Lavender-Tinted Glasses: A Groovy Gay Look at the Summer of Love

April – September 2017

Curated by Joey Cain


In the spring and summer of 2017, many San Francisco cultural organizations sponsored special events to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Summer of Love. The GLBT History Museum took part by mounting a new exhibition, “Lavender-Tinted Glasses: A Groovy, Gay Look at the Summer of Love.”

“In San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury district, young people were seeking a way out of what they saw as the soul-destroying alienation of materialism,” curator Joey Cain says. “They created new art, philosophies, politics, forms of self-expansion, music and relationships. The city already had a dynamic LGBTQ community, and many members saw the developments of the Summer of Love as opening the way to greater liberation.”

“Lavender-Tinted Glasses” tells this story by highlighting the roles of four queers in the making of the Summer of Love: gay poet Allen Ginsberg, gay filmmaker Kenneth Anger, bisexual philosopher Gavin Arthur and bisexual rock star Janis Joplin. All of them brought their perspectives as artists, visionaries and sexual outsiders to the uprising; all made a lasting impact on American culture. In addition, the exhibition documents the ways San Francisco’s homophile community responded.


About the Curator

Joey Cain is a San Francisco-based community activist, researcher and historian. He has curated numerous exhibitions for the San Francisco Public Library including “My Days and Dreams: The Worlds of Edward Carpenter, Gay Freedom Pioneer,” “In Paths Untrodden: Walt Whitman and the Radical Faeries”, “Hymns to Hermes: The Poetics of James Broughton” and “Radically Gay: The Life of Harry Hay.”

Cain served for eight years on the board of directors of the San Francisco LGBT Pride Parade and Celebration Committee, including four years as president. He cochaired the community committee responsible for commissioning a bronze bust of Harvey Milk for San Francisco City Hall. His writing has appeared in RFD Magazine, the Walt Whitman Quarterly Review and most recently in the collection The Fire In Moonlight: Stories From the Radical Faeries (White Crane Books, 2011).

Banner photo: Lisa Law, Allen Ginsberg dancing to the Grateful Dead at the Human Be-In, Golden Gate Park (1967), copyright © Lisa Law.