GLBT History Museum Recalls Groovy Queer Summer of Love
Icons like Janis Joplin and Allen Ginsberg are fondly recalled in Lavender Tinted Glasses: A Groovy Gay Look At the Summer of Love, now on display through September 27 at the GLBT History Museum on 18th Street in the Castro.
Love-ins at Golden Gate Park and tie-died T shirts worn by beautiful people with flowers in their hair are also remembered, as are Queer underground publications of the period.
The exhibit is small, owing to the museum’s limited wall space. Regardless, visitors will learn a great deal about San Francisco’s Queer hippies, even with the show’s space limitations.
Items on display include the July 1967 cover for Vector, a long forgotten gay newspaper which was published by SIR – the Society For Individual Rights, a gay activist and advocacy group of that time. Vector’s cover invites readers to look inside and read The Homosexual, The Hippie and Love, the issue’s feature story.
SIR, we’re told, opened the city’s first gay community center on 6th Street, way back in 1966.
Vanguard, another queer publication of the era, is also displayed. Vanguard was an organization which served queer youth in the Tenderloin.
Maud’s, long the lesbian community’s favorite watering hole, is also remembered in an archival photograph. The museum tells us that Janis Joplin was a regular customer – a photo of Jae Whitaker, a charming looking young black woman who Joplin was in a relationship with, is included, as is the album cover for 1968’s Cheap Thrills, the hit album Joplin recorded with her band Big Brother and the Holding Company.
Maud’s was on Cole Street, near where the N Judah line stops today. A map takes museum visitors a few blocks down to Haight Street, which was home to numerous gay bars during those wild hippie days.
Nearby Golden Gate Park was where people went to put flowers in their hair and to sometimes shed their clothes with abandon–the spirit of which lives on today at the park’s Hippie Hill. Images from those original love-ins include a madly dancing Allen Ginsberg, who had already been out loud and proud for years.
There’s more to be seen in Lavender Tinted Glasses. Head on over to the GLBT History Museum through September 27, and check it out!