On Saturday, March 10, 2018, at 4pm, LGBT leaders, LGBT and neighborhood organizations, activists and community members came gather at the former site of The Gangway and marched through Polk Gulch, laying black wreaths at the sites of former queer spaces in the historic LGBT district. Participants called on elected officials, foundations, and philanthropists, as well as residents and lovers of San Francisco, to both commemorate the city’s LGBTQ past and take active steps to sustain the city’s living queer heritage and culture.
Beginning in the 1950s, Polk Street was a destination for the country’s LGBT community, and by the early 70s was the gayest street in San Francisco, according to the Citywide LGBTQ Historic Context Statement. There have been almost 80 queer bars and establishments within a 12 block stretch of Polk Street since that time. Very few remain. San Francisco’s oldest continuously operating gay bar, The Gangway, closed its doors earlier in March 2018.
“At a time when LGBT rights are again under attack by our President and conservative politicians, reclaiming queer space is as important as ever,” said Juanita MORE! “That includes affordable housing and affordable commercial space for our queer community to live and thrive.”
Out of the bars and into the streets!