News Briefs: Foundation donates $158K to LGBTQ groups

  • by Cynthia Laird, News Editor
  • Wednesday December 15, 2021
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The Grass Roots Gay Rights Foundation donated $158,000 to several LGBTQ nonprofits in 2021. Photo: Courtesy GRGR Foundation
The Grass Roots Gay Rights Foundation donated $158,000 to several LGBTQ nonprofits in 2021. Photo: Courtesy GRGR Foundation

The Grass Roots Gay Rights Foundation recently donated $158,000 to several LGBTQ nonprofits after what organizers called a successful year despite the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The foundation concluded its 2021 fundraising season of events with the December 5 check presentation. After two years of virtual and several postponed events due to COVID, the foundation's events committee and board of directors were able to reconnect their guests on the dance floor for REAL BAD 32, its signature fundraiser.

This year's benefitting organizations were the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus, Solano Pride Center, Queer LifeSpace, Lavender Youth Recreation and Information Center, National AIDS Memorial Grove, Oakland LGBTQ Community Center, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, and Maitri Compassionate Care.

"What a year! It's been an honor and pleasure to be the events chair for 2020 and 2021," stated Miguel Jimenez. "I'm so glad that this year we are able to have this check celebration in person. We had many touch and go moments due to COVID, however, we were still able to have a great season of events this year."

Will Vitagliano, incoming event chair for next year's REAL BAD 33 and RITUAL parties, said, "I am excited to return, after what I thought was going to be a one-year hiatus, to this amazing organization that has been so near and dear to my heart. I am beyond excited to welcome back some seasoned veterans to the events committee and enthusiastic to welcome some talented new team members for an unforgettable season of events."

For more information, click here.

'Sexy elf' to be chosen at Castro block party

The Castro Merchants Association will crown a "sexy elf" during its Winter Wonderland block party Sunday, December 19, at Noe Street between Market and Beaver streets.

The sexiest elf contest is slated to begin at 4 p.m. and has a $1,000 grand prize. A news release noted that organizers are "looking for the sexiest elves in San Francisco to join us on stage and convince our celebrity panel of judges why they should be crowned sexiest elf in the city."

Men and women are encouraged to participate, the release states. To learn more and register, click here.

The Winter Wonderland has activities for kids from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. including free photos with Santa Claus, a petting zoo, drag queen storytime, and a holiday art mart, which runs the duration of the afternoon.

Events for all ages from 2 to 5 p.m. include the aforementioned contest, drag performances, music, and entertainment.

Study of LGBTQ+ women underway

A landmark comprehensive national community survey of LGBTQ+ women who center and partner with women has compiled data from more than 5,000 participants and hopes to gather more data as it has extended the deadline for people to participate.

According to a news release, Justice Work, a think tank, is conducting the study. The senior researcher on the project is Alyasah Ali Sewell, Ph.D., a sociology professor at Emory University.

"We are striving to have not just the largest repository of current community data on womxn and nonbinary people who partner with womxn, but the most ethnoracially and economically diverse data as well," Sewell stated.

Urvashi Vaid, director of Justice Work, stated, "This survey's findings will help our movement develop organizing, advocacy, policy ideas, services, and support for queer womxn who partner with other womxn."

The release noted that the study is supported by a group of veteran activists and researchers that include Minneapolis Councilmember Andrea Jenkins; First Nations Collective Founder Coya White Hat-Artichoker; University of Chicago Professor and founder of the Black Youth Project, Cathy Cohen, Ph.D.; Dean Spade, Seattle University Law School professor, trans scholar and activist, and founder of the Sylvia Rivera Law Project; and Bianca Wilson, Ph.D., and Lee Badgett at the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law.

A diverse mix of grassroots organizations including leading LGBTQ community centers around the country, and key national partners like National Center for Lesbian Rights, the National LGBTQ Task Force, social media influencers, and promoters and media partners like Rivendell Media are supporting the project to reach out to queer communities nationwide.

COVID-19 restrictions have made it difficult for the study team to mount in-person events to support participation in the survey, the release states, but the team is planning opportunities to connect in-person in early 2022.

To take the survey, click here. The deadline is March 31.

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