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Passionate Struggle
Dynamics of San Francisco's GLBT History

Exhibition at the GLBT Historical Society
Pop-Up Museum in the Castro District

(November 2008 – October 2009)

Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender history matters — in all its diversity. Passionate Struggle traces elements of our communities’ affinities and differences. It takes you from the bedrooms and back rooms to the bookstores and bars, from Harvey Milk’s victories to transgender sex workers’ riots, from social movements to secret fantasies.

This exhibition explores the dynamic tensions between passion and struggle that have forged San Francisco’s very queer past century. Through four lenses — Places, Politics, Pleasures and People — the show invites you to take a peek into the world-renowned archives of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society. For nearly a quarter century, our institution has been zealously collecting and lovingly preserving queer historical materials from the memorable to the seemingly mundane.

Every case in Passionate Struggle mixes the iconic and the unexpected. Some aspects will delight you, touch you, even provoke you. Take it in however you want. We all make our own stories from the scattered artifacts, documents and memories of our lives. And we all are making history together.

People Politics

Places Pleasures
For behind-the-scenes photos of the exhibition, click here. For media reports on the pop-up museum, click here.
HARVEY MILK AUDIO TOUR: As part of our Passionate Struggle exhibition, the GLBT Historical Society prepared a free audio walking tour about the rise of gay power in San Francisco. Download the audio file and map here, and listen on your portable audio player as you walk the route from the Castro to City Hall.