News From The GLBT Historical Society
& The GLBT History Museum

September 2012   

New Shows Will Highlight Queer Asian Pacific
Islander Women, Early AIDS Prevention Effort
Asian/Pacific Lesbians Marching in 1989 San Francisco Pride Parade.
Asian/Pacific Lesbians marching in the 1989 San Francisco LGBT Pride Parade.
Photo: Cathy Cade at www.cathcade.com; courtesy of the Bancroft Library.

Two new shows opening in September at The GLBT History Museum highlight untold stories from San Francisco's recent queer history. An exhibition in the Front Gallery will trace the emergence of organizing by queer and transgender women in the city's Asian Pacific Islander communities. In addition, a small exhibit in the Corner Gallery will focus on the pioneering role of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence in promoting safer sex early in the AIDS crisis.

"For Love and Community: Queer Asian Pacific Islanders Take Action, 1960-1990s" recounts the creation of the Asian Pacific Islander queer women's and transgender community. Many of its members were born in the city, with deep roots in San Francisco Chinatown. Others moved to the Bay Area as adults, working to build support networks and advocate for change. The exhibition features photographs that tell a story of family, community, activism and love; also included are audio clips from interviews that give voice to a history that has never before been heard.  


"API queer women and transfolks have been out and working towards social change in San Francisco since at least the 1960s," notes curator Amy Sueyoshi, the newly appointed associate dean of the College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University. "What's most incredible is that this movement reflects activism en masse. It's inspiring to see so many people taking action to make a more compassionate world accepting of difference. In a city of rich legacies from both API and queer communities, this exhibition finally reveals the organizing at their intersection."   


"For Love and Community" opens Tuesday, September 18, with a public reception from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Many of the women whose stories are told in the exhibition will attend. Partial funding for the exhibition was provided by the Cesar Chavez Institute at San Francisco State University. 


"Play Fair! The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence Make Sex Safer" sheds light on a modest publication that made history by launching the gay community's sex-positive response to the AIDS crisis. In 1982, six members of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence produced a sassy illustrated brochure titled "Play Fair" that was designed to get the gay community talking about prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections in a language free of judgment and guilt. The first edition came out just as GLBT people began to grapple with what would become the AIDS epidemic. In the 30 years since, the brochure has been updated twice while retaining all its original potency, humor and vitality.


Created in partnership with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence Inc., the "Play Fair!" exhibit will open with a reception on Friday, September 28, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.


Unmasked 2012: Historical Society Annual
Gala to Feature "Night at the Movies" Theme

Coming up at the end of October, the GLBT Historical Society's annual Unmasked gala is a social high-point of the year for queer history enthusiasts and for all members and friends of the Bay Area GLBT community. This year's event will feature a special "Night at the Movies" theme, with a number of San Francisco queer directors set to attend as special guests.  


The evening will feature live entertainment, passed food and a hosted bar. A silent auction will offer queer historic photos, art, travel, fine dining packages and other lots donated by generous supporters of the society. A special highlight this year will be GLBT movie memorabilia, including a lobby card from the 1970 film "The Christine Jorgensen Story" and a craftsman tile from the Castro Theatre.


Unmasked will take place Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012, in the Green Room of the San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center at 401 Van Ness Ave., across from San Francisco City Hall. A VIP reception is set for 6:00 - 7:00 p.m.; the gala follows 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Festive attire is encouraged. 


All proceeds from the gala support the work of the GLBT Historical Society and The GLBT History Museum. VIP tickets are $100; general admission is $60. Sponsorships start at $500. For more information, to sponsor the event or to buy tickets, visit the gala website. 

Back to School: September Kicks Off New
Season of Docent Tours for Student Groups
Students touring The GLBT History Museum. Professors, teachers, LGBT students and their allies have been enthusiastic supporters of The GLBT History Museum from day one. The first group tours of the museum took place just four weeks after the doors opened, when students visited from San Francisco State University and the Gay-Straight Alliance at Aragon High School in San Mateo, Calif. Since then, the museum has offered docent-led tours for more than 50 student groups, ranging from a class of San Francisco Police Academy cadets to a group of Japanese medical students.

"I'm looking forward to the start of the school year bringing us a new influx of student groups," said Fred Baumer, a trained volunteer docent who has led numerous tours of the museum. "As interested as they are to know about our history, and as available as some of this information is today on the Internet, they still need a place that's intimate and safe where their questions can be answered -- and most importantly, a place where they can express their feelings about how they fit into our collective story. The GLBT History Museum really fills that need."

The museum offers docent-led tours by appointment at least two weeks in advance, with discounted admission of $3.00 for all students. For more information or to book a student tour, contact museum operations manager Aimee Forster at aimee@glbthistory.org.  




GLBT History Museum

Location: 4127 18th St., San Francisco, CA 94114

Phone: 415-621-1107

Website: www.glbthistorymuseum.org  


Admission: $5.00 general; $3.00 with California student ID. Free for members. Free for all visitors on the first Wednesday of each month (courtesy of the Bob Ross Foundation). 



Mondays - Saturdays: 11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.  

Sundays: Noon - 5:00 p.m.




GLBT Historical Society

Location: 657 Mission St., Suite 300, San Francisco, CA 94105

Phone: 415-777-5455, ext. 3#

Website: www.glbthistory.org  


Research Hours (by appointment)

Members: Wednesdays - Fridays: 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Nonmembers: Fridays: 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

                     First & Third Saturdays: 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.   












September 18

7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
 Exhibition Opening 
For Love and Community: Queer Asian Pacific Islanders Take Action, 1960-1990s 

September 28  
7:00 - 9:00 p.m. 
Exhibit Opening
Play Fair! The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence
Make Sex Safer

October 7 
11 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. 
Castro Street Fair
Free museum admission
all day courtesy of a generous sponsorship
by Starbucks


Real Bad Party: 
September 23 
The GLBT Historical Society is a beneficiary
for Real Bad XXIV, the legendary Folsom Street Fair party. The event takes place September 23,
7 p.m. - 4 a.m., at 1015 Folsom. Buy Tickets
Unmasked Gala:
 October 25
Unmasked, the GLBT Historical Society's annual  gala, is set for the evening of Thursday, October
25. Buy Tickets.


 The GLBT History  

Museum displays a  

wealth of material  

from San Francisco's 

vast queer past.


Front panel of the 1982


The new exhibit opening this month in the Corner Gallery focuses on the groundbreaking role of  

this 1982 brochure in launching the safer sex movement.   



 The GLBT Historical Society is home to one 

of the world's largest 

gay, lesbian, bisexual 

and transgender 

archival collections.


Cover art for    

  The archives holds an exceptional collection of hundreds of sleazy paperback books -- both fiction and putative nonfiction -- published
from the 1950s through
the 1980s. Most offer eye-popping cover art designed to lure the attention of jaded customers at newsstands. Here: I Am a Hollywood
Call Boy
(Brandon House, 1965) by Mark Shelby.

Docent-led tours

 of the GLBT HIstory Museum are available 

by appointment for

groups of 10 or more  booking at least two

weeks in advance.  

For more information, contact Aimee Forster, museum operations manager, at 





For in-depth 

information on the 

GLBT Historical Society 

and The GLBT History Museum, visit 

our website.


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For updates on the

museum and archives, follow us on Facebook.   


 Wikipedia LGBT Logo

 For an overview of 

the goals and history of 

the museum and 

archives, see our entry 

on Wikipedia.


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 For an array of GLBT videos from our archives and programs, see 

our YouTube channel.




Copyright 2012   

GLBT Historical Society