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social sciences

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San Francisco  
 
page: 1  2  3  4  5  

The Twenty-First Century: Success and New Challenges

In 2002, after nearly 10 years of planning, the San Francisco LGBT Community Center opened the doors of a 40,000 square foot facility, the first LGBT center in the country built from the ground up.

Like other nonprofit organizations serving the glbtq community in San Francisco, the Center has faced a difficult financial reality. The unprecedented technology-driven economic boom of the late 1990s, followed by the burst of the "dot.com bubble" in 2001, has played havoc with the entire Bay Area's nonprofit sector--first driving up rents by 200 to 300%, then drying up public, foundation, and corporate support.

Sponsor Message.

Moreover, skyrocketing housing costs are pricing many glbtq people out of the San Francisco market, resulting in their migration to cities with a lower cost of living, such as Oakland, or out of the region entirely. It is not possible to say at this time what effect these economic conditions ultimately will have on San Francisco's long and inspiring glbtq history.

That inspiring history reached yet another milestone on February 12, 2004, when, at the directive of Mayor Gavin Newsom, San Francisco became the first government entity in the United States to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples. After a week in which almost 3,000 same-sex couples were wed, the City of San Francisco filed suit against the State of California, challenging its prohibition of same-sex marriage on constitutional grounds.

Susan Stryker

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social sciences >> Overview:  AIDS Activism

In the United States, glbtq people have played an integral and often leading role in AIDS activism, greatly influencing AIDS treatment and advocacy.

social sciences >> Overview:  Bisexuality

Although until recently rejected by most sexologists as a distinct sexual identity, bisexuality is gradually becoming recognized and studied as such.

arts >> Overview:  Choruses and Bands

Since they were first established in the 1970s, lesbian and gay musical organizations have grown remarkably in number, size, and sophistication.

social sciences >> Overview:  Coming Out

"Coming out" is the revelation or acknowledgment that one is a member of a sexual minority, a process that is at once personal and social and often political.

social sciences >> Overview:  Cross-Dressing

Cross-dressers have often been misunderstood and maligned, especially in societies with rigid gender roles.

social sciences >> Overview:  Cultural Identities

A growing body of scholarly and other work on Cultural Identities challenges the "naturalness," and even the political necessity, of a unitary gay and lesbian identity.

social sciences >> Overview:  Domestic Partnerships

"Domestic partnership" is the generic term for a variety of forms of legal and institutional recognition of same-sex couples that fall short of same-sex marriage.

social sciences >> Overview:  Elected Officials

In the United States, glbtq candidates have achieved some significant successes at the ballot box in the last three decades, running for and winning local, state, and national elections.

arts >> Overview:  Film Festivals

The queer film festival circuit came into its own in the early 1990s and has since burgeoned into a major international phenomenon.

social sciences >> Overview:  Gay Rights Movement, U. S.

The U.S. gay rights movement has made significant progress toward achieving equality for glbtq Americans, and in the process has become more inclusive and diverse, but much remains to be done.

social sciences >> Overview:  Homophile Movement, U. S.

The homophile movement of the United States refers to organizations and political strategies employed by homosexuals from the end of World War II to 1970.

social sciences >> Overview:  Identity Politics

Not limited to activity in the traditionally conceived political sphere, identity politics refers to activism, politics, theorizing, and other similar activities based on the shared experiences of members of a specific social group, often relying on shared experiences of oppression.

literature >> Overview:  Journalism and Publishing

The gay and lesbian press is of prime importance in sustaining a frequently embattled minority and has been crucial in the development of a national mass movement for gay rights.

social sciences >> Overview:  Los Angeles

The glbtq history of Los Angeles, the U.S.'s second largest metropolis, is replete with cultural, social, and political firsts.

social sciences >> Overview:  Metropolitan Community Church

The Metropolitan Community Church, a Christian denomination founded to minister to the glbtq community, has grown into a worldwide ministry with over 40,000 members in 18 countries.

social sciences >> Overview:  New York City

Off and on over two centuries, New York City has also reigned as the capital of homosexual, transgender, and queer life in America.

