Blackmail, My Love, is a noir murder-mystery novel set in San Francisco, 1951 – “The Dark Ages of Queerdom,” as author and illustrator Katie Gilmartin puts it – when cops raided gay and lesbian bars, beat up patrons and demanded “protection” money, and when lesbians and gay men were so afraid of public exposure they were easy blackmail targets. The book is illustrated with 21 of Gilmartin’s original prints, including “Miss Double Strand” above. Historian, printmaker, Queer Ancestors Project founder and first-time novelist Katie Gilmartin, who reads from her book and talks about San Francisco queer life in days of yore, is Eric Jansen’s guest on this week’s Out in the Bay. We also hear “The Widow Norton” herself (aka the late Jose Sarria, one of just two true-life characters in Blackmail, My Love) sing the 1950s anthem “God Save Us Nelly Queens.” (First aired Dec. 4, 2014; rebroadcast Jan. 29 and Nov. 19, 2015)
Blackmail, My Love, is published by Cleis Press, Berkeley, California
Lesbians and friends take over the stage at Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkeley, 8pm Friday, Nov. 13, in a concert benefiting Americans United for Separation of Church and State, a national non-profit that has defended LGBT and other civil rights in many recent legal cases and political battles. Pam Delgado and Monica Pasqual of Bay Area-based Blame Sally, one of the groups performing at the benefit, came by Out in the Bay‘s studios Thursday to share their music, tell us the REAL story behind the band’s name, why they support Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and about their experiences being queer in the music world. Eric Jansen hosts. (Aired Thurs., Nov. 12, on 91.7fm/ kalw.org)
In addition to Blame Sally, Catie Curtis and Maia Sharp appear in the benefit concert at Freight & Salvage, 2020 Addison Street, Berkeley (less than a block from downtown Berkeley BART station), 8pm Friday, Nov. 13. Info and tickets at TheFreight.org. Learn more about Blame Sally at their website, BlameSally.com.
Halloween not enough? The century-old Grand Guignol theatre style is recreated in Thrillpeddlers‘ Shocktoberfest 16: Curse of the Cobra, playing through Nov. 21 at the Hypnodrome in San Francisco. Plenty gory! And Theatre Rhinoceros, the nation’s longest-running LGBT theater company, presents the new comic drama Shakespeare Goes to War at The Thick House. Eric Jansen’s guests are Thrillpeddlers co-founder Russell Blackwood and actor David Bicha, and Theatre Rhinoceros artistic director and Shakespeare Goes to War playwright John Fisher. Get a sneak preview of the plays — including music and dialog from Shocktoberfest and from Thrillpeddlers‘ hit Club Inferno, which returns in February. (Aired 11/5/15.)
One of our favorites in capturing the queer cultural history of San Francisco in the ’70s and ’80s. Marilyn’s 2013 interview with former Cockettes member Dolores De Luce. Her memoir, “My Life, A Four-Letter Word: Confessions of a Counter-Culture Diva,” made Amazon’s Top 20. It’s an intimate, honest look back at gay life in the city during its radical heyday. Friends with Divine and Sylvester, a lover to many gay men, and witness to the devastation of AIDS, Dolores is a survivor with great stories to tell. Thursday, October 22, 2015 at 7pm Pacific.
Out in the Bay ventures into outer space 7pm Thursday with cast members of Star Trek Live, the comedic gender-bending homage to the hit ‘60s TV show now on stage at Oasis Nightclub & Cabaret in San Francisco. Eric Jansen’s guests are Honey Mahogany, who plays communications officer Uhura, and Laurie Bushman, who plays intergalactic con man Harry Mudd and co-directs the show. Honey tells us, among other things, how Martin Luther King, Jr., helped keep the groundbreaking and influential Uhura on television five decades ago. You’ll also hear Leigh Crow boldly playing Captain Kirk and Emily France playing Scotty as no drag kings ever before, and other audio clips, music and background sounds that make the Starship Enterprise come alive on Star Trek Live. Join us on the bridge 7pm PDT Thurs 10/15 on 91.7fm + kalw.org to enjoy this preview, then go see this fun show at Oasis!
One of Marilyn Pittman’s best interviews. Chana Wilson grew up in the 1950s with a suicidal mother. She learned in adulthood that her mother had been a closeted lesbian given psychiatric treatments – including electroshock – to “cure” her. Mother and daughter developed a deep bond when both came out as lesbians in the women’s and gay liberation movements of the late 1960s and ’70s. There’s much more to this touching, fascinating story in Riding Fury Home. Out in the Bay, Thursday, 7pm PT, October 8, 2015