August 22, 2015
An article in the San Diego Union Tribune about John Brown, former Mission Springs Water District Director and Executive Director of Family Services of the Desert.
Q: How did you establish the first HIV/AIDS clinic in L.A.?
A: Back in 1984, when I was the Executive Director of The Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Community Center, we were running an STD clinic primarily for gay men. Dozens started showing up with what, at the time, was being referred to as GRID, Gay Related Immune Disease. We started treating them as best we could with no actual targeted funds. That year West Hollywood became a city, and one of the first things the new city council did was allocate funds to us for the care of these people, soon the city of Los Angeles stepped up with help.
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to find out about you?
A: Before coming to San Diego, I was an elected member of the Mission Springs Water District (in Desert Hot Springs) for seven years. I have a real passion for water management as well as a depth of knowledge and hope I can find a way to use that for the benefit of San Diego.
Wouldn't surprise anyone in Desert Hot Springs.
August 21, 2015
Word Reaches Philadelphia
Philadelphia police are now aware that there are cameras everywhere. A police officer there offered to let a man driving an unregistered vehicle go without a citation if he bought a couple of tickets to a charity event.
The question of whether that driver (who did buy the tickets) got cited after he nade the video public remains unanswered.
Even the Police Commissioner calls it "stupid." No weasel words there.
The cop is supposed to have made some remark about the driver's pink windshield wipers, but it doesn't seem to be in the video. He does, however, suggest that if two men attended the event together they would seem to be "fruitcakes." Sweet, old fashioned homophobia.
Syphilis In The Coachella Valley
A surprisingly accurate and informative article in the Desert Sun about syphilis and the fact that Palm Springs has got just about the highest rate of infection in the country. In every city I have seen public health information booths set up at most large gay functions. In big cities I've seen the public health department actually taking lab samples at the event, to be processed later. I've never seen that in Palm Springs, and there has never been public health information campaign targeted at Palm Springs as far as I can recall. Riverside County has just let this ride for more than ten years.
August 5, 2015
July 21, 2015
"Can You Feel The Love Tonight"
In addition, an album with two (or is it three?) of the pieces performed at the earlier spring concert is now available for purchase. #twitterlieder: 15 Tweets in 3 Acts and For a Look or a Touch (plus Epilogue: The Narrow Bridge From Tyler's Suite):
- Physical: http://smarturl.it/passion_physical
- iTunes: http://smarturl.it/passion_itunes
- Amazon MP3: http://smarturl.it/passion_amazon
- Google Play: http://smarturl.it/passion_google
- Bandcamp: http://smarturl.it/passion_bandcamp
July 20, 2015
Harvey Milk Plaza
Video by Jeff Ford.
July 19, 2015
Stop The Presses!
(Some day we're going to have to explain to kids what "presses" were.)
Here it is! Incontrovertible proof of John Travolta's gayness:
- He had lunch with a guy-pal at Melvyn's!
- The two of them traveled in a Mercedes!
That's a smoking condom if I ever saw one. I'm lucky I don't have a Mercedes to drive around in myself, or people might think I'm gay. I had Easter dinner at Melvyn's with two guy-pals. Maybe I do three-ways.
July 17, 2015
The "Pink Party" takes place on Saturday afternoon and evening of Pride weekend. It replaces "Pink Saturday" which ran a little later in the day and was organized and paid for by the Sisters Of Perpetual Indulgence. They had been seeking a subsidy from the city, but never got it, so they pulled out. So, guess what, the city came in and funded this. I'm sure it makes sense in some San Francisco political way.
Some sort of trans flag was attached to the lower end of the pole that bears the rainbow flag in the Castro. People seemed excited that the police let them do it (why not?). And it's fair to note that whatever the design is, it's too complex for a flag. Never could quite see what it was.
When you come up out of the Muni they can't just let you flow out onto Castro or the crowds would back up all the way down to the trains, so they route people about a block up Market Street before releasing them into the wild.
July 16, 2015
Smiling Happy Faces
My photos from the 2015 San Francisco Pride Parade (here's a link to the complete set of photos'):
Mr. Gay USA - meh.
SWANABAQ - Southwest Asian And North African Bay Area Queers.
Those with a good memory for my LAWNBR 2014 photos may be interested to know that this is Google Glass Guy! He's colored his hair, but he can't change that chin. Thanks to Jim O'Keefe for his sharp eyes.
