Consists of material collected by longtime San Francisco gay activist Hank Wilson and includes correspondence, meeting minutes,
clippings, research materials, reports, handbooks, flyers and brochures.
Henry “Hank” Wilson was born in 1947 in Sacramento. He moved to the Bay Area in the early 1970s after receiving his B.A. degree
in Education from the University of Wisconsin. He served on a wide variety of organizations committed to gay and lesbian youth,
including the Gay Youth Advocacy Council, the Community United Against Violence Lesbian and Gay Speakers Bureau, and the Lavender
Youth Resource and Information Center (LYRIC). Wilson helped found the Gay Teachers Coalition, the Butterfly Self Defense
Brigade, the San Francisco Gay Democratic Club (renamed the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club), and numerous AIDS organizations,
including ACT-UP San Francisco, ACT-UP Golden Gate, and Mobilization Against AIDS.
From 1978 to 1996, Wilson managed the Ambassador Hotel, a 150 room single room occupancy (SRO) hotel in the Tenderloin. In
the early days of the AIDS epidemic the hotel began accepting HIV positive residents and began providing access to services
for medical and substance abuse issues. The Ambassador is considered a model for housing and harm reduction services for People
With AIDS (PWAs). Wilson later founded, along with Glenda Hope and Dennis Conkin, the Tenderloin AIDS Network, which became
the Tenderloin AIDS Resource Center (TARC).
In 1981 Wilson founded the Committee to Monitor Poppers to educate the gay community about the hazards of using poppers. In
1986 Wilson co-authored a book with John Lauritsen entitled Death Rush: Poppers and AIDS.
Ron Lanza and Wilson opened the Valencia Rose Cabaret in 1982, a popular nightclub which featured gay performers and comedians.
Wilson helped manage Tom Ammiano’s 1999 write-in campaign for mayor and in 2001, he made an unsuccessful bid for Supervisor
in San Francisco’s District 6.
Wilson’s last job was with the Shelter Monitoring Committee, where he worked to verify that San Francisco’s Homeless shelters
were providing mandates services. A long-term survivor of AIDS, Wilson died of lung cancer on November 9, 2008.
13 cartons, 2 manuscript boxes, 3 oversized boxes (approximately 15 linear feet)
Copyright to materials in this donation created by the donor has been transferred to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender
Collection is open for research. Funding for processing this collection was provided by the National Historical Publications
and Records Commission (NHPRC) and the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR).