Long Beach’s Harvey Milk Park Committee wants nominations for LGBTQ champions

Harvey Milk Promenade Park is the first park in the nation named for the slain civil rights leader. Photo: Trang Le/Q Voice News

LONG BEACH — There’s room on the wall for more names.

Nominations are open for local LGBTQ champions to be memorialized at Long Beach’s Harvey Milk Promenade Park, the first park in the nation named after California’s first openly gay elected official. The civil rights leader, who was was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977,  was assassinated on Nov. 27, 1978.

Once the inductees are selected, they will be recognized on the park’s Equality Plaza Memorial Wall.

“The selection committee calls on the public to help it identify local lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer leaders who inspire and create change in their own lives and their own communities,” Raul A. Añorve, chair of the Harvey Milk Park Equality Plaza Selection Committee, said in a press statement.

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Harvey Milk Park, which opened in 2013 in Downtown at Third Street and The Promenade, honors and recognizes leaders in the local LGBTQ people who have used their time, talents, and passion to help advance the LGBTQ community in the same spirit as Milk.

Along with plaques commemorating these leaders and activists, the plaza includes a concrete replica of the soapbox Milk stood on and spoke from to inspire crowds, and a 20-foot flagpole flying the LGBTQ pride flag.

LGBTQ champions listed on the wall include activist Lee Glaze, attorney Stephanie Loftin, historian David Hensley, Long Beach Lesbian and Gay Pride co-founders Judi Doyle and Marilyn Barlow, former Signal Hill Councilwoman and activist Ellen Ward, among others.

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Nominees may be living or deceased and must identify as a member of the LGBTQ community in greater Long Beach.

A short biography can be submitted with the online application.

Submissions are due March 29  at 5 p.m.

Inductees will be recognized at a ceremony to coincide with Milk’s birthday May 22 and Long Beach Pride, which will take place May 19 and 20.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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