The Bay Area Reporter distributed its first edition on April 1, 1971. While publisher Bob Aaron Ross may have chosen April Fool’s Day as as a light-hearted start for the gay community’s latest bar “rag,” the newspaper would go on to do serious journalism, covering the major events of the post-Stonewall era.
“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.” While the remark may or may not have been made by Mark Twain, it certainly rings true as we compare the 1980s with 2020, when an incompetent response to a pandemic and a minority’s call for justice brought people to the streets.
As San Francisco marks the 50th Anniversary of the first LGBTQ rights march, the program “Out in the Bay” is returning to the air on KSFP, a radio station created by the San Francisco Public Press. “Out in the Bay” returns after a four-year hiatus. It ran weekly on public radio station KALW from 2004 to 2016, covering a pivotal period in the LGBTQ rights movement that saw the legalization of same-sex marriage, the enactment of hate-crime legislation and major advances in the rights of transgender people. Mel Baker, producer and contributor for “Civic,” spoke with “Out in the Bay” founding producer and host Eric Jansen and producer Truc Nguyen about the show and the parallels between the LGBTQ rights movement and the broader fight for civil rights. The brutal, homophobic murder of Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyoming in 1998 energized nationwide protests against hate crimes, Jansen said.
Every year, San Francisco Pride events bring hundreds of thousands of people to the city during the last week of June to commemorate the Stonewall Riots in New York City, which kicked off the modern LGBTQ movement. This year was expected to be larger than ever, marking the 50th anniversary of San Francisco’s first march, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced its abrupt cancellation on April 14, 2020.
Years before charting the evolution and diversity of Latino political life in the city, a historian came here to become an activist. His book recalls major battlegrounds from the 1930s to the 1970s: union campaigns; civil rights organizing; elections; Great Society mobilizations; and feminist, gay and lesbian activism. Read an excerpt from “Latinos and the Liberal City” by Eduardo Contreras.
Ellen Lee Zhou has a plan to help end San Francisco’s homelessness crisis. And it could involve you. Zhou, a public-health worker, said that if elected mayor, she would pay homeowners monthly stipends to house and mentor some of the city’s estimated 4,300 unsheltered residents. Interested? Sixth in a series analyzing the mayoral candidates’ records and pledges on housing and homelessness.
San Francisco has the highest percentage of unsheltered youths in the nation — more than 1,200 between 18 and 24 years old, at last count. Host homes could get many off the streets. Would you welcome a homeless youth into your home?
Before his death, Supervisor Harvey Milk introduced an “anti-speculation” proposal that would have heavily taxed profits generated by quickly flipping properties in San Francisco. Now Brian Basinger, a housing activist and former president of the nostalgically named Harvey Milk Democratic Club, is pushing for the city to resurrect it. The proposal was one of seven considered at Saturday’s citywide Tenant Convention at the Tenderloin Community School auditorium. Participants were able to rank their preference for various proposals by ballot. The event was the culmination of a series of neighborhood tenant conventions that aimed to generate ideas to solve the city’s affordable housing crisis.
The coverage following the two Supreme Court rulings for same-sex marriage reflects the jubilant celebration of gay rights advocates, eclipsing dissenting opinions on the Supreme Court decision.
Same-sex marriage proponents celebrated an important victory Tuesday in San Francisco following the 9th Circuit Court’s ruling that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional. Backers of Proposition 8 were expected to appeal, either by asking for a review by a full panelof the court or by appealing directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Foster City drugmaker Gilead recently updated its application with the federal Food and Drug Administration for approval to market its HIV treatment medication Truvada as an HIV prevention pill. If the FDA approves Truvada for preventive use, it “would be the first agent indicated for uninfected individuals to reduce the risk of acquiring HIV through sex,” according to a company statement at the time of the filing in December 2011.