Metropolitan Community Church of San
(MCCSD) is chartered June 6. Rev. "Papa" John Hose is the first
full-time pastor. [see footnote]
Services are conducted at the Chollas View Methodist Church, 906
47th St. San Diego
Gay Liberation Front is founded by Bob Brunsting
at San Diego State College.
Tres Femme (lesbian social organization) is
founded. The Prodigal
(a publication of MCCSD) becomes the first local gay
publication with regular distribution.
The Gay Information Center
(San Diego’s first hotline) is established by Stephen Bell of
Gay Liberation Front
Gays United for Liberty and Freedom
(GULF) runs a hotline for gays.
Bill Gautier, the famous drag personality Glenda, is instrumental in
founding the organization. It is operated from his home in the 1500
block of 30th Street.
7007 - In an effort to bring any level of
government into a meaningful conversation on the rights of
Rev. John Paul Stevens began a fast on the steps
of the County Courthouse on Sunday, July 5th.
Women’s Studies Dept. is
founded at San Diego State College. It is thought to be the first
such department in U.S. academia.
Local publications of the 1970s:
The Hummingbird - Monthly Dignity Newsletter
Pacific Coast Times
San Diego Son
Goodbye to All That
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Jessop set up an answering machine in a utility closet. It was a
help line available to anyone in the LGBT community.
address membership meetings of MCC and GLF concerning
Jack Walsh for
mayor. GLF members work in Walsh campaign and carry political
message to San Diego gay bars for the first time.
Gay Liberation Front (GLF)
pickets San Diego Police Department to protest
police harassment of gays. It is one of the first organized public
gay demonstrations in San Diego. See
Chapter of DignityUSA (LGBT Catholics) is founded by
McArron & Pat McSweeney. McArron serves as president for
the first three years. Masses were celebrated in Old Town at the
- Oct 3, 1972 the first meeting is held at 2240 El Cajon Blvd, the
home of Bernie Michels, to plan for the first Gay Center in San
Here is where the ideas for a future LGBTQ Center took form. San Diego's trailblazers
and pioneers, Bernie Michels and
Thomas Carey began the planning and organizing for a future
LGBTQ Center for Social Services.
Metropolitan Community Church presents its first San Diego
Follies, a review of community talent and outrageousness.
organizes a successful boycott of several
local bars that refuse to admit cross-dressers.
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Royal Court de San Diego (a social
and fundraising organization) holds first
coronation of Empress
and Emperor Omar at the Royal Inn Convention Center.
- Robert Kinsel
is convicted of violating Sec. 647a of the California
Penal Code on January 30, which makes it a register able misdemeanor
for anyone to solicit a lewd and dissolute act in a public place.
The arresting officer testified at length about his "cruising" the
club in question, stating that it was part of his duties.
San Diego Son
and Pacific Coast Times begin publication of
news for the lesbian/gay community. Prior to these publications, the
MCC Prodigal is San Diego’s only regular gay publication.
Center for Social Services opens at 2250 "B" Street with a variety of programs designed to meet
the unique concerns of the lesbian/gay community.
opens its doors in the fall of 1973 and from its
inception has welcomed lesbians as clients in the self-help
well-woman participatory clinic. It also provides a lesbian safe
space for individual appointments and offers a woman controlled
conception (donor insemination program) in a supportive environment.
Diablo’s hosts a benefit for guide dogs for the
and Cris Bearden of Grossmont College launch a
club called Gay Awareness
in October. The organization’s long-term goals are
for "political/ social equality for all homosexuals."
to the North County in October by holding services in private
homes in Escondido, Vista, and Oceanside.
7311 - In November, ABC-TV affiliate KCST
augments its regular news with a special
report on the San Diego gay community. It
features the Emperor and Empress Halloween Ball as a "typical gay
Rev. Howard Williams and his "companion" Roger are
interviewed as a representative gay couple.
