Wednesday, September 26, 2012
On a gloriously beautiful Indian Summer Saturday noontime, the Third Annual Nude-In occurred at the intersection of Market, Castro and 17th Streets.
One of the most central and well traveled of all the parklets that have sprung up on San Francisco streets over the last five years, there were fears that the tables and benches would be taken over by the homeless, but instead it was a group of "naturists," as they call themselves, who have made the small intersection their own.
This has involved mild controversy, fueled by District 8 Supervisor Scott Weiner, who seems to take the presence of the Naked Guys personally. He is joined in this feeling by plenty of his constituents who don't want to look at mostly middle-aged naked men on their way to the hardware store.
Who does want to see them, though, are the tourists. Every town and city now has its own gay ghetto so the Castro District is boring, but naked people sitting and standing around casually on a busy street in the middle of the day is not something they are going to be seeing in Peoria.
Plus, the Historic F Line Streetcars start in Fisherman's Wharf these days and end in the Castro, and none of the tourists are being warned that they are going to see a bunch of Nude Dudes at the end of their ride.
The San Francisco Visitors and Convention Bureau should be paying these guys, because the amazed, surprised reaction from the disembarking tourists is priceless.
Saturday's Third Annual Nude-In was a protest of sorts against the recent police harassment and proposed anti-nudist legislation from Weiner. A number of beautiful young people like the gentleman above showed up in naked support of the Nude Dudes, and so did a trio of women.
My friend Jay above had flown in from Long Island the evening before, and when I told him about the event, he was thrilled. He spent much of his career being a closeted gay who worked for a Republican town bureaucracy while simultaneously skinny dipping in the Atlantic Ocean his entire life. He stripped down immediately at Castro and Market at noon, and had a great time talking to everyone.