2012 White House Easter Egg Hunt Page 12
Meet LGBTQ Spiritual Leaders Pages 10-11
Remembering Poet Adrienne Rich Page 12
The LGBTQ Newspaper and Events Calendar for the San Francisco Bay Area | July 28 2011 www.sfbaytimes.com
April 5-18, 2012 | www.sfbaytimes.com
Sisters Celebrate 33 Years with Easter Party
ARTIST: GARY TON GE.
PHOTO BY: JEAN -BAPTIST E C ARHAIX
Sister Vicious in 1984
By Sister Dana Van Iquity
Grand Universe, an image provided to the Bay Times by artist Gary Tonge, The Urantia Book
By Rev. Jim Mitulski Easter is a t i me when resur rection metaphors abound for Christ ians. For Jews, it is t he t ime of Passover, the remembrance of liberation from slavery. The natural world spr ings forth w ith f lowers a nd blo om s t h at r e m i nd u s of the cycle of birth and death and re-birth. For ma ny GL BT spi r it ua l ly i nclined people, it may be a time to
Rel ig ion is a nat ura l need. T he des i re to m a ke mea n i ng out of su f fer i ng a nd st r ug gle i s fou nd even among t hose of us who for le g it i m at e r e a s on s h ave a b a n doned the faith of their parents. If you have ever found anything redeeming or comforting in religion, I make this assertion to you at this particular time in history: Religion needs you. Perhaps even more than you need it. This is the time to leverage mutual need and
consider whet her it is wor t h t he ef for t to cont i nue pa r t icipat i ng in rel ig ious trad it ions t hat have h i stor ic a l ly c ont r ibuted to ou r oppression; t rad it ions t hat have traditionally been overt ly or covertly homophobic and sexist. As a gay man and a Christian minister, I feel competent to address some of the trends in Christianity that make this an opportune time to eng age t hese t r ad it ions, a nd claim our rightful place in them.
transform religion into the liberating force it is capable of being. Fo r o v e r t h i r t y y e a r s , I h av e worked for gay and feminist libe r a t ion w h i le m a i nt a i n i n g m y i n v o l v e m e n t i n t h e c hu r c h . I can honestly say that I never expected to see the changes that we a re now seei ng. For most of my career I was a pastor and leader in the Metropolitan Communit y Churches ( MCC), a separatist gay a nd lesbi a n denom i n at ion t h at (continued on page 11
PHOTO SOUR CE: AWEGA L LERY.COM
Pastor Stacy Boorn’s Visual Spirituality
Pastor Stacy Boorn
By Heidi Beeler When Martin Luther wanted the Chu rch’s at tent ion, he na i led a paper to t he door. W hen Pastor Stacy Boorn wanted the Lutheran Church’s at tent ion, she pa i nted the whole church f laming purple. The daughter of a photographer, Stacy was clearly raised to express herself in Kodachrome. The great loud lavender ed if ice on Portola hill ( painted shortly after Prop 8 passed) is Ebenezer/herchurch’s way of honoring the Goddess and show ing sol idar it y w it h persons
In Praise of Balloon
denied equa l r ights. For 8 years now – yea r s before t he D a V inc i Code – Stacy and her congregants have mixed up feminist philosophy w it h Lut hera n t rad it ion. Their goal is not separatism, but restor i ng ba la nce a nd fem i n i ne perspective to a tradition that for centuries only valued male voices and leadership. References to God the Father are ba la nced w it h t he D iv i ne G oddess and Sacred Mother. Gospel read ing s a nd ser mons i l lum in at e women’s c ont r ibut ion s i n the Bible. Traditional hymns are
supplemented with Native American songs, a woman’s drumming circle, and inter pretive dance. A women’s spir itua lit y conference, Herconference, gathers feminists from across the continent. (www. herchurch.org) Stacy believes her c on g r e g at ion’s work i s t r ue t o the spirit of the church that f irst protested the power abuses of the Roma n Cat hol ic Church. “ H is torically, Lutherans have resisted aut hor it ie s t h at abu s e d p ower, subjug at e d p e ople a nd c r e at e d dom i n at ion s y stem s ,” she sa id . “In our liturg y and praxis, divine
love a nd ju st ice a re pa r t ner s .” A long w ith reg ular ser v ices, the cong reg at ion ha s a l so made it s s pa ce av a i l able for a r t i st ic expression. A Woman’s Eye Gallery (w w w. AW Ega l ler y.com) d isplays the stunning photography of f ive a r t i st s , i nc lud i ng t hat of St ac y Boorn herself. “I consider my work v isua l spir it ua l it y,” she sa id. “ You see t he b e a ut y o f t he e a r t h mor e int imately when v iew ing it w it h intent ion t hrough your camera lens.”
T he Sister s of Per pet ua l I ndu lgence, Inc. will celebrate our 33 rd anniversary this Easter weekend. On Sunday, we invite you to celebrate our annual birthday party i n D olor e s P a r k , “ P u m p s a nd Ci rcu mst a nce,” w it h ch i ld ren’s games in the morning and adult f un i n t he a fter noon, i nclud i ng t he Bon net Contest a nd Hun k y Jesus Look-alike Contest emceed by Sister Roma and myself. It’s hard to believe that 33 years have passed since our incept ion in 1979, when a sma l l g roup of gay men in San Francisco began wearing the attire of nuns in public using high camp – at f irst to draw attention to themselves, but later to social conf licts and problem s i n t he que er c om mu n it y. The SF Order, known af fectionately as t he Mot her House, has helped raise over $1 mi l l ion for various causes. We have attracted controversy both within and outs ide t he L GBTQ com mu n it ies , a nd have received t he ha r shest criticism by Popes who of f icially declare us as heretics – a badge we wear with pride. I n October 198 0, a dozen nuns h e l d t h e i r f i r s t f u n d r a i s e r, a bingo game and sa lsa dance benef it ing San Francisco’s Metr o p ol it a n C om mu n it y C hu r c h Cuba n Ref ugee P rog ra m, ma king over $1,50 0. We a lso developed a m i s s ion st atement : T he Sister s of Per pet ua l I ndu lgence is a leading-edge Order of queer, L GBTQSt r8 nuns… devoted to community service, ministry and out reach to t hose on t he edges, a nd pr omot i n g hu m a n r i g ht s , res pect for d iver s it y a nd s pi r it ua l en l ighten ment. We bel ieve all people have a right to express their unique joy and beauty, and we use humor and irreverent wit (continued on page 9)
EQCA Honors JC Penney Support for Ellen
In a video report from The Daily Ticker, Johnson contended, “It’s clear we made the right decision to stand by her.”
P HOTO SOURC E : T H IN K P RO G RE SS. O R G
P HOTO SOURC E : M ISS WAL L PAP E R
Ron Johnson, JC Penney
By Elizabeth Stewart
paign was called off, as the group’s communications officer noted their attention was needed elsewhere.
JC Penney didn’t blink when One Million Moms went on the attack. The Christian family group called for a nationwide boycott when the retailer several months ago hired Ellen DeGeneres as a spokeswoman recently.
with BARBARA HIGBIE
JAMI SIEBER & JOAN JEANRENAUD
The effort failed miserably, however, and in early March the boycott cam-
An evening of lush, expansive music with Kronos Quartet alumna Joan Jeanrenaud, electric cello innovator Jami Sieber and Grammy nominated pianist, composer & multi-instrumentalist Barbara Higbie.
I cut school often and for almost any reason that caught my fancy on any given day. I used to go to Van Ness Avenue and sneak around all the car dealers just before the new models were introduced. I loved cars. I also loved going by myself to Upper Grant Avenue where men like Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Gary Snyder, William S. Burroughs and Ken Kesey among others hung out and lived a mid 20th century bohemian life that intoxicated and thrilled me.
April 26 Get 25% off with promo code BETTY at online checkout %MBARCADERO 7EST 7ASHINGTON s &OR TICKETS AND DINNER RESERVATIONS GO to yoshis.com or call 510-238-9200 All shows are all ages. Open for dinner nightly.
In honor of JC Penney’s standing by Ellen, EQCA California has named the company its 2012 recipient of the Corporate Responsibility Award, to be presented on Saturday, April 14th at the organization’s annual Equality Awards event at the Fairmont Hotel.
Publication: Bay Times Size: 4” x 6” Run Date: 03/22/12
JC Penney CEO Ron Johnson said that “there was never any doubt” the company would stand by DeGeneres. “We believe in Ellen. She shares our values and American believes in Ellen.”
Hosted by out gay actor Wilson Cruz, the evening also features legendary Grammy Award-winning recording artist Thelma Houston along with local LGBTQ personalities such as DJ Olga, former City Supervisor Bevan Dufty and more. The evening includes an initial reception, followed by dinner and an After-Party dance to begin at 9:00 PM. For more information, contact Jack Lorenz (310 -266 -0502) or jack@ eqca.org. More information is also available online at eqca.org/sf.
In a 1958 column, the late Herb Caen coined the word “beatnik” and it became a part of the language, a part the beats resented and never forgave. I was probably 15 or 16 when I began regularly to hang around the bars, bookstores and coffee houses of North Beach, always searching for a place to fit among others most of polite society found to be losers. I cherished being recognized by Ferlinghetti at his notorious bookstore and getting a nod and pat on the back from Kerouac, and once a pat on the butt from seemingly clumsy Alan Ginsberg. Being closeted, and afraid to learn who and what I was, helped me to seek inclusion with others I assumed felt like outcasts. I had
Don't Call It Frisco Stu Smith
Design: Miles Stegall 503-432-0044
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2 BAY TIMES APRIL 5, 2012
Enrico Banducci and Mort Sahl
yet to learn that these men and women were choosing to follow their own spirit and not capitulate to norms that didn’t fit them. I loved going into places like Vesuvio’s and Spec’s 12 Adler Place, which are both still pouring drinks. Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s City Lights Bookstore published Ginsberg’s ‘sinsational’ HOWL, and poetry readings were everywhere. Leo Krikorian’s The Place was a popular beatnik dive on upper Grant and that’s where the action was. Richard Brautigan used to hang out at The Place and he was always silent and seemed depressed. At the hungry I, I met Bill Cosby, Barbra Streisand, Woody Allen and many others, although Ms. Streisand felt wronged when I said within earshot that she looked pregnant and wasn’t married (she was Mrs. Elliot Gould and not pregnant).
The Savoy Tivoli and The Coexistance Bagel Shop were both breeding grounds for the wild times that the beats brought to the City. San Francisco has always been a magnet for the brightest, bravest and perhaps the best in creative minds, and our culture is a living testament to this. My story is perhaps uncommon only in the fact that many of the people I met back then have popped up in my life later. Jonathon Winters was here a couple of years ago representing The Raisin Board and we sat outside City Hall and laughed for an hour. Enrico Banducci opened the infamous sidewalk Café on Broadway, Enrico’s, which Bill Cosby put up money to save more than once and we had lunch at Moose’s just before he passed. Until its closure last year, you might drop in to Enrico’s to listen to the beautiful voice of Veronica Klaus and have some modern Italian chow.
HIV/AIDS News Women who have been infected by two different strains of HIV from two different sexual partners – a condition known as HIV superinfection – have more potent antibody responses that block the replication of the virus compared to women who’ve only been infected once. These findings, by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, are published in PLoS Pathogens.
