Some folks, like commenter SFDave, say that attractions like Fisherman’s Wharf are “a lot of fun for a LOT of people.” Others, like Appeal reader Sarah, say that “We all so seldom make it to SF tourist attractions that we forgot what a poor representation of our city they are.”

Dragged to the Wharf by “two visiting teenaged girls in search of souvenirs,” Sarah ended up at Wharf T Shirts (on Jefferson between Leavenworth and Jones). There, she spied the shirt pictured above.

“Naturally, it’s surrounded by so many boob and beer joke tee shirts that you could almost miss it” she noted, and the photographer the Appeal sent out agreed. “There are so many drinking or drugs or ‘something about my cock’ shirts in that place that it’s sort of lost in an offensive shuffle” he said.

“That this shirt is on display in a San Francisco establishment sent my mind reeling” Sarah said. In two separate incidents, she and a gay male friend confronted the store’s manager about the shirt, requesting its removal. His response: “I gotta make a living, some of my best friends are gay.”

Store employees refused to speak with the Appeal, so we were, sadly, unable to learn anything else about their friendships, or to gain their insights on why someone who’d be interested in (non-ironically) buying this shirt might be visiting San Francisco in the first place, given the possibly astounding number of both silly faggots and chicks who disdain dicks. (Our only guess: gift for folks back home?)

Sarah raises an interesting question: if our city’s supposed to be putting its best foot forward in tourist-heavy areas like the Wharf, what message does it send our guests when those areas contain stores carrying shirts with messages like these? Why is there this disconnect between the areas of the city that cater to visitors and “our” city? Is this all part of the SF Convention and Visitor’s bureau’s new strategy to attract locals to traditionally tourist only destinations like this part of town? Because, yeah, shirts like that probably don’t feel like home to many San Franciscans.

Speaking of the SF Convention and Visitor’s bureau, which bills our city as “the LGBT Capital of the World!,” and lists Fisherman’s Wharf in its “Must-See Attractions,” we were sure they’d have something interesting to say in response to these queries. So we shot them an email — but, sadly, have yet to receive a response. We’ll let you know if we hear from them, and what they have to say.

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at eve@sfappeal.com.

Please make sure your comment adheres to our comment policy. If it doesn't, it may be deleted. Repeat violations may cause us to revoke your commenting privileges. No one wants that!
  • be_devine

    I’m all for these shirts being sold and worn. They’re self-imposed scarlet letters that clearly mark the people who choose to wear them as closed-minded, unintelligent bigots.

  • be_devine

    I’m all for these shirts being sold and worn. They’re self-imposed scarlet letters that clearly mark the people who choose to wear them as closed-minded, unintelligent bigots.

  • Greg Dewar

    it is interesting you bring this up. the other day I was talking to some tourists from overseas who were asking for directions to get to golden gate park. after helping them navigate the intricacies of MUNI, and they said they were really surprised at how “garish” Fisherman’s Wharf was, and that it really was surprising, given that they’d heard how “cool” SF was.

    I just rolled my eyes and said “yeah…I know” and then showed them how to go to Sunday Streets instead the next day. And I reminded them that SF is not just union square, fisherman’s wharf, and market street, that there were plenty of fun things to do, even way out in the Farallon Islands, aka the west side of SF.

  • Greg Dewar

    it is interesting you bring this up. the other day I was talking to some tourists from overseas who were asking for directions to get to golden gate park. after helping them navigate the intricacies of MUNI, and they said they were really surprised at how “garish” Fisherman’s Wharf was, and that it really was surprising, given that they’d heard how “cool” SF was.

    I just rolled my eyes and said “yeah…I know” and then showed them how to go to Sunday Streets instead the next day. And I reminded them that SF is not just union square, fisherman’s wharf, and market street, that there were plenty of fun things to do, even way out in the Farallon Islands, aka the west side of SF.

  • Richmondsfblog

    I wonder how many of these they actually sell? Clearly they’re a tad embarassed by it given its less-than-visible location in the display. A well-worded letter from GLAAD to the store will get that taken off the shelf. I doubt that owner wants people shouting and carrying on outside his storefront…

  • Richmondsfblog

    I wonder how many of these they actually sell? Clearly they’re a tad embarassed by it given its less-than-visible location in the display. A well-worded letter from GLAAD to the store will get that taken off the shelf. I doubt that owner wants people shouting and carrying on outside his storefront…

  • zentelligent

    Find something better to complain about. Really. In high school a kid got in trouble for making a marker drawing of two stick figures in anal sex and it got confiscated with a cross out like in Ghostbusters.Hilarious. Goes with the territory. Grow up and take it like a man.