So in the Apple contingent everyone wore these t-shirts, and none were stolen.
An original t-shirt? Somebody with good knowledge about Harvey Milk's campaign might be able to verify.
And this Apple contingent was curb to curb with nothing but t=shirts, rainbow flags and a banner. No fancy show.
Agnostic Community at Apple - I don't know if this means people at Apple who are not prepared to say whether there are gods or not, or is an Apple Agnostic someone who is not prepared to say that any particular operating system is better than any other - Windows, OSX, Linus, all good.
The contingent from Kaiser Permanente all wore Golden State Warriors t-shirts. Is there some connection between the two, or was the provider of Golden State Warriors t-shirts simply the lowest bidder?
July 12, 2015
Boston Gay Men's Chorus
First gay men's chorus to perform in the Middle East - Israel and Turkey. A montage of scenes from their tour.
BTW, the video below shows the Istanbul Pride parade on June 28, 2015. Add a few dogs, make it black & white and you've got Alabama in the 1960s. The nominal reason for the police interference is that the parade took place during Ramadan.
July 9, 2015
Even Faster Than The Confederate Flag Thing
Kansas was the last state to question whether Obergefell applied to them. They probably went back to check for any errors in the process by which Kansas joined the union. And then they probably studied the federal Constitution. Imagine their surprise when they discovered that Kansas had actually ratified the 14th amendment on January 17, 1867. Perhaps that sparked memories of a time when Kansas was a symbol for radical freedom.
Today Kansas dropped its last barrier when the Department Of Revenue agreed that a woman could list her wife and children as dependents.
Gettin' Their Hate On
In a well-written, amusing piece, Zack Hunt, a Tennesseean who has been living in Connecticut for three years, explains how same-sex marriage will not bring about any of the apocalypses that anyone has predicted.
Wikipedia (it's the god's truth, ya know?) tells us there are about 4,200 religions in the world. Just the list Abrahamic religions goes on for a few pages. Then there are the Indian religions (pages), Iranian religions (only a few), East Asian religions (a little more than a page), African diasporic religions, Mesoamerican religions, Indigenous traditional religions (pages), "Historical" polytheism (maybe the word "Historical" is to distinguish it from what goes on at Burning Man), Mysticism and occult, Modern Paganism (they use iPhones), New religious movements (there's room for more?!?!), Left-hand path religions (I never heard that term before, but it includes Satanism and Luciferianism - which I think is Satanism for the better educated), Post-theistic and naturalistic religions, Parody or Mock religions (even Pastafarianism, which is recognized by the IRS and Veterans Administration, I believe), and then "Others" (Deism, Eckankar, Humanism, Universal Life, etc.).
And who does Zack Hunt address his article to? Only one single religion. And in the comments on his article, where does the hate speech come from? Only from those who profess belief in this one single religion. "Is it Zoroastrianism," I hear you asking. No, no, it's not the Zs. It is, of course, Christianity - despite the fact that there certainly are lots of hardcore homophobic Jews and Muslims, but those religions seem to keep their objections within their own religions rather than taking them out in public and trying to literally beat them into others. Those who have been paying attention have seen how even the Latter Day Saints quickly adopted the way of the Jews and Muslims after the debacle of 2008. And don't we all love seeing the unofficial Mormon contingent coming in the Pride parades?
From a commenter:
I believe America will be judged the same way Sodom and Gomorrah was. In 2 Peter 2:6 it says and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; It doesn't get much clearer than that. When God flooded the earth He gave the rainbow as a promise that He would never destroy the earth with water again, but it says here He gave Sodom and Gomorrah as an example! I pray God would spare us judgement, but I believe we have gone too far.
So let's go to the King James version (the most error-laden popular translation, which might explain someone's misunderstanding).
9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:
10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.
Mightn't one think that gay people who want to marry are godly and have suffered the temptations of a permanent unmarried life? Hasn't god, using the Supreme Court, delivered them from that? And those people who despise government, those people seem to be excluded from those who are godly. And the filth that they attempt to heap onto marriage? Isn't that speaking evil of dignities? Personally, it's all about as real as "Atlas Shrugged." A long, interesting story. But some people really believe in it, and then the trouble begins.
