Dr. Gayle Rubin, an Associate Professor of Anthropology and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, was surprised to be given a “Key to the Fair” plaque from the Board of Directors at Sunday’s Folsom Street Fair. Gayle and her partner Jay are both longtime South of Market residents and Gayle spends as much time as her schedule allows in their converted industrial space on Sheridan Alley.
She is the author of a series of groundbreaking articles on the politics of sex and gender and was featured at the LGBT Center last week with a presentation on the history of the Folsom Street Fair.
In 2012 she was awarded the Ruth Benedict Book Prize by the Association for Queer Anthropology. Additional honors include the 2000 Leather Archives and Museum “Centurion” award, the 2000 National Leather Association Lifetime Achievement Award, the 1992 Pantheon of Leather Forebearer Award and the 1988 National Leather Association Leather Woman of the Year Award.
Gayle devoted a great deal of her time providing the background for the creation of an LGBTQ Leather Social Heritage District in South of Market, as part of the Western SoMa Community Plan, but it remains stalled in the Planning Department. Tim Frye, head of Preservation, explains that he’s “still trying to wrap his head around” the concept.