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    News from the GLBT Historical Society & The GLBT History Museum

    historyNew Exhibit: ‘Queer Past Becomes Present’

    “Queer Past Becomes Present” is the new exhibition in the freshly remodeled Main Gallery of the GLBT History Museum. The topics included in the exhibition are:

    Queer Youth: Out and Active

    “Queer Youth” traces the activism of San Francisco Bay Area LGBTQQ youth 25 and under from the 1970s to the present.

    The Assassination of Supervisor Harvey Milk

    This section looks at one of the most horrific events in queer history, the assassination of activist and San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk, and includes related artifacts, photographs and an excerpt from Milk’s political will.

    José Sarria: Activist and Entertainer

    José Sarria

    José Sarria

    Costumes, artifacts, and ephemera document the life of José Sarria, “The Nightingale of Montgomery Street,” from his days waiting tables and performing at the Black Cat Café through his historic run as the first openly gay candidate for public office in the United States.

    Constructing Jiro Onuma: Putting the Pieces Together

    “Constructing Jiro Onuma” details how history is a dynamic process involving continuous excavation and discovery through the personal collection of Japanese immigrant Jiro Onuma. His collection offers the only known visual documentation of same-sex intimacy in the Japanese American incarceration camps.

    Fighting for Our Lives: Four Organizations Respond to AIDS

    A look at four pioneering Bay Area organizations that fought for a greater response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic: People with AIDS-SF, the ARC/AIDS Vigil, the National Task Force for AIDS Prevention and WORLD (Women Organized in Response to Life-threatening Diseases).

    Gayborhoods: Lost Queer Landscapes

    Using unique artifacts and images, this exhibit recaptures the clubs, bars, restaurants, and other venues of three vibrant queer communities—North Beach, the Tenderloin, and the Valencia Street corridor—now all merely memories.

    History is Now: The Dragon Fruit Project

    “History is Now” showcases an intergenerational historical preservation project within the queer Asian Pacific Islander community.

    The Lesbians of The Lader: Courage Under Attack

    In 1955, a small group—many of them women of color—courageously founded the Daughters of Bilitis, a social club for lesbians. The organization’s publication, The Ladder, quickly became a lifeline for women across the country struggling to come out in a virulently homophobic society.

    Make plans to come see this powerful new exhibition, and more, at the GLBT History Museum.

    In the Archives

    The loving relationship between AIDS activists Sean Sasser and Pedro Zamora was a focal point of the third season of MTV’s seminal reality series The Real World, shot in San Francisco. Zamora died hours after the season finale aired, and Sasser died last year. We recently processed a collection of items from their relationship into our Archives.

    We feature a photo from Pedro and Sean’s commitment ceremony album. We have also archived their wedding bands and wedding book; photos and photo collages of them and their friends; photo negatives and contact sheets; an advance copy of “Pedro and Me” by fellow Real World cast member Judd Winick; a personal card from Pedro to Sean; a few posters and documents surrounding Pedro’s AIDS activism, his death and his memorial service; and videotapes of a benefit for Pedro and his address to the National Commission on AIDS.

    Ruth Reid and Kent Hyde

    Ruth Reid and Kent Hyde

    Out on 18th Street

    Meet Jeremy Prince, the new Operations Manager/Volunteer Coordinator for the GLBT History Museum.  Jeremy holds a Master’s degree in History from San Francisco State University with a minor focus in museum studies.  He started volunteering at the Museum in 2011. The GLBT Historical Society inspired him to set up his own archives last year dedicated to the history and culture of the Bear community.

    Upcoming Events

    Our Stories Too

    Are you an LGBT elder of color, or a transgender or bisexual elder of any shade? We want to hear your stories about places in San Francisco that matter to you. On Saturday, May 17, 1-3 p.m., please bring your memories (along with photographs and scrapbooks, if you have them) to “Our Stories Too,” a gathering at the LGBT Community Center in San Francisco, hosted by the GLBT Historical Society and Openhouse.

    Ruth and the Wild Iris, Kent and ‘Her Belligerently Masculine Attitude’

    On Sunday, May 18, from 5-7 p.m., the GLBT History Museum will present a history panel inspired by Ruth Reid and Kent Hyde. Special guest Dr. Karen Charman from Melbourne, Australia, will join Jacquelyn Marie, author of “Wife of a Lesbian” and GLBT Historical Society artist E.G. Crichton for an evening of storytelling. Come join us in breathing new life into this special archive story. Admission: $5 (general); $3 (California students with ID); free for GLBT Historical Society members.

    Harvey Milk Day: Free Admission and Tours

    On Harvey Milk Day (Thursday, May 22, Milk’s birthday), The GLBT History Museum will offer free admission and docent tours every hour on the hour. The US Postal Service will issue a first-class stamp on Harvey Milk Day bearing an image from a circa-1977 photo of Milk by Daniel Nicoletta taken in front of Milk’s store, Castro Street Camera.

    Film Screening: Wariazone

    Wariazone is a thought-provoking independent documentary by Terje Toomistu and Kiwa about transgender subjects, the notion of transgender, and the relations between gender identity and freedom in Indonesia, home to the world’s largest Muslim community. It will be shown on Tuesday, May 27 from 7-9 p.m. at the GLBT History Museum. The film will be followed by a short talk by Terje Toomistu and an open discussion.

    Biconic Flashpoints: 4 Decades of Bay Area Bisexual Politics

    This new exhibit will open in the GLBT History Museum’s Community Gallery on Thursday, May 29. Drawing on materials from the personal archives of longtime bisexual activists and the archives of the GLBT Historical Society, the Biconic Flashpoints exhibit will showcase never-displayed artifacts, video, and photos from key moments in the Bay Area’s bisexual political history.

    The GLBT History Museum: 4127 18th Street, San Francisco; 415-621-1107;

    GLBT Historical Society: 657 Mission Street, Suite 300, San Francisco; 415-777-5455, ext. 3#;