Opinions through the years
Sports coverage reviewed
40 years of AIDS coverage
Serving the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer communities since 1971
Vol. 51 • No. 13 • April 1-7, 2021
LIVING HISTORY DISCUSSION WRITING THE FIRST DRAFT OF LGBTQ HISTORY
FRIDAY, APRIL 2, 6PM FREE/DONATION
Hosted by the GLBT Historical Society, a group of activists, writers and culture-makers will recount their relationship to and history of the BAR.
Pre-register now: https://bit.ly/2PtYutC
New Online Exhibition
Explores 50 Years of Groundbreaking LGBTQ Newspaper Bay Area Reporter A new online exhibition hosted by the GLBT Historical Society and curated by photojournalist Rick Gerharter will examine the history of the Bay Area Reporter (BAR) on the occasion of the paper’s 50th anniversary. The oldest continuously published LGBTQ newspaper in the United States, the BAR has been serving the San Francisco Bay Area since 1971. Stories of Our Movement: The Bay Area Reporter at 50 will display digitized pages of the paper, with links to full issues, photographs, testimonials and other audiovisual materials. The exhibition is made possible by generous support from the Bob Ross Foundation, and opens on the GLBT Historical Society’s website on April 26, 2021.
Stories of Our Movement examines this groundbreaking paper’s trajectory, impact and continued relevance.
Opinions through the years
Sports coverage reviewed
40 years of AIDS coverage
Serving the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer communities since 1971
Vol. 51 • No. 13 • April 1-7, 2021
B.A.R. covers through the years, one from 1975; the 1989 issue after the earthquake; the 1996 opening of the Hormel Center at the San Francisco Public Library; the 2003 Supreme Court decision striking down sodomy laws; and same-sex marriage in San Francisco in 2004.
Historic LGBTQ newspaper turns 50
Courtesy B.A.R. Archive
by John Ferrannini
ifty years ago the gay bar – that foremost location for so much dating, friendships, political organizing, and times both fun and challenging – gave birth to the B.A.R., when the first copies of the Bay Area Reporter were set atop cigarette machines in San Francisco watering holes.
Since those early, heady days of what was then called the Gay Liberation Movement, the bar rag evolved to become the undisputed newspaper of record for the Bay Area’s LGBTQ community, distributing 20,000 paper copies each Thursday, and of course available 24/7 online. According to Michael Yamashita, a gay man who has been the paper’s publisher since 2013,
the paper has never missed an issue deadline – not even when threatened by the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989. Yamashita was in the paper’s offices – then at 395 Ninth Street, where writers and editors worked until a brief 2013 move downtown preceded the paper’s current address at 44 Gough Street – and was about to leave for the day.
“It was awful because we started to hear about fires in the Marina, the Bay Bridge collapsing, freeways pancaking, and that night most of the city had lost electricity,” Yamashita said. “The next day we were determined. Someone had electricity and so we went over there and started pasting up the paper. Thank goodness the press had electricity.” See page 26 >>
Housing crisis takes toll on Bay Area LGBTQ seniors by John Ferrannini
harlie Uher had never expected to be living out of his car. The 67-year-old gay man told the Bay Area Reporter he had been living in a manufactured home in the East Bay community of Bay Point until a little more than three years ago. “I had a dispute with the people who owned the land, so they kicked me out,” Uher said. “I bought the manufactured home because my mother passed and left me with some money. I thought that when I die they’d carry me out of there. ... They gave me $4,000 for it, then turned around and sold it for $20,000.” Uher, who hails from Chicago and lived for some time in San Francisco, parked on the streets in Bay Point for about two and a half years until he found housing at St. Paul’s Commons in Walnut Creek through the Trinity Center, which is a non-residential nonprofit serving working-class and homeless people in Walnut Creek and central Contra Costa County. Uher, who said he’d been on the wait list since he lost the house, said he is lucky that he found housing before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last March; he’d been able to use a gym for showers, and various bathrooms around town during the time he’d been living in his vehicle. After Uher got two jobs and had an increase in his income, he saw a substantial rent increase in February from the Housing Authority. Formerly paying $488 for his place, Uher has been
Charlie Uher sits in front of his apartment building in Walnut Creek.
paying $1,000 since January – and doesn’t know how much longer he can afford it, since he is paying most of his income in rent now that he no longer has the jobs. “I don’t know if I’m going to be able to live here anymore,” Uher said. “People want to make money, and I get that, but I think that’s taking advantage of people in a disadvantaged situation.” Uher is not alone – the COVID-19 pandemic has hardly eliminated the decades-long California housing crisis. For many LGBTQ seniors who’d originally resettled in the Golden State
with a promise of freedom that they had been denied elsewhere, that crisis casts a dark cloud over what, for others, are the golden years. In the South Bay, Lincoln Wong, a 77-year-old gay man, had been working at the Fairmont in downtown San Jose until the pandemic hit. A member of the Vintage program for seniors at the Billy DeFrank LGBTQ+ Community Center, Wong has been living in the same apartment for almost two decades. When asked if he was facing housing insecurity, he said “yes and no.” “Since I lost my partner, I was feeling that
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possibility of being pushed out because it is a place for two people,” Wong said. “Because of the death, I was experiencing all sorts of things because I’d never been alone, by myself. I’m at an apartment where I could lose it because it’s been very expensive for me to live by myself, but I don’t want to live with anyone at the moment.” Wong said he has gotten on many wait lists, but “the wait list is always very long.” “I don’t want my mind to get older,” Wong said. “I don’t want to slow down. Just because I’m older doesn’t mean I’m not capable of being who I was. ... People are so prejudiced about people getting older. It’s really terrible. People look at you different. A 26-year-old looks at me and thinks I’m over the hill. We talk about systemic prejudice, and young people think I’m over the hill, that I don’t have any future and because of this systemic thinking, the seniors pick up that thought and make it happen. That’s wrong.” Vince Crisostomo, a queer man who is the director of aging services with the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, told the B.A.R. that several issues exacerbate the housing crisis for some senior members of the LGBTQ community. He is currently advocating San Francisco supervisors for housing subsidies for some 300 households with HIV-positive members. “Many people live on fixed incomes and maybe didn’t save money in their 30s and 40s,” Crisostomo said. “Many people also age out of See page 32 >>
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3/24/21 3:43 PM
6 • Bay Area Reporter • April 1-7, 2021
Volume 51, Number 13 April 1-7, 2021 www.ebar.com
PUBLISHER Michael M. Yamashita Thomas E. Horn, Publisher Emeritus (2013) Publisher (2003 – 2013) Bob Ross, Founder (1971 – 2003) NEWS EDITOR Cynthia Laird CULTURE EDITOR Jim Provenzano ASSISTANT EDITORS Matthew S. Bajko • John Ferrannini CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Tavo Amador • Roger Brigham Brian Bromberger • Victoria A. Brownworth Philip Campbell • Heather Cassell Michael Flanagan • Jim Gladstone Liz Highleyman • Lisa Keen Matthew Kennedy • David Lamble David-Elijah Nahmod • Paul Parish Tim Pfaff • Jim Piechota • Gregg Shapiro Gwendolyn Smith •Sari Staver • Charlie Wagner Ed Walsh • Cornelius Washington • Sura Wood
ART DIRECTION Max Leger PRODUCTION/DESIGN Ernesto Sopprani PHOTOGRAPHERS Jane Philomen Cleland • FBFE Rick Gerharter • Gareth Gooch Jose Guzman-Colon • Rudy K. Lawidjaja Georg Lester • Rich Stadtmiller • Fred Rowe Steven Underhill • Bill Wilson ILLUSTRATORS & CARTOONISTS Christine Smith
VICE PRESIDENT OF ADVERTISING Scott Wazlowski – 415.829.8937
NATIONAL ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVE Rivendell Media – 212.242.6863
LEGAL COUNSEL Paul H. Melbostad, Esq.
<< Open Forum
t B.A.R. looks back at its proud history Y
eah, we’ll toot our own horn. We’ve come a long way from when the first issue of the Bay Area Reporter rolled off the presses (or a mimeograph machine in the back of a gay bar) 50 years ago – April 1, 1971. It was no April Fools’ joke. The paper had a purpose – to bring the LGBTQ community together, at least as far as letting us all know what was going on – and we continue to fulfill that promise. It hasn’t always been easy. It definitely hasn’t been without controversy or occasional missteps. But here we are, 50 years later, in the midst of another pandemic, continuing to inform queer readers on issues that matter to them. Looking back at those early issues, it’s easy to see that the paper got its start in the gay community. There was no LGBTQ acronym then, and the paper’s early coverage certainly skewed heavily toward the drag community. (An early reader even wrote a letter to the editor suggesting the paper change its name to Bay Area Drag Reporter.) But very quickly, by the fifth issue, the B.A.R. shifted to news coverage in addition to its gossip columns and horoscopes. From the beginning, the paper engaged with City Hall, promoting friendly straight politicians and urging readers to vote for them. In the sixth issue, the cover featured a demonstration outside the San Francisco federal building. “Gays Demand Equal Rights,” read a sign held by one protester. You might think it quaint today, but this is the early 1970s we’re talking about, when anti-gay harassment ran rampant. It was only two years after the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City, and while LGBTQs were certainly more visible – and vocal – following that seminal event, it still wasn’t easy being queer in the U.S. Founding publishers Bob Ross and Paul Bentley were on to something. In the years that followed, with no internet or social media, readers quickly became aware that the best place to alert others to your news was in the pages of the B.A.R. Eventually, Ross bought out Bentley’s share and became the sole publisher, a position he held until his death in 2003. During the Ross years, the B.A.R. covered uncomfortable issues in the community like racism in Castro bars, where
gays of color, particularly Asians at the time, were often denied entrance or had to show multiple forms of identification. This wasn’t an isolated case, as recently as 2004, under publisher Thomas E. Horn, the paper extensively covered racial bias at Badlands. While owner Les Natali has always denied the accusations that the establishment wasn’t welcoming to Blacks, he ultimately reached a confidential settlement with activists who had kept the issue alive for years. On AIDS, the paper covered the epidemic beginning soon after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention bulletin about five cases of Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) among young gay men in Los Angeles in June 1981. As Liz Highleyman recounts in her history of our coverage, the paper frequently announced public meetings, activists’ efforts to promote safer sex, and other activities as scientists and researchers struggled to understand this new virus. There was vigorous disagreement in the community over mandatory bathhouse closures, and the paper came under fire over its then-editorial stance, which was wrong. Despite that however, the B.A.R. quickly backed public health recommendations and has consistently written about all facets of the epidemic. Our coverage has expanded as the community evolved. The B.A.R. focused on issues faced by transgender people when many readers were not aware of them. From heinous cases like the murder of trans teen Gwen Araujo in Alameda County in 2002 to tragic cases of violence that led to the homicide of Taja Gabrielle de Jesus, a trans woman who lived in San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood, we have shined a light on this epidemic of violence and hate that continues to target the community. In more positive news, we have covered trans people who have worked to uplift the community and take powerful positions in local government. A decade after she was elected the country’s first out trans trial court judge, Victoria Kolakowski, in Alameda County, is still the only one in California. That speaks volumes to the challenges trans political candidates face,
A front row seat to LGBT news by Thomas E. Horn
Bay Area Reporter 44 Gough Street, Suite 204 San Francisco, CA 94103 415.861.5019 • www.ebar.com A division of BAR Media, Inc. © 2021 President: Michael M. Yamashita Director: Scott Wazlowski
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something that’s exacerbated now with the rightwing’s obsession with trans girls in sports and a number of state legislatures working overtime to deny them equal rights. LGBTQ candidates have made terrific gains since the late Harvey Milk, a onetime columnist for the B.A.R., became the first openly gay person elected to office in San Francisco and California. In recent years, voters in cities and municipalities outside urban centers like San Francisco have said yes to an increasing number of LGBTQ and nonbinary politicians who use their platforms to fight for equality. It has been hard for the B.A.R. to shake its early reputation as a paper catering to the gay male community, specifically, gay white men. But perusing our archives, as we’ve done in preparation for this milestone anniversary, it’s a misperception more than reality – possibly conjured up by competing publications over the years. Although we’ve long covered lesbian women, some of the people we spoke to for this anniversary do point out that women sometimes didn’t see themselves in the paper. We’ve always worked hard to rectify that, and continue to do. We want the entire LGBTQ community to feel represented in the news and arts coverage and we are committed to that goal. We’d be remiss if we did not take a moment to thank our advertisers and donors. They’re the ones that really keep the paper going – and let it remain a free publication. Companies, small businesses, and nonprofits alike have bought space in the paper because they know they will reach an active and engaged audience. And to ensure we’ll be around, we’re always adopting new technologies and changing with the times to deliver the news to readers in the formats they prefer. The LGBTQ community is not a monolith. We represent a variety of political and social views – everything from lesbian feminists to gay schoolteachers to drag artists to leather daddies to, gulp, conservatives and everything in between. The paper’s not perfect by any stretch, but we strive to be for the benefit of our LGBTQ community. Our lives have certainly changed for the better since 1971, but discrimination is still with us. Equality has not been achieved yet, and we’re committed to documenting our journey to true freedom.t
or 50 years the Bay Area Reporter has chronicled the development of the LGBT movement in San Francisco. From its nascent beginnings as the Gay Liberation Movement through its present iteration with more letters and symbols than I can keep track of, the B.A.R. has covered it. I have had a front row seat. No discussion of the B.A.R. at 50 can be told without recognizing the significance of Bob Ross. He was a submarine sailor, cook, opera lover, community organizer, proud Emperor of the Imperial Court of San Francisco, president of the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District board, and friend of mayors and other powerful political and appointed figures locally and often nationally. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Ross settled in San Francisco after serving in the navy and did what he knew how to do: run restaurants. It was the 1960s when San Francisco flourished with gay bars and supper clubs. It was a roaring ‘20s for gay people in San Francisco. The gay community, although just forming, was rich and diverse. There were chic supper clubs and there were sleezy late night hangouts. There was a blossoming leather community as well as a drag scene. The gay boys didn’t have any use for the lesbians and the feeling was mutual, and each stayed with their own. Ross saw this diversity as an asset as well as a problem. It was against the law to be gay, and police harassment and corruption were rampant. And we didn’t even know what the various segments of our own communities were doing. We were no match against the forces that hated us all. Ross felt that each community needed to know what the others were doing. How else could we maintain a united front against the forces that would destroy us? It was that need for communication and advocacy that led him to the idea of publishing a community newsletter. It was the B.A.R. The B.A.R. began slowly, being printed on a
Courtesy Thomas E. Horn
Thomas E. Horn, left, hosted the 60th birthday party for founding Bay Area Reporter publisher Bob Ross in 1994.
mimeograph machine in the back of a gay bar. But it grew quickly. Ross knew everyone from every community. He brought in Harvey Milk to write about the political scene. And there were such local luminaries as Sweet Lips (aka Richard Walters) on the bar scene, Mister Marcus (aka Marcus Hernandez) on leather and the Imperial Court, Tessi Tura on opera, and so on. At one point in the 1970s, there were 164 gay bars in San Francisco, and Lips printed a map weekly showing where they all were and what kink they appealed to. Ross loved the arts, so he brought in trained music, theater, and dance critics who had been blackballed by the mainstream media because they were gay. The B.A.R. critics were often more perspicuous than what was being dished up by the dailies. But the B.A.R. quickly became more than a source of news and information of particular interest to our community. It became a resource. Looking through the ads, you could find and buy from LGBT and LGBT-friendly merchants. You could peruse the classifieds and find an LGBT roommate or a lover. By the time the 1980s rolled around the classified section of the B.A.R. ran longer than news and entertainment sections, often 60-80 pages.
People could find like-minded people and trade with similar businesses. As Ross had wanted from the beginning, it brought the community together. But its most important function was to inform the entire LGBT community on the matters that meant most to us and were being ignored by local, state, and national media. Police harassment of gays and gay bars in the 1970s. Assaults and street violence against transgender sex workers. And then in the 1980s, in the midst of an era of gay liberation and sexual freedom, the plague that would haunt us for decades: AIDS. If it hadn’t been for the gay press and the B.A.R. in particular, it likely would have remained in the shadows indefinitely. The mainstream press didn’t cover it. The president of the United States wouldn’t say the word. But Ross was determined to shine the light on the epidemic and to focus public and political pressure on our elected leaders to move decisively to fund treatment for those infected and to provide the best coverage of the search for a cure. And to bring the illness out of the shadows of shame. Families and friends of those taken were offered free obituaries with photos of their loved ones. They flowed in. Some weeks, the obits went on for pages and pages. There is no question that the attention brought on by the gay press nationally and the B.A.R. in the Bay Area put necessary pressure on elected and other public figures to recognize the seriousness of this disease and move forward more decisively. With the arrival of the internet and the ubiquitousness of social media today, information (much of it false or misleading) is readily available. But the need for serious local journalism in general, and the LGBT press in particular, is more important now than ever. For 50 years the B.A.R. has covered our joys and our pains and advocated for our interests. Fifty is an important benchmark. Let’s hope for 50 more. t Thomas E. Horn served as the Bay Area Reporter’s attorney for many years and was publisher of the paper following Ross’ death in 2003 until 2013.
April 1-7, 2021 • Bay Area Reporter • 7
Programs aim to assist DACA applicants
by Matthew S. Bajko
everal programs are providing free services to undocumented immigrants who wish to remain in the U.S. and obtain work permits. One based in San Francisco is specifically looking to help LGBTQ people apply to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program or renew their participation in the federally administered program. Meanwhile, the Boston-based nonprofit Immigration Help is offering free assistance to anyone eligible for the DACA program. Immigrants from across the country can visit its website at http://www.immigrationhelp.org/ to request assistance. “We have been able to help several thousand individuals at different stages of the process. We help determine if they are eligible to helping them submit their forms to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services,” said Fernando Urbina, a gay student at Harvard who is the nonprofit’s director of outreach. “It is all free of charge. We help them bypass paying the thousands of dollars to an attorney to help them complete these processes.” The Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs for the city and county of San Francisco has partnered with the LGBT Asylum Project, which is based in the LGBTQ Castro district, so that the nonprofit can expand its services to include DACA participants or those eligible to apply. Up until now the nonprofit has largely focused on assisting asylum seekers fleeing anti-LGBTQ persecution in their home countries. It was awarded $60,000 per year for the current and next fiscal years to offer the DACA-focused services. It quietly added the service to its website earlier this year and is now making it more widely known. “Our main goal is to become the city of San Francisco’s go-to LGBT immigration service provider, so ideally we will have the asylum program and be aiding DACA applicants,” said Okan Sengun, a gay man and lawyer who is the executive director and co-founder of the LGBT Asylum Project. Norjmoo Battulga, who came from Mongolia to the U.S. when she was 5 years old, first applied for the DACA program at age 15. She did so on her own and wished she had help filling out the paperwork back then. Now Battulga, who is bisexual and graduated from Golden Gate University’s law school last year, is assisting others eligible for DACA as a legal services funder network fellow with the LGBT Asylum Project. The federal program allowed her to attend college and find employment, noted Battulga, who hopes others will take advantage of it. “It has opened up a lot of opportunities and doors for me I wouldn’t have had if I had to keep managing without paperwork. It also gave me a foot to stand on in terms of not being afraid of being deported,” she said. “It gave me the opportunity to build a life here instead of being stuck. I think other people will find if they get DACA status it gives you some hope for the future.” The Obama administration set up the DACA program in 2012, and the U.S. Supreme Court last June rejected the Trump administration’s efforts to shut it down. At the time more than 600,000 immigrants, many brought to America as very young children by their families, had benefitted from the program. It allows undocumented immigrants who entered the United
Okan Sengun runs the LGBT Asylum Project in San Francisco.
States before the age of 16, and meet other requirements, to receive temporary work authorization and not have to face the prospect of being deported during renewable twoyear periods. Known as Dreamers, there are an estimated 81,000 such immigrants in the U.S. and about 39,000 had taken advantage of the DACA program as of last year, according to the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law. The majority of LGBTQ DACA recipients live in California, Texas, Illinois, New York, and Florida. Overall, more than 184,000 DACA recipients, of whom more than half are women, reside in the Golden State. According to 2018 data, there are 14,110 DACA recipients in San Francisco. Due to the ongoing COVID pandemic the LGBT Asylum Project’s rollout of its new DACA services was delayed, said Sengun, though the agency has been working with the city’s immigrant affairs department to host virtual clinics the last Tuesday of the month for those who require legal assistance with their DACA applications or renewal forms. Because its Castro office is not yet open to the public, the agency plans to offer its DACA program virtually for the time being. “Once we make the announcement, we hope to get more LGBTQ applicants,” said Sengun. Currently, anyone eligible for the DACA program can fill out an intake form on the website of the asylum project at https://www. lgbtasylumproject.org/ under the “Get Help” section. Those who arrived in the U.S. before 2007 and were under the age of 16 at the time can apply. “The first rule is they had to be under 31 years old as of 2012, the day DACA initially passed,” explained Sengun. Any DACA youth can seek support, whether they are LGBTQ or not, from the asylum project. One of the agency’s three current staffers assigned to work with the DACA applicants will respond within a few days. “We have multiple people reviewing those applications. We want to make sure they are eligible and review them and then schedule legal consultations. Then we start to work on their cases,” said Sengun. “We did have a few intakes for DACA already, mainly renewals.” The process for a DACA participant to renew is simpler than for those submitting their initial application, as such individuals need to supply paperwork proving they have been living in the U.S. It can take two to five months to process DACA renewals, and seven to nine months for the federal government to make a final determination on DACA initial applications, noted Sengun. “Right now it is really hard to give
certain processing times because of COVID-19,” he explained. Urbina became involved with Immigration Help, which launched in 2019, because his mother emigrated from Mexico to the U.S. Now he wants to help other immigrants who can often be baffled by America’s immigration system. “She went through a complicated naturalization process. I want to be part of a team to help and improve these processes,” said Urbina, 20, who is majoring in government with a minor in ethnicity, migration, rights. Immigration Help partners with local agencies in communities across the country to supplement the services they provide to immigrants and DACA applicants, said Urbina. It has found that local libraries are one of the best institutions to form alliances with, he said. “We find more people trust local institutions like public libraries, so we are able to connect with more people,” said Urbina. While DACA applicants can fill out the required paperwork on their own, both Sengun and Urbina told the Bay Area Reporter it is easy for people to make mistakes on the forms. Thus, they stressed it is beneficial for them to work with a nonprofit offering DACA assistance to ensure their applications for the program are in order so they can be processed faster and not rejected. “If you don’t put the appropriate info in, your application could be rejected,” noted Urbina. “It is extremely common that individuals make errors on their forms just because some of the questions can be unclear or people don’t know how to answer some of them.” Since the election last year of President Joe Biden there has been an uptick in requests for Immigration Help’s services, said Urbina. Because of Biden’s pro-immigrant stances there is renewed interest in the DACA program in particular, he said. “The Biden administration has signaled it is a lot more accepting of immigrant communities. It also signaled it seeks to enact much more positive immigration reforms,” said Urbina. “We think there is less fear in the immigrant community with the new administration relative to the previous one.” t Web Extra: For more queer political news, be sure to check http:// www.ebar.com Monday mornings for Political Notes, the notebook’s online companion. This week’s column reported on the out candidates running to succeed Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) as he is set to become California’s next attorney general. Keep abreast of the latest LGBTQ political news by following the Political Notebook on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/politicalnotes. Got a tip on LGBTQ politics? Call Matthew S. Bajko at (415) 829-8836 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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8 • Bay Area Reporter • April 1-7, 2021
Advocates push sex work law reform by John Ferrannini
ith a renewed push in California to enact progressive reforms of the criminal justice system, advocates and elected leaders are once again highlighting the need to decriminalize sex work. Gay state Senator Scott Wiener (DSan Francisco) recently introduced Senate Bill 357, which would repeal statutes that criminalize loitering with the intent to engage in sex work. At a panel hosted by the San Francisco Sex-Positive Democratic Club, advocates drew attention to why the bill is needed. Celestina Pearl, the outreach director for St. James Infirmary, one of the six organizations co-sponsoring the bill, told panelists and attendees during the March 18 forum that the San Francisco nonprofit is working with Wiener to pass SB 357 this year. It mirrors a similar bill New York State lawmakers adopted. “It’s basically the bill New York just passed,” Pearl said. “They were calling it the ‘walking while trans bill’ and we haven’t come up with our own title yet, but we are working with Senator Wiener’s office.” SB 357, introduced March 9, joins a concerted effort around the country to repeal laws that critics say abet police harassment of transgender people, and racial and ethnic minorities. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) signed his state’s bill into law in February. “New York has led the way, and shown that it’s far past time we end this discriminatory targeting of suspected sex workers,” Wiener stated in a news release. “We’re experiencing a terrifying epidemic of violence against trans women of color, and we need to be proactive in improving their safety. Our laws should protect the LGBTQ commu-
nity and communities of color, and not criminalize sex workers, trans people and Brown and Black people for quite literally walking around or dressing in a certain way.” Under California law, loitering with the intent to engage in sex for pay is a crime. However, any number of things – how a person is dressed, who a person is speaking with, and where and how a person stands – could lead to an arrest on suspicion that an individual is intending to engage in sex work. “This law can be broadly interpreted, and thus allows for discriminatory application against the LGBTQ community and people of color,” the release from Wiener’s office states. “Because current law regarding loitering is highly subjective and vague, law enforcement officers disproportionately profile and target Black and Brown transgender women by stopping and arresting people for discriminatory and inappropriate reasons. “This is how Black and Brown transgender women get arrested and cited for quite simply walking on the street,” the release states. “It also gives law enforcement the ability to more easily target and arrest sex workers.” Tony Montoya, a gay man who is the president of the San Francisco Police Officers Association, did not respond to a request for comment. The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California is also a co-sponsor of the legislation. “California’s loitering law gives law enforcement a weapon to discriminate against and harass Black and trans sex workers simply for existing in public,” stated Arneta Rogers, the director of the gender, sexuality and reproductive justice program at the ACLU of Northern California. “We are proud to partner with the strong coalition of current and former sex workers to repeal this harmful law.”
dence of sex work in court.
Boudin makes case for decriminalizing sex work
San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin spoke at a panel about decriminalizing sex work.
Cesar, whose last name was not given, is currently a sex worker and a co-lead of the mutual aid and fundraising team of the Decrim Sex Work CA Coalition. Cesar stated that sex workers face physical danger and intimidation because of statutes against the practice. “Sex workers are necessity-based entrepreneurs that should be protected and not dehumanized by laws criminalizing the entire industry,” Cesar stated. “Some clients weaponize the criminalization of sex work by using threats of calling the police to exploit or harm sex workers by agreeing to a verbal contract for service and getting this service without paying for service. Why is it illegal to sell something that is legal to give away?” This is not Wiener’s first bill addressing sex work laws. In 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Wiener’s SB 233, which took effect last year. The law protects sex workers from arrest for misdemeanor crimes after they report a felony, and disallows the possession of condoms to be used by police as probable cause for an arrest, or as evi-
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Panelists at “Sex Work Decrim 101: Evidence-based approaches to policy,” went further than advocating for SB 357 – calling for the complete removal of sex work from the state’s criminal law codes. One fan of that idea is San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin, who spoke for about 25 minutes at the outset of the panel discussion. “I’m a big believer in the decriminalization of sex work, which I think will help us become safer in concrete ways” Boudin said. Boudin said that the district attorney’s office already takes a lenient approach. “It is not a priority for my office to prosecute,” Boudin said. “It’s not something I would ever prosecute, except under the most extraordinary circumstances, if it is consensual between adults.” Boudin said that the state law that prohibits sex work, California Penal Code Section 647(b), does not make a distinction between sellers and purchasers, which he said made it arduous to research the amount and context of the sex work-related cases brought before San Francisco courts last year. Nonetheless, Boudin said that his staff was able to determine that in 2020, “11 cases appeared on the court calendar. They looked like new cases, but I was relieved to see these 11 cases were on the calendar not because they were new but because of actions taken by my office and the public defender to expunge and seal old arrests.” Boudin said that “research ... shows us there are positive public health and public safety outcomes when law enforcement is prohibited from intervening” in sex work. From 2003 to 2009, indoor sex work was judicially decriminalized in Rhode Island. Boudin said that during that time, there was a 31% decline in reported rapes and a decline in the number of gonorrhea cases. “Criminalization of sex work is actually one of the main barriers toward solving violent crimes,” Boudin said, adding that while sex workers are disproportionately victims of violent crimes, they are often reluctant to come forward due to the fear of being criminally charged. Further, many sex workers didn’t carry condoms for fear prophylactics could be used as evidence against them. “In San Francisco, several years ago and by agreement of all law enforcement agencies, we stopped using condoms as evidence, even when the DA’s office was still prosecuting,” Boudin said. “I don’t control the [San Francisco Police Department], but I can tell you that the police department is well aware our office doesn’t prosecute sex workers.” In a statement, SFPD spokesman Sergeant Michael Andraychak wrote, “Yes, the department and the DA are on the same page when it comes to not prosecuting sex work except under the most extraordinary circumstances.” The Bay Area Reporter reported extensively on the condom issue and the SFPD bulletin, which was released by former police chief Greg Suhr in 2012. Panelist Maggie McNeill, a sex worker, author, blogger, and expert on sex work policy, wanted to impress upon the attendees the importance of the district attorney’s stance. “I want to stress to viewers how important this policy you’re talking about is,” McNeill said. “Something of 60% of prostitution charges nationwide come from sex workers who are the victims of – or in the neighborhood of – a crime. She gets assaulted, reports it, and is arrested for prostitution. I want to stress: this is a really important policy and I applaud your
office for doing that.” Becca Motola-Barnes, the vice president of internal communications for the Sex-Positive Democrats, thanked Boudin for showing up. “That was really wonderful,” she said. “I’m glad we got some of the DA’s time.”
Decriminalization vs. legalization
Motola-Barnes and the panelists then dove into the question about decriminalization versus legalization. McNeill explained the distinction through an analogy to the restaurant business. If an eatery violates a health code, she said, a health officer might write a citation. “What he does not do is come in the restaurant by surprise, trick the restaurant owner, beat them up, and bring in a bunch of cops,” McNeill said. “Decriminalization is something more like a restaurant, which is covered by a civil code and not a criminal one. It’s not enforced by the cops, it’s enforced by a health inspector.” Then panelists discussed the socalled Nordic model, which decriminalizes sex workers but keeps buying sex a crime. Cathy Reisenwitz, a writer, activist, and sex worker focused on destigmitization, said that this approach is flawed. “You’re never going to end demand,” Reisenwitz said. “You can only make it uncomfortable.” McNeill seemed to concur. “The problem with ‘go after the pimps’ is that there’s no definition of ‘pimp.’ It’s anyone in the vicinity of a sex worker who a cop decides to charge as a pimp,” McNeill said. In response to a question about which way of decriminalization would be best, McNeill said that many sexual and reproductive freedoms now protected by law in the United States came from the Supreme Court. But she fears that a Supreme Court ruling would face more backlash than rulings that decriminalized gay sex. “I see it as more like Roe v. Wade than Lawrence v. Texas,” McNeill said, referring to two landmark decisions that legalized abortion and gay sex, respectively. “After Lawrence, support for the criminalization of homosexual relations really evaporated. As we all know – Roe v. Wade – they’ve been trying to recriminalize by sneaky ways ever since.” The panel took place two days after a series of mass shootings at massage parlors in the Atlanta area killed eight people, six of whom were women of Asian descent. McNeill connected anti-sex work laws to xenophobia, particularly against Chinese people. “The first federal anti-prostitution law, the Page Act [of 1875], was also the first federal migration law, and it was specifically intended to keep Chinese people out,” McNeill said. “Anti-migrant, anti-prostitution and anti-Asian, all in one law.” Indeed, the ban on Chinese women entering the U.S. became law seven years before the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 banned men as well, until World War II led to a slight opening in Chinese immigration. For now, Pearl said that people should stay tuned for further developments about SB 357. “Pay attention,” she said. “Look out for it. It’s still early in the process so there’s not really anything to be done yet.” Reisenwitz said that once stigma is lifted, more and more people will realize they, too, know people affected by sex-work criminalization. “You know a lot more sex workers than you think, no matter who you are,” she said. “We have a culture where men are more embarrassed about paying for sex than having sex with women who are too drunk to consent. That’s fucked.” t
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10 • Bay Area Reporter • April 1-7, 2021
Newsom nominates Bonta for CA AG by Cynthia Laird
overnor Gavin Newsom on March 24 nominated Oakland Assemblyman Rob Bonta to fill the vacant state attorney general position. Bonta will need to be confirmed by the state Legislature to replace former attorney general Xavier Becerra, who was confirmed as President Joe Biden’s secretary of health and human services last month. Bonta, a Democrat whose 18th Assembly District also includes Alameda and San Leandro, received his law degree from Yale. He formerly worked in the San Francisco City Attorney’s office and previously served on the Alameda City Council. Bonta was elected to the Assembly in 2012 and became the first Filipino American state legislator in California’s then 160-plus-year history. “Rob represents what makes California great – our desire to take on righteous fights and reverse systematic injustices,” Newsom stated in an announcement. “Growing up with parents steeped in social justice movements, Rob has become a national leader in the fight to repair our justice system and defend the rights of every Californian. And most importantly, at this moment when so many communities are under attack for who they are and who they love, Rob has fought to strengthen hate crime laws and protect our communities from the forces of hate. He will be a phenomenal attorney general, and I can’t wait to see him get to work.” The governor’s announcement puts Bonta in a position of overseeing the California Department of Justice at a time when violence against the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities is in the headlines, both in the Bay Area and nationally. “Thank you, governor,” Bonta stat-
Assemblyman Rob Bonta spoke shortly after California Governor Gavin Newsom announced his nomination for state’s attorney general, March 24 in San Francisco.
ed. “I am humbled by the confidence you have placed in me. I became a lawyer because I saw the law as the best way to make a positive difference for the most people, and it would be an honor of a lifetime to serve as the attorney for the people of this great state. As California’s attorney general, I will work tirelessly every day to ensure that every Californian who has been wronged can find justice and that every person is treated fairly under the law.” Bonta, a straight ally, has long been supportive of the LGBTQ community. In fact the GLBTQ+ Asian Pacific Alliance sent a letter to Newsom in February urging him to pick Bonta for the AG post once Becerra was confirmed. “He has walked with us in San Francisco Pride. He wore our GAPA shirt to Oakland Pride. He has been recognized by the East Bay Stonewall Democratic Club,” wrote GAPA Chair Michael Nguyen, referring to Alameda County’s LGBTQ political group. “And most recently, he stood with us
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when members of our LGBTQ API community were being attacked.” Nguyen was referring to a Bay Area Reporter guest opinion piece that he co-wrote ahead of the November election decrying the homophobic and transphobic attacks a trio of young, out, Asian candidates in East Bay races had to endure. Bonta was among several state lawmakers who co-signed the op-ed. Rick Chavez Zbur, a gay man who’s executive director of Equality California and who was mentioned as a possible choice for attorney general, congratulated Bonta. “I’m excited for my friend Rob Bonta, who has been a dedicated partner to Equality California over the years and will make an exceptional attorney general,” Zbur stated. “Throughout his career, Assemblymember Bonta has demonstrated his commitment to protecting civil rights, safeguarding our California values and advancing justice for all. “Now more than ever, California needs an attorney general who will stand up against the racist violence and discrimination that we’ve seen directed at Asian Americans across our state and the nation,” Zbur added. “Assemblymember Bonta’s appointment to serve as the state’s top law enforcement official sends a powerful message that California is committed to protecting our API communities and securing racial justice and equity for all. I look forward to our continued partnership in creating a world that is healthy, just and fully equal for all LGBTQ+ people – and for the diverse communities to which LGBTQ+ Californians belong.” The California Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus also applauded Bonta’s nomination. Since the start of the pandemic, the Stop AAPI Hate organization
reported more than 3,700 incidents of anti-Asian attacks nationwide. Almost 50% of the attacks occurred in California and around 70% of the reports came from women. In 2021, more than 500 reports of anti-Asian discrimination have been reported, the caucus stated. “Thank you, Governor Newsom, for appointing Assemblymember Rob Bonta as California’s attorney general. We appreciate your leadership and commitment to the API Community,” said Senator Dr. Richard Pan (DSacramento), chair of the API Legislative Caucus. “This appointment demonstrates California’s belief that there is strength in our diversity. Assemblymember Rob Bonta is breaking another glass ceiling as the first Filipino American to become California’s attorney general. He gives our communities hope and will lift API voices during a time of fear caused by the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes. Thank you again Governor Newsom for listening and responding to the needs of the API community.” Gay Assemblyman Evan Low (DCampbell), vice chair of the API caucus, said Newsom has shown his commitment to the API community. “Hate crimes targeting the API community have skyrocketed over the last year, and we need a champion who will make the pursuit of justice for these victims a top priority,” Low stated. “I have full faith AG Bonta is the right person to meet this moment.” Gay state Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), said he’s known Bonta since their time in the city attorney’s office. “I’ve worked with Rob for four years in the Legislature, and we have frequently partnered on important legislation,” Wiener stated. “He’s a tenacious, thoughtful, and progres-
sive leader. He’ll do great things as attorney general. I look forward to seeing what he accomplishes in this important role.” Newsom made the announcement at the historic International Hotel in San Francisco, a site where Asian and Pacific Islander Californians famously rallied in 1977 to save homes of elderly residents and preserve their community. The protests helped fuel a rise in AAPI political activism. Bonta’s mother, who helped organize the protest at the International Hotel, was on hand to witness the governor making his selection, according to a news release.
