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SF library celebrates Pride

by Michael Nugent

Honey Mahogany is one of several drag queens who will<br>take part in the San Francisco Public Library's Pride Month programming. Photo:<br>Courtesy SFPL
Honey Mahogany is one of several drag queens who will
take part in the San Francisco Public Library's Pride Month programming. Photo:
Courtesy SFPL  

The San Francisco Public Library kicks off Pride Month in a big way with book and author talks, rainbow crafts, exhibits, and its beloved Drag Queen Story Hour.

"There is no better place to celebrate Pride than at the public library," said Tom Fortin, a gay man who is chief of the main library. "The public library has often been the singular place where many in the queer community first found acceptance, whether through literature or programming. The Hormel center exemplifies the best public libraries have to offer and we celebrate being the queerest library ever."

The library's James C. Hormel LGBTQIA Center starts Pride month Thursday (June 1) with RADAR Superstars, the annual birthday bash for superstar and emerging writers. Featured on the stage of the main library's Koret Auditorium will be Ana Mar'a Montenegro, Clement Goldberg, and MariNaomi, hosted by Juliana Delgado Lopera.

RADAR Productions will also be bringing Drag Queen Story Hour to three different libraries on Saturdays in June. Take the whole family to these crowd-pleasing events at the main library, and the Bernal Heights and Eureka Valley/Harvey Milk Memorial branches, featuring Panda Dulce, Honey Mahogany, and Yves St. Croissant.

"We love the different twist on story time that Drag Queen Story Hour provides," explained Jason Hill, a gay man and the children's librarian who booked this year's program with RADAR Productions. "This is the first year that we're having the Drag Queen Story Hour at the main library and at the Bernal Heights branch – places where the kids and families don't usually see this type of program.

"We want to highlight cultural diversity – there's always a book about being one-of-a-kind and the kids get to dress up and celebrate their own uniqueness," he added. "And of course, we're returning to the Eureka Valley/Harvey Milk Memorial branch as well."

A Pride Month highlight will be a reading with lesbian author Dorothy Allison June 3 at the main library. Allison is the author of the iconic book, "Bastard out of Carolina." Allison will talk about her work, share some of her recent projects, and be available for a book signing.

The exhibit, "Homopolis: Photos from Gay San Francisco in 1981," fills the Hormel center through August 24 with photographer Robert van der Hilst's images that poignantly capture the heady days just prior to the AIDS epidemic.

The library's Chinatown/Him Mark Lai Branch celebrates Pride this year with a book discussion and film screening on June 3 featuring the Oscar Wilde classic, "The Importance of Being Earnest."

On June 17, the Castro branch library will feature author and retired librarian Lynne Barnes reading from her poetic memoir, " Falling into Flowers."

In addition, the library has also gone full rainbow with rainbow storytimes, rainbow candy necklaces, and rainbow bridge building.

For a full list of Pride programs, events, and book selections, visit the library's Pride page at https://sfpl.org/index.php?pg=2000991201. Pride programs are supported by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library. All events are free and open to the public.

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