www.sfpride.org SF Pride Email Newsletter: Issue #22: 4.11.08

Pride: an International Movement
38th Annual San Francisco LGBT Pride Parade & Celebration - 06.28/29.2008

In this issue:

- A New Future for LGBT Rights in Cuba? ¿Qué bola en la Isla?
- Virgin America Proudly Supports the San Francisco Pride Parade & Celebration
- Vendor & Parade Applications are Being Accepted for the 2008 Pride Celebration
- Float Resource Program Deadline Swiftly Approaching
- Olympic Torch's London Visit Brings Questions about Arrest of HIV/AIDS
Activist in China
- Joie de Vivre Offers Discounted Room Rates
- Volunteering at SF Pride is a Great Way to Support the Community
- Crunch Fitness: Proud Sponsor and Official Gym Partner of SF Pride
- Advertise in Pocket Pride
- Enjoy the Best Views of the Parade at the Historic Renoir Hotel
- Grand Marshal Polling Results
- Great Art Speaks to You and This Summer it's Saying, "Come to San Francisco"
- SFMTA Proud Sponsor of SF Pride & Your Partner in Transit
- DEFENDING THE CAVEMAN Returns Home to San Francisco Where it All Began
- Gay Day @ Great America: The 10th Anniversary Celebration

The next Parade application fee deadline is May 2nd. For more information, check out the Parade section of our website here.

A New Future for LGBT Rights in Cuba? ¿Qué bola en la Isla?

The rise of Raúl Castro to the highest office in Cuban government has had many analysts speculating lately about the direction in which the Caribbean's largest nation may be heading.

But there is another Castro-one that has received less international attention-who is also making her voice heard about the future of the Revolution. Her name is Mariela Castro and she is the daughter of Raúl, a niece to Fidel, and the head of the government-funded National Center for Sex Education (Cenesex).

Mariela made headlines in Europe and Latin America back in 2006 with her efforts to push forward a proposal that would have authorized free sex change operations and hormonal therapy and that would have allowed transgender individuals to have their birth certificates and other official documents modified to match their chosen gender identity, regardless of their decision to pursue sexual reassignment surgery.

That bill was expected to come up for a vote in the National Assembly in December 2006 but at present has yet to be passed. If passed, the legislation would make Cuba one of the most transgender-supportive legal systems in the Americas, analysts have noted.

Since 2006, the legislation has also come to include recognition for same-sex unions and inheritance rights, though it stops short of calling these unions, "marriage." The BBC quoted Mariela as saying, "In Cuba marriage is not as important as the family and at least this way we can guarantee the personal and inheritance rights of homosexuals and transsexuals."

This marks a stark contrast to the repression LGBT people faced in Cuba in the 1970s and 80s. Sex between consenting same-sex partners was not legalized in Cuba until 1992, and raids on LGBT gatherings still took place up until recently.

"In the early years of the revolution much of the world was homophobic. It was the same here in Cuba and led to acts which I consider unjust," said Mariela Castro.

But now Cuba has a vibrant, if discreet, LGBT scene-one which sets it apart from its Caribbean and Central American neighbors. With public officials like Mariela Castro working hard to move beyond the old days of Che Guevara's hyper-masculine heterosexual revolutionary ideal, it could indeed be the case that a new future for Cuba is on the horizon.

Virgin America Proudly Supports the San Francisco Pride Parade & Celebration

We are making flying good again and bringing great service back to the skies.

Let's not forget style, entertainment and relaxation - all for an astonishingly reasonable fare.


Grab a seat at virginamerica.com.

As San Francisco's hometown airline, Virgin America will serve as many as 10 cities within a year of operation, and up to 30 cities within five years. Virgin America's base of operations is San Francisco International Airport's ultra-modern, spacious and convenient International Terminal, which was completed in 2000. The airline's brand-new Airbus A320-family aircraft offer guests their own interactive in-flight entertainment systems, plugs for laptops and other portable electronic devices and a host of other innovative features aimed at reinventing air travel and bringing a little fun back to flying.

To learn more visit: www.virginamerica.com

Vendor & Parade Applications are Being Accepted for the 2008 Pride Celebration

Photo Credit: Bill Wilson
The San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration Committee is accepting applications for Booth Spaces & Parade Contingents for the 2008 two-day Pride Celebration and Parade.

