Cultural institutions in San Francisco continually search for new acquisitions. Alexis Coe brings you the most important, often wondrous, sometimes bizarre, and occasionally downright vexing finds every other Friday.
San Francisco native José Sarria is a celebrated performer, advocate, and was the first known openly gay person to campaign for elected office in 1961. When the 90-year-old Sarria began to seriously consider the fate of his personal archives, it was no easy task. The Smithsonian expressed interest, but only wanted his correspondence, and Sarria knew that the public and researchers would best benefit from a complete collection at one institution.