Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tour: The El Rosa Hotel

Home of the Screaming Queens who create the Compton's Cafeteria riot and one of the locations reported to be the origin of Vanguard.

Oral History Excerpt from the Original Vanguard, Adrian Ravarou. Interview by Joey Plaster 2010:
“Billy Garrison described himself as a hair fairy—which meant that the clothing he wore was heterosexual, you know, guys clothes—jeans and a shirt—but then he had his hair ratted up and hair sprayed so it was stacked like a beehive almost. And he then had on make-up eye, brow pencil, rouge, some lipstick, foundation, he did his nails. And one of the things that happened in the community was that, because people were looking different and didn’t pass as women, they would often get snide and rude comments, being called names and so-forth— and so Billy was talking about well—how can we overcome this? And I think it was over a period of about a couple weeks that we were talking [in the El Rosa hotel] that he pointed out that he had come from Seattle, and when he had been in Seattle he said he was a straight male—he was heterosexual—and he had been a member of a gang, he said he had been a leader in a gang. He said there were problems within a particular Seattle neighborhood between the community and the gang and that a particular minister had reached out to both communities, brought them together and created a dialogue and actually had some of the members helping each other so that it mitigated the friction and people began to understand one another and create tolerance, and to—programs around that. And Billy was wondering, is this something that we could do in the Tenderloin?”

Vanguard Magazine Reading: Vol. 1, Issue 9, 1967 [reading from video #2] This document was republished in our Vanguard Revisited Magazine in 2011. (click on the image to see it in a larger size)

Contemporary Question:

How do we have systems of support and community like at the El Rosa hotel today?

The answers of the young adults participating on 2/21/2011on were intentionally left out of the online tour, in order to protect their confidentiality. We encourage virtual participants of the Vanguard Tour to answer the contemporary questions in the comment section. You can post anonymously if you would like to protect your confidentiality.

[continue to the next stop in the tour: The Compton's Cafeteria Riot]

* Tour materials collected by Joey Plaster with Mia Tu Mutch, Completed 2/21/2011 with the new Vanguard as a part of the LGBT Center's Youth Program. Vanguard Magazine appears here courtesy of the GLBT Historical Society.

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