“Only in San Francisco” is a phrase we hear a lot here in Oz. It’s a point of pride, the defining feature of our beautiful bubble.
Even when we’re trying to be conventional, relatively speaking, we end up doing things our own way. We can’t help it.
Easter in Dolores Park, for example, is a perfect representation of San Framily values. Whether you “observe” the holigay by bringing your gayby to the egg hunt, tricking out a bonnet, or rocking a loincloth in the Hunky Jesus contest, there’s something for everyone, because that’s just how we do. Some may call it crude mockery, but religious intolerants target San Francisco values every day, so I say hooray for the one day where we make them the punch line and have Jesus our way.
“Family-friendly” is always relative when it comes to San Framily. More often than not, it’s about our chosen family. Our lovely lives are exactly what we make of them, because this is the freedom our fair city affords, even if most of us can barely afford to live here.
Another place I love to see this on display is at Flagging in the Park, a party and fundraiser in a majestic natural venue (the National AIDS Memorial Grove) that honors those tragically lost with a colorful celebration of life. The event glorifies a uniquely gay art form born under the disco ball, providing pure and life-affirming entertainment while welcoming everyone to sacred ground.
The way we play here by the bay is a religious experience. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence bless these events, and make saints of people like Xavier Caylor, who has been producing Flagging in the Park since 1996 and teaches a weekly flagging class at Gold’s Gym SOMA to keep the flow arts alive. A new season for this party begins on May 15 with DJ Craig Gaibler, who has graciously tapped the Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy as beneficiary.
We party with purpose in San Francisco, and it sets us apart from other gayborhoods across the globe. We set our intention, and then we realize it, fully. Fruit-fully! We get our gay on as hard as we can, and we don’t apologize. We don’t need to, because more often than not, we’re giving something back to our community at the same time.
That’s my intention with Nasty, my “filthy fun-raiser” at The Powerhouse on first Fridays (please come on May 6!). While the entertainment there is decidedly more adult, we still manage to keep it silly yet significant, taking donations for Project Inform in Crisco cans by playing a game called STICK IT IN!
When we’re doing good by being bad, we’re living the San Francisco dream, bringing it in ways that constantly remind me of why I love my gays.