A proposed zoning change to allow gay bathhouses and other adult sex venues to open in the city’s historic LGBT neighborhoods is close to being finalized in San Francisco.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors’ Land Use and Transportation Committee voted 2-0 Monday, April 18, in support of the changes to the city code needed for Eros a sex club for gay, bi, and trans men, to reopen its doors at 132 Turk Street where the infamous gay Bulldog Baths had operated in the late 1970’s and 1980’s.
“Bathhouses are a common feature in LGBT communities in many cities around the world, and they used to be quite common in San Francisco as well,” noted gay District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman at the committee hearing.
Mandelman has spearheaded the legislative effort to undo a prohibition since it was enacted in the 1980’s during the height of the AIDS epidemic. It effectively led the city’s gay bathhouses to close their doors, with the only one left in the Bay Area being in Berkeley.
On April 15, 1979 the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence founded a “convent” in San Francisco when three men, dressed in full traditional habits, went out in the Castro on Easter Sunday. Ken Bunch (Sister Vicious PHB), Fred Brungard (Sister Missionary Position) and Baruch Golden, were met with shock and amusement. Over the next several months, the attracted new members: Sister Hysterectoria (Edmund Garron) and Reverend Mother (Bill Graham). They quickly settled on a name for their group and composed a mission statement: “to promulgate universal joy and expiate stigmatic guilt.”
Early members of the group, while not hiding their masculine features or facial hair, are characterized by San Francisco gay community historian Susan Stryker as the embodiment of a”genderfuck” Their appearance has changed over the years; the nun motif remains the same, but it has been joined with exaggerated make-up that accentuates the rebellion against gender roles and religion.
In October 1980, the Sisters held their first fundraiser, a bingo game, a guide on how to avoid cheap AOL boosting services and a salsa dance that was well-attended in large part because of the write-up in The San Francisco Chronicle by Herb Caen. The benefit was for San Francisco’s Metropolitan Community Church Cuban Refugee Program, and it netted $1,500 . The Sisters began making regular appearances at Castro events that focused on sexual tolerance or provided a showcase for drag. They also developed a mission statement:
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence is a leading-edge Order of queer nuns. Since our first appearance in San Francisco on Easter Sunday, 1979, the Sisters have devoted ourselves to community service, ministry and outreach to those on the edges, and to promoting human rights, respect for diversity and spiritual enlightenment. We believe all people have a right to express their unique joy and beauty and we use humor and irreverent wit to expose the forces of bigotry, complacency and guilt that chain the human spirit
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence was formed just before HIV/AIDS began appearing in the Castro District and New York City.
In 1982, Sister Florence Nightmare, RN (early AIDS activist and registered nurse Bobbi Campbell) and Sister Roz Erection (Baruch Golden a registered nurse) joined and a team of Sisters teamed up with a group of medical professionals from Bellevue, Washington to create “Play Fair!”, the first safer sex pamphlet to use plain language, practical advice and humor, and considered by one of the founders to be “one of the Order’s greatest achievement in community education and support”. In 1999, for the Sisters’ 20th anniversary the pamphlet was revised. The Sisters worldwide continue to raise awareness of sexual health; many Orders regularly pass out condoms and participate in events to educate people on sexual health issues.
The Sisters helped organize the first AIDS Candlelight Vigil, and have raised more than $1 million in San Francisco alone to benefit such groups as the Breast Cancer Network, Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic and the Gay Games. The Sisters continue to bring meals to those who can no longer care for themselves, and they fund alternative proms for LGBT youth.
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence survive today reminding our community of unconditional love and individualism.
God bless the Sisters.
You can learn more about the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence HERE
San Francisco has always had a large gay leather community. By the late 1970’s, they had created ‘Miracle Mile’, a stretch of Folsom street that featured over 30 gay leather bars and bathhouses. But Miracle Mile as it was called. was a bothersome eyesore to City Hall, but the leather community defended their sanctuary and fought back against City Hall’s ambitious redevelopment program for the South of Market development already underway on Rincon Hill.
