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Pride 2012

Bronstein's Trigger is toast


See second section



Frameline 36 finale


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

Vol. 42 • No. 25 • June 21-27, 2012

by Seth Hemmelgarn


an Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration Committee Executive Director Brendan Behan hopes that people take this year’s theme, “Global Equality,” to heart as they attend this year’s festivities Saturday and Sunday, June 23-24. “I want people to recognize that global equality is a call to action,” Behan said of the 42nd annual Pride Parade. “I want people to know that there’s a diverse global movement for LGBT rights, and it’s different for every community that movement takes place in. ... There’s more that we can all do to be working in solidarity with LGBT activists and allies around the globe.” See page 25 >> A contingent in last year’s parade took on the colors of the rainbow flag. Rick Gerharter

SFPD condom practices questioned by Seth Hemmelgarn

Women enjoyed themselves in Dolores Park at the Dyke March rally last year. Jane Philomen Cleland

Dyke March turns 20 by Heather Cassell


he San Francisco Dyke March celebrates its 20th anniversary this weekend with a new generation of leadership remembering the rally’s roots born of a call for dyke rights and visibility. Marking the anniversary, the 10 all-volun-

teer committee members have scaled back the event to remind people about its political beginnings, said organizers. This year’s theme is “Dyke Space Continuum,” to express the past and ongoing efforts for queer women’s rights. “It’s really political for me still,” said Clair See page 24 >>


here appears to be confusion at the San Francisco Police Department over whether condoms should be used as evidence of prostitution. There have been indirect reports over the years of police taking condoms from people suspected of prostitution, including transgender women. Captain Denise Flaherty, who heads the SFPD’s special victims unit, which oversees prostitution operations, said police don’t use condoms as evidence of prostitution. “It doesn’t have any evidentiary value whatsoever,” Flaherty said. She said the district attorney’s office


doesn’t require them to use condoms as evidence. “We don’t take condoms from people when people are trying to protect themselves,” Flaherty, who’s been in her post for about two weeks, said. However, that contradicts what Lieutenant Art Stellini, one of two lieutenants in the special victims unit, said. Stellini, who spoke to the Bay Area Reporter before Flaherty did, said police do use condoms as evidence of prostitution. He didn’t have figures on how often it happens, but he said “in every case of prostitution” where condoms are present, they’re taken as evidence, photographed, See page 21 >>

<< Community News

2 • BAY AREA REPORTER • June 21-27, 2012

Jane Philomen Cleland

East Bay AIDS Walk a success A

bout 750 walkers, including the folks shown above, participated in last weekend’s East Bay AIDS Walk around Lake Merritt in Oakland. Stephen Case, an out HIV-positive board member of the East Bay AIDS Advocacy Foundation, which produces the all-

volunteer event, said that participants raised over $135,000 that will help the more than 10,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in the area, mostly in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. The sixth annual walk included free HIV tests, speakers, and entertainment.

Trigger bar closes by Seth Hemmelgarn


rigger nightclub in the Castro shut down Tuesday, after a judge last week ordered assets associated with the business to be auctioned off. Owner Greg Bronstein was recently ordered to pay more than $100,000 to Marvin Banks. Banks had loaned Bronstein $100,000 in 2009, but Bronstein didn’t pay back all the money he owed, according to San Francisco Superior Court records. In March, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Harold Kahn ordered Bronstein to pay Banks back. What Bronstein owes appears to include costs such as interest and attorneys fees. On June 11, Kahn appointed attorney Mark Epstein as the postjudgment receiver for Bronstein’s Trigger assets, according to a court filing. Bronstein didn’t respond to interview requests. Trigger is located at 2344 Market Street, near the heart of the Castro neighborhood. Epstein is to hold a public auction in coordination with San Francisco’s sheriff, the records say. “Defendants shall not interfere

Rick Gerharter

Greg Bronstein

with the receiver or the execution of his duties in any way,” and is ordered not to transfer, damage, sell, modify, or take several other actions to any of the assets listed in the court filing. Those include all fixtures, equipment, machinery, and all other “tangible and intangible assets” of the club. Banks didn’t respond to an interview request, but Epstein said, “It looks like they may have liens ahead

of them before Mr. Banks gets to them.” He added that because of the liens, Banks “may not be entitled to anything.” He said the primary lien is from the state Board of Equalization. California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control records show that the BOE has had a hold on the liquor license currently used for Trigger since April 2008. A BOE staffer declined to comment specifically on Bronstein’s case, citing confidentiality rules. Epstein said the receivership is because of Banks’s lawsuit, but whether “there’s anything to administer after the other liens is another question.” He didn’t know when or where the auction would be. “With what’s left in the bar, it could cost us more to inventory and sell [the assets] than it’s worth,” Epstein said. He said he had “absolutely no idea” how much the auction might bring in. He indicated there could be leases or liens already on the lighting and sound systems. The liquor license has been involved in a transfer process to the owners of Patxi’s Chicago Pizza on Fillmore Street. That transfer would See page 3 >>

‘Berlin Patient’ case stirs controversy by Liz Highleyman


ew data about the “Berlin Patient” presented at a conference this month sparked controversy among researchers and advocates about whether Timothy Brown – known as the only person to be functionally cured of HIV – might still carry the virus. Brown, who now lives in San Francisco, appeared to be cured of HIV after he received bone marrow transplants to treat leukemia while living in Germany. His doctor, Gero Hutter, found a donor who was both a genetic match and had an uncommon natural mutation, known as CCR5-delta32, which protects CD4 T-cells from HIV infection by deleting coreceptors that most strains of the virus use to enter cells. Brown stopped taking antiretroviral drugs the day before his first transplant in 2007. Five years and many tests later, he still had no detectable HIV in his blood, CD4 cells, gut, or cerebrospinal fluid. In an effort to learn more, Brown’s fluid and tissue samples were sent to several researchers with experience using ultrasenstive tests to detect

Ed Walsh

Timothy Brown

extremely small amounts of virus, including experts at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Johns Hopkins, and UC San Diego and UCSF. In early June, Steven Yukl from UCSF presented preliminary findings from this research at the International Workshop on HIV and Hepatitis Virus Drug Resistance and Curative Strategies in Sitges, Spain. The data he reported were inconsistent, demonstrating the difficulty of finding tiny amounts of virus at the limits of de-

tection of current tests. Two laboratories were able to detect very small amounts of HIV RNA in plasma, but two others did not. One lab found HIV DNA in a rectal biopsy sample, but none was detected in spinal fluid. No replication-competent virus could be detected in more than nine billion T-cells collected via apheresis. Brown’s HIV-specific antibody levels were detectable but tended to decrease over time. His CD4 cell counts remained fairly stable and within the normal range. Sequencing of the few detected bits of viral genetic material showed that they were not similar to each other, nor to the HIV strain Brown carried before his transplants. In one case the sequence matched a strain commonly used in lab tests, suggesting possible contamination. The researchers concluded that Brown’s treatment “has led to viral control ... and possibly eradication of replication-competent HIV ... although the intermittent detection of low-level virus raises the possibility that there has not been complete eradication ... [t]he combination of plasma, blood, and mucosal measures See page 25 >>

Community News >>

June 21-27, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 3

Trans March aims to span generations by Heather Cassell


housands of attendees are expected to fill Dolores Park with the color of purple to show the transgender community’s unity as it mourns its losses and celebrates its victories at the ninth annual Trans March Friday, June 22 from noon to 6:30 p.m. The theme for this year’s celebration and march is “Trans Generations: Define your Moment.” People will enjoy a variety of events for the whole community. In its quest to continue building community Trans March organizers are introducing its first youth and elder brunch. The free intergenerational brunch to bring elders and youth together to share the community’s history and visions for the future will start the festivities at noon in the park. The goal of the brunch is to bring the elders, youth, and their families together “so we can increase dialogue between the generations and hopefully youth can learn the history of the trans movement and also become inspired to make a difference,” said Danielle Castro, a steering committee member of the Trans March and who is in charge of the event’s media relations. Jamie Rafaela Wolfe, a fellow Trans March committee member agreed, adding that the brunch will bring the community together to “really share what makes not only our trans community unique, but what’s empowered us from back in the days during our so-called screaming queens Compton Cafeteria riots fighting for our justice at that point.” Wolfe added, “It will help to have generation to generation continuity in the struggle.” Launched in 2004 in response to the mistrial of the murderers of Gwen Araujo, a young trans woman who lived in Newark, California and was killed at a house party in 2002, this year’s Trans March continues its tradition of rising against transphobia unifying thousands of transgender, gender non-conforming individuals, and allies for social justice and pride. Committee members hope to reach their $15,000 goal to put on the march, said Wolfe. This year’s march is bittersweet as it follows by almost two months the April 29 murder of Brandy Martell, an African American transgender woman who was shot in her car in downtown Oakland. “There is a lot of sadness and it’s really important that we all come together and show the world that we definitely will not stand for this hatred and we are united in that front,” said Castro, a 37-year-old trans woman. At the same time there is cause for celebration as the community won a significant employment rights battle against the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. In April, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled that gender identity is protected under Title VII, the federal sex discrimination law. The case was filed by the Transgender Law Center on behalf



From page 2

be affected, Epstein said. “If the person who is selling the liquor license is Greg Bronstein or the corporation that owns the liquor license, then the receivership would prohibit him from selling the license,” Epstein said. He said he had “no idea” what would happen with the Trigger space. Banks filed a breach of contract complaint December 21, 2010

Rick Gerharter

Robin S. Mitchell from Martinez enjoyed the late afternoon sun in Dolores Park, waiting for the 2011 Trans March to start.

of Bay Area trans woman Mia Macy, who applied as a ballistics technician at the ATF’s Walnut Creek facility last year and was denied employment. Macy is scheduled to speak at the rally. Other scheduled speakers include Miss Major and JoAnne Keatley, said the organizers. The celebration and rally will start at 3:30 p.m. on the main stage at the park. “It’s really important to come together and have a united front,” said Castro. Wolfe, who is emceeing along with Tita Aida and Tonilyn Sideco, agreed, adding that this year’s motto “define your moment” means, “What is special about us? What’s special about our movement? What’s special about just one’s self? Define this moment. This is the moment where we are empowered and we are going to take back our rights ... we are going to fight for our rights and show the greater community that we mean business.” Mayor Ed Lee, who was the first sitting San Francisco mayor to speak at a Trans March last year, will again speak at this year’s rally, according to Francis Tsang the mayor’s spokesman. Entertainment includes Animal Prufrock and the Fruity Flavors, Cait Brennen, Elsinar, King Tuff n Stuff, My Reasons Why, Ryan Casatta, and various other dance and drag performances. Thousands of people are anticipated to take to the streets at 6:30 p.m. to march to U.N. Plaza following the event in the park. Disabled and elder transgender individuals will head up the march for the second year in a trolley, but this year marks the first time that a motorcade of trans people on bikes will round out the march. The evening will wrap up with the official Trans March celebration at El Rio, 3158 Mission Street, starting at 8. Cover is $5-$25 at the door. Proceeds from the after-party will benefit the Transgender, Gender Variant, and Intersex Justice Project, said Wolfe.▼ For more information, visit

against Bronstein and his company That’s It Inc., according to court records. His attorney is listed as Joseph C. Barton. In the documents, Banks says he loaned Bronstein $100,000 in April 2009. The court filings include the security agreement giving Banks a “security interest in the personal property and fixtures” of Trigger. In an interview earlier this month, Barton said he didn’t know what kind of relationship Bronstein See page 25 >>

<< Community News

4 • BAY AREA REPORTER • June 21-27, 2012

Legality of repealing FAIR Act debated by Roger Brigham


s opponents of the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful Education Act work to gather signatures in an effort to put a repeal initiative before California voters in November, attorneys and others involved in the fight question the legality of such a move. “Since when do we, and more importantly, should we, allow popular vote to override policy gains that are made on behalf of a vulnerable minority?” asked Kate Kendell, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights in a recent interview. Kendell could have been talking about any of the battles in recent years over court rulings that gave California same-sex couples the right to marry. Instead, she was talking about the FAIR Act that went into effect at the start of the year, requiring that public school curricula in the social sciences acknowledge the contributions of LGBT Americans and people with disabilities, and the ongoing effort now to repeal that act. While the California fight for marriage equality approaches an end with a seemingly inevitable battle in the U.S. Supreme Court, a state conflict over education equality appears to be just starting. Opponents of the state

law are trying to collect enough signatures before a mid-July deadline to place a repeal initiative on the November ballot. A similar referendum effort last year, Stop SB 48, failed to get enough signatures within the state-required 90 days. The new effort, calling itself CLASS Act for its proposed Children Learning Accurate Social Science Act, had a 120-day window to gather enough valid signatures for a popular vote initiative. CLASS Act organizers say they are trying to collect 700,000 signatures in advance of a July 11 deadline. There are similarities and differences between Proposition 8, which removed minority rights affirmed by judicial decision; and CLASS Act, which would attempt to take away minority inclusion in school curricula mandated by legislative action. “From a constitutional perspective, it is somewhat different,” David Faigman, a professor who specializes in constitutional law at UC Hastings College of Law, told the Bay Area Reporter. “The FAIR Education Act is a little bit different in that it is not entirely clear as to how you would describe what a right in education is.” Noting that local school districts must make priorities with budget and time constraints, Faigman said,

Courtesy NCLR

NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell

“It’s not clear that you have the right to have your history taught in schools. It’s not clear that anyone would have a specific right to have their specific cultural or ethnicity or (sexual) orientation told.” Faigman added that if a community opted, for example, to exclude references to African Americans in its curriculum, “that would probably raise constitutional issues because they have special protections as a ‘suspect class’ minority. The Supreme Court has not yet decided that the LGBT class gets particular protection.

Courtesy UC Hastings

Law professor David Faigman

Judge [Vaughn] Walker said that, but not the Supreme Court. That’s part of the current [marriage] debate. There’s a parallel, but it’s not straightforward.” Faigman said that if an initiative did repeal the FAIR Act and then was challenged in court, the plaintiffs might have the initiative tossed out by showing it was intentionally discriminatory. “The standard under the 14th Amendment is that intentional discrimination against a certain group is unconstitutional,” he said. That pretty much sums up what the federal challengers to Prop 8 did in

federal court, entering into evidence of homophobic messages presented by the Yes on 8 campaign that warned against “homosexual agendas” promoted by stereotyped sexual predators. Which is a good indication that if the CLASS Act initiative does make it to the ballot, campaign methods used by its supporters will come under close scrutiny. CLASS Act campaign spokesman Kevin Snider said he thought the initiative could stand any court challenge portraying it as being discriminatory. Taking note of Supreme Court case Romer v. Evans, in which a Colorado state amendment prohibiting gays and lesbians being recognized as a protected class was overturned in 1996, Snider said, “The problem with what happened there was the only people on the table being talked about in the law were gays and lesbians. Whereas in this case, we’re pretty much clearing everything off the list (of minorities being presented) except for racial and ethnic minorities. When you only have one group, then you have a legal problem. CLASS Act deals with an awful lot of groups. You wouldn’t have the same legal problem.” The CLASS Act campaign has a website (http://www.classact2012. com) and a Facebook page (http:// Yes on 8 argued that same-sex marriage ran contrary to the “traditional definition” of one man married to one woman. CLASS Act similarly argues that the FAIR Act would rewrite history to appease various special interest groups. “The objection is that it basically politicizes history,” Snider said. “We have politicians trying to write history books and putting in every politically correct group into the book. History has to be accurate.” Snider said he felt California curricula were all ready reasonable, accurate, and unprejudiced. “FDR is not kicked out because he was in a wheelchair,” he said, referring to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. “Alexander the Great is not kicked out because he was gay.” On its site, the campaign says FAIR Act (Senate Bill 48) “uses all social science curriculum, including history books and other instructional materials, to teach children as young as 5 not only to accept but also to endorse transgenderism, bisexuality, and homosexuality. SB 48 has been misrepresented to the public and passed as a bill aimed to end bullying. SB 48 went into effect January. Under SB 48, public schools will begin supplementing current instruction with pro-transgender, bisexual and homosexual materials before textbooks are revised. If schools do not comply with this they are in violation of the law.” Kendell said beyond the fear and stereotyping engaged in by the Yes on 8 campaign, she objected to the campaign’s assertions that all decisions must be subject to popular vote, as is being done now with the education battle. Kendell was part of the executive committee for the No on 8 campaign four years ago. “We elect leaders to make our decisions for us so that we can go about our daily lives, and we have judges appointed or elected to be a check on those elected officials to make sure they don’t over reach or do anything unconstitutional,” she said. “Theirs is a deliberate or unintentional misunderstanding of how democracy works, especially a constitutional democracy. That has left people with the impression that the people get to be the ultimate ‘deciders’ on a whole host of issues, including the civil rights of marginalized minorities. That whole idea that the popular kids get to continue to pick on the younger or weaker kids is exactly the sort of issue that the Constitution was meant to address or See page 18 >>

Read more online at

June 21-27, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 5

<< Open Forum

6 • BAY AREA REPORTER • June 21-27, 2012

Volume 42, Number 25 June 21-27, 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 McDonagh David-Elijah Nahmod • Elliot Owen 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

A chance to Dream


any LGBTs have long championed immigration reform, and for good reason. Some are immigrants themselves, and want the opportunity to have a path to citizenship if they are undocumented. Others are citizens in relationships with undocumented residents or visitors with expired visas. These binational couples face fear and frustration with the current system – especially if they are married, because immigration law does not recognize same-sex spouses. So it was that LGBT advocates cheerfully greeted President Barack Obama’s announcement last week that an executive order will allow hundreds of thousands of undocumented people who came to the U.S. as children to remain in the country without fear of deportation. The order will also enable these young people to apply for work permits. Obama’s executive order accomplishes some of the goals of the Dream Act (the proposed federal legislation that would allow young people who were brought to this country as children to apply for citizenship). While that legislation is currently stalled in Congress, with virtually no chance at passage before the presidential election, Obama’s executive order is a good first step. In the past we have urged the president to take bold action or use executive orders when necessary or when Congress won’t budge; to make any progress on immigration reform Obama needed to break the logjam in Congress. The president’s order is not an open door and does involve some qualifying criteria. It will only apply to those undocumented young people who came to the United States before they turned 16 years old and are currently younger than 30; have a high school diploma or GED or have served in the U.S. military; have remained in the country for five consecutive years; and have no criminal record. Still, the order is expected to benefit more than 800,000 undocumented young people, enabling them to go to

college or to legally seek employment. Naturally, Republicans reacted angrily, even those who are on record supporting immigration reform. Obama’s order does not include amnesty, a favorite buzzword of the right, that exaggerated argument is moot. The goal of this transparent partisanship is to deny Obama a second term and has nothing to do with the issue at hand: reforming our country’s broken immigration laws. Fear-mongering is what the GOP does best, as even President George W. Bush discovered when he attempted immigration reform. The Nation magazine points out that Republicans are now in a tricky spot because many of them actually agree with Obama’s position. His executive order is weaker than the version of the Dream Act sponsored by Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida). Case in point: presumed Republican presidential

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nominee Mitt Romney appeared on Face the Nation on Sunday and side-stepped the question every time moderator Bob Schieffer asked about it. Republicans accused the president of merely pandering to Latino voters. But with harsh antiimmigrant laws in red states like Arizona and Alabama, the majority of those voters were already in the Democratic column. (Much like the majority of LGBT voters already expressing support for Obama before he made his announcement in favor of marriage equality.) Republicans are boxed in by the president and they know it; so they resort to talking points that are parroted by Fox News that have no basis in reality. What they should have done was acknowledge that Obama’s order was a sensible short-term solution and moved on, as the Nation noted. Obama’s action is another bold step that will help people. The Republicans can complain all they want, but they should provide leadership if they expect to be taken seriously.▼

Pride is ... being counted by Bill Ambrunn

GENERAL MANAGER Michael M. Yamashita


he celebration of Pride is upon us, and I want to be counted. But even here in San Francisco, the LGBT community is not being counted in some important ways and that needs to change. The late, great Harvey Milk pleaded with LGBTs to come out. Milk’s advice was both personal and political. He understood that when we are open about our sexual orientation and gender identity, straight people are forced to confront their feelings about us and ultimately are much more likely to accept us – or at least leave us alone. Milk’s advice is no less powerful in 2012 when one critical aspect of being out is being counted – in government surveys and questionnaires, in nonprofit service and program statistics, and in studies of demographics and unmet needs. It is time that collecting and reporting data about sexual orientation and gender identity comes fully out of the closet and into the mainstream. For years, questions about sexual orientation and gender identity have been considered “personal.” Unfortunately, that frequently results in the questions not being asked or omitted from the forms – brushed under the carpet because either the person asking or the person being asked might be offended, embarrassed, or exposed to unwanted attention. But there has been a significant cultural shift in the U.S. over the past few decades and asking the questions should no longer be seen as an inappropriate intrusion. And to be clear, we are not talking about requiring anyone to divulge their sexual orientation or gender identity. People seeking government-funded services or public housing, participating in public health surveys or just filling out a new patient form at the doctor’s office can always refuse to answer demographic questions without penalty, just like they can now. The questions, however, need to be asked so that LGBTs can be counted. In addition to collecting demographic data, asking questions about LGBT status can be critical in many medical and professional situations to screen clients for specific needs. For example,

Attorney Bill Ambrunn

in my estate planning law practice, I always ask new clients about sexual orientation and gender identity because that tells me whether to delve into a wide range of legal issues affecting LGBT individuals and families that straight clients don’t have to worry about. The same is true in medical situations when LGBT patients should be properly screened for conditions we are more likely to experience. But LGBT status is not always counted – most notably excluded from the U.S. Census. Historically, government programs and services have not collected this information the same way other demographic information has been routinely collected. One consequence is that when government officials, nonprofit directors, and other leaders use demographic data to identify problems and allocate scarce resources, the LGBT community loses out. For example, the few privately funded studies that exist on LGBT seniors show alarming disparities in serious health and mental health issues like cancer, diabetes, hypertension, and severe depression. But painfully little is actually known since experts lack consistent data on seniors’ sexual orientation and gender identity, what disparities exist and how they can be addressed. This lack of LGBT data is not limited to se-

niors in our community, but applies to LGBTs throughout the system. With few exceptions, the city doesn’t consistently or effectively count and report on LGBT clients in major programs including youth services, health and mental health services, housing, and social services. Without data on how many LGBTs there are, where we live and work, what our lives are like, and what our needs are, it is very difficult to identify and address health and socio-economic disparities affecting our community. Even in San Francisco, we are not doing an effective enough job of recording sexual orientation and gender identity and making that data available to the public and to researchers. The city is not yet actually requiring departments and nonprofit contractors to collect and report LGBT data the same way other demographic data is collected and reported. One result of this omission in data collection is that it is difficult to properly advocate for our community’s needs. Over the past two years, I have been working with the Human Rights Commission’s LGBT Advisory Committee and a group of committed activists on issues affecting LGBT seniors. When we approached the city seeking demographic data on San Francisco’s LGBT seniors, we found that the data is not available. So even though the city could tell us exactly how many Latino seniors it serves, or how many female seniors or poor seniors it serves, city officials could not tell us how many LGBT seniors the city serves. City officials are absolutely open to the idea of treating sexual orientation and gender identity data just the same way the city treats all other demographic information and the LGBT community should work with the city to implement this policy as soon as possible. San Francisco can and should be a leader in counting LGBTs, and those of us who can, should come out by being counted when receiving government services or giving other demographic information. It’s a statement of pride whose time has come.▼ Bill Ambrunn is a San Francisco attorney specializing in estate planning for members of the LGBT community, and has been working to establish the LGBT Seniors Task Force, which was recently passed unanimously by the Board of Supervisors.

Letters >>

June 21-27, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 7

Why we deserve Pride The publication of Michael Biehl’s letter to the editor [June 14] enrages me to the core of my being. His arrogance, naivety, and sheer lack of respect not only makes me angry, but breaks my heart. He clearly does not know LGBT – and more importantly Pride movement – history, of which there is a lot. I am a proud gay man who has the battle scars to prove where I’ve come from and where we’ve all come from. What have we done to deserve Pride, Mr. Biehl? We have survived and continue the fight for equality, which goes far beyond just LGBT people – it is a call to action for equality for all people, dammit. How dare you question our history, our movement, our Pride. How dare you impose your self-hatred on any one of us who stands up and stands proud. I know our history intimately, many don’t, and I encourage everyone to know it, and take it to heart; it is important. So many have gone before, so many have fought the good fight and lost, so many still live in fear today, even in San Francisco. Pride is more than a day, it is more than a parade, it is the outward symbol of a movement and people who have been marginalized long enough. So, Mr. Biehl, why do we deserve Pride? Because we are here, we are queer, and dammit, we will be equal. You point out only a few examples from our community, ignorant to what most of them represent, when they do great work and they move us forward into the light of equality. So we have our glitter, we have our bare bums, we have our drag, why should we not enjoy ourselves along the way. Or have you forgotten, Mr. Biehl, times when the Oak Room was raided and men jailed just because they wanted to love another man. Or have you forgotten Compton’s Cafeteria. Don’t know it, Mr. Biehl? Look it up. It is part of our history. Oh wait, maybe you have forgotten when Metropolitan Community Church was burned in the early 1970s, Stonewall, Harvey Milk, Mayor George Moscone. Shall I go on, Mr. Biehl? You ask why we deserve Pride? I am appalled and offended to the core of being and ashamed that anyone calling themselves gay could ask such a thing. At first I was angry that editor Cynthia Laird printed your letter. Now I am glad, because maybe, just maybe, it will further ignite an interest in our history and a deeper devotion to the cause. So Mr. Biehl, thank you for allowing me to share my passion for why we deserve Pride. Because we most certainly do, that’s why. Troy P. Coalman San Francisco

No lack of Pride here To you the parade may have become a blase anachronism that has long since outlived it’s usefulness. But for me, this is what it reminds me of: A starry-eyed kid fresh from the South, hope and joy at finally being able to come someplace where I can’t be discriminated against, where the hated word “fag” was commonly looked down on, where I am free to express myself and live as open and lovingly as I can. Where I come from, and where so many who sought refuge here have come from, are places of great hatred for us “fags.” They still would gleefully beat and kill us rather than try to understand that we are just human beings living and loving as best as we can. The parade means an end to Proposition 8, and a true chance at marriage equality. I don’t know about you Mr. Michael Biehl, but I don’t like being a second-class citizen. I like the idea of knowing that everywhere I go, wherever I may be, my husband to be (someday) will be able to hug me and kiss me and openly declare his love for me legally and proudly. Unlike June 12, 2002 where I had to literally threaten an orderly to see my dead lover in a bed at a hospital even though I wasn’t “legally family.” The parade means people releasing society’s restrictions, being freer about themselves, and even proud of their own skin. There is no shame in the human body. The human spirit is beautiful and we all carry that beauty openly. Isn’t that what Pride is about, being joyful and happy in our own skin, in our own being, amongst not only “our own” but all people? This isn’t a gruesome display of fetishes and carnal fantasies, and I guess if that is all you see that would be why you are so bored and bitter. Perhaps it’s time for a change of scenery. Just a thought. Phillip Cooper San Francisco

City is a place to live freely In his letter, Michael Biehl, a self-professed local gay man, asks just what “we fags” have done to merit a Pride Parade, and what we’ve (collectively) contributed to human civilization. Rather than simply list Socrates, Sappho, da Vinci, Jane Adams, Walt Whitman, Eleanor Roosevelt, Michelangelo, Billie Holiday, or many thousands of other LGBT people who have expanded human awareness for thousands of years, and who represent both the cornerstone of western civilization and mark its highlights, let me speak simply as a San Francisco resident – a gay artist and activist – who has traveled for decades, living long stretches of my adult life in Africa, India, Nepal, Mexico, and several countries in Europe, and Australia. As a youth volunteering for Martin Luther King to this past winter, everywhere I’ve gone or lived I’ve seen

that San Francisco represents far more than merely a city. Its name is a worldwide coda for people who yearn to live in dignity, in safety and with pride, and who realize that it’s possible because they’ve heard about San Francisco. What happens here gives them heart for their own struggles. These aren’t only LGBT people; they’re women forced into arranged marriages, as well as the underprivileged, as evidenced by a young bicycle rickshaw worker I recently met in India. “Salu” earns $5 on a good day, and is the sole support of his family. But he knows about this city and dreams of it. To him, just as to we who live here, San Francisco and its various forms of selfcelebration aren’t just about gender, race, origin or any other distinction or definition. This city radiates inclusion; a spirit of welcome; progressive truth-telling and the courage to be individual on a planet fraught with medieval prejudice, riven by war, and ecological ruin. Despite issues shared by all high-density urban areas, ours is a city of peace, of good will, and experiment. This comprises the nexus of humane society, of truly vivid culture and civilized values we can be rightly proud of. It’s sad that Mr. Biehl doesn’t grasp that on our admittedly often-bumpy, sometimes self-destructive path out from bias and/or self-inflicted pain to healthier consciousness and full social inclusion, we gather together to affirm these convictions in a spirit of fun and tolerance. From Gold Rush times to the present day, such is the nature of this very special place. Is some of it deliberately silly? Of course. Still immature? Yes. But when weighed against the chilling Stalinism or mind control of what polarized “pc” thought police do in the name of standards, I suggest that from Gandhi to King to Harvey Milk, great souls agitate for the value of the individual’s path and such vital recognition. I know no better embodiment of such guiding principles than our little city. I say this as a quiet person, one not particularly drawn to crowds or the Pride Parade. But they are my people, my tribe, and I love every single one of them. Adrian Brooks San Francisco

More specifics, please I wish Michael Biehl could be a little more explicit and a bit less vague in his vitriolic rant against gay Pride, etc. Actually, he does make a few interesting points. His comment about the naked men in the Castro (ugh!) is interesting, in that he is doing in a more literary way what they are doing; i.e. drawing attention to himself in a nice (safe), outrageous way (without having to display his physical imperfections and/or shortcomings). And it does get his name in the paper. What I think is really demonstrated here illustrates precisely why the whole gay Pride thing is necessary. The kind of internalized self-hatred that most of us as members of any oppressed minority – gay, black, Jewish, Asian, you name it – have had to deal with, to a greater or lesser extent, comes through loud and clear in Mr. Biehl’s tone and content. For one day, week, month, whatever, we’re saying “Yes, we exist, we have always existed, in all families, cultures, societies and civilizations, making positive contributions in every facet of human endeavor, and we have survived! And, we can afford to laugh about it.” So lighten up, Michael. Hey, if nothing else, it brings in millions of extra tourist dollars. Not a bad thing in difficult economic times, right? Frank Brooks San Francisco

Need to think about why Pride matters Many readers won’t see it this way, but the Bay Area Reporter did a service by publishing Michael Biehl’s sad, bitter letter. We do need to think about why Pride matters. It speaks volumes that in mockingly pondering our community’s “unparalleled contributions,” Biehl reaches for sing-along Sound of Music and naked guys in the Castro, and not the achievements of Bayard Rustin, Tennessee Williams, Representative Tammy Baldwin (DWisconsin), or so many others. But since Mr. Biehl seems unclear as to why this annual celebration is needed, let me offer the following: Right now, in some less accepting town – Modesto or Turlock or Corona – a queer kid is contemplating suicide. His schoolmates harass him and vandalize his locker while the teachers do nothing. Her preacher tells her she’s a sinner who’s going to hell – and her parents agree. He or she doesn’t see much reason to live. Mom’s sleeping pills are handy. It wouldn’t be that hard to end it. And maybe, just maybe, this kid will turn on the TV and see a glimpse of our parade. He’ll see our straight mayor and other elected officials marching with us. She’ll see contingents of LGBT service members proudly serving their country, and groups of same-sex married couples celebrating their love and commitment and happiness. And maybe, just maybe, this kid will start to think it’s not so hopeless after all. Perhaps there really is a reason to live, and maybe it’s worth trying. That, Mr. Biehl, is why Pride is needed. And if you can’t handle it, go fuck yourself. Bruce Mirken San Francisco

<< Pride 2012

8 • BAY AREA REPORTER • June 21-27, 2012

Rick Gerharter

Mayor Ed Lee welcomed Pride Parade grand marshals, city supervisors and officials, and the general public to the mayor’s balcony outside his office after raising the rainbow flag over the main entrance to City Hall to kick off Pride Week on Monday, June 18.

Mayor wins praise from LGBT leaders by Matthew S. Bajko


ix months into his first full term, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee is winning praise from LGBT leaders who backed his opponents in last year’s heated mayor’s race. Since his January swearing in ceremony, the affable, no-nonsense Lee has won plaudits for backfilling $8.1 million in federal cuts to AIDS programs and naming a number of LGBT people to high-profile government posts. His appointees include District 5 Supervisor Christina Olague, the first out bisexual on the board, and mayoral opponent Bevan Dufty, a gay former supervisor, as his homelessness policy adviser. After raising alarms when he did not reaffirm two gay men to the city’s health commission, Lee named HIV-positive transgender leader Cecilia Chung to the oversight panel. Neither of the board’s two gay male supervisors, Scott Wiener (D8) or David Campos (D9), backed Lee in the mayor’s race. Yet both say they continue to have a good working relationship with him. “I have been impressed with his willingness to listen and be responsive to the concerns of different communities. I have found when I go to him with concerns, he has been very responsive,” Campos told the Bay Area Reporter during a brief interview Monday, June 18 at the mayor’s annual rainbow flag raising ceremony at City Hall to kick off Pride Week. The two do not always see eye-toeye on every issue, said Campos, but that does not impede their working together. “You can disagree without being disagreeable,” he said. “I am looking forward to continuing to work with him.” Openly gay city Treasurer Jose Cisneros, who co-chaired Dufty’s mayoral campaign, also told the B.A.R. that he and the mayor have maintained a cordial working relationship despite his not supporting Lee in the 2011 race. “I think the mayor is doing a great job,” said Cisneros. “We have always had a good relationship.” Transgender advocates continue to thank Lee for his addressing last year’s Trans March during Pride weekend. It marked the first time a sitting mayor had spoken at the event; Lee told the B.A.R. he intends

to go to this year’s march. “The significance of that can not be overstated,” said transgender labor organizer Gabriel Haaland, who has been helping to raise funds for this year’s march. A vocal supporter of District 11 Supervisor John Avalos for mayor last year, Haaland said he nonetheless has been repeatedly impressed by decisions Lee has made in office. “I don’t agree with him on everything. But he has been a lot more accessible as a mayor,” said Haaland. “He has made a lot of great choices. He is surprising us in all the right ways.” The most oft-heard critique about Lee is that he doesn’t have the same flair and celebrity cachet as did predecessors Gavin Newsom – who memorably posed for a Vanity Fair photo spread with ex-wife Kimberly Guilfoyle and later married actress Jennifer Siebel – and Willie Brown, whose media courtship was legendary and made cameos in such movies as The Princess Diaries and George of the Jungle. “The word boring has been used a number of times, although I wouldn’t use it,” said B.A.R. society columnist Donna Sachet when asked what she most often hears about Lee in LGBT circles. “ The mayor’s absence at various LGBT community events is routinely remarked upon, added Sachet. “But sometimes you need to be hard-working behind the scenes to get things done,” she said. Voters were looking for a “common sense” mayor, and that is what they have gotten in Lee, said Rebecca Prozan, a longtime lesbian Democratic Party activist. “I knew Ed Lee was going to be focused on getting things done,” said Prozan, who hopes the mayor will spend more time on helping the homeless and filling vacant storefronts in neighborhood commercial corridors. Probably the most controversial decision Lee has made to date was suspending Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi and seeking his ouster from office due to his pleading guilty to domestic violence charges. Mirkarimi has considerable support among progressive LGBT leaders who accuse the mayor of turning a marital dispute into a political attack. Yet Haaland told the B.A.R. that the political drama “transcends” the See page 10 >>


June 21-27, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 9

Quan to face Occupy protest at SF Pride Parade by Matthew S. Bajko As Oakland Mayor Jean Quan marches in San Francisco’s Pride Parade this weekend, she likely will encounter Occupy protesters, who have been an ever-present irritant to the East Bay leader since last October. Quan’s mishandling of the city’s approach to an Occupy encampment that sprung up outside Oakland City Hall generated international headlines last fall and ill will from both supporters and detractors of the Occupy movement. Since then she and the Oakland Police Department have been ensnared in an ongoing judicial probe into the matter. A federal judge overseeing the case this week threatened to fine both Quan and the city if the police department does not complete its own internal investigations into how officers dealt with Occupy protesters. During the Pride Parade Sunday, June 24 Quan is expected to come face-to-face with Occupy members along the route up Market Street. A coalition of radical and progressive queer groups has come together to plan a number of demonstrations throughout San Francisco’s Pride weekend. Under the umbrella moniker of Bay Area OccuPride, the group is planning a series of direct actions targeted at corporate sponsors of the Pride Parade and a number of elected officials who have parade contingents. In a phone interview this week, organizer Craig Rouskey would not confirm that Quan was among its targeted Pride participants. The gay San Francisco resident would only say, “We have a list of targets.” Rouskey, 34, added that a stoppage of the parade is also likely, but would last no longer than 10 minutes. “We are not doing sit-ins or die-ins. We are planning cool, direct actions aimed at community building and fun,” said Rouskey. “I hope everyone enjoys it and thinks it is really cool. We are doing this for our folks. We love our community.” During the interview, and also on the website he launched Saturday, June 16 to promote the Occupy Pride events, Rouskey stressed that the group’s actions are not an attack on the Pride Committee or the parade itself. Nor do the organizers want to shut down the parade. The aim is to highlight how companies use sponsorship of Pride to “pink wash” their corporate policies that line the pockets of their investors, said Rouskey. “This is actually a queer community network of groups that have come together to work on this collectively to confront economic oppression evident through the Pride parade and pink washing,” he said. “We want to do it in a way that is supportive of our community. We don’t want to piss off people doing good things in our community.” According to Pride officials, Occupy will be an official contingent in the parade. The group has been given the #94 slot, ahead of Quan’s contingent, which will be #113. Asked if they took into account the fraught relationship between the Oakland mayor and Occupy, Pride Executive Director Brendan Behan demurred in fully explaining how their placements in the parade was determined. He did say that the line up is done in a way that Pride believes “is fitting.” “I am in no way trying to isolate anyone in the parade, Occupy or oth-

Jane Philomen Cleland

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and her husband Floyd Huen

erwise. Everyone who is a participant in the LGBT community and the advancement of our rights is welcome to march,” said Behan. “When Occupy approached us to be a contingent, we asked them to follow our safety rules.” Throughout the parade’s 42-year history there have been various protests, from blockages to direct actions against politicians. Over the last decade Gavin Newsom, currently the state’s lieutenant governor, has been a frequent target of protesters. In 2003 a group wearing pink bandannas targeted Newsom, then a city supervisor running to be San Francisco mayor, while he rode in the parade. In 2009 protesters upset over city budget cuts to AIDS services surrounded Newsom’s parade vehicle and reportedly threw ketchup at his wife. Asked if special precautions are being taken this year due to the planned Occupy demonstrations, Behan said the parade is following the same protocols it has used in the past and continues to work closely with police officials. “This is a big parade and San Francisco Pride can not guarantee security or safety,” said Behan. “We create an environment, identify any safety challenges, and try to address them the best we can.” He added that he hopes anyone engaged in street protests Sunday takes into account there are numerous parade participants who have mobility issues, from the handicapped to seniors and children. “From everything I have read it sounds like they intend to be respectful of the fact the parade is about the LGBT movement,” he said. “It sounds like what they are planning is familyfriendly. If they are mindful of all that, then our approach is to do what we have always done.” Quan was traveling in Brazil this week, where she was attending Rio+20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro to speak about Oakland’s climate and sustainable development policies. Her spokeswoman Sue Piper did not respond to requests for comment. In an email sent June 16 by the mayor’s office, Quan invited Oakland residents to walk with her in the parade this Sunday. “We are looking forward to celebrating this year’s theme, ‘Global Equality,’ with you,” Quan, who has been fighting back efforts to recall her from office, is quoted as saying in the email. Leslie Bonett, an Oakland resident who formed the Queers for Quan group during the 2010 mayor’s race, also sent out the invitation on a Bay Area list serve for queer women. “Mayor Jean Quan, her husband and supporters have had a contingent at Pride Parade for many years, showing her complete support for our equal rights and equality in the

community,” wrote Bonett. The message produced several negative responses, with one person writing they were appalled by it. “Quan was responsible for perpetrating violence during the Occupy Movement; her actions were anything but in support of equal rights and equality,” the person wrote. Another list serve member responded, “Quan contingent? I would be ashamed to march with her after how she has treated the occupy movement, and frankly you should be too.”

