Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 7 / 15 February 2018

Extras needed for new gay HBO series filming in SF

jonathan-groff-bioAre you a twenty-something or thirty-something gay or lesbian hipster, techie/gamer type or look like you hang out a lot in gay bars? Then HBO is calling.

Male and female extras who can look the part of those three categories, as well as numerous other San Francisco denizens, are needed for the premium cable channel’s new gay series Looking.  As a story in today’s Bay Area Reporter detailed, filming of the 30-minute, eight-episode show is set to begin Monday, September 16 and last through November.

The weekday film shoots will be taking place around town, especially in the city’s gay Castro district, and across the Bay Area. It revolves around the social lives of three gay men in their thirties.

The dramedy stars Jonathan Groff (at right) of Glee as gay video game developer Patrick who struggles in his social life. Frankie Alvarez, last seen on Smash , will play his best friend, while Murray Bartlett, of Guiding Light, rounds out the trio of leads.

Beau Bonneau Casting is seeking Bay Area local men and women 18 years old and over for extra work on the series. According to a casting call sent out this week, other types needed include LGBT community, gay couples, Mission neighborhood residents, Chinatown residents, business types, punks, and panhandlers.

It also said men willing to be nude “occasionally” are sought, and anyone “with character and interesting faces.” Some extras could also be chosen for featured roles in close proximity to cast members but will have no speaking lines, stated the casting agency.

Most shoots are outdoors, it said, and will last up to 10-12 hours and start by 6 a.m.

Those interested in applying should send an email to with the following information:

* Subject line:  Name, Approximate Age, Cell #

* Union Status:  SAG-AFTRA or Non Union.  If Union, include member #

* City you live in & Weekday Avail Dates 9/16 – 10/1 and general avail 10/2-11/8

* Height, Weight & Clothing Sizes/Measurements

* Attach 2 new color digital camera or camera phone snapshots, 1 close up from chest up smiling & 1 standing, both facing camera with hair down if long.  No hats or sunglasses.

— Matthew S. Bajko, September 12, 2013 @ 2:11 pm PST
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SFAF announces director for new heatlh center

Tim Patriarca (Photo: SFAF)

Tim Patriarca (Photo: SFAF)

San Francisco AIDS Foundation announced Wednesday (September 11) that it has selected Tim Patriarca as the executive director of the health and wellness center the nonprofit’s planning for the Castro neighborhood.

“We are privileged to have someone of Tim’s caliber and expertise to oversee this exciting new chapter in the history of San Francisco AIDS Foundation,” said Neil Giuliano, the AIDS foundation’s CEO, in a statement. “Our new home for health and wellness will play a critical role in achieving our goal of making San Francisco the first U.S. city to end the transmission of HIV, and Tim brings with him a unique background and knowledge to shape the facility so that it best serves the needs of our community and improves health for all gay and bisexual men.”

The AIDS foundation hopes to begin serving clients at the new facility, located at 474 Castro Street, in the spring of 2014.

Patriarca, 45, started work Wednesday. He said he was immediately drawn to the project when he heard about the job because of the potential to have an impact on the community.

“The scope and the possibilities are amazing,” said Patriarca in an interview Wednesday.

SFAF has been working for months to join three of its programs – the Magnet testing center, Stonewall Project drug counseling services, and Stop AIDS Project – under one roof to create the first dedicated home for health and wellness for gay and bisexual men.

The facility will offer a sexual health clinic, substance use and mental health services, and prevention outreach to ensure gay and bi men are linked to care. New services will be added for special populations, including young gay and bi men of color and older adults with HIV/AIDS.

Among his first tasks, Patriarca said he’ll be working with the directors of the three programs on “making sure that when a guy comes in that all these programs are seamless,” and whether they need STD testing, substance abuse counseling, or other services, “it’s there, and it’s easy. One stop shopping.”

Patriarca, whose salary at SFAF is $175,000, previously served as director of Health at Home for the San Francisco Department of Public Health. The agency ensures continuity of care between hospital visits and discharges to home. Before that, he was executive director of Maitri, a local hospice that provides 24-hour care for people living with HIV/AIDS.

