Power Exchange bust: an eyewitness report



This weekend, the Power Exchange sex club, one of the few in the city that welcomes more than gay bio-men, was busted by police at its new Tenderloin location last Friday night, ostensibly because of permit violations. It had been facing some ridiculous backlash. Was it really because of transphobia? Commenter robintv posted this eyewitness report. We've been unable to confirm robintv's identity, but if you were there or have any other information please post it in the comments.

Intolerance closes the Power Exchange club in San Francisco
by robintv

Late Friday night the forces of intolerance prevailed in San Francisco, using the San Francisco government to do their bidding.

Around 10:30pm, I heard voices telling everyone to leave the premises, and saw a large number of uniformed San Francisco fire and police personnel had entered the Power Exchange club (PE) at 34 Mason Street. The PE usually is not real busy till after midnight, so there was not a large number of people inside. The whole process was peaceful, and from what I saw, the police and fire dept personnel were courteous and discreet and just following orders and there were no cuffs, no id checks, no photos, we were just told to leave the club.

After exiting, we milled around outside the PE talking with each other, passerbys, local residents, and M Powers, the PE owner. People continued to arrive at PE by foot and cabs, including a number of transgender (TG) women who frequented the Otis St location and were returning to the PE for their first time at the new Mason St. location. They were returning to the only space where they could safely be themselves, socialize with other TG women and friends and meet people who are attracted to TG women, without risk of being verbally abused, beaten, or even murdered. Many, including myself, have been going to the PE for over 10 years.

For many, the PE has been a sanctuary of tolerance and acceptance in a world of intolerance, persecution and pain.

As I stood there on a beautiful, warm, September SF night, it was difficult for me to believe that this was happening in San Francisco, where the politicians give a lot of lip service to how tolerant SF is.

I believe the PE has limited resources and lawyers are very costly. A business can be right and the city wrong, but still loose if the business has used up its resources in proving it is right, and can not reopen. Thus, even if PE is right, which I suspect they are, they can still be forced to stay closed and intolerant haters will prevail in forcing their religious/moral values on others using the San Francisco government as a forceful vehicle to do so.

What to do?

Will your favorite club/venue/ business be the next target of the intolerance crusade?


Are you serious?

"For many, the PE has been a sanctuary of tolerance and acceptance in a world of intolerance, persecution and pain."

This place is a club where people go to have sex, not a cafe or any other kind of meeting place. It's stated right on their webpage:

"It is the best place to go to engage in sexual activity in a safe club environment."

This is why the neighborhood doesn't want the club there and pressures the police. Not because of gender, sex, race, or any other discrimination. Does anyone really need to mention this?

Posted by doc pangloss on Sep. 21, 2009 @ 4:06 pm

Are you serious? Part II:

" . . . the only space where they could safely be themselves . . . .

Divas (formerly the Motherlode) has been a safe, accepting gathering spot for TG women for over 20 years.

Posted by Queen Priscilla on Sep. 22, 2009 @ 5:55 am

Pangloss and Queen Priscilla,

For a lot of transgender women, this really is the only place they can go to be themselves -- and if you've ever been to the PE, you'll know that transwomen and people who love transwomen are quite possibly its biggest clientele. There are certainly way more transwomen than bio women at the PE most nights. And yes, there's Divas -- but if you're not a working girl, it tends to feel a bit less like a welcoming environment.

Posted by charlie anders on Sep. 22, 2009 @ 8:43 am

After a difficult struggle and with a great deal of support from so many freedom loving folks, the San Francisco Power Exchange club (PE) reopened last night, Friday, October 23 at 34 Mason Street, cross Market. The PE website states that PE will be opened tonight and Sunday from 9p to 5am.


Posted by robintv on Oct. 24, 2009 @ 12:31 pm

the Power Exchange club has been open for a few months now at its new location at 220 Jones St in San Francisco!!


Posted by Guest on May. 06, 2010 @ 11:42 am