The GLBT Community Center of Central Florida, in partnership with The Harvey Milk Foundation, MBA Orlando and Watermark, will be presenting the second annual Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast on Monday, May 12 at 7:30 a.m. at the Doubletree by Hilton Downtown Orlando (60 S. Ivanhoe Blvd., Orlando).
The mission of the Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast is to recognize Milk’s iconic status in theLGBT community and to share his message of diversity to the community. Last year, Representative Alan Grayson was selected to speak with LGBT rights advocate Stuart Milk (Harvey Milk’s nephew). This year, Milk, a friend of The Center, is returning to Orlando and will appear alongside Central Florida allies John Morgan, Martha Haynie and Jim Phillips.
Tickets cost $54 and include admission and breakfast. MBA Orlando and The Center members can buy their tickets for the discounted price of $50. Limited parking is available on the street, pay parking is available for $7. You can buy your tickets by going to harveymilkorlando.com, a website affiliated with MBA Orlando.
I had a chance to speak to The Center Director Randy Stephens about the event in a Hotspots exclusive.
Why were this year’s honorees chosen to participate in the Diversity Breakfast?
John Morgan, of the law firm Morgan and Morgan, has been a major supporter and ally of the LGBT community. In 2012 he and his wife were the official hosts of the Headdress Ball for Hope and Help and they have given their encouragement and financial support to many other LGBT issues in Central Florida.
Martha Haynie, the Comptroller of Orange County, is a Republican who has helped the LGBT community to reach out to everyone, regardless of their political identification. She was instrumental in the passage of the Domestic Partner Registry, offering her office as the intake for both city and county partnerships. She has been a supporter and contributor to many LGBT issues.
Jim Phillips is the host of The Phillips Phile heard every afternoon on Real Radio 104.1. Jim has the largest radio audience in Central Florida and has always supported the LGBT Community, especially when it was risky to publicly support the community.
Stuart Milk is returning to this event for another year. What impresses you the most about him?
I have been close friends with Stuart and I am still amazed at his perseverance and integrity he exhibits when addressing human rights issues. While he primarily addresses issues severely affecting the LGBT community, both nationally and internationally, he addresses injustice wherever he sees it. He has put his own personal safety at risk several times. The latest occurred while in the Baltic countries of Eastern Europe; he led a gay pride parade, which was a major accomplishment in a less-than-friendly environment. During the march, Stuart was pelted with eggs and some stones. At the conclusion of the parade Stuart spoke to a crowd of 300 supporters and told them that while they threw eggs at him, they threw bullets at his uncle. They can kill the messenger, but they cannot kill the message. That is what makes a person a hero.