By Paul Eulalia

New Exhibition, Publication & Website Celebrate Groundbreaking Queer Journal

Inset: Curator E.G. Chrichton at the opening of “OUT/LOOK & the Birth of the Queer.” Right: Cover of the new issue of OUT/LOOK (2017).

by Mark Sawchuk

Inspired by the 30th anniversary of the founding of OUT/LOOK, artist E.G. Crichton (pictured above) has created a new exhibition, “OUT/LOOK & the Birth of the Queer,” open through January 2018 at the GLBT History Museum. Supported by a major grant from the Creative Work Fund, the show commemorates a groundbreaking national queer journal published in San Francisco from 1988 to 1992 that sparked vigorous debate during its five-year run. Crichton cofounded the publication and served as its art director.

As curator for the exhibition, Crichton invited artists and writers to respond to each of the 17 issues of the journal. “Fairly early on, I conceived of it as a way of creating intergenerational dialogue,” she explained. “OUT/LOOKwas committed to diversity, uniting different viewpoints, types of writing, and visual work. We brought together women and men in an era of extreme gender separatism in queer magazines and consciously strove for racial diversity. With this project, I wanted to find out what younger people would think of the magazine now and start a new set of conversations.”

Responding to the History

Walking into the exhibition, visitors can ponder the history of OUT/LOOK in a mural reproducing covers of the magazine, as well as enormous chalk drawings based on cartoons by a frequent contributor, the late Kris Kovick. Crichton’s matchmaking also resulted in new artwork, essays, poetry, fiction and plays. The visual works are on display at the museum. Both visual and written works are featured on the associated website andin a new print issue of OUT/LOOK, available in the museum store.

The contributions are striking in their range of approaches and media. E. Patrick Johnson, for example, responded to the fourth issue of OUT/LOOKwith a powerful poem. Julio Salgado’s painting Drawing My Brown in a Sea of White, a response to issue 17, is a forceful look at the ways queer people of color are left out of mainstream queer narratives. Inspired by issue 5, Dorothy R. Santos’s “Swallowing My Boredom” uses interactive fiction to reimagine her teenage years as a Filipina-American.

Thirty years after it first appeared, OUT/LOOK continues making an impact. “I still run into people periodically who talk about how much they miss OUT/LOOK and how it changed their lives,” Crichton observed. “This project enables us to revisit the journal’s contributions through our holdings at the archives — and to honor those contributions and share them with a new generation of queer people.”

Mark Sawchuk is a member of the Communications Working Group of the GLBT Historical Society.

Reprinted from the November 2017 issue of History Happens, the monthly newsletter of the GLBT Historical Society. To subscribe to the newsletter, click here.

From the Executive Director | The Challenge: Meeting a Generous Match


by Terry Beswick

This month, I want to use my column to give you a challenge. 

One year ago, we launched Vision 2020, our campaign to establish a New Museum of LGBTQ History and Culture in San Francisco. Not yet officially a capital campaign, the goal was to expand our membership and donor base so we can prepare for further growth.

Since then, the number of members of the GLBT Historical Society has indeed grown. Currently, our total active membership, including donors giving $30 and above, is approaching 2,000. To take the next steps toward the new museum, now we need to expand our base of members and donors even more.

This November, as we move into the season of gratitude and giving, we trust that the thousands of supporters of LGBTQ history and culture on our mailing list will consider joining the GLBT Historical Society at any level — and know that many current members will step up their support, too.

Doubling the Impact

So here’s the challenge to each of you: Every dollar you and your friends donate during our year-end campaign will be matched by a $25,000  grant from our generous and steadfast supporters Al Baum and Robert Holgate ($10,000), the Bob Ross Foundation ($10,000) and the Excelerate Foundation ($5,000).

If you’re already a member, please consider increasing your support. If you’re not yet a member, sign up today. And do be sure to ask your friends, colleagues and social media contacts to support the society, too. By donating now, you’ll double the impact of your gift thanks to the challenge grant.

Our community deserves a full-scale queer public history center that not only will enable us to exhibit our rich and diverse history and culture, but also will serve as a center for research and education and as a home for our ever-growing archives.

In the coming year, I believe we will see great progress in our campaign to establish such a center — and I know you’ll want to be a part of this groundbreaking effort to ensure that our queer past has a fantastic future.