social sciences >> Overview:  Parades and Marches

Both parades and marches have served to render the glbtq community visible; whereas marches typically attempt to effect political change, parades and pride events affirm identity and community.

literature >> Overview:  Poetry: Lesbian

Since the 1960s, the general trend in lesbian poetry has been collective and political rather than purely aesthetic.

literature >> Overview:  Romantic Friendship: Female

Until the beginning of the twentieth century, intimate, exclusive, and often erotic romantic friendships between women were largely perceived as normal and socially acceptable.

social sciences >> Overview:  Same-Sex Marriage

Lesbian and gay couples have been fighting for the freedom to marry since the dawn of the modern glbtq struggle for equality; despite some success abroad, progress toward same-sex marriage in the United States has been slow.

social sciences >> Overview:  Situational Homosexuality

Situational homosexuality is same-sex sexual activity that occurs not as part of a gay life style, but because the participants happen to find themselves in a single-sex environment for a prolonged period.

social sciences >> Overview:  Transgender

"Transgender" has become an umbrella term representing a political alliance between all gender variant people who do not conform to social norms for typical men and women and who suffer political oppression as a result.

social sciences >> Overview:  Transgender Activism

Since the late nineteenth century, transgendered people have advocated legal and social reforms that would ameliorate the kinds of oppression and discrimination they suffer.

social sciences >> Achtenberg, Roberta

American activist and politician Roberta Achtenberg is the first openly gay person to be confirmed by the United States Senate for a major political post.

social sciences >> ACT UP

Using bold images and confrontational tactics, ACT UP worked to promote awareness of AIDS and challenge the complacency of politicians and government officials in the early years of the epidemic.

arts >> Barton, Crawford

Photographer Crawford Barton captured the blossoming of an openly gay culture in San Francisco in the 1960s and 1970s.

social sciences >> Berdache

Both male and female berdaches (or two-spirit persons), common among Native American tribal cultures, were characterized by gender variation sanctioned by supernatural dreams and visions.

social sciences >> Bingham, Mark

Mark Bingham, San Francisco businessman and rugby enthusiast, is believed to have helped avert the crash of United Airlines Flight 93 into a populated landmark on September 11, 2001.

arts >> Black, Dustin Lance

Academy Award-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black has quickly established himself as both an accomplished filmmaker and a committed activist.

social sciences >> Bryant, Anita

Former beauty queen, popular singer, and orange juice pitchwoman, Anita Bryant became the poster-girl for homophobia in the late 1970s; her name continues to be a byword for bigotry.

arts >> Caja, Jerome

San Francisco visual artist Jerome Caja is known for his small, sensuous combinations of found objects, which he painted with nail polish, makeup, and glitter, as well as for his drag performances.

social sciences >> Daughters of Bilitis

The first national lesbian political and social organization in the United States, the Daughters of Bilitis was a significant part of the pre-Stonewall lesbian and gay rights movement.

arts >> Epstein, Rob

Writer, director, and producer Rob Epstein is one of the most accomplished documentary filmmakers of his generation, having worked on a number of landmark gay-themed films.

social sciences >> Gay Activists Alliance

An important organization of the early post-Stonewall era, the Gay Activists Alliance, which flourished from 1969 to 1974, strove to give gay men and lesbians visibility in American politics.

social sciences >> Gay Liberation Front

Formed soon after the Stonewall Riots of 1969, the short-lived but influential Gay Liberation Front brought a new militancy to the movement that became known as gay liberation.

literature >> Gidlow, Elsa

Elsa Gidlow, known to many as the "poet-warrior," was unabashedly visible as an independent woman, a lesbian, a writer, and a bohemian-anarchist at a time when such visibility was both unusual and potentially dangerous.

literature >> Ginsberg, Allen

The forthrightly gay Allen Ginsberg is probably the best-known American poet to emerge in the post-World War II period.

literature >> Hall, Radclyffe

Radclyffe Hall, who lived her lesbianism openly and proudly, is best known for The Well of Loneliness, arguably the most important lesbian novel ever written.

social sciences >> Hay, Harry

Activist Harry Hay, an original member of both the Mattachine Society and the Radical Faeries, is recognized as one of the principal founders of the gay liberation movement in the United States.

social sciences >> Hirschfeld, Magnus

German-born Magnus Hirschfeld deserves recognition as a significant theorist of sexuality and the most prominent advocate of homosexual emancipation of his time.

social sciences >> Hormel, James C.

