Category Archives: AIDS

Shhh…. Sneak! Preview…of The Mayor of Folsom Street.

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The Mayor of Folsom Street! The exhibit at the Center for Sex and Culture opens on Friday and this is installation week. So, here’s the sneak! Above, memorial Leather Jacket by Bill Bowers. Bill is a former Cockette and long-time Queer Underground couturier. Cool art kid Rik Lee is doing his website these days. Check it out! He’s even done stage wear for Keith Richards the Rolling Stone. Dig! Alan dressed Metal bands and did foundation garments for punk fashion queen Vivienne Westwood, so having Bill’s tribute jacket as a centerpiece for this show is pure copacetic.

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An assortment of “smalls” – prior to installation. Lots of stories, here!

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Worn Levi’s 501s, the crotch has been mended with leather and has worn through yet AGAIN! Damn, Dad. With Malebox jockstrap and an assortment of “friendship” pins, including one from The 15 Association. Alan, the original “Mr. S” was at the founding meeting, and was a long-time honorary member of this 35 year-old San Francisco-based men’s S/m fraternity.

The Phlip-side of the Phelps Phamily – Gay-friendly Nate! – Son of Dying Phred…

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Nate Phelps, Son of infamous hate-mongerer Fred.

Nate Phelps, Son of infamous hate-mongerer Fred.

Our hearts go out to the estranged children of infamous hate-mongerer Fred Phelps of the notorious Westboro Baptist Church, a pseudo-congregation made up primarily of members of his own family. Seems the old man, the patriarch of The Most Hated Family in America is dying. The father of thirteen children, four of those have severed ties. The man who terrorized funerals of AIDS victims and war victims with equal glee did not hold back with his own family. Son Nate Phelps has become an outspoken speaker on the topic of child abuse in religious organizations as well as an ally to and advocate for the Gay and Queer communities his father rallied against for so many years. Go, Nate! BTW, not all evil-ass cults are right wing. Religious abuse, like totalitarianism, can approach from the right OR the left. For a groovy take on THAT Cozmic Debris, just ask old Frank. Zappa, that is, baby snakes and yellow snow…

Hey, Daddy…nice shirt!

 

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Hey, Daddy! Ink to the People does crowdsourced fundraising with produced-to-order t-shirts. Design a shirt, select a sales target and date, and promote. The more you do, the higher the percentage that goes to the cause. Cool.

This one honors the life of “Daddy” Alan Selby, aka Mr. S. and “The Mayor of Folsom Street” An exhibit based on his life will be held in the Summer of 2014 at The Center for Sex and Culture in San Francisco. A book based on auto/biographical material will be published in December, 2014. In the spring of 2015, the archive of historical materials from his life and work will travel to the Leather Archives and Museum in Chicago, where it will be permanently housed. This fundraising souvenir t-shirt is supporting The Mayor of Folsom Street project. These shirts cost $20 each, come in assorted sizes, are made in the U.S.A. Order here.

Mayor of Folsom Street launches at Center for Sex and Culture

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Daddy Alan Selby. It’s been nearly a decade since we lost him. At that time, he was working on his autobiography, titled “The Mayor of Folsom Street.” In memorium, this year, that book will finally be published. It’s planned release is December, 2014. On June 6th, an exhibit based of materials from his archive will open at the Center for Sex and Culture in San Francisco. In 2015, the archive will move to Chicago, to The Leather Archive and Museum. On Sunday, March 2nd, the project will launch at CSC. A small, informal fundraiser from 5 to 8 pm will feature a short reading from the book, a sneak peak at the exhibit, a silent auction, an open mic of speakers and the launch of the Mayor of Folsom St t-shirt fundraising campaign.

Safe Sex Bang!

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Many of us remember vividly the period in the 1980s and 90s when campaigns promoting safer sex practices developed, looking back on the visual materials from these campaigns has been both a moving experience of memory and an exciting new perspective of the work many of us did in that time. As these posters and other materials begin to pass in to something more like history than recent memory, we get to see them again. Thankfully, we can now see a little more of their artistry rather than only seeing the urgency that created their message.

