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December 1 - December 15, 2016 |

/SF Bay Times


Compassionate Care When Most Needed

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In the News Compiled by Dennis McMillan The Stud Bar Receives Legacy Business Status On November 28, Mica Sigourney of SOS! Save Our Stud announced that the Small Business Commission in San Francisco has approved the 50-year-old LGBT club and bar’s Legacy Business application. Sigourney explained, “That means the Stud has a Legacy Designation! This qualifies the Stud for supportive grants from the city. We met 12 other Legacy Businesses and are proud to be in their company. Come to our community meeting on December 6th at 6 pm at The Stud! We will be announcing our next steps and our plans for the future of The Stud.” The Stud Bar, which hosts drag shows, karaoke events and more, is cash-only and is located at 399 9th Street. Battle Over SF LGBT Historical Sites Continues San Francisco’s Planning Commission voted 4 to 3 to allow the construction of a 12-story condo and hotel complex along Market Street, even though a coalition made up of former San Francisco City Supervisors, community leaders and LGBTQ organizations had requested a delay to the construction in a letter to the Commission. The letter says that the construction threatens to destroy several LGBT historical sites, including the location of the 1966 Compton Cafeteria riot, a transgender uprising against police aggression that predates the Stonewall Riots by three years. Despite the Planning Commission’s decision to allow construction, one of the letter’s signers—Nate Albee, an advocate with the San Francisco LGBTQ Legacy Business Coalition—plans to appeal the decision, which could still delay the construc-

tion. The Transgender, Gender Variant, and Intersex Justice Project; the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club; the GLBT Historical Society; and AIDS Housing AllianceSF all co-signed the letter as well. World AIDS Day Commemorated in the Castro Today on World AIDS Day, the sidewalks of The Castro will be inscribed with the names of loved ones gone too soon. The effort is due to INSCRIBE, an annual community celebration that remembers and honors the men and women who died of AIDS-related causes. Using colorful chalk, students from Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy will participate in the project amid the sidewalk-embedded bronze plaques of The Rainbow Honor Walk, which pays tribute to civil rights leaders who made a positive impact for the LGBTQ community. George Kelly, a San Francisco resident and HIV long-term survivor, created the event. “Once I had the idea, I could not stop the passion,” he said. “The sidewalks had just been widened. The Rainbow Honor Walk was created and had just laid their first twenty bronze plaques.” Look Out, Red States: San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus Is Coming for You! The world-famous San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus is passing up an opportunity to tour the globe in 2018, and instead will make its mark on the red part of the U.S.A. “In response to the election, we decided we have as much work to do at home as we would do

abroad,” said SFGMC Artistic Director and fellow San Francisco Bay Times columnist Tim Seelig. “We want to go to those places that are still strongholds of this kind of discrimination and bigotry. And bring our voice. And encourage people there with our music. And also hopefully change some hearts and minds.” Seelig named Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee as among its target states, and suggested the chorus would visit other communities where discrimination is rampant. Courage Campaign Says Abolish the Electoral College On November 8, Americans made their choice clear: Hillary Clinton received over 2.2 million more popular votes than Donald Trump. In fact, she received more votes than any presidential candidate in history, other than Barack Obama. But, because of the undemocratic Electoral College, we will be watching Trump take the oath of office on Inauguration Day, not Clinton, says Courage Campaign. The system is broken, and the momentum to fix it is growing fast. Senator Barbara Boxer has just introduced legislation to end the Electoral College, and California is one of 11 states that have joined the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which would eliminate the role of the Electoral College without a constitutional amendment. This is the fifth time in history that the Electoral College has overruled the will of the people—and the second time in the last five elections. Mike Pence Is a Disaster for LGBTQ Rights, GLAAD Reports As we head into the holidays and the New Year, GLAAD says it is more important than ever that we keep fighting to defend the progress we

have achieved for LGBTQ equality and acceptance. Despite what they might say, President-elect Donald Trump and Mike Pence are not friends of the LGBTQ community, according to Tamara Stewart, Executive Vice President, Development, GLAAD. “Mike Pence, in particular, has a horrific record on LGBTQ issues.” She explained that he advocated that money meant for HIV and AIDS prevention be redirected for so-called “ex-gay” conversion therapy, putting LGBTQ youth in harm’s way; he supported a constitutional amendment to ban marriage equality; and he signed into law one of the most aggressively anti-LGBTQ bills ever seen. GLAAD plans to “accelerate acceptance for LGBTQ people” through its powerful media programs. Alliance for Justice Shows Trump’s Attorney General Pick’s Dismal Record on LGBTQ Rights In other distressing news about the upcoming Trump administration, the Alliance for Justice recently published a fact sheet on Jeff Sessions that shows his dismal record on civil rights, the environment, immigration, criminal justice and women’s rights. Not surprisingly, his stance on LGBTQ rights falls into step with the rest of his record. According to the Alliance for Justice: The Human Rights Campaign has given Sessions a 0% rating in six of its seven scorecards. This means that Sessions has only once cast a vote considered favorable to LGBTQ rights. Sessions voted for a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying. Sessions voted against an amendment prohibiting discrimination against LGBT students, against an amendment aimed at ensuring that same-sex

couples had access to Social Security and veterans’ benefits, and against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. He also voted against the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Sessions is a co-sponsor of the First Amendment Defense Act, which enables discrimination against LGBT people. Pride at Work Makes Statement on White House Appointment of Steve Bannon Following the recent announcement that the former executive chairman of Breitbart News, Steve Bannon, will serve as the chief strategist and advisor for President-elect Trump, Pride at Work, seeking full equality for LGBTQ workers in our workplaces and unions, issued a statement. Executive Director Jerame Davis said: “Pride at Work condemns the appointment of Steve Bannon in the strongest possible terms. Bannon’s close association with hate groups and his own despicable rhetoric—including calling progressive women ‘dykes’—has no place in the White House. We refuse to allow a racist to hold one of the highest advisory roles in this administration. President-elect Trump has a duty to represent all Americans, not just those on the fringes. We call on him to send Bannon back to the dark corners of the Internet and put together an administration that can help lead our country forward.” Positive Resource Center Expands Executive Team Positive Resource Center, a San Francisco-based nonprofit whose mission is to assist people living with HIV/AIDS or mental health disabilities, announced the appointment of Gayle Roberts as chief develop(continued on page 18)



The Work of Trauma Recovery: Two Metaphors Roland Schembari and Bill Hartman, Co-Founders Randy Alfred, Founding News Editor 1978 Kim Corsaro Publisher 1981-2011

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Examined Life Tom Moon, MFT If you’ve recently suffered a traumatic event, such as the loss of a relationship or a serious medical diagnosis (and I’ve talked with many people who are having classic post-traumatic stress responses to the recent election), you may also be feeling surprise and confusion, not just because of the event itself, but because of the depth and intensity of the conf licting emotional responses that you’re feeling. Trauma is an emotional challenge for anyone who experiences it, and calls us to respond skillfully and wisely to what is going on inside of us. Here are two metaphors which might shed light on what trauma recovery requires of us.

A second metaphor might be helpful in illuminating the best way to respond to the emotions that trauma generates. Your task can be compared to surfing. A surfer has to respond to the immediacy of the moment—shifting weight, leaning this way or that, depending on what the wave is doing—with a mind that is completely focused on the present and uncluttered by preconceptions about what should or will happen next. That same mentality is the best way to respond to what your mind and body do as they recover from the trauma. You aren’t in control of the process; don’t try to direct it. Don’t try to push the waves. Instead, tune in and listen to what is happening now. Some mornings you may wake up feeling okay, and decide that you must be “over it” now. And then the next morning you may wake up in deep anguish or depression. On some days, you may need companionship; on

other days, you may need quiet and solitude. Don’t try to figure it all out, and don’t make mental maps of how things are “supposed” to go. The skills needed to process traumas are a lot like mindfulness meditation. Stay alert to your inner world; accept what is presenting itself without resistance. Above all, approach the process with as much kindness and self-compassion as you can muster. When people are suffering, they all-too-often judge and punish themselves for it, as if their pain is evidence that they’re doing something wrong, or that they’re “weak.” Be alert to any tendency to go in that direction, and do all you can to be on your own side. One of the few “silver linings” about recovering from trauma is that it can teach important lessons about humility and self-acceptance; and these are lessons that can be very helpful in our relationships with others as well. When we have allowed ourselves to feel the depth of suffering in ourselves, we become more attuned to the suffering in those around us. Sometimes, when the heart breaks, it breaks open. Tom Moon is a psychotherapist in San Francisco. For more information, please visit his website

Thousands March in Bay Area Anti-Trump Demonstrations, Prepare for January 21 Women’s March on Washington By Dennis McMillan Organizing is already underway for the January 21 Women’s March on Washington, when women will stand together in solidarity with their partners and children for the protection of rights, safety, health and for families. As the event page shares, “The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us—women, immigrants of all statuses, those with diverse religious faiths particularly Muslim, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native and Indigenous people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, the economically impoverished and survivors of sexual assault. We are confronted with the question of how to move forward in the face of national and international concern and fear.” The event follows a series of protests involving thousands of participants that began the day after Donald Trump was declared President-elect. In San Francisco, an overwhelming majority of voters (84.3 percent) had chosen Hillary Clinton as their candidate. Angry, agitated people gathered in Harvey Milk Plaza in the Castro with their homemade signs to a last-minute candlelight rally. Veteran activist Cleve Jones opened the event saying, “We must love each other, and then unify!” He was angry that people would compare this presidential election to that of Reagan and the two Bushes. He compared the Trump election to the 1933 rise of fascism in Germany. “We must defend each other!” he concluded. People raised their burning candles in harmony and camaraderie. Protesters carried signs reading: “Build Bridges, Not Walls!” “Not My President!” “Eliminate the Electoral College: One Person, One Vote!” “Stronger Together” (the Hillary Clinton slogan—now more prescient than ever) and very succinctly: “Over It.” Rainbow flags flew everywhere from proud queer hands. Cabaret chanteuse Leanne Borghesi was not dressed in her funny faux queen drag as the hilarious Ms Anita Cocktail, because this was not a fun occasion. She was dressed as the very sad Statue of Liberty with glittered tears running down her face. An-


When your unconscious mind determines that you’re in enough safety to begin processing the trauma, your pendulum begins to swing to the other side. You may then be f looded with intense feelings—horror, sadness, grief, anguish, rage—and these experiences can be so powerful that you may fear that you’re losing your sanity. But at a certain point your unconscious mind determines that you’ve metabolized all of the trauma that you can at that moment. Then the pendulum swings back toward the “numb” side again, and you find yourself in temporary calm.

Trauma recovery is often like that. Your inner pendulum swings back and forth bet ween “numb” and “flooded,” and over time the swings begin to be less and less extreme. Ideally, at some point, the pendulum comes to rest at the midpoint, indicating that you’ve metabolized the traumatic event.

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other protester held a life-sized cardboard representation of the naked Trump statue that appeared in Jane Warner Plaza in the Castro months ago—but the face had been replaced with that of a very scary clown. It was even more unnerving than the original Trump face. A spokesperson from National Center for Lesbian Rights said, “Though we are scared, we have come together, and we will never let same-sex marriage be undone.” She suggested people in depression or distress call the NCLR helpline at 415-392-6257 or toll free 1-800-528-6257 during office hours (9 am to 5 pm Pacific time). Activist Ignatius Bau said, “We cannot give in to fear or depression. We need to change hearts and minds.” A longtime Castro resident since 1973, he recalled protests ranging as far back as Vietnam and the Briggs antigay initiative, saying, “We’re going to have to fight. But we’re used to that.” Stela Furtado, Miss San Francisco Leather 2016 also known as D. Love, said, “We will not go back. We have power!” and led the crowd in a chant of “We have power!” Marriage Equality USA activist John Lewis recalled how we fought against the anti-gay marriage Proposition 8. “We will continue to fight for equality, and never give up.” Then he coaxed the assembled demonstrators to chant over and over again, “Never Give Up!” He concluded, “This is just the first night of a long, long fight.” Someone in the crowd started another chant, the old ACT UP rallying cry, “Act Up, Fight Back!” and the crowd joined in—many, many times—loud and proud. Activist and spiritual leader Gregg Cassin suggested people turn to their neighbor, introduce themselves to perfect strangers, and exchange hugs. As the protesting group from Powell Street marched into the Castro to join those assembled there, we all sang the traditional protest song, “We Shall Overcome”—with tears in our eyes. At the end of the Castro rally, thousands from the cable car turnaround at Powell and Market rally joined the Castro contingent to march down Castro Street to the Mission district, showing solidarity for immi-



The first metaphor is the pendulum, an image which might be useful in understanding how the natural process of recovery works. In the initial stages after a catastrophic event or a severe loss, you’re usually in shock, and your “inner pendulum” typically swings to the side labelled “numb.” It’s as if your unconscious mind knows that to feel everything that has just happened will be too overwhelming for you to handle, so it shuts the nervous system down. In this state, you may hardly be capable of reacting to the trauma emotionally at all. There’s nothing wrong with “numbing out” at this point. It’s a natural survival strategy.

grants’ rights. A large banner from—stretching across both lanes of Castro Street— led off the parade of protesters stating, “Trump says Go Back. We say Fight Back!” The next flank chanted, “Hey hey! Ho ho! Donald Trump has got to go!” and “Donald Trump, go away! Racist, sexist, anti-gay!” There was one humorous sign from an angry woman regarding Trump’s molestations that had been revealed on news programs nationwide: “This pussy grabs back!” The final flank of demonstrators was hundreds from the Bicycle Coalition, walking their bikes and chanting in unison. The combined rallies made an impressive line two lanes deep and over six blocks long. People estimated the total as much as 10,000. As was mentioned earlier, that was just the first of many protests to follow. Four more SF Anti-Trump Protests/ Peace Demonstrations occurred the weekend of November 12–13. One event starting at Powell and Post streets declared as their mission: “refusal of Trump & Pence and their endorsement of racism, xenophobia, ableism, misogyny, sexism, transphobia, homophobia, Islamophobia, and hate in general.” A Group Hug in Dolores Park on November 13 at noon was formed “for those looking for a little comfort at the end of the week,” because “we’re all in a lot of pain,” the organizers said, and “to spread the love and remind each other that we are here for one another as one family.” Downtown protesters of over 1,000 attendees held an 11am sit-in in the public space outside 555 California Street—a building of which Trump is a partial owner.

