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LGBTQ News & Calendar for the Bay Area

CELEBRATING FOUR DECADES (1978–2018) June 7–20, 2018 |

40 Years and Still Marching! See pages 9–14






Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom’s supporters celebrated as they viewed his remarks broadcasted live via Bay Area news outlets.




L ondon Breed’s E l e c t io n N i g ht part y at Delancy Street Found a t i o n’s f a c i l i ties was jammed packed with excited supporters who watched the results coming in.

Jane Warner Plaza at Market and Castro streets was the site of the Leno Election Night part y where his supporters and friends gathered to watch the results on a large screen.








San Francisco Bay Times photographer Bill Wilson was on hand at Leno Campaign headquarters after midnight on June 6 when Mark Leno received the call letting him know that the ranked choice voting results had been allocated and he was in the lead. Previously, Leno had trailed London Breed by almost ten percentage points.


Election • June 5, 2018


Election 2018

California Assemblyman Phil Ting and supporters on Election Night were seen with Lt. Governor Newsom at San Francisco City Hall and in the Castro at the Leno Election Night Party. Results show Ting’s successful campaign for re-election garnered more than 79% of votes.

As Heard on the Street . . . Do you think ranked choice voting has hurt or helped the mayoral election process in San Francisco?


compiled by Rink

Lisa Williams

John Vlahides

Karen Larsen

William Walker

Shaun Haines

“I do not care for it because someone can win without receiving the majority of the votes.”

“It’s rather confusing. It did not go well for Oakland when Jean Quan won and bailed on civics. Only a stoner could understand the pretzel logic of ranked choice voting.”

“I am not a fan of ranked choice voting. The wrong person can be elected, and lack the majority of the votes.”

“It’s a good idea that has not been used to its full potential.”

“I think that it is a good idea because it gives lots of candidates a chance. A chance that they may not have had without ranked choice voting”


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Election • June 5, 2018

Rafael Mandelman’s Vision for San Francisco

photos by Rink

District 8 will soon have one of our city’s most genuinely thoughtful, hard-working, dedicated and compassionate individuals as its new supervisor: Rafael Mandelman. He served as a San Francisco Bay Times columnist for many years, so nearly all members of our team have had the honor and privilege of getting to know him on both a personal and professional level. We can attest that he has a strong work ethic—walking the talk, meeting deadlines and showing heartfelt consideration for his colleagues.

Mandelman at this point is also an experienced, seasoned politician who has learned that it is better to build, than to burn, bridges. He first ran for District 8 supervisor in 2010, so he essentially has been striving for this position for at least eight years. Even the victor of that race, Scott Wiener— now a state senator—had to admit in a tweet to Mandelman this week on June 6: “You ran a great campaign & earned it. I can tell you from personal experience that it’s the job of a lifetime. So many opportunities to make our great community even better. I look forward to working together.” Yet another former District 8 supervisor, Bevan Dufty (now a member of the BART Board of Directors), is also praising Mandelman. Dufty was at Cafe du Nord on Election Night, with numerous other Mandelman supporters, and wisely pointed out that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors is poised to have a formidable six-vote progressive majority. To provide a better idea of what decisions could soon shape San Francisco, we are publishing an extensive interview that we conducted with Mandelman back in November 2017. It provides an in-depth look at his views concerning numerous key challenges, from homelessness to crime. San Francisco Bay Times: Several San Francisco neighborhoods comprise District 8, such as The Castro and Noe Valley. What do you believe are the most pressing issues facing some of these neighborhoods, and how might the issues overlap or, conversely, be unique to each location? Rafael Mandelman: District 8’s neighborhoods are distinct and have different concerns. For example, vacant storefronts are especially vexing concerns in the Castro and Noe Valley, but other issues are higher priorities for folks living in other parts of the District. Still, there are also is-


We have found that he delivers on his promises, and importantly takes time to listen to others. This is not a minor skill when you consider the number of politicians—exemplif ied by our nation’s President—who seem to lack sufficient empathy to understand the life experiences of others, and how those can shape political perspectives.

sues that cut across neighborhoods. Homelessness and mental illness are more apparent in the Castro, but no one living in San Francisco can escape these problems. Similarly, concerns around property crime, traffic congestion and unreliable public transit cut across the District’s neighborhoods. A nd parents in ever y neighborhood want to be able to send their children to a great school that is close by. San Francisco Bay Times: As an out gay man, how do you believe that your life experiences help to inform and benefit your political work in San Francisco? Rafael Mandelman: I love our queer community. One of the things that led me to get involved in the SF LGBT Center Board, which I cochaired for five years, was the Center’s commitment to the idea of a queer community that takes care of each other and leaves no one behind. I had a relatively easy coming-out experience. I had grown up in San Francisco, knew gay teachers at my high school, had seen gay characters in movies and on TV, and I was at the time studying at Yale College, known at the time as the gayest of the Ivies. My friends and family were mostly fine with it (although as my grandmother’s memory failed, I found myself having to come out to her over and over again), but all in all, going gay was pretty darned easy for me. I have always been profoundly aware, however, that my path out of the closet was only so easy for me because so many people—in San Francisco, at Yale, throughout the world—had suffered and struggled and sometimes died to clear a path for young queer kids like me. My deep appreciation of the many ways in which I have benefitted from others’ work and struggles makes me feel a deep sense of obliga-

tion to in turn “pay it forward” in our LGBT community and in our broader community. San Francisco Bay Times: Please elaborate on your response to the prior question, mentioning why you believe you are uniquely qualified to be Supervisor of District 8. Rafael Mandelman: I am proud of my nearly two-decade-long history of engagement around issues and causes that matter to District 8 residents. As President of the City College Board, I fought to keep the College open, while at the same time working tirelessly to fix the administrative and financial problems that had made the school vulnerable. Today, City College is open, accredited for seven years and free for all San Franciscans. As Co-Chair of the SF LGBT Center’s Board, I worked with the Center Board, staff and supporters to set the Center on a path of fiscal stability for the foreseeable future through a remodel of the building that added approximately ten thousand square feet of badly needed non-profit office space. Over the last two decades, I have served our city and our community as a Democratic Party activist and longtime member of our Democratic County Central Committee, member of the Jewish Community Relations Council, Commissioner on the San Francisco Board of Appeals, and Board President of Livable City. Professionally, I have worked for seventeen years as a lawyer for local governments and affordable housing developers around the Bay Area revitalizing neighborhoods and building much-needed housing. The challenges facing our City are significant, but so are the opportunities, and I believe my track record of working on issues of neighborhood livability, housing and homelessness, transportation and public education make me uniquely qualified to help restore San Francisco’s reputation as “the City that knows how.” San Francisco Bay Times: The North Bay fires remind us how devastating natural disasters can be. Do you believe that District 8 is adequately prepared for natural disasters such as potential future fires and earthquakes? If not, what should be done to improve the preparedness? Rafael Mandelman: The wave of natural disasters experienced across the globe this year has been absolutely heart-breaking. Many of us have

friends or family who were directly impacted by the North Bay fires or other of these horrific events, and we all know that San Francisco’s day is coming. I remember the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989, and we know that it is only a matter of time before a far worse earthquake strikes. The Board of Supervisors can play an important oversight role in ensuring that the City is prepared to respond effectively when a disaster strikes. News stories from earlier this year, about poor communication among city agencies during April’s PG&E power outage and the City’s failure to establish cooling stations during the record-breaking Labor Day heat wave, suggest that we have some work to do on that front. Of course, a critical part of any emergency response will come from neighbors, and in that regard, I believe District 8 is in good shape. The District is blessed to have extraordinarily engaged official and unofficial neighborhood organizations; many of our residents have had Neighborhood Emergency Response Team program training (and more of us should); and events like our ubiquitous street fairs and block parties provide an opportunity to build community and meet each other in good times that may prove life-saving and essential in the inevitable event of a natural or manmade disaster. San Francisco Bay Times: Cleve Jones told us that he believes housing is the LGBTQ community’s most pressing need now in San Francisco. What do you specif ically plan to do to address t hat need, while a lso maintaining quality of life, giving attention to environmental concerns and keeping reasonable levels of density?

Rafael Mandelman: I agree with Cleve. Too many LGBT seniors live in fear of eviction and too many LGBT youth come to San Francisco seeking refuge, only to find themselves living on the streets. I believe we can and must increase the City’s housing supply for all income levels, but I believe we need to dramatically increase the City’s production of affordable housing for middle and lower income folks. I have worked for nearly two decades on creating housing, and especially affordable housing, in communities around the Bay Area, and will bring that real-world, practical experience to the policy debates at City Hall. Building affordable housing is not easy, but the elements are pretty simple: it’s really all about land and dollars. We need to identify as many potential sites as possible that the City or another public agency already owns or could acquire for affordable housing, and we need to identify more (continued on page 23)


JUNE 7, 2018


In the News Compiled by Dennis McMillan President Trump Refuses to Proclaim National LGBT Pride Month It has been traditional practice for the President of the United States to annually declare June as National Pride Month, but President Trump has noticeably skipped the tradition. Instead he has declared the following for June: African-American Music Appreciation Month, National Homeownership Month, National Ocean Month, National Caribbean-American Heritage Month, and Great Outdoors Month, among others. While the Democrats have issued a public statement to celebrate LGBTQ Pride Month, homophobic Vice President Mike Pence and Trump are ignoring it. San Francisco LGBT Community Leaders React to Masterpiece Cakeshop Decision by Supreme Court In 2012, a same-sex couple visited Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado to order a custom wedding cake. Masterpiece’s owner, Jack Phillips, declined their cake request, informing the couple that he did not create wedding cakes for same-sex marriages due to his Christian religious beliefs. In a decision made on June 4, the Supreme Court held that Phillips did not get a fair hearing on his complaint, saying a state commission had violated the Constitution’s protection of religious freedom in a ruling against the baker. The court, however, expressly recognized that states can seek to prevent the harms of discrimination in the marketplace, including against LGBT people. Rebecca Rolfe, Executive Director of the SF LGBT Center, commented that the “ruling was a case specific ruling, and though it is disappointing, it is not a win for anti-LGBTQ people. Let’s remember that 60% of our states lack explicit protections from LGBT people being discriminated against in the workplace, housing, stores and restaurants. It is just another reason why we need an equality act on a national level; so that there is one set of rules for everyone.” Senator Scott Wiener echoed these remarks, adding that we “dodged a bullet” in that “the Supreme Court did not reach the ultimate question of whether people have a constitutional right to violate anti-discrimination laws based on their religious beliefs.” Robin Knauer Maril, Associate Legal Director of the Human Rights Campaign, reminded: “The Court’s decision also did not change our nation’s fundamental civil rights laws.” For more legal analysis, see Ann Rostow’s column in this issue. and other reports LGBTQ Leaders Hold Rally to Denounce Supreme Court Ruling Local LGBTQ leaders, including Mark Leno, Rafael Mandelman, Bevan Dufty, Honey Mahogany and Gina Simi, held a special press conference in Harvey Milk Plaza on the afternoon of June 4 to denounce the Supreme Court ruling on Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission earlier that day. The organizers indicated that the decision sets a new precedent protecting business owners from being sued for refusing services based on religious grounds, overruling laws in 21 states that ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Mandelman said, “The Supreme Court has given the LGBTQ community a bitter start to Pride month. It is absolutely clear with this decision that we have not achieved legal equality.” and other reports 4


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San Francisco Pride Announces Entertainers and Speakers for 2018 Celebration SF Pride has announced the hosts, speakers and performers scheduled for their Main Stage at the steps of City Hall for this year’s celebrations. They are as follows: June 23: Persia, Yves Saint Croissant (hosts); The Tenderloin Museum’s Compton’s Cafeteria Riot, Children’s After School Arts, Rafiki Coalition, Equality California (speakers); and International DJ/Producer Hector Fonseca, Natascha Bessez, The Stud with DJ set by Siobhan Aluvalot, Femme Deadly Venoms, Ms. Nzuri Soul, JMxJM, Trangela Lansbury, ieuan, SUMif, Noctuary SF (performers). On June 24 they will be Sister Roma and Honey Mahogany (hosts); Dr. Karyn Skultety of Openhouse, Kate Kendell of NCLR, Ivy B of HeadCount, Gavin Grimm concerning Transgender Rights, Dr. Cynthia Gomez of Planned Parenthood, Bay Area American IndianTwo-Spirits (BA A IT-S), Annie Steinberg of the Metropolitan Community Church, a tribute to Community Grand Marshal Soni Wolf (speakers); Yaeji, Le1f, Evelyn “Champagne” King, Our Lady J, Shopping, Ada Vox Presented by Salesforce, Alphabet Rockers, CHEER SF, Midtown Social, Glamamore, House of PRIDE, BOIGRL and Thrillhammer (performers). NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell Receives Proclamation From the City Monday, June 4, was proclaimed as “Kate Kendell Day” in San Francisco, with the popular Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) honored during the Pride Month kick-off ceremony at SF City Hall. With several LGBTQ leaders and allies in attendance, Kendell received the 2018 Teddy Basham-Witherington Award as well as the proclamation. The latter reads, in part, that Kendell’s “charisma, passion and vision have resulted in NCLR becoming one of the most creative and effective advocacy organizations in this country, and every LGBTQ person has benefited because of her incredible leadership ... .” Kendell earlier this year announced that, after 22 years at NCLR, she is stepping down from her role as head of the organization. AIDS/LifeCycle Raises RecordBreaking $16.6 Million This Year for HIV Programs On June 3, A IDS/LifeCycle announced that participants have raised more than $16.6 million dollars—a record amount in the event’s history—to support San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the HIV/AIDS-related services of the Los Angeles LGBT Center. AIDS/LifeCycle remains the world’s largest single event HIV/AIDS fundraiser. As of this writing, the 7-day, 545-mile journey for the participants is still underway. “Our tireless riders and roadies have once again risen to the occasion, raising millions of dollars to make a difference in the fight against HIV and AIDS,” said Los Angeles LGBT Center CEO Lorri L. Jean. “Thanks to their hard work and the generosity of their donors, we will continue to be able to provide free or low-cost HIV testing and medical services—caring for those most in need and reducing the incidence of HIV infection.” Since 2002, when AIDS/LifeCycle first began, participants have raised more than $251 million and completed more than 61,000 journeys on bikes from San Francisco to Los Angeles. “The enduring commitment (continued on page 22)

Oakland Needs a Pro-Active System to Solve Limiting the Fraudulent Practice of Trash, Illegal Dumping and Blight Problems Gay Conversion Therapy As the city administration has been documenting, the trash problem has been getting worse and worse, and it is long past time to admit that the complaint-based strategy isn’t working. That is why, during last year’s budget debate, I proposed not only additional crews to pick up illegally dumped garbage, but also proposed that the crews be assigned to areas of need, to pro-actively clean up, without waiting for complaints. And I have included it again in my list of budget requests for Oakland’s next budget hearing.

Gay conversion therapy for minors is already illegal in California, the first state in the country to outlaw this inhumane practice. Adults, on the other hand, have no such protections in our state. Assemblymember Evan Low of Silicon Valley wants to change that. His proposal, AB 2943, classifies gay conversion therapy as fraudulent, essentially adding “sexual orientation change efforts” to California’s definition of a deceptive business practice.

Oakland City Councilmember At-Large, Rebecca Kaplan

Recently, a small area within a subset of one council district has received a “pilot” program of pro-active cleanup, which has demonstrated that it is a better and more effective system. Some in management have been surprised to learn that there is so much trash out there that wasn’t on the complaint list. This should not surprise us, as this same problem has been found for all complaint-based systems. 

Addressing how we deal with trash, illegal dumping and blight in our community—so that we all live in a clean and healthy city—is one of the fundamental tasks of local government. As can be seen by anyone who tours Oakland, the current, complaint-based efforts are failing, and particular neighborhoods are especially hard-hit.

For example, some in OPD management for years had assumed that 911 calls about shootings represented a reasonable estimate of where and how many shootings were taking place. However, when gunshot detection technology was used, it was shown that there were many shootings taking place for which there were no 911 calls, and some of the areas with the most shootings were calling them in the least. A pro-active system, based on facts and data, is more effective and more equitable than a system based on complaints.

I proudly supported this bill when it recently came up for a floor vote because I believe people shouldn’t be profiting from bogus treatments that claim sexual orientation can be changed. Families sometimes spend tens of thousands of dollars over the course of years for gay conversion therapy. I say enough. It’s our duty to protect Californians from deceptive practices that will expose them to physical and/or emotional harm.

More personnel and enforcement are required. However, the current complaint-based system significantly contributes to the accumulation of garbage on our streets and must be replaced by a pro-active system to effectively utilize our resources. I and others have been asking for a change in Oakland’s strategy of dealing with the growing problems of trash and illegal dumping to switch away from the current complaint-based system, and instead to focus primarily on geographic zone-based assignments to clean up everything in that zone, without waiting for members of the public to call it in.

And so, instead of encouraging a culture of complaining, and leaving trash on the street, we should promote a system of accountability that assigns crews to zones, including targeting known hot-spots, for both enforcement and cleanup. Litter officers’ assignments should include enforcement and ticketing, and personnel should be assigned to times of day and locations to maximize their ability to deter illegal dumping and to catch the people who trash our community, and also to clean heavilyimpacted areas. This will help to put a stop to the cycle of illegal dumping, trash and blight.

Out of the Closet and into City Hall



Councilmember At-Large Rebecca Kaplan was elected in 2008 to serve as Oakland’s citywide Councilmember; she was reelected in 2016. She also serves on the Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC). Follow Councilmember Kaplan on Twitter @Kaplan4Oakland ( Kaplan4Oakland) and Facebook ( Kaplan4Oakland/).

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Assemblymember Phil Ting June is Pride Month, a time when we recognize the sweeping impact LGBTQ individuals, advocates and allies have had in the U.S. and the world. It’s also a celebration of love, diversity and acceptance. It’s a great time to be in San Francisco, a city that has a long history of fighting for LGBTQ rights. Still, there are people out there who think that being gay is wrong. They somehow believe one’s sexual orientation can be magically changed through gay conversion therapy, even though several studies have shown the practice to be ineffective. Methods include counseling, hypnosis, or— in rare cases—electric shock. Numerous groups, including the American Psychiatric Association, oppose it because there’s no evidence that the therapy works, and it could potentially cause psychological harm. In fact, the APA advises mental health professionals to avoid telling patients that their sexual orientation can be changed.

If AB 2943 is approved, consumers would have legal recourse and can sue their therapist or anyone who advertises or sells this therapy. In no way does this impede freedom of speech or religion. The proposal does not apply to free counseling provided by a church or other religious institution, and applies only to ads or paid services alleging the ability to change one’s sexual orientation. I was glad to see Assemblymember Low’s bill make it through two committees and the Assembly floor on a bi-partisan vote. It now heads to the state Senate for consideration. That’s great news as we observe Pride Month and reflect on the progress we have made as a state to love, value and accept all people the way they are. I hope you can join me and march in this year’s San Francisco Pride Parade. Please RSVP on my website (https://a19. to ensure a spot and receive a commemorative t-shirt. There’s a lot to celebrate. Phil Ting represents the 19th Assembly District, which includes the Westside of San Francisco along with the communities of Broadmoor, Colma and Daly City.

Shining Our Rainbow Light Through the Prism of Pride

Cross Currents Andrea Shorter Thank goodness for Pride. We could all use a big rainbow dose of LGBTQ Pride celebration at about right now. At the heart of the festivities of parades, marches, film festivals, panel discussions, drag shows, fundraisers, mimosa plentiful breakfasts, brunches and lunches, and all other gatherings to commemorate and celebrate, calibrating to further bend that long arc of the moral universe justice towards gaining fuller inclusion, civil and human rights, and equality remains at the heart of the matter. With the daily assaults on our moral sensibilities on the matters of race, gender, immigration, public safety, and economic justice, a rousing celebration and contemplation on the truest values of diversity are needed as much as ever. Waking up every morning to cringe at the news of yet another sad episode of the use of police as agents of segregation to remove black men from a Starbucks while waiting for a business colleague, or a black student resting in



a commonly used study and rest area at Yale; or notoriously racist comedic actresses blaming Ambien for an abhorrent racist tirade on Twitter; or the growing numbers of blatantly anti-Semitic, white nationalists running for high elected office; or some fool self-entitled nativists screaming in the face of a ‘foreign’ person for not speaking the Queen’s English (like he was—not!); or, the reported unknown whereabouts of over 1,400 children caught up in the border patrol net; or whatever other hot mess of micro to macro aggressions boiling over into a constant stream of nonsensical horrors begs for some blissful moment of time out, respite and renewed spirit. Have mercy. Pride might very well provide a time of retrospection, renewal and reconnection with our aspirations of living together peacefully, freely and equally. Pride does not, however, denote a retreat from the work that must persevere so that all are treated with dignity, respect and fairness. Bending that rainbow arc to extend beyond the provincial LGBTQ atmosphere and into the larger universe and stratosphere of all matters of justice and equality is the tireless, yet rewarding, liberation work that can never rest or stop. Not every day presents a grand parade down a main thoroughfare. Each day does invite each of us to the ongoing march of small steps—and sometimes leaps and bounds—through rockier terrain that eventually leads to the promise of something better over that rainbow. Of all the attributes attached to the meaning of a rainbow—from the historical (a/la the late Gilbert Baker’s creation of the rainbow flag to encompass the diversity of the LGBTQ diaspora) to the biblical (the rainbow after the great flood of Noah’s ark signifying the start of a new world)—of particular fascination to me is the piercing light

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through a prism. When held up to the light just so, the powerful simplicity of refracted spectrum of rainbow light shining through the rigid, angular-edged symmetric solid form is always a sight to behold. The degree to which one turns the prism to the light makes all the difference, however slight, in one’s perspective and ability to see that dazzling breakthrough. It’s that childlike wonder and hope of seeing and creating that coalition of colors gleaming through that keeps you turning the jagged prism ever so slightly towards the light. Through the prism of Pride, we welcome that rainbow shine onto the opportunities for growth and renewal, and onto the diverse drum majors for equality and justice past, present and on the horizon. Among the numerous Pride events taking place throughout June, one such annual event in which we celebrate and elevate those drum majors for justice and equality is the Alice B. Toklas Democratic Club’s Annual Pride Breakfast. It’s an early Sunday morning start before joining your contingent in the San Francisco Pride Parade and serves as the Club’s main event of the year. The funds raised go towards helping to elect candidates for state and local office who meet Alice’s mission to “fight for inclusivity, integrity, diversity, and fairness.” This year, the keynote speaker at the Breakfast will be California’s fearless United States Senator Kamala Harris. Alice will also be honoring the indomitable Kate Kendell, long-time and retiring Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, for her lifetime of work fighting for LGBT equality. Additionally, this year’s gathering will be dedicated to the memory of the late Julius Turman, a former co-chair of Alice, SF (continued on page 23)

Pride 2018 Arrives at San Francisco City Hall Photos by Rink

T he a n nua l Rainbow Flag R a ising Ceremony held on t he Mayor’s Balcony at City Hall and t he sight i ng s of rows of flags f lying in Civic Center have become for many the signals that LGBT Pride Month has come to San Francisco. Mayor Mark Farrell presented the Pride Month proclamation to San Francisco Pride CEO George Ridgely. A surprise proclamation declaring Monday, June 4 as Kate Kendell Day, recognizing Kendell’s more than twenty years of service at the National Center for Lesbian Rights, was a highlight of the program. Members of Black Brothers Esteem were among the special invited guests.


San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band Celebrates Four Decades


he San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band (SFLGFB), like the San Francisco Bay Times, began in 1978, although the Band had a different name then: the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Marching Band and Twirling Corps. To mark the shared 40th anniversary, we are presenting a special section that looks at both the Band’s pioneering past and its current status as one of the nation’s premier community-based concert and marching bands.


