It's almost certainly not what you think. GAY SHAME is actually the provocative name of a beautiful group of radical queers in San Francisco which opposes the mainstreaming of the gay community, or what they call "the gay shame." The Statemant of Purpose which appears on their website reads:
GAY SHAME is the radical alternative to consumerist "pride" crap. We are committed to a queer extravaganza that brings direct action to astounding levels of theatricality in order to expose the evildoers who use the sham of gay "pride" as a cover-up for their greed and misdeeds. We seek nothing less than a new queer activism that addresses issues of race, class, gender and sexuality, to counter the self-serving "values" of the gay mainstream. We are dedicated to fighting the rabid assimilationist monster of corporate gay "pride" with a devastating mobilization of queer brilliance. GAY SHAME is a celebration of resistance: all are welcome.
By Jupiter! Politically radical queers who actually show up in their finest frocks and skins for demonstrations! Their New York cousins should be mortified. GAY SHAME may have been born in Brooklyn
, but in fact here in New York we're still happy with the shame it now fights so nobly from the West Coast, or at least we aren't making enough noise to indicate the contrary.
Yes, San Francisco has its own Chelsea in the Castro, but New York has no Mission. In San Francisco queer activism goes beyond issues like bashings or the police regulation of clubs, and even beyond issues directly related to the queer community.
Tonight [thursday] in front of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Center in the Castro police attacked 40 members of the radical anti-capitalist queer group Gay Shame that gathered to protest the policies [attacking the homeless, among others] of Supervisor Gavin Newsom. Two lesbians were visibly bleeding from the mouth after being beaten by the San Francisco Police Department. An Indymedia correspondent was on the scene and witnessed the events. Gavin Newsome was ushered in the doors of the center by Police escort. Gays then tried to enter their own center to voice their opposition to Gavin's policies. The police began beating back and blocking the door to the activists. Police pushed the activists into the oncoming traffic on Market Street and began aggressively hitting the queer activists some of whom were dressed in drag.
The internet shows gay conservatives, especially on the West Coast, going nuts over the audacity of their activist brothers and sisters. [Members of GAY SHAME were entering a closed $125 per person fundraiser at the public Center thursday night when they tried to speak to Newsome, who had earlier slipped by them without being sighted.]