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Remembering Gwen Araujo



'Capulets' costumes


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

Vol. 42 • No. 40 • October 4-10, 2012

LGBTs to protest Cordileone Gay county S fair hits Castro by Chuck Colbert

by Matthew S. Bajko


t’s been San Francisco’s gay version of a fall harvest festival for nearly 40 years, and this Sunday the annual Castro Street Fair is fully embracing that heritage. The 39th installment of the outdoor party has adopted a “County Fair” theme this year, with promotional material sporting an apple pie, a cherry-eating giant-sized rooster, and images of typical amusement park rides. Unfortunately for thrill-ride enthusiasts, there won’t be any such offerings at the fair. “Even though there are silhouettes of a roller coaster and Ferris wheel on the posters, you cannot expect those. That is either good news or bad news depending on who you are,” said Fred Lopez, the fair board’s president, in detailing plans for the event at a recent Castro merchant See page 14 >>

Brown signs ban on anti-gay therapy by Seth Hemmelgarn


s part of a slew of action on many LGBT-related bills, California Governor Jerry Brown ended weeks of suspense by signing Senate Bill 1172 over the Lydia Gonzales weekend. The bill, Governor authored by Senator Ted Lieu (D-Tor- Jerry Brown rance), bans statelicensed mental health professionals from attempting to engage in efforts to alter the sexual orientation of LGBT youth 18 years and younger. SB 1172 was sent to the governor in late August and supporters had put out calls for people to contact the governor via email and through social networking sites. As the Bay Area Reporter noted on its blog, Brown See page 14 >>

an Francisco, here he comes: A new spiritual leader for the Catholic archdiocese that spans the city, Marin, and San Mateo counties and is home to 1.7 million people, 25 percent of whom are Catholic. But just how to throw down the welcome mat for Archbishop-elect Salvatore Cordileone, also known as the “Godfather of Proposition 8” – the state’s same-sex marriage ban – is a matter of perspective for activists, LGBT Catholics, elected officials, and a priest based in San Francisco’s most celebrated gay parish. The Reverend Brian Costello, pastor of the Castro’s Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, said he intends to extend “the warmest welcome possible,” going so far as to invite Cordileone not only “here for one of our Sunday Masses so he can celebrate with the community,” but also to join with parishioners for a reception after Mass in the church’s social hall. Cordileone needs to experience “what a wonderful community MHR” is, said Costello, who will attend the archbishop’s installation at St. Mary’s Cathedral at 2 p.m. today (Thursday, October 4). “I’m hoping he will accept my invitation and come to greet and meet my parishio-

Steven Underhill

Archbishop-elect Salvatore Cordileone spoke with reporters when his appointment was announced in July.

ners,” said Costello during a telephone interview this week. Gay District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener voiced agreement with a getting-to-know-us approach. By that he said, “Get to know real,

live LGBT people and families and people with kids and see first hand their lives are impacted by things like Prop 8.” But said Wiener, whose district includes See page 13 >>

Gay Marine returns Wiener for SF Fleet Week introduces nudity ban G N by Matthew S. Bajko

arth Langley grew up in San Carlos and graduated from California State University East Bay with degrees in political science and criminal justice. As a boy he spent many days hanging out at a hair salon on Church Street in San Francisco where his mom worked. He now lives in Carlsbad south of Camp Pendleton where he is a public affairs officer for the United States Marine Corps. A first lieutenant with the 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade, Langley handles media requests and writes up press releases for the base. This week he is stationed out of the Marines Memorial Club Hotel near San Francisco’s Union Square juggling reporters’ inquiries about the goings on for this year’s Fleet Week as the spokesman for the Marine Corps. The annual civic celebration of the military kicked off Wednesday, October 3 and runs through Tuesday, October 9. It coincides with Langley’s 25th birthday on Monday and marks the first time he is representing the armed services during the ceremonies as an out gay man. Langley began coming out in January to family, friends, and coworkers after being assigned to the southern California base. Having

by Matthew S. Bajko

Rick Gerharter

First Lieutenant Garth Langley

been embraced not only by his relatives but also his military commanders and fellow Marines, Langley hopes to use his experience to help other service members come out of the closet. “I decided that I would come out and never


See page 14 >>

udity will be front and center at San Francisco City Hall now that gay District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener has moved forward with plans to ban nudists from the city’s sidewalks and public Supervisor plazas. Scott Wiener Last month the Bay Area Reporter broke the news that Wiener, who represents the gay Castro district, was looking at outlawing public nudity. At the board’s October 2 meeting he introduced an ordinance that would amend the city’s police code to require people be clothed on public streets and parklets as well as on transit vehicles and at Muni stations. The increasing number of nudists congregating in the Castro correlated with the rise in complaints about their behavior led Wiener to determine that his proposed nudity ban is warSee page 10 >>

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2 • BAY AREA REPORTER • October 4-10, 2012

SFAF honors Pelosi T

Rick Gerharter

he San Francisco AIDS Foundation, marking its 30th year, saluted House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi at its annual event Saturday, September 29 at the Regency Ballroom. Pelosi was honored by SFAF CEO Neil Giuliano, left, and former Ambassador James Hormel, right, who presented her with a plaque recognizing her decades of advocacy for HIV issues. The evening also saw performances of The Call, a series of vignettes that represented the four key turning points in the arc of the AIDS epidemic: Discovery, Triage, Defiance, and Empowerment. The artistic work was produced by Kile Ozier.

Gay Paris mayor visits SF by Cynthia Laird


he gay mayor of Paris visited San Francisco last week and signed an updated sister city agreement, visited the headquarters of Twitter, and went to the Castro. In an interview with the Bay Area Reporter, Bertrand Delanoë also talked about France’s move toward legalizing same-sex marriage and his plans for the last year and a half of his term. Delanoë, 62, said he is excited about bringing new high tech business to Paris, and noted that the founder of Twitter would be going to Paris. He discussed incubators – spaces common in Silicon Valley where startups can work with nominal overhead costs. “Young startups find office space in Paris ... and pay almost no rent so they can develop and find their own place and spread. At the same time we want business from California,” Delanoë said through B.A.R. publisher Thomas E Horn, who served as trans-

Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoë, center, met with Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, right, at his visit to the microblogging company with Thomas E. Horn, left, president of the Paris-San Francisco Sister City Committee and B.A.R. publisher.

lator during the interview. Horn is also the chair of the San FranciscoParis Sister City Committee and accompanied the mayor to various appointments during his stay. The new sister city agreement, Delanoë explained, merely updates the long-standing agreement between two world-class cities. Delanoë said that under the memorandum of understanding that he and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee signed, “we’re moving things to more relevant ... the 21st century” with “resources necessary” for economic development to “create a favorable atmosphere for business, science, and research.” “To profit from the best experiences of each city,” he added.

Marriage equality Delanoë has been mayor of Paris since 2001. He survived an assassination attempt a year later when he was stabbed and won re-election to a sixyear term in 2008. He is a member of the Socialist Party, as is his friend, Francois Hollande, who was elected president of France in May. Hollande promised if he was elected that the law banning same-sex marriage and adoption of children by same-sex couples would change and he is now making good on his commitment, Delanoë said. “He’s reaffirmed that position,” the mayor said. “The law is in the process of being written.”

The new law, expected to be adopted in early 2013, would make all rights equal for married couples of the same sex and the process for adopting children would be the same for gay or straight parents. Delanoë said he’s urged Hollande to “hurry up” on the changes “because I’m not going to be mayor much longer.” Civil unions are currently allowed but now a majority of people in France support marriage equality, the mayor said. Delanoë said that he wants to use his remaining time in office to continue working on social issues such as lodging and low-cost housing. He plans to convert roads along the Seine to pedestrian walkways that, he said, are “more friendly for tourists and pedestrians.” He also has plans for two more cultural centers in the city and wants to finish an important housing and child care project. Delanoë noted that before he became mayor people were leaving Paris and the city was showing its age. Now, there are 110,000 additional people living in the city, he said. He said that he does not have plans to run for another office, because there’s only one post higher – the presidency – and it’s currently occupied by his good friend Hollande. But he may be coming to San Francisco more often, he laughed.▼

Jury deadlocks in ‘83 murder by Seth Hemmelgarn


he jury deciding the fate of a San Francisco man accused of murdering a man he’d had sex with nearly 30 years ago were unable to agree on a verdict this week. William Payne, 48, had been charged with first-degree murder during the course of sodomy in the November 1983 death of Nikolaus Crumbley, 41, who was found dead in McLaren Park with his pants and underwear below his knees. The cause of death was ligature strangulation.

After deliberating for almost three days, the jurors came back Tuesday, October 2, with nine out of 12 finding Payne not guilty. Outside the San Francisco Superior courtroom where the trial started nearly a month ago, Deputy Public Defender Kwixuan Maloof said Tuesday, “I’m disappointed that three members of the jury were trying to find a reason to convict a client when it was clear this case was not proven beyond a reasonable doubt.” However, he said, “I’m thankful for the other nine jurors See page 8 >>

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October 4-10, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 3

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4 • BAY AREA REPORTER • October 4-10, 2012

Ten years later, Araujo’s murder resonates by Seth Hemmelgarn and Cynthia Laird


en years ago this week, Gwen Araujo went to a house party in Newark and never came home. Araujo was 17 on October 3, 2002, when she was killed. Two of the men had reportedly had sex with the young woman they had known as Lida, and they murdered her after their suspicions that she was biologically male were confirmed. Two other young men were also involved in the killing. Her last words before being beaten were, “Please don’t, I have a family.” Afterward, Araujo’s killers drove her body to a grave in the Sierra foothills.

Following an investigation and two trials, Michael Magidson and Jose Merel, both 32, are serving prison sentences of 15 years to life after being convicted of second-degree murder in the case. Jason Cazares, 32, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter. He was discharged from prison in July, according to Jonathan Parsley, a spokesman for the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Jaron Nabors, 29, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in exchange for testimony against the other defendants and an 11-year prison sentence. Parsley was unable to find Nabors in his agency’s records. Sylvia Guerrero, Araujo’s mother, told the Bay Area Reporter this week that she plans to visit Merel at Soledad

Courtesy AP pool photo

Sylvia Guerrero listened to closing arguments during the 2004 trial.

State Prison, perhaps before the end of the year. “I’ve been talking on and off with the Merel family for years,” Guerrero said in a phone interview Tuesday. “Jose Merel is in Soledad and I plan on visiting him.” She said that of the four men, Merel has “always been remorseful.” “It’s kind of scary but I think it’s time,” she said of the visit. “I think he owes it to Gwen [and] he owes it to me.”

Gwen Araujo in an undated photo.

Guerrero suspects that a lot more happened to her daughter than was testified to in the courtroom, she said. “I need to know the truth,” she said. “I don’t think I’ll ever be at peace, but the truth will set us free.” She said that she long ago forgave the four men. “I forgave all of them; it’s me, it’s my faith,” she said.

Awareness Araujo’s murder helped bring more awareness of and sensitivity to the challenges transgender people face. Guerrero and other family members

spoke to the media frequently, and movies have been made about the case. However, violence against transgender people persists. Last year, Guerrero said that she met Lynice Nelson, the mother of trans murder victim Michelle “Shelly” Moore, whose torso was found on the east side of Detroit October 23, 2011. Known as “Treasure,” Moore’s body was decapitated. “I did a Day of Remembrance speech there,” Guerrero said, adding that afterwards, she and Nelson hugged and talked. Guerrero had a butterfly pendant in her purse – Araujo loved butterflies – and she gave it to Nelson. But now at the 10th anniversary of Araujo’s death, Guerrero said that she’s surprised and disappointed that there hasn’t been more attention. A decade ago, Guerrero lived much of her life in the public eye. Araujo’s memorial drew national attention – and protests by anti-trans people – as did the subsequent trials. “I could never get away from the cameras,” she said, adding that while she didn’t expect the same level of media presence this year, she thought there would be some stories around the anniversary. “I kind of feel like we’re forgotten,” Guerrero said. Used to speaking at public events, Guerrero said that she has only one so far this year – an appearance this Saturday in San Francisco. “But to me it’s my everyday story. I wish I could say that time has healed ... but I have learned to live with the pain. “The day they murdered Gwen they murdered part of me,” she said.

Panic defense One of the key issues that came out of Araujo’s murder was that more attention was paid to gay or transgender “panic defense,” a strategy employed by defendants in which they try to blame the violence on the victim. Araujo reportedly engaged in anal and/or oral sex with Magidson, Jose Merel, and his brother Paul, who didn’t participate in the killing. Magidson and Merel claimed that the discovery of Araujo’s birth gender had threatened their sexualities and selfimages. Family members, the prosecution, and supporters spent countless hours over numerous months combating the transphobic rhetoric and blamethe-victim mentality that was allowed in court. Even as the coroner’s office was testifying about the multiple causes of Araujo’s death and her bruised and bloodied body, defense attorney Tony Serra’s questions remained focused on the length of Araujo’s skirt. In July 2006, state Attorney General Kamala Harris, who was then San Francisco’s district attorney, convened a national conference on combating gay and transgender panic defense strategies. Guerrero, attorneys involved in the Araujo case, law enforcement officials from around the country, and others were at the meeting. Months later, Assembly Bill 1160, which was known as the Gwen Araujo Justice for Victims Act, became law in California. The law allows a judge to instruct jurors not to consider their own anti-LGBT biases during their deliberations. Transgender activist Gabriel Haaland, who was at the 2006 conference, said in an interview this week “[Harris’s] efforts really, I think, shone the light on what was clearly really a horrific strategy by attorneys.” However, Haaland said, what’s most striking to him is the violence, perpetrated against transgender women of color who also face challenges such as housing and employment discrimination. See page 13 >>

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October 4-10, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 5

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6 • BAY AREA REPORTER • October 4-10, 2012

Volume 42, Number 40 October 4-10, 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 • 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 GENERAL MANAGER Michael M. Yamashita DISPLAY ADVERTISING Simma Baghbanbashi Colleen Small Scott Wazlowski

Reinstate Sheriff Mirkarimi


ext week, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors is expected to vote on whether to oust suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi. The Ethics Commission found that the sheriff committed official misconduct and the board has final determination on the matter. At least nine supervisors must vote to remove the sheriff from office. The board should allow Mirkarimi to remain on the job and not remove him from office. As the world knows by now, Mirkarimi pleaded guilty to misdemeanor false imprisonment following an argument with his wife, during which he grabbed her arm, leaving a bruise. As soon as the criminal court case was concluded, Mayor Ed Lee suspended Mirkarimi – without pay – and the Ethics Commission began hearings into the matter. The commission found, by a 4-1 vote, that Mirkarimi committed official misconduct. We do not believe that Mayor Ed Lee was politically motivated when he made the original decision to suspend Mirkarimi. However, it has become extremely political since then. For sever-

al weeks now, our editorial board has been interviewing candidates for the Board of Supervisors. We asked each candidate it they wanted to weigh in on the matter. The incumbents are under an embargo by the city attorney not to discuss the case, and none of them did. The challengers, however, with only a couple of exceptions, were more than happy to jump in feet first and announce how s/he would vote. One even went so far as to send out a communique to district voters. We find this unfair to the incumbents and underhanded by the challengers, who won’t even be voting on removal. The whole matter has become sordid. What Mirkarimi did was inappropriate, and he knows that. Domestic violence is not a “private matter,” as he stated early on. But the administrative removal of an elected official is anti-democratic and should only happen in extreme cases. We do not believe that bar has been met in this case. We met with Mirkarimi and Lopez recently. For an hour, the couple talked about their ordeal, their effort to meet with people, and why Mirkarimi wants to get back to being sheriff.

Jane Philomen Cleland

Suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi

Lopez does not see herself as an abused wife – far from it. We looked her in the eye and saw a strong, independent woman. We believed her when she told us that she does not want to be apart from her husband. “I never expected this could happen in San Francisco,” she said. We didn’t, either. Mirkarimi should be reinstated. There are electoral means to remove him from office, either through recall or in three years when his term ends. That’s the democratic way to handle this case.▼

Crowley for supervisor in D7 V

oters west of Twin Peaks in District 7 will elect a new supervisor next month. After two terms, Supervisor Sean Elsbernd is termed out. The district is probably the most conservative in San Francisco, although demographics are changing and there are more and more LGBT people living there. This year, there’s even a gay man running to represent the district. But of the candidates running, our first selection – in ranked choice voting – goes to Francis “FX” Crowley. Crowley, a District 7 native, has a firm grasp of the issues and has a record as a public servant, community volunteer, and leader of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees union. As a member of the Port Commission, Crowley understands the issues affecting the city’s waterfront, including development (he supported the 8 Washington condo complex while serving on the Port Commission, but says he does not support unencumbered development). In District 7, he cited Lake Merced as a critical issue and said that its deterioration has frustrated those who want to enjoy the lake and its recreational activities. As a supervisor, he said he would work with city agencies to restore the lake’s water quality. He has a history working with LGBT folks, particularly in his union, where he said he con-

sistently supported LGBT members to seek leadership positions. He thinks it’s important that boards and commissions reflect the city’s diversity and said he would recommend qualified LGBT candidates for such posts. We found Crowley to be knowledgeable about city issues and in tune with his district. He is our first choice for supervisor.

Second choice: Norman Yee Norman Yee, currently president of the school board, is a strong ally to the LGBT community, particularly on matters pertaining to school curriculum and education. He has a reputation as someone who gets things done for children and families in the city and pointed out that for seven years now math and English test scores have improved in public schools. His main concerns are job creation and access to health care, as well as increasing the supply of affordable housing. Yee supports a vibrant nightlife in the city, and said that increased access to public transportation and the availability of taxicabs in District 7 is important because it is nearly impossible to hail a cab or travel late at night in the southeast portions of the city and in his district. He also supports community policing, which he said helps build relationships

Rick Gerharter

District 7 candidate Francis “FX” Crowley

between residents and the police and could address concerns raised by neighbors in areas where there are issues of noise and public intoxication after clubs close. In short, we believe Yee would be a good supervisor.

Third choice: Joel Engardio Gay District 7 resident Joel Engardio is running a grassroots campaign in his bid to serve on the board. He pointed out that in San Francisco, there is new territory for LGBT candidates to pioneer. While the district is more conservative than many others in the city, See page 10 >>


LEGAL COUNSEL Paul H. Melbostad

Haney for SF school board T

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here are four seats up for a vote on the San Francisco Unified School District board next month. Among the non-incumbents running, Matt Haney stands out and we recommend him for election. Haney has direct experience in San Francisco schools, having served on the district’s Public Education Enrichment Fund Community Advisory Committee. He also co-founded Citizen Hope, a community service organization that has linked dollars and volunteers with the city’s schools. As the executive director of the UC Student Association, he works directly for the over 200,000 students in the UC system, managing a budget of over half a million dollars and staffers. Haney believes that addressing the district’s funding challenges is a priority, including the reauthorization of Prop H (public education enrichment fund) and building coalitions in the city and statewide to secure revenue streams from the state to fund public education. His other vision for the district is to ensure college/career readiness for all students by closing the achievement gap with real world learning skills and curriculum. Haney – and the other candidates we are endorsing in this race – supports the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful Education Act and has some good ideas for widening lesson plans by drawing on curriculum from the Museum of Tolerance, where he used to be an educator. In short, Haney is a qualified candidate who can bring much to the city’s public schools.

Sandra Fewer, Rachel Norton, and Jill Wynns Unlike our recent recommendations for City College board, for which we did not endorse any of the incumbents, the three women running for re-election to the school board deserve your vote. The school district is not in chaos like City College and some of that credit belongs to the board and its leadership. Incumbents Sandra Fewer, Rachel Norton, and Jill Wynns all have the knowledge and experience to continue serving on the board. Fewer pointed to the fact that the district is implementing a two-year budget “that has helped us keep financially stable.” But she correctly noted that the district will face huge challenges if voters don’t pass state Proposition 30, Governor Jerry Brown’s tax plan. In terms of LGBT students, Fewer said she would propose an antibullying measure to train teachers and school staff on acceptable behavior, since one of the recurring problems seems to be that adults do not intervene when there is harassment or bullying. Norton pointed out that city voters have been very generous with their support of public schools and that Prop H needs to be reauthorized. But she said that until state funding is adequate local efforts are mere Band-Aids. Norton also said that the district’s committed LGBT support staff person is only funded part-time for this work and she would like to

Courtesy Haney campaign

School board candidate Matt Haney

see the position funded at full-time as soon as the budget gap eases. Wynns, one of the longest-serving board members, has a deep understanding of the district and has expertise in school finance and other policy areas. She is also president of the California School Boards Association, where she can influence policy development. She praised the new superintendent, Richard Carranza, for making student engagement a priority this year and for using the documentary Bully as a training tool for administrators and teachers. These four candidates – Haney, Fewer, Norton, and Wynns – are all well qualified and have students’ best interest in mind. It’s not easy running a school district in this time of diminished state funding and tough decisions sometimes need to be made. These candidates are up to that task.▼

Letters >>

October 4-10, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 7

Let’s live in the present It would be hypocritical for me not to mention that in the 1980s I had some of the best times of my life at the Eagle: The theme parties, great discussions about music with David the DJ, drinks with Sylvester, Sharon McNight, and many local celebrities [“New Eagle owners prepare to open,” September 20]. But I can’t help thinking some people may be hoping that reopening the bar will hurl us back to the exciting and carefree pre-health crisis days for which we all have such warm memories. Come on, folks, that era has passed and is gone for good. Bars should be low on our list of priorities at this point in our history. Let’s live in the present instead of pining for the past. Verden Allen Alameda, California

No on Prop A I have read your ballot recommendations in the September 20 edition of the Bay Area Reporter [“San Francisco ballot measures,” Editorial]. Nearly all of them stink. I will start with Prop A. In endorsing Prop A the editors of the B.A.R. have demonstrated total ignorance of elementary economic principles and utter obliviousness to its moral dimension. City College’s problem is that it has increased employee fringes and pension costs to a point where it cannot afford to pay them. I am sure the financial officer of the B.A.R. is quite aware that there are limits to what the paper can pay the employees and stay in business. The paper has a limitation because its revenue stream is composed of voluntary payments. The B.A.R. cannot force its customers to pay more just because the employees want to wallow in overly generous compensation packages. Public institutions like City College do not face the same limitation because their revenue stream is largely composed of compulsory payments. The trustees of City College have allowed their compensation packages to balloon way beyond what students are able to afford and taxpayers are willing to pay. There is no level of taxation that will satisfy the employee demand for more money and benefits and the student demand for more education. A tax increase will not solve their problems unless the employees (which includes the teachers) moderate their demand for compensation to something more reasonable. The moral dimension consists of the fact that the parcel owners who are being asked to bear the burden of these bloated compensation packages are a minority of voters. Many of the parcel owners are people of very modest means who are being asked to give up their money to subsidize the benefit and pension bloat at City College. Many of the voters are not parcel owners and they will not have to bear the cost if this measure passes. I am 65. I don’t get no pension. I have to live on Social Security and my 401k. My means are substantially less than the people who I will be forced to subsidize. No one needs vote for Prop A to give their own money to CCSF; they need vote only to compel someone else to hand over money. You ought to be ashamed of yourselves for urging your readers to plunder my nest egg to benefit people who are much, much better off than I am. It may be that CCSF provides valuable services to SF, but then costs ought to be borne more equitably by a wider class of citizens than just the parcel owners. Leslie E. Mangus San Francisco

Visitor praises nudity in SF As a frequent visitor to San Francisco, I appreciate the fact that it is one of the few cities in the nation where nudity is a commonplace event and a natural part of what makes San Francisco unique. I attend nude beaches, regional nude events, and I go on naked walks with the friends in the city when I’m there. Since it has been proven by esteemed psychologists that natural nudity has no deleterious effects on children or people in general, there is no reason to ban nudity in San Francisco [“Nudity ban would exempt parades, fairs,” October 20]. It is so commonplace in some European countries that it is viewed nonchalantly by most residents there. No sexual display occurs by the nude guys, since it is only naturism not exhibitionism. It’s hard to believe that there are gay prudes who themselves fought for their right to be different, who are now being discriminatory against nudist guys. I strongly support the nude guys in San Francisco and their right to express themselves on the streets in a non-threatening way. I believe that if nudism is restricted, then the danger exists of other rules being imposed on the city in the future by conservatives who want to “take back” their city from the gays. Daniel Brookshire Austin, Texas

SF’s unrivaled tolerance One reader suggested that nudists return to “colonies” and this struck a nerve with me [Mailstrom, September 27]. One of the most endearing things about San Francisco is the unrivaled tolerance to alternative lifestyles of all kinds. I’ve been a practicing nudist for almost 40 years and never thought of what my wife and I do as “parading around.” We happen to enjoy the liberating feeling of not wearing confining clothes on a warm afternoon or evening and for the most part have relegated our activities to designated beaches, clubs, resorts, etc. For the moment,

