Recovering 50 Years of Silicon Valley’s LGBTQ History

Queer Silicon Valley – Santa Clara County LGBTQ+ History

An exhibit documenting 50 years of local LGBTQ history will be on display at the Cupertino Library from September 19th - 30th. If you are like most people interested in queer history, you don’t think of Santa Clara County when you think about big LGBTQ moments or movements in history, but there was a lot happening 50 miles south of Castro Street in San Francisco.

Curated by Ken Yeager, Executive Director of the BAYMEC Community Foundation, Coming Out: 50 Years of Queer Resistance and Resilience in Silicon Valley showcases 50 years of local cultural and political history that is unique to San Jose/Silicon Valley's suburban LGBTQ movement. The exhibition includes 18 large pop-up banners that contain real life stories and experiences of queer life and history, as well as photos and artifacts. Far from LGBTQ 101 and the mainstream, visitors will learn about the history of gay bars and entertainment venues, past Pride festivals, activism in high-tech companies, violence against queer people, backlash against the LGBTQ community in the 1980's, same sex marriage and more. There are even special banners telling the stories of organizations like the Billy DeFrank Community Center, Sisterspirit Bookstore, the Royal Court Balls, drag shows, leather community and transgender history. 

If you want to learn about some of the major hurdles and activism that are unique to Silicon Valley's queer history, come on over to the Cupertino Library and check it out. 

Cupertino Public Library

10800 Torre Avenue

The exhibit will be on display during regular business hours in Room 201B on the Second Floor.