Tavera, Hank M. Papers

Span Dates: 1952-2000
Bulk Dates:
Volume: 67 linear feet


The Hank M. Tavera Papers, 1952-2000, reflect a lifetime of work as a Chicano, HIV/AIDS, and gay activist; notably, Tavera's role as co-founder of The California and National Latina/o Lesbian and Gay Organization (LLEGO), co-authoring the multi-cultural plan for Dignity, and his work at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and San Francisco City Clinic. The collection includes his records about the Metropolitan Community Church, and subject files on the Church and clergy 1974-1983, 1991-1999 and Religion 1986, 1989, 1995-1998. Tavera's involvement in numerous cultural and artistic organizations and activities are also represented in the collection, particularly in annual productions of AIDS Theater Festivals; the Latino/a AIDS Theater Festivals; Performing Arts Shows of Latino/a Gay, Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender Artists; directorship of several plays; and his official roles in Teatro Nacional de Aztlán (TENAZ) and California Theater Council (CTC). The collection consists of correspondence, organization materials, business records, writings, personal papers, teaching materials, proposals, programs, newsletters, photographs, audiocassettes, posters, newspaper clippings, and ephemera.

Hist/Bio Note

Hank M. Tavera (1944-2000) was a Chicano gay activist and cultural worker originally from East Los Angeles, who lived in San Francisco's Mission District since 1979. He worked at the front line of the AIDS epidemic at San Francisco City Clinic as an HIV/AIDS intervention specialist. Included among his many achievements was having been co-founder of LLEGO (Latina/o Lesbian and Gay Organization) California and National LLEGO, two organizations whose purpose is to empower lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities. He co-authored the Multicultural Plan for previous Dignity /San Francisco, served as a voting delegate to LIFE (California's LGBT and AIDS lobby in Sacramento), and was artistic director of the AIDS Theater Festival each year as part of the National AIDS Update conference. Between 1986-1990, Tavera was the Client Services Director at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation where he established a bilingual multicultural and women's services program. He was elected Chair of the Third World AIDS Advisory Task Force which spawned other Black, Latino, and Asian coalitions. He organized the first rally in San Francisco on needle exchange and was a co-founder and volunteer for the mission team of Prevention Point Needle Exchange for five years. Tavera had his political and artistic roots in the United Farm Workers grape boycott and the Chicano theater movement. He was a former actor with Teatro de la Esperanza (Santa Barbara) and a director of plays with Teatro Gusto (San Francisco). As past board chair of Teatro Nacional de Aztlán (TENAZ), he coordinated its 11th International Chicano Latino Teatro Festival in 1981. He directed several Latino plays, including "The Leash" (1981), "Reunion" (1983), "The Watermelon Factory" (1992), and "The Black Cat" (1995). He was also artistic director of the Performing Arts Shows of Latina/o Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Artists for nine consecutive years at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts. Recognition of his commitment to his life's work includes the Excellent Leadership Award from the Third World Counselors Association of California (1989), "Bay Area Angel Honoree" by the American Conservatory Theater (1994), and an Outstanding Community Service Achievement Award from AGUILAS, San Francisco (1996). In October 1997, he was presented with the first Premio Cultura award from National LLEGO at their Quinto Encuentro in San Juan, Puerto Rico and in March 1999 he received the Pax Bonum Award from Dignity/San Francisco.

Finding Aid

An online finding aid is available.


This collection is held at The Ethnic Studies Library 30 Stephens Hall #2360 University of California, Berkeley Berkeley, California, 94720-2360


Dignity | San Francisco | California | Latinx | Catholic (Roman) | Artist/musician/poet | MCC