The coverage includes a personal remembrance of Jon Reed Sims (1947–1984) by his sister Judy Sims Billings. Sims was the visionary founder of SFLGFB, the first openly gay musical group ever to be formed in the world. Sims in 1978 also founded the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, the first openly gay American choral group, which made its unplanned debut on November 27 that same year on the steps of San Francisco City Hall. It was at an impromptu memorial for Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone, who had both been assassinated earlier in the day. Sims additionally founded the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco, Lambda Pro Musica orchestra (now defunct) and encouraged the formation of other bands in New York and Los Angeles. Sims in 1978 further founded the Jon Sims Center for the Performing Arts, which until its closure in 2006 provided performance and rehearsal spaces for artists, as well as funding for at least one artist-in-residence annually. Although Sims died of HIV/AIDS on July 16, 1984—just six months after his January diagnosis—the legacy resulting from his tireless, groundbreaking efforts lives on. The SFLGFB has helped to carry us through some of our community’s darkest and most joyous moments over the past four decades. The artistic director baton has passed to numerous talented musicians, with Pete Nowlen serving in that key role since 2013. Our thanks go to him, as well as to Billings, Doug Litwin, Heidi Beeler, Kate Foust, Julie Williamson and to the many others who contributed not only to this keepsake section, but also to the music that continues to uplift and inspire those of us who, as was said of Sims, “march to a different drummer.”

My Brother Jon R. Sims

Highlights from the Past Four Decades of the SF Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band

By Judith Sims Billings


A fter 40 years, the San Fra ncisco L esbia n/Gay Freedom Band (SFLGFB) has certainly earned the right to be called “The Official Band of San Francisco.” Hardly a major event goes by in town where these “Ambassadors of Joy” don’t perform. What you may not know is t hat members of t he B a n d h av e p e r for m e d i n ma ny h igh-v isibi l it y events across the nation and internationally. In other words, the reach of this high-caliber musical ensemble is on a global scale. Here are some highlights of those performances: Four Presidential Inaugurals It all started in November 1992 at the annual “Creating Change” conference in Los Angeles, put on by the National LGBTQ Task Force. A few leaders of the Lesbian and Gay Bands of America (LGBA, now the Lesbian and Gay Band Association) attended this event just a week after Bill Clinton’s election. The positive energy led to the idea that an LGBT band should perform at the 1993 inauguration.

Following a flurry of activity—including applications, videos and obtaining support from politicians from across the country—on December 15, the invitation for LGBA to perform at President Clinton’s inauguration was received. That led a month-long sprint to register musicians, select artistic leadership, book f lights, (continued on page 14)

To say that Jon Sims came from the center of the country would be an understatement. When Jon was born, we lived on a farm a few miles from Lebanon, Kansas, about 5 miles from the geographic center of the U.S. As we grew up, we were each other’s playmates as we lived on farms without close neighbors. In 1951, we moved to a farm closer to Smith Center, Kansas, and closer to my paternal grandparents. We had electricity in the house for the first time. About this time, I began taking piano lessons, but I did not like practicing. Jon, however, was very interested in the piano. When he was about 6, he began taking piano lessons. Within a year, Jon had surpassed me in his ability to play. Jon was a natural born musician. There was no k indergarten in rural schools; at 6, Jon began first grade at Dewey one room. There were three students in his class throughout grade school. Jon completed eight grades at Dewey, as had our father and paternal grandmother. As we reached age 8, we both joined 4-H. We had 4-H projects involving cattle, cooking, sewing, and Jon even had pigs one year. When we named our 4-H animals, Jon named his for music and composers.


A Literal and Figurative Middle America Upbringing

By Doug Litwin

His heifer was named Nola. When she had a male calf a couple of years later, Jon named him Felix, for Felix Arndt the composer of “Nola.” Jon also did cooking and sewing projects in 4-H. The fact that he was practically the only male in the county who took sewing and cooking in 4-H didn’t seem to bother Jon, and Mother just acted like it was the most normal thing. Our parents encouraged us to do anything we wanted to, seeing no real boundaries. Jon won f irst place at the Kansas State Fair for his sugar cookies. One year, we made identical dresses for our younger cousins. At first the 4-H judge thought she was judging the same dress twice, but then she said, “The hem in this one isn’t as good as the first one.” Jon’s dress got a better ribbon than mine.

(continued on page 14)


JUNE 7, 2018


Photos courtesy of San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band and Members

The Beat Goes On: San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band’s 40th Anniversary

Heidi Beeler On Sunday, June 24, the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band will march up Market Street, marking the group’s 40th anniversary making music for San Francisco and the LGBT community it grew from. This year, along with its usual dance card of Pride parades and marches, the Band will celebrate with a birthday bash featuring a gala evening with dinner and dancing at the elegant War Memorial Green Room, 6–10 pm on Wednesday, June 20. The entertainment that night will itself be a celebration of the Band’s eclectic performance history. City Swing, the 18-piece big band that spun off from the Band in 1985, will play swing music as a gourmet dinner is served. Sharon McNight, who appeared with the Band at “No on 6” fundraisers in 1978, and Leanne Borghesi and Donna Sachet, who have emceed the Band’s Spotlight on Broadway, will lend their voices. Super Super, a combo led by saxophonist Chris Mills, will play jazz. Four of the Band’s conductors, whose time on the podium spans more than 20 years, will be featured in a French horn quartet to honor founder Jon Sims, who was also a horn player. It’s hard to fathom today what the Band’s appearance in the parade meant to our community in 1978. That year, Supervisor Harvey Milk, the first openly Gay elected official in the country, waved from an open convertible, the literal face of the Gay community’s growing political strength. The same year that Milk was elected in San Francisco, Anita Bryant’s anti-gay Save Our Children coalition successfully overturned an anti-gay discrimination ordinance in Florida, and referendums to throw out sexualorientation protections spread across the country—from Saint Paul to Wichita to Seattle and Eugene, Oregon. Riding the anti-gay backlash, California legislator John Briggs spearheaded Proposition 6, a statewide referendum on that November’s ballot that would have banned homosexuals and their supporters from teaching in California public schools. So, in 1978, thousands of parade marchers carried signs protesting Briggs, declaring “No on 6” and “We Are Your Children.” Within this political climate, Sims— a junior high music teacher and French horn player from Kansas— arrived in San Francisco. Out to his family and immersed in the “airyfairy” excitement of 1970s Castro, Sims tacked notices to phone poles and cajoled friends to dig up instruments so they could give their parade a band. They gathered to rehearse 10


The morning of June 25, 1978, Sims blew a whistle, threw his drum major’s mace in the air and literally kicked off the Band with a leap. Seventy musicians in red visors, white tees and blue jeans followed him onto Market Street playing “California, Here I Come!” A roar rose up from the crowd as they passed. The crowd knew a radical act when they saw one. Sims and the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Marching Band & Twirling Corps stepped out of the closet and into a tableau of Americana to march down “Main Street” for their city’s parade. The excitement kicked up by that first parade at the same time the community was fighting for its rights as Americans gave the Band instant celebrity status. They opened for Sylvester at “No on 6” fundraisers, appeared at Bette Midler’s book signing, surprised Francis Ford Coppola at his 40th birthday party and headlined with Robin Williams for Bread & Roses at the Greek. Harvey Milk and Jose Sarria handed the Band a check for formal uniforms so that the Band could represent our community at the Tournament of Roses Parade. Through it all, Sims had a clear vision that music connected people. “Music is our message,” he later told a TV reporter in 1979 who tried to draw him into an angry comment the week Dan White was acquitted of Harvey Milk and George Moscone’s assassinations. “I want to create a performance arts organization,” Sims wrote in a letter to his friend Nancy Corporon, “ ... which has high quality performance standards, and which creates love, sharing and communication, and which someday can be given by the gay society to all of society as a beautiful gift once ‘being gay’ is an obsolete issue.” Forty years later, the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band is still marching toward a future where being LGBT in America is obsolete. Over those four decades, 11 more directors have picked up the baton to take the Band further along that journey. Four—Nancy Corporon, Jadine Louie, Pete Nowlen and Artistic Director of Marching & Pep Mike Wong—will play a French horn quartet at the Gala in memory of Sims, who also played horn. Here are some observations from the view of the podium: Jay Kast (Conductor 1985–1987) The Freedom Band’s earliest conductor alive today is Jay Kast. A flute player and music teacher, Kast moved to the Castro too late for the 1978 Pride Parade, but he joined soon after. He played for its first formal concert that December, where Sims introduced the SF Gay Men’s Chorus, the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of SF, a Lesbian Chorus, a gay Dixieland band and German oompah band, to name a few. “The band grew in ability and size under Jon’s leadership,” Kast said. Sims wanted theater and dance to be part of the mix too, so he started the SF Tap Troupe, a team of tappers directed by Rosie the Riveter that tapped along with the Band in parades. The Twirling Corps was already a staple of the Band, but he added the F.L.A.G. (For Lesbians and Gays) Corps. By the 80s, the Band contingent stretched the length of a city block with musicians and tappers and flag twirlers and rifle twirlers. In 1985, Kast himself was surprised to take over as conductor of the Band just as it geared up to perform its first Dance-Along Nutcracker® at the Galleria Center. Lesesne Van Antwerp, the Band’s third conductor, died suddenly of AIDS, as had Sims earlier that year, and as would more than 150 members through the 80s and 90s. With the show around the corner, Kast picked up the baton and led the Band for two years. Along with the first two Dance-Along Nutcrackers®, he conducted two early concerts of the newly formed Lesbian/Gay Bands of America. The 986 circus-themed concert, “With the Greatest of Ease” J U NE 7 , 2 0 1 8

at Davies Hall, was quite likely the only time a trapeze artist flew above the symphony stage. For the concert at the 1987 March on Washington, bands around the countr y gathered for “Let Freedom Ring”—the first LGBTQ event in DAR Constitution Hall. Kast said, “My vision for the band was to survive the AIDS crisis and provide a space for music to soothe the grieving and the sorrow.” Nancy Corporon (Artistic Director 1990–1996) At the time the Band first marched down Market Street, Nancy Corporon had just come out to Sims from NYC and he leaned on her about starting a gay band there. They’d met earlier in college and studied French horn together with Dale Clevenger, principal horn of the Chicago Symphony, before moving to opposite coasts. Corporon said that by the time Sims persuaded her in 1979, there was a real sense that they were organizing a movement with bands already formed in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Houston. “Jon started the band because he firmly believed that communicating through music was the one way the L/G community could change hearts and minds,” Corporon wrote. “Who can argue with a Sousa march and a band dressed like The Music Man?” By 1990, Corporon had moved to San Francisco, and after one conductor simply walked away over the grief of friends dying, she was selected to lead “Jon’s band.” During her tenure, she won a Cable Car Award for conducting the 1992 LGBA concert “Dreams: Toward the Next Rainbow” at Bill Graham Auditorium, conducted at the City’s first domestic partner’s ceremony in Herbst Auditorium, organized a pep Band for the Giants first Until There’s a Cure Day at Candlestick Park and led a quintet at the opening of the Hormel LGBT library. What she’s most proud of, though, is starting a series of low-cost, free concerts with terrific music in a local church. She said, “I think it had the most significant impact on rebuilding the band.” “I was thrilled to be a part of Jon’s legacy, to work to see his vision and dreams remain and grow, as real and important as the day he gave the first downbeat,” Corporon added. “But more than that, I am ever so grateful for the hundreds of committed members and volunteers who have kept the band going all these years, especially at those times when the band’s future seemed so dark. These are the folks who got the band to its 40th anniversary, so kudos and heartfelt gratitude to them.” Jadine Louie (Artistic Director 1996–2006, 2009–2012) When the Band f irst marched down Market Street, Jadine Louie was a teenager watching the parade from a tree. “I connected to the music. I connected to that performance and the positive message it was communicating,” Louie said. “Up until then, I didn’t really feel a part of what was called the Gay community. It was primarily white. It was primarily male. And as much as I loved my friends, dancing, taking drugs and male sex were not what we had in common.”


on the dance floor of the Trocadero Transfer one April afternoon where he invited them to make “the sound of pride.”

Louie joined in 1995 and was quickly tapped as Assistant Conductor by Nancy and took over from her when she was ready to retire. The longest-serving Artistic Director, Louie programmed more than a decade of community concerts, took the Dance-Along Nutcracker from a concert with dancing to a variety show with theme and story, played in City Hall for the country’s first gay weddings, took the Band to Skywalker Ranch to play for George Lucas, saw the Band named Official Band of SF twice, collaborated on concerts with Jose Sarria and Mark Leno and Grammy-award-winning Lesbian composer Jennifer Higdon, to name a few highlights. One of her favorite events, though, was the Ol’ Fashioned 4th of July Alternative Family Picnic hosted by Yerba Buena Gardens Festival. The event was created by Mario Garcia Durham and Linda Lucero to answer negative comments made by Vice President Dan Quayle about single and LGBT parents and a performance precisely in the tradition of Sims’ gay Band. “What’s more American than a marching band?” Louie wrote. “Well, July 4th and a marching band!” Louie was also honored to be invited to guest conduct Bernstein’s Candide Overture at the Band’s 40th anniversary concert, Then and Now, at the Palace of Fine Arts Theater on April 14. At the centerpiece of the overture is a song titled “Glitter and Be Gay,” an obvious favorite of this Band. Louie conducted it at the 20th anniversary concert and it was performed for the 10th anniversary concert too. “It’s one of those warhorses that musicians love because every time you play it, it is fresh again,” she explains. “A piece can be 200 years old, and still every time we play together, whether weekly or daily, we make it right now, new again. Playing meaningful music does that—it connects you to those who played it before and those who will play it after you.” Louie said that 40 years later, the Band’s message of visibility through music is still important: “This idea of coming out ... is still a vital message today. You can spend all the time you want practicing and making perfect music in your own little room or in small little recitals for your own amusement, or you can take the next step and practice for the purpose of communicating and creating a shared experience well beyond your own circle, out into the world. That takes courage and it takes pride in yourself knowing just who you are. So, the message is still fresh. Come out, Come out! And to the band I say, ‘I’ll see you at the 50th anniversary.’” Pete Nowlen (Artistic Director 2013–present) When the Band f irst marched down Market Street, Pete Nowlen was a sophomore in high school in Billings, MT. (continued on page 14)

Members of the SFLGFB Family (Editor’s Note: No coverage of the SFLGFB could be complete without input from members of the Band. Here we present the stories of several. Included is the time that each has been in the Band and the instruments played.)

LGBT and non-LGBT communities through music and performance. Someone else said that there are three things that nobody hates: stuffed animals, soap bubbles and a marching band. That sums it up for me!”

Lisa Canjura-Clayton: 27 years; bass clarinet, alto clarinet, clarinet, alto sax, tenor sax, bari sax, contrabass clarinet “My future wife basically hauled me into Bronstein Music when she learned I played bass clarinet in high school. It was an instrument with a sound that I absolutely loved, but I hadn’t played it in 15 or so years. The next thing I knew, I had a brand new bass clarinet! Band filled a big ol’ musical hole I didn’t know I had. It has since become my second family. Music is a big, huge cultural unifier, and I love being a loud and visible part of the LGBT community at large.”

Kate Foust: 1.5 years; clarinet “I joined the Band late 2016 just when they were preparing for the Dance-Along Nutcracker. At the end of my first rehearsal, a clarinetist turned to me and said, ‘I know this all seems crazy. It’ll make sense soon. Please come back next week.’ It’s true that the rehearsal left quite an impression, a cluster of Tchaikovsky and cheesy superhero music. Even the artistic director didn’t know exactly how the pieces would fit together in this original work produced by the Band and cast. Fast forward to opening night of The Adventures of Captain Nutcracker. Now I had it all figured out—the music, the story, the bad jokes. Or so I thought. In the end, it was the audience that blew me away. Imagine a room full of boys and girls in tutus and superhero capes, twirling around as the band plays pieces from the Nutcracker Suite. I missed just about every musical entrance and often found the music hard to read through my teary eyes. The event was magical. The Band is magical. This all-volunteer organization, San Francisco’s Official Band, the first LGBTQ+ band in the whole world. The musicians are talented, inclusive, hilarious, friends, family, and I’m grateful to be one of them.”

Kevin R. Tam: 19 years; euphonium, trombone, percussion “I found the Band waaaaaay back when through a friend on who played the same instrument as me. Through that friendship and the years with the Band, I connected with my partner in life. While we have outside interests, the Band seems to bring us all together as a family. Since joining, I’ve begun arranging music and expanding the musical repertoire of the Band!” Sue Leonardi: 19 years; trumpet “I was working a Pride booth in 1999 that was adjacent to the SFLGFB’s booth. I was so excited to see the uniforms, the instruments and band members! I wrote my phone number on the list and received a follow up call to attend the next rehearsal. I went to that rehearsal and felt so accepted and supported as a person and musician. Instant family!” Sally Canjura-Clayton: 27 years; percussion “I came out in 1980 and was looking for a way to meet people. I joined the SF Flag Corps in 1984, which was then part of the Band’s organization. I was on the Board of Directors and with Flag Corps until 1988. I left and came back to join the Band in 1991. It was like coming home, since I knew so many of the band members already. Over the years, band members come and go, but the friendships last and the memories of good times will always be with me. I guess that is why I come back every week to rehearsal. It’s an opportunity to get together, to be part of a family making music, supporting each other and sometimes squabbling like brothers and sisters do. But that is all part of family. Even now, at rehearsals, we get together and say, “Remember that time ... ? We had so much fun!” Family is like that and Band family is more meaningful to me because we are together making music and being part of, and creating, Gay History.” Ricky Holtz: 1.5 years; flute, French horn, trumpet “A San Diego native, I now live in the Bay Area by way of the East Coast. I moved to the Bay Area in 2014 to pursue a graduate degree from UC Berkeley, and now I live and work in San Francisco as an engineer. Joining the band was an easy decision. The SFLGFB gives me a great forum to meet other musicians, to practice and perform new music, and to give back to the Bay Area. Whether it’s playing the soaring Candide Overture in Sacramento or pop tune countermelodies at San Francisco Pride, I’m thrilled at this opportunity to bring music to everyone who’s willing to listen.” Larry Hetrick: 1 year; trumpet “Coming from the Philadelphia Freedom Band to San Francisco to do residency in psychiatry, I planned on joining the famous, first LGBT( and straight) band in the world. But residency and practicing medicine took most of my life. After going through about 3 years of a mid-life crisis realizing my life was more than half over, I decided to work less and play more. And I am so happy I joined San Francisco’s official band: The San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band. I love the band because we gay people are gay in the old sense of the word. We know how to love, have fun, and make music together. Also, being a psychiatrist, I’m interested in serving as a gay male role model, to help rid the world of hate and to promote love. And what better way to do it! Get people singing, dancing and having fun with us. Personally, the band has brought more meaning to my life and more loving relationships. Thank you SFLGFB! I’m in-love with you. Will you marry me?” Doug Litwin: 33 years; clarinet, bass drum, cymbals “I was a band geek through high school and college and always loved it. After seeing the Band in the 1985 SF Pride Parade, I knew I had to join. As someone said back then, being in this Band is a great way to make a political statement in a non-political way. Since my very first rehearsal was also the first one for the initial Dance-Along Nutcracker, I have a special connection to that show. I have seen first-hand the pure joy on the faces of children and adults as they experience that unique audience-participation event. A group like the SFLGFB can break down barriers between

Patrice Mustaafaa: 4 years; flute “I identify as a Gay American Muslim of African descent. I drove cross country from New York in June of 2013. I was looking for a fresh start, a safe place and my own community. I soon found that San Francisco was not the sanctuary city of years past. It was not as liberal as perceived by those of us on the outside looking in. I was greeted with ‘Ageism,’ ‘Racism,’ and a hatred for Muslims. While standing and chatting on a public sidewalk in the Financial District, I and two other gentlemen were referred to as ‘Ni--ers’ and told to move. And after being here for a year and struggling to find work, to find friends, to find my own community and a safe place, SFLGFB came into my life. I met Moira Wilmes, Barbara Jones and Michael Kerner. I was encouraged to come and join them, even though I had not picked up a flute in 30 years. I was not only welcomed, but embraced. I found my community and my safe place. There was one small exception: the band was predominantly white. And although I didn’t see that aspect of myself reflected, I was welcomed to integrate and bring some ‘color’ to the Board of Directors. I believe that I am the first Gay American Muslim of African Descent to sit on the Board. And to be a humorous rebel, I purchased a black flute. It got much attention by our fan base, especially the African Americans. So, it became a way for me to represent people of color. I went on to purchase a purple, red, hot pink, sea blue and yellow flute. I have to move away and it breaks my heart to leave my family. I am headed to Chicago, and I will join the band there: Lakeside Pride. But SFLGFB will always be my home band, and I will always come back. And I will always be proud to be a part of its 40-year legacy.” David Korn: 4 years; trombone, euphonium “I’m a native of Long Island, NY, and hold a master’s degree in Opera Performance from the Manhattan School of Music. I’ve been a soloist with the Aspen and Tanglewood summer music festivals, the Seattle Opera, and the New York Philharmonic. I’ve also played trombone and euphonium since I was nine, spending two summers at the Interlochen Center for the Arts. I now work in San Francisco in the design and construction industry. I joined the Band in search of community and the opportunity to continue making music. I found both. The Band has become an outlet and great resource for creating music, meeting new friends and supporting the LGBT community. It’s an honor to play with the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band!” Scott Shelp: 10 years; clarinet, saxophone “I joined the SFLGFB in 2007 and served on its Board of Directors in 2011. In 2016, I had the honor of directing the saxophone choir at the Lesbian and Gay Band Association (LGBA) conference in Palm Springs, which is the coolest thing I’ve ever done. In the past, I’ve performed with BandTogether, the Gateway Men’s Chorus in St. Louis, Missouri, and the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles. I’m part of a professional men’s music fraternity, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, which encourages musical excellence and camaraderie in college and beyond. I see the SFLGFB as an excellent way to live out my Sinfonian mission while supporting the GLBTQ+ community.” Jesse Schofield: 2 years; euphonium “I first moved to the Bay Area in 2013. At the time, my entire life was based on work, and I never had time to commit to extracurricular activities. In 2015, I changed jobs and moved to Humboldt County to start my career as a transportation planner. While I was there, I joined a community concert band. Even though it had been 15 years since I played music in high school, honking out a Bb scale on a borrowed horn came right back to me; it was like riding a bike! I loved rediscovering my inner band geek.

