|Community Leader, Court Founder Josť Sarria |
Donates Archives, Costumes to Historical Society
|At work arranging his archives, Josť Sarria holds an inscribed 1946 photo of a |
young German friend who would later become a major film star: Klaus Kinski.
Turning 90 on December 12, San Francisco native Josť Sarria has a long record of contributions to the GLBT community. A celebrated performer, advocate of homosexual equality and founder of several gay organizations, he was the first known openly gay person to campaign for elected office, running for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1961.
So Sarria wasn't altogether surprised when one of the most prestigious museums in the United States called about his archives. "The Smithsonian asked me to donate," he said. "But not everything. They just wanted the correspondence."
Sarria had already given a substantial portion of his papers to the GLBT Historical Society when he left San Francisco in 1996. Now living in a cozy cottage behind the home of friends in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, N.M., he looked over his files and memorabilia -- and made up his mind.
"I decided my materials should stay together," Sarria explained. "With everything in one place, people will be able to see the story from beginning to end."
GLBT Historical Society founding member Gerard Koskovich recently flew to New Mexico to help Sarria pack the materials. At the end of a four-day visit, 21 boxes were on the way to San Francisco. Among the treasures: extensive personal correspondence; costumes from Sarria's performances at The Black Cat bar in the 1950s; and records of the Imperial Court, the international network of drag charities that Sarria founded in 1965.
Still tucked away in Sarria's home are historic paintings, photographs and more files. Sarria says those materials will come to the Historical Society in due course -- and he's already putting his words into action. A couple days after the shipment from New Mexico arrived, Sarria phoned Executive Director Paul Boneberg to let him know that two more boxes were in the mail.
|Unmasked 2012: Historical Society Gala to |
Feature Queer Filmmakers as Special Guests
The GLBT Historical Society's annual Unmasked gala, set for Thursday, October 25, will bring together enthusiasts of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender history for a festive evening at the Green Room in the War Memorial and Performing Arts Center in San Francisco's Civic Center.
"Unmasked pays homage to the pioneers of the GLBT community, who have made it possible for us to take off the mask of secrecy and live our lives openly," says Executive Director Paul Boneberg. "This year, we're honoring the great contributions that Bay Area queer filmmakers have made to creating our culture and advancing understanding of GLBT people."
Taking part as special guests will be Cheryl Dunye (The Watermelon Woman), Marc Huestis (Sex Is), Stu Maddux (Gen Silent), Travis Matthews (I Want Your Love), Glenne McElhinney (On These Shoulders We Stand), Pam Walton (Grassroots: Contesting Ohio), David Weissman (We Were Here) and Alice Wu (Saving Face).
The gala will feature food and a hosted bar, plus a fabulous silent auction. Entertainment for the evening will be provided by baritone Zachary Gordin, rising star of opera and the concert stage; the Cello Street Quartet, noted for blending classical tradition with contemporary pop; drag diva Glamamore; and DJs from San Francisco queer club sensation Hard French.
VIP tickets to Unmasked are $100; general admission is $60. Individual and organizational sponsorships start at $500. The VIP reception takes place 6:00 - 7:00 p.m., with the gala following from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. For more information and to purchase tickets, call (415) 777-5455 or visit the gala website.
|Dyke March Plans GLBT History Museum |
Forum on Age Diversity, Gender Fluidity
The San Francisco Dyke March is celebrating its 20th anniversary throughout 2012 with programs reflecting the theme "Dyke Space Continuum." The next event is a discussion titled "Age Diversity and Gender Fluidity," set for Thursday November 15, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m., at The GLBT History Museum.
Elana Dykewomon, Elena Escalera, Krys Freeman and Julia Serano will trace the history of lesbian social and cultural space in San Francisco, with a focus on gender politics and how different generations experience them. The panel and an open forum will be moderated by artist, photographer and activist Happy Hyder.
"The initial premise of the Dyke March was to create a separate space for queer women," note the program organizers. "Younger folks are often not aware of the history and events which have influenced the evolving continuum of any given community.... On the other hand, older dykes may not have personal interactions exposing them to new gender theories and the life experiences of younger dykes. This panel seeks not to reconcile these groups outright, but to facilitate a conversation and head towards a place of understanding and progress."
For more information, visit the Dyke March website.
EXHIBITIONS & PROGRAMS
GLBT History Museum
Location: 4127 18th St., San Francisco, CA 94114
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.
ARCHIVES & READING ROOM
GLBT Historical Society
Location: 657 Mission St., Suite 300, San Francisco, CA 94105
Phone: 415-777-5455, ext. 3#
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.
11 a.m. - 7 p.m.Castro Street Fair
Free museum admission
all day courtesy of a generous sponsorship
7 - 9 p.m.Age Diversity &
A forum sponsored by
the San Francisco
The GLBT History
Museum displays a
wealth of material
from San Francisco's
vast queer past.
Monitors visible through
the front windows show videos 24 hours a day. Featured in October: a
rare home movie of the 1968 Halloween show at The Ramrod bar in
The GLBT Historical Society is home to one
of the world's largest
gay, lesbian, bisexual
Crawford Barton (1943-1993) captured
this image at the 1977 Castro Street Fair. The Crawford Barton Papers (collection no. 1993-11) include
his studio archives.
Raymond E. Brizendine,
a former member of the board of the GLBT Historical Society, died unexpectedly at age 41
on Aug. 31, 2012. A graduate of Rice
University in Houston, he was an executive talent recruiter. To honor Ray's philanthropic work, his family suggests memorial contributions to the Academy of Friends, Rice University or the GLBT Historical Society.
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
information on the
GLBT Historical Society
and The GLBT History Museum, visit
For updates on the
museum and archives, follow us on Facebook.
For an overview of
the goals and history of
the museum and
archives, see our entry
For an array of GLBT videos from our archives and programs, see
our YouTube channel.
Copyright © 2012
GLBT Historical Society