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    Realtor Lorraine Bannister Left the UK for California and Found Pride, a Partner and Home

    At a New Year’s Eve party several years ago, a few members of our San Francisco Bay Times team wound up in a long restroom line next to Lorraine Bannister. A great conversationalist, she made the time fly by and we’ve stayed in touch ever since. Her story, shared here, always makes us fall in love again with San Francisco, given this Britain-born out and proud Realtor’s contagious affection for the Bay Area and the LGBTQ community.

    “In 1979, I came to the San Francisco Bay Area from Coventry, England. When I arrived here, I stayed with my Mum’s youngest sister, Auntie Mary, who lived in Daly City at the time. While in England, I had completed my vocational college, and earned an O.N.D. in Travel and Tourism. So, my parents rewarded me with a graduation trip.

    We had always loved watching The Streets Of San Francisco on television. We loved the sight of the Golden Gate Bridge peeking through the fog, and the car chases up and down the hills of the city.

    I went home to England, but couldn’t settle. So, with my parents blessing, I decided to emigrate, and returned in 1980.
    Sometimes I still marvel at the fact that I ventured out to this beautiful city at age 18, and have remained here ever since.

    I love the city and went through a second coming of age here in the late 80s–90s. I love the many scenic neighborhoods, the Victorian and Elizabethan homes in Noe Valley, palm tree-lined Dolores St, Haight/Ashbury and, of course, the Castro.

    During the Pride celebration in 1997, I met my now partner of 22 years. Actually, she was only supposed to be my “date for the day,” and now we are finally planning our wedding!

    By the year 2000 we moved to Pacifica, and we love our coastal town. Driving home alongside the Pacific Ocean every evening makes each day end peacefully. Going for long walks on the beach and sitting on the rocks contemplating life are some of my favorite things to do.

    I love to travel and have been lucky to experience many different cultures that way. However, we could never be far from San Francisco, where we often celebrate holidays, birthdays and enjoy the many forms of art and entertainment that the city has to offer. I have to add here that I’m an avid 49er fan and am admittedly disappointed in their move to Santa Clara.

    I have always enjoyed serving the public, and have always worked doing so. From waitressing to property management to Realtor. In June of 1999, I went into real estate full time. During the past 20 years as a Realtor, I have had the pleasure of helping folks with achieving the American dream of home ownership, believing a warm place to call home should be accessible to all. I have sold homes and condominiums in San Francisco, the Peninsula and Pacifica, and always consider it a delightful privilege.

    The work involves helping people to grow personal wealth through real estate, and being there in both good and bad times. I often walk people through the process of home buying for the first time, or guide them through downsizing, buying up or dissolving an estate. The relationships that you build during these processes can turn into lifetime friendships. More often than not, helping people to buy or sell real estate means handling a person’s most valuable asset and needs to be respected as such, building trust and using the utmost integrity.

    As a Realtor, my most valued asset are my clients. Our business is hugely reliant on referrals and excellent customer service is a must.

    I have a deep sense of loyalty and am proud to have been born in the U.K. and am equally proud to be a resident of the U.S. for 39 years. I never found the need to change brokerages, although since starting with them, we have changed our name from Prudential California Realty to Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate (BHGRE).

    I am proud that BHGRE is a strong advocate for, and supporter of, the National Association of Gay & Lesbian Real Estate Professionals, of which I am a member. It bothers me that we, and many others, are still fighting for basic human rights. We must never tolerate injustice or hatred toward one another. We absolutely should celebrate diversity, and equality.
    I felt special when I discovered our annual Pride parade here in San Francisco. It always falls right around my birthday, June 30. I want to wish everyone a safe, and joyous, Pride celebration.”

    Realtor Lorraine Bannister proudly serves Pacifica, Daly City, San Francisco and the Peninsula with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate/JF Finnegan Realtors ( ).