Kirk Read

I reluctantly gave up the trumpet in eighth grade to take Latin. 33 years later, I made a pact with my friend Nate that we would join the band together. The “no audition” policy is for real. Within a few weeks I was marching in the Pride parade looking like a rainbow nutcracker. I was intimidated at first, but people in the band are welcoming and genuinely kind. In an age of social media, it’s thrilling to be face to face, making such human music. I have been involved in the arts and LGBTQ community work for my entire adult life. I am a public health nurse working in women’s health and health care for the homeless. This band connects me to a lineage of people using the arts to weave communities together. The band has provided a soundtrack for various periods of San Francisco history, including the AIDS epidemic and the emergence of LGBT liberation. My favorite moment was seeing delighted faces in the Trans March, who turned the corner at Market Street to find a decked-out band playing Abba’s “Dancing Queen” in their honor. That is the spirit of San Francisco.

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