Celebration: Chloe Sherman in conversation, Renegades

San Francisco: The 1990s: A tender, joyous portrait of the thriving lesbian subculture in ’90s San Francisco
Wednesday, 12/6/2023
6:00 - 7:30
Koret Auditorium
Koret Lobby
Main Library

100 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
United States

Contact Telephone

Don’t miss your opportunity to explore SF queer culture from the 90s. Chloe Sherman's new photography book, "Renegades," is a tender and joyous portrait of a thriving lesbian community. Sherman will be in conversation with Christina Moretta, San Francisco Public Library's Photo Curator and Archivist. 

While pursuing her BFA in photography at the San Francisco Art Institute in the 1990s, Sherman began documenting a generation of young, self-identified queers in the Mission District. Rent was affordable, and gay youth, outcasts, artists and free spirits migrated to San Francisco to find one another. The sense of community was palpable as a queer cultural renaissance unfolded. Bars, clubs, tattoo shops, galleries, cafes, bookstores and women-owned businesses proliferated. A new wave of feminism embraced gender-bending, and butch/femme culture flourished.

Sherman was impressed by the collective creativity, support, pride and strident defiance of cultural norms. This subculture emerged against the backdrop of mainstream society. All shot on 35mm film, my photographs from this vibrant era connect current and future generations to the pulse of the city during a unique time when difference and homecoming were unapologetically celebrated.


Born in New York City, Chloe Sherman earned her BFA in Photography at the San Francisco Art Institute. Her interest and pursuit of documentary photography were deeply influenced by her fine arts training. 

After receiving a Merit scholarship for her photographic work, she had the honor of being selected as a participant of the Eddie Adams Barnstorm Workshop in upstate New York. Here she worked alongside National Geographic and AP photographers, and this experience became a launchpad for her career. She later worked as a photo editor for Mother Jones magazine and as a freelance photographer in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Her work has been exhibited at Schlomer Haus Gallery in San Francisco and internationally with Sotheby's ArtLink Auction. She has been published in the books Nothing But the Girl, RESEARCH: Angry Women in Rock, and Out in America and featured in magazines including Rolling Stone, Interview, and The Advocate.

Books will be available for sale at the event. 

Following the event, there will be an after-party at Mother, a queer bar centered on women and femmes in San Francisco's Mission District. Located at 3079 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103.


Chloe Sherman - Website | Chloe Sherman - Instagram 

Mother Bar - Website | Mother Bar - Instagram 

Christina Moretta - Instagram 

Engage with your favorite writers and discover your next read.

Gather, share knowledge and celebrate our unique identities at the queerest library ever. 

For more resources, the James C. Hormel LGBTQIA Center is the gateway to the Library’s broader collections documenting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual history and culture, with a special emphasis on the San Francisco Bay Area.

Learn from world-class designers, artists and experts in their fields. 

This program is sponsored by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.

Attending Programs

For questions about the program or help registering, contact sfplcpp@sfpl.orgAll programs are drop-in (no registration necessary) unless otherwise noted. All SFPL locations are wheelchair accessible. For accommodations (such as ASL or language interpretation), call (415) 557-4557 or contact accessibility@sfpl.org. Requesting at least 3 business days in advance will help ensure availability.

Notice: This event may be filmed or photographed. By participating in this event, you consent to have your likeness used for the Library’s archival purposes and promotional materials. If you do not want to be photographed, please inform a staff person or the photographer. A sticker will be provided to help identify you so that we can avoid capturing your image.

Public Notice and Disclaimer

This program uses a third-party website link. By clicking on the third-party website link, you will leave SFPL's website and enter a website not operated by SFPL. This service may collect personally identifying information about you, such as name, username, email address, and password. This service will treat the information it collects about you pursuant to its own privacy policy. We encourage you to review the privacy policies of each third-party website or service that you visit or use, including those third parties with whom you interact through our Library services. For more information about these third-party links, please see the section of SFPL’s Privacy Policy describing Links to Other Sites.

The views and opinions expressed in programs presented by groups unaffiliated with SFPL do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SFPL or the City.