San Francisco Bay Times - September 15, 2016 - Olivia Travel Cover

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September 15-28, 2016 |

/SF Bay Times


Olivia Comes Full Circle First Ever San Francisco Port of Call for Renowned Lesbian Travel Company

Olivia’s historic voyage will soon bring a cruise ship full of lesbians into San Francisco. See Pages 16–18


Judy Dlugacz, President and Founder


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In the News Compiled by Dennis McMillan Eight Wins for LGBT Equality The California Legislature passed the final bill of Equality California’s 2016 legislative package, a total of eight bills and resolutions sponsored by the organization to win approval since the beginning of the 2016 legislative session. Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 26 passed with a final, unanimous vote by the Senate. “California has the world’s strongest civil rights protections for LGBT people, but gaps still remain,” said Rick Zbur, executive director of Equality California. “This year, each of our sponsored bills helped address an area where LGBT people still suffer discrimination and disparities in health and wellbeing compared to the general public. Our bills this session protect vulnerable LGBT teens, make sure religious colleges give public notice if they discriminate against LGBT students, ensure California tax dollars don’t go to states or cities that adopt new antiLGBT laws, and more. We ask Governor Brown to sign these pieces of legislation so important to LGBT Californians.” Newly Created Department of Homelessness Works to Move People Out of Encampments and into Shelters In a statement issued on Monday, Supervisor David Campos addressed the ongoing homelessness and encampment crisis that is taking place in San Francisco, and particularly in the Mission. “I know you are fed up and frustrated with the situation on our streets,” he said. “I want you to know that I hear you and agree that the current state of affairs is untenable. Encampments are unacceptable. They are not acceptable for homeless people, nor for the residents and businesses around them.” He added that the newly established Department of Homelessness has made the Mission problems a priority for their Encampment Resolution Team, whose aim is to get people out of encampments and into shelters and permanent housing. “Our plan, and my commitment to you,” Supervisor Campos stated, “is to remove all Mission encampments within the next four months, in an effective and humane manner.” The current focus is the encampment around the Pacific Gas and Electric facility at 19th and Folsom. After that, the Encampment Resolution Team will address the portion of the North East Mission hit hardest, which is between 16th–19th street, from South Van Ness to Bryant Street. Working Group Proposed to Support LGBT Nightlife and Create LGBT Cultural Heritage District This week, Supervisor Scott Wiener held a hearing at the Land Use and Transportation Committee of the Board of Supervisors about how best to protect and preserve LGBT nightlife spaces and how to push forward the long-stalled LGBT Cultural Heritage District. At Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, he introduced legislation to create a working group that would be charged with supporting the District, as well as LGBT nightlife. “Our LGBT nightlife venues are at the heart of the LGBT community, and we must proactively support and protect these sacred spaces,” he said. “LGBT nightlife venues aren’t simply places to go out and have fun, although they are certainly that. They’re also safe spaces and places where we go to build community.” Final IRS Regulations Update Definition of Marriage Earlier this month, the IRS issued final regulations re-defining marriage to be inclusive of same-sex spouses, following the 2015 Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage in all states. The final regulations set forth that the term “marriage” is defined for federal tax purposes as two

individuals lawfully married to each other. A “spouse,” a “husband” and a “wife” are individuals lawfully married to another individual, and the term “husband and wife” means two individuals lawfully married to each other. There is no separate designation or clarification defining “samesex” and/or “opposite-sex” couples. The final regulations amend all tax platforms including income tax, estate tax, gift tax, generational skipping tax, employment tax, collection of income tax as source regulations, and the regulations on procedure and administration. Community Center Was Attacked, Leaving a $6,000 Bill for Repair Last month, in broad daylight, an individual armed with a pipe and shouting homophobic slurs attacked the SF LGBT Community Center. The person broke windows and a glass door, but was quickly caught, and the incident is being investigated as a hate crime. “This attack is a stark reminder of the pervasiveness of violence in the LGBT community—even in progressive places like San Francisco—and why we must continue to work to help prevent it, especially around violence fueled by homophobia and transphobia,” said LGBT Center Executive Director Rebecca Rolfe. An assessment on LGBTQ violence that The Center spearheaded last year showed that the vast majority of LGBTQ people living in San Francisco have experienced at least one significant encounter with violence: 81 percent have faced harassment, 68 percent have been physically assaulted and 48 percent have been sexually assaulted. Campaign in Full Swing to Put José Sarria in the California Hall of Fame As the International Imperial Court System—and the Imperial Council of San Francisco—celebrates its golden anniversary this year, its members decided it would be a fitting tribute for José Sarria aka Absolute Empress I, the Widow Norton, to be among the 2015 inductees into the California Hall of Fame. “It is not only a salute to the gay community, but choosing him is a salute to the Latino community and a salute to World War II veterans,” said San Diego resident Nicole Murray Ramirez, who was elected an empress of the Imperial Court in 1973 and currently holds the title of Queen Mother 1 of the Americas, Canada, United States, and Mexico. Gay former San Francisco Supervisor Bevan Dufty, who led the effort to name a portion of a street in the Castro district after Sarria, the first LGBT man to be honored in such a way, said having a “heroic individual” like Sarria inducted into the Hall of Fame would be a fitting honor. Sarria would be the second LGBT leader from San Francisco in the Hall of Fame. In 2009 Schwarzenegger and Shriver chose the late gay Supervisor Harvey Milk as a member of the fourth class to be inducted. They had selected tennis great Billie Jean King, an out lesbian, to be among the first class picked nine years ago. Year-Old Job Openings Keep Castro’s Hamburger Mary’s in Limbo When last checked, Hamburger Mary’s, the decade-and-a-half vacancy of the former Patio Café (531 Castro Street) was only a head chef and a reactivated liquor license away from ending. However, 531 Castro is still shuttered. The trouble, says property owner Les Natali, is that he cannot find managers for the restaurant. “About a dozen applicants” have applied for the two open managerial positions, but “most [applications] have (continued on page 30) S AN F R ANC IS C O BAY   T IM ES S EPT EM BER 15, 2016


Recent Naval Reunion Opened Emotional Wounds Ballot Badness: Vote No on Props Q , R, P and U Created by Past Homophobic, Sexist Policies

Do Ask, Do Tell Zoe Dunning Have you ever gone to one of your high school or college reunions? For some of you, school was a great experience, where you made great friends, and so now you look forward to the opportunity to reconnect with them and recount the good old days. For many, such as myself, there are classmates you’d really like to see, and others—not so much. And for some, the memories can be so painful you have stayed away, and have never attended a reunion or revisited the campus since you left. Attending a reunion is like opening up a time capsule and replaying records you haven’t heard in a long time. Some forgotten songs are sweet and fun to dance to, while others are sad and even scratched, or broken. That was my experience this past weekend as I flew back to Annapolis, MD, for a reunion of women alumnae from the United States Naval Academy (USNA). It was a celebration of “40 Years of Women At USNA,” including a women’s leadership conference, a memorial service honoring our fallen alumnae, a re-


ception, a tailgate party and a special presentation at halftime of the NavyUConn football game. Several hundred women came from across the globe to attend (New Zealand was the furthest journey, I heard), representing every class from 1980 to 2020. It is a unique sorority; only 4,600 women have graduated from the Naval Academy since 1980, an average of less than 130 per year. The class of ‘80 graduated a mere 55 women, less than 6% of a graduating class just shy of 1,000. We were outnumbered by our male classmates by a ratio of 13:1 or more in these early classes. Women were at the academies because, in 1975, President Ford signed Public Law 94-106, requiring the services to open the hallowed halls of West Point, Annapolis, and the Air Force Academy to women. This happened with much bellyaching and shouts of disapproval from members of Congress, the Pentagon and heretofore all male alumni of the service academies. In the fall of 1976, female cadets began their education and military orientation, as the “Class of ‘80” became the first coed class. When those f irst service academy classes graduated in 1980, of the 327 women who began, only 217 graduated. One out of three did not make it to graduation day. The number of women accepted in each class is limited by the opportunities for them in the Navy and Marine Corps upon graduation. In the 80s, women were not allowed to serve on combatant ships or to f ly combatant aircraft, and were banned from submarines and most Marine Corps occupational specialties. Most

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women graduates therefore went into staff corps roles, such as supply, or restricted line jobs in intelligence, cryptology or administration. For male graduates, they were required to serve in a combat role unless they were physically disqualified. This set up a separate and unequal path for women from their male classmates, and the men resented the fact that women were getting all the benefit (full ride scholarship) without the same risk upon graduation. As women at the Naval Academy, we were reminded on an almost daily basis that each of us was “taking up a seat” that should be used for a true warrior, a man who would fight in combat. It didn’t help that the mission of the Naval Academy, as it was stated back then, was: “To prepare midshipmen morally, mentally and physically for careers as line (i.e. combat) officers in the naval service.” If we weren’t going to serve as combat line officers upon graduation, then why were we there?

sures, not because I am some bleeding-heart lefty ideologue who thinks people should be able to camp out wherever they want to and make our public spaces unusable by anyone else, but because I saw these ballot measures as dishonest political (in the worst sense of the word) gimmicks to divide the electorate without offering real solutions.

A San Francisco Kind of Democrat Rafael Mandelman In my last column I wrote about two ballot measures that I like a lot: Proposition B (City College parcel tax) and Proposition W (Free City College). This month, just to balance things out, I thought I might cover a few measures I really do not like: Propositions Q, R, P and U.

Proposition Q is the brainchild of Supervisor Mark Farrell and would ban tents on sidewalks. I count at least three previous ballot measures over (continued on page 30) the last two decades that were supposed to address homelessness and its impacts on our neighborhoods: Care Not Cash in 2003, the ban on Aggressive Panhandling in 2004 and the ban on sitt ing or ly ing Music star k.d. lang (left) with Brandon McCormick, Jen Watt and San on sidewalks in Francisco Bay Times contributor Leslie Katz at the Masonic Auditorium 2010. I opposed for the Hillary for America event on Tuesday, September 13. each of these mea-

All these years later, all these ballot measures later, housed San Franciscans are still angry about the state of our sidewalks and plazas, and too many homeless folks are still being left to rot in open sight. The problem is not a lack of laws on the books that can be used to clear tents or people off sidewalks. The problem is a more practical one: we have not mustered the resources to get those folks the housing, the health care, the drug treatment and other services they need once the tents have been cleared and they have been moved along. I never forgave Gavin Newsom for Care Not Cash, but at least that measure actually enacted a policy change that Newsom knew he could not otherwise accomplish through the legislative process at City Hall. For good or for ill, the measure defunded the direct cash grants thousands of homeless people relied on to survive and re-directed those funds to create more supportive housing. Farrell’s measure, by contrast, finds no new funding and offers no new solutions. It’s the worst. Proposition R is Supervisor Scott Wiener’s measure to establish a Neighborhood Crime Unit of at least 60 officers to focus on robbery, burglary, vandalism and theft, as well as (continued on page 30)



Younger Gay Men Trending Toward Monogamy men’s greater inclination toward monogamy. We see this in the overwhelming number of relationships that are monogamous (86%). In addition, 90% of the single younger gay men were seeking monogamy. This is a sea change compared to older generations of gay men.” Even in a cohort of interview subjects recruited from the hook-up site Grindr, a whopping 81% of the 325 single men reported that they were seeking monogamy.

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Examined Life Tom Moon, MFT Blake Spears and Lanz Lowen have been together in an open relationship for over 40 years, and in past columns I’ve reported on their in-depth research on the viability of long-term open relationships. In the past, they write, most research on gay male couples has shown that approximately two-thirds of long-term male couples who have been together for five years or more are non-monogamous. But they have just released a new study of younger gay men, aged 18–40, called “Choices: Perspectives of Younger Gay Men on Monogamy, Non-monogamy and Marriage,” which suggests that an historic change has been occurring in the attitudes and behavior of gay men in relationships. “The most striking f inding of this study,” they report, “is younger gay


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The researchers found that “the notion of ‘monogamish’ appears to be increasing, particularly as couples are together for longer periods of time. Interestingly, there is a dis-owning of the notion of ‘open relationships’ which younger gay men assume are wide open, whatever goes, relationships. Open relationships are associated with previous generations of gay men and are viewed as part of the previous gay culture that is no longer necessary.” Monogmish couples, by contrast, typically have an understanding that allows for some limit-

Second, “Younger gay men are coming out much sooner and are much less likely to have the experience of ‘closeted sex’ or to develop the sexual patterns of previous generations where a great deal of emphasis was put on sex. One way to think about this is that younger gay men come to terms with their sexual orientation much earlier and get to experience their age appropriate adolescence as gay men. This was not the case in previous generations and it could be hy-

Another interesting finding was that “we heard both monogamous and non-monogamous respondents complaining of the lack of support for their respective relationships. To the degree monogamy and non-monogamy can be more fully discussed in the community, the better. Both monogamy and non-monogamy are viable. Let’s provide enough information and adequate avenues for discussion, so that couples can make informed decisions. Furthermore, as a community, let’s stop proselytizing our preference as ‘the right way’ and demonizing that which we don’t embrace. We need to create norms in the community, where both monogamy and non-monogamy can be rationally discussed and considered. If we can do that, both monogamous and non-monogamous couples will feel supported by the larger community.” Anyone who would like to read this fascinating new study can download it for free on the authors’ website: Tom Moon is a psychotherapist in San Francisco. For more information, please visit his website

Sister Dana Sez: Words of Wisdumb from a Fun Nun

Mario Ordonez Juan Ordonez

CONTRIBUTORS Writers Rink, Sister Dana Van Iquity, Ann Rostow, Kirsten Kruse, Kate Kendell, Alex Randolph, Heidi Beeler, Gary M. Kramer, Dennis McMillan, Tom Moon, Tim Seelig, Cinder Ernst, John Chen Rafael Mandelman, Kit Kennedy, Phil Ting, Rebecca Kaplan, Leslie Katz, Philip Ruth, Bill Lipsky, Karen Williams, Donna Sachet, Gary Virginia, Zoe Dunning, Marcy Adelman, Stuart Gaffney & John Lewis Brandon Miller, Jamie Leno Zimron Thom Watson, Michele Karlsberg Lyndsey Schlax, Elisa Quinzi, Elizabeth River, Debra Walker, Howard Steiermann

While there is an emphasis on monogamy, it is also true that many younger gay men are holding the concept more loosely. Many are now describing themselves as ‘monogamish.’ This term was originally coined by sex columnist Dan Savage, who used it to describe couples who may be perceived to be monogamous and who are mostly so, but not completely.

What accounts for these dramatic changes in gay men’s attitudes? Spears and Lowen identified two factors. First, “as younger gay men have the option of marriage and homosexuality becomes increasingly accepted, the traditional heterosexual model of monogamy and marriage become much more viable options. Younger gay men have the option of adopting the norms of the heterosexual majority and becoming integrated into the mainstream in ways that weren’t possible before. In this study, we see them taking advantage of those options in large numbers.”

pothesized that because of the furtiveness, the need for an underground sub-culture and the tremendous emphasis on sex, that previous generations of gay men tended toward prolonged periods of sexual adolescence when they finally did come out.”

By Sister Dana Van Iquity Sister Dana sez, “It’s LEATHER WEEK! Be leatheriffic! Wear something leather! If you’re a vegan, wear rubber!” We traveled back to 1987 to “HAPPY BIRTHDAY SYLVESTER!” at the latest installment of the GLBT HISTORICAL SOCIETY’s monthly “MIGHTY REELS” series of moving images from the archives. GLBT Historical Society Executive Director Terry Beswick introduced media preservationist John Raines, who presented a rare video of the 40th birthday celebration for iconic San Francisco disco diva Sylvester (1947–1988), with the star performing sentimental standards backed by a jazz band. We learned from Raines that it was actually his 38th birthday, but the diva wanted everyone to remark how young he looked at 40! The program concluded with very rare encore clips of Sylvester and other Megatone Records artists including Paul Parker, Jo-Lo, Billy Preston, and Modern Rocketry—all very ‘80s with big hair and big shoulder pads on the ladies, and scenes from EssEff for the boys’ videos, including leather fairs, pride parades, and street fairs with bare-chested Castro clones dancing. Sylvester was born in Los Angeles on September 6, 1947, so the program took place less than a week before what would have been his 69th birthday. Don’t miss the next Mighty Reels archive showing, “A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD,” September 30 at 7 pm at the Museum, 4127 18th Street. Media preservationist John Raines will present rare videos of the 1976 and 1978 Castro Street Fairs—just prior to this year’s Castro Street Fair.