Visit: http://register.sfpride.org to register to participate in this year's celebration.

For Parade questions, please e-mail: parade@sfpride.org.

For Exhibitor questions, or questions concerning the online registration form for either exhibitors or parade contingents, please e-mail: exhibitor@sfpride.org or call (415) 389-1515.

Float Resource Program Deadline Swiftly Approaching

Loco Bloco, a past Float Resource Program beneficiary, in the 2007 Parade
Photo Credit: Rick Gerharter
For the 7th year in a row, San Francisco LGBT Pride will be holding a design competition for those who wish to participate in our Float Resource Program. The winners will receive an award in the form of logistical support-including the use of one of the Pride Celebration Committee's float trailers - all designed to aid non-profit organizations in getting their important messages out to the masses on Sunday, June 29th.

Organizations that wish to participate must submit a design proposal to the San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration Committee (SFLGBTPCC) who will look at all proposals and select organizations on the basis of originality, artistic merit, relevance to LGBT communities, diversity, and other criteria as determined by the SFLGBTPCC.

To be eligible to enter the contest, the applicant must be a non-profit organization whose mission involves service to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender communities, people living with HIV/AIDS or breast cancer, or positive outreach to the general public about these issues. These services or outreach and education programs must occur substantially within the nine counties of the Bay Area.

To find out more about the FRP, please download the two forms Float Resource Program Application and Float Resource Program Information Sheet.

For more information about eligibility, please check out the information in Float Resource Program section of our website here.

The deadline for all Float Resource Program applications is: Friday, April 25th, 5:00 p.m.
All those submitting applications must plan on attending the FREE float building workshop.

The San Francisco Pride Celebration Committee would like to strongly encourage organizations from Elder and Youth communities to apply this year. All questions about the Float Resource Program can be directed to our Parade Manager Marsha Levine at parade@sfpride.org.

Olympic Torch's London Visit Brings Questions about Arrest of HIV/AIDS Activist in China

AIDS activist Hu Jia has been imprisoned in China under charges of subverting state authority
The arrival of the Olympic Torch to London on April 6 marked the continuation of protests over China's human rights abuses in association with Beijing's selection as the site for the 2008 Olympics.

Peter Tatchell, the LGBT activist and human rights campaigner, was detained by London police after stepping in front of a slow-moving Olympic Torch VIP bus as it moved through the British capital. Tatchell interrupted the torch procession by jumping into the street bearing a sign that read, "Free Tibet; Free Hu Jia."

Jia is a Chinese national who has been active in various movements for social change including environmental causes, the rights of political prisoners, and HIV/AIDS causes. Jia has served as the Executive Director for Beijing Aizhixing Institute of Health Education and was a founder of the non-governmental organization Loving Soruce. Jia has criticized the Chinese government over its treatment of people with HIV/AIDS and was arrested in March of this year for "subverting state authority."

Tatchell in a statement released his being release from police custody over the Olympic Torch disruption stated, "Hu Jia exposed the Chinese government's cover up of the use of HIV contaminated blood, the lack of support and care for people with HIV, and he challenged social prejudice and discrimination against people with the virus.

"Hi Jia is a truly heroic figure, who has shown immense foresight, determination and bravery. He has kept campaigning, even though he knew it would put him at risk of arrest, torture and imprisonment."

The Olympic Torch is scheduled to visit 34 cities in 27 countries, including San Francisco-its only US stop-before arriving in Beijing.

Joie de Vivre Offers Discounted Room Rates

We are pleased to offer discounted Pride Rates at our San Francisco Joie de Vivre Hotels! Book prior to June 1, 2008 and receive a pair of Parade Grandstand tickets, a $70 value, free of charge (subject to availability). Reservations can be made by clicking here or ask for the SF Pride Rate when you call and book your stay.

Joie de Vivre Hospitality
Corporate Office: 530 Bush Street San Francisco Suite 501, CA 94109 www.jdvhotels.com 800.738.7477

Joie de Vivre Hotels is the largest boutique hotel company in California. Our unique collection of over thirty five high-design and very gay-friendly hotels, restaurants and spas are located in San Francisco, Marin County, Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, and Big Sur with new hotels opening soon in Sacramento, Santa Cruz, Studio City, Venice Beach, Long Beach, Huntington Beach and beyond. Whether you are traveling for business or Pride, planning a vacation, romantic getaway, or special event, we have a hotel uniquely suited to your personality.