“We found that women who had been infected twice not only had more potent antibody responses, but some of these women had ‘elite’ antibody activity, meaning that they had a broad and potent ability to neutralize a wide variety of strains of HIV over a sustained period time,” said senior author Julie Overbaugh. It is estimated that only about 1 percent of people with HIV are so-called “elite neutral-
izers” who are able to potently neutralize multiple subtypes of the virus. “Individuals who become superinfected with a second virus from a different partner represent a unique opportunity for studying the antibody response and may provide insights into the process of developing broad neutralizing antibodies that could inform HIV-vaccine design,” she said. The study suggests that harboring a mixture of different viral strains may be one way to promote a robust antibody response. The findings also suggest that being infected with two different HIV strains not only leads to a strong response, but also a more rapid response that is capable of recognizing many other HIV strains. The researchers tracked the immune activity of 12 superinfected women
from Mombasa, Kenya, over a fiveyear period and compared each to a control group of three singly infected women. The study found that superinfected women had, on average, 1.68 times more neutralizing antibodies than non-superinfected women, and they scored much higher in their ability to neutralize the virus – superinfected women had 1.46 times greater potency than the singly infected women. “The study of individuals HIV infected who have developed strong antibody responses to the virus may shed light on the best approach to design a vaccine that will induce an effective immune response,” Overbaugh said. Source: Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Did everybuddy enjoy the WHITNEY FLASH MOB in the streets of Castro & Market on March 23 at 6:32pm? The secret choreography (including jazz hands!) was instructed over YouTube and Facebook before, so our crowd could suddenly dance to the late Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody.” Awesome fun!
Celebrating the 130th anniversary of Oscar Wilde’s visit to San Francisco in March 1882, for the U.S. debut of WILDE SALOMÉ, the film’s director and star Al Pacino came to the Castro Theatre to talk about his film. Produced by Mark Rhoades, the red carpet event was a fundraiser for the GLBT Historical Society. The mayor sent a proclamation declaring it Wilde Salomé Day in SF. Pacino praised our City and reminisced about when he was at the Curran Theatre in American Buffalo and the citizens gave him a giant homemade Oscar, because he didn’t get nominated for his Scarface movie. Wilde Salomé is his self-proclaimed obsession with Wilde’s life and his writings, especially the controversial, sexually charged play, Salomé, which was only performed once in England during Wilde’s lifetime. “He was a poet, a wit, and a prisoner,” said Pacino. “I felt I found a friend in Wilde.” Pacino produced a biography/ staged reading/ movie/ documentary of the making of all that. He traveled to Wilde’s home in England and to the Judean desert to get the proper feel. He played King Herod to Jessica Chastain’s remarkable Salomé, who performed the sexy seven veils dance and demanded the head of John the Baptist on a platter. Bizarre - but no less bizarre and entertaining than Pacino’s piece. Quoting poet William Blake, Pacino said, “If the fool would persist in his folly, he would become wise,” and humbly added, “but I didn’t become wise.” Tony Kushner, Tom Stoppard, Gore Vidal, and Bono comment throughout.
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Make Contact April 3: April Make Contact GGBA Women's Networking Time: 5:15pm Make Contact Event Time: 6-8pm Location: Recology 900 Seventh Street
May 17: Mega Make Contact Location: LGBT Center Time: 6-8pm
Talk of the Town April 18: Talk of the Town
Sister Dana Sez
Sister Dana Van Iquity heard the Easter bunny ran away with the Playboy bunny in a hot lesbian affair
ENCHANTINGLY WICKED was the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus joining legendary composer/lyricist Stephen Schwartz, international opera star soprano Melody Moore and acclaimed ensemble, The Choral Project, in an evening of pure entertainment and musical power at Davies Symphony Hall. Performing hits from Stephen Schwartz’s awardwinning songbook - from Wicked’s witty “Popular” to The Prince of Eg ypt’s dramatic “When You Believe” – the Chorus was sheer joy. At the champagne reception beforehand, Dr. Tim Seelig, SFGMC conductor and Schwartz met with guests. “I’m a little nervous singing and playing in front of all these people,” Schwartz told me, “but I am thrilled to be singing with SFGMC, and I haven’t heard yet live the ‘Testimony’ piece I wrote, based on the It Gets Better Project.” He added, “I am really proud of the piece and excited about its premiere tonight.” Go to Youtube SFGMCVideo to experience “Testimony” and shed a tear. It gets more than better; it gets astounding! SFGMC also sang songs from Pippin, Enchanted, Children of Eden, Godspell, and The Baker’s Wife. June 14 will be SFGMC’s “At Our Best and Unplugged,” where NBC-TV’s The Sing Off arranger and producer Deke Sharon, “father of a cappella singing,” will arrange sans orchestra tunes like Chicago’s “Razzle Dazzle” and Hairspray’s “Mama, I’m a Big Girl Now.” The SF LGBT Community Center held its 10 th anniversary celebration, SOIREE 10, à la mode Française when the San Francisco Design Center Galleria became a decadent turn-of-the-last-century Parisian salon. It was gay Paree and all peacock feathers, cloche hats, cigarette holders, Zelda Fitzgerald, Coco Chanel,
f lappers, the can-can and Moulin Rouge! Local comedian Marga Gomez was the emcee and hysterical host. Blues chanteuse Veronica Klaus turned DJ. We danced to contemporary club hits from SF’s hottest DJs Hard French, Stay Gold, Viennetta Discotheque and Some Thing. Local performers included Fauxnique, Honey Mahagoney, Mona G. Hawd, Miss Rahni, Anna Conda, Kieren Jameson & Emily Coles, Miss Honey Children, Bombshell Betty, Ambrosia Salad, Stanley Frank, and Glamamore closed the show spray-painting her face gold and doing an incredible Edith Piaf! A walking Eiffel Tower on stilts and living portraits roamed the room. Classic silent B&W films played on the stage screen. Exotic food and open bars made it all the more decadent and delicious.
Speaker: Robb Fleischer Co-founder of AMSI Real Estate Services,
Topic: Business Success & Strategy
Time: 6-8 pm Location: TBD
THEATRE RHINO GALA at Eureka Theatre featured the very best in queer talent with Musical Director Dave Dobrusky, host John Fisher, emcee Tom Orr and starring Carlos Barrera, Connie Champagne, Mike Finn, Sarah Fiske and Collage Theatre, Marga Gomez, Casey Ley, Natasha Muse, Matthew Martin, Jim McCunn, Holly Nugent, Tom Orr, Jef Valentine, the boys in the chorus of Hot Greeks, Q-Bliss, David Goodwin and Jennifer Ekman & Kim Larsen. Rhino is 33 and going strong thanks to patrons’ support! As the longestrunning and only GLAAD-Awardwinning gay and lesbian theatre in the nation, they’d like to celebrate by raising $33,000 to celebrate 33 fabulous years. Join in as a contributor to San Francisco’s top quality, pathmaking, queer theatre. Help them continue to make history. All Theatre Rhinoceros donors are invited to special open rehearsals of their shows, and donors of $1,000 or more will be recognized as “Honorary Producers” of a show of their choice. All donations are tax deductible and are acknowledged in their programs, unless otherwise requested. Please contact Executive Director John Fisher at 552-4100 for additional information. In light of the season, Sister Dana would like to bunny-hug every one of his readers!
More News, Stories, and Arts & Entertainment online
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National News Briefs compiled by Dennis McMillan
Hollywood, CA - New Bully Re-Cut May Be PG-13 – 3.31 The MPAA still won’t grant Bully anything less than an “R” rating, and Weinstein Co. denies that changes were being made now, but allowed for the possibility in the coming weeks. “At this time, there are no plans to change the film for a PG-13,” said Weinstein head of marketing Stephen Bruno. “We are in constant conversation with the MPAA and hope a compromise can be reached.” Merely bleeping profanity isn’t enough to lower a film’s rating, presumably because even impressionable kids are sufficiently worldly to know what ugly noises are being made beneath the beeps. Which makes one wonder why they need to be protected from profanity in the first place. Removing all profanity from Bully will pose difficulties for Weinstein Co., because one of Bully’s most important scenes is full of that. The scene that earned the film an “R” features one teen threatening another as the two sit side-by-side on the bus, with profanities interwoven throughout. Weinstein and filmmaker Lee Hirsch have been adamant that the scene remains in the film as is to show the full force of what bullied kids face. Source: Los Angeles Times
Asheville, NC - Racial Strategy by Same- Sex Marriage Foes Draws Criticism – 3.28 A confidential memo saying the best way to fight same-sex marriage is to drive “a wedge between gays and blacks” and manipulate Latinos drew criticism in the weeks ahead of a vote to ban gay marriage in North Carolina. The memo, written by the National Organization for Marriage, was made public as part of a lawsuit in Maine, where voters will consider a November referendum to legalize gay marriage. The previously confidential memo outlined a number of strategies aimed at increasing opposition to gay marriage among Latinos and blacks as a way of undermining the argument that gay rights are equivalent to civil rights. “It’s really quite appalling that they would try to divide portions of the country along racial lines,” said Stuart Campbell, executive director of Equality North Carolina. NAACP president and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous said NOM’s plan was rooted in cynicism and predicted it would fail. “No group, no matter how well funded, can drive an artificial wedge between two communities whose histories are so intertwined. People of color understand what it is like to be the target of discrimination,” Jealous said. Source: Chicago Tribune
Topeka, KS - Kansas House Advances Bill That Could Limit LGBTQ Protections – 3.29 The Kansas House advanced legislation that would allow a relig ious defense to discr iminate against queers. Two Lawrence representatives attacked the Kansas Preservation of Religious Freedom Act as an attempt to destroy a city of Lawrence anti-discrimination ordinance that includes sexual orientation. State Rep. Barbara Ballard, D-Lawrence, said, “I am very proud of my Lawrence community, and I’m very proud of the ordinance that we passed.” Ballard added, “Discrimination is an injustice … to everyone.” House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, said, “I don’t believe it is ever right to discriminate against someone because of their sexual orientation.” But State Rep. Lance Kinzer, R-Olathe, defended his bill, saying it was meant to make sure government could not infringe on an individual’s religious beliefs. State Rep. Charlie Roth, R- Salina, said K inzer’s leg islation was “homophobic,” and added, “It sends the message that Kansas is not welcoming. Kansas will become known as the land of the pure as def ined by the few.” The measure is supported by Gov. Sam Brownback’s ad min istrat ion, t he K ansas Cat hol ic Conference and Concerned Women for America of Kansas, and opposed by the Kansas Equality Coalition and the state chapter of the National Organization for Women. Source: Lawrence Journal-World
Tuscaloosa, AL - Tuscaloosa Schools Allow Gay Couples into Prom – 3.29 Alabama’s Tuscaloosa County School System will allow its LGBTQ students to attend prom with same-sex dates. The school district also has recognized the right of students to wear clothing with slogans expressing acceptance of LGBTQ people. The district’s statement comes after the Southern Poverty Law Center sent a letter to school officials on behalf of a Brookwood High School student who was forced to remove a sweatshirt with a slogan expressing acceptance of the LGBTQ community. An administrator also indicated that the student could not attend the prom with a same-sex date. “We are happy that the school district has agreed to recognize and support the rights of its LGBT students,” said SPLC attorney Sam Wolfe. “Gay and transgender students are entitled to attend prom with a date of their choice just like everyone else.” Statements supportive of LGBTQ people, as well as attending the prom with a same-sex date, are protected under the First and 14th Amendments of the US Constitution. This is true even in communities that harbor anti-gay sentiment. LGBTQ students are increasingly living true to who they are, deserving the respect and support of their schools.