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STRUT, the gay/bi/trans men Castro center for health and social wellbeing is currently exhibiting “BECOMING TOM, AN INTIMATE LOOK AT TOM OF FINLAND’S INSPIRATIONS” in their gallery. At the Strut reception, Jason Bopp stood proudly on stage in his full-on leather gear with muscular thighs exposing tattoos of four of Tom of F’s characters. Jason told me he had just showed up at Strut as a fan, but he was asked to display his body art as an appropriate (handsome) addition to the showing. Strut held this reception where Strut Community Organizer Baruch Porras Hernandez introduced Marc Ransdell Bellenger, Curator & Community Development of the TOM OF FINLAND FOUNDATION ( who informed us that the house in Los Angeles where Tom lived and worked is in process of becoming an official historic landmark. We learned that Tom was first a student of music before becoming famous for his art. The exhibition shows many photos that inspired Tom and then became works of art. My favorite is the “Tom & Tomcat” 1987 silver gelatin print transformed into the slightly more homoerotic finished drawing. Tom of Finland’s art has always been full of powerful images, men in control, men celebrating their sexuality, unapologetically outdoors, in the day light, not hidden away in shame and darkness. He brought us gay images as heroic god-like figures that have become a crucial historic part of the gay art world. In this exhibition, we see a selection of source materials, which helped to serve as inspiration for some of his work. He combed a wide variety of recourses from all over the world. For example, Norman Rockwell’s work in the Saturday Evening Post of nineteen forties, to Bob Miser’s Physique Pictorial of the nineteen fifties and nineteen sixties, and, of course, magazines like Drummer and various others in the eighties and nineties. In 1984, the nonprofit Tom of Finland Foundation was established by the artist (birth name: Touko Laaksonen, 1920–1991) and Durk Dehner. As Tom had established worldwide recognition as the master of homoerotic art, the Foundation’s original purpose was to

preserve his vast catalog of work. Several years later the scope was widened to offer a safe haven for all erotic art in response to rampant discrimination against art that portrayed sexual behavior or generated a sexual response. Tom of Finland Foundation is dedicated to protect, preserve, document, and educate the public about erotic art and erotic artists regardless of race, creed, religion, gender, sexual identity, medium of expression, or any other censoring criteria. GLAAD’s GALA SAN FRANCISCO: #THISISMYSTORY, presented at City View at Metreon, celebrated the digital media innovators who are moving acceptance forward. The theme was meant to encourage everyone—especially LGBTQ youth— to express themselves authentically and proudly, sharing that through their stories. President and CEO of GLAAD, Sarah Kate Ellis, welcomed the guests and spoke about GLAAD’s mission. GLAAD works with print, broadcast, and online news sources to bring people powerful stories from the LGBT community that build support for equality. And when news outlets get it wrong, GLAAD is there to respond and advocate for fairness and accuracy. GLAAD brings LGBT characters and plotlines to movie theaters, television sets, and even comic books— working with writers, producers, and studios to ensure accurate and diverse representations of LGBT people on the big and small screens. GLAAD works to share stories from the LGBT community in Spanishlanguage and Latinx media, helping to increase understanding and support among the Spanish-speaking community, the fastest-growing population in the country. GLAAD serves as the communications epicenter of the LGBT movement, equipping advocacy leaders with the tools they need to communicate more effectively. GLAAD is also reinventing the way social media moves equality forward. GLAAD had two honorees that night: YouTube star, Actor, Comic and NYT Best-seller Hannah Hart (who came out in 2012)— presented by Mamrie Hart (no relation—award-winning YouTuber) and SF native Salesforce Chairman & CEO Marc Benioff (who said we

have to address any inequality anywhere)—presented by Technology Columnist known for “All Things Digital”) Kara Swisher. Monica Roberts, award-winning blogger known for educating and encouraging acceptance on trans people inside and outside the African American community, also spoke and received an award. The evening was emceed by the delightful Actor, Comic, Director, Podcaster, and NYT Best-selling author Aisha Tyler—who did some hilarious standup routine comparing L.A. to S.F. (the former her home now, and the latter as her birthplace—as a funny metaphor for a lesbian relationship breakup) as well as other queer-loving jokes. She noted her sister has come out, of whom she is so proud. She credited technology for being able to reach far more people about the message for equality. Two riveting poems were presented from YOUTH SPEAKS: BRAVE NEW VOICES: “Whack-a-Mole” by Melanie Harra & Cameron Sandal and “Queer Is Not One Color” by Sandal and Gabriela Martinez. Barbara Griffith of Oakland School for the Arts sang “Ring of Keys” from the musical, Fun Home. Actor, TV Star Kelly Osbourne sent a video message saying the focus these days is on acceptance, and not assigning binary roles to people. She said we have to break down the walls of discrimination and division. She concluded, “We are engineers of change.” Activist, Producer, Actor Wilson Cruz (My So-Called Life, Rent) spoke about the Orlando tragedy and how his aunt died to shield her (continued on page 31)



ed sexual contact outside the relationship. “75% of our 45 ‘monogamish’ respondents reported mostly having three-ways and always playing together as a couple. A few couples mentioned sex parties and bathhouses, but were clear they always played together.”

Sister Dana wearing his favorite “Sisters” t-shirt at the recent Ducal Thank You Party, with friends, right to left, Kippy Marks, Grand Duchess Davida, Sable Jones and Grand Duchess Colette Le Grande.

GLBT Fortnight in Review By Ann Rostow Get Well Soon! Hello, everyone. Are any of you as petrified as Mel and me, hanging onto the edge of the cliff by our fingernails for the next two months as we wait for Hillary Clinton to reach down and pull us back to safe ground? I know she will, but I cannot stand the suspense, and I’m not sure we can take another day like Sunday, when we weren’t sure for a while whether or not she was healthy enough to weather the campaign. It seems we dodged that bullet, and normally I’d expect Trump to fall into his own pool of bad publicity a few more times between now and November, but then again, he seems impervious to bad press, in a way. There’s been so much of it that it feels as if the media and the public are tired of calling him to task. Plus, this Kellyanne person seems to be an effective Trump spokesperson, after we’ve spent months hearing from very odd incoherent females and bullying unattractive males speaking on his behalf. We’re getting sick of Kellyanne, but she also frightens us by being pretty good at her job. Quite frankly I’m having a hard time concentrating on GLBT news, and, as usual, I’ve wasted some serious time on listicles and political news. For example, I just reviewed the 32 most dangerous venomous animals, a lengthy process requiring me to relentlessly press the “next” button and wait for the screen to refresh. After that, I had to make sure that several of the scariest creatures on the list did not live near me. Fortunately, they did not. (Bottom line: I’m not going near Australia, for the time being.) As for gay news, I did notice that Nicholas Chamberlain, the Bishop of Grantham, was forced out of the glass closet by the threat of a newspaper article the other day. Chamberlain told the Guardian (which was not the paper that was about to reveal his sexual orientation) that everyone knew he was gay and had a long term partner, so it was no big deal. Chamberlain pointed out that he and his partner were abiding by Anglican rules that dictate gay clergy must be celibate, which makes you wonder exactly what goes on in Chamberlain’s “long term committed relationship.” Meandering walks on the moors? Sipping small glasses of port together by the fireplace? Come on, Church of England. It’s high time to enter the 21st Century. Madness I was surprised to learn that the NBA All-Star game represents about $100 million in economic activity to its host city, but the detail made me very pleased that, last month, the basketball powers that be decided to take the 2017 game away from Charlotte as punishment for North Carolina’s antiGLBT law, HB2. Now, however, the NCAA has stepped up to the plate, withdrawing seven championship contests out of the state starting in December. The events include soccer, tennis, golf, lacrosse and baseball. But they also include the first and second rounds of the NCAA basketball tournament, scheduled for Greensboro in mid-March of next year. Yes, my friends. The NCAA has withdrawn a big chunk of March Madness from North Carolina! I’m actually not sure how much the loss will hurt Greensboro’s economy because, when I went to look that up, I found a bunch of contrarian articles that insisted the NCAA tournament does not, in fact, boost the local economy of host cities. I don’t have the time or inclination to burrow into the numbers in order to re-evaluate the All-Star game’s purported $100 million cash inf low

in view of this surprising conclusion about March Madness. Let’s just say that whatever the numbers may be, the decisions by both organizations are a slap in the face to North Carolinian sports fans, who should rightly be asking their legislators whether or not HB2 has been worth all the pain.

that. I seem to recall that a few years ago, the boffins came up with a scheme that might someday allow women to have children without men—again via some legere-de-stem-cell magic. We can all relax since these advances in human reproduction appear to be decades down the road.

The next sports group in line for a decision about HB2 is the Atlantic Coast Conference, which governs athletic competition for 15 schools including the University of North Carolina and NC State. ACC Commissioner John Swofford told the press that the NCAA decision “continues to build upon the negative impact the bill has already had on the state.” Swofford said that HB2 was already on the agenda at the ACC Council of Presidents meeting the week of September 12, adding that the “league’s longstanding commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion will continue to be a central theme to our discussions.”

Still, it’s interesting. One reporter speculated that a man could even have his own child all by himself, an offspring that would be more like an identical twin than a clone. Paging Ray Bradbury.

“On a personal note,” he added, “it’s time for this bill to be repealed as it’s counter to basic human rights.” Okay then! Eh Eh Eh Eh EEEEEEE! It’s infuriating to watch political shows, even with the sound off. I see from the captions, for example, that Trump is accusing Clinton of “multimillion dollar ‘pay to play’ corruption.” The charge is patently untrue, and yet the various reporters and anchors calmly repeat the statements as if this is just another instance of the ups and downs of your typical campaign. It’s not! This is not “he said she said!” It’s unfounded insanity from a lunatic, and as long as the cable news media treats this as an even contest, they will be partly responsible if (God forbid) Trump wins this election. As if these shows themselves aren’t bad enough, I am also encountering some annoying commercials, like the one about the man who uses his credit card points to build a “pop-up pick your own juice bar in the middle of the city!” The oh-so-fresh and clever enterprise is set up in an alley and basically consists of people ripping at herbs or snatching a piece of fruit off a tiny tree and shoving it all in a blender. It’s patently obvious that this would not work. Any growing thing will be instantly killed off as grubby hands uproot the ingredient. Unless you charge twenty bucks for a small juice, the logistics don’t make sense, and after three or four customers, the entire business would be in shambles. So no, it’s not a really cool thing to do with your credit card points. It’s a pointless waste of time and money. I hate that commercial. Can you tell I’m in something of a foul mood? Correctamundo! Here’s something to improve our spirits. Have you read about the scientists in the Black Sea region who recorded two dolphins having a conversation? According to press reports, the dolphins, Yana and Yasha, paused to let each other communicate just as listening humans would do. Their dialogue consisted of squeaks, clicks and whistles. This story was blasted around with implied exclamation marks as if it ref lected some astonishing discovery about dolphins. But haven’t we known for a long time that a) they are smart and have big brains and b) they converse with squeaks, clicks and whistles? Why is this new? Didn’t any of these reporters ever see an episode of Flipper? And Baby Makes Two? I guess men might someday be able to have children without women. The science is beyond me, but it has something to do with our ability to make stem cells act like eggs and then maybe turn into embryos and get together with some sperm. Or something like

Speaking of men with kids, a review of gay couples based on income tax filings indicated that gay men with children make the most money of any other combination. That makes sense to me since men generally make more money than women, and men who go to the expense of having kids probably make even more money than other men. But here’s what I found interesting about that piece of news. Our community has never really been measured. Now, not only will the 2020 Census directly measure gay and lesbian families, but our taxes will begin to provide some specifics about who we are. The study that came up with the news about married gay fathers was based on 2014 tax filings, but that was the first year that we could file jointly, after the High Court effectively repealed the Defense of Marriage Act. Imagine what kind of numbers we’ll be able to crunch after several years of gay tax filings, plus a few gay-inclusive census reports. Mexican Standoff There’s a photograph making the rounds that shows a 12-year-old boy, identified as “Cesar,” standing in front of a large antigay protest march that approaches his position on an empty highway in Guanajuato, Mexico. Cesar, who told reporter and photographer Manuel Rodriguez that his uncle is gay, has his arms spread wide and evokes the iconic image of the man blocking a tank in Tiananmen Square. The photo looks staged or shopped, so I went to Snopes to see if I could find it. But now it seems clear that it’s actually real. According to Buzzfeed, reporter Rodriguez said the boy was drawn aside as the protest went past him and he told the reporter that his gesture was meant for his gay uncle. Rodriguez posted the shot to his Facebook page, after which it went viral. The protest was one of several anti-marriage displays around Mexico on September 10. Same-sex couples have won marriage rights in nine of 31 states and several cities over the last several years, and the Mexican Supreme Court has ruled in favor of equality as well. Unlike the United States Supreme Court, however, the Mexican bench does not make federal law for the nation as a whole. That said, a legal marriage from one of the gay friendly areas must be recognized throughout the country. Anti-gay groups were protesting a plan to legalize marriage throughout Mexico through legislative action. FACT Check I’m not sure I follow the legal rationale for a bunch of conservative lawmakers from Tennessee to intervene in a custody dispute between two women. The 53 state legislators, along with a bunch of busybodies called the Family Action Council of Tennessee (FACT), are trying to claim that the Supreme Court’s legalization of marriage should not have any impact on state laws that concern married families. The case involves two women, Erica and Sabrina Witt, who married in Washington D.C., in April 2014, a time when same-sex marriage was not legal in Tennessee. Nine months later, (continued on page 30) S AN F R ANC IS C O BAY   T IM ES S EPT EM BER 15, 2016


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Spirit Figure from New Guinea at the de Young Figures incorporating hook forms were part of an ancient New Guinea tradition extending from the upper reaches of the Sepik River to the Ramu River Valley, 1,000 miles to the east. For the people of the Karawari River, these figures represented powerful mythical ancestors who were of great importance in warfare, headhunting, and biggame hunting. This figure was created in the form of a much-attenuated human, displaying a bearded head, a body of hooks representing ribs, a single, straight heart in the center, and a single, bent leg at the base. Before entering the collection, the object was owned by the surrealist artist Roberto Matta. The striking spirit figure came to the de Young via a 2005 acquisition of more than three hundred masterworks of New Guinea art. That year marked a new and exciting area of focus for the Fine Arts Museums and turned the de Young into an important exhibition space for Oceanic art. This and the other objects in the collection represent some of the finest New Guinea art anywhere in the world. The gallery that houses them is the largest permanent installation of New Guinea works in any U.S. art museum. Most were gifts from Marcia and John Friede, or were purchases from the funds established by Mrs. Paul L. (Phyllis C.) Wattis. Six are held in trust for the country of Papua New Guinea as objects of national and cultural importance. Representing the hundreds of clans and art-producing villages throughout the island, this and the other related works have multivalent stories to share with visitors and scholars alike. The display reveals the deep history and breadth of New Guinea art styles and promises to transform the public perception of art from this region. Spirit Figure, Yipwon. Yimam people, 19th century. Wood. Museum Purchase, Mrs. Paul L. Wattis Fund 2000.172.1 (cat. No. 266)

Why Does LGBT Studies Exist? (Editor’s Note: Teacher Lyndsey Schlax of the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts launched the nation’s first on-site high school LGBT course in 2015. She has just resumed teaching that groundbreaking class. In this column, her students share their thoughts about LGBT-related matters, including their concerns, what they have learned in class and more.) Gender Roles Student, 12th Grade This week in my LGBTQ studies class we watched a film called The Mask You Live In. It looked specifically at the effects of the gender binary and gender roles on boys and men in our society. Societal norms put constraining boxes around what gender should be, assigning certain traits to specific genders. Men are expected to be aggressive, strong, smart, and dominant, while women are expected to be passive, weak, brainless, and submissive. Any overlap between the two boxes is stigmatized to the point where “masculinity” and “femininity” are considered opposites. Whenever I hear the phrase “gender roles,” I immediately think of all the movies where the only named female character is thin as a stick, has perfect hair, and is completely defined by her relationship to the male protagonist. I don’t have to imagine the effect of this as the role model for “being a woman” on young girls. What I forget about is that there are young boys too, watching those same movies. What they see is a stoic, muscular, and usually violent man, and that is their model for “being a man.” If these are the traits that boys are aspiring to, they are not going to allow themselves to develop fully into emotionally vulnerable and empathetic individuals. It can be hard to remember that neither of these stereotypes is true, when both are perpetuated so strongly in the media. People of all genders can

be muscular, have perfect hair, not be good at sports, be emotional, love their partners and have a passion for science or English or underwater basket weaving! So we have to do our part to shed these gender stereotypes. We have to tell our young boys that we love them, and give them space to cry and laugh openly. It’s up to us to break out of these boxes. We must demonstrate for the next generation that it’s okay to be different and to break away from gender norms. Maybe, if we can all do our part, we can change those norms so that there are no more boxes to be put into in the future. Why Does LGBTQ Studies Exist? Student, 12th Grade As I walked into my first class on the first day of school I found this writing prompt staring me smack in the face. I wiggled, bashing my knees on the legs of the steel rods connecting my seat to a desk, struggling to find an answer. As I awkwardly danced from side to side like a flailing Magikarp, all I could think of was to write ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. I realized why this class is so essential. It is a necessity, a class of utmost importance for people like me: white cis-males, or persons of any other gender and identity, who cannot, for the life of them, answer this simple question. A class like Health, which is mandatory throughout the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), teaches the physical characteristics of a sex assigned at birth, yet fails to go in depth on the wide spectrum that is gender identity. Even history classes are stubborn enough to dismiss the gay identities of figures such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Alexander the Great, and possibly even William Shakespeare. Sexuality is an integral part of a person’s experience. Failing to mention this information in the classroom can affect the depth in which we can study a subject, and can hurt peers my

Student Voices age who are struggling to understand their own sexuality and gender. Though I have only been in this class for three weeks, I have already learned a great deal about the LGBTQ community, but it does not end there. We have had class discussions on the unfair expectations put on both men and women, the impact of the culture one is raised in, and each of our goals as students taking this class. Why then does LGBTQ Studies exist? Because it goes beyond and teaches you about yourself on a platform that isn’t available in any other study. It teaches confidence, and acceptance, allowing you to look beyond textbooks. LGBTQ studies exists because our schools need to take the initiative to help students learn what it means to be comfortable in your own skin. For more information about the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts, please visit Lyndsey Schlax has been a teacher in the San Francisco Unified School District since 2008. She is uniquely qualified to address multiple areas of LGBT studies, having also specialized in subjects such as Modern World History, Government, Economics and U.S. Politics. She is a National Board Certified Teacher, and earned her M.A. in Teaching at the University of San Francisco. S AN F R ANC IS C O BAY   T IM ES S EPT EM BER 15, 2016


Prepare for These Milestones as Retirement Approaches (to a maximum of $24,000) in a workplace retirement plan such as a 401(k).

Money Matters Brandon Miller

Age 55 This may be the first opportunity you have to make penalty-free withdrawals (income taxes still apply) from employer-based qualified plans. To become eligible, you must first retire from your employer in the year you turn 55 or later. While tapping into your retirement income may make sense for you, consider the impact early withdrawals could have on your long-term financial security before taking action.

