Special Issues

The bars that brought us the B.A.R. - from the Tavern Guild to the Bay Area Reporter

The bars that brought us the B.A.R. - from the Tavern Guild to the Bay Area Reporter

By Michael Flanagan

The Bay Area Reporter first published on April 1, 1971, two years after the New York Stonewall Riots. But the paper's emergence grew not out of activism, but from San Francisco's growing gay bar scene.

Viewing 1 thru 29 of 29 Stories

By BAR staff | April 21, 2021

The B.A.R.'s wayback machine travels to 1973 for a look at the candidates for emperor and empress.

By BAR staff | April 14, 2021

The Bay Area Reporter's 50 years in 50 weeks feature continues with this front page from September 20, 1972


By Jim Provenzano | April 9, 2021

The Covered Wagon bar hosted the 1972 Mr. Cowboy contest, but things didn't go well, as reported in the B.A.R.'s May 17 issue. Many in attendance were "stirred into a frenzy of accusations, charges and counter-charges of fraud, fake fix and cheat."

By BAR staff | April 7, 2021

In honor of the Bay Area Reporter's 50th anniversary, we're culling from our archive to feature a different year of the paper each week.


By Jim Provenzano | April 6, 2021

As we continue to celebrate the Bay Area Reporter's 50th anniversary, each week we'll take a nostalgic look at a highlight from each year's issues. In May 1, 1971 , a plumaged party seemed like a lot of fun.

By Brian Bromberger | April 6, 2021

As the 1990s approached, films began to offer more positive portrayals of LGBTQ people, often as the loyal best friend, with characters beginning to be more fleshed out, having lives rooted in their sexuality but not necessarily ruled only by it.


By Victoria A. Brownworth | April 6, 2021

It is hard to narrow the discourse to just a handful of TV shows over so many years and hundreds of columns, but here are some of the LGBTQ stories that spurred controversy or altered the landscape.

By Jim Provenzano | March 31, 2021

Some of the Bay Area Reporter's production designers were, and are, not only accomplished computer whizzes, but also artists and nightlife stars, like DJ and musician Adriana Roberts, who, with Scott King, share a bit of the backstage B.A.R. scoop.


By Jim Mitulski | March 31, 2021

"Feminism has done more to save the lives of women in the last 30 years than Jesus Christ did in the last 2,000 years!" renowned lesbian feminist Sally Gearhart, Ph.D., proudly proclaimed as she opened her sermon one Sunday night.

By John Ferrannini | March 31, 2021

Fifty years ago the gay bar — that foremost location for so much dating, friendships, political organizing, and times both fun and challenging — gave birth to the B.A.R.


By Stephen J. LeBlanc | March 31, 2021

The Bay Area Reporter front page on September 20, 1990 announced that the San Francisco chapter of the AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power, or ACT UP, had split into two groups.

By Thomas E. Horn | March 31, 2021

For 50 years the Bay Area Reporter has chronicled the development of the LGBT movement in San Francisco.


By Roger Brigham | March 31, 2021

Through the first 50 years of the Bay Area Reporter's existence, the paper's coverage of sports and sports-related topics has evolved from that of cheerleader and recording secretary to social advocate and noble muckraker.

By Liz Highleyman | March 31, 2021

AIDS first came to the world's attention with a June 5, 1981, report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about five cases of Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) among young gay men in Los Angeles.


By Cynthia Laird | March 31, 2021

A couple of weeks ago, we asked Bay Area Reporter readers to share some of their memories of the newspaper as it turns 50. Here are their stories.

By Matthew S. Bajko | March 31, 2021

Over its 50 years in print, the Bay Area Reporter has showcased a wide array of opinionated voices on its opinion pages.


By Jim Provenzano | March 31, 2021

With more than 900 articles penned for the Bay Area Reporter, I feel a strong connection as the newspaper celebrates its 50th anniversary this week. I thought to share some behind the scenes tales as well.

By Race Bannon | March 31, 2021

In honor of the B.A.R.'s 50th anniversary, let's look back on the past five decades of local leather seen through the lens of the paper, which is admittedly but a smidgen of the entirety of local leather history.


By John Karr | March 31, 2021

Our veteran erotica reviewer reminisces about the early glory days of gay porn on film, vintage B.A.R. coverage, and porn's rise, (ahem) in popularity before changes made into VHS and online formats.

By Cornelius Washington | March 31, 2021

The Bay Area Reporter has never shied away from expressing and exploring every aspect of the community, including sexuality. A look back at the 1990s peak of escort ads leads to bit of erotic nostalgia.


By Jim Gladstone | March 31, 2021

If you search the word "theater" in the archives of the Bay Area Reporter, you'll discover plenty of features and reviews. A few productions with LGBT themes stand out.

By Philip Campbell | March 30, 2021

Philip Campbell summates 50 years of the Bay Area Reporter's classical music and opera coverage, noting examples and adding personal remarks to recount his four decades of contribution.


By Mark William Norby | March 30, 2021

A former assistant editor and current freelance writer, Mark Norby recalls his first days working at the B.A.R.'s 9th & Harrison office.

By David-Elijah Nahmod | March 30, 2021

From the beginning, the Bay Area Reporter has covered celebrities, both Broadway and Hollywood stars. many have indeed sat down with us for a chat. There are many such examples in the B.A.R. archives.


By Brian Bromberger | March 30, 2021

It wasn't until the third issue of the 'Bay Area Reporter' in 1971 that the rationale for having a film section was revealed by its first critic. 100s of film reviews since then have catalogued the rise of indie and mainstream cinematic LGBT depiction.

By Jim Provenzano | March 14, 2021

In the "better late than never" department, the Bay Area Reporter has revived its YouTube channel in preparation for its April 2021 50th anniversary. The BAR's channel currently consists of playlists, but will soon include original content.


By Cynthia Laird | September 18, 2020

In a continuing effort to receive support from readers, the Bay Area Reporter has launched its membership program.

By Michael Yamashita | May 1, 2020

Thank you very much, it has been both humbling and encouraging receiving your generous support when so many are also in need of help. So far, we have raised just over $25,000 and are just 15% away from reaching our goal of $30,000.


By Michael Yamashita | April 15, 2020

San Francisco is one of 11 US cities that is fortunate to have a legacy LGBT publication by us, for us, and about us. Help preserve the BAR as an historic and important community institution for the future.

Viewing 1 thru 29 of 29 Stories