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San Francisco’s Castro to host ‘Gaypec’ party to welcome LGBTQ+ visitors

The exterior of a bar is seen in the Castro with various LGBTQ+ pride flag.
GAYPEC will bring the city’s elected leaders to Beaux, a popular club in the Castro. | Source: Astrid Kane/The Standard

San Francisco officials are gearing up to put the city’s core values of love and acceptance on full display next week, for the benefit of international visitors to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference. Much of the city’s political elite—gay and straight alike—will host an LGBTQ+ party at a popular Castro District club on Nov. 15.

When tens of thousands of travelers from Asia arrive, where same-sex marriage is largely banned, it’s an opportunity to show the welcoming, inclusive side of America’s most famous “gayborhood.”

The party, called “GAYPEC,” will celebrate queer Asian history and culture in San Francisco. The event at Beaux will include drag performances and feature Asian American elected leaders.

“We wanted to provide an opportunity for APEC attendees to meet our local LGBTQ+ community,” said Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, who represents the Castro. “The Castro has long been a place of refuge for queer people—somewhere where we can find community, express our authentic selves and build political power.”

Other hosts include Mayor London Breed, state Sen. Scott Wiener, South Bay Assemblyman Evan Low—a Chinese American gay man—and members of Equality California and the GLBTQ+ Asian Pacific Alliance.

“GAYPEC will afford attendees and locals a venue to come together, make new friends and build community across borders,” Mandelman said.

APEC comprises 21 member economies around the Pacific Rim. While the leaders may easily reach agreement on topics pertaining to free trade and economic development, LGBTQ+ rights have proven to be more challenging.

According to Pew Research, same-sex marriage is legal in about 30 places around the world, mostly in Europe and the Americas. Among APEC member economies, LGBTQ+ residents enjoy full marriage equality in only seven: the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Chile, Australia, New Zealand and Taiwan. Taiwan—known as “Chinese Taipei” in the conference’s diplomatically sensitive parlance—is also the only place in Asia where gays and lesbians can wed.


🗓️ Wednesday, Nov. 15 | 7-9 p.m.
📍 Beaux, 2344 Market St., SF

Han Li can be reached at