Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 12 / 22 March 2018

Trans woman reported shot to death in Oakland

A transgender woman was shot to death Sunday morning, April 29, in Oakland, according to a transgender advocate who knew the victim.

Tiffany Woods, the coordinator for the Fremont-based TransVision, said in an email Sunday that Brandy Martell, a TransVision team member, was shot “multiple times by a lone gunman” between 5:30 and 6 a.m. at the corner of 13th and Webster streets in downtown Oakland. The shooter fled, she said.

Woods said that clients have told her that the suspect realized Martell was transgender after talking to her through the car window. He then opened fire with an automatic weapon, she said.

The Bay Area Reporter will have more coverage of the incident in the Thursday, May 3 edition.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, April 30, 2012 @ 10:17 am PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

EQCA launches ED search

Equality California this week has launched a search for its next executive director, nearly six months after former ED Roland Palencia abruptly resigned.

And similar to when the organization last sought an ED, stakeholders are invited to submit names of people they think should be considered to Morris and Berger, the firm running the search.

Running California’s only statewide LGBT lobbying group is a big task. Not only would the person oversee the lobbying and other legislative work, EQCA also has its affiliated Equality California Institute is responsible for the public education work. Additionally, the EQCA political action committee makes endorsements in a variety of state and local races.

A summary of the executive director position notes that the successful candidate needs to be a “politically sophisticated, knowledgeable, passionate and articulate advocate and leader.”

Over the past year or so, EQCA has seen its finances shrink, although its condition has recently become more stable, spokeswoman Rebekah Orr told the Bay Area Reporter. Following the departure of Palencia last October, EQCA went for several months with no leader. Then in late February it hired Laurie Hasencamp, 53, to serve as interim executive director. Hasencamp is a straight ally and is based in Los Angeles.

The job description notes that the position can be based either in LA or San Francisco. Kors was from SF, while Palencia lived in southern California.

According to the job announcement, the ED reports to the boards of directors of EQCA and the EQCA Institute. The executive director is responsible for implementation, oversight and management of all programs as well as the financial health of the organization. “Ideally, candidates will have a strong background in leading a nonprofit organization and must be able to act as a strategic partner to the board in the development and execution of EQCA/I’s mission and vision,” the description states. “Experience reaching out to diverse communities and involvement in the LGBT community specifically, is critical.”

EQCA’s board presidents said that the organization’s next decade will be “transformative.”

“The decade ahead will be transformative … with unprecedented opportunities to not only enhance legal protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, but also to advance full acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in California and beyond through public education and community empowerment,” board president Clarissa Filgioun and Cary Davidson, board president of the institute.

EQCA is currently sponsoring several bills in the Legislature. Additionally, the group is following the effort by anti-gay organizations who are gathering signatures to try to repeal the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful Education Act. The law, signed last year by Governor Jerry Brown, mandates that textbooks and instructional materials include contributions of LGBT Americans.

Interested candidates can find the position description and application instructions at Candidates are urged to submit their resume and cover letter by May 18.

Interested stakeholders should submit names for consideration and outreach to mb_at_morrisberger_dot_com.

— Cynthia Laird, April 27, 2012 @ 12:14 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Gay LA GOP Assembly candidate stumps in SF

Brad Torgan, chair of the gay Log Cabin Republican’s Los Angeles chapter, stumped in San Francisco last night (Wednesday, April 25) as he drums up financial support for his state Assembly bid.

The West Hollywood resident is the only GOP candidate in the race for the newly carved out 50th Assembly District northwest of Los Angeles County. Along with the gay enclave of WeHo, the seat also covers the coastal city of Santa Monica.

Three Democrats are in the race: lesbian LGBT activist Torie Osborn, Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom, and Assemblywoman Betsy Butler (D-Marina Del Rey). A slice of Butler’s current 53rd Assembly District falls within the boundaries of the gay-centric AD 50, and she relocated in order to seek the seat.

Osborn has long been viewed as Butler’s main challenger, and most expect the women will survive the June primary and spend the summer and early fall dueling over the seat. Some polling has had Torgan, though, as landing in second place in the primary, buoying his hopes of defeating two of his Democratic opponents.

But he had been banking on a contested presidential GOP primary to help draw out Republican voters to the polls. That strategy has now been dashed, as former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is all but guaranteed to be the party’s nominee following the departures of his main rivals in the race.

“It certainly doesn’t help,” admitted Torgan in an interview with the Bay Area Reporter last night prior to his local fundraiser and appearance at the Log Cabin San Francisco chapter’s monthly meeting. “It now means I have to step up the get-out-the-vote efforts myself.”

He may still see a boost in Republican turnout at the polls in June due to two minor GOP presidential candidates who remain in the race. Congressman Ron Paul’s supporters are still campaigning in the Golden State, and gay Long Beach resident Fred Karger just released an online ad featuring muscled frisbee players in an effort to drum up attention for his candidacy.

