News Briefs: Parivar receives over $225K in grants from SF

  • by Cynthia Laird, News Editor
  • Wednesday January 25, 2023
Share this Post:
Anjali Rimi, left, president of ParivarBayArea, talks with San Francisco Mayor London Breed. Photo: Courtesy ParivarBayArea
Anjali Rimi, left, president of ParivarBayArea, talks with San Francisco Mayor London Breed. Photo: Courtesy ParivarBayArea

ParivarBayArea, a nonprofit organization for South Asian trans and nonbinary people, has received two grants from the San Francisco Mayor's Office of Housing and Community Development for programs aimed at strengthening unity and emerging leadership for trans and nonbinary people.

According to a news release from the organization, the grants total $225,000 for the 2022-23 fiscal year and are the first to be awarded to an organization both led by and centering trans people from the Global South Asian and Pacific Islander diaspora.

"We are grateful to have such dedicated support from the LGBT Asylum Project and champions at the city of San Francisco, including the mayor's office, the Office of Transgender Initiatives, and the Board of Supervisors," stated Anjali Rimi, a trans woman who is co-founder and president of ParivarBayArea.

The first grant, Trans and Gender Nonbinary API Leadership Development, is $100,000 for fiscal year 2022-23 and will fund a 10-week Transgender Emerging Leaders Program for trans, nonbinary, and intersex leaders interested in careers in advocacy, civic engagement, or government. Following successful completion of the program, participants will receive assistance in pursuing employment opportunities with local nonprofit organizations and government agencies, the release stated.

District 11 Supervisor Ahsha Safaí, a straight ally who was vice chair of the board's budget and appropriations committee, stated that he made funding for the trans, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming community a priority during the board's budget addback process.

"PavivarBayArea does amazing work to ensure that all of our diverse communities are included in these services," he stated.

Brian Cheu, a gay man who's director of community development at MOHCD, stated that the office was "delighted" to expand support for the trans, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming communities.

"These grants also recognize the important intersectionality that these communities share with San Francisco's immigrant and refugee communities," Cheu stated.

The second grant, Support Trans and GNB Immigrant and Refugee Global South API Diaspora, is $125,000 for FY 22-23 and another $125,000 for FY 2023-24. It focuses on transgender intersectional unity and community building, the release stated. In particular, the grant will support dedicated case management for trans people experiencing hardships due to poverty, violence, discrimination, and uncertain immigration status.

Additionally, the grant will also help cover multiple trans-centered events organized by ParviarBayArea and coalition partners, the release stated. These will include bi-weekly peer support groups, artist showcases, and in-person social gatherings, according to the release.

Gay District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, who presented ParivarBayArea with a proclamation last weekend on the occasion of QTAPI New Year, stated that the city is a "beacon of hope for LGBTQ people seeking refuge from hate around the world."

"These grants will support Parivar's work to provide a safety net for queer immigrants and refugees when they need it most," he added.

Lana Patel, vice president of Parivar, stated that the organization's mission is to "build a community of light, love, and acceptance."

For more information about Parivar, visit its website, where there is a link to apply for the emerging leaders program.

The proposed removal of the banked orchestra seating at the Castro Theatre is the most contentious part of renovations planned by Another Planet Entertainment, which manages the theater. Photo: Rick Gerharter  

Rally to save Castro Theatre seats
Gay activist Michael Petrelis and his partner, Mike Merrigan, have organized a rally to save the seats at the Castro Theatre Saturday, January 28, starting at 2 p.m. under the marquee of the classic movie house at 429 Castro Street.

"This week marks one year since the terrible news broke that the Nasser family turned over management of the movie palace to Another Planet Entertainment, and a year since we last rallied at the theater," Petrelis wrote in an email, referring to the family that owns the theater.

Another Planet has proposed renovations for the theater. The most contentious of those is removing the movie house's banked orchestra seating in favor of level platforms that could hold both removable seats for film screenings and standing audiences for live music performances.

