Preserving San Francisco’s Gay Disco History
Even though we now live in Palm Springs, Tony and I come from a town in Bucks County, PA called New Hope where almost all gay history has been erased. I spent most of my life there, as a gay man supporting gay businesses. We owned our own businesses, too. Sadly, thanks to the greedy developers and good old-fashioned gentrification, there’s very little gay activity left in New Hope and little talk of gay history.
One gay bar is now a bank, another is just an empty lot, and yet another is now a parking lot. I saw one bossy, shouty straight woman realtor state on Facebook that the one building was beyond repair, and that is an outright lie. They just tore that building down for a parking lot that would support their straight-oriented business. Some of it is our own fault, too. I’ll admit that. We don’t always fight back enough, we let the straights take over, and some of us don’t even know we have a history. I know life changes and towns change. And I understand that’s the way things evolve sometimes, but at least give us our history. The straights don’t even understand that, even when they tell us they’re allies.
So this story warms my heart. It’s about preserving gay disco history in San Francisco. And only we can do this. The straights won’t do it.
The flamboyant electronic sound of San Francisco’s dancefloors soundtracked gay liberation in the ’70s and ’80s, even as its community faced decimation as a result of the the AIDS crisis. Marke Bieschke takes a deep dive into the efforts being made to preserve ephemera of the city’s pioneering scene, and speaks to the San Francisco Disco Preservation Society, Dark Entries’ Josh Cheon and musicologist Louis Neibur about his comprehensive new book, Menergy: San Francisco’s Gay Disco Sound
Here’s more. I never had a chance to enjoy that time period in gay history. I was too young for all of it. But I like knowing that it happened and that it’s not totally forgotten.
What readers said about “Altered Parts”
“Best Gay Novel In Years. This story will stay with you and you will feel you know every character and the beauty of their home in the mountains of North Carolina.”
In paperback or e-book. #gayromance #Wednesday