Cowards Killing Castro

The San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau City and County of San Francisco, apparently, is proud to announce that “There will be NO Halloween celebration in the Castro in 2007,” which is akin to telling a martinet-minded headmaster telling a bunch of eager students that there is no Santa Claus. If this isn’t a sign of how frightened the United States of America is, I don’t know what is. The campaign has been launched because last year, a few assholes proceeded to stab people, despite vigorous police protection.

I cannot believe that my former hometown, committed to celebrating craziness and diversity, is supporting this bullshit campaign. In early October 2001, when I returned to San Francisco after a five week stay in Hamburg, I was extremely worried about the state of my country. But when I went to the Castro on Halloween night, and I saw San Francisco’s determination to have fun and the people dressed in all sorts of crazy costumes, I knew that everything would be okay.

That San Francisco is now determined to wilt in the sunshine of a long-standing tradition, that it cannot defiantly celebrate Halloween in the Castro and tell those who committed the violence that its spirit cannot be stopped, is a sign that San Francisco would rather embrace fear than fearlessness. Stopping Halloween is not the answer. It gives credence to those who were committed to destroying the annual party. It enables the hoodlums. And it demonstrates that Gavin Newsom is a coward who does not reflect the San Francisco I proudly witnessed six years ago.

I certainly hope that the good citizens of San Francisco resist this PR bullshit, and celebrate anyway. Life is too short to give into the bad apples.

[UPDATE: A guy named Joe points out that this campaign is being sponsored by the City of San Francisco, as opposed to the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau. Which, in a sense, is a good deal worse.]


  1. last year, a few assholes also SHOT people–nine people, in fact. (No serious injuries, but damn, nine people?!) But even so, the city’s official reaction has been the stupidest, worst idea ever. “Hmm, there was violence in the Castro last year. How bout this year we send fewer cops, leave the streets open to cars, and not rent any porta potties? And instead of a comprehensive plan, we’ll put up a sign on the Castro Theatre telling everyone to go home? Perfect!” If I didn’t have Roky Erickson tickets that night, I’d go down there just on principle.

  2. It’s not Halloween that causes gun violence in the USA, it’s the combination of easy access to guns and an overall cultural mythology about The Lonesome Hero With a Gun (in reality, just another Lonesome Psycho) who Solves Problems By Shooting People.

  3. Sorry, you’ve got it wrong on this. I understand how you can’t see what is happening on the ground from New York, but the residents of the Castro DON’T want the massive Halloween party in our neighborhood. It is no longer the gay neighborhood party that it once was. It now attracts punks and gangs from throughout the Bay Area who come in trash our neighborhood, pee on our doorsteps, vandalize our property and do a little gay bashing before they go home. There are countless other LGBT Halloween parties in San Francisco that are fantastic celebrations. Everyone can go to those. We just want our neighborhood back.

  4. I wanted to correct a significant error in your article. The San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau is NOT the sponsor of this campaign. It is sponsored by the City and County of San Francisco. The San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau is promoting the many things to do in San Francisco during the Halloween season. Those can be found at: We’d appreciate it if you could correct the mistake.

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