Queer Youth Still Threatened, Even in Bay Area

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With recent gay rights gains, why is it still difficult for young people to be lesbian, gay, bi, transgender or “queer,” even in the San Francisco Bay Area? The Pacific Center for Human Growth, an LGBT counseling and community center in Berkeley, reports that many queer youth feel unsafe at school every day.

Eric Jansen’s guests on Out in the Bay are from LOUD (Loving Ourselves & Uniting Diversity) the Pacific Center’s after-school youth program. What’s it like to be a gay, trans, or “questioning” adolescent — trying to figure yourself out today? Has growing mainstream acceptance helped? Legalization of same-sex marriage? Why or why not? Davi and Jesse of LOUD’s Safer Schools speaker’s bureau share their stories, and we also hear from Jared Fields, the Pacific Center’s youth programs manager. (Broadcast Dec. 10, 2015)

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For more than 20 years, LOUD has provided a social space for young folks to meet each other, participate in discussions and other activities, and receive counseling if they want it. LOUD’s two key funders cut their support recently at about the same time, and the Pacific Center is seeking donations by December 31 to keep LOUD’s full range of services intact in 2016.

Give what you can and learn more about the Pacific Center’s discussion groups and other services for teens and adults at the Pacific Center’s website, PacificCenter.org. The Pacific Center has been serving the East Bay LGBT community since 1978.

SF’s sordid anti-gay past in ‘Blackmail, My Love’

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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)

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Blackmail, My Love, is published by Cleis Press, Berkeley, California

‘Blame Sally’ helps separate church and state

Blame Sally photographed in Berkeley, CA January 20, 2011©Jay Blakesberg

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)

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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.

Rainbow Honor Walk Teaches Queer History

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Twenty bronze sidewalk plaques guide pedestrians on a stroll through queer history in San Francisco’s Castro district. The Rainbow Honor Walk, a growing monument along the streets of San Francisco honoring LGBT pioneers, debuted one year ago. To celebrate the anniversary, Out in the Bay re-airs Eric Jansen’s interview with Rainbow Honor Walk co-founder David Perry at 7pm Thursday.  Or listen right now at the link below. You’ll also hear Steven Short’s feature on “The Queer Past Becomes Present,” an ongoing exhibit at the GLBT History Museum on 18th Street, also in the Castro.  (First aired October 2, 2014; rebroadcast 7pm PDT Oct. 1, 2015, on 91.7fm SF/ kalw.org)
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Opera Star, Homeless Sing in “Street Requiem”

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Famed mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade sings in this weekend’s Bay Area performances of Street Requiem, a choral contata to call attention to the plight of people living on our streets and in other insecure conditions around the globe.  Australian co-creators Andy Payne and Kathleen McGuire – conductor and artistic director of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus from 2000 to 2010 – play selections from Street Requiem’s World Premiere in Melbourne last year and speak with host Eric Jansen about their creative collaboration and their work to help people in need on this week’s Out in the Bay, 7pm PDT Thursday, Aug. 27 on kalw.org, 91.7fm SF Bay Area.
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This weekend’s California Premiere of Street Requiem: For those who have died on the street features opera star Frederica von Stade and benefits Singers of the Street, a San Francisco-based choir McGuire founded in 2010 for people affected by homelessness. They will sing in this weekend’s concerts as part of a mass choir made up of four choruses and accompanied by the Community Women’s Orchestra and Carl Pantle on piano.

Performances:  7pm Saturday, Aug. 29, Old First Presbyterian Church, 1751 Sacramento St., San Francisco   and   2pm Sunday, Aug. 30, Congregational Church of San Mateo, 225 Tilton Ave., San Mateo.

Tickets and more info at http://streetrequiem.blogspot.com/

 

Straights … in Post-Closeted Culture

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How has the growing acceptance and visibility of LGBT people affected how straight Americans view sexuality and gender – including their own?  How has it changed the way all of us think about sexuality and gender?  Eric Jansen’s guest this week is Sonoma State University sociology professor James Joseph Dean, author of Straights:  Heterosexuality in Post-Closeted Culture.  He argues that – among other things – the “presumption of heterosexuality has vanished.”  In other words, even straight people can’t expect that others will assume they’re straight, and that affects how they present themselves in the world. Dean’s book examines the changing nature of masculinity, femininity and sexual expression in America, and the emergence of  what he calls “a new kind of heterosexuality.” (Live interview aired 7pm Thursday, July 30, 2015)

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