Mark I Chester photo of the day
Mark I Chester studio  1229 Folsom St./SF  415-621-6294 

September 3, 2011


 

photo of the day 8/3/2011. photographer unknown.

Polaroid of myself and Frank Sisson circa 1978. Frank was my first lover. He was from Alaska and his heritage was 1/4 Aleut Indian, 1/4 Swedish and 1/2 Filipino. But to me, when his hair was closely cropped, he looked Japanese. It was a style - closely cropped hair, facial hair, jeans, flannel shirts and boots, maybe the south of market version of the Castro clone.

But it was also a uniform that was shared by the members of Synanon, a drug rehab program that evolved into a church, I think, and ultimately imploded under the weight of its own criminal activities (guns, drugs, snakes in mailboxes as retaliation, etc.). When we were in San Francisco, it was obvious that we were fags, but when we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge, people responded to us as if we were members of Synanon.

I intentionally used the word *fags* because even at that time it was not safe to show signs of gay male affection, even something as simple as holding hands, in most areas of San Francisco.