Candidates rush to fill seat
In the days following Newsom’s announcement, and with it likely the Legislature will confirm Bonta, a number of candidates, including thee LGBTQ ones, have indicated they will run in a special election to finish Bonta’s term. Whoever wins will also have to run for a full term in 2022. As the B.A.R.’s online Political Notes column reported March 25, gay San Leandro Unified School District Board of Education member James Aguilar, queer and lesbian social justice attorney Janani Ramachandran, and gay San Leandro City Councilman Victor Aguilar Jr. (no relation to James Aguilar), all plan to run for the 18th Assembly District seat. Alameda Vice Mayor Malia Vella, who is the first Filipina elected to her City Council, announced her entrance into the special election for Bonta’s seat in a video she posted to Twitter March 24. Other possible candidates are Bonta’s wife, Mia Bonta, currently the Alameda Unified School Board president, and Oakland City Councilwoman Pro Tem Sheng Thao. t
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t Cloud of skepticism greets San Jose police chief 12 • Bay Area Reporter • April 1-7, 2021
by John Ferrannini
he new San Jose police chief started his job under what one county official called “a looming shadow of doubt” about his acceptance of transgender people. Anthony Mata, a deputy police chief who has been with the San Jose Police Department for 25 years, was selected as the city’s top cop March 16. He started in the position March 22. As KGO-TV reported, in the days before Mata’s appointment was announced, Julie Callahan – a trans woman who had served as an SJPD officer for almost 30 years – wrote City Manager David Sykes about why Mata would be a bad choice. Callahan, who founded the Transgender Community of Police and Sheriffs, declined to share the letter with the Bay Area Reporter. She is retired from SJPD. “I did not release the letter,” she stated March 16. “It was sent to the city manager and was not meant for public distribution.” She also declined to comment further. “The city manager and City Council have made their decision,” Callahan stated in a separate email. “I will have no further comment on the matter at this time.” However, Callahan told KGOTV that “I’m afraid for the transgender officers that are there. I’m afraid for the LGB officers that are there, and that they will not be respected.” “He didn’t agree with what I was doing, which was transitioning, as against his personal beliefs,” she added. “I had sat down with about 1,100 people and he was probably one of a handful that expressed that to my face.”
New San Jose Police Chief Anthony Mata
As the B.A.R. previously reported, the police chief position was vacant when acting Chief David Tindall promulgated a training bulletin with updated procedures for interactions with LGBTQ people – procedures that were created in consultation with LGBTQ advocates, who likewise praised them. As part of that reporting, the B.A.R. spoke with Officer James Gonzales, a gay man who is the LGBTQ+ community liaison for the SJPD. When the B.A.R. contacted Gonzales for this report, a police spokesperson sent a statement from Mata. “I strongly deny any wrongdoing and want to emphasize that the claims are untrue,” Mata stated. “I am a firm believer that diversity in a workforce including sexual orientation, religion, race, gender, and more is essential to good policing. Policing is most successful when it reflects the community. I have and will continue to champion a diverse police department.” In a statement, Sykes said that
the city looked into Callahan’s concerns but found no violation of city policies. “The City of San Jose takes all alleged violations of city policy, including alleged violations of the city’s discrimination and harassment policy, very seriously,” Sykes stated. “Upon receipt of various concerns regarding Chief Mata, including matters pertaining to the LGBTQ+ community, which were raised late in the recruitment process, the city immediately looked into those concerns. “Based on the information we were able to gather, the city did not substantiate a violation of city policy nor find any reason to disqualify Chief Mata from further consideration as the city’s next Chief of Police,” Sykes added. The area’s two out state lawmakers expressed concern over Meta’s hiring. In a March 17 joint statement, gay Assemblyman Even Low (D-Campbell) and bisexual Assemblyman Alex Lee (D-San Jose), wrote that the
allegations of transphobia, coupled with Islamophobia, “suggest he is unfit to lead the police department of California’s third largest city and the 10th largest city in the nation.” In 1999, according to their statement, Mata was one of two officers to open fire during the fatal police shooting of Odest Mitchell, an unarmed 48-year-old man. Press reports stated Mata fired 10 shots during a foot chase, hitting Mitchell four times. The officers claimed they saw a shiny object in Mitchell’s hand, but an investigation by the Monterey County District Attorney’s office found that he was holding a pair of sunglasses. “In response to the shooting, Mata told the Mercury News he ‘paid it forward’ by training other officers,” Low and Lee stated. “This response to killing an unarmed man is unacceptable and ignores the national reckoning that has been taking place over policing in the United States.” In 2018, a lawsuit claimed Mata presided over a police briefing in which Islamophobic comments were made to harass a Palestinian officer. “Mata told the Mercury News the situation taught him to be ‘more careful in engaging with our workforce,’” Low and Lee stated. “This statement suggests once again a lack of leadership and responsibility on Mata’s part. Leaders should speak out if they see or hear something racist.” Maribel Martínez, director of the Santa Clara County Office of LGBTQ Affairs, said she believes Callahan. “Over the past couple years, staff from the Office of LGBTQ Affairs has participated in the San Jose Police Department’s LGBTQ Advisory committee, and SJPD has taken
significant action in repairing the relationship with the LGBTQ community,” Martínez stated. “With the recent appointment of their new police chief and the criticism of him over bias allegations involving anti-transgender comments, it is unfortunate that there is a looming shadow of doubt that such inroads will continue. “Retired officer Julie Callahan has a long history of providing excellent service to our community, and we believe her account of the facts,” she continued. “Our office will continue to advocate for LGBTQ inclusion at all levels and will move forward with policy in support of this goal.” Mata, originally from Chicago, moved to San Jose to join the department in 1996. “It is the greatest honor of my professional career to lead this great department at this time of needed social and organizational change,” he stated in a news release. “I humbly but enthusiastically approach the challenge of guiding and supporting our dedicated workforce while also advocating for our community as we re-imagine community safety together.” San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo stated that Mata was one of “many excellent candidates.” “Chief Mata’s extensive experience, genuine passion for public service, and his dedication to SJPD will serve him and our city well in his new leadership role,” Liccardo stated. “I look forward to working with Chief Mata to reimagine policing, reduce criminal activity in our neighborhoods, and build critical bridges between our officers and the community they serve.” The Billy DeFrank LGBTQ Community Center declined to comment by press time. t
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14 • Bay Area Reporter • April 1-7, 2021
California End of Life law up for renewal by Matthew S. Bajko
alifornia lawmakers are aiming to renew the state’s “right to die” law indefinitely so that residents with incurable diseases have the option to take their own life rather than suffer unbearably painful deaths or face spending their final months or years in a vegetative state they won’t wake up from. The End of Life Option Act went into effect June 9, 2016, authorizing the compassionate option of medical aid in dying for terminally ill, mentally capable adults who are given a prescription to end their life peacefully. The law included a sunset provision, however, allowing it to expire at the end of 2025 unless new legislation was passed. That worries Santa Cruz resident Allyne Hammer, 78, who is pansexual and survived battles with both Stage 4 lymphoma, an incurable blood cancer, and a brain tumor. She also is living with incurable neuropathy, incurable lymphedema, and incurable Bell’s palsy. Due to her myriad ailments, Hammer wants to ensure she has the option to end her life on her own terms should the time come. “I have aged a lot though so I have other issues coming up now like heart issues. I do believe being on lockdown during the pandemic has really helped me age quicker and deteriorate and decline,” Hammer, who once was a Muni bus driver in San Francisco, told the Bay Area Reporter during a recent phone interview. “I don’t feel like I am going to die in the next couple of years. But after that, I think my death is closer than ever before.” Hammer’s main concern isn’t dying, as that is inevitable, but how she will die. The law gives her a sense of ownership over the dying process, she said, if she isn’t lucky enough to die in her sleep. “I don’t want to suffer. For me, it is more about quality of life than quantity of life,” said Hammer, who works to promote the issue with the advocacy group Compassion and Choices, a supporter of the end of life bills. “I want to have a good day every day. That is what it is about for me.” The new legislation to amend the law, Senate Bill 380, does not include a sunset provision. It does remove regulatory roadblocks to access the law that impede or outright prevent hundreds of Californians each year from using medical aid in dying to peacefully end their suffering.
Courtesy Allyne Hammer
Allyne Hammer, shown receiving an award from the Santa Cruz Diversity Center, supports extending the end of life law.
“We have heard from many family members of terminally ill people ... who have accessed the End of Life Option Act since the law took effect. But we have also heard stories ... and seen studies that tell us that we need to reduce the bureaucratic 13-step process to access the law and increase transparency so that Californians who need this option have an easier time accessing the law,” stated the bill’s co-author Senator Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton), a lesbian and former hospice worker. “We created this legislation with input from medical providers, physicians, and patients to ensure that the law can work as intended for ALL eligible terminally ill patients, not just those privileged enough to be able to access it.” At the first hearing on SB 380 Wednesday, March 24, the Senate Health Committee, on which Eggman serves, passed it 8-1 after making a few amendments to it, such as using gender-neutral pronouns and removing the need for those being aided in dying to have to make a final verbal attestation. The Senate Judiciary Committee will next take it up. “This bill is not about somebody having a bad day. This bill is about someone having a terminal illness,” said Eggman in regard to concerns people would make use of the law without carefully considering the outcome of doing so and later changing their mind. In asking for her fellow committee members’ votes in support, Eggman said, “It is time to make this law permanent and make sure all eligible terminally ill patients remain autonomous and able to die with dignity.”
Eggman was a principal co-author of the first end of life bill passed in 2015, when she was a state Assemblywoman, along with gay former Senator Mark Leno of San Francisco. It was modeled after legislation enacted by the state of Oregon. Back then Senator Dr. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), who chairs the health committee, didn’t support the bill. Now he is supportive of extending it indefinitely and thanked Eggman for working with him on making the changes to it. “It is now the law and clear people in California want it, and we need to make sure it works. That is why I am in support of this bill,” said Pan. Fellow committee member gay Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) asked to be made a coauthor of bill. “Making this permanent makes sense,” he said. “It is a basic issue of compassion and mercy. Something I wish we had done a long time ago.” The principal co-authors of SB 380 are Assemblymen Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove) and Jim Wood (DSanta Rosa). It would still require anyone seeking aid-in-dying medication to make two oral requests, regardless of the period between oral requests, and a written request when a physician has determined, within reasonable medical judgment, that the individual will die from their terminal illness in 15 days or less.
Improvements sought in law
“This bill will improve the End of Life Option Act by eliminating the sunset once and for all and removing the time-consuming barriers that terminal patients are forced to endure in order to access the law,” stated Wood. “The people who have taken advantage of this law are folks who desperately want to live, but whose prognosis has robbed them of that possibility – and they want the option to pass peacefully, not painfully.” Data collected by the California Department of Public Health since the law went into effect through December 31, 2019, shows that nearly 2,000 mentally capable, terminally ill individuals with six months or less to live have received a prescription for medical aid-indying medication to peacefully end unbearable suffering. “Residents of California clearly want this law and it needs to be made permanent. There have been no abuses; none of the concerns opponents had have come to pass,” said Hammer. “We see good use of
the law and no abuse of the law. I see no reasons why we wouldn’t make this permanent.” As for those who see it as legally sanctioned suicide, Hammer said aid-in-dying laws allow for the exact opposite. Rather than an irrational act done alone, which is often the case when someone dies by suicide, people who opt for aidin-dying have multiple conversations about it with their doctors, families, and friends. And when the time comes to end their life, loved ones often surround them, said Hammer. “With medical aid in dying the person wants to live, but they fought the good fight and ran out of options. They don’t want to suffer when dying,” said Hammer, who was first drawn to the concept during the onset of the AIDS epidemic when so many of her gay male friends died from the disease. “Suicide is clearly an action someone wants to take to end their own life. Often it is a violent act; medical aid in dying is a peaceful act. The whole point of it is to have a peaceful death.” A study by Kaiser Permanente Southern California showed that a third of terminally ill adults who wanted to end their life under the law died before they could complete the process to do so. Critics contend it is too “time-consuming,” as the law requires a 15-day waiting period and often takes weeks or months to finish. It is estimated that nearly 1,000 individuals statewide have died before obtaining a prescription (approximately 275 people on an annual basis) versus the nearly 2,000 who completed the process and received prescriptions for medical aid in dying. “That mandatory minimum waiting period is a huge barrier for some patients,” stated Dr. Ryan Spielvogel, a family medicine specialist who works for Sutter Health in Sacramento. “[It’s] based on a flawed premise ... that a patient has only started thinking about aid in dying when they give their first verbal request to the physician. I can say unequivocally and without exception that every one of the 80+ patients that I have overseen through the process had been thinking about it for weeks or months before their first visit.” The new bill eliminates the requirement that an individual who is prescribed and ingests aid-indying medication make a final at-
testation. The bill would require that the date of all oral and written requests be documented in an individual’s medical record and would require that upon a transfer of care, that record be provided to the qualified individual. The existing law requires that an individual seeking aid-in-dying medication be subject to specific findings by their attending physician, a consulting physician, and, if determined to be necessary, a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist. The new bill would allow for a mental health professional other than a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist to conduct a mental health exam for the purpose of qualifying an individual for aid-in-dying medication. The bill also strengthens the requirement for medical providers to provide information about medical aid in dying to an individual who requests it, or to refer the individual, upon request, to another health care provider or health care facility that is willing to provide the information. And it specifies that health facilities can prohibit employees and contractors from prescribing aid-in-dying drugs while on the facility premises or in the course of their employment. The bill would add a definition of “coercion or undue influence” that includes deception and would create civil liability for anyone who obstructs an individual’s request for aid-in-dying medication. The bill would prohibit a medical facility or provider from making false or misleading statements as to their willingness to participate, as defined, in activities under the act and requires that medical facilities post their policy regarding participation in the act on their internet website. Where she will find a doctor willing to help her end her life is an issue for Hammer. Her main health care provider in Santa Cruz is Dignity Health Dominican Hospital, and it has chosen to opt out of the state’s end of life law. She recently started seeing a cardiologist at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, which is affiliated with Sutter Health, to ensure she can utilize the right to die law should it become necessary. “I am grateful. I know that I have that option,” said Hammer. “It might not even be an option I use. I may go the distance and die on my own; it depends on how it works out.” t
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<< International News
16 • Bay Area Reporter • April 1-7, 2021
Uzbek LGBTQ ally brutally attacked by Heather Cassell
hree masked men brutally attacked Uzbek rights activist Miraziz Bazarov late March 28, according to reports. The blogger, an ally to the LGBTQ community, was hospitalized with serious injuries according to doctors at Tashkent Traumatology Hospital, where he was admitted Sunday night local time. Reports stated that Bazarov will be transferred to another hospital and may need to undergo brain surgery. Bazarov, 29, was attacked near his apartment in Tashkent, the capital city of Uzbekistan. He was on his way home from the weekly Japanese anime and Korean pop music event he hosts on Sundays, reported Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Bazarov is well known for openly criticizing Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and the government. He has called for decriminalization of homosexuality in Uzbekistan on his
Courtesy Pink News
Uzbek activist and LGBTQ ally Miraziz Bazarov is shown on a hospital bed after being severely beaten outside his home in Tashkent March 28.
Telegram channel and Facebook. Bazarov has publicly stated he is not an LGBTQ activist, but he believes that being gay is a personal issue and therefore no laws should consider it a crime, reported RFE/RL. Prior to the attack, Bazarov told the
media outlet he had received many online threats in recent weeks. He reported the threats to the police, who took no action. One of Bazarov’s neighbors witnessed the attack, stating it only took three minutes for the three masked
men, one of whom had a baseball bat, to severely assault the activist. Doctors told reporters that Bazarov sustained multiple injuries to his internal organs and legs. The injuries included an open fracture of his left leg and a concussion. Human rights groups, journalism organizations, and international government diplomats condemned the assault and called for the government to investigate. U.S. Ambassador to Uzbekistan Daniel Rosenblum called the assault “disturbing” in a March 29 tweet, and urged the Uzbekistan government to investigate “in support of the LGBTI community.” The attack came a week after Human Rights Watch released a report about the abuses Uzbek gay men face in the country. It was a member of the Soviet Union until its fall in 1991. Gay sex has been criminalized in Article 120 of Uzbekistan’s penal code, a Soviet-era carryover, since 1994. Individuals charged under the law face up to three years in prison. The draft of the country’s new criminal code still retains the law in its new clause, Article 154, with the wording unchanged as of the February 22 rendition, according to HRW’s brief published March 23. The anti-gay law does not include same-sex relations between women. Over the last two years the United Nations, human rights organizations, and Uzbek LGBTQ activists have called for Uzbekistan’s government to decriminalize homosexuality, to no avail. Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan are the only two former Soviet republics that still criminalize homosexuality. Turkmenistan is reconsidering its law, according to HRW. Uzbekistan is a current member of the U.N. Human Rights Council, which called for the country to repeal the anti-gay law during a 2020 committee review of the country. The country’s government representative said that the “lifestyle [of LGBTQ people] was not approved by Islam and was not in keeping with the Uzbek mindset,” reported HRW. There are no laws protecting LGBTQ Uzbeks. Hugh Williamson, director of the Europe and Central Asia division at HRW, said in the brief that abuse linked to Article 120 “has placed gay and bisexual men in Uzbekistan in a deeply vulnerable and marginalized position, leaving them with almost no protection from harassment by police and others.” “Uzbekistan should definitively turn a page from its abusive past and remove this rights-violating and outdated provision from its new Criminal Code,” Williamson said. Nine anonymous Uzbek gay activists interviewed by HRW reported that because of the law, “they faced arbitrary arrests, threats, extortion, psychological pressure, and physical attacks by both police and non-state actors for being gay.” Videos and other material gathered by the organization corroborated the men’s stories. The report echoes one in 2020 by the Eurasian Coalition on Health, Rights, Gender and Sexual Diversity that examined Uzbekistan LGBTQ issues. The gay men reported that they do not report anti-gay attacks due to fear of being outed, bullied, or insulted by authorities. “Because of the violence and discrimination that LGBT people are subjected to, we had to stop most of [our] projects, news feeds or groups online,” one activist told HRW. “We’ve gone completely underground.” To read the report, visit www.hrw. org/news/2021/03/23/uzbekistangay-men-face-abuse-prison.
LGBTQs continue to be killed by Myanmar’s military
It was another violent weekend in Myanmar as authorities and the military executed more than 100 demonstrators in the streets of the Southeast Asian country March 27, marking the bloodiest day since the coup began two months ago. Burmese Army General Min Aung Hlaing and his generals celebrated Armed Forces Day, commemorating the military’s resistance to Japanese occupation in 1945, with a lavish party that night, reported the BBC. U.S. President Joe Biden called the military killings in Myanmar “terrible,” telling reporters Sunday, “It’s absolutely outrageous.” “An awful lot of people have been killed totally unnecessarily,” he said. An estimated 12 LGBTQ activists are among at least 459 people killed by security forces since the beginning of the coup February 1, according to Equality Myanmar and the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, respectively. “The military demand to hold the power as long as they could by using the worst form of violence against the peaceful demonstrators,” Aung Myo Min, 53, gay director of Equality Myanmar, told the Bay Area Reporter over Signal, a private messaging app, March 28. Myanmar’s democratically elected leaders, including Nobel Prize laureate and democracy and human rights leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, 75, who spent 15 years under house arrest until she was elected state counsellor in 2016, was removed from office February 1. She was reelected in November 2020. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s reputation was tarnished by not speaking out against the military’s brutal ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya, the predominantly Muslim Indo-Aryan ethnic group that has been ongoing since 2017. The country, once known as Burma, was renamed by the military to Myanmar in 1989. Condemnation against Myanmar’s military is growing. Two United Nations officials and a special rapporteur, the U.S., United Kingdom, European Union, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, and India have publicly condemned the Southeast Asian country’s military leaders. “The people of Burma have voiced their aspirations for a return to democratic governance, peace, and rule of law. The U.S., together with our allies and partners, has stood with them,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a March 22 department statement. The U.S., E.U., U.K., and Canada March 22 issued a second round of sanctions against Burmese coup leaders and perpetrators of violence. That was followed two days later by the introduction of a resolution to expand monitoring and reporting at the 46th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council. International leaders are keeping tabs on the number of dead. Equality Myanmar is also keeping track of the number of LGBTQ people who are being killed fighting for democracy in the country that only had it for a decade. “Words of condemnation or concern are frankly ringing hollow to the people of Myanmar while the military junta commits mass murder against them,” U.N. Special Rapporteur Tom Andrews said in a statement from the U.N. Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner March 25. Andrews, an expert on the country, called for Myanmar’s military to be cut off from funding, such as oil See page 17 >>
April 1-7, 2021 • Bay Area Reporter • 17
San Jose queer spaces looking for new home by Heather Cassell
The physical location has been temporarily closed for a little more than a year. The youth space has hosted four weekly online groups. The wellness program has hosted six weekly and six monthly online groups. In an interview with the Bay Area Reporter March 23, Keel said she saw some youth who moved away or who were unable to go to the space due to distance and transportation issues return when it went virtual. Last summer, the space briefly emerged with some outdoor, socially distanced in-person programming until it was forced to go online again when the virus surged in the fall and winter. “We are trying to find whatever ways we can to make the program still engaging and still accessible for
as many people as possible,” Keel said. However, virtual access has not worked for all youth, who depend on the space as a safe place to be out and express themselves. Keel expressed hope that the inperson program model established last summer can resume soon and be able to return to normal as more people get vaccinated. Santa Clara County returned to the orange tier of California’s COVID-19 restriction guidelines March 23. “We are looking ahead where we can drop anchor,” said Keel of the search for a new location. She said the program has not lost any of its behavioral health contracts due to the pandemic’s economic fallout but would not disclose the pro-
gram’s annual budget. “We are fortunate that we are not going to see any huge cuts to our current contracts,” she added. In addition to her position, the program employs a part-time psychiatrist; two mental clinicians; three outreach coordinators, including one stationed in the south county; and one part-time peer intern. The LGBTQ Wellness program includes one program coordinator and one mental health peer support worker. The relocation announcement reiterated the youth space’s stability during these uncertain times and its reasons for moving in the Facebook post. “We just didn’t want folks to feel like the program was going away if we were in sort of limbo for a while,” Keel said about the staff’s intentions announcing the move to its 2,030 Facebook followers. The youth space’s search for a new location has been quietly underway, but now a public effort to find a new home is launching. Keel and her staff are looking for an affordable, centrally located commercial building. The building needs to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, include spaces for clinicians to meet privately with clients, be easily accessible by public transportation, and potentially include parking. Keel is also focused on cutting costs to sustain and grow the youth space
al support for its demands to restore democracy. “[We] need international pressures to provide all kinds of assistance to the democratic movement and to not recognize and to not provide any means [of] support of the military,” said Aung Myo Min. Since the beginning of the coup, thousands of Burmese people have
taken to the streets raising their hands in the three-finger salute adopted from the popular novel and movie series, “The Hunger Games,” in protest against the coup. “People in the country from all walks of class, particularly, the young people are very brave to fight, even unarmed and peaceful, against the indiscriminate shooters of the military,”
said Aung Myo Min, stating their strategies are to continue taking to the streets in protest despite the violence against them and for a “continuous civil disobedience movement.” LGBTQ demonstrators have been seen at the front of the marches, waving rainbow flags and donning drag. Recognizing the unequal firepower to resist the military, a familiar move-
he LGBTQ Youth Space and LGBTQ Wellness programs in San Jose are searching for a new home. Adrienne Keel, director of LGBTQ programs at Family and Children Services of Silicon Valley, a division of Caminar, announced the youth space’s impending move on its Facebook page March 26. The agency’s LGBTQ programs department oversees the two community services, which are both currently housed at the youth space’s downtown San Jose location at 452 South First Street. This will be the youth space’s third home since launching in a small room in the Billy DeFrank LGBTQ Community Center in 2009. The youth center moved to its current location in July 2012. “We are committed to finding you the best new space possible,” the Facebook announcement stated. “We can’t wait to start our next chapter with y’all!” Keel, a lesbian, said the decision to leave the program’s longtime home was bittersweet, but it’s also an opportunity as its lease ends in June. The youth space’s staff members provide mental health, support groups, events, and community outreach services for 50 young people, ages 13 to 25, monthly. It moved all of its services online at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
Out in the World
From page 16
and gas revenues, and from access to weapons. Burmese LGBTQ activists welcome the ongoing international pressure on Myanmar’s military to restore democracy. Aung Myo Min said the pro-democracy resistance needs internation-
Courtesy Adrienne Keel/LGBTQ Youth Space
San Jose’s LGBTQ Youth Space plans to leave its current home when the lease ends in June.
and wellness programs into the future. She would like to remain in San Jose, if not in the newly designated Qmunity District in the city’s downtown area, then possibly along The Alameda near the DeFrank center. She is looking to stay in San Jose due to its central location and also because she does not want to compete with Outlet, the north county’s LGBTQ youth program in Mountain View. The youth space is already established in the south county. However, she is open to other cities as long as it meets accessibility – both public transportation, parking, and ADA compliance – and space requirements, Keel said. “That’s been the beauty of being downtown because a lot of our [public transportation] culminates downtown,” she said. “But then the other thing is parking too. We might be able to find some places that we actually have parking that will increase access. Paying for parking would no longer be a barrier.” If the youth space does find a new home by June, Keel said it will continue serving youth virtually with its pandemic-adjusted in-person programs through the fall when she hopes to be settled in the space’s new home. Keel is open to hearing from the public about possible locations and can be reached at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org. t ment is taking place. Some student protesters, much like the freedom fighters of the late 1980s, are fleeing to Myanmar’s jungles to join a resistance army, reported the New York Times. Taking up arms in resistance against Myanmar’s military is not unfamiliar to Aung Myo Min. As a student demSee page 22 >>
<< Community News
t SFO’s Milk terminal receives healthy design award 18 • Bay Area Reporter • April 1-7, 2021
compiled by Cynthia Laird
an Francisco International Airport’s Harvey Milk Terminal 1 has earned the Fitwel Best in Building Health Award from the Center for Active Design. According to a news release, Fitwel is a building rating system that provides guidelines on how to design, construct, and operate healthier buildings. In the Retail v2.1 category, SFO and the design-build team of Hensel Phelps, A Gensler/Kuth Ranieri Joint Venture won the design award for the Terminal 1 Center project, part of the $2.4 billion Harvey Milk Terminal 1 Redevelopment Program. “Harvey Milk Terminal 1 was designed with the health of both our passengers and employees in mind,” airport director Ivar C. Satero stated in a March 25 news release. “Achieving Fitwel certification for this terminal – a first in the world – helped us to establish a new benchmark for the airport experience.” SFO has seen passenger traffic plummet during the pandemic. The Milk terminal opened last April when JetBlue became the first airline to move its baggage claim and ticket counter there. Southwest Airlines followed soon after. Travelers can also see the permanent exhibition honoring the late gay supervisor. Located in Harvey Milk Terminal 1’s Central Inglenook is an intimate space featuring 43 images from various stages of Milk’s life, including his childhood in New York and his days as a pioneering politician in San Francisco during the 1970s. The exhibit, titled “Harvey Milk: Messenger of Hope,” utilizes photos submitted by the public and from the archives of the GLBT
Harvey Milk Terminal 1 at San Francisco International Airport recently won a design award.
Historical Society and the James C. Hormel LGBTQIA Center at the San Francisco Public Library. San Francisco officials opted to name the domestic terminal in honor of Milk, the first LGBTQ person elected to public office in the city and state only to be killed 11 months into his first term in November 1978, after a proposal to rename the entire airport on behalf of the gay icon was rejected. It is the first airport facility in the world named after an LGBTQ leader. Fast Company, the business media brand, recently named SFO on its list of Most Innovative Companies for 2021, the release stated. In the “travel” category, SFO was honored for the healthy, human-centric design of the Milk terminal.
Easter dinners to-go
Tenderloin Tessie Holiday Dinners is back for Easter. The all-volunteer nonprofit will provide free dinners to those in need Sunday, April 4, from 1 to 4 p.m. at First Unitarian Church, 1187 Franklin Street, at Geary Boulevard.
Michael Gagne, the organization’s board president, stated that people will receive to-go meals consisting of lasagna, garlic bread, salad, and pie. There will be vegan, vegetarian, and meat options. There will be some outdoor seating and entertainment by Vanessa Bousay. Some of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence will lend a hand, serving cookies and coffee to those waiting in line, Gagne stated. “We also are handing out free clothing, gift bags, and PPE stuff,” he added.
Castro rally against AAPI hate
There will be another rally against Asian American and Pacific Islander hate in San Francisco’s Castro district Saturday, April 3, at 1 p.m. at Jane Warner Plaza at Market and Castro streets. Organized by the Prism Foundation (formerly the GAPA Foundation), people will gather for a rally to speak out against the violence plaguing the country. The GLBTQ+ Asian Pacific Alliance held a similar rally March 21, following the tragic shootings in the Atlanta area that left eight people dead, including six Asian women. Other violent inci-
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dents have occurred in the Bay Area. “Our community has repeatedly been subjected to anti-Asian rhetoric and brutality toward our elderly,” a statement from the Prism Foundation’s board read. “However, recent events, including the premeditated murders in Atlanta, make it evidently clear the refusal to recognize the atrocities for what they are – hate and racism. These events perpetuate the model minority myth that anti-Asian racism isn’t real. We must make it plainly clear: the hate and violence on the API community must stop. Our community will be seen and heard.” The suspect in the Atlanta area shootings, Robert Aaron Long, has been charged with eight counts of murder, though authorities have not charged him with hate crimes. Organizers said that attendees should adhere to social distancing guidelines. Masks will be provided for those who do not have access to them.
Forum on queer life after COVID
Horizons Foundation will present a virtual panel “Resilience and Rebuilding: The Bay Area LGBTQ Future After COVID” Wednesday, April 7, from
5 to 6:15 p.m. Speakers will include nonprofit leaders from the queer front lines, Horizons noted in its announcement. They will include Kiku Johnson, executive director of the Rainbow Community Center in Concord; Aria Sa’id, executive director of the Transgender District; and Lance Toma, CEO of the San Francisco Community Health Center. Olga Talamante, board chair emerita of Horizons, will moderate. Panelists will discuss how COVID has impacted the communities they serve, how LGBTQ nonprofits have responded to the crisis, and how the community can begin to rebuild. The event is free. To register, go to https://bit.ly/2PlAglj.
Transgender District launches campaign
The Transgender District has launched “Know Our Place,” a public awareness campaign. The campaign’s goal is to promote, through public and social media streams, historic placemaking and trans resilience. It was first launched through an interactive webpage, and will then continue through print and digital BART posters and billboards in San Francisco. “The campaign stops you in your tracks on your everyday commute using rich visual images alongside a call to action – to know our place,” Aria Sa’id, executive director of the district, stated in a news release. “It truly intends to present the often marginalized transgender community in a radical moment of joy, sensuality, and triumph, so that others can look to it and see past our tragedy and the magnitude of violence we often face.” Sa’id added that the campaign goes beyond the observance of Trans Day of Visibility, which was March 31.
See page 38 >>
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<< National News
20 • Bay Area Reporter • April 1-7, 2021
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed an anti-trans bill into law March 25, which will lead to the state being added to California’s “no-fly” list for publicly-funded travel.
Arkansas to land on CA travel ban list by Matthew S. Bajko
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early a year after Idaho adopted anti-transgender legislation, landing the Gem State on both San Francisco’s and California’s banned travel lists for their employees, Arkansas now faces the same ignominious fate for its attack on the rights of its female transgender youth athletes. It will become the 13th state to land on the “no-fly” list kept by California officials. Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed into law March 25 Senate Bill 354, which bans transgender women and girls from participating in school sports consistent with their gender identity. The discriminatory law covers extracurricular and school sports at the elementary, middle, high school, and collegiate level. “Governor Hutchinson’s eagerness to sign this discriminatory legislation is an affront not just to the transgender kids it is bound to hurt but to all Arkansans who will be impacted by its consequences,” stated Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David. “Hutchinson is ignoring the ugly history of states that have dared to pass anti-transgender legislation in years past, and by doing so he is exposing Arkansas to economic harm, expensive taxpayer-funded legal battles, and a tarnished reputation.” The Natural State legislation is one of myriad such bills being taken up by Republican-controlled statehouses across the country this legislative session. Earlier this month Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves signed into law similar legislation as the one Hutchinson signed today. After an uproar over such a bill in South Dakota, and concerns Amazon would abandon a distribution facility it planned to build there, Governor Kristi Noem (R) made the surprise decision to partially veto it earlier this month. Noem limited the ban to applying only to elementary and high school sports, not collegiate athletics, upsetting Republican lawmakers and anti-gay groups that had backed the legislation. In Utah, another such ban against trans female youth athletes died in the state Senate this year after Governor Spencer Cox (R) signaled he would veto it. Another proposed bill banning trans youth from accessing gender-affirming medical care also died in the Utah Legislature, which already has wrapped up its 2021 session, due to Cox signaling it didn’t have his support. The GOP leader’s lack of support for the bills ensured the Beehive State stayed off the no-fly lists kept by both San Francisco and California leaders that include those states that have passed anti-LGBTQ laws in recent years. Mississippi and South Dakota both landed on the lists in 2017.
