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Pride and Polaroids!


I wasn’t going to post again for a couple of weeks, but it’s Pride month, a celebration of all we are: GLBTQ, Kink, Leather.  Market Street San Francisco is lined in gay pride flags, I can almost hear the roar of the Dykes on Bykes!  It hasn’t always been like this, you know.

Last Saturday night I saw “Homo File” at Counterpulse and last night I was there with Dr. Carol Queen for a post-show panel discussion as part of the National Queer Arts Festival!

Seth Eisen directs this amazing multi-disciplinary performance about Samuel Steward, tattoo artist for the Hells Angels, friend to Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas and Alfred Kinsey. Fast paced, raw and reverent at the same time, “Homo File” will remind you that being queer and kinky pre-Stonewall wasn’t all fun and games, let alone safe, sane and consensual.

Even the homemade nature of the set pieces, pianos and props used on stage speak to the underground loneliness, and personal courage that pervades the whole piece.  

Seth and Cléo Opening Night!

Seth’s integration of song and dance, aerialist cabaret, a moment of intense kinky sex, clever puppetry is a metaphor for Steward’s life’s path, eventually becoming Alfred Kinsey’s unofficial collaborator.  Samuel Steward’s radical sexuality was illegal and yet he went for it.  From university professor to tattooing sailors in the 1950’s, Steward kept detailed records and polaroids of his sexual encounters, something Eisen uses so creatively in his Counterpulse production of  “Homo Files.”

You have GOT to see this performance running only through June 15. Click here for tickets!

I connected with the relentless way Steward pursued his sexual truth.  He however had no community, no society approval and risked jail time, over and over.  Without pioneers like him there would never have been the first leather contingent in 1984 during what we then called Gay Day. Was that really thirty years ago that walking as “out SM folks” on San Francisco’s Market street, we were met with disapproving silence?  Change in morality may be inevitable, but it sure takes a lot of work and its own time about it!  60 years from jail time to marriage equality…

Washington 93

This picture is from 1993, my second LGBT March on Washington, as we waited that  glorious autumn morning for our huge contingent to form.

One more word about Counterpulse, one of my favorite San Francisco theatre venues.  They will move to a building they bought on Turk at Taylor, right around the corner from the SF Citadel Community Center!  The area is growing….Eve Minax and I will be holding our next Dominatrix Training 3-Day Pro Intensive there August 15-17.  Keeping BDSM play erotic, connected and ethical is our work!

Love you to post your feedback if you go to see “Homo File!”!  Tell me what you really feel!

In kink with heart and leather pride,

Cléo Dubois

Don’t forget, I’ll be at the Victoria Theatre Sunday, June 22 at 9pm for Mike Skiff’s documentary, “Folsom Forever” part of San Francisco’s Frameline Film Festival.  Click here for tickets and more info  

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