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News Briefs: Former B.A.R. publisher receives honor from France

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Thomas E. Horn stands outside the presidential palace in Paris. Photo: Courtesy Thomas E. Horn
Thomas E. Horn stands outside the presidential palace in Paris. Photo: Courtesy Thomas E. Horn  

Thomas E. Horn, a former publisher of the Bay Area Reporter and chair of the San Francisco-Paris Sister City Committee, has been awarded France's National Order of the Legion of Honor by President Emmanuel Macron.

Horn, a gay man, received notification of the honor last month from Philippe Etienne, the French ambassador to the United States.

"Your contribution to strengthening our bilateral relationship through your role in the creation of the San Francisco-Paris Sister City Committee and its chairmanship, your support for the Alliances Francaises in the United States, and your efforts following the fire at Norte-Dame are absolutely extraordinary," Etienne wrote.

Horn, who has long been involved with French causes and culture and is a former chair of the Alliance Francaise San Francisco, said he was deeply appreciative.

"I'm very honored," Horn told the B.A.R. January 19, "particularly when you consider the distinguished company I'm with."

Macron awarded six other Legion of Honor decrees to U.S. residents. They are: Gale Brewer, Manhattan borough president; Adam Gopnik, a staff writer at the New Yorker; Agnes Gund, philanthropist and chair emerita of the board of the New York Museum of Modern Art PS 1; Seema Hingorani, managing director at Morgan Stanley; Marina Kellen French, philanthropist; and Irene Natividad, women's rights activist and president of the Global Summit of Women.

Horn said that this is his fourth decoration from the French. He previously received Arts & Letters and twice the National Order of Merit (Chevalier and then Commander).

Decision on Folsom, Dore Alley street fairs expected soon
A decision on whether the two South of Market leather-themed street fairs will proceed in person in 2021 will be made following a meeting next week between the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and Folsom Street Events, the executive director of the latter has told the Bay Area Reporter.

"We have not yet met with SFMTA for the year," Angel Adeyoha, the queer and nonbinary executive director of Folsom Street Events said January 19. "We will be meeting next week or so, myself and the board president."

Nonetheless, Adeyoha said the prospect of the Up Your Alley street fair in July (sometimes just referred to as Dore Alley, where some of it takes place) and the Folsom Street Fair in September proceeding in person this year is "unlikely."

"But you don't want to rule it out," Adeyoha added, until the SFMTA meeting. (The transit agency is, of course, in charge of permits for the requisite street closures.)

An announcement in the Leather & LGBTQ Cultural District newsletter earlier on January 19 had stated that the in-person street fairs had already been canceled. Robert Goldfarb, the board president of the cultural district, told the B.A.R. "that was an error in the newsletter" and apologized "for the confusion."

"Folsom Street Events has announced that there will be no 'in person' Folsom Street Fair or Up Your Alley Fairs in 2021," the newsletter stated. "But the Bears of San Francisco and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are planning a 2021 Bearrison Street Fair, and would love to have your help in planning it. Join a team" here.

According to the Google Sheets form, the Bearrison Street Fair is scheduled for Harrison Street in the South of Market neighborhood on October 30. (Neither the Bears of San Francisco nor the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence responded to immediate requests for comment.)

It is unclear exactly when enough of the population, either locally, regionally, or nationally, will be vaccinated against COVID-19 for large, in-person events to resume safely. The mass vaccination drive is behind schedule on the nationwide level, and Mayor London Breed stated January 19 that San Francisco could run out of vaccines within two days.

San Francisco Pride, which runs one of the largest in-person events in the city and the country, did not respond to an immediate request for comment. Last year's SF Pride festivities were virtual due to the ongoing pandemic and it's questionable if the 2021 event will be able to take place in person the last weekend of June.

Organizers of the city's Chinese New Year's parade have already said the in-person event has been canceled but that there will be a broadcast special February 20 starting at 4:30 p.m.

Chase announces $5M in grants to LGBTQ groups
As part of its commitment to advance equality for the LGBTQ community, JPMorgan Chase recently announced $5 million in support for five nonprofit organizations, including the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, which is based in San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

Each nonprofit will receive $1 million ($250,000 over four years).

SFAF, established in 1982, works to promote health, wellness, and social justice for communities most impacted by HIV, through sexual health and substance use services, advocacy, and community partnerships. The new funding will advance the foundation's innovative model of free, highly accessible health care for transgender people and health workforce development for trans people, according to a news release from Chase.

In a statement, SFAF CEO Joe Hollendoner praised the grant.

"San Francisco AIDS Foundation's vision of health justice requires a deepening of our work with transgender and nonbinary communities, especially those who are low-income. This unprecedented investment by JP Morgan Chase will allow us to sustain and expand efforts to care for the comprehensive health and social needs of these community members," he stated. "Through this partnership, we truly have the opportunity to transform the lives of our trans and nonbinary individuals as well as the larger systems of care that have a responsibility for their well-being."

Out & Equal, which works to achieve workplace equality, will use the funds to start a new program aimed at creating visible transgender executives and senior leaders.

"The need to step up for the trans and gender-expansive community is clear and JPMorgan Chase deserves credit for making this commitment," Out & Equal CEO Erin Uritus stated in response to a request for comment. "We're excited to be able to expand our efforts to help members of this community thrive at work!

"This new funding is going to support Out & Equal's largest and most comprehensive program to further trans equality at work and develop the next generation of trans leaders," she added. "We are investing in trans and gender-expansive employees across all career stages. And accomplishing belonging and full access to opportunities for all trans and gender-expansive people means transforming the workplaces in which they show up. As part of this investment, we are also developing diagnostics, toolkits, resources, and trainings for employers."

The other nonprofits receiving Chase grants are GLSEN, SAGE, and The Center. All are based in New York City.

"Together, we can do more to build a culture of respect and inclusion around the world," stated Brian Lamb, global head of diversity, equity, and inclusion at Chase. "These partnerships are a top priority because now, more than ever, we need to lock arms with our LGBT+ employees, customers, and partners to promote equality and better serve our communities when they need it most."

GTZ virtual meeting series looks at COVID vaccines
The Getting to Zero San Francisco virtual meeting series will hold a session Thursday, January 28, from 5 to 6 p.m. entitled "HIV & COVID-19: Fact-checking & SF's Vaccination Plan."

Panelists are Dr. Monica Gandhi of UCSF and Ward 86 at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, Dr. Susan Buchbinder of the San Francisco Department of Public Health's Bridge HIV program, and Dr. Susan Philip, the city's acting health officer.

Topics to be addressed include information about COVID-19 and those living with HIV, and vaccine information, such as when people living with HIV can get one and who will pay for it.
The event is free. To register, click here.

Mandelman posts vaccine update
Gay District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman recently posted an update to COVID-19 vaccine availability on Facebook, noting that there is a shortage right now.

He also said that San Francisco gets only a small portion of the state's vaccine allocation.

He wrote that the city is establishing high-volume vaccine hubs in areas most impacted by COVID including South of Market (Moscone Center); Oceanview, Merced, and Ingleside (City College Ocean Campus); and Bayview (SF Produce Market).

In addition to these sites the city and health care providers will be establishing smaller pop-up vaccine sites in impacted communities.

Mandelman stated that the city has created a website where people who live and work in San Francisco can be notified once they are eligible to be vaccinated. People can sign up for these notifications here.

John Ferrannini contributed reporting.

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