On Nov. 27, Salt Lake Community College students gathered on 9th and 9th in Salt Lake City for the third annual Harvey Milk Vigil and Remembrance event, which was free and open to the public.
Milk, a former member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, was the first openly gay politician in the state of California. Milk, an activist for the LGBTQ community, was assassinated on Nov. 27, 1978.
The event aimed to honor Milk’s life and legacy. Notable public figures who attended included Misty Snow, the first transgender person to appear as a candidate for U.S. Senate on a general election ballot, and Chris Wharton, a member of the Salt Lake City Council.
At the beginning of the event, Zala Long, SLCC political science major read a poem she wrote about her experience as a queer black woman.
Elisa Stone, professor of English at SLCC, shared a guided meditation to set the tone of self-love and acceptance for the event. Dr. Anthony J. Nocella, assistant professor of criminal justice at SLCC, helped organize the event.
Snow spoke about the historical significance of Milk.
“What Harvey Milk did was groundbreaking,” Snow said. “He showed that even if you are a queer person, you can run for elected office; in some cases, you can even get elected.”
Wharton spoke on the importance of the queer community demonstrating their rights.
“When you’re a queer person, holding hands in public is a demonstration of your rights,” Wharton said. “All of you that are interested should come out, and the next political thing you could do is run for office.”
Peter Moosman, coordinator for the Gender and Sexuality Student Resource Center at SLCC, shared his support of Milk’s life and legacy.
“Here we stand in the cold to light a candle and remember him,” Moosman said. “Harvey Milk is a symbol of resistance, change, progress, and hope.”
After several speakers shared a few words, members of Utah Criminology Student Association passed around candles and led a moment of silence to remember Milk.