I invite you to join the GLBT Historical Society’s Vision 2020 campaign. Donate now by clicking here.

Terry Beswick is executive director of the GLBT Historical Society.

Reprinted from the November 2017 issue of History Happens, the monthly newsletter of the GLBT Historical Society. To subscribe to the newsletter, click here.

Panel Discussion | Queerness in Flux: Shifting Lesbian, Trans & Genderqueer Identities

Thursday, November 16th 2017
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
The GLBT History Museum
4127 18th St., San Francisco
Admission: $5.00. Free for members.

Cover of OUT/LOOK, no. 11 (Winter 1991). Courtesy GLBT Historical Society.

In conjunction with the exhibition ” OUT/LOOK & the Birth of the Queer” currently on display at the GLBT History Museum, this panel discussion will examine connections between the recent LGBTQ past and contemporary issues by addressing shifts in gender identities, culture and politics.

Surveys in the groundbreaking queer journal OUT/LOOK (1988-1992) asked “what is your gender?” with just two choices: female or male. Panelist will contrast that era of queer history with the radical gender possibilities created by LGBTQ people today.

Three of the panelists — Bo, Julian Carter and Ajuan Mance — have created works for the exhibition that interrogate gender and its intersections. Also joining the discussion will be New York-based activist and author Amber Hollibaugh, who has written extensively about gender in the context of class, age and economic justice.

For more information about the “OUT/LOOK and the Birth of the Queer” exhibition and related initiatives, visit


Bo is an interdisciplinary artist whose cultural interventions encompass visual arts, comics, performance, filmmaking, creative writing, scholarship and culinary business. His work across these fields addresses the complex connections among different experiences of marginalization, challenges capitalist relational practices and imagines alternative possibilities of desire and resistance. Learn more about Bo’s work at

Julian Carter is associate professor of critical studies at the California College of the Arts in Oakland. He is a critical historian and performance theorist whose work addresses normativity, embodiment and the collective construction and maintenance of identity systems. He also makes social sculptures as principle instigator of the performance group PolySensorium. Carter is the author of The Heart of Whiteness: Normal Sexuality and Race in America, 1890–1940 (2007) and serves on the editorial board of the Transgender Studies Quarterly.

Amber Hollibaugh describes herself as “a lesbian sex radical, ex-hooker, incest survivor, gypsy child, poor-white-trash, high femme dyke.” She is an award-winning filmmaker, feminist, left political organizer, public speaker and journalist. In New York City, she cofounded and directed Queers for Economic Justice in New York City and served as director of education, advocacy and community building at Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders. She also worked as chief officer of elder and LBTI women’s services at Howard Brown Health Center in Chicago. In San Francisco, she cofounded the San Francisco Lesbian and Gay History Project, the precursor to the GLBT Historical Society. Hollibaugh is the author of My Dangerous Desires: A Queer Girl Dreaming Her Way Home (2000).

Ajuan Mance is professor of African American literature at Mills College in Oakland and is a lifelong artist and writer. Her comics and zines include Gender Studies; The Little Book of Big, Black Bears; and A Blues for Black Santa; as well as the 1001 Black Men series. Mance has participated in solo and group exhibitions as well as comic and zine festivals from the Bay Area to Brooklyn. Her scholarly writings and artwork explore the relationship between race, gender and representation among people of African descent in the United States. Her most recent book, Before Harlem: An Anthology of African-American Literature From the Long Nineteenth Century, was published in 2016.

Community Forum | Fighting Back: Race & The LGBTQ Community     

Tuesday, November 28th 2017
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
The GLBT History Museum
4127 18th St., San Francisco

Admission: Free | $5.00 donation welcome

March from the Castro to the Mission following the massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando (June 18, 2016). Photo by Terry Beswick.

The latest in the GLBT Historical Society’s monthly “Fighting Back” series exploring contemporary queer-community issues in a historical context, “Race and the LGBTQ Community” will offer a multigenerational conversation about race relations among LGBTQ people. A panel of historians, educators, artists and veteran organizers and younger activists will discuss the how the LGBTQ community has dealt with issues of race over time and how this history of challenges and successes can help inform today’s intersectional resistance movements.


