New Exhibition Offers "Groovy Gay Look" at San Francisco's 1967 Summer of Love
This spring and summer, many San Francisco cultural organizations are sponsoring special events to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, when a countercultural convergence put the city on the map as an international center of the 1960s youth uprising. The GLBT History Museum is taking part by mounting a new exhibition opening April 7: "Lavender-Tinted Glasses: A Groovy Gay Look at the Summer of Love."
The curator of the show is Joey Cain, a San Francisco-based activist and historian who has created queer-history exhibitions about Walt Whitman, Edward Carpenter and Harry Hay for the San Francisco Public Library. His writing has appeared in RFD Magazine , the Walt Whitman Quarterly Review and the anthology The Fire In Moonlight: Stories From the Radical Faeries (White Crane Books, 2011). In this interview, Cain offers a look at his curatorial vision for "Lavender-Tinted Glasses."
What stories do you highlight in the exhibition -- and how did you choose them?
The exhibition tells the stories of four queers: gay poet and activist Allen Ginsberg, gay filmmaker Kenneth Anger, bisexual astrologer and philosopher Gavin Arthur and bisexual singer Janis Joplin. All of them were significant players in what came to be known as the San Francisco Summer of Love. I also look a little bit at how the city's homophile movement of the time responded to the social and cultural uprising in 1967. These four were chosen because of my personal admiration for each of them and the fact that they were important not only for San Francisco, but for American and LGBTQ culture in general.
What part of the exhibition is most likely to surprise visitors?
I think the story of Gavin Arthur will be the most surprising. He's certainly the least known of the four people I focus on. He started out as the grandson of U.S. President Chester A. Arthur and ended up being a guiding presence and influence in the Summer of Love. In many ways, he was the queer grandfather of the hippies.
What are some of your favorites among the materials that will be displayed? 

There are some truly great photographs included in the show. One example is a really beautiful and rarely seen photo of Janis Joplin by famed photographer Lisa Law. Another is a lovely photo from the Historical Society's collection of Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky by San Francisco gay activist and businessman Stephen Lowell, who started the Paperback Traffic bookshop and the Eureka Arcade/Patio Cafe complex on Castro Street back in the 1970s. The graphics from the Haight-Ashbury underground newspaper The Oracle are also amazing.
What can LGBTQ people and our allies today learn from queer involvement in the Summer of Love?
That we queer people have a unique role throughout human history making cultural and social change happen -- change that contributes to the evolution of society and the species. Too often we have been written out of history, and our contributions, which are in large measure the product of our desires and unique consciousness, have been dissolved into the melting pot of hetero oblivion. The role that LGBTQ people played in the Summer of Love -- and its erasure in the popular history of the 1960s -- is just one instance. I'm hoping the exhibition inspires queer people and our friends to again claim our place in a counterculture of love and resistance.

"Lavender-Tinted Glasses: A Groovy Gay Look at the Summer of Love" opens with a public reception at the GLBT History Museum on Friday, April 7, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. The exhibition runs through September 27. 
FromEDFrom the Executive Director 
Spring Is Here: Time for a Fabulous Makeover
by Terry Beswick 
All of us who have been lucky enough to reach a certain age become aware of the increasing attention that must be paid to maintenance and upkeep. Some of us preservation-minded folks choose to do more, perhaps even a little nip and tuck.

The GLBT History Museum is in need of just this sort of love. Since we opened the doors early in 2011, we've attracted nearly 100,000 visitors to our exhibitions and programs. But there's one downside to all that popularity: Our entry area, front desk and museum store are looking more and more tattered.

What's the other challenge we've noticed now that we're a familiar face in the Castro? Many who live, work, shop or play in the neighborhood walk right by the museum every day without giving us a second glance. With a sassy new look from the street, we'll attract many more visitors to discover the diverse stories of our queer past.

So what's the solution? Today we're launching our Spring Museum Makeover campaign, a 45-day crowdfunding drive not only to spruce up the GLBT History Museum, but also to maximize its potential as a storefront launching pad for community education and engagement in LGBTQ history.

Reaching a Wide Audience

While we continue to develop our longterm plans for the New Museum of LGBTQ History and Culture through our Vision2020 campaign, we know that we also need to focus on ensuring we reach a wide audience in the meantime. That's why your support for our existing storefront museum is crucial today, particularly in the current political climate.

Our goal is to raise $25,000 by May 15. We'll use the funds to give the front of the museum a facelift, including installation of a large video wall visible from the street to display round-the-clock educational exhibits. We also plan to remodel the reception area, shop and Main Gallery entry to make the space more inviting to visitors and more conducive to public presentations.

As you all know, we're facing uncertain times with government funding on the federal level. But we can't let such obstacles stop us from learning about and sharing the stories of the LGBTQ past. The strength and the inspiration we draw from owning our own history is an invaluable resource in the toolkit that LGBTQ people and our friends need to survive the challenging times in which we find ourselves.

Lots of Wonderful Perks

Every dollar you contribute to the Spring Museum Makeover will help us reach our goal, and we have a lot of wonderful perks to show our gratitude. If you're already a member, I thank you. And I ask you to consider taking this opportunity to upgrade your annual membership to another level through the spring campaign. Whether your a member or not, donations large and small are welcome. Please click here now (and please share the link with your friends).