With the new center, the AIDS foundation has been trying to shift the focus from death and dying to health and wellness. That struck a cord with Patriarca.

“I’ve been working in HIV/AIDS world for quite a while,” he said, and at Maitri, he was working with people who were dying or “seriously debilitated.” His new post offers “a chance for me to work on a different side of the epidemic.”

The health center site is the former home to Superstar Video and a number of health offices upstairs. SFAF is working to raise an estimated $8 million to $10 million to cover construction, program expansion, and other costs.

Patriarca said he’ll be working with others “on raising the money and getting out in the community and making sure people understand why it’s important.” He said that he hadn’t yet learned how much has been raised so far.

Giuliano had hoped that his agency would be able to start renovation of the facility by late August or early this month, but the project hasn’t yet been presented to the city’s planning commission.

SFAF spokesman Ryan McKeel said in an email Wednesday the agency will soon submit final plans to the planning department for review and have a hearing at the planning commission “in the next week or two.”

Patriarca will co-lead program integration and planning for new services, along with Bob Rybicki, SFAF’s vice president of programs and services, in advance of the facility opening. Patriarca, who lives in the Castro with his husband, James Wang, will oversee day-to-day operations once the center opens.

He said that part of his job is also “to get feedback, to make sure people feel like since this center is for them that they’re being heard.” He can be reached at or (415) 487-3095.

New philanthropy director

Stacy Youkilis (Photo: SFAF)

Stacy Youkilis (Photo: SFAF)

Patriarca isn’t the AIDS foundation’s only new staffer. The nonprofit announced last week that it’s hired Stacy Youkilis, 37, as director of philanthropy. Youkilis previously served as director of individual giving societies at the San Francisco Symphony and as development manager at Stanford Lively Arts, among other posts.

“We rely heavily on private funds to support the free HIV prevention and care services at the foundation, and Stacy is the right person to strengthen and grow our philanthropy programs and give donors confidence that their gifts are making a real difference in the fight against HIV/AIDS in our community,” stated Giuliano.

“I’m very excited to be here,” said Youkilis, who’s a straight ally, in an interview. She said the AIDS foundation is “running full speed ahead” for its anniversary party October 12 at the California Academy of Sciences. The nonprofit will honor Dr. Anthony Fauci, who’s the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and has been a leading figure in the fight against AIDS from the start of the epidemic. SFAF will also present its first-ever Dream Award, which is meant to celebrate a young person of color “who’s made contributions to the field and our community,” said Youkilis.

But she noted that the AIDS foundation, which has a budget of about $24 million, has been looking to stop relying so heavily on large fundraisers and make more money from individual donors.

The agency has been “extremely event-focused,” said Youkilis, and “I think we’re really looking at a very holistic program, and looking to build on the individual side of our giving to balance it out.”

Youkilis declined to share her salary, citing the nonprofit’s policy.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, @ 12:03 pm PST
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Breaking: SF Pride CEO forced out

The chief executive officer of the organization that oversees San Francisco Pride has resigned under pressure from the board.

(SF Pride CEO Earl Plante, center, has resigned. Lisa Williams, left, is now interim CEO. Photo: Rick Gerharter)

(SF Pride CEO Earl Plante, center, has resigned. Lisa Williams, left, is now interim CEO. Photo: Rick Gerharter)

A letter from the board of directors of the San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration Committee released late Friday, September 6 said that the board and CEO Earl Plante “reached a mutual agreement” for Plante to resign. His resignation is effective immediately.

Pride board President Lisa Williams has taken a leave from the board and is serving as interim CEO. Davace Chin is now board chair.

The abrupt resignation comes just days after news broke that Plante sent a threatening email to a Castro man seeking a position on the board.

“After several thoughtful discussions, the San Francisco Pride board of directors and Earl Plante have reached a mutual agreement for Earl to resign as chief executive officer,” the email said. “His resignation is effective immediately.”

