Save AutoErotica

WE NEED YOUR HELP!

THE PRESENT

AutoErotica, like so many small independent operations, has been negatively affected by COVID-19 this past year.  Forced to close by City edict for three months in 2020, our business has never fully rebounded from the negative cash flow which resulted from that closure.  In addition, the tourists (Hello, NYC, LA and our International Family) are no longer traveling in the numbers once found in San Francisco and that source of income has disappeared.  Determined to keep LGBTQ history alive and well and subscribing to #SmallBusinessRelief we now find ourselves in the position of asking for financial support to enable us to survive until things can return to normal.  Our goal of $16, 275.00 is quite modest and will be used in this order: 1 Rent coverage $12, 300.00 for six (6) months. 2 An outstanding pre pandemic advertising bill for $3,500.00 from the local LGBTQ newspaper which is suffering its own financial problems. 3 A small fund of $475.00 for various fees and related fundraising costs.

THE LAST MAN STANDING

AutoErotica, gay owned and operated, located in the heart of the world-famous Castro district, is both a living museum of LGBTQ history as well as a retail shop selling items of interest to those interested in saving that history.  It may well be the last place of its kind anywhere dedicated to keeping LGBTQ history alive and accessible. Visitors to the shop are immediately overwhelmed by the number of items and memorabilia on display covering almost all aspects of interest to the LGBTQ community and their supporters including books, magazines, posters, artwork, buttons/pins and other ephemera. Located on the second floor (cheaper rent!) AutoErotica is often passed by unless one is pulled in by the imaginative A frame on the sidewalk reading “WE BUY GAY STUFF”.  This A frame and its original art have become one of the most photographed things in the Castro and on any day of the week both locals and tourists can be seen posing for photos. One of the most common refrains from locals when they finally take the time to climb the short staircase to the second floor is “Wow, I had no idea this place was here.  This is so cool and I’m glad someone is saving our history.”  Tourists, on the other hand, are quick to explore and many seek out AutoErotica because they have heard or read about it and many include it on their bucket list during their visit to San Francisco.  It remains one of the best kept secrets in the Castro!

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AutoErotica, along with its somewhat eccentric owner Patrick Batt (eccentricity is a necessary component of this type of business!), are determined to support and save LGBTQ history. Especially under the increasing pressures of gentrification of gayborhoods and ever-changing methods of communicating that history along with the devastating effects of COVID-19 on small businesses. 

THE BACK STORY

Opened in 1996 as a small shop selling a variety of items of interest to the gay community, AutoErotica soon morphed into a place where those seeking to sell items could connect with those collectors interested in acquiring items of interest to the LGBTQ community’s history at large. As a result, it’s now the “GO TO PLACE” for both the serious collector looking for that unique and rare bit of LGBTQ history as well as the casual visitor who happens upon the first magazine or book they saw that brought out their sexuality, a vintage button or pin with their birth year on it, a poster advertising a long gone bar or venue/event or a piece of art with which to decorate their home. It has also become the place to go for people interested in recycling their LGBTQ related possessions either through selling or donating them to this iconic shop. With its ever-changing inventory each day can be like Christmas with new and fabulous surprises always coming through the door!

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PLEASE DONATE NOW TO ENSURE THIS IMPORTANT PLACE FOR LGBTQ HISTORY IS NOT ITSELF LOST TO HISTORY OR COVID-19.  THANK YOU IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR KIND SUPPORT AND TELL YOUR FRIENDS!

instagram: @autoeroticasf
twitter: @autoeroticasf

Photos by Bradley Roberge

Donations

 See top
  • Aay Preston-Myint 
    • 50 $ 
    • 16 hrs
  • David Brown 
    • 600 $ 
    • 16 hrs
  • Eric Heinonen 
    • 25 $ 
    • 18 hrs
  • Mike Feswick 
    • 50 $ 
    • 1 d
  • Anonymous 
    • 30 $ 
    • 1 d
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Bradley Roberge 
Organizer
San Francisco, CA
Patrick Batt 
Beneficiary
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