San Francisco March for America also happened on November 13. Starting at 11 am behind the de Young Museum, the march had participants go down JFK Drive to Ocean Beach. People wore safety pins (a gesture after Brexit, to signify to those around you that you are a beacon of “safety”). In the U.S., it was quickly adopted after the election to show support for victims of hate. The next week, students from at least 10 different high schools walked out of school and marched around the city to protest the election. San Francisco Unified School District officials put the number of students in the district participating in the walkout and protests at around 2,000. Following that, San Francisco’s public schools were offered a classroom lesson plan that calls President-elect Donald Trump a racist, sexist man who became president “by pandering to a huge racist and sexist base.” The union that represents city teachers posted the plan on its website and distributed it via an email newsletter to its more than 6,000 members. The school district has more than 57,000 students. On November 19, the ANSWER Coalition sponsored a “Dump Trump” demonstration in United Nations Plaza—despite damp weather. Some of the hundreds spread out a large parachute and assembled in a circle around it. The demonstrations will certainly continue, no doubt bringing a huge resurgence come Inauguration Day 2017, January 20. Note that the Women’s March on Washington is set for the very next day: https://www.facebook. com/events/2169332969958991/

GLBT Fortnight in Review By Ann Rostow Please Keep Mitt! My vigilant cousin provided us with our word of the week: “kakistocracy,” a government run by the least qualified. Yes, I know. You ran into this now-useful piece of vocabulary a few days ago yourself. Because it’s being passed around just like “shambolic” and “fever dream” and all the other such terms that were making the rounds a couple of months ago in descriptions of the Trump campaign. That was that time, long ago, before Director Comey dropped his bombshell on the Presidential race and brought the Clinton campaign’s double digit lead down to coin flip range. Okay, okay. There were many reasons for the election outcome. Just like there might be many reasons for, let’s say, a car accident. But having a giant clown suddenly race into the middle of the street and start throwing oranges at your windshield might be a more significant factor than the 2psi tire deflation that you were meaning to deal with. And it doesn’t help if the clown yells, “Sorry!” just as you’re about to hit the telephone pole. Last week I was joking about being pleased that Mitt Romney, of all people, might become Secretary of State. Now it looks like we’re not even going to get Mitt. Is it possible that Trump would appoint Giuliani? About 20 minutes just went by since I wrote that question. These days, I find that I am not capable of sustaining these post-election trains of thought and, instead of reaching conclusions, I drift off into unrelated mental wanderings like a child trying to escape a traumatic memory. This time I went to look up something about Giuliani, and I found myself reading a review of The Handmaiden, a lesbian movie that was accused of making lesbian sex look too stylized and unrealistic. (Honestly, having come of age reading The Well of Loneliness, I can’t be bothered with this kind of complaint.) I moved from this into the story of a Russian school teacher who injured her 15-year-old student by impaling her with some phallic object until emergency medics were required. The teacher claimed the girl insisted. Oh, not that old excuse! From there I saw some fuzzy video of “people who get caught having sex in public,” but I resisted clicking for further examples. I saw a headline that confirmed Jemma Lucy is having a lesbian romance with Charlotte Dawson, but I don’t know who these people are. I want you to know about it, but if you are someone who recognizes these names, you’re probably well aware that the two are involved. Finally, I descended to the bottom of the web by clicking on three tips that “really do help you lose weight.” For the record: write a food diary, get a good night’s sleep, and don’t count calories. Not bad. I already sleep well and ignore calorie counts, so I am two thirds of the way towards losing weight—should I choose to pursue that goal. Thanks for Nothing, Millennials! Look, let’s steer clear of Trump and Giuliani and the whole cast of characters for now. I can tell you, for example, that One Million Moms is all tied up in knots over a Zales jewelry commercial that shows a lesbian wedding as one of several examples of love that deserves a diamond. “Zales,” screamed the Moms, “is using public airwaves to subject families to the decay of morals and values, and belittle the sanctity of marriage in an attempt to redefine marriage.” I don’t know who wrote this press release, but you don’t repeat the same major word twice in one statement, let alone twice in one sentence. Use 7

“matrimony” in the first instance, for example. I make this complaint because I am seeing sloppier and sloppier public writing, whether in an article, ad copy, or in a comment like the one above. It’s yet another one of the things I dislike these days. My cohort—the mid baby boomers— are hitting sixty and moving beyond, so we are now primed to voice our disdain for what we perceive as a devolution of culture and society. I was planning to rise above this phase of life, live in the moment and remain optimistic and pleasant to be around. But not anymore. When I was a child, my parents elected John Kennedy. (And that was after they saved the world from fascism!) When I was your age, dear thirtysomethings, we elected a democratic administration twice in a row. When I hit middle age, we elected the first Black president, and re-elected him four years later. Sure, there were a few bumps along the road, but here I turn sixty and hand over the reins and what happens? President Donald Trump? Are you kidding me? I left out the obscene adverb because it’s undignified for someone my age to write: are you f--ing kidding me? Oh, I know it’s not your fault. I’m just looking to blame someone, other than James Comey. Was that an adverb there in that context? I’m proofing this column and am not sure. He Went Back to Jared So Zales. This means that it’s that time again. Time for the same commercials that we see every year because I guess these major companies can’t be bothered to produce a new Christmas commercial once every twelve months. You know the ones I’m talking about: There’s the one where Santa has all these red cars to choose from. There’s the one where a guy can’t ice skate as well as the girl and then he falls and she catches him and he gives her a ring. There’s the one from the company that makes car mats and suggests you might give someone car mats for Christmas. There’s the one where the adults are excited about Christmas morning, and the kids are world weary and barely awake (because the adults got luxury cars as gifts). And then there’s the little drummer boy played ad infinitum. There are the Hallmark Christmas movies. One year I deliberately watched a dozen of those for reasons that escape me now. Here’s one plot: a female corporate executive with an ambitious business boyfriend must go home to a small town for Christmas, for some reason. She is snowed in. She meets her old high school crush who is now the sheriff. He is a widower with a small child. She is in the middle of a deal, which flounders. The boyfriend manages to get to town, but in the end, she lets the deal go down the drain and goes off with the sheriff while the boyfriend pouts and stares at her in disbelief. And here’s another: Santa is retiring but his son, an executive in the real world who is estranged from his father and all he represents, does not want to follow in Santa’s footsteps. Mrs. Santa sends an elf who convinces the son to visit, for some reason. In the end, Santa falls ill, so the son delivers the toys. The two are reconciled. The son revamps the North Pole factory and tells his fiancée the whole story. And how about this one: a poor singlemother family, rich in spirit, sits down on a snowy evening for limited Christmas Eve fare. A knock at the door reveals a white-haired man, down on his luck, who is stranded. Mother and son (maybe two kids) invite the man in and share the little they have. Later, it (continued on page 18)

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SF Library News, Wiener to the Senate, D8 Supervisor Speculation, and Presidential Election Challenges

Do Ask, Do Tell Zoe Dunning New Amnesty Program for SF Library Users If you are one of 155,000 library patrons with overdue items from the San Francisco Library, I have good news for you. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors recently approved an amnesty program for SF Library users who owe money. Under this program, all fines will be forgiven if books are returned between January 3 and February 14, 2017. As a Library Commissioner, I supported this program to encourage residents of SF to come back to the public library, and take advantage of all it has to offer. More than 55,000 library users have had their check-out privileges revoked because they owe over $10 in fines, and typically these are the residents who most benefit from all the free services and programs the library offers. This amnesty program means the city won’t collect the revenue from some outstanding fines receivable, but historically the library doesn’t end up collecting them anyway—the patrons just stay away instead. I’m excited that we’ll be able to welcome them back with a clean slate. Scott Wiener Heads to the State Senate In local political news, Scott Wiener has officially won the race to replace

outgoing Senator Mark Leno as our District 11 Senator in Sacramento. It was a hard-fought race, with millions of dollars thrown into the campaign on both sides. I believe strongly that Scott will be an outstanding Senator. No one works harder than Scott. You may not agree with his positions on every policy issue, but I respect his reasoning and courage to take a stand on tough issues. I know he will represent San Francisco well. Speculation Over Who Will Be the Next District 8 Supervisor Which brings up the question of who his replacement will be on the Board of Supervisors in District 8 (D8). There have been many names rumored, myself included. As I indicated in my last column, I will not pursue nor accept an appointment to the open D8 seat. I don’t have any inside scoop on who the Mayor will select, but fellow Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club members A lex Randolph (another San Francisco Bay Times columnist) and Conor Johnston have been rumored and certainly appear eager to be considered. With two of the Mayor’s three past Supervisor appointments failing to retain their seats when up for election, it will be a critical appointment for Mayor Lee. The problem with Mayoral appointments, and one of the reasons I am not interested, is that any appointee needs to carefully consider the Mayor’s position on any matter before the Board, and will really face difficulty being truly independent. I mean, you owe your seat to the Mayor, likely with the assumption you will align with him. In prior years when Supervisor seats opened up, the appointee had to run the following fall to defend their seat. This means the appointee, upon taking office, must immediately start campaigning to retain their seat. (continued on page 18)

The Very Worst Election bad ideas set to lead the Department of Education, and, of course, Breitbart founder and former executive chair Steve Bannon—that prince of the “deplorables” himself—whispering in Trump’s ear in the West Wing as Special Advisor to the President.

A San Francisco Kind of Democrat Rafael Mandelman Seeing as this is my first column since the election—certainly the very worst election of my lifetime—I feel compelled to acknowledge what we must all be feeling: this really sucks. After eight years of Barack Obama— suave, cool, intelligent, inspiring— somehow the voters of this country have elected as Obama’s successor his very opposite: the rude, brutish, degraded and degrading Donald J. Trump. By “voters” I really mean, of course, the minority of the voters that our constitution has apparently empowered to override the will of the majority. In the days since the election, the majority that voted against Trump has had to endure the fresh insults of each new transition announcement: an attorney general appointee previously rejected from the federal bench for being a racist, a billionaire “philanthropist” with no actual experience in public education but lots of 8

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In the days following the election, the shock and sadness in our great left coast city was palpable. It was somehow comforting to realize, walking down a street past other grim-faced pedestrians or riding on an eerily quiet Muni car, that everyone around was as miserable as I was. For progressives, the local results were decidedly mixed. To be sure, there were a few bright spots: Affordable housing advocates were able to secure a quarter billion dollars for affordable housing development through passage of Proposition C, and they succeeded in beating back the realtors’ ill-conceived Propositions P and U, two extraordinarily cynical antiaffordable-housing measures about which I have written here previously. And San Francisco voters re-confirmed their willingness to fund our schools, overwhelmingly passing the School District’s bond measure (Prop A), City College’s parcel tax (Prop B), and a real property transfer tax to, among other things, make City College free (Prop W). Sandy Fewer’s hard-fought victory in District 1, Norman Yee’s re-election in District 7 and Hillary Ronen’s decisive win in District 9 were also causes for celebration. (continued on page 18)



Maitri Provides 24-Hour Compassionate Care to Low Income Individuals with Advanced AIDS

Photos courtesy of Maitri

Maitri is the only AIDS-specific residential care facility in California focusing on the underserved community of those dying of or severely debilitated by AIDS. Fourteen of 15 beds are reserved for HUD-defined low-income people and represent 90% of San Francisco’s noninstitutional hospice beds. Since opening in 1987, Maitri has been the final home for more than 1300 people who lived with AIDS. Maitri maintains a waiting list of between 10 to 14 people at any given time. The non-profit’s mission statement is: “No one should have to suffer or die alone. Maitri provides compassionate residential care to men and women in need of hospice or 24-hour care and cultivates the deepest respect and love for life among its residents and caregivers.” Current Executive Director Michael Smithwick, who joined Maitri in 2011, will be retiring at the end of the year. Smithwick told the San Francisco Bay Times, “Serving as Maitri’s Executive Director over the last six years has been the most gratifying experience of my life. As I approach retirement at year-end, I now look forward to passing the leadership baton to another.” He is leaving Maitri with a new roof, new HVAC system and financially stable. Maitri staff have told us that they will truly miss his leadership and compassionate spirit. Please mark your calendar now to join Maitri on Saturday, December 17, 2 pm–5 pm, for their annual Holiday Open House at Maitri where all—supporters, staff, board members, volunteers, residents, neighbors and friends— celebrate the joy of the season in classic Maitri style. In 2017, Maitri will be celebrating 30 years of service to the poor/homeless with advanced AIDS. On Sunday, May 7, 2017, Maitri will commemorate its 30th year anniversary at the Golden Gate Club at the Presidio, hosted by one of our favorites: San Francisco comedian Marga Gomez. Save the date!

Maitri Announces New Executive Director, Michael Sorensen Maitri Compassionate Care has announced the appointment of Michael Sorensen as its new executive director. He replaces Michael Smithwick, who announced his retirement on August 5, 2016, which led to Maitri’s Board of Directors launching a nationwide search led by board member Jill Stockwell. Michael Sorensen, MPA, has most recently served as the executive diMichael Sorensen rector of health centers at the National University of National Medicine in Portland, Oregon. He oversaw the business and community affairs of its 20 academic health centers, which offer integrative primary care and classical Chinese medicine. He has a master’s degree in Public Administration from Portland State University’s Hatfield School of Government and received a bachelor’s degree in business, psychology and communications from Marylhurst University in Oregon. During his career, Sorensen has provided a range of services to many organizations, including as Director of Development & Communications at the Cascade AIDS Project and helping the Coalition of Community Health Clinics expand healthcare safety-net services. He has raised more than $20 million in the last decade for the Native American Rehabilitation Association, Native American Youth and Family Center,



Michael Smithwick, Toni Newman, Matthew Denckla

and most recently for Cascade AIDS Project, among others. “We are delighted to welcome Michael Sorensen to Maitri,” said Stockwell, “His background in health services and fundraising will ensure a seamless transition. We look forward to working with him to carry out the organization’s strategic vision.” Sorensen will officially begin work on December 19, but all are invited to meet him at Maitri’s Open House on Saturday, December 17 from 2–5 pm. “We would like to thank Michael Smithwick for reversing a serious operating deficit and for raising funds to improve our facility and pay workers equitably,” said Maitri Board President Michael Niemeyer. “We are thrilled to have found a seasoned executive director who can maintain the soundness of the operation.”

World AIDS Day: Books, Health and History

Inconvenient Truth

his eyes for a moment. I wanted desperately to say or do something helpful, but my anxiety was paralyzing.

