Tag Archives: San Francisco

San Francisco "Safe Space" Restaurant Backtracks and Apologizes After Refusing To Serve Armed Police Officers In Uniform

San Francisco “Safe Space” Restaurant Backtracks and Apologizes After Refusing To Serve Armed Police Officers In Uniform

San Francisco restaurant Hilda and Jesse has apologized for removal and non-service to serve three uniformed and armed San Francisco police officers on Friday due to “their multiple weapons.” and the fact that the restaurant is a meeting place for BPOC and it made their staff feel “uneasy”. This comes after a huge backlash by LGBT and straight customers.

 Co-owner of Hilda and Jesse’s Rachel Sillcocks took to Instagram to apologize:.

We made a mistake and apologize for the unfortunate incident on Friday when we asked members of the San Francisco Police Department to leave our restaurant, We are grateful to all members of the force who work hard to keep us safe, especially during these challenging times.

SFGate

Hilda and Jesse’s currently has one star and over 400 reviews on Yelp

Read Miss B.‘s review of Hilda and Jesse on Yelp

November 8, 1977: Harvey Milk Is Elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors

Gay History – November 8, 1977: Harvey Milk Elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors [Video]

November 8, 1977 – Harvey Milk is elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, making him the first openly gay man to be elected in a major U.S. city.  Although he was the most pro-gay politician in the United States at the time, politics and activism were not his early interests; he was neither open about his sexuality nor civically active until he was 40, after his experiences in the counterculture movement of the 1960’s.

Despite being a newcomer to the Castro District, Harvey Milk had shown leadership in the small community. He was starting to be taken seriously as a candidate and decided to run again for supervisor in 1975. He reconsidered his approach and cut his long hair, swore off marijuana, and vowed never to visit another gay bathhouse again. Milk’s campaigning earned the support of the teamsters, firefighters, and construction unions. Castro Camera became the center of activity in the neighborhood.

Milk favored support for small businesses and the growth of neighborhoods. Since 1968, Mayor Alioto had been luring large corporations to the city despite what critics labeled “the Manhattanization of San Francisco”. As blue-collar jobs were replaced by the service industry, Alioto’s weakened political base allowed for new leadership to be voted into office in the city. George Moscone was elected mayor. Moscone had been instrumental in repealing the sodomy law earlier that year in the California State Legislature. He acknowledged Milk’s influence in his election by visiting Milk’s election night headquarters, thanking Milk personally, and offering him a position as a city commissioner. Milk came in seventh place in the election, only one position away from earning a supervisor seat.  

Moscone appointed him to the Board of Permit Appeals in 1976, making him the first openly gay city commissioner in the United States. Milk, however, considered seeking a position in the California State Assembly. The district was weighted heavily in his favor, as much of it was based in neighborhoods surrounding Castro Street, where Milk’s sympathizers voted. In the previous race for supervisor, Milk received more votes than the currently seated assemblyman. However, Moscone had made a deal with the assembly speaker that another candidate should run—Art Agnos. Furthermore, by order of the mayor, neither appointed nor elected officials were allowed to run a campaign while performing their duties.

By the time of Milk’s 1975 campaign, he had decided to cut his hair and wear suits. Here, Milk (far right) is campaigning with longshoremen in San Francisco during his 1976 race for the California State Assembly.
 

Milk spent five weeks on the Board of Permit Appeals before Moscone was forced to fire him when he announced he would run for the California State Assembly. Rick Stokes replaced him. Milk’s firing, and the backroom deal made between Moscone, the assembly speaker, and Agnos, fueled his campaign as he took on the identity of a political underdog.

Milk’s continuing campaign, run from the storefront of Castro Camera, was a study in disorganization. Although the older Irish grandmothers and gay men who volunteered were plentiful and happy to send out mass mailings, Milk’s notes and volunteer lists were kept on scrap papers. Any time the campaign required funds, the money came from the cash register without any consideration for accounting.

Milk spent long hours registering voters and shaking hands at bus stops and movie theater lines. He took whatever opportunity came along to promote himself. He thoroughly enjoyed campaigning, and his success was evident. With the large numbers of volunteers, he had dozens at a time stand along the busy thoroughfare of Market Street as human billboards, holding “Milk for Assembly” signs while commuters drove into the heart of the city to work.