A day after attacking the rights of trans female athletes Hutchinson signed SB 289, which allows medical providers to refuse services and treatments to LGBTQ patients based on their personal beliefs. Also on Friday Tennessee Governor Bill Lee became the third governor to sign a law banning transgender girls from participating in school sports consistent with their gender identity. (Government travel to the state had already been banned by California and San Francisco due to the passage of previous anti-LGBTQ legislation.) Once Arkansas’s laws take effect, it will be added to California’s list by the office of the state attorney general, which oversees the list. Depending on the timing, it could be one of the first actions taken by Rob Bonta, currently a Democratic Assemblyman from Oakland who was named this week by Governor Gavin Newsom as the state’s next attorney general. Bonta’s appointment needs to be confirmed by the Legislature. Because San Francisco also bans its employees from using taxpayer funds to travel to states with abortion restrictions, Arkansas has been on the banned travel list overseen by the city administrator’s office since January 1, 2020. The city now bans its staffers from traveling on the public dime to nearly half the country, as there are currently 24 states on its list. San Francisco bans travel to states that have adopted anti-LGBTQ laws since 2015. It not only restricts taxpayer-funded travel but also prohibits city agencies from contracting with businesses based in those states. In terms of the states on the city’s list for having anti-LGBTQ laws, they mirror the states that are on the list kept by the state of California. The Golden State’s list now stands at 12 states. In addition to Iowa, Mississippi, South Dakota, the other states are Alabama, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. The Golden State’s no-fly list covers government workers, academics, and college sports teams at public universities. California lawmakers in 2015 banned state-funded travel to states that discriminate against LGBTQ people with the enactment of Assembly Bill 1887 authored by gay Assemblyman Evan Low (DCampbell). There is a waiver for trips deemed essential, such as sending emergency assistance in response to a natural disaster, otherwise any travel to the states on the banned list cannot be funded by public tax dollars. State officials and college sports teams have found ways to get around the travel ban by having alumni associations or other groups pay for the travel costs to attend athletic matches or conferences in the banned states. t
<< Community News
22 • Bay Area Reporter • April 1-7, 2021
Pandemic brings changes to cannabis industry by Sari Staver
annabis consumers switched from flowers to edibles during the COVID-19 pandemic, as the practice of passing around a joint, or smoking or vaping anything were reported to carry an increased risk of contracting the virus. At the same time, the industry ramped up its production of infused edibles, with new products, including infused wine, beer, and
cider as well as upscale nonalcoholic low-dose drinks with exotic herbs such as ginger lemongrass, blood orange cardamom, and cranberry sage. “During the height of the pandemic, we saw a huge shift to edibles – and also a big increase in online orders for delivery or pickup,” said Eliot Dobris, spokesman for the Castro’s largest dispensary, the
Apothecarium. In an email to the Bay Area Reporter, Dobris said the dispensary is “beginning to see instore shopping rebound along with sales of flower and vapes.” “Many services we began offering during the pandemic remain popular,” said Dobris, including Sara Payan’s online educational classes, “which are more popular than ever.” Oneon-one consultations are
available by video or chat, he added. Those on a budget should know that switching to a beverage comes at a cost, such as $24 for a six-pack of seven-ounce cans, each with only 2 mg of THC and 4 mg CBD, which is the price of the popular drink CANN. I tried all its flavors, and found them each delicious, but regular consumption would break the bank for me. In comparison, similar doses of gummies or chocolates are widely available for at least 50% less.
Many cannabis consumers switched from flower to edibles during the pandemic.
For those who want to cook their own edibles, a number of new books can get you started, including “High Cookery” by Gilad Meiri, “Cooking with Cannabis” by Pat Crocker, and, hot off the press just last month, Steve Ladden’s “Complete Cannabis Cookbook 2021.” All are available online or check with a local bookstore. Last year, streaming service Netflix premiered its second cannabis cooking show, “Cooking with Cannabis,” but like its 2018 series, “Cooking on High,” the show was canceled, following poor reviews and low ratings. In the meantime, you can search YouTube where thousands of home chefs will show you how to cook with pot. And if previous years are any indication, many dispensaries will announce specials in April. The Apothecarium, for example, will offer a “week of deals” including specials each day April 14-20. Check its website (https://apothecarium. com/) for details. And finally, in an announcement in late March, cannabis entrepreneur Amber Senter, a lesbian, announced that Supernova Women launched an Oakland-based workforce development program. Seven trainees began nine-month paid gigs learning and assisting in an equity incubator. In a phone interview with the B.A.R., Senter said the program is, as far as she knows, “the first of its kind” locally. Senter, whose work has been previously reported, said she and other activists have been “advocating for years” to get such a program started. The cohort, said Senter, includes several people who identify as LGBTQ. “Yep,” said Senter in response to a question, “it’s definitely a very queer” group. t Bay Area Cannasseur runs the first Thursday every other month. To send column ideas or tips, email Sari Staver at sfsari@ gmail.com
Out in the World
From page 17
onstrator fighting for democracy 30 years ago, he too joined the resistance army in Myanmar’s jungles. Others are taking to the networks, hacking their way to democracy and waging an information war taking down military-linked banks, reported the Times. “The peoples are very determined also to fight to win,” said Aung Myo Min, who lived in exile in Thailand for nearly 25 years before returning to Myanmar in 2015. “They do not want to be living as a slave under the military rules, so they regularly sacrifice their lives to topple down the military dictatorship and bring democracy back to the country.” Aung Myo Min credits decades of human rights work and empowerment of LGBTQ people and Burmese people overall that is now in action in Myanmar.t Got international LGBTQ news tips? Call or send them to Heather Cassell at WhatsApp: 415-5177239, Skype: heather.cassell, or email@example.com.
B.A.R. at 50: Opinions>>
April 1-7, 2021 • Bay Area Reporter • 23
B.A.R. showcased opinionated voices by Matthew S. Bajko
ver its 50 years in print, the Bay Area Reporter has showcased a wide array of opinionated voices on its opinion pages. Guest contributors have run the gamut from community leaders and everyday citizens to politicians and academics. Some of the bold faced names have included Coretta Scott King and gay army veteran Joe Zuniga, both writing in 1993 against the military’s anti-gay service ban, then-U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer and Edward M. Kennedy, who both promoted a 1994 federal ban against LGBTQ workplace discrimination, and gay former Congressman Barney Frank criticizing the Human Rights Campaign in 1996 for donating to a committee aimed at reelecting Republicans. Vice President Kamala Harris, in a July 19, 2006 guest opinion piece when she was serving as San Francisco’s district attorney, wrote about the need to curtail murder suspects from using “insidious” gay and transgender panic defenses at their trials. Harris, whose office hosted a convening about the issue, wrote, “To protect all members of the LGBT community, it is vital that we strengthen relationships between law enforcement and the communities we serve.” Congresswoman Barbara Lee (DOakland) weighed in on the need for HIV funding at the federal level in 2019, while Congressman Eric Swalwell (D-Dublin) that year wrote about resisting then-president Donald Trump’s attacks on LGBTQ rights. As the editorial in the very first edition from April 1, 1971, declared, “This publication is in no way connected with any organization and will publish the views and thoughts of all groups.” Assemblyman David Chiu (D-San Francisco) reached out to the B.A.R. last year to pitch writing quarterly
guest opinion pieces for the paper. In a digital age where elected leaders can easily reach the public via social media platforms, from Medium to Twitter, Chiu said there is still value to be found in writing an op-ed for a newspaper. “The B.A.R. is an institution and iconic publication for our LGBTQ+ communities. The B.A.R. has some of the most in-depth coverage in news surrounding our LGBTQ community,” said Chiu, a straight ally who represents the city’s various LGBTQ neighborhoods, from the Castro to the Tenderloin. “So much of what is going on in our state Capitol impacts our LGBTQ+ community. I wanted to communicate directly as a legislator about what is going on in California politics.” Because the B.A.R. has established itself as a trusted source of news for the LGBTQ community, Chiu said it provides a platform where he and others can posit their ideas and opinions to be debated and discussed by its readership. “It makes sense for me and others to communicate through your publication to our broader community,” said Chiu.
of the paper ran in the August 1, 1971 issue under the headline “an editorial: ALIOTO VETOS CONSENSUAL SEX, An editorial response.” Signed by George Mendenhall, at the time a contributing writer to the LGBTQ newsmagazine the Advocate, it excoriated then-mayor Joseph Alioto for vetoing a resolution passed by the city’s Board of Supervisors in support of a state bill aimed at overturning California’s anti-gay sodomy laws. In it Mendenhall, who would go on to be the B.A.R.’s news editor from 1977 to 1979, warned the mayor that the city’s growing “gay power” would no longer be complacent. A few months later a candidate for sheriff, William Bigarani, learned the threat was real. Under a photo of Bigarani and the headline “Beware of Bigaweenie,” the B.A.R. ran a guest contribution written by Don Jackson in its October 15, 1971 edition alerting readers that Bigarani was a vice cop who would go undercover to ar-
rest gay men on public sex charges. The very first opinion piece to be signed by an elected official ran in the March 20, 1975 issue of the B.A.R. Penned by then-Assemblyman John F. Foran, it was sent in as a letter but the paper decided to run it in full under an “Editorial” banner. The San Francisco Democrat was writing about concerns he had with getting passed his Assembly Bill 633 that would have banned job discrimination against gay people. Fearful that the passage in the Assembly of AB 849, known as the consenting adults legislation, would make it difficult to get his AB 633 passed, Foran had sought B.A.R. readers to contact members of the Assembly Labor Relations Committee in support of the bill. “If you have been discriminated against, please tell the committee members about it when you write. Thank you,” wrote Foran, who was unable to get his bill out of the full Assembly that summer. Two years later in the March 12, 1977 issue, the paper ran as an edito-
rial a similar letter from then-Assemblyman Art Agnos, who was seeking support for two bills that would protect gays in the workforce but that he feared would die in committee. It would take years for Agnos to get his bills passed. A branded “Open Forum” editorial page debuted March 30, 1978 in the paper’s eighth anniversary issue. But it would be until the August 30, 1979 issue for the first outside voice to be featured where the paper’s own editorials ran on the page. The honor went to then-Supervisor Harry Britt, a gay man named to succeed the city’s first gay supervisor Harvey Milk after his being killed the year prior. Britt was calling out a series of columns written by Charles McCabe for the San Francisco Chronicle that had outraged the city’s gay community. In response, Britt wrote in the B.A.R. that, “Most San Franciscans, I am convinced, ... do not hate and fear gay people. They know that all people See page 33 >>
A variety of voices
For several decades now each issue of the B.A.R. has featured a guest opinion piece on the bottom of the paper’s editorial page. They vary in length from a few hundred words to 1,000 or more, with the topics and writers as varied as the LGBTQ community itself. “I prefer they were exclusively for the paper and that they directly address the LGBTQ community in some way. That doesn’t mean a straight person can’t write it, but it does need to be focused on LGBTQ issues,” said B.A.R. news editor Cynthia Laird. The first opinion piece to be signed by someone other than “the editors”
Courtesy B.A.R. Archive
Courtesy B.A.R. Archive
A 1990 op-ed took then-Cardinal Ratzinger to task for purging a gay priest.
Then-Assemblyman John Foran urged readers to support one of his bills.
Courtesy B.A.R. Archive
Then-Supervisor Carole Migden wrote an op-ed in 1991.
<< B.A.R. at 50: Readers
24 • Bay Area Reporter • April 1-7, 2021
B.A.R. readers share their memories compiled by Cynthia Laird
couple of weeks ago, we asked Bay Area Reporter readers to share some of their memories of the newspaper as it turns 50. Here are their stories.
was right. I imagined my reader as a homebound person with AIDS who had tickets for the event but was too sick to go. I imagined a partner or friend reading him my coverage so that a person living with AIDS could picture himself there. Mike got a chuckle over the fashion fundraisers. One time I thought Sandra Bernhard was wearing a mustard yellow shag-carpet jacket strutting down the runaway. Luckily, I was seated next to a gay guy from the Gap who said she was wearing gay fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi’s latest, then explained who Mizrahi was and why the jacket was cool. Salinas and I made a good team putting that story together. I still think of myself as an environment reporter. Thanks, Mike and CONGRATS B.A.R.! Karen Ocamb Los Angeles, California
Missing Mister Marcus
A 1993 issue of the B.A.R. with “The Betrayer” inserted in the caption of then-President Bill Clinton’s photo.
Remembering Mike Salinas
I freelanced for the late B.A.R. news editor Mike Salinas in the 1990s, sending him political and AIDS-related stories from Los Angeles. As a former mainstream journalist, I often argued with him when he included activist terms under my byline; he once inserted “The Betrayer” in a Bill Clinton photo caption. But we worked well together. Salinas was also insightful. He called me an “environmental reporter” because I wrote about fundraisers in a “you-are-there” style. He
I most miss the weekly columns penned by the late Mister Marcus (aka Marcus Hernandez) wherein one would eagerly read about the dish, dirt, debauchery, and doings of those in the community at large and the leather community in particular. Getting your name in the column of the “Herb Caen of the B.A.R.” was seen as a badge of honor for anyone who was anyone in the San Francisco gay scene at the time. And NOT getting your name in his column was more devastating than a mention! It is sad that today so many people are unaware of Madam M’s sway over the city back in the day. Perhaps it’s time to bring “The Best of Mister Marcus” to the B.A.R. at 50. Patrick Batt San Francisco
To the B.A.R. I say, thank you
In 1988 at the age of 30 I moved to San Francisco from New York to attend graduate school in psychology. Shortly after, I started working in HIV prevention at UCSF. The B.A.R. was an important part of my life on a weekly basis. While the articles were interesting my go-to pages were the obituaries and advertisements for massage. As beautiful as San Francisco was, for me the 10 years between 1988-1998 were especially dark, as the community was being decimated by AIDS. I found receiving massage (practically on a weekly basis) was a great way to cope with all of the death and dying. I am forever grateful to those men. Then came the day on August 13, 1998 where the front page in bold letters read: “No obits.” How great a feeling that was to begin to see a glimmer of hope. Adding to my psychology background I also started doing massage, and like many gay men moved to Palm Springs in 2003. Once again, thank you B.A.R. for helping me get through a very difficult time in San Francisco.
David Fink San Francisco
Michael Crosby Cathedral City, California
Flipping through the pages
In July 1979, I arrived in San Francisco a naïve 20-year-old, Courtesy David Fink melon-assed, slim blond David Fink boy looking to find acceptance and community. Day
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one while getting a burrito at Polk and Sutter streets, I came across the B.A.R. and saw headlines about gay events. Flipping to the back and seeing all the personal ads, I felt this was information that was relevant to me and the community I was now part of. Through the B.A.R., I found art, social, and political events that led to meeting friends – the articles were insightful and passionate – like Mike Hippler’s writings, and through the B.A.R. I was introduced to bars, clubs, and a number of other venues that expanded my, umm, social network. Over the years, whether looking for a good time, an apartment, a job, an electrician, contractor, or a Realtor – my first stop was and is the B.A.R. The B.A.R has been a great resource to help me keep connected to the community and if the walls of boredom or loneliness close in, I know I can easily pick up a copy to find something to do. As an aside, I am not the David Fink who in the past has sent political commentaries to the B.A.R.; that is another David Fink – who I happen to know.
Courtesy Jokie X Wilson
Jokie X Wilson
The paper as a forum
From the time I first visited San Francisco in 1986, I saw the B.A.R. as a forum in which I would like to be involved. I was living in the Washington, D.C. area at the time, moved to Tucson, Arizona in 1988, and planned to move to San Francisco in 1990 to make good trouble. The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake upset those plans and I was not able to move here permanently until 1997. From then until now, I have been mentioned in a few articles, but the two that stand out for me were the review of my art show at Magnet and later my shenanigans involving the then-new pissoir in Mission Dolores Park. I felt honored to have my art show reviewed in the B.A.R. and to have such eloquent writing document it. I later enjoyed having my picture published as I advocated for joyful bladder relief. I appreciated the noting of my efforts over the years to oversee the San Francisco Pride board elections. Your support has meant the world to me! I wish you continued success! Jokie X Wilson San Francisco
I moved to SF in 1985 – pre-internet and during the worst of the AIDS crisis. From the start of those challenging years, the B.A.R. was a great source of gay-related news and connection to the community. The events and groups I discovered in its pages were pivotal in meeting real people who shared my values and gave me support. One thing I recall vividly: after reading about the upcoming “Gay Day” at Angel Island sponsored by Front Runners, I joined the fun even though I wasn’t a runner. For the first time in my life I felt I was surrounded by friends, though I knew almost nobody there. I found myself completely relaxed, comfortable in public – a feeling of true liberation and connection with others
like me. For that and all the other important news, I’m grateful to the B.A.R. May its voice and mission continue to bring us together! Steve Share San Francisco
I remember the day my boyfriend called me at work to tell me that Mayor George Courtesy Chester Chin Moscone and Super- Chester Chin visor Harvey Milk had been assassinated at City Hall. Every week the B.A.R., with its articles and editorials, attempted to ease our pain and make sense of how this could have happened in our beautiful city. As a gay Asian American I’m still astounded that I was able to survive the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s. I remember how shocked I was when I recognized someone I had slept with in the obituaries! I remember the racism I encountered when I frequented the various bars in the Castro. Your paper covered this topic in several issues, regarding the door policies at an infamous Castro bar. Ironically, it was at this very establishment years later that I picked up and fell in love with my current husband. KARMA! Employed as a commercial artist and loving pop culture, the entertainment section has always been my favorite. After reading about television shows and movies with gay characters, I would make certain to watch them and recommend to others. I have saved clippings of LGBTQ film reviews so I won’t forget them. Thank you, Bay Area Reporter. Chester Chin San Francisco
Collection of Mark Leno
Wayne Friday, left, and Harvey Milk on election night 1977
Remembering Wayne Friday
No celebration of the B.A.R.’s 50 historic years would be complete without remembering the late Wayne Friday, who wrote the paper’s political column for over 35 years. Every San Francisco candidate fiercely pursued Friday’s endorsement, which was a powerful one. Harvey Milk handed his B.A.R. column to Friday once he won his supervisorial seat in 1977. This photo was taken the night of his victory. Though the “Milk” film made no mention of him, Friday was Milk’s best friend with whom he shared dinner the night before the assassinations. Friday was my dear friend who is greatly missed by all those who knew and admired him. He and the B.A.R. were perfect partners. Heartfelt congratulations B.A.R. for an astounding half-century of nurturing and advancing our community with your groundbreaking journalism. Thank you. Mark Leno Former Supervisor, Assemblyman, and State Senator San Francisco
See page 30 >>
B.A.R. at 50: Sports>>
April 1-7, 2021 • Bay Area Reporter • 25
Courtesy B.A.R. Archive
Courtesy B.A.R. Archive
Donald McLean wrote a profile of bodybuilder and future governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in the March 18, 1976 B.A.R.
Courtesy B.A.R. Archive
In January 1982, the B.A.R.
covered the Gay Olympics fight.
Courtesy B.A.R. Archive
Coverage of Gay Games I September 1982
The cover of a 1974 issue of the Bay Area Reporter after the Community Softball League defeated the cops
The evolution of the B.A.R.’s sports coverage by Roger Brigham
hrough the first 50 years of the Bay Area Reporter’s existence, the paper’s coverage of sports and sportsrelated topics has evolved from that of cheerleader and recording secretary to social advocate and noble muckraker. Sports reporting was less than an afterthought when the B.A.R. started publishing in April 1971. The first sports item – a story with no byline about annual awards presented by the local gay bowling league that identified most individuals only by surnames and first initials – did not appear until page 27 of the third issue, May 1, 1971. Classified ads also debuted in the issue. There were 11 of them, including one from a man who wanted “info or advice on Sex Change Operation” and another advising us that a foot fetishist likes “to go down and groove on male feet.” The classified ads took root and were huge revenue streams going forward. Sports coverage? Not so much. There were several contributing factors as to why sports was such a minimal element in the coverage of the early 1970s but became a major staple in later years. First, there was not a lot of queer-centric sports activity to sustain coverage or attract readership. Second, news coverage back then was by necessity focused on events and changes that were literally life-threatening and life-changing. Hate-directed arson, murder, threats of castration and quarantine, lack of employment or housing security – a local softball score seemed secondary to all of that. When the Community Softball League beat the local police department 9-4 in 1974, the story written by Bill Kruse was headlined, “COPS BEATEN!” It was the first time sports appeared on the front page – and the first time a story was printed about gays beating cops in a game, and not about cops beating gays in the streets, in the bars, and in their homes. When sports were covered in the early years, the coverage was focused largely on what local sports clubs needed most: reports on scores, league standings, schedules, and officer elections. In the pre-internet world, print communications were expensive for amateur clubs; they largely depended on news media to raise awareness about their very existence for newcomers flocking to the area from locales that offered no sports activities tailored to their needs. Early columnists came and went, usually concentrating on just the single sport in which they were involved, and usually disappearing once their sport finished its season for the year. In 1975, Bruce Bruno started the year by writing three columns on bodybuilding but he was gone by March. Jack Burden followed with “Bertha At Bat,” a series of eight stories that reported game action in the softball league. Celebrity feature writer Donald
Courtesy Roger Brigham
Jock Talk columnist Roger Brigham
McLean wrote a wonderful profile of bodybuilder and future California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in the March 18, 1976 issue.
A columnist with a viewpoint
That same issue introduced B.A.R. readers to Irene, aka Jack McGowan. A sports person and writer with a viewpoint. With detailed suggestions. With barbed criticisms. You know: a columnist. McGowan’s column-writing days – he wrote his final one in April 1977 – marked the first time anybody at the B.A.R. made editorial commentary about sports, as well as the first time a writer wrote about anything beyond his chosen sport. McGowan, who died in 2009, said he wrote his first draft for the column, which was supposed to cover the softball league’s annual meeting, months earlier, but that it had gone through endless rewrites because of the incessant internal bickering that was plaguing the league. “The seemingly endless encounters of commissioner, secretary, managers, committees, sponsors, and players could easily fill a trilogy on not ‘How to conduct a Softball League’ but rather on ‘How to tear asunder an organization that was built on friendly and manly competition,’” he wrote. “The pettiness, bitchiness and personal power struggles have been worthy of a Tavern Guild Council Meeting. ... Accusations flowed freely of unholy triumvirates; jealous Mary of Scotts pretenders to the commissionership; and the supposed ambition of the new commissioner to bring to life Eugene O’Neil’s infamous Emperor Jones.” If there were hashtags back then, they would have been #snark and #trashtalk. “This is a sports column and columns are just that – Expressions of Personal Views,” McGowan later wrote in defense of his writing. “Any columnist who is not biased in expressing his views is merely involving himself in a tremendous waste of time and talent while, at the same time, boring the hell out of his readers.” McGowan’s best tagline? “To enjoy sports, you have to be one.” In his first column, McGowan
wrote about the need for inclusiveness in sports. He said a major issue with the bar-affiliated teams was that they (unsuccessfully) opposed the inclusion of players as young as 18 years old. Two columns later, he said the league needed to require players to have appeared in a minimum number of regular season games before appearing in post-season play, but that participation of straight players who played during the regular season should not be barred from postseason competition. Those comments presaged battles fought repeatedly by San Francisco over the decades with the Gay Softball World Series, most recently when series officials decided that four persons of color playing for San Francisco were not gay enough for them and threw the team out of the tournament during the championship game.
Gay Olympics fracas
The August 14, 1980 issue of the B.A.R. marked a turning point in its coverage of sports. It was on that
day that the newspaper officially announced that a new event, the Gay Olympic Games, would be held in San Francisco in the summer of 1982. Over the years, queer-centric sports in the Bay Area had grown steadily. A gay basketball team had beaten a team from the San Francisco Fire Department in 1977. B.A.R. sportswriter Jim Duncan helped found the multi-sport USA-SF Athletic Club, telling readers at the start of 1978 that “in four short months the USA-SF Gay Athletic Club has attracted 570 men and women. Gay skiers are flocking to the Sierras and the USA cabins. Volleyball, basketball, football, softball and wrestling teams are working out; tennis racquetball, squash and badminton matches are taking place each week; and a dozen other sporting activities are underway.” Lavender U Joggers ran frequent ads listing its upcoming runs before announcing its
name change to Front Runners at the start of 1979. Mark “Bubbles” Brown, a wellknown figure in the local softball, bowling, and drag scene, made his debut as B.A.R. sportswriter in the August 3, 1978 edition, reporting the results of the Community Softball League season. He became the most frequent sportswriter for the paper for the next few years. He was the one who reported on San Francisco being disqualified from the 1978 Gay Softball World Series because of the number of straight players on its squad. He wrote the announcement about the new Gay Olympics. “In 1968, four hundred students were massacred in Mexico City for protesting the Olympic Games,” his story began. “The Olympics since then have been characterSee page 30 >>
Congratulations to the Bay Area Reporter on fifty years of publishing! Mark Brown
former Bay Area Reporter sports columnist
<< B.A.R. at 50
26 • Bay Area Reporter • April 1-7, 2021
From page 3
Yamashita had started at the paper earlier that year, as an assistant editor under Ray O’Laughlin. The paper was headed by Bob Ross from its inception in 1971, when he’d founded it with Paul Bentley, until Ross’ death in 2003. (Ross later bought out Bentley.) Nicole Murray Ramirez, a gay man who serves as a San Diego human rights commissioner and who cochairs that city’s mayoral LGBTQ advisory body, said that he was excited to discover the B.A.R. in those days, when he’d travel to San Francisco occasionally from his then-home in Los Angeles. “I picked up one of the first issues at a bar,” Murray Ramirez, who is a long-standing figure in both LGBTQ activism and the Imperial Court system, said. “[Ross] was a difficult guy, but his heart was in the right way. I thought he’d had a good chance to succeed Harvey [Milk], but [then-San Francisco Mayor] Dianne [Feinstein] decided against it because he was involved in the Imperial Court, so it was
Courtesy B.A.R. Archive
The B.A.R. mourned the death of founding publisher Bob Ross in 2003.
San Francisco City Attorney Louise Renne, left, checks on 1997 election returns with winning city treasurer candidate Susan Leal and her campaign consultant Scott Shafer, who’s now a reporter at KQED.
A power at City Hall
Milk, who became one of the first out LGBTQ elected officials in the United States with his 1977 election to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, had worked with Ross in enlisting LGBTQ bar owners to boycott Coors beer in 1973 as part of an alliance with the Teamsters union. He also served as the paper’s first political columnist, continuing to file his Milk Forum columns throughout 1978. His last column would appear in the November 22 issue that year, five days before he was assassinated along with then-mayor George Moscone inside City Hall that morning of November 27. Wayne Friday, who in the March 18,1976 issue of the B.A.R. had launched his own column called World of Wayne, which was renamed Politics & People a year later and often appeared next to Milk’s columns, would go on to become the paper’s lead political columnist and later its political editor. Murray Ramirez, a mover and shaker in San Diego politics, said he was a devoted reader of Friday, who wrote the column for 35 years,
preceding the current offering – assistant news editor Matthew S. Bajko’s Political Notebook in the Thursday paper and his companion Political Notes online column that appears most Mondays. Since 1974 Murray Ramirez has written his own column in various San Diego LGBTQ papers. It currently runs in the LGBTQ San Diego County News, of which he is the associate publisher. “Your paper and the Washington Blade I would keep and reference,” Murray Ramirez told the B.A.R. “I would steal and, of course, I never gave you credit, being a queen. People would call me and say ‘how did you get that?’ and I would say ‘I have my sources’ – which was not a lie. People take the B.A.R. for granted.” As the political power of the LGBTQ community grew, the power of the B.A.R.’s stories and Ross’ did, as well. “What’s really important to note as the B.A.R. approaches its 50th anniversary is how it’s covered the A-Z of San Francisco politics, and the A-Z of LGBT politics in the Bay,” said Rebecca Prozan, a lesbian who worked for San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown,
then-San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris’ first campaign, and former San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón. “At City Hall in the 1990s, the first thing you did was pick up a paper and find out what was happening in the community. It was a snapshot of the community at that time. Wayne Friday always had the insider tips in his political column.” Friday died by suicide in 2016 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. In October 1997, however, it was Cynthia Laird who had the scoop in a front page story about how Joel Ventresca, a candidate for San Francisco treasurer, had fudged his credentials in his ballot statement and throughout the campaign. His opponent, then-city Supervisor Susan Leal, a Latina lesbian who won the race, said that the paper advocated for the community. “I felt the B.A.R. was part of my political life as a supervisor, as well as as treasurer, during those years,” she said. “The B.A.R. made a difference not only getting my word out but asking the tough questions so I knew I was listening to people in my community. Cynthia [Laird] or someone else would ask ‘what about this?’ and push me a little bit. It was visionary of Bob Ross. Mr. Ross was definitely a visionary.” Leal went on to serve as general manager of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and is now a principal of Urban Water Works. Some, however, felt that the B.A.R. took too conservative a tact. Cleve Jones, a gay man who has been a longtime community activist, said as much. “I’ve been consistently frustrated by the positions on the editorial page about political issues,” Jones said. “Time and time again, the B.A.R. has opposed progressive legislation and candidates that I’ve supported.” During the paper’s history, its endorsements have been all over the political map. Back in 1975 the paper threw its support behind progres-
sive reformer George Moscone, then a state senator, for mayor; he would go on to win a close runoff race that December and usher in a number of pro-LGBTQ changes at City Hall. In November 1976 the paper withheld endorsing any presidential candidate due to neither of the major party candidates supporting gay rights, while in 1988 it went with civil rights leader Jesse Jackson in the June presidential primary. The B.A.R. backed Milk’s various campaigns for elected office. Following his and Moscone’s assassinations in 1978, the paper routinely endorsed Milk’s successor gay Supervisor Harry Britt in his reelection campaigns and unsuccessful 1987 congressional bid, and Dianne Feinstein, who became interim mayor and won election to the position outright before going on to be elected a U.S. senator. The paper’s endorsements have tended to favor incumbents, whether they be LGBTQ or straight, moderates or progressives. While some years favored moderates, in 2020 the paper endorsed a number of progressive supervisor candidates who won. Those LGBTQ elected officials which the B.A.R.’s editorial page has supported noted how the paper has served as a touchstone for the community. “I want to offer my congratulations to the B.A.R. as it celebrates its 50th anniversary,” gay state Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) stated. “It is truly a privilege to have this publication serving the Bay Area LGBTQ community. I am grateful to the B.A.R. for its reporting on often underreported issues impacting the queer community. It is an essential part of Bay Area journalism and I know it will move from strength to strength.” Gay District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman said the paper helps the community remain heard in politics to this day. See page 34 >>
Bay Area Reporter
On your 50 years of unforgettable accomplishment and remarkable milestone
創刊50年 將再創輝煌50年 風報工作同仁敬賀 服務舊金山灣區的中英雙語周報
Wind Newspaper Team Members
A Chinese and English bilingual weekly serving the San Francisco Bay Area
B.A.R. at 50: Spirituality>>
April 1-7, 2021 • Bay Area Reporter • 27
Serving the Bay Area Courtesy B.A.R. Archive
The national Lutheran church expelled two LGBTQ-friendly San Francisco Lutheran churches in 1995.
Courtesy B.A.R. Archive
The Ark of Refuge marked its 10th anniversary in 1996.
B.A.R.’s pages featured spirituality by Jim Mitulski “But there are also many other stories ... if every one of them were written down, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.” John 21:25
eminism has done more to save the lives of women in the last 30 years than Jesus Christ did in the last 2,000 years!” renowned lesbian feminist Sally Gearhart, Ph.D., proudly proclaimed as she opened her sermon one Sunday night in the sanctuary of Metropolitan Community Church of San Francisco, the proudly LGBTQ church in the Castro district. It was in the middle of the hardest of the AIDS years and the church was packed for its Sunday night gospel service. The reaction was quick and strong. A congregation of over 200 predominately gay men rose to their feet and gave a spontaneous sustained ovation as Gearhart’s words electrified the room. You could feel the moment these worshippers, themselves almost paralyzed by AIDS-related grief, made a life-saving connection between gay liberation and feminism. A few years later, many of these men would contribute over $10,000 to the Lyon-Martin Women’s Health Clinic (now Lyon-Martin Health Services) in appreciation of the role women played during AIDS. I shared this memory recently with filmmakers Deborah Craig and Jörg Fockele, who are documenting this feminist icon’s life, because it reminds me of how scenes like this are only one example of how queer spirituality changes people’s lives, who in turn go on to change the world. As the Bay Area Reporter turns 50, in its pages you will find many stories, many histories preserved – and one narrative sometimes overlooked. In a community where religion is viewed with suspicion, because it has been weaponized against us, queer spirituality has played a unique role in transforming religion from a role of oppression into a portal to liberation. Where else but a gay church committed to reinventing patriarchal Christianity would a lesbian separatist prophet be welcome, welcome to speak her truth from the pulpit to both challenge and comfort a community, and spur them into action – just as she had during the Briggs initiative using her rhetorical genius alongside many leaders, including MCC founder Troy Perry, when our community was under assault, fueled by the bigotry of Christian leaders like Anita Bryant and her ilk? Future generations of scholars
Melanie Nathan/via SF Pride
Lesbian feminist Sally Gearhart, Ph.D.
will find in the archives of the B.A.R. our community’s Book of Chronicles to make a biblical comparison, many stories of grassroots, selfdetermined individuals and communities who were bold enough to queer religion and turn it from an evil function to one that is good. They’ll find stories about Dolores Street Baptist Church and pastor Jim Lowder who were disfellowshipped from the Southern Baptist Church for bravely welcoming us unequivocally. They’ll see the story of Dignity-SF, LGBTQ Catholics who spoke out against the pope’s high-profile visit and called out his questionable human rights record, and how they were ejected from St. Boniface Church. With self-respect, they paraded to their own space, and showed the world that Catholic is who they are – not defined by a building or a prelate like the late William Levada, the former archbishop who unsuccessfully challenged San Francisco’s pioneering human rights legislation in the name of his church. They’ll see the witness of Most Holy Redeemer parish that throughout AIDS continues to witness from within the Catholic Church, adapting with each change of administration but continuously providing a welcome hope, as it did with its hospice during AIDS. The B.A.R. is the place that documents the existence of two self-determined Jewish communities, the independent Ahavat Shalom and still extant Congregation Sha’ar Zahav, which integrated the Reform movement in American Judaism and whose rabbis have contributed to the worldwide scholarly and liturgical life of their religion. Jews throughout the world worship differently today because of their pioneering prayer book, Siddur Sha’ar Zahav. Even before the B.A.R.’s advent, Glide Memorial Church was San Francisco’s original Cathedral of Liberation under the leadership
of Janice Mirikitani and Cecil Williams. They published one of the affirming accessible first books about homosexuality, “Loving Women, Loving Men,” authored by Gearhart and William Johnson, the first openly gay minister in the United Church of Christ. Glide preachers have always taught intersectional liberation even before the word was popularized, making the connection between Black liberation, women’s liberation, liberation from class oppression and LGBTQ liberation, a tradition they proudly continue with pastoral leader Marvin K. White. A former Glide minister, Bishop Karen Oliveto, pastored for years at Bethany United Methodist Church in Noe Valley and is now a high-ranking official in that denomination, holding it to account for its treatment of our people, and witnessing as its first openly lesbian bishop. The B.A.R. holds the story of struggle for acceptance of LGBTQ people in the Lutheran churches, which began here at St. Francis Lutheran Church and First United Lutheran Church, which were expelled when they defiantly ordained Reverends Jeff Johnson, Ruth Frost, and Phyllis Zillhart. Now the Evangelical Lutheran Church has repented of its action and formally welcomes LGBTQ clergy. The story of the City of Refuge and Bishop Yvette Flunder is perhaps the city’s greatest religious contribution to the spirituality of same-gender-loving people and to the world. Her rise from a Pentecostal pastored here by parents to the Love Center in Oakland, her career as gospel singer, all took a prophetic turn when she began holding services in the city and providing a spiritual home for Black, Pentecostal, LGBTQs, and their friends and families and an equally important social service organization, the Ark of Refuge. You can’t tell the story of AIDS in San Francisco and not tell the story of City of Refuge. These are just a few examples, drawn from my memory. They are meant to be representative, not comprehensive. I have left many out – but there is a place where you can go to research them – because the B.A.R. cared enough to acknowledge the role of spirituality in our collective lives. The B.A.R. at 50 tells a spiritual story too. t The Reverend Jim Mitulski is interim pastor of Island United Church, United Church of Christ in Foster City, CA (@iucfc on Facebook) and a member of the board of LGBTQ Religious Archives Network (https://lgbtqreligiousarchives.org/).
