Despite being one of the largest metropolitan areas in the country, Silicon Valley’s gay bar scene is strikingly minuscule. Today, there are only three bars left (Mac’s, Renegades, and Splash) – which is in stark contrast to 1986, when 14 gay bars were in operation. There is speculation about the reasons for the decline of the gay bar scene in Silicon Valley over the years: the early frequency of police raids and interference, a suburban and ‘family-based’ lifestyle, the HIV/AIDS crisis, the closeness to San Francisco, and the rise of the internet. All these may have contributed to its small stature today. The map below contains some of the significant areas of gay nightlife in Silicon Valley and how widespread it used to be.
Known throughout the gay community for her signature “beehive” hairdo and fundraising skills, Darlene Lutz Montalbano became a member of the San Jose area LGBTQ community in 1969. She began … Read More