San Francisco International Airport Renaming Terminal For Harvey Milk

Travelers will see "there’s a place where they belong," said City Supervisor Hillary Ronen.

Now you have another reason to visit the City by the Bay: A terminal at San Francisco International Airport is slated to be renamed after slain LGBT rights leader Harvey Milk.

A name change was initially introduced in 2013, when former City Supervisor David Campos hoped to rechristen the whole airport after Milk. When that proposal met with opposition, a committee recommended renaming SFO’s Terminal 1.

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Milk became one of the first openly gay elected officials in America in 1977. But less than a year later he and Mayor George Moscone were gunned down in City Hall by irate ex-Supervisor Dan White.

A measure authored by current Supervisor Hillary Ronen requires the airport to submit plans for signage and artwork dedicated to Milk in Terminal 1 “to honor one of the nation’s great gay leaders, raise awareness of the history of the LGBT movement, and give hope to young LGBT people in cities everywhere.”

Ronen preferred naming the entire airport, but conceded that given the rise in murders of LGBT people and the current political climate, renaming the terminal will bring “material change in people’s lives” when they arrive and see “there’s a place where they belong.”

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If approved by the committee, the full board will vote on the bill on April 3.

Terminal 1 welcomes more than 32,000 travelers daily via carriers like Frontier, Southwest, American and Delta. According to an SFO spokesman, the redesign would begin in mid-2019, and cost an estimated $357,000.

Mayor Mark Farrell supports of the campaign is open rebranding other sections after Mayor Ed Lee, Senator Diane Feinstein, or other notable locals.

Milk has previously been honored with a battleship, a high school in New York, and a U.S. postage stamp.

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.
@ItsDanAvery