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Gay & Lesbian


Here’s how to get around on Pride weekend

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 00:54:34 UT

San Francisco Pride, one of the world’s largest such celebrations, officially starts Saturday with a rally at Civic Center Plaza at noon. Preparations have been long in the making for the 47th annual weekend of pride, with more than 1 million people expected to gather in the city from around the Bay Area and from across the world. If you can’t walk or bike to the celebrations, public transportation is the way to go. BART trains will operate on regular schedules, but the transit agency will provide longer trains Sunday in an effort to accommodate the throngs of parade-goers. The closest station to the start of the parade route is Embarcadero Station. Parking will be even more limited than usual, and there are a number of city streets, including Market and streets around the Civic Center, that will remain closed throughout the weekend.

California attorney general adds 4 states to state travel ban

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 00:49:46 UT

Decrying a “scourge of discrimination” against LGBT individuals in four states, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Thursday doubled the number of states subject to California’s state-sponsored travel ban. Speaking in San Francisco, Becerra increased the number of states that California state employees cannot travel to on official government business from four to eight. The four additions — Alabama, Kentucky, South Dakota and Texas — each passed state legislation that took effect starting in March that Becerra alleged discriminates against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their families. California’s top law enforcement official’s edict comes just before San Francisco Pride Weekend, which is expected to bring more than 1 million people to the city in one of the world’s largest, most colorful celebrations of gay pride. The law allows child welfare providers — including faith-based adoption agencies — to deny adoptions to would-be parents based on “sincerely held religious beliefs.” Like the other laws derided by Becerra, the Texas legislation argues that the constitutional right to religious freedom allows for exemptions to adoptions for religious people who do not support or believe in same-sex marriage. Speaking with Becerra, Ashley Morris, the ACLU of Northern California’s organizing director, acknowledged the right to religious freedom as an important constitutional protection. [...] Morris argued that the laws passed by the eight states — which range from the East Coast to near the Canadian border — are discriminatory in nature; laws that harm LGBT people more than they protect religious believers.

Hard French celebrates Pride with Ronnie Spector

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 19:02:42 UT

Hard French celebrates Pride with Ronnie Spector Hard French has been turning it out for its daytime Pride party for seven years, transforming the interior of the Mezzanine into a carefully curated “six clubs in six hours” rave space while keeping it cute on an outside stage with their signature all-vinyl soul sounds. Anybody who has been to a Hard French Pride party will likely tell you it’s near impossible to find anything more eclectic and ecstatic. Mezzanine, 444 Jessie St., S.F.

Court upholds firing of Richmond police clerk for antigay behavior

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 23:13:06 UT

A federal appeals court has upheld the Richmond Police Department’s firing of a longtime employee who claimed the department discriminated against her because of her religious disapproval of homosexuality. The Police Department had valid reasons for dismissing records clerk Loudesia Flanagan, including her mistreatment of a volunteer intern who was lesbian, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said Monday. The volunteer intern told a supervisor in March 2012 that Flanagan was not allowing her to enter secured areas of the building and reported in April 2013 that Flanagan was making her wait in the lobby or acting as if she wasn’t there, Chen said. The department suspended Flanagan with pay in May 2013 and fired her five months later, saying she had been discourteous and disrespectful to the intern, had falsely denied making discriminatory comments, and had created a “hostile work environment” by speaking openly about her dislike for gay people. Upholding Chen’s ruling, the three-judge appeals court panel said Monday that Flanagan had presented no evidence that the department’s stated reasons for firing her were a pretext for religious bias. Flanagan is free to declare her opinions about homosexuality as a private citizen, the panel said, but her “freedom to express such views, in the particular circumstances of this case, gives way in the workplace.”

European court rules in favor of Russian gay activists

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 19:49:54 UT

In the first major court battle for gay activists who have contested the law, the court found in favor of three gay activists who claimed the law violated the rights to freedom of expression and prohibition of discrimination under the European Convention on Human Rights. “By adopting such laws the authorities reinforce stigma and prejudice and encourage homophobia, which is incompatible with the notions of equality, pluralism and tolerance inherent in a democratic society,” the seven-judge panel said in the ruling, adding that “Russian authorities overstepped the margin of appreciation” of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights that guarantees freedom of expression. The court on Tuesday rejected the Russian government’s claim “that regulating public debate on LGBT issues may be justified on the grounds of the protection of morals.”

