Thursday, July 13, 2023 GLBT Historical Society Museum 4127 18th Street San Francisco, CA 941147:00 PM | General Reception 7:30 PM | Remarks by curator Julia RosenzweigTickets are $10.00 or free for members. Click here to reserve your ticket.
About the ExhibitionThe landscape of lesbian cartoons in the 1990s was small yet vibrant; full of passion, satire, self-deprecation, and deep-cutting political and social commentary. Publishing these cartoons in the early years of Curve magazine (which was named Deneuvemagazine between 1991-1995) was a natural fit, aligning with the pivotal lesbian publication’s cheeky voice and journalistic integrity, and enhancing both the aesthetics of the pages and its witty content. In the 1990s, these alternative artists had few platforms to publish their voices and their art. Curve magazine is proud to have been at the forefront of amplifying these marginalized voices and allowing them to further spread lesbian representation, culture, and humor.Artists showcased in this exhibit include Kris Kovick, Jennifer Camper, Hope Barrett, Rhonda Dicksion, Alison Bechdel, Cari Campbell, Andrea Natalie, Joan Hilty, Paige Braddock, Debby Earthdaughter, Diane DiMassa, Fish, Elizabeth Watasin, and Roberta Gregory.
Wednesday, June 14 6:00–9:00 p.m. PDT The Academy 2166 Market St. San Francisco $40 | Sliding Scale
Drag Story Hour comes to The Academy, in partnership with the GLBT Historical Society! This fabulous fundraiser and cocktail reception supports these two incredible organizations. Join us, and stand up to help protect LGBTQ+ rights, and our community’s shared history.
Complimentary donated appetizers will be available and cocktails, beer and wine will be available for sale (cash or card accepted). The Academy venue has an accessible entrance and restroom facilities.
Heron Arts, in collaboration with The LEATHER & LGBTQ Cultural District and Oasis Arts is pleased to announce the group exhibition Pride Pop-Up Show. The exhibition will be a salon style show featuring artwork by local LGBTQ+ artists and will be both a celebration of the beginning of Pride month, as well as a celebration of the cultural heritage of the LGBTQ+ community in the SoMa neighborhood where Heron Arts is located. The exhibition will be on view at Heron Arts from June 2nd until June 14th, 2023. The opening reception for Pride Pop-Up Show will feature drag performances presented by Oasis Arts with a DJ set by Trevor Sigler and is on Friday June 2nd, 2023, from 6-9 pm and is free and open to the public.
Adam Caldwell, Aleckzander Anthony, Alex Prestia, Diego Gomez, Dorian Katz, Elliott C Nathan, Favianna Rodriguez, Gloria Polo, J Manuel Carmona, Johnny Botts, Jonesy, Josh Katz, Justin Hall, Kegan Marling, Luke Andahazy, Phil Chanin (Glitter Moonbeam), Serge Gay Jr., and Tanya Wischerath.
The LEATHER & LGBTQ Cultural District
The LEATHER & LGBTQ Cultural District’s vision is to rejoice, commemorate, and protect the contributions of our predecessors, contemporaries, and successors rooted in the LEATHER & LGBTQ Cultural District and its diverse and marginalized peoples. United, we preserve, enhance, and advocate for the continuity and vitality of the Kinky and Queer communities of San Francisco’s LEATHER & LGBTQ Cultural District.
Oasis Arts supports artists through collaboration, development, and mentorship by providing tools, venue space, resources and equipment to enable LGBTQ and BIPOC artists to create innovative and diverse art. Partnering with Oasis Nightclub and leveraging the seven year history of the queer arts scene. Oasis Arts will elevate diversity and bring vibrant art to the community by embracing participation across generations, cultural backgrounds, and individual expressions. Oasis Arts is committed to uplifting the voices of the historically suppressed, disenfranchised, and forgotten LGBTQ and BIPOC community by providing a platform to present artistic expression. Oasis Arts, Inc. is a non-profit organization based in San Francisco, CA.
Anti-trans legislation is roiling the nation. Bills prohibiting drag performances are cropping up in statehouses. Violence and vitriol are turning children’s drag story hour events into headline-news protests.
San Francisco is fighting back Thursday by naming the nation’s first drag laureate, an ambassador-style position designed to represent the city’s famous LGBTQ community at a time when rights are under attack.
