Reflecting back 10 years I found an assortment of photos that really depict The Castro. The photos speak for themselves: some from Folsom St, Dore Alley, Pink Saturday, The Twin Peaks and various street shots.
“The pictures exhibited by Ron Williams were so unique and definitely not something that you see everyday. In his picture you could see how full of life these men and women were and how confident they were in themselves, something many of us strive for. It was beautiful to see picture full of smiles, colors, and confidence especially when these men and women face so much prejudice and discrimination based on societies narrow definition of normal. The makeup and the clothing were so extravagant and colorful that it automatically made you happy and made you question your own wardrobe, haha. I think there’s truly something to be said about being so unapologetically yourself and knowing whom you are and being comfortable with that. And I appreciate the photographers quote-
“Whether it’s masculine or feminine, I believe people passionate about their gender expression, in radical and creative ways, are the bravest of souls”.
Gender expression is an important part of our lives and to see someone basically flipping society on it’s head and saying screw it, I’ll do what I want is really inspiring and hopefully will be influential in loosening the boundaries we put on men and women to conform to the rules of gender. My favorite picture was a close up on a male in drag and the little smirk and fierceness in his eyes emitted so much confidence that for a few seconds I felt encouraged and confident myself. Drag queens could really teach society a thing or two about confidence and self-expression in a time where self acceptance is a rare virtue and many men and women feel pressure to look like one another. It makes me happy to know that we are no longer in a time where a school is sued for an exhibit like this one and where we are educating people about LGBT culture and the impact it has had on our society that we often will ignore.
A look back to the 1997 Castro St Fair. Things were much different then, these 35mm photos show some of the culture that has disappeared as time marches on.
Here are a few photos from the Castro Street Fair, scanned from film, I believe there may be a few images mixed in from Easter earlier that year. The negs and slides were all mixed up, any comments or additional information always appreciated.
On a daily basis the Twin Peaks had its regulars that showed like clock work during cocktail hour, every day of the week, it was a big family, in a one big living room. Groups of friends from the “Peaks” would host dinners, parities at their homes and local restaurants in The Castro. I’ve included photos from some of those events outside the Twin Peaks.
Liz the cocktail waitress was like our mother, she would joke, giggle and kid around with everyone, I think she has a much fun as we did. Liz had an amazing personality with so much energy, she handled the crowded bar providing drinks to all the packed tables, she knew everyones name and what they drank, she was a professional. Please click on the photo for the 2005 gallery. Enjoy!
Castro Street from 2004, photos from the street and inside Twin Peaks Bar.