SAN FRANCISCO—From Friday, May 15, until April 15, 2021, the San Francisco Arts Commission Galleries and the GLBT Historical Society are partnering to present 50 Years of Pride, a photo exhibit celebrating the history of San Francisco Pride.

Once COVID-19 restrictions ease, the organizers will set up the exhibition for in-person viewing at San Francisco City Hall. An online version has more than half of almost 100 photos to be presented at City Hall. It can be found at

The collection was curated by local artists and co-founders of the Queer Cultural Center, Lenore Chinn and Pamela Peniston. It is sponsored by San Francisco Pride, the National Endowment for the Arts, and San Francisco Grants for the Arts.

50 Years of Pride features action shots, portraits, magazine covers, and other images that intend to capture the history of San Francisco Pride since its beginning in the 1970s. The images were gathered from the archives of the GLBT Historical Society and other organizations, as well as selected work from over 20 independent queer photographers.

As Chinn told the San Francisco News, “We hope the viewer will come away with a deeper understanding and appreciation of our [LGBT] history as a community, the scope and diversity within it and the gradual building of a movement. For many it may resonate as an affirmation of our existence and a recognition that we have made to the fabric of society.”

Chinn noted that since the exhibit went online on Friday, “it has been shared many many times,” including to those in Hong Kong, Paris, London, Belgium, and Denmark.

On April 14, the Board of Directors of San Francisco Pride canceled a parade due to the coronavirus pandemic. The celebration was originally set to take place from June 27 to June 28. In lieu of face-to-face festivities, the Board of Directors mentioned plans to “join a constellation of Pride organizations worldwide in a ‘Virtual Global Pride,’” to take place on Saturday, June 27.

Amid pandemic disruptions, 50 Years of Pride joins the effort to celebrate Pride remotely. As Chinn put it, “This event is already having an impact and in this era of COVID-19 we need this.”