This page is for resources (and links to resources) about the history of South of Market San Francisco, and the Leather community and culture that found a home here.  We start with content created by our own Board Member, Gayle Rubin:

A Quick History of South of Market San Francisco
by Gayle Rubin
Associate Professor of Anthropology and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan
and member of the Board of Directors of the LEATHER & LGBTQ Cultural District
March, 2021


Valley of Kings – Sentinel USA, September 1984

Requiem for Valley of the Kings – Southern Oracle, Fall 1989

South of Market Leather History and Guide – SF Frontiers, September 2001


Another reliable source is Race Bannon, who recently recapped
50 years of Leather in the B.A.R. — Bay Area Reporter, Mar 31, 2021

An entertaining and informative conversation called “B.A.R. Talks 5: Living in Leather” with Race Bannon, Scott Brogan, Gayle Rubin, and Graylin Thornton, held online on September 2, 2021, can be viewed on Facebook, or below:

An authoritative photo archive of the people and events of our community over more than 15 years was created by Rich Stadtmiller:
RichTrove.com – A Rich Treasure Trove of Leather Images

A fun look at local Gay  History, including Leather and SOMA aspects of it, can be found in Justin Hall’s  “Marching Toward Pride” poster series:  comic-style portraits of six moments of SF LGBTQ history, each one colored to represent one of the six colors of Gilbert Baker’s original rainbow flag. You can view them all at Justin Hall Awesome Comics, and read the 49 Hills article about them (including an interview with Justin).

The Folsom Street website has a nice long article by Kathleen Connell & Paul Gabriel called The Origin and Evolution of the Folsom Street Fair, which actually also tells a lot about the history of the entire neighborhood.

A site dedicated to the memory of Stompers’ Boots and its founder, the late Mike McNamee, is maintained by Larry Faulks at https://southoftheslotsf.com.

Incidentally, the term “South of the Slot” is documented in the Jack London story of the same name, published in 1909 in the Saturday Evening Post.  It is not LGBTQ- or leather-related, but it will give you a great sense of early San Francisco, especially if you read it in the original format.

An informal map of “Leather History” in South of Market San Francisco was put together by Hunter Fox.