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Submerged Queer Spaces

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by Jack Curtis Dubowsky
U.S.A. / 100:00 / 2012
sound / colour / English

Submerged Queer Spaces is a documentary feature that examines queer history through an approach of urban archeology. Our cameras look at surviving architectural details of old haunts as if unearthing ancient monuments. As San Francisco grew and gentrified, communities changed, shifted, and were displaced. Bars, restaurants, parks, alleys, bathhouses, and other gathering spots of the queer community were remodeled, repurposed, rebuilt, or destroyed.

Submerged Queer Spaces looks at the architectural remains of historic sites and buildings in San Francisco. Eight interview subjects recount firsthand experiences in these lost environs. Gerald Fabien experienced gay San Francisco before WWII, and tells tales of sailors, mariners, and the dangers of Union Square cruising. Guy Clark and Jae Whitaker discuss the unexpected racism they experienced in supposedly liberal, gay San Francisco. Each subject sheds light on what spaces used to be in earlier days of the queer community. Wilfred Galila’s artful cinematography and archival images from the Henri Leleu Papers of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society bring these sites to life. 


  • art and artists
  • biography
  • environment
  • landscape/arch.
  • multicultural
  • music
  • political/social activism
  • Queer/Bi/Trans
  • sexuality
  • work by/about women

Exhibition Formats

  • digital file


  • documentary
  • experimental
  • queer
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