Hundreds of people filled the streets of Salt Lake City’s 9th and 9th neighborhood over the weekend to celebrate the naming of Harvey Milk Boulevard.
Saturday’s festivities were a celebration of gay activist Harvey Milk’s contribution to the LGBT rights movement, as well as Salt Lake City’s own growing culture of acceptance and diversity.
Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski, the city’s first openly gay mayor told the crowd she’s here today because of people like Milk.
“He was a hero of mine,” Biskupski said. “Somebody I looked up to and who truly inspired me years after he was gone.”
Last month, the Salt Lake City Council adopted a resolution to name 900 south after Milk, one of the first openly gay elected officials in the United States. Milk was assassinated less than a year after being sworn into office on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
Barb Guy is with the Salt Lake Film Society. She had a booth set up outside the Tower Theater, which now sits on Harvey Milk Boulevard.
“It’s a really special day for us, because of that and because of just what a great city we live in now that we have such a true diversity of people and interests,” Guy said. “And it’s cool to be whoever you are in Salt Lake now.”
Salt Lake City resident Steven Jordan said the naming of the street was a long-time coming.
“People just had to wait for the right place at right time for this to happen,” Jordan said. “I think with the recent elections, with the mayor, and the city council, it was the perfect time.”
The resolution to name the street was sponsored by Salt Lake City Councilman Stan Penfold. He was the first openly gay person to be elected to a city council in Utah.