the attack. Agbontaen and McGillvery-Dummett both required emergency room treatment for their injuries.
February 18, 2009 – Two men were arrested in Stroudsburg, PA for the stabbing death of gay veteran Michael Goucher.
March 1, 2009 – Three men entered a bar in Galveston, Texas and attacked patrons with rocks. One of the victims, Marc Bosaw, was sent to the emergency room to have twelve staples in his head.
March 14, 2009 – A gay couple leaving a Britney Spears concert in Newark, New Jersey were attacked by 15 teens. Josh Kehoe and Bobby Daniel Caldwellwere called “faggots” and beaten. Caldwell suffered a broken jaw.
March 23, 2009 – Two gay men were attacked in Seaside, Oregon and left lying unconscious on a local beach. The men regained consciousness and were treated at a nearby hospital.
April 6, 2009 – Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, an 11-year-old child in Springfield, Massachusetts, hanged himself with an extension cord after being bullied all school year by peers who said “he acted feminine” and was gay.
April 11, 2009 – A gay man in Gloucester, Massachusetts was attacked and beaten by as many as six people outside a bar. Justin Goodwin, 36, of Salem suffered a shattered jaw, broken eye socket, broken nose and broken cheekbone.
June 18, 2009 – Patti Hammond Shaw, an African-American trans woman, turned herself into a police station in Washington DC after receiving a letter saying there was a warrant for her arrest on charges of making a false police report. Despite producing documents supporting her right to be housed with other women, she was placed in a men’s facility. According to her suit, officers “groped her breasts, buttocks and between her legs repeatedly and excessively”. She is now suing Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department and the U.S. Marshals service for the treatment she received.
June 30, 2009 – Seaman August Provost was found shot to death and his body burned at his guard post on Camp Pendleton. LGBT community leaders “citing military sources initially said that Provost’s death was a hate crime.” Provost had been harassed because of his sexual orientation. Military leaders have since explained that “whatever the investigation concludes, the military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy prevented Provost from seeking help.” Family and friends believe he was murdered because he was openly gay (or bisexual according to some family and sources); the killer committed suicide a week later after admitting the murder, the Navy have not concluded if this was a hate crime.
October 25, 2009 – Dee Green, a trans woman, was found by police unconscious, stabbed in the heart, and bleeding on a street in Baltimore, Maryland. She was taken to a hospital where she died half an hour later. Larry Douglas was charged with first-degree murder in April 2010.
November 2009 – Jason Mattison Jr., an openly gay 15-year-old boy, was violently murdered and raped at his aunt’s house by 35-year-old Dante Parrish, a family friend who had been in prison for murder previously.
December 9, 2009 – Mariah Malina Qualls’ body was found in a San Francisco hotel. She was a 23-year-old transgender woman who volunteered and was a member of the Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center’s TRANS:THRIVE community.
January 18, 2010 – The half-naked corpse of Myra Chanel Ical, 51, a trans woman of color, was found in a vacant lot in Houston, Texas.
March 30, 2010 – Amanda Gonzalez-Andujar, a 29-year-old Latina trans woman, was found dead in her Queens, New York apartment. The autopsy found that her attacker, Rasheen Everett, had strangled her then doused her body with bleach.
April 3, 2010 – Toni Alston, a black 44-year-old transgender woman, was shot in the front door of her home in West Charlotte, North Carolina.
May 7, 2010 – Dana A. “Chanel” Larkin, a 26-year-old black trans woman who worked as a prostitute, was shot three times in the head by her client, Andrew Olacirequi, after she asked him if he was okay with them having sex despite her male genitalia. She was found dead on the pavement of a Milwaukee street.
June 21, 2010 – Sandy Woulard, a 28-year-old trans woman, was shot in the chest in South Side, Chicago. A passing motorist found her lying in the street, and she was pronounced dead at the hospital.
October 3, 2010 – A 30-year-old male known as “la Reina” (the Queen), Bryan Almonte, 17, and Brian Cepeda, 17, were kidnapped by a homophobic group of youths calling themselves the Latin King Goonies, sodomized by foreign objects including a plunger and baseball bat, burned with cigarettes, and tortured for hours. One of the teenage victims had wanted to join the gang the attackers were part of, but when members saw him with the 30-year-old, they later picked him up and took him to an abandoned apartment and asked him if the two had had sex. When the teenager responded positively, he was beaten and sodomized. The gang later picked up the second teenager whom they had also seen with the 30-year-old and repeated the process. They then lured the 30-year-old to the building with the promise of a party. When he arrived with alcohol, the gang tied him up and tortured him and made the 17-year-old burn him with cigarettes. They then robbed the man’s 40-year-old brother, coercing him by putting a cellphone to his ear so he could hear his brother beg to pay them.
September 11, 2010 – Victoria Carmen White, a 28-year-old black transgender woman, died of bullet wounds in her New Jersey apartment. It is believed she was targeted by her killer, Alrashim Chambers, for her gender identity.
October 14, 2010 – Stacey Blahnik Lee, a 31-year-old black trans woman, was found murdered in her Philadelphia home by her boyfriend.
