News Briefs: Two-spirit powwow coming up

  • by Cynthia Laird, News Editor
  • Wednesday January 29, 2020
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Bay Area American Indian Two-Spirits is readying for its ninth annual Native American Powwow. Photo: Courtesy BAAITS
Bay Area American Indian Two-Spirits is readying for its ninth annual Native American Powwow. Photo: Courtesy BAAITS

Bay Area American Indian Two-Spirits will hold its ninth annual powwow Saturday, February 8, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Fort Mason Festival Pavilion, 2 Marina Boulevard in San Francisco.

Featured dancers will make their grand entry at noon.

Organizers noted that a powwow is a traditional Native American event that gathers all tribes, as well as inviting non-Native guests, to learn more about Native cultures. Last year the event welcomed more than 5,000 people and a larger crowd is expected this year, according to a news release.

The powwow features several hours of ceremonial honor dances, contest dances, and a drum contest. The release stated that all powwow dancers and drums are welcome.

"This is a space for all of us to gather respectfully and celebrate Native traditions," BAAITS board Chair Amelia Vigil stated. "Whether you are African American, Native American, white, gay, straight, transgender — whoever you are and wherever your roots originated, come with curiosity and kindness."

"Two spirit" is a Native American term for people with both female and male energies. Two spirits may or may not also identify as LGBTQ. Traditionally, two-spirit people often held — and many still hold — honored positions in their Native American and First Nations communities.

The event is free and open to the public. Donations will be accepted at the door. Vendors will be on site selling frybread, buffalo burgers, Native art and jewelry, and other crafts.

Organizers noted that the powwow is a clean and sober event. Street attire is encouraged for non-Natives. No costumes allowed. The event is wheelchair accessible.

For more information, visit or the Facebook page at

Bi confab at SF LGBT center

The San Francisco LGBT Community Center is sponsoring BiCon, a conference and party centering on people who are attracted to more than one person.

The event takes place Saturday, February 1, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the center, 1800 Market Street in San Francisco. Tickets are $60 and available at

Sunday's conference, which takes place in Oakland, is sold out.

A flier stated that the bi, pan, queer, and non-monosexual communities are overdue for a space where they are the center and focus. For more information, visit the abovementioned website.

B.A.R. writer to interview author at Manny's

Bay Area Reporter contributor Brian Bromberger, who interviews authors for the news section's Under the Covers book column and contributes to the arts section, will interview gay author Richie Jackson Wednesday, February 5, at 8 p.m. at Manny's, the gay-owned cafe and community space at 3092 16th Street in San Francisco's Mission district.

Jackson is the producer behind Harvey Fierstein's "Torch Song" on Broadway, plus Emmy- and Golden Globe-nominated TV shows such as "Nurse Jackie."

In "Gay Like Me," Jackson revisits key LGBTQ events such as Stonewall, the HIV/AIDS crisis, and the fight for marriage equality to offer his oldest son Jackson — who came out as gay at 15 — a touching and practical guide for living life safely as an openly gay man.

Tickets are $10 or $30, which includes a copy of the book. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

Black HIV/AIDS awareness event

The San Francisco Department of Public Health's Black African American Health Initiative and Community Health Equity and Promotion divisions will hold "Ujima 2020: Shattering Stigma Through Black Intergenerational Dialogue," Friday, February 7, from 5 to 8 p.m. at 25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 610.

The event is to observe National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.

The evening will feature a discussion and panel about the black experience, HIV, and stigma through an intergenerational lens.

There will be food and refreshments, along with free HIV and sexually transmitted infection screening.

Co-sponsors are the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, Shanti, and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation's Black Brothers Esteem program.

For more information, contact Vincent Fuqua at [email protected]

Black trans women leaders at Commonwealth Club

Black transgender women thought leaders will lead an intimate conversation on self-acceptance and body positivity in honor of Black History Month Friday, February 7, at 6:30 p.m. at the Commonwealth Club, 110 The Embarcadero in San Francisco.

The panel will feature Aria Sa'id, executive director of the Compton's Transgender Cultural District; Breonna McCree, a longtime public health advocate; and YouTube personality Diamond Stylz.

"So much of what is available to the world about transgender people is regarding our disparity in a world that does not wish us to exist," Sa'id, who will moderate the panel, said in a news release. "Our disparity is absolutely very real. But we are also in a complicated experience as black transgender women — we are women — though often our womanhood is erased; we are black, though often our blackness is dismissed by black people; and we are transgender — and often our specific cultural attributes are in contrast to the current cultural markers of queer and transgender people, which comes from academics and white transgender people."

The program will include a live, interactive audience and be livestreamed on the club's YouTube channel in hopes that it will benefit black trans women across the country.

Tickets are free for members, $5 for nonmenbers, and $3 for students (with valid ID) and available at

Queer Ancestors Project print sale

The Queer Ancestors Project will have a sale of prints by queer and trans emerging artists Saturday, February 8, at Strut, the men's health center in the Castro.

There will be an artist panel from 7 to 7:30 p.m., followed by a reception and print sale. Admission is free.

Organizers noted the Queer Ancestors Project forges sturdy relationships between LGBTQI people and their ancestors. Using history as a linchpin, the project offers queer and trans artists, ages 18-26, free interdisciplinary workshops in printmaking, writing, and queer history. It also holds public exhibitions of artists' work.

The exhibit at Strut, located at 470 Castro Street, runs from February 8 to May 9.

For more information, visit the Facebook page at