Words Michele Karlsberg In the insightful and inspirational memoir, The Sea Is Quiet Tonight, Michael Ward returns to the early years of the AIDS epidemic, when so little was known and so few who were diagnosed survived. He chronicles in candid detail his partner Mark’s decline and eventual death. By looking back on these devastating events, the author not only honors a generation lost to the illness, but also opens a vital window onto the past, before medication helped save lives and when HIV/AIDS was usually a death sentence. Below is an excerpt from the book: Dr. Groopman called on Monday afternoon. I answered the phone and could tell from his voice that the news was not good. He said without preamble, “Mike, I’m sorry, I really didn’t expect Pneumocystis. You’ll have to bring him right over.” I handed the phone to Mark and watched his face lose expression as he listened. “OK, thank you for calling. I’ll get my things together.” He handed me back the phone and we looked at each other. Neither of us spoke, then Mark closed

Finally I said, “I’ll make us a cup of tea first, then we’ll pack your bag.” He nodded and I went out to the kitchen, put the kettle on the stove, and got out our favorite mugs, his with a sailboat and mine with the Boston skyline. Suddenly I sat down hard on a chair. Inhale, exhale, one to four. The house was absolutely still. When the kettle whistled I jumped, then prepared the tea and joined Mark on the sofa. His voice was steady despite the labored breathing. “At least we know for sure what we’re dealing with,” he said. I wanted to cry in the worst way but knew it was the last thing he would want to deal with. Mark’s check-in at the hospital was expedited and he was put into a room immediately. Within f ifteen minutes he was in a hospital gown and had a cannula hooked to his nostrils. I could tell he was struggling to breathe, and I asked him if he needed more air. “No,” he said, “I need less anxiety.” Dr. Groopman showed up soon after that. He had become a positive force for us in such a short time. Mark brightened when he saw him. The doctor said, “We’re going to start you on a course of antibiotics, Bactrim first, to deal with the virus. It’s worked with some other patients and I’m confident we can arrest it.” Mark nodded but did not speak. “If Bactrim doesn’t work, we’ll go to Pentamadine.” He brief ly laid his hand on Mark’s shoulder. “We just need you to rest and let the medicine do its job.” I asked, “Do you have any idea how long he’ll be hospitalized? I should call his parents.”

“It’s hard to predict. Let’s see how he responds to the Bactrim.” When the doctor left I lay down on the bed next to Mark and tucked myself against his side, careful not to jostle the line to the oxygen tank and putting no pressure on his chest. We were quiet for what seemed like a long time. Finally I remembered his toast on our first anniversary. “Shoulder to shoulder,” I said. Barely audible, he murmured, “Yes,” then dozed until a nurse came into the room. Michael Ward is a retired psychotherapist. He was instrumental in the development of “The Shared Heart” (William Morrow, 1997), which presents the portraits and coming-out stories of forty gay and lesbian teenagers. “The Shared Heart” won the American Library Association’s Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Book Award in the nonfiction category in 1998. It was also on ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults list in 1999. Happily married, Michael lives on Cape Cod with his husband, Moe, and cat, Jack. Michele Karlsberg Marketing and Management specializes in publicity for the LGBT community. This year, Karlsberg celebrates twenty-seven years of successful book campaigns.

Erma’s Story By Michael Smithwick “Maitri saved my life twice. And both times they helped me get healthy and return home to my family.” Erma first arrived at Maitri in 2006, very sick with advanced AIDS. When she entered Maitri, Erma was frail and weak, but our staff was able to stabilize her and nurture her back to good health after several months of our signature 24-hour care. Then in 2015, Erma experienced severe medical complications from hepatitis C, which had damaged her liver, and she returned to Maitri under the direct request of her doctor. “Maitri saved my life twice by helping me get healthy and return home,” says Erma. Now Erma is at home again to celebrate this Christmas with her family. “Maitri was a place I could get the urgent care I needed to get back on my feet and keep living,” says Erma. “Everyone was so supportive of me and my family over the last 10 years, and I’m happy to say I am now much stronger and still alive—all because of the Maitri family.”

“My favorite thing at Maitri was bingo night with friends and volunteers,” adds Erma. “And the holiday season there is just beautiful—especially Christmas—and I am truly grateful for all the gifts and love I received.” Erma is typical: We provide the nutrition, treatment, and compassion—but our patients bring the courage. Join us in giving others like Erma, who bravely face a life and death struggle with late-stage AIDS, a second chance at a full and independent life. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation today to support Maitri’s good work for both our hospice residents and for those seeking medical stabilization. Maitri has faced increased demand for our services this year, making your gift all the more critical—and impactful. Thank you so much for your generosity and for remembering Maitri’s residents during the holidays. Please go to and make your donation today. P.S. Maitri Compassionate Care is a 501(c)3 organization. Please consider making your donation before December 31, 2016, for tax deductibility purposes. Michael Smithwick is the Executive Director of Maitri.

6/26 and Beyond John Lewis & Stuart Gaffney No aspect of the 2016 election was more unsettling for us than being forced to confront one of life’s most discomforting but universal truths: despite our best efforts to direct a particular result, ultimately we cannot control what happens. No one knows this truth more deeply than a good friend of ours who, as the final weeks of the election campaign were unfolding, was forced to confront it in the most profound and personal way possible: he learned that the cancer he had been diagnosed with a year earlier had metastasized and was spreading aggressively. He had just a short time left to live. Lying on a hospital bed at home under hospice care, he learned the results of the election. The news troubled him greatly even though he would soon be gone. He no longer had the time or capability to check news sources or follow the particulars of the drama taking place. He knew the essentials of what was going on and had deep concern for the future of all of us left behind. Our friend, who had spent his entire work life in HIV/ AIDS prevention and education, had practiced meditation for many years and invited friends to come sit in meditation with him every morning in his apartment. He grounded us in our breath and guided us in letting go of any tension we were holding in our bodies. He invited us to clear our minds of negative thoughts and emotions that were not helping us. He offered that while not ignoring harmful things going on, we could view life as an art gallery, seeing beauty and goodness all around us. Our friend had realized that in life “there’s always something else left to do,” but he felt his life was complete. He was radiant. He accepted his impending death and did not fear it. He was grateful for his life, and we were all grateful for him as well. As he was dying, he was clearly very much alive. He said goodbye. But he didn’t die as he thought he would. Even as he had done the ultimate letting go—accepting, even welcoming his death—life would not let him go just yet. He joked, “I’d really like to be able to have a date I could mark on the calendar for everyone.” Being alive was painful for him both physically and emotionally, and he couldn’t control when he would go. “I’m ready to be gone, but I’m still here.” Most importantly, our friend’s heart remained open. He continued to speak of love and compassion. His good intentions sustained him, even when he fell short. Franklin D. Roosevelt in his first inaugural address in 1932 proclaimed: “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” Roosevelt in the same address declared: “This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly.” Our good friend has confronted the fear of death and has been able to choose not to indulge it. He has given us the gift of sharing the truth of the last days of life frankly and boldly. Perhaps his wisdom is part of our way forward. 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 same-sex marriage legal nationwide. S AN F R ANC IS C O BAY   T IM ES DEC EM BER 1, 2016


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Who Says You Must Have a Traditional Wedding? By Elaine Herman So, you’re getting married! Every couple wants their wedding to be unique and to put their own personal stamp on the occasion, from the look of the room to the wedding feast. After all, you’re not just blending your lives, you’re blending your families, your traditions and your cultures. Your menu should be a reflection of who you are as individuals and together as a couple. Your caterer will be instrumental in creating the perfect menu that showcases everything that is important to you. We find that many of the couples we work with are looking for some kind of twist on a traditional celebration. It might be incorporating ethnic influences into the menu or opting for a different style of service, like family style or stations. Maybe it’s a dish they shared on their first date. One thing is for sure: they are looking to break out of the standard mold. In addition to mixing up the menu, the presentation is just as important as the food itself. At 49 Square Catering, we believe in having fun with our menus. As a matter of fact, our unofficial tagline is that we encourage you to play with your food! Taking a playful attitude towards food presentation gives your guests something unexpected and memorable. We’ve created several custom display pieces to showcase everything from appetizers to desserts. It’s a total “WOW factor”! The pieces create a visual focus that can be seen from across the room, and guests are delighted and engaged by these beautiful stations. They can be customized with flowers, photos or other mementos to personalize the experience. And let’s not forget about dessert! There are no hard and fast rules that say you must have a traditional wedding cake. We see many couples who want a small cake just for the ceremonial cutting, but they want something completely different for the reception. For example, anyone can do an ice cream sundae bar. How are you going to elevate it to something memorable? We custom fabricated what we call our “Suspended Animation” station, an interactive art piece where the chocolate and caramel sauces are poured over fruits like apples and oranges suspended from a frame above containers of ice cream— or cake, marshmallows, fruit … let your imagination run wild! The sauces drop onto whatever is in the container, and as the layers of chocolate and caramel build up, the fruits become more and more like pieces of edible sculpture. Elaine Herman has been in the events industry for over 20 years. She has pretty much seen and done it all, from cooking to event planning and everything in between. She brings her collective experience to her role as Director of Sales and Partner at 49 Square Catering. She may be reached at or on her cell, which is permanently affixed to her ear, 510-390-3231. Frederick Sullivan and Jaime Botello, who oversee the Weddings & Occasions page for the San Francisco Bay Times, are the talented wizards behind Sullivan-Botello Events (415-334-7394, http:// and SnB Party Rentals (650-877-0840, Both are Certified Wedding Planners with extensive experience in creating memorable, personalized events for special occasions. Their rental service is incredible, offering everything from beautiful gold Chiavari chairs to LED dance floors, and all at competitive prices. They are the creators of the Gay Vanity Wedding Show and are longstanding members of the Golden Gate Business Association, which is the nation’s first LGBT Chamber of Commerce.


Photography ace Garaje Gooch (left) and William Bulkley are celebrating their recent marriage.

Surrounded by friends and family members, Bay Area singer/songwriter Laura Zucker (right) and Katherine Bell were married by an officiant, Zen priest Rev. Mary Stares (center).



How to Be Financially Prepared for the Holidays

Expecting the Unexpected in Compact Sedans few centuries in the future. So if gay buyers prefer some extra flair in our products, then this new Civic should be a slam dunk

Otherwise you’re “borrowing” the money by using your credit card and slowly paying down the debt you’ve accumulated with high interest costs. If you have multiple credit cards, think about using one for holiday purchases that will give you cash back for savings or airline miles for an additional perk.

Money Matters Brandon Miller For many of us, the holiday season is a time of joy and rest. However, planning for the season’s festivities can feel hectic and may create financial stress. According to the Consumer Reports National Research Center, top holiday stressors for Americans include gift shopping, crowds and long lines, traveling and taking on some level of debt. So how can you give generously but not go overboard on your budget? Here are five ways to keep your cash outlays in check while still having a fun and memorable holiday season: 1. Set a budget. One way to keep tabs on what you spend during the season is to set a limit and try to stick with it. Start by looking at what you spent last year and use that as a baseline for this season. Did you spend more or stay on budget? While gifts and travel may be the first items that come to mind, also consider what you’ll spend on food, decorations, charitable giving and traditions, such as sending holiday cards. 2. Use your credit card wisely. Gifts, travel and festive meals can add up. If you are going to charge expenses over the holidays, try to spend at a level that enables you to pay the bill when it arrives.


3. Focus on more than the price tag. Most of us would appreciate a smaller but more meaningful gift over something expensive that we will likely re-gift. One way to do this is to give experiences that create memories. For example, consider bringing your family to a holiday play or making reservations for a special dinner you can enjoy together. If you have a large family that tends to give gifts to each other, you could suggest drawing names to make the process a bit less demanding on everyone. 4. Shop carefully. Getting a head start on gift buying usually results in savings. It gives you time to explore options and compare prices from different retailers. Planning ahead can also help you to avoid expensive costs for rush shipping. If you’re an online shopper, consider sending gifts directly to the recipient’s home so you won’t have to ship the gift a second time. If you prefer to shop at the mall, look up each item online while waiting in line to checkout. Many stores have a price-match policy, so it’s worth your time to do your research. 5. Consider an alternative to a pricey party. If you typically host a seasonal bash for a bunch of friends, consider another option—inviting that group to volunteer together instead. Contact your favorite charity or search volunteer sites such as All For Good ( to find opportunities that would allow your group to (continued on page 18)


Auto Philip Ruth As Christmas approaches, we bring together two compact sedans in the traditional colors of the season. Those colors return every year to remind us of the holidays. We suddenly see them everywhere, and they cue the celebrations to come. Whatever you think of Christmas, you at least know what to expect at this time of year. Likewise, you’d typically know what to expect after hearing the words “Honda Civic.” The Civic is a car with a decades-long history of simplicity and durability. The default recommendation for compact-car buyers typically started with the Civic and Toyota Corolla, and then you’d branch out from there if they proved to be too bland. Bland this new Civic ain’t. It was redesigned for 2016, and the coupe shown here and the hatchback that debuts for 2017 really spice up this nameplate. It wasn’t just this Civic’s Energy Green paint that turned heads; people scrutinized it to take in the complex detailing. The tail lights alone look like boomerangs from a science-fiction thriller set a

O r s o I t h o u g ht when I recommended the Civic to a couple whom I’d helped buy a previous-generation Civic Si. T hey’re sen iors, and it seemed that they’d benef it from the automatic braking offered by Honda Sensing. The Civic has broad availability of Honda Sensing— others force you to buy expensive options to bolster the profitability of semi-autonomous driving technology, but Honda offers it all the way down on the cheapest Civic LX. But that’s only on the sedan, while the coupe and hatchback force buyers into the pricey Touring trim. This couple wanted a hatchback, but they’d settle for a sedan. Then came finding one at dealers, where there were few Civic LXs with Honda Sensing. As I searched, more bad news surfaced: Consumer Reports had deleted the Civic from its recommended list, a move that seemed as likely back in the Civic’s heyday as Donald Trump being voted the U.S. President-elect. I found it difficult to recommend my Civic 1.5T Touring sedan tester—the navigation system was distracting and inaccurate, and the turbo engine had a laggy response. I told my readers to buy an Accord instead.

