A Long Story from a Resident/Local.
I’m hearing more and more locals refer to the Castro as “the heterosexual Castro” or “the ‘straight’ Castro.”
UPDATE El 03 de mayo de 2014. Hola. This page is too long but why bother shortening it when there really isn’t much more to say about this topic. I saw an amigo today. He lives most of his time in San Francisco and has lived here since the early 1970s. He lives sometimes on the Peninsula. I see him every now and then. Today, he was acting rather depressed about what has happened to San Francisco and The Castro. He’s not the only one who’s depressed about it. He talked about how the Gay Mecca really began on Polk Street and all the sexual things that happened during those days and that he saw. Then the Mecca shifted to The Castro. He said, “I can’t believe what has happened to The Castro. It is nothing like it was during the Gay Mecca Days. It is now sanitized, sterile and boring. There’s nothing there.” (That’s the same thing I’ve written about it.) He said there’s no longer any open sex in the bars like there used to be or on the sidewalk which was common during those days. The city is becoming culture-less and the condos—they can’t build fast enough for the bourgeois elite—are ugly. So I just wanted to say, if anyone is planning to come here (I honestly don’t know why you would), and if you are expecting to see the former city, you will be extremely disappointed because that city is gone. Fin. Chau.—rosa barrio
UPDATE El 25 de marzo de 2014. Hola. Someone sent me this e-mail after reading this article and looking at ads on CL: “You’ll never believe what I saw. I was looking at ads on CL and saw this ad from this gay couple. They were looking to get together with another guy for sex at their place. They wrote that they could host and they were “very discreet.” Where do they live? In THE CASTRO. The former gay mecca. I wouldn’t have believed this if I hadn’t seen it. WTF do two guys have to be “very discreet” for in the Castro? Is there something in the water? I can understand being “very discreet” in maybe some redneck place, but in the Castro? It’s crazy. Without a doubt, many gay guys are going back in the closet and they call it being “discreet” and “very discreet.” Just thought I’d let you know. Thanks.”
My response: Gracias for your e-mail and I’m seeing the same thing you are. [roll eyes]. Loco. Chau.—rosa barrio
A brief summary of this article: Many people—including some local Queer activists—are now (finally) noticing how the Castro has changed and is continuing to change. It’s not that gay anymore. The Castro is a weird place today; it feels that some/many people are now confused about their sexuality. I don’t know what’s going on. I see guys who my reliable gaydar tells me are gay (without a doubt) and they’re holding hands with a female and/or making out with her at the bus stop. I used to never see that in the Castro. Is he one of the guys who’s gone back in the closet? So you go back in the closet when we now have same-gender marriage legal in the state of California? When I see two people at a distance holding hands, I’m now expecting it to be a “straight” couple and when they get closer and I see it’s a gay couple I feel pleasantly surprised in the Castro. I used to only see gay couples in the Castro for the most part. And I suspect if a gay couple did the same thing in the heterosexual Marina district that “straight” couples do in the Castro district, that gay couple would be ordered to, “take that back to the Castro.” Many people seem rather fucked up/confused today and I’ve heard other people say the same. So other people are noticing. Read here and here. Are some of the guys bisexual or just in the closet and pretending to be “straight” as so many closet-cases do? Some people in the Castro are now trying to make the barrio into an elitist, “upscale” pretentious neighbourhood, while others want it to retain its past (what remains of that). There are streams of 2-story tall tech shuttles that come in from Silicon Valley every evening during the rush hour. Why don’t these young tech employees—and the ageist tech industry is known to discriminate against anyone over 30 years old—live close to where they work in the South Bay and on the Peninsula? The tech industry is causing a lot of problems (lots of evictions, for example) in San Francisco and in the Castro. The wealthy and elitist and those for the continued gentrification of the Castro completely approve of what’s happening, but some others don’t. A local activist recently wrote that he thought the Castro would no longer be gay in 10 years. If that! At the rate things are going here, I’d give it 1-2 years because at it is now, some days look very “straight” in the Castro barrio. (End of Summary)
Update to this article
El 14 de octubre de 2013. Hola. I thought I’d update this article considering some things I’ve been seeing recently. Mi amigo/A friend of mine talked with a friend he’s known for years who lives in San Francisco but who’s currently staying on the San Francisco Peninsula (suburbs). He was home in the city again recently. Mi amigo asked his friend if he went to the Castro Street Fair recently. His answer was “No, I’m so turned off by that thing because it’s become so corporatised with their corporate sponsors. (The same for the Pride Parade. It’s one big commercial). He went on to add that many people he knows are now turned off by the “straight” Castro, he said. He also asked what was going on with all the people addicted to thumb boxes in the city? He said he’s never seen anything like that before and it’s like a disease for all these people staring at a tinker box (I think that’s what he called them) in their hand. He said it’s not like that down here (where he’s temporarily staying). You see it on occasion but it’s not like it is in the city. It seems to be a city thing. My observations: A new store opened at Castro/Market (south west corner). I think it’s a pop-up or temporary store since the “For Lease” sign remains on the building. I went to the website for this store and noticed how they seem to go out of their way to avoid using the words “gay” or “GLBTQ” or “Harvey Milk Plaza” which is where the store is located or “gay Castro district” (which the Castro used to be and can still feel like on the odd occasion…it depends upon the day). The images on this store’s website as well as those in the store are that of “straight” couples. There are no same-gender ads anywhere on their website and I see none in their store when I look through their door or through their windows. I get the impression that this store is trying to be heteronormative and “discreet” that they are in the former “gay mecca.” As if they are embarrassed by that? They say “our new Castro store” on their website, but that’s all they say about it. Otherwise why wouldn’t they say specifically where they are on their website? They are at Harvey Milk Plaza. Oh let’s not mention that Queer boy Harvey Milk. We might lose sales from those going back into the closet and those pretending to be heteronormative and “jocks.” All they talk about on this store’s website is the “Historic” building they’re in and the LED Light show on the outside of the building in rainbow colours. I don’t see this store being there long because of what they sell and so far they don’t seem to have many customers. Then, crossing Castro and walking on the south side of Market there’s a clothing store that’s been there for years. Next to it is supposedly yet another coffee place planning to open. I guess that’s better than another nail salon. This clothing store has a major window display featuring some magazine cover. The cover of the magazine shows a white, “straight” couple looking giddy at each other. The window is also filled with copies of this magazine. I heard one muchacho say to his friend after looking at the window, “he’s gay and she’s a lesbian?” His friend laughed but I was glad someone else noticed what I had noticed: more “straight-based” advertising. Is “straight-based” advertising what one would expect to see in the Castro? I guess it is now. Some local merchants seem to be “going back into the closet.” Or they are catering to the “straights” who are pouring into the barrio. Someone e-mailed me and said they used to live in San Francisco and came back to visit and it broke their heart to see the changes in the city and in the Castro. The person asked who’s responsible for these changes? Some of the people on the flyer pictured up above (I have the flyer posted shortly) are responsible, including politician Cocks (who claims to be gay yet I’ve never seen that piece of work with anyone (male, female or transgender). I like that flyer because it tells the truth. The flyer was created by gayshamesf.org. I’m providing it here for information purposes only. Chau.—rosa barrio
Where are they all coming from? (Update to this article)
El 4 de agosto de 2013. Hola. Here’s an e-mail we received yesterday:
“Hi, been reading your site for awhile. I live in the East Bay [Ed. across the Bay from San Francisco]. I’m a lesbian and I used to live in the Castro. I moved to the East Bay because I could no longer afford to live in San Francisco. I have a close friend in the Castro and she’s told me how the neighborhood is changing but I didn’t want to believe her so she sent me a couple links to your site, as proof, to back up what she was saying. I’ve read what you’ve written about how the Castro is changing. No SHIT! The straight invasion. I thought you were just exaggerating until I came over to the Castro today to see my friend for the first time in a long time and I almost didn’t recognize the neighborhood because it looks so hetero now. Fucking blew me away. When I lived in the Castro it looked very gay, it was very gay and it was way obvious it was gay. Today, as a lesbian walking in the Castro I felt like I was in the minority again. I saw more hetero couples than I did gay couples. The gay couples were in the minority. I felt like I was in some hetero area in the suburb. So my friend was right. I left the Castro today realizing that it’s now common or “the norm” to see male/female couples holding hands and it’s unusual or a surprise to see gay couples doing the same. Before I left to come back over to the East Bay, I walked by one gay bar I used to hang out in and there was no one in there but a hetero couple making out. Where are they coming from and why would heteros come to the Castro? Thanks for allowing me to vent.”
