The 14th Street House in San Francisco, a fixture in the Mission since 1988, faces an uncertain future.
Known by some as the Faerie House, the pink Victorian mansion was purchased by members of the counter-culture group the Radical Faeries during the height of the AIDS epidemic.
“It was purchased as a place for gay men to gather and build individual and communal intimacy at a time when bathhouses and other spaces were closing due to the AIDS epidemic,” according to a press release from the house’s organizers. “Since then, this refuge has taken on a multifaceted meaning. Various leather, kink, sex-positive, yoga and pan-spiritual groups have hosted and participated in events that touched — even transformed — the lives of many people in San Francisco and the wider world.”
San Francisco activist Michael Petrelis writes on his blog that the house is important for the city’s gay cultural identity: “There is so little queer space not colonized by commercial interests or intrusive busybodies on the government payroll or receiving state grants, making this house extraordinarily necessary for the natural evolution and development of our communal norms and sexual healing arts.
The house is going on the market in January, but the 14th Street House Project is aligning with the San Francisco Community Land Trust to turn the mansion into a housing cooperative that would shelter 6-8 low- to moderate-income tenants. The group needs to raise $900,000 by the end of the year to make that happen;