November 17, 2010 – 18-year-old Joshua Wilkerson was found dead in a field in Pearland, Texas, after being beaten to death and set on fire by a friend of 5 years, Hermilio Moralez. This was supposedly a retaliation to unwanted sexual advances.
January 11, 2011 – Chrissie Bates, a 45-year-old transgender woman, was stabbed to death in her downtown Minneapolis apartment. Arnold Darwin Waukazo was sentenced to 367 months in prison for the murder.
February 19, 2011 – Tyra Trent, a black 25-year-old trans woman, was found strangled to death in a vacant house.
April 4, 2011 – Quinn Matney suffered 3rd and 4th degree burns to his wrist after being branded by an unidentified man for being gay. The attack happened while he was taking a night time stroll on his university campus in North Carolina.
April 2011 – Kevin Pennington, a gay 28-year-old male, was kidnapped and severely beaten in a Kentucky park by two men shouting anti gay epithets. David Jason Jenkins and Anthony Ray Jenkins face possible life sentences for anti gay hate crime. On March 15, 2012, the Kentucky State Police assisted the FBI in arresting David Jenkins, Anthony Jenkins, Mable Jenkins, and Alexis Jenkins of Partridge, KY for the beating of Kevin Pennington during a late-night attack in April 2011 at Kingdom Come State Park, near Cumberland. The push came from the gay-rights group Kentucky Equality Federation, whose president, Jordan Palmer, began lobbying the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky in August 2011 to prosecute after stating he had no confidence in the Harlan County Commonwealth’s Attorney to act. "I think the case’s notoriety may have derived in large part from the Kentucky Equality Federation efforts,“ said Harvey, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky. Mable Jenkins, and Alexis Jenkins plead guilty.
April 22, 2011 – Chrissy Lee Polis, a 22-year-old trans woman, was beaten in a violent struggle by two African-American women for entering the women’s bathroom in Baltimore County, Maryland, which triggered her to have a seizure. A McDonald’s employee, who was later fired, filmed the encounter and released the film on the internet; it since went viral. Teonna Monae Brown, 19, pleaded guilty to first-degree assault and a hate crime in the beating, and was sentenced to 5 years in prison, plus three years of supervised probation. The other woman was charged as a juvenile and committed to a juvenile detention facility. See: 2011 Rosedale, Maryland beating
June 2011 – Rosita Hernandez, a Cuban trans woman, was stabbed to death in Miami.
June 5, 2011 – CeCe McDonald, a young African American trans woman, was attacked outside a tavern shortly after midnight in Minneapolis, Minnesota.CeCe fatally stabbed her attacker with a pair of scissors. She was subsequently convicted of manslaughter and jailed for 19 months in a men’s prison.
July 20, 2011 – Lashai Mclean, a 23-year-old African American trans woman, was shot to death in Northeast Washington DC.
August 11, 2011 – Camila Guzman, a Latina transgender woman, was found murdered in her apartment in East Harlem, Manhattan.
September 8, 2011 – Cameron Nelson, a 32-year-old gay man, was attacked at his place of employment in Utah.
October 11, 2011 – Shelley Hilliard, a black transgender teen who had been reported missing, had her burnt torso identified by police in Detroit. Her killer, 30-year-old Qasim Raqib, was sentenced on March 6, 2012 to 25–40 years in jail.
November 15, 2011 – Danny Vega, a 58-year-old Asian-American gay man who worked as a hairdresser in Rainier Valley, Seattle was beaten and robbed as he was taking a walk. The beating left Vega in a coma from which he later died.
November 17, 2011 – Cassidy Nathan Vickers, a 32-year-old black transgender woman, died from a fatal gunshot wound to the chest in Hollywood. Her killer, who is still unidentified, is suspected of also attempting to rob and non-fatally shoot another black transgender woman on the same day.
December 17, 2011 – Charlie Hernandez, a 26-year-old who was openly gay, was stabbed to death following a brawl that included anti-gay slurs that occurred with two men after he accidentally stepped on some sunglasses.
December 24, 2011 – Dee Dee Pearson, a 31-year-old transgender woman, died from bullet wounds in Kansas City, Missouri. Kenyan L. Jones was charged with second-degree murder and armed criminal action. Jones told police he paid to have sexual relations with Ms Pearson, believing her to be a cisgender woman, but hours after having sex with her, discovered she was not. Angered by what he considered to be a deception, he got a 9mm-caliber handgun, found Ms Pearson, and killed her. Kenyan L. Jones was arrested on suspicion of her murder.
December 29, 2011 – The body of Githe Goines, a black 23-year-old trans woman who had been reported missing 2 weeks beforehand, was found in a scrapheap. An autopsy set that the time of her death as much as 2 days before her body was discovered, and that she had been strangled.
January 21, 2012 – Crain Conaway, a black 47-year-old trans woman, was found dead in her home in Oceanside, California. Tyree Paschall Monday was arrested in connection with her murder.
February 2, 2012 – JaParker "Deoni” Jones, a 23-year-old black trans woman, was stabbed in the head while waiting at a Metro bus stop in Washington DC.
