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Twin Peaks bar San Francisco (group photo)

Twin Peaks group photo from 10 years ago.

In Remembrance of Alan Snelling

Alan Snelling was originally from Oklahoma he came to California when he was very young and grew up in the Central Valley of California, worked for Chevron and BofA during his working career, retired around 2000, he survived his late partner Gus. Alan was well educated, a close friend that I admired and I spend many wonderful times with him in San Francisco especially the Twin Peaks, with the many local regulars of the “wrinkle room.” Here are a few photos of Alan to remember him. RIP Alan we love you.

37 years since the assassination of Harvey Milk

Today marks 37 years since the assignation of Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone at City Hall in San Francisco.
These photos are from the annual Harvey Milk Annual Candlelight March from Castro Street to City Hall, around 1990, not positive of the year.

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In pouring down rain, November 27, 1998, Harry Britt honoring Harvey Milk at the 20th Annual Candlelight March.

June 2015 will be 45 years of Pride

Trevor Hailey

“If we don’t write our own history, someone else will and we won’t like what they had to say.”
Trevor Hailey, the late Castro Street Historian

June is upon us and it’s Pride month; but I believe we celebrate our unique presence in the world everyday, Pride is also about history, I remember those early years the first “Gay” parade I marched in 1970, we marched unceremoniously through San Francisco’s Tenderloin (don’t remember the street) and down Polk St. many people on the street cheering, many booing at us and yelling “Queer” and “Faggot.” I’ve been a witness to our history and I’m a tired old queen now, but here we are 45 years later, I never thought I’d see the day of our realizing equality and acceptance.

The accomplishments of our struggles have spread throughout the world, making life easier for younger generations. However, our worldly acceptance comes at a price; LGBTQ culture is being assimilated and we are becoming too mainstream, so beware of the anti-gay backlash from those that hate us, you know who they are, they would not hesitate to take away our civil rights given the chance. As part of the defense in protecting our hard won struggle for equality, it’s important to celebrate our culture, keeping it alive and documenting our LGBTQ Heritage through; historical preservation, photography, art, literature, performance, film, political activism, government involvement and voting.

Preserving our history is probably the most valuable cultural asset we have.

Early Pride photos, 1980.

Happy Pride.

Honoring Harvey Milk’s Birthday – a tribute by Harry Britt

Harry Britt’s poignant words remembering Harvey Milk on a rainy night in The Castro during the 20th Candlelight Vigil, November 28, 1998.

Looking Back 2004 & 2005 images from The Castro

Reflecting back 10 years I found an assortment of photos that really depict The Castro. The photos speak for themselves: some from Folsom St, Dore Alley, Pink Saturday, The Twin Peaks and various street shots.

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Twin Peaks Bar, we were so disappointed at the election results that year.



 

Honoring Jimmy Langham at sea

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The Gallery has been edited 3-24-2015 [click here]

Jimmy Dale Langham

March 22, 1962 – October 24, 2014

In remembrance of Jimmy, Donald Ferguson, his partner, hosted a gathering of family and many friends from all over the country, March 22, 2015, in San Francisco for one last time to honor Jimmy and spread his ashes at sea near the Golden Gate Bridge.

“Jimmy” never a James was born in Mississippi, but considered New Orleans as his home.  As a young man he worked his way through college to receive a degree in Advertising and Design, and moved to New Orleans where he worked as a Graphic Artist for several years until he met his long time partner and spouse Donald Ferguson.  Jimmy and Donald moved together to New York City where they spent ten years.  Jimmy was the chief Graphics Designer for Donald’s Public Relations firm, Geduldig and Ferguson.  When that firm merged with a global PR firm in 2004, Jimmy and Donald were relocated to San Francisco for four years, then “retired” to Palm Springs, CA. in 2008.  They kept a second home in New Orleans until after Katrina, but have made multiple visits yearly to Jimmy’s favorite place. Jimmy and Donald were together for 23 years, legally marrying November 1, 2008.  Jimmy is survived by his loving partner and spouse Donald, his mother Mary Lou Hughes, his older sister Pam (David) Walker and younger sister Donna Hays.  He has three nephews, Donovan and Christopher Hays and Tyler Langham, and a niece Madison Olivia Cliburn.  He is also survived by all of the members of the Ferguson family who embraced him fully, and his many Palm Springs friends and friends throughout the country.

