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LGBTQ+ Cultural Heritage Strategy

San Francisco Planning, together with the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) and the San Francisco Entertainment Commission, has begun developing a Citywide LGBTQ+ Cultural Heritage Strategy to preserve and promote LGBTQ+ cultural heritage in San Francisco. Specifically, it will provide a comprehensive series of initiatives and actions to safeguard LGBTQ+ cultural heritage.

August 2020 – The LGBTQ+ Cultural Heritage Strategy has been published and submitted to the Board of Supervisors (see Timeline tab for details).

Cultural heritage is the expression of a community's ways of living through beliefs, customs, practices, artistic expression, and significant places. It inspires community pride and awareness of local historic resources, emboldening a sense of identity and responsibility to society at large.

Cultural heritage includes both the tangible, such as a building or work of art, and the intangible, such as a dance or ritual. An example of San Francisco's tangible LGBTQ+ cultural heritage is the Harvey Milk Residence Castro Camera Building at 575 Castro Street. Intangible aspects of LGBTQ+ cultural heritage include the City's annual Pride Celebration.

The LGBTQ+ Cultural Heritage Strategy is a community-driven effort to identify the needs and concerns of the LGBTQ+ community, articulates critical goals to address these needs, and present a set of recommended actions to be undertaken by the City and local organizations.

LGBTQ+ Cultural Heritage Working Group comprised of community members, organizations, and cultural heritage stakeholders organized to contribute to the development of the Strategy on topics such as community preservation, social and health services, economic opportunity, artistic and cultural expression and recognition. The Strategy recommendations included in the 2020 report are a comprehensive series of initiatives and actions to preserve and promote LGBTQ+ cultural heritage in San Francisco.


2019 - 2020

  • The Working Group and Planning staff held ongoing meetings and participated in events and conferences, including the WBA LGBT Economic Summit and Conference; OurTownSF Nonprofit Expo; National Trust for Historic Preservation and California Preservation Foundation annual conferences; Stonewall 50: Defining LGBTQ Preservation and the Queer History Conference.
  • The Working Group identified and prioritized first steps in the implementation of the Strategy and finalized their recommendations in a multi-year action plan to be carried out by City agencies and community partners. The action plan, goals and objectives, and the findings of the pubic survey are compiled in the Strategy Report, published in August 2020.


  • Through ongoing outreach and, following the completion of a public survey with nearly 1500 participants, the Working Group drafted a vision statement, goals and objectives, and further refined the draft recommendations. The Working Group organized an Advisory Group to review the draft materials to ensure the Strategy addresses the needs of all community members.
  • Along with Planning and Office of Transgender Initiatives staff, the Working Group presented the Strategy drafts to the Historic Preservation Commission and reviewed the materials with the City Family and community partners though a series of meetings and briefings.


  • The Strategy Working Group is established to identify and develop programs and procedures to support the LGBTQ+ community and protect, preserve, and promote San Francisco’s LGBTQ+ cultural heritage.
  • The Working Group organized three committees: Arts, Culture, and Heritage, Community Services and Education, and Economic Opportunity and Equity. During regular public and committee meetings and through community events, workshops and forums, the Working Group developed a series of draft recommendations.


  • On October 18, 2016, the Board of Supervisors passed Resolution No. 446-16 (Board File 160996), in part calling for the formation of a working group to develop and draft a plan to implement a Citywide LGBTQ Cultural Heritage Strategy.

Historic Context Statements on PIM

All properties currently identified within the San Francisco LGBTQ Historic Context Statement may be found on the Property Information Map by selecting Historic Context Statements checkbox under Preservation. All LGBTQ properties are highlighted in a rainbow pattern. Select a location and a small window will appear showing details, plus the corresponding page number in the Statement.

Public Hearings

How did this come about?

Both the Western SoMa Community Planning Effort and the Central SoMa Area Plan contain policies prioritizing the development of an LGBTQ+ Cultural Heritage Strategy.  The adoption of the LGBTQ+ Historic Context Statement in October 2015 by the Historic Preservation Commission provided a foundation for this effort. In 2016 the Board of Supervisors jumpstarted the process by passing Resolution No. 446-16 recognizing San Francisco's rich LGBTQ+ culture and the historic and ongoing importance of nightlife businesses as social spaces, venues for art, political organizing and places to build community.  The resolution calls for the establishment of an LGBTQ+ Nightlife and Culture Working Group tasked with developing and drafting a plan to implement a Citywide LGBTQ+ Cultural Heritage Strategy to protect, preserve, and expand LGBTQ+ nightlife and cultural heritage.

What is the City's role?

San Francisco Planning will serve as facilitator, technical advisor and partner working with community members and organizations, business owners and operators, to organize and define the goals of the strategy. The strategy will identify existing City programs and services that can be expanded or adapted to assist in its implementation and opportunities where City agencies can collaborate.  Potential partners include San Francisco Travel, the Arts Commission, the Recreation and Park Department, the Department of Public Works, the Office of Small Business, and others.

How can I get involved?

Sign up for email updates on future developments and events related to the LGBTQ+ Cultural Heritage Strategy.


The LGBTQ+ Cultural Heritage Strategy Working Group determined that forming committees on topics of interest to community members would help identify concerns or goals that will contribute to the development of the LGBTQ+ Cultural Heritage Strategy.

Economic Opportunity and Equity:

Arts, Culture and Heritage:

Community Services and Education: