GLBT Center and Historical Society

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to Twitter

657 Mission Street #300
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 777-5455
www.glbthistory.org

History and Mission

Fifteen years ago, during the height of the AIDS pandemic, the Center was born from a dream for a better tomorrow. Since opening in 2002, it has stood as a beacon for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals in San Francisco and beyond.

Today, when visitors arrive at the Center, they find free services like career counseling, job fairs, computer lab, social activities, mentorships, youth meals, daycare, various workshops and much more. Here they can connect with other LGBT people and organize to secure our equal rights. Our vision for the future is a LGBT community united by common purpose, celebrating our history, culture and diversity, while ensuring that no one is left behind.

Programs and Services

The Center has active partnerships with over 70 community organizations, providing leadership that brings the community together. We host over 75 programs weekly and serve over 9,000 individuals monthly. Center direct services assist community members most in need. Programs and recent accomplishments include:

  • Economic Development. Pioneering programs that support sustainable employment and business practices for LGBT individuals and small businesses.
    • 1,000 jobseekers served annually through job fairs and one-on-one counseling.
    • 200 LGBT individuals attended the Center’s annual Economic Empowerment Day.
    • 49 transgender individuals placed in jobs in prior year through targeted program.
    • 5 neighborhood businesses attracted, 2 retained through the Business Attraction program.
    • 8 clients prepared loan applications through Small Business Development program.
  • Health and Wellness. Strong HIV/AIDS prevention and city newcomer programs connect individuals to resources and community they need to thrive and succeed.
    • 7,500 information referrals made each year to more than 500 regional LGBT services.
    • 200 city newcomers receive education, mentorship, HIV testing, networking and support.
  • Children, Youth and Family. We provide childcare services to LGBT families five days a week. Over 300 youth annually receive leadership development, job training, queer youth prom, and for marginally housed youth, free meals.
  • Community and Policy Initiatives. We support three community-led initiatives, serving women's, transgender, and Latino/a communities. We facilitate and lead local organizing around civic issues, such as marriage equality and employment protection.
  • Arts and Culture. We support queer arts, by hosting visual and performing arts showcases, and collaborating with artists and groups to increase visibility and access to LGBT artists.
  • Building Facilities. Our solar powered, 35,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art facility is open six days a week, hosting events ranging from 12-step meetings to town halls to readings and entertainment, bringing the community together. Services include free public computer and Internet access.

Leadership

In March 2008, Rebecca Rolfe was hired as Executive Director, before which she served as the Center's Deputy Director for four years. She spent eight years prior to that as San Francisco Women Against Rape's Executive Director. Rebecca fills leadership positions on several statewide policy committees and task forces. The Center's executive team reflects our community's diversity, including people of color and transgender individuals. They have a solid track record of professional management, financial control, fundraising leadership and program success.

Your Support

The Center is more than a building, more than a collection of programs and people. It is a symbol that represents a belief in civil rights, freedom of expression, and an inclusive community for all people. These are fundamental San Francisco values, and we believe fundamental American values. An investment in the LGBT community is an investment in our shared dream of a better life for all people. Your donation is an investment in making this shared dream for a better future true today. To learn more about individual donor, corporate sponsorship, foundation funding or volunteer opportunities contact our Development Director Gayle Roberts at gayler@sfcenter.org or (415) 824-5524.

GLBT History Museum

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to Twitter

4127 18th Street (between Castro and Collingwood)
San Francisco CA, 94114
www.glbthistory.org

First GLBT History Museum in the United States
Announces Grand Opening for January 13

SAN FRANCISCO — Internationally renowned as a center for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans­gen­­der culture, San Francisco soon will welcome yet another groundbreaking queer institution: The GLBT History Museum. A project of the GLBT Historical Society, an archives and research cen­ter established in 1985, the new museum will be the first of its kind in the United States. The formal grand opening is set for Jan. 13, 2011.

"A quarter century after the founding of the GLBT Historical Society, we're proud to open a museum to showcase our community's history," said Paul Boneberg, executive director of the Historical Society. "The GLBT History Museum is in the heart of the Castro, a neighborhood visited not only by locals, but also by tens of thousands of tourists every year who come in search of queer culture. At our museum, they'll discover treasures from our archives that reflect fascinating stories spanning nearly a century of GLBT life. We have gone all out to create a museum as rich, diverse and surprising as the GLBT community itself. Whether they are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or straight, visitors are sure to be moved, enlightened and entertained."

