San Francisco gets first gay museum in US

Thursday, January 13, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO - The first gay museum in the US is opening in San Francisco, cementing the city’s reputation as a mecca for alternative lifestyles.

The institution, which gets its grand opening Thursday, is known as the GLBT History Museum, using the common acronym for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender.

The museum is situated in the city’s heavily homosexual Castro district and features personal items from gay pioneer Harvey Milk, who was the first openly gay elected politician in California before being assassinated, as well as manuscripts, sex toys and an exhibition called “Our Vast Queer Past: Celebrating GLBT History.”

“The GLBT History Museum is in the heart of the Castro, a neighbourhood visited not only by locals but also by tens of thousands of tourists every year who come in search of queer culture,” said Paul Boneberg, executive director of the GLBT Historical Society.

“We have gone all out to create a museum as rich, diverse and surprising as the GLBT community itself.”

In a statement, Boneberg said that the idea for the museum was boosted when more than 25,000 visitors flocked to a temporary exhibit that was staged following the 2008 release of the film Milk, for which Sean Penn won an Oscar for his portrayal of the groundbreaking gay politician.

will not be displayed