Board Co-Chair Valentin Aguirre: Honoring Diversity Is Key to Celebrating Our Histories
by Leo Herrera
Valentin Aguirre joined the board of the GLBT Historical Society in 2015 and now serves as co-chair. His passion for working with the society dates all the way back to 1999, when he curated the display of Latinx queer history in the groundbreaking "Making a Case for Community History" exhibition. As a queer Latinx, Aguirre is familiar with the challenges organizations can encounter in representing diverse LGBTQ communities.
"Many local and international queer people of color still have great resistance to collaborating with the GLBT Historical Society because of having experienced institutional and personal racism by white queer communities for decades," Aguirre observes. "As a result, the archives and the shows we can produce are limited in scope."
Aguirre says he is proud the Historical Society has chosen to tackle these issues head on: prioritizing the collection and exhibition of intersectional histories that highlight women, transgender people and communities of color -- as well as beginning discussions on how to improve the visibility of people of different abilities, including those on the autism spectrum.  
Reaching Global Audiences 
Aguirre also looks forward to the organization better reaching global audiences with shows extending beyond the Northern California-focused exhibitions that have predominated at the GLBT History Museum. "I hope that the resources of the Historical Society will be accessed by many, many more people and that it will be seen as a hub for discussions, exhibits and archival materials that focus on the issues most relevant at the time," he says.
The GLBT Historical Society's Vision 2020 campaign aimed at opening a world-class LGBTQ public history center is one of Aguirre's priorities. "With a larger museum and archives, we could greatly expand to include more than what's easily found on the West Coast and the East Coast and in major metropolitan areas. We'll be able to preserve and show the history of queer cultures beyond the U.S. and to work with major museums to borrow and lend shows that broaden our reach."
As with every supporter of the GLBT Historical Society, a love of community and a belief in the power of history is at the forefront for Aguirre. "A big take away for me is that doing this work is difficult because our attempts to come together are laden with layers of pain, grief and tentative hope about what we can do together," he explains.
"Once we move past this, in ways that utilize a lens of cultural humility, I think we will be able to find new ways to celebrate our histories -- through arts, rituals, debates, virtual experiences and archival projects," Aguirre notes. "I have faith in this because surviving is not enough. We deserve fabulosity and amazing narratives that shift our thinking, on bigger scales and with more impactful scopes."

Leo Herrera is an artist and filmmaker based in San Francisco.
FromEDFrom the Executive Director
Planning Our Future: Five Years, Five Priorities
by Terry Beswick 
I'm proud of the progress the GLBT Historical Society has made over the last couple of years: expanding our archives, staging new exhibitions, scaling up our programming and engaging the community in all our work. Meanwhile, we've continued planning for the years to come -- and in particular, for the creation of a full-scale LGBTQ public history center.
Last spring, we embarked on a strategic planning process to strengthen both our current and future initiatives. We undertook a membership survey; interviews with organizational stakeholders including volunteers, patrons, members, donors, staff and board; and a series of facilitated workshops.
Funded by Grants for the Arts and the San Francisco Arts Commission of the City and County of San Francisco, the result is our new " Five Year Strategic Plan: 2018-2022." This vital document highlights five major goals to guide us in our work and measure our progress going forward:
Goal 1: Continue to build our archival collections, while improving access to the collections and the diversity of communities and individuals they represent.
Goal 2: Establish a permanent home for exhibitions, archives and programs where the stories and cultures of our diverse LGBTQ communities can be shared.
Goal 3: Develop collaborations with other institutions (K-12 schools, colleges and universities, professional associations, archives, libraries, museums, nonprofits, community groups) to reach young people and other diverse audiences with the lessons of LGBTQ history and culture.
Goal 4: Communicate effectively who we are and what we have to offer.
Goal 5: Develop organizational structures and policies to increase stability and ensure sustainable growth.
Beyond these overarching priorities, the strategic plan clarifies our mission, vision and values and sets out specific objectives. To read the full text, click here. Thank you to all who contributed to this report, and to our members, donors and volunteers whose invaluable efforts help us bring the LGBTQ past to life.
If you're not a member of the GLBT Historical Society, please join today. And if you're already a member, please consider donating. Every dollar up to $25,000 that we raise during our year-end campaign will be matched by three generous supporters: Al Baum and Robert Holgate, the Bob Ross Foundation and the Excelerate Foundation. Double your donation by giving now.
Terry Beswick is executive director of the GLBT Historical Society. 
ArchivesIn the Archives 
by Patricia Delara