My response: Gracias for your e-mail. Where are they coming from and why? I don’t know! I’ve been wondering the same thing. I’m going to be repeating what I’ve written in past articles. The “straights” have all the barrios and bars in this city that they want, so it appears they want the Castro and its bars too. Is alcohol that much cheaper in the Castro bars than in other bars in the city? I don’t know; I wouldn’t think it would make that much of a difference especially after you figure in transportation costs (from the Marina or North Beach, for example) to get to the Castro. Are they coming to the restaurants? If so, why? The Castro is not known for its restaurants as most of them are very average at best. There are far better restaurants elsewhere in the city. The Castro is more of a burger barrio. There’s no shortage of burgers. Some of us are wondering the same thing you asked about. But one would get the distinct impression that the typically “straight” areas of San Francisco (the Marina, North Beach, Union Street, Pacific Heights etc) of San Francisco must be deserted. There are no bars in those areas? The Castro is mainly a bar/drinking area and I’ve not heard that bars have closed in the areas I mentioned. I was in the Castro yesterday too, and I noticed how “straight” it was. I was with mi amiga and she remarked about it. She said, “I feel like I’m in Marin County or in Las Vegas” where it’s mainly “straight.” There are lots more children now in the Castro. Why would people bring children to a alcohol drinking/bar area? Children can’t go into bars. The Castro has been sanitized and sterilized for children (using the newspeak term “family friendly.”) There are no naked guys anywhere—they were sort of a tourist attraction when they were around—and they’re gone because of the prudish city-wide nudity ban authored by the conservative corporatist politician “representing” the Castro. So now there is no real tourist attraction in the Castro other than the the giant rainbow flag. After people pose and take pictures of that, they are usually lost as to what they’re supposed to do next. But I suppose most Castro residents and businesses are pleased that the naked guys are gone because assimilated sheeple can’t bear to see someone nude. In other words, aside from old rainbow flags hanging on utility poles, the Castro has abandoned its past and wants nothing to do with it (that’s the impression I and others get) and it seems that the corporatized, “I want to be mainstream” gay populace all over the Estados Unidos/US feels the same way. They’re doing all they can—including abandoning their “radical” past—to be accepted and included as part of the mainstream corporatized sheeple. The days of political protests for one issue or the other are GONE especially for the D-partisans/O-bots. Today, it’s about partying, texting and finding the next sex date on your smartphone’s app for sex dates. Adding to this, I was in the Castro metro station yesterday and one of the ads on the wall was for a major clothing company. The ad showed a “straight” couple. She was leaning on him. There was no same-gender couples at all (leaning on each other). Also as someone else pointed out in an e-mail to us, the new “Luxury Designer Home” condo buildings for the super-wealthy going in near and in the Castro, the images on the websites for those buildings show young “straight” white couples holding hands and children. No GLBTQueer couples are shown in any of the images, so presumably “straight” young white couples are who they’re trying to attract to their buildings with condos costing (what was is?) $1.4 million each I believe, and that doesn’t include any of the other expenses such as Home Owner’s Association, etc. Bye, bye, “Gay Mecca.” You’re history, and I suspect that most of the “Gay Inc.” GLBTQueer populace are applauding that you are history and part of the past…to be forgotten. Gracias for writing us. Chau.—rosa barrio
El 21 de julio de 2013. Hola. I just saw an amigo of mine and he was rather annoyed having just come from his gym. His gym is in San Francisco’s Castro district, which used to be known as the Gay Mecca. He’s been going to this gym for years and over that time he’s seen probably a total of 20 “straight” couples. It’s been known unofficially as a gay gym. Well since “straights” apparently can’t find any other gym in this city to go to but a gay gym they want this one too. He said there were three obviously “straight” couples there today. He had never seen that before at this gym. Three “straight” couples there all at one time. They made it very obvious they were “straight” by their fawning over and feeling up of each other. He described to me what is known as the “techbots” (they work for the corporate tech companies). The best way to describe them: Tall, skinny, no muscles on them at all. They almost look anorexic. I asked if anyone else noticed what he noticed at the gym? He says he thinks so since there weren’t many people there to begin with. He said even a few of the texting-addicts noticed. Chau.—rosa barrio
El 21 de mayo de 2013. Hola. I was unfortunately reminded once again yesterday how this place (the Castro district in San Francisco) has changed and turned into a hateful barrio. I suspect some or most people don’t notice the hate or maybe they do. I do. This past weekend the homeless/street people were being harassed by the cops. All that does it to move the homeless/street people from one place to another. Brilliant! [sarcasm intended]. This may be a temporary enforcement of our draconian and hateful sit-lie ordinance (which prohibits homeless/street people from sitting on the sidewalk between 7am-10pm. (Where are they supposed to sit then? Doh.) Every now and then some rabid right-wing hateful “columnist” or bigmouth will ask why sit-lie is not being enforced in San Francisco so the cops begin enforcing it for a while, and then things later go back to the way they were. Very reactionary as per usual. On another topic: Yesterday an informal-looking group of runners/joggers (muchachos and muchachas) were having a run and it went through the Castro. They were all wearing pink tutus as part of their running clothes. I liked that, especially on the guys. I was casually watching them run, they were giving running signals to each other and had a whistle. Then all of a sudden one of the haters in the barrio had to get wound up and began hating on the runners. Yes, of course that would be the case. I was on the opposite side of the street but two of the runners had stopped to talk with and/or confront the bigmouthed busy-body on the corner of the street. All I could hear was when the runners said to the busy-body: “So you don’t want us running either.” The busy-body screamed: “No, I don’t.” Another runner came back to the two in the confrontation and urged them to “let it go.” I thought that was a good idea because the complainer was essentially no different than an internet troll trying to provoke them. I later told this story to a friend of mine and he asked: Was the guy whining about the runners white, old(er) and overweight? After thinking about it I said well yes he was now that I think about it. I asked my friend, “do you know the guy who was complaining about the runners by chance?” He said, “No I don’t but in the Castro whenever something like that happens it’s usually some older white guys who are overweight doing the complaining about somebody. He went on to say: I don’t know why that is but that’s who the complainers usually are. They fit that description. I don’t see anyone else complaining except older, irritable, very vocal, confrontational, out-to-pick-a-fight, get-out-of-my-neighborhood white guys who think they own the place and they seem to be the conservatives in the Castro. They seem to be intent on turning this place into an old retirement community where no one does anything except walk their dog and then sit. No running or jogging is allowed (unless you’re trying to catch a Muni bus), no skateboards, no sitting on the sidewalk, no live music without a permit, no selling anything without a permit, no gay bar advertizements on utility poles (someone will come along and rip them down), no this, no that, and on and on. Is there anything in the Castro one can do now but drink? Just sit, be sour and “grow old.” SO, unfortunately yesterday I was reminded once again of how hateful the Castro has become and this has especially been the case since the area became conservative and very mainstream. Chau.—rosa barrio
Update to this article:
El 15 de abril de 2013. Hola. A fading gay mecca indeed. “what is is” of the pink barrio spoke with an acquaintance in the Castro today. He sees this muchacho every now and then and this muchacho works in the barrio. “what is is” spoke with him briefly and asked this muchacho: “Have you noticed the change in the neighbourhood?” His Response: (With a stern expression as to say “how can anyone not notice?”) he said: “Yes, there are far more baby strollers now. They are always in the way and what used to be mostly gay guys is now mostly young tech “straight” couples and they are rather unfriendly as they race from one bar to another with some female on them. They are snotty. The Castro neighbourhood does not feel as friendly now as it did when it was a gay neighbourhood.” He also said he has noticed the new hard-ass jock heteronomative type gay sports bars going in the barrio. The neighbourhood is mostly just a drinking “straight” neighbourhood now. A place for “straights” to drink and get drunk. (Let me add this: And get drunk so they can fantasize about being with a guy for the first time. Why else would they be in the Castro? These particular “straight” guys used to be called closeted gays. The new term is called heteronormative. They are gay but are going through the charade of being “straight” and holding some female’s hand to disguise what they really are and she’s (needy her) is hanging all over him. “Straights” have the entire world to drink in as far as bars are concerned. They have the run of bars all over the world and in San Francisco. What is so appealing to them about the bars in the Castro for christ’s sake? But I think I’ve already covered that. Are they really “straight” or just pretending to be? And why would people stay in the closet or go back in when same-gender marriage is now legal in some places? Does that make any sense to anybody? Loco./Crazy. It was interesting to hear what that muchacho told “what is is”. It matches what I’ve seen happening in the barrio. Chau.—rosa barrio
Update to this article:
El 11 de febrero de 2013. Hola. There was a protest at a store in the Castro en diciembre de 2012 (December 2012). The video of the protest is at the very bottom of this page. We no longer shop at that store—which shall remain nameless on this website—and we urge a boycott of this store for many reasons, some of which have been addressed in this article. I spoke with someone in the pink barrio earlier today who told me they read that assault complaints were filed against the store employees seen rough-handling las muchachas in the video, but that the conservative District Attorney of San Francisco has not filed assault charges. Who would be expecting him to file assault charges? These days elected “officials” don’t operate on a basis of what is the right or wrong thing to do or on doing one’s job objectively. These days it’s about politics and the conservative agenda. This “official” is part of the conservative political machine in San Francisco which includes this merchant, the merchants’ group (of which one of the store owners is the president of the disreputable/dictatorial merchants’ group) and includes the conservative politician for the Castro barrio (and the rest of the district said politician “represents”). Chau.—rosa barrio
Update to this article:
El 29 de enero de 2013. Hola. Malas noticias/Some bad news. Today, in the Estados Unidos/U.S., a federal judge upheld San Francisco’s reactionary and divisive city-wide nudity ban. I had expected this would be the case because it’s extremely rare for something to go in the correct direction (as far as I’m concerned) these days. Most things these days seem to move to the “right” (or backwards in the direction towards the Dark Ages). And as expected the right-wing/conservatives are delighted to have another victory here in San Francisco as the City moves to the right (although the conservatives of course deny that is the case to continue to hide their agenda). Will the few naked muchachos in the Castro disappear? I suspect not. I suspect nothing may change if this city-wide ban goes the same way as other useless bans in this City. Many laws/bans here are ignored and they were nothing but feel-good, right-wing/funded-by-the-wealthy reactionary bans at the time they were put in place. Some bicycle cops have been stationed in the Jane Warner Plaza in the Castro recently. They may or may not give citations to any nudists who show up. After the ban goes into effect, all any nudist has to do is to quickly put on some shorts when any la policía are seen from a distance, then the nudist is no longer nude. One rabid troll on a site I was on earlier today was hiding behind their computer keyboard and making Bully-type threats saying that “people would take matters into their own hands” if the cops didn’t cite the naked muchachos. “Enough is enough,” the person screamed. (Get a Grip.) Yes, I’ve read such bile before from the right-wing and it’s just empty words and of course no sane person would do as they wrote! That’s the talk from some deranged nut sitting anonymously behind a keyboard making empty threats, I think. Also, there’s currently a no-smoking ban in the Warner Plaza but that ban is ignored as people smoke there and around there. They may enforce the nudity ban and not the no-smoking ban because we all know that nudity kills and secondhand smoke doesn’t. Correct? (Sarcasm intended). On another local website which pretends to be “progressive,” (they’re not…they are party-line pro-Establishment Democrats) they have now featured a 7-page article (it’s really a promotional ad) for the conservative supervisor who came up with this San Francisco nudity ban nonsense. I read a couple of paragraphs of the article/ad but had to click off. It was too much for me. I no longer have any respect for that site and I only go there occasionally to see headlines of local noticias/news that I might not have seen somewhere else. But writing a 7-page promotional article/ad about one conservative, corporatist politician with a faux D behind his name—whom that publication seems to fall for to a degree just like they fall for their Obama—seems a bit much to me. I’m sure that conservative supervisor will love/appreciate the attention, since that muchacho craves attention. That’s the latest on the city-wide San Francisco nudity ban. I guess it goes into effect on el 1 de febrero de 2013, if any of the naked muchachos intend to honour it. The naked muchachos could just put on bikini underwear and go about being their usual selves. But then the right-wing/conservatives—still not being satisfied—will have to come up with another ban: “NO SHORTS AND NO BARE CHESTS ALLOWED IN THE CASTRO OR IN SAN FRANCISCO.” No one allowed to wear shorts, and shirts are required. (You think it can’t happen at the rate things are going?) The city-wide nudity ban may be enforced initially by la policía, but like many other bans here, it might just sort of fade away. We’ll see. If I see any naked muchachos after the ban goes into effect, I’ll update here. Chau.—rosa barrio
Update to this article:
El 27 de enero de 2013. Hola. Just a short update. A local (San Francisco) queer activist is in legal trouble because of a photograph he took in a San Francisco City Hall public bathroom. You can read more about it here. Chau.—rosa barrio
Update to this article:
El 22 de enero de 2013. Hola. It’s quite sad (actually it’s pathetic) that the conservative alcalde/mayor of San Francisco has no problem flying the flag of another city’s corporate sports team on San Francisco City Hall, but he refuses to fly the Transgender Flag at any time on San Francisco City Hall despite repeated requests to do so.