WE CONGRATULATE BAY AREA REPORTER FOR 50 YEARS OF COMMUNITY JOURNALISM!
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<< B.A.R. at 50: HIV/AIDS
28 • Bay Area Reporter • April 1-7, 2021
Courtesy B.A.R. Archive
Courtesy B.A.R. Archive
Larry Kramer’s essay, “1,112 and Counting,” was reprinted in the B.A.R. March 17, 1983.
Stop AIDS Now or Else disrupted the opening night of the San Francisco Opera in September 1989.
Courtesy B.A.R. Archive
AIDS activism led to marches, such as one in 1985.
Courtesy B.A.R. Archive
Disco diva Sylvester died in December 1988.
B.A.R. covers HIV and AIDS for 40 years by Liz Highleyman
IDS first came to the world’s attention with a June 5, 1981 report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about five cases of Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) among young gay men in Los Angeles. A second report on cases of PCP and Kaposi sarcoma in New York City and California followed a month later.
The disease that would come to be known as AIDS was first mentioned in the Bay Area Reporter in a July 2 Health Shorts column about “Gay Men’s Pneumonia” – potentially linked to poppers – buried on page 34. Dr. Robert Boland’s gay health column in the August 13 issue was headlined “New Bugs ... No Alarm.” Boland suggested Kaposi sarcoma (KS) and PCP might be linked to cytomegalo-
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virus, a virus in the herpes family. “No one knows what these new bugs have to do with gay life,” he wrote. “This is a truly hot issue and a number of eager researchers are involved. ... Stay tuned for developments.” And indeed, these developments would become a key focus of the B.A.R.’s news and cultural coverage for 40 of its 50 years. The next mention was a news brief in the September 24 issue announcing that “gay cancer” would be a topic at the November 2 Stonewall Gay Democratic Club meeting, featuring Dr. Marcus Conant, who established the nation’s first KS clinic at UCSF. Also on the agenda: Hank Wilson of the Committee to Stop Poppers. As reported in the November 5 issue, the forum drew a large crowd, including a young man who showed a KS lesion on his foot.
The early 1980s
The June 10, 1982, edition included an announcement of a Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence fundraiser to produce the Play Fair safer sex brochure. Co-authored by Sister Roz Erection and Sister Florence Nightmare (aka Bobbi Campbell), both nurses, it may be the first published advice that gay men use condoms. A short item in the July 1 issue announced the opening of the Kaposi’s Sarcoma Research and Education Foundation, which would become the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. The founders included Conant, UCSF’s Dr. Paul Volberding, B.A.R. publisher Bob Ross, and activist Cleve Jones. This was the second such organization after Gay Men’s Health Crisis in New York City, founded by author Larry Kramer and others in January 1982. A June 24 news brief noted that the CDC was increasingly concerned
about the new epidemic, which now exceeded 400 cases in more than 20 states and 10 countries. Some had been reported among heterosexual men and women, mostly injection drug users, raising suspicion that it was caused by an infectious pathogen. In July, the condition was dubbed acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or AIDS. But other theories were still in play, including drug use, sexually transmitted diseases, and gastrointestinal parasites overwhelming the immune system. Campbell penned a letter in the October 7 issue advising fewer sex partners, less recreational drug use, wearing a condom, and monogamy. “Admittedly, these recommendations consider health, not fun, as a priority,” he wrote. AIDS soon made the front page, including a report about California Congressman Phillip Burton’s efforts to secure funding for research, which was thwarted by President Ronald Reagan’s veto. Locally, Mayor Dianne Feinstein agreed to a $3.5 million budget supplement to fund groups, including the KS Foundation and Shanti, which started in 1974 to care for people with lifethreatening illnesses. In 1983, concern erupted over the safety of the blood supply. Some argued that sexually active gay men should be screened and excluded from donating, while others favored voluntary deferral. The federal Food and Drug Administration’s policy that men who have sex with men should refrain from donating blood indefinitely was finally revised in 2020. On March 17, 1983, the B.A.R. reprinted a blistering essay by Kramer, “1,112 and Counting,” which originally appeared in the New York Native. News editor Paul Lorch, who
had been reluctant to focus on a gay disease, changed course. “The time has come to start scaring some of the shit out of ourselves,” he wrote in the first of four consecutive editorials on the topic. A group of people with AIDS responded with an open letter to the KS Foundation, complaining that Lorch’s sensationalistic approach “fuels the fires of fear, guilt, and homophobia.” The B.A.R.’s letters and opinion section began to fill up with debates about AIDS and what it meant for the gay community and movement. “[W]e men must – temporarily, we hope – change our sexual lifestyles in order to save our lives,” community leaders Ron Huberman, Cleve Jones, and Bill Kraus wrote in the May 26 issue. “[W]hat a perversion it is of Gay Liberation to ignore the overwhelming scientific evidence, to keep quiet, to deny the obvious – when the lives of Gay men are at stake.” People living with AIDS began to come together as a community. Candlelight marches in January and May 1983 are thought to be the first time they gathered in public demonstrations. In the July 7 issue, Dan Turner described his experience at the National AIDS Forum in Denver, where a group took the stage to assert that they were not “victims” or “patients,” but “people with AIDS” (the Denver Principles). Around the same time, San Francisco General Hospital opened Ward 5B, the first dedicated inpatient AIDS unit in the country. Frequent B.A.R. contributor Mike Hippler penned a five-part series about his experiences visiting the ward. See page 29 >>
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The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence’s “Play Fair” safer sex brochure
B.A.R. at 50: HIV/AIDS>>
From page 28
In the October 27, 1983, issue, Dion B. Sanders broke the story that some 40% of people with AIDS are minorities, shattering the stereotype that it is a disease of white gay men. Lorch ended the year with an editorial expressing thoughts that were likely widely shared: “Placing the entire gay liberation dream against the reality of the killer of liberated sex, I found myself for the first time unsure of the direction, the point, the need of our movement.” The March 22, 1984, issue featured a report on the plight of homeless people with AIDS, some of whom were kicked out of a hotel after the San Francisco Examiner revealed that they were being sheltered there. This would become a persistent thread in the local epidemic. In 2019, the San Francisco Department of Public Health reported that just 33% of homeless people with HIV had an undetectable viral load.
The battle over bathhouses heated up in the spring of 1984. Gay supervisor Harry Britt said these venues should no longer be associated with pleasure – they should be associated with death. Gay journalist Randy Shilts used his platform at the San Francisco Chronicle to support their closure. The Northern California Baths Association suggested that theocrats were manipulating public fears about AIDS to further their ultimate aim of closing not only bathhouses, but all gay businesses and organizations. The April 5 edition devoted 11 of its 14 local news pages to AIDS, largely related to the bathhouse closure. Then-San Francisco Health Director Dr. Mervyn Silverman scheduled a March 30 news conference to announce his decision but ended up calling for more deliberation. Community organizations came down on both sides of the issue. Lorch’s editorial, entitled “Killing the Movement,” included a list of 16 gay men and one lesbian who “would have empowered government forces to enter our private precincts and rule over and regulate our sex lives.” It would be one of his last editorials before he was replaced. On April 9, Silverman finally announced that the city was taking steps to eliminate bathhouses, bookstores, and sex clubs as places of sexual encounters. This triggered a series of legal challenges and court cases, even as most of these venues closed on their own. Ultimately, in November, Judge Roy Wonder allowed the baths to stay open but ruled that they may not have private rooms and monitors must halt high-risk sexual activity. Yet this was not the end of the saga. In 1996, the Coalition for Healthy Sex, made up of venue owners, public health officials, and prevention workers from community agencies, proposed legislation to regulate commercial sex clubs, which were still operating under Wonder’s conditions.
Courtesy B.A.R. Archive
The first mention of what would be called AIDS appeared in the Bay Area Reporter July 2, 1981.
But the issue proved as controversial as before. Instead of legislation, updated DPH regulations were introduced in February 1997, but some stakeholders demanded evidence that prohibiting private rooms and monitoring patrons actually helped prevent HIV transmission. Debates about sexual behavior – complete with blaming and shaming – never seem to go away. As Terry Beswick reported in the July 27, 2000, issue, barebacking, or sex without condoms, arose as a contentious issue around the turn of the century. In the May 20, 2004 edition, assistant editor Matthew S. Bajko reported that some men were turning to serosorting, or having sex only with people of the same HIV status.
Much of this became moot in 2012, when the FDA approved the Truvada pill for PrEP, which reduces the risk of acquiring HIV by 99%. Gay and bi men in San Francisco were among the most eager early adopters. More recently, researchers reported that cabotegravir injections given every other month appear to offer even more protection.
Testing, prevention, and treatment
Lorch’s successor, news editor Brian Jones, took a keen interest in the science of AIDS, and the paper shifted toward more in-depth reporting about the latest research on immune function, disease progression, and treatments. In the spring of 1984, both Dr. Robert Gallo at the National Institutes of Health and Drs. Françoise Barré-Sinoussi and Luc Montagnier at the Pasteur Institute in France announced that they had discovered the retrovirus that causes AIDS, which they named HTLV-3 and LAV, respectively. The two countries ultimately would settle on the name human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV. A test for HIV antibodies against the retrovirus was soon developed. Advocates cautioned that it could not predict who would develop AIDS, but UCSF researchers reported that all the AIDS patients they tested had antibodies. Many people took a long time to progress to what was then called “full-blown AIDS” and lived for years with less severe manifestations known as AIDS-related complex, or ARC.
Death toll climbs
In the latter half of the 1980s, the death toll from AIDS continued to climb. Prominent people lost to the epidemic included Campbell – for many, the first public face of AIDS – in August 1984, actor Rock Hudson in October 1985, Gay Games founder Tom Waddell in July 1987, disco diva Sylvester (Sylvester James Jr.) in December 1988, and photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in March 1989. In March 1987, the DPH reported the highest numbers yet: 123 new AIDS cases and 73 deaths in a single month. With no good treatments on the horizon, many people saw little point in getting tested. On the contrary, doing so could subject them to insurance denial, getting fired, discrimination, and even criminalization. At both the state and federal level, advocates fought efforts to impose mandatory testing and create registries of people who tested positive. The B.A.R. devoted several cover stories to Lyndon LaRouche’s quarantine ballot initiatives. As therapies improved, however, advocates and community organizations increasingly encouraged voluntary confidential testing. Although U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Margaret Heckler predicted in 1984 that a vaccine could be available in two years, that prospect dimmed as one study after another led to disappointment. While various approaches triggered antibody production and T-cell immune responses, only one vaccine regimen has ever shown modest efficacy in a clinical trial while many more have failed. Nonetheless, two large vaccine
April 1-7, 2021 • Bay Area Reporter • 29
studies are currently underway, and lessons learned from the highly effective COVID-19 vaccines could move the field forward. Needle exchange, in contrast, proved to be a more effective prevention method. San Francisco activists started an underground needle exchange in 1988, carting supplies through the Tenderloin in a baby carriage. In 1992, city supervisors unanimously passed a measure allowing needle exchange under an emergency use decree from the mayor. Although California law has since changed, federal rules still prohibit funds from being used to purchase syringes. Advocates are now taking the next step, trying to pass a state law to allow supervised injection sites. The B.A.R. has consistently taken a libertarian stance on the war on drugs. In the August 8, 1998, edition, the paper reported on the state’s raid on Dennis Peron’s Cannabis Buyer’s Club. Peron and his friend Mary Jane Rathbun (aka Brownie Mary) started out providing medical marijuana for people with AIDS. “The needs of people with AIDS and cancer may be beyond the comprehension of the state attorney general, but not that of the average Californian,” news editor Mike Salinas wrote in an editorial. And indeed, the medical cannabis initiative Proposition 215 won by a substantial margin that fall.
After years of trying unproven therapies ranging from vitamin C to ribavirin to Compound Q, in March 1987 the FDA approved AZT, the first effective antiretroviral. The drug blocks HIV replication and reduces mortality in the short term, but it can cause severe side effects. What’s more, the virus can mutate and become resistant to the drug. Before long, it was evident that drug combinations would be needed for long-term benefit.
Courtesy B.A.R. Archive
Members of ACT UP/SF dumped cat litter on thenSFAF executive director Pat Christen in 1996.
Researchers and activists alike grew increasingly frustrated in the late 1980s and early 1990s as one AIDS conference after another passed without breakthroughs. In fact, the confabs became so lackluster that they were extended to every other year after the 1994 Yokohama meeting. “We may not have a new way to treat these infections or kill the AIDS virus until the end of this century,” Conant predicted in 1986. “And the chances of our being able to rid someone of all traces of the AIDS virus are probably nil in our lifetime.” In his report on the 1990 meeting, Dave Gilden – another treatment wonk – raised concern about therapies that lengthen survival but leave chronically ill people facing one disease after another. “[G]etting HIV under control is only half the problem,” he wrote. “Rebuilding a shattered immune system then has to be addressed, and for this the conference offered little hope.”
Courtesy B.A.R. Archive
The gay bathhouse battle heated up in 1984.
The rise of AIDS activism
By this time, AIDS made up a substantial proportion of the B.A.R.’s news coverage. People with AIDS, their loved ones, activists and community organizations kept busy lobbying for more funding, raising money locally, caregiving, providing direct services, and fighting discrimination. Activists urged the National Institutes of Health and the FDA to move drugs through the testing and approval process faster, while demanding that companies make their treatments more widely available prior to approval and lower their prices thereafter. Much of the anger during the era was directed at Reagan, who did not mention AIDS until four years into the pandemic. Another frequent target was the religious right, which regarded AIDS as a moral failure. In 1987, Congress passed the Helms Amendment, which banned federal funds for gay-friendly safe sex materials. See page 31 >>
<< B.A.R. at 50: Readers
30 • Bay Area Reporter • April 1-7, 2021
From page 24
‘Raised’ by the B.A.R.
I’m 54, almost the same age as this publication. I discovered the B.A.R. in the late 1980s as a newly out college student hanging around Cafe Flore. The first time I read it, I remember being surprised by both the diversity and divisiveness within my newfound community. I thought sharing a sexuality meant we’d all get along. Pre-internet, papers like the B.A.R. were one of the only ways for us to find one another. When the AIDS crisis hit, our papers became truly essential, reporting on the crisis way before anyone else cared. In addition to measuring the human toll (so many, many obituaries), the B.A.R. ran stories on protests, treatment, culture, life-saving stuff. Our homegrown paper rallied us into action and offered a place to reflect and mourn. As the world whirled on and the internet exploded, the B.A.R. felt a bit quaint and maybe a tad less relevant. I’m certainly guilty of taking it for granted at times. Yet I still reflexively grab a copy when I find myself wandering through the Castro. Only now, I’m a grumpy, old queen who worries. Everything has changed, positively in some regards and not enough in others. What hasn’t changed, for me anyway, is a belief we still need one another and this sleepy little “bar rag” continues to be a beacon for the idea of community. Thank you, B.A.R., for keeping that light burning. Eric Wallner San Francisco
LGBTQ people with 50 years of the Bay Area Reporter’s service to
LGBTQ people are the luckiest LGBTQ people in the world. Reese Aaron Isbell San Francisco Rent Board San Francisco
Courtesy John Caldera
John Caldera stands next to a bust of Harvey Milk in San Francisco City Hall.
Happy anniversary, baby
I got you on my mind. But seriously, as a San Francisco veteran and longtime reader of the B.A.R., congratulations on your milestone anniversary. I have always appreciated your coverage of the multitude and many-sided issues pertaining to our LGBTQ veterans and the military. Furthermore, I commend you on your in-depth coverage of Chelsea Manning, a modern day American war hero and persecuted member of our community. Congratulations once again – happy 50th! John Caldera Past President, SF Veterans Affairs Commission San Francisco
No obit for the B.A.R.
On a cold Wednesday evening in the summer of 1995, the former B.A.R. editor Mike Salinas and I were smoking a joint in the backyard of the Lone Star. He’d put the paper to bed and we chatted about the next day’s issue. He lamented that many in the paper’s audience would read it from back to front. Those were the
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days of erotic photos of sex workers of all colors of the rainbow and kinkster scenes, and promises of large endowments in the sex section. Salinas also talked with pride at bringing investigative practices he admired in The Nation to what many dismissively referred to as a bar rag, which it was and a whole lot more. The salary of Pat Christen as executive director of the SF AIDS Foundation and oversight of city contracts with HIV service providers were two areas of interest he committed to investigate. With a dedicated staff, tips from dedicated muckrakers, ahem, and hearings at City Hall organized through then-supervisor Tom Ammiano’s office, Salinas raised the bar on gay investigative journalism that rippled out to other gay papers and captured the attention of the mainstream media and political institutions. The global impact then and now of the famous “No obits” cover and headline is a testament to Salinas, the B.A.R. and we, the queer people.
ard Walters), Mister Marcus, and Wayne Friday. I still have a couple of clippings of his columns. Rereading these columns today, they still hold up and are a reminder of the searchlight they provided to young gays at the time, illuminating what went before us and how to move forward with dignity. On the other hand, there was nothing dreamy about Karr. His Karrnal Knowledge column, reviewing pornography, was direct and straightforward. And yet, there was an intelligence and a poesy which he brought to his columns. He moved porn into the larger context of the world and helped his reader to understand that sex and pornography were perfectly natural. Something that is proved during this time of pandemic with the sizable increase of downloaded porn. Michael (“My”) Yarabinec San Francisco
Michael Petrelis San Francisco
Shout out to 2 columnists
Looking back over the last 50 years (well, 44 years in my case since I came to San Francisco in 1976), I should like to give a shout out for two of the many colorful columnists who have graced the pages of B.A.R.: Paul-Francis Hartmann and John Karr. Hartmann wrote a column, “The Men in My Life,” in the late 1970s. It provided a romantic insight for young gays coming of age to an older generation and what they had endured. What’s more, it was well written, graceful, and a poetic counterpoint to Polk Street Sally, Sweet Lips (aka Rich-
Patrick Carney, left, with his sister, Colleen Hodgkins, stand near the 2019 pink triangle installation.
Spreading the news
When the pink triangle atop Twin Peaks began in 1996, internet access for most users was still new. Not everyone had an email account and there certainly were no apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or WhatsApp. How does one gain the attention of dozens (or hundreds) of needed volunteers for a gigantic project? Community newspapers were the best
option of the day. Nearly everyone picked up the Bay Area Reporter on Thursday evenings on their way home. I initially spoke with B.A.R. editor Mike Salinas, who said, “We like to see grassroots events like this in our community and we’ll get the word out.” The late B.A.R. publisher Bob Ross also offered encouragement as a member of the Castro Lion’s Club (the first club to help us) and told me the paper would assist. When I read Cynthia Laird was the new news editor in 1999, I walked down to their Ninth Street office to drop off a package for that year’s event and I asked to meet her. She quickly reviewed the package and said, “This is something we can support.” Two decades later she and the paper continue to help get the word out. B.A.R. publisher emeritus Thomas E. Horn still helps to this day via the Bob Ross Foundation, which in recent years has paid for the pink triangle T-shits that the volunteers and elected officials wear in comradery to those who were forced to wear pink triangles in concentration camps. It may be an overused phrase, but “it really does take a village.” Thank you, B.A.R. Thank you to our much-expanded LGBTQ press. Now in addition to the B.A.R., the SF Bay Times, Gloss, and others are still graciously helping get out the message of the pink triangle, but the B.A.R. was there a decade earlier when the project was getting started. Let’s keep our local LGBTQ press alive and healthy – when local press thrives and has the assets it needs, we all benefit. No institutions can help our community more effectively than those that are a central part of our community. Here’s to the next 50 years for the Bay Area Reporter. Patrick Carney Pink Triangle Co-Founder San Francisco
From page 25
ized by similar tragedies. The politics of the 1980 Olympics in Moscow have damaged the Olympic movement, perhaps irrevocably. In 1982, however, the world would be invited to the first truly peaceful and non-political Olympics in the modern era. It will be called International Gay Olympic Games I, to be held in San Francisco. Opening day ceremonies are scheduled for late summer of 1982. This will be an international event; and, as in the spirit of the original Olympics, representation will be by city and not country. All cities of the world are eligible to send athletes.” Goosebumps. At the end of his sports roundup in the last issue of 1980, Brown reports that the first board of directors for what we now know as the Gay Games was elected: Jim Cairnes, Jim Dollard, Stephen Kopel, Wayne Taves, Tom Waddell – and himself. Over the next two years the B.A.R. gave heavy coverage to the planned Gay Olympics (simply referred to as the ‘82 Olympics in the banner that appeared over updates written by founder Waddell). The transition from cheerleader to activist was beginning. In time, Waddell took over writing the B.A.R. sports column and kept up a steady drumbeat for the planned event. Then the bombshell that shook the organizers and reshaped its mission forever dropped in the January 21, 1982 edition. “Gay Olympics Must Drop Word ‘Olympic’” the front-page headline screamed. The battle that ensued was bitter and costly. The United States Olympic Committee said its decision not to grant an exemption for the gay event was not homophobic; few bought it. Waddell told the USOC San Fran-
Sports Complex columnist (and current arts editor) Jim Provenzano worked on the softball display case, part of the GLBT Historical Society’s “Sporting Life” exhibit, which he guest-curated in 2005.
cisco organizers planned to use the word for its event – the organizational name had already been changed to San Francisco Arts and Athletics – and requested a response by the start of February. The USOC remained silent until obtaining a temporary injunction seeking a permanent injunction to be heard on August 19, nine days before the opening of the Gay (Bleep) Games. (An attorney who represented the USOC in that lawsuit was Vaughn Walker, who decades later as a federal judge presided over a trial in San Francisco on same-sex marriage and came out as gay afterward.) At the same time, HIV and AIDS were beginning to ravage our community. In many ways, events on those battlefronts paralleled each other, even inspired each other. People adjusted their sexual practices and worked toward solutions and salves. The Gay Olympic Games crossed out the word literally, in their promotional materials, and their hearts. They found a greater mission, one focused on empowerment and inclusivity rather than glory and elitism.
They lost that war of words but won the battle for betterment. The Gay XXXXXXX Games that year? Huge hit. Tons of local coverage. The San Francisco Chronicle declined to cover the event at all. Local community sports coverage flourished in the B.A.R. in the years following Gay Games I and the legal battles with the USOC. Information about past and upcoming events began consuming more and more space as sports became recognized as a significant and growing part of local queer culture. With the advent of the internet, clubs focused their communications more on email, websites, and social media. The demand for sports commentary shifted.
A leap forward
B.A.R. sports coverage took a leap forward into relevance when Jim Provenzano made his sports columnist debut in the August 29, 1996 edition. Yep, the tail end of his initial See page 31 >>
B.A.R. at 50>>
From page 30
Sports Complex column gave readers a bit of upcoming recreational sports events, but his prose ranged from movie gossip about an upcoming Greg Louganis film to well deserved snark for a homophobic Giants pitcher. Suddenly, nothing was out of bounds. Over the next decade, Provenzano grew and flourished as a columnist and reporter. His investigative reporting contributed to the demise of the financially mismanaged AIDS Ride (precursor to AIDS/ LifeCycle) and exposed the duplicitous nature of marketing for the 2006 Outgames in Montreal. He led the shift of focus in gay sportswriting from game scores and tour-
April 1-7, 2021 • Bay Area Reporter • 31
nament stories, to social injustices and the empowerment LGBTQ individuals and groups gain through sports endeavors. Provenzano covered sports through the end of 2006. He covered three quadrennial Gay Games, from the financial perils leading up to the competitions to the post-tournament observations of the participants. The last few years some of his columns became syndicated, so his focus broadened to accommodate international interests. Provenzano’s ability to reach out to strangers across the globe for stories was aided considerably by the advent of internet chat boards. But the growth of the internet and the rise of social media made local recreational organizations less dependent on newspapers for publicizing scores and schedules as those
moved to social media. What they needed by the time I succeeded Provenzano at the start of 2007 was commentary and analysis about issues arising as the LGBTQ+ community interacted more and more with the greater mainstream sports community.
Jock Talk arrives
The impact of drug testing on HIV-positive and transgender athletes. The intersections of sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and racism in sports. The competition for LGBTQ athletes’ tourism dollars. Demands that intersex women be surgically mutilated before being allowed to compete. Before joining the B.A.R., I had already spent the vast majority of my life in sports in a multitude of roles: athlete, coach, fan, organizer,
From page 29
The Bay Area saw some of the earliest AIDS activism. The AIDS/ARC vigil outside the federal building at United Nations Plaza started in October 1985, with activists chaining themselves to the doors. Their demands included government benefits for people with ARC as well as AIDS, FDA approval of drugs available in other countries, and one hour’s worth of the federal budget – reckoned at $486 million – for research. As Dennis Conkin reported, police attempted to bust up the vigil in June 1989, but a few people held on until December 1995. On November 27, 1985, people with AIDS and their supporters organized a candlelight march from the Castro to the vigil site. Marchers taped hundreds of placards bearing the names of people who had died to the walls. Jones would later recall that this gave him the idea for the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. The quilt was displayed for the first time on the National Mall during the Oc-
Courtesy B.A.R. Archive
Courtesy B.A.R. Archive
Minorities made up 40% of AIDS cases, the B.A.R. reported in 1983.
The 2000 International AIDS Conference in Durban highlighted disparities.
tober 1987 March on Washington, which was led by people with AIDS in wheelchairs. Project Inform, started by Martin Delaney and Joseph Brewer in October 1985, aimed to educate people
with AIDS about treatment options and carry out community-based research. PI tapped into a growing network of buyer’s clubs that helped people access unapproved therapies. The group also ran an informa-
volunteer, activist, advocate – and full-time, professional sportswriter and editor. That ongoing activism created the same kind of potential conflicts that existed for many of the earlier B.A.R. sportswriters and I acknowledged as much in my first column, titled, “I’m Bart Simpson – who the hell are you?” I told my readers, “LGBT sports coverage (what little there is of it) in general and the Bay Area Reporter in particular have been damned and blessed with a fine heritage of participatory journalists: sports writing by sports participants. I am just the latest in that line and will do my best to maximize the blessing and minimize the damnation.” I’ve done my best to live up to that promise. I haven’t backed away from my opinions and have been open about my biases. Teams be-
come families, not of biology but of choice. So many of us in the LGBTQ community have had a need for such formed families and it has been a blessing to be witness to so much of that community building. I asked Provenzano recently what he liked most about writing sports for the B.A.R. “Seeing the multitude of communities that exist,” he said. “The tribalism, which exists in a fun way. They are all different folks with so many nuances, having fun, coming together.” Or in the words of Irene, “To enjoy sports, you have to be one.” t
tion hotline that became a national resource. PI remained active until March 2019. Citizens for Medical Justice carried out some of the earliest AIDS protests, but its first coverage in the B.A.R. was for a September 1986 sit-in at Governor George Deukmejian’s Sacramento office after he vetoed an AIDS anti-discrimination bill. The following June, CMJ did a zap at Burroughs Wellcome headquarters in Burlingame, demanding that the company lower the price of AZT. Protesters paid Wellcome another visit in January 1988, marching 15 miles from San Francisco. CMJ changed its name to AIDS Action Pledge and later to ACT UP/San Francisco. Accompanying his AZT approval article, Jones included a short item about a March 24, 1987, protest on Wall Street by the Lavender Hill Mob demanding approval of alternative therapies. This was in fact the first protest by ACT UP/New York, which Kramer and others had started a couple of weeks earlier. In June 1987, hundreds of activists demonstrated outside the White
House and 64 were arrested. The protesters, including SFAF director Tim Wolfred, Paul Boneberg of Mobilization Against AIDS, and gay veteran Leonard Matlovich, put up a wreath remembering 20,000 dead. Boneberg called the actions a “massive quantum step towards militancy.” On January 31, 1989, a group called Stop AIDS Now or Else (SANE) shut down traffic on the Golden Gate Bridge during the morning rush hour. Some thought the protest went too far, but even SFAF policy director Pat Christen – who said the agency received 100 angry phone calls – agreed that “if we don’t have people out there on the streets the issue will be left to die.” The following September, SANE disrupted opening night at the San Francisco Opera. During this era, there was often little distinction between LGBTQ and AIDS activism. In July 1989, Conkin profiled four young gay radicals, some of whom participated in the bridge blockade. One of them, Mike Shriver, said his involvement in AIDS
Roger Brigham’s weekly Jock Talk column has been on hiatus for the last year due to the pandemic, though he has written occasional pieces.
See page 34 >>
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<< LGBTQ Seniors
32 • Bay Area Reporter • April 1-7, 2021
From page 3
private disability plans at age 65, so our group experiences what a lot of other seniors experienced, but earlier. There’s a stigma around being gay, around HIV and AIDS. A lot of people don’t have those family ties of the general population. Their chosen family members – they lost them to AIDS.” The City by the Bay is home to Openhouse, which comprises two of 12 similar LGBTQ-affirming affordable residences throughout the United States. The Openhouse residences at 55 and 95 Laguna Street are, however, the only such residences in Northern California, according to Services & Advocacy for LGBT Elders, or SAGE.
Across the bay in Oakland, The Lake Merritt – a former hotel – had been home to Barbary Lane Senior Communities about a dozen years ago. As the B.A.R. previously reported, the community was named after the home of Armistead Maupin’s famed community in his classic “Tales of the City” novels – a fictionalized account of the wild and heady 1970s in San Francisco. Maupin, who has since relocated to London, had teamed up with developers to start what was the first independent-living LGBTQ senior community in the Bay Area. “They spent about $4 million to renovate the hotel and update it to [the Americans with Disabilities Act],” Tim Johnson, the current executive director of The Lake Merritt Independent Senior Living, the successor of Barbary located at the former hotel, which is at Madison and 17th streets, told the B.A.R. Johnson had been with Barbary when it was the only senior living community at the former hotel. “We moved in two residents in June 2008, and the next resident didn’t come in till the spring of the following year. In between those, what happened? The banks went down. That was the end of Barbary,” he said, referring to the financial crisis and recession. Of the three people who’d moved to become part of the senior community, only one still lives at the site (another moved to San Francisco and a third has died). The B.A.R. was unable to contact this resident for comment. But Johnson, a straight ally, thinks that Barbary Lane fell victim to more than the financial crisis. 2008 was, of course, also the year that a majority of Californians voted to strip marriage rights away from same-sex couples. (Those rights were later restored and same-sex marriage became legal in the state in 2013.) “It was labeled as ‘the gay hotel’ for seniors” Johnson said. “They narrowed it down to a gay, senior community. Eighty-year-old men in 2008 were not ready to live under a big rainbow flag. The fact that it was so labeled kept people away. Several years later, it’d probably fly, but we had two strikes against us.” Johnson stressed that The Lake Merritt is still very LGBTQ-friendly, and had been working with the Oakland LGBTQ Community Center on a Pride event scheduled for June 2020, which didn’t happen due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (The center confirmed this.)
Oakland center fundraising for housing subsidies
In the past dozen years, as headlines have bemoaned the rising cost of living and gentrification in San Francisco, Oakland has often been in the city’s shadow, but it has certainly not been immune to the same forces. As a matter of fact, a 2019 San Francisco Chronicle report states that Oakland that year, for the first time ever, was slated to have more housing units constructed than San Francisco. But new housing doesn’t always mean more affordable housing.
Courtesy Joe Hawkins
Joe Hawkins is executive director of the Oakland LGBTQ Community Center.
Oakland does not per se require developers to keep a certain number of new units market-rate or below market-rate, at-large Oakland City Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan told the B.A.R. “The builder has to include affordable units or can pay the city to build affordable housing elsewhere,” Kaplan, a lesbian who is also the vice mayor, said. But for those who choose to pay the city “there have been problems in the ways it has been implemented. There has not been data tracking for the money, and it hasn’t been done quickly enough,” she explained. Joe Hawkins, a gay man who is the executive director of the Oakland LGBTQ Community Center, told the B.A.R. he sees the consequences of how the housing crisis is impacting the East Bay city. “At the center we raised $250,000 to keep LGBTQ people in need of rental assistance housed,” Hawkins said. “About 15% of the 400 people we have helped with the fund have been elders.” There are no talks, as far as Hawkins knows, about opening LGBTQ-affirming affordable residences in Oakland like Openhouse. Hawkins noted that sites like Openhouse have limits and “the needs of the East Bay residents” are sometimes different. “Even the housing at The Lake Merritt had income limitations,” Hawkins said, referring to the former Barbary Lane. “It was a very expensive program. “Unless we could come up with something more affordable for East Bay residents, we are going to be more focused on keeping people in the homes they have with our rental assistance program,” he added. Still even that program has its limitations; the fund – which was launched in March 2020 with seed money from Citigroup – was almost out of money when Hawkins was interviewed a year later. And while about 400 people received some assistance, over 800 applied. Citigroup confirmed it provided $30,000 in 2019 and an additional $25,000 in 2020 and this year. “Providing housing assistance and solutions for marginalized communities is one of Citi’s long-standing priorities,” Shawnee Keck, Northern California Community Relations Officer at Citi, stated to the B.A.R. “Oakland and Alameda County have historically high rates of homelessness. Black residents make up 47% of the population and 40% of youth experiencing homelessness are LGBTQ. Citi’s decision to support Black community leaders like the Oakland LGBTQ center aligned directly with our work, mission, and values.” “People are applying every day,” Hawkins said. “The range of people who’ve applied are people on Social Security, people in shared housing, people on Section 8, and people renting apartments; so, it’s been pretty diverse but all of them were very low income, on fixed income.”
