Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 3 / 18 January 2018

Trans filmmaker Christopher Lee to be remembered at screenings

Friends and chosen family of the late transgender filmmaker Christopher Lee will gather in Oakland this weekend for screenings of four of his films and to celebrate his life nearly a year after his death.

Lee, who was also known as Christoph, died by suicide December 22, 2012. He was 48.

(Christopher Lee. Photo: Courtesy Shivaun Nestor)

(Christopher Lee. Photo: Courtesy Shivaun Nestor)

On Saturday, December 21, several organizations will present “Christopher Lee: A Community Celebration and Film Screening” at the New Parkway Theater, 474 24th Street in Oakland’s Uptown district. Program 1, which will screen Trappings of Transhood and Christopher’s Chronicles, is scheduled for noon to 1:45 p.m. Program 2 will take place from 2 to 4:45 p.m. and includes Alley of the Tranny Boys and Sex Flesh in Blood. Tickets can be purchased at or at the door. The cost is $10 per program. Onsite childcare will be available.

Lee was long involved in local film circles and helped found Tranny Fest, now called the San Francisco Transgender Film Festival.

Organizers said that following the screenings, representatives from the Transgender Law Center will provide information on new legislation that they plan to put forward next year in collaboration with Equality California. The legislation was sparked in part by Lee’s chosen family’s work to have his death certificate reflect his chosen name and gender identity.

In addition, organizers are inviting attendees to bring fliers, brochures, or other materials related to supporting the health, resilience, art, and culture of transgender people and their families, and to share them at resource tables that will be available.

“It’s so important to celebrate and honor those who we have lost,” TLC executive Director Masen Davis said in a statement. “Christopher’s legacy will live on in so many ways, one of which is inspiring the momentum to change the law so that all Californians can have their gender identity respected upon their passing.”

Chino Scott-Chung, a member of Lee’s chosen family, said that Lee was his brother, best friend, and confidante.

“He had that way of looking right into your eyes, looking for that place where he could find you, where his deeply etched smile lives,” Scott-Chung said. “Christopher lives.”

A number of community leaders who were featured in Trappings of Transhood will be present, including writer and public health consultant Willy Wilkinson, who noted that the film is a historic documentation of the lives of a multicultural group “of transmasculine individuals at a time when few genuine representations of us existed.”

In addition to TLC and the San Francisco Transgender Film Festival, some of the other co-sponsors include Dragon’s Blood Rising, the New Parkway Theater, Asian Pacific Islander Queer Women and Transgender Community, Lolo Cooperative Health, and Fresh Meat Productions.
Christopher Lee (Photo: Courtesy Shivaun Nestor)

— Cynthia Laird, December 18, 2013 @ 4:31 pm PST
Filed under: Arts,film

Parties, bike ride kick off Pride weekend in Oakland

Back for a third year, fiveTen Productions has several events planned this weekend, in the run-up to the fourth annual Oakland Pride festival Sunday, September 1.

FiveTen (the Oakland area code) is a mix of dance parties, live performances, and a bike ride. It’s promoted by Eden Pride Events and produced by Christine De La Rosa and Chaney Turner. The events are open to men and women alike.

(The Memorials will headline the fiveTen Pride after-party Sunday in Oakland.)

(The Memorials will headline the fiveTen Pride after-party Sunday in Oakland.)

First up is Casino Royale Friday, August 30, the official Oakland Pride kickoff party. The action takes place at the Den inside the historic Fox Theatre, 1807 Telegraph Avenue, from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door.

There will be blackjack, roulette, craps tables, and more. Guests who purchase advance tickets will earn $100 in credit to play at the tables. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Eden LGBTQ Youth Foundation. DJs Val G, Lay Fingaz, and Trinity will be spinning the hottest beats.

The foundation, which launched earlier this year, is a separate entity from Eden Pride Events. The events are produced by fiveTEN Oakland Events.

On Saturday, August 31, fiveTen will host its second annual Oakland Pride Bike Ride. Participants should meet at lake Merritt (El Embarcadero Street) at 5:30 p.m.; the ride goes from 6 to 8 and ends at New Parish, 579 18th Street, where valet bike parking will be available The ride is free.

