Featured Library: San Francisco Public Library

June is Gay and Lesbian Pride Month, and this year it is also the fortieth anniversary of San Francisco’s Pride Celebration and Parade. To commemorate this historic event, San Francisco Public Library (SFPL) is hosting a number of programs and films under the theme “40 and Fabulous.”

The kickoff event, “Out and Off the Margins: LGBT Authors Make History,” a collaboration with Cleis Press, will be June 1. Bay Area Reporter writer Jim Provenzano will host writers Jon Ginoli, Anne Weldy, Felice Newman, Rob Rosen, and Rachel Pepper for a discussion at the Main Library.

On June 8, San Francisco Pride, Fabled ASP (Fabulous Bay Area Lesbians with Disabilities: A Storytelling Project), SFPL’s Access Services, and the James C. Hormel Gay and Lesbian Center will present “Pride Extravaganza: 40 Years of San Francisco Pride and Four Decades of Lesbians with Disabilities Activism.” Library Commission President Jewelle Gomez and community Grand Marshals of the past will host the celebration, with speakers including Fabled ASP founder Laura Rifkin, community activist Diane Sabin, and SF Pride officials. The evening will culminate in musical sets by jazz pianist Mary Watkins and singer Lisa Cohen.

In addition, SFPL and the Hormel Gay and Lesbian Center will co-sponsor the National Queer Arts Festival, beginning with the annual RADAR Superstars Program on June 2. This year’s RADAR Superstars include Lambda Literary Award Winning author and Pulitzer-winning team journalist Achy Obejas; performance video artist and filmmaker Nao Bustamante; and writers Tim Miller (1001 Beds) and Alistair McCartney (The End of the World Book). This will be followed by a weekly, three-part series starting on June 9, “Old School: Writers Unearth and Re-Imagine the Lives and Legacies of Queers Gone By,” that features a number of writers and performance artists.

In recognition of Pride month, and in light of current events around same-sex marriage rights, SFPL presents “Heather Has Cool Mommies,” a weekly film series Thursdays at noon. Featured documentaries and films include:

  • Choosing Children (1985). An intimate look at the issues faced by women who become parents after coming out as lesbians.

  • In My Shoes: Stories of Youth with LGBT Parents (2005). Five young people whose parents are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender discuss their own views on marriage, making change, and what it means to be a family.

  • Transparent (2005). Looks at nineteen female-to-male transsexuals living in the United States who have given birth and, in all but a few cases, gone on to raise their biological children.

  • Transamerica (2006). About a pre-operative, male-to-female transsexual who holds down two jobs and saves every penny to pay for the one last operation that will make her a woman. Felicity Huffman gives an Oscar-nominated performance as a caring but overwhelmed parent trying to save herself and her wayward son.

  • Daddy and Pappa (2002). A documentary exploring the personal, cultural, and political impact of gay men who are making a decision that is at once traditional and revolutionary: to raise children themselves.

Closing out the month, the library will host Shanghai Pride on June 29, which will highlight Shanghai’s first gay pride celebration.