Located at 4127 18th St., the museum includes 1,600 square feet of gallery and program space built to the specifications of the Historical Society, with custom fixtures, lighting and mul­ti­­media installations reflecting professional standards. Funding has come from Levi's, the City of San Francisco, Castro district merchants, and numerous other spon­sors and individual donors.

The museum will feature two debut exhibitions: In the main gallery, "Our Vast Queer Past: Celebrating GLBT His­tory," curated by historians Gerard Koskovich, Don Romesburg and Amy Sueyoshi; and in the front gallery, "Great Collections of the GLBT Historical Society Archives."

The grand opening on Jan. 13, 2011, will include a preview for sponsors, donors and special guests, followed by a ribbon-cutting and reception open to the public from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Regular hours for The GLBT History Museum will be Wednesday through Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Sundays, noon to 5:00 p.m. Admission: $5.00; free for members. For more information, call 415-621-1107 or visit www.glbthistory.org.

GLBT Historical Society Announces Museum Programs on Fat Activism, Electoral Politics

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to Twitter

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 21, 2011

San Francisco - The GLBT Historical Society has announced the latest programs in its 2011 summer series, along with a special mini-exhibit marking the 40th anniversary of the first LGBT political club in the United States. Taking place in late July and August 2011, the events will feature authors, performers and community organizers offering first-hand insights on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender history. All the programs will be presented in the main gallery at the society's new GLBT History Museum at 4127 18th St. in San Francisco's Castro District. For more information, visit www.glbthistory.org or call (415) 621-1107.

JULY 24: "Queer. Fat. Political." A dynamic presentation of live theater, spoken word and informal discussion to commemorate the life and work of fat activist Judy Freespirit, whose personal papers are preserved at the GLBT Historical Society. FAT LIP Readers Theater, Jezebel Delilah X and others will perform, and an open dialogue among generations of fat queer activists and their friends will follow. The event is set for Sunday, July 24, 5:00-7:00 p.m.

AUGUST 1: "Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club: 40th-Anniversary Exhibit." During the month of August, the GLBT History Museum will feature a special mini-exhibit on the history of the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club, founded in San Francisco in 1971 as the first registered LGBT political club in the United States. An opening reception on Aug. 1 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. will feature longtime Alice member and former GLBT Historical Society intern Nathan Purkiss presenting a retrospective of the club's 40-year history. The event is set for Monday, August 1, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

AUGUST 8: "Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club: Stories From Four Decades." A living-history panel will recall four decades of organizing and advocacy by the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club, with speakers offering inside stories of the struggles, the controversies, the breakthroughs, the behind-the-scenes work and the ballot-box victories that have helped make San Francisco an internationally recognized pioneer in LGBT electoral politics. The event is set for Monday, August 8, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Featured Speakers: Phyllis Lyon (cofounder of the Daughters of Bilitis, the first lesbian organization in the United States, and friend of Alice founder Jim Foster); Gary Miller (founding member of Alice and president of the club in 1975); Connie O'Connor (Alice president, 1980-1982); Pam David (Alice leader and first lesbian appointed to the Mayor's Office of Community Development by Art Agnos in 1990); Theresa Sparks (first transgender cochair of Alice, 2001-2003).

ABOUT THE GLBT HISTORICAL SOCIETY & THE GLBT HISTORY MUSEUM

Often referred to as San Francisco's "queer Smithsonian," the GLBT Historical Society was founded in 1985; its archives house one of the world's largest collections of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender historical materials. The society's GLBT History Museum in San Francisco's Castro District opened in January 2011 as the first full-scale, stand-alone museum of its kind in the United States. The museum currently features two major exhibitions: "Our Vast Queer Past: Celebrating San Francisco's GLBT History" and "Great Collections of the GLBT Historical Society Archives." For more information, visit www.glbthistory.org.

GLBT Historical Society Unmasked Gala: Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011, in San Francisco

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to Twitter

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 19, 2011

San Francisco -- The GLBT Historical Society's annual Unmasked gala, set for Oct. 27, will bring together enthusiasts of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender history from throughout Northern California for a festive evening at the Green Room of the War Memorial Building in San Francisco's Civic Center. The gala will support the public history work of the society and its world-renowned GLBT History Museum, the first museum of its kind in the United States.

"Unmasked is the high point of the social season for lovers of GLBT history," said Paul Boneberg, executive director of the GLBT Historical Society. "The event pays homage to both the great pioneers and the everyday heroes of our movement, who have made it possible for us to drop the mask of secrecy and to live our lives fully and openly. For the gala, we invite our friends to bring out another kind of mask -- the ones we wear for festivity and celebration."

The Unmasked gala will feature live entertainment, food and a hosted bar. A silent auction will offer guests the chance to bid on travel packages, fine wines and other distinctive lots. Of particular note for lovers of history will be numerous vintage photographs, posters and items of queer historic memorabilia, including an anonymous photo of two women dressed as men from circa 1900 and a framed campaign poster from Harvey Milk's first run for the Board of Supervisors in 1973.

Taking part in the gala as honored guests will be representatives from the Bay Area's annual queer marches, including San Francisco's LGBT Pride Parade, Dyke March and Trans March and Oakland's Sisters Steppin' in Pride. Other special guests who have made notable contributions to the GLBT community also will attend, including groundbreaking community organizers Phyllis Lyon and José Sarria, novelist and arts advocate Michelle Tea, and military-equality advocate Joseph Rocha.

VIP tickets to Unmasked are $100; general admission is $60. Individual and organizational sponsorships start at $500. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the gala website at www.unmaskedgala.org.

What: GLBT Historical Society Unmasked Gala
When: Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011. VIP Reception: 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. Gala: 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Where: The Green Room, War Memorial Building, 401 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco
Tickets: $100 (VIP); $60 (general). Available at www.unmaskedgala.org.

About the GLBT Historical Society & The GLBT History Museum

Founded in 1985, the GLBT Historical Society is an archives and research center often referred to as San Francisco's "queer Smithsonian." It houses one of the world's largest collections of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender historical materials.

The society's GLBT History Museum opened in January 2011 as the first full-scale, stand-alone museum of its kind in the United States and only the second in the world. Currently featured are two major exhibitions: "Our Vast Queer Past: Celebrating San Francisco's GLBT History" and "Great Collections of the GLBT Historical Society Archives."

For more information on the GLBT Historical Society and The GLBT History Museum, visit www.glbthistory.org.

Documenting the Emergence of AIDS Activism: Five Bay Area Photographers Tell Their Stories

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to Twitter

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 28, 2012


Jane Philomen Cleland. "Protesters Chanting 'Shame' During an ACT UP/San Francisco Demonstration" (circa 1990). Copyright © 1990 by Jane Philomen Cleland.

San Francisco -- The GLBT History Museum's new photography exhibition, "Life and Death in Black and White: AIDS Direct Action in San Francisco, 1985-1990," focuses on the work of Jane Philomen Cleland, Patrick Clifton, Marc Geller, Rick Gerharter and Daniel Nicoletta. On Monday, April 9, the photographers will discuss their experiences documenting the emergence of militant AIDS activism in San Francisco through the medium of black-and-white film; the event is set for 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. at the museum, located at 4127 18th St. in San Francisco.

All of the images in "Life and Death in Black and White" portray civil disobedience as a response to discrimination, indifference and official neglect in the face of a fatal epidemic. At the panel, the photographers will recount the stories behind the photos and will address the role of photography and photojournalism in the struggle for social justice for people with AIDS. In addition, they will discuss how the transition from film to digital photography has affected their current approach to documenting the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.

Admission to the panel is $5.00 (general); $3.00 (California students with ID); free for museum members. The exhibition is on display through July 1 in the front gallery of The GLBT History Museum. For more information, call (415) 621-1107 or visit visit www.glbthistory.org.

What: "Documenting the Emergence of AIDS Activism: Five Photographers Tell Their Stories"

When: Monday, April 9, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Where: The GLBT History Museum, 4127 18th St., San Francisco

About the GLBT History Museum


Left to right: Patrick Clifton, Jane Philomen Cleland, Daniel Nicoletta, Marc Geller and Rick Gerharter at the opening of "Life and Death in Black and White" (March 15, 2012).

The GLBT History Museum features two major exhibitions: In the main gallery, a long-term show titled "Our Vast Queer Past: Celebrating San Francisco's GLBT His­tory" and in the front gallery, periodically changing the­matic shows. The front gallery also offers timely one-case exhibits shown for one to two months and permanent displays of the wedding pantsuits worn by pioneering lesbian activists Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, and of personal belongings of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected of­ficial in California, who was assassinated in 1978.

