Stupid as it may sound, but my preconceived idea of the gay mecca in America is that the streets are filled with pink elephants, happy unicorns, colorful fairies, gentle dragons and sparkling angels. All of these were erased when I got to walk the streets of Castro District in San Francisco.
The Castro is considered San Francisco’s (if not USA’s) gay-friendly epicenter. It actually has glitzy bars and restaurants, flamboyant shops and of course a historical theater. You would know that you have entered this area when lampposts are donned with rainbow flags and zebra lanes are in rainbow colors.
But what I had was a quiet walk in the Castro. I was nevertheless left to realize that the area is a thriving marketplace for all things gay. While I grasp on the sidewalk historical plaques/markers representing past LGBT icons, it was not difficult to recognize that the area is catered to people who identify with the LGBT culture. Actually, passing through a coffee shop seated outside were two young men kissing. And wall murals and posters abound in the area about gay rights and human rights.
The streets may have been calm and quiet on the time of my visit, but I can truly feel the lingering colorful gay spirit in the atmosphere and the unabashed zest for life of The Castro.