History sometimes seems ruled by events with unintended consequences. That certainly is the case with the Mardi Gras Ball at California Hall, which happened on January 1, 1965. It's an event that's been called 'San Francisco's Stonewall.'
Palm Springs has been associated with the gay community for a very long time. But it wasn't always friendly. Streetbar became a pioneering business by breaking new gay ground in 1991.
Mention Halloween violence in the LGBT community, and most people think of events of the last decade, which ended the closing of Castro Street for the holiday. But history does repeat itself, as the '60s and'70s Halloween celebrations prove.
When we think of entertainment in our bars, the chances are that we think of drag performances or DJs more often than live music. But from the 1960s to the 1980s at the Stud (then at 1535 Folsom Street), live performances often ruled the night.
Charles Pierce's connection to San Francisco history is easily lost due to his larger than life personality and his talent.
A literary spark started fires on both U.S. coasts following World War II. The Beat writers in New York and the Berkeley renaissance poets in the Bay Area started out separately, but they converged in a conflagration that burns to this day.
From 1975 to 1988 Frank Banks was both defined by and helped define The Mint (1942 Market) in San Francisco. He would go on to play other bars before he left and his presence here was felt all the way to City Hall, but The Mint was his home.
When Laverne Cummings died in a pedestrian accident in Las Vegas on March 22, 2018, we lost more than an astounding artist, vocalist and female impersonator. We lost a connection to a world that is quickly fading from view.
Linda Pancost's forty years of gay bars in San Francisco included The Tower Lounge and The Phone Booth.
The late 1980s saw something of an explosion of women's venues, which was followed shortly thereafter with an implosion. Café San Marcos found itself in an unusual situation: Was it a mixed bar or a women's bar?
Late in 2016, the press buzzed with word of tunnels beneath the 900 block of Market Street that provided escape routes from bars. There was more underground about these bars than tunnels, however. They were a hotbed of trade.
There is a special kind of performer who is somewhat well known by the world at large, but held a special place in the heart of San Franciscans. The actor, comic and writer Michael Greer was one of these performers.
The roots of our holiday traditions in the gay community run deep. It should come as no surprise that when the darkest days of the AIDS crisis hit, we responded in the spirit of the season.