Over a two-decade span ranging from ages 50 to 70-1/2, investors will face multiple milestone decisions that will likely impact their retirement savings and portfolio. As you navigate through each decision, you’ll need to be aware of how rules governing Social Security, Medicare and your taxes will come into play. Take steps now to be prepared as these milestones approach:

Age 59-1/2 At this age, you have more penalty-free access to your retirement assets—meaning you can take distributions from IRAs and potentially from qualified work plans (check with your Human Resources department to see what rules apply to you). Keep in mind that withdrawing from your nest egg early is a risk to your longterm financial situation. Taxes are due on distributions attributable to pre-tax contributions and earnings.

Age 50 Give your retirement savings a boost by making “catch-up” contributions. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules for 2016 allow those 50 and older to invest an additional $1,000 per year (for a maximum of $6,500 per year) in an IRA, and another $6,000 per year

Age 62 You first become eligible to claim retirement benefits from Social Security at age 62. The earlier you claim benefits, the lower the monthly payout will be. Many investors choose to claim at a later age, because you can receive a higher monthly benefit. If you do decide to claim benefits at age 62 while

you continue to receive a paycheck, your Social Security benefits may be reduced until you reach full retirement age. Age 65 You qualify for Medicare coverage starting at age 65. You’ll automatically be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B if you’re receiving Social Security at this time. Otherwise, you need to apply for it. Your application window is the three months of either side of your 65th birthday month. Medicare is complex, so make sure to research what options are available to you. Age 66–67 Depending on your birth year, you reach what Social Security defines as “full retirement age” at 66 or 67. Visit to learn what age that is for you. If you wait until now to receive Social Security benefits, you’ll have more ways to structure your benefits. Married couples, in particular, tend to have many options, so be sure to coordinate your decisions with your spouse. Age 70 Your maximum monthly benefit is available after your 70th birthday. If you haven’t claimed Social Security benefits, you should do so as there is no advantage to waiting beyond this date. You may want to consider do(continued on page 31)

Trucks that Resemble Daddy and Son


Toyota Tundra CrewMax Platinum

Philip Ruth September means it’s time for San Francisco’s Folsom Street Fair, which is the world’s largest leather event. One lifestyle we see there is the dom/ sub relationship, which can be expressed in daddy/son terms. Two Toyota trucks I’ve recently reviewed brought that dynamic to mind. The two sizes of these trucks lend themselves to different roles. If the full-sized Tundra is the daddy, then the compact Tacoma would be the son. Note that “compact” is in the eye of the beholder, as our $42K Tacoma Double Cab Limited measured 212.3 inches in length, which makes it as long as a Ford Crown Victoria. The tested $48K Tundra CrewMax Platinum poses no such questions, as it stretches to nearly 229 inches in length, and the Tundra’s 79.7-inch width gives it a five-inch wider berth than the Tacoma. The Tundra’s extra five inches across seem doubly present in city driving, and guiding the Tundra through San Francisco’s narrow neighborhood streets gives you new respect for the contractors who drive trucks like this every day—in fact, one construction worker stepped out from a nearby job to help me extract the tested Tundra from invasive Priuses that had boxed it in. The Tundra’s Platinum package includes parking sensors, and they helped, but the extra guidance was appreciated as well. The Tacoma’s slimmer girth was more manageable around town, and 12

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Toyota Tacoma Limited

it still had plenty of presence. Other drivers seemed less inclined to jump their turns at intersections when I nosed the Tacoma up to a stop.

a masculine vibe to automotive assembly plants—the noise, the giant robot arms and the Erector-set-like rigs really get the juices flowing.

In driving, the Tundra exudes a feeling of calmness and strength, which again points to a more fatherly role. The tested Platinum’s 381-horsepower, 5.7-liter V8 engine was smooth and powerful, and the Tundra’s nearthree-ton curb weight made it feel planted.

At one point, the golf cart in which we were touring stopped next to the gym, where linebacker-like guys were cranking out pull-ups and squats. They were the guys who do the plant’s heaviest lifting, and the air was thick with testosterone. Meanwhile to our left were half-finished Tundras and Tacomas heading into another round of assembly, and the image of dom/ sub clicked: strong guys building strong trucks, with each in its own role.

The Tacoma again stretches the def inition of “compact” with its 4,500-pound weight, and its 3.5-liter V6 pumps out 278 ample horses, although overall performance didn’t quite match the exterior’s sporty looks. If the Tacoma were a son, it would likely have a fashionable wardrobe and a slightly underutilized gym membership. The daddy/son thought first came to mind when I toured the Texas plant where both the Tacoma and Tundra are produced. I can’t help but ascribe

Enjoy the Folsom Street Fair this year if you go. That’s another place where we feel testosterone in the air, and the fair mixes it with playfulness. Philip Ruth is a Castro-based automotive photojournalist and consultant at Check out his automotive staging service at

“PG&E” refers to Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation. ©2016 Pacific Gas and Electric Company. All rights reserved. Paid for by PG&E shareholders.

Helping you take control “ I’m all about helping my customers reduce their energy costs. We want you to know you have options—ways to take control and save.” Jerris robinson Senior Service Representative

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Control your costs S AN F R ANC IS C O BAY   T IM ES S EPT EM BER 15, 2016


Seniors Improving Safety in the Chicago Gun Violence Is an LGBT Issue Tenderloin, and Getting Paid! City of Chicago Report revealed and availability of guns citywide. that nearly 60% of guns involved in Chicago crime come from outof-state, with 19% coming from Indiana, which directly borders Chicago. In President Obama’s words, “you’ve just got to hop across the border” to Indiana, a state with some of the weakest gun laws in the nation, and you can easily get a gun.

Aging in Community Greg Moore “There is a cambio totalmente (total change) from the beginning to now. We make a difference and we can see that.” -Margarita Mina, Corner Captain Margarita Mina, a senior resident of the Tenderloin, began actively volunteering to improve pedestrian safety in her neighborhood 8 years ago. For the past 1½ years she has been paid to do so as a Corner Captain with Safe Passage, the safety initiative of the Tenderloin Community Benefits District (TL CBD). While most of her time to date has been focused on ensuring safe afterschool commutes for children, Margarita’s efforts have recently expanded to include the safety of older adults as well. In June, Safe Passage launched Safe Passage Senior activities as a result of receiving a Department of Public Health Vision Zero “Safe Streets for Seniors” grant. Safe Passage began 9 years ago as a grassroots effort of neighborhood residents and organizations concerned about community safety issues such as


Corner Captain Margarita Mina (right) and her colleagues

6/26 and Beyond

drugs, violence, and pedestrian safety. In 2008, La Voz Latina, Boys and Girls Club, and the TL CBD agreed to combine their efforts with Margarita and other neighborhood mothers and form what came to be Safe Passage. Over the next several years, efforts grew to include Corner Captains on corners of routes that school children traveled from their schools to various afterschool programs, free community safety trainings, and even the painting of a sidewalk mural on an 11 block “safe route.”

John Lewis & Stuart Gaffney

Two years ago, funding from both the Saint Francis Foundation’s Tenderloin Health and Improvement Partnership (TL HIP) and the Mayor’s Office of Economic Workforce and Development enabled Safe Passage to increase the number of volunteers and to pay a core cadre of Corner Captains to receive stipends for their service. Volunteers are recruited from local businesses, organizations and the neighborhood. Currently there are 11 regular Corner Captains and a volunteer base of 70 individuals, with a target of doubling the number of Captains by next summer. This model (continued on page 30)

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Over 500 people have been murdered and nearly 3,000 people shot in the city of Chicago already this year. August alone witnessed 92 homicides and over 400 shootings in the city. Chicago-based rapper Bo Deal explained in a recent BBC interview: “The past few months, I’ve seen more people close to me” that have “been shot and killed than I have ever. Everybody’s got a gun … . I’ve never seen so many guns.” It’s “like somebody dropped off crates of guns in everybody’s hood.” It “seems like it’s designed for us to lose... Somebody is putting all these guns here.” Gun violence is a nationwide problem that is multifaceted. But, as Deal observed, proliferation of guns in America has been by “design” of the legal and political movement the NRA and its allies have led for decades, resulting in the seemingly unrestricted flow of firearms that is “putting all these guns here.” As to Deal’s perception that it seemed as if “crates of guns” were being dropped into Chicago neighborhoods, a 2014

The 2014 report explained that Indiana, along with Mississippi and Wisconsin, the other two states responsible for most out of state guns coming into Chicago, “permit gun owners to sell their guns to other people without any background checks of the new buyer or paperwork recording the sale. This makes it incredibly easy for gun traffickers, violent offenders and other prohibited purchasers to buy guns undetected. In those states, guns can move from buyer to buyer and land in the hands of a shooter or murderer without any paper trail.” Veteran Indiana State Representative Dr. Vernon Smith observed: “If there was ever a state that was owned totally by the NRA, Indiana is one … . Indiana has constantly protected the NRA and carried out the NRA’s agenda.” Anti-LGBT Indiana Governor Mike Pence, Donald Trump’s Vice Presidential running mate, has long been an NRA favorite, having addressed the leadership forum of the NRA’s lobbying arm earlier this year, even before becoming Trump’s running mate. Of course, many guns used in Chicago crimes do not come from outof-state. In the early 1980s, Chicago enacted strict gun registration requirements to reduce the number

The United States Supreme Court in 2010, however, declared Chicago’s law, which it described as “effectively banning handgun possession by almost all” city residents, unconstitutional in violation of the Second Amendment. The five Justices appointed by Presidents Bush and Reagan, including the late Justice Antonin Scalia, constituted the majority. Scalia himself authored the landmark 2008 District of Columbia v. Heller decision that created an individual constitutional right to possess a firearm under at least some circumstances. In 2014, a federal court invalidated another Chicago law aimed to stem gun violence, the city’s ban on retail and private gun sales. As we have written previously, Scalia’s replacement on the Supreme Court could have a profound effect on the future of gun violence in America, because Scalia’s vote was the deciding vote in both landmark gun control cases. President Obama’s nominee to succeed him, Merrick Garland, appears to oppose Scalia’s position. Hillary Clinton, who strongly supports gun control, and Donald Trump, who strongly opposes it, would appoint very different justices to the Court. Why do we write about these issues in a column that focuses on LGBT issues? Last week, the Orlando Regional Medical Center announced that the last hospitalized survivor of the June 12 massacre that killed 49 members of the LGBT community was (continued on page 30)



Ask your doctor if a medicine made by Gilead is right for you.

© 2015 Gilead Sciences, Inc. All rights reserved. UNBC1848 03/15

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Olivia Travel’s History-Making Cruise

Olivia Travel Comes Full Circle with First Ever San Francisco Port of Call September 29, 2016, is a day for the LGBT history books. On that Thursday, popular lesbian travel company Olivia will have a cruise ship come to San Francisco as a port of call for the first time ever. Olivia, founded initially as a women’s music label in 1973 by visionary Judy Dlugacz, offered its initial all-woman cruise in 1990, and remains the largest company in the world that offers cruises catering to lesbians. Since the legendary company is based right here in San Francisco, the 9/29 occasion is all the more meaningful.

on the nightly dinner menus. Tracey will lead Sip & Savors and other wine tasting events. They both will escort guests on customized tours in the various ports of call. We also have special guest Betty DeGeneres on board. San Francisco Bay Times: The entertainment lineup is also phenomenal. We encourage our readers to check out the sidebar concerning that on this page. What can you tell us about your and your team’s plans for passengers, once they come to San Francisco and head into the city?

“To have an Olivia trip sail into San Francisco turns my face into one big smile,” Rachel Wahba, Co-Founder of Olivia, told the San Francisco Bay Times. “We’ve come home, full circle, haven’t we? I love circles, with all of their spiritual, energetic implications, and this dance is particularly close to my heart.” Even if you do not see the ship, you might see some of the passengers, all 1450 of them. Their entrance into the city will mark the single largest arrival of lesbians from different parts of the nation and world into San Francisco. “We are so thrilled to finally be stopping in San Francisco on an Olivia cruise with 1450 women,” Dlugacz said. “For over 40 years we have been the company that has been there for the LGBT community, creating concerts and albums so that our community could grow and see itself through a cultural movement.” “For 5 decades we have been in the Bay Area, and over 13 years in San Francisco at the Olivia building in SOMA,” she added. “We love our city and we look forward to celebrating this day with our guests who will be exploring the entire Bay Area, ending with a concert with Sarah McLachlan and a party onboard! Thank you, San Francisco, for so many years of love and support for Olivia.” Jill Cruse, Vice President of Guest Experience at the company, is also gearing up for the event. Although she is a seasoned traveler, Cruse is very excited about the groundbreaking trip. “After 26 years of taking our Olivia travelers to every continent on the planet, it is so exciting to finally be bringing our ladies to our back-

A young Judy steering a sailing vessel

Judy at the helm as Olivia’s founder

yard, the city of San Francisco,” Cruse said. “This gay-friendly city will never be the same after our ship ports here, and 1450 lesbians disembark. We hope the city comes out to show their pride and welcome our ladies!”

land America about the idea, and together we were able to customize a charter that would sail from Vancouver, B.C., to San Diego with incredible stops in Seattle, Astoria, San Francisco and Santa Barbara along the way.

To learn more about the occasion, we spoke with Tisha Floratos, Olivia’s talented Vice President of Travel.

This cruise is a first for Olivia. Naturally, we wanted to make sure we maximized our time in our home city, so we will arrive on Thursday, September 29, and overnight before setting sail at 8 am on Friday, September 30. The idea of sailing underneath the Golden Gate Bridge will be a dream come true for many. With nearly 1500 women on board and over 100 joining us internationally from Australia, the U.K., Europe and more, this cruise will be a historic one.

San Francisco Bay Times: Since your ships have traveled across the globe for so many years, why was the decision made to come into the port of San Francisco now? Tisha Floratos: We are always looking for new and exciting destinations all over the world. When we started our 2016 planning we thought, “Wouldn’t it be great to charter a ship in our own backyard and give women from all over the country and the world the opportunity to see some of the best West Coast cities?” We approached Hol-

This cruise has a Culinary & Wine Theme. We have special guests Chef Elizabeth Falkner and Wine Expert Tracey Rose on board. Elizabeth will do culinary demos on board and her food will be featured

Tisha Floratos: In addition to cruising and stopping in some of the best West Coast cities, including our home town of San Francisco, we give our guests the opportunity to book organized optional excursions that are exclusive to Olivia guests only. We work very closely with Holland America to create custom offerings that we know our guests will enjoy. In San Francisco, guests will travel as far north as Napa and Sonoma to experience the Wine Country. They may choose to ride the organized Hop On/Hop Off tours that include a Golden Gate Bridge Cruise. They may choose to join Kathy Amendola of Cruisin’ the Castro for a tour of the Castro. Some other options are visiting the Walt Disney Museum, Rosie the Riveter Museum, going to Muir Woods and Sausalito. We have a feeling that many guests will be exploring our beautiful city on their own—exploring the Ferry Building, Pier 39, the fabulous restaurants on the Embarcadero, visiting Alcatraz, shopping in Union Square or spending the day in the Castro. San Francisco Bay Times: Aside from the amazing gourmet culinary and wine offerings, what activities are you planning for your passengers on board the ship while it is docked in San Francisco? It sounds like there will be opportunities to dance off some of the enjoyed calories. Tisha Floratos: We always book the best entertainment for each of our vacations. We are thrilled to have one of the most celebrated singer-song writers, Grammy Award w i n ner Sa ra h McL ach la n, on board our ship while we’re docked in San Francisco. She will perform

two shows on board the ship for all booked guests. In addition, Wilson Phillips will perform while we stop in Santa Barbara. Our previous vacations have featured headliners like Patti LaBelle, Bonnie Raitt, Lily Tomlin, Whoopi Goldberg, Wanda Sykes, Melissa Etheridge, k.d. lang, Heart, and the Indigo Girls. We’ve had Suze Orman, Dr. Maya Angelou, Billie Jean King, Edie Windsor, Diana Nyad and Colonel Grethe Cammermeyer join us as well. San Francisco Bay Times: Is there any other Olivia-related news that you can share with us now? Tisha Floratos: Olivia continues to be “the” travel company for lesbians, providing top notch cruise, resort, riverboat and adventure vacations. The Olivia experience is hard to describe; you really don’t know until you go. On every trip, new friendships are formed, partners are found and we travel the world together with a freedom to be ourselves. We will soon be celebrating our 45th Anniversary and have started the preliminary planning for 2018! As we continue to bring new vacation options to our existing guests, we are spending a great deal of attention to attracting the next generation of Olivians. We just introduced a new on board program called Gen-O, for guests that are Gen X, Gen Y or millennial, where we create programs and events that are geared to a younger audience. It’s our way of connecting our younger guests on our trips. We also launched a pilot Olivia Scholarship program. See this link for details: Diversity on our trips continues to be an important part of our Olivia experiences, and Olivia’s Sisters at Sea and Sisters at Play program is one that creates programming for women of color and their friends to come together, meet and participate in events together. Our Solos Program continues to grow with 10–20% of our guests being solo travelers on our large cruises and resorts. Whether you just want to travel solo and meet other solo friends, or you are single and are looking to find love, our Solos Program is incredible. To find out more and to book a trip, go to

Olivia Continues to Build and Strengthen Lesbian Community and Culture Twenty-six years ago, Olivia travel company offered its first all-woman cruise. To say that the venture was a success would be an understatement. The multi-million dollar company, founded by Judy Dlugacz, has held true to its vision and remains the largest travel business in the world to offer cruises catering just to lesbians. The story, however, goes far beyond travel and a quarter century ago. As you’ll see over the next few pages, Ol-

ivia is music, community and culture, in addition to being a provider of extraordinary, memorable vacations. Its success is measured, not in dollar signs, but in lives frequently changed for the better. As singer-songwriter Cris Williamson wrote, “When you open up your life to the living, all things come spilling in on you, and you’re flowing like a river, the Changer and the Changed.”