Valentin Aguirre (moderator) came to the Bay Area in the 1980s to study — and in the process found a vibrant gay Latino community mobilizing against AIDS. He has fundraised for over 20 years for organizations that focus on health and the arts. He has worked with Mission Neighborhood Health Center’s Clinica Esperanza, Community United in Response to AIDS/SIDA, the NAMES Project, LYRIC and the Queer Latina/o Artists Coalition. Since August 2012, he has served as the senior grant writer at Shanti, raising money for cancer and HIV programs. Aguirre also is a poet, film director and opera producer. He holds a BA in communication from Stanford University. He serves as co-chair of the board of directors of the GLBT Historical Society.

Jennifer DeVere Brody did her graduate work in English and American Literature at the University of Pennsylvania, which awarded her the Thurgood Marshall Prize for Academics and Community Service. Her scholarly essays have appeared in Theatre Journal, Signs, Genders and other journals and in numerous edited volumes. Her books, Impossible Purities: Blackness, Femininity and Victorian Culture (1998) and Punctuation: Art, Politics and Play (2008) discuss relations among and between sexuality, gender, racailization, visual studies and performance. Her research and teaching focus on performance, aesthetics, politics and subjectivity as well as feminist theory, queer studies and contemporary cultural studies.

Dazié Grego-Sykes is a poet, performance artist and activist. He received his BA in queer performance and activism at the Experimental Performance Institute at New College San Francisco. He has developed and produced several solo plays including 3, Where Is Adam and I Am A Man. Currently, Grego-Sykes is studying to receive his MFA in creative inquiry at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco.

Rigoberto Marquéz is director of community engaged learning in identity at the Stanford Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. For over 15 years, his community work and engaged scholarship has focused on identifying community-based solutions and best practices to address the inequities encountered by queer youth of color. His work has been published in the Journal of HomosexualityCurriculum Inquiry and Aztlan: A Journal of Chicano Studies and in the book Critical Concepts in Queer Studies and Education (2016). Marquéz earned his PhD in education from the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Honey Mahogany gained worldwide fame as a cast member on Season 5 of the reality TV cult phenomenon RuPaul’s Drag Race. Since Drag Race, Honey has been hard at work producing music and making notable appearances on the theatrical stage and in films. She was named San Francisco’s Best Drag Cabaret performer by the Bay Area Reporter in 2016 and has become a sought-after performer and emcee across the country. Honey is currently co-owner of The Stud Bar; serves as district manager for the Compton’s Transgender Cultural District; and produces the monthly variety show Black Fridays, a POC-centered event every fourth Friday at The Stud.

Sammie Ablaza Wills is a queer, nonbinary Pilipinx organizer who is currently the director of APIENC (API Equality — Northern California), which works to build LGBTQ Asian and Pacific Islander power. Wills started with the organization as a summer intern in 2012, then worked APIENC’s organizing curriculum, oral history project and Trans Justice initiative. During their time as a student, Wills led initiatives to create peer-based community organizing courses and pushed school administrations to support ethnic studies and increase the diversity of tenured professors. Wills also works with and learns from social justice groups such as Movement Generation and Asians4BlackLives.

Film Screening | From Trauma to Activism: Oral Histories of the LGBTQ Movement

Friday, November 3rd 2017
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
The GLBT History Museum
4127 18th St., San Francisco

Admission: $5.00. Free for members.

Marchers for queer history portrayed in the film “From Trauma to Activism.” Photo: Steven F. Dansky.
A new feature-length documentary, From Trauma to Activism unpacks LGBTQ history with first-person narratives from audacious pathfinders, gay liberationists, self-proclaimed dykes and lesbian separatists, radical fairies and courageous queens. These pioneers formulated a daring politics with insights about human existence, gender identity and sexual orientation that has inspired generations of post-Stonewall  activists, academics, historians, artists, filmmakers, writers and everyday individuals. To capture these stories from the founders of the modern LGBTQ movement, activist filmmaker Steven F. Dansky journeyed from coast to coast through rural communities to urban epicenters in the United States and globally via Skype to Bangkok, Buenos Aires and Melbourne. Following the screening, Dansky will take part in a Q&A and will discuss the film and his ongoing project, OUTSpoken: Oral History From LGBTQ Pioneers. For more information, visit the OUTSpoken website.

History Talk | She Made My Daughter Do It: Lesbian Inheritance & Family Conflict

Wednesday, November 8th 2017
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
The GLBT History Museum
4127 18th St., San Francisco
Admission: $5.00. Free for members.

