My Love Katie Gilmartin San Francisco county Bay lesbian reports My Love Katie Gilmartin San Francisco county Bay

Out in the Bay: 'Blackmail, My Love' reveals city's sordid homophobic past

Want a break from today's scary news? Step back to a time that seems simpler with Katie Gilmartin, who served up a sultry slice of queer history as she read from her noir murder-mystery novel, "Blackmail, My Love," on this week's Out in the Bay podcast and radio show.

The historian and printmaker illustrated the book with 21 of her own prints, including the character Miss Double Strand shown here.

The book is set in San Francisco, 1951 — "The Dark Ages of Queerdom," as Gilmartin put it — when cops raided gay and lesbian bars, beat up patrons and demanded protection money, and when queer folk were so afraid of public exposure they were easy blackmail targets.

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