News Briefs: Fundraiser set
for trans street naming
compiled by Matthew S. Bajko
Backers of an effort to rename a segment of Turk Street in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood after a deceased transgender performer are hosting a fundraiser this weekend.
The plan calls for designating the 100 block of Turk after Vicki Marlane, who died in 2011 at the age of 76 due to AIDS-related complications. For years Marlane hosted a popular drag revue show at the gay bar Aunt Charlie's, 133 Turk between Jones and Taylor.
Born Donald Sterger in Crookston, Minnesota, Marlane started out as a traveling circus performer before settling in San Francisco in 1966. She underwent sex reassignment surgery in the 1980s.
Last summer the B.A.R.'s Political Notebook reported on efforts by the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club to honor Marlane and suggested renaming that block of Turk as Vicki Marlane Way. Initially, Milk club members had planned to petition the city to officially call that portion of the street Vicky Mar-Lane.
But earlier this year it was decided an easier route would be to alter the street signs to include Vicky Marlane in parenthesis under the word Turk. In that way mailing addresses would not need to be changed.
The Sunday, June 2 event will take place at Aunt Charlie's and feature food and a performance. Doors open at 4 p.m. with the drag show starting at 5 p.m.
There is no cover for the event. The performers will donate their tips to the street naming campaign and raffle tickets will be sold for a chance to win prizes.
Church holds marriage equality talk
As more jurisdictions legalize same-sex marriage, the Episcopal Diocese of California's Grace Cathedral is hosting a talk about Christianity and marriage equality.
The featured speakers will be University of Manchester Professor Kate Cooper, an historian of early Christianity, and the Very Reverend Dr. Jane Shaw, an out lesbian and modern historian who is dean of the San Francisco church. They will discuss the biblical legacy and Christian tradition on marriage and gender equality.
The event begins at 6 p.m., Monday, June 3 in the Dining Room at Grace Cathedral, 1100 California Street, atop Nob Hill. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted.
Free cancer screening
Anyone worried their sunbathing may be leading to a risk for skin cancer can access free cancer screenings this weekend.
UCSF and gay District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener are co-hosting the daylong offering from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 1 at the Castro Mission Health Center. The clinic is located at 3850 17th Street at Noe.
No appointment or insurance is necessary.
TV star's costume to be auctioned off
A track suit worn by the actress Jane Lynch, an out lesbian, on the Fox show Glee, where she portrays cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester, will be auctioned off at a local fundraiser.
The June 2 event is to raise money for the Illinois State University LGBT Student Support Fund. Lynch attended the school and donated the costume to several alumni who live in San Francisco and are hosting the fundraiser.
The fund helps provide a lifeline to queer ISU students who have been cut off from their families due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.
"Some people have asked, 'Why do a fundraiser for queer kids in Illinois who have been cut off from their families and why not for the queer homeless kids in San Francisco?' My answer has been this: If you want to donate to queer homeless youth in San Francisco, please, please do so," stated Jack Davis, an ISU alumni. "Please try not to think of this as 'either, or' but 'both, and.' And if a queer college kid has to leave home and school because they have no support from their family, one of the places they might end up is the streets of San Francisco."
Fellow ISU alum Steve Mounce and Shar Rednour, who attended Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, are co-hosts of the fundraiser with Davis.
Lynch's autographed track suit will be among the silent auction items attendees will be able to bid on. Other items up for grabs include tickets to Beach Blanket Babylon; a signed poster from David Weissman's AIDS documentary We Were Here; and a gift basket from sex shop Good Vibrations.
Called "Normal," partly because the ISU campus is in Normal, Illinois, the event will also feature performances from a number of acts, such as Princeton, Jackie Strano, and Vagina Jenkins.
The fundraiser begins at 8 p.m. at Dance Mission Theater, 3316 24th Street at Mission in San Francisco. Tickets cost $25 and can be bought online at http://normal.brownpapertickets.com.