These materials are of both cultural and artistic significance. They were often created by advertising and illustration professionals who were suddenly free to apply their best and most innovative ideas that may have been constrained by mainstream business. With the lives and health of their community at stake, and often their own, these artists brought all of their skill to bear on efforts to save lives.

The catalog will contain images of these collected materials, primarily posters, including safer sex campaigns from North America, Europe, and Oceania. We will also include an art historical essay by Alex Fialho as well as Alex’s interview of Buzz Bense about the collection he accumulated and a foreward by Dr. Carol Queen.

Please join us in producing this important volume of materials, both for the preservation of history and to communicate to the world more broadly the great power of the work so many did in desperate times. Your contribution is critical to our success. You will be rewarded at various levels with copies of the catalog, original posters (duplicates from the collection), CSC Library tote bags (it’s like we are PBS, no?), and even a personalized tour of the archive guided by our gallerist, Dorian Katz and CSC executive director Dr. Carol Queen.

CSC’s exhibition displaying nearly 100 of these safer sex posters from the Buzz Bense collection opens on November 8 at 7 pm, and runs through January 31st 2014.

- See more at: http://www.sexandculture.org/#sthash.W72ZWNqo.dpuf

CSC to publish Buzz Bense Safe Sex Poster Collection

SF AIDS Foundation

SF AIDS Foundation

Center for Sex and Culture’s Exhibition Catalog of Safer Sex Posters

The Center for Sex and Culture, located in San Francisco, is publishing an art exhibition catalog on our safer sex poster collection in conjunction with an exhibition displaying these posters at our gallery. The 2-month exhibition opens on November 8, 2013.

Buzz Bense, sex activist and graphic designer, donated over 150 unique posters to CSC last year. Bense has collected and produced safer-sex posters aimed at members of the LGBTQ community since the mid-1980s. Circulated at a time when the community was particularly hard-hit by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, these posters comprise a striking aesthetic collection of graphically innovative design that explicitly visualizes homosexuality, diverse LGBTQ communities and safer-sex activism.

SF AIDS Foundation

SF AIDS Foundation

Because of the cultural and historical significance of the posters, we are inspired to share these images and their story with people in the Bay Area and beyond. It is easy to forget details of recent history, especially when related to sexual history because it is less likely to be preserved. This project aims to preserve and share some of what might easily be lost. The book will contain over 20 color reproductions of posters, an introduction by CSC’s executive director, Dr. Carol Queen, and an essay by the New York based art historian and curator, Alex Fialho, and an interview between Buzz and Alex about the history of the collection. Alex has spent time in San Francisco and New York researching and interviewing the people who created these posters as activists, artists, community organizers, members of health organizations and independent graphics designers.

The collection consists of posters, primarily from San Francisco, but also encompasses other cities throughout the United States. It also includes international representations from Australia, Germany, Denmark, and Canada. This historical archive presents the visual means through which LGBTQ people passed on life saving information about safer-sex practices during the height of a health epidemic that continues to affect us today.

We are confident the exhibition and book will function as both an art historical survey of the importance of this collection of aesthetically beautiful and functionally informative posters as well as an educational endeavor engaging the LGBTQ community and beyond.

Brothers Network, SF

Brothers Network, SF

These posters do more than chart the tragedy of an epidemic, of an outsider community reeling from grief, loss, and the decimation of a blooming culture of sexual liberation. The history of these posters is a story of a fight against stigma, hatred and ignorance; of a community stepping up to take care of its own; of finding a way to extinguish fear and build pride and self-esteem; and of devoted efforts of committed activists to communicate a path to health and survival. -Buzz Bense

Please help FUND this worthy project – the inaugural book of CSC, and one we hope will be the first of many. Kickstarter campaign HERE.