Gay issues flare up at home No matter what sort of reception Quan receives at Pride, she will be returning home to face several gayrelated issues that are flaring up in Oakland. Grumbling continues to grow over whom she will appoint to three seats on the city’s powerful Port Commission this summer. In January, after gay Port Commissioner Michael Lighty resigned, Quan told the Bay Area Reporter she “would love” to find an LGBT person with maritime experience. Lighty’s seat went to Earl S. Hamlin, who was confirmed in May. His term expires on July 10, 2013. Gay Planning Commissioner Michael Colbruno, whose term expired in May but continues to serve, has been angling for a Port Commission seat. So far, though, it is unclear if Quan intends to put his name forward. Colbruno declined to comment for this article. It is expected that in July Quan will reappoint Margaret Gordon, whose port seat expired last year but continues to serve. Both Commission President Pamela Calloway and Second Vice President James W. Head will be up for re-appointment as their terms expire July 11. Jason Overman, the communications director for lesbian Oakland City Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan, who is running for re-election this fall to her at-large seat, declined to comment on the port appointments. “We are not sure where the mayor is on that process,” he told the B.A.R. this week. Sean Sullivan, a gay man running for an Oakland City Council (District 3) seat this fall, said he had yet to hear whom the mayor intended to appoint. But he stressed that LGBT leaders are eager to see an out person be named to the body. “We want to make sure that our leaders in the community are fully embraced in all of the city’s bodies and the port commission is one of our top two most important commissions in the city,” said Sullivan, who at one time had sought a port seat but stepped aside when Lighty expressed interest. Another flash point facing the mayor as she and the council work to approve a balanced budget by the end of the month is funding for street festivals in Oakland such as its Pride festival. This year’s celebration is set to take place Sunday, September 2. Kaplan is pushing to see a oneyear funding commitment for street festivals and community events be added into the city’s budget for the 2012-2013 fiscal year. Overman said the exact dollar amount had yet to be determined. The proposal should be discussed next Thursday, June 28 during a special budget hearing the council has scheduled, Overman said. The budget must be approved by June 30. “The point here is there are a number of community festivals and cultural events that take place each year in Oakland – Pride is one of several really great events – and we want to make sure they get funded,” said Overman.▼

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<<National News

10 • BAY AREA REPORTER • June 21-27, 2012

Nun rebuked by Vatican sees book sales soar by Chuck Colbert

taken aim at the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the largest leadership organization of American nuns, for not advocating strongly enough against same-sex marriage and abortion. And yet, Rome’s seeming attack on nuns may well be backfiring. As Paul Lakeland explained to the Boston Globe, “The people in the pew are somewhere between completely confused and hopping mad at this point because these are people you just don’t go after,” he said, referring to women religious. “It doesn’t matter if you are a moderate or conservative or liberal Catholic,” Lakeland continued. “We all love our nuns.” Lakeland is director of the Center for Catholic Studies at Jesuit-run Fairfield University, based in Connecticut. Meanwhile, LGBT Catholics in ministry and advocacy had plenty to say about Rome’s going after Farley. “The CDF may have determined that Sister Margaret Farley’s book is a source of confusion to the Catholic faithful, but my 40 years of pastoral experience in working with gay and lesbian Catholics and their families contradicts this judgment,” said Sister Jeannine Gramick, a cofounder of New Ways Ministry, a gay-positive organization of healing, reconciliation, and justice for LGBT Catholics and the church. “This book and Sister Margaret’s other writings and presentations have brought common sense and balance to a world in which sexual-

ity is treated either too casually or too rigorously,” Gramick explained. “Farley’s book has put sex in the human context of relationships, instead of hedonism or narrow functionalism.” Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways, said Farley has been doing the work of sexual ethics “church leaders should have been doing for decades.” “She has absorbed the Catholic tradition, she has reflected on new knowledge about sexuality and gender, and she has listened to and reflected on the experience of people involved in sexual relationships,” said DeBernardo. “Church leaders should be thanking her, not condemning her for doing the work that they themselves should have been doing with the faithful members of the church,” he added. DeBernardo also said the soaring sales of Just Love on Amazon indicate “people are hungry for guidance and thoughtful reflection on this most personal topic of sexuality.” Catholic advocates of same-sex civil marriage equality voiced support for Farley. “She has written about the reality of same-sex relationships from the theological perspective of treating these couples with dignity, honor, and respect,” said Charles Martel, a spokesman for Catholics for Marriage Equality, a national advocacy group. “It is a reflection which speaks not only about the existence of these relationships, but also an acknowledgement of the capacity to truly love,” he added. “Sister Farley is showing the church what in fact occurs among gay persons, and that to love well is an essential part of being fully human.” Marianne Duddy-Burke, executive director of DignityUSA, spoke of Farley’s work in terms of its sensibleness. “Farley’s proposal that same-sex relationships be justified using the same sexual ethics as heterosexual ones is eminently reasonable,” said Duddy-Burke. “And all that most reasonable people would ask,” she added. “It is outrageous that this statement is seen as worthy of Vatican censure.”▼

Herrera’s legal advice to Newsom in 2004 concerning the city breaking state law to marry same-sex couples. Infighting emerged within the more moderate Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club over its endorsing Herrera over Dufty. And campaign mailers sent by supporters of both candidates added to the hurt feelings and generated headlines during the final weeks of the mayor’s race. At a cocktail party June 6 timed to kick off Pride month, a number of LGBT leaders who did not back Lee in the mayor’s race came together to move beyond the rhetoric of the 2011 campaign. The mayor was warmly welcomed as he circulated throughout the Noe Valley home of Sal Giambanco and his husband, Tom Perrault. The couple backed Dufty for mayor but agreed to host the get-together for LGBT leaders to meet with the mayor. “We think he is off to a great job,” said Giambanco, adding that Lee was their second choice in the race. “I think it is important to be supportive of the mayor and be of service anyway we can. It is a tough job.” Businessman Bill Hemenger, who hosted a series of forums at his Diamond Heights home last year for various mayoral candidates to meet with LGBT voters, said he agrees with “99

percent” of everything Lee has done as mayor. “There is not much I would change. Nothing makes the hairs on the back of my neck rise up,” he said of Lee’s agenda. Dufty supporter Kevin Shanahan said that Lee’s administrative approach to the job of mayor has turned out to be a perfect fit. “We are at a time in the city’s history where San Francisco needs an administrator as mayor and he is fulfilling that role,” said Shanahan. “The most important challenge the mayor faces is finding a common ground from the empowered and very vocal neighborhood groups who do not allow advantageous things to happen in the city.” Wiener, who worked to see his former boss Herrera be elected mayor, introduced Lee to the assembled crowd. He noted how the mayor has an open-door policy for meeting with supervisors. “He is the kind of guy you can go in and talk to him about important issues,” said Wiener, adding that he was struck by how the mayor reacted to the loss in federal AIDS funds. “I went to see the mayor and said we need to do something. He didn’t blink.” Braced to have Lee restore half of See page 25 >>


arlier this month the Vatican clamped down on an American nun, a highly respected scholar in moral theology and sexual ethics, for a 2006 book she wrote, advocating justice as a guiding moral principle for loving and committed relationships, including same-sex ones. But a funny thing happened as the Vatican’s rebuke became more widely known: Sister Margaret Farley’s Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics soared in sales to number 13 on Sure enough, as the book gained notoriety, LGBT Catholics were quick to voice support and admiration for Farley, now a retired Yale Divinity School theologian. The Vatican’s criticism came in the form of a five-page document called a Notification, in which the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said Just Love “is not in conformity with the teaching of the church.” Therefore, the CDF continued, “It cannot be used as a valid expression of Catholic teaching, either in counseling and formation or in ecumenical and interreligious dialogue.” The CDF concludes it finding by encouraging “theologians to pursue the task of studying and teaching moral theology in full accord with the principles of Catholic Doctrine.” Former San Francisco Archbishop William Levada, now a cardinal, heads the CDF, which is the doctrinal enforcement arm of the Roman Catholic Church. Farley is the Gilbert L. Stark Professor Emerita of Christian ethics at Yale Divinity School and a past president of the Catholic Theological Society of America. In addition to same-sex relationships, Farley’s book touches on any number of hot-button, pelvic-zone topics. They include masturbation, homosexual acts, and divorce and remarriage, all of which Farley believes can be viewed as morally acceptable. While Farley is not in accord with official church teaching, her views resonate strongly among the laity, as public opinion polling of U.S. Catholics over the years indicates. The Vatican’s move against Farley comes at the same time Rome has


Mayor wins praise

From page 8

LGBT community and how it views Lee’s handling of his job. “People will evaluate if he treated the process fairly or not,” he said.

Moving beyond the 2011 campaign Lee became interim mayor in January 2011 after being picked by the city’s Board of Supervisors to fill out the remainder of his predecessor’s term. Newsom resigned that month to become the state’s lieutenant governor. At the time Lee pledged not to run for a full four-year term. But he rescinded that promise last summer and jumped into the race. While Lee had significant LGBT support, several other candidates also had major backing from LGBT leaders and groups. Both Avalos and City Attorney Dennis Herrera secured endorsements from the city’s LGBT Democratic clubs and elected leaders. Dufty also courted key LGBT backers in the race. At times during the campaign relations between LGBT supporters of Lee, Dufty, and Herrera became particularly fraught. Emotions were enflamed over questions raised about

Courtesy New Ways Ministry

Sister Margaret Farley

Read more online at

June 21-27, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 11

<< Community News

12 • BAY AREA REPORTER • June 21-27, 2012

AIDS is not over C

Jane Philomen Cleland

ongresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) tours the AIDS Project of the East Bay offices with Michel Sidibe, executive director of UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Program on AIDS, during a visit Friday, June 15. The site visit will inform Sidibe’s work to reduce HIV/ AIDS both domestically and internationally. “While we have made tremendous progress, make no mistake, HIV/AIDS is devastating communities of color, women, and young gay and bisexual men in the United States,” Lee said in a statement. Sidibe pointed out that the U.S. epidemic is “very much part of the global epidemic requiring leadership across all sectors.” Oakland is home to the highest and most rapidly growing rates of HIV incidence in the country, a statement from Lee’s office noted.

First out UCC minister honored by Elliot Owen


here was a celebration last weekend for the Reverend William R. Johnson, who marked his 40th anniversary being the first openly gay person ordained by a Christian ministry in the history of the modern Christian church. Two Bay Area churches, including the one where he was ordained, and a Berkeley seminary school, recognized Johnson’s contribution to LGBT visibility within the Christian faith. “I’m very appreciative and humbled,” Johnson told the Bay Area Reporter. “I appreciate the recognition of 40 years of hard and diverse work that I’ve done. And it’s always good to come back to the Bay Area, which I love more than any place in the world.” Now residing in Cleveland, Ohio, Johnson, 66, visited the Pacific School of Religion and New Spirit Community Church in Berkeley and Community United Church of Christ in San Carlos, where he was ordained. His visits included discussions about the significance of his ordination for LGBT Christians and the broader LGBT movement past and present. “He stood up and insisted by his own example and took the consequences professionally that there would be a place for gay people in the church,” the Reverend Elder Jim Mi-

tulski, pastor of New Spirit Community Church, said. “He was ordained in 1972 and didn’t get a job in the UCC for 18 years.” After completing an undergraduate degree at Elmhurst College, Johnson entered the Pacific School of Religion where he completed his seminary studies in 1971. While attending, he worked as a youth minister for Community UCC. Since knowing his sexual orientation, the Texas native said that he never had trouble reconciling it with his faith. “I grew up in a home that was very affirming of diversity,” he said. “I didn’t grow up believing that I was sinful or sick. I experience same gender feelings as very innate and natural and I don’t think anything natural is evil or bad. The challenge for me was affirming my gay identity in the context of the church.” During a seminar on homosexuality in 1970, Johnson responded to a speaker’s comment discrediting gay parishioners, resulting in him coming out before 400 attendees. Three months later, Johnson was called to ministry by UCC, a requirement to apply for ordination. After his request was initially turned down, Johnson’s San Carlos church requested that a council meeting be held for constituency church clergy and delegates to decide Johnson’s fate as a minister. A year later the meeting was held and after four hours of discussion, 96 delegates voted 62-34 in favor of Johnson’s ordination. “It was on Gay Pride Day in 1972,” Johnson said. “It was a very special day for me. In the intervening 40 years, literally thousands of open LGBT people have been ordained to the ministry. The opening of that leadership door has been exceedingly important because the more people get to know us the more they come to appreciate us and grow out of their inculturated homophobia.” Eighteen years passed before Johnson was actually invited to hold an administrative position within the UCC. His LGBT activism includes founding the UCC Gay Caucus (now UCC Coalition for LGBT Concerns)

Elliot Owen

The Reverend Bill Johnson outside New Spirit Community Church following services on Sunday, June 17.

and co-founding what would become P-FLAG/San Francisco. He has also founded UCC constituent churches in New York and Ohio. He has a scholarship in his name and is a published author, teacher, and film producer. Johnson currently sits on the board for the American Civil Liberties Union, the northern California chapter of which is being honored as this year’s San Francisco Pride organizational community grand marshal. Attending the New Spirit Community Church service on Sunday, June 17 was J.T. Hills. While Hills, 30, is straight, he understands the importance of LGBT visibility in the church. Raised by a lesbian couple, one of them is currently undergoing the ordination process within the UCC, a right afforded by Johnson’s trailblazing work in 1972. Hills, too, is studying at PSR. “Today’s a way for us to look back and realize how much things have changed in the last 40 years,” Hills said. “It’s about looking at where we’ve come from and moving forward.” That same day New Spirit celebrated becoming the 1,009th “Open and Affirming” congregation in the UCC, a designation that indicates to the LGBT community that they are welcome within that church. New Spirit is affiliated with UCC, PSR, Metropolitan Community Church, the Disciples of Christ, and the Fellowship of Affirming Ministries. “We were already a little gayer than some,” Mitulski joked during the service. “Now it’s official.”▼

Community News>>

June 21-27, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 13

Open SF holds first polyamory conference by David-Elijah Nahmod


t may not be for everyone, but there’s no denying that some people prefer polyamory relationships – earlier this month some 500 people gathered for Open SF 2012, what organizers billed as the Bay Area’s first conference for ethical non-monogamy. “Polyamory is the practice of having multiple relationships at once, with everyone knowing. As opposed to sneaking around. It covers everything but cheating,” said Pepper Mint, organizer of Open SF. The conference, which took place at the Holiday Inn Golden Gateway in San Francisco June 8-10, offered a wealth of speakers, teachers, and practitioners of this little-known kind of relationship. Most importantly, the conference provided information. And even if polyamory isn’t quite your cup of tea, the honesty and respect for others exhibited at the conference was enlightening. One of the first questions that arose was whether such a conference was even necessary. Isn’t sexuality something that comes naturally to most people? Does it need to be taught? Don’t people figure it out for themselves? “Certain types of sex need to be taught,” stated Mint. “Kink can be dangerous, so safe practices need to be taught.” Mint, a handsome, Goth-appearing gentleman, who posed for pictures with his partner – and her other partner – wasn’t afraid to speak plainly. “I went to an oral sex conference,” he said. “I’m great at oral sex,

Danny Buskirk

Conference organizer Pepper Mint, left, with his partner Jen Day and her other partner Ari Litton at Open SF.

but there were a few things I didn’t know,” he said. Ned and Maggie Mayhem personify the open, no-holds-barred honesty of polyamory at their official website, The two active porn performers launched the site so that they could produce porn that was fun, sexy, and didn’t perpetuate racist or homophobic stereotypes. Ned can be seen at the site happily performing with both men

and women, including several turns with trans porn star James Darling. It’s done with the full knowledge and consent of all involved parties, in keeping with the teachings of polyamory. “I’m a queer porn performer,” Maggie told the Bay Area Reporter. “I was quite uncertain that I could find a partner who could love and accept me, let alone be accepted by his family. I’ve been presented with a See page 25 >>

14 • BAY AREA REPORTER • June 21-27, 2012

Serving the LGBT communities since 1971

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16 • BAY AREA REPORTER • June 21-27, 2012

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▼ Dating app for men stresses maturity by David Duran


n recent years, online dating has taken over the mobile world. Location-based apps now allow anyone to instantly chat, send photos, flirt, and even meet regardless of whether they are at work, home or in the most random of places. Mobile dating apps are easy to use, extremely addicting, and highly efficient. With the pluses comes a minus. For a gay man who feels too old or overweight, these mobile apps can be an emotional battlefield. With progress in issues such as marriage equality, adoption and bullying, the online and mobile arena has yet to be conquered. The culture of app users has become intimidating, negative, and non-inclusive. Carl Sandler, the creator of yet another gay geo-location app, thinks his MISTER code of conduct on his app of the same name will keep the haters away. All members are asked to sign the code when they first join, a commitment to an online experience rooted in maturity, integrity, safety, trust, enjoyment, and respect – MISTER. Sandler said that 90 percent of their members voluntarily sign it. “We ask users to sign the MISTER code, a shared set of values, when they join the site,” said Sandler. “We also do our best to weed out profiles that go against those values by actively sending warnings, and even ban people who don’t play by the MISTER rules.” “We encourage face pics instead of headless torsos and give users the ability to upload multiple photos,” he said. They also give members up to 3,000 characters to share their story. “In other words, we give members the space to be real,” stated Sandler. Sandler feels there is a big difference between stating a preference and writing profiles that are blatant put-downs to others. “We have to fight for acceptance in ‘mainstream’ culture,” he said. “It would make me sad to see gays behaving badly online to each other in their quest for sex or love.” MISTER is the self-declared mobile dating app for mature, self-aware men who value confidence, substance, and inclusiveness and want to meet other masculine, mature men. “It’s a place where everyone, especially everyone over 30, is invited to feel comfortable and authentic,” said Sandler, 40, in a blog post about his new app. “You don’t have to lie or turn



From page 4

put an end to.” Kendell said she thought any effort to repeal the FAIR Act would be doomed in the court system and that’s why its opponents chose to take it to the electorate. “There’s no doubt that if FAIR were to be challenged in the courts, our opponents know they would lose,” she said. “It’s a very modest acknowledgment of history and reality. It is in no way an overreach or special rights. It simply says history must be accurate and not blind to the contributions of a whole category of American citizens. They know they can’t win in the courts, but they know in a campaign, where they can lie, distort, fan the flames of bigotry and ignorance, and exploit voters’ prejudices – that in that environment they can win because they have won before.” While CLASS Act readies for a ballot battle, an effort in the Legislature would dilute the impact of the FAIR Act. Assembly Bill 1756, introduced by Assemblyman Steve Knight (R-Palmdale), would make the provisions optional for local districts. Knight is the son of the

Carl Sandler of MISTER, a new dating app.

yourself into someone you’re not to approach other guys. Think of MISTER as a friendly, low-key neighborhood gay bar that you can put in your pocket and take with you everywhere you go.” The app allows users to create more complete profiles, including up to 10 photos and longer messages. These features are what most of the similar competitors offer in their paid versions. For the moment, MISTER is free. But Sandler is currently getting ready to launch premium features on iOS for iPhone, meaning paid services are right around the corner. When asked to describe their target user, Sandler said, “Our users are men who are down-to-earth, genuine and generally not into the club scene. They are diverse and span a wide range of ages but almost all men on MISTER behave like grown men and treat each other with respect.” Most importantly, you likely won’t find offensive profiles on MISTER like you do on other apps, stated Sandler. Sandler and his team have recently deleted the profiles of 4,576 users they deemed offensive, based on the code. “As website owners and developers, we can choose to create features and policies that encourage people to be good guys or Mean Girls” he said, “but all we can do is build the structure, like the outline of a coloring book, and we need you to fill it in with beautiful, crazy, full profiles that celebrate who you are without making others feel small.” According to Sandler, MISTER has had hundreds of thousands of downloads in its first few months. “We are on target to hit over a million downloads this year.”▼ late state Senator Pete Knight, who orchestrated the Prop 22 campaign in 2000 that defined marriage as between one man and one woman. In its original form submitted in February, AB 1756 said “a school district may elect not to provide instruction relating to the role and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans to the economic, political, and social development of California and the United States.” That was modified in March so school districts also have the ability to exclude “Native Americans, African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, European Americans, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans, persons with disabilities, and members of other ethnic and cultural groups, to the economic, political, and social development of California and the United States of America, with particular emphasis on portraying the role of these groups in contemporary society.” That would eliminate diversity education requirements that preceded the FAIR Act and included “race, sex, color, creed, handicap, national origin, or ancestry.”▼

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June 21-27, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 19

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20 • BAY AREA REPORTER • June 21-27, 2012

Lesbians unite for Maud’s reunion party compiled by Cynthia Laird


new Pride tradition continues with the Maud’s reunion party on Saturday, June 23 from noon to 6 p.m. at Finnegan’s Wake, 937 Cole Street (at Carl) in San Francisco. Finnegan’s Wake is the site of the former lesbian bar, which was open from 1966 to 1989. In recent years, lesbians who frequented the old bar have held a reunion party on Pride weekend. Finnegan’s Wake owner Tom Frenkel and the bar’s staff and customers have welcomed the women back, organizers said. As in previous years, there is a cash bar, pool and a “Memories of

Maud’s” clip that will play in the bar’s TVs. The event is for those 21 and older.

Bayard Rustin LGBT Coalition to host Pride kick-off party The Bayard Rustin LGBT Coalition will host its sixth annual 2012 Pride kick-off celebration Friday, June 22 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Rasselas Jazz Club, 1534 Fillmore Street in San Francisco. At the event, the coalition will honor former Mayor Willie Brown, who is this year’s Pride Parade lifetime achievement grand marshal, with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

The group will also honor Bishop Christopher Senyonjo of Uganda with its Champion of Global Equality Award and Pride Parade grand marshal Edaj. The party, co-sponsored by Soul of Pride, will also present its first Legislator of the Year Award to out Berkeley City Councilman Darryl Moore. “With respect to President Obama and the NAACP’s recent endorsements of same-sex marriage equality, we are especially proud to celebrate the historically significant leadership that people of African descent have and continue to provide to advance LGBT civil and human rights here and around the world,” said Bayard Rustin Coalition co-founder and Co-Chair Andrea Shorter. Entertainment will feature a special Pride Month reading by nationally recognized literary figure Marvin K. White, performance by Jelousy Jiggetts, and DJ Lamont, founder of Fingersnaps DJ and Art Collective. Sliding scale contributions of $20-$60 are requested to benefit the Soul of Pride African Diaspora stage at Pride and the Bayard Rustin Coalition. For more information, visit

Hal Baim

Tracy Baim

Regional LGBT papers from association A new National Gay Media Association was formally announced Wednesday, June 20, bringing together the top regional LGBT newspapers. The LGBT market controls more than $600 billion in annual spending, according to a news release from the association, and will coordinate advertising spending in effective LGBT media markets. “The regional LGBT media continue to serve their communities with strong newspapers and online content,” said Tracy Baim, spokeswoman for NGMA and publisher of the Windy City Times in Chicago. “The LGBT movement is driven by a very local model. Many of our issues are different from city to city, and state to state, so our strongest media are the ones attuned to issues


People crowded Maud’s on the occasion of its 23rd anniversary in June 1989.

in their communities.” The Bay Area Reporter founded 41 years ago and the Washington Blade, founded about 40 years ago, are part of the alliance. “The NGMA is the natural evolution of the National Gay Newspaper Guild of which Bob Ross and the Bay Area Reporter were founders,” B.A.R. publisher Thomas E. Horn said, referring to the paper’s founding publisher. “We intend that this loose association of the nation’s premier LGBT media will be of benefit to and of service for our individual readers as well as the larger LGBT community nationwide.” The new association is largely aimed at national advertisers rather than editorial content. Rivendell Media, the oldest and most experienced media firm representing LGBT media to advertising and marketing companies, founded NGMA in 2011. “NGMA is the premiere vehicle for national advertisers to reach the gay and lesbian marketplace,” Todd Evans, president of Rivendell, said in the statement. The firm also represents more than 100 other LGBT media. Other LGBT papers that are part of the association include Bay Windows (Boston), Between the Lines (Detroit), the Dallas Voice, Gay City News (New York City), and GA Voice (Atlanta). These papers and their online platforms, along with the three previously mentioned publications, represent an estimated 500,000 weekly newspaper readers. There are more than 150 regional LGBT media outlets that reach more than 3 million readers combined through weekly, biweekly, and monthly newspapers and magazines. The annual Gay Press Report notes that the combined advertising spending in LGBT media was $307 million in 2011, with 95 percent spent in local markets.

Haight Pride party Friday Jon Sugar and his Gay Artist and Writers Kollective will have a Pride party in the Haight on Friday, June 22 beginning at 7 p.m. at Tikka Masala Restaurant, 1668 Haight Street in San Francisco. There is no cost to attend and the public is invited. Volunteers are needed for the event, which will feature five rock and roll bands, Sugar said. Additionally, GAWK will be passing out food to other parade volunteers on Sunday, at 10:30 a.m. and help is needed for that as well. To sign up, email

Reminder for pink triangle volunteers Patrick Carney of Friends of the Pink Triangle wants to remind folks that volunteers are still needed for Saturday’s installation atop Twin Peaks.

The pink triangle, once used by Nazis in concentration camps to identify and shame homosexuals, has since been reclaimed by the gay community and is now a symbol of pride. The Friends of the Pink Triangle have done a Pride weekend installation for 16 years now, and it is always an icon to look for as the parade marches along Market Street. On clear days, it can be seen from the East Bay. Carney noted that San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee will be one of the speakers at the dedication ceremony, slated for 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 23. But in order to install the large pink canvasses, help is needed. The installation will take place from 7 to 10 a.m. Saturday morning. Volunteers are asked to bring a hammer and gloves and wear closed-toe shoes. People should bring sunscreen. Carney said “fashionable pink triangle T-shirts will be provided to all who help.” To sign up, visit or call Carney at (415) 726-4914. The website has detailed driving directions. Additionally, volunteers are needed the evening of June 24 to help take down the installation, for one hour or more from 5 to 8 p.m.

Imperial Court photo exhibit Photographers Karen Massing and Eric Felder have documented the pomp and pageantry of the Imperial Court System, one of the largest LGBT fundraisers in the world, and some of their photos are now on exhibit at the Harvey Milk-Eureka Street branch of the San Francisco Public Library, 1 Jose Sarria Court in the Castro. The photographs represent four years of work by Massing and Felder, and include 30 portraits that are part of a larger body of pictures taken at various coronations. The exhibit includes portraits of court members from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The exhibit runs through September 15.

Gay, bi men over 50 group starting The UCSF Alliance Health Project: Services for the LGBT and HIV Communities is starting a group for gay and bi men over 50. The group will meet for 14 weeks beginning Monday, June 25, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and is open to men regardless of their HIV status. Participants will talk about the joys and challenges of growing older in the gay community. For the location or more information, call (415) 476-3902 and ask for the triage staff person or visit▼

▼ <<

From the cover >>

June 21-27, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 21

Condom practices

From page 1

or both. Police then make what they have available to the district attorney’s office “to review as evidence so they can present it to the court if they so desire,” he said. Flaherty called the B.A.R. minutes after a reporter spoke with Stellini. She noted he’d just recently been assigned to the vice portion of the special victims unit, and his comments represented a “training issue which will be addressed immediately.” She also said, “If one person doesn’t have the knowledge, it’s a good sign” that there should be outreach “to everybody so we have a clear understanding across the board.” Asked if condoms wouldn’t be confiscated, Flaherty said, “They should not be confiscated,” but “I can’t speak to what a police officer may do.” She also said photographs wouldn’t be taken of condoms. “If there’s no evidentiary value in them, there’s no reason to take photographs of them,” Flaherty said.

Coming report Megan McLemore, a senior researcher with the international nonprofit Human Rights Watch, noted that in 1994 the San Francisco Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution calling on the mayor “to urge the district attorney and Police Commission to no longer confiscate and/or alter or use the fact of condom possession for investigative or court evidence in prostitution-related offenses.” The resolution says, “The law enforcement value of condoms as indirect evidence of prostitution-related crime is exceeded by the AIDS prevention value of condoms.” Human Rights Watch is expected to release a report in July examining the issue. According to a brief report summary that McLemore provided, police in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City, and Washington, D.C. “stop, search, and arrest sex workers using condoms as evidence to support prostitution charges,” despite each city’s condom distribution efforts. The practice is “undermining” efforts to encourage safe sex, McLemore said. (Spokespeople for the Los Angeles, New York City, and Washington police didn’t respond to emails about their policies by deadline.) “At the street level, the degree of police implementation of this policy [using condoms as evidence of prostitution] is much lower than the other three cities,” she added. However, McLemore said, efforts by former Mayor Gavin Newsom to enforce anti-prostitution laws in businesses such as massage parlors has “left a legacy of massage parlor owners being unwilling to have condoms on the premises.” Transgender sex workers don’t frequent massage parlors, she said. “The employees at massage parlors in San Francisco are largely Asian immigrants,” McLemore said. She said police told her that they’re visiting massage parlors unannounced to determine if there are any indications of sex trafficking. She said police also said Department of Public Health staff accompany them to see if there are any health code violations. It seems that transgender San Francisco residents were reluctant to talk to Human Rights Watch directly about the condom concerns. McLemore said that transgender people in San Francisco reported to her organization that, “They get hassled by the police, but not with the condom issue.” People said that police were “harassing them for being sex workers,” she said, apparently even when they weren’t. However, she said that people who do outreach work to sex work-

Courtesy Human Rights Watch

Human Rights Watch researcher Megan McLemore

ers have told her organization that transgender women take fewer condoms and tell them “It’s because the police are harassing them.” Cyd Nova, who declined to share his legal name, works with the local nonprofit St. James Infirmary, which offers medical and social services for female, transgender, and male sex workers. “We have many people who’ve talked about being detained and had condoms used as evidence for arrest, and people who talk about not carrying condoms for fear it will lead to an arrest,” Nova said. McLemore said a few people reported that in street-based cases, police take photographs of condoms. “The police told us they do that out of public health concern. They don’t want to confiscate the condom,” McLemore said. But she said the practice of photographing condoms rather than confiscating them “has the same deterrent effect on the willingness of sex workers to carry them.” According to McLemore, she spoke with the SFPD’s Lieutenant Jason Fox in April and May. Fox declined to comment for this story, since he’s working in a different unit now. He referred questions to Lieutenant Michelle Jean and Stellini, who are both in the special victims unit. Jean referred questions to Stellini. Based on information she received from San Francisco Deputy Public Defender Kimberly Lutes-Koths about six weeks ago, McLemore said that agency had handled approximately eight cases this year where condoms were used as evidence of prostitution. LutesKoths didn’t respond to an interview request. McLemore said that she also spoke with Assistant District Attorney Marshall Khine. Khine didn’t respond directly to an interview request. After researching the issue for the B.A.R., Alex Bastian, a spokesman for the district attorney’s office, said, “We encourage everyone to practice safe sex. Condom use has been vital in the reduction of sexually transmitted diseases. However, in rare circumstances, condoms are used as evidence, specifically in cases involving rape, sexual abuse, human trafficking, and prostitution. In evaluating evidence, at times we use condoms, but we do so on a caseby-case basis.” Bastian said, “It is important to note that we would never charge a case simply because someone is in possession of condoms. Never.” He wasn’t able to provide specific statistics for this story, but he said, “In looking at a prostitution case, we evaluate the totality of the circumstances.” At times, he said, “The prevalence of condoms among other commonsense indicators can be evidence that an individual is engaging in prostitution.” Other indicators that could be considered include the time of day, the location of the incident, admissions, and exchange of money.

Bastian said the district attorney’s office “looks at prostitution cases as a health issue” and offers people who are charged with prostitution the Standing Against Global Exploitation Project, which aims to “educate and help prostitutes who are in a detrimental situation.” He said, “A vast majority of prostitution cases brought to our attention are either not charged, dealt with at the neighborhood courts, in the community justice court, or lead to a successful completion of the SAGE program and are dismissed entirely.” Bastian also said, “Our office is aware of the 1994 resolution. We certainly agree condom use is an important tool in reducing STD rates and encourage everyone to practice safe sex.” He said the DA’s office attempts to resolve “an overwhelming majority” of prostitution cases “through alternative means, such as neighborhood courts, the SAGE diversion program or the community justice court.” Bastian confirmed that prosecutors don’t require condoms as evidence of prostitution. “We have been presented cases where condoms are not in evidence,” he said.

Changes Asked if confiscating condoms as evidence used to be policy, Flaherty said, “I think it was the philosophy maybe like 20 years ago, but that philosophy has changed, and how we look at prostitution has changed dramatically.” Flaherty said prostitution is “very victim-centered,” since “a lot of times these women are victims of prostitution they’re involved in.” She said they’d like to help them and get them services. Flaherty said that after Stellini is addressed, there’d be outreach to others in the department. She said bulletins and general orders are “frequently” used “to bring officers up to speed.” She didn’t know when

that would be done. The issue “was brought to my attention 20 minutes before I spoke to you,” Flaherty said. Stellini said he’s overseen his unit for “roughly three months.” He said there hadn’t been any policy changes from before he started of which he knew. He was unaware of the 1994 resolution. Asked if he understood people’s concerns about public health, Stellini said, “Are you referring to like if we make a case, and we take condoms and book them as evidence that prostitutes would no longer use condoms because they wouldn’t want them to be used as evidence?” Told that was essentially the idea,

Stellini said, “Wow ... I’m surprised I hit that one on the head.” He said it’s not a matter of whether he buys into that concern, and he said, “We will use the presence of condoms at the scene of criminal activity for evidence to present to the district attorney’s office,” whether it involves physically confiscating or taking photos of condoms, or both. Stellini said a photograph could help show the court where police found the condoms. He compared it with a homicide scene, where police take a photo of the gun and take the gun. There isn’t a specific number of condoms that police look for to indicate prostitution, whether it’s one See page 23 >>

<< Sports

22 â&#x20AC;˘ BAY AREA REPORTER â&#x20AC;˘ June 21-27, 2012


A new beginning by Roger Brigham


y all accounts, the inaugural Nike LGBT Sports Summit in Oregon last weekend was a smashing success. Thirty participants from 20 some organizations ranging from the National Collegiate Athletic Association to the National Center for Lesbian Rights gathered at Nike headquarters in Beaverton to share meals and drinks and talk about how to coordinate efforts to curb homophobia in sports. But ultimately the summit will not be judged by how great it felt for the folks to be there, but by what happens next. Cyd Zeigler, co-founder of, said he got the idea for the summit last fall during a visit by out Oregon State softball coach Kirk Walker.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;I had the idea of having a meeting to get people together and Kirk mentioned Nike,â&#x20AC;? Zeigler told the Bay Area Reporter. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The idea was that organizations would start working together instead of working as separate entities, instead of looking at each other as competition.â&#x20AC;? Indeed. Over the past couple of years, a bonanza of organizations and initiatives have sprung into being to join the sports branches of LGBT rights organizations that were already working in the field. Where once we had no advocates, now we have the You Can Play project, the Stand Up Foundation, Equality Coaching Alliance, Changing the Game, the NCLR Sports Project, Athlete Ally, and Kye Allumsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Transition Tour. Those were some of the groups meeting with representatives from

heavyweights such as ESPN, NCAA, Nike, and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The most amazing and positive thing began on the first night at the first social, when the networking and the conversations were being had between groups that had never previously communicated,â&#x20AC;? said Walker. â&#x20AC;&#x153;That was unprecedented.â&#x20AC;? The Friday, June 15, socializing was followed by daylong talks and presentations. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We definitely addressed the establishing of a core mission for a coalition â&#x20AC;&#x201C; not an organization, but a coalition of organizations,â&#x20AC;? Walker said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There was discussion about funding models and trying to figure out some opportunities to accomplish some of the mission and the goals. But the majority of the time was about getting greater clarity about how to align better to work together more than doing the same work as each other.â&#x20AC;? Walker said the summit ended with â&#x20AC;&#x153;our clearly stated mission as a


Courtesy Nike LGBT Sports Summit

Jeff Sheng, Alison Lubin Doefler, and Ben Cohen, led a group of people from the Nike LGBT Sports Summit in the Portland Gay Pride Parade June 17.

coalition to end bullying and LGBT bias and discrimination in sport.â&#x20AC;? He added that a core goal of the coalition was â&#x20AC;&#x153;Redefining the Champion.â&#x20AC;? A summary of the coalition goals said the image of what a champion is â&#x20AC;&#x153;has been a declining criteria for years in sport. The character and what defines our athletic champions has been is sharp decline due to the factors of media, finances, marketing, winning-at-all-cost mentality and the all mighty dollar in sport. So the characteristics that we used to look for and

value in our athletic leaders has been lost and champions have been used to describe someone that has won. Being a champion is more than winning, it is succeeding at leading, unifying, overcoming challenges, excelling. ... Just as being a champion is more than just winning or should be more than just winning. So Redefining the Champion is about raising the standards beyond outcome and stressing far more about how we choose to be inclusive and valuing of qualities regardless of See page 24 >>

Before... Adam Bouska

Picture perfect



an Francisco Giants pitcher Matt Cain and his wife, Chelsea, joined in Adam Bouskaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s NOH8 photo campaign supporting marriage equality and had this image taken recently. Cain also made headlines June 13 when he threw a perfect game in the Giantsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; 10-0 win over the Houston Astros at AT&T Park â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the first in Giants franchise history â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and he was named the National Leagueâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Player of the Week.

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From the cover >>

June 21-27, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 23

Condom practices

From page 21

condom or 100, Stellini said. “Every case has to be looked at and stand on its own merits,” he said “I would hate to limit myself and say to you if there’s one condom in the room and there’s a lady and a man in there, and there’s reason to believe prostitution is going on, that we wouldn’t arrest or would arrest just based on one condom. More goes into it.” Another example of evidence would be tracking “some of our suspects on websites where women advertise services,” he said. Condoms are used as evidence both in cases of street prostitution and massage parlors, Stellini said. After her initial interview with the B.A.R., Flaherty reviewed the 1994 resolution, and said, “At this point nothing is written in policy. It is a practice at this point,” meaning it’s SFPD’s practice not to use condoms as evidence of prostitution. However, she said in a follow-up email, “in cases of loitering for purposes of prostitution, the officers have, at times, photographed the condoms as indicia but we do not seize the condoms as evidence.”

Stopped Flaherty’s last statement appears to be contradicted by one woman’s experience. Finding people who’ve been stopped by San Francisco police and had condoms confiscated and are willing to share details of the incidents has been difficult. However, Anna Rivera, the office manager at the Mission district-based El/La Para TransLatinas, described an encounter she had earlier this year. It began when she was walking near Diva’s, a Post Street bar that’s popular with transgender women. The neighborhood is known for prostitution, but it was 4 p.m., and Rivera said she was wearing a sweatshirt and sweatpants, hardly clothes that are typically associated with prostitutes. A patrol car pulled over and officers asked her several questions. She said the reason they gave was “I looked like I was prostituting. ... They were very vague.” Rivera said she tried to convince them that she’s not a sex worker, but they searched her bag, found five condoms, and took them. “I felt that I was being hounded down because I was transgender,” she said. Rivera, who said she wasn’t cited in the incident, said she’s been stopped “many other times,” as well. She said that she didn’t report the incident with the Office of Citizens Complaints because she was “too scared.” Asked about Rivera’s situation, Stellini said, “I can’t comment on

Rick Gerharter

SFPD Chief Greg Suhr is expected to hear from city officials about the department’s apparent practice of confiscating condoms in prostitution cases.

that, there’s so much there I don’t know.” However, he added, “It upsets me to hear that somebody got stopped by the police and feels wrongfully detained.” Several city officials expressed concern about condoms being used as evidence of prostitution. Mayor Ed Lee told the B.A.R. this week he was unaware of the concerns surrounding police using condoms as evidence against transgender women. He said it would be “very appropriate” for people to ask the city’s Police Commission to look into the matter. “We need to be sensitized about

people carrying condoms in almost any context,” she said. She said she hasn’t spoken with District Attorney George Gascón or Suhr about the issue, but she said they would be among those invited to the meeting. In an emailed response to questions, out gay Supervisor Scott Wiener said, “It’s problematic to use condoms as criminal evidence against sex workers. It sends the wrong message by dissuading sex workers from carrying condoms and using them. We should be encouraging safe sex by sex workers, not discouraging it.” He continued, “I had understood that San Francisco was moving away from this police practice, unlike New York, but I’ve heard that it may still be occurring. I’ve been in communication with the Human Rights Commission and have offered to partner with the agency to try to resolve this issue. I’m also speaking with SFPD to try to better understand the department’s position on this.” Asked about condoms being used as evidence of prostitution, Tracey Packer, the city’s acting director of HIV prevention, said, “We’re not really aware of that. I know there have been some national task forces looking at that issue, but I don’t know what the situation is in San Francisco.” However, she said, “We know that condoms are an important HIV prevention method. ... We want to ensure that people have access to condoms without fear of arrest.” The health department distributes approximately 1 million free condoms a year, she said, which costs the agency about $200,000. In response to emailed questions, Eileen Shields, a health department spokeswoman, said, “You should know that DPH doesn’t enforce any provisions on prostitution. That’s up to the police.” Shields said the department does conduct periodic unannounced Massage Parlor Task Force inspections with the SFPD, the Department of Building Inspection, and other city agencies. “When we go, each department cites violations of their codes,” she said. “DPH cites violations of the Health Code including violations of permitting of establishments and practitioners, dress code, and general sanitation.” Stellini said police and health department staff do make unannounced visits to massage parlors. Flaherty said when they visit massage parlors a lot of their interest is in trafficking.▼

“There are really no negatives to people carrying condoms in almost any context.” – Theresa Sparks

what is going on in our community so that the police’s work is done with the upmost sensitivity,” said Lee, adding that he would speak with Police Chief Greg Suhr about the issue. Messages to the Police Commission office weren’t returned. Theresa Sparks, the former president of the San Francisco Police Commission and current executive director of the city’s Human Rights Commission, said her current panel would “probably” hold a meeting on the condoms issue “in the near future.” She said the meeting would need to be coordinated with the Health Commission. Sparks, who’s transgender, noted the city funding goes to buy condoms for people in the community and said using them as evidence of prostitution or solicitation “makes little sense whatsoever.” There are “really no negatives to

Matthew S. Bajko contributed to this report

Obituaries >> Norman Fidel Bruce January 10, 1966 – May 18, 2012

Norman was born in New Albany, Mississippi to Lurierine and Bruce Warren. Raised in Etta, Mississippi, he sang with the Gospel Sprouts Choir and recited poetry on Children’s Day at Flint Hills Missionary Baptist Church. Norman was studious in high school. Among other things, his nimble fingers (he typed 75 words per minute) finished a 1,000page romance novel. Brief stints in the Army, business school, and Chicago led Norman to California where he earned a B.A. (major-journalism, minor-psychol-

ogy) at California State University, Sacramento. Norman began working at San Francisco’s Gay Book, a magazine published bi-annually by its Castro Street-based staff, in the late 1980s, rising from data entry/telemarketing to managing editor in a short time. A lesbian friend who worked with Norman at the time fondly remembers Norman’s emotional and practical support after her life partner was rearended by a drunk, uninsured motorist in August 1989, and was left with painful, debilitating injuries. Norman never said no to any of her requests. Via business contacts made at the Gay Book the friend secured a health insurance policy that included people with pre-existing conditions, met professionals who helped her, and finally got her partner a really good lesbian

doctor at UCSF Medical Center who accurately diagnosed her partner’s injuries, and provided treatments to get her started on the road to good medical management and recovery. To this day the friend is extremely grateful for Norman’s help during that long and very difficult time. After Gay Book ended, Norman secured work at Mervyn’s department store and is fondly remembered by many co-workers for his kindness. Norman also loved to sing and perform, adored the Supremes, and attended dozens of concerts by Mary Wilson, a Supremes back-up singer turned soloist. In recent years, Norman struggled with end of life questions as he battled his difficult medical conditions. He succumbed to a heart attack on May 18. Rest in peace, dear Norman.

<< Community News

24 • BAY AREA REPORTER • June 21-27, 2012


Jock Talk

From page 22

sex, race, religion, socio-economic status, sexuality, or gender identities on the pursuit to athletic excellence.” A second summit is planned for next year. A news release from the coalition said it had four goals before that summit: engage the major American pro sports leagues to work coalition members toward greater inclusion; increase the visibility of college athletes, coaches and allies; develop and get national youth and adult recreational leagues to adopt a model LGBTQ inclusive


policy; and make 2 million young athletes and their physical education teachers and coaches aware of the coalition’s definition of a champion. “I think one of the things I learned at the summit is you can’t just expect people to play like a team unless they have trust,” Zeigler said. “I think being in the room together, while they came in thinking that some of these people might be competition, they walked away with an understanding of each other. When you have your meals together and take cocktails, I think a trust starts to build. I think that’s one of the big takeaways.” I have often written that sports

seems to be the forgotten ugly stepchild of LGBT politics and culture – the invaluable but neglected aspect of our lives which, when we neglect it, makes homophobic stereotypes self-reinforcing. It’s been nearly 40 years since David Kopay became the first American major professional athlete to come out, yet we still have not had a single major male pro player in the country come out during his career, and homophobic slurs remain far too commonplace in locker rooms and on playing fields all the way down to the neighborhood pick-up games. “There’s been so little commu-

nication, so little collaboration in sports,” Walker said. “I think there was definitely a strong belief at the summit that the gains in sports that happened over the past 40 years have been so minimal because of the lack of unified efforts – a lack of concerted focus and all the organizations being on the same page.” And that makes this the perfect time to turn the page and start a new chapter, with new definitions. This week, two of the groups that were at the summit, Athlete Ally and GLAAD, announced that they would partner to offer proactive training sessions for all major pro-

Dyke march

From page 1

Henry, a 27-year-old lesbian who is a second-year committee member. Henry is well aware that the Dyke March’s image is misconstrued as another Pride Parade. “That’s not why it started ... and that’s not what it is. I still think that we need to draw so much attention to the issues that women and lesbians face every day. There is a perception that women have equal rights and that gay people have mostly equal rights except for marriage ... that is so patently false.” Lila Thirkield, a core Dyke March committee member and owner of the Lexington Club, agreed. “We live in a world where women are not treated the same way as men and that exists in the gay arena too,” said Thirkield, pointing out that women continue to earn less than men and there usually tends to be a ratio of one lesbian bar to 30 gay men’s bars in a city. “That visibility is why [the Dyke March] started out in the first place. [The original organizers] wanted people to see that we are a part of the community.” The event begins in Dolores Park at noon Saturday, June 23 and will highlight lesbian DJs throughout the park, rather than the traditional performers and speakers that have brought out waves of celebrants to hang out and picnic in the park throughout the day. The celebration will wrap up at 5 p.m. for marchers to gather around 18th and Dolores streets where Latina lesbian performance artist and scholar Cherrie Moraga and Krys Freeman, founder of masculine-of-center social network and Butch Voices co-chair, will inspire the crowd. The march will kick off at 6, an hour earlier than usual, with the dyke motor contingent and the disabled and senior trolley winding its way through the Mission, ending at the Pink Saturday celebration in the Castro. This year’s event will also be greener. Attendees will notice bins for compost, recycling, and trash, which for organizers is “taking care of the imprint” in the park and “paramount in what we are doing” taking care of basics, said Thirkield.

Dyke revolution The Dyke March started 20 years ago at the height of the AIDS epidemic. The crisis perpetuated lesbians being in the shadows of the Gay Liberation Movement, rendering them invisible rather than a significant part of the movement, especially during the early years of AIDS when lesbians were the caretakers of their gay male friends, said march founders. Tired of being invisible, leaders of three West Coast lesbian and feminist organizations came together with New York City’s fire-eating Lesbian Avengers to plan a “spontaneous” march on Washington the night before the official March on Washington April 25, 1993, said founding members Leslie Mullin, 67, and Lisa Roth, 62. The organizers named their political action the “Dyke March.” It was in the spirit of the time when people were taking back traditionally derogatory words, such as “dyke,”

Women led the 2008 Dyke March, which had the theme “Be Visible.” Jane Philomen Cleland

which historically was a slur used against lesbians. “There are a lot of women-lovingwomen who don’t like the term dyke. I love it. Dyke is a very strong word,” said L.A./Happy Hyder, 65, who has served on the committee for the past five years and has participated in the Dyke March since its beginning. Networking and spreading the news through women’s bookstores and organizations the event planners were shocked and surprised to see an estimated 20,000 women gathered at Dupont Circle on April 24, 1993. They took to the capital’s streets and projected a lesbian art show onto the Washington Monument, making front-page news in the Washington Post. “You don’t think that you are making history. You think you are doing what you are doing,” said Roth, who served on the committee for more than a decade. “There was something about this idea that really appealed to women,” added Mullin, who served on the committee for nearly 15 years. “It speaks to a very fundamental desire to have a voice and to be recognized and to be visible. It’s a way of showing power. It’s a form of power to assemble that way and march through the streets. Women like to feel powerful and we don’t get to feel that powerful that much.” High off of the energy and success of the march in Washington, organizers returned home and called all dykes to take to the streets of the “gay mecca” on June 26, 1993, the eve of the San Francisco Pride Parade, what is now known as Pink Saturday. The beginnings were humble and political. “The Dyke March ... is a dyke march in part because dykes have been so invisible. To establish that visibility, just us in those numbers, we comprise a diverse community – a huge diverse community,” said Mo Kalman, pointing out the march symbolizes for many queer women that “I’m not alone.” “If nothing else the sheer numbers and the presence of the Dyke March is a beacon that says, ‘Hey, we are here. You are cool. Be who you are and it’s okay,’” said Kalman.

Dyke rights, human rights “One thing that is kind of very significant about the Dyke March is that

it’s not just about dyke rights,” said Kalman, pointing out that historically the march has also addressed through its themes anti-apartheid, peace, uprooted racism, universal health care, and more. “Every year there is a different theme. The politics, the cultural, and the socioeconomic issues and what is going on internationally are all things that we think about in terms of sending a message out to our communities and the world,” said Kalman. “It helps dykes see that no one is going to be liberated until everybody is.” At the same time, the Dyke March is a celebration, in spite of the criticism over the years that it has lost focus and has become more of a Pride event than a political one. “It’s a party. I don’t see it as a political event anymore. I think that it’s a great day for people to come out and be seen,” said Fresh White, a 49-year-old transgender dyke butch, who served on the committee for two years before joining the Trans March committee, where he now serves as an adviser. Dyke March founders and current committee members don’t see any conflict between the cultural and political aspects of the event. “The celebration and the politics were never in conflict because it was always a celebration of lesbians,” said Roth. “It was also a platform to articulate the visions,” of the lesbian community. “Culture is political and they are not mutually exclusive,” agreed Kalman. For years, the Dyke March has supported queer women performers on its stage in the park, even providing stipends at times, said Hyder and Kalman.

donations and resisting the temptation to allow corporate sponsors to assist with event production costs that are now up to $35,000, said Hyder. As the event grew, Dyke March committee members also maintained control while working hand-in-hand with city officials and police to keep the event accessible and safe. The decision to remain independent along with staying an all-volunteer operation as a fiscally sponsored organization of Community Initiatives, rather than become more formally organized with a board and executive director nearly caused the San Francisco Dyke March not to happen last year. The community became alarmed and pulled together when the core committee members announced the pending shut down of the march. The Dyke March went on as scheduled. “Simply continuing for 20 years and much of that on a shoestring, I think that in itself shows the determination,” said Hyder. The 20-year tradition of dykes taking to the queer streets of San Francisco attracts an estimated 50,000 participants and supporters every year on Pink Saturday during Pride weekend, according to march organizers. It has grown into the largest Dyke March in the country since it began in 1993, organizers said. “It’s really significant that we still want to march in the streets,” said Hyder. “We still want to do this. We still want to come out and show who we are. I think that’s really fabulous, because we understand that we still haven’t gotten everything we need, which is equal rights as women, as being out lesbians or out dykes.” “I’m glad that we still want to make that statement,” Hyder continued.

Celebration of community

Women waves

One of the Dyke March’s biggest successes is that it is the most accessible large event for people with disabilities and seniors, said community members and march organizers. Every year the march has a donated trolley car that allows disabled and senior dykes to participate in the parade and special seating at the celebration and along the parade route at 16th and Dolores streets. Empowerment also meant keeping the power. While the Dyke March is political it has kept out politicians and remained grassroots, running on

“It was a very exhilarating experience to be walking down the street with her, holding hands amongst this sea of dykes with people hanging out of their windows cheering us on,” said Kalman, 59, about marching with her girlfriend of more than 20 years, Susan Goldberg. “Just felt a lot of love basically ... not the least bit threatened by anything and a sense of freedom that I don’t think that I quite experienced before.” Kalman, a tenants’ rights attorney, started out volunteering on various aspects of the march before taking

fessional teams in the United States “to empower pro sports organizations to stand against homophobia and transphobia.” “Athletes are leaders,” Hudson Taylor, the wrestler who founded Athlete Ally, said. “Today more than ever, professional players have the power to affirm, connect and inspire people around the world. By taking small steps based on simple ideas at the heart of sportsmanship – like treating others as you want to be treated – professional sports can unite communities and create a better and more inclusive tomorrow.” ▼ over stage managing and production duties. When the founders expressed their desire to retire in the early 2000s, she couldn’t allow the Dyke March to die, she told the Bay Area Reporter. She rallied her friends and wound up serving as a committee member for the past decade, she said while searching through her computer for historic photos at her Bernal Heights home office. “It’s a pretty awe inspiring event just walking up to the park with all of those women there,” said Thirkield, 40. Rosa Hernandez, also known as DJ Rumorosa, keeps the music pumping on the back of a truck as women follow her beat through the streets. The march means a little bit more to her as a queer Latina woman. For years she’s always been “amazed, moved, and inspired,” not only by the sea of women, but also as a Latina marching through the Mission District, she said. One of the many successes of the San Francisco Dyke March is the organizers’ purposeful actions to diversify the event internally – by recruiting committee members from ethnic and gender variant communities and various sexual identities – and externally welcoming all women – queer and straight – to march, said organizers. It wasn’t an easy discussion as gender and sexual fluidity emerged in the early 2000s confronting the Dyke March. Ultimately, the decision was made to take away the “women-only” requirement and embrace the ever-expanding definition of “dyke,” said Kalman. “The definition of dyke has shifted over the years. We have a very gender fluid dyke community. That’s a lovely thing. We have learned how to celebrate each other in who we are and how we present to the world,” said Hyder. The line remains drawn with men, however, who are still asked to support the Dyke March from the sidelines, said Kalman.

New generation This year a new wave of leaders are being trained by the second generation of leaders, who took over from the founders as they prepare to hand down the organization, said Kalman. “Every woman who is involved is so passionate and invested in it and wants to give back to the community,” said Henry. “It means a lot to me and I think it means a lot to a lot of other women. It feels pretty awesome to be a part of that.” The founders can still be found in the crowds collecting money to support the cause they started, said Roth. “I hope it continues to grow and continues to celebrate the aspects of lesbian rights, dignity, and equality as it should do until we have all of the things that we need,” said Roth. Kalman is confident that the Dyke March’s “future is bright.” “We could be going for the next 20 to 40 years,” she said.▼ Individuals interested in volunteering the day of the Dyke March can contact For more information, visit http://

▼ <<

Community News >>

Mayor wins praise

From page 10

the AIDS funding cut and leave it up to the supervisors to find the rest, Wiener said he was pleasantly surprised when the mayor announced he had plugged the entire loss. “Instead, he didn’t play any games. He just did it,” said Wiener. Joking he didn’t come prepared with “any great speech,” Lee told the crowd that he happens to be “very lucky” to be mayor at a time when the city’s finances are improving. He also implied that he has no intentions to pursue higher office, at least until he is termed out of the mayor’s job in 2020. “I am not going anywhere. I love this city,” said Lee. “I am going to make it the best I can as long as I oc-


cupy Room 200.” His number one priority remains jobs, an issue Lee promised he is “never going to leave out of my sight.” Talking up his proposal to create a housing trust fund to build more affordable residential units in the city, Lee said it would “help aging LGBT seniors get housing.” He also pledged to find ways to assist small business owners and those couples raising children in San Francisco. “Whether you are making a family or investing in a business, I want to make sure the city helps people realize their dream of why they came to the city,” said Lee, who earlier in the day had welcomed President Barack Obama to town by thanking him for supporting same-sex marriage.


Financial progress The Pride Committee is in the midst of rebounding from a financial and leadership meltdown that hit in 2010. Behan was selected as executive director about a year after Amy Andre, the previous ED, quit in the face of severe financial troubles. The depths of those problems became clear in December 2010, when the city controller’s office revealed that Pride was $225,000 in debt. In a letter to the editor in last week’s Bay


From page 3

and Banks had. At one point in the court process, Barton said, they had reached a settlement, and Bronstein “made several payments.” Then, however, “He stopped paying, and neither he nor his attorneys communicated with Mr. Banks, so we went to court to get the judgment.”


Berlin Patient’

From page 2

of HIV nucleic acid may not be sufficient to prove or disprove cure.” Despite this noncommittal conclusion, some media reports have implied that Brown still had HIV. One researcher, Alain Lafeuillade from General Hospital in Toulon, France, suggested in a blog post and press release that Brown may have persistent HIV or may have been reinfected; he also speculated that Brown might be able to infect others if he has unsafe sex. Yukl declined to speak with most reporters due to patient confidentiality, but he did tell Science magazine that at this point “we can’t say for sure whether there’s been complete eradication of HIV,” adding, “[t]he point of the presentation was to raise the question of how do we define a cure and, at this level of detection, how do we know the signal is real?” “The important thing is that Timothy remains free of any replicating or infectious virus, that he continues to have no symptoms of being HIV infected, and that

Former Alice Club co-chair Bentrish Satarzadeh credited Lee for hearing the LGBT community’s pleas to backfill the AIDS cuts and make more LGBT appointments to city commissions and oversight panels. “We are hoping to get higher positions than what we have gotten so far, but it is a good start,” she said. Steven Aronowitz, whose top pick for mayor was Dufty, whom he once worked for as an aide, also said he has been “really impressed” with how Lee has handled balancing the city’s budget this year. “His appreciation for the city came across,” said Aronowitz of Lee’s remarks at the house party. “He is someone who cares about what happens to San Francisco, so I was inspired.”▼


Open SF

From page 13

great opportunity to redefine family values.” Emotional safety was one of the many topics discussed at the conferences various forums. Sex educator Tristram Taorama, whose platforms include lectures, books, and videos, taught a fascinating class on dominant/submissive relationships. “Submission doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to have feelings,” she said from the podium. “There has to be a mechanism in place where you can express those feelings. When someone in service to you is miserable, they’re not giving you their best.” Perhaps the strongest argument in support of ethical non-monogamy

Area Reporter, Pride officials said that they’ve paid down more than 70 percent of the figure and have “aggressive plans to fully retire this debt by the end of this year.” Behan said this week that in terms of sponsorship, the Pride organization is set to have its best year ever, with about $668,000 in cash commitments. He said about 98 percent of that funding comes from corporate

The band Karmin, known for songs like “Brokenhearted,” will be the headlining act Sunday on Pride’s main stage. Also on stage that day will be Gilbert Baker, who designed the internationally recognized rainbow flag. He’ll be presented with the Gilbert Baker Pride Founders Award. Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown is this year’s lifetime achievement grand marshal. Individual com-

munity grand marshals include Sister Roma of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, among others. Dot Jones, who’s appeared on the TV show Glee; comedian Sarah Silverman; and RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant Carmen Carerra will be celebrity grand marshals. As always, a wide variety of parade contingents will be on hand. This year’s parade will include members of the groups Affirmation: Gay and Lesbian Mormons and Mormons for Marriage Equality. About 300 Mormons marched in the Utah Pride Festival parade earlier this month. There will also be at least one new addition to the Pride celebration’s collection of venues. California Men’s Gatherings, whose main thrust is the production of four retreat weekends for gay men, will also be on hand. The group’s been represented alongside the many other nonprofits at the festival for years, but this year the organization is hosting a tent. The gathering space opens at noon Saturday, and the afternoon will include a “puppy pile.” In an interview, David Senk described the pile as “an intimate and nonsexual way of connecting with other guys.” The California Men’s Gatherings space will also

In a brief interview Wednesday morning, June 20, Barton said, “We’re trying to find the source of some money. We haven’t been too successful so far coming up with any serious assets,” which is one of the reasons the receiver was appointed. Bill Freeman, one of the owners of Patxi’s, said of the Trigger license earlier this month, “I don’t know who I’m buying it from. We have a broker that deals with all this stuff

for us.” He said he put $100,000 into an escrow fund for the license. The license owner would split the proceeds with “whoever has a security interest in the license,” which could be creditors or others, Freeman said. Freeman didn’t respond to an interview request Wednesday morning. In response to emailed questions, ABC spokesman John Carr wrote Tuesday, June 19 that the Trigger li-

cense transfer was still pending. Meanwhile, Lime, a Castro bar and eatery owned by Bronstein, also recently closed. As first reported on the Grub Street San Francisco blog, the space that housed Lime will become the sports-themed bar Hi Tops. The Patxi’s transfer application and this week’s Trigger closing also were first reported by Grubb Street San Francisco.

From page 1

Bishop Christopher Senyonjo of Uganda and the Reverend Canon Albert Ogle of San Diego submitted this year’s winning theme, Behan noted on Pride’s website. Senyonjo visited California to raise awareness of the plight of LGBTs in Uganda and other countries that criminalize homosexuality, according to Behan. This year’s San Francisco LGBT Pride festivities begin Saturday with the festival in Civic Center, from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, the celebration in Civic Center runs from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. The parade kicks off at 10:30 a.m. at Market and Beale streets and ends at Market and Eighth streets.


June 21-27, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 25

Rick Gerharter

Spectators at last year’s Pride Parade came with rainbows and unicorns.

sponsorship. Indicating the importance of that support, he said the organization “is very committed to maintaining an event that’s economically accessible.” Pride does not charge admission to the weekend festival, although people are asked to make a $5 donation. That money is funneled back to local nonprofits through Pride’s community partners program. Community groups provide Pride with volunteers the weekend of the event, and, in return, the organizations receive grants. This year’s beneficiaries include Bay Area Young Positives, Coalition on Homelessness, Project Open Hand, and many others. Last year, the Pride Committee saw $140,000 in gate donations, which Behan said was a record.

Featured attractions

he continues to be in good health – that he continues to be cured,” Paula Cannon from the University of Southern California told www. Advocates expressed chagrin that Lafeuillade not only publicly misinterpreted other researchers’ data, but also inappropriately speculated about a patient’s personal life and behavior, which could discourage others from participating in future studies. Brown is on a speaking tour – which included a Capitol Hill briefing in Washington, D.C., – and was unavailable for comment, but he told NPR that the misinformation concerns him “because I’ve been told by many people [with HIV] that I give them hope ... and that’s what I want to do.” “At this stage in cure research it’s difficult to define what scientists mean by an actual cure,” said treatment advocate Matt Sharp. “As a person with AIDS, if my body could control any level of virus without antiretroviral drugs, I would consider that an incredible advance in science, no matter what it’s called.”▼

came from Ignacio Rivera, who cohosted a class on kink race. “Kink is my mental health,” Rivera, who is gender neutral, said. “If I don’t have kink in my life then I don’t feel right in the world.” Mint noted that the official conference website,, will remain online. It will be updated slightly to report on how the conference went, but may remain dormant for awhile. “We may do it again in two to three years,” he said of the confab. “With 500 attendees, there’s obviously interest in this.” The conference was a project of Polyamory Productions Inc., a nonprofit organization that supports education and community building for non-monogamous people.▼

be available Sunday. Asian and Pacific Islander Wellness Center is another organization that will be represented at the Pride party. Asian and Pacific Islander Pride Community Stage and Pavilion, located at Polk Street and Golden Gate Avenue, will be available Sunday. The pavilion will anchor various Asian and Pacific Islander LGBT organizations. HIV testing will be available throughout the day and results will be ready in 20 minutes.

Pink Saturday The unofficial Pink Saturday street party, organized by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, takes place June 23, following the Dyke March. The Castro area event runs from 5 to 11 p.m. This year’s party will feature several food trucks, including 3 Sum Eats, Hapa SF, and The Chairman. The trucks are replacing the main stage, but plenty of music is still expected. No alcohol will be permitted. A donation of $5 is suggested for entrance to Pink Saturday.▼ For more Pride information, visit or check out the Pride Committee’s Inside Pride magazine. Pink Saturday details can be found at

Lauren Grause, who represented Bronstein in the Banks court case as an attorney with Anderson and Poole, P.C., declined to comment for this story, citing attorney-client privilege. She said she no longer represents Bronstein and is no longer with Anderson and Poole. An interview request left in the voicemail apparently belonging to Anderson and Poole partner Ellis Ross Anderson wasn’t returned.▼

Serving the LGBT communities since 1971

26 â&#x20AC;˘ Bay Area Reporter â&#x20AC;˘ June 21-27, 2012



Legal Notices>>


Legal Notices>> FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034367500 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: WAITAPP; MOBULLY, 300 Brannan St. #610, SF, CA 94107. This business is conducted by a corporation, and is signed CRM Text Solutions Inc. (CA). 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 05/24/12.

MAY 31, June 7, 14, 21, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034362500 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: S&S BROTHERS COMPANY, 101 UTAH ST. #130, SF, CA 94103. This business is conducted by a corporation, and is signed S&S Brothers Jewelry Inc. (CA). 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 05/23/12.

MAY 31, June 7, 14, 21, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034366900 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: SAMYS LIQUOR, 2847 24th St., SF, CA 94110. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Shaya M. Shaibi. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 05/15/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 05/24/12.

MAY 31, June 7, 14, 21, 2012 Statement of abandonment of use of fictitious business name FILE A-032947500 The following persons have abandoned the use of the fictitious business name known as: S & S BROTHERS COMPANY, 101 UTAH ST. #130, SF, CA 94103. This business was conducted by an individual and signed by Rabinder Maheshwari. The fictitious name was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 08/03/10.

MAY 31, June 7, 14, 21, 2012 notice of application TO SELL alcoholic beverageS Dated 05/21/12 To Whom It May Concern: The name(s) of the applicant(s) is/are: HECTOR VICENTEALCARAZ OROZCO. 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 2312 Market St., SF, CA 94114. Type of license applied for

41 - On-sale BEER & WINE Eating place JUNE 7, 14, 21, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034373400 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: ATLAS MASSAGE CENTER, 2305 Van Ness Ave. #F, SF, CA 94109. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Henry Oyharcabal. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 10/25/11. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 05/29/12.

June 7, 14, 21, 28, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034374900 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: STUDIO B B R, 43 Franklin St., SF, CA 94102. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Rodney Duncan. 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 05/30/12.

June 7, 14, 21, 28, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034377500 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: BACCHUS FLOWERS, 1265 Dolores St. #6, SF, CA 94110. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Spencer Peterson. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 05/30/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 05/30/12.

June 7, 14, 21, 28, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034379200 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: BAY CLEANERS, 350 Bay St. #12, SF, CA 94133. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Nolmart A. Gimeno. 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 05/31/12.

June 7, 14, 21, 28, 2012

FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034379700

FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034396600

The following person(s) is/are doing business as: CENTRAL PARK LIQUORS, 1900 Hayes St., SF, CA 94117. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Yong S. Park. 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 05/31/12.

The following person(s) is/are doing business as: EMBRYONIC WEBSITE CREATIONS, 180 Beaver St. #3, San Francisco, CA 94114. This business is conducted by a general partnership, and is signed Richard William Mytton & David Wayne Mytton. 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 06/07/12.

June 7, 14, 21, 28, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file 034383500 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: S.F. AUTO DETAIL, 715 Banks St., SF, CA 94110. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Ana Hernandez. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 06/01/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 06/01/12.

June 7, 14, 21, 28, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034383100 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: DIVORCE CENTER, 1630 Union St., SF, CA 94123. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Margaret Pendergast. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 05/31/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 06/01/12.

June 7, 14, 21, 28, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034385400 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: PHARAOH ENTERPRISES, 305 Hyde St. #501, SF, CA 94109. This business is conducted by a general partnership, and is signed Abdullah H. Sulaiman & Hussein A. Sulaiman. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 06/01/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 06/01/12.

June 7, 14, 21, 28, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034372800 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: ESPECIALLY CATS VETERINARY HOSPITAL, 1339 Taraval St., SF, CA 94116. This business is conducted by a corporation, and is signed Buttar Inc. (CA). 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 05/29/12.

June 7, 14, 21, 28, 2012 Statement of abandonment of use of fictitious business name FILE A-033651900 The following persons have abandoned the use of the fictitious business name known as: PENGUINS ON HENRY, 45 Henry St. #1, SF, CA 94114. This business was conducted by state or local registered domestic partners and signed by David Geoffrey Stafford & Eric Lamart Dupre. The fictitious name was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 06/27/11.

June 7, 14, 21, 28, 2012 ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE FOR CHANGE OF NAME AND GENDER IN SUPERIOR COURT OF california, county of san francisco file CNC12-548719 In the matter of the application of: KALLIE ANN LEWIS for change of name and gender having been filed in Superior Court, and it appearing from said application that petitioner KALLIE ANN LEWIS is requesting that his/her name be changed to KALEB WESLEY LEWIS. Now therefore, it is hereby ordered, that all persons interested in said matter do appear before this Court in Rm. 514 on the 16th of August 2012 at 9:00 am of said day to show cause why the application for change of name should not be granted.

June 14, 21, 28, JULY 5, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034390800 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: ARIABLARGTV, 595 John Muir Dr. #324, SF, CA 94132. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Aria C. Stinson. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 01/01/11. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 06/05/12.

June 14, 21, 28, JULY 5, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034388500 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: BRIKCOLLI DESIGNS, 770 Laplaya St. #401, SF, CA 94121. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Brian K. Collins. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 06/04/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 06/04/12.

June 14, 21, 28, JULY 5, 2012

June 14, 21, 28, JULY 5, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034388000 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: SALON SYSTEMS, 166 Geary St. #302, SF, CA 94108. This business is conducted by a corporation, and is signed MBI Distribution Inc. (CA). 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 06/04/12.

June 14, 21, 28, JULY 5, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034401600 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: GRISWOLD HOME CARE, 155 Clifford Terrace, SF, CA 94117. This business is conducted by a corporation, and is signed GSCCA Corp. (CA). The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 10/13/11. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 06/11/12.

June 14, 21, 28, JULY 5, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034350500 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: JACKSON PLACE SALON, 633 Battery St. #117, SF, CA 94111. This business is conducted by a general partnership, and is signed Suzette Hanson, Elizabeth Fracchia & Alla Roytman. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 05/01/91. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 05/18/12.

June 14, 21, 28, JULY 5, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034386300 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: CHEMICAL BABY CLOTHING COMPANY, 67Minerva St., SF, CA 94112. This business is conducted by a limited liability company, and is signed Inner City 2K LLC (CA). The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 06/01/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 06/04/12.

June 14, 21, 28, JULY 5, 2012 Statement of abandonment of use of fictitious business name FILE A-033412600 The following persons have abandoned the use of the fictitious business name known as: INNER CITY 2K; MARCELLIS EDWARDS, 67 Minerva St., SF, CA 94112. This business was conducted by an individual and signed by Marcel Wade. The fictitious name was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 03/11/11.

June 14, 21, 28, JULY 5, 2012 Statement of abandonment of use of fictitious business name FILE A-031166700 The following persons have abandoned the use of the fictitious business name known as: LIFE WORK SYNC, 1045 Mission St. #258, SF, CA 94103. This business was conducted by a general partnership, and signed by Adele Maynes & Katherine Steele. The fictitious name was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 05/14/05.

June 14, 21, 28, JULY 5, 2012 notice of application FOR CHANGE IN OWNERSHIP OF alcOholic beverage LICENSE Dated 06/12/12 To Whom It May Concern: The name(s) of the applicant(s) is/are: PERILLA 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 5423 Geary Blvd., SF, CA 94121-2306. Type of license applied for

41 - On-sale BEER & WINE Eating place JUNE 21, 2012 notice of application TO SELL alcoholic beverageS Dated 06/12/12 To Whom It May Concern: The name(s) of the applicant(s) is/are: TAQUERIAS EL FAROLITO 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 3137 Mission St., SF, CA 94110-4503. Type of license applied for

41 - On-sale BEER & WINE Eating place June 21, 2012

notice of application FOR CHANGE IN OWNERSHIP OF alcOholic beverage LICENSE Dated 06/11/12 To Whom It May Concern: The name(s) of the applicant(s) is/are: LAIHONG LOUNGE 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 1416 Powell St., SF, CA 94133. Type of license applied for

41 - On-sale BEER & WINE Eating place June 21, 2012 notice of application TO SELL alcoholic beverageS Dated 06/13/12 To Whom It May Concern: The name(s) of the applicant(s) is/are: MAU RESTAURANT. 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 665 Valencia ST., SF, CA 94110-1150. Type of license applied for

41 - On-sale BEER & WINE Eating place June 21, 28, July 5, 2012 ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE FOR CHANGE OF NAME IN SUPERIOR COURT OF california, county of san francisco file CNC12548715 In the matter of the application of: KEITH BERNDT KOLLER for change of name, having been filed in Superior Court, and it appearing from said application that petitioner KEITH BERNDT KOLLER is requesting that his/her name be changed to KEITH TOURNE KOLLER. Now therefore, it is hereby ordered, that all persons interested in said matter do appear before this Court in Dept. 514, Rm. 514 on the 31st of July 2012 at 9:00 am of said day to show cause why the application for change of name should not be granted.