February 2012 – Cody Rogers, an 18-year-old teenager, was brutally assaulted and targeted with homophobic slurs at a party after defending a female friend who was also attacked.
March 24, 2012 – Several transgender and crossdressing people were shot at and robbed in Florida by a man, suspected to be De Los Santos. 23-year-old Tyrell Jackson was fatally wounded in the shooting, which also injured 20-year-old Michael Hunter.
April 3, 2012 – Coko Williams, a black trans woman, was found murdered in East Detroit, Michigan. The homicide may have been related to Coko’s involvement in sex work.
April 16, 2012 – Paige Clay, 23, a black trans woman, was found dead, with a bullet wound to her face in West Garfield Park, Chicago. The death was ruled as a homicide.
April 21, 2012 – Eric Unger, a 23-year-old gay man living in Illinois, was attacked by a group of men on the way home from a party, while they shouted anti-gay epithets at him. The investigation is ongoing.
April 29, 2012 – Brandy Martell, a 37-year-old trans woman of color, was murdered in Oakland, California.
May 2012 – Max Pelofske, a 21-year-old gay man, was beaten by a group of youths at a party in Minnesota. Pelofske claims it was a hate crime, but police disagree.
June 5, 2012 – Kardin Ulysse, a black 14-year-old boy, was attacked in the cafeteria of Roy Mann Junior High School by another group of boys. He was called anti-gay slurs and sustained damage to the cornea of one of his eyes, leaving him blinded. Ulysse’s parents planned on suing the city for failing to supervise its students properly.
June 23, 2012 – Mollie Olgin, 19 years old, and her girlfriend, Kristene Chapa, 18 years old, were found shot in the head near Violet Andrews Park in Portland, Texas. Olgin died at the scene and Chapa survived. Law enforcement has said there is no evidence to suggest that the incident is a hate crime. The Human Rights Campaign and Equality Texas urged a thorough investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI and Portland police to find the shooter.
July 5, 2012 – Tracy Johnson, a 40-year-old black trans woman, was found dead from gunshot wounds in Baltimore, Maryland.
August 14, 2012 – Tiffany Gooden, a 19-year-old black trans woman, was found murdered on the second floor of an abandoned building in Chicago. An autopsy verified that she had been stabbed to death. Notably, the body of Paige Clay, another young black trans woman, was discovered in April 3 blocks away from where Tiffany was found. The pair were known as friends.
August 18, 2012 – Kendall Hampton, a 26-year-old black trans woman, died of gunshot wounds. Eugene Carlos Dukes was arrested in early September for her murder, and indicted later that month.
August 26, 2012 – Deja Jones, a 33-year-old black trans woman, was shot to death in Miami. No arrest has yet been made.
September 3, 2012 – The body of Kyra Cordova, a 27-year-old trans woman, was found in a wooded area in Frankford, Philadelphia.
November 15, 2012 – Janette Tovar, a 43-year-old trans woman was murdered by her partner, Jonathan Kenney, according to police, who beat her and slammed her head into concrete. He was later arrested for her murder.
March 1, 2013 – Sondra Scarber addressed a parent about her girlfriend’s son being bullied at Seabourn Elementary School in Mesquite, Texas, and was beaten by him when he realized that she was a lesbian.
May 17, 2013 – Mark Carson, a 32-year old black gay man, was shot to death by another man who trailed and taunted him and a friend as they walked down the street in Greenwich Village, New York. When the two friends ignored the assailant’s questions, the man began yelling anti-gay slurs and asked one of them, “You want to die tonight?” Elliot Morales, 33, was arrested briefly after the shooting and charged with murder and weapons charges on May 19. According to police, Morales said he shot Carson because he was “acting tough”. Morales pleaded not guilty on June 19, 2013.
November 4, 2013 - Sasha Fleischman, an 18-year-old who identifies as agender (neither male nor female), had their skirt set on fire while they were sleeping on an AC Transit bus in Oakland, California. Police arrested 16-year-old Richard Thomas and charged him as an adult with aggravated mayhem, assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury, and hate-crime enhancements. Thomas admitted to police that he had started the fire and that he did it because he was “homophobic.”
Today is Harvey Milk Day in California, and would have been Harvey Milk’s 85th birthday. With his election to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977, Milk became the first openly gay man to be elected in California, and the first non-incumbent openly gay man to be elected in the United States. On November 27, 1978, Milk and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated by Dan White, a former member of the Board of Supervisors.
Rob Epstein’s documentary The Times of Harvey Milk received a Special Jury Prize at the 1985 Sundance Film Festival, and went on to win that year’s Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. The film tells the story of Milk’s political life, and the assassination and trial which vaulted him to posthumous national fame. In 2000, The Sundance Collection at UCLA selected the film as a preservation project, and The Times of Harvey Milk returned to the Festival in 2001, screening for the first time in 35mm. In 2012, it was chosen by the Library of Congress for inclusion in the National Film Registry.
Epstein has been a Sundance Film Festival regular since 1985–in fact, since 1992, the Festival has never gone more than three years without screening one of his films. Most recently, his film Lovelace premiered at the 2013 Festival.