In 2016, I was finally able to move back to the Bay Area, and one of the first orders of business was finding an ensemble. A quick Google search lead me to the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band. My first concert was the Spotlight on Broadway Sing-Along. For a community concert band that doesn’t require auditions, I was immediately impressed with how challenging some of the music was. I am still pleased to be challenged with some fantastic pieces and to be able to grow as a musician. Now in my third year with band, I find myself growing my skills beyond music, helping to write and produce the Dance-Along Nutcracker as well as organizing sectional rehearsals.” Gary Sponholtz: 23 years; tuba, mallets, piano, organ “Being part of SFLGFB remains my oldest committed relationship. From my youth I knew I preferred the love of my own gender. As a corn-fed, wood-splitting country boy, I suppressed my (carnal) desires, throwing myself into great adventures: living among the peoples of Central America in a peace corps role, and then with the U.S. Navy on Guam & Hawaii. Then California as a Friar minor (Old Missions). Though I didn’t pursue romance, the brothers helped me to see who I really am. I first discovered gay-bands in Washington, D.C. I didn’t know what pride was about yet, only I felt drawn to the band! In 1994, I went to an SFLGFB performance of the Dance Along Nutcracker at Yerba Buena Gardens! I joined up right after that & just in time for the Chinese New Year parade! Marching for all the world (live TV too!) to see. Since 1995, I’ve played during Pride parades and concerts all over the world. I’ve played in three Presidential Inaugurals in D.C. and the Gay Games in Cleveland, Koln, and Chicago—Paris is next. Join the band. Be part of the world!” Michael Mehr: 31 years; tuba, sousaphone, a little trombone “I’m in the Band to keep myself involved with live music making, playing with others socially, giving back to my communities (gay, straight and otherwise), and keeping up a sense of family. I have so many opportunities with the Band that I would never have had otherwise. For example, I can look back on travel to, and playing my instrument in, international places like Dublin, Vancouver, Cologne, Amsterdam, London, and so many U.S. cities like Chicago, New York, Fort Lauderdale, Kansas City, Cleveland and on and on. So many lovely experiences like Band Camps under the redwoods at Cazadero, marching in Presidential Inaugural Parades, traveling with the Band on buses and even airplanes—ask me how we used to crack up our flight attendants, which worked every time! Meeting people from all walks of life and making a difference in theirs by the music we played. Visiting friends whom I might never see otherwise because of how separated we are geographically but finding how like-minded we are under the surface (and how different, as well). Learning to cherish our similarities and differences, and using music to approach a better understanding of our common human condition. Mind expanding discussions about inclusivity, privilege, and society, and realizing where I’m at in the spectrum of diversity of our culture. For all of these reasons, and so many more, I am, and will remain, a member of this Band and the overall Lesbian/Gay Band Association (LGBA) for life. I have participated in every SF Pride Parade since I moved to California in the fall of 1976, but I had convinced myself that, much as I loved to get back involved with music, which I had given up during my college years for computer and electrical engineering studies, a 70-mile round-trip to rehearsals every week during commute hours was just too much. It took me 9 years and a story involving the 1984 KFJC Radio “Louie, Louie” Marathon, a rental sousaphone, and a ‘threat’ from my lover Gary to make me realize I needed to just do it. So, I approached the Band at their booth after the 1987 Pride Parade, and the rest was history. I’m very happy that the Band was able to keep itself together for those nine years without me and am heartened to see that we are still going strong after 40. I’m looking forward to the big 50th anniversary celebrations to come! Patti Upsavs: 3 years; percussion, clarinet “I joined the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band in 2015. I am an active member in the percussion section for our Concert Band, and I play snare drum for the Marching and Pep Band. I also play clarinet and have performed with the Ventura College Symphony Orchestra and, more recently, in the percussion section with the Golden Gate Symphony Orchestra and Choir. After searching for a couple of years for a band to join to fulfill the simple fact of my love of playing music, I came across the SFLGFB’s website. I sent an email and was warmly welcomed by Doug Litwin, the Band’s current President and former clarinet section manager, and Mike Wong, the Band’s multi-­talented Artistic Director, drum major and musician. What I ended up finding was not only a band. I found a band with a mission: “To promote visibility of LGBT communities,” a statement that I support in the great community where I choose to live and work. I also found a place where I can continue my love of playing music, and a group of talented people who embraced me with open arms.” S AN F R ANC IS C O BAY   T IM ES

JUNE 7, 2018


Photos courtesy of Rink, Paul Margolis, San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band and its members and friends



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JUNE 7, 2018


LITWIN continued from page 9 block hotel rooms and more. The massed band, including many from San Francisco, was stationed along the route of the inaugural parade and performed as thousands waited in the cold for the presidential motorcade to pass by. Without a doubt, the highlight was when the Clintons (Bill and Hillary) and the Gores (Al and Tipper) exited their limousine to enjoy the last part of the parade on foot. As they passed by the band playing “America The Beautiful,” they all waved and Bill Clinton gave us two presidential thumbs-up. Four years later, LGBA again performed at the second Clinton Inauguration, this time stationed at an even more visible location along the parade route. In 2008, hope was renewed with the election of Barack Obama. Again, LGBA and many San Franciscans were there, this time with the bar set even higher. The goal this time was to get selected to march in the inauguration parade itself. The effort was herculean, but it paid off in mid-December when word was received that this group would be

the first gay organization to march in an inauguration parade. San Francisco’s own Kim Boyd was one of the proud drum majors. Upon Obama’s re-election in 2012, LGBA again applied to march in the inauguration parade. Based on the impressive track record from three previous events, LGBA was chosen for a repeat appearance. LGBA was one of only 56 bands selected from across the country to march in the 2013 parade, and 215 performers proudly marched past the presidential viewing platform. Check out many videos on YouTube (search for “LGBA inauguration”) and you’ll even find the audition video submitted with the 2013 application. Ten Gay Games At the Gay Games I Opening Ceremony on August 28, 1982, the SFLGFB and the Great American Yankee Freedom Band of Los Angeles both performed. The national group LGBA formed a month later in Chicago with the SFLGFB as a charter member.

Every four years since 1982, the Gay Games has taken place, and members of the San Francisco Band have performed with the massed band in concert, parade and pep settings. This has taken these musicians to Canada, the Netherlands, Australia and Germany. In just two months, these musicians will arrive in Paris to perform at Gay Games 10. Pete Nowlen, SFLGFB Artistic Director, will conduct two of the concerts there. Even before the trip to Paris takes place, plans are already coming to bring great music to Hong Kong during Gay Games 11 taking place for the first time in Asia in 2022. Three Marches on Washington Among the most meaningful events for the San Francisco musicians have been the three major national Marches on Washington in 1987, 2003 and 2010. In 1987, the March was preceded by a soldout concert called “Let Freedom Ring” staged at DAR Constitution Hall. Taking place in the midst of the AIDS crisis, the concert started out late because the ushers pro-

vided by the venue decided to wear rubber gloves when taking tickets from concert-goers. 750,000 people joined in this march the next day. In 1993, the March on Washington was again preceded by a major concert called “Americans We” at the Warner Theatre. An estimated 1,000,000 joined in this march. The Millennium March of 2000 brought another 1,000,000 people to the streets of Washington. In addition to the March itself, there was a marriage ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial, where several LGBA members got married. The massed band provided live music on the main stage throughout the afternoon. They performed alongside speakers Ellen Degeneres, Martina Navratilova, Judith Light, Melissa Etheridge, RuPaul, Madonna, Ian McKellen and Eartha Kitt. As you can see, the legendary presence and music of the SFLGFB has spread far beyond the Bay Area.

SIMS BILLINGS continued from page 9 Nurturing an Aptitude for Music Jon continued to excel in music. At about 12 he said to Mother, “I just want to play a rag before I die.” With Mother’s encouragement, Jon began playing rags. He liked Scott Joplin’s works, especially the “Maple Leaf Rag.” Jon would perform at small events in our rural community including playing piano background music Saturday nights in a restaurant, which was a very unusual occurrence for Smith Center. As Jon’s abilities grew, it was hard to find piano teachers to challenge him. When I was able to drive, and Jon was 12, we’d spend Saturday mornings together, as I drove him about 30 miles to study with a more advanced piano teacher. When Jon entered Smith Center High School, he wanted to be in band and started playing the cornet. The students who went to school in town began playing musical instruments in sixth grade, but in a country school we did not have this opportunity. Jon continued to excel in music and soon caught up and surpassed the abilities of his classmates. When he was a sophomore, they needed a tuba player in the band, so Jon began playing tuba. The music instructor realized Jon could play just about any instrument they needed. In his junior year, they needed someone to play the French horn, and Jon met his calling. That same year, Jon became the drum major for the high school marching band.

During high school, Mother said that Jon was loved by all of the older women in town. Jon was kind and considerate of everyone and always spoke to, and helped, these older women he’d met through our grandmothers. This was the same generation of women who taught him to knit and crochet when he was in grade school. Jon attended Fort Hays State University (FHSU) in Hays, Kansas. He became the drum major for the all men’s Marching 100. A good friend from high school and FHSU said, “Jon played horn in the wonderful Brass Choir directed by Leland Bartholomew. Jon was highly respected by the faculty and students alike. What a wonderful musician and friend.” At Hays, Jon developed a life-long respect, admiration, and relationship with Ruth Oag, a visiting piano professor from Australia. Jon visited Miss Oag, in Australia, on his trip around the world in 1982. In his junior year, Jon moved to Wichita State University to find a program to meet his needs to study French horn and composition. He was a very flamboyant drum major at both universities. Following graduation from Wichita State, Jon enrolled in graduate school at Indiana University with the goal of studying French horn under Philip Farkas. Jon flourished under Dr. Farkas’ tutelage.

at the junior high level. He was frustrated with teaching from the beginning. Jon wanted students to be as focused and dedicated to music as he was, and that was not the case. He’d say, “How can you bring a child to a music lesson at 7:30 am and forget the musical instrument?” He felt junior high students should just be focusing on learning music and not trying to march and play music, but marching was the show piece that the parents and community wanted to see. After 3–4 years in Chicago, Jon followed a friend to San Francisco. Jon taught school in Daly City before starting the Band. In June of 1978, I had been at a nursing convention in Honolulu, and made a stopover in San Francisco to visit Jon. On Sunday, we went to Golden Gate Park. I sat under a tree while the developing band—The Gay Freedom Day Marching Band and Twirling Corps—practiced marching and marching while playing instruments. The first performance of the Band occurred a few days later.

Upon graduation from Indiana University, Jon moved to Chicago to teach music

It was a time of Anita Bryant and much prejudice towards the community. Jon told me that he was not interested in making a political statement; he just wanted to get people together to have fun making music. In November 1980, my husband Jerry and I attended the Band’s concert at Davies Symphony Hall. It was a beautiful concert and quite formal, as I remember wearing a long, formal dress to the concert.

educate our community and to reach beyond and impact lives and conversations.”

causes and also allowed us to reach new communities with our inclusive message.”

Nowlen has already programmed and conducted five-going-on-six years of community concerts, overseen production of a new CD highlighting music from the Panama Pacific International Exhibition (PPIE), collaborated on a concert celebrating the 100th anniversary of that world fair with Billy Sauerland and the LGCSF, brought that music to a national conference of concert bands, conducted at two LGBA conferences, the Band’s 40th Anniversary concert featuring the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, and he is part of the artistic leadership for two LGBA concerts at the August Gay Games in Paris, France.

Nowlen is looking forward to playing in the horn quintet to honor Sims at the gala on June 20.

Move to San Francisco

We were always very proud of Jon and his abilities, but none of us realized the impact he would have. I continue to be amazed and proud of the impact of his vision. Coming Out I don’t remember Jon every telling me he was gay. I had figured it out about 1973, and at some point, we just began talking about it. He did not come out to the family until after our mother died in 1975. We are not sure if she knew, but Mother always said, “Jon marches to a different drummer.” Sometime after that, he came to Smith Center and talked to our father and our grandparents and other family about it. In 1975– 1976, being gay was not something readily accepted in small town America, or in many other venues. Our maternal grandmother explained it to our cousin, “Now Jon is gay and what that means is that he is just like the boys who decide to become priests.” I think some of the family were concerned this might harm their social standing, but in general, the family just let it go, and didn’t say much about it. In our part of the country, no one really talked about being gay in the mid-1970s. Judith Sims Billings is the sister of the late Jon Sims, founder of the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band and the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus.

BEELER continued from page 10 In 2013, at the time Nowlen accepted the post of Artistic Director of the Band, he led no fewer than six music groups. Today he serves as Director of Concert Bands at UC Davis, Artistic Director of Camerata California Chamber Choir and the Rancho Cordova Civic Light Orchestra, Artistic Advisor of Music in the Mountains in Nevada County, CA, and is the founder and Artistic Director of Sacramento’s VITA Academy. I asked him how directing the Band is different from his other groups. “It is an opportunity to merge my artistic career and my activist soul,” he replied. “And the amazing people keep me coming back. One of the amazing moments for me was to (witness) Jose Sarria’s interment in Colma— and to see representatives of most of the major religions and denominations participating in the service. It really showed the progress that has been made.” “A lot has changed in 40 years,” he continued. “Today we do a lot of ‘preaching to the choir’—supporting our community—but there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s what keeps spirits up and outlooks hopeful as the work continues. We do find opportunities to 14


“The PPIE project and our recent benef it concerts in Sacramento have been ver y, ver y s p e c i a l ,” Now len w r ot e. “The PPIE project created a historical musical document of a great event in San Francisco a hundred years ago and revived some great music that had fallen into neglect. The benefit concerts in Sacramento for Joshua’s House and the gender health center raised a substantial amount of money to support those

J U NE 7 , 2 0 1 8

He said, “It’s awesome that four of the artistic directors have been horn players—five if you count Jon Sims—and that four of us will all be in attendance at the gala, and able to perform.” Mike Wong (Artistic Director Marching & Pep Programs) When the Band marched down Market Street, Mike Wong wasn’t born yet, but he’s marched Market many times since then, joining the Band in 2000 and leading the group as drum major for almost a decade. As the leader of the Band’s most visible branch and a teacher at UC Berkeley, Mike’s focus is on the future of the LGBT community. “With the newest generation of activists, whether the youngest members of the Band or in the community at large, there is a huge energy to preserve the advances that our community has achieved, while at the same time

fighting the newest fights for gender identity and intersectionality that are the newest battle grounds for LGBT rights,” Wong said. “The Band endeavors to represent the best of our community,” he continued. “We have members that span sexuality, gender identity, race and ethnicity, age, socio-economic status and the differently-abed, in an effort to reflect the true intersectionality of our community. The Band plays in over 40 events per year, most free of charge, ranging from concerts such as our 40th Anniversary concert at the Palace of Fine Arts in April, to small community gigs such as Rainbow Day at Leonard Flynn Elementary, to civic events such as the SF LGBT Center Re-Opening and the San Mateo LGBT Pride Center Grand Opening, to protest marches such as the 2017 and 2018 Women’s Marches.” Heidi Beeler has been a member of the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band since 1991. Tickets to the June 20 Gala Dinner at the War Memorial Green Room are now on sale (https://www.eventbrite. com/e/40th-anniversary-gala-dinner-celebration-war-memorial-green-room-tickets-44923068106).

Business Tips from GGBA

• Management commitment/assignment of responsibilities; • Safety communications system with employees; • System for assuring employee compliance with safe work practices; • Scheduled inspections/evaluation system; • Accident investigation; • Procedures for correcting unsafe/unhealthy conditions; • Safety and health training and instruction; and • Recordkeeping and documentation. Put the elements of your IIPP together and come up with a plan to suit your individual workplace. Decide exactly what you want to accomplish, and determine what steps are necessary to achieve your goals. If you have difficulty deciding where to begin, call the Cal/ OSHA Consultation Service for assistance. A Consultation Service consultant can help you to determine what is needed to make your IIPP effective. The consultant will work with you on a plan for making these improvements and will assist you in establishing procedures for making sure your program remains effective. With special thanks to: Cal/OSHA Consultation Service State of California-Department of Industrial Relations Division of Occupational Safety & Health. For more information, contact a qualified GGBA member (https://ggba. com/).

Frederick Douglass had it right in his 1857 West Indie Emancipation speech: “Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them.”

So, as business owners, entrepreneurs and members of the LGBTQ community, where do you stand?

In January of 2017, the Trump administration pulled its resource page for LGBT businesses from the United States Small Business Administration’s (SBA’s) website. The placeholders for the removed pages read “under construction” to be repopulated “in the near future.” After 16 months of quiet submission and no action, a coalition of allies could no longer remain silent.

As LGBTQ business owners and entrepreneurs, we can choose to work together, now more than ever before, to collaborate, create jobs and invest in our community. Our LGBTQ merchant, lawyer, doctor and high-tech employee resource groups and professional associations can choose to collaborate and define our economic agenda. We can choose to lead through action so that our strength isn’t just here in San Francisco and the Bay Area, but throughout California, the West Coast and all points east.

In early May of 2018, Congresswomen Nadia Velasquez and Yvette Clark took a stand and sent a letter from the House Committee on Small Business to SBA Administrator Linda McMahon calling on the Administration to account for their actions. This letter sparked a cascading of advocacy from LGBT business organizations at the national, regional and local levels, and a battery of stories in national and local media. Together, we moved the dial, and cracked through injustice. On May 16, the SBA posted a new LGBTQ resource page on its website. The posting of the page itself, however, is not the victory, particularly since the information therein is grossly incomplete. The real victory is how quickly the page was reposted once a strong coalition of nationwide allies chose to rise up and deny the injustice being served. The truth is, the LGBTQ business community has worked hard forging longstanding, productive and respectful relationships that go back over three decades here in the San Francisco District Offices of the SBA and throughout California and the West Coast. These roots are strong and with vigilance and constant nurturing, they cannot be purged even during the strongest of headwinds that come along with changes of administrations in D.C. Indeed, as we continue to build coalitions and partnerships, we realize more deeply their ability to amplify our advocacy at the national level, while opening up new relationships and business opportunities with entire ecosystems of small business networking and support services. Perhaps it is the very strength of these relationships that precipitates the injustice directed at many of our nation’s diverse populations, including the LGBT business community.

GGBA CALENDAR East Bay Make Contact Thursday, June 7 6 pm to 8 pm Wooden Table Cafe 2300 Broadway, Oakland Close to 19th Street BART Station Admission is free for GGBA members! Register at Microsoft Pride Panel & Luncheon Hear from Microsoft’s Esteemed Guest Speakers talking about their LGBTQ owned businesses Sunday, June 10 Noon to 3 pm The Village at Corte Madera 1640 Redwood Hwy, Corte Madera Admission is free! BART LGBT BUSINESS CONNECT Tuesday, June 12 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm Offices of the U.S. Small Business Administration 455 Market Street, 6th Floor, San Francisco bart-lgbt-business-connecttickets-46394682745

Business of Pride San Francisco Business Times Top 50 LGBT Businesses Thursday, June 14 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm Four Seasons Hotel 757 Market Street, San Francisco June Make Contact Tuesday, June 19 6 pm to 8 pm Bistro Boudin Oyster Bar 160 Jefferson Street, 2nd Floor, San Francisco Admission is free for GGBA members! Register at Stand Up & Speak OUT! Bi-Weekly Workshop to be a more effective Speaker and Communicator Featuring National AwardWinning Speaker Gina Grahame Wednesday, June 20 3 pm to 5 pm Offices of the U.S. Small Business Administration 455 Market Street, 6th Floor, San Francisco Register at

A Master Class for HighPerforming LGBT Businesses The Speed of Cash: The Magic Numbers That Power Your Business Tuesday, June 27 3 pm to 5 pm Moody’s Analytics 405 Howard Street (at First), San Francisco Admission is free for GGBA members! Register at July Make Contact Tuesday, July 10 6 pm to 8 pm Wall Beds & More 550 15th Street, Floor 2, San Francisco Register at Stand Up & Speak OUT! Bi-Weekly Workshop to be a more effective Speaker and Communicator Featuring National AwardWinning Speaker Gina Grahame Wednesday, July 18 3 pm to 5 pm Offices of the U.S. Small Business Administration 455 Market Street, 6th Floor, San Francisco Register at

Procurement pipelines are opening up for LGBTQ businesses faster than we can fill them. When we identify significant challenges, we can choose to approach them with the same zeal that our community did when faced with the onslaught of HIV/AIDS. We know how to think outside the closet and to be clear in our critical path forward. As entrepreneurs and business owners, we are used to adversity. It is part of the “unwritten contract” of being in business. We understand what it means to draw from the diversity and strength of our own LGBTQ community and to form collaborations with those who also understand adversity and who share our commitment to raising all boats equally. Now is our time. Let’s strengthen our ties with the American Indian, Latino, Asian American, African American, Women and Veteran business communities. Let’s have the courage and the confidence to engage new relationships with key industry groups where our community has been invisible for decades, such as in construction, agriculture, manufacturing and international trade. In business, it’s our job to meet adversity head on, lean into the wind and learn from each failure and success. Now is our opportunity to engage in a larger effort that takes the sting of discrimination and turns it into the power that propels us forward. Get engaged in this effort by joining GGBA (https://ggba. com/join-ggba/). Audry deLucia is a GGBA Board Member and the 2019 President Elect.

EDGE Master Class for High-Performing LGBT Businesses LEAN for Small Business Enterprises Thursday, July 26 1:30 pm - Registration 2 pm to 5 pm - Workshop 5 pm to 6 pm - Networking Reception Hosted at ZillowGroup 535 Mission Street, Suite 700, San Francisco Register at Stand Up & Speak OUT! Bi-Weekly Workshop on how to be a more effective Speaker and Communicator Featuring National Award-Winning Speaker Gina Grahame Wednesday, August 1 3 pm to 5 pm Offices of the U.S. Small Business Administration 455 Market Street, 6th Floor, San Francisco Register at


Your Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) must be a written plan that includes procedures and is put into practice. The required elements of your IIPP are:

Why We Took a Stand with the SBA and Where We Go from Here By Audry deLucia


In California, every employer is required by law (Labor Code Section) to provide a safe and healthful workplace for his/her employees. Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations requires every California employer to have an effective Injury and Illness Prevention Program in writing that must be in accord with T8 CCR Section 3203 of the General Industry Safety Orders.

Frederick Douglass Had It Right

EDGE Master Class for High-Performing LGBT Businesses Goal Setting for Increased Business Performance and Long-term Professional Growth Tuesday, September 18 1:30 pm - Registration 2 pm to 5 pm - Workshop 5 pm to 6 pm - Networking Reception Hosted at ZillowGroup 535 Mission Street, Suite 700, San Francisco Register at S AN F R ANC IS C O BAY   T IM ES


Why Have a Workplace Injury and Illness Prevention Program?

GGBA Monthly Report

JUNE 7, 2018


Values We Can Be Proud Of stance, if you play the piano because you love to make music, that’s an intrinsic value. But if you also play music you don’t enjoy playing at a lounge in order to pay the rent, that’s an extrinsic value.

Roland Schembari and Bill Hartman, Co-Founders Randy Alfred, Founding News Editor 1978 Kim Corsaro Publisher 1981-2011

2261 Market Street, No. 309 San Francisco CA 94114 Phone: 415-601-2113 525 Bellevue Avenue Oakland CA 94610 E-mail: The Bay Times was the first newspaper in California, and among the first in the world, to be jointly and equally produced by lesbians and gay men. We honor our history and the paper’s ability to build and strengthen unity in our community. The Bay Times is proud to be the only newspaper for the LGBT community in San Francisco that is 100% owned and operated by LGBT individuals. Dr. Betty L. Sullivan Jennifer L. Viegas Co-Publishers & Co-Editors

Beth Greene Michael Delgado Abby Zimberg Design & Production

Kate Laws

Business Manager

Blake Dillon Calendar Editor

Kit Kennedy Poet-In-Residence J.H. Herren Technology Director Carla Ramos Web Coordinator Mario Ordonez Juan Ordonez Distribution

CONTRIBUTORS Writers Rink, Sister Dana Van Iquity, Ann Rostow, Patrick Carney, Kate Kendell, Alex Randolph, Heidi Beeler, Gary M. Kramer, Dennis McMillan, Tom Moon, Tim Seelig, Cinder Ernst, John Chen Rafael Mandelman, Jewelle Gomez, Phil Ting, Rebecca Kaplan, Leslie Katz, Philip Ruth, Bill Lipsky, Karen Williams, Donna Sachet, Gary Virginia, Zoe Dunning, Marcy Adelman, Stuart Gaffney & John Lewis Brandon Miller, Jamie Leno Zimron Michele Karlsberg Lyndsey Schlax, Randy Coleman, Debra Walker, Howard Steiermann, Andrea Shorter, Scott Tsui, Tom Temprano, Lou Fischer, Frankie Bashan, Karin Jaffie, Brett Andrews Photographers Rink, Phyllis Costa, Jane Higgins Paul Margolis, Chloe Jackman, Bill Wilson, Jo-Lynn Otto, Sandy Morris, Abby Zimberg, Morgan Shidler ADVERTISING Display Advertising Standard Rate Cards or 415-503-1375 Custom ad sizes are available. Ads are reviewed by the publishers. National Advertising: Contact Bay Times / San Francisco. Represented by Rivendell Media: 908-232-2021 Circulation is verified by an independent agency Reprints by permission only. CALENDAR Submit events for consideration by e-mail to: © 2018 Bay Times Media Company Co-owned by Betty L. Sullivan & Jennifer L. Viegas

Examined Life Tom Moon, MFT Psychologists have long known that there are two different kinds of values that motivate us to get out of bed in the morning. The first are called intrinsic values. These are the activities—like play, connecting with someone we love, or creative expression— that we do because we value doing them in and of themselves. It’s when we do these things that we forget ourselves in the “flow.” The second kind of values, called extrinsic values, are the things we do, not because we want to do them, but because we believe we’ll get something in return, such as money, sex or increased social status. So, for in-

By David Perry “Are you too good to join the Army? Who do you think you are? I never went to college.” After 40 years, the words still sting: big brother reaction to my little brother excitement at university acceptance. “Who do you think you are?” I worshipped my brother. At 15 years my senior, he was even more of an imposing idol than most “big brothers.” He taught me to swim, and once, when I fell in the pool before that lesson—promptly sinking to the bottom—he dove in and saved my life. He gave me my f irst car and then took me to a snow-laden parking lot at Willow Lawn Shopping Center to show me how to survive a skid: “Steer into the swerve, not against it. If you jerk the wheel too hard, you’ll flip the car.” Two years later on a rainy New York State Thruway driving to college, my beloved brother-bestowedcar hit a nail and blew a tire. “Steer into the swerve,” and I did, terrified, but survived. My brother saved my life—again. “Are you too good to join the Army? Who do you think you are? I never went to college.” My brother was a hero, and he knew cars. Drafted into service during that most horrible of late 60s turmoil, he left for the Army along with his best friend Bobby. Their mothers packed Kool-Aid in their packs in case the water was bad where they were going: Vietnam. Bobby’s parents and ours waved their boys away that Richmond summer, the drab olive military van driving down our street. When it disappeared around the corner, the waving stopped and the mothers fainted.

