by Gypsy Taub

It warms my heart to announce that even though I am out of the country the Nude Valentine’s Day parade will take place in San Francisco on Saturday, February 17 @ Jane Warner Plaza. Body freedom lovers will once again gather in Jane Warner Plaza at 10 am and will march at 11 am to the Civic Center and back.

I am about to cross the border into Mexico where I have been helping street kids quit drugs and reunite with family members. Body freedom is still important to me but my new focus is my lifetime dream of opening a healing center that will help people heal from childhood and infant trauma. My new organization is called “Love without borders”. I plan on focusing on troubled street kids and expanding my services from there. The main medicine used is a powerful psychedelic ibogaine, an extract from an African root that is becoming more and more popular in the global community for its almost miraculous ability to heal trauma and addiction.

I wasn’t planning to have a Valentine’s parade this year, but an ardent supporter from New York Michael Capuano contacted me and said he wanted to participate in all my events. I told him I had bad news, no parade was planned this February. Michael was very saddened by that. I suggested that he should get a permit and lead the parade himself. I told Michael that contrary to popular belief I am just an ordinary person, that my victories did not fall from the sky but were achieved through passion, dedication and hard work. I told Michael that anybody can do what I did. He hesitated at first but then decided to do it.

The SFPD wasn’t pleased with the idea of a new organizer who wasn’t local and was giving us a hard time. I sent out an email asking the local body freedom activists if anybody wanted to volunteer and help organize the parade. Giovanni Vassallo, a local San Franciscan activist involved in efforts to help free Tibet, expressed a desire to get the permit and make this parade happen.

Giovanni and I went to the SFPD to meet with the parade permit officer Alex Medina and Sergeant Kaprosh. They asked Giovanni to meet with them in person. I was still in the are and went with Giovanni to make sure that the SFPD doesn’t bully us out of the permit. By the tone of our conversations with them it seemed like they were looking for an excuse to cancel our event. Our lawyer Gill Sperlein said he was ready to go to court to fight for the permit.

Officer Medina was clearly surprised to see me with Giovanni but our conversation went well. Giovanni ensured them that he knew the route well and had experience organizing parades with regards to Tibet. We had a friendly pleasant conversation and the permit was approved, stamped and handed to us. We were relieved and excited.

I am really grateful to MIchael Capuano and Giovanni Vassallo for their courage and dedication to body freedom. I am excited to see my efforts flourish.

The fact that the Nude Valentine’s Day Parade is now has a life of its own independently from me shows that it has become a fine tradition and an integral part of the San Francisco culture. It’s truly an honor and a blessing for me to see that despite the many efforts to destroy free spirit in San Francisco love and freedom have prevailed.