Castro's Rainbow Honor Walk enshrines LGBT icons, typos 

click to enlarge The Rainbow Honor Walk honored Oscar Wilde, but maybe not his way with words. - COURTESY JERICO PADALLAN/FACEBOOK
  • Courtesy Jerico Padallan/Facebook
  • The Rainbow Honor Walk honored Oscar Wilde, but maybe not his way with words.

LGBT icon Oscar Wilde was known for his biting wit, but he may have to settle for a merely "bitting" tribute. It isn't because he hasn't done much lately -- though his last piece was published in 1898 -- but due to a typo on his plaque unveiled in the Castro on Tuesday.

The error on the bronze marker -- which honors the "Irish dramatist, poet, novelist and essayist known for his bitting wit" -- is one of several among the Rainbow Honor Walk's 20 plaques for late LGBT luminaries.

On Wednesday, the Queerty blog pointed out the misspelling of "transgendered" as "trangendered" in a plaque for Christine Jorgensen, who made headlines when she underwent a sex change in the early 1950s.

Even the Castro's own Sylvester, a star in the Cockettes troupe, wasn't spared. The silk-tongued disco queen would never have referred to himself as a "multi-gold record singer," but his plaque does. Other honorees include Mexican artist Frida Kahlo and Daughters of Bilitis co-founder Del Martin.

The plaques' debut capped years of efforts to create a Hollywood Walk of Fame-style tribute to LGBT icons.

"Tales of The City" author Armistead Maupin posted photos of the event on Facebook, including one of Rainbow Honor Walk founder David Perry reacting in mock horror to the "bitting" blunder on Wilde's plaque.

"The plaque will be replaced by the manufacturer and this one [will] be auctioned off to benefit the Honor Walk campaign," Maupin wrote.

Supervisor Scott Wiener, who was at the unveiling Tuesday, said the plaques would be replaced by October at no cost to Rainbow Honor Walk.

"It's going to be quickly resolved and we're going to have a permanent tribute to our community's history in the sidewalk on Castro Street," he told The San Francisco Examiner, adding that the project "makes sure people understand that some of the most significant people in history were LGBT."

A Rainbow Honor Walk employee told KRON (Ch. 4) the plaques cost $6,000 each. There was no word of upcoming plaques for Waldo Whitman or Alexander the Grape.


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Giselle Velazquez

Giselle Velazquez was born and raised in the shadow of San Francisco's Diamond Heights and now lives in the shadow of South San Francisco's Sign Hill. She has written for publications such as The S.F. Examiner, Ventura County Star, and the S.F. Bay Guardian.
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