San Francisco represents the only city I’m aware of where we can freely enjoy our chosen lifestyle out among society and we’re always respectful to those around us. We have witnessed unacceptable behavior from a very few rude individuals who, as one reader astutely pointed out, are not nudists at all but simply self-serving exhibitionists and this is a very important point. The vast majority of folks who you see naked on the streets are well intentioned and I dare say not unlike you. My wife and I are both professionals and lead relatively “normal” lives. Can’t we deal with the offenders without driving away everyone else? Our amazing city can do one of two things with this current controversy. We can choose to set the bar for tolerance and progressive thinking and remain a benchmark for other urban areas or we can simply conform to the “standards” set by everyone else. My wife and I have been approached several times on our nude strolls, always with positive comments. One young woman surprised us by emotionally thanking us for being “the kind of people who make San Francisco unique.” I’d certainly like to have the chance to continue down this path. Pete Sferra San Jose, California

Urban nudist weighs in As an urban nudist, it saddens me to see the neighborhood I have considered my home for two-thirds of my life become so intolerant and unwilling to listen to logic and reason. The human body is only offensive and obscene if you see it as such, offense and obscenity rests in the mind. Many complain that we are two old, fat, ugly, hairy, etc. My body carries the record of my lived experience, its triumphs and failures, its successes and tragedies. To assert that my body should be censored from public view is to assert that my lived experience, my very identity, should be censored from public view. Some cite children as a reason for us to cover ourselves. I ask, why are you teaching your children to hate their bodies? Some insist we are all straight men who do not live here. It is funny, but when I go to other neighborhoods some who do not like me call me and my fellow nudists “faggots.” Body freedom belongs to everyone, gay, straight, bisexual, and transgender. Some say we are ruining business, keeping people from coming to the neighborhood to shop. I ask, why do we need to cater to the intolerant and uneducated? We nudists could be used as a learning tool, a symbol of our neighborhood’s and our city’s openness, tolerance, and respect for the beliefs and ideals of others. This is what I had thought San Francisco and Castro values where. Woody Miller San Francisco

Castro nudist speaks I am one of the Castro nudists frequently in Jane Warner Plaza. There is a core group of about a dozen of us who live in the neighborhood or are very frequent visitors to the neighborhood. We have been around for a long time. We have not been beamed in from outer space. We have stable incomes and living situations. We pay taxes and spend our money in the neighborhood. We are the same as everyone else. The only difference to many of the general public is that by the demonstration of our urban nudism, we show that we are more comfortable with our body image and selves than most others. Nudism really shouldn’t be a big deal, but apparently it is. It’s irrefutable that the overwhelming majority of tourists and visitors find us interesting and for many a highlight of their visit. At first, most people were cool with the nudists in the plaza. What has happened is that the plaza has attracted more nudists from all over the region and world. This happens in a plaza designed for about 50 people to hang around and a major pedestrian flow. During weekdays, there are rarely more than three or four nudists often zero to one nudists. Some of the weekend nudists are, even to me, a little goofy and exhibitionist. Still, no one is really getting harmed by this sideshow. Now lets get to the politics of the situation. District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener is feeling pressure from some “squeaky wheels” to put out two fires. The overpopulation of nudists in the plaza and excessive posing/exhibitionism. The simple solution to overpopulation at the plaza is for the nudists to go to other parks. Guess what? The Castro plaza and the other new parklets are the only public places the nudists can meet. There is a 1960s-era anti-hippy park and recreation nudity ordinance in the city parks. A group of nudists had a recent conversation with Wiener mentioning making sections of Dolores, Golden Gate, and Yerba Buena parks clothing optional as a solution. This could be done quickly without legislation, like suspending the nudity ordinance for Bay-to-Breakers, Anarchist Book Fair, and other special events. Because of possible blowback from other special interests, Mr. Wiener refused to take any kind of supportive or leadership position on this simple, effective solution. With new parks to take off Castro plaza population pressure, it then becomes possible to exert peer pressure to tone it down on the more exhibitionist of the remaining plaza nudists. George Davis San Francisco

<< Politics

8 â&#x20AC;˘ BAY AREA REPORTER â&#x20AC;˘ October 4-10, 2012


LGBT seniors task force forms, announces study by Matthew S. Bajko


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panel tasked with examining the needs of LGBT seniors in San Francisco is set to hold its first meeting later this month as a new study looking at out elders gets under way. The LGBT Seniors Task Force has been given 18 months to come up with a detailed plan on what the most pressing needs are for the estimated 25,000 older adults living in San Francisco who identify as LGBT. The panelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s report will also include how the city can address LGBT eldersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; concerns. Last month the Board of Supervisors selected 15 people to serve on the task force. The members are a diverse group representing the LGBT senior community and service providers. The list includes Perry Lang, executive director of the Black Coalition on AIDS; Shanti Executive Director Kaushik Roy; transgender senior activists Jazzie Collins and Felicia Elizondo; housing rights activist Tommi Avicolli Mecca; and attorney Bill Ambrunn, one of the key people who pushed for the task forceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s creation. Gay seniors Larry Saxxon, Stu Smith, and L. Michael Costa landed seats. Three people with ties to Openhouse, a local nonprofit focused on LGBT seniors, also were appointed: the agencyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s founder and board member Marcy Adelman, Ph.D.; its director of programs Michelle Alcedo; and program coordinator Scott Haitsuka. The other members of the panel are Meals on Wheels Executive Director Ashley McCumber; Daniel Redman, the National Center for Lesbian Rightsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; elder law fellow; and Jorge Rodriguez, an HIV clinic case manager at the Mission Neighborhood Health Center. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am extremely confident about meeting the deadline set for the task force,â&#x20AC;? said Ambrunn, who is seeking to become the panelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s chair. â&#x20AC;&#x153;What it does is give everyone an incentive to get to work immediately and not waste time in getting things done.â&#x20AC;? With little concrete data collected about the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s LGBT seniors population, one of the first things proponents of the panel did was secure funding to conduct its own research. Karen I. Fredriksen-Goldsen, Ph.D., a professor at the University of Washington and director of the Institute for Multigenerational Health, will oversee the $60,000 study. The cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department of Aging and Adult Services kicked in $30,000. The San Francisco Foundation gave $15,000, Horizons Foundation granted $10,000, and longtime gay donor Al Baum contributed $5,000. Fredriksen-Goldsen, who did not respond to interview requests, oversaw a national study on LGBT seniors


â&#x20AC;&#x2122;83 murder

From page 2

for holding the government to their burdenâ&#x20AC;? to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. In a statement Tuesday, District Attorney George GascĂłn said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;DNA evidence and independent corroborating testimony linked the defendant to the brutal rape and murder of Mr. Crumbley. We are disappointed with the outcome and will be evaluating how to proceed with the case.â&#x20AC;? Several jurors approached Tuesday declined to comment. Motions in the new trial are set to start today (Thursday, October 4).â&#x2013;ź

Courtesy Bill Ambrunn

Attorney Bill Ambrunn

that included responses from 295 San Francisco residents. She is pulling out that data and analyzing it into a report she is expected to present to the task force in November. Fredriksen-Goldsen will also create an online questionnaire to survey as many local LGBT seniors as possible that should be launched in early 2013. The task force plans to put a special emphasis on recruiting people of color and transgender people to fill out the survey. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The goal is to produce a demographic profile that identifies the housing and service needs and social needs of LGBT seniors here in San Francisco,â&#x20AC;? said Adelman, who helped secure the study funding and recruit Fredriksen-Goldsen. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We contacted her early on so we could have as much information as possible at the beginning of the task force to inform our deliberations. It is so important to have data when making policy decisions.â&#x20AC;? The task forceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first meeting is scheduled for 4 p.m. Wednesday, October 24 at the Human Rights Commission offices located on the 8th floor of 25 Van Ness Avenue.

Openhouse moves into LGBT center In other senior news, Openhouse officially moved into the LGBT Community Center this week. It has rented offices and a 500-square-foot community room in the building at 1800 Market Street. The agencyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s phone numbers and emails will remain the same. As it continues to add staff and expand its programs, Openhouse needed more room to handle its growth. It has offered drop-in activities and other programs at the LGBT center for years and will now have a larger presence on the buildingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s third floor. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think we bring a lot of excitement to the center,â&#x20AC;? said Adelman. The location will be temporary until its affordable housing for LGBT seniors is built a block away as part of the remodel of the former UC Berkeley Extension campus. Openhouseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s residential project will include office space and community rooms for its use.

Gay GOPers endorse in SF supe races The cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gay Republican group has weighed in on this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s contested races for odd-numbered supervisor seats, endorsing in three of the four. Last week the Log Cabin Republicans of San Francisco doled out endorsements to incumbent District 3 Supervisor David Chiu and David Lee, who is challenging District 1 Supervisor Eric Mar. In the race for the open District 7 seat the club gave unranked endorsements to Michael

Garcia and Joel Engardio, who is gay. It did not endorse in the District 5 race, where incumbent bisexual Supervisor Christina Olague is facing stiff competition from a number of opponents. Log Cabin president Dan Brown said that none of the candidates in the District 5 race sought out the GOPersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; endorsement, though he explained, â&#x20AC;&#x153;that is not a deal breaker as neither did Lee in D1 or Chiu in D3.â&#x20AC;? The reason for no endorsement in the race had to do with the fact that â&#x20AC;&#x153;in evaluating the backgrounds and policies of the candidates the club members felt none of them represented a good fit for us,â&#x20AC;? explained Brown. It also did not weigh in on the other two supervisor races, where gay District 9 Supervisor David Campos and District 11 Supervisor John Avalos are running unopposed.

DTNA president steps down In a surprise announcement this week, longtime Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association President Dennis Richards announced he was stepping down two months prior to the groupâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s election for a new board. He will continue to serve as a board member in the past president seat. In a message he penned for the residential groupâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s October newsletter, Richards disclosed that he was resigning effective immediately due to â&#x20AC;&#x153;personal and professional demands.â&#x20AC;? Richards also said it was time to â&#x20AC;&#x153;pass the torchâ&#x20AC;? after serving seven years as president. Pat Tura, a resident of 16th Street, will serve as acting president until a new board is elected in December. Under Richardsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leadership DTNA has been a powerful voice on matters big and small in the Castro and Duboce Triangle neighborhoods. Its opinion carries much weight with planners and City Hall leaders, though critics complain DTNA has too much sway. Richards, however, pointed to DTNAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s influence in his goodbye message, praising the group for being â&#x20AC;&#x153;deeply involved at both the zoning and project levelâ&#x20AC;? when it comes to working with developers and retailers. â&#x20AC;&#x153;As president, I really have learned how things â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;workâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; in this city. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve met many folks in city government and have shared and used that knowledge and those connections to help resolve your issues and issues for our neighborhood,â&#x20AC;? he wrote. On the other hand, Richards lamented seeing the neighborhoodâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;heartâ&#x20AC;? disappear during his tenure, as longtime residents died or moved away, rental housing was lost and locally owned businesses closed up shop. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Honestly, given the second â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;tech boomâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; that we are experiencing and resulting rising real estate values, coupled with the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s onerous â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;tenure basedâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; rent control laws, the neighborhood I live in now has far fewer renters,â&#x20AC;? noted Richards. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Landlords sell for the very high prices offered, tenants are bought out or forced out, the rental units become owner occupied, and the neighborhood becomes less diverse.â&#x20AC;?â&#x2013;ź Web Extra: For more queer political news, be sure to check http:// Monday mornings at noon for Political Notes, the notebookâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s online companion. This weekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s column looks at if the SF supervisor candidates plan to seek DCCC seats in 2014. Keep abreast of the latest LGBT political news by following the Political Notebook on Twitter @

LGBT History Month >>

October 4-10, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 9

Kay Lahusen: The woman behind the lens by Jen Colletta


ay Lahusen has seen a lot in her 82 years of life – much of it through the lens of a camera. Lahusen, hailed as the first out LGBT photojournalist, spent decades capturing some of the most seminal moments in the LGBT rights movement, crafting a stockpile of photographs that can be used to trace the pitfalls and progress of the community. While her photos documented a wealth of historic moments in American LGBT activism, the pursuance of those pictures was, in itself, a bold act. “I wanted to show our great diversity and to give viewers someone they could identify with, some positive role models. After all, they were badly needed in the 1960s when most gay people were afraid to be photographed,” Lahusen said. Lahusen, born 1930 in Cincinnati, Ohio, developed her interest in photography at a young age. She began coming to terms with her orientation while in college and said she long held a “deep conviction that prejudice and discrimination against GLBT people and their orientation is morally wrong.” That ideal led her to join Daughters of Bilitis, the nation’s first lesbian rights organization. At a DOB picnic in 1961, Lahusen was introduced to Barbara Gittings, a meeting that sparked a decades-long pairing – prompting Lahusen’s move to Philadelphia and influencing her photojournalism career. “[Barbara] was always a joiner and was inclined to join social-change groups, wanting to, as she said, ‘fix things,’” Lahusen said. Gittings took the helm of DOB’s magazine The Ladder – the first national lesbian publication – from 1963-66, and Lahusen served as photographer. The magazine previously

used drawings or cartoons on the cover, but Lahusen was committed to photographing real women. “It wasn’t easy for me to find many subjects back then,” she said. “I wanted to change that, to bring those willing out into the sunlight and especially to show gay people and gay love.” During their time at The Ladder, Lahusen said she and Gittings sought “to present intellectually stimulating discussions of the major issues holding back the struggle for gay equality, especially the allegation by most psychiatrists that homosexuality was a form of mental illness.” They were eager to broaden the publication’s appeal to the entirety of the LGBT community but Lahusen said that the “male chauvinism” that still permeated the community at the time kept most men “from taking The Ladder seriously and from even reading the issues we produced.” Outside of her work on The Ladder, Lahusen was the unofficial photographer of many of the earliest gay rights actions. She was on hand with her camera at what came to be known as the Annual Reminders at Independence Hall in the mid-1960s, which called for the acceptance of gays and lesbians in mainstream society. While she documented the occasions, Lahusen was also a part of the action. “Some participants were fearful, some were proud, others were simply marching in the belief that they had to come out if things were going to change,” she said of the atmosphere at the pickets. “It’s been said that all social change movements find they ultimately have to take to the streets. Think of the early suffragettes, for example. Of course, when you’re marching, you have no crystal ball to tell if you’re helping make changes but you hope so, even believe so. I certainly believed we were doing something his-

John Cunningham

Lesbian pioneers Barbara Gittings and Kay Lahusen shared 46 years together.

torically significant, something to help GLBT people as a class in our society.” Lahusen said one of her favorite photos she ever took was from the first Annual Reminder in 1965. It depicts Gittings marching with a sign that read, “Homosexuals should be judged as individuals.” “The word ‘gay’ was not popular in our cause until about 1970,” Lahusen noted. At the Philadelphia actions, held until 1969, and at other demonstrations staged in Washington, D.C. that urged the lifting of the ban on open gays and lesbians in federal employment, marchers were kept to a strict, conservative dress code. Lahusen said the code was necessary for the cause, but she embraced its eventual lifting. “Our thought was, if you want to be employed, look employable, and conventional dress was the order of the day in that era,” she said. “Fortunately, times changed and by our 1970s demonstrations, the dress code was abandoned in the midst of the turmoil over anti-war protests and the hippie and free-love movements. I know I certainly was glad when the dress code was abandoned.”

Lahusen was not present for a protest that came to be regarded as one of the most pivotal turning points in the LGBT-rights movement: the Stonewall riots of 1969. Lahusen and Gittings were on vacation at the time but Lahusen said that, when word spread that the LGBT community had rebelled against police discrimination in New York, she was thrilled. “I don’t like violence but I was pretty elated to hear that GLBT people were standing up and fighting back in the midst of a police riot on a seedy, mafia-run gay bar,” she said. “Gay people were largely outwitting the police. News of their bravery galvanized gay people in New York and across the country really. The riots were a flashpoint, Barbara used to say, in the gay rights movement and inspired gay people to get organized and step up their efforts to improve the lives of their minority.” She noted that the late Frank Kameny, a contemporary of Lahusen and Gittings’s who helped organize the Annual Reminders, always pointed out that their actions predated Stonewall and were undoubtedly influential in encouraging that action. “We inspired them to go a step further and fight back at Stonewall,” she said. Lahusen was also involved with the efforts to remove homosexuality from the American Psychiatric Association’s list of mental illnesses, led by Gittings and Kameny. She lobbied the APA to include a gay panelist in its 1972 forum on psychiatry and homosexuality, and captured shots of that historic discussion that many credit with moving forward the APA’s evolution on homosexuality. In their activism work, Lahusen said she and Gittings always came to agreement on the right approach, sometimes “after long hours of discussion.”

And they worked as a complementary team, she said, with Gittings possessing the “higher profile” and Lahusen working in a “support role.” “We brought different talents,” Lahusen said. “Barbara was a terrific public speaker, she could always rally the troops. I especially loved photography, making exhibits and doing what you might call promotion work. Barbara was a terrific editor, and I was a pretty good reporter. The ideas we advanced were generally the same and summed up in what Barbara called Kameny’s ‘great motto’: ‘Gay is good.’” The principles of the early activists were illustrated in Lahusen’s book The Gay Crusaders, published by Paperback Library in 1972. The work, which contains in-depth biographical sketches of 15 early pioneers, was published under Lahusen’s pen name, Kay Tobin. While Lahusen was lead author for the book, Randy Wicker was brought on as a co-author, as the publisher believed that having a male name on the book would help its sales, she said. Lahusen sees the book, and her vast collection of photos, as her greatest contributions to the LGBT-rights movement. “It’s been said that I’m the first gay photojournalist, since I kept at it sporadically over decades. I believed it was a way of preserving gay history.” Her collection is now housed in the Archives Division of New York Public Library, which has published many of the photos online. Gittings died in 2007 of breast cancer and, while both she and Lahusen have left their separate legacies for the LGBT community, she said their 46-year relationship imparted its own indelible mark – both on her and her community. “Together, we had a wonderful life.”▼ Jen Colletta is a writer at Philadelphia Gay News.

<< Community News

10 • BAY AREA REPORTER • October 4-10, 2012


Nudity ban

From page 1

ranted, he told the B.A.R. in an interview Tuesday. “A lot of us have been hoping it would run its course and it hasn’t. It has become clear to me it isn’t going to any time soon,” he said. “It is important for us to have this conversation.”

The nudists had already begun to organize prior to Wiener’s decision this week. A petition opposing a nudity ban posted in late September to the website had 667 signers as of Tuesday afternoon. Rather than seek a citywide rule change, the nudists believe the conversation should be focused on resolving the issues that have sprung up at the Castro’s Jane Warner Plaza

where they congregate. “What we’ve got is a localized neighborhood situation that a politician is blowing up into a citywide issue to get more media attention and further his political career,” said Mitch Hightower, a gay nudist who runs a website about public nudity and organizes the annual Nude In at the Castro plaza. “Whether or not you think what is going on in Jane Warner Plaza is specifically a problem or not, finding a solution to it doesn’t need to engage the entire city government.” The proposed legislation would allow for exemptions of the policy at “permitted parades, fairs, and festivals.” Violating the rule would be considered an infraction and cost $100. The fine would increase to $200 for a second offense within 12 months. On the third and subsequent violations within one year a person could face either an infraction or a misdemeanor. An infraction would cost $500, while a misdemeanor could land the violator in county jail for up to a year. Any convictions due to the ordinance would not constitute a sex offense for purposes of the state sex offender registry. In a press release announcing the new rules, Wiener’s office stressed that the legislation “has no impact on nudity at beaches or on private property.” Its aim is to “prohibit display of genitals and buttocks in in city plazas, parklets, sidewalks, streets, and public transit.” The ordinance must first be heard before one of the supervisor committees, likely city operations and neighborhood services, before being heard by the full board. The first hearing is expected in November.

Growing problem Ever since the city turned a block of 17th Street at Market and Castro into a parklet, residents and merchants have voiced concerns about the nude men who congregate there. This summer complaints have centered on a proliferation of naked men wearing

cock rings and other behaviors some consider to cross the line into indecency. “Use of this small but important space as a near-daily nudist colony, while fun for the nudists, is anything but for the neighborhood as a whole. This plaza and this neighborhood are for everyone, and the current situation alienates both residents and visitors,” stated Wiener. “We are a tolerant neighborhood and city, but there are limits.” Under current rules a person can be naked in public as long as they are not aroused. The police have contended they are unable to do anything about the nudists unless a member of the public is willing to make a citizen’s arrest. In recent months police officers have warned the nudists that they could be cited for wearing cock rings in public. But to date there have been no reports of a nudist being arrested. Several of the nudists in recent weeks have asked the handful of naked men believed to be causing most of the problems to either behave or no longer use Jane Warner Plaza, said Hightower. “Yes, there are problems. We have spoken to the people we think are most problematic,” he told the B.A.R. this week. A group of four nudists met with Wiener at his City Hall office last week to discuss the matter in hopes of avoiding an outright ban. Their counterproposals run the gamut from designating Jane Warner Plaza a park, since nudity is already banned in city parks to allowing a portion of Dolores Park be used by nudists. Other ideas being floated include allowing nudity in the Castro plaza at certain times or limiting the number of people who can be there sans clothing at the same time. Hightower, who took part in the discussion, acknowledged that there is no consensus on the best approach. “We are not all in agreement,” he admitted. Wiener said the only idea he remembers being brought up at the meeting was making a part of Dolores Park clothing optional, which he advised was not possible, nor addresses the crux of the problem. “Although cock rings have gotten a lot of media attention and are perhaps the most extreme part of this situation, the fundamental issue is not the cock rings. It is the consistent group of naked guys at Castro and Market and elsewhere in the neighborhood seven days a week unless it is really cold out. That is the issue,” said Wiener. Merely banning cock rings or having the police determine if someone is aroused or being publicly lewd are not acceptable solutions either, said Wiener. “I think it puts the police in a very awkward position to have an officer make an examination if someone is aroused or not aroused or to look to see if they have something on their genitals,” he said. “So I think it makes more sense just to determine if a person is naked or not.” Hightower accused Wiener of not being open to finding a compromise. He believes Wiener had already made up his mind to seek an outright ban prior to the get-together. “I think the meeting was a dog and pony show combined with a fishing expedition. He told us he had not drafted the legislation or made up his mind,” said Hightower.


D7 endorsements

From page 6

there are shifts happening in some neighborhoods, where there’s been an influx of new LGBT residents. Engardio has the support of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund. Engardio said that his big issue is fiscal responsibility. A former journalist, Engardio believes that the city must be accountable to voters for how it spends public dollars,

“Now he can say he met with us and it makes him look reasonable. He was interested in finding out how well organized the nudists are and if they pose any threat to his future political aspirations.” Wiener countered that he is not personally opposed to public nudity nor did he enter public office to champion the issue. “This is the last issue that I want to work on or that I want to be in the media about, believe me. I want people to know about the lion’s share of work I do around transportation, housing and small business,” he said. “As the district supervisor I have a responsibility to respond to issues in my district, even if it is not necessarily an issue that I am wanting to work on. “Whatever one’s view, this is an issue – a significant one – in the neighborhood,” added Wiener.