Critics’ arts and entertainment picks for Pride Week

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 21:42:47 UT

Critics’ arts and entertainment picks for Pride Week Some suggestions from our critics on arts and entertainment events around the Bay Area during Gay Pride Week. Opera “Rigoletto”: Verdi’s haunting tragedy returns to the War Memorial Opera House with Quinn Kelsey in the title role of the malevolent jester, Pene Pati as the licentious Duke of Mantua, and Georgian soprano Nino Machaidze as Gilda. 7:30 p.m. $26-$397. War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness Ave., S.F. (415) 864-3330. Theater “The Legend of Georgia McBride”: When his career as an Elvis impersonator fails to take off, Casey (Adam Magill) applies his skill set to a new discipline: drag. 2 and 7:30 p.m. $22 and up. Marin Theatre Company, 397 Miller Ave., Mill Valley. Movies “Sleeping Beauty”: Be enchanted with this 1959 animation classic in which Maleficent places a curse on Princess Aurora. Spoiler alert: Walt Disney Family Museum, 104 Montgomery St. in the Presidio, S.F. Museums Once located underneath the Cliff House restaurant, this classic collection of vintage arcade machines, mechanical musical equipment and other wonderful machinery is the best reason to visit Fisherman’s Wharf. 10 a.m. Free, Pier 45 at the end of Taylor Street, SF. “The Dinosaurs of Comedy”: Their DNA carefully preserved in amber, the Dinosaurs of Comedy include Johnny Steele, Larry “Bubbles” Brown and Michael Meehan — who all worked in the Golden Age 1980s/early 1990s local scene. Punch Line comedy club. 444 Battery St., S.F. Visual Art Paintings: Uncanny technical skill combined with an eye for the telling emotional detail mark the unveiling of this artist’s exacting replicas of old snapshots. 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays. Fraenkel Gallery, 49 Geary St., S.F. Visual Art Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll: A lively exhibition celebrates the 50th anniversary of one of the most influential moments in a movement that shaped a generation — and it happened in San Francisco. 9:30 a.m.-5:15 p.m. Tuesdays-Sundays. $10-$25. De Young Museum, Golden Gate Park, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr., S.F. Movies “Road to Morocco”: Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour star in this comedy classic, the No. 4 box office film of 1942. The Stanford Theatre, 221 University Ave., Palo Alto. Nightclub The popular Bay Area comedian, whom The Chronicle has called “salaciously surreal” and who has been seen on HBO and Showtime, performs at Feinstein’s at the Nikko. 7 p.m. Free, with $20 drink and food minimum. 222 Mason St., S.F. Visual Art For visitors who wish to know more about the sources of contemporary art in San Francisco, a visit to this art environment, developed over three decades by a dedicated and inventive maverick, is a must. Tours 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., Wednesdays-Saturdays; advance booking encouraged. $15-$20. Theater “Sex and the City Live!” The drag queens of Oasis essay the cosmo-drinking, Manoho Blahnik-sporting foursome of HBO’s sassy comedy, set when a sex columnist could afford a spacious Manhattan apartment. The renowned choreographer celebrates the 30th anniversary of his company with the world premiere of “Nobody Lives Here Now,” a reflection on human existence. 8 p.m. $25-$65. Yerba Buena for the Arts Theater, 700 Howard St., S.F. Classical Music San Francisco Symphony: Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas is joined by mezzo-soprano Measha Brueggergosman for the West Coast premiere of his own “Four Preludes on Playthings of the Wind.” The program also features American music by Ives, Harrison and Antheil. 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 23; 8 p.m. Saturday, June 24; 2 p.m. Sunday, June 25. $45-$165. Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van N[...]