Courtesy Sydney Kopp-Richardson
SAGE’s Sydney KoppRichardson
The center was able to raise the rest of the money for the program. “We are always fundraising,” Hawkins said. “Our city has got to get prepared, because a lot more of us are going to be on the streets as we get out of this pandemic. We need LGBTQ-specific housing so that as people recover, they won’t have to deal with homophobia and transphobia. We all know that older people have to deal with all of those phobias when integrated with members of their generation. We need a place for people to be welcomed, understood, and accepted.” Hawkins had a suggestion for Kaplan – a location at Harrison Street and Grand Avenue in Oakland that’d been student housing in the past would be a good location for new, LGBTQ senior housing. “It’s an area many LGBTQ people already live,” Hawkins said. Kaplan agreed. “I do think that would be great for LGBTQ senior housing,” Kaplan said. “It’s a place with community, history, and events.”
Kaplan pushes rapidly-built affordable units
Kaplan said that while many people are residing in vacant hotel rooms right now, that cannot be a long-term solution. “The city of Oakland owns a significant amount of publicly-owned land,” Kaplan explained. “A bunch of entities have popped up in the last few years that could put up thousands of units in a few months if we put our minds to it.” At the council’s March 22 life enrichment subcommittee meeting, members forwarded an item to the whole council, which will be discussed in May, tasking each council member with finding an appropriate area in their district for modular housing. “It would depend on the structure of the units and what needs to be done to the land,” Kaplan said before the subcommittee meeting. “It’s kind of a cliché that people say: the most important solution to homelessness is housing, but it’s true. It’s a big part of what needs to happen, and also LGBTQ-specific programs. “There was a group that did LGBTQ senior housing at a hotel by the lake, but that didn’t work out,” she said, referring to the former Barbary Lane. “We need to fight for more of that as we discuss more housing, and that’s something I’m going to uplift.” Kaplan said that rapidly-built units could be constructed cost-effectively. While affordable housing units are typically $500,000-$700,000 per unit, Kaplan claims that “these could be done for under $100,000 per unit. And that’s not a special price for Oakland.”
$600M program helps cities purchase residences
Mayor Libby Schaaf declined to be interviewed for this article, but the B.A.R. emailed questions to a spokesman, Justin Berton.
“Providing support and services to LGBTQ residents who may be housing insecure is precisely the vulnerable population we prioritize through programs such as Keep Oakland Housed,” Berton stated. “Our City of Oakland, and particularly the mayor’s office, has deep connections with LGBTQ organizations, and we are always looking to support any specialized needs for residents.” Keep Oakland Housed is a program that provides supportive services to keep Oaklanders in their homes. The city announced last December that it had purchased 17 homes in conjunction with Bay Area Community Services to shelter formerly unhoused people, using about $10 million from the state’s Project Homekey program. Project Homekey is a spinoff of Project Roomkey, a way of providing state funding so that unhoused people can be sheltered in hotel rooms due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Local entities will partner with the state to acquire and rehabilitate a variety of housing types, including (but not limited to) hotels, motels, vacant apartment buildings, and residential care facilities in order to serve people experiencing homelessness or who are also at risk of serious illness from COVID-19,” Homekey’s website states of the program, which comes with a $600 million price tag. Berton stated that the program is “going well,” but did not provide a clear answer to how the effort to expand to 25 homes is going, saying “nothing to report just yet.” “Purchasing homes and providing the proper services for individual clients to move in rapidly can sometimes get bogged down in bureaucratic delays, but BACS has moved swiftly,” Berton stated. “It was about 90 days from the time the funds were awarded to the time the properties were purchased, improved, and repaired, and residents started moving in. That’s light-speed for government work.” Nora Daly, the director of development at BACS, said the group is committed to diversity and inclusion of LGBTQs and seniors. “BACS is extremely supportive and welcoming to people of all orientations, gender identities, backgrounds, ages, and needs, and we work with hundreds of LGBTQ community members each year (1,761 people in 2020), as well as older adults (more than 4,000 people in 2020),” Daly stated. “BACS partnered with the City of Oakland to submit our application for funding to the state of California, and it was reviewed through the same process as all the other applications. “Our project, Project Reclamation, focuses on single-family homes as property held in public trust that uplift and reclaim local neighborhoods for community benefit,” Daly added. “We proposed purchasing 20 homes, and have now acquired every single home, and have nearly finished identifying and moving in all the new residents.” (Berton has not responded to a request for comment about if the city has purchased three subsequent homes in conjunction with BACS.) “LGBTQ elders face heightened isolation, oftentimes being forced to hide their sexual orientation and/or gender identity inside nursing homes or care facilities, which our Project Reclamation homes enthusiastically welcome and uplift,” Daly continued. “Older adults themselves face stigma, and those living with severe behavioral health challenges have even deeper incidences of stigma. Across our programs, BACS uses our behavioral health and homelessness expertise to meet the unique needs of each person we serve.”
National housing initiative makes headway in NY
The challenges of LGBTQ senior housing are not unique to San Francisco and Oakland, of course, which is why SAGE has spearheaded a National LGBT Housing Initiative, spe-
cifically geared for seniors. The New York City-based nonprofit began this initiative in 2015. According to its website it is focused on “Building LGBT-friendly housing in New York City; advocating nationally against housing discrimination; training eldercare providers to be LGBT culturally competent; educating you about your housing rights; and helping builders across the U.S. replicate LGBT-friendly housing.” “One of the most important decisions we make as older adults is where we’re going to live during our senior years,” SAGE’s website states. “For all older adults, affordability is often a challenge. For LGBT older adults, so is finding a place that’s welcoming – where we can feel free to be ourselves and be treated respectfully and compassionately.” Sydney Kopp-Richardson is a queer woman who has been with SAGE for over two years and is the director of the initiative. “It was in response to an urgent need for affordable housing for our community,” Kopp-Richardson said. The initiative has succeeded in its first stated goal of building LGBTQfriendly housing in New York City. Ingersoll Senior Residences in Brooklyn, which opened early last year, is billed by SAGE as “the nation’s largest LGBT-welcoming elder housing community,” with 145 units in 17 stories, and featuring a 6,500 square-foot senior center. (Openhouse has 119 units, according to information made available by SAGE and Openhouse.) Eighty-four units in the Bronx opened earlier this year, Kopp-Richardson said. “The reason we say LGBTQ-affirming is because under fair housing laws, you can’t build housing for LGBTQ people exclusively,” Kopp-Richardson said. “So we have some units that get set aside for people formerly homeless, and people relocating from the New York City Housing Authority, to get as many LGBTQ-identified elders as possible.” That’s also true with Openhouse, which held lotteries for the residents of its two complexes and ended up with many of the residents identifying as LGBTQ. The Ingersoll Senior Residences used a lottery system to see who could get in. “When the lottery system opened that day, we did outreach to get people in the lottery,” Kopp-Richardson said. “It’s the same model … as Openhouse in San Francisco. If you can get more than 50% of the general population units as LGBTQ, that’s pretty good. The real determining factor is intentional community outreach, using rainbow and trans flags, marketing.” Kopp-Richardson said that LGBTQ-affirming housing communities for seniors are “growing exponentially” across the U.S. There are currently 12 open residences nationwide, according to information made available by SAGE. Five have opened in the past four years. “This is a population with very intensive needs, disparate rates of poverty, disparate health outcomes because of discrimination, and different needs from their heterosexual counterparts,” Kopp-Richardson said. Kopp-Richardson said that she is working with groups across the country to expand the model. In San Francisco, the city last year spent $12 million to purchase the building and parcel at 1939 Market Street in the Castro district to construct affordable senior housing. Mere blocks away from Openhouse’s project, the new development is also aimed at LGBTQ seniors, and the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development is expected to announce the developer for the project sometime this year. “A lot of the work I do nationally is with resources and technical assistance for people looking to build housing for LGBTQ elders,” she said. See page 33 >>
From page 32
“Community organizations, housing developers [and] service providers.” SAGE has also gone to the work of putting together a 56-page primer, “Understanding the Affordable
From page 23
gain something when one group becomes more free.” The next time the paper ran a “Guest Editorial” came in the July 21, 1983 issue, when Martin F. Stow wrote about AIDS and criticized the responses from both gay political leaders and religious officials. “Our goal should be how to use the AIDS phenomenon to further the understanding and existential realization of our community and individual selves. Let’s not get bogged down with political morbidity and religious celibacy.” It would take until the March 20, 1986 issue for another guest opinion piece to land on the Open Forum page. This one, penned by Wayne April, focused on a debate about whether gay cruising in San Francisco’s Buena Vista Park was as problematic as it was being made out to be in the press. It kicked off a new weekly feature on the editorial page called “In My Opinion” and brought a rotating lineup of guest opinion writers to the paper. The second installment, authored by then-chairman of the state’s AIDS advisory committee Bruce B. Decker, raised warnings about Lyndon LaRouche pushing a statewide initiative that would lead to people living with AIDS being quarantined. The third installment was from two KQED viewers calling on the local public television station to schedule more gay programming, prompted by a report in the B.A.R. noting the lack of gay comics given airtime. It was followed by a piece calling out certain members of the gay community who only wanted to see a certain type of gay person shown on television: those deemed palatable to heterosexuals. “We seem to be looking for acceptance in the wrong way and from the wrong people,” wrote Al Cardile in the April 10, 1986 issue. Then came a rebuttal from KQED’s president and general manager at the time, Anthony S. Tiano, to the suggestions in the B.A.R.’s coverage that the channel was ignoring the gay community. He argued the exact opposite, noting the public broadcaster in 1961 “was one of the first stations anywhere to portray gays in a favorable light in its reporting and in entertainment programs.” It would not be the first time the paper allowed someone to take the B.A.R. to task for its coverage. In the May 1, 1986 issue came a blistering guest opinion piece by Peter N. Fowler, then co-chair of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force board, titled “Lazy Journalism.” Bemoaning the paper’s lack of covering national LGBTQ groups like his own, Fowler wrote, “To be fair, the B.A.R. is no worse than most of the local gay media in this country in its less than aggressive attitude toward news gathering.” It marked the start of a lively conversation carried on between the guest op-ed contributors, the paper, and its readers that carries on to this day. Both Democratic and Republican leaders over the years have weighed in on how anti-gay their party was perceived to be in op-eds. One of the first such missives was written by Christopher Bowman, at the time president of the Concerned Republicans for Individual Rights. In a June 19, 1986 opinion pieced he bemoaned “the cheap shots” lodged against its members by the B.A.R.’s letter writers and its late political columnist Wayne Friday. “The role of CRIR or any other political group in our community is not to preach to the choir, but to educate the unconverted,” wrote Bowman. “Such a task may be difficult, and
Housing Development Process: A Primer for LGBT Aging Providers,” to help people interested in its mission. “Estimates predict that the LGBT elder population will surge to more than 7 million by 2030,” the primer states. “With this surge comes an increased need for safe, affordable LGBTuncomfortable to some, but true liberation for our community will come only when we gain acceptance from the mainstream of America – not just the liberal/left community.” In addition to AIDS, the topics covered in the guest opinions have been myriad, from religious issues and political fights to sports and LGBTQ film portrayals. Housing, the legal system, medical issues, and international concerns have all been spotlighted. Before he became pope and head of the Catholic Church in 2005, thenCardinal Ratzinger was the subject of an open letter that ran as a guest opinion in the February 15, 1990 issue. Patrick H. Colley, then the publisher of Chiron Rising, took him to task for purging gay Father John J. McNeil from the priesthood. “Your deed has especially created a chasm between the Church and the gay and lesbian community,” wrote Colley.
Early support for marriage
Seventeen years prior to same-sex marriages taking place at San Fran-
April 1-7, 2021 • Bay Area Reporter • 33
affirming housing communities. The options for such housing differ in approach and cost, but each provides a sense of dignity and safety for LGBT community members. How communities choose to respond to this growth will determine a great deal around how LGBT aging older people live, access
Courtesy B.A.R. Archive
Then-U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer wrote an op-ed in 1994.
cisco City Hall during 2004’s “Winter of Love,” a call for marriage equality came in the September 10, 1987 issue of the B.A.R. from co-authors J. Carey Junkin and Walter Wheeler, who were involved with that year’s March
services, and develop community supports for generations to come.” t For more on LGBTQ senior housing – focusing on the state of affairs in San Francisco – pick up the April 29 edition of the Bay Area Reporter.
Courtesy B.A.R. Archive
Pat Norman urged unity in a 1986 piece.
on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. Promoting an October 10 demonstration by same-sex couples sponsored by the march, they wrote it was “intended to emphasize the
This article was written with the support of a journalism fellowship from The Gerontological Society of America, The Journalists Network on Generations, and the RRF Foundation for Aging.
Courtesy B.A.R. Archive
Then-supervisor Harry Britt wrote many op-eds in the B.A.R. over the years.
March demand that lesbian and gay domestic partners be entitled to the same rights as married heterosexual couples.”
Congratulations to the Bay Area Reporter!
Thank you for supporting and elevating the San Francisco Bay Area’s LGBTQ+ community for 50 years. SFO proudly welcomes millions of passengers each year through Harvey Milk Terminal 1.
See page 36 >>
<< B.A.R. at 50: HIV/AIDS
34 • Bay Area Reporter • April 1-7, 2021
The influx of new activists was hard on ACT UP/San Francisco. Soon after the 1990 conference, the group split. One faction went on to form ACT UP/Golden Gate, which was more narrowly focused on AIDS. For several years, the ACT UP/GG writers pool penned a B.A.R. column reporting on the latest developments in new therapies and management of coexisting conditions. [See page 35] Before long, the original group was taken over by a new breed of activists who were skeptical that HIV causes AIDS and eschewed antiretroviral treatment. That group engaged in more disruptive and sometimes violent actions, earning the opprobrium of other activists. ACT UP/GG changed its name to Survive AIDS in March 2000 to avoid the association.
From page 31
But everything was not rosy. Racial, gender, and geographical disactivism “is inextricably linked to the parities became increasingly eviongoing struggle for gay and lesbian dent, with Black and Latino people liberation.” and those living in the South havACT UP employed an insidering higher HIV rates, poorer access outsider strategy that combined to treatment, and a lower likelistreet protest with negotiation. At hood of maintaining viral supprestimes this led to friction when some sion. activists felt others were getting too As Bob Roehr reported in the cozy with the establishment. This July 13, 2000, edition, this inequity came to a head in 1994, when memwas even more stark at the global bers of ACT UP/New York broke level. The 2000 International AIDS away to form the Treatment Action Conference in Durban highlighted Group. TAG did an about-face and disparities that left most people in tried to slow down the drug approval low-income countries without acprocess, bringing them into conflict cess to the effective new treatments. with Project Inform and its allies. To help close the gap, President Activists have had a presence at George W. Bush launched the Presmost International AIDS Conferident’s Emergency Plan for AIDS ences, but probably the largest was Relief (PEPFAR) in 2003. the week of actions around the sixth Development of new therapies The tide begins to turn confab in 1990. Although Kramer didn’t stop with protease inhibiAfter years of frustration, the midhad called for a riot, B.A.R. reporter tors. In the August 14, 1997, issue, 1990s ushered in an era of hope. The Michael Botkin characterized the ACT UP/GG member Stephen first protease inhibitor, saquinavir, conference as “quiet from both a sciLeBlanc wrote about a small Foster was approved in December 1995, entific and political perspective.” The City company that was an “ambiwith two more following in quick most urgent issue was the U.S. ban tious pioneer in nucleotide scisuccession. This enabled people to on travel and immigration by HIVence.” Gilead Sciences’ first HIV build drug cocktails that could keep positive people. Activists held rallies drug, adefovir, proved too toxic, HIV in check. The election of Presiand marches to protest the Immigrabut its next candidate, tenofovir dent Bill Clinton in 1992 brought big tion and Naturalization Service, raise (originally dubbed PMPA), put it changes on the policy front – though awareness about women and HIV, on the path to dominating the HIV he didn’t escape criticism. and call attention to the crumbling drug market for years to come. As described in “A tale of (at least) San Francisco Model of communityThe advent of better medications two conferences” – this reporter’s first based care. When Health Secretary led some to ask whether prompt, piece for the B.A.R. – the jubilation Dr. Louis Sullivan rose to speak at potent treatment – “hit early, hit of hearing promising new research at the closing ceremony June 28, activhard” – could potentially eliminate the 1996 International AIDS Conferists drowned him out with whistles HIV. But as the new antiretrovirals ence contrasted with the continued and air horns. were more widely used, some unanger that governments were not doBecause of the travel ban, the 1992 expected side effects emerged. In ing enough to help people with HIV. AIDS conference, scheduled for Bosan effort to limit drug exposure Within a year after combination ton, was moved to Amsterdam. Presiwhile preserving immune function, therapy’s debut, AIDS mortality dent Barack Obama finally lifted the treatment guidelines alternately had dropped dramatically. On Auban in 2010, enabling the 2012 conferraised and lowered the CD4 cell gust 13, 1998, the B.A.R. ran its faence to once again be held in the Unitthreshold for starting treatment acmous “No obits” cover. During the ed States. San Francisco was slated to cording to the latest research. height of the local epidemic, the host the conference again (along with The SMART and START studpaper had run multiple pages of Oakland) in 2020, but it shifted to a ies confirmed that taking treatment obituaries each week. virtual format due to COVID-19. breaks are risky. Some of the problems attributed to the drugs are related to chronic inflammation, which can be reduced if people start treatIn Memoriam ment early and keep their viral load suppressed. This is important as the HIV population ages and becomes more susceptible to cardiovascular disease and other conditions. March 30, 1950–December 23,1996 Pioneering once again, in 2010 San Francisco was the first city to recommend that everyone should You are loved. start treatment as soon as they You are missed. are diagnosed with HIV. National and global guidelines followed You are remembered. suit within a couple of years. The advent of once-daily combination pills, well-tolerated integrase Douglas Robert Griggs.indd 1 3/22/21 10:51 AM inhibitors, and a long-term injectable regimen have made treatment easier and more effective. DUGGAN’S FUNERAL SERVICE
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Courtesy B.A.R. Archive
The paper’s “No obits” cover run in August 1998.
What’s more, viral suppression not only preserves the health of people living with HIV, it also protects their partners. The HTPN 052 and PARTNER studies showed that people who maintain an undetectable viral load on treatment do not transmit the virus via sex. Thanks to effective treatment and PrEP, HIV has been on a steady decline in San Francisco. The latest SF DPH HIV Epidemiology Report shows that there were 166 new diagnoses in all of 2019 – fewer than some single months in the past. The city’s Getting to Zero initiative aims for zero new cases of HIV, zero AIDS deaths, and zero stigma. But experts caution that COVID-19 could lead to setbacks. Despite advances in prevention and treatment, there’s still no cure for HIV. The late Timothy Ray Brown, known as the Berlin Patient, and Adam Castillejo in London are the only people thought to have been cured of HIV, both after bone marrow transplants. But a larger group of “elite controllers”
Timothy Ray Brown, shown here at the 2019 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections.
and long-term non-progressors, who can control the virus naturally, could help researchers learn how others could achieve a functional cure.t
From page 26
“The B.A.R. has been and continues to be an indispensable community institution in lots of areas of queer life. Politics is one,” Mandelman stated. “Harvey Milk talked about the importance of electing out queer people rather than just relying on the kindness of allies. From Harvey’s time to our own, the B.A.R. has provided a vital forum for LGBTQ+ candidates, causes, and electeds to communicate directly with queer voters, playing a vital role in winning elections and building our community’s power.”
Paper’s focus expands through the years
Jones did have praise for the versatility of the paper’s news coverage. “I think the B.A.R. has contributed to the community and has done a good job of covering the diverse subsets of the community, and that’s been a strength for decades,” he said. “If it’s going on in the community, it’s in the B.A.R.” Leal, echoing that, said that she felt the paper made an effort to cover intersectional aspects of San Francisco life, before more mainstream outlets attempted to. A column focused on
Courtesy Gwenn Craig
Gwenn Craig, left, and her partner, Esperanza Macias, have long been involved in the LGBTQ community.
lesbian news, titled Women’s Space, ran in several issues throughout 1977. “What I most appreciated about the B.A.R. is – not only was I a lesbian, but I was a Latina, and I think the only Latin on the board at that time – [and] not only did the B.A.R. write stories about the gay community, but also when I’d do things in the Latino community as well,” Leal said. Esperanza Macias, a Latina lesbian who is the former executive director of the Women’s Building, said that
the paper provided resources for both community and political organizing. “Back in the 1970s and 1980s, the B.A.R. was a conduit for how lesbian communities of color were able to find each other,” Macias said. “We began developing our own community systems; finding how we could find each other was through the B.A.R. The issues like No on [Prop] 6, to domestic partnerships, to same-sex See page 36 >>
B.A.R. at 50: HIV/AIDS>>
April 1-7, 2021 • Bay Area Reporter • 35
Emilio Victorio Sánchez
Courtesy B.A.R. Archive
The first column of the ACT UP/Golden Gate Writers Pool appeared in 1994.
Courtesy B.A.R. Archive
Courtesy B.A.R. Archive
The Writers Pool also covered breast cancer news and activism.
ACT UP/Golden Gate changed its name to Survive AIDS in 2000.
treatments and prevention. In December 1994, G’dali Braverman wrote about and promoted a direct action campaign led by ACT UP/Golden Gate breast cancer activist Gracia Buffleben to force South San Francisco biotech company Genentech to provide compassionate access of a HER-2 antibody to help patients with breast cancer. Also that month, Getty filled the role of writer, person with AIDS or PWA, AIDS activist, and eventually experimental subject when he broke the news that doctors at UCSF were hoping to perform the first animal to human (xenogenic) transplant to treat AIDS by transplanting immune system stem cells from a baboon (which is genetically immune from HIV) to a human with hopes of controlling the disease. Getty later became the first person to receive such a transplant in June 1995. While the transplantation was not successful, Getty’s health improved dramatically, possibly as a result of immune system ablation followed by highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART) as Getty’s immune system regenerated. The Writers Pool sometimes broke news. In the December 29, 1994 issue, Getty and Sharp bylined a frontpage piece announcing early access approval of human growth hormone to treat wasting in PWAs. The Writers Pool had previously written about research and activism regarding the drug, which proved far more effective than other strategies for treating deadly wasting syndrome. Pool writer Bill Thorne had led an activist effort starting in 1993 to shepherd clinical trial participation and the necessary drug applications and FDA approvals to get access to the drug. “The ACT UP/Golden Gate Writers Pool was part of the activist struggle to have access to cutting edge treatment information and relay that back to the community,” said Michael Lauro, now living in Connecticut. “Authoring the columns gave activists credibility with, and access to, people in power who could positively affect the lives of those living with HIV. During its run, it was a weekly example of the ACT UP credo of direct action by people with AIDS and other patients to empower themselves to survive.”
On February 8, 1996, Sharp explained the scientific basis for using HIV viral load testing in confirming treatment effectiveness in individual patients, while the same issue’s news section covered AIDS activists actions at San Francisco City Hall to pressure Kaiser Permanente and eventually other HMOs to make the HIV viral load tests available to patients. Rob Sabados wrote a number of articles covering technical and scientific aspects of HIV drug interactions that arose with the new protease inhibitors. . This author wrote a column advocating for using the most aggressive PI therapies available, rather than holding some drugs in reserve. Even after protease inhibitors became available, information about opportunistic infections was life or death for many living with HIV. An April 8, 1998 article introduced readers to Dr. Dawn McGuire, an early advocate of using the drug topotecan. The article led to patient inquiries and consults from around the U.S. and world seeking information about the little reported but devastating condition known as progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), an aggressive viral disease that affected the brains of people with advanced AIDS. The Writers Pool also addressed treatments for managing side effects of HAART medication. Matthew Chappel wrote about nerve growth factor to treat neuropathy. The ACT UP/Golden Gate Writers Pool continued to cover HIV treatment and prevention issues, as well as access to care, housing, vaccine research, issues faced by women with HIV, and accountability of HIV nonprofit organizations throughout the 1990s.
Writers pool helped readers on AIDS issues by Stephen J. LeBlanc
he Bay Area Reporter front page on September 20, 1990 announced that the San Francisco chapter of the AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power, or ACT UP, had split into two groups. Longtime AIDS activist Michael Wright announced the first meeting of the new group, ACT UP/ Golden Gate, and stated the split was the result of huge attendances at ACT UP/San Francisco meetings (300-plus people) after publicity surrounding ACT UP actions at the July 1990 International AIDS Conference that took place in San Francisco. ACT UP/Golden Gate took shape as an organization specifically focused on empowering individual patients to access the immediate needs of people with HIV, including housing, financial assistance, but most specifically access to medical treatments for HIV disease and opportunistic infections, and for experimental treatments for breast cancer. The Writers Pool was established at a meeting between thenB.A.R. editor Michael Salinas and activist Jeff Getty in 1994 and was conceived as a vehicle for AIDS activists to act as both advocates and journalists for people with HIV. The column was to appear weekly, organized and edited by ACT UP/Golden Gate members and initially coordinated by Getty. (Salinas died in 2003; Getty died in 2006.) The first column appeared in the B.A.R. on November 23, 1994 titled “Activists Zap FDA Over Growth Hormones.” That column characterized much of the writer/activist synergy that energized the undertaking for the next eight years. The article described the activist campaign to get human growth hormone to patients suffering from HIV-related wasting syndrome and described activist actions to fax and call the federal Food and Drug Administration and the drug’s maker, Serono, to reverse policies that limited early access. The article included a photo of activist Matt Sharp, who had received early access to human growth hormone, showing off increased healthy muscle mass due to the treatment. The first byline read “Jeff Getty, ACT UP Golden Gate Writers Pool.” That identifier, “ACT UP/Golden Gate Writers Pool” (later changed to Survive AIDS) would appear nearly every week in the B.A.R. from 1994 to 2002 at the top of nearly 300 columns by more than 20 different non-journalist community-based writers. The column gave a voice and visibility to many patients and activists fighting to survive HIV disease. From the start, the focus of the column was action and science around
Protease inhibitors change everything
As the effectiveness of new AIDS treatment strategies became clearer, the Writers Pool discussed and promoted the earliest possible access. Thorne wrote, “What have activists done lately” on January 4, 1996, detailing the numerous campaigns of various AIDS activists to improve clinical trials of the newest treatments and ensure early expanded and compassionate access.
Save the liver
Mission District activist Emilio Victorio Sánchez passed on March 24, 2020. After an inordinate several month delay to hurdle bureaucratic barriers to transport his cremation remains to his native Mexico City, family and friends convened an international Zoom Memorial held December 19, on what would have been the 67th anniversary of his December 19, 1953 birth. Emilio lived and worked in Mexico City until the mid 1970´s, when he moved to San Francisco, where he dedicated over 30 years of volunteer community and administrative services to nonprofit organizations like Acción Latina in the Mission District , personal assistance to AIDS positive carriers and homeless immigrants, and over a decade of input to the Coalition of Concerned Legal Professional (CCLP), among other beneficiaries of the largesse of his volunteer energy wealth. Emilio brought an open-minded perspective from the sophisticated LGBT+ spectrum of Mexico City and immediately immersed himself in local Gay social and cultural circles in The City, as it was still called. Upon receipt of U.S. citizenship he dabbled a bit in politics as well. Shortly after he settled here, Emilio honed his English language skills and subsequently earned an Associate of Arts Degree in Public Health from San Francisco City College. For 19 years he was a consumer affairs representative for the California Public Utilities Commission, where he coordinated extensive bilingual communications, and for two decades donated bilingual translation services to the San Francisco Unified School District and other organizations. He was a proud member of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1000. Emilio was preceded in death by his father Emigdio Victorio, his mother Teresa Sánchez and sister Yolanda. He is survived in Mexico by his sisters Virginia and María Luisa, numerous cousins, two generations of nieces and nephews, his godson Tonatiuh De la Rosa and a wide circle of lifelong friends.
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One campaign that continued for you canofdesign every detail of your ownand unique memorial many years after HAART was advance, eqdetail own memorial provide Contact usyour today about theunique beautiful ways to create a lasting legacy uitable and unprejudiced accessand to provide atyour the San Francisco Columbarium. loved ones with true peace mind. Planning ahead your loved ones with true peace ofof mind. Planning liver transplantation for patients who protects your loved ones from unnecessary stress and financial ahead protectsProudly yourserving loved onesCommunity. from unnecessary burden, needed it. Getty first wrote about an the LGBT allowing them focus on whatburden, will matter most them at thattotime—you. HIV-positive man dying after denial stresstoand financial allowing of a liver transplant in late 1997. focus on what will matter most at that time—you. The campaign for equitable transContact us today about the beautiful ways to create a lasting legacy plantation continued over many years. at the San Contact FranciscousColumbarium. today about the beautiful ways to create Larry Kramer, founder of the ACT a lasting legacy at the San Francisco Columbarium. UP movement, eventually received One Loraine Ct. | San Francisco | 415-771-0717 a liver transplant on December 21, Proudly serving our Community. SanFranciscoColumbarium.com 2001 and substantially outlived many Proudly serving the LGBT Community. transplant recipients, surviving unFD 1306 / COA 660 til May 27, 2020. Kramer repeatedly credited ACT UP/Golden Gate and Getty’s work in removing barriers for HIV+ people who otherwise qualified for needing transplants.
Denying the denialists
In 1995, ACT UP/San Francisco reemerged from years of little activity to gradually become primarily associated with AIDS denialism and began a six-year campaign of targeted See page 38 >>
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<< B.A.R. at 50
36 • Bay Area Reporter • April 1-7, 2021
From page 34
marriage – all of those got chronicled in the B.A.R. We all grew up together because we went through so many struggles together, some ended positively, and some we still have today.” (Prop 6, the Briggs initiative, would have banned gays from working as public school teachers. It was defeated in 1978.) Her partner, Gwenn Craig, a Black lesbian who is a former San Francisco police commissioner, said that nevertheless the paper had shortcomings and was sometimes blind to the issues faced by LGBTQs of color. “For the most part, [the B.A.R.] covered the major organizations, the major movement, but I think what was happening with people of color was often missed,” Craig said. “The B.A.R., everyone could see, was more male-oriented. Women would tell me they’d pick up a copy of the B.A.R. and it didn’t speak to them.” In 1996, when lesbian journalist Laird was hired as an assistant editor after having done some freelancing she was determined to change all that. Three years later, she became news editor – a position she continues in to this day. “I did try to broaden the readership by featuring other communities than gay, white men in stories and photos,” Laird recalled. “One of the first things I did as news editor was start a transgender column because I saw that perspective was missing.” That column, penned by Gwendolyn Ann Smith, continues to the present. “I tried to cover more lesbian news and communities of color because that has always been very important to me,” Laird added. Macias and Craig credited Laird with bringing a broader perspective to the paper, particularly with her coverage of the Women’s Building on 18th Street between Valencia and Guerrero streets.
Courtesy B.A.R. Archive
The headline from the Dovre Club controversy.
Macias, who was executive director of that institution at the time, was involved in a protracted struggle in the 1990s with the Dovre Club, a longtime Irish bar that was a hotspot for city politicos, when the club – a tenant of the Women’s Building – refused to vacate. “The Women’s Building had to retrofit – we were required to do that – and originally we had done a community-wide assessment for the use of extra space,” Macias said. “The bottom floor would have to be vacated – the Dovre Club itself – because we wanted to reclaim the space for programming. The community wanted use of that space. “[Dovre Club] decided ‘we don’t want to move’ and a lot of struggles ensued. We had to take them to court,” Macias added. “I got pegged as a woman of color, who didn’t like men or white people. At one point we had to have a big town hall meeting.” Macias, who called the episode “the most harrowing struggle I’ve ever experienced,” said many publications did not cover the events fairly due to the high profile and connections of Dovre’s defenders.
From page 33
In the years that followed numerous op-ed contributors would weigh in on domestic partnership laws as well as the fight for marriage rights. Writing in the November 29, 1990 issue Jeanette G. Lazam, with the group Gay and Lesbian Filipinos for Domestic Partners, noted the campaign that year on a local ballot issue in support of domestic partnerships “gave us the opportunity to work with our community on such a basic issue of ‘recognition’ of gay and lesbian relationships, that these ‘relationships’ also exist for Filipinos and are not restricted to the ‘white’ gay and lesbian population.”
Diversity and division
Diversity and division within the LGBTQ community has been an oft-tackled topic by the opinion writers over the decades. Former city commissioner and supervisor candidate in 1984 Pat Norman, believed to be the first out Black lesbian to run for political office, zeroed on the need for unity in a July 10, 1986 opinion piece.
Courtesy B.A.R. Archive
Assemblyman David Chiu has started running a quarterly guest opinion piece.
“Attitudes of sexism and racism keep us alienated from each other, unable to understand common enemies, common oppression, common strategies and common goals,” she wrote. With the launch of the weekly guest opinion pieces, straight and gay elected officials saw it as
“It was Cynthia Laird who stepped up and said ‘let’s cover it,’” Macias said. “I don’t recall another media source that gave it as much coverage as the B.A.R. did.” Laird, who clarified she was assigned the story by then-news editor Mike Salinas, said, “We both felt it needed to be covered.” “It was just kind of ridiculous,” Laird said. ‘“The Women’s Building had been there a long time and was an important space for women, including queer women, and it needed to be covered.” Dovre Club eventually found a new home outside the Women’s Building. One of Salinas’ most memorable headlines accompanied a Laird article: “It’s Dovre and done with.” (Salinas died in 2003.) Ken Yeager, the first out gay elected official in Santa Clara County, said that the B.A.R. became a mainstay of queer news in the South Bay after San Jose’s LGBTQ paper, called Our Paper, Your Paper, folded in 1995. “For the last 25 years we haven’t had a local gay paper and the B.A.R. has been amazing at filling those shoes,” Yeager said. “With the B.A.R., a story in San Jose gets coverage in the whole Bay Area and it tells me what’s happening in the other counties.” Tiffany Woods, a longtime trans activist who is now co-chair of the California Democratic Party’s LGBTQ caucus, said that as gentrification pushed many people outside of San Francisco, the paper’s coverage expanded to include the East Bay. “Without the B.A.R. being a voice for the East Bay LGBTQ community – particularly the trans community – a lot of stories would not have gotten covered,” Woods said. “In the 1990s, the community in Oakland and Hayward didn’t get a lot of attention. We had an HIV/AIDS epidemic on that side of the Bay. I saw coverage morph into the 2000s as covering more out candidates, issues of discrimination, and other things that happened as
they unfolded. The B.A.R. spoke out and covered it.” Aria Sa’id, a Black trans woman who is the co-founder and executive director of the Transgender District in San Francisco, said that she is thankful for all the coverage her work has received. “The work the B.A.R. does is visualizing LGBTQ issues and creating visibility in the media world of San Francisco. It is a treasure of San Francisco, in my opinion,” Sa’id said. “For a number of years now my work has been highlighted in the B.A.R., and while I have gone on to be in Forbes, CNN, what-have-you, advertisers still need to support smaller, grassroots, queer media resources, especially given the economy right now. I’m still old school; I pick up the paper from Market Street on Thursdays.”
a powerful tool to reach the city’s politically active LGBTQ voters. Then-Assembly Majority Leader Mike Roos took to the pages of the B.A.R. in the July 24, 1986 issue to attack LaRouche’s “draconian initiative” that would have quarantined people living with AIDS. Prior to his becoming California’s governor, Republican thenU.S. senator Pete Wilson penned an April 9, 1987 op-ed highlighting his legislation to create a “Medical War Cabinet” to tackle AIDS. In an April 23, 1987 op-ed thenBoston City Councilman David Scondras, the council’s first gay member, called on Ginny Apuzzo, a lesbian and former executive director of the National Gay Task Force, to run for president. (She would pen an op-ed for the B.A.R.’s May 25, 2000 issue extolling the importance of the LGBT vote in that year’s elections.) “The time has come to push open the door, to announce that it will be easier to include us than take us for granted,” Scondras wrote of the Democratic Party and the nation as a whole. Former San Francisco sheriff Michael Hennessey defended his
department’s recruitment drives within the gay community in the last issue of 1988. After becoming the city’s mayor Agnos, who had faced repeated criticism over the years in the B.A.R., wrote his first guest opinion piece in the June 15, 1989 issue to plug his budget’s funding for various gay city programs. In the June 25, 1992 issue thenmayor Frank M. Jordan celebrated Pride in a short guest editorial where he mentioned he likely “surprised a lot of you” with his support of needle exchange and providing condoms in schools. He called the city’s LGBTQ community “a beacon for the world, a model for a future society where tolerance prevails and all women and men are truly equal.” Then-mayor Willie Brown addressed B.A.R. readers in the May 9, 1996 issue with a short piece congratulating LGBTQ groups in being able to achieve several congressional wins despite GOP resistance. And though she didn’t write one as the city’s mayor, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein did pen a guest opinion in the December 22, 1994 issue to thank readers for electing her to a full six-year term that year.
