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    In The News: 11.23.2016

    Compiled by Dennis McMillan

    San Francisco DA Launches Hotline Amid Post-Election Hate Crimes

    Following the election of Donald Trump, there has been an uptick in hate crimes in the Bay Area and nationwide. District Attorney George Gascon has launched a hotline for residents to report such crimes. Latinos, Muslims, African-Americans and gays are often the targets of these hateful acts and harassment nationwide, and the Bay Area is not immune. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch reports a spike in hate crimes since Trump’s ascendancy to the highest office in the land. Gascon wants residents to know about the hotline, which can be reached at 415-551-9595. He said such crime is tremendously under reported. Police commander Greg McEachern also issued a warning to hate mongers: “Bigotry and hatred and acts that we’ve seen throughout this country this year, and most recently, will not be tolerated here in San Francisco.

    Wage Gap: Bisexual Employees Make Less Than Their Straight Coworkers

    Most people are familiar with the gender wage gap, the fact that women make about 20 percent less than men on average. But, as Bloomberg reports, there’s a wage gap for bisexuals, too. According to a new study from the American Sociological Review, which combined results from two nationally representative samples, bisexual women make 7 to 28 percent less than straight women, and bisexual men earn 11 to 19 percent less than their heterosexual colleagues. There’s a gay pay gap as well, but some of the same factors that contribute to the gender pay gap seem to come into play with gay workers, including type of work, children, and marital status.

    Transgender Awareness Week and Transgender Day of Remembrance Commemorated 

    A coalition of local nonprofit partners and transgender health and rights groups commemorated Trans Awareness week (November 14–20) and hosted the 18th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR) on Sunday, November 20, at API Wellness Center. During Trans Awareness, communities around the globe gather to raise visibility and work to end the violence against trans people. TDoR is a solemn tribute to those transgender individuals who have lost their lives to transphobia, racism, hatred and prejudice. The day serves a purpose to raise awareness of the threat of abuse and violence faced on the transgender community, as well as their families, friends and allies. Despite recent community visibility and increased awareness of transgender issues in the media, in 2016 over 249 trans people were murdered. In the United States, 25 people were killed—making it the deadliest year in history. The level of violence targeting transgender and gender non-conforming people has become a national crisis, with 90 percent of the violence impacting transgender women of color.

    Latest Results in State Senate Race Show Wiener Heading to Sacramento

    Supervisor Scott Wiener says that on Monday, December 5, he will be sworn in as the District 11 State Senator in Sacramento, replacing outgoing Democrat Mark Leno. By doing so, Wiener will resign from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. As for the changing political tide in Washington D.C., Wiener plans to do everything he can to keep California pointing forward. “The Trump victory makes it more important than ever for California to play a strong progressive role to counterbalance the disaster emanating from Washington,” he said. “I look forward to working to keep California on a strong progressive track.” Given Prop D’s failure to get a majority of “yes” votes in the San Francisco election, Mayor Ed Lee maintains his power to appoint District 8’s next supervisor. The selected individual will serve out the remainder of Wiener’s term on the board until the next city-wide election in 2018.

    Developers Say Secret Tunnels Under San Francisco Gay Bars Are a Myth

    Property under development in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District has become the subject of heated debate between LGBT historians and developers. Community activists are pushing for a four-block region in the Tenderloin to be recognized as a historic district. The neighborhood was home to Compton’s Cafeteria, where transgender patrons fought back against police harassment three years before the historic Stonewall riots. LGBT historians and activists are claiming that the space beneath the 950 Market development—destined to become market rate housing and hotel rooms—once served as a network of secret tunnels that allowed LGBT people to escape police raids. While developers say the tunnels are a myth, historians believe the matter still warrants further investigation by an LGBT historian to spend time assessing all of the buildings, including the below ground space for what may have been boarded up or changed in the last 70 years. Unless and until that happens, the alleged gay bar tunnels will remain a mystery.

    Report Finds LGBTQ People Are Extremely Underrepresented in Spanish-Language Television

    GLAAD released its first-ever report on Spanish-language television in the United States, and the results are bleak. The report, called Nearly Invisible, finds that LGBTQ people are extremely underrepresented in Spanish-language television. And when Latinx people are represented, the portrayals often fall victim to all-too-familiar tropes and stereotypes. “The events of the past couple of weeks have left many feeling vulnerable and uncertain. And sadly, much of the hateful rhetoric is targeted at our nation’s immigrant and Latinx people—many of whom are part of the LGBTQ community,” says Monica Trasandes, GLAAD Director of Programs, Spanish-Language and Latinx Media. “GLAAD is committed to fighting for representation in Spanish-language media, and to accelerating acceptance for LGBTQ people here in the United States and around the world.”

    Oakland Triple Murder Suspect Was Admired Educator, Transgender Activist

    Dana Rivers is a decorated career educator and an early hero for transgender equality; but she is also, police believe, a murderer—the suspected perpetrator of the horrific slaying of three Oakland family members. In 1999, she fought a Sacramento area school district for the right to be herself and was fired for sharing her transition from David Warfield to Dana Rivers with her high school students. Thrust into the national spotlight at a time LGBT issues were not widely understood, she worked for years as an advocate for trans people. And when her notoriety faded, the Bay Area native quietly restarted her life as an educator, again working with high school students as well as inmates in the correctional system. More than a decade later, Rivers, a 61-year-old San Jose resident, now sits in an Alameda County jail, to the great dismay of her family and former students and the puzzlement of police trying to fathom a possible motive in these slayings. Rivers has been described as an acquaintance of the victims, married couple Patricia Wright, 57, and Charlotte Reed, 56, and their 19-year-old son, Toto “Benny” Diambu-Wright. Like Rivers’ own family, their loved ones are mystified by the turn of events.

    Orlando to Buy Pulse Nightclub, Turn It into Memorial

    The city of Orlando has reached a deal to buy the Pulse nightclub for $2.25 million, and plans to eventually transform the site of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history into a memorial. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer told the Orlando Sentinel that the city won’t rush to change the club, once a mainstay in the gay community that has become a gathering place for visiting and local mourners alike. “There are lots of people that are making a visit to the site part of their trip, part of their experience of Orlando, so I think 12 to 18 months of leaving it as-is would be appropriate,” Dyer said. In the meantime, the city plans to solicit ideas from the community for what form the lasting memorial should take. Dyer said the city hasn’t ruled out leaving part of the club intact permanently, such as the roadside sign featuring its now-iconic logo. The city’s ultimate goal, he said, will be to “create something to honor the memory of the victims that are deceased [and] those that were injured, and a testament to the resilience of our community.”