Yesterday, in San Francisco's Castro District, organizers unveiled the first bronze sidewalk plaques dedicated to LGBT heroes in the Rainbow Honor Walk, a queer take on Hollywood Boulevard's "Walk of Fame" meant to honor those "self-expressed LGBT individuals, now deceased, who made significant contributions in their fields."
The first 20 honorees are Jane Addams, James Baldwin, George Choy, Federico Garcia Lorca, Allen Ginsberg, Keith Haring, Harry Hay, Sylvester James, Christine Jorgensen, Frida Kahlo, Del Martin, Yukio Mishima, Bayard Rustin, Randy Shilts, Gertrude Stein, Alan Turing, Tom Waddell, Oscar Wilde, Tennessee Williams, and Virginia Woolf.
The unveiling was marred by some unfortunate typos which immediately made their way to social media. Oscar Wilde's plaque celebrated the writer's "bitting" wit while trans pioneer Christine Jorgensen was described as "trangendered". More than $100,000 in donations which paid for the plaques will cover the cost of corrections, reports KGO.
According to Tales of the City author Armistead Maupin, who was there to help unveil the Virginia Woolf plaque (see below) with his husband Chris Turner and their dog Philo, the plaques with errors will be auctioned off to benefit the Honor Walk campaign and replaced.
Other attendees included Senator Mark Leno and SF Supervisor Scott Wiener, as well as activist and veteran Dan Choi.
The Walk has been in development for years:
The idea for the project had a dual genesis. In 1994, Perry suggested the idea and received media attention and the support of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. However, the overwhelming priorities of the AIDS/HIV pandemic put the project, and its fundraising goals, on hiatus. In 2009, Lindenauer, unaware of the earlier effort, envisioned the Rainbow Honor Walk. Lindenauer and Perry joined forces, put together a volunteer committee of community leaders and received the unanimous support of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
“These are just the first 20 of what we hope will be hundreds of names,” says Lindenauer, noting the Walk stretches from Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy on 19th Street at Diamond down to Castro. On Castro Street — the LGBT community’s “Main Street” – the walk will continue up to Market Street with additional wings along 18th Street. On Market Street, San Francisco’s main thoroughfare, the Walk will continue to the LGBT Center at Octavia Boulevard.
Check out a big Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter gallery of the roll-out and all the sidewalk plaques as well as some local news coverage from KGO, AFTER THE JUMP....