Following the ride, New Parish will host WERQ! Vogue Ball until 2 a.m. Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door. The party will feature two dance floors, food vendors, an outside patio and a vogue competition. The night will feature some of the bay’s finest voguers, whackers, and house dancers who will all battle it out for cash prizes and ultimate vogueing supremacy. The party is hosted by Lady Lana and Aima the Dreamer.

Finally, fiveTen’s events will conclude Sunday, September 1 with a music fest and after-party from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Oakland Metro, 630 3rd Street. VIP tickets are $20, general admission is $15 in advance or VIP $25, general $20 at the door.

This year’s line-up is amazingly diverse with headliners The Memorials, Lila Rose, Aima the Dreamer joined by Raw G., Billie Jr., Micah Tron, Queens D. Light, we have artists representing multiple genres of music. Hip-hop, R&B, indie rock and soul music.

For more information on any of the above events, visit

As for the Oakland Pride festival, it takes place Sunday, September 1 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the city’s Uptown district. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for kids between 2-12. Entrance is at 20th and Broadway, near the 19th Street BART station. For more information, visit

— Cynthia Laird, August 29, 2013 @ 10:58 am PST
Filed under: Arts,News

Group seeks entries for queer music fest

Now in its fourth year, the Bring Your Own Queer music festival that will take place in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park next month is now accepting entries from visual, performance, and interactive artists, as well as installation pieces.

The free festival is scheduled for Saturday, September 15 from noon to 6 p.m. at the Music Concourse between the deYoung and California Academy of Sciences museums in the park. The event celebrates San Francisco- and California-based queer artists in electronic music, live music, performance art, and drag.

DJ Steve Fabus

Several acts have already been confirmed, including DJ Steve Fabus, currently the resident at Go Bang in the city, Carrie (OnDisco), Guy Ruben, and performance artist La Chica Boom. Edaj, who was a grand marshal in June’s LGBT Pride Parade, is also scheduled to perform.

Organizers said that they have waged a successful Kickstarter campaign that has brought in more than $4,000. BYOQ, a fiscally sponsored project of Intersection for the Arts, is also accepting donations.

Those wishing to respond to the call for entries should go to The deadline is Wednesday, August 15. Selected entries will be awarded a modest stipend to help offset costs of creating or installing artwork on location.

For more information about the festival, visit

— Cynthia Laird, August 9, 2012 @ 1:33 pm PST
Filed under: Arts,News

Golden Girl hospitalized, Castro event canceled

Rue McClanahanA Golden Girls tribute event planned for the Castro Saturday, November 14 has been canceled due to the hospitalization of actress Rue McClanahan, who played Blanche Deveraux on the campy NBC sitcom.

In a statement McClanahan apologized for having to miss her San Francisco appearance but said she had to be a no show on doctor’s orders.

“My darlings, I’m just devastated that I am going to have to miss my own tribute at the Castro Theatre,” stated McClanahan from her hospital room, according to the e-mailed statement. “Unfortunately, my doctor has laid down the law, and I’m currently having some maintenance on the old ticker. Trust me, I’d much rather be in San Francisco having fun and being adored by all of you.”

McClanahan, 75, is one of two surviving cast members from the beloved television series. Betty White, 87, who was the ditzy Rose Nylund on Golden Girls, is still acting.

Beatrice “Bea” Arthur, who played Dorothy Zbornak on the show, died in April at the age of 87. Estelle Getty, who played Arthur’s mother Sophia Petrillo on the show, died in 2008 three days shy of her 85th birthday.

Event producer Marc Huestis announced the sudden cancellation Wednesday, November 4. A VIP reception with the aging actress and Del Shores, who was to interview McClanahan on stage, had nearly sold out while tickets for the event were selling briskly, according to Huestis.

“I understand that many folk were excited to attend this tribute, and deeply and sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this unfortunate situation has caused,” Huestis stated. “Our collective hearts go out to Ms. McClanahan for a speedy recovery.”

