Issue:  Vol. 47 / No. 49 / 7 December 2017
 

Brown signs reparative therapy bill

Governor Jerry Brown on Saturday signed SB 1172, which prohibits mental health professionals from attempting to engage in efforts to alter the sexual orientation of LGBT youth 18 years and younger. The bill, authored by state Senator Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), was championed by numerous LGBT organizations, including Gaylesta, an LGBT psychotherapy organization; the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and Equality California.

Governor Jerry Brown (Photo: Lydia Gonzales)

California becomes the first state in the country to have such a law, which goes into effect January 1.

“Governor Brown has sent a powerful message of affirmation and support to LGBT youth and their families,” NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell said in a statement. “This law will ensure that state-licensed therapists can no longer abuse their power to harm LGBT youth and propagate the dangerous and deadly lie that sexual orientation is an illness or disorder that can be ‘cured.’ ”

In a statement to the San Francisco Chronicle, Brown said the bill bans “non-scientific ‘therapies’ that have driven young people to depression and suicide. These practices have no basis in science or medicine and they will now be relegated to the dustbin of quackery.”

The Bay Area Reporter will have more on this and other legislation that Brown signed in this week’s edition.

— Cynthia Laird, September 30, 2012 @ 12:31 pm PST
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Man pleads not guilty in anti-gay hate crime

Rodolfo Navarro (Photo: SFPD)

A man pleaded not guilty this week to assault and hate crime accusations after he allegedly punched a gay man outside the bar Esta Noche.

Rodolfo Navarro, 30, entered a plea of not guilty Wednesday, September 26 in San Francisco Superior Court to felony charges of assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury, criminal threats, and battery, records show. Each of the counts also carries an allegation that Navarro committed a hate crime because of the victim’s sexual orientation.

Navarro, who denied the allegations, also pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge of violating the victim’s civil rights.

In the Sunday, September 23 incident, Navarro allegedly attacked several gay men in front of the popular gay Mission district bar, located at 3079 16th Street, and punched one of them in the face.

Wednesday, Judge Richard Ulmer Jr. set Navarro’s bail at $100,000 and ordered that he stay away from the other man, whom the Bay Area Reporter isn’t naming because he’s the victim of an alleged hate crime.

Deputy Public Defender Michelle Tong, who represented Navarro at his arraignment, didn’t respond to an interview request late Friday afternoon, September 28. Assistant District Attorney Victor Hwang is prosecuting the case.

A preliminary hearing, when a judge will determine whether there is enough evidence to proceed to a trial, is set for Wednesday, October 10.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, September 29, 2012 @ 4:00 pm PST
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SF Dems host October Obama events

San Francisco Democrats are hosting a number of events in early October to help elect President Barack Obama to a second term.

Several of the get-togethers are tied into the first of three presidential debates Obama and his GOP opponent, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, will take part in next month.

They begin Wednesday, October 3 with a debate focused on domestic policy at the University of Denver in the battleground state of Colorado. It will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Pacific (9 to 10:30 p.m. Eastern) time.

On the day of the debate the Obama for America 
campaign is hosting phone-banking sessions for local Democrats to call voters in battleground states. Volunteers can sign up for three-hour sessions at the local Democratic Party’s election HQ at 2278 Market Street in the Castro district.

Several debate watching parties are also taking place that night. The locally based Pride PAC is holding what appears to be its first event since forming in March.

It is hosting a debate salon in conjunction with the Hotel Abri’s Adam Holcomb. The newly renovated hotel is providing refreshments from its restaurant Puccini & Pinetti. Tickets cost $20 and can be bought online here.

The president will be back in the area for a San Francisco fundraiser Monday, October 8 where musician John Legend will be the special guest. LGBT supporters are once again trying to make their presence known by sitting together as a group.

Tickets cost $100 for the event at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. To bundle your ticket with other LGBT donors, purchase them online here.

 

— Matthew S. Bajko, September 27, 2012 @ 3:54 pm PST
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Milk LGBT Dem club launches new website

The Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club launched a new website this week as it works toward getting its message before a larger public audience.

The more progressive of the city’s two queer political clubs, the Milk club’s website had been notoriously rudimentary for years. The relaunch of the site follows a similar overhaul the more moderate Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club undertook of its own website.

Milk’s new online home officially went live Wednesday, September 26. The site’s main page highlights the club’s endorsements in this year’s San Francisco municipal races as well as local and state ballot measures.