In the end Harvey Milk lost the Assembly seat by fewer than 4,000 votes.

Anita Bryant’s public campaign opposing homosexuality and the multiple challenges to gay rights ordinances across the United States fueled gay politics in San Francisco. Seventeen candidates from the Castro District entered the next race for supervisor; more than half of them were gay. The New York Times ran an exposé on the veritable invasion of gay people into San Francisco, estimating that the city’s gay population was between 100,000 and 200,000 out of a total 750,000.

Milk’s most successful opponent was the quiet and thoughtful lawyer Rick Stokes, who was backed by the Alice B. Toklas Memorial Democratic Club. Stokes had been open about his homosexuality long before Milk had, and had experienced more severe treatment, once hospitalized and forced to endure electroshock therapy to ‘cure’ him.  Milk, however, was more expressive about the role of gay people and their issues in San Francisco politics. Stokes was quoted saying, “I’m just a businessman who happens to be gay,” and expressed the view that any normal person could also be homosexual. Milk’s contrasting populist philosophy was relayed to The New York Times: “We don’t want sympathetic liberals, we want gays to represent gays … I represent the gay street people—the 14-year-old runaway from San Antonio. We have to make up for hundreds of years of persecution. We have to give hope to that poor runaway kid from San Antonio. They go to the bars because churches are hostile. They need hope! They need a piece of the pie!”

On election day, November 8, 1977, he won by 30% against sixteen other candidates, and after his victory became apparent, he arrived on Castro Street on the back of his campaign manager’s motorcycle—escorted by Sheriff Richard Hongisto—to what a newspaper story described as a “tumultuous and moving welcome”.

Since the race for the California State Assembly, Milk had been receiving increasingly violent death threats. Concerned that his raised profile marked him as a target for assassination, he recorded on tape his thoughts, and whom he wanted to succeed him if he were killed, adding: “If a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet destroy every closet door”.

Sadly, we all know how this story ends.

GAY HISTORY – September 23, 1984: The First Folsom Street Fair Takes Place in San Francisco

San Francisco has always had a large gay leather community.  By the late 1970’s, they had created ‘Miracle Mile’, a stretch of Folsom street that featured over 30 gay leather bars and bathhouses.  But Miracle Mile as it was called. was a bothersome eyesore to City Hall, but the leather community defended their sanctuary and fought back against City Hall’s ambitious redevelopment program for the South of Market development already underway on Rincon Hill.

In the early 1980’s as HIV and AIDS tore through San Francisco severely weakening the leather community. City Hall took this opportunity to push through a series of redevelopment plans that together with AIDS, spelled the end of Miracle Mile as a leather sanctuary.

But in 1984 a coalition of leather community organizers and hosing advocates got together and decided to start a street fair. The fair would enhance the visibility of the leather community, provide a means for much-needed fundraising, and create opportunities for members of the leather community to connect to services and vital information that the bathhouses and bars might otherwise have been situated to distribute.

And thus the Folsom Street Fair was born.

Now the Folsom Street Fair after 35 years has become California’s third-largest single-day, outdoor spectator event attracting a whopping 400,000 slaves, masters, mummies, ponies, puppies, pigs, nudists, fairies, boot boys, jocks and people-with-such-crazy-sexual-interests-that-there-are-no-noun-for-them-yet, all crammed into 13 overcrowded street blocks of fun. It has also grown as a non-profit charity, with local and national non-profits benefiting from the proceeds from numerous fundraising booths within the festival including games, beverage and even spanking booths. (And a helluva lot more that is definitely NSWF).

Similar events also take place in Canada and Germany.   And in San Francisco FSF also manage “Up Your Alley”  street fair and special events like the “Folsom Street Fair Formal Leather Gala”

Folsom Street Fair Trivia:  The first Folsom Street Fair date was chosen to coincide with the autumnal equinox which it did through 1992.  Thereafter the Fair became more associated with one of the last two Sunday in September. 

