Wonder of wonders, we even have a brand new SoMa leather bar, Chaps II, named after Miracle Mile's infamous '80s watering hole, Chaps joining the great new retro Truck bar, expanded Hole in the Wall Saloon, Eagle Tavern, and Powerhouse. Take that, Internet! Queercore homeboy innovators Pansy Division ("Queercore, many mornings after,") get canonized with a doc at this year's Frameline Film Fest. Most intel queers I know are gobbling up Terence Kissack's recent tome, Free Comrades: Anarchism and Homosexuality in the United States, 18951917 from Oakland's AK Press.
But the past isn't just for gay men. The Fresh Meat festival has been breaking transgender performance ground since the millennium began ("Rare, medium, well-done,"). Nineties riot grrls are making strong artistic marks ("Heart shaped box," page 49), and I can't step into a dyke bar lately without being immediately corralled into a Journey sing-along by Runaways look-alikes. The turbo-awesome current exhibition at the GLBT Historical Society (www.glbthistory.org), "Dykes on Bikes: 30 Years at the Forefront," reminds us not only that boobs are still illegal, but that rad women of all shapes and colors have led us from Gay Freedom Day to this week's Pride. And it's no surprise that the original Daughters of Bilitis, Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, were the first couple to get legally married here, 53 years after starting the first official, highly persecutable, lesbian organization.
As we move seemingly inexorably toward mainstream acceptance, it's nice to know that the heroes of our struggle, people who did things differently, are still fresh in our minds. This year the Guardian pays tribute to the LGBT underground past and present, and raises a toast to our deliciously shameless future.