June 21, 28, JULY 5, 12, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034406000 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: Y & G CO, 2554 34th Ave., SF, CA 94116. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Bo Yang Yu. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 06/13/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 06/13/12.

FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034416200 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: EMPIRE ENGINEERING & CONSTRUCTION INC., 3801 3rd St. #616, SF, CA 94124. This business is conducted by a corporation, and is signed Empire Engineering & Construction Inc. (CA). The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 02/05/05. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 06/20/12.

June 21, 28, JULY 5, 12, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034404000 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: ZENMARK VERBAL DESIGN, 25 Maiden Lane #300, SF, CA 94108. This business is conducted by a corporation, and is signed Zenmark Inc. (CA). The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 01/01/07. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 06/13/12.

June 21, 28, JULY 5, 12, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034411900 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: SALON VILLAGE, 1538 Pacific Ave., SF, CA 94109. This business is conducted by a corporation, and is signed Prudential Consultants Inc. (CA). 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 06/18/12.

June 21, 28, JULY 5, 12, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034411700 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: LOLINDA, 2518 Mission St., SF, CA 94110. This business is conducted by a limited liability company, and is signed Bernarda LLC (CA). The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 05/01/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 06/18/12.

June 21, 28, JULY 5, 12, 2012

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June 21, 28, JULY 5, 12, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034406700 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: GREENSURGE, 11 Brush Pl. #1, SF, CA 94103. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Sergio Novoa. 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 06/14/12.

June 21, 28, JULY 5, 12, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034402300 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: GOLDEN GATE BASS CAMP SAN FRANCISCO, 2315 42nd Ave., SF, CA 94116. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Clarence R. Duke. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 06/12/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 06/12/12.

June 21, 28, JULY 5, 12, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034383300 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: BENNETT MAINTENANCE SERVICES, 1470 Fillmore St., SF, CA 94115. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Teresa Bennett. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 06/01/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 06/01/12.

June 21, 28, JULY 5, 12, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034411500 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: PUGH CONSULTING; SOURCE GAP CONSULTING; INSIGHT JUNCTION CONSULTING; GAP JUNCTION CONSULTING; 3 Bayside Village Pl. #219, SF, CA 94107. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Kimberly J. Pugh. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 06/15/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 06/15/12.

June 21, 28, JULY 5, 12, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034408000 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: DIGITAL VICTROLA, 1610 Sutter St. #305, SF, CA 94109. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Eric Wayne. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 06/14/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 06/14/12.

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Pride • 2012


Vol. 42 • No. 25 • June 21-27, 2012


SYMBOL A contingent carries the rainbow flag in the 2011 LGBT Pride Parade.

Rick Gerharter


or some 34 years now, the rainbow flag has been the most visible symbol of LGBT pride. Businesses use it to indicate they are gay-owned or gay-friendly, churches use the rainbow colors to indicate all are welcome at worship. The list goes on. In short, if you see a rainbow flag, you know that LGBTs are welcome.

That flag’s creator, Gilbert Baker, will be back in San Francisco this weekend to accept the inaugural Gilbert Baker Founders Award from the San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration Committee. You’ll find a story about him in this special Pride section. This year’s Pride theme is “Global Equality” and we also take a look at LGBT


rights advances in Latin America, along with profiles of the community grand marshals. Finally, lots of youth arrive in San Francisco and turn to the streets, and we examine that issue as well. This Pride season promises to be big, brash, and political, as always. Enjoy.

<< Pride 2012

30 • BAY AREA REPORTER • June 21-27, 2012

LGBT Latin Americans emerge on the global stage

Rick Gerharter

The Sao Paulo skyline in May 2007; Brazil has legalized same-sex civil unions.

by Matthew S. Bajko


he world’s focus for most of the last decade when it came to the struggle for LGBT rights was largely centered on North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. The fight over same-sex marriage in the West, LGBT refugees fleeing persecution in Muslim countries, HIV prevention throughout the Asian continent, and the growing influence of anti-gay American evangelicals in sub-Saharan Africa have long dominated headlines and non-governmental organizations’ attention. Largely forgotten was Latin

America. Apart from the influence of anti-gay reggae stars in Jamaica, the countries comprising Central and South America, along with the Caribbean and Mexico, made up a lost hemisphere in terms of global awareness of their LGBT communities. The oversight is illustrated in the yearly ranking of top destinations for LGBT travelers compiled by San Francisco-based Community Marketing Inc. Only Mexican gay-friendly beach resorts Cancun and Puerto Vallarta make the list of locales that attracted at least 4 percent of LGBT travelers in the U.S. last year. In recent months Latin America has emerged from the shadows as a region on the cutting edge for LGBT rights. Same-sex couples can now marry in parts of Mexico; Argentina is a leader not only on marriage equality but also on transgender rights; and the communist-controlled island of Cuba has a growing reputation as being gay-friendly. The world, in turn, is taking greater notice of LGBT Latin Americans’ successes. In late May the media site Gay Star News ran a story exploring how gay rights are changing Latin America. The region’s LGBT communities “have always existed, albeit quietly,” noted the article, but are now “making themselves known to their neighbors, politicians and the world.” A team of Associated Press reporters throughout Latin America recently penned an article detailing the various LGBT rights gains in the region as well as how out LGBT officials are now winning elected office or are serving in high government posts in a number of Latin American countries. The list includes Ecuador’s new health minister, Carina Vance, an out lesbian who earned a master’s degree in public health from UC Berkeley; Tatiana Pineros, a transgender woman who leads Bogota’s social welfare agency; Brazil’s first openly gay national lawmaker, Representative Jean Wyllys; and Osvaldo

Lopez, the only openly gay member of Argentina’s Congress who was appointed to fill a vacancy last July. “There is no question there have been substantial advances from Latin America over the past year to year and a half,” Jessica Stern, the acting executive director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, told the Bay Area Reporter during a phone interview this week. “I think, in part, the increased attention is the result of years of successful and strategic activism by activists around Latin America and the Caribbean. No question people have worked very hard to realize the accomplishments we are seeing today.” It is not just positive achievements that have garnered global notice. International press coverage is increasingly documenting incidents of hate crimes and violence against LGBT Latin Americans. The death in March of Daniel Zamudio, a gay 24-year-old Chilean attacked by a group of neo-Nazis, received worldwide headlines and galvanized gay and straight Chileans to action. It led to the passage in May of a sweeping hate crimes law that had languished in the capital of Santiago for seven years due to opposition from evangelical Christian groups. One reason for the sudden spotlight on gay Latin America is the mainstream media devoting resources and providing more coverage to LGBT issues in the region, said gay New York-based blogger Andres Duque. “For some of us who have been paying attention, we have noticed in the last decade all these tremendous changes taking place. Media like the AP or agence France-Presse and other media have not really paid attention to the region until recently,” said Duque, who grew up in Medellin, Columbia and now covers gay rights advancements and setbacks in Latin America on his Blabbeando blog. “U.S. media is much more attuned to Europe and Africa in terms See page 37 >>

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June 21-27, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 31

<< Pride 2012

32 • BAY AREA REPORTER • June 21-27, 2012

Rick Gerharter

On a recent night, several homeless people were sleeping in front of Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in the Castro district.

Homeless youth trading sex for money, shelter persists by Seth Hemmelgarn


omeless young people exchanging sex for money, drugs, or a place to stay are not new in San Francisco, and according to several youth, it’s still happening. Now, however, it may be less obvious. Conversations with nearly a dozen youth over the last couple of months reveal that many apparently work out deals for sex while they’re panhandling. They don’t seem interested in much of the assistance the city has to offer, and some officials worry what that could mean for their futures. Outside the Walgreens at 18th and Castro streets late one sunny Sunday

afternoon in May, Jacob Davis, 21, sat next to his twin brother, Daniel, who was holding a sign and asking for money. The scores of people passing by largely ignored them. Jacob Davis recognized that a reporter’s question was about selling sex before it was even asked. He said he has sex with people “if the pay is right. ... Half the time, they just want to suck my dick.” Davis, who had shaggy hair and was wearing blue jeans and a denim jacket, said he considers himself bisexual or “gay for pay,” but when he’s not being paid, he identifies as straight. “If someone’s offering $100 to suck your dick, it doesn’t sound that gay,” he said.

Such solicitations happen a couple times a week, both in the Castro and Haight neighborhoods, where the brothers sleep in storefronts, he said. Davis, who’s from Hollywood and has been in San Francisco with his brother for two months, said the proposals don’t really make him nervous. “It is what it is,” he said. “Survival.” The propositions, which Davis said always come from men, can also include drugs like methamphetamine and heroin, which he’s accepted, as well as a place to stay. He said he always insists on using condoms. Toward the end of the interview, Davis came up with the idea of havSee page 34 >>

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June 21-27, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 33

<< Pride 2012

34 • BAY AREA REPORTER • June 21-27, 2012


Homeless youth

From page 32

ing sex with the reporter for $100. The reporter declined. Daniel Davis, who’s gay, declined to be interviewed, because he was focused on making money. At about 12:30 a.m. last Friday, Addison Vigil, 20, sat in a grassy patch at United Nations Plaza, two miles away from the Castro. Next to him, about a dozen people were sleeping as workers hosed down the popular plaza. The alcohol and drugs he said that he uses hadn’t totally worn down Vigil’s good looks. He said getting approached for sex is “the name of the game, especially if you’re young and you look decent.” He said when he’s in the Castro, it happens “two or three times a day.” Around UN Plaza, though, it doesn’t happen very often.

‘Ordering in’ Vigil, who identifies as pansexual, said men and women, young and old, with money and without, have propositioned him. He said he accepts offers of money and other favors in compensation for sex “depending on how fucked up I am.” He considers exchanging sex for money or other favors prostitution. “No matter how you fucking put it, it’s the same act,” he said. Captain Denise Flaherty, who heads the San Francisco Police Department’s special victims unit, said that under the letter of the law, trading sex for money or similar favors is prostitution. However, Flaherty said that police look at prostitution more as “victim-centered” crime than suspectcentered. She said that in incidents involving homeless youth, “clearly, in that situation, that person is a victim” who’s being taken advantage of, and police want to help people caught up in prostitution get services. Flaherty, who recently assumed her current post, indicated that she wasn’t aware of any arrests for such incidents. Peter Thoshinsky, who recently became the SFPD’s first out gay male lieutenant, has been with the department for 30 years. Among other roles, he’s worked in Southern Station, which includes South of Market and other neighborhoods. In an email exchange about youth trading sex for money and other forms of payment, Thoshinsky referred to a term that’s used by advocates for young people. “You can give it a politically correct name, ‘survival sex,’ but the motivation is the same it has always been. They’re prostitutes,” he said. “It’s an ugly word, but it’s the truth.” Thoshinsky said, “I have never heard anyone admit they brought someone home for sex, but reading between the lines you can usually figure things out.” Examples are when police respond to a domestic dispute call from a neighbor who hears yelling, or there’s a “speed” overdose, or an “unwanted guest call” when the resident wants the younger man to leave, he said. He said that when he sees “an older ‘obviously gay’ guy with a younger guy there always seems to be meth involved and there is never an explanation for how the person got to be in their apartment except for ‘He’s a guy I met and he needed somewhere to stay and I felt like helping him.’” The “motivation is pretty transparent” and involves trading something – Thoshinsky suspects cash and meth or heroin, as well as a place to stay – for sex. “You don’t see younger boys ... turning tricks” anymore, he said, which was “prevalent on Polk Street in the 1980s.” “I haven’t seen that sort of thing in years,” Thoshinsky said. Sergeant Chuck Limbert, the LGBT liaison for the SFPD’s Mission Station, which oversees the Castro and other

Seth Hemmelgarn

Jacob Davis

neighborhoods, has seen changes, too. Men used to cruise the Castro’s Collingwood Park area for boys in their teens, he said, but police enforcement helped stop that. Another development in recent years has been online hookup sites where people can quickly meet others for sex. “It’s so easy now to obtain sex,” Limbert said. “You don’t have to go out looking for it. You order it in.” Limbert noted if the youth are at least 18, the acts are considered consensual. “They have the ability to say ‘No,’ and if they feel they’re being pressured in any way, we want to know about that,” Limbert said. He indicated that he wasn’t aware of any such reports to the police.

Lack of interest in services Local nonprofits often portray the services they provide to youth as crucial, but several young people seemed only moderately interested in the programs that are available. (Many also said they intended to be moving on from the city soon.) Asked if he thinks that there needs to be more services in the city, Vigil said, “More feeds,” where people bring around food, “would be nice.” He said he doesn’t stay in homeless shelters because he’s “not a people person.” Even if young people living on the city’s streets aren’t that interested in more programs, some city officials are concerned about them. “Some of our homeless have a very strong mindset in regards to the fact that they don’t want services,” Limbert said. “They just want to be free to do what they want to do.” He worries that if more programs aren’t offered, more young people will end up needing help. “I think that’s our future,” he said. “If we don’t provide services for them we’re going to end up with large groups that are going to be dependent on us in the future.” Longtime city leader Bevan Dufty, who noted that youth exchanging sex for money and other things isn’t new, expressed concern, too Dufty, who’s gay, represented the Castro and other District 8 neighborhoods for eight years on the Board of Supervisors. He now oversees Mayor Ed Lee’s homeless policies as the director of Housing Opportunity, Partnerships, and Engagement. In a recent interview, he recalled a meeting in 2000, when he worked in the city’s neighborhood services office, that drew more than 100 people and involved discussion of providing services to youth. “Angry things were said about the problems that would take place in the neighborhood” from having youth around, he said. One young person raised his hand and said, “Many people have spoken and said very mean-spirited things about us and about us being trash in the neighborhood, and I just want to say two of the speakers that said these things have had sex with me for money and drugs,” Dufty said. The room went “pitch silent. ... It’s an unforgettable moment for me,” he said. See page 54 >>

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36 • BAY AREA REPORTER • June 21-27, 2012

Reno, Tahoe look forward to summer visitors by Ed Walsh


fter a lousy ski season, Reno and Lake Tahoe are gearing up for a busy summer. Reno celebrates LGBT pride twice, with Reno Rainbow Fest in July and Reno Pride in August. The Lake Tahoe area maintains a lower LGBT profile but is every bit as gaywelcoming. The light snow this year meant fewer skiers and a lackluster winter season. Business owners are hopeful that will translate into more people coming up in the summer, which generally is the busiest time of year in both Reno and Tahoe. Gold and silver mining first put Reno on the map in the mid-1800s. It quickly earned the name “Sin City” with legal brothels, gambling, and most famously, quickie divorces. It would be a century later before Las Vegas would claim that title. Reno doesn’t try to compete with Vegas. Instead the city’s tourist board is quick to remind people that in addition to gambling, visitors get an outdoor experience that Vegas can’t match. In the winter, some of the best Sierra skiing can be found on Mount Rose, only about a half-hour drive from downtown Reno. The region’s biggest attraction, Lake Tahoe, is just an hour away. There is a bit of the great outdoors right smack in the middle of downtown Reno. Eight years ago, the city opened a whitewater park, complete with rapids, at Wingfield Park, an island in the middle of the Truckee River, which runs through the heart of downtown. The area around the river is now known as the Reno Riverwalk district, with a promenade, sculptures, and upscale restaurants and shops that dot the once run-down riverfront.

Ed Walsh

Reno, dubbed “The Biggest Little City in the World,” is home to a growing LGBT community and now boasts two Pride festivals, as well as many outdoor attractions and popular casinos.

Reno Prides The Riverwalk district will also be the focal point of both of Reno’s LGBT Pride celebrations. First up is the third annual Reno Rainbow Fest July 27-28. A series of parties will kick off the weekend on Friday, July 27. A parade to Wingfield Park will be held on Saturday, where a daylong festival will be held and will conclude with more parties that night. Rainbow Fest is held in conjunction with Artown, a monthlong series of nearly 500 art and cultural events, many of which will be held in Wingfield Park. For more infor-

mation, visit www.renorainbowfest. com. The 16th annual Reno Gay Pride will be held August 17-18. Parties get under way on Friday, August 17. A daylong Pride festival will be held in Wingfield Park. More information can be found at www. No major Pride events are planned for Lake Tahoe but check out “Tahoe Pride” on Facebook for smaller events put on by locals. The biggest gay event in Tahoe is the annual gay ski week. The 2012 ski week was held in early March. For

details on what’s planned for next year, check out the organization’s website later this year:

Nightlife Reno has a half-dozen gay bars and nightclubs and a bathhouse. Tahoe no longer has a gay bar but most of its mainstream bars and nightclubs are gay-welcoming. The Five Star Saloon at 132 West Street is the gay mainstay in downtown Reno. The 24-hour watering hole has not closed its doors in 41 years. The clientele is mostly gay

male, but it is lesbian- and straightfriendly. The Five Star participates in Reno’s Wine Walk, which is held in the afternoon on the third Saturday of every month. For a $20 fee, you get to sample wines from a number of merchants in the Riverwalk district. If you stop by the Five Star, you will not only get wine but they will offer you a free glitter makeup job. The lesbian-owned Patio bar at 600 West 5th Street includes pool, darts, karaoke, and lives up to its name with a spacious deck and backyard, making socializing in those warm summer days and nights a treat. The Patio is gay and lesbian mixed. Tronix, at 303 Kietzke Lane east of downtown, has 30 video screens, online video games, slot machines, and two pool tables. It has an expansive dance floor with lasers, lights, and a smoke machine. Tronix’s sister club, Neutron, is just across the street. It caters to Reno’s large gay Latino community. The club includes dancing, pool, and is famous for its “Divas Trasvesti” drag shows on Friday nights. Carl’s, at 3310 South Virginia Street between the Peppermill and Atlantis Hotel Casinos, is Reno’s Levi/leather/bear bar. The rustic bar includes a patio, dance floor, and barbecues in the summer. Cadillac bar at 1114 East 4th Street is Reno’s newest gay bar. It is gay-owned and gay-straight mixed. Steve’s Bathhouse at 1030 W. 2nd Street is open 24 hours. It first opened its doors 50 years ago and boasts that it is the oldest gay bathhouse in the country.

Sights to see Lake Tahoe has an unofficial gay clothing-optional beach about a 20-minute drive from South Lake See page 39 >>

▼ <<

Pride 2012 >>

June 21-27, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 37

Latin Americans

From page 30

of advancement of LGBT rights.” San Jose resident Marta Donayre, a Brazilian who was born in Panama and raised in Ecuador, credits the Internet and the growth of social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, with helping to bring LGBT stories from Latin America to a larger audience. “I think the major reason of why we are hearing more about this, as well as LGBT news from around the world (like say, the King of Nepal being okay with LGBT marriage) has to do with the web. The Internet has enabled many small and micro organizations with no funds to have a site,” said Donayre, an out lesbian who works with LGBT asylum seekers. “Many of them have simple free blogs. All you need to operate one of these is a computer. We not only hear more about LGBT news from Latina America, but hear more about Latin America altogether.”

Gay rights advancements cover a wide gamut Adding to the allure of Mexico as a top gay vacation destination was a court ruling in 2010 that declared same-sex marriages performed in Mexico City would be recognized throughout the country. Last month the state of Quintana Roo, on the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula and home to Cancun, declared that it would marry LGBT couples. Looking to capitalize on wedding tourism, the Mexico Tourism Board touted the country’s gay-friendly nuptials at “Love Mexico” events it held in late May in Dallas and New York. The burgeoning LGBT marriage market could net the country’s wedding industry $9.5 billion per year, Forbes recently estimated. “With its combination of natural beauty, rich culture, world class hotels and resorts and outstanding service Mexico is the ultimate destination for weddings, honeymoons and romantic getaways. As the destination weddings market grows and changes Mexico will continue to develop its offering,” stated Eduardo Chaillo, the tourism board’s executive meetings unit director. The city of Buenos Aires, Argentina is following suit and last month authorized marriage equality for LGBT tourists. It came in response to a request made by la Federacion Argentina de Lesbianas, Gays, Bisexuales, y Trans (FALGBT). The provinces of Santa Fe, Tierra del Fuego, and Buenos Aires had already authorized the marriages of foreign same-sex couples. Argentina decided to recognize same-sex marriage among its own citizens two years ago. More recently FALGBT launched its “Marriage Equality in Argentina for Every Couple in the World” campaign, aimed at extending the benefits of the Argentine marriage equality law worldwide. “With the marriage between tourists in the City of Buenos Aires, a new phase begins. More and more will come to Argentina to enjoy the rights that are not recognized in their countries, and they will then be able to seek the recognition of their unions by judicial means,” stated FALGBT President Esteban Paulon. “We welcome the decision by the municipality of Buenos Aires to guarantee the recognition of these rights and promote equality from the capital of our country to the rest of the world.” Not only was it the first South American country to legalize samesex marriage, Argentina made history again last month by passing the most lenient gender change laws in the world and agreeing to cover gender reassignment surgery. Citizens wishing to change their gender on official forms no longer need to first undergo surgery or have a doctor’s note.

Courtesy ILGHRC

ILGHRC acting Executive Director Jessica Stern

In May 2011 Brazil’s Supreme Court legalized same-sex civil unions, granting the same rights as those given to heterosexual partners. Lower courts have since ruled that couples could turn their unions into legally recognized marriages. How these legal gains impact the day-to-day affairs of LGBT people in the various countries remains to be seen. LGBT rights activists stress that the judicial and legislative victories may take time to impact societal bias against LGBTs. “Latin America has a well-documented history of not going by the laws in the books, or their constitutions – not that this is any different in the U.S.,” noted Donayre, whose asylum clients come mostly from Central America and Brazil. “ProLGBT crime laws are simply not observed at all.” One of the more homophobic places is Honduras, where the police have been implicated in a number of transgender women’s deaths since 2010. Human Rights Watch noted in a 2012 report on the country that the anti-LGBT crimes are “rarely followed by rigorous investigations, let alone criminal convictions.” Last year the Honduran minister of justice and human rights did condemn hate crimes perpetrated against the LGBT community, noted the agency’s report, and both the attorney general’s office and the city of San Pedro Sula created special units to investigate the killings of transgender women. “Honduras lacks anti-discrimination legislation, and current criminal laws expose LGBT community members to arbitrary arrest for vaguely defined conduct such as ‘offenses against decency,’” stated the Human Rights Watch report. “Honduras is a country where there are not only pervasive hate crimes against LGBT Hondurans but also a strong and savvy LGBT movement,” said IGLHRC’s Stern. “One reason why Honduras comes to our attention is not only the extent of the violence but also because activists there are really savvy about documenting human rights violations.” IGLHRC publishes what it calls “Shadow Reports” that examine how countries treat their LGBT citizens. In March it released one examining Guatemala that it jointly authored with a number of organizations, including Organizacion Trans Reinas de la Noche (OTRANS) and Red Latinoamericana y del Caribe de Personas Trans (RED LACTRANS). The 26-page report found that Guatemalans are routinely discriminated against based on their sexual orientation and/or gender identity “by both state and non-state actors, including in access to healthcare and education services.” It also documented how the Guatemalan government bears responsibility for “the extrajudicial killings of LGBT individuals” and has “failed to adequately prevent, to investigate and/or to prosecute incidents of gender-based violence and killings, including against LGBT individuals.” See page 38 >>

<< Pride 2012

38 • BAY AREA REPORTER • June 21-27, 2012


Latin Americans

From page 37

Similar problems exist in countries throughout the region. Last year IGLHRC released a 23-page report emphasizing that, “the human rights situation of (LGBT) people in Jamaica is dire.” Not only does Jamaica retain colonial legislation criminalizing same-sex sexual conduct, noted the report, the country’s politicians “publically engage in homophobic speech, which fosters an atmosphere of intolerance toward LGBT people within the Jamaican population.” The violence and anti-LGBT discrimination is not only “common and widespread,” stated the report, but is often exacerbated by the Jamaican Constabulary Force, which is often “complicit in these crimes.” In 2010 a 19-page report on El Salvador issued by IGLHRC and partner agencies in the country noted how its “penal norms do not explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.” It also documented a number of antiLGBT crimes in the country, including the deaths of 27 people “of a non-conforming sexual orientation and/or gender identity.” Despite it currently looking to hire a new coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean, IGLHRC is preparing to release two new reports this year: on Guyana in July and Chile in October. The timing of their issuance has to do with both governments coming up for review under the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. “In both instances activists in those countries are doing an analysis of human rights violations experienced by lesbians, bisexual women, and transgender people,” said Stern. Looking at Latin America overall, said Stern, “without a doubt the region is on the vanguard” when it comes to advancing equality for all.

Kirk Hahn

San Francisco resident Xavier Barrera enjoyed the mountains of Peru during a visit.

At the same time, she said, “the decriminalization of sodomy and normal legal recognition for gay rights doesn’t translate into safer lives for LGBT people. We need to see social change as well.”

Gay travelers find warm welcome LGBT travelers to the region, at least, say they have noticed societal shifts toward greater acceptance of LGBT people in various Latin American countries. San Francisco resident Xavier Barrera, 45, grew up in Mexico City and has traveled extensively

throughout the region since his 20s. Including visiting his parents and family who remain in Mexico, the financial consultant and LGBT rights activist has toured parts of Chile, Cuba, Panama, Honduras, Columbia, Peru, and Argentina. “I have always felt safe. I think sometimes ignorance is bliss,” he said. “Not like safe walking in San Francisco holding hands with your partner. At the same time I never felt threatened as I came out of a bar or club.” Barrera and his partner of 12 years, Kirk Hahn, were part of a gay See page 40 >>

Travel >>

June 21-27, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 39

Ed Walsh

Relaxation awaits at the hard-to-find Secret Cove Beach, the unofficial gay clothing-optional beach on Lake Tahoe.


Reno, Tahoe

From page 36

Tahoe. It is aptly called Secret Cove Beach (directions on page 52). Be sure to take a ride on the Tahoe Queen. It is an old-fashioned paddlewheel boat. It is a great tour of the lake and Emerald Bay, the inlet in the lake that got its name from the water’s emerald green hues. The tiny Fanette Island in the middle of the bay has a small rock teahouse at its peak. The Tahoe Queen ride costs $39 and lasts 2.5 hours. You are not allowed to carry your own food on board but the food onboard is good quality and reasonably priced. The Heavenly Scenic Gondola ride is a summertime attraction that whisks riders from South Lake Tahoe, California, just feet from the Nevada state line, to the top of Heavenly Mountain. The Nevada Museum of Art was moved to a beautiful new building south of downtown Reno in 2003. The museum was founded in 1931 and is the oldest cultural institution in Nevada. The museum is known for its expansive collection of modern art. Just outside Reno, the Sierra Safari Zoo was founded by three gay men and exhibits 150 animals from around the world. Across the street from Harrah’s, the landmark Fitzgerald’s Hotel and Casino closed in October. Taking its place is Com Row with Reno’s latest landmark, a climbing wall that was installed on the side of the old hotel. Plans are in the works to eventually reopen the hotel itself.

Eating out For a splurge night, check out Harrah’s Steakhouse. The food and service are first-rate. Each meal’s grand finale comes with the check. You will be served complementary

chocolates in a metal container that seems to emit a cool gray smoke that covers the table. The effect is apparently done with dry ice. The buffet at the Atlantis HotelCasino deservedly has a reputation for being among the best in Nevada. The breakfast brunch is only $11.99 but has an incredible selection of fruits and traditional breakfast foods, along with Mexican food, made-to-order egg dishes, and pancakes. The Brewery, about a mile from the state line on Highway 50 in South Lake Tahoe, is casual dining at its best. It is famous for its pizza. The Red Hut, just a little ways west of the Brewery on Highway 50, is another great spot for casual dining. The old-fashioned ice cream soda fountain is one of the busiest places in town on warm summer days.

Accommodations Hotels in Reno and Tahoe are a bargain by Bay Area standards. Of course, room rates depend on demand. Rates are cheaper on the weekdays than weekends. Expect to pay more for a hotel room in Tahoe than in Reno. In the heart of downtown, Harrah’s is the host hotel for both Rainbow Fest and Reno Pride. The property is perfectly situated just a few minutes’ walk to Wingfield Park, where the Pride festivals are held. By the way, the gay-friendly Harrah’s chain began in Reno and the Harrah’s family still lives in the area. Harrah’s is TAG-approved. (TAG stands for Travel Alternatives Group, a gay-friendly certification given by Community Marketing, a San Francisco-based gay marketing organization.) The sister hotel-casinos, the Silver Legacy, El Dorado, and Circus Circus are clustered next to each other

Ed Walsh

Holly Eimer, the owner of Holly’s Place in South Lake Tahoe, points to photos of women couples who have stayed at her hotel.

in downtown Reno. The El Dorado is showcasing the popular Man in the Mirror show, which is a tribute to the music of the late Michael Jackson. The Silver Legacy is a stunning complex with a geodesic dome that became the city’s icon when it opened in 1994. At 38 stories, its hotel is the tallest building in Reno. Circus Circus is more family-oriented and is the most budget-friendly of the three. All three properties are TAG-approved. The Peppermill and nearby Atlantis casino resorts are each like small cities to themselves. Both are TAG-approved. In addition to being very gayfriendly, the 1,635-room PepperSee page 54 >>

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40 • BAY AREA REPORTER • June 21-27, 2012

Former mayor to get star treatment at Pride Parade by Cynthia Laird


e once walked Market Street with reporters in tow in a race to prove Muni was faster than a pedestrian. And on Sunday, former Mayor Willie Brown will ride up Market Street not in a Muni bus, but a convertible, as this year’s lifetime achievement grand marshal in the San Francisco Pride Parade. Brown, who served as mayor for two terms from 1996 to 2004, was game that day in 1998, when two San Francisco Chronicle reporters joined him after the paper noted that “walking down Market Street was as fast as riding beneath it.” The mayor, wanting to give Muni another chance, lost the race that day, and was happy about it. “Maybe you guys will write about something besides Muni,” Brown told the paper. In a recent interview at the bar of the St. Regis in downtown San Francisco, Brown, 78, talked about local politics and his long history of advocating for the LGBT community. He was pleased that he has been selected for the lifetime achievement honor, but had some reservation. “They should be given after you’ve gone,” Brown said of lifetime achievement honors. “Your life is still ongoing. But it’s quite an honor.” Before becoming mayor Brown served over 30 years in the state Assembly, including 14 as the powerful speaker. But it was while he was an assemblyman, representing San Francisco, that he became aware of, what was at the time, a burgeoning gay rights movement. “It was the election of 1968 to the Assembly,” Brown recalled, “that

entourage of friends who went to South America in 2010 to celebrate Hahn’s 50th birthday. “We never had any issues whatsoever,” recalled Barrera. “It was very clear we were a bunch of gay men travelling around Peru and it was never an issue.” It came as no surprise, said Barrera, considering the largest Pride in the world is in South America in Sao Paulo, Brazil, which expects 4.3 million people to attend the June 3, 2013 celebration. He finds Argentina and Mexico particularly inviting to gay tourists. Puerto Vallarta, where his parents now reside, “is the P-town for the West Coast of America and Canada,” said Barrera. “Buenos Aires; Lima, Peru; and Mexico City are big draws for the gay traveler.” An American citizen for the last decade, Barrera marveled at the fact that his home country now offers more rights to gay couples than does the U.S. “Who ever would have guessed Mexico City would have had civil marriage before California,” he questioned. “As this country progresses, as far as rights, it either creates a spillover effect or opens your eyes to see what your neighbors are doing as you travel.” For nearly a decade gay San Francisco resident Jeff Cotter, the executive director and founder of Rainbow World Fund, has been leading groups of LGBT people to Guatemala on humanitarian trips. He has also visited Mexico and, earlier this year, organized a trip to Cuba, where he intends to return next March. “We travel as an openly gay organization,” said Cotter. “We go and often talk to groups about our lives as gay people in the states.” Last year, while in Guatemala,

Rick Gerharter

Long before Gavin Newsom allowed same-sex couples to marry, Mayor Willie Brown and then-Assemblywoman Carole Migden presided over a domestic partnership ceremony at Herbst Theatre on March 25, 1996.

was the first time I attended the Society for Individual Rights meeting on 6th Street.” SIR was an early gay rights group founded by William Beardemphl, Jim Foster, Bill Plath, and others, including Bay Area Reporter founding publisher Bob Ross. In the 1968 election, the group heard from several candidates for office. Brown recalled that he arrived to the meeting “a tad bit late” and found himself at the end of the line, behind John Burton, and the subject of the Model Penal Code came up. The place went “crazy,” Brown said, because in that law was a section dealing with sex between consenting adults that gay rights activists wanted repealed. Brown said that the chances of achieving that change to make gay sex legal would be better if it was excerpted out of the larger law

and turned into its own bill, which Brown did. “It took five years,” he said, to pass it. “After I introduced the bill in 1969 it took on a life unto itself. We organized over the next several years, including the 1972 Democratic National Convention, where Jim Foster of San Francisco became the first openly gay person ever to address a national convention.” In 1975, Jerry Brown, who was in his first term as governor, signed the bill that repealed the state’s sodomy laws, but only after the Legislature exhausted every type of parliamentary procedure in the state Senate, where the vote was a tie. “The tie was orchestrated by [George] Moscone,” Brown said, referring to the man who would later See page 47 >>

Courtesy Rainbow World Fund

Volunteers with Rainbow World Fund met with Mariela Castro, third from right, on their visit to Cuba in March

Cotter’s group met with members of OTRANS, which is led by transgender women who mostly work as prostitutes. “They are really brave and formed a network of transgender people throughout the country. It is sort of like an underground railroad to get them to the big cities where they can at least survive,” said Cotter. “In Guatemala City they still face a lot of violence and are not protected.” During the Cuban trip Cotter and his fellow travelers met with Mariela Castro, the daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro who runs a sex center in Havana and has emerged as a vocal supporter for LGBT rights, not only in Cuba but also throughout Latin America. [Their meeting led to Castro agreeing to speak about LGBT issues at San Francisco’s LGBT Community Center in late May while in town for a conference.] Like with the Guatemalan visits, the Cuba trip brought the LGBT humanitarians in contact with faith leaders and church parishioners throughout the country.

“We visited all sorts of projects in Cuba. We also met with different church leaders throughout the trip to learn about where they were at with accepting gay people and where their level of consciousness is at,” said Cotter. “We do the same thing in Guatemala. We want to build bridges with the religious communities there because they often have a lot of influence.” This year’s Pride theme of “Global Equality” is also aimed at strengthening awareness of the worldwide LGBT community and fostering closer ties. IGLHRC’s Stern hopes that attendees at San Francisco’s LGBT parade and celebration will focus on what obligations Americans have toward contributing to the pursuit of global justice. “What does that mean we should do and what does that mean we shouldn’t do,” asked Stern. “The second issue that comes to mind for me is how can we as concerned citizens of the world, who care about global equality, best understand that equality looks different depending on where you are and who you are.”▼

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42 • BAY AREA REPORTER • June 21-27, 2012

Serving the LGBT communities since 1971

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44 • BAY AREA REPORTER • June 21-27, 2012

Rick Gerharter

Sister Roma was dressed in her Sunday finest at the Sisters’ annual Easter party in Dolores Park.

Work as a Sister has transformed Roma by David Duran


he may be one of the most recognizable faces of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, but Roma, who is one of the community grand marshals in this year’s LGBT Pride Parade, wasn’t always the outspoken activist that she is today. She moved to San Francisco from Michigan immediately after graduating college in 1985. Despite the fact that her hometown of Grand Rapids is very conservative, she still believes that it was a good place to grow up. “We didn’t lock our doors at night,” Roma said. “I was lucky in that I had probably one of the best moms in the world, a great family, and lots of close friends.” Roma, not surprisingly, was extremely popular in high school and served as class president all four years. She was on honor roll and in the homecoming court. Although she was happy with her life in Michigan, she always knew that she wanted to move away. “I have always preferred skyscrapers and busy city streets to trees and winding paths through the woods,” she said. “Shopping and fine dining to fishing and cookouts, four-star hotels and a night at the theatre to roughing it and whatever people do at night in the sticks.” Roma, 49, whose real name is Michael Williams, always imagined going to Chicago. But she discovered San Francisco while on a trip during college and was fortunate to be in town during Pride. “I was just not prepared for it; I had no idea that there were so many gay people in the world. I was surrounded by the love, the excitement, the sex, the joy, the power of the LGBT community, marching down the middle of Market Street,” Roma said. After that, Roma fell in love with San Francisco and knew that it would eventually be home – 27 years later, no matter how many places in the world she has traveled, she is still happy to come home to the city. Roma came out in college, though she added, “I don’t think I was ever really in.” “I’m not saying that I’m the most obviously gay person in the world, but strangers, babies, and animals can tell just by looking at me. I’ve always been myself and for some reason, largely I think to the positive reinforcement I got from my mom, I’ve always felt that if someone has a problem with me that’s their problem.” Roma’s mother, who initially needed time before coming to terms with her son’s sexuality, was soon asking her all sorts of sexual questions and in time became Roma’s biggest supporter. “She loved me more than anything and I felt the same way,” said Roma. “She died in 2007 but I know

she’s still on my side and she’s very proud of me. She did a great job, if I do say so myself.” Other than one boyfriend, which Roma had for three months back in Michigan, she has never dated. “I am in numerous meaningful and vital relationships: I love myself, I love my cats. I love my community. I love attention. I love life. I love my career. These are all important relationships that take up most of my time. I admit that the intimate relationship is one area in which I am seriously lacking but honestly, I feel that if I wanted a boyfriend or a partner I’d have one. I usually get what I want.”

Becoming a Sister In 1987, Roma was celebrating happy hour at the Midnight Sun with a group of friends, watching clips of Designing Women and drinking vodka tonics. “Suddenly this creature came in – she looked like a cross between a Vegas showgirl, a clown, and a nun,” Roma told the Bay Area Reporter. “She was Sister Luscious Lashes and, for the first time that night, everyone in the bar turned away from the video screens; she commanded their full attention.” Roma was surprised to find out that Luscious was actually her friend Norman Schrader, who had never told her about his alter ego. “He introduced me to the Order and I started to volunteer with them as a guy, and one day, when we were going off to cheer for the Eagle softball team, he suggested that I just try the makeup,” Roma said. Schrader died in the mid-1990s from AIDS-related complications. Roma, who had never done drag before, ended up being a natural and eventually joined the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence a few months later. “I believe that Sisters are born, not made,” she said. Roma earns praise from her fellow Sisters. “Roma is the quintessential SF ‘character,’” said Sister Hera Tique. “She has been working her Sister magic for so long and with such panache that she’s become, in some ways, a living symbol of our infamous SF values.” The Sisters, who have courted controversy – and community support – by angering the Catholic Church, at times create a stir and Roma said that is one of the highlights, along with bringing a smile to people’s faces. And she relishes the attention. “I will always stop for a picture. I will also stop for a hug, a drink, or a quickie,” she laughed.

