America’s 1st Gay Museum Opens In San Francisco Castro District

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)- America’s first gay history museum is set to open its doors Thursday in the heart of San Francisco’s Castro District, on 18th street between Castro and Collingwood.

You’ll find everything from a 1970s radio ad for a gay bathhouse, to Harvey Milk’s kitchen table, to an exhibit on leather, to an already out-of-date display on gays in the army.

“This display is about LGBT people in the United States military, and then the way that LGBT people have protested war and militarism. It’s such a timely piece of history,” said Gerard Koskovich, one of the curators at the new GLBT History Museum.

KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:

The museum needs to update the section on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, to reflect its repeal.

“This space has gone from an abandoned laundromat to the world’s second GLBT museum,” said Koskovich.

The first is in Berlin.

This one is chock full of artifacts and ephemera, finally coming out of the closets of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Transgender Historical Society.

“LGBT people still need our own cultural institutions because we can tell our stories without censorship, without apology, on our own terms. Not as we are seen by others, but how we see ourselves,” said Koskovich.

The museum’s grand opening is Thursday.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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