Letters to the Editor

  • Wednesday July 9, 2014
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Letters to the Editor

It takes a village

Thank you to the 175-plus volunteers who helped install the 19th annual pink triangle on Twin Peaks over Pride weekend. There were more than 50 people to help take it down too, including members of Gay for Good and the SF Hiking Club. It couldn't have happened without all of the volunteers!

Thank you to the speakers at the commemoration ceremony who included San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee; Lea DeLaria of Netflix's hit program Orange is the New Black; celebrity grand marshal Ross Mathews, the host of Hello Ross; state Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), Democratic San Francisco Assemblymen Tom Ammiano and Phil Ting; San Francisco Treasurer Jose Cisneros; San Francisco Supervisors David Chiu, the board president, David Campos and Scott Wiener; and community grand marshals Melanie Nathan and Jewlyes Gutierrez.

The ceremony began with a very moving and informative description of the origins of the pink triangle by DeLaria, and Nathan then immediately tied it to present day examples of persecution toward the LGBT community. Nathan had tried to bring LGBT refugees from Uganda and other African nations with her, however, the State Department unfortunately chose not to grant them visas, even though they face great danger by remaining in nations with severe anti-homosexuality laws, which in cases includes a sentence of death.

Gutierrez gave a moving description of the struggles she faced as a transgender high school student and how she dealt with them.

A big thank you to our 2014 sponsors: Toad Hall, Badlands, the Apothecarium, San Francisco Pride, the Castro Lions Club Charities, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Steamworks, Hodgkins Jewelers, Haus of StarFish, Starbucks for the coffee (and tea) as well as 35 volunteers in their first LGBT outreach event, Bloom-That for donating more than 1,500 pink flowers to adorn the dais, and Barefoot Wine and Bubbly for the champagne used in the christening.

For help inspiring volunteers, thanks to the Bay Area Reporter and to Betty's List for media sponsorship. Thanks to the San Francisco Police Department for 24-hour coverage for three days, and Katie Hickox for keeping up the pink triangle website.     

And thank you to the incredible San Francisco Lesbian and Gay Freedom Band for their ongoing participation.

 

Patrick Carney

Pink triangle organizer

 

Post Pride thoughts

Every year I'm amazed, proud and flabbergasted at the size and scope of the Pride celebration and that it is organized by a very small group with the help of many dedicated volunteers. Thank you all for your hard work on behalf of the LGBT community and the city. Your spirit is infectious.

If Pink Saturday is any indication, people wearing silly and fun costumes has returned big time. I was starting to worry the past couple of years but am happy now (as someone who loves getting silly)!

I wish more bars and businesses would decorate more. A rainbow flag alone is not decorating. We have so many creative folks in San Francisco, and millions are traveling to us, so let's show them what we can do! (If you've ever been to Mardi Gras in New Orleans you know what I mean.)

Finally, and this always gets me in trouble, I wish the organizers of the Dyke March would stop putting out the word through their press releases, calendar listings, etc. that men are welcome to cheer them on from the sidelines but are not welcome to march with them.

At a time when we are celebrating "community," it hurts me to see this. Would we like it, if say, the St. Patrick's Day parade organizers said, "Gay people (or Jews or African Americans or French people - well maybe not French people - I'm kidding!) are welcome to cheer us on but are not welcome to march with us?"

I have a lot of lesbian friends and the ones that support this (and there are more who don't) have never been able to give me plausible answers as to why or how men who support them would somehow diminish the Dyke March if they wanted to join in. (Kind of reminds me of the far right's response to same-sex marriage that it diminishes traditional (one man and one woman) marriage but they can never explain further.)

Okay, ending on a positive note. I love the LGBT community as much as I love San Francisco.

 

Joe Mac

San Francisco

Pride is a joke

I am disgusted in this whole Pride celebration crap. What a joke! The only thing that has caused more wars, hate, violence, death, destruction, selfishness, etc. than this ridiculous thing called Pride (and I don't just mean gay Pride, but pride in general) is religion.

