Today, after work, my friend Les, who is here visiting from San Diego for tomorrow's festivities, and I were strolling around Castro, naked, enjoying the breeze and the sun when we decided to take a break on the bench in front of Magnet on Eighteenth Street. Les and I are both experienced nudists and we know it is not acceptable to sit anywhere without sitting on a towel or some such piece of cloth. After a few minutes a gentleman came out of Magnet and informed us we would have to either put our pants on or move from the bench. My first thought was to wonder why. My second thought was how gender presumptive of him to assume we both wore pants!
Upon returning home, I went to the Magnet website were I found this:
As gay men, we have the right to health and well-being. Our health and well-being have physical, mental, spiritual, and social aspects. Our vision of gay men's health includes community building and working for social justice. A set of core values guide our decisions. These are:
We believe we have the right to make our own decisions regarding health and well-being. Gay men should always be at the forefront in matters that affect us as individuals and as a community. We share responsibility for our individual health, the health of our partners, and the health of our community.
We believe gay men have a right to satisfying sex lives free from guilt and shame. We believe our sexuality is an integral component in how we define ourselves as individuals and as a community. Healthy sexual expression involves both our bodies and our minds. We share a responsibility for sexual health--for ourselves, our partners, and our community.
We believe in the value of diversity and that our diversity makes our community stronger. By examining our differences as gay men, we improve our understanding of each other.
So I called Magnet to inquire why we were asked to remove ourselves from their bench. Their Medical Assistant, Robert Blue, informed my that they could not have people breaking the law in front of their health clinic. I informed him that mere nudity is not against the law in San Francisco. He suggested I could call Tuesday and speak with Steve Gibson, the managing director. I also mentioned that I felt our treatment did not fit in with the parameters outlined by their website. His response, "Okay." Hopefully Mr. Gibson will have more of a response.