Market Street Cinema

1988

While living in San Francisco in the 1980s, I saw many queer, femme lovers and friends making a living in the sex industry. My close friend, a dancer, afforded me the behind-the-scenes experience that birthed the Market Street Cinema series. In this series, I hoped to depict the dancers’ lives in an intimate and personal manner. I wanted to introduce people to the nuanced softness found underneath the tough exteriors of the dancers. I strived to capture on film the relationships they built, the dressing room camaraderie, the dark shabby stage, and a glimpse of their customers.

In the 1980s in San Francisco, there was tension between the old school lesbian-feminists and an explosion of young, sex-positive, femme dykes who where publicly out and flaunting raw sex and power as a means of expressing their feminism(s). This series is a tribute to and representation of the voices of this emerging group of sex-positive feminists. The photographs pose a challenging juxtaposition of the dark and depressing drug infested world of the sex industry and a strong group of femmes who turned sexism and capitalism on their heads, using the sex industry as a way of accessing power, control, and money, giving birth to a new era of feminism.