Nonetheless, Torgan said, “I would have preferred a competitive primary.”

He said one of the Assembly campaigns is doing polling on the race this week, though it is unclear if the results will differ from the earlier polls as many voters have yet to focus on the campaign.

“People are starting to get interested in the race. We are still six weeks out,” he said. “Things are beginning to heat up.”

In the meantime, Torgan has been busy dialing for donations and taking part in community forums with the other candidates. He has Log Cabin’s endorsement and ConservAmerica, a conservative environmental group.

“I have the pink elephants and the green elephants,” joked Torgan.

He plans to use most of the money he raises on slate cards to voters.

“I’ve got enough for my game plan,” said Torgan, who has yet to file a campaign finance report with state elections officials.

— Matthew S. Bajko, April 26, 2012 @ 3:42 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Giants LGBT Night set for May 29

Tickets are on sale for the San Francisco Giants LGBT Night Out at the Ballpark. The night comes months earlier this year and, because of the record number of season tickets sold following the team’s 2010 World Series championship, it will not offer designated seating sections.

LGBT Night at AT&T Park will be Tuesday, May 29, with a 7:30 game between the Giants and the defending National League West division champions, the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Doug Litwin, the marketing officer for the Federation of Gay Games who has worked with community leaders and the Giants the past few years on LGBT Night arrangements, told the Bay Area Reporter that the Giants said they were unable to offer group seating sections to any special event groups this year because of the record number of season tickets sold.

“There’s not going to be an LGBT section, just like there won’t be a special section on German Heritage Night and so on,” Litwin said.

The beanie giveaway for the Giants LGBT Night

The Giants use “dynamic pricing” in which prices for games fluctuate depending on how great demand is for any given game. At the start of this week, the LGBT promotion tickets ranged from $13 to $95.25. The tickets are $5 higher than non-promotional tickets and include a $10.25 convenience fee. LGBT promotional tickets give the holder access to a 5 to 7 p.m. pre-game party in Seals Plaza and a commemorative LGBT Giants beanie (pictured at right). Partial proceeds will benefit LGBT nonprofit groups. Last year’s recipients were the scholarship funds of Team San Francisco and the FGG and the Gay Straight Alliance.

Litwin said he was still working with the Giants to firm up plans for how the LGBT community will be recognized and incorporated into the night’s events. He said the San Francisco Gay/Lesbian Freedom Band, which has performed previously at games, will not perform this time because Tuesday is a rehearsal night, “but I’m still hoping for some musical presentation. And they are also seeing if they can have San Francisco Gay Softball involved as well.”

Tickets can be ordered by visiting

– Roger Brigham

— Cynthia Laird, April 23, 2012 @ 9:56 am PST
Filed under: Sports

Circumcision foes to protest Castro fundraiser for gay state Senator Mark Leno

A fundraiser for gay state Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) that a Castro gay bar owner has been trying to throw for months is now set to take place tomorrow night, Friday, April 20.

In addition to being greeted by supporters, Leno will also face circumcision opponents who plan to protest the event.

Billed as a “Spring Cabaret” and meant to fill Leno’s campaign coffers as he seeks a second term in the Senate this year, the campaign event seems to have been cursed from the start.

Initially set to take place in early March, the host venue Trigger was shut down the week prior by state regulators due to a tax dispute. The Market Street dance club owned by Greg Bronstein, a longtime supporter of Leno’s political career since his days as a city supervisor, was able to reopen within days.

Leno’s campaign, however, initially told the Bay Area Reporter that the March 9 event had been canceled and would be rescheduled. But five days prior to the planned fundraiser, Bronstein sent out an email saying the event was a go.

It wasn’t until the day prior that he announced the cabaret-themed party was being postponed to April. The festivities will now kick off at 7 p.m. tomorrow night. A minimum donation of $100 is being asked of attendees.

They will be met outside the venue at 2344 Market Street by members of the group Bay Area Intactivists, who oppose male circumcision and in 2011 tried to get the practice banned in San Francisco. Their local ballot measure proposal was blocked, though, after Leno last fall pushed through state legislation preventing cities from having control over the procedure.

“Because of Mark Leno’s disregard, opposition and failure to protect the rights of men to genital integrity, on parity with females, we urge his constituents, particularly those 12,000+ San Francisco registered voters who oppose routine infant circumcision to withhold their support from Mr. Leno,” wrote Lloyd Schofield, a proponent of the San Francisco male circumcision restriction initiative, in an April 19 email announcing the protest plans.

According to the event invite, Mayor Ed Lee, District Attorney George Gascon, City Treasurer Jose Cisneros and District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener are all expected to attend.

