Letters to the editor

  • by BAR staff
  • Wednesday July 5, 2023
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Letters to the editor

Midnight in the garden of good and evil

This last Pride weekend started with a pizza box, as big as they come, left on the sidewalk across the street where I found it Friday afternoon. Next, on Friday evening, there were two guys sitting on the curb in front of the house, one waiting for his friend as he vomited and vomited.

Early Sunday morning, at about 12:30 a.m., two women decided that our driveway would make a good restroom, one standing guard as the other did her business. Luckily, I scared them off in time. As I did so one told me, "F*ck you," as if I was the lowlife, not her.

Sunday was the highlight with three guys rolling around in the bottom of the same driveway trying to do whatever with each other before I scared them off. One left behind his iridescent cowboy hat.

An hour or two after that there were four guys having a heated argument as they made their way down the block. One of them picked up a champagne bottle and threw it onto the sidewalk hard enough for it to shatter into countless pieces.

So much for gay "Pride," huh?

Anthony Rhody

San Francisco

SF mayor's trip to Israel

Regarding "Breed meets with LGBTQ leaders in Israel" [June 15]: anyone reading this would never guess that Israel is now described as an apartheid state by mainstream human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, or that many people in the LGBTQ community are appalled that our mayor would take a trip there at all. Based on the article, it sounds like she willingly took a propaganda tour that engaged in what many would call pinkwashing. It makes no mention of her meeting with any Palestinian citizens of either Israel or the occupied territories. If she had, she might have drawn a comparison between the Jim Crow-like circumstances of their lives and her experience growing up Black in the Western Addition.

Jeff Pekrul

San Francisco

Another moving pink triangle display

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 28th annual pink triangle. San Francisco remains the only city in the world with a giant pink triangle hovering over its Pride celebration, and it takes a village to make that happen. It is a highly visible, yet mute, reminder and warning of inhumanity that occurred in the past and could occur again if we aren't vigilant. The pink triangle was up for two full weeks and was the perfect symbol to have atop Twin Peaks when some the discriminatory rulings were released by the U.S. Supreme Court during the last few days of June.

Thank you to those who took part in the June 17 ceremony: To San Francisco Mayor London Breed for speaking and declaring it "Pink Triangle Day in San Francisco," and to the world's first and only drag laureate, D'Arcy Drollinger, who told the history of the pink triangle. Each year it is important after the history portion to review current examples of hatred and persecution that exist today and this year that was done by Michelle Kraus, Ph.D., and Joseph Rodriguez of the Campaign — Americans for Afghans, who spoke of the plight of LGBTQ Afghans trapped in the Taliban-controlled country. Gay community leader Gary Virginia discussed the new anti-homosexuality law in Uganda and read a letter from a refugee in Uganda while two others held up the country's flag. San Francisco Pride Executive Director Suzanne Ford, a trans woman, spoke about proposed anti-trans legislation and told a bit of her story. Drag queen Donna Sachet discussed anti-drag legislation and then told some of her personal story.

Thank you to elected officials who spoke such as San Francisco Democrats gay state Senator Scott Wiener and Assemblymembers Phil Ting and Assemblymember Matt Haney; gay San Francisco Supervisors Rafael Mandelman (D8) and Joel Engardio (D4); city Assessor-Recorder Joaquín Torres; and lesbian SF Fire Chief Jeanine Nicholson. Thank you to gay SF Pride President Nguyen Pham for introducing grand marshals in attendance Honey Mahogany, a trans person, and Dr. Nasser Mohamed, a gay man, who both spoke and inspired the attendees. Thank you to Mike Wong and the SF Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band (the official band of San Francisco) for performing several times, along with the spectacular musical theater star Leanne Borghesi, who sang so beautifully.

Volunteers: It was heartwarming and gratifying that 740 people signed up for at least one of the various volunteer opportunities. Thank you to over 425 people who volunteered to install the brand new mesh tarps and borders, and set up the ceremony staging and décor on June 17; the 95 who volunteered to install the new pink sailcloth outline the day before; the eight who loaded up the rental truck; the 70 who did a deep clean of the hillside the week before the installation, and the 125 who came to take it all down on July 1. Thank you Gay for Good for helping with the take-down. Thank you to the 10 who helped unload the entire display back into the warehouse on July 2. It was all lovingly folded and packed away for another year.

Thank you to my husband, Hossein Carney, doctor of business administration, and my sisters Colleen Hodgkins and Shannon Gorden and family friend Deborah Taylor; I couldn't still be producing this project for the 28th time without those four. A big thank you to longtime volunteers Joseph Mak and Chrissy Cronin for joining every volunteer opportunity, including all the trips to the warehouse.

Fiscal sponsors: Thank you to Kaiser Permanente, the Bob Ross Foundation (via Thomas Horn for the massive T-shirt order for all the volunteers), SF Pride, the Robert Holgate Foundation, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence; Hodgkins Jewelers; gay former state Senator Mark Leno, Brian Gerritsen, Eye Gotcha Optometric's Gregg Higushi, and Starbucks on upper Portola for the coffee for hundreds of volunteers. Thank you to Katie Hickox for establishing the pink triangle website (thepinktriangle.com) in 1999 and keeping it up, even after moving to England.

Thank you to SF Pride's board and staff. Thank you to Martha Cohen in the mayor's office for lighting City Hall in pink June 17. Thank you to Mandelman's office and the Department of Real Estate for their ongoing support, SF Public Works for clearing the hillside, Recreation and Park Department rangers, and San Francisco police officers of Park Station for controlling traffic and watching over the display.

The pink triangle of Twin Peaks is there to remind us of what can happen when hatred and bigotry are allowed to become law. The more than 500 proposed anti-LGBTQ+ bills and laws in various states certainly remind us we aren't out of the woods yet, and we have many battles yet to fight (and then re-fight it turns out). The display is on Twin Peaks each year as a giant in-your-face educational tool to teach where discrimination can lead and commemorates one of the darkest chapters in human history, the Holocaust. Thank you to all of those who helped in any way to make the 2023 pink triangle a successful event! See you next year on Twin Peaks at the 29th annual pink triangle.

Patrick Carney

San Francisco

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