Jesse Oliver Sanford, the gay man and Pride board candidate who was threatened in an email by Plante, said it was the corporatization of SF Pride that proved the downfall of the embattled CEO.

“He’s an excellent corporate fundraiser,” Sanford said of Plante, “but fundraising is not the whole picture.”

Sanford said Plante and other SF Pride board members were “out of touch” with their membership and with the broader LGBT community in San Francisco.

The email from Plante’s SF Pride account to Oliver stated, “You will need to resign from board consideration by 5pm Thursday or I will be forced to go to police informing them that you assaulted me earlier this year. Current board members also have already been informed and all were shocked that you were considering running after what you did …”

The incident Plante is referring to occurred at the Pride board’s May 7 meeting when the Manning grand marshal fiasco resulted in chaos, with angry Manning supporters demanding the honor be restored. Sanford, who identifies as gay, said in an email that he was part of a crowd outside the SF Pride office who was angry when the meeting was abruptly canceled.

Neither Sanford nor anyone else was cited in the alleged assault on Plante. Sanford said he “never touched Earl” and was never close to him.

On Wednesday, Plante said he sent the email as an individual Pride member and not in is position as CEO. But the damage had apparently been done.

After initially naming Manning as a grand marshal in late April, the Pride board reversed itself two days later. Initially Williams, in a statement, said that it was a “mistake” to name Manning a grand marshal. Later, the board came out with a second statement that said Manning couldn’t be considered for a community grand marshal slot because he is not local.

At a May community meeting, Plante lost his temper when a speaker derided Williams. And then the Pride board determined that Manning, who was convicted last month of leaking classified materials to WikiLeaks, would not be honored in any way at the Pride parade.

“The Chelsea Manning controversy had been building for years,” Oliver said. “It was decades of corporatization that resulted in the controversy.”

“Earl got caught up in something he didn’t understand,” Sanford said. “I feel sad for him.”

The Pride board’s email praised Plante for his fundraising. “His level of commitment to our community has enabled Pride to realize financial stability,” the email read.

Plante’s “contributions allowed us to produce the largest, most successful Pride parade and celebration in our 43-year existence,” the board’s email said.

Gay District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener told the Bay Area Reporter Friday evening that he has “continuing concerns” about Pride’s governance structure.

“There are many good people who work very hard to make the parade a success each year,” Wiener said. “I want to make sure these folks can continue to succeed with a governance model that promotes stability in the organization. I’m not seeing that stability now and haven’t for awhile.”

Gay District 9 Supervisor David Campos, who earlier this year called for a hearing at the Board of Supervisors on Pride, told the B.A.R. Friday that he, too, continues to have concerns with the way the nonprofit organization is run.

Though Campos emphasized that the problems at Pride “go beyond any one individual,” he said questions about Williams stepping down from the board to run Pride, after she and other board members were mostly non-responsive to Manning supporters and others in the community, were “legitimate.”

“I want to see a management structure that is transparent, responsive, and accountable,” Campos said.

He added that he and Wiener have sent in the request for a board hearing, which is scheduled for September 12 at 2 p.m. in room 250 at City Hall.

Plante was the second CEO to resign under pressure in recent years.

The B.A.R.‘s emails to Plante and Williams seeking comment were not immediately returned.

–Reported by James Patterson and Cynthia Laird

— Cynthia Laird, September 6, 2013 @ 6:52 pm PST
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Longtime Castro merchant to open new cafe

castro store picLongtime Castro merchant and business leader Patrick Batt is set to open a new cafe later this month with his business partner, Bill Singleton.

Called Eureka!, the coffeehouse will be located at 451 Castro Street next door to burger restaurant Sliders. The space had formerly housed Gelateria Naia, and before that, was the home of a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream shop.

The storefront (seen at right) is currently under construction as the entrance way is redone and the interior is remodeled. It should be complete in the next few weeks and will join two other coffeehouses coming to the Castro – Illy and Weaver Coffee – with locations on upper Market Street.

