News Briefs: Leather district, SF LGBTQ center announce murals

  • by Cynthia Laird, News Editor
  • Wednesday July 19, 2023
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Serge Gay Jr.'s "The Puppy" mural on the side of Mr S Leather will be dedicated July 27. Photo: Courtesy SF Leather & LGBTQ Cultural Center
Serge Gay Jr.'s "The Puppy" mural on the side of Mr S Leather will be dedicated July 27. Photo: Courtesy SF Leather & LGBTQ Cultural Center

A new mural has been completed on the side of Mr S Leather in San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood while plans are underway for the next in a series of temporary murals on the exterior of the city's LGBTQ community center.

The San Francisco Leather & LGBTQ Cultural District stated in its recent newsletter that "The Puppy," a mural it commissioned, has been completed on the Heron Street side of Mr S Leather, 385 Eighth Street. Muralist Serge Gay Jr., a gay man, painted the mural, which is the latest of several he has done in the city, including "Never Alone" on the side of Maitri Compassionate Care hospice at 401 Duboce Avenue in the city's Duboce Triangle neighborhood. Gay was also a collaborator on the "Showtime" mural on the exterior of Oasis, the LGBTQ nightclub at 198 11th Street.

A formal dedication of the new mural will take place Thursday, July 27, from 5 to 6 p.m., according to the leather district.

In other mural news, the San Francisco LGBT Community Center has announced the artist who will be doing their work on the exterior of the Victorian part of the building at 1800 Market Street. Alma Landeta was selected and should have their mural completed by the end of the month. According to an email announcement, Landeta is a mixed-race Cuban American queer multidisciplinary artist and educator whose work seeks to build community through the exploration of intersectional identities. Their work primarily brings attention to the importance of bodily autonomy for queer and trans people.

"I'm so excited to be chosen as the next muralist for the SF LGBT center," Landeta stated. "This new mural, 'Joy is the Fuel,' is inspired by those precious and fleeting moments of joy surrounded by queer community on the dance floor." The mural depicts a queer dance party and speaks to how queer joy is the fuel for the community's collective strength, the announcement noted.

Landeta was selected from a diverse pool of muralist candidates who submitted project proposals through an open callout for new mural artists in 2022, the center stated.

The mural will be unveiled Tuesday, July 25, and people are welcome to stop by between 4 and 6 p.m.

The center began its mural program after the controversial artist fnnch's "Honey Bear" mural was defaced in April 2021 in the wake of online comments the straight artist posted likening himself to an immigrant because he came from Missouri, as the Bay Area Reporter previously reported. (He later apologized.)

After that, the center decided to embark on a series of rotating murals painted by LGBTQ artists. The first of those, "Queeroes," was done by Juan Manuel Carmona and Simón Malvaez in May 2021; it was recently painted over with a coat of white paint in preparation for the new mural by Landeta.

New music series at LGBT center

Dirty Habit, the award-winning restaurant and bar located on the fifth floor of Hotel Zelos in the city's South of Market neighborhood, has partnered with the San Francisco LGBT Community Center's cultural department to launch a new monthly music series that promotes and supports Black Indigenous people of color artists.

The new program, Vibin' Live, features live performances at Dirty Habit, 12 Fourth Street, every third Thursday from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., beginning July 20. Admission is free with a dinner reservation.

"We are thrilled to partner with the SF LGBT center to launch this new series," Desiree Hemmelgarn, director of sales and marketing at Hotel Zelos, stated in a news release. "It's a privilege to be able to provide a platform for the center's budding local artists. We think our guests will be blown away by the remarkable musicians that are based right here in the Bay Area."

Timothy Hampton, associate director of cultural programs at the center, stated that the new program is a great opportunity for the artists "to reach even more people with their artistry."

The inaugural performance will feature singer-songwriter Tyler Reese. The release noted that she is finding her home in next wave R&B and neo-soul.

