A Gay Village Called Castro
Castro, a gay village, in San Francisco is the birthplace of America’s gay civil rights movement. It’s synonymous with Harvey Milk[/easyazon_link], one of the pioneers of the gay rights movement that is still alive today.
Last summer, I had the chance to explore the stretch of the gay village from the Castro subway stop all the way up to the hill and onto Mission District where hundreds of interesting murals are all over the place.
I’m not going to talk about the gay bars and gay restaurants here but I’d like to show you the part history and part sightseeing in and around Castro.
How to get there:
Take the metro and get off at Castro, of course.
As soon as you exit the subway, you’ll see a gigantic Pride flag waving like the world’s most fabulous flag of all! I just wish the flagpole was covered in glitter and feather boas! LOL…
Across the street, you’ll see the Pink Triangle, a tribute to the known and unknown gay men who perished in Nazi Germany.
The Harvey Milk Plaza is just a step-down. This is where Harvey used to speak and hold protests until their voices were heard.
l see Twin Peaks, a bar frequented by all ages in the LGBT community. Go inside and have a drink. Gay bars used to be closed, windowless and underground. Twin Peaks is the first in the country to break that rule by putting a wall of glass, unafraid to be seen by the passersby. Enough was enough—and they’re tired of hiding. “We’re queer. We’re here. Get used to it!”
Walk a few steps down the road and see the grandiose lobby of the iconic Castro Theatre.
Castro Theatre is a host to hundreds of shows, fundraising events, parties, and celebrations of the gay community. It’s a piece of history, a living witness to the ups and downs as the community struggled for its rightful place in society.
Move along and pay your respect to the members of the community who have gone ahead of us. Some of them are victims of hate crimes.
Or to those who have become an outspoken ally of the LGBT Family. Like, Robin Williams.
Visit the first LGBT Museum, too. Learn and be awed at how far we have come.
On your way up the hill, you’ll find the house where Harvey Milk used to live. He lived on the second floor of the building.
His camera business was on the first floor. Nowadays, it’s a Human Rights office and shops where you can buy sorts of souvenirs.
In front of Harvey’s house is a plague. Under it is a small part of his ashes.
As you are getting uphill, you’ll find a residence with glass windows, showing dolls that represent every member of the LGBT community, their fights, and fetishes. 🙂
Another window from the “Doll House.”
As you walk up the hill, the houses are getting more fancy and diverse in architectural design. Like these.
When you reach the top, a sweeping view of both sides of the street is awaiting your appreciative eyes.
This is the view on one side.
Continue walking down a few blocks and take a bus to Mission District. The colorful murals are waiting for your selfies! 🙂