SPECIAL SERIES : Xpress Magazine: April 2004
Hot Pants and Small Government
Colorful SF State alum aims for school board seat

 

In bright pink go-go boots, a white belly shirt and silver hot pants, Starchild breaks down the philosophical premise of the Libertarian party.

“It all stems from the idea that you own your life and your body, as long as you’re not hurting others,” he says. A necklace of green, plastic marijuana leaves dangles from his neck.

The 33-year-old former Republican, who makes his living as an escort and exotic dancer, may not look like your average suit-and-tie-wearing politician.

But Starchild’s no newcomer to politics, and–-with his unconventional fashion and lifestyle–-he not only promotes and espouses Libertarian beliefs, he lives and breathes them.

Starchild (his legal name since 1998) developed a knack for political affairs at a young age. By the time he was nine years old, he read newspapers avidly and became increasingly fascinated with history. After high school, he served as the president of the Republican club and wrote for the school newspaper at Chabot Community College.

“But I wasn’t the most conventional Republican,” he says, a mischievous grin seeping the corners of his mouth.

In 1991, when he stumbled across a Libertarian booth at a festival in the Castro, Starchild found his true political calling.

“It was sort of like Darwin finding the theory of evolution,” he says. “I just thought, ‘wow, these people are right.’”

“These people,” otherwise known as Libertarians (not to be confused with “liberals”), think that everyone should have the right to live their lives as they please and that government should interfere only when those rights infringe upon the rights of others.

In other words, Libertarians believe in minimizing government and maximizing personal freedom.

They want to completely do away with taxes, privatize public education and other services, and get rid of laws they believe are superfluous –- such as regulations on zoning and marriage; laws against prostitution, drug use or gambling; and controls on immigration.

Starchild became heavily involved in Libertarian politics soon after his serendipitous introduction to the party. He has spent years writing and campaigning to help promote and raise awareness of Libertarian causes.

Michael Freedman, a psychologist, author and activist, has worked with Starchild in the San Francisco Libertarian party for several years.

“[Starchild]… is a hard worker,” Freedman says. “He gets really involved with the community and people.”

In 2000, Starchild took his first stab at public office by running for state Assembly, and in 2002, he ran as the Libertarian candidate for supervisor of San Francisco’s District 8, which includes the Castro and Noe Valley.

His top priorities in the election included protecting medical marijuana patients, ending the use of parking tickets to generate revenue, and repealing laws against “victimless crimes” (i.e., skateboarding, dancing and prostitution).

Although Starchild lost both elections –- receiving only 3.04 percent of the votes for District 8 supervisor -- defeat hasn’t clouded his political enthusiasm.

At a recent interview in a Castro café, to which he showed up on rollerblades, Starchild revealed his plans for yet another campaign in the upcoming November elections –- this time for a position on San Francisco’s school board.

“I want to turn the hierarchy in the schools upside down,” Starchild says.

But his platform is more innocuous than it sounds: Starchild believes that funds for public education should be split equally between schools and that a teacher’s council (and not administrators) should work with parents and students to make hiring and other kinds of decisions.

In Starchild’s cosmos, teachers earn the most money, and if administrators -– who currently rake in the bulk of the salaries in public education -– show promise, they can eventually work their way up to being a teacher, too.

Although three school board seats will be available this coming election, Starchild says it will be an uphill battle because every office in this city is hotly contested.

Starchild, though, isn’t really trying to make politics into an elusive career.
“I’m just trying to start a peaceful revolution,” he says.

He’s happily and successfully earning his living in the adult entertainment industry, and he says he has always been a “very sensual person.”

“I’m still kind of hoping to become a celebrity, but I’m not sure if that will pan out for me,” he says smiling and sipping away on a cup of hot tea.

Starchild’s colorful presence is definitely noticed at the recent California Libertarian Party convention in San Jose. A crew from PBS asks to interview him. People walk by and inquire about his unusual couture.

As Starchild passes out Libertarian paraphernalia, several curious eyes ogle the “Aaron Russo for President” sticker glued to the back of his skin-tight shorts.

The attention might not be the “celebrity status” Starchild is looking for, but nevertheless, it’s clear that he’s become somewhat of a “Libertarian icon,” at this convention.

And at least as far as Aaron Russo –- future Libertarian candidate for president –- is concerned, he’s also a prime spot for free advertising.

» 
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PHOTO
Starchild's unique look seems to embody the Libertarian spirit to live and let live.


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