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News Briefs: Presidio to host its first LGBTQ family camp

by compiled by Cynthia Laird

Queer Camp participants sit under a parachute in 2013.<br>Photo: Claire Woods
Queer Camp participants sit under a parachute in 2013.
Photo: Claire Woods  

In May, the Rob Hill Campground in the Presidio will welcome LGBTQ families for the first-ever Queer Family Camp.

The weekend is the result of a partnership between Queer Camp, which brings LGBT adults together for group camping trips, and the Crissy Field Center, which connects youth and their families with the Bay Area's natural spaces. The nonprofit center is a joint project between the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, the National Park Service, and the Presidio Trust.

"Our national parks belong to everyone including queer families and the greater LGBTQ community," stated Charity Maybury, deputy director of the Crissy Field Center. "Partnering with Queer Camp staff provides a wonderful opportunity to welcome LGBTQ families to our parks, provide them high quality outdoor experiences, ensure they know about all of the resources the park has to offer their families, and to learn from our participants about how we can support their continued engagement in Golden Gate National Recreation Area."

Oakland resident Rose "Slam" Johnson, who founded Queer Camp in 2009, said people should expect "a beautiful camping trip in the Presidio, a really community-focused vibe, love and warmth, playing games, and the opportunity to delight in each other's company."

The collaboration between the two groups came about, said Johnson, because an attendee of past adult Queer Camp trips happens to work at the Crissy Field Center. They brought the two entities together to collaborate on offering programs to the LGBTQ community.

In a statement to the Bay Area Reporter, Maybury explained that the center[s mission is to reach new audiences that the national parks haven't engaged with before and to form new partnerships. The conversations the center's staff has had with Queer Camp leaders resulted in the idea to host the Queer Family Camp at Rob Hill Campground, which is the only camping site in San Francisco.

"There is a vibrant history of LGBTQ people using parks and the wish to create a space for non-normative families to explore and enjoy the outdoors," stated Maybury. "We wanted to expand our efforts in reaching the community by combining the Crissy Field Center's resources, experiential education program, and access to this Rob Hill Campground, with the culture and community available through Queer Camp."

The substance-free weekend will take place May 19-21 and feature workshops, all-camp games, a variety show, and campfire. Costumes are also highly encouraged.

All meals (chef-prepared, sustainable, dietary-need inclusive) and gear (tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag) are provided in the cost of the ticket. The campground, whose two campsites accommodate 30 people each, has running water and bathrooms but no showers.

For adults, there is a sliding scale cost of $95 up to $250, children 5 to 16 cost $55, and kids under the age of 5 are free. People without children are welcome to attend.

To register, visit

To learn more about Queer Camp, which also has an adults-only camping trip in May at Oakland[s Chabot Regional Park, visit


National Park Week events

The Golden Gate National Recreation Area has announced events during National Park Week.

There will be an observance at Crissy Field Sunday, April 23 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with ranger walks, free exercise classes, and a healthy living fair.

Birding 101 will be held April 23 in the Marin Headlands, where people can learn more about the feathered denizens of Rodeo Lagoon. Registration is required by visiting

Weekends at noon there will be cannon demonstrations at Fort Point. For details, see


More Pride honorees named

The San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration Committee has announced more community grand marshals and other honorees for the June 24-25 parade and festivities.

Individual community grand marshals include Danielle Castro, a transgender community activist who co-founded Trans Advocates for Justice and Accountability, or Taja's, Coalition, after the February 2015 stabbing death of Taja Gabrielle de Jesus, 36, in the city's Bayview district.

Educator Amy Sueyoshi was also named a community grand marshal. She is a leading scholar in queer Asian-American history and the founding co-curator of the GLBT History Museum.

The Lifetime Achievement grand marshal will be Marcy Adelman, Ph.D., who co-founded LGBT senior organization Openhouse with her late partner, Jeannette Gurevitch. Just last month, the Openhouse Community at 55 Laguna held its grand opening celebration.