For more information about the event, visit www.facebook.com/events/176499699172125.
East Bay trans group marks anniversary
A transgender program in the East Bay is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a gala celebration next week as it kicks off Pride Month.
The occasion is to mark a decade of transgender services delivered by the TransVision Program. It launched in response to the killing of Newark transgender teenager Gwen Araujo, who died at the age of 17.
Overseen by the Tri-City Health Center in Fremont, TransVision is now a countywide program and resource for the transgender community in Alameda County and northern California.
The free event will take place from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, June 6 at Oakland City Hall. It is billed as the first time that the transgender community has ever been celebrated in the historic seat of government.
There will be dancing, light food and a wine bar. The event will also feature an awards/appreciation ceremony.
"This will not be a fundraiser, it will be free ensuring that trans community members have access and not have to worry about affording tickets," stated TransVision Coordinator Tiffany Woods.
Sponsors include lesbian Oakland City Council President Pro Tem Rebecca D. Kaplan; Kaiser Permanente; The Bodine Group; and the gay nightclub Bench and Bar, where an after party will take place.
To RSVP for the City Hall party, join the event page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/#!/events/129065013957028.
For more information about the services TransVision offers, visit transvisiontricity.org.
Low-cost divorce seminars offered in SF, East Bay
This weekend a low-cost statewide divorce education program that now includes LGBT couples will relaunch.
Local gay attorney Charlie Spiegel has spent the last year working with members of Collaborative Practice California and its San Francisco chapter on revamping the course so that it is fully inclusive of same-sex couples. The aim is to educate couples on what options they have to dissolve their marriages (or domestic partnerships) amicably without having to litigate a divorce in court proceedings, where things can turn nasty and become quite expensive.
"Legal recognition of our relationships makes us subject to California divorce laws when we need to break them up," stated Spiegel. "While the LGBT community will have our really bad divorces, I firmly believe that as a community we can do our marriages better, and even our unwelcome dissolutions better."
The Divorce Options workshop is three hours with several professionals leading it and costs $45 per attendee. The first LGBT-inclusive one will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, June 1 at the Jewish Community Center, 3200 California Street in San Francisco. To RSVP email DivorceOptionsSF@gmail.com.
Oakland LGBT mediator-attorney Emily Doskow will facilitate a workshop for East Bay couples from 9:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, June 8 at the Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church, 49 Knox Drive in Lafayette. For more information, visit www.collaborativepracticeeastbay.com.
Panel addresses Social Security and LGBTs
A number of agencies are co-hosting a panel discussion about the disparities and real life consequences of present Social Security law for same-sex couples and their children. Due to the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which bans federal regulation of same-sex marriages, LGBT couples face discriminatory rules when it comes to Social Security.
The June 3 symposium will highlight a number of ways for how existing law is unfair to same-sex couples seeking benefits through the federal program. It will also focus on the findings of the report "Living Outside the Safety Net LGBT Families and Social Security."
The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare Foundation, along with the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, issued the report in February. It followed the introduction of the federal Social Security Equality Act of 2012 by Congresswoman Linda Sanchez (D-Lakewood) aimed at addressing the issue.
"This is simply a matter of fairness. Anyone paying into the Social Security system should be entitled to the same benefits as anyone else, regardless of lifestyle. It's long past time that federal law is changed to meet reality," stated Max Richtman, president and CEO of the national committee.
The two foundations have teamed with the UCSF Institute for Health and Aging and a number of local LGBT nonprofits to present the 90-minute discussion moderated by retired television host and journalist Belva Davis.
Panelists include Richtman; Shane Snowdon, director of health and aging at the HRCF and past director of the UCSF LGBT Center for Health and Equity; and national committee board chair Carroll Estes, Ph.D., professor emerita of sociology and founding and first director of the UCSF aging institute.
It will take place from 1 to 2:30 p.m. in the Laurel Heights Auditorium at UCSF's Laurel Heights Campus, 3333 California Street in San Francisco.