gay_flag_lede.jpgAn exhibit celebrating the oldest LGBT democratic club in the nation and its 40th anniversary will be unveiled at the GLBT History Museum in San Francisco this evening.

“40 Years Together, 40 Years Strong” honors the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club, the first registered LGBT democratic organization. The Alice B. Toklas Memorial Democratic Club of San Francisco, established in 1971, was named after the partner of famous writer and poet Gertrude Stein.

The name “Alice B. Toklas” was chosen to protect the confidentiality of its members, organization officials said. People who described themselves as “members of Alice” were similar to those who called themselves “friends of Dorothy,” meaning that only gay people would know the club referred to other gay people, according to the organization.

The GLBT History Museum exhibit features a listening station where visitors can hear the first gay rights speech spoken at the Democratic National Convention delivered by club president Jim Foster in 1972.

Historic political mailers, newsletters and awards dinner programs spanning the last four decades will be presented in the exhibit. An original collage by artist Peter Villapudua using reprinted organization newsletters, photos and other documents will also be showcased.

“40 Years Together, 40 Years Strong” will run at the GLBT History Museum, located at 4127 18th St. in San Francisco, through August. Tonight’s opening ceremony will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Rachel Purdy, Bay City News

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