GLBT History Museum Presents "The Birth of the Rainbow Flag"

Monday Jun 18, 2012

San Francisco, CA - The GLBT History Museum has announced the first temporary exhibit in its new Corner Gallery space: "The Birth of the Rainbow Flag" focuses on the origins of an internationally recognized symbol of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.

In addition, the museum will unveil two new displays as part of its long-term exhibition "Our Vast Queer Past: Celebrating San Francisco's GLBT History." The exhibits will highlight the diversity of GLBT approaches to faith and family.

On display June 18 through August 31, the rainbow flag exhibit is a small, focused display that showcases one of the treasures from the archives of the GLBT Historical Society: the Singer sewing machine that designer Gilbert Baker used to create the first two rainbow flags.

Baker produced the flags for the 1978 Pride Parade in San Francisco -- the only Pride parade in which Harvey Milk participated during his brief term as California's first openly gay elected official. Also on display are photographs of the now-lost 1978 flags, as well as Baker's hand-dyed recreation of the original design.

The updates to "Our Vast Queer Past," likewise opening on June 18, bring two new themes into the museum's kaleidoscopic portrayal of the past 100 years of GLBT life in San Francisco.

Baker produced the flags for the 1978 Pride Parade in San Francisco -- the only Pride parade in which Harvey Milk participated during his brief term as California’s first openly gay elected official.

Each consists of one display case with a targeted selection of archival materials and artifacts:

  • "Faith: Inside/Outside/Against" examines the struggle by San Francisco's GLBT believers to claim space inside traditional religions, as well as GLBT participation in alternative spiritualities and in atheist and humanist critiques.

  • "Premarital Bonds: Creating Family Before Marriage Equality" looks at how GLBT San Franciscans created chosen families and other forms of kinship before the emergence of state recognition for same-sex couples.

    Admission to the museum is $5.00 general; $3.00 for California students; and free for members.

    The GLBT History Museum is the first full-scale, stand-alone museum of its kind in the United States. The museum is a project of the GLBT Historical Society, a research center and archives founded in 1985 that houses one of the world's largest collections of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender historical materials.

    For more information, visit www.glbthistory.org.

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