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Letters to the editor

by BAR staff

Letters to the editor

LYRIC youth speaks out
Several months ago, the Bay Area Reporter approached the Lavender Youth Recreation and Information Center about a story it was writing about PrEP for adolescents and wanted to include information about LYRIC's new PrEP for Youth program, which is a collaborative with San Francisco AIDS Foundation and is funded by San Francisco Department of Public Health. The reporter shared that the B.A.R. was particularly interested in getting the perspective of a youth engaged in the program. When the article, "PrEP for Adolescents," ran in the May 17 issue, we were quite disappointed to see that it did not include the remarks provided by the youth.

Because a young person, Julius, who asked that his last name not be published, provided such thoughtful, insightful remarks, we wish to share them with B.A.R. readers:

"It is important for youth, especially sexually active youth, to know about PrEP. As a leader it is important for me to tell other youth the ways they can be protected while having sex. As a leader I get to guide youth in the right direction. I am on PrEP myself, to show them you have to practice what you preach. I want to lead the new generation into being an HIV-free generation. I want to see everyone in my community happy because I've led them into this future. LYRIC gives the opportunity for youth to come together to talk about PrEP - what it is, how we can benefit from it personally and benefit from it throughout our community. Working with LYRIC helps me become a better leader. It is a blessing to have an organization that supports LGBTQQ youth to be active in our community, to be a voice for our community. We get paid for a job we love to do. Being a leader is about seeing the reaction of my community, how others are uplifted by my story. Queer youth exist. Youth want to be PrEP leaders. We are the face of the next generation. We exist in the Castro. We are underdogs, we may not have the loudest voices, but we are leaders as well, we understand elders paved the way, but we are here. I want to see a community come together and not be divided because of age or generation. I would like to see more of older adults be mentors to us, tell us how they became leaders, and how they can pass down the torch to us, the younger generation."

Thank you, Julius.

Jodi L. Schwartz, Executive Director, LYRIC
San Francisco

Breed for mayor, Sheehy for D8 supe
As a Hispanic transgender woman, I strongly support London Breed for mayor and Jeff Sheehy for District 8 supervisor.

Breed has demonstrated strong pragmatic leadership on the Board of Supervisors and she deserves our vote for mayor.

Sheehy has demonstrated strong independent leadership on the Board of Supervisors and his office is very responsive to constituent concerns.

Also, Breed and Sheehy were instrumental in helping Tenderloin Tessie Holiday Dinners, an all-volunteer nonprofit organization, obtain a $25,000 congregant community meals grant from the city in the 2017-2018 fiscal year so we can continue to feed 1,000 needy adults and children three times a year on Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas; this was the first time Tenderloin Tessie ever received city funding in our 40 years of existence feeding holiday meals to our community. We need effective leaders in City Hall. Please vote for Sheehy and Breed on Tuesday, June 5.

Marilyn Murrillo, M.A.
Tenderloin Tessie Holiday Dinners
Grants Administrator and Board Member
San Francisco

Bleich for lieutenant governor
On June 5, we have the opportunity to support Jeff Bleich for lieutenant governor, someone whose legal work has advanced the LGBT civil rights movement in so many critical ways.

In 1991, Bleich championed LGBT Americans serving in the military, challenging "Don't Ask Don't Tell" on behalf of a Navy lieutenant commander, Paul Thomasson, who would not lie about being gay. He did this even when many fellow Democrats were timid to fight for our community's right to serve in the military.

Bleich also worked, pro bono, with the San Francisco City Attorney's office in our push to win the freedom to marry in California. More recently, Bleich served as co-counsel on a brief to the Supreme Court, defending the Obama administration's determination that transgender people are protected by federal anti-discrimination law.

Bleich's proven track record of commitment to equality is clear both in and out of the courtroom.

As lieutenant governor, I know Bleich will stand with the LGBT community in all our diversity, ensure California's anti-discrimination laws are enforced, push for policies that create greater equality throughout the state, and continue our state's leadership on LGBT equality, Immigration rights, reform of our justice system and so much more.

Bevan Dufty
San Francisco

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