It also has a link directing people to its official Facebook page. The club has struggled for years to get its members to use the page it controls and not a separate group page that someone else created and oversees.

The Milk club website includes a contact page listing how to reach its president and correspondent. It also features links to how to become a member or donate.

“It is very important we get our message of a better choice and a stronger voice out there so we can encourage other to choose equality themselves!” wrote president Glendon Hyde, also known by his drag name Anna Conda, in an email to members announcing the new website.

— Matthew S. Bajko, @ 3:13 pm PST
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Grrrl Camp launches poster project campaign

Airbrushed images of girls and women gracing the covers of magazines and on TV won’t go away anytime soon, so Elizabeth Labedz and her girlfriend Whitney Daleiden came up with a plan to combat the issue with their own images of girls and women.

Daleiden, 25, and Labedz, 26, are co-directors of Girls Reclaiming Revolutionary Recreational Learning, better known as Grrrl Camp, a grassroots girls sports organization, which is launching the Powerful Poster Project. The campaign is to develop a series of posters showing women without being airbrushed or Photoshopped, and instead as a powerful dancer, rugby player, or scuba diver in their natural form and state.

Labedz hopes to add three more posters with donor suggestions for the next series at the end of the campaign, she said.

The photos are shot by out lesbian photographer Sarah Deragon, owner of Portraits to the People and Knot Shots Photography, and an LGBT community activist.

Elizabeth Labedz, left, and Whitney Daleiden, right, co-directors of Grrrl Camp, at a 2011 conference. (Photo: Courtesy: Grrrl Camp)

Daleiden and Labedz were inspired to produce the campaign by a study “Sex Objects, Athletes, and Sexy Athletes: How Media Representations of Women Athletes Can Impact Adolescent Girls and College Women.”

The women heard the study’s author, Elizabeth A. Daniels, at the Girls & Women in Sport and Physical Activity Conference 2011: Creating Chang in Minnesota. Daniels found that the way to combat mainstream media images of women was with images of real women.

It was the perfect solution to keep Grrrl Camp going after the summer was over.

“This was something that we knew we could do that was proactive and positive,” said Labedz, who founded Grrrl Camp in 2010, and was later joined by Daleiden.

“I started thinking, ‘How could we make this an actual positive force in the world?’ because I can’t go tell everyone to stop Photoshopping, but this is something I know could have a positive impact,” said Labedz.

The two women are seeking to raise $5,000 to pay for producing the first print run of posters. They’ve raised $3,176 and are halfway through their crowdfunding campaign, which will end in 15 days. The posters will eventually be available for sale on the Grrrl Camp website. Money raised will go directly back into producing more posters, but any money left over beyond that will go toward supporting the program, said Labedz.

Daleiden and Labedz, who are nannies by day, raise only enough money at small fundraisers around the Bay Area to cover equipment, insurance, and to rent fields and spaces throughout the city, said Labedz.

[Updated 9/28/12: Labedz said that the up-and-coming organization’s budget is changing and growing “as we create more programs to serve 6-12 year-old girls.”

“For the past two years we run on a budget of just under $2,500,” she said in an email, which covers the above-mentioned items. Coaches, workshop leaders, and co-directors have all volunteered their services from the beginning, she added. The camp and after-school programs are set to accommodate a small group of girls, no more than 20 at a time, she explained.

“As we acquire grants and more contributions we will be able to expand out programs and the number of girls we serve,” Labedz said. [End of update]

This past spring the women finally moved Grrrl Camp out from under its fiscal sponsor, Bay Area Youth Rugby, and obtained nonprofit status.

The two women want to get the posters to as “many girls as we possibly can, because we know of the positive influence that they can have,” said Labedz.

Posters given away will go to low-income girls whose parents can’t afford to pay for afterschool sports at school or outside of school, which the organization also supplements these girls’ participation.

Grrrl Camp helps girls ages 6 to 12 from a variety of ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds feel empowered by paring workshops on health to social justice with recreational sports, for example dance is paired with a workshop about body image. The camp, which isn’t focused on competitive sports, is simply recreational to get girls moving and enjoying physical activity.

To learn more about the poster project, visit www.indiegogo.com/powerfulposterproject. For information on the organization, visit www.grrrlcamp.org.

– Reported by Heather Cassell

— Cynthia Laird, @ 11:01 am PST
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Brinkin surrenders on child pornography charges

Larry Brinkin (Photo: SFPD)

Gay rigths pioneer Larry Brinkin turned himself into the San Francisco Police Department today (Thursday, September 20) on charges of two felony counts of possession of child pornography and two felony counts of distribution of child pornography, according to Randy Knox, Brinkin’s attorney.