The rally comes four days before the San Francisco Historic Preservation Commission is expected to consider gay District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman's legislation to landmark the interior of the building. (At the commission's meeting in December the item was continued to February 1.) The proposed expanded landmarking would bring the theater's interior into line with the already established landmark status of the theater's facade. In 1976, the exterior of the building, designed by prominent San Francisco architect Timothy Pflueger, was designated San Francisco Historic Landmark #100.

As the Bay Area Reporter previously reported, however, documents Petrelis received under a Freedom of Information Act request revealed that Mandelman questions whether Another Planet wants to remain manager of the Castro Theatre.

"Given my recent disclosure of public records showing the supervisor doubts APE's commitment to the theater, and that the commission has twice continued delaying even hearing from Another Planet, there is no guarantee the Castro will be on the February 1 agenda," Petrelis stated.

Petrelis said that the rally will happen between sold-out SketchFest movie and Q&A programs featuring the cast of "A Mighty Wind" and Elliot Gould, the star of "The Long Goodbye."

Separately, as the B.A.R. reported last week, the Friends of the Castro Theatre Coalition will meet Thursday, January 26, at 7:30 p.m. at Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, 100 Diamond Street.

Grass dancers performed at a Bay Area American Indian Two-Spirits Powwow. Photo: Courtesy BAAITS  

BAAITS powwow coming up
The 12th annual Bay Area American Indian Two-Spirits Powwow will be held at the Fort Mason Festival Pavilion Saturday, February 4, from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

The Exhibition Gourd dance will start at 11, with featured dancers making their Grand Entry at noon. The event is free and open to the public.

Angel Fabian has been named BAAITS executive director.

"I take the role of executive director with great honor and humility and have learned the importance of becoming the elder I would have liked to have had, and of being open to learning and teachings from all members in the community, including the young and aging," Fabian stated in a news release.

A powwow is a traditional Native American event that gathers all tribes as well as inviting non-Native guests to learn more about Native culture, the release noted. Last year about 5,000 people attended. Vendors will be on site selling frybread, buffalo burgers, Native art and jewelry, and other crafts. The powwow features several hours of ceremonial honor dances, contest dances, and a drum contest. All powwow dancers and drummers are welcome.

Two-Spirit is a Native American term for people with both female and male energies, the release explained. Two-Spirits may or may not identify as LGBTQ.

The powwow is family-friendly and a clean and sober event. Street attire is encouraged for non-Natives. Organizers ask that costumes be left at home.

Fort Mason is located at 2 Marina Boulevard in San Francisco. For more information, go to

Aging with Pride conference
The Alzheimer's Association will host a half-day conference focused on resources and support for LGBTQIA+ caregivers, community members, and families taking care of their loved ones. The conference will take place in-person Thursday, February 9, from 8:30 a.m. to noon at the California Endowment Regional Office, 2000 Franklin Street in downtown Oakland. The event is free.

According to a news release from the Alzheimer's Association, in California there are currently 690,000 people living with that disease or dementia and the number is expected to double by 2040. LGBTQIA+ seniors are twice as likely as their heterosexual counterparts to develop dementia, the release stated, and may face additional challenges and discrimination compared to non-LGBTQIA+ individuals with the same illness.

Additionally, LGBTQIA+ people may have a past discrimination that can be triggered by the cognitive decline associated with dementia, the release stated.

The upcoming conference is open to everyone, as dementia doesn't discriminate based on race, national origin, sex, religion, age, sexual orientation, or gender identity. The event will focus on dementia in the LGBTQIA community, the 10 signs of dementia, community resources for caregivers, and overcoming barriers: caregiving while Black and queer.

The conference is being presented in partnership with the Pacific Center for Human Growth in Berkeley, Lavender Seniors of the East Bay, and Oakland LGBTQ Community Center, and Openhouse, the LGBTQ senior agency in San Francisco. To register, click here.

Help keep the Bay Area Reporter going in these tough times. To support local, independent, LGBTQ journalism, consider becoming a BAR member.