New York, NY – Saturday Night Live Adds Openly Lesbian Woman to Cast – 3.30 With the future of its biggest female star, Kristen Wiig, up in the air, NBC’s Saturday Night Live is moving to add reinforcements. Seven comedy performers tested for SNL honcho Lorne Michaels, including Kate McKinnon of The Big Gay Sketch Show, produced by openly lesbian Rosie O’Donnell. McKinnon will make her debut on SNL‘s next show this Saturday hosted by Sofia Vergara of TV’s super gay-friendly Modern Family. McKinnon will become the first openly gay female cast member in the show’s long history. McKinnon, a trouper in the New York-based Upright Citizens Brigade comedy team, has also been in several one-woman shows including Disenchanted. Terry Sweeney was the first gay man to appear on SNL as a cast member during the 1985 season - 10 years after the show’s premiere on NBC. It is unclear if Michaels would try out more new performers this season in preparation for locking in the cast of NBC’s late-night sketch comedy series for next season. As for Bridesmaids star Wiig, whose contract is up at the end of the season, a final decision about her future on SNL will likely come in the summer. Source: MyFoxNY.com
Source: Southern Poverty Law Center website
Local News Briefs Folsom Street Events Announces Beneficiaries – 3.28 The Board of Directors of Folsom Street Events announced this year’s lineup of its major and supporting beneficiaries. Net proceeds from five key SF leather/ fetish events (Bay of Pigs, Up Your Alley, Magnitude, Folsom Street Fair and Deviants) will be donated to local charities working in public health, human services and the arts. Last year, Folsom Street Events donated over $330,000 to local and national charities in need. “The economy is still devastating our nonprofit sector,” Demetri Moshoyannis, executive director, said. “Many local agencies are suffering from the severe cutbacks in government funding, particularly in HIV/AIDS services. Folsom Street Events hopes to fill many of the funding gaps.” Jacob Richards, board president, added, “These organizations are supporting our community with emergency financial assistance, employment services, housing, legal services, basic needs fulfillment, critical healthcare delivery and, of course, the arts. Major beneficiaries are AIDS Emergency Fund, AIDS Housing Alliance, AIDS Legal Referral Panel, Frameline, Maitri, Mission Neighborhood Health Center, Pets Are Wonderful Support, Positive Resource Center, Project Open Hand, Queer Cultural Center and Shanti Project. Supporting beneficiaries are Breast Cancer Emergency Fund, Dolores Street Community Services, Lyon-Martin Health Services, SF LGBT Community Center, Transgender Law Center and Westside Community Services.
SF District Attorney George Gascón says Marijuana Prosecutions not a Priority - 3-29 Gascón disagrees with a legal brief in which his office argued that marijuana sales are illegal, and said that prosecuting marijuana cases will not be a priority for his administration. The brief was regarding a woman arrested on suspicion of possessing and attempting to sell cannabis products, arguing that any sale of marijuana is illegal under state law. “I support medical marijuana, and I have said that very many times,” Gascón said. “This particular brief was crafted three years ago and has been used from time to time by our attorneys. … I have already taken steps to take that memo out of circulation.” Gascón said if the woman truly was working on behalf of a registered dispensary and selling marijuana to licensed patients, the charges against her would probably be dismissed. Meanwhile, Axis of Love is asking activists to contact Rep. Nancy Pelosi to continue speaking out for medical cannabis patients’ rights, “to support City facilitation of emergency safe access to medical cannabis for catastrophically ill patients, in the event of the closure of all permitted facilities in SF.” For info: Emergencymmjinsf@gmail.com. Source: SF Examiner and Axis of Love meetin
Source: Folsom Street Events meeting
BAY T IM ES APRIL 5, 2012 7
You Say “Dependent” Like It’s a Bad Thing on yourself.” He “knows” that if you do become dependent on your partner, you’re deficient in “self-esteem” and need to do some work on yourself; and that if you actually feel “needy” toward a partner then you may have an “addiction” to him or her. Many intelligent people believe ideas like these, but I’ve never actually met anyone who even comes close to being a living example of this kind of magnificent self-sufficiency. I’m not surprised, because everything science has learned about human evolution, personality development, and neuropsychology strongly suggests that such a person cannot exist.
Examined Life Tom Moon, MFT Eric has been single for five years. As a relationship-oriented guy, he longs to connect with someone new, but he won’t let himself do it because he believes he isn’t “ready.” “Until I’m completely secure and whole in myself, and not dependent on anyone else to complete me, I won’t be able to be healthy in a relationship,” he says. He “knows” that real happiness only comes from “within” and that “mature” relationships are only possible between independent people who unite in mutual respect while maintaining “appropriate boundaries.” He “knows” that if your partner behaves in a way that disturbs you, you should be able to avoid being “enmeshed” or “codependent” and “keep the focus
Humans survived as a species because we evolved to be social animals, hardwired to attach emotionally to one another. Our “dependency needs” are neither choices nor pathologies; they’re built into the structure of our brains. Studies show, for instance, that once we become attached to someone, we actually form a single physiological unit. Our partners regulate our blood pressure, heart rate, breathing, and even the level of hormones in our blood. How could we ever maintain clear boundaries between ourselves and our partners when we’re literally not separate entities? Is Eric trying t o b e c ome s omet h i n g no one can ever be?
Psychologists have observed that infants begin to venture out into their surroundings only when they feel that they have a secure base in the form of a protective parent who makes it possible for them to feel safe in the world. Adults aren’t much different. Relationships with loving partners, and/ or supportive connections with family and friends, form the psychological basis for loving ourselves, believing in ourselves, and developing the confidence and resilience we need to go out and pursue our hopes and dreams. So while it may sound paradoxical, it’s our dependencies that make our independence possible. We become strong and autonomous within the context of ongoing deep, loving, and stable relationships with other people. My advice to Eric, then, is: Don’t hold out for mythical ideal of emotional maturity before you let love back into your life. The inner strength that you’re seeking in solitude is much more likely to grow out of your commitments to, and loving connections with, other people. Tom Moon is a psychotherapist in San Francisco. His website is tommoon.net.
Soiree 10 Was One Fabulously Fun French Gala
Kristen Kruse Soiree 10, the LGBT Center’s 10 th Birthday Celebration, was a great escape from the downpour threatening to wash away fabulously dressed French-inspired San Franciscans last Saturday. The Gay-la went down at the Design Center in SOMA, whose 4-story open architecture is full of glamour and glitz. A walking Eiffel Tower and a flamboyant French poo-
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cincher. Her act was followed by a Hard French dance performance with a lovely lady in an old-timey bathing costume. Honey Mahogany followed suit with her rendition of “Summer-
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time” in an equally amazing French and Egyptian reminiscent outfit. Kieren Jameson and Emily Coles then performed a romantic Foxtrot a la Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire – a
8 BAY TIMES APRIL 5, 2012
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dle evoked the Belle Epoche.
Dancers Emily Coleman (left) and Kieren Jameson at Soiree 10
f lirty favorite with the ladies in the audience. As if that was not enough, the incredibly hot Bombshell Burlesque dancers set the stage on fire, kicking up their legs in their adorable Moulin Rouge Can-Can outfits, playfully out-doing each other with their sexy antics. Aside from the stellar entertainment, there were beaucoup de sweet and savory hors d’oeuvres – oh, the brie and apple galettes! - and lots of free-flowing booze. Guests tired of the action downstairs went upstairs to bid on auction items ranging from paintings,
theater and sports tickets, spa treatments, personal training, and plenty of opportunity to buy and taste wine. Roberto Ordenana, Directory of Community Development at the LGBT Center said, “We thought the event was a great success. We are so happy that so many were able to attend and celebrate SF’s avant garde culture. Because the community built the Center, the world is a better place.” He estimated 1,000 attendees, and also said the event surpassed its goal of raising $175,000, as donations are still coming in.
Photos of The Week Giant Rose Window Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine, New York City Comprised of more than 10,000 pieces and considered one of the most beautiful of its ty pe, the window is 40 feet in diameter. The image here, provided by Museum Planet, is coded to identify the f igures: 1) Christ in Glory; 2) Angels and gifts of the spirit (they radiate clockw ise around t he center); 3) Beat it udes; 4) Eva ngel ist Mat t hew; 5) Evangelist Mark; 6) Evangelist Luke; 7) Evangelist John; 8) Prophet Isaiah; 9) Evangelist Jeremiah; 10) Prophet Daniel; 11) Evangelist Ezekiel; 12) Divine Love – Seraphim; 13) Divine Wisdom: Cherubim. (SISTERS continued from page 1)
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to ex pose t he forces of bigot r y, complacency and guilt that chain the human spirit. The organization of the Sisters occurred at the same time A IDS began appearing in the Castro District. In 1982, a team of Sisters and medical professiona l s created “ Play Fa i r! ”, the f irst safer-sex pamphlet to use pla in lang uage, slang, pract ica l advice and humor. Sisters who have died are referred by us as “Nuns of the Above,” and those who lost the battle against H I V a r e i m mor t a l i z e d i n t he Na mes P roject A I DS Memor ia l Quilt, ser v ing as a way to spiritually cope with the loss. Unlike Catholics, we saint living people for their good works. Some nuns have served as ministers of f iciat-
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ruits f m o r “F s” to nut
ing at weddings. Many of us have our own take on spirituality. The “ do unto ot hers” golden r u le is especially important. We led an exorc i sm of homophobi a , c l a s sism and racism on t he steps of the US House of Representatives, and assisted w ith the A I DS Coa l it ion to Un leash Power (ACT UP) death march and protest. We do not mock Cat hol ic nuns; we emulate them and their spirituality (not their religion) and self less service to the community. Je s u s d id h i s b e s t m i r a c le s at a g e 33 . T he S i s t er s a r e t u r n ing 33 this Easter. Coincidence? I think not! www.T heSisters.org
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Blessing of the Bicycles – Annual event at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in New York City. Initiated more than a decade ago by bicyclist Glen Goldstein, the event will be held for 2012 on Saturday, May 5th at 9:30 A M sharp. Source: blessingofthebicycles.com YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZUUHS5ygVc
Become a Drop-By Darling say “somehow” because I didn’t do friend-entrance-exams at The End UP or Faster Pussycat! What happened to dropping by? Did everyone used to when they were young? Maybe it is just Midwestern after all, or is it age? People got too busy? Is it technology? With no cell phone, one drops by to ask a favor, or tell a story in person.
Love, Life, Sex Shar Rednour Where I grew up, people dropped by. “We were runnin’ around and thought we’d drop by.” My parents and I would be out looking at tractor hitches at TSC (Tractor Supply Company) then mom would say, “Hey honey, would you drive by Jeannie’s? I wanna see how’s she doing. Her husband hurt his back, or her cousin got Lupus or, or...” Any number of bad things can happen. Out here in California, we say “challenging things” and don’t admit they’re “bad.” Bad relationships, cancer, jobs, HIV, family problems and, last but not least, our pets die. Somehow, out here in California, I gathered Drop By-er friends. I
I say to drop by even if you look messy. I am Femmepress Shar, so if I say this then take heed! Who cares if your mascara is runny. If you hear a story, recipe, inspirational thought a friend would like— drop by to tell them. Bring them an orange. My friend Smeeta drops by with a teabag in hand. I bring hot water out to the porch and we chat while watching the baby sleep in the car, then she leaves in 20 minutes. Drop by’s don’t have to be long. Go places with someone else. Do you know someone who also goes to the doctor on Tuesdays? Yoga on Wednesdays? Maybe they used to go but now you don’t see them? I learned from my mom to drop by and find out what happened. Maybe they will
NOE ST. BETWEEN
get inspired to go again if you offer to go together. When someone is going through hard times, bring them ice cream, validate them, ask questions, offer advice and give hugs. Do this even for the person who’s eternally optimistic, who insists, “I’m fine,” even though they got dumped, fired or their cat died because that’s who will unexpectedly try suicide. Always hug and tell people that you love them even if it embarrasses them. Who cares? When we’re in the middle of worrisome times—wondering when the phone will ring with biopsy results—it’s much nicer if you are chatting with a neighbor watching East Bay sunsets while the kids do cartwheels or sipping hot cocoa enjoying a foggy afternoon. Some of my friends only see each other at 4-hour cocktail parties that have to be planned. I tell them, “Come hang out for a few minutes—don’t wait for the perfect moment!” Life is short and fragile. If someone is important to you, you must let them know. Drop by, drop in, and drop the formalities!
