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Scenes from Project Nunway


All too often I whine and moan about how San Francisco has lost its weird. Thinking back to when I moved here 22 years ago, I remember being astonished that, having felt like an outsider my entire life, I had arrived in a city where I could not possibly be different enough to even begin to stand out. Lately it’s felt like a homogenous smear of tech buses and young white entrepreneurs, baby carriages and golden retrievers. Even our naked people got fig-leafed

But then I actually bother to look, and am reminded that we have drag cabaret and a transgender film festival and Burning Man and Day of the Dead and myriad and sundry popups of food and art and literature and theater. It’s still there, but 22 years ago there wasn’t the howling beast of a booming tech economy to drown it out.

One of the great anchors of San Francisco’s counterculture is the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. Since 1979, the Sisters have employed a high-camp combination of extreme drag and religious imagery, donning habits and painted in exaggerated, neo-Kabuki style. With a mission “to promulgate universal joy and to expiate stigmatic guilt” they have been tireless activists in the city, raising funds for worthy causes and promoting community wellness and safety. 

Sister Vicious

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Pride and joy

In 2000, just a few months after I began working at PlanetOut, the entire company flew to Washington, D.C., for the Millennium March on Washington. With as many as one million in attendance, the hope was that this march would…

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Remembering Harvey Milk

On this day 34 years ago, recently resigned supervisor Dan White entered City Hall -- not through the main entrance, but through an open window. He did this deliberately, to avoid security. He was armed. A very disturbed White strode…

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The Maine Thing

(Image courtesy Anita Crotty/Married... with Dinner) Last year, DPaul and I got married, because we could. In the September after the state supreme court struck Prop 22, we became one of some 18,000 same-sex couples to be legally wed. It…

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No on Prop 8


I am not a particularly political person, and have never before used this blog as a platform from which to expound my views on matters other than hedonistic ones, but let's just say this issue is a teensy bit important to me. You see, thanks to recent changes in California law, I was finally able to marry my fiancé of 15 years, and that was a very good thing indeed. Literally dozens of our coupled friends have done the same in the past few weeks. And gee, it would be great if others could continue doing so after November 4.

Proposition 8 is a particularly hateful ballot initiative that would amend the California constitution to eliminate the now-given right for same-sex couples to marry. That's right. A constitutional amendment to discriminate against a specific segment of the population. Fun!

Of course the fundies are all over this shit, whining and moaning to "protect traditional marriage," whatever that means. Cuz you know, upstanding citizens like Britney Spears and Elizabeth Taylor and John McCain have unimpeachable records when it comes to marriage. Heck, even my father, heaven rest his soul, married four times. I'm pretty sure this falls outside the parameters of "traditional," but somehow the Mormons didn't get their panties in a twist about it. 

No, this is different, because the Bible, which was obviously written by God himself on the universe's first IBM Selectric, supposedly had a few things to say about homosexuality. Sure, those same words have been mutated through a few millennia of translation across multiple languages, but whatev. 

A favorite supporting verse in Leviticus says "men shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind, that's an abomination." So, by that logic, we should amend the constitution only to ban marriage between men; lesbian marriages are perfectly OK according to the bible. Look it up! And anyway, if they want men to stop having sex with each other, shouldn't marriage be the solution?

Pro-8 ads have also been pulling the old pearl-clutching "Won't someone think of the children???" trope, saying that schools will be teaching grade-schoolers about gay marriage. Aside from the fact that, according to the State Superintendent of Schools, that's a lie, here's what I think: Good! Teach children the virtues of equality. This is about human rights, not sexuality.

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Gayest. Christmas tree. Ever.

So it seems that you, my beloved readers, really, really want to know that I’m gay, and that discussing my sexuality will make this a better blog — a better food blog, no less. Well, I’ve never made any secret of that fact here, but I’ve always believed in transparency and full disclosure. As such, I offer the following.

The Peacock Tree.

We purchased it from Gump’s, so you already know we’re on a slippery slope here. It’s a 5-foot-tall artificial tree sporting, in lieu of needles, 1"-diameter mylar sequins. Predominantly teal, they have variations in color, leaning bluer or greener and occasionally even flashing yellow-orange.


PeacocktreeYes, I know, it looks like Cher molted all over it. But, because this is such an exceptional food blog, we simply had to gay it up even more. First of all, 5′ is not a particularly fabulous height (trust me, I know whereof I speak), so we had to jack it up a bit. To create the illusion of virgin snow, DPaul swathed the tree’s milk carton pedestal with no fewer than three white boas, nestling in precious little red brocade boxes to complete the holiday illusion.

OK, almost there. But how could we gay this up just a skosh more? I know! Let’s put it in front of a teal, spangled drapery panel and a chair with matching pillows, and a David Hockney poster of West Hollywood! Yeah, that’ll do it. Now that’s making the yuletide gay.

But lest you  think we could contain our fabulousness to just one corner of the house, read on.

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