Tour The Castro with Cleve Jones

What a great idea for any of you not familiar with LGBT history and San Francisco!

Via press release:

Just in time for Harvey Milk's birthday (which is tomorrow, May 22), Detour, the new audio walking tour company founded in San Francisco by former Groupon CEO Andrew Mason, launched “The Castro with Cleve”: a walk through one of San Francisco’s most historic neighborhoods through the eyes of one of its central figures, human rights activist Cleve Jones. You can listen to the preview here.

Cleve Jones and Emile Hirsch during filming of 'Milk'

Maybe you’ve seen “Milk,” the Sean Penn movie about Harvey Milk and the gay rights movement in the Castro? Cleve Jones is the adorable, curly-headed kid (played by Emile Hirsch). But the real Jones, in his 60s and still living in the Castro, is a hundred times more compelling.

Imagine walking through the Castro with a key figure in almost every twist and turn of San Francisco’s historic fight for gay rights. Cleve helped Harvey Milk get elected when no other openly gay man had succeeded in California. After Milk was killed, Cleve inherited his famous bullhorn and used it to lead some of the most impassioned marches in gay history. That quilt you might have heard of, honoring lives lost to AIDS, that grew large enough to blanket the entire National Mall in Washington DC? Cleve Jones started it.

Eric Gerber & Cleve Jones at the Elephant Walk Bar (now Harvey's) just after Harvey debated John Briggs to help defeat the homophobic Briggs Initiative. Photo: Rink. 10-11-1978

In the Detour, you walk in Cleve’s shoes through the Castro and experience encounters with regulars at his local bar, the admiring girl behind the counter at Hot Cookie, a party in every building, a protest on every corner, the death of a friend from AIDS on every block. You’ll walk along gorgeous side streets and up and down the Castro’s main drag, with its racy underwear shops and neighborhood bars. And all along the way, Cleve will tell you how his own story is interwoven with a movement that changed the world and the neighborhood where it all started.

Sounds like a must-do activity to me.

Leave a Reply

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: