GLBT Historical Society announces new executive director

New GLBTHS executive director Terry Beswick
New GLBTHS executive director Terry Beswick

The GLBT Historical Society has announced the selection of a new executive director, Terry Beswick.

Beswick is the outgoing manager of the Castro Country Club, which expanded greatly under his leadership. He brings years of experience in fundraising, leadership and activism to his new role at the Historical Society. As executive director, Beswick will head both the GLBT History Museum and GLBT Historical Society archives. He will particularly focus on development and fundraising.

“I am deeply honored and humbled to have this opportunity,” Beswick says of joining the GLBT Historical Society as executive director. “I have been inspired by the important contributions and the people of the GLBT Historical Society and I plan to work tirelessly to ensure the organization’s continued success and growth. Our diverse communities are so rich with the stories, the archives and the artifacts of our struggles and our triumphs. It’s essential that we preserve these stories, interpret them and make them accessible today and for future generations.”

Beswick begins his role at the Historical Society in February. He will be officially introduced at the GLBT History Museum’s fifth anniversary celebration, “I Love History,” taking place Friday, January 29, 7:00 -9:00 p.m. at the museum, located at 4127 18th St., San Francisco.

The announcement of Beswick’s appointment was made by Historical board cochair Brian Turner in an email to members and friends of the institution this morning.

“We are thrilled to announce that Terry Beswick will be joining us as executive director,” Turner said in the email. “Terry brings years of experience leading and building another Castro-based nonprofit, the Castro Country Club. Terry is a long-time AIDS activist, is enthusiastic about queer history, and promises to bring a new era of growth and vision to the GLBT Historical Society.

“The board and I are very much looking forward to working with Terry to strengthen our financial base, move the archives to its new home, grow our organization and expand our amazing programs that serve our community and society at large by collecting, preserving and telling stories of the GLBT past in resonant ways,” Turner added.


Since 2009, Terry Beswick provided principal leadership for the Castro Country Club, a 33-year-old nonprofit, volunteer-based community center serving GLBT people in recovery. During Beswick’s tenure, the organization saw an eight-fold increase in annual operating revenue and eliminated a long-running deficit. At the same time, Beswick spearheaded a capital campaign funded by small donations and in-kind contributions, and planned and implemented a complete renovation of the facility’s interior.

Previous to his role at the Castro Country Club, Beswick served as a volunteer at the club while obtaining a master of fine arts degree in creative writing from San Francisco State University. In 2015 he completed his third consecutive AIDS/LifeCycle, riding his bicycle from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise funds to fight AIDS.

He also has worked as a journalist and as an AIDS activist with nonprofit and governmental organizations, including Project Inform, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the White House Office of National HIV/AIDS Policy, the National AIDS Program Office of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Bay Area Reporter. In the 1980s, he was a cofounder of ACT UP/San Francisco and was the first national coordinator of ACT NOW, the national ACT UP network.


Often referred to as San Francisco’s “queer Smithsonian,” the GLBT Historical Society was founded in 1985. It is recognized internationally as a leader in the field of GLBT public history and is a registered 501(c)3 educational nonprofit organization.

The society’s archives preserve one of the world’s largest collections of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender historical material, including personal papers, organizational records, photographs, art and artifacts, ephemera and audiovisual recordings spanning more than a century of queer history. The materials are used by authors, curators, journalists, filmmakers, students and other researchers.

In addition, the society operates the GLBT History Museum, the first full-scale, stand-alone museum of its kind in the United States. Located in the heart of the historic Castro District of San Francisco, the museum offers historical and cultural exhibitions and presents panels, talks, film showings and other programs.

For more information on the GLBT Historical Society, including a calendar of events, visit