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Romesburg, D. (2013). The Glass Coffin. Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 14(2):163-174.
   

(2013). Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 14(2):163-174

The Glass Coffin

Don Romesburg, Ph.D.

In San Francisco's Castro District, the gay bar Twin Peaks Tavern has long had a reputation as “the Glass Coffin” due to its high visibility and aging clientele. This essay explores the history of how Twin Peaks Tavern earned its reputation. To understand its transformation, we need to look at its visibility and particular kind of sociability that attracted older, predominantly white and middle-class gay men. The documentary Beauty Before Age (Symons, 1997) provides a window into how mid-1990s patrons and passersby viewed Twin Peaks differently. The kinds of viability a visible glass coffin allows requires a consideration of the changing effects of AIDS on the Castro's gay male culture. The concepts of social time and successful aging illuminate these effects. Recent efforts to preserve Twin Peaks Tavern as a historical landmark suggest what glass coffins do for and to all of us today.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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