?

Log in

No account? Create an account

[icon] A sense of history - Patti
View:Recent Entries.
View:Archive.
View:Friends.
View:Profile.
View:Website (pattib.org).

Security:
Subject:A sense of history
Time:12:49 pm
Last night I had dinner with a couple of my coworkers, both of whom are gay men in their late 20s. We were talking about the history of San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood, and the gay bars and bath houses that were there.

In 1981, a huge fire broke out on Folsom Street. It destroyed 25 buildings, partially fed by broken gas lines. 120 people were left homeless. Radical sex photographer Mark I Chester had a lot of his work stolen or vandalized. A bit about it is here, though it's not entirely safe for work. Mark wound up suing the city over the work that they'd destroyed.

I was describing this to my coworkers, and one of them gave me a puzzled work. "Why would the city do that?"

The question threw me for a loop, and then it made me feel old. It hadn't occurred to me until now that there was such a huge generation gap between us-- they hadn't lived through the AIDS crisis, Anita Bryant was a quaint historical footnote for them, and they'd never really known discrimination based on their sexual orientation. "If you were gay in the 70s, the police weren't there to protect you." A look of dawning awareness told me that I'd hit my mark, but I think it was at an intellectual level rather than an emotional one.

From there we went to see the new Tales of the City musical. (Review: mixed bag, has potential, needs work.) Afterward, I found myself explaining a few of the cultural references.

The world is definitely a better place now, but it makes me sad that so much recent history is being forgotten.
comments: Leave a comment Previous Entry Share Next Entry


omahas
Link:(Link)
Time:2011-06-17 01:09 am (UTC)
The issues of Prop 8, etc, are viewed by most this country as actions by radical groups, not actions of the norm. And as much as it's bad that history is being forgotten, because those who forget their history are doomed to repeat it, it also means that they do feel that these actions are not the norm. That being gay doesn't mean that you have to pretend on a daily basis everywhere that you are something other than what you are (even those these issue are in some locations, such as the midwest, still very much a problem)

I think that we should celebrate the progress, while at the same time putting new energy into making certain that the history is not forgotten. I for one do not wish to see it repeated.
(Reply) (Thread)

[icon] A sense of history - Patti
View:Recent Entries.
View:Archive.
View:Friends.
View:Profile.
View:Website (pattib.org).