An outgoing grand marshal When alerted to her selection as community grand marshal, Roma immediately told San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration Committee officials that she wanted to be their ambassaSee page 54 >>

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June 21-27, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 45

<< Grand Marshals

46 • BAY AREA REPORTER • June 21-27, 2012

Life starts anew after HIV diagnosis by David Duran


ommunity grand marshal Gary Virginia has been leading the way in helping his community for decades and this Sunday he will help lead the LGBT Pride Parade. The Pittsburgh native moved to San Francisco in 1987 to accept a job as assistant director of university development at San Francisco State. After a kidney stone attack in 1988, he discovered that he was HIV-positive. By 1995, Virginia was diagnosed with full-blown AIDS. The diagnosis, however, didn’t stop him from volunteering and being active in the community, even after having lost two successive best friends and more than 300 friends to the disease. Virginia’s coming out process was gradual from age 18. After moving out of his family home in his sophomore year of college to live on campus, he experienced his first taste of freedom and exposure that led him to come out to his friends. After graduating, he quickly moved to San Francisco. “Moving here was the best decision I ever made because the Bay Area is fertile ground to be, do, and have whatever you choose in a progressive, liberal environment,” said Virginia. “You can be a big fish in a small pond in a city with an international reputation.” Virginia, who says he has had several serious relationships in his past, is currently enjoying the freedom of being single at 52. “I’ve invested the time and vulnerability to create many intimate friendships in SF and have concentric circles of ‘family’ where we all take care of each other,” he said, “I’m still open to dating but I’m pretty darn happy burning the candle at both ends with current friends and the next great friend I’m about to meet.”

Giving back to HIVers After his life changing diagnosis in 1996, Virginia credits Positive Resource Center (then called AIDS Benefits Counselors) and the AIDS Emergency Fund as having “saved” his life. With time on his hands, he began to volunteer and used his fundraising and communication skills to help these two agencies and others. More volunteer opportunities came about as he ran for and won the Mr. San Francisco Leather title in 1996 representing the old Daddy’s bar. Soon after, he was asked to join the board of directors of PRC and later served as president. He currently sits on the agency’s advisory board. Virginia has also focused his efforts on emergency needs for women’s health. “I’ve lost a few friends to breast

David Duran

Gary Virginia, who has raised money for HIV/AIDS and humanitarian efforts, is one of this year’s community grand marshals.

cancer so I’ve raised awareness and funds for the Breast Cancer Emergency Fund,” he said, referring to AEF’s sister organization. He has also taken a role in humanitarian relief efforts, joining with the Rainbow World Fund and Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. Virginia founded Krewe de Kinque, a Mardi Gras-inspired charitable social club, in 2004. Over the years, he has helped raise tens of thousands of dollars for Hurricane Katrina relief, Peru earthquake relief, Japan earthquake/tsunami relief, and Iraqi LGBT refugees facing torture or murder. “I’ve probably had my hand in helping more than 100 organizations, but some of the most rewarding causes are small fundraisers to help an elderly or ill person pay rent or medical bills, or help with a celebration of life or funeral expenses,” said Virginia. He is also a credited writer, having written for the old SF Frontiers magazine for more than three years. Virginia also ran for District 8 Supervisor in 2000, and has been active in Gays Without Borders/SF to assist foreign LGBT people facing dangerous deportations and hate crimes. Most recently, began co-hosting a radio podcast at Cafe Flore – where he helps with events – with the San Francisco Bay Times. Virginia said he was humbled by his selection as grand marshal by a group of former Pride grand marshals known as the electoral college. “After getting dozens of messages from friends saying, ‘Well deserved, Gary’ I started to cry,” he said.

He went on to say that the burden of losing hundreds of friends over 25 years to AIDS, cancer, and addiction, has taken a toll on him. “Sometimes I feel I stay busy so death won’t catch up with me, so being grand marshal is a chance for me to stop and feel the love, and as a community, we need to take time to celebrate, recharge our batteries, and just be, whether or not the rest of the world appreciates or accepts us.” Virginia hopes to attend as many Pride events as possible this week but will be keeping busy with his already planned activities. “There are many free and benefit events, none more important than making sure the 42nd annual parade and celebration is a community and financial success,” he said. “Pride is a ton of work but empowers tens of thousands of us locally and is a source of inspiration and hope for LGBT people around the world.” This year’s Pride theme of “Global Equality” reflects his personal world view and really emulates his past and current work with having helped people in places like Iraq, Japan, Peru, Mexico, and Uganda. Along with his friend, Bay Area Reporter society columnist Donna Sachet, Virginia will be co-producing the 14th annual Pride Brunch that honors the grand marshals on Saturday, June 23 at the Hotel Whitcomb. The brunch is a benefit for PRC. “This labor of love raised $32,000 for Positive Resource Center last year and the event has come full circle,” said Virginia. “When we founded the benefit it was held at Stars restaurant and then-Mayor Willie L. Brown attended, and this year he is the lifetime achievement grand marshal.” Along with this year’s other community grand marshals, he will also be at the benefit for the Richmond/ Ermet AIDS Foundation at Harry Denton’s Starlight Room on Thursday, June 21. “As a long-term survivor of AIDS, I’m honored to support REAF, which provides critical support for many HIV/AIDS agencies,” he said. Hoping to spread his activism and community involvement to a younger generation, Virginia told the B.A.R. that LGBT youth are not yet jaded and can challenge the status quo. “Their tech skills and creativity are especially needed to keep our march for equality on track,” he said. Virginia’s philosophy is simple. “For me, giving and receiving are reciprocal energies,” he said. “one is not better than the other, but giving of yourself is very rewarding and begins with good intentions acted upon.”▼

Grand Marshals>>

June 21-27, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 47

Prozan is a fighter for her community by Elliot Owen


ebecca Prozan is a fighter, and a lover, too. She fights for what she loves: her community. This year, her community is celebrating her for that. The San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration Committee selected Prozan to be a community grand marshal for this year’s Pride Parade and she couldn’t be more honored to participate as a local LGBT leader. “Millions of people have come to a Pride parade event – gay people from all over the world,” she said. “To know that I’m one of maybe 100 people that’s been a grand marshal is a pretty incredible feeling.” Prozan, an out lesbian, has 17 years of community organizing and advocacy experience and a resume so long you wouldn’t believe she’s only 40 years old. She is currently the director of community outreach at the San Francisco District Attorney’s office where she is facilitating a new community relations model to provide specific communities with renewed self-determination. The new approach involves creating different steering committees for women, LGBT people, Asian and Pacific Islanders, African Americans and Latinos, identifying problem areas within those communities, and devising solutions. “We’re hoping to do some work around immigration with the Latino community,” Prozan said, “making sure that people understand that when they report crime there are no immigration consequences to that. The African American steering committee really focused on mentoring and job training. It’s a very new way to look at things.” District Attorney George Gascón agrees there’s no better person to charge with fostering community partnerships. “Anyone that knows Rebecca can attest to her get-it-done work ethic


Former mayor

From page 40

become San Francisco’s mayor and be assassinated along with gay Supervisor Harvey Milk. “A black state senator from Los Angeles cast the 20th vote,” Brown said. “A black lieutenant governor broke the tie and that enabled us to put the bill on Brown’s desk.” The state senator was Nate Holden, the lieutenant governor was Mervyn Dymally. It would be just three years later that Moscone and Milk were murdered in San Francisco City Hall by disgruntled ex-Supervisor Dan White. Brown said his reaction upon hearing the news was “disbelief.” “For me personally, it took me eight to 10 years to get over those deaths,” Brown said. “I wanted nothing to do with local government.” Brown had spoken with Moscone just 15 minutes before he was killed. The City Hall murders occurred on November 27, 1978, just a few days after the horrific Jonestown massacre in Guyana, where 909 followers of People’s Temple leader Jim Jones died, all but two from cyanide poisoning. Jones had gotten his start in San Francisco.

A changing California California has changed dramatically in the years since Brown was in Sacramento, and Brown believes the current budget troubles have their roots in the voters’ decision to approve term limits in 1990. More than the 1978 passage of Proposition 13, which drastically lowered property taxes and decrease revenue

“I actually wrote that I was gay, that I was homosexual. It might have been the first time I ever wrote out that word.” –Rebecca Prozan and her commitment to public service and the community,” Gascón said in a comment to the Bay Area Reporter. Prozan’s concern for people was fostered by her Jewish parents while growing up in Hillsborough on the Peninsula. Talking politics was commonplace and her father’s favorite question to ask at the dinner table was, “What happened in the world today?” An event that never left Prozan was the Iran hostage crisis that lasted 444 days from November 4, 1979 to January 20, 1981. “One of my closest childhood friends was Persian,” she said, “and I just remember how difficult it was for her at that time, living in a very white, straight, Christian society. It really taught me a lot about how people treat each other, without being judgmental and how that can really have an impact.” While Prozan remembers getting along with everyone in school, she recalls feeling like an outsider herself. She never fit the Hillsborough prototype: a “Heather” or a “Mean Girl,” and while she claimed to have crushes on boys, she knew she was different. “Our rabbi had us write a letter to ourselves when we were 16 and they sent it to us 10 years later,” Prozan said. “I actually wrote that I was gay, that I was homosexual. It might have been the first time I ever wrote out that word.” to local governments and school districts, Brown argued, term limits have altered the Legislature. “The order of the day is cuts,” Brown said But Brown, a Democrat, also lays blame at previous Republican governors, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, who he’s worked with. On Schwarzenegger’s first day in office he revoked the vehicle license fee. “That robbed the state of $35 billion since the day he wiped it out, without reducing the cost of services. You can’t cut taxes without reducing services,” Brown said. San Francisco, he added, is in better shape than other local jurisdictions, perhaps because of a philosophy that most political leaders share. “We don’t start with the idea to cut,” Brown said. “We start out with what to do and figure it out. We don’t suffer from a no-tax pledge.” Prop 13, however, is considered the third rail of state politics and not many politicians are willing to take it on. One exception is gay Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), who held a hearing this spring to look at the assessment of commercial property, a gaping loophole in Prop 13, Ammiano argues, because companies with complex ownership structures often avoid reassessment because no owner acquires more than 50 percent of a property. Brown indicated he was supportive of Ammiano’s proposal. “It’s a noble effort and he should do it,” Brown said. Interestingly, Brown and Ammiano squared off in a unusual election in 1999 when Ammiano shocked the political establishment by making it into the mayoral runoff as a

Entering politics Prozan came out her second year at UC Santa Cruz while completing a degree in politics. Her first step into the mainstream political sphere came in 1995, after moving to San Francisco. She landed a job as a field organizer for Willie Brown’s successful mayoral campaign. That was also the moment, she argues, that she stepped into LGBT politics. “I think being an openly lesbian field organizer automatically qualifies,” she said, laughing. After two years working in the mayor’s office as a special assistant, Prozan took over as LGBT liaison where, for the next two years, she secured funding for LGBT nonprofits and community programs and increased LGBT governmental representation. She also organized the first same-sex domestic partner ceremonies. “There was a time when you just got the paper, you never got the ceremony,” she said. “Organizing the first ceremonies was my project. We had about 10 couples and did a group ceremony to kick-off that we could have this done now. It became the [TV news] clip used for the next five to seven years in the 1990s. It was awesome.” Prozan left the mayor’s office in 2000 to earn a law degree from Golden Gate University. In late 2003, she jumped back into politics when Kamala Harris asked her to manage her bid to become San

Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown

write-in candidate. The race divided the LGBT community and although Brown prevailed, Ammiano continued to serve on the Board of Supervisors before being elected to the Assembly.

Achievements, disappointment Brown had several accomplishments as mayor. He instituted domestic partner ceremonies for same-sex couples well before marriage equality became the major issue it is today. He signed the city’s landmark equal benefit ordinance, which prohibits the City and County of San Francisco from entering into contracts or leases with any entity that discriminates in the provision of benefits between employees with domestic partners and employees with spouses. He appointed numerous LGBTs to boards and commissions and the city spent millions of

Jane Philomen Cleland

Assistant District Attorney Rebecca Prozan

Francisco’s first female and first African American district attorney. “She was polling at 8 percent,” Prozan remembers. “I told her there’s no way she could win. She said that if I could get her in the runoff, she could do it. I had to move some things around, raise some money ...” And less than 60 days later, Harris was San Francisco’s new district attorney. Today, she is the attorney general of California, having won a tough statewide race in 2010. Harris remains grateful and thinks Prozan’s selection as a grand marshal is a well-deserved honor. “Rebecca has stood as a leader of the LGBT community in San Francisco for over two decades,” Harris said in a comment to the B.A.R. “She stands up for what’s right, protects our civil rights, and continues to fight for equality.” In 2004, Prozan joined the D.A.’s office where she eventually spearheaded the Neighborhood Prosecutor and Community Court Program intended to alleviate the city’s impacted judicial system by directing low-level crimes to community courts.

dollars on HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention. But Brown said rather than singling out any particular achievement, he is most proud of a generation of elected officials he had an impact upon. “First opening the door for them or assisting them,” he explained. Brown appointed Gavin Newsom to a seat on the Board of Supervisors. Newsom, of course, went on to be mayor – famously ordering city officials to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in February 2004 – and is now the lieutenant governor. He also appointed Mark Leno to a seat on the Board of Supervisors. Leno went on to be elected to the Assembly and currently serves in the state Senate. Brown also had a hand in the political career of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) and said that the first time Barack Obama stepped foot in California it was at his invitation. “It’s a living museum of elected officials who continue to serve,” Brown said. The former mayor’s one major disappointment is the failure to build a new 49ers stadium. Voters narrowly passed a ballot measure authorizing the stadium when he was mayor in 1997, but “subsequent events in Louisiana disrupted that effort and it never got back on track.” Former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo relinquished control of the 49ers as part of a settlement following his legal troubles in Louisiana.

Keeping busy These days, Brown continues to help raise money for local organiza-

An avid supporter of President Barack Obama, Prozan was elected as a 2008 Obama delegate. She tried her own luck running for office as District 8 Supervisor in 2010 and despite a loss, can’t wait to run for office again. “I loved it,” she said. “I love to meet people and talk politics. To be able to mesh the two together on a daily basis and get people to understand why you’re the best candidate is an extremely rewarding experience.” This year, she earned her second Obama delegate selection and plans to represent him accordingly during the SF Pride Parade this Sunday. “If all goes well, the Obama contingent will be marching right behind me,” she said. “I really want to highlight his election as one of the critical things to get done this year. Now that he’s come out for gay marriage, people don’t have an excuse anymore.” Prozan knows the value of samesex marriage well. She and her wife, Julia Adams, have been married three times. They became domestic partners in 2003, got married during the 2004 “Winter of Love” (which was later overturned) and again in 2008 at their house in the Castro during the period when same-sex marriage was legal in California. “It’s the issue of the generation,” Prozan said. “A domestic partnership is a civil contract and it also feels like one. Marriage is a lifelong commitment, a totally different ball game.” Prozan also serves on the Castro Country Club advisory board and is the recipient of many leadership awards from organizations like the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club and the Roosevelt Institute. Believe it or not, Prozan makes time for herself. On days when she’s not making a difference in the community, she’s wine tasting with her wife in Napa, riding her new touring bike around the city, or walking the couple’s rescue dog, Mika.▼ tions, including youth groups. And he’s joined the ranks of those he used to grumble about as a columnist for the Chronicle. “I’ve generated more unacceptable opinions expressing my opinion,” Brown quipped. “I can’t seem to satisfy anyone.” In preparing for his Sunday column, Willie’s World, Brown said that he usually starts coming up with ideas on Monday, and mulls topics over, making notes. By Thursday, “I figure out how to do 1,000 words,” he said. Lately, he’s been opining on the presidential race. “Obama, he wins,” Brown said. “It’s his to lose, let me put it that way.” But the president has hit a rough patch in the campaign, having to explain himself. “That’s a terrible place in which to be,” Brown said. Offering advice to the president, Brown said that he should “show up where [Mitt] Romney is so that the former governor is forced to be spontaneous. He is incapable, in my opinion, of clear thoughts.” Finally, Brown, one of San Francisco’s best-dressed men, was asked what he will wear on Sunday. He laughed. “This time will be a great challenge,” Brown said, adding that he has participated in the parade before and always planned an outfit. He said he will probably be stopping by Wilkes Bashford’s store and was thinking baby blue. In his recent column, he alluded to his clothing choices, wondering what he should wear “particularly when I’ll be following more than 300 Dykes on Bikes.”▼

<< Grand Marshals

48 • BAY AREA REPORTER • June 21-27, 2012

Community organizer’s childhood led to her activism by Elliot Owen


lga Talamante was 11 years old when her parents plucked her from Mexico to drive their family across the U.S. border, settling in Gilroy, California. Five decades later, Talamante will be riding in a red low-rider convertible during Sunday’s LGBT Pride Parade as one of six community grand marshals selected by the San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration Committee for their outstanding contributions to the LGBT community. “It’s an amazing honor,” Talamante said. “I’ve had a lot of public life, but to be acknowledged is very humbling. I feel fortunate to be one among many deserving people.” Immigrating to the U.S. was tough on Talamante as a young girl. Now 62, she remembers being held back in school because she didn’t know English. After-school jobs were always waiting once class ended. Long hours were spent harvesting crops in the fields alongside her parents and other farm workers without water or bathrooms during summer. Sometimes she would even babysit for the growers’ families and witness firsthand the amenities that were missing from the labor camp where she lived. “What struck me at a young age was the power relationship between the workers and the growers,” Talamante said, “the control they had over our pay and even where we lived. It wasn’t so much like I envied what they had, but we worked really hard so we deserved to have good living conditions, too.” That was the point at which the seed for Talamante’s community organizing was planted. Literally and metaphorically, she joked. After learning English, she skipped a grade and moved through school easily, taking the college prep classes

Elliot Owen

Olga Talamante, shown at her Pacifica home with her dog Ruby, says that the key to self-acceptance is to be true to yourself and to your heart.

with the “privileged” kids and getting involved in student body activities all the while returning to the labor camp in the evenings. As if it wasn’t difficult enough maneuvering between the worlds of race and class, add Talamante’s being lesbian to the mix. “In high school, I had the boyfriends but the crushes and yearnings for the girls,” she said. “There was definitely a feeling of aloneness. My junior year, I wrote a poem called ‘My Two Worlds.’ I wondered where I belonged, who I was.” Talamante was accepted into UC Santa Cruz where she earned a degree in Latin American studies. There, she was active in the Chicano Movement, the Farm Workers Movement, the anti-Vietnam War peace movement, and in protests to increase representation of people of color in the school’s faculty. She became a U.S. citizen during college as well.

Political prisoner In 1971 while doing field research in Chiapas, Mexico, she met a group of Argentines in Mexico City that would change her life forever. Talamante kept in touch with them and two years later flew to visit. “Eighteen years of military dictatorship had ended in Argentina and there was a democratic opening,” Talamante said. “My friends said it was a great time to come, to see the democratic elections and great mobilization of people. My friends were very involved in the progressive Peronist movement and so I became involved myself.” Talamante immersed herself in grassroots organizing in the barrios of Azul for the next year. As the movement strengthened, the government cracked down and declared a state of siege, suspending all civil liberties. Police stormed a building Talamante was staying in and captured her and several friends at gunpoint, holding them incommunicado for five days. She was beaten, tortured, and interrogated. After 16 months of imprisonment for subversion, the Argentine government released her. “The State Department claimed they didn’t know I was there but to this day I don’t believe that,” she said. “I think it was that I was a radical from California, a poor woman from Gilroy.” After returning to the U.S., Talamante joined the Argentine Commission for Human Rights, where she had a hand in pressuring the U.S. to cut off military aid to Argentina. In 1978, Talamante moved to San Francisco where she joined the Democratic Workers Party, began working at Head Start, and organizing in the Mission district.

Coming out Two years later, she moved in with her girlfriend and qualifies that period as her coming out. While her very Catholic family eventually accepted

the woman Talamante was with for the next 18 years, she admits that there were challenging times. “There was a time when I came out to my brothers and one of them had a reaction,” she remembered. “He was having a hard time with it but it evolved into them all feeling totally comfortable. It just took some time.” In 1986, Talamante became vice president of the Western branch of Inroads, an organization that helps students of color gain college scholarships and corporate internships. Around the same time, the AIDS epidemic had tightened its grip on San Francisco. Talamante remembers organizing within the LGBT community to create support groups for friends infected with the virus. “We needed to take care of our guys,” she said, “bring them meals. I lost some dear friends.” Talamante continued with Inroads during the 1990s and took her first step into official LGBT advocacy in 2002 when she joined the advisory board of Gente Latina de Ambiente (GELAAM), a community-based organization that primarily serves the queer immigrant Latino community in San Mateo. Knowing well the complexities of identity, Talamante welcomed the opportunity to learn about another layer of the queer community. “GELAAM gave me a very privileged perspective of trans Latinas,” she said, “their incredible challenges and realities. I was very humbled in becoming more educated and conscious. Our movement has its own process of breaking down barriers and in the last few years it’s been much more conscious of the trans community.” In 2003, Talamante became the executive director of the Chicana/Latina Foundation (where she remains today), a nonprofit that empowers Chicanas/Latinas through personal, educational, and professional advancement. A year later, she joined the board of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, where she eventually co-chaired. “I felt like I had come home, like my two worlds had come together,” she said. “When I was at NCLR, I brought my Chicana consciousness and when I’m with Chicana/Latina, I bring my queer consciousness so that we all learn from each other. They’re two worlds but now there’s much more a seamless interconnectedness for me.” She currently sits on the boards of the Horizons Foundation, an LGBT resources and funding group, and the Greenlining Institute, a multi-ethnic public policy research and advocacy organization. “Olga brings a deep international perspective to the foundation’s work and just as great, she’s a true sparkler, lighting up the room and lighting a fire under any project she takes on,” said Jewelle Gomez, director of grants and community initiatives for the Horizons Foundation. Talamante’s girlfriend of five years, Vola Ruben, and fellow community activist Eleanor Palacios, will be riding with her in the convertible during Sunday’s parade. Her contingent will be emphasizing the “undocuqueer” (undocumented and queer) community. “We’ll have a message for President Obama on a banner reading something like ‘Thank you for evolving on same-sex marriage, please evolve on immigration,’” she said. There’s no doubt Talamante loves who she is but it hasn’t always been easy. Her advice for gaining self-acceptance is simple. “Be yourself, be true to your heart. Know your story and own your story. Find your voice and speak your truth. You have to start with yourself.” By the way, she can make the best chile rellenos you’ve ever had in your life.▼

Grand Marshals>>

June 21-27, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 49

Rainbow flag creator Gilbert Baker to receive inaugural Founders Award by David-Elijah Nahmod

ture. That made me wake up. When you do a piece of art it can be used against you.” Baker recalled Milk, who was a friend, as “a hard person to know. He was gregarious, funny, a communicator. But a lonely guy underneath. He knew his destiny, which puts a person in a dark place. He knew that what he was doing was going to have consequences.” Milk was assassinated with thenMayor George Moscone in November 1978, just five months after the parade. Baker gave high marks to Gus Van Sant’s 2008 film Milk, in which he had a cameo. “The film has had an incredible life. It brought a part of our history to a global audience.


ilbert Baker is going to be quite a busy guy when he returns to San Francisco for Pride 2012. The artist and former Sister of Perpetual Indulgence will be the first recipient of a new award given by the San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration Committee: The Gilbert Baker Pride Founders Award. The award will be presented to Baker on the main stage Sunday, June 24. “It’s a really cool honor,” Baker said in a telephone interview from his home in New York City. “I’m humbled, thank you. I’ll be acknowledging some of my friends that day who share in the honor.” It’s an incredible comeback for Baker, 61, who revealed that he suffered a stroke about a year ago. “It really fucked me up. For three months I couldn’t see or walk,” he said. “I’m a strong guy and I recovered, but it changed me. It made me think about dying, it gave me pause to think that every life is finite. It made me appreciate the ones who came before me who did so much great work.” Sometimes referred to as the gay Betsy Ross, Baker is best known as the designer of the rainbow flag, which made its debut on June 25, 1978 at what was then called the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade. Harvey Milk, who had been sworn in six months earlier as the city’s first openly gay supervisor, rode under the flags. “I thought it was an incredible image,” he recalled. “I thought it would be an iconic image. You can’t really design a flag; a flag is from the soul of a people. We own it, that’s what gives it its power. It means so much to people all over the world

Charley Beal

Rainbow flags are reflected in Gilbert Baker’s sunglasses in this photo from 2010.

– it’s in the National Gallery of Ireland.” His explanation for why he chose a rainbow design is simple, yet eloquent. “It fits us,” he explained. “We’re all the colors, all the sexes, all the genders. Infinite people. Infinite colors.” The initial flag had eight colors: hot pink represented sexuality; red: life; orange: healing; yellow: sunlight; green: nature; turquoise: magic/art; Blue: serenity/harmony; and violet: spirit. The common rainbow flag seen today has six colors – the hot pink and turquoise were left off. Baker revealed that he had mixed feelings about his time with the Sis-

A working class heroine by Heather Cassell


ruly showing the diversity of the LGBT community, Morningstar Vancil, a committed LGBT community activist who has served in a variety of political and cultural roles, will have her day in the spotlight as a grand marshal in Sunday’s LGBT Pride Parade. “I didn’t think that I had a chance,” said Vancil, 52, who said she was stunned when she heard from officials at the San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration Committee. A self-described working-class butch who is an immigrant of Filipino, Two-Spirit, and black negritos descent, Vancil has overcome substance abuse for the past 22 years and is currently fighting stage-3 cancer. It never entered her mind that she would be honored in this way. “It’s a big deal that I’m being recognized for the services that I did for the community,” said Vancil. “I’m hoping a lot of people will come and join me in the parade,” she said, adding that many friends and colleagues, in particular LGBT Filipinos and Native Americans, will join her in her contingent as it marches down Market Street on June 24.

Quiet, steady service For years, Vancil has quietly served the LGBT community, volunteering for a number of causes and sitting on numerous boards of community organizations. “Every time I had a project to do I would call her and she would show

Jane Philomen Cleland

Longtime community activist Morningstar Vancil is one of this year’s grand marshals.

up and work her tail off. She’s a hard worker and always has been,” said Marion Abdullah, her friend and partner in activism for more than 20 years. “She’s always involved in community ... she’s always involved in something ever since I’ve known her,” continued Abdullah, advocating that grassroots organizers need to be honored and recognized. “She deserves it. She has done all of this without a penny.” Abdullah herself was a community grand marshal in 2006. Vancil is perhaps best known as a longtime member of the LGBT Advisory Committee of the San FranSee page 54 >>

ters of Perpetual Indulgence, where he was known as Sister Chanel 2001. “At first it was glamorous and political,” he said. “But when the Sisters became more organized, I became a tool of the right wing and raised money for Jerry Falwell so I stopped.” Years earlier, Baker had marched in SF Pride as Pink Jesus. Dressed in a loincloth, with his body painted pink, he also sported a pink cross. “You are responsible for what you do and say,” he said. “The Moral Majority took a picture of Pink Jesus and used it as a tool that I had no control over – they raised millions to stop the gay agenda with that pic-

It took 19 years to make that film – I made them take down the rainbow flags around the Castro because they weren’t up yet in the 1970s.” Still very political, Baker urges all LGBT people to support the re-election campaign of President Barack Obama. He has strong words for those who don’t. “You’re stupid, greedy, and evil,” he said. “You’re not really gay, you’re a Republican.” Baker said that the president “stuck his neck out,” with his announcement last month that he supports same-sex marriage. “We have to have more than courage. It takes a fight. They will always want to destroy us,” Baker said of those opposed to equal rights.▼

50 • BAY AREA REPORTER • June 21-27, 2012

Serving the LGBT communities since 1971

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<< Pride 2012

52 • BAY AREA REPORTER • June 21-27, 2012

Defender of equal rights gets its day in Pride Parade by Chris Carson


hile Dashiell Hammett was writing The Maltese Falcon, a mystery set on the hard-boiled streets of San Francisco’s criminal underground, Lillian Hellman, the woman Hammett would spend the last 30 years of his life with, was having a creative crisis. Hellman was unhappy with the writing she’d been doing, and by 1930 was wondering if she would produce anything of substance. Then in 1934 she did. With a play called The Children’s Hour. The play was a success. It was also banned in some U.S. cities because of its strong suggestions of a lesbian relationship between the two main characters; two women who start an all-girls boarding school. The LGBT Project, an arm of the American Civil Liberties Union, says on its website that defending The Children’s Hour from censorship, even banishment in 1936, was the ACLU’s first foray in to defending LGBT culture. In the last 76 years, the battles have changed and the stakes have been raised, from defending LGBT culture to defending LGBT people, and people living with HIV and AIDS, from having their human rights denied. “It’s been a core priority of the ACLU for decades,” said Elizabeth Jill, staff attorney for the ACLU’s LGBT and AIDS Project. “We have a really long history of defending LGBT rights and the rights of people living with HIV and AIDS. It is a central part of our work for equal rights around the country.” That work will be recognized at Pride this month, as the ACLU of Northern California was voted by the public to be the parade’s organizational grand marshal. Brendan Behan, executive director of the San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration Committee, said this year saw a record number of voters take part in grand marshal balloting, and he anticipates a record number attendees, even a new record for the number of BART riders, from moving all the paradegoers into the city. “There is a lot of energy in the community, given the president’s recent announcement and the news that Proposition 8 is going to the Supreme Court,” Behan said, referring to last month’s announcement by President Barack Obama that he supports same-sex marriage and the decision earlier this month that the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision finding Prop 8 unconstitutional would not be heard by the full circuit. “It feels like there is a lot of mo-

Jane Philomen Cleland

The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California is this year’s organizational grand marshal; the group has marched in the Pride Parade for years, including the 2010 event.

mentum in the LGBT movement,” Behan added. Matt Coles, LGBT Project director, agreed, crediting that momentum with making the movement to protect the rights of LGBT and people living with HIV and AIDS “the most successful civil rights movement in history.” Coles said, if you consider that in 1967 being gay was understood in society as a “moral defect significant enough to get you fired,” and only 25 years later the ACLU was able to lead a successful campaign making discrimination based on sexual orientation illegal, “the speed we have moved to a more accepting country has been breathtaking.” Coles went to his first Pride Parade in New York City in 1976. He won his first legal battle for LGBT rights in 1978, in San Francisco, when the city passed its first gay rights law. His work with ACLU however, didn’t begin until 1989, after California repealed a law that Coles wrote protecting domestic partnerships. In 1991 he was able to help reinstate that law, and then protect it from a future repeal through referendum. From then on Coles has been involved in every major case involving the ACLU defending the rights of LGBTs and people living with HIV and AIDS as either a lawyer or a supervisor. A few of these cases include Gates v. Deukmeijian in 1990, that stated HIVpositive prisoners have equal rights to treatment and access to prison programs. Then in 1996, the year the Defense of Marriage Act was signed, the FBI was ruled to have illegally fired a doctor in San Francisco after learning of his illness. Coles described the case as a violation of a person living with HIV’s right to privacy. The following year, in GLBA v. Alabama, a federal court struck down a state law that banned gay students from forming groups.

An organizer for ACLU Northern California, Daniel Galindo, said that forming groups at school, like gay-straight alliances, is one of many rights that LGBT students have. Others include freedom to express themselves and wear clothing that promotes a positive LGBT message. That last right may seem obvious, but Jill said part of the ACLU’s work in schools includes a project called Don’t Filter Me, which fought to end the filtering of LGBT friendly sites on schools’ Internet, which did not filter sites with anti-LGBT messages. Galindo said, “knowing your rights is the first step in being able to enjoy those rights,” and enjoying those rights, he added, is essential to “making school a safe place for learning, for everyone.” The ACLU will be joined in the Pride Parade by Dreamers, or young people who will be affected by the passage of the Dream Act, Galindo said. He said the ACLU has been making efforts to show the overlapping of the LGBT movement, and the push for the Dream Act, as many youth covered by the Dream Act are LGBT. The Dream Act would provide residency to some undocumented people who arrived in the U.S. as children. They have to complete high school and enter college or the military. Last week, Obama issued an executive order that would allow undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children to remain in the country without fear of deportation and be able to work. If Coles’s experience working in the LGBT and HIV and AIDS movements is any indication, getting youth involved early could have positive effects on their lives. Coles said that fighting for LGBT rights has been “my whole life.” “I can’t think of anything more rewarding,” Coles said, “than to know people in the LGBT movement who have put themselves on the line to make life better for others.”▼

DJ to take a spin in parade by Cynthia Laird


his year’s LGBT Pride Parade should have a little more bounce than usual when the contingent including Edaj makes its way on Market Street. Edaj is one of this year’s community grand marshals. The versatile artist made her debut in San Francisco in 1996 where she became an influential entertainment specialist. Also well-known as a DJ, Edaj, 39, whose real name is Jade Williams, served as executive producer of the women’s stage at San Francisco Pride from 2002-2010. In a 2010 interview with the Bay Area Reporter Edaj said the aim of NectArena, the women’s stage, was to take women “out of the box of the lesbian community” to truly represent all queer women.

Jane Philomen Cleland

Edaj is one of this year’s community grand marshals.

