GYPSY TAUB’S REPONSE TO THE SFWEEKLY STORY
SF’s Most Notorious Nudist Stakes Her Claim to History
By Jeremy Lybarger Wednesday, Dec 2 2015
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- James Hosking
- Gypsy Taub
Hello, this is Gypsy Taub. SF Weekly published a long front page story about my life and activism. I read it last night and I have to say that it looks like it was written by a schizophrenic with multiple personality disorder. About half of the story does more or less reflect what I said to the reporter, and seems to have been written by a normal person who was doing his best to relate the truth, and the other half seems to be written by someone who has never met me and who hates my guts.
Jeremy, the reporter who interviewed me, seemed like a kind and cool person. I suspect that a lot of what he wrote never made it into the story or was grossly distorted. I suspect that a lot otf garbage was added to the story that Jeremy didn’t write. In America they say there is no censorship but in reality there is censorship everywhere. They call it “editing” – LOL…
For starters, I want to say that there are a few parts in this story that are a blatant outright lie, in total contradiction to what I said in my interview. American press and oftentimes American people LOVE to portray Russia as this hell hole and get really angry at the idea that it might have been a beautiful abundant place, unlike they had been taught. Everything they said about Russia in this article is an outrageous lie and it also shows total and complete ignorance of history that is known to a kindergartener anywhere in the world outside of the US. Stalin’s Era was over in 1954 when Stalin died, and it was never that bad again. Whoever wrote that Stalin’s Era was returning when I was living in Russia is distorting what I said and distorting history.
I will make comments to each part of this story in bold. If you really want to know the truth you should read my responses.
Gypsy Taub was 19 when she arrived in the Combat Zone. It was the fall of 1988. Boston’s infamous red light district — a wedge of downtown the city had officially ceded to strip clubs, porn theaters, gay bars, and streetwalkers — was fading but still aptly named; the Combat Zone was a neon wild where people on the fringe fought to survive.
What a bunch of sensationalistic bull shit!!! First of all, I did not arrive “in the Combat Zone. Second of all, there was no red light district. Naked I was the only strip bar in Boston, others were very far away and inaccessible by Public transportation. I was not aware of any theaters nor gay bars, if they existed they were very few, and most likely none. “People on the fringe fought to survive” – they surely know how to portray people in the most degrading way possible. I didn’t see it that way at all.
Taub’s home was 7,000 miles away, in Soviet Moscow. She’d arrived in Boston hoping to study at MIT. She had no contacts in the city, no résumé, and no professional skills beyond her fluency in Hungarian and English, the latter of which she’d taught herself. She called every restaurant in the Yellow Pages to ask about waitressing jobs, but her lack of a work visa complicated matters since she had to be paid under the table. But in the Combat Zone, a woman looking to work off the books had abundant opportunities if she could dance and didn’t mind an audience.
“no professional skills beyond her fluency in Hungarian and English, the latter of which she’d taught herself”? This is funny. They make me look like this uneducated nobody. Knowing fluent English and Hungarian (one of the hardest languages in the world) takes college degrees. Technically speaking, I had 2 professions of college degree level (except that my English and Hungarian were way better than those of 99% of college graduates who learned those languages as foreigners). It’s also a lie that I learned English myself. I went to the most prestigious English language school in Russia and also studied a lot myself, on top of the required homework.
Also, there were no abundant opportunities for dancing, the Naked I was the only strip club in Boston.
The Naked I, on Washington Street, had a grubby renown among connoisseurs of “obscenely young girls,” as a dancer at the nearby Picc-a-dilly Lounge told the Boston Globe in 1979. The club’s marquee featured an open eye covering a woman’s animated crotch, but inside there was no such censor. All-nude girls danced to Genesis and Kim Carnes and Cat Stevens on two cramped stages, around which men swarmed like silverfish.
This cracks me up. “obscenely young girls”? There were no obscenely young girls, that’s pure slander. Everybody was at least 18, and they were strict about IDs. No one looked that young except for Asia who was petite, had small breasts but was in her early twenties.
“cramped stages”? We had a huge runway stage that stretched over the entire club, there was enough room on it for multiple dancers and there was a bar with bar tenders all the way around it. How is that “cramped”? That stage was almost too big for its purpose.
A writer from the Philadelphia City Paper later eulogized the place as “lousy with drunks and losers and hookers and big ugly bouncers and all manner of human flotsam and jetsam with no teeth and bad breath.”
This is really gross that they would write such garbage. I purposely stressed the fact that the Naked I was a great working environment, that the dancers were awesome cool non-conformist people (way nicer than an average waitress in a mainstream restaurant). I purposely stressed the fact that the bouncers were incredibly sweet and loving guys, and that the couple who owned the place was very respectful of everyone who worked there. The waiters and bar tenders were great awesome people too. By the way, the men who hung out at the Naked I were mostly lawyers and businessmen. They often had their lunch and held their business meetings at the club. They were all very respectful. Only on very rare occasion when some bachelor party showed up would there be an occasional dude who would get loud and he would get instantly thrown out. No disrespect towards the dancers was ever tolerated by the bouncers who treated us girls like family, as if we were their blood sisters.
This was where Taub first got naked in public.
“I watched the other girls do all sorts of things on stage, and nobody had a heart attack,” she says now. “Nobody died. The customers didn’t become disgusted. Everybody seemed happy and nobody suffered.”
Although life in the club was good — the husband-and-wife owners didn’t demand sexual favors and the bouncers were courteous — Taub wasn’t cut out to be a stripper. In addition to tips, the dancers also received a $20 commission every time they persuaded patrons to buy a $100 bottle of champagne, but Taub hated swindling horny men out of their paychecks. In her year at the club, she pocketed only $40 in champagne kickbacks.
She made a “basic” living, enough to afford an apartment. When her family — parents, brother, and sister — immigrated to Boston in 1989, Taub was their breadwinner.
On the capitalist side of the Iron Curtain, Taub received a crash-course in the economics of America’s sex industry. Every day between 3 p.m. and midnight, the Combat Zone offered her another lesson: in human appetites and hypocrisy.
That is a very degrading way to describe what happened, not to mention that it wasn’t true at all. I did not receive a “crash course” in sex industry. It took me many years to learn little by little what sex workers’ lives are like. When I lived in Bostono I knew close to nothing about the sex industry.
“I grew up with all these inhibitions and judgments, but dancing helped me realize that those things were based on bullshit. Being naked doesn’t make you bad,” Taub says. “It was liberating to learn that.”
“Being naked doesn’t make you bad” – I didn’t say it that way. This story is so sanitized, almost everything they quote me saying has been sanitized with bleach. The words that I had used were replaced with vanilla white wash language. I most likely said that being nude doesn’t make you a criminal. I guess that’s way too real and way too truthful for SFWeekly. They can’t handle a political message of such depth. They want to make me look stupid and shallow.
She learned another lesson, too, one she never forgot: “People pay attention when you’re naked.”
