James "Robbie" Robinson visited San Francisco while stationed at Parks Air Force base in the East Bay in 1957. After being cruised on Market Street, the man led him to the Silver Dollar Bar. His visit began a gay journey in creating community.
Fourteen years after the original Detour Bar closed, mention of it evokes strong memories for patrons, especially after news of a new very different bar taking its name. Let's recall the sexy, cruisy original.
Unlike 1969's Stonewall, disturbances in San Francisco started over job rights. Because the disturbances spread and issues multiplied, they would eventually include at least three bars, including Oakland's White Horse.
Paranoia, red-baiting and homophobia swept across the United States in the early 1950s like a cold fire, and San Francisco was not exempt from its reach. The vile Joseph McCarthy and his toady Roy Cohn engaged the country in the Army-McCarthy hearings.
Don Cavallo, a multi-talented restaurateur, actor and singer was also one of the first writers for the Bay Area Reporter. He seized the scene in San Francisco and made it his own from his 20s on, including opening the Fickle Fox.
Ann and Maxine Weldon from Bakersfield, performed in clubs beginning in the 1950s, and developed relationships with their gay audiences that came to benefit both the audience and the performers.
The GLBT Historical Society and Museum is presenting the exhibition 'SoMa Nights: The Queer Nightclub Photography Of Melissa Hawkins,' curated by photographer Hawkins and nightlife historian Marke B.
Lenny Mollet was a Grand Duke of the Ducal Court, the president of the Tavern Guild, and one of a generation of gay men who fought for a place of their own in the city. He owned a gay bar in San Francisco a decade and a half before the Stonewall riots.
History sometimes seems ruled by events with unintended consequences. That certainly is the case with the Mardi Gras Ball at California Hall, which happened on January 1, 1965. It's an event that's been called 'San Francisco's Stonewall.'
Palm Springs has been associated with the gay community for a very long time. But it wasn't always friendly. Streetbar became a pioneering business by breaking new gay ground in 1991.
Mention Halloween violence in the LGBT community, and most people think of events of the last decade, which ended the closing of Castro Street for the holiday. But history does repeat itself, as the '60s and'70s Halloween celebrations prove.
When we think of entertainment in our bars, the chances are that we think of drag performances or DJs more often than live music. But from the 1960s to the 1980s at the Stud (then at 1535 Folsom Street), live performances often ruled the night.
Charles Pierce's connection to San Francisco history is easily lost due to his larger than life personality and his talent.