Gypsy Taub

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Gypsy Taub protesting San Francisco nudity ban in January 2013

Gypsy Taub is a Russian American activist in the San Francisco public nudity movement.[1][2]

Early life and education[edit]

Taub was raised in Moscow and went by the name Olessia.[3] Her family consisted of her; a physicist, inventor father; a French teacher, fashion designer mother;[4] a brother, and a sister.[4]

Taub moved to Boston in the fall of 1988 at the age of 19 to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, her family immigrating to the city the next year.[4] When she was 23, she attended the City College of San Francisco as a pre-med student.[4] She dropped out after 18 months.[4]


In 1995, Taub changed her name to Gypsy and became a Deadhead.[3] She began her activism shortly after her daughter, Inti, was born in 2000.[3] She is a 9/11 truther[4] and began a public access television show called Uncensored 9/11 to increase awareness of her beliefs about the September 11, 2001 attacks that 9/11 was an inside job, that it was orchestrated by the government.[3] She hosted the show without clothes on.[3] In 2008, she started a cable television show named My Naked Truth.[4]

In 2012, San Francisco supervisor Scott Wiener proposed that any city resident older than five years could be fined $100 if they appeared in public naked. The proposed law also allowed for up to a year in jail on the third offence.[4] Taub led a movement of activists who protested against the law. A public hearing on the proposed law was held at San Francisco City Hall on November 5, 2012.[4] she went to the hearing along with her three children. The overwhelming majority of the people at the hearing opposed Wiener's proposal.[4] She wore a shift dress and no underwear. She then took off her dress and was escorted out of the hearing room and detained.[4] She filed a class action lawsuit against the ban at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.[4] Five plaintiffs signed the suit and it was filed by Christina DiEdoardo three months before the nudity ban went into effect in February 2013.[4] DiEdoardo stopped representing the lawsuit's plaintiffs since there were disagreements between the plaintiffs. Gill Sperlein served as Taub's second lawyer for the suit.[4] He was previously a member of Wiener's campaign committee.[4] DiEdoardo claimed that the police were discriminating in regards to who could be nude in the city, noting that they went for people who had little political influence.[4] In the two years since the ban was put into effect, Taub was denied a permit ten times, once for a parade of fewer than 50 members despite there being no policy in San Francisco's police code defining a minimum number of people required to have a parade.[4] A discrimination claim by Taub was settled for $20,000 by the city in June 2015, and in September, she was granted a restraining order against the police department to prevent them denying her a permit for a nude parade at Jane Warner Plaza that was held that month.[4]

On September 13, 13, 2017, Taub attended a Berkeley City Council meeting about a proposal by the Topfreedom "Free the Nipple" campaign to allow woman to go topless in public.[5] Officials of the council postponed a decision, because one of them, Sophie Hahn, felt it wasn't an important issue for the city to address, and over concerns that men would have to cover up their nipples too.[5] At the end of the meeting, Taub stripped off her clothes and criticized the council members.[5][6][4]

Personal life[edit]

Taub attended a Montana Rainbow Gathering, where she met Jamyz Smith, who was 20 at the time and came from Jackson, Missouri. The two were engaged in Berkeley, California and married via a nude wedding protest at City Hall on December 19, 2013.[4][7] In June 2015, Time magazine listed it as one of "The 17 Most Intriguing Weddings of All Time."[8] In early 2014, Taub and Smith posed for a photoshoot for a New York magazine story about San Francisco.[9] It depicts the two standing naked in line to ride a Google Bus.[9] Jessica Powell, Google's vice president for product and corporate communications, responded by saying there should be "no nudes on the bus. It might interfere with the Wi-Fi."[9] Taub and Smith lived in a flat in Berkeley.[3] As of 2015, Taub and Smith are separated.[4]


  1. ^ Bay City News (February 1, 2014). "Nudists Hold 'Body Freedom' Protest on Anniversary of San Francisco's Nudity Ban". NBC Bay Area. Retrieved December 4, 2020 – via
  2. ^ Whiting, Sam (November 17, 2013). "Nude activists cause a stir at protest in Castro". San Francisco Gate. Retrieved April 22, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Whiting, Sam (December 16, 2013). "Naked truth behind Gypsy Taub's nude nuptials". San Francisco Gate. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u Lybarger, Jeremy (December 2, 2015). "SF's Most Notorious Nudist Stakes Her Claim to History". Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c Raguso, Emilie (September 13, 2017). "Naked activist slams city officials after 'free the nipple' proposal dies". Newsweek. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
  6. ^ Sinclair, Harriet (September 14, 2017). "A naked protester turned up at a council meeting in Berkeley to "free the nipple"". Retrieved December 4, 2020.
  7. ^ Whiting, Same (December 19, 2013). "S.F. couple pulls off their nude wedding". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved December 4, 2020 – via
  8. ^ "The 17 Most Intriguing Weddings of All Time". Time. June 17, 2015. Archived from the original on October 11, 2019. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  9. ^ a b c Bowles, Nellie (March 12, 2014). "Who Are These Naked People Getting on My Google Bus?". Recode. Retrieved April 12, 2018.