*Photo: Gene Dermody and Carl Martin at the 1984 Folsom St. Fair. Carl served in the U.S. Air Force in the 1970’s with gay activist Leonard Matlovich.

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Queer Activist Want To Remove Gilbert Baker's LGBT PRIDE Flag from Harvey Milk Plaza in San Francisco

Queer Activists Want To Remove Gilbert Baker’s LGBT PRIDE Flag from Harvey Milk Plaza in San Francisco

There is a war brewing in San Francisco over one of the most, if not the most iconic symbol to the LGBT community. Gilbert Baker’s LGBT Rainbow Pride flag. A small number of very vocal queer activist are calling for it’s removal from Harvey Milk Memorial Plaza in San Francisco and that it be replaced by the new “Progressive Pride flag”

“The flag for some Black and brown people, they don’t feel it represents them,” says Carnell Freeman, executive co-chair of the Castro LGBTQ Cultural District. “But I think it depends on who you’re talking to. For many white gays, they’ll say they think the Progress Flag is not attractive and that they’d keep it as it is, as a rainbow. If you talk to most people of color or allies, they will say, you know, it’s time for a change.”

For those of you who are unaware. Gilbert Baker designed the Gay Pride Flag in San Francisco in 1978 for the Gay Freedom Day Parade (now San Francisco Pride) at the request of Harvey Milk as a symbol of out hope, love, and freedom . Originally it featuring eight colors but simplified to six for easier reproduction, each stripe represents a value, including red for life, blue for harmony and peace and purple for spirit. Baker never trademarked the flag, believing it would flourish as a symbol for the community only if it were free to reproduce.

The Gilbert Baker Foundation, has started a Change.org petition of its own calling for the landmark designation of the pole, which was erected in 1997 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Milk’s historic victory as the first openly gay elected official in California history. It argues that the pole and the flag constitute a piece of installation art created by Baker that deserves to be protected. Cultural institutions including the Museum of Modern Art in New York have examples of Baker’s flag in their collections.. The petition has more than 6500 signatures. to date. (<– CLICK LINK to sign.)

 “Hundreds of thousands of gay, bisexual, trans, and queer people in the United States died of AIDS while activists — many of whom themselves succumbed to the epidemic — fought, pleaded, lobbied, petitioned, marched, and protested (and continue to do so all over the world!) while carrying this flag and its predecessors, all designed by Gilbert Baker.”  The Castro Merchants Association said in a press release issued last week..  Masood Samereie the president of the organization stated that “we would support any community effort to erect an additional flagpole or some other installation in a significant location in the neighborhood to fly flags that symbolize the diversity of our LGBTQ+ residents and visitors, and would use any influence we have with the city to push this through.

Many in the Castro neighborhood are saying they find the whole discourse around the issue is getting heated and they feared getting involved due to possible retaliation. A Castro resident and business owner, who asked to remain anonymous, described the situation as “the left eating its own.”

History, especially LGBT history should never be edited, fabricated or erased said gay activist, historian and Back2Stonewall website owner Will Kohler. In my opinion a second flagpole is the best option. “Our proud and brave historical past must be preserved. Only from the past can we learn to fight for our future.”

What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

San Francisco's Oldest Gay Bar, THE STUD Forced To Close Because of COVID-19 Shuttering

San Francisco’s Oldest Gay Bar, THE STUD Forced To Close Because of COVID-19 Shuttering

San Francisco’s oldest surviving gay bar, The Stud, which opened in 1966 will be forced to close it’s doors and nor reopen at it’s current location becoming another victim of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The legendary gay bar had already survived one close call when it almost closed in 2016 after a rent increase but was saved by a co-op of performers, JJs and others regulars who came together to save it.

Co-owners, journalist Marke Bieschke, offered more details on 48Hills. He confirmed that The Stud would not return to its current home.

As a member of the Stud Collective, a wonderful group of 17 friends that purchased the Stud in 2016, in order to save it after a huge rent hike, I am weeping for that beautiful, scrappy space—its gold and red velvet-and sequined curtains parting for kooky drag shows, its graffiti-laden bathroom stalls, its very naughty green room, its dance floor packed with gorgeous creatures from all walks—that was such a vibrant and essential part of the community.