“Mark continues to do great things for our community and state since the time he was District 8 supervisor through now as a California Senator. Come show your support and give your thanks for all he has done!,” wrote the organizers of the event.

— Matthew S. Bajko, April 19, 2012 @ 5:07 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

SF Pride webcast receives Webby honor

The San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration Committee has announced that the webcast of their 2011 parade  has been selected as a Webby Award honoree.

In a statement, Pride Executive Director Brendan Behan called the recognition “deeply gratifying” and said, “Bringing this important civic celebration of our diverse LGBT community to viewers around the globe is such an important part of showing the world that the struggle for LGBT rights, dignity, and equality is as vibrant and strong as ever.”

Clear Channel San Francisco worked with the Pride Committee to produce the uncensored coverage of the parade, which runs down Market Street to Civic Center. David Williams and Val Klein, executive producers, are honored for Clear Channel San Francisco’s production.

Clear Channel’s J.D. Freeman stated, “Our talented San Francisco team has demonstrated great dedication to serving our local community with the compelling and integral programming from the 2011 San Francisco LGBT Pride Parade.”

The distinction, which is in the Online Film and Video – Events and Live Webcasts category, was announced Monday, April 16. Other honorees in that category include Entertainment Weekly and PBS NewsHour.

Bay Area Reporter society columnist Donna Sachet, along with Michelle Meow, Sebastian Kunz, Morris Knight, and Celeste Perry, hosted last year’s Pride webcast.

The Webby Awards were established in 1996 and are presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, which includes an executive body of leading web experts, business figures, and others. Of the 10,000 entries submitted to the 16th Annual Webby Awards, fewer than 15 percent were distinguished as an official honoree, according to the organization.

The 42nd annual San Francisco Pride Parade and celebration takes place June 23-24. This year’s theme is “Global Equality.”

— Seth Hemmelgarn, April 18, 2012 @ 5:38 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Police to investigate ‘adult cabaret’ assault

San Francisco police said today (Thursday, April 12) that they’ll investigate a recent attack that occurred at an “adult cabaret” after a female entertainer declined another woman’s sexual advances.

According to a police summary, officers responded at 9 p.m., Sunday, April 1, to a club on the 500 block of Broadway Street, in the North Beach neighborhood. (Police aren’t disclosing the name of the club.)

The victim told police that after she turned down the advances, “the suspect threw a punch at her and missed.

“Both girls fell to the floor,” police continued in the summary. The suspect got up, grabbed the victim by the hair, and punched her several times in the head, officers reported.

At first, neither the victim nor the suspect wanted to press charges, according to police.

But Sunday, April 8, the victim met with one of the officers who’d initially responded to the club, and told him that the manager “had dissuaded her from making a report.”

Police said that the victim reported “headaches and pain to her face,” and she went to the hospital Monday, April 2. After contacting the club manager and witnesses, an officer completed an incident report.

Officers at Central Station, which oversees the area around the club, weren’t available to answer questions late Thursday.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, April 12, 2012 @ 6:30 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Artist seeks help finding handmade ‘Dude’ shirt

A local gay artist wants help finding a handcrafted shirt that recently went missing from an exhibit at the San Francisco LGBT Community Center.

Asked why someone would take the “one-of-a-kind” flannel bearing the name “Dude” (seen at left), artist Jeremy Chase Sanders, 31, said, “Because it’s badass.”

Sanders did the weaving, sewing, and embroidering by hand, and the shirt took him four months to complete. The center had been displaying it since March 9, and Sanders believes the shirt was stolen between 7 and 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 10. The apparent theft has been reported to the San Francisco Police Department.

The sleeveless flannel is part of a project Sanders is making called “Bromance.” The other shirts he’s crafting bear the labels “Man” and “Bro.”

“It’s about the casual male language between both gay and straight men,” said Sanders. He added that he wants to focus on “how men relate to each other,” and he’s “using the flannel shirt as an icon of casual male attire, and also male identity in general, gay or straight.”

The artist, who also works as a massage therapist and tends bar at 1015 Folsom, suspects besides admiring the shirt, someone may have taken it so they could sell it. Sanders estimated the shirt’s value to be $2,500.

“There’s definitely some artistic value, but I don’t think anyone who stole it would really know about that,” said Sanders. “It’s not like a stolen Picasso or something.”

The shirt was intended for a solo exhibition Sanders has been planning for the Magnet health center in the Castro this October.

Rebecca Rolfe, the community center’s executive director, said the shirt is “far more” than just an article of clothing.

“We really appreciated the tremendous amount of care and craftsmanship and artistic endeavor” that went into the “beautifully” done flannel, said Rolfe.

As far as compensating whoever finds or returns the shirt, Sanders said, “I would hope that the heroism would be its own reward,” but he’s open to providing a 90-minute deep tissue massage or similar reward.

