“Hope will never be silent.” This simple yet powerful message is one of the most memorable from icon and trailblazer Harvey Milk, who would have been 88 years old yesterday on May 22 (Harvey Milk Day). The phrase also embodies the essence of Harvey and what he stood for as a tireless pioneer for the LGBT community and one of the earliest out elected officials. To celebrate this sentiment and Harvey’s legacy, Stoli (a long-time supporter of the LGBTQ+ community) released a limited-edition Harvey Milk Tribute Bottle yesterday (as part of its “Raising the Bar” platform) with a label designed by Paraguayan street artist Oz Montania based on a mural he created at the LGBT center in Paraguay that features Harvey, his iconic megaphone, and trademark phrase (above).
To commemorate the bottle release, Stoli tapped Montania to create a mural replicating the design outside The Café in the Castro district of San Francisco, which was unveiled yesterday on Harvey Milk Day with his nephew Stuart Milk (co-founder of the Harvey Milk Foundation). We were in fact there to celebrate and pay homage to Harvey. When asked about Stuart’s feeling about seeing his uncle’s legacy continuing to live on with Stoli, he said: “This company understands the power of visibility—and at the core that was my uncle’s message. The reason why we did not have LGBT rights was the lies, myths, and innuendos in our community could be maintained and sustained because nobody knew anyone who was LGBT. So this is really an issue of visibility, and I think Stoli gets that."
Scroll through to see the commemorative Stoli bottle (only 50,000 were produced, FYI) and experience the inspiring event that took place in San Francisco yesterday. Plus, read our exclusive interview with Stuart here.