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San Francisco’s First Legacy Business Tour Company

Media Contact: David Perry / (415) 676-7007 /

Cruisin’ the Castro Walking Tours Goes Virtual!

San Francisco’s First Legacy Business Tour Company   
Expands Access to LGBTQ Culture

11 June 2021 – San Francisco, CA. Dorothy clicked her heels to find her way home. But for lesbian entrepreneur Kathy Amendola, she’s bringing people to her home, San Francisco’s historic Castro District, with the click of a mouse via her Cruisin’ the Castro Walking Tours ( – San Francisco’s first and only officially recognized “Legacy Business” tour company – virtually!

“Cruisin’ the Castro has never been easier,” said Amendola who has been running the internationally-known tours for over 16 years.  “For those who can’t walk the walk with us, our LGBTQ history is only a click away. We are now offering a virtual tour for purchase on our website with a feature titled ‘The Castro – A Community Advocating for Equality”, entailing over 70 years of LGBTQ activism in San Francisco.”

When the COVID pandemic shut down Kathy’s acclaimed and internationally-known walking tours of San Francisco’s LGBTQ community, she heard from a lot of people who missed them. That’s when she made a decision. When in-person tours returned, she’d also expand their reach – right into people’s laptops. She spent the first few months of lockdown doing research, and preparing her online offerings, now ready for launch.

“This is just another way for history lovers to discover how many brave sexual and gender diverse individuals pushed beyond boundaries in the ongoing effort to obtain equality and civil rights in America,” says Amendola who moved to San Francisco in 1999. “Our virtual video tour spans from the early 20th century through 2020 and includes tremendous feats of local individuals advocating for positive social change.”

Highlights of the new online offering include:

  • Evolution of a diverse culture
  • Heroes and heroines of LGBTQ activism
  • Harvey Milk and the Castro Community
  • The AIDS Epidemic
  • The Rainbow Honor Walk 
  • Community Landmarks, Art & Murals
  • The Future of LGBTQ Rights in America

Cruisin’ the Castro Tours was founded in 1989 by local historian Trevor Hailey who was inspired by the social and political upheaval of gay and lesbian rights in America. Trevor became an icon as well as, the orator of the Castro community for 16 years. Upon her retirement in 2005, Amendola, purchased Cruisin’ the Castro Tours and continues to educate and empower people from around the globe on LGBTQ history and lack civil rights. In 2019, Cruisin’ the Castro Tours was officially recognized a Legacy Business, for providing 30  consecutive years as a longstanding, community-servicing business and a valuable cultural asset to the City and County of San Francisco.

“It’s been a tremendous opportunity for me to call the Castro community my home. So much of LGBTQ history, activism and culture started in San Francisco. Over the past 16 years, my job went from being a tour guide to a civil rights activist. And following pioneers like Del Martin, Phyllis Lyon, Harvey Milk, Cleve Jones and Carol Migden is a tremendous honor,” says Amendola. “As a diverse culture, we don’t have visibility or equal rights in America nor many parts of the world where homosexuality and diversity are still illegal or a worse, a death sentence. My tour gives people the education and knowledge to make differences in their lives and communities. This is how we change the world, one heart at a time.”

Or, said another way starting this 2021 Pride Month: one easy click at a time!