A visitor views the “Faces From the Past” exhibit at the GLBT History Museum. Photo: Gerard Koskovich.
Harriet Speckart risked her inheritance over her love for Marie Equi. Photo courtesy of Oregon Historical Society.

Marie Equi and Harriet Speckart and Gail Laughlin and Mary A. Sperry were well-known West Coast couples in the early 20th century. When inheritances came into play, the mothers of two of the women launched widely publicized court battles to block the bequests, asserting that “unnatural” and “manipulative” lesbians could make no legitimate claim to family assets. Independent scholar Paula Lichtenberg will discuss Laughlin and Sperry, and  Equi biographer Michael Helquist will recount the story of Equi and Speckart. The speakers also will look at how the couples presented their relationships publicly at a time when discretion was required and will sketch the women’s activist lives, especially Laughlin’s career as a suffragist, attorney and state legislator and Equi’s advocacy for reproductive rights, suffrage, workers and the anti-war movement. The talks are presented in conjunction with “Faces From the Past,” a new exhibit in the Main Gallery of the GLBT History Museum that looks at LGBTQ lives in Northern California before 1930; Lichtenberg is co-curator of the display.

Film Premiere | Before Homosexuals: From Ancient Times to Victorian Crimes

Saturday, November 11th 2017
4:00 – 5:30 p.m.
Roxie Theater
3117 16th St., San Francisco
Admission: $15.00 • $12.50 for members

Book artist Susan Bonthron shows Before Homosexuals director John Scagliotti her work inspired by a Chinese lesbian love poem. Photo courtesy of After Stonewall Productions.
From the documentary Before Homosexuals: From Ancient Times to Victorian Crimes. Photo courtesy of John Scagliotti.

Pride of the Ocean and the Center for Independent Documentary present a special San Francisco premiere of John Scagliotti’s new feature-length documentary Before Homosexuals: From Ancient Times to Victorian Crimes. The film takes viewers on a tour of same-sex desire from antiquity to the 19th century via interviews with researchers and artists who have recovered the stories of this erotic history. Emmy Award-winning director Scagliotti has produced numerous films, radio programs and television shows, including the pioneering LGBTQ magazine series on PBS, “In the Life.” The screening is a benefit for the GLBT Historical Society and is sponsored by Pride of the Ocean‘s Saving History Film Festival Cruise. After the film-showing, the director will take part in a Q&A and discussion with the audience. To purchase tickets, visit the Roxie Theater website.

From the Executive Director | The Legacy Circle: A Key to Our Future


by Terry Beswick

This month, I’d like to take a moment to talk with you about planned giving — one of the most important ways individuals can support the GLBT Historical Society. But first, a brief summary of why it matters.

At our annual gala last year, we announced Vision 2020, our campaign to establish a new home for the GLBT History Museum by 2020, when the lease expires on our current small museum in the Castro. The proposal won widespread support, and we’ve made steady progress in laying the groundwork needed to move forward.

Our long-term goal is to create a full-scale queer public history center dedicated to preserving and showcasing LGBTQ history and culture. The facility would bring together our museum and archives along with operational spaces needed to support research into our past. We hope to partner with a developer and with the City of San Francisco to establish this facility. We’re working right now to take necessary steps to develop such partnerships.

Giving an Enduring Gift

When everything else falls into place and we open the doors to the new museum, we’ll still need to cover the costs of running such an institution on a day-to-day basis. Which brings me to the point of this month’s column: planned giving.

Of the 230 people who responded to our recent member survey, 21 said they have included the GLBT Historical Society in their wills or estate plans, and 20 more said they’d like to. We are deeply grateful to all of these forward-thinking folks. We’re certain many more would like to know their legacy will live on through the work of the society: collecting, preserving and sharing the stories of LGBTQ people so our past will be recognized today and in the future.

So we can honor everyone who designates the Historical Society as a beneficiary in their estate plans, we’ve launched our new Legacy Circle. If you prefer, we’ll hold your name in confidence — or if you wish, we’ll list you publicly, since that’s a great way to encourage others to follow your example. Your legacy gift, however large or small, will help the Historical Society thrive and put in place the resources needed to create our New Museum of LGBTQ History and Culture.

