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Love Wins: The Pride Issue

Taking stock of the Bay Area’s LGBTQ community—its leaders, its schisms, its struggles—in the new age of equality.

 

“Out Is In” read the headline superimposed over the photo of a young blond funeral director lying supine on a couch. It’s been 15 years since San Francisco devoted an issue to “the Gay Area” and the “out lesbians and gays making us all richer, sexier, smarter, and more open.” And boy, how things have changed. Coming out, formerly the most tortured decision a queer person could make, has now been eclipsed by the ultimate risky move: getting married. The group-identity acronym of choice, LGBT, has been appended with a Q, for “queer” (and sometimes with another Q, an I, and an A, though we’re opting for just one Q here). Transgender people have seized a starring role in the culture—and have been punished by some states for their efforts. And lesbian couples can now choose sperm donors from a list of celebrity look-alikes. What a world! But the greatest difference in the lives of LGBTQ Bay Areans between ’01 and ’16 is how notdifferent they’ve become. Out isn’t in anymore—out just is. And although full equality is still more aspiration than reality—just look at the disproportionate number of gay and trans youths living homeless on our streets—the strides we’ve taken, the talents we’ve fostered, and the families we’ve made are worthy of extended celebration. Here’s to the Gay Area, now and forever.

 

To the Bathrooms, Comrades!
From the death of DOMA to the birth of the bathroom bill, the fight for equality grinds on. By Brandon R. Reynolds

Last Exit 
Can SF’s original “queer ghetto” remain a refuge? By Toshio Meronek

Party at Juanita’s
The queen of Pride shares her hostessing secrets. By Sara Deseran

Two Women and Hopefully a Baby
The headaches and heartbreaks of lesbian conception. By Rachel Levin

The LGBTQ 100
Meet the leading local lights, from business to activism to science to sports. By Brock Keeling and Leilani Marie Labong

Gays in the Woods
On learning to be a Country Gay. By Brock Keeling

Chasing the Pink Dollar
Corporate America invests in being wholesomely queer. By Lauren Murrow

The Day Harvey Milk Didn’t Die
A plot foiled, a murder thwarted, and an icon, still cranking, at the age of 86. By Joe Eskenazi

Fetish's New Safe Word: Open Space
Developers turn once-clandestine hangouts into sanitized public spaces. By Lamar Anderson

Affinities: Pioneers in Residence
Meet the applicants of Openhouse Community, a new affordable housing development that provides services to LGBTQ seniors. By Lauren Murrow

 

Originally published in the June issue of San Francisco

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