Brinkin, 66, a longtime staffer at the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, is in custody on $240,000 bail, but Knox said, “I believe that Larry is going to post bail and be released later today.”

Knox said he hasn’t had a chance to view the evidence yet, but “he’s presumed innocent, and he respects the process, as do I.” He said he assumes the district attorney’s office will formally charge Brinkin Friday, September 21.

Brinkin was initially arrested on similar charges in June but quickly posted bail. His arrest today follows furher investigation by police at the request of the DA’s office, which has not provided comment on the case.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, September 20, 2012 @ 3:17 pm PST
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Reports detail deaths of SF trans woman, gay man

Officials have released records detailing the deaths of a transgender woman and a gay man who’d both lived in San Francisco and died earlier this year.

Some details around the April drowning of Marilyn Outlaw, 53, are still unknown, but officials haven’t indicated they regard her death as suspicious. Richard Nelson, 36, who was found slumped over outside his apartment in February, died from heart problems.

Marilyn Outlaw

The coroner division of the Marin County Sheriff’s office lists Outlaw’s cause of death as drowning, but the recently completed report says it was the consequence of “undetermined” factors. No one at the coroner’s office was available today (Thursday, September 20) for an interview.

According to the coroner’s report, someone on a sailboat saw Outlaw’s floating body the morning of April 14. The U.S. Coast Guard recovered her body about 1,000 feet from Alcatraz Island, between Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge. She had several “small” scratches on her forehead, the file says.

Outlaw was carrying a Greyhound bus ticket, about $138, and keys, and she was wearing a torn coat, jeans, and a T-shirt when she was found, according to the file. Los Angeles and San Francisco were both listed on her bus ticket. Outlaw had a California ID card bearing her name.

She’d last been seen at about 10 a.m., April 13, when she left the Hartland Hotel, 909 Geary Street, where she lived. Hotel staff reported that Outlaw hadn’t had a visitor in over a week. The manager didn’t find any messages left behind by Outlaw and there was no evidence of anyone else staying in her room, the coroner’s report says.

A San Francisco Police Department homicide inspector searched Outlaw’s room and “found no evidence of foul play, no evidence of drug paraphernalia, and no evidence of letter of intent,” according to the coroner’s documents. A hotel social worker told the inspector that Outlaw, who had “typically been very outgoing,” had “recently displayed signs of social withdrawal,” the report says.

The file says one of Outlaw’s sisters reported that she’d last spoken with her  around February. Outlaw had a history of depression, but the sister wasn’t aware of prior suicidal ideas or attempts.

Outlaw had lived in St. Louis until around 2010, when she’d “abruptly moved to California without offering any warning” to her family, the report says. It also says Outlaw had told a relative she was worried because she owed someone money, but no further information was available to the coroner’s office.

According to the website for the Tenderloin Housing Clinic, the nonprofit that runs the Hartland, the hotel serves homeless people. A staffer at Lutheran Social Services who acted as Outlaw’s payee and handled her rent told a coroner’s official that she’d last seen Outlaw April 13, when the staffer had gone to the Hartland to give her a check. She said Outlaw had been “quiet and didn’t strike up any conversation.”

Told recently by the Bay Area Reporter of how Outlaw had died, BobbieJean Baker, 48, didn’t seem to know quite what to make of it, but she said, “I know she was depressed. She had been on drugs for many years and was starting that ultimate walk of getting off of it.”

Outlaw was “mainly a drinker,” and “somewhere on her, baby, she kept a cocktail,” Baker, a minister at City of Refuge United Church of Christ, which Outlaw had attended, said. According to the toxicology report, the only drug found in Outlaw’s system was caffeine.

The coroner’s report indicates Outlaw was buried at a cemetery in St. Louis. Baker said she was happy the family had received Outlaw’s body.

“Many girls die, and the families don’t claim the bodies,” Baker said. “They just leave them” and let the county “burn them.”

“I know her spirit is free,” Baker said.

Richard Nelson

According to the San Francisco Medical Examiner’s office, at about 6:40 a.m. February 21, a passerby noticed Nelson, a popular Castro resident who’d put himself through law school by working in bars and restaurants, sitting slumped  outside his home. He was pronounced dead about 20 minutes later.