Almost a quarter century later, on the other side of the country, people were paying attention to Gypsy Taub. In 2012, responding to complaints about a group of dedicated nudists who frequented an outdoor plaza in the Castro, San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener proposed a new city law banning public nudity, with exceptions for permitted events such as the annual Gay Pride parade.
“responding to complaints about a group of dedicated nudists who frequented an outdoor plaza in the Castro, San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener proposed a new city law banning public nudity” – Scott Wiener wasn’t reponsing to copmaints when he created the nudity ban. Scott Wiener is one of the most dangerous and most destructive and immoral corporate whores in SF who is leading the City to its doom. The nudity ban (as well as all the other law that Scott Wiener either created or srtongly supported that aim at eradicating homeless and low income people) was created as a tool of gentrification and has nothing to do with what the constituents wanted. The vast majority of people in the Castro love, admire and passionately support body freedom and our activism. Less that 1% of the people have a negative reaction to us being nude in the Castro. I made it clear in my interview that the nudity ban had nothing to do with complaints from Scott Wiener’s constituents. Scott Wiener even admitted himself that the nudity ban “eclipsed his career” – he is so widely hated for that legislation that he had to jump through all kinds of hoops and false advertising to win his next electionn, and I am personally deeply convinced that he stole that last eection because every single grass roots organization hates his guts.
Under Wiener’s law, San Franciscans over age five risked a $100 fine if they went au naturel on city streets or sidewalks. A third violation could be considered a misdemeanor, punishable by a $500 fine and a year in jail.
Wiener’s proposal made national headlines and inspired epitaphs for San Francisco’s fabled liberalism. Casual public nudity posed a threat to tourists, residents, and shopkeepers alike, Wiener said in his law’s defense, while still acknowledging that it was a “lose-lose” piece of legislation. The ban wasn’t a referendum on the city’s bohemianism but a “quality of life issue,” he told Bloomberg, adding, “Listen, did I dream of coming into office and writing legislation with the words ‘anal region’ in it? No, I didn’t.”
Outcry from local nudists came from two fronts. One was from recreational nudists — men with cock rings and dicks at perpetual half-mast — who protested Wiener’s would-be crackdown by staging a literal bush war at Jane Warner Plaza in the Castro.
This small, bustling patio at the intersection of Market, 17th, and Castro streets had become a de facto nudist colony, in part because it marked the threshold of America’s most iconic gay neighborhood. Sexual mores were historically more relaxed there.
The only reason the nudists gather in Jane Warner Plaza is that they have nowhere else to go. All the city parks are controlled by the Park and Rec, which prohibits nudity and even bare female breasts in contradiction to the city laws. Jane Warner Plaza is the only place in the city where it was legal to be nude before the nudity ban.
Rob Cox, a Castro resident for more than 20 years, says the plaza, a pedestrian-friendly improvement created when the intersection was closed to traffic, was “forced” onto the neighborhood by Bevan Dufty, Wiener’s predecessor. Worse, in Cox’s opinion, was the city’s laissez-faire attitude about policing the more flagrantly sexual nudists who took up residence in the plaza.
“forced”? I love that word! And what is that supposed to mean exactly? Cox can’t handle a tiny plaza where people can sit down without having to pay and have a cup of coffee or just relax? In America there is nowhere to sit down, all those places have been eradicated to force people to pay for every breath they take. You can’t even sit down without having to buy a beverage or a sandwich.
Why is SFWeekly choosing to quote some stupid gross Republican who does nothing but spew hate? Who the fuck is this Cox jerk? Is there no one else to interview and to quote in SF? Who owns SFWeekly and what is their agenda? I have heard that most newspapers in SF are owned by a right wing Republican.
He recalls having to brave a”gauntlet of penises” every day — a scourge of two dozen freeballers who were more interested in “exhibitionism” than naturism.
Once again, who is this measly asshole and why do we have to read his ignorant fascist statements? What makes him such an authority on culture and freedom of expression? What is the purpose of this article and this publication in general?
“One day the Castro Theatre was showing The Little Mermaid, so there were all these little kids with their mothers,” Cox says, still scandalized. “The neighborhood was intimidated.”
Bull shit, Cox, we saw kids multiple times during our protest. They were smiling and the older kids were chanting “Down with Scott Wiener!” Everybody was taking pictures and laughing.
Many of the men Cox confronted were from Sacramento, Redwood City, and points east, he claims. They de-robed in San Francisco, and in the Castro specifically, because it is where “anything goes” — and because public nudity was outlawed in their own exurbs.
Fuck this Cox guy, who is this asshole and who gives a damn about this hate-spewing troll?
The other front in the opposition was a band of more freewheeling nudists who weren’t content to lounge bare-assed in the sun while City Hall ran roughshod over their First Amendment rights. This cadre dubbed themselves “body freedom activists” and stormed San Francisco like Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters, piloting a graffitied shortbus with an anti-GMO bumper sticker and YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL posted in the destination window. They gamboled into Jane Warner Plaza with homemade placards declaring SAINT FRANCIS WAS A NUDIST, NUDE IS NATURAL, and RECALL SCOTT WIENER. They made impassioned speeches into bullhorns while tourists gawked and moralistic locals fumed.
This is mostly true except for “while tourists gawked and moralistic locals fumed” – this is a distorted representation of reality. As I have said many times, we get 99% support from the locals and the tourists.
Leading the charge was Gypsy Taub.
She was then 43 years old and living in Berkeley with her three kids. She was a seasoned 9/11 truther, aficionado of psychedelics, and sexual free spirit who, in 2008, created a cable access show called My Naked Truth, which still airs every Sunday night on Channel 29 in San Francisco.
Taub’s ambition with the show was to “liberate people, expose political issues, and expose the fact that our society is oppressive and full of lies.” Most episodes featured her and a guest bantering about sex, masturbation, or drugs (while naked).
No less ambitious — if more lucrative — was the amateur porn website she ran out of her Berkeley home. Taub recruited eager couples through Craigslist (until the site shut down its adult services classifieds in 2010). At $200 per shoot, her performers “weren’t in it for the money,” she says, but for the experience. Taub worked both behind and in front of the camera, using the alias “Carmen.”
That’s mostly true.
Here is the Lustful Goddess site:
Filming couples “reminded [her] that tenderness and intimacy still exists somewhere” — a feeling she’d last had, she says, while shooting porn for sites that specialized in hairy women.
Not quite so. Shooting videos of real couples making love reminded me of the tenderness and intimacy I had shared with my Russian lover Serguey before he committes suicide in 1998.
There was no tenderness and no intimacy in shooting solo girl content (with a few rare exceptions).
By late 2012, however, Taub had taken center stage in San Francisco’s anti-nudity showdown. Why she seized this role is still a bit of a mystery. In some ways, Taub’s public nudity seems like a proxy for free speech, women’s rights, sexual rights, and other besieged freedoms. It’s also, perhaps, a way for her to shed the repression and trauma of her childhood in Soviet Russia. As Taub says, “People replay their childhoods their whole lives.”