Public response has been mixed Based on the online comments generated by the B.A.R.’s coverage of the issue as well as letters to the editor, reaction to the proposed nudity plan has been mixed. Some are opposed at seeing another onlyin-San Francisco characteristic be taken away. “There are all sorts of things on the streets of San Francisco that I personally find annoying (this is not one of them), and I am saddened that a trivial issue like this is one that has garnered so much energy,” wrote Race Bannon, a longtime gay activist and leather community member. “I’d like to see the real problems of San Francisco addressed, not faux problems like this one.” Nudists in the Castro are not a “legitimate” concern City Hall should be focused on, added Craig Scott. “Can’t he find something more important to spend his time on? How many empty stores are in the Castro right now? When he campaigned he promised to help small business,” added Scott. “Wiener should focus on something useful like trying to help small business. Turning the Castro into Walnut Creek does not help small business.” But Wiener has lined up backers for his legislation. Dennis Richards, who announced this week he was stepping down as president of the Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association, voiced support in the release sent out by Wiener’s office. “The neighborhood is for everyone, and while the Castro has always been and needs to remain edgy and forward-thinking, the level of public nudity here has gone well beyond that. It’s become obnoxious and unwarranted,” stated Richards. Cleve Jones, a longtime gay Castro resident, progressive labor leader and LGBT rights activist, also is lending his support to the nudity ban. “Like most San Franciscans, I am proud of our city’s diversity and multi-cultural heritage. One of the ways we make diversity work is by showing sensitivity and respect for all people, and sometimes that requires compromises,” stated Jones. “I’m all for designated clothing optional spaces for my nudist friends, but the middle of one of the busiest intersections in San Francisco is not the appropriate location for a nude beach.”▼

and that general fund money, rather than borrowed funds, should be used for projects like street repair. Unfortunately, in this economy, the city’s general fund is strapped, which is why voters have passed various bond measures for capital projects. Engardio said he is an independent, and would not be beholden to the various interests at City Hall. He said that he is a common sense candidate who happens to be gay.▼

Read more online at

October 4-10, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 11

12 • BAY AREA REPORTER • October 4-10, 2012

Serving the LGBT communities since 1971

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Community News >>


From page 1

the Castro, “What [Cordileone] has done around Prop 8 and LGBT civil rights has been very hurtful to the community” and is entirely “gratuitous and unnecessary.” “The Catholic Church does a lot of amazing work,” Wiener said. “I don’t understand why it needs to keep battling [against] LGBT civil rights.” District 5 Supervisor Christina Olague, who is bisexual and was raised a Latina Catholic, was more pointed. She called the Vatican’s appointment of Cordileone “a sign of insensitivity” and a “slap in the face,” especially his assignment to a city so “identified with gay liberation, home of Harvey Milk, Cleve Jones, and the rest of those legends,” she said during a telephone interview. Still, Olague voiced support for “some folks from the queer community who want to hopefully get him to show more compassion than he has shown in the past around issues pertinent to our community.” Cordileone is no ordinary samesex marriage detractor. For more than a year now, he has been chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage. Last year he told the National Catholic Register that same-sex marriage was “a very serious social experiment that will have dire consequences.” In defense of traditional marriage, Cordileone has compared



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Violence persists And when it comes to trans women, the violence, particularly murder, still occurs. “We still are facing unbelievable violence 10 years later,” said Tiffany Woods, the TransVision coordinator at the Fremont-based Tri-City Health Center. In April, Brandy Martell, 37, a transgender woman Woods knew well, was shot and killed as she and her friends sat in her car in Oakland. Many suspect Martell was killed because of her gender identity. No one has been arrested in the case. The establishment of TransVision is among the changes that have come since Araujo’s death. When she was murdered, Tri-City didn’t offer transgender services, Woods said. She said co-workers have told her that Araujo, who lived in the nearby city of Newark, came a couple times to a gay youth group at Tri-City, “and they just didn’t know what to do” with a transgender youth. Re-

same-sex marriage to polygamy. More recently, Cordileone told the Los Angeles Times that gays and lesbians who are in sexual relationships of any kind should not receive the Eucharist. “If we misuse the gift of sexuality, we’re going to suffer the consequences,” he said, according to the Times’ story. “I firmly believe we are suffering the consequences.” And in an in-depth interview with KCBS radio Cordileone suggested the communion ban would also apply to advocates of same-sex marriage. Oddly enough, the interview aired on August 27, just two days after he was arrested in San Diego on drunken driving charges. The archbishop-elect is due in court on that matter Tuesday, October 9. When pressed on the air about the extent to which the faithful can “disagree” with church teaching and “still be considered a practicing Catholic and take the sacraments,” Cordileone said, “Some issues are defined as faith and matters of the natural moral law, such as marriage.” Issues such as immigration are more nuanced, he suggested. “But a matter that is clear from the natural moral law, ‘Yes,’ all Catholics must believe that to be properly disposed to receive the sacrament, that would include the marriage teaching,” Cordileone explained. “Natural law? What’s that?” snapped Billy Bradford, a spokesman for the LGBT activist group GetEqual, calling into question the role of natural law theory and its applicability to secular politics and

October 4-10, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 13

law. “My message and that of Marriage Equality USA and GetEqual [to Cordileone] is to stop demonizing gay couples and gay families,” he said in a phone interview. “There is nothing wrong with us.” Bradford said protesters will be outside St. Mary’s Cathedral from 1 to 4 p.m. during the installation service on Thursday. “We are not treated equally in our state due to – not completely but in large measure – Cordileone and the work he did,” said Bradford. For its part, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence held a noon press conference on Wednesday to “officially denounce the installation” of Cordileone, calling on politicians and civic leaders to boycott it. “He does not reflect San Francisco values. He has overstepped his bounds getting involved in secular politics,” said a news release from the Sisters, a group of drag nuns.

Varied reactions Meanwhile, for LGBT Catholics, Cordileone’s call to refrain from receiving communion has prompted different reactions. “Bishop Cordileone’s statement that lesbian and gay couples in relationships should not receive communion is a major pastoral blunder on many levels,” said Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry, an LGBT-positive Catholic organization, based outside of Washington, D.C. “First and foremost, the decision to approach communion is one made by the individual communi-

sources for young transgender people are still lacking, she said. In response to emailed questions, Transgender Law Center Executive Director Masen Davis said, “We have a lot more legal protections, especially in the state of California, than we did a decade ago.” But the violence persists. In San Francisco, attacks on transgender women, especially in the Mission district, have been said to still be common, but details on most incidents haven’t been readily available. “In the Bay Area we can become complacent – thinking the issues of violence and discrimination against LGBT people doesn’t touch us here, and it’s especially important that folks in the Bay Area remember Gwen, and remember that we have to continue to promote tolerance and safety even in our own backyards,” Davis said. Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center For Transgender Equality, made similar remarks. “It’s unfortunate that it was Gwen’s murder that did this, but a lot of community was built around it,” Keisling said. Transgender people “really, really

owe a lot to Gwen and her mother Sylvia,” she said. However, she said, “People are still dying.”

was especially versed in the work of Gunter Grass. He amassed a large collection of works by gay San Francisco painters (including Chuck Arnett, Snowflake, and Bill McNeill), most of whom were shown in the series of exhibitions that David initiated at the Ambush in the 1980s. David is survived by one sister and two nieces.

garious, fun-loving guy, Chuck tended bar and later managed three bars. First was the now-defunct Railway Express on Taylor Street. He then ran the old *P.S. bar on Polk Street, where he worked for several years before opening the Queen Mary’s Pub, which is now Aunt Charlie’s Lounge, located at 133 Turk Street, which he managed until he retired five years ago when he returned to Mobile. Chuck, affectionately known as “Aunt Charlie” by his many patrons, made friends easily, was known as a very generous guy, and will be missed by the scores of friends he made in the city by the bay. Chuck never said no to anyone needing a helping hand, always had the backs of those he loved, and will be sorely missed by the many, many friends he leaves in San Francisco. He is survived by three brothers and three sisters, all living in Alabama; and many nieces and nephews. Memorial services for Chuck were held Saturday, September 29 in Mobile. Every friend’s death diminishes us, but “Aunt Charlie’s” passing is particularly felt by those of us who knew and loved him – he was one hell of a nice guy.

Memorials At 2 p.m., Saturday, October 6, a remembrance of Araujo and others will be held in the community room of the San Francisco Public Library’s Visitacion Valley branch, 201 Leland Avenue. Organized by LGBT activist Jose Romero, the event will feature Guerrero. For more information, contact Romero at jose.romero94124@ In November, the 14th annual International Transgender Day of Remembrance will mourn the loss of Martell and other transgender and gender variant individuals killed due to anti-transgender violence over the previous 12 months. In Oakland, a free, countywide event will be held 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., Friday, November 16 at the Oakland Peace Center, Fellowship Hall, 111 Fairmont Avenue, Oakland. Doors will open at 7 p.m. The national day falls on Tuesday, November 20. ▼

Obituaries >> David Dean Delay October 13, 1939 – May 15, 2012

David Dean Delay, 72, died in his home in Hallendale, Florida, on Tuesday, May 15, 2012. David was born in Highland, Illinois, on October 13, 1939. After a stint in the U.S. Navy, he attended Southern Illinois University and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1967. In 1968 he moved to San Francisco, where he lived and was active in the gay community for many years. In the 1970s along with Ken Ferguson and Kerry Bowman he founded the legendary Ambush bar on Folsom Street. He will be remembered by many for his leather work, first in the leather shop at the Ambush and later in his own shop on Market Street. He made many trips to Europe and lived there for three years. In 2005 David moved to Hallendale, Florida. David was a lover of the arts. He read deeply in German literature and

Charles W. “Chuck” Hemphling February 2, 1930 – September 25, 2012

Charles “Chuck” Hemphling, a resident of southern California and San Francisco for the past 40 years, passed away in his hometown of Mobile, Alabama on September 25, 2012 following an illness that extended for more than two years. Chuck lived in southern California for a couple of years before moving to San Francisco, a city he dearly loved, in the early 1980s. A gre-

cant, not a local bishop. If a person’s conscience is clear to receive communion, he or she should do so,” explained DeBernardo in an email. “More importantly, for Bishop Cordileone to make such a statement, even before he has arrived in the archdiocese, shows an impersonal disregard for the people that he has been directed to serve. If Bishop Cordileone wants to lead Catholics in the Archdiocese of San Francisco, an area with a large LGBT population, the first lesson he needs to learn is to listen before he speaks,” said DeBernardo. Cordileone’s call for Catholics not in agreement with church teaching to abstain from the Eucharist is not new. Other prelates have called on pro-choice Catholic lawmakers to do the same. For that reason in part, “I am not bothered that he expressed his opinion about who should participate in the Eucharist. That is part of his job as a bishop,” said Eugene McMullan, a gay man who attends Mass at Most Holy Redeemer. “Non-Catholics might think he is about to impose awful restrictions on us, as bishops used to do. That is unlikely,” explained McMullan, who

is also a lead organizer of the advocacy group Catholics for Marriage Equality in California. Ernest Camisa, a spokesman for and secretary of Dignity/San Francisco, a group for LGBT Catholics, voiced a different point of view. “It sounds like the ultimate rejection,” he said in a phone interview, referring to any denial by church pastors of communion for same-sex couples and advocates of marriage equality. For his part, Costello said that he is taking a wait-and-see attitude. “I’d be surprised if he did that,” Costello said, referring to the possibility of Cordileone banning Catholics who disagree with him on samesex marriage from the Eucharist. “I have not heard that from [Cordileone], to be quite honest. Some are pushing that. I want to hear from the horse’s mouth,” explained Costello. “I’ll do the best I can. It’s a bit of a juggling act here,” added Costello. “If he decides on that, then we’ll sit and talk. If he insists, then I will follow what he wants me to do.” Openly gay District 9 Supervisor David Campos voiced hope that the See page 14 >>

<< From the Cover

14 • BAY AREA REPORTER • October 4-10, 2012



meeting. “Maybe we will bring a 50foot rooster into the Castro.” There will be some trappings typical of county fairs, such as food stalls and live entertainment to vendor booths and arts and crafts. “We are looking at a petting zoo, but based on our entertainment, it may be more of an adult petting zoo,” joked George Ridgely, the fair’s executive director. The late gay Supervisor Harvey Milk, a Castro resident and merchant, began the street fair to celebrate the then-emerging LGBT population of the district as well as to attract business to the local stores. It continues to carry on that tradition while serving as an enormous LGBT block party for local residents. “The county fair is a tradition for a number of reasons, as is the Castro Street Fair,” wrote Lopez in his president’s welcome for the event’s official guide. “The heart of the matter is bringing neighbors and friends together and celebrating the commu-

nity that we’ve all built together.” An estimated 50,000 people are expected to attend. Fair organizers hope that having Folsom Street Fair a week earlier than normal this year may increase attendance. “Having that week in between may encourage locals to go to the Castro Street Fair. In the past I do know some people are tired out by Folsom,” said Lopez, a fund development associate at Lyon-Martin Health Services and a bartender at the Lone Star Saloon. The fair will raise money for 29 local nonprofits through its beverage booth proceeds and donations at the gate. Beneficiaries this year include local public schools and AIDS service providers and gay athletic clubs and LGBT civic groups. It has given out nearly $80,000 to community groups since its inception. Entertainers include Bay Area musical groups Le Vice, an indie hip-hop and R&B band, indie rockers Roosevelt Radio, and the San Franciscobased quartet French Cassettes. All three are among the line-up playing the community stage at Market and Castro streets, hosted by local gay


therapists from administering socalled conversion therapy, it will not affect religious groups or ministers.

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Anti-gay therapy

From page 1

signed the bill Saturday, September 29 – one day before the deadline for him to sign or veto legislation. Numerous LGBT organizations, including Gaylesta, an LGBT psychotherapy organization; the National Center for Lesbian Rights; and Equality California championed the legislation. California becomes the first state in the country to have such a law, which goes into effect January 1. In a brief phone interview Monday, October 1, Lieu said he was “ecstatic” at the bill’s signing. “I think that this was a significant victory, and that it sets a precedent I hope other states will copy,” Lieu said. “I want parents to understand that reparative therapy can do great psychological harm to their children, and it’s my hope that, with the news about this issue, parents will stop sending their children to these therapists,” he added. In a statement, NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell said, “Governor Brown has sent a powerful message of affirmation and support to LGBT youth and their families. This law will ensure that state-licensed therapists can no longer abuse their power to harm LGBT youth and propagate the dangerous and deadly lie that sexual orientation is an illness or disorder that can be ‘cured.’” Anti-gay groups were quick to criticize the bill and vowed a court fight. And while the law bans state-licensed



From page 13

new archbishop comes to see “San Francisco is a very accepting place.” “We certainly keep open the possibility of his coming around on a number of issues facing our community,” Campos said in a phone interview. “We are a city that believes in equal rights and that means the right of people to marry the person they love.” There is a difference, Campos said, between Cordileone holding “a different perspective on same-sex marriage, which we believe strongly, and actually engaging in a campaign to deprive people of that right.” A practicing Catholic “to some extent,” Campos said, “My view of the life of Jesus Christ” is that he is an accepting individual.” Asked if Cordileone’s stated caution against receiving the Eucharist would deter him, Campos said, “No. I would go to communion.” None of the three openly LGBT supervisors said they would be attending Cordileone’s installation. Moreover, Olague said that her schedule permitting, she would join the protesters.▼

Other bills signed Another bill that Brown signed into law is Assembly Bill 1505, authored by Assemblyman Dr. Richard Pan (DSacramento), which is related to the repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ban on gays serving openly in the military. The legislation reinstates California veterans benefits, rescinded due to a discharge based solely on sexual orientation, automatically when the federal government does the same. The new law also directs the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide resources from veterans’ legal services organizations that specialize in discharge upgrades and claims representation. “Equality begins with the recognition of individual worth,” Pan said in a statement. “Honoring the great service and sacrifices these veterans have made defending us, their fellow Americans, is fundamental to the principals we stand for as a nation.” Gay Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) saw three LGBTrelated bills signed. AB 401 deletes an obsolete provision from the Carl Washington School Safety and Violence Prevention Act that specifies sexual orientation shall not include pedophilia. Another Ammiano bill, AB 1729, expands the current list of alternatives to suspension and expulsion for superintendents and principals in the state school discipline codes. It also requires schools to document alterna-


Gay Marine

From page 1

look back. It is why I feel so strongly that I want to engage with people about this,” he said. “I want people in the military who are gay or lesbian to know it is not as bad as they think to come out.” Since he decided to be honest not only with himself but others about his sexual orientation, Langley said he feels less anxiety and more comfortable at work. “I no longer have to hide it or be in a false relationship,” said Langley, who since June has been dating an accountant whose father is a retired Marine. Since arriving at Camp Pendleton earlier this year Langley has had a crash course in handling media events. On his second day in the job he assisted with Vice President Joe Biden’s visit. In July he worked with the media on coverage of gay and lesbian Marines marching in the San Diego Pride Parade for the first time in their uniforms. “It was a proud moment,” recalled Langley of seeing his coworker, Marine Corporal Jennifer Pirante, be

Rick Gerharter

Cookie Dough and the Monster Show performed at the 2010 Castro Street Fair; Cookie Dough will be back at this year’s event.

dance Saloon are both back. As is the World of Wonderment, the fair’s version of a midway with amusements like the Pin the Mustache on the Drag King, Come Corn-Holin’ with the Pleasure Pigz, and Ask a Whore Advice Booth. The Bay Area Reporter will have a presence at the fair with its own booth and raffle contest. Two lucky winners will walk away with either a one-year lease for a 2013 Volkswagen Jetta courtesy of Royal Automotive Group or a four-night stay at the Maui Sunseeker Resort, the largest LGBT property in the Hawaiian Islands, and round trip airfare for two via Alaska Airlines. The GLBT Historical Society’s museum space at 4127 18th Street will be open free of charge the day of the fair thanks to Starbucks, which is seeking support to open a new coffee shop on Market Street at Sanchez. The Castro Street Fair takes place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, October 7. There is a sliding scale suggested donation of $5 to $10 at the gate. For more information visit▼

comic Casey Lee. Reprising their roles as co-hosts of the Red Rock Stage, located at 18th and Collingwood streets, are local drag queen Cookie Dough and Drew Droege, whose online video sendups of actress Chloe Sevigny have brought him national acclaim. Performers at

the stage this year include glam rockers Rubber Side Down; singer/songwriter Darius Lux; and queer synth rock band Corpus Hideous. The popular dance stage – featuring DJs Twist, Ellen Ferrato, Jim Hopkins, and Guy Ruben – and the country music stage hosted by Sun-

tive means of correction taken prior to suspension or expulsion. Finding alternatives to suspension and expulsion have been seen as a way to address bullying of LGBT students. “The bill is designed to correct the root causes of the pupil’s misbehavior, account for any individualized educational plans, and the age of the student,” a news release put out by Ammiano’s office in May states. Finally, Ammiano’s AB 1856 requires the training for an administrator of a group home facility, licensed foster parent, and relative or nonrelative extended family member caregiver, to also include instruction on cultural competency and sensitivity relating to, and best practices for, providing adequate care to LGBT youth in out-of-home care. Another gay lawmaker, Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), saw success with a proposal that Brown had previously vetoed. SB 1140 specifies that no priest, minister, rabbi, or authorized person of any religious denomination is required to solemnize a marriage that is contrary to the tenets of his or her faith. Refusal to solemnize a marriage under that provision won’t affect the tax-exempt status of any entity. Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) authored AB 2356, which ensures that women in samesex relationships can access fertility services on the same terms as women in opposite-sex relationships. One of AB 2356’s sponsors was the statewide LGBT lobbying group Equality California, which also saw a

number of other bills it had backed signed into law in September. “The decisions regarding building a family are a core freedom in California,” EQCA board President Clarissa Filgioun said in a statement. “Same-sex couples have faced many barriers in forming families, including unequal access to fertility health care. This unequal treatment has, heartbreakingly, denied many couples the opportunity to conceive a child of their own. Signing AB 2356 works to remedy that disparity, putting the joy of having a child and building a family within the reach of all loving families.” Another new law, Assemblywoman Betsy Butler’s (D-Marina Del Rey) AB 1700, is designed to keep LGBTs from losing their homes when a partner dies. The bill excludes a transfer of co-tenancy interest in a principal residence from property tax reassessment if two people owned the principal residence and it was transferred to one of them when the other died, and the survivor obtains sole ownership. AB 1960, by Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, (D-Sacramento) requires the state Department of General Services to report on the participation levels of LGBT businesses in state contracts that has been voluntarily reported as of January 1, 2013. Another bill signed by the governor, SB 987, involves same-sex couples. The new law, authored by state Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-Chino) changes sections of the government code administered by the California Public Employees’ Retirement Board, including code sections

governing the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, among other systems. Provisions include clarifying references to “spouse,” “surviving spouse,” and “marriage” apply equally to a registered domestic partner, or partnership, to the extent provided by the domestic partnership provisions in the state family code. As with SB 1172, all the bills go into effect January 1.

one of three out enlisted Marines march in the parade. When he first enlisted in 2007, Langley did so while the anti-gay policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” was in full effect. He still has the documents he signed declaring that he was not a homosexual. Congress and President Barack Obama repealed the ban on gay and lesbian service members serving openly in December 2010. The homophobic policy was officially lifted last September just weeks prior to the 2011 Fleet Week observance in San Francisco. This year there are no official events designed specifically for those gay, lesbian or bisexual military men and women in town for Fleet Week (a ban against transgender service members is still in effect). Nonetheless, Langley has been fielding requests from out colleagues about what to do or where to go while in town. “A lot of Marines who know I am gay have come forward and asked me since I am the public affairs person what sort of interaction is going on in the Castro, and if I am planning anything. Despite not person-

ally planning a function, I want to at least ensure they all come to the Castro in uniform and be proud of their service to our country,” he told the Bay Area Reporter. Langley plans to visit the city’s gay Castro district while wearing his liberty or leave uniform comprised of a khaki shirt and dress blue pants. The experience he expects will be a “momentous” one for him and the handful of fellow gay Marines who are also in town for Fleet Week. “For gay Marines and sailors it is not just an opportunity to participate in some unique events but to take pride in being an out sailor or Marine,” said Langley. “Fleet Week is an opportunity for me to be home in the Bay Area in my hometown being a gay Marine and being completely comfortable about it.” More than 2,500 Marines and sailors aboard the USS Makin Island are participating in the 31st annual Fleet Week this year. In addition to Langley’s unit, members of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, Combat Logistics Regiment 1 and the 1st Marine Division Band are participating. “Fleet Week is a San Francisco

tradition and we take this opportunity to salute the men and women in uniform serving and protecting our country,” stated Mayor Ed Lee. While the weekend aerial maneuvers of the Blue Angels are the biggest draw for the public, there are multiple events happening over the course of the week. There are band concerts, weapon displays, demos on the Marine’s humanitarian assistance, meet and greets with military K9 units, and tours of the USS Malkin, the first U.S. military hybrid vessel. For a complete list of activities visit▼

Bill vetoed Brown vetoed Leno’s SB 1476, which would have provided that a child may have a parent and child relationship with more than two parents. The legislation, which would have clarified existing law, would have applied in cases involving both same-sex and straight parents. In a veto message dated Sunday, September 30, Brown said, “I am sympathetic to the author’s interest in protecting children. But I am troubled by the fact that some family law specialists believe the bill’s ambiguities may have unintended consequences. I would like to take more time to consider all of the implications of this change.” Asked in a brief phone interview Monday whether he’d try again with the bill, Leno said, “I certainly will be in conversation with the administration to better understand what their concern and objection was, because I am committed to giving our family courts the authority in that bill. I think it will keep children from unnecessarily finding their way into our foster care system.”▼

On the web Online content this week includes the Bay Area Reporter’s online columns, Political Notes and Wedding Bell Blues; the Jock Talk, Transmissions, and Out in the World columns; more news briefs; and photos of Robyn Few’s memorial, GLOBE’s party, and the America’s Cup World Series.

Community News>>

October 4-10, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 15

SF lesbian bar turns 50 compiled by Cynthia Laird


ild Side West, an eclectic lesbian bar in Bernal Heights, will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a party Saturday, October 6 beginning at 3 p.m. It was 50 years ago that Pat Ramseyer and Nancy White, her life and business partner, opened the Wild Side West in Oakland. They named the bar after the film Walk on the Wild Side, in which Barbara Stanwyck played a lesbian madam. A few years later, Ramseyer and White moved the bar to Broadway Street in San Francisco. Then, in 1977, the Wild Side West moved to its current location at 424 Cortland Avenue. A news release noted that Ramseyer and White faced discrimination and adversity with grace and creativity. Both women have since died. White passed away in 2008. Ramseyer died in January 2010 at the age of 75. Organizers said that the party will feature funny and historical stories about the bar, food, and great music. People can RSVP by emailing info@

Nonprofits can apply for ad space It’s that time of year where nonprofit organizations should start thinking about 2013 and the use of window space at the Castro Street Walgreens to promote their services or special events. Walgreens has been offering the double window, fronting the 400 block of Castro Street near 18th, since 2009 at no charge. San Francisco resident Paul Margolis took over the task

of assigning the window space last year and is now asking interested nonprofits to submit their requests. Organizations can use the window space (9 feet by 8 feet by 20 inches deep) for a 13-day period beginning December 30. Margolis said that demand is “overwhelming” and that groups are limited to one annual installation and may be placed on a waitlist. Interested organizations should submit their name, address, contact name, phone number, and email along with a brief statement regarding their mission. Special consideration is granted to first-time applicants, those with past displays that were visually appealing, and those providing dates of upcoming major events. The only restrictions are that displays cannot be pornographic, political, or provocative. “Past experience demonstrates that those who expend the effort get the most attention of passersby,” Margolis said in an email. Applications should be emailed to Organizations will be notified by November 15 of their assigned 13-day time slot.

Calabash gourd celebration It’s fall and that means a gourd celebration as Food for Thought, Sonoma County AIDS Food Bank, in collaboration with Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, presents the 12th annual Calabash – A Celebration of Gourds, Art, and the Garden on Sunday, October 7 from 1 to 5 p.m. in downtown Forestville. Tickets are $45 in advance or online and $50 at the door. Highlights for this year’s event in-

clude a new AIDS memorial, the only one in Sonoma County; West African music by Daniel Berkman; a new selection of garden art in addition to the gourd art; and Food for Thought Antiques will be selling a limited number of treasures from the store. For advance tickets, visit or call (707) 887-1647.

Shanti gala coming up The Shanti community will come together to celebrate the volunteers, clients, and supporters who embody the spirit of the agency’s core values: compassion, diversity, inclusiveness, and service at its annual benefit Wednesday, October 10 at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square, 333 O’Farrell Street. Themed “Compassion is Universal,” the evening begins at 5 p.m. with a reception and silent auction, followed by dinner and the program at 7. Former Supervisor Bevan Dufty will serve as master of ceremonies. Sponsors include former Ambassador James Hormel and Michael Nguyen and Nordstrom. The Bob Ross Foundation is also a sponsor, along with Charles Garfield and Cindy Spring. Garfield started Shanti in 1974 and it was one of the first-ever volunteer organizations to work with terminally ill individuals. It later became one of the first community-based HIV/AIDS organizations and today offers practical support to over 2,400 people living with HIV/AIDS and breast cancer. Tickets are $185 and can be purchased online at or by calling Rachel Hill at (415) 674-4724.

