Issue:  Vol. 44 / No. 16 / 17 April 2014
 

Manning comes out as transgender

Convicted Army Private Bradley Manning on Thursday (August 22) released a statement in which she said that she is a transgender woman and will now be known as Chelsea E. Manning.

(Private Chelsea E. Manning)

(Private Chelsea E. Manning)

Manning, 25, was sentenced by an Army judge this week to 35 years in prison for leaking classified government documents to WikiLeaks. Manning was found guilty of most of the charges against her during a court-martial but the judge, Colonel Denise Lind, acquitted Manning of the most serious charge, aiding the enemy.

Lind also ordered that Manning, a former private first class, be reduced in rank to private and be dishonorably discharged from the Army.

“As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me,” Manning said in her statement. “I am Chelsea Manning. I am female. Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible.”

“I also request that, starting today, you refer to me by my new name and use the feminine pronoun (except in official mail to the confinement facility). I look forward to receiving letters from supporters and having the opportunity to write back.”

Manning is expected to serve his sentence at a military facility in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Gay rights and civil liberties groups quickly issued statements in support of Manning’s decision and calling for appropriate medical care for her.

“Regardless of how she came to our attention, Private Chelsea Manning’s transition deserves to be treated with dignity and respect,” Jeff Krehely, vice president of the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement. “As she requested in her letter, journalists and other officials should use her chosen name of Chelsea and refer to her with female pronouns. Using the name Bradley or male pronouns is nothing short of an insult.”

Krehely also said that Manning should be afforded appropriate care while incarcerated.

“As Private Manning serves her sentence, she deserves the same thing that any incarcerated person does – appropriate and competent medical care and protection from discrimination and violence,” he said. “The care she receives should be something that she and her doctors – including professionals who understand transgender care – agree is best for her.”

Krehely also noted that Manning’s case is unique.

“What should not be lost is that there are transgender service members and veterans who serve and have served this nation with honor, distinction, and great sacrifice,” he said. “We must not forget or dishonor those individuals. Private Manning’s experience is not a proxy for any other transgender man or woman who wears the uniform of the United States.”

The America Civil Liberties Union also released a statement referencing Manning’s future medical care.

“[P]ublic statements by military officials that the Army does not provide hormone therapy to treat gender dysphoria raise serious constitutional concerns,” said Chase Strangio, staff attorney with the ACLU’s LGBT Project. “Gender Dysphoria is a serious medical condition in which a person’s gender identity does not correspond to his or her assigned sex at birth, and hormone therapy is part of the accepted standards of care for this condition.”

Strangio pointed out that the policy of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, which does not oversee military detention facilities, and most state agencies is to provide medically necessary care for the treatment of gender dysphoria. Courts have found that denying such care based on blanket exclusions violates the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution, he added.

— Cynthia Laird, August 22, 2013 @ 10:40 am PST
Filed under: News


Pride board gets an earful at Manning meeting

Members of the San Francisco Pride board of directors agreed to decide the “next step” in their handling of the Bradley Manning fiasco after listening to angry community members sound off during a raucous three-hour meeting Friday at a Castro church.

Within a week, the board of the San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration Committee is expected to make a decision on several options mentioned by speakers at the May 31 meeting, held at Metropolitan Community Church-San Francisco to accommodate the large crowd. Those include reinstating Manning as a grand marshal, letting the Bradley Manning contingent lead the Pride parade, or finding an alternative honor for Manning.

Manning, 25, is the gay Army private accused of leaking 700,000 classified government documents to WikiLeaks. He was initially named a grand marshal by the Pride Committee in late April. But the Pride board rescinded the honor two days later, claiming it was a “mistake.” Since then, many people have denounced the Pride board.

During the meeting, SF Pride CEO Earl Plante, board President Lisa Williams, and other board members listened quietly, respectfully, and took notes as 50 predominately angry community members used their two minutes to mostly call them liars and demand they re-instate Manning as a grand marshal.

(SF Pride CEO Earl Plante shows his anger during a heated exchange during Friday's meeting. Photo: Rick Gerharter)

(SF Pride CEO Earl Plante shows his anger during a heated exchange at Friday’s meeting. Photo: Rick Gerharter)

Only three people spoke in support the board’s decision to rescind Manning’s grand marshal honor. One of them, Chris Bowman, called Williams “courageous.” When Bowman, a local gay Republican and political consultant, said the Log Cabin Republicans supported the board’s decision not to honor Manning, he was greeted with loud hissing from the crowd.

