I want to be more like Harvey Milk | Late Bloomers and Finding Your Special Purpose

Remember when Steve Martin’s character in “The Jerk” found out what his special purpose was? Some of us take a bit longer to find out our direction in life.

The story of Harvey Milk is truly inspirational.

Back in 1977 Harvey Milk became the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in the United States. Eleven months into his first term on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, after passing a stringent gay rights ordinance for the city, Milk and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated.

The election of Harvey Milk represented a big step forward for the gay rights movement and for the rights and freedoms of all individuals. In death he became an icon in San Francisco, a martyr in the gay community and symbol for courage and conviction.

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Cezanne was a late bloomer… his paintings became more noteworthy and valuable as he aged.

I’m fascinated by Harvey Milk’s story. But what’s most inspirational to me is not so much what he did, but when he did it.

It was 1970 and in need of change and unsatisfied with his life, on his 40th birthday Milk made the decision to leave New York to move to San Francisco.

Yes, that means the movie based on his life takes place in the 8 years after his 40th birthday. The changes he’s made on the American political landscape are a result of a decision he made at 40 years old.

From insurance company employee to political icon in 8 years.

The courage to make that decision shows us all that 40 can be the beginning of life.

It proves to me that being a late bloomer at 40-years-old is a possibility when you find your special purpose.

This inspires me.

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  1. Harvey Milk was a friend of mine, and my photo of him on 6/7/77 introduced him nationally 5 months before he was elected. Keep in mind, that many pioneers in the gay rights movement left their hometowns because it was taboo to be openly gay or know people who were gay in the 1960s. My 40s, were the best time of my life. In 1974 at San Francisco, gay men organized the first gay sports league… the Community Softball League. It began with 6 teams and expanded to 19 within a few years. Today, there are over 50 cities with gay sport leagues. In 1979, I played on the first senior team in the country, and one of my teammates was former U.S. Olympian Dr. Tom Waddell, who a few years later created the Gay Games… now played throughout the world. I am still involved in the gay rights movement , and just this year was inducted into the Chicago Senior Citizen hall of Fame, based on my activity in the GLBT movement. My photos of the Gay movement in the 1970s have appeared in books,documentaries and exhibits. Next month, I hit 76, and that is not homers. Today,the gay rights movement is at its peak. Yet we have a long way to go to have Equal Rights. Thanks to harvey, and many pioneers, many who were over 40 for many of the rights we now enjoy. I still play softball in the Chicago Metropolitan Sports Association and won their Oldest Active Player Award for 3 times in their annual Senior Cup Tournament. For those getting near their 40’s… don’t worry about getting older… the best is yet to come!

    • WOW!!!
      Thank you so much for reading and commenting. Thank you so much for sharing your story.
      Harvey Milk was a great man and it’s amazing to talk to someone who actually knew him. I am honored.
      Gay rights has come a long way because of people like you. But it doesn’t stop there. People like you have advanced the rights and freedoms of all individuals. When one group is oppressed we are all oppressed.
      Thank you once again for reading and commenting. I hope you come back and share your thoughts and ideas again.

  2. I noticed that you had “liked” some posts on my blog, so I decided to come over and visit yours and I am pleased to have made the decision because your blog is outstanding.

    It is good to see someone with a heart of compassion and a caring nature in today’s stressful world and I especially enjoyed your article on harvey Milk.

    Thanks again for visiting me at American Liberal Times.

    I feel honored and verey grateful.

    • I like your blog also. I enjoy visiting new blogs and reading about different perspectives and experiences. The internet can be a very harsh place. But there are spots where you can find decent people sharing their thoughts. I want to this blog to be that kind of place.

      Thanks for reading and thank you for your comment.

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