According to information from the San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration Committee, Edaj’s career as a choreographer, producer, em-

cee, and DJ began in 1991 when she was serving in the U.S. Air Force in Okinawa, Japan. Her most memorable performances were as co-choreographer/ dancer for Club Q from 1996-2000. Her most celebrated performance is at Mango, “where she has amazed and delighted patrons since 1997,” the Pride Committee statement said. The statement added that Edaj’s work “supporting and empowering women through artistic expression stretches across the nation and internationally through her company Mizdj Creations.” Edaj declined an interview request with the Bay Area Reporter this year, but two years ago said, “This is Pride. This is the one weekend where thousands of women come together ... to actually party.”▼

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<< Pride 2012

54 • BAY AREA REPORTER • June 21-27, 2012



From page 49

cisco Human Rights Commission, one of the founding members of the Bay Area American Indian Two-Spirits, where she also served as an officer. She co-founded ForS/mWoC, and served as outreach chair of the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club. Vancil also served on the Pride Committee board. Perhaps one of the least known acts of generosity that Vancil does is to buy tickets for disabled lesbian seniors so they can view the Pride Parade from the grandstands. “Every year she gets these tickets to give to the seniors who are disabled for the disabled section. She gets that



From page 44

dor and was ready to do everything and anything Pride-related. She has been doing television and radio spots to help promote the weekend and its numerous events. And she helped organize the recent “Be Scene” Pride Committee benefit. She will be appearing at the Pride media party at the Clift Hotel and the Swallow Your Pride at Harry Denton’s Starlight Room tonight (Thursday, June 21) and fellow grand marshal Gary Virginia and B.A.R. society col-

with her own money ... and she gives them to disabled lesbians so they can see the parade,” said Abdullah. Cancer hasn’t stopped Vancil. It has only become a part of the repertoire of her LGBT activism that spans fighting for the rights of LGBT people of color and immigrants; human rights and peace are among the intersecting communities that she claims as her own. Vancil is an active member of Fabled/Asp, an LGBT disabilities storytelling project that stands for Fabulous Activist Bay Area Lesbians with Disabilities/A Storytelling Project. She formerly served on the board of the American Cancer Society as its LGBT member. As a U.S. veteran she currently

serves as the women’s commander of the Alexander Hamilton Post 448 of the American Legion, and was a longtime volunteer, she said. Post 448 is the country’s predominantly LGBT American Legion Post for honorably discharged veterans of the armed forces, according to the organization’s website. The post is based in San Francisco. In addition to her activism, Vancil is an artist. In 2010, she made a film, Wild Strawberries, which told the story of a Cherokee elder and showing love through the symbolism of wild strawberries. The film screened at the Queer Women of Color Film Festival. The film, which was also captioned for the hearing impaired, as Vancil is, was an independent project separate

from the QWOCMAP workshops. It then went on to show at the Native American Indian Film Festival the following year. Her creative endeavors also include queer performance groups, such as Kreatibo, Butch Magic, Fat Bottom Revue, and Neshkinukat, according to her San Francisco Pride biography. Born on a U.S. military base in the Philippines, Vancil immigrated to the U.S. in 1984 in order to gain political asylum, she said. Raised by her grandmother she was taught to be her best and to do everything “out of kindness,” she said. “Helping each other out makes the world go around,” Vancil re-

called her grandmother saying. She also taught Vancil not to devalue herself because she was different from the other children, she said. When her grandmother passed away, Vancil found herself disowned by her family, she said. She struck out into the world, first living in Colorado where she trained to become a police officer. Her law enforcement career was dashed when she was caught in a gay bar and publicly outed. She soon found herself out of her chosen career, she said. Vancil then moved to San Francisco in the late 1980s, “to be who I am and make a living,” she said. San Francisco is where she finally found home and her chosen family.▼

umnist Donna Sachet’s 14th annual Pride Brunch on Saturday June 23 at the Hotel Whitcomb. She was also the main attraction at the Sister Roma Roast on June 20. Roma has raised much money for a variety of causes but none more than HIV/AIDS education, prevention, and practical care. It has been suggested that she has helped raise over $1 million for HIV/AIDS in the last 25 years. She has volunteered as emcee on the main stages of Halloween in the Castro, SF Pride, Folsom Street Fair, and the Castro Street Fair for decades. All of those events raise funds

for local nonprofits, many of which serve PWAs. She has hosted countless other events including the AIDS dance-a-thons, AIDS/LifeCycle fundraisers, and has also worked for programs raising awareness and money for breast cancer, LGBT youth, gay artists, anti-homelessness, marriage equality, and anti-bullying, to name a few. “I don’t want to look back at my life and feel like it was all in vain, I want to make a difference, and I will never stop,” she said. Her day job is art director of Hot House Entertainment, billed as the

world’s premiere gay adult studio. “Yes, I’m a pornographer,” she quipped. When asked about her major accomplishments, she said, “My major accomplishments range from being elected community grand marshal to cleaning my bathroom – it’s all a matter of perspective,” she said. Roma is also extremely proud of kicking her 15-year-long addiction to meth. She just recently celebrated six years clean. For now, Roma is looking forward to Pride weekend. “I’m honored, excited, and hum-

bled by this whole experience,” she said. “If someone had told me, back in 1984 when I stood screaming my head off at my first SF Pride Parade, that one day I would be the grand marshal, I never would have believed it.” When asked what advice she would give to the LGBT youth, Roma said, “You will be expected to donate your time and money to the community but beware: this only leads to joy and happiness. The more you give the more you get in return. Expect much love in your lifetime. It’s what we do. We love.”▼

TV’s The Bachelor and an HGTV show. Kevin Chandler and Jerry Birdwell built the property from the ground up 13 years ago. The main room has a vaulted cathedral ceiling and it is beautifully furnished. Birdwell is a retired Texas judge and was South Lake Tahoe’s mayor in 20082009. Black Bear amenities include a made-to-order breakfast and a hot tub. A small restaurant in the hotel’s main room is open for dinner. The lesbian-owned Holly’s Place in South Lake Tahoe used to be a women-only property but it is now gay and straight mixed. The eightunit hotel is centrally located close to Highway 50 and is short walking distance to restaurants and shops. Holly’s Place is the perfect place for pets. The fenced-in property includes a small pool for dogs. Cats are also allowed. Owner Holly Eimer maintains an amazing col-

lection of photos of women couples who have stayed at her resort. Room stays include a continental breakfast. They have space for RV hookups and if you have pals who are staying there, you are welcome to pitch a tent outside and use your friends’ bathroom. On the north side of Lake Tahoe, the famous Cal-Neva Hotel was once the place where the Hollywood and political elite gathered. Marilyn Monroe stayed there. Recent news reports have renewed speculation that Monroe many have died or fallen unconscious there before being taken to her home in Los Angeles where she was eventually found dead. The property straddles the California-Nevada line. The hotel’s pool has a line down the middle marking the border. The Cal-Neva gives group tours of the mysterious tunnels beneath the property.▼


Reno, Tahoe

From page 39

mill is very green-friendly. The hotel has literally tapped into the earth on its property for geothermal power for its air conditioning and heating. Gently used toiletries are sanitized, recycled, and donated to Third World countries. A $400 million expansion to the property in 2007 included the stunning Tuscany Tower section decorated in a Tucson theme. Making it feel even more exclusive, the Tuscany Tower does not have gambling. The Atlantis has shifted away from its nautical theme and has changed to a more modern look. It underwent a $100 million expansion in 2008. The hotel’s 900-plus rooms are in different categories to fit those who want to splurge and those on a budget. If you want pampering, check into the property’s 30,000-square foot spa. For two years in a row, named it the best spa in a hotelcasino. The hotel’s expansive buffet is the biggest buffet in northern Nevada. In South Lake Tahoe, the Aston Tahoe Lakeland Resort is perfectly situated on Lake Tahoe with its own private beach. It has been the host hotel for the annual Tahoe gay ski weekend. The resort is on Highway 50, about a mile from the Nevada state line casinos. The upscale 10-room, threebuilding, gay-owned Black Bear Inn in South Lake Tahoe was famously featured in two episodes of ABC-


Homeless youth

From page 34

Dufty said services such as those provided Larkin Street Youth Services, a local nonprofit that offers housing assistance and other programs, are needed for transitionalage youth. “These are just essential building blocks to ensure that young people are not being exploited and that we’re helping them to be self-sufficient,” he said. He added, “Someone may say, ‘Oh, I’m okay,’ because they’ve deadened themselves with substance use, but at the end of the road you’re going to have to address the trauma people feel in that situation,” Dufty said. “... A young adult may not see

Humble beginnings

Directions to gay beach


ecret Cove Beach is not easy to find. To get there, head north on Highway 50 from South Lake Tahoe to the Highway 28 turnoff. Keep your eye on the odometer. The beach is 4.8 miles. You will see a small parking lot on the left. It fills up quickly. You can park on the shoulder of the freeway across from the parking lot but stay within the white line or you will be ticketed. Be careful and watch the signs because a no-parking zone starts a ways from the parking lot. Once you get to the parking lot, follow the dirt fire road to the beach. But don’t follow the footpath with signs pointing to the beach. Near the end of the fire road, you will see a restroom and a sign directing you to the trail to Secret Cove. The gays tend to congregate on the south side of the cove and often sunbathe on the boulders. It is an easy 10-minute hike from the parking lot. By the way, the ride north along Highway 50 will take you through the landmark Cave Rock Tunnel. That alone is worth the trip. The two-lane north and southbound tunnels are carved through the rock that lines that part of the lake.

it in themselves until further down the road.” Late on a recent Friday night, Tyler Deitrick, 21, was sitting outside Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, at 18th and Diamond streets in the Castro. He wore a limp Mohawk and a Space Invaderspatterned jacket. About six other people were camped out nearby. Deitrick said that when he was 15, he got kicked out of the house for being gay. He’d been staying in the Castro for eight months. He said people have approached him and offered a place to stay and take a shower, but he said he rejects the offers because he can sense what’s coming, even if they don’t mention sex. “I don’t do that shit because

most people, they expect things in return,” Deitrick said. For him, it’s a moral issue, and a matter of selfrespect, he said. Deitrick said, “I fly a sign, usually” that says, “Anything green helps,” referring to marijuana and money. He said he gets offers of methamphetamine and other drugs and accepts them as long as nothing is expected in return. Deitrick, who said he’d been seeking work, goes to Most Holy Redeemer on Wednesday nights for dinner, but he wasn’t looking for more services. He was once incarcerated for a marijuana-related offense, and he said, “I won’t go to a shelter because it reminds me of jail, and I don’t like being told what to do.”▼

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56 • BAY AREA REPORTER • June 21-27, 2012

Serving the LGBT communities since 1971



Goode as it gets

Grin and bear it


Out &About





Vol. 42 • No. 25 • June 21-27, 2012

Gays of our

lives Highlights from the last weekend of Frameline 36 by David Lamble

Scene from director Matthew Mishory’s Joshua Tree, 1951: A Portrait of James Dean.


he 36th San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival’s final four days at the Castro, Roxie, and Victoria Theatres are strewn with minor gems, with a special emphasis on misunderstood queer icons. Joshua Tree, 1951: A Portrait of James Dean Director Matthew Mishory takes some chances, the bulk of which pay off, in a mythic B&W take on the “lost” year when 20-yearold James Byron Dean bummed around Hol-


lywood, circa 1951, exchanging blowjobs for professional grooming, flirting with young women on the make, but really getting down and dirty with guys: his introvert roommate, a casual beach pickup, and a cynical radio producer with a big pool and a curious infatuation with The Little Prince. This rough-and-tumble life is the basis for a bitterly funny desert chat between Dean (on the eve of his explosive debut on Broadway and TV’s Golden Age of live

dramas) and a frustrated would-be starlet, Violet (Dalilah Rain), now reduced to grooming hot boys for Tinseltown’s brutal powerbrokers. “Shouldn’t let guys hit you.” “It hasn’t stopped you, has it? Don’t you think you’re pushing the tough-guy angle a bit hard?” “Guy’s got to be able to take a punch in this town. Beatings, boots, bondage, I’ve done it all – all the experiences that life has to offer.”

“Movie stars don’t hang around with the dregs of the earth.” “I’d take the dregs over the powers-that-be any day. I’ve had to get my cock sucked by every big name in Hollywood.” “That’s how the game is played.” There are missteps – linking Dean’s rebel myth to that of French boy poet Rimbaud fails partly because only the French can pull off See page 77 >>

Notorious true stories of racism Director/choreographer Susan Stroman brings ‘The Scottsboro Boys’ to SF by Richard Dodds

W Henry DiRocco

Nine actors play all the roles in The Scottsboro Boys, a musical that uses the minstrel-show format to explore a landmark chapter in civil rights history, in ACT’s final show of its season.

ith hit musicals like The Producers, Contact, and Crazy for You on her resume and providing her mantle with multiple Tony Awards, director-choreographer Susan Stroman is not naive to the commercial realities of Broadway. She knew the odds were stacked against The Scottsboro Boys when it opened on Broadway in 2010, and her instincts were right. “This is not a show for beginners,” she said recently from New York. “When tourists come into town and they have the choice between seeing Mamma Mia! or The Scottsboro Boys, well, we’re not going to win that battle.” And they didn’t. The musical closed after just 49 performances, but its creators knew that regional theaters, free of Broadway hoopla and hype, would


be more receptive to a musical that deals with serious issues in an unexpected manner. Stroman agreed to direct a mostly new cast in a production that would play San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre before arriving June 21 at ACT as the closing show in its current season. “When we created The Scottsboro Boys, we always intended it to be an off-Broadway show and hoped it would find a life in the regional theater,” Stroman said. And indeed it did start as an off-Broadway show, at the Vineyard Theatre, where business was brisk and the run extended. “Some producers saw it, and I think they knew in their hearts that it wasn’t commercial, but they loved See page 76 >>

<< Out There

58 • BAY AREA REPORTER • June 21-27, 2012

Rick Gerharter

Director Jeffrey Schwarz (center) is surrounded by Vito Russo’s family – brother Charlie Russo and his wife Linda (left) and Vito’s nephew Charlie, Jr., and his wife Lela (right) – at the Frameline 36 opening night presentation of his film Vito, a documentary of the life of film historian and activist Vito Russo.

V is for Vito (& Victory) by Roberto Friedman


elcome to all the LGBT citizens of the world who have made the pilgrimage here to our little Cowtown by the Bay to be with us for the big gay celebration coming our way this big gay weekend. We hope you have time in your visit to take in a gay show, see a gay film (there are over 200 screening in the LGBT film festival) or make some young gay thing feel appreciated. That’s what we call stimulating the gay economy. Director Jeffrey Schwarz made some heartfelt remarks from the Castro Theatre stage introducing his film Vito, about the late legendary gay activist, film scholar and charismatic leader Vito Russo, last Thursday night opening Frameline 36. During his remarks he gestured up to a seat that had been left empty in the otherwise full house, a center seat in the first row of the balcony that Russo had called his favorite seat in the house. Coincidentally, it was not far from where Out There was sitting, with friends and pho-

tographers Jim James, Rick Gerharter, Dan Nicoletta, and plucky Pepi. “See, don’t we have pull?” we asked a seatmate. “Balcony, Row B!” But actually it’s where we like to sit, too. The film was powerful, moving, full of familiar faces from the film world and San Francisco, where Russo lived for a spell while caring for his dying partner Jeffrey Sevcik. It will serve to place Russo firmly in the pantheon of Founding Fathers & Mothers of Gay Liberation that seems to be on the verge of codifying these days (Milk, Hay, etc.) And when it gets a run on HBO beginning in July, a whole lot of people who may never have heard of Vito Russo will learn why his too-brief time on earth was so brilliantly spent. Russo was present at Stonewall and at the creation of the Gay Activists Alliance (GAA), Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and the AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power (ACT UP). All that seminal activism, and he also produced a nonfiction masterpiece in The Celluloid Closet, at a time when there was no such thing as a classic textbook for a course on Gay Film. All these years later, it remains the go-to book in the field. In the house on that memorable evening were the film’s co-producers Lotti Pharriss Knowles and Philip Harrison, cinematographer David Quantic, and many of the “talking heads” seen onscreen, including Russo’s brother Charlie Russo, author Armistead Maupin, activists Hal Offen, Tommi Avicolli Mecca and Nancy Stoller, film world luminaries Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman, Michael Lumpkin and Jenni Olson, and Russo or Sevcik intimates Jim Fouratt and F. Allen Sawyer. At the glamorous afterparty in the downtown Temple nightclub, we congratulated We Were Here filmmaker David Weissman, whose immensely moving AIDS-in-the1980s documentary had just premiered on the Emmy Award-winning PBS series Independent Lens, hosted by Mary Louise Parker, that very night. Weissman had been interviewed by Spencer Michels for PBS’ NewsHour earlier that evening, quite the best network news program for in-depth interviews. It’s

great news that millions of people will now find We Were Here on the air, the most powerful film proving our community’s humanity we’ve probably ever seen. The chill-out rooms downstairs at Temple, which is not a gay club but served rather nicely as the venue for quite a gay event, proved perfect for catching up with old friends and making new ones. OT got to meet San Francisco filmmaker Travis Mathews, whose sex feature I Want Your Love, expanded from a short of the same name in last year’s Frameline, was one of the more anticipated offerings of this year’s fest’s first weekend. Coverage of Frameline 36 through its closing weekend continues in this issue.

Rebel, rebel The 3rd annual Queer Rebels of the Harlem Renaissance brings three nights of provocative performance to the 15th National Queer Arts Festival (June 28-30). The evening celebrates the legacy of the Harlem Renaissance, its explosion of talent, queer defiance, and artistic heritage that still influences our culture to this day. The event showcases 21 queer African artists offering original poetry, theater, film, burlesque, movement, and music, by, among others, international blues star Earl Thomas, filmmaker Alexis Pauline Gumbs, and writer/musician/filmmaker Kevin Simmonds. The show will run Thurs.-Sat., June 28-30, 8 p.m., at the African American Art and Culture Complex, 762 Fulton St., San Francisco. Tickets ($15-$25) are available at:

Not the sharpest This gay week in Arts & Culture, arts writer Tavo Amador considers the life and career of playwright, librettist, novelist, theatre director and author Arthur Laurents, surely one of the great gay immortals (is anyone keeping a list?). So here’s a value-added anecdote! While rehearsing the landmark musical Gypsy, Laurents concluded that star Ethel Merman was not overly intelligent, but that she was quite shrewd and very literal. It seems that Merman had asked co-star Jack Klugman if matinee idol Tab Hunter were gay. Klugman replied, “Is the Pope Catholic?” “Yes,” said Merman, still waiting for the answer about Hunter.▼

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June 21-27, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 59


60 • BAY AREA REPORTER • June 21-27, 2012

Cory Weaver

Bass Ferruccio Furlanetto as the title character in San Francisco Opera’s production of Verdi’s Attila.

Hail the Hun by Jason Victor Serinus


hy has it taken Verdi’s Attila so long to reappear in our fair city? Initially produced here in 1859, it disappeared until San Francisco Opera mounted it in 1991 as a showcase for bass Samuel Ramey. If that sounds as if we’re behind the times, contemplate this: the Metropolitan Opera, which produces far more operas per season than SFO, first produced the opera in 2010, a mere 164 years after its Venice premiere. It’s not as if Attila is devoid of great music. On the contrary, it has one powerhouse aria, chorus, and ensemble after the other. None may be a hummable as Rigoletto’s “La donna è mobile,” but they collectively make for an opera filled with wonderful music. And if the plot is

a bit predictable, and the characterization of two of the principals rather stock, the curious irony of a Hun with a heart who is vanquished by duplicitous, vengeful citizens of a country purportedly far less barbaric than his own makes for a story worth pondering. No, I would suggest, the real reason for Attila’s neglect is not that it shares in the so-called collective shortcomings of “early Verdi,” but that it calls for four powerhouse leads of an order and magnitude seldom found on today’s stages. All of the principals, even the sole female lead in this sea of men, are warriors who will stop at nothing to get the job done. They’re bold, defiant, and fearless in the face of death. You can’t convey such feelings convincingly and either stab at notes or husband your resources until the final act. You either have what it takes, or, given the fact that much of the opera is staged as a series of tableaux, you reduce what could be great to an exercise in park and bark. Which leads us to SFO’s current

as do far too many of Verdi’s abused heroines, shoves a sword into Attila’s gut. While she hurled out her high notes quite well in her stunning first-act aria and cabaletta, there were signs later on that she may have stretched her voice beyond its lyric limits. It’s unfair to judge a singer by a single performance, but fears for her future seem in order. Hawaiian baritone Quinn Kelsey (Ezio) sounded somewhat throaty in his opening scenes, but opened up handsomely as the opera progressed. His sneer telegraphed defiance, but the voice, so beautiful as Marcello in La Bohème here a few seasons back, lacked dark menace. In his SFO debut, Mexican tenor Diego Torre (Foresto) must have been nervous at the start, because only later on did the beauty and power of his ringing instrument emerge. Though he lacked the thrust of a great Foresto, the still young artist has great potential. Let us hope that more is to come. Merola graduate and San Francisco Opera debut tenor Nathaniel

A Hun with a heart is vanquished by duplicitous, vengeful citizens of a country purportedly less barbaric than his own. production, directed by Gabriele Lavia. At its head is a vocal giant of an artist, bass Ferruccio Furlanetto. Now 63, Furlanetto sings with the command, steadiness, and vocal beauty of a singer half his age. Hulking about less as a victorious barbarian than as a compassionate warrior unwittingly poised at the edge of the abyss, he sings with the authority that has made Attila such a prized role for the relatively few who can do it justice. His triumphant performance is reason enough to see the opera. The other singers, alas, are “less so”s. Lucrezia Garcia scored a huge triumph at La Scala last year when, under the baton of Nicola Luisotti, SFO’s Music Director and our production’s conductor, she replaced the soprano scheduled to sing Odabella in the first cast. Here, on opening night, she seemed somewhat over-parted. Garcia’s lower range is a bit mousy and little-girlish, hardly what you’d expect from a woman who, instead of fleeing to a nunnery

Peake (Uldino) sang with a sweetness that bodes well for his Tamino in Magic Flute. B.A.R. readers who get tickets to the final two performances of SFO’s joy-filled production may be in for a big treat. In the small role of Pope Leo I, the great Samuel Ramey returned to San Francisco Opera, perhaps for the last time, in the opera that he championed. Although his voice remains strong, the 70-year old’s pronounced wobble proclaims the time has come. Luisotti conducted magnificently. Although we have heard him overpower his singers, here he was everywhere a servant to their efforts to do Verdi justice. When he had no need to hold back, as in the storm scene, he and the orchestra were eloquent. At the opera’s conclusion, General Director David Gockley honored Chorus Master Ian Robertson’s 25 years of service with San Francisco Opera’s coveted Gold Medal. Need I say that the chorus sang superbly?▼


June 21-27, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 61

Queens (and Kings) of the Night by Philip Campbell


he San Francisco Opera’s summer 2012 season, featuring three productions never before seen in San Francisco, is now completed by an eye-popping treatment of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. Designed by Japanese-American visual artist Jun Kaneko, directed by Harry Silverstein and musically propelled by Scottish conductor Rory Macdonald, this English-language version of Mozart’s final opera may not be willing to offer more than a superficial glance at the enduring tale of love and enlightenment, but it does add up to a bright and lively night in the theatre. There is more than enough goodnatured fun in SFO General Director David Gockley’s new English version to make us agreeable to his liberal use of colloquialisms and streamlined dialogue. It also quickens the action and dampens some of the male chauvinism and vague racism of the original German text by Emanuel Schikaneder. Director Silverstein is also on board with clear and unfussy crowd control, and the flexible pacing of conductor Macdonald (making a fine SFO debut) creates a cheerful framework for Kaneko’s impressive if somewhat relentless designs. Primary colors, whimsical costumes and kinetic projections, aided by the marvelous digital animation of the Clark Creative Group, bring this production to a deserved place in the modern tradition of designer Magic Flutes. The closest comparison would be to artist David Hockney’s legendary realization, with a nod to Karel Appel’s Salzburger Festspiele extravaganza. Kaneko’s concept is simpler than Julie Taymor’s in her Metropolitan Opera spectacle, and he manages to achieve an almost cinematic flow

Cory Weaver

Nadine Sierra (Papagena in disguise) and Nathan Gunn (Papageno) in San Francisco Opera’s new production of The Magic Flute.

Cory Weaver

Russian coloratura soprano Albina Shagimuratova as The Queen of the Night in San Francisco Opera’s new production of The Magic Flute.

through two long acts of complicated plot. I can’t help missing the delightful animals and sets of Gerald Scarfe’s magical production for the SFO in 2007, but this new Flute has a charming freshness and imagination, too. It also delivers musically, and we leave the War Memorial grateful once more for Mozart’s immortal tunes. The current cast has been reportedly plagued by a troublesome bug, prompting announcements asking for allowance of possible problems, but only one singer seemed troubled on the night we attended, and the rest of the fine ensemble showed little signs of vocal stress. Following Macdonald’s perky lead from the

pit, they actually seemed extremely fit, and all displayed good comic timing in the spoken dialogue. Russian coloratura soprano Albina Shagimuratova is making her SFO debut with a beautifully dramatic portrayal of the Queen of the Night. We can see how she is earning an international reputation as the go-to gal for the part. Her stratospheric high notes are perfectly pitched, and she also has a warm middle and lower voice. If she betrays a hint of unidiomatic accent, it is easily forgiven. Former Adler Fellow tenor Alek Shrader also stands out as a virile and sympathetic Tamino. Of all the principals, Kaneko gives him the

most recognizably human and flattering costume. That must mean something, but he would have been able to surmount the otherwise inexplicable designs anyway. Local (and international) favorite American baritone Nathan Gunn is not as lucky with his wardrobe. Almost unrecognizable in clownish makeup and a boldly patterned coverall, Gunn still shines through with most of his boyish charm intact. He has an appealing tone and enough power to be heard and understood without needing supertitles for clarification. He also moves well, and adds some amusing hilarity to the lovably underachieving birdman anxiously searching for a bride and a decent quaff. Kaneko and Silverstein get past the disturbing racial implications of the creepy Moorish Monostatos by painting American tenor Greg Fedderly’s face an improbable black and white. He plays the part strictly for laughs, and his funny antics make it work. Also done up in Kabuki-like

gear, bass Kristinn Sigmundsson as Sarastro looked impressive, and he carried the role with gravity despite little grounding at the bottom of his voice. It might have been that pesky bug again. We were warned that Heidi Stober as Pamina was appearing though under strain. She sounded just fine, and her pleasing portrayal was well-received. The Three Boys, Etienne Julius Valdez, Joshua Reiner and John Walsh (all making their SFO debuts), were charming and thoroughly professional. The more seasoned Three Ladies, Melody Moore, Lauren McNeese and Renee Tatum, gave good individual characterizations with some funny, “Oh no you didn’t” attitude thrown in. Ian Robertson’s direction of the SFO Chorus came across best during their exciting onstage appearances. Offstage singing sounded muffled and distant. The Magic Flute continues through Sunday, July 8.▼

<< Music

62 • BAY AREA REPORTER • June 21-27, 2012

Poles apart by Tim Pfaff


hy dead composers make a comeback is anyone’s guess. Hard as it is to imagine today, as recently as the dawn of the stereo age (the late 1950s), Handel and Mahler were still in the outer orbits of the active repertoire. It’s hard to imagine composers more different from each other than them, but they now dominate the opera house, concert hall, and recording studio as few other composers do. Almost as surprising in the digital age is the slow but steady return of the music of Polish composer Karol Szymanowski, featured in two fine new discs by young Poles. Only the final, four-minute track of baritone Mariusz Kwiecien’s new aria disc, Slavic Heroes (Harmonia Mundi) – King Roger’s shattering final outcry, in the composer’s opera of that name – is by Szymanowski, but it’s the peak moment in the composer’s masterpiece and points us at a complete King Roger in our midst. And 26-year-old Rafal Blechacz salutes his compatriot with vivid performances of two piano works, including the First Sonata, in a CD (DG) rounded out with Debussy. Of the 20th century’s gay composers, Szymanowski was, Alex Ross writes in The Rest Is Noise, “one who trembled at the edge of disclosure.” Yet if the shudder of full disclosure did not come until after his death, his sexuality was hardly unknown to the musicians who were his advocates. Famously, Szymanowski found sexual freedom and, in particular, the love of young men, in his travels to the south of Italy and north of Africa between 1908 and 1914. His most famous compatriot and one of his most trenchant musical advocates, the pianist Arthur Rubinstein, recalled that when Szymanowski, “a changed man,” spoke with him in Paris in 1921, he “raved” about the beauties of the young Sicilian men. “Now he was a confirmed homosexual,” Rubinstein recalled, “he told me all this with burning eyes.” He even wrote a novel, Ephebos, about “Greek love,” and in 1919 gave it to the 15-year-old Boris Kochno, with whom he had fallen in love. He wrote it, the foreword declared, “to let the shining light of truth penetrate where only dark shadows and the poisonous viper hissing of hatesowing derision reigned.” Those years profoundly changed Szymanowski’s music, previously influenced mostly by Wagner and Richard Strauss. Finding new compositional fellow travelers in Scriabin, Franz Schreker, and principally, Stravinsky, Szymanowski explored strains of exotic chromaticism and forms steeped in a heady mix of both impressionism and expressionism. Until a late-life return to more restrained, formal music, he composed the works for which he is best known, perfumed with the imagined sounds of the Orient and Middle East. It’s potently, if not patently, homoerotic. His masterpiece is King Roger (pronounced ROE-gur), which tells of a medieval Sicilian monarch whose kingdom – and heart and soul – face overthrow by Dionysian eroticism in the form of a Young Shepherd who appears to him, declaring, “My God is as beautiful as I am.” After the shepherd’s orgiastic ritual of invitation in the third act, a scene that drips Schreker and Strauss, King Roger, perhaps having succumbed, perhaps not, cries out in an agony of transformation, “From the abyss of loneliness, of power, I pluck my pure heart, to offer to the Sun.” So here’s the deal: Santa Fe Opera is giving the premiere production

of King Roger by a major American opera company in five performances from July 21 to August 14, with Kwiecien, chief proponent of the role, as King Roger. The best way to prepare is still the Simon Rattle-conducted recording (EMI) with Thomas Hampson as Roger, although the characteristically conscientious Hampson disappears in the role, perhaps because of the language. (As Leonie Rysanek famously said of learning Janacek in Czech, “There are no wowels.”) Kwiecien, singing in his native tongue, just knocks you down with that devastating final scene. The whole disc, in Russian, Czech, and Polish (Kwiecien also advocates powerfully for his countryman Stanislaw Moniuszko), is as fine a portrait gallery as we’ve had from an aria collection in years. Beyond probing, refined musicianship, Kwiecien brings a wonderful, easy virility to the music, something that can’t be learned or added and is seldom encountered today except in Jonas Kaufmann. Although Piotr Anderszewski’s Szymanowski disc (Virgin Classics) is still the place to go for the postMediterranean piano music, Rafal Blechacz fills in an important gap with his richly colorful reading of the early First Sonata (1903-04) and a Bach-Scriabin-inspired Prelude and Fugue in C minor. The power and lucidity of his playing make a strong case for the music, and the fire of this young pianist’s imagination burns bright in the sonata’s scintillating Minuet. Debussy’s Pour le piano and Estampes are similarly pellucid, if a bit shy with the colors. He’s not – or not yet – a Young Shepherd, or an ecstatic like Anderzewski. In Debussy’s “L’Isle joyeuse,” at the center of this disc, you miss Rubinstein’s vaulting transcendence.▼


June 21-27, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 63

Striking blows for the revolution by Paul Parish


good-sized tree hung upside down over the stage, over a skeletal mock-up of a house, as the audience walked into Joe Goode’s latest show, When We Fall Apart, which opened last weekend at Z Space and will run through this Sunday. For some time not much happened as this cavernous space filled up (it is an old factory in the Potrero, part of the Project Artaud complex). Light, bright sparkling sounds filled the air, and the occasional sentence fragment flashed on a large Plexiglas screen, sometimes with the letters reversed (which made it easier for the small crowd sitting on the other side of the stage, facing the rest of us, to read the “Dear Joe, I’m wondering what you’re thinking” sorts of lines that flickered by). Things gradually picked up, and over the next 90 minutes, a succession of disappointments and disasters befell the participants in the spectacle, culminating in the collapse of the house around Goode, who was fortunately situated in the path of the open skylight, and emerged miraculously unscathed. It’s tempting to see this brilliant new piece of dance theater as Goode’s meditation on the promise and the likely reality of Gay Marriage. Goode is not only openly gay; he has put gay issues at the front of his dance-theater pieces over the whole course of his career – as an angry young man, he made 29 Effeminate Gestures (1987); in the 90s, he made very moving work about seeing his friends die of AIDS (and the duty placed on the survivors to bear witness); then, about the plight of the homeless runaways of Polk Gulch (Convenience Boy, 1993); about the gay support communities of San Francisco (Deeply There: Stories of a Neighborhood, 1997) – that’s just to name some highlights. Let us rejoice in his work, and in the

RJ Muna

Felipe Barrueto-Cabello (front), Jessica Swanson (back left), Alexander Zendzian (back right) in choreographer Joe Goode’s When We Fall Apart.

praise he has won for it (SF’s Isadora Duncan Awards, New York’s Bessy – very big deals in the dance world). He has helped put SF’s gay culture on the map. Goode stands with Mark Morris and Bill T. Jones in the front rank of the world’s gay dancemakers. With 29 Effeminate Gestures, his pageant of campy poses (“any one of which,” as the B.A.R.’s dance critic Keith White said at the time, “could have gotten a brick thrown through your window where I came from”) struck a blow for the revolution. It was a considered blow. He developed his series of gestures like a musician’s tone row, with rigor and remarkable ingenuity, into a series of variations that have a monumental structure. It was built to last. Goode is now modeling for us how to become an elder artist-statesman. A few years back, he made a piece celebrating Harry Hay, founder of both the Mattachine Society and the Radical Faeries. In this latest piece, Goode as always is commenting on current events (the collapse of the economy and the housing market), but also, more deeply, he’s venturing to imag-

ine himself getting old. When We Fall Apart is built as a wry examination of the stories his friends have told him of how what they expected and hoped for in life collapsed. There are maybe a dozen narratives, which are handled in a fascinatingly fluid way that probably derives from musical comedy, where any character could burst into song or dance at any moment, and even the scenery can fly away. I often feel Goode to be in debt to Jerome Robbins, especially Peter Pan, and to The Fantasticks. This is a complex multimedia piece interested in a new synesthesia, with crack timing coordinating the video, sets, and music (brilliantly realized as quasi-Foley-art sound collages, with everyday sounds synthesized in with the orchestral effects). The dancers themselves also speak and sing, with astonishingly haunting purity of tone (especially Melecio Esrella and Damara Ganley). The dancers move the narratives forward, sometimes in dialogue (“I’m a pile of rubble lately every time you call, so don’t call at all”) that may well morph into a full-scale

RJ Muna

Felipe Barrueto-Cabello (front), Jessica Swanson (back right), Alexander Zendzian (back left) in choreographer Joe Goode’s When We Fall Apart.

song, with stanzas and chorus. The primary exposition of the stories comes in monologues spoken by Goode himself into a videocamera, which projects his face onto that Plexiglas screen. The camera is mounted on a writing table in the center of the house; for each, he dons a ridiculous wig, to read letters saying, e.g., “I’d pictured a big house upstate, children, but left with an amazingly handsome boy, went to Tassajara. Now I’m too old for surfers.” There are some stories of younger people, but most seem to be of those who came of age in the fantasy-afflicted 70s, and have been rudely overturned by reality. The most affecting image, to me, came late in the proceedings, when

Goode re-entered the scene after a large dance, pushing the wheeledwriting table as if it were a stroke-victim’s walker, with the camera picking up his ravaged face and projecting it many times life-sized on the screen. A piece like this depends on ace work by the collaborators, all of whom were fantastic: set design by architect Cass Calder Smith. Lighting and video design by Jim French. Costumes by Wendy Sparks. Goode’s very accomplished dancers are Felipe Barrueto-Cabello, Melecio Estrella, Damara Vita Ganley, Jessica Swanson, Andrew Ward, Patricia West, and Alexander Zendzian. Sound engineer: Greg Kuhn. Live, original music by Ben Joudvalkis.▼

Serving the LGBT communities since 1971

64 • BAY AREA REPORTER • June 21-27, 2012

Theatre >>

Thrash it out! by Richard Dodds


t takes a lot of energy to depict ennui. At least it does in American Idiot, with a cast in a fairly constant state of thrash. Over what the characters so rigorously despair is both obvious and amorphous. The American dream is bogus and the parking lot of the 7-Eleven is boring, and the central characters respond with hazy meanderings communicated through a score drawn mainly from Green Day’s American Idiot album. Although the touring production at the Orpheum Theatre is my second encounter with the musical, the who’s, why’s, and what’s of the songs and characters did not come into clearer focus. After the musical’s pre-Broadway premiere at Berkeley Rep in 2009, I expressed similar frustration with the loose concentration on storytelling. A helpful reader sent in a blow-by-blow that maybe I should have reread before heading to the Orpheum Theatre. But American Idiot is clearly meant to be an impressionistic

event, something to let wash over you and stir emotions without the use of usual storytelling specificities. Even with this attempt at attitude adjustment, I could find little or no emotional involvement with anything going on on stage beyond an appreciation for the cast’s highvoltage work and some inventive staging maneuvers provided by director Michael Mayer. If, on the other hand, you are a Green Day fan and know the songs from the American Idiot CD, there is probable enjoyment in hearing them accompanied by visual interpretations. And familiarity with Billie Joe Armstrong’s lyrics can help fill in the gaps when the strongly amplified voices lose intelligibility. Between the musical’s run at Berkeley Rep and its opening on Broadway in 2010, changes were made, but none of a magnitude that alter the overall look and feel of the show. It did seem as though Christine Jones’ set uses even more television monitors as a backdrop that become strobe lights of flickering news clips, sitcom bits, and other imagery.

Doug Hamilton

Scott J. Campbell, Van Hughes, and Jake Epstein play three friends trying to ignite their directionless lives in the touring edition of American Idiot.