Your SF Pride guide to San Francisco’s gay bars, pot spots

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 04:54:09 UT

San Francisco’s gay bar scene remains a vibrant part of LGBTQ life in the city: Each June these watering holes from the Castro to the Tenderloin are flooded with visitors looking to wet their whistles and celebrate S.F. Pride. Some bars are historic sites (Harvey’s) where pioneers like Harvey Milk planted the seeds that blossomed into the LGBTQ rights revolution. Other spots have great shows (Aunt Charlie’s Lounge, Oasis), fierce dancing (Badlands, the Cafe, El Rio) and killer cocktails and decor (Blackbird). Whether drinking or toking, enjoy San Francisco Pride safely and responsibly. Crowd: Relaxed, anti-scene, neighborhood crew where bartenders greet people by name. Afternoons and happy hour. Dress code: Casual, unironic flannel shirt and jeans. On cold nights, the fireplace. The jukebox is also a favorite. Twin Peaks Tavern Veterans of Castro past, newbies looking to discover some Castro history. Pre- and post-showtime at the Castro Theatre, especially if there’s a good Joan Crawford versus Bette Davis revival. Dress code: “Castro clone” circa 1974, or try to out-sequin the fab veteran cocktail waitresses. The view from the balcony seating. Things pick up after 9 p.m. and are always happening on Monday Underwear Night. Dress code: Chest hair. Younger Castro-goers with a great gender mix. Dress code: Throwback Thursdays for ’80s, ’90s and ’00s dance hits. Wednesday “Dick at Nite” drag performances. Dress code: The frozen drinks and saltwater fish tank. Shiver me timbers. The old-school wooden phone booth, perfect for selfies. The after-work crowd is politely cruisey. Tiki Sundays are also fun days. Dress code: Craige Walters’ interiors and the rotating art shows make for a great setting. Like its name, a mix — twinks to college boys to bears. [...] a healthy gender and age mix. Dress code: A sweater for the back patio bar is never a bad idea. Old-timers who remember the bar as the Elephant Walk in Harvey Milk’s day, newbies curious about the bar’s place in gay history. Dress code: Honor the bar’s namesake with a “Milk for Supervisor” T-shirt. All sorts with some great drag regulars. The Mister Sister Mondays “RuPaul’s Drag Race” viewing parties. Dress code: Glitter works as well on Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence as it does on the Saturday go-go boys. Dress code: Shirts tend to come off quickly on the dance floor. Latin themed “Picante” Thursdays. Sports fans, jocks and athletic enthusiasts. Dress code: San Francisco team colors are always encouraged; bartenders wear jocks for Thursday night Gym Class. Monday night $5 chicken wing baskets. Revelers looking for a little noise and maybe a slice of pizza. Dress code: Something to show off those pecs and a pair of binoculars to check out your neighbor. The view from the balconies of the musclemen exiting the gym on Market Street. Most nights attract a healthy crowd to the dance floor, where Katy, Gaga and Madonna rule the playlists. Dress code: The black-lit hall of urinals with overhanging mirrors and the roomy dance floor. People looking for a change of pace from Badlands. Weekends on the patio. Dress code: The great sound system. Squeaky-clean and polished, like the venue. Dress code: The Beauxtox house cocktail, Cock Shot Tuesdays and the “nearly naked gogo boys.” Casual diners and drinkers, former punks who remember the cafe’s mosh pit days. Sunny days when the people watching is easy. Dress code: The ambience of sipping a cocktail in the patio garden, the gay history from the early days of liberation. Mixed ages but skews more 30-plus. Weekends for day drinking that becomes early evening drinking. Chest hair preferred, but not required. Musical Mondays for trivia and classic clips. Gay dive bar regulars. The vibe stays pretty homey and mellow even during weekend peaks. Dress code: [...]

Gay Pride by the numbers

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 18:10:50 UT

47 •The number of Gay Pride celebrations in San Francisco, counting Sunday, June 25. 200 •Approximate number of contingents participating in the parade. 30,000 •Estimated number of people who marched in the 2016 parade. 100,000 •Estimated number of spectators. $2.5 MILLION •Estimated proceeds of the Pride Parade awarded to local nonprofits. JUNE 28, 1970 •Date of the first San Francisco (and New York, Chicago and Los Angeles) celebration, exactly one year after the Stonewall riots in New York.

A guide to celebrating SF Pride

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 18:10:23 UT

A guide to celebrating SF Pride Resisting regression and celebrating — not necessarily in that order — will be the overarching themes of the 47th annual San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Parade, which has become one of the city’s most important destination events. The weekend-long San Francisco Pride Celebration draws people from all over the world. Much of the activity will be at Civic Center Plaza, where numerous stages and venues will be set up for much of Saturday, June 24, and Sunday, June 25 (including a post-parade extravaganza). Another important hub will be Dolores Park, the staging point on Friday for the Trans March and on Saturday for the Dyke March. Once again, a giant Pink Triangle will be installed on Twin Peaks — a somber symbol of past persecution, yet also an awesome sight that exudes resilience and joy. [...] here’s our handy guide to the parade, the parties, the commemorations, the films, the food, the transportation — all in the name of enjoying the city’s proudest day of the year. The San Francisco LGBT Pride Parade The parade begins at Market and Beale streets and ends at Market and Eighth streets. Civic Center celebrations: Visitors are welcome to attend the commemoration of the Pink Triangle, and volunteers are urged to help put it up and take it down. Twin Peaks parking area, 100 Christmas Tree Point Road, S.F. Commemoration ceremony: 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 24. Note to volunteers: When: 5 p.m. Saturday, June 24 (preceded by rally activities at the park that start at 11 a.m.).

