My name is Harvey Milk… And I want to recruit you!

It would appear that May is an important month within LGBT* history. As on May 22nd 1930 a young boy by the name of Harvey Bernard Milk was born, and he soon became the ‘father and founder’ of the Gay Rights movement both in America but across the world.

During the early 1970’s many gay men from across America migrated towards San Francisco and the Castro District, one of these being Harvey Milk. To this day the Castro District has grown and is still a continued prominent symbol for the LGBT community and LGBT rights across the world. Noticing the growing potential of the area, Milk unsuccessful ran for political office three times. On his fourth and final attempt, Milk was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, becoming the first openly gay person to be elected to public office.

Whilst in office, Milk helped to strengthen and develop the rights for gays within San Francisco and California. One of the main highlights from Milk’s time in office was his successful campaign against Proposition 6 / The Briggs Initiative.

The proposition would have banned Gays and Lesbians from working within California’s public schools and was brought about as a result of a tide of anti-gay legislation being passed across the United States. It was supported by anti-gay singer and entertainer Anita Bryant and California state legislator John Briggs. Heavy campaigning on both sides would ensure a closely fought battle, and with America and the world watching it was a resounding NO victory against proposition 6.

Only 10 months after being sworn into office and a month after the successful defeat of proposition 6, Harvey Milk and the then Mayor George Moscone were shot and killed by former supervisor Dan White. Following the death of Milk, the true significance and importance of this man’s life was known. As between 25 and 40,000 marched in a candlelight vigil from the Castro District down to the Town Hall.

So what is the legacy of Harvey Milk? He has taken his place as one of the leading civil rights pioneers joining the likes of Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, and Cesar Chavez. Milk’s election to public office has paved the way to many more openly LGBT individuals holding office around the US and the world. He has been seen by many as the founder and father of the gay rights movement which over recent years has grown and developed in many parts of the world.

The morals of his story are also very relatable to modern day life, to stand up and fight for what you believe to be right. Also the ability and desire to not give up on your dreams or passions no matter how many times they may knock you down. There is always still more to come.

Harvey Milk: A politician, gay rights activist, humanitarian, vaval officer, friend, boyfriend, brother, leader but above all else…a visionary.

The Start of the Rainbow: History of Pride

Pride. What started some 46 years ago as a march in remembrance of the Stonewall Riots was now become a global tradition celebrated with parades, brightly coloured floats and notable individuals.

Today’s annual events have become a key and pivotal global celebration of LGBT diversity and history, which attracts millions of people from a wide variety of backgrounds.

On June 28th 1969, members of New York’s LGBT Community took to the streets in protests against police raids on the Stonewall Inn, an event which later became known as the Stonewall Riots. In response to the Riots in June; Craig Rodwell, Fred Sargeant, Ellen Broidy and Linda Rhodes proposed the first Pride March in New York City.

This was to act as an annual reminder to the rest of the city and the country of the inequality in civil rights that LGBT people face. The first march took place on June 28th 1970 to mark the first anniversary of the stonewall riots, with similar marches taking place in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago.

It only took a couple of years before the Gay Pride March became a global event as by the end of 1972, there were marches across Europe and across America. Over the years Pride has developed and changed but the Parade has remained a constant part attracting many to this colourful spectacle. They often play host to many openly LGBT or LGBT allied celebrities who come and show their support.

The month of June has become internationally recognised by many including President Obama and Clinton as Pride Month which looks to commemorate the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, as a result many Pride events are held around the world during June to recognise the impact that LGBT people have had in the world.

What makes Pride such an interesting and unique celebration is there no two events and the differences are mainly attributed to cultural differences. In the historical home of Pride – New York, they look to focus on the family aspect of LGBT life by organising family film nights which look to get the whole family involved with Pride.

Whilst in Sydney they host a Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, where one of the main attractions is the Fair Day in which more than 80,000 people visit Victoria Park in the centre of the city. However in Tokyo, they use Pride or ‘Rainbow Week’ to educate through a series of public lectures and workshops. However the message remains the same, one of togetherness, acceptance and love.

Pride has become more than a commemoration of Stonewall, but a celebration of all things LGBT. Regardless of how Pride is celebrated around the world the message has always been the same. One of: Togetherness, Acceptance and Love.

To find a pride event near you, check out Gay Pride Calendar

Many Hands Make Light Work

With the sun shining we took advantage and took to the garden and let’s face it, it did need sorting out. With the help of additional volunteer’s as well as the Landlord and his wife, we were able to clear the garden in little over a morning. It’s safe to say that we were surprised at how fast the garden can grow and even more surprising to find what was lurking under the bushes.

Amongst the weeds and foliage were a Kayak Paddle, a Stereo and a Cast Iron Press among an army of Ants and other such creepy crawlies these were just some of the highlights. After all the extensive manual labor we are proud and happy to reap the benefits of our new open space with planning a number of events including a possible summer BBQ. We are still in need of a full plan for the area and welcome any thoughts as to what you think it should be.

Support U Receives Stonewall Training Approval

Support U, has become a Stonewall training partner for their train the trainer courses within the Thames Valley and the South-West. Support U is one of 60 organisations around the country to offer this stonewall training.

The train the trainer courses look to equip schools and their staff the knowledge and skills in order to tackle Homophobic, Biphobic and Transphobic (HBT) bullying. The main focus is to develop the confidence and skills of school teachers in being able to tackle such bullying as well as celebrating the differences and diversity within schools. The course also helps schools and teachers to understand the legal and Ofsted requirements under ongoing changes to the law and inspection frameworks. With separate courses for Primary and Secondary schools the initiative is part of the department for educations focus on tackling HBT bullying within young people.

Homophobic bullying is the second most frequent form of bullying in schools after bullying about weight. 55 per cent of lesbian, gay and bisexual young people say they have experience homophobic bullying. Nine in ten teachers want to tackle the problem, but have never been trained on how to prevent and respond to homophobic bullying. Research conducted by the University of Cambridge highlight the detrimental impact this is having on the future of school children with attendance, attainment and future educational choices being effected.

Support U CEO Andrew Stonehill-Brookes; “We are really proud that Support U has become a Stonewall training partner. Homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying is a major problem within schools and is a problem that looks set to continue. Here at Support U we have a wealth of knowledge and experience in dealing with homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying putting us in a good position to deliver this training.”

For more information about these courses or to book on one of these courses please look at the train the trainer section of the website at: