Tag Archives: Folsom Street Fair

GAY HISTORY – September 23, 1984: The First Folsom Street Fair Takes Place in San Francisco

San Francisco has always had a large gay leather community.  By the late 1970’s, they had created ‘Miracle Mile’, a stretch of Folsom street that featured over 30 gay leather bars and bathhouses.  But Miracle Mile as it was called. was a bothersome eyesore to City Hall, but the leather community defended their sanctuary and fought back against City Hall’s ambitious redevelopment program for the South of Market development already underway on Rincon Hill.

In the early 1980’s as HIV and AIDS tore through San Francisco severely weakening the leather community. City Hall took this opportunity to push through a series of redevelopment plans that together with AIDS, spelled the end of Miracle Mile as a leather sanctuary.

But in 1984 a coalition of leather community organizers and hosing advocates got together and decided to start a street fair. The fair would enhance the visibility of the leather community, provide a means for much-needed fundraising, and create opportunities for members of the leather community to connect to services and vital information that the bathhouses and bars might otherwise have been situated to distribute.

And thus the Folsom Street Fair was born.

Now the Folsom Street Fair after 35 years has become California’s third-largest single-day, outdoor spectator event attracting a whopping 400,000 slaves, masters, mummies, ponies, puppies, pigs, nudists, fairies, boot boys, jocks and people-with-such-crazy-sexual-interests-that-there-are-no-noun-for-them-yet, all crammed into 13 overcrowded street blocks of fun. It has also grown as a non-profit charity, with local and national non-profits benefiting from the proceeds from numerous fundraising booths within the festival including games, beverage and even spanking booths. (And a helluva lot more that is definitely NSWF).

Similar events also take place in Canada and Germany.   And in San Francisco FSF also manage “Up Your Alley”  street fair and special events like the “Folsom Street Fair Formal Leather Gala”

Folsom Street Fair Trivia:  The first Folsom Street Fair date was chosen to coincide with the autumnal equinox which it did through 1992.  Thereafter the Fair became more associated with one of the last two Sunday in September. 

*Photo: Gene Dermody and Carl Martin at the 1984 Folsom St. Fair. Carl served in the U.S. Air Force in the 1970’s with gay activist Leonard Matlovich.

Image result for Folsom Street Fair 1984

Image result for Folsom Street Fair 1984

Image result for Folsom Street Fair archive

Image result for Folsom Street Fair archive

Image result for Folsom Street Fair archive

Image result for Folsom Street Fair archive

Facebook Censors San Francisco’s GLBT Historical Society Over Folsom Street Fair Ad

On Friday, Facebook rejected  an ad (pictured above) from the GLBT Historical Society seeking volunteers for the Folsom Street Fair (FSF) held in September, that caps San Francisco’s “Leather Pride Week “as being too “graphic”

The GLBT Historical Society 

Censored by Facebook: When we tried to purchase a Facebook ad today soliciting volunteers for the Folsom Street Fair, we were rejected outright. We’re posting the graphic here so our supporters can see it for themselves.

According to the automated reply from Facebook, we can’t use this image for advertising because it features “excessive amounts of skin or suggestive content. Facebook does not allow images that depict people in explicit or suggestive positions, or images that show nudity or cleavage….”

Our executive director, Terry Beswick, responded by submitting an appeal with the following comment: “This is an ad for a world famous street fair and charity event. There is no sex in this ad. Blocking this ad is absurd and discriminatory. Are we living in the 1800s?”

How can you help us overcome this suppression of our queer-positive, kink-friendly and perfectly appropriate ad? By sharing it as widely as possible — and by encouraging your Bay Area friends to volunteer for the Folsom Street Fair and designate The GLBT Historical Society as their charity. Here’s where to sign up:


This is not the first time Facebook has blindly censored innocuous LGBT content.

Since its inception the Folsom Street Fair has raised and donated over 6 million dollars to charities.  The Folsom Street Fair organization also now donates three times as much to LGBT charities than SF Gay Pride does.

Read the history of The Folsom Street Fair HERE 


Hate Crime Attack Happens Against Two Gay Men Visiting The Folsom Street Fair

Hate Crime Attack Happens Against Two Gay Men Visiting The Folsom Street Fair

Neil Frias and Jeff White, (pictured above) were in town from New York City to attend the Folsom Street Fair the world famous leather-themed street party in San Francisco’s Fillmore district. The last thing that they thought would happen is that they would be come victims of a hate crime in one of, if not the most gay friendly cities in America.

“The thing that was the most remarkable about the situation is how unprovoked it was,” White told the San Francisco Chronicle. “I was literally tying my shoe when they came at me. It’s mind-boggling.”

At 7:30 p.m., Frias was inside a McDonalds restaurant at the corner of Golden Gate Avenue and Fillmore Street while Jeff White waited outside.  Two men in a blue minivan began yelling homophobic slurs at White,

They were saying, ‘You fags are destroying family values,’” Frias who came out of the restaurant when it happened.. “I said I didn’t want any trouble, and one of them got out of the van.”

Frias saw three more men jump out of the minivan to join their friends. That’s when the five assailants attacked, police said, yelling more epithets and pepper-spraying both men.

” I thought he was going to take a swing at me, but he sprayed me across the face,” Frias said, who posted on Facebook that he “was blind for about three hours.”

White assumed the fetal position on the sidewalk to protect his face, crawling into a ball. “I was completely vulnerable,” he said. “I thought they were going to start beating me.”

Wben a woman who witnessed the attack shouted that she was calling police, the five men got back into the minivan and sped away. Both police and paramedics rushed to the scene, and attended to Frias and White, who went back to their hotel and have since recovered.

It was one of the scariest moments of my life,” said Frias. “To think that people have so much hatred inside of them to target people.”

Police say the Special Investigations Division, which handles hate crime investigations, will be leading the search for the attackers, and hopes surveillance video from area businesses might aid in that investigation.

Porno Pete LaBarbera Is Ever So Pissed Over San Francisco’s Folsom Street Fair……. AGAIN

Peter LaBarbera

“Below is the ‘official’ promotional poster for the Folsom Street Fair, an annual, sadomasochism-celebrating street festival in San Francisco. The ‘fair’ is notorious for its open-air perversions, mocking of religion, sadistic whippings, ‘master-slave’ couples, and full nudity — and the latter will be allowed again this year due to an exemption granted to FSF to a new anti-public-nudity law passed by city supervisors. Words can barely convey the evil captured by this image — a rebellious wickedness that comes from glorifying sin in defiance of the wholesome boundaries for sex established by God. Folsom is also the creepy cousin of ‘gay pride’ and ‘diversity’ — there would be no Folsom Street Fair were there not first a ‘gay’ revolution, with its ground zero in the homosexual Mecca of San Francisco.“- Peter LaBarbera who is ever so pissed that she won’t be able to attend this years festivities.

Methinks Miss Porno Pete doth protest too much.

Folsom Street Fair Poster 2013