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By Michael lanagan | May 7, 2017

In a few short years North Beach was ground zero for a host of talented musicians, comics and poets not associated with the Beats. The Purple Onion was central to that world.

By Michael Flanagan | April 2, 2017

There are rare bars that are popular in one generation and come back a second time. Even rarer is one which has three lives. The 181 Club was such a bar. It lasted from the 1950s to the 1990s and left its mark on three generations.


By Michael Flanagan | February 26, 2017

Male prostitution is probably as old as the city itself. Edward Prime-Stevenson wrote in 1908 that soldiers in the Presidio were for rent during the Spanish-American War. It is certainly as old as the homophile organizations.

By Michael Flanagan | December 25, 2016

Rock and roll was tied up in my concept of what San Francisco was even before I moved here, but when I first visited in 1978, punk and New Wave were the dominant forces.


By Michael Flanagan | June 12, 2016

Bars have played a huge role in the rich tapestry of gay history. Here's an overview of oral (ahem!) accounts of the Haight's bar scene over half a century.

By Michael Flanagan | April 28, 2016

Art Lick had an oversized impact in the three years it existed (from 1989 to 1992). Perhaps that was because art seemed so vital in the midst of the AIDS epidemic.


By Michael Flanagan | March 27, 2016

Richard "Sweet Lips" Walters wrote a column in the Bay Area Reporter from April 1, 1971 till June 24, 2010. first called "Sweet lips Sez" and eventually shortened to "Sweet Lips." Somewhere along the way it became much more.

By Michael Flanagan | January 31, 2016

When I heard about the impending closure of Flipper's (482 Hayes) last month, it got me thinking about the history of the LGBT community in Hayes Valley, where I live.


By Michael Flanagan | November 1, 2015

Shortly after having moved to San Francisco in the early 1980s, I was introduced to the concept of gay stand-up comedy (as it was called then).

By Michael Flanagan | September 27, 2015

A fire in San Francisco that was set by a workman in 1981 ignited a whole different sort of blaze: A media frenzy of anti-gay sensationalism. This feature casts a look back at a disgraceful episode from a deeply homophobic era.


By Michael Flanagan | August 30, 2015

From the mid-'60s through 2008 there was another type of downtown bar - the businessman's bar. The two downtown bars which lasted the longest and had the biggest impact were Sutter's Mill and the various incarnations of Ginger's.

By Michael Flanagan | August 2, 2015

Visitors to Pacific Heights could be excused these days for thinking there is little gay about it, save for the gay colors on Victorians like the Painted Ladies in Alamo Square. But this was not always the case.


Viewing 13 thru 24 of 57 Stories