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LGBTQ Community Spiritual Leaders Celebrating the arrival of spring is thought to be among the oldest seasonal holidays in human culture. Numerous religious observances, such as Easter and Passover, also occur at this time of year. We would like to take the opportunity to honor some of our community’s spiritual leaders, who guide us with their wisdom, generosity and compassion. Please enjoy a moment meditating on the inspirational passages they have shared with us.
Rabbi Camille Shira Angel Rabbi at Congregation Sha’ar Zahav A s t he fe s t i v a l of Pa s s ov er s o on a p proaches, and Jews everywhere retell the stor y of our liberation from the narrow st r a it s, I w i l l add R ich’s word s to my home-made Haggadah and hope others will as well. In our Siddur Sha’ar Zahav, in t he sect ion of prayers and blessing s for Remember ing Our Loved Ones, we published (with permission) this excerpt from Sources.
As a Jew, I have so many sacred texts to choose from a s sources of i nspi rat ion. Perhaps I ought to have selected something from an ancient sage, but I am a mour ner among t he many, whose l ives were forever emboldened by the words of Adrienne Rich. I found language that encouraged me to live out my pride as a Jewish lesbian in a world that for centuries had held such identities captive. Adrienne Rich’s prophetic poetry and prose freed the captive and gave us hope for a new world.
It’s an old-fashioned thing to believe one has a “destiny” -a thought often peculiar to those who possess privilege – but there is something else; the faith of those despised and endangered that they are not merely the sum of damages done to them: have kept beyond violence the knowledge arranged in patterns like kente-cloth unexpected as in batik recurrent as bitter herbs and unleavened bread of being a connecting link in a long, continuous way of ordering hunger, weather, death, desire and the nearness of chaos.
Course in Miracles Instructor
I am reminded then if, in fact, some of us as LGBT folks wish to be married how important equality is. Some communities label our lesbian, gay, bisexua l, t ra nsgender relat ionsh ips a s ‘less than’ or ‘second class.’ This secondclass mentality often gives others license to hu r t us a nd of ten v iolence i s done physically, emot ionally and spir itually. We have seen this over and over again as oppressive systems def ine and label others as “the other” or as the stranger. T h is k ind of label ing par t icipates a nd is compl icit w it h v iolence, wh ich goes against all traditions where love is at the heart of religious practice and teachings.
I found God in myself. And i loved her/ i loved her fiercely. ( Ntozake Shange, For Colored G irls W ho Have Considered Suicide W hen the Rainbow is Enuf )
Each one of us, I believe, is a gift the earth is giving to itself now, a unique gift. Every anguish, betrayal, disappointment can even help prepare us for the work of healing. You don’t n eed to be ext raordin ar y. If th e wo rld i s t o be h ea li n g thro ugh human efforts, I am convinced it will be o rdi n a r y peo ple, peo ple whose love for this life is even greater than their fear.
If we carry with us the richness of what we learned during the AIDS years about being together through sickness and health, and if we continue to model different forms of partnership, family and community, we will help mainline religious communities re-def ine marriage in ways that make more sense and have greater meaning. Rev. Jim Mitulski of New Spirit Community Church and Campus Pastor at Pacific School of Religion.
I often quote Buber in many marr iage c er emon ie s for I b e l ie ve he g i ve s u s words to understand just how important these moments are in our lives--to take ser iously t h is sacred jour ney of lov ing another – to believe in this adventure of friendship and lov ing for life in all the myriad ways life comes to us with all its complex it ies a nd cha l lenges. I bel ieve t hat when we da re to love t h is deeply that this af fects not only our particular lives, but somehow is a part of healing the fabric of our society.
Guiding Teacher, Lesbian Buddhist Sa ngha , Berkeley, a nd author: A Woman’s Guide to Spiritual Renewal
When you know you are divine you can become completely human. When you know you are one with God you are free to become absolutely yourself ... (Quote from-Mother Meera that appears in Open Mind: Women’s Daily Inspiration for Becoming Mindful by Diane Mariechild)
This has meant the loss of a certain intimacy of community forged in a time of shared hurt and greater oppression – the early AIDS years. Perhaps we have made this sacrifice in order to call forth a richer and more diverse religious landscape.
We are invit ed to dare to love oth ers, the earth, the animals and I dare say this vast universe – to not treat oth e rs a s strange rs b ut sojour n e rs together on this journey we call life.
This “wound at the heart of life” shows itself in many ways, but your holding and “suffering” of this tragic wound, your persistent but failed attempts to heal it, your f inal surrender to it, will ironically make you into a wise and holy person. (Richard Rohr)
MCC has been around long enough to raise children in our churches. Both straight and not straight, many of these now young people hold a fond regard for MCC but no longer wish to worship in separate gay churches. All but the congregation on Eureka Street in the Castro have closed in recent years although we have vibrant congregations in San Mateo, Guerneville, Stockton and Berkeley. Dignity, the Roman Catholic sibling of MCC, has experienced a similar decline.
Photo by BrendelSignature
Ma r t i n Buber, a g reat Jew ish T heolo g ian br ings home to me what intimacy and deep lov ing relat ionships of fer us. In his book, I and T hou, he w r ites that “e ve r y pa r ti c ula r I-T h o u relation shi p i s a gli m pse i nt o th e Et e r n a l Thou.” This speaks volumes to me about what intimacy may bring as I work with so many couples who are wishing to be m a r r ied a nd wh at m a r r i a g e equ a l it y means. To me to dare to love another is an adventure involving a sacred trust. It is an adventure to not only know another but to really come in touch with oneself in those places inside of us that need the most healing. This kind of deep intimacy, as Buber writes, opens us to the deepest parts of ourselves where we run into that which is Eternal. Some may call this God or Higher Power or Source of love.
I chose t hese passages because for me they so beautifully illustrate the divinity in ever y being, and t he impor tance of being ourselves: OUT and present in the world for our own wellbeing, and for the wellbeing of all.
has evolved over the years to include bisexual and transgender participation.
1 0 BAY TIM ES APRIL 5 , 2 0 1 2
Ordained Presbyterian Minister
This message is comforting and so full of hope. It reminds us that our suffering is not solitary, but instead shared. And that we can trust it, surrender to it, and allow it to actually heal us. A Swiss theologian, Hans Urs Von Balthasar (1905-1988), said toward the end of his life: “All great thought springs from a conf lict between two eventual insights: 1) The wound which we find at the heart of everything is finally incurable. 2) Yet we are necessarily and still driven to try.”
(SPIRITUALITY continued from page 1)
Fewer of us attend separate gay churches because more of us are taking our place in a new world we helped create.
Rev. Jane Spahr
There has never been more awareness of religion’s need to change if it is to survive. We live in an interfaith world, and religions must acknowledge each other’s existence and find
(By Joanna Macy, In Indra’s Net: Sarvodaya and our Mutual Efforts at Peace) I let go of all prejudice and fixed opinions. I am willing to see the divine in every being. I pass no judgments. I admit no finalities. I open my whole being to change for the better, to fully experience life. This is the joy of living. I let life move me forward into greater joy. (By Nana Vear, Change We Must)
ways to co-exist and even syncretize in order to be relevant and viable. We who have struggled for liberation no longer settle for mere tolerance or inclusion. Religion needs us to bring to bear our considerable collective creativity in order for it to transform. Here is my invitation: Give religion one more chance. If you currently participate in a religious community, as a gift, bring all of who you are. Hold nothing back. Give yourself
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LGBTQ Community Spiritual Leaders Rev. Roland Stringfellow
Rev. Dr. Lauren Artress
Director of Ministerial Outreach Center, Lesbian and Gay Studies in R e l i g io n a nd M i n i s t r y, Pa c i f ic School of Religion
C a non of G r a ce C at he d r a l a nd Aut hor : Wa lk i n g a S a c r ed Pa th: Redi scove r ing th e L abyr inth a s a Spiritual Practice
Much has been written about the importance of paying attention to our work/life ba lance. For careg ivers, such as clerg y, this is a dut y we often neglect. I appreciate the words of Mar y Oliver because t hey ser ve as a rem inder t hat I am not God, but simply f lesh in need of constant rest and renewal.
I use this quote from Peter Russell’s book T h e C on sc i o u s n ess R e vol ut i on when I a m speaking to SBNR (Spiritual But Not Religious) groups about the labyrinth. There is a hunger in the western world and our mainline churches are unable to address it. It is a hunger for meaningful symbols that will guide us, for a spirituality freed of patriarchal assumptions and for pract ices t hat help us i nteg rate our psyche with our souls. Walking the labyrinth is a spiritual practice that grounds Russell’s quote.
One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began, though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice– though the whole house began to tremble and you felt the old tug at your ankles. “Mend my life!” each voice cried. But you didn’t stop. You knew what you had to do, though the wind pried with its stiff fingers at the very foundations, though their melancholy was terrible. It was already late enough, and a wild night, and the road full of fallen branches and stones. But little by little, as you left their voices behind, the stars began to burn through the sheets of clouds, and there was a new voice which you slowly
…If there are teachings associated with this new spirituality, they will be about our own psyche— much as Buddhism is. It will be a contemporary teaching, and deal with things such as how the ego develops, how we derive our sense of identity, how we c reat e unn ecessa r y fea r, h ow we interpret or misinterpret our experiences, and how we can free our minds from these various constraints. They
recognized as your own, that kept you company as you strode deeper and deeper into the world, determined to do the only thing you could do-determined to save the only life you could save. ( Mary Oliver, The Journey)
Yeshe Rabbit Matthews Presiding High Priestess, Come As You Are Coven solitary and unchanging. It is ever present and secure. It may be regarded as the Mother of the universe. Because I do not know its name, I call it the Tao. If forced to give a name, I would call it ‘Great.’ Because it is Great means it is everywhere. Being everywhere means it is eternal. Being eternal means everything returns to it.
To walk my own, eclectic, nature-based path is to know the Divine around every cor ner, in each face, under ever y rock, in t he bra nches of t he t rees, t he f l ight of birds, the winter’s rain and summer’s heat. I a m never apa r t from t he G od/ dess. S/he is all around me. S/he is within, as well. Before the universe was born there was something in the chaos of the heavens. It stands alone and empty,
Tao is great. Heaven is great. Earth is great. Humanity is great. Within the universe, these are the four great things. Humanity follows the earth. Earth follows Heaven. Heaven follows the Tao. The Tao follows only itself. -Lao-Tzu, Tao Te Ching #25
fully and freely. If that community isn’t ready for all of you, find one that is. And if you’ve been away from religion, go back and give it another try.
all of creation. Together we can create a new world: interfaith and global, where peace and justice on earth are as important as they are in heaven.