Sanders can be reached at jeremy_at_jeremychasesanders_dot_com.

The police inspector likely to be assigned to the case wasn’t available for comment today (Thursday, April 12).

— Seth Hemmelgarn, @ 3:49 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

San Diego set to dedicate street for gay rights pioneer Harvey Milk

San Diego is set to rename a street after former San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk in time to mark the slain gay rights leaders’ state holiday in May.

The San Diego City Planning Commission today (Thursday, April 12) approved a proposal to rename Blaine Avenue for Milk, who made history as California’s first out person to be elected to political office in 1977 when he won his seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

The following year he was assassinated inside City Hall along with then Mayor George Moscone, forever cementing Milk’s status as a gay icon to LGBT people the world over.

Since his death numerous buildings, parks, and schools have been named after Milk. State legislators several years ago established Milk’s birthday on May 22 as an unpaid state holiday.

In 1999 there was a proposal to rename a long portion of Market Street, San Francisco’s main thoroughfare that leads from the bay up to the gay Castro district, as Harvey Milk Street. But the idea met with opposition and fizzled out.

Now the San Diego City Council is poised to be the first public body in the country to recognize Milk with his own street. The council is expected to approve the street naming at its meeting May 8 in time for a dedication ceremony to be held on Milk Day later in the month.

The southern California city’s LGBT community has long claimed Milk as one of its own, for he  was stationed in San Diego while he served in the US Navy as a diving instructor. Local activist and gay newspaper columnist Nicole Murray Ramirez in 2009 launched a diversity breakfast named after Milk that has become a yearly event. And he has pushed to see Milk honored with a U.S. Postage Stamp.

Through his  column Ramirez, who sits on the board of the Harvey B. Milk Foundation, has championed the street naming proposal. Blaine Avenue leads up to the San Diego LGBT Community Center near the heart of the city’s LGBT neighborhood Hillcrest.

The San Diego Pride committee is collecting donations to help cover the costs of the Harvey Milk Street renaming project at


— Matthew S. Bajko, @ 2:38 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Bay Times plagiarizes BARtab listings

In journalism, one of the first things writers learn is not to plagiarize from other writers. Writers’ works should be their own, or at the very least attributed to the original source. That’s true whether covering city hall or writing calendar listings. Plagiarism is a fire-able offense, as many a reporter has learned.

This week, the Bay Area Reporter became aware that the SF Bay Times was cribbing the calendar listings from BARtab, our monthly nightlife publication. BARtab editor Jim Provenzano spends a lot of time writing the listings, adding his creative flair and making them unique. That’s what a good writer does, even with something that can seem mundane, like calendar listings.

Bay Times publisher Betty Sullivan (Photo: Rick Gerharter)

What caught our eye was the sheer number of identical listings that appeared in the April 5 edition of the Bay Times – and that whoever compiled the listings (Robert Fuggiti is the byline listed) even managed to copy Jim’s typos. That was evidence enough for us to fire off a letter to Bay Times publisher Betty Sullivan, asking her to immediately cease and desist.

Here’s one example:

From the April 1, 2012 edition of BARtab:
Bijou @ Martuni’s
Enjoy an Easter-themed musical cabaret show post-sisters in the Park, with Molly Gazay, Robb Huddleston, Nikki Arias, hostess Trauma Flintstone and accompanist Alan Choy. $5. 7pm. 4 Valencia St. at Market. 241-0205.

Here’s the April 5, 2012 Bay Times:
Bijou @ Martuni’s. Enjoy an Easter-themed musical cabaret show post-sisters in the Park, with Molly Gazay, Robb Huddleston, Nikki Arias, hostess Trauma Flintstone and accompanist Alan Choy. $5. 7pm. 4 Valencia St.

Readers should note the typo – not capitalizing the word “Sisters” that appeared in Jim’s BARtab listing. And yet there it is again in the Bay Times, along with the word-for-word description of the event. The only difference is that Jim includes a phone number, the Bay Times listed a website. That is not enough of a distinction to make the work one’s own.

Listings from April 9, April 10, April 11, and April 12 are all the same, with the exception of one for April 9 that was given a different title. The listings for April 13 are different. The listings for April 14 include two (La Bota Loca and Frolic) that are identical to BARtab. A recent review has determined that plagiarism has occurred in the previous three consecutive issues.

We sent Sullivan the letter. She responded that she would look into it. Then today she called us and said she was sorry about the situation.

“I will take every step to correct it,” she said. “I was surprised by it and am sorry about it.”

We’re appreciative that Sullivan has pledged to rectify the situation and look forward to next week’s Bay Times calendar being BARtab-free.

— Cynthia Laird, @ 12:52 pm PST
Filed under: News

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