We look forward to welcoming many of you to the Legacy Circle. For full details plus a brief form you can use to let us know you’ve made the GLBT Historical Society a beneficiary of your estate, visit our new Legacy Circle page.

Terry Beswick is executive director of the GLBT Historical Society.


True Colors: Welcoming the Archives of Rainbow Flag Creator Gilbert Baker

by Mark Sawchuk

A legend in the LGBTQ community, Gilbert Baker (1951-2017) was an American artist and activist famed for creating the rainbow flag, which debuted at the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade in 1978. Now an internationally recognized symbol of the queer community, the flag also is an icon of contemporary design, with examples held by New York City’s Museum of Modern Art and other major collections. During his lifetime, Baker traveled widely to promote the flag and to work for social justice. Shortly after Baker’s death in March of this year, his estate selected the GLBT Historical Society to preserve his archives, art and memorabilia. As the society prepares to posthumously honor Baker with its annual History Maker award at the Living Colors gala on October 14, History Happenssat down with the society’s managing archivist, Joanna Black, to learn more about this exceptional addition to the archives.

How did the GLBT Historical Society come to acquire the Gilbert Baker collection?

A couple of Baker’s close friends contacted the society and inquired whether we would be interested in a donation. Of course we jumped at the chance, as this is a highly sought-after collection. When I met them at Baker’s apartment in New York, it was an emotional experience for all of us to go through his belongings. I felt so honored to be there and really felt his presence throughout the process.

What specific items does the collection contain and what do they tell us about a man who was a monumental figure in modern LGBTQ history?

Baker’s rainbow flag has become universalized as a symbol of tolerance, unity and love. The collection contains plenty of flag-related materials, including documentation about two of the longest rainbow flags ever sewn, rainbow textiles and fabric scraps, all of which show his dedication to his craft as a vexillographer (someone who designs flags). My favorite item is the last sewing machine he owned, which is a companion piece to the one we already have that was used to sew the two original flags in 1978.

What’s also wonderful about this collection is that there’s lots of material about other aspects of Gilbert Baker’s life. We have private writings, correspondence with close friends, fabric protest signs, photographs, AV materials, awards and his drag outfits. He was involved in many political campaigns and was a genius at stirring people up to create positive change. Perusing this collection gives you a much more well-rounded sense of who he was. You see his colorful, theatrical side and his engagement as an artist and an activist. It proves that his commitment to social justice transcended the flag, even if that will always remain his best-known work.

How is the society handling the collection, and when will it be available to researchers?

It’s difficult to give a precise date because this was a logistically challenging acquisition. Accessioning new collections happens in several steps. We’re nearing the end of the first phase, which is surveying it and making sure the fabric items are properly conserved. The next step, the processing phase, will take several months and involves creating a detailed inventory that provides context for the materials and a guide for researchers. This collection is complex and involves a lot of stakeholders, including Gilbert Baker’s heirs. We’re hoping to make some of the collection available to researchers in the second half of 2018.

Mark Sawchuk is a member of the Communications Working Group of the GLBT Historical Society.

In the Archives | Digitizing Volunteer Uncovers the Queer Past

Photo courtesy of Alexander Gray.

by Alexander Gray

For a few months now I have been volunteering on the GLBT Historical Society’s project to digitize the pre-internet run of theBay Area Reporter (1971-2005). The initiative is sponsored by the Bob Ross Foundation, created by the late publisher of the weekly LGBT newspaper. On any given day, I go through issues of the BAR, scanning each page for posting on a website that will be open to all free of charge.

The task may sound tedious, but I find it fascinating: I’ve always felt more in touch with the distant country of another decade or year when I find it reflected in old periodicals. Paging through newspapers and magazines from the past, you see your own time more clearly: the absurdity of outdated ads or hairstyles that hint our own trendy times will soon look quaint, the foreboding of headlines that only in hindsight reveal good news or bad news was on the way.

Take for example an ad for Steamworks that I spotted in a Bay Area Reporter from the mid-2000s. A man is doubled over as if crying, his figure half lost in the shadows. The copy reads, “He could have gone to Steamworks,” implying that the man is sad because he didn’t get laid. Below the bathhouse logo is information about STI and HIV testing.

Suddenly, this ad, an act of humor on the part a gay bathhouse, is a portal to the gay world after the emergence of AIDS in 1981. Suggesting the horny, the funny and the sad all at once, this small piece of newsprint helps us recognize the complexity and importance of our queer past. When we’re done posting thousands of pages of the Bay Area Reporter, discoveries of this sort will be available to web users from around the world.