But for now, what else can we do? Like other bars and businesses, we must still keep paying rent indefinitely while being unable to bring in revenue [COVID-19 Business} Loans and grants pretty much go directly to landlords and utilities, who are the true government-subsidized businesses here, in an arduous, arcane process that looks more and more like a bizarre money-laundering scheme.

Here’s the thing, though: The Stud, the nightlife entity, is not dead. We’re still going to come back when this is over—a different space with the same lovingly outrageous vibe.

Gay and Lesbian Rights Pioneer Phyllis Lyon Dies At Age 95

Gay and Lesbian Rights Pioneer Phyllis Lyon Dies At Age 95

Phyllis Lyon has died at 95 - Dallas Voice

SFist reports:

One of the founding members of the Daughters of Bilitis and one half of the first same-sex couple to be legally married in San Francisco in 2004, Phyllis Lyon, has passed away. She was 95, and reportedly died of natural causes early Thursday.

Lyon and her wife Del Martin (pictured above) were famously the first couple to be granted a marriage license by then Mayor Gavin Newsom on Valentine’s Day 2004, and her life was characterized by a commitment to activism and equal rights for all.

“I’m very sad to learn of the death this morning of Phyllis Lyon,” writes legendary LGBTQ activist Cleve Jones. “I met Phyllis and Del in 1972 and it changed my life. Two of the most remarkable people I’ve ever known.”

The DOB advertised itself as “A Woman’s Organization for the purpose of Promoting the Integration of the Homosexual into Society.” The statement was composed of four parts that prioritized the purpose of the organization, and it was printed on the inside of the cover of every issue of The Ladder until 1970:

Education of the variant…to enable her to understand herself and make her adjustment to society…this to be accomplished by establishing…a library…on the sex deviant theme; by sponsoring public discussions…to be conducted by leading members of the legal psychiatric, religious and other professions; by advocating a mode of behavior and dress acceptable to society.

Education of the public…leading to an eventual breakdown of erroneous taboos and prejudices…

Participation in research projects by duly authorized and responsible psychologists, sociologists, and other such experts directed towards further knowledge of the homosexual.

Investigation of the penal code as it pertain to the homosexual, proposal of changes,…and promotion of these changes through the due process of law in the state legislatures.”

Both Phyllis Lyon and her partner Del Martin went on to form the Council on Religion and the Homosexual (CRH) in northern California to persuade ministers to accept homosexuals into churches, and used their influence to decriminalize homosexuality in the late 1960s and early 1970s. They became politically active in San Francisco’s first gay political organization, the Alice B. Toklas Democratic Club, which influenced Dianne Feinstein to sponsor a citywide bill to outlaw employment discrimination for gays and lesbians. Both served in the White House Conference on Aging in 1995.

They were married on Feb. 12, 2004, in the first same-sex wedding to take place in San Francisco after Mayor Gavin Newsom ordered the city clerk to begin providing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but that marriage was voided by the California Supreme Court on August 12, 2004. They married again on June 16, 2008, in the first same-sex wedding to take place in San Francisco after the California Supreme Court’s decision in In re Marriage Cases legalized same-sex marriage in California.

Thank you Phyliss for all that you did for us.

Rest in peace.

SAN DIEGO: Construction Begins on Historic Naval Vessel USNS Harvey Milk

SAN DIEGO: Construction Begins on Historic Naval Vessel USNS Harvey Milk

At a ceremony at the National Steel and Shipbuilding Company in San Diego on Friday, the “first cut” of steel was rendered for the Navy’s newest ship the USNS Harvey Milk named after the famous slain gay civil rights leader and San Francisco Supervisor in the 70s,  Harvey Milk was California’s first openly-gay politician. 

As a Navy diving instructor in the early 50’s, Milk was stationed briefly in San Diego. Less well known, is that when the Navy found out Harvey Milk was gay, he was forced out of the service for being gay.”

Stuart Milk, Harvey Milk’s nephew attended Friday’s event and said naming the ship — known as a fleet oiler — after his uncle sends a message to people around the world.