Not long after that we found out that my brother got sent to West Germany—a miracle. Bobby did not. He was dead by a Vietcong sniper. My brother was never the same. “Who do you think you are?” SA N FRANCISCO BAY   T I ME S

This should have been an earthshattering finding, because the values of materialism, which dominate our culture and are relentlessly pushed by multi-billion-dollar media campaigns, are extrinsic values. Get good grades. Claw your way to the top of the heap. Show off your affluence through the conspicuous consumption of clothes, cars and expensive toys. That, we’re taught, is how to make ourselves feel good.

He reports, for instance, that the research shows that the more we’re driven by materialistic values, the shorter and shallower our relationships become. Of course. The more we think that the purpose of life is acquiring stuff, being superior, and showing off the symbols of our “success,” the more superficial our connections with others are, and the unhappier and isolated we become. The more empty and unhappy we feel, the more we’re likely to try to soothe ourselves in the way that we’ve been taught—through ever more frantic pursuit of extrinsic, materialistic values. We live in a society in which powerful forces work to condition us to pursue junk values, and when we comply, our lives are damaged every bit as much as our bodies are damaged when we live on junk food. The values that LGBTQ people celebrate during Pride this month are all intrinsic values. We celebrate au-

thenticity—the inherent joy of knowing who we are and of living our lives from the truth of our being. And we celebrate real relationships based on that authenticity, and communities that grow from and support these genuine relationships. I bring up the subject of materialism this month because I think it’s important to remember that the enemies of Pride are not only the homophobic culture, but also the soul-killing materialism that pulls us all away from our authentic, intrinsic values. How can we resist these forces in our individual lives? Kasser believes that the first step in becoming free of materialism is to come out of the unconsciousness that allows it to continue. He writes: “I can think of no wiser financial investment than in selfknowledge. It is the path to freedom, at many levels. By sorting through painful past experiences, irrational beliefs, and unacknowledged fears, people can become free of these chains and find healthier ways of coping than making money and consuming things.” The unexamined life, as Socrates said, is not worth living. Tom Moon is a psychotherapist in San Francisco. For more information, please visit his website http://

Blood and Water

One day, I thought, I guess I’ll go to Vietnam too. I was six years old.


We’re all motivated by both kinds of values, but there’s a big difference between how the two kinds affect our level of happiness and well-being. Early in his career, psychologist Tim Kasser got subjects to keep detailed mood diaries as they pursued their goals. When he examined the reports, he found that people who achieved their intrinsic goals became less depressed and anxious, and also significantly happier. But when people achieved their extrinsic goals—the fancy new car, the promotion, etc.—they experienced no measurable change in their level of happiness. None whatsoever.

But Kasser’s f indings demonstrate that materialism is essentially cotton candy for the soul: it’s all pink and f luffy and pretty, but completely devoid of emotional nourishment. Kasser has spent much of his career fleshing out these findings, and they’re summarized in his excellent book, The High Price of Materialism.

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In Germany, a general’s car broke down. His chauf feur was f lummoxed. My brother offered to help. He fixed the car. The general turned to his driver. “You’re relieved.” To my brother: “You work for me now.” Around that time, there was a fire. Tents burst into flames and my brother rushed in. He saved people. He was horribly scarred. He stopped wearing short sleeves. “Are you too good to join the Army?” My brother came home. He opened a foreign car repair shop—the first in town. He was a big success. I would stop by after school and visit. “Hey, little brother,” he would greet me with a kiss. I loved him very much. I was 16. He was 31. Our mother was 55. They discovered cancer. At 56, she was dead. “Who do you think you are?” My brother used to listen to Peter, Paul & Mary. I played his 45 of “Puff the Magic Dragon,” his favorite. After Mama died, he stopped listening to music. Both of us were sad, but even worse, both of us were mad. I was mad at my mother for dying. My brother—well, he just seemed mad. I went to college, and after that, things were never quite the same between me and my brother. I never knew why. I still don’t. “I never went to college.” Over the years we would see each other—occasionally. Marriages. Divorces. Comings out. Two decades passed. I went to Europe. I traveled. We spoke by phone—sometimes. Facebook was invented. We posted. Trump was elected. We stopped speaking. The political divide became an abyss. “Who do you think you are?” Over the years—and especially the last year —that conversation has come back to haunt me. Why would my going to college offend my brother? My brother could build a car from chopsticks. I moved to San Francisco where I mastered the art of eating with them. Somehow, I became a “Coastal Elite” and my brother moved to Texas when Virginia “got too liberal.”

Did I think I was smarter than my brother? No. But, as the years wore on I have often wondered if he thought that I thought that I was. “Are you too good to join the Army? Who do you think you are? I never went to college.” Since Election Day 2016, contact between my brother and me has been scant: a birthday email here; a texted photo of an antique car there. Rockets sent up from the deck of a sinking ship. “I guess you think I’m a deplorable,” my brother said last year during a brief conversant thaw. “I never said that you were,” was my reply. “No, no you didn’t,” my brother drawled, “and I appreciate that.” He’s not deplorable. He’s my brother. Today, debarking from a typically urbanite cruise, I whipped out my iPhone and read (yet another) article about the yawning chasm in our familial body politic: Elites vs. Deplorables. Brother vs. Brother. Us vs. Us. “Liberals Aren’t as Smart as They Think They Are” was the headline that got me from shipboard to Uber,

and it made me remember that phone call of so, so long ago. “Are you too good to join the Army? Who do you think you are? I never went to college.” I didn’t think I was too good to join the Army; I just didn’t want to. Honestly, I don’t think my brother “wanted” to either. No one “wanted” to join the Army in 1967. But my brother did, and the scars from those battleworn years plague him still. I am married. I work. I am happy. My brother is married. He is retired. I hope he is happy too. He is a member of the NRA, has a collection of guns and a hundred thousand rounds of ammunition. I am a member of the ACLU, have a collection of maritime history books and a hundred thousand frequent flyer miles. The twains seem unlikely to meet. But perhaps this is just the musings of a middle-aged American trying to figure out the divergent siblings of the past 40 years. That mad, sad mystery is truly the only deplorable thing here. David Perry is the CEO and Founder of David Perry & Associates, Inc. (

GLBT Fortnight in Review By Ann Rostow Ridiculous High Court Ruling Signifies Nothing Well, it’s over. Masterpiece Cakeshop v Colorado, the big juicy landmark blockbuster case that was supposed to give gays and lesbians the Supreme Court civil rights imprimatur we’ve long sought but never quite earned, was announced Monday morning. No, we didn’t get a major gay rights ruling. But we also didn’t get a defeat. In their wisdom, the nine justices decided to skip over the thorny First Amendment issues at stake, and to focus instead on what they saw as inappropriate hostility to religion on the part of one or two commissioners on the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. That Commission investigation was one of several stops this case made on the road to the High Court, but apparently was seen as a procedural dead end due to what some legal analysts thought were innocuous comments about the use of religion as an excuse for misdeeds in the past. Lest you roll your eyes at that view, you should know that Justices Ginsburg and Sotomayor agreed. They dissented from the 7–2 majority, which was written by Kennedy. Three other concurring opinions were written by Kagan (who disagreed with one aspect of the majority opinion along with Breyer), another by Thomas, and another by Gorsuch. You should also know that Kennedy’s opinion took some pains to remind everyone that it is indeed impermissible to flout anti-discrimination laws based on religion or your own personal views. (Cue a single firework.) “The outcome of cases like this in other circumstances must await further elaboration in the courts,” wrote Kennedy, “all in the context of recognizing that these disputes must be resolved with tolerance, without undue disrespect to sincere religious beliefs, and without subjecting gay persons to indignities when they seek goods and services in an open market.” (Emphasis mine.) In other words, this particular case had some anomalies, and, in general, you can’t subject us to “indignities” as we carry out our business. The implication is that other bakers and candlestick makers should not assume that they are free to reject gay customers just because Jack Phillips the Denver baker seems to have gotten away with it. But this is also what I hate about Justice Kennedy and his gay rights opinions—of which there are now five. I am tired of having to read between the lines of Supreme Court opinions in order to catch a glimpse of equal rights for GLBT Americans. Kennedy seems to be willing to stand up for us when we are lying in the gutter, thrown in jail, deprived of basic rights, or, in this case, subjected to indignities, but not when we’re simply standing up and trying to be equal to our fellow citizens. Of course, we don’t want to be subjected to “indignities,” but we don’t want to deal with polite and respectful discrimination either. Why can’t Kennedy ever spell things out? No religion makes it okay to discriminate on the basis sexual orientation; nor does the Constitution protect bigotry under the guise of free speech when a generic state law forbids it. (I was reminded, by none other than handsome GLBT law professor Dale Carpenter, that as much as I am continually annoyed by our half-hearted Justice Kennedy, I would be much more annoyed by his successor were he to retire at the end of this session or the next, as some fear he might.) Generic Comments Deplored for No Reason

So, you might wonder, what were those horrendous statements at the Commission that undermined Jack Phillips’ right to a fair and respectful hearing? Must have been pretty bad. Bill Maher on steroids. “I would also like to reiterate what we said in the hearing or the last meeting,” said the disrespectful commissioner at one of their several meetings. “Freedom of religion and religion has been used to justify all kinds of discrimination throughout history, whether it be slavery, whether it be the holocaust, whether it be—I mean, we—we can list hundreds of situations where freedom of religion has been used to justify discrimination. And to me it is one of the most despicable pieces of rhetoric that people can use to—to use their religion to hurt others.” I don’t know about you, but this sounds sensible to me. The commissioner is not singling out a particular religion, nor is he implying that all religious actors are manipulators in disguise. He is just saying that it happens, and it has happened a lot, and we should be alert to the signs of prejudice disguised as faith. But to Kennedy, the quote betrayed a deep hostility towards Mr. Phillips that seems mystifying to me. “To describe a man’s faith as ‘one of the most despicable pieces of rhetoric that people can use’ is to disparage his religion in at least two distinct ways: by describing it as despicable, and also by characterizing it as merely rhetoric,” writes Kennedy. What the heck is he talking about? The commissioner said it was despicable to use religion to explain away hate and discrimination. He wasn’t calling Phillips’ religion itself “despicable.” Am I missing something? “The commissioner even went so far as to compare Phillips’ invocation of his sincerely held religious beliefs to defense of slavery and the Holocaust,” Kennedy continued inanely (the commissioner did no such thing). “This sentiment is inappropriate for a Commission charged with the solemn responsibility of fair and neutral enforcement of Colorado’s anti-discrimination law.” Oh, spare us. By the way, the phrase “sincerely held religious beliefs” was also bandied about as if there was some sincerity test imposed on First Amendment cases. No, there’s not. And none of us (including Kennedy) have any way of discerning Phillips’ sincerity in the first place. Absurd Comparison Fascinates Conservative Justices In the course of the f ive opinions, much was made of a publicity stuntman who went around trying to convince bakers to produce anti-gay cakes with Bible scripture and two men with a big X over them. The clever prankster then complained to state authorities when various bakers declined to fill his special order. Not surprisingly, the state refused to prosecute the bakers, noting that none of them had discriminated on any basis. They had simply refused to make a nasty and hurtful cake design, something they would refuse to produce under any circumstances, for any customer. Jack Phillips, by contrast, declined to do any kind of business with two gay men. Nor had the men requested any special words or symbols; they simply sought a wedding cake—a product that Phillips routinely provided to straight clients. In other words, even though they both involved cakes and gayness, the two cases were not remotely comparable. Tell that to Gorsuch, Alito and Thomas, who observed in the juxtaposition of the two (continued on page 22) S AN F R ANC IS C O BAY   T IM ES

JUNE 7, 2018


Meeting Future Housing Needs

cisco offers a unique model of housing and services that other communities wish to emulate. Michael Adams, Executive Director of SAGE, said to me many months back that he wants to replicate, where appropriate, the Openhouse model of LGBTQ senior housing in the SAGE housing communities. Openhouse is a San Francisco non-prof it providing housing and services for LGBTQ older adults and people living with disabilities.

offered that local Section 8’s from General Fund dollars be used to subsidize people aging in place. It is better to keep people in their homes than to resort to building expensive new housing. The crisis in LGBTQ senior housing is part of a national housing crisis that affects every one of us. According to a study from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing, gains in the supply of high-end units and losses in low and modest-priced units over the past decade have shifted the entire rental stock toward the high end. (Our Disappearing Supply of Low-Cost Rental Housing, JCSH, June 2107). Major urban areas across the country, such as Austin, Denver, New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco, have all experienced a major shift and growth to high end rental units between 2005 and 2015.

In recent related news, Dr. Jason Flatt and a team of researchers from UCSF have been awarded a $75,000 grant to study the role of affordable LGBTQ age-friendly housing on the health of LGBTQ older adults. The study, in partnership with Openhouse, will examine the influence of affordable housing on the health of LGBTQ older adults. This study is a natural extension of the research team’s current work and will support a longitudinal study on the role of LGBTQ agefriendly housing on the health of LGBTQ older adults nationally.

A major priority needs to be given to the older adult and senior population. The senior population is growing at an accelerated rate. The number of households headed by people 65 years or older will increase by 66% by 2035. One out of three American households will be headed by someone aged 65 plus. The 80 + population is expected to double between 2015 and 2035. By 2035, one in five Americans will be aged 65 plus. In 2015, almost 44% of older households spent more than one third of their income on housing costs; older renters were twice as likely to spend more than one third of their income for housing than owners.

One 65-year-old gay man with Parkinson’s, who lives on Social Security, shared that he had not succeeded in securing an apartment in the Openhouse building at 55 Laguna. His housing lottery number was too low. He has applied for other housing but has been waitlisted. He expressed fear that, since the apartment he lives in is not in District 8, which has preferred neighborhood status, he will again not be selected for a residence. He said, “A month ago, the building I have lived in since 1980 was put on the market. Right now, I am feeling vulnerable.”

In a sweet email, Skultety wrote, “We believe we have created a unique model of community, housing and support at the Openhouse Community at 55 Laguna, the first affordable LGBT welcoming senior housing in the Bay Area co-developed by Openhouse and Mercy Housing. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to now work with UCSF and the leading researchers in LGBTQ aging, to study and better document the impact of this model as we expand with 79 more units of housing opening next year. It is especially poignant that we will be focused on studying the residents who will move into the housing at 95 Laguna, aptly named the Marcy Adelman and Jeanette Gurevitch Community. We want to make sure that we capture how lives are changed as people move into the LGBT welcoming senior community that they created.”

We need to start planning now for the future. Building more housing alone is not the answer. Smart urban planning is the answer, and not just building more housing wherever and whenever we can. Transit-oriented density housing will need to take into account, and plan for, the impact on the surrounding neighborhood. Density requires a supporting infrastructure of traffic management, small businesses and services, as well as open and green spaces to make it an opportunity for vital, robust living. Work force housing and affordable and accessible senior housing will need to be a planned part of the housing mix. Subsidies would help to keep people in their homes as well as assist developers to build more affordable moderate and low-income rentals.

It is hard—emotionally hard—to apply again. Skultety acknowledged his feelings of sadness and loss and went on to say, “Too many people are faced with the same heartbreak and loss. Still, it is important to keep applying. You need to apply for 95 Laguna even if you are waitlisted. Please spread the word.”

Dr. Marcy Adelman is the Co-founder of Openhouse, a Commissioner on the California Commission on Aging, a member of the San Francisco Dignity Fund Oversight and Advisory Committee, and a leading expert on LGBTQ dementia care and policy issues.

LGBTQ senior housing advocates and policy makers need to make sure that LGBTQ welcoming senior housing is a part of any future national, state and city planning. San Fran-

Bill Hirsh commented on “the huge cost of trying to build our way out of this housing crisis. We need creative, feasible, less expensive solutions.” He


Photos by Rink and Paul Margolis



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Hot Cookie

Sacred Space SF

AtmosQueer Commitee Members




On Sunday, May 20, the 6th Annual LGBTQ Community Connection known as AtmosQueer was produced at Strut by the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Bridgemen group.More than 50 organizations participated in the event that is held to connect community members to organizations, groups and events for personal enrichment, fulfillment and the chance to give back and be personally involved. Areas of interest include volunteerism, athleticism, lifestytle, health & wellness and arts & culture.

The Billys and Elizabeth Taylor 50-Plus Network


The questions and concerns of community members focused on the lack of affordable housing and the need for innovative programs to help people stay in their homes. Much frustration and disappointment were also expressed about the lottery system and how residents are chosen out of the thousands of housing applicants.

The Billys


On June 2, Karim Sultan, Vice-President of Affordable Housing at Covia, facilitated a community conversation on LGBT senior housing at the San Francisco LGBT Center. I joined Karyn Skultety, Openhouse Executive Director, and Ileah Lavora from Mercy Housing. I spoke about the history of Openhouse, Skultety addressed issues around the lottery and services, and Lavora explained the financing and history of the Mercy/ Openhouse partnership.

LGBT Veterans


Dr. Marcy Adelman

The Openhouse model of LGBTQ senior housing and services is more than just housing and services. It is about building community and creating community services inclusive of all—serving residents of the Openhouse senior housing communities, neighbors and LGBTQ older adults and seniors citywide.


Aging in Community

Artist Phillip Hua

A Magnificent New Solo Show

6/26 and Beyond Stuart Gaffney & John Lewis Twenty years ago, police arrested John Lawrence and Tyron Garner in bed together in Houston, Texas, for the state law crime of “homosexual conduct.” Lawrence and Garner’s challenge to their arrest went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which in Lawrence v. Texas struck down all state laws criminalizing private, consensual sexual activity. That landmark decision paved the way for the rise of the marriage equality movement that culminated in the 2015 nationwide victory for love, dignity and equality at the Supreme Court. Queer San Francisco artist Phillip Hua celebrates the LGBTIQ rights struggle and marriage equality victory in a marvelous new solo show entitled “Domestic. Politics.” at Ruth’s Table Gallery in San Francisco’s Mission District. In the show, Hua imbues ordinary household items with social and political messages—all in stunningly beautiful and creative ways. With respect to marriage equality, he infuses bedding, such as duvet covers and pillow cases, with newspaper headlines from the years-long struggle and the actual full text of the U.S. Supreme Court marriage equality decision. Hua quips, “Just when you thought we had finally gotten politics out of the bedroom, I wanted to put it right back in. I wanted to create art objects that not only celebrate social and political progress, but also that you would touch and use every day. How many artworks do you literally get into bed with?” Unlike the plaintiffs in Lawrence, LGBTIQ couples no longer must fear the police arresting them in their bedrooms. With Hua’s artwork, they can literally wrap themselves in the words and

Image by Phillip Hua to be featured in 19th Street BART station redesign.

Image from Phillip Hua’s “We Are San Francisco: Unified Portraits of a Divided San Francisco.”

fabric of equality, dignity and love as they tuck each other in at night. The show is an immersive experience that represents visually and physically the blurred line between art, politics and daily life, and also features pieces relating to gun control and environmentalism. It’s activist work with a portion of each sale of art going to a nonprofit organization working in the area. “I also hope that people will be inspired to think about how they too can be active in helping to shape the culture or government that they want to see,” says Hua. Hua intends that works on sale at the show will be at affordable prices (beginning at $20), enabling people to own a piece designed by a much sought-after artist with a growing worldwide reputation. Hua, who was raised by Vietnamese refugee parents in San Jose, is emerging not only as a prominent Bay Area artist, but also as an artist whose work is exhibited nationally and internationally.

In 2015, Hua’s enigmatically engaging portraits that merge half the face of one San Franciscan with that of another were displayed on Muni buses across the city as part of his commissioned project, “We Are San Francisco: Unified Portraits of a Divided San Francisco.” Hua’s work is on permanent display at SFO, Terminal 3, at the Bun Mee restaurant, and early next year will be one of three public artworks in the redesigned 19th Street Oakland BART station. His work has been exhibited at venues in New York, Los Angeles, London, Brussels, Florence, Hong Kong and Seoul, just to name a few. Hua’s artistry also pervades San Francisco’s Portola District, where he lives with his husband Eric Rottenberg. Hua is helping to energize the neighborhood’s growing queer population, in particular by organizing popular Drag Queen Bingo community benefit nights at El Toro, San Bruno Avenue’s Latin music and dance club. The familyfriendly event is one of a number of venues where people can meet Hua’s drag persona, Severa Wang (https:// “Domestic. Politics.” is a “don’t miss” exhibition that offers us an intimate experience of Hua’s artwork and literally invites us in. As Hua says: “It’s here, it’s queer, get in bed with it!” “Domestic. Politics.” June 11–30 Opening reception: Saturday, June 16, 2–5 pm @ Ruth’s Table, 3171 21st Street, San Francisco

“Equals” fabric design, featuring full text of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling with equal sign pattern, featured in exhibition.

More information is available online ( and (https://www. Disclosure: The nonprofit organization Marriage Equality, founded by Stuart and John, is one of the organizations that will receive support from sales from the exhibition.

Close up of Duvet Cover design, featuring repeating chevrons interspersed with headlines and articles from the marriage equality movement. Chevrons historically represent heraldic change. The duvet cover design heralds the LGBTIQ community’s march toward full equality.

Stuart Gaffney and John Lewis, together for over three decades, were plaintiffs in the California case for equal marriage rights decided by the California Supreme Court in 2008. Their leadership in the grassroots organization Marriage Equality USA contributed in 2015 to making same-sex marriage legal nationwide. S AN F R ANC IS C O BAY   T IM ES

JUNE 7, 2018


Helping Children Grieve Special Free Camp to Be Held in August By Deborah Schwing, LMFT, LPCC Loss is part of life. When children and teens exper ience the death of someone close to them, their ability to cope with, and make sense of, the loss is different than that of an adult. Over the past few years, I’ve had the privilege of seeing countless children and teens transform from being sad and withdrawn to being bright eyed and hopeful—all in one weekend. That’s where a youth grief camp comes in. Youth grief camps are free weekend retreats for youth ages 7 to 17 that combine traditional fun camp activities with therapeutic grief support. Justin’s Story Last year at camp, Justin (not his real name), a shy 13-year-old boy whose father died by suicide, arrived for the camp weekend. On Friday, the f irst afternoon of camp, Justin and six other 13-yearold boys, along with their adult Big Buddies, settled into their cabin for the weekend. While rolling out their sleeping bags onto the bunk beds, they discovered a unique commonality—each of their fathers had died. The sense of isolation that accompanies losing someone close vanished. Kids need to be around peers who understand them.

Kids also need adults who are available and supportive. Last year, in my role as a Camp Director, I had the honor of quietly observing Justin, and many kids like him, gain an indescribable inner strength as a result of courageously naming and acknowledging the grief they carried with them with every day.

great relief in being able to focus on something that interests them.

Kids need to dip in and out of their grief. As I noticed with Justin, it was both difficult and a relief to be able to speak aloud how much he missed his father. I was constantly amazed at the ability of these kids to go from talking about the recent score of the Giants game to blurting out, “I hate having to be the one to always take the garbage out since my dad died,” and the other boys chiming in, “Yeah, I gotta do that too.”

If kids have supportive peers, understanding adults and a safe and fun environment that includes plenty of outdoor activities along with structured therapeutic groups in which to express and understand their feelings, their grief will naturally transform. They will grow stronger, more mature and more capable of finding their way through life’s inherent challenges.

Throughout the Camp weekend, traditional camp activities are interwoven into each day. This is important, because kids need activities that engage them. It was a delight to see Justin discover that he had a natural talent for archery. After an introductory lesson, Justin stretched the bow back, arms steady, eyes focused. As he released the bow, watching it sail in an arc through the air, a smile lit up his face. The bow landed on the target’s center! His sense of joy and accomplishment was palpable. Resilience and Transformation Despite being in the midst of grief and the resultant life changes that accompany a death in the family, kids find

Windows for Harvey!

They are also resilient. I watched Justin and the other campers vacillate from expressing sorrow, frustration and anger in one moment to caring, silliness and laughter in a game of pool volleyball in the next moment.

Hospice by the Bay, a regional non-profit organization, is partnering with Comfort Zone Camp to provide By the Bay Camp for Grieving Children & Teens. It’s free, for youth ages 7 to 17, and will be held the weekend of August 10–12 at the CYO Camp Retreat Center in Occidental, Sonoma County, CA. To register a camper or for more information, go online (, ( Registration is open now through Monday, July 9. Deborah Schwing, LMFT, LPCC, is the Bereavement Services Manager for Hospice by the Bay.

Photos by Rink

Presented by the Castro Merchants Association with support from the Castro Community Business District (Castro CBD), Windows for Harvey! is an annual project. This year it was held May 18–27. During the days of the project, participating businesses make space in their storefront windows for display of original art and related posters. More than 25 businesses participated this year, and the work of more than 20 artists was on display.

Johnson Tax Office


Cove on Castro

Bank of America

Coldwell Banker

Mudpuppy Dog Spa

Art Saves Lives

Cliff’s Variety

Sheehy Campaign 20


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Local Take


Mudpuppy Dog Spa


Weddings, Occasions & Relationships Are You a Commitment-Phobe? es” and you may have struck upon a commitment-phobe.

The Lesbian Love Doctor Dr. Frankie Bashan Commitment-phobes believe that every relationship will end negatively. They believe that people they get close to will ultimately hurt them and they will end the relationship before allowing that to happen. Generally, a commitment-phobe will engage in a constant “push and pull” pattern of attention and silence, using patterns of seduction to engage their partner, without truly being vulnerable and allowing her to emotionally connect. Commitment phobia is a very painful experience, both for the one who engages in the pattern and for those who are involved with him/her. Why these behaviors occur is rooted deeply in the family of origin survival patterns.

Their friends act distant. Sure, you’re funny, kind and generous, but your partner’s friends just aren’t that interested in getting to know you or treat you like the flavor of the month. Or even worse, you never meet your partner’s friends. Friends invest time into people they think may be sticking around for a while. If you’re getting superficial interactions with your partner’s friends, they may know something you don’t. Be aware of their possible commitment phobic buddy. They’re long distance lovers. They have a track record of long distance relationships. In fact, they prefer them! Long distance relationships may act as a loophole for having someone to care about who cares for you, while not having to deal with the more difficult, and sometimes un-sexy, day-to-day relationship maintenance. “I am a Rock; I am an Island” is their personal slogan. Independence in a relationship can be very healthy, but when it’s taken overboard, to where your emotions are not considered or autonomy always comes first in their life, it may

1. Consistently arriving late; 2. Consistently changing plans;

4. Never saying: “I love you”; 5. Never using the word “girlfriend” even after dating for a long time; 6. Texting 4 times a day and then disappearing for 3 days without communicating Causes of Commitment Phobia While the causes of commitment phobia are as varied as the people who suffer from it, people with commitment issues share one thing in common: fear. This fear manifests itself in a variety of ways, including fear of not being in the “right” relationship, fear of being abandoned, fear of trust and/or fear of attaching. These fears are all based on complicated family dynamics when growing up, traumatic relationship histories (abuse, infidelity, etc.) or unmet childhood needs. How to Identify a Commitment-Phobe The following are the most common commitment phobic behaviors. If you’re already familiar with them, jump to the end of the article to find out how to change those behaviors. They run hot and cold. This person will lay it on thick when you’re with them, such as gazing into your eyes and telling you what a strong connection they have with you; then disappear for 5 days with no contact. Other variations of this may include several phone calls one day, and then contacting you once a week. Just think “mixed messag-

How to Change Being a Commitment-Phobe Come clean with yourself. Recognize that you or your partner has an issue. If you’re constantly feeling unhappy and lonely in your relationships and it seems like the same issues keep coming up around loss and abandonment, decide to do something about this. See a therapist. Because commitment issues are related to fear of loss or abandonment, a therapist can provide you with guidelines for navigating those feelings as well as ways to start changing your behavior. Date someone you aren’t attracted to. Yes, it goes against everything you know to be true, but dating someone you aren’t initially attracted to is a radical departure from what you’re used to, helping to reprogram your responses to relationships. Develop a “toolbox” for when you’re feeling avoidant. With the help of 12-step programs such as AlAnon (useful for coping with many things other than another person’s alcoholism), or a support group, you can develop ways to care for yourself when you’re feeling the need to flee.

Com mon com m itment-phobe behaviors include:

3. Consistently keeping the relationship in a very high, high or a very low, low;

Be sure to look for a cluster of these behaviors that occur as a pattern before jumping to conclusions. Finding one or two on this list may just be personality traits or a mood they were experiencing and does not necessarily make them commitment phobic.

mean they’re not ready to be in an interdependent relationship. Being close feels suffocating. If being close to someone makes you feel trapped, suffocated, or that you want to run away fast, you may be a commitment-phobe. If you’re on the receiving end of this, situations such as having a deep, personal conversation may later result in them avoiding you soon after. “Direct me to the nearest exit” because the honeymoon phase is over. At the beginning of a relationship, everything is new and exciting. Once the honeymoon fades, they begin to withdraw, lose interest, and no longer invest in the relationship. If you’re the one who is uninterested, you don’t think of the future with them after the novel thrills have left the relationship. “All my exes are crazy.” If the person you’re dating refers to all of their exes as crazy, unstable, or overly dependent, a red flag should be going off. A great way to think about this is what pattern has happened in their previous relationship that has triggered erratic behavior in their past partners (if it has occurred at all). You are overdosing on the sweet talk. If they are “all talk and no action,” it may be a sign that they want to keep you on the line, while not having to make an actual commitment. Additionally, if they come on very strong at the beginning of the relationship, i.e., “We’re soul mates,” it is likely that they’ve said this with ease before in the past.

Develop a strong circle of friends. If you truly can’t commit or shake the feeling of “being tied down” when you’re in a romantic relationship, then at the very least, develop a strong circle of friends. Friendships can help you to develop feelings of closeness with another human that influence how you feel toward a romantic partner. Friendships can also help to alleviate feelings of isolation, loneliness and extreme avoidant behavior that have been shown to have a biological influence on the body (https://www. For more information on healing commitment phobia, check out these additional resources: commitment-phobia-the-sourceand-the-way-out/ fear-of-commitment-ideas-thatmay-help/ Dr. Frankie Bashan is a psychologist, matchmaker and relationship guru who has been using her psychology background combined with technology and personalized algorithms to successfully match lesbian couples nationwide. As the founder of Little Gay Book, the only exclusively lesbian/bi matchmaking agency in the U.S., she helps women in every state to find authentic, healthy, righteous, fullblown love and she knows what makes relationships tick. For more info: https://www.littlegaybook. com/ S AN F R ANC IS C O BAY   T IM ES

JUNE 7, 2018


NEWS (continued from page 4) of the AIDS/LifeCycle community demonstrates the tenacity we need to end the HIV epidemic for all communities,” said San Francisco AIDS Foundation CEO Joe Hollendoner. “Because of awareness and funds raised by AIDS/LifeCycle participants, San Francisco AIDS Foundation is able to provide 25,000 clients with services that prevent new infections and promote the health of those living with HIV, all free of charge.” Lambda Legal and OutServeSLDN Sue Defense Department Over Policies Denying People Living with HIV Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN filed a lawsuit on May 30 on behalf of a sergeant in the D.C. Army National Guard who was denied the opportunity to serve as an officer and faces possible discharge from the armed services because he is living with HIV. The lawsuit challenges the Pen-

tagon’s current policies preventing enlistment, deployment or commissioning as an officer if a person is living with HIV, and likely would affect implementation of the new “Deploy or Get Out” policy unveiled by the Trump administration in February. Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN filed the lawsuit on behalf of Sgt. Nick Harrison, a veteran of two overseas combat zones who was denied a position in the Judge Advocate General Corps because current Pentagon policy considers service members living with HIV non-deployable, and will not allow them to enlist or to be appointed as officers. OutServe-SLDN is also an organizational plaintiff in this case to advance the interests of its members who are living with HIV and serving in the military. In a companion lawsuit, Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN are representing an anonymous service member living with HIV whom the Air Force refused to commission as an officer af-

ter he graduated from the Air Force Academy, despite recommendations from medical personnel to do so.

Finally, it annoys me that all of the headlines read something like “High Court Says Baker Does Not Have to Serve Gays.” Editors and reporters seem to be ignoring the contents of the opinions and just running with a kind of winner take all mentality. Even the articles that explain the splintered Court are followed by comments from people blathering on about serving African Americans who have no idea what they’re talking about. People! Our state and federal civil rights laws are still in operation.

alumnus. Grimm’s case made history before the Fourth Circuit and was accepted for review by the U.S. Supreme Court, only to be sent back to square one after Trumpists changed government policies. I won’t go into the whole ball of wax at the moment. It’s just nice to see Gavin climbing the judicial ladder once again. Oh, and, of course, his victory was appealed back to the appellate court.

Designer Kate Spade Supported LGBTQ Community at Critical Time Kate Brosnahan Spade’s death by apparent suicide on June 5 shocked and saddened many in the fashion world and beyond. Although Spade sold her successful namesake company in 2007, it had remained strongly associated with her. In 2011, as the fight for nationwide marriage equality was ramping up, the companies Kate Spade, Michael Kors and Levi’s joined Human Rights Campaign’s “New Yorkers for Marriage Equality Campaign.” Each of the companies devoted their storefront windows to marriage equality themes. The bold statements garnered both national and international attention. As HRC

York Senior Strategist Brian Ellner said at the time, the effort helped to promote “equality and fairness.” Spade’s suspected cause of death unfortunately also reminds that suicide rates are on the rise, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The rate for Caucasian women is particularly high, increasing by 60% from 1999–2014, the CDC reports. San Francisco Suicide Prevention hosts at least seven different 24hour hotlines. Information is online ( and Estimate of U.S. LGBT Population Rises to 4.5% The percentage of American adults identifying as LGBT increased to 4.5% in 2017, up from 4.1% in 2016 and 3.5% in 2012 when Gallup began tracking the measure. The latest estimate is based on over 340,000 interviews conducted as part of Gallup’s

daily tracking in 2017. Extrapolation to the latest census estimate of adults 18 and older in the U.S. suggests that more than 11 million adults identify as LGBT in the country today. The expansion in the number of Americans who identify as LGBT is driven primarily by the cohort of millennials, defined as those born between 1980 and 1999. The percentage of millennials who identify as LGBT expanded from 7.3% to 8.1% from 2016 to 2017, and is up from 5.8% in 2012. By contrast, the LGBT percentage in Generation X (those born from 1965 to 1979) was up only .2% from 2016 to 2017. There was no change last year in LGBT percentage among baby boomers (born 1946 through 1964) and members of the so-called Silent Generation (born prior to 1946).

ROSTOW (continued from page 17) situations a clear manifestation of anti-Christian bias from the Colorado civil rights commissioners. (Kagan thought this was nonsense, which is why she and Breyer wrote a separate statement to that effect.) I gather that another gay wedding case is pending before the justices, this one the f lorist from Washington State, Barronelle Stutzman, who like Jack Phillips declined to provide wedding services to two gay men. A year ago February, the Washington Supreme Court ruled that Stutzman, owner of Arlene’s Flowers, had no excuse for violating the state law that forbids discrimination against gay men and women in public accommodation. Stutzman appealed to the Supreme Court, which has not responded one way or another. Most people assumed that whatever the justices decided in Masterpiece would deal with Arlene’s Flowers at the same time, killing two birds with one stone. Now, however, who knows? By the way, the High Court will also get a petition from the employers of the late Donald Zarda, the sky diving instructor who recently won a major workplace discrimination victory before the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Zarda died base jumping during this litigation, but his Title VII lawsuit lives on.

Better News from Lower Courts The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has ruled in favor of a Pennsylvania school district that has been defending its trans-friendly policies against an onslaught from rightwing enemies. In a rare departure from the norm, the three-judge panel handed down a decision about an hour after hearing oral arguments. It’s common for months to go by while the jurists articulate their legal reasoning. In this case, the panel announced the outcome, noting that a written opinion will follow in time. Also, in mid-May came news that a federal court has ruled in favor of Gavin Grimm, the erstwhile high school student who is continuing his long-running lawsuit against his Gloucester, Pennsylvania, school district from the perspective of an

I should add that Wisconsin transgender boy Ash Whitaker has settled with his school district for something like $800,000. Whitaker won his lawsuit both at the district court level and then before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. His case was also pending before the Supreme Court this session before the settlement put it to bed. Finally, in other news, you should know that the gay-bashing Kentucky clerk Kim Davis is out of a job after losing her reelection primary bid the other day. One of the gay guys she refused to marry was in the running to succeed her, but he too lost out to some other person whom I don’t feel like looking up at present. Ding dong. To Your Health! Speaking of misleading headlines, how about this one from USA Today:

SF Sketch Randy Coleman Randy Coleman hails from New York, but has lived in San Francisco since 1975. Coleman shares that before moving to the Bay Area, he studied Art History and Architecture at Boston University while working as a resident artist for architectural rendering at a Massachusetts historical society. “All of my life I’ve been an artist,” Coleman says. “To know me is to know that I have a passion for art and architecture. I love this project for the San Francisco Bay Times, and hope that you enjoy my sketches.” © Randy Coleman, 2018 22


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“There’s no evidence having sex with robots is healthy, report says.” Why on earth would having sex with robots be healthy or unhealthy in the first place? This is like finding “no evidence that a preference for the color blue is healthy.” But I was drawn to the article because I think I recently read and wrote about male sex dolls, which have turned into a sophisticated product category with dolls selling for thousands of dollars, equipped with extensive wardrobes and other “features.” If that’s true for dolls, what might the sex robots be like? And what about the health benefits, or lack of ? And here’s the main answer: “In fact, there’s no evidence showing the dolls have any impact on health at all, according to Susan Bewley, an obstetrician at King’s College London and Chantal Cox-George, a doctor at St. George’s University Hospitals, also in the British capital.” The two did some reading, as far as I can make out, found nothing much, and determined that more research was necessary. “Future health studies might include medical observations, case reports, and measurement of visual and neural responses of users, alongside evidence of the impact of robots, and sexbots in particular, in the education, criminal justice and social science sectors.”

Or not! Do we really have to apply the scientific method to everything under the sun? In case you care, this is a $30 billion industry. And for some reason, this article has left me with an image of Chantal Cox-George, a woman in her mid-thirties dressed in a white coat with her hair in braids pinned to the top of her head. “Chantal, darling! Would you be a dear and put Zelda on an overnight charge? Reginald is taking me to the club for cocktails!” “Righto, Bewley,” says Chantal, who calls her associate by her last name, prep school style. “Do have fun!” After a minute or two, Chantal glances over at a female robot in jeans and a t-shirt, frozen in mid-stride with her arms open. She rises from her desk, picks up the robot and carries her to an outlet with several wires attached to a large battery. “Here you go, old girl,” Chantal says, plugging the robot into the electricity. “I love you,” the robot whispers, turning her head to face the scientist. (To be continued after further research.)

SHORTER (continued from page 8) Police Commissioner, and fierce champion for inclusion and equality. For those in search of an inspiring, engaging, and energizing start before you hit the streets for Pride Sunday, you can learn more online ( events/breakfast/). Wherever you find yourself, and with whomever you find yourself celebrating and commemorating this 48th year of Pride in San Francisco and around the Bay Area, we hope that you will take time to turn your own prism ever so slightly for newer perspective; shine your own rainbow light to reflect, revel and rejoice in the work done to get us to this point along the rocky march towards justice and equality; and refresh for the journey ahead towards more hopeful, brighter days, and every day march with pride. Andrea Shorter is President of the historic San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women. She is a longtime advocate for criminal and juvenile justice reform, voter rights, and marriage equality. A Co-founder of the Bayard Rustin LGBT Coalition, she was a 2009 David Bohnett LGBT Leadership Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. MANDELMAN (continued from page 3) revenue to use for land acquisition and construction costs. I have worked on multiple housing bond campaigns over the years and will continue to advocate for the City to find more money in its $10 billion budget for af fordable housing development, as well, of course, as maximally leveraging State, Federal and private funding. San Francisco Bay Times: As Cleve Jones also told us, there is a need for individuals within the HIV/AIDS+ community to be close to life-saving medical and other services. Many of these individuals, however, have had to move out of the Bay Area due to the rising cost of living here. What can be done to help resolve the problem? Rafael Mandelman: When Openhouse and Mercy Housing complete their work at 55 Laguna, they will have created 110 units of LGBT-friendly affordable senior housing with a 40% neighborhood preference. It is a terrific development, but the reality is that we need a dozen more such developments to begin to meet the need. Happily, Openhouse has shown us a model, but now we need to take that model to scale, and as Supervisor for District 8, I will work tirelessly to find the land and funding to build the permanently affordable housing seniors, people with HIV/AIDS and other vulnerable folks in our community need to survive in San Francisco. San Francisco Bay Times: Most Ellis Act evictions are used to convert rental units to condom i n iu ms or si ngle -fa m ily homes. They have led to so many long-time, law-abiding San Francisco residents losing their homes. What can be done to help protect these residents, while also keeping the system fair to landlords? Rafael Mandelman: District 8 saw 262 Ellis Act evictions between 2007 and 2016. That’s in addition to the 331 owner move-in evictions in District 8 during the same period. When a tenant who has lived in a rent-controlled apartment for decades is evicted, we all know the odds are slim of that tenant finding another unit in San Francisco he or she can afford. The displacement of these long-term residents from the neighborhoods they helped re-create and re-vitalize is among the saddest and most troubling realities of contemporary San Francisco. I support and have worked for reform of the Ellis Act to prevent its use by speculators looking to make a quick return by f lipping and converting rental housing units. I also support local efforts to protect tenants at risk of eviction, such as the City’s small sites acquisition program, which acquires rental buildings that are going on the market and are at high risk of conversion. However, I would be interested in looking at more cost-efficient ways to incentivize property owners to maintain the affordability of units over time. For example, I would like to see the City explore the potential acquisition of covenants over units occupied by long-term tenants to ensure the continued affordability of those units. I also would like to see the City

start more strategic funding of the acquisition of buildings that are not currently on the market, but have a high proportion of long-term tenants and may be at risk of conversion in the future. S a n Fr a nc i sc o Bay Ti me s: There is concern that San Francisco is losing its diversity in all respects: racial, economic, agerelated, LGBT and more. What specifically can be done to help improve overall diversity within District 8 and the city as a whole? Rafael Mandelman: Housing unaffordability is the greatest threat to diversity in District 8, the city and indeed the region. As I have said, we need to build more housing affordable to folks at all income levels. But we also need to ensure that all San Franciscans are in a position to benef it from the economic opportunities being created in our midst. That’s why I want to see the City work with the Unif ied School District to ensure that every public school in San Francisco is a great school, and it’s why I am so proud of my work to save City College and make it free for San Francisco residents. As a Supervisor, I will continue to work with the School District, the College, great non-profits like JVS (which works with unemployed people to help them find them meaningful and sustaining work) and our local employers to ensure that the incredible economic opportunities being created in our city and our region reach the greatest number of our people. San Francisco Bay Times: A l a r ge percent age of home less individuals in San Francisco are LGBT youths, many of whom have escaped places—be they their families, other states or countries—where they felt threatened. How can the city best help LGBT homeless youths? Rafael Mandelman: San Francisco has earned a reputation as a city of refuge for LGBT people, but, as we have discussed, the reality of the housing crisis means that too many LGBT youth arrive here to find a much harder and less welcoming place than their forebears in decades past. We are lucky to have a set of amazing non-profits working with this population, from Larkin Street to LYRIC to the LGBT Community Center, but we need to do much much more to create pathways off the streets for youth. We need to move forward with the creation of a Navigation Center specifically focused on moving youth out of homelessness, and we need to work with nonprofits like Larkin Street to create more long-term housing for formerly homeless youth. Next month, I will be introducing a resolution at the City College Board of Trustees directing our administration to explore options for the creation of housing for our homeless and at-risk students, and as a member of the Board of Supervisors, I will continue to be a strong champion for this cause. San Francisco Bay Times: The Castro feels less safe to us lately. Members of our team have experienced multiple instanc-

es of theft, expensive-to-repair car window breakages and int im idat ing encounters w it h mentally ill people. Discussions with store owners reveal that many share our concerns. In fact, while we were having one such discussion, a store owner had to stop a gang of shoplifters. To what do you attribute the perceived increase in crime, and what steps do you plant to take to make The Castro and other neighborhoods within District 8 safer for residents and visitors? Rafael Mandelman: The Castro is a neighborhood in need of some serious love and attention. I have been spending time in the Castro since I was in College, and I share the sense that all is not well in the neighborhood. Mentally ill and drug addicted folks are being left to rot on our sidewalks, petty property crime is on the rise, and I am hearing too frequently about friends and acquaintances getting assaulted. Better policing is only part of the solution, but it is an essential part. Although groups like Castro Community on Patrol do great work, we need actual police officers walking a beat in the neighborhood, and I am pleased that the new police chief has expressed a commitment to increasing neighborhood foot patrols. We also need the police to prioritize investigation of property crimes, and again I am pleased that the new police chief, with some prodding from the Board of Supervisors and outraged neighbors, is committing more resources to that effort. Part of improving safety also involves getting mentally ill and drug addicted folks into the care they need, which will free up our police to do more of the traditional police work we expect them to do. San Francisco Bay Times: Per the previous question, many chronically mentally ill people and substance abusers are living on the streets of District 8. What can be done to humanely help them, while also keeping the district safe for residents, business owners and visitors? Rafael Mandelman: My mother struggled with mental illness for much of her life and was homeless when I was younger, so addressing homelessness and mental illness are personal and particular priorities for me. We do not currently have the facilities we need to compassionately care for the mentally ill, so instead we do something much more expensive over the long term: we just leave them to cycle from street to hospital to jail and back again. We need many more psychiatric beds at SF General and elsewhere for folks in immediate crisis, and we need to establish longer term facilities for folks who may be stabilized but will not remain stable if released to fend for themselves. We need to significantly beef up our public guardian office so that we can pursue conservatorships over folks who cannot care for themselves, and I believe San Francisco needs to initiate a conversation among doctors, lawyers and civil libertarians about changing the State law standards for involuntary commitment to allow us to more easily

get folks into care who clearly cannot care for themselves, but may not meet current standards for a 5150 hold or a conservatorship. S a n Fr a nc i sc o Bay Ti me s: Please mention anything else that you would like for our readers to know. Rafael Mandelman: One of the few things I regret about running for

Supervisor is that the demands of the campaign have required me to step back from regularly writing for the paper, but it is a treat to be back for this issue at least. My great thanks to the publishers, staff and contributors for the labor of love that is this publication and the opportunities it has afforded me to communicate with our community over the years.


JUNE 7, 2018














LGBTQ News & Calendar for the Bay Area


Pride Spotlight: Fresh Meat Festival of Trans and Queer Performance It’s back! The nation’s most celebrated trans/queer performance festival returns to San Francisco’s Z Space this June 14–16. A transgender superhero rock opera, world champion gay ballroom, award-winning queer disabled dance pioneers, gender-bending dancetheater and trans comedy all hit the stage at the 2018 FRESH MEAT FESTIVAL (http://freshmeatproductions. org/fresh-meat-festival-2018/).

Robbie Tristan and Ernesto Palma




Emcee Annalise Ophelian added, “I look forward to these three nights all year long. This event is unparalleled anywhere in the country. It is food for my heart and my soul—and this is the Pride event to attend!” Every night features a full evening of performances, plus a lobby after-party featuring drinks, go-go dancers and sets by DJ Frida Ibarra who said, “I’m excited to DJ because I get to set the soundscape of

Elena Rose

Sean Dorsey Dance

The FRESH MEAT FESTIVAL is the only event of its kind in North America—and is celebrated for its worldclass artistry and sold-out crowds. The FRESH MEAT FESTIVAL’s transgender focus and leadership is especially powerful this year, in the face of anti-transgender bills and backlash across the U.S. Acclaimed bomba music and dance ensemble Taller Bombalele returns to the FRESH MEAT FESTIVAL this year with Afro Puerto Rican bomba music and dance, a tradition rooted in resistance and spiritual connection to home. Directors Denise Solis and Julia Cepeda (continued on page 42)

PLAYING FOR KEEPS What group was founded by playwright Larry Kramer? A) ACT UP B) IGLHRC C) GLSEN D) PFLAG ANSWER ON PAGE 42


one of the most important trans and queer arts festivals that has ever existed.” PHOTO BY DINO GRANIELLO

The Red Shades

Festival artist Shawna Virago informed the San Francisco Bay Times that “people travel from all across the country to attend the FRESH MEAT FESTIVAL. And no wonder. It’s not just extraordinary art; it’s a giant party! It’s an extraordinary gathering and celebration of community.”

