Punk Girl Survives the SF Tech World

Jul 15 at 9am

For years there have been individuals that I’ve seen around town who captured my imagination. This project, Drawn From the City, became an excuse to find out about their lives through interviews, documenting the cultural life-blood of the city. 

Erin

What is your occupation? I've worked in tech for 30 years; I’m a MySQL DBA.  In the '80s there were a lot of women in tech. There are much less now; it’s a pretty intense world.

What is your style inspiration? Because I spent so much time in London in the '80s, I pretty much have a British dyke punk sense of style. I like girly mixed with masculine.

What is your signature look? Leopard print and fake or vintage fur are my go-tos. I wear black eyeliner, red lipstick, and my hair is always a big deal to people; I wear a lot of black to show it off. I can do crazy-ass things to it because I understand color. I went to school for hair. One of my specialties was saving people who had botched bleach jobs. I had an emergency kit and would run over and do house calls. My interest in hair all started in the summer of '69, Twiggy was big and I used dog clippers to cut my hair like hers.

I have been living in the [Dolores Park] neighborhood since 1983; I’ve been in my apartment for 23 years. After that long you begin to feel like a hoarder if you’re creative.

What is the secret to having great style? I think you’ve just got to be true to yourself.

What is your favorite neighborhood? The intersection of Castro and Mission, the Dolores Park area.  I am a sort of fixture in the neighborhood, while more and more of my friends are moving to Oakland. I have been living in the neighborhood since 1983; I’ve been in my apartment for 23 years. After that long you begin to feel like a hoarder if you’re creative. I even have big photo prints stored under my couch. 

Are you currently working on any photo projects? One of my photo projects is called “My Neighborhood” where I take pictures of buildings in the area and write a story about an experience I had there in the past.  Also, for many years I have been documenting drag kings across the country.

Are you involved in any other creative projects? I perform as a back-up dancer for the drag queen D’Arcy Drollinger.  Typically you’re not allowed to perform in an aging body but I think it’s all about trying to make the most of your assets.

What is your favorite place in the city? I like to go to North Beach and do my own Beat tour, and go up Grant, where as a kid you could see Janis Joplin on the street.

Check back in next Tuesday for more Drawn from the City.

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