Gay radio journalist Scott Shafer with KQED moderated the meeting and tried to keep speakers civil and within their time allotment, but he was largely ignored and disrespected. This went on for two hours and 15 minutes before chaos erupted.

Daniel Kim took the microphone and angrily called Williams a murderer to her face.

At that point, Plante jumped from his seat, screaming, “Don’t call me a murderer! This meeting is over!” He started to walk out, but Williams and other board members restrained him.

San Francisco Patrol Special Police Officer Ken Craig and other community members led Kim away from the microphone.

Williams and others calmed Plante and he tried to resume the meeting, but it was out of control and no one knew what to do.

It was at that point that gay San Francisco Supervisor David Campos, who had put pressure on the Pride board to hold the public forum, calmed the crowd. To a quieted audience, Campos called Manning “courageous.”

“The LGBT community is not afraid to speak truth to power,” Campos said. He suggested Manning “saw a wrong and tried to right it.”

He asked the Pride board “to move us forward collectively” and “reconsider” its decision. The capacity crowd shouted and gave Campos a standing ovation.

A noticeably frustrated Plante and the board tried to answer questions from speakers, but there was little order and nothing he or board members said were popular with the crowd.

At end, the board agreed to decide on “the next step” in seven days. Local attorney David Waggoner and others demanded an immediate decision before the meeting ended. The board declined with treasurer David Currie doing most of the talking and being shouted down by the crowd.

Williams managed to end the meeting. She and Plante quickly exited the church.

The Bay Area Reporter will have more coverage of the meeting in Thursday’s edition.

– Reported by James Patterson
[This post has been updated to reflect that not all the speakers were angry.It was also updated to correct that Mr. Kim's comments were directed at Williams, not Plante, and that Plante got up but did not jump over the table.]

— Cynthia Laird, June 1, 2013 @ 7:04 am PST
Filed under: News


TLC takes top spot in Give OUT Day

The inaugural Give OUT Day, an online opportunity for LGBTs to donate to their favorite LGBT nonprofit, was declared a success by organizers, who reported more than a half-million dollars was collected during the 24-hour event.

San Francisco-based Transgender Law Center took the top spot nationally in the May 9 fundraiser, garnering $17,555 from 294 unique donors. With prize grants for winning the top spot and matching grants, TLC’s total take for the day was $32,085.

Organization leaders were ecstatic and said that Give OUT Day was the “perfect storm for the transgender community and Transgender Law Center specifically.” Nathan Harris, TLC’s development director, said the agency has been boosting its social media presence. It showed on Give OUT Day.

“Transgender Law Center has been building a robust social media presence in the past few years resulting today in over 13,000 Facebook fans and over 6,000 Twitter followers,” Harris said in an email Friday. “That made a major difference.”

Give_Out

Nearly 400 nonprofits participated in Give OUT Day. TLC also took first place in the Bay Area, followed by the Gay-Straight Alliance Network, which pulled in $4,066 from 96 unique donors. Finishing third was the New Conservatory Theatre Center with $4,091 raised from 64 unique donors.

All told, nationally Give OUT Day raised $556,400 from 5,474 unique donors. The idea for the coast-to-coast endeavor was implemented by New York-based Bolder Giving, which teamed up with crowdfunding site Razoo.com to create the online platform. The Horizons Foundation served as a sponsor.

Nationally, the Greater Twin Cities United Way took second place with $12,866 raised from 226 unique donors. Minnesota has a similar one-day, online giving event and it was a gay man, Charlie Rounds, who lives in Minneapolis, that suggested the idea for an LGBT-specific online donor drive to Bolder Giving Executive Director Jason Franklin, who is also gay. Rounds is a longtime trustee of the Kevin J. Mossier Foundation, which provided a three-year grant of $425,000 to Bolder Giving for Give OUT Day.

Rounding out the top three national groups was OutServe-SLDN, the merged group of LGBT military personnel and veterans. The organization raised $10,599 from 205 unique donors.

In TLC’s case, Harris said that volunteers, including board and development committee members and major supporters, made Give OUT Day a priority by leveraging their personal social media networks.

“Janet Mock, Cecilia Chung, Margaret Cho, and many others tweeted and retweeted our announcements,” Harris explained.

