First Lady’s Lesbian Love in “Hick: A Love Story”

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Historians debated for decades whether Eleanor Roosevelt was a lesbian. Writer Terry Baum’s and director Carolyn Myers’ new play, Hick: A Love Story – The Romance of Lorena Hickok and Eleanor Roosevelt is about the romance between arguably America’s most influential First Lady – the wife of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, President during the Great Depression and World War 2 (1933-45) – and the USA’s most prominent woman journalist at the time. Eric Jansen hosts a conversation with Baum and Myers in which they perform scenes from the play to preview it for Out in the Bay listeners 7pm Thursday, July 10, on 91.7 FM Bay Area & globally at KALW.org. Hick: A Love Story, co-presented by the Crackpot Crones and Theatre Rhinoceros, runs July 10-27 in San Francisco’s Eureka Theatre. All performances are FREE, but reservations are required.

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While First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR), President during most of the Great Depression, the New Deal and World War 2, became a prominent activist for women’s rights and racial equality. She was the first First Lady to hold press conferences, and she wrote a daily newspaper column. It was during FDR’s first presidential campaign, in 1932, that she got to know journalist Lorena Hickock, who helped shape Eleanor Roosevelt’s public persona. Hickock lived in the White House at various times during FDR’s long presidency, and the press corp called her the “First Friend.” Speculation about her relationship with Eleanor was largely under the surface until Hickock’s biography was published in 1980.  It included many of Eleanor’s letters to “Hick,” confirming a very deep and passionate relationship. Lots more juice in the play Hick: A Love Story – The Romance of Lorena Hickok and Eleanor Roosevelt, July 10 – 27 at the Eureka Theatre in San Francisco. All shows are free, but reservations are required. It’s a co-presentation of Theatre Rhinoceros and the Crackpot Crones.

Dr. Patt Denning: Harm Reduction Pioneer

Dr.Patt Denning

Dr. Patt Denning is the creator of the revolutionary San Francisco’s Harm Reduction Therapy Center. Her book, “Practicing Harm Reduction” is the bible in this alternative approach to treating addiction. In the 1990′s it became a new strategy for AIDS prevention and is widely regarded as a more tolerant and accepting strategy for working with addicts. Marilyn Pittman interviews her Thursday, July 3rd, 2014, 7pm PT.

Teaching Toddlers Queer History & Diversity

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Psychology professor Gayle Pitman has just published her first children’s book, This Day in June, a picture book about Pride parades, to help parents and teachers introduce sexual orientation concepts to very young kids. Its reading guide gives adults high points of LGBT culture and history.  Among other subjects, Pitman teaches the psychology of sexual orientation. She finds today’s queer college students largely ignorant of LGBT history and is doing what she can to fix that. Time allowing, she’ll also talk with host  Eric Jansen about her forthcoming adult book, Fringe: On the Edges of the Mainstream Gay Community, and her award-winning past book, Backdrop: The Politics and Personalities behind Sexual Orientation Research.  Live interview 7pm PDT Thursday, 6/26/14, on 91.7 FM Bay Area & globally at KALW.org.

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This Day in June is published by Magination Press, an imprint of the American Psychological Association.

Tom Nolan’s New Passion: Aging Gays

Tom Nolan

Tom Nolan ran Project Open Hand, created during the AIDS crisis to help feed the sick, for almost two decades. He’s now the chairman of the MUNI board. But his passion is gay rights and right now it’s the plight of the city’s gay seniors that has his attention. Marilyn Pittman talks with Tom about the findings of the LGBT Aging Policy Task Force. What is the state of the city’s gay elders? What kinds of challenges do they face that others don’t? You might be surprised. Thursday, June 16,  2014, at 7pm at kalw.org and 91.7fm.
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Kitka sings Sophia Parnok, “Russia’s Sappho”

Kitka Banks 619x352 credit Myles Boisen
Uncovering censored lesbian poetry from Russia’s Silver Age. As Russia continues its anti-gay crackdown, Oakland-based women’s chorus Kitka performs “I will remember everything,” a world premiere of a cappella music that gives voice to poems by Sophia Parnok, a censored lesbian poet from Russia’s Silver Age a century ago.  Some call Parnok “Russia’s Sappho.” Out in the Bay‘s Eric Jansen and Nora Elmeligy stopped by Kitka’s rehearsal Monday night to capture some of the sumptuous music being prepared for the June 20-22 premiere, and to speak with Kitka director and singer Shira Cion and composer Eric Banks, who translated Parnok’s poems and set them to music, about their inspiration for this concert.  Broadcast: 7pm PDT Thursday, June 12, on kalw.org + 91.7 FM SF Bay Area. [photo: Myles Boisen]
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“I will remember everything” will be performed Friday June 20 and Sunday June 22 in San Francisco and Saturday June 21 in Oakland.
Details and ticket info at www.kitka.org. From Kitka’s website:
I will remember everything is a timely new  work that gives voice to the long-censored love poems of “Russia’s Sappho,” Sophia Parnok. Award-winning composer, conductor, translator, linguist, vocalist, and ethnomusicologist Eric Banks has set 28 of Parnok’s poems in sumptuous and intimate musical settings that create a chronological lyric biography of a courageous and fascinating woman who lived during extraordinarily oppressive times.

Tranny Is The New T-Word

Nick Ice, photo credit

Using the word ‘tranny’ when referring to transexuals or transvestites is not politically correct any more.  Bowing to pressure from transgender activists, the internationally known drag event  ”Trannyshack” has changed its name to “T-Shack.” San Francisco drag show promoter, producer and host Heklina talks with Marilyn Pittman about why and what it means for Heklina’s brand, her club, and her politics. (Broadcast June 5, 2014)

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