UC Berkeley alumni reflect on Berkeley’s LGBTQ+ history

Photo of pride parade
Celine Bellegarda/Senior Staff
Before LGBTQ+ campus groups were founded, the city of Berkeley did not have a strong, cohesiveLGBTQ+ community of its own. Several campus alumni reflected on this as they recounted the history.

Before the Stonewall riots marked the beginning of the modern gay rights movement, and even in the time following, members of the LGBTQ+ community existed within a “hidden subculture” in the Bay Area, according to Robert Plantz, former president of the GSU from 1969 through 1970.
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Berkeley senior center organizes ‘Gay Day’ event with ‘Come as You Are’ theme

Richard Castrillon, director of the North Berkeley Senior Center, said he believed it was very important to show that the event was open to anyone, making this idea clear with the “Come as You Are” theme. The event this year saw the participation of seniors and young people alike who are part of the LGBTQ+ community or who wanted to celebrate Pride with the community.
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Em Bohlka, Griffin Madden die in Oakland fire

This week, Em Bohlka, who worked at the Berkeley location of Highwire Coffee Roasters, and Griffin Madden, a campus alumnus and the audience services associate for Cal Performances, were confirmed as victims of the Oakland warehouse fire that took place Friday.
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Berkeley hosts 15th annual Pride event

Around 250 students and Berkeley residents attended the 15th annual Berkeley Pride event Monday afternoon at Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse that featured some of the Bay Area’s most renowned performers and speakers.
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