The museum is a project of the GLBT Historical Society, a research center and archives founded in 1985 that houses one of the world's largest collections of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender historical materials. For more information, visit www.glbthistory.org.

June Programs at GLBT History Museum Feature Queer Theory, Religion, Performance, Film, Fiction

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to Twitter

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 9, 2012

San Francisco The GLBT History Museum will present five programs in June to mark Pride Month. All of the events take place at the museum at 4127 18th St. in the city's Castro District. Admission is $5.00 (suggested donation). For more information, call (415) 621-1107 or visit www.glbthistory.org.

Author Talk
Deviations: A Gayle Rubin Reader
Thursday, June 7
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Gayle Rubin discusses her new volume of groundbreaking essays, Deviations: A Gayle Rubin Reader (Duke University Press), which includes "The Traffic in Women" (1975), a text that galvanized feminist theory, and "Thinking Sex" (1984), a foundational text for queer theory. Along with such canonical work, Deviations features insightful writing on lesbian history, the feminist sex wars, the politics of sadomasochism, crusades against prostitution and pornography, and the historical development of sexual knowledge. Rubin's talk will focus in particular on her involvement in queer public history in San Francisco and on the importance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender archives. Rubin is associate professor of anthropology, women's studies and comparative literature at the University of Michigan. For more information about the book, visit the publisher's website at http://tinyurl.com/GR-Deviations.

Performance, Film & Discussion
Collaborative Practice and the Future of Queer Memory
Sunday, June 10
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Atlanta-based performance collective John Q joins GLBT Historical Society artist-in-residence E.G. Crichton and artist and Queer Cultural Center cofounder Rudy Lemcke for an early evening of performance, film and conversation exploring the intersection of archival research and the creative process. As a site-specific performance, John Q members Joey Orr, Andy Ditzler and Wesley Chenault will present provisional findings from their current collaborative project on the future of memory, crafting a dialogue based on actual material from queer archives in both Atlanta and San Francisco. The program is cosponsored by the Queer Cultural Center as part of the 15th Annual National Queer Arts Festival. For more details, visit the QCC website at http://queerculturalcenter.org/NQAF/lecturepanel/collaborativepractice.

Film Discussion
Submerged Queer Spaces: Urban Archeology and Architectural Remains
Wednesday, June 13
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Composer-filmmaker Jack Curtis Dubowsky discusses Submerged Queer Spaces, his documentary feature that views San Francisco queer history through the lens of urban archeology. As the city grew and gentrified, bars, restaurants, parks, alleys, bathhouses and other gathering spots of the queer community were remodeled, repurposed, rebuilt or destroyed. Premiering in the Frameline Festival in late June, Submerged Queer Spaces looks at the queer architectural remains of such historic sites. Local interview subjects from the film will be present to recount their memories of these spaces. Cinematographer Wilfred Galila will talk about his innovative camerawork, and the filmmakers will discuss working with the GLBT Historical Society, which provided archival sources for the film.

Joint Lecture
Religion and Homosexuality in 20th-Century America: Two Views
Thursday, June 14
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

The recipients of the 2011 - 2012 LGBT Religious History Award from the LGBT Religious Archives Network will provide an overview of their award-winning research. Rebecca L. Davis, assistant professor of history at the University of Delaware, was honored for her paper "'My Homosexuality Is Getting Worse Every Day': Norman Vincent Peale, Psychiatry and the Liberal Protestant Response to Same-Sex Desires in Mid-20th-Century America." Anthony Michael Petro, assistant professor of religious studies at New York University was honored for his paper "Protest Religion! ACT UP, Religious Freedom and the Ethics of Sex." For more information about the LGBT Religious History Award, visit www.lgbtran.org/HistoryAward.aspx.

Author Panel
GuyWriters Presents Three San Francisco Queer Novelists
Monday, June 18
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Three San Francisco queer novelists will read from their recent work: Jim Provenzano, author of Every Time I Think of You (CreateSpace/Myrmidude Press, 2011) and other novels; Lewis DeSimone, author of The Heart's History (Lethe Press, 2012) and other works; and Michael Alenyikov, author of Ivan and Misha: Stories (Triquarterly/Northwestern University Press, 2010). Following the readings, writer James Siegel will briefly interview each of the authors. The event is presented by GuyWriters, a Bay Area community network that celebrates and supports gay men's literary creativity. For more information about the group, visit www.guywritersonline.org