Clinic & Kink: A Winning Combination

by Nandita Krishna

Being a major beneficiary of the Folsom Street Events is no easy task, but it is definitely worth it. The past few years, BFC volunteers have filled hundreds of shifts at Folsom fairs and parties, and in exchange we've received unforgettable experiences and fat checks for around $20k (that's like, 1000 gonorrhea treatments). 

 At Up Your Alley, the BFC was well represented in the Green Team because we are all about sustainable kink! CloCkwise from left: Sarah (IRC), Franzi (PCC), Green Team Leader, Daniel (GMHC/PCC), VIncent (PCC), Some Rando, Sally (CEC), and Karadi (Med)

At Up Your Alley, the BFC was well represented in the Green Team because we are all about sustainable kink!
CloCkwise from left: Sarah (IRC), Franzi (PCC), Green Team Leader, Daniel (GMHC/PCC), VIncent (PCC), Some Rando, Sally (CEC), and Karadi (Med)

For those unaware, Folsom Street Events is a series of gatherings held in the SoMa district of San Francisco for the kink and fetish communities (predominantly oriented towards gay men). The events culminate in the Folsom Street Fair in late September, which attracts over 250,000 fetish enthusiasts from across the world.

In June, 30 clinic members took on shifts at Up Your Alley, aka Folsom's more hardcore little brother. The highlight for me (besides watching a raucous game of Twister) was the sigh of relief when we finished packing up the supply truck, floor to ceiling and tip to tail. A job well done. 

But the main event is yet to come. For the weekend of September 30th, we are contracted to supply 70 volunteers for the Folsom Street Fair and 20 volunteers for the parties. It's a tall order, but with every section (and maybe some alumni) pitching in, I believe we can do it! If you're interested, you can sign up for a shift here, or e-mail me at nandita@berkeleyfreeclinic.org for more information.

The opportunities are endless: be a Gates Greeter and work alongside the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, or do a morning setup shift so you can enjoy the fair afterwards (but still have access to those swanky porta potties reserved for volunteers). In addition to the porta potties, Folsom volunteers get a private coat check (so you can check in all your clothes when you're ready to roam the fair) and a hospitality area serving refreshments throughout the day. It's also a fantastic opportunity to bond with other BFCers, support a marginalized community, and rock your badass leather harness in public (or sweatpants, whatever makes you comfortable.) 

Bonus Pride Pics

 Oakland Pride booth L to r: Ames (PCC), Daniel (GMHC/PCC), and Kama (HPS)

Oakland Pride booth
L to r: Ames (PCC), Daniel (GMHC/PCC), and Kama (HPS)

Not only are we living it up at kink fairs, we have also been active at Bay Area Prides! At SF Pride, we staffed a beer booth and made over $3,000! ($800 from tips, xoxo)

Daniel (PCC/GMHC) organized a BFC booth at Oakland Pride this past weekend to sell merch, give out info, and recruit volunteers. We also had a contingent marching in the parade alongside our mobile outreach van!

 A multisectional coalition (jk its mostly gmhc) staffs our Pride 2k18 booth, which raked in over $3000 for the clinic this year  L to R: Dennis (GMHC), Noel (IRC/SSS), Yves (GMHC), Jon (IRC), A Very Receded Alex (GMHC), Matt (GMHC), Tim (GMHC), Kama (HPS), Andre (HPS), 25% of Cesar's face (GMHC), Phung (GMHC), Diana (IRC), and Karadi (Med)

A multisectional coalition (jk its mostly gmhc) staffs our Pride 2k18 booth, which raked in over $3000 for the clinic this year

L to R: Dennis (GMHC), Noel (IRC/SSS), Yves (GMHC), Jon (IRC), A Very Receded Alex (GMHC), Matt (GMHC), Tim (GMHC), Kama (HPS), Andre (HPS), 25% of Cesar's face (GMHC), Phung (GMHC), Diana (IRC), and Karadi (Med)