Alexander Gray is an archives volunteer at the GLBT Historical Society.

Exhibition Features New Work Inspired by Groundbreaking Queer Journal OUT/LOOK

Front cover of OUT/LOOK, No. 1 (Spring 1988). Courtesy of GLBT Historical Society.

San FranciscoA new multimedia exhibition opening October 6 at the GLBT History Museum explores the story of OUT/LOOK, a groundbreaking national queer quarterly published in San Francisco from 1988 to 1992. Embracing gender and racial diversity and bridging academic and community perspectives, the magazine developed an avid readership. The show and its associated programs, publication and website are designed to spark intergenerational conversations about the legacy of OUT/LOOK and its era.

Curated by E.G. Crichton, “OUT/LOOK and the Birth of the Queer” features new work by 38 culture-makers, each asked to find inspiration in one of the 17 issues of the magazine. This diverse group includes writers, visual artists, performers, curators, activists and representatives of two organizations, all belonging to the two generations of queers who have grown up since the five-year lifespan of the magazine.

“The last issue of OUT/LOOK was published 25 years ago, yet people still tell me they miss it,” Crichton says. “Members of younger generations I speak to — including the participants in this project — express surprise that we were already wrangling back thenwith intersectional identities, marriage equality, the politics of respectability, who decides our tactics for resistance and other contemporary concerns.”

“Walking through the gallery, listening to the audio tour, visitors will be introduced to OUT/LOOK through historical materials and through artists’ and writers’ provocative new responses to the original magazine,” Crichton adds. “They’ll get a taste of innovative queer thinking and the sharp debates in and about the LGBTQ community at a pivotal time in the late 1980s and early 1990s. And they’ll discover lots of links to issues that are very much alive today.”

“OUT/LOOK and the Birth of the Queer” opens on October 6, 2017, with a public reception from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the GLBT History Museum, 4127 18th St., San Francisco. The event will include remarks by the curator. Many of the exhibition contributors will attend, as will founders and editors of OUT/LOOK. Light refreshments will be served. The exhibition runs through DATE.

Curator EG Crichton.


The “OUT/LOOK and the Birth of the Queer” project includes publication of a new issue of the magazine that brings together artwork, essays, poems, a play and editorials. The publication will be available at the GLBT History Museum for $20. Also developed in conjunction with the exhibition is a content-rich website offering historical information about OUT/LOOK, responses and recollections from creators and readers of the journal, and a portfolio of each participant’s contribution to the project. Visit the website at
A series of public programs is planned in conjunction with “OUT/LOOK and the Birth of the Queer.” The first program, “Q-Public: Out/Look for the 21st Century,” is set for Thursday, October 12, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at the GLBT History Museum.


E.G. Crichton was a founder of OUT/LOOK, where she served as art director from 1988 to 1990. An interdisciplinary artist and curator, she uses a range of media and social strategies to explore specific histories, often working in collaboration with diverse practitioners and communities. Her projects have been exhibited in art institutions and as public installations across the United States and in Asia, Australia and Europe. She retired in 2016 as professor of art at the University of California, Santa Cruz. For more information, visit her website at     
“OUT/LOOK and the Birth of the Queer” is made possible in part by a grant from the Creative Work Fund, a program of the Walter and Elise Haas Fund that also is supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. For more information about the fund, visit

Conversations with Gay Elders

Thursday, October 5
6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Koret Auditorium
San Francisco Main Library
100 Larkin St., San Francisco 94102
Admission: FREE

Editor Alex Bohs, interview subject Robert Dockendorff and director David Weissman.

Filmmaker David Weissman shares a segment of his Conversations With Gay Elders, a series of in-depth interviews focused on gay men whose journeys of self-discovery precede the era of Stonewall and gay liberation. Sponsored by the San Francisco Public Library; cosponsored by the GLBT Historical Society.

Exhibition Opening: OUT/LOOK and the Birth of the Queer

Friday, October 6  
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
The GLBT History Museum
4127 18th St., San Francisco 
$5.00 | Free for members

Front cover of OUT/LOOK, No. 11 (Winter 1991). Courtesy GLBT Historical Society.
A new multimedia exhibition focusing on OUT/LOOK, a national queer quarterly based in San Francisco that ran from 1988 to 1992. Embracing gender and racial diversity and bridging academic and community perspectives, the magazine had a passionate following and sparked vigorous debates. It addressed political and cultural topics, emphasizing graphic arts along with scholarly and literary writing.