Religion is ready for resurrection and we can be the bearers of it. Let’s resurrect religion into something that invites and sustains diversity and respect for all beliefs, all genders, all orientations, all races, all classes, and all family configurations, so that being religious is equated with a passion for an egalitarian society and an appreciation for divinity in
Rev. Jim Mitulski is Co-Director of Worship and Campus Pastor at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley www.psr.edu and pastor of the New Spirit Community Church www.newspiritchurch.org located on campus, a union church affiliated with the United Church of Christ, The Disciples of Christ, the Metropolitan Community Churches and the Fellowship of Affirming Ministries.
will be psychological teachings, rather than teachings about deities and other such entities. (Peter Russell, T he Consciousness Revolution)
Fr. Donal Godfrey University Ministry, The University of San Francisco I c ho o s e t h i s q u ot e f r o m M on s i g nor Romero, t he A rchbishop of Sa n Sa lvador, because Romero’s life and mar t yrdom speak to me of the gospel str uggle for justice for all of God’s people. Romero rem inds me t hat t he work for just ice is the work of God, and thus I need to be pat ient. T h is is especia l ly t r ue when it somet i mes seem s such a long jou r ney, particularly for God’s Queer community within my own Roman Catholic Church. This is what we are about: We plant seeds that one day will grow. We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise. We lay foundations that will need further development. It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for God’s grace to enter and do the rest. We may never see the end results, but
that is the difference between the master builder and the worker. ( Monsignor Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador)
Rev. Dr. Arlene Nehring S e n i o r M i n i s t e r, Church of Christ
Un i t e d
Here, the disciples encountered the risen Christ in a stranger who becomes a traveling companion and dinner guest, as they move from the cemetery where Jesus was buried to a gathering of followers in Emmaus. This passage is a powerful reminder of how we can be part of God’s transforming work in the world when we dare to become companions on the journey with persons whom we may at f irst deem strangers. It was the gospel reading for my ordination to the Christian ministry, and serves as the biblical basis for my congregation’s Compañeras/os ministr y w ith f irst- and second-generation Mexican immigrants in Cherryland, California. As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. But they urged him s t rongly, saying, “S tay with u s, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.” So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with th e m , h e took bread , blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. They said to
each other, “Were not our hear ts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?” Luke 24:28 -32 ( NRSV )
BAY T IM ES APR IL 5, 2012
LGBTQ Spirituality revolutionary. (Then I became a parent, and that’s another whole story).
Kim Corsaro Publisher 1981-2011
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An issue of the Bay Times devoted to LGBT spirituality? How timely. With everything going on in the world, it sure couldn’t hurt to be reminded of the power of intention, the power of principles, and the power of passion. All these are things of spirit – however you name that which is within you—and hence, of spirituality.
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I am Christian and lesbian. I came into the world with both of these proclivities. After the textbook struggle of reconciling these two seemingly opposing realities, I decided a few decades ago to live both identities with all the integrity and beauty I could muster. I started out being accused by the church of being a practicing homosexual, but then I got really good at it and graduated into a professional lesbian. I immersed myself in the queer community, and I loved it. It was real, raw and
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And for the Christian part, well, I decided to remain a Christian so that I could contest what a Christian is. The mainstream media presents primarily a Christianity that is enshrined in fundamentalism, a problematic extreme in any religion. I am a progressive Christian who believes in radical inclusivity. I find the teachings of Jesus incredibly compelling and if those of us who claimed his name actually lived those teachings, many of the tragedies and suffering of the world would come to a grinding halt. Of course, that could be said of all religions. If we could only live what we hold as ideals we would have already created some peacefilled, egalitarian utopia. That’s not what’s happening but it doesn’t stop me from trying to do my part, to live the essential message of my tradition that, unadulterated by our own cultural and social blinders, is remarkably graceful and just. Christianity is my “mother tongue” -- I grew up with it. But, Christianity is the path I chose again as an adult to help guide my relationship to the divine. I love the traditions. I live my life and measure my life by the teachings of Jesus, a radical revolutionary for his time who stood up for the oppressed and who would have been on the forefront of the Occupy movement today. I also draw on wisdom and ritual from many other traditions. I believe that there are many spiritual paths. The criterion is not a set of doctrines but a way of life. Does my spiritual path lead me to be more loving, more compassionate, more full of life and passion, more justice-seeking? Do my values help create a better world for all? For me, these
are the important questions. Spirituality is in the here and now, in the everydayness of life, in the struggles, in the joy--spirituality just is-- it has little to do with whatever may be our understanding of the next world. There are so many people whom I come across that are turned off to church and other organized religion for justifiable reasons. This growing percentage makes up the “spiritual but not religious crowd.” The good news is that we spiritual people have so much to offer each other in community. So I hope people everywhere, especially LGBT people, continue to create communities of spirituality where we can come together to celebrate and connect with each other because I believe we will be better for it. There is a wealth of wisdom and spiritual experience to be shared in so many different forms and expressions. As I live my spirituality, my hope is that when people look at me they will see someone who is open-minded, passionate, egalitarian, kind, generous, one who questions the status quo....all the qualities I believe “Christian” means. So I hope that we LGBT people will take seriously our own spiritual gifts, whatever our path, and bring our full selves to the struggle for freedom and justice for all. And that by doing so, we will find a place of peace and love within that is sustaining and that we will discover a spirituality for ourselves that is profound enough for our complicated world and for our uncertain, but hopeful, future. Rev. Dr. Penny Nixon can be reached at email@example.com.
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Person of the Week: Adrienne Rich My personal memories of her go back to years ago, when she emerged from a jet at Memphis International Airport for a visit. She was a featured guest of the University of Memphis. My partner Audrey and I were called on as hosts “to give Ms. Rich during her stay the company and comfort of her own kind.” In fact, we were her oh so willing local chauffeurs, invited to join in for the home-cooked meal prepared by the sponsoring professors.
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By Dr. Betty Sullivan The LGBTQ community on March 27th lost a national legend with the passing of poet and essayist Adri-
enne Rich, who has been lauded as a feminist writer with a voice that inspired a generation of literary figures, g a y m o v e m e nt a c t i v i s t s , a n d feminist leaders.
Adrienne Rich inspired us young women and some men too at her reading there in the great hall of the English Department. She inspired with her presence, her soft-spoken wisdom, her turn of phrase, intensity of eye, and the deeply inspirational touch of a wordsmith like none other whom we had seen or heard before. We stood in applause and jubilation having heard her words. We made a “women’s party” for her that evening. Each woman - and
there were many - brought a gift to present as Rich herself was presented to say hello and exchange some phrase of welcome and good cheer. One guest gave her goddess jewelry, another candles, and others their own writings. Seated in a timeworn antique chair, Rich was circled by us. My gift was the party, and she smiled a deep smile when I told her so. She stayed in touch with me for a while after I’d relocated for graduate school in New York. She sent me personal notes scribbled on scraps of napkins, menus and such. Looking back, I realize that all of us gathered knew it – knew that we were in the presence of a champion, a giant, and we knew that none of us would ever, ever forget her or those evenings we spent by her side in the Springtime exactly thirty years ago.
The Week in Review By Ann Rostow Ninth Circuit Won’t Review Arizona Victory Our news this week is full of exciting legal developments, but I want to start with the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to let stand one of its panel opinions in favor of gay couples in Arizona. (Oh, for God’s sake, keep reading. It’s good for you. Plus, later on I’ll tell you about the Irish priest who accidentally aired gay porn to the parents of his First Communion class.) As I was saying, last September a three-judge Ninth Circuit panel upheld a lower court decision that struck Arizona’s attempt to cancel partner benefits for state staff under the guise of “cost cutting.” The benefits, which applied to both gay and straight workers, were initiated by former Governor Janet Napolitano through an executive order. But when the political west winds blew Jan Brewer and her GOP allies into power, the benefits were revoked. Did the move save money? Maybe, but if so, the savings amounted to a drop in the budget bucket. Plus, you can’t justify illegal discrimination with financial arguments. After all, limiting state benefits to white workers or men would also save some cash. Lambda Legal argued that, although the benefits were not confined to gay couples, the impact of removing them hit same-sex partners harder since straight couples had the option of marrying. Our legal eagles then sued on behalf of the gay couples only. They won their case in 2010 and won their appeal last September. Arizona then appealed to the full Ninth Circuit court, and this week, the court declined review. Yay! Arizona’s only option now is a long shot appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. First of all, this was a great decision by the full court, even though it came with a strong dissent from the conservative judge with the weird name that I can never remember off hand and don’t want to look up. Second, it’s more grist for our speculation mill, where GLBT legal observers are busy grinding out baseless estimates for when our various gay rights cases will reach the Supreme Court. In this case, it took the full Ninth Circuit seven months to decide whether or not to review this decision. How long will they take to decide whether or not to review the Prop 8 decision they issued in February? How long will it take for the full court to decide whether or not to take direct review of last month’s DOMA ruling in the Karen Golinski case? Our fresh grist notwithstanding, the correct answer remains: Who knows? Arguing For Gill Indeed it’s sometimes hard to tell which of our major gay rights cases is leading the race to reach the High Court. Our first challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act was filed on behalf of Massachusetts couples in 2009, and decided in our favor by Judge Joseph Tauro in early 2010. Yet it’s only now, April 3 to be exact, that oral arguments in this case are being held before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Part of the delay can be blamed on the kerfuff le from the Obama administration’s change in legal policy in February 2011, when they determined that sexual orientation discrimination is presumptively unconstitutional. The Justice Department effectively switched to our side in the challenges to the Defense of Mar-
riage Act, forcing Republicans in the House of Representatives to rise to DOMA’s defense. Procedural delays ensued, but it seems as if everything is back on track. (Can I just pause for a moment so you can re-read the first sentence of that last paragraph? The notion that Obama is somehow hedging on gay rights because he won’t come out for marriage equality in some speech is absurd. Working under the radar, this constitutional lawyer has done more for gay equality than we could have imagined possible from a president. If action speaks louder than words, his change of legal strategy last year was a freight train chasing an F5 tornado down the tracks. And, I might add, I was no fan of Obama’s record on gay rights prior to February 23, 2011.) Continuing along, two of the three judges on the First Circuit appellate panel were appointed by Republicans (Reagan and Bush One) while the third was named by Bill Clinton. Still, party affiliation alone does not suggest where sentiments lie on our issues, and that’s particularly true for veteran judges. One of the most interesting questions these judges have to weigh is whether a 2008 First Circuit ruling in a challenge to Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is binding law, requiring them to evaluate DOMA under the lowest standard of legal review, or whether a distinction can be made that opens the door to a higher level of scrutiny. In his lower court decision, Judge Tauro managed to duck this central issue by stating that since DOMA fails the easiest test, he was not obliged to focus on which test should apply. This is a familiar and frustrating tactic for gay friendly judges, who want to rule in our favor without roiling the waters of gay rights jurisprudence by expanding so-called settled law. And it’s thus noteworthy that in last month’s big ruling (striking DOMA in the aforementioned Golinski case) Judge Jeffrey White went ahead and ruled that sexual orientation discrimination should indeed be given strict analysis. Why does this matter so much? In brief, because laws evaluated under strict or heightened scrutiny almost always fail the test, while laws considered under the easier standard almost always pass. Ironically, the bad guys from the House of Representatives are represented by none other than former Solicitor General Paul Clement, fresh off his argument to strike down Obamacare before the High Court last week. It will be interesting to hear how Clement now argues in favor of deferring to Congress and respecting the separation of powers, don’t you think?