For those who may be asking: “This is happening in San Francisco?” Yes, this is happening in San Francisco…the new, gentrified San Francisco which is turning to the right because of corporatist politicians who pretend to be “moderate” (but who are really conservatives with an agenda). Also, the Castro/Upper Market barrio is continuing to change (it’s becoming more “straight” rather rapidly). “Straights” seem to be pouring in here. When I’m in the Castro these days, it’s looking more and more “straight,” as it did last night. About two weeks ago on a Lunes/Monday night when I was in the Castro it felt to me more like the former “gay mecca” days in a very quiet way. Last night; however, I began to think that the majority of people out and about were “straight” from what I was seeing. There was the compulsory holding hands that “straights” think they must do (is that to show that they’re “straight?”….who cares?). Last night, the Castro seemed about half queer and half “straight” or that “straights” were in the majority. It was noticeable to me. It just seemed very “straight.” And at 9pm on a Lunes/Monday night, I asked myself: What are “straights” coming to the Castro for at this time of night? I saw numerous male-female couples coming out of the muni metro/our subway system. Then as soon as they crossed the street (Castro) and were on the sidewalk the compulsory holding of hands began immediately presumably so they could walk down a (former) “gay mecca” street advertizing to everyone that they’re “straight” by holding hands. (I bring this up because this holding hands stuff that “straights” do doesn’t come off to me as sincere or as a form of closeness or affection the way I’ve seen them do it, but rather perfunctory and something they feel required or compelled to do otherwise the muchacha will get pissed off that her hand is not being held by the muchacho and that she’s not getting all the attention she demands/craves from him, and anyone else). I also thought: What is here (in the Castro) that “straights” are so attracted to? Is it the very mediocre/very-average restaurants in the barrio? Or is it the gay bars they’re interested in as a “straight” couple? Some people in the Castro barrio said years ago that they saw an attempt by the right-wing/conservatives to make San Francisco into another Marin County (one Marin is enough. Marin is the very wealthy county north of San Francisco across the Golden Gate Bridge. Marin is mainly white, wealthy, boring, pretentious and some would say snobby (with occasional exceptions to that of course). The “straights” I’m seeing in the Castro remind me of Marin-types. I just don’t understand why they would come to the Castro, instead of going to San Francisco’s “straight” Marina district, for example, or North Beach or Pacific Heights or Nob Hill. It doesn’t make any sense to me. And also, the new “gay sports bar” that opened last month in the Castro that some people are gushing over is having numerous customer complaints about discrimination based on ethnicity. One customer who felt discriminated against wrote that this new bar is a “white person’s bar.” Hmmmmmm. Well I hadn’t thought about it, but thinking back on when I’ve walked by there many times and looked in, that is mainly what I saw in there and out there smoking on the sidewalk: white people. I don’t remember seeing much diversity in there. There’s one bartender that several people have accused of being discriminatory based on their ethnicity. They’ve tried to order drinks at the bar and this bartender ignores them while waiting on all the white people. One customer inquired about being ignored and was told they would have to go to another bar (inside the same bar) and when they asked, “why?”, they were asked to leave the premises. This should surprise no one and it’s not the first time that anti-ethnic claims have been made against gay bars in the Castro. I wrote about another instance of this in the article below. Chau.—rosa barrio
A comment we received since publishing this article: (El 23 de diciembre de 2012)
“Agree with much of what you wrote here. I’m talking about that gay sports bar that opened. You asked in your article when did the gay community become such sports fans or something like that. I wanna know the answer to that too. What I see is a bunch of gay guys trying to be “heteronormative”. Straight-acting. Trying to act straight as like straight is the “norm” to be desired. What happened to all the fem and nelly guys? They must feel outcast by the heteronorms and I guess the drag queens are passé now too. What I see is homogenized. “Heteronormative” or homogenized is what I see these bunch of queens doing. I see it as self-hate. Be yourself. Why do many gay people have trouble being themselves? Rather than pretending to be a sports jock when you’re really not one and who would want to be one? They think they have to go to sports bars and watch sports on television screens and yell for their team with a beer in their hand and act like stupid jocks because that’s the new “in thing” to do (they think in order to fit in; it’s expected of them) and people wonder what’s happening to the gay community? It’s becoming sad that’s what’s happening to it. They’re trying so hard to “blend in” so much so that they’re nonexistent. Local flavor? Ha. Harvey Milk must be rolling in his grave. Thx. Bobby”
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
A. ARTICLE SUMMARY
B. UPDATE TO ARTICLE – El 16 de Noviembre de 2012
C. UPDATE TO ARTICLE – El 20 de Noviembre de 2012.
D. UPDATE TO ARTICLE – El 21 de Noviembre de 2012.
E. UPDATE TO ARTICLE – El 24 de Noviembre de 2012.
F. UPDATE TO ARTICLE – El 25 de Noviembre de 2012.
G. UPDATE TO ARTICLE – El 8 de Diciembre de 2012.
H. UPDATE TO ARTICLE – El 11 de Diciembre de 2012.
I. UPDATE TO ARTICLE – El 19 de enero de 2013.
1. THE MIGRATION TO SAN FRANCISCO
2. THE INVASION OF THE “STRAIGHTS”
3. THE CONSERVATIVE CASTRO DISTRICT
4. THE DICTATORIAL MERCHANTS’ ASSOCIATION
5. COVERT AND NOT-SO-COVERT HATE IN THE CASTRO
6. WHAT ABOUT THE “GAY COMMUNITY?”
7. WHY ARE THE “STRAIGHTS” STILL INVADING THE CASTRO?
8. NO SHORTAGE OF BABIES
9. CASTRO RESTAURANTS
10. THE NAKED MUCHACHOS – THE NAKED GUYS
11. THE GAY GHETTO?
12. GAY PEOPLE CAN LIVE ANYWHERE. REALLY?
13. WHERE HAS SAN FRANCISCO’S “GAY COMMUNITY” MOVED?
14. MORE SANITIZING OF THE CASTRO
15. SAN FRANCISCO: BECOMING VERY MAINSTREAM; CORPORATE, CONSERVATIVE.
16. THE FILMING OF ‘MILK’
17. OPENNESS AND “TOLERANCE” IN THE CASTRO?
18. “STRAIGHTS” GOING TO GAY BARS?
19. SAN FRANCISCO WANTS TO DELETE THE HOMELESS.
I. UPDATE TO ARTICLE – El 19 de enero de 2013.
Hola. I just spoke with “what is is” of the pink barrio and he had just been in the Castro. It’s Sábado/Saturday afternoon. I asked him, “how was the Castro by percentage.” He knew what I meant by that. He said, “mostly straight.” I said: you mean the “straight” couples holding hands (which seems to be a requirement for them)? He said, “yes.” I’ve noticed for some time that the weekends are especially “straight” in the Castro. It’s warmer today and there were about 6 naked muchachos/guys in the Warner Plaza and in general there were mostly muchachos hanging out in the Warner Plaza, which is often the case. I asked: Was anyone hating on the naked muchachos? He said, “not that I saw.” Regarding the ridiculous city-wide nudity ban, I have a feeling that if it goes into effect, it will be ignored by the nudists (just like other reactionary, regressive, feel-good bans are fortunately ignored). And of course la policía will have nothing better to do with their time than to race over to the Castro to write nudist tickets after some busy-body prude whines about the nudists. Loco. If the ban goes into effect that will take place on el 1 de febrero de 2013. La abogada (the attorney) for the nudist has stated in her court documents that the City is trying to enforce the ban before that date. You can read about that in “Section H” of this legal document. “what is is” saw no policía in the area. Chau.—rosa barrio
H. UPDATE TO ARTICLE – El 11 de diciembre de 2012.
Hola. In the article below, I talk about the “straight invasion” of the Castro. That has come to mind again as I was reading reviews for the new gay sports bar in the Castro. Many of the reviews were absolutely gushing over the place using the overused word, “awesome” (which really has lost its original meaning from such overuse…anything is called “awesome” these days). I honestly get the impression that some of the reviews were written by friends of the owners or who have some connection to them. I say that because some of the reviews are a bit much and over-hyped as if a group on there is really trying to promote and “sell the place” to people to encourage business. And there’s one review on there who talked about the mix of people (straight and gay), but they were annoyed by the behaviour of the “straight” people. This new sports bar is a gay bar, or it’s supposed to be. But with the “straight invasion” of the Castro things don’t always turn out as one wants them to be. This particular reviewer was annoyed that straight couples were monopolizing the shuffle board game and making out there in this gay bar. (One does wonder why “straight” people would go to a gay bar to make out? Imagine the reaction if gay people did that in a “straight” bar. They’d be harassed, kicked out, told to “take that back to the Castro,” and receive the same hate as the few naked guys here in San Francisco). The reviewer suggested these “straight” couples take their besos to the Marina district and said you (“straight” couples) have the run of all the sports bars in this City to choose from and yet you come to the Castro to the one and only gay sports bar that we have. (Some people insist there are 1-2 other gay sports bar in the Castro and that this bar is not the first gay sports bar as it’s advertized to be), but this reviewer had a good point and it’s one that I made in the article below. It will be interesting to see what happens with this place in the future. Will it remain a gay bar? One of the commenters below suggested it might go the way of Lime, the bar this bar replaced. We’ll see. Chau.—rosa barrio
