About Us

40+ Years of Damron History

In 1964, a businessman published a book of all the gay bars he knew from his constant travels across the United States. This book fit comfortably in the palm of your hand. Despite its petite size, this book was an impressive accomplishment. Each one of the listings he had visited himself. Every last copy of the book he sold himself. The name of this pioneering businessman: Bob Damron. Today, the Damron Men's Travel Guide (aka Damron Address Book) remains a bestseller. And it remains the model for the countless gay travel guides that have followed.

The Damron Company itself has also been through a lot of changes since 1964. The company has grown quite a bit, and since the early '90s has been headed up by President and Editor-in-Chief Gina Gatta. We publish four regular titles--the annual Men's Travel Guide and Women's Traveller, in addition to the sesquiannual Damron City Guide and Damron Accommodations. We also pioneered a city series with the publication of Damron Amsterdam in 1998.

It has been a struggle at times to maintain our position as "the first name in gay travel" over the past decade. Many straight-run competitors realized the value of the gay dollar and began courting gay consumers ferociously in the late '90s. Fortunately, the Damron name has remained a friendly face among a sea of newcomers. And we've also worked hard to keep up with the changing times: the Damron website and online searchable database are very popular; our editors are constantly researching and adding new info for more and more destinations around the globe; and we are always redefining--and re-designing--ourselves to let the world know that Damron is still here, still queer, and still the experts!

How We Maintain the Accuracy of Our Listings

Our editors contact every single listing in our database annually, usually by phone, fax, or email. They also receive updated information directly from business owners, from readers, and from Damron Online browsers.

If you are the first to send in new, verifiably correct information about one of our listings or about a new business we should know about, Damron will give you a free subscription to our online database! If you already subscribe, we'll extend your subscription for another 3 months.

When you're surfing our online database, look for the "Feedback" link to send us your comments about the businesses we list. Not only might you get something for free, but you just might pass on information that will be helpful to a fellow traveler.

How Damron Gives Back to the Community

Damron is proud to support our communities through the following charitable organizations and events:

  • AIDS Benefits Counselors
  • Broadway Cares
  • Frameline Lesbian & Gay Film Festival
  • Horizon Foundation
  • International Lesbian & Gay Human Rights Commission
  • Los Angeles Community Center
  • Lazarus House New Orleans
  • Legacy Foundation
  • Lesbian Community Center Project
  • LYRIC (Lavender Youth Recreation/Information Center)
  • NAMES Project
  • National AIDS Memorial Grove
  • National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association
  • Nightsweats & T-Cells
  • New York City Community Center
  • Outfest Lesbian & Gay Film Festival
  • PrideFest Milwaukee
  • PrideFest Philadelphia
  • San Francisco Pride
  • San Francisco Community Center Project
  • Toronto Lesbian & Gay Film Festival

Early Years

Damron Guide Reveals Sacramento Past

In 1964 a traveling businessman, Bob Damron, decided to print and publish a list of the many bars he visited. For an underground society, as ours was then, it was just what people needed, since bars were about the only social outlet available to homosexuals. By looking through the Sacramento listings over the years it is possible to get a glimpse into the development of our community. Like an archaeological dig we can read between the lines and speculate on the growth and direction of Sacramento's historic hot spots. By merging bits and pieces of material from other sources we get an even more complete picture of Sacramento's Gay development since the 1960s.

Damron's Guide grew from a booklet smaller than a cigarette pack to a much larger inch & half reference but it still fits easily in a travel bag. It was successful, was refined and remains popular even today as two annual editions, The Damron Men's Travel Guide and The Women's Travel Guide. Compiling and updating the annual publication was a huge undertaking and errors were common, however with the advent of the computer Damron staffers found life much easier. The annual guide became more accurate and more up to date.

The Guide did more than simply provide a list of bars; it gave readers a heads up about potential threats. Popular meeting places like bookstores, bus terminals, movie theatres, beaches, parks and highway rest stops were listed. An "AYOR" tag indicating a possibility of police presence would sometimes accompany these entries. Police and sheriff departments were not always happy with having gay bars in their jurisdictions and often had a copy of the Guide for obvious reasons. Recently AYOR, which abbreviates At Your Own Risk, has been used to indicate the possible presence of police or criminals.