Thursday, September 8 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Tenderloin Museum | 398 Eddy Street | San Francisco
In 2011, Megan Rohrer and historian Joey Plaster created a remarkable work of public history: Vanguard Revisited, which introduced the history of the 1960s radical queer-youth organization Vanguard to contemporary queer homeless youth, who created their own art and poetry zine in conversation with essays and themes from the original Vanguard newsletter. Now, a second issue of the Vanguard Revisited zine will be released with new materials by the original authors and editors.
At the concluding program of the 50th Anniversary Compton’s Commemoration series, Rohrer will describe the initial process leading up to Vanguard Revisited and will discuss its legacy. Rohrer is the pastor of Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church in San Francisco and is a nationally recognized leader on issues of homelessness, gender, sexuality and faith. Admission: $5.
Thursday, August 18 from 7 to 9 p.m. Roxie Theater | 3117 16th Street, San Francisco Tickets $12
The Tenderloin Museum and the GLBT History Museum cosponsor a special 10th-anniversary showing of the Emmy Award-winning 2006 documentary Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton’s Cafeteria, followed by a Q&A with directors Susan Stryker and Victor Silverman. The film uncovered and popularized the then-forgotten 1966 riot at Compton’s.
Susan Stryker is associate professor of gender and women’s studies and former director of the Institute for LGBT Studies at the University of Arizona. A leader in the field of transgender studies, she is the author of many articles and several books on transgender and queer topics, most recently Transgender History (Seal Press 2008). She won a Lambda Literary Award for the anthology The Transgender Studies Reader (Routledge 2006).
Victor Silverman is an award-winning filmmaker, historian and author. His current film, Getting High, is a provocative, feature-length documentary about his family’s collision with drugs and alcohol set against a backdrop of American society’s bitter conflicts around the “war on drugs.” Silverman’s latest book, coauthored with poet Laurie Glover, is California: On the Road Histories (Interlink, 2012).
Don’t miss this launch party for Compton’s 50th Anniversary, featuring works by ceramic artist Nicki Green and interdisciplinary artist Chris Vargas commissioned by the GLBT Historical Society. Green is producing a limited-edition signature coffee mug referencing both Compton’s Cafeteria and the riot itself, while Vargas is hand-screening a numbered set of commemorative t-shirts from his own design. In conversation, the artists will discuss their creative processes and the relationship between trans history and art. Both works will be available for a limited time exclusively at the GLBT History Museum and the Tenderloin Museum.
Green is a trans-disciplinary artist whose work focuses on craft processes that document history and create legacy for marginalized communities. She has exhibited her work nationally, notably at the Leslie-Lohman Museum in New York City and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. Vargas is an artist whose work deploys humor and performance in conjunction with mainstream idioms to explore the complex ways that queer and trans people negotiate spaces for themselves within historical and institutional memory and popular culture. Vargas also serves as executive director of MOTHA: The Museum of Transgender Hirstory and Art. Admission: $5; free for members.
Felicia Elizondo, a self-described “Mexican spitfire, screaming queen, pioneer, legend, icon, diva, 29-year survivor of AIDS and Vietnam veteran” was one of the transgender participants in the 1966 Compton’s Cafeteria Riot. In 2015, she was named Lifetime Achievement Grand Marshal of the San Francisco Pride Parade. In this special multimedia presentation, she explores San Francisco’s Tenderloin District in the 1960s to explain how the Compton’s Cafeteria Riot was a defining moment in the struggle by a diverse gay and trans community to claim public lives and become who they were meant to be, paving the way for future generations. Admission: $5; free for members.
Thursday, July 28 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Tenderloin Museum 398 Eddy Street, San Francisco
For the first program of the Compton’s 50th Anniversary Series, Cruzin d’Loo (the drag alter-ego of performer Kevin Wisney) gives an hour-long walking tour of the LGBTQ history of the Tenderloin centering on the 1966 Compton’s Cafeteria Riot that took place at the now-famous intersection of Turk and Taylor Streets. The tour returns to the museum at 7:00 p.m. for a kickoff reception. Trans historian and award-winning documentary filmmaker Susan Stryker and original “screaming queen” Felicia Elizondo will speak briefly to mark the occasion. Admission: $5.
Three years before the more famous 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City, San Francisco’s Tenderloin district erupted with one of the first-known moments of collective queer resistance to persecution by law enforcement. The exact date is lost to history, but on an August night in 1966, drag queens, trans sex workers, hair fairies and gay street hustlers rose up against police harassment in what has come to be known at the Compton’s Cafeteria Riot.
The GLBT History Museum and the Tenderloin Museum in San Francisco are teaming up in July through September to host a series of programs to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the riot. The programs are made possible by additional support from the Roxie Theater and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence Easter Grant. The full series is open to the public. Events will take place at these San Francisco venues:
The GLBT History Museum. 4127 18th Street in the Castro district. The Tenderloin Museum. 398 Eddy Street in the Tenderloin district. The Roxie Theater. 3117 16th Street in the Mission district.
For detailed information on each program, watch our website and like our Facebook page.