Professor Boyd Discusses Closing of Popular Lesbian Bar

Thursday, October 30, 2014
BAY AREA REPORTER -- The week before the announcement, Professor Nan Alamilla Boyd was teaching her San Francisco State students about the Lexington Club. They were discussing “Boys of the Lex,” an essay about gender identity by Gayle M. Salamon. “That's what's really so wonderful and vital about the Lex, say, as opposed to Wild Side West or other spaces. You see that kind of resistance, gender transgression as part of the fabric of its queerness,” Boyd said. Lesbian-owned Wild Side West is a Cortland Avenue neighborhood bar with its own unique history. But it doesn’t serve the same community as the Lex. Boyd, who wrote the book on the history of queer bars in San Francisco (literally — it’s called “Wide-Open Town: A History of Queer San Francisco to 1965”) says she is often asked how the Lex became the last of its kind. “The big question for the last 15 years, whenever I do a talk anywhere, is why is there only one lesbian bar in San Francisco?” Boyd said.