Various LGBTQ elected leaders over the decades have written guest opinion pieces for the B.A.R. to drum up support for their policies and candidacies, with Britt being one of the most prolific contributors. Gay then-congressman Gerry E. Studds (D-Massachusetts) opined in the August 20, 1992 issue against the ban on gays serving in the military. “When will we end the witchhunts and let gay men and lesbians openly and proudly serve our nation?” he asked in a piece titled “Gay Ban in Military Costs Everyone.” In the summer of 1991 lesbian then-supervisors Roberta Achtenberg and Carole Migden both penned pieces defending their positions during budget talks on such things as AIDS funding and other gay priorities. Migden’s main point could very well have been the guiding principle for the B.A.R.’s editorial page itself. “We will at times take different stands or endorse different candidates. That doesn’t mean we are divided – it means we are diverse,” contended Migden in the paper’s August 15 issue that year. t
The following person(s) is/are doing business as ON CALL PROJECT MANAGEMENT, 132 PARNASSUS AVE, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94117. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed JOANA PROCTOR GRAY. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 08/02/88. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 02/17/21. MAR 11, 18, 25, APR 01 2021
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Mister Marcus column gives voice to leather community
Robert Goldfarb, a gay man who is president of the Leather & LGBTQ Cultural District board of directors in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood, said that the paper (which has been located in SOMA for decades, except for a brief relocation downtown in 2013-2014) has always given attention to the leather and kink community, particularly through the contributions of Marcus Hernandez, who was the B.A.R.’s leather columnist for 38 years. Hernandez, also known by his pen name, Mister Marcus, was asked by Ross to start the paper’s leather column just six months after the paper’s birth. Active in the Imperial Court, Hernandez was crowned emperor in 1972 while serving as appointment secretary for then-Mayor Joseph L. Alioto. While he was alive, Hernandez recounted that he was worried Alioto would find out, and indeed he did when Hernandez’ election was featured on the front page of the San Francisco Examiner.
“Monday morning I go to my office and I am at my desk and [Alioto] walks in and says, ‘Well, I see I am not the only celebrity in this office,’” Hernandez recalled. “And I said, ‘No, your honor, I guess you are not.’” Goldfarb said that by the time he met Hernandez, who died in 2009, the latter was “one of the leading leather journalists in the country, if not internationally.” “Oh boy, he was certainly a very lively personality,” Goldfarb said. “Over the years I’d run into him at events and he always had something to say. We went to dinner and I got to sit with him and got to know him better as the meal unfolded. He was one of the best known leather columnists and he reported on the title circuit so that I think he was one of the single sources for the leather title situation nationwide. His voice would spread the word, and brought it to a wider public by publicizing those events.”
‘No obits’ headline heralds dawn of new era
The LGBTQ community the B.A.R. was born into, of course, was decimated with the beginning of the AIDS epidemic 10 years after the paper started. Leslie Ewing, a lesbian who is a longtime AIDS activist, said that the paper served as an essential community resource in those days. “During the very worst of the HIV epidemic, the only way to find out what was going on was through the B.A.R.,” Ewing said. “We didn’t have good access to the internet. Few people had personal computers, so the newspaper was the primary means of communication for meetings, rallies, news on the medical front and announcing a protest.” Ewing, who was the board president of the AIDS Emergency Fund from 1993 to 1997, recalled that “it was a really, really awful time.” See page 38 >>
Legals>> ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE FOR CHANGE OF NAME IN SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO FILE CNC-21-556161 In the matter of the application of ANDRES MORENO, 365 WILDE AVE, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94134, for change of name having been filed in Superior Court, and it appearing from said application that petitioner ANDRES MORENO is requesting that the name ANDRES MORENO be changed to ANDREW MAXIMILIAN FRIEXA. Now therefore, it is hereby ordered, that all persons interested in said matter do appear before this Court in Dept. 103N, Rm. 103N on the 29th of APRIL 2021 at 9:00am of said day to show cause why the application for change of name should not be granted. MAR 11, 18, 25, APR 01 2021
OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO FILE CNC-21-556052 In the matter of the application of ANAHIT ABRAHAMI PASKEVICHYAN ARAKELYAN, 1071 MISSISSIPPI ST, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94107, for change of name having been filed in Superior Court, and it appearing from said application that petitioner ANAHIT ABRAHAMI PASKEVICHYAN ARAKELYAN is requesting that the name ANAHIT ABRAHAMI PASKEVICHYAN ARAKELYAN be changed to ANAHIT ABRAHAMI PASKEVICHYAN. Now therefore, it is hereby ordered, that all persons interested in said matter do appear before this Court in Dept. 103N, Rm. 103N on the 29th of APRIL 2021 at 9:00am of said day to show cause why the application for change of name should not be granted. MAR 11, 18, 25, APR 01 2021
ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE FOR CHANGE OF NAME IN SUPERIOR COURT
FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE A-039256900
FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE A-039263300 The following person(s) is/are doing business as THE FIDDLE MERCANTILE, 305 SHOTWELL ST, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94110. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed BRANDON SCOTT GODMAN. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 01/08/20. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA
FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE A-039275800 The following person(s) is/are doing business as EXCELSIOR WELDING COMPANY, 261 MUNICH ST, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94112. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed ROBERTO CARLOS ACEVEDO. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 01/11/21. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 02/26/21. MAR 11, 18, 25, APR 01 2021 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE A-039280100 The following person(s) is/are doing business as JPG YOGA, 1569 DOLORES ST, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94110. This business is conducted by an
FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE A-039283000 The following person(s) is/are doing business as APEX SOFTWARE SERVICES, 1535 CLEMENT ST, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94118. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed AARON SADINO. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 02/18/21. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 03/03/21. MAR 11, 18, 25, APR 01 2021
See page 36 >>
From page 37
FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE A-039278600 The following person(s) is/are doing business as SLK TRADING CO., 899 41ST AVE, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94121. This business is conducted by individual, and is signed SHIKAI LI. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 07/20/20. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 03/01/21. MAR 11, 18, 25, APR 01 2021 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE A-039269000 The following person(s) is/are doing business as BRIDGES TO MENTAL WELLNESS, 754 ATHENS ST, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94112. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed KARIMAH ADISA THOMAS. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on N/A. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 02/24/21. 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The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 03/02/21. MAR 11, 18, 25, APR 01 2021 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE A-039277800 The following person(s) is/are doing business as PETER PANOS, 109 GEARY ST FL 2, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94108. This business is conducted by a married couple, and is signed PANOS ARISTAKESSIAN & SALPIE ARISTAKESSIAN. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 10/13/20. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 03/01/21. MAR 11, 18, 25, APR 01 2021 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE A-039285700 The following person(s) is/are doing business as COTE OUEST BISTRO, 2953 BAKER ST, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94123. This business is conducted by a limited liability company, and is signed MARLAU LLC (CA). The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 02/10/21. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 03/05/21. MAR 11, 18, 25, APR 01 2021 ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE FOR CHANGE OF NAME IN SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO FILE CNC-21-556140 In the matter of the application of HANNAH VICTORIA CENTER, 818 VAN NESS AVE #307, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94109, for change of name having been filed in Superior Court, and it appearing from said application that petitioner HANNAH VICTORIA CENTER is requesting that the name HANNAH VICTORIA CENTER be changed to HANNAH VICTORIA CENTER MAVERICK. Now therefore, it is hereby ordered, that all persons interested in said matter do appear before this Court in Dept. 103 on the 13th of APRIL 2021 at 9:00am of said day to show cause why the application for change of name should not be granted. MAR 18, 25, APR 01, 08, 2021 ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE FOR CHANGE OF NAME IN SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO FILE CNC-21-556141 In the matter of the application of CHELSEA DORA TURNER, 818 VAN NESS AVE #307, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94109, for change of name having been filed in Superior Court, and it appearing from said application that petitioner CHELSEA DORA TURNER is requesting that the name CHELSEA DORA TURNER be changed to CHELSEA DORA SHAFRON MAVERICK. Now therefore, it is hereby ordered, that all persons interested in said matter do appear before this Court in Dept. Dept. 103 on the 13th of APRIL 2021 at 9:00am of said day to show cause why the application for change of name should not be granted. MAR 18, 25, APR 01, 08, 2021 ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE FOR CHANGE OF NAME IN SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO FILE CNC-21-556149 In the matter of the application of BISERA JAHICFERRERO, C/O ALEXANDER M. KALLIS (SBN 264915), 951 MARINERS ISLAND BLVD #300, SAN MATEO, CA 94404, for change of name having been filed in Superior Court, and it appearing from said application that petitioner BISERA JAHICFERRERO is requesting that the name BISERA JAHIC-FERRERO be changed to BISERA JAHIC FERRERO. Now therefore, it is hereby ordered, that all persons interested in said matter do appear before this Court in Dept. 103N, Rm. 103N on the 13th of APRIL 2021 at 9:00am of said day to show cause why the application for change of name should not be granted. MAR 18, 25, APR 01, 08, 2021 ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE FOR CHANGE OF NAME IN SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO FILE CNC-21-556187 In the matter of the application of LILIA OUNDI KAZEMI, 840 POST ST #906, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94109, for change of name having been filed in Superior Court, and it appearing from said application that petitioner LILIA OUNDI KAZEMI is requesting that the name LILIA OUNDI KAZEMI be changed to LILIA KAZEMI. Now therefore, it is hereby ordered, that all persons interested in said matter do appear before this Court in Dept. 103N, Rm. 103N on the 22nd of APRIL 2021 at 9:00am of said day to show cause why the application for change of name should not be granted. MAR 18, 25, APR 01, 08, 2021 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE A-039281900 The following person(s) is/are doing business as 24 BART LIQUOR STORE, 3347 24TH ST, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94110. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed BINAYA POKHAREL. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business
April 1-7, 2021 • Bay Area Reporter • 37
under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 01/01/21. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 03/01/21. MAR 18, 25, APR 01, 08, 2021
FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE A-039277400 The following person(s) is/are doing business as CURATED STATE, 26 BRODERICK ST, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94117. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed COURTNEY NORRIS. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 07/01/20. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 03/01/21. MAR 18, 25, APR 01, 08, 2021
ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE FOR CHANGE OF NAME IN SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO FILE CNC-21-556195 In the matter of the application of TARA VEERATHANONGDECH & MICHAEL PICCIRILLI, 941 PAGE ST #2, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94117, for change of name having been filed in Superior Court, and it appearing from said application that petitioners TARA VEERATHANONGDECH & MICHAEL PICCIRILLI are requesting that the name MAGNUS VEERA PICCIRILLI be changed to MAGNUS LUCA PICCIRILLI. Now therefore, it is hereby ordered, that all persons interested in said matter do appear before this Court in Dept. 103N, Rm. 103N on the 27th of APRIL 2021 at 9:00am of said day to show cause why the application for change of name should not be granted. MAR 25, APR 01, 08, 15, 2021
FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE A-039278300 The following person(s) is/are doing business as CREATIVE MUSIC OF SF ONLINE; CREATIVE MUSIK EMPORIUM, 911 SADDLEBACK DR, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94134. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed ELBA CLEMENTELAMBERT. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 09/06/85. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 03/01/21. MAR 18, 25, APR 01, 08, 2021
FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE A-039291700 The following person(s) is/are doing business as QUICKFOOT BOOKS, 555 ULLOA ST, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94127. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed JOHN MAINARD ODELL. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 03/05/21. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 03/12/21. MAR 25, APR 01, 08, 15, 2021
FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE A-039287900 The following person(s) is/are doing business as VALENTINA SADIUL PHOTOGRAPHY, 680 8TH ST, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94103. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed VALENTINA SADIUL. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 01/16/15. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 03/09/21. MAR 18, 25, APR 01, 08, 2021
FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE A-039284400 The following person(s) is/are doing business as REALLY GOOD SOUND, 2393 MISSION ST #1, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94110. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed CONAN MATTISSON. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 02/27/20. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 03/04/21. MAR 25, APR 01, 08, 15, 2021
FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE A-039289900 The following person(s) is/are doing business as THE FRESH CUP, 798 SOUTH VAN NESS AVE, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94110. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed CYNTHIA OLMEDO. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 02/01/21. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 03/11/21. MAR 18, 25, APR 01, 08, 2021
FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE A-039292800 The following person(s) is/are doing business as THRIVING LIFE WELLNESS CENTER, 2126 SUTTER ST, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94115. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed CHRISTINE L. CANTWELL. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 01/06/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 03/15/21. MAR 25, APR 01, 08, 15, 2021
FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE A-039289300 The following person(s) is/are doing business as BAY CITY VENDING, 310 HAMILTON ST #4, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94134. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed MIA MIKA ANDERSON. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on N/A. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 03/10/21. MAR 18, 25, APR 01, 08, 2021
FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE A-039293000 The following person(s) is/are doing business as LATER DAZE, 631 O’FARRELL ST #1214, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94109. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed DANA A. CHRISTY. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 10/11/15. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 03/15/21. MAR 25, APR 01, 08, 15, 2021
FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE A-039283200 The following person(s) is/are doing business as VALDEZ OPTOMETRY, 231 MONTGOMERY ST, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94104. This business is conducted by a corporation, and is signed LYNN VALDEZ OPTOMETRY (CA). The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 04/01/16. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 03/03/21. MAR 18, 25, APR 01, 08, 2021
FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE A-039285800 The following person(s) is/are doing business as YOU RULE THERAPY, 58 WEST PORTAL AVE #110, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94127. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed CYNTHIA HOFFMAN MFT. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 01/01/21. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 03/05/21. MAR 25, APR 01, 08, 15, 2021
FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE A-039273400 The following person(s) is/are doing business as GROSVENOR ATRIUM, 1690 BROADWAY ST, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94109. This business is conducted by a limited partnership, and is signed VGA LLC (CA), GENERAL PARTNER. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 04/01/77. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 02/25/21. MAR 18, 25, APR 01, 08, 2021
FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE A-039295900 The following person(s) is/are doing business as GOSFRENTALS.COM, 2740 GREENWICH ST #103, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94123. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed DEBBIE J. MILLIGAN. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 03/07/21. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 03/17/21. MAR 25, APR 01, 08, 15, 2021
FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE A-039289500 The following person(s) is/are doing business as AUSSIE RECRUIT, 1387 FRANCISCO ST, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94123. This business is conducted by a limited liability company, and is signed AUSSIE SF BAY LLC (CA). The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 06/18/19. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 03/10/21. MAR 18, 25, APR 01, 08, 2021
FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE A-039284000 The following person(s) is/are doing business as TIP TOP DENTAL; TRUSTING DENTAL, 2279-A MISSION ST, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94110. This business is conducted by a corporation, and is signed DR. SOE DENTAL CORPORATION (CA). The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 02/02/21. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 03/04/21. MAR 25, APR 01, 08, 15, 2021
STATEMENT OF ABANDONMENT OF USE OF FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME FILE A-038486300 The following persons have abandoned the use of the fictitious business name known as ANA ELLIOTT & ASSOCIATES, 55 MANCHESTER ST #6, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94110. This business was conducted by an individual and signed by ANA ELLIOTT. The fictitious name was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 01/22/19. MAR 18, 25, APR 01, 08, 2021
FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE A-039276100 The following person(s) is/are doing business as SAN FRANCISCO SPINE SURGEONS PC, 1 SHRADER ST #600, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94117. This business is conducted by a corporation, and is signed SAN FRANCISCO SPINE SURGEONS PC (CA). The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 01/01/21. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 02/26/21. MAR 25, APR 01, 08, 15, 2021
STATEMENT OF ABANDONMENT OF USE OF FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME FILE A-038382800 The following persons have abandoned the use of the fictitious business name known as HARMONIOUS GOODS, 2490 46TH AVE, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94116. This business was conducted by a limited liability company and signed by HARMONIOUS GOODS LLC (CA). The fictitious name was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 11/01/18. MAR 18, 25, APR 01, 08, 2021 STATEMENT OF ABANDONMENT OF USE OF FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME FILE A-037897900 The following persons have abandoned the use of the fictitious business name known as BAY HOTEL, 124-128 JONES ST, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94102. This business was conducted by a limited liability company and signed by BAPU DOLATSINH LLC (CA). The fictitious name was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 12/13/17. MAR 18, 25, APR 01, 08, 2021 ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE FOR CHANGE OF NAME IN SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO FILE CNC-21-556197 In the matter of the application of MOLLY ROSE BRUNO, C/O EVA M. MARTELLE (SBN 233139), ALLAN & MARTELLE LLP, 2076 LINCOLN AVE, SAN JOSE, CA 95125, for change of name having been filed in Superior Court, and it appearing from said application that petitioner MOLLY ROSE BRUNO is requesting that the name MOLLY ROSE BRUNO be changed to MOLLY ANIELA ROSE. Now therefore, it is hereby ordered, that all persons interested in said matter do appear before this Court in Dept. 103N, Rm. 103N on the 27th of APRIL 2021 at 9:00am of said day to show cause why the application for change of name should not be granted. MAR 25, APR 01, 08, 15, 2021
FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE A-039279700 The following person(s) is/are doing business as MOVEMINT RELOCATION CONCIERGE, LLC, 1365 10TH AVE #10, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94122. This business is conducted by a limited liability company, and is signed MOVEMINT RELOCATION CONCIERGE, LLC (CA). The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 01/01/21. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 03/02/21. MAR 25, APR 01, 08, 15, 2021 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE A-039292300 The following person(s) is/are doing business as DYNAMICO.SPACE, 447 SUTTER ST SUITE 405, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94108. This business is conducted by a limited liability company, and is signed GOLDEN BAY CAPITAL, LLC (CA). The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on N/A. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 03/12/21. MAR 25, APR 01, 08, 15, 2021 ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE FOR CHANGE OF NAME IN SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO FILE CNC-21-556211 In the matter of the application of KENYADIE Y. SHAW & JERRON PAUL FULLER, 2600 ARELIOUS WALKER DR #311, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94124, for change of name having been filed in Superior Court, and it appearing from said application that petitioners KENYADIE Y. SHAW & JERRON PAUL FULLER are requesting that the name KAYDEN SHAW be changed to KAYDEN MAURICE FULLER. Now therefore, it is hereby ordered, that all persons interested in said matter do appear before this Court in Dept. 103N,
Rm. 103N on the 4th of MAY 2021 at 9:00am of said day to show cause why the application for change of name should not be granted. APR 01, 08, 15, 22, 2021
ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE FOR CHANGE OF NAME IN SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO FILE CNC-21-556219 In the matter of the application of JONATHAN ARNOWITZ TAYLOR, 74 POND ST, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94114, for change of name having been filed in Superior Court, and it appearing from said application that petitioner JONATHAN ARNOWITZ TAYLOR is requesting that the name JONATHAN ARNOWITZ TAYLOR be changed to JONATHAN SETH ARNOWITZ. Now therefore, it is hereby ordered, that all persons interested in said matter do appear before this Court in Dept. 103, on the 11th of MAY 2021 at 9:00am of said day to show cause why the application for change of name should not be granted. APR 01, 08, 15, 22, 2021 ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE FOR CHANGE OF NAME IN SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO FILE CNC-21-556207 In the matter of the application of KENNETH JIA YI CHEN & CLARA HUI HUANG CHEN, 1250 39TH AVE, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94122, for change of name having been filed in Superior Court, and it appearing from said application that petitioner KENNETH JIA YI CHEN & CLARA HUI HUANG CHEN is requesting that the name TIFFANY CHEN be changed to TIFFANY LE YI CHEN. Now therefore, it is hereby ordered, that all persons interested in said matter do appear before this Court in Rm. 103 on the 6th of MAY 2021 at 9:00am of said day to show cause why the application for change of name should not be granted. APR 01, 08, 15, 22, 2021 ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE FOR CHANGE OF NAME IN SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO FILE CNC-21-556208 In the matter of the application of JESSICA CHEN, TH 1250 39 AVE, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94122, for change of name having been filed in Superior Court, and it appearing from said application that petitioner JESSICA CHEN is requesting that the name JESSICA CHEN be changed to JESSICA YING YI CHEN. Now therefore, it is hereby ordered, that all persons interested in said matter do appear before this Court in Rm. 103 on the 6th of MAY 2021 at 9:00am of said day to show cause why the application for change of name should not be granted. APR 01, 08, 15, 22, 2021 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE A-039297900 The following person(s) is/are doing business as MAGGIE’S TAX SERVICE, 4392 MISSION ST, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94112. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed MAGDALENA M. ZEVALLOS. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 01/01/00. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 03/18/21. APR 01, 08, 15, 22, 2021 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE A-039298800 The following person(s) is/are doing business as HLORGANIC SKIN CARE, 36 CLEMENT ST, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94118. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed HELEN LAM. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 08/03/13. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 03/19/21. APR 01, 08, 15, 22, 2021 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE A-039290100 The following person(s) is/are doing business as SOUL CROWN CO., 191 SANTA MARINA ST, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94110. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed KELLY MEGAN WILSON. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 02/01/21. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 03/11/21. APR 01, 08, 15, 22, 2021
FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE A-039296600 The following person(s) is/are doing business as JZA ARCHITECTURE, 152 LUNDYS LN, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94110. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed JOSEPH Z. ARMIN. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 12/18/15. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 03/18/21. APR 01, 08, 15, 22, 2021 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE A-039304500 The following person(s) is/are doing business as PARK & OLIVE, 70 OCEAN AVE #17, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94112. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed KATHRYN MCBRIDE. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on N/A. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 03/23/21. APR 01, 08, 15, 22, 2021 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE A-039307500 The following person(s) is/are doing business as VK AUTOSPORT, 955 FOLSOM ST, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94107. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed VANDA DURU. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 01/05/21. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 03/25/21. APR 01, 08, 15, 22, 2021 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE A-039302800 The following person(s) is/are doing business as SF DOG CAST, 3580-A 18TH ST., SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94110. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed KATHLEEN GERNATT. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 11/10/20. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 03/23/21. APR 01, 08, 15, 22, 2021 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE A-039286400 The following person(s) is/are doing business as PROPAGATION, 895 POST ST, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94109. This business is conducted by a limited liability company, and is signed NGUMAN LLC (CA). The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on N/A. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 03/05/21. APR 01, 08, 15, 22, 2021 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE A-039296700 The following person(s) is/are doing business as ROCKWELL PROPERTIES MANAGEMENT, INC., 2489 MISSION ST #22, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94110. This business is conducted by a corporation, and is signed ROCKWELL PROPERTIES MANAGEMENT, INC. (CA). The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 03/04/21. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 03/18/21. APR 01, 08, 15, 22, 2021 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE A-039303600 The following person(s) is/are doing business as AIGA SAN FRANCISCO, 595 PACIFIC AVE 4TH FL, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94133. This business is conducted by a corporation, and is signed AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF GRAPHIC ARTS SAN FRANCISCO CHAPTER (CA). The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 01/01/84. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 03/23/21. APR 01, 08, 15, 22, 2021 STATEMENT OF ABANDONMENT OF USE OF FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME FILE A-039059500 The following persons have abandoned the use of the fictitious business name known as ONTO, 483 46TH AVE, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94121. This business was conducted by a corporation and signed by CORNER DESIGN STUDIO INC (DE). The fictitious name was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 05/06/20. APR 01, 08, 15, 22, 2021
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<< B.A.R. at 50
38 • Bay Area Reporter • April 1-7, 2021
From page 36
“I hate to say it, but part of the B.A.R. during those days was seeing if any of your friends had died that week,” Ewing said. On the cover of the August 13, 1998 issue, the paper’s most famous headline signaled a new phase in the HIV/ AIDS epidemic when, at long last, the B.A.R. declared it had ‘No obits’ to publish for the first time. “No obituaries were filed with the paper for this issue, a first since the AIDS epidemic exploded in San Francisco’s gay community,” the story, written by assistant editor Timothy Rodrigues, cautiously stated. “That doesn’t mean that there were no AIDS deaths in the past week; next week’s issue may have more obits than usual. Nevertheless, after more than 17 years of struggle and death, and some weeks with as many as 31 obituaries printed in the B.A.R., it seems a new reality may be taking hold, and the community may be on the verge of a new era of the epidemic. Perhaps.” “It was the biggest news to hit the front page of that paper in 15 years,” Ewing recalled. “It almost felt like how people feel now after their first COVID shot. It felt like there was some hope.”
On the front lines in the fight for marriage equality
Shannon Minter, a trans man who is the legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said that the paper was there as a chronicle of the road to marriage equality. “The B.A.R. was already a revered community outlet when I first started working for NCLR in the mid-1990s,” Minter said. “California has been so important, the lodestar of the LGBT community in terms of breaking new ground and taking on new issues, and so the B.A.R. has been important. Certainly, the B.A.R. was right on top of every development in the long saga of winning marriage equality in California, which started with the nation’s first domestic partnership registry
People lined up around San Francisco City Hall in February 2004 during the “Winter of Love,” after then-mayor Gavin Newsom ordered city officials to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
in 2001 – a Carole Migden bill. The B.A.R. covered that.” Minter said that people were upset at first that the registry did not provide many benefits, beyond hospital visitation. “Carole’s thinking was that this would be a starting point for more substantial rights,” Minter said. “She was completely vindicated.” Migden did not return a call seeking comment. Perusing the B.A.R.’s headlines of the past two decades show substantial coverage of the developments in marriage equality, from then-Mayor Gavin Newsom’s decision to wed same-sex couples at City Hall in 2004 to the granting of full marriage rights statewide in 2008 before they were taken away by that year’s Prop 8 to the ensuing federal trial and ultimate victory in the U.S. Supreme Court. “I remember many, many intense interviews and conversations with Cynthia Laird through the Prop 8 campaign, which they covered passionately up and down, with incredible detail,” Minter said. Of course, it was a ruling in 2010 by Judge Vaughn Walker of the U.S. District Court for the Northern Dis-
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trict of California that first overturned Prop 8. The U.S. Supreme Court upholding Walker’s ruling in the case of Hollingsworth v. Perry in 2013 paved the way for the high court to extend marriage equality to all 50 states in the 2015 case of Obergefell v. Hodges. (Walker came out as gay after the trial.) “That whole saga, right to the drama of Judge Walker’s courtroom, happened in California and the B.A.R. was there every step of the way,” Minter said. “The B.A.R. has some longtime reporters who are really national treasures for our movement.”
At 50, B.A.R. faces post COVID media landscape
The B.A.R. is a founding member of the National LGBT Media Association, a coalition of legacy queer media outlets across the U.S. The paper has gone through a number of changes over the years not only in terms of coverage but also ownership and format. The rise of the internet led to ebar.com, of course, where readers can access the B.A.R.’s reporting from anywhere, including content only available online. The internet has proved challenging for the paper however in a different way: while older issues of the B.A.R. were often dozens of pages, the free paper’s size has had to shrink with decreased advertising and classifieds. The norm since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic has been
Juniper Yun, program associate for the district, curated the public awareness campaign. “It is so important for the Transgender District to break the pattern of the world merely seeing us,” Yun stated. “We are a community rich in stories, in experiences, and in dreaming – and we want to create a campaign that gives voice to our models, that asserts our place in this city, and in this world.” To learn more, go to https://www. knowourplace.com/.
From page 18
From page 35
harassment and sometimes violence against non-denialist AIDS activists and others. The ACT UP/Golden Gate Writers Pool repeatedly took on HIV-denialists and called on the San Francisco Police Department, city officials, and the district attorney’s office to vigorously prosecute those who used criminal harassment and violence against people with HIV. As the mainstream media’s fascination and coverage of the denialists continued, ACT UP/Golden Gate and the Writers Pool changed their name to Survive AIDS, with the first column under that name appearing March 23, 2000. The Writers Pool continued to cover a wide range of treatment and activist issues regarding HIV disease and associated side effects, but a fair
Bay Area Reporter publisher Michael Yamashita
12 pages an issue. After Ross died, ownership went to his eponymous foundation, of which his longtime attorney Thomas E. Horn was the trustee. Horn was also named the paper’s new publisher. In 2013, the nonprofit foundation had to divest itself of the for-profit business, after the end of a grace period, leading Yamashita to purchase a majority ownership stake, at which time he became the first gay Asian American publisher of a U.S. LGBTQ newspaper. The publisher and the chief financial officer of the San Francisco Media Company (which owned the Examiner) purchased minority ownership shares at that time, but soon after the paper’s offices moved from 225 Bush Street back to its longtime South of Market home and in 2017 Yamashita took full ownership. The paper has survived recessions, the AIDS epidemic, dot-com busts, the Great Recession, and now COVID-19. Yamashita said that the last year has been particularly difficult, and he has spent much of the pandemic whipping up support through a new membership program and an online fundraiser that raised over $30,000. The paper is currently collaborating with other small San Francisco publications as part of the Bay Area Media Association in search of advertising dollars and to codify best practices, Yamashita said.
“This has been the shittiest year,” Yamashita said. “Just holding on has been the occupation of so much of my time. Survival has been most on my mind.” But there still remains a great need for LGBTQ, local news, Yamashita said – and he is not going to let the paper close on his watch. “Nobody wants to be the last one when the ship goes down on your watch,” he said. “The B.A.R. remains an important institution for the LGBTQ community here, and with our sister publications in other cities, we are part of an important fabric.” Jones expressed similar thoughts, hoping that this anniversary spurs people to support their local, queer institutions. “I remember when I first got to San Francisco in 1973 and picked up the B.A.R. It was just a bar rag, mostly gossip about the Imperial Court and the bars. There were four times as many bars as today and very little else in the way of cultural infrastructure” Jones said. “Reflecting on this, I’m struck by how few institutions are around after 50 years. When we look at COVID, we can see how fragile these institutions can be.” Yamashita said the paper’s start helped bring the community together. “We were creating our own institutions, to tell the news from our own point of view,” Yamashita added. “Until even 15 years ago, we were having trouble as a gay community press having to prove our credibility, even with LGBTQ journalists in the mainstream publications. So there were groups that didn’t allow us to even become members. Even in our own field, we weren’t taken seriously until recently.” Yamashita is proud of his paper’s golden anniversary, the respect and trust it has garnered in the community, but most of all how its reporters and editors tell the story of the LGBTQ community from the perspective as LGBTQ people themselves. And sometimes on Thursday afternoons, as the clouds roll in over the Twin Peaks, you can see Yamashita biking up Market Street from the other direction, delivering issues to kiosks, without fanfare. “If I’m doing my job, nobody knows what I’m doing,” he said. t
SF credit union announces youth scholarships
Credit Union who plan to continue education in college or vocational school programs. Since its inception in 2007, the credit union has awarded nearly $140,000 in scholarship money. Scholarship recipients are selected on the basis of academic record, demonstrated leadership, participation in school, community activities, honors, work experience, and a statement of goals and aspirations. As part of the application process, students will be asked to complete an essay. Financial need is not considered. The deadline to apply is May 28. For more information and to apply, visit https://www.sanfranciscofcu. com/2021-youth-scholarship. t
amount of ink flowed to fight back against criminal denialist tactics. Lauro addressed the legal issues regarding the ultimate jailing of two individuals associated with making threats. The final Survive AIDS Writers Pool column appeared August 22, 2002 and covered new research and information from the XIV AIDS Conference in Barcelona. In the eight-year life of the Writer’s Pool, AIDS for many in the developed world, and even for some in the developing world, had become a survivable disease. While sadly a number of activists who volunteered their time to the Writers Pool have since passed away, from HIV disease and other causes, more survived and went back to full-time jobs and other life pursuits. Survive AIDS ceased meetings in late 2002, and the archives of the B.A.R. Writers Pool remain the most complete internet-accessible record
of the work and, in some cases, lives of this particular group of AIDS fighters. In addition to the volunteer activist writers mentioned above, ACT UP/ Golden Gate alumni would like to thank and remember other Writers Pool authors including, in no order, Jeff Gustavson, Dean Knutson, Bill Snow, Kate Krauss, Marcos E. GarciaOjeda, Don Narbone, Phil Alden, Timothy James, Don Howard, Rick Loftus, Edward Zold, Martin Delaney, Mark Bowers, Virg Parks, David Mahon, Mike Donnelly, Homer Hobi, Larry Hanbrook, Tim Horn, and Linda Grinberg. t
San Francisco Federal Credit Union has announced its 2021 youth scholarship program for high school seniors in San Francisco and San Mateo counties. Three students will each receive $2,500 to apply to their higher education. “Part of our mission is to give back to the community. So investing in our youth members, who are tomorrow’s leaders, is important to us,” Jonathan Oliver, president and CEO of the credit union, stated in a news release. The youth scholarship program was established to assist students who are members of San Francisco Federal
Stephen LeBlanc was a member of ACT UP/Golden Gate and was coordinator of the Writers Pool for several years.
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The bars that brought us the B.A.R. From the Tavern Guild to the Bay Area Reporter by Michael Flanagan
he Bay Area Reporter first published on April 1, 1971, which was less than two years after the Stonewall Riots. Because of that, and because of what the paper became, it’s easy to forget exactly what the paper was when it first started and why it’s a uniquely San Francisco institution. This paper did not grow out of the Gay Liberation movement. Many writers for the paper in the early years, including publishers Paul Bentley and Bob Ross, were people who had been working in gay bars since the 1950s or ’60s. Some had been working in bars when the Tavern Guild was formed in 1962. For the people who had been around when José Sarria ran for the Board of Supervisors in 1961 the cry of “out of the bars and into the streets” was perplexing. The bars were the source of political power in San Francisco for nearly a decade at the time Stonewall erupted in Manhattan – and unlike the East Coast bars, many San Francisco’s bars had gay owners. Perhaps the best case for the centrality of the bars to the paper can be made from the editorial pages of the B.A.R. itself. An editorial from February, 1972 addressed it directly: “A Reminder of Just What B.A.R. Is – Probably the biggest complaint registered against
Bob Ross successfully ran for Emperor in 1978. Placing himself on the cover of the B.A.R.’s Sept. 14 issue might have helped.
