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AIDS quilt returns to SF



'Without' debuts.

Study reveals AIDS drug risk


Serving the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender communities since 1971

DOMA complicates gay divorces by Matthew S. Bajko


he federal ban against samesex marriages not only throws up roadblocks for LGBT couples wishing to wed. It also complicates their divorce proceedings when the relationship Jane Philomen Cleland sours. Esther Lee With a number of states allowing samesex couples to marry – Washington being the most recent – and even more sanctioning domestic partnerships or civil unions, the fact that the federal government treats such relationships differently than heterosexual marriages is often overlooked during times of bliss. But a clerical error in a San Francisco lesbian couple’s divorce proceeding illustrates how the Defense of Marriage Act continues See page 14 >>

Officials silent on TL Health’s status by Seth Hemmelgarn


ore than a month after officials announced that Tenderloin Health would shut down, most associated with the San Francisco nonprofit still won’t talk about what will happen to Jane Philomen Cleland clients. Tenderloin Health David Fernandez provides housing, medical, and other services to some of the city’s poorest residents, including people with HIV and AIDS. The agency issued a press release January 5 stating that it would close “due to continued funding challenges.” See page 16 >>

Vol. 41 • No. 07 • February 16-22, 2012

Prop 8 repeal bid ends by Seth Hemmelgarn


iting a lack of funds, a bid to repeal Proposition 8 at the ballot box this November has ended. The move follows last week’s 2-1 ruling by a panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that California’s same-sex marriage ban, passed by voters in November 2008, is unconstitutional. Love Honor Cherish, the Los Angeles-based group that had launched the repeal effort in December, announced this week that it wouldn’t be able to raise the money or gather the signatures needed to place the initiative on the ballot. Eric Harrison, the organization’s interim executive director, said in a Monday, February 13 email blast that collecting the 807,615 valid signatures that would have been required by midApril wasn’t likely. “We would need more than $1.5 million in donor commitments to hire a paid signature gathering firm to assist us in this massive effort,” Harrison added. “In view of the 9th Circuit victory and the narrowness of the ruling, making [U.S.] Supreme Court review less likely, raising the additional funds needed is now not realistic. And, as we have stated, we had no illusions that the initiative could qualify based solely on our statewide volunteer signature gathering effort.” This is the second time that Love Honor Cherish has failed at undoing Prop 8. In 2010, it

Jane Philomen Cleland

The Reverend Roland Stringfellow, fourth from right, and his husband Jerry Peterson, sat with other marriage equality advocates inside the county clerk’s office at San Francisco City Hall on Valentine’s Day after being denied marriage licenses. Eight people were later detained, cited, and released during the civil disobedience.

tried to rely on volunteer signature gatherers but had to abandon that effort. The decision to end the initiative process isn’t a complete surprise. The board of Equality California, the state’s largest LGBT rights organiza-

tion, decided last fall not to move ahead with a Prop 8 repeal effort in 2012. One week later EQCA’s new executive director abruptly quit, which in turn cast a spotlight on the organization’s deSee page 6 >>

Ad campaign encourages HIV testing among black men by Matthew S. Bajko


n advertising campaign rolled out this month in the Bay Area provides a new twist on a years-long effort by federal health officials to get more black men who have sex with men to test for HIV. Under the headline “Testing Makes Us Stronger,” the campaign features a diverse range of black gay men, including individuals and couples, in the online, print, and outdoor advertisements. The ads launched in the East Bay on February 6 and have been running on the Bay Area Reporter’s website at www.ebar. com. A full-page ad that ran in the B.A.R.’s February 2 issue featured two men holding hands who appeared to be in their 20s. Although it is unclear what their HIV status is, the tagline on the ad states, “Our HIV status is powerful information. It helps us take better care of each other.” The advertisements direct people to the campaign website at, where they can find locations nearby to get tested confidentially for free. “Far too many black gay and bisexual men, particularly young black gay and bisexual men, continue to contract HIV each year. Too many

Courtesy CDC

The CDC’s new “Testing Makes Us Stronger” HIV prevention campaign aimed at black men who have sex with men launched in six cities, including Oakland last week.


more may have HIV and remain unaware that they have the infection,” Kali Lindsey, the National Minority AIDS Council’s director of legislative and public affairs, told reporters during a conference call in late November held to discuss the new campaign. Lindsey, who learned he was HIV-positive in 2003, was part of a committee of community leaders, physicians, and other experts that helped create the new advertising. “If we are to reduce HIV transmission and the growing burden of HIV among black gay and bisexual men, it is critical that we enhance our efforts to reach men who may be unaware of their status and encourage them to get tested for HIV,” he said. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is targeting the campaign, which cost $2.4 million, at gay and African-American neighborhoods in six cities where black gay and bisexual men are at greater risk of contracting HIV. In addition to Oakland, the other cities include Atlanta, Baltimore, Houston, New York City, and Washington, D.C. Based on recent data, federal health officials have found “an alarming” 48 percent increase in new HIV infections among young, black MSM 13 to 29 years old from 2006 to 2009. See page 16 >>

<< Community News

2 • BAY AREA REPORTER • February 16-22, 2012

SFPD releases It Gets Better video by Seth Hemmelgarn


he San Francisco Police Department last week released an emotional It Gets Better video supporting LGBT youth. Officials said the visual message makes the SFPD the first and only police department in the country to produce such a video. In the piece, local law enforcement officials describe the pain and, sometimes, suicidal thoughts they experienced growing up; their coming out process; and the ways their lives have changed for the better. “I don’t think there’s a person in this room who didn’t tear up a little bit watching this thing. ... I couldn’t be prouder,” police Chief Greg Suhr said after the video was unveiled at City Hall on Friday, February 10. Suhr, who’s straight, appears in the piece himself and recalls that as “a smallish young man,” he was bullied “all the time.” He says it gets better, “and until it does, we here in the San Francisco Police Department are going to stick up for you.” Officer Lenny Broberg, who is gay and serves in the gang unit, said in an interview that when he was in high school, he was ostracized, called names like “faggot,” and got into fights. “There was never somebody I could talk to, because I always thought I was different,” Broberg said in the video. Ingleside Station Officer Broderick Elton, who’s transgender, says in his message, “I had times where I didn’t want to get out of bed to face the day.” But eventually, Elton, whose eyes tear up in the video, came out. He says that he otherwise “would have missed experiencing the joy and jubilation” of life.

Jane Philomen Cleland

Members of the San Francisco Police Department joined city leaders last Friday for the unveiling of the department’s It Gets Better video.

In an interview, Elton said he entered the police department in 2007 as a female. Since then, he’s been able to show others what’s possible. He said that some transgender women he met at an LGBT job fair were “floored” by the idea that they could apply to be police officers. He also said that he’s had opportunities to reassure youth who are questioning their sexuality that they’re okay. Out lesbian Commander Lea Militello offers a similar message in the video. “You just forge ahead and you do what you love and it gets better, it just does,” says Militello, who recalls that she was “a bit of a tomboy,” then corrects herself and says, “Not a bit. A full-fledged tomboy.” The It Gets Better project was launched in the fall of 2010 by gay Seattle writer Dan Savage in the wake of a rash of teenage suicides. Militello said in an interview that she approached Suhr about making the video when he became chief in April 2011, and his consent was “instantaneous.” Shawn Northcutt produced and edited the video for free, and local

musician Lynden Bair developed the musical score. Northcutt, who’s gay and also worked on the It Gets Better video for Apple, said he was approached about the project through a mutual friend of Militello’s. The SFPD piece took about four to five months to complete. After watching the video with others at City Hall last week, San Francisco Unified School District board member Hydra Mendoza teared up as she described her gay brother’s coming out process. “I can’t imagine what he went through,” she said. She cited national statistics showing high rates of LGBT students who are harassed and commit suicide, and teachers who don’t intervene. Officer Albie Esparza, a police department spokesman, indicated in an interview that growing up gay wasn’t traumatic for him, and in the video he expresses support for youth. He felt the project was “the least we can do” to show LGBT youth that help is available, and that they can be anything they want to be, he said. Esparza’s had opportunities to ofSee page 17 >>

Man facing trial in hate crime by Seth Hemmelgarn


man accused of yelling an anti-gay slur while wielding a switchblade knife recently in San Francisco’s Mission district appears headed for trial. Jesus Sandoval, 30, has been charged with battery and brandishing a weapon. Both counts carry hate crime allegations, making them felonies. After a preliminary hearing Wednesday, February 8, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Nancy Davis held Sandoval to answer on all charges, meaning she found sufficient evidence to send the case to trial. He’s set to be arraigned Wednesday, February 22. The initial arraignment was January 26. In a statement provided by spokesman Omid Talai, District Attorney George Gascón said, “My

Courtesy SFPD

Defendant Jesus Sandoval

office will continue to protect members of the LGBT community. There is no place for this type of behavior in our great city.” According to Talai, the incident started at about 9:30 p.m. on January 25. (Police have said it occurred January 24 in the 1000 block of Mission Street.) The 30-year-old victim was waiting for a friend who had just finished attending a session at El/La Para TransLatinas. Sandoval “aggressively” approached the victim and asked his name, Talai said. When the victim didn’t respond, Sandoval became increasingly angry and started yelling things including “faggot,” and “Bitch, you don’t belong here. You don’t have a right to be here,” Talai said. The victim tried to get away, but Sandoval followed him and pushed him twice, according to Talai. After witnesses approached, Sandoval brandished a switchblade, Talai said.

When the victim pulled out a cell phone and called 911, Sandoval yelled something to the effect of, “You fucking faggot. I’m going to kill you if you call 911,” Talai said. When officers arrived, they found Sandoval hiding under a truck, and he was taken into custody, law enforcement officials said. Talai didn’t know whether the victim identified as gay or transgender. He wouldn’t provide the victim’s name, which is typical for cases involving hate crime allegations. Assistant District Attorney Victor Hwang is prosecuting the case. Paul Myslin, an attorney who’s represented Sandoval in the case, didn’t respond to an emailed interview request.

Shuttle bus incident Another gay-related case has been making its way through San Francisco’s criminal justice system. Tuesday, February 14, Wallace Richardson pleaded not guilty in the death of openly gay UCSF psychiatrist Dr. Kevin Allen Mack. Mack, 52, was killed July 14 in an accident involving the university shuttle bus that Richardson was driving, and a big-rig. Richardson is charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter in the incident, in which Mack was ejected from the shuttle bus and pronounced dead at the scene. The accident occurred on Octavia Boulevard at Oak Street. Three other passengers were injured. The case has been continued to March 7. Information on the attorney representing Richardson wasn’t available Tuesday.▼

Community News >>

February 16-22, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 3

Gardener ready to enjoy his handiwork by Matthew S. Bajko


t has been a labor of love for 15 years, but Bill Murphy is now ready to let someone else oversee the community garden he has nursed into a native plant oasis near Eureka Valley’s Kite Hill. He and the city’s Recreation and Park Department are looking to recruit a new lead volunteer for what is known as the Corwin Street Community Garden. “I am not stepping down but I am stepping back,” said Murphy, 53, who works part-time as a painter and massage therapist. “I am not abandoning it; I am stewarding it toward the next set of people that will fulfill its needs.” The reason, said Murphy, is because he would like to pursue other interests. “It is simply because I have other things I have to do in my life. This has taken a lot of my time,” said Murphy, who often spends at least two days a week tending to the garden’s 100 California-native and other droughtadapted plant species. Reginald Baird, 44, who has been Murphy’s partner for 17 years and assists him in the garden, said he isn’t surprised by the decision. “I am surprised it has taken this long. Bill has given so much time to it,” said Baird, a home stager, during a volunteer workday at the garden Saturday, February 11. “Lately, there has been much more coordinating and less gardening, which is what Bill really likes to do.” The area had been designated as open space in the 1970s but was largely forgotten about other than the portion that opened in 1973 as the Seward Mini-Park, famed for its parallel concrete slides. The rest of the sloping, city-owned hillside remained abandoned for decades. Eventually, the forlorn plot of land became overrun with wild fennel and other weeds. “Before the garden existed at all, it was a weed-choked, garbage and dog shit strewn abandoned city hillside. It was butt ugly,” recalled Murphy, whose apartment windows look out onto the adjacent garden. Nearby neighbors banded together in the mid-1990s to transform what had become an eyesore. They successfully petitioned the city to designate the roughly 5,805 square foot patch of land a community garden. As many of the people initially involved moved away, Murphy emerged as the head gardener and chief cheerleader of the project. His efforts have led to a garden with woodchip-lined pathways, flora suited to San Francisco’s foggy climate, and tree-shaded benches. “He has it absolutely gorgeously laid out. He put a lot of the vision into it,” said Kristin Bowman, a park services manager with Rec and Park whose territory includes the Castro. Over the last 15 years she has worked alongside Murphy in the garden and supported his efforts. Bowman was one of 20 people last Saturday who assisted Murphy in restoring one section where Ehrharta, an invasive South African grass species, had taken hold. San Rafael resident Jean Sward, 67, a retired junior high school English teacher, also volunteered that day. She met Murphy and Baird a decade ago and has been helping tend to the garden ever since. “I love that this garden exists. It needs more than one person to help love and care for it,” said Sward, who will purposefully drive into the city to visit the garden and read a book there. Unlike most other community gardens under Rec and Park’s oversight, the Corwin Street location does not include individual plots for people to

Rick Gerharter

Bill Murphy, right, explained to longtime volunteer Mario Cossa which plants to pull and which are to be saved at the Corwin Street Community Garden.

grow vegetable gardens. It serves more as a bird and butterfly habitat due to its flowering shrubs and plants, such as Garrya elliptica, commonly known as Coast silk-tassel, which is currently in bloom. “Right now it is my favorite plant. They have dangling strings of flowers called catkins that are about 12 to 15 inches long,” said Murphy. “They are absolutely gorgeous.” As the garden has settled in with time, it requires less upkeep. “The garden is mature and has a life of its own,” said Murphy. Nonetheless, he still finds himself in the garden at least twice a week tending to it. “It is really hard for me to go out there and just stand and sit. I will go out with that intent but then this needs attention” he said. “More often than not I am doing something as opposed to just sitting there.” It is the work he does outside of the garden that Murphy hopes to transfer to another person. He schedules and organizes the volunteer groups that come and lend a hand with pruning the plants and weeding. “I am sure I will be doing some gardening still. What I don’t want to do is the organizing of other people,” said Murphy. He also applies for grants to further expand the garden’s envelope. One section planned as a fruit orchard stands empty due to a lack of funding, something Murphy hopes his successor will be able to address. “We want to find somebody who thinks of this as an opportunity and not a task,” he said. “It needs to be someone with some knowledge of gardening and some knowledge of native plants.” He is confident a suitable person will step forward. “We live in an area with lots of people involved in native plant restoration and habitat restoration. There are a lot of plant freaks in San Francisco,” said Murphy. “I have no doubt the right person is out there; it is a matter of finding them.” Nonetheless, Sward predicted the transition in leadership would be tough on Murphy. “I can understand him wanting his baby not to go to wreck and ruin as they find a new person,” she said. “But it is going to be a challenge for Bill to give it up, this garden is deep inside him.” There are open houses planned at the garden from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. the next two Sundays, February 19 and 26. Anyone interested in becoming the new lead volunteer is encouraged to stop by during those times or can send an email to▼ For more information on rec and park’s volunteer programs, visit

<< Open Forum

4 • BAY AREA REPORTER • February 16-22, 2012

Volume 41, Number 07 February 16-22, 2012 PUBLISHER Thomas E. Horn Bob Ross (Founder, 1971 – 2003) NEWS EDITOR Cynthia Laird ARTS EDITOR Roberto Friedman ASSISTANT EDITORS Matthew S. Bajko Seth Hemmelgarn Jim Provenzano CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Dan Aiello • Tavo Amador • Erin Blackwell Roger Brigham • Scott Brogan Victoria A. Brownworth • Philip Campbell Heather Cassell • Chuck Colbert Richard Dodds • David Duran Raymond Flournoy • David Guarino Liz Highleyman • Brandon Judell John F. Karr • Lisa Keen • Matthew Kennedy David Lamble • Michael K. Lavers Michael McDonagh • Paul Parish Lois Pearlman • Tim Pfaff • Jim Piechota Bob Roehr • Donna Sachet • Adam Sandel Jason Serinus • Gregg Shapiro Gwendolyn Smith • Ed Walsh • Sura Wood

ART DIRECTION Kurt Thomas PRODUCTION MANAGER T. Scott King PHOTOGRAPHERS Jane Philomen Cleland Marc Geller Rick Gerharter Lydia Gonzales Rudy K. Lawidjaja Steven Underhill Bill Wilson ILLUSTRATORS & CARTOONISTS Paul Berge Christine Smith


LEGAL COUNSEL Paul H. Melbostad

Best Bay Area Community Newspaper 2006 San Francisco Bay Area Publicity Club

BAY AREA REPORTER 395 Ninth Street, San Francisco, CA 94103 415.861.5019

News Editor • Arts Editor • Out & About listings • Advertising • Letters • A division of Benro Enterprises, Inc. © 2012 Published weekly. Bay Area Reporter reserves the right to edit or reject any advertisement which the publisher believes is in poor taste or which advertises illegal items which might result in legal action against Bay Area Reporter. Ads will not be rejected solely on the basis of politics, philosophy, religion, race, age, or sexual orientation. Advertising rates available upon request. Our list of subscribers and advertisers is confidential and is not sold. The sexual orientation of advertisers, photographers, and writers published herein is neither inferred nor implied. We are not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts or artwork.

Marriage on the move; equality stalled T

his year may well be remembered as the year developments increasing equal marriage rights for same-sex couples occurred at breakneck pace. Consider that in the last week: In California, a federal appeals court struck down Proposition 8, the state’s same-sex marriage ban, leaving opponents to decide their next move in the federal Perry v. Brown case In Washington state, Governor Chris Gregoire on Monday signed a marriage equality bill into law, paving the way for same-sex couples to wed. Unfortunately, just days after Gregoire’s emotionally moving signing ceremony, opponents have taken the first step to put the issue before voters in a referendum. In New Jersey, the state Senate on Monday voted 24-16 to pass a marriage equality bill. Marriage equality supporters garnered 10 more yes votes this time around compared to the disastrous vote two years ago in which the bill went down in flames. The state Assembly is expected to vote on the legislation Thursday. And while Republican Governor Chris Christie has vowed to veto the bill and thinks the voters should decide this equal rights issue, advocates are pressing ahead by helping to change public opinion. In Maryland, a legislative committee voted Tuesday to send a marriage equality bill on to the full Assembly. One Republican voted with the majority, according to media reports. These developments demonstrate what we’ve long believed, namely that LGBT and allied advocates pursue an aggressive, offensive strategy for securing equal rights, and not let the community be defined by a few yahoos like Brian Brown and Maggie Gallagher of the National Organization for Marriage. The Republican presidential candidates, of course, are trying to outdo each other in their opposition to marriage equality, but this year, unlike past years, the issue isn’t the boogeyman. And when the candidates demagogue against other social issues, such as birth control – what is contraception doing as a major issue in 2012? – they leave their safety net of gay-bashing and voters begin to see just how out of touch they are with mainstream America. Republican presidential candidate Rick

Santorum, a cultural warrior, will soon be seen as the extremist conservative that he is; his comments at the Conservative Political Action Conference last week that insurance companies shouldn’t cover contraception because it “costs just a few dollars” surely will not endear him to millions of American women. Yet no Republican presidential candidate suggests that insurance plans should stop covering erectile dysfunction medication for men.

More work to do As gratifying as the last couple of weeks have been for the LGBT community, there is still a huge barrier to equality: the federal Defense of Marriage Act. President Barack Obama arrives in San Francisco Thursday for some fundraisers, providing an opportunity for people to speak out about the importance of repealing DOMA. Senator Dianne Feinstein

(D-California) last year introduced a bill to repeal this hideous law, and it has been gaining co-sponsors. Repealing DOMA, which Obama supports (his Justice Department a year ago decided to stop defending the law in court cases), is the single most important factor in providing equality for same-sex couples; it affects everything from taxes to spousal benefits to spousal support in divorce cases, as we report this week. And community members should keep in mind that while seven states now have marriage equality laws on the books, those couples who tie the knot are still not legally recognized by the federal government. Marriage may be on the move, but equality is stalled in Congress. This election year, with an expected turnover in Congress likely because of redistricting, LGBT voters must make the case that getting this law off the books is a top priority.▼

Law mandating condoms in porn is violative and suspect by Edward Cervantes


uietly and under the guise of worker safety and public health, the city of Los Angeles enacted an ordinance last month that violates the reproductive rights and sexual freedoms of porn performers. In its definition of reproductive rights, the United Nations includes not only access to birth control and HIV prevention methods, but also the “right to control one’s health and body, including sexual and reproductive freedoms.” It explicitly denounces the use of forced sterilization and coercive contraception. When the new L.A. law takes effect, porn performers – mostly women – will be forced to use condoms. Recent media coverage has been dominated by the scandal surrounding the Susan G. Komen For the Cure Foundation’s initial decision to stop funding Planned Parenthood. A common view is that the “right of all women to choose” is under attack. I agree – the right to choose is under attack. Unfortunately, one battle has been fought, while another has been met with silent consent. In every setting, women have the same rights to sexual and reproductive freedoms. Whether for protection or for contraception, a woman has the right to decide if she wants to use a condom or not – even in porn. Without question, condoms reduce the rate of HIV transmission, but prevention should never become an excuse for the government to seize control of a consenting adult’s health or body. Women are capable of freely choosing a career in porn and do not need to be rescued or protected from it. Where coercion is present, intervention is warranted but not in the form of this paternalistic law. Women who object to unprotected sex but feel unable to walk away from the industry would be best served by more options, not less – education and employment opportunities are an

obvious place to start. The city council cites concern for the safety of performers as motivation for the law, but this seems suspect. A true commitment to worker safety would compel some changes that would have more far-reaching effect, like revision of laws that criminalize sex work in favor of policies that focus on outreach, education, testing, and care. Public health concerns have also been claimed, comparisons being made to laws that require food-handlers to wear gloves. The comparison is not quite apt. Porn may be a job, but it is still sex between consenting adults. Sex holds certain societal privileges that make it different from foodhandling. The city’s concern for public health is called further into question by its loyalty to failed policies that prohibit sex behind bars, where HIV transmission rates are significantly higher than in the general population. Partly, this is due to intravenous drug use and unsafe tattooing, but the role of sexual contact between detainees should not be ignored. Good public health policy recognizes that prohibition does not prevent the intended activity; it simply creates a category of illicit behavior. Regulation of sex, in any setting, is almost guaranteed to fail while also creating the possibility of unintended consequences. Decades of dogmatic “safe-sex” campaigns that used fear and social pressure to essentially prohibit “unsafe-sex” have resulted in a growing bareback backlash – an active rejection of the notion of safe sex. That being said, people have always barebacked and probably always will. Porn is a reflection of viewers’ behavior and desires; not the other way around. Claims that exposure to bareback porn makes one more likely to practice bareback sex are completely unfounded and based on the same logic that leads to support for abstinence-only sex education. Ignoring, shaming, and prohibiting do not

make bareback sex disappear but do contribute to the stigma experienced by those of us who are HIV-positive. Rigid, pozphobic safe-sex campaigns do not work. Neither will mandating condoms – in porn or in any other setting. Instead, let’s adopt truly comprehensive prevention models. Let’s really talk about sex and HIV. Sex is soft, wet, assertive, transgressive. It is risky. It enraptures. It is all-consuming. It makes us vulnerable. In the midst of it, we don’t want safe – we want connected, limitless, cosmic. It can cause lapses in judgment or accidental slips. It can transport us to a place beyond reason where we take the forbidden risk. And it can be hot, messy, and bare – just the way we want it. However we want, like, or choose to have it (with consenting adults), we must fight efforts to police sex. When it comes to our sexual freedoms, every concession is dangerous. Rumor has it that AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the driving force behind the condom mandate, is set on implementing similar laws throughout Los Angeles County. San Francisco is also a target because it is home to some of the major bareback studios. They must be stopped before too much momentum is gained. If you are committed to sexual freedoms, believe in reproductive rights, care about sound HIV prevention policy, or are a fan of bareback porn, I urge you to stand up for the rights of porn performers. Write to AHF and tell them to keep their laws off our bodies. Regulate pharmaceuticals, not sex. Educate, encourage, and ensure access to condoms, don’t legislate away the right of choice. The AHF website states that “lack of condoms in straight adult films sends the message that safer sex isn’t sexy.” State control of the body is far less sexy, for sexy does not exist absent the presence of choice.▼ Edward Cervantes studies HIV/AIDS policy at Mills College, where he is a candidate for a master’s degree in public policy.

