Gilbert Baker Memorial – San Francisco, California - Atlas Obscura

If you find yourself in San Francisco’s Castro District, be sure to take a small detour to see the celebratory mural for Gilbert Baker, located on the gates of a building at 3745 17th Street. Baker was a pioneer in the fight for LGBT rights, and he is best known for creating the rainbow pride flag.

Baker was born in Kansas in 1951 and moved to San Francisco in the 1970s, where he became involved in the city’s burgeoning LGBT rights movement. His work helped to raise awareness of the struggles and challenges faced by the LGBT community. He created the first pride flag in 1978, a rainbow with eight colored stripes: pink for sex, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, light blue for magic, dark blue for serenity, and purple for spirit. Over time, due to production constraints, the flag has evolved, with some colors being removed and others being added.

This mural was created by April Berger in 2017 in memory of Baker, who died that year. It features the rainbow as its theme and serves as a tribute to Baker and his contributions to the LGBT community. The building where the mural is located served as an informal meeting place for LGBT activists and as a base for those affected by AIDS between the 1980s and 1990s.

Know Before You Go

Feel free to make pictures, but please respect the people who live in the house.

The GLBT History Center, located near the heart of the Castro district at 4127 18th Street, displays one of the original flags. Just a short distance from this memorial, individuals can pay a small fee to learn the history of the city's LGBTQ+ communities

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January 27, 2023

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