For 15 years, San Francisco author Michelle Tea has spearheaded Sister Spit, a loose collaborative of roadtripping queer writers and performers that brings alcohol- and vegan meatloaf-fueled evenings of cabaret-styled provocation to college campuses, community centers, and art spaces around the country. This fall, venerable SF publisher City Lights will launch an entire line of Sister Spit Books, to be curated by Tea, whose own past novels, including the lesbian landmark Valencia bode well for what promises to be an edgy, engaging imprint. We’ll keep SF Agenda readers informed about local authors and events related to Sister Spit, but while we wait for news, we asked Michelle to answer our Insider Tips questionnaire about some of her recommendations for SF visitors and locals.
What’s your favorite SF cultural institution?
The GLBT Historical Society. Their archives are open to the public, and contain really incredible artifacts – Harvey Milk’s Levi’s, Sylvester’s sequined stage costumes, a bar stool from the legendary ‘female impersonators’ nightclub Finnochio’s. They have the entire collection of every On Our Backs ever published (who knew Dorothy Allison was writing for them at the start?! Not me!). One gentleman left the Society a collection of his lovers’ pubic hair, all neatly collected in little glass jars and labeled with their names. It’s really a fun and vast collection, and they also run a storefront museum in Castro on 18th Street that shows different aspects of the archives with cultural context. San Francisco is really lucky to have this institution!