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Remembering Chantal Salkey

Remembering Chantal Salkey

The San Francisco lesbian community lost one of our greatest leaders this week with the death of Chantal Salkey. Salkey was the promoter of some of the longest-running and most-loved lesbian parties in San Francisco, including RAW, Club Red, Backstreet and Mango.

Salkey single-handedly changed the San Francisco dyke club scene by creating multigenerational, multiracial events with some of the best music in the Bay Area. Mango, the monthly afternoon party at El Rio in the Mission district, brought women from all walks of life to the backyard barbeque and dance floor and got them moving to the alternating hip-hop and Latin beats.

Salkey’s events helped propel local women DJs into the limelight, though she often avoided the spotlight herself. Miz Chris, a friend and fellow promoter of lesbians of color events, said that Salkey was “a powerhouse that preferred to stay in the background of her events, while letting her staff, DJs and, most importantly, patrons to shine.”

There will be a memorial and fundraiser to honor Salkey on Jan. 30 from 2–6 p.m. at El Rio (3158 Mission St.) as well as a viewing on Jan. 31 at Sullivan’s Funeral Home (2254 Market St.) from 1–4 p.m.

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