There were a half-dozen other nude diehards in San Francisco then, most notably George Davis, who unsuccessfully campaigned for mayor and the Board of Supervisors on a pro-nudity platform. But neither Davis nor the city’s other prodigal nude sons — Rusty Mills, Lloyd Fishback, and Mitch Hightower — had Taub’s ruthless firebrand energy or theatricality.
“On the upside, she’s very bright, creative, and energetic,” Davis says. “On the downside, she’s very argumentative, and there’s a question about her focus.” Davis cites 9/11 conspiracy theories and anti-vaccination protests as political bugbears that have sidetracked Taub.
It’s funny that George says that my activism against forced vaccination is not an issue of body freedom. What is a bigger violation of your body, having to wear clothes or being injected with a potentially deadly vaccine against your will? It’s funny how so many so-called “body freedom activists” refuse to see this elephant in the room simply out of their own stubborn ignorance of the subject matter.
In fact, Rusty Mills stubbornly refused to watch the documentary called “Silent Epidemic, the untold story of vaccines”. I was very polite about it. I gave it to him and then later asked him in a brief email to please consider watching at least the very beginning if he would consider alternative information. He refused, and then even though he agreed that hundreds of children die from vaccines every year, he still in believes that children should be vaccinated by force. And then he calls me “belligerent” and small minded. I personally can’t think of a bigger hypocrisy than a so-called body freedom activist demanding forced vaccination. Besides, what right does he have to endanger my child’s life to make himself feel “safer”?
Mills, a longtime nudist and Taub ally who can still be seen about town wearing virtually nothing, agrees about her temperament. “If Gypsy has a certain idea about something and you try to change her mind or do something different, she gets very belligerent,” he says. “Nevertheless, she’s been good for the movement.”
It’s funny that Rusty portrays me as this belligerently intolerant Nazi. I am one of the very few organizers that I know who allows ANYONE to speak into the bull horn at any and all of my protests no matter how much they agree or disagree with me. I gave the microphone to Mike Pertelis at one of our most important protests at the City Hall steps shortly after he trashed me and my activism on nudist yahoo groups. I have never seen any other organizer or group allow that. And I have also always allowed my opponents to speak their mind for as long as they wanted to at my weekly political film screenings that I held in Oakland a few years back.
That movement has deep, embattled roots in the Bay Area. In the early 1990s, Andrew Martinez, then a student at UC Berkeley, became a cause célèbre when he began appearing naked on campus. University police arrested the “Naked Guy,” but the county prosecutor declared nudity legal unless it was accompanied by lewd acts.
Nonetheless, the school banned public nudity in December 1992, followed less than a year later by the city of Berkeley. Martinez was sentenced to two years’ probation after he crashed a city council meeting in the buff, becoming the first casualty of the city’s new clothing mandate. After a subsequent descent into homelessness and schizophrenia, he became a casualty of another kind when he committed suicide in the Santa Clara County jail in San Jose, where he was being held on assault and battery charges. (Public nudity is also illegal in San Jose; his mother collected a $1 million settlement from the county.)
By the way, it is widely believed that Andrew Martinez’s suicide was staged and that his felony charges were false.
San Francisco was the region’s last nudist holdout. Although the city is synonymous with sexual liberation, it has also seen a long tug-of-war between indulgence and resistance, as Josh Sides points out in his book Erotic City: Sexual Revolutions and the Making of Modern San Francisco. The city has always been conflicted about its status as “the smut capital of the world,” to quote former Mayor Dianne Feinstein.
I love the fact that SFWeekly quotes Diane Feinstein. Who is this corporate fascist whore and who gives a shit about her ignorant hateful opinion? Who is she to shit on our city and its people like this? She feels like a piece of shit herself because she never bothered to deal with her own issues of childhood abuse which were obviously severe. She needs to see a therapist instead of dumping her own shame on all of us. And SFWeekly needs to be cut up in squares and used to wipe asses – that’s what we did in Russia when we ran out of toilet paper. SFWeekly rivals communist propaganda newspapers and would make a nice ass wipe, except that it would most likely give your anus a nasty rash from all the poison that is printed on its pages.
Politicians and religious leaders collaborated to squash outré expressions of sexuality, often by pursuing “an aggressive policy of geographic containment,” according to Sides. The Tenderloin, once rife with porn theaters, strip clubs, and gay bars, was a byproduct of that quarantine — essentially a West Coast counterpart to Boston’s Combat Zone. The Castro was another firewalled area, although its transformation from working-class Irish Catholic enclave to gay stronghold in the 1970s had less to do with city policy than with out-migration. As residents of the neighboring Eureka Valley and Haight-Ashbury chased the American dream into the suburbs, home prices dropped, and gays moved in.
“As residents of the neighboring Eureka Valley and Haight-Ashbury chased the American dream into the suburbs” – this cracks me up. What is “the American dream” anyway? It is the stupidest and the most meaningless idea that is hardly a dream. Fantasizing about having a house and other material possessions exposes tremendous spiritual emptiness. Not to mention the fact that in most countries other than the US most people actually own their own homes, as opposed to America where the banks own everyone’s home unless it has been fully paid off, and even then they make you pay property taxes hoping that you will default so they can steal your house. America and its so-called “Amercian Dream” is the biggest hoax. Only very uneducated people can think that having your own house is some sort of a luxury that you have to bust your ass to pay for over 30 years and be a slave to your job because if you miss a mortgage payment you lose your house and your family is forced out on the street. In Russia there were no homeless people, no mortgages, no foreclosures. I don’t have a clue how to even say those words in Russian and neither do most Russians, I bet. I am not a supporter of totalitarian communism and by no means a supporter of Putin, but neither am I a supporter of capitalism turned fascism – and that’s what you have in America today. I have seen both sides and lived on both sides and I can tell you any time of the day – American social structure is a nightmare, no less so than communist Russia was. It is hardly an American Dream, it should be truthfully called the American Nightmare.
Backlash followed. Fred Methner, a spokesman for the Castro Street Improvement Club in the ’60s and ’70s, regularly lobbied the Board of Supervisors and the city Planning Department to purge the “vile” pornography that began popping up in the Castro’s storefront windows. He found a sympathetic ear in then-Supervisor Feinstein. With her Lucy van Pelt haircut and double-breasted blazers, Feinstein was the city’s self-appointed morality czar, waging a scorched-earth campaign against adult bookstores and porn theaters.
As Sides recounts, Feinstein tried to restrict adult businesses from operating within 500 feet of residential areas. In dense, 49-square-mile San Francisco, that would have shunted red light retail into outlying industrial neighborhoods such as Bayview-Hunters Point. Already beleaguered by the loss of jobs after the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard closed in 1974, the predominately African-American community there bristled at becoming a designated “porno zone.” Feinstein compromised by proposing that adult businesses not operate within 1,000 feet of each other — a law the Board of Supervisors passed in 1978.
Fast-forward 30 years and a different, but no less heated, moral crusade gripped City Hall (with Feinstein still invoked as the exemplar of prudishness. Per Rusty Mills, “Scott Wiener aspires to be the next Dianne Feinstein.”). On Nov. 5, 2012, during a public hearing on the proposed nudity ban, Taub choreographed the first of her many headline-grabbing spectacles.
