Submerged Queer Spaces

DIRECTOR: Jack Curtis Dubowsky

Expected guest: director Jack Curtis Dubowsky

Submerged Queer Spaces invites you on a colorful stroll through San Francisco queer history in this urban archeological expedition that goes well beyond the Castro and begins long before the first Pride parade. San Francisco’s neighborhoods and population changed significantly post-World War II; buildings remodeled, rebuilt or destroyed. Neighborhoods gentrified, communities changed and were often displaced. Many of the spaces examined in the early part of the film are bars—which were the primary places queer people were able to socialize and build community. In the ’50s and ’60s, gay watering holes abound in North Beach and the Tenderloin. Soon after, Polk Street is lined with (some cleverly named) gay bars and eateries. The film whisks us to the former sites of these queer spaces with archival images placed over the current location—then slowly fade away, revealing its present day exterior.

Interviews with eight longtime San Francisco residents who recount their first-hand stories provide the film’s heartwarming narrative. Gerald Fabien experienced gay San Francisco before WWII, and tells tales of sailors and a harrowing evening cruising in Union Square. Guy Clark and Jae Whitaker discuss the unexpected racism they experienced in otherwise liberal San Francisco. JD Taylor cheerfully remembers Amelia’s and other women’s spaces in the Mission. You will leave the theater with a new eye for architectural details in neighborhoods around San Francisco—and the stories hidden within them.


AT&T Audience Award Text Voting Code: D229

Co-presented by:
GLBT Historical Society

Get the Frameline Festival App

A festival in your pocket

FilmFest is a simple, easy to use pocket guide to all the films in this year's festival.

Frameline36 app available now!