Additionally, an anonymous donor, Leonie Walker and Dr. Kate O’Hanlan, and Rose Hayes provided an incentive challenge and matching grants that “quadrupled our donor gifts up to $4,000,” Harris added.

There were also transgender issues in the news Thursday that helped bring attention to TLC and its programs, Harris said. The state Assembly approved AB 1266, a measure by gay Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) that ensures that transgender students in California have equal and full access to programs and facilities on the basis of their gender identity.

Another bill, AB 1121 by out Assemblywoman Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), also passed in the Assembly. It would help ensure transgender people have access to identity documents that accurately reflect their gender identity.

Both bills now advance to the state Senate.

“We’d like to thank everyone who participated – it was a huge victory nationally in the ongoing effort to increase philanthropy toward LGBT causes,” Harris said. “To those who placed the transgender movement prominently in the national spotlight as part of that historic moment, we are totally humbled.”

— Cynthia Laird, May 10, 2013 @ 2:15 pm PST
Filed under: News


New traveler’s lecture series launches in SF

Travelers curious about living and working abroad, taking a sabbatical to gallivant around the world, or simply going on a spiritual journey can take their first steps to an adventure at Waypost, a new monthly travel lecture series.

Lee O’Brian, co-founder and co-host of Waypost, will kick off the discussion on January 23 exploring living abroad and the lessons he’s learned with “Expat Life – As Good as it Sounds?”

O’Brian, 37, lived and worked for a decade in four different countries and eight different industries, according to the lecture series website.

O’Brian, a straight man, co-founded and co-hosts Waypost with follow global vagabond Cathrine Lindblom Gunasekara, 29, who was born and raised in Norway. Like O’Brian, she’s lived and worked on three continents and traveled to more than 40 countries.
They have both settled – for the moment – in San Francisco.

Hungry to hear stories from fellow travelers and friends, rather than the more formal travel conversations they created Waypost with the assistance of Jetpac, the iPad app for travel inspiration.

“We are hoping travelers and aspiring travelers will enjoy listening to ‘behind the scenes’ stories and will get inspired to set out on the next journey they’re dreaming of,” said Gunasekara.

The free travel lecture series will be held on a Wednesday each month from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Stanza Coffee Bar, 3126 16th Street, San Francisco. Space is limited, to RSVP visit http://www.meetup.com/traveltalks/.
Discussions in the fall will focus on LGBT travel.

For more information, visit http://wayposttraveltalks.tumblr.com/.

- Filed by Heather Cassell

— Cynthia Laird, January 22, 2013 @ 11:14 am PST
Filed under: News


Supes OK landmark status for gay bar

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors today unanimously approved designating the Twin Peaks Tavern to be a historic landmark. The longtime gay bar sits at the corner of Castro and Market streets and was the first known gay bar to feature full length open plate glass windows, becoming a visible beacon in the LGBT movement.

The Twin Peaks Tavern was designed a historic landmark by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors Tuesday. (Photo: Rick Gerharter)

The legislation was sponsored by gay District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener.

“Twin Peaks Tavern has been at the center of our LGBT community for over 40 years,” Wiener said in a statement. “I’m excited to celebrate the historical significance of this iconic bar in the heart of the Castro.”

The tavern was founded in the 1930s. In 1972 it was purchased by two lesbians and began its life in the middle of the Castro and LGBT community.

Jeffrey Green and George Roehm currently own the bar.

“We feel the importance of this action is to preserve this not only for ourselves but for future generations, and not only in San Francisco but as a model for other communities and cities nationwide,” Green and Roehm, who are gay, said in an interview last fall. They added that their spouses are “silent partners” in the bar.

Among the benefits of landmark status, California’s historical building code provides alternative building regulations for permitting repairs, alterations, and additions necessary for the preservation, rehabilitation, relocation, related construction, or continued use of a qualified historical building.

— Cynthia Laird, January 15, 2013 @ 5:28 pm PST
Filed under: News


Breaking: Frank wants interim Senate post

It looks like former Congressman Barney Frank isn’t quite ready to leave Capitol Hill after all.

Barney Frank, who retired from the House of Representatives this week, is interested in the interim Massachusetts Senate seat. (Photo: Rudy K. Lawidjaja

One day out of retirement as a member of the House of Representatives, Barney Frank said today that he has asked Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick to appoint him as the interim senator to replace John Kerry, who is expected to be confirmed Secretary of State later this month.

