I'll be performing in a show in the Castro on Halloween night. "Yay it's Halloween" is a line in of the songs in the show, a new "horror opera" by Jack Dubowsky presented by the Lesbian Gay Chorus of San Francisco.
"We want to see some gays!" That's another line, delivered by gawkers - some innocent, some not so innocent. Are gays and drag queens still a freak show diversion for straight folks? It can certainly feel that way, but people are beginning to wonder if all that is fading with the proliferation of gay and trans images and in popular culture (not to mention the increasing vulgarity of straight culture).
One thing that is definitely still here is the fear of violence. Fear, more than annoyance over quality of life issues such as pissing in the street, breaking bottles, and noise, helped get our street party shut down a few years ago. There will be no street closures. Yet on Saturday night, as we left the theater at 10:30 pm and walked down 18th St, SFPD had closed and taken all of the street parking on Collingwood, just a short block off of Castro St. A show of force one week before the big event? I have no idea, really. Transparency hasn't exactly been an SFPD virtue while I've lived here.
So is there anything wrong with "home for Halloween", the city's new slogan? If you pay attention, they've make it clear they're not telling you to stay home, they're talking about your "home 'hood". Party there! I'm all for local participation and after 8 years in the Western Addition, have formed solid ties with people in my 'hood. Heck, my partner even pulled together a Street Party earlier this month. And this neighborhood will have an outdoor community party on Halloween, with street closures, though I'm pretty sure it's mostly for kids & parents.
So what else is happening on Halloween? A lot of expensive parties, which will likely involve as much or more alcohol and drugs than our street party did, and considerably more hearing loss. And a lot of cultural events, expensive and not so expensive, at theaters and museums across town. One big party? Definitely not.
Thank you to all who have already been to our show, or are planning to come this week. My message for all of you, is, don't be afraid to do what you want and go where you want to go on Halloween.