‘I left my heart in San Francisco’

"Welcome to the gay-bourhood!": Castro Airbnb host, Adrian Santos.

It’s not a look I would get away with myself. A pair of leather sandals with little white socks down south, and then a third sock, slightly north, snugly encasing the family jewels. Elsewhere, nothing but skin, baby.

But here in San Francisco’s out and proud gay enclave of The Castro, this is a look that’s not uncommon. The nudist in question is in his 60s, and by no means a gym-honed hard-body. His buttocks jiggle like bread dough as he passes.

Not everyone approves. “Put some damn clothes on!” yells a young guy from across the street, chucking in a homophobic slur for good measure. But it’s this intolerance, rather than the nudity, that seems most offensive in this setting. Several passers-by chastise the teenage abuser.

“Shame on you!” says an elderly woman waiting for a bus. Others shout support to the strolling nudist. “More power to you, man” yells a slim, elegant black man. “You go, brother.”

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