Savage to headline chorus benefit Sex columnist and It Gets Better founder Dan Savage will receive one

Rick Gerharter

Nancy White, left, and Pat Ramseyer, owners of the Wild Side West bar in Bernal Heights, in the very popular back yard of their bar in 1992.

of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus’ Champion Awards at its annual Crescendo benefit Sunday, October 14 at the Four Seasons Hotel, 757 Market Street. Others receiving the award include Joe.My.God. blogger Joe Jervis and Randy Arnold of Barefoot Winery. Composer, author, and producer Andrew Lippa will be a special guest, joining chorus artistic director and conductor Timothy Selig. The brunch begins at noon and includes silent and live auctions. The chorus will be on hand to celebrate the group’s upcoming 35th season. “This year’s Crescendo event perfectly mirrors the iconic nature of our 35th season with widely recognized names in the international community joining us to put a spotlight on the many facets of the chorus as we embark on our season,” co-chairs Sean Livingston and Jeffrey Huang said in a statement. Tickets are $150 and available online at

Trans woman in burglary case gets prison A transgender San Francisco woman has been sentenced to almost 10 years in prison for a November 2011 home burglary case. Felipe Valdez-Tejera, 51, was on

parole when she entered the home of a sleeping Russian Hill couple, whose baby was about three months old and also in the residence. She pleaded guilty September 6 in San Francisco Superior Court to a felony charge of first-degree residential burglary and admitted to an allegation of prior convictions. As had been expected, on Monday, October 1, Judge Jim Collins sentenced her to 80 percent of 12 years. Deputy Public Defender Sangeeta Sinha had tried to get Valdez-Tejera into a treatment program, saying that her client, who’s originally from Cuba, had experienced years of physical abuse and drug addiction. She had previously pleaded not guilty to charges in the case and denied all allegations. Valdez-Tejera’s previous crimes include three felony convictions for first-degree burglary. Under California’s three strikes law, she could have already been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. The new plea means another strike. According to the police report of the November incident, Valdez was found near the victim’s home with a brown shoulder bag that held two laptops.▼ Seth Hemmelgarn contributed to this report.

<< Business News

16 • BAY AREA REPORTER • October 4-10, 2012

Former SF school board member forms startup by David Duran [Editor’s note: This is a monthly series highlighting a successful business within the LGBT community that has had some involvement with the StartOut organization. StartOut strives to educate, inspire and support entrepreneurs. It fosters LGBT leadership in the business community through various methods including social programming opportunities, providing role models, connecting mentors, and promoting equality. To learn more, register, or sign up for their monthly newsletter, click here.]


n out former member of the San Francisco school board is making her mark in the startup world as her company, Pathbrite, aims to change the way employees, employers, and students present their life, learning, and projects. Pathbrite is a digital portfolio platform that enables anyone to collect, organize, and beautifully publish all the digital breadcrumbs that make up a lifetime of learning and success. Students can build academic portfolios for use in the classroom to show all the evidence of their learning, including research projects and collaborations, as well as completed product. This type of presentation is appreciated by faculty because it enables assessments that go beyond the standard “bubble” test to get at more “qualitative assessments of cognition, understanding and knowledge,” said Heather Hiles, founder and CEO of Pathbrite, an exciting and rapidly growing company in the education/hiring software field. These days, people working to advance careers use portfolios to go well beyond the “flat” resume to present a more holistic view of their individual capabilities and accomplishments. Referred to as “artifacts,” items in a portfolio can include a traditional resume, as well as videos, photos, and documents, including scans of transcripts or diplomas. “Recruiters love portfolios because they get a better sense of a candidate’s fit and finish for any given opportunity, which results in lower rates of expensive bad hires,” said Hiles.

David Duran

Heather Hiles has founded Pathbrite, which helps organize career information.

Employers can also use portfolios to enable employees to keep track of work product throughout an evaluation period. This is extremely helpful when it pertains to stated objectives, so at the end of the period, there is evidence of employee accomplishment. Hiles, 42, who earlier in her career was the CEO of SF Works, a welfare-to-work program under the Clinton administration that successfully trained and moved women into jobs, also served on the San Francisco Unified School District board where she saw first-hand the impacts of stubborn achievement gaps among the city’s most vulnerable students. “I’m so passionate about what Pathbrite portfolios can do to help people address the critical gaps in their lives that might prevent them from getting the education or job of their dreams, or promotion they deserve,” said Hiles. Pathbrite can play a vital role in the reinvention of education and the ways in which the capabilities of the whole human being are assessed, stated Hiles. “We are not the sum total of our bubble-test data, and I intend to prove it,” she said. Pathbrite had a series of obstacles before launching, mostly financial. Hiles admits that without her family and circle of friends and angel investors, her company would not have been. “There were moments that were

really tough, where I wasn’t sure if I could pull it off,” she said. The company has most recently received its Series A, or first round, financing. Hiles, who described herself as “stubborn,” said that she truly believed in her idea and just kept pushing, and she was able to find people to work with her that have made her dreams come true. “From our product guy to our amazing CTO to our ‘employee number 2’ who runs marketing and a bunch of other things – I just wouldn’t be where I am without them,” said Hiles. It was Robert Collins, her “employee number 2,” who recommended Hiles check out StartOut as a resource earlier this year. “Startups are a lot of perspiration, and StartOut provides a lot of critical inspiration when you might be running low. It’s so important to see that it’s actually possible to achieve your dreams – that other people like you are making it in the world,” said Hiles. Since learning about StartOut, Hiles has attended presentations and networking events on a regular basis. “One of our angels who recently joined the company to run sales and marketing for us, Derek Gordon, who also happens to be gay, often joins me,” she said. Hiles was married to her wife, Karen Roye, in California during the brief time when it was legal in 2008. The couple now resides in Oakland. She has been out most of her adult life and was pretty open with colleagues and friends from the start. “I guess as a woman, a person of color, and a lesbian, I’ve got three strikes against me where Silicon Valley is concerned,” she said, “but the truth is I never really encountered any discrimination or blockers around any of that stuff.” Hiles had the following advice for entrepreneurs, “First, I’d say do your research and be very clear that you have an idea that is either completely novel or makes something that already exists better somehow, and second, spend time thinking about the business model.” She also stressed the importance of getting your pitch right and being open to refining it as you share it with potential investors. Pathbrite’s goal is to use the underlying data collected via all the portfolios people build to help them set goals and benchmarks against others with similar objectives, as well as other datasets. “If a student hopes to land a job as a financial analyst after college, we can look at what they’ve got in their portfolio so far and illuminate for that person exactly what they need to do in terms of learning and internship experience to attain their objective,” said Hiles. ▼ For more information on Pathbrite, visit


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October 4-10, 2012 • Bay Area Reporter • 17


Legal Notices>>


A FREE art walk showcasing over 100 local artists in 25 locations in the Central Market neighborhood community: Friday, October 19, 4–8 p.m. Market Street (between 5th and 7th streets) and 6th Street (between Market and Howard streets). Presented by Urban Solutions with support from the San Francisco Arts Commission and Grants for the Arts/ Hotel Tax Fund.

FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034572700

FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034587200

The following person(s) is/are doing business as: BILLY BRITTLE, 571 Magellan Ave., SF, CA 94116. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed John Paul Waller. 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 09/07/12.

The following person(s) is/are doing business as: LIBROS DE FE, 435 Edinburg St., SF, CA 94112. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Blanca L. Menjivar. 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 09/17/12.

The following person(s) is/are doing business as: KUTSHOP, 115 Gough St. #25, SF, CA 94102. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Kevin Perry. 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 09/07/12.

SEPT 13, 20, 27, OCT 4, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034558800 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: HURWITT REALTY, 1609 Noriega St. SF, CA 94112. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Leonard Hurwitt. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 08/25/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 08/29/12.

SEPT 13, 20, 27, OCT 4, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034565500 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: DENTAL AESTHETICA, 180 Montgomery St. #2440, SF, CA 94104. This business is conducted by a corporation, and is signed Leila Azad, DDS, Inc. (CA). The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 09/04/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 09/04/12.

SEPT 13, 20, 27, OCT 4, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034574300 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: ONYX WHOLESALE; ONYX HOME LOANS; ONYX RETAIL; ONYX DIRECT; ONYX LOANS; 801 Marina Blvd., SF, CA 94123. This business is conducted by a limited liability company, and is signed Onyx Lending LLC (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 09/10/12.

SEPT 13, 20, 27, OCT 4, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034579700 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: SIMA CONSULTANCY, 36 Oakwood St. #6, SF, CA 94110. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Saiman Hsu. 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 09/12/12.

SEPT 20, 27, OCT 4, 11, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034581500 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: SCAN@WORK, 540A Shotwell St., SF, CA 94110. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Calvin Yam. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 09/13/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 09/13/12.

SEPT 20, 27, OCT 4, 11, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034582300 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: FIVE STAR ROOTER & PLUMBING CO., 1331 20th Ave., SF, CA 94122. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Zi Xian Liu. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 09/13/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 09/13/12.

SEPT 20, 27, OCT 4, 11, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034583400 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: ALFAJORES NARCISO, 27 Flood Ave., SF, CA 94131. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Patricia Narisco. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 09/05/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 09/14/12.

SEPT 20, 27, OCT 4, 11, 2012

Notice is hereby given of 8 vacancies on the AAB. Applicants must reside in San Francisco and have at least 5 years experience as one of the following: Certified Public Accountant or Public Accountant; licensed Real Estate Broker; Property Appraiser accredited by a nationally recognized organization, or Property Appraiser certified by the California Office of Real Estate Appraisers. For additional information & application, please call 415.554.6778.

Don’t miss 2 BLOCKS OF ART

Legal Notices>>

SEPT 13, 20, 27, OCT 4, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034572900

City and County of San Francisco October 2012 Monthly Assessment Appeals Board (AAB)

SEPT 20, 27, OCT 4, 11, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034589300 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: MORELOS LANDSCAPE SERVICES, 128 Uranus Ave., Hayward, CA 94544. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Abel Morelos. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 09/18/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 09/18/12.

SEPT 20, 27, OCT 4, 11, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034576600 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: CITY TRAVEL AND TOUR, 1039 Grant Ave. #203, SF, CA 94133. This business is conducted by a general partnership and is signed U Win Myint & Sio Weng. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 09/11/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 09/11/12.

SEPT 20, 27, OCT 4, 11, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034578300 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: H & R CONSTRUCTION COMPANY, 1946 44th Ave., SF, CA 94116. This business is conducted by a general partnership and is signed Hsi Chou Yu & Richard Yu. 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 09/11/12.

SEPT 20, 27, OCT 4, 11, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034583700 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: BUBBLE REAL ESTATE, 420 Union St., SF, CA 94133. This business is conducted by a corporation and is signed North Beach Native, Inc. (CA). The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 09/13/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 09/14/12.

SEPT 20, 27, OCT 4, 11, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034583600 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: VENDINI TICKETS; VENDINI TIX; WALLETINI; 660 Market St. 4th Fl., SF, CA 94104. This business is conducted by a corporation and is signed Vendini Inc. (CA). The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 01/01/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 09/14/12.

SEPT 20, 27, OCT 4, 11, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034579900 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: CONNECTIONS SAN FRANCISCO, 424 Clay St., SF, CA 94111. This business is conducted by a limited liability company and is signed Battery & Clay Associates, LLC (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 09/12/12.

SEPT 20, 27, OCT 4, 11, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034583800 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: ECLIPSE ACOUSTICS, 263 18th Ave., SF, CA 94121. This business is conducted by a limited liability company and is signed Travis Media Group LLC (CA). The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 09/13/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 09/14/12.

SEPT 20, 27, OCT 4, 11, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034564200 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: 49TH PARALLEL PRODUCTIONS, 674 Ivy St., SF, CA 94102. This business is conducted by a husband & wife and is signed Katy W. Newton & Sean L. Connelley. 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 08/31/12.

SEPT 20, 27, OCT 4, 11, 2012

FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034562600 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: IZZY CHAN CONSULTS, 2244 19th St., SF, CA 94107. This business is conducted by an individual and is signed Isabella Chan. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 08/01/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 08/31/12.

SEPT 20, 27, OCT 4, 11, 2012 Statement of abandonment of use of fictitious business name FILE A-031447000 The following persons have abandoned the use of the fictitious business name known as: VICTORIAN HEALTHCARE CENTER, 2121 Pine St., SF, CA 94115. This business was conducted by a limited liability company and signed by Kindred Nursing Centers West, LLC (KY). The fictitious name was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 09/17/08.

SEPT 20, 27, OCT 4, 11, 2012 notice of application TO SELL alcoholic beverageS Dated 09/17/12 To Whom It May Concern: The name(s) of the applicant(s) is/are: CAPO’S CHICAGO, LLC. The applicants listed above are applying to the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control at 33 New Montgomery St. #1230, SF, CA 94105 to sell alcoholic beverages at 641 Vallejo St., SF, CA 94133-3918. Type of license applied for

47 - ON-SALE GENERAL EATING PLACE SEPT 27, OCT 4, 11, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034590100 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: MARIE MAR, 1710 27th Ave., SF, CA 94122. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Donna Marie Romagnoli. 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 09/18/12.

SEPT 27, OCT 4, 11, 18, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034597300 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: BATM MAINTENANCE, 56 Seville St., SF, CA 94112. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Alberto Benavides. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 09/21/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 09/21/12.

SEPT 27, OCT 4, 11, 18, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034576200 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: GOLD LIMOUSINES SERVICE, 76 Monterey Blvd., SF, CA 94131. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Victoria Nguyen. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 09/10/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 09/10/12.

SEPT 27, OCT 4, 11, 18, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034600300 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: GREEN ELEMENT TREE CARE, 72-1/2 Saturn St., SF, CA 94114. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Heather Kailing Ellison. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 09/24/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 09/24/12.

SEPT 27, OCT 4, 11, 18, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034599600

WIC Offers You Free Food And Services!

The Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Supplemental Nutrition Program helps pregnant women, new mothers, infants and young children eat well and stay healthy. WIC offers benefits to pregnant and postpartum women, infants and children under the age of 5 years who meet federal income guidelines. WIC benefits include nutrition and breastfeeding education and support, supplemental foods and referrals to health care and community services. WIC pregnant/breastfeeding mothers receive education and support through Breastfeeding Peer Counselors or WIC Breastfeeding Warm Line (415) 575-5688. WIC participants receive checks for nutritious foods. WIC staff helps find community resources to meet individual needs. For more information, call (415) 575-5788. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

San Francisco General Hospital Foundation (SFGHF)

SFGHF is seeking nominations for its eighth-annual Heroes & Hearts Award, a service award which recognizes unsung heroes who provide exceptional and inspirational service to an individual or the community. Nominations deadline - Thursday, November 1st. For information, visit

Transbay Block 9 Request for Proposals (RFP)

The Successor Agency to the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency is soliciting proposals from qualified development teams to purchase Transbay Block 9, a 31,000 square foot site located in Downtown San Francisco. For a copy of the RFP, visit http://www., call (415) 749-2439, or email Proposals must be received by December 12.

Need Help Finding a Dentist or Dental Insurance for your Child?

Did you know that Tooth Decay can affect your child’s ability to do well in school, eat healthy food, and can affect self esteem? If you live in San Francisco – call the San Francisco Women and Children’s Health Referral Line 1-800-300-9950 for information about low-cost dental insurance, or to find a dentist for your child. SF Child Health & Disability Prevention (CHDP) Program

San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

The Airport Commission has commenced the RFP process for Terminal 3 Common Use Club Lease at SFO. Submittal Deadline is changed to Wednesday, December 5, 3:00p.m. (PST) Information website is: and click on Concessions and Leases.

Port of San Francisco The Port will soon be publishing two RFPs for youth employment oversight and a hazardous waste management on its website at The City and County of San Francisco encourage public outreach. Articles are translated into several languages to provide better public access. The newspaper makes every effort to translate the articles of general interest correctly. No liability is assumed by the City and County of San Francisco or the newspapers for errors and omissions.

FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034582500 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: FITNESS SF CASTRO, 2301 Market St., SF, CA 94114. This business is conducted by a corporation, and is signed Superblock Fitness 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 09/13/12.

SEPT 27, OCT 4, 11, 18, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034582400 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: FITNESS SF SOMA, 1001 Brannan St., SF, CA 94103. This business is conducted by a corporation, and is signed Brannan Street Fitness 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 09/13/12.

SEPT 27, OCT 4, 11, 18, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034594700 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: THOMAS OGAWA DDS, 180 Montgomery St. #2440, SF, CA 94104. This business is conducted by a corporation, and is signed Leila Azad, DDS, Inc. (CA). The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 09/04/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 09/20/12.

SEPT 27, OCT 4, 11, 18, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034582100 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: SCHNEIDER INVESTMENTS, LLC, 117 Sanchez St., SF, CA 94114. This business is conducted by a limited liability company, and is signed Schneider Investment, LLC (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 09/13/12.

SEPT 27, OCT 4, 11, 18, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034569400

The following person(s) is/are doing business as: F M G & H, 1413 Valencia St., SF, CA 94110. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Shane Liddick. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 09/06/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 09/21/12.

The following person(s) is/are doing business as: BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, 1597 Haight St., SF, CA 94117. This business is conducted by a limited liability company, and is signed Soul Patch LLC (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 09/05/12.

SEPT 27, OCT 4, 11, 18, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034598000

SEPT 27, OCT 4, 11, 18, 2012 notice of application TO SELL alcoholic beverageS

The following person(s) is/are doing business as: TOTAL RESPONSE AND PROTECTION SERVICES, 1943 28th Ave., SF, CA 94116. This business is conducted by a corporation, and is signed Rambo Security Services Inc. (CA). The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 09/21/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 09/21/12.

SEPT 27, OCT 4, 11, 18, 2012

Dated 09/24/12 To Whom It May Concern: The name(s) of the applicant(s) is/are: BALVANTBHAI VIRJIBHAI PATEL. The applicants listed above are applying to the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control at 33 New Montgomery St. #1230, SF, CA 94105 to sell alcoholic beverages at 219 7th St., SF, CA 94103-4003. Type of license applied for

21 – OFF-SALE GENERAL OCT 4, 11, 18, 25, 2012

notice of application FOR CHANGE IN OWNERSHIP OF alcoholic beverage LICENSE Dated 09/28/12 To Whom It May Concern: The name(s) of the applicant(s) is/are: MTOMATO, LLC. The applicants listed above are applying to the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control at 33 New Montgomery St. #1230, SF, CA 94105 to sell alcoholic beverages at 1356-1358 Mason St., SF, CA 94133-4710. Type of license applied for

41 - ON-SALE BEER & WINE - EATING PLACE OCT 4, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034605600 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: S AND E CAFE, 2406 19th Ave., SF, CA 94116. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Wei Hong Liu. 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 09/26/12.

OCT 4, 11, 18, 25, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034610500 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: ART ATTACK SF, 2722 A Hyde St., SF, CA 94109. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed James Capadona. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 09/27/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 09/27/12.

OCT 4, 11, 18, 25, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034615900 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: CARMELINA’S TAQUERIA, 500 Parnassus Ave., SF, CA 94143. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Karim Salgado. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 12/02/02. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 10/01/12.

OCT 4, 11, 18, 25, 2012 FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034609800 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: THE LITLE CHIHUAHUA MEXICAN RESTAURANT, 581 Valencia St., SF, CA 94110. This business is conducted by a limited liability company, and is signed TLC Foods Valencia LLC (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 09/27/12.

OCT 4, 11, 18, 25, 2012 Statement of abandonment of use of fictitious business name FILE A-031466200 The following persons have abandoned the use of the fictitious business name known as: S & E CAFE, 2406 19th Ave., SF, CA 94116. This business was conducted by a corporation and signed by Li, Choi & Fong Inc. (CA). The fictitious name was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 09/24/08.

OCT 4, 11, 18, 25, 2012

Serving the LGBT communities since 1971

18 • Bay Area Reporter • October 4-10, 2012

Legal Notices>>

Household Services>>

Real Estate>>

FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME statement file A-034619300 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: EXECUTIVE CHOICE TRANSPORTATION, 690 Cesar Chaves St., SF, CA 94124. This business is conducted by an individual, and is signed Damone H. Smith. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 10/02/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 10/02/12.

OCT 4, 11, 18, 25, 2012

Legal Services>>



200 Brannan # 427 Open Sun October 7th 2pm – 4pm & Wednesday October 10th from 5 – 7pm. Spacious 3BR/2BA “Below Market Rate” loft style residence available at 200 Brannan. Offered at $315,739. Fantastic design, large great room, ample storage & 1-Car Pkg. Buyers must qualify for income eligibility, income max for apps are 3 persons $92,700, 4 persons $103,000, 5 persons $111,250. Units available through the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing and are subject to resale controls, monitoring and other restrictions. Applications due by 5pm on Thursday October 18th. Please contact Brett van den Eikhof of Vanguard Properties for more information. 415.321.7020/ WWW.GAYREALESTATE.COM Instant Free Database of San Francisco’s Top Gay Realtors


Business Opportunities>>



S tor age , I nc .

Gay Owned and Operated Local & Long Distance Moves All Over SF & The Bay Area

415.404.7400 888.670.0840

Cleaning Professional 25 Years Exp (415) 794-4411 * Roger Miller



Is Up For Sale Due to Health Reasons. Negotiate Price. Foxy Lady Boutique is San Francisco’s legendary apparel superstore. From formal dresses to lingerie and sexy costumes, it’s the place to shop for the latest fashions and sexiest items with the highest quality and the lowest prices. 2644 Mission St. San Francisco JANINE 650-992-3772

$55 Great basic clean, home or apt. mop, dust, bath, kitchen call JR 415-205-0397


Housecleaning since 1979. Many original clients. All supplies. HEPA Vac. Richard 415-255-0389





Hauling>> Reliable & on time hauling $30/hr 2hr min Mike 415-577-7180


Hauling 24/7 441-1054 Lg. Truck



Tech Support>> MACINTOSH HELP * home or office * 21 years exp *

R ick 415 .821. 1 792

Relapse Prevention Groups Forming

Reasonable fees, free consultation with

Steve Foster, LMFT

(415) 412-0397 The Wellness Center, Dolores & 16th Sts.

SF Gay man, 60, employed, saving $$ for AIDS housing, needs temporary storage for a running but non-operating 1995 Buick Riviera sedan that will get registered soon. If you have an outdoor parking option (driveway, carport, side of building or other space) that is NOT on the street please call Richard at 201-232-0741.

E39-40 Public Notice>> Did you know Tom Burdick(1950-1993)? Brookline Electric 415-239-5393. Small Jobs Now.

No obituary was written, but he deserves to be remembered. Seeking memories of Tom. E-mail:




Classified Order Form

Deadline: NOON on MONDAY. Payment must accompany ad. If you have a question, call 415.861.5019. Display advertising rates available upon request. Ads will appear in print and online. Indicate Type Style Here

XBOLD and BOLD stop here

Help Wanted >> I’M LOOKING for a part time personal assistant age of 28/60, which I’m going to be paying $400 each week. If interested, contact asap

Health & Fitness>>


Maintenance personal needed: Duties include: daily janitorial, some experience of electrical, plumbing, carpentry, painting, landscaping. Pool and spa certification a plus. Full time position. After a waiting period benefits include: Medical, Dental and paid vacation. Please email resume to: or apply in person at The Watergarden Corp. 1010 The Alameda San Jose, CA 95126


RATES for Newspaper and website: First line, Regular 10.00 All subsequent lines 5.00 BOLD double price X-BOLD triple price




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Read more online at

October 4-10, 2012 • Bay Area Reporter • 19


'Magnolias' remade

Gayby boomer

Out &About

Black is back






Vol. 42 • No. 40 • October 4-10, 2012


Behind the scenes at the San Francisco Opera Costume Shop ★ by Sura Wood ★

Joyce DiDonato (Romeo) and Nicole Cabell (Giulietta, in the bubble dress) in Christian Lacroix’s designs for San Francisco Opera’s The Capulets and the Montagues.


Cory Weaver

uliet standing on her balcony in a bubble dress? Romeo navigating the streets of Verona in a slick, distressed lambskin, motorcycle jacket? You thought you’d never live to see this day, but it has arrived courtesy of French haute couturier Christian Lacroix’s costumes for San Francisco Opera’s The Capulets and the Montagues. The Vincenzo Bellini opera, based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, is a

co-production with the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, where it premiered last year. Lacroix is not the first or only fashion icon to heed opera’s siren call. Versace, Lagerfeld, Prada, Armani, Zandra Rhodes, and of course, Bob Mackie, who brought old Hollywood glitz to SFO’s 1998 production of Lulu, are among the famous fashionistas who have plunged into the storied world of divas and spear-carriers.

The 61-year-old Lacroix was a hot property on Parisian runways in the 1980s, when the bubble skirt catapulted him to stardom, and later, in the 1990s, when the British television series Absolutely Fabulous made him a household name. But after closing his couture house three years ago, he became fully engaged in designing for theater, opera and the ballet, enraptured with the grand stage those arenas

afford; since 2003, he has created costumes for over 15 opera productions. “One of the great things about him is that he never thought about fashion or clothing, he always thought about costume and history, which is evident in his own collections,” says Christopher Verdosci, assistant costume director for the San Francisco See page 37 >>

Give my regards to Mill Valley!

The film adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road arrives.