Frank, a gay Massachusetts Democrat, told MSNBC’s Morning Joe talk show panel on that he would like to serve as U.S. senator from Massachusetts for the several months before a special election chooses Kerry’s replacement.

Host Joe Scarborough, racing to close off the eight-minute free-for-all “exit interview” with Frank, asked: “Former Congressman Barney Frank, would you consider possibly being future Senator Barney Frank if the governor calls you and says …”

“Yeah,” said Frank, before the question was fully out of Scarborough’s mouth.

” … fill in for a few months?”

“A month ago, a few weeks in fact, I said I wasn’t interested,” said Frank. “It was kinda like you’re about to graduate and they said you’ve got to go to summer school. But that [temporary fiscal cliff] deal now means that February, March, and April are going to be among the most important months in American financial …”

“So, you’d consider it?” interjected Scarborough.

“Yes, in fact, I’m not going to be coy, it’s not anything I’ve ever been very good at, but I’ve told the governor that I would like, frankly, to do that because I would like to be a part of that.”

President Barack Obama nominated Kerry December 15 to replace retiring Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Patrick said, at a press conference December 21, that he would not name anyone to the seat until after Kerry is confirmed. But that process is not expected to take long because Kerry appears to have widespread support from his Senate colleagues in both parties.

Other names being tossed around the rumor mill as potential interim senators include Mike Dukakis, a former Democratic governor of Massachusetts, and Vicki Kennedy, the widow of the late Senator Ted Kennedy. Frank has the advantage of still having a residence and staff in Washington.

Meanwhile, former Senator Scott Brown, a Republican who held the Kennedy seat until he was replaced by newly sworn-in Senator Elizabeth Warren this week, is expected to run for the Kerry seat. And, at the moment, Democrats in Massachusetts appear to be coalescing behind Representative Ed Markey, who has announced his bid for the Kerry seat.

Frank, 70, who just retired after more than 30 years in Congress, said he is not interested in running for the Kerry Senate seat.

- Reported by Lisa Keen

— Cynthia Laird, January 4, 2013 @ 10:28 am PST
Filed under: News,Politics


Breaking: High court delay ‘not unusual,’ Prop 8 attorney says

Marriage equality supporters on the West Coast were up early this morning, awaiting a possible decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on whether to accept for argument the federal Proposition 8 case, but when the court posted its list of cases at 6:30 a.m. Pacific time, there was no mention of that case or several others involving the Defense of Marriage Act.

One of the attorneys for the plaintiffs in the Prop 8 case said that the delay was “not unusual.”
The U.S. Supreme Court once again delayed indicating whether it will hear one or more of 10 petitions before it concerning same-sex marriage.

Attorney Theodore Olson (Photo: Jane Philomen Cleland)

Many legal observers expected to learn Monday that the court refused to hear an appeal concerning Prop 8 and an appeal concerning Arizona’s law banning equal benefits for the domestic partners of gay state employees. Both a federal district court and the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals have ruled that Prop 8, passed by California voters four years ago, is unconstitutional. The appeals court put a stay on its decision pending review by the Supreme Court.

But when Monday’s orders list appeared, neither those cases nor any of the eight petitions concerning the Defense of Marriage Act were on it.

[Updated: Later in the morning, the Supreme Court website indicated the justices have rescheduled – or re-listed – all 10 petitions for its next scheduled conference meeting, Friday, December 7.]

Veteran Supreme Court reporter Lyle Denniston speculated recently that the announcement of a decision not to take up the Prop 8 case could take longer than usual because some justices might be writing dissents from the court’s decision not to review the lower court decision.

Four justices must agree to hear a case in order for it to be taken up for review by the Supreme Court.
A decision not to take up the Prop 8 case, Hollingsworth v. Perry, will mean that same-sex couples will again be able to obtain marriage licenses in California within just a few days – a major development legally and politically. Officials in San Francisco and Los Angeles have been actively preparing for what they expect to be thousands of same-sex couples seeking marriage licenses, since November 2008 when a voter approved initiative amended the state constitution to stop allowing same-sex marriages in the state.

It would also mean that California, the most populous state in the nation, would become the 10th state, plus the District of Columbia, to enable same-sex couples to marry. That adds up to 28 percent of the U.S. population living in a jurisdiction where same-sex couples can marry.