Curated by E.G. Crichton, the exhibition features new work by an array of culture-makers, each of them asked to draw on one issue of OUT/LOOK for inspiration. By documenting the history and sparking fresh creative investigation, the exhibition will bring the legacy of the magazine to a new generation.
The opening will include remarks by the curator. In addition, many of the exhibition contributors will attend, as will founders and editors of OUT/LOOK. A new issue of OUT/LOOK published in association with the exhibition will be available for purchase. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, visit the exhibition website.

Q-Public: OUT/LOOK for the 21st Century

Thursday, October 12
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
The GLBT History Museum
4127 18th St., San Francisco
Admission: $5.00 | Free for members

Front cover of OUT/LOOK, No. 14 (Fall 1991). Courtesy GLBT Historical Society.

In conjunction with the exhibition “OUT/LOOK and the Birth of the Queer,” a roundtable of writers, editors, artists and community organizers will discuss the story of OUT/LOOK (published 1988–1992) and the significance of the new exhibition devoted to the magazine at the GLBT History Museum.

Participants are author Jeffrey Escoffier, cofounder and publisher of OUT/LOOK; writer and performer Brian Freeman; artist Maya Manvi, an editor of the new issue of OUT/LOOK published to accompany the exhibition; and writer and curator Dorothy Santos. E.G. Crichton, a founder and art director of OUT/LOOK, will serve as moderator.

The panelists will survey the history of the magazine, present the works created for the exhibition and discuss cultural initiatives sparked by the project. A 10-minute performance by Brian Freeman based on a short play written by project participant Casey Llewellyn will round out the program.

Book Launch | Butch Lesbians of the 20s, 30s and 40s Coloring Book

Thursday, October 19 
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
The GLBT History Museum
4127 18th St., San Francisco
Admission: $5.00 | Free for members

Front Cover of Butch Lesbians of the 20s, 30s and 40s Coloring Book (Stacked Deck Press, 2017). Edited by Jon Macy and Avery Cassell.
Bringing together amazing queer history and forceful contemporary graphics, Butch Lesbians of the 20s, 30s and 40s Coloring Book is a new release from Stacked Deck Press. Pathologized as inverts, criminalized as cross dressers and denigrated as perverts, these handsome butches insistently blazed their own paths as poets, pilots, speed boat racers, and resistance heroes.


They were proudly butch as women, sometimes passed as men, and all the while endured the wariness or outright scorn of society. Brought back to public memory by a group of talented artists, the butches portrayed in this collection are now ready for celebration-and custom coloring schemes. At the museum event, contributors will discuss the book and the heroes it portrays.



The following contributors to the Butch Lesbians coloring book will take part in the museum event:

Avery Cassell is a San Francisco writer, poet, cartoonist and artist. Their recent work includes editing, drawing and writing for the Butch Lesbians of the 20s, 30s, and 40s Coloring Book and writing Behrouz Gets Lucky, a kinky erotic romance novel about an older genderqueer-butch couple. For the coloring book, Cassell drew Frieda Belinfante, Jackie Bross, anonymous butches in top hats, Annemarie Schwarzenbach, Janet Flanner, Olga Tsuberiller, and Lulu at Le Monocle.

Dorian Katz draws no line between the innocent and truly perverse in her work. Active in communities that inform and encourage her creative pursuits, Katz cofounded the dyke erotica collective Dirty Ink. She curates and shows work at the National Queer Arts Festival; the Center for Sex and Culture; the Exiles (a women’s SM organization); and SFinX. She has had solo exhibitions at Climate Project Space, Glama-Rama and the Jon Sims Center. Katz drew Gluck for the coloring book.

Maia Kobabe is the author and illustrator of The Thief’s Tale, a medieval fantasy webcomic, and Tom O’Bedlam, an Ignatz-nominated short comic that was accepted into the Society of Illustrator’s Comic and Cartoon Art annual. Kobabe’s other comics including the Genderqueer series can be found on Tumblr and Instagram. Kobabe drew Louise and Gladys Bentley for the coloring book.

