…Caen invites tourists to spend an evening at Finocchios, “the far-famed or ill-famed place—depending on your point of view—where ‘female impersonators’ go through their paces, alarmingly disguised in garish wigs, overflowing gowns, and comic-opera false bosoms, all designed to make your visiting maiden aunt from Anamosa, Ia., gasp in delighted disbelief (‘You mean they’re actually men?’). Some of the talent is quite good, and the productions show more imagination than you might expect. Finocchio, incidentally, means ‘fairy’ in Italian.”Read the entire article at Collectors Weekly.
And with that, Herb Caen introduces his readers to San Francisco’s nascent LGBTQ community, which, far more than the hippies, would come to define their city. After all, the struggle for civil rights has always been more compelling than the mere desire to let one’s freak flag fly, however much fun that might be.