Castro Halloween — early 90s
I was in the Street Patrol from fall 1990 until sometime in late 1992 or early 1993, and this was a way for me to attend Castro Halloween without having to dress in costume (though the SP did have a uniform of sorts: a Street Patrol t-shirt, usually worn with a leather jacket, and a fuscia beret). About a dozen of us marched two-by-two through the party, and especially around the edges where bashers might target a lone pedestrian, from about 9 pm until the last stragglers had departed — way after 3 a.m. It was crowded, exciting, exhausting and, as it got later and later and the number of drunks grew larger and drunker, a pain in the ass.
I remember one exciting moment when we did apprehend a psychopath who was brandishing what turned out to be a screwdriver. But to tell you the truth, most of the protecting we did was protecting the drunks from themselves or each other. They would get in stupid fights — it wasn’t gay-bashing so much as two or three drunken queers jabbing at each other — and we would break the fights up. I also like to think that our presence discouraged some gay bashing.
A longer post about the Street Patrol is on my own blog Too Beautiful.