¡Viva 16!, a documentary by Tina Valentin Aguirre and Augie Robles, was made during the onset of the AIDS epidemic in the LGBTQ Latinx community to preserve stories of people who mobilized and socialized on or around 16th Street in San Francisco. The film stands as a testimony to the resilience, love and hope that emanated from 16th Street.
NR, 26mins., 1994. In English and Spanish. Closed captions (CC) in Spanish.
Thursday, October 26
San Francisco Main Library, Koret Auditorium
100 Larkin Street
San Francisco CA, 94102
San Francisco’s 16th Street was known as a mecca for Latinx queerness during the 1980s and 90s.
With bars like Esta Noche and La India Bonita, it was a hub for trans and queer Latinos to party and connect.
We honor and celebrate the legendary 16th Street strip with a screening of the acclaimed documentary, Viva 16!, as well as live performances and a star panel.
Featuring the legendary and iconic: Mitzy Lee, Adela Holiday, Mahogany Sanchez, Persia, Tina Valentin Aguirre and Augie Robles. Hosted by local writer and historian Julian Delgado Lopera.
Get your dance on at the after party at Mother (formerly Esta Noche)!
San Francisco’s 16th Street was known as a mecca for Latinx queerness during the 1980s and 90s. With bars like Esta Noche and La India Bonita, it was a hub for trans and queer Latinos to party and connect. We honor and celebrate the legendary 16th Street strip with a screening of the acclaimed documentary, ¡Viva 16!, as well as live performances and a star panel. Featuring the legendary and iconic: Mitzy Lee, Adela Holiday, Mahogany Sánchez, Persia, Tina Valentín Aguirre and Augie Robles. Hosted by local writer and historian Julián Delgado Lopera. Get your dance on at the after party at Mother (formerly Esta Noche)! Co-sponsored by El/la Para Translatinas, GLBT Historical Society and Memoria Trans SF. Persia is a regular performer in the nationally acclaimed “Drag Story Hour,” as well as an educator in residence at an after school arts program in the San Francisco Unified School District profiled on KQED Arts, National Public Radio and CNN. With a pedigree from weekly performances at the late, iconic Esta Noche, her trajectory has gone on to include art curation, stand-up, television and maybe a quinceañera or two, in San Francisco, Los Angeles and México. Mitzy Lee was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico with roots in Puerto Vallarta. In 1987, Mitzy began working on 16th Street at La India Bonita by way of a beauty pageant and continued for almost 15 years. After winning Miss Mexico at Esta Noche, Mitzy also became part of the performance roster at that club, and worked for 27 years, gaining the trust and following of the public under the name Mitzy Lee, The Queen of Cumbia — a name given by two coworkers at Esta Noche. Both club experiences afforded Mitzy the discipline of performance art. Even though Mitzy has ventured outside of San Francisco, always remaining current, La India Bonita and Esta Noche remain unforgettable. Adela Vázquez is a Cuban-born transgender woman. She came to the U.S. in 1980, and has lived in the San Francisco area for a long time. Adela has worked for communities of color in the area for many years. Now, in her retirement, she enjoys the quiet of her garden and the colorful ways of The Mission neighborhood. Adela, along with Hector Leon, created “Las Atredivas,” a group of four trans women who performed at Esta Noche and everywhere they were called. Mahogany Sánchez is a lifelong resident of The Mission. Around the time Mahogany graduated from high school, she was spotted by La India Bonita bartender Ronnie Salazar. He was getting ready to start a big new show and was looking for new talent, new girls. That’s where Mahogany was born and became a big star in The Mission. In those days drag queens and trans shows were not often seen in The Mission or in The Castro. This was the 1980s and 90s, and now we have them everywhere, and Ronnie Salazar was one of the pioneers of 16th Street shows. Mahogany worked between La India Bonita and Esta Noche for about fifteen years. Augie Robles is a filmmaker and writer based in Los Angeles, California. After graduating from UC Berkeley in 1990, he moved to San Francisco with his first boyfriend. There he participated in a gay Latino men’s creative writing group called “the (w)rites of mo(u)rning.” At the same time, he started making his first videos with borrowed Hi-8 camcorders. His first video, “Cholo Joto,” premiered at the Frameline Gay and Lesbian Film Festival in 1993. The next year he collaborated with Tina Aguirre to co-direct ¡VIVA 16!, a documentary that put the spotlight on the gay and trans nightlife on San Francisco’s 16th Street in the midst of the AIDS crisis and on the eve of sweeping gentrification. In 1995 he moved to Los Angeles to attend the American Film Institute as a directing fellow. He has been a film editor for broadcast and streaming TV shows and independent movies for the past 20 years. Augie is a third generation Californian, born and raised in Sacramento. Tina Valentin Aguirre (they/them) is the Castro LGBTQ Cultural District Director. Tina holds a BA in Communication from Stanford University, has worked in grantwriting for decades, served as Chair of the Board of Directors for the GLBT Historical Society for four years and has made documentaries, produced arts festivals, and is a published poet. Tina curated the Chosen Familias exhibition on LGBTQ Latinx family photo albums (June 7-October 20, 2019) at the GLBT Historical Society Museum. Tina has lived in the San Francisco since 1987. Julián Delgado Lopera is the author of The New York Times acclaimed novel Fiebre Tropical (Feminist Press 2020), the Winner of the 2021 Ferro Grumley Award and a 2021 Lambda Literary award; a finalist of the 2020 Kirkus Prize in Fiction and the 2021 Aspen Literary Prize. Julián is also the author of Quiéreme (Nomadic Press 2017) and ¡Cuéntamelo! (Aunt Lute 2017) an illustrated bilingual collection of oral histories by LGBT Latinx immigrants which won a 2018 Lambda Literary Award and a 2018 Independent Publisher Book Award. Julián’s received fellowships and residencies from Black Mountain Institute, Hedgebrook, California Arts Council, San Francisco Arts Commission, Headlands Center for The Arts, Brush Creek Foundation of the Arts, Lambda Literary Foundation and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Their work has appeared in Granta, Teen Vogue, The Kenyon Review, McSweeney’s, The Rumpus, The White Review, LALT, Four Way Review, Broadly and TimeOut Mag to name a few. They have been curating Latinx history events in San Francisco for over 10 years in partnerships with places such as the GLBT Historical Society, SF Public Library, El/la Para Translatinas, Galería de la Raza and Brava Theatre. They are the former executive director of RADAR Productions and one of the founders of Drag Queen Story Hour. Born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia, Julián currently resides in San Francisco.