After a succession of residents and merchants spoke in favor of Wiener’s legislation, citing everything from public hygiene to business interests, Taub’s seven-year-old son, Daniel, addressed the committee.
“After a succession of residents and merchants spoke in favor of Wiener’s legislation, citing everything from public hygiene to business interests” – whoever wrote this obviously did not attend that hearing. The vast majority of the public spoke out against the nudity ban. I have posted the full hearing on Youtube or Vimeo.
“Naked people don’t bother me, and they feel like nice people,” he said as his mother hoisted him up to the microphone.
Next, Taub’s older son, Nebo, announced: “A naked person is like a dressed person. There is no difference.”
Finally, Taub’s daughter, Inti, delivered the coup de grâce: “If God wanted us to go everywhere wearing clothes, he should have made it so we were born with clothes.”
Twenty minutes later, Taub, in sandals and a shift-like dress, took the floor.
“Nudity does not harm children,” she began. “Have you ever seen a child cry because they saw a naked person? What do children do when they see naked people? They laugh. It makes them happy, it doesn’t traumatize them.”
She went on to note that “our bodies are sacred, and an attack on our right to be nude is an attack on sacredness, beauty, love, freedom, art, and creative self-expression.” She cited the Declaration of Independence’s guarantee of “unalienable [sic] rights,” and asserted that body freedom was one such right.
Then, she yanked her dress over her head and stood naked under City Hall’s pitiless fluorescents. She gave the audience behind her a girlish wave.
“Attacks on body freedom are unconstitutional and un-American,” she continued, as a committee member advised her that nudity was prohibited inside City Hall, and a sheriff’s deputy closed in. “Down with Scott Wiener and his Fascist legislation! We refuse to go back to the Dark Ages of body shame and sexual repression!”
She continued shouting while the deputy escorted her out.
That moment was a turning point in Taub’s career as a public figure. Although the nudity ban passed 6-to-5 the following month (eliciting another naked fracas from Taub and cohorts), she had demonstrated that an ex-stripper could go commando in City Hall and cause a sensation without “having to shake [her] ass in someone’s face.”
She had also introduced San Francisco to her three children, who, alongside their mother, would caper through the city like a feral Von Trapp family. But just who was this slim, intense woman whose naked body would soon become criminal? And why was she doing this?
She was born Oxane Taub. Her father was a physicist and an amateur inventor, her mother a seamstress.
My father was a physicist, true. But he was not an amateur inventor by any means. Why did SFWeekly choose to lie about that? Why are they diminishing my parent’s level of education? My father was one of the top scientists in Moscow and as professional as they get as an inventor. My mother was not a seamstress, she was a French teacher and had a side business. She was a fashion designer and designed and made all the clothes that she sold herself. I told that to the SFWeekly reporter. Why was this information distorted?
When Taub talks about her childhood in Brezhnev’s USSR, the country takes on the bucolic charm of a Currier & Ives print.
Summers were spent in a rented country house surrounded by meadows and lakes. There were wild berries to pick and mushrooms to forage. The village mothers made soups and salads, fresh preserves and pastries — hearty Slavic meals washed down with industrial-strength tea. Neighbors talked deep into the night. Everyone knew a good joke.
“Slavic meals washed down with industrial-strength tea”? – this cracks me up. Where are they getting these ideas? In some cold war movies? We did not drink neither did we have “industrial strength tea”. What the fuck is that? I didn’t know tea was an industrial product. American food is an industrial product, product of Monsanto and Gilette and other chemical and biotech industries. We actually ate real food in Russia, not industrial waste (the food that mainstream America eats).
Taub calls these the happiest summers of her life, and also some of the most soulful. She was a serious girl who wrote poetry and daydreamed about a world where people loved each other and celebrated life — an idealist, even in the ruins of the Cold War.
“I was always interested in consciousness,” she says. “As a kid, I spent hours thinking about eternity and endlessness and life after death. I didn’t want to believe this is all there is.”
I like this part. It’s pretty accurate except that I wasn’t just a serious girl, I was very playful, had a lot of friends, was a trickster and a joker all my childhood.
The good times ended when she was a teenager. The Soviet Union’s “Era of Stagnation,” a period of political inertia and economic decline, finally took its toll.
Meat shortages swept the country. Tractors broke down and stayed that way. Men drank in the streets. A chill fell over Moscow’s brutalist housing blocks as the state veered back towards Stalinist repression.
What a load or bull crap! There were no food shortages in Moscow, ever, not until it became capitalist in the early 90-s, years after I had left. Meat wasn’t always available at the store but we still ate meat every day, our refrigerators were always so full that we had to store a lot of our food on the balconies and window sills in the winter. Neighbors often asked each other to help store some of their food in each other’s refrigerators and freezers. We ate better and tastier food than the wealthiest Americans ever dream of.
Men did not drink in the streets. We had some drunk people but nothing like America does.
And this statement here “A chill fell over Moscow’s brutalist housing blocks as the state veered back towards Stalinist repression” is pure sensationalized bull shit. Stalin’s Era was over never to return in 1954, 15 years before I was born. Moscow’s “brutalist housing blocks” were no more ugly than the majority of American buildings. Moscow is one of the most spectacular cities in the world in terms of its architechture, its abundance of trees, parks on every single city block. Moscow blows America out of the water any time of the day when it comes to the beauty of its architechture. The old city is breathtakingly beautiful, and the newer apartment complexes, even though often times bland, are still nice because they are all surrounded with parks and trees with benches for people to use for free, playgrounds for kids and such.
“When I was 12 or 13, my parents told me that we’re being lied to about everything,” Taub says. “We’re not the freest and best country in the world. We’re oppressed.”
Taub’s home life mirrored the country’s deterioration. – My home life did not mirror no external deterioration. American press often grab any opportunity (even if it is not there) to say something degrading about Russia. They really get off on it, besides it serves the propaganda agenda of the big war-profiteering corporations that own the majority of the US media outlets and newspapers.
I told the reporter that the Russian government had no impact on me as a kid. I told them that I was miserable because of my dysfunctional family, they were the ones who destroyed my life. I only became aware of free speech issues as a teenager. Until then Russia was a blissful infinitely beautiful place saturated with God’s divine presence in every leaf and every cloud in the sky. That’s how I felt about Russia as a kid.
Her father grew moody and violent.
My father did not “grow violent”. He was violent all his life, at least from the day I was born. He violently attacked me form the time I was a toddler if not an infant. He hit me for the last time when I was about 15.
Her mother was constantly “on the verge of an emotional crisis.” Taub buried herself in schoolwork to avoid going home.
“I can’t say the government made my life hell,” Taub says. “My family pretended to be happy when they weren’t. All of my problems came from them.”
This is mostly true but still distorted. It’s not my family’s fake happiness that made my life miserable, it was the abuse that I was subjected to. I was raped, gang raped, tortured and prostituted by my grandfather from the time of infancy and throughout early childhood, beaten by my father and emotionally abused by all of them including my mother who was non-violent but very abusive in all other ways.