Letters >>

February 16-22, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 5

The religious case against Prop 8 Proposition 8 is about religious freedom. The recent federal court decision against the 2008 ballot initiative is a win not only for gay men and lesbians, it’s also a victory for the free exercise of faith in this country. Thousands of clergy from different traditions welcome the day when we can officiate marriages for our gay and lesbian parishioners. In the United Church of Christ and the Unitarian Universalist Association, these unions will have full denominational backing. Many states, like California, prohibit religious leaders from sanctifying marriages that our traditions regard as legitimate and holy. This is a clear violation of the First Amendment. By denying us

this right, the government prevents us from exercising our religious freedom. Those who argue otherwise use a tortured logic. They suggest that equal marriage somehow infringes upon their liberties. Not so. No law would demand that a religious group perform marriages against its will. Equal marriage simply allows religious groups that whole-heartedly endorse those unions to do so. Will Prop 8 be defeated by the U.S. Supreme Court? For the sake of religion in this country, it’s in my prayers. Reverend Lucas Hergert Unitarian Universalist Church Livermore, California

Policy posted for Castro flag compiled by Cynthia Laird


fter a year of criticism from some local activists and a lot of back and forth, the Merchants of Upper Market and Castro has posted to its website the organization’s policy on the rainbow flag in Harvey Milk Plaza. Specifically, the policy outlines the process for requesting the flag to be lowered, but notes that it is not often flown at half-staff. The post, entitled “Castro Flag Policy” goes into detail about the history of the flag and how MUMC came to oversee it, entering into an agreement with the city by which the merchants group assumed responsibility for the flag and pole, as well as maintaining liability insurance. The giant flag was erected in the late 1990s by activists, including artist Gilbert Baker, creator of the rainbow flag. The intent was to have the flag fly at full-staff at all times, according to MUMC’s statement. The one exception is that during Leather Week in September, the leather flag is flown on the flagpole, at full-staff. “MUMC receives frequent requests to lower or temporarily modify the flag display for other commemor at ions. However, MUMC almost always maintains the flag originators’ policy to fly the rainbow flag at full-staff at all times, symbolizing the strength and pride of the community, even in times of sadness, anniversaries of important events, etc.,” the policy states. Requests to fly the flag at half-staff should be submitted to MUMC’s board ( and the proposals must have broad, diverse community support, the policy states. The requests should be submitted with as much advance notice as possible, and the MUMC board will review them as promptly as possible, according to the policy. Michael Petrelis, a critic of MUMC overseeing the flag, posted on his blog Monday, February 13 that the policy is “a step forward” but that hurdles remain, such as the definition of “broad, diverse community support.” Local photographer Bill Wilson, another critic, observed that the written policy “marks a new openness about lowering the flag on important community events.” He hoped that MUMC would publicize when a request to lower the flag is made “so that the community could be involved.” “I think that the way the history is written on the website makes it clear that the easiest way to get approval would be to have Gilbert Baker make the request, even though he no longer lives in San Francisco,” Wilson added. In fact, that’s exactly what happened last fall after the October 11 death of Frank Kameny, a prominent gay rights pioneer. Baker contacted MUMC President Steve Adams and requested that the flag be

Rick Gerharter

The rainbow flag flies above Harvey Milk Plaza.

lowered and it was, for 24 hours on October 12. MUMC’s flag policy can be found at

HIV and alcohol forum The San Francisco AIDS Foundation will hold one of its HIVision forums tonight (Thursday, February 16) entitled “HIV and Alcohol” that will examine the current thinking about drinking. The free community forum takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. at the LGBT Community Center, 1800 Market Street. Neil Giuliano, CEO of the AIDS foundation, will be part of the forum. He will be joined by Dr. Susan Buchbinder, director of research, HIV prevention section, Department of Public Health; Michael Siever, Ph.D., director of behavioral health sciences at SFAF; and Chris Hastings, owner of the Lookout bar. E. Maxwell Davis, Ph.D., assistant professor at California State University, East Bay, will moderate. The meeting will examine how alcohol affects HIV risk and HIV health, and how San Francisco city officials and others are addressing “the forgotten drug” in the context of HIV/AIDS. For more information, visit www.

LGBT partnership meeting for seniors, people with disabilities The LGBT Community Partnership will hold its monthly meeting today (Thursday, February 16) from 3 to 5 p.m. at the LGBT Community Center, 1800 Market Street, third floor, in San Francisco. The partnership is a grassroots group of service providers, consumers, and advocates. It is dedicated to improving access to quality services for older adults and people with disabilities. The meeting will review last month’s public hearing about LGBT senior issues and includes an update on other activities. For more information, visit www.

‘Fat Sunday’ service Who says only Tuesday can be “fat?” St. John’s United Church of Christ will celebrate “dimache gras” (Fat Sunday) on February 19 at its 10 a.m. worship service. Interested people are welcome to enjoy a time of thanksgiving, music, and doughnuts and bread on the Sunday before Ash Wednesday. St. John’s is located at 501 Laguna Honda Boulevard, two blocks from the Forest Hill Muni stop and one Muni stop from the Castro district. For more information, call the Reverend Sandy Hulse at (415) 731-9333.

Home buying for hipsters Realtors Katharine Holland and Eric Rahe of Coldwell Banker will hold a free seminar for first-time homebuyers Tuesday, February 21 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Coldwell Banker office in the Castro, 2355 Market Street. Michael Sousa from Princeton Capital will also be on hand to answer financing questions. “If you are paying San Francisco rent prices, you can probably afford to buy,” said Holland, a former business columnist for the Bay Area Reporter. Refreshments and sandwiches will be served. To RSVP, contact or (415) 378-2697 or or (415) 518-7548.

CUAV open house Community United Against Violence will hold an open house and art show Thursday, February 23 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at its offices, 427 South Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco. The art show will feature the work of Lauren Quock, who has made gender-crashing modified bathroom signs that call into question the universal meaning of symbols and expose the limited nature of the gender binary. As part of the exhibit, which will be up until April 19, Quock will be facilitating two art and healing workshops during Wellness Wednesdays at CUAV. Dates for the workshops were not immediately available. CUAV, which helps survivors of anti-gay crimes and same-sex domestic violence, is having the open See page 17 >>

<< Election 2012

6 • BAY AREA REPORTER • February 16-22, 2012

Mitt Romney spoke to conservative activists at last week’s CPAC gathering in Washington, D.C.

Romney goes on offense at expense of gays by Michael K. Lavers


ocked in a bitter fight for the Republican presidential nomination, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney sparked controversy at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., on February 9 when he highlighted his use of an arcane state law to prevent out-of-state same-sex couples from marrying in the Bay State. “On my watch, we fought hard and prevented Massachusetts from becoming the Las Vegas of gay marriage,” said Romney. Romney, who ended up winning the CPAC straw poll at the end of the conference, nonetheless has seen his front-runner status erode as former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum has surged in recent days. Massachusetts lawmakers passed a law in 1913 to prevent out-of-state interracial couples who could not legally marry in their home state from marrying in the Bay State. Governor Deval Patrick repealed the statute in 2008, but Romney pledged to defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act if elected president. He also vowed to fight for a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as between a man and a woman. Romney further pointed out that he pushed for a constitutional amendment that would have defined marriage in Massachusetts as between a man and a woman. He claimed the measure lost by only one vote in the state Legislature, but MassEquality Executive Director Kara Suffredini described Romney’s comment as “factually inaccurate.” The measure actually fell short by five votes. “The truth is that with respect to the vote to which Romney refers, marriage equality opponents failed to garner even the 25 percent of support among lawmakers needed to send a constitutional amendment to the voters,” said Suffredini. Suffredini also blasted Romney’s reference to the 1913 law. “We can’t help but note that it is


Prop 8 From page 1

teriorating finances. EQCA has yet to name a new executive director. In a Tuesday, February 14 phone interview, Harrison would only say that “six figures” had been pledged for his group’s repeal work. He said enough money had come in to pay for operating expenses, but he wouldn’t say how much that was. Harrison also wouldn’t say how many signatures had been collected, since, he said, there are “some diehard volunteers” who are still trying to gather signatures. He didn’t provide names of any. Harrison said that Love Honor Cherish is not folding and that he would remain interim executive di-

particularly odious of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney to proudly tout his resurrection of a racist law under any circumstances,” Suffredini told the Bay Area Reporter. “To do so during Black History Month, as he did on Friday during the Conservative Political Action Conference, is truly offensive.” Gay Republicans were also quick to criticize Romney’s comments. “We are deeply disappointed with Governor Romney’s speech at CPAC today,” said GOProud co-founder Jimmy LaSalvia in a statement shortly after the speech. “Instead of simply saying that he opposed gay marriage, Romney instead chose to play to the ugliest and most divisive impulses in this country. If he thinks this is the way to appeal to Tea Party conservatives who have reservations about his candidacy, he is dead wrong.” R. Clarke Cooper, executive director of Log Cabin Republicans, briefly spoke with Romney after his address. He told the B.A.R. that he complimented the former Massachusetts governor for a “solid speech” – with the exception of his defense of DOMA. “I know we disagree on this,” said Romney, according to Cooper.

Other candidates omit marriage Two other GOP presidential hopefuls didn’t mention marriage in their remarks at the conference. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich cited “dictatorial judges” whom he said are “rewriting the Constitution rather than enforcing the Constitution” in his CPAC speech a few hours after Romney spoke. He did not specifically criticize the federal appeals court decision on February 7 that found Proposition 8 unconstitutional. Santorum, who has made social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage a staple on the campaign trail, did not specifically mention his opposition to marriage equality in his

rector. He said the group would look at “what opportunities there are for us to keep marriage equality in the consciousness of the people’s minds.” About two-dozen other marriage equality supporters had a similar goal as they gathered Tuesday, which was Valentine’s Day, on the steps of San Francisco City Hall for a rally. The Reverend Roland Stringfellow, the welcoming congregations coordinator at the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry at the Pacific School of Religion, was there with his husband, Jerry Peterson. In an interview before the rally, Stringfellow said that he was in favor of the Prop 8 repeal effort because there are “couples today who are impacted by this injustice.” However, he appeared to un-

CPAC remarks earlier in the day last Friday. Romney narrowly defeated Santorum in the Washington Times/CPAC straw poll with 38 percent of the vote, but only 19 percent of participants said their top priority is to “promote traditional values” by “protecting traditional marriage and protecting the life of the unborn.” Sixty-three percent of participants listed promoting “individual freedom” by reducing the size of government as their top goals this year. Only 1 percent of those who participated in the CPAC straw poll last year said stopping marriage for samesex couples as their top priority. Texas Governor Rick Perry sparked widespread controversy in December when, while still in the GOP race, he criticized gay and lesbian service members in a campaign ad. Perry, who dropped out of the race last month, did not specifically mention marriage and other LGBT-specific issues in his CPAC speech on February 8, but he again criticized President Barack Obama for his so-called war on religion. “The Obama administration’s war on faith must be ended,” he said to sustained applause. “We must win this war.” LaSalvia dismissed this type of rhetoric in his criticism of Romney’s speech. “The left wants a culture war, because they can’t defend this president’s record of failure on the economy,” said LaSalvia. “Conservatives shouldn’t give them the fight they want – and that’s exactly what Mitt Romney did today.” Other speakers at CPAC included Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, also a former presidential candidate; former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin; Florida Senator Marco Rubio; Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, the son of presidential candidate Congressman Ron Paul (Texas); and conservative columnist Ann Coulter.▼

derstand why the effort would be dropped, saying, “You have to choose your battles.” After the rally, Stringfellow and Peterson joined several other people who went inside to apply for marriage licenses, knowing they would be denied. As reported by Bay City News, eight people were eventually detained. San Francisco Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Susan Fahey said that they were cited for failing to disperse but were released within minutes. Fahey didn’t know the names of the detainees. Stringfellow and Peterson attended a reception at Oakland City Hall Tuesday evening and said they were released soon after being cited.▼

Politics >>

February 16-22, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 7

Jane Philomen Cleland

Oakland sends Valentines to LGBTs


akland Mayor Jean Quan used Valentine’s Day Tuesday to host a reception in City Hall to celebrate last week’s federal court ruling declaring Proposition 8 unconstitutional. Among those who attended were Oakland City Attorney Barbara Parker, left, San Francisco Chief deputy City Attorney Therese Stewart, and out Oakland City Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan. In her remarks, Stewart thanked Oakland

for its participation in fighting Prop 8 (the city was one of nearly two-dozen that filed an amicus brief during the state court hearings) and she acknowledged Oakland resident Helen Zia and her mother, both of whom provided important testimony during the federal Prop 8 case, Perry v. Brown. About 50 people who attended the reception enjoyed sparkling cider and cake to mark the occasion.

LGBT expectations muted ahead of Obama visit by Matthew S. Bajko


he timing couldn’t be more appropriate for President Barack Obama to announce he has completely evolved into supporting same-sex marriage. His fundraising pit stop in San Francisco tonight (Thursday, February 16) happens to coincide with the eighth anniversary of the first week of the “Winter of Love,” when city officials wed gay and lesbian couples. And last week a decision from the federal appeals court for the 9th Circuit ruled voters do not have the power to strip marriage rights away from same-sex couples. Friday, the president lands in Washington state, where lawmakers just this week heralded passage of a marriage equality bill. Efforts to enact similar bills in Maryland and New Jersey advanced this week. And LGBT advocates unveiled an online effort to convince the Democratic Party to include specific marriage equality language in its 2012 platform it will adopt at its national convention later this year. Yet LGBTs contacted by the Bay Area Reporter ahead of Obama’s visit to the West Coast this week expressed muted expectations that the president would use his trip as a setting to announce any major new LGBT policy stances. “There is a wave of equality washing over the nation and it would be timely for him to recognize that verbally in his remarks,” said Masen Davis, the executive director of the San Francisco-based Transgender Law Center. When asked about what he would like to hear Obama talk about, gay local Democratic Party activist Kevin Bard focused on the fight over making religious employers provide female workers access to contraceptives. “I want him to come out strongly that women deserve the right to free contraceptives,” said Bard, a member of the city’s two LGBT Democratic clubs. Pressed specifically about LGBT issues, Bard then added, “He needs to speed up his evolution on gay marriage. Maybe his coming here

Jane Philomen Cleland

Protesters lined the street in downtown San Francisco last fall when President Barack Obama made a fundraising stop, though there were not many signs favoring LGBT rights.

will speed that process up.” As of press time Wednesday, neither Davis nor Bard had purchased a ticket for Obama’s re-election campaign event Thursday night at the Masonic Center on Nob Hill. It was relocated from the smaller Regency Ballroom, and at least 125 tickets had been sold to people who identified as LGBT when buying them online. Stressing that he was speaking as an individual and not on behalf of his agency, Davis said he has endorsed Obama’s bid for a second term. If the president were to mention LGBT rights, Davis said he would like for him to announce an executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating based on sexual orientation or gender identity. A far broader Employment NonDiscrimination Act that would apply to all workplaces has been stalled in Congress for years. According to reports earlier this month in gay papers based in D.C., the administration is considering what is known as a “mini ENDA.” But the White House has refused to comment on it. “I do think, especially given the history of the Bay Area and the innovation of the tech industry,” said Davis, “it would be fitting of him to honor that spirit by endorsing” a “mini ENDA” issued through an

executive order. “That would be very consistent by what we are seeing come out from agencies under his leadership,” added Davis. If an LGBT fundraiser Obama attended at a lesbian couple’s home in D.C. last Thursday is any guide, then his events this week could leave many LGBT people wanting. The president made no mention of the “mini ENDA” or any other new pro-gay policies he is considering, according to a transcript of his remarks. He did tell the audience that, “the work that we’ve done with respect to the LGBT community I think is just profoundly American and is at the heart of who we are. And that’s why I could not be prouder of the track record that we’ve done, starting with the very beginning when we started to change, through executive order, some of the federal policies.” Obama later added, “There’s still areas where fairness is not the rule. And we’re going to have to keep on pushing in the same way.” He did not specify, though, what those other areas are in the remarks sent to reporters. Nor has there been any indication from the White House that Obama will come out for marriage equality this year. Asked where the president stands on the issue following release of the Prop 8 decision, White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters nothing had changed. See page 17 >>

<< Community News

8 • BAY AREA REPORTER • February 16-22, 2012

Castro AIDS quilt display elicits tears, gratitude by David Duran


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unday was a day of remembrance in the Castro as hundreds of people showed up to the opening of an exhibition of the AIDS Memorial Quilt. Two large quilt blocks dominated the floor at the Market Street storefront; one is in memory of the many members of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence who have died, the other contains even more members of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus who have been lost to the epidemic. Small boxes of tissue dotted the floor around the panels, in case someone needed to wipe away a tear. Community leaders, politicians, and ordinary people alike kept up a steady flow Sunday, February 12, the first of a nine-day exhibit that is the largest display of the quilt in San Francisco since 1999. In the back of the room at a small podium, people walked up one by one as they each read a list of names of people who have died. The quilt now has over 91,000 names and still receives an average of one new panel every day to be added, according to information from the Names Project Foundation, the custodian of the quilt. Jorge Vieto, treatment advocacy coordinator for Positive Force, a program of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, took part in the namereading ceremony. “My original plan was simply to attend and remember and honor my uncle who died of AIDS when I was a little boy,” he said. He noted that the disease had also affected his leather brothers and sisters and that he was also there to provide support for those currently living with HIV/AIDS as well as his friends grieving for those they lost. The Names Project, which used to be headquartered in San Francisco, was the first organization Vieto volunteered for fresh out of high school and soon after coming out. His first introduction to the quilt was while attending college, as some of the panels were brought for a display. “At the time I only had a sense of ‘borrowed loss,’ since I didn’t get to know my uncle very well and I, myself, had not seen first-hand what this disease can do,” Vieto said. Vieto, 33, was one of many visitors who talked about the importance of the exhibit. “It is important because it is a clear reminder that even though there has been huge advances in human rights, medicine, prevention, and care, there have been countless people who lost their lives because of lack of information, apathy, and stigma,” he said. Many of the panels will be familiar to Bay Area residents, including ones for Dr. Tom Waddell, founder of the Gay Games; Marlon Riggs, a gay African American filmmaker; and actor Rock Hudson. Nicolas Hunter also participated in the name reading ceremony. Hunter, who volunteers at Under One Roof, heard about the exhibit from Beth Feingold, the store’s executive director who was one of the organizers of the local exhibit. “I’ve seen photos of the quilt before, so I was excited to be able to see it in person,” he said. Hunter was asked by Feingold to participate in the ceremony. “I immediately said yes, because to me it is such a privilege and an honor to be part of such a deeply moving event, saying their name out loud was a way to recognize that individual, as well as letting them not be forgotten.”

Younger generation Hunter, 28, who is of a younger

Rick Gerharter

Kevin Craft and Jorge Vieto embrace while listening to the reading of names at the display of the AIDS Memorial Quilt in the Castro District Sunday, February 12.

Cynthia Laird

The panel for gay African American filmmaker Marlon Riggs is one of many on display in the Castro.

generation, is fortunate not to personally know anyone who has lost the battle to AIDS. “I feel guilty, but I am so blessed that I don’t know anyone that has died from this disease,” he told the Bay Area Reporter. Hunter recognized that although he did not personally know any of the names he read off his list, that they are special to him because they paved the way early on in the fight. People such as Hunter were one of the driving forces behind the exhibit. Petyr Kane, owner of clothing stores Citizen and Body, told local merchants earlier this month that his employees who are of the younger generation had no knowledge about the quilt. Hunter, who is HIV-positive, has been an active volunteer in the LGBT community since first moving to San Francisco seven years ago. “The HIV/AIDS epidemic was not something that I personally knew, but it was something that I felt touched me because it was considered by many to be associated with the LGBT community. It wasn’t until three or four years later, when I was diagnosed as HIV-positive, that

it hit home even more,” he said. Hunter said that he thinks the younger generation of gay youth feel entitled. “They are given so many rights as gay people, and they think that they just appeared out of thin air. The previous generation had to fight long and hard to make these things available to us,” he said. Vince Scalise, 62, who lost his husband to AIDS in 2010, also took a moment to reflect on the quilt. “I am so proud to have had made a panel – to show how many people who have passed away from this illness and to keep my husband alive in name and spirit,” he said. While the panel for his husband, Chad Scalise, wasn’t part of the display, the quilt serves as a reminder and helps him remember all that he went through. He hopes that it will keep others aware that AIDS is still present and is not over just yet. “We need to be smart and the young ones need to know that it will get them if they are not safe,” he said. Mike Smith, a co-founder and former member of the Names Project board and current executive director See page 16 >>

Community News >>

February 16-22, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 9

Jane Philomen Cleland

Year of the Dragon T

his dragon contingent was one of several in the San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade on Saturday, February 11 that marked 2012 as the Year of the Dragon. The annual event is one of the largest events of its kind outside of Asia. Mayor Ed Lee took part, along with other politicians and community leaders.

