Inside Out: Phranc the Pholksinger and a bucket list task fulfilled

Mazak Photography

Phranc, the singer/songwriter originally known as Susan Gottlieb, is a self-proclaimed “All-American Jewish lesbian folksinger.” Her career has spanned more than four decades, a period during which she has opened for acts such as The Smiths, Hüsker Dü, Violent Femmes, and Billy Bragg.

Phranc‘s music provided my introduction to the lesbian genre when I was a teenager and for over 20 years I noted seeing her perform live at the top of my “bucket list.” The opportunity to do just that finally arose a few years ago when the singer performed in San Francisco’s Delores Park after the Dyke March.

While I’m not typically the type to call myself a “fan” of any performer, I must admit I sang along to every word of every song Phranc performed that day. I have since checked seeing Phranc perform live off my bucket list after serendipitously heading to Dolores Park and finding myself lens to face with one of my favorite singer-songwriters.

Cheryl Mazak is a Toronto photographer obsessed with getting the heart of her subjects. See more from Cheryl at

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