35th Mill Valley Film Festival highlights, week 1 by David Lamble


he 35th edition of the Mill Valley Film Festival (Oct. 4-14 at the Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael, Cinearts@Sequoia, the 142 Throckmorton Theatre, and the Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley) is aiming for the sweet spot on your bat with a star lineup that includes Dustin Hoffman (his directing debut, Quartet), Billy Bob Thornton (Jayne Mansfield’s Car), Mira Nair (Salaam Bombay!), John Hawkes (The Sessions) and the team from DreamWorks Animation (Rise of the Guardians).


On the Road On page 44 of the novel, Jack Kerouac’s narrator/alter ego Sal Paradise observes his best buds Dean and Carlo sitting “on the bed cross-legged and [looking] straight at each other. They began with an abstract thought, discussed it; reminded each other of another abstract point forgotten in the rush of events. “’We’ll just have to sleep now. Let’s stop the machine.’ “’You can’t stop the machine!’ yelled See page 36 >>

<< Out There

22 • BAY AREA REPORTER • October 4-10, 2012

The art-world, decentralized by Roberto Friedman


n unusual new exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Six Lines of Flight: Shifting Geographies in Contemporary Art examines art communities and practices in six burgeoning locales: Beirut, Lebanon; Cali, Colombia; Cluj-Napoca, Romania; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Tangier, Morocco; and dear old San Francisco. Globalization and new technologies have brought about the decentralization of the art-world from traditional power centers like New York, Paris and London. “The six cities represented here are not considered primary international art centers, and none of them hosts a major biennial,” writes former SFMOMA curator (now at Berkeley Art Museum) Aspara DiQuinzio in the exhibition catalogue (University of California Press). “Yet they all have active, localized art communities that extend beyond their own regions

and become international places of exchange.” The emphasis here is on artist-initiated organizations and collectives. Here’s a brief sampling of some highlights, based on a recent visit to the galleries and a wrestle with the catalog. Beirut: The Arab Image Foundation (AIF), founded in 1997, is devoted to a project collecting an archive of photos from the Mideast, North Africa and the Arab Diaspora, from mid-19th century to today. Examples abound in the gallery. The catalog notes a striking Modernist grid of 36,000 walletsize ID photos (193570), presented without any intervention. Wonder Beirut, the Story of a Pyromaniac Photographer (19972006) is an installationbased project by artists Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige. Part of the project, Postcards of War reproduces work by Lebanese photographer Abdallah Farah commissioned in 1968 by the Lebanese Tourism Agency. The images of hotels, beaches and tour-

ist sites offer poignant counterpoint to their current distressed condition. Cali: Against a backdrop of violence in modern-day Colombia, the artist collective Helena Producciones offers cultural production. Among the most powerful images here are photos of a demonstration by La Escuela de Esgrima con Machete de Puerto Tejada, a school of fencing with machetes, that powerful symbol of Latino machismo. Cluj-Napoca: The Paintbrush Factory arts center “occupies a disused industrial plant that once manufactured paintbrushes. These were used to paint unnecessary pieces of machinery that had been built not for functionality but to reinforce the illusion of a mechanized, effortless future.” Ho Chi Minh City: The Propeller Group art collective is represented by their media campaign Viet Nam The World Tour (2010-ongoing), the group’s initiative to rebrand the country’s identity, working in public space beyond galleries and museums. Artist Dinh Q. Le explores Vietnamese iconography and mythology in his 20-minute, three-channel video installation Sound and Fury (2012), footage of a national celebration. San Francisco is represented by the art and design collective Futurefarmers, and its art-group predecessors such as Ant Farm. Tangier: From an essay by Abdellah Karroum in the show’s catalog, “It is easy to overlook the fact that Henri Matisse’s Window at Tangier (1912) was painted in Tangier in the same year that the French and Spanish established ‘protectorates’ in Morocco, an elision that underscores the gaps between history and art history.” Our schematic outline makes Six Lines out to be an art exhibition that’s as much sociological as art-historical. To be sure, not all of the art translates. But a visit to the museum’s spacious fifth-floor galleries confirms that most of the art on display here transcends any categorizing impulse in the show’s conception. Dinh Q. Le’s Sound and Fury video benefits greatly from its bravado installation. Adrian Ghenie’s dark canvases hung together, such as The Trial (2010), are wellserved by wall texts describing their relation to Romanian history. And

Courtesy the artists and CRG Gallery, New York

Postcards of War, by Joana Hadjthomas and Khalil Joreige, from the project Wonder Beirut, the Story of a Pyromaniac Photographer (1997-2006), 18 original postcards.

Courtesy the artist; Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Los Angeles; PPOW Gallery, New York; and 10 Chancery Lane Gallery, Hong Kong

Sound and Fury (2012), still from three-channel video installation with sound, by Vietnamese artist Dinh Q. Le.

pictures from Oscar Muniz’s series El testigo take on added meaning when the Colombian history they illustrate is spelled out. With contemporary art as with so much else, knowledge is power.

French friends The openly gay mayor of Paris Bertrand Delanoe was in town last week to celebrate his city’s 16th anniversary of its Sister City status with the grande old dame San Francisco, which is also its “Sissy City.” Since chairman of the San Francisco-Paris Sister City Committee Thomas Horn is also the publisher of the B.A.R., he persuaded Mayor Delanoe to come down to our SoMa offices for a half-hour sit-down interview with our editors. Estimable news editor Cynthia Laird has all the deets in the news section. But because Out There knew that Delanoe had been to a big Cal Performances event at Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley, the previous evening, we were able to get an oar in. During the interview, Horn exercised his fluency in French by simultaneously translating all the Q’s and all the A’s. Get that man a position at the UN, tout de suite! In Berkeley, esteemed director Emmanuel Demarcy-Mota reunited his Theatre de la Ville-Paris cast from a critically lauded 2004 production of French-Romanian playwright Eugene Ionesco’s “the-

atre of the absurd” masterpiece, Rhinoceros. It’s the play where one man struggles to maintain his integrity as all around him, friends and associates turn into the title beasties. Since Ionesco wrote the play in the 1930s as Romania fell into the clutches of fascism, it’s not hard to see the subtext. Delanoe admitted that he is not such a big fan of Ionesco, and the more “absurd” the playwright gets, the more he loses him. But he is a big fan of director Demarcy-Mota, who is legendary in the French theatre world, and who was able to conceive of a production of Rhinoceros for our times and present it “with subtlety and finesse.” He’s proud that the Parisian theatre company could tour the U.S., and the mayor called Demarcy-Mota the “Sarah Bernhardt of today.” Bon mots indeed. After the chat, Delanoe graciously agreed to photos with all those present. OT demurred, “We’re camerashy!” To which the mayor replied (imagine exclaimed in a charming French accent), “Is not compulsory!” So we posed amid the tchotchkes in our conference room, and the resulting photo captures some of the kitsch.

Disco fever This coming Fri.-Sat., Oct. 5 & 6, the Rrazz Room will present the world premiere of a new tribute See page 28 >>

Read more online at

October 4-10, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 23

<< Theatre

24 • BAY AREA REPORTER • October 4-10, 2012

Drama in and out of the courtroom by Richard Dodds


hile the movie Milk was being filmed on the streets of San Francisco, the campaigns for and against Proposition 8 began to engage and enrage the filmmakers who had been so focused on their own job of telling the story of slain supervisor Harvey Milk. “When it started looking like the numbers weren’t going our way, it was frustrating for all of us because here we were making a movie about a strategy that had worked 30 years earlier, and I was watching the campaign for ‘No on 8,’ and it was a disaster,” said screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, who won an Oscar for his Milk script. “There were no gay people telling their own stories, and at the heart of Harvey Milk’s campaign was storytelling. Tell your own personal story.” Black, 38, has never been shy about telling his own story as a former devout Mormon who is now a devout advocate for LGBT rights in both his professional and personal lives. His passions have coalesced around Prop 8’s journey through the courts that could likely wind up on the Supreme Court’s docket in the current session. He was a spectator at the 2010 trial in US District Court that overturned Prop 8, which would have amended the state constitution to forbid same-sex marriage, and felt the public should see what the Prop 8 defendants successfully sued to have blocked from television broadcast. The result was 8, a 90-minute condensation of the trial and moments of out-of-court drama that was presented as staged readings in New York and Los Angeles with starstudded casts that raised money for

Courtesy AFER

Courtesy UCLA

Screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, who won an Oscar for Milk, has written and will perform in 8 at ACT, his play about the trial that overturned Prop 8.

the American Foundation for Equal Rights and Broadway Impact. The complete L.A. performance featuring such luminaries as Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Kevin Bacon, John C. Reilly, Jane Lynch, and Matthew Morrison was streamed live on YouTube, where it is still available for viewing. “After the New York and L.A. readings, and we had raised our money so the case can go forward, I gave the play away for free to anyone who wants it,” Black said from his Los Angeles home, where he is currently working on screenplays for directors Ron Howard, Robert Zemeckis, and J.J. Abrams. When ACT picked it

up for an Oct. 7 fundraising staged reading, the theater asked Black if he would appear in his own play for the first time. “I dodged the idea for a bit, and then decided it would be a challenge, and I’m always up for that,” he said. “I’m going to be playing Ryan Kendell. It’s one of my favorite moments in the play, and the most emotional, but I promise I’m not going to be as good as Chris Colfer was in the role.” In Los Angeles, Colfer, of Glee fame, played Kendell, 25 at the time of the trial, who testified to his belief that his homosexuality was inborn, and about the horrors of being sent as a teen by his parents for “reparative” therapy to the National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, better known as

Dustin Lance Black appeared on stage after the L.A. performance of 8, with cast members Kevin Bacon, John C. Reilly, Jane Lynch, and George Takei.

NARTH. “I would rather have had an abortion than a gay son,” said his mother, according to Kendell’s testimony. Other members of the ACT cast are a mix of prominent actors and local luminaries. They include veteran LGBT activist Cleve Jones, Cal Shakes Artistic Director Jonathan Moscone, actress Holland Taylor (Two and a Half Men), Speaker of the Assembly John A. Perez, SF AIDS Foundation’s Neil Giuliano, and actor Luke MacFarlane (Brothers & Sisters). Proceeds from the reading will benefit the American Foundation for Equal Rights and LGBT youth in ACT’s ACTsmart outreach program. Tickets are $50 and $100, and are available at www. If you watch the YouTube video of

the L.A. performance of 8, you’ll see how the vocally enthusiastic audience brings its images of the celebrity actors to their characters even before they have spoken a word. All you need do is plop John C. Reilly into a chair as defense witness David Blankenhorn, and he gets a big laugh. (That his actual testimony defending traditional marriage was a disaster further fueled the humorous reactions.) But, says playwright Black, you don’t need the celebrity connections for the material to work. “I went to a high school last week in Woodland Hills to see its production, and I didn’t know if high schoolers could do such dense material, but they hit it out of the park,” Black said. “And See page 25 >>

Music >>

▼ Gay couple’s gay night at Philharmonia Baroque

October 4-10, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 25

by Jason Victor Serinus


or the second year in a row, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra (PBO) follows its first season concert in San Francisco with a post-concert LGBT reception. Not only is the performance itself – the PBO premiere of Henry Purcell’s Dioclesian, which some describe as the baroque equivalent of a Broadway musical – especially suited to a lavender audience, but it also casts a spotlight on the gay nature of the organization, and of one of the long-term partnerships that makes the San Francisco music scene so special. It is hardly news that the conductor of PBO, Nicholas McGegan, and the director of the orchestra’s Philharmonia Baroque Chorale (PBC), Bruce Lamott, are gay men. Nor will it come as a surprise to learn that both are in long-term relationships, that they are not the only gay men in the organization, and that several of the seven soloists in Dioclesian are also friends of Dorothy. But what is unusual is that Dioclesian appears in a week when both the organization’s chorus director, Lamott, and his partner of 40 years, Kip Cranna, have been cast into the spotlight for their pivotal roles in the Bay Area classical music scene. On October 1, Cranna received the Osher Cultural Award, a $15,000 cash prize for “distinguished efforts by an individual to bring excellence to a particular cultural institution or métier.” Lamott, who attended the award ceremony, had to dash out early to help conduct a rehearsal of Dioclesian. On October 5, after Cranna heads next door from his office in the War Memorial Opera House to attend one of the Purcell performances, the couple will head home to contemplate how the prize money will help finance their forthcoming 40th anniversary RSVP gay cruise to the Danube. “We show up for each other’s concerts, and are very supportive of each other’s professional lives,” Cranna explained in a joint interview with Lamott. “But we talk very little music when we get home.” Chiming in, Lamott declared, “Our big issue is coming home and establishing a place that’s safe from all of the music stuff we’re doing. It’s not a question of what opera we’re going to put on at night. Instead, after he’s put in a 14-hour day, it’s who’s going to walk the dogs and how’s the plumbing doing, and who will fix the electricity. It’s the domestic kinds of things. We met in music and have similar tastes in music. But our relationship is not grounded in music; it’s grounded in a personal relationship.” That relationship began 40 years ago, when the two men, both graduate students in 17th-century music


Dustin Lance Black

From page 24

this little high school kid doing the Blankenhorn role had the crowd losing its mind with laughter. It’s lovely that American audiences find humor in the words, but 30 years ago people wouldn’t have found Blankenhorn’s words so ridiculous.” The attorneys defending Prop 8 had an admittedly troubled case after the state declined to defend it and many proposed expert witnesses opted not to testify. “First these witnesses had to go through a deposition process, and they got a taste of how their quote-unquote evidence was going to be grilled publically and while they were under oath,” Black said. “They feared they were going to be defamed.” Asked why he drew his personal line in the sand over Prop 8 and

Jason Victor Serinus

Philharmonia Baroque Chorale director Bruce Lamott and Osher Cultural Award winner Kip Cranna.

history at Stanford, met in Music 169A: Introduction to Performance Practice. Cranna, a North Dakota boy just out of the Navy and ostensibly looking for the right girl, couldn’t help but notice the cute blonde guy wearing a velour shirt sitting in front of him in class. Lamott, a Presbyterian and high school organist who had once thought of going into the ministry but who was sure of which sex he was attracted to, smiled. The following spring, after Lamott’s gay roommate headed out of town, Cranna became his summer replacement. It didn’t take long for roommates to become partners. Two weeks later, it had already become clear that they wanted to stick together for the rest of their lives. “Our priorities,” says Cranna, “were: stay together, stay in music, and stay in the Bay Area. Given how unconceivable it was that two musicologists who were focusing on the same century were going to find jobs in the same town, we quickly decided to cast our nets further.” Lamott, who played harpsichord during his Stanford years, went from directing a church choir on the Peninsula to the start of his 33-year career as a teacher of music, orchestra, chorus and Western civilization at University High School. To this he added Chorus Master at the Sacramento Symphony (1984), then 30 years at the Carmel Bach Festival that culminated as Choral Director (until 2003), then the directorship of PBC (1997-present), and a teaching position at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Cranna, who for a time worked at Carmel Bach as program editor and lecturer, soon made a shift to San Francisco Opera. Starting off as assistant to the business manager, he moved into Music Administration. Chances are, if you’ve attended any of San Francisco Opera’s pre-concert presentations, or any of the Opera Guild’s preview presentations, you’ve heard him speak and play

same-sex marriage, Black paused. “No one has ever asked me that before, isn’t that funny?” A longer pause ensued before Black offered his response. “I think my generation had become incredibly complacent, thinking the world must be like Will & Grace, but then they saw our rights being stripped away and, boy, it woke up a new generation of activists. I saw that most clearly here in L.A. the night after Prop 8 passed, and the group that had been leading the fight was up on podiums blaming people and yelling and screaming. And a whole group of young people marched away from the folks who had failed us and took to the streets in a very public and proud way. The only thing I had to compare it to was San Francisco in the ’70s, and I was seeing the energy I had only read about. I thought, my goodness, we’re back.”▼

musical examples. Both men give a thumbs up to Dioclesian. “It’s a very user-friendly show,” says Lamott. “No piece is longer than three-and-a-half minutes. It’s really like a baroque Broad-

way revue. If you don’t like the number we’re doing, wait a couple of minutes and everything will be new. It’s got dancing, singing, and bacchanals. The dialogue is left out, and for God sakes, don’t try to follow the plot. It’s music in the moment that, divorced from the style of somebody like Nick, could be absolutely deadly. Nick understands the language, so it becomes an endless delight. Maybe it’s a big plate of bon bons, or more like dim sum than a full meal, but it’s delightful. And afterwards, our LGBT patrons and their friends will dine on more sweets and treats.” Asked what kind of sales pitch they’d like to give about classical music in general, Cranna declared, “For gay people, classical music is a great date. It’s a great way to try your relationship out. There are these very expressive cultural creations from composers, a lot of whom are gay, that can enrich people’s lives and help bring them together.” “It’s music without additives,”

declared the socially conscious Lamott. “Classical music is almost the only place where you’ll sit in an acoustic environment and hear things for their natural sound. If you go to a Broadway show, movie, rock concert, or disco, the technology has gotten so out of hand that the experience of walking into a room that used to be fun is now an assault where you’re unable to carry on a conversation. “With Philharmonia, you have a kind, gentler sound, and at the opera, you have all the acoustic power with preservatives and additives. Speakers are like the MSG of great food; they affect the flavor and push it beyond where it ought to be. It seems to me that if you’re wearing natural fibers, you should be going to an unamplified concert.”▼ Head thee to Dioclesian on Friday, June 5 in San Francisco, or on October 6 and 7 in Berkeley. See or call (415) 392-4400.

<< TV

26 • BAY AREA REPORTER • October 4-10, 2012

Men of steel

Producers Neil Meron & Craig Zadan remake ‘Steel Magnolias’ for Lifetime by Gregg Shapiro


hat comes to mind when you hear the phrase, “Drink your juice, Shelby?” Sally Field fussing over Julia Roberts as M’Lynn and Shelby, respectively, in the 1989 Southern comedic tearjerker Steel Magnolias? The new remake, airing on Oct. 7 on Lifetime, unobtrusively updates the story and features a stellar cast of African-American actresses assuming the leads. This version of Steel Magnolias is as much about sisterhood as it is about sistahood. Queen Latifah, who has developed into a natural actress, gives the performance of her career. Robert Harling’s original play is treated with respect in Sally Robinson’s screenplay and doesn’t shy away from the gay content, including Clairee’s story about her gay nephew, “accent lighting” and gay men’s names. I spoke with Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, gay executive producers of Steel Magnolias and recently named as recipients of the Visionary Award from the Outfest Legacy Project, about the remake. Gregg Shapiro: How did the idea of remaking Steel Magnolias with an African-American cast come about?

Courtesy Lifetime

Scene from the new remake of Steel Magnolias: Sally Robinson’s screenplay doesn’t shy away from the gay content.

Neil Meron: A while back, Craig and I were talking about things that we wanted to do. Where are the great roles for women? Our conversation naturally went to Steel Magnolias. I thought the only way that we could really tackle Steel Magnolias, which was so brilliantly done originally, was if we were able to bring something new to it. That, to us, justified why we should proceed with the project. So it comes out of our love for great actors and for pieces that showcase these great actors. Craig Zadan: We know Robert Harling, who wrote the original play and the original screenplay for the first movie. Robert said it was always his fantasy to have Steel Magnolias done again, with an all-black cast, set at a black town in the South. So there were no concerns about remaking such an iconic movie? NM: You only remake a movie if you have something new to say, if you can broaden the universality of it. We felt that by hiring the actors that we did, we had something new

to say and we enhanced what was already a great piece. CZ: Robert Harling, who created it, did not say to us, “Oh, please don’t do it.” He was more than encouraging and excited, thrilled to see an allblack version, and really wanted us to do it. That’s more endorsement than you get most of the time. Queen Latifah, who plays M’Lynn (the role originated on screen by Sally Field), gives an amazing performance, the kind that has Emmy and Golden Globe written all over it. NM: It seemed like a perfect match. A lot of the success due to projects is how well you cast them. She had the strength and dignity and acting chops to really anchor this new production of Steel Magnolias. So you start with Queen Latifah, and build everything around her. CZ: We had the most magnificent experience working with her on Chicago and Hairspray. So when this came around, it seemed like a natural to involve her. We think

Courtesy Lifetime

Scene from Neil Meron and Craig Zadan’s Steel Magnolias: ‘You only remake a movie if you have something new to say.’

that she’s a wonderful actress, and we’ve seen her give wonderful performances in the past, but I think nothing that she’s done can prepare the audience for the depth of the acting performances she gives in Steel Magnolias. You also worked with Phylicia Rashad, who plays Clairee in Steel Magnolias, on A Raisin in the Sun. Can you say something about working with the same performers on more than one project, as you did with Brandy on Cinderella and Double Platinum? NM: Brandy also did Drop Dead Diva for us. We love to work with the same actors over and over again because you have a shorthand, you know they can deliver, it’s more like a family. CZ: We do it a lot. We did three movies with Judy Davis: Serving in Silence, followed by Judy Garland, followed by The Reagans. And Victor Garber. NM: It’s ridiculous how many times we’ve worked with him. CZ: He’s been in more of our movies than just about anyone. NM: We’ve produced several T.V. movies with Barbra Streisand. We’ve worked together with Whoopi Goldberg on numerous occasions. Steel Magnolias also stars two younger actresses, Adepero Oduye and Condola Rashad, Phylicia’s daughter. What are the rewards and challenges of casting young talent? NM: Part of the satisfaction of being a producer is being able to introduce new talent. Craig and I spotted Condola in a Broadway show, Stick Fly, that Kenny Leon directed. She’s the only person we wanted to play Shelby. She didn’t audition, she was just cast on our passing for her, and we’ve been proven correct. Adepero we knew about from Pariah, of course. She auditioned, and her audition was so spectacular that we knew she needed to be in the movie. Prior to big-screen successes such as Chicago and Hairspray, most of your production work was related to TV projects. Would it be fair to say that you have a preference for TV? CZ: We don’t have a preference for anything. We made it our goal to work in the theater, because we work on Broadway, and to work in TV-movies, mini-series, series and features. We wanted to be in every single medium, and we are able to go from one to the other. That al-

lows you to flex different muscles. There is no similarity between making a feature film and a TV series. There is no similarity. There is no similarity between producing a Broadway show and producing a TV-movie or mini-series. They’re all such radically different skills as a producer, so we love the idea of being able to go from one to another and never get bored, tired, or cynical, never feel like we’ve done that a million times. It keeps us fresh, curious and interested. A number of your projects, including Serving in Silence, What Makes a Family, Wedding Wars, It’s All Relative, and most recently Smash, have dealt with gay subject matter or prominently featured gay characters. How important is that to you as gay men? NM: Oh, it’s incredibly important, because you like to have your work reflect parts of who you are. So in terms of that being representative of who we are as gay men, I think it’s incredibly important and kind of imperative. CZ: Also, what we’ve learned is the power of entertainment. You can stand on a soap box and give speeches all you want. A lot of people find speechifying is a turn-off, and they push away – they don’t absorb what you have to say. But when you do pieces such as Serving in Silence, Wedding Wars, What Makes a Family, Smash or Drop Dead Diva – when you do those pieces and entertain the audience, you go into their living rooms and you’re welcomed in by entertaining them. While they’re being entertained, they’re also learning so much that they’re not even aware of. Wedding Wars is a good example, because we were the first people ever to make a movie about gay marriage. We decided to do it as a romantic comedy. Any audience watching it would have a wonderful time seeing that movie without even realizing that we’re trying to get a point across about gay marriage. By the end of the movie you can’t help but feel like, “Wow, what’s the big deal, why don’t they allow gay people to get married?” What is next for both of you, Neil and Craig? CZ: The 2013 Academy Awards. NM: And season two of Smash. And I’m doing a mini-series for the History channel as well. It is a new take on Bonnie and Clyde.▼

Film >>

October 4-10, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 27

Dominant/submissive relationship by David Lamble


he characters in a Paul Thomas Anderson film are typically the walking wounded, people who were severely damaged in their biological families and/or thrown out of the nest and forced to seek succor from the breasts of strangers. In The Master, we meet Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix), a WWII Navy-enlisted man whose odd body language and drinking binges set him apart from the adolescent-like, rough-house, frisky horsing-around behavior displayed by his fellow sailors. In this expansive but tightly constructed character piece, the denizens sometimes reveal themselves through bizarre outbursts or in tasteless jokes, like the home remedy Freddie shares with his shipmates one day on the beach. “You know how you get rid of crabs?” “How?” “You shave one testicle, and when they all go over to the other, you take an ice pick and stab each and every one!” Freddie has unwittingly hinted at a deep sexually-caused wound in his psyche, a clue that writer/director Anderson conceals in a sly allusion to the parable of the scorpion and the frog, about how men are fundamentally unable to overcome flaws in their nature, even when this failure will prove their undoing. I’ll admit I’ve never been a fan of actor Joaquin Phoenix, but his Freddie Quell is an agonizing yet consummate achievement, an example of an actor reaching deep for something in his own soul, and mixing what he found there with a complete mastery of Anderson’s text, topped off by the most horribly mesmerizing use of body language to inhabit the twisted torso of a ticking human time bomb. Anderson never stoops to cheap psychobabble shorthand to define his characters. Sure, Freddie is probably laboring under the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder from something that happened in the South Pacific theatre of war, but as you see so hilariously revealed when he “fails” his military-administered Rorschach test, the test you supposedly can’t fail, Freddie was screwed up long before he joined the Navy. Like Quentin Tarantino, Anderson is deliciously adept at using pop music as practically a character in his films: here, “Devil, Get Thee Behind Me” cradles the horrific slapstick fiasco of Freddie’s first job as a department store family photographer. Drunk off his ass on his own home-brewed alcohol concoctions enhanced with a special secret ingredient, paint thinner, Freddie aggressively attacks an overweight subject, a hopping mad businessman. As the two wrestle across the busy showroom, scattering shoppers and mannequins in their wake, we realize that life in a Paul Thomas Anderson film is usually just a short step removed from a fistfight. Just when you think that some-

