the glbt historical society museum

The GLBT Historical Society Museum, located in the heart of San Francisco’s Castro District, is the first full-scale, 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.

Visitor Information


Monday - Saturday: 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Sunday: 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m.

Limited hours on Monday, December 24: 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Closed December 25, December 31, January 1, and January 22.


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.

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Group Tours

Docent-led tours are available by appointment for groups of 10 or more. To book a tour, contact our Program Manager, Nalini Elias. Tours must be scheduled at least four weeks in advance and are subject to docent availability.

 Photo: Dave Earl

Museum Shop

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.

 Photo: Marie Ueda, GLBT Historical Society

Get Involved

We maintain our museum with generous help from foundations, business sponsors, individual donors and volunteers. You can support the museum by arranging a sponsorship, contributing to our Annual Fund, signing on as a volunteer — or all three!


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 or M 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; 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