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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

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

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