In a city known for its support of LGBTQ rights, San Francisco Mayor London Breed says it was a natural step to create a position that not only embraces drag culture but puts government resources toward it. D’Arcy Drollinger, a well-known drag performer and nightclub owner, will receive a $55,000 stipend in her 18-month role as the city’s inaugural drag laureate.
“My goals are to make San Francisco sparkle. I think drag performers bring a lot of sparkle and humor and glamor and silliness to the world. I think that is part of why drag is so successful,” Drollinger said, adding that she expects to be in drag for the entirety of her role. “I’m going to be in drag pretty much 24/7 for the next 18 months.”
She noted San Francisco’s drag community is already politically engaged and active.
“There’s a lot of power for the drag community in San Francisco,” she said. “I feel very honored to be able to take that one more step.”
West Hollywood is on the verge of appointing its own drag laureate later this month, though at a much lower salary and with limited engagements. In New York, where the Stonewall riots marked a major turning point in the fight for LGBTQ rights, a 2021 effort to create such a position has languished in a committee, reflecting the challenges of creating such jobs even in liberal cities.
In San Francisco, Drollinger will inaugurate the role three weeks before Pride Month begins. Her duties will span from producing and participating in drag events to serving as a spokesperson for San Francisco’s LGBTQ community to helping officials to ensuring the city’s drag history is “shared, honored and preserved.” The job posting sought someone who will “embody San Francisco’s historic, diverse and inclusive drag culture, elevating the entire community on the national and international stage.”
The city’s mayor called Drollinger a “bright star in San Francisco″ for her advocacy and elevation of the city’s drag community.
“Whether it’s through a tragedy or to celebrate an occasion, she really has been a leader in this community and supporter of so many others,” Breed told The Associated Press.
Drollinger said she felt both nervous and honored when she was told the job was hers, given the recent violence targeting drag performers, even in the Bay Area.
“I know that there are a lot of anti-drag folks out there, and they are very loud, right? But I also don’t want to live my life under the shadow of fear. I don’t want to have intimidation stop me from growing,” she said. “So, yes, I am a little nervous. But I got a lot of fabulous people and fabulousness behind me.”
Members of the Proud Boys sparked a hate crimes investigation when they protested and shouted slurs outside a Bay Area library hosting Drag Story Hour, where drag queens read to kids, last June. In Oregon last year, demonstrators — some of them armed — threw rocks and smoke grenades at each other outside a drag event.
In November, a shooter at a Colorado Springs nightclub turned a drag queen’s birthday party into a massacre, killing five people and injuring 17 more. The suspect was charged with hate crimes and murder.
The American Civil Liberties Union is tracking 474 anti-LGBTQ pieces of legislation in the U.S., including Tennessee’s first-in-the-nation law that essentially bans drag from public property or in the presence of minors. A federal judge temporarily blocked the measure hours before it was set to go into effect in late March.
Jonathan Hamilt, executive director of Drag Story Hour, a global nonprofit event network that began in San Francisco in 2015, said he hopes other cities across the country will enact their own drag laureate programs.
“It’s just having that visibility and having that personal human connection — having that social story of someone from your community that looks like you or someone that you see or interact with on a regular basis,” Hamilt said.
New York City Councilmember Kristin Richardson Johnson plans to keep pushing for a drag laureate in her city if the position doesn’t win support this year. Jack McClatchy, the elected official’s legislative and budget director, couldn’t give a specific reason for why the effort has stalled, only noting that it’s one of more than 1,000 bills before the council.
West Hollywood, which was founded in part by LGBTQ activists in 1984, is expected to name its drag laurate in the coming weeks after a 2021 attempt failed over a pay dispute. Officials originally advertised the position with a $5,000 stipend, nearly double what the city’s poet laureate gets. Pushback prompted the council to raise it to $15,000 annually for the two-year term that begins July 16 — International Drag Day.
Drollinger owns the Oasis nightclub, which hosted “Meals on Heels” after the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown, where drag performers brought food, cocktails and socially distant lip-synching performances to home-bound customers.
“I hope that the drag laureate position telegraphs to the rest of the country that drag is not something to be scared of,” Drollinger said. “Drag is something to celebrate.”