Go-Getters and Fun-Lovers BEWARE: Volunteering at SF Pride is a Great Way to Support the Community

Register to volunteer online.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Rivera
The two-day San Francisco Pride Celebration & Parade is the largest LGBT event in the U.S. Such a large community event could only take place thanks to the more than 1,000 volunteers who help in the office, at the Parade, and on the Celebration site.

To make the event accessible to people of all economic backgrounds, San Francisco Pride does not charge an entrance fee to the Parade or Celebration. Only by means of a robust volunteer program are we able to continue to keep the event free and open to people of all financial means.

San Francisco Pride Volunteers have the opportunity to work with other community-minded individuals while having fun at the largest LGBT gathering in the United States.

To apply to volunteer, please fill out our online application. For more information about the many volunteer opportunities available, visit the volunteer section of our website.

Any questions may be submitted to our Volunteer Coordinator Brendan Behan at volunteers@sfpride.org.

Crunch Fitness: Proud sponsor and official gym partner of SF Pride

Crunch Fitness is a health club chain that leads the industry in fusing fitness and entertainment. Headquartered in New York City, Crunch Fitness serves over 100,000 members with 30 gyms in New York, Miami, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Atlanta. Renowned for its one-of-a-kind group fitness classes and unique programming, Crunch is more than a gym. It is a fitness community for all types of people, with all types of goals, exercising all different ways; working it out at the same place together.

Proposed 2008 Pocket Pride cover
Advertise in Pocket Pride
Pocket Pride, a concise guide of the San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration, was a huge success at San Francisco LGBT Pride 2007 and will once again be distributed at San Francisco Pride LGBT Pride 2008. Advertising in Pocket Pride will bring even more visibility to those participating at the event or allow those not at the event to reach thousands of attendees. More information can be found at: pocketpride.sfpride.org. For additional information email exhibitor@sfpride.org or call (415) 389-1515.

Enjoy the Best Views of the Parade at the Historic Renoir Hotel

The Renoir Hotel*** on Market Street offers the best views of San Francisco's annual Parade and is only steps away from the Pride Festival. 133 comfy rooms with high-speed wireless internet access (Pride Rate from $169 with 3 night min. stay). Relax with specialty cocktails or get your groove on with San Francisco's best DJs spinning to a vibrant and fun-loving crowd at the Renoir's new lounge/nightclub Etiquette. All public transportation options including the BART U.N. Plaza/Civic Center stop and the F-Line Historic Streetcar are just outside our doorsteps taking our guests conveniently to both OAK/SFO international airports and the Castro. Visit us online at www.renoirhotel.com, call toll free (800) 576-3388, or send an email request to emmanuel@renoirhotel.com for SF Pride 2008 rates, availability, and the special events terms and conditions.

Grand Marshals & Polling Results

Evan Low, winner of Community Grand Marshal polling in the 'Individual' category.
This past March, the community mobilized to elect their choice for two honored positions in the San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration & Parade, Individual & Organizational Community Grand Marshals, as well as for one "award" given to someone who has done significant harm to the LGBT community, the Pink Brick.

With over 2,100 ballots received, the community elected Evan Low as their choice for Individual Community Grand Marshal. Evan is the youngest gay elected official in the country and is the first openly gay and first Asian American to hold an elected position in the City of Campbell where he currently sits on the City Council.

Also taking the top spot in their category, the Gay Asian Pacific Alliance (GAPA) received the largest number of votes for Organizational Community Grand Marshal, and news commentator Bill O'Reilly beat out the Human Rights Campaign and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for the infamous Pink Brick.

Below are the results for the top three vote-getters in each category for this year's polling process:

Individual Community Grand Marshal Nominations Votes Received
Evan Low
Shannon Minter
Trauma Flintstone

Organizational Community Grand Marshal Nominations Grand Totals
Gay Asian Pacific Alliance
AIDS Project East Bay

Pink Brick Nominations Grand Totals
Bill O'Reilly
Human Rights Campaign/Joe Solmonese
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Congratulations to Evan Low and the Gay Asian Pacific Alliance, the winners in the two Grand Marshal categories. Thank you to Brett Andrews, Joan Benot, Marvin Burrows, Miguel Bustos, Trauma Flintstone, Shannon Minter, Tina Phillips, Dr. Carol Queen, and Julius Turman, our 2008 Individual Community Grand Marshal nominees, now Honorary Grand Marshals, for representing their communities through this process.

