|A British Blogger's Visit to The GLBT History |
Museum Inspires a Life-Changing Decision
|Blogger Ceri Padley during her April 2012 trip to San Francisco.|
Ceri Padley is a blogger from the United Kingdom who teaches in Mexico City. She recently wrote a deeply moving post about her visit to The GLBT History Museum. These excerpts appear with her permission:
As I entered the museum I was greeted by a wonderfully chirpy man, ready to instruct me on what I could hope to see as I walked around. A typical sunny Californian, he really looked happy to see those who ventured inside for a peek, always willing to answer questions and make our visit a worthwhile one.
Then he turned to ask me, "So, what brings you here?"
I told him I was fascinated with Harvey Milk's life and was interested to discover more by visiting the area he helped make so famous through his nonstop fight for equal rights.
My breath caught in my chest as I laid eyes on Harvey's T-shirt, his megaphone, and all the other little items.... So many personal things that once belonged to one of my idols lay directly in front of me, and I became overwhelmed with sadness and anger thinking about how his life had come to such a tragic end.
I've never made a huge deal out of my sexuality. I've never come out and announced it to friends and family because I never felt the need to. My sexuality felt like a normal part of me and coming forward to tell everyone what my preference was always seemed like a strange thing to do. It felt as strange as announcing, "I have two arms/green eyes/bony elbows, etc."
But it wasn't until I wandered around the GLBT Museum that I began to realise why these steps are so important.
This museum represented only a small portion of the world: The people who fought -- and are still fighting -- for equality in California and laid down their lives to be heard. So much pain and suffering was caused and so much bravery and togetherness rose up just so everyone could be able to walk down the street with their head held high and not be treated like an outsider.
When I thought about everything that had been done in this state and how much more suffering and rage had washed through the world, I began to cry. I suddenly understood the bravery so many people need to step forward, be proud of who they are and not be afraid to let the world know.
I'm lucky to come from an open-minded family who I know will always support me. Yet, somehow, I've still been afraid to come forward and tell them who I am. I feel ashamed of myself for holding it back for so long -- for not having the balls to say: I'm a bisexual woman. I'm equally attracted to women and men.
So, here it is. My official and long overdue coming out.
Read the full text of Ceri's post -- and see her fantastic photos -- here.
World AIDS Day Brings Third Anniversary of
Website Commemorating Bay Area Losses
Launched by the World Health Organization in 1988, World AIDS Day is held annually on December 1. This year, the date coincides with the third anniversary of the GLBT Historical Society's searchable online database that includes all the obituaries published in the Bay Area Reporter since its first such article in 1979. Cosponsored by the BAR, the site now includes 10,344 notices.
"The majority of the obituaries -- and especially those from the early 1980s to the mid-1990s -- reflect the devastation of AIDS in San Francisco," says Tom Burtch, the Historical Society volunteer who conceived the project. "Nearly 20,000 people in our city alone have died of the disease. As one of the first places where AIDS was recognized, we feel a special responsibility to ensure that the toll taken by the epidemic is never forgotten. This website gives us a way to honor those we have lost."
Each listing on the site includes a scan of the full obituary from the BAR and offers a guestbook where visitors can contribute their memories. The site receives an average of 3,000 visits a month, and guestbook comments have come from across the United States and from Canada, England, The Netherlands and Sweden. The listings are updated regularly to include new obituaries published by the newspaper.
Roundup: Museum Windows, Archives Staff, Real Bad
Thanks to generous donations from more than 70 businesses, organizations and individuals, the front windows of The GLBT History Museum that were smashed by a vandal on October 29 were replaced just four days later. The funds also will help with upgrades to the museum's security systems. An album of photos of the contractors at work making the repairs is available on the GLBT Historical Society's Facebook page
Marjorie Bryer has been promoted to the position of managing archivist at the GLBT Historical Society. Bryer holds a Ph.D. in history and a master's in library science; she previously served as project archivist for the society's current collections processing initiative funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. Look for an interview with Bryer in the January 2013 issue of History Happens
. Taking over as the new NHPRC project archivist is Juliet Demeter, who has a master's in library science and has worked in archives for more than a decade.Folsom Success.
On November 8, Grass Roots Gay Rights West, the organizers of the Real Bad fundraising party that follows the Folsom Street Fair, announced that the 2012 event had raised a record $200,000 for distribution to nonprofit LGBT and HIV/AIDS organizations. The GLBT Historical Society is one of the five beneficiaries this year. For more details, visit the Real Bad website
Representing Queer People: Views From
Bay Area Photographers, Artists, Writers
On the evening of Thursday, December 6, a diverse and dynamic group of Bay Area gay photographers, artists and writers will come together from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at The GLBT History Museum to discuss how straight and queer artists portray queer lives, for good and bad. "Picture This: Representing Queer People in Text and Visuals" will feature David Sweet and Richard May, creators of the book and blog, Ginger Snaps, featuring photos and stories about queer redheads; Justin Hall, editor of No Straight Lines: 40 Years of Queer Comics (Fantagraphics, 2012); Mark Chester, widely published and exhibited photographer and teacher of the Gay Men's Drawing Class; and Baruch Porras-Hernandez, poet and moderator of the Queer Open Mic series in San Francisco. A reception with light refreshments will follow, and books by all of the panelists will be available for purchase and signing.
EXHIBITIONS & PROGRAMS
The 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).
Regular Winter Hours
Mondays & Wednesdays - Saturdays: 11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Sundays: Noon - 5:00 p.m.
Special Holiday Hours
Christmas Eve & New Year's Eve: 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Christmas Day & New Year's Day: Closed
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.
7 - 9 p.m.
People in Text & Visuals
Get the jump on your holiday shopping at The GLBT History Museum.
Looking for that perfect
gift for the history buff in your life? The store at
The GLBT History
Museum offers exclusive t-shirts, mugs, totes, whistles, magnets and cards with historic queer graphics from the
archives of the GLBT Historical Society.
The GLBT History
Museum displays a
wealth of material
from San Francisco's
vast queer past.
"Out of the Closets
and Into the Streets" in
the Main Gallery includes protest signs and vintage TV sets showing GLBT street demonstrations in San Francisco from 1966 through the late 2000s.
The GLBT Historical Society is home to one
of the world's largest
gay, lesbian, bisexual
Collection includes a complete run of the
Bay Area Reporter, a weekly newspaper
founded in 1971. The
photo shows a detail of a special section in the
Nov. 11, 1989, issue
that reproduced hundreds of portraits of Bay Area residents who had died
of AIDS that year.
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