DNA Lounge: Wherein Heklina has left us

We are devastated to learn that Heklina, drag legend, San Francisco icon, and our long-time collaborator, has died. 48 Hills has a round-up of the news and tributes, and BAR has an obituary.

Heklina founded the Trannyshack drag show in 1996 at The Stud, and eventually moved it to DNA Lounge in 2009. We hosted it monthly until 2014, when Heklina and her partners opened their own venue up the street, The Oasis.

Adriana from Bootie says:

Coming from a punk rock ethos, she created a space that welcomed performers from across the gender spectrum, at a time when drag was VERY codified into TIRED (her words) tropes of men in sequined gowns doing diva lip-syncs. None of us realized it at the time, but she helped revolutionize the concept of what drag could be, breaking its mold years before the rest of the world caught on. [...]

She was a Master Class in successful Nightlife Production: wrangling order from chaos, managing a stage, managing a crowd, putting down hecklers, assembling trusted crews, booking budding queens, promoting events, following one's heart -- but also always being aware of what actually sells. And she did it all with snark, wit, and balance for over 25 years.

I've put together a YouTube playlist of the surviving videos from the shows, and Heklina's other performances here. (I say "surviving" because more than half of them have been memory-holed in the intervening decade. As has often been said, "YouTube is a video archive in the same sense that a supermarket is a Food Museum.")

I also wish we had more photos from those amazing shows, but here are a few of our galleries:

RIP Heklina!


A solution to the DeSantis problem

Petrofuture Gallery:

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Clearview AI Scraped 30 Billion Images From Facebook and gave them to cops

US police have used the database nearly a million times:

Clearview took photos without users' knowledge, its CEO Hoan Ton-That acknowledged in an interview last month. Doing so allowed for the rapid expansion of the company's massive database, which is marketed on its website to law enforcement. [...]

Ton-That said "Clearview AI's database of publicly available images is lawfully collected, just like any other search engine like Google."

Notable privacy advocate Facebook begs to differ:

"Clearview AI's actions invade people's privacy which is why we banned their founder from our services and sent them a legal demand to stop accessing any data, photos, or videos from our services," a Meta spokesperson said. [...]

Residents of Illinois can opt out of the technology (by providing another photo that Clearview AI claims will only be used to identify which stored photos to remove) after the ACLU sued [...] However, residents of other states do not have the same option [...]

"Clearview is a total affront to peoples' rights, full stop, and police should not be able to use this tool," Caitlin Seeley George, the director of campaigns and operations for Fight for the Future said, adding that "without laws stopping them, police often use Clearview without their department's knowledge or consent, so Clearview boasting about how many searches is the only form of 'transparency' we get into just how widespread use of facial recognition is."

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