25 Inspirational Harvey Milk Quotes That Will Remind You of the Importance of Being True to Yourself

These Harvey Milk quotes from the visionary politician will inspire you to be true to yourself, no matter who might be against you.

Harvey Milk was an American politician based in San Francisco, California and an openly gay man.

He was the first openly gay politician to ever be elected in the history of California.

Milk was a well-known member of society and liked for his sense of humor.

Milk served almost 11 months in office before he was assassinated by Dan White, a former San Francisco Supervisor.

Though he was only in office for a short time, Milk managed to successfully spearhead many progressive changes in California, including pushing an anti-discrimination law protecting members of the LGBT community.

In addition to gay rights, Milk also supported many policies that would make San Francisco a cleaner, safer and less expensive place to live.

These inspirational Harvey Milk quotes speak of the importance of fighting for what is right and always being true to who you are.

Don’t forget to also check out these LGBTQ quotes celebrating pride and love.

Check out our most popular quote article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily inspiration.

Our inspirational quote category page has even more inspirational and educational quotes.

Harvey Milk quotes on human rights

1. “It takes no compromise to give people their rights. It takes no money to respect the individual. It takes no survey to remove repressions.” – Harvey Milk

2. “All men [people] are created equal. No matter how hard they try, they can never erase those words. That is what America is about.” – Harvey Milk

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

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4. “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

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

Harvey Milk quotes on activism

6. “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

7. “Unless you have dialogue, unless you open the walls of dialogue, you can never reach to change people’s opinion.” – Harvey Milk

8. “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

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

10. “I have always considered myself part of a movement, part of a candidacy. I considered the movement the candidate. I think that there’s a distinction between those who use the movement and those who are part of the movement.” – Harvey Milk

11. “I think I was always part of the movement. I wish I had time to explain everything I did. Almost everything was done with an eye on the gay movement.” – Harvey Milk

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12. “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

13. “Get out of the bars and into the streets!” – Harvey Milk

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

15. The events that started the American Revolution were the meetings in homes, pubs, on street corners. – Harvey Milk

16. “Without hope, not only gays, but the blacks, the seniors, the handicapped, the us’es, the us’es will give up.” – Harvey Milk

17. “It’s not my victory, it’s yours and yours and yours.” – Harvey Milk

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

Harvey Milk quotes on politics

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

20. “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.” – Harvey Milk

21. “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

22. “Gay brothers and sisters … You must come out. Come out… to your parents… I know that it is hard and will hurt them but think about how they will hurt you in the voting booth.” – Harvey Milk

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23. “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

24. “Coming out is the most political thing you can do.” – Harvey Milk

Harvey Milk quotes on being true to who you are

25. 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

Did these Harvey Milk quotes inspire you to fight for what is right?

Harvey Milk spent his life fighting for human rights.

He created immense change in California that rippled out to the rest of the country, creating a better, safer, and more accepting world.

And though he faced immense adversity, Harvey Milk never backed down.

He influenced the lives of millions of people and died a martyr. 

These Harvey Milk quotes remind us of the importance of standing up for what you believe in.

They remind us that everyone deserves fundamental human rights, regardless of their sexual orientation, skin tone, religious beliefs, or any other distinction. 

Let the quotes above inspire you to stay true to yourself, no matter who you are.

Did you enjoy these Harvey Milk quotes and sayings?

Which quote was your favorite?

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