He told the gathering, “”For those who will be working on this ship, it’s important to note his legacy. If anyone asks, ‘did Harvey dream of this day,’ the answer is yes.  It’s what gave him the courage to face those bullets 41 years ago. He dreamed of all of us being included, and we would not be diminished because of that.  When we worked so hard to get rid of the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Policy,’ it sent a message that the Armed Services weren’t going to discriminate against anyone.”

This “sends a global message of inclusion more powerful than simply ‘We’ll tolerate everyone,’ ” Milk said. “[It says,] we celebrate everyone.”

Gay History 1979 – WATCH: KPIX 5 Special Report: Has San Francisco Gay Power Gone Too Far? ~ The Aftermath Of Milk & Moscone Murders [VIDEO]

Watch the Emmy Award winning KPIX People’s 5 report with Don Knapp presented on the 1 year Anniversary of slain Mayor Moscone & Supervisor Harvey Milk’s murders.

The 25 minute special report opens joyously with the Village People song about San Francisco, with street scenes in SF’s Castro neighborhood but interviews are spliced in of people on the street obviously uncomfortable with the growing homosexual community. The camera pans out to a giant gay bathouse billboard for 330 Ritch and an interview soon follows with Cleve Jones.

The young activist discusses how to many citizens, the signs of simple gay affection like handholding are considered flaunting & “throwing it in people’s faces”. He sees the idea that homosexuals will take over local politics as “ridiculous” and the threat of a growing potential influence of the gay community “nonsense”. People’s opinions on the flamboyant out gay lifestyle and and growing political ambitions of the gay community in San Francisco are discussed.

Footage from a spirited 1978 debate between Harvey Milk and conservative John Briggs, moderated by Richard Hart, shows Milk calling the bigoted Briggs a liar, and the men clashing over issues relating to Proposition 6 and the rights of gays and lesbians to teach in California classrooms.

Several lesbians (including Ann Kronenberg) describe the challenges they face being accepted in society and also explain how their priorities and life experiences diverge from those of gay men.

San Francisco’s late mayor George Moscone is seen briefly playing basketball in 1978 and discussing what he considers to be appropriate behavior for politicians.

The program ends with views of a candlelight march from the Castro to San Francisco City Hall on November 27th 1979 to remember Milk and Moscone, on the first anniversary of their murders.”

GAY HISTORY – Tales of the City FLASHBACK: Michael Tolliver’s Valentine’s Day Dirty 30.

In the first chapter of Armistead Maupin’s 2nd. Tales of the City Book titled More Tales of the City, the hopeful romantic Michael “Mouse” Tolliver delivers a handmade Valentine’s Day card to Mary Ann Singleton, a friend and fellow resident of the domain of the eccentric, marijuana-growing landlady Anna Madrigal.

Author Maupin describes Mouse’s gift as “a handmade pastiche of Victorian cherubs, pressed flowers and red glitter.” Inside, he had provided 10 numbered spaces for Mary Ann to list her “Valentines Resolutions.”

Micheal then produces a list of 30 of his own.

The year is 1977. For those younger readers I will explain things that only us mature gays remember. Consider it a Gay History lesson.

Michael Tolliver’s Dirty Thirty for ’77

  1. I will not call anyone nellie (fem queen) or butch, unless that is his name.
  2. I will not assume that women who like me are fag hags. (Fag Gag: A straight woman or lesbian that enjoys the company of gay men.)
  3. I will stop expecting to meet Jan-Michael Vincent (actor) at the tubs.
  4. I will inhale poppers only through the mouth. (Smells like dirty socks and gives you a head RUSH.)
  5. I will not spend more than half an hour in the shower at the Y. (Men used to pick each other and have sex at the YMCA. Thus the Village People song YMCA.)
  6. I will stop trying to figure out what color my handkerchief would be if I wore one. (The Hanky or Bandanna code. A code for gay men to tell what favorite sex play they were looking for by placing a colored handkerchief in their back pockets)
  7. I will buy a drink for a Fifties Queen sometime. (An older gay man. Which now incluses most of us who remember the original TotC.)
  8. I will not persist in hoping that attractive men will turn out to be brainless and boring. (Some things never change)
  9. I will sign my real name at The Glory Holes. (San Francisco “private” (for 5 dollars) sex club that had many booths with holes at crotch level to have anonymous sex. One had to sign their name upon entry.
  10. I will ease back into religion by attending concerts at Grace Cathedral. (Famous San Francisco Church prominent in the TotC universe.)
  11. I will not cruise at Grace Cathedral.
  12. I will not vote for anyone for Empress. (The Imperial Council of San Francisco; a drag queen based charitable organization.)
  13. I will make friends with a straight man.
  14. I will not make fun of the way he walks.http://www.imperialcouncilsf.org/index.html
  15. I will not tell him about Alexander the Great, Walt Whitman or Leonardo da Vinci.
  16. I will not vote for politicians who use the term “Gay Community.”
  17. I will not cry when Mary Tyler Moore goes off the air.
  18. I will not measure it, no matter who asks. (PENIS!)
  19. I will not hide the A-200. (A-200 was used to kill crab lice which was fairly common and usually caught by having multiple sex partners and sex in the bath houses.)
  20. I will not buy a Lacoste shirt, a Marimekko pillow, a secondhand letterman’s jacket, an All-American Boy T-shirt, a razor blade necklace or a denim accessory of any kind. (All parts of the gay world and uniform of the late 70’s . A popular Lacoste joke went: “Did you hear the one about the alligator who bought a shirt with a little faggot on it?”)
  21. I will learn to eat alone and like it.
  22. I will not fantasize about firemen.
  23. I will not tell anyone at home that I just haven’t found the right girl yet. (Closet case.)
  24. I will wear a suit on Castro Street and feel comfortable about it.
  25. I will not do impressions of Bette Davis, Tallulah Bankhead, Mae West or Paul Lynde.
  26. I will not eat more than one It’s-It in a single evening. (Famous Ice Cream in San Francisco.)
  27. I will find myself acceptable.
  28. I will meet somebody nice, away from a bar or the tubs (bathouse) or a roller-skating rink, and I will fall hopelessly but conventionally in love. (Common gay meeting places before the internet.)
  29. But I won’t say I love you before he does.
  30. The hell I won’t!

San Francisco PD Releases Updated Sketch Of Serial Killer Who Killed 5 Gay Men in the 1970's

COLD CASE: San Francisco PD Releases Updated Sketch Of Serial Killer Who Killed 5 Gay Men in the 1970’s

San Francisco police on Wednesday released a sketch of a serial killer dubbed the “Doodler” who terrorized San Francisco’s gay community over 40 years ago.

The sketch is “age-progressed” and shows what the man might look like today. They also announced a $100,000 reward for details leading to his capture.

Police believe the killer stabbed at least five men to death from early 1974 to late 1975.

He became known as the “Doodler” after a victim who survived an attack told police the man was doodling while they talked at a late-night diner and said he was a cartoonist

“In the 1970s, this was gripping the gay community and San Francisco,” police Commander Greg McEachern told the news conference, saying authorities were releasing the new sketch in hopes of bringing justice to victims of the “horrendous homicides.”

It’s one of several cold cases, particularly serial crimes, being re-examined after the capture last year of the notorious “Golden State Killer” through DNA analysis, McEachern said. Police have submitted DNA samples from some of the 1970s crime scenes in the Doodler case and were waiting for results from a lab.

Police described the killer as an African-American male, about 5 feet, 11 inches tall with a lanky build who was likely in his early 20s during the attacks.

The killer targeted white men he met at after-hours gay clubs and restaurants in San Francisco. He usually sketched them before having sex and stabbing them.

The bodies of four men were found along the beach. Another stabbing victim was found in Golden Gate Park.

Witness at that time were able to give investigators a description of the suspect, leading to a man being detained in 1976 but never charged.

Police have interviewed the man since returning to the case and he remains a person of interest. His name was not released .

An AP story from 1977 quotes police as saying the suspect at the time could not be charged because three survivors, including a “well-known entertainer” and a diplomat were reluctant to “come out of the closet” to testify against him.