Forty-Eight Years of San Francisco Pride: Reflecting Our Community's Victories, Struggles & Diversity 
by Gerard Koskovich
Held on the last Sunday in June, the San Francisco Pride Parade is recognized as one of the largest Pride celebrations in the world and one of the largest annual public gatherings in the United States. Forty-eight years after the city's first Pride march in 1970, community historian Greg Pennington responded to our questions about the early growth of the celebration and its ongoing evolution to reflect the diversity of LGBTQ people.
Pennington moved to San Francisco in 1977 as part of the massive wave of gay men who emmigrated from across the United States and beyond during that decade. A cofounder of the GLBT Historical Society in 1985, he has long focused his research on the history of Pride parades in the United States. He was active in the leather community for many years and is one of the curators of the leather exhibit now on display as part of "Queer Past Becomes Present" at the GLBT History Museum.
When gay-liberation activists called for marches to mark the first anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, what was the response in San Francisco?
New York gays responded to the rampant police harassment of the bars with the Stonewall Riots in June 1969. In San Francisco, homophile organizers had already put an end to routine raids of gay bars by 1965. That's one reason gay people in San Francisco barely responded to the call to commemorate Stonewall in June 1970. In San Francisco, about 20 people marched from Aquatic Park down Polk Street to City Hall. We had no Pride event in 1971. Finally, in 1972, we held the first of our unbroken string of annual parades.
When did the San Francisco parade grow into the huge event we now know and what factors drove the growth?
From 1972 to 1975, between 40,000 and 80,000 people watched the parade. The crowd in 1976 swelled to 120,000. The first of the massive parades on Market Street took place in 1977, with more than 200,000 in attendance. Political events of the late 1970s, including Anita Bryant's attacks on gay rights, brought ever bigger crowds.
By 1981, more than 250,000 people participated, forming what was believed to be the single largest LGBTQ gathering anywhere to that point in time. For many years, our parade remained the largest in the world due to LGBTQ migration to San Francisco, the city's model of excellent care for people with HIV and the city's popularity as an international travel destination.
How has the parade reflected the concerns and the diversity of the LGBTQ community over time? 
The parade has always reflected the community's victories and struggles. The early parades expressed a celebratory atmosphere as gay men from around the U.S. arrived in San Francisco. A few years later, lesbians would follow in claiming a prominent place in the march, with Dykes on Bikes leading the parade every year since 1976, initially as an informal group before becoming a registered contingent.
San Francisco Pride also has evolved to reflect our diversity. Straights for Gay Rights, the Third World Gay Caucus and a gays with disabilities contingent marched in 1977, followed soon after by Black and White Men Together, then the Gay Asian Pacific Alliance. With the emergence of the AIDS epidemic, the People with AIDS Coalition led the parade in 1983.
At the same time, visibility and specific political demands remained a concern for lesbians and for transgender people, sparking the founding of the Dyke March on the Saturday of Pride in 1993 and the Trans March on the Friday of Pride in 2004. Both have become annual events, so LGBTQ people and our allies now take the streets of San Francisco on all three days of Pride Weekend, marching in protest, in celebration -- and often both at once.
Photos: Images of the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade (1977-1979) by Marie Ueda; from the Marie Ueda Photographs Collection in the archives of the GLBT Historical Society. The parade was renamed San Francisco Pride in 1995. 
Gerard Koskovich serves as communications director for the GLBT Historical Society.
FromEDFrom the Staff
New Initiatives for Learning About LGBTQ History
by Nalini Elias   
My insatiable curiosity and eagerness to learn led me to the GLBT Historical Society. As I'm passionate about the intersection of art, history and culture, I seek to immerse myself in interdisciplinary projects that test my abilities and continually challenge who I am. That's why I was thrilled when the society hired me this spring as its new program manager.
My background in art history, museum studies and education along with experiences in program development and community-building have prepared me for this role. Through collaborations and partnerships with multicultural organizations, communities, activists, artists, historians and scholars, I plan to create public programming that reflects LGBTQ history as a vital, dynamic and inclusive force.  
Interpreting Archives & Exhibitions 
I'm excited to help build an education department for the GLBT Historical Society by interpreting our archives and exhibitions and by reflecting the diversity of LGBTQ history and culture. With the guidance of historians, curators and interns, we'll develop interactive materials for museum visitors as well as resources and curricula for educators to easily adapt in their classrooms. I also aim to further engage and inspire our dedicated volunteer base and to reach out to new groups and individuals who are interested in getting involved with LGBTQ history.
Becoming the program manager at the GLBT Historical Society is a privilege that comes with responsibilities. Fortunately, I'm embarking on this alongside a devoted and talented team. I understand the role the GLBT History Museum plays in serving one of the most intercultural cities in the country. More importantly, I embrace the opportunity to facilitate understanding of queer history, culture and arts. Stay tuned for a variety of programs, volunteer opportunities and learning materials!
Nalini Elias is the program manager at the GLBT Historical Society.  
ArchivesIn the Archives 
by Joanna Black

