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"The understanding of a culture comes from hearing the language, tasting the food, seeing personal interactions, experiencing the traditions, and so much more in context."

— Elizabeth Laval & Candice Pendergrass, Sikh Youth Public History Project

"The understanding of a culture comes from hearing the language, tasting the food, seeing personal interactions, experiencing the traditions, and so much more when it is in context."

— Elizabeth Laval & Candice Pendergrass, Sikh Youth Public History Project

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SAN FRANCISCO–Film panel discussion: SALLY

July 9, 2023 @ 2:00 pm3:30 pm

Black and white photo banner depicting a women speaking emphatically into a microphone.

SAN FRANCISCO– View sneak preview of excerpts of SALLY, a documentary-in-progress about the life and work of Sally Gearhart, lesbian feminist activist, scholar and fantasy author. With a panel discussion featuring SALLY director Deborah Craig, Jewelle Gomez, Ruth Mahaney and Cherrie Moraga.

Event description:

Panel: Sally: A Documentary Film in Progress | San Francisco Public Library (

Sunday, July 9, 2023 |2-3:30 pm

Koret Auditorium

Main Library | 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

Contact Telephone: 415-557-4400

Contact Email:

This program is drop-in only (no registration necessary). All SFPL locations are wheelchair accessible. For accommodations (such as ASL or language interpretation), call (415) 557-4557 or contact Requesting at least 3 business days in advance will help ensure availability.

Film description:

Sally Gearhart was a charismatic radical lesbian activist, author, and academic who spearheaded the 1970s and 80s lesbian feminist movement yet has been largely forgotten. But the film SALLY is not just a straightforward biography of this “hidden figure” deserving more recognition. It also shows the symbiotic relationship between spokeswomen like Sally and movements for social change, which are necessarily collective. And it highlights Sally’s captivating iconoclasm and contradictions: SALLY is both a wild lesbian safari and a timely and deeply moving meditation on the tensions inherent in revolutionary movements: ideological principles versus human realities, separatism versus mainstreaming, and throwing down the gauntlet versus reaching across the aisle. Ultimately, Sally and compatriots’ key contributions can help guide our current, urgent battles for social justice.

About the panelists:

Deborah Craig is an award-winning documentary director and producer whose films use compelling personal stories to raise awareness about the challenges and strengths of underrepresented communities. Her work has played at LGBTQ+, women’s and documentary film festivals in the U.S. and internationally. Deborah’s most recent short, A Great Ride, a 33-minute documentary about lesbians and aging, premiered at the Frameline LGBTQ+ Film Festival in San Francisco in 2018, was picked up for distribution by Frameline, has screened at over 50 film festivals around the globe and has won multiple awards.

Jewelle Gomez (CaboVerdean/Wampanoag/Ioway; she/her) is a novelist, poet, playwright and cultural worker. Her eight books include three collections of poetry and the first Black Lesbian vampire novel, The Gilda Stories. In print for 30 years, it was recently optioned by Cheryl Dunye for a TV mini-series. Her recent collection of poetry, Still Water, was published in June 2022. Her new play, Unpacking in Ptown, will premiere at New Conservatory Theater in 2024.

Ruth Mahaney has taught LGBT History at City College of San Francisco for over 35 years and was a collective member of Modern Times Bookstore for 35 years. She has lived in San Francisco since 1971, when she first met Sally Gearhart. She and Sally both taught at SF State University and both were members of the Lesbian Caucus, a group of Lesbian activists attempting to advocate for Lesbian Rights with the City government.

Cherrie Moraga is an internationally recognized poet, playwright, essayist and memoirist. She began work as professional writer as a co-editor (with Gloria Anzaldúa) of the avant-garde feminist anthology, This Bridge Called My Back:  Writings by Radical Women of Color. As a political and literary essayist, she has published several collections of writings, including:  A Xicana Codex of Changing ConsciousnessLoving in The War Years: Lo que nunca pasó por sus labiosThe Last Generation and Waiting in the Wings: Portrait of a Queer Motherhood.


Sally – Facebook

Sally – Website

For more information, visit

This project is supported by a California Documentary Project Grant.


July 9, 2023
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Grant Line:


San Francisco Public Library, Main Branch
100 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102 United States
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