Philanthropist and political activist James C. Hormel became the first openly gay United States ambassador despite the vociferous opposition of conservative groups.

social sciences >> Jones, Cleve

Activist Cleve Jones is best known as the originator of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, but his life as a gay man has always been firmly interwoven with his life as a political organizer.

literature >> Kerouac, Jack

The bisexual Jack Kerouac omitted references to his homosexuality from his otherwise autobiographical works.

social sciences >> Lyon, Phyllis, (b. 1924) and Del Martin (1921-2008)

Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin were among the founders of a lesbian liberation movement that developed and enlarged the very definition of lesbianism.

social sciences >> Mattachine Society

One of the earliest American gay movement organizations, the Mattachine Society was dedicated to the cultural and political liberation of homosexuals; but in the face of McCarthyism, it adopted conservative policies of accommodationism.

social sciences >> Milk, Harvey

Harvey Milk, among the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in the United States, was assassinated in San Francisco's City Hall, making him the American gay liberation movement's most visible martyr.

social sciences >> Queer Nation

The short-lived militant group Queer Nation, which emerged in 1990, made a lasting impact on sexual identity politics in the United States.

arts >> Rainbow Flag

Designed by Gilbert Baker in 1978, the rainbow flag has become a popular (and sometimes controversial), internationally recognized symbol of gay and lesbian pride.

literature >> Reed, Paul

By writing the earliest novel to respond directly to AIDS and subsequently producing innovative journal and sex writing, American author Paul Reed made several significant contributions to glbtq literature.

social sciences >> Sarria, José

José Sarria, a San Francisco singer, drag performer, and activist, exemplified gay pride before the phrase was invented.

literature >> Stein, Gertrude

In addition to becoming--with Alice B. Toklas--half of an iconic lesbian couple, Gertrude Stein was an important innovator and transformer of the English language.

literature >> Stevenson, Edward Irenaeus Prime-

Edward Prime-Stevenson, who wrote both fiction and nonfiction, might well be styled the first modern American gay author.

literature >> Stoddard, Charles Warren

A pioneering California writer, Charles Warren Stoddard is best known for his homoerotic tales collected as South-Sea Idyls and The Island of Tranquil Delights.

social sciences >> Stonewall Riots

The confrontations between police and demonstrators at the Stonewall Inn in New York City the weekend of June 27-29, 1969 mark the beginning of the modern glbtq movement for equal rights.


    Bibliography
   

Armstrong, Elizabeth. Forging Gay Identities: Organizing Sexuality in San Francisco, 1950-1994. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002.

Asbury, Herbert. The Barbary Coast: An Informal History of the San Francisco Underworld. New York: Alfred Knopf, 1933.

Boyd, Nan Alamilla. Wide-Open Town: A Queer History of San Francisco, 1945-1965. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003.

Gidlow, Elsa. Elsa: I Come with My Songs: The Autobiography of Elsa Gidlow. San Francisco: Booklegger Press, 1986.

Library and Archives of the GLBT Historical Society, www.glbthistory.org.

Margolin, Malcolm. The Ohlone Way. Berkeley, Calif.: Heyday, 2002.

Mayne, Xavier [Edward Iranaeus Prime-Stevenson]. The Intersexes: A History of Similisexualism as a Problem in Social Life. New York: Arno Press, 1975.

Shilts, Randy. The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk. New York: St. Martin's, 1982.

Stryker, Susan, and Jim Van Buskirk. Gay by the Bay: A History of Queer Culture in the San Francisco Bay Area. San Francisco: Chronicle, 1996.

 

    Citation Information
         
    Author: Stryker, Susan  
    Entry Title: San Francisco  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
 
    Publication Date: 2004  
    Date Last Updated September 3, 2006  
    Web Address www.glbtq.com/social-sciences/san_francisco.html  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
 
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2004, glbtq, inc.  
 

 

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