Since the GLBT Historical Society was founded in 1985, the HIV/AIDS epidemic and its impact on LGBTQ communities have been a focus of our archives. Today, as part of a two-year project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, we're joining the University of California, San Francisco, and the San Francisco Public Library in expanding digital access to some of our institutions' most significant AIDS history collections.
At the GLBT Historical Society, we selected the records of the AIDS Legal Referral Panel as the first of our holdings to digitize and make available online via the University of California's Calisphere site. ALRP is an organization that connects people with AIDS to volunteer lawyers. Though the collection is relatively small, its contents are dense in information regarding ALRP's activities and the complex legal matters it handled from 1987 through 1991.
Aside from documenting the organizational activities of the ALRP, this collection houses documents that speak directly to one of the underlying reasons the GLBT Historical Society itself was created in 1985: to ensure that the everyday lives of people with AIDS would not be forgotten. One file titled " Miscellaneous Clients' Stories (Tear Jerkers) 1991 " is filled with handwritten notes by ALRP staff recalling some of the most heartbreaking cases they had encountered.
First Rescued, Then Sued 
One recounts a man who, after being diagnosed with Kaposi's sarcoma, attempts to take his own life in an abandoned parking lot. A security guard finds him and performs CPR, saving the man's life. Later at the emergency room, the security guard learns from the physician that he had been exposed to AIDS via the CPR he had performed. The security guard then sues the man he rescued, and an ALRP attorney steps in to represent the defendant.
What further complicates the case is the doctor's violation of the medical privacy rights of the person. After more than a year, the security guard drops the case. Requiring much in the way of education about HIV in addition to legal services, this case illustrates the multifaceted roles ALRP attorneys necessarily had to play during the early years of the epidemic.
Further digitized materials from our AIDS-related holdings will be made available online as the NEH project progresses. To view these materials, visit the GLBT Historical Society page on Calisphere.

Joanna Black is director of archives and special collections at the GLBT Historical Society. 
UpcomingEventsUpcoming Events
Introducing the Dyke March Oral History Project
Friday, June 1                
7:00-9:00 PM 
The GLBT History Museum 
4127 18th St., San Francisco  
$5 - $20 (sliding scale) | Buy Tickets  

The Dyke March Oral History project is a newly created audiovisual collaboration between the GLBT Historical Society and the San Francisco Dyke March. The project aims to capture and preserve the diverse experiences of dykes, queers and women from all communities at the Dyke March. This event will introduce the project and raise funds for expenses related to recording, preservation and promotion of Dyke March history. Light food and drink will be served, including beer donated by Virgil's Sea Room. Purchase advance tickets here (no one turned away for lack of funds). 
Playback: DIY Audiovisual Archiving of LGBTQ History
Thursday, June 14             
7:00-9:00 PM 
The GLBT History Museum 
4127 18th St., San Francisco  
$5.00 | Buy Tickets | Free for Members
Images and stories of the LGBTQ past captured in home movies, videos and sound recordings often are stashed away in homes, organizations and businesses. Such recordings can bring history alive, yet their survival is far from assured given the fragility of aging analog media and the various supports and forms of born-digital files. At this hands-on workshop, GLBT Historical Society research resident Magnus Berg will discuss how to effectively handle, store and preserve audiovisual materials and will present homebrew solutions for ensuring their viability. Berg also will oversee work stations where participants can bring up to two audiovisual items to be assessed and digitized. Purchase advance tickets here.
Community Forum
Fighting Back: Queers & Sex Work
Wednesday, June 27             
7:00-9:00 PM 
The GLBT History Museum 
4127 18th St., San Francisco  
Free Tickets  |  $5.00 Donation Welcome

