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News Briefs: King, Kendell to speak in SF

by Cynthia Laird

Billie Jean King
Billie Jean King  

Lesbian powerhouses Billie Jean King and Kate Kendell will appear at Brava Theatre next month, and tickets are available.

Local promoter Mark Rhoades is organizing the event, which will be held Thursday, April 12, from 7:30 to 10 p.m. at 2781 24th Street.

King is a retired tennis pro who later came out and began getting involved in social justice work. Kendell is the longtime executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. She announced earlier this month that she would be stepping down from leading the agency at the end of this year.

Kendell will interview King prior to a screening of "Battle of the Sexes." The 2017 movie, about King's 1973 tennis match with Bobby Riggs, stars Emma Stone and Steve Carell.

Tickets for the "Serving Up the Ace" event start at $51. There are a limited number of tickets available for a VIP reception with King prior to the event. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

Queer Stations of the Cross
The Society of Franciscan Workers Inc. will hold queer Stations of the Cross on Good Friday, March 30.

Bishop River Damien Sims, who's organizing the event, said in a news release that people should meet at the rainbow flag at Castro and Market streets at 1 p.m. People will march through the Castro and remember Christ's crucifixion amid the struggle for LGBTQ equality.

People interested in volunteering should call Sims at (415) 305-2124.

Trans visibility day in SF
Local organizations will celebrate Trans Day of Visibility Saturday, March 31, at SOMArts, 934 Brannan Street in San Francisco.

This year's theme is "Visibility into Action," and the event will include entertainment, awards, music, and food and drinks.

Trans Day of Visibility started several years ago as a way to recognize transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals. Organizers pointed out that last year was a dangerous one for members of the community, with alarming rates of violence, homicides, and suicides, specifically impacting trans women of color and youth.

The evening begins with a reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by the program at 6:30. Sponsors include the San Francisco LGBT Community Center, SOMArts Cultural Center, the Imperial Council of San Francisco, Trans: Thrive, the Transgender Film Festival, and the Trans March.

The event is free. For more information and to register, visit

Spring Fling to honor Kendell, Chung
The aforementioned Kate Kendell will receive the Founder's Award at Openhouse's Spring Fling. The brunch and tea dance takes place Sunday, April 8, at 11 a.m. at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, 600 Stockton Street in San Francisco.

Openhouse, which offers services for LGBTQ seniors, said it was thanking Kendell for her years of service and advancing the civil and human rights of LGBT people and their families.

Other honorees include Cecilia Chung, an HIV-positive transgender woman, who will receive the Trailblazer Award. Chung sits on the San Francisco Health Commission and is the senior director for strategic projects at the Transgender Law Center.

This year Openhouse will debut its GenOUT Award, which will go to Donna Personna and Collette LeGrande. Personna is an artist and performer; LeGrande is a twice former grand duchess of the Ducal Court of San Francisco. Both collaborated with playwright Mark Nassar in co-authoring "The Compton's Cafeteria Riot," an interactive theater piece that was recently produced by the Tenderloin Museum.

Agency officials also said they are bringing back the popular tea dance with Go Bang DJ Sergio Fedasz spinning dance and disco classics.

Tickets for Spring Fling are $250 and can be purchased at

Horizons Q Series event
Horizons Foundation will hold its next Q Series event, "The Criminalization of Queer People," Monday, April 16, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Strut, 470 Castro Street in San Francisco.

Organizers pointed out that queer people have had a detailed history of being criminalized by society. Although there have been many advancements, LGBTQ people still face discrimination in the legal and penal system. Panelists will discuss what people can do to reform the system and ensure equal treatment for all.

Matt Coles, former deputy legal director at the American Civil Liberties Union and now a professor of practice at UC Hastings, will moderate. He will be joined by panelists Janetta Johnson of TGI Justice, Jessica Nowlan of the Young Women's Freedom Center, and Carolina Roberts of Oasis Legal Services.

The event is free. To register, visit

Mayoral forum in the TL
The Tenderloin Community Benefit District will hold a mayoral forum Wednesday, April 4, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at St. Boniface Auditorium, accessible through the De Marillac Academy Gate at 175 Golden Gate Avenue.

Organizers did not specify which candidates would be in attendance. To submit a question, email

SPCA gala coming up
The San Francisco Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals will hold its 150th anniversary celebration Wednesday, April 18, at San Francisco City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place.

The evening begins with a cocktail reception at 6:30 p.m., followed by a vegetarian dinner at 7:30.

The SF SPCA will be honoring California Governor Jerry Brown and gay former state senator and mayoral candidate Mark Leno, for their leadership in animal welfare and protection. In addition, Colusa, Brown's corgi mix, and LiLou, the SF SPCA's therapy pig at San Francisco International Airport, will be on hand to greet guests.

The evening will include entertainment by the SFJAZZ Cats (high school all-stars) and American jazz and cabaret singer Paula West.

Tickets start at $1,000 and are available by calling (415) 962-2501.


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