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queen's circle

Queen's Circle
Today, hookup apps coordinate relationships and casual sex. Yet some remember how restrooms, greenery, and parking lots aided the lost art of cruising...


Today, hookup apps coordinate relationships and casual sex. Yet some remember how restrooms, greenery, and parking lots aided the lost art of cruising.  Since the 50’s, Balboa Park has been a meeting place for San Diego's LGBTQ community.

Over two years, we interviewed dragqueens, dykes, madames, leather daddies, police officers, defense lawyers, health officials, adult actors, politicians, and park rangers about their relationship to the surveillance, management, and celebration of hookup culture in Balboa Park, San Diego, California. Many tales speak of a larger social patterns of the joys and challenges of finding intimacy when it was illegal to be gay in the U.S.

These stories are staged as a live audio installation called Queen’s Circle. In a large parking lot at the edge of Balboa Park (known by the initiated as “The Fruit Loop”) 20 parked unlocked cars play a different story on their sound system. In the dark of the night, visitors hop in and out of the cars, listening to tales of brushing shoulders with strangers while experiencing it in real time.



Performance artist, poet, and concert pianist Todd Moellenberg is our field correspondent for the month, as he takes his daily walk to Fruit Loop. He will be posting pictures and observations along the way to the Parkeology website and instagram feed.


Kate Clark, Creative Director, interviewer and story editor
Walter Meyer, interview liaison
Angela Risi, story editor
Camille Laut, story editor
Marina Grize, Creative Production, Art Direction
Lissa Corona, table host
Diana Benavidez, lead production assistant
Alena Vasquez, project support
Jeremy Raab, project support
Ashley Moy, project support
Celia Gold, project support
Jeszi McPeak, project support
Peter Chen, project support
Rafa Ríos-Mathioudakis, photography
Todd Moellenberg, Parkeology Artist in Residence: Fruit Loop Correspondent
Nick Lesley, Technical Support
San Diego Art Institute, PR support
Parker Bray, equipment support
Ren Ebel, Channel Parkeology Video, Editing, Direction
Samuel Dunscombe, audio post production support

Lambda Archives Support
Walter Meyer, Office Manager
Ken Selnick, Digital Archivist
Steve Wroblewski, Lambda Board Member
and Oral History Interviewer
Jen LaBarbera, Head Archivist

Parks and Recreation Administration Support
Senior Park Ranger Ryan Robertson
Park Ranger Carina Weber
Park Ranger Kim Duclo
Senior Park Ranger Jon Anderson

Anonymous Charlie
Nicole Murray-Ramirez, San Diego Human Relations Commission Chair
Bill West, Former Porn Actor/Masseur
Chris Shaw, Bar Owner
John Graham, Retired City of San Diego Police Officer
John Lockhart, Frontrunners marathon runner
Susan Jester, San Diego Sheriff’s LGBT Advisory Council Member
Kim Duclo, Park Ranger
Wendy Sue Biegeleisen, Lesbian Activist
Terry Cunningham, HIV Health Services Planning Council Chair
Oliver Cleary, San Diego Criminal Defense Lawyer
Carla Coshow, Hillcrest resident since 1975, Owner of The Flame lesbian bar
Big Mike, Bartender, Photographer, LGBT activist, and community fundraiser
Rick Ford, Adult Industry Entrepreneur
Charles David, A Letter to the People of San Diego, read by Walter Meyer
J Marcus Newman, Photographer
Erik Trayvon Benson, Event Planner
Giselle de la Rosa, Activist
Jim Hurtado, ESL teacher
Alberto R. Cortés, Mama’s Kitchen Executive Director
Todd Moellenberg, Fruit Loop Field Correspondent, Path Poem

Car Donors
Gabrielle Ramlow
Esther Valenzuela
Joseph Swift
Joe Yorty
Minxuan Lin
Kate Clark
Todd Moellenberg
Rafa Rios
Jeremy Raab
Ryan Hand
Lucas Spenser
Ren Ebel
Brian Schoner
Dr. Joel Trambley
Peter Chen
Jason Crane
Sarah Schwartz
Maria Rios- Mathioudakis
Ken Selnick
Angela Risi
Dominic Paul Miller
Alena Vasquez
Brianna Rigg
Nichole Special
Samuel Dunscombe
Todd Moellenberg
Ken Selnick
Melinda Guillen
Sara Solaimani
Seth Ferris
Stephanie Sherman
Lucas Spenser
Briana Schoner
Parker Bray
Ren Ebel