Mark your calendars for the SF Pride 2023 Kick Off, “A Night of Queer Entertainment,” taking place at the legendary Castro Theatre on Friday, June 2nd at 7pm. Prepare to be enthralled by an evening of dazzling queer entertainment, featuring excerpts from the powerful play “Compton Cafeteria Riots,” captivating movie shorts “Mrs. Vera’s Daybook” and “The Girl from 7th Avenue,” and the extraordinary vocal talents of Tori Teasley.
This year our pride celebration is more crucial than ever. On June 25th, as we march down Market St., let us reaffirm our commitment to San Francisco’s role as a beacon of hope for our nation and the world. In this city, we embrace the freedom to be ourselves and love whomever we choose. Join us in ensuring that SF Pride carries on the profound work of the past 53 years; educating the world, commemorating our heritage, celebrating our culture, and liberating our people. The resilience of SF Pride shone brightly in 2022, as we hosted our first in-person event since 2019. Although the pandemic has severely impacted our revenue, necessitating the replenishment of our reserves and the adoption of new strategies to sustain the Parade and Celebration, we are thrilled to bring you a memorable pride season.
SF Pride is funded entirely by donations, and every ounce of your support matters. Click here to help us further our mission and get your ticket for our kick-off soiree on Eventbrite! We eagerly anticipate your presence at this remarkable event, as we come together to celebrate our community’s resilience, diversity, and collective spirit. Suzanne Ford (she/her) Executive Director SF Pride
About San Francisco PrideThe San Francisco Pride Celebration Committee is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded to produce the San Francisco Pride Celebration and Parade. The mission of the organization is to educate the world on LGBTQ+ issues, as well as to commemorate the heritage, celebrate the culture, and liberate the people of all LGBTQ+ communities. As a world leader in the Pride movement, San Francisco Pride is also a grant-giving organization through its Community Partners Program. Since 1997, San Francisco Pride has granted more than $3 million in proceeds to local nonprofit LGBTQ+ organizations as well as to organizations working on issues related to HIV/AIDS, cancer, homelessness, housing rights, and animal welfare.
Ninety years ago this month, the Nazis staged their first book-burning in Berlin. The gathering on May 10, 1933, saw hundreds of supporters of the regime march into a square in front of the 18th-century building housing the city’s first public library and across the street from one of Germany’s leading universities. The crowd threw cartloads of books onto a huge bonfire, the flames lighting the night sky as Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels gave a speech attacking Jewish and “un-German” authors.
Many of us learned about this grim event in high-school history classes, where it’s often portrayed as an example of the danger to freedom of expression posed by totalitarian dictators. But a crucial aspect of the story has disappeared in the retelling, even though it was highlighted by the book-burners themselves and was covered in news reports at the time: A major portion of the works consigned to the flames had been seized a few days before on May 6 from Berlin’s celebrated Institute for Sexual Science.
Founded in 1919 by homosexual and transgender emancipation pioneer Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld (1868–1935), the institute was home to the first museum, library and archives anywhere in the world to give a prominent place to the history and culture of homosexual, transgender and intersex people. During the Weimar Republic, the establishment drew wide media attention, gaining visibility as a provider of medical and psychosocial services and as a destination for researchers, curious locals and international tourists.
Ties to San Francisco
Hirschfeld’s fame even gave him ties to San Francisco. In 1928, lesbian poet and San Francisco resident Elsa Gidlow (1898–1986) joined Hirschfeld for lunch at the Institute for Sexual Science — a sign of how far the reputation of the organization had spread. Three years later, Hirschfeld himself visited the city as part of an international speaking tour. In the first line of his book Men and Women: The World Journey of a Sexologist (1933), he recalls the “fabulously beautiful harbor of San Francisco.”
Decades later, we can trace connections from the Institute for Sexual Science to the GLBT Historical Society. As a founding member of the society, I recall that the organizers in 1985 were well aware of the destruction of Hirschfeld’s library and archives. Those of us with a passion for the LGBTQ past had learned about the largely forgotten event though the work of groundbreaking historian James Steakley and the book The Early Homosexual Rights Movement (1974) by John Lauritsen and David Thorstad.
That knowledge was one of the inspirations for founding the Historical Society: We sought to repair the devastating loss to LGBTQ history caused by the suppression of Hirschfeld’s institute. We shared this task with the broad movement to establish queer and trans archives which had emerged in Australia, Europe and North American in the early 1970s. By forming community collections in numerous places, we were committed to making it impossible for any single regime to again annihilate the records of our past.