New film chronicles gay Episcopal bishop Conference in England in 2008. Robinson delivered a sermon at a London church during the gathering, but a heckler interrupted it. Parishioners clapped and sang hymns to drown him out as security personnel escorted him from the church. Robinson stood solemnly until the heckler had been removed. “Pray for that man,” he said at the altar as his voice began to tremble. “Fear is a terrible thing and the opposite of love is not hate, but fear.” Robinson conceded that he didn’t know if the heckler had a gun or a bomb inside the motorcycle See page 17 >> Hector Emanuel, Center for American Progress

New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson and Love Free or Die director Macky Alston, left, spoke to a guest at a reception in Washington, D.C., on February 13.

by Michael K. Lavers


t was a sultry late June afternoon in 2009 when New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson walked along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan and handed cups of water to those who marched in New York City’s annual Pride Parade. He stressed the biblical importance of giving water to the poor during a sermon he delivered at the First Presbyterian Church of New York’s annual Pride service a couple of hours earlier. While the congregation traditionally hands out water to Pride revelers each year, Robinson’s participation in this annual tradition that coincided with the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots made this simple act even more symbolic. “This is the oppressor offering a cup of water to those we have oppressed,” said Robinson, referring to religious-based homophobia. “There’s power in that and there is repentance in that so I was trying to get the congregation to understand what an important symbol it was and how important it was that they do it.” This scene is one of several contained within Love Free or Die, a documentary directed by Macky Alston and produced by Sandra Itkoff that chronicles three years of Robinson’s life as the Episcopal Church’s first openly gay bishop. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last month, but Robinson sat down with the Bay Area Reporter shortly before the Center for American Progress screened it in Washington, D.C., on February 13. “This movie kind of chronicles

not just my journey, but the journey of the Episcopal Church toward a more inclusive stance,” said Robinson. Robinson’s 2003 election sparked a firestorm of controversy among Episcopalians and the broader Anglican Church. He wore a bulletproof vest during his consecration on the campus of the University of New Hampshire because he had received death threats. Anti-gay protesters gathered outside the hockey arena in which the ceremony took place. Sharpshooters were positioned on surrounding rooftops. Robinson’s consecration threatened to tear the Anglican Church apart. A handful of parishes cut ties with the Episcopal Church; but his partner of nearly 25 years, Mark Andrew, quietly stood by his side as the debate continued to rage around them. “He’s just been great,” said Robinson, reflecting upon the impact his consecration has had on their relationship. Andrew constantly scanned the crowds who came to see Robinson in the years immediately after his election because of the death threats the couple received. Robinson said the majority of New Hampshire Episcopalians have accepted him and his partner with open arms. “He’s liked being the bishop’s spouse more than he thought he would and more than I thought he would,” he said. The reception that Robinson has received from church hierarchy has proven far less welcoming. Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams barred Robinson from attending the decennial Lambeth

10 • BAY AREA REPORTER • February 16-22, 2012

Serving the LGBT communities since 1971

Read more online at

February 16-22, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 11

12 • BAY AREA REPORTER • February 16-22, 2012

Serving the LGBT communities since 1971

Read more online at

February 16-22, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 13

<< The Sports Page

▼ Airman who came out on YouTube is ready to ride 14 • BAY AREA REPORTER • February 16-22, 2012

by Roger Brigham


andy Phillips became a celebrity of sorts last fall through a quiet act he took in a moment of profound isolation. This spring, when he rides in the 11th annual AIDS/ LifeCycle, he will be able to share the joy of the moment with the thousands of fellow riders and event onlookers on his way from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Airman Phillips, 21, gave a human face to the repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” last September when he returned to his room on Ramstein Air Base in Germany to call his father, back home in Alabama, to tell him he was gay. He videotaped the call and posted it on YouTube, and the video link was quickly circulated throughout the blogosphere as part of the DADT repeal coverage. (The policy was formally repealed September 20.) The call went well, with father and son strongly reiterating their love for each other. A call a few minutes later to his mother, also available on YouTube, was rockier and is gut-wrenching to watch, awkwardly exploring the permutations of fear, hope, de-


DOMA From page 1

to unfairly burden gay and lesbian couples. The case involves Lisa Chun and Esther Lee, who had been together since 1998 and have two young sons. They registered as domestic partners with the state of California in 1999 and, in 2003, the two married in Vancouver, Canada. Last September Chun moved to end the relationship, and the dissolution of their partnership has proved to be bitterly fought. A contentious hearing was held December 11 before San Francisco Superior Court Judge Monica Wiley over the payment of child and spousal support. It dragged on beyond the expected 20 minutes that had been allotted. Rushed for time, Wiley inadvertently calculated the amount of spousal support as if the women were a straight married couple instead of using the formula for registered domestic partners. It also appears the judge incorrectly classified Chun’s various sources of revenue for federal tax purposes.

spair, parental expectations, and religious admonitions that so frequently permeate coming-out experiences. “It’s probably one of the most life-changing things I’ve ever done,” Phillips said of his coming out in a phone interview with the Bay Area Reporter this week. “I’d never realized how big of a deal it was and how much happier I’ve been since. I’ve been able to be so much closer to my friends and my family. Everybody knows and there’s no hiding it. There’s no going back. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done.” Phillips’s videos caught the attention of activist and blogger Ryan Yezak of Los Angeles. Yezak rides in the AIDS/LifeCycle for Team Popular, raising nearly $400,000 in the past two rides for AIDS services at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center. “He hit me up on Twitter when I did the video and talked about the ride,” Phillips said. “I said, Okay,’ and then within about two hours I made up my mind I was going to do it and made it ‘Twitter official.’” Never mind that Phillips, who says he has been in a steady relationship

The errors, if not fixed, could have negative tax implications for the two women, as the Internal Revenue Service does not treat them the same as it would a heterosexual couple due to DOMA. “The court’s support calculation contains two errors that make a significant difference in the amount of child and spousal support payable by Lisa to Esther,” Chun’s attorney, Andrea Palash, wrote in a motion requesting that the judge recalculate what Lee is owed based on the mathematical formula used for same-sex domestic partners. In an interview this week Palash said had there been more time she thinks the mistake could have been corrected during the court proceeding last year. “This is the first time I have ever had a contested support motion in a same-sex case,” said Palash. She added that Chun is not trying to avoid her legal obligations. “It is not my client didn’t want to pay support, she just wanted to pay the correct amount,” said Palash, who added she hopes the matter can be re-

Randy Phillips prepares to call his parents to tell them he is gay. The video of the call to his father went viral on YouTube last fall.

since around Thanksgiving, isn’t a cyclist and has never even been to California. The former high school baseball player and wrestler lifts weights and plays a little bit of tennis and golf, but biking? Not so much. “I have yet to hop on a bike and I have not been on a bike in years,” he said, “but I ran a half-marathon yesterday. I’m trying to get in some cardio and basically do some small rallies around here and in France. It’s hard to do it right now; it’s freezing here. The high this week has been about 15 degrees.” Phillips said he has already raised

$13,600 in pledges from almost 100 people. “It’s growing just about every day,” he said. AIDS/LifeCycle registration is closed for roadie supporters, but remains open for participants and limited spots are open for bike technicians and the medical team. The seven-day ride starts June 3 and covers 645 miles, ending up at the Veterans Administration in Westwood. Organizers say previous AIDS/LifeCycle rides have raised more than $13 million for SFAF and the LA Center.

solved between the parties. Several attorneys contacted by the Bay Area Reporter said it appears the judge made a simple error. “It looks like a mistake that would be easy for a judge to make if rushed and pushed the wrong button,” said Jennifer C. Pizer, the legal director and Arnold D. Kassoy senior scholar of law at UCLA’s Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy. Patricia Cain, a professor who teaches sexuality law at Santa Clara University School of Law and is an expert on DOMA, agreed. “The judge got it wrong here,” said Cain. “The judge approved an order that calculated too high an alimony payment.” Because of how the IRS treats same-sex couples due to DOMA, it is normal practice in California for judges to require less spousal support to be paid in a gay divorce in order to compensate for the difference in tax deductions same-sex couples can seek, explained Pizer. “What California family courts usually do is they lessen the amount of support a payor would pay because they understand she won’t get a deduction. She has to pay tax on that money,” said Pizer. “The recipient of the money, in this instance Esther, has to pay income tax because she is receiving income.” If the calculation isn’t revised, said Pizer, “there is a risk here that the IRS would require both to pay tax.”

the years has been updated to grant the same rights and responsibilities married couples receive to domestic partners, many LGBT couples may assume the same is true when it comes to divorces, which are handled by state courts. “People who are married, even of the same sex, think they are married. They tend to ignore DOMA or don’t know how DOMA applies,” said Cain. “DOMA has nothing to do with child custody or parenthood status under state law. It has everything to do with federal income tax when you have a statute that uses the word spouse.” Couples can be surprised to learn that due to the restrictions DOMA places on the IRS, the anti-gay federal law complicates their divorce proceedings. “You may not be getting certain federal tax treatment because of DOMA. That may affect a number of things for the couple that California law really can’t do anything about,” said Jon W. Davidson, the legal director at Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund. “I think most people are not going to fully understand how they deal with it. It is more complicated.” The fact that Palash cited DOMA in the petition she filed with the superior court seeking to correct the judge’s mistake has brought the issue into the forefront. It also has caught the attention of other attorneys who specialize in family law and work with LGBT spouses. “To me the take-away from this is this is why same-gender couples have to work harder and more cooperatively together because of the potential for these kinds of mistakes,” said Spiegel. A group of fellow attorneys he meets with regularly last week discussed the petition that mentioned DOMA, said Spiegel. Part of the debate centered around if it was necessary to cite DOMA considering LGBT legal groups, in a set of community standards created to address custody disputes in LGBT families, advise lawyers not to “take advantage” of anti-gay laws. “It is a rare set of facts because it was triggered by something that was essentially inadvertent. We are used to DOMA coming up in so many other contexts so this is an unusual one it has come up in,” said Spiegel.

Complicated proceedings The case illustrates why many attorneys who specialize in family law counsel LGBT clients who are divorcing or dissolving their domestic partnerships that it is in their best interest to do so amicably. “Given that DOMA denies samegender couples the options straight people have to organize our finances when divorcing, it provides even more incentive for same-gender couples to work cooperatively in our divorces,” attorney Charlie Spiegel, who helped organize a Valentine’s Day talk for fellow divorce lawyers about federal tax implications in gay divorces, told the Bay Area Reporter. “Minimize the money we send to Uncle Sam and have more to divide within the couple and provide for our families’ support.” Because California family law over

For information about the ride, how to participate or donate, and training events, visit Phillips said it took him a few hours to get up the courage to call his parents once he had made up his mind, facing the fear of the unknown, isolation from his loved ones. Now he’s hoping the grit that got him to master his fears will help him master the AIDS/LifeCycle. “I’ve just got to hope this determination will get me through everything,” he said. He expects to get to the Bay Area for pre-race training in late May, shortly after his 22nd birthday. He still has a lot more Air Force service ahead – “I’m still committed for three years, one month, and three days, but I could possibly end up getting out a little bit early” – but when he gets to San Francisco, he’ll be a young man reaching a new horizon, ready to ride with a world of new friends.“The best thing is not having to worry about whether somebody goes through your computer or being able to go to sleep every night knowing it’s okay,” Phillips said. “It’s having friends that know you and accept you. It’s great having absolutely nothing to worry about. It’s a very personal decision. I think everyone will do it in their own time. You know exactly when you’re ready.”▼

Palash said she included DOMA in her motion because it is germane to the argument she is making on why the spousal support needs to be recalculated. “I wasn’t thrilled about having to file a motion but it happens,” she said. “I wanted to lay it all out for the judge. Here is what you can do and why.” Having worked on marriage equality issues over the years, Lee told the B.A.R. that she was stunned when she saw DOMA brought up in her divorce proceedings. Even though her attorney has advised her that the judge made an error, Lee said it does not lessen the hurt she felt in seeing the anti-gay law be referenced. “The federal government is hampering my ability to provide for my family right now,” said Lee. “I don’t completely understand how in one sense we have reached the other side of the rainbow, but when it comes to married life, we hit this barbed wire fence.” If anything, said Lee, the situation has reinvigorated the activist in her. She said she wants to re-engage in efforts to repeal DOMA. “We don’t have the right to love equally under the law,” said Lee, who helped launch the Equality Federation focused on strengthening statewide LGBT groups. “I am not a lawyer. If I see a law I don’t like, I am going to change that law. I have always fought the good fight.” Los Angeles attorney Roberta Bennet, a nationally recognized expert on LGBT family law, declined to comment about the DOMA citation in the local case. But she did say it appears the judge erred and that the case demonstrates how complicated LGBT divorces can be. “Yes the court miscalculated spousal support,” Bennet wrote in an emailed response to the B.A.R. “Yes, a legally married same sex couple or CA Registered Domestic Partner paying spousal support cannot deduct said payments on his/her tax returns. Yes, these spousal support payments can be deducted on CA tax returns. Messy? You bet!”▼ Collaborative Practice San Francisco offers a monthly workshop for couples thinking about divorce. For more information on the location and cost, visit www.

Community News>>

February 16-22, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 15

Study: HIV med tenofovir raises kidney risk by Liz Highleyman


IV-positive people who take the popular antiretroviral drug tenofovir are more likely to show signs of impaired kidney function, according to a San Francisco study with more than 10,000 participants published online this month in the journal AIDS. Tenofovir, produced by South San Francisco-based Gilead Sciences, is one of the most widely used HIV drugs, sold under the brand name Viread and part of the Truvada and all-in-one Atripla combination pills. Highly effective and generally well tolerated, tenofovir has been linked to kidney problems and bone loss in some studies, but data have been inconsistent. In one of the largest tenofovir kidney toxicity studies to date, Dr. Michael Shlipak, MPH, from the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and his team evaluated 10,841 patients in the VA HIV Clinical Case Registry who started antiretroviral treatment between 1997 and 2007. Most were men, with an average age of 46 years. The researchers looked at markers of kidney damage including proteinuria (protein in the urine), serum creatinine levels, and glomerular filtra-

tion rate, a measure of how well the kidneys can filter the blood. During a follow-up period of approximately four to six years, a total of 3,400 people developed proteinuria, 3,078 experienced rapid decline of kidney function, and 533 developed chronic or persistent kidney disease. After controlling for other risk factors such as older age, smoking, diabetes, and high blood pressure, the researchers found that longer exposure to tenofovir was associated with significantly increased likelihood of kidney problems. These included a 34 percent higher risk of proteinuria, 11 percent higher risk of rapid kidney decline, and 33 percent higher risk of chronic kidney disease for each additional year of tenofovir use. Analysis of 18 other HIV drugs failed to find comparable increased risk. While the relative risk increases appear large, the absolute likelihood of developing kidney damage is still quite small. For example, explained lead study author Rebecca Scherzer, Ph.D., the likelihood of developing chronic kidney disease in one year rose from about 1 percent for nonusers to about 2 percent for people who used tenofovir. For proteinuria, the risk rose from about 8 percent to about 13 percent per year. The likelihood of kidney problems

What to do now?

Art Ramsey

Researcher Dr. Michael Shlipak

remained elevated for at least six to 12 months of follow-up after stopping tenofovir, leading the researchers to conclude that the damage “did not appear to be reversible.” Nevertheless, they noted that tenofovir is an important component of antiretroviral therapy and its known benefits must be balanced against potential risks. HIV infection itself is a risk factor for kidney disease, and on the whole effective antiretroviral treatment reduces the odds of developing kidney problems.

For people already on antiretroviral therapy, “the best strategy right now is to work with your health care provider to continually monitor for kidney damage,” according to Shlipak. “Early detection is the best way to determine when the risks of tenofovir begin to outweigh the benefits.” Monitoring should include regular blood and urine testing, since kidney impairment usually does not cause symptoms until it reaches an advanced stage. “In absolute terms, the incidence of kidney damage due to tenofovir remains low overall, but the fact that all three types of kidney problems were irreversible and continued to climb as long as a person stayed on [tenofovir] should make us pause,” said David Evans of Project Inform. For people considering treatment for the first time, “patients need to be aware of their kidney disease risks before they start therapy,” Shlipak said. “For an otherwise healthy patient, the benefits of tenofovir are likely to exceed the risks, but for a patient with a combination of risk factors for kidney disease, tenofovir may not be the right medication.” “I think there’s a widely held perception that antiretroviral therapy is

so good now that we don’t have to worry about side effects,” Evans told the Bay Area Reporter. “Currently, we don’t have a good nucleoside backbone combination without serious side effects in at least some individuals.” The calculation shifts when HIVnegative people consider using tenofovir or the Truvada combination for pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, to prevent becoming infected. Studies presented over the past two years have shown that PrEP reduced the risk of new infections by up to about 90 percent among gay and bisexual men and up to about 75 percent among serodiscordant heterosexual couples, though results were less promising for heterosexual women. These trials did not find evidence of kidney damage, but numbers may have been too small or follow-up too short to see this effect. “In the roughly 5,000 people who took a PrEP regimen containing tenofovir there were no significant differences in markers of kidney health between those on tenofovir and those on a placebo,” Evans explained. “That said, I think it will be very important to not ignore even small changes in kidney function should PrEP ever be used more widely in the real world.”▼

SF, Santa Cruz start Pride marshal process by Seth Hemmelgarn

bers to send in nominations for grand marshals for that city’s 38th annual Pride Parade, which will take place June 3. This year’s theme is “Life Gets Better Together.” Each year the center selects two


he process has begun for selecting grand marshals for this year’s San Francisco and Santa Cruz LGBT Pride parades. In January, information was posted to the San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration Committee’s website and in other places soliciting public nominations for honorees, who typically appear in the Pride Parade. The public selects one recipient each for individual and local organizational community grand marshal honors, and one choice for the Pink Brick, which goes to someone who has caused harm to the LGBT community. According to Pride Committee Executive Director Brendan Behan, the nonprofit received 30 individual community grand marshal nominations, 10 nominations for organizational community grand marshal, and seven Pink Brick nominations. “We have been very excited by the fact that this year’s open nomination process has received the greatest number of nominations in the past four years,” Behan said in an email. This month, the board is reviewing the public nominations and will select the final list of nominees for March balloting, pending nominees’ acceptance. The Pride Committee will announce the final list of candidates to appear on the public ballot by the end of February. Public polling will begin March 1 at locations throughout the Bay Area and online at The deadline for receipt of all public polling ballots is March 31. In April, the board reviews and certifies the public polling results and honorees are announced. Also this month, Pride’s membership will begin making nominations for their choice of individual community grand marshal. That process starts at the next general planning meeting, which begins at 7 p.m., Tuesday, February 21 at the Pride Committee’s offices, 1841 Market Street, fourth floor. Nominations for the membership’s grand marshal choice will be open until February 28. The membership will select an individual community grand marshal at its April 10 meeting. Becoming a Pride member is free,

Jane Philomen Cleland

SF Pride Committee Executive Director Brendan Behan

but voting rights don’t commence until 60 days after one’s application is accepted. In addition to the other honorees, the Pride Committee’s board may select a lifetime achievement grand marshal, as many as three individual community grand marshals, and a national organizational grand marshal. Pride’s electoral college, which is made up of former grand marshals, also selects an individual community grand marshal. Grand marshals from 2011 included Aaron Belkin, who along with others successfully advocated for the repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ban on gays serving openly; marriage equality advocate the Reverend Roland Stringfellow; Alameda County Superior Court Judge Victoria Kolakowski, and local organizational grand marshal the GLBT Historical Society. The Pride festivities typically include celebrity grand marshals, as well. Last year’s guests in that category included Academy Award-winning actress Olympia Dukakis and transgender advocate Chaz Bono. The 42nd annual San Francisco Pride Celebration and parade, themed “Global Equality,” is June 2324. Visit for more information.

Santa Cruz Down in Santa Cruz, the Diversity Center, which produces the Pride Parade, has called on community mem-

people who have given extraordinary service to the LGBT community to lead the parade as grand marshal. Nominations are open until March 15 and cannot be for people who have received this recognition

in previous years. Grand marshal nominations can be made online at the Diversity Center’s website, (click on the “Grand Marshal” link), or by calling (831) 425-5422.▼

<< Community News

16 • BAY AREA REPORTER • February 16-22, 2012

Global outrage hits Russia over anti-LGBT legislation by Heather Cassell


nternational leaders vehemently decried St. Petersburg’s move to criminalize and shut down all public displays and publications of anything that appears to be related to homosexuality under the guise of “protecting children from pedophilia.” Members of the St. Petersburg Legislature are set to vote on the third round of the anti-LGBT bill February 15. The bill, proposed in November by United Russia deputy Vitaly Milonov, places steep fines – from $170 up to $17,250 – for individuals or organizations promoting “nontraditional sexual relationships,” reported Interfax. The fines were raised 10 times exponentially after legislators passed a draft in November, according to experts. Russia decriminalized homosexuality in 1993. Homosexuality was removed from federally recognized


TL Health’s status From page 1

The nonprofit had been hit hard by a cut of over $500,000 in federal funding, officials have explained. According to the statement, new providers were expected to be announced by the end of January. Since then, however, there haven’t been any clear updates on what’s happening with the agency. Tenderloin Health Executive Director David Fernandez, Public Health Director Barbara Garcia, and Tenderloin Health board Chair Andy Chen haven’t responded to interview


Quilt display From page 8

of the AIDS Emergency Fund, was one of the organizers of the Castro exhibit. So far, he has been pleased with the turnout. “It felt like a community,” he said of Sunday’s opening. “There aren’t too many opportunities to come together in a space like that.” Smith said he was “relieved” to still see there is interest in the quilt. He selected the blocks that are on exhibit, noting each one has at least one panel for someone connected to the Bay Area. “A lot are the much older panels,” made from “spray paint and bed sheets,” he said, adding that others are more elaborate.

Beginnings The quilt was conceived in 1985 by longtime San Francisco gay rights


HIV testing From page 1

They also have reported that more new infections occur among young black MSM than white MSM aged 13 to 29 and 30 to 39 combined (6,400). Yet the rising rates do not appear to be due to unsafe sexual behaviors. Research has shown that black gay and bisexual men do not engage in riskier behaviors than other gay men. Instead, health officials believe they are at higher risk for HIV due to the high prevalence of HIV that already exists in many black and gay communities, increasing a person’s likelihood of becoming infected with each sexual encounter. “Black gay and bisexual men across the country are already doing many of the right things to protect themselves – but more need to

count to meet its international human rights obligations and respect the rights and dignity of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Russians,” said Senator Louise Pratt of the Western Australian Labor Party, who co-sponsored a motion to the Australian Senate last week condemning Russia’s anti-LGBT laws, reported the Star Observer. “The St. Petersburg Parliament

should not pass this law,” she added. Members of the European Parliament and the Intergroup on LGBT Rights agreed, imploring the European Union to “make the highest possible representation” to Russia to speak out in defense of human rights. The law echoes similar legislation in the region proposed in Lithuania in 2009 and 2011 and developing laws in Ukraine, according to a February 14 statement from the EP’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights. “We have recently seen the introduction of a new law that bans the so-called ban on promotion of homosexuality; it’s starting point is that homosexuality is wrong,” Michael Cashman, member of the European Parliament and co-president of the Intergroup on LGBT Rights, said at a meeting February 13. “I would maintain what is wrong is the promotion of intolerance and discrimination – precisely what these repressive laws set out to achieve,” said Cashman, who expressed concern about similar laws in other Russian states and the proposed federal law.

He cited that three activists had already been detained and fined under the anti-LGBT laws in Russia, but what was most concerning to him is that, “it is wide enough to censor anyone who dares to speak for those who have no voice.” On February 9, officials at the U.S. State Department showed reserved concern when questioned by reporters about the U.S. stance on the situation in Russia. “We are concerned by proposed local legislation in Russia that would severely restrict freedoms of expression and assembly for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals, and indeed, all Russians,” a spokesperson for the department told reporters. Outrage sparked around the world following the second passage of the anti-LGBT bill last week. Protesters were detained outside of the Parliament by Russian police after the vote, according to Russian LGBT activists that spoke out on international LGBT listserves.▼

requests for this story. In a phone interview almost a week after the agency’s closure was announced Fernandez said that he was still trying to raise money to save the nonprofit. The statement on Tenderloin Health’s closure had made no mention of any such effort. Fernandez has canceled two recently scheduled meetings with the Bay Area Reporter to discuss his agency’s status. He called off the first meeting, set for February 6. In an email that day, he said there were “new developments” that may allow him to provide more details when he met with the paper’s

staff, and he needed to reschedule. “It may be a long shot but I need to follow through, as it could mean possibly staying open,” he said. He added, “I know we had hoped to have all the details by the end of January, but they are still not all determined as of yet.” He said the health department was working on finding new service providers. The decision on closure “is not ours to make,” he said, “though we have agreed that final decisions should be made this week.” The meeting was reset to Tuesday, February 14. On Sunday, February 12, Fernandez said in an email that there

had been a death in his family and he’d be out of the office for a couple days. He said he’d contact the B.A.R. when he returned to set another meeting date. Besides the health department, Tenderloin Health also receives money through other agencies, including the San Francisco Human Services Agency. Trent Rhorer, the executive director of that organization, said in early January that he imagined transitioning clients would take two to three months. He didn’t immediately respond to an email late Tuesday afternoon. Supervisor Jane Kim, whose

District 6 includes Tenderloin Health, said in a statement emailed by an aide that her office is communicating with Garcia. “I know this is important for our constituents, particularly those living with HIV/AIDS, and we’re committed to supporting any and all efforts to maintain the same level of care in our community that residents have come to depend on from Tenderloin Health,” Kim said. Around the time the news on the closure was announced, Tenderloin Health had about 3,000 unduplicated clients and a budget of $6.4 million. ▼

activist Cleve Jones, who at the end of a march commemorating the assassinations of Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone, began to tape placards bearing the names of friends and loved ones who had died of AIDS to the wall of the San Francisco Federal Building. The wall of names resembled a patchwork quilt. In 1987, a group of strangers gathered in a San Francisco storefront to document the lives they feared history would neglect. Their goal was to create a memorial for those who had died of AIDS, and to thereby help people understand the devastating impact of the disease. This meeting of devoted friends and lovers served as the foundation of the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. Jones himself was on hand for several hours Sunday, and said the quilt display was “lovely.”

“They did a good job in the selection,” he said. Jones acknowledged that he has a “complicated” history with the Names Project and is no longer affiliated with it. (He sued for wrongful termination in 2004 and later settled.) He continues to be upset that the quilt is housed in an Atlanta warehouse. “The current leadership took a powerful weapon in the fight against AIDS and decommissioned it,” Jones said. “The quilt must be returned to San Francisco.” Julie Rhoad, executive director of the Names Project, told the B.A.R. in a phone interview Tuesday that the quilt, “regardless of geography, travels the world.” Portions of the quilt have been displayed hundreds and hundreds of times, she said, adding that she believes “San Francisco was an ideal birthplace” for the quilt.

“It’s not warehoused here,” she said of the Atlanta facility. “It’s cared for here.” On October 11, 1987, the quilt included 1,920 panels and was displayed for the first time on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. during the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. The quilt returned to Washington in October 1988, when 8,288 panels were displayed on the Ellipse in front of the White House. The last display of the entire quilt was in October 1996 when it covered the entire National Mall in Washington. According to the Names Project’s website, the quilt was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, and is today the largest community art project in the world. The quilt has been the subject of countless books, films, scholarly papers, articles, and theatrical, artistic and musical

performances. The film, Common Threads: Stories From the Quilt, won the Academy Award as the best feature-length documentary in 1989. The main exhibit at 2278 Market Street, the location of the old Tower Records, will be open to the public free of charge from noon to 8 p.m. through Monday, February 20. (Donations are welcome.) Additional locations of the exhibition include Under One Roof (518A Castro Street); Catch Restaurant, where the quilt and Under One Roof were initially housed (2362 Market Street); Bank of America (501 Castro Street); and Body (450 Castro Street). Joanie Juster, who helped coordinate the reading of the names on Sunday, said that people are welcome to read names when they visit the main exhibit.▼

make HIV testing a regular part of their lives,” stated Kevin Fenton, an openly gay black man who is director of the CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and Tuberculosis Prevention. “Testing Makes Us Stronger was designed by black gay men for black gay men and strives to communicate the power of knowing your HIV status as a first step toward staying healthy.” This latest advertising push is part of the CDC’s Act Against AIDS initiative that was launched in 2009. It marked the first time that the federal agency had developed specialized messaging aimed at black MSM ages 18 to 44. A campaign dubbed “Know Where You Stand” debuted last spring and featured billboards in 14 cities, including San Francisco and Oakland. It also sought to en-

courage black MSM to get tested for HIV. The latest iteration of the campaign was expected to appear in Oakland in late 2011 but ended up being pushed back into the new year. The rollout coincided with this year’s National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, which took place February 7. “The campaign was significantly delayed. We are happy it is out,” said Ernest Hopkins, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation’s director of legislative affairs who also served on the CDC committee overseeing the AIDS initiative, in an interview with the B.A.R. Despite the increased attention in recent years on black MSM, they and African Americans in general continue to be disproportionately impacted by HIV. According to the CDC, blacks make up just 14 per-

cent of the U.S. population but account for more than 40 percent of HIV and AIDS cases and deaths. One in six black men will test HIV-positive in their lifetime, the majority of whom will be men who have sex with men. One in 32 black women will acquire HIV. Black men account for almost one-third (31 percent) of all new HIV infections in the U.S., according to the CDC. The rate of new HIV infections for black men is more than six times as high as the rate among white men, nearly three times that of Hispanic men and black women. As part of its effort to turn these numbers around and promote HIV testing, the CDC plans to have a presence at 15 black Pride events this year. The focus on testing ties into the growing body of evidence that one of the best ways to prevent

HIV is by treating those with the disease. Knowing one’s HIV status not only can benefit the individual, it can also benefit the greater community through the suppression of viral loads. If a person’s HIV infection is undetectable, there is less chance of them transmitting the virus. The dividends could be particularly beneficial for black men who date other black men, considering that HIV is so prevalent in their community. It is recommended that sexually active MSM get tested every three to six months. “Now, while this campaign is just one part of the solution, we’re very excited about the role we hope it will play in communicating to black gay and bisexual men that HIV testing makes them safer, wiser and stronger,” said Fenton.▼

illnesses by Russia’s Health and Social Development Ministry in 1999. St. Petersburg is often touted as Russia’s most liberal city that is home to a number of LGBT organizations. Russian LGBT activists and international human rights officials are concerned that if signed into law the St. Petersburg bill will lend support to a similar proposal that is in the works in Moscow and a federal law, suggested by political leaders. Three other regions in Russia – Ryazan (2006) and Arkhangelsk and Kostroma (2011) – have already instituted similar anti-gay laws. The United States, Australia, and the European Parliament immediately condemned Russia for its actions. Australian legislators proposed a resolution condemning Russia’s blatant attacks on LGBT human rights. “It’s now more important than ever to ensure we hold Russia to ac-

Protesters in Russia demonstrate against an anti-gay bill.

A longer version of this column is online at

Cynthia Laird contributed to this report.

▼ <<

Community News>>

It Gets Better

From page 2

fer guidance to his younger brother, who’s also gay, and he said his older sister is transgender. He said he grew up “in a conservative, religious family,” but it was “always an understanding family.” Mayor Ed Lee, who was among


Gay bishop From page 9

helmet he held as he shouted at him. “It really affected me,” he said. “More than the danger of it, I was just overwhelmed at what were the events in this guy’s life that led him to be there doing that. It just made me very, very sad.”

Opening doors Episcopal leaders at their 2009 General Convention approved two resolutions that affirmed gay and lesbian clergy and allowed bishops to bless same-sex unions. Los Angeles Bishop Mary Glasspool became the first partnered lesbian to be ordained in the church with her 2010 consecration. New Hampshire has also changed since 2003. Gays and lesbians have been able to legally marry in the state since 2010 – Robinson officiated one of the first same-sex weddings that took


News Briefs From page 5

house to celebrate its new office space. For more information about CUAV’s services, visit

BALIF dinner coming up Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom, the local LGBT bar association, will hold its 32nd annual dinner and awards gala Friday, March 9 at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The event is BALIF’s largest, with an estimated 600 attendees, including lawyers, judges, lawmakers, legal professionals, students, and in-house counsel. This year’s theme is “Celebrating San Francisco Values.” Tickets start at $150. For more information and to register, visit www.

KQED, bank seek LGBT ‘heroes’ Public television station KQED and Union Bank have once again teamed


Political Notebook From page 7

“Well, I don’t have any update for you on that particular issue in regards to the president’s views,” he said during his February 7 press briefing. While he was an Illinois state lawmaker, Obama indicated on a questionnaire from a Chicago gay newspaper that he backed marriage rights for same-sex couples. But during his presidential race in 2008 he backtracked on that position and, ever since, has said he supports civil unions but not marriage. He did oppose Prop 8 that year as being discriminatory and spoke out against the need for a federal constitutional amendment barring samesex marriage. Instead, Obama counseled that the issue should be left to the states to decide. Since entering the Oval Office Obama has grown closer toward full support of marriage equality. His administration, while still enforcing the federal Defense of Marriage Act, has refused to defend the discriminatory anti-gay law in several court proceedings. “The president has been hinting for years that his thoughts are evolving. I have no doubt that he supports in his heart full equality for gays. He

those watching the video last week, said he was proud of the people who appear in it. “A lot of kids still need to hear the love and embracement we have for them,” he said. As of Wednesday, February 15, the video, which is available at www., had been viewed more than 125,000 times. ▼

place in New Hampshire after the law took effect. Robinson, who entered into a civil union with Andrew in 2008, has also spoken out against a bill that would repeal the state’s marriage equality law. “I don’t think there’s enough traction to overturn it,” said Robinson, noting that polls indicate roughly 60 percent of New Hampshire voters oppose the measure. “I think we’re going to be okay on that issue.” Nearly a decade after his historic consecration, Robinson’s trademark humor and loquacious mannerisms remain. He plans to retire from the church early next year, but he reluctantly and humbly accepts the suggestion that his story has inspired hope among LGBT people around the world. “If somehow there’s been that kind of help given to them by my story, then why would I deprive them of that,” said Robinson. “Even though it feels weird, I’ve learned to say, ‘gosh, thank you so much.’”▼

up for the annual Local Heroes Awards for the LGBT community and nominations are now being accepted. LGBT folks living in the San Francisco area who have shown leadership and dedication to serving their community through participation in the arts, business, activism, education, social services, health services, or other relevant fields are welcome to be nominated. Of those nominated, four will be chosen and recognized during a celebratory event during Pride Month in June. Nomination forms are available at KQED’s website, The deadline for submissions is midnight Monday, March 12. Union Bank is partnering with public television stations throughout California and designed the Local Heroes program to pay tribute to local people who are making a difference in their workplace, profession, neighborhood, community, region, and the world. For more information, visit▼

is stepping slowly toward full equality. But the community has to keep the pressure up and not let the administration avoid LGBT rights,” Thom Lynch, the former executive director of the LGBT Community Center in San Francisco, told the B.A.R. Now the executive director of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles – Obama was there Wednesday for two campaign fundraising events – Lynch comments about politics on his personal blog and Facebook account. He said it is incumbent upon the LGBT community to continue to press the president on issues such as marriage. “I believe it was pressure that eventually moved him on DADT and DOMA,” said Lynch, referring to repeal of the military’s anti-gay “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. “Gays have few alternatives if they care about LGBT rights. But they must push. Obama keeps saying ‘make me.’ Let’s make him.”▼

On the web Online content this week includes a photo from the Cupid’s Back party and Bay Area Reporter’s online column, Political Notes.

February 16-22, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 17

Classifieds The

Legal Notices>>

STATE OF CALIFORNIA IN AND FOR THE COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO FILE# CNC-12-548367 In the matter of the application of CHARLES ULYSSES TATE II for change of name. The application of CHARLES ULYSSES TATE II for change of name having been filed in Court, and it appearing from said application that CHARLES ULYSSES TATE II filed an application proposing that his/her name be changed to CHARLOTTE URSULA TATE. Now therefore, it is hereby ordered, that all persons interested in said matter do appear before this Court in Room 514 on the 8th of March, 2012 at 9:00 am of said day to show cause why the application for change of name should not be granted

JAN 26,FEB 2,9,16,2012 NOTICE OF APPLICATION TO SELL ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES Dated 01/24/12 To Whom It May Concern: The name(s) of the applicant(s) is/are: CYBERNIB CORPORATION. The applicants listed above are applying to the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control at 1515 Clay Street, Suite 2208, Oakland, CA 94612 to sell alcoholic beverages at 225 Frederick St., SF CA 94117-4017. Type of license applied

21- OFF-SALE GENERAL FEB 2, 9, 16, 2012 STATEMENT FILE A-034059000 The following person(s) is/are doing business as JAMBER, 858 Folsom St., SF, CA 94107. This business is conducted by a limited liability company, and is signed Jessica Voss. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on NA. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 01/18/12.

JAN 26,FEB 2,9,16,2012 STATEMENT FILE A-034059100 The following person(s) is/are doing business as COCODRILO RECORDS, 1438 Hudson Ave., SF, CA 94124. This business is conducted by an individual, signed Miguel A. Ramirez. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 01/18/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 01/18/12.

JAN 26,FEB 2,9,16,2012 STATEMENT FILE A-034051400 The following person(s) is/are doing business as SILUETA, 845 East 12th St., Pittsburg, CA 94565. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Haydee F. Nunez. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 01/12/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 01/12/12.

JAN 26,FEB 2,9,16,2012 STATEMENT FILE A-034060800 The following person(s) is/are doing business as MISSION PIZZA, 2074 Mission St., SF, CA 94110. This business is conducted by an individual, signed Hatem Chouaieb. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on NA. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 01/18/12.

JAN 26,FEB 2,9,16,2012 NOTICE OF APPLICATION TO SELL ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES Dated 02/03/12 To Whom It May Concern: The name(s) of the applicant(s) is/are: SHARAKA VENTURES INC. The applicants listed above are applying to the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control at 1515 Clay Street, Suite 2208, Oakland, CA 94612 to sell alcoholic beverages at 1136 Valencia St., SF, CA 94110-3027. Type of license applied

41- ON-SALE BEER AND WINE EATING PLACE FEB 9, 2012 STATEMENT FILE A-034051200 The following person(s) is/are doing business as L. STONE & CO., 1446 41st Ave, SF, CA 94122. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Laurel Moore. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 01/12/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 01/12/12.

JAN 26,FEB 2,9,16,2012 NOTICE OF APPLICATION FOR CHANGE IN OWNERSHIP OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE LICENSE Dated 02/06/12 To Whom It May Concern: The name(s) of the applicant(s) is/are: SUGITA FOODS INC. The applicants listed above are applying to the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control at 1515 Clay Street, Suite 2208, Oakland, CA 94612 to sell alcoholic beverages at 704 Sutter St., SF, CA 94109. Type of license applied




The following person(s) is/are doing business as AUTOWORLD COLLISION, 5550 Mission St., SF, CA 94112. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Roger Wong. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 01/01/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 01/20/12.

The following person(s) is/are doing business as NORTHERN CALIFORNIA ASSET LIQUIDATORS, 243 Parnassus Ave. #4, SF, CA 94117. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Frederick Gulotta. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 01/19/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 01/20/12.

JAN 26,FEB 2,9,16,2012 STATEMENT FILE A-034045200

FEB 2, 9, 16, 23, 2012 STATEMENT FILE A-034081800

The following person(s) is/are doing business as CASSAVA BAKERY & CAFÉ, 3519 Balboa St., SF, CA 94121. This business is conducted by a limited liability company, and is signed Yuka Ioroi. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on NA. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 01/10/12.

The following person(s) is/are doing business as PRIORITY PERSONAL SERVICES, 2636 Judah St. #207, SF, CA 94122. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Alex Tico. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 01/26/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 01/26/12.

JAN 26,FEB 2,9,16,2012 STATEMENT FILE A-034064000

FEB 2, 9, 16, 23, 2012 STATEMENT FILE A-034081700

The following person(s) is/are doing business as 1.TUMMY MORSELS, 2.TUMMY MORSEL, 3.TUMMYMORSELS.COM, 1012 Kirkham Ave., Apt.4, SF, CA 94122. This business is conducted by an individual, signed Brian Lasofsky. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on NA. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 01/20/12.

The following person(s) is/are doing business as AT CONSULTING, 2636 Judah St. #207, SF, CA 94122. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Alex Tico. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 01/26/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 01/26/12.

JAN 26,FEB 2,9,16,2012 STATEMENT FILE A-034061000 The following person(s) is/are doing business as 1.CORONA HEIGHTS CONSULTING GROUP, 2.SLOMAN CONSULTING, 1222 Clayton St., #11, SF, CA 94114. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Mark Sloman. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 11/30/11. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 01/18/12.

JAN 26,FEB 2,9,16,2012 STATEMENT OF ABANDONMENT OF USE OF FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME: #A-0339749-00 The following persons have abandoned the use of the fictitious business name known as CORONA HEIGHTS CONSULTING GROUP, 1222 Clayton St. #11, SF, CA 94114. This business was conducted by a general partnership, signed Mark Sloman. The fictitious name was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 11/30/11.

JAN 26,FEB 2,9,16,2012 STATEMENT OF ABANDONMENT OF USE OF FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME: #A-0319547-00 The following persons have abandoned the use of the fictitious business name known as SLOMAN CONSULTING, 1222 Clayton St.,#11, SF,CA 94114.This business was conducted by a general partnership, signed Mark Sloman. The fictitious name was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 04/28/09.

JAN 26,FEB 2,9,16,2012 STATEMENT OF ABANDONMENT OF USE OF FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME: #A-0335185-00 The following persons have abandoned the use of the fictitious business name known as STAR 16, 2074 Mission St., SF, CA 94110. This business was conducted by an individual, and is signed Michael Wannaviroj. The fictitious name was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 04/26/11.

JAN 26,FEB 2,9,16,2012 STATEMENT FILE A-034060100 The following person(s) is/are doing business as SIGSBEE’S, 371 Waller St.,#10, SF,CA 94117. This business is conducted by a limited liability company, and is signed Jennifer Jett. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on NA. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 01/18/12.

JAN 26,FEB 2,9,16,2012 STATEMENT OF ABANDONMENT OF USE OF FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME: #A-0332973-00 The following persons have abandoned the use of the fictitious business name known as A BOOK IN THE HAND, 1454 Cortland Ave., SF, CA 94110.This business was conducted by a general partnership, signed Cathleen O’Brien. The fictitious name was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 01/26/11.

JAN 26,FEB 2,9,16,2012 STATEMENT FILE A-034062500

FEB 2, 9, 16, 23, 2012 STATEMENT FILE A-034066500 The following person(s) is/are doing business as ROYAL SEAFOOD RESTAURANT COMPANY, 2241 Judah St., SF, CA 94122. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Xiong Hua Xie. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on NA. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 01/20/12.

FEB 2, 9, 16, 23, 2012 STATEMENT FILE A-034038500 The following person(s) is/are doing business as DOUBLE INFINITY, 88 Perry St. #205, SF, CA 94107. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Thomas Burns. 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 01/06/12.

FEB 2, 9, 16, 23, 2012 STATEMENT FILE A-034083800 The following person(s) is/are doing business as VFORTAL CLEANING SERVICES, 5214F Diamond Heights Blvd. #712, SF, CA 941312175. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Viviane C. Cavalcante. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 01/26/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 01/26/12.

FEB 2, 9, 16, 23, 2012 STATEMENT FILE A-034089900 The following person(s) is/are doing business as GREEN MEADOWS JANITORIAL SERVICE, 658 Linden St., SF, CA 94102. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Beverly Hull. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 01/30/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 01/30/12.

FEB 2, 9, 16, 23, 2012 STATEMENT FILE A-034084000 The following person(s) is/are doing business as LA BOHEMIA PRODUCTIONS, 2905 23rd St., SF, CA 94110. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Carlos Disdier. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 01/26/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 01/26/12.

FEB 2, 9, 16, 23, 2012 NOTICE OF APPLICATION TO SELL ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES Dated 01/26/12 To Whom It May Concern: The name(s) of the applicant(s) is/are: LAUREL ENTERPRISES LLC. The applicants listed above are applying to the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control at 1515 Clay Street, Suite 2208, Oakland, CA 94612 to sell alcoholic beverages at 3250 Middlefield Rd., Menlo Park, CA 94025-1828. Type of license applied


The following person(s) is/are doing business as MB ELECTRIC, 243 Chenery St., SF, CA 94131. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Michael T. Ballingall. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 02/15/86. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 01/19/12.

The following person(s) is/are doing business as MSN INTERACTIVE TECHNOLOGY, 711 Market St. 2nd Fl., SF, CA 94103. This business is conducted by a general partnership, signed Masud Husain. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 01/24/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 01/25/12.

FEB 2, 9, 16, 23, 2012

FEB 2, 9, 16, 23, 2012


Serving the LGBT communities since 1971

18CORPORATION, 2012 • Bay Area Reporter • February 16-22, DBA STEPPINGSTONE, a participant in the Child and Adult Care Food Program, is soliciting letters of interest from prospective suppliers of meals in order to comply with the federal regulations governing the program in matters of procurement. The contract will be for lunches served to clients at their four centers: STEPPINGSTONE MABINI DAY HEALTH, 55 MABINI, SAN FRANCISCO; STEPPINGSTONE GOLDEN GATE DAY HEALTH, 350 GOLDEN GATE AVENUE, SAN FRANCISCO; STEPPINGSTONE PRESENTATION DAY HEALTH, 301 ELLIS STREET, SAN OF FRANCISCO; STEPPINGSTONE MISSION PUBLIC NOTICE INTENT TO SOLICIT BIDS CREEK DAY HEALTH, 930 FOURTH STREET, SAN FRANCISCO The NORTH AND SOUTH OF MARKET ADULT DAY HEALTH, for a one-year period beginning 07/01/2012. CORPORATION, DBA STEPPINGSTONE, a participant in the Child and The lunches to be served under this contract must meet the requirements of Adult Care Food Program, soliciting of interest Title 22 of the State Health isand Welfare letters Code and Title 7,from Codeprospective of Federal suppliers of meals in orderantoaverage comply1/3 with the federal governing Regulations, and contain RDA. All foodregulations service vendors who the program in matters of procurement. Theare contract will be for lunches may have interest in bidding for this contract requested to submit, by served to clients at of their four to: centers: STEPPINGSTONE MABINI 02/29/2012, a letter interest SteppingStone, Mission Creek ADH, DAY HEALTH, 55 MABINI, SAN FRANCISCO; STEPPINGSTONE Attn: Moli Steinert, 930 Fourth Street, San Franicsco, CA 94158 GOLDEN GATEregarding DAY HEALTH, 350 GOLDEN AVENUE, Any questions this proposed contractGATE may be referredSAN to: FRANCISCO; STEPPINGSTONE PRESENTATION DAY HEALTH, Moli Steinert at 415-974-6784. 301 ELLIS STREET, SAN FRANCISCO; STEPPINGSTONE MISSION CREEK DAY HEALTH, 930 FOURTH STREET, SAN FRANCISCO for a one-year period beginning 07/01/2012. The lunches to be served under this contract must meet the requirements of Title 22 of the State Health and Welfare Code and Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations, and contain an average 1/3 RDA. All food service vendors who may have interest in bidding for this contract are requested to submit, by 02/29/2012, a letter of interest to: SteppingStone, Mission Creek ADH, Attn: Moli Steinert, 930 Fourth Street, San Franicsco, CA 94158


Legal Notices >> 2x3s Stepping Stone_2

The San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART or District) requests qualifications and proposals to provide services to operate the District’s parking permit programs, by Concession Permit No. M342-12, for a period of three (3) years. The District may, at its sole discretion, extend the permit for up to two additional one (1) year periods, under the same terms and conditions. The primary service to be provided is selling BART’s monthly reserved, airport/ long-term and single day reserved parking permits, primarily via the Internet, using a connection from BART’s web page to the Permittee’s web page. Sealed proposals will be received at the office of the District Secretary until 2:00 PM., Tuesday, March 13, 2012 at the following addresses. By Mail: San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District District Secretary Office 23rd Floor P.O. Box 12688 Oakland, California 94604

Any questions regarding this proposed contract may be referred to: Moli Steinert at 415-974-6784.


By Personal or Express Delivery: San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District District Secretary Office 23rd Floor 300 Lakeside Drive Oakland, California 94612

Sealed bids will be received by NORTH AND SOUTH OF MARKET ADULT DAY HEALTH, CORPORATION, DBA STEPPINGSTONE at 930 FOURTH STREET, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94158 until 04/13/2012 for meals for service in four Adult Day Care Centers. At said time and place and promptly thereafter all bids that have been duly received will be publicly opened and read aloud. Desciption of Product for Bid: Bulk Lunches (inclusive of milk), delivered Monday-Friday to four location, based on a 31 day menu cycle NOTICE INVITING BIDS to be provided by this agency. Sealed bids will be received by NORTH AND SOUTH OF MARKET All meals of every type will meet the minimum standards set by the ADULT DAY HEALTH, CORPORATION, DBA STEPPINGSTONE United States Department of Agriculture for Child and Adult Care at 930 FOURTH STREET, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94158 until Food Program meals of that type. 04/13/2012 for meals for service in four Adult Day Care Centers. At The Contract awardedthereafter to the responsible bidder said time and placewill andbe promptly all bids that havewhose been duly bid is responsive to be thepublicly invitation and isand most advantageous to received will opened read aloud. STEPPINGSTONE, price and other factors considered, with any or all Desciption of Product for Bid: Bulk Lunches (inclusive of milk), bids rejected when it is in the interest to do so. delivered Monday-Friday to four location, based on a 31 day menu cycle to be provided by this agency. statement file A-034089200

statement file A- 034096500

following person(s) is/are set doing All meals ofis/are everydoing type will meet theThe minimum standards bybusiness the as The following person(s) business as STANCE LAB, 3542 Anza St., SF, CA 94121. This 1.J&T COMPANY, 2.FAITH Department SANDWICH, 548 of 6th Agriculture United States for Child and Adult Care business is conducted by an individual, and is Ave., SF, CA 94118. This business is conducted Food Program meals of Wilson that type. signed Tam. The registrant(s) commenced by a husband and wife, signed Jack Duong. The to transact business under the above listed registrant(s) commenced to transact business The Contract will be awarded to the responsible bidder whose fictitious business name or names on 02/01/12. under the above listed fictitious business name bid is responsive to the invitationTheand is most statement wasadvantageous filed with the City to and County or names on 01/27/12. The statement was filed of considered, San Francisco, CAwith on 02/01/12. withSTEPPINGSTONE, the City and County of San price Francisco, CA other factors and any or all feb 9, 16, on 01/30/12. bids rejected when it is in the interest to23, do MAR so. 1, 2012

feb 2, 9, 16, 23, 2012 statement file A-034076100

statement file A-034102200

The following person(s) is/are doing business as I.P. ESTIMATES, 1300 Sacramento St. #304, SF, CA The following person(s) is/are doing business 94109. This business is conducted by an individual, as FOX MARKET, 570 Larkin St., SF, CA 94102. and is signed Illario Peppe. The registrant(s) This business is conducted by a corporation, commenced to transact business under the above and is signed Dipak Gandhi. The registrant(s) 395 Ninth Street S.F.listed CAfictitious business name or names on commenced to transact business under the above 02/02/12. The statement was filed with the City listed fictitious business name or names on NA. PHONE 415.861.5019 FAXand861-8144 County of San Francisco, CA on 02/02/12. The statement was filed with the City and County FEB 9, 16, 23, MAR 1, 2012 of San Francisco, CA on 01/24/12

Submission of a qualifications and proposal shall constitute a firm offer to the District for one-hundred and eighty (180) calendar days from the last day for receipt of qualifications and proposals. BART reserves the right to reject any and all qualifications and proposals. Please direct all questions regarding this RFQ/P to BART’s Access Department Manager, Mr. Kevin Hagerty, at (510) 4646169 or by email at “” 2/16/12 CNS-2259607# BAY AREA REPORTER

statement file A-034068000 The following person(s) is/are doing business as WATERLOO BEVERAGES, 295 Terry Francois St., Shed A, SF, CA 94158. This business is conducted by a limited liability company, and is signed John Valeer. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 01/01/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 01/23/12.