The B.A.R's decades of stars by David-Elijah Nahmod
rom the beginning, the Bay Area Reporter has covered celebrities, both Broadway and Hollywood stars. While some declined to talk to us –Barbra Streisand said no to an interview request in 2016– many have indeed sat down with us for a chat. There are many such examples in the B.A.R. archives. Perhaps the very first celebrity coverage in the B.A.R. came when the paper was barely two months old. It was 1971 and Michael Greer, possibly the first out actor to appear in Hollywood films, was co-starring in MGM’s film adaptation of the gay prison drama Fortune and Men’s Eyes, reprising the role he had played on stage. In “Fortune and Men’s Eye’s and Michael Greer” (July 1, 1971), writer Terry Alan Smith doesn’t critique the film, he gushes over Greer. “And goddam it, Michael Greer, I’m impressed with you again,” Smith writes. “More than ever and in spite of myself. And because performers like you make my soul breathe, I love you with all my heart.” Why Smith didn’t interview the actor is unknown, as he admitted that he knew Greer. But it wouldn’t take long for the paper’s reputation to grow and for celebrities to grant us interviews.
In 1975, writer Donald McLean sat down with Hollywood actress Barbara Rush, who, at the time, was fairly well known. Rush, who is still with us at age 94, first attracted attention when she starred in the science fiction classic It Came From Outer Space (1953), for which she won a Golden Globe. It was a carefree time, and so McLean and Rush kept things light. In “Meet Barbara Rush” (April 17, 1975), Rush addressed her age. “I’m 45,” Rush said. “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being 45, and the better I look at 45, that makes me happy.”
But not everyone sat down with the paper. In 1980, B.A.R. covered the annual dinner of the Harvey Milk Club. Special guests at the dinner were Hollywood superstar Jane Fonda and her then husband Tom Hayden. In “Fonda/Hayden Toast Milk Dinner” (June 5, 1980) writer George Heymont covers the couple’s appearance at the dinner, but for reasons unknown there was no accompanying interview. Still, it was quite progressive for Fonda to show support to the LGBT community in 1980, a time when LGBT people had yet to achieve acceptance by the majority of straight society. One major star who did speak to B.A.R. the following year was stage/screen/television star
“Fortune and Men’s Eye’s and Michael Greer,” July 1, 1971
See page 44 >>
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the Bay Area Reporter is its consistent bar orientation. But may we direct your attention to the masthead of the paper, its very name – B.A.R. It spells ‘bar,’ and that is exactly what we’re all about, the reporting of Bay Area bar news. That was its original concept and our current purpose. True, we can do more – and we’re trying…trying to incorporate news of the Gay versus the Establishment; news of non-bar Gay happenings. These are areas in which we have fallen short, and in which we are constantly trying to improve. But we are distributed through the bars, advertiser-supported by the bars, and publishing what’s happening in various bars – so you can make an informed choice when you wish to go ‘bar-ing’ – will always remain our prime purpose.”
To understand why the B.A.R. was primarily concerned with bar culture, it helps to know who was writing for the paper in the first few years. One person who is essential to understanding the early B.A.R. is the co-publisher Paul Bentley. Bentley (aka the Luscious Lorelei) was a driving force in the early history of the paper. In the first few years of the paper he wrote several columns, including the first leather See page 42 >>
<< B.A.R.at 50: Bar Roots
42 • Bay Area Reporter • April 1-7, 2021
Left: B.A.R. co-publisher and writer Paul Bentley with Sweet Lips. Middle: Paul Bentley as Lorilei in a 1972 B.A.R. ad for promotional campaign movie nights. Right: Sweet Lips’ 50th birthday greeting in the November 29, 1972 issue of the B.A.R.
From Bars to B.A.R.
From page 41
column “Czarina de Miracle Mile”, after the title granted to him by the Imperial Council in 1968 (Bentley was the first Czarina). Aside from writing under his title, Bentley occasionally wrote under Lorelei and once or twice under his given name. Before coming to San Francisco from Los Angeles in 1967 he already had operated two leather bars, the Explorer on Melrose Avenue and the Hayloft in the San Fernando Valley. He was operating the Ramrod (1225 Folsom St.) when the B.A.R. was first published and in the paper’s first year he campaigned to become Empress VII (a contest he lost to Empress Jonni). Bentley was active in the Tavern Guild and the Society for Individual Rights, where he taught tap dancing. Bentley went on to open the N’Touch (1548 Polk) in 1974. Bentley remained a co-publisher through July 1974 and published his last article in the B.A.R. in April 1974.
The B.A.R. was extremely festive in the Bentley era, with Sweet Lips (Dick Walters of the Kokpit) writing his gossip column from the very first issue, El Scorpio spinning his astrological predictions, the Empress Crystal writing the first edition of the Imperial Bullsheet and Cecil Knockerworst Weatherbee (Danny Petreyko) providing Loco Weather Forecast, a humor column.
Other columnists from this era included Don Cavallo of the Fickle Fox writing restaurant reviews as “Aunt Mildred’s Gourmet Capers,” Lou Greene writing another gossip column This-a & That-a, and Bob Ross writing the bar review column “An Evening Out” under the pseudonym “Connie” (later revealed by Lips to be short for “Connie Cookout”). Having a publisher who was run-
An ad for The Ramrod, which B.A.R.’s Paul Bentley managed.
New Conservatory Theatre Center celebrates 50 years of the Bay Area Reporter.
ning for Empress had some rather hilarious consequences that first year, including an issue in which all of the candidates appeared on the cover (gasp!) out of drag!
Bob Ross’ history in San Francisco bars also informs what the B.A.R. was and what it would become. Ross first visited San Francisco in 1953, when he was in the navy. He was so impressed that he returned in 1956 and almost immediately became involved with the gay bar world. In an oral history conducted by the GLBT Historical Society, Ross mentioned that he had money in the Nob Hill Club (2223 Polk St), a bar owned by Keno Clark that had its license revoked for being “a hangout for sexual perverts” (as the SF Chronicle called it at the time) in August, 1959. Ross was close friends with “Uncle” Billy Morrell, who was involved in the “Gayola” police payoff scandal of 1960 (Ross wrote the obituary for Morrell in the June 15, 1971 B.A.R.). Ross was chef at the 524 Club (524 Union) from at least 1965, and through that restaurant became involved with S.I.R., the Tavern Guild and the Beaux Arts Ball. In 1972 Ross was the Tavern Guild’s president and also wrote for the S.I.R. magazine Vector. When the B.A.R. first published Ross was a chef at the PS (1121 Polk Street). Bentley and Ross accumulated several talented writers in those early years, with Donald McLean adding his entertainment review column The Midnight Snoop in August 1971 and Marcus Hernandez adding his leather column Southern Scandals in February 1972. McLean performed as Lori Shannon at Finocchio’s (as well as other local venues) and is perhaps best remembered for his recurring role as Beverly LaSalle on All In The Family. Hernandez’s column covered much of the same territory that Bentley did in his Czarina de Miracle Mile column and the Czarina’s
Thank you for your unwavering support of Queer art in San Francisco!
Lori Shannon, aka B.A.R. columnist Donald McLean
column went into exile. Marcus’ column proved to be very popular; when elections began for the first Emperor in 1972, he ran and won (he was later followed onto the court by Bob Ross, who became Emperor VII in 1978). With multiple gossip columnists, there was only so much gossip to go around, even in San Francisco. Along with the increasing pace of LGBT news, this heralded changes to the paper. In February 1972 Lou Greene announced in his column that he had been assigned Marin, the Peninsula and the East Bay for his beat. The inclusion of news from around the Bay Area made the B.A.R. a better paper, but it could not hold off news from around the country and the world. In the next year, the paper would deal with the election of Richard Nixon, increased vice squad raids, the burning of the S.I.R. center and increasing violence against the community. The notion that the paper could simply be one that dealt with bar news seemed somehow quaint as the pace of the Seventies picked up. Tension between community news and news from the world at large is a struggle that would continue throughout the decade and beyond, but it is that tension that made the paper grow and last for fifty years.t
Henry LeLue, courtesy GLBT Historical Society
Bob Ross, chef at the 524 Club in the late 1960s.
<< B.A.R.at 50: Decades of Stars
44 • Bay Area Reporter • April 1-7, 2021
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Angela Lansbury in an April 9, 1981 interview.
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Stars in B.A.R.
From page 41
Angela Lansbury. Lansbury was then touring with George Hearn in the musical Sweeney Todd and the two held a press conference when they appeared in San Francisco. The conference was covered by prolific and legendary B.A.R. contributor John F. Karr, who La Lansbury made a point of including. During the conference Lansbury acknowledges, and thanks, her gay fan base, something that not too many stars of that era did. In “Dedication to an Art Form” (April 9, 1981), Lansbury recalls her 1970 film Something For Everyone, a very dark comedy which featured a gay character. The film, which may have been ahead of its time, was a flop, though it did achieve a cult status in the gay community. “We thought we had a hit on our hands,” Lansbury said. “And were quite surprised it wasn’t. It would have been dead and buried without the gay community. Thank God for them.”
got up and walked out. In “Charles Pierce Quakes the Castro” (April 24 1980) Pierce questions if he’s “too much” for women. “Should I have been reading Keats or Shelley?” Pierce asks of writer
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At least once a B.A.R. celebrity subject was engulfed in controversy. In 1980, a B.A.R. writer chatted with Charles Pierce, who was then the most famous female impersonator in the world. Pierce’s impersonations of Hollywood’s legendary ladies had brought him a huge crossover fan base, and he referred to himself as a “male actress.” That year, he performed at the Castro Theatre in a fundraiser to help retire gay supervisor Harry Britt’s campaign debt. Pierce had done Carol Channing and Mae West and was doing his Bette Davis impression, during which he incurred the wrath of lesbians when he cracked a joke about whether a weathervane should have a cock or a cunt. The Lesbian Chorus, which was also due to perform that night,
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Above: “Meet Barbara Rush,” April 17, 1975
Middle: Charles Pierce Quakes The Castro, April 24, 1980 Below: Patti LuPone in “Broadway, eBay, Her Way,” July 17, 2003
Paul Lorch. “Or would they have me plunking a guitar in a folk dress with long stringy hair? No, my following wouldn’t have been there if I changed to appease some group. They know over the years the content. That’s why they came.”
Legends and icons
Sometimes stars would open up about themselves when chatting with B.A.R. In 1988, John Karr sat down with Broadway superstar Betty Buckley, who had won a Tony Award for her work in the musical Cats. Buckley had also co-starred in the classic horror film Carrie and in the hit late 70s TV series Eight is Enough. In “Taking Turns; Singers Buckley, Wilson” (October 27, 1988) Buckley spoke to Karr about her disappointment in not getting the lead role in the Broadway musical The Baker’s Wife.
B.A.R.at 50: Decades of Stars>>
April 1-7, 2021 • Bay Area Reporter • 45
Left: “21st Century Rita Moreno,” April 19, 2017 Right: Jennifer Hudson is a “Regular Person With a Big Voice,” September 11, 2014
“I got the film Carrie instead,” Buckley told Karr. “And my path became about film and television, which was great because it taught me to be a real actress, as opposed to being a singer who was an alright actress.” One celebrity even offered career advice to those who might be thinking about entering the business, as Broadway superstar Patti LuPone did when she spoke to Robert Julian in “Broadway, eBay, Her Way” (July 17, 2003). “I’d suggest they pass the Bar exam so they can negotiate their own contracts,” LuPone said. “Or have an alternative career.” Hollywood legend Debbie Reynolds didn’t hold back when she spoke to BAR in conjunction with her July 2005 appearance at the Castro Theatre for one of impresario Marc Huestis’ shows. “They don’t let you get older,” Reynolds told Tavo Amador as she spoke about Hollywood’s treatment of women. “Instead of being revered and respected, the way it is in England, you’re discarded. Youth is everything.” Reynolds also dished some delicious dirt, as she recalled working with Oscar winner Shelley Winters in the 1971 chiller What’s the Matter With Helen? “Shelley is a tad to the wind and nearly killed me in real life during filming,” Reynolds said. “I barely escaped alive.”
For this writer, working at the B.A.R. for the past 18 years has been a dream come true, as I often got to chat with my childhood idols. West Side Story has been my favorite musical ever since I first saw it way back in 1968. At the time I never imagined that I would actually meet and chat with the great Rita Moreno, who won an Oscar for her thrilling portrayal of Anita in the film. But chat with Moreno I did, when she performed at Feinstein’s at the Nikko in 2017. In “21st Century Rita Moreno” (April 19, 2017), Moreno told me how she felt when she won her Oscar more than a half century earlier. “I was beside myself,” she said. “I thought Judy Garland would win for Judgment at Nuremberg. When my name was called I could not believe it! My mom was there, it was so wonderful!” Moreno had also won a Tony Award for her work in The Ritz, a hilarious gay farce. “My gay following started with The Ritz,” she recalled. “I’ve always had gay friends. My best friend as a teen was Eddie, a gay Cuban kid. We would laugh and laugh. I’d love to see him now.” Sometimes it could be a little overwhelming to speak to a star if you were a big fan of theirs, as I found out when I chatted with Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson in 2014. In “Regular Person With a Big Voice” (September 11, 2014), I stammered a bit when I admitted to
Ms. Hudson that I was a bit nervous. “And that’s okay,” she reassured me. At the end of our conversation Hudson said, “Nice talking to you.” She is the only interviewee who ever said that to me. I found it a real treat to chat with Donna McKechnie, who won a Tony Award for her work in the classic musical A Chorus Line, and who was also on Dark Shadows, my favorite TV show. In “Broadway Legend Appears in SF” (August 18, 2016),
McKechnie gave me the best quote I ever received as she explained why she’s a huge supporter of the LGBT community. “I always felt privileged to be in a world that’s so embracing,” she said of the theater community. “People of all races and all persuasions. I feel happiest when I’m with people who are accepting. There’s a lot of ignorance in the world. Being open and accepting is a very comfortable place to be.” Happy 50th, Bay Area Reporter!t
Donna McKechnie, the “Broadway Legend Appears in SF,” August 18, 2016
<< B.A.R.at 50: Theatre
46 • Bay Area Reporter • April 1-7, 2021
Curtains up, and out Theatre through the decades tion: “This is an experience in the theatre you will remember for your whole life.” After Broadway and London runs and Kushner’s winning the Pulitzer Prize, San Francisco’s first full staging of both parts of the play came in 1994 at American Conservatory Theatre, directed by Mark WingDavey. Despite enormous media attention, wrote Chad Jones in B.A.R., the gargantuan, technically complex iteration “exceeds heightened expectations.” In 2018, Taccone, then artistic director at the Berkeley Rep, once again took on Angels in a spectacular revival, for which Kushner –who never considers his work complete– made some small script adjustments. Stephen Spinella, who played Prior Walter in the original Broadway production, and for whom Kushner wrote the role, took on the part of arch-villain Roy Cohn while, Randy Harrison (the original Queer As Folk) took on the younger role. Harrison told B.A.R. that he had actually gone to see Spinella play Prior Walter when he was a just-out-of-the-closet 16-year-old. And the great work continues.
B.A.R. coverage of Angels in America, May 30, 1991
by Jim Gladstone
f you search the word “theater” in the archives of the Bay Area Reporter, you’ll discover plenty of features and reviews. But you’ll also find the word used thousands of times in other sections of the paper, most notably in pre-internet personal ads; “Handsome GWM, 50, masc, sensuous, retired, theater, music, travel, HIVneg responsible, smooth a plus…” –and in obituaries– “Mike enjoyed fine foods, musical theater, good times with friends and his dog Crackers.” For many in the queer community, theater is
not just a pastime; whether we participate as audience members or art makers, it is a part of our identity. As repeatedly observed in our feature coverage and our interviews with some of the great queer stage luminaries of the past half-century – Harvey Fierstein, Lisa Kron, Edward Albee, Lily Tomlin, Terence McNally, Tarell Alvin McCraney– the theater is a realm we’ve used both to escape the world and to discover ourselves.
Angels we have heard
“Heaven is a place much like San Francisco.” That’s a line from Angels in America and, without question,
the Bay Area’s most lasting contribution to the theater world over the past 50 years is its gestation and ongoing care of Tony Kushner’s twopart epic, commissioned in 1990 by Eureka Theatre Company artistic directors Oskar Eustis (now artistic director at the Public Theater in New York) and Tony Taccone. Part I: Millenium Approaches had its world premiere in May, 1991. During that run, the Eureka also mounted the first staged readings of Part II: Perestroika. Our reviewer Deborah Peifer wisely urged readers to take note of this new work, even in this spare, budget-constrained produc-
Congratulations to the BAR for 50 years of sharing the stories of our movement!
The gilded Cage
Another touchstone show that’s been revisited over decades to very different reactions from B.A.R. critics is the musical La Cage Aux Folles. Cheered for its gay characters and I am what I anthem, but jeered for its gender-role rigidity and (originally) kiss-less chastity, its first national tour began at the Golden Gate Theater in May, 1983 with a circus-like fete ring-mastered by gay Hollywood producer Alan Carr (Grease, Can’t Stop The Music with the Village People and Kris Jenner). Ostensibly a fundraiser for gay charities, it was covered on our front page under the headline “Carr Snubs Gays: Stars Don’t Show. Smiles hide tensions between producer and SF organizers.” Eleven years later, when La Cage returned to play the Orpheum, our critic John Karr wrote “There aren’t gay people in this show, only straight people’s shallow stereotypes of gays…to me, La Cage is little more than a minstrel show.” In 2011, a third national tour in the wake of a Broadway revival opted to skip the Bay Area altogether. But in the nearly 30 years since its local debut, gay representation has significantly broadened in mainstream the-
A local production of the musical Tommy made the cover of the July 1, 1971 B.A.R.
ater, taking some social burden off of La Cage, which has gone on to have many warmly received productions locally, including 2013, 2016 and 2017 by Petaluma’s Cinnabar Theatre, Bay Area Musicals and the San Francisco Playhouse.
If queer Bay Area theatergoers didn’t always cotton to clichés imported from the Great White Way, local gay theater makers have helped San Francisco camp capture the attention of the entire world, with no greater example than Steve Silver’s Beach Blanket Babylon. The show sprung to life in the streets of North Beach in 1974 and eventually took up residence at Club Fugazi, hosting not only locals, but carousing conventioneers who spread the word of its slightly naughty Dad-jokery and monumental millinery turning the ever-evolving revue into a staple of San Francisco tourism. The B.A.R. covered BBB from its early days until its unexpected demise, after 45 years, on New Year’s Eve 2019. “Beach Blanket Babylon was wonderful for the city, and the city was wonderful for us,” producer Jo Schumann Silver told the B.A.R. before the closing, “But there will be some other wonderful thing… There is always great stuff ahead.” Theatre Rhinoceros was founded just six years after the Bay Area Reporter. Having survived endless ups, downs and brinks of collapse; the San Francisco company now proudly claims the mantle of being “the longest running queer theater in the world.”
Lavish promotional events for La Cage Aux Folles in the June 7, 1984 B.A.R.
B.A.R.at 50: Theatre>>
April 1-7, 2021 • Bay Area Reporter • 47
Theatre Rhino’s The AIDS Show in the Sept. 13, 1984 edition of the B.A.R.
Over the years, Rhino has marked other historic milestones. 1984 saw the debut of its original production The AIDS Show: Artists Involved with Death and Survival, a collaboratively created review originally slated for a nine-night engagement that struck a powerful chord in au-
diences and ran for several months. “There is no moralizing or handwringing,” wrote our reviewer Bernard Spunberg. “Irresponsibility and self-deception are not glossed over. Neither are humor and heroism.” Two years later, it became the subject of a PBS documentary di-
rected by Rob Epstein and Peter Adair, one of the first feature films to deal with AIDS In 1998, Kenneth R. Dixon was named Artistic Director of Theatre Rhinoceros, becoming the first African American to ever helm a queer theater company. In 1990, not long
before he left the company for academia, Dixon and Rhinoceros were embroiled in the National Endowment for the Arts/Jesse Helms controversy over the refusal of grants to work deemed “obscene” by the government. In a B.A.R. opinion piece, Dixon decreed: “The work we do…is of serious literary, artistic and political value. If it weren’t, we wouldn’t be here. It is also exclusively homoerotic in nature.” Current Rhino artistic director John Fisher has taken on local theater’s most indefatigable approach to the pandemic writing and performing a new solo production online every week in a series he calls Essential Services. “It’s my way of not feeling totally cut off from the world,” he told the B.A.R. last year. “To be honest, while I hate to say it in a way, it’s made me feel very focused and happy during what in so many other ways is a very unhappy time.” One of the performances is titled Insane Director.
The more the merrier
Since 1981, the New Conserva-
tory Theatre Center has joined the Rhino in presenting full seasons of work by and for the queer community. Under the steadfast artistic direction of company founder Ed Decker, NCTC has cast a wide net, producing challenging performance-art-adjacent pieces by provocateurs including Keith Hennessy, Karen Finley, and Tim Miller alongside adventurous West Coast premieres and surefire queer crowd pleasers including the likes of Avenue Q, Take Me Out and the works of Terrence McNally, Del Shores and Charles Busch. And given the artistic and economic presence of the queer community in the Bay Area, it’s no surprise that the B.A.R. has been able to highlight LGBTQ+ -themes and aesthetics on a wide range of local stages including those at Shotgun Players, Custom Made, Ray of Light, The Marsh, Magic Theatre, the SF Mime Troupe and many more.t
For several gems from our archives linked for your perusal, go to www.ebar.com.
Left: New Conservatory Theatre Center’s fab production of Some Men in 2009. Right: Theatre Rhino’s 2016 production of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert.
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<< B.A.R.at 50: Film
48 • Bay Area Reporter • April 1-7, 2021
Screen times Film coverage in the B.A.R. through 50 years, part 1 by Brian Bromberger
t wasn’t until the third issue of the newly published Bay Area Reporter in May 1971 that the rationale for having a film section in the newspaper was revealed by its first critic Terry Allan Smith: “The editors felt in the area of in-depth commentary on homosexually-relevant films, there is too little being published. In the Establishment news media, the oftenpresent homosexual critic, paranoiac about exposing himself, is the most destructive of all: dismissing the homosexually-relevant film as trash, or if he finds it impossible to deny its obvious quality, scrutinizing it until he finds a flaw, however miniscule. For this reason, it is the policy of the Bay Area Reporter to devote its film column to this much neglected area.” Smith unwittingly expressed the mission statement for films that the B.A.R. has followed in its 50-year history: discussion by an openly LGBTQ critic about either LGBTQ
Cruising queried in February 28, 1980
films or non-LGBTQ movies that have relevance for queer lives. One can say that the B.A.R. in its first 50 years has been faithful to this statement of purpose first proposed by Smith.
1971 was an auspicious year for LGBTQ films in that they were the first ones to embrace the liberation ethos unleashed at Stonewall. Fortune and Men’s Eyes, based on the
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acclaimed stage play, centered on homosexuality in a Canadian prison. It had its faults but it did focus on the power dynamics and gender roles of the inmates, and was among the first films to present gay men as real human beings, not stereotypes, a point reinforced by Smith in his review. Death in Venice, based on the Thomas Mann novella, concerns the composer Aschenbach’s lust for a beautiful 17-year-old boy, and Smith discerned a potential gay classic. The jewel of that year was John Schlesinger’s Sunday Bloody Sunday, still one of the greatest LGBTQ films ever made, detailing the love triangle between a gay Jewish doctor, a straight career woman, and the bisexual artist they both love. Again, all four films were profiled in reviews by Smith, who in that seminal year, reviewed mostly heterosexual films, trying to find gayrelated themes such as male bonding in Cassavette’s Husbands and a ten-year retrospective analysis of Lawrence of Arabia: A Homosexual Christ Figure. Two stand-out gay films in this period showcased by the B.A.R.: gay director Wolfgang Peterson’s The Consequence (1977), about two former gay prisoners, now lovers, trying to build a life together; and the first gay box office smash, La Cage Aux Folles (1978), a French farce about a gay couple, the owner of a nightclub and his dragperforming partner, who must convince their son’s prospective conservative in-laws they are straight.
new decade with an explosive bang, in that it incurred opposition from LGBTQ people who saw it as homophobic. It concerns a cop investigating a killer of homosexuals, who stabbed and castrated them. The B.A.R. extensively covered the protests and controversy, capped by a justifiably scathing review, pointing out the film had no redeeming qualities, that it glorified senseless violence with no denunciation of how cops mistreated gay men, or anything substantive vis-àvis straight men’s inability to come to terms with homosexuality. Another feature of this decade was mainstream movies slowly and tentatively dealing with homosexuality, like the ‘landmark’ film Making Love (1982), about the coming out of a rich white doctor to his beautiful straight wife announcing he’s in love with a male architect. Notably, it was the first time a gay couple was permitted a happy ending. The film was heavily promoted and a huge media event that the B.A.R. followed. There were other affirming LGBTQ films during the dark Reagan years, such as: My Beautiful Launderette (1986) in which both main character’s homosexuality was incidental as they tried to open an elegant laundromat amidst dealing with race and class issues in Thatcherite England. Other films: Personal Best (1982) about lesbians training for the Olympics; Prick Up Your Ears (1987) a bio film on satirical gay playwright Joe Orton, who was murdered by his jealous lover; Maurice (1987) based on E.M. Forster’s posthumous novel of a gay love story with a happy ending that defied class, made by the gay couple independent film team Merchant-Ivory; Another Country (1984) recounting the gay Guy Burgess 1950s spy scandal linking homosexuality with repressive politics. See page 54 >>
Livin’ in the ’80s
1980’s contentious Cruising kicked off the
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Above: B.A.R. review of Death in Venice, Sept. 15, 1971 Below: La Cage Aux Folles, July 19, 1979
"We are powerful because we have survived." — Audre Lorde
<< B.A.R.at 50: Music
50 • Bay Area Reporter • April 1-7, 2021
Back to Baton
By Philip Campbell
could write a book. Instead, I will sum up 50 years of the Bay Area Reporter’s classical music and opera coverage, noting examples and adding personal remarks. I will try to avoid a memoir. Not easy, considering I have been around for four of those decades. My adulthood is totally bound with B.A.R. history. And, yes, when they built Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall, I was wearing a hardhat. Actually, former Fine Arts Editor George Heymont covered the opening of DSH, but I tagged along. Our friendship led to my hiring by Managing Editor Paul Lorch. Since 1980, the San Francisco Symphony has been my beat. More assignments came as the Arts section grew and my straight gig allowed, but the SFS was my first love. The timing was good. After years of skepticism, B.A.R. reviewers were finally getting some recognition from major institutions. Organizations like the Women’s Philharmonic (1981-2004), The Society of Gay and Lesbian Composers (1985-1996), and the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus (1978-) were still necessary, but attitudes were improving.
In the 1970s, the paper focused on gay and lesbian content by necessity. Fledgling B.A.R. prioritized political social items- gay news by gay writers, with little room for music. From the start, Bob Ross knew a queer take on arts and music, including the classics, was essential. His passion for dance guaranteed coverage. In the second edition, Jay Noonan raved about Broadway goddesses Elaine Stritch and Lauren Bacall. A few pages on, Terry Alan Smith covered legendary Swedish opera star Birgit Nilsson in “Opera Queen “(April 1971). A diva is a diva is a diva. Finding Our Seat (May 1971), a book review by J.D. Miller praised A Rage for Opera by Robert Lawrence. Entertainment Editor Donald McLean, (aka Lori Shannon and Beverly LaSalle on All in the Family) covered all the bases during his extended run writing a condensed arts column: Show Biz ‘75 (April 1975). A review of the Lamplighter’s H.M.S. Pinafore made it into the mix. McLean remained in charge and classical coverage was spotty until a game changing new hire came aboard. George Heymont started his fabled career with Tales of Tessi Tura. One day, he would be on the masthead as Fine Arts Editor.
The Bay Area Reporter’s coverage of San Francisco Opera’s Moby-Dick in Oct. 2012.
Mythic stories about George stem from his notoriously brash young persona. He was outrageous, but good-natured. His insightful and amusing criticism never wavered from a genuine love and understanding of opera and musical theatre. An early scandal confusing his prose and personality followed coverage of Houston Grand Opera’s historic presentation of Porgy and Bess at San Francisco Opera in 1977. The brilliant production reversed abridgements and restored the original score to make a complete debut in an American opera house. Heymont remarked, off the cuff, the rehabilitated masterpiece was ‘Big, Black and Uncut.’ The review was titled a tamer, ‘Here’s a Houston How-De-Do!!,’ but the spit-take quip went the ’70s
equivalent of viral. There’s no such thing as bad publicity. Delighted readers who never considered attending opera were suddenly interested.
Heymont matured as an editor, but never lost his edge. Covering the long-awaited opening of Davies Symphony Hall in Sing Out, Louise! (September 1980), he discussed the untried acoustics under the sub-heading, ‘Is Louise Davies Well Hung?’ Turns out, the answer was yes. As ever, he managed to inject enough gay wit to remind readers which newspaper they were reading. George assigned the SFS to me. For the next 15 years, I covered the rest of Music Director Edo de
Above: Bay Area Women’s Philharmonic featured in Jan. 1988 Left: An early George Heymont column in July 1977. Right: The opening of Davies Symphony Hall gets coverage in Sept. 1980.
B.A.R.at 50: Music>>
April 1-7, 2021 • Bay Area Reporter • 51
Left: A Henry Cowell concert in an April 2018 B.A.R. Right: Violinist Eliot Lev in the 2017 June Pride edition
Waart’s tenure (1970-1985), and all of Herbert Blomstedt’s solid decade of leadership (1985-1995). Under the byline “Back To Baton,” (Tess allowed naming rights), I wrote about De Waart’s fourth year of SFS programming in Davies. Symphony Sallies Forth (April 1983). De Waart brought innovations; the New and Unusual Music Series has become legend. Before turning 35 and becoming SFS composer-inresidence (1982-85) John Adams’ future looked bright enough to need sunglasses. We interviewed him for B.A.R. He had no problem talking to the gay press one day and Esquire the next. Re-reading letters from the 1980s (Yes, folks typed and mailed during the Jurassic Period) evokes memories of a city full of musical adventure. PR directors kept in touch, Miriam Abrams of the Bay Area Women’s Philharmonic thanked us for “perceptive” coverage, and a charming note from the late Robin Sutherland, SFS Principal Keyboardist, expressed gratitude for B.A.R’s. support and understanding before coming out. We still couldn’t out anyone without permission, a B.A.R. rule, but if readers were interested in the subject, that was gay enough. There were no limits on opinions- another B.A.R. tradition. Variety was key. The early days of America’s AIDS crisis hit the classical music community hard. Specific response and coverage in fine arts came later in the epidemic.
A February, 1995 article, “All Together Now,” covered Classical Action: A Concerted Effort Against AIDS, a massive fundraiser at Davies Hall with the participation of SF Opera, Ballet, and Symphony with many famous guest artists. After intermission, the party-concert moved to the Opera House. Chris Culwell had been Arts Editor for a few years when Michael Tilson Thomas began his historic SF Symphony career. His arrival was a watershed event for the musical community. The offer of an exclusive interview was a big deal. Chris trusted my writing and so did Symphony press relations. They knew we knew the maestro is gay, but wouldn’t out him prematurely. A thrilling assignment, but for the first and only time in 41 years, I missed a deadline. My life partner and constant companion at DSH died of AIDS the week of the meeting. Chris had my back and took the interview. The folks at SFS sent a dozen white roses with handwritten condolences from MTT. Peter Shelton, SFS cellist, a favorite of my mate’s and his same age, died of HIV 14 years later. Culwell enlisted music critic Paul Thomason for double duty in September 1995. Also in September 1995 Chris
Culwell reviewed Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra’s season opener, Handel’s Saul. 25 years later Phil Campbell covered the same piece with Director/Conductor Nicholas McGegan back on the podium. In November 1995, Paul Thomason covered SFO’s production of Wagner’s Die Walkure. I would be covering Wagner at SFO repeatedly in later years. In three huge sections, the 25th Anniversary edition of B.A.R. (April 4, 1996) is an amazing time capsule. Arts and Entertainment includes an adept ballet review by the late Stephanie Von Buchau, a prickly successor to George Heymont’s more benevolent style. She would cover opera and music for years to come with an aggressiveness that won friends and enemies. Her new editor Roberto Friedman gave free rein. He stood up when a Press Director temporarily banned her from the War Memorial Press Room. Local journalists joined in. Stephanie could be tough, but her integrity was unassailable.
For the April 2011 40th Anniversary of the Bay Area Reporter, Arts Editor Roberto Friedman interviewed himself. The old Arts and Entertainment section had morphed into Arts & Culture. If anyone could articulate the mission, our resident bon vivant of ‘Out There’ was just the chap to ask and answer. “I’ve always wanted to cover arts and culture both high and low… I want our talented staff to write about gay artists, gay arts, other art that matters to gay people… The gay press has matured over our lifetimes... I look for intelligent critical writing from contributors.” Since Roberto got that promotion in 1996, Arts & Culture continued a tradition of growing eclecticism and inclusion. The play-off music starting, so I will quick call it a wrap with some highly subjective moments from the 2000s. Pardon the exclusions and too brief references to other important contributors to classical music reviews, especially recorded music critic Tim Pfaff and opera maven Jason Victor Serinus. Bard Music West’s Henry Cowell concert was reviewed in “A Legend Restored,” about the fascinating rehabilitation of neglected gay composer Henry Cowell by the brilliant young talents at Bard. SoundBox: Curated and conducted by MTT, an evening at the trendy SFS nightclub celebrating Bay Area gay icon and international maverick composer Lou Harrison in the article, “Skip to my Lou.” “Naughty Nobles” covered West Edge Opera’s Powder her Face, a raunchy opera about a British sex scandal by gay composer Thomas Adès; the production first alerted us to the enormous flair of daring West Edge. We mentioned barihunk star Hadleigh Adams as out and proud and co-star Emma McNairy quickly
wrote to tell us she is too! Merola Opera Program: In “If I Were You,” we gave gay composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer more well-deserved ink. San Francisco Opera has had
hits with their powerful Moby-Dick and Christmassy It’s A Wonderful Life but a less assuming score commissioned by Merola to be performed by gifted young Program participants signifies everything I
am proud about B.A.R.’s artistic diversity. It is affirming to see a new generation of musicians reading and quoting our paper all over the nation and world. San Francisco Symphony: Violinist Eliot Lev came out and made history as the first transgender member of the orchestra. In our 2017 Pride edition, Lev talked about it in a video shown during the Symphony Pride concert at Davies Hall in April. The video, featuring several LGBT musicians, was one of the highpoints of an amazing lovefest. Symphony Pride, MTT’s gallant replacement of tour concerts, was cancelled in North Carolina in response to state legislation overturning transgender protection. It was also a way for the cherished maestro to give back to the city he has loved and lived in for 25 years. With husband Joshua Robison at his side and guest artist Audra McDonald singing her lovely heart out, MTT treated a packed hall and parade of California politicos to a concert featuring works by gay composers. Happy Golden Anniversary, B.A.R.! Maybe I should write that book.t
<< B.A.R.at 50: Film
54 • Bay Area Reporter • April 1-7, 2021
From page 48
Donna Deitch’s Desert Hearts (1986) depicted two lesbians falling in love during the 1950s, and became the most successful lesbian movie up to that time. Harvey Fierstein’s Torch Song Trilogy (1988) recorded the life and travails of a NYC drag queen/ torch singer on and off stage. All these films received ample B.A.R. coverage, often interviewing the writers, directors, and stars.
