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    Wednesday, September 27, 2006

    Folsom Street Fair @ Folsom St., 9-24-06

    Mothers, hide your children. In fact, hide your children, your grandchildren, your grandparents and anyone who has ever considered voting for a Republican on any ballot in their lifetime. Because the Folsom Street Fair is back in town. After some deliberation, I decided to go, figuring this was yet another side of the San Francisco spectrum I should experience. I was expecting a celebration of all kinds of alternative sexuality, but as my friend Colin and I soon ascertained, it was mostly more limited in its focus.

    Walking up to the gate, we were met with a mime troupe with white-painted faces and body-hugging black outfits. They were climbing a lamppost and throwing down postcards advertising their event. That was about as tame as it got all day. Once we walked into the event proper, all sense of limitations evaporated. At the first turn, people were being chained and spanked, their shorts bunched at their ankles. A few feet later, a man was being gagged and elaborately tied up with bungee cords.

    And the further up Folsom we went, the gayer it became. Leather daddies, bears and seven-foot-tall drag queens were everywhere. Shriveled up seniors paraded along wearing nothing but leery grins and nipple rings. Giant airbrushed ads for graphic pornos flapped in the wind. Full-on sex acts were occurring in plain view of anyone who cared to watch. And despite some of my pictures, women were about as remote as the prospect of the missionary position.

    The streets soon felt like a gauntlet, testing your tolerance with every increasingly outrageous sight. Colin and I reached the end of the fair, fairly dazed and disturbed. “I guess I’m glad a space like that exists for people,” I said, “but some of those things…” “Yeah,” he concurred. “I really didn’t need to see some of those things.” We walked back to his car as the naked and the leather-clad continued to arrive. Tomorrow, these people would mostly be back in their offices, back to their ordinary lives. But for one strange day in September, they came out to rule the street.

    * MP3: "Get Ur Freak On" (Drum 'N Bass Remix) - Missy Elliott [Buy other Missy Elliott]
    * MP3: "Folsom Prison Blues" - Johnny Cash from The Sun Years [Buy it]
    * Event Website: Folsom Street Fair

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