Batt and Singleton would like to welcome their first customers by the start of Leather Pride Week, Sunday, September 22, in San Francisco, which culminates with the Folsom Street Fair Sunday, September 29.

“It is going to be just a fabulous, multifaceted, cafe experience,” said Batt, a former president of the Merchants of Upper Market and Castro who owns the vintage porn store Auto Erotica on 18th Street.

The name is derived from the state motto – “Eureka … I have found it!” – as well as from what the city’s LGBT district was traditionally called before gay residents began moving onto Castro Street in the 1970s.

“This is, and always has been, Eureka Valley,” explained Batt, who officially announced his new commercial venture during this morning’s (Thursday, September 5) MUMC meeting.

They will serve coffee from local roaster Blue Bottle, french pastries from Bayview-based bakery Crepes and Brioche, which sells its sweets at the weekly Castro farmer’s market, and artisanal ice cream from a local producer they are currently negotiating with.

The hours will be 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.



— Matthew S. Bajko, September 5, 2013 @ 3:25 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Petition urges companies to speak out on Russia’s anti-LGBT laws

Screen Shot 2013-09-05 at 1.28.04 PMApple, Google, and other companies are being asked to speak out against anti-LGBT violence in Russia.

The National Center for Lesbian Rights launched a petition Thursday (September 5) calling on the corporations to take action as part of the “Stop LGBT Hate in Russia” campaign. In recent months, Russian authorities have enacted extreme anti-gay laws forbidding positive discussion of LGBTs, among other policies.

The petition urges companies that do business in Russia and have non-discrimination policies to call on the Russian government to repeal the laws, which have sparked violent anti-LGBT attacks.

“Russia’s appalling treatment of LGBT people has taken a shocking turn with the passage of these horrific laws,” NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell said in a statement. “In the wake of these laws, discrimination and violence against the LGBT community in Russia are utterly unchecked. We cannot sit on our hands and do nothing. If we are to ever live in a world where the security and safety of our LGBT brothers and sisters are ensured no matter where they live, we must fight back in every way we can.”

Almost 4,000 people had signed the petition as of Thursday afternoon.

Apple and Google didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, @ 1:22 pm PST
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Man arrested in Castro robbery, kidnapping

Waverly Walton Mug Shot

Walton Waverly (Photo: SFPD)

A 56-year-old man was arrested on robbery, kidnapping and other charges after he allegedly stole another man’s phone and money Monday night, September 2, in the Castro neighborhood.

According to the San Francisco Police Department, at about 10 p.m. Monday, the “very intoxicated” victim, 26, was standing in front of a bar in the 2200 block of Market Street when Walton Waverly approached him and grabbed his cell phone from his hand.

Waverly then walked the victim around the corner, went through his pockets, and took his wallet, police said in a summary. Waverly flagged down a cab and fled the scene, but police pulled the cab over and took Waverly into custody, officers reported.

Police arrested Waverly on felony charges of second degree robbery, kidnapping, grand theft from a person, and violation of parole stemming from a previous burglary arrest. The victim’s phone and cash were recovered.

Alex Bastian, a spokesman for the district attorney’s office, said Wednesday (September 4) that Waverly was discharged to parole.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, September 4, 2013 @ 2:11 pm PST
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Obama extends benefits to veterans’ same-sex spouses

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder

The Obama administration announced Wednesday (September 4) that the president has directed the Executive Branch to allow same-sex spouses of military veterans to collect federal benefits. The move, announced by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, follows the U.S. Supreme Court’s June ruling in U.S. v. Windsor that struck a key section of the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act.

Under the new policy, the administration will no longer enforce statutory language governing the Veterans Administration and the Department of Defense “that restricts the awarding of spousal benefits to opposite-sex marriages only,” White House officials stated Wednesday.

The language is contained within Title 38 of the U.S. Code. Holder wrote to Congressional leaders, “Although the Supreme Court did not directly address the constitutionality of the Title 38 provisions in Windsor, the reasoning of the opinion strongly supports the conclusion that those provisions are unconstitutional under the Fifth Amendment.”

