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"Michelle International" Souvenir Program,

November 1962

This event was sponsored by the League for Civil Education, one of the earliest organizations formed in San Francisco to stand for gay rights, in particular, to combat the raids on the bars. Note the introduction makes no mention of gay or homosexual at all, such was the nature of the times. Jose Sarria was very active in LCE and led efforts to solidify gay block voting...in a run for Board of Supervisors he got 5600 votes; years before Harvey Milk ran for the office.

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Clockwise from upper left, Walter Hart , Jose Sarria , Jerry , and Roby Landers

[ This is the only place I've seen that photo of Jose Sarria ]

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Note below the very subtle listing of what I presume to be a list of gay or gay-friendly bars. Again, nowhere
is the word "gay," but instead in the context of this publication the term "interesting" is used.
And while it's not stated I am assuming the ones with capitalized names were preferred. Many of
you will be familiar with the Damon's Travel Guides, and I have to wonder if Bob Damron may have
had some input into this earlier listing.

Here is a reference I found in the Windy City Times: "Officially, the first edition of the Damron Men's Travel Guide
rolled off the presses in 1965. It bore the name Bob Damron's Address Book after Bob Damron, a
San Francisco bar owner and pioneering publisher, who wanted to record the hundred or so gay-friendly
venues he discovered on his many cross-country travels in the early 1960s." Again, it is telling that in a
program for a San Francisco event, to raise funds, a "war chest," against the bar raids, that they did
not feel they could safely use the words gay or homosexual.

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