When Miriam Richter first became (2011) an LGBT advocate — a title she prefers to activist — she was known as a trademark attorney who concentrated her practice on intellectual property matters.
“It started from a need to get health insurance,” she recalled. “My partner of 20 years worked for the City of Fort Lauderdale and I could not get coverage on her policy at the time. So I kept calling Mayor Jack Seiler until I got him on the phone. He asked me what was involved and what it would cost the City. I spent the next six months gathering information. I sent the report to the Mayor and he put it on the agenda for the next meeting. City Commissioners and the City Manager were in favor so they made it happen. It was very exciting to see how local government can be so responsive.”
This impressed Stuart Milk, Harvey Milk’s nephew, and soon Richter became Education Director and Trademark Counsel for the Harvey Milk Foundation. “I realized that no one is doing the work that the Harvey Milk Foundation is doing. If we do not look at discrimination from a global perspective, it will never get better. Harvey’s message of hope and collaboration is still relevant and it’s huge honor to be able to continue that message.”