Professional Services their first communions in Pomeroy, Ireland. Father Martin McVeigh inserts a memory stick, clicks on a file, and (surprise!) presents his audience with a slide show of explicit man-onman action. According to the Washington Post, that audience (which included an eightyear-old) was left “horrified and distracted.” The good father returned after about 20-minutes and made a fund raising pitch, which I’m guessing was not particularly successful. Father McVeigh told church authorities he had no idea how the naughty pix infiltrated his presentation. A day or so ago, Ireland’s Cardinal Sean Brady announced that an investigation was underway, and that although the police were contacted, no criminal charges will be lodged. It’s not clear what will befall the priest, but he’s been missing in action at Mass since the March 26 incident. What do you think? I think that if Father Martin owned and used a pile o’porn that he kept on a memory stick, he would be damn sure that said stick was not mixed up with his other files. I’m guessing one of his fun-loving brothers in brown decided to pull a priestly prank and laughed all the way to the confessional. Or not. Maybe Martin’s just the dumbest frock in the flock. By the way, I had to google “gay porn priest” in order to look up the details of this story, and I couldn’t resist clicking on an X-rated video called “The Young Priest,” which featured a priest spying on a bunch of guys having sex to an instrumental of the first act of La Boheme, specif ically Rodolfo’s aria “your tiny hand so cold.” Come on, producers! This is one of the most classic heterosexual love scenes in opera, hardly the appropriate score for the tedious slow motion orgy featured on the clip.
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My porn viewing was rudely interrupted by Norton Utilities, asking me to reboot my computer in order to upgrade some software. Was that deliberate on their part? I made sure to use my wife’s computer so that no one down the road will start sending me links to X-rated sites. Sorry, honey! Why Ohio? Here’s something. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has given the green light to language for a petition that GLBT activists will use in their f ight for marriage equality in the Buckeye State. In other words, Freedom to Marry Ohio is trying to put a measure to legalize marriage on the Ohio ballot, either this year or next.
Ohio is not exactly liberal, so while I’d say that the folks trying to pass marriage equality in Maine have a fighting chance, I wouldn’t bet money on a state with something like a 35 percent minority in support of marriage. Unlike court cases, we don’t damage ourselves in the same way by losing an electoral contest. But we exhaust labor and resources, and it’s depressing to be defeated. Why do this? Maybe there’s something I’m missing about the situation, as unlikely as that seems.
There’s another very important new DOMA challenge just filed in Brooklyn by Immigration Equality on behalf of five bi-national couples, but I feel guilty. I’ve forced you to read about marriage cases for over half this column without leavening the heavy text with even a hint of amusement.
Did you know that Ohio’s state insect is the ladybug? Cute little critters. Good choice, Ohio! California’s state insect is a butterf ly of sorts, as is the state insect of Texas. Without further research, I’m guessing that most states have pleasant state insects, rather than nasty biting pests.
So picture instead the scene in the basement of St, Mar y’s Primar y School, or wherever they set up Power Point presentations for the parents of the wee bairns who are preparing for
I’m back. I just checked, and I was right. Almost all the states either have some kind of butterfly, a bee, or a ladybug. The exception is New Mexico,
By the way, the panel is also hearing a DOMA challenge based on states’ rights initiated by Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley. However, I have long since decided to skip covering the arcane details of the spending clause and the Tenth Amendment that govern this parallel litigation. Forgive me.
B. SCOTT LEVINE
PAST PRESIDENT AND PROUD MEMBER OF GGBA
(continued on page 14)
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Face It: Shift Happens ARIES (March 21 – April 19) Reconcile your mind and spirit. You’re an instinctive warrior, Aries. Venture into your subconscious and expel useless ideas that have oppressed you long enough. Don’t gloss over the details.
LEO (July 23 – August 22) Your party animal gland is hyperactive these days. I say, “Live it up, Leo!” But please leave the plastic at home. Expand your social horizons, not your Amex bill.
better. TAURUS (April 20 – May 20) Evaluate more interesting ways of channeling your creative energy, Taurus. Focus on filling up your excitement tank without draining so many other resources. Set boundaries with friends.
Astrology Gypsy Love While interviewing Lady Gaga, Oprah applauded pop music’s “Mama Monster” for evangelizing the importance of living “the highest expression of oneself,” even if it defies convention. “That,” says Oprah, “is how the shift happens.” Cosmically, we’re encouraged now to integrate individual drives with collective responsibilities. Sacrificing self-growth for the sake of public approval? Scared to dream big? Be true to you. Face it, lover... Shift happens.
GEMINI (May 21 – June 20) Socially, you’re sexy and you know it. Yet feelings of inferiority loom on the career front. Remember, Gemini - whatever moves your soul can also propel your reputation. Be you. CANCER (June 21 – July 22) Your heart feels like it’s hibernating while your mind runs marathons. Articulate your desires, Cancer. Even if you speak softly, the Universe eagerly listens and is prepared to answer.
VIRGO (August 23 – September 22) Congratulations on standing your ground, Virgo! A natural pleaser, you sometimes shy away from self-assertion. Just make sure to attract supporters with your sweet honey, and nix those sour grapes.
LIBRA (September 23 – October 22) Pursuing your passions is a big responsibility, isn’t it Libra? Revisit your intentions. When your priorities are in order, it’s much easier to decipher between authentic goals and fleeting fantasies.
SCORPIO (October 23 – November 21) Finances could experience a boost now, but only if you’re truthful about your motives. Put your money where your mouth is, Scorpio. Be honest – with others, and with yourself.
SAGITTARIUS (November 22 – December 21) Sweet Sagittarius, you’re stuck in a tug-of-war between your public reputation and your most intimate relationships. The strain is unbearable – and unnecessary. Lean on your intuition, and let go.
CAPRICORN (December 22 – January 19) You’re experimenting with various methods of integrating work and pleasure. Scrap the misconception that service and joy must live separately, Capricorn. The fact is, one can’t thrive without the other.. AQUARIUS (January 20 – February 18) Ooh-la-la, Aquarius! You’ve turned on the charm, and admirers are coming out of the woodwork. Resist the urge to pounce. Simply be you. Objects of your affection will flock willingly. PISCES (February 19 – March 20) Beautify your nest, Pisces. Wherever you call home, make it a safe haven for peace. This involves some compromise on your part. Thankfully, you excel at the art of forgiveness.
Gypsy Love’s astrology readings have helped 1000’s of people attract what they authentically desire.
To Meditate or Medicate? or What a Difference a “C” Makes… daughter on their way to a relative’s wedding have decided to stage their reunion on the plane in high-pitched voices that are causing my head chakra to explode. I don’t want to know this much about these strangers. I want them to remain “strangers.” That’s why we don’t wear nametags on planes.
Text in the City Karen Williams Aah! A perfect morning! Dress, pack, chant, meditate…leisurely drive to the airport…on my way to spend a glorious weekend with thousands of lesbians…and a few gay guys who love any kind of party…in Palm Springs for the Dinah Shore festivities. I’m on yet another early morning f light, thoroughly prepared to pass out as soon as I’m seated. However, my best-laid plans are thwarted by the ceaseless chatter that’s going on in the back of my head in the two seats in the row behind me. A mother and
In the good ole days of plane travel – BC – “Before Cellphones” – nirvana was to be found in the quietude before boarding. Silent prayers filled the waiting area and avid book readers turned pages with barely a rustle. Reading is still soundless on Kindles and Nooks, but the intrusive chatter is everywhere! Now, don’t get me wrong. I was born and raised in the loudest city on the planet – New York City! Thus, my spiritual attraction to Any City, California, where I learned to quietly meditate about nothing at all. With years and years of solo travel, I’ve achieved an almost monk-like appreciation of the silent sounds of life. Am I the only one who misses the joys of whispering, of honoring public space by lowering your voice lest your nearby neighbor hear all of your unsolicited business? Was my genera-
tion so medicated that the only real chatter we heard was from the committees in our heads? Well, you can’t read a magazine today that does not extol the virtues of meditation to beat stress and to appreciate the soundless wonders of daily living. Tell me I am not the only one reading these articles! Is everyone else reading “Let’s Talk Louder” or “Privacy – What Is It?” Listen, I chose not to self-medicate and to meditate instead so I could find inner peace in this busy, crazy world. But if everyone keeps talking louder and invading my privacy in public spaces, I may have to reevaluate my decision, and not by ordering a vente café latte. It may have to be more drastic, like dispensing mufflers with those cellphones. As life would have it, my dear friend just told me that I’m loud, though she rationalized it by saying that most public speakers project their voices. Well, whatever! As long as I’m not shouting in the back of your head on an airplane, it’s cool. Loud Lesbians Unite! Let’s shout our way to freedom. Copyright 2012. All Rights Reserved
(ROSTOW continued from page 13) which claims the “tarantula hawk wasp.” Say what? I did some additional checking and the story becomes even more, um, interesting. Back in 1989, it seems as if lawmakers allowed a bunch of elementary school students to decide which insect would represent the Land of Enchantment. For reasons that may seem more evident to a tenyear-old than yours truly, the kids picked this alarming specimen, who lays eggs on top of a paralyzed tarantula. When the eggs hatch, the baby wasps feed on the living spider until it dies. I guess the kids thought that was pretty neat, or something, but I’ll take a ladybug any day of the week. Well, it’s original, I’ll give them that. What would this country be like, one wonders, if more policy decisions were placed in the hands of elementary school students? I can hear some of you echoing the trite chorus that things would be improved. But judging from the tarantula hawk wasp, I disagree. Romney Tried to Hide Prop 8 Gift That insect discussion absorbed a significant chunk of column inches, but I think we all agree it was worthwhile. Meanwhile, in other news, a gay rights ordinance lost a municipal vote in Anchorage, another school
T-shirt case was filed in Ohio, and some antigay thugs in Liberia have published a hit list of known gays and lesbians who they suggest should be murdered in the spirit of civic pride. You know what? I don’t care that Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has the Nobel Peace Prize sitting on the mantle. If she doesn’t stand up against this kind of barbarism, the United States should put its money where its mouth is and cut that country off our foreign aid. Oh, and finally, it looks like Mittens donated $10,000 to the fight for Prop 8 back in the fall of 2008. That’s not surprising for a conservative Mormon, but the crafty candidate laundered his contribution through an Alabama branch of his political action group, which then gave the cash to the National Organization for Marriage. Sneaky bastard. —A new column by Ann is available every week at sfbaytimes.com. You can contact her at email@example.com.
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As Heard on the Street . . .
A L L P H O TOS B Y R IN K
Where do you you like to go in the Bay Area to be in touch with spirituality or religion?
Tuesday Cohen “A Buddhist Center in Hayes Valley.”
14 BAY TIMES APRIL 5, 2012
“A synagogue in Burlingame that my family attends.”
“Yoga with Mark Morford at Yoga Tree.”
“Contemplating alone in my bath tub.”
