LONG BEACH — Monica Palacios’ one-woman show, “San Francisco, Mi Amor!,” follows the trajectory of her queer comedy career and activism in San Francisco during the homophobic 1980s.
Palacios performs her show 7 tonight at Long Beach’s Museum of Latin American Art. After the show, Palacios and Anna Sandoval, professor and chair of Cal State Long Beach’s Chicano and Latino Studies.
It was a challenging decade to be a queer Chicana comic as AIDS is front page news, causing mass hysteria and shining a negative light on the LGBTQ community.
In “San Francisco, Mi Amor!,” Palacios uses this bleak page in history as her backdrop for sharing personal stories:
- Living with her lesbian sister
- Being a San Francisco State film student
- Performing at Gay Comedy Night at the Valencia Rose Cabaret
- Lusting for the women who made her burritos at Taqueria La Cumbre
- Being a founder of the comedy troupe Culture Clash
- Meeting and auditioning for Edward James Olmos on 24th Street
- Grooming her mullet
At the time, San Francisco’s Latino Mission District was a hot spot for Palacios, who performed at what are now queer historical spaces and queer friendly venues:
- Valencia Rose Cabaret, ground zero for the queer comedy movement
- Artemis Cafe, a lesbian restaurant and space
- Amelia’s, a lesbian bar
- Galeria de La Raza, an art gallery.
Palacios and a handful of LGBTQ comics were bravely performing despite the homophobic atmosphere. Palacios stood out amongst her peers because in one breath, her brand of Chicana lesbian humor focused on nationality and sexuality.