In the early 1980’s as HIV and AIDS tore through San Francisco severely weakening the leather community. City Hall took this opportunity to push through a series of redevelopment plans that together with AIDS, spelled the end of Miracle Mile as a leather sanctuary.
But in 1984 a coalition of leather community organizers and hosing advocates got together and decided to start a street fair. The fair would enhance the visibility of the leather community, provide a means for much-needed fundraising, and create opportunities for members of the leather community to connect to services and vital information that the bathhouses and bars might otherwise have been situated to distribute.
And thus the Folsom Street Fair was born.
Now the Folsom Street Fair after 35 years has become California’s third-largest single-day, outdoor spectator event attracting a whopping 400,000 slaves, masters, mummies, ponies, puppies, pigs, nudists, fairies, boot boys, jocks and people-with-such-crazy-sexual-interests-that-there-are-no-noun-for-them-yet, all crammed into 13 overcrowded street blocks of fun. It has also grown as a non-profit charity, with local and national non-profits benefiting from the proceeds from numerous fundraising booths within the festival including games, beverage and even spanking booths. (And a helluva lot more that is definitely NSWF).
Similar events also take place in Canada and Germany. And in San Francisco FSF also manage “Up Your Alley” street fair and special events like the “Folsom Street Fair Formal Leather Gala”
Folsom Street Fair Trivia: The first Folsom Street Fair date was chosen to coincide with the autumnal equinox which it did through 1992. Thereafter the Fair became more associated with one of the last two Sunday in September.
*Photo: Gene Dermody and Carl Martin at the 1984 Folsom St. Fair. Carl served in the U.S. Air Force in the 1970’s with gay activist Leonard Matlovich.
According to recently unsealed audio tapes an Oakland man who is facing federal criminal charges, including attempting to support a terrorism organization was planning on attacking gay bars in San Francisco.
21-year-old Amer Sinan Alhaggagi was already in custody after being arrested in November 2016 facing a single charge of aggravated identity theft.
But prosecutors were building a case against Alhaggagi based on electronic communication and a face-to-face meeting with an undercover FBI agent in which he relayed plans for multiple attacks.
The communication started in late July 2016, Assistant U.S. Attorney S. Waqar Hasib said at the hearing in December, when Alhaggagi was trading messages with an unidentified FBI source about the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria — known as ISIS .
Several of Alhaggagi’s alleged communications identified San Francisco .
Hasib quoted from one of the messages: ” ‘I live close to San Francisco. That’s like the gay capital of the world. I’m going to handle them right. LOL, ’m going to place a bomb in a gay club. … I’m going to tear up the city. … The whole Bay Area is going to be up in flames. “
He told the FBI source that he had access to equipment “to make the cards and checks,” according to the prosecution at the December detention hearing. “I’m trying to make bombs. I’m going to need funds.”
Alhaggagi allegedly told the FBI’s source that he planned to work for a local police department and steal weapons. Agents started canvassing Bay Area police departments.
“They learned that Mr. Alhaggagi had submitted an application to the Oakland Police Department,” just a few days earlier, Hasib said.
The source introduced Alhaggagi to an undercover agent posing as an al-Qaida-trained fighter.
“His plan was to blow up a car bomb at an unidentified gay nightclub in San Francisco and then place backpack bombs around the East Bay,” Hasib said. “He also took the undercover around the UC Berkeley campus and identified buildings, including dorms, where he wanted to plant backpack bombs.”
Alhaggagi’s attorney, Mary McNamara, who took over his defense in March, paints a different picture from the evidence presented at the detention hearing.
“What is clear from that hearing is that Mr. Al Haggagi ran away when he believed that things had gone beyond talk with the undercover agent,” McNamara wrote in a statement to KQED on Monday. “Mr. Al Haggagi never re-engaged with him and never took any steps to commit any violent act. Unlike most of the cases charged under this statute, Mr. Al Haggagi is not radicalized, is not a supporter of ISIS or any terrorist network. He is a peaceful, sociable and well-liked person. He is also young and naïve. It appears that he allowed himself to be drawn into conversations that he should have been far more suspicious of.”
