James C. Hormel LGBTQIA Center

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Archives March 2011: Gay Bears

Lynn Ludwig Photograph Albums

When the temperature goes down, I naturally think of hibernating. And hibernating naturally makes me think of bears. Within the LGBT community "bear" refers to someone whose physical appearance closely resembles that of a real bear: hairy, strong and anywhere from heavyset to heavily muscled.

In August, Lynn Ludwig donated his collection of 41 photo albums and 200 photo portraits. Lynn's photographs document bear events, LGBT pride parades in San Francisco and his own family events. Frequently documented are the Lone Star Saloon, Eagle bar, and the street fairs for Folsom, Dore Alley and Castro streets.

The albums include portraits of friends and family. All of the albums are interspersed with Lynn's beautiful photographs of flowers and Northern California scenery. Occasionally there are badges from events that Lynn attended as well as flyers promoting those events. The time frame covered is 1988-1999. We see here a sample of some of the images that Lynn captured: a San Diego Bear Pride event from 1992; also a flyer from the ABC Convergence (Associated Bigmen's Clubs); and a lovely shot of the Painted Ladies in San Francisco. The Lynn Ludwig Photographs Collection (GLC 65) is available for research and browsing through the San Francisco History Center.

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