Keith St Clare is a man driven by a mission: help those who need it. A 1980 issue of The San Francisco Crusader called him a “nice man who cares about real problems.”
At 17 years old, Keith's father illegally maneuvered him into the United States Air Force, and Keith served as an Aerospace Ground Power Repairman stationed in Okinawa, Japan. Four years later, in 1966, he returned to the United States and moved to San Francisco. The Summer of Love expanded in his heart, and he became and edited Vanguard magazine. Vanguard was for the untouchables pushed aside by gay assimilationists and the heterosexuals they attempted to replicate. It was a forever open dialogue between the denied, forgotten, persecuted youth, drug addicts, transgenders, drag queens and all gay men and women.
Although Keith stopped publishing Vanguard in 1979, it is a living magazine. The content is controversial and remains true. It is a combination of every medium, a breath from every culture. There are pre-Gay Liberation articles titled Interview with a Transvestite, The History of Syphilis, Bisexual Interview, List of Sex Offenses and Their Punishments in All 50 states, LA Secret Police, Lavender in Uniform, Interview with a Maschosit, Black Art Adds Culture, etc. Erotic images and delicate yet in-your-face poetry unites every issue.
The fact that Keith gave a voice to these untouched subjects in 1966 is bold, but even bolder is that he did so using his real name and real address. He admits he was scared, but the military taught him how to protect himself. He says he was not going to be a martyr.
Keith did not stop with Vanguard. He worked commercially for community theaters and produced 186 episodes of the nationally distributed and entirely youth-run TV show Young Ideas all the while raising over 600 foster kids.
Clean off your combat boots, and let’s join Keith St Clare’s Vanguard!