“Our Time” by Chuck Foester— San Francisco, the Castro, 1971

Forester, Chuck. “Our Time”, Querelle Press, 2017.

San Francisco, the Castro, 1971

Amos Lassen

Paul is a young gay man from the Midwest and in 1971, he left home to find a “city of men”. Arriving in the Castro, he is sexually and totally free for the first time and there is no shame to be felt,–free not only to have sex, but to enjoy and talk about sex and not be ashamed. He begins a quest to build a public collection of gay and lesbian literature so that our history will not be lost and our community will be able to see that gay people have been around forever and have made important contributions to the world. For the first time in history, sexuality has become an integral and intrinsic part of a cultural revolution as Paul and those of his generation demand not only respect as gay men and woman but also respect for their sexuality. Since I was out of the country during this period, Chuck Forester has filled in many gaps of my knowledge about what went on here in the 70s. He gives us “a colorful, outspoken, and funny… window into the early years of the post-Stonewall past’.

Forester gives us San Francisco with “the grit, the excess and the adventure, but also the magic and wonder that made the city a once upon a time”. It really is a very inspired piece of writing, so honest, so real.” While this is Paul’s story, it is also the story of a movement and we see it through San Francisco and Paul’s eyes. It is well written and we sense the author passion and love. This is a book that be read and reared and it always feels new.


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