The membership of the San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration Committee also selected Erick Argüello as their pick for Community Grand Marshal. Member Alfredo Pedroza nominated Mr. Arguello and said at this past Tuesday's membership meeting, "Erik has been working steadily over the past ten years to make safe spaces for the LGBT population in the Latino community - notably creating 'safe' areas in the Mission neighborhood through community building."

While only one person was ultimately chosen, also nominated by the membership were Angela Davis, Becky Benton, Joyce Pierson and Tony Lopez.

And as for Bill O'Reilly - this brick's on us.

Great Art Speaks to You and This Summer it's Saying, "Come to San Francisco"

San Francisco will have the works by some of the most recognizable names in the art world simultaneously on display in the summer of 2008. Frida Kahlo, Dale Chihuly, Mary Cassatt and the Ming Dynasty are all names synonymous with the pinnacle of their art forms and they all can be experienced and enjoyed from June to September 2008...only in San Francisco www.onlyinsanfrancisco.com. Right on the heels of the 75th anniversary season of the San Francisco Ballet, the opening of a new museum, and a quartet of major exhibitions include:

· San Francisco's Contemporary Jewish Museum; opens June 8. For more information, call 415-655-7800 or visit www.thecjm.org.
· Frida Kahlo at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; June 14-Sept. 28. For more information, visit www.sfmoma.org or call 415-357-4000.
· Chihuly at the de Young; June 14-Sept. 28. For more information, visit www.famsf.org or call 415-750-3600.
· Women Impressionists: Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassatt, Eva Gonzalès and Marie Bracquemond at the Legion of Honor; June 21-Sept. 21. For more information, visit www.thinker.org or call 415-750-3600.
· Power & Glory: Court Arts of China's Ming Dynasty, at the Asian Art Museum; June 27-Sept. For more information, visit www.asianart.org or call 415-581-3500.

The San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau promotes the destination's arts and cultural programs in concert with presenting sponsor CityPass San Francisco; VISA; and official airline sponsor Virgin America.

SFMTA Proud Sponsor of SF Pride & Your Partner in Transit

The SFMTA's Muni is one of America's oldest public transit agencies, the largest in the Bay Area and seventh largest system in the United States. It currently carries more than 200 million riders annually. Operating historic streetcars, modern light rail vehicles, diesel buses, alternative fuel vehicles, electric trolley coaches and the world famous cable cars, Muni's fleet is among the most diverse in the world.

Remember - wherever you go in San Francisco make it a green & safe trip - walk, ride share, bike and ride Muni.

DEFENDING THE CAVEMAN Returns Home to San Francisco Where it All Began



-New York Times

(For the following performances: Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8pm and Sundays at 7pm). To take advantage of this offer simply call the box office at 415-771-6900 and mention code "CAVE" or enter it under promotion code when ordering online at http://www.ticketmaster.com/promo/exsn1u

609 Sutter Street, (2 blocks off Union Square) San Francisco - 415-771-6900 www.MarinesMemorialTheatre.com

Gay Day @ Great America: The 10th Anniversary Celebration

(Destiny's Child)
Gay Day @ Great America
The 10th Anniversary Celebration
Memorial Day Friday - May 23rd 2008

Performing LIVE! -

The Producers of FRESH @ Ruby Skye, California's Great America, and Dig-It Talent, in conjunction with ENERGY 92.7 FM and Gay.com, are proud to announce the 10th Anniversary celebration of GAY DAY @ GREAT AMERICA on Friday, May 23, 2008 from 5pm to 2am starring Kelly Rowland founder of Destiny's Child, Alec Mapa of Desperate Housewives, DJ/Producer Paul Goodyear, Heklina and Trannyshack, Josh Klipp and Freeplay, and Hosts Tim Gaskin and Fernando & Greg of The Morning Show on 92.7FM. The Latin Stage is back with Karyme Lozano, and Rebeca. Portion of proceeds to go to AIDS Coalition Silicon Valley, San Francisco AIDS Foundation, Soulforce, and Billy DeFrank Center.