Olivia Fast Facts Olivia has taken over 250,000 women on over 250 trips around the world. For the Pacific Coast trip there will be 1450 guests. Over 200 will be solo travelers. 70% are returning Olivia guests. 30% will be new/first time travelers. Entertainers on this cruise: Sarah McLachlan (performing while docked in San Francisco); Wilson Phillips (performing while anchored in Santa Barbara); comedians Suzanne Westenhoefer and Gina Yashere; musicians Beccy Cole, Libby O’Donovan, and Sweet Baby J’ai; DJ Rockaway and DJ Kurty. 16

Olivia Records artists and producers (1970s)

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OLIVIA ENTERTAINMENT Olivia Travel features top entertainment industry artists, such as musicians Melissa Etheridge and Indigo Girls; comediennes Wanda Sykes, Lily Tomlin and Whoopi Goldberg; world-class athletes Billie Jean King, Martina Navratilova and Diana Nyad; influential voices such as Dr. Maya Angelou and Edie Windsor, and even financial expert, Suze Orman. A select group of artists has earned a special place in the hearts of San Francisco Bay Times team members and friends for their decades of dedicated service as Olivia entertainers. Among these are our own Bay Times contributors Kate Clinton and Karen Williams and favorites Vicki Shaw, Roxanna Ward and Suede. A second and even third generation of Olivia artists are developing, and you can expect to see them on stage for cruises and resort vacations alike.

Find out more about Olivia Travel’s 25th Anniversary in the San Francisco Bay Times, March 19, 2015 online at

SEPTEMBER 29, 2016

Changing the World One Smile at a Time By Rachel Wahba

chotherapist by trade, I see over time: a sense It’s been a long t i me of validation, mirrorand we travelled many ing, which is essential to seas, and survived many one’s sense of well-being storms. and self-esteem. It happens organically on evIt has not been easy being ery Olivia trip. We are a lesbian company, but the seen, we are safe, and we rewards continue to outare validated by the inweigh the challenges. I re- Olivia Travel Co-Founder ner culture surrounding member those first years, Rachel Wahba us. The feeling is consitting in a smoke-f illed room with Greek captains (our first tagious; it fills the ships and the reships were small, Greek-owned ves- sorts, and the smiles are endemic sels), making sure their crew did not from guests to staff and all around. come on to the women, as we negoti- When I travel on my own to the reated the contracts on a ship in some sorts, emptied of Olivia travelers, Greek port. Our first captain reas- and wear my Olivia t-shirt, resort sured us with one question: staff come up to me and ask when “Who was the f irst lesbian?” he quizzed us. “Sappho?” “Yes, and she was from Lesvos, where I was born. There will be no problem!” Ok, then…we were off and sailing. The rewards and adventures are too many to express here—but there is one thing that, for me, as a psy-

Olivia is coming back because they love Olivia. I love that mutual respect heals wounds that run deep. Smiles on the High Seas On our first sail on the beloved Greek Dolphin Cruise Line, I came home feeling more empowered than ever before. I was out in San Francisco as a radical lesbian feminist in the 1970s, but I never expected a cruise with lesbians to be so much more than a fun

vacation (and, of course, with all the worries of a Co-Owner). I came home changed. More empowered and bolder, and that surprised me.

To date, we have raised over $150,000 to make sure the Kamlari practice in West Nepal will never be rev ived. At the moment, there are Recent ly, my ver y close 13,000 freed Kamlari friend Carmen, who is 80, (indentured daughters/ went with her 50-year-old slaves). Olga recently daughter on our Australia & came with us on a cruise New Zealand cruise and not and fell in love with the only did they have the exwomen of Olivia; she felt pected great time, but also appreciated, seen and Carmen was struck by how had a degree of fun she “seen” she was. What a difRachel Wahba (center) with young women of Nepal and representatives didn’t quite anticipate. ference from! of the Nepal Youth Foundation She is coming on board She felt seen and appreciatagain, as she celebrates to West Nepal to see first-hand how ed, and came home glowing. her 90th birthday on our Greece & these women and girls—who, not Turkey cruise. And Becca will also be Sharing Smiles with NYF so long ago, cowered in fear and on board to celebrate her 17th birthAs Director of Special Projects for shame—become strong women and day! Yes, I am excited. Olivia, I found Olga Murray’s or- activists for equal rights. They are ganization, the Nepal Youth Foun- fighting for their rights, both out in These are the unexpected benefits of dation ( N Y F ), and we recently the streets and in the courts, all the what initially seems like “just” a vapartnered with this exceptional while building co-ops and provid- cation. We change internally and we NGO. We have made Olga’s Prom- ing peer counseling in PTSD clin- change the world, one smile at a time. ise “Olivia’s Promise” by taking on ics. They are feminists building a Rachel Wahba is the Co-founder of Olivthe freed Kamlari girls who have future for themselves and further ia Travel and is the company’s Director of been saved from slavery in Nepal. generations of girls and women. To Special Projects. She is also a writer and My granddaughter Becca and I vis- see this was a gift and to be able to psychotherapist in private practice in San Francisco and Marin. ited Olga in Kathmandu and went help, a blessing.

Olivia Timeline: From Grassroots to World’s Largest Lesbian Travel Company 1973: Singer songwriter Meg Christian discovers fellow musician Cris Williamson’s record in Washington, D.C. Deeply moved, she rallies 400 fans to attend a Williamson concert. Christian starts singing from the audience when Williamson forgets the words. The two became lifelong friends and recording partners. In a subsequent radio interview, after Christian discusses challenges with her record label, Williamson asks, “Well, why don’t you just start a women’s record company?” A group, which becomes the Olivia collective, meets two days later and decides to start a women’s record company. Judy Dlugacz and nine other women borrow $4,000 and form Olivia Records, a grassroots independent label featuring female musicians and employing female engineers and producers. 1975: Meg Christian records the first album under the Olivia label, Meg Christian: I Know You Know. That same year, Cris Williamson’s recording The Changer and the Changed launches her to prominence as a female recording artist. The album is among the best-selling independent albums of all time. 1977: Olivia produces a groundbreaking album called Lesbian Concentrate in response to Anita Bryant’s anti-homosexual campaign in Florida. It is the first anthology of music by lesbian recording artists. 1982: For Olivia’s 10th anniversary, Williamson and Christian perform two sold-out shows for 5,600 women at Carnegie Hall. At the time, the concert is the largest single-grossing event since the hall’s creation in 1891.

of support following the events of September 11. Olivia’s 30th anniversary cruise sells out within two months, and the company announces a second 1,250-person cruise to celebrate Olivia’s anniversary in January 2003. Anniversary trips are also scheduled for Scandinavia and Cancun.

Olivia Vice Presidents Tisha Floratos and Jill Cruise, 2015

Olivia Records founding collective, 1970s

2000: Olivia Cruises & Resorts celebrates its 10-year anniversary with more trips and entertainers than ever, and adds Australia as a destination.

Olivia Travel founders Rachel Wahba and Judy Dlugaz on the first Olivia cruise in 1990 aboard the SS Dolphin IV

2000: All four major newspapers in Istanbul celebrate the arrival of the women of Olivia with front-page articles. The newspapers report that lesbians on an Olivia Cruise rescued the lagging Turkish economy by spending more than half a million dollars in three ports of call in just three days. 2000: Olivia President Judy Dlugacz calls for the government of the Bahamas to make official statements condemning a group of anti-gay protesters who meet an Olivia Cruise in Nassau. The next day, the government holds a press conference asking Olivia and other gay and lesbian travelers to return to the island nation. The Bahamas’ Minister of Tourism comes aboard the ship to offer an official apology for the protesters’ actions.

1983: Successful Olivia recording artist Meg Christian retires from women’s music. She does not play another public concert until August 2002, aboard an Olivia cruise. 1983: Judy Dlugacz evolves as the sole remaining partner of Olivia as she celebrates her 30th birthday. 1990: With the dream of producing

concerts on the water, Judy Dlugacz puts down a $50,000 deposit to charter a cruise ship. She writes to Olivia fans announcing the trip, and more than 600 women sign up. Because the cruise sold out in just a few weeks, organizers added a second sailing to meet demand. Olivia Cruises & Resorts is born.


2001: Olivia receives a groundswell

2002: For the first time since the Carnegie Hall concert, Meg Christian and Cris Williamson reunite on Olivia’s Scandinavia Cruise (August 14–22, 2002). More than 800 travelers are aboard to share in the magic. 2003: A group of 1,250 lesbians help Olivia celebrate three decades of providing the best in women’s travel, entertainment and music with a 30th Anniversary Cancun Resort Celebration and a 30th Anniversary Eastern Caribbean Cruise Celebration. 2003: Olivia announces a kids and family trip at Floridian Club Med Resort, becoming the industry’s first to offer a family vacation for lesbian and gay families. 2004: Olivia’s new logo, brand identity and website are unveiled. 2004: Olivia partners with Showtime to feature a special prepremiere screening of the new series The L-Word. The show’s creator and members of the cast join Olivia guests aboard a Mexican Riviera cruise. 2004: Olivia hosts a landmark wedding and honeymoon cruise with optional legal wedding ceremony in Boston. k.d. lang performs two special concerts. 2005: Olivia brands its newest offering of niche upscale, off-the-beatenpath trips catering to smaller-scale guest capacities (47 to 600 guests) as Olivia’s Ultimate Escapes. Olivia now offers three diverse types of trips: cruises, resort vacations and ultimate escapes. Ultimate Escapes (continued on page 18)



Olivia Travel’s History-Making Cruise are 5–7 star cruises, land and adventure vacations to once-in-alifetime destinations like Africa, the Galapagos, Scandinavia & Russia and Tahiti. 2005: Two-time Grammy winner Melissa Etheridge performs onboard Olivia’s Eastern Caribbean Cruise. Five-time Grammy winner Mary Chapin Carpenter performs onboard Olivia’s Alaska Discovery Cruise. 2006: The 1,800 passengers on Olivia’s Grand Caribbean Cruise enjoy onboard entertainment by Whoopi Goldberg and tennis instruction from athletic great Martina Navratilova.

The Olivia Travel banner is unveiled aboard ship on Olivia’s first cruise in 1990 Olivia celebrates its 10th anniversary in 1982 at Carnegie Hall with concerts featuring Meg Christian and Cris Williamson.

Guests enjoy a special performance from Indigo Girls.

2006: Olivia announces record annual revenues of $20 million and debuts an Olivia Visa rewards credit card. Founder Judy Dlugacz receives the 2006 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.

2014: Maya Angelou is the keynote speaker at the Women’s Leadership Summit, just four months before her death.

2007: The LGBT television network Logo films and airs Cruising the Caribbean with Olivia, a one-hour variety special. 2007: Renowned celebrity chefs Elizabeth Falkner, Josie SmithMalave and Tiffani Faison join Olivia’s Greek Isles Culinary Cruise in May. 2008: Olivia’s 35th anniversary year kicks off with two Caribbean cruises, a Russian riverboat adventure and resort vacations in Cancun, Hawaii, the Mexican Riviera and Australia. 2008: An onboard auction of items donated by celebrities, including Melissa Etheridge, Wynonna Judd, Indigo Girls, Billie Jean King and k.d. lang, raises funds for breast cancer, women’s health and research funding. 2009: Olivia announces that recording artist Meg Christian and L-Word actor Leisha Hailey will help celebrate the 20-year anniversary of Olivia Travel by making guest appearances aboard the 2010 Western Caribbean cruise. 2010: Guests on the 2010 Caribbean Sun and Mexican Riviera cruises enjoy private performances by newly out singersongwriter Chely Wright and popular comedian Wanda Sykes, respectively. 2010: Olivia partners with gay travel companies Atlantis Events and RSVP Cruises to form the American Red Cross LGBT Haiti Relief Fund. The LGBT community donates more than $250,000 through the fund to aid the earthquake-stricken Haitians. 2011: Olivia’s 2011 Mexican

2014: Olivia partners with the Nepal Youth Foundation (NYF), and raises over $150,000 to help save young Nepalese girls from the practice of Kamlari, the enslaving of young girls. An ongoing partnership is established. Olivia Records founding collective members enjoy a reunion on a 2002 cruise.

Riviera cruise celebrates the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell by bestowing the Olivia Ovation Award (lifetime achievement) on Colonel Grethe Cammermeyer. 2011: Judy Dlugacz is featured in Curve Magazine’s October “Powerful Women” issue. 2012: Olivia announces a 2013 Southern Caribbean cruise to celebrate the company’s 40th anniversary. The trip, which is Olivia’s largest to date at 2,100 passengers, sells out quickly and a second celebratory cruise is added. The company also announces two Punta Cana resort trips in honor of the 40th anniversary, each accommodating 1,100 and representing Olivia’s biggest Music & Comedy Festivals to date. 2012: Judy Dlugacz receives the prestigious Mautner Project Chair’s Award in acknowledgement of her contributions to lesbian and bisexual women’s health. 2012: Olivia sponsors 63-year-old distance swimmer Diana Nyad’s impressive attempted swim from Cuba to Florida. 2012: Judy Dlugacz is appointed to President Obama’s LGBT Leadership Council for his re-election campaign. 2013: Olivia celebrates its 40th

Olivia’s first cruise was aboard the SS Dolphin IV, 1990 18

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anniversary with back-to-back cruises, featuring a reunion concert from Meg Christian and Cris Williamson, sports icon, Billie Jean King, and performances from over 20 lesbian musicians and comediennes. 2013: Guests enjoy a discussion from best-selling author and talk show host, Suze Orman, on the Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro Cruise. 2013: Olivia continues its 40th anniversary celebration with backto-back music and comedy festivals at Club Med’s Punta Cana Resort. Guests enjoy performances by Wanda Sykes, Suzanne Westenhoefer, Vicci Martinez, and Toshi Reagon. 2013: Olivia closes 2013 with a special 40th anniversary Virgin Isles New Year’s Eve Cruise, celebrating five “sheroes” of our lifetime—Billie Jean King, Edie Windsor, Col. Grethe Cammermeyer, Cris Williamson, and Tammy Smith. 2014: Olivia holds its first-ever Women’s Leadership Summit on board the Caribbean Equality & Leadership Cruise. Special guests include Edie Windsor, Col. Grethe Cammermeyer, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Meredith Baxter, Kate Kendell, Elizabeth Birch, Kris Perry & Sandy Stier, Karen Williams, and C.C. Carter.

2014: Guests enjoy a special inport performance from Bonnie Raitt on the Thanksgiving Caribbean Cruise. 2015: Olivia celebrates its 25th anniversary as a travel company with 1,900 lesbians on its first-ever 12 day/11-night cruise to Australia

and New Zealand. Olivia NewtonJohn kicks off the cruise with an inport concert, and guests enjoy entertainment from Australian country music singer, Beccy Cole; New Zealand national treasures, The Topp Twins; and DJ Ruby Rose. 2015: Judy Dlugacz is awarded the Hanns Ebensten Hall of Fame Award from the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA). 2015: Judy Dlugacz wins the popular vote for 2015 San Francisco Pride Grand Marshal. 2016: Olivia’s Pacific Coast Cruise aboard Holland America ms Zaandam makes first ever port of call visit to San Francisco.

Olivia Trip Calendar Check out to learn more about these upcoming Olivia trips:

Secrets Playa Bonita Panama - Resort April 15 - April 22, 2017

Machu Picchu - Adventure Oct 28 - Nov 5, 2016

Majestic Alaska - Cruise June 25 - July 2, 2017

African Safari - Adventure Nov 2 - Nov 11, 2016

Budapest to Prague Riverboat July 1 - July 11, 2017

Ixtapa, Mexico - Resort Nov 5 - Nov 12, 2016 Amazing Galapagos Adventure Nov 5 - Nov 14, 2016 Intimate Islands of the Caribbean Luxury - Cruise Dec 2 - Dec 9, 2016 Panama Canal to Costa Rica Luxury - Cruise Jan 7 - Jan 14, 2017 Caribbean Festival at Sea Cruise Feb 4 - Feb 11, 2017 Whales & Sea of Cortez Week Feb 25 - March 4, 2017 Wales & Sea of Cortez Week II March 4 - March 11, 2017

Club Med Ixtapa, Mexico Family & Friends Resort July 8 - July 15 Iceland Midnight Sun Cruise July 28 - August 4, 2017 Italy & Amalfi Coast Cruise Oct 13 - Oct 20, 2017 Breathless Punta Cana Resort Oct 28 - Nov 4, 2017 Amazing Galapagos Adventure Nov 11 - Nov 20, 2017 Antartica Adventure Cruise Nov 30 - Dec 10, 2017

Pop, Jazz and Blues Diva Suede Continues to Defy Stereotypes as Mainstream Discovers Longtime LGBT Favorite When the late great Bea Arthur saw Suede perform, she told the out and proud lesbian singer, “Thank you for the most incredible night of my life in an audience. You are f#!king to die for!” The New York Times published a review expressing equal enthusiasm. It included: “A spectacular evening of song and style. Voices like hers come along maybe once in a generation.” We share the opinion offered in these and many other rave reviews, and are thrilled that Suede is returning to San Francisco for two performances at Feinstein’s at the Nikko, September 22 and 23, with shows at 8 pm. We feel lucky that Suede is making a stop here, as she tours worldwide, playing venues like New York’s famous Birdland and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in D.C. Her latest CD (of four), Dangerous Mood, was recorded at Bennett Studios in New York with her handpicked nine-piece big band. Yes, the studios are named after that Bennett; they are where Tony Bennett recorded many memorable tracks. Suede’s DVD Live at Scullers Jazz Club (Boston) has aired on 54 PBS stations nationally thus far as part of their pledge drive efforts. Her version of Shirley Eikard’s song “Something to Talk About” (also recorded by Bonnie Raitt) was the number one song of the year on WJZW Radio in Washington, D.C., after the phones rang off the wall each time it was played. Here in San Francisco, Suede will be joined by Bay Area great John R. Burr on piano. It has been a while since Suede has performed in our area. Too long! Ahead of her much anticipated trip, we caught up with the busy performer whose music has been described as “Adele meets Diana Krall meets Bette Midler— sassy, smooth and intoxicating.” San Francisco Bay Times: Maintaining artistic control has been a hallmark of your impressive career. Is this just something that evolved over time, or was maintaining artistic control a goal of yours from the outset? What do you think is gained, and conversely lost, in choosing such a music career path? Suede: From the start it was important for me to be true to myself, yes. After being consistently and repeatedly rejected by record labels, booking agencies and management companies—as nearly every artist has been—knowing what I wanted to do with my life professionally and being self-taught at just about everything I’ve done in my life, including all the instruments I play—and being determined, resourceful and creative—I just decided to jump in, make it happen for myself and figure out the business too, which is an important thing for any artist to know, I think. What better way than on the job training? Would I prefer having a top notch team and all the support that comes with a good record deal? Of course. But, for one thing, that’s rare. For another thing, going that

route often means doing what you’re told in terms of dress, material to perform, and on and on … not always being true to oneself to supposedly be created into the overnight sensation. That would never work for me. Integrity and authenticity are too important to who I am and what I do. I have had managers and agents in the past, some good, some, um, well, not so good and very costly and challenging to unravel from. It’ll all be in the book. I’ve also never really fit anywhere in particular, as my friend Eva Cassidy was also told repeatedly, and the business never knew where to put me, how to manage me, promote me, sell me. Additionally, I’ve been out my entire 30-year career and never fit the mainstream popular jazz market’s image of a female song stylist.

