Monthly News from the
GLBT Historical Society

Welcome to the March edition of History Happens, your source for the latest news and events from the GLBT Historical Society!

March 2010
Kicking Off Our Silver Anniversary Year!

The GLBT Historical Society was founded 25 years ago this month: At a public meeting held March 16, 1985, some 40 members of the community voted to establish what was then known as the San Francisco Bay Area Gay and Lesbian Historical Society. We're planning a series of exhibitions, programs and other special events throughout the year to mark our silver anniversary. Stay tuned to History Happens for details. In the meantime, if you're a Facebook user, consider joining on our Facebook cause page: We're less than 350 people short of 2,500 supporters -- a goal we'd like to reach by our birthday on March 16. Visit our cause here.

"Suppressed, Silenced, and Shunned:
The Story of the Pink Triangle in Hitler's Reich"

Thursday, March 4th
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
657 Mission Street,
San Francisco, CA

Dr. Susan Eischied of Valdosta State University will explore the history of the gay victims of the Holocast in a special presentation at the GLBT Historical Society on Thursday, March 4th. "Suppressed, Silenced and Shunned: The Story of the Pink Triangle Prisoners in Hitler's Reich" is one of a series of events commemorating gays who were persecuted, imprisoned, and murdered during the Holocaust. The remembrance will culminate in the world premiere of a new piece composed in their honor, which will be performed on Saturday, March 6th as part of the Old First Concerts Artists Series. For more information go to www.pinktriangleproject.com.

Exhibit Opening! Man-i-fest: FTM Mentorship in San Francisco from 1976-2009

Friday, March 5th
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
657 Mission St.
San Francisco, CA

Facing hostility and discrimination from the medical community and hypersexualization by both gay and straight communities, transgender individuals have relied on mentor relationships, personal stories and photos to educate each other about transition.  In order to mentor and provide education for each other, many transmen have chosen to make public the most intimate details of their private lives.

Man-i-fest follows the letters of Lou Sullivan to David, highlighting the topics and mentors that shape the FTM community in San Francisco from 1976-2009. The central items in the exhibit come from Gateway: the newsletter of Golden Gate Girls/Guys; FTM; the Lou Sullivan Society; and Lou Sullivan's photos of his transition. Join us for the opening reception this Friday, March 5th from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Talking Back: Queer History Fully Exposed Presents "Passion Plays: Queers of Color and Performance"

Thursday, March 25th
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
657 Mission St.
San Francisco, CA

They make us laugh, they make us cry, they turn us on, they incite conversation, they challenge what it means to be part of a queer community and what it means to perform.  This panel will feature performers discussing their experiences in finding or creating a space for themselves to do their artwork and the challenges they faced from the queer community as well as their audiences in creating this space for themselves as queers of color. From the 1970's to the present decade, this panel will look at these performers' innovative contributions to the community through their own words and testimony.

Panelists Include Melanie DeMore, Landa Lakes, Xandra Ibarra, and Juba Kalamka
Picture of the Month
Photograph by Napoleon Sarony courtesy of Bill Lipsky

When vaudevillian Ella Wesner, the foremost male impersonator of her day, performed in San Francisco in September, 1871, the Figaro, a local paper, lamented that the "ladies can't go to the Bella Union (because the establishment also had a drinkery), they would all fall in love with (her)." She never married, although gossip linked her romantically to notorious robber baron Jim Fisk's

mistress, with whom she

eloped to Paris after his death. Her request that she be buried in a suit was honored when she died in 1917.
Ongoing at the GLBT Historical Society      

New Research Hours:

Wednesday - Fridays: 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., by appointment only.
Saturdays: open to the general public 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Museum Hours:

657 Mission Street, Suite 300,
Tuesdays - Saturdays: 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.:

  • Main Gallery: Relaunch of Passionate Struggle
  • Second Gallery: Man-i-fest: FTM Mentorship in San Francisco from 1976-2009

March 2, 2002

San Francisco Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Community Center opens.



March 6, 1923

Shortly after The God of Vengeance opens in New York City, its producer and twelve cast members are arrested and charged with "presenting an obscene, indecent, immoral and impure theatrical production" because of its lesbian love scene, the first in a Broadway play.


March 7, 1934

Article 121 makes sodomy between men illegal in all the republics of the USSR.


March 12, 1984

The European Parliament approves its first resolution in support of lesbian and gay rights.

March 16, 1985 

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society is founded.

March 23, 1988

Israel decriminalizes same-sex acts between consenting adults.

March 25, 1985

When The Times of Harvey Milk wins the Academy Award for Best Documentary, the first on a gay subject to do so, an estimated 1 billion viewers hear its director, Robert Epstein, express his thanks "to my partner in life, John Wright."



March 28, 1969

San Francisco's Society for Individual Rights president Leo Laurence and his lover are featured in a photo-illustrated article in the Berkeley Barb.



March 29, 1988

After eight years in court, Georgetown University loses its fight, based upon its status as an institution of the Roman Catholic Church, to keep lesbian and gay groups off campus.



March 6, 1475

Michelangelo Buonaroti, artist


March 7, 1964 Wanda Sykes, comedian, actress


March 9, 1902

Will Geer, actor


March 11, 1897 Henry Cowell, composer


March 14, 1887 Sylvia Beach, publisher of James Joyce's Ulysses



March 15, 1985

Fred C. Martinez, two-spirit Native American student beaten to death in 2001, when he was 16 year old, for being gay


March 17, 1938 Rudolf Nureyev, dancer


March 21, 1962 Rosie O'Donnell, comedian, actress


March 25, 1947 Elton John, singer and composer


March 26, 1911 Tennessee Williams, playwright

March 31, 1934

Richard Chamberlain, actor