The Future of Leather: Where We Came From, Where We’re Going

The Future of Leather: Where We Came From, Where We’re Going 
Friday, July 28
7:00 – 10:00 p.m.
The GLBT History Museum
4127 18th St., San Francisco
Admission: Free; $5.00 Donation Welcome

Bikers in leather in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood (circa 1985). Photo: Robert Pruzan; collection of the GLBT Historical Society.

San Francisco has long been known for its groundbreaking LGBTQ leather and BDSM community. In conjunction with the new “South of Market: San Francisco’s Leather Scene” display in the “Queer Past Becomes Present” exhibition at the GLBT History Museum’s Main Gallery, curator Greg Pennington will facilitate a discussion about the leather scene from the 1960s to the present and beyond. Prominent leather community members, authors, and scholars will take part, including Gayle Rubin, Jordy Tackitt-Jones, Rajat Dutta and Race Bannon. A social hour with light refreshments will follow.

Faces of the Past: Queer Lives in Northern California Before 1930

Faces of the Past: Queer Lives in Northern California Before 1930
Friday, July 14
6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
The GLBT History Museum
4127 18th St., San Francisco
Admission: Free; $5.00 Donation Welcome

Homer Baker, age 19; convicted of sodomy and sentenced to six years at San Quentin. Original file identification card, San Francisco Police Department (1908). Courtesy Bill Lipsky.
Faces of the Past” is a new display in the “Queer Past Becomes Present” exhibition at the GLBT History Museum’s Main Gallery. Using tintypes, postcards, newspaper articles, paintings, mug shots, arrest records and other historic documents, curators Paula Lichtenberg and Bill Lipsky examine over 150 years of queer presence in Northern California.
In the first of a series of programs in conjunction with the display, this panel will feature the curators, along with two historians. Independent scholar Will Roscoe will discuss Queen Califia, the semi-mythical figure after whom California is named, and the two-spirits of the Bay Area. San Francisco State University Professor Clare Sears will speak on laws that criminalized cross-dressing and same-sex sexuality in 19th-century San Francisco.

A reception with the curators starts at 6 p.m., followed by the panel at 7 p.m

Inside Hollywood’s Bisexual Closet: Marilyn Monroe and More

Inside Hollywood’s Bisexual Closet: Marilyn Monroe and More  
Thursday, July 20

7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
The GLBT History Museum
4127 18th St., San Francisco
Admission: Free; $5.00 Donation Welcome


Front cover of Boze Hadleigh’s Marilyn Forever: Musings on an American Icon by Stars of Yesterday and Today (Taylor Trade Publishing, 2016)

A look at bisexuality behind the scenes in old Hollywood with Boze Hadleigh, the author of two books published last year that address the question: Hollywood Lesbians: From Garbo to Foster and Marilyn Forever: Musings on an American Icon by the Stars of Yesterday and Today. Rock Hudson once told Hadleigh, “I don’t believe in bisexuals,” yet Hadleigh thinks bisexual activity may have been prevalent in the studio system which showcased the beauty of both genders.

For a shot at stardom, he notes, many comely heterosexual men took a turn on the gay casting couch, while ambitious lipstick lesbians tolerated the straight version. Sometimes a basically gay star such as Cary Grant acted bi for career’s sake — and a sex symbol could question her sexuality while maintaining a straight image, as did Monroe.

Hadleigh will discuss these tales and more in his talk at the GLBT History Museum.

We Were Rebels: Jae Whitaker Remembers Janis Joplin

We Were Rebels: Jae Whitaker Remembers Janis Joplin
Thursday, July 6

7:00 – 10:00 p.m.
The GLBT History Museum
4127 18th St., San Francisco
Admission: Free; $5.00 Donation Welcome


Jae Whitaker at the opening of the “Lavender-Tinted Glasses” exhibition at the GLBT History Museum. Behind her at left: Portraits of Janis Joplin and Whitaker in the early 1960s. Photo: Gerard Koskovich

A conversation with Jae Whitaker, an African American lesbian musician who moved to San Francisco in the early 1960s to participate in the Beat scene that was centered in the city’s North Beach neighborhood. In 1963 she met the young Janis Joplin; the two became lovers and lived together.

Joey Cain, curator of our current exhibition “Lavender-Tinted Glasses: A Groovy Gay Look at the Summer of Love,” will interview Whitaker about her early life, the Beat scene, her meeting and relationship with Joplin, her experiences during the Summer of Love, and her life in San Francisco in the subsequent five decades.

 

Fighting Back: The Making of a Queer Museum

Fighting Back: The Making of a Queer Museum
Friday, July 25
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
The GLBT History Museum
4127 18th St., San Francisco
Admission: Free; $5.00 Donation Welcome

View through the front windows of the GLBT History Museum in San Francisco on the evening it opened for previews (December 10, 2010). Photo: Gerard Koskovich
The latest in the GLBT Historical Society’s monthly “Fighting Back” series exploring contemporary issues in a historical context, “The Making of a Queer Museum” will offer a multigenerational conversation about the role of museums in preserving and presenting the history and culture of marginalized communities.

A panel of cultural activists, independent scholars and museum professionals will describe their involvement in establishing population-specific public history institutions in San Francisco and elsewhere.

The panelists’ remarks plus observations and comments from all who attend will contribute to San Francisco’s Citywide LGBTQ Cultural Heritage Strategy. For more information on the city initiative, visit the San Francisco Planning Department website.