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.