  • zentelligent

    Find something better to complain about. Really. In high school a kid got in trouble for making a marker drawing of two stick figures in anal sex and it got confiscated with a cross out like in Ghostbusters.Hilarious. Goes with the territory. Grow up and take it like a man.

  • Christine Borden

    Take it like a man? So you mean, like, in the butt?

  • Christine Borden

    Take it like a man? So you mean, like, in the butt?

  • zentelligent

    It means to to suffer misfortune stoically.

  • zentelligent

    It means to to suffer misfortune stoically.

  • Eve Batey

    Yes, if only all oppressed people would suffer misfortune stoically, this world would be a better place.

  • Eve Batey

    Yes, if only all oppressed people would suffer misfortune stoically, this world would be a better place.

  • sfresident

    Can we give the wharf to Marin County? Perhaps trade it for the headlands? I hate telling people that my fair city includes this unholy incarnation of all that is tasteless and tacky.

  • sfresident

    Can we give the wharf to Marin County? Perhaps trade it for the headlands? I hate telling people that my fair city includes this unholy incarnation of all that is tasteless and tacky.

  • be_devine

    Wow, I didn’t know that only men can endure misfortune stoically. Glad we have the men doing all the childbirthin.

  • be_devine

    Wow, I didn’t know that only men can endure misfortune stoically. Glad we have the men doing all the childbirthin.

  • San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau

    Hello Eve,

    Since you mentioned us, I thought I’d provide a little more info about the SFCVB. As a marketing organization, the SFCVB does not have any authority over individual businesses (the shop is not a member of the SFCVB) so we have no official recourse in this situation. However, our Membership Account Executive will visit the shop later this week and discuss your article with the shop owner. We’ve also alerted the Fisherman’s Wharf Community Benefit District and the building owner to the situation.

    Regarding San Francisco’s neighborhoods, we encourage visitors to explore ALL of the city’s diverse neighborhoods, as well as the famous parts of the city. Check out the Neighborhoods section of our site at http://www.onlyinsanfrancisco.com/neighborhoods/.

    Thanks to you, Eve, and to all those who commented, for keeping our visitors’ experience in mind. It’s great that you take tourism seriously and recognize it’s importance to the people of San Francisco.

  • San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau

    Hello Eve,

    Since you mentioned us, I thought I’d provide a little more info about the SFCVB. As a marketing organization, the SFCVB does not have any authority over individual businesses (the shop is not a member of the SFCVB) so we have no official recourse in this situation. However, our Membership Account Executive will visit the shop later this week and discuss your article with the shop owner. We’ve also alerted the Fisherman’s Wharf Community Benefit District and the building owner to the situation.

    Regarding San Francisco’s neighborhoods, we encourage visitors to explore ALL of the city’s diverse neighborhoods, as well as the famous parts of the city. Check out the Neighborhoods section of our site at http://www.onlyinsanfrancisco.com/neighborhoods/.

    Thanks to you, Eve, and to all those who commented, for keeping our visitors’ experience in mind. It’s great that you take tourism seriously and recognize it’s importance to the people of San Francisco.

  • San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau

    Hello Eve,

    Since you mentioned us, I thought I’d provide a little more info about the SFCVB. As a marketing organization, the SFCVB does not have any authority over individual businesses (the shop is not a member of the SFCVB) so we have no official recourse in this situation. However, our Membership Account Executive will visit the shop later this week and discuss your article with the shop owner. We’ve also alerted the Fisherman’s Wharf Community Benefit District and the building owner to the situation.

    Regarding San Francisco’s neighborhoods, we encourage visitors to explore ALL of the city’s diverse neighborhoods, as well as the famous parts of the city. Check out the Neighborhoods section of our site at http://www.onlyinsanfrancisco.com/neighborhoods/.

    Thanks to you, Eve, and to all those who commented, for keeping our visitors’ experience in mind. It’s great that you take tourism seriously and recognize it’s importance to the people of San Francisco.

  • San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau

    Hello Eve,

    Since you mentioned us, I thought I’d provide a little more info about the SFCVB. As a marketing organization, the SFCVB does not have any authority over individual businesses (the shop is not a member of the SFCVB) so we have no official recourse in this situation. However, our Membership Account Executive will visit the shop later this week and discuss your article with the shop owner. We’ve also alerted the Fisherman’s Wharf Community Benefit District and the building owner to the situation.