Belonging in Time
Those records are precious for helping us encounter the ancestors of people we now call lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender-nonconforming. By learning how they understood themselves and created cultures in the past, we expand our foundations for building a more welcoming future for the full diversity of members of our community. Our archives also help us find links that give us a sense of belonging in time. The story of Elsa Gidlow is just one example: We know about her visit to Hirschfeld because she recounts that afternoon in Berlin in her journals preserved in the Historical Society’s own collections.
In the present era when parts of the United States are employing state power to attack LGBTQ visibility and especially to persecute transgender people, the sacking of Hirschfeld’s institute offers a reminder: Those who sought to exclude us from society then and who seek to do so now recognize the power we find in our own history. That’s why the work of LGBTQ museums and archives is invaluable. That’s why I’ve remained active with the GLBT Historical Society for 38 years now. That’s why I cherish the support so many provide to ensure our organization thrives. Nine decades after that dark month of May 1933, I think Hirschfeld would be proud of us.
Earlier this year, Rainbow Railroad announced its participation in Welcome Corps – a pilot program from the US Department of State to bring LGBTQI+ people to safety in communities across the country.
We have an ambitious goal to bring 50 LGBTQI+ refugees to safety in the USA in 2023 – including 20 into the Bay Area – and we need your support.We’re excited to share more about this program with our community at an in-person supporter information session taking place on May 16 at the SF LGBT Center. At this session, you will learn more about the program and how you can participate in getting LGBTQI+ people to safety.Please RSVP to attend this session, hosted by Rainbow Railroad CEO Dr. Kimahli Powell, by clicking here. Food and refreshments will be provided.
Welcome Corps: Bay Area Info Session The SF LGBT Center May 16, 2023 at 6:30 pm If you are unable to attend the info session, we are also excited to announce that volunteer applications are officially open to get involved with the Welcome Corps program! We hope you will consider applying to volunteer, and circulating this link to your community.
If you’re looking for more information on the program or reception, please contact us by replying to this email – but we look forward to answering any questions you might have about this program, its impact, and how your support will be crucial in getting it off the ground at this upcoming in-person event.
Mission Local is informed that the San Francisco Police Department early this morning made an arrest in the April 4 killing of tech executive Bob Lee, following an operation undertaken outside the city’s borders. The alleged killer also works in tech and is a man Lee purportedly knew.
We are told that police today were dispatched to Emeryville with a warrant to arrest a man named Nima Momeni. The name and Emeryville address SFPD officers traveled to correspond with this man, the owner of a company called Expand IT.
Multiple police sources have described the predawn knifing last week, which left the 43-year-old Lee dead in a deserted section of downtown San Francisco, as neither a robbery attempt nor a random attack.
Rather, Lee and Momeni were portrayed by police as being familiar with one another. In the wee hours of April 4, they were purportedly driving together through downtown San Francisco in a car registered to the suspect.
Some manner of confrontation allegedly commenced while both men were in the vehicle, and potentially continued after Lee exited the car. Police allege that Momeni stabbed Lee multiple times with a knife that was recovered not far from the spot on the 300 block of Main Street to which officers initially responded.
This scenario would explain, in part, why Lee was walking through a portion of Main Street in which there is little to no foot traffic at 2:30 a.m. That was one of several incongruous circumstances surrounding Lee’s violent death, which law-enforcement sources, from the get-go felt made it far from a straightforward or random crime.
Nevertheless, some of Lee’s fellow tech luminaries and a chorus of other influential voices portrayed this killing as part and parcel of a city awash in violent crime and on a descent into further chaos. While Lee is one of a dozen homicide victims in San Francisco this year, his is the only killing that has garnered national coverage — or, in most cases, even cursory local coverage.
San Francisco’s other homicide victims in 2023 are Gavin Boston, 40; Irving Sanchez-Morales, 28; Carlos Romero Flores, 29; Maxwell Maltzman, 18; Demario Lockett, 44; Maxwell Mason, 29; Humberto Avila, 46; Gregory McFarland Jr, 36; Kareem Sims, 43; Debra Lynn Hord, 57; and Jermaine Reeves, 52.