Decades later, Taub uncovered the reason for her mother’s neuroses: She’d been prostituted and raped by her father — Taub’s grandfather — from the time she was a child.
True, except she was tortured and raped from the time by her father from the time she was an infant.
Taub claims that she, too, was repeatedly raped by her grandfather, although the evidence she offers is memories recovered during LSD trips. She experienced visions of her grandfather molesting her with his hands, she says, followed by three men raping her until she blacked out. After using the psychoactive substance ibogaine last year, Taub says she “communicated” with her dead mother and forgave her for not keeping Taub safe as a child.
It’s tempting to chalk these up as drug-induced fantasias. Except, for Taub, they’re deadly real, and a kind of Rosetta Stone that deciphers her entire life. She admits as much, noting, “Without psychedelics I wouldn’t be alive.” When she’s done with America — which may be soon since, as she says, “there is no freedom in this country” — she plans to open an ibogaine clinic in Portugal (where drugs have been decriminalized) to treat heroin addicts and child abuse survivors.
I discovered my memories of being raped and tortured as an infant and then gang raped as a toddler through many decades of meditation and psychedelic journeys. The most helpful remedies that allowed me to finally uncover my memories were, first and foremost, ayahuasca – that is known in the world of alternative therapy to help remember infant abuse. Years after my many ayahuasca journeys in Peru, I talked to an ayahuasca therapist Dr Gabor Mate who is one of the most respected psychedelic therapists on the planet today. Dr Gabor Mate told me that the nightmares that I had experienced on ayahuasca were merely infant memories. That clue allowed me to unlock my actual memories. I went to a Grateful Dead show (which is by far the best healing environment) and administered myself LSD and MDMA. MDMA is especially known for uncovering and healing repressed memories of extreme trauma. I was finally able to see actual events of the abuse and feel the emotions, I literally revisited the incident of my grandfather raping me with his hands when I was but an infant. After the memories started coming in the months after, I went through a year of nightmarish psychedelic journeys that helped me remember and heal a lot of my trauma. My relationship with my kids greatly improved as the result, and I was finally more at peace than I had ever dreamed of being before.
Taub weathered her family’s misery until she moved to America alone at 19, ignoring her parents’ warnings that émigrés “get murdered as soon as they get off the plane.”
My parents actually wanted me to move to the US. It wasn’t my parents who were discouraging me. It was other people. And of course, we were brainwashed to believe that in the US it is not safe to walk the streets. They may have been partially right but streets in America were about the same as they were in Russia, lots of crime but mostly avoidable.
Although drugs didn’t bring her to the U.S., they’ve been a cornerstone of her life here, more so even than nudity.
I hate it when people call “psychedelics” drugs. Psychedelics are the opposite of drugs. They do not create addictions and do not harm your body at all. Unlike conventional “drugs” they do not by any means help you run from your issues, they do the opposite, they make you face your issues, your fears, your grief, your sorrow, your unprocessed negativity. That’s why most people stay away from psychedelics – they don’t want to see the truth about themselves and don’t want to change.
One day in Boston, a friend who was tripping on acid told Taub how “mind-opening” psychedelics were. They aren’t addictive, he said. You don’t lose your mind, you find it — a seductive slogan to a self-loathing girl barely out of her teens.
Taub was intrigued. Shortly after, she and her boyfriend ate mushrooms while watching TV. They “laughed [their] asses off,” she remembers. It was an innocent introduction to what is now one of the most autodidactic obsessions of her life: consciousness expansion.
After a year in Boston, Taub relocated to the Bay Area, where she discovered LSD.
“I’d heard that everyone was dropping acid at Cal, so I figured if it wasn’t making them stupid, it probably wouldn’t make me stupid either,” she says.
This is almost true. I said that people at CalTech (not at Cal) drop acid all the time. I visited CalTech with my boyfriend David Taub who was one of the 2 friends who inspired me to take psychedelics. CalTech is known to have only the smartest and the most brilliant students in the whole country. They were telling me that LSD was safe, and knowing that they were the most intelligent and the most educated science students in the whole US I figured I could trust their opinion. Besides they were extremely intelligent and knowledgeable. I believed them and was inspired by them.
She stayed up all night during her first acid trip and promised herself that she’d go to the library the next morning to learn how to make her own LSD. Like a true communist, she believed in owning the means of production. (She never mastered the recipe.)
“Like a true communist” – I really don’t appreciate this comparison. It’s like calling someone a true fascist just because they are from Germany. I was never a communist. I was thrown out of school for being anti-communist. I was against communism from the time I was 12.
I mainly gave up on learning how to make LSD because it involved life-threatening chemicals and dangerous chemical reactions. I decided to leave that to the professionals. CalTech once supplied the whole West Coast with LSD. I trusted them to do their job well and they surely did…LOL…
At 23, Taub enrolled at City College of San Francisco and declared a pre-med major. Her interest in altered mental states had encouraged her to become a psychiatrist. To help pay tuition, she enlisted with a modeling agency that got her gigs in adult entertainment. An amateur pornographer who sold VHS tapes via mail-order catalogs hired her to do solo videos, and later, girl-on-girl shoots.
This is true, but I want to add that the “amatuer pornographer” was hardly an amatuer. He had very professional equipment and was very professional in his work ethics. He was a very respectful and very kind man. He had once worked as a big manager for the IBM and was still working in the computer industry. He was also a friend who gave me other work when I needed money, like helping him with his mail orders for the videos. He was a great person and I feel blessed to have known him.
Although she was making money and earning straight A’s, Taub says it was a bleak time. She didn’t have many friends, and America “didn’t represent the things [she] was looking for in terms of freedom.” She dropped out of City College after a year and a half.
I can’t say that it was a bleak time. It was a very interesting time in my life, in many ways very happy. But I decided that college was way too limiting. I felt that I was I kindergarten. I guess that kind of a statement wouldn’t fly with conformist SFWeekly so they had to distort the truth. I actually did have great friends, I stayed friends with some of those people for life. I left college because I wanted to learn from real life and not from dusty libraries with books filled with small-minded conformist crap and political propaganda.
“I felt really broken inside, and I was tired of projecting this image of being a successful person and fooling everybody,” she says. “I spent all of my time studying. I didn’t have a social life. It was a waste of time.”
College was in a sense a waste of time. The best lesson I learned in college was that college was no place for a free spirit and no place for an open mind. In many cases college is kindergarten, a tool of oppression and of conformity.
In 1995, she experienced the “biggest awakening of [her] life.” She’d gone to New Mexico to track down an Indian shaman from whom she hoped to learn ancient healing arts. Instead, she was invited to a peyote meeting in Steamboat, Ariz., a sparse desert settlement in the midst of Navajo, Apache, and Zuni Indian territories.
Peyote meetings are intensely private, confessional affairs. Two dozen tribal members cram into a teepee and ingest peyote. A drum beats. One by one, each person unburdens his or her grief while everybody else wails or chants or staggers outside the teepee to vomit.
