The Black Cat Café and Sol Stoumen in San Francisco

Subject: Sociology
Pages: 2
Words: 333
Reading time:
2 min

The Black Cat café which was at first a place for vaudevilles, over time became the iconic representation of the LGBT community. It basically put on the map the gay public of San Francisco. The Black Cat café broke the barriers and embraced the fight for the civil rights of the LGBT community. From the start, the bar was surrounded by the suspicion that it was the center of San Francisco prostitution, but all the attacks were nullified, and the Black Cat café re-opened in 1933. The importance of the café is difficult to overestimate, but none of this would not have been possible if not for Jose Sarria whose campaign for city supervisor abetted inspiring gay political establishment in San Francisco. Sarria fought against the aggravation of gays and gay bars, even teaming up with and resorting to the assistance of the renowned San Francisco attorney Melvin Belli. Sarria began working in the Black Cat as a waiter but then he started singing and dressing in drag. Sarria’s movement had a tremendous effect on how the society and legal apparatus have seen the gay community of San Francisco.

His legacy in terms of the civil rights of minorities is a cultural heritage, and it can rightly be considered a form of cultural expression and amiability. Sarria did immense work so that minorities have had the same rights as the majority. More importantly, because of him, the authorities declined the decision to close down the bar because gays were the usual customers. Sarria’s legacy went on even further and projected the fight for gay civil rights outside San Francisco and made the equality of the minorities a nationwide issue. In 1963, the Black Cat café closed down for the last time, but it is still remembered as the bastion of ideological values of sexual minorities. Moreover, some still refer to it as the pioneering institution of the gay movement that brought the necessary novelty into society.