In 1972, two lesbian friends, Mary Ellen Cunha and Peggy Forster, bought Twin Peaks Tavern on the corner of Market and Castro streets. “The girls,” as they were known, didn’t realize that the act of opening a gay bar with windows would be a historic act. At the time of its unveiling, being gay was considered a disease and a criminal offense, and gay bars were subject to police raids. Four decades later, San Francisco made the bar a historic landmark. Four decades later, we had our first date there. We sat in the tiny balcony and drank too many gin gimlets and I didn’t realize at the time, perhaps like those first patrons of the Twin Peaks Tavern, how much I needed to be seen.
Now that a year has passed, I look back and see how everything about our meeting was perfect. The setting. The circuitous friendships. The story I read and the strange Minnesota coincidences. And yes, I have a tendency to romanticize, but how perfect even was the season? Past lovers and leavers be damned. It was time; time for the Fall.