This is mostly accurate, except that the Indians do not vomit from peyote. I didn’t either. As soon as I stopped thinking that I am supposed to vomit I stopped feeling nauseous. I attended a total of 4 peyote meetings in my life and never once threw up. Neither did I see anyone else do that, except once when a man either spat up or threw up a little but a few times and covered his spit with dirt.
No one really left the tee-pee during the ceremony either except for a very brief moment may be once in the 12 hours.
“I wanted to move there as soon as I experienced it,” Taub says. “I’m from Russia, I couldn’t be farther from the Indian culture, but it was so healing. I felt reborn.”
I felt that I was surrounded by family for the very first time in my life, even though I was surrounded by complete strangers from a culture as distant from mine as can be. Because the Indians were so real, so down-to-earth and so kind to me.
Shortly after, she traveled home to post-Soviet Russia and fell in love with a long-haired countryman named Serguey, whom she married.
Serguey had short hair when I met him. He became a hippie after meeting me and traveling and being introduced to the Grateful Dead, Phish, Widespread Panic and String Cheese. He grew his hair out for me because I love long hair.
Serguey had horrific baggage: At 16, he lost both his brother and his best friend to suicide. Another brother was murdered that same year.
“He had a lot of emotional problems,” Taub says. Yet, over the next three years the couple carved out their version of domestic bliss. They went to Grateful Dead concerts and peyote meetings. They filmed a porn together before deciding their lovemaking was too sacred to share.
Then, in 1998, Serguey killed himself.
This is all true.
“It was unbelievably painful,” Taub says. “I wanted him to come back.”
She believed that Serguey’s spirit was still at-large in some parallel universe and that she could reach him through psychedelics. She dropped acid and took ecstasy at concerts, desperate for a conduit to her husband’s soul. Every day she performed manifestation rituals she’d learned online.
I didn’t learn those manifestation techniques online. I was given a tape by my astrologer friend Nancy Gilmore after I asked the Universe to help me meet my spiritual guide. That’s how I discovered Lazaris whose teachings helped me bring Serguey back into my life in a different body. I know it’s hard to believe but it is nonetheless as true as it gets.
She attended an ayahuasca ceremony in Peru, hoping to come closer to Serguey, but the plant only unleashed nightmares.
At a peyote meeting in Shiprock, New Mexico, a healer told her, “You need to face your fear or it’s going to run you off a cliff.” Taub says she felt heaven and hell inside of her then, and knew the only thing “separating God from the devil is fear.” She had to embrace her fear, even if it meant accepting that Serguey’s spirit might never come back.
This is mostly true except that my fear was not about Serguey not coming back. My fears were much deeper than that.
Until it did.
In 2013, at the Rainbow Gathering in Montana — an annual confab of hippies, stoners, burners, artists, and assorted other utopians — Taub met Jamyz Smith, a 20-year-old traveler from Jackson, Mo. Smith’s unkempt, dirty-blonde hair perpetually hid his face, but when he took Taub in his arms to dance, she knew that Serguey had returned.
“His eyes are the same, the way he combs his hair is the same, the way he laughs, smiles, gets angry, cries, the clothes he wears, every goddamn little detail is the same,” she says.
They returned to Berkeley and got engaged. By then, San Francisco’s nudity ban had been in effect for almost half a year. Taub was deep into her activism. Smith had “a lot of hang-ups” about being naked in public, according to Taub, but after the couple’s engagement, he began championing his finacée’s cause — so much so that on Dec. 19, 2013, the couple staged a nude wedding on the steps of City Hall.
It was another anarchic Taub spectacle. George Davis officiated the ceremony, reading from a thick tome labeled EROTIC ART. Local press photographers lent the wedding a kind of paparazzi luster. Taub and Smith stripped down to repeat their vows. After the kiss and bouquet toss, a mariachi band burst into vehement song, and the newlyweds danced.
It turned out to be anything but a fairytale marriage.
“He was too young for her,” fellow nudist Lloyd Fishback says of Taub’s husband, adding that she led Smith around “like a rag doll,” although “he seemed like the kind of person who wanted to be led around.”
Thanks, Lloyd, I am glad you feel like you are in any position to judge my marriage. I have known Lloyd for many years and have never once seen him with a partner of any gender nor heard of him ever dating anyone in the present nor in the past. I really don’t feel that Lloyd has enough understanding of intimacy. I suspect that he has absolutely no clue what it means. His statements seem to be a result of jealousy. He has always liked me but he has always been terrified of any real human connection. As much as I always wanted to be his friend (which I don’t any more after reading what he says behind my back) friendship with him was impossible to establish, at least for me.
As far as Jimmy “wanting to be led around” I think that’s really fucked up statement. Lloyd never spent any time with us outside of protests. At protests Jimmy helped me set up and take the signs down. He helped me a lot in every way he could. While asking Lloyd for help was useless. He would just stand there and do nothing and act like it was too much for him to handle. Lloyd was by far the very least helpful person when it came to setting up for a protest. And then he would guilt trip me later for taking too long to finish talking the signs down because he wanted me to go to the Center for Sex and Culture to entertain him right after the protest.
Lloyd’s statements that Jimmyis “too young” for me sounds like a combination of jealousy and conformity. He has never really talked to Jimmy. How can he possibly know how mature or immature Jimmy is? My problems with Jimmy have nothing to do with his nor my age. They have to do with him refusing to take responsibility for the emotional damage that he caused me and continues to cause. Getting older doesn’t guarantee that the person will become responsible. Most people who don’t want to take responsibility at the age of 20 don’t become any more responsible by the age of 40. It’s really a choice that can be made at any time in one’s life, but one has to be willing.
There have been extended periods of time when Jimmy took full responsibility for his impact on me and our relationship. He is an incredibly loving, wise and responsible person when he is being his true self.
Jimmy had a lot of trauma as a child. His meth-cooking mother beat him severely, prostituted him and had him gang raped repeatedly at very young age, most likely, for drugs. He was prostituted regularly while his father (Richard Smith) raped and choked him at the same times starting in infancy. His mother, Carmen Baker, also personally sexually abused Jimmy. She hates my guts now because I helped him uncover his memories and break her mind control that he was under.
Due to the depth and severity of his childhood abuse Jimmy had severe emotional issues. Thanks to the 3 ibogaine treatments and many other psychedelic sessions, thanks to Phil and Friends, Phish, Widespread Panic and String Cheese Incident, and thanks to the extensive therapy that I gave him myself, he is in a much better place than he was before he met me. He is no longer filled with thoughts of suicide and is much more emotionally stable and self-sufficient than he ever was before we met.
Taub and Smith recently separated, and Smith returned to Missouri.
“He’s going through a really dark stage in his life,” Taub says. “He was raised around Bible-thumping people. Everybody was cooking their own meth and abusing their kids, prostituting their kids. He went back to Missouri to take care of some things.”
Jimmy went to Missouri to take care of his 7-year-old twin brothers, to save them from the same abuse that he was subjected to as a child.
(Smith could not be reached for comment.)
