News Briefs: SF Pride volunteers needed

  • by Cynthia Laird, News Editor
  • Wednesday June 19, 2024
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Labor groups marched in last year's San Francisco Pride parade. Photo: Jane Philomen Cleland
Labor groups marched in last year's San Francisco Pride parade. Photo: Jane Philomen Cleland

The huge San Francisco Pride parade and celebration wouldn't happen without a lot of volunteers lending a hand, and shifts are available for the June 29-30 event.

From gate access point volunteers to those helping with backstage access for performance groups and speakers, there are a lot of opportunities, according to SF Pride's website. Shifts are available for both Saturday's festival and Sunday's parade and festival. Some of Sunday's offerings include helping organize parade contingents and the ever-important gap monitors to help ensure the parade keeps moving.

"This huge endeavor would not be possible without the support of hundreds of volunteers," SF Pride's website noted. "By donating some of your time and talent, you are helping to bring essential Queer Joy to our communities."

For a list of available opportunities, go to and click on "Volunteer."

Former collegiate swimmer Schuyler Bailar. Photo: Courtesy Milk club  

Trans swimmer Bailar to keynote Milk gayla
Schuyler Bailar, the first trans athlete to compete in any sport on a NCAA Division 1 men's team, will be the keynote speaker for the Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club's Gayla that takes place Thursday, June 27, at 7 p.m. at Congregation Sherith Israel, 2266 California Street in San Francisco.

Bailar swam for Harvard University for four years and graduated with a degree in cognitive neuroscience and evolutionary psychology in May 2019.

The Milk club's 48th annual gayla brings together 300 of the city's influential politicians, community activists, and grassroots organizers. Tickets start at $100.

For tickets and more information, click here.

SF's Excelsior to hold Pride event
Celebrating LGBTQ Pride in San Francisco isn't limited to the Castro or the Tenderloin. There was a brunch in the Bayview earlier this month and this weekend the Excelsior neighborhood will hold a Pride party. Dubbed the Pride Excelsior Explosion, the event takes place Sunday, June 23, from 2 to 5 p.m. on Otsego Avenue at Ocean Avenue and will feature an afternoon of entertainment, food, drinks, and community celebration, a news release stated.

The party will be hosted by Nitrix Oxide along with Vendetta, Avery Daniels, Aurris Garcon, and Luke Modelo. Talent includes "Walk Around Magic" from Tom Collett, DJs Will and Chris spinning tunes, and drag performances by local favorites, the release noted.

"We're thrilled to bring together such an amazing group of performers for a fun, inclusive pride celebration right in the heart of the Outer Mission/Excelsior," stated event organizers Geoffrey Stott and Richard Lugo, "With everything from magic to drag to dancing, there will be something for everyone to enjoy."

In addition to the free entertainment, the event will have food and drink available for purchase from local vendors. It is family-friendly and open to all ages, the release stated.

According to the release, the Pride Excelsior Explosion is made possible thanks to the support of community partners including the Check-In Lounge, an LGBTQ-owned establishment that provides shared event and work spaces; the Excelsior Action Group, an improvement association serving the neighborhood; and the SF Shared Spaces program.

To reserve a spot or for more information, click here.

Peskin legislation would help Queer LifeSpace
San Francisco Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin has introduced legislation that would help Queer LifeSpace remain in its Castro offices. As the Bay Area Reporter recently reported, leaders of the LGBTQ therapy center at 2275 Market Street said they're under threat of eviction.

According to a news release from Peskin's office, his legislation would create land use controls for the building, The legislation would prevent a change of use at the property in the Castro and Upper Market commercial districts without planning commission approval to anything outside of health or social services for at least 18 months, with an option to become permanent.

The proposal is similar to one Peskin used to save the Punch Line Comedy Club in the Financial District from being converted by Google in 2019. Peskin represents the Financial District, North Beach, and Chinatown, and is also running against Mayor London Breed this November.

"Queer LifeSpace is providing essential health services that the queer community needs now more than ever," Peskin stated. "In this moment when commercial corridors are struggling to rebound from the pandemic, landlords should be embracing long-term small businesses that add community value, jobs, services, and neighborhood stability."

Founded in 2011, Queer LifeSpace is the nonprofit arm of the San Francisco Therapy Collective. Queer LifeSpace also trains therapists to become LGBTQ competent, noted Executive Director Ryan MacCarrigan, a gay man. There are nine first-time clinical trainees and five associates, he said.

"We provide essential services to some of the Bay Area's most marginalized communities," MacCarrigan stated in the release. "People come from all over the Bay Area to the Castro seeking culturally-competent, high-quality, and affordable health care in a safe space.

"The pandemic, combined with the rise of extremist right-wing groups and policies nationwide have had a profound impact on the queer community," he added. "We can't afford to lose another queer space in the Castro or in San Francisco."

Queer LifeSpace has also received backing from the Castro LGBTQ Cultural District, as it's located in the district's footprint. Tina Aguirre, a Latinx genderqueer person who is director of the district, criticized landlords. In Queer LifeSpace's case, landlords are claiming the therapy center owes maintenance costs and fees from the COVID pandemic that are as much as $180,000, as MacCarrigan previously told the B.A.R.

So far, Queer LifeSpace has not received a notice to quit, MacCarrigan previously stated. He did not respond to a follow-up message this week.

Aguirre stated that the cultural district supports Peskin's legislation.

"This is an example of how landlords abuse their power by prioritizing a bottom line of profits over community and common sense," they stated. "Queer and trans people experience high levels of trauma because of homophobia and transphobia in family and institutional settings. Our hope is that Queer LifeSpace is protected and able to continue to provide the great services they provide in the Castro."

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