Glen Park News note: This Opinion Essay is reprinted here with permission of the Glen Park Neighborhoods History Project.
In February of this year, it seemed Christopher Park in Diamond Heights was at risk for becoming the center of attention as a new candidate for a name change. The reason? A District 3 representative on the Park, Recreation, Open Space Advisory Committee (PROSAC) of San Francisco Recreation and Parks accused former Mayor George Christopher, for whom the park is named, of being “a rabid homophobe.” Therefore, according to the representative, he planned to submit a formal proposal to change the name of Christopher Park, adding “I think it is a shame to have a park, particularly any park in the city and particularly in District 8, that is named after George Christopher.”
This was quite a surprise for many of us in District 8, particularly the Diamond Heights Community Association, Friends of Christopher Park, District 8 Supervisor’s Rafael Mandelman’s office, and the GPNHP.
So, we went in search of the truth. Was George Christopher really “a rabid homophobe?” The answer, we discovered, is a resounding No!
From our perspective, the accusation could not be farther from the truth. Following more intensive research, the GPNHP has published a rebuttal in response to the accusation in the July 2023 issue of the Noe Valley Voice (see page 5). Also, learn more at the GPNHP website about what resources she used and how two such contrary conclusions could have been reached.
In the end, we believe any move to change the name of Christopher Park is unfounded and unnecessary. The GPNHP will continue to monitor the situation and report updates in future GPNHP e-newsletters.