Wide-Open Town: A History of Queer San Francisco to 1965 (Google eBook)

Front Cover
University of California Press, May 23, 2003 - Social Science - 333 pages
4 Reviews
Wide-Open Town traces the history of gay men and lesbians in San Francisco from the turn of the century, when queer bars emerged in San Francisco's tourist districts, to 1965, when a raid on a drag ball changed the course of queer history. Bringing to life the striking personalities and vibrant milieu that fueled this era, Nan Alamilla Boyd examines the culture that developed around the bar scene and homophile activism. She argues that the communities forged inside bars and taverns functioned politically and, ultimately, offered practical and ideological responses to the policing of San Francisco's queer and transgender communities. Using police and court records, oral histories, tourist literature, and manuscript collections from local and state archives, Nan Alamilla Boyd explains the phenomenal growth of San Francisco as a "wide-open town"a town where anything goes. She also relates the early history of the gay and lesbian civil rights movement that took place in San Francisco prior to 1965.

Wide-Open Town argues that police persecution forged debates about rights and justice that transformed San Francisco's queer communities into the identity-based groups we see today. In its vivid re-creation of bar and drag life, its absorbing portrait of central figures in the communities, and its provocative chronicling of this period in the country's most transgressive city, Wide-Open Town offers a fascinating and lively new chapter of American queer history.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

Review: Wide-Open Town: A History of Queer San Francisco to 1965

User Review  - Whitney - Goodreads

A history of the emergence of the gay community in San Francisco. She talks about the differences between gay bar culture and homophile political movements and where/when they merge. I love that city. Read full review

Review: Wide-Open Town: A History of Queer San Francisco to 1965

User Review  - Ralowe Ampu - Goodreads

it feels very tired to suggest that this is required reading for any politically-involved queer person living in san francisco but if you're planning on doing any work here the history in this book ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

San Francisco Was a WideOpen Town
1
ORAL HISTORY
20
Transgender and Gay Male Cultures from the 1890s through the 1960s
25
ORAL HISTORY
63
Lesbian Space Lesbian Territory San Franciscos North Beach District 19331954
68
ORAL HISTORY
102
Policing Queers in the 1940s and 1950s Harassment Prosecution and the Legal Defense of Gay Bars
108
ORAL HISTORY
148
ORAL HISTORY
194
Queer Cooperation and Resistance A Gay and Lesbian Movement Comes Together in the 1960s
200
Marketing a Queer San Francisco
237
Map of North Beach Queer Bars and Restaurants 19331965
243
List of Interviewees
246
NOTES
247
INDEX
303
Copyright

A Queer Ladder of Social Mobility San Franciscos Homophile Movements 19531960
159

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page xi - Conference, sponsored by the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at the City University of New York. See also Peggy Mclntosh, "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack," Peace and Freedom (July/August 1989): 10-12.

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2003)

Nan Alamilla Boyd is Assistant Professor of Women's and Gender Studies at Sonoma State University.

Bibliographic information