Letters to the editor

  • by BAR staff
  • Wednesday June 15, 2022
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Letters to the editor

Sick of cops treated as the enemy

On Saturday, June 11, authorities in Idaho arrested 31 alleged white nationalists who were reportedly planning a riot near a Coeur D'Alene Pride event. The police chief said they received a complaint from a local resident and stopped a U-Haul truck 10 minutes later that was filled with men. Police recovered at least one smoke grenade and an "operations plan" as well as shields and shin guards, all of which made their intentions clear. "They came to riot downtown," said the chief.

I'm glad these hateful disgusting jerks were arrested. However, I also think it is important to remind all of those San Franciscans it should not be a progressive value to "hate" and "fear" cops. For example, we just went through a controversy (https://www.ebar.com/news/news/316123) over whether San Francisco Police Department personnel would be allowed to march in uniform in the San Francisco Pride parade. Those progressives should recognize that the cops also protect gays and lesbians. I'm sick of cops being treated like the enemy.

Joe Barrett

Oakland, California

It takes a village

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 27th annual pink triangle, which now sparkles day and night for all of Pride Month. It is a highly visible yet mute reminder of inhumanity. Volunteers are needed to help take the display down at noon Friday, July 1, and Saturday, July 2, and will receive a pink triangle T-shirt.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the June 1 ceremony. These include House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco); San Francisco Mayor London Breed, who spoke and then pushed the pink triangular button to light the display; 40-time "Jeopardy!" champion Amy Schneider, a trans woman who told the history of the pink triangle and a bit of her story; and Ukraine Consul General Dmytro Kushneruk, who told the plight of LGBTQs living within Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine.

Donna Sachet and Sister Roma added wit, sparkle and humor. Political and community leaders who were there included gay state Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco); San Francisco City Attorney David Chiu; and gay Supervisors Rafael Mandelman (District 8) and Matt Dorsey (D6). Thanks to SF Pride board President Carolyn Wysinger and interim Executive Director Suzanne Ford for speaking and introducing the grand marshals in attendance. Thank you to Mike Wong and the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band (the city's official marching band) for performing along with the spectacular musical theater star Leanne Borghesi, who dazzled the attendees.

Thanks to Ben Davis, founder and CEO of the nonprofit Illuminate; Patricia Suflita Wilson, who produced the pink LED torch procession; David Hatfield for his many efforts; and Tony Mann and crew for installing, running, and maintaining the lighting.

Burning Man's Velvet Cabal, a collection of LGBTQ camps at the desert event, helped with engineering, including Ollie Newth, Josh Kehl, and James Ward. Thank you to Neal Strickberger for the giant Klieg searchlights that panned the sky over San Francisco after the ceremony and for the after-party with Burning Man DJs atop Twin Peaks.

There were over 130 volunteers who helped install the 1.8 miles of sparkling pink streamers and the pink sailcloth outline, set up the ceremony staging and decor, and those who protect the display as site ambassadors. Thank you to Robin Abad Ocubillo for the volunteer sign-up web portal. Thank you to longtime volunteer Debra Walker, Bill Wilson, and Garaje Gooch for the amazing photos, and Doug Smith and Nick Schiarizzi for the videography. Thank you to my husband, Hossein Carney, and my sisters Colleen Hodgkins and Shannon Gorden — I couldn't still be producing this project for the 27th time without those three.

For the torch procession, thanks to the Dykes on Bikes, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, and Cheer SF for participating. Thank you to all of the 50 torchbearers who carried the message of the pink triangle from Mayor Libby Schaaf at Oakland City Hall to Breed and Pelosi atop Twin Peaks. Thanks to Sri Guttikonda and Josh Zubikoff of the Looking Up Arts Foundation who designed and made the torches.

All of this costs money, so thank you to fiscal sponsors Illuminate, SF Pride, the Bob Ross Foundation (via Thomas E. Horn for the T-shirts), the Sisters, Hodgkins Jewelers, Brian Gerritsen, and Eye Gotcha Optometric's Gregg Higushi. Thank you to Wells Fargo for contributing to SF Pride.

Thanks to Pelosi's staff Dan Bernal, Selina Sun, Kory Powell-McCoy, Joy Lee, and many more from her SF and D.C. offices and, of course, the U.S. Capitol Police.

Thank you to the San Francisco mayor's office, including Martha Cohen for lighting City Hall in pink June 1 and 30. Thank you to Mandelman's office staff and the Department of Real Estate for their ongoing support; SF Public Works for clearing the hillside of poison oak; Jimmer Cassiol for directing graffiti removal; Rec and Park rangers, and San Francisco Police Department officers at Park Station for watching over the display. Thank you to Katie Hickox for establishing the pink triangle website (https://www.thepinktriangle.com/) in 1999 and keeping it up, even after moving to England.

The pink triangle is a reminder and warning of what can happen when hatred and bigotry become law. It is there 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.

Patrick Carney, Co-Founder

The Pink Triangle

San Francisco

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