Jimmy loved to party and loved life and friends!  His favorite quote was:

“A day without laughter is a day wasted.”

The only way to take sorrow out of death is to take love out of life.

May he Rest in Peace.

Jimmy Dale Langham

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Jimmy Dale Langham

March 22, 1962 – October 24, 2014

A Celebration of Life for Jimmy Dale Langham, was held in Palm Springs, CA. Tuesday, December 30, below is a link to the slide show of photos from Jimmy’s life, compiled by Palm Springs photographer,  Eddie Fleming.

“Jimmy” never a James was born in Mississippi, but considered New Orleans as his home.  As a young man he worked his way through college to receive a degree in Advertising and Design, and moved to New Orleans where he worked as a Graphic Artist for several years until he met his long time partner and spouse Donald Ferguson.  Jimmy and Donald moved together to New York City where they spent ten years.  Jimmy was the chief Graphics Designer for Donald’s Public Relations firm, Geduldig and Ferguson.  When that firm merged with a global PR firm in 2004, Jimmy and Donald were relocated to San Francisco for four years, then “retired” to Palm Springs, CA. in 2008.  They kept a second home in New Orleans until after Katrina, but have made multiple visits yearly to Jimmy’s favorite place. Jimmy and Donald were together for 23 years, legally marrying November 1, 2008.  Jimmy is survived by his loving partner and spouse Donald, his mother Mary Lou Hughes, his older sister Pam (David) Walker and younger sister Donna Hays.  He has three nephews, Donovan and Christopher Hays and Tyler Langham, and a niece Madison Olivia Cliburn.  He is also survived by all of the members of the Ferguson family who embraced him fully, and his many Palm Springs friends and friends throughout the country.

Jimmy loved to party and loved life and friends!  His favorite quote was:

“A day without laughter is a day wasted.”

The only way to take sorrow out of death is to take love out of life.

May he Rest in Peace.

Genderally Speaking – gender expression photo exhibit – Sierra College

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A Sierra College student critique of “Genderally Speaking.”

“The pictures exhibited by Ron Williams were so unique and definitely not something that you see everyday. In his picture you could see how full of life these men and women were and how confident they were in themselves, something many of us strive for. It was beautiful to see picture full of smiles, colors, and confidence especially when these men and women face so much prejudice and discrimination based on societies narrow definition of normal. The makeup and the clothing were so extravagant and colorful that it automatically made you happy and made you question your own wardrobe, haha. I think there’s truly something to be said about being so unapologetically yourself and knowing whom you are and being comfortable with that. And I appreciate the photographers quote-

“Whether it’s masculine or feminine, I believe people passionate about their gender expression, in radical and creative ways, are the bravest of souls”.

Gender expression is an important part of our lives and to see someone basically flipping society on it’s head and saying screw it, I’ll do what I want is really inspiring and hopefully will be influential in loosening the boundaries we put on men and women to conform to the rules of gender. My favorite picture was a close up on a male in drag and the little smirk and fierceness in his eyes emitted so much confidence that for a few seconds I felt encouraged and confident myself. Drag queens could really teach society a thing or two about confidence and self-expression in a time where self acceptance is a rare virtue and many men and women feel pressure to look like one another. It makes me happy to know that we are no longer in a time where a school is sued for an exhibit like this one and where we are educating people about LGBT culture and the impact it has had on our society that we often will ignore.