G. UPDATE TO ARTICLE – El 8 de diciembre de 2012.
Hola. In the article below, I talk about the “straight invasion” of the Castro. I and “what is is” of the pink barrio have unfortunately noticed homophobia (and/or the appearance of homophobia) on occasion from “straights” in the “new” Castro (as opposed to the “Gay Mecca” Castro of the past). I don’t take it lightly because I see it as part of what The Castro is turning into. I was reading some restaurant reviews in the past day and one person wrote a very negative review of one of the restaurant/bars in the Castro. Why? Because of the appearance of homophobia from a male server who seemed very disinterested in waiting on the table of a male gay couple, but showed just the opposite behaviour for a table full of muchachas next to them. What this a troll review, by chance? No. The way the review was written seemed very legitimate and honest. The reviewer seemed somewhat surprised at this server being uninterested and uncomfortable with a gay couple. I wouldn’t have expected this allegedly homophobic behavior from a server in the Castro of the “Gay Mecca” past. Yes, the economy is dead despite political newspeak, lies and deceptions to the contrary, but why would someone deliberately choose to work in The Castro if they have anti-gay/homophobia feeling in them? But considering what the Castro is very quickly becoming, I’m not the least bit surprised at this person’s experience in the restaurant. I would tend to expect that these days, unfortunately, with the “straight invasion” of the Castro. Chau.—rosa barrio
Hola. In the article below, I talk about the “straight invasion” of the Castro. I was just talking with “what is is” of the pink barrio (you will know him from his “Peak Oil Noticias/News Update” videos). He updated me on two things happening in the Castro:
It looks like the French restaurant/bar near Castro/Market has replaced the now closed bar/restaurant named Lime. Lime was known for its “puke fests.” (Ugh). Every Sunday mostly “straight” people came to the Castro and poured into Lime for partying and to get drunk off of “bottomless mimosas.” People got so drunk that they vomited up and down the sidewalk in that block and surrounding blocks as they stumbled (in a drunk stupor) around the Castro. Pathetic. Many residents complained about this weekly puke-fest and after a long period of time, the bar (Lime) was finally shut down, but for other reasons. “what is is” tells me that the same thing is now happening at the French restaurant/bar near Castro/Market with once again bottomless mimosas (just like at Lime). He passed through that French restaurant/bar area earlier today and observed dysfunctional, arguing, drunk “straight” people (male-female couples). The bar/restaurant had a trash can placed outside for people to vomit in. In one of the restaurant customer reviews for this place, someone mentioned Lime and how this restaurant/bar had replaced Lime with “straight” Marina district types going there who can’t hold their alcohol and end up puking all over the sidewalk. That confirmed what “what is is” told me. Another customer reviewer said that the employees of this French restaurant/bar encourage people to drink as much as possible (that’s being responsible, isn’t it?) and the person who wrote the customer review said they were offered a pitcher of bottomless mimosas. The general attitude at this weekend brunch (Sundays) seems to be to party, get as drunk as possible and to hell with anyone else and anyone one might be disturbing, which is a rather typical mentality these days. (Lack of consideration for others). Then “what is is” updated me on the Jane Warner Plaza which I talk about in this article: San Francisco wants to delete the homeless. He said that some of the homeless/street people are now hanging out in the Warner Plaza since the benches were removed from above the Harvey Milk Plaza. But la basura in this City who despise and hate the homeless are now chaining up the red chairs in the Warner Plaza during the day so that the homeless/street people can’t sit in them. Neither can anyone else. I find that despicable and reprehensible. And it merely reinforces that San Francisco wants to delete the homeless. But fortunately, the homeless and street people are not allowing the chaining of the chairs to deter them. They are remaining in the Warner Plaza. Right-on! I would too. And as I saw tonight, it might not be completely comfortable but anyone can sit in the top chair of each stack of locked chairs as someone was doing. They haven’t banned that yet. Chau.—rosa barrio
Hola. I was in the Castro this afternoon. It was rather busy with people, babies in strollers and dog walkers (many of them busy with their gadget addiction and staring at their screens and oblivious that anyone else was on the sidewalk with them). I was pleased to see three naked muchachos playing accordions and singing on the south side east corner of 18th Street/Castro near that totalitarian merchants’ group’s gaudy holiday tree and right below the group’s advertizement sign (this useless, conservative merchants’ group is for the city-wide nudity ban). The three muchachos were singing, “Open your mind and your ass will follow.” There’s a lot of truth in that. A very appropriate song for the neighbourhood. I watched people’s facial expressions as I stood there listening to their singing. If I didn’t know where I was, I would have thought I was in a “fly-over” state. Most of the facial expressions from people I would expect to see in Oklahoma or Topeka, Kansas. Not in San Francisco. Some people (probably about 10 people at the most) smiled in approval of the 3 naked guys, but most showed disapproval by their stone-cold or glaring facial expressions. I didn’t hear any hate, but hate was written on many people’s faces by their expressions. I thought to myself while standing there: This place is more conservative than I thought it was and the queers are just as conservative/prudish as the “straights” are acting. Is there something in the water? We have a lot of fucked-up people in our society with body-image issues. This barrio is nothing like the Castro I moved to in the late 1970s. I would never have seen such prudish/stone-cold faces and facial responses to these three naked guys in the former “Gay Mecca.” The Castro is nothing like it was. That’s what I concluded. I’ve not said this before, but many of the locals have aged and chosen to be “old,” (regardless of their chronological age) and with that often comes prudish-conservative-right-wing thinking in many people, unfortunately. I’ve known some local residents where that is the case, which left me asking: What happened to him/her? S/he has done a “180″ politically. I suspect these three naked muchachos (whom I’ve not seen before; these are new naked muchachos) were protesting the city-wide nudity ban which I don’t think is in effect yet since the final vote is supposedly this coming week and then there’s the legal action against it which presumably begins immediately. I suppose some of the local prudes got on their mobile phones to call the policía after I left. I’m glad these naked muchachos were there. They were very friendly and seemed to be ignoring what I unfortunately observed from many of the locals. Chau.—rosa barrio
Hola. Yesterday’s 6-5 vote by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in favour of banning public nudity city-wide was a preliminary vote. Muchísimas gracias to the five supervisors on the Board who voted against this reactionary and divisive ban and displayed sanity. There’s a final vote on this nonsensical ban next week (I suspect a repeat of 6-5, and then it goes on to be signed by this conservative alcalde/mayor). A legal challenge has already been filed for five of the nudists by their abogada/lawyer. I suspect the legal challenge becomes effective upon the final vote next week. I was in the Castro following this vote and heard no one talking about this at all. Nada. The way this issue has been hyped, exaggerated and blown way out of proportion by the right-wing, many of the conservative businesses and their opportunistic/divisive conservative supervisor, one would have thought that talk about this Board vote would have been all one would have heard in the barrio afterwards. But no. I saw no media vehicles in the barrio, which are usually lined up with one media van behind the other at Castro/Market with cameras and production gear/people for something involving the Castro and something like this to get “people’s reactions.” But considering what the Castro has become and is becoming (which I talk about extensively below in this article), I guess the media thought it was a waste of their time and dinero/$$ to even bother going to the Castro! One gets that impression by their absence. Chau.—rosa barrio
Hola. Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance (an annual observance, and see the pretty Transgender Flag button on the right side of this page). The conservative—pretending to be “moderate”—alcalde/mayor for San Francisco has rejected the formal request to fly the Transgender Flag today on the balcony flag pole on City Hall. Many other flags fly on the balcony flag pole throughout the year on City Hall (flags of other nations, the flag of los Gigantes de San Francisco, as some examples), but not the Transgender Flag. Not surprising, considering the direction the City is moving (to the right). Also, from my understanding, a transgender person in the mayor’s regime made the request to fly the Transgender Flag on this day from the balcony flag pole on City Hall. Her request was denied, but being one of his disciples she’s not upset. This muchacha has other goals. She’s one of the many people residing in the mayor’s upper colon—there’s a large group of people up there for self-serving reasons—because this conservative alcalde appointed her to a major city commission, and that’s more important to her and because of that (as is often the case), she apparently feels this unconditional allegiance for life to this mayor. So instead of being upset, she’s rushing to defend this alcalde and attacking those who are critical of him. The tactic is called, “Attack the Messenger.” Typical behaviour. We have so many pathetic people in positions of power today. Also, the Transgender Flag did fly at Harvey Milk Plaza today (it looked beautiful, very pretty…although it’s the first and last time this flag will be flown there unfortunately), but as you can read below it took a long and drawn-out conflict between many people and the totalitarian merchants’ association to get this flag on the flag pole today. This despotic merchants’ group recently unilaterally decided that only the rainbow flag and none other will be flown on this flag pole that—for some reason—they control. Then also today as expected (by me), by a 6-5 vote the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to ban public nudity throughout the City of San Francisco (sigh!), even though the 2-3 naked guys were only in a very small area of one neighborhood of the City. And I’ve not seen any naked guys lately. I also read that one local activist has been contacted by the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department for taking a photo in a City Hall bathroom showing that conservative politician for the Castro district holding a toothbrush while standing at the sink. (No, I’m not making this up.) My question was: What is a politician doing in the bathroom to begin with? I didn’t know that politicians—especially this one—had bodily functions or had to brush their teeth or shower. They seem to like to give the impression they are above all that, and the way one sees them on television is the way they always are 24 hours a day. They’re like robots. Anyway, the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department wants to know what “transpired in the bathroom?” One wonders what fictional story this conservative politician dreamed up about this activist whom he (this politician) can’t stand and passed on to the Sheriff’s Department in order to suppress a critic whom he can’t stand? I think this local activist will probably get the electric chair for this so-called “crime” of taking this photo of a public figure. The noose is getting tighter in San Francisco, and throughout this nation. People, are you noticing? Chau.—rosa barrio
Hola. A ban on public nudity in San Francisco has been proposed by the conservative/right-wing gay supervisor for the area which includes The Castro in San Francisco. The Board of Supervisors’ City Operations and Neighborhood Services committee voted 3-0 in favour of the public nudity ban and to send the ordinance to the full Board for a vote. The city-wide nudity ban legislation goes to the full Board for a vote around 20 de Noviembre, I believe. One of the conservative supervisor’s on the Board said this nudity ban proposal would “create a space that is comfortable for everybody.”. (roll eyes upward and back down). Translation of what this muchacha said: The conservative prudes who have been whining about the few nude guys and making up lies about them for their rabid agenda will now be happy, and that’s all that matters.
But I would like to address what this supervisor said. The supervisor’s statement is based in ignorance. Why do we have such ignorant people in positions of power? Let me explain: There are some people who are not “comfortable” being around GLBTQueer people, Asians, Latinos/Hispanos/Méxicanos, Blacks, people who are dressed differently than they are or in a certain way, and so forth. Do we accommodate them too with a ban so that they are “comfortable?” One gets into very dangerous territory when creating laws/bans from a position of what “is comfortable for everybody.” This ban will clearly not be “comfortable” for the nudist or their supporters including myself. This ban is not “comfortable” for me because I can’t stand to see people hated on, which is what this ban is intended to do. The ban in itself is based in Gymnophobia, prejudice, bigotry and hatred of nudity. The ban is also based in lies, such as the blatant lie being told by its supporters (including this conservative/right-wing supervisor for the Castro district) that, “the naked guys have taken over Jane Warner Plaza.” That’s a lie. There’s no truth to that. How exactly do 2-3 people on average “take over” anything? The rabids/haters have said that the 2-3 naked guys have “taken over the streets.” How is that possible? I would shout, “GET A GRIP” but I know that’s not about to happen. The naked guys (10 guys at the most on any given day, usually 2-3 guys on average in the warmest part of the afternoon) haven’t “taken over” anything or “invaded” the Warner Plaza or The Castro as some are lying about/saying, but I’ve noticed that these lies are being repeated as often as possible by the rabid right-wing for their prudish agenda of hate and sanitizing the Castro. So we’re supposed to cater to people’s prudish, conservative, sick prejudices, their Gymnophobia, their hangups, “issues,” and bigotry? I won’t be surprised when a “straight” couple with children say, “We chose to live in the Castro a number of years ago and we have nothing against gay people (isn’t that often the case with hatred/prejudice!), but we don’t want our child seeing gay people kissing in Jane Warner Plaza. We’re not “comfortable” with that behaviour. We don’t think that’s healthy for our child to see. We’ve talked with other “straight” parents and they agree with us. We’re going to contact our conservative supervisor and demand a ban against gay people “taking over,” “invading,” and kissing in Jane Warner Plaza and other public places, but again, we have nothing against gay people. (Uh huh). You think that scenario can’t happen at the rate things are going? Or some nuts are not “comfortable” seeing women’s faces on the street. Are we going to require women to wear veils over their faces on the street so as to make others “comfortable” with not having to see women’s faces? Do we cater to them too, conservative supervisor? Who’s next to be hated on—that you will support—and banned by conservative politicians and their rabid supporters? One can certainly not rely on the right-wing U.S. Supreme Court to correct the sick policies of these conservative corporatist politicians because The Supremes are part of the problem.