The effect can be assaultive, and that’s by design. So when a character strummed a few unadorned chords on an acoustic guitar, it was like an endorphin rush – not so much as

from the introduction of pleasure as to the cessation of pain. At least to this once formerly youthful, formerly disaffected theatergoer. Now it is someone else’s turn.▼

American Idiot will run at the Orpheum Theatre through July 8. Tickets are $31-$100. Call (888) 749-1799 or go to

DVD >>

Natural love at the military academy by Tavo Amador


n audience favorite at last year’s Frameline LGBT Film Festival, the innovative and touching Private Romeo (2011) has just been released in DVD following a brief commercial run in Manhattan. Writer/director Alan Brown’s skillful adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragic tale of teenage romance is given a superb homoerotic twist, one that shows the universality of youthful passion, and the consequences of thwarting it. Eight male cadets at McKinley Military Academy who didn’t qualify for a field trip are left alone. Two of the slightly older boys, Ken (Charlie Barnett) and Carlos (Bobby Moreno – full disclosure: this reviewer’s nephew), are in charge. The students are reading Romeo and Juliet, with each one assuming a character whom they continue playing out of class, speaking Shakespeare’s dialogue to articulate feelings they are experiencing for the first time. Sam (the striking Seth Numrich) is Romeo. He’s drawn to Glenn (a boyishly handsome Matt Doyle), whose Juliet is also attracted to him. Their romance rapidly develops – on the basketball court, in the

school building, wherever they meet or see each other. Hale Appleman is Josh, Sam’s close friend, and as Mercutio, treats Romeo affectionately, almost seductively. Gus (Sean Hurdoc) is the loyal Benvoglio, Moreno is Tybalt, and Omar (Chris Bresky) is Juliet’s nurse. The movie generally adheres to Shakespeare’s plot. The Capulets want Juliet to wed Count Paris, a kinsman of Esacalus, Prince of Verona, because doing so brings great political advantage to them. Hence, they oppose Romeo as a son-in-law – he is a Montague, and a marriage to his family would not be as beneficial. Appleman and Hurdoc double as Lord and Lady Capulet, and the scenes in which they furiously demand that Juliet comply with their wishes and marry Paris are frightening. Tybalt, nephew of Lady Capulet, and therefore an opponent of the Montagues, confronts Mercutio over Romeo’s courtship of Juliet. With mounting, convincing anger, they trade insults in the gymnasium before dueling, with Tybalt killing Mercutio. Devastated, Romeo avenges his friend, slaying Tybalt. As a result, he is exiled from Verona,

a punishment he finds worse than death. But the lovers defy their families and the authorities, and spend a night together. Their passion, their joy in exploring their bodies, in caressing, kissing, devouring each other without restraint or shame, is romantic, innocent, and touching. Although not graphic, these scenes are intensely erotic, unforgettably filmed and superbly acted. Rarely has youthful ardor been so convincingly portrayed. In a clever foreshadowing of what is to come, Josh and Carlos, no longer Mercutio and Tybalt, silently reconcile in front of the sinks in the shower room. Wordlessly, Josh helps Carlos with his bandaged arm. Following the advice of Friar Lawrence, Juliet awaits Romeo in

the Capulet crypt and drinks the sleeping potion. As it slowly takes effect, he recalls the glorious night they spent together. Romeo finds Juliet, believes him dead, and cannot control his grief. He, too, swallows the potion and also flashes back to the magical night they shared. The other cadets watch the ending unfold, but because this is a play within a movie, things actually conclude differently from the original. Private Romeo is an exceptional coming of age story, one which goes back and forth between playacting and reality. The youthful Numrich (a regular on TV’s Gravity, and appearing on Broadway in War Horse)

is amazing as Romeo. Watching him fall in love with Juliet, speaking the dialogue to rev not conceal, his delighted veal, c confusion over the discovery o first love, is memorable. of He is matched in every w by the remarkable Doyle, way w whose part was even more d demanding. Although technic cally playing a girl, he effortl lessly transforms the role into t that of a boy named Juliet, t thus reminding viewers of the p play’s famous line about a rose b any other name smelling as by s sweet. He lights up the screen w when he sees Romeo, his “husb band, friend.” His face has an e expressive sensitivity that convveys tender masculinity. At the eend, Doyle looks at the cameera and beautifully sings “You M Made Me Love You” with a gglowing, radiant sincerity that m makes this classic song fresh. Appleman, Hurdoc, Moren no, and Bresky are excellent in the supporting roles, and, lik like the leads, make the poetic dialogue sound colloquial, rather than formal or strained. Brown’s direction is smooth, bringing out the best in his talented cast. His screenplay expertly trims and adapts the original text. This story of a boy falling in love with another boy is natural and guilt-free, a romance easily accepted by their schoolmates. Brown’s only misstep is including a couple of YouTube videos performed by Appleman and Hurdoc. They are discordant and irrelevant. But that’s a minor criticism of a film of such noteworthy originality, one that deserves a wide audience, especially among high school and college students. ▼


June 21-27, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 65

Sing out, sisters! by Gregg Shapiro


s Rachael Sage the queer Regina Spektor? In addition to sharing a monogram, they are also keyboard wizards and singers with distinctive vocal qualities. Haunted By You (MPress), Sage’s 10th full-length disc in about 15 years, opens with “Invisible Light,” a song that doesn’t veer too far from her standard musical formula. It’s on “Abby Would You Wait,” with its tasteful horn and organ interplay and Seth Glier on backing vocals, that Sage eases away from her comfort zone. Sage’s trademark sparkles get the tribute they deserve on the lovely “The Sequin Song,” and “Performance Art” is as dramatic as you might expect. “Birthday” ranks as one of Sage’s prettiest tunes, while “Hey Nah” is one of her most joyous. That’s Dar Williams on the reprise of “Invisible Light,” which closes out the disc. Like its predecessor 2010’s No Snare, the pulse of Where Are We From (K) by Tender Forever (a.k.a Melanie Valera) has a drum machine at its heart. But don’t expect a housemusic rave-up. Tender Forever employs beats in a sparing, minimalist fashion. But there are moments when the title track and “The Road Was Unkind” verge on aiming for the dance floor, and could do so in the hands of the right remixer. Tender Forever’s bare-bones beat are in evidence. You may recognize the name Yva Las Vegass from when the Venezuelan lesbian singer/songwriter teamed up with Krist Novoselic to form his short-lived post-Nirvana band Sweet 75. Las Vegass sings, make that belts, in English and Spanish on I Was Born in a Place of Sunshine & the Smell of Ripe Mangoes (Moniker/Ass). There’s a traditional quality to Las Vegass’ performance, even on songs you might not expect, such as “Crack Whore” (because “the civil rights movement just wasn’t enough”) and “Pussy in Your Eye.” On her second full-length disc Fool’s Fantasy (Poprock), credited

to Martha Berner and the Significant Others, Berner benefits from a full-band sound. More Nashville than insurgent country, twangy tunes such as “Some Stay a While” and “Burning Candles” have the potential to earn Berner a broader audience among Carrie Underwood’s fans. “All the Rockstars” and

“Never Talked to Oz,” the album’s best tracks, illustrate that Berner has a gift for writing memorable pop songs, too. Lesbian guitar goddess Susan Surftone certainly lives up to her name on Shore (Acme Brothers). Like a female Dick Dale, Surftone rides the rocking and rolling waves of surf guitar, hanging 10 on the frets and strings. You can practically smell the ocean and surfboard wax on original tracks “Compression,” “Chance,” or her cover of the Doors’ “Riders on the Storm.” Don’t be

surprised if you find yourself seeking out Frankie and Annette for a little beach blanket bingo. On Guitar Passions (Sony Classical), queer, classical guitar diva Sharon Isbin is joined by a notable array of friends, including Nancy Wilson (of Heart), Stanley Jordan, Paul Winter, Steve Morse and SSteve Vai. Aside from performing striking renditions of songs by A Antonio Carlos Jobim (“Chovendo na Roseirra”), Joaquin Rodrigo (“Adagio”) and Isaac A Albéniz (“Asturias”), IIsbin covers the Heart cclassic “Dreamboat A Annie,” on which she is jjoined by Wilson. Recorded at a conccert in Nelson, New Z Zealand, Live (Applesseed) by bi singer/songw writer Peggy Seeger, the w widow of Ewan MacC Coll and half-sister of ffolk legend Pete, is a p pleasant mix of storyte telling/social commenta tary and music. Seeger p performs a variety of tr traditional tunes, rangin ing from the serious “I B Been a Bad Bad Girl” to th the humorous “Mounta taineer’s Courtship.” It It’s also a delight to h hear Seeger singing h own originals, inher c cluding “You Don’t K Know How Lucky You A Are” and “Everything C Changes,” about her m mother, Ruth Crawf ford Seeger. In his book Chicago W Whispers: A History of L LGBT Chicago before S Stonewall, St. Sukie de l Croix writes about la a number of queer b blues singers, includi ing the late Alberta Hunter. Recorded in concert in 1981, the CD reissue of Downhearted Blues: Live at the Cookery (RockBeat) finds the groundbreaking blues diva having a gay old time performing originals including “Remember My Name” and “I’ve Got a Mind to Ramble,” as well as the standards “Time Waits For No One,” “I Got Rhythm,” “The Darktown Strutters’ Ball,” “Georgia on My Mind” and more. Also consider Caught in the Act Acoustic (, an acoustic set by protest singer Linq, containing the OutMusic Award-track “Oh Bully”; and Camille Bloom and the Recovery’s rocking disc Never Out of Time (▼

<< TV

66 • BAY AREA REPORTER • June 21-27, 2012

The good, the bad & the brilliant by Victoria A. Brownworth


e are already hating this global warming summer with the most and worst and extreme everything. (We have nieces in Fort Collins, so the massive wildfires: a little unnerving. Then the tornadoes in Venice, Italy and at a New Jersey graduation: places tornadoes don’t happen. Plus hail and inches of rain all over the place? Yikes.) So we expect to be watching TV 24/7 for the next 90 days because we don’t want to be swarmed by locusts. Will that be fun or depressing? Depends on the day. We were having a bad day on Flag Day – probably just a coincidence, not a political statement – and we surfed a bit only to land at the Beautiful Bodies Network, the CW. We don’t watch The Vampire Diaries religiously like some, but when we do watch, we remember what we love about it: Pretty women being incredibly violent. Ian Somerhalder (Damon) being gorgeous and violent. Pithy dialogue. (Caroline to her father as he leaves town, “I’ll be okay, Daddy.” Pause. Then Dad replies, “You’re a vampire, sweetheart. I don’t think you’ll ever be okay again.”) Oh, and did we mention the beautiful, sexy people? Plus, these vampires! They aren’t the de-fanged, 12-step-ish vampires that have become so popular. (Thank you, Twilight, with your creepy ahistorical subtexts.) Oh, and there’s gay vampire activity. With the beautiful bodies. Yes, you could do worse than spend some time this summer with the vamps of Mystic Falls. But you could also do better. Because, you know, Aaron Sorkin is back. If you’ve forgotten who he is,

he’s the man who brought us the best White House any of us will ever see in this or any other alternate universe lifetime: The West Wing. That show gave us hope for democracy. Then there was the almost-perfect Studio 60, which was just a little too TV insider-y for its own good and thus was cancelled after one season, because that’s how NBC does it. But now, now we have a new Sorkin, and it’s about our personal favorite thing that isn’t sex or food: News. Set your DVRs now, kids, for Sun., June 24, 10 p.m. Because that is when HBO’s The Newsroom premieres, and this show is one of the best things to hit the tube since NBC canceled Awake after one season because that’s what NBC does. Jeff Daniels is spectacular as Will McAvoy, an irate newsman. Emily Mortimer plays his producer, and Sam Waterson, he of the crazy eyebrows and wonderful halting vocal cadence, plays his boss. This show is a paean to what the news should be in the same way that The West Wing was to the White House. Those who have been yearning for a Sorkin return, this was worth the wait. Run, don’t walk, to set that timer. You do not want to miss this. Alas, all good things run at the same time on the tube. We haven’t figured out why that is, but we wish it would stop. Because the week after The Newsroom debuts, we’ve got a new series on PBS in the Masterpiece Mystery slot that you also do not want to miss. And here you thought it was just going to be American Ninja and Cajun Pawn Stars and yearning for the return of Mad Men all summer, eh? The new series on PBS is a prequel to one of our favorite Masterpiece Mystery series ever, Morse. (Avail-

the CW

Ian Somerhalder as Damon Salvatore on the CW’s Vampire Diaries.

able on Netflix and from PBS, and so worth viewing if you’ve never seen it.) Endeavour takes us back to 1960s Oxford, where Endeavor Morse got his start as a young detective and opera devotee. Where John Thaw played the older Morse as gruff and snarky but deeply human as he settled down of an evening with one of his favorite operas, Shaun Evans deftly plays the young man who will grow into that older man made cynical by not enough love and too much killing. Also on Sunday night, of course, and as quite the lead-in to The Newsroom is True Blood, back with a vengeance, and naturally, more queerness. The vampires on Vampire Diaries really are much prettier, and Ian Somerhalder’s Damon is definitely the vampire to die for, but who can resist the rapacious crew in Bontemps? We’d like to see these

folks wander into Cajun Pawn Stars. Talk about your zombie apocalypse. Sunday also brings us the final chapter in the marijuana saga that has been Weeds. This is the last season of the pot-boiler. Sunday night is awesome, but we also love Mondays and Tuesdays: NBC’s America’s Got Talent and Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen and Master Chef rock. These are the best competitions on the tube. (Okay, there’s also So You Think You Can Dance?, but we don’t love dance that much, and we love it a lot less since Breaking Pointe. And we want to like Duets, but we just can’t.) Plus, Teen Wolf is back on MTV. We think this show pairs nicely with Vampire Diaries, with its sexy lycanthrope. We also like that there’s a queer storyline in here as well, but we always have to ask: Why can’t the gay characters be human? Teen Wolf has smart writing just like Vampire Diaries, and great bodies and really good special effects. We really don’t know what this show is doing on MTV – it’s deserving of a better network – but we recommend taking a look at season two. Now back to the rest of the Monday lineup. Let’s stop and praise the praiseworthy, shall we? First contestant in the first minute of the first episode of Master Chef: Michael Chen. Sweet Asian kid who’s a kickass chef and the youngest competitor on this season of Master Chef. We loved him instantly. So Gordon Ramsay asks him if he has girlfriend, and he blurts out that he’s gay. How brave is that? Ramsay then asks him if he has a boyfriend, and he blushes and says no, he’s busy with school and so forth. Then Ramsay, who’s not letting this go, asks if Michael’s parents know he’s gay, and he says that he came out to them right before the show. Wow. Plus, this kid is irrepressible. Talk about a poster child for personal queer empowerment! As if Chen weren’t reason enough to watch MC, the show also has – wait for it – a blind contestant. Yes. Christine Ha (also Asian) was blinded in an accident, and she is remarkable. We don’t know how she does it, but she’s made it into the top 18 of the 100 that were chosen in the first show. Amazing. There are other really extraordinary amateur chefs on the show as well, like single mom Monti Carlo (and her toddler son’s name is Danger) or the guy from the Chi-town hood, Dave Martinez, who are just really great people. We find Master Chef captivating, with moments of real poignancy and always fabulous food. This show always makes us want to be better in the kitchen. If we could just tear ourselves away from the tube. Hell’s Kitchen, however, is once again Gordon Ramsay screaming

his way through the decimation of 18 chefs until two are left standing. We do like to see Ramsay knock the bravado off these people every season, which is kind of mean of us. Alas, the gay chef was the first to go. And we are slightly worried that the group hatred of Barbie on the women’s team is racist, since she’s the only black contestant, but we’re hoping that it’s just her bad attitude that’s bugging everyone. Nevertheless, we love this show. What has surprised us most this season on America’s Got Talent is how we’ve fallen in love with Howard Stern after despising him forever. He’s sweet, kind, ingratiating, a good sport, willing to give people a chance, nice to kids. Who is this guy? Certainly not the same person we can’t listen to on the radio. Stern has made the trio of judges the most solid of any competition show out there. He’s perfect. The show, this season, is as compelling as ever, but scandal broke last week over a contestant who claimed to have been wounded in Afghanistan. Timothy Poe came out and sang and was tearful, and the judges and the audience really fell for him, his act and his story. According to Poe, he had been wounded by an IED explosion. Except almost immediately his story was contradicted, landing him in the news and prompting reporters from the top three networks to query him about the tale. A sobbing Poe said it was what he experienced, and his discharge papers do note that he was injured in an explosion. We’re not sure where this lands him as a contestant, but we do think that a lot of bad things have happened to soldiers during these endless wars. Whether Poe faked his story or PTSD has altered his perceptions, we can’t say. We also don’t know how the show will deal with the controversy, but we imagine it would be difficult for Poe to return after the media blitz about him. Speaking of media blitz, Madonna’s recent tit-for-tat exposure during a concert in Turkey last week has been fodder for tabloid and talk-TV commentary. Or favorite discussion of the event came on The Talk. We have long loved African-American comedienne Aisha Tyler. Tyler joined The Talk last season, where she’s been one of the few bright spots in this often irritating reprise of The View. Tyler opined that Madonna had “show some boob at a concert” on her bucket list, but that it was super unsexy. “Here’s my boob,” Tyler deadpanned as she mimed the Material Matron’s blasé move. Then she went on to note that boys in the audience would be either underwhelmed or possibly traumatized by the reveal. Then she noted, “A 23-year-old boob, yeah. A 53-year-old boob? Not so much.” But it was when she suggested that Madonna would be doing this into her 70s that we found ourselves near tears from the pantomime. Tyler stood up and mimed Madonna swinging her sagging elderly breasts back and forth in front of her and then over her shoulders. Check it out at Pants-pissingly funny. Speaking of breasts, we caught a surreal moment when ABC’s JuJu Chang interviewed Snooki about breast-feeding for Nightline. We’re not sure whose idea this was. Snooki has been trying to live a cleaner life since discovering she’s pregnant. But her views on the basics of parenting are still so Jersey Shore. Snooki was pretty alarmed by the prospect of breast-feeding – it’s clear she thinks babies are akin to wild animals and that suckling one might just cause her to lose a nipple. See page 76 >>

Read more online at

June 21-27, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 67

<< Out&About

68 • BAY AREA REPORTER • June 21-27, 2012

Mr. Kok Contest @ Kok Bar

shows 7pm. Fri & Sat also 9pm. Sun 5pm. Thru June 30. 450 Florida St.

Gay 12.0

Watch or enter the downright naughty big weiner contest, with $150 prize. 12am entry deadline, show at 12:30am. June 23, Mr. Package Contest. 1225 Folsom St.

Jon Secada @ The Rrazz Room Three-time Grammy-winning singer performs an intimate show. $45. 8pm. Thru June 24 (7pm). 2-drink min. Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason St. (800) 380-3095.

by Jim Provenzano


s Pride month winds up to a big finish, our local rainbow gayometer is reaching its high point, with extra-special LGBTQetc events taking over town, plus bar and nightclub events, plenty more of which can be found on For more queertastic arts events, visit

Nightlife @ Academy of Sciences The museum cocktail event goes proudly gay, with DJ/hosts Juanita More, Stay Gold and Heklina MCing the 2nd annual Tranimal Costume Contest. See fascinating exhibits with cocktails, queers and music. $12. 6pm-9pm. 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. 379-8000.

Pride Kickoff Party @ Bentley Reserve

Salomania @ Aurora Theatre, Berkeley

Rahsaan Patterson @ Yoshi’s Talented vocalist (who happens to be openly gay) performs a concert of original R&B-blues and hip covers of classic songs. $22-$26. 8pm. 1330 Fillmore St. 655-5600. wright (The Vagina Monologues). $15-$73. Tue, Thu-Sat 8pm. Wed, Sun 7pm. Also Sat & Sun 2pm. Thru July 15. 2015 Addison St. at Shattuck. (510) 647-2949.

Pride Parties @ Lexington Club

Jon Sugar MCs a night of music and entertainment with a queer edge, featuring singer Moon Trent. 7pm. 1668 Haight St.

Rose Royce @ Yoshi’s

Aurora Theatre Company’s production of acclaimed Bay Area playwright Mark Jackson’s play about Maud Allan, the San Francisco dancer-actress who performed a notorious Dance of the Seven Veils. $34-$55. Tue 7pm. Wed-Sat 8pm. Sun 2pm & 7pm. Previews thru June 21. Thru July 22. 2081 Addison St. (510) 843-4822.

Fri 22

5th annual large cocktail shindig, with hors d’oeuvres, vodka-friendly open bar, DJs Adrian and D of Bootie; proceeds this year benefit the Victory Institute. Cocktail attire. $50-$75. 7pm-11pm. 301 Battery St.

Women’s lesbian bar goes wild with Pride. June 21, 9pm: Smackdown: Ultimate Wrestlemania. June 22, Trans March After-Party, 9pm. June 23, 2pm, Muscle Lube Wrestling; Dyke March after-party 9pm. June 24, continental breakfast, 3pm, Pride after-party 9pm. 3464 19th St. 863-2052.

Vagabondage @ Starry Plough, Berkeley Dark Cabaret-carnival accordion melodies with the band, plus Birdeastbaby, Victoria and the Vaudevillains. $8-$12. 9:30pm. 3101 Shattuck Ave. (510) 841-2082.

Xanadu @ Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek Center Repertory Company’s production of the stage adaptation of the wacky 80s roller disco movie. $40-$47. Tue & Wed 7:30pm. Thu-Sat 8pm. Sat & Sun 2:30pm. Thru June 23. 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. (925) 943-7469.

GAWK Party @ Tikka Masala

GLAAD Party @ Westfield Centre

Sat 23>>

Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation’s cocktail fundraiser at the LGBT-supporrtive Union Square shopping mall (look for the rainbow flags in the windows). $25. 5:30pm8pm. 65 Market St. at 5th.

Amy & Freddy @ The Rrazz Room Comedic musical duo performs. $25. 10pm. 2-drink min. Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason St. (800) 380-3095.

Fri 22

Don’t miss Judy Garland: After Dark , the local singer’s heartfelt tribute to the singing diva. $30. Friday, June 22, 10:15pm. 2-drink min. Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason St. (800) 380-3095.

Thu 21>> 100 Saints You Should Know @ Thick House Theatre Rhinoceros’ production of Kate Fodor’s play about family love, homosexuality and teenage life. $15-$30 (‘pay what you can’ previews May 31 & June 1). Wed & Thu 7:30pm. Fri & Sat 8pm. Sun 3pm. Thru July 1. 1695 18th St. (800) 838-3006.

American Idiot @ Orpheum Theatre

Faetopia @ Former Tower Records

Frameline Film Festival @ Various Theatres 36th annual San Francisco International LGBT film Festival, with parties and other events throughout. $10-$50. Fest thru June 24.

Touring production of the Tony and Grammywinning Broadway show, created at Berkeley Rep, about modern-day young adults in a post-9/11 world, set to the rousing music of Green Day. $25-$100. Tue-Sat 8pm. Wedm Sat, Sun 2pm. Thru July 8 (no show June 24). 1192 Market St. at 8th. 888-746-1799.

Crackpot Crones @ The Garage Terry Baum and Carolyn Myers’ benefit performance of their comic theatre show for the Pat Bond Memorial Old Dyke Award. $15. 8pm. 715 Bryant St at 5th.

Dan Bucatinsky @ Books Inc. The gay film director-screenwriter reads from and discusses his endearing book, Does This Baby Make Me Look Straight?: Confessions of a Gay Dad. Free. 7:30pm. 2275 Market St.

Fabulous @ Creativity Explored Group exhibit of paintings and works in other media that show off LGBT Pride from a developmentally disabled perspective. Thru Aug. 1. 3245 16th St. at Guerrero.

Fri 22>>

The Art of Lenore Chinn @ The Luggage Store Gallery

Sat 23

Almario Bonifacio

The weekly LGBT and indie comic stand-up night. Anita Dreiseberg hosts with comics Dave Thomason, Whitney Streed, Edwin Li, Belinda Carroll. 8pm-9:30pm. 3079 16th St. at Mission.

Grand Marshalls Gary Virginia, Sister Roma and Rebecca Prozan are feted at a reception and dance party; host Donna Sachet, Cassandra Cass, Anita Cocktail, Gypsy Love and Liz Primo perform; plus DJ Christopher B. Proceeds benefit the Richmond/Ermet AIDS Foundation. $35-$50 ($10 for dance party only). 8pm-12am. Sir Francis Drake Hotel, 450 Powell St.

Tides Theatre’s production of Evan Lindor and Andrew Hobgood’s comic play about a 1950s women’s social group’s McCarthy-era secrets. $20-$38. Thu-Sat 8pm. Also extra Sat at 10pm. Thru July 28. 414 Mason St. #601. 336-3533.

Multicultural comedy show with Maureen Langan, Dhaya Lakshminarayanan, Yayne Abeba, Nathan Habib and Lisa Geduldig. $20. 8pm. 2640 College Ave at Derby. Also, June 22, 8pm at Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320-2 Cedar St. Santa Cruz. (800) 838-3006.

Gameboi @ Mist Ultra Lounge Asian pop, disco and dance music night with drink specials, gogo hotties and DJed tunes (3rd Sat). $25. 9:30pm-2am. 316 11th St.

The Full Monty @ Eureka Theatre Ray of Light’s new production of the Broadway musical hit (music/lyrics: David Yazbeck; book: Terrence McNally) based on the popular U.K. film about unemployed working-class men who decide to form an amateur strip act. $25-$36. Thu-Sat 8pm. Sat & Sun 2pm. Thru June 30. 215 Jackson St. at Battery.

Joe Goode Performance Group @ Z Space When We Fall Apart, a new work by the innovative dance-theatre artist, with sets by architect Cass Calder Smith and live original music by Ben Juodvalkis. $25-$35. Most

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.

The true story of nine African American men unjustly accused of a crime is given a sardonic yet rousing musical adaptation (which won 12 Tony nominations) with the songs of John Kander and Fred Ebb, and book by David Thompson; directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman. Out with A.C.T. night July 11. $20-$95. Tue-Sat 8pm. Wed, Sat & Sun also 2pm. Some 7pm Sun shows. Thru July 15. American Conservatory Theatre, 415 Geary St. 749-2228.

5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche @ Phoenix Theatre

The Color of Funny @ Julia Morgan Center, Berkeley

Comedy Bodega @ Esta Nocha

The Scottsboro Boys @ A.C.T.

Swallow Your Pride @ Harry Denton’s Starlight Room

The Fey Boy Collective and Comfort & Joy queers invade and fabulize the spacious former record store to once again create a colorful and wild array of events. Afternoons and evenings thru June 22. Donations-$20. 2286 Market St.

Beach Blanket Babylon @ Club Fugazi

Exhibit/retrospective of works by the local artist who focuses on LGBT and Asian themes, plus a new commissioned mural, The Oracle Room. Wed-Sat 1pm-5pm. Exhibit thru June 24. 1007 Market St. at 6th.

Butterfly Kisses @ The New Parish, Oakland

Black N Blue Boys/Broken Men @ Berkeley Repertory

Sat 23 Sundance Saloon @ Hotel Whitcomb The popular country western LGBT dance night’s special pre-Pride edition with two-stepping and line-dancing in the hotel’s ballroom. $10. 8pm-12am. 1231 Market St. at 8th. Also June 24, 11am-6pm at Civic Center Pride Celebration, Larkin St. near Grove: $5. Then, an after-Pride dance back at the hotel June 24, 6pm-11pm. $10.

Good Goods @ Boxcar Playhouse Crowded Fire’s production of Christina Anderson’s play about a small Black town where the past and present link lost souls. $10-$35. Wed-Sat, 8pm, thru June 23. 505 Natoma St. 255-7846.

Mike’s Men: Sex, Guys and Videotape @ Magnet Exhibit of gay-themed drawings and videos, with limited edition prints and posters, all by filmmaker and artist Mike Kuchar. Mon, Tue Sat 11am-6pm. Wed, Thu Fri 11am-9pm. Thru June. 4122 18th St.

Bill Weaver

Kent Taylor

Classic R&B band (“Car Wash”) performs live. $20-$30. 8pm & 10pm. 1330 Fillmore St. 655-5600.

Connie Champagne @ The Rrazz Room

Dael Orlandersmith’s drama about urban families fractured by abuse. $10-$73. Tue, Thu-Sat 8pm. Wed & Sun 7pm. Sat & Sun 2pm. Thru June 24. Thrust Stage, 2025 Addison St. (510) 647-2949.

Dykes on Bikes Party @ El Rio Fundraiser for the Women’s Motorcycle contingent of the Pride parade, with DJ Lady Ryan, Alotta Boutte and bikin’ dykes galore. $10-$20. 1pm-4pm. 3158 Mission St. at Valncia.

Evolution of Athletic Model Guild @ Center for Sex & Culture Exhibit of the historic sexy male nude photography and films, plus posters and ephemera, of Bob Mizer, from coy to X-rated. Thru June 30. 1349 Mission St. 902-2071.

Go Bang! @ Deco Lounge The popular intimate disco dance night, with resident DJs Steve Fabus (also celebrating a birthday), Sergio Fedasz, and guest Marcus Jerard for a special Pride eidtion. $5. Free before 10pm. 9pm-3am. 510 Larkin St. at Turk.

Inferno @ Jillian’s Women’s Pride party, with DJ rockaway, burlesque by The Twilight Vixens, food, drinks and dance music. $15-$20. 101 4th St.

Androgynous women, drag kings and more are featured at a nightclub fashion Pride event. $15-$20. 8pm-2am. 579 18th St. (510) 444-7474.

David Shrigley: Brain Activity @ YBCA Opening night party for the artist’s exhibit of caustically witty sculptures and visual art; drinks, nibblies and a live set by local garage rock trio Blasted Canyons. Free-$15. 8pm10pm. (artist lecture June 23, 2pm-4pm). Exhibit thru Sept. 23. $8-$10. 701 Mission St. 978-2787.

Dot429 Pride Party @ Postrio The gay networking organization and Kimpton Hotels celebrate Pride at a cocktail party (hors d’eouvres, hosted bars, Honey Soundsystems’ DJ PeePlay) with proceeds benefitting Maitri AIDS services. $35. 21+. 8pm-12am. 545 Post St.

Emotional Creature @ Berkeley Repertory Theatre Eve Ensler’s new play about the secret lives of girls, from the Tony Award-winning play-

Fri 22 Pride Concert @ Conservatory of Music 34th annual concert of combined ensembles; the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco, SF’s Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band, Golden Gate Men’s Chorus, Oakland East Bay Gay Men’s Chorus, SF Gay Men’s Chorus’ Lollipop Guild, and Voices Lesbian Choral Ensemble. Works performed include Harvey Milk: A Cantata by Jack Curtis Dubowsky, which includes unpublished texts by the slain gay politician. $15-$30. 7pm & 9pm (different programs). 50 Oak St. 779-5428.

Out&About >>

June 21-27, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 69

Rhino Summer Readings @ Thick House Theatre Rhinoceros hosts readings of gay plays. Mass Appeal, 8pm. Free. Also, Last Summer at Bluefish Cove, June 28, 8pm. 1695 18th St. at Arkansas. 552-4100.

Royal Families @ SF Public Library

Fri 22 Disney Prom @ Rickshaw Stop Drag Yourself to Pride, a wacky drag dance prom night; come as your favorite Disney prince, princess, villian/ess or other character; win fabulous prizes. $5. 9:30pm-2am. 21+. 155 Fell St. 861-2011.

Lips Together, Teeth Apart @ New Conservatory Theatre Terence McNally’s darkly comic social drama about two straight couples’ behavior on a Fire Island weekend, with unseen gay men partying on either side of them. $25-$40. Wed-Sat 8pm. Sun 2pm. Thru July 1. 25 Van Ness Ave., lower level. 861-8972.

Pink Saturday @ Castro St. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence’s annual informal street party this year alleges to be safer, with bag checks, food trucks, a strict no-alcohol on the street policy. $5 and up donations. 5pm-11pm. Castro Street between Market and 18th.

Pride Family Skate @ Yerba Buena Ice/Bowling Center Special day for LGBT families and their kids to ice skate or bowl. $5-$10 including skate rental. Specators free. 6pm-8:30pm. 750 Folsom St. at 3rd. 820-3521.

Pride Run @ Golden Gate Park David Kopay serves as celebrity guest starter at the annual SF FrontRunners LGBT 5K and 10K benefit runs. Proceeds benefit Out in the Bay’s gay radio programming. $30-$35. 9am. South entrance to the Polo Field off Middle Drive West, Golden Gate Park.

San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival @ Novellus Theatre Fourth of five weekends of the annual large-scale festival of diverse traditional and modern dance styles from local and regional companies. 12-$58. This weekend, 3pm & 8pm. Also Sun., June 24 at 3pm. 700 Howard St. Thru July 1. 978-2787.

Searching for Queertopia @ Galeria de la Raza Alex Hernandez and Neil Rivas’ visual documentation of the Vela de ‘Las Intrépidas,’ a 3-day event held annually in the town of Juchitán de Zaragoza, Oaxaca, México. ThuSat 12pm-6pm. Thru June 30. 2857 24th St. 826-8009.

SF Pride @ Civic Center Enjoy a less crowded afternoon of DJed and live music, beverage booths and other activities. 11am-6pm.

Show of Pride @ Truck Enjoy a daytime block party in SoMa, with live bands, performers (including the crazy Christeene from Austin) and DJed music. $5. 12pm-7pm. 1900 Folsom St.

Sun 24>> Big Picnic Concert @ Stern Grove Benefit party (celebrating 75 years!) and free concert featuring Anita Baker, The Family Stone and Glide ensemble. Benefit $250 and

up. Concert’s free. 2pm concert. Sigmund Stern Grove, 19th Ave. at Sloat Blvd.

Hard French @ SOMArts Center

Exhibit of photographs by Karen Massing of four years of pageantry and royalty in the LGBT International Court System. Thru Sept.15. Harvey Milk branch, 1 Jose Sarria Court at 16th St.

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

Tue 26>> 3 Gay Authors @ Books Inc.

The DJ collective known for terrific events celebrates Pride, with live acts by Ssion, Sugar Pie DeSanto, Beyondadoubt, plus DJ sets all day from Carnita Brown Amy and others. $25-$60. 4pm-11pm. 934 Brannan St.

Rob Rosen (Queerwolf ), Alvin Orloff (Why Aren’t You Smiling?) and Jim Provenzano (the Lambda Literary Award winner Every Time I Think of You) read from and discuss their new books. 7:30pm. 2275 Market St. 864-6777.

Hero @ Ruby Skye

The Drag Show @ Various Channels

Special Pride edition of the new monthly tea dance, with guest DJ/producers Freemasons and Moto Blanco. $35. 6pm-12am. 420 Mason St.

Juanita More Pride Parties @ Chambers, Jones

Stu Smith’s weekly LGBT variety show features local talents, and not just drag artistes. Channels 29 & 76 on Comcast; 99 on AT&T and 30 on Astound.

Funny Tuesdays @ Harvey’s

The event so popular it became two events. $25-$35. Chambers 12:30pm-6pm; 601 Eddy St. Jones, 3pm-12am. 620 Jones St.

Ronn Vigh hosts the weekly LGBT and gayfriendly comedy night. One drink or menu item minimum. 9pm. 500 Castro St. at 18th. 431-HARV.

Massive @ The Stud

This Is What I Want @ SOMArts Gallery

Pride party for the big, beary and ebullient. $5. 6pm-2am. 399 9th St.

Mo Butta Pride @ Brick & Mortar Women of Color dance event’s 7th anniversary, with DJs Dice Dixon, Pernell Walker and others. $10-$15. 7pm-1am. 1710 Mission St. 371-1631.

Reach @ City Nights Pride T-dance with DJs Andy Almighty, Wayne G and others. $20-$15-$25. 5pm12am. 715 Harrison St.

SF Pride @ Civic Center Enjoy a big day of DJed and live music, beverage booths and other activities. Parade travels from Embarcadero up Market St. to 8th St. Mainstage and side stage DJed and live acts at Civic Center. 11am-6pm.

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.

Mon 25>> Life & Death in Black & White @ GLBT History Museum AIDS Direct Action in San Francisco, 1985–1990, focuses on the AIDS activist photojournalism of Jane Philomen Cleland, Patrick Clifton, Marc Geller, Rick Gerharter and Daniel Nicoletta. Selection of other LGBT historic items also on display, now include Pride-themed items, including rainbow flag creator Gilbert Baker’s sewing machine and other items, plus marriage equality and LGBT faith community ephemera. $5. New expanded hours: Mon-Sat 11am-7pm. Sun 12pm-5pm. 4127 18th St.

The OffCenter’s third annual queer performance festival, with four nights of new multi-disciplinary performance works by many artists, along with panel discussions. $20. 8pm. Thru June 29. 934 Brannan St.

Wed 27>> Hedwig and the Angry Inch @ Boxcar Playhouse Boxcar Theatre’s production of Stephen Trask and John Cameron Mitchell’s glam rock musical about a transgendered East Berlin rebel. $25. Wed & Thu 8pm. Fri & Sat 7pm & 9:30pm. Thru July 8. 505 Natoma St. 9672227.

Keith Hennessy/Circo Zero @ CounterPulse A free, interactive talk and performance introducing Turbulence (a dance about the economy), a bodily response to economic crisis. 8pm. 1310 Mission St. at 9th. 626-2060.

Thu 28>> Andy Rourke @ Rickshaw Stop Former bassist for The Smiths does a DJ set, along with Aaron Axelsen and Omar. $12. 10pm. 155 Fell St. at Van Ness.

Comedy Bodega @ Esta Nocha The weekly LGBT and indie comic stand-up night. This week, Marga Gomez hosts with comics Ben Feldman, Dee Dee Russell, Jill Borque, Kimberly Wendt and Jennifer Dronsky. 8pm-9:30pm. 3079 16th St. at Mission.

Queer Rebels of the Harlem Renaissance @ African American Art and Culture Complex Third annual showcase of more than a dozen LGBT African American poets, performers, singers burlesque dancers and more; adult content! $15-$25. 8pm. Thru June 30. 762 Fulton St.

Radically Gay: The Life of Harry Hay @ SF Public Library New exhibition that celebrates the remarkable life and work of activist Harry Hay, who laid the foundation for the modern lesbian and gay rights movement. Thru July 29. Jewitt Gallery, lower level, 100 Larkin St. 557-4400.

Fri 22 Marga and the Babes @ LGBT Center Marga Gomez performs and hosts a night of Pride comedy, with hilarious guest stars Natasha Muse, Justin Lucas and Riley Manlapaz. $15. 8pm. 1800 Market St.

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

<< Society

70 • BAY AREA REPORTER • June 21-27, 2012

Steven Underhill

Up on the roof, for a Pride party at the San Francisco LGBT Community Center.

Pride-ilicious partying! by Donna Sachet


nce the month of June starts, face it: it is time for Pride! Our first event was Saturday, June 9, when the LGBT Community Center kicked things off with four floors of celebration, coinciding with 10 years of service to the community. The first floor provided specific youth, elder, and kids space, reflecting the broad spectrum of ages served by programs at the Center. The second floor offered food samplings from a variety of neighborhood restaurants, and the third floor hosted art and video installations. The top floor was home to the Jose Cuervo Margarita and Barefoot bubbly bar, an extensive silent auction, and ongoing entertainment throughout the afternoon, emceed by the omnipresent radio personalities Greg Sherrell & Fernando Ventura. Executive Director Rebecca Rolfe closed things out by thanking the many sponsors and attendees, who included Supervisors Malia Cohen and Scott

Wiener, Zoe Dunning, Gary Virginia, Bob Mitchitarian, Athena Malkish, Andrea Shorter, Michael Montoya & Kevin Shanahan, Gregory Marks, Julian Chang, and Allison Sparks. Last Saturday was more packed with events, starting with a Wells Fargo-sponsored Frameline reception at Bisou, that intimate French restaurant in the Castro. Mario Diaz, Alec Hughes & Gavin Hamilton, Larry Cook, and others enjoyed tasty hors d’oeuvres and champagne before heading to the Castro Theatre for one of the Frameline film festival entries. If the long lines snaking up and down Castro are any indication, this year’s festival is a great success! Next we celebrated 30 years of business in the Castro with P.O. Plus. Rather than picking up mail or sending off packages, the store was packed with happy attendees sipping wine, noshing, and saluting Paul Moffett and his handsome team. In the crowd were Mike

Smith, Beth Feingold, Glennon Sutter, and others. Official certificates from State Senator Mark Leno and Supervisor Scott Wiener capped off the event. Then we walked in the glorious weather down to LookOut, where former Nsync singing group member and recent gay rights advocate Lance Bass arrived after the successful showing of his documentary film Mississippi I Am at the Roxie Theatre, also part of the Frameline festival. The usual crowd at this popular bar mixed well with the celebrity hounds and film devotees, including Bevan Dufty, Patrick Gallineaux, Ron Huberman, Steven Dorsey, and Steven Underhill. We ended the weekend with Sunday’s a Drag at Harry Denton’s Starlight Room, where the Academy of Friends bought out the second show and sold premium tickets as a fundraiser for their organization. The place was bustling with welldressed and appreciative supporters as the cast of Cassandra Cass, Mahlae Balenciaga, Holotta Tymes, and this humble columnist gave a rousing show. Bottomless Mimosas See page 71 >>

Coming up in leather and kink Thu., Jun. 21: Daddy Thursdays at Kok Bar. Shot & drink specials. 10 p.m.-close. Go to: Thu., Jun. 21: Underwear Night at The Powerhouse. Strip down for drink specials. 10 p.m.-close. Go to: Fri., Jun. 22: Annual Mr. Kok Kontest at Kok Bar. Whoever has the biggest wanker wins $150. Enter by Midnight. 9 p.m.-close. Kok opens early at 2 p.m. to celebrate Pride! Go to: Fri., Jun. 22: Monthly Steam Party at the Powerhouse, bathouse time! Men in towels! 9 p.m.-close. Go to: Fri., Jun. 22: Truck Wash at Truck (1900 Folsom). 10 p.m.-close. Live shower boys, drink specials! Go to: Sat., Jun. 23: Mr. S Locker Room Anniversary Party at Mr. S Leather (385 8th St.), free beer and food. 2-6 p.m. Check it out on Facebook. Sat., Jun. 23: 15 Association’s Men’s Dungeon Party in the upstairs playspace at Mr. S Leather, a maleonly event. 8 p.m.-1 a.m. $20. Doors close at 11 p.m. Go to:

Get into boots! Go to Sat., Jun. 23: Stallion Saturdays at Rebel Bar (1760 Market). Revolving DJs, afterhours fun! 9 p.m.-4 a.m. Go to: Sun., Jun. 24: Truck Bust Sundays at Truck. $1 beer bust. 4-8 p.m. Go to: Sun., Jun. 24: Jockstrap Beer Bust at Kok Bar. $8 beer bust, go-go studs. 3-7 p.m. Go to: Sun., Jun. 24: PoHo Sundays at The Powerhouse. Dollar drafts all day! Go to: Mon., Jun. 25: Trivia Night with host Casey Ley at Truck. 8-10 p.m. Go to: Tue., Jun. 26: So You Want To Be a Titleholder panel at the Lighthouse Community Center (1217 A. St., Hayward). Presented by Joan Norry and the Alameda County Leather Corps. 7-10 p.m. Go to Facebook for details. Tue., Jun. 26: Safeword: 12-Step Kink Recovery Group at the SF Citadel. 6:30-8 p.m. Go to: Tue., Jun. 26: Ink & Metal at The Powerhouse. 9 p.m.-close. Go to:

Sat., Jun. 23: BeatBox 1st Anniversary Party at BeatBox (314 11th St.), guest DJs. 10 p.m.-6 a.m. Go to:

Tue., Jun. 26: Kok Block at Kok Bar. Happy hour prices all night. Pool tournament 7-10 p.m.. Go to:

Sat., Jun. 23: Pride Mr. Package Contest at Kok Bar. Enter by Midnight. 9 p.m. – close. Go to:

Wed., Jun. 27: Leather Buddies at Blow Buddies (933 Harrison). Skivvies rule! A male-only club, doors open 8 p.m.-12 a.m. Play till late. Go to:

Sat., Jun. 23: All Beef Saturday Nights at The Lone Star (1354 Harrison). 100% SoMa Beef! 9 p.m.close. Go to: Sat., Jun. 23: Boot Lickin’ at The Powerhouse.

