Portraits of Pride: 7. A.J. and Irvin

A.J & Irvin

Aj hugs Irvin on Castro sidewalk

(21, gay, male) & (21, gay, artist)

A.J:
“I am against male chauvinism, and yes I would say I am a feminist.”
“I try to be the best supporter for my girlfriends.”

aj irvin 2“It depends on the person I am interacting with, sometimes I feel very obligated to be a little more—I don’t want to say gentle, that sounds general…I try to be nicer. But depending on the woman/man I am interacting with I will be like ‘okay, fine that’s your thing’. It is subjective.”
“There is no stigma [to being a feminist].”
Favourite body part: “It’s kind of conceited, but my hair.”

two men lean in to chat on Castro St at duskIrvin:
“Equality for all people.”
“I don’t hold the doors for girls, they should hold the door for me too, we should equally hold the door for each other.”
Favourite body part: “My legs, cause they’re so long.”

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Portraits of Pride: 6. Kimi, Celyne, Emily

Kimi, Celyne, Emily

hersandhers_photo

Kimi (18, straight ally)  + Celyne (17, pansexual) + Emily (Girl, 18, bisexual)

Emily: “I go both ways but I don’t think I like guys as much as a I like girls, but I still date guys”

hersandhers_photo

On why they were at #SFPride2015:
Emily: “I like how people are here to represent themselves, so I want to come out here this year to represent myself as a gay person”
Kimi: “Oh my god, I’ve never worn a crop top or shorts or anything and in San Francisco they don’t judge you at all and its so beautiful, like I feel so comfortable in my body for once. It’s beautiful”
Celyne: “It’s fun getting into the community of people who are gay, you don’t really have that where we’re from. It’s totally comfortable here”

On feminism:
K: “I think it means equality, for everyone, not just gender. We are no longer the underdogs. We get to fight for our right to be on top for once”

Favourite body part:
Nails, Hair, Face [not sure who was who :)]

hersandhers_photo

Portraits of Pride: 5. MB and Coco

MB & Coco

Courtney interviews females at Castro

(34, stud) & (42, proud)

Coco: “Are you guys together? Is it complicated?”
Melissa: “Haha! No, no. I mean… just in artistic ways.”

Courtney: Do you consider yourselves feminists?
Coco: “No I don’t think so. I think everything is equal so I don’t consider myself to be a feminist when everybody and everything is feminist” … “I don’t believe in woman power or girl power”
MB: “No, everybody’s the same, vagina or penis.”

mb points to coco's rear
MB: Are you sure your favorite part isn’t…here?

Favourite part of body: “the coco zone” (MB), hands (Coco)

showing two palms

Portraits of Pride: 4. Zu, Dani, Dwayne

Zu, Dani, Dwayne

trio 4

(26, Bisexual male, Juggalo, professional wrestler) & (28, Bisexual female, Juggalo) & (32, Bisexual)

Trio laugh together

On sexuality and gender:
Zu: “In the LGBT community, bisexuals aren’t taken very seriously… for males, this [bisexuality] isn’t popular, this isn’t cool. I can’t help it, I am attracted to females, I am attracted to males. I am proud of it, I am glad it’s sensitive. Bisexual people are fighting to be recognized, to be taken as seriously as gay or lesbian.”

Dani: “A lot of times with being an actual bisexual female—I hate saying actual—it’s such a layman’s term for saying you’re cool with just being with people.”
“I really honestly identify as a human being who loves human beings, but if you have to put a term on it I guess you’d say bisexual”

Trio stands in front of city hall

On Feminism:
Zu: “I definitely support feminism but I don’t support the feminists that are basically anti-male, I support the real feminists—the feminists that are about bettering women just because they’re women not bettering women because they’re better than men. Just because they are people.”

Dani: “I’m about equal rights for everybody. I don’t see gender, I see more connections / energies”
“Everyone needs to chill out and just love each other”

Dwayne: “Here’s the thing about feminism now, people try to approach it like even though we know there are different kinds of feminism, people try to approach it like it is this all inclusive thing like ‘oh as women we need blah-blah-blah-blah-blah’ when in reality black women have an entirely different set of criteria for feeling equal and included. You can’t speak about feminism from the general perspective because it leaves a lot of people out”

Rainbow costumes and skin

Portraits of Pride: 3. Ginsu and Joseph

Ginsu & Joseph

Couple laughs in fox/vest costume

(37, New Orleans transplant, concierge at Steamworks) & (36, Has lived here ten years, works at consignment shop that sells used leather and fetish gear)

Ginsu: “and we met when I went to said job and he jumped my bones.”
Joseph: “Actually, I did.”

Couple kisses on street

On Feminism:
G: “Three of the four, that made this [points up and down to self] possible, were women.”
J: “I have always been surrounded by strong women, I don’t think it’s going to stop anytime soon.”

