50 Years of Pride
The GLBT Historical Society and the San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) Galleries, with the support of San Francisco Pride, present 50 Years of Pride, a new exhibition opening on Thursday, May 7 on the ground floor and North Light Court of San Francisco City Hall. The exhibition displays nearly 100 photographs to celebrate five decades of San Francisco Pride, one of the city's most beloved public festivals.
On June 28, 1970, a small group of LGBTQ people marched down Polk Street—then San Francisco's most prominent queer neighborhood—to mark an event called "Christopher Street Liberation Day." Commemorating the one-year anniversary of the historic Stonewall uprising on Christopher Street in New York City, the march was followed by an intimate "gay-in" at Speedway Meadows in Golden Gate Park. Fifty years later, this modest gathering has evolved into San Francisco Pride, a globally famous annual parade and celebration that welcomes hundreds of thousands of participants and spectators from around the world the last weekend in June.
Encompassing examples of photojournalism, portraiture, fine-art photography, posters, and magazine covers, 50 Years of Pride honors how San Francisco's LGBTQ community has come into its own since that first humble Pride gathering. The exhibition explores how Pride has reflected and refracted the community's priorities, responses, and activism in times of hope and despair, triumph and setback. Images drawn from the GLBT Historical Society's archives are joined by photographs held by other institutions, as well as works by over a dozen independent queer photographers.
50 Years of Pride is curated by Lenore Chinn and Pamela Peniston and is a collaborative project of the GLBT Historical Society and the SFAC Galleries. The exhibition has been made possible by the generous support of San Francisco Pride. Additional support for 50 Years of Pride is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and San Francisco Grants for the Arts.
The GLBT Historical Society is also mounting a separate exhibition focusing on the early development of Pride. Entitled Labor of Love: The Birth of San Francisco Pride, 1970–1980, this exhibition opens at the GLBT Historical Society Museum on April 15, 2020. For more information, visit the GLBT Historical Society website at www.glbthistory.org.
Photo credit: Saul Bromberger and Sandra Hoover, Dykes on Bikes, 1988