Gay & Lesbian SF - Points of Interest
A symbol of openness and freedom, the City is a mecca of open arms for gay men and women. Of course, certain San Francisco sites are more gay than others.
The epicenter of gay male culture, and it's all for sale! Over 18 bars line the few blocks surrounding the intersection of Castro and 18th St., where bustling, cruisy locals shop for groceries, linens, housewares and, possibly, houseboys.
This San Francisco movie palace nearly fell to ruin before locals turned their energy and ambition into making it a showplace. An organist performs before each showing, and the audience often responds with stomping, singing or clapping. First-run art films alternate with camp classics and politically savvy documentaries.
The lower reaches of Polk Street from Sacramento toward the Civic Center offers a grittier, less sanitized version of gay San Francisco life than does the Castro. Hustlers mingle with drag queens, club kids and slumming urbanites.
Every Sunday morning, muscled gay sun worshippers gather in the Southwest corner of the park, a sunny high ledge overlooking the city referred to as "Dolores Beach" by its denizens. The area surrounding Dolores Park is also known for a high concentration of lesbian women.
This tiny beach at the base of the Seacliff neighborhood has gorgeous views of the Golden Gate Bridge and a clothing-optional policy popular with gay men, lesbians and (gasp!) straight naturalists.
National AIDS Memorial Grove
This bucolic 7-acre section of Golden Gate Park is a place for contemplation, rememberence, grieving and hoping. Built almost entirely by volunteer work by those affected by the AIDS pandemic, it is as beautiful as it is poignant.
Charles Holmes LGBT Center
San Francisco's colorful Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender center is a source of great pride for the city. The Center offers outreach (mental, emotional, physical) as well as youth programs and is often the site where progressive politicos attempt to woo the gay vote.