EMERGING STRATEGIES FOR SUSTAINING SAN FRANCISCO’S DIVERSE HERITAGE | DONNA GRAVES, JAMES MICHAEL BUCKLEY & GAIL DUBROW
San Francisco’s continued economic boom threatens to displace much of its culturally diverse population, including LGBTQ residents who have made the city a center of the national and international struggle for civil rights and equitable treatment. Queer activists and their preservation allies have worked together to apply several new cultural preservation strategies to help LGBTQ people maintain their place in the city and preserve their significant local cultural heritage. This article examines three particular strategies – the Legacy Business Program, a Citywide LGBTQ Cultural Heritage Strategy, and a series of Cultural Districts – to consider their effectiveness in preserving the tangible remains of LGBTQ heritage and sustaining contemporary queer culture in an increasingly unaffordable city. The analysis yields several recommendations for advocates of preserving LGBTQ culture in rapidly-changing, high cost communities: develop tools that move beyond traditional preservation methods to capture the intangible aspects of culture; act at a citywide scale and in a manner that includes the broad range of LGBTQ practices and perspectives; integrate economic and community development strategies into standard preservation methods; and recognize the salience of identities other than and in addition to queer as part of an intersectional approach to sustaining the city’s diverse cultural heritage.
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