National LGBT Briefs: Milk, Mourning and Miami

San Diego gets a new street, the White House talks LGBT elders and Maurice Sendak dies at 83


Harvey Milk Takes to the Street

San Diego LGBT Pride announced Tuesday that the San Diego City Council voted unanimously to name a street in that city after the iconic LGBT civil right hero Harvey Milk.

Milk, among the first openly gay Americans elected to office in the U.S., as a San Francisco supervisor in 1978, was shot to death Dan White, a fellow supervisor, less than a year later. White also killed the city’s Mayor George Moscone.

”A year ago, a group of community leaders came together around the notion the time had come to honor an LGBT civil rights leader in San Diego the same way we have given honor to other civil rights leaders such as Cesar Chavez and Martin Luther King Jr.,” San Diego LGBT Pride Executive Director Dwayne Crenshaw said in a May 8 release from the group. ”Today marks a symbolic and significant moment in the movement forward towards the American value of equality.”

According to the group, the San Diego street will be the first such honor for Milk. There will be a street-naming ceremony May 22, as the street in front of the San Diego LGBT Community Center, Blaine Avenue, is renamed Harvey Milk Street.

White House Convenes LGBT Conference on Aging

About 160 LGBT activists from across Florida attended the first White House LGBT Conference on Aging Monday, May 7, according to The Miami Herald.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), who helped open the conference, told attendees, ”We have had for many years a generation of the LGBT community that has been able to live openly. Now, we have unique and specific issues for LGBT seniors that we’re aware of. They always existed, it’s just that they existed in the shadows and there were no services and no attempts to help them.”

Among others who spoke Tuesday was Raphael Bostic, of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

”These LGBT elder issues are real and they are going to get bigger as we go on,” said Bostic, who is gay. ”We’ve got a wave of elders coming in our community and we need to be ready for them.”

Video of the conference is available at whitehouse.gov.

Gay Author Sendak of ”Where the Wild Things Are” Fame Dies

Maurice Sendak, beloved children’s book author and artist, perhaps best known for Where the Wild Things Are, died Tuesday, May 8, in Danbury, Conn., at age 83, due to complications caused by a recent stroke, The New York Times reported.

Sendak, who was gay, told the Times in a 2008 interview, ”All I wanted was to be straight so my parents could be happy. They never, never, never knew.”

Sendak has no immediate survivors, according to the Times. His partner of many decades, psychiatrist Eugene Glynn, died in 2007.

Follow Will O'Bryan on Twitter @wobryan.

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