Do I expect the Board of Supervisors to vote in favour of this nudity ban? Yes, absolutely. Mainly because it seems that anything this piece of conservative work politician from the Castro district wants, the Board gives him. They seem to have their heads firmly lodged in his upper colon. Our “savior” has spoken so let’s vote for this seems to be the mentality. It should also be pointed out that this corporatist politician has been running for alcalde/mayor ever since he unfortunately became a supervisor. He has an agenda and he’s made that clear. This issue is part of his continued unofficial mayoral campaign. Many locals have complained that he’s all about reactionary, divisive issues (a signature of his brand of corporatist politician) and meanwhile the many serious problems in the Castro and the district are being ignored by this opportunistic politician. I suspect this reactionary ban will do nothing. To begin with, we’re headed into cooler weather (Winter) in San Francisco. I suspect this ban will be as unenforced as the other reactionary and divisive law this supervisor campaigned for known as “sit-lie” (which criminalizes homeless people, the law is only selectively enforced on occasion, fortunately). When the weather gets warmer, the policía won’t have anything better to do with their time than to rush over to the Castro (Market/Castro) with lights flashing and sirens blaring to write a citation for a naked guy or two on occasion? There won’t be any crimes or something that really matters to be addressed in this City? However, five nudists (including a muchacha) are being represented by la abogada/lawyer, Christina DiEdoardo, and are suing San Francisco to block the ban when the Board approves it. More information here: “Why No City Ordinance is Needed to Ban Public Nudity In San Francisco”. I’ve been concerned about this ban from a human rights point of view and on a matter of principle. When something is banned it will not return in the future and as so many people are so quick and willing to give up more and more of their rights these days, that’s where my concern for this lies. And again, I can’t stand to see people hated on and discriminated against. I’m sick of it. Chau.-—rosa barrio
Now on to the original article…
El 16 de Noviembre de 2012. Hola. Other than the rainbow flags around the area, San Francisco’s Castro district is quickly becoming like any other place you’d see in any other major city due to corporatization and gentrification, which the gay conservative corporatist supervisor for the Castro district strongly supports. Once known as the “Gay Mecca,” the Castro is quickly becoming very mainstream, increasingly “straight,” non-alternative, non-progressive, conservative, sanitized and boring. And with that comes corporatized sheeple/the herd who don’t care that they are sheep. What’s the #1 activity in the barrio? Well it’s between partying and texting. I’ll go with partying as #1. Partying seems to be the #1 activity along with texting about the last party and texting about the next party. What’s the #2 activity? Staring at screens/gadgets and people’s addiction to texting. Nothing of substance, but rather shallow, superficial, corporate and sheep. One recent example: the increasingly ubiquitous “sports bars” in the Castro erupt over a corporati$t sport$ team winning a game or a national sports’ series. Does that event directly affect anyone’s life on a permanent basis who is screaming at television screens in a “sports bar?” But those in the bars erupt with cheers like Pavlovian sheep. It becomes “the thing to do.” Follow the herd. A regional form of nationalism, and another opportunity to party and a “feel good” session for your corporati$t sports team with your city’s name tagged on it (but do any of the players live in San Francisco? I-don’t-think-so. They live in the suburbs). Contrast that with this: If there were a “political” protest scheduled at Castro/Market for something that really mattered and affected many people lives directly, many if not most of the same people screaming at television screens in the “sports bars” for their corporatist sports team would walk on by the protests, many in disgust of the protest with sneers and nasty looks on their faces at the protesters, or complete disinterest. I’ve seen that happen many times. The Castro is not at all what it used to be and I talk about this in detail in this article below. Many GLBTQueer people have left The City. I know of one queer couple who recently sold their home (for nearly $1Million) and they are moving to Hawaii. The reason they give for moving: The City has changed and it’s not what we moved to ten years ago when we moved to San Francisco. Some people still refer to the former gay enclave (the Castro) as the “gayborhood.” It really depends upon when one is in the Castro as to how it feels and seems. To me, in the last six months especially the Castro has felt increasingly “straight,” with some queer people. Not a “gayborhood.”
The neighborhood is changing quickly and some people have noticed this and I’ve talked with them about it. They’re quite upset about it. Unfortunately, the Castro of the former well-known “Gay Mecca” that one can see in archive videos or documentaries of past decades (from Harvey Milk forward) no longer exists I’m sorry to say. It only exists in history. In this article, I talk about the dictatorial merchants’ association in the neighborhood. A friend here in the pink barrio wrote me to inform me that on el 1 de Noviembre de 2012 that this merchants group voted to continue their control, domination, obsession and authoritarian rule of the flagpole at Harvey Milk Plaza and they will dismiss and deny any future requests to change said policy having to do with the rainbow flag. So I take it that the transgender flag will not fly later this month on Remembrance Day, nor any other flag in the future other than the rainbow flag, and of course no more half-mast. Yes, this dictatorial merchants’ group is a piece of work. There are also references to West Hollywood (Los Ángeles) in the article below.
A West Hollywood resident wrote this comment on a website on April 17, 2012 about West Hollywood (I’m paraphrasing but keeping the original intent): “Unfortunately, West Hollywood has become so straight that it is almost unrecognizable to its former self. Today, West Hollywood looks more and feels more like Sherman Oaks, in my opinion.” A similar thing has been said about the Castro. It has been said that the Castro is now a museum of its former self. (End of Article Summary).
“Dear Straight People, you have the whole world. PLEASE stop getting wasted at our few gay bars and acting like fools. We realize this is a great bar and honey, we would like it to stay that way. If you go to brunch at that puke-party brunch place on Market Street in San Francisco, this is not where you should come afterwards. Look, I have no problem with straight people. You were probably born that way. Heck! I even have a couple straight friends. But what you don’t understand is that many of us traveled across the nation decades ago and pay most of our pay checks to exist in harmony in the tiny “mecca” that is the Castro. Let’s face it, almost every other bar in this town is filled with straights…so why not give us our own bars? Having one token gay friend with you does not give you license to take over one our few, our proud gay bars. Thank you reading, hope I don’t see you soon.” (A paraphrased review of a local Castro bar by a local resident. It looks like others have noticed the new increasingly “straight” Castro as well).
Years ago, thousands of people—including myself—made a major move from the East Coast of the Estados Unidos (in my case from the District of Columbia) to San Francisco to be a part of the new “Gay Mecca” where GLBTQueer people could be who and what we wanted to be without someone hating on us. I and many other GLBTQueer people enjoyed decades of living in San Francisco and in the “Gay Mecca.” And I continue to live in San Francisco, but today I (and others) are not happy with the direction (to the right) in which the City is going. The City is changing very quickly and this is happening with the help of a gay supervisor of a specific political brand.
Today we have the invasion of the “straights” in the former “gay mecca.” This invasion has been happening for some time. The “straights” have all the other areas in San Francisco and now they want to dominate the (now former) “gay mecca” Castro area too. They’re really never satisfied, are they? When you read the title up above, you may have thought:
¿Qué? What? I thought the Castro district was “The Gay Mecca” and the same for San Francisco. I thought the Castro district was known as the “gayborhood.” Yeah well, that’s quickly becoming no longer the case for a variety of reasons in big part due to gentrification and San Francisco becoming a city for the wealthy/1%. The “Gay Mecca” was nice while it lasted, although some people would disagree with that as some people have had this love/hate thing going on with the Castro.
Based on this interesting article: West Hollywood was only the Sixth gayest neighborhood in the U.S.. The Castro/94114 zip code area had the highest number of same-gender male households in the Estados Unidos/U.S. at a low 14.2%.
We were higher than other cities, but that isn’t saying much. The 94131 zip code in San Francisco had 7.4% same-gender households. Same-gender female households in the 94114/Castro zip code were 1.9%. So combining the two 94114 percentages (male and female) and the 94131 percentage, that’s 23.5% combined male-male/ female-female households in San Francisco. That’s not even 25%.
Whereas Palm Springs (zip code 92264) came in second (at 12.4%) and fourth (zip code 92262 at 11.3%). Combining the two Palm Springs zip codes equals 23.7%, which is a slightly higher percentage than San Francisco’s 23.5% same gender percentage. So the current “gay mecca” so-to-speak would be Palm Springs, according to that article regarding the census. A mecca is a place regarded as a center for a specified group, activity, or interest. Today, the “specified group” (does that mean majority group?) in the Castro/94114 area according to the census is “straight,” and from what I and others are seeing it’s becoming more “straight.” They’re making it very obvious to anyone paying attention. I suspect since the time of the census, the percentages for GLBTQueer San Francisco residents have dropped considering the number of queer people leaving the area and San Francisco.
As for the “straight” invasion, my neighbor recently asked me (she brought it up), “what is with all these straight people in the Castro?” She’s noticed. I don’t usually pay attention to what someone is wearing, but she asked me, “and what is with these straight women who are wearing tight jeans and black or brown to-the-knee leather boots? I haven’t seen that ‘look’ since the 1970s and the woman is always holding hands with some guy.” Yes, I’ve noticed that too since she mentioned it. And they do make it obvious they are “straight.” They seem to make a point of it with besos/kisses arm-in-arm coming up out of the muni metro on the escalator at Castro/Market, or by making out at Castro and Market or in the Jane Warner Plaza and by constantly holding hands (the same thing they have long complained about queer people doing, they asked: “why do gay people have to be so ‘in your face’ with their sexuality?” …remember “straights” asking that?) I understand that the requirement to constantly hold hands is done to show people that they are “taken,” (as if anyone cares). That must not necessarily be working out too well for them considering the divorce rate for “straights” in the Estados Unidos/U.S. is well over 50%. At the rate the “straight invasion” is happening in the Castro, I suspect in less than a year or so the Castro will look mostly “straight.” There will be no need for the GLBTQueer rainbow flag that flies above Harvey Milk Plaza controlled by that useless and anal merchants’ group. That dictatorial group that controls the flag may decide to leave the flag up solely for the tourists (for historical purposes) while male-female couples make out below it and shove their sexuality in our faces (it’s apparently fine when they do it; but not when queer people do it). The flag and Milk Plaza will be passé. “Who was Harvey Milk?” I can hear someone asking in the very near future. I suspect today many don’t know who he was, or care.
While there is this outdated reputation and veneer that the Castro is a “liberal” barrio, that is no longer the case. For those who don’t know, the Castro has become conservative and it can be a rather hateful barrio at times. Although as expected this is often denied especially by those who hate (just like a racist denies being racist). Over the years I’ve noticed the hate especially coming from homeowners in the barrio. They were suckers at some point to pay a million dollars for an old beat-up, smelly, moldy, drafty, cold Victorian house—and somehow they’ve decided this gives them the right to hate on others not just like them and to dictate what goes on in the neighborhood—and because of the mortgage and all the expenses that go along with that from their pedestal, they think that this gives them more U.S. Constitutional rights than anyone else. They call it “quality of life issues.” They think that “home ownership” should qualify them for not having to see homeless and street people. (They love Denial). Many homeowners seem to think they are above seeing homeless or street people. Also, many homeowners had their fun in the 1970s-80s and now that they’ve decided that they’re “old,” (regardless of their chronological age) they want to shut down fun and essentially turn the Castro into a retirement community. Some Castro residents seem oblivious to the current conservative political atmosphere—perhaps too busy texting about the next party—and also the right-wing like to lie about their agenda and hide their agenda by calling themselves “moderates” (newspeak).