Ajuan Mance creates comics, drawings, and zines about black life in America. A professor of African American literature at Mills College, Mance draws inspiration from the writers she encounters in her teaching and research. Her most recent work is 1001 Black Men, a series of drawing inspired by Oakland and memories of her family. Ajuan drew Ruth Ellis and Gertrude Stein for the coloring book.

Community Forum | Fighting Back: Art as Resistance | 30th Anniversary of the AIDS Quilt

Tuesday, October 24
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
The GLBT History Museum
4127 18th St., San Francisco
Admission: Free | $5.00 donation welcome

The latest in the GLBT Historical Society’s monthly “Fighting Back” series exploring contemporary queer-community issues in a historical context, “Art as Resistance: 30th Anniversary of the AIDS Quilt” will offer a multigenerational conversation with organizers, artists and scholars on the role of art in promoting social justice. The participants will lead a community discussion on the history of radical and public art in the LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS movements and its legacy for today, with a special focus on the 30th anniversary of the first public display of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. Taking part in the panel:

E.G. Crichton, a founder and art director of OUT/LOOK magazine from 1987-1990, created the recently launched project “OUT/LOOK and the Birth of the Queer,” which includes an exhibition currently on display at the GLBT History Museum, a website, a new magazine and an event series. As an artist, Crichton uses a range of media and social strategies to explore specific histories, often working in collaboration with diverse practitioners and communities.  Her projects have been exhibited in Asia, Australia, Europe and across the US.  She is an emeritus professor of art at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Visit her website here.

Cleve Jones is a human rights activist, author and lecturer. He joined the gay liberation movement in the early 1970s and was mentored by pioneering LGBTQ activist Harvey Milk. Jones cofounded the San Francisco AIDS Foundation in 1983 and founded the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt in 1987. He led the 2009 National March for Equality in Washington, D.C., and served on the advisory board of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, which challenged California’s Proposition 8 in the U.S. Supreme Court. Jones is the author of two books, Stitching a Revolution (2001) and When We Rise (2016). He lives in San Francisco and works as an organizer for the hospitality workers’ union, UNITE HERE. Visit his website here.

Leo Herrera is a Mexican visual artist, filmmaker, writer and activist. His work focuses on aspects of gay culture, including PrEP, HIV stigma and criminalization and the preservation of gay history. His viral film clips have gathered over a million views, and his advocacy work has been featured in national publications and museum exhibitions. Herrera has collaborated with a wide variety of organizations, activists, artists and events that further the gay movement. His current passion is the Fathers Project, a short film that imagines a world where AIDS never happened and the heroes lost to epidemic are still alive.

Juliana Delgado Lopera is an award-winning Colombian writer and oral historian based in San Francisco. The recipient of the 2014 Jackson Literary award and a finalist for the Clark-Gross Novel award, she’s the author of ¡Cuéntamelo! (new edition forthcoming), an illustrated bilingual collection of oral histories by LGBTQ Latinx immigrants, and Quiéreme (Nomadic Press 2017). She has received fellowships from Brush Creek Foundation of the Arts, Lambda Literary Foundation, the San Francisco Grotto and the the San Francisco Arts Commission. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She serves as executive director of RADAR Productions.

Sean Dorsey is a trans and queer choreographer, dancer, writer and activist. Dorsey is recognized as the first acclaimed transgender contemporary choreographer in the United States. Over the last eight years, Dorsey created and toured a trilogy of dance-theater works exploring censored, buried or forgotten parts of trans and queer history: The Missing Generation (2015), The Secret History of Love (2013) and Uncovered: The Diary Project (2010). Dorsey created these works through archival research, community residencies and oral history interviews. Dorsey also worked with the GLBT Historical Society’s archives for each of these projects. This year, Dorsey is creating a new work, Boys in Trouble, and launching a new national advocacy, teaching and training project, Transform Dance. Visit his website here.

Brontez Purnell has published zines including Schlepp and Fag School, as well as books including The Cruising Diaries (2014), Johnny Would You Love Me If… (2017) and Since I Laid My Burden Down (2017). He also has played in a such bands as Panty Raid, Gravy Train!!! and currently Younger Lovers. His column at Maximum Rock ‘n’ Roll was called “She’s Over It.” In addition to running his own experimental dance company, he also makes films. Follow him on Instagram.