Most people in San Francisco are aware they live in a bubble. How then to learn about the rest of the wild and wooly United States? Go to this conference on "LGBT Life Outside the Bay Area Bubble." It's conveniently located in downtown San Francisco at 555 California Street. This way the attendee can stay so far from the edge of the bubble he won't even be able to see the iridescent rainbow shimmering that would alert you that would alert him to the approaching bubble boundary.
The first topic in the conference is entitled "People Actually Live In Fresno And Why" or so I am told.
July 8, 2015
French Market Is Closing
Maybe it will come back:
Marc Ittah, the business partner of Michael Faze, who bought the French Market in 2011, said the restaurant would be reopened after the remodeling. But rumors continue to circulate that Faze intends to demolish the building and convert the property to another use. Ittah did not return calls from WEHOville for comment.
But for now, this coming Sunday will be the last brunch.
July 2, 2015
Dan Savage On Straights At Pride Parades
This is relevant, but that won't be obvious until I finish editing and uploading my Pride photos, which I promise I will have finished before I go to Burning Man.
When you go to Pride you see dykes on bikes, you see the queer christian organizations, you see the leather guys, you see the drag queens, you see the twinks shaking it on flatbed trucks blasting dance music, you see the middle-aged regular roly-poly queers, you see the gay dads and lesbian moms and their families.
What you see is a million different ways to be queer.
I think the message in Pride for straight people–and why I think straight people should go–is that there should be more than one way to be a straight person too. That there is a script written for straight people about how you're supposed to live your life and who you're supposed to be and that script is confining and stultifying and restricting and straight people to need to break out of that. I think what a lot of straight people leave with is 'Wow, there's so many ways to be queer maybe I can conceive of perhaps a different way to be straight.'
Feel The Love
This is pretty close to the Sunday School picture of Jesus that I was accustomed to seeing in Methodist churches in the 1960s. Now, just visualize him saying these words and notice if there is any incongruity.
I'm sure her love will make me feel all warm and fuzzy - someday - but right now I need to go spit.
If you have Facebook access here's a mean video satire.
July 1, 2015
The Bay Area Reporter hands up some of the statistics on this past Sunday's Pride parade in San Francisco:
- Police estimate 2 million in attendance.
- 232 Contingents, and I had to give up before I saw the end, which is the only reason I didn't see the Google contingent, I'm sure.
- 10:30 AM to 5:33 PM.
- James Obergefell himself was in the parade.
This Is How You Do It
Suppose you've got a government job which requires you to serve the public. You, however, have some sort of objection to dealing with what you perceive as certain classes of people. Suppose, for example, you are a diehard pacifist and you are too morally disgusted to provide your government service to military veterans. What to do? You could lobby your legislature to rewrite the laws to carve out a special little exemption for your special little belief, and to hell with those military veterans who might wonder why they get the second class treatment in order to spare the sensitivities of a government worker who is still getting full pay and benefits, courtesy of the taxpayers, including military veterans.
When I worked for the government I didn't get to refuse to take applications for Social Security Disability from those whose disabilities were, in some way, self-inflicted: failed suicide attempts, traffic accidents while DUI, organ failure due to substance abuse, morbid obesity, or (my personal favorite) emphysema due to tobacco smoke. During the interview I would ask the emphysemic applicant if their doctor told them to stop smoking - I never had to ask if they had been a smoker - they were all tobacco smokers. The answer was always that, yes, their doctor had told them to quit. So my follow up question was "Did you quit," and the answer was always (ALWAYS!) No. Okay, here's your check!
And did I write my Congressman (Tip O'Neill and then Joe Kennedy, I add just to be name-dropping) to ask them to carve out an exception to the law so that when someone with emphysema came into the waiting area I would be permitted to take an extra coffee break? Not hardly. Did I quit my job? Well, yeah, sorta, after becoming entitled to my pension. Not a moral decision. Just got tired of New England weather.
To Refresh Your Memory Of Same-Sex Marriage Rights Growth
June 30, 2015
Why Did The SFGMC Cross The Street?
The answer is there is inadequate (like nearly none, I am told) backstage area at Nourse Hall because it was originally a high school auditorium, so the chorus does its dressing across the street in Davies Symphony Hall. Then, a few minutes before the performance, they cross the street. Since one is not permitted to video their performances, this is a rare opportunity to video most of the members of the chorus while they are in performance dress.
Jeff shows up at the 1:00 mark, but you'll have to pick him out on your own. That's Vicente who comes up to give me a hug at 1:40.