Arts&Entertainment Historical Film Depicts Intense, Ambiguous Friendship Gary Kramer In the engaging WWII drama Free Men, director/co-writer Ismaël Ferroukhi reveals how the Paris mosque, founded and run by Si Kaddour Ben Ghabrit (Michael Lonsdale), served as a hiding place for Jews. Ferrouskhi used this true story—and the case of a queer Jewish singer Salim Halali (Mahmud Shalaby)—to create a f ictionalized drama about Younes (Tahir Rahim) a black marketer who is asked to spy on the Arabs in Paris, and then helps their cause. With the assistance of a translator, Ferroukhi discussed Free Men with the Bay Times in a recent phone interview. The filmmaker said he learned of Ben Ghabrit helping Jews, while reading a weekly news magazine story on the Paris mosque. He explains that he “wanted to share this amazing story because I had not seen or heard about it before in school books or other documentaries or f ilms.” Ben Ghabrit takes risks to ensure the protection of Arab Jews like Salim. In one sequence, taken from real life, he engraves the name of Salim’s father on a tombstone to (falsely) prove the singer is a Muslim. The f ilmmaker acknowledges the bravery of these men as well as the contributions of Arab women, represented here in the character of Leila (Lubna Azabal). “I wanted to pay homage to these people, and to the women who have been involved
in wars. They have not received recognition in the Arab world, but they have done so much for liberation in these countries.” The backbone of the film, however, is the intense friendship that develops between the Arab Younes and the Jewish Salim. A concert scene in which Salim performs, and Younes hears him singing about his country and his people, brings these two men together. “Salim has an ambiguity that interests Younes. Maybe Salim is in love with Younes,” Ferroukhi suggests, implying the exact nature their relationship. The feelings these man have for each other is neither “explicit or implicit,” the filmmaker says. “Both characters share a certain solitude. They are lonely, and that is what draws them together.” When pressed, the director addresses the question of Salim’s homosexuality, which is hinted at when Salim buttons his shirt in front of Younes as a young man leaves Salim’s apartment. The filmmaker says Salim’s sexual identity, “is something I grazed the surface of. Younes is shocked, but I included this to show this aspect of Salim’s life. It’s something I wanted to include but not hammer home. It’s not the most important thing about his character. What also interested me is how a homosexual would live in a North African environment, and in a Paris mosque, and how did he negotiate those things.” While Free Men does not pursue Salim’s life in greater detail, the actor
PHOT0 BY: ISM AEL F ERROUK HI
Younes (Tahir Rahim) left and Salim Halali (Mahmud Shalaby) right in Free Men
Mahmud Shalaby gives a fantastic performance, even if Salim’s singing is dubbed by the Jewish Moroccan singer Pinhas Cohen. Curiously, Shalaby is a musician in real life. “He’s a rapper, famous for launching the first Arab rap group in Israel!” Ferroukhi declares with obvious delight. “He was someone who knows how to sing, and has a musical ear. It was important for me to have him sing even if I wasn’t using his actual voice. The narrative of the singing was important and he did that well.” As Younes, Tahar Rahim also gives an accomplished performance as a quiet subversive who is often silent
and observing others. The actor, best known for his stunning turn in A Prophet, was someone Ferroukhi was eager to cast. The filmmaker recalls, “I wanted someone who could act ‘from within.’ At the beginning, Younes doesn’t care about what’s happening around him. But through the events, he becomes invested with a purpose. I didn’t want a character who was too obsessed with explanations or justifying himself. A sense of obligation overcomes Younes.” The filmmaker’s talents for finding strong actors extend to the pivotal supporting roles in Free Men. Stéphane Rideau, an actor popular to
gay viewers from his roles in queer classics Wild Reeds and Come Undone, plays Francis, a French resistance fighter here. Ferroukhi reveals that Rideau excelled at playing against type, “He appreciated making a film out of his usual range,” adding, “I had a wonderful experience with Stéphane.” With Free Men, Ferroukhi has made an inspiring historical f ilm—and one that has resonated strongly with contemporary Arab and Jewish audiences. © 2012 Gary M. Kramer
“Hot Greeks” Cockettes Musical Will Have You Cheering By Sister Dana Van Iquity Reviving the 1972 musical comedy
P H OTO B Y: R I N K
originally performed by the Cock-
ettes is the talented Thrillpeddlers cast in Hot Greeks, now playing at the Hypnodrome. The stage has been decorated in ancient Grecian art to
The Thrillpeddlers performed Hot Greeks, their remounted 1972 Cockettes show at the Hypnodrome Theater on March 31.
portray Athens University in a time warp between antiquity and the 1940s, based very loosely on Aristophanes’ drama, Lysistrata, where the title character convenes a meeting between the women of Greece to discuss the plan to end the Peloponnesian War, and she asks the women to refuse sex with their husbands until a treaty for peace has been signed. Hot Greeks is something like that, except the women are sorority cheerleaders, and the husband warriors are pigskin players trying to defeat Sparta U. The Tri Thigh Sorority is one campus club you’ll want to join, especially with all the hunky, hot Greek football players hanging around the sexy sisters. Dean Pompous (played by Kim Larsen) will explain the difference between comedy and drama. Head cheerleader Lysistrata (Rik Lopes) convinces her sisters, Hermia (Zelda Koznofski), Diameter ( Joshua Devore), Sodoma (Maggie Tenenbaum), and Carthage (Bonni Suval) to “lock
the crotch” from horny football playing boyfriends Ajax (Fennel Skellyman), Hector (L. Ron Hubby), Orestes (Kai Brothers), Thersites (Carlos Barrera), and star quarterback Pendulum Pulaski (Tom Orr). You’ll note the glittered gender-bending drag, so typical of Cockettes performances. Alas there is no actual nudity. House Mother Ova (Lisa Appleyard) conspires with the dean’s wife Clitoristra (Annie Larson) with the help of scheming Athens Annie ( Jim Toczyl), star of Kappa Omega Kappa, KOK radio. Pandora, kid sister of Lysistrata (Noah Haydon) finds it hard to resist Pendulum. Meanwhile, Leda, a hillbilly ( Jan Adrienne Gilbert) gets knocked up by a swan, and her brother Socrates ( Jim Jeske) is turned into a pig. Then there are the dancing, gold lamé jock-strapped strapping chorus boys in the form of three living columns: Ionic (Steven Satyricon), Doric (Bobby Singer), and Corinthian (Ste Fishell). That is the entire cast, and
everyone gets a chance to shine with a song and a dance. Oh, but not to leave anyone out: toe-tapping music is by Scrumbly (Cockette) Koldewyn and book and lyrics by Martin Worman, brilliantly directed by Russell Blackwood, who also plays an oracle, Mata Dildoes. Steve Bolinger is on drums, and Birdie-Bob Watt on tenor sax is also Professor Myron, an oversexed Chair of Fine Arts. The music ranges from minor key dirge, “Prologus,” to peppy, zippy, sexy “An Athlete’s Body,” to a bluesy, torchy “Moon Song” of seduction that arouses the guys and swells them with a lot more than pride. What to do when your lover withholds sex? Why, turn to your same-sex “Buddy on the Front” for release, of course. Greece, as we all know, was famous for its casual homosexual encounters. There’s even a scary, pitch-black show in the dark. Do not reveal the shocking (and utterly hysterical) ending - a real plot twist! BAY T IM ES APRIL 5, 2012 15
Riding Fury Home: A Memoir By Chana Wilson Awards Gala Honors and Shows to See ‘50s was seen as a mental illness and her psychiatrist’s goal was to convert her to being happily heterosexual. That treatment led Chana’s mother into deeper despair, forced to deny her true self. In contrast, after Chana’s mother came out, her daughter discovered a “happy, upbeat person.” And when Chana came out, it was a celebration within a welcoming LGBTQ community.
Book Review Kathleen Archambeau
Of the memoir, Chana says, “This is the very intimate story of healing between a mother and a daughter. All daughters must come to some understanding as adults of their mothers that they couldn’t possibly have had as
Interview with Author, Chana Wilson, March 23rd 2012, Berkeley, CA. In 1958, when Chana Wilson was seven, her mother held a rifle to her head and pulled the trigger. The gun jammed and her mother was taken away to a mental hospital for two years. Chana’s childhood was spent caring for her electroshock-treated, heavily medicated, suicidal mother and an overwrought, emotionally absent father, leading to the “suppressed grief, hurt and anger” that drives the arc of her first book, Riding Fury Home. The title refers to that suppressed rage and was inspired by a childhood memory of a wild black stallion, named Fury. This memoir is as much about rage and eventual forgiveness as it is about Chana Wilson’s coming to terms with her lesbianism and her mother’s coming out to her during the gay liberation movement of the ‘70s, a time when buttons proclaimed, Gay is Good. When asked what motivated Chana to write this memoir, she told me, “I had to write it to heal myself: it’s very important for a therapist to do her own healing. To go deeply with clients, I must go deeply with myself.” As a psychotherapist in Berkeley, Chana Wilson knows the territory. Chana’s mother finally confessed to her newly out daughter that she had fallen in love with a married neighbor woman in the ‘50s and when the affair ended, that is when her mother’s mental illness erupted. Her mother’s depression was profoundly affected by homophobia. Homosexuality in the
children. Many children grow up with shame hiding the secret of a mentally ill parent. So, this book may help end that silence.” Chana didn’t start writing the book until after her mother died of cancer in 1990. That death gave Chana the freedom to write more honestly. Of writing, she says, “Actually, I suffered from severe writer’s block as a student. When pushed as to why, what leapt out was: the truth will come out! Once I realized that, I was free to write and instead of writing my mother’s story, I found my own story.” If early positive reviews from Dorothy Allison, Publisher’s Weekly, and Booklist are any indication, Chana Wilson’s memoir, Riding Fury Home, holds the promise of transforming not only her own life, but the lives of many others as well.
Theater Corner Linda Ayres-Frederick Approximately 400 members of the Bay Area theater industry attended a gala at the Palace of Fine Arts April 2, where over 80 awards were bestowed for Outstanding Achievement in 30+ categories by the SF Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle. Among the recipients was Tom Kelly, former Theatre Editor and Critic of the Bay Times and long time member and past president of SFBATCC, who was given the Eugene Price Award, named for the late former SFBT Arts Editor and long-time Theatre Critic. It honors a person who embodies superlative professionalism and passion for Bay Area theatre. The Shotgun Players, now in their 20 th year, were given the Paine Knickerbocker Award for their continuing contribution. Long-time Marin College faculty member James Dunn received the Jerry Friedman Award for lifetime achievement for furthering the creativity and growth of theater throughout his 50 plus years of directing in Marin County. With local celebrity host Marga Gomez and guest awards presenters drawn from theatres throughout the Bay Area, en-
By K. Cole
tertainment included excerpts from Ray of Light Theatre’s Assassins and Berkeley Playhouse’s Seussical. For further details, photos and a complete list of award recipients, please visit sfbatcc.org. Give yourself a break from doing taxes with three must see shows: Tides Theatre’s stunning Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett at SF Playhouse 2nd Stage. You won’t find a faster, funnier duo than Jack Halton (Estragon) and Keith Burkland (Vladimir) www. tidestheatre.org. Ends 4/14. If you thought your family was dysfunctional, you’ll feel “hecka” better after seeing BoxCar Theatre’s A Lie of the Mind by Sam Shepard. With fast paced, fine ensemble acting, Carolyn Doyle, Don Wood and Megan Trout are standouts among many. w w w. boxcartheatre.org. Ends 4/14. A nd don’t m i s s t wo -t i me Tony and Olivier Award Winner Jonathan Pr yce as Dav ies in Pinter’s rarely performed T he Caretaker at t he Cur ran before it ends Apr i l 22. A lex Hassel l and A lan Cox round out the superb cast as the two brothers who take in the anything-but-adorable homeless Davies into their shabby ruin of an abode. www.shnsf.com.
