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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
The Lily Street Fair, which existed in San Francisco from 1981 to 1990, was part block party and part potluck, with a good dose of Easter bonnets and Easter parade thrown in to add zest.
Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it, or so the old adage would have us believe. There is a worse fate, however: To be forgotten and fade into obscurity.
We looked down Market Street toward the Ferry Building. Dykes On Bikes led off the first downtown Gay Freedom Day parade from Spear Street up Market toward the Civic Center. Gay Frontiers: Past, Present, Future.
It was Gay Freedom Day; Sunday, June 27, 1976. Things were very different then; very different.
The winter holidays are the most obvious time of year when gays, separated from their parents, are forced to decide between biological family and acquired family.