Allen Ginsberg (1926–1997), Alan Ginsberg is a poet from San Francisco’s Beat Generation. Ginsberg performed at Glide Church at some of the happenings held in the 60’s. One of the stories about Alan Ginsberg at Glide included poems and candles. The Rev. Cecil Williams asked the group to leave, because they were spilling wax on the carpet and the worshiping community was older and conservative. While picking the wax out of the carpet, Rev. Cecil Williams realized that it made no sense to kick people out of the sanctuary for the sake of a few. The event is cited as one of the turning points in his ministry, catalyzing a change from traditional worship to words, music and images that spoke to the times.
Sylvester James(1947–1988), Sylvester first came to Glide through happenings hosted by the Diggers and the Cockettes. Sylvester also performed with the Glide Ensemble at a number of events to raise funds for HIV/AIDS. You can learn more here.
Del Martin (1921–2008), Del Martin and her wife Phyllis Lyon helped found the Council on Religion and the Homosexual, Phyllis worked as a secretary in the church and then for some of the Glide programs that provided sexuality education. Del also worked at Glide, renting office space. The first editions of her books were published by Glide, Lesbian/Woman (which was written with Phyllis Lyon) and Battered Wives. These books were published a time when positive books about LGBTQ issues did not exist. Del worked with Glide to advocate for LGBTQ change on a national level, including campaigning to have the American Psychiatric Association change its definition of homosexuality as a mental illness.
Randy Shilts (1951–1994) Randy Shilts was a best-selling author and is thought to be the first openly gay reporter of a mainstream newspaper to write about the gay community. Randy, who was sometimes a controversial figure in the LGBTQ community, is remembered for his books The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk and And the Band Played On: Politics People and the AIDS Epidemic. After he died from AIDs, Randy’s funeral was held at Glide and was protested by the Westboro Baptist Church. You can learn more about his funeral here.