Remembering the 1997 Castro Street Fair

1997 Castro Street Fair

A look back to the 1997 Castro St Fair. Things were much different then, these 35mm photos show some of the culture that has disappeared as time marches on.

A look back- Castro Street Fair 1995

Castro Street Fair 1995

Castro St Fair 1995

Here are a few photos from the Castro Street Fair, scanned from film, I believe there may be a few images mixed in from Easter earlier that year. The negs and slides were all mixed up, any comments or additional information always appreciated.

2006 – Empress José Sarria street dedication ceremony

This month marks the anniversary of Empress José Sarria passing, August 19, 2013. José is our revered champion of LGBTQ political activism and civil rights. On May 27, 2006, in The Castro, on 16th Street & Pond in front of the Eureka Valley/Harvey Milk Memorial Branch Library was dedicated as José Sarria Court. I had the pleasure of attending that ceremony and wanted to share some of my photos of that historic event.

Twin Peaks 1987 images from Rick Stevens Collection

Photos by Rick Stevens

A collection of photos from the Twin Peaks in San Francisco’s Castro District, the “Peaks” Twin Peaks in one of the original gay bars from the early 70s that still exists today.

Rick-Stevens-Twin-Peaks-from 1987

 

2006 – Twin Peaks in The Castro

A gallery of fascinating images from the Twin Peaks Tavern in The Castro; including a birthday dinner at the the Sausage Factory and cocktail parties at customers’ homes. It was all one big family.  And and Liz the cocktail waitress, her retirement party. Enjoy. Click here for the 2006 Twin Peaks Gallery.

Gladys Bumps.

Gladys Bumps.

2005 at the Twin Peaks Tavern

On a daily basis the Twin Peaks had its regulars that showed like clock work during cocktail hour, every day of the week, it was a big family, in a one big living room. Groups of friends from the “Peaks” would host dinners, parities at their homes and local restaurants in The Castro.  I’ve included photos from some of those events outside the Twin Peaks.

Liz the cocktail waitress was like our mother, she would joke, giggle and kid around with everyone, I think she has a much fun as we did.  Liz had an amazing personality with so much energy, she handled the crowded bar providing drinks to all the packed tables, she knew everyones name and what they drank, she was a professional. Please click on the photo for the 2005 gallery. Enjoy!

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2004 – Twin Peaks

The Twin Peaks tavern in The Castro, was one of the original Castro gay bars still operating today, originally opened in 1971 by Lesbian business woman Charlotte Coleman.  The Peaks has many affectionate names since it has been a popular hangout for older gay man and their younger admirers, The Wrinkle Room, The Glass Coffin, God’s Waiting Room and I sure I’ve forgotten many others.  It’s still one of the only bars in The Castro where you can sit at a table, party and enjoy cocktails with your friends. I have taken 100s of photos over the years, this is a first in a series of those photos starting from 2004.  Click the photo for the 2004 gallery. Enjoy!

Twin Peaks 2004

1998 – Matthew Shepard – Memorial and Protest

Matthew Shepard expressions of sympathy at 18th and Castro.

Matthew Shepard expressions of sympathy at 18th and Castro.

Matthew Shepard was brutally attacked on Oct 6, 1998 and he died on Oct 12, 1998 from the deadly injuries inflicted upon him.  The Castro was in a state of shock, there was a street protest, a candlelight vigil and community expressions of sympathy and outrage on the corner of 18th and Castro.  These photos reflect the hurt everyone felt by this hateful act.

1995 – 13th AIDS Candlelight

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A few photo from the 13th Annual AIDS Candlelight march. The banner was carried by many to city hall, including Mark Leno and Willie Brown.

2004 – Castro Street Fair

Castro Street from 2004, photos from the street and inside Twin Peaks Bar.

Castro Street Fair 2004

Castro Street Fair 2004

2003 – Castro St. Fair

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The Castro Street Fair is a vital part of the LGBT Community and The Castro.