Shawna Virago


na Sinclairé; side-splitting comedy by Charlotte Tate; trans poet Elena Rose; In Lak’ech Dance Academy bachata team Quisqueya; Same-Sex Ballroom champions Robbie Tristan & Ernesto Palma (New York); Anthemic Americana singer-songwriter Shawna Virago; trans/queer trailblazers Sean Dorsey Dance; contemporary R&B and Soul by Tajah J, Bomba dance and music by Taller Bombalele; trans superhero rock opera The Red Shades; queer, nonbinary-trans disabled dancer Toby MacNutt (Vermont) and emcee Annalise Ophelian.


More than that: the art is good—really, really good. This year’s lineup reads like a “who’s who” of all stars: queer bachata by Jahaira Fajardo & Angelica Medina; queer disabled dance superstars Alice Sheppard & Laurel Lawson (Oakland/New York); singer-songwriter legend Blackberri; opera by Brean-

Alice Sheppard and Laurel Lawson


Artistic Director Sean Dorsey curated this year’s special lineup and told the San Francisco Bay Times: “The 2018 FRESH MEAT FESTIVAL is a loving declaration that trans and queer people of color, disabled queers, Black trans artists, elders and gender-non-conforming artists are brilliant and wise. These artists light the way through the mire of Republican hate and show us the way to a glorious future where all of us can love and live as our full authentic selves.”


The FRESH MEAT FESTIVAL features edgy and exquisite extraordinary dance, theater and live music ... and a cornucopia of regional and world premieres. These award-winning artists offer loving, bold and beautiful artistry in creative defiance of ongoing attacks on our LGBTQ communities.

Tajah J

If you go (and we recommend that you do!): FRESH MEAT FESTIVAL of transgender & queer performance Thursday–Saturday, June 14–16 Z Space, SF (450 Florida Street) ASL interpretation provided on Friday, June 15 Tickets: $15–30 sliding scale (Saturday Gala $20+) For more info and to purchase tickets:

Karin Jaffie as Kitty Tapata hosts Miss Kitty’s Original Trivia Nights at The Wild Side West on Wednesday nights from 8 pm–11 pm, 424 Cortland Avenue in San Francisco. As Tapata says, “It’s free, fun and friendly! To play is to win!” S AN F R ANC IS C O BAY   T IM ES

JUNE 7, 2018


Photos courtesy of Tim Seelig

Unbreakable There have been several times along the 40-year journey of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus when the fear was that the chorus would cease to exist. There were times of dire financial crisis, as well as moments when we all thought there would be no gay choruses. We would all be dead.

TLC: Tears, Laughs and Conversation Dr. Tim Seelig Unbreakable. It’s a fascinating word. A powerful word. The etymology of the root word, break, is equally intriguing as it relates to this article in particular. c. 1300, “forcible disruption or separation.” c. 1580, “first appearance of morning light as in daybreak.” c. 1725, “transition from one course or state to another.” c. 1920, “ironic theatrical good luck as in break a leg.” We’ll stop with that last one for obvious reasons! It is a sad commentary that when you look up “unbreakable,” the example most often given is a plastic bottle. Not news to our oceans. There is also a completely different line of discussion. These are found in self-help books. They use that word to

The LGBTQ community at large has struggled, fought and sometimes found itself on the verge of losing hope, taking two steps forward and one back. Sometimes, it was one step forward and two back—you know, like our country today.

Scenes from San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus rehearsals for the upcoming Unbreakable concert.

Can we truly use the word “unbreakable” to describe ourselves, the chorus or our community? There’s a good chance that if you are reading this, you can. Each of us has a story. For most of us, it includes surviving some pretty difficult times. Those were some of my thoughts when Broadway lyricist/composer Andrew Lippa first suggested “Unbreakable” as the title for his brandnew musical. Over a year ago, we commissioned him to create a large work to commemorate the end of our 40th season. We had already settled on the theme of the work—hidden stories of LGBTQ history from 1900 until now. It was a daunting task, to say the least. There could be few people better at this task than the openly gay, activist, and current President of the Dramatists Guild Foundation. As Andrew did his research, the one word that continued to rise to the top was unbreakable. It was set. But before he came up with his, I had imagined several catchy titles that “could have been.”

But are we unbreakable? To answer that question, we need only to look at our past, our present and future. This is exactly what Andrew has done. He has skipped the obvious milestones, such as Stonewall and Harvey Milk. He has dug deep into our DNA and into the archives and uncovered the most amazing stories of courage and pain, of triumph and tragedy. Most of all, strength and resiliency. Knock us down, we get back up. In Andrew’s own words, in the opening song, he reminds us: “You choose unbreakable.” Each person or event that Andrew brings to the stage breathes new depth into our own experience as we learn about theirs. There are characters you will be meeting for the first time and some you may already know. They are lesbian, gay, trans and so much more. Here are just a few—spanning 160 years! Jane Addams, 1860–1935 Cyril B. Wilcox, 1899–1920 Bayard Rustin, 1912–1987 Sylvia Rivera, 1951–2002 Dr. Charles Socarides, 1922–2005 Put yourself in one of these stories:

Featured Guest Artists Andrew Lippa (upper left), Britney Coleman (upper right), Lisa Vroman (bottom left) and Marcus J. Paige (bottom right).

suggest how to be strong and to have resolve in difficult situations you may face. Their advice? Just be unbreakable! Easier said than done.

Gay and 40 (That just screams desperate!)

Most of you know my coming out story. I won’t repeat it. There have been several times along my journey when I was certain I would, indeed, break. Perhaps you, like I, were told, “God will never give you more than you can handle.” Those are hollow words when you have hit rock bottom and are questioning the existence of god at all.

Twelve Delicious Decades of Decadence (Latest series on the Cooking Channel)



LGBTQ QIA AP (100 years of ‘gay” alphabet)

A Chronicle of LGBTQ History Told Through Very Fascinating Stories of Some People We Have Never Heard Of (Better than Ambien. Poor Ambien.) “Unbreakable” started sounding much better.

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A young man is drafted to go to World War 1 against his will and his nature. 1910s. The U.S. government goes on a massive purge of suspected homosexual employees. 1950s. A psychiatrist proclaims that there is no such thing as a “happy homosexual.” 1970s. The New York Times publishes an article describing a homosexual cancer in New York and California. 1980s. I must pause for a moment. I did not know of Dr. Charles Socarides before this. He founded the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality—NARTH (speak-

ing of ugly words). He became the nation’s leading spokesperson for conversion therapy. He basically figured us out by a simple combination of circumstances. He lectured all over the world and appeared on every television show from 60 Minutes to Larry King Live. His conclusion also inspired a friend to create the tongue in cheek meme: “Domineering Mother. Distant Father. Duh!” This man did more than any other to try to convince the world that we were not, indeed, born this way. Some special hell awaited him. And Andrew sets his story in the most delicious way! After an emotional and inspiring roller coaster of emotions, this sweeping, epic work brings us to one conclusion: “Good Things Take Time.” It exhorts us not to be lazy, not to take anything for granted, to always put one foot in front of the other, to push open doors and to never settle. Simultaneously it reminds us that good things do take time. We can’t have it all at once, but must keep working, striving, hoping. Resisting. In Andrew’s words in the finale:

“Healing the planet ... takes time Loving yourself ... takes time Working for justice ... takes time Voting for progress ... takes time Loving your neighbor ... takes time Sharing our stories ... takes time So, we work, we wait, we celebrate, we stand and start the climb. Good things take time.” Experiencing these poignant stories causes each of us to ref lect on our own. They are as varied and brilliant as the galaxy of stars above us as we exit the theater. May our light shine brighter and our resolve be firmer for sharing this musical journey. We are unbreakable. P.S. The lyrics are fabulous. The stories are amazing. The music is out of

this world. And, of course, there are four amazing professional actors, an orchestra and spectacular multi-media to help us tell the stories! Oh, and 250 handsome men singing just to you! Join us. Unbreakable Friday, June 22, 8 pm Saturday, June 23, Performances at 2:30 pm and 8 pm Nourse Theater in San Francisco For tickets and information: https:// Dr. Tim Seelig is the Artistic Director of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus.

Sister Dana Sez: Words of Wisdumb from a Fun Nun

ileged to have one of these only-inEssEff experiences! #blessed, and I mean it!

Sister Dana sez, “I loved how the Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, head of the American Episcopal Church, who has spoken out positively about immigration and marriage equality, preached about the power of love at the Royal Wedding. A concept that the Trumpians will never ever truly comprehend.” Thank the Film Gawds that San Francisco impresario MARC HUESTIS came out of retirement at the Castro Theater to produce an extravaganza tribute to KIM NOVAK, one of the few stars remaining from “The Golden Age of Hollywood” who is still very much alive. The May 20 event included Novak’s very rare in-person appearance as the star of surely the single most celebrated San Francisco-set movie ever: Alfred Hitchcock’s VERTIGO, in which she flawlessly played the woman (women?) with whom James Stewart’s former police detective is uniquely obsessed. If you haven’t yet seen this mystery noir film, rent it. It’s one of Hitchcock’s finest. We got to hear TCM-TV’s noir czar Eddie Muller interview La Novak at this 60th anniversary occasion. Such juicy gossip, but mostly witnessing what a true feminist (pre-#metoo) and human rights activist Novak was and is. She refused to accept the studio’s name change as sexpot “Kit” and chose “Kim” and her real last name. She told us how thrilled she was to be on the Castro stage in the City that personifies civil rights and being one’s own person. She also showed us some of her amazing artworks available for viewing (https://

During the SF GAY MEN’S CHORUS annual fundraiser, DRAGATHON at the Oasis, Chelsea Castro (Dan Santos) raised $9,060, and a close second place was my friend Ammy Thest (Edwin Bautista) at $8,883. Congratz to both for working your (padded) bottoms off! The annual SAN FRANCISCO SILENT FILM FESTIVAL always takes place at San Francisco›s landmark movie palace, the Castro Theatre. Built in 1922, the theater is the perfect setting for these historical silent masterpieces. On May 30, I attended the opening night film, THE MAN WHO LAUGHS with amazing live musical accompaniment by Berklee Silent Film Orchestra. Spellbinding in its visual acuity and psychological depth, director Paul Leni’s adaptation of Victor Hugo’s 1869 novel about a man disfigured from childhood stands with the great masterworks of the silent era. 111 minutes long seems a tad lengthy for a silent flick, but still it works. And the vividly live soundtrack kept me checking back whether this was just a taped background or— oh my—that’s a live orchestra making this film come to life! Afterwards we enjoyed a delicious after-party up at McRoskey Mattress Company at Market and Gough with a live flapper singer and orchestra flawlessly providing a Roaring ‘20s ambiance. Along with “prohibition” liquor. So sinful!

As is Huestis’ tradition, the incredible evening began with a pre-show spectacular. SF’s famous jazz chanteuse Paula West gave us the Rodgers & Hart Novak film classic, “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered” from Pal Joey, and then a On June 4, from the City Hall Room heartwarming “My Funny Valen200 balcony, Mayor Mark Farrell tine” from Babes in Arms. Then Huesraised the LGBTQ rainbow flag to tis had compiled a 15-minute video kick off the 48th annual PRIDE celclip of all the hits of Novak includebration. So, regarding queer pride: ing rare behind the scenes with Hitch and actors, Oscar appearancit’s on now! Look for the rainbow es, and actual scenes from Kim’s flags all along Market Street! many many movies. A representative Sister Dana sez, “So do you of SAN FRANCISCO SUICIDE hear ‘Laurel’ or ‘Yanny’ in the PREVENTION (http://www.sfgreat utterly meaningless an appropriate charity line debate? I hear both, which that night, since the movie character makes me think I should listen twice kills herself, was there to elabjust a teeny tiny little bit more orate on the org’s importance. Also, openly to the opposite of my poa representative from the SF Board of Supervisors presented Novak (continued on page 42) a Certificate of Recognition for all of her film credits “showing vulnerability as power” and her many charitable organizations. After viewing Vertigo, we went upstairs to the VIP mezzanine to meet Kim Novak in person, and then to mingle with my pals, Fudgie Frottage & Donna Sachet, while sipping champagne and “Hitchcock” brand zinfandel with finger sandwiches Dennis McMillan (right), aka Sister Dana, and friends gathered on Market Street on May 22, awaiting the unveiling ceremony for and chocolates. I thought a new Harvey Milk mural installed on the side of the building to myself, “Thank God I housing the Cafe Lounge near the intersection of Market and am so fortunate and priv- Castro Streets. 28


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By Sister Dana Van Iquity

KREWE DE KINQUE held our monthly, every-third-Saturday benefit at the Edge. Kelly Rose gave a fabulous performance. As ever, Jack Rojo spun superb disco. Kippy Marks had the crowd pumped up with his electronic violin compositions. Aja Monet-Ashton has the voice of an angel, and those Jell-O shots he served were sooo good. Queen VII Sister Dana was at the door as ever collecting $$$ donations for charity. Big thanks to our founder, King I Gary Virginia, for always keeping everything “good times rolling,” as they say in N-Orleans on Mardi Gras. And special accolades go to reigning Queen XV Miss Chief of Krewe de Kinque & Krewe de Kinque King XV Gooch!

Seventeen Highlights

from the First Week of Frameline42 A Moment in the Reeds

Film Gary M. Kramer It’s time once again for the orgy of queer cinema that is Frameline! Running June 14–24, the festival offers viewers more than 100 shorts, features, and documentaries that are by, for and about LGBT filmmakers and subjects. Knowing what to watch can be overwhelming. Here are seventeen highlights from the first week of the festival. A Moment in the Reeds ( June 14, 10 pm, Castro; June 20, 6:30 pm, Victory) is a tender drama from Finland. Leevi ( Janne Puustinen) reluctantly returns home to the family’s summer cottage his father, Jouko (Mika Melender), is renovating. Leevi, who is working on his literature thesis in Paris, is not very handy, so his father hires Tareq (Boodi Kabbani), a Syrian refugee to do the work. When Jouko is called away for business, Leevi and Tareq work and talk, and later take a sauna together. As the night evolves, long, hungry looks lead to passionate sex. The young men connect not just physically—stealing kisses from time to time—but emotionally as well, and viewers will share their intimacy. As the attractive leads discuss their families, the freedom they have being openly gay in a foreign land, Tareq’s tough journey as an immigrant, and being in love, A Moment in the Reeds is compelling. But does their relationship have a future? Or will it just be f leeting? Writer-director Mikko Makela’s leisurely-paced drama builds to a potent crescendo. The BBC Masterpiece drama, The Man in the Orange Shirt ( June 15, 9:15 pm, Castro), juxtaposes two parallel stories of gay love set sixty years apart. Sudsy in a good way, the first half of this miniseries features two soldiers, Michael (Oliver Jackson-Cohen), and Thomas ( James McArdle), an artist, who share a passionate kiss during wartime. They meet up after the war ends and briefly share a comfy domesticity together at Michael’s country cottage where Thomas paints a portrait of Michael in an orange shirt. However, their idyllic arrangement ends when Michael marries Flora ( Joanna Vanderham), and establishes himself in respectable society. Thomas is crushed and is later arrested for cottaging. How their relationship plays out is echoed in the second half of The Man in an Orange Shirt, as Michael’s grandson, Adam ( Julian Morris), is living in London with Flora (Vanessa Redgrave). He works as a veterinarian,



The Man in the Orange Shirt

The Miseducation of Cameron Post

Bixa Travesty

and discretely seeks hookups online. However, when he meets Steve (David Gyasi), an architect in an open relationship with Casper ( Julian Sands), he finds himself falling in love. When Flora bequeaths Adam the family cottage, Adam asks Steve to help renovate it. Secrets and desires soon come out in the open. The Man in an Orange Shirt is handsomely mounted, and well-acted—by Redgrave, especially. The series bluntly makes its points about how homosexuality—and thoughts about it—have evolved in Britain over the decades. And despite some plot contrivances, there is a poignancy to the two queer relationships; viewers will want each to couple up to live happily and normally. The Miseducation of Cameron Post ( June 15, 9:30 pm, Roxie; June 21, Piedmont), is bisexual filmmaker Desiree Akhavan’s (Appropriate Behavior) bittersweet adaptation of Emily M. Danforth’s novel about forging one’s independence in the face of repression. Cameron (Chloë Grace Moretz) is a teenage lesbian who loves Coley (Quinn Shephard). When they are caught having sex, Cameron is sent to God’s Promise, a gay conversion therapy center. Of course, Cameron knows there is nothing wrong with her, and continues to have—and sometimes act on—her same-sex desires. It is only through the friendship of fellow “disciples,” Jane (Sasha Lane) and Adam (Forrest Goodluck), that she finds a way to maintain her authentic, true self. As Cameron measures herself against the other teens fighting for (or against) self-expression, she learns that weakness—she experiences a series of hardships—can provide strength. The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a somber drama, but Moretz gives a compelling performance and the film builds to a quietly powerful conclusion.

The Rest I Make Up

Bixa Travesty aka Tranny Fag, ( June 15, 9:30 pm, Victoria; June 19, 7 pm, Rialto Cinemas Elmwood in Berkeley) is a bold documentary featuring the unabashed MC Linn da Quebrada, a transsexual performer, as well as her friends and family. The various concert scenes are fantastic, and da Quebrada’s charisma extends off-stage as well. She is seen co-hosting a radio show with fellow trans performer Jup de Bairro, and talking about her life with her mother, her hairdresser, and others. Bix Travesty often offers frank declarations, such as, “Before I was a fag now I’m a tranny,” and indelible images— watch da Quebrada paint her genitals with a tube of lipstick by inserting it into her foreskin—as well as a health issue, which is introduced late in the film. These moments add a layer of sadness to her life. da Quebrada may be a bit too in-your-face for some viewers, but this film captures her spirit vividly. When she plays a piano and a particular key doesn’t work, it is a potent symbol for a voice that might go silenced. Sponsored by the San Francisco Bay Times, Michelle Memran’s fabulous documentary, The Rest I Make Up ( June 16, 11 am, Victoria), is a sincere portrait of the “great unknown playwright” María Irene Fornés, who was part of the Off-Off-Broadway movement in the 1960s. A creative force of nature, Irene (as she is called) has won nine Obie awards for her plays, and gained the admiration of her peers, including Edward Albee and John Guare. She was also Susan Sontag’s lover. However, too few people know about her or her work. Memran’s film is not just a necessary corrective, but a portrait of the nearly forgotten artist at a time when the playwright herself is struggling with memory loss. Memran interviews a flirtatious Fornés—who delightfully asks as many questions as she answers—as well as fellow playwrights, and her family members. One of the most interesting sequences has Fornés returning to her homeland of Cuba (she left at age 15), to see her brother and his family for what may be the last time. And while there is a sadness in seeing Fornés’ memory decline, particularly in a revealing interview in Miami, The Rest I Make Up is as inspiring as its subject.

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Postcards from London

Mario Postcards from London

Call Her Ganda

The Frameline screening of Paper Boys ( June 16, 1:30 pm, Victoria) allows viewers to binge watch this entire webseries in one sitting. Cole (Kyle Cabral, who cowrote and co-directed) moves to San Francisco to find work, and possibly to reconnect with his ex, Max (Henry Lee). He rooms with his straight friend Daren (Nathan Brown), who is engaged to Rebecca (Kai Lui). However, drama ensues when Daren tells Cole he wants to break things off with Rebecca. As the series unspools, it becomes apparent that Cole has a “superpower”—whatever image he draws, soon happens in real life. That ability has real consequences for Max, Daren, and Rebecca, as well as Cole. What transpires between the characters is best left for audiences to discover, but this bright, entertaining (and chaste) series is enlivened by its creator’s enthusiasm.


Paper Boys

The lovingly made documentary, Every Act of Life ( June 16, 3:45 pm, Castro), is a profile of the esteemed out gay playwright, Terrence McNally. The film traces McNally’s life growing up in Corpus Christi, Texas, in the 1950s and his extraordinary success in the theater. McNally candidly discusses his failed relationships with Every Act of Life the closeted playwright Edward Albee and actor Robert Drivas. He also discusses his drinking and how Angela Lansbury told him to stop. McNally even reveals his thoughts about his intensely vulnerable characters and his themes of invisibility and connection that were basis of his plays like Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, among others. Every Act of Life also highlights many of McNally’s gay productions, including The Ritz, Love! Valour! Compassion! and Mothers and Sons. If the film skimps on detailing the controversy surrounding McNally’s Corpus Christi, and rushes through McNally’s late career work, it nevertheless features fabulous photographs, letters, and archival footage. There are also wonderful interviews with a who’s who of theatre, including Nathan Lane, Audra McDonald, Tyne Daly, Billy Porter, John Glover, John Benjamin Hickey, and many more. It may seem like a hagiography, but as Every Act of Life proves, McNally deserves the genuflection. Mario ( June 16, 6:30 pm, Castro; June 23, 3:30 pm, Victoria) is a highly affecting drama from Switzerland about gay men in sports. Mario (an excellent Max Hubacher) is a soccer player who dreams of playing professionally. When another hotshot striker, Leon (Aaro Altaras), joins his team for the season, the two men soon find a rhythm on the pitch. When they are asked to share an apartment, the perfect couple on the field soon become a perfect couple off the field. Before long, Leon and Mario act on their mutual attraction. In bed, cuddling with Leon, Mario seems finally able to express himself and the same-sex desires he has been repressing for so long. The ripples of emotion in Mario’s body language speak volumes. However, a rumor about the gay teammates circulates, and in order to advance to the big league, the players must keep their sexuality secret. Mario thoughtfully shows how the lovers each deal with this imposed discretion and how the pressure affects their game and their lives—from teammates who tease and even blackmail them, to how Mario’s parents react to his sexuality. Should Mario and/or Leon give up what they love (soccer) for whom they love (each other)? The film’s canny second act shows the strategies both players use to answers that question. Mario may traverse familiar territory, but this absorbing film sneaks up on viewers and packs an emotional wallop. Postcards from London ( June 16, 9:30 pm, Castro; June 17, 9:30 pm, Elmwood) is writer/director Steve McLean’s witty and visually dynamic drama about Jim (Harris Dickinson), a young man from Essex who heads to London “in search of a world full of mystery and possibility.” What he finds, however, is a quartet of men called The Raconteurs—handsome rent boys who can talk about art and culture with their clients. As Jim reinvents himself as a Racounteur and artist’s muse, he displays his chiseled chest and his cultural learnings. He also suffers from “Stendahl Syndrome,” a condition that causes him to faint in front of paintings because of the strong emotions he feels. Postcards from London unfolds as a series of clever tableaus ranging from deliciously artificial neon-lit streets of Soho to recreations of Caravaggio paintings. The result may be an acquired taste, but Dickinson proves his breakout turn in last year’s Beach Rats was no fluke. Like a Raconteur, he reinvents himself here giving a marvelous performance that is at once innocent and knowing.

