This year the breakfast is commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising which is known as the birth of the modern LGBT movement, and the Assassination of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected official in California, and his legacy of groundbreaking inspiration in the struggle to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality.  The event is designed to strengthen coalitions among the many diverse community organizations that work toward equality in the Coachella Valley and benefit Coachella Valley youth through Gay-Straight Alliance clubs and LGBT youth related programs.

Lesbian Activists Lucy DeBardelaben and Gail Christian will be this year’s recipients of the Harvey B. Milk Leadership Award at the 8th Annual Coachella Valley Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast on Wednesday, May 15, 2019, at the Palm Springs Convention Center.

Since arriving in Palm Springs in 2003, Lucy and Gail have seen Palm Springs as a place for African-American LBGTQ people to live, thrive and participate in a social justice movement that saw itself within the context of a the struggle for civil rights. To connect with women of color within the LGBTQ community they began by having an annual backyard party during the Dinah Shore Weekend called ‘Dinah in Color’. This event was the beginning of creating a measurable African-American Lesbian presence in the Coachella Valley of Lesbians who would go on to becoming active members in all aspects of the LGBTQ community. By 2012 they had became known Lucy and Gail, producers of events of interest to women; especially their Palm Springs Women in Jazz Festival. The events became more integrated and today draw lesbians of all colors to events and activities where it is common to see people of other races and cultures.  The focus is now on helping to shape a LBGTQ community where social justice and issues of equality are discussed and share the same importance as issues of gender and sexuality. 

Keynoting the Breakfast will be State Controller Betty Yee. Ms. Yee has more than 35 years of experience in public service, specializing in state and local finance and tax policy. Previously she served as Chief Deputy Director for Budget with the California Department of Finance where she led the development of the Governor’s Budget, negotiations with the Legislature and key budget stakeholders, and fiscal analyses of legislation.  Prior to this, she served in senior staff positions for several fiscal and policy committees in both houses of the California State Legislature.  She also cofounded the Asian Pacific Youth Leadership Project, which exposes California high school youth to the public service, public policy, and political arenas. Ms. Yee is dedicated to creating incentives to increase the number of affordable housing units, spur economic development, support pollution-control innovations, and strengthen health and educational facilities.

Registration for the event begins at 8:45 am, Program & Breakfast from 9:30 to 11 am. For tickets or more information go to


Norwegian Airlines adds the late gay San Francisco supervisor Harvey Milk to its Tail Fin Heroes.

Milk, the first out gay person to win elective office in both San Francisco and California, only to be assassinated 11 months into his term on the morning of November 27, 1978, is the eighth American to be honored by the international carrier on one of its aircraft.

His image will be featured on a newly built Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner that flew from Seattle Monday for London to receive its final detailing and installation. The aircraft, the 168th in the Norwegian fleet to feature a tail fin hero, will be based out of London but is expected to fly various routes to the U.S. including to New York City’s JFK airport and to San Francisco International Airport.

In a statement Norwegian founder and CEO Bjørn Kjos said the company sees the honor as paying tribute to Milk’s “bravery and courage” in fighting for equal rights “that will span the globe for years to come, reinforcing our joint commitment to making the world a smaller, friendlier and more inclusive place.”

“Like ours, Harvey Milk’s mission was reflective of a pioneering spirit,” stated Kjos. “He demonstrated a tireless hunger to look past the differences of people and instead focus on bringing them together for the greater good, which we know resonates with many Americans.”

Milk is the third male LGBT icon, and first American out man, to be featured on a Norwegian airplane. The visage of the late Queen front man Freddie Mercury and the late author Oscar Wilde have both graced the tail fin of one of the airline’s crafts.

When asked if its inaugural flight into the Bay Area could be timed to the state’s Harvey Milk Day holiday this May 22, which is Milk’s birthday, Norwegian spokesman Anders Lindström didn’t rule it out.

Norwegian marketing director Ben Kaufman had recommended that the company add Milk to its list of tail fin heroes. The New Jersey native is a gay man, as is Lindström, who is from Sweden.

“We are proud to partner with Norwegian, having Uncle Harvey join the airline’s forward- thinking Tail Fin Hero program that already includes change makers like Sojourner Truth and Oscar Wilde,” stated Stuart Milk in the airline’s release. “This is such a unique way to educate and celebrate those that have come before us, allowing for their legacies to live on. We look forward to seeing Harvey ‘flying’ into airports across the globe and continuing to spread his message of acceptance.”