For more information about Dirty Habit, click here. For more information on the LGBT center, visit

Health fair in the Tenderloin

San Francisco Community Health Center will hold a summer health and wellness fair in the Tenderloin Friday, July 21, from 1:30 to 4 p.m. at the agency's Tenderloin headquarters, 730 Polk Street. The agency, which also operates a health clinic in the San Francisco LGBT Community Center, opened its Tenderloin trans services center in March, as the B.A.R. previously reported.

The Tenderloin Summer Health and Wellness Fair is tailored for those who are experiencing homelessness and for trans and gender-nonconforming people, a news release stated. The event will offer drop-in medical services and HIV/HCV testing, education on gender-affirming care, free clothing and hygiene supplies, harm reduction supplies, wellness and personal care services, and food and entertainment. Pets and furry friends are welcome, the release noted.

"Our summer health fair is a great opportunity for community members to get to know our services and our team in a safe, friendly, and fun setting," stated Miguel Ibarra, the agency's director of community engagement.

For more information, go to

New Meals on Wheels San Francisco CEO Jennifer Steele. Photo: Courtesy MOWSF  

Meals on Wheels SF has new CEO
Meals on Wheels of San Francisco, which provides nutritious meals to homebound seniors in San Francisco and Northern San Mateo counties, has announced the appointment of Jennifer Steele as its new chief executive officer. Steele, a straight ally, has started in the position and replaces Ashley McCumber, a gay man who led the agency from 2007 until he stepped down last year to return to his native North Carolina, where he is leading the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.

A news release from Meals on Wheels SF stated that Steele has a record of accomplishment in the nonprofit sector that spans nearly 20 years and extensive expertise with Meals on Wheels programs.

Steele joins MOWSF from Meals on Wheels of Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky where she served as the CEO for nearly five years. During her tenure, she successfully expanded the organization's reach, increased donor engagement, and implemented innovative programs to better serve the community, the release stated. Under her guidance, the organization experienced tremendous growth and impact.

"We are confident that Jennifer's extensive experience, passion, and innovative thinking will lead our organization to new heights," stated José Allen, board chair of MOWSF. "With her leadership, Meals on Wheels of San Francisco will expand its reach, strengthen partnerships, and continue to provide home-delivered meals and vital services to older adults in the Bay Area."

The release stated that Steele is an accomplished lecturer and industry thought leader and has served on national, state, and local boards and legislative oversight committees, including current service on the National Board of Meals on Wheels America. She has been honored with numerous awards for her service to the community, including Outstanding Woman of Northern Kentucky from the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and the VUCA Award for Vision, Understanding, Clarity, and Agility from the Leadership Council for Nonprofits.

"I am truly honored and excited to join Meals on Wheels of San Francisco as its new CEO," stated Steele, who was in town this week to meet with agency staff, clients, and board members. "It is an iconic organization providing critically important nutrition, meals, and human connection to older adults in need. I look forward to working with the dedicated staff, volunteers, and supporters to maximize our impact in the community."

Steele received her bachelor's degree in social work and master's degree in public administration from Northern Kentucky University. She went on to earn the financial success for nonprofit organizations certificate from Cornell University in 2011; a certificate in business innovation through IDEO, an online learning site, in 2022; and is currently enrolled in the entrepreneurship and innovation certificate program through Harvard Business School Online.

A MOWSF spokesperson said the agency does not release salary information, other than what is required on federal 990 forms. According to its 2022 Impact Report, the agency had revenue of just over $24 million and expenses of $27 million. According to the 2021 Form 990, McCumber's total compensation was $397,431.

Donate old phones at SF Zoo
The San Francisco Zoo now has the ability to accept donations of old cellphones, iPads, tablets, Apple watches, and more.

An email announcement stated that for its Gorillas on the Line program, the zoo is partnering with ECO-CELL, an electronics recycling company, to tally and recycle old electronic devices, with a portion of the funds generated through the recycling going to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Gorilla SAFE, the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and the Wildlife Conservation Society for support of on-ground protection of Grauer's and cross river gorillas.

Items can be donated in the designated collection bin located in the membership concierge office at the zoo, located at Sloat Boulevard and the Great Highway.

For more information about the zoo, go to

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