It’s Gay Pride weekend and time to remember that the Mission District used to be a place where lesbians thrived.
Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha took some 80 people on her Valencia Lesbian Stroll earlier this month. Lex Non Scripta designed the posters on the Mission’s queer history. We’ve made a slide show of the posters.
Based on the poster project and some of our own research, we’ve created a map to guide you on a tour. But we encourage you to drop by Modern Times and pick up a poster for $10. They’re beautiful. (To read the copy in the slide show, click on the enlarge button to make it full-screen.)
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How exactly was the catacombs a lesbian hangout?
@ Really Really: Thanks for the question, The Catacombs was featured in the Valencia Lesbian Stroll. Check out poster #4 in our slideshow from the tour. According to tour guide Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha “The Catacombs was a queer men’s fisting and S/M club, operated out of the basement of a Victorian on 21st St. between Valencia and Guerrero. They were the first San Francisco queer S/M public sex spaces to allow women and trans people to participate, including Patrick Califia and Cynthia Slater, who went on to create the first women’s play parties here. The Catacombs were an ‘oasis of kink’ where gender didn’t matter so much, and in many ways gave birth to queer women’s S/M scene in the 80s and the multi-gendered kink communities that exist today.”