Thirty years ago the world, and even the U.S., was a very different place for LGBT artists. But I made the conscious choice to be out, especially when I started losing so many friends to AIDS in my time in New York City in the early–mid 80s and faced so much homophobia. The mainstream wasn’t evolved enough yet to be okay with that. Aside from that, it just wouldn’t work for me to sing about the man who got away. I’ve always kept my pronouns non-gender specific. I want my music to be inclusive, not exclusive. But I’ve also never been the stereotypical lesbian singer; certainly never a “girl with guitar”—although I do play one, as well as trumpet and piano—that has so often been assumed for a gay woman musician. So in the early days of my 30-year career, especially considering where society was politically with such things, the mainstream wasn’t exactly interested in booking me. The LGBT community, specifically the women’s music community, was—although, there were several very vocal protests to my being included there, too, because I have always worked with men, I don’t write my own songs, I do wear make-up on stage, etc. But thankfully we’ve all grown up! So now, the mainstream has also discovered me and asks where I’ve been. Ha! What does it matter? I’m here now and they love me—the more the merrier, I say! And who loves a great female vocalist and song stylist more than gay men (speaking of stereotypes)? Come on! Have those personal choices meant less work, less recognition and success for me along the way? Likely, yes. But I’m still here, with an amazingly loyal, longstanding fan base, going strong, and see no reason to stop now. The pipes are just really getting mature and interesting,

for crying out loud, and the wisdom of years on the planet and in the business have made for a richness that only comes from that kind of time on Earth. I wouldn’t trade that—although there’s still time to be discovered by the right team and made into an overnight success. Bring it on! I am so ready! San Francisco Bay Times: We love your choice of material, from pop tunes to Harold Arlen songs. Dreamy “Never Never Land” too. Please name some of your mentors, and artists who have inspired your own work. Suede: I have always listened to everything, every style of music, especially as both a singer and multiinstr umenta l ist. My dad loved Dixieland, swing and big band music, and played it all the time as I was growing up. That definitely inf luenced my singing, my style in shows and certainly my trumpet playing as I listened to Al Hirt, Pete Fountain and many other greats. My mom loved jazz singers like Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, Carmen McRae, Nancy Wilson, Rosemary Clooney and Pearl Bailey, who absolutely inspired me to be playful and to have fun on stage, in the middle of tunes, improvising, joking … but then leaning back and savoring a killer ballad or love song. As I got a bit older, I listened to and played James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Grateful Dead, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and taught myself to play guitar to do so. I loved Louis Armstrong and learned a lot

from his playing as I learned to play trumpet, and also played in classical brass quintets. Piano was my first instrument after I climbed up on the beach at age 4, as my mother tells it, to sound out a song I liked on the radio. I’ve also always loved comics, and comedy is absolutely a big part of any performance of mine. As a little kid Joan Rivers was a favorite. (It was) especially important to me to see a woman comic, which was very rare then. I adored Rivers’ wit, how quick she was, how real, how honest, no matter what. To grow up and become her opening act was something I never saw coming. It was an absolutely incredible experience and rare privilege to meet and work with such a true master; may she rest in peace. San Francisco Bay Times: Can you give us a preview of your upcoming Feinstein’s show? Suede: I’ll be working with John R. Burr, the great pianist from the Bay Area, and we’ll be doing songs from my four current CDs as well as lots of new tunes that will be on my upcoming release. There will be some great original tunes written for me by contemporary songwriter friends, as well as some of the great standards arranged for me personally. I’ve stayed away from doing too many standards, so I wouldn’t get pigeonholed as a strictly standards singer (not that there’s anything wrong with that), but there are some great songs out there I’ve always wanted to sing and, frankly, I’ve got the pipes to do them justice, so I’ve found arrangers or have co-arranged some pieces that make them my own. No worries,

though. They’re still recognizable, true to form and easy to sing along to, but please don’t. Nyuk, nyuk. I promise you this: you’ll laugh, you’ll cry and you’ll walk away thinking, “What did I just experience in there?! Wow.” Promise. San Francisco Bay Times: What do you most look forward to when visiting San Francisco and the Bay Area? What are some of your favorite places here? Suede: I love the park by the bridge, hiking up around Mt. Tam, the restaurants! OMG, the restaurants! I loved Citizen Cake when Elizabeth Falkner was there. I love Zuni and get a kick out of having Wellfleet oysters, literally from outside my door at home (in New England) almost as fresh as I’m used to having them. So many places! I’ve spent quite a bit of time hanging out in Café Flore too. It’s been way too long since I’ve been to the Bay Area, and I can’t wait to get back, especially in a great music room like Feinstein’s. It’s my debut at Feinstein’s, although I have played the room previously when it was The Plush Room and then when it was The RRazz Room. What a thrill!! I hope the place is packed both nights so I’m asked back soon and often. Rally the troops! I’ll make it worth it. For more information and tickets, please visit (for the September 22 show) and event/1169935-suede-san-francisco/ (for the September 23 show).



Stage view from the back at Feinstein’s

Feinstein’s at the Nikko Presents Star Power in an Intimate, Cozy Setting Feinstein’s at the Nikko in San Francisco has presented top tier musical talent since 2013. Michael Feinstein’s first club, located in New York at the Regency, featured major entertainers from 1999 to 2012. In 2015, Michael Feinstein joined forces with 54 Below in New York City to create Feinstein’s/54 Below. Music has seemingly always been in Feinstein’s life. After graduating from high school, he moved to Los Angeles, where the widow of legendary concert pianist-actor Oscar Levant introduced him to Ira Gershwin. He became Gershwin’s assistant for six years, which earned him access to numerous unpublished Gershwin songs, many of which he has

since recorded and performed, including at Feinstein’s at the Nikko. Located within the Hotel Nikko at 222 Mason Street, Feinstein’s at the Nikko presents a wide range of entertainers from stage and screen all within its intimate 140-seat cabaret setting. There is a $20 food and beverage minimum per person inside the showroom. Guests can use this towards cocktails as well as a variety of delicious small plates crafted exclusively for Feinstein’s at the Nikko through Restaurant Anzu. Cheese and dessert platters are also available in the showroom. Guests of Feinstein’s at the Nikko can additionally enjoy a variety of food and beverage options before perfor-

mances. Kanpai Lounge, located in Hotel Nikko’s lobby, offers light cuisine, a full bar and s p ec i a lt y c o c ktails. Restaurant Anzu, Hotel Nikko’s intimate restaurant located on the second f loor, serves sustainable California cuisine enhanced with Asian flavors. Restaurant Anzu offers Feinstein’s at the Nikko guests a special three-course prix-fixe dinner ($45 per person) prior to all performances. Reservations can be made by calling 415-394-1100.

Kanpai Lounge

For additional information on Michael Feinstein, please visit:

Michael Feinstein Returns to His Namesake San Francisco Venue with a Salute to Judy Garland Two-t ime Emmy and f ive-t ime Grammy Award-nominated Michael Feinstein returns to Feinstein’s at the Nikko with a special salute to the one-and-only Judy Garland for four performances only, September 28–October 1. Celebrated singer and actress Lorna Luft, the daughter of Judy Garland, will join Feinstein onstage nightly throughout the engagement. Together, the two remarkable talents will take audiences on a nostalgic musical journey performing songs from throughout Garland’s illustrious career. Feinstein, Ambassador of the Great American Songbook, has built a dazzling career over the last three decades bringing the music of the Songbook to the world. From memorable recordings to television specials, his work as an educator and archivist define him as one of the most important musical forces of our time. In 2007 he founded the Great American Songbook Foundation, which is dedicated to celebrating the art form and to preserving it through educational programs. Feinstein serves on the Library of Congress’ National Recording Preservation Board, which ensures the future of America’s sound recording heritage. The most recent album from his multi-platinum recording career is A Michael Feinstein Christmas from Concord Records, featuring Grammy Award-winning jazz pianist Alan Broadbent. Feinstein earned his fifth Grammy Award nomination in 2009 for The Sinatra Project. His Emmy Award-nominated TV special Michael Feinstein – The Sinatra Legacy, which was taped live, aired nationally in 2011. The PBS series Michael Feinstein’s American Songbook was broadcast for three seasons and is available on DVD. His most recent primetime PBS television special, New Year’s Eve at The Rainbow Room—written and directed by Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry—aired in 2014. For his nationally syndicated public radio program, Song Travels, Feinstein interviewed and performed alongside music luminaries. Feinstein was named Principal Pops Conductor for the Pasadena Symphony in 2012. He launched an additional Pops series at the Kravis Center in Palm Beach, Florida, in 2014. The Gershwins and Me, Fein20

stein’s book from Simon & Schuster, features a new CD of Gershwin standards. As if all of this was not enough, Feinstein is also Artistic Director of the Palladium Center for the Performing Arts, a three-theatre venue in Carmel, Indiana; Artistic Director for Carnegie Hall’s Standard Time with Michael Feinstein in conjunction with ASCAP; and Director of the Jazz and Popular Song Series at New York’s Jazz at Lincoln Center. On his birthday earlier this month, Feinstein generously agreed to an interview with the San Francisco Bay Times. San Francisco Bay Times: The Great American Songbook, like Dorothy having Kansas in her heart, seems to represent an enduring optimism and belief in love that we “never really lost to begin with,” and can return to via music if we so desire. Is it possible then that the Great American Songbook is still evolving and is not limited to certain music of the early 20th century, or is it important to set boundaries around this canon for the sake of history, preservation and other factors? Michael Feinstein: The Great American Songbook is constantly evolving. I’ve never seen it as a body of work that has a beginning or an end. The songs that make up the nucleus of that Songbook were written in the 20th century, but I believe that there are songs being written today that will eventually become part of that canon. It is determined by time. In other words, a song that we are still listening to and humming and singing in 20 years is one that endures and therefore becomes part of the Great American Songbook. It is music and lyrics that have transcended the time in which they are written and still have pertinence and meaning for audiences that are new. San Francisco Bay Times: Who were some of the earliest composers and lyricists, and who are some of the later ones? Michael Feinstein: I suppose that the Great American Songbook began in the early part of the 20th century when the classic pop song found its musical form, thanks to Jerome

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Kern and Irving Berlin. Irving Berlin wrote early hits like “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” and “I Love a Piano” that are still songs that a lot of people know. As far as later ones, the 20s and 30s were considered to be the Golden Age into the 40s, with such writers as the Gershwins, Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, Arthur Schwartz, Sigmund Romberg, Hoagy Carmichael, Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, Dorothy Fields, Jimmy McHugh and Harry Warren. The list is formidable and goes on and on. But the 70s were a period of great creativity for the Songbook with Billy Joel, Carole King, Jimmy Webb and Elton John. There were also Broadway writers creating great songs like Jerry Hermann and Stephen Sondheim. That was certainly a Golden Age (too). So there are different periods where there seems to be a great flurry of creativity of songs that last.

ing those shows, but they took such tremendous time to prepare; to prepare not only for the interviews, but also for the music that I performed with the guests, so it was a show that eventually I had to give up because I could not keep up the extraordinary schedule of doing it. But I do hope to get back to radio soon. San Francisco Bay Times: What is your earliest musical memory, and is there a particular song that you loved as a child that perhaps sparked your later exploration of music?

San Francisco Bay Times: Years ago we loved to listen to your wonderful Broadway music show that aired on an Emerson College radio station. Are you still hosting a radio program?

Michael Feinstein: I guess it is in the basement of a home that I grew up in where I was playing records that I found that my parents had, 78 rpm records and such. I remember being carried away by those early records that I heard. They had a cast recording of the show Finian’s Rainbow, a recording of Beatrice Kay singing “Hello My Baby,” and a Glenn Miller record of “Little Brown Jug.” It was a whole mish-mash of things, but they made me interested in Broadway and different kinds of piano playing as well as different songs.

Michael Feinstein: At this moment I am not hosting a radio program, but my show Song Travels, which I recorded for three years, is still available online through NPR. org and I think on iTunes. I loved do-

San Francisco Bay Times: We are so honored to be working with Feinstein’s at the Nikko. What led to your choosing San Francisco as a location for one of your namesake venues?

Michael Feinstein: San Francisco has always been sort of a good luck charm for me. I had my first major success as a solo performer, as opposed to being a piano bar performer, in San Francisco when I played The Plush Room starting in 1985. I have always felt a special affinity with audiences in the Bay Area for reasons that I can’t necessarily verbalize, but remain strong. The feeling is just the same as it was when I first came to the city, and I hope that it goes on for long time. San Francisco Bay Times: What are some of your favorite things to do in San Francisco? Michael Feinstein: I love the topography of the city. It’s such a beautiful place. I love the many parks and the water, of course. I don’t do touristy things. Being a collector of music, I will always try to make a trip to Amoeba, one of the last great record stores anywhere. That’s a lot of fun. I just love exploring the city. One of the things that’s great fun is to sit in the park on Nob Hill across the street from the Huntington Hotel at around 5 o’clock and watch the congregation of all the dogs and their owners. It’s so much fun to watch the canines play and interact with each other, and to try and match the dogs to their owners. (continued on page 23)

Lorna Luft on Her Mother’s Legacy, Surviving Breast Cancer, HIV/AIDS Activism and Her Love of San Francisco Judy Garland: One of the Greatest Entertainers of All Time Judy Garland’s legacy as a performer and LGBT icon has endured long after her death in 1969 at age 47. Her timeless performances live on via recordings, classic movies like The Wizard of Oz, and even her possible connection to the Stonewall Riots and gay rights, which is addressed in journalist Charles Kaiser’s book The Gay Metropolis.

Lorna Luft, the daughter of Judy Garland and Sid Luft, is a first rate performer in her own right. She made her show business debut at age 11 singing “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” on a Christmas special of her mother’s CBS television series The Judy Garland Show. Siblings Liza Minnelli and Joey Luft also appeared in this episode. Soon Lorna joined the family act on a summer concert tour that included Garland’s third and final appearance at the Palace Theatre on Broadway. The show was recorded live and released on ABC Records as Judy Garland: At Home at the Palace. Luft’s theatrical career has included roles on Broadway, in national tours, European and regional theater productions of shows that include The Boy Friend; Promises, Promises; Grease; Carnival; They’re Playing Our Song; Little Shop of Horrors; Mame; Guys and Dolls; Follies; Gypsy; The Wizard of Oz as well as Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, which will be in San Francisco this winter holiday season. (For tickets and more information: https://www. ticle::permalink=whitechristmas&BOparam::WScontent::load Article::context_id=) She released her debut CD Lorna Luft: Songs My Mother Taught Me, produced by Barry Manilow and her husband, musician Colin Freeman, and authored the 1998 book Me and My Shadows: A Family Memoir. Luft has toured with the concert Judy: The Songbook of Judy Garland, and made a surprise appearance to sing “After You’ve Gone” with Rufus Wainwright at the end of his Carnegie Hall tribute concert commemorating Garland’s celebrated 1961 return to the famed venue.

Having a career that spanned over 40 years as an actress and singer, Judy Garland was signed to MGM as a teenager. There she starred in dozens of films that, in addition to The Wizard of Oz (1939), included Meet Me in St Louis (1944), The Harvey Girls (1946) and Easter Parade (1948), plus nine movies with costar Mickey Rooney. She then transitioned to a successful recording and concert career, as well as to hosting her own Emmy-nominated television series on CBS.

This year, Lorna has been back on the cabaret scene with a new solo show entitled Accentuate the Positive, as well as guest-starring in An Evening of Movies and Musicals. There’s little evidence of her giving up on what she calls “the family business.” But then, with showbiz in her blood, that probably shouldn’t come as any surprise.

Garland’s work has been honored with a Golden Globe Award, a Juvenile Academy Award, a Special Tony Award and, at age 39, she became the youngest recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement in the motion picture industry. Garland was also the first woman to win a Grammy for Album of the Year for her live recording of Judy at Carnegie Hall. If you do not already have that album, we highly recommend getting it, and on LP—if you have a turntable—to hear the original recording’s nuances. Her performance was nothing short of electrifying.