Huestis said he hopes to reschedule the event. For now refunds can be secured through ticket vendors, and refund information is available at (415) 863-0611.

— Matthew S. Bajko, November 4, 2009 @ 1:01 pm PST
Filed under: Arts

Anderson Cooper, Jodie Foster “outed” by Out?

Out Magazine caused quite a media stir with its latest cover feature, about The Glass Closet. The photo of models holding masks of actress Jodie Foster and CNN host Anderson Cooper visualized the “hiding in plain sight” stance the two often-outed but indifferently confirmed celebrities have regarding their sexual orientation.

Radar Magazine charts a timeline of Cooper’s in and out status, while Foster’s alleged lesbianism has been an obsession of fans and media gossip writers for decades.

The Out article gives mainstream celebrity media like Access Hollywood a chance to discuss what they’re always too afraid to mention.

But the fact that Out chose two un-acknowledged celebrities among its “50 Most Powerful” gays and lesbians for obvious sensationalizing purposes –and considers porn directors and fashion designers more powerful than most out lesbian and gay politicians– betrays more about its editorial narrowcast on fame and glamour versus values and political clout.

— Jim Provenzano, April 11, 2007 @ 3:42 pm PST
Filed under: Arts,media,News,Politics

Cyndi Lauper, Margaret Cho in Gay Rights Concert Tour

Cyndi Lauper just keeps on giving to the LGBT community. Now she’s letting Logo Network and the Human Rights Campaign use the title of her hit song, “True Colors,” (now considered more of a gay anthem than the music to a Kodak commercial) as the title of a national music tour to promote gay rights.

The 15-city “True Colors” concert tour, hosted by comic Margaret Cho, kicks off in Las Vegas on June 8, with a show in Berkeley, Friday June 29 at the Greek Theatre. The tour ends in Los Angeles on June 30.

“This tour is basically gonna be five hours of some of my favorite bands and me, and Margaret Cho making us laugh, and while we’re touring, we’re going to be raising awareness,” Lauper told The Associated Press on Friday. “I think people don’t know what’s going on, that’s all.”

Other tour talent includes gay singer/composer Rufus Wainright, the extra-gay Erasure, and Debbie Harry, formerly of Blondie.

Most of the performers are no stranger to gay fundraiser concerts. Harry’s performed at New York City’s Gay Pride events a few times. Several of the singers wowed crowds in Washington back in 2000 at HRC’s Equality Rocks concert, and Cho and Andy Bell of Erasure performed last summer in Chicago at Gay Games VII’s opening ceremonies. Lauper performed at the Games’ closing ceremony, donning a rainbow striped Statue of Liberty gown. Given the tour’s logo (see website), we expect to see her fabulously iconic couture on stage again.

— Jim Provenzano, March 12, 2007 @ 4:46 pm PST
Filed under: Arts,Music,Politics

Kinsey Sicks protested in South Carolina

sicks.jpgFurman University‘s Conservative Students for a Better Tomorrow have organized a petition to complain about the upcoming March 12 performance by San Francisco-based “drag-apella” quartet the Kinsey Sicks.


— Jim Provenzano, March 2, 2007 @ 12:26 pm PST
Filed under: Arts

Swedish group cancels Nov. 3 Stud show

Swedish glam rockers The Ark, which headlined the Shadowplay Stage and the main stage at last June’s San Francisco Pride festival (video can be seen at had to cancel its Friday night appearances in San Francisco – as well as the rest of its U.S. tour – after the group’s openly bisexual lead singer Ola Salo made a joke about a plane hitting the White House while performing Sunday, October 22 at the opening of the new Swedish Embassy in Washington, D.C.
As reported in the D.C. press – and played up on Fox News – the Swedish Embassy is under the flight path for Reagan National Airport, and as a plane flew overhead as the Ark was about perform “One of Us is Going to Die Young,” Salo joked that the plane was going in the right direction, i.e. towards the White House. (more…)

— Matthew S. Bajko, November 1, 2006 @ 3:34 pm PST
Filed under: Arts,Music

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