Soldier. Homosexual. Native Son. Candidate. Empress. Activist. Gentleman. Widow. San Francisco Legend. R.I.P. Jose Sarria, aka the Nightengale of Montgomery St, the Widow Norton and Empress Jose I. born December 12, 1922/23. died August 19, 2013.
First Gay Candidate.
Empress of San Francisco.
(Haiku for Jose Sarria)
Funeral service at 11am on Friday, September 6th at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. Internment in Colma, reception at Lookout Bar on 16th Street.
Mike Caffee, who knew Jose, says his friends sometimes jokingly called him “the Nightmare of Montgomery Street” – instead of “Nightengale!”
Laytonville Native Wins Empress Of San Francisco’s Imperial Court!
“Patty McGroin went from winning Miss Gay San Francisco in 2011 to the reigning empress of the 2013 San Francisco Imperial Court. Patty will spend her year as Empress raising money for San Francisco charities as part of the duties of representing the San Francisco Imperial Council…”
Jayma Shields for The Mendocino County Observer. Photo: anon.
When an androgynous male model named Jo Calderone appeared in Vogue Homme Japan last year, celeb watchers noted that he looked a lot like Lady Gaga might in male drag. Turns out, that is exactly who “he” was. The young diva, who dodges regular rumors that she is intersex, shows off Jo on the cover art of her next single, “You and I.” You Go, Guy Gaga!
One of the web’s very best, Joe Jervis of Joe. My. God. has been blogging for over eight years, and has built a loyal and lively readership. Unlike many queer sites which strive to create safe spaces for their readers, JMG operates more like a free zone. The unmoderated comments section is always entertaining, informative and challenging…and often offensive. This is a good thing. Debate is healthy. Covering up rot just breeds more rot. And we’ve all got our rotten elements. Air helps dissipate the stink.
Joe published a rant in 2006 in which he talked back to the ‘normal’ gay people who want to rid pride parades of ‘defectives’ – those nice folks who discuss “how we might go about ‘discouraging’ certain ‘elements’ from taking part in the parades.” We all know who the elements are. Joe’s nice gays spell it out: “Why must all the coverage be drag queens and leather freaks in assless chaps?” The more outre the image, the better the press.
Of course, freaks have always made for good spectacle. The ancient Romans even bought and sold deformed human slaves at specialty ‘monstrosity markets.’ We no longer generally buy and sell living human bodies, but we do trade in representations of those bodies: images, words, memes. We deal in abstracts: Semiotic Weaponry – wars of words. Violence is inherent in communication. We undo and remake one another with our choice of words, appearance and other social signifiers. We attract and repulse one another. Vanillas might be put off by Leather’s overt sexuality and we might gag on their cologne. Punks and preps trade shade. We insult each other on purpose and accidentally. Dykes can see patriarchal oppression in a nice basket, and few gay men want to look at naked jiggling double D-cups – even with those little pieces of electrical tape over the nipples. One guy’s hot hairy bear is another’s disgusting old fat man. You think that intersex or trans boy is an attractive man? The guy next to you might think she’s a stupid self-deluding bitch. Feelings are real, but they are not facts. We can modify our interactions to minimize psychic damage, but the potential to offend others with our particular “defects,” or to participate in a particular ideology by our presence, will always be there. Only solitude and silence guarantee against this. We can stake out a spot on the mountaintop or disappear into the depths of a shimmering nishikigoi pond. Not a bad plan for serious self-reflection, but eventually we just might want to rejoin the party. Maybe.
Joe continues: “I’m not worried what the outside world thinks about the drag queens, the topless bulldaggers, or the nearly naked leatherfolk. It’s OUR party, bitches. If you think that straight America would finally pull its homokinder to its star-spangled bosom once we put down that glitter gun, then you are seriously deluding yourself. Next year, if one of the Christian camera crews that show up to film our “debauched” celebrations happen to train their cameras on you, stop dancing. And start PRANCING.” For the rest of the rant, click here.
New arty queer drag club by new kids in town. Derelick’D. Hosted by Filétia Mignon. Check out the fresh meat! Queer vids and music all night by VJ Objet Numerik/Rik Lee. Here’s his mash-up of Aphex Twin’s DMX Krew Remix – You Can’t Hide Your Love. Deco Lounge 510 Larkin St. San Francisco. Ginger Snap at the bar. Starting around 9:30 every Monday night.
A good counterpoint to the feel-good Bush love-fest splashing across the media grid in response to the launch of his biography. As Kiki of the notorious Kiki and Herb, Justin Bond tore into the media-fed adulation that erupted at the passing of former president Reagan. “The legacy, the legacy…” s/he snarled while recounting his long silence during the devastating peak years of the AIDS crisis. “That’s the legacy, Ladies and Gentlemen!” Bond has shed the Kiki persona for now, but the fierce political wit that has long infused his performances remains strong as ever.
Enjoy the Bush book. I suggest reading it by candlelight with a little cat-food pate and a juice-box. You can sit on a milk crate. Of course, you won’t find these things at your local market because it went out of business. But you can get them all at Walmart along with a wave from the elderly social security recipient who really needs that greeter job…to buy that cat food, those juice boxes and that book. It is the New Depression after all. And it is FUN, dammit!
San Francisco impresario Marc Huestis has posted a video clip from Justin Bond’s “Close to You” show at the Castro Theatre. Justin dedicates his cover of “Bless the Beasts and the Children” to Lawrence King, the 15 year-old gay Jr. High School student who was shot and killed by a 14 year-old classmate in Oxnard, California.