(An UPDATE to this section, 16 de Noviembre de 2012: After receiving threats of boycotts, an online petition created, the application being resubmitted and the announcement of a protest, the fucked up people who run this septic merchants’ association for the Castro district & Upper Market have finally agreed—why didn’t they do that to begin with? (because they are power-trip loco)—to fly the Transgender flag on 20 de Noviembre de 2012).
I like to buy locally whenever possible and not from corporate chain/box stores, but I refuse to buy from stores locally that I know to use hate and totalitarian tactics to promote their conservative/right-wing agenda (while pretending to be “liberals” in some cases). Some background: There are merchants’ associations for every barrio or sub-barrio in the City and these merchants’ associations are all conservative/right-wing (they would likely call themselves by the newspeak word, “moderate,” but they all supported draconian sit-lie which hates on and criminalizes homeless and street people, for example, and there is nothing “moderate” about hate). These conservative merchants’ associations are very much helping to move to the City to the right. I’ve heard several people refer to the merchants’ association for the Castro district as “Fascists.” The people who run this stale, bourgeois-elitist merchants’ association for Castro barrio are loco. They are not “all there” based on their irrational decisions. They have psychological problems. They have “issues.” And I mean that. They are as fucked-up as most useless corporatist politicians. I have nothing positive to say about this despotic conservative merchants’ association in the Castro/Upper Market area. They should be disband. They operate in secrecy with no transparency. From my understanding, they have la policía at their meetings for security reason. ¿Qué? What is that about? Loco. They act as if they are afraid of their own shadow. They are quite a self-entitled, self-absorbed paranoid bunch often wrapping their hateful agenda in the name of “civility” and “safety” (i.e. newspeak) and “The Children must not see such and such.” They are a private, petty, childish, petty, hateful and petty organization and seem to respond to no one other than people with their same rabid right-wing agenda. They treat people like basura. This is all going on in Harvey Milk’s former district. I lost all respect for this hateful merchants’ association when I read on their website that they only invited the pro sit-lie side to their meeting (they don’t believe in hearing opposing views) and encouraged their membership to vote for it. They took the same approach with the city-wide nudity ban. A little more detail about sit-lie: Sit-lie criminalizes homelessness and street people by criminalizing sitting and lying on the sidewalks between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. and repeat offenders who ignore police instructions to stand up could be fined up to $500 and sent to jail for up to a month. This merchants’ association is also supporting the City-wide nudity ban authored by their beloved right-wing gay muchacho. This merchants’ association even decide/dictate what flag will be flown on the flag pole in Harvey Milk Plaza. That’s how petty they are. Somehow, at some point in time, they arrogantly decided that they control the flag pole too (above Harvey Milk Plaza), even though it’s on public property.
This useless dictatorial group recently refused to fly the pretty transgender flag (seen on this page) for one day (el 20 de Noviembre de 2012). They said “no” to flying the Trans Pride Flag on Remembrance Day on 11.20.12. Transgender Day of Remembrance occurs annually on 20 de Noviembre. It is a day to memorialize those who have been killed as a result of transphobia, or the hatred or fear of transgender and gender non-conforming people, and the remembrance is intended to bring attention to the continued violence endured by the transgender community. The merchants’ association in the Castro apparently doesn’t feel this is important. And the letter of refusal was signed by one of the piece-of-work owners of the major hardware store (which shall remain nameless on this website) on Castro Street. I and others boycott this hardware store as well as all stores who are members of this merchants’ association) and shop elsewhere.
I also read that the same hardware store had previously called the police on the few naked guys in the Castro. As for the transgender flag, flying a flag for one day was just too much for this petty, childish, septic group of merchants to handle. Can you image the trauma it must have caused these conservatives to deliberate this? I mean, someone has to take the rainbow flag down and put the transgender flag up and then down again. Of course, anyone with an engaged brain understands that the transgender flag could have flown underneath the rainbow flag which flies on the flag pole (above the muni metro). How difficult is it to raise a flag on a flag pole for one day a year? But not this useless merchants’ association. Therefore, I’m going to saturate this page with the transgender flag on various items to show pink barrio’s solidarity with the transgender community and also as a way to protest this authoritarian merchants’ association and their uptight, pompous, arrogant, corporate, stiff, rigid, hostile and a full-of-themselves group. I don’t know why any reputable merchant in the Castro would want to have anything to do with such a disreputable organization. And the conservative/right-wing politician for the district (which includes the Castro) has been unofficially running for alcalde/mayor since he became supervisor two years ago and he is firmly lodged in the upper colon of this despotic merchants’ association. He’s their beloved muchacho. Of course the right-wing (some posing as “liberals”) love him. He’s one of them.
As of this writing, the president of this group (from the hardware store I spoke about earlier) says that the rainbow flag will not ever fly half-mast again due to “safety” concerns. There are no “safety” concerns with flying a flag on this flag pole. Again, these pieces of work are afraid of their own shadow so they’re frequently dragging out the “Safety” and “Civility Card” or the “Protect The Children Card” as a reason for their hate and oppression, and to oppose something. A flag has flown half-mast before on this pole without any problem, but this piece of work from the hardware store said those times were a mistake. If it were because the flag is too big, the same hardware store sells flags including smaller rainbow flags which could be put on this flag pole but apparently these childish and petty people can’t conceive of that. They’re loco. Why are there so many loco people in positions of power?
There’s additional and updated information about this trans flag controversy in this article:
Dispute over Castro flag leads to hardware store boycott (YES!…boycott them).
Something I’d like to point out about this protest (in the article immediately above). The group was protesting over the denial of the Transgender flag being flown. During the protest, a well-known queer activist/union person—who shall remain nameless—crossed the picket line and went into the hardware store to shop (the same hardware store responsible for the Transgender flag being denied). This well-known activist worked with Harvey Milk. When I learned about this incident I thought: It’s hopeless. We are living in such weird times. Up = down, peace = war, love = hate. So apparently this well-known activist from Harvey Milk’s day does not support the rights of transgender people and instead supports this dictatorial merchants’ group.
Awhile back, a local group created, “No Violence. No Hate” signs (shown at the top of this page) for the merchants to display. I think all merchants have displayed this sign, but the hypocrisy involved is that the merchants have no problem hating on people they don’t like. They are among the first to hate on homeless and street people as well as the few naked muchachos/guys in the area. Hate is hate regardless of how it’s wrapped, camouflaged, disguised or what excuse is used for it. Many (most?) of the Castro merchants are being most hypocritical and trying to present this illusion that they oppose hate when actually they are complicit in the hate.
What “gay community?” That’s one reason the queer couple I mentioned above in the “Article Summary” is leaving San Francisco for Hawaii. There is no such thing as a “gay community” any longer. There is no sense of “community” other than with people who already know each other and are acquainted. On the sidewalks, most people walk either texting or on their mobile phones or looking straight ahead with no interest in talking or looking at anyone. People act very weird today as if there’s something in the water. Many people look as if their face would break if they had to smile or be the least bit friendly or say, “excuse me.” (Does anyone say that anymore? I politely say “excuse me” when a person almost runs into me on occasion, but I get silence in return as if the person has no ability to speak and no social skills.) With gentrification and corporatization (and especially in the residential Upper Market area with no shortage of big SUVs with one person in the thing), people have become snotty, snooty, snobbish, cold, pretentious and unfriendly, some wearing a nasty snarl looking as if they have a chip on both shoulders (don’t mess with them!). There are occasional pleasant/friendly exceptions to all of this and when they happen it’s rather surprising and gives one a brief shock because it’s so rare. There is very little queer activism any longer in San Francisco other than with a very small group of long-time vigilant activists and the political clubs and what they do publicly. When a rare protest is called for at Castro/Market Streets (usually during rush hour which is a good time), the turnout is usually a small group of people and usually from one of the political clubs. Most people coming out of the muni metro walk on by the protest and can’t be bothered. They are too busy texting, reading a book while walking, or on their mobile phones. Most couldn’t care less about the protest or what it’s for. That’s the impression they give by the looks on their faces. But some of the same people will scream at walls of television screens in the increasing-in-number “sports bars” until they are hoarse cheer-leading for their corporatist sports team. But with something that really matters (a protest for or against something) and that has a bearing on many people’s daily lives, they can’t be bothered with that. During the last protest I took part in the chant was, “Out of the bars and into the streets,” but no one paid attention to that. There were roughly 25 people at that protest. The turnout was embarrassing—one can’t expect much out of 23.5% (the total for San Francisco, or 14.2% (for the Castro/94114, referring to that census article at the top of the page)—and it was reflective of what the Castro and San Francisco has become under gentrification and corporatization.
There is also covert hatred for the homeless/street people and the few naked guys in the Castro area. The hate is mostly covert when people are on the street. But online, the right-wing hate is rabid (the comments look like they are written by hateful internet trolls) with the haters using anonymous screen names and hating on the homeless, street people, any protesters of any kind, bicyclists, the naked guys and others whom the right-wing (sometimes posing as “progressives” and “liberals”) despise and hate.
Until recently there were benches for people to sit and hang out (attached to a cement wall) above the entrance to the metro at Harvey Milk Plaza. This was the second installation of benches at this location, the first installation previously removed. The street people and some homeless hung out there and sat on the benches. I never had any problem with the street/homeless people. I felt quite comfortable around them, in part, because I have compassion for them. Some locals hate on them (rather common here these days, unfortunately). I’ve read indirect hateful references to the homeless/street people in some comments about the naked guys (those comments usually supporting the naked guys while hating on the homeless/street people “across the street” is how the comments are worded, meaning above the metro at Harvey Milk Plaza). Some locals described the street/homeless people as “hostile.” I suppose they could be hostile like anyone else if approached by someone with an anti-homeless or anti-street person chip-on-both-shoulders attitude/snarl or the disgusting, “I think I’m better than you and you don’t belong in my City. Get out of my City” attitude, which I’ve heard and read unfortunately. I’ve walked by the street and homeless people and ridden by them on my bike and felt completely comfortable and I’m respectful to them. Other people sat on the benches on the wall also. But the bourgeois elite in their condos across from the benches began whining and moaning about the street and homeless people. They didn’t want to see or hear street/homeless people. They’re too good for that. You’re in The Castro, bourgeois elite by your choice and the barrio has a reputation of a “constant party atmosphere” and it can be rather noisy 24 hours a day. But the bourgeois elite feel they are above seeing homeless and street people. The same residents have whined about the rainbow flag flying in that it makes too much noise for them when it’s windy. MOVE! I think they wanted the rainbow flag removed too. Mind you, these conservative residents chose to move to the Castro with its reputation from past decades. But as is often the case, the conservatives want to change the area to the way they want it to be (be like every other place…stale, stagnant, boring and conservative). So the other day I noticed that the benches above Harvey Milk Plaza had once again all been removed—more $$ spent on removing benches, loco—so now no one can sit there. There’s no place for anyone to sit above the Harvey Milk Plaza. Such “leadership” from this right-wing corporatist politician for the area. I suspect the removal of the benches happened because of that dictatorial conservative merchants’ association and its beloved conservative supervisor, and their combined hatred for the homeless and street people. As someone wrote on a local message forum recently, “This City sends ‘messages’ to the homeless and street people on occasion so they don’t get too comfortable, because this City wants you dead if you’re homeless or a street person.”
