SF’s sordid anti-gay past in ‘Blackmail, My Love’

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Blackmail, My Love, is a noir murder-mystery novel set in San Francisco, 1951 – “The Dark Ages of Queerdom,” as author and illustrator Katie Gilmartin puts it – when cops raided gay and lesbian bars, beat up patrons and demanded “protection” money, and when lesbians and gay men were so afraid of public exposure they were easy blackmail targets.  The book is illustrated with 21 of Gilmartin’s original prints, including “Miss Double Strand” above. Historian, printmaker, Queer Ancestors Project founder and first-time novelist Katie Gilmartin, who reads from her book and talks about San Francisco queer life in days of yore, is Eric Jansen’s guest on this week’s Out in the Bay.  We also hear “The Widow Norton” herself (aka the late Jose Sarria, one of just two true-life characters in Blackmail, My Love) sing the 1950s anthem “God Save Us Nelly Queens.” (First aired Dec. 4, 2014; rebroadcast Jan. 29 and Nov. 19, 2015)

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Blackmail, My Love, is published by Cleis Press, Berkeley, California

Rainbow Honor Walk Teaches Queer History

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Twenty bronze sidewalk plaques guide pedestrians on a stroll through queer history in San Francisco’s Castro district. The Rainbow Honor Walk, a growing monument along the streets of San Francisco honoring LGBT pioneers, debuted one year ago. To celebrate the anniversary, Out in the Bay re-airs Eric Jansen’s interview with Rainbow Honor Walk co-founder David Perry at 7pm Thursday.  Or listen right now at the link below. You’ll also hear Steven Short’s feature on “The Queer Past Becomes Present,” an ongoing exhibit at the GLBT History Museum on 18th Street, also in the Castro.  (First aired October 2, 2014; rebroadcast 7pm PDT Oct. 1, 2015, on 91.7fm SF/ kalw.org)
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Harvey Milk In His Own Words

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In celebration of the U.S.Supreme Court marriage equality decision in June, we honor the first openly gay elected politician in America, Harvey Milk. Hear Harvey in his own words as scholars James Black and Charles Morris read from their book, “An Archive of Hope.” It’s a collection of Milk’s speeches, columns, and campaign materials, including his famous campaign motto: “You gotta give ’em hope.” Marilyn Pittman hosts. Thursday, July 23, 2015 at 7pm Pacific, 90.1fm and kalw.org. (First aired October 13, 2013)

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Gilbert Baker: The Rainbow Flag

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Find out how the rainbow came to be a worldwide symbol of the gay rights movement. Why was it so hard to find pink flag fabric? What do the colors stand for? Marilyn interviews Gilbert Baker, the creator of the Rainbow Flag which was created for San Francisco’s 1978 Pride Parade when Harvey Milk was leading the way. 7pm Thursday July 16th, 2015 at kalw.org, 91.7fm San Francisco. LISTEN

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Teaching Toddlers Queer History & Diversity

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Psychology professor Gayle Pitman’s picture book about Pride parades helps parents and teachers introduce sexual orientation concepts to very young kids. This Day in June‘s appended reading guide gives adults high points of LGBT culture and history. Since our June 2014 interview, it won the American Library Association’s 2015 Stonewall Award, the International Reading Association’s Notable Books for a Global Society Award and was named on The Advocate’s “40 Under 40” list as one of the most important books of the decade. In this interview with Out in the Bay host Eric Jansen, Pitman reads This Day in June — all 63 words! — and talks about the differences between writing for academics and for toddlers. Pitman, who teaches the psychology of sexual orientation and other subjects at Sacramento City College, says she finds today’s queer college students largely ignorant of LGBT history and is doing what she can to fix that. (Live interview conducted and aired 6/26/14, rebroadcast 6/11/15.)

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This Day in June is published by Magination Press, an imprint of the American Psychological Association.

Del & Phyllis: A six-decade love story

Del & Phyllis interview on Out in the Bay

The most famous lesbian couple in LGBT history got married the first time around on Feb. 12, 2004, in San Francisco City Hall after being together for 51 years.  They had moved in together on Castro Street in 1953, on Valentine’s Day, which they considered their anniversary. This Valentine’s Day weekend, we honor pioneering activists Phyllis Lyon and the late Del Martin in this encore broadcast of Eric Jansen’s intimate 2006 interview with them at their kitchen table, when they shared their tales of San Francisco life and love for lesbians and gay men in the 1950s, ’60s and since. We also hear perspectives on love collected by queer youth training program outLoud Radio.

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Broadcast Feb. 12, 2015. An hour-long two-part version, with testimonials from Del Martin’s civic memorial, is on our “Playing Favorites” page.

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