Honda Civic Touring Coupe

Acura ILX

Still, I held out hope for the simpler Civic LX, until a production stoporder turned up on Civic LXs for engine failure. With that, my clients were done with the Civic, because of its questionable durability. That was a weird day for me, as I’ve recommended Civics all my life. So what to do if you want a Honda compact sedan? Take a look at the more upscale Acura ILX, which combines old-school Honda zippiness with roominess and plenty of easy-to-use tech. The tested A-Spec added a louder exhaust and a stiffer ride, and it was much fun to drive. It’s not the likely choice, but the ILX is a better bet than the Civic. Philip Ruth is a Castro-based automotive photojournalist and consultant at www. Check out his automotive staging service at



NEWS (continued from page 5) ment officer and Demetri Moshoyannis as managing director of strategic partnerships. Both will leverage their combined 40 years of nonprofit expertise to further expand PRC’s services. The organization recently announced its merger with AIDS Emergency Fund—an emergency financial assistance provider for lowincome residents disabled by HIV/ AIDS—and Baker Places, which provides a comprehensive array of residential treatment services to people with mental health, substance abuse and HIV/AIDS-related issues. Mayor Lee, SFPD, HRC, and Community Partners Announce Proactive Steps to Deter Hate Crimes Mayor Ed Lee, San Francisco Police Department Acting Chief Toney Chaplin, and Human Rights Commission Executive Director SherROSTOW (continued from page 7) becomes clear that the man might be a criminal on the loose and/or an escaped prisoner. Police arrive and the mother is about to turn in the visitor when the son intervenes and tells police the man was walking down the lane away from town. The man is thankful for the family’s protection. He eventually turns out to be a) the children’s long lost rich grandfather, or b) a magical angel. I really don’t know whether to be happy or crazed this time of year. I suppose I wind up mixing both together, donning my Santa hat, shaking up a Negroni and setting the TV on “fireplace” while I compose limericks about naughty reindeer. Oh, speaking of naughty animals, I should mention that UKIP politician Jonathan Reese-Evans lost his bid for party leadership. Earlier in his campaign he had told the story of how a gay donkey once raped his horse. UKIP is the far right “Independence” party that led the Brexit camp. And in other U.K. news, I see here on the BBC that a family from Wiltshire adopted a three-month-old polecat that their son Gary found while doing his paper route. The polecat has been named Tommy. I’m serious! This is official news. According to the BBC, “the family already has two dogs and four ferrets, but despite the competition, Tommy

DUNNING (continued from page 8) yl Evans Davis joined city officials and community partners to announce that together, San Francisco will stand as one against hate crimes by deploying an enforcement strategy and resources for communities in need. The City of San Francisco and its departments are committed to working proactively to ensure that San Francisco is a safe place for everyone regardless of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, age, ancestry or national origin. With hate crimes among the many types of crime that go under-reported each year, combating this issue will require enforcement strategies, education, outreach and highlighting resources already available to communities in need. In addition to investigating hate crimes, SFPD will deploy a new proactive operation using crime data to place plainclothes officers in areas where hate crimes have been previously reported.

First Castro Bike Share Stations Coming Plans for over a dozen new Bike Share Stations in The Castro are part of a much-larger expansion of this successful program throughout the city and many other parts of the Bay Area. Stations near Dolores and Duboce Parks (Dolores at 18th Street, Duboce at Noe Streets) were approved earlier this month. SFMTA has scheduled a further hearing for this Friday, December 2, in City Hall Room 416 to move forward on four more Castro Bike Share Stations. They are at the northeast corner of Noe–18th, the northwest corner of Sanchez–15th Street, the southwest corner of 16th–Prosper in front of the Eureka Valley-Harvey Milk SF Public Library Branch, and the northwest corner of Dolores– 17th Streets.

is still managing to ‘run about and cause mischief.’”

the nasty boyfriend from Home Town Christmas freeze in stunned silence as Lindsey ran to embrace the handsome sheriff and his little boy.

I’m not even sure what a polecat is. I just know that this makes me feel better about my own news selections. (By the way, how did they know that Tommy was three months old?) In Other News… You see, I’ve told you about Tommy the polecat, but I have yet to touch on the first several items on my news list, which are generally the most significant community developments. (Tommy the polecat wasn’t even on the list to begin with!) We have, for instance, another federal judge who has ruled that Title VII, the federal law that protects most people from job bias, should be interpreted to include sexual orientation. Yay! That’s the second in recent weeks and comes as the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit prepares to take up this crucial issue as well. The mean governor of North Carolina, Pat McCrory, has yet to concede that he lost his reelection bid on Election Day, even though it’s clear that he did. Those of us who dislike this man (who helped engineer the HB2 anti-trans bathroom bill) are enjoying watching him twist in the wind, much as we enjoyed watching

What else? Lambda Legal has an interesting intersex client who is trying to get a passport without checking either the male or female box on the application. The State Department says they don’t care which box is checked, only that one of the two official genders is selected. As Lambda points out, this indicates that indeed the State Department has no interest in the truth of the passport form, only in the mindless technicality of filling out the form as instructed. And Saturday Night Live’s Colin Jost got in trouble for making a trans joke on Weekend Update. “The dating app Tinder announced a new feature this week, which gives users 37 different gender identity options,” Jost quipped. “It’s called, ‘Why Democrats lost the election.’” First of all, I hate the humorless reputation of the GLBT community, and lesbians, in particular. Do you know how many lesbians it takes to change a light bulb? That’s not funny. Ba da bing! But here’s what I don’t like about Jost’s trans joke. The Democrats never discussed the gay community or the trans community during the election. We were not avoided; we just didn’t come up. Yes, North Carolina’s HB2 law was the subject of media coverage. But Clinton never talked about it. Obama never talked about it. I suppose Colin Jost could have changed his tag line to: “Why North Carolina Democrats lost the election!” except for the fact that the North Carolina Democratic candidate for governor actually won his election, defying the national GOP trend, not in spite of but because of his pro-trans policies and his pledge to roll back HB2, if possible. The 37 gender identities on Tinder ref lect a generational change, not some kind of partisan frivolity. As for bathroom laws like HB2, they are a Republican obsession, not a Democratic talking point. I just read, for the record, that Texan Republicans plan to introduce a bathroom ban next year which will be titled: the “Women’s Privacy Act.” And, since the law will oblige everyone to use the bathroom of their birth gender, this means that very masculine transgender men will be forced into the ladies’ rooms. I would say “only in Texas…” were that only the case.



In my opinion, the city and the constituents from that district suffer while the new Supervisor is focused on their campaign, rather than legislation and community engagement. This year, the D8 seat situation is different because there is no city-wide election in 2017 (now that they have been realigned to the same cycle) and therefore the D8 appointee retains the seat for nearly two years until November 2018. That gives them a good 22 months or so to establish themselves, giving them a better chance to serve their district and provide a track record of legislative votes before coming up for election.

Personally, I have not yet progressed to the “acceptance” stage of the five stages of grieving, but I am at least resigned to the terrible outcome of Donald Trump being our next President, appointing our next cabinet, and possibly nominating our next Supreme Court justice(s). I dearly hope recount efforts prove Hillary will be our next President, but for my own emotional sanity, I’m not contributing much energy or effort toward the recount effort, or efforts to change the electoral college vote later in December. I am too devastated by the Electoral College results to be let down again.

Presidential Election Results Challenged On a national level, the presidential election results continue to be challenged, on all sides. Jill Stein and the Clinton campaign are starting to fund and support recounts in three battleground states that had razor thin victories for Trump: Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan. Meanwhile, Trump is claiming “millions of illegal votes” were cast and the he actually won the popular vote. There is absolutely no evidence to support his claim; just his own wild assertion. So, hang onto your hats as this continues to get debated.

Stepping aside from the current political environment, here’s wishing you a happy holiday season. Express your gratitude to those you love, and be good to one another this season and all year long. 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 CoChair 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.

MANDELMAN (continued from page 8) But the bad news was bad and big. Downtown, the realtors, the landlords and tech spent millions to defeat Propositions D, H, L and M, regain control of the Board of Supervisors and stop Jane Kim’s election to the State Senate. They succeeded. Kim lost the State Senate race to Scott Wiener, and while I do not doubt that Wiener will be a fine State Senator— no one can deny Wiener’s work ethic or his intelligence—there can also be no denying that his instincts are more conservative than his predecessor’s, and his ascension will surely further empower the corporate interests that backed him so strongly. Meanwhile, control of the Board of Supervisors has now swung back to the business Dems, with Dean Preston losing to incumbent London Breed in District 5 and Kimberly Alvarenga losing to Ahsha Safai in District 11. Had either of the two won, the Board would have maintained its current 6–5 anti-machine majority. The losses in Districts 5 and 11 are frankly all the more frustrating for how close they ended up being. In District 5, Preston lost by fewer than 2000 votes, 52.18% to 47.82%. Alvarenga’s loss was even closer and more heartbreaking: just 413 votes, 49.06% to Safai’s 50.94%. We will never know if a united progressive front in District 5 could have made the difference for Preston—many progressive leaders

and organizations stayed out of the race entirely or endorsed Breed, believing Preston simply couldn’t win— just as we will never know if a Democratic Party endorsement could have made the difference in District 11, but it is tempting (and saddening) to think that these races were winnable. Locally and nationally, it is clear that liberals and progressives have a lot of work to do. I have been heartened by the anger and determination that Trump’s election has inspired. There will surely be much need for resistance in the days and years ahead, and early indicators are that our people are resolved and ready for that. In some ways, our reaction to Trump’s election reminds me of our community’s response to Proposition 8 in 2010. After the initial shock, we went to work: marchers marched, protesters protested, and litigators litigated. Just a few short years later, a movement that seemed to have stalled had won marriage equality across the land. November 8 represented a stunning setback for us and a reminder that history rarely follows a straight path. Still, despair is not really an option, especially not when we have so much fight left in us. Rafael Mandelman is an attorney for the City of Oakland. He is also President of the City College of San Francisco Board of Trustees.

MILLER (continued from page 16) spend time together without the big cost. If festive parties help you get in the spirit, put a spin on tradition by asking guests to bring their favorite holiday dish or suggesting a round-robin dinner. With either option, you’ll enjoy the party without the big price tag. If you feel like you’ve overspent in the past, look at this holiday season as an opportunity to be creative as you find ways to have fun while keeping your spending in line. B ra n don Mill e r, CFP is a financial consultant at Brio Financial G roup, 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.



From the Coming Up Events Calendar See page 36 Wednesday, December 7 - Rainbow World Fund Tree of Hope Lighting and Party – 5:30 pm @ San Francisco City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place. Concert by the Grammy winning SF Boys Choir with emcees Donna Sachet, Cheryl Jennings and more.

Saturday, December 10 - Vodka & Latkes 5.0 – 8 pm @ Venue550, 550 15th Street. A kickoff Chanukah party and benefit with music, latke bar, cocktails, dancing and more.

Captain Nutcracker Brings Fantastic to Dance-Along Nutcracker®! Vixen), who appeared in previous DA N productions as Queen Rattannia and Ozma. Her credits include performing and emceeing with Red Hots Burlesque, The Diamond Daggers, Macabaret, Hubba Hubba Review, Baxtalo Drom and Little Minsky’s.

Because only the suite portion of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Ballet (the fairyland dances we all know from Fantasia) is arranged for concert band, the show is rounded out with music on a theme. In between DanceAlong segments, actors and dancers tell Clara’s story, and sing and dance in feature numbers so the audience can catch its breath and enjoy some spectacle. This year’s cast includes some familiar and some new faces among the ensemble. All are Bay Area performers who have worked with Cast Director Flynn DeMarco, directing his fourth DAN. DeMarco, who heads the cast himself this year as Captain Nutcracker, most recently appeared as Giles in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Live!” and has appeared in many Thrillpeddlers productions. Clara is played by Tina Sogliuzzo (aka Ruby


What exactly is a Dance-Along Nutcracker (DAN)? Inspired by the Sing-It-Yourself Messiah, the DAN is all about getting the audience into the act. Think mosh-pit with fairy wands and ballet music, and you’ve got the general idea. Since the Freedom Band’s first DAN in 1985, Sugar Plum wannabes have tied on tutus and leapt onto the dance floor while the Freedom Band performs Nutcracker greatest hits like “Waltz of the Flowers” and “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.” Most of the audience jumps into the fray, though wallflowers are welcome to watch from their seats too.

Dee Nathaniel, who plays Fritz, is also a veteran of Ham Pants Productions, and will be featured in the new Thrillpeddlers’ m u s i c a l “A m a zon Apocalypse.” Drew Todd, who plays Doctor Ratopol is, most recently appeared in the Oasis’ Stalemagnolias with Fowler. Rounding out the cast as rat minions and superhero extras are members of the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco. “It’s nice to work with people [you know] that way, because there is a trust there and a familiar family feeling,” DeMarco said. Of course, the DAN is at its core the holiday per for mance of t he Freedom Band, and conducted by Artistic Director Pete Nowlen, music is its own major design element. This year’s theme allowed Nowlen to combine music from classic superhero themes from both television and film. John Williams’ Superman, the Batman TV Theme, Captain America March and Pixar’s The Incredibles all take a spin on the DAN jukebox. Nowlen adds some classical superhero fare with Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries. You’ll also hear dashes of Tchaikovsky mixed in with the superhero anthems. “I love the challenge of mashing together the music from different sources,” Nowlen said. “I just love creating a show! It is a more creative endeavor than executing a concert or a show from pre-existing material.” This year the audience has the opportunity not only to dance with the Freedom Band, but also to sing with it for a sing-along number as well. The opportunity to sing with


the complex sound of a large wind ensemble is one of the perks that keeps DeMarco and his cast coming back, although this show only runs for a single weekend each year.


For its 2016 Dance-Along Nutcracker, The Fantastic Adventures of Captain Nutcracker!, the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band takes its inspiration from comic book superhero stories. The ballet’s enchanted prince is transfor med i nto t he ch is el-chinned hero, Captain Nutcracker. Rather than battling rats under the tree, he and Clara follow the trail of the nefarious Doctor Ratopolis, who leads the tinseled twosome on a holiday crime spree.

“It’s a thrill to get to sing in the beautiful Yerba Buena Center and being backed up by such a huge band,” DeMarco said. “And seeing how excited the kids and even adults get by the shows and the ability to participate makes it all worth it!” The Fantastic Adventures of Captain Nutcracker runs Saturday and Sunday, December 10 and 11, at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts ( Trumpet player Heidi Beeler has been a member of the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band since 1991. She is also a founding member of the Dixieland Dykes +3. For more information, please visit www.sflg or fb



Look! Up in the sky! Is it a bird? Is it a parasailing ballerina? No! It’s Captain Nutcracker—with his caped sidekick, Clara!


Heidi Beeler

Choreog rapher Mar i ly nn Fowler, who f irst choreographed last year’s The Nutcracker of Oz, returns to choreog r aph a nd a l so play s Moonshadow, the head of the Rainbow League of Heroes. Fowler has worked with the Sick & Twisted Players, the Tuck & Roll Players, Artfull Circle Theatre, the One Act Theatre Company and the Thrillpeddlers.


