To commemorate San Francisco Pride’s golden anniversary, the GLBT Historical Society and SFAC Galleries are partnering to bring 50 Years of Pride, a collection of 100 photographs taken over the five decades of SF Pride, to the masses — completely free and available online.

When it was announced in April that San Francisco Pride, for the first time ever, was canceled, you could almost hear the collective groaning from across our city. Though plans for a digital celebration are in the works, it’s still vague as to how SF Pride’s planning committee might shift 2020's late-June weekend of queer frivolity and festivity to the internet. But in the interim, you can now explore past in-person SF Pride events through historical snaps online.

Courtesy of GLBT Historical Society, taken by Saul Bromberger and Sandra Hoover Photography

From May 15 to April 15, 2021, the GLBT Historical Society and SFAC Galleries50 Years of Pride exhibit will feature some 100 photographs that explore the history of San Francisco's largest outdoor event. The display — which will remain entirely digital, for the moment being — spans photojournalism, portraiture stills, fine art photography, iconic banners and posters, magazine covers, and hand-picked selections from the GLBT Historical Society archives.

Works contributed by other institutions will also be incorporated, as well as pieces procured from over a dozen independent queer photographers like Chloe Atkins, Marie Ueda, and Adam Chin.

Courtesy of GLBT Historical Society, photo taken by Chinn

While populated by a diverse array of styles and subjects, the exhibit is thematically designed to document the lasting social and political impacts Pride has spurred throughout the years.

“Culling through the archives at the GLBT Historical Society, we found a treasure trove of photographs, snapshots and 35 mm color slides that began to tell a story of the spirit and nature of Pride and what it has come to mean both locally and internationally,” says cultural activist and creative Lenore Chinn, one of the exhibit's co-curators (the other being Queer Cultural Center’s Pamela Peniston), about 50 Years of Pride’s structural organization. Chinn also made it clear that this showcase is more than a documentation of past SF Prides; it’s meant to serve as an ode to “gay power” and our community’s inherent inclusivity and drive.

Courtesy of GLBT Historical Society, photo taken by Marie Ueda of Marie Ueda Photographs

“Our outreach to photographers and their archives amplified our discoveries,” Chinn added in a press release. “With the rise of gay power and an expanding movement, we saw more participation and more diversity along with gender and ethnic lines.”

The entire exhibit is now available to view at free of charge, thanks to the support of the National Endowment for the Arts and San Francisco Grants for the Arts.

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Image: Courtesy of GLBT Historical Society, photo taken by Marie Ueda of Marie Ueda Photographs