Step Back: A Walking Tour of Queer Old North Beach
Saturday, June 21, 2014, 4:00, in front of City Lights Bookstore, 261 Columbus Ave, San Francisco


RADAR + City Lights Present

Step Back: A Walking Tour of Queer Old North Beach

with Nan Alamilla Boyd, Lil Miss Hot Mess, Kat Marie Yoas, Maryam Rostami, Mason J, Miss Rahni, Rhiannon Argo and Raquel Gutierrez

Hosted by Michelle Tea

Opening statements by Peter Maravelis, City Lights

From the 1940s through the 1960s, North Beach was San Francisco's premier queer neighborhood, boasting dozens of bars catering to gay men and lesbians, and featuring many spots that offers both female and male 'impersonators' in their cabarets. On June 21st join RADAR on a walking tour of the neighborhood, as professor and historian Nan Alamilla Boyd, author of Wide Open Town: A History of Queer San Francisco to 1965, gives us the scoop on queer nightlife of yore, hipping us to the secret histories of today's neighborhood businesses. As we learn about the queer origins of many of North Beach’s bars, the tour will enter the establishments for performances by Lil Miss Hot Mess, Kat Marie Yoas, Maryam Rostami, Mason J, Miss Rahni, Rhiannon Argo and Raquel Gutierrez, reclaiming queer space and saluting our ghosts.

Step Back begins at City Lights Books promptly at 4:00pm on Saturday June 21st. Give yourself extra time to find parking or take Muni into the neighborhood. This event is FREE.

Nan Alamilla Boyd (B.A., History, UC Berkeley; M.A. and Ph.D., American Civilization, Brown University) is Professor of Women and Gender Studies at San Francisco State University. She teaches courses in the history of sexuality, queer theory, historical methodology, and urban tourism. She has published reviews and articles in Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change, Journal of the History of Sexuality, Radical History Review, English Language Notes, Women’s Review of Books, Signs, Frontiers, Gender & Society, Denver University Law Review, and Radical Philosophy Review.  Her book, Wide Open Town: A History of Queer San Francisco to 1965(University of California Press, 2003), charts the rise of gay and lesbian politics in San Francisco and draws from the 45 oral histories she conducted as part of her research. Her second book,Bodies of Evidence, the Practice of Queer Oral HIstory (Oxford, 2012), co-edited with Horacio N. Roque Ramírez, pairs fourteen oral history excerpts alongside commentaries by oral historians.  Nan has also been a long-time volunteer at the GLBT Historical Society in San Francisco.  She founded the Historical Society’s oral history project in 1992, served as co-chair of the Archives Committee from 2004-2008, and served two terms on the Board of Directors.  She is currently at work on a third book project, a history of tourism in San Francisco that explores the neoliberal commodification of racialized and sexualized neighborhoods.

Rhiannon Argo is a writer and schooled librarian. She is the author of two works of literary fiction: the Lambda award-winning novel The Creamsickle and the YA-ish novel Girls I’ve Run Away With. Her stories and novels have inspired both short films and German translations. Argo has performed her work in a plethora of bars, colleges, feminist squats, bookstores, and libraries. She has criss-crossed North America and Europe with the Sister Spit Literary Performance Tours enough times to have once acquired a mild case of scurvy. She also tours with her own band of literary renegades, the Moon Babes. Argo has been both a Lambda Literary and Radar Lab Fellow and will be a 2014 Djerassi artist in residence. She is the founder of Moonshine Press, and co-founder of the Que(e)rySF, a collective that throws parties to raise funds for hidden queer library collections.