As for a “gay community,” it’s most difficult to have any sense of “community” at all when people are addicted to their screens/gadgets and addicted to checking their screens for the next text message as often as possible. One wouldn’t want to miss that next text message of “he, he, ha, ha, the next party is tonight at 7pm see you there. he, he, ha, ha. LOL.” “What is is” of the pink barrio tells me that no one talks at his gym, except on rare occasion. It’s mainly a texting library these days and people having to check one’s gadget in between reps during one’s workout. Someone wrote a review of his gym on a website and they said (I’m paraphrasing but keeping the original intent): “Don’t look at anyone in this gym. If you do, you will regret it because of the nasty look you will get in response. They will look at you as if you are a terrorist. I stopped looking at anyone here after the nasty looks I was getting. It’s the way the Castro is now.”
I ask that because other than the very average/mediocre restaurants in the Castro, why would “straights” still be invading the Castro? As of this writing, all of the bars are queer (although one bar/restaurant near Castro/Market looks like it’s becoming “straight”). Some “straights” go to the queer bars and the supposedly “straight” muchachos occasionally complain when a queer muchacho hits on them/shows interest in them. Wouldn’t one expect that in a queer bar? As for the “straight invasion,” some “straights” use the excuse that, “well the Castro has a reputation for being a safe area.” Oh you can come up with a better excuse than that. Some other areas of San Francisco have the same reputation, so why the Castro?
There’s a saying, “mosquitoes can breed.” There’s no shortage of babies/strollers in the Castro/Upper Market area. If I had a baby I would “wear” my baby on my chest in a baby harness type thing, as a small number of people do these days. I would want my baby as close to me as possible, rather than stuck off in a condo-sized stroller which seems to be the choice of most people (is that because of family tradition?). Also, it seems that most people have never heard of adoption or wouldn’t hear of it, and one can love an adopted child equally as much as a child genetically related to one. Judging by the number of babies, I would think that the condom industry would be on the verge of near-collapse. And the concept of overpopulation or a coming food shortage on the planet seems to not be of any concern whatsoever for anyone these days, or it’s a case of the usual Denial often found in the Estados Unidos/U.S? Read: A New UN Report on our Impending Overpopulation and UN warns of looming worldwide food crisis in 2013.
The Castro is not known for its restaurants. Usually when a new restaurant opens the sheeple rush to the restaurant to try out the place over a 2-3 month people, negative reviews are written on the Internet about the restaurant and the restaurant begins to slowly die. It’s a very predictable pattern with the sheeple. I’ve seen this pattern over and over. Most people don’t seem to learn from it. They love to “be the first” (WHY?) and try out new untested restaurants and waste their dinero there to often end up writing a negative review about the place. I don’t like wasting dinero so I don’t go to new restaurants until they’ve been around at least six months and have established themselves as a high-quality restaurant and have positive reviews. I see no reason to rush to any restaurant (or any business), unless one doesn’t know how to boil water at home. But the sheeple take the opposite approach. They very much remind me of the sheeple who camp out in front of a corporate box store for days to be the “first in line” to buy some piece of junk which will eventually end up in the already-stuffed landfill. Suckers. Speaking of bars/restaurants in the Castro, there is one business which names itself after the late Harvey Milk. From reviews I’ve read, their food is pretty good. Vegan and vegetarian food is included on their menu, which is very rare to find these days since eating healthy food doesn’t seem to be much of a priority at all with many people. The portions are generous at this bar/restaurant from what I’ve read. They also have a cool, very pretty, color-changing LED Light Show on their awning and sidewalk trees (all synchronized) which adds very nice color to that corner and the building throughout the year. The one problem with this bar/restaurant is their politics specifically the candidates they endorse. They campaign (with signs on their building and in the bar/restaurant windows) for the conservative candidates. They campaigned for that conservative supervisor I mentioned at the beginning (with big banners at the top of their building…the glue is still on the building) as well as the conservative candidate running for sheriff in the 2011 election. This restaurant is named in tribute/honor of Harvey Milk. Would he approve of a restaurant in his name endorsing conservative political candidates? I don’t know since it seems that people can’t agree on who Harvey Milk was and his politics. I do know he opposed the sit-lie law of his day. Some locals have said that because of this restaurant/bar’s politics—based on the candidates they endorse—that they are merely exploiting the name of Harvey Milk especially when it comes to tourist dinero/$$ (for example: “Oh we must eat there…a restaurant named for Harvey Milk.”—spoken by Mr/Ms Tourist).
Also speaking of food and restaurants (and not just in the Castro), I remember a time where people cared where they ate and what they ate. There was a concern for eating healthy foods. These days however, most people seem to be going in the opposite direction. People seem to eat anything and they don’t care whatsoever what they eat or what’s in it as long as it’s (their words) “has flavour and tastes good and is decent.” “Flavour, tastes good and decent” are probably the most overused words in restaurant reviews that I’ve read from the sheeple/customers, especially the word “decent.” (The sheeple seem to think they all must use the same words in restaurant reviews.) Never mind what’s in the food or the quality of the ingredients and what artificial “flavour” stuff may be in it for that “flavour” they write about as long as it “tastes good.” Also don’t concern yourself with how old the smelly, years’ old, cooking oil is for the French Fries in these restaurants, or that the ingredients came from China through a corporate box store (as opposed to environmentally-sustainable/organic and locally grown ingredients). Years ago there was a vegetarian store/salad bar in the Castro. It’s still open but it’s no longer entirely vegetarian. A number of years ago the manager brought in dead animal to sell (turkey, chicken and beef) and I heard one customer gushing to the manager at the register: “Thank you for bringing in chicken and beef. I used to be a vegetarian and I’ve been eating meat lately…it’s bad! it’s bad!” she gushed and laughed to the manager. Sigh. Clearly, being a vegetarian or vegan for some (many?) people was/is merely a fad or what some people thought was “the cool thing to do” at the time because friends were vegetarian/vegan. “Now friends are eating dead animals (a.k.a. “meat”) and thinking nothing of it so I will too,” seems to be the thinking of the sheeple. Related: UN urges global move to meat and dairy-free diet.
Lesser consumption of animal products is necessary to save the world from the worst impacts of climate change, UN report says and Are Vegetarians Thinner? and
Red meat and colon cancer.
We in the pink barrio think the naked muchachos are pretty cool. We support them. They are very secure with themselves and their bodies, which cannot be said about many (most?) people in the Castro or anywhere else, and we suspect that’s the source of much of the hate directed at the naked muchachos (i.e. people’s self-hate and their own low self-esteem of their naked bodies). Yes, we live in a very prudish, sick, nude-phobic society and it’s only getting worse. I suspect if most of the naked muchachos in the Castro were “model types” and “perfect 10s” (even though that is subjective) that the totalitarian merchants’ group would reverse themselves and come up with the idea of selling tickets and scheduling various show times in the Jane Warner Plaza for people to see the naked muchachos. Anything to make $$. But since most of the naked muchachos are not model types, they are hated on instead by this useless and hateful merchants’ association and other right-wing prudes (some pretending to be “progressives”). I wrote about the Naked Muchachos of the Castro in this article. The only thing I have to add to that is that “what is is” (you will know who he is if you’ve watched his “Peak Oil Noticias/News Update” videos) was walking through the Jane Warner Plaza on el 13 de Octubre de 2012 and he witnessed something which made him furious: There were 6 naked muchachos in the plaza sitting and bothering no one. San Francisco Police Department cop cars rushed into the area as if there were a national emergency and started assaulting the naked muchachos and the homeless people who were just sitting in the Warner Plaza bothering no one. The cops began barking orders to the naked muchachos and the homeless to leave the plaza. The cops arrested 2 muchachos who were not naked and not doing anything wrong. No one was paying attention to this assault by the SFPD. No one in the Twin Peaks Bar adjacent to the plaza was paying attention and the only other people there were tourists. Apparently the “No Violence. No Hate” signs I mentioned earlier in the Castro mean nothing to the SFPD either. The SFPD don’t seem to care whose civil rights are violated these days and considering the brand of conservative politician serving as the current supervisor (which includes the Castro) the cops know they can do whatever they want unconditionally. Their agenda is pursued regardless of the law because as of this writing, it is not illegal to be naked/nude in San Francisco, but the cops can’t be bothered by what’s legal and not. They make up their own laws it seems.
I want to bring up this topic of “The Gay Ghetto.” For decades, the Castro has often been referred to (mostly pejoratively) as a “gay ghetto.” The same for other cities’ gay districts. Interestingly, by comparison any place that mainly all white people have lived has never been called a “white ghetto.” San Francisco does have the Pacific Heights district (also known as “Specific Whites” by some people). Wouldn’t that be a “white ghetto?” Chinatown in many cities is not known as an “Asian ghetto.” The Italian section of cities is not known as the “Italian Ghetto.” No, let’s put down the GLBTQueer “community” (and queers even take part in this “ghetto language” stuff) for wanting to have their own area of the city. And these days in San Francisco and with the outrageous rents for new apartments, the rents are anything but “ghetto-priced.”
Some delusional people who don’t pay close attention to noticias/news and current events say “gay people can live anywhere they want these days” (ha!) so there’s no need for a “gay ghetto.” What drugs are they on to induce such dreams and wishful-thinking? Maybe they should check out some of these links:
South Carolina Episcopalians break away from U.S. church over disagreements on issues including the national church’s ordination of gay clergy and acceptance of same-sex unions.
(I don’t normally go to or link to this website for personal reasons but it’s the only site with this article):
Highest Number Of Anti-Gay Murders Ever Reported In 2011: The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs.
Gay Bashing at the Stonewall Inn New York City October 3, 2010. (Yes, THAT Stonewall Inn).
Oh yes absolutely, gay people “can live anywhere.” What idiot would say that? Answer: Someone who is willfully-ignorant, uninformed and also in Denial. I suppose that gay people “can live anywhere” if we stay in the closet and are careful not to disclose our sexual orientation.
Some GLBTQueer people were “elated” because three states in the Estados Unidos passed laws in favour of same-gender marriage in the 2012 election: Maine, Maryland and Washington. The fact is: These laws barely passed in those states. Of those who voted in the 2012 election, these laws passed by the small percentages of 53% in two states and 52% in one state. They did not pass by a wide margin, that’s the reality regardless of how others try to “spin” it. One could be “elated” if all of these measures had passed by, say, 75-90% of those voting. Then that would be something to celebrate, but when nearly half of those who voted opposed same-gender marriage, I think a certain reserve is required/appropriate.
There is a need for an all-gay area in cities because history often repeats itself (what short memories some people have who have been corporatized with gadgets and nonstop partying) and when “the gays” are the target again in a major way—as we will be—gays will be spread all over the place, so a unified message and protest would be very difficult in the future as opposed to the riots in San Francisco after the Dan White verdict in the 1970s. At that time, the Gay Mecca known as The Castro erupted following that verdict. What would erupt today if such a verdict were announced? Not much. Nothing but a very small protest likely led by the Harvey Milk Club, which many/most people would probably hate on and begin whining about. There would be little interest in the protest because texting and being addicted to corporate social networks are the priority today. Not protesting or being concerned about anything of substance that really matters in many/most people’s lives.