Maybe I feel this way because I live on a street that is blocked off on Pride and turned in to a dance club. I tried to stay away from my own apartment that weekend, but eventually I had to come home. I came back at 3 p.m. on Sunday to find a dance floor and DJ in front of my building and two lesbians bumping snatches against my front door, oblivious to the fact that I was standing there wanting to get in to my own apartment building.

I eventually got in, after having to yell at the top of my lungs just to be heard over the deafening thump-thump-thump of the crap that passes for dance music nowadays. Upon entering my apartment, I closed all the windows (not very comfortable being that it was a fairly warm day and I don't have air-conditioning) and promptly put in earplugs, which was no help. I could still hear the crap dance music and feel the thumping vibrating my entire apartment building!

I feel sorry for the poor disabled people who live in my neighborhood that, because of physical disabilities, can't leave their apartments! What a selfish, obnoxious bunch of assholes the LGBT community is!

I mean, really, how is this different than the religious "right" pushing their hate on us? I realize it is only one weekend a year, but think about all the money wasted on this ridiculous display of irresponsible behavior! I have never seen so many drugged out drunken idiots in one place before (no, I've never been to Burning Man)!

Watching my fellow LGBT members carelessly trashing my neighborhood, sneaking in to my building to do their drugs so they can go back out and continue to act like fools. Quite frankly, it's displays like this that make the rest of the world despise the LGBT community.

It's certainly not improving our reputation. And just think about the money wasted on this event, not just in setting it up, staffing it, etc., but also in cleaning the mess up. Street cleaners are out their all night cleaning up after all you thoughtless slobs who trashed the Civic Center area.

It's disgusting selfish thoughtless displays like this that make me ashamed to be a gay man! I think we need to rethink Pride and start doing something to celebrate our LGBT community that actually helps the incredibly sad state of the planet and all the people (and creatures) on it, something that we can actually be proud of!

Grow up LGBT community!

 

William Heaton

San Francisco

An idea for corporations and Pride

I am sure there will be loads of discussion about the sheer size of the corporate contingents in this year's Pride parade. Something is changing in that it is not LGBT employees marching to prove and improve their and our rights, but for the companies to market their brand.

This is good and bad. One of the tech companies, in explaining what they do, discussed their work for Proctor and Gamble and other similar multinational companies.

Here is my suggestion for the 1,500 Apple whomevers in their white T-shirts for next year. Why doesn't Apple help Pride organize Apple and other tech companies into groups of 20 to go join every community-based contingent?

Get to know the community, and possibly even all our tech needs, perhaps starting with Pride. Glad you are here in such great numbers - now mingle with us! We won't bite, unless you want us to.

And where were the labor groups? At least I didn't see a lot of them, and the ones I did were way at the end. Don't the transit workers want to up their images?  

 

Charlie Spiegel 

San Francisco

 

Boos for Wiener at Frameline

During Frameline's screening of the film Folsom Forever at the Victoria Theatre Sunday, June 22, a very interesting thing happened. The documentary has a series of interviews with local figures. When several appeared, such as Race Bannon, Audrey Joseph, Danny Williams, and Jack Fischer, there was applause. When San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener appeared on screen, the audience booed and hissed. 

Many in our community see Scott as a traitor to the gay community. They see him as the gay man who is there to keep the other gay men in line in behest of the real estate interests who want the nasty, naked, sex-positive gay men to go away. 

The funny thing is that Scott is running unopposed for a second term in District 8, the real estate interests are winning, and you can't get a one-bedroom apartment in the Castro for under $3,000 a month. New glass buildings that few can afford are rising in every space they can find. 

Many see this as the death of Harvey Milk's dream; we are now being oppressed by our own out, gay supervisor and no one cares enough to run against him. It saddens me to think that San Francisco is like much of America; we support the politician who is sold to us by the highest bidder.

 

Steve Gaynes

San Francisco

 

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