As far as I know Jimmy is staying at a friend’s place in Jackson, Missouri and his cell phone has been disconnected for the last couple months.
Taub says she’s open to reconciling someday, provided Smith stops being “an asshole.” Until then, a new passion now occupies her time.
I am not sure what is meant by a “new passion”. I was briefly dating someone else at the time of the interview, but it was just a fling and there was no passion there at any point. The passion that I felt for Serguey/Jimmy was greater than anything I had ever felt (along with my love for my kids). It will probably take me a long time to fall in love with someone else. Short of that I am perfectly content being single for the rest of my life just as I was for 14 years while Serguey was dead.
“It’s not just about Gypsy and nudity. It’s about protecting everybody’s right to engage in symbolic speech.” This is how Gill Sperlein, Taub’s attorney, describes the lawsuit now wending its way through the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Whether or not something constitutes symbolic speech is notoriously tricky to parse. There’s a chance, albeit slim, that Taub’s case could go all the way to the Supreme Court.
Sperlein is the second attorney to take up Taub’s cause. The first, Christina DiEdoardo, dropped her client after “payment issues” arose. (DiEdoardo didn’t respond to a request for comment. Taub says that five plaintiffs, including George Davis, signed onto the initial suit, and that none of them could agree how to divvy up the legal fees.)
This is bull shit, and it really upsets me how much the media and Christina herself have misrepresented the reason why she quit our case.
I told the reporter that I really appreciate Christina’s help with our case. I thought she was a great spokesperson and activist. She did drop our case without giving us time to find a new lawyer which I think was weak of her, but I do forgive her and love her for the beautiful person that she is deep inside.
Christina dropped our case as the result of George Davis refusing to pay his share of the bills (after the donations slowed down). At first Rusty, Mitch and I made arrangements with Christina and made payments to cover Georges share as well. Then we all started fighting. Mitch got mad at George first, then Mithc cooled off. Then I got mad at George and send emails to everybody about how much I hate George’s greed, then Mitch said he was quitting the case. Evern though the payments were still made on time, and even though I dropped off an extra payment in advance and Rusty send another payment on top of it. Christina got cold feet and dropped the case.
Frankly, had George not been so greedy about paying his share ( he didn’t want to pay not because he couldn’t but because he didn’t want to and didn’t give a shit about the retainer agreement that he signed with Christina) no conflict would have happened. George goes on luxury vacations on regular basis and spend all kinds of money on his own publicity in the body freedom movement. Yet he refused to help us pay the bill and expected me, a single mother of 3 who busted her ass for the movement, to make payments for him. Can you blame me for being mad at George? It’s funny that he feels he has the right to judge me for confronting him.
That initial complaint was straightforward: DiEdoardo filed a class action suit against the city of San Francisco, deeming the nudity ban unconstitutional. The court dismissed the suit because it was filed three months before the ban even went into effect; in legal parlance, the ordinance wasn’t yet “ripe” for litigation.
An amended complaint was filed in March 2013, shortly after which DiEdoardo stopped representing her clients, possibly because she wasn’t being paid. Taub and Davis started shopping for a new attorney.
George never helped me look for a new attorney. It was 99% me personally who spent countles hours looking for a new attorney. I refused to settle for bull shot attorneys and I am really glad I stood my ground. I found Gill Sperlein through my adult industry connections and my anti-war activism, in essence I found Gill thanks to my free speech activism of the past. I love Gill and am feel really blessed to know this amazing human being. I couldn’t have wished for a better lawyer for our case. I also admire Larry Walters, Gill’s partner attorney, who helped me find Gill and who later joined our case pro bono.
Initially, Sperlein declined. He was close friends with Scott Wiener and had worked on the supervisor’s campaign committee. In turn, Wiener had supported Sperlein for a position on the city’s Entertainment Commission. Representing a client who so frequently and fervently denounced Wiener would be a betrayal, Sperlein thought.
The San Francisco Police Department changed his mind.
In 2014, the SFPD cited Taub for appearing nude at the annual Bay to Breakers race (in fairness, she was wearing a hat bearing the slogan “Recall Wiener”). Sperlein contends that the event is a well-known, permitted exemption to the nudity ban, and that Taub should never have been penalized. Moreover, in a brief filed in July 2014, he argued that police are discriminatory in how they enforce the nudity ban.
As evidence, he points to the World Naked Bike Ride and the Critical Mass bike rides as events where multiple nude participants weren’t cited. According to him, the reason is simple politicking.
“If you live in San Francisco, you know the kind of clout the Bike Coalition has, so it’s not surprising the police doesn’t go after them,” Sperlein says. Instead, the police continue to harass comparative political lightweights like Taub.
Another example of discrimination: Taub applied for nude parade permits 10 times in the last two years, but, according to Sperlein, was “ignored or denied each time.” In one instance, the city informed Taub she was ineligible for a parade permit because the 50 to 100 nude attendees she expected didn’t constitute a parade. Yet, nowhere does the city police code specify a minimum number of participants to declare a parade.
In June, the city settled Taub’s discrimination claim for $20,000, a move that saved taxpayers needless expense and resolved “an evidence-intensive legal sideshow,” according to City Attorney spokesman Matt Dorsey.
And in September, Sperlein won a temporary restraining order that prevented the city and the SFPD from denying a permit for the “nude-in” and parade that Taub held at Jane Warner Plaza that month.
But the elephant in the case, so to speak, remains. Is Taub’s nudity protected free speech?
Sperlein, a veteran First Amendment attorney who often represents sex workers and the porn industry, argues that “the most challenging and provocative speech is upsetting. It’s also the most effective.” He compares Taub to pro-life activists who picket abortion clinics with images of dead fetuses. While bystanders may prefer not to see naked people (or dead fetuses), the First Amendment protects the rights of both naked and pro-life activists to protest however they want.
Taub claims that nudity is her message. Hollywood and Madison Avenue fetishize unrealistic, unattainable bodies, she says, but her nudity is a public service announcement that this is what a body looks like. It’s a message of self-acceptance presented in deliberately confrontational terms.
Take, for example, Taub’s children. They often appear naked alongside their mother at public protests. A trio of nude kids — two of whom are visibly pubescent — is taboo enough to make some observers question Taub’s parental ethics.
“I wouldn’t want to pay her psychiatry bills when those kids are older,” says Cox, the Castro resident who was in City Hall the day Taub’s children testified (clothed) in support of nudity. He dubs the family’s dynamic “creepy.”
Once again, who is this slimy hater Cox and why do we have to be subjected to his ignorance and blind hate? Why does SFWeekly choose to quote this Republican nobody? What is the agenda here? I would like to see what Cox’s children grew up to be like, what kinds of drugs they are on and how broken their lives and families are. I can’t imagine him having anything but a terrible relationship with his kids. Not to say that men who are so strongly against body freedom and self-expression are often times child-rapists. We all know how common it is for Republicans and other prudes to use their prudishness as a smoke screen to camouflage their own child rape.
Andrea Aiello, executive director of the Castro/Upper Market Community Benefit District, says she finds the children’s nudity “concerning.”