Your support for the GLBT Historical Society is about joining us in an ongoing conversation about preserving and sharing LGBTQ history and heritage in relevant and exciting ways. We value each of you as a partner in achieving our mission.
Terry Bewsick is executive director of the GLBT Historical Society. 
FromEDIn the Archives
Enrique Hermosillo: Negotiating Identities
Among the treasured collections at the GLBT Historical Society are materials documenting the joys and challenges encountered by ordinary LGBTQ people in the past. One example is the papers of Enrique Hermosillo (1952-1997), a Latino man who lived in San Francisco off and on from the mid-1970s until his death from AIDS at age 45.

During his four-and-a-half decades of life, Hermosillo pursued successful careers in what were customarily seen as "pink collar" fields -- nursing and cosmetology. At the same time, he enjoyed going out with an active gay social circle, traveling in the United States and beyond, and maintaining close contacts with his family in California's agricultural Central Valley.     

The collection consists of correspondence including illustrated letters from Hermosillo's nieces and nephews, personal journals covering the years from 1976 to 1997, documents related to Hermosillo's professional life, personal memorabilia and drawings by a man with HIV whom Hermosillo cared for at the Kaiser Hospital in San Francisco. Also included are photographs from the 1950s to the 1990s that show Hermosillo's family, colleagues and work, as well as his gay life in San Francisco. The materials provide exceptional documentation of an individual negotiating intersectional identities in the second half of the 20th century as a Latino, a gay man, a professional from a working-class background and a person with HIV.

For more information on the Enrique Hermosillo Papers, see the finding aid for the collection.
UpcomingUpcoming Events   
Staged Reading
Rhino in the Castro: The Legend of Pink
Monday, April 3     
7:00-9:00 PM 
The GLBT History Museum 
4127 18th St., San Francisco 
Free  |  $5.00 donation welcome 
Theatre RhinocerosSan Francisco's groundbreaking queer stage company, has teamed up with the GLBT History Museum to present "Rhino in the Castro," a series of readings of plays reflecting the LGBTQ community and our allies.
This month's offering is "The Legend of Pink" by Kheven LaGrone. The time is the late 20th century, the place is the streets of West Oakland. Drug wars rage and a lovely transgender woman, Pink, does her best to bring a bit of beauty to her harsh environment. But people are watching as she tries to form a connection with a beautiful young man, and they don't like it. Things turn dangerous and deadly. Join the Facebook conversation here 
Exhibition Opening
A Groovy Gay Look at the Summer of Love
Friday, April 7      
7:00-9:00 PM 
The GLBT History Museum 
4127 18th St., San Francisco 
$5.00; free for members  
Opening reception for "Lavender-Tinted Glasses: A Groovy Gay Look at the Summer of Love," an exhibition celebrating LGBTQ. participation in San Francisco's 1967 Summer of Love . Curated by community-based historian Joey Cain, the show highlights the roles of four queers: poet Allen Ginsberg, filmmaker Kenneth Anger, philosopher Gavin Arthur and singer Janis Joplin. All of them brought their perspectives as artists, visionaries and sexual outsiders to the uprising; all made a lasting impact on American culture. In addition, the exhibition documents how the city's homophile community responded to the Summer of Love. Join the Facebook conversation here 
Community Forum
Preserving San Francisco's LGBTQ Cultural Heritage

Tuesday, April 18          
7:00-9:00 PM 
The GLBT History Museum   
4127 18th St., San Francisco
Free; $5.00 donation welcome 
The City of San Francisco has launched a groundbreaking task force to develop a citywide strategy for preserving and promoting LGBTQ cultural heritage -- not only historic sites and districts, but also legacy enterprises and cultural assets that make San Francisco an internationally recognized queer capital. The task force will identify priorities, propose legislation and recommend policy responses to honor local LGBTQ history and to safeguard the city's historic queer culture. 

This community forum will enable residents to provide feedback to the Cultural Heritage Strategy Task Force. Members will facilitate a discussion on several questions: What does LGBTQ heritage mean to you? What neighborhoods, building, organizations, events or other cultural resources should be preserved, promoted or commemorated? What strategies should the City employ to carry out this work? The forum is open to all interested individuals.
Join the Facebook conversation here.   
Fighting Back
Queers & Party Politics: A Community Conversation
Tuesday, April 25          
7:00-9:00 PM 
The GLBT History Museum 
4127 18th St., San Francisco
$5.00; free for members    
What is the history of LGBTQ involvement in party politics in San Francisco? How has the community's participation in electoral politics served the LGBTQ movement? How does it serve us now? The second in our "Fighting Back" series of living-history programs, this multigenerational community conversation featuring panelists from local LGBTQ party-affiliated clubs along with former elected officials will explore contemporary issues in LGBTQ electoral politics in a historical context and in light of contemporary developments. To join the Facebook conversation, click here.  

VisitVisit Us    
The GLBT History Museum
4127 18th St.
San Francisco, CA 94114
(415) 621-1107
Monday & Wednesday - Saturday: 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday: Closed
Sunday: Noon - 5:00 PM

The GLBT Historical Society
989 Market St., Lower Level
San Francisco, CA 94103-1708
(415) 777-5455 

Call to schedule a research appointment.

CREDITS: Joey Cain photo copyright © 2004 by Daniel Nicoletta. Theatre Rhino photo by Joseph Talley. Summer of Love photo copyright © 1967 by Lisa Law. GLBT History Museum photo by Lenore Chinn. Political buttons photo by Gerard Koskovich.

Gerard Koskovich       Design: PEPE Creatives

Copyright © 2017 GLBT Historical Society