Richard Nelson, left, with friends Armond Dorsey and Sammy Rodriguez in 2004

The cause of death is listed as hypertensive cardiovascular disease. The file lists obesity as another condition, and says Nelson had “a history of heavy alcohol abuse and prescription medication abuse.”

Nelson’s roommate reported that he’d last seen him at about 9:30 the night before. He’d been “heavily inebriated,” and had told a friend that he “had some pills,” the medical examiner’s file says. A prescription container for Alprazolam, which is commonly known as Xanax and hadn’t been prescribed to Nelson, was found in his pocket. The drug is often used to treat anxiety. There were a few pills left.

An examination showed “acute” alcohol and Alprazolam intoxication, according to the report, which was completed in late August.

Armond Dorsey and Sammy Rodriguez, two of Nelson’s friends, said in a joint message to the B.A.R. that since Nelson’s death, “We have sought the support of one another and as a result have all grown closer together as friends.”

Nelson would have turned 37 on October 30. During the final week of October, his friends will be taking a cruise to Mexico.

“Rich always wanted to see Puerto Vallarta and we intend to honor his friendship by having a trip to bring some of his close friends together,” Dorsey and Rodriguez said.

In a message shared by Rodriguez, Kelly McCord, another friend of Nelson’s, said, “Knowing the cause of his passing gives us some sense of closure, yet our hearts still ache, as he is and will always be sorely missed.”

McCord added, “This news also serves as a reminder that regular preventative heath care and screenings are so important, as Richard was not being treated nor was he diagnosed with any cardiovascular health issues, which we know now ultimately were the cause of his passing.”

— Seth Hemmelgarn, @ 1:35 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized


Haaland elected co-VP of LGBT union group

Gabriel Haaland, photo by Gwen Park

Longtime San Francisco Democratic activist and union organizer Gabriel Haaland has been elected a co-vice president of Pride at Work.

The national group for LGBT union members held its triennial convention last week in Cleveland and elected a new slate of executive officers to lead the organization over the next three years.

Haaland, a trans man who is the political coordinator for SEIU Local 1021, will share the vice president role with Shellea Allen, a member of  UNITE-HERE Local 9 in Portland, Oregon.

Elected co-presidents of the group were Shane Larson, legislative director the D.C.-based Communication Workers of America, and Lori Pelletier, secretary-treasurer of the Connecticut AFL-CIO.

“We are at a critical juncture for our labor movement as well as the LGBT movement,” stated Larson in a release announcing the new leadership slate. “The enemies of organizing don’t care if you are gay or straight, transgender or bisexual or what color your skin is or your faith, they are out to see that workers lose their voice and it is up to us to fight back.”

Delegates at the confab also passed a number of resolutions supportive of union actions and LGBT issues. Several measures that were approved dealt specifically with transgender concerns.

Pride at Work members voted to support annual participation in the Transgender Day of Remembrance, which takes places on November 20 each year, and to expand efforts “to achieve full respect, dignity and justice for transgender and nonconforming workers,” including outreach activities, skills trainings and mentoring efforts.

They also called for a National Day of Action on Feb. 1, 2013, in support of transgender-inclusive health care. And they beseeched unions throughout the country to push for LGBT inclusive union contracts and transgender-inclusive health care.

Additional resolutions called for support of organizing for racial justice, mobilizing young workers, and increasing efforts to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS.

“Pride at Work is the voice in the LGBT community explaining how stronger and better off our community is by growing the labor movement and focusing on organizing members of our community,” stated Pelletier.

 

— Matthew S. Bajko, @ 1:33 pm PST
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Milk club PAC snubs Olague in D5 supe race

District 5 Supervisor Christina Olague (seen at right) has a fight on her hands to secure the backing of San Francisco’s more progressive Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club.

Appointed by Mayor Ed Lee earlier this year to represent the left-leaning district, Olague had been president of the city’s Planning Commission and was a tenants rights activist. But she has drawn criticism from the the city’s political left with her stances on a host of issues, particularly around a zoning fight over a waterfront housing project and changes to the city’s ranked-choice voting system.

Those concerns likely cost Olague, the first out bisexual supervisor in the city’s history, the support of the Milk club’s PAC, which spent Saturday (September 15) meeting with candidates seeking the odd-numbered supervisor seats up for grabs this fall.

The PAC ended up recommending that the queer political group give a sole endorsement not to Olague but to Julian Davis, a straight man who on Friday temporarily stepped down as president of the Booker T. Washington Community Service Center in order to focus full-time on his campaign.