Last year, Holder informed Congress that the Justice Department wouldn’t defend the Title 38 provisions any more, but that the Executive Branch would continue to enforce them.

“Today’s announcement makes clear that enforcement of the provision in Title 38 defining marriage as between a man and a woman will now cease,” officials said Wednesday.

Out gay Congressman Mark Takano (D-Riverside) said in a news release that he’s “pleased” with the administration’s statements on DOMA.

However, he added, “The Executive Branch can, and should, do all that it can to root out the remaining pieces of this discriminatory law. No one, especially the brave men and women who put their life on the line for our country, should suffer because of who they love.”

Takano continued, “I firmly believe that the recent momentum for LGBT equality will continue and that justice will ultimately prevail.”



— Seth Hemmelgarn, @ 1:17 pm PST
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Local franchisee wants to serve up a Castro Ben and Jerry’s ice cream shop

Screen Shot 2013-09-04 at 12.35.07 PMVenerable Vermont-based ice cream company Ben and Jerry’s could once again have a location in San Francisco’s gay Castro district if a local franchisee’s plan to open a store in the neighborhood wins approval.

The ice cream purveyor had served up its famous Chunky Monkey, Cherry Garcia, and other flavors at a locally-owned store at 451 Castro Street near the Castro Theater until it closed roughly five years ago.

Now Lawrence “Mac” Maki, the president of I Scream Scoops, LLC who operates the Ben and Jerry’s store at Oakland’s Jack London Square, has settled on the Castro to open his second outlet.

He is in talks with the landlords for three retail spaces near the intersection of 18th and Castro Street in the heart of the gayborhood. Because only one of the potential storefronts in currently vacant and he does not have a signed lease, Maki declined to reveal the addresses during an interview with the Bay Area Reporter this morning (Wednesday, September 4), though he did allow none are prominently located at the intersection.

“I think it is the perfect partnership of the values of Ben and Jerry’s and the Castro and the LGBT community. I think those all match very well,” Maki said when asked why he had chosen the gayborhood to open another store.

The company has long been recognized for its pro-gay policies and has been a vocal backer of marriage equality efforts around the globe. It also backs labeling of genetically-modified organisms in food products.

“As of April 9 this year all the ice cream flavors we produce are fair trade certified. That is a huge development,” noted Maki.

Due to Ben and Jerry’s being a formula retailer, Maki will need to seek a conditional use permit from the city’s planning commission. He would like have a lease signed and permits approved in order to open by spring of 2014.

“Since we don’t have a lease agreement yet, it is very hard to tell you what the build out timeline would be,” said Maki, who has operated the Oakland store for 10 years.

He is hopeful he can avoid the negative reactions other chains that have sought Castro-based locations have received in recent months. Both Starbucks and Chipotle Mexican Grill abandoned plans to open corner spots on upper Market Street due to neighborhood opposition.

Maki noted that his financial partner in the Castro store will be a gay man, Dan Meisenhoelder, who has been his “refrigeration guy”  handling any freezer and HVAC issues at the Oakland store for five years.

And he sought out the advice of longtime customer and friend Robert Bernardo, a gay man who works for the Port of Oakland, about entering the Castro neighborhood.

“Mac approached me with his idea of opening a scoop shop in the Castro, and I told him that I thought it was a very good idea. So, I offered to give him pro bono marketing advice,” Bernardo told the B.A.R. “Mac is a smart entrepreneur who has ‘heart’ and he truly loves his product, really good ice cream (with a conscience).”

Bernardo added, “While I do not live in the neighborhood, I do think that a Ben & Jerry’s would benefit the community because it would attract jobs, tax dollars and tourists.”

Tomorrow morning, at the monthly meeting of the Merchants of Upper Market and Castro, Maki will make his first public presentation about his expansion plans. He intends to contact other Castro neighborhood groups and meet with them in coming weeks.

Asked what sort of reception a Ben and Jerry’s would meet in the Castro, MUMC president Terry Asten Bennett told the B.A.R. it “depends where they are trying to go.”



— Matthew S. Bajko, @ 1:14 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

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