How the Stud Was Saved: An 18-member nightlife collective prevented SoMa’s 50-year-old queer bar from disappearing.

It’s 11:40 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, and everyone around me is drunk. I’m drunk, too. I’m at The Stud, a 50-year-old gay bar in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood, where emcees VivvyAnne ForeverMORE and Honey Mahogany are trying to shoehorn at least one more performer’s act in before midnight. Drag queens operate on drag queen time, but not tonight. Focused on her task, a bartender pours way too many Champagne toasts for the packed house to distribute efficiently through the room, like delicate sandbags. So they bottleneck and foam.

The year ahead promises unparalleled irritation and destruction, but at least we can ritually dispose of 2016 together.

The people closest to the bar gleefully down the surplus flutes of bubbles, taking selfies and posting one last pic on Instagram, bidding adieu to the worst year since the bubonic plague erupted in 1347. The lighting in here is terrible — a particular hue of terrible that, in this context, sets the scene perfectly and probably generates more envy and more likes.

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