Sister Dana sez, “Senate Repugnicans voted against a bill that would have reinstated long-term unemployment benefits for 1.3 million Americans – including more than 200,000 military veterans – even after Democrats agreed to offset the costs to meet RepubliCAN’T demands. Harvard economist Lawrence Katz says that the denial of these benefits will cost the economy up to $1 billion a week. Yep, billion with a B!”
In other repugnant news, New Jersey Republican Guv Chris “Bridgegate” Christie did no favors to the transgender community when he vetoed a bill. While Christie navigates scandals about blocked bridges and misused hurricane-relief funds, he vetoed Assembly Bill 4097, which would make it easier for transgender people to obtain amended birth certificates. Passed by the legislature in recent months, it would allow trans people to change their gender identification without undergoing gender reassignment surgery. VETOED!!!
Better transgender news: A City Council member in Shreveport, La., had abandoned his effort to repeal an LGBT-inclusive antidiscrimination ordinance, following outcry from the public, including a transgender woman who dared him to stone her to death. The council passed the ordinance in December by a vote of 6-1, following a successful campaign by a pro-LGBTQ coalition known as Be Fair Shreveport. The ordinance, which bans discrimination in housing and employment within city limits on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, received its lone “no” vote from Councilman Ron Webb. During the council’s debate last December, Webb voiced his opposition, saying, “The Bible tells you homosexuals are an abomination,” adding that he does not socialize with LGBT people. Webb drafted a proposal designed to repeal the nondiscrimination policy. Pamela Raintree, a transgender woman called out the Bible-thumping councilman, daring him to stone her to death, quoting the notorious anti-queer Leviticus 20:13. Webb withdrew his repeal measure just minutes later, without calling for a vote. Amen!
Move over, Queer As Folk, because it’s time for LOOKING, the new HBO gay slice-of-life dramedy TV series based in our own San Fransissie! Looking had its world premiere at the Castro Theatre. It’s the story of three best friends on different paths in their gay journeys. Patrick (played by Jonathan Groff) is a 29-year-old video game designer recovering from his ex’s recent engagement announcement. 31-y-o aspiring artist Agustin (Frankie J. Alvarez) questions whether monogamy works when suddenly moving into his boyfriend Frank’s (O.T. Fagbenle) Oakland home and possibly experimenting with consensual three-ways and more. The older friend, 39, longtime waiter Dom (Murray Bartlett) is facing gay middle age (shriek!) and an unfulfilled romance/career.
At the VIP after-party catered by Taste Catering at The Cafe, I spoke with Frankie J. Alvarez, one of the leads in the triad friendship. I told him I hoped the show would go more than the eight in the can, presently, and he urged my readers to flood HBO with social media bombardment to renew the series – which comes off more as smartly segmented cinema than a TV sitcom. Frankie complemented me on my navy and black checkered Vans, saying he had an identical pair of shoes, and then kissed me full on the lips. Sigh. He’s a cutie. As is the rest of the trio. Looking was created by Michael Lannan and is executive produced by Sarah Condon (Bored to Death) and Andrew Haigh, who wrote and directed the critically-acclaimed Weekend, shown last year at the SF International LGBT Film Festival. Looking is just what you’re looking for – fast-paced (30-minute slots) with lots of local EssEff color and scenery, and so far avoiding any stupid stereotypes, but rather depicting real life queers. And the gay sex is raw – just short of avoiding porn, but far from sanitized. It’s about time! I’m so OVER TV’s pristine gay pecks on the cheek! Looking airs Sundays, 10:30pm. Take a look at it!
Approximately 150 people crowded into the SF LGBT Community Center for the CASTRO TENANTS CONVENTION with Castro-area tenants and their friends as part of a series that will lead to a citywide convention in February. The objectives: develop a municipal ballot initiative and proposals for local and state legislation to address EssEff’s affordable housing crisis and epidemic of evictions driven by real-estate speculators. Among the sponsors of the conventions are the Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco, the AIDS Housing Alliance/SF, and the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club. The next Castro-centric meeting is February 25th, 2pm, LGBT Center, first floor. The CITYWIDE TENANT CONVENTION is on February 8th, 1-4 pm at the SEIU 1021 Union Hall, 350 Rhode Island (entrance on weekend on Kansas near 17th).
