The Bay Area doesn’t like you

Throughout the country The Bay Area is well known for various parts of our sub-culture. From the propensity of our residents to smoke cannabis, to the now wide spread reach of the hipster sub-culture, and even the pedigree of our growing mixed martial arts community. Far and wide, when people think of “The Bay” they think of a free spirited place, where no one is judged and we are all free to be the unique snowflakes that we are all destined to be. But, there is a slight shadow hanging over our illustrious home. This is, most definitely, not a judgment free zone. Be warned, everywhere you go in our happy pot-smoking, skinny-jean wearing community you are being judged. Not because of what you are, but because of what you are not.

If you want to blaze up a joint, or toke away on a “vape pen” or an “e-cigarette” filled with cannabis oil, no one is going to stop you. If you want to walk down the street wearing a purple sundress with combat boots while sporting a periwinkle mohawk, knock yourself out. Chances are relatively high that a passerby will compliment you on your “post modernism fashion sense” or some such nonsense. Be free to be who or what you are, and the so-called “Yay Area” will welcome you with loving and supportive arms. But, only if you happen to be the outcast that “The Bay” wants you to be.

Granted, this revelation may come as a shock to the majority of men and women traipsing around in the vicinity of San Francisco. That is, sad to say, part of the problem. In San Francisco we are all expected to fill a certain mold: The San Francisco mold. Smoke, or eat, as many pot related products as you can while vocally crying out against the growing gentrification of the Mission district, while secretly encouraging it so you can get overpriced haircuts while drinking some extravagant coffee concoction from some new age vegan coffee house. Be loud and proud with your opinions, but only when they contradict who or what you really are. If you are genuinely different, the true black sheep in a flock of boot polished frauds, then you will see how “accepting” The Bay Area can be.

Wear clothes that you’re comfortable in? Pariah. Heavily tattooed or pierced without the uniform of punker or street kid? Outcast. Bearded man, or shaven headed woman, without the air of hipster self-righteousness? Castoff. The Bay Area protects its own, but only when they fit the stereotypes it has come to love and cherish. Be truly different? Nah, you’re on your own.

If anything this exposes the xenophobic roots of The Bay Area as a whole. Imagine how much the tourist trade would drop if all of the incoming visitors understood just how judgmental the “city by the bay” really is? It is a sad realization to come to of course, but it is a brutal truth that needs to be shared. You might love The Bay, but chances are pretty high that The Bay doesn’t love you back. Unrequited love is so sad, isn’t it?

Update: this article has been updated and replaced with the most recent version. 4:59 p.m. 9/29/2014.