East Side Stories

Scenes from the 2015 Dance-Along Nutcracker, themed “Nutcrackers of Oz”








Closet Monster Deftly Mixes Harsh Reality with Fantasy

Film Gary M. Kramer Closet Monster, opening December 2 in San Francisco, is a fantastic—as in great, as in surreal—Canadian film about Oscar (Connor Jessup), a confused teenager who confides his troubles to his pet hamster, Buffy (voiced by Isabella Rossellini). Oscar has many troubles. He is growing detached from his father, Peter (Aaron Abrams), and is almost completely estranged from his mother Brin ( Joanne Kelly). He dreams of being a makeup artist, and creates monstrous designs for his best friend Gemma (Sof ia Banzhaf ) to model. Gemma is crushed on Oscar, but Oscar is crushed on Wilder (Aliocha Schneider), whose sexuality appears to be fluid. What is more, Oscar is still haunted by a childhood tragedy he witnessed as a young boy, which involved a classmate being sodomized by a metal rod in a hate crime. Director Stephen Dunn tackles many heavy themes in Closet Monster, especially involving shame and sexuality. But his engaging film, while dark, is more life-affirming than depressing. The images are vivid, and the performances, by Jessup especially, are quite powerful. Dunn spoke with me via Skype for the San Francisco Bay Times about his film. Gary M. Kramer: You mix harsh reality with fantasy in Closet Monster, and it works splendidly. How did you come up with the film’s characters, the storyline, and the symbols? Stephen Dunn: For me, the one symbol the entire film is inspired by is the hate crime weapon—a symbol of fear that is also used as a weapon of defense. I developed the entire story back from that image. I wanted there to be only one true person Oscar can be vulnerable and honest with: Buffy. She was there with him during the hate crime and she knows more about this psychology and what’s going on with him internally than Oscar does himself. Gary M. Kramer: The story is a coming of age tale that shows how Oscar copes with fear and trauma. What can you say about the way Oscar deals with his family situation, his sexuality, and the other difficulties he faces? Stephen Dunn: There is a lot of isolation. Oscar has separated himself

from his family. His relationship with his mot her is non-existent. He’s grown apart from his father, whom he drew his creativity from as a child. He resents his father and his casual homophobia, which severs their bond. He has a confusing relationship with his best friend, Gemma, who likes him. The only way he can confront that isolation is after he meets Wilder, his f irst crush, who forces him to acknowledge this presence growing inside of him that’s been growing his whole life. It’s not a love story. It’s a self-love story: a young man learning to overcome internalized homophobia from the metaphor of something literally growing inside of him. Gary M. Kramer: What can you say about Buffy as a spirit animal for Oscar? Why a hamster? Stephen Dunn: [Laughs]. Because I had a lot of hamsters growing up. I was also an only child and I wanted Oscar to have no one to turn to as a child going through a divorce. I wanted the hamster to have a persona and be a pivotal identity for him. Gary M. Kramer: Closet Monster has many textures, from the smell of the shirt Wilder borrows to the horns that Oscar (and Gemma) wears, to the fur cap, or the metal rod that is the hate crime weapon. Can you talk about creating the textures? Stephen Dunn: All the things you mentioned are elements that are telegraphed through Oscar’s point of view. They heighten his imagination or access his memory. We achieved them through macro-photography and slow-motion. I wanted to get into Oscar’s head and see his perspective. The rod is rough and visceral and bloody. It haunts him throughout his adolescence. The fur hat is reminiscent of Buffy. I wanted to tie Buffy into Oscar’s lack of a maternal figure throughout his childhood. Gary M. Kramer: What can you say about the vivid visuals in the film? You depict Oscar on drugs at a party through a series of staccato shots. Stephen Dunn: I collaborated with my production designer and cinematographer to create a palate and texture for the film—to create a reality. We wanted to have it grounded in reality and heightened in areas that push the boundaries, so Oscar vomiting nuts and bolts in the party scene is

a frenetic and chaotic experience, especially in regards to the rest of the film. I wanted that to be loud, aggressive, and bombastic, and contrasted greatly by the tender, quiet treehouse sequence when Oscar and Wilder share a moment of intimacy. Gary M. Kramer: How did you capture the awkward moments, such as Gemma’s meeting with Oscar’s dad in the parking lot? Stephen Dunn: Awkwardness is a human experience and can tell us a lot about someone. There is discomfort in secrecy and lies. There are secrets being kept between characters, and when you have that lack of openness, those secrets bubble to the surface. I’m drawn to that kind of confrontation. Gary M. Kramer: The film has themes of shame and pride. How did you want to depict these elements, and what was your purpose for portraying them as you did? Stephen Dunn: Shame is a massive tool of oppression in this story. As a gay man, Oscar experiences shame when he learns about this hate crime and that he might be different or in danger as a result, so he represses himself. He associates sexuality with violence; he sees it as monstrous and is ashamed of it. The film is about him facing that shame in an attempt to overcome it. The people who use shame as a tool to oppress are often suffering shame themselves. Gary M. Kramer: What points did you want to make about masculinity? Stephen Dunn: Oscar is really suffering from the struggle of what masculinity should be. He’s a makeup artist trying to change his face, but the images he makes are gravitating to monstrous and macabre, and queer—but queer in the sense of being strange, not gay. That’s something of a big struggle for him. It’s not the most masculine career, makeup, but the images are frightening. It’s an absolute contrast to Wilder, who is so comfortable with his sexuality. He is what Oscar wishes he could be. It’s more that Oscar wants to be him than be with him. That’s why the film isn’t about two guys coming together, but a young man trying to figure out who he is and to destroy the toxicity and hate living inside him. © 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 S AN F R ANC IS C O BAY   T IM ES DEC EM BER 1, 2016


24th Annual Songs of the Season Photos by Rink Host Donna Sachet welcomed on stage featured guests including Sharon McNight, Brian Kent, Jason Brock, Dan O’Leary, Leanne Borghesi, Kippy Marks, Brooke Michael Smith and the SF Gay Men’s Chorus ensemble Dyn4mix to the 2016 edition of Songs of the Season. An LGBT community tradition for 24 years, Songs of the Season was held this year at the new night club venue Halcyon, which Donna has declared to be the event’s new home.

Harvey Milk Memorial March & Vigil 2016

Photos by Rink

The evening began with a gathering at Harvey Milk Plaza where community members gave remarks, as happens every year on November 27, in memory of Harvey Milk and George Moscone. Activist and Milk supporter Cleve Jones gave a rousing speech, and a moment of silence was observed in memory of those lost at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando earlier this year. Additional speakers, some of whom represented key segments of the overall community, included Harvey Milk Club’s Peter Gallotta, Latino Democratic Club’s Lito Sandoval, Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Zahara Billo, Supervisor David Campos, former Supervisor Harry Britt, former Assemblyman Tom Ammiano and more. All assembled were invited to join in a march on Castro Street to the location of Harvey Milk’s camera shop where Olivia DiNapoli, a senior at the Urban School, read Harvey Milk’s “Hope Speech.” Additional remembrances were also delivered.



Happy Holidays from Castro Merchants! By Daniel Bergerac Businesses in the Castro and Upper Market neighborhoods are ready for another bright, busy and exciting holiday season with great shopping, drinking and dining opportunities. To get us all in the holiday spirit, we’ve got lots of holiday decorations, including the 28’ brightly decorated and lit Holiday Tree at Castro and 18th Streets; red and silver ribbons on Upper Market Street Median Palm Trees between Octavia Blvd. and Castro Street; and— again this year—warm white lights glowing every evening on sidewalk trees along Upper Market from Dolores to Castro Streets. Santa and his Elf already helped us light the Holiday Tree that’s now glowing nightly in front of Bank of America at Castro and 18th Streets. The big Donor Banner, listing those of our 300+ Members who supported the Holiday decorations, is also going up on the side of

Bank of America at 18th and Castro. Later this month, we’ll co-host with Congregation Sha’ar Zahav a Menorah lighting during Hanukkah on Wednesday, December 28, starting at 6:00 pm in Jane Warner Plaza, at Castro-Market and 17th Streets. The Castro offers gift ideas and shopping for everyone, with selections from high fashion to funky, with fun and practical in between. And don’t forget to have some warm holiday get-togethers with friends and loved ones at our great selection of restaurants and watering holes. There is no need to travel to crowded shopping districts and malls— we’ve got it all right here for you. We hope that you’ll join us this holiday season. Come out and play in The Castro! Daniel Bergerac is the President of Castro Merchants.

Castro Tree Lighting Celebration Photos by Blake Dillon and Paul Margolis





The familiar sight of a 28 -foot tree lit and decorated with balls and a star on top returned to Castro and 18th Street with the annual ceremony on Monday, November 28. The large crowd of neighborhood regulars and their guests, visitors from near and far, and civic and community leaders were on hand and enjoyed music by the SF Gay Men’s Chorus and the SF Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band. Emceed by Donna Sachet, the event included a visit from Santa, escorted by SFPD with full sirens and lights blazing, and blessings by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, including San Francisco Bay Times columnist Sister Dana Van Iquity and the ever fabulous Sister Kitty.



Sister Dana Sez: Words of Wisdumb from a Fun Nun

By Sister Dana Van Iquity Sister Dana sez, “I am still stuffed from the feast I had with friends on ThanksGAYing—a term I have coined because I am thankful that I’m gay. And then a few days later we had Thanksgiving leftovers. If I see another turkey leg, I swear I’ll barf!”


The slogan for this year’s annual HARVEY MILK MEMORIAL MARCH & VIGIL was “BAND TOGETHER & FIGHT BACK!” On Sunday, we gathered at Harvey Milk Plaza at 6:30 pm for our annual remembrance of two of our City’s great leaders—Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone. As we reflected on the mass shooting at Pulse in Orlando earlier this year and grapple with the election of a President who campaigned on hateful rhetoric targeting women, Muslims, immigrants, the LGBTQ community, and people with disabilities, it was more important than ever for us to band together and fight back. Harvey inspired us with a message of hope—a message that resonates even more in these turbulent and uncertain times where our community and our rights are under attack. We assembled in Milk Plaza, where a beautiful portrait of Milk was made of flowers as a shrine, as an LGBTQ community in memory of Harvey Milk, a trailblazing leader who showed us that if we band together and fight back, we can create powerful change. As we remembered and honored Harvey’s legacy, this was the time for us to come together and move forward in coalition to fight back: for our community, for our city, and for our country.



Tom Ammiano said, “I am troubled; I am sad about the election; but I also say: eff you, Trump!” Supervisor David Campos emphasized we must fight to keep our City a sanctuary city, despite the temper of the new administration in the White House. “Queer people must stand up for the rights of everyone!” he said. Former Supervisor Harry Britt spoke of that horrible day when he heard Milk had been shot and the lessons learned since. Former chair of the SF Human Rights Commission Cecilia Chung spoke of being first an immigrant, then a gay man, and then transitioning into a transgender woman, and an HIV survivor, urging, “We cannot dial back our civil rights.” Kimberly Alvarengas, who ran for District 11 Supervisor, reminded us what San Francisco is made of: “communities of immigrant workers, families, students, and LGBT community members mobilizing grassroots efforts to win principled leadership for our communities.” Other citizens spoke, and then there was a reading of the names of all the LGBTQ people murdered in America in 2016. This was followed by a march to Harvey’s old camera shop up Castro Street—the site of early gay activism—in the current Human Rights Campaign action center, where a plaque honors Milk on the sidewalk, and a mural of Milk shows him gazing out a window.

Sister Dana is a huge fan of the cult classic show, Absolutely Fabulous— either the BBC TV version or the equally witty live stage productions here in EssEff. So, of course, I had to attend their closing run for November. THE ROYAL BRITISH COMEDY THEATRE has staged all 12 episodes of Seasons One and Two of the Brit hit, “ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS: LIVE!” under the very clever Christian Heppinstall’s direction. And for their third season, RCBT brought British TV’s most stylish dysfunctional family back in “ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS: LIVE! - SEASON THREE” with The candlelight vigil included retwo hilarious episodes, “SEX” flections from LGBTQ commuand “SMALL OPENING” live nity members. Milk Club Presion-stage at The Exit Theatre. The dent Peter Gallotta opened the combined shows starred ZsaZceremony saying we are marching with the hope Milk gave us, despite sa Lufthansa as Patsy, Terry McLaughlin as Edina, Dene these “times of uncertainty and Larson as Saffy, Raya Light darkness.” He said he was proud as Bubble, Lisa Appleyard as to be in a club that was started by Justin and Christopher, GiMilk. Former Assemblyman norma Desmond as David, Sarah and Edina 2, and Ryan Engstrom as Gran. Also starring were Steven Sparrow, Lisa Darter and Hilda Roe. RBCT has not yet announced their next run of live AbFab stage shows, but you know I will be the first to pass along the Dennis McMillan (aka Sister Dana) and a friend enjoying a good news of their return. recent Academy of Friends reception.

Meanwhile you can enjoy Christian Heppinstall aka ZsaZsa Lufthansa aka Patsy Stone hosting a World AIDS Day with QueerSpace LGBTQ Reading Series at The Port Bar, 2023 Broadway in Oakland. Actors will read HIV/AIDS literature. Candlelight Vigil. 6–8 pm. Free. I attended the next in the series, FAGGOT SENSIBILITY: AN EXPLORATION OF GAY/ QUEER MEN’S CONSCIOUSNESS, at the home of Joey Cain. To help us deal with the horror show of the election we had an empowering evening sharing readings from Will Roscoe’s Queer Spirits: A Gay Men’s Myth Book, a collection of stories, tales, poems, and accounts of queer folks and archetypes, ancient and contemporary, from around the world. It was compiled to inspire, guide, and challenge gay men who are seeking a deeper understanding of their sexuality and identity, of the community they live in, of their history and place in society and culture. We joined Will for an evening of storytelling when we took turns reading selections from the book and exploring the ways in which we found ourselves in their heroes and adventures. “Don’t we lead mythical lives? Even the most unassuming of us can tell amazing stories of victory against overwhelming odds, self-respect forged out of mindboggling hate, invention, and wit mothered by inescapable necessity,” wrote Roscoe in the book’s Preface. “This vibrant collection, woven into a seamless fabric by Roscoe’s thoughtful commentary and insight, lights our way on the healing path toward wholeness,” wrote book critic Mark Thompson. In response to last week’s alleged gay-bashing of a man in Oakland—as well as recent reports of anti-immigrant incidents in San Francisco—community organizers hosted a “SAFETY SEMINAR.” It was sponsored by Bay Area Open Minds, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Castro Community on Patrol, SF Bay Area Leather Alliance, and SOMArts. The two-hour event was held at the SOMArts Cultural Center to address awareness while in public spaces, basic self-defense, and mental health. Lenny Broberg was one of the event organizers and acted as emcee with Sister Roma. “Many are emboldened by the rhetoric of the presidential campaign and feel that their hateful speech and violent actions are somehow justified and acceptable,” said Sister Roma, who co-created the Sisters’ STOP THE VIOLENCE CAMPAIGN in 1989. “Even right here in San Francisco.” The free community seminar addressed issues affecting people of color, women, and the LGBTQ community, although the doors were “open to anyone feeling hurt (continued on page 38)

Tiffany Denise Hobbs of The Lion King Reveals Show’s LGBT Themes and the Role Audiences Play version of myself in any given moment. Shenzi’s a classy lady, yet she knows how to “wild out”—luckily, I do, too. San Francisco Bay Times: How did you get your start in the theater, and what drew you to this work?