FEB 9, 16, 23, MAR 1, 2012 statement file A-034110900 The following person(s) is/are doing business as CAVALIER, 1035 Post St., SF, CA 94109. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Jay Jeffers. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on NA. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 02/07/12.

Fax to:

Fax from:

FEB 2, 9, 16, 23, 2012 statement file A-034080400

statement file A-034098400

The following person(s) is/are doing business as SHELTER CO., 701 Florida St., SF, CA 94110. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Kelsey Sheofsky. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on NA. The statement was filed with the City and County S.F. CAof San Francisco, CA on 02/01/12.

The following person(s) is/are doing business as THE DUBLINER, 3838 24th St., SF, CA 94114. This business is conducted by a corporation, and is signed Cheuk Yan Yeung. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above fictitious 395listed Ninth Street business name or names on NA. The statement feb 9, 16, 23, MAR 1, 2012 was filed with the City and County of San PHONE 415.861.5019 FAX 861-8144 statement file A-034067800 Francisco, CA on 01/25/12 The following person(s) is/are doing business as FEB 2, 9, 16, 23, 2012 ALLIANCE COMPUTER’S, 2600 Judah St., SF, CA Statement of abandonment of 94122. This business is conducted by an individual, use of fictitious business name: and is signed Dzmitry Bychkou. The registrant(s) #A-0339393-00 commenced to transact business under the above The following persons have abandoned the listed fictitious business name or names on NA. use of the fictitious business name known as The statement was filed with the City and County PRIORITY CARE SERVICES, 2636 Judah St. #207, of San Francisco, CA on 01/23/12. SF, CA 94122. This business was conducted by feb 9, 16, 23, MAR 1, 2012 an individual, signed Alex Tico. The fictitious statement file A-034046700 name was filed with the City and County of San The following person(s) is/are doing business as Francisco, CA on 11/09/11. ORTIZ TAX AND NOTARY SERVICES, 2517 Mission

FEB 9, 16, 23, MAR 1, 2012 statement file A-034112200 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: DANTE’S WEIRD FISH, 2193 Mission St., SF, CA 94110. This business is conducted by a corporation, and is signed Peter Hood. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on NA. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 02/07/12.

Fax to:

Fax from: FEB 9, 16, 23, MAR 1, 2012

feb 2, 9, 16, 23, 2012 state of california in and for the county of san francisco file# CNC-12-548390

statement file A-034112300 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: THE PERCH, 2199 Mission St., SF, CA 94110. This business is conducted by a corporation, and is signed Peter Hood. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on NA. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 02/07/12.

FEB 9, 16, 23, MAR 1, 2012 statement file A-034104600

St. #8, SF, CA 94110. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Olga Ortiz. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 01/11/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 01/11/12.

The following person(s) is/are doing business as: EDWARD MARTINEZ FABRICATIONS, 79 Sharon St., SF, CA 94114. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Edward Martinez. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 01/31/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 02/03/12.

feb 9, 16, 23, MAR 1, 2012 statement file A-034105700

feb 16, 23, MAR 1, 8, 2012 statement file A-034107200

In the matter of the application of WEIXING XIAO for change of name. The application of WEIXING XIAO for change of name having been filed in Court, and it appearing from said application that WEIXING XIAO filed an application proposing that his/her name be changed to LANA RUSH. Now therefore, it is hereby ordered, that all persons interested in said matter do appear before this Court in Room 514 on the 3rd of April, 2012 at 9:00 am of said day to show cause why the application for change of name should not be granted

The following person(s) is/are doing business as WIZARD OF ADS, 335 Grand View Ave. #1, SF, CA 94114. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Herman J. Hobi. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 02/01/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 02/03/12.

The following person(s) is/are doing business as: MOTOR ARZT, 1023 Mission St., SF, CA 94103. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Carl Peters. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 02/06/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 02/06/12.

feb 9, 16, 23, MaR 1, 2012

feb 9, 16, 23, MAR 1, 2012

feb 16, 23, MAR 1, 8, 2012

Our Annual Reader’s Choice Awards, one of the largest and most widely read issues of the year, will publish on April 5, 2012 and will celebrate the best the Bay Area has to offer from an LGBT perspective. Our Reader’s Choice Award ballot is on the back page of this issue. Vote on your favorites from local restaurants, shopping and services to the best places to work, live, love and more. And win valuable prizes.

SUMMONS DOMESTIC RELATIONS SUIT IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE STATE OF OREGON FOR THE COUNTY OF LANE In the Matter of the marriage of SHANA L. TUCKER, Petitioner, and ALBERT A. TREJO, Respondent, to ALBERT A. TREJ0, home address 80 Beachside Ct., Daly City, CA 94015, work address 111 Taylor St., San Francisco, CA 94102. The petitioner has filed a Petition asking for DIVORCE WITH CHILD. If you do not file the appropriate legal paper with the court in the time required (see below), the petitioner may ask the court for a judgment against you that orders the relief requested. NOTICE TO RESPONDENT: READ THESE PAPERS CAREFULLY! You must “appear” in this case or the other side will win automatically. To “appear,” you must file with the Court a legal paper called a “Response” or “Motion.” Response forms may be available through the court located at Lane County Courts, 125 East 8th Ave., Eugene, OR 97401. This Response must be filed with the court clerk or administrator within thirty (30) days of the date of first publication specified herein: 02/15/12, along with the required filing fee. It must be in proper form and you must show that the Petitioner’s attorney (or the Petitioner if he/she does not have an attorney) was served with a copy of the “Response” or “Motion.” The location to file your response is at the court address indicated above. If you have questions, you should see an attorney immediately. If you need help finding an attorney, you may call the Oregon State Bar’s Lawyer Referral Service online at www. or by calling (503) 684-3763 (in the Portland metropolitan area) or toll free elsewhere in Oregon at (800) 452-7636. If special accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act is needed, please contact your local court at the address above; telephone number (541) 682-4020. Certificate of Document Preparation. You are required to truthfully complete this certificate regarding the document you are filing with the court. I selected this document for myself and I completed it without paid assistance, signed SHANA L. TUCKER, 2555 Roosevelt Blvd. #22, Eugene, OR 97402, (541) 232-8150.

feb 16, 23, MAR 1, 8, 2012 statement file A-034113400 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: SNAPDOCS, 1369 Hyde St. #26, SF, CA 94109. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Stefani Herr. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on NA. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 02/07/12.

feb 16, 23, MAR 1, 8, 2012 statement file A-034113200

statement file A-034111400 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: STEVE BOECKELS AND ASSOCIATES, 270 Valencia #503, SF, CA 94103. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Stephen Boeckels. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 02/07/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 02/07/12.

feb 16, 23, MAR 1, 8, 2012 statement file A-034108400 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: FIORI DESIGNS BY SARINA, 60 29th St. #630, SF, CA 94110. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Sarina Safina. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on NA. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 02/06/12.

feb 16, 23, MAR 1, 8, 2012 statement file A-034117600 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: KRISHNA HOTEL, 2032 Mission St., SF, CA 94110. This business is conducted by a limited liability company, and is signed Sailesh Patel. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 01/24 /12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 02/08/12.

feb 16, 23, MAR 1, 8, 2012 statement file A-034121500 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: VINYL, 359 Divisadero St., SF, CA 94117. This business is conducted by a corporation, and is signed Michael Musleh. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 02/09/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 02/09/12.

feb 16, 23, MAR 1, 8, 2012 Statement of abandonment of use of fictitious business name: A-032932200 The following persons have abandoned the use of the fictitious business name known as: CARINA MOBILE, 210 Fell St. #4, SF, CA 94102. This business was conducted by an individual, signed Tim C. DeBenedictis. The fictitious name was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 07/26/10.

feb 16, 23, MAR 1, 8, 2012 statement file A-034125900 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: POISON, 2451 Bay St., SF, CA 94123. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed David Baxter. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 02/13/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 02/13/12.

feb 16, 23, MAR 1, 8, 2012 statement file A-034125100

The following person(s) is/are doing business as: A LINEAGE EDUCATION, 4309 Lincoln Way, SF, CA 94122. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Ali M. Salahshoor. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 02/07/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 02/07/12.

The following person(s) is/are doing business as: CARLO’S NOOK,2919 24th St., SF, CA 94110. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Dean Clark. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 02/01/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 02/13/12.

feb 16, 23, MAR 1, 8, 2012

feb 16, 23, MAR 1, 8, 2012

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Vol. 41 • No. 07 • February 16-22, 2012

‘Without’ & ‘Straight Out of Hunters Point 2’ by David Lamble

Joslyn Jensen in director Mark Jackson’s Without. Courtesy SF IndieFest


he final week of SF IndieFest offers an intelligently bleak eye on same-sex love gone awry. Without, a simultaneously heartbreaking and subversively funny meditation on a queer teen coming apart emotionally after the death of a lover, begins with a tight close-up on an almost perfectly androgynous face. It takes a beat to grasp that we’re watching a young woman, whose internal weather is bleaker than the costal fog seen from the deck of a Washington State ferry boat carrying her to the job from hell.

Joslyn could be the lead singer for one of those terribly hip Northwest indie bands, but she isn’t. Instead the girl is headed for a secluded part of Whidbey Island, where for the next week she’ll be tending to the survival of a catatonic, wheelchair-bound senior, Joe, whose family unit, wrapped too tight, provides their new housegirl with a list hubby Bob dubs the Bible. When’s she’s not feeding or changing him, Joslyn is to keep Joe’s chair parked in front of a high-tech satellite TV system. “So don’t ever press this button: press this

and it shuts the whole system down, and it takes about 15 minutes to reboot. You’ve got about 600 channels, but I just leave it on the fishing channel, that’s 354, that’s the one he likes to watch.” “Do you have Internet here?” “We don’t – we’re kind of roughing it out here.” The wife picks up the tutorial with orders not to put the knives in the dishwasher, and the disposition of intoxicating beverages. “Liquor cabinet – how old are you?”

“19.” “Well, it’s okay if you have a little bit of Kahlua, but don’t touch the whiskey, that’s Bob’s and he will notice, I promise you.” Joslyn’s attempts to lose herself in the dreary and humiliating routines that keep Joe in front of the Fishing Channel take their toll. The Groundhog Day-like wake-up jingle from her cell phone and the hamster-wheel monotonous treadmill exercises give way to sad latenight reveries as she watches a digital loop of See page 26 >>

Let us now praise Walker Evans

Vintage photographs installed at the Cantor Arts Center by Sura Wood

O Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

“Alabama Tenant Farmer” (1936), photo by Walker Evans, gelatin silver print.

ne of the first things you notice is the starkness, the desolation, the aloneness of people in Walker Evans’ photographic universe. There’s a notable absence of sex, relationship or connection between these human beings who forge ahead singularly and with determination on crowded city streets, gaze blankly riding on decrepit New York City subways, look out the window at the passing parade disengaged from those seated next to them in coffee shops, or simply hang out in front of the local barbershop wiling away a sultry southern afternoon. Walker Evans Photographs, an excellent new exhibition now on view at the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford through April 8, is a crisp, elegant installation of 121 mostly black-andwhite vintage prints and excerpts from books and magazine layouts that encompass this remarkable American photographer’s half-century career. The museum is the sole venue for the exhibition, which is its best in recent memory. See page 32 >>


Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

“Broadway” (1930), photograph by Walker Evans, gelatin silver print.

<< Out There

22 • BAY AREA REPORTER • February 16-22, 2012

Going full Gatsby by Roberto Friedman


o we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” Of all works of American literature to bring back to the public arena this year, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, with its capering rich, was perhaps the

most unlikely. But Ensemble Parallele was again doing the work of arts angels last weekend when they presented the world premiere of Jacques Desjardins’ chamber orchestration of John Harbison’s opera The Great Gatsby at the Novellus Theater in SF. The Jazz Age, with its high life for

the upper classes and utter drear for everyone else, is not too far a stretch from today’s economic inequalities, and this chamber Gatsby makes that case convincingly in its luxurious scenery (designer Matthew Antaky), costumes (designer Christine Crook) and video projections (artist Austin Forbord). Harbison’s score, brought vividly to life by artistic director Nicole Paiement and her orchestra, is full of jazz phrasing and flights of operatic flair. The principal parts were sung with feeling and commitment, led by lyric tenor Marco Panuccio as Gatsby, baritone Jason Detwiler as Nick Carraway and soprano Susannah Biller as Daisy Buchanan. Desjardins’ orchestration retains all of the sparkle of the opera’s original edition while making some judicious cuts. We’re not sure why the world premiere at the Metropolitan Opera was greeted with apparent indifference, but this talented ensemble of artists and musicians have returned it to its rightful place in the center of the American canon. Australian film auteur Mark Anthony “Baz” Luhrmann is currently in production with his own version of the classic novel, with Leonardo diCaprio in the Gatsby role, slated for release later this year. The Robert Redford movie famously flopped. From the vantage point of our desk deep in the “Valley of Ashes,” we’ll be curious to see if Baz can pull it off half as well as Parallele. In further news of artistic documentation of the social scene, Out There received a note from acclaimed art photographer Arthur Tress last week, presenting himself as if he needed introduction. “I am a well-known photographer of the male nude and have done several books on that. I am doing an exhibition of my photographs at the de Young Museum opening March 3. This is some of my early work that I did when I was 23 years old and just coming out. In the catalog we do talk about S.F. gay life in 1964, and about my older sister Madeleine and her partner, who made the exhibit possible.” Arthur Tress: San Francisco 1964 will offer over 70 photographs ranging from public gatherings to impromptu street portraits, views

Steve DiBartolomeo

Marco Panuccio as tycoon Jay Gatsby and Susannah Biller as Southern belle Daisy Buchanan in Ensemble Parallele’s The Great Gatsby.

of the peculiar contents of shop windows and commercial signs. This is the first museum showing of a virtually unknown body of Tress’ early work. Curator James Ganz explains, “The exhibition offers an evocative time capsule of the City by the Bay, and makes a fascinating contribution to the region’s rich photographic legacy.” The show will run March 3 through June 3 at the de Young Museum, watch these pages for an upcoming Sura Wood review.

Cheese whiz Last week the chefs at The Melt restaurant in One Embarcadero Center invited us over to sample six new grilled cheese sandwich ideas and soups to pair with them. As our taste buds are promiscuous, we agreed. We liked their offerings, with good cheeses and imaginative fillings. They presented six new sandwiches with accompanying soups. Having skipped lunch that day, we scarfed up the whole first halfsandwich, the classic with cheddar, alongside a yummy tomato-basil

soup. But by the time we got through the ballpark special with kosher hot dog bits, the wild mushroom and the mac-n-cheese, all with their own sidekick soups, we began to feel like we were in a competition-eating event, so we begged the presenters to cut each half-sandwich in thirds. By the “loaded potato” melt, stuffed with baked potato, chives and sour cream, and the spicy melt with barbecued potato chips and jalapeno peppers, we said, urp, uncle. These melted cheese creations were hell on our “muffin-top editor” figure, of course, but the cups of soup were surprisingly low in calories and quite delicious. Our favorite, the asparagus puree, put us in mind of long-past days working as a waiter at Monique’s, an erstwhile high-end country French bistro in Palo Alto that was popular with the city fathers for power lunches. As a teenager, Monique was a heroine in the French Resistance, running communiqués past enemy lines. By the time we were a working student at Stanford, she was chef and proprietress of this bistro, and her soups, all vegetable purees, were magnifique. “You have a leetle zup in your moustache, Ro-bair!” See page 25 >>

Arthur Tress, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

“Untitled (Van Ness at Geary Boulevard)” (1964, printed 2010-11), photograph by Arthur Tress, selenium-toned silver gelatin print.

Film >>

February 16-22, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 23

Material girls: Madonna & Wallis Simpson by Tavo Amador


adonna’s harshest critics would concede she’s no quitter. For more than two decades, she’s sought to replicate her success as a pop singer in movies. Most of her efforts have met with public indifference and critical derision. Her latest film venture is W.E., which she directed and co-wrote. The initials stand for Wallis Warfield Simpson and Edward VIII. The film opens in Manhattan in 1998. Wally Winthrop (Abby Cornish), named for Mrs. Simpson (1896-1986), is obsessed with the twice-divorced American woman for whom the King of England abdicated the throne in 1936. They became the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Wally’s husband, William (Richard Coyle), is a wealthy, admired, prominent doctor. Their marriage seems ideal. It’s not. She’s desperate to get pregnant, he doesn’t want children. He’s controlling, verbally and physically abusive, unfaithful. Perhaps borrowing from Julie and Julia (2009), the film flashes back to comparable events in Wallis’ (Andrea Riseborough) life. While living in Shanghai in 1924, her first husband, Win Spencer (Ryan Hayward), beat her, causing a miscarriage. Wally attends Sotheby’s April 1998 auction preview of the possessions of the Windsors, everything from clothes to the desk where he signed the Abdication letter to her fantastic jewels. Wally imagines London, 1931, where Wallis, now married to Ernest Simpson, is gaining a reputation as a witty hostess. Among their friends is Lady Thelma Furness (Katie McGrath), the married mistress of Edward, then Prince of Wales, known as David (James D’Arcy). She introduces the Simp-

James D’Arcy and Andrea Riseborough are the Duke and Duchess of Windsor in Madonna’s W.E.

sons to the popular, handsome, charming, intellectually lazy, seemingly empathetic prince, who appears touched by the Great Depression’s widespread poverty. Other scenes show his growing infatuation for Mrs. Simpson, his delight in her flippant treatment of him, and his constant presence at her small flat, where the patient Ernest pretends to be delighted by his company. As Wally slowly takes steps to leave William – helped by the unlikely romantic attentions of Evgeni (the handsome Oscar Isaac), a Sotheby’s security guard – her actions are contrasted with the frantic events following the death of George

V. David, now king, demands that Wallis become queen – but Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin (Geoffrey Palmer) adamantly refuses. Once the British populace learned of the royal romance, Wallis became the most detested woman in the empire. The turbulent months following his abdication before their wedding in France are chronicled with mounting excitement. Wally, free of William, goes to Paris to meet wealthy Egyptian businessman Mohamad Al Fayad (Haluk Bilginer), owner of the Duchess’ private letters, obtaining his permission to read them. They reveal that Wallis had pleaded with David not to abdi-

cate and later lamented the difficulty they had in living “the greatest romance of the century.” This inspires Wally to change her life. The movie shows Wallis saddened by her inability to have a child by the Duke, ignoring her famous quip, “David isn’t heirconditioned.” It suggests she was a pre-feminist martyr compelled to marry the irresponsible, irrationally besotted king. Her letters support that interpretation, but she wrote with eyes focused on posterity. In reality, she expected to be queen and gambled that David’s demands would be met. Thwarted, both had gone too far to stop. She

had publicly humiliated her husband, and the king, rejecting the option of making her his morganatic wife, felt compelled to give up the throne. They became the darlings of international café society, leading empty lives. Despite their wealth, they were notoriously parsimonious with staff, but expected friends to shower them with lavish gifts. He financed her insatiable desire for expensive, bold jewelry. Yet she briefly considered divorcing him to marry openly gay Jimmy Woolworth Donahue, heir to the five-and-dime store fortune, but after a fight in a nightclub, they never spoke again. The Windsors resided principally in Paris, in a beautiful, antiquesfilled house in the Bois de Boulogne, for which they paid the French government one dollar annually. They also owned a rustic “mill” outside the capital. He visited his family in England regularly, but she didn’t return until his 1972 funeral. She spent the last years of her long life comatose. Historical caveats aside, the movie is lush, often riveting. Madonna gets fine performances from the largely unknown cast, especially from the dazzling Riseborough, whose resemblance to the real Wallis is uncanny. She superbly conveys her narcissism, superficial charm, elegance, and conflicted feelings as she plunges ever deeper into unknown waters. The Manhattan, London, and Paris locations are beautifully photographed by Hagen Bodanski. Arianne Phillips’ costumes are perfect: Wallis epitomized chic. The sets are magnificent. Abel Korzeniowski’s original score suggests Cole Porter, Xavier Cugat, and Irving Berlin without copying them. Like the Duchess herself, much of W.E. is style over substance, but it makes for a fascinating two hours.▼

<< Theatre

24 • BAY AREA REPORTER • February 16-22, 2012

Girl from the North Country by Richard Dodds


hen Look Back in Anger was first staged in 1956, a publicist coined the phrase “angry young man” for playwright John Osborne. It was perhaps inevitable that Shelagh Delaney was dubbed an “angry young woman” when A Taste of Honey premiered two years later. It was an easy tag, as both playwrights explored ungilded lives in an England whose social order was scrambled after the war, but it was a label Delaney herself detested. She was not angry at all, she said, just a chronicler of the harsh, virile, and dramatically rich environment in which she was raised. That the native of Salford, in England’s North Country, was only 19 when A Taste of Honey was first produced also led to the mistaken assumption that at that age she had only her own life to mine for material. The main character in A Taste of Honey is a sullen, impoverished, unmarried teenager with a bi-racial child on the way and a self-absorbed alcoholic mother darting in and out of her life, but the young Delaney was a precocious teen with a focused intent on changing the ways in which contemporary society was depicted on the stage. The Virago Theatre Company, making an SF foray away from its base in Alameda, is offering a rare chance to sample A Taste of Honey, which is infrequently produced despite its initial wide embrace. This is a solid production, staged by Vira-

go’s Artistic Director Laura LundyPaine, who managed to bring life to Angels in America last year at the SF LGBT Center despite the barest of theatrical amenities. Thick House is an actual theater space with an expansive stage that has been decorated economically but with an impressionistic imagination by set designer Julie Gillespie, suggesting the itinerant lives of Jo and mother Helen in a series of decrepit flats. Jo, at 17, is just at the age when she can begin shedding the influences of her detrimentally domineering mother. “You’re nothing to me,” Helen says to Jo at one point. “I’m everything to myself.” Not that Jo really knows what to do with independence, beyond falling for a sailor she sees as an exotic escape. (He’s from Cardiff, and he’s also black.) The sailor does what sailors do, sail away, and Jo finds no-strings support from a young gay man who is also looking for non-judgmental acceptance. The scenes that make up A Taste of Honey are more slice-of-life samplings than plot-driven engines. But within those slices, emotions can range from daily drear to explosive confrontations. Those explosions are invariably ignited by Helen, who is grasping at her fading sexual allure, and sees Jo as a visible marker of her true age. (Interestingly, in the original Broadway production, Angela Lansbury played the mother and Joan Plowright the daughter despite Lansbury’s mere four-year seniority.)

Craig Merrill

Brigette Lundy-Paine plays a troubled teen and Michaela Greeley her abusive mother in Virago Theatre’s A Taste of Honey now at Thick House.