The article that I cited above best answers that question: West Hollywood is only the Sixth gayest neighborhood in the U.S. I’ve also heard and read that GLBTQueers have moved to Portland, Los Ángeles (not specifically West Hollywood), Sacramento, the Midwest…the Midwest?, New York, Boston, Texas, the San Francisco East Bay (where the rents are currently a bit cheaper), San José, Hawaii and some have left the country (now that’s a good idea). And others are remaining in San Francisco and waiting for the best/opportune time to leave the country.
I saw this flyer recently and cringed. This flyer appeared in the Castro on El 12 de Septiembre 2012:
“F**K without condoms Ever?”
LET’S TALK ABOUT IT.
My first thought upon reading this was:
How can “Let’s talk about it” if you (StopAids.org) can’t even say the word “fuck?” What is one supposed to be talking about? What is: “F**K?” We’re not on a censored or moderated Internet message forum so why did StopAids feel the need to sanitize their flyers in the Castro of all places? For decades the Castro has been an “adult” neighborhood and it still is for the most part, so why was there a need to sanitize a flyer in the Castro about fucking without a condom? StopAids could have asked the question? Do you ever bareback? “Oh no, not that?!” I guess the rabids would say. If StopAids had asked that question then they wouldn’t need to use that sexual word that the right-wing prudes would protest called “fucking.” I can see some of the busy-bodied parents in the neighborhood saying, “I don’t want my child to see the word fucking.” Prudes: why would your child even notice the word “fucking?” The flyers were high up on poles, not down where someone’s child would see them. And if a parent cannot explain fucking to a child in some intelligent way—who for some reason would ask about fucking—the parents shouldn’t be having children to begin with. Take a course in parenting skills before you have children, and I’m not talking about love here. I would guess that StopAids was trying to cater to the right-wing/conservatives/prudish “straights” in the area. Why are the conservatives ALWAYS catered to in this country? To keep them from squawking? So StopAids chose to sanitize their flyer. I was completely turned off by it regardless of the reason it was done. This is something that one would not have expected to see in the San Francisco of the “Gay Mecca” days.
This also reminds me of the prudes in the area demanding that sex stores in the Castro be required to cover up dick and ass pics on DVD video covers in Castro sex store windows. Yes, that’s true. Ridiculous. By the way, check out the nude caliente muchachos on this page. No censorship here. No white stickers over them here. Why are so many people repulsed by seeing the human body? Can the Estados Unidos/U.S. move any faster back to the Dark Ages?
San Francisco used to be known as an “alternative” or “Bohemian” City. But due to gentrification, the corporate media programming/indoctrination of the masses and the City catering to the 1%, San Francisco is quickly becoming a very mainstream City of corporatized sheeple. We are very quickly losing the things that have made the City special to live here and other locals are saying the same thing. One event after the other is being shut down (i.e. Halloween in the Castro, for example).
We in the pink barrio enjoyed the filming of ‘Milk’. Milk is a 2008 American biographical film based on the life of gay rights activist and politician Harvey Milk. We found the crew and production very interesting and the crew was very nice and cordial, unlike some of the locals. What we didn’t enjoy was the reaction from some of the conservative residents and businesses who acted like asses during the production. They opposed the production and found it an intrusion in the barrio. Some businesses refused to cooperate with the production company and to this day we boycott them. Some residents seemed to find it such a bother that a production company was in the area. We got the impression that many locals couldn’t care less about Harvey Milk. The negative reactions reminded us of the same type of negative response that political protests have received from many people in the Castro: Either no interest or negative. There were small groups of people that were indeed appreciative that ‘Milk’ was being filmed in the Castro and were glad that they could see history being made with this film about the late Harvey Milk.
A local pro-Establishment, conservative GLBTQ publication has this false statement on their website (I’ve paraphrased it keeping the original intent):
“The Castro neighbourhood’s popularity mainly comes from the Castro being a welcoming barrio of openness and tolerance [Editorial: Yeah, that's why there's a city-wide ban now proposed on nudity (and supported by this pro-Establishment, conservative GLBTQ publication) directed at the Castro's few naked guys...a ban: how "open" and "tolerant"!], the two qualities the majority of San Franciscans would probably say are the main reasons for living here, and the qualities making San Francisco different from other cities in the Estados Unidos/U.S. As San Franciscans, we want to keep this openness, and are suspicious of anyone who would attempt to end it, limit it or place restrictions on it.”
What gall! The nerve! Those are just pretty word. All that sounds nice to say but unfortunately it has no basis in reality. Some local activists would say that’s never been the case. “Openness” and “tolerance” in the Castro? Not these days. Perhaps they’re talking about that queer bar that was sued for discrimination against Blacks. Gay Nightclub Discriminated Against Blacks.
Maybe that’s the “openness” and “tolerance” they’re talking about. Or, how about the hating on the naked guys? Is that the “openness” and “tolerance” they’re referring to? And again, I’d like to point out that this same GLBTQ publication supports the City-wide ban on nudity. These hypocrites really should remove their version of that statement from their website. So much for their “openness” and “tolerance” bull shit. And of course this City-wide ban against pubic nudity is authored by their beloved conservative politician. That publication has also had its head firmly planted in this supervisor’s upper colon ever since he campaigned for office. Yes, it’s getting very crowded up there. They endorsed him. The same publication also endorsed the current Chief of Police with his conservative agenda. This publication most often endorses Establishment status-quo “Democratic” politicians (and they’re “Democratic” in name only). At times this publication tosses around words like “liberal” and “progressive” while they usually endorse conservative politicians with a purely symbolic D behind their name. That publication recently wrote an unsigned editorial hating on the naked guys in the Castro, using the usual conservative statements and Fear Cards.
As for this delusional thinking of “openness” and “tolerance” in the Castro, as I said earlier, I’m hearing more hate spoken on occasion when I’m out and about and that’s been the case in the Castro for the last couple of years.
What’s that about? I don’t know. You’d have to ask them the following: “Excuse me, Mr/Ms Straight: Why exactly are the two of you in this gay bar when there are hundreds of “straight” bars all over this City? Might it be because one or both of you are not entirely “straight” and in the closet? Might it be because one or both of you are bisexual (and possibly in the closet about that) but you came in here under the pretense of, “I like to support those gays.” (Yeah right.) Might that be what is going on? I wouldn’t deliberately go to a “straight” bar so I don’t know why “straights” would go to a gay bar. But I do know that’s happening and there’s been some problems with it. I don’t care to link to the site because I don’t like the site, but you can google: “Some Advice For Straight People In Gay Bars” and read that. It’s from a local San Francisco website. Then there was an on-line comment I read by some guy who kept saying he was “straight”—he seemed to be trying to convince himself and others of that—and he goes to gay bars in the Castro. And he gets put-off/offended when a gay dude might show interest in him. Sigh. If I were to go to a straight bar I would expect that some muchacho might show interest in me and I wouldn’t be put-off or offended. I would just tell him I’m not interested, but gracias. But this muchacho who made a point out of being “straight” had to get on his “I’m straight” campaign to convince others how straight he is. He also seemed to be under the illusion that anyone with a penis would be interested in him. The arrogance of some people.
One might ask: I’ve never been to San Francisco or the Castro, should I come to see the Castro? NO. It’s not necessary. I think you would be disappointed. I am. I’m disappointed/saddened at what the City and barrio has become and is becoming and I live here. You would be disappointed if you’re expecting to see the former “Gay Mecca” Castro, which is no longer. There are videos on YouTube (a.k.a. CorporateTube) of the Castro. Just watch them. Save your dinero/$$ and the airfare/hotel/food expenses. And it’s very expensive here. In the videos of the Castro—depending upon which ones you watch—you’ll see pretty much what you would see if you came here. There’s no reason to come here and see the sheeple staring at their screens and you can see that anywhere (meaning their addiction to their gadgets, or to see people staring and screaming at walls of television screens in the “sports bars.” I know I’ve said that repeatedly through this article and I meant to because that’s mainly what one sees here much of the time. Just wondering: Does anyone have a real conversation longer than 10 second any longer? And by the way, when did the Castro become such sports fanaticos/addicts?
For more information about San Francisco’s fading gay mecca, check out these articles and videos. Chau.—rosa barrio
From the video’s description:
“The debate over public nudity heats up in San Francisco. Several nudists, including a former SF mayoral candidate, celebrating Park(ing) Day by turning a parking space into the Garden of Eden beneath the iconic Castro Theater marquee. The Castro’s livid general manager, Keith Arnold, interrupted interviews by repeatedly striking a news cameraman with a clip board (at 2:25) and forcing the law-biding nudists to move one store front down Castro street. The Reel Gay news cameraman Mike Skiff (who is also a documentary filmmaker covering events during Leather Pride Week is SF) filed a criminal complaint with the SFPD against the theater manager.
Irony abounds as the operator of a movie house, long known in the SF gay community for screening boundary-pushing indie artistic expression, acts intolerantly against a group of nudists who have been creating a mini urban art space, and then assault a working member of the gay press covering the news story in broad daylight on the public street beneath his marquee.
It is legal to be nude in public in San Francisco – within certain limits. The Castro neighborhood has become a daily hangout for urban nudists. The neighborhood itself has seen a shift in demographics over the last five years as more straight owned businesses and families with children move into the once gay enclave.
Arnold says he’s “tolerant of kids not having cocks in their faces.”
San Francisco, CA – September 21, 2012 Mike Skiff Reporting
[Editorial: I've not seen any cocks in kids' faces in the Castro, nor did I see any kids walking by when this video was being recorded. And kids have seen cocks, especially the kids who have one. Like the right-wing, Arnold likes to make things up for his conservative agenda. And he's way out of line when he's trying to be dictatorial as to what should or should not be on the street in front of the theatre. The street is public property, muchacho. He pulled out the overused/typical, "what about the kids?" Fear Card while acting like a bully to the cameraperson. This bully should not be a manager of anything (in part because he displays no social skills whatsoever and he doesn't know how to talk with people), although from my experience he is quite typical of useless managers on a power trip. I have no intention of going to the Castro Theatre again after seeing this, until this manager/bully is removed.---rosa barrio.]
The following video shows pretty much what activism is down to these days in San Francisco. Just a small group of vigilant people. We appreciate them. This was a protest against the draconian sit-lie ordinance that conservative supervisor for the Castro district pushed. Unfortunately, I suspect most (the sheep) in the conservative Castro today would sneer at this protest (or any other protests for that matter), or have no interest in it:
Speaking of San Francisco turning to the right, the San Francisco Police Department continues to push for tasers:
ANGELA CHAN BLOCKS POLICE CHIEF’S TASER PUTSCH!
And then there is this store (which shall remain nameless on this website…out of respect for our website). We no longer shop there and we urge a boycott of this store for many reasons, some of which have been addressed in this article as well as this article: