There's more to the Castro than the overly photographed rainbow crosswalks—the historic neighborhood has a great legacy, as well as a recent resurgence, of queer art.
Like many swaths of San Francisco, the Castro is home to a number of street murals that tell the story of the neighborhood, and in this case of broader LGBTQ culture, both in times of turmoil and of celebration.
If you were to take an art walk through the rainbow neighborhood, common themes will emerge: hope, inclusivity, love is love. The message: Embrace and honor yourself, and don't be afraid to color outside the lines. In recent years, street art here has exploded, with tongue-in-cheek splashes and even painted memorials to the queer DJ Bubbles, who was shot outside a Tenderloin club last year.
Drag diva and indefatigable fundraiser and promoter Juanita MORE! is a modern personification of the ongoing arts movement here; she's adding to the narrative with her Pride Mural Project, completed last June, which showcases the works of three local queer artists on the walls of Cliff's Variety, Unionmade, and the Powerhouse in SoMa—there are also excellent LGBTQ-created and themed works to be found elsewhere in town.
Take a look at some of our most fabulous queer street art below.
Armadillo (2016), by Jet Martinez, on 21st Street and Ames Alley.
(Courtesy of Street Art SF)