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) An attempt in 1992 to move to 1217 Sutter St., which had formerly been occupied by a straight bar, failed when the Apostolic Faith Church and the Polk Street District Merchants’ Association teamed up to block it, citing prostitution concerns. They lodged the same objection during the unsuccessful 1995 move.In a Gilead-worthy turn of phrase, a spokesangel said he had seen “lots of” prostitutes go into the Motherlode, whereupon they “pick up their men and go to Hemlock [Alley] and sell their bodies.” His fear was that if the bar moved across the street and a few doors down — approximately 185 feet — then they would start turning tricks on Cedar Street.

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I’d forgotten Tuesdays are the Talent Show, basically an open mic with a prize.

The talent in question is usually lip-syncing to whatever you can find on the CD jukebox, but I sign up to recite my piece from UC Berkeley’s V-Day production of The Vagina Monologues in February 2005. They don’t come here for a lecture, they want to be entertained.”A little while later, a beautiful cis femme walks in.

Although she’d been making a living as a female impersonator, she was not a man impersonating a woman; she was a transgender woman.

I’d also found it inspiring that she did everything under her own name: Kelly Michaels the Madonna impersonator was the same Kelly Michaels as the porn star.

Conceptually, Divas evolved from a single-story bar called the Motherlode at the northwest corner of Post and Larkin. Last I’d heard, she’d passed away, and if she were alive she was unlikely to be fixing her makeup in the third-floor restroom at Divas.

The Motherlode’s iconic neon sign still hangs behind the first-floor bar at Divas, though it no longer works; owner Steve Berkey tells me he hasn’t been able to Physically, Divas is a four-story letterbox with the main bar on the first floor, a dancefloor on the third, and a cozy lounge on the fourth. Someone else goes in, and I peek through as the door closes. But still…When she comes back out, I ask, “Excuse me, are you Kelly Michaels? In my late teens, I watched a fair amount of what was then referred to as “shemale porn” because it was the only positive representation of transgender women I could find — my essay “The Big Reveal” in the anthology Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation goes into more detail on this topic — and my biggest hero was Kelly Michaels.That’s the alley that runs parallel between Post and Geary for exactly two blocks between Van Ness and Larkin, much like Hemlock runs for two blocks parallel to Post and Sutter, but Cedar was “closer to Guardian Angels headquarters.” Pearl-clutching terror! Current owner Steve Berkey bought it so his wife Melissa — whom he met while she was a Motherlode Girl — would have somewhere safe to tend bar.In other words, the big strong men in their jaunty berets were pulling a straight-up NIMBY move that surely had nothing to do with their masculinity being on Ok Cupid, my-soon-to-be-girlfriend Marta and I have dinner at Zen Yai at Ellis and Polk streets. To afford the space, he sold off the other properties he owned across the country. The third and fourth floors were initially a club for Asian men called Dragon, which Berkey says is a legacy of Mark Gilpin’s appetite for that demographic.with the horrible title of “Moving is a Drag” (boooo! The online version of the article is credited to simply “SF Weekly Staff,” and while I didn’t start writing for this paper until 2011, I nonetheless apologize. Joseph Jurkans and Mark Gilpin purchased it in 1986 with the intention of opening a gay bar, but the Motherlode started outgrowing its Post and Larkin location upon the closure of the infamously rough Black Rose at Eddy and Jones streets.From the ’95 Weekly article: “The ‘girls,’ as Gilpin calls the trans crowd, flocked to the Motherlode when they discovered the bar welcomed them and provided a safe atmosphere.” The construction of the sentence implies that it was the Weekly staffer who put the scare quotes around “girls.” (Boooo!Bionka A strong, fearless and highly sought-after makeup artist.