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Visualizing the virus
The other major trend in the 1980s was films about AIDS. The first independent film to mention AIDS was Buddies (1985), starring a gay man who becomes a volunteer friend to another gay man dying of AIDS in a hospital. It was written and directed by one of the first openly gay directors, Arthur Bressan, who created only gay-themed films (i.e. Gay USA about the 1977 Pride parades across the country). It was an enormous B.A.R. media event, as this film even preceded the much-discussed first TV movie on AIDS, An Early Frost, later that year. Arthur Bressan was interviewed in what became his final movie. Parting Glances, written and directed by Bill Sheridan (who also later died of AIDS), was a realistic look at urban gay life and the impact of AIDS on the LGBTQ community by focusing on a gay male couple, one of whose ex-boyfriends, is dying of AIDS. The B.A.R. review presciently commented it might become one of the top films about AIDS. The later-made and beloved Longtime Companion showcased the impact of AIDS on a close-knit group of friends throughout the 1980s, and though the B.A.R. critic was not thrilled with it, he included an interview with director Norman Rene, who later died of AIDS. However, the biggest AIDS film of the ’90s was Philadelphia, a big budget Hollywood feature, directed
The cast of Making Love, February 4, 1982
Oscar for Times of Harvey Milk, March 28, 1985
by Jonathan Demme, which won Tom Hanks an Oscar as a gay lawyer with AIDS fighting for his job against corporate discrimination. Though much anticipated, the B.A.R. critic was disappointed as he found the film riddled with clichés and a lack of intimacy between Hanks and his male partner played by Antonio Banderas. One major event in the 1980s that received major attention was the filming of the documentary The Times of Harvey Milk, which interviewed many San Franciscans who knew, worked, and loved the slain supervisor. The film was given a rapturous B.A.R. review in November 1984 when it played at the Castro Theater. It was front page news in March 1985 when it won the Academy Award for Best Documentary.
The B.A.R. media event of the 1990s was the 1991/1992 protests surrounding the making and release of the film Basic Instinct, the story of a police investigation over
the murder of a rock star with the primary suspect, a female bisexual psychopath. The reporting done by the B.A.R. would be the height of film coverage in its 50-year history, mainly because the protests occurred right here in San Francisco as the film was being shot. Ground Zero was the Rawhide II Country Western bar owned by Ray Chalker, who also published The Sentinel, a rival LGBTQ newspaper to the B.A.R. Despite that competitiveness, the B.A.R. reported on the vandalism done to the Rawhide and the death threats sent to Chalker. Eventually the producer of the movie would have protesters (especially Queer Nation) arrested and during the course of the disturbances, and B.A.R. journalist Dennis Conkin was roughly slammed by a member of the film crew and demanded $5000 for anti-gay bashing. The protesters considered their efforts a success because it brought attention to the motion picture industry’s long history of anti-lesbian and anti-gay bashing/homophobia and also raised the question of whether the city should be contractually entangled as an active partner in making oppressive films like this one. Thirty years later, we can see this controversy as a tipping point in Hollywood’s depiction of LGBTQ people, which though hardly perfect, did slowly improve in the intervening years, using advisors, focus groups, and warnings/advice from GLAAD, a media watchdog community organization (heavily publicized in the B.A.R.), to avoid the mistakes made in Basic Instinct.t
Read the full feature on www.ebar.com, and Part 2 in next week’s issue.
Above: 1985 ad for Parting Glances Below: Basic Instinct protests, April 18, 1991
"I believe that telling our stories, ﬁrst to ourselves & then to one another & the world, is a revolutionary act." — Janet Mock
<< B.A.R.at 50: Staff Memories
56 • Bay Area Reporter • April 1-7, 2021
Go West W
ith more than 900 articles penned for the Bay Area Reporter, I feel a strong connection as the newspaper celebrates its 50th anniversary this week. I’ve written columns, listings and reviews since 1992. Having assigned and edited the expansive features in this section, I thought to share some behind the scenes tales as well. My career in journalism started three years earlier in New York City with OutWeek, the revolutionary weekly publication that emerged from ACT UP, Queer Nation. After a 1990 visit for the OutWrite festival, my second working visit to San Francisco was in early 1992, on a freelance assignment for Frontiers magazine to cover Ggreg Taylor’s Lavender Tortoise bus trip
Jim Provenzano at the Bay Area Reporter, 1993.
to Reno. I got to witness the ‘marriage’ of ‘Elvis Herselvis’ Leigh Crow and Justin (not then Vivian) Bond. Along my immersion course on wheels into the Bay Area’s cleverest nightlife folks, I’d also brought
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a few resumés. While a Guardian editor offered me an internship (as if!), the B.A.R.’s publisher Bob Ross offered me a trial run to replace Mike Yamashita, who was compiling event listings and had a month’s vacation planned. While my start as a San Francisco resident and B.A.R. reporter was initially tentative, my residence and the fill-in job became a permanent one. From 1992 to 1994, along with assembling events with multi-colored fliers from Josie’s Juice Joint and Theatre Rhino, I also typed up the BARtalk personals ads, a duty that revealed the varied desires of multiple anonymous San Francisco men. I revamped the event listings to be more visual, assisting production guys Robert Dietz and Robert Hold in the drafty downstairs back room that sometimes smelled of Photostat chemicals and the burning waxer machine, still used for assembling printed-out ‘boards’ of the newspaper’s pages. I’d also retrieve computer floppy discs and printouts from visiting freelancers like Michael Botkin and Kate Bornstein. I also had the more serious task of writing up handwritten obituaries, some of them of men I knew who had died of AIDS. I’d often have to call back surviving partners who’d omitted their own names. Daily staff lunches were gossipy and fun, particularly with assistant editor Patrick Hochtel, advertising’s David McBrayer, and Assistant News Editor Dennis Conkin. But the shining inspiration to me –for many others at the time, and years later– was the late Mike Salinas, the B.A.R. News Editor from 1992 to 1999. Mike Salinas had been creator of Theater Week back in New York. He and I shared a love of Stephen Sondheim and other musical theater. His deft ability to create what he called ‘the triple-entendre headline’ was an inspiration, as was his focus on celebrating the community as well as critiquing it where deserved. But in a diva moment over an argument about photo placement in my too-long Stonewall 25 article, in 1994 I abruptly resigned, a decision I regretted. But my link to the B.A.R. would soon reconnect.
In 1996, Mike asked me if I wanted to write a sports column, since at the time I was working on ‘that wrestling novel’ (PINS, 1999) and an active member of Golden Gate Wrestling Club. The title, Sports Complex, came to me instantly. I hoped the column would allow me to not only write about sporting events (like my B.A.R. predecessors, including Nancy Boutilier, Rick Thoman, Mark Brown, and Tom Waddell), but also explore the complex feelings that many LGBT people have about athletics. Sports Complex became a popular weekly column from 1996 to 2006. Through it, I got to meet hundreds of people in multiple sports around the world, some pioneers, ceiling-breakers and athletes who viewed sport competition as a critical part of their life and community. The column eventually became syndicated and published around the U.S. and world. My first Gay Games was in Amsterdam in 1998. Before it began, the rumored financial controversies proved true upon our arrival, but were obfuscated by the event organizers from the beginning (pickled herring served in a church reception) to the closing ceremonies (bikes, motorcycles and mini cars riding on top of a rainbow flag). I shot video (20 hours that may someday see the light of day), which I later transcribed and video-captured for print and web columns. But more important, I took the ath-
Above: Mike Salinas and Jim Provenzano in New York City, 2001. Below: Arts Editor Chris Culwell, Assistant News Editor Dennis Conkin, Assistant Arts Editor Patrick Hohctel and Advertising Manager David McBrayer in the B.A.R.’s production and break room, circa early 1990s.
letes’ point of view, particularly at events were restrooms were closed, no food or water was provided, and inept judging screwed up events. But the worst case was Figure Skating. Organizers lied about failing to get it sanctioned, and the highly competitive event was reduced to an exhibition. Perhaps the bittersweet highlight of the entire trip was watching two male-pair San Francisco figure skaters perform what should have been their gold medal event. The coverage of Gay Games Amsterdam proved my writing could bring community sports reporting with some bite when LGBT athletes were exploited by organizations that claimed to represent their interests.
Sports Complex traveled the world again in 2002, where I reported on events at the Sydney Gay Johnny Almony
by Jim Provenzano
Games, from diving to ice-skating and even ballroom dancing, documented in 70+ interviews and 30 rolls of film (yes, film). Being able to use two-year-old Olympic facilities gave the events class. There were a few controversies, but a lot of fun, particularly the pool party with frolicking water polo players. And despite being previously wined and dined in 2001 by Montreal representatives on a press junket, as 2006 approached, the huge financial controversies and split between the created OutGames and the traditional Gay Games filled up my columns week after week. I had the thrill of being personally attacked in two languages, English and Quebecois, on multiple websites. Yet, the record shows I was proven right; the OutGames died a flailing death years later. Chicago’s 2006 Gay Games proved to be a more authentic and thrilling week of events full of fun adventures, if not less international. With this coverage, and my previous 1998 eight-part series about the financial controversies of the AIDS Rides, I learned the variance of opinion and objectivity, the beauty of photographing athletes moving through space, and the joy of sharing their passion through my words and pictures. The culmination of ten years of sports writing (more than 500 articles) led to being honored at a Gay Games ceremony dinner in 2006. A year before that, Don Romesburg of See page 62 >>
Above: Jim Provenzano sparring with a wrestling coach at Golden Gate Wrestling Club’s San Jose Pride tent, late 1990s. Below: Jim Provenzano with boxer Gina Guidi in Oakland, 2003
<< B.A.R.at 50: Leather History
58 • Bay Area Reporter • April 1-7, 2021
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50 years of Leather
by Race Bannon
ne of the qualities I love about the Bay Area Reporter is their stalwart support for diverse communities from their founding, including leather. In honor of the B.A.R.’s 50th anniversary, let’s look back on the past five decades of local leather seen through the lens of the paper, which is admittedly but a smidgen of the entirety of local leather history.
Prior to 1971, the year of the B.A.R.’s founding, leather culture in San Francisco was in full tilt mode. As renowned local leather culture expert Gayle Rubin notes, the first local leather bar was The Why Not in the Tenderloin in 1962. While we know leathermen frequented some San Francisco waterfront bars as far back as the 1950s, leather bars helped create a stronger community, some of it centered around motorcycles and the accompanying aesthetic. Also, in 1962, the iconic Tool Box bar opened at 4th and Harrison as South of Market’s first leather bar. It was a huge hit, sometimes garnering national attention including having its famous Chuck Arnett mural as the main illustration in a sensationalist 1964 Life magazine article on homosexuality in America. Leather social life at the time centered mostly around bars. They were the meeting places, the cruising places, and where friendships were cemented. The Detour, On the Levee, Febe’s, and the Stud, along with leather-oriented sex venues such as The Slot and other businesses, ushered in an era of South of Market leather dominance, an area that remains to this day the center of local leather life.
No account of San Francisco leather would be complete without the mention of Marcus Hernandez (aka Mister Marcus). Marcus was asked by B.A.R. co-founder Bob Ross to write a leather column for the newspaper. That column debuted in February 1972, just 10 months after the paper’s first issue. For 38 years Marcus was the sometimes dishy and provocative voice of the San Francisco leather community. Shortly after the launch of his column, the Imperial Court added the title of Emperor and Marcus was the first to be crowned alongside Empress Maxine. This continued a long history of collaboration and camaraderie between local leather and drag communities. To counter any lore that leather people were always a serious and stoic bunch back then, Marcus wrote in his first column: “Main topic of conversation around the MM (Miracle Mile) [nickname for Folsom Street at the time – Marcus eventually rebranded the area Valley of the Kings] is the 6th Annual Academy Awards put on by the Barbary Coasters on Saturday, February 19th at Seaman’s Hall. Tickets selling for $3 are on sale in most of the bars. Nominees for outstanding achievement in bike events, conducted by clubs here and in Southern California last year, have been voted upon already.” Leatherwomen began to organize and the nation’s first lesbian leather/ BDSM organization, Samois, was founded in San Francisco in 1978.
The 1980s can’t be discussed without AIDS taking a front and center
Race Bannon’s 2017 IML coverage in the Bay Area Reporter, with a photo by Rich Stadtmiller.
focus. Starting in 1981, when the first cases of a rare lung infection in Los Angeles were diagnosed (I knew one of those men) and an aggressive cancer was found among gay men in Los Angeles and New York, the horrific era of AIDS began.
From the start, the San Francisco leather community stepped up to help raise money at countless fundraisers. Leathermen and women banded together to take care of the ill while raising much needed money at a time when the government was essentially ignoring the disease since it was affecting primarily gay men. Women played a significant part in care of ill gay men and by my recollection this might have been the start of the men’s and women’s leather communities realizing they had commonalities. As but one of many such fundraiser examples and the start of using leather titles as a fundraising platform amid the rising death count, Marcus wrote in the December 13, 1984 edition of the B.A.R., “…the idea came from no less than the young Dean Gibson, the Daddy’s Boy for 1984-85. Plans are already being activated to issue bracelets in memory of our brothers who have passed away from AIDS-related illnesses. The bracelets will be engraved ‘In Memory of,’ and the name and date of his death and will sell for a nominal fee to support those AIDS patients now living and their families if the need should exist.” The iconic leather magazine Drummer, headquartered in San Francisco at the time, proliferated gay leather culture to a wider audience than just the handful of urban epicenters. Jack Fritscher was Editor of Drummer magazine 1977-78 and said this about the magazine’s influence during this decade and beyond: “Drummer helped create our local Folsom culture and spread it globally in 42,000 monthly copies of writing and art promoting leather identity, diversity, safe-sex kink, and the Folsom Fair fund-raiser...” The magazine produced the International Mr. Drummer contest from 1981-1999 which at the time was the only international contest of its kind besides the older International Mr. Leather (IML) contest in Chicago. The first Folsom Street Fair, at that time named Megahood, was organized in 1984 by Kathleen See page 60 >>
Top: Ad for The Why Not’s boot party in a 1971issue of the B.A.R. Upper Middle: Mr. Marcus’ Aug. 22, 1974 Southern Scandals column in the B.A.R. Lower Middle: Marcus Hernandez’ Leather column in Bob’s Bazaar, Nov. 22, 1978 Bottom: Mr. Drummer Ray Perea, Mr. Marcus and Al Parker in Marcus’ in Marcus’ Oct. 22, 1981 column, mostly about a Biggest Cock in SF Contest at the Bulldog Baths.
B.A.R.at 50: Karrnal Chronicles>>
April 1-7, 2021 • Bay Area Reporter • 59
That’s adult entertainment on his cock, forcing the guy’s toupee askew. All praise to director Tom DeSimon’s assured 1979 flick, The Idol, a movie I watch whenever I need to be refreshed. In it, Kevin Redding plays an athlete yearning to come out. The Idol is the rare sexo that left you happy.
Sex Ed teachers
Jack Wrangler, left, and Richard Locke in Kansas City Trucking Co.
by John Karr
t was early in 1978 that I met my destiny. Not long out of college, I wanted to be a writer. Yet I lacked all ambition, and knew I’d never write a thing without the imposition of a deadline. So one day I sauntered into the Bay Area Reporter office, and declared my availability. Sadly, editor Paul Lorch had all positions covered. But wait! He wanted to legitimize the depiction of gay male sexuality, and call out what he saw as neo-puritanism in the gay community. Did I want to review porno? Could I deny I was at the Nob Hill Cinema every Wednesday when a new feature started its run? I spent so much time behind its screen I shoulda had meals sent in. I jumped at Paul’s offer, and became the front line of a new brand of porn writing that was an actual film review, its light touch nonetheless taking the movies seriously. I landed in the paper’s Entertainment section. But some advertisers didn’t want to appear on the same
Top: Casey Donovan, featured in the May 1972 B.A.R. Bottom: One of Karr’s early porn reviews in the Nov. 22, 1978 issue of the B.A.R.
page as any sexual content (ahem, SF Opera, with a publicity department run by gay men). So, joining Mr. Marcus and the classified ads, I was whisked into a section Paul created especially for pilloried content, called “Bob’s Bazaar,” aka, The Back Pages. And when porn theatre owners leaned on Bob Ross to ensure I praised their booking, Paul Lorch wouldn’t allow it. He stood by me always.
Explosion of big talents
It was an auspicious time for me to begin. The 1970s saw an explosion of creativity since unequaled, especially by the rote-porn formulas of today’s mainstream directors. Back then, original songs frequently graced soundtracks, editing technique could mirror Hollywood. Wakefield Poole launched it all in 1972 with Boys in the Sand, which delivered porn’s first superstar, Casey Donovan. In 1972, Fred Halstead made his absolutely transgressive L.A. Plays Itself, which I called “an assault on the senses that has made me physically ill both times I’ve seen it.” Despite my reaction, the important thing was its attempt to be more than loops. In 1976, the Gage Brothers launched an iconic trilogy with Kansas City Trucking Co. Its extreme scene of water sports was filmed with accomplished camera and editing techniques, multiple angels and intercuts “orchestrated into an eruption symphony.” And it had Jack Wrangler’s manic impersonation of manhood, juxtaposed with the imperturbable masculinity of Richard Locke, who became the grand Daddy of his generation. He was a giant, robust, furred and bearded hunk; I idolized that guy. What a sweetie. His stage act was a thrill, in which he shot his load on a musical cue! When I asked him how he managed that feat (which he accomplished several times a day), he modestly demurred, “It’s easy. You just get it there and hold on ’til your cue.” After El Paso Wrecking Co., Joe Gage took a solo credit for L.A. Tool and Die (1979), in which Michael Kearns gave a supreme demonstration of cum-lapping lasciviousness. Steve Scott’s Rough Cut exhibited a creative freedom and skill of execution unseen today. Ditto were Artie Bresson’s Forbidden Letters, and the camera’s obsessive worship of hustler Karl Forest in Wallace Potts’ gritty Le Beau Mec. Check out the scene when a sweaty and furtive john blows him. Forrest smashes the guy’s head down
guy who looks like his older brother. I asked Trey (a childhood nickname) how he planned what seemed an interlocking of images. Oh, he said, they were leftovers from all his movies that he scooped off the cutting room floor. He didn’t want waste ’em, so he threw them randomly together and called it a movie. No planning at all. It’s the Merce Cunningham approach to porn. It works for me; it’s a unique experience. Be sure to smoke one of those funny little cigarettes first.
jah! Cum shed its poisonous rep, and guys returned to slurping it up. I had sure missed it. My first infatuation of the aughts was Brent Corrigan, with his sylph’s body and creamy marzipan cock. It stands up, and he holds up. Then there was Avi Dar, oy, so handsome, a successor in type to hefty and hung Carlos Morales. I sure love ‘em thick. I could rave about many others, but, hey, I’m running out of space. A recent trend that I don’t like to see is the guy who’ll fuck anything. Used to be, making porn was a display of identity, an affirmation of gayety. So often these days, it’s a job, and perhaps to make the rent, performers seem ready and eager to fuck anything with a hole or two. Not just G4P or bi, but omni-sexual. On the other hand, that’s liberating, and I’m an old grouch, stuck in Stonewall days and ways. I regret that mainstream porn refuses to evolve, and keeps making a freeze-dried product. Gussied-up loops. Porn’s become a conglomerate enterprise, with a Georgiabased company buying and bundling up most erstwhile independents, causing a sad homogenization. Aren’t Naked Sword and Raging Stallion and Hot House and Falcon the same company, making the same movie? Ah, there have been so many men, so many decades. The B.A.R. has always been a refuge for me. I was interviewed once for a position at a major publication. I fled right back to the B.A.R. I only wanna write gay. So, long wave the B.A.R.t
The 1980s found the B.A.R. being distributed in boxes on the streets. This gave easy access to minors and meant I had to start censoring the Down, loads all-nude photos I’d been running. And what about this century, you Too bad. More than that, the ’80s ask? First up, the invention of prowere all about VHS and AIDS. Vidtease inhibitors led to the near total eo led to a near jettisoning of craft. disappearance of condoms. HalleluLiberating porn from expensive, more cumbersome film, it allowed anyone who had a camera into the game. AIDS led to confusion and fear. How to depict sex in an era of death? Most companies tried to ignore it; they had to be forced into using condoms. For me, that ditched a lot of the thrill. Certainly, the stars of the day were consolation; Al Parker and Peter Berlin, and Scorpio, a sui generis, taciturn performer who seemed to live way out on the edges. I was mad for J.W. King. In one movie, he plays a Sex Ed teacher who decides to give life to the chalked depictions of an erection on the blackboard. They guy sure know how to encourage learning! I had a keen interest in renegade filmmaker Christopher Rage. His work was fragmented and insular; its ritualized behavior was an excessive and bizarre reaction to AIDS. Fucked Up is perhaps the least representative of his films, and my favorite. It arouses and terrorizes me. It’s an One of Karr’s wittier critiques in May 2016. hour of Casey Donavan getting massively dildoed and fisted by a
Read the full, thick, uncut version on www.ebar.com.
<<B.A.R.at 50: Leather History
60 • Bay Area Reporter • April 1-7, 2021
We’re ready to h t wi k c a b u o y e welcom
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Marcus’ close friends Queen Cougar (left) and Julian Marshburn (right)
From page 58
Connell and Michael Valerio. Most assume the Fair was always focused on leatherfolk, but it was originally envisioned as a pushback against the displacing gentrification taking place in the area. In 1985, shortly after Folsom Street Fair’s maiden voyage, Patrick Toner and others organized the first Up Your Alley Street Fair on Ringold Alley to raise money for AIDS-related causes and to keep up the spirits of a community under siege by the virus. Both fairs continue today produced by the nonprofit organization, Folsom Street Events. As evidence that at the time leatherfolk from all walks of local leather life blended and communed amid all the other factions of the LGBTQ community, Marcus wrote in the January 5, 1989 issue of the B.A.R. about the main queer New Year’s Eve event, “Men and women, dressed to the nines in leather, formal wear, and just plain sleaze, converged en on the ‘San Francisco Under Midnight masse Glass’ party on New Year’s Eve.” One of the tipping points for local leather culture was when Tony DeBlase, who at the time was owner and Editor of Drummer magazine, in 1988 moved the International Mr. Drummer contest to the same week as Folsom Street Fair. The week ended up being referred to as Leather Week and it spawned an entire week of events and gatherings leading up to the Fair.
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1990s and 2000s
Mr. Marcus continued to report on all things leather. At times Marcus was challenged because of his gossipy style and sharp tongue, both in print and in real time. But no one could challenge that he was the preeminent leather columnist of his day. His column continued until 2009. One of the regular photojournalist contributors to the Bay Area Reporter, especially for leather community coverage, is Rich Stadtmiller. He had this to say about this era. “As I recall, the prominence of early motorcycle clubs gave way to many of them shifting to ‘leather/ Levi clubs’ in the 2000s and separate fetish clubs began to emerge. Then some of the clubs closed up shop or were struggling with declining memberships and there was a lot of discussion about how to reverse the trend. “A broad array of kinks came onto the scene such as rubber/ latex, puppy play, and athletic gear, with retailers and events catering to these growing subsets of kinksters. Of course, one can’t think about this time period without noting the loss of so many leathermen to AIDS, men who would have otherwise been around to mentor the younger. Often younger people needed to find their own way and ended up creating their own path, forming clubs and networks configured for their specific kink needs.” In 2009, Marcus passed away and I and hundreds of other people attended the biggest leather memorial I have ever witnessed. Marcus was at times controversial, but his con-
tributions to the leather community were significant and he will be remembered in the history books. The same year of Marcus’s passing, Scott Brogan took over the leather column. Scott wrote the column until late 2013 and always represented the community with respect and integrity.
2010s - Present
In January 2014, I took over the B.A.R. leather column from Scott and published my first of 165 columns when editor Jim Provenzano asked me to take over the column. I agreed on the condition that in addition to traditional reporting content I could avoid all gossip and instead write pieces that delved deeper into various aspects of leather and kink culture, content that Jim and I would come to refer to as “think pieces.” My last column was published in February 2021. The B.A.R. continues to include leather community content in its reporting and has demonstrated that it sees the kink communities as an integral part of the overall larger LGBTQ community. Over the course of my tenure with the B.A.R., I tried to cover topics that reflected the changing landscape of leather and kink. My more frequent use of the word kink instead of or alongside leather was intended to communicate to readers that the world of leather and kink has become a vast intersection of a plethora of sexual adventurers that has moved far beyond its initial leather incarnations. Today our local, national, and international kink communities are increasingly diverse and comprised of an ever-growing set of kinks and identities. Change is the norm, and our kink scene is certainly evolving, and that’s a good thing. In closing, I would like to take this opportunity to mention that during my entire time writing for the B.A.R. I witnessed a publication of the highest quality, with utmost integrity, truly dedicated to stringent journalistic standards when presenting LGBTQ news and information. That includes their treatment of leather as well. Kudos to the B.A.R. Let’s all try to make sure they’re around for another 50 years. Visit ebar.com and look in the upper right corner of the page for the Contribute and Subscribe buttons. It’s important to ensure quality LGBTQ Bay Area and national news coverage lives on for readers for decades to come.t
B.A.R.at 50: Escort Ads>>
April 1-7, 2021 • Bay Area Reporter • 61
Golden age of hustlers The rise and fall of the B.A.R.’s famous escort ads ads go, I see that no one knows what they’re doing with their cell phones. It seems that Grindr doesn’t require much in the world of imagery.’’ Jared’s response was, ‘’People want a serious moment of connection. It’s really impactful for closeted gay, bisexual and bi-curious men within and independent of sex. As a practice, escorting is not going away anytime soon. It’s not called ‘the world’s oldest profession’ for nothing.” Added Jared a salutation to the B.A.R., “Congratulations on your 50 years and your bravery around being transparent about sex work as a culture and as a business.’’t
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by Cornelius Washington ‘”In the LGBTQ community, the media that serves the culture addresses the needs, wants and desires of that culture. One point of ambivalence is the open expression of sexuality and its manifestation in marketing. As long as there is a demand, there will be a supply. What’s interesting is that that applies also to sex. In my many years as a photojournalist, writer and columnist, I’ve noticed the disconnect as it pertains to escorting. Sex, too, is a commodity. So, let’s break it down. The Bay Area Reporter, one of the LGBTQ community’s premiere publications, has never shied away from expressing and exploring every aspect of the community. As I’ve pored through the B.A.R.’s vast archives of escort advertisements, feelings of nostalgia and romance swept over me. They all had great smiles, seemingly containing all 32 teeth, great personalities and only slightly artdirected bodies. Did any of them rock a waistline over 32 inches? They were, at the very least, boyish, at one end of the spectrum, very dominant and masculine at the other. We embraced body and facial hair. We had no problem with hippies to S&M. Not only were there porn stars, obviously there were men who were college students, plumbers, construction workers and just regular hot guys that you’d see in the grocery store or walking down the street. The ads being nestled between those for leather stores, safe sex, phone sex and second-hand erotica emporiums. The men’s buyers, to my mind, seemed romantic, too. I envisioned middle-aged, well-to-do men who had chandeliers in their foyers or on vacation, birthday present for a friend or a stripper for a party. On a certain level, it all made sense, as it was a more direct way for the customers to get exactly what they wanted without wasting anyone’s time, or enduring judg-
ment and/or stigma. Money was no object. Then, I was brought back to reality by one of my closest friends, local black gay cultural anthropologist, Bob Mathis-Friedman, M.A., who stated, ‘’When I remember looking at the B.A.R.’s ads, they were very boring and homogeneous to me. They definitely were not representative of the city’s diversity.’’ I agreed, but came to the conclusion that the ads were about making money, not the United Colors of Escorting. He agreed, but then, added, ‘’If someone of color were to take out an ad, what would be its optics, or would it be the same-old same-old?’’ I too, was concerned with the optics, but, in a more positive way. As a photographer, I’ve studied the ads’ imagery for lighting and posing techniques. However, for years, I’ve also noticed that the description of the models and their proclivities were also homogeneous, which brought up an interesting dilemma for me. Bob and I have very sophisticated, refined taste, so I called another friend of mine who was just beginning to make huge strides in the porn and escorting industries, in order to get his viewpoint on the culture of escorting. Jared Erikson is an award-winning porn star and producer who also escorts. “When I was a young, gay man, my visceral response to escort ads was also romantic, that it has to be an awesome life, to be able to have sex with men and make a living at it. As a sober person, who does not use nicotine, drugs or alcohol, for me, sex is the ultimate vice. Therefore, sex work would be the ultimate work. But as I got older, I fell for the stereotypes that escorts are uneducated, trashy drug addicts who are lazy and can’t hold steady employment, and that the men who hire them are old, fat, ugly desperate men, which I now know is totally false. In my career as a sex worker, I’ve found the reality to be just the opposite. What determines that is money.’” As technology and the virus have readjusted our sexuality, I’ve thought about present-day options, the proliferation of sex sites such as rentmen.com, M4M.com, and Onlyfans.com present visuals that are available on your laptop and smartphone, with transactions performed on your credit card. A wave of romanticism is also killed for the newspaper. Long-gone are the days when, at the last minutes before Monday’s deadline, a lot
of flirting and teasing would take place when the men would come into the B.A.R. offices to pay for their ads in person. Ya had to love it! Now, of course, the times-and the currency-have changed. Jared said, ‘’The client/escort payment relationship has changed because we’re now using cash transfer apps, where both parties must use their real names. In my opinion, the negative in present-day escorting is that it is in grave danger because of Kamala Harris’ SESTA/FOSTA law, which has done major damage to escorting and sex work, in general.’’ Those are serious realities, but, still, looking at the ads, over time, I
missed the days when a man would strip off and get a passionate, clever photographer to create a sensual image that rode the razor’s edge between that and hardcore pornography, have it printed, art-directed and laid out within a beautiful newspaper. They utilized trends, or bucked them, from hardcore leather fetish to Abercrombie & Fitch realness to Dolce & Gabbana hotness. When I queried my two friends about the future of escorting and its ads, in general, Bob’s conclusion is, ‘’It’s difficult to say, specifically, but sex work should absolutely be utilized. Get over it and tax it like any other adult activity. As far as the
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<< B.A.R.at 50: Staff Memories
62 • Bay Area Reporter • April 1-7, 2021
Diving at 2003’s IGLA tournament at Stanford University.
From page 56
the GLBT Historical Society asked me to guest-curate what he titled Sporting Life. While collecting hundreds of loaned and donated items from dozens of supporting groups, I got to design and build, with numerous volunteers, the second major exhibit of the then-downtown museum. Over the next two years, hundreds attended special events, and celebrity visitors included Esera Tuaolo, Rudy Galindo and Billie Jean King. And I owe it all to Mike Salinas.
Among other duties were editing Sweet Lips’ column, in the ’90s actually ghost-co-written by Patrick Hochtel, and later Coy Ellison. Marcus Hernandez’s Leather columns didn’t need editing, which almost to his last days were letter-perfect.
Former NFL player Esera Tuaolo, Jim Provenzano and gymnast Matthew Cusick at Gay Games VII’s closing ceremonies at Wrigley Field, 2006.
In May 2010, Production whiz Kurt Thomas designed the logo for what would become our monthly nightlife mini-magazine. The idea for the title BARtab came to me in about five seconds, since it was such an obvious play on words, the
Returning full-time in 2006 proved more comfortable when I got to work in an upstairs office with Arts Editor Roberto Friedman. After replacing Mark Mardon, who had replaced me years before, I got to write stories, compile the listings (fewer flyers, more emails by this time) and also bring my Internet skills to edit the then-frequently crashed or hacked website.
Tennis legend Billie Jean King, GLBTHS board member Ruth Haney, GLBTHS Executive Director Terrence Kissack and guestcurator Jim Provenzano at the Sporting Life exhibit, 2006.
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Bay Area Reporter’s name harkening back to our ‘bar rag’ roots. The appearance of BARtab allegedly riled the publishers of a certain other glossy nightlife magazine. They may have failed to remember that at one time there were five LGBT publications in the Bay Area, including Spectrum, The Sentinel, The Bay Times, and Frontiers San Francisco. We owe the main look and feel of BARtab not only to Thomas’ beer coaster logo (which was also used for real drink coasters), but to photographer Georg Lester, whose brilliant photo shoots depicted various nightlife themes. From the first issue, the BARchive column proved popular, penned by myself, then the late Jim Stewart, and Drummer Editor and author Jack Fritscher. Michael Flanagan has since maintained the column with fascinating historic essays. From 2013 to 2014, the B.A.R. combined spaces and resources with three other newspapers in a downtown office, and we bid farewell to the former motel space. While the ‘open desk’ format proved irritating, the weekly free lunches were tasty. The best idea, from one of our investors, was to change BARtab to a weekly third print section. I assigned and wrote more content, and added weekly photo shoots by Stephen Underhill. Representing the nightlife community in all its diversity by gender, color, age and ability is very important to me, because what I’d seen previously in other gay media was a focus on beauty, mostly white and male. Our 2014 move back to independence (while narrowly escaping the fate of the Guardian) in our current Hayes Valley office worked out great for me, since I live nearby. But none of us could’ve expected the enormous drop in advertising and revenue at the break of the pandemic in March 2020. This led to the departure of two employees, including Arts Editor Roberto Friedman. With some erudite shoes to fill, I attempted to blend not only our tradition
of diverse arts coverage, but also my nightlife experience, and my technical skills in various media. For the B.A.R.’s 40th and 50th anniversary, I made tribute videos based on the collected covers assembled by photographer Rick Gerharter. Being a tangential part of another GLBT Historical Society exhibit was another honor. As we attempt to keep up with all the trends and TikToks, it’s important for younger readers to understand (and elders to recall) just how darn difficult it was in the old days with fax machines, floppy disks, and paste-up boards. It’s been said that Bob Ross and Paul Bentley started the B.A.R. with some simple clip art and hand-typed text pasted together on a kitchen table. That seems appropriate, since we’ve been feeding important news and entertainment to our readers for half a century. You’ll notice that several of the online articles in this week’s section have multiple links to vintage issues of the B.A.R. Do click away for some fascinating reading. At each of our offices, I’ve always kept nearby a few bound print collections of the first two years of the Bay Area Reporter, not only to enjoy a nostalgic look at the campy ads and historic articles, but to remind myself of the legacy that’s now also my own.t
For the full article, go to www.ebar.com.
Both Photos: Georg Lester
Members of the SF Rugby team at The Lone Star; a cute couple at Truck, on BARtab covers.
Behind the scenes at the B.A.R.
Adriana Roberts peeks out from a Mac at the B.A.R. offices in 1996.
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ome of the Bay Area Reporter’s production designers were, and are, not only accomplished computer whizzes, but also artists and nightlife stars, like DJ and musician Adriana Roberts. Get the backstage scoop from recent B.A.R. history, and former assistant editor now-freelancer Mark Norby’s memories of working at our funky SoMa offices. All this and plenty more’s on www.ebar.com.t
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