    Regarding San Francisco’s neighborhoods, we encourage visitors to explore ALL of the city’s diverse neighborhoods, as well as the famous parts of the city. Check out the Neighborhoods section of our site at http://www.onlyinsanfrancisco.com/neighborhoods/.

    Thanks to you, Eve, and to all those who commented, for keeping our visitors’ experience in mind. It’s great that you take tourism seriously and recognize it’s importance to the people of San Francisco.

  • San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau

    Hello Eve,

    Since you mentioned us, I thought I’d provide a little more info about the SFCVB. As a marketing organization, the SFCVB does not have any authority over individual businesses (the shop is not a member of the SFCVB) so we have no official recourse in this situation. However, our Membership Account Executive will visit the shop later this week and discuss your article with the shop owner. We’ve also alerted the Fisherman’s Wharf Community Benefit District and the building owner to the situation.

    Regarding San Francisco’s neighborhoods, we encourage visitors to explore ALL of the city’s diverse neighborhoods, as well as the famous parts of the city. Check out the Neighborhoods section of our site at http://www.onlyinsanfrancisco.com/neighborhoods/.

    Thanks to you, Eve, and to all those who commented, for keeping our visitors’ experience in mind. It’s great that you take tourism seriously and recognize it’s importance to the people of San Francisco.

  • San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau

    Hello Eve,

    Since you mentioned us, I thought I’d provide a little more info about the SFCVB. As a marketing organization, the SFCVB does not have any authority over individual businesses (the shop is not a member of the SFCVB) so we have no official recourse in this situation. However, our Membership Account Executive will visit the shop later this week and discuss your article with the shop owner. We’ve also alerted the Fisherman’s Wharf Community Benefit District and the building owner to the situation.

    Regarding San Francisco’s neighborhoods, we encourage visitors to explore ALL of the city’s diverse neighborhoods, as well as the famous parts of the city. Check out the Neighborhoods section of our site at http://www.onlyinsanfrancisco.com/neighborhoods/.

    Thanks to you, Eve, and to all those who commented, for keeping our visitors’ experience in mind. It’s great that you take tourism seriously and recognize it’s importance to the people of San Francisco.

  • San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau

    Hello Eve,

    Since you mentioned us, I thought I’d provide a little more info about the SFCVB. As a marketing organization, the SFCVB does not have any authority over individual businesses (the shop is not a member of the SFCVB) so we have no official recourse in this situation. However, our Membership Account Executive will visit the shop later this week and discuss your article with the shop owner. We’ve also alerted the Fisherman’s Wharf Community Benefit District and the building owner to the situation.

    Regarding San Francisco’s neighborhoods, we encourage visitors to explore ALL of the city’s diverse neighborhoods, as well as the famous parts of the city. Check out the Neighborhoods section of our site at http://www.onlyinsanfrancisco.com/neighborhoods/.

    Thanks to you, Eve, and to all those who commented, for keeping our visitors’ experience in mind. It’s great that you take tourism seriously and recognize it’s importance to the people of San Francisco.

  • San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau

    Hello Eve,

    Since you mentioned us, I thought I’d provide a little more info about the SFCVB. As a marketing organization, the SFCVB does not have any authority over individual businesses (the shop is not a member of the SFCVB) so we have no official recourse in this situation. However, our Membership Account Executive will visit the shop later this week and discuss your article with the shop owner. We’ve also alerted the Fisherman’s Wharf Community Benefit District and the building owner to the situation.

    Regarding San Francisco’s neighborhoods, we encourage visitors to explore ALL of the city’s diverse neighborhoods, as well as the famous parts of the city. Check out the Neighborhoods section of our site at http://www.onlyinsanfrancisco.com/neighborhoods/.

    Thanks to you, Eve, and to all those who commented, for keeping our visitors’ experience in mind. It’s great that you take tourism seriously and recognize it’s importance to the people of San Francisco.

  • San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau

    Hello Eve,

    Since you mentioned us, I thought I’d provide a little more info about the SFCVB. As a marketing organization, the SFCVB does not have any authority over individual businesses (the shop is not a member of the SFCVB) so we have no official recourse in this situation. However, our Membership Account Executive will visit the shop later this week and discuss your article with the shop owner. We’ve also alerted the Fisherman’s Wharf Community Benefit District and the building owner to the situation.

    Regarding San Francisco’s neighborhoods, we encourage visitors to explore ALL of the city’s diverse neighborhoods, as well as the famous parts of the city. Check out the Neighborhoods section of our site at http://www.onlyinsanfrancisco.com/neighborhoods/.

