Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Zanderology: This film is an illustrated documentary about Zander Keig, a trans man who was born dead, paralyzed at age six, put in a mental hospital as a teen, was in a Mexican gang, joined the military, became an undercover drug officer, obtained three graduate degrees and is now a social worker for homeless veterans. Zanderology goes beyond telling people that it gets better and humorously explains how one person changed their life in almost every way possible. (Filmmaker: Megan Rohrer, 2014, TRT: 41:42).

See Zanderology at the Grace Film Festival
  •  San Francisco, CA: January 30, 2015 Location: Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, 3201 Ulloa St, San Francisco, CA
Previous Screenings:
  • Long Beach, CA: Dates: October 3 & 4; Location: Cultural Alliance Long Beach (CALB), Long Beach, CA.
  • Philadelphia, PA: Dates: October 4 & 5Location: The Rotunda in Philadelphia, PA. 
  • Omaha, NE: Date: October, 19; Location: Joslyn Art Museum, Abbott Lecture Hall, Omaha, NE. 
  • Minneapolis, MN: Dates: Sept 19 & 20; Location: Regis Center for Art (Influx), Minneapolis, MN. 
  • Durham, NC: Dates: September, 19 & 20; Location: North Carolina Central University, Micheaux School of Education, Durham, NC.   

Monday, August 5, 2013

Gay Tour of the Castro

(from the San Francisco Gay History Tour App)

Harvey Milk, helped to make the Castro famous.  Perhaps the most well known gay neighborhood in the world, the Castro has a long and varied past.  While some might think this history is limited to the small strip of Castro street that lives in the shadow of the huge rainbow flag that flies, those who live in the neighborhood extend the area to the Duboce Triangle, which is also included in our tour. 

San Francisco Gay Bar Tour

(from the San Francisco Gay History Tour App)

Bars have served as social and political centers of the gay universe.  The gay bars featured on the map are primarily from the 60s-80s.  As the AIDS crisis comes to San Francisco, the landscape of gay culture dramatically changes as the culture of sex, drugs and booze has to readjust for new times. 

Because there are so many locations that used to house gay bars, you are invited to use this map (particularly on days you are feeling lonely) to imagine the decades upon decades of gay celebrations that have donned the doorstep of so many San Francisco locations.  On days your family of origin doesn't understand you, remember the millions upon millions of folk that have loved like you or dreamed of expressing their gender in ways that you are able.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

San Francisco Gay Literary Tour

(from the San Francisco Gay History Tour App)

This tour marks notable locations where gay literary icons lived or had important events happen in their life.  Additional locations are being added to this tour regularly.

Purple pins indicate places that are written about by gay authors.  Green pins are locations where a gay authors lived or historical events happened.  Red pins are locations where you can learn more about the history of gay literature or literary figures.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Tenderloin Tour

(from the San Francisco Gay History Tour App)

In 1911, the neighborhood was part of "Happy Valley" (along with downtown and the contemporary SOMA district), in the 60's it was called Central City, today this gritty part of the city is known as the Tenderloin.  This neighborhood is home to many of the cities services for homeless and hungry individuals, because a group of urban ministers and neighbors were able to get the neighborhood  federal poverty dollars, by arguing that seniors and LGBTQ individuals experience similar prejudices and biases as neighborhoods of color.  This declaration, makes it the first federally recognized gay poverty district in the country.  This tour will highlight some of the LGBTQ locations of note.

Charles Warren Stoddard

(from the San Francisco Gay History Tour App)
The Charles Warren Stoddard Tour allows you to see San Francisco through the eyes of a gay writer from 1911.  This tour features excerpts from Stoddard's book In the Footprints of the Padres and will take you on a journey that involves murder, a cemetary under City Hall, life on the Barbary Coast and poetic descriptions of early San Franciscan life and architecture.

Charles Warren Stoddard (1843-1909)
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.

Stoddard was born in Rochester, New York, on August 7, 1843, third of five children and second son to Sarah Freeman and Samuel Burr Stoddard, a paper merchant. As their fortunes declined during the next decade, the family moved about upstate New York and then left for San Francisco in 1854.

