San Francisco Chronicle/Uncredited photographer | 16469gh
Wayne Friday, pictured in 1979, a former city police commissioner, bartender, and a political columnist who chronicled the coming-of-age of San Francisco’s gay community, died on Wednesday aged 79.
A native of Michigan, Mr. Friday moved from New York to San Francisco in 1970 and began tending bar at gay bars. He became president of the Tavern Guild, an association of gay bars that also provided health services and social support in the early years of the AIDS epidemic.
“It was total freedom out here, for everybody,” Mr. Friday recalled in a 2001 interview with The San Francisco Chronicle. “I had just come out of the closet. … The city was a fantasy for grown-ups, gay and straight alike.” One of his friends was Harvey Milk, the gay community leader who was then political columnist for the Bay Area Reporter.
Gay History sends condolences to family, friends and colleagues.