As the Second World War led to massive migrations, port cities swelled with workers and military personnel. Newly arrived residents sought leisure and social connections, and entertainment districts, such as San Francisco’s Tenderloin, Fillmore, and North Beach, expanded as well. Freed from the watchful eyes of hometown family and neighbors, many saw bars and nightclubs as sites of social and sexual experimentation. Military and municipal authorities, concerned to maintain both the racial color line and sexual discipline, began to monitor San Francisco’s intersectional nightspots. But nightspot owners and their patrons also pushed back, resulting in the formation of both formal and informal socially conscious networks and institutions that used entertainment districts as places of connection, protection, and liberation.

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