Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Friday, June 27, 2014

Gay Shame to Protest Party This Weekend

Posted By on Fri, Jun 27, 2014 at 8:04 AM

click to enlarge Welcome to the Prison of Love... - WE PARTY
  • WE Party
  • Welcome to the Prison of Love...

Sexy prison themes have become as hackneyed as sexy convent themes, or sexy boarding schools, or (cringe) sexy baby costumes. Yet they still manage to be a point of contention in San Francisco.

This Saturday, members of local activist group Gay Shame will convene at 16th Street BART station and march down to the Armory at 14th Mission Streets, site of the now hotly contested "Prison of Love" party by The protesters say they are "pro-sex, but anti-prison"; hence they take umbrage to's use of solitary confinement, showers, and jailbreak as signifiers for pleasure and lust.

In an open letter to the prison party promoters, Gay Shame and other activist groups decried the prison industrial complex and name-checked famous gay- and trans-identified inmates, such as 2014 Grand Marshall Chelsea Manning. Trans women of color are often housed in men's prisons, the letter points out, which makes them more vulnerable to sexual assault. CEO Peter Acworth responded with an open letter of his own, in which he expressed empathy for the plight of LGBTQ prisoners. Nonetheless, he insists that the Prison of Love party is an expression of free speech, and that the theme, while provocative, is still innocuous. "I believe that my kink should be OK," Acworth writes. "I believe that if a group wants to organize a particular kind of party, they should be free to do so without shame." He did, however, offer to revamp the advertising language to soft-pedal its prison themes, and play up the camp. That evidently hasn't placated organizers at Gay Shame and fellow organization Lesbians and Gays Against Intervention (LAGAI). Asked how they respond to the free speech defense, Gay Shame representative Mary Lou Ratchet writes: "Our argument is not a legal one as the US Constitution is a document of violent subjugation." Per announcements fired off yesterday, the protest will take place at 10 p.m. this Saturday. We'd suggest that in the future Acworth, et. al. try something more imaginative -- sexy dictator, maybe? But that might not go over so well, either.

WE Party: Prison of Love | Pride at the Armory: San Francisco from Masterbeat on Vimeo.

  • Pin It

About The Author

Rachel Swan

Rachel Swan

Rachel Swan was a staff writer at SF Weekly from 2013 to 2015. In previous lives she was a music editor, IP hack, and tutor of Cal athletes.

Suggested Reading


Comments are closed.

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"