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Street Art in the Castro Makes a Stand

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The following post was taken from the SFFS eighth grade blog "Castro Chronicle." View more posts hereTo see posts from eighth graders covering the Mission District, click here.​

THE CASTRO- Lively, filled with LGBTQ flags hanging proudly on every doorstep. The famous “gayborhood”, with history marked on every corner that you cross. Then why is this historical neighborhood is being flooded with hetereosexual people? Why are historical LGBTQ bars being replaced by Whole Foods? What’s the LGBTQ community doing about this?

In previous years it’s been rallys, or speeches, or presence in the government, but another form of activism is street art.

Although the Castro is a changing neighborhood, you can still find murals scattered across the neighborhood reminding us of the open, loving community in the Castro. On the corner of 18th and Noe, is the mural entitled “Love is Love” by muralist Deb, painted in 2016.

Deb has murals all across the city, but this is one or her most well-known pieces. The mural depicts two gay men, one black and one white smiling at each other with the words “Marry Me?’ in between them. Behind them is a city with two other interracial same sex couples and a couple feet away is a much smaller mural of a straight interracial couple.

Deb, born in Melbourne, Australia, moved to the Bay Area to continue her art endeavors. We reached out to Deb, and asked her why she thought the mural was special for the Castro.

“I think that it was special for many reasons. It highlights first and foremost.. LOVE is LOVE and it doesn’t matter what your sexual orientation is, whether you were born male, female, or any other way. It doesn’t matter where you come from or what color your skin is. Love is Love and everyone equally deserves love and that message is hopefully the strongest through the mural.”

This mural was painted close to when the law of same sex marriage was changed, so it has been very important to keep screaming that message loud and clear. This helps spread it to other places that still aren’t able to marry the same sex yet. The mural is just one more thing for the public to see every day and to make them remember the message that love is strong.

Deb commented on how her acclaimed mural may be sparking this new change:

“I really hope that people have been encouraged to take inspiration from this mural to use their art to make a stand on an important issue and topic in this complex world we are living in.”

This street art is growing and it’s dominating the streets of the Castro spreading the message that the Castro is still the famous “gayborhood”, and there is no stopping it.