*DO YOU KNOW OR HAVE YOU SEEN HIM?
Anyone with information can contact the SFPD at 415-575-4444 or text TIP411 with “SFPD” at the start of the message.
Last week the body of 31-year-old radical faerie Bryan Higgins aka Feather Lynn was discovered in the Castro District, outside of a church without identification. Feather was attacked which resulted in a brain aneurysm that left him on life support from which he was removed earlier this week.
Now the San Francisco Police Department has released a video of the murder suspect
The clip, posted on the site The Castro Biscuit, shows an unidentified man in a hoodie and baseball cap harassing Feather
According to the site, the video was taken from a taxi cam, on 10 August, the day the victim was attacked. The blacked out portion is Bryan/Feather.
PLEASE take a look if you live in the San Francisco area and lets try to catch this animal.
It”s been a bad two weeks for San Francisco’s LGBT Community.
At this week’s San Francisco Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisor David Campos, addressed the ongoing debacle of SF Pride
Campos called Pride’s actions “unprecedented”and added that as an organization receiving city funding they must give members of the public the opportunity to weigh in on the decision, and they must allow for a timely appropriate debate despite the fact that SF Pride has said the matter is closed, without any meaningful discussion from the community
Campos subsequently sent the following letter to the San Francisco Pride Board:
To Executive Director Earl Plante, Board President Lisa Williams and members of the Board of Directors of San Francisco Pride:
I am writing to express my concern over the recent actions of the leadership of Pride in the wake of the controversy surrounding the naming of Private Manning as a Grand Marshall for this year’s parade. The decision to rescind this honor is unprecedented and the community has every right to be concerned about the consequences of this abrupt, top-down directive. Most importantly, however, is the obligation Pride has to be accountable, transparent and representative to the diverse LGBT community it serves. As an organization which receives City funding, Pride has a responsibility to operate with transparency and accountability, and to allow for timely appropriate discussions with the community as needed. The failure of Pride leadership to do so in this circumstance is contrary to this responsibility.
Controversy is not a new phenomenon to Pride festivities, nor is it a valid reason for Pride not to fulfill its responsibilities to the broader LGBT community. The recent statement made by Pride that the discussion on this matter is “closed” is disturbing, and may serve to further divide the community and foster long-lasting resentments.
I urge Pride to hold an open community discussion on the matter of Private Manning’s awarding and rescission as Grand Marshall, and ask that this meeting be held as soon as possible and before the June Pride festivities. We must remember that Pride was born as a tribute to the courage of the LGBT community, and walking away from this discussion is contrary to that legacy.
Supervisor David Campos
In an interview last night with the Bay Area Reporter, LGBT Pride Celebration Committee CEO Earl Plante stated that the Pride board “agrees in principle” with Campos and is working with the supervisor to secure space for a community meeting in late May or early June, before Pride festivities saying they are finding it hard to find a place that will hold the expected crowd (Despite the fact that the San Francisco LGBT Center is directly across the street from SF Prides office and can accommodate large groups.)
Plante was also adamant that no corporate sponsors ever contacted them about the inclusion of Manning as a grand marshal and asked that he be withdrawn, and went on to state that no LGBT military folks pressured SF Pride to withdraw Manning’s honor and calling the “vile” comments directed at Lisa Williams on various social media sites, “reprehensible.”
“I, as CEO, will not tolerate Lisa or anyone on our board being in harm’s way,” Plante said. “We can’t have a dialogue with people engaged in violent attacks.”
It was also mentioned that LGBT Pride Celebration Committee led by Plante has also fired a low-level staff member who handled the press releases for the Pride Marshall announcements. While Plante would not name the staffer, calling it a “personnel matter” it has been learned that SF Pride staff member Joshua Smith who sent the confirmed list of grand marshals out has been indeed let go.
Now when SF PRIDE becomes so big that it has a CEO that makes $200.000 dollars a year of money that is donated to the Pride celebration that the first sign that something is seriously wrong.