Shinedown “Amaryllis” T h i s i s t he fou r t h f u l l - len g t h r e lease from this thinking man’s metal ba nd, feat ur i ng t he si ngle “ Bu l ly ” wh ic h c aught my e ye – a nd e a r s . Sh i nedow n ha s a lways created radio-friendly hard rock, but what sets them apart def initely is a surprising socially-conscious bent proving that you can’t judge a book by its cover. Head-bangingly satisfying. Best Cut: “Bully” Location: Dang I miss the Eagle…
Skott Freedman “Some Company” Australian pianist Skott Freedman released this live EP and I really want to like it, and I do like the first couple tracks, but the heavy-handed version of “Walking in Memphis” and the following tracks totally disintegrated. BB King said it’s not the notes you play, it’s the notes you leave out. Freeman needs to take this lesson to heart and remember more notes are not necessarily better. Sweet voice, though. Best Cut: “Some Company” Location: The Steinway Store on Van Ness
Madonna “MDNA (Deluxe Version)” Viral video of Madonna on stage in Florida this week just fired the release of this long-awaited update from Madge. Production is key here, especially to an ear battered by remix after remix album. Clean, precise, pop, simple, tonally perfect. It’s as if it is created to test purity of sound in its basic form. Madonna moves the bar just that much higher, boys, sugarcoated or not. Best Cut: “Gang Bang” Location: Absolutely everywhere
American Idol, Season 11 – Top 9 Okay, so I’m old enough to remember those K-Tel releases. You know, the ones where unsuspecting kids order what they think is going to be a compilation of hit songs but it is not with the original artists? What a scam, just like this one. I know y’all think you know these ‘artists’ because of the TV show, but who wants to sit through their auditions over and over again? Call me when it’s over. Best Cut: “Whole Lotta Love” Location: Auditions for Season 12? 16 BAY TIMES APRIL 5, 2012
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compiled by Robert Fuggiti
Blame Sally will appear at the Great American Music Hall April 14.
God-Des & She @ Red Devil Lounge. Lesbian music duo performs. Aima the dreamer opens. $10-$14. 8pm. 1695 Polk St. www. god-desandshe.com A Place at the Table @ The Bancroft Library Gallery. A queer exhibition featuring over 150 years of Americans who embody a rainbow of diversity, but have one thing in common—a non-normative sexual orientation. Open weekdays 10am-4pm. Thru July 9. www.bancroft.berkeley.edu
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence hosts a participatory screening of the film version of the Andrew Lloyd Weber musical; proceeds benefit the Trans March. $15-$25. 7pm. 2961 16th St. www. thesisters.org
Club Rimshot @ Bench and Bar. Weekly hip hop and R&B night. $8-$15. 9pm to 4am. 510 17th St.,
Cockfight @ Underground SF. Big fun; little bar. Delightful gogos. DJ Earworm and pals. $8. Free before 9:30pm. 9pm-3am. 424 Haight St. www.cockfightsf.com
Bijou @ Martuni’s. Enjoy an Easter-themed musical cabaret show post-sisters in the Park, with
Molly Gazay, Robb Huddleston, Nikki Arias, hostess Trauma Flintstone and accompanist Alan Choy. $5. 7pm. 4 Valencia St. www.dragatmartunis.com Easter Celebration @ Dolores Park. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence’s annual irreverent holiday celebration, with performances by Planet Booty, Whoa Nellies, Ethel Merman, Thrillpeddlers, Red Hots Burlesque, and of course, the Hunky Jesus Contest. 11am-4pm. Dolores Park. www.thesisters.org
Kung Pao Kosher Comedy @ El Rio. Hot Lisa Geduldig welcomes Dhaya Lakshminarayanan, Carla Clayy, Yayne Abeba, Casey Grim for a night of multicultural wit. $7-$20. 8pm. 3158 Mission St. www.elriosf.com
Beautiful Rebels @ de Young Museum. Peaches Christ hosts a drag and dance tribute party for The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit. $20. 5:30-8pm. 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive. www. famsf.org
Open Mic Night @ Deco Lounge. Victor Torres hosts a comedy open mic night. Free. 7pm-9pm. 510 Larkin St. www.decosf.com
Fifth Anniversary Party @ Truck. Celebrating half a decade, with giveaways and drink specials. Free. 9pm-2am. 1900 Folsom St. www.trucksf.com
Retro-classic drag show at the classic Tenderloin bar. Free. 10pm. 133 Turk St. www. dreamqueensrevue.com
Go Deep @ El Rio. Man on man lube wrestling in the pit; porn guys, drag queens, clowns, Boylesque performances, DJ Drama Bin Laden and Cajun food! 2nd Thursdays. 8pm-12am. 3158 Mission St. www.elriosf.com The Monster Show @ The Edge. Cookie Dough’s weekly raucous drag show with hot gogo guys and DJ MC2. 9pm-2am. 4149 18th St. www.edgesf.com Train @ Bimbo’s. Pop band performs as part of their West Coast tour. $35. 8pm. 1025 Columbus Ave. www.bimbos365club.com
Not Getting Any Younger @ The Marsh Berkeley. Marga Gomez’s hilarious ‘coming of middle age’ story. $15-35. 8pm. Thru May 5. 2120 Allston Way, Berkeley. www. themarsh.org
Rafael Alencar @ Nob Hill Theatre. Extra-hung, extra-friendly Brazilian porn star shakes his big talent. $25. 8pm & 10pm. Also April 7. 729 Bush St. www.thenobhilltheatre.com
8th Annual SF International Women’s Film Festival @ Roxie Theater. A three day program showcasing the world’s best independent films directed by women. Thru April 15. 3117 16th St. www. sfiwff.com
Sing-Along Jesus Christ Superstar @ Victoria Theatre
Dream Queens Revue @ Aunt Charlie’s Lounge.
The Man That Got Away @ The Jewish Community Center. This musical tribute to the great American lyricist Ira Gershwin stars Rex Reed, Linda Purl, Sally Mayes and Gregory Harrison.
Latin Explosion @ Club 21. Gay Latin dance club shows off their gogo studs. Free before 11pm. 9pm-4am. 2111 Franklin St., Oakland. www.club21oakland.com
Funny Tuesdays @ Harvey’s. Ronn Vigh hosts the weekly LGBT and gay-friendly comedy night. 9pm. 500 Castro St. www.harveyssf.com
Hydrant @ Deco Lounge. Early evening fundraiser for AIDS Emergency Fund. 7-9pm. 510 Larkin St. www.decosf.com God-des and She will perform at Red Devil Lounge on April 5.
BAY T IM ES APR IL 5, 2012
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The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence will host their annual party in Dolores Park on April 8. $60-75. 8pm. Thru April 15. 3200 California St. www.jccsf.org
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La Bota Loca @ Club 21. Live bands, DJed tunes, gogo hotties, drag shows, drink specials, all at Oakland’s premiere Latin nightclub and weekly cowboy night. $10$15. 9pm-4am. 2111 Franklin St., Oakland. www.club21oakland.com
Honey Soundsystem @ Holy Cow. The coolest Sunday music mix crew plays groove-adelic sounds for a hip, diverse crowd. 10pm-2am. 1535 Folsom St. www. honeysoundsystem.com
Golden Dildeaux Awards @ Powerhouse. Annual Benefit for the AIDS Emergency Fund in the format of a quirky awards show. Free. 7pm. 1347 Folsom St. www. powerhouse-sf.com Frolic @ The Stud. Monthly costume dance party for Furries and friends, with DJs Ikkuma, Smashwolf, Neonbunny. Dance, you animals! $3-$7. 9pm-2am. 399 9th St. at Harrison. Ano Nuevo Elephant Seals & Tidepooling @ Betty’s List. A guided trip with Kim Powell to visit elephant seals plus tidepooling at Davenport Landing to meet some creatures of the sea. $65-$75. 10:30am-6pm. Locations upon ticket confirmation. www.bettyslist. com Blame Sally @ Great American Music Hall.An all-woman band with a unique collective of four distinct voices and musical backgrounds. $31-$56. 8:30-10pm.
A.C.T. Gala @ The Regency Ballroom. Darren Criss, Bill Irwin, Patrick Lane and Betsy Wolfe perform at the elegant fundraiser for American Conservatory Theatre. $500, $1000 and up. 5pm-11pm. 1300 Van Ness Ave. www.act-sf. org Sunday’s a Drag @ Starlight Room. Donna Sachet and Harry Denton host the weekly fabulous brunch and drag show. $45. 11am, show at noon; 1:30pm, show at 2:30pm. 450 Powell St. www.harrydenton.com Daytime Realness @ El Rio. The fun open-air drag show returns, with hostess Heklina, DJ Carnita, Stanley Frank, and drag acts, plus chicken and waffles! 3rd Sundays. 3pm-8pm. 3158 Mission St. www. elriosf.com
Piano Bar 101 @ Martuni’s. Singalong night with talented locals, and charming accompanist Joe
Wicht (aka Trauma Flintstone). Free. 9pm. 4 Valencia St. www. dragatmartunis.com Bear Comedy Night @ Stage Werx Theater. Comedian Bob “Bobaloo” Koenig, and Qcomedy Founder Nick Leonard ensure a night of laughs a the first ever bear comedy night. $8-20 sliding scale. 8pm. 446 Valencia St. www.qcomedy.com
Queer Night @ Easy Lounge. Weekly LGBT electro space jam night with DJ Dr. Sleep, organic cocktails, patio, chill vibe. Free. 8pm-2am. 3255 Lakeshore Ave., Oakland. www.easy510.com Varla Jean Merman @ The Rrazz Room. Drag performer Jeffery Roberson performs The Book of Merman, a comic show with hilarious music. $25-$40. 8pm. Thru April 28. 222 Mason St. www.varlaonline.com
D’lysh @ Deco Lounge. Isa Manzanita hosts weekly drag show. Free. 10:30pm. 510 Larkin St. www.decosf.com Red Hots Burlesque @ El Rio. Women’s burlesque show performs each Wed & Fri. $5-$10. 7pm. 3158 Mission St. www.elriosf.com
Lots more Calendar items await you
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Around About in Photos
Public Relations wizard Karen Larsen and SF International Film Festival “first lady” Rachel Rosen at the Fairmont Hotel. The Festival opens at the Castro Theatre on April 19th. Photo by Rink Al Pacino arrives at the Castro Theatre for the premiere of Wilde Salome, an experimental documentary-drama in which he stars opposite Jessica Chastain. Pacino wrote and directed the film, and its premiere, benefitting the GLBT Historical Society, marked the 130th anniversary of Oscar Wilde’s visit to San Francisco. Photo by Steven Underhill
Bartender Tod Epperson and shot server Sid Payne greeted guests at a Steam Party benefit for the SF LGBT Community Center at Powerhouse Bar on March 23rd. Photo by Rink
Having fun at the Castro Theatre sing-along Wizard of Oz. Photo by Steven Underhill Bob Michitarian dances with his mom at SF LGBT Community Center’s Soiree 10. Photo by Phyllis Costa
Russell Thompkins Jr. and the New Stylistics at the Rrazz Room on March 28th sharing a laugh with Zakaria Abderrafi. Photo by Steven Underhill
The LGBT Community Center’s ex dir Rebecca Rolfe with Human Rights Commissioner Cecilia Chung at Soiree 10. Photo by Rink BAY T IM ES APR IL 5, 2012