One of the main characters is “Shenzi” the hyena, played by Tiffany Denise Hobbs, who in person radiates power, elegance and sizzling sexiness. ( Watch this earlier clip from All T hat Jazz and you will see what we mean: https:// watch?v=yrq Jlw3ZSbU) Her character in The Lion King is obviously very different, but no less absorbing. We recently spoke with her about the role and this production of the show. San Francisco Bay Times: Please explain your character and what unique qualities you bring to the role.

Dashaun Young as “Simba” in THE LION KING North American Tour. ©Disney.

San Francisco Bay Times: What are the most exciting aspects of performing in such a show? Do the audiences have any impact on your performances? Tif fany Denise Hobbs: The most exciting part for me is truly seeing the audience’s faces during curtain call, especially the children. Though we can’t always see them (continued on page 38)


Tiffany Denise Hobbs: I play the role of Shenzi, a menacing, yet fun, hyena and the leader of her pack. I think the word combination “crazy, beautiful” is a perfect description for me. In the role of Shenzi, I essentially get to be the dialed-up


T h e L ion K ing is back in San Francisco for a limited run, and we more than highly recommend it. If you h av e a l r e a d y seen one of the productions, we Tiffany Denise Hobbs are preaching to the chorus. You know that you are in for an incredible time. If you have not yet seen this stage musical, get ready to be blown away by the stunning visuals, Elton John and Tim Rice’s music, and gutsy production that seems to know no bounds, with the cast breaking the stage-audience separation at various key points.

Tiffany Denise Hobbs: I asked my mom to let me take acting classes at a local children’s theater company. I loved it, so I begged her to let me audition for John S. Davidson Fine Arts School a year or so later, and I got in. I had been dancing since the age of three, so I decided to supplement my dance training with drama and music in an effort to be more well-rounded (thanks to seeing the national tour of Chicago at ten years old). I took every drama class available and acted in a show every semester. It was my therapy, and I couldn’t imagine a life not on the stage from the very first moment I set foot on a stage.

Nia Holloway as “Nala” and “The Lionesses” in THE LION KING North American Tour. ©Disney. S AN F R ANC IS C O BAY   T IM ES DEC EM BER 1, 2016



Danny Lyon: Message to the Future

Through April 30, 2017, at the de Young

The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco are thrilled to present Danny Lyon: Message to the Future, at the de Young. The exhibition, which enjoyed a critically acclaimed debut at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, is the first comprehensive retrospective of the career of American photographer Danny Lyon (born 1942) to be presented in 25 years. The exhibition was conceived and organized by Julian Cox, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco’s chief curator and founding curator of photography. For the last f ive de c a de s , Lyon has documented individuals considered to be on t he marg ins of society. A leading figure in the American street photography movement of the 1960s, his work is distinguished by a personal intimacy with his subjects, and a determination to provide a charged alternative to the bland v ision of American life often depicted in the mass media.

Danny Lyon, “Mark di Suvero and Danny Lyon, Hyde Park, Chicago,” 1965. Gelatin silver print, Image: 23.9 x 16.2 cm (9 3/8 x 6 3/8 in.); sheet: 25.4 x 20.3 cm (10 x 8 in.). Collection of the artist, L220 © Danny Lyon, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York

“I am trying to make a record … but I discover my facts through forms and beauty. In the most beautiful pictures the truth is easiest seen, which to me seems like out and out magic.” —Danny Lyon, in a letter to his parents, 1964 The exhibition assembles 175 photographs alongside films and ephemera, including many objects that have seldom or never before been on public view. The films in particular are a revelation, and this is the first exhibition to celebrate Lyon’s achievement in this medium. The exhibition draws deeply from Lyon’s personal archives and includes important loans from major public and private collections in the United States. “We are honored to present this in-depth examination of Lyon’s work,” states Max Hollein, Director and CEO of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. “Our museums have a rich history of fostering the region’s engagement with this enticing medium. Lyon’s films and photographs are the epitome of vigor and invention. They deserve to be seen and celebrated by the widest possible audience.” “Danny Lyon is one of the great artists working today,” adds Cox. “For more than a decade, I have held a deep admiration for his work and wished for it to be better known and understood. Lyon’s dedication to his art and his conviction to produce work underpinned by strong ethical and ideological motivations is truly what sets him apart. I hope our audience will be inspired and moved by what they see and find connections with many of the issues—social justice, civil rights, and immigration—that are central to the artist’s concerns and so relevant to our lives today.” Danny Lyon: Message to the Future showcases the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco’s commitment to the medium of photography, and to art that sheds light on the pressing social and economic issues of today. The exhibition will be on view at the de Young through April 30, 2017. Following its San Francisco presentation, it will travel to the Fotomuseum Winterthur in Basel, Switzerland (May 20–August 27, 2017), and then to the C/O Berlin Foundation in Berlin (September 15–December 10, 2017).

Danny Lyon, “Self-portrait, Chicago,” 1965/1995. Gelatin silver print montage, Image: 31.2 x 27.8 cm (12 1/4 x 10 15/16 in.); mount: 50.8 x 40.6 cm (20 x 16 in.). Collection of the artist, L209 © Danny Lyon, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York

Danny Lyon, “Occupy Demonstration on Broadway, Los Angeles,” 2011. Digital inkjet print, Image: 24.5 x 32.9 cm (9 5/8 x 12 15/16 in.); sheet: 32.7 x 40 cm (13 x 15 3/4 in.). Collection of the artist, L214 © Danny Lyon, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York

Examples of Lyon’s writings and related information about his work in photography and film can be found on his website: For more information about the exhibit at the de Young: danny-lyon-message-future 30


Danny Lyon, “Stephanie, Sandoval County, New Mexico,” 1969/1975. Gelatin silver print (decorated), Image: 16.7 x 25 cm (6 9/16 x 9 3/4 in.); sheet: 27.9 x 35.6 cm (11 x 14 in.). Collection of the artist, L108 © Danny Lyon, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York

Danny Lyon, “Tesca, Cartagena, Colombia,” 1966 (printed 2008). Cibachrome print, Image: 25.7 x 25.7 cm (10 1/8 x 10 1/8 in.); sheet: 35.6 x 27.9 cm (14 x 11 in.). Collection of the artist, L124 © Danny Lyon, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York

Danny Lyon, “Crossing the Ohio River, Louisville,” 1966. Gelatin silver print, Image: 21.6 × 32.7 cm (8 1/2 × 12 7/8 in.); sheet: 27.9 × 35.6 cm (11 × 14 in.). Silverman Museum Collection © Danny Lyon, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York



Bay Area Students React to Election of Trump (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 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.) Student, Grade 12 “Women’s rights are human rights!” The numerous chants echoed down Market street as my classmates and I, along with countless students from other schools, made our voices heard. A wave of courage swept over all of us as we had just walked out of our academic classes that morning to come together in solidarity and make it known that we were not on the same page as the rest of our nation. Adults, drawn from their desks to their windows by our noise, watched us march. Some filmed us, while others simply cheered in support and offered high fives to the mass of us high school students. The unity and strength in the air was strong. Watching the news that night and seeing our determined faces made the seven mile trek so incredibly worth the physical investment. However, the comments we received online from strangers and even some peers was a whole different story. Some people told us to go to school and get an education, rather than just following the crowd and using the protest as an excuse to skip class. Some of our own peers told us: “A bunch of kids from San Francisco can’t change anything.” We know we cannot overthrow our president-elect with one protest. We know we can’t change the beliefs of others. But what we can do is let people know we do not stand for what our president-elect stands for. That we are with you, women, Muslims, Latinos, African Americans, and any marginalized groups. To let people know there is a safe place to land where people will embrace you for who you are. To catch the attention of others and to start the conversation so that change can happen. Change doesn’t happen overnight, but someone needs to spark the flame. That is what we did. Student, Grade 12



On November 8 voters across America cast their ballots, and at about 10 o’clock pm Pacif ic Standard Time it became clear that Donald Trump was the president-elect of the United States. Hardly anyone could have predicted these results. Certainly, none of the polls did. With some nervousness, but mostly a statistically supported assuredness that I’d see my first female president, I turned on MSNBC’s election coverage and planted myself on the couch. The hours rolled by as votes rolled in. Red began to blossom across the map like a drop of blood, and an anxious, queasy feeling settled deep in my stomach.

Computer on my lap and phone in my hand, I refreshed the data on two different websites as live results showed on the TV. Denial, denial. For a few minutes, it looked like Hillary had a lead, but the moment was f leeting. Trump won Florida. My first tears started to flow. My hand covered my mouth. Somewhere inside my speechless self, I repeated, “This has to be a nightmare.” I checked Facebook, where all my friends shared my sentiments and expressed the same fear and anger. Dark thoughts formed and lingered in my head. What rights will I lose? What rights will my friends lose? I didn’t do enough to stop this. I couldn’t vote. I was too optimistic. I was blind. This, here, is America. And so, Trump became presidentelect, bringing about gleeful celebrations from his supporters for the victory of right-wing extremism. But his election has also brought about a renewal of hate crimes and targeted acts of racial violence, discrimination, and bullying, resulting in an immense fear felt by minorities nationwide. In the last few days, I’ve visited several college campuses and two politically active cities, and I have seen that fear, in the shaking voices of queer students and people of color, as they recount their feelings of terror. But I have also seen an emerging, electrifying force of love and resilience, like nothing I’ve seen before. I have seen vulnerable people who are incredibly scared be incredibly brave, and speak out to crowds of strangers. I have seen over two thousand students from over fifteen schools come together to stand up for the values of our generation. I have seen acts of allyship, where white, straight and cis people took a step back to give POCs and LGBTQ their rightful voice. But of course, there is much, much more to be done. This doesn’t end after #NotMyPresident protests have faded in impact. This doesn’t end after four years of President Trump. Trump’s success in this election has allowed the bigoted, racist, misogynistic, homophobic people of America to stand up a little prouder, knowing that the system stands behind them. Now and in days to come, we must show compassion and appropriately support and protect every person that has been, or will be, affected by this election. It will be difficult. It will be exhausting. It will be painful. However, judging by the activism that we’ve seen in the past week, it seems that our love will carry us that long distance. As my good friend Ben said after the night of the election, “This is not a nightmare—you are awake. In nightmares, we are alone. You are not alone. No one is alone. There is power within community.” Student, Grade 12 I am seventeen years old, just on the cusp of being able to vote and hold a credit card and get a tattoo. In one year’s time, I will possibly be in college, surrounded for the first time by students who have had different upbringings, who have not grown up in

Student Voices San Francisco, the densest, most liberal bubble in the entire world. I have been thinking a lot about what happened November 8. I wonder how I will go forward as an adult in this world that at times seems too doomed and divided to salvage. I wonder how I will go forward as an artist and a writer. I wonder how I will go forward as a woman and a Muslim and a member of the LGBTQ community. I wonder how I will face a new group of students, and how I will approach those who “don’t know what they don’t know” and openly say ignorant and hateful things. Hopefully, I won’t have to, but that hope seems impossible. Somewhere, somehow, I will be given the opportunity to educate. I probably have been given this opportunity multiple times before in my life, but have tossed them away with the idea that I didn’t owe these people anything, that all the misogynistic and racist posts on Facebook belonged to people who were ruined, people who held no interest to me, who were immediately unfriended and unfollowed. (Of course, growing up in San Francisco, this is a rare occurrence.) While it is easy to turn away and fume, to let the ignorant naturally pick themselves off, I now feel like I cannot let myself do this. Yes, we should maintain safety, but we should stand up and fight, and take every chance we can to teach each other about our experiences. This is why I am a writer and reader; because every single individual in this world, all eight billion of them, has seen and felt the world in a different way, and I want to know as much as I can. We cannot let fear take the place of who we are. 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.

Feinstein’s Presents Feinstein’s at the Nikko has announced Feinstein’s Presents, a new series showcasing world-class performers at larger venues throughout the Bay Area. Kicking off the series, Feinstein’s at the Nikko will partner with The Lesher Center for the Arts to present three of the hottest stars of stage Matthew Morrison and screen—actor, singer and songwriter Cheyenne Jackson on Friday, January 20, 2017; Tony Award winner and Bay Area native James Monroe Iglehart on Friday, February 3, 2017; and Tony, Emmy and Golden Globe Award nominee Matthew Morrison on Thursday, March 2, 2017. Additional Feinstein’s Presents artists and venues will be announced at a later date.

479 Castro Street 415.431.5364 32


All three performances will take place at The Lesher Center for the Arts (1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek). Tickets for all performances are available now by calling The Lesher Center for the Arts Box Office at 925-943-7469 or visiting Three-show subscriptions packages (ranging in price from $158–$230) are available.

James Monroe Iglehart

Cheyenne Jackson

SFSPCA Holiday Pet Adoption Windows at Macy’s Photos by Rob Schroeder

On November 18, Macy’s + SF SPCA unveiled their Macy’s Union Square holiday windows for 2016. The windows famously feature adoptable animals. On Black Friday, gorgeous black doggies and kitties were in force. As the curtain was lifted on the windows, the De Marillac Academy Choir sang, adding to the fun drama for the many who came to get a first glimpse of this great tradition in our city. You can see the windows now through January 1, from 9 am to 8 pm on most days. A Behind-the-Scenes Window Tour is also offered this year for the first time:

Avoid These Holiday Traps

Take Me Home with You!

Inside Out Fitness Cinder Ernst Here we are in December, the “too much” month. Too much running around. Too much traffic. Too much family. Too much food. Too much drinking. Too much period. Sometimes just the thought of December can make you tired! How can you keep your energy and good cheer flowing in December? Be selfish! Only say “yes” to the things that you really want to do. If there is something you have to do, then line up with the choice to do it and bring your best self. I have a friend who can’t really say “no” to anyone, and she ends up running late for everything, getting frazzled and eventually becoming sick. Don’t do that. Make smart, fun choices. If you realize you’re over-booked, then politely back out of something. Avoid the over-booked and exhausted trap by being selfish. But what about exercising through the holiday season?

