Milk and honey
The year was 1974. Imagine a barely out of the closet, unruly haired 19-year-old, hippie-ish boy walking into his new neighborhood camera store to determine where he would process his super 8 film. On that first day at Castro Camera I was greeted by both owners Harvey and Scott, who were super gregarious. I distinctly remember leaving their camera store that day jazzed. Those guys were so nice, especially the one named Harvey. I had yet to learn the fine art of cruising, so Harvey’s attention landed quite curiously with me.
Over the next year both men continued to take a genuine interest in my work, and I ended up hanging out at their shop A LOT. So, a year later in 1975 when Harvey and Scott asked me to come work for them because Harvey was entering his second political campaign for City Supervisor, I was honored and elated. I had many crummy jobs up to that point, so to be asked to work in the epicenter of this exiting LGBT-centric neighborhood was a fantastic stroke of luck.
I worked as a store clerk at Castro Camera for three years, and on 3 of Harvey’s 4 political campaigns, documenting my newfound community and artistically exploring my emerging political and openly gay identity. I met many of other local filmmakers and photographers there, and the SFLGBT Film Festival and many other amazing experiences emanated from being in San Francisco during those heady times. For many of us new-comers it was not until Anita Bryant and company’s national anti-gay campaign (the new right) that we fully realized the gravity of the worldwide sea change that was rising up in our own back yard, and that it would be the fight of our lives.
The goal of co-creating community remains as strong today as it was back then,
and though the times are very different now, many of the rites of passage are still the same and it is my hope that our commitment to the LGBT civil rights movement is unwavering including attention to a making the world a better and safer place for all LGBT people and allies world-wide.