Three Cheers for Milk

Three Cheers for Milk

To have a film
capture the essence of the man Harvey Milk is an
incredible opportunity. To have it done with such sincerity
and integrity is truly a gift. Such is Milk.

Harvey Milk had a
profound impact on this planet and personally touched
countless lives with a message of dignity, self-respect and
hope. We are honored to have him captured so vibrantly
and with such compassion on the big screen. His legacy
lives on and is reflected in the faces of the tens of
thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and
questioning young people who pass through the doors of
the Hetrick-Martin Institute, home of the Harvey Milk
High School.

Milk has reignited a flame of hope by inspiring
a new generation of young LGBTQ people who are seeking to
live in a society where their voices are heard and
their opinions valued. The accolades for a movie that
so accurately portrays the life and cause of a great
American hero serve as a true testament to how far this
country has come in its acceptance of all people. In a
time when so many basic and even unappreciated human
rights are afforded to one portion of society but
denied to another, this film serves as a clarion call for
equality and validation.

I have personally
witnessed the uplifting effect and inspiration this
film and its message of hope has had on the self-esteem of
our young people -- the nation’s most at-risk
and historically underserved population. It sends an
incredibly powerful message to the world at large that
all people are loved, have a place “at the
table,” and are not excluded from the equation
that is humanity. What more powerful message can we
give our children than that which is the American dream and
the promise on which this nation was founded includes
them; that they too matter; that they too count.


Hetrick-Martin Institute is the nation’s first,
oldest, and largest agency serving LGBTQ young people,
and it helps more than 3,500 of them annually.
The Hetrick-Martin Institute believes all young people,
regardless of sexual orientation or identity, deserve a safe
and supportive environment in which to grow. Youths
receive free, year-round services ranging from mental
health counseling to after-school programs such as
academic enrichment, GED and college preparation, job
readiness, arts and culture and health and wellness
programming as well as hot meals and homeless pantry
services and HIV, STI, and pregnancy testing. It is
within this environment that the Harvey Milk High School,
named after the social activist and now-icon Harvey
Milk, resides.

It is with
profound gratitude that an actor of the highest caliber,
Sean Penn, has seemingly breathed life into the man
who is now a legend and hero to all people who fight
for the rights of others. It is for the continued
pursuit of the ideals that this hero of a nation stood for
that this school exists. Harvey Milk High School is a
fully accredited public transfer high school operated
by the New York City Department of Education and
hosted by the Hetrick-Martin Institute. It provides a safe
and supportive environment for students who have experienced
harassment in school and/or difficult academic or
living situations.

Tags: film, film

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