Tuesday night (September 18) Milk club members will meet to vote on the endorsements. Like at the PAC meeting, candidates need to secure at least 60 percent of the ballots cast in order to win a sole endorsement. As the Bay Area Reporter noted in August, the Milk club revamped its endorsement tabulating process this year to address how to rank candidates in races where voters can choose up to three people, such as supervisor and mayor.

Milk members eligible to vote must score the candidates on a scale of zero through five, with five being the best score. If only one candidate receives 60 percent of the vote, they receive a sole endorsement.

But if more than one person reaches that threshold, then they will be ranked first, second or third based on the scoring system.

Club members admit there is still some confusion on  how the new voting system works. So it is not assured that the Milk PAC picks will hold once the full membership votes tomorrow evening.

If Olague is unable to flip the vote to her favor then it will be the second time she has failed to secure a major LGBT club’s endorsement. Last month the more moderate Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club snubbed her in the race and instead solely endorsed London Breed, executive director of the African American Art and Culture Complex.

Speculation that Milk would not back Olague has swirled for months, so the PAC vote wasn’t much of a surprise. The real shock came in the PAC decision not to endorse any candidate in the open District 7 seat based in the neighborhoods west of Twin Peaks.

The most progressive person in the race is school board president Norman Yee, and it was speculated he would win favor with the Milk club. But last week he found himself having to apologize for his campaign altering a photo of District 11 Supervisor John Avalos, who is running unopposed for re-election this fall.

Someone switched Avalos’ face with that for another man on a piece of Yee’s campaign literature, which caught the attention of SF Examiner political columnist Melissa Griffin. The Milk club was a backer of Avalos’ run last year for mayor, and the Yee campaign’s misstep may have cost it support among Milk PAC voters.

The PAC also snubbed gay journalist Joel Engardio, who like Yee is also seeking to succeed termed out District 7 Supervisor Sean Elsbernd, considered the most conservative member on the board. Having said he would model himself after moderate supervisors like gay District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener, Engardio had little chance of winning over the Milk PAC.

The Milk PAC is recommending the club give sole endorsements to Board President David Chiu, who is facing nominal competition for his District 3 seat, and to District 1 Supervisor Eric Mar, who faces stiff competition from opponent businessman David Lee.

Both Avalos and gay District 9 Supervisor David Campos, also running unopposed, secured Milk PAC endorsement recommendations.

 

— Matthew S. Bajko, September 17, 2012 @ 6:41 pm PST
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SF Zoo screens gay artist’s film

The San Francisco Zoo is screening a local gay artist’s film inside an unused portion of its renovated Pachyderm Building.

The eight-minute video and sound art installation piece, created by San Francisco resident Henry Jackson, debuted over Labor Day Weekend. Titled KINGDOM ANIMALIA: “An Abstracted Reverie,” it is described as a metaphysical journey that combines Jackson’s observations of both the animals that live at the zoo and the humans who visit.

“I want people to look a little deeper about animals, their behaviors and their origins,” stated Jackson, one of two San Francisco-based out artists  who took part in this year’s hearts art benefit for the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation. “Because animals tend to get the best of human curiosity, I think this is the last thing you’d expect to see at the zoo.”

As a recent Bay Area Reporter article noted, the San Francisco Zoo is trying to attract a different demographic of visitors to the  ocean-side facility than just parents with small children. In June the zoo marched in the city’s annual gay Pride parade for the first time and last month held its first silent disco party.

It has also been trying to use art as another attraction to draw out a more adult clientele. Scattered around the zoological park are animal sculptures by students from a local arts university. Various artists have painted several murals depicting animals on the walls surrounding the old Pachyderm building, which is now home to an Asian rhino.

Jackson’s audiovisual piece, funded in part by the Bernard Osher Foundation, is the first project of its kind at the zoo. It is the latest example of how the zoo is working with artists to re-purpose underutilized areas of the 100-acre park in its effort to reach new audiences.

“Very few programs like this exist in zoos around the world,” stated Tanya M. Peterson, executive director of the San Francisco Zoological Society. “We’re hopeful that Henry’s work will inspire other artists to look at the zoo differently as a place where they can express their creative points of view in relation to the animals we see each and every day here.”

Jackson’s video plays inside the Pachyderm Building between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily.

The zoo is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is located at 1 Zoo Road, San Francisco. Visit www.sfzoo.org for more information.

— Matthew S. Bajko, September 13, 2012 @ 4:42 pm PST
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