San Francisco Bay Times: We are ecstatic that you will soon be back in the San Francisco Bay Area for the shows with Michael Feinstein and in the new production of White Christmas. Both you and Michael are consummate interpreters of the Great American Songbook. Why do you think this canon of music has such enduring appeal? Lorna Luft: Because the songs were written in a time that was so much simpler. They talked about love; they talked about no love; they talked about finding love. The writers of the day wrote about subjects and emotions every single person could relate to. Even in the darkest days of World War II, Irving Berlin wrote songs about loving America and patriotism—again something everyone could relate to. Also there was very limited electronic access of information, so most people relied on the movies, the theater and the radio for entertainment, so it made it much easier to have the songs heard. Plus, the fact all of the artists of the time, when the birth of popular music came to be, were all unique in their talent—Astaire, Garland, Crosby, Sinatra, etc. They set the bar for everyone.

In 1997 Garland was posthumously awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award; several of her recordings have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Her performance of “Over the Rainbow” is listed as the number one song of the 20th century by the National Endowment for the Arts and the American Film Institute, which also placed her among the ten greatest female stars of classic American cinema.

San Francisco Bay Times: We have been big fans of yours for many years. Your vocal range is incredible, and your personal strength and intelligence shine through every performance. Outside of your family, who have been some of your music mentors and sources of inspiration?


Lorna Luft: Artists who have always been original—The Beatles, Barbra Streisand, Mahalia Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, the writers and artists of Motown, David Bowie, The Eagles, The Rolling Stones, Steve Perry, Laura Nyro, Amy Winehouse. Those are just a few. San Francisco Bay Times: Michael Feinstein works to preserve the Great American Songbook while also forging his own unique career path. You also do the latter while helping to preserve your mother’s tremendous legacy. Do you feel a responsibility to do so? Lorna Luft: I feel a big responsibility in keeping the legacy of my mother’s name and likeness in high regard. It is a daunting task that I do with love, respect and admiration. (continued on page 22)



LORNA LUFT (continued from page 21) San Francisco Bay Times: You gave us, your fans, such a scare with the health issues! How are you feeling now, and what advice would you give to others who may be currently battling cancer? Lorna Luft: Having been diagnosed with breast cancer three years ago was earthshattering to me, as it is to every single person who gets that diagnosis. The only advice I can give to fellow cancer patients is to become educated in the disease. Learn everything you can about your cancer. If you do not understand what your doctor is saying to you, say that and have them explain everything to you. No question is wrong. What is wrong is not to ask a question. Find out your options as far as treatment, as far as doctors, as far as all you need to know not to be terrified, and become educated and proactive in your healthcare. The biggest lesson I have learned is to make sure to live in the moment; enjoy every single solitary day for today. And also realize we are living in the lucky years with the advances of the treatment of cancer. I’m forever grateful to all my doctors—Dr. David Agus and Dr. Philomina McAndrew—for their constant care, knowledge and educating me in the world of cancer. I’m extremely grateful to them for being in my life.

San Francisco Bay Times: Thank you for all of your charitable work on behalf of children and those affected by HIV/AIDS. You were involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS long before many others. Has this cause, in particular, always been of importance to you? Lorna Luft: Living through the AIDS crisis was a part of all of our lives in the 80s. It was so devastating, terrifying, frustrating and horrific that I knew I couldn’t be silent. I felt I had to do something and, along with many other artists, we had a voice and we used it. I will continue to fight for everyone being treated equally. I will always fight against injustice and hatred. San Francisco Bay Times: Curiosity compels us to ask: How did you become involved in Blondie’s Eat to the Beat?! Lorna Luft: I met Debbie Harry through her producer Mike Chapman, and she asked me and the great Ellie Greenwich to sing on her new album that she was recording. San Francisco Bay Times: We can’t wait to see your show with Michael at his namesake club here in San

Francisco. What are you most looking forward to, both in terms of the performances and the extended stay in San Francisco? Lorna Luft: San Francisco is one of my favorite cities in the world. My son went to college up there, so my husband and I were in San Francisco a lot in those four years. Any chance I get to be in San Francisco, I grab. San Francisco Bay Times: You have always been a Renaissance woman, successfully balancing career with family. Are either of your children performers, or interested in pursuing such a life? Lorna Luft: Both of my children are now mothers and fathers! My son Jesse has a gorgeous two-year-old daughter named Jordan and a new one on the way in October. We found out it’s a boy! My daughter Vanessa has a fantastic three-month-old little boy named Logan. Both my children are brilliant parents. I’ve never been more proud of two people in my life. I’m very much looking forward to coming to San Francisco, once again, in September and, of course, spending Christmas with all of you in December!

More Upcoming Shows @


October 7 & 8

Patina Miller

October 15 & 16

Robert Klein

October 19 & 20

Betty Buckley

October 21 & 22

Julia Fordham

October 26

Adam Pascal & Anthony Rapp

October 27–29

Jonathan Poretz

November 3 & 4

Erich Bergen

November 5 & 6

Alysha Umphress

November 11 & 12

Ronan Tynan

November 13

Franc D’Ambrosio

November 17

Vonda Shepard

November 18 & 19

Linda Eder

December 1–3

Jane Lynch

December 8–10

Amy Hanaialli

December 14 & 15

Jim Brickman Franc D’Ambrosio

Adam Pascal & Anthony Rapp

Patina Miller

Vonda Shepard Jonathan Poretz

Linda Eder Erich Bergen

Robert Klein

Betty Buckley Alysha Umphress

Julia Fordham


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Ronan Tynan

Jane Lynch

Amy Hanaialli

MICHAEL FEINSTEIN (continued from page 20) San Francisco Bay Times: Feinstein’s at the Nikko offers audience goers such an intimate, memorable experience. Do you think that this more direct connection between artist and audience is beneficial? As an entertainer, for example, how does such a venue affect your performance? Michael Feinstein: Feinstein’s at the Nikko is a fine room for entertainment. We made a number of tweaks in the room when it became Feinstein’s to up our game, to make it the best nightclub that we possibly could. That involved subtle changes to the lighting, a new sound system, the seating … all the things that are under the radar that people aren’t necessary aware of that add to the enjoyment. I feel that the smaller setting is special. It’s a way to connect with an audience that necessitates the greatest honesty on the part of a performer because you have to be completely naked when you are that close to people. Artifice becomes immediately evident, and so it’s important not only to be honest and clear in what one does, but to be open to what happens in a setting like that because it’s different than playing in a big theater. I love big theaters. I love playing the Hollywood Bowl and big venues, but there is a special something that happens in

venues like Feinstein’s at the Nikko, I think. San Francisco Bay Times: Your collaboration with Lorna Luft is a match made in heaven. How did it come about? Michael Feinstein: Lorna Luft is someone I’ve known as long as I’ve known her sister, Liza Minnelli. I knew Vincente Minnelli, Liza’s father, very well, and eventually met Liza through her dad. After I became friends with Liza I became friends with Lorna. We’re like family. I haven’t worked much with Lorna through the years. It just never happened, for various reasons. We were on different trajectories. But at this point we decided that it was time to do it. We wanted to spend more time together and we love San Francisco, so it just felt like the right time. San Francisco Bay Times: What are some of your favorite songs that Judy Garland performed? Michael Feinstein: Aside from the chestnuts, I’ll mention some of the lesser known songs that she performed that are favorites of mine. “I’d Like to Hate Myself in the Morning” is a charming song that Johnny Meyer wrote for her. Some of the collaborations that Garland recorded for Capitol Records with Nelson Riddle, I think, are great. These include songs like “This Is

It” and “Lucky Day.” They are all perfect combinations of performer, song and arranger. I also love some of the great songs that she performed in some of the MGM musicals, songs like “Friendly Star” from Summer Stock, or the beauty and delicacy of “The Boy Next Door” from Meet Me in St. Louis, or “Better Luck Next Time” by Irving Berlin from Easter Parade. They are all great songs tailor made for her. She was a formidable interpreter of anything that she tackled. San Francisco Bay Times: Please share a bit about what’s in store for lucky audience goers at your and Lorna’s tribute to Judy Garland. Michael Feinstein: Lorna and I will be doing a duet medley that we’ve put together that I’m looking forward to. I don’t know off the top of my head what songs Lorna is going to do, but I’m putting together some medleys and combinations of familiar and lesser known songs that I’m combining thematically to create an overview of the music of Judy Garland. I dearly hope that people enjoy what we present. The performance schedule is as follows: Wednesday, September 28, at 7 pm; Thursday, September 29, at 8 pm; Friday, September 30, at 8 pm; and Saturday, October 1, at 7 pm. Tickets range in price from $80–$100 and are available now by calling 866-663-1063 or visiting



Max Rose Disappoints

Film Gary M. Kramer Jerry Lewis stars as the title character in Max Rose, a 2013 drama just getting a theatrical release now. The film, which opens September 16, did not sit on the shelf for three years because it is so good. Lewis may have made his career as a comedian, but he does great in dramas like The King of Comedy, and Funny Bones. Max Rose, however, does not match the levels of those films. But it could have. Writer/director Daniel Noah casts Lewis as a widower, grieving over the death of his wife Eva (Claire Bloom, seen in flashback). His adult son Chris (Kevin Pollak), tries to care for him, but they have a chilly relationship. He is much closer to his granddaughter Annie (Kerry Bishé), who sees Max as a reason to stay in Los Angeles and not move to Chicago, where her boyfriend Scott is living. Max Rose consists of a series of awkward scenes that prompt Lewis to express exasperation with his eyes. Annie tries to amuse Max with her comedy skills, and Chris brings his father DVDs to watch, unaware that his father does not have a DVD player. Viewers will be exasperated as well.

Max mostly wants to be left alone. He is conf licted about his thoughts towards his late wife, as is clear in the eulogy he gives where he explains their 65-year relationship was a lie. He holds on dearly to her compact, which includes an inscription from a man who loved her back in 1959. Max, a onehit wonder on the piano, was recording his music on the night his wife was off having an affair with Ben (Dean Stockwell), the gifter of the compact. Max Rose eventually has Max confront Ben so he can get a sense of closure about the affair. But first, Max is sent off to a retirement home where Chris feels he can receive better care and be less of a burden. Max is frustrated by the suggestions of senior center’s counselor Ms. Flowers (Illeana Douglas), who wants him to take up cooking, attend a book club, or help with the music program. At the home, Max is bored by the activities, such as knitting potholders in the shape of kidneys, and viewers will be as bored as Max watching Lewis listen to a harpist perform, or knit kidney-shaped potholders. There are some nice moments in the senior center as Max bonds with some other men in the home, including Walter (Rance Howard), the feisty Lee (Lee Weaver), and Jack (Mort Sahl). But scenes of the men talking about their loss and aging, while de rigueur in films set in retirement communities, do not provide much character insight. An improvised jazz session

the men have (without instruments) offers one of the less painful moments in Max Rose. The film is not just syrupy; it lacks a strong dramatic tension. Most of the “action” consists of Max reacting to how other people want to handle him. When he finally becomes an agent of his own destiny, tracking down Ben and confronting him about his affair with Eva, there might have been some crackle to this lackluster film. However, what transpires between Max and Ben is a nearly toothless exchange that emphasizes the film’s preachy messages about forgiveness. Noah peppers his film with positive life lessons about finding happiness and a value in life that stick in the (continued on page 31)

Let’s Represent

Words Michele Karlsberg Michele Karlsberg: Are there underrepresented groups or ideas featured in your book? Laura Antoniou: As a longtime member of the alt-sex communities, I decided there needed to be a book about us by one of us. Media portrayal of kinky people—BDSMers, roleplayers, the whole owner/owned, top/ bottom, dominant/slightly-less dominant world—seems to have only two speeds. The first is exploitative; the second is erotica (which I also write). I wanted to show the BDSM and leather scenes as they truly are, hysterically funny. That is why The Killer Wore Leather, my first mystery, is a comedy. There are no secret clubs where everyone wears tuxedos or g-strings and feathered masks. Today’s kinksters fill entire hotels for weekends and anyone can attend. We give classes, perform in shows, and have clubs with names that fit a pre-selected kinky word. It’s like the “Women Handlers In Pensacola” or W. H. I. P. Wild and crazy, huh? This is the kinky world where holding a convention means overworked, unpaid volunteers are juggling romance with making sure everyone has a wristband. For every mistress strutting 24

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by in spiky boots, there are four people asking if there a r e g lut e n - f r e e items at the buffet. It is where contests have names like Ms. Idaho Latex or Des Moines Daddy or Leather Power Couple, 2017. These are real people: sometimes silly, weird, colorful, stupid, clever, cute, and obnoxious, like everyone else. Did I mention it’s funny? Read the reviews. If you dare to check into this dark and twisted world of depravity, mind your drinks. Readers have been known to spit beverages while laughing. Laura Antoniou is the author of the Marketplace series of erotic BDSM novels and “The Killer Wore Leather,” Rainbow Books Award for Best Mystery. Find and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr. Rachel Gold: Yes, lots! My book ideas often start with what I’m not seeing in other young adult novels. Here are a few from my novel, My Year Zero: One of the major characters, Blake, has bipolar disorder. She’s inspired by my first girlfriend, who’d already been diagnosed by the time I met her when we were both sixteen. I was sick of seeing characters with bipolar disorder always being a negative, disruptive force in the story, or being “the crazy one.” Early in the novel, the protagonist, Lauren, does think of Blake as “crazy,” and is afraid of her, but quickly realizes that in her circle of friends, Blake is the one looking out for her

and treating her with compassion. Blake’s struggles have made her more open and caring, plus given her tools, she can share with Lauren, who really needs to get her life working. An underrepresented idea in the story is that sometimes your first relationship sucks. I know it’s been important to have lesbian/bi-girl YA novels that are romantic and light, where everything just works, but it’s also crucial to show that sometimes the first person you connect with is not right for you. And, lastly: geeks! In My Year Zero you’ll meet a group of kids telling a science f iction story online and frequently playing a fantasy card game. I’m a huge geek and I write about people I’d like to spend time with, so all my novels are full of geeks, nerds and gamers. Raised on world mytholog y, fantasy novels, comic books and magic, Rachel Gold is well suited for her careers in marketing and writing. She is the award-winning author of “My Year Zero,” “Just Girls,” and “Being Emily”—the first young adult novel to tell the story of a trans girl from her perspective. She has an MFA in Writing from Hamline University and is an all-around geek and avid gamer. For more info visit Michele Karlsberg Marketing and Management specializes in publicity for the LGBT community. This year, Karlsberg celebrates twenty-seven years of successful book campaigns.

Speaking to Your Soul ARIES (March 21–April 19) Abandonment issues might be triggered now. There is opportunity, however, to replace old beliefs with new ones, transforming feelings of loss into empowerment. TAURUS (April 20–May 20) You feel the pain of the collective. By having courage to face and heal your own wounds, that healing radiates out to the world. In turn, by serving and healing others, you heal yourself if you allow it.

Astrology Elisa Quinzi The focus now is on accepting our wounds and grieving the ending of a cycle. Doing so helps us see us all as fragile and teaches us humility. We begin this next phase more grounded, more empathetic, and with more love to give.

GEMINI (May 21–June 20) Often in climbing the ladder of success, at some point we step back and notice our ladder is up against the wrong wall. Cut your losses and seek a more soulfully satisfying purpose. Or, if you choose to stay on course, see with a fresh perspective of love and compassion. CANCER ( June 21–July 22) The sudden dismantling of a long-cherished belief can bring disillusionment, but having courage to move forward can open up your world. There is more love and unity on the outside of your small paradigm than within it. LEO ( July 23–August 22) A rare, deep and intimate encounter of the touching-souls variety can very likely be the impetus for a mystical experience. Allow it to be messy, as your wounds will be triggered in the process. You must allow yourself to be vulnerable to awaken to your truth. VIRGO (August 23–Sept. 22) The cycle of a relationship is ending. This can mean a literal goodbye, or a long phase of relationship has come to a close and a new phase or form is born. Let your heart burst open and go with the flow.

LIBRA (Sept. 23–Oct. 22) Pain is a stepping stone to spiritual growth if we use it rightly. Do not fall into martyrdom. Instead, let your suffering prompt you to actions of personal growth and selfcare. Bliss is just on the other side of a thin veil. SCORPIO (Oct. 23–Nov. 21) Your very life is a creative project. This is the end of one phase of being for you. Seize the opportunity to creatively experiment with new ways of expressing yourself now. Have fun and give yourself permission to be more freespirited. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22–Dec. 21) The pot of old family mythology is stirred now. Don’t play the victim. Let go of what no longer serves you. Find compassion for the rest. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22–Jan.19) You might find yourself uncharacteristically sharing your personal stories with people around you, even strangers, right now. Doing so can help others process what they are going through. It’s okay to be vulnerable. That’s where the magic is. AQUARIUS ( Jan. 20–Feb. 18) You might be temporarily feeling insecure. It’s just another layer of ice melting off your heart. Know that as your natural brilliance blends with your more vulnerable heart, you become far more effective in your aims. PISCES (Feb. 19–March 20) Have faith in the fact that you signed up for a lifetime of becoming enlightened. Welcome the lessons with an open heart. A portal is open now for you walk into this next phase of your life stronger, wiser, and more loving.

