Gay History Museum Celebrates The Summer of Love

PHOTO: Allen Ginsberg at the Human Be-In, Golden Gate Park (1967). Copyright © Lisa Law.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1967 “Summer of Love,” the GLBT History Museum in San Francisco presents a new exhibition “Lavender-Tinted Glasses: A Groovy, Gay Look at the Summer of Love.”

“In San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury district, young people were seeking a way out of what they saw as the soul-destroying alienation of materialism,” curator Joey Cain says. “They created new art, philosophies, politics, forms of self-expansion, music and relationships. The city already had a dynamic LGBTQ community, and many members saw the developments of the Summer of Love as opening the way to greater liberation.”

“Lavender-Tinted Glasses” tells this story by highlighting the roles of four queers in the making of the Summer of Love: gay poet Allen Ginsberg, gay filmmaker Kenneth Anger, bisexual philosopher Gavin Arthur and bisexual rock star Janis Joplin. All of them brought their perspectives as artists, visionaries and sexual outsiders to the uprising; all made a lasting impact on American culture. In addition, the exhibition documents the ways San Francisco’s homophile community responded.”

Located in the city’s Castro Distict “Gayborhood” “Lavender-Tinted Glasses: A Groovy, Gay Look at the Summer of Love” runs through September 17.

The exhibit is curated by Joey Cain, a San Francisco-based community activist, researcher and historian who served for 8 on the board of directors of the San Francisco LGBT Pride Parade and Celebration Committee.

Photo: Daniel Nicoletta

Whatever your sexual orientations is, check out San Francisco’s queer history at the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Museum. The fascinating museum features constantly changing exhibits and is a fun museum trip for anyone interested in the history of sexuality. The main gallery displays focus on facets of San Francisco queer life from the Gold Rush to today.

Ongoing exhibitions include the life of San Francisco luminaries such as Harvey Milk, who was assassinated for being gay. Another exhibit charts the interesting history of lesbians called “Lesbians of the Ladder,” which explores the publications that brought them together, along with an exploration of secret lesbian bars. Dating back to the 1930’s, they were called “female social clubs” at the time, a respite from the “virulently homophobic society” of the era.

An emotional exhibit visits the history of the HIV epidemic, and “The Gayborhood” exhibit visits the clubs, bars, bathhouses, and restaurants of the queer community in The Tenderloin District, The North Beach neighborhood, and the Valencia Street Corridor. The museum features cocktail receptions and talks including “How the sexual revolution remade San Francisco.”

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Anka Radakovich is a legendary Sex Columnist, Certified Sexologist, Sex Therapist, Sex Educator, Screenwriter, and Author of the new book THE WILD GIRLS CLUB, PART 2, Tales from New York to Hollywood. THE WILD GIRLS CLUB, Part 2 is her third book. Her first two books, The Wild Girls Club; Tales from below the Belt, and Sexplorations; Journeys to the Erogenous Frontier were both published by Crown/Random House. She was the Sex Columnist for DETAILS Magazine for 9 years and is currently a Sex Columnist for BRITISH GQ and writes the weekly "Ask Anka"/"Sexual Healing" column for Her writing has appeared in dozens of magazines including Marie Claire, Women’s Health, Men’s Health, Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Men's Journal, Seventeen, Glamour, and Maxim. She has appeared on numerous television shows including 8 appearances with Conan O’Brien. She was a Jeopardy question under the category “Men’s Mags.” As a Sex Educator and Sexologist, she is a college lecturer at Universities throughout the country who offers her unique brand of sex education. Follow her on Twitter @ankarad.