If you have an exercise practice in place, you may have to do a bit less this month. The Inside Out Fitness way is to pick what you like best and do that. For instance, if you love bench pressing and you’re short on time, why not try a set of push-ups at home? Or pick what feels the best and do that. For instance, if stretching is your favorite part of the workout, then let it be okay to simply stretch. Be willing to break things up during the day, such as doing some push-ups at home in the morning and then getting extra walking in with strategic parking. Do stretching and strengthening when and where you can. Remember, this is temporary to get through a busy time. Be kind to yourself. You’ll know if you’re being kind because you will feel relaxed and content. If you are feeling anxious, you might be beating yourself up. Avoid the beat yourself up trap by not doing the “all or nothing” routine. Do a little something all day long.

Small exercises can give you an energy boost. Try this experiment: Ask yourself what your energy level is: low, medium or high? Then do some exercise like a short walk, 10 get ups (stand up sit down 10 times), push-ups or counter push-ups, deep breathes or another favorite stretch. Then selfcheck to see what your energy level is. I have done this countless times with clients. If the exercise is appropriate, then energy improves instantly. Can you imagine treating yourself to an energy boost when you need one? At the same time, you get a bit of exercise done. Perfect.

“My name is Sushi. I’m Sushi fresh and delicious! I’ve heard that sweet 16 is a lucky year, and I hope that’s right. I just celebrated my 16th birthday and I’m ready for a second chance. I’m looking for a quieter home where I can sunbathe and snuggle up with you on cold nights. Come say hello—you can adopt me, or any other adult cat, for free through January 1!” Sushi 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 Sushi. To meet Sushi 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!

Here is one more trap to avoid when it comes to exercise and holidays. Most people eat and drink more this time of year. Don’t use exercise as a way to try to purge. This is exercise bulimia and is not good for your well-being for so many reasons. Instead, relax and enjoy every bite. Give yourself permission to be human.

ness. Be smart with your calendar. No one wants a stressed out, sick person at their party anyway. Use exercise as a way to lift yourself up and not to punish yourself for excesses of the season. Smile more and breathe deeply.

Keep your energy and good cheer flowing this holiday season with small bouts of exercise done with self-kind-

Cinder Ernst, Medical Exercise Specialist and Life Coach Extraordinaire, helps reluctant exercisers get moving with safe, effective and fun programs. Find out more at

For more information:



Speaking to Your Soul ARIES (March 21–April 19) Your paradigm has become too rigid. Expose yourself to new experiences, and to new ways of thinking that challenge your own. Doing so helps you formulate fresh and sustainable goals. TAURUS (April 20–May 20) A meeting of the minds can open doors to important healing. Trust life to support you as you expose yourself to another. Missing puzzle pieces come together to produce revelation.

Astrology Elisa Quinzi Collectively and individually, we stand at a crossroads. The pull of the past, and of repeating outdated habits and patterns, is strong but also deceptive. The way forward calls for optimism, resilience, a meaningful vision, and faith in the desired outcome.

GEMINI (May 21–June 20) How have you underestimated what you can really have in a relationship? The current planetary energies prompt you to up-level your faith in love and to go after what you really want. You need to let go of an old pattern to do so. CANCER ( June 21–July 22) Big dreams are realized through small steps. Engage in the details of your life. Discipline and resilience will pay off in the long term. LEO ( July 23–August 22) It’s party time for you. Your magnetism is turned up now and you are free to cast a wide net. Just be sure you are acting in alignment with who you are striving to be. VIRGO (August 23–Sept. 22) You might feel inspired to open your home to visitors at this time. A generosity of spirit bubbles up from your core. Consider hosting a salon for innovative thinkers to gather.

LIBRA (Sept. 23–Oct. 22) Now is when your capacity to bring people together really gets to shine. Step into your role as community coordinator. Your skills are needed now more than ever. SCORPIO (Oct. 23–Nov. 21) Believe in yourself! A confidence boost from the universe prompts you to put your talents out there. Your contributions will be well-received when you’re motivated by what’s good for the whole. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22–Dec. 21) Once again it’s that time of year the spotlight is on you. But this year is more significant. Get clear on your vision— every decision and choice you make has ripple effects for many years to come. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22–Jan.19) Your goal-oriented practical nature could use a mystical infusion. Be open to receiving guidance from higher realms. Spiritual leadership is calling you. AQUARIUS ( Jan. 20–Feb. 18) Look up from the daily grind and out at the distant horizon. Consider the meaning of it all. Strategize now for a more fulfilling future. PISCES (Feb. 19–March 20) Have you grown too comfortable in your career? Have you compromised your ideals too much for security? If ever there were a time to update your vision for your mission in the world, it’s now.

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 . . . Did you believe in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, or some other fictional character as a kid?

Steve Adams “Yes.”


Jeanette R. Moore

David Cannon

“I believed in Santa Claus but “I believed in Santa Claus so much I climbed we did not have a Tooth Fairy.” up the chimney to look for him and got the living room coovered in soot.”


compiled by Rink

Terry Aston Bennett

CoCo Butter


“I believed in Santa Claus until my brothers told me the truth.”

Professional Services

LAW OFFICES OF MILES & TORRES Estate Planning 1393 Noe Street, San Francisco, CA 94131 (415) 308-2307


NewPer specti ves Center for Counseling



Compiled by Blake Dillon

1 : Thursday

Theatre Rhinoceros presents Equus by Peter Shaffer – Through December 10 @ Eureka Theatre, 215 Jackson Street. Directed by John Fisher, the play is a timeless classic about suppressed sexuality.

World AIDS Day Ride – 8:30 am @ National AIDS Memorial Grove, Nancy Pelosi Drive & Bowling Green Drive, Golden Gate Park. Positive Pedalers will host a remembrance ride in the Park. 9811?view=Detail&id=186471 INSCRIBE Project of Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy – 9 am @ Castro Street betwen 17th and 18th Streets (both sides). Students from the Academy will honor men and women who have died of AIDS by inscribing their names in brightly colored sidewalk chalk on Castro Street. facebook. com/events/256368948092150/ ?active_tab=about Hearts Rising: 23rd Annual World AIDS Day National Observance – 11:30 am @ National AIDS Memorial Grove, Golden Gate Park, intersection of Bowling Green and Nancy Pelosi Drive. Program, complementary luncheon and panel discussion with leaders from the hemophilia community.

8 : Thursday On Thursday, December 8, the annual Drags Queens on Ice show returns to the Holiday Ice Rink at Union Square with Donna Sachet as emcee. @ Williams-Sonoma Union Square, 340 Post Street. Featuring live entertainment, yummy hors d’oeuvres and beverages, the event commemorates World AIDS Day and supports Bay Area HIV/AIDS service organizations. Sonoma County 15th Annual Dining Out For Life – More than 80 restaurants donate a percentage of food sales to Food For Thought benefitting HIV/AIDSrelated services.

World AIDS Day Candle Light Vigil – 6:00 pm @ San Francisco AIDS Foundation, 1035 Market Street. Community candle light vigil hosted by Black Brothers Esteem, TransLife and DREAAM. facebook.comevents/16912193 47859955

The Golden Girls: The Christmas Episodes 2016 – Through December 23 @ Victoria Theatre, 2961 16th Street. Featuring Heklina, D’arcy Drollinger, Matthew Martin and Holotta Tymes.

World AIDS Day Screening of Last Men Standing – 6:30 pm @ Castro Theatre, 429 Castro Street. San Francisco Chronicle’s documentary following the lives of eight survivors of AIDS.

2 :Friday

Academy of Friends 2016 Holiday Reception – 6:30 pm

Red String Art Installation Opening Reception – 6 pm @ Pro Arts Gallery, 150 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Oakland. Reception for artist Marian Van der Zwaan’s site specific installation, featuring a screening of an excerpt from the

opera Nubian Word for Flowers. Meet the Artist: Photographer Wendy Walker – 6 PM @ Laurel Book Store, 1423 Broadway, Oakland. Are We Almost There? The Travel Musical – 8 pm through January 28 @ Phoenix Theater, 414 Mason Street, 6th Floor. An original musical revue of comedy songs about travel.

3 : Saturday When We Rise Publication Launch – 7:00 pm @ Strut, 470 Castro Street. Celebrating the launch of Cleve Jones’ memoir chronicling the story of the LGBTQ community and the life of an activist whose work continues today. Marina Bar Gay Takeover – 8 pm until Dec 4 at 12:30 pm @ a surprise location. SF Gay Mafia repeats its takeover of a traditionally straight bar. or Go to Marina Bar Gay Takeover on Facebook or contact the organizer: Ferociously Fast Theater – Repeats on Dec 4 @ Brava Theater, 2781 24th Street. The annual Winter Festival of Micro Plays by more than 40 playwrights. A Day of Silents – Six silent film programs starting at 10 am @ The Castro Theatre, 429 Castro Street. Presented by the San Francisco Silent Film Festival. Original Musical Adaptation of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol – Repeats Fridays and Saturdays @ 8 pm through December 18 @ Novato Theater Company, 5420 Nave Drive, Novato.

4 : Sunday Breakfast Social – 10 am @ Sweet Inspirations Café, 2239 Market Street. SF Bay Area Gay Dads Meetup. Dads and their kids enjoy great food and socializing. Annual Holiday Toy Drive and Beer Bust 2016 – 3 pm @ SF Eagle, 398 12th Street. The Bears of San Francisco and Mr. San Francisco Leather 2016 Cody Elkin host an afternoon of fun where you bring a new, unwrapped toy for a boy or girl to enjoy. San Francisco Gay Flag Football League Playoffs – Full schedule and info available. Flag football and social activities for 36


LGBT community of SF. Unleash Dance Party – 4 pm @ Ivy Room, 860 San Pablo Avenue, Albany. Mingle and dance at the newest women-owned club.

5: Monday No Cover Charge Night – 5 pm @ The Elbo Room, 647 Valencia St. Help Is on the Way for the Holidays XV – 7:30 pm @ Marines’ Memorial Theater (performance) 609 Sutter Street, and Cliff Hotel/Redwood & Velvet Rooms (after party with cast). REAF presents its annual benefit show and gala with a line-up of stars to entertain. Juanita’s Statue – 7 pm @ the GLBT Historical Society Museum, 4127 18th Street. Presented by Theatre Rhinoceros, the play by Anne Garcia-Romero is about a young woman who spends a day as a man trying to escape family wrath.

6 : Tuesday The Bone Bridge by Trina Davies – 2 pm @ Custom Made Theatre, 533 Sutter Street, 2nd Floor. 11th Annual Rough Reading Series presented by the Playwrights Foundation and National Center for New Plays at Stanford University. After Orlando – 7 pm @ Brava, 2781 24th Street. A evening of short plays in response to the Pulse Nightclub shootings. How Eureka Valley Became The Castro – 7 pm @ Eureka Valley/Harvey Milk Memorial Library, 1 Jose Sarria Court (16th Street). Jim Van Buskirk, co-editor of Love, Castro Street and co-author of Gay by the Bay: A History of Queer Culture in the SF Bay Area, will speak on the evolution of the little valley through rare images.

7 : Wednesday Meditation Group – 12 noon @ SF Public Library, 100 Larkin. Repeats on Wednesdays at the James C. Hormel LGBTQIA Center. Rainbow World Fund Tree of Hope Lighting and Party – 5:30 pm @ San Francisco City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place. Concert by the Grammy winning SF Boys Choir with emcees Donna Sachet and Cheryl Jennings and more.

History Talk: When a Killer Stalked the Castro – 7 pm @ GLBT History Museum, 4127 18th Street. Journalist Elon Green presents an illustrated talk about the Doodler murders in 1974-75. Annual Drag Queens on Ice – 8 pm @ Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square. Donna Sachet emcees with a host others, including special guest Empress Khmera Rouge of The Imperial Council of SF. All ages welcome. Jane Lynch Holiday Show – Repeats Dec 9 & 10, 8:00 pm @ Feinstein’s at the Nikko, 222 Mason Street. Women’s Jazz & Blues Jam! – 7 pm @ Octopus Literary Salon, 2101 Webster Street #170, Oakland. Supportive event for musicians to meet, greet and make music.

9: Friday Cleve Jones: A Life of Activism – 7 pm @ Jewish Community Center of SF, 3200 California. Peter Stein in conversation with Cleve Jones on his life and his new memoir When We Rise. Babes in Joyland – 8 pm (repeats Saturday, Dec 10) @ Nourse Theater, 275 Hayes Street. Presented by the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus with Dr. Tim Seelig, artistic director/conductor, with featured guest soprano Marnie Breckenridge. Dub Mission Sound System – 10 pm @ Elbo Room, 647 Valencia Street. The longstanding party featuring dub, roots reggae and dancehall with DJ Sep, mc Luv Fyah and resident artist Vinnie Esparza.

10: Saturday This Is Not Normal March – 2 pm @ Justin Herman Plaza, 1 Market Street. Organized by San Francisco Marches Against Trump. Dance-Along Nutcracker® Adventures of Captain Nutcracker! – 3 pm and 7 pm repeating at 11 am and 3 pm on Sunday, December 11 @ Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission Street at 3rd Street. SF Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band’s production of a celebrated event for the whole family. dance-along-nutcracker Nutcracker Sweets – Repeats through December 20 @ Cowell Theater at Fort Mason, Marina Blvd. and Buchanan Streets. Works in Progress – 6:30 pm @ Fireside Room, Plymouth United Church of Christ, 424 Monte Vista, Oakland. An open mic for women hosted by author Linda Zeiser.

Vodka & Latkes 5.0 – 8 pm @ Venue550, 550 15th Street. A kickoff Chanukah party and benefit with music, latke bar, cocktails, dancing and more. Shake It@ Booty Band and MILF! – 9 pm @ Ivy Room, 860 San Pablo Avenue, Albany. Dancing at the newest women-owned club.

11 : Sunday Santa Skivvies Run – 9:30 am @ Lookout Bar, 3600 16th Street. A festive romp through SF benefiting SF AIDS Foundation. A Munro Holiday Happy Hour! – 3 pm @ Mix, 4086 18th Street. A family celebration benefiting REAF and collecting toys for the SF Firefighters Toy Drive. All the Rage: A Memoir – 3:00 pm @ Hormel LGBTQIA Center, Main Library, 100 Larket Street. Actor Martin Moran talks about his new book. php?pg=1026117401 Home for The Holidays – 7 pm @ Martuni’s, 4 Valencia Street. DiVanessa presents a home-for-theholidays cabaret featuring many classics.