This production is fortunate to have as Helen the estimable actress Michaela Greeley, often seen to good advantage in demanding roles

at New Conservatory Theatre Center. Greeley doesn’t disappoint, creating a volatile character and letting us see the desperation behind her

cruelty. As daughter Jo, a perhaps too tidily pretty Brigette LundyPaine thoughtfully paints a pained and perplexed character, though she seemed to be rushing her lines on opening night. Brian Martin only lightly suggests a gayness that Helen and her beau mock as if the character were mincing about the stage. But it is a sweet, understated performance. Cast against type, David Bicha, who has frequently played queens aflame on local stages, works hard at suggesting an oversized swagger for Helen’s current squeeze. Daniel Redmond shows an appealing charm in the brief role of Jo’s sailor boyfriend. As for the play itself, its tendrils extend both into the past and into the future. Delaney said she wrote A Taste of Honey in response to seeing a genteel Terence Rattigan play with its comfortably covert allusions to homosexuality. Years later, singer-songwriter and sexual mystery man Morrissey of the Smiths would credit Delaney with inspiration for many of his songs, and used her picture on two album covers. While Delaney never again achieved the success of A Taste of Honey, she lived a productive and by most accounts contented life until her death last year at age 72. If she didn’t upend the cultural world, she pushed it a few degrees off a rusting axis with a single play.▼ A Taste of Honey will run through Feb. 25 at Thick House. Tickets are $15-$20. Go to

Escape from St. Paul by Richard Dodds


hat do you wish upon a mother who is overheard telling a friend that she sometimes wonders what her life would be like if she never had children? Life behind bars wouldn’t be enough. She should also be cursed with an extra-long prisoner

number that she would have trouble remembering. Many of the charms in Graham Gremore’s Private Parts, a new solo show about his childhood, arrive via unexpected details that nevertheless register with the authenticity of childhood logic. To an adult’s ears, there is nothing exceptionally calamitous or

uproarious that transpired in Gremore’s early years in St. Paul, but he often pulls us into his stories with an askew perspective or revealing fillip. Private Parts is being presented as part of SF Playhouse’s Sandbox series of new works in few-frills productions on the theater’s second stage. Gremore, currently in the MFA program at SF State, has a background in creative writing, and has performed his essays and short stories locally in the reading series LitUp Writers. His new stage piece at times reveals a prose writer’s affinity for the kind of evocative adjectives and descriptions that may work on the page but can pull a theatrical audience out of the naturalistic atmospheric spell that needs to be maintained. As a performer, Gremore has an awkward kind of charm and an evident greenness. At times evok-

Courtesy Graham Gremore

Writer-performer Graham Gremore takes us on a bittersweet journey to his childhood in Private Parts at SF Playhouse.

ing Charles Nelson Reilly or Paul Lynde when suggesting adult voices he heard as a child, Gremore doesn’t surprise us when he says he suspected he might be gay in the second grade after learning from another kid what gay men do: They sleep in the same bed, and then go to their jobs. It seemed at the time he would have to defer his gayness until he was gainfully employed. As Gremore tells us stories about his quarreling parents, a grandmother who would drunk dial during the day, renegade neighborhood children, the lady across the street with a secret, and other pubescent adventures and discoveries, he occasionally moves to an onstage piano to accompany him-

self on one of the quirky ditties he has written (with additional music and arrangements by Sasha Smith) that help illustrate his saga. It’s a novel and welcome touch. SF Playhouse Artistic Director Bill English has gently staged the piece without gimmicks. It falls to Gremore to carry his own story, and even if the pieces don’t necessarily cohere in any obvious way, the writer-performer takes us along on his bittersweet journey to a place from which he seems happy to have escaped.▼ Private Parts will run at SF Playhouse through Feb. 25. Tickets are $20. Call 667-9596 or go to

Music >>

February 16-22, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 25

San Francisco Symphony Conductor Laureate Herbert Blomstedt: confidence and mastery.

Gleaming towers of sound by Philip Campbell


onductor Laureate of the San Francisco Symphony Herbert Blomstedt served as Music Director of the orchestra from 1985 to 1995. His decade on the podium at Davies Symphony Hall left an indelible stamp that is immediately identifiable whenever he makes one of his regular homecoming visits. This year marked an especially significant return because it also coincided with the SFS’ centennial celebration. The legacy of Blomstedt’s tenure – confidence and mastery of the central repertoire, securing a rich and transparent string sound, and taking an unfussy but wise and expressive approach to interpretation – was satisfyingly on display during the last two weeks. The maestro usually brings back at least one of his signature composers (Bruckner, Beethoven, Sibelius and Carl Nielsen) for an appearance on part of every concert program he conducts. This year was no exception, though he did change course, veering into some surprisingly offbeat (at least for him) territory with a passionate reading of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5. Perhaps best known for his supreme understanding of the massive symphonies of Anton Bruckner, Blomstedt gave last week’s program over entirely to the gigantic Symphony No. 5. There is no connection between the Bruckner and Tchaikovsky Fifths other than the numbering, but it was interesting to note that a conductor who has made his international reputation with clear-eyed and


Out There From page 22

Anyway, these fledgling Melt outlets have been wildly popular, there are four locations today, but management is planning to open 21 more in the Bay Area and beyond by the end of the year. That’s a lot of cheddar a-melting.

Stonewall opera Arts writer Jason Victor Serinus interviewed gay composer and SF Conservatory of Music composition teacher David Conte, and supplies a few excerpts with gay interest. “[Poet] John Stirling Walker and I collaborated on 11 pieces before he died last May at the age of 49,” said Conte. “The last work he finished was

unemotional performances should ultimately prove more persuasive, at least on the evidence of a fortnight ago, by reveling in the lush sonorities of the Tchaikovsky Opus 64. Bruckner has been called an architectural composer building “cathedrals of sound” often enough to become cliché, and it is admittedly difficult to describe his music in any other terms. He gathers his big materials together then slowly assembles them into vast and gleaming towers of sound. Blomstedt has the big picture in mind, and that is probably why he manages to make such sense of Bruckner’s heavy tread. There is still plenty of attention to the smaller details, and Blomstedt has patience with some of the lengthier discursions, but he always gets us there, and usually ends in a place of exaltation. The recent performance of the Fifth Symphony did justify the conductor’s vision by the thrilling finale, and the overwhelming ovation of the grateful crowd certainly sent him on his way with shouts of admiration and affection. Unfortunately, this was not a perfect trip through the composer’s “Fantastic” symphony, marred by some ugly missteps by the brass and a surprising willingness by Blomstedt to glaringly highlight the disjointed episodes of the first movement. There were more than a few patrons bailing at the end of each of the first three movements, but there was also no denying that sticking with the conductor and ultimately trusting his direction paid off well. Not with the same remarkable emo-

tional dividends as the Tchaikovsky Fifth yielded, but with a renewed respect for the maestro’s skill. The orchestra plays for Blomstedt with obvious and willing obedience. If they trust him, it is because they know he coaxes excellence from everyone onstage. The first part of the truly memorable evening spent with Blomstedt and Tchaikovsky opened with local favorite Garrick Ohlsson essaying Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 9 with uncommon grace and clarity. I do not ordinarily look to Ohlsson in this repertoire, but he made a very good case for Mozart’s early piece, and his technique made a lovely match for the composer’s occasionally serious thoughts. Needless to say, the brilliant sections posed no threat for him. The Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5 is another big and beloved score by a composer who seemed to supply a never-ending stream of glorious melodies and dramatic moments. The SFS took Blomstedt’s highly controlled but emotionally indulgent lead immediately, and ran to the finish in a performance of cumulative power and great beauty. The audience responded with one of the biggest and most delighted standing ovations (and deserved) of the season. It was a fitting au revoir for a Conductor Laureate who never seems to age much, but who could well be celebrating his own 100th with the Symphony at DSH in another 16 years. This week, former Music Director of the SFS Edo de Waart returns for his own guest shot as part of the SFS Centennial party.▼

a libretto for an opera called Stonewall. It was commissioned by the University of Northern Colorado, and they’re doing it this fall. “The piece takes place partly in the spiritual world, where Michael Jackson and Judy Garland both appear. John’s idea was that they died almost to the day of each other, 40 years apart, thanks to doctors who badly mistreated them and pumped them full of pharmaceutical drugs. That plays into the opera in an interesting way, especially because Judy Garland’s funeral was the night before the Stonewall Rebellion.” Conte’s The Homecoming (2008), set to a poem by Walker, receives its reprise performances from Volti on March 2-4. It was originally com-

missioned by Chanticleer’s music director Joe Jennings, who led performances of it all over the country during the 40th anniversary year of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination, in 2008.

Tony the tiger From the AP reports about last weekend’s Clive Davis gala prior to the Grammies: Tony Bennett, the evening’s first performer, recounted recent big-name deaths in the music industry. “First it was Michael Jackson, then Amy Winehouse, now the magnificent Whitney Houston. Let’s legalize drugs, like they did in Amsterdam, it’s a very sane city now.” He clearly doesn’t know what goes on in those windmills.▼

<< Books

26 • BAY AREA REPORTER • February 16-22, 2012

Bosom buddies by Tim Pfaff


here’s a curious line in the Acknowledgments of Edmund White’s new novel, Jack Holmes and His Friend (Bloomsbury), in which White thanks his partner, Michael Carroll, for being “the one who suggested to me a new way of writing a novel.” It’s quite something for American’s greatest, most established, and most prolific gay novelist, now 72, to say. What could White have meant, and is this novel in significant ways “new” for him? Its story – a threedecade friendship between a gay man (who, when we first meet him, in the 1960s, doesn’t yet think of himself as gay) and a straight man he meets at his first journalism job in New York – is new turf for White, if hardly something we could not have imagined him writing. The novel’s structure – two outer sections, the first long, the second short, telling the story from the vantage point of the soon-enoughout Jack omniscient-narrator third person, flank a substantial middle section in first person by Will, providing a subjective angle on the object of Jack’s obsession – is so far as I know new for White, though hardly boundary-stretching in the contortionist world of present-day fiction. Was it simply that White wrote it naked? The prose, anyway, is as

bare as anything I can remember by White, and the extravagant yet not overwrought detail with which he depicts his characters’ physical attributes – this book hymns organs and the epidermis – may set new standards in descriptions of bodies and sex acts that eschew the pornographic. The novel bolts out of the gate, its bounding energy chiseled by White’s unerring sense of rhythm. Its first word “Jack,” the novel begins, if not quite abruptly, almost like a sequel to a book not yet written, with things on its mind and places to go. For all the “writing” going on in the background, it’s bald, purposeful prose that focuses its attention on telling its story and rarely stops to admire itself. It reads like I.B. Singer (if, preposterous as this is to contemplate, I.B. Singer were gay), every word deployed to advance a story so rich there’s a deed in every sentence. At a time when few authors know how to plot, or deign to, White’s generosity with narrative counts. It means we’re sometimes told things we might have expected – or wished – to be shown. “Sometimes Jack wondered if he’d like Will if he didn’t love him.” “Jack thought of Will as an amateur at living.” “[Jack] was always expecting his real life to begin in another year or two.” It can be like watching a dancer get injured

onstage, hyper-real and almost shame-inducing in the observer, in this case the reader. Yet we’re shown plenty, and regularly enough reminded of salient details that the images become indelible and even iconic. Asked to characterize Jack and Will, a reader fresh out of the book would probably begin with the facts that Jack – a transplant from the Midwest who becomes a successful New York journalist – has a big dick and that Will – a failed novelist turned corporate publication hack, whom Jack meets in the offices of the Northern Review – had bad acne before he had bad acne scars. Their long friendship has its twists and turns, longueurs and caesuras, but it grows and abides, and there’s unmistakable camaraderie and love in it. What they develop in tandem if not in common is a commitment to life as sexual libertines, with its various outcomes and consequences. Their lives overlap most significantly through other people, mostly through Jack’s unwittingly introducing Will to both his wife, Alex, and his first mistress, Pia, both important friends of Jack. Yet the closest the men come to physical intimacy of their own is when Will throws himself in Jack’s arms for the sole purpose of being comforted over a cruel Times review of his novel, which Jack, sheltering Will from his opinion, also found execrable. Jack – and consequently, the reader – doesn’t even see Will’s dick until three pages before the epilogue, when Will seeks Jack’s opinion about whether he has the clap. Jack’s subvocal thoughts are typical of White’s writing throughout the novel: “Nice shape. Looks like the circumcision was botched, with that extra dewlap of flesh hanging down on one side. Milk white skin with that ropy blue vein rushing down the shaft. Neither big nor little. Just big enough to satisfy anyone. Long straight hairs disguising its full size; it looks like one of those mad medi-


eval Japanese heroines in the movies with their pale faces drowned in hair pushed forward.” The strange thing is, despite the myriad reminders of how hung Jack is, in a bizarre upending of the old “I’ll show me mine if you show me yours” trope, we never really see Jack’s, at least not in the detail we do other characters’ body parts. It seems as sly a joke as White’s choice of his main character’s name. Maddeningly, we wonder if White is winking at us, naming him after that legendary porn star, Johnny “The Wad” Holmes, exactly contemporaneous with Jack? Whatever the answer to that, what readers are most likely to re-

member about Jack’s membrum virile is a campy comment from one of his earliest male sex partners, the dancer – wait for it – Peter: “A lot of guys would be afraid of your dick. If you went around a sauna they’d all follow you around, but then they wouldn’t know what to do with it. They’d throw it over one shoulder and burp it and weep.” The thing is, the novel is about many serious matters all constellated around friendship, which White puts forward as the deepest of human relationships. Visiting Alex while she and Will are taking a “vacation” from their crisis-strewn marriage, White See page 27 >>

Without From page 21

dead girlfriend videos. Mark Jackson’s psychologically acute script walks us through an unconventional, emotionally naked checklist for a character simultaneously guilt-ridden and drowning in grief, yet oddly still caught up in the limerence of young love. Naked bouts in front of the mirror give way to desperate attempts to provoke a human reaction from another living soul, even from the all-but-comatose Joe. Uncovering a yellowing scrapbook, Joslyn lies down next to the old man, making insinuating comments about his childhood keepsakes and possible long-lost love. Eventually Joslyn invites the annoying airport van driver over for a glass of Kahlua and maybe a sip of Bob’s whiskey.

Courtesy SF IndieFest

Joslyn Jensen in director Mark Jackson’s Without.

There’s nothing quite like a mumblecore exploration of emotionally frozen white folks from the soggy Northwest to remind us just how much we’ve come to depend on our digital toys. Actress Joslyn Jensen has a nifty range from perk and helpful to menacingly narcissistic and possibly beyond. Depending on your point of view and how bitter you like your dark comedy, Without can be enjoyed as anything from a lesbian Spanking the Monkey to a young male auteur’s dip into Kelly Reichardt territory. Either way, it’s a darkly funny emotional roller coaster to mark the arrival of same-sex marriage in Washington State. (Roxie, 2/19, 9:30 p.m.; 2/20, 7:15 p.m.)

Straight Out of Hunters Point 2 A decade back I hailed Kevin Epps as “a hip-hop Fellini” for creating an astonishingly vivid if scary portrait of the “rude boys” from his hood. As I noted about the original Straight Out of Hunters Point, “A member of the rapper generation whose small startup record labels are the only alternative to the drug economy, Epps’ doggedly handheld camera roller skates through a dead zone of liquor stores and small churches patrolled by a tiny armada of police squad cars, the only representation of the City and County of San Francisco for hundreds of jiving, rhyming teens who could as well be living See page 27 >>

Film >>

February 16-22, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 27

and fight over everything, especially Chico’s tiny harem of prickly hos. This Cuban version of Big Love results in the kind of riotous bitchslapping fight scene never seen in the goody-two-shoes universe of Snow White or Sleeping Beauty. Even before the Revolution when the Bearded One turns off the bubble machine, it’s clear that Chico & Rita’s paths will diverge once they hit the US mainland. The filmmakers lose a grip on their story once off the island, unable to sustain its fizz once our lovers confront the brutally segregated jazz scene in Gotham clubs and the Vegas strip. There is one improbably bloody moment as the film recreates the gangland execution of Cuban conga great Chano

Scene from Fernando Trueba, Javier Mariscal and Tono Errando’s Chico & Rita, opening Friday.

Cuban rhythms by David Lamble


he sublimely romantic, musically nostalgic, technically ambitious and very adult full-length animation film Chico & Rita opens on an old man surviving as a bootblack on the streets of a crumbling Havana. Back in his shabby little apartment, the old man turns on the radio, flipping by the propaganda pitches until settling on a program that promises “Yesterday’s Melodies.” Lighting up the butt-end of a cigar, he stares out the window as a flood of memories carries him back to the days of his youth – Havana, 1948 – when for a brief moment Cuban jazz could be heard wafting through the warm night air and the old man was a young stud, an upand-coming pianist/songwriter. Every night Chico (the voice of Emar Xor Ona) and his sidekick manager and drinking buddy Ramon (Mario Guerra) would hit the clubs to pick up ladies and soak in the music.


Jack Holmes From page 26

writes, “Jack was afraid that he would end up alone and that their cartel of friendship would break down into individual entities, that their molecule would revert back to freely circling rogue atoms.” A rich gallery of secondary characters fills this novel, and White paints even the least of them – figures that in other writers’ hands might seem twodimensional functionaries – with astounding depth of field. Yet despite how sympathetic all these characters turn out to be, no one seems particularly consequential.


Straight Out From page 26

in Dallas, Birmingham or Kabul.” Ten years later – the mayoralty of Willie Brown having given way to Gavin Newsom and now Ed Lee – little has improved for the folks in the city’s Southern Hills. The Giants are gone, the 49ers are about to follow, bullet-riddled housing projects are yielding to talk of toxic cleanup and promises of “redevelopment,” which depending on your point of

One night Chico’s attention is drawn to the bandstand, where a light-complexioned, ruby-lipped chanteuse, Rita (speaking voice: Limara Meneses; singing voice: Idania Valdes) is crooning a great Latin love ballad, “Besame Mucho,” the lyrics of which will spell out the tragic arc of love and loss awaiting Chico and Rita. “Kiss me, kiss me, as if tonight were the last time. “I want to have you very close, to see myself in your eyes, to see you next to me, “Think that perhaps tomorrow, I already will be far, very far from you.” Thee three amigos behind Chico & Rita – Fernando Trueba (creator of the 2000 jazz doc Calle 54), Javier Mariscal and Tono Errando – have attempted a movie that, in the squeaky-clean world of G-rated family animation, is a complete contradiction: a pulsating, carnal world where adult characters love and

Perhaps White’s point is that we’re all of us, whatever our gifts and endowments, no big deals, and that we all just muddle through, the lucky among us enjoying lifeenhancing friendships along the way. But there’s a nagging sense that this book has come from a very deep place in White, and that he’s only scratched its surface. Like Jack waiting to be loved by Will, I longed to love this novel. But love never came, only affection for characters I never thought about when my nose was not in the book. Vivid as they are, the glimpses of them White gives all-too-often feel skin deep.▼

view are seen as government-sponsored “ethnic cleansing” or the seeds of community renewal. Epps gives every mouth in the hood a chance to vent: a volcanic rush of the n-word gives way to sober despair. The murder rate’s through the roof, assault weapons are flooding in, and the cops glide through mean streets. (Roxie, 2/24 through 3/1, nightly at 7 & 8:45 p.m.; matinees Sat. & Sun. at 3:15 & 5 p.m. Filmmaker Epps will be there in person for Fri. & Sat. evening shows.)▼

abuse each other with a passionate abandon not intended for childish eyes. For the first 30 minutes, they succeed brilliantly in invoking a pre-Castro Havana that may have been run by American gangsters and sullied by Jim Crow-style segregation, but that was also alive with composers and performers creating a world-class brand of jazz that was the envy of the American-dominated music business. With an animation style that recreates with startling flair the architectural grandeur and manic energy percolating through the streets and dark alleys of Batista-era Havana, the filmmakers provide animated characters who appear to have been poured out of soft-serve ice cream machines. On and off the dance floors, in and out of American convertibles, in and out of bed, Chico & Rita love and quarrel, write, perform

Pozo, but these guys can’t really sustain an R. Crumb or Ralph Bakshi (Fritz the Cat) level of American blood and sleaze. Oscar-nominated for Best Animated Feature, Chico & Rita succeeds best at wrapping a tragic romantic arc around the Castro Brothers’ decimation of the old Cuban culture, without letting American Mafia repression off the hook. The score sparkles with old standards and new tunes by the legendary Cuban composer/pianist Bebo Valdes, the model for Chico. This unique movie, invoking both the irrepressible romanticism of American movies and the long-buried treasures of Cuba, is meant to be enjoyed on an old-fashioned movie screen.▼

<< Out&About

28 • BAY AREA REPORTER • February 16-22, 2012

Out Feb. 16. $14-$73. Tue, Fri-Sat 8pm. Wed 7pm. Sun 2pm & 7pm. Thru March 25. 2015 Addison St., Berkeley. (510) 647-2949.

Forever Tango @ Marines’ Memorial Theatre Tango dance and live music show. $45-$70. 8pm. Also 2pm Feb 18; 2pm only on Feb 19. Thru Feb 19. 609 Sutter St. 771-6900.

Geezer @ The Marsh, Berkeley

Company C Ballet

Veteran clown Geoff Hoyle’s solo show about a life in the theatre, aging and its problems and joys. Thu & Sat 8pm. Sun 5pm. Thru March 18. 2120 Allston Way, Berkeley. 282-3055.

Meat Rack @ YBCA

Beauty & the best by Jim Provenzano


s beauty subjective? What makes a work of art, or an artist, “beautiful?” My bias toward the terpsichorean arts is showing once again. Company C Ballet, the vibrant local contemporary dance ensemble, performs new and repertory works by Alexandre Proia, David Grenke, Charles Anderson and Peter Anastos at YBCA’s Novellus Theater. February 17, special tickets’ partial proceeds benefit the Richmond/Ermet /AIDS Foundation and include a post-show dessert reception with the performers. $30-$50. 8pm. Also Feb 18, a special Gala show ($150$175) at 6:30pm. Feb.19, 3pm: $23$45. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission St. at 3rd. 9782787. For more beauty of the dance, San Francisco Ballet’s Program 3 (Feb 16) includes Alexei Ratmansky’s Carnival of the Animals, the world premiere of Yuri Possokhov’s Francesca da Rimini, and Helgi Tomasson’s Trio. 8pm. Also Feb 18, Justin Vivian Bond 21, 22, 24 & 26. Program 2 include Wayne McGregor’s Chroma, the world premiere of Mark Morris’ nine-man Beaux, and Christopher Wheedon’s Number Nine. The special LGBT Nite Out Feb 17 (Program 2) includes an after-concert reception. $20-$285. Also Feb. 15, 17, 19, 23, 25. War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness Ave. 865-2000. Compare beauty standards with a past era at The Cult of Beauty: The Victorian Avante-Garde, 1860-1900, a new exhibit focusing on the British Aesthetic Movement in paintings, architecture and decorative arts. Free-$20. Tue-Sun 9:30am-5:15pm. Thru June 17. Lincoln Park, 100 34th Ave. 750-3620. Justin Vivian Bond, the beautiful and popular chanteuse, returns to San Francisco for a special concert of clever covers at the equally beautiful Great American Music Hall, with the Whoa Nellies, featuring Leigh Crowe, aka Bond’s married partner! Celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary. $26 ($51 with dinner). Thursday, Feb. 23. 9pm. 859 O’Farrell St.

Return screening of Michael Thomas’ gritty gay sexploitation feature about a San Francisco bisexual hustler. The director (also cofounder of Strand Releasing) presents a new pristine Kodachrome print. $6-$8. 7:30pm. Also, Feb. 19, 2pm, Steam of Life, about a documentary set in a Finnish sauna (featuring lots of naked men). Yerba Buena Center for the Arts screening room, 701 Mission St. 978-2787.

Monique Jenkinson @ de Young Museum The dancer and performance artist known as Fauxnique creates work while in residence at the museum. Wed-Sun 3pm-5pm. Thru Feb. 26. 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, Golden Gate Park. 750-3600.

AIDS Quilt @ Former Tower Records Under One Roof and the National AIDS Memorial Quilt Project present a display of locally-made quilts memorializing people who died of AIDS. 12pm-8pm. Daily thru Feb. 20. 2278 Market St. at Noe.

Art of the Sixties @ Oddball Films Manufactured Mediums, short films about Robert Rauchenberg, Merce Cunningham, and factories. $10. 8pm. Feb, 17, 8pm: Uncertain Hearts and More Certain Parts, short retro films and cartoons about love. Feb. 18, 8pm: Ancient and Imagined Worlds. All $10. 275 Capp St. 558-8117.

Certified Copy, Circumstance @ Castro Theatre Double feature of new foreign films about

Charles Garrett @ Celtic Coffee Company Opening reception for an exhibit of abstract paintings by the popular local bartender. 6:30pm-9:30pm. 142 McAllister. www.

Della Reese @ The Rrazz Room Actress (Touched by an Angel) and singer performs gospel, jazz, R&B and classic songs. $65. 8pm. Also Feb. 17, 8pm, Feb. 18, 7:30pm. 2-drink min. Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason St. (800) 380-3095.