    Thanks to you, Eve, and to all those who commented, for keeping our visitors’ experience in mind. It’s great that you take tourism seriously and recognize it’s importance to the people of San Francisco.

  • San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau

    Hello Eve,

    Since you mentioned us, I thought I’d provide a little more info about the SFCVB. As a marketing organization, the SFCVB does not have any authority over individual businesses (the shop is not a member of the SFCVB) so we have no official recourse in this situation. However, our Membership Account Executive will visit the shop later this week and discuss your article with the shop owner. We’ve also alerted the Fisherman’s Wharf Community Benefit District and the building owner to the situation.

    Regarding San Francisco’s neighborhoods, we encourage visitors to explore ALL of the city’s diverse neighborhoods, as well as the famous parts of the city. Check out the Neighborhoods section of our site at http://www.onlyinsanfrancisco.com/neighborhoods/.

    Thanks to you, Eve, and to all those who commented, for keeping our visitors’ experience in mind. It’s great that you take tourism seriously and recognize it’s importance to the people of San Francisco.

  • San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau

    Hello Eve,

    Since you mentioned us, I thought I’d provide a little more info about the SFCVB. As a marketing organization, the SFCVB does not have any authority over individual businesses (the shop is not a member of the SFCVB) so we have no official recourse in this situation. However, our Membership Account Executive will visit the shop later this week and discuss your article with the shop owner. We’ve also alerted the Fisherman’s Wharf Community Benefit District and the building owner to the situation.

    Regarding San Francisco’s neighborhoods, we encourage visitors to explore ALL of the city’s diverse neighborhoods, as well as the famous parts of the city. Check out the Neighborhoods section of our site at http://www.onlyinsanfrancisco.com/neighborhoods/.

    Thanks to you, Eve, and to all those who commented, for keeping our visitors’ experience in mind. It’s great that you take tourism seriously and recognize it’s importance to the people of San Francisco.

  • San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau

    Hello Eve,

    Since you mentioned us, I thought I’d provide a little more info about the SFCVB. As a marketing organization, the SFCVB does not have any authority over individual businesses (the shop is not a member of the SFCVB) so we have no official recourse in this situation. However, our Membership Account Executive will visit the shop later this week and discuss your article with the shop owner. We’ve also alerted the Fisherman’s Wharf Community Benefit District and the building owner to the situation.

    Regarding San Francisco’s neighborhoods, we encourage visitors to explore ALL of the city’s diverse neighborhoods, as well as the famous parts of the city. Check out the Neighborhoods section of our site at http://www.onlyinsanfrancisco.com/neighborhoods/.

    Thanks to you, Eve, and to all those who commented, for keeping our visitors’ experience in mind. It’s great that you take tourism seriously and recognize it’s importance to the people of San Francisco.

  • San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau

    Hello Eve,

    Since you mentioned us, I thought I’d provide a little more info about the SFCVB. As a marketing organization, the SFCVB does not have any authority over individual businesses (the shop is not a member of the SFCVB) so we have no official recourse in this situation. However, our Membership Account Executive will visit the shop later this week and discuss your article with the shop owner. We’ve also alerted the Fisherman’s Wharf Community Benefit District and the building owner to the situation.

    Regarding San Francisco’s neighborhoods, we encourage visitors to explore ALL of the city’s diverse neighborhoods, as well as the famous parts of the city. Check out the Neighborhoods section of our site at http://www.onlyinsanfrancisco.com/neighborhoods/.

    Thanks to you, Eve, and to all those who commented, for keeping our visitors’ experience in mind. It’s great that you take tourism seriously and recognize it’s importance to the people of San Francisco.

  • San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau

    Hello Eve,

    Since you mentioned us, I thought I’d provide a little more info about the SFCVB. As a marketing organization, the SFCVB does not have any authority over individual businesses (the shop is not a member of the SFCVB) so we have no official recourse in this situation. However, our Membership Account Executive will visit the shop later this week and discuss your article with the shop owner. We’ve also alerted the Fisherman’s Wharf Community Benefit District and the building owner to the situation.

    Regarding San Francisco’s neighborhoods, we encourage visitors to explore ALL of the city’s diverse neighborhoods, as well as the famous parts of the city. Check out the Neighborhoods section of our site at http://www.onlyinsanfrancisco.com/neighborhoods/.

    Thanks to you, Eve, and to all those who commented, for keeping our visitors’ experience in mind. It’s great that you take tourism seriously and recognize it’s importance to the people of San Francisco.