PJ Raval’s riveting documentary, Call Her Ganda ( June 17, 1:30 pm, Castro), chronicles the 2014 death of Jennifer Laude, a trans Filipino woman who was killed/murdered by U.S. Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton. The film, which features gender-nonbinary journalist Meredith Talusan following the case, addresses issues of transphobia, U.S. colonialism, and justice—there are some interesting wrinkles— to show how Laude’s death exposed some painful truths about gender-based violence. Close-Knit ( June 17, 4 pm, Roxie) is an understated Japanese film about a young girl, Tomo (Rin Kakihara), who goes off to live with her uncle, Makio (Kenta Kiritani), when her mother temporarily abandons her. Makio tells Tomo that his girlfriend, Rinko (Tôma Ikuta), is “unusual;” she is, in fact, transgender. But the surrogate mother Rinko showers the lonely Tomo with affection and teaches her knitting as a way of coping with the anger she feels. Close-Knit is notable for its thoughtful depiction of transgender life in Japan. A flashback scene to Rinko as a young man wanting breasts—his mother knits him a pair—is very touching, as is a scene where Tomo visits Rinko in a hospital. The film also features an important subplot involving Kai (Kaito Komie), a gay classmate of Tomo’s, who is teased in school to underline its messages of tolerance and understanding. Tomo’s relationship with Rinko helps her to become closer to Kai. This is a lovely, heartfelt family drama. Yen Tan’s 1985 ( June 17, 6:45 pm, Castro) is a striking drama, artfully shot in black and white, and based in part on the director’s earlier short of the same name. Adrian (out actor Cory Michael Smith), a closeted gay man, returns home to Ft. Worth, and to his conservative parents Eileen (Virginia Madsen) and Dale (Michael Chiklis) as well as his younger brother Andrew (Aidan Langford). The atmosphere is quite claustrophobic, and Tan captures that in every pregnant pause. Adrian’s discomfort extends to keeping his HIV-positive status from his family and former best friend Carly ( Jamie Chung). The stifling Bible-belt setting pretty much ensures (continued on page 32) S AN F R ANC IS C O BAY   T IM ES

JUNE 7, 2018


(continued from page 31) the words “gay” and “AIDS” will not be mentioned, but they hang over the film like a shroud. Tan creates a series of delicate scenes as Adrian shares secrets and grapples with his conflicted emotions in individual exchanges with Andrew, Carly, Eileen and Dale. 1985 may moralize a bit, but the film is quite moving. Smith gives a strong, subtle performance, and Madsen is heartbreaking as his mom. Bring Kleenex.


The Gospel of Eureka, ( June 17 at 9:45 pm, Castro) is Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher’s revealing documentary—expanded from their 2016 short, Peace in the Valley—about Eureka Springs, Arkansas, population 2073. In this town, which is home to the largest statue of Jesus Christ in the U.S., the Great Passion Play, a dramatic reenactment of Christ’s last days, is performed regularly. But this town is also home to Live Underground—dubbed “a hillbilly Studio 54”—a popular bar where drag queens lip sync gospel songs. The film cross-cuts between performances in each venue to show that while the Christians and the gays may be very different, they really are more alike than they think. The Gospel of Eureka, which is narrated by Mx. Justin Vivian Bond, also presents the town’s battle over a local ordinance that would grant bathroom rights and other LGBT protections. The filmmakers introduce interesting folks, from Lee Keating and Walter Burrell, a gay Christian couple who own the Live Underground, to Jayme Brandt, a straight Christian shop owner whose father is gay, to Randall Christy, the CEO of the Great Passion Play, as well as various drag queens, a transwoman and even the actor who plays Jesus. Their stories show how the interviewees reconcile faith and sexuality (or don’t), and this provides the value of the film. The lessons of (in)tolerance illustrate the humanity of these people, and how they try to live side-by-side. The film includes several lyrical and powerful moments that indicate just how fragile that balance can be.

The Gospel of Eureka

My Best Friend ( June 19, 1:30 pm, Castro) is a slight and sentimental film from Argentina about Lorenzo (Angelo Mutti Spinetta), a sensitive teenager, whose parents Andrés (Guillermo Pfening) and Camila (Mariana Anghileri) take in Caíto (Lautaro Rodrígez), the troubled son of Andrés’ best friend. Lorenzo is enamored with this hunky new roommate, escorting him on adventures and caring for him so as not to lose him. The teens share secrets and confidences, but any sexual interest is expressed in Lorenzo silently admiring Caíto’s shirtless physique or giving him a kiss on the cheek during an overnight camping trip. My Best Friend deftly chronicles the unrequited love that develops between the boys, and the impact the relationship has on Lorenzo will speak to any viewer who has longed for their best friend.

My Best Friend

Hard Paint ( June 19, 9:15 pm, Castro) is an engrossing Brazilian drama set in Porto Alegre, about Pedro (Shico Menegat), a shy young man who is currently awaiting trial for a crime he committed. Pedro rarely ventures outside, spending most of his time indoors on his webcam. Using the name NeonBoy, he performs an act, which involves smearing paint on his naked body. It may seem like a gimmick, but another webcam boy, Leo (Bruno Fernandes), is mimicking Pedro. When Pedro meets the disarming Leo, they connect and start performing together. As they get to know one another—and have some very intense, very erotic sex—they start falling in love. Of course, complications ensue. Hard Paint features a minimal plot that allows viewers to get caught up in the intriguing relationship that develops between these two men, and the film’s melancholy tone echoes their romance. Menegat gives a terrific performance as the fragile Pedro. He conveys his palpable despair with his vivid body language. In support, the adorable Fernandes is infectious, injecting Pedro’s world—and the film—with brightness.

Hard Paint

Just Friends ( June 20, 9:15 pm Castro; June 24, 4 pm, Castro) is an undemanding rom-com made for Dutch TV. Two cute young men, Yad (Majd Mardo) and Joris ( Josha Stradowski), meet cute when the former takes a job cleaning the latter’s grandmother’s ( Jenny Arean) apartment. The sexual tension between the men is delicious, but families—Yad is Syrian, Joris’ is dysfunctional—get in the way, as does an encounter with homophobes. However, Just Friends balances humor and heart as it makes its points about love, mothers and the difference between being friends and being boyfriends. Mardo exhibits comic verve while the sexy Stradowski provides viewers with plenty of eye candy. Snapshots ( June 20, 9:30 pm, Elmwood; June 21, 6:30 pm, Victoria) is a cozy family drama about Rose (the superb Piper Laurie) spending the weekend at her cabin with her adopted daughter Patty (Brooke Adams) and granddaughter Allison (Emily Baldoni). Allison, a photographer, returns a camera to Rose along with prints from a roll of film. The snapshots trigger Rose to remember her life in the cabin back in the early 1960s, when she was married to Joe (Max Adler) and friendly with Louise (Emily Goss) and Zee (Brett Dier). A brassy young woman, Louise flirts with Rose (Shannon Collis), eventually seducing her. Director Melanie Mayron toggles back and forth between intimate episodes from Rose’s past and the present-day struggles of involving Allison, who is unexpectedly pregnant and having marital troubles. The juxtaposition of Rose’s furtive romance with the family revelations provides plenty of drama, but it is the platitudes about living life on one’s own terms that truly resonate.

Just Friends


© 2018 Gary M. Kramer Gary M. Kramer is the author of “Independent Queer Cinema: Reviews and Interviews,” and the co-editor of “Directory of World Cinema: Argentina.” Follow him on Twitter @garymkramer



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LGBTQ News & Calendar for the Bay Are) a CELEBRATING FOUR DECADES (1978–2018


The recent June 5 election reminds us of other past important elections, such as those involving Harvey Milk, who was a friend and favorite subject of San Francisco Bay Times photographer Rink. In this photo taken in 1977, Milk—then a candidate for San Francisco Supervisor— discusses campaign strategy with his campaign manager and friend Richard William Paul “Dick” Pabich (right) and Pabich’s partner, activist Steven Badeau.

Round About - All Over Town Photos by Rin

Rink goes to events and activities all around town. Maybe you will be his next subject? If so, you’ll be in good company, as Rink has photographed everyone from Harvey Milk (see story, left) to international celebrities over the years.

Co-hosts James Holloway (left) and Tim Kulikowski (right) welcomed Donna Sachet and mayoral candidate Mark Leno at a Celebration of Summer Party held in the Castro on May 26.

Runners getting ready to take their positions for the start of Bay to Breakers 2018 A runner for the 107th Bay to Breakers race arrived at the Embarcadero Muni Station.

Milk won the election in November 1977 and was sworn into office in January 1978. Just eleven months later, he and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated. The moment forever changed our LGBTQ community and the course of San Francisco history. As for Pabich, after playing key roles in Milk’s election campaigns between 1974 and 1977, he went on to manage and advise successful political campaigns for candidates Harry Britt, Carole Migden and Barbara Boxer. Pabich was also an advisor on LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS issues for San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown before Pabich’s death in January of 2000 due to HIV/AIDS-related causes. He was portrayed by actor Joseph Cross in the 2008 film Milk.

An art installation depicting the sun was added to the solar-themed decorations at the Summer Party co-hosted by James Holloway and Tim Kulikowski. Caterer CoCo Butter presented hors d’oeuvres during the Summer Party hosted by James Holloway and Tim Kulikowski.

AIDS/LifeCycle 2018

Military veteran and Native American Pomo Indian tribe member Don Anderson received a Board of Supervisors Certificate of Honor, presented by Morningstar Vancil, at the Alexander Hamilton American Legion Post 448 at the Veterans Building on May 17.

(Left to Right) Commander John McCaffrey and member Mario Benfield presented an award to Tim Mulvaney at the Alexander Hamilton Legion Post 448 at their meeting and awards ceremony on May 17. An audience member with the poster for Priscilla Queen of the Desert at the Gateway Theatre at the Theatre Rhino production’s Opening Night, May 31

Veteran Jeffrey Chappell and his pup Panda Bear attended the American Legion Post 448 meeting and award ceremony at the Veterans Building.

Richard Bennett of Cliffs Variety is one of the 3000 cyclists, roadies and virtual cyclists who—as of this writing—are participating in AIDS/LifeCycle, a 545-mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise funds for the life-saving services offered by San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles LGBT Center. Congratulations to Bennett, who has raised $22,750 so far this year. Help him to reach his goal of $25,000: http://www.tofighthiv. org/site/TR?px=2892078&fr_ id=2050&pg=personal 34


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Aja Monet, Damin, Joey, host China Silk, Gladys Bumps and host JP Soto enjoyed a party celebrating Bumps’ birthday at Cinch Bar on Polk Street.

Koja and Angel Adeyoha with their new book, 47,000 Beads, about a Native American girl who learns her tribe’s ritual dancing, at the Smack Dab book event held at Dog Eared Books Castro

Senator Tammy Baldwin, honoree, with Geoff Kors at Equality California’s annual awards event.

Officer Lenny Broberg (front row center) with his partner Paul Maluchnik along with colleagues and friends at the Police Officers Association table at the Equality California Equality Awards held at the St. Francis Hotel

Marquee at the SF Silent Film Festival














LGBTQ News & Calendar for the Bay Area CELEBRATING FOUR DECADES (1978–2018)

Kin Folkz, Jennifer Holmes, William Walker and DJ Gray celebrated with friends at the KPIX/Channel 5 Pride Party on May 31.

A Memorial Day wreath was placed next to the Rainbow Honor Walk plaque honoring Harvey Milk, who was a U.S. Navy diver.

SF Pride board member Win Pham, KPIX/Channel 5’s Julliette Goodrich and a guest at the station’s Pride Party on May 31

Jordan Stuhltrager presented a large donut at Bob’s Donuts on Polk Street as part of their National Donut Day celebration.

Ronnie Lynne enjoyed a chocolate croissant at Bob’s A sign announcing National Donut Donuts on Polk Street on Day at Donuts and Things on Polk National Donut Day. Street

KPIX/Channel 5’s Liam Mayclem with SF Pride’s George Ridgely at the station’s Pride Party

KPIX’s Sultan Mirza and Cesar Chavez with Dykes on Bikes’ Kate Brown (center) at the KPIX/Channel 5 Pride Party

Camryn Crump and Cory at the KPIX/Channel 5 Pride Party

A memorial tribute to Dykes on Bike’s leader Soni Wolf was posted in the window at Cove Cafe on Castro.

The Castro Theatre’s marquee announcing The Man Who Laughs on Opening Night at the Silent Film Festival

Honoree Chickpea, Kunal Desai from Mumbai and designer Bruce Beaudette at the KPIX/Channel 5 Pride Party

Silent Film Festival’s Anita Monga and Stacey Wisnia at the Festival’s Opening Night Party at McRoskey Mattress Co.

Greeters welcomed guests to the Silent Film Festival Opening Night Party held at McRoskey Mattress Co. on May 30. S AN F R ANC IS C O BAY   T IM ES

JUNE 7, 2018



A New Installation in the de Young Contemporary Galleries: Sky Cathedral’s Presence I by Louise Nevelson Louise Nevelson’s life (1899–1988) and work are a story in sculpture. The story is a weaving together and intermingling of several histories: her personal history as a woman artist, the history of Jewish migration to this country and the history of 20th century art, including major movements such as Cubism, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism and Minimalism. All are evident in Sky Cathedral’s Presence I, a sculpture that Nevelson constructed between 1959–1962. Made of painted wood and found objects, it is all in black, as was the artist’s frequent practice. Light comes through the open areas of the piece, however, making its striking different patterns and textures clearly visible. The artist owned the work until 1969, when it went to Pace Gallery in New York and then was sold to a private collector in 1993. The piece changed hands yet again during a Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Sale in 2017. The distinctive sculpture is now a showpiece of the de Young Contemporary Galleries.

Louise Nevelson, “Sky Cathedral’s Presence I,” 1959–1962. Painted wood and found objects, 107 x 120 1/8 x 21 1/2 in. (271.8 x 305.1 x 54.6 cm). Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Wattis Fund for Major Acquisitions, 2017.50

Third Graders React to Children’s Books Written by High Schoolers in an LGBT and Ethnic Studies Course By Lyndsey Schlax ( E d i t o r ’s N o t e : Te a c h e r L y n d sey Schlax of the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts (SOTA) launched the nation’s first on-site high school LGBT course in 2015. Dolores Huerta Photo by Gage She still offers that Skidmore groundbreaking class but is teaching Ethnic Studies this semester. The two subjects often intersect, so in this column her students share their thoughts about both Ethnic Studies and LGBT-related matters, including their concerns, what they have learned in class and more.) Teacher Lyndsey Schlax: For the past several weeks, students in LGBTQ and Ethnic Studies have been writing children’s books that share what they have learned in this class about themselves, their communities and the power of transformative education. Last week, they brought their books to West Portal Elementary School and read them to a 3rd grade class, who reviewed the books for them. This column includes a selection of reviews of the experience, from Asawa SOTA high school students and West Portal elementary school students. Jasmine, 12th Grade Writing my children’s book allowed me to gain perspective and self-evaluation for myself and my identity. I not only learned more about who I am and where I come from, but also was given the opportunity to share those learnings with West Portal Elementary School’s third graders. Growing up in a flourishing world that is undergoing immense change, I believe it is important for our youth to engage in the big ideas that are causing this evolution. I hope more books about culture and identity are open to our future ambassadors of change. Danity, 3rd Grade My favorite book was about a Filipino girl who loved to swim and one time she tried to get a membership to a swim club. But she could not because it was just for whites. And, three years later, she was in the Olympics. Annais, 11th Grade In my culture, stories are told orally. Representation of myself was in the 36


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stories my abuelita told me. She created a whole series of stories for me, starring a little girl named Almendrita. When I was a kid, I had an identity crisis. People thought my white, blonde, blue-eyed dad had adopted me, but they thought that my cinnamon skinned, black hair, dark-eyed mother was my nanny. This was confusing to a little me, and I was questioning whether my parents were my parents for a while there, because it was true, I did not look completely like either. My abuelita told me stories about this little girl, Almendrita, who had two parents who looked very different from each other but had a daughter who looked at least a little bit like both of them. She explained to me that Almendrita did not need to look exactly like either of her parents for them to be her parents, but rather that she had gotten the best of both of them to create something new. The stories of Almendrita helped me to accept myself as the biracial product of my two contrasting parents, allowing me to stop trying hard to be either one or the other, and allowing myself to be both, and to love myself that way. Zachary, 3rd Grade Today, a class of high-school students came to the park with us and shared some mind-blowing books that they made themselves! Here are 4 amazing books that they shared with us: 1. Hip-Hop to 5 Steps 2. Hip-Hop to Women 3. Blooming 4. Bella in the Middle Read them, and they will blow your mind away! Katie, 12th Grade When we were told that we would be sharing our books with third graders, I was anxious. Children are some of the most brutally honest critics and I am not all that confident in my children’s book writing abilities. Furthermore, I didn’t know the extent to which the children would understand the concepts we had been learning all year in class. Would they understand the concepts of hegemonic culture and counterculture? Despite of all of my concerns, the children really enjoyed the books, and I think they took away some of the lessons we were trying to instill: openness, appreciation of difference and kindness.

STUDENT VOICES Lyndsey Schlax has been a teacher in the San Francisco Unified School District since 2008. She is uniquely qualified to address multiple areas of LGBT studies, having also specialized in subjects such as Modern World History, Government, Economics and U.S. Politics. She is a National Board Certified Teacher, and earned her M.A. in Teaching at the University of San Francisco. Cody, 3rd Grade I liked the book Worms for Lunch. My favorite part was when everyone brought worms for lunch. That is why I like the title Worms for Lunch. One of my favorite parts of the book was when everyone got confused and they thought Cole brought worms for lunch. I like Worms for Lunch. It is a very good book. Brandon, 3rd Grade Today, the high school students came to read Bella in the Middle. I liked it because Bella made her own choices. Charlotte, 11th Grade This last couple of weeks, through writing a children’s book, I realized the importance of recognizing the complexity of issues involving social justice, but I also realized the great importance of the ability to simplify these issues in order to present them not only to children, but also to all who have trouble comprehending them. I believe that aspect of writing the book was the hardest for me, personally. My book was an attempt at explaining cultural appropriation in a simple manner through a metaphor, which was a much harder task to do than to theorize. Maryse, 3rd Grade My favorite book was Ingelica. I loved it because the illustrations are poppin. (continued on page 42)

An LGBTQ Athlete’s Story: Mark McCabe

each time stronger and more untamable. The struggle inside was real and often times devastating and draining. Who could he turn to? Who could he trust?

revered professional soccer player.

John Chen The amount of vile, degrading homophobic hate spewed and shouted from the terrace every game, everywhere, and non-stop gradually wore down Mark McCabe’s will, determination and desire to continue to play professional soccer in Europe. Growing up in soccer crazed Ireland, McCabe knew only one sport. Starting at the age of five, he had a soccer ball in hand or on foot anytime and anywhere, and everything else mattered little. McCabe was not just another kid who loved soccer; he was not only good, he was exceptional.

Everything seemed perfect. Everything moved on schedule. Everything, simultaneously, was also amiss. No one knew an internal storm raged inside McCabe and a battle of emotions, feelings and sexual desires began to chip away at his commitment and dedication to soccer. No one knew the once unmovable goal started to fracture at its very core.

McCabe played and practiced every available hour, more so than even the next most dedicated kid. His supportive parents drove him often times over 60 miles just so that he could play more games and gave in to his every soccer demand and need. Rising quickly through the ranks, barely a teenager McCabe competed at the highest amateur level in Ireland: the premiere division. Armed with a strong sense of goal and purpose, he was going to be someone special, a

The usually cheery and happy-golucky McCabe sat in my living room, paused and stared into empty space, trying to—and not to—remember the confusion and anger he felt twenty years ago. Back then, the terrace (colloquial for fans in the stadium) regularly, routinely, and irreversibly harassed players with homophobic slurs, reducing gays to that of utter athletic incompetence and validating gays as helpless sub-humans who deserved no better than throwaway garbage.

He vividly recounted the one time he gathered enough courage to test the waters. This was when he tried to inform his best friend on the Chelsea team: “I’ve got something to tell you. I am gay.” The pushback was instantaneous and scarring, because the reply was: “F--k off! That’s disgusting!”



His ascension did not go unnoticed. Scouts from Chelsea F.C., a professional soccer club in London, invited him for a trial period and everything went accordingly. At fourteen, McCabe was already a talented, driven developmental professional player in one of the most renowned soccer clubs in Europe, competing against the big boys: Arsenal and Manchester United. He was on the fast track to becoming not just a full pledged professional, but also a bona f ide star.

Such vile on the terrace went ungoverned and became widely accepted and even deemed as cool, a nature of the beast. For someone like McCabe who is the complete opposite—athletically gifted and accomplished— these constant and never-ending messages slowly and painstakingly eroded his confidence and self-worth. And eventually, they drove an impressionable adolescent into denial, delusion and even worse, self-loathing. McCabe did not want to be attracted to men, but he could not help but be attracted to men. He tried hiding behind an unwavering soccer career because an athletic jock is a natural masquerade for the deception and betrayal underneath. The more he tried to push his sexuality deep inside, the more the demon reared its ugly head,

Knee Friendly Fitness of open chain exercises are leg extension and hamstring curl machines. I never use the leg extension machine unless it has been prescribed by my client’s physical therapist. The leg extension machine causes a sheering force to be exerted on the knee joint. Hamstring curl machines do not carry the same risk (no sheering force), and hamstring strength is important to knee health so have at it.

Easy Fitness Cinder Ernst Today I’m going to give you some guidelines for taking care of your knees while you’re working out in the gym. If you have a specific knee injury, get some help from your medical provider, especially a physical therapist, and go from there. I have learned all of the information presented here during the last three decades of my personal training career. Some has come directly from professional trainings I’ve attended, some from physical therapy (mine and others’) and some from my own experience. Everything is a guideline. Nothing works for everybody. You have wisdom in your own body, so pay attention as you go and follow your instincts. If a small voice says, “That’s enough,” or, “Not that,” then stop. There is always another option.

Closed chain exercises are ones where your foot contacts the surface. Leg presses, squats, get ups, step ups, lunges, bridges and single leg bridges are examples of closed chain leg strengthening. Closed chain exercises are generally safe, but only if, and it’s a big if, you adhere to two important alignment guidelines: 1. First, be sure your knee is tracking directly over your ankle, and not rolling in or out. Look in the front mirror to see that your knee is lined up.

With the above in mind, let’s get started by learning a few useful kneefriendly fitness terms.

2. Second, follow the 90-degree rule. The 90-degree rule is always to keep the angle of your thigh to lower leg at 90 degrees (or more open). That means your knee stays over your ankle, and not over your instep or toes. To keep the 90-degree rule during a squat or get up, you will need to engage your core by bringing your front ribs towards your back ribs, then stick your butt out as you bend your knees. Try this while looking in a side mirror and notice when your knees get too far in front of your ankles.

Open Chain and Closed Chain Exercises

Cardio Machines Safest for Your Knees

Open chain leg strengthening exercises are ones where your foot is not in contact with a surface while you use your knee joint. Open chain exercises are riskier on your knees. Examples

I will give you some general rules about what cardio machines are considered less risky, but what is most important is how you feel. Pay attention to the voice inside you.

Treadmill: The treadmill can go either way in knee friendly fitness. On the one hand, there is a possibility of a sheering force as the belt moves in one direction and you move in the other. On the other, many people use it all of the time and are okay. My best advice it to mix up your cardio machines. Bike: The bike is the most recommended cardio machine for folks with knee problems. Upright or recumbent, pick what is most comfortable. Always start out with little or no resistance and give your knee joint a chance to warm up. Motion is lotion and non-weight bearing motion is great for your knees. If you are doing intervals or wanting to work harder, upping RPMs is safer than upping resistance. In other words, pedal faster and not harder. Elliptical: These machines are nonimpact and weight bearing, making them a good combo for many people. There are many different brands and set ups, so experiment and see which ones feel good. The best cardio for your body involves mixing things up. Consider taking a walk in the park, too. Pavement or dirt is kinder to your knees than cement. Have fun and, again, listen to your body. Cinder Ernst, Medical Exercise Specialist and Life Coach Extraordinaire, helps reluctant exercisers get moving with safe, effective and fun programs. Her book, “Easy Fitness for the Reluctant Exerciser” (http://, is available in paperback and Ebook. She specializes in fitness and rehab for plus-size clients, but her stress-free approach is suitable for all. Find out more at

Even though McCabe’s brief admission took place over 20 years ago, he—in this moment of recollection while sitting next to me—relived the hurt and the desperate echoes of uncertainty, anger and isolation that defined his adolescence. The message

was clear. For McCabe, the road ahead forked quickly and sharply. An emotionally exhausted sixteenyear-old, he did what he could control to save himself. He gave up his dream. He quit soccer, the only thing he ever knew, the only thing he ever loved. McCabe offered no explanation, no reasoning and no justification, not to his teammates and not to his parents. Part II of Mark McCabe’s story, which will publish in the July 12 issue of the San Francisco Bay Times, reveals what he did next, including his participation in a more inclusive sport that helped to turn this talented athlete’s life around for the better. John Chen, a UCLA alumnus and an avid sports fan, has competed as well as coached tennis, volleyball, softball and football teams.

