News From The GLBT Historical Society
& The GLBT History Museum

November 2013    

Historical Society Launches Heritage Project:
Community Workshop to Pinpoint Historic Sites
San Francisco historic sites (left to right): Street protest by trans and gay youth in
1966; location of the Bisexual Center in 1978; lesbians on a softball field in 1976.

The GLBT Historical Society has received a grant from the San Francisco Historic Preservation Fund Committee to document sites associated with gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender history. The project will be unveiled November 14 at a public workshop where community members will be invited to contribute memories about places that have been meaningful to them.   


"San Francisco is internationally recognized as a city where LGBT culture, advocacy and politics have made history," notes architectural historian Shayne Watson, who is leading the project with public historian Donna Graves. "Sites that evoke the diverse stories of this movement can be found throughout the city, but many have been largely forgotten."


"We'll be looking at the period from the 19th century through the 1980s," adds Graves. "We are particularly interested in gathering information about places important to LGBT communities of color, transgender people, the bisexual community and others whose histories are underdocumented." 


The project is expected to take more than a year, with extensive research and a final community meeting. The outcome will be a historic context statement, a document used by advocates and city planners. A similar project is underway in Los Angeles. When both are complete, the two municipalities will have the first citywide LGBT historic context statements in the United States.  


Titled "Remembering LGBT Historic Sites in San Francisco: A Community Workshop," the project launch is set for Thursday, November 14, 6:00-7:30 p.m., at the San Francisco Women's Building at 3543 18th St. The event is cosponsored by San Francisco Heritage and the Women's Building. Admission is free of charge, and light refreshments will be served. For more details, contact Watson and Graves at sflgbthistory@gmail.com


Are You a Card-Carrying Supporter of GLBT History?

Historical Society members can now proudly carry their support for GLBT history right in their wallets or purses: New membership cards outline the benefits of joining the society, including free admission to The GLBT History Museum for the member and one guest, a 20 percent discount on museum merchandise, and priority access to the reading room at the society's archives. Membership cards went out to current members in the last month. If you have questions, contact Deputy Director Daniel Bao. To become a member or renew a membership, visit the historical society website.  


New Exhibit Spotlights Half-Century Career of   
Iconic Transgender Performer Vicki Marlane

A new multimedia exhibit opening November 15 at The GLBT History Museum spotlights the career of Vicki Marlane, a transwoman and drag performer who got her start as a carny in the early 1950s, rose to fame as a female impersonator in the 1960s, and in her third act, became a beloved San Francisco community icon leading shows at Aunt Charlie's Lounge in the Tenderloin until her death at age 76 in 2011. 

"No matter what anybody said, Vicki Marlane always thought of herself as beautiful," says Felicia Elizondo, the community curator for the show. "She lived a hard life, but the stage was her home. It was where she felt love and gave it back. Vicki opened a lot of doors for transgender girls. She gave us courage to become ourselves and live our own lives."


"Vicki Marlane: I'm Your Lady" features never-before-displayed video, artifacts and photos from the performer's estate. The show is part of a series in the museum's Corner Gallery that partner community curators with exhibitions professionals to create new perspectives on Bay Area queer history. 


The exhibit runs Nov. 15, 2013, through Feb. 28, 2014. An opening reception is set for Friday, November 15, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Museum admission is $5.00 (general); $3.00 (California students); free for Historical Society members.

Museum Program Features Novelist, Memoirist


Author Reading
Witness to History: Felice Picano & Ron Williams
Thursday, November 7
7:00 - 9:00 p.m.


A novelist and a memoirist come together to look at ways authors can act as witnesses to gay history. Award-winning writer Felice Picano will read from his latest book of novellas, 20th Century Un-Limited, which includes a tale focusing on Hollywood as a gay mecca in the 1930s. Joining Picano will be Ron Williams, who will read from his new memoir, San Francisco's Native "Sissy" Son. The book highlights the author's 50 years as a gay man in the city. Admission: $5.00 (general); $3.00 (California students); free for GLBT Historical Society members.  




The 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 & Wednesdays - Saturdays: 11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.   

Sundays: Noon - 5:00 p.m.

Tuesdays: Closed  




GLBT Historical Society

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

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

Website: www.glbthistory.org  




Weekdays: By Appointment & Subject to Availability

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

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


Saturdays: No Appointment Needed 

Open to members and nonmembers 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. the first and third Saturday of the month; no appointment needed. Hours subject to change; before visiting, check the GLBT Historical Society website.   







November 7
7 - 9 p.m.
Author Reading
Witness to History: Felice Picano & Ron Williams

November 15
7 - 9 p.m.
Exhibit Opening
Vicki Marlane:
I'm Your Lady

Get Connected
Click on the event title for
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Museum Volunteers

Volunteering at The 

GLBT History Museum is

a great way to help bring queer history alive for

locals and visitors. For

more information, contact 

volunteer coordinator

Kyle Maxwell-Berman.



 The GLBT History  

Museum displays a  

wealth of material  

from San Francisco's 

vast queer past.

The San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus: 35 Years of Activism Through Song features a touch-screen display offering videos and recordings of the group. The chorus first performed in public at the candlelight march following the assassination of Harvey

 Milk and George Moscone on Nov. 27, 1978. The exhibition runs through
Jan. 15, 2014. 



 The GLBT Historical

Society is home to one 

of the world's largest 

gay, lesbian, bisexual 

and transgender 

archival collections.


The Condom Collection includes hundreds of condoms, dental dams and safer sex kits from around
the world dating from the
1980s to the present. Some feature novelty packaging promoting organizations, businesses or even
political campaigns.




For in-depth 

information on the 

GLBT Historical Society 

and The GLBT History Museum, visit 

our website.


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 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 videos

 from our archives

and programs, see

our YouTube channel.





































Copyright 2013

GLBT Historical Society