A Doctor in Spite of Himself @ Berkeley Repertory Moliere’s classic comedy –about a man who impersonates a physician to woo his girl–gets a zing-filled contemporary pop culture update in this co-production with Yale Repertory Theatre. Special LGBT Nite

Glengarry Glen Ross @ Actors Theatre David Mamet’s dark comedy about smalltime real estate swindlers gets a local production. $26-$40. Wed-Sat 8pm. 855 Bush St. at Taylor. Thru March 24.

Higher @ American Conservatory Theatre Mark Rucker directs Artistic Director Carey Perloff’s world premiere play about the personal issues and daunting politics involved when competing New York architects vye for a commissioned memorial in Israel. $10-$65. Tue-Sat 8pm. Wed, Sat, Sun 2pm. Thru Feb 19. 415 Geary St. 749-2228.

Jesus in India @ Magic Theatre Lloyd Suh’s contemporary reimagining of the lost years of Jesus of Nazareth as a teen stoner’s vacation to the East. $30-$60. Tue

Holly Johnston’s new work, Want, a physical group dance about unrequited lust, despair and high-intensity emotions visualized through daring partnering. $17-$37. Feb 17 & 18 8pm. Feb. 19, 7pm. 863-9834. www.

Marga Gomez @ The Marsh Everyone’s favorite lesbian Latina comic returns with her new hit solo show Not Getting Any Younger. $15-$35. Fri 8pm. at 5pm & 8:30pm. Thru Feb 25. Studio Theater, 1062 Valencia St. at 22nd. 282-3055.

Private Parts @ SF Playhouse Graham Gremore’s wacky solo show about his family, teachers, and other dysfunctional people, including himself. $20. Thu 7pm. Fri & Sat 8pm. Thru Feb 25. 533 Sutter St.

The Story of My Life @ New Conservatory Theatre Center Neil Bartram and Brian Hill’s new melodic musical comedy about best friends and the personal cost of success; one man recounts his friend’s life while writing his obituary. $22-$36. Wed-Sat 8pm. Sun 2pm. Thru Feb. 26. 25 Van Ness Ave. at Market, lower level.

Public Sex Panel @ GLBT Museum Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, editor of the new anthology, Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots? leads a panel discussion with book contributors (Jaime Cortez, Debanuj DasGupta, Tommi Avicolli Mecca, and horehound stillpoint) who discuss the past, present and future of public sex and related themes. $5-$10. 7pm. 4127 18th St. 6211107.

Beauty call Audience as Subject

Ten Percent @ Comcast 104 David Perry’s talk show about LGBT people and issues. Mon-Fri 11:30am & 10:30pm. Sat & Sun 10:30pm.

Tree City Legends @ Intersection for the Arts Playwright-musician Dennis Kim’s multidisciplinary theater work melds post-hip hop aesthetics, urban folklore, Korean traditional tales, live music, legend and parable. $20$25. 8pm. Thru March 3. 925 Mission St. 626-3311.

Fri 17 >>

The Assad Brothers @ First Congregational Church, Berkeley

Courtesy FAMSF

Thu 16 >>

Screening of the documentary film about the historic 1961 civil rights activism against racist segregation in the South. $3-$5. 7pm. 747 Polk St. 864-1278.

Ledges and Bones Dance Project @ ODC Theater

Mickey Huff, director of Project Censored, discusses the most under-reported news stories of 2010-2011. 7pm. 2919 24th St. 282-9246.

Actors Ensemble of Berkeley perform Tom Stoppard’s intriguing mystery/history play about love, desire, Lord Byron and landscape architecture. $12-$15. Fri & Sat 8pm. Sun 2pm. Thru Feb 18. 1301 Shattuck Ave. (510) 649-5999.

art and relationships (Copy, 2:45, 7pm) and Iranian lesbian teenagers (Circumstance, 4:50, 9pm). $10. 429 Castro St. 621-6120.

Freedom Riders @ New Valencia Hall

7pm. Wed-Sat 8pm. Sun 2:30pm. Thru Feb 19. Building D, Fort Mason center, Marina Blvd at Buchanan. 441-8822.

Project Censored @ Modern Times Bookstore

Arcadia @ Live Oak Theatre, Berkeley

John Spencer Stanhope, Love and the Maiden, 1877.

Baker’s comic play about a lesbian couple whose lives become unraveled by their new male housemate. $30-$55. Tue 7pm. WedSat 8pm. Sun 2pm & 7pm. Thru March 11. 2081 Addison St. (510) 843-4822.

Brazilian guitar duo performs contemporary and classical music. $42. 8pm. 2345 Channing Way. (510) 642-9988.

Bear Weekend 2.0 @ Various Venues Four days and nights of beartastic fun at various bars (The Lone Star Saloon, Truck, The Stud, The Edge) and sex clubs.

Black Choreographers Festival @ Dance Mission Words Become Flesh, a new work by Marc Bamuthi Joseph, plus a series of collaborative dance and spoken word performances. Created with members of the the Living Word Project and Youth Speaks. $15-$25. Feb 17 & 18 at 8pm. Feb 19 at 4pm. Also Feb 24-26. 3315 24th St. at Mission. (888) 898-2722. 273-4633.

Becky Shaw @ SF Playhouse Gina Gionfriddo’s comic play about straight couples’ blind dates and misadventures. $15-$35. Tue-Thu 7pm. Fri & Sat 8pm, and Sat 3pm. Thru March 10. 533 Sutter St.

Body Awareness @ Aurora Theatre, Berkeley Aurora Theatre company performs Annie


n beauty truth, and in truth beauty. The truth is, many red state conservative Americans think liberal San Franciscans are stupid, and for many of us, the feeling’s mutual. Dan Hoyle, the chamaleon-like hunk whose solo performances have wowed critics and audiences, returns to The Marsh with his acclaimed show The Real Americans, in which both sides of our often ugly political discourse get a dramatic, and often funny, interpretations. $25-$50. Fri 8pm. Sat 5pm. Sun 2pm. Thru March 18. 1062 Valencia St. 282-3055. When is a crowd an ugly mob, and when is it a joyous beautiful soup of humanity? That depends on the music they’re dancing to, be it a justified riot, or just a loud rock concert. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts’ opening party for Mark Bradford (wild found material sculptures) and AuDan Hoyle’s dience as Subject, Part 2, (big photos of The Real Americans fans at soccer matches and rock concerts) includes drinks, contemporary Butoh performance artist Deborah Butler, DJ Sake-Onederful, and a fun beautiful crowd. $5-$7. Feb. 17. 9:30pm-1am. (Free for YBCA & SF MOMA members) 701 Mission St. Face it. The 1970s were awfully tacky. But that’s why we love them, in hindsight. And Mike Finn not only stars in a new intimate staging Three’s Company of episodes of Three’s Company, along with D’arcy Drollinger, Laurie Bushman and Jane Wiedlin (of the Go-Gos), he also opens his beautiful Victorian home as the setting for the show. Come and knock on their door. $20. Fri & Sat at 7pm & 9pm. Thru March 3. 814 Grove St, at Fillmore (Alamo Square Park). Limited seating. Poverty isn’t pretty, nor is getting ousted from one’s vaunted place on Mount Olympus. But Trixxie Carr and Ben Randle’s musical comedy, drag and puppet show Hold Me Closer, Tiny Dionysus, about an exiled god who helps a group of poor San Francisco artists survive, offers a campy beautiful solution. $20. Feb 17-19, 8pm. CounterPulse, 1310 Mission St. Hold Me Closer, Tiny Dionysus – J.P.

Out&About >>

February 16-22, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 29

True West, Buried Child @ Boxcar Theatre

stillpoint, Matthew D. Blanchard, and Jaime Cortez read from and discuss the new gay essay anthology. 7:30pm. 2349 Shattuck Ave. (510) 649-1320.

Gritty dramas of battling brothers and family secrets; the first and second of four Sam Shepard plays the company will perform in repertory thru April 26. True West and Buried Child thru April 7. $15 (preview), $25-$35, or $85-$120 full pass. 505 Natoma St. 967-2227.

Tue 21 >> At War @ SoMArts Gallery

Vice Palace @ Hypnodrome The darkly comic Cockettes musical, expanded and revised by the talented Scrumbly Koldwyn, is a musical update on The Masque of the Red Death, with local talents Leigh Crowe, Flynn DeMarco, L. Ron Hubby, Russell Blackwood, Birdie Bob Wyatt, Joshua Devore and many more. $30$35. Fri & Sat 8pm. Thru March 3. 575 10th St. at Bryant/Division. 377-4202.

Sat 18 >> Anna Moura @ Zellerbach Hall, Berkeley Portuguese vocalist performs fado songs (Portuguese blues). $28-$50. 8pm. Bancroft Way at Telegraph Ave. UC Berkeley campus. (510) 642-9988.

The Laybelline Show @ Castro Country Club The little drag queen with a big talent hosts Be My F*cking Valentine Already! $6 (free for members). 10:30pm. 4058 18th St.

Beach Blanket Babylon @ Club Fugazi Musical comedy revue, now in its 35th year, with an ever-changing lineup of political and pop culture icons, all in gigantic wigs. Reg: $25-$130. Wed, Thu, Fri at 8pm. Sat 6:30, 9:30pm. Sun 2pm, 5pm. (Beer/wine served; cash only). 678 Beach Blanket Babylon Blvd (Green St.). 421-4222.

Cece Peniston @ The Rrazz Room

Christopher Bram

Pager T

here is nothing in our material world more beautiful than the book,” said rock icon Patti Smith. I’m sure she’d agree about the works of accomplished gay author Christopher Bram, who discusses his new book Eminent Outlaws: the Gay Writers Who Changed America, in a conversation with the Tales of the City author Armistead Maupin. Tuesday, Feb. 21. 7pm. Books Inc Opera Plaza, 601 Van Ness Ave. 776-1111. A destroyed book can be beautiful, if done so by Brian Dettmer, whose fascinating pop culture collages are made entirely of books. Tue-Fri 11am-5:30pm Sat til 5pm. Toomey Tourell Gallery, 49 Geary, 4th floor. Thru March 31. 989-6444.

Pop-R&B singer performs with her band. $35-$45. 9:30pm. Also Fb. 19, 7pm. 2-drink min. Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason St. (800) 3803095.

A Love Supreme @ First Unitarian Church, Oakland Lesbian African American poetry reading focusing on the artists of the Harlem Renaissance, with music and a potluck dinner. 6pm-9pm. 685 14th St. Oakland. (510) 893-6129.

Trannyshack @ DNA Lounge Drag acts take on Michael Jackson versus Janet Jackson at Heklina’s hilarious “Thriller” show. $12-$15. 9:30pm-3am. Show at 11pm. 375 11th St.

Sun 19 >> California Dreaming @ Contemp. Jewish Museum

Brian Dettmer’s art

Krip-Hop Nation @ SF Public Library Panel discussion and screening of Broken Bodies: Police Brutality Profiling, about law enforcement abuse against disabled people. 1:30pm. Koret Auditorium, 100 Larkin St. at Grove.

Sunday’s a Drag @ Starlight Room Donna Sachet and Harry Denton host the weekly fabulous brunch and drag show. $45. 11am, show at noon; 1:30pm, show at 2:30pm. 450 Powell St. in Union Square. 395-8595.

Takacs Quartet @ Hertz Hall, Berkeley Acclaimed music ensemble performs works by Janacek, Britten and Debussy. $60. 3pm. Bancroft Way at College Ave., UC Berkeley campus. (510) 642-9988.

Mon 20 >> Exhibit of the artist’s works, The Silence of Light. 8pm. Thru Feb. 4122 18th St.

The Crackpot Crones @ The Dark Room

Stephen Beachy, Lonely Christopher @ Books Inc.

The I Hate Valentines Day Show, sketch comedy with Terry Baum and Carolyn Myers. $20. 5pm. 2263 Mission St. at 18th. (800) 838-3006.

Gay authors of Boneyard and The Mechanics of Homosexual Intercourse read from and discuss their new books. 7:30pm. 2275 Market St. (Beachy also Feb 23 at Books Inc in Palo Alto with Josh Mohr, 7pm; 74 Town & Country Village.)

Exhibit of paintings and photos by Ciara Bedingfield, Hadley Northrop, and Sean Vallely. Thru April 7. 304 Valencia St.

Queer Comic Artists @ Cartoon Art Museum Exhibit of work by several gay comic artists. Free-$7. Thru March 4. Reg hours Tue-Sun 11am-5pm. 655 Mission St.

Zapp Band, Shirley Murdock @ The Rrazz Room Old school G-funk and Hip Hop band performs with the featured singer, soul-gospel great Shirley Murdock. $35-$40. 8pm. Also Feb 22 & 22. 2-drink min. Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason St. (800) 380-3095.

Wed 22 >> Josh Short @ Ever Gold Gallery Exhibit and performances, even self-defense classes and live music, by the eclectic, energetic performer and collage sculpture artist. Thru Feb 26, with special events thru the run. 441 O’Farrell St. 796-3676.

Way Behind the Music @ The Make-Out Room

Jewish Life in the Bay Area from the Gold Rush to the Present, an exhibit about the lives of historic Western American Jewish people, from Levi’s jeans and Ginsberg’s Howl to Gump’s and LGBT synagogues. $5-$12. Thu-Tue 11am-5pm. 736 Mission St. at 3rd. 655-7800.

The Glamour the Better @ Glama-Rama

Will Durst welcomes comic commentator pals to a new weekly political humor night. $15-$50. 8pm. Thru Nov 6. 1062 Valencia St. at 21st. 282-3055.

See the fascinating exhibit from the GLBT Historical Society, with a wide array of rare historic items on display. New miniexhibit focuses on the legacy of activist and performer Jose Sarria. Free for members-$5. Wed-Sat 11am-7pm. Sun 12pm-5pm. 4127 18th St.

Subtitled Stories of Acquisition and Reclamation, this new exhibit displays more than 100 objects that help narrate the struggles and contributions of African Americans in California. Free-$12. Two-for-one admission for Black History Month (thru Feb 29). Thru March 4. 685 Mission St. at 3rd. 358-7200.

World premiere of Jonathan Moscone and Tony Taccone’s haunting fictional drama based on the assassination of San Francisco mayor George Moscone. $15-$73. Tue-Sat 8pm. Wed & Sun 7pm. Sat & Sun 2pm. Thru Feb 19. Thrust Stage, 2025 Addison St. (510) 647-2949.

Elect to Laugh @ The Marsh

Our Vast Queer Past @ GLBT History Museum

Collected @ Museum of the African Diaspora

Ghost Light @ Berkeley Repertory

Peter Max Lawrence and Truon Tran’s multi-media installation about identities in conflict, ranging from ethnic, gender, and sexual identity to conflicts of artistic identity, with 100s of paintings, drawings, videos, and sculptures. Tue-Fri 12pm-7pm. Sat 12pm-5pm. Thru Feb 29. 934 Brannan St.

Richard Boswell @ Magnet

Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots? @ Pegasus Books, Berkeley Editor Mattilda B. Sycamore and contributors Tommi Avicolli Mecca, horehound

Litquake presents another hilarious night of local writers reading from the ridiculous memoirs of rock stars, performed by Bob Calhoun, Parker Gibbs, Jon Ginoli, Penelope Houston, Carletta Sue Kay, Jennifer Maerz, Erin McDermott, Joshua Mohr, and Joel Selvin. Hosted by Anthony Bedard. $12-$15. 7:30pm. 3225 22nd St.

Thu 23 >> Comedy Bodega @ Esta Nocha The new LGBT and indie comic stand-up night’s hosted by “Mr. Gomez” (retired Telemundo extra and associate of comic Marga Gomez). Special guest Scott Capurro. 8pm-9:30pm. 3079 16th St. at Mission.

Love Hurts @ City Art Gallery Group show of gay and straight artists who visualize the not-so-sweet side of love. Thru Feb. 25, Wed-Sun, 12pm-9pm. 828 Valencia St. 970-9900.

Sex in the Shadows @ YBCA Screening of Albert Steg’s vintage stag films (burlesque ladies stripping, etc.) from the 1920s-1960s; part of the series Bros Before Hos: Masculinity and Its Discontents. $6-$8. 7:30pm. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts screening room, 701 Mission St. 978-2787.

Visions Beyond the Badge @ Harvey Milk Photo Center Exhibit of photos by members of the San Francisco Fire and Police Departments. 6:30-9pm. Thru March 1. 50 Scott St. 5549522.

To submit event listings, email Deadline is each Thursday, a week before publication.

For more bar and nightlife events, go to

<< Society

30 • BAY AREA REPORTER • February 16-22, 2012

PJs, DJs & BJs by Donna Sachet


aturday night’s Pajama Party in the Castro, supported by over 10 neighborhood bars, may have been less than a success due to the cold weather, but brought out a number of sexily garbed drinking buddies. We started at 440 Castro and Twin Peaks, proceeded to Café Flore for a lively benefit show by Garza, then quickly dashed into LookOut, Q Bar, Toad Hall, and The Edge. While pajamas were scarce, high spirits were everywhere, as evidenced by Gary Virginia, Joe Mac, Kelly Houston, Jorge Hernandez, Deana Dawn, and others. The LGBT community rallied in support of Congresswoman Barbara Lee on Sunday afternoon at Gallagher Lane Art Gallery. The fundraiser for her re-election campaign was organized by Miguel Bustos & Alex Rivera, hosted by Derek Cabaniss and Larry Block, emceed by this columnist, and attended by Supervisor David Campos, City Treasurer Jose Cisneros, Cecilia Chung, Bahya & Gus Murad, Frank Woo, Leslie Katz, Rafael Mandelman, Rebecca Prozan, and many others. The Congresswoman spoke briefly but convincingly of the causes she supports and the important work remaining to be done in Washington, as the crowd nibbled on food from Medjool, sipped wine, and ogled the modern art in this stunning gallery. As promised, February is packed with fun events! This Fri., Feb. 17, join us at SF Ballet’s Nite Out, a regular performance in the ballet’s season, including Chroma, a Mark Morris world premiere, and Number Nine, followed by a hosted reception for the LGBT community. On Saturday, after voting in the Castro or Tenderloin for your choice for Emperor and Empress, head to Trigger for Bal Masque IX, Occupy Bourbon Street, Party

Steven Underhill

Fan of The Rocky Horror Picture Show at a SF Sketchfest and Midnight Mass screening at the Castro Theatre earlier this month.

with the Naughty Nine Percent. This is a raucous Mardi Gras-type celebration hosted by Krewe de Kinque, benefiting AIDS Housing Alliance, and featuring entertainment from SambaFunk! Funkquarians, Bebe Sweetbriar, Ethel Merman, John Weber, and Dulce de Leche. After 10 years of men, music, and magic, the immensely popular monthly gay dance club Fresh at Ruby Skye hosts its last event on Sun., Feb. 19, from 6 p.m.-2 a.m. DJs Jamie J. Sanchez, Wayne G., and Mark Tarbox promise a night to remember, surrounded by the incredible sound system, lighting effects, and shirtless men that have made this party such a success. Partial proceeds for 10 years have benefited various charitable organizations in-

cluding Glide Memorial Church, EqualityCalifornia, National AIDS Memorial Grove, Richmond/Ermet AIDS Foundation, HRC, PFLAG, Breast Cancer Emergency Fund, to date totaling over $125,000. Next weekend starts with Friday night’s Jose Honors Dinner & Awards at Hotel Kabuki, honoring achievement within the International Court System, including local Emperor John Carrillo and Grand Duchess Colette LeGrand and the entire Court of All Alaska. Saturday night is Imperial Coronation, Every Day is a Parade, saluting outgoing Emperor Frankie Fernandez & Empress Saybeline and announcing the results of the previous week’s voting, at the Design Center, 101 Henry Adams St. This lavish five-hour extravaganza begins promptly at 6 p.m. and includes spectacular musical producSee page 31 >>

Coming up in leather and kink Thu., Feb. 16: Daddy Thursdays at Kok Bar (1225 Folsom). Shot & drink specials. 10 p.m.-close. Go to: Thu., Feb. 16: Bare Chest Calendar Contest at The Powerhouse (1347 Folsom). 8-10 p.m. Go to: Thu., Feb. 16: Power of the Whip: How to Use Whips to Create Magic at the SF Citadel. $2. 7-9 p.m. Go to: Thu., Feb. 16: Underwear Night at The Powerhouse (in conjunction with the Bare Chest Calendar contest). $5 cover to benefit Project Inform. 10 p.m.-close. Go to: Fri., Feb. 17: Truck Wash at Truck (1900 Folsom). 10 p.m.-close. Live shower boys, drink specials. Go to: Fri., Feb. 17: Hardbox, a Benefit for Project Open Hand at The Powerhouse. DJs Guy Ruben and Gehno Aviance give you the best ear-gasm. Benefits Project Open Hand. 10 p.m.-close. Go to: Fri., Feb. 17: Michael Brandon presents Edging at The Edge (4149 Collingwood). Celebrating the leather lifestyle with fun giveaways, go-go studs, a spanking demo by Chris, Sexiest Happy Trail contest. 9 p.m.-12 a.m. Go to: Fri., Feb. 17: Men in Gear Monthly Cruise Night at Kok Bar. Wear your gear for drink specials. Go to: Sat., Feb. 18: GearSwap presents The Rubber Men of San Francisco at the Powerhouse. Gear is meant to be used, not stored. Sell, swap or trade. 3-7 p.m. Go to: Sat., Feb. 18: Bears in the Dark at Beatbox (314 11th St.). Rumor has it there will be a play space in the VIP area. Leather/kink guys absolutely welcome. Go to:

Sat., Feb. 18: All Beef Saturday Nights at The Lone Star (1354 Harrison). 100% SoMa Beef! 9 p.m.-close. Go to:

Sat., Feb. 18: Beat Pig at The Powerhouse with Juanita More! Saucy grooves while the dudes cruise. 9 p.m.-close. Go to: or Sun., Feb. 19: Truck Bust Sundays at Truck. $1 beer bust. Warm bar, hot men, cold beer. 4-8 p.m. Go to: Sun., Feb. 19: Jockstrap Beer Bust at Kok Bar. $8. 3-7 p.m. Go to: Mon., Feb. 20: Trivia Night with host Casey Ley at Truck. Prizes, insane fun and ridiculous questions! 8-10 p.m. Go to: Mon., Feb. 20: Dominant Discussion Group at SF Citadel. $5-$15 donation. 7:30 p.m. Go to: Mon., Feb. 20: Dirty Dicks at The Powerhouse. $3 well drinks. 4-10 p.m. Go to: Tue., Feb. 21: Busted at Truck. $5 beer bust. 9-11 p.m. Go to: Tue., Feb. 21: Safeword: 12-Step Kink Recovery Group at the SF Citadel. 6:30 p.m. Go to: Tue., Feb. 21: Living Sober, Living Leather, Panel Discussion at the SF Citadel. Moderator: Keri Leigh. Scheduled panelists: Michael Blue, Char, Steve Ward, Jessie Vanciel & Mollena. $20. 7-9 p.m. Go to: Wed., Feb. 22: Leathermen’s Discussion Group at Mr. S. This month: Rubber: Fetish Meets Fashion with Seven Mitchell & Rick RankinSF Holte. 7:30 p.m. Go to: Wed., Feb. 22: Nipple Play at The Powerhouse. Drink specials for the shirtless. 10 p.m. Go to: Wed., Feb. 22: Leather Buddies at Blow Buddies (933 Harrison), a male-only club. Doors open 8 p.m.12 a.m. Play till late. Go to: Wed., Feb. 22: Nipple Play at The Powerhouse. Go shirtless! 10 p.m.-close. Go to:

Karrnal >>

February 16-22, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 31

Lengthy comments by John F. Karr


here isn’t much of the day left when my work of jacking off while watching porn is finally done. So I have to grab my relaxation in a few spare moments. What I like to do is troll the Net looking for pictures of naked boys. Here’s a couple things I’ve found that I thought you might like, too. You know I’m a fan of great cock. And Jonathan Luke’s is one of the greats. It’s somewhat slender and abundantly long, with smooth texture and a great big ole head. At 6’ 1” and 165 lbs., Mr. Luke is also somewhat slender and abundantly long. He’s smooth and attractive. And he likes showing off his cock. You can admire it at his blog, www., where you will also find his lengthy comments on a subject he finds dear – the fine line separating art from porn. He’s an artist, you see, who likes to explore and expand the boundary between the two. He’s been photographed by some swell fine art photographers, and the somewhat clumsy name he’s given to their work is porn-art-aphy. The photos capture him in all states of fully nude (and fully impressive) tumescence, and with varying degrees of pubic hair peeking over the tops of scanty garments. You can debate along with Jonathan the injustice of why some websites have censored or banned some of the photos. Me thinks that, as his cock rises, and as he adds to the picture a young man admiring it, he carries on a bit much. After a while, his disavowals of porn begin to sound like the virgin who said she wouldn’t fornicate, except, well, “just for a minute.” Yet his point is valid: far too much nude male art is disparaged as porn. A little pubic hair, or a couple inches of dick (well, okay, in Luke’s case a foot-and-a-half of dick) do not salaciousness make. His pontification raged lengthily for some time until recently, when he realized he’s repeating himself. So he’s begun offering advice on sexual matters to those who write in. He’s not so good at this as he is at showing us his cock. My advice is the same thing that’s said to writers of plays and movies: Don’t tell us. Show us! And if it’s comic relief you’d like, try The site’s proprietor isn’t as interested in the hard-ons of the real-guy photos he collects from postings all over the Net as he is in the image’s background. All of which prove his


Photos capture Jonathan Luke in all states of impressive tumescence.

claim, “Gone is the stereotypical association of gay men with good interior design.” Adding to the fun, there’s a snooty panel to offer comments on the horrifying interiors of Feng Shui-challenged souls. My advice: hang up a backdrop before you pull out the camera, guys! And if it’s free porn you want, you want Lotsa photos, videos and other goodies. It’s always good to hear from readers. Sometimes they write with love; sometimes with loathing. It’s the latter that came from Dave Yando (Letters, Jan. 19). Yando’s comments impressed with the vigor of their expression, and the vitriol. He thought Incubus a work of art; I didn’t. But he was right on one count: I admit I was, indeed, predisposed to dislike the movie. Read me for any length of time and you’ll know I have no patience for pretension and incoherence. Incubus is pretentious and incoherent. Yando calls me down

for saying the horned devil seen on the box cover isn’t in the movie. As he points out, the image is indeed in the movie – if you count as meaningfully “in” the movie two glimpses in three seconds during a final credit montage. Finally, Yando supposes that this reviewer missed those seconds because “he was reaching for his cum towel.” Would I have been sexually aroused by a movie I disparaged for umpteen paragraphs? Methinks it was Mr. Yando who had a predisposition. Against my column. But there’s something beyond Yando’s rant that’s recently been a seriously perturbing problem for me. I admire the technical achievement and the polished gloss of the contemporary sexo, while finding much of its handsomely filmed sex rote. It would be misleading to call such a movie state of the art, despite its look, when its admittedly handsomely filmed sex is merely professionally or proficiently performed. That seems damming with faint praise. What’s the phrase or description that would wrap up both?▼

On the Town From page 30

tion numbers, elaborate costumes, stunning jewelry, and regal pageantry, all with an element of camp thrown in. The International Court System spans over 70 chapters in Canada, Mexico, and the United States, but it started here in San Francisco nearly 50 years ago with Jose Sarria, popular performer at the legendary Black Cat and first openly gay person to run for public office in the United States. Dignitaries from across the continent attend, local elected officials often pay their regards, and everyone dons their finest attire. And finally, Scandalous, the Academy of Friends’ glamorous Oscar party, is the following night, Sun., Feb. 26, in the same location, Galleria Design Center. Cheer for your favorites during the live broadcast on multiple large screens while hobnobbing amongst a stunning array of lounges, bars, restaurants, silent auction, raffle drawings, and live enter-

Steven Underhill

Film star Elliott Gould appeared live and onstage in a special Robert Altman/M*A*S*H tribute at the Castro Theatre.

tainment. This is the largest and most glamorous Oscar celebration outside of Hollywood! The money raised by the AOF for over 30 years has been

distributed to worthy LGBT organizations throughout the Bay Area. If you aren’t worn out come Monday, you weren’t keeping up!▼

<< Books

32 • BAY AREA REPORTER • February 16-22, 2012

Identity tremors by Cam Lennon


Theory of Small Earthquakes, a new novel by lesbian author Meredith Maran (Soft Skull Press), refers to what every Bay Area resident knows: lots of little tremors, unsettling as they may be, release pressure on a fault line and head off The Big One. And so it is in this story. Alison is a straight and straight-laced Jewish girl from the big city who finds herself in the hotbed of radical lesbian feminism of Oberlin College in the early 1980s. If you’re a “womyn” and you lived through that era, memories that you’ve most likely tried to suppress will come flooding back. Author Maran must have felt like the odd girl out during that phase of the women’s movement, judging by the way she pokes fun at the “wimmin” and their hysterical political rantings. Into that cesspool of separatism steps our protagonist. Alison has no idea how to navigate this territory until she meets Zoe, a wildly flamboyant dyke-about-campus, who never quite buys into all the

political hype. Zoe is hot for Alison, but Alison is a little dense, having barely dated a few guys. Alison never for a moment considered sleeping with a girl. So Al and Zoe start hanging out, doing the courtship thing. Alison has lots of tingly moments, but it really is Zoe courting Alison, because Alison is still basically clueless about her attraction to Zoe. It seems like forever for the two girls to get together. I can’t think of a single woman I know who when she was 20 felt attracted to another woman and waited two days, much less two months, to make a move. But in Small Earthquakes, the two months that author Maran drags out the courtship give her a chance to explore all the delicious moments of anticipation. There’s lots of tentative touching, broken gazes and the oh-so-gradual recognition of desire. And then, finally, the big event arrives! Alison melts, waits for their first kiss. It’s the end of a chapter, a sweetly described moment. We turn the page ... And the next chapter begins, but

suddenly it’s two months later. Major bummer! They’ve already had their first kiss, their first fuck, and not a word about the whole thing. I wanted every detail. Every detail of every touch. What the hell happened? The girls move to Berkeley and set up house the way dykes did in the 1980s. They’re in love; they’re hot for each other (a little bit of sex works its way into the story). They’re a perfect little family. The city of Berkeley becomes a major character in the book and a backdrop. All of the locations are evocative of East Bay life in the 1980s and 90s: lesbian breakfast at the Brick Hut, murals at LaPena, BART, the wild and crazy politics of Berserkeley. And earthquakes, lots of earthquakes, big and small. The story wouldn’t have worked the same in any other place. The book becomes about what it

takes to make a family. Zoe wants to have a baby with Alison. Even though it’s the 1990s and lesbian moms are springing up everywhere, Alison can’t conceive, literally, of having a

child without a man. Stop reading here if you want to enjoy the b book without too many spoilers. A Alison does get pregnant, but not u until she sleeps with a man. A bit u unrealistically, the dude is thrilled tthat the one-night-stand he’s hot ffor is going to have a baby after the first time they sleep together, and h he settles down with her in domesttic bliss. So what becomes of Alison’s rrelationship with Zoe? Is Alison sstraight now? Is she bi? Does her d desire for Zoe, or Zoe’s for Alison, ggo away? How do Mark, Alison and Z Zoe relate to each other? How does d desire relate to identity? What about th the kid? What’s the Big Secret? It’s up to you to answer these q questions. This book is a fun trip d down memory lane. It raises a lot of q questions about sexuality and identi tity. A Theory of Small Earthquakes takes one small group of people through the morass, shakes them up and lets them settle as best they can. Like life, it’s not perfect, but ultimately it seems to work out for everybody.▼

to be, er, eaten. There’s history here: the narrator’s own father spoke (and taught him) the “marbled swarm” of the

ti title, which is a kind of elong gated, elaborately digressive, p pseudo-gibberish that, in many w ways, reflects Cooper’s own adm mitted confusion at becoming a American expatriate living in an P Paris while not being fluent in t French language. the By the time the narrator is t through wiping his chin of mace erated young skin and blood, r readers may find him tolerable, t though the narrative gymnast required to get through the tics s story can be exhausting. There a twists and turns, but mostly are g gross-out details like a group r rape and mutilation scene a among the narrator, a chauff feur, and another father-figure w shred apart the narrator’s who 1 12-year-old brother Alphonse, then, out of “respect,” repeatedly drop a leaden block onto his body, recognizing that Alphonse was part of a Japanese-anime obsessed cult of

“squish junkies,” folks who get off on imagining themselves being steamrolled flat. Whether real, surreal, or all a part of the mysterious narrator’s perverted imagination, this is not your average fiction. It’s a book that makes sex and the notion of family seem assaultive, a violent exchange between angry voices and quivering lips. But that’s Cooper’s talent: to Cuisinartspin all that repulses us together to create not a sludge of putrid grotesquerie, but a kind of epiphany. That said, The Marbled Swarm remains a painfully exquisite Marquis de Sade-esque spectacle, yet at the same time, brilliantly progressive and artfully obscene. Those new to Cooper’s catalog of carnival sideshow atrocities won’t want to start with this book but should instead begin at the inception of his canon of alarming, sex-abused depravity with Closer and Frisk. Slither onward and upward on one’s belly from there.▼

Torture porn by Jim Piechota The Marbled Swarm by Dennis Cooper; Harper Perennial, $14.99, paperback


ver the darling of stories featuring rail-thin, drug-addicted gay teenage boys at the mercy of sadistic rapists with an unquenchable thirst for dirt-poor skank, author Dennis Cooper puts the T in Transgressive. And for that we are thankful! The Marbled Swarm, his latest foray into the bowels of proscribed literary territory, makes terrific reading material, but only for some, of course. It’s a snug fit for those seeking vicarious thrills of the taboo variety, or those bored to tears with overwrought gay love stories, pandering alterna-queer essay collections, or the kind of strained, self-indulgent autobiographies that make up what is considered to be “gay books” these days. The Marbled Swarm is a


Walker Evans From page 21

The photographs are from the collection of Robert and Elizabeth Fisher, members of the omnipresent Fisher family of Gap fame, and the show’s curator eminent Evans authority Jeff L. Rosenheim, Curator of Photographs at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, who wrote the eloquent, insightful exhibition text. (Rosenheim, who knows whereof he speaks, was involved in the Evans retrospective that originated at the Met back in 2000 before traveling to San Francisco.) Although it’s widely acknowledged that Evans produced his strongest and most indelible work, and the photographs with which he’s readily identified, during an 18-month period from 1935-37, when he memorably documented, some would say defined, the Great Depression with austere, unsentimental images, this survey pulls back and offers a broader perspective of his development, with samplings from a number of periods stretching from the 1920s to the 1970s. It includes lesser-known experimental photographs from 1928 to 1930; a subway series published in Many Are Called; wonderful color photo-essays of wrecked buildings for Fortune magazine; and tiny, not terribly exciting Polaroid SX-70 prints taken during his final years. The sum effect is to accentuate the brilliance of the pictures we know best, which he mainly shot for

serpentine tale of mystery, desperation, and callous horror, but in the hands of such a seasoned master-craftsman-of-theprofane as Cooper, all that gore leaches out into a pretty puddle of dynamic wordplay on the page. At the helm of the novel steers an unnamed narrator, a slippery Frenchman with enough Francs to purchase a swanky chateau that’s opulent, but mired in the violent, perverted history of its forebears. The villa was once home to a father who spent his free time spying from secret hidden rooms on his two sons, who had regular incestuous sex with such a violent edge it caused the death of one. The other boy, Serge, a “cutter” swathing through his skin to spell out fleshwords to alleviate depression, has been abducted by the narrator, now revealed as an unapologetic cannibal, the Resettlement Administration and James Agee’s tome, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. Born in the Midwest, Evans had a passion for literature but soon dropped out of college and headed to Paris, following in the footsteps of his expat idols Fitzgerald and Hemingway. (A couple of small, early self-portraits here reveal a handsome young man with literary ambition adrift in Europe.) He returned to New York in 1927 to become a writer, but quickly discovered that the camera was mightier than the pen. Evans would meet Hemingway several years later in 1933 in Havana, where the photographer collaborated with journalist Carleton Beals on Crime of Cuba, a book chronicling the brutal regime of Gerard Machado y Morales. He captured both the city’s crumbling colonial majesty and its beleaguered populace in pictures such as “Citizen in Downtown Havana” (1933), in which a dapper fellow in a white suit and Panama hat stands on a rubblestrewn street, and in forensic photos depicting the gruesome fate of victims of the dictatorship. After she returned from Paris, photographer Berenice Abbott (with large, piercing eyes and a pixie haircut in Evans’ portrait of her) introduced him to the work of Eugene Atget, who was a visual poet of Parisian streets and architecture. Atget was a formative and abiding influence for Evans, who admired the French artist for his lyricism and sensitivity to tell-

Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

“Main Street, Saratoga Springs, New York” (1931), photograph by Walker Evans, gelatin silver print: a documentary lyricism.

ing details. In “Main Street, Saratoga Springs, New York” (1931), Evans expresses a documentary lyricism of his own. Lining the main thoroughfare, regal elms that have shed their leaves arch their limbs upward and provide natural filigree through which to view the facades of fourstory buildings set back from glisten-

ing, rain-slicked streets; the imagery calls to mind an Impressionist painting by Pissarro. Evans meticulously planned and crafted his photographs; there’s nothing accidental or left to chance about the way he went about chronicling life as it was being lived. Though deserted when he shot it, “Negro Bar-

bershop Interior, Atlanta” (1936), a dilapidated space with paint-spackled walls, well-worn chairs and towels stuffed randomly into shelves, speaks volumes about a lively central gathering place for gossip and community. It’s a perfect photograph. But it was the Depression and the devastation attending it that, ironically, gave Evans his main chance, opening a door to his greatest artistic subject and the opportunity to receive regular paychecks for the privilege. In Hale County, Alabama, where he and Agee stayed on and off in August 1936, Evans photographed members of the Burroughs family, tenant sharecroppers barely eking out a living on the land and holed up in cramped quarters in a rustic four-room cabin. In his famous portraits of Allie Mae and Floyd Burroughs, she’s in a sad, tattered cotton dress, her hair pulled tightly back and her expression severe; he’s in overalls, world-weary, his youthful handsomeness ebbing away from sweat, toil and no way out. Their faces are a map of deprivation, disappointment and harsh struggle beyond words. Evans gave them a voice. The power of these iconic images has not diminished with our familiarity with them or the passage of time. It was Evans’ special talent to transcend mere documentation and enter the realm of art.▼ Walker Evans Photographs at the Cantor Arts Center through April 3.


February 16-22, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 33

Happy Invisibility Day! W

e hope you had a nice Valentine’s Day. We hope it was romantic, or sexy, or at least not sad or stalkery. According to reports on CNN, ABC and CBS last week, people spent more money on stuff for their beloved this Valentine’s Day than they have in 10 years. Apparently the endless recession has made people hold onto love with a tenacity reserved for desperate times and desperate measures. Here’s what we noticed about the most celebrated and hyped holiday after Christmas and Halloween: No representations of queers in love on the tube. Surprise! Following on the heels of the Prop 8 decision and the Washington state legislature’s passage of marriage equality (which couldn’t have had less TV news coverage), it would have been sweet to see some tender moments of queer love somewhere on the tube. Yet except for the Valentine’s Day episodes of Grey’s Anatomy and Glee, no queer kissing, queer loving or even queer existence for the day. Yet we keep getting told it gets better. So the getting better part is we go from being bullied to being invisible? Yes, that’s so much better. Lately it seems if you want to see queers on the tube, you need to go to daytime or commercials. Daytime TV has become a queer playground. In the same midday hour you can flip between CBS, ABC and NBC, and see Sara Gilbert on The Talk, Tim Gunn on The Revolution or Nate Berkus on The Nate Berkus Show. Out queers telling straight people what to do. Maybe there really is a homosexual agenda. Gilbert, mother of two, tells you how to parent, Gunn tells you how to dress, and Berkus tells you what to do with your house to make it livably chic. Hmmm. Plus, Berkus is followed by Ellen on NBC. Talk about gay during the day. Speaking of Ellen, she is now (and who would ever have thought this?) taking the concept of lipstick lesbian (which she is not) to a whole new level in her role as spokesmodel for Cover Girl cosmetics. Ellen has been doing Cover Girl commercials since 2008, but CG debuted a new ad campaign with her Feb. 1: Ellen, dressed in all-white, casual-butch chic like she got derailed from a meth party in South Beach, has been teamed with Sofia Vergara (Emmy winner for the queer-friendly Modern Family, and, little-known fact, had a role in the 2004 AIDS thriller The 24th Day, where she has an impeccable American accent) in a black evening gown. Vergara is hands-down the sexiest woman on the tube, and she and Ellen do a little twirl together on the commercial. Vergara is the epitome of heterosexual hotness, so it’s an interesting spin for Cover Girl. Plus, Ellen is 54 and Vergara is just seconds from 40, so we are also talking middle-aged women. Although in the case of both women, this ain’t your grandma’s middle age. Meanwhile the long-rumored-to-be-lesbian and still-never-linked-to-a-man Queen Latifah, 41, is their other spokesmodel. Go Cover Girl! Tim Gunn is a spokesperson for several products, from Expedia to Macy’s. And just to round things out, Wanda Sykes is the spokesperson for Gain detergent. So we can’t get queers represented in series programming, but we will let them tell us how to live our lives and what to buy? Or maybe not. Ellen was signed in early February to represent JC Penney starting this spring. JCP thought Ellen was the perfect

choice to refresh their brand in some new, super-hip commercials. JCP says Ellen seemed a natural fit for them. But the group One Million Moms, a lunatic phalanx of the American Family Association, Dr. Donald Wildmon’s vicious antiqueer group, called for a boycott after JCP’s announcement. It didn’t go as well as the group planned, however. Supporters of Ellen came out in droves, flooding JCP’s Facebook page with a million likes to One Million Moms’ mere 40,000. Maybe the Million Moms got confused and liked Ellen instead of giving her the thumbs down? Meanwhile, on his Feb. 6 Fox News show, conservative talk show host Bill O’Reilly came out in support of Ellen, calling the boycott a “witch hunt.” O’Reilly said, “If you remember with the McCarthy era, in the 50s, they were trying to hunt down communist sympathizers and not let them work. What is the difference between the McCarthy era communist blacklist in the 50s and the Million Moms saying, ‘Hey, JC Penney and all you other stores, don’t you hire any gay people. Don’t you dare.’ What is the difference?” Wait, this is Fox, so maybe this is the parallel universe on Fringe? Or are the OMM and AFA so extreme that even O’Reilly finds them repugnant? In response to O’Reilly’s defense of her, Ellen said on her Feb. 7 show, “I already sent out a tweet to thank you. And you didn’t really make it clear if you were going to shop at JC Penney or not, but if you do, you can use my employee discount any time you want. That’s for you, Bill. Thank you so much.” It really is the End Times, isn’t it? Ellen also responded to One Million Moms, telling her audience, “Normally I try not to pay attention to my haters, but today I’d like to cause my haters are my motivators. This organization doesn’t think I should be the spokesperson because I’m gay. For those of you tuning in for the first time, it’s true, I’m gay. I hope you were sitting down.” OMM’s website demands JCP drop Ellen and “remain neutral in the culture war,” seeming to forget that it was the OMM/AFA and their ilk that started that war while we were just living our lives. Or as they like to call it, “lifestyles.” JC Penney not only stands behind Ellen, the CEO asserted that having her as spokesperson will “build tolerance.” OMM has a few other anti-queer items on their agenda, including a boycott of Macy’s for their gay commercials, and a boycott of all the sponsors of Modern Family. Just in case you were wondering which places to shop and which products to buy. Also, on her show over at Oprah’s network, Rosie O’Donnell said the One Million Moms (not to be confused with Rosie’s anti-gun group, the Million Mom March) are not a million moms. We think Facebook proved that one. Meanwhile, the gays and product sponsorship issue hit the Jersey Shore this week when Mike “the Situation” Sorrentino told his housemates to stop implying that he’s gay. Snooki and J-Woww were all over the “he’s really gay” shtick, and the Situation (we do have to ask here: since when is it easier to call someone “the Situation” than Mike?) was po’d because he’s afraid it will damage his endorsement deals which are for, you know, straight guys, not gay guys. Because gay guys don’t buy clothes. Just ask David Beckham. Speaking of Beckham, when his package – we mean product – debuted at the Super Bowl (where better to showcase the tight white undies and the six-pack above it?),

Ellen DeGeneres is out, proud spokesmodel for Cover Girl cosmetics.

CNN’s Roland Martin got his own knickers in a twist over the idea that real men might be bending toward Beckham. Martin felt compelled to tweet, “If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham’s H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of him! #superbowl.” Martin also sent some other antigay tweets with a violent overtone, which prompted immediate outrage from GLAAD, which asserted that Martin’s tweets promoted anti-gay violence. CNN suspended Martin on Feb. 8. He was on air for the Tuesday-night election coverage, however. In announcing the suspension, CNN stated, “Roland Martin’s tweets were regrettable and offensive. Language that demeans is inconsistent with the values and culture of our organization, and is not tolerated. We have been giving careful consideration to this matter, and Roland will not be appearing on our air for the time being.” We don’t get why Martin, who is African American, would think that using violent language against a minority group would be cool. Would he be supportive of the tweets of a white reporter who suggested smacking the crap out of blacks? Yeah, we didn’t think so. Just like we’re pretty sure that One Million Moms wouldn’t like it if their livelihoods were threatened by a boycott. Learn to substitute your own group in the slot where you’re dissing someone else. If you don’t like how it sounds, then don’t say it. And don’t tweet it: the Internet is forever, which means you can never come back from your own bigotry. Even when they let you back on the air, Mr. Martin. Speaking of coming back, it was so good to see Adele back on the tube singing her fabulous lungs out again after six months of silence due to bleeding vocal cords and surgery. We liked that she chose Anderson Cooper to sit down with. Singing for the first time in six months, prior to her Grammy appearance, the Brit bombshell chatted with the Silver Fox on 60 Minutes Feb. 12. Meanwhile, Karl Lagerfeld did a take-down of Adele last week that made all the tabloid shows. Lagerfeld critiqued the singer saying she has a pretty face, but she’s fat. That Lagerfeld looks like a gay Nazi and isn’t exactly fashion elite any more

seems not to matter. Yes, Adele’s fat. Is that news? She’s also magnificent. And her voice is restored to perfection. Sing on and ignore the haters. Also magnificent this award season, having survived a lifetime of haters herself, is the fabulous Viola Davis, up for another Oscar. We loved her before it was fashionable, back when she played the recurring role of Molly Crane in the Jesse Stone movies made for TV, and appeared on Law & Order, CSI, snd other TV shows. On the Feb. 8 episode of Nightline she gave an extraordinary interview with Cynthia


by Victoria A. Brownworth

McFadden. It was one of the most honest depictions of race as it related to the big and small screen in, well, ever. Davis told McFadden about her difficult childhood as one of the only blacks in her small Rhode Island town. She was chased every day by a group of boys shouting “Nigger!” at her (and ABC did not bleep it out, nor did she say “the n word”). When she said the word in such a commonplace manner, it was heartbreaking. Davis also discussed with McFadden how many black women have been nominated for Oscars for playing domestics. Equally unnerving. Davis has long been one of America’s premiere actresses. But as she notes, she doesn’t get many scripts to go over like Meryl Streep. Just as revealing is Davis’ interview with Andre Leon Talley (America’s Next Top Model), former Vogue editor-at-large and the only out gay black man on the tube. Talley and Davis shared a discussion of their mothers’ lives as domestics. Check it out at ETOnline, but be prepared to weep. Speaking of stereotypes and narrowing roles, is there a reason why the only hot gay male characters on the tube are, well, dead? Or should we say, undead? We like a vampire as much as the next person, but seriously, now that the boys over at the CW’s The Vampire Diaries have gone gay, we have to ask two questions: “What took so long?” and, “Why not the humans?” Something to ponder. Because now that Tyler has been taken to the insane asylum on Revenge, Nolan has no one to be gay with. Like all the other hot gay guys on the tube. Of course there are no other gay men anywhere on the Hamptons. Just Nolan. Unless a vampire drops by, of course. You just never know when or where there might be another queer sighting on the tube: during the day or after dark, when the vampires come out to play. Which is why you really must stay tuned.▼

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February 16, 2012 edition of the Bay Area Reporter  

The undisputed newspaper of record for the San Francisco Bay Area LGBT community and the oldest continuously-published gay newspaper in the...

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