Joaquin Phoenix as Freddie Quell in director Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master.

body will throw a net over Freddie and deliver him straight to the booby hatch, our guy run amok finally meets his match, if not his “master.” Enter Philip Seymour Hoffman as Lancaster Dodd, a chameleonlike conman that this virtuoso actor takes for a walk like nothing we’ve seen from him since his Oscar turn as Truman Capote. One of the great virtues of Hoffman’s Capote was the actor resisting the temptation to “camp it up,” to give us the outrageously fey Capote slurring his speech we encountered post-In Cold Blood on Johnny Carson’s TV couch. As his Capote was no lisping stereotype, his Lancaster Dodd – widely believed to be modeled in part on Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard – contains nary a hint of the demagoguery of Sinclair Lewis’ Elmer Gantry, pandering to the boobs. The first conversation between Freddie, drunk off his ass, and a silky-smooth Dodd on a yacht borrowed by Dodd from one of his supporters is loaded for bear with subtext that reveals secrets that both men are desperate to conceal. “This your ship?” “I’m its commander.” “Where’s it going?” “To New York City via the Canal Zone.” “How did I get down here?” “You were acting aggressive because you drank too much alcohol. You’ve wandered from the proper path, haven’t you?” “I don’t know what I told you, but I can work. I’m sorry if I got out of hand.” “Don’t apologize. You’re a scoundrel.” Right out of the box, Dodd senses that he’s reeled in a live one, a man so screwed up that his redemption will be a feather in the master’s cap. Also, Dodd loves Freddie’s paintthinner cocktails. His first reac-

tion after a big gulp is, “Oh, God!” Playing Dodd somewhere between Lewis Carroll’s Cheshire Cat and the Red Queen gives this brilliant actor the ability to dominate a scene even when his opposite is scoring with knuckleballs. While The Master bears obvious parallels to Anderson’s classic oilman/preacher mud-fight There Will Be Blood, one huge difference is the filmmaker’s creation of a towering female character, Peggy Dodd, definitely Oscar bait from the increasingly supple Amy Adams. Adams once told me how valuable her own Mormon background was in portraying religiously motivated characters without condescension or any attempt to make them seem foolish to the largely secular choir of the

modern movie audience. Here she plays a tough, power-behind-thethrone woman without having her come across as dogmatic or castrating. When she first encounters Freddie, she graciously compliments the effect his presence seems to be having on her hubby. “He’s been writing all night. You seem to inspire something in him.” Later she sours on Freddie criticizing her husband’s arguments for keeping the loose-cannon guy inside the flock. “If we’re not helping him, then it’s we who have failed him.” “Perhaps he’s beyond help, or insane.” Like There Will Be Blood, where Daniel Day-Lewis’ bullying oilman and Paul Dano’s duplicitous boy preacher see through each other, Freddie and Dodd are hip to each other’s game. This time, though, it’s the religious conman who holds the trump cards, who’s drinking the milkshake. “If you figure out a way to live without servicing a master, you’ll be the first person in the whole world to do so.”▼

Serving the LGBT communities since 1971

28 • BAY AREA REPORTER • October 4-10, 2012

Books >>

All in the family by Jim Piechota The Paternity Test by Michael Lowenthal; Terrace Books/Univ. of Wisconsin Press, $26.95


oston author Michael Lowenthal’s impressively distinctive oeuvre includes stories of Jewish twin brothers struggling to come

to terms with their heritage, their separate sexualities, and their strict familial upbringing (The Same Embrace, 1998); a summer camp seething with burgeoning desire (Avoidance, 2002); and a work of sublime historical fiction about the plight of a WWI-era Boston girl accused of contracting and transmitting a “social disease” (Charity Girl, 2007). His latest, The Paternity Test, a

family drama about two men hoping to revive a stale partnership with the birth of a child, equals and, in places, rises above his former works of fiction. The story follows romantic poet Pat Faunce, who after years balancing himself on the precipice of a rickety relationship with philandering airline pilot Stu (“I was not supposed to mind his sleeping with other men: Article I of the Gay Constitution”), becomes desperate to preserve their love and proposes raising a child together. Against the judgment of friends who suggest they rear an “imaginary baby” as a parental litmus test (and a relationship stress test), the two embark on a journey beautifully and engagingly fleshed out by Lowenthal, who seems to have come full circle by employing the same family-based literary oomph and energetic storytelling wizardry that he demonstrated in his late-1990s debut, The Same Embrace. Abandoning New York City, where many of Stu’s “Manhunt”-ing hook-ups were being initiated, both men nervously brave the “somber shades of Cape Cod in December.” Their search for a suitable surrogate

mother ends with Debora, an excitable Brazilian immigrant, who not only seems a perfect choice to fulfill their dream of parenthood, but also incites a cultural exchange that educates the men, as well as entertains and informs the reader with Brazilian heritage. Stu realizes with a child he can pacify his demanding parents’ dream of a Jewish grandchild, and Pat hopes the baby will resus-

c citate and resurrect a l love that has seen bett days. But will it be ter e enough? And what of P newfound desire Pat’s f Debora? And, in for a moral predicament t becomes the crux that o the novel, is it truly of f fair to bring a child in the world on the into w winds of conflicting, a ambiguous intent tions? The storyline is b breezy, entertaining, a above all, relevant. and B it is Lowenthal’s But d delivery that seals the d deal. The author has a uncanny eye for an de detail and the ability to shore up an entire re relationship or the un unobvious mood in a ro room with an econom of exacting, caremy fu chosen words. At fully th onset, Pat and Stu’s the sh shaky relationship is described with, “Even on the best of days, our happiness felt fragile,” and over the course of the novel, the author finesses that insecurity, puts a top-spin on it, and manages a conclusion that envelops both men with a loving, sensible, and believable epiphany. Nice work from a talented New England-based author who just keeps getting better.▼

Courtesy the Rrazz Room

Phillip Ramirez and the Mega Girls will bring Dance Disco Heat: A Tribute to the Fabulous Sylvester to the Rrazz Room this coming Friday & Saturday nights in a late show.


Out There

From page 22

to the late gay disco star Sylvester (whose career was launched in San Francisco), the man behind the smash hits “(You Make Me Feel) Mighty Real” and “Dance (Disco Heat).” Recording artist and actor Phillip Ramirez will emulate but not imitate Sylvester, singing some of his greatest hits such as “Mighty Real” and “Do You Wanna Funk?” Ramirez will be backed by three talented divas known as the Mega Girls, who say they are hopelessly devoted to bringing to life the unique vocal sound of the disco era. Guests are encouraged to come dressed for Dance Disco Heat: A Tribute to the Fabulous Sylvester in their favorite disco attire. Shows both nights are at 10:30 p.m. Then soon afterward, celebrated performer Justin Vivian Bond is performing the new show Mx.

America at the Rrazz from Oct. 1214. Bond’s sophomore album Silver Wells was just released, and Bond’s recent memoir Tango: My Childhood, Backwards and in High Heels won the Lambda Literary Award and sparked a vital discussion about gender fluidity and growing up trans in America. Having added the name Vivian and self-applied the trans prefix Mx. (instead of Mr. or Ms.) and trans pronoun V (instead of he or she), Bond has persuaded such mainstream media as The New York Times and The Economist to follow suit. Whoa, nelly! More info on all of the above can be found at

OT playlist What we’re listening to: On Friday evening, Oct. 12, at 10 p.m., on National Public Radio affiliate KALWFM (91.7 FM) in the San Francisco Bay Area, whistler and music critic Jason Victor Serinus will be the guest on Chloe Veltman’s VoiceBox. The

entire radio show will be devoted to the art of whistling. The show will be streamed live on KALW’s website throughout the week, then available as a podcast through iTunes. What we’re eating: TJ’s Cioppino has shrimp, mussel, clam, some sort of white fish, so it’s lots of protein and zero carbs in a tangy tomato broth. What we’re reading: From Luke O’Neal’s interview with Morrissey, in the Boston Phoenix: O’Neal: “What are you reading now, and how do you read it? Meaning, have you been converted to e-readers yet, or do you think they’re sacrilege?” Moz: “I’m incapable of reading anything without a pen in my hand. I underline words I don’t understand, or passages I don’t want to forget. Half the joy of reading is massaging the book in your hands. It will take me years to lose that. I’m presently reading Bristol Palin’s autobiography because – no, sorry, that was a joke – as is she.”▼

Books >>

October 4-10, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 29

The even newer normal by Tim Miller The Paternity Test by Michael Lowenthal; Terrace Books/ University of Wisconsin Press, $26.95


aybies are popping up all over! Not only do we have our own TV show, but this fall we are lucky to have a new novel from Michael Lowenthal exploring gay male parenting and surrogacy, The Paternity Test. Amid the familiar stereotypes and slapstick comedy of NBC’s hit series The New Normal, Lowenthal’s new novel is a thrilling, funny, sexy and psychologically complex look at a gay male couple and their efforts to have a baby to meet their deep yearning for a child, and perhaps, as a way to recommit to their relationship. One of the men, Pat, is a wavering romantic, and 10 years into his relationship with Stu, he fears they are losing one another in their open relationship. They find a surrogate: Debora, a charismatic Brazilian immigrant, married to Danny, an American carpenter, and sparks begin to fly in the most surprising ways. The Paternity Test explores how our drive to create new families can complicate the ones we already have. The novel achieves a generous and capacious take on human hearts, hopes and the many ways we can give birth. I caught up with Michael Lowenthal to talk about my favorite subjects: semen, gay love, and What Comes Next! Tim Miller: Michael, you are truly hooked up to the Fall 2012 Zeitgeist of the Gayby Boom and surrogacy on primetime TV! What led you to this subject matter? Michael Lowenthal: I have to say, it feels so odd to be in synch with the zeitgeist. All my life till now, I’ve had

my finger right on the pulse of “unpop culture.” I’ve consoled myself with the idea that my work was not really unpopular, it was just let’s say unconventional. But how much more conventional can you get than having an NBC primetime sitcom with the same basic set-up as your novel? Of course, I started working on my novel way back in 2006. If I weren’t such a ridiculously slow writer, I would have been more ahead of the curve. I was drawn to the subject of surrogacy partly from personal experience – seeing friends of mine go through the process, and watching the intense, tricky relationships involved – and partly from a desire to tackle some larger questions about the shifts in gay culture. The gay culture into which I came out was rooted in radical politics; it was about rethinking societal norms, questioning the status quo. So I’ve been astonished to see how quickly the gay world has shifted its focus to the most quintessentially mainstream issues, like fighting in the military and getting married, having kids. Of course I support people’s right to do those things, and it enrages me that our government still so flagrantly discriminates against gay people. But I’m interested in how gay men, especially, make the transition. If you’ve been socialized into a gay world that’s about open relationships and no-stringsattached sex, about being defiant outsiders, how does that affect you when you suddenly feel pressure to settle down and conform to some version of “family values?” One of the strongest things in the novel is how deeply you explore the varied calls to parenting the characters feel. How has parenting moved through your own life and relationship? I come from a small family. I have one sister (who doesn’t have kids) and only two first cousins (one of whom has kids, but I’m not in touch

The Paternity Test author Michael Lowenthal.

with them); my boyfriend is also from a small family where nobody’s been procreating. So till quite recently I was never around children, and it didn’t occur to me to think about being a parent. It just wasn’t on my radar screen, not even when I started writing the novel, to be honest. The first draft of the book was somewhat shallow and bitter, I think, because I didn’t take the desire to be a parent seriously enough. Then I started spending more time with my peers’ kids, and I also suddenly started getting parental pangs myself. Call it a midlife crisis? So when I rewrote the novel, I think I was able to imbue it with much more genuine emotion about the desire to be a parent. I’ve still been feeling the pangs pretty strongly, but I have the feeling I’m better at birthing books than birthing babies, so that’s probably what my future will hold. I was struck how every single character gets their day in court.

Each of them is so distinct, flawed, recognizable, human. One of my biggest goals as a writer is to make readers root for characters whom they dislike or disagree with, and to pull that off, I have to try to make all of them compelling, even in their flaws. So I guess I always try to love and respect every character, even when he or she is in some ways unpleasant or irresponsible. If I find myself being too dismissive of or condescending toward a character, I realize there’s a problem and I try to think: What’s the best part of this character? What’s the part of this character that his mother still loves? I was really influenced by Quaker values when I was growing up, and I try to follow their ethos of always seeking “the inner light” within every person. There are so many surprises in The Paternity Test. This is especially true in the novel’s really charged exploration of

sex. There have been very few novels exploring this. Did you feel pressure to be a LGBT parenting advocate? No, I most definitely did not feel pressure to be an advocate for LGBT parents, or for anyone. If folks are looking for advocacy or affirmation, they can go to support groups, but I don’t see that as the role of novels. “Poster boys” are called that for a reason, right? They belong on posters, not in novels. My whole reason for writing fiction is to get past black-and-white distinctions and to make gray areas as vivid as possible. As a political activist, I’m more than happy to march in the streets shouting, “Gay is good!” But as a novelist, I’m more inclined to say, “Yeah, this gay character is good, but he can also be selfish and lonely and oversexed and whatever, just like every other human being.” In my view, that kind of honesty is actually the greater political act, because true social justice will come when the world is ready to acknowledge and defend the rights of the least appealing LGBT folks, not the most appealing. What do you hope a reader takes away from The Paternity Test? Wherever on the spectrum a reader is with regard to questions of gay parenting, I hope to prod that reader into testing his or her position. If you’re a defiantly childless gay liberationist who is annoyed by all the conservative-seeming recent emphasis on gay marriage and gay families, I hope you might be led to empathize more with people who’ve made the choice to start families. If you’re a parent who thinks that we’d all be better off if everyone in the gay movement “grew up” and settled down and showed that we’re “just like straight folks,” I hope you might think more deeply about the genuine differences among people and about what may be lost in this cultural shift. To be honest, what I hope for most is that a reader be left at the end of the novel asking his or her own questions, not mine.▼

<< Out&About

30 • BAY AREA REPORTER • October 4-10, 2012

Man Ray/Lee Miller: Partners in Surrealism @ Legion of Honor

Midnites for Maniacs @ Castro Theatre Triple feature of scary and scifi movies; Clive Barker’s Candyman (7:30), Neill Blomkamp’s District 9 (9:45), and Attack the Block (11:45). $13. 429 Castro St.

Photographs, paintings, drawings and manuscripts that explore the creative interaction between gay artists Man Ray and Lee Miller, two giants of European Surrealism. Also, Marcel Duchamp: The Book and the Box. And, Gifts From the Gods: Art and the Olympic Ideal. Free-$10. Thru Oct. 14. Tue-Sat 9:30am-5:15pm. Lincoln Park at 100 34th Avenue (at Clement Street).

New World, New Sequence @ YBCA Reception and installation of experimental performance/art works by Gregory Ito, Surabhi Saraf and Sebastian Alvarez, and Evan Bissell. $5. 6pm-9pm. Also, Nayland Blake; the former Bay Area native’s exhibit of unusual installations, drawings, queer archival material and more. Oct 8, 6:30pm, a discussion about queer public identity with artist Carlos Motta and curator and Berkeley Art Museum director Larry Rinder. Opening night party Oct 12. Free-$15. Also, Occupy Bay Area, an exhibit of local art, video, photography and writing with a political edge. $8-$10. Thru Oct. 14. 701 Mission St. 979-2787.

The Normal Heart @ A.C.T. Smuin Ballet.

Ellen Crane

Tights situation by Jim Provenzano


his week’s two mini write-ups parallel disparate words; the curatorial and the choreographic. Exhibits, lectures and live performances include dance, and other super-humans in tights, or out of them. Fri 5- Smuin Ballet @ Palace of Fine Arts: The popular local modern ballet company performs vibrant works by Adam Hougland, Try McIntyre, and Michael Smuin; set to music ranging from Philip Glass to The Shins. $25-$65. 8pm. Thu-Sat 8pm Sat & Sun 2pm. Thru Oct. 14. 3301 Lyon St. 912-1899.

American Conservatory Theatre presents the West Coast premiere of George C. Wolfe’s Tony Award-winning revival of Larry Kramer’s historic drama about the early years of the AIDS crisis in New York City, with a stellar cast of Broadway and TV actors. $25-$80. Tue-Sat 8pm. Sat & Sun 2pm. Some special curtain times. Special events and precurtain discussions thru run, including AIDS Now talk after the Sept 30 2pm show. Thru Oct. 7. 415 Geary St. 749-2228.

Phil Jimenez

Thu Oct 4- Phil Jimenez @ Timken Hall, CCA The Eisner-nominated gay comic artist (known for his DC Comics’ Wonder Woman, New X-Men, the Obama SpiderMan special, and other works), discusses comics and art with CCA faculty (and gay comic artist) Justin Hall. Free. 7pm. Timken Hall, California College of the Arts, 1111 8th St.

making works; and permanent exhibits of Modern art. $6-$20. Tue-Sun 9:30am5:15pm. 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, Golden Gate Park. 750-3600.

Sat 6- Rudolf Nureyev: A Life in Dance @ de Young Museum

Wed 10- Mariinsky Ballet & Orchestra @ Zellerbach Hall

Direct from the Centre National du Costume de Scène in Moulins, France, this exhibit displays costumes, photos, videos and ephemera documenting the amazing dancing and choreography of the world-famous gay dancer. Thru Feb 17. Also, Chuck Close and Crown Point Press, an exhibit of the painter’s print-

The Russian company performs Swan Lake, with music by Tchaikovsky, with choreography by Constantin Sergeyev, based on Petipa and Ivanov’s original. $30-$175. Wed-Sat 8pm. Also Oct 13, 2pm; Oct 14, 3pm. Bancroft Way at Telegraph Ave, UC Berkeley campus. (510) 642-9988.

Nureyev costumes

Thu 4>>

Fri 5>>

Helen Reddy @ Yoshi's

Chinglish @ Berkeley Rep

The ‘70s singer returns from retirement to sing classic hits and new takes on other songs. $45. 8pm. 1330 Fillmore St. 655-5600.

David Henry Hwang’s ( M. Butterfly ) hilarious play, direct from its New York run. Set in China, it explores the cultural and linguistic confusion a businessman faces while attempting to secure a lucrative company contract. $15-$99. Tue, & Thu-Sat 8pm. Wed & Sun 7pm. Also Sat & Sun 2pm. Extended thru Oct. 21. Roda Theatre, 2015 Addison St. at Shattuck, Berkeley. (510) 647-2949.

Schumann: Under the Influence @ Herbst Theatre Pianist Jonathan Biss and tenor Mark Padmore Schumann’s “Gesänge der Frühe,” “Dichterliebe,” Berg’s “Sieben Frühe Lieder,” and Schubert’s “Heine Songs.” $25-$62. 8pm. 401 Van Ness Ave. 3922545.

Shocktoberfest 13 @ Hypnodrome Thrillpeddlers presents Shocktoberfest 13, an evening of horror and unhinged comedy with two world-premiere one-act plays and a classic: Coals of Fire by Fredrick Whitney, The Bride of Death by Michael Phillis, and Rob Keefe’s The Twisted Pair. $25-$35. Opening night Oct. 4. Thu-Sat 8pm. Special Halloween performances Oct. 30 & 31. Thru Nov 17. 575 10th St. (800) 838-3006.

Topdog/Underdog @ Marin Theatre Company Suzan-Lori Parks’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play about two Black men, ironically named Lincoln and Booth, whose game of deception blurs the lines between honest and illegitimate work. $36-$57. Thru Oct. 21. Tue, Thu Fri & Sat 8pm. Wed 7:30pm. Sun 2pm & 7pm. 397 Miller Ave, Mill Valley. 388-5208.

Congressman Barney Frank @ Commonwealth Club The prominent outspoken gay Massachusetts congressman discusses the election year at a buffet luncheon. $30-$45. 11:45am serving, 12:30pm program. 595 Market St., 2nd floor. 597-6705.

Family Programming @ Shelton Theater Seven gay-themed short plays (by Steven Korbar, Rodney Taylor, Rich Orloff, Joseph Frank/Aaron Tworek, James A. Martin and Chauncey Wales) from Left Coast Theatre Company, the producers of the popular Eat Our Shorts series. $15-$20. Thu-Sat 8pm. Thru Oct.13. 533 Sutter St.

Ho Down @ Thee Parkside Queer-lectic electronic/pop/punk music variety concert, this month with Bernadette, Shawna Virago, Castles in Spain, Lydia Popovich and DJ Salex. $10. 9pm-2am. 1600 17th St.

Sun 7 Gianmarco @ Yoshi’s Peruvian pop singer-composer (Latin Grammy winner) performs. $45-$60. 6pm. Also Oct 8, 8pm. 1330 Fillmore St.

Cindy Sherman @ SF MOMA Retrospective touring exhibit of 150 photos by the artist who poses as different fascinating and obscure characters. Free-$18. Daily 11am-5:30pm, except Wed. late Thu until 8:45pm. Thru Oct. 8. 151 Third St.

Guy Overfelt @ Ever Gold Gallery #Blacklight, a hesher tribute to Dan Flavin, the final performance “Séance” by the conceptual artist. 6pm-10pm. Exhibit thru Nov 3. Reg hours Wed-Sat 1pm-6pm. 441 O’Farrell St. 796-3676.

Talented guitarist performs selections by Brazilian composers Villa-Lobos, Sardinha, and Gismonti, as well as pieces by Piazzolla, Brouwer, Kevin Callahan, and Sergio Assad’s Seis Brevidades, featured on Odair’s 2010 album El Caminante. $30-$45. 8pm. 50 Oak St. at Van Ness. 242-4500.

42nd Street Moon opens its 20th season with a production of the classic political satire by George and Ira Gershwin (book by George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind). $25-$75. Wed 7pm. Thu & Fri 8pm. Sat 6pm Sun 3pm. Thru Oct. 21. 215 Jackson St. 255-8207.

The Other Place @ Magic Theatre Sharr White’s acclaimed thriller about a strange Cape Cod unexplained mystery. $22$62. Tue 7pm. Wed-Sat 8pm. Sun 2:30pm. Extended thru Oct. 14. Fort Mason Center, Bldg. D, 3rd floor. Marina Blvd at Buchana. 441-8822.

Philharmonia Baroque @ Herbst Theatre Henry Purcell’s Dioclesian, a tragicomic semiopera, is performed, with seven guest vocalists. $25. 8pm. 401 Van Ness Ave. Also Oct 6 & 7 at First Congregational Church, Berkeley. 392-4400.

Play Fair @ GLBT History Museum Play Fair! The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence Make Sex Safer, an exhibit of safe sex promotional efforts. Also, For Love and Community: Queer Asian Pacific Islanders Take Action 1960-1990s, a new exhibit organized by queer and transgender Asian Pacific Islanders. Mon-Sat 11am-7pm. Sun 12pm5pm. 4127 18th St. 621-1107.

Fri 5 Taye Diggs @ Kanbar Theatre Handsome actor (Rent, Private Practice) –and husband of Broadway’s Wicked star Edina Menzel– performs musical theatre songs, pop hits and standards with a band. $50-$62. 8pm. 3200 California St. at Presidio. 292-1233.

Geezer @ The Marsh Veteran comic actor Geoff Hoyle returns with his hit solo show about his youth in England, and growing older. $25-$100. Sat 8pm. Sun 7pm. Thru Nov 18. 1062 Valencia St. at 22nd. 282-3055.

Horizons Foundation Gala @ Fairmont Hotel U.S. Representative Barney Frank and NCLR’s Executive Director Kate Kendell are honored at a gala for the LGBT nonprofit, with music by Toshi Reagon, private auctions, drinks, food, a dessert buffet, and a casino party theme. $75 and up for party, $250 and up for dinner and party. 5:30pm-11pm. 950 Mason St. 398-2333.

Trick or Treat @ City Art Opening reception for a group exhibit of paintings and works in other media, with a macabre or Halloween theme. 7pm-10pm. Reg. hours 12pm-9pm, Wed-Sun. Thru Oct. 27. 828 Valencia St. 970-9900.

Sat 6>> Beats for Boobs @ Mezzanine Fundraiser for breast cancer nonprofits, with DJs Carol C, Emily Fox, Kimba, Mo Corleone, plus a fashion show and catered treats. $25-$35. 7pm-2am. 444 Jesse St.

Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, Beetlejuice @ Castro Theatre Two Tim Burton classic films in a double feature, starring Paul Reubens (1:30, 5:10, 8:50) and Michael Keaton (3:20, 7pm). $11. 429 Castro St.