Elisa has been enjoying the art of astrological counseling since earning professional certification many years ago. In addition to astrological knowledge, she brings a high degree of conscious presence to her work, and creates a safe, comfortable atmosphere for sessions to unfold organically. Contact her at or 818-530-3366 or visit

As Heard on the Street . . . On Thursday, September 29, hundreds of lesbians will arrive in San Francisco

on an Olivia cruise ship. Where would you recommend that they visit while in San Francisco?

compiled by Rink

Rob Epstein

Barbara Griffith

Juli Tucciarone

Chelsea Loftus

Jeremy Lee

“The Castro Theatre”

“The Metreon”

“North Beach and the Mission District”

“The Exploratorium”

“The Embarcadero and the Ferry Building”



A Rich, Ongoing Conversation

Weddings Reverend Elizabeth River John Evans and Tim Ryan married two years ago during Pride weekend. On June 27, 2014, they zoomed over to the Oakland courthouse and tied the knot. The quick turn of events, however, happened after the couple had been together for 11 years. They met in October 2003 by a pool. John saw Tim walk by and said to himself, “Wow, look at that beautiful man,” and then watched as Tim sat down and opened a book. John saw that the book was by John Steinbeck, his favorite writer. Tim also noticed that handsome and fit John was reading too. Soon they began talking, immediately connecting over books, writers, work and dogs, delighting in the discovery that they both had Jack Russell terriers! Each man found the other to be smart, articulate and engaging. Although both are introverts, they are oh so grateful that they let one another in during that first encounter. Their friendship grew that first year, with the shared love of books leading

to related excursions full of enjoyed conversations about all of the writers they had read. They decided to buy a home together in 2004, and found just the right one with a large private back garden, a place where they have been creating a lovely sanctuary over the past 12 years. Parts of their garden are like small rooms where one can go on retreat from the world. It is the perfect setting for a couple of introverts and lovers of beauty. John informed me that Tim is an amazing listener. When Tim is in social settings, he often asks others about themselves and remembers what they have told him—such a compliment. John said Tim makes him feel safe. There is no requirement that he should be different than who he is: somewhat reclusive, and wanting mostly to be at home with Tim! John loves that Tim is patient and kind with John’s 3 sons, who trust Tim absolutely. Tim can talk about anything, and their conversation never ends. John added, “Tim also makes me laugh.” Tim loves John’s curiosity and his endless exploration of a multitude of things that they then talk about— music, politics, current affairs, literature, and much more. He likes that John treats his body well and is deeply health conscious. Lifestyle is very important to John, who is a phenomenal cook. Tim’s brother, sister-in-law and 86-year-old mom all love John. Tim appreciates how articulate John is; he loves to listen to him speak. Both men told me they have changed in their years together. Tim calls himself a “pessimist-realist” and he

feels that John helps him to move in the direction of optimism and away from the dark side. He is also becoming more f lexible, and accepts the give and take of marriage. He said, “It is hard work, but it is worth it.” John admits he has been controlling in past relationships, and in Tim he sees that same trait. The positive result of this is that John now identifies when he is in control-mode and can let it go. He has also learned from Tim how to be still, to pause and to think and be calmer and less reactive. Tim’s job at UC Berkeley in the landscaping department has fairly regular work hours (daytime), while John is a news host at KCBS on the night shift. Yet the two men have created a graceful pattern to their days, nights and weekends, and support one another beautifully in their professions. They are grateful for their life and for each other. John is thankful to have a husband who values the sanctity of their commitment. Tim appreciates having a strong marriage, such that he and John can go through all of life’s vicissitudes together, including the deaths of parents and pets, and the sharing of families and friends. “We have a great life!” he exclaims. Their 13-year relationship is still going strong. I wish them the blessing of a conversation that will last for many more years—a precious life shared with a beloved spouse. Rev. Elizabeth River is an ordained interfaith minister and wedding officiant in the North Bay. For more information, please visit

Three Mistakes That Can Hurt Your Knees You put unnecessary strain on your knees when you sit like this. The Fix- 90 Degree Rule: Sit with your knees over your ankles so that you have a 90-degree bend. If/when you find yourself sitting with your feet tucked under you at your desk, undo it. Just keep noticing and changing. Bonus- The extra moving back and forth is good for the joint. Remember, motion is lotion.

Take Me Home with You! Lucas

Inside Out Fitness Cinder Ernst

“Hi there, friends! My name is Lucas and I’m valedictorian of training class! I love learning new tricks and performing them for my friends. When I’m not busy studying, I like to hang out at Fort Funston and Dolores Park. I’ve been searching for a home since July, and I can’t wait to find the perfect companion to join me on my daytrip adventures!” Lucas is presented to San Francisco Bay Times readers by Dr. Jennifer Scarlett, the SF SPCA’s Co-President. Our thanks also go to Krista Maloney for helping to get the word out about lovable pets like Lucas. To see Lucas and other pets seeking their forever homes, please visit: San Francisco SPCA Mission Campus 250 Florida Street San Francisco, CA 94103 415-522-3500

Dr. Jennifer Scarlett and Pup

Aside from major holidays, the adoption center is open Mon–Fri: 1–6 pm and Sat–Sun: 10 am–5 pm. Free parking is available for those wishing to adopt! For more info about Lucas: https://www. 26

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At Inside Out Fitness we are all about you feeling good in your body so that you can get moving in a way that pleases you! Knee pain can often get in the way going forward with life, let alone an exercise program. If you have knee pain, you are in the right place because healing knees is something we help people with every day. If you have knee pain, you are certainly not alone. In the United States, 19.4 million doctor visits each year are about knee pain. Now imagine the people that don’t go to the doctor; that’s a lot of knee pain. Today we are going give you 3 easy ways to reduce knee pain by pointing out 3 mistakes most people make, and what to do about them. Many movements put pressure on your knees. Over time this can lead to discomfort and serious pain. Even something as simple as how you sit, stand and sleep unknowingly contributes to knee pain. Mistake Number One- Sitting with your knees tucked way underneath you for long periods of time.

I have a client who was always stiff and sore when she stood up at work. When she used the 90 Degree Rule, that stiff and unsteady feeling went away. Now she is getting up from her desk with ease and is even using the stairs instead of the elevator. As her pain decreases and her mobility increases, she is becoming more enthusiastic and productive at work. Mistake Number Two- Standing with your knees locked. Your knee is a hinge joint. Think of it like a car door hinge. If the car door is open as far as it goes, doesn’t it feel like you might break the door if you keep pushing? Well, that is what it’s like when you are standing with your knees locked. The hinge is at the end range and then you push it. The locked position also makes your knee joint responsible for holding your body weight instead of having your muscles do this. The Fix- When you are standing, soften your knees. Try it now. Stand and let your weight sit mostly on your heels and balls of your feet with knees soft (unlocked). It’s that easy. Go from locked to unlocked a few times and notice what it feels like. Bonus- Gently squeeze your butt muscles as you unlock your knees so that those muscles can hold your body weight.

Mistake Number Three- Sleeping in the fetal position. The Fix- Reduce knee pain while you sleep. Really? Really! So if you are a side sleeper, keep your knees at 90 degrees or even straight (sleep in an “L”) instead of fetal. Could it be that simple? No one tells you this, but the more time you spend with your legs straight, the less strain there is on your knees. If you sleep on your back, then your legs are straight and you are golden. The only thing you need to implement these tips is awareness. When you notice you are doing one of the mistakes, simply un-do it. The next time we are going to present the Miracle Knee exercise! Cinder Ernst, Medical Exercise Specialist and Life Coach Extraordinaire, helps reluctant exercisers get moving with safe, effective and fun programs. Find out more at http://

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Compiled by Blake Dillon

15 Thursday

Meet & Greet Fundraiser with City College Trustee Alex Randolph – 6 pm @ Don Ramons Mexican Restaurant, 225 11th St. Re-election campaign event. events/272222519830589/?active_ tab=highlights

19 Monday

Academy of Friends’ Passport to Beauty – 6:30 pm @ Epi Center MedSpa, 450 Sutter St #800. Benefit for Academy of Friends featuring entertainment, silent auction, raffles and aesthetic treatments. events/1195789553792676/ Holding the Edge – Through October 15 @ The Marsh Berkeley, 2120 Allston Way, Berkeley. A solo show written and performed by Elaine Magree, benefitting the Bay Area Lesbian History Archive Project.

16 Friday 20th Annual Art for AIDS – 6 pm @ City View at Metreon. Annual benefit for UCSF Alliance Health Project featuring an auction of original paintings, photographs and mixed media art. Friday Live Queer Bands & DJ Emotions – 10 pm @ El Rio, 3158 Mission Street. Every Friday. Hardbox 6th Anniversary – 10 pm @ The Powerhouse, 1347 Folsom. Bare Chest Calendar event. 29873558/

17 Saturday Raised by Gays and Turned Out OK! – 7:30 pm @ Exit Theatre, 156 Eddy Street. COLAGE presents a one person show by comedian Elizabeth Collins about her experience being raised by gay men in Texas during the 90s.

Swing or Nothing! Dance Classes – 6:45 pm @ The Women’s Building, 3543 18th Street. Learn to dance, meet new people and have fun with instructors Nathan and Miriam. Beginners welcome. No partner needed.

20 Tuesday Hurricane Bianca Movie Premiere – 7:30 pm @ The Castro Theatre, 429 Castro Street. SF premiere of the film by Matt Kugelman about a New York teacher who is fired from a small town Texas school for being gay. 0472850/ Keshet Trans Jews Sunset on the Bay Picnic Dinner – 6:30 pm @ Rincon Park, The Embarcadero & Folsom Streets. Meet by the bow and arrow sculpture to eat, connect and enjoy bayside views. Dinner provided or bring a veggie dish to share. Rapid HIV Testing – 5 pm on Tuesdays by UCSF Alliance Health Project @1930 Market Street/ Duboce. make-your-appointment/

21 Wednesday

Tribute Celebration 2016 – 7 pm @ San Francisco Armory, 1800 Mission Street. SF AIDS Foundation’s annual event reflecting on the work and accomplishments in the fight against AIDS.

SF Gay Women’s Gathering: An Evening on Lesbian Pregnancy – 6:30 pm @ The Women’s Building, 3543 18th Street. Path2Parenhood presents a free evening about baby-making options for lesbians.

4th Annual Musical Extravaganza Benefit for Charlotte Maxwell Clinic – 1:00 pm @ Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse @ 2020 Addison, Berkeley. Featuring Tammy Hall, Rita Lackey Band, Adelante Mujer and more. Live in the Castro! – The Castro Flaggers – 1 pm @ Jane Warner Plaza, 17th and Castro Streets. LGBT flaggers team entertains. events/144348152658915/ Sunday Open Basketball – 5 pm – Hosted by the SF Gay Basketball Association. For info: SA N FRANCISCO BAY   T I ME S S E PT E MB E R 1 5 , 2 0 1 6

Hedwig and the Angry Itch – Through Wednesday, Sept 21. 7 pm @ Roxie Theater, 3117 16th Street. Adapted from the critically acclaimed off-Broadway hit. events/1584858031809858

Tennessee Valley – Muir Beach Loop Hike – 9:45 am @ Tennessee Valley Trailhead, 701 Tennessee Valley Rd., Mill Valley. Lesbian-Friently Hikers Over 50 group seven mile hike with 1000’ elevation.

18 Sunday


Lexington Club Plaque Unveiling & Celebration – 3 pm, 3464 19th Street @ corner of Lexington St. Ceremony with GLBT Historical Society and civic leaders recognizing contributions of The Lexington Club to the LGBT community. events/1583396101965585/

Smack Dab Open Mic – 8 pm @ STRUT, 470 Castro St., 2nd Floor. Co-hosted by Dana Hopkins and Larry-bob Roberts, featuring Meliza Bañales aka Missy Fuego.

An Evening with the Creators and Cast of Transparent – 7:30 pm @ The Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St. SF Film Society gives a sneak preview of Season 3 and the series Transparent. http://castrotheatre. com/p-list.html#sep21

22 Thursday Suede Live in Concert – 8 pm @ Feinstein’s at The Nikko, 222 Mason. Also Friday, Sept 23. Pop, jazz and blues diva playing piano, guitar and trumpet; touring internationally and featured on Olivia cruises.

GGBA East Bay Make Contact – 6 pm @ Steel Rail, Jack London Square, 439 Water St. Oakland Pride Month business and social mixer. Unraveling Little Saigon’s History & Influence in the Tenderloin – 6 pm @ Tenderloin Museum, 398 Eddy Street at Leavenworth. Tho Thi Do will discuss Vietnamese migration, culture and activism in the Tenderloin. Jan Wahl Interviews Author Kirk Frederick – 6 pm @ James C. Hormel LGBTQIA Center, San Francisco Public Library, 100 Larkin Street. Discussion of Frederick’s new book Write That Down! The authorized biography of “male actress” Charles Pierce. Queer Open Mic – 7 pm @ Modern Times Bookstore, 2919 24th Street. Held on fourth Fridays since 2004, this month featuring J. K. Fowler. Friday Night Mic – 7:45 pm @ MCCSF Fellowship Hall, Polk & Bush, 1300 Polk Street. Attendees may present a song, poem or spoken word on the topic “Only As Sick As Our Secrets.” Featured presenter: Jeffrey Tokarz. events/660718040755184/ Recon @ SF Eagle – 9 pm @ SF Eagle, 398 12th Street at Harrison. The official Friday Night Gear Event of the Folsom Street Fair Weekend. recon. com

24 Saturday Theater Rhino’s The Brothers Size – Through October 15 @ Eureka Theatre, 215 Jackson St. Two brothers, the Louisiana bayou and West African mythology in a hot-blooded, musicfilled drama. Live! In the Castro – The Man Dance Company – 1 pm @ Jane Warner Plaza, 17th & Castro Streets. Man Dance presents a sneak peak of their upcoming show. events/1620649544893296/ SF Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band presents Scheherazade and Other Exotic Tales – 4 pm @ Everett Middle School, 450 Church Street.

25 Sunday 5th Annual StartOut Awards – 6 pm @ The St. Regis, 125 3rd St. Honoring entrepreneurs and business leaders for achievements and commitments to the LGBTQ entrepreneur community. Women’s Comic Relief – 2 pm @ Graton Community Club, 8996 Graton Road, Graton. Jennie McNulty with Loren Kraut, Morgan and MC Karen Ripley. A Wider Brunch 2016 – 11:30 am @ Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, 3200 California Street. Live streaming talk show co-chaired by Edie Windsor and Al Baum. Produced by the pro-Israel and pro-LGBT organization, A Wider Bridge, created in 2010. http://

26 Monday Flesh & Spirit Community – Intermediate Yoga – 7 pm @ Flesh & Spirit Community, 924 Presidio Ave.

27 Tuesday Marga Gomez – Marga’s Comedy Salon – 8 pm @ Sparks Arts, 4229 18th Street. Marga and friends present comedy in the Castro every 4th Tuesday.

28 Wednesday Queer Fashion Week & Conference – Through October 2, 7 pm @ The Market Place at Jack London Square, Oakland. Over 30 designers featured in three fashion shows. Married/Once Married Bi and Gay Men’s Group – 8 pm @ Pacific Center for Human Growth, 2721 Telegraph Ave., Berkeley. Peer-led support group meeting weekly on Wednesdays.

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NEWS (continued from page 3) been from people who live outside the city or whose job experience has been outside the Bay Area,” wrote Natali in an email. “We would prefer to hire applicants who live in San Francisco and whose experience has been in here.” Once Natali and his team are able to make those hires, Hamburger Mary’s is “good to go” with permitting and licensing and “will be ready to open.” Send your resume to if you have the appropriate experience and wish to apply. The Castro’s La Mediterranee Turns 35 La Mediterranee is celebrating its 35th anniversary in the Castro. The

restaurant at 288 Noe Street opened its doors on September 9, 1981, as an expansion from its original location at 2210 Fillmore. Co-owner Ellen Sinaiko, who has been with the business since day one, first moved to San Francisco in 1977, when she rented a studio for $165 a month. “When you stay on the same corner for 35 years, it’s natural that you just say to yourself, ‘This area used to be so different,’” Sinaiko said. In the restaurant’s early years, the AIDS crisis was at its height, and La Mediterranee lost countless friends and customers. “It was a horrible time,” said Sinaiko, “but there was also so much love. Out of something so devastating, the best

Those who attended Annapolis in the late 70s and early 80s were reminded on a daily basis that we were not wanted. One of the most damaging events was in 1979, when James H. Webb published a provocative essay opposing the integration of women at the Naval Academy titled “Women Can’t Fight.” Webb was an instructor at the Naval Academy when he wrote the article for Washingtonian magazine that was critical of women in combat and of them attending the service academies. The article referred to the dorm at the Naval Academy that housed 4,000 men and 300 women as “a horny woman’s dream.” James Webb went on to become Secretary of the Navy and a U.S. Senator from Virginia.

home in shame. Or, being interrogated for six hours without legal counsel. Or, being asked to resign under threat that friends and teammates would be brought under investigation if they did not cooperate.

For the women in the dorm, the upperclassmen referenced this article and its arguments constantly. They used it as a weapon in their efforts to get women to quit. It is not a coincidence that the class of 1983, i.e., those who were freshmen (plebes) when this article came out, had the highest women attrition rate of any class these past 40 years.

The amazing thing about this past weekend, and why I am writing about it, is how I witnessed these women reunite. Some women had not been back to the campus in over 30 years. The memories were too painful. Some had been harboring accusations and assumptions for dozens of years that weren’t completely accurate. The reunion provided the opportunity to confront, explain, share the impacts, apologize, and to forgive one another. It was a great reminder of the power of forgiveness and the burden it unloads.