The GLBT Historical Society preserves a significant collection of LGBTQ magazines, newspapers, newsletters and zines, largely but not exclusively from Northern California -- some 5,000 titles taking up approximately 450 linear feet of shelf space. A particular strength is periodicals reflecting the voices of LGBTQ people of color.
Among the long-running titles for which we hold complete or near-complete runs are Bridge (1980-2009), the newsletter of Black and White Men Together in the Bay Area; Lavender Godzilla (1988-2006), the newsletter of the Gay Asian Pacific Alliance (GAPA) in San Francisco; and Morena Newspaper (1988-1991), published by Women of Color Press/Empowering Our Communities in Berkeley.
African-American publications in our collection include Aché (1983-1989), "the Bay Area's journal for Black lesbians," and BLK: The National Black Lesbian and Gay Newsmagazine (1983-1989) . We also hold shorter runs or single issues of a number of Latinx LGBTQ newsletters such as Hombres Latinos (1999) and MariLES: El Sexo, las Locas y los Mayates/Magazine for Lesbian and Gay Latinos (1989).
To learn more about the GLBT Historical Society's periodicals collections, search our online archives catalog. And if you have LGBTQ periodicals reflecting the lives of LGBTQ people of color you might wish to donate, email our managing archivist, Joanna Black.
Patricia Delara is the assistant archivist at the GLBT Historical Society. 
UpcomingUpcoming Events   
Exhibit Opening
AIDS Activism in San Francisco, 1981-1990
Friday, December 1            
7:00-9:00 PM 
The GLBT History Museum   
4127 18th Street  
$5.00  |  Free for members      
In honor of World AIDS Day 2017, the GLBT History Museum will unveil "Finding Our Voice, Claiming Our Place: AIDS Activism in San Francisco, 1981-1990," a new section in our permanent exhibition, "Queer Past Becomes Present." Curated by longtime AIDS activist Mike Shriver, the display traces the creation of brash, unapologetic, nonviolent direct action in response to the AIDS crisis in San Francisco -- one of the first places in the world where militant activism against AIDS emerged. From the beginnings of the people with AIDS movement in 1981 to the spectacular ACT UP protests at the VI International Conference on AIDS in 1990, the exhibit draws on historic photographs, stickers, t-shirts and other scarce materials from the archives of the GLBT Historical Society to tell the dramatic story of a powerful movement for social justice. The curator and a number of veterans of Bay Area AIDS activism will take part in the opening. Light refreshments will be served. The exhibit is made possible by a generous sponsorhip from IDEO. Join the Facebook conversation here
Author Talk
Truth and Love: Finding the Soul of the Sixties
Thursday, December 7           
7:00-9:00 PM 
The GLBT History Museum 
4127 18th St., San Francisco  
$5.00  |  Free for members     
Journalist, author and San Francisco native Carol Blackman presents her new nonfiction title on recent San Francisco history, Truth and Love: Finding the Soul of the Sixties (More to Say From San Francisco, 2017). The book demonstrates that residents of the city were doing more in the 1960s than just becoming hippies and dancing in Golden Gate Park. Blackman portrays the unique characters and social innovators who tell their stories about that tumultuous time in the City. At the GLBT History Museum, community-based historian Joey Cain will interview Blackman, who'll discuss the book and how she our drew on the archives of the GLBT Historical Society to document pioneering activist José Sarria and the movement for LGBTQ rights in the San Francisco of the late 1960s. Join the Facebook conversation here
Panel Discussion
Foreign Bodies: Homophobia, Race and Immigration 
Thursday, December 14             
7:00-9:00 PM 
The GLBT History Museum 
4127 18th St., San Francisco 
$5.00  |  Free for members  
In conjunction with the exhibition "OUT/LOOK & the Birth of the Queer" currently on display at the GLBT History Museum, this panel will address questions of homophobia, race and immigration in relation to the 30-year period since the groundbreaking journal OUT/LOOK first emerged in 1987. Participants will consider how the history of queer thought on these issues in the late 1980s-early 1990s affects and informs today's intersectional resistance movements. Panelists include Eniola Abioye, steering committee member for the Black LGBTQ Migrant Project at the Transgender Law Center in San Francisco; Marcia Ochoa, founder of El/La Para Translatinas, a transgender Latina social justice organization in San Francisco's Mission District; and Andrew Spieldenner, a longtime HIV advocate and cultural critic. International human rights advocate Julie Dorf, senior advisor to the Council for Global Equality, will serve as moderator. Join the Facebook conversation 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


Christmas Eve (December 24): Noon - 3:00 PM
Christmas Day (December 25): Closed

New Year's Eve (December 31): Noon - 3:00 PM
New Year's Day (January 1): Closed

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

Call to schedule a research appointment.

CREDITS: Feature: Photo by Leo Herrera. Terry Beswick: Photo by Gareth Gooch. In the Archives: Cover of Lavender Godzilla (fall 1991). AIDS exhibit: Activist Bobbi Campbell; photo by Marie Ueda (1982). Truth and Love: Courtesy More to Say From San Francisco. Foreign Bodies: Cover of OUT/LOOK (spring 1988).

Gerard Koskovich       Design: PEPE Creatives

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