SF Hiking Club @ Montara Mountain Join GLBT hikers for a 7-mile hike starting at San Pedro Valley County Park in Pacifica. Bring water, lunch, sturdy shoes, layers, hat, and sunscreen. Carpool meets 9:15 at Safeway sign, Market & Dolores. 5961304.

Twelfth Night @ Hyde Street Pier

Jim Hubbard and Sarah Schulman’s documentary about the history of the AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power. $6. 992 Valencia St. at 21st.

Women 我們 @ Chinese Cultural Center Exhibit of video works, installation art, photography, sculpture, and more by a diverse array of LGBTQ artists including Mu Xi, Yang Meiyan, He Chengyao, and other emerging artists based in China as well as five U.S.-based artists, among them Man Yee Lam and Stella Zhang. Tue-Sat 10am-4pm. 750 Kearny St., 3rd floor (inside the Hilton Hotel). 986-1822.

Sun 7>> Andrew Norman Wilson @ Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito Artist in Residence presents ScanOps, a performance lecture with interesting visuals, about his secret documentation of his former employer Google’s massive book scanning project and its facility. Part of Zero1 Biennial, the installation explores corporate authority, labor, money and copyright laws includes a post-lecture dinner ($20-$25), 4:30pm. 944 Simmonds Road, Sauasalito.

Brian Kent @ The Rrazz Room New York singer-composer performs with his band in a fundraiser for AIDS Emergency Fund. $50. 7pm. 2-drink min. Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason St. (800) 380-3095.

A Brief History of the Piano @ Performance Art Institute

Choreographer Morgan Thorson’s postmodern exploration of the relationship between human bodies and human-made trash. $20$35. Fri & Sat 8pm. Sun 7pm. 3153 17th St. 863-9834.

Musical based on the life of the gay disco icon. $25. 10:30pm. Also Oct. 6. 2-drink min. Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason St. (800) 380-3095.

Exhibit of photographs by the veteran photographer of leather culture; thru November. 289 8th St.

United in Anger: a History of ACT UP @ ATA Gallery

Spaceholder Festival @ ODC Theater

Sylvester Tribute @ The Rrazz Room

Mark I. Chester @ Wicked Grounds

We Players’ latest outdoor theatre adventure brings Shakespeare’s mistaken identity, gender-bending, romantic comedy, set at Illyria’s seaport, to the historic local pier. Evening show includes a live jazz band, drinks and snacks. $40-$60. Fri 5:30. Sat & Sun 12pm & 5:309pm. Thru Oct. 7. Jefferson St. at Hyde. 547-0189.

Odair Assad @ SF Music Conservatory

Of Thee I Sing @ Eureka Theatre

Oct 5-13 Litquake @ Multiple Venues 850 authors, 163 events and lots and lots of books! It’s the annual literary festival, with readings galore in bookstores, cafes, libraries, even on the street. Among the extra-gay offerings Friday Oct 5: Radar Productions Litquake event with Bay Area authors Justin Chin, Kevin Killian, D. Scot Miller and Maggie Nelson reading poetry and fiction. 6:30pm. YBCA, 701 Mission St. 979-2787. www.ybca. org Litquake includes fundraiser parties, special events, including in Oakland and Berkeley, culminating in the fun Lit Crawl (Oct. 13, closing night, along Valencia Street).

Mauro Fortissimo and Robert Soper (with weekly guests) perform in a concert featuring works by Igor Stravinsky, John Coltrane, John Cage, Sun Rah and other composers. $15-$20. 4pm. 75 Boardman Place. 5010575.

Castro Street Fair @ Castro & Market Annual street fair with live entertainment, DJed music, booths galore, food trucks, drag and dance acts, all with a County Fair theme. Stop by the Bay Area Reporter booth and sign up to be among the possible winners of a new car or a trip to Maui! Donations at the gate. 11am-6pm.

Drawn Out Stories @ Contemp. Jewish Museum Comic Book Art and Artists, a slideshow and panel discussion with contributors Paul Madonna , MariNaomi, and Chelsea Martin; New York based artists Gabrielle Bell, Tom Kaczynski, Noah Van Sciver; and graphic novelist Thien Pham. Part of Litquake’s Museum Crawl events. Free with museum admission ($5-$10). 3:30pm5pm. Also, Oct 11, 7pm: Wine, Women and

Out&About >>

Words, with writers Amy Sohn and Katie Crouch. 736 Mission St. 655-7800.

The Flamingos @ The Rrazz Room R&B veterans perform classic romance songs. $35-$45. 4pm. Also Oct 8, 8pm.2drink min. Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason St. (800) 380-3095.

Frankenstein, The Spirit of the Beehive @ Castro Theatre New 35mm restored print of James’ Whale’s classic monster flick (7pm) and Spirit, the story of a young Spanish girl who becomes obsessed with the film (8:25). $11. 429 Castro St.

Imagining Val Travel @ Glama-Rama Salon

Steamstock @ Craneway Pavilion, Richmond Thomas Dolby headlines a daylong festival of steampunk culture, with wacky retro-future costumes encouraged; nay, required! Abney Park, Frenchy and the Punk, Lee Presson & the Nails, Vernian Process and others perform. $22-$52. 1pm-12am. 1414 Harbor Way South, Richmond.

Mon 8>> Comedy Returns @ El Rio Diverse comic performers do stand-up; Maureen Langan, Sammy Obeid, Dhaya Lakshminarayanan, Bobby Golden and guest-host Nick Leonard. $7-$20. 8pm. 3158 Mission St. at Precita. 522-3737.

Local collage artist Tofu’s exhibit focuses on vintage and contemporary travel imagery, based on his research discovering that the salon’s building formerly housed Val Travel agency at the height of the “glam travel” 60s. On view thru Nov. 3. 304 Valencia St at 14th.

Moonrise Kingdom @ Castro Theatre

Outlook Video @ Channel 29

Ten Percent @ Comcast 104

LGBT news show, this week; pet care, Kathy Wolfe discusses film piracy, pastor David Harvey and coverage of San Jose Pride. 5pm. Also online and at other times in different areas.

Star-filled Wes Anderson dark satire about two kids who run away and stir up an entire community. $11. 2:30, 4:45, 7pm, 9pm. Also Oct 9. 429 Castro St.

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

October 4-10, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 31

Tue 9>> Martha Reeves @ The Rrazz Room R&B iconic singer performs with her band. $40-$45. Nightly thru Oct 14 (7pm). 2-drink min. Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason St. (800) 3803095.

Tamale Night @ farm: table Juanita More hosts a tamale dinner, with delicious food and drinks, plus dessert. Proceeds benefit Gay For Good. $22. 6pm-9pm. 754 Post St. RSVP required.

Tamara Ireland Stone, Ingrid Paulson @ Books Inc., Castro Not Your Mother’s Book Club welcomes the authors of Time Between Us and Valkyrie Rising. 7pm. 2275 Market St. 864-6777.

Wed 10>> Heather David @ Books Inc, Opera Plaza Author-editor of Mid-Century By the Bay discusses her historic San Francisco photo book. 7pm. 601 Van Ness Ave. 776-1111.

Jet Black Pearl @ The Marsh Berkeley Cabaret Satirical comic accordion-playing songstress performs her show Sex, Slugs & Accordion, weekly thru Nov 14. $10. 8pm. 2120 Allston Way, near Shattuck. 282-3055.

Moby-Dick @ War Memorial Opera House Bay Area premiere of Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s opera adaptation of Herman Melville’s classic novel of a whale-hunter ship’s captain and his vengeance. $10-$340. Sung in English with English supertitles; 7:30pm. Oct 13, 8pm. Oct 18, 7:30pm. Oct 21, 2pm. Oct 23, 8pm. Oct 26, 8 pm. Oct 30, 7:30pm. Nov 2, 8pm. 301 Van Ness Ave. 864-3330.

Orient: a New Anthropology @ The Garage SF writer-musician Kevin Simmonds’ multimedia exploration of Asian-Black relations in U.S. history. $10-$20. 8pm. Also Oct 11. 715 Bryant St.

Thu 11>> Arab Film Festival @ Castro Theatre

Desert Jewels at MOAD


Opening night of the festival screens Man Without a Cell Phone. $20-$25. Various times. Thru Oct 21. 429 Castro St.

rt, the acquisition of it, the discovery of it, the categorization, can be as involving and fascinating as the exhibits themselves. Sometimes, public court documents become art. Desert Jewels @ MOAD: North African Jewelry and Photography from the Xavier Guerrand-Hermès Collection showcases nearly 100 pieces of jewelry from Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria, plus documentary photographs. $5-$10. Members free. Wed-Sat 11am-6pm. Sun 12pm-5pm. Thru Jan 21. Museum of the African Diaspora, 685 Mission St. 358-7200.

I Capuleti e I Montecchi @ War Memorial Opera House


commericals and short films about women and ‘beauty.’ 8pm. Oct 5, Dr. Seuss on the Loose, cartoon adaptations of popular stories, plus clips from The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. 8pm. Each $10. 275 Capp St. 558-8117.

Out of Character @ Asian Art Museum Decoding Chinese Calligraphy, a new exhibit of modern and ancient scripted art, with numerous special events, workshops and discussions. Thru Jan 13. Also on exhibit, Phantoms of Asia, which showcases bold contemporary art with perspectives on life, death, nature and other themes. $12-$15. 200 Larkin St. 581-3500.

Fri 5- Cage/Oliveros Celebration @ Mills College, Oakland Performances of Event with Canfield, the Merce Cunningham dance with a score by John Cage. The two gay artists were part of the Mills College’s early arts departments; works by former faculty Pauline Oliveros as well. $10-$15. 8pm. Also Oct 6., 8pm. 5000 MacArthur Blvd.

Sun 7- 8 @ A.C.T.

Dr. Seuss short films

Thu Oct 4-Beauty Tips @ Oddball Film Vintage and more than slightly sexist

It’s an archived trial transcript that became an amazing play. American Conservatory Theatre presents a one-night staged reading of Lance Dustin Black’s play, based on the transcripts from the notorious Proposition 8 court case, with Dustin Lance Black, Neil Giuliano, Cleve Jones, Luke MacFarlane, Jonathan Moscone, John A. Pérez and Holland Taylor. Proceeds benefit the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) and ACT’s LGBTQ youth ArtReach program. $50-$250. 7pm. 415 Geary St. 749-2228.

Bellini’s operatic adaptation of Romeo and Juliet is staged by the San Francisco Opera with Munich’s Bavarian State Opera. $22$340. 7:30pm. Also Oct. 14, 16 & 19. 301 Van Ness Ave. 565-6451.

Josh Klipp & The Klipptones @ Mint Plaza Jazz vocalist and his band perform at the Central Market Arts Fest. Free. 6pm-7pm. Mint Plaza. Also, Oct. 13 at Mondy’s Living Room Series, and Oct. 14 atBliss Bar.

Scott Terry @ Books Inc, Castro Author of Cowboys, Armageddon and the Truth discusses and signs copies of his novel about a gay teen persecuted by Jehovah’s Witnesses. 7pm. 2275 Market St. 864-6777.

Sundance Stompede @ Holiday Inn, Regency Ballroom, Space 550 Yeehaw! It’s the 11th annual LGBT twostepping line-dancing festival, with four days and nights of dancing, performing, lessons and socializing. Country-Western gear appreciated but not required.

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

<< Leather+

32 • BAY AREA REPORTER • October 4-10, 2012

Folsom frolics by Scott Brogan


ell, here we are, another year older and another Folsom under our belts. Actually, a lot of other things under our belts, too, if Folsom lived up to its reputation for you. I hope it did. The fact that it was a week earlier this year (it’s traditionally on the last Sunday of September) didn’t dampen attendance or the frolicking. In fact, some revelers remarked to me how they enjoyed the fact that it wasn’t on what is usually the hottest Sunday of our Indian Summer. For me it was especially fun because I spent most of the weekend with some virgins. Folsom virgins, that is. A very vanilla couple we know was in town and stayed through the weekend to experience Folsom. Needless to say they had a blast, especially at the Mr. S Leather in-store party on Saturday afternoon. What a turnout they had! It was packed with hot men and women, the line to the cash register snaked around the whole store, and the libations were flowing. Our friends were intrigued and a bit scared of some of the – how shall I say it – toys. But our friends weren’t that freaked out. They still managed to make a few purchases. The next day we met up and went to the fair. Once there, we met up with some more Folsom virgins, this time some of my straight friends and co-workers. They had a blast, too. The women especially had a good time, dressing up for the occasion in appropriate fetish wear. One of the guys exclaimed, “I haven’t seen so many glistening penises in all my life!” Towards the end of the day, as the beer-booth beer begins to take hold, penises come out, and I don’t think I have to explain just how they end up glistening. Living here for as long as we have, I tend to forget that we do live in a bit of a bubble. This becomes apparent when you experience something like Folsom through someone else’s eyes and for the first time. Is it me, or do the

Scott Brogan

Who’s that boy? Cute patron at Mr. S Leather tries out some of the gear.

younger folks (yes, I know I sound old) seem to be much more open about these things – and at such a young age – than we were? I think so. None of these virgins, even the straight boys, were freaked out or repulsed in the least. And they’re not even into the fetish scene. I’m certainly not trying to label anyone, b u t I think you know what I mean when I say that I feel it’s a wonderful sign of how far we’ve come when very young vanilla folks can come to something like the Folsom Street Fair and have a great time. Yes, we live in a bubble, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Of course, I like to think we’re living in Glinda’s big pink bubble – what could be better?

LDG Mentoring Program, Part 2: The Leathermen’s Discussion Group (LDG) is about to go into their second mentoring program cycle. To quote the LDG: “The LDG Mentoring Program facilitates the introduction of experienced, caring and very kinky men to men looking for guidance, insight, advice and instruction as they explore their own fetish/leather/kink sexuality and identity.” The mentoring program begins this Oct. 10, and runs through April 17. This is a worthy endeavor. There are many people here in the Bay Area who crave some good, solid mentoring. If you’re interested, contact the LDG at There you can download the application and/or contact the group with any questions you have. See page 33 >>

Coming up in leather and kink Thu., Oct. 4: Daddy Thursdays at Kok Bar. Shot & drink specials. 10 p.m.-close. Go to: Thu., Oct. 4: Underwear Night at The Powerhouse (1347 Folsom). Strip down for drink specials. 10 p.m.close. Go to: Fri., Oct. 5: Michael Brandon presents Locker Room at The Edge (4149 Collingwood). Celebrate your sports/ fetish gear! 9 p.m.-Midnight. Go to: Fri., Oct. 5: Bent: Wild Things, a Dungeon Event for Kinky Youth at the SF Citadel (181 Eddy). “Youth” is 18, 19, 20s and 30s. $20. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Go to: Fri., Oct. 5: Fridays Underwear at Kok Bar. Strip down for drink specials! 11 p.m.-1:30 a.m. Go to: Fri., Oct. 5: Nasty! at The Powerhouse. 9 p.m.-close. Go to: Fri., Oct. 5: Truck Wash at Truck (1900 Folsom). 10 p.m.-close. Live shower boys, drink specials! Go to: for details. Sat.-Sun., Oct. 6-7: Cleo Dubois’ Erotic Dominance Weekend Intensive for Dominant Women and Women who Switch at the SF Citadel. Go to: Sat., Oct. 6: Michael Brandon presents Steamworks at The Edge. 9 p.m.-Midnight. Go to: Sat., Oct. 6: Leather Beer Bust at Kok Bar. All beer & well cocktails $3, Rolling Rock beer bust $5. 5-9 p.m. Go to: Sat., Oct. 6: SF Citadel Newbie Munch. 6-8 p.m. Go to: Sat., Oct. 6: Stallion Saturdays at Rebel Bar (1760 Market). Revolving DJs, afterhours fun! 9 p.m.-4 a.m. Go to:

Sat., Oct. 6: Boot Lickin’ at The Powerhouse. 10 p.m.-close. Go to: Sat., Oct. 6: All Beef Saturday Nights at The Lone Star (1354 Harrison). 9 p.m.-close. Go to: Sun., Oct. 7: Men in Gear Monthly Beer Bust at Kok Bar. Wear your gear for drink specials! 3–7 p.m. Go to: Sun., Oct. 7: Castro Bear presents Sunday Furry Sunday at 440 (440 Castro). 4-10 p.m. Go to: Sun., Oct. 7: PoHo Sundays at The Powerhouse. Dollar drafts all day! Go to: for details. Sun., Oct. 7: SF MAsT (Masters and slaves Together) at the SF Citadel. 7:30 p.m. Go to: Mon., Oct. 8: Trivia Night with host Casey Ley at Truck. 8 p.m. Go to: Tue., Oct. 9: Busted at Truck. $5 beer bust. 9-11 p.m. Go to: Tue., Oct. 9: Safeword: 12-Step Kink Recovery Group at the SF Citadel. 6:30 p.m. Go to: calendar/. Tue., Oct. 9: Ink & Metal at The Powerhouse. 9 p.m.-close. Go to: Tue., Oct. 9: Kok Block at Kok Bar. Happy hour prices. Pool tournament, 7-10 p.m. Go to: Wed., Oct. 10: Golden Shower Buddies at Blow Buddies (933 Harrison), a male-only club. Doors open 8 p.m.12 a.m. Play till late. Go to: Wed., Oct. 10: Nipple Play at The Powerhouse. 10 p.m.-close. Go to: Wed., Oct. 10: Paideia Playshop at the SF Citadel. 7:30 p.m. Go to:

Karrnal >>

October 4-10, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 33

Possessed by Paddy by John F. Karr


ere we go with Part 2 of Praise for Paddy. To recap, launching last week into a review of Paddy O’Brian’s first American movies, I declared that I loved him. My intent was to do some splainin’ this week, but before that could happen, an online reader stated his disaffection (you can comment any week, too, at; please do!). Here it is: “You might be in love with Paddy O’Brien, Mr. Karr, but he leaves me ice cold.” This makes me wonder if the commentator has actually seen Paddy’s Falcon flicks. I thought Paddy’s heterosexuality might cool his performance, but the dude gives off heat like a one-man scorched-earth policy. And here’s what I was going to splain. Of course I’m not in love with Paddy. It’s so much simpler than that. I’m in lust. Tell you why. When people talk about the classic Falcon style, they’re talking about a movie like Summer Lust. Tony Dimarco has directed with his usual specificity of focus, enabling his performers with a high energy that is not merely bumper cars. And in honor of Paddy’s American debut, Dimarco gives us an O’Brian double-header. First Paddy with ubiquitous but übermusclebabe Marc Dylan, and then with a kid of ultra-pizzazz, Jimmy Franz. Summer Lust opens with a shocker: the sight of D.O. with his stunning black hair completely cropped. But as Francis Faye always said, “When you’re young and beautiful, it doesn’t matter how you wear your hair.” At any rate, you forget incidentals when D.O. slams the ever-receptive Dean Monroe off into ecstasy. Then we have Marc and Paddy in a swimming-pool frolic that shows off the real Paddy, a sparkling bundle of fun. He’s godlike when Marc worships his supreme tool, and he fucks with the thrust of a rocket leaving Cape Canaveral. And Marc setting his magnificent bubble butt down on the magnificent cock so there’s nothing of it left outside of the tightly clenching ass-lips – well, I do declare. It’s rude for anyone to have to follow this act, but an especially fresh-looking Landon Conrad does well with Bryce Star. And then un finale formidable, when Paddy meets Jimmy Franz, a cutie who’s got happy written all over him. Jimmy goes all goggle-eyed when Paddy saunters in, sparkling with sex appeal. Paddy greets Jimmy with a “let’s meld together” lip-lock, obliterating himself in kissing the way a strictly G4P guy probably wouldn’t. He gets an underwater bj that’s a nasty novelty. On land, Jimmy gets the massive tool nuts deep


Falcon Studios

Paddy O’Brian is adored by Jimmy Franz in Falcon’s Summer Lust.

Falcon Studios

Paddy O’Brian and Angelo Marconi in Falcon’s Deep Inside Part 1.

in his throat, and soon it’s nuts deep in his ass. Here’s the thing about Paddy: he looks so white-collar and fucks so blue-collar. Jimmy’s eternal smile is finally driven from his face as he works hard to accommodate the steel rod that stretches his tight hole wider than he thought possible. Paddy pummels him with speed strokes that make him wail like a siren. The two-part Deep Inside, set beside sundappled vineyards, is well-directed by Steve Cruz, and won’t disappoint, with stars the quality of Tyler Torro, and Trenton Ducati flipping with real-life lover Tate Ryder. Angelo Marconi is so manic for Paddy that the stud calls him “greedy.” He takes a fuck with the same fury Paddy’s throwing off. Later, Paddy’s got stillboyish but tough Kyle King on the end of his tool. Paddy doesn’t ride him easy, knowing only high gear and brutal. Though King winces

and gasps, he never pulls away, and is rewarded with a warm facial. Ultimately, Paddy gives such a high voltage performance that I don’t care if the dude’s no homo. He acts gay as well as Rock Hudson acted str8. Sure, he won’t take it up the ass. But he’s a thriller, positively lascivious for the lads. He kisses with passion, and fucks without mercy. The way he sweats buckets is exciting. With his all-over shiny beauty, and a dick that leaves me slack-jawed in wonder, he’s a dude of great delight. But does he have legs, I asked. Like all lusts, my Padomania may cool. Is it possible the excitement level might peak? Paddy’s first scene with Marc bowled me over. The second worked almost as fine. At the third I realized Paddy’s performances were unvaried. He has a routine. How long, I wonder, before it seems routine to us? I’ve got a short-list of guys I hope to see him drill before the thrill is gone. will lead you to lots of pics.▼

Leather +

From page 32

Ms. SF Leather Contest: The Ms. SF Leather 2012 contest is right around the corner! The weekend begins on Fri., Oct. 26 with the Meet & Greet at Truck Bar (1900 Folsom), followed by the contest Saturday night at the Hotel Whitcomb (1231 Market St.). That’s the hotel where my husband and I were married, 11 years ago. Gorgeous space, and always very kink-friendly. Emcee extraordinaire Miranda is coming back to make the contest fun. She’s amazing and truly funny. You can’t go wrong in attending this contest. If you’re interested in competing, contact them and/or download an application at: Tickets are on sale at: Don’t miss this one!▼

Scott Brogan

Single-tail demonstration at Folsom 2012.