Activist in Chains: Life and Death in Black and White

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From the exhibit Life and Death in Black and White. Photographers Jane Philomen Cleland, Patrick Clifton, Marc Geller, Rick Gerharter and Daniel Nicoletta picture AIDS activists and actions from the key years between 1985 – 1990. More on this exhibit here. See this small show concurrently with the long-running sampler of the museum’s collection: Our Vast Queer Past. above: April 7th, 1989, UN Plaza, San Francisco. Unidentified member of ACT UP/SF in chains protesting INS exclusion of tourists and potential immigrants with HIV/AIDS. Photo: Marc Geller.

GEAR UP! (New Gear Men host Old Leather in Cali’s Saratoga Springs)

Photo and Design: Gay Highwaymen 2011

Old Leather; New Gear. Same fucking twisted kinky throbbing bobbing dripping ass-kicking mind-bending challenging pervert stuff as always. Of course. Style changes but stiff pricks and throbbing balls always rise to the particular season’s occasion. It’s about what got us hot and hard when we were young, and what does it now. N’est pas? See-see bone! Leather? Kevlar? Rope? Metal? Crazy new materials fresh out of R/D labs? All the wonders of modern technology? Or go way old school: kidnap a willing victim to the woods for some paleo-punk action in private. Way past medieval. Lots of room to get lost. Or…show off under the spotlight. Or…or…or. Sure. Why not? If it gets you hard and he’s game, have at it! Do the hokey-pokey. Because that really is what it’s all about…

Gear Up! is a Mens weekend party/run happening this weekend at Saratoga Springs. (The Cali Stagecoach Stop not the NY Resort!) This is the run’s first year and it is “geared” towards the younger set, to the post AIDS-crisis generation of men who lost most of the Men who would have been their generational elders and mentors – had more survived. Thankfully, some did! So…it’s a mixer. As the GearUp guys say: “amid open playspaces and numerous educational workshops, GearUp brings together the open-minded beginner with the trustworthy player.” Sounds like a plan! For more information on GearUp click here. More on Saratoga Springs here. Plus…if you are at the run and want a cool opportunity for a little silence and solitude in the midst of so damned much hotness, check out the Nishikigoi (Koi) Pond, here. Oh, oh oh, ommmm….!

Colonialism as an excuse for Homophobia? India’s Health Minister calls being Gay a Western “Disease”

Mumbai Gay Rights Parade - Photograph: Sajjad Hussain/AFP/Getty Images

We hear this over and over and over again from our gay friends in and from countries and regions that were once under colonial occupation. Homosexuality is cast as a disease brought in by European conquerers, foisted upon an unsuspecting population that had never know of such evils before. Sort of like smallpox-infected blankets.

As a Ugandan pal (not named here – for his protection) pointed out, in the case of sub-Saharan Africa, this nefarious discourse has the effect of making being gay not only a crime, not only a sin, but worse, a sort of Pan-African treason, a wholesale capitulation to the white man and his evil ways. In Uganda, the Anglican Church (which IS a Western import!) is the main vehicle for this evil propaganda.

This thinking is in full effect in India, too. Ghulam Nabi Azad, India’s minister of Health, addressed a conference on HIV/AIDS in New Delhi on Monday, saying: “Unfortunately this disease has come to our country too … where a man has sex with another man, which is completely unnatural and should not happen but does.” For the article published by The Guardian UK, click here.

Hang Up Your Troubles! Meat Hook Ritual as Catharsis for HIV Diagnosis

Jorge Vieto in "Ritual"

Friend of this site Jorge Vieto is featured in the short film Ritual, directed by Jorg Fockele. He hangs suspended by hooks, his body swinging free in a ritual of body/spirit integration. Vieto is a well-respected young Leatherman, and a Fraternal member of The 15 Association. He uses extreme physical rituals in part to process the emotions evoked by a positive diagnosis. Vieto spoke with Scott Brogan of the Bay Area Reporter about the psychology of the scene here.

Filmed in the Dungeon at Mr.S, Ritual will screen in the afternoon at 1:15 pm at the Castro Theater in San Francisco, Friday June 24th, as a part of the film compilation entitled STILL AROUND from The HIV Story Project. Brought to you by Frameline and the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival.