GLBT History Museum Links Bay Area African American Lives Past and Present

A new multimedia exhibit opening February 20 at The GLBT History Museum showcases the dynamic and diverse history of Bay Area African American gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender lives from the 1970s through today. “Legendary: African American GLBT Past Meets Present” features a mosaic of words, images and sounds that connect inspirational commentary by local queer community leaders with historic artifacts reflecting themes of art, belonging, justice and sexuality.

“Bay Area African American GLBT people have made powerful contributions to culture, community, activism and the erotic, yet there sometimes exists a disconnect with this rich history and how it undoubtedly influences the world we live in today,” notes curator Byron Mason. “We have been renegades, leaders, brothers and sisters who have for decades stood up for the beauty, importance and power of our own lives.” 

Commentators whose voices are highlighted in “Legendary” include Veronika Fimbres (transgender, veteran and HIV/AIDS activist); Shine Louise Houston (feminist porn director and entrepreneur); Honey Mahogany (RuPaul’s Drag Race); Dr. Kenneth Monteiro (dean of the College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University); Chaney Turner (Oakland-based event producer); and Marvin White (poet and novelist). The stories converge around a remarkable centerpiece: the late San Francisco disco diva Sylvester’s hot pink sequined stage ensemble.

Curator Bryon Mason is a longtime Bay Area activist, artist and social and behavioral sciences researcher focusing on sexuality and HIV/AIDS. “Legendary” is the second in an ongoing series of exhibits in the Corner Gallery at The GLBT History Museum that partner community curators with exhibitions professionals from the museum to create new perspectives on Bay Area queer history.

An opening reception will be held Wednesday, February 20, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. The exhibit runs through April 2013.The museum is open Monday and Wednesday through Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.; Sunday, noon – 5:00 p.m.; closed Tuesday. Admission is $5.00 (regular); $3.00 (California students with ID); free for members. For more information, visit

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