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Mr. And Miss Gay San Diego
Teddy Roosevelt Republican Club
of San Diego founded for lesbian/gay
political action by Nicole Ramirez-Murray.
On a summer day, 200 gays and
march in protest for the first time through downtown San Diego to publicly proclaim their
sexual orientation; some cover their heads with paper bags for fear
of reprisal.. This action is recognized as the first organized LGBT
march in San Diego.
Nude bathing on
Black’s Beach in La Jolla is
begins publication. It covers topics such as the KKK
in San Diego, the Berkeley Women’s Music Collective, separatism, and
distribution of the drug Depo Provera in the third world. It
features a calendar insert of Las Hermanas Coffeehouse events. (It
ceases publication in 1979.)
7406 - The North County Study Group of the MCC is granted Mission status by the Board of Home Missions on June
1. The interim pastor is
Williams. see footnote
The board of directors of MCC
David Farrell to assume leadership of MCC as
worship coordinator until such time as a new pastor is chosen by the
Pacific Coast Times expands
distribution to Los Angeles, San Clemente, Laguna Beach, Palm Springs, Costa
Mesa, San Francisco, and Las Vegas.
Judith Knight starts Project
Repair where women learn trades and building skills.
7408 - The Gay Center is burglarized
August 28. Four nights later a brick is hurled through the front
window. Lighted flares are also thrown on the lawn in recent months.
As a security measure, The Center is staffed 24 hours a day.
7409 - The San Diego Union headline for
Sept. 13 reads "8 Arrested on Felony Sex
Counts." 23 additional persons are listed
in the story, with names, addresses, and occupations. The men are
arrested in the men’s room of the May Company in Mission Valley and
charged with counts of sexual perversion, lewd conduct, and
solicitation. On October 5 about 80 to 100 straight and gay persons
meet in the parking lot of the May Co. and form a loop around
the store chanting "Don’t shop May Company" and "End police spying."
Many demonstrators cut up their credit cards in symbolic protest.
7411 - The gay community holds United Gay
Week, Nov. 19-26 to raise money for gay and lesbian causes.
The Hunter Fine Arts Society
is formed by Conrad Hunter and Assoc., Inc., the first fine arts
club for the homophile community. Subscribers receive a monthly
color catalog with art and art reviews on featured artists.
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Diego Democratic Club
(SDDC) is founded by
Bob Lynn for lesbian/gay political action.
(women’s coffeehouse and performance center) opens on
First Gay/Lesbian Pride Parade
Minnesota State Senator Alan Spear and
nationally known lesbian activist
Barbara Gittings ride in the
parade and speak at the rally.
Gay Students Union is established at San Diego
State by Gary Gulley.
San Diego Lesbian Organization is founded.
into its own building at 1355 Fern Street. It is the first
lesbian/gay organization to own property in San Diego.
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is founded, a residential recovery program for gay
alcoholics in San Diego. It is one of only a handful of recovery
organizations for gay men and lesbians in the U.S. and is one of San
Diego’s oldest gay organizations.
Gay Activists of San Diego (GASD)
forms to defend the right of every person
to equal protection under the law without discrimination on account
of sexual orientation or affectional preference. It seeks to
demonstrate by public confrontation how discrimination against the
gay minority subverts the Constitution, substitutes "public policy"
for common law, and deprives everyone of the fundamental freedoms
guaranteed under the Bill of Rights.
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well-known San Diego attorney and columnist for the
Pacific Coast Times, is appointed to the Democratic State Central
Committee by Assemblyman Pete Chacon. Smithson is the first San
Diego gay activist to serve on this committee.
see another photo
- Third Annual
Pride March & Festival. An estimated 1,200 to 2,000 people
gathered at India and F streets at what is today Pantoja Park. ►
- The West Coast Production Company
is opened November 11.
During the late 70's WCPC in San Diego, CA
was an innovative discotheque
breaking in much of the disco music of that period.
