News Briefs: Cathedral City to hold 8th LGBT Days event

  • by Cynthia Laird, News Editor
  • Wednesday February 21, 2024
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A drag artist does the cannonball at Cathedral City's 2023 LGBT Days festivities. Photo: Courtesy Cathedral City LGBT Days
A drag artist does the cannonball at Cathedral City's 2023 LGBT Days festivities. Photo: Courtesy Cathedral City LGBT Days

California's Pride season kicks off with the eighth annual LGBT Days in Cathedral City March 8-10.

Cathedral City in the Coachella Valley neighbors LGBTQ favorite Palm Springs and boasts the popular CCBC gay resort as well as other attractions. The Pride celebration is presented by Agua Caliente Casinos, and features live performances, the parade of beds, a champagne brunch bash, craft vendors, and much more, organizers stated in a news release.

Friday, March 8, features the official Pride flag raising and lighting of City Hall and a free screening of Mike Nichols' "The Birdcage" (1996).

Other weekend events include a comedy show March 9, and the bed parade and bed race March 10, starting at 10 a.m. The unique parade features teams running festively decorated beds down Avenue Lalo Guerrero, cheered on by well-wishers as they compete for prizes and local infamy, the release noted. A champagne brunch follows.

For tickets and more information, visit

SF Pride to hold Ken Jones Awards program

San Francisco Pride will hold its annual Ken Jones Awards program Thursday, February 29, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Cityscape Lounge at the Hilton Union Square, 333 O'Farrell Street.

The awards program is named in honor of Jones, a gay Black man who died in January 2021 at the age of 70. Jones was a key to desegregation of LGBTQ activism and served as the first African American chair of the San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Freedom Day Committee, as SF Pride was then known, in 1980.

Several community members will be honored.

Michelle Alcedo, a queer woman of color, will receive the 10 Years of Service Award for her work on behalf of LGBTQ seniors.

The Pride Creativity Award will go to Marcel Pardo Ariza, a trans visual artist.

Marsha Levine, the former longtime manager of the Pride parade, will receive the Teddy Witherington Award.

Yoseñio V. Lewis, a Latino of African descent trans man, will receive the Pride Freedom Award. He's a consultant, speaker, and health educator.

The Audrey Joseph LGBTQ Entertainment Award will go to Dennis McMillian, a gay man better known as Sister Dana Van Iquity of the drag nun group Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.

Longtime social service worker Zwazzi Sowö will receive the Gilbert Baker Founders Award. She's also a former SF Pride board member who worked to increase a Black presence at the Pride celebration, including the first Soul of Pride stage.

Stephen Torres, a queer Latino man, will be honored with the Pride Community Award. Torres formerly served on the San Francisco Entertainment Commission and as advisory board executive co-chair of the Castro LGBTQ Cultural District. He stepped down from both roles and is running for District 9 supervisor this year.

Adela Vázquez, a Cuban born trans woman, will receive the José Julio Sarria History Maker Award. Her work focused on health disparities and workplace discrimination in the trans community. Now retired, she facilitates a support group at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation for older trans women.

Tickets for the program are $50 and can be purchased here.

Gay chorus will celebrate Black trans joy

The San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus will hold its Memory Keepers oral history initiative "Centering Black Trans Joy" Thursday, February 29, at 7 p.m. at the chorus' new home, the Chan National Queer Arts Center, 170 Valencia Street.

This is the second of the Memory Keepers programs, a news release stated.

The program will be hosted by Breonna McCree and Carlo Gomez Arteaga, co-executive directors of the Transgender District. Featured speakers will be Shayron Grayson, Andrea Horne, and Fresh Lev White.

Chorus officials noted that Memory Keepers aims to uplift and preserve the stories of LGBTQ+ elders in order to foster intergenerational connection among queer communities and allies, as well as inspire a bigger, brighter future by learning and understanding the community's collective history.

"San Francisco's queer history is a rich and complex tapestry that involves so many impactful icons and instances almost lost to history," stated Jacob Stensberg, a gay man who's SFGMC artistic director.

In addition to a 90-minute interactive panel discussion, attendees are encouraged to remain afterward and record their own stories about queer history in the Bay Area. Volunteers will be on hand to audio or video-record anyone with a story to tell and a desire to share it, the release stated.

Tickets are pay what you can, ranging from $10 to $50, with $30 the recommended amount. For tickets and more information, click here.

SFO debuts 'Silent Disco' in Milk terminal

San Francisco International Airport launched its "quiet airport" program in 2018 to reduce terminal noise. Now, it's debuting "Silent Disco," in which passengers can dance along to San Francisco-themed music using their headphones. Dubbed "San Fran-disco," the silent dance party runs through March 15 in the post-security area of Harvey Milk Terminal 1, a news release stated.

People can join the party on the dance floor, located near the Johnston & Murphy store — look for the disco ball, the release stated. Connect headphones to your mobile device and authenticate to SFO's free Wi-Fi network #SFO Silent Disco. Then, press the play button.

Travelers can also access the SFO Silent Disco station via

Give OUT Day moving to May

San Francisco-based Horizons Foundation, which manages the popular Give OUT Day that raises funds for LGBTQ nonprofits, has announced this year's online giving program is moving to May.

The program raises funds for queer nonprofits in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

Give OUT Day had been held during Pride Month in June, but Horizons officials noted in a statement that many organizations have fundraising campaigns of their own at that time and the back-to-back events limited creativity and flexibility. Most of those who responded to a survey expressed a preference for May, Horizons' statement read.

"Get ready for an epic monthlong Give OUT Day campaign in May, culminating with a spectacular grand finale event on Thursday, May 30," Horizons stated.

Nonprofits can register to participate beginning Monday, February 26. For more information, go to

City of Santa Clara seeks commissioners

The city of Santa Clara has openings on several boards and commissions and is seeking applicants.

According to a news release, there are four full-term openings, ending June 30, 2028, on the board of library trustees (two), civil service commission (one), and the parks and recreation commission (one). There are two partial terms on the bicycle and pedestrian advisory committee (one ending June 30, 2025), and the cultural commission (one ending June 30, 2027).

The positions are all voluntary. Applicants need to be residents of the city.

Applications are due Friday, March 12, at 5 p.m. A tentative date of April 16 is set to conduct interviews.

For more information and to apply, click here.

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