And who the fuck is this? How come SFWeekly neglected to interview any progressive or at least not totally sold out prudes? Why are we reading these ridiculous people’s opinions who constitute a measly backward minority?
Sperlein won’t even talk on record about Taub’s children, saying only that he’s a “First Amendment absolutist” who wouldn’t presume to counsel Taub about her family.
Taub, frankly, doesn’t give a shit what anyone thinks about her parenting skills. “It’s okay to be nude until you’re five, so how’s it different if you’re 10? I don’t see any reason why this is wrong. Abuse doesn’t happen in the middle of downtown San Francisco.”
State law is on Taub’s side. According to Sylvia Deporto of Child Protective Services, no child welfare agency in California takes a position on raising kids as nudists. She adds that CPS in San Francisco has never traced child nudity to a credible risk to the child’s safety.
“And if it’s sanctioned by the city, as with a permit, I don’t see how we can intervene anyway,” Deporto adds.
It’s amazing that SFWeeky went as far as call the child protective service on me. I am sure they have nothing better to do than terrorize a loving responsible mother for rebelling against fascism. Child protective service is known to take away children from perfectly good families and sell them to abusive families. So many people who used to work there quit because they couldn’t stand to be a part of those ugly crimes against humanity. Child Protective Service even had to change their name because their reputation is so ugly. They are notorious for giving raped and abused children right back to the abusers. They will buy and sell your child to the highest bidder any time of the day.
For some Castro neighbors, that Taub protests at all in San Francisco is galling. Both Cox and Aiello say that Taub, a Berkeley resident, should keep her nude circus in the East Bay.
To that, Taub replies that she’s a “citizen of the world” with as much right to demonstrate in San Francisco as, say, Scott Wiener. Geographic boundaries are “bullshit” anyway, she adds.
I like this part. They actually quoted me word to word here.
Even if Taub’s critics are willing to concede her naked children and her impinging on their neighborhood, they’re not likely to accept that she has to go the full monty to share her message. After all, women can still go topless under the nudity ban. (In the aftermath of the ban’s passage, Taub would protest in Jane Warner Plaza with a purple strapon, thus keeping her vulva covered and her act street legal.)
This is one argument that infuriates Sperlein.
“Whenever this issue comes up on Facebook, people say, ‘Public nudity wouldn’t be so bad if it was pretty people doing it.’ Well, that’s the fucking point. That last stitch is everything.”
That last stitch was also the last straw for many in Scott Wiener’s district. Since the passage of the nudity ban in 2012, public nudity in San Francisco is sporadic and mild, usually piggybacking on a permitted event such as the Folsom Street Fair. Lloyd Fishback still makes his daily nude circuit through the Castro, except now a gold lamé pouch hides his genitals. What the neighborhood lost in local color it apparently gained in civic peace.
That last statement is such a load of bull crap! The Castro nudists are very peaceful and friendly people. I have never seen any of them cause any problems, not even a verbal argument. The problems come from psychotic prudes who attack and threaten the nudists on rare occasion, just as hate groups threaten and attack anyone who is different, just as gays were attacked, and blacks and transgender people. This is no different. We do not cause any disturbances. The prudes do, and the police come and even get violent sometimes over a peaceful protest that is supposed to be constitutionally protected free speech.
“For me, the issue is put to bed. I try not to think about it anymore,” Cox says.
Cox, you are right, don’t think about it. Don’t think about anything, it’s bad for you. Just keep on living your blind self-righteous unthinking and unfeeling pathetic joke of a life!
Aiello seconds that. “I don’t get complaints. I don’t get emails. It’s a non-issue now.”
Expunging Taub and her band of nudists from the Castro has segued into another kind of turf war, however. As George Davis notes, Jane Warner Plaza is now sporadically colonized by crust punks and the homeless, almost none of whom occupied the neighborhood before the nudity ban.
“At least nudists were friendly and more fun,” he says.
I hate the way George Davis and SFWeekly describe our homeless people and our youth. This is pure fascism! Scott Wiener and other corporate whores passed legislations that got many people evicted, then they passed legislation making it illegal (jail time and $500 fine) to sleep in the Golden Gate park. And now they are pissed off that those people who have nowhere to go sat down for a rest in Jane Warner Plaza. The cops are always there harassing everybody like there is nothing else for the police to do in the city full of violent crime.
And George Davis who demands dignity and freedom for himself has no problem dumping hate and making degrading comments about other oppressed minorities in the City.
Perhaps because of that, there’s been a subtle thawing toward Taub. In the past, she was generally pigeonholed as a harmless kook, or the live-action equivalent of an internet troll — abrasive, unapologetic, and uncompromising.
“harmless kook, or the live-action equivalent of an internet troll — abrasive, unapologetic, and uncompromising’ What the fuck are all these insults about and whose opinion do they represent? Obviously, someone who knows absolutely nothing about me. I get a lot of emails from people all over San Francisco and the world. In the 8 years of my body freedom activism I received hundreds if not thousands of emails of admiration and small handful of emails that were negative. In most cases, negative comments came from men who tried to hit on me in a disrespectful way and were rejected.
Check out feedback from my viewers here:
Recently, though, she’s been embraced, however tepidly, as that most fragile of municipal assets: a local character. She harkens back to a San Francisco before the current era of exaggerated wealth and corporate kowtowing, to a city that still appreciated individualists who had the strength of their own convictions, however offbeat.
“Sometimes we have conversations where she’s convinced she represents the majority of San Franciscans. I’m not always convinced,” Sperlein says.
But just last month, SFGate included Taub in a round-up of “outsized personalities” who carry the torch of San Francisco weirdness. Indeed, Taub’s quest — as quixotic and niche as it seems — is distinctly San Franciscan. You could argue that her precursors are renegades such as Carol Doda, the legendary stripper who flung aside her pasties on the Condor stage in 1964, or Mother Boats, the leader of the Psychedelic Venus Church, who, in 1973, sailed from America in a schooner crewed with naked passengers.
Mother Boats is gone now. So is Carol Doda. And Taub has her sights on Portugal, where she can live her “normal, boring life” in peace — a woman with nothing to hide.
I am not sure what they mean by “normal, boring life”. How is having your own ibogaine clinic in one of the funniest and most progressive countries in the world “boring”? I have never had a boring life. I never needed a TV because my life was always by far more exciting than any TV show could possibly be.
I also want to add that when we were being photographed we were constantly told not to smile. We had to artificialy suppress our smiles. I am not sure what the purpose of that is. At first I thought it was about making the photos unstaged but after seeing how miserable Rusty and Lloyd and myself look in our photos I am starting to think that it was deliberate, to make us look like a bunch of miserable losers. Because this article is way more degrading than it is helpful.
When the Guardian in England asked me to write an article about San Francisco and the Castro they published my story word to word without any alterations. The Guardian is considered one of the most respected publications in the world. SFWeekly, however, should be used as toilet paper. I am really disappointed in this story. Nothing personal about Jeremy who wrote it but rather about the editor who raped the story.
Here is the story that I wrote for the Guardian that wasn’t raped: