Brian 'Chickpea' BustaCommunity Grand MarshalSelected by SF Pride Membership
Community Grand MarshalBrian “Chickpea” Busta has been bringing light, laughter, art, and music to San Francisco’s LGBTQ* community since 1989. Brian has helped to raise tens of thousands of dollars for the community, and brought beauty, joy, and levity during some of its darkest hours, and nurtured and inspired generations of young queer artists. A few examples of Brian’s most impactful work follow below:
Gay Glow Street Theater started in 1989 with a spare black light and a day-glo cutout in an apartment window above 18th & Castro. It soon evolved into a series of public window theater shows satirizing current events. The guerilla shows have at times been so large that Castro Street would shut down during performances.
The Temple Whores grew out of Radical Faerie gatherings at Wolf Creek. They brought a weekly drumming circle to The Castro, and music to the ACT-UP rallies and demos that took place in the streets from 1989 – 1995. The Temple Whores’ energy made the pain more bearable and gave a sense of hope and safety to the marchers.
Brian does free street performances as a zany drag clown named Amber Alert. Amber emerged in 1995. She is a study in contradiction, known both for being shockingly ugly and exceptionally kind. Amber lip-syncs disco and cabaret classics, dances and prances all over the place. Working as Amber gives Brian a chance to clown around and have one-on-one conversations with people.
In 2007, Brian was asked to bring new energy to the Ducal Court, a local queer social and 501(c)(3) organization that’s been active since before Stonewall. Brian became The Disco Diamond Duke, and organized events that attracted a new generation of participants.
Brian is the past President, and current Art Director, for Comfort & Joy. Comfort & Joy’s signature day-glo look, created by Brian, started with Gay Glow theater in 1989. Brian creates new installations for every Comfort & Joy dance party and for Burning Man, inspiring thousands. In fact, the Comfort & Joy camp is visible from space, something Brian is proud of.
The City of San Francisco declared “Brian ‘Chickpea’ Busta” Day on June 22, 2013.