DYKE ’88 | San Francisco
A feature length documentary by Lulu Belliveau
1988 was the year the San Francisco dyke scene exploded.
This was our city, these are our stories. It’s time to tell them.
In the late 80’s a new generation of lesbian was emerging – loud, proud and in-yer-face. Exciting new clubs like Female Trouble and Club Q were serving up their own sound and style. Women were picking up instruments and forming bands, getting political out on the streets, and playing with fashion, creating an identifiable dyke style. Sex was our strength, our protection, and our pride as we posed naked, stripped and danced our way into empowerment for a new decade. We had witnessed the devastating impact of the AIDS crisis on the gay men’s community and we responded, not only demonstrating on the streets, but creating art and performance to try to make sense of our grief and anger.
From all over the USA and around the world, women were hearing about the San Francisco women’s scene and came to visit, many who ended up making the Bay Area home. The influence of that era lingers on in every radical edge of queer culture today.
I want to make this documentary because I was there, I was a part of it. This is my San Francisco. The women making the spaces, the music, dancing in the clubs, creating the magazines & images, and rioting in the streets – they are my friends. Our memories, our stories, our lives, are in important piece of our queer history and it’s time for that story to be told.
WHAT IT IS
Focusing on the year 1988, Dyke ’88 | San Francisco will document the City’s lesbian culture in the late 80’s and early 90’s, told through the voices of people who were there. Interviews, brought together with original music, archival video footage, photographs and the wonderful ephemera of the day, creating a vision of what it was like to be lesbian in San Francisco in those heady days. It was a magic time in the Bay Area, a time filled with extremes – joy, sadness, creativity, grief, anger, love and above all, friendship.
It was the edge of an era. A time forgotten.
Studying for my degree, I have spent countless hours researching this past but find so very little recorded about our queer lives, specifically these years in San Francisco. Rarer still are profiles of the people who created the spaces – magazines, zines, clubs, activist groups – where this culture was nurtured. I particularly want to celebrate the women who created those spaces.
This was an age before the internet and social media. Before digital music and film. Gathering the stories is the simple part, it involves connecting and catching up with old friends, which is always a joy. Collecting the images, the music, the videos – this is going to take hard work and the generosity of those friends.
Please help me find that ephemera – it’s even more important than the money.
WHAT I NEED THE MONEY FOR…
Camera, lighting & sound crew, graphic design, research assistant and transcription. Licensing rights to photographs, videos and music. Any additional camera & sound equipment costs, plus location, lighting, set, tape stock, transfers, etc.
Kickstarter fees, charges, rewards and postage.
This budget does NOT include Editor and post production!
So far my partner, Ele and I have financed the research, travel, camera & sound equipment, and legal fees. This campaign will be the difference between being able to have crew or not. Any funds raised and not used on the shoot will go towards post production.
I AM LAUNCHING THIS WHILE WE ARE IN CALIFORNIA SHOOTING. I will be in SF June 11 – July 3, then LA until July 15th. I will be interviewing and collecting archival material. If you can help, please get in touch!
I know that I will need more cash. We hope to raise matching funds privately and (please please please) I hope that this campaign will exceed it’s goal. I do not want to raise the goal as I don’t want to take the chance that it won’t be successful! This campaign is in British pounds which is around a 2/3 exchange. So in $US I am looking for $30k.
I would also like to be able to pay a researcher to continue the work gathering photographs & ephemera in SF after we’ve left. Music is another important link in the story – finding the artists and paying for rights is another time and money consuming affair. Much of this I can do online, but nothing replaces people with their eyes and ears, and ability to communicate and make aesthetic judgement.
I plan to edit in the fall for release and showings in film festivals throughout 2016.
WHO AM I?
I was born in San Francisco and grew up in the Bay Area, and have lived in London for the past 20+ years. I’ve recently completed a BA in Arts & Media Management.
I have been in publishing, as an editor at On Our Backs and Quim magazines; filmmaking, as production manager on Dandy Dust from Hans Scheirl (http://hansscheirl.jimdo.com/dandy-dust/), one of the writer/prod/directors of Well Sexy Women for the THT and most recently as producer on Campbell X’s Stud Life (http://www.studlifethemovie.com/). I’ve been active in grassroots political organising mainly with ACTUP/SF, and I have mentored and supported many creative queers into flourishing careers.
I have worked within the queer community since I came out in SF in 1983. My passion has always be to increase visibility and promote queer artists. I work on things that I love, thus my work is varied, unpaid and often I have long lapses between work while I earn the rent.
My memory of San Francisco remains vividly of these years and the radical events that changed our history. It is inevitable on a project like this, which I will be producing and directing, that my own experiences will be my starting point. But my story is just one of many.
Our audience will include anyone interested in San Francisco history, especially it’s queer history, it’s street culture and the radical influence SF is famous for. These stories are also of essential interest to our queer youth, who are so interested in the lives we lived and the experiences we’ve had. They carry on our radical fight – inspiration for a new generation! The generation that came immediately on our heels are the face of the changes we instigated. These artists and the activists went on to change the laws and fight from the margins to the center for LGBT rights. Finally, there is us, the storytellers, pioneers of a new queer reality. We were part of an amazing era in a magical city. Let’s recall our memories, our city, our clubs, our love and our youth.
The world needs our stories.
THANK YOU… from my heart.