We visited this bar over Memorial weekend. Beware this place is cash only.. There was supposed to Back in I used to go to this place. Was the only gay bar I knew of as a young man, when still wet behind the ears.
What's left under the sign saying "Blue Lagoon" I wouldn't revisit nor recommend. At the Being gay in santa cruz california I was elected to the Santa Cruz City Council 30 years ago this coming November, there were about 10 openly gay elected officials throughout the United States. Lesbian and gay counseling and support groups were organized. They seemingly have gone straight. Politically, in addition to the stellar legacies left by Wormhoudt and Laird, the Coconut boyz hawaiian language LGBT community is an important segment of the local voting population. Related Items:. Profile JOIN. Harley motorcycle rider type. Traveler rating.
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It was a different time locally and nationally.
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It was a different time locally and nationally. Locally in the late s, the University enrollment was at just over 5,, Downtown Santa Cruz was dead after six, the Miss California Pageant would still call Santa Cruz home for another few years, and the Board of Supervisors and City Council had conservative majorities. The movie Milk showed police hassling San Francisco gay bar customers. At the time I was elected to the Santa Cruz City Council 30 years ago this coming November, there were about 10 openly gay elected officials throughout the United States.
Lesbian and gay counseling and support groups were organized. The first Gay Pride celebration was in ; with the struggle to get a Gay Pride resolution passed at the Board of Supervisors a major public controversy. The first actual parade happened in , and in the first years the parade brought out anti-gay demonstrators.
Gay beach volleyball began shortly thereafter. I had my own 15 minutes of fame as one of the first three openly gay mayors elected in the United States in Gay bars were an integral part of the culture in this time.
The HIV epidemic shook the local and national gay community. Lesbians and gay men, who had struggled over issues of equity in the s, were bound together by the epidemic in the s and s. Fast-forwarding to now, there are no exclusive gay bars left in the area. We have two openly gay school board members now, but there has been no fanfare because it is not as unique as it once would have been.
Our County Clerk and Board of Supervisors were in the forefront of the fight for marriage equality. There are hundreds of children of gay parents in the county. And while it was a few hearty activists that organized gay pride in the early years, the Diversity Center—a thriving center of the LGBT community—has taken on the responsibility for making sure the celebration happens each year, and gets credit for making it happen whether it makes money or not.
A few contingents ahead of me was the medical marijuana float with a giant joint puffing smoke as the float went down the street. It was the perfect circle. Thirty years later, I had become the safe port in the political storm.
There will be a lot to celebrate this year. John Laird is a former mayor of Santa Cruz, and a former member of the California legislature. He now serves in Gov. This is an author search. About the author Related posts. John Laird. Related Items:. Trending Now To Top.
Your screenname :. This great surfing spot requires a key to […]. Reviews 9. Click on the map markers for details of each spot. Verified Photos. The relaxed beach lifestyle laced throughout town is enhanced by the local high tech industry feel as well as a vibrant university culture.
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Gay Santa Cruz: Then and Now - Good Times Santa Cruz
When I arrived in Santa Cruz in the mids, the town had a well-established reputation for being an open, gay-friendly place. There were rainbow flags hanging from balconies, Pride was a city-wide celebration, and out-gay men and lesbians worked in every imaginable job, from coffee shops and restaurants to health care, law, city government and public works. For a hippie-leaning young lesbian, Santa Cruz was queer paradise.
In the s, Santa Cruz was a different place. With one of the largest retiree populations in the country and a conservative City Council, it was not the open, liberal, gay-friendly hub that it is now. In , the first Pride parade drew hecklers, protesters, and threats of violence.
The way Laird tells it, however, he was just the face of a very vibrant and active community. In the s, the AIDS epidemic proved to be a unifying force for the local gay community. Jerry Solomon, co-founder of the Santa Cruz AIDS Project, explains that before the epidemic, many lesbians were forming strong communities away from men, and gay men were either moving to the mountains to set up their own communes or partying in the discos.
While gay men and lesbians did get together periodically, it was unusual. During the AIDS epidemic, the two communities started working together. Solomon credits Dr. At the time, this was controversial. The first grant they received was to work in migrant camps in Watsonville. They asked them to speak to other women who would, in turn, speak to the men in their families. It was a model that was adopted nationwide. A hub for the local LGBT community, the Diversity Center is now located on Soquel Avenue, and has over 60 outreach programs, including those for queer Latinos, the transgender community, veterans, youth, and seniors.
Over the last 40 years, there have been countless queer artists, musicians, writers, composers, actors and others who have contributed to the richness of the local arts and culture. Lou Harrison was world-renowned as a composer. Politically, in addition to the stellar legacies left by Wormhoudt and Laird, the local LGBT community is an important segment of the local voting population.
Organizations such as the LGBT Alliance, ensure that local politicians are responsive to the needs of the community. Their combined efforts and collective vision for an open, inclusive town have helped define Santa Cruz.
Top photo caption: A shot from one of the first Pride marches on Pacific Avenue, in the late s. Cat Johnson is a writer and content strategist focused on community, collaboration, the future of work and music. She's a regular contributor to Shareable and her writing has appeared in dozens of publications, including Yes! Follow her on Twitter at CatJohnson. This is an author search.
About the author Related posts. Cat Johnson. Contributor at Good Times Blog. Related Items:. Trending Now To Top.