Wed., Jun. 27: Nipple Play at The Powerhouse. Show off your nips for drink specials. 10 p.m.-close. Go to:

Karrnal >>

June 21-27, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 71

Supersize me by John F. Karr


always want my column for the Gay Pride week to be hot and festive. So I’m sorry that the mix this year is going to include some sad. I was primed and salivating on June 14 when I was going to screen and then write about Falcon’s Body Shop. I think new star Trenton Ducati is mighty splendid, and the movie paired him with Erik – the incredible Colossus of – Rhodes. But a pall fell on that plan when I checked my e-mail, and found the announcement that Erik had died, in his sleep, at the age of 30, of a heart attack earlier that morning. The news made me so sad. I felt such empathy for a star who was by all accounts sweet-natured and friendly. I knew he had considerable personal difficulties, but I’m not like those “fans” of Judy Garland who hold the trauma more dear than the talent. How strongly I wish he’d had the gumption, courage, support, whatever, to have left the industry for the real world. While his performances thrilled us, they consumed him. I adored Erik’s size. What a huge slab of masculinity he was. Six foot, three inches, and almost as broad across, his was a unique body that was unparalleled in the industry. Solid muscle, with a masculine face, and mighty cock. And he was such a versatile and dedicated performer. Erik made his sexo debut when he was 22, in 2004, in the Studio 2000 film Flesh. Just imagine: his first costar was nasty Jason Crew. With Erik on all fours, top man Crew didn’t miss a stroke as his punchy thrusts from (and into) the rear pushed and propelled Erik on a jerky crawl across the patio to a deck chair. After that, for eight years, Erik was a Falcon Exclusive. He was loaned out once,


Falcon Studios

Sex performers Trenton Ducati and Erik – the incredible Colossus of – Rhodes in Falcon Studios’ Body Shop.

in 2009 BC (that’s Before Circumcision), for a solo scene at Randy Blue (it’s a beaut). And he did one indie, the unfortunate L.A. Zombie. All told, he made around 50 movies – although TLA lists 66 titles for Erik, at least a dozen are various repackagings and anthologies (BTW, the Falcon website needs updating: its entry for Erik thinks he’s still uncircumcised). The Falcon publicist feels sure the company has no further Rhodes scenes awaiting release. So Body Shop delivers his last Falcon scene, and it’s one of his very best. Erik’s terrifically exciting with Trenton Ducati, who meets him strength for strength. Porn journalist Zach, at The Sword, just last week named Ducati the first

recipient of his “I Need You Inside Me” Award. Obviously, Erik felt the same, for the men flip-fuck with no end of abandon. The movie has no plot; its scenes take place in a mechanic’s garage. I thrilled to E.M. Diaz’ music – its gut-bucket beat with simmering electronic overlays shotguns us right into the action, which director Tony Dimarco keeps at detonation level throughout. I’ll always find the Falcon way of brusquely editing directly into mid-fuck without preliminaries kinda jumpy, but it doesn’t disrupt continuity too badly as the action hurtles forward in this two-hour, grand slam collection. The cast thrives on the high-voltage approach; although their scenes aren’t quite on the thriller level of See page 74 >>

On the Town

From page 70

guaranteed a boisterous response. Afterwards, attendees were treated to a private tour of the Harry Denton suite in the hotel, not unexpectedly decked out in gold, red velvet, and sparkling crystal, much like the club itself. June ends with a barrage of Pride events, some of which we are happy to highlight for our attentive readers herewith. Tomorrow night, join us at the above mentioned Starlight Room for Swallow Your Pride, a Stoli-sponsored celebration featuring jalapeno- and honey-flavored vodkas, a sushi bar surrounding Cassandra Cass in mermaid attire, other edibles from Bravo’s Top Chef competitors Jen Biesty and Tim Nugent, and entertainment from Anita Cocktail, Liz Primo, and Gypsy Love (who is featured on the Main Stage at Civic Center on Pride Sunday). Grand Marshals of the Pride Parade Gary Virginia, Sister Roma, and Rebecca Prozan will attend, and DJ Christopher B will keep us dancing well into the night. Your ticket price benefits the Richmond/Ermet AIDS Foundation. That same night Empress Marlena invites one and all to celebrate 25 years of good times at Marlena’s bar in Hayes Valley. As this neighborhood has evolved from sleepy hamlet to thriving mecca, Marlena’s continues to welcome the diverse neighborhood with generous cocktails, friendly service, and regular weekly drag shows with some of the city’s best entertainers, hosted by the fabulous Galilea. Gary Virginia and this writer cordially invite you to the 14th an-

Steven Underhill

Three caballeros at the Pride party at the W Hotel in San Francisco.

nual Pride Brunch presented by Wells Fargo on Saturday, June 23, at Hotel Whitcomb from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., benefiting Positive Resource Center and honoring all the Grand Marshals of the LGBT Pride Parade. This Official SF Pride Event includes a glorious brunch buffet, music by the Dixieland Dykes + 3, Barefoot bubbly and Stoli vodka drinks, silent auction, and heartfelt remarks from each of the Grand Marshals. Don’t miss it! This year’s Pride Parade on Sunday, June 24, is more accessible than ever, whether you choose to join the masses in person or watch the live television coverage, co-anchored by Michelle Meow, Sebastian Kunz, and ourselves, on Comcast channel

104, webcast on, the Ustream web site, or KOFY-TV that night. While some voices may question the need for such celebrations, we whole-heartedly endorse this annual, over-the-top San Francisco extravaganza, embracing the full spectrum of our diverse LGBT community. Immediately after the Parade, you’ll find many of us at Juanita More!’s infamous Pride Party at the Phoenix Hotel and Jones club, where the entertainment will amaze you, and the cute attendees will mesmerize you. In the midst of all the big parties, we encourage you to take a moment to appreciate the beauty and inclusiveness of this Land of Oz we call home. Happy Pride, everyone!▼

<< Theatre

72 • BAY AREA REPORTER • June 21-27, 2012

The way he was: Arthur Laurents by Tavo Amador



lthough less well-known than other openly gay post-WWII writers Tennessee Williams, Gore Vidal, Truman Capote, William Inge and James Baldwin, Arthur Laurents (1917-2011) was equally influential. A successful dramatist for radio, stage, screen, and television, librettist for two landmark Broadway musicals, novelist, theatre director, and author of a terrific memoir, Original Story, he was prolific. Compelled by the conventions of the era, he often transformed his homosexual experiences into heterosexual situations, proving that many emotions are universal. Born Arthur Levine in Brooklyn to an upper-middle-class Jewish family, he felt the prevalent antiSemitism in American society, making him a double outsider. He had his first homosexual experiences as a teenager, continued them in college with an athletic classmate, then enjoyed the relatively open gay scene that thrived in the Army during the Second World War, and subsequently in Manhattan. His radio-writing credits kept him out of combat. He authored training films, working with openly gay Hollywood director George Cukor in Astoria, Queens, a friendship that would be rekindled when Laurents moved to Tinseltown. In 1945, his first play, Home of the Brave, about anti-Semitism in the army, was produced in Manhattan and earned good reviews. In 1949, he wrote the film version, changing the protagonist to African-American. Rope (1948), his first screenplay, was a gay romance based on the notorious real-life lovers and killers Nathan Leopold and Arthur Loeb.

Prolific talent Arthur Laurents proved that emotions are universal.

Alfred Hitchcock directed. Classically handsome Farley Granger, one of the film’s stars, was gay, and he and Laurents were living together, a relationship that lasted several years. Uncredited, he contributed to The Snake Pit (1948), a searing story about mental illness starring Olivia de Havilland. He wrote the suspenseful Caught, directed by the great Max Ophuls, and starring James Mason and Barbara Bel Geddes as a woman whose husband (Robert Ryan) is insane. Anna Lucasta (1949) was a sympathetic look at an exploited prostitute (Paulette Goddard). In 1950, he was blacklisted. He and Granger spent 18 months living in Paris, and traveling in Europe and Morocco. Two years later, he triumphed on Broadway with The Time of the Cuckoo, starring the great Shirley Booth (years before television’s Hazel) in a Tonywinning performance as a spinster vacationing in Venice who finds love with a married man. Overcome by guilt and fear, she returns to her dull life. He authored the screenplay for the movie version, Summertime (1955), directed by David Lean, with Katherine Hepburn in an Oscar-nominated performance. Laurents would later admit that his heroine’s sexual hysteria was based on his own anxieties about living with Granger, because doing so confirmed his homosexuality. His screenplay for Anastasia (1956) helped Ingrid Bergman cap a sensational comeback with an Oscar. His wrote the book for West Side Story (1957), perhaps the gayest Broadway musical ever, despite its heterosexual plot. Directed by closeted Jerome Robbins, it had music by bisexual Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by gay Stephen Sondheim, and starred gay singer/dancer Larry Kert as Tony. Its impact was enormous. He adapted Francoise Sagan’s scandalous novel Bonjour Tristesse (1958) for Otto Preminger’s hit picture, starring David Niven, Deborah Kerr and Jean Seberg. Many critics and historians of the Broadway musical hail Gypsy (1959) as its greatest example, in large part because of Laurents’ uncompromising libretto. With music by Jules Styne and lyrics by Sondheim, it gave Ethel Merman the finest role of her incomparable career. Laurents warned, “Rose is a monster.” “I’ll do anything you want,” she replied. Angela Lansbury, Tyne Daly, Bernadette Peters and Patti LuPone starred in successful Broadway revivals. He directed the Daly (1974) and LuPone (2008) productions,

earning a Tony nomination each time. In 1962, he helmed Barbra Streisand and Elliot Gould in I Can Get It for You Wholesale, the Broadway musical that launched their careers and led to their marriage. He authored screenplays for West Side Story (1961) and Gypsy (1962), directed and wrote Sondheim’s failed Anyone Can Whistle (1964), adapted Cuckoo for the Richard Rogers musical Do I Hear a Waltz? (1965), and penned Hallelujah Baby! (1967), which won the Tony for Best Musical and earned him that award for his libretto. His screenplay for The Way We Were (1973) drew upon his life. The reaction of the Jewish heroine (Streisand) to attracting and marrying the classic WASP dreamboat (Robert Redford) was based on Laurents’ own feelings about Granger. It incorporated his blacklisting experiences and liberal politics. During filming, Redford reportedly had Laurents briefly removed because his part was subservient to Streisand’s. Pauline Kael dismissed it as star-driven “entertainment,” and David Thomson loathed it. Audiences, however, made it a smash. Laurents adapted his novel The Turning Point for the commercially successful 1977 movie, which earned him an Oscar nomination. Based loosely on his relationship with ballerina Nora Kaye and directed by her husband, choreographer Herbert Ross, it featured a dreadful performance by a miscast Anne Bancroft. Co-star Shirley MacLaine fared better, but the movie is bathetic high camp. Blame for that, however, lies mainly with Ross. In 1983, he won a second Tony for directing Jerry Herman’s La Cage Aux Folles, another milestone musical about gay lovers. In 1993, Bette Midler starred on television in Gypsy, but unlike Merman, she softened Rose, with disappointing results. Streisand, meanwhile, is reportedly negotiating to remake the movie. At 90, Laurents guided the hit Broadway revival of West Side Story, changing his script to include Spanish-language dialogue. After his relationship with Granger ended, Vidal suggested he seek out aspiring actor/Beverly Hills clothing store manager Tom Hatcher. Their 52-year relationship ended with Hatcher’s 2006 death – the same year Granger’s partner of over 30 years, Robert Calhoun, died. On May 6, 2011, the day after his death, Broadway theatres dimmed their lights for one minute in Laurents’ honor – a fitting tribute to a versatile talent.▼

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74 • BAY AREA REPORTER • June 21-27, 2012


Mysteries for summer reading by Tavo Amador


or many, summer is vacation time, and whether sitting poolside, in a garden, on a beach, onboard a plane, or on a boat, good whodunits are perfect ways to help unwind. Several new and lively titles will transport readers to different eras and locations. In 1892, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, worn out from the success of Sherlock Holmes, takes a rest cure at a German spa. He brings a box of fan mail. While at the spa, he meets Oscar Wilde, who gallantly offers to help him sort through the admiring missives. Alas, buried amidst the letters is a severed hand. Thus begins Oscar Wilde and the Vatican Murders (Touchstone, $17.25), the fifth in Gyles Brandreth’s entertaining series. Such clues as there are lead Wilde and Doyle to Rome, a city mourning the death of Pope Pius IX. But not all the members of the College of Cardinals are grieving. Many are competing to be elected Pontiff. Conspiracies abound. Wilde and Doyle encounter political agendas, corruption, and dangerous, highly placed officials who don’t want embarrassing truths revealed. Brandreth has a good ear for Wilde’s pithy wit and his essential kindness. He effectively evokes late-19th century Rome. In 1890, a depressed Vincent van Gogh committed suicide by shooting himself in a cornfield. That, at least, is the official story. But why did he do it? How did he manage to walk a mile to get help from a doctor? Why had the painter recently become frightened of a stunningly rich blue color? In the clever Sacre Bleu (Harper Collins, $26.99), Christopher Moore challenges the accepted version of events, using baker/artist Lucien Lesard and

Henri Toulouse-Lautrec as amateur detectives. Their search for the truth takes them to the most scandalous places in Paris, filled with ladies of easy virtue, the men who enjoy them, and other pleasures not discussed in polite society. Moore knows Paris and recreates the era with charm and humor. Fans of Downton Abbey will rejoice in author Rhys Bowen’s latest Lady Georgina mystery, Naughty in Nice (Berkely Crime, $9.98.) The perpetually broke Georgie, daughter of a Duke and 34th in line for the throne, has once again been “invited” by Queen Mary to discreetly perform a service for the royal family. This time, she’s sent to the Cote d’Azure to recover a priceless stolen snuff box. She meets Coco Chanel, who asks her to model her latest

creations. While strutting her stuff, Georgie discovers that a diamond necklace belonging to her majesty has disappeared. Her search for lost treasures leads to murder. Fortunately, the virile, handsome, dashing Lord Darcy O’Meara is on hand to complicate matters for Georgie. Bowen gently pokes fun at a privileged society, but Georgie, whose maternal grandfather is a retired cockney cop, has her well-shod feet in two worlds – and sees the best and worst of both. London at the beginning of World War II is the setting for Susan Elia Macneal’s splendid debut novel, Mr. Churchill’s Secretary (Bantam, $15). When one of the “girls” working for the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street is murdered, Anglo-American Maggie Hope, an MIT graduate,

agrees to replace her, despite being overqualified. She resents that only men are allowed to be Churchill’s Private Secretaries, but even reduced to taking dictation, typing, and running errands, Maggie’s intelligence and resourcefulness shine. The Nazis may be the biggest threat to the Empire, but the IRA and British Fascists also pose grave risks. Wartime London was a scary place, and Macneal shows how people survived while living under the constant fear of bombings. Churchill’s ego, courage, and determination are well characterized. One of Maggie’s colleagues is gay, and the Aunt who raised her, a college professor, had a “Boston marriage” with another woman. Anthony Eden and Frederick Ashton are among those making cameo appearances. Suspenseful and evocative. Prey on Patmos (Poisoned Pen Press, $14.95) is Jeffrey Siger’s exciting follow-up to his terrific Assassins of Athens, featuring Inspector Andreas Kaldis. A revered Monk is found dead in the island’s town square. Kaldis’ investigation leads him to Mount Athos, named for a giant who unsuccessfully challenged Poseidon, and now site of 20 Christian monasteries, a place where women have been barred for 1,000 years. Seemingly placid, it’s actually filled with unholy intrigue. The Eastern Orthodox Church wants to protect its reputation. Kaldis, however, must solve the murder. He’s


Karrnal Knowledge

From page 71

Rhodes/Ducati and especially Jessie Colter and Charlie Harding, both Landon Conrad with Marc Dylan and Chris Tyler with Brian Bonds make it seem genuine. Rhodes and Ducati are butch and beautiful, and have knock-down sex. It’s not at all a put-down if I say that they’re upstaged by Jessie Coulter and stud newcomer Charlie Harding in their sensational, classic scene. Harding’s a hunky blond top with a grizzled look that proclaims him, despite his relative youth, an incipient Dad. Coulter always slays me; in this one, he shows he’s one of the all-time best vocalizers. You’ve never heard such sex-yells, nor seen such a thrillingly agonized, convulsive wow of a juice jet. I’d meant this column to offer congratulations to Chris Ward and his fine staff of directors at Raging Stallion/Falcon. I was skeptical when the companies were merged, but am being soothed and reassured by a steady stream of product that’s dependably good and frequently excellent. I’ll always wish sexographers

sympathetic, open-minded, and aware that ancient customs, good and bad, frequently have modernday counterparts, often with unforeseen consequences. As regularly as the aqua alta and the countless tourists who descend on Venice in the summer, Donna Leon annually produces a gripping Inspector Guido Brunetti mystery. Her latest in paperback is Drawing Conclusions (Penguin, $15). A young woman, worried about her downstairs neighbor, discovers the widow’s lifeless body. The medical examiner concludes she died of a heart attack. Her son is greatly relieved. She was old, and life was no longer easy or enjoyable. Brunetti, however, has his doubts. Trusting his instincts, he begins an investigation that takes him and readers through the labyrinthine world of corrupt Venetian society. Brunetti’s intelligence, compassion, and belief in justice make him unfailingly good company. His wife, Paola, daughter of a rich count but a leftwing college professor who adores Henry James, is on hand to cook good meals, listen, and help, as are their children, Chiara and Raffi, and the regulars at police headquarters, including the unflappable and amazing Signorina Elettra. Leon’s recreation of La Serenisima’s crumbling beauty, her weather, smells, food, geography, the frustration, danger, and joy of living there, is unerring.▼

could deliver more art and less product, but you can’t argue with Falcon movies like Body Shop, or the sex-party-themed Hung Over, with its strong duos and swell orgy. Well, I do have a criticism. My last article pondered filmmakers’ marketing ploy of G4P [gay-for-pay] guys approaching homosex with step-by-step caution. Turns out the very guy I’d been anonymously describing, handsome and beautifully hung Paddy O’Brian, had just been signed as an Exclusive performer by Raging Stallion. Sure, I’m looking forward to seeing Paddy. But guardedly. What sort of G4P guy is he gonna be? Both Paddy and RS have a right to exploit his looks, but at what point, though, does the company begin to exploit their audience? I expect real and truthfully gay sex from RS and Falcon, not the play-acted, emotionally impassive variety that I’m thinking is what Paddy has to offer. If he’s as good as Reese Rideout or Parker London, well then, whoopee. If not – well, to all my readers, Happy Pride. To Paddy’s employers, Happy Profit. www. ▼

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76 • BAY AREA REPORTER • June 21-27, 2012

DVD >>

Letting it all hang out by David-Elijah Nahmod Bear Nation (Kino Lorber)


evin Smith speaks candidly in Malcolm Ingram’s eye-opening documentary Bear Nation, newly out on DVD. The filmmaker bestknown for creating Clerks and the Jay and Silent Bob characters has never been one to bow to the rules of political correctness. Smith, who produced the film, talks about being a “fat, hairy slob who couldn’t get laid.” “I kept my shirt on during sex. Hell, I kept my shirt on in the shower,” he recalls gleefully. Though straight, Smith jumped at the chance to appear with Ingram on the cover of A Bear’s Life magazine. He cheerfully admits to David Letterman that he was stunned yet delighted to realize that there were people out there who were willing to sexualize him, big belly and all. “Beauty is subjective,” observes one rather thin young man, who prefers the company of bears. What’s a bear? A bear is a gay man who might be overweight, might


Lavender Tube

From page 66

Or worse. We see bottle-feeding in her kid’s future. When Chang showed her the recent Newsweek cover with the fouryear-old (he only looked 10) breastfeeding from his sexy high-heeled mother, she declared it disgusting and made a classic Snooki face. So that’s one aspect of nurturing that’s clearly off the table, so to speak. Snooki did say she’d tell her child about her Jersey Shore days, to put


be hairy, or is just about anyone who doesn’t fit into the traditional buffed, pretty-boy look that’s defined gay culture for the past few decades. For many years, bears were relegated to the sidelines. Labeled as trolls, they were deemed unworthy of having sex or receiving love. But all that’s changed, according to Ingram’s film. Bears have created their own subculture, where they celebrate who they are. And much to the surprise of many, they have more than a few admirers. One of Bear Nation’s most provocative and moving moments is a brief interview with a gay couple. They don’t provide their names, but their blunt candor is most refreshing. One of them is a cute young twink. The other is a slightly older, very overweight bear. “He’d do anything for me,” says the bear. As they smile and kiss each other, their love for each other radiates from within their souls. Of course, nothing is perfect, and that includes the bear world. Some of the interviewees express their dismay at the A-list mentality that’s

seeped into parts of the bear culture. It’s a sad thing to see, they observe, that a doubly marginalized people, first for being gay, then for being bears, would seek to further marginalize others of their kind. But Bear Nation is, for the most part, a joyous celebration of a people who’ve been pushed into the background for too long. Like the larger community around them, they’ve kicked open the closet door, ripped their shirts off, and embraced who they are. The film takes us inside a bear convention in Chicago, a bear dance club in London, and talks to bears all over the world. We even meet a bear punk-rocker. “My definition of a bear is someone who accepts you whether you wear name-brand clothes or no clothes at all,” observes Robert, a young man from Dallas. “Whether you have fur or no fur, whether you’re fat or skinny, you’re still part of this community.”▼

things in perspective for him or her. Just imagine that conversation. Speaking of off-color conversation, World News Now co-hosts Rob Nelson and Paula Faris are both great reporters and pretty hilarious stand-up comics as well. In their nightly celeb round-up called The Skinny, both push the censorship envelope on a regular basis. Last week while reporting on Bristol Palin’s baby daddy Levi Johnston, who has got some other Alaskan gal pregnant, the duo reported that Johnston had been offered a nude

photo spread, which prompted Nelson to comment, “Pictures of Johnston’s Johnson, eh?” On their June 15 show, they did a spot on gifts to give Dad for Father’s Day, which was pretty funny. One such gift idea was “Man Candles,” which have manly scents like Mowed Lawn and Wood. “We won’t go there,” Nelson noted, adding his own suggestions for man scents, including “Unflushed Toilet.” Another Dad’s Day gift suggestion was Louis Vuitton condoms, which prompted Nelson to assert

Bear Nation is now out on DVD. Disc extras include a raunchy extended interview with Kevin Smith.

that buyers would “get the shaft” because of the price, but it was a “ballsy move.” Faris explained that the condoms were designed specifically for World AIDS Day last December, and a portion of the proceeds go towards AIDS services. Finally, our favorite closet case ABC’s Good Morning America coanchor Robin Roberts announced she has bone marrow disease caused by the chemotherapy she received while battling breast cancer. Roberts used her cancer diagnosis to raise awareness of breast cancer and the

Susan Stroman

From page 57

it and wanted to bring it to Broadway,” Stroman said. “We weren’t going to stand in their way. In the end, it got 12 Tony nominations, so that gave it a little bit more weight for it to then have a future.” And now it is finding its home in regional theaters, just as Stroman had hoped. “It’s perfect for regional theaters, because those audiences are devotees of the theatre, and want the new and the interesting.” The story behind The Scottsboro Boys was a media sensation in the early 1930s, but its details had faded over time. Nine black teens had hopped a freight between Chattanooga and Memphis, and were yanked from the train outside Scottsboro, Ala., by a deputized posse that also found aboard two white girls who accused the nine of rape. In a series of rushed trials, all but one of the nine were sentenced to die. A grandstanding Jewish lawyer from New York, hired by the American Communist Party, arrived in Alabama expecting to be the next Clarence Darrow, but further stirred prejudicial waters as cases dragged on for years, even after both white girls recanted their testimonies. When Stroman had been working with lyricist Fred Ebb and composer John Kander on a revival of Flora, the Red Menace, a musical comedy centered on communist recruitment in the 1930s, and then on the Depression-era Steel Pier, their research led them to references to the Scottsboro Boys. In 2002, sitting around Ebb’s kitchen table, Stroman, Kander, and Ebb began brainstorming how the story of the Scottsboro Boys could be told as a musical. “Fred said, ‘If you don’t make it entertaining, no one will listen,’ and

Multiple Tony-winner Susan Stroman wasn’t surprised when The Scottsboro Boys failed to attract a Broadway audience, but she has been guiding its way into regional theaters.

we wanted to make it informative but not like an after-school special,” Stroman said. “Some shows you walk away from and you don’t discuss them at dinner, but this one you will discuss no matter how it makes you feel. I think if a musical can make a group of people have a conversation, that’s everything to its creators.” Kander and Ebb had treated serious subjects in musical-comedy terms before, such as using a nightclub in Cabaret to help explore the Nazi rise in Germany, and casting a story of judicial corruption and media manipulation as a vaudeville in Chicago. But the decision to use a minstrel-show format in which the Scottsboro Boys would tell their story was a risky one because of the minstrel show’s racist roots, and the stigma that has basically exterminated it as an entertainment form. Although there would be a brief flurry of protests against the show’s

Henry DiRocco

Jared Joseph in minstrel-show costuming helps tell the story of The Scottsboro Boys, whose trials became notorious episodes in racist justice.

minstrel format, they wouldn’t arise for years. When Fred Ebb died of a heart attack in 2004, Stroman assumed the project died with him, and moved on to other ventures. “About three years ago, John Kander called me and said, ‘Can we look at this again?’ And as we started to go through it, I realized how much had already been done, and we worked on it some more with [librettist]

David Thompson.” The Vineyard Theatre, where Stroman got her first big break choreographing Flora, the Red Menace and became friends with Kander and Ebb, offered to produce it. In the production, a cast of nine young African-American actors play not only the Scottsboro Boys but also all the other characters, black and white, male and female,

high risk that women of color face. Now she’s using this new battle to draw attention to the need for bone marrow typing for the bone marrow registry. Donating bone marrow no longer means the big needle in the hip bone. It’s now akin to giving blood, as NBC’s Dr. Nancy Snyderman explained on Rock Center June 14. We wish Roberts well and hope that as viewers watch her fight for her life, they’ll also register to save a life. When TV offers us such divergent opportunities, how can we not stay tuned?▼

sympathetic and cruel. There is one white actor on stage, in the traditional minstrel role of the emceeing interlocutor (Hal Linden at ACT). The set consists mainly of a collection of chairs that the cast maneuvers to create scenes ranging from the boxcar to the courtroom, to jail cells, and even to the electric chair. “Once we got on a roll with the idea that the boys could take over a minstrel show and use it to tell their story,” Stroman said, “we just wanted chairs on stage so they’re building their own sets as well, which allows them to be in charge of the whole show.” Stroman was in San Diego working with the largely new cast before the opening at the Old Globe, and will be in San Francisco for a few days to get the production through tech and first previews. Then it’s back to New York, where she is at work on four productions: a musical adaptation of the movie Big Fish, a retrospective of Hal Prince’s career titled Prince of Broadway, a collaboration with Woody Allen to turn his movie Bullets over Broadway into a musical, and a musical inspired by the Degas sculpture Little Dancer of Fourteen Years. “Living the freelance life is a little tricky, so you keep working on multiple projects hoping someone will take your work and share it,” she said. And her busyness is also an antidote to any encroaching sadness. “I feel like I’ve lost lots of people, and the theater keeps me going,” Stroman said. “You want to think that if you’re forced to get on that giant rollercoaster, there must be a reason someone put you on it. There has to be some payoff, and hopefully it’s in your art.”▼ The Scottsboro Boys will run June 21-July 15 at ACT. Tickets are $20-$95. Call 729-2228 or go to

▼ <<

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June 21-27, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 77

Frameline 36

From page 57

what, in English, can read as pretentious twaddle – but there are also wonderful pit-stops: hypnotic demonstrations of how method acting can tap into an actor’s sense memories to allow the emotional underpinnings of a scene to come alive for an audience; an extended sexual rondo between Dean and a sensitive boy who shares Jimmy’s fascination with bullfighting. There’s a funny throughline from Dean’s wanting the “gory” details of a matador’s death into his initiating the boy into the joys of anal intercourse. Half-a-century after his chief rivals for greatest American film actor have lost their luster – Brando by abusing his body and talent, and Newman by turning into an iconic salad dressing – James Dean remains forever young, forever gay, his patented ability to just be on screen now the signature of Sundance-era rebels Dano, Franco and Gordon-Levitt. (Castro, 6/21) Me @ The Zoo If James Dean had stayed back home in Indiana, his mischievous charms would be lost to us. Thanks to his trusty webcam, an inexhaustible supply of peroxide, and a penchant for cross-gender musings while clinging to a skinny-boy physique, Chris Crocker’s stab at stardom has remained grounded in his oh-sopatient Grandma’s rural Tennessee ranch house. Harassed all through middle school by hillbilly thugs, Crocker opts to be home-schooled while launching a YouTube show that goes viral with his Internet primal scream, “Leave Britney alone!” In their HBO documentary (executive produced by Jim McKay and REM’s Michael Stipe), Chris Moukarbel and Valerie Veatch plunge into the weird, perilous world of digital celebrity vs. cyberbullying. A kissing cousin to Tarnation, Jonathan Caouette’s incendiary cocktail of a prodigy queer boy who keeps his Southern roots to save his mom, Me @ The Zoo is an entertaining guide to streaming an unfiltered queer gender-rebel identity, but also a disturbing glimpse at how much the old rules of the Hollywood game persist as Crocker’s bid for his own TV reality show crashes and burns. Crocker is a survivor, and the film’s postscript provides a moving peek at a mature queer boy effectively parenting his distraught Iraqi war vet Mom. (Castro, 6/23) Two Guys in a Backyard While on the subject of viral YouTube hits, the boy boxing movement (inspired by that great “queer” classic, Fight Club) is represented in a sassy Aussie short. Tez Frost merely dips his toe in the pool with this buddy backyard wrestling tussle that slaps a political correct ending on an underground phenomenon that is as pervasive and perplexing as the much bigger cash cow Mixed Martial Arts. If you want to glimpse the potential for short film mischief in this ambiguous male grappling, check out YouTube classics Rabbit’s Revenge and Jacob vs. Max (KO). (With:) Alone with Mr. Carter Quebec filmmaker Jean-Pierre Bergeron is successful in invoking the confounding ironies of intergenerational love in this sweet, witty homage to a young teen’s crush on his ex-cop older neighbor. John’s budding lust merges with a surprising empathy for the older man’s problem: moving to the States with a mood-swinging girlfriend. (With:) 7 Deadly Kisses My fascination with boys kissing boys gets a vivid workout in Indonesian director Sammaria Simanjunrak’s farcical montage on bad kisses. This is one time where the warning “don’t try this at home” definitely does not apply. (With:) 33 Teeth Canadian Evan Roberts gives a comic demonstration on the virtues of stalking your hunky nextdoor neighbor. You may want to take notes as our adolescent hero Eddie fools his love object’s mom into giving him an all-access pass to their


Chris Crocker in Chris Moukarbel and Valerie Veatch’s Me @ The Zoo.


Scene from director Tez Frost’s short film Two Guys in a Backyard.


British author W. Somerset Maugham in Michael House’s Revealing Mr. Maugham.

bathroom and a prized fetish object. (all: Fun in Boy Shorts program, Castro, 6/24) Boy Cheerleaders James Newton’s emotionally engaging doc explores the Billy Elliot movement in the struggle of a gaggle of workingclass middle-school lads to snatch a prize in a traditionally girl-dominated competition: the UK Cheerleading Championships. Only one of the lads, pint-sized Harvey, shows the promise of turning pom-pom jiggling into an adult career path. His dodgy pals are merely trying to quit their bad habits long enough to please their single mums. Caution: this doc’s pleasures can best be appreciated by accessing your Midlands English slang translation app. (Roxie, 6/23) Revealing Mr. Maugham My curiosity about both the notoriety

of and critical dismissal of the still popular British author W. Somerset Maugham was completely satisfied by Michael House’s amazing exploration of the life of a misunderstood queer literary hero. Raised in the first decade of his life as a French boy before the death of his parents forced a rude repatriation to a less-than-jollyold England, Maugham was a very unhappy English school lad who compensated by developing what would become a lifelong stammer. Escaping to Germany for his college years, Maugham exercised his penchant for boys and financed his life by becoming the most successful novelist/playwright/short story writer of his age. Balancing a notorious hetero marriage, which produced a daughter, with a peripatetic queer literary life – he would eventually take up with na-

tive San Franciscan Gerald Haxton – Maugham forged a global fan club by distilling the nuances of taboo sexual liaisons in such still-popular classics as Of Human Bondage and The Razor’s Edge. Clips from Hollywood’s take on Maugham provide revealing glimpses of then-struggling ingénues Joan Crawford and Betty Davis. (Castro, 6/21) Taking a Chance on God Those of us 1970s queer activist survivors get a rejuvenating boost from the reemergence of one of our heroes, Catholic priest rebel Father John McNeill. In these sorry times when the word priest conjures up rude jokes, it’s instructive to follow this working-class WWII vet’s journey to composing a theological version of the popular slogan “Gay is good,” laying the philosophical basis for the gay Catholic group

Dignity. McNeill’s teachings, distilled in the revelatory The Church and the Homosexual, would cause him to be first silenced, then expelled by Vatican blue meanies. It’s refreshing to see McNeill’s humane teaching attacked by precisely the old-boy bishops whose leadership is literally on trial. Branden Fay’s engaging doc also reveals the hand of the current Pope in Vatican dogma encouraging violence against queer people. (Victoria, 6/23) Cloudburst In Act I of this rudely funny, linguistically profane road comedy of lesbians on the run from Canada’s Thom Fitzgerald, Stella, a pickup-driving, heavy-drinking lesbian who swears like a sailor, sneaks into the rest home to which her 30-year squeeze Dot has been committed. “Hey, you know you’re not supposed to be up there after 9:30.” “I feel like I’m nine years old again!” “You know the rules.” “That’s what Joseph Goebbels said.” If you’re allergic to film festival opening- or closing-night movies because they’re often too much like big-screen Masterpiece Theatre, or worse, Hallmark Hall of Fame, Cloudburst may be for you. In addition to a rip-roaring tale of two old gals who still fuss, fight and fuck, the movie levels all the analretentive FCC rules that have all but destroyed over-the-air American TV. In a telling moment, Stella has hitched a ride with a gentlemen who’s not all that fond of the “C word.” “So Stella, what takes you to Canada?” “I’m going to meet up with Dottie, and get away from her cunt-faced daughter.” “I wish you wouldn’t use the ‘C word.’” “What, are you crazy? Cunt is for punctuation. I love cunt. Cunt is a temple, cunt is fast foods: cunt, pussy, snatch – just saying the words makes me drool.” Cloudburst will render some nostalgic, not for the never-was Michael Dukakis Administration, but for the brief reign of Olympia and her Oscar-winning performance in John Patrick Shanley’s Moonstruck. Dukakis’ Stella forms a tempestuous coupling with Brenda Fricker’s more demure Dot, but both women make you root for folks who have the spunk to run away from home at 70, particularly from the sort of old-age home that, as Dot notes, puts ornery residents to sleep with a nightly shot of horse tranquilizer. The son of a British sea cook, I’ve never fully trusted folks who don’t swear. In Stella and Dot I trust – plus their young boychik hitchhiker companion isn’t so bad, either. (Castro, 6/24, closing night) Do You Have a Cat? The one time my good friend Howard stayed with my petaholic Mom, Mom’s oldest cat took a swipe at his balls in the bathroom. Director Jason Sax’s bisexual, extremely feline-allergic heroine feels she’s entered into some kind of cat-ruled Twilight Zone when every move she makes on the speed-dating circuit puts her deeper into litter-box country. (Fun in Girl Shorts program, Castro, 6/24) Chloe Likes Olivia Mette Kjaergaard introduces a couple: bartender Olivia and her soon-to-belegal wife Andrea. The women enjoy spiking their relationship with casual, one-time-only ménages. Olivia returns late one night with 19-yearold newbie Chloe; things begin to go awry when the youngster picks an inappropriate costume from the play closet: a horny bear suit. Things get edgy as Andrea directs Olivia to spank the naughty bear, hard. In 19 minutes, we view a lifetime of tricky game-playing by a possibly notpermanent couple; a fascinating reply to the S/M rule about stopping when your bottom requests you to. (Worldly Women program, Castro, 6/23)▼

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June 21, 2012 editon 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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