Of equal concern is how the court will eventually decide to take up the appeals of decisions from three U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal that have struck down DOMA as unconstitutional. The high court could potentially take none, but most legal experts say it is almost certain to accept one or more of the five cases.

In a less visible case, the court has also been asked to hear a case from Arizona, Brewer v. Diaz, challenging a state law that bans equal benefits for gay state employees and their domestic partners.

Gay legal activists are studiously resisting the temptation to speculate about the amount of time the court is taking to decide whether to take any of the cases.

The justices were first scheduled to discuss the cases in conference in late September. That conference was re-scheduled for mid-November and then re-scheduled again for November 30.

Theodore Olson, part of the high-profile legal team that has been successfully challenging Prop 8, said Monday that it’s “not unusual for complex cases to be re-listed,” or be discussed by the justices in more than one of their private conferences.

[Updated: The court could conceivably issue an orders list on any of these cases Friday, following its conference meeting, or next Monday as part of its routine orders list issuance.]

The court could conceivably issue another orders list any day now. It is next scheduled to discuss cases Friday, December 7, and, if it takes one or more of the marriage-related cases, it would likely issue an orders list on Friday. The court’s calendar suggests that, if one or more of the cases is accepted for review, it will likely be argued in late March but could be argued as late as April 24.

- Reported by Lisa Keen

— Cynthia Laird, December 3, 2012 @ 8:36 am PST
Filed under: News,Politics


Episcopal bishop detained at Cordileone installation

There were protests outside St. Mary’s Cathedral today when Salvatore Cordileone was installed as archbishop of the San Francisco Archdiocese and it seems there was controversy inside the church as well when the Right Reverend Marc Andrus, Episcopal bishop of California, was escorted to a basement room and detained until the 2 p.m. service began.

Andrus was an invited guest to the installation, an elaborate affair celebrating the beginning of Cordileone’s tenure as head of the Catholic Church in San Francisco. According to a news release posted on the Episcopal Diocese’s website, Andrus was not allowed to be seated.

Episcopal Bishop Marc Andrus (Photo: Rick Gerharter)

“He was escorted to a basement room at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Cathedral and detained by an usher until the time the service began, whereupon Bishop Andrus left the cathedral,” the news release stated.

Andrus was an opponent of Proposition 8, California’s same-sex marriage ban. Cordileone was a strong supporter of the measure.

On Monday, Andrus wrote a blog post about the impending installation and said that while he and Cordileone share concerns for the treatment of immigrants to this country and reforming U.S. immigration policies, the two differ on the issue of marriage equality.

“Bishop Cordileone was an active supporter of Proposition 8, which I and the other Episcopal bishops throughout California opposed,” Andrus wrote in the October 1 post that was called a letter to the diocese. “Despite this difference of opinion and support, I look forward to working with archbishop-designate Cordileone … Christianity has a long tradition of the faithful disagreeing with one another yet working together for common mission for the building of the Reign of God.”

Andrus’s post generated a headline on the Catholic News Agency’s website Thursday, “Episcopal bishop gives Archbishop Cordileone frosty welcome.” The story went on to report about Andrus’s October 1 letter, noting that he characterized Catholic Church teaching on marriage as “oppression.”

In fact, Andrus did state, “We can and must both work together for the world’s good, and it is equally important, as I say in most of my blessings at the conclusion of the Eucharist, that ‘we make no peace with oppression.’ The recognition of the dignity and rights, within civil society and the church of lesbian, bisexual, gay, and transgendered people, and of women are as core to our proclamation of the Gospel as our solidarity with the poor, with victims of violence and political oppression, and with the Earth.”

Andrus went on to state that he would not “change my course with regard to the full inclusion of all people in the full life of the church. I hope that public disagreements can be handled respectfully and that criticisms of public statements may be met with mutual respect.”

It looks like that didn’t happen at Cordileone’s installation.

George Wesolek, communications director for the archdiocese, told the Bay Area Reporter late Thursday afternoon that he did not know about the Andrus incident.

“I don’t know anything about that,” he said, adding that he should have more information Friday.

The B.A.R. will update this post when we receive more information.

[Updated 10/5/12: On Friday, there were conflicting accounts of what happened.

