Throwback Thursday: Harvey Milk Assassination: Nov. 27, 1978

Today is a special day, there is no doubt about it — a day of gratitude and thanksgiving for all the people, events, and factors that have lead to the point we are today. As we sit around the banquet table later tonight to savor the food in the company of those we cherish, we must also recognize that there are others who have touched us indirectly in a past life.

November 27, 1978 was a day of mourning for San Francisco. Two flames of hope and of progress were extinguished. Wednesday marked the 35th anniversary of the assassinations of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk by ex-Supervisor Dan White.

We know that Thanksgiving is meant to be a time of joy and nostalgia, but acknowledging these murders creates a vital reflection of their contributions — that can be seen in today's society.

Today's Throwback Thursday is going to be different. Social media sites like Facebook and Instagram will be full of euphoric photos and reminiscences similar to Norman Rockwell paintings — saturated with glee and rose-colored hues. Instead of poking fun or exhibiting the happens of the good old days in this weekly series, we wanted to highlight the day that created a rift in the S.F. social movement. As is a standard Thanksgiving norm, we will ponder and offer commentary of the past and how we have, hopefully, changed for the better.

The assassinations changed San Francisco — a forced awakening within the city. Homophobia is real and hasn't been eradicated, nor will it ever be, but what did change was society's treatment of those who dare to be different and challenge the rigid-and-restrictive boundaries of hetero-normative culture. Homosexuality was now out, on a national scale, and it could never be relegated to the obscure depths of the banishment closet. Being homosexual didn't mean that individuals who love those of the same sex were sexual deviants or mentally ill. It meant they were people with basic human emotions and desires for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

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