<< On the Web

34 • BAY AREA REPORTER • October 4-10, 2012

Hunks of Paraguay by Ernie Alderete


ears ago, being a Peeping Tom had legal consequences. I remember the first time I encountered a Peeping Tom. I was having sex in the supposed privacy of the bedroom of an acquaintance of mine in the East Bay. As we reached orgasm, he pointed to what resembled a face lurking in the fogged-up window. At first I thought it was his imagination, then perhaps a reflection of ourselves. But as I looked closely, I noticed the face watching us was

smoking, and we weren’t! These days you don’t need to risk jail to peep into a life, or lives that might be more exciting and sexual than your own. On Facebook, we can join sexy comrades on a night out in Asuncion, the riparian capital city of landlocked Paraguay, in the very heart of South America. One picture depicts a young man very much in the spirit of John Travolta in his Saturday Night Fever finery hitting the dance floor. Another picture shows the same guy with his dress shirt unbuttoned, open down to

Alex from Rivas Male Models, found on Facebook.

his waist, shoulder-to-shoulder with a taller pal with his white T-shirt pulled up to expose his nipples. Perhaps the two slightly tipsy pals are kidding around on the dance floor. We see one young man from behind working out in his verdant garden, lifting barbells, wearing nothing but his pale, form-fitting blue jeans. The picture is in no way obscene, but it is sensual, alluring as well as refreshing and exciting. We may never see his face, but we see his powerful upraised arms almost forming the letter “W.” We see another lean young man with a hairless, pale, muscular torso in his tree-shaded garden, wearing nothing but a pair of black shorts with white stripes up the sides, and a baseball cap, holding an ovalshaped candy or similar confection he’s about to open. Perhaps he’s in the last bloom of adolescence, as he seems ready, able and eager to claim his place in his world as a fullfledged, virile man. You can even peek in on a stellar pair of copper-toned identical muscular twin twinks, Jonathan and Al-

Bodybuilder in Paraguay, found on Facebook.

exander Ozuna, who could tag team as body doubles for Taylor Lautner, best known as the perpetually bronzed, shirtless star of the Twilight Saga movie series. Put Lautner and the Ozuna twins together, and you’d think the three of them were full-blooded brothers, down to the heavy brow they share. The Ozuna twins work for Rivas Male Models, the only such agency in Paraguay. The hundreds of photos on the Rivas Male Models profile on Facebook shows dozens of fashion shows and fashion shoot portfolios, but it seems that the focus is more on the skin than the threads. At least to me, the men look more like go-go boys and muscle hunks than typical lanky fashion models. I’ve been to Paraguay, nicknamed “the Green Hell” because of the oppressive heat and humidity, and

never saw guys like these walking the streets of the capital. But I suppose you could say that we don’t see guys like those in Abercrombie & Fitch catalogs walking down the streets of our hometown. There are several ways you can peek into people’s lives on Facebook. You can browse profiles of people who interest you, or request that they be your friend, which they can confirm, deny or ignore. But another option is to subscribe to a particular profile. The person doesn’t need to accept your request, all subscriptions are automatically granted. Guys who have set up their profiles for subscriptions are often public figures, like well-known athletes, musicians, or entertainers. Many are just local celebrities, exhibitionists really, guys who like having us follow their lives.▼

Hot flesh by Ernie Alderete


accidentally ran across a fascinating Facebook page, “Certified Hotties – Male Edition.” It’s loaded with thousands of extremely handsome young men, although I would have named it “Thugs of the Burroughs.” There are no clear and set criteria for inclusion as a certified hottie, but the overwhelming majority of the subjects sport massive tattoos, mostly on the upper chest and the arms above the elbows, but often covering the entire torso, and in a few cases the entire visible body. They are all artistic, well-designed and finely executed tats, not sloppy jail ink. Most of the hotties are African American, with perhaps a sizable proportion of Dominican Republicans and New Yorkoricans represented, all in their late teens through their mid-20s. Some might call them gangsters, gangbangers or hoods, but they don’t seem like a negative sort to me. No one is posed with a gun, a knife, or a bottle of booze, or giving you the middle finger. They’re just edgy young men you might not want to run into in a dead-end alley late at night, but who might help an elderly widow across the street Sunday morning. For all I know there could be hundreds of Boy Scouts and altar boys in their midst. All of them are lean in the extreme, there isn’t an ounce of fat on any of the men on exhibit, not one

Thuggish good looks found on the ‘Certified Hotties’ webpage.

slightly bulging tummy, not even one minimal love handle. Nor are they overly hairy, as is the norm with young men these days. In any case, body hair might obscure their

muscles or tattoos. Frankly, I didn’t know there were this many cute young men who could fit in this narrow thuggish category in the world, let alone the United States. ▼

Music >>

October 4-10, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 35

Gretchen Phillips is a lucky lady by Gregg Shapiro


hen you hear the name Gretchen Phillips, you probably think of one of the out music legend’s many musical affiliations. There’s Two Nice Girls, Girls in the Nose, Lord Douglas Phillips, and her splendid solo output. There is also her dazzling 2003 collaboration with David Driver (of Meow fame) under the Phillips & Drive moniker. For those who have been waiting for the pair to reteam, your patience has been rewarded with the fabulous Disco Dance Party 2000 (Seasick Sailor). Available via digital download and on purple (!) vinyl, the eight-song LP lives up to its title. Six of the eight cuts deliver a booty-shaking good time. I spoke with Gretchen Phillips earlier this year. Gregg Shapiro: Disco is not uncharted territory for you, Miss Gretchen. As one of Two Nice Girls, you covered Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” on the Like a Version EP, and the song “Let’s Go Bonding” from Chloe Liked Olivia is fullon funky. Do you think it was inevitable that you would record an album like Disco Dance Party 2000? Gretchen Phillips: Yes, it absolutely was. I’d never given it the full attention of an entire album. It’s mostly upbeat numbers, but then you have the melodic love songs, two out of eight. It’s completely formulaic. Do you have an all-time favorite vintage disco-era performer? Oh no, I can’t have a favorite. I do

think the classic Giorgio Moroder/ Donna Summer coupling is phenomenal. There’s also what he did with Nina Hagen on her Fearless album. Incredible. I remember when that came out. We listened to Hagen’s Nunsexmonkrock religiously. I think Fearless is Nina Hagen’s most concept-driven album.

using the beat to deliver the message is very old. Disco didn’t just concern itself with “I’m either going to ditch you, or dance away the fact that I lost you.” I think social commentary has always been a part of it. I wanted a song as ridiculous as “The Lusty Lass is a Lucky Lady,” because that’s just pure sex. I needed to have that.

What about an all-time favorite vintage disco-era recording? I love Michael Jackson so much. I think Off the Wall and the Jacksons’ Destiny are phenomenal. But it’s hard for me to say. I have a very extensive disco collection. Because when you thrift, which I do, you go through the layers of the strata. Before everybody started collecting lounge-music records, the thrift stores were crowded with disco. For 50 cents or a dollar, I was buying things because they had weird, sexy covers. I have been digging way deeper into the stuff that I own that I haven’t listened to. I have been DJing with a friend who is younger and spins more records than I do.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Gretchen Phillips record without the humor represented by “Reluctant Butch.” That has been a staple in my live shows for years. I don’t identify as butch, although being a songwriter, I can work on an issue in front of people. In this case, I will admit, actually I am kind of butch, aren’t I? It was very important for my personal growth to include that song.

Gay men have long been associated with disco, lesbians less so. But there are several club DJs, Tracy Young and DJ Irene, who are out lesbians. Are you on a mission? No, I don’t know what my mission is anymore. My mission with Two Nice Girls was to make lesbianism as attractive as possible. On some level that has been accomplished. Once I saw an ad for Girls Gone Wild, I knew my work was done. Did you or do you still have some

pretty good moves on the dance floor? I don’t know that I actually do. I certainly love to dance very much. When I was young, and Austin, Texas, was a considerably smaller town, there was one night that we always went to – Jimmy Remington’s Dance Night – and there would be fantastic DJing, in 1982. They did dance contests, and I would never win! Like the best disco recordings, the song “The Lusty Lass is a Lucky Lady” segues into “Shame (Part 3),” which feeds into “Cinnamon Roll,”

Falling for lesbians by Gregg Shapiro


wenty-five years and a dozen studio albums into her recording career, Melissa Etheridge continues to find ways to surprise and delight listeners on 4th Street Feeling (Island). Etheridge plays it safe on opener

“Kansas City,” the first of three songs in which cars play roles of prominence. But it’s on the title track and “Falling Up” that Etheridge throws caution to the wind(shield). “Falling Up” finds Etheridge lighting a torch for twang, complete with her playing a banjitar. She reveals an inner-soul diva on par with Tina Turner on the titular cut, and conjures the spirit of Hi Records on “Be Real.” Etheridge successfully merges the soul and country vibe on “Rock and Roll Me,” “I Can Wait” and “A Disaster,” resulting in a good feeling throughout. The always compelling Meshell Ndegeocello doesn’t disappoint with Pour Une Âme Souveraine: A Dedication to Nina Simone (Naïve), her 10th studio recording in almost 20 years. An artist renowned for her singing, songwriting and bass playing in equal measure, Ndegeocello pays homage to “sovereign soul” Simone, an artist who was as uncompromising as she is. Recognizable Simone selections, including “Feeling Good,” “Suzanne,” “See Line Woman” and “To Be Young,

Gifted and Black,” are treated with reverence as they are reinvented in refreshing ways. Fellow lesbian singer/ songwriter Toshi Reagon joins Ndegeocello on a rousing rendition of “House of the Rising Sun,” as well as on Simone’s composition “Real Real.” Occasional lesbian Sinead O’Connor can be heard on the count ed version of “Don’t trifi T All Night.” Folk artTake is Valerie June provides ist t lead vocals on “Be My the H Husband,” and can also b heard on “Black Is the be C Color of My True Love’s H which Ndegeocello Hair,” a addresses to a woman. On The Ol’ Razzle D Dazzle (Vagrant), Aust tralian lesbian singer/ s songwriter Missy Higg gins returns with her first new disc in five y years. Higgins gets off to a hot start with “Set Me on Fire,” a song addressed to Melody, which could either be a person or a musical term. “Unashamed Desire” lives up to its “nothing to hide” mantra, while “Temporary Love” has a permanently funky beat. In keeping with the album’s title, Higgins dazzles listeners on “All in My Head,” “Everyone’s Waiting” and “Cooling of the Embers.” Tanita Tikarim was young, 19, when her ironically titled major-label debut Ancient Heart was released in 1988. She also sounded wise beyond her years on that album’s hit single “Twist in My Sobriety.” Unfortunately, none of the discs that followed ever recaptured the energy of her debut. But Can’t Go Back (Eagle/Ear), Tikarim’s first new album in eight years, is a comeback worthy of attention. Still utilizing her warm and husky vocals to great advantage, Tikarim gets things rolling with the rollicking “All Things to You.” The soulful “Dust on My Shoes” is cause for waving a hand in the air and testifying, while “Rock n’ Roll” rolls in easy. “Heavy Pressure” is a righteously rhythmic cut meant for

dancing. A bonus disc includes re-recordings of some of Tikaram’s most beloved songs, including “Twist in My Sobriety” and “Valentine Heart.” Glimmer in the Dark (Ban-An-

and so on. How important was it for you to honor the disco tradition all the way down to that detail? That was always imperative to Dave Driver. He worked on making sure that that happened. In the midst of this disco dance party, you have found a way to be socially conscious on the songs “Did You Ever Try To Buy a House?” and “Togetherness,” which give your brain something to think about while your body is moving. I actually think there is a longstanding tradition of that in disco. I think

na), by Canadian lesbian singer/ songwriter Anna Gutmanis, is a 13-track disc featuring songs written over the course of almost 30 years. From politically-oriented numbers such as the call to arms “People (Got to Get it Together),” “Another Way Out” (about bullying), and the “out and proud” an-

You’re leaving for Paris for five months. What is that adventure about? Well, of course, Parisian disco is very famous! For this trip, I bought a new little synthesizer that’s about a foot long. Actually, my girlfriend is teaching there, so I’m going to tag along. We did this eight years ago, and I worked on demoing my I Was Just Comforting Her album. Because of not having an endless social life, which I do here in Austin, it does allow for more concentrated work. It’s better to get away where you’re not distracted so you can get some work done. Especially when you absolutely don’t know the language, it’s less distracting!▼

them “I Am Who I Am” to romantic tunes including “First in Love” and “Hello Again,” cat-lover Gutmanis radiates with her musical mission. The album’s most ambitious track, “Middle of the Line,” features a blazing electric guitar solo, and sounds like something that Bonnie Raitt would cover.▼

Serving the LGBT communities since 1971

36 • BAY AREA REPORTER • October 4-10, 2012

Innocent kids ‘confess’ to a crime they had no knowledge of, in The Central Park Five.

Matthew Lillard’s Fat Kid Rules the World is performance-driven by Jacob Wyssocki’s deftly understated Troy.


Mill Valley Film Fest

From page 21

Carlo at the top of his voice. “I walked out and took a trolley to my apartment, and Carlo Marx’s papier-mache mountains grew red as the great sun rose from the eastward plains.” You don’t have to venture far into this truly mind-bending American original to grasp how hard it will be to dumb this sucker down into a mere movie. Some of the best moments are Sal alone, incensed with himself for wearing a most impractical pair of shoes in a torrential downpour; and observing a Mississippi-born hobo tenderly mothering a mysterious blonde teen boy on the back of a truck hurtling through the night at 70 mph. Director Walter Salles proved he was up to creating a road-buddy classic with Motorcycle Diaries. There, Gael Garcia Bernal escaped the clichés of the Che Guevara you loved for a long list of reasons. Here, Garrett Hedlund has to knock it out of the park as perhaps the 20th century’s most irrepressible, irresponsible madman. (Rafael 1 & 2, 10/4) Sabbatical As queer folks continue their seeming mass migration towards the altar, Glenn Kiser’s short homecoming comedy intro-

duces the notion that young men especially need timeouts from the tyranny of 24/7 cohabitation. Phillip and Sam have more than a few surprises in store for each other as one of them returns to the nest – a flat now stripped of couple photos and knickknacks – and trades a near-death experience for a sexual massage tryst with a hunky Aussie. Spiked with a few good Jewish mom jokes, Sabbatical should get a few after-film chats started in its cozy position in the I’m Not in Love 5@5 shorts program. (Rafael 3, 10/5; Sequoia, 10/11) To Chris Marker, an Unsent Letter They say Marker watched Hitchcock’s Vertigo 19 times before producing his 35-minute homage, La Jetee. Bay Area filmmaker Emiko Omori concocts a most affectionate tribute from the French filmmaker’s wide circle of fiends – a film that rushes by with barely a glimpse of the notoriously camera-shy artist, but which has plenty of shots of his cat. Rian Johnson’s new Joe Levitt science-fiction thriller Looper is also said to contain a loving tip of the hat to Chris Marker. (Sequoia 2, 10/6; Rafael 2, 10/8) Road North Finnish director Mika Kaurismaki produces a hilarious spoof of useless dad/petulant son reunions in this very pretty peek

Explicit sexuality and transcendent spirituality are both present in The Sessions.

at one of Europe’s least viewed and most grouchy outposts. (Rafael 2, 10/5; Sequoia 1, 10/7) The Central Park Five Ken Burns, the creator of meticulous oral-history chronicles on how race has impacted America’s blooddrenched history (The Civil War, WWII, Jazz), zooms in on a terrible night in Gotham when race, a powerful elite’s paranoia about “crime in the streets,” a huge and publicly unaccountable criminal justice system, a cynical, racially insensitive mayor, and a bombastic tabloid media ganged up to concoct a “judicial

lynching” of five multi-racial teens. Burns chillingly illustrates why innocent kids would “confess” to a crime they had no knowledge of – the brutal rape/near-homicide of a white female jogger – but even more insidiously, how even the introduction of exonerating DNA evidence has failed to set the record straight for a public addicted to getting news in “a New York minute.” (Rafael, 10/6, 8) Rebels with a Cause Nancy Kelly’s documentary provides a witty crash course on how a precious greenbelt sprung up from the Presidio to Marin. Employing a mix of quirky archival footage and new chats with surviving green warriors, Kelly shows how a person with an idea that’s truly ahead of the curve can leave an extraordinary legacy. In 1962, the late Rep. Clem Miller sponsored a bill to create a Point Reyes National Seashore. Then the ante was upped by Rep. Phil Burton, who used Congressional juice to expand the protected zone beyond all expectations. There ensues an almost slapstick-worthy tale of Greens outwitting, out-voting and outlasting the big bad developers, with even Richard Nixon playing a surprisingly helpful role, as proecology Republicans created the Federal EPA. While noting that the Marin greenbelt indirectly led to some of the nation’s priciest real estate, Kelly reminds us to thank our “tree-hugging” predecessors every time we bike across the Golden Gate Bridge for a little lung-expanding R&R. (Sequoia, 10/6; Rafael, 10/9) The Sessions “Are you religious?” “I’d find it absolutely intolerable not to have someone to blame for all this.” Blending explicit sexuality and transcendent spirituality on screen usually misses the mark, but this time the filmmakers Ben Lewin, Judi Levine, and Stephen Nemeth have been dealt a hand with all aces. Their story, in turns wickedly funny

and subtly heartbreaking, is based on the memoir of (metaphorically speaking) a drowning man, Berkeley poet-journalist Mark O’Brien, who spent his adult life tethered to an iron lung. Career character actor John Hawkes encourages us to laugh and even squirm a little as his painfully skinny torso mimics O’Brien’s polio state, crippled by childhood. Blessed with speech and an ability to write with a breathing tube, O’Brien’s one remaining, albeit guilty, desire is to escape his hetero-virginity. His accomplices are a happily married sex surrogate – a career-topping Helen Hunt – and a remarkably progressive Catholic priest – a long-haired William H. Macy spinning moral conundrums as smoothly as an oldies DJ secreting the sponsor’s message among the old platters. (Rafael, 10/6; Sequoia, 10/7) Fat Kid Rules the World Fans of Matthew Lillard’s 1991 breakout as a pissed-off Salt Lake City punk rocker SLC Punk will be glad to know he’s tapped back into this shit-disturbing energy to channel two unlikely pals who trade turns saving each other’s lives. We first spy Troy, 17, severely depressed, grossly overweight, as he’s about to step in front of a Seattle bus. The transitassisted suicide is interrupted by the desperate lunge of Marcus, a charming, supremely talented, entirely devious street musician. The boys bond over Marcus’ scheme for a punk-band comeback, driving everyone around them a tad mad. Fat Kid is performance-driven, from Jacob Wyssocki’s deftly understated Troy, who discovers a loud, vibrant world beyond the fridge and the Internet; to Matt O’Leary’s Kurt Cobain-influenced, couch-surfing trickster Marcus; to Billy Campbell’s anguished ex-Marine dad; to Dylan Arnold’s svelte, studious and oddly resentful kid brother. (Sequoia, 10/6; Rafael, 10/11)▼ Info:

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October 4-10, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 37

As if beauty were enough San Francisco Opera’s ‘The Capulets and the Montagues’ by Jason Victor Serinus


n paper, it looked as though San Francisco Opera’s new coproduction of Vincenzo Bellini’s bel canto gem I Capuleti e I Montecchi (The Capulets and the Montagues) would be a triumph. Based on the same story that inspired Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the opera’s nonstop succession of exquisite arias and duets, blood-pumping scenas, and thrilling ensembles may not be as well-known as the composer’s Norma, but it deserves to be. And the list of principals – the astounding mezzosoprano Joyce DiDonato (Romeo in travesti, a.k.a. in drag), gifted SFO debut soprano Joyce Cabell (Giulietta, called Juliet in the supertitles’ silly attempt to popularize Italian opera), magnificent bass-baritone Eric Owens (Giulietta’s father, Capelio), debut tenor Saimir Pirgu (Romeo’s rival, Tebaldo), and more-than-promising young baritone and Adler Fellow Ao Li (the physician, Lorenzo) – reads as one of the finest that can be assembled in the present day. Yet more than the opera’s ending fizzled. Everyone sang wonderfully. But it just wasn’t enough. Once she fully warmed up, DiDonato sang with tremendous beauty, power and conviction. Hers was in many respects a Golden Age performance, with chilling lows, thrusting highs, and an abundance of coloratura flourishes and extremely intelligent shading. When she let loose in her first extended scene, and gave her all in the finale, she was near magnificent.

Cabell, too, displayed a beautiful voice, which she strove to lighten higher in her range. How she managed to sing perfectly, balanced on one leg while standing on the edge of a sink, or repeat the feat when walking across the edge of a very high frame, is beyond my comprehension. But despite extremely sensitive phrasing, a lovely trill, the occasionally radiant phrase, and wonderful singing in her gorgeous duets with DiDonato, she is not a true coloratura. She’s a very fine artist, but she has neither the silvery tone nor stratospheric high extension that distinguish the best. And there is the problem. Bellini’s writing for his two female leads demands voices that can not only ravish the senses and tear at the heart, but can also cap scene after scene with soaring high notes. And these principals did not deliver. Cabell always went down at the end, and DiDonato, perhaps out of respect for her colleague’s limitations, rarely went up. The leap to the top, which anyone with a sense of vocal line knew was called for, was absent. What was ravishing became merely beautiful. In this case, it was not enough. This is not to say that the production was wont of gifted artists. Owens sang with majesty and authority, but without the volume one would expect from an artist of his caliber. Ao Li not only sang beautifully, with sufficient projection for a large house, but also acted movingly. Pirgu – the Albanian component

of a multi-ethnic, multi-national cast that includes a white girl from Kansas; two African-Americans, one of whom is also of Korean and Caucasian ancestry; and a native of China – was a bit of a disappointment. He may sing at the Met, but his lower range lacks allure, and his powerful high notes sound somewhat disconnected, almost as if punched out. Bellini doesn’t give him that much to sing, but his two arias are jewels that call for a freedom and shine that he did not deliver. Both the San Francisco Opera Chorus, directed by Ian Robertson, and the orchestra under conductor Riccardo Frizza outdid themselves. Frizza has a marvelous sense of bel canto style, lavishing Cabell and DiDonato’s arias and duets with an abundance of rubato and shading. If ever a conductor breathed with his singers, it was he. Saved for last is the production. Director Vincent Boussard’s staging was often ridiculous, but it proved more of a distraction than a major impediment. What was the sink that Cabell perched on all about, and why was she forced to sing one of Bellini’s most exquisite arias variously perched atop and sitting in it? Was Broussard trying to outdo Lepage’s “machine” in the Met’s Ring by forcing his choristers to walk up and down bleachers and stand still like automatons during the opera’s tragic conclusion? Did he and costume designer Christian Lacroix really think they were making an eloquent

Cory Weaver

Joyce DiDonato (Romeo) and Nicole Cabell (Giulietta) in San Francisco Opera’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi.

statement about women’s roles by sticking oversized fabric flowers in the mouths of the silent female choristers? And why did lighting designer Guido Levi cast the spotlight, not on the shadowed prima donnas, but rather on the suspended sculpture? Thank God, prima donnas and

closed eyes alike, Bellini’s writing is so wonderful that it almost always triumphed over the visuals. If not a performance for the ages, it certainly went a long way to convince that I Capuleti e i Montecchi deserves far more productions than it has received up to now.▼

Cory Weaver

Supernumerary courtesans backstage, in Christian Lacroix’s designs for San Francisco Opera’s The Capulets and the Montagues.

Cory Weaver

Eric Owens (Capellio) and Saimir Pirgu (Tybalt), with men of the San Francisco Opera Chorus, in Christian Lacroix’s designs for San Francisco Opera’s The Capulets and the Montagues.


Lacroix costumes

From page 21

Opera. “This was a natural progression for him.” Drawn to antique textiles, Lacroix is partial to layered, clashing fabrics; a distinctive asymmetry; and bold, in-your-face colors like teal, fuchsia, turquoise and yellow. All these proclivities converge in the courtesans’ costumes he dreamed up for Capuleti. He was allowed to plunder Munich’s archive of vintage, turn-ofthe century costumes, scavenging fragments like a red-striped sleeve that looks like a refugee from The Barber of Seville, and a skirt which may have had a previous life in Don Carlo. He recycled these and other materials from old garments to construct 28 unique, mix-and-match creations with exposed, partiallylaced corsets, bodices and sleeves that fall off the body – the quicker to disrobe, my pretty – and billowing patchwork skirts done in jeweled gold-and-black brocades, sequins,

intricate hand-sewn laces, and contrasting tulle crinolines. And then there are the accessories: one costume comes with a rhinestone leash, another with single lavender glove that might be wrapped around the neck or stitched to an underskirt. It seems Lacroix has taken a walk on the wild side, elevating expertlycrafted tackiness to new heights. Imagine Madonna’s “Material Girl” on steroids and heading her own atelier. For this particular version of Romeo and Juliet, Verdosci and his team developed a hyper-masculine universe in which women have no voice or role in society other than as adornment. The courtesans, for instance, look spectacular, but their lack of status is expressed by bunches of flowers stuffed into their mouths (Fortunately, they’re nonsinging extras.) Juliet wears a white strapless pouf dress – the taffeta was customwoven with a cross-thread of metal – loosely laced up the back, and

tinged with bluish pink watercolor, evoking a budding rose about to be plucked, although not by Romeo if her parents can help it. The men are outfitted in slim dark pants, rakish scarves, top hats of varying heights, rear bump-pads that lend them an Oscar Wilde silhouette, and jackets that borrow from the street while suggesting morning frock coats. They’re made from sheer lightweight, non-traditional materials like Tyvek that come alive in the light. Romeo gets a Euro, uber-cool look that rivals Rick Owens’ sleek upscale leathers.

Finishing touches On my recent visit to the opera’s costume shop, seamstresses, as busy as Santa’s helpers a week before Christmas, were applying finishing touches and altering some of the 120 Lacroix costumes. Suffice it to say there were no size 2 mannequins in sight. “We do well with Germany because the Bavarians are tall and broad-shouldered, but with the Ital-

ian shows, it’s a lot harder,” sighs Verdosci. The costume warehouse occupies three floors of a building that stretches nearly half-a-block on Ninth Street, and it’s filled with goodies. The facility houses more than 300,000 individual costume pieces, including over 3,000 pairs of shoes, materials to build costumes, and over 1,800 yards of fabric. But the shop is where the magic happens – if it weren’t for the highly skilled artisans toiling there, it might be a kindergarten playroom. There are models and remnants of past productions like a portion of the angel’s wing from the sublime San Francois d’Assise that has been retired to a perch above a cubicle. (The wing is Yves Klein blue, an excruciatingly vibrant hue residing somewhere between cerulean and lapis, named for the “New Realism” monochrome painter.) The walls of the so-called dye room are splattered with “blood” and unruly experiments with metallic spray paint, while in the craft workshop, a test dummy that has seen better days is slung over the rafters, and an ominous, generously proportioned, structured red corset lays face down on an unattended table. Most of the available space is crammed with all manner of breastplates, belts, helmets and body armor forged

to resemble metal. The transformation process starts with a piece of felt molded into a human form that’s sized, made rigid, covered with leather, steamed and then hand-painted with the imperfections of battle-worn metal – rust, mud, cracks and dents. And voila! It’s show time. “Creating illusions and magic is one of the most challenging and exciting parts of this job,” says Verdosci, who remembers with special fondness a scene from Cunning Little Vixen that’s a long way from couture and Lacroix. “A dozen chorus ladies playing chickens were laying eggs on stage through a large pipe system,” he recalls. “After the fox blocked the pipeline, the chickens’ inflatable bellies grew and grew and grew until they all exploded in a shower of feathers.” Ah, the wonder of theater!▼ I Capuleti e I Montecchi, starring soprano Nicole Cabell as Juliet, and mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato in the role of Romeo, will be performed at the War Memorial Opera House, Oct. 11, 14 (at 2 p.m.), 16 & 19. For info, go to or call (415) 864-3330. If you’re interested in the synergy of opera and high fashion, the contributions of famous couturiers have been profiled in a new book by Helena Matheopoulos, Fashion Designers at the Opera.

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38 • Bay Area Reporter • October 4-10, 2012


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October 4, 2012 edition of the Bay Area Reporter  
October 4, 2012 edition of the Bay Area Reporter  

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