When it comes to LGBT milestones, I think we can argue that the West Coast is “where it’s at.” From the “The Daughters of Bilitis” lesbian civil rights group, founded in San Francisco in 1955, to the pre-Stonewall gay and lesbian uprisings at Los Angeles’ Cooper’s Donuts, and of course, our history of out LGBT elected officials, the allure of the West Coast has proven a bastion for the LGBT community.
San Diego’s Diversionary Theatre, founded in 1986 and the third oldest operating LGBT theater in the U.S., is an important part of that heritage.
The 1980s marked tumultuous times for the LGBT community. We were still reeling from the assassination of Harvey Milk in 1978. LGBT civil rights legislation was stagnant under the Reagan administration. AIDS was decimating the gay male community. Over a decade would pass before a major celebrity would come out of the closet.
Founding artistic director, Thom Vegh realized that we needed a creative outlet to tell our stories; hence Diversionary Theatre was born.