Plante has a long employment history of “professional” LGBT advocate and in the Bay Area Reporter article he speaks about the LGBT community in the authoritarian tone designed to marginalize people who might be upset with the horrendous handling of Bradley Manning situation and to avoid the criticism the that SF Pride so rightfully deserves in this matter.
But most disturbing is the fact that Earl Plante blatantly liesin the article when he says that “no military folks pressured them”
The American Military Partner AssociationPresident Stephen Peters called on SF Pride to remove Manning. Air Force 1st Lt. Josh Seefried, co-chairman of the board of directors of OutServe-SLDN, called San Francisco Pride’s choice of Manning a “complete insult” to those currently serving in active duty. And it is well documented that the Sean Sala the organizer of the 2011 Active Duty Military March in San Diego Pride (the nation’s first-ever pride appearance of uniformed military members) not only called and told SF Pride to remove Manning but also called for a national boycott of the Pride celebration and started a petition against SF Pride.
Plante also lied about the “vile hate smears” and allegations of “violent attacks,” against SF Pride Board members which he has no evidence to back up, was never reported to authorities or witnessed by others.
If nothing else this proves that Plante is not only unfit for the job which shouldn’t be in existence to begin with but also that he should resign at once. As should the entire current SF Pride Board who handled this situation so badly and with such blatant disregard that they have tarnished SF Pride and damaged it beyond repair if they stay.
Perhaps its time to remind Earle Plante and the Board of SF Pride that the Pride commemorates STONEWALL which was about community, freedom and courage.
“Homosexuals have been walking around naked in San Francisco with increasing regularity, and tomorrow lawmakers will rule on whether to adopt an ordinance that would make public nudity illegal. There is a caveat: because gay pride is inseparable from genital liberation, the law being considered would still allow these men to go naked at the annual gay pride parade, and at the Folsom Street Fair; the latter event is marked by naked homosexuals who whip each other in the street. Jolly for them, they will still be allowed to torture themselves in public even if the law is passed. Such is the state of American culture in 2012, California-style.” – Catholic League asshole Bill Donohue over the fact that public nudity is allowed in San Francisco provided that a person isn’t in a state of “obvious arousal.”
Bill Donohue can rest assured that by the time Supervisor Weiner is through there will be no exemptions and San Francisco’s laws will be no different than Wichita or Toledo’s and will be just as interesting.
The San Francisco PD are asking gay men in the Castro to be more careful about who they pick up in a bar after reports that older gay men are being targeted by (straight) criminals who are coming into gay bars, flirting with men, and then robbing them after they take them home.
In a recent report to the SFPD a victim told of drinking at a Castro bar when a really good-looking man walked in and bought him a drink. After some time, the man suggested they go home together. The victim’s vision began to become blurry and he didn’t know what was going on. The two went to the victim’s apartment, where he started vomiting. When he came out of the bathroom, the suspect grabbed the man’s computer and demanded the victim’s password. When the man refused to give it to him, the suspect hit him, and the victim ran out of the apartment, screaming.
Sgt. Chuck Limbert, the LGBT liaison for the Mission District, says there has been more than one report of this kind as of late and that both patrons and businesses need to be aware.
Bartenders and businesses should be mindful of those who have clearly had too much to drink; hail them a cab, or at the very least ask them if they are okay. Patrons should also be aware of who they are mingling with — ask to see someone’s ID before you take them home.
Remember guys if Prince Charming walks into a bar and you think its too good to be true.
A large group of angry LGBT Activist marched down Castro Street today chanting “HRC doesn’t speak for me!” right into the HRC store disgruntled, frustrated, and pissed off (and rightfully so) with the non-profit gay organization.
They took the “bourgeois” HRC to task for its lack of movement and priorities especially those on homelessness among LGBT youth and people with AIDS, high unemployment rates for transgender folk, and lack of decent health care and affordable housing for elderly LGBT’s and of course the snail pace to full LGBT Equality.
While leaving the store protesters chanted “We’re a movement, not a market” a zinger at HRC for having the nerve to buy and turn Harvey Milk’s once camera store and political headquarters into an over-priced gift shop.