San Francisco is home to much in the way of visible public misery, unnerving street behavior and overt drug use. Its property crime rate has long been high, and the police clearance rate for property crimes has long been minimal. But the city’s violent crime rate is at a near-historic low, and is lower than most mid-to-large-sized cities.
Today’s arrest would appear to undermine the premise that Lee’s violent death was due to street conditions in San Francisco. If the police do have their man, this was not a robbery gone bad nor a motiveless assault by some random attacker, but an alleged grievance between men who knew one another, which the suspect purportedly escalated into a lethal conflict.
Lee’s death, however, was packaged in the media and on social media into a highlight reel of recent San Francisco misfortunes and crimes: large groups of young people brawling at Stonestown; the abrupt closure of the mid-market Whole Foods, leaving San Franciscans just eight other Whole Foods within city limits; the severe beating of former fire commissioner Don Carmignani in the Marina District, allegedly by belligerent homeless people — it all adds up to a feeling of a city coming undone.
This manner of coverage, however, does not capture the actual lived experience of the vast majority of San Franciscans. It also omits potentially mitigating details of the individual events. Carmignani, for instance, was brutally struck in the head with a metal rod and hospitalized. But the lawyer for his alleged attacker claims that the former fire commissioner first pepper-sprayed the homeless man accused of beating him — which certainly would color this incident.
Of note, police sources say that a series of homeless people had previously been pepper-sprayed in the Marina District prior to this instance.
The arrest in the Lee case is a breaking story. We will update or follow this article as soon as possible.
Stefan Grygelko, better known as his drag persona Heklina, has died, his longtime friend Joshua Grannell (Peaches Christ) wrote on Facebook April 3.
The two were in London where they were appearing in the “Mommie Queerest” show there, Grannell wrote, adding that he had gone to pick up Heklina that day.
“I do not know the cause of death yet,” Grannell wrote. “I know this is shocking news and I am beyond stunned, but I wanted to let folks know what has happened. Heklina is not just my best friend, but a beloved icon of our community.”
The news shocked and saddened his friends back in San Francisco, with fellow drag queen Sister Roma writing on their Twitter account that she was “absolutely devastated” to learn of the passing of his friend and collaborator for two-plus decades.
“She is one of the funniest people I’ve ever known. This is a nightmare,” wrote Roma, a member of the drag philanthropy group the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, in a tweet.
Oasis, the LGBTQ nightclub in which Heklina was once a part-owner, expressed its sadness and said it would open at 4 p.m. Monday.
“We are shocked and devastated to learn of the passing of Heklina today,” the club wrote. “Oasis will be open at 4 p.m. for drinks, stories, and community, if you’d like to come by. Sending love to all.”
Gay former state assemblymember Tom Ammiano told the B.A.R. he will miss the drag artist.
“A true professional [and] with drag under attack her passing is especially wounding,” wrote Ammiano, who also served on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and school board. “As an aside, she bartended at events for folks with special needs at the Oasis [and] as a former special education teacher, I loved her for that.”
As Heklina, Grygelko was known for founding the old Trannyshack drag show in 1996 at the old Stud bar. (The name of the show was later changed to “Mother.”)
At the start of each Trannyshack, San Francisco’s outlandish, no-holds-barred Tuesday night drag show, a snippet of the old “Muppet Show” theme music warned “it’s a kind of torture, to have to watch the show,” as the Bay Area Reporter reported in 2008.
The joke belied the fact that the performances were more than just boys in dresses lip-synching to pop ballads or camp classics. The weekly shenanigans often masked what in reality was a uniquely queer riff on the political, social, racial, and gender controversies of the day.
Heklina invited not just drag queens — many of whom went on to become stars in their own right — but also female performers, known as faux queens, and drag kings to share her stage. By doing so, Heklina threw out the rulebook on what it meant to be a drag performer.
Adriana Roberts, a trans woman and an early Trannyshack performer, penned a tribute on Facebook.
“She was a Master Class in successful Nightlife Production: wrangling order from chaos, managing a stage, managing a crowd, putting down hecklers, assembling trusted crews, booking budding queens, promoting events, following one’s heart — but also always being aware of what actually sells,” Roberts wrote. “And she did it all with snark, wit, and balance for over 25 years.”
