1964: The Year San Francisco Came Out

May 2014 – May 2015

Curated by Paul Gabriel


Fifty years ago, an infamous LIFE magazine article catapulted San Francisco into national consciousness as the “gay capital” of America. Titled “Homosexuality In America,” the article represented tensions between the larger culture’s notions of queerness and what was emerging into open view in San Francisco. “1964: The Year San Francisco Came Out,” celebrated the pivotal moment when queer people began to define themselves on their own terms. It explored the powerful convergence of events and people—both local and national, queer and straight—that turned what could have been a shameful outing into an irrevocable, determined stepping out of the closet.