I’ve been a San Francisco resident since 1984, and photography was my passion and profession during the 1980s and ’90s. I was a photographer for the gay press; primarily for The Sentinel newspaper — which, like most of the genre, no longer exists.
During this period, I shot nightclub photography, creating a body of black and white images. Their value is in their historic uniqueness, taken before mobile phones (and their ubiquitous selfies) made nightclub images common. This was when clientele — though “out and proud” — were under siege by the AIDS epidemic, which made them fearless about being photographed in gay clubs. In the SOMA club scene, unbridled freedom and self-expression ran full throttle against the ticking time bomb of death in the community.
I believe these images are relevant to telling the story of the ever-evolving city of San Francisco.