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Researcher seeks 'Tales' fans

by Cynthia Laird

If you read the groundbreaking "Tales of the City" when it appeared in the newspaper, a gay researcher wants to hear your story.

Author Ramzi Fawaz, Ph.D., who's an assistant professor of English and LGBTQ studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, is in San Francisco this summer and looking for people who read Armistead Maupin's serialized gay fiction "Tales of the City" in its original format that ran in the San Francisco Chronicle between 1976-1983.

According to a flier, Fawaz, who is in San Francisco from June 1 until August 31, is available to meet with eligible study participants. Interviews, which can be done in person, or via phone or video chat, will be recorded.

People who read the Chronicle series can also send him an email or letter describing their reading experiences.

Maupin's stories revolved around a cast of eccentric characters - gay and straight - led by marijuana-growing landlady Anna Madrigal, who lived at 28 Barbary Lane. An entry in Wikipedia noted that because the stories were published so soon after Maupin wrote them, they included references to events at the time.

Fawaz is also the author of "The New Mutants: Superheroes and the Radical Imagination of American Cities."

Fawaz can be contacted at . Letters can be sent to him at 600 North Park Street, Madison, Wisconsin, 53706.

For more information about Fawaz, visit .

'Patient No More' exhibit at SF library
An interactive, multimedia exhibit about the disability rights movement will be at the San Francisco Public Library to commemorate the 40th anniversary of an iconic Bay Area event that continues to transform lives of disabled and nondisabled people today.

"Patient No More: People with Disabilities Securing Civil Rights," will be in the Skylight Gallery at the main library, 100 Larkin Street, from June 10 through September 3.

The exhibit, organized by San Francisco State University's Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability, tells the story of how more than 100 people with disabilities occupied 50 UN Plaza in San Francisco for nearly a month in April 1977 to demand that a precursor to the Americans with Disabilities Act, known as Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, be signed. Supported by groups such as the Black Panthers, Delancey Street, Glide Memorial Church, and politicians, including Philip Burton, George Miller, and Mayor George Moscone, the protesters emerged victorious after a 26-day demonstration.

The exhibit was previously shown at the Ed Roberts Campus in Berkeley two years ago, and has been on tour since then.

"Patient No More" features video interviews with some of the protesters and has built-in accessibility features so that those with various cognitive disabilities, vision, hearing, and mobility impairments can visit.

Some of the changes the protesters fought for are now taken for granted.

"Like curb cuts for wheelchair users that now help parents with strollers, bike riders, and skateboarders, these access features have unintended benefits for everyone," said Catherine Kudlick, professor of history and director of the Longmore Institute.

The exhibit will be open during the library's regular hours, and will have several guided tours and accompanying programs.

To learn more and explore the virtual exhibit, visit .

San Mateo County Youth Commission seeks members
The San Mateo County Youth Commission is looking for passionate young people between the ages of 13-20 to join a strong, energetic group of youth dedicated to making a difference in the community.

County Supervisor David Canepa said in an email that currently there is only one member of the commission who resides in the northern portion of the county, and encouraged interested young people to apply. Canepa represents northern San Mateo County.

The commission meets from 6:15 to 8:15 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month in San Mateo. On the fourth Thursday, it meets at the same time but in Redwood City. Meeting attendance is mandatory for commissioners.

The panel serves as an advisory body to the supervisors and forms committees to work on specific projects each year. Committees usually fall into the following subject areas: teen stress and happiness, immigrant youth, adolescent needs, legislative, and environmental protection.

People can apply by Friday, June 2, at . For Spanish, go to .

AIDS grove announces new membership levels
As the National AIDS Memorial Grove enters its 25th year, officials have announced new membership levels in a bid to retain current supporters and add new ones.

In its email newsletter, grove Executive Director John Cunningham and board President Michael Shriver said that in order to maintain the memorial and advance the grove's mission, financial support is needed.

"That's why in 2017 - our silver anniversary - we are launching a new membership program to create a lasting, stable base of support for the grove for future generations," the men wrote. "By joining at a level that suits your budget, you play a lasting role in ensuring the influence and significance of the National AIDS Memorial Grove, now and in the future."

"Friends of the Grove" allows members to give $100-$999. Several benefits are included, such as acknowledgment on the grove's website and member discounts to ticketed events.

The other level is "Sustaining Friends of the Grove," which allows donors to give $25 or more a month ($300 annually). Such donors also receive member benefits.

Earlier this year, the grove announced it wants to build a national museum to chronicle the story of the AIDS epidemic. Cunningham said at the time that the grove was having a feasibility study done, which is expected to be completed by the fall.

For more information on becoming a grove member, visit .

SJ plans Equality March
If you're in the Bay Area and want to take part in an affinity march for LGBTQ equality, then San Jose is the place to be next weekend.

San Jose is joining the national movement in support of equality, unity, and Pride in a march and rally Sunday, June 11, the same day that the national Equality March for Unity and Pride takes place in Washington, D.C.

The march will take place at 11 a.m. at San Jose City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara Street. It will lead to the Pride rally at Plaza De Cesar Chavez at 1 p.m. Both events are organized by members of the LGBTQ community.

"As national Pride Month, June is typically a time to celebrate, but with elected officials challenging LGBTQ civil rights protections across the country, and with an emerging federal pattern of exclusion of LGBTQ-related data and defunding of programs, it is more important than ever for our community and its allies to be civically engaged and publicly visible," Maribel Martinez, director of the Santa Clara Office of LGBTQ Affairs, said in a statement.

Organizers said that the rally would feature a line-up of diverse local speakers, community engagement tables, and readings of open letters.

"After the change of power in D.C., we were inundated with messages from fellow members of the LGBTQ community who feared their hard-fought rights may be revoked," said Nathan Svoboda of the Project More Foundation, which is part of the event's steering committee.

The grassroots march and rally was organized by several groups, including Silicon Valley Pride, the LGBTQ Youth Space, the Rainbow Chamber of Commerce, and the Billy DeFrank LGBT Community Center.

For more information, visit .

Trans activist accepting applications for surgery scholarships
Transgender rights activist, recording artist, and author Rizi Timane has announced that applications are now available for the fourth annual Rizi Timane Transgender Surgery Scholarship, which underwrites surgery for those without the financial resources to undergo gender confirmation operations.

Timane, who was born female in Nigeria and transitioned to male in 2012, is also an ordained minister and established the Happy Transgender Center that same year. The scholarship was started in 2014 and since then has paid for five surgeries.

For more information, visit .

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