I heard from those investigated, those kicked out, and those who were asked to provide evidence and testimony against fellow teammates or roommates. I was reminded how young we all were, 18, 19, and 20-year-olds losing their scholarships and being sent ROSTOW (continued from page 7) the two had a child. Sabrina got pregnant through artificial insemination, and given that the two were married, Erica did not think she had to adopt the child in order to be considered a legal parent. Obviously, a few months later, the Supreme Court ruled that heterosexual restrictions on marriage were unconstitutional. After that decision, all couples who had married legally in one jurisdiction were automatically married in their home jurisdiction, regardless of their home state’s previous policies. In February of 2016, the women divorced. Astonishingly, however, a judge ruled that Erica was not related to her own daughter, because Tennessee law makes reference to the “husband” of a woman who uses artificial insemination, and never discusses the “wife” of such a person. True, the 30

Teen Busted for Paintball Attack on Patrons of Gay Bar in Stockton Police in Stockton have made a third arrest in a homophobic hate crime. Austin Richardson, 18, was arrested and charged with a hate crime as well as assault with a deadly weapon: a paintball gun that police say he used to shoot a man and a woman leaving the Paradise Club. Police say the building was also struck and had

been hit a month earlier. A 26-yearold woman was hit in the arm, while a 27-year-old man was shot in the back, according to the report. Two other suspects, Branden Staples, 19, and a 16-year-old boy whose name was not released, are charged in connection with the attack. GGBA to Honor Michael Colbruno, First Gay President of the Port of Oakland The Golden Gate Business Association (GGBA) is honoring Michael Colbruno in his historic election as the first LGBT person to become the President of the Port of Oakland’s Board of Port Commissioners. Colbruno also co-founded the country’s

first LGBT Port affinity group with San Francisco Port Commissioner Leslie Katz and San Diego Port Commissioner Bob Nelson. The group focuses on making California ports safe and welcoming workplaces for LGBT people. The Port of Oakland oversees the Oakland seaport, Oakland International Airport and 20 miles of waterfront. Together with its business partners, the Port supports more than 73,000 jobs in the region and nearly 827,000 jobs across the United States. GGBA is honoring Colbruno at the East Bay Make Contact at Steel Rail, Jack London Square, 439 Water Street, Oakland, on September 22, 6–8 pm.

MANDELMAN (continued from page 4)

DUNNING (continued from page 4)

One of the most successful tactics to get women to leave was to accuse them of being lesbian. This is before the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy when anyone could ask you anything, and the Naval Investigative Service (NIS as it was called, before it became NCIS) would actively investigate any lead that a midshipman was gay or lesbian. This resulted in numerous witch hunts to ferret out lesbians. I had heard (and seen) some of these investigations over the years, but at this past weekend’s reunion, I heard story after story about how they had impacted these young women.

came out of the community.” While the Castro struggles these days with the rental crisis and businesses coming and going, Sinaiko believes it is still a fun and vibrant neighborhood.

These young women were forced to balance conflicting rules at the academy. First is the Honor Concept, stating that “a midshipman does not lie, cheat or steal.” The other is that you don’t “bilge” (put someone down, throw them under the bus) your shipmate. You had to choose between telling the truth and harming other women. Lives were forever altered in these shakedowns, and women were turned against one another out of fear. As you can imagine, this created deep conflict, pain and grudges.

Does this mean you should attend your school reunions? I wouldn’t say that is my conclusion. But I do believe that when you are in the right place and are able to return and face some of the history that comes with experience, it can be a powerful and cathartic moment. It was for me. Zoe Dunning is a retired Navy Commander and was a lead activist in the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. She served as Co-Chair of the Board of Directors for the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club and as an elected Delegate for the Democratic National Convention. She is a San Francisco Library Commissioner and is the former First Vice Chair of the San Francisco Democratic Party.

Volunteer State has presumably not specifically changed the wording in each and every paragraph of the family law books, but that hardly means that Tennessee retains the ability to toy with the rights of marriage on a piecemeal basis at the expense of a divorcing parent. Nor are the state representatives in a position to claim that recognizing Erica’s rights in this context would be tantamount to reversing their lawmaking powers. It’s been nice to see the vast majority of our opponents resign themselves to the idea of marriage equality. I guess it’s because so many people seem to have moved on that cases like this one in Tennessee are a little bit shocking. I think the matter is going to the state appellate court, where life will probably revert to normal. I’ll let you know.

SA N FRANCISCO BAY   T I ME S S E PT E MB E R 1 5 , 2 0 1 6

neighborhood “quality of life” crimes. Maybe that kind of unit is a good idea; maybe it’s not. But why on earth is this even on the ballot? Police Department staffing decisions don’t obviously seem like a natural fit for direct democratic decision-making, and I have yet to hear a compelling reason why the voters should have to decide this one. Propositions P and U were cooked up by the San Francisco Association of Realtors apparently with the intention of screwing over the nonprofit affordable housing developers who are often politically at odds with the realtors. The trouble is these measures will also end up screwing over a lot of people in desperate need of more affordable housing. Proposition P seems like a good government measure requiring competiMOORE (continued from page 14) of neighborhood workforce development is a crucial element of the Safe Passage mission to “create a culture of safety” by engaging residents to be proactive in their own safety and the safety of their peers. The modest stipend that Margarita and the Corner Captains receive, along with gratification for helping to improve the safety and wellbeing of themselves and others, serves as an additional reward for their efforts. In May of 2015, a committee began monthly meetings to develop Safe Passage program activities for seniors. This group includes staff from the San Francisco Senior Center, Curry Senior Center, Little Brothers/Friends of the Elderly, and the St. Francis Living Room. After a year of planning and an extensive research collaboration with UCSF, a Vision Zero grant enabled the committee to formally launch Safe Passage efforts for seniors in June. Teams of Corner Captains, including Margarita, began “mapping” senior pedestrian traffic, counting how many seniors navigated each intersection in a given time period. Though a children’s safe afterschool route was determined by Safe Passage years ago, the flow of senior pedestrians was unknown. During most mornings this summer, Corner Captains in bright neon vests have been counting senior and children pedestrian traffic, assisting seniors with street crossings, 6/26 (continued from page 14) released to go home. At the time of the shooting, we and many LGBT organizations and leaders stressed that gun control was an LGBT issue. Just days after the shooting, the Human Rights Campaign announced a new “organizational position that the safety of LGBTQ people in the United States requires the adoption of common-sense gun violence prevention measures.” Lambda Legal’s Deputy Legal Director Hayley Gorenberg wrote that “we must step up and fight to end gun violence.” And we need to do it “now.”

tive bidding in the affordable housing context. However, opponents argue the measure ignores the realities of affordable housing production in San Francisco. The City already has a competitive bid process, but by prohibiting approval of an affordable housing project unless there are at least three competitive bids, the measure could end up delaying or killing unprofitable affordable projects that often receive fewer than three bids. Proposition U, also sponsored by the Realtors, would change the affordability requirements imposed on developers of market rate housing. Instead of having to develop a percentage of the project to be affordable to households at 55% of area median income (AMI), Prop U would raise that threshold to 110% of AMI. Now I am all for requiring developers to build more housing for the midmonitoring environmental safety conditions such as damaged sidewalks, excess trash and debris, and dog excrement. Well established in the area during their afternoon shifts, the Captains began making their visible safety presence known to seniors in the a.m. hours. It is no secret that many seniors tend to be more active earlier in the day—running errands, going to doctor appointments, etc.—so morning shifts of Corner Captains will be required to best serve the neighborhoods older adults. Another resource Safe Passage is looking to debut this fall is Safe Escorting—providing individuals with assistance in navigating sidewalk and street conditions, which can be perceived as challenging or even threatening to seniors in many ways. This resource will enable a senior to request a Corner Captain escort traveling within the Tenderloin. Inspired by the City’s OCEIA Community Ambassadors safe escort service, talks are underway to explore possibly partnering with the Community Ambassadors in offering this resource. The workforce development model of Safe Passage cannot be overemphasized. With one of the highest, if not the highest, costs of living in the U.S., most San Franciscans can relate to the struggle of living in such an expensive locale. An opportunity to have additional income combined with a commitment of service to improving The Chicago killings affect LGBT people too, including all LGBT people who live in communities where violence occurs or who have family, friends, and colleagues who live there. Both the Orlando and Chicago killings disproportionately affect marginalized racial minorities. The vast majority of the Orlando shooting victims were Latinx members of the LGBT community, and Chicago gun violence disproportionately affects African American and Latinx people, including those who are LGBT. Ultimately, it comes down to recognizing and embracing our common

dle class, but not at the cost of losing housing for the poor. That’s just wrong. Each of these measures has a superficial appeal. If you dig a little deeper, however, you will find that each one is rooted in a profoundly cynical approach to governance. When confronted with a ballot as long as this November’s will be, I know some voters tend to just vote “no” on everything. I would not encourage that approach; there are simply too many worthy and important measures that need your vote. But when you hit Propositions Q , R, P and U, please do feel free to give into that impulse to just say no. Rafael Mandelman is an attorney for the City of Oakland. He is also President of the City College of San Francisco Board of Trustees. neighborhood safety provides seniors serving as Corner Captains with some extra money, but, just as important, a sense of purpose, of making a difference, and hope. Recruitment of additional seniors for Corner Captain positions is now under way. As Brian Ruddock, Tech Volunteer, said: “You might think that putting 10–12 people in safety vests on the corners for two hours a day wouldn’t really accomplish anything, but doing this in person has shown me that it really does make a difference. You see people’s attitudes change. You see the corners clear of bad activity. Troublemakers come up to us, greet us and give us high fives. I’m floored by how effective this small time is. It really does make a difference.” For more information on Safe Passage: Greg Moore is the Executive Director of the St. Francis Living Room and an Advisory Committee Member for TL CBD Safe Passage. Dr. Marcy Adelman oversees the Aging in Community column. For her summary of current LGBT senior challenges and opportunities, please go to: sf challenges-and-opportunties

humanity. At its root, the marriage equality movement was about the freedom to marry the person you love no matter who you are or whom you love. Likewise, ending gun violence is about our common humanity and the human right to live free from gun violence no matter who you are. John Lewis and Stuart Gaffney, together for over three decades, were plaintiffs in the California case for equal marriage rights decided by the California Supreme Court in 2008. Their leadership in the nationwide grassroots organization Marriage Equality USA contributed in 2015 to making samesex marriage legal nationwide.

Keshet Family Camp’s Successful Year

Photos courtesy of Casey Cohen

The popular Keshet Family Camp was at full capacity this year for the first time in its 19-year history with 62 families participating. Founded by Deborah Newbrun, former executive director of the well-known Camp Tawonga program, the Keshet Family Camp serves LGBT Jewish families wishing to enjoy an annual outdoor weekend together. Some families return every year to enjoy activities such as the “Shabbat stroll,” morning Torah services, the panel featuring teen campers, talent shows, and a campfire featuring s’mores. Find out more:

MILLER (continued from page 12) nating your benefit if you have other investments that cover your expenses.

the amount that was required to be distributed.

Age 70-1/2 By April 1 of the year after you turn 70-1/2, you are required to take a minimum distribution from traditional IRAs and workplace retirement plans. The IRS calculates the amount you pay (called Required Minimum Distributions or RMDs) using the Uniform Lifetime Table and your age at the time you’re talking the distribution. Instructions for calculating RMDs can be found in IRS Publication 590 at Distributions must be taken from each account that is subject to this rule. Failure to do so can result in penalty of 50 percent of

If you have questions about making these milestone decisions, or want to get an objective opinion, consider hiring a financial advisor. Find an advisor who will look comprehensively at your financial situation and your retirement goals, in order to help you make decisions with increased confidence.

SISTER DANA (continued from page 6) son in the club. Cruz concluded, “This incident teaches us we [queers] are not as safe as we hoped to be, and we must end the hate.” Cruz introduced Singer, Composer Mary Lambert, who closed the evening inside the venue singing and playing keyboards to her emotional composition, “Same Love” and another original dedicated to Orlando’s victims with the audience repeating over and over “Each one had a name.” Then everyone attended the after-party outside in a tent. Sister Dana sez, “I’m so proud of Secretary Hillary Clinton at the “Commander-in-Chief Forum” for her extremely presidential presentation giving real plans for moving forward—as opposed to the totally not presidential blowhard egotistical Trump and his stream of negativity and mysterious hidden plans to, frankly, take the country basically backward!” WHAT’S THE HAPS, SISTER DANA? Sister Dana sez, “Here are, like, some way kewl and amazeballs events for you, like, OMG IRL!” You’re invited to an evening of beauty at THE EPI CENTER MEDSPA, 450 Sutter Street, # 800. You will have first-class access into luxurious aesthetic treatments to relax, restore, and rejuvenate the skin. Enjoy light bites, drinks, and entertainment plus silent auction, raffles and giveaways. Proceeds benefit ACADEMY OF FRIENDS and their 2017 Beneficiary Partners who will be announced during this party! Must be 21+. Thursday, September 15, 6:30 to 8:30 pm. LEATHERWALK is the official kickoff of San Francisco LEATH-

Brandon Miller, CFP is a financial consultant at Brio Financial Group, A Private Wealth Advisory Practice of Ameriprise Financial Inc. in San Francisco, specializing in helping LGBT individuals and families plan and achieve their financial goals. KRAMER (continued from page 24)

ER WEEK that culminates every year, one week later at FOLSOM STREET FAIR. LeatherWalk raises awareness and visibility and helps to build community. The leatheriffic event benefits FOLSOM STREET EVENTS, AIDS EMERGENCY FUND, and BREAST CANCER EMERGENCY FUND. “KEEP SAN FRANCISCO KINKY” is the theme for this year’s walk. LeatherWalk takes place on Sunday, September 18. On-site registration and check-in begins at 10 am at 440 Castro. Please check in at the bar to get your collectible LeatherWalk pin. Entertainment starts at 11:30 am at Jane Warner Plaza. The walk itself plans to start moving at 12:15 pm from the plaza—making pit stops at various leather bars along the way. The walk features Master/Mistress of Ceremonies on flatbed trucks with performances by some of San Francisco’s most amazing vocal and drag talent. The 32ND ANNUAL FOLSOM STREET FAIR, the world’s largest leather/fetish fair drawing nearly 400,000 attendees run by 900 volunteers will be Sunday September 25. The Fair caps San Francisco’s “LEATHER PRIDE WEEK.” The Folsom Street Fair takes place on Folsom Street between 8th and 13th Streets, in San Francisco’s South of Market district. The event started in 1984 and is California’s third-largest single-day, outdoor spectator event and the world’s largest leather event and showcase for BDSM products and culture. It has grown as a nonprofit charity, and local and national nonprofits benefit with all donations at the gates going to charity groups as well

as numerous fundraisers within the festival - including games, beverage booths, and even spanking for donations to capitalize on the adult-themed exhibitionism. Various SISTERS OF PERPETUAL INDULGENCE members will be dolled up for the occasion, and along with their volunteers will ask for a donation to pass through the hallowed gates. It’s all for charity—so don’t be miserly. Master Sister Dana sez, “Try not to stand out as a common lookie-loo tourist. Throw on some leather or feather or rubber or other fun costume, and join the party!” BACK TO THE PICTURE art gallery presents A PASSION FOR THE FIGURE Opening Reception, Saturday, September 17, 7–10 pm, 934 Valencia at 20th Streets. The exhibition remains through October 16. THOMASINA DE MAIO invites the public to Castro Street ARTSAVESLIVES STUDIO AND GALLERY, at 518 Castro Street on September 23, 6–9:30 pm, to “RENE CAPONE’S 38TH BIRTHDAY PARTY.” Here attendees will enjoy art work co-curated by studio owner Thomasina De Maio and Rene Capone featuring exhibitions by Capone, Andrew Fisher, Peggy Sue Ward, Mike Staley, Carl Linkhart, Eddie Rifkind, Kay Ueda, Aaron Zonka, Jerry Frost, Donna DeMatteo, Paul Richard, Matt Pipes, Brian Moore, Simone, and John Walbinger. The artpacked evening will include artful live performances by Jose Cital, Linx, Magnolia Black, Stella Furtada, Serena, and Carl Linkhart of The Cockettes. Their performances range from music to magic to

dance. As always, studio resident DeMaio will come through with plenty of wine, beer, food, performance, and incredible art. Everything complimentary! She offers weekly studio sessions with live models for sketching, sculpting, and painting. thomasina September 24 and September 25, noon to 5 pm, check out ART FOR ASYLUM at Lynn Luckow’s LikeMinded Gallery, 668 Post Street for a celebration of art featuring the works of LGBTA artists Rene Capone, Travis Monson, Elliott C. Nathan, Daniel Phill and Nikki Vismara. 20% of all sales benefit THE LGBT ASYLUM PROJECT. The 21ST ANNUAL SAN FRANCISCO DRAG KING CONTEST & All Star Show is also known as “THE MANLIEST COMPETITION IN THE WORLD GOES 70’S”or “Get The Funk Outta My Face!” It’s on Thursday, Sept. 29. Doors open at 9:30/Show at 10:15 pm at Oasis, 298 Eleventh Street at Folsom. Beneficiary is PETS ARE WONDERFUL SUPPORT ( Dress Code: Discount at the door for 70’s Drag; Drag King & Faux King attire. Otherwise all creative drag encouraged: queen, fetish, formal, high femme, festive, fun, (no one turned away for wearing beige or open-toed shoes). Sister Dana sez, “Did we all remember 9/11 on 9/11—or have there been far too many losses of lives to remember and honor since that awful, senseless tragedy 15 years ago?!”

throat because the characters, even the chipper Annie, are either miserable or unlikable. The fact that the iciness between Max and Christopher is neatly tied up by the film’s end seems more contrived than believable, and when Max gives some parting advice to Annie, her tears seem unearned. So much of Max Rose feels phony. Lewis’ performance is too prickly. What makes Lewis great in dramatic roles is that he can be so truculent. While he does this well using silence or some forced facial expressions to convey what he is feeling inside, there is not much to his performance beyond his body language. His character may be a curmudgeon, but Max is selfish when he should be sympathetic. In support, Kerry Bishé and Kevin Pollak are given thankless, underwritten roles, and in her brief appearances, Claire Bloom laughs a lot, which may be why Max loved her. But it is hard to love Max Rose. Noah wants to make an affecting drama about a man who lived a life he didn’t find much value in. Instead, he made a film that has very little value. © 2016 Gary M. Kramer Gary M. Kramer is the author of “Independent Queer Cinema: Reviews and Interviews,” and the co-editor of “Directory of World Cinema: Argentina.” Follow him on Twitter @garymkramer



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