by Zach McCallum, photos ©Zach McCallum
The coastal hamlet where I live, Pacifica, California, has an oddly isolated feeling despite being only ten miles from San Francisco in one direction and twenty from the heart of Silicon Valley in the other. We are sheltered from the hubbub of the Bay Area in large part by geography, with steep hills all along our eastern border, the Pacific ocean to the west, and only one major route in or out: the iconic Highway One. When you coast down that sweepingly scenic road into Pacifica, there are often thick drifts of fog reaching up from the ocean cliffs, welcoming you to a town that feels a bit like a shabby seaside resort left over from some previous era.
Of course it can be glorious here, too, especially at sunset.
But you don’t have to look far to find evidence that this town, for all that it seems to roll up its sidewalks at night, a relic of a bygone age, is really part of the penumbra of Gay San Francisco. There are a lot of rainbow flags flying, a lot of same-sex couples walking their dogs at the beach, and then there is this fabulous house.
I felt at home here from the first day I arrived. But still, I was surprised and delighted when I came across two recent bits of graffiti just blocks from my house. First I discovered the merged astronomical symbols of Mars and Venus that make the Transgender symbol, chalked on the fence at a small public park:
Then, on the same day, on the pier, the word “TRANARCHY” with the letter A circled in hot pink to create the anarchy symbol so beloved by campus radicals when I was in university.
Those cast shadows you see in the last two photos are of me and my transman housemate and fellow Owldolatrous contributor, Ryan Legg.
We also found this gem, perhaps my favorite of all. Ryan took this photo:
It’s nice to know we aren’t the only trans* activists in Pacifica. I wonder if we’ll ever get to meet the graffitist, and share a rainbow-flavored fist-bump.