Monday, May 25, 2009

NYT, Media Hunt for Castro Street Stories

on Eve of Gay Marriage Ruling

The streets of San Francisco are very low-key today, because of the Memorial Day holiday, and I rode my bike up to Castro Street, just to get a sense of the neighborhood, the day before the state Supreme Court rules on the validity of the passage of Prop 8. Have a look at my pics from this afternoon:

A sign was posted on the Diesel store facade at Harvey Milk Plaza, giving info about actions happening tomorrow. Notice that at 7 PM, the City Hall rally will turn into a march, headed toward Yerba Buena Gardens, located at Mission and 4th Streets. You may be wondering, as were a number of acquaintances I spoke with today, why will the march, likely to attract thousands, will not be going to the heart of the gayest neighborhood in the country.

March organizers decided to instead go to Yerba Buena Gardens because there is a Martin Luther King, Jr, Memorial, with a cascading waterfall that obscures photos from King's life, along with his most famous quotes for social justice. I believe their thinking was to show a link between gay marriage struggles of today, and King and the black community's fight for civil equality.

Noble intentions certainly, but my heart cries out for some action also to take place in the Castro. But who the hell am I to question my leaders and their gay marriage decisions? After all, mine a voice ignored before November 4 demanding LGBT be shown in No on 8 ad, so don't count on anyone listening to me, desperately desiring a vigil/protest/party/kiss-in/community speak out/whatever in my little gay part of the world, the Castro.

As I snapped some pics, this handsome man was photographing me, snapping away at the sign. He's Jim Wilson of the New York Times and his assignment was to get photos of San Francisco gays preparing for the court's decision. I wished him luck finding a true action shot for his paper's photo needs.

John Lewis, the white man holding a book, who is partnered to Stuart Gaffney, two gays who've sued for equal marriage rights, in the shade under the Castro Theatre's marquee. John had just been interviewed by a reporter from our local NBC affiliate. The station was also looking for gays in the Castro getting ready for the big day tomorrow.

KRON sent this two-fer, a reporter, who was also a camerawoman, to the Castro to get "LGBTs on the street" comments. After she interviewed me, she asked when the community would rally in the Castro tomorrow. Yes, she was surprised to learn there are no plans for an action in the Castro.

Some police barricades lining the sidewalk on 18th Street, alongside the LGBT Historical Society's storefront window for the the exhibit "Passionate Struggle." Maybe the police, despite the announced plans to stage all street actions tomorrow outside the Castro, are still expecting a crowd to descend upon the neighborhood. I sure hope we see a small gathering take place on Castro Street tomorrow.

No matter how the court rules on Tuesday morning, I'll be at Harvey Milk Plaza tomorrow night.

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