The Heritage of Pride Freedom Awardee will be El/La Para Trans Latina, which works to build collective vision, action, and power for the trans Latina community.

The Heritage of Pride Community Award will go to the National Center for Lesbian Rights, a legal organization that has advanced the human rights of LGBT people and their families since 1977 and is marking its 40th anniversary.

Positive Resource Center Chief Executive Officer Brett Andrews is the recipient of the Heritage of Pride 10 Years of Service Award. The 30-year-old nonprofit last year merged with Baker Places and the AIDS Emergency Fund to expand its services to people living with HIV/AIDS and other conditions.

Bay Area American Indian Two Spirits will receive the Gilbert Baker Pride Founder's Award. BAAITS holds an annual powwow and offers culturally relevant activities for LGBT Native Americans.

Queer Mexican immigrant Maria Zamudio will receive the Teddy Witherington Award. She organizes mostly Latinx working-class tenants in San Francisco who are fighting for their homes.

The Audrey Joseph LGBTQ Entertainment Award will go to Blackberri, a songstylist, poet, writer, photographer, and health educator.

Finally, the Jose Julio Sarria History Maker's Award will go to Subhi Nahas, who began advocating for women[s and children[s rights in Syria, then started working with Save the Children as a translator and advocate. He co-founded the first LGBTQ Syrian magazine, Mawaleh.

Previously announced grand marshals were fundraiser Chris Carnes, drag king Alex U. Inn (Carmen Morrison), and the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus.

For more information on San Francisco Pride, visit


City College open house

City College of San Francisco will hold an open house at all of its campuses Friday, April 21 from 9 a.m. to noon.

The open house is an opportunity for students to learn how to enroll in the free City College initiative and register on-site. CCSF staff and faculty will be available to answer questions and provide detailed information about the more than 150 academic programs and occupational disciplines available.

For a list of City College campuses, visit and click on "Our Locations."


Hospice by the Bay seeks volunteers

Hospice by the Bay is seeking volunteers and a training session starts this month.

Officials said that volunteers bring comfort and compassion to terminally-ill patients and their caregivers. The hospice is an affiliate of UCSF and provides care to anyone coping with loss in Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Sonoma counties and the cities of American Canyon, Napa, and Vallejo.

A 26-hour training will be held April 26 through May 18. Volunteer applications are due Friday, April 21. Anyone 18 or over is welcome to apply. For more information and an application, visit


LYRIC open house

The Lavender Youth Recreation and Information Center, or LYRIC for short, will hold its annual open house Thursday, April 27 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at 127 Collingwood Street in San Francisco's Castro neighborhood.

People are welcome to attend an inspirational night showcasing LYRIC youth creativity. This year's theme is "Queer Nation, Queer Migration."

Refreshments will be served and there is no cost to attend. For more information, visit


Pacific Center benefit

The Pacific Center for Human Growth will hold its annual fundraiser Sunday, April 30 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Z Cafe and Bar, 2735 Broadway in Oakland.

The center, located in Berkeley, provides an array of services for people living in the East Bay.

This year's benefit theme is "From Stonewall to No Walls," and will celebrate 44 years of breaking down barriers to affordable and culturally competent mental health services.

The event will feature performances by Kim Lembo, Irina Rivkin, and Beryl and Nicole.

Center officials stated that they are expecting a 30 percent increase in demand for services for at least the next two years. It recently announced expanded services for older adults by operating peer support groups in Berkeley and Hayward.

Tickets are $75 for adults; $50 for older adults (65-plus), and $25 for youth and young adults (25 and under).

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit


Openhouse Spring Fling

Openhouse, the LGBT seniors agency, will hold its annual Spring Fling benefit Sunday, April 30 from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Fairmont, 950 Mason Street in San Francisco.

The event will feature brunch and a live auction and honor the recipients of the Trailblazer of the Year (Marcy Adelman, Ph.D.) and Aldelman-Gurevitch Founders (Cleve Jones) awards.

Tickets are $200 and can be purchased online at - spring-fling-tickets.


Matthew S. Bajko contributed reporting.



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