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

News in Brief: Fabled ASP retrospective opens at library


Carrie Gagliardi, Jill Lessing and Nanci Stern, circa 1982, on their way to Operation Concern's disabled lesbian support group. The image is one of the photos in the Fabled ASP exhibit. Photo: Cathy Cade/
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For the past 40 years, Bay Area lesbians with disabilities have been at the forefront of political, artistic, and cultural change. Despite these significant accomplishments, most of this history has not been documented in an archive and is in danger of being lost.

Now, Fabled ASP, or Fabulous/Activist Bay Area Lesbians with Disabilities: A Storytelling Project, is putting on a retrospective with the James C. Hormel Gay and Lesbian Center at the San Francisco Public Library to celebrate the contributions of disabled lesbians from the 1970s to the present.

The exhibition, "Celebrating Fabulous/Activist Bay Area Lesbians with Disabilities: A 40-Year Retrospective," opens Saturday, September 18 and runs through November 23 in the Skylight Gallery on the sixth floor and the Hormel Center on the third floor of the library, located at 100 Larkin Street.

An opening gala featuring the Axis Dance Company and Wry Crips Disabled Women's Theater will be held Wednesday, September 22 at 6 p.m. in the Latino/Hispanic community room at the main library.

Featured in the exhibition are photographs, a memorial quilt, and archival materials that demonstrate the innovative contributions by disabled lesbians in the areas of art, dance, politics, civil rights, and access.

The exhibition also includes ephemera, such as a Pride Parade access map from 1986 and blueprints for handmade curb cuts enabling disabled people to traverse the parade without obstruction. These and other contributions were lauded by then-Mayor Frank Jordan for creating innovative access for large-scale events, according to a statement from organizers.

One of the first original Wry Crips theatrical scripts from a performance at the Women's Building will also be on view. Wry Crips was founded by three disabled lesbians: Laura Rifkin, also one of the original founders of Fabled ASP; Judith Smith, who went on to be the artistic director of Axis Dance Company; and Patty Overland.

Meeting on safe spaces for African American LGBTs

A meeting will be held at noon today (Thursday, September 16) to discuss creating safe spaces for LGBT African Americans. The meeting takes place at the LGBT Community Center, 1800 Market Street in San Francisco.

According to organizers, African Americans in the LGBT community have few places where it feels safe to be welcomed, accepted, or appreciated. The meeting was conceived to bring together interested parties to figure out what "safe space" looks like, how it can be created, and how it can be sustained.

Interim ministers for MCC-SF announced

The board of directors of the Metropolitan Community Church-San Francisco has announced that an interim team of ministers will fill the void created by the resignation of the Reverend Dr. Lea Brown, whose last service as senior pastor will be Sunday, September 19.

The interim team will be made up of three ministers, including the Reverend Dr. Penny Nixon and the Reverend Jim Mitulski, both of whom had separate tenures as senior pastor at the church. Nixon and Mitulski have agreed to preach at one 11 a.m. service immediately following Brown's departure; Nixon will preach September 26 and Mitulski will preach October 3. Both will lead the 7 p.m. services on those dates.

Following that, Nixon and Mitulski will share leading worship and serving as guest preachers on alternating Sundays for MCC-SF's 7 p.m. service through the end of the year.

The interim minister for the 11 a.m. service, beginning October 10, will be the Reverend Dr. Jay Johnson, an Episcopal priest and queer theologian. Johnson is the senior director for academic research and resources for the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and the Ministry at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley.

In a letter to the board, Nixon and Mitulski both offered to help.

"We want to offer our support and help. ... Between the two of us we have served MCC-SF for two decades and while we have no desire to 'return' or to 'go back' or to relive the past, we do have a deep desire to see that MCC-SF has a bright future," they wrote.

Nixon is currently the senior minister of Community Congregational Church of San Mateo; Mitulski is senior pastor at New Spirit Community Church in Berkeley.

For more information about the church, visit

Free workshop on taxes

Stonefield Josephson Inc. and the Smart Women Business Network will hold a free workshop about the recent IRS private ruling letter affecting how domestic partner community property is reported. The seminar takes place Wednesday, September 22 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the offices of Stonefield Josephson, 101 Montgomery Street, Suite 1900 in San Francisco.

At the workshop, attendees will learn about the future federal reporting requirements under the new tax law and find out how the new law could potentially save federal tax dollars.

There will be complimentary hors d'oeuvres, cocktails, and beverages. To RSVP, e-mail or or call (415) 503-1375 or (415) 981-9400.

API families honored

Asian and Pacific Islander Family Pride will hold its seventh annual Family Presentation Banquet on Saturday, September 18 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Hotel Whitcomb, 1231 Market Street (at 8th) in San Francisco. Themed "Public Recognition of Private Courage," the event honors API families and organizations who love and support their LGBT family members despite sometimes strong social criticism and disapproval.

The event comes shortly after Chief U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker's decision declaring California's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional.

This year's honorees include the Esmaeili Family, honored by Pardis Esmaeili, API Family Pride's volunteer coordinator and first-ever employee; the Reverend Deborah Lee, honored by the Network on Religion and Justice for API-LGBT; Nathaniel and Emi Sakamoto Chung, honored by aunts Meibeck and Maya Scott-Chung, and cousin Luna; and the Magallanes Family, honored by son and brother Jarron Magallanes.

Tickets for the event are $40 for adults and $20 for children ages 5-10. Children under 5 are free. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

Castro fair dedicated to Jane Warner

Somewhere, Officer Jane Warner is smiling. The 37th annual Castro Street Fair, coming up on October 3, will be dedicated to the late Patrol Special Police officer, who died in May after a battle with cancer. For years Warner patrolled the Castro District and also served on the fair's board. The fair was founded in 1974 by the late Harvey Milk, who went on to become San Francisco's first openly gay supervisor before he was murdered in 1978.

This year's street fair, with the theme "Get Your Freak On," is being billed as the biggest daytime costume party ever, will be filled with entertainment, art, food, and, of course, costumes. Headliners include Pepperspray, The Last Ambassadors, Smash-Up Derby, and Pop Rocks.

Returning for the third year will be Barnaby's World of Wonderment with contortionists, sword swallowers, and burlesque dancers.

The suggested gate donation is $5. For more information, visit

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