12: Monday Transgender Health and Wellness Fair – 12 pm @ San Francisco Public Library Main Library, 100 Larkin Street. More than 20 organizations will be present. Performances by trans entertainers will also be featured, and food for attendees will be available. The Perfectly Queer Reading Series – 7 pm @ Dog Eared Books Castro, 489 Castro Street. Nomatic Press founder J.K. Fowler with authors Kwan Booth, M.K. Chavez and Arisa White and singer-songwriter Azuah. Cindy Wilson of the B-52’s – 8:30 pm @ Oasis, 298 11th Street. For one night only, Cindy brings her new solo work to the Oasis stage.

13 : Tuesday RADAR Reading Series – 5 pm @ SF Main Library, Latino Community Room. The monthly series featuring emerging underground writers and an occasional superstar, hosted this month by oral historian Juliana Delgado Lopera. GGBA Holiday Make Contact – 6 pm @ Fillmore Heritage Center, 1320 Fillmore Street. A festive mixer for business and social networking. Kinsey Sicks: Oy Vey In A Manger – 7 pm @ Oasis, 298 11th Street. Rachel, Winnie, Trixie and Trampolina reinterpret holiday classics and try to sell off their manager before foreclosure.

14 : Wednesday Noir City Xmas 2016 – 7 pm @ Castro Theatre, 429 Castro Street. Film Noir Foundation’s celebration of the holidays featuring the films Cash on Demand and The Ice Harvest. event/2715653 Flame: A Keshet LGBTQ Hanukkah Revue – 7 pm@ The Uptown Nightclub, 1928 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland. A queer Hanukkah party with live music, Jewish drag queens, comedians,

kosher latkes and more. Irving Berlin’s White Christmas The Musical – Repeats through December 24 @ SHN Golden Gate Theatre, 1 Taylor Street.



SISTER DANA (continued from page 28) or displaced following the recent election,” said Broberg. “Our focus is to help to empower people, and maybe allay some of their fears so that they can take back some of the security that they feel they have lost,” he said. Although the safety seminar was not being hosted in conjunction with the San Francisco Police Department, Broberg took the first 20 minutes of the meeting to discuss how to deal with police agencies, how to report an assault or a hate crime, and how to follow-up with crime assistance programs. Broberg was followed by Ken Craig of Castro Community on Patrol. Craig, a grand master martial arts instructor, led participants through some basic self-defense maneuvers. The last segment of the seminar was led by Luke Adams, a relationship and sex therapist, and his colleagues at Bay Area Open Minds. Adams’ presentation covered any grief, anxiety, or depression people might be feeling following the election. “Having a mental health component was important for us,” said Broberg, “because it helps people to realize why they’re reacting the way that they’re reacting. We wanted people to realize that they’re not alone and that they’re not isolated.” Broberg said this was going to be an ongoing conversation, and was “a good first step to help people focus on their fears and some of the safety issues at hand.” DONNA SACHET’s annual “SONGS OF THE SEASON” returned for its 24th glorious year benefiting AIDS EMERGENCY FUND, at Halcyon (formerly Beatbox). The talented lineup included Sharon McNight (Broadway Tony nominee & comedy favorite); Brian Kent (international pop singer); Jason Brock (X-Factor finalist & local singer); Dan O’Leary (handsome, gifted singer); Brooke Michael Smith (2016 SF Cabaret Compe-

tition winner); Dyn4mix (a quartet from the SF Gay Men’s Chorus); Kippy Marks (extraordinary electronic violinist); Abigail Zsiga (English electronic dance artist with the voice of an angel); cabaret chanteuse Leanne Borghesi, and, of course, Donna Sachet singing several gay holiday songs with several gay costume changes (well, this IS Donna Sachet, ya know). As everyone always says: you can’t start the holidays without Donna’s Songs of the Season! Sister Dana sez, “Sooooooooooo true!” MACY’S celebrated the start of the holiday season with the 27TH ANNUAL GREAT TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY in San Francisco’s Union Square. Following an evening of special musical performances, the Great Tree Lighting Ceremony culminated with the presentation of Macy’s annual gift to San Francisco—a beautiful, reusable, 83-foot tree decorated with more than 33,000 twinkling energy-efficient LED lights and 1,100 shining ornaments. Headlining the festivities was Aloe Blacc, known for his hit songs “I Need a Dollar,” “The Man,” and “Wake Me Up,” and the evening also included performances by the San Francisco Boys Chorus, Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, and the cast of She Loves Me from San Francisco Playhouse’s upcoming production. SISTER DANA SEZ, “CHESTNUTS ARE ROASTING ON AN OPEN FIRE, AND JACK FROST IS NIPPING AT YOUR NOSE, SO GET READY FOR THESE HOLIDAY EVENTS! AND PLEASE DO STAY ON YOUR TOES??” The RAINBOW WORLD FUND (RWF)’s 11th annual WORLD TREE OF HOPE is a holiday tree at City Hall decorated with thousands of white origami cranes, each con-

taining written notes of hope & peace from children and individuals from around the world. The tree is a gift from members of the LGBT community to the world—given to inspire hope and promote peace, love and humanitarianism. Wishes from world leaders to school children, from San Francisco to Sri Lanka, make the RWF World Tree of Hope a powerful expression of people coming together to create a better world. Be part of this unique symbol of global unity! Send them your wish, and they’ll turn it into an origami crane and put it on The World Tree of Hope. This year’s tree is being dedicated to the victims and survivors of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting. The evening features a concert by the Grammy winning San Francisco Boys Chorus; emcees Cheryl Jennings and Donna Sachet; Mayor Ed Lee and Japan Consul General Jun Yamada will exchange peace cranes, Veronica Klaus and Tammy Hall will perform; and The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence will bless the tree. The tree lighting ceremony is on Wednesday, December 7, 5:30 to 8 pm in the Rotunda. Free admission and refreshments. When the ugly Xmas sweaters are taken out of mothballs, it can only mean one thing. It’s time for the annual appearance of THE GOLDEN GIRLS: THE CHRISTMAS EPISODES 2016​. Performance dates are December 1–23. Opening Night is Thursday December 1, 8​pm​. Live show runs Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, 8:00​pm, Sundays,​7 ​pm. ​ 15 shows total. Xmas Bonus: 3 added shows Dec. 21, 22, 23 Shows are at The Victoria Theatre, 2961 16th​ Street. Tix $30 available at Drag Stars are Heklina​(Dorothy), Matthew Martin​ (Blanche), D’Arcy Drollinger​ (Rose), and Holotta Tymes​(So-

LION KING (continued from page 29) during the show, we can feel the audience from the moment the music starts. They have such an impact on my show, for sure. I can feel their energy and it certainly informs my show. I love it because it keeps me actively listening and engaged during my performances. San Francisco Bay Times: Before your participation in this touring company, what were your primary memories of The Lion King? Did you mostly know about the book, the movie or the Broadway show? Ti f fa ny Den ise Hobbs: I watched the movie ad nauseam as a kid—at home and in the car during road trips. I’m sure my mother was done with hearing me sing “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” all the time (I wanted to be Young Simba so badly). I also did a dance recital in which I danced to “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?”; a very fond memory of mine. San Francisco Bay Times: Do you think that this show has any themes that resonate particularly strongly for LGBTQ audiences? If so, which themes/songs/characters? Tiffany Denise Hobbs: Yes! There are so many. I think Simba’s journey is certainly a great one to track. He endures one of the greatest internal struggles in the show. He must leave his home and gain new knowledge and experiences in order to, essentially, find himself. Over time, he realizes that he must deal with his cir38

San Francisco Bay Times: What are you most looking forward to doing while in San Francisco? Where do you like to go here?

The Lion King runs through December 31 at SHN Orpheum Theatre, 1192 Market Street in San Francisco. A limited number of $40 in-person Rush tickets will be available for every performance beginning 2 hours prior to curtain at the SHN Orpheum Theatre Box Office. (Or secure your place and buy in advance. It is a great shared event for families, especially if you’d like an ice breaker with grouchy relatives. The transformative nature of the show can work like therapy! We’ve seen some families go in coldly silent and come out crying and hugging.) For more information and to purchase tickets online, please visit: https://www. Oparam::WScontent::loadArticl e::permalink=thelionking&BOp aram::WScontent::loadArticle::c ontext_id=


HELP IS ON THE WAY FOR THE HOLIDAYS XV is a holiday celebration for everyone. The RICHMOND/ERMET AID FOUNDATION (REAF)’s 15th anniversary holiday gala will take place on Monday, December 5, 6 pm at the Marines’ Memorial Theater, 609 Sutter Street. It’s an evening of love, hope, and compassion—for this is the true spirit of the holidays and our hope for this nation. The starstudded night benefits the ASIAN & PACIFIC ISLANDER WELLNESS PROGRAM and LARKIN STREET YOUTH SERVICES. Just a few of the talented performers are cast members from the Tony award-winning Disney’s The Lion King, cast members from the national tour of the Lincoln Center Theater production of Rodgers & Hammertstein’s The King and I, Jason Graae and cast members from 42nd Street Moon’s Scrooge In Love, Broadway, TV and recording stars Maureen McGovern & Sam Harris, plus cabaret stars Paula West, Jason Brock, Sharon McNight & Carly Ozard. VIP Afterparty at Clift Hotel. The SAN FRANCISCO GAY MEN’S CHORUS will present three dazzling performances of BABES IN JOYLAND, December 9–10, at the Nourse Theater (275 Hayes Street) with performances Friday at 8 pm and Saturday, at 2:30 pm and 8 pm. Tickets range from $25– 70. The Chorus is joined by soprano Marnie Breckenridge. Nearly 30 years ago, the SAN FRANCISCO GAY MEN’S CHORUS gathered

for the first time on Christmas Eve in 1990 at the Castro Theatre to bring the holidays home to those who had none. Thus began the annual tradition of joining together every Christmas Eve at the Castro Theatre for this night of joyous music and heartwarming festivities. This holiday season will mark SFGMC’s 27th annual “HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS” at the Castro Theatre (429 Castro Street) on Christmas Eve. Performances are Saturday, December 24 at 5, 7, and 9 pm. Opera soprano Melody Moore will be the Chorus’ special guest artist for “Home for the Holidays.” Curator GERARD KOSKOVICH will lead an informal tour of “THROUGH KNOWLEDGE TO JUSTICE: THE SEXUAL WORLD OF DR. MAGNUS HIRSCHFELD,” an exhibition on Monday, December 19, at 7 pm—running through the end of December at the GLBT HISTORY MUSEUM, 4127 18th Street. Koskovich will offer an overview of Hirschfeld’s life and legacy, will highlight the significance of the historical materials on display, and will show and discuss a sampling of further rarities from his personal collection. The talk is sponsored by the CALAMUS FELLOWSHIP as part of its ongoing series “FAGGOT SENSIBILITY: AN EXPLORATION OF GAY CONSCIOUSNESS.” Sister Dana sez, “The Pew Research Center’s post-election voter survey has found that nearly two-thirds of Democrats (65 percent) want the opposition party to ‘stand up’ to President-elect Donald Trump, ‘even if less gets done in Washington.’ Pew’s numbers suggest that there is more enthusiasm for opposition to Trump than to any recently elected president. Huzzah!”

Randy Coleman hails from New York, but has lived in San Francisco since 1975. Coleman shares that before moving to the Bay Area, he studied Art History and Architecture at Boston University while working as a resident artist for architectural rendering at a Massachusetts historical society. “All of my life I’ve been an artist,” Coleman says. “To know me is to know that I have a passion for art and architecture. I love this project for the San Francisco Bay Times, and hope that you enjoy my sketches.”

cumstances in order to overcome them. He does so with grace and regal essence. He returns home stronger in himself than he ever was, thanks to a little bit of acceptance and a whole lot of love.

Tiffany Denise Hobbs: I can’t wait to explore everything from the typical tourist spots to the Wine Country, the Pacific Coast, the Redwoods forests and everything in between. I fell in love with the Bay Area five years ago and I’m elated that I will be able to experience that love af fair again soon.

phia). Manuel Caneri​and Tom Shaw are a​ lso featured in the cast. Directed by Matthew Martin. Costumes by Daffney D’Luxe​. You’ll want to sing along the TV jingle: “Thank you for being a friend.”

SF Sketch Randy Coleman

© Randy Coleman, 2016

Fall and Holiday Seasons - All Over Town

The window of Buffalo Whole Food Company on Castro Street promoting their organic turkeys and pies

Buffalo Whole Foods’ Ben Fields displays an apple pie as he stands next to the well-stocked produce counter.

Photos by RINK

Cliff’s manager Rich Bennett holds a Magformers educational toy selected from the store’s huge inventory of items shoppers can choose from when picking holiday gifts. Cliff’s Variety has its holiday windows ready for viewing.

The state flag of Florida mounted on the wall at Starbucks on 18th Street in the Castro has been covered with signatures as a memorial tribute for the Pulse nightclub tragedy in Orlando.

The Brand X store on Castro presents it’s latest cap in the store’s window.

Project Open Hand coordinator Walter Williams, accompanied by a host of volunteers, displays a dessert at the organization’s Thanksgiving Dinner at the Stanford Hotel on Kearny Street, a highly regarded home for formerly homeless veterans.

Cliff’s own Terry Asten Bennett (center) joins Harvey Milk Academy graduates Camille and Iris in welcoming customers as the store prepares for a benefit supporting the school.

Black Brothers Esteem program members at the Openhouse Fall Feast held at The Women’s Building

Dr. Kathleen Kennedy of For Your Eyes Only with Jenn Meyer of Local Take at a pre-holiday Castro Merchants Association gathering held at Sui Generis

Volunteer servers at the Openhouse Fall Fest held at the Women’s Building, where a large crowd enjoyed a turkey dinner

Doug McAllister, Lucas Ringhofer of Jungle Red, and Small Business Commission President Steve Adams at the pre-holiday party at Sui Generis

Officer Thomas greeted guests at the SFPD display during the 59th International Auto Show at Moscone Center.

Grand Duke Peter Griffs, Grand Duchess Migette Nielsen and former Emperor and Imperial Court chair John Weber enjoy the Edge bar’s 25th Anniversary celebration.

Travel expert Josh Friedman shakes hands with Castro Merchants Association administrator Richard Magary during the preholiday party at Sui Generis.

Sui Generis owner Miguel Lopez (left) with Castro Merchants Association president Daniel Bergerac and Academy of Friends board member Beth Feingold

Positive Resource Center staff enjoying the Windows of Opportunity Gala at The City Club

Donna Sachet with Positive Resource Center’s Brett Andrews during the organization’s annual Windows of Opportunity Gala held at The City Club





San Francisco Bay Times - December 1, 2016  

The San Francisco Bay Times is the largest and oldest LGBT newspaper in San Francisco that is now - and always has been - 100% LGBT funded a...

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