From November Events

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.