the glbt historical society museum
The GLBT Historical Society Museum, located in the heart of San Francisco’s Castro District, is the first stand-alone museum of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender history and culture in the United States. At 1,600 square feet (150 square meters), the museum, while small, packs a powerful punch, celebrating the city’s vast queer past through dynamic and surprising exhibitions and programming.
Open since January 2011, the museum showcases the sheer depth and breadth of the GLBT Historical Society’s archives, demonstrates the importance of queer history to the public, and mounts wide-ranging exhibitions with an emphasis on diversity and social justice. The museum contains three gallery spaces for exhibitions.
Our powerful Main Gallery exhibition, “Queer Past Becomes Present,” documents the queer presence in the Bay Area from as far back as the Spanish explorers and missionaries to the present and features rich multimedia drawn from our archival collections. Our two other galleries, the Front Gallery and the Community Gallery, are dedicated to rotating exhibitions on a range of themes.
Monday - Saturday: 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Sunday: 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m.
On Thursday, September 5, the museum will feature extended hours, from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
General admission: $5
Students/Military (with ID): $3
Members: Free admission for yourself and a guest
Admission is free for all visitors on the first Wednesday of every month, thanks to a grant from the Bob Ross Foundation.
Docent-led tours are available by appointment for groups of 10 or more. To book a tour, contact our Museum Operations Manager, Leigh Pfeffer. Tours must be scheduled at least four weeks in advance and are subject to docent availability.
Books. Mugs. Pins. Shirts. Postcards. And more! A piece of queer-related history is always a perfect gift for yourself or your loved ones. We also have an online shop offering our fabulous queer history-themed products.
Location & Directions
GLBT Historical Society Museum
4127 18th Street
San Francisco, CA 94114
The museum is located a half-block west of the intersection of Castro and 18th Streets in San Francisco’s Castro District.
By Muni: Via the Muni Metro, take Lines K, L, M or S to Castro Station, then walk one block south to 18th Street. Via other Muni lines, streetcar line F and buses 24, 33 and 35 all stop within a block of the museum.
By car: Metered street and lot parking is available, but may be difficult.
Photos: Dave Earl, Exterior of the GLBT Historical Society Museum (live video wall overlay by John Raines); Dave Earl, Entrance to the Main Gallery of the GLBT Historical Society Museum; Dave Earl, the GLBT Historical Society Museum shop; Marie Ueda, Protect gay rights: register to vote, ca. 1978, Marie Ueda photographs (2006-12), GLBT Historical Society