Since her debut in 2008, Lil Miss Hot Mess has been bedazzling San Francisco audiences with a unique blend of camp, choreography, and radical politics. Lil Miss’s aesthetic is rooted in thrift store couture and the tradition of camp that seeks to expose, question, and critique, honey.  She first got her feet wet as an original cast member of  Hogwarts Express: The Musical! (Neville Longbottom), a queer recasting of the Harry Potter tales.  She has since taken on numerous topics from the BP oil spill to the It Gets Better project,  and has repeatedly revealed what hot messes politicians like Dan White, Hillary Clinton, and Sarah Palin really are. In early 2010, she celebrated her "Bat Mitzvah x2″ with a party that that made all the Long Island princesses jealous and raised money for the US Social Forum.  By the end of the year, she was crowned San Francisco’s inaugural Tiara Sensation, having beat out eight other fierce queens with an electrifying presentation as a human menorah! She has performed at such, um, esteemed venues around San Francisco including Trannyshack, Charlie Horse, Homo A Go Go, Red Hots Burlesque, Werk Hard, Mary Go Round, Hard French, Rally The Troupes, Radar,  the Kentucky Fried Woman Show, the National Queer Arts Festival, SOME THING, the local RuPaul’s Drag Race tour, and many more.  She has also performed in New York and Los Angeles, and is looking to take her message to the masses in Europe this summer.

Kat Marie Yoas is a writer, comedic healer, candle maker and owner of Stevie Wicks Magic Candles, actor, magic sharer, performance and video artist and working class smart ass and sweet heart living in San Francisco. Her essays and stories have been published in anthologies, graphic comics and zines. She’s performed her stories and characters on stages, at colleges, bars, theaters and bookstores across the USA, Europe and the UK with her queer literary families, Sister Spit and the Moon Babes. Kat Marie is artist in residence at The Garage and creates one woman shows and sold out collaborative comedic adventures called "lady comedy" with Ben McCoy. She has had residences with the RADAR Lab in Akumal, Mexico and through AIRSpace. She is currently at work on her first novel about Michigan and the notions of home we battle and embrace, her next one woman show (A Lesbian’s Guide to Self Care) and a collaborative feminist comedic performance series. Kat Marie also is bringing her intuitive candle healing to galleries during the National Queer Arts Festival. Contact her for candles, pouring appointments, performance inquiries at <3

Maryam Farnaz Rostami is a San Francisco-based contemporary performance artist, director, and writer originally from Texas. She is the child of model minorities.  She uses lipsync, movement,narrative, dance and an exaggerated high femme medium to play, destroy and create. Maryam is a co-founder of the performance experiment Nicole Kidman is Fucking Gorgeous, which played winter 2013 at CounterPULSE, and her last evening length piece, PERSIAN LOOKING, played at CounterPULSE in the summer of 2012. She has played at ZSpace, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the De Young Museum, The Garage, The Stud, the Dana Street Theater, La Pena Theater, Root Division Gallery and Catherine Clarke Gallery.

Mason J. is an Artist, Activist, and recovering Asshole. Inspired by life as a SF Native, 2nd Gen Punk, and Trans Man of Color his work blends an unlikely pairing of tenderness and arrogant flippancy with influences that range from listening to "Wind Beneath My Wings" in the frozen food aisle to Tamuzi poetry. His musings on Gender, Pop Culture, Ableism, Race, and Fashion have been published in many a zine, all around the internet, and in print for Vice, Dude!, Veuxdo, and Bitch Magazines. He currently holds the title of Mr. Trans Man SF.

Miss Rahni is an entertainer who performs regularly at Aunt Charlies. She is the former Miss Northern California, and does her thing regularly throughout the Bay Area.

Raquel Gutiérrez is a writer, live performer, film actor, curator, playwright, and cultural organizer. She writes on art, culture, music, film, performance and community building and creates original solo and ensemble performance compositions. Raquel earned her MA in Performance Studies from New York University in 2004. She is an expert in creating artist-community partnerships for a range of institutional and community-based organizations. Raquel is a co-founding member of the retired performance ensemble, Butchlalis de Panochtitlan (BdP), a community-based and activist-minded group aimed at creating a visual vernacular around queer Latinidad in Los Angeles. Raquel also co-founded other Los Angeles-specific art projects: Tongues, A Project of VIVA and Epicentro Poetry project. Raquel has published work, most recently in The Portland Review and Ambientes: New Queer Latino Writing (edited by Lázaro Lima and Felice Picano). Currently, Raquel is working on a few essays about her favorite performance and visual artists and the state of art and community-building as well as a novel. She is the author of the poetry chapbook Breaking Up with Los Angeles.