Roberts, a former production designer at the B.A.R., wrote, “Coming from a punk rock ethos, she created a space that welcomed performers from across the gender spectrum, at a time when drag was VERY codified into TIRED (her words) tropes of men in sequined gowns doing diva lip-syncs. None of us realized it at the time, but she helped revolutionize the concept of what drag could be, breaking its mold years before the rest of the world caught on.”
As the B.A.R. noted in a March 2022 article, since the early 1990s, Heklina had been a mainstay in Bay Area queer nightlife. From the first irreverent drag nights at The Stud, to Trannyshack’s expansion at DNA Lounge that included annual contests, Heklina has often hosted the most prominent drag and nightlife events which included her own numbers.
In 2015, along with D’Arcy Drollinger and other investors, Heklina opened Oasis in South of Market; the same building that once housed the original Oasis. The new nightclub has become popular for not only drag shows and DJed dance nights, but comic plays and musicals, cabaret concerts and community fundraisers. Heklina later sold her share of Oasis ownership and moved to Palm Springs, while still keeping a foothold in the Bay Area’s nightlife scene.
And, of course, Heklina was known for her deadpan line delivery as Dorothy (Bea Arthur’s character) in stage productions of episodes of the classic sitcom “The Golden Girls.” The long-running show became an annual holiday tradition in San Francisco.
State Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) issued the following statement Monday afternoon:
“I am absolutely devastated. Heklina was an icon in the truest sense — funny, caring, outrageous, and brave. I first saw Heklina perform when I was a young gay man in the 1990s, new to San Francisco. Over the years, I got to know her and helped her find a space for Oasis. I’ve rarely worked with someone as fierce, creative, and dedicated.
“Heklina created events and community spaces that spun glitter and giant wigs and raucous jokes into a feeling of home. She was fiercely outspoken and always stood up for her friends and community. She was the soul of San Francisco, and it’s hard to imagine the city without her.
“Heklina was also a staunch defender of drag — which is under extreme attack right now — and created opportunities for young drag queens to find their space. While we grieve, we must honor her memory by remembering the joy she brought us and the importance of the art form to which she dedicated her life.”
Nguyen Pham, Board President of San Francisco Pride said in an emailed statement:
“Personally, I’ve been honored and grateful to have engaged with Heklina directly, as well as attended her spectacularly memorable productions, numerous times over the years. I know that her unique brand of radically inclusive drag art has evoked so much pure joy from countless community members and allies for many generations. She was unstoppable and a master without parallel.”
The Erotic Service Provider Legal Education and Research Project (ESPLERP) joins with the Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club in calling foul on the San Francisco Police Department’s (SFPD) ramping up of prostitution stings – they call it “enforcement operations” and “prostitution abatement” – in the Mission district Capp Street corridor. There is ample evidence that police crackdowns on sex work do not reduce the incidence of prostitution, but instead simply displace it to more dangerous and hidden locations. As a result, there is increased violence against sex workers, as well as harm to the broader community.
“Police enforcement doesn’t work when it comes to sex work between consenting adults” said Jeffrey Kwong, President of the Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club. “We need community-led solutions that center the voices and experiences of sex workers and other marginalized communities. By engaging in dialogue and collaboration with sex workers and their allies, we can develop policies and programs that prioritize the health, safety, and human rights of all individuals involved in the sex industry.” “The SFPD press release is misleading and full of derogatory language”, said Maxine Doogan, a current sex worker. “They refer to clients as “Johns” – a slang term that is sexist and derogatory. They claim they are combating trafficking – but so far have only issued citations and arrests for consensual sex work and traffic violations. This operation might make SFPD numbers look good. But having a misdemeanor arrest for prostitution can seriously impact your housing, your work, and even lead to deportation.”
ESPLERP’s recent report, “How The War On Sex Work Is Stripping Your Privacy Rights” (https://esplerp.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/Consumer-Privacy-Final.pdf) showed that law enforcement is routinely gathering data (from license readers, pole cameras, cellphones, social media) about sex workers, their clients, and individuals who just happen to be in the vicinity (such as residents and passers-by) to build vast unregulated databases. “We know the police use technology to target sex workers and our clients”, said Claire Alwyne of ESPLERP. “They won’t admit it, but you can bet they are indiscriminately collecting data at Capp Street. But there is no way of knowing what data they collect during these prostitution stings, until you are denied housing or employment, or you’re stopped, searched and questioned at customs when you’re traveling home from overseas.” Sex workers demand decriminalization!