Frameline offers bounty of movies during Pride Week

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 18:09:52 UT

Frameline offers bounty of movies during Pride Week San Francisco’s Pride Week would not be complete without taking in a movie at Frameline, the most renowned LGBTQ film festival in the world. For the entire week, the festival will be playing movies day and night, packing in crowds at the Castro, Roxie and Victoria theaters, all within a short walk to many other Pride activities. Most people think of the Cold War paranoia of the 1950s as a witch hunt against communist sympathizers, but this compelling, well-made documentary highlights that it was gays and lesbians who took the brunt of this hysteria. Surreal, spiritual and exquisitely photographed, this beautiful film about a lost language — and a lost love — goes on a spellbinding journey into the rain forests of Mexico. A love triangle is at the heart of a mysterious — and mystical — story that’s enchanting. 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 20, Castro. San Francisco native Lena Hall soars in this bittersweet, often funny tale about a down-and-out singer who returns home and stays with her ex-nun mother, the ever-reliable Christine Lahti. With reels of intimate behind-the-scenes footage, this devastating documentary shows how homophobia and racism contributed to the downfall of the great singer Whitney Houston. Part detective story, part history lesson and part tribute, this formidable documentary centers on the mysterious death — and amazing life — of Stonewall legend and trans rights pioneer Marsha P. Johnson, whose body was found floating in the Hudson River in 1992. The scene-stealing Shabana Azmi, as a snoopy, homebound mother who always has a pair of binoculars handy, is a standout in a film that offers a different take on what coming out means. 6:30 p.m., Friday, June 23, Castro; 6:45 p.m., Saturday, June 24, Piedmont. In one of his best roles to date, Alan Cumming plays Sam, an AIDS activist who is stuck in the 1980s but who reconnects with the world when he meets Braeden, a Millennial whose life isn’t as carefree as it seems. U.S. centerpiece: “Becks,” a wry, bittersweet tale of a down-on-her-luck singer who returns home, 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 21, Castro. World centerpiece: “I Dream In Another Language,” a surreal story of a lost love in the Mexican rain forest, 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 20, Castro. Closing night film: “After Louie,” an intergenerational drama involving a 1980s AIDS activist and a Millennial, 7 p.m., Sunday June 25, Castro; followed by a party at Oasis, 298 11th Street (at Folsom), San Francisco.

Where to eat and drink near the parade route

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 18:09:27 UT

Where to eat and drink near the parade route Philz Coffee Vibe: Don’t miss: Since Philz’ coffee concoctions are customizable, anything goes. Blue Bottle Coffee 66 Mint Plaza; 1355 Market St. Vibe: Don’t miss: Odds are it’ll be warm (as far as San Francisco goes), so grab a carton of their organic New Orleans iced coffee or a can of organic cold brew. Mazarine Coffee 720 Market St. Vibe: Don’t miss: The nitro cold brew coffee and tea are great for a warm day in the sun. Cumaica Coffee Vibe: Don’t miss: Amp up for a full day of fun with an espresso-spiked cup of Joe, a.k.a. a depth charge. 992 Market St. Vibe: Don’t miss: Dozens of microbrews, ranging from light and crisp to sour, including many from Bay Area makers. Vibe: Don’t miss: Stick-to-your ribs bar bites, like Sweet Lou’s Bangkok chicken wings, which are perfect for soaking up the booze. Tap 415 865 Market St. Vibe: Don’t miss: Vibe: Don’t miss: Aunt Charlie’s Lounge Vibe: Don’t miss: The strong and cheap (especially by S.F. standards) cocktails are great for a post-parade pick-me-up at this gay dive bar. Vibe: Don’t miss: Any of the daily rotating taps. Vibe: Don’t miss : The Southern soul food joint’s weekend brunch buffet, which is now walk-in only. 37 Yerba Buena Ln. Vibe: Don’t miss: Roman-style pizzas and shareable small plates like the fritto misto and kale Caesar salad. 25 Yerba Buena Ln. Don’t miss: The butter chicken and stuffed baked flatbreads. Samover - Yerba Buena Don’t miss: The food and tea pairings, including Russian, Moorish and Japanese tea services. Don’t miss: The house-made charcuterie, plus Armagnac and Calvados-based cocktails. 1 Yerba Buena Ln. Don’t miss: The croque madame or the ricotta pancakes. There’s also a solid separate bar menu on from 3 to 11 p.m. 865 Market St. Don’t miss: The hand-pulled noodles are hard to beat. Yank Sing Don’t miss: Dim sum — especially the Shanghai soup dumplings, shrimp-filled har gow and sweet egg custard tarts. The Palace Hotel Don’t miss: The City Brunch, served Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Garden Court. Sunday breakfast is also served in the Pied Piper bar, home of the historic Maxfield Parrish painting of the same name. 75 Yerba Buena Ln. Don’t miss: Don’t miss: The hen egg hollandaise with ham and cheese soldiers, the English breakfast, plus breakfast cocktails like the Bull’s Head Bloody Mary, spiked with Colman’s mustard. Don’t miss: Scrambles, omelets, breakfast sandos, mimosas — everything you need for brunch. 721 Market St.; 783 Mission St. Don’t miss: The 4-ounce mini-burgers are perfect for lighter appetites or those who want to save room for a chocolate-dipped Straus soft-serve ice cream cone. 998 Market St. Don’t miss: Kick-ass burgers and chili cheese fries for hearty appetites. Wise Sons Deli at the Contemporary Jewish Museum Don’t miss: For something lighter, the smoked salmon bagel or bialy is the way to go. For heartier appetites, the pastrami and corned beef sandwiches. The Market on Market (various food vendors) 1355 Market St Don’t miss: Grab-and-go prepared foods like pizza from Tony Gemignani’s Slice House and salmon bowls from Poke Bar. Sarah Fritsche is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: Twitter/Instagram: @foodcentric

Rule gives Oregonians non-gender option on driver's license

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 23:36:04 UT

According to the Oregon Department of Transportation, under the new rule, which takes effect on July 1, Oregon residents will have the option to mark their sex as "not specified" on their application for a driver license, instruction permit or ID card.

Woman gets 9 years for attack outside San Francisco gay club

Tue, 13 Jun 2017 00:06:05 UT

A woman was sentenced Monday to nine years in prison for pulling a knife, threatening and chasing down five patrons outside a San Francisco gay club, in a case that saw lawyers argue over whether the use of gay slurs proved a hate crime. Pearly Martin, 30, was convicted of making criminal threats, burglary and vandalism in connection with the April 25, 2016, incident, which began after Drag Night at Club OMG on Sixth Street in the South of Market neighborhood. According to court documents, Martin swore at the the victims — one of whom was dressed in drag — shouting gay slurs and crude insults about their appearance, before pulling out a knife and threatening to kill them. When police arrived and placed Martin in a patrol car, she kicked the windows hard enough to cause damage to the glass and window frame, court documents state. Defense attorney John Kaman argued that Martin was herself bisexual and that what were construed as homophobic threats that included a well-known slur were just part of her vernacular as an admitted drug dealer in the Tenderloin neighborhood. Assistant District Attorney Benjamin Mains challenged this defense, writing in a sentencing brief that Martin “engaged in a pattern of victim blaming, and shaming, and tried to excuse and minimize her extremely aggressive and scary behavior by claiming that her aggression and homophobic epithets are cultural.”

Somber ceremonies mark 1 year since Orlando massacre

Mon, 12 Jun 2017 21:50:17 UT

ORLANDO — At 2:02 a.m. Monday, the names of 49 people killed in the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history were read aloud outside the Pulse nightclub, marking the exact time a year ago when a gunman started firing during “Latin Night” at the gay club. “I realize that gathering here in this place, at this hour, is beyond difficult,” Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer told survivors, victims’ families, club employees and local officials during the private service. The service began what would be almost 24 hours of observations to remember the victims and the dozens of Pulse patrons who were wounded when Omar Mateen opened fire and pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. Later Monday, hundreds of people dropped off flowers, drawings and cards at a memorial near Pulse. Another service was held at midday, followed by an evening gathering in the heart of downtown Orlando and a final, music-filled late-night service at the nightclub. At a midday service at the nightclub, Pulse owner Barbara Poma said when people ask her what has changed in her life since the tragedy, she tells them “everything.” Isn’t it interesting it had the opposite effect?

Services to mark year since Orlando massacre

Sun, 11 Jun 2017 20:19:20 UT

ORLANDO — Church bells will toll throughout the Orlando area as residents reflect on the 49 patrons killed during a massacre at the gay nightclub Pulse in the worst mass shooting in recent U.S. history. Starting in the early hours Monday, and continuing almost 24 hours later, survivors, victims’ families, city officials and residents will remember the victims with four services. The first is closed to the public and is being held at the nightclub for survivors, local officials and club employees.