Courtney: What do you want to see in dance?
G: “… it can convey anything, as long as its conveyed well, it can cover any topic, and as long as you throw your whole heart into it you’re going to be amazing at whatever you do when you’re dancing.”
J: “If the performer can wink at the audience…the wink and the performance.”

Courtney: “We would really like to take a few pictures of you guys if…”
G: “—I don’t know if I dressed up enough for that”

Couple (one crouching, one standing) poses on street

Portraits of Pride: 2. Elizabeth

Elizabeth

Girl stands with group of friends

(20, bisexual)

“I’m at pride supporting friends… it’s a tradition thing now”

On feminism:“I’m not really with it or against it, I’m really open to everything.”

“The way people try to portray it is women trying to take over everything. I don’t really see it like that… I mean everyone has their own opinion.”

Girl shows fingers

Favourite body part: “I like my hands, they’re creative.”

Portraits of Pride: 1. Patty Cakes

Welcome to Portraits of Pride, our personal way of celebrating and connecting with our city. During the celebration of San Francisco Pride 2015 hers and hers decided to spotlight 14 individuals who inspired us. So, on the Sunday of Pride we made our way down to Civic Center to connect with, photograph and interview people celebrating at the Parade. We came armed with handmade “business” cards, a recorder, Melissa’s 35mm camera and questions we felt were important:

  • Name, age, identities?
  • What brings you to Pride?
  • Do you identify as a feminist? If so, what does being a feminist mean to you? What does the word feminist imply?
  • What is your favourite body part?

It was intimidating to approach and ask strangers these personal/political questions, but hers and hers found several couples, groups and individuals willing to share a moment.

We are forever grateful for the cooperation, excitement, patience and support from everyone we talked to that Sunday. Thank you again (we hope to see you soon). It was so rewarding to hear how our interests resonate with our SF Pride community.


For now, enjoy the first of seven posts and say hello to Patty Cakes.


Patty Cakes (Will Smith)

Cheerleader poses with hands on hips

(West Hollywood Cheerleaders Captain, PCA (Pride Cheerleading Association), at Pride raising money for HIV/AIDs)

Patty: “I love doing [the Parade]. It gives me a chance to brush up on my make-up skills and help other people be aware and stamp out the stigma of HIV.”

Patty Cakes responds to Courtney's question

Courtney: “Do you consider yourself a feminist? What does that mean to you?”
P: “I’m pretty much very open, I’m a free spirit, there [are] no doors closed in my book. For me, everyone should be equal. I don’t classify as anything, I am who I am.”

Headlands Headlines

Jellies and Adidas on 76X Muni
Instagram: hersandhers.sf

Last weekend we rode the bus just over the Golden Gate Bridge to the Headlands Center for the Arts for their Summer Open House, thirsty for some inspiration juice.

We wanted to share some of our post-adventure reflections from this most recent hers and hers outing:

  • It was invigorating to see how so many creatives thrive in a shared space. Artists so close to the earth/wind/sea. Artists held, fed, and told: “you can do what you want, love, and need to do here.
  • Simultaneously… San Francisco being in somewhat of a drought for sustainable artistic livelihood [READ: KQED: “Priced out”]. The Headlands, the dream. What to do? We couldn’t help dreaming of the things we could do with space/time in a studio…. but how do you stay afloat long enough to make it there?

    Artist draws on white wall
    Photo by Andria Lo
  • Try the Mess Hall’s mac ‘n cheese! The perfect fuel for art-witnessing.
People gathered at dinner table
Photo by Madeleine Ignon
  • We kept thinking, “more live dance and performance up here would be amazing.” Then, a few days later, we were so delighted to read that Sara Shelton Mann and Mica Sigourney (pillars in the San Francisco dance scene) will be Fall Artists in Residence! Yes!
  • We will be back and hope you will go too. Just… be prepared to be mildly stranded waiting for the 76X bus.
Courtney on curb hitchhiking
Instagram: hersandhers.sf

Mark your calendars for Sunday, October 25th, the next Fall Open House.


Here are a few of the artists we encountered up there, were drawn to/wanted to share from our hers and hers platform:

  • Sandra Garcia RiveraNuyorican poet and activist voicing stories of women to “purge the residue of sexism and colonialism, embedded under the skin” –  LINK: Crossing Dolores Excerpt
  • Taisha Paggett – performance/dance artist working with body, agency and race. Her work aims to “unfasten fixed narratives of the Black body… a desire to reconcile traumatic histories of the Black body and land”
Dancer bends backward with right arms drawing on wall
Taisha Paggett’s ‘Decomposition of a Continuous Whole,’ 2010, by Malik Gaines
  • Tina Satter – performance artist setting work that examines feminist and queer dynamics – House of Dance Excerpt:

^Look! Love. *later,

Courtney and Melissa