San Francisco has long been known as a safe haven for LGBTI people.
In 19th century, during California’s Gold Rush, San Francisco was a place heavily populated by men who hoped to become successful out West. ‘The transition to San Francisco as a major port city through the end of the 19th century solidified it as a place that was flexible and tolerant, which allowed for same-sex desire to be displayed in certain spaces and in nuanced ways,’ writes Elliot Owen for Outword Magazine.
The 1920s saw the first venues in San Francisco that were accommodating to gays and lesbians. When alcohol prohibition ended in 1933, the city saw an influx of progressive artists, many of whom were queer, becoming regulars at such venues.
Then, after World War II, even more gay men settled in the area and LGBTI entrepreneurs began creating businesses and a San Francisco gayborhood in the city.