The latest in our monthly "Fighting Back" series exploring contemporary queer issues in a historical context, "Queers and Sex Work: Legal Repression, Community Resistance" will address LGBTQ people's past and present associations with commercially mediated sex as workers, clients or pro-sex activists and how the state has historically criminalized the intersections of sex work, queer sex and queer sexual speech. The panel will draw on this background to critique the new FOSTA/SESTA legislation outlawing what federal authorities qualify as "trafficking" on social media networks and other online platformsA diverse panel of historians, community organizers and advocates will discuss how responses to the ongoing criminalization of sex work can help inform today's resistance movements. Reserve your free tickets here
Frameline Festival
Historical Society Copresents Queer Film Programs
June 15, 17, 18, 21
Castro Theatre
429 Castro St., San Francisco
Tickets available from Frameline
The GLBT Historical Society is serving as community partner for five programs focused on queer history at Frameline, marking its 42nd anniversary this year as the world's oldest and largest LGBTQ film festival. The full festival runs from June 14 to June 24. For more information and to buy tickets, click on the film titles below or visit the Frameline Festival home page.  
Man in an Orange Shirt. The U.S. premiere of the film The Guardian calls "a heartbreaking tale of happiness denied." Julian Morris from Pretty Little Liars and Vanessa Redgrave from Nip/Tuck star in this sophisticated intergenerational drama. Screening: Friday, June 15, 9:15 p.m.
50 Years of Fabulous. Showcasing the vibrant history of San Francisco's LGBTQ community, this documentary tells the fascinating story of the Imperial Council, the oldest LGBTQ charity in the world. The film features extensive materials from the archives of the GLBT Historical Society. Screening: Sunday, June 17, 11:00 a.m.
1985. In 1985, Adrian returns to his Texas hometown after a three-year absence -- and faces a weighty decision about revealing a secret to his family. This visually striking drama stars Cory Michael Smith, Virginia Madsen and Michael Chiklis. Screening: Sunday, June 17, 6:45 p.m.
Riot. Inspired by the 1978 Mardi Gras march for LGBTQ rights that was violently attacked by the police, this drama centers on the group of Australian activists who planned the protest and who stood up against the crackdown. Screening: Monday, June 18, 9:15 p.m.
Buddies. The world premiere of the new 2K digital restoration by Vinegar Syndrome of a classic gay film first released in 1985. This film tells the story of a gay yuppie New Yorker who volunteers to be the "buddy" to a gay man with AIDS. Screening: Thursday, June 21, 1:30 p.m. 
VisitVisit Us    
The GLBT History Museum
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San Francisco, CA 94114
(415) 621-1107
Monday - Saturday: 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM
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The GLBT Historical Society
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Call to schedule a research appointment.

Feature: Photos of the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade (1977-1979) by Marie Ueda; collection of the GLBT Historical Society. From the Staff: Photo courtesy Nalini Elias . In the Archives: Photo of Joanna Black by Ramon Silvestre. Dyke March: Photo by Denna Bendall; all rights reserved. Playback: Photo of Magnus Berg by Joanna Black. Fighting Back: The Women's March during the Sixth International Conference on AIDS in San Francisco (June 1990); photo by Rick Gerharter; used with permission.

Gerard Koskovich       Design: PEPE Creatives

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