Managing Grief

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How do we cope with the death of a spouse or lover?  Is it different if you’re gay?   Bereavement experts say many minorities suffer “disenfranchised grief” – grief not fully recognized by society. On this week’s Out in the Bay, Eric Jansen and grief counselors Susan Casslan and Reagan Humber discuss these and other aspects of grief and loss.  (Originally broadcast March 27, 2014. Rebroadcast 7pm, January 1, 2015)

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Guests: Reagan Humber is bereavement coordinator for Gentiva Hospice of the East Bay and an Episcopal chaplain; Susan Casslan is a former psychiatric nurse who chairs the Grief and Consolation Ministry at Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in San Francisco and wrote a book about death and dying: Conversations with Richard Purcell: The Adventures and Reflections of a San Francisco Renegade Priest,* published in 2012.

Grief support groups: In San Francisco, Most Holy Redeemer hosts free, LGBT-friendly grief support drop-in groups on the third Tuesday of each month, 7-8:30 pm in the parish library, 100 Diamond St. For more information, email gcm@mhr.org.  In the East Bay, Gentiva Hospice currently offers free grief support groups at Alameda Hospital, Alameda (last Wednesday of every month) and at Emeritus at Creekside Lodge, San Pablo (second Tuesday of every month). Both groups are from 4:00- 5:30 PM. For more information contact Reagan.humber@gentiva.com or call 925-737-0203.

*(Richard Purcell was an openly gay Franciscan priest who ran a homeless shelter for men with AIDS in San Francisco’s Mission District for 20 years. As Richard became ill and died from ALS (“Lou Gehrig’s Disease”), he was cared for by some of the same gay men whom he had helped earlier. )

Airline Stewards’ Sky-high Impact

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Is it true that most airline stewards are gay? Was it ever? How did their legal battles with airlines help advance gay rights and workplace gender equity?  Is the tale of “Patient Zero” – a flight attendant accused of being the initial transcontinental spreader of HIV – accurate? Stow your tray tables and put your seats in their fully upright and locked positions for a quick flight through the history of airline flight attendants. Eric Jansen’s entertaining and talkative guest is Philadelphia University history professor Phil Tiemeyer, author of the intriguing book Plane Queer: Labor, Sexuality and AIDS in the history of male flight attendants, published by University of California Press.   Broadcast 7pm July 31, 2014, on 91.7 FM Bay Area + www.kalw.org worldwide.  (Slightly shorter version first aired May 16, 2013; rebroadcast 8/1/2013)

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How U.S. fundies fuel gay hate in Africa

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God Loves Uganda is a feature-length documentary about the influence of U.S.-based evangelical Christian missionaries who whip up anti-gay fervor in Africa. Uganda’s parliament is still considering a proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill that, even though the death penalty has been removed from it, would be one of the most punitive anti-gay measures in the world. The ties that God Loves Uganda shows between religious extremists in the USA and the virulent homophobia in Uganda is eery and disturbing.  Director Roger Ross Williams visited Out in the Bay to discuss his filmmaking journeys to Africa and Missouri to make this documentary, and played film clips too. <--break-> (Broadcast live  Oct. 31, 2013 – Eric Jansen hosts.)

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God Loves Uganda premiered at Sundance this year and has played at several other film festivals. It plays starting Nov. 1  in San Francisco’s  Roxie Theater and at The Elmwood in Berkeley. Roger Ross Williams is the first African American to win an Oscar for directing and producing a film – his 2010 short documentary Music by Prudence. He’s won numerous other awards for cable and television non-fiction programming.

Queer & homeless — not mostly ‘youth’

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Nearly 30% of San Francisco’s homeless children and adults are LGBT. That’s about double the homeless percentage of the city’s general population, according to the city’s latest survey. San Francisco holds its first-ever LGBTQ Connect, a targeted version of its Project Homeless Connect events that help low-income people find housing and a wide range of services, Monday Oct. 7.  Eric Jansen’s guests on Out in the Bay this week are Project Homeless Connect director of programs Emily Cohen and AIDS Housing Alliance/SF director Brian Basinger, who hatched the idea for LGBTQ Connect. Tune in to learn about the services offered Monday at LGBTQ Connect and for a discussion about what “homeless” means in today’s economy, why LGBT people have a particularly hard time in homeless shelters and a hard time getting services, how evictions are disproportionately affecting LGBT people, and how San Francisco and other cities are addressing these challenges.  (Live interview broadcast Oct. 3, 2013)

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LGBTQ Connect will be held Monday, Oct. 7, from 10am to 3pm at the SF LGBT Community Center, 1800 Market St. It is open to all who would like information and referrals to housing, health, legal, employment and other services. Pre-registration is encouraged but not required. More info at www.ProjectHomelessConnect.com

Meth, AIDS, and The Gay Guys

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In the early part of the last decade, methamphetamine use in the Castro in San Francisco was called “the second epidemic” because gay men were having unprotected sex while high. But new research from The Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes or JAIDS, shows meth use by San Francisco gay men has declined considerably. Why? Was it the public service campaign? Or a generational shift? And is it really declining or are people reluctant to tell the truth due to a stigma now? Marilyn Pittman talks with the lead author of the JAIDS study, Henry Raymond, of the SF Dept. of Public Health, and Matthew Bajko of the Bay Area Reporter. Airs 7pm Pacific Thursday March 7th.

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Homo-fear in Africa

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A detailed debrief from journalist Edwin Okong’o about the fragile state of LGBT civil rights in Uganda and other African countries. The human rights spotlight has been focused on this region since 2009, when legislation was introduced in Uganda to punish homosexuality by death. As a Kenyan-American journalist and co-host of KALW’s “Africa Mix” music program, Okong’o also has a bead on the issue within the Bay Area African communities. He is also a UC Berkeley educator and a stand-up comedian and satirist with a blog on HuffPo.com. Marilyn Pittman hosts. (Aired live Thursday, 1/3/13)

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