It’s MARDI GRAS season, and KREWE DE KINQUE held our annual 12TH NIGHT PARTY at the home of Queen Cockatielia as a celebration and a revelation of the newest King and Queen of Mardi Gras (a secret to be revealed at the masked ball). Queen Tilly made killer jambalaya and cornbread, and other Krewe members brought typical N’awlins cuisine, including King X Kippy Marks and Queen X Kitty Tapata, who will be stepping down in February. It was a lovely night and we got a lot of business out of the way, including planning our yearly fundraising BALL MASQUE XI, MARDI GRAS MAGICK, on Saturday, March 1st, possibly at Beaux bar. Details are coming soon. This year the beneficiary we chose was Night Ministries, providing middle-of-the-night compassionate nonjudgmental pastoral care, counseling, referral, and crisis intervention to anyone in any kind of distress. Meanwhile if you’re curious about Krewe de Kinque, come to our every first Wednesday night FULL MOON CONTEST at the Edge, 9pm, where some lucky a-hole will win the bare butt competition. Just answer clever questions from judges (Queen VII Sister Dana is head judge) and show yer hiney. Bottom line is the $100 prize. Next contest is February 5th. Come participate or just watch the fun! sfkinque.com.
Every Monday, 7:30 to 10:30pm is DRINK ‘N DRAW at Moby Dick bar, 4049 18th Street and Castro, hosted by famed artist THOMASINA DEMAIO, providing a different live model each week for artists and even newbies like me to sketch, paint, or use whatever media they choose to bring.
SAFE SEX BANG: THE BUZZ BENSE COLLECTION OF SAFE SEX POSTERS is now exhibited at the CENTER FOR SEX AND CULTURE, 1349 Mission Street. In addition to the gorgeous posters Buzz gave to CSC, they have borrowed a few items from the GLBT Historical Society, including a pamphlet from The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence made in 1982 and one from the 90’s. Always setting the standard and the trends, ours is one of the earliest sex positive safer sex items around. Friday, January 24th, 7-10 pm is the Catalog Release Party and Buzz Bense’s Birthday Party. Saturday, January 25th, 6-8 pm is the Closing Reception co-sponsored by Magnet SF. Both events are free. sexandculture.org.
The 3rd annual BAY AREA AMERICAN INDIAN TWO-SPIRITS POWWOW is Saturday, February 1st, where they expect over 1,000 people to gather (including Native American two-spirits and supportive members of the Indian and non-Indian community) at SOMArts Gallery on 934 Brannan Street. To volunteer: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more info: baaits.org.
Pornucopia: This week’s flick pick is a tie between Shagged and Soaked - both from titanmen.com.
GOING DOWN WITH YOU is the title of the exhibition of art by NICK ICE currently on display at Magnet, the health and wellbeing hub for gay/bi men in the Castro. Attending the reception at Magnet were his sister, Alee, and several drag queens portrayed among his pieces: Camille Tow, Nikki Ferrari, and Lola.
Ice’s artist’s statement says, “This body of work is about angst, passion, survival, and celebration.” He continues, “We get so caught up in the distractions, the fear, and the product of faux individual we’ve been trained to believe. This is where perception and intention comes into the picture. Most will follow, happy to find a place amongst the others. Some will rebel, refusing to contribute to a culture with an undefined incentive. The rest of us, however, know when to throw our hands up, surrender to the machine, and celebrate anything and everything. We know the world doesn’t owe us anything and that the only thing we have to fear is ourselves.” But we are not alone: “You may very well be on your way down, but I’m going down with you.” I preferred his full frontals.
Sister Dana sez, “Repugnicans need to win just six seats to take control of the U.S. Senate from Democrats and give it to Mitch McConnell, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and the Tea Party. Aaaak! Think of the damage McConnell would do as Senate Majority Leader, with Cruz, Paul, and Rubio in ascendance. Or think of what might happen if Repugnicans control the Senate Judiciary Committee – and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, or another Supreme Court justice, steps down. Yikes! Concerned activists should check out democracyforamerica.com!”