Update reports that 43,000 people
attend the third anniversary celebration of the
legalization of nude bathing
Black’s Beach. KCST-Channel 30 reports that only
6,000 attend, and suggest that this signals the decline in interest
in Black’s Beach.
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(organization of gay/lesbian Lutherans) establishes
San Diego chapter. [see footnote]
7806 - The
original gay-pride flag was hand-dyed by Baker. It flew in the San
Gay Freedom Day Parade on
1978. (However, it was by no means the first time that spectrum
or rainbow colors had been associated with gay and lesbian peoples.
San Diego County sends largest
contingent of lobbyists to Sacramento for Constituent Lobby Day on
Assembly Bill-1 (Art Agnos’ anti-discrimination bill).
North County Gay Association
is founded by
The first Lesbian Health Clinic
of San Diego opens, staffed with women counselors and
practitioners. It is in operation at the Beach Area Community
A new local magazine appears on the
scene, The Inside Scoop. It is created by Bruce Ingram and
John Drummer purchases The San
Diego Son for $3,000.
The first issue of "The San Diego
Pride" is published August 18, "serving the Southern California
Homophile Community with Pride."
- San Francisco’s first openly gay
Harvey Milk, is assassinated November 27, as is
George Moscone by supervisor Dan White. Over 200 lesbians, gay men, and supporters gather
together for a memorial service at the Organ Pavilion in San
Diego’s Balboa Park to hear gospel readings, speakers, and hymns.
For once, the entire gay and lesbian community came together to
mourn two great men. Harvey Milk was a living example of judging
people who are suitable for public office on the basis of one’s
The newspaper of the San Diego
Lesbian Organization, Thursday’s Child, is launched. It
covers SDLO such events as lesbian child custody cases, Harvey Milk
murder, Gay Alliance for Equal Rights, and Califia, a feminist
education retreat near L.A. (It ceases publication in 1981.)
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launches its first issue. Headline news is
the recent police raid at the Fourth Avenue Club and the subsequent
founding of the Gay Alliance for Equal Rights. Gay Alliance for
Equal Rights forms in response to increased harassment of the
gay/lesbian community by the San Diego Police Department.
The Wing Cafe, a feminist
restaurant-gallery-performance space on B Street in Golden Hill,
produces the city’s first gay radio program, "MCC on the Air."
It is broadcast on XEMO-AM 860 from 6:30 – 7:00 Saturday
evenings. The program features a message or sermon, prayer, MCC
choirs and information about MCC.
Betty Berzon, author of Positively
Gay and national president of the Gay
Academic Union, helps launch the San Diego
chapter of the GAU in July.
The Community of the Resurrection
opens August 1 adjacent to the MCC. It is a monastery.
- On August 23, Assistant Chief of
Bob Burgreen announces that San Diego will hire qualified gay
and lesbian persons as officers.
Greater San Diego Business
Association (GSDBA) - gay and lesbian business
organization is founded.
National Lesbian & Gay Rights March on Washington, DC takes place on
Oct 14, 1979 ►
runs for San Diego City Council as first openly gay candidate for
elected office in San Diego. Al finishes 5th out of 11.
First-year SDSU professor
Zimmerman teaches an experimental class in the Dept. of Women’s
Studies on "Lesbian Life and Literature."►
The San Diego Lesbian Organization
operates a new woman-run hotline serving San Diego.
establishes headquarters in San Diego and New York.
Its purpose is to conduct research on human sexuality, particularly
homosexuality, and to produce accurate educational materials for the
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Beginnings of GLBT Christianity in San Diego, 1970-1979" (source:
Journal of San Diego History, Volume 53, Number 3)
Howard Williams, retired MCC Clergy died on Wednesday,
June 25th, 2003. He had been retired and living in the Dominican
Republic at the time of his death.
Rev. Williams was instrumental in the founding of several MCC
churches, including San Diego, CA and North Hollywood, CA (USA).
Cause of death and any further details are unknown.
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