Fitness SF Trainer Tip of the Month Aaron Z, Fitness SF Castro

“Most people do cardio to warm-up before exercising, but be careful not to exhaust your optimal energ y in the process. I love to warmup my training clients with a few key stretches to get the blood pumping and to activate core muscles. Try borrowing from the world of yoga with a Bird-Dog pose on the mat, and then a Standing QL stretch for the abdominal region. If you absolutely love cardio, try doing these after lifting is complete.” Tore Kelly, Director of Creative & Social Media for Fitness SF, provides monthly tips that he has learned from professional trainers. For more information:

Take Me Home with You!

“My name is Vanna, or Vanna White, Vanna if you prefer! Unlike my ‘Wheel of Fortune’ namesake, I don’t turn letters and reveal hidden phrases—although if I did, it might be ‘home sweet home,’ because I can’t wait to find mine! I’m looking for someone special who is as affectionate as I am, and who also enjoys playtime. If that sounds like you, please come and introduce yourself!” Vanna is presented to San Francisco Bay Times readers by Dr. Jennifer Scarlett, the SF SPCA’s Co-President. Our thanks also go to Krista Maloney for helping to get the word out about lovable pets like Vanna. To meet Vanna as well as other pets seeking their forever homes, please visit: San Francisco SPCA Mission Campus 250 Florida Street San Francisco, CA 94103 415-522-3500

Dr. Jennifer Scarlett and Pup

Aside from major holidays, the adoption center is open Mon–Fri: 1–6 pm and Sat–Sun: 10 am–5 pm. Free parking is available for those wishing to adopt! For more info, please visit S AN F R ANC IS C O BAY   T IM ES

JUNE 7, 2018


Professional Services

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A full service catering company serving the greater Bay Area


• Weddings, Commitment Ceremonies, Anniversaries and many other social occasions and corporate events • We offer Custom-Designed Menus in various cuisines with vegetarian, vegan and multi-cultural food options • Full Service Event Management 415.308.4555 We Give You Something To Talk About!



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LGBTQ News & Calendar for the Bay Area CELEBRATING FOUR DECADES (1978–2018)

Compiled by Blake Dillon


7: Thursday LGBT Dementia Care Summit @ Milton Marks Conference Center, 455 Golden Gate Avenue. A free event with lunch included bringing together service providers, community members and policy makers to discuss LGBT dementia care, sponsored by Alzheimer’s Association, Openhouse, Family Caregiver Alliance and the City and County of San Francisco Department of Aging and Adult Services. 9am-2pm. 800-272-3900 Screening of Marriage Equality - Tribute to Debra Chasnoff @ San Francisco Main Library, Koret Auditorium, 100 Larkin Street. The Library’s Thursdays at Noon Film Series, for the month of June, is honoring the life and work of filmmaker and activist Chasnoff. 12-2pm. Sonoma LGBT Pride Celebration Social/Tea Dance @ Vintage House Senior Housing, 264 First Street, East Sonoma. DJ Olga T will spin tunes at this event for residents and friends. 4-7pm. First Thursday - Castro Art Walk @ Castro District Locations. A neighborhood art walk

held monthly on the first Thursday of each month at multiple hosting locations. 6-7pm.

event is a monthly group visit with dogs seven years and older. Organized by Openhouse every second Friday. 2pm.

GGBA East Bay Make Contact @ Wooden Table Cafe, 2300 Broadway, Oakland. Business and social networking plus empanadas, alfajores cookies and drinks as the location celebrates the opening of their new cafe. 6-8pm.

Queering My Lobster @ PianoFight, 144 Taylor Street. Director Michael Phillis and writer Sean Owens’ work presenting the gay agenda live and on stage. 8pm continuing through June 9. http://www.

River of Song - A Musical Celebration of California’s Life-Giving Waters @ The Freight, 202 Addison, Berkeley. LGBT community favorites Blame Sally are among the performers for this 2nd annual benefit event. 8pm.

8 Friday LGBTQ Golf Fore Good Women’s Golf Tournament @ Chardonnay Golf Club, 2555 Jameson Canyon Road, American Canyon. Horizons Foundation’s annual benefit golf tourney welcoming golfers at all levels with an evening dinner and dance. 11am-11pm. Second Friday - Club @ Muttville, 255 Alabama Street. The

Ginger’s Drag-O-Licious @ Ginger’s, 86 Hardie Place. The monthly show for June features hostess Olivia Hart with MGM Grande and more. 9pm.

9 Saturday Johnson’s Beach Feel-Good Beach Party @ Russian River, 16217 First Street, Guerneville. Celebrating the surrounding property’s 100th Anniversary, the party with 96.5 KOIT includes a line-up of artists with the Goo Goo Dolls and Shaggy and many more. 10am-6pm. Live in the Castro! @ Jane Warner Plaza, 17th & Castro Street. Lisa Gonick & The Damfino Players perform ragtime, swing, blues, early jazz and more. 1-2pm. Trans Pride Benefit Show @ Laughing Monk Brewing, 1439 Egbert Avenue, Unit A. A benefit for LYRIC Center for LGBTQQ Youth, the event will be hosted by Polythene Pam, Soft Vowel Sounds, Mya Byrne and The Secret Emchy Society. 5:3010pm. Works in Progress Open Mic for Women @ Fireside Room, Plymouth Church of Christ, 424 Monte Vista, Oakland. The event will celebrate the 14th anniversary of Works In Progress and birthdays of members Linda and Carolyn. 6:3010:15pm.

Bay Area Rainbow Symphony Pride Concert @ San Francisco Conservatory of Music, 50 Oak Street. The program features Tchaikovsky’s Serenade of Strings and Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti with a line up of opera stars and conductor Dawn Harms. 8pm.



10 Sunday

Oakland A’s Night Out

Sacramento Pride Parade & Festival @ Capitol Mall and 3rd and N parade starting point. Featured talent includes Martha Wash, Big Freedia, Mayhem Miller, Kameron Michaels and more. 11am-5pm. Pride Panel and Luncheon @ The Microsoft Store, 1640 Redwood Highway, Corte Madera. Guest speakers will discuss their LGBTQ+ owned businesses. 12-3pm.


SF Giants Night Out SATURDAY, JUNE 23

Pride Brunch SUNDAY, JUNE 24

SF Pride Parade SUNDAY, JULY 15

AIDS Walk San Francisco AUGUST 2-5

Lazy Bear Weekend

Live in the Castro! @ Jane Warner Plaza, 17th & Castro Street. BeMusical performs. 1-2pm.


Benefit Soiree Supporting Community Women’s Orchestra @ Piedmont Center for the Arts, 801 Magnolia Avenue, Piedmont. CWO and Elfenworks Productions present a performance of chamber music from a classical French repertoire with an auction plus French hors d’oeuvres and sweets.

Horizons Annual Gala

11 Monday


Castro Street Fair MONDAY, DECEMBER 24

SFGMC Home for the Holidays how they are being covered by journalists. 5:30-7:30pm. http://www.

Well-Strung in San Francisco @ SF Oasis, 298 11th Street. The handsome string quartet returns bringing their classical music program presented with a modern twist to Oasis. 7pm and again on June 12.

Patti LuPone: An Intimate Conversation @ Curran, 445 Geary Street. The celebrated performer will discuss her mindset and process as an actor and highlights from her career. 7-8:30pm.

12 Tuesday

Coming of Age Black and Free in America with Darnell Moore @ The Commwealth Club, 110 The Embarcadero. This Pride Month event will include a conversation about the intersectionality of faith, sexuality, blackness and gender with author Darnell L. Moore who will discuss his new memoir, No Ashes in the Fire. 6:30pm.

Texas Rose Country/Western Dance @ Veterans Building/ Lake Merritt Dance Center, 200 Grand Avenue, Oakland. Beginners two-step lessons at 6:30pm, followed by open dancing with newcomers to advanced dancers plus provided snacks. 6:30pm.

Comedy, Music and Movies @ El Rio, 3158 Mission Street. A benefit supporting a new documentary, Thanks to Hank, about activist Hank Wilson, the event features comedy by Tom Ammiano, Karen Ripley and Laurie Bushman. 8-11pm.

Pride Night at the Earthquakes @ Avaya Stadium, 1123 Coleman Avenue, San Jose. As part of its Soccer for All June activities, Pride Night-themed t-shirts, corner flags, goal nets, LEDs, captain’s armbands and more. 7:15pm.

13 Wednesday Meet the Media: LGBT Issues in the Newsroom and Beyond @ SF LGBT Center, 1800 Market Street. A panel discussion with moderator Robert Bernardo and panelists on LGBT issues and

Wednesdays at Feinstein’s @ Feinstein’s at the Nikko, 222 Mason. A rotating series of events presented each month on Wednesdays, including Broadway Bingo at the Nikko with host Katya Smirnoff-Skyy and musical director Joe Wicht. 7pm.


JUNE 7, 2018


14 Thursday Screening of Straightlaced Tribute to Debra Chasnoff @ San Francisco Main Library, Koret Auditorium, 100 Larkin Street. The Library’s Thursdays at Noon Film Series, for the month of June, is honoring the life and work of filmmaker and activist Chasnoff. 12-2pm. Golden State NightLife @ California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, 55 Music Concourse Drive. The focus is on coastal wonder with the Golden State’s flora and fauna with a peek at the new exhibit Giants of Land and Sea. The evening in the Academy’s ongoing Thursday NightLife series features art, music, performances and ideas shared with experts. 6–10pm. Comedy at Ashkenaz! @ @ Ashkenaz Music & Dance Center, 1317 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley. Hosted by comedy producer Lisa Geduldig of Kung Pao Kosher Comedy, the 2nd Thursday comedy series in June features Karen Ripley, Irene Tu and a gaggle of multicultural and multigenerational comedians. 8pm.

15 Friday Prism @ Qube Bar and Grill, 4000 S. El Camino Real, San Mateo. The new all-inclusive “gay bar” will be open on Fridays in the Qube Bar and Grill location. 8pm-11:30pm. Prism Bar on Facebook and

16 Saturday Drag Queen Story Hour @ The Public Knowledge Library, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Koret Education Center, 151 3rd Street. RADAR Productions and SF Public Library present stories with Honey Mahogany with face painting and cookies. 11am.

Check Out the New Personals Section for LGBTQ Singles:

San Mateo County Pride @ San Mateo Central Park. “Celebrate. Resist. Unite” is the theme for this year’s Pride Celebration in San Mateo, featuring booths, food trucks, vendors, music, entertainment and family-friendly activities. 11am-5pm. Rummage Sale @ Billy DeFrank LGBTQ Community Center, 938 The Alameda, San Jose. The event is a benefit for the DeFrank Center’s float in the Silicon Valley Pride Parade coming in August. 9am-2pm. Live in the Castro! @ Jane Warner Plaza, 17th & Castro Street. Sundance Saloon brings two-stepping and line dancing to Jane Warner Plaza. 1-3pm. So Tight. So Bright. So Proud. Pride Dance Party @ The Great Northern, 119 Utah Street. The annual Pride dance party from Mystopia, a Burning Man Theme Camp.

17 Sunday 50 Years of Fabulous Screening @ Castro Theatre, 429 Castro Street. Hosted by The Imperial Court and Frameline, the film recounts the history of the Imperial Court, the oldest LGBT charity organization in the world. 11am-1pm. Live in the Castro! @ Jane Warner Plaza, 17th & Castro Street. Guitarist Kippy Marks performs followed by DJ Jimmy Strano. 1-2pm. http://www. Out in Tech SF Pride Kickoff Party @ Oasis, 298 11th Street. A social networking event where hundreds of SF’s top LGBTQ+ talent get together to meet and greet. 2-6pm. 40


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Sisters Beer Bust Benefit @ The Lone Star Saloon, 1354 Harrison Street. Hosted by sister Gaia Love and Bob Ostertag, the event will support the film Thanks to Hank about the life and work of activist Hank Wilson. 4-8pm.

18 Monday God Loves Everyone @ SF Mix, 4087 18th Street. SF Queer Christian Meet-up’s Pride event where all Christian denominations, genders, sexual orientations and levels of religious/spiritual affiliation are welcome. 7-9pm. They Wore Love & Resistance @ Yoshi’s, 510 Embarcadero W, Oakland. The event is an evening of music by queer jazz, folk and soul artists. 8pm.

19 Tuesday California Racial & Identity Profiling Advisory Board Meeting @ Billy DeFrank LGBTQ Community Center, 938 The Alameda, San Jose. The Board’s first annual meeting includes a report on the past and current status of profiling. Policy recommendations for eliminating profiling will be discussed. 10am3pm. GGBA June Make Contact @ Bistro Boudin, 160 Jefferson Street. Co-hosted by the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, the event features business networking with a view overlooking the Bay, plus drinks. 6-8pm. Lesbian/Bi “Fast Flirting” and Whiskey Twist @ American Oak, 2319 Santa Clara Avenue, Alameda. Join Little Gay Book’s Dr. Frankie Bashan for an evening designed for women who want to meet more women. 6-9pm. Rotary Club of SF - Castro Club Meeting @ The Sausage Factory, 517 Castro Street. The Club’s monthly meeting for June. 6:30-8pm.

20 Wednesday East Bay Coffee Crones @ Zing! Cafe, 3051 Adeline Street, Berkeley. The event is a small group format lesbian social gathering that meets each Wednesday morning for coffee and conversation. 10:30am-12:30pm.

21 Thursday Screening of That’s a Family - Tribute to Debra Chasnoff @ San Francisco Main Library, Koret Auditorium, 100 Larkin Street. The Library’s Thursdays at Noon Film Series, for the month of June, is honoring the life and work of filmmaker and activist Chasnoff. 12-2pm. Pride NightLife @ California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, 55 Music Concourse Drive. This special SF Pride event includes a performance by Heklina & Friends with music by Hella Gay Dance Party and Swagger Like Us plus dance classes, the launch of the 500 Queer Scientists project and more. The evening in the Academy’s ongoing Thursday NightLife series features art, music, performances and ideas shared with experts. 6–10pm. Bad Habits Pride Kick-Off Party @ Bruno’s, 2389 Mission Street. An evening of dancing featuring DJs Silly Syl,Val G, China G and Lady Ryan. 9:30pm-2am. Party XO presents Bad Habits on Facebook

Visit Us Online S AN F R ANC IS C O BAY   T IM ES

JUNE 7, 2018


FRESH MEAT (continued from page 25)

SISTER DANA (continued from page 33)

explained, “This year we are presenting songs that speak to complicated love and celebrate our diversity as a group. We are so happy to be part of the FRESH MEAT FESTIVAL celebrating queer and trans performance.”

litical beliefs. Nevertheless, I continue to hear ‘Impeach’ quite clearly!”

Adrienne Price, writer and director of The Red Shades rock opera, described their set as “an energetic collision of musical theater and a rock concert.” Award-winning disabled artists Alice Sheppard and Laurel Lawson will present the West Coast premiere of excerpts from DESCEN T—a highly-physical duet for two queer disabled women tracing the arc of relationship. Festival favorites Robbie Tristan and Ernesto Palma shared, “We are making the world premiere of a new piece created for the FRESH MEAT FESTIVAL featuring samesex Latin Ballroom dance. The number represents being true to oneself and embracing one’s uniqueness, even through hardship and struggle.” And Festival founder and Artistic Director Sean Dorsey will be performing with his company, Sean Dorsey Dance. The group will perform excerpts from their powerful new show BOYS IN TROUBLE before it hits the road on a 20-city tour. Advance tickets are recommended for this very popular event. Z Space is wheelchair accessible and STUDENT VOICES (continued from page 36) In my opinion, it should be a bestseller! Your (the student author’s) writing is also so great. I liked how you used special paper for writing. Your coloring looks so smooth and it looks awesome. P.S. You should be an author. I will be your biggest fan. You got me sooo into it. I love it sooo much.

“I also hear raves about these upcoming events.” Alexander Nowik is exhibiting his captivating series of oil paintings at Et Al gallery at 620-B Kearny. There is no sign or anything indicating that this venue exists, so it’s almost like a speakeasy, but you need to walk into the dry-cleaning establishment, go straight forward, turn left, and approach the rickety stairway leading downstairs into a windowless room. There you will see four full walls of Nowik’s works. I prefer his series of Warsaw nature pieces, where he told me he visited, but am equally attracted to his depiction of people captured in real life. His fascination with persimmons remains a mystery to me—although painted quite well. This is up through Pride Month. PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT is now playing at THEATRE RHINO. This Rhino hit from last season is returning for an encore engagement now through June 30, 8 pm and matinees at Gateway Theatre, 215 Jackson Street at Battery. It’s the musical by Stephan Elliott and Allan Scott, a glorious (very musical) adventure about drag shows, Down Under, and what we will do for love. Based on the 1994 Oscar-winning film, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, the musical is the heart-warming, uplifting adventure of three friends who hop aboard a battered old bus searching for love and friendship, and end up finding more than they could have ever dreamed of. With a dazzling array of over-the-top costumes, extraordinary headdresses, a fullsize bus on stage (!), and a hit parade of dance floor favorites, including “It’s Raining Men,” “I Will Survive,” “Shake Your Groove Thing,” and “Boogie Wonderland”—plus several dozen more classics. This wildly fresh and funny musical is a journey to the heart of fabulosity! The musical follows two drag queens and a transsexual (Tick, Adam, and Bernadette), who buy a run-down old bus (they call “Priscilla”) and set out on a road trip across the Australian Outback when one of them, Tick (played by Rudy Guerrero), is invited by his ex-wife to perform his drag show at her far-away resort. However, Tick is hesitant to tell his friends, Bernadette (a former performing icon whose best days are behind her—played by Kim Larsen), and Adam (a rambunctious young troublemaker—played by Charles Peoples III), his own personal reasons for taking the trip. During their journey, the trio encounters an array of Australian citizens, some of who aren’t receptive to their lifestyle, including incidents of homo and transphobia, while widening comfort zones, finding new horizons, and strengthening their own friendship. Sister Dana sez, “Get onboard the bus, baby!”

Ryan, 3rd Grade I heard the best story ever, The Little Phone. It was so good because it was so complicated! Alasdair, 10th Grade Being able to sit down with a group of three to four 3rd graders and read them children’s books about empowerment and self-love was an amazing experience. Seeing the little light turn on in their eyes as we explained to them what it means to speak up for yourself was truly an invaluable moment. Although they were mostly interested in the candy handed out afterward, it was lovely to see how captivated the kids were by the stories being read to them. I definitely wish I had had this opportunity when I was a child. Makena, 3rd Grade Alex showed us a book about transgender people. She was very nice. I liked the theme. She makes a point that people should be able to choose who they want to be. Alex is also transgender.



“Lights. Camera. Take Action” is the slogan for this year’s Frameline, the world’s longest-running and largest showcase of queer cinema. FRAMELINE42: SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL LGBTQ FILM FESTIVAL will take place June 14–24 in the San Francisco Bay Area. With an expected attendance of 60,000, Frameline42 will draw film lovers, media artists, and LGBTQ communities from the Bay Area and all across the globe to discover the latest slate of queer cinema. With 52% of all films directed by women, 39 countries are represented, including Brazil, Japan, Lebanon, Norway, Paraguay, Kosovo, South Africa and Malaysia. The lineup—featuring 153 narratives, documentaries, episodics, and short films—also includes 25 World Premieres. Frameline Executive Director Frances Wallace emphasizes the mission is to change the world through queer cinema. The opening night film and gala is on June 14, 7 pm at the Castro Theatre. TRANSMILITARY tells the inspiring stories of four transgender troops who are the visible front lines of America’s fight for LGBTQ rights. The after-party is at Terra Gallery, 511 Harrison Street. For more info and the schedules go to

A) ACT UP Frustrated with bureaucratic paralysis and the apathy of gay men to the AIDS crisis, Kramer formed the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) in 1987.

Max, 12th Grade It is quintessential to teach youth how to read. However, teaching them to read is half the battle. We need to teach kids to read and to identify with the characters, and we cannot do that if the books are not about them and their people. It filled me with pride to see these kids of various races identify with the stories and be entranced by these stories that they have never heard before. That is a problem. Kids should never have to be amazed at hearing stories about them. There should always be stories about them that are readily available.

On Tuesday June 12, 8–11pm at El Rio, 3158 Mission, there will be Comedy, Music, and Movies to raise money for a documentary about my late great friend and beloved gay activist Hank Wilson—featuring comedy by Tom Ammiano, Karen Ripley and Laurie Bushman and the first sneak preview teasers of THANKS TO HANK, the Hank Wilson documentary by Bob Ostertag and Jeremy Rourke. Some of us Sisters are in the video. $20–$100 sliding scale. Tickets are on sale and going fast for RICHMONDERMET AID FOUNDATION (REAF)’s 3rd annual “BROADWAY BARES/SAN FRANCISCO STRIPS” BENEFIT SHOW. Last year’s show, “MANUSTRIPT, Literary Tales with Happy Endings” sold out early, and they expect this year’s show to sell out as well. This year’s show, Top Shelf COCKTAILS: TALES OF SIPPING AND STRIPPING, will take place on Sunday, June 17, 8 pm at DNA Lounge, 375 11th Street in San Francisco’s Soma district. Join these dancer/strippers as they bar hop around some of San Francisco’s favorite watering holes celebrating a variety of signature cocktails in each number. Somehow, they tend to lose their clothes on their merry romp around town. What’s your favorite cocktail to get naked with? HARVEY MILK PHOTO CENTER presents 2018 LGBTQ ART+PRIDE, a fine arts celebration in a mixed media exhibit with special reception on June 16, 6–9:30 pm at the Center at 50 Scott Street in the Castro. This Art and Pride Exhibit is an eclectic gathering of work by notable contemporary artists from across the United States. This show is a celebration of their embrace of the creative process. Each contributed work they felt resonated with the complexity of their artistic spirit. This show includes photographers, painters, sculptors, filmmakers, illustrators, writers, graphic designers, textile artists and poets. The opening reception will offer live entertainment. This event is free and open to the public. The exhibit runs June 16 through July 22. Sister Dana sez, “With all this obsession over the nonexistent SPYGATE, Trump should be much more concerned about WATERGATE and its return. Just like crooked Nixon, you goin’ DOWN, Donald!”

For more information about the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts, please visit http:// SA N FRANCISCO BAY   T I ME S

LGBTQ SENIOR PRIDE PROM is June 9 from 4–7pm at 401 Van Ness Avenue. This popular event returns for its third year and in a new and expanded location—the SF War Memorial Green Room! LGBTQ Senior Prom is a celebration for seniors and allies of all ages to get another chance at reimagining Prom—with none of the tradition or rules. No dress code, no need for a date, no dancing required, no gender rules and no holding back: acceptance is the only theme! The event features a DJ, performances, food and drinks, prizes for prom royalty and an amazing time for all. Please RSVP ( or call 415-685-0886.

ANSWER (Question on pg 25)

Sophia, 3rd Grade My favorite book was Blooming because it presents a good story and I liked the pictures. It has a good moral: Don’t judge a book by its cover and respect others.


STRUT is presenting TRANSCEND, the art of RAE SENARIGHI, for the month of Pride at the 470 Castro Street gallery. He is a transgender non-binary artist currently living and working in Portland, Oregon. “TRANSCEND” is a portrait series celebrating transgender and nonbinary artists, activists and leaders throughout the world. Transgender is not just about one experience, and it’s not linear or simple. Each transgender person is unique with incredibly diverse experiences yet is united in a common struggle. Portraits in this series are of individuals living their lives out in the open and choosing integrity over safety. To live openly as transgender requires personal courage to live authentically in oppressive environments. Artist, designer, and muralist, Senarighi (b. 1979) is best known for vivid colorful abstracts, intricate typography, and bold transfixing portraits of modern icons. Each portrait is labeled with the model’s twitter handle, so observers can communicate with them. My faves are “Chris” and “Nitzan” in their rainbow colors. After studying fine art at the University of Montana (2000, 2004), he finished his BFA degree at the Art Institute of Seattle in 2009. He received a Hall of Fame Award from the Art Institute of Seattle in 2011. His detailed, thoughtful works are influenced by nearly a decade of scientific illustration, studying the natural world in micro and macro. His illustrations have been internationally published in Cell, Nature, Gertrude Press, and Science magazines, among others. After facing cancer in 2015, he refocused energy into creating fine art.

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San Francisco Bay Times - June 7, 2018 v2  

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

San Francisco Bay Times - June 7, 2018 v2  

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