Wesolek said that Andrus came in to the cathedral before the 2 p.m. installation but after the rest of the interfaith delegation had been seated. Andrus was asked to wait in a conference room under the cathedral that was being used as a staging area for clergy.

Wesolek said they were trying to "figure out a way to get him up there without disrupting the service."

However, when they came back down to the conference room Andrus had left.

Andrus said, in an October 5 blog post, that he was dropped off at the cathedral by his assistant at 1:30 p.m. and was in the lower level conference room at 1:40. His assistant had been instructed by the archdiocese to have Andrus there by 1:45.

"I identified myself to an assistant to the archbishop, who spoke to someone through a headset, saying, "Bishop Andrus is here."

Andrus said that several members of the Greek Orthodox delegation were in the conference room. As an archdiocesan employee tried to escort Andrus up to the cathedral with the Greek Orthodox delegation they were stopped by another employee, who instructed yet another employee to wait with Andrus.

"At this point no other guests remained in the downstairs area," Andrus wrote. "The employee and I chatted while waiting. I began to wonder about the time holdup. I checked my phone; it was 1:50 p.m. I asked the employee standing with me if the service indeed started at 2, which she affirmed."

At 2 p.m. when the service started Andrus was still standing with the employee.

"I think I understand, and feel I should leave," Andrus said to the woman. Her response was, "Thank you for being understanding."

Andrus said he walked out the door. No tried to stop him.

"No attempt was ever made to explain the delay or any process for seating. I arrived early, before the time given my assistant, and waited to leave until after the service had begin," Andrus wrote.

Wesolek said, "it just wasn't the case" that Andrus was denied seating.

"We've had a relationship with him," Wesolek said, adding that it's the archdiocese's intention "to work this out and to apologize for any misunderstanding."

Joe Murray, executive director of the Rainbow Sash Movement, an LGBT Catholic organization, called the treatment of Andrus "disrespectful."

"This is a perfect example of how extreme Cordileone can get when people in the interfaith community don't agree with his judgments of LGBTs in general and gay marriage in particular," Murray said in a statement. [End of update.]

— Cynthia Laird, October 4, 2012 @ 4:40 pm PST
Filed under: News


School board candidate lands big endorsements

Richard Fuentes, an openly gay Oakland resident who’s running for a seat on the city’s school board, this week announced three big endorsements for his campaign.

At a fundraising brunch Sunday, August 26, at La Borinquene Mexican Delicatessen, Fuentes told the crowd that he has been endorsed by Oakland Teachers Association. He also introduced the president of the Oakland Police Officers Association, Barry Donelan, who said that his group has endorsed Fuentes.

Candidate Richard Fuentes (Photo: Jane Philomen Cleland)

On his Facebook page today, Fuentes posted that he received the endorsement of the East Bay Young Democrats.

Fuentes, 30, works as a legislative aide for Oakland City Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente, who was at the event and praised him as the type of leader the financially strapped school district needs.

“He’s committed to education, in this case obviously, schoolchildren,” De La Fuente said. “I’m 100 percent behind Richard.”

He added that Fuentes, who was 26 when he interviewed for the council staff job four years ago, has grown while working at City Hall and that the school district faces many challenges with which Fuentes can help.

“He’s running to move them forward,” the councilman added.

For his part, Fuentes told the audience that as the president of the Hoover Elementary School Site Council and a leader in the school’s PTA group, he has worked to transform the school. Wanting to get students off the street and into classrooms, Hoover now has a truancy center, Fuentes said. He also has a science and technology initiative and is “very focused on teacher retention.”

“We laid off no teachers” at Hoover, he said, referencing the school board’s decision earlier this year to close five campuses.

During his remarks, Donelan said that the police officers union does not usually get involved in school board races.

“What we’re looking for here is leadership. The OPOA unequivocally endorses Richard for school board,” Donelan said.

Fuentes is challenging incumbent Jumoke Hinton-Hodge in District 3, which includes the West Oakland neighborhood. His platform includes reducing the drop-out rate and increasing classroom funding.

Fuentes’s boyfriend is Sean Sullivan, who is running for the District 3 City Council seat. De La Fuente is locked in a race for the council’s at-large seat against lesbian incumbent Rebecca Kaplan.

— Cynthia Laird, August 30, 2012 @ 10:58 am PST
Filed under: News,Politics


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 http://www.byoq.org/callforentries/index.html. 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 www.byoq.org.

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


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