I left my penis in San Francisco
by Kelvin Wade
I love San Francisco. From its iconic architecture like the Golden Gate Bridge, Transamerica Pyramid, Coit Tower and Palace of Fine Arts to the natural beauty of its hills, fog and bay, it’s a most unique city. From visiting Alcatraz over 30 years ago to drunken midnight forays to strip clubs over 20 years ago, to recent trips to Fisherman’s Wharf for shrimp salad sandwiches in sourdough buns, I’ve always loved spending time in the city by the bay. I’m even currently writing a short story set in San Francisco for my third book.
But the place is nuts.
San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener (let’s try to be adults, people) is introducing legislation that would make it illegal to display one’s genitals and/or buttocks on sidewalks, plazas and public transportation.
Yes, evidently, some in the Castro District stroll around and sit in public with their junk on display. They hang out with their wangs out.
According to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, complaints about nudity beat out complaints about the homeless. (Makes one wonder where homeless nudity falls on the complaint scale.)
Wiener (No relation to the schmeckel-tweeting former Congressman from New York. Their names are spelled differently.) passed a law last year referred to as the “skid mark law” that requires nudists to place some kind of barrier between their bums and public seats. Ewww.
Perhaps I’m the crazy one but why is it legal to be naked in public? Wouldn’t you think a law against public nudity would’ve been passed a long time ago? I recall a few years ago when they had to specifically pass a law banning defecation on public sidewalks in San Francisco. Really? It took until the 21st century to pass a law banning taking a dump in public?
Some argued a no defecation law would discriminate against the homeless since most businesses do not allow them to use their restrooms. Of course everyone needs somewhere to go because all humans have to take dumps, but come on, that dump doesn’t have to be on the sidewalk.
Now, I get it. I know my weird and wacky San Francisco has a proud tradition of public nudity during the Gay Pride Parade, Bay to Breakers run, Folsom Street Fair, Exotic Erotic Ball and other events. Wiener’s proposed new law would exempt public festivals, fairs and parades so those who want to air their twigs and berries or bearded clams could still do so during those times.
Okay, so it isn’t a very big problem (no pun intended) in that only a dozen or so fellas stroll about in the buff. It’s not like it’s a mushroom and sweet potato festival all over the city. Still, it just seems odd that one of the most beautiful, unique major cities of the world allows people to rock out with their…things out. Foreign tourists often stop to take pictures with the nudists.
Soon, others may think if it’s good enough for San Francisco how come the rest of California can’t go nude? Perhaps the next big civil rights fight is the right to wear your birthday suit in public.
Imagine how fast the line would move at the airport and how much money we’d save on TSA agents and scanners.
But somehow I don’t think other cities will be following San Francisco’s lead in allowing public nudity. Even if they did most of us wouldn’t go out in the buff. In addition to our childhood-ingrained sense of modesty, we use clothing to cover up our bodily imperfections and to make statements. I want to wear an Oakland Raiders shirt, not paint the logo across my moobs.
I still love you, San Francisco, even if you’re nuts.