Although Stoddard subsequently returned East for two years to live with his grandparents, he regarded himself as a Californian, and his first poems were published, under the pseudonym "Pip Pepperpod," in the Golden Era.

During the 1860s, after he had quit school and dedicated himself to a literary career, Stoddard joined San Francisco's journalistic and Bohemian circles, and he established enduring relationships with Ambrose Bierce, Ina Coolbrith, Bret Harte, and Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain).

Mark Twain moved to San Francisco in 1864 to work as a journalist and later wrote privately that Stoddard was “such a nice girl.”

Beloved for his wit and amiability, Stoddard had a genius for friendship; his large literary acquaintance ultimately included both contemporary and younger writers, such as Robert Louis Stevenson, W. D. Howells, Henry Adams, Joaquin Miller, Jack London, George Sterling, Bliss Carman, Yone Noguchi, and George Cabot Lodge.

Stoddard was also connected to the developing gay networks of the nineteenth century through his friendships with Theodore F. Dwight and Dewitt Miller.

Inspired to sexual self-awareness by reading Whitman's "Calamus" poems, Stoddard gained his first experience with the natives of Hawaii and Tahiti, about whom he wrote his best stories, those collected in South-Sea Idyls (1874, 1892) and The Island of Tranquil Delights (1904).

The subtle eroticism of Stoddard's tropical tales was evidently lost on his audience--except for "Xavier Mayne" (Edward Prime-Stevenson), who noted their significance in The Intersexes (1908). Readers were also mystified by Stoddard's only novel, For the Pleasure of His Company (1903), an (unsuccessfully) experimental work of gay fiction.

Stoddard fell in love with the painter Frank Millet during the 1870s and lived with him in Venice. But he usually favored youthful companions. Of his several "kids," as he called them, the most important was Kenneth O'Connor, aged fifteen in 1895, when Stoddard unofficially adopted him and took him home to his Washington "Bungalow."

In 1903, his health failing and his relationship with Kenneth deteriorating, Stoddard returned to California. After a triumphal visit to San Francisco, where he was feted as a pioneering California writer, he settled in Monterey, where he died of a heart attack on April 23, 1909.

Stoddard's modest literary reputation had already faded before his collected Poems appeared posthumously in 1917. The gayest of the island stories have been collected in Cruising the South Seas (1987).

From the Archives: Letter from Charles Warren Stoddard to Walt Whitman, 8 February 1867

Transcribed from a digital image or microfilm reproduction of the original manuscript.  The Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839-1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Vanguard Revisited Online Exhibit: Magazines

The Original Vanguard Magazine:
The original Vanguard produced an extraordinary self-titled magazine from 1966-69 that included themes of poverty and social stigma; related issues of drug use and sex work; isolation and loneliness; artistic expression; and faith and queer theology.
  • Volume 1 of the Original Vanguard Magazine:
 2011 Vanguard Revisited Magazine

Working with a variety of homeless youth services organizations, program coordinators Joey Plaster and Pastor Megan Rohrer presented the history of Vanguard to today’s queer youth. We then asked them to respond by submitting stories, art, and poetry “in conversation” with original 1960s essays, or touching on similar themes.

This magazine presents their writings along with reprints from the Vanguard Magazine of the 1960s. These materials are supplemented with archival materials, a historical narrative, and writings from urban ministers and youth organizers. Working over a period of three months with a group of youth at Larkin Street Youth Services, we sought to create a magazine that spoke to their expressed desire to “enlighten youth, celebrate the queer history of the Tenderloin, and create a voice for the unheard.”

The magazine is focused on the themes of:
Loneliness and Community, Poverty and Social Stigma, Drug Use and Sex Work, Sexuality and Gender, Mental Health and Queer Theology

Featured in the magazine are selections from the original Vanguard, oral history excerpts, original art, poetry and essays written by contemporary queer homeless youth in San Francisco's Tenderloin.
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Otro Vanguard, 2013 - is still in process