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Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Advisory Committee

Minutes of the November 15, 2005 Meeting


Committee Members Present: Commissioner Cecilia Chung, Commissioner Mark Dunlop, Whitney Bagby, Dora Balcazar, Sally Buchmann, David Cameron, Aidan Dunn, Julie Frank, Ted Guggenheim, Nancy Lawlor, Ren Phoenix, Stephen Schwichow, Jason Stein, Morningstar Vancil, Meredith Wood.

Committee Members Absent: Commissioner Pat Norman (excused), Danny Kirchoff, Jorge Romero-Lozano (excused).

Staff Present: Marcus Arana, Larry Brinkin, Domenic Viterbo.

Guests Present: Aleem Raja, Peter Trinkl, Rope Wolf.

  1. Call to Order and Roll Call:

    Commissioner Chung called the meeting to order at 5:35 p.m. Mr. Brinkin called the roll and said that he spoke to Commissioner Norman who will speak with Commission Chair Malcolm Heinicke regarding her continued participation with the Committee. He will give an update at the next Committee meeting.

  2. Approval of Minutes of October 18, 2005:

    Commissioner Chung moved to approve the minutes as written. Mr. Schwichow seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

  3. Public Comments for Items Not on the Agenda:

    No Public Comments were made.

  4. Update on Intersex activities:

    Mr. Cameron handed out the recommendations from the intersex report. He said that he, Mr. Arana, and Peter Trinkl had met and decided to approach Assemblyman Mark Leno’s office to request a meeting to discuss how his office can help in implementing some of the recommendations. Mr. Trinkl drafted a letter and got some technical support from the HRC. Mr. Cameron will hand-deliver the reports to Assemblyman Leno’s San Francisco office. He said that the Intersex Society of North America (ISNA) has been working on implementing the medical recommendations of the report. ISNA has come up with two documents: 1) the clinician’s guidelines and 2) the parents’ handbook and both are 50-60 pages long containing information they’ve collected. Both will be available on the Disorders of Sex Differentiation (DSD) website in December. Mr. Cameron helped review the two documents along with 70 other people. ISNA’s board of directors discussed the usage of DSD, a relatively new term, vs. intersex. Since both labels have their problems, it was decided that DSD gets more credibility in medical circles without compromising ISNA’s principles. To view the guidelines and handbook online, the website is

    Mr. Cameron spoke about adding an "I" to the Committee’s name. In the event that Assemblyman Leno’s office will help on implementing the recommendations, he’s been active with the Lambda Letters Project (LLP). The LLP’s mission is to promote the social, economic, and human rights of LGBT and intersex individuals, couples, families, people affected by HIV/AIDS, people of color, and women by urging elected officials to enact legislation that accomplishes this goal. He had requested that people in the intersex community who were interested in adding the "I" to the name of the Committee email him, and to date, he’s received five messages supporting the inclusion of an "I" and one not supporting it.

  5. Letter to Poland’s Pride organization encouraging/supporting Pride activities (action item):

    Mr. Dunn provided some background to this item: he is on the Human Rights Committee of Interpride, the organization that oversees Pride organizations worldwide, which deals with the human rights issues affecting pride organizations around the world. At their committee meeting during the international conference this past October, the problems happening in Poland were discussed; he said that after being under a totalitarian dictatorship, they’re now finally getting their freedom and LGBT people are really oppressed there as in most of Eastern Europe. This year in Krakow, Neo-Nazis attacked their pride celebration there. The attack put about 100 people in the hospital. Because of this incident, the Mayor of Warsaw decided not to allow Pride celebrations to be held there. The Pride celebration went on anyway and held an illegal march that drew 10,000 spectators. The Pride organizers met with police to ensure safety, which they did, however reluctantly; because there would be supporters from other countries attending, they didn’t want to disgrace their country by not providing protection. Despite the attacks, the Pride organizers considered the event a success because of the vast number of people who attended. Because international solidarity worked so well, they’ve asked organizations from around the world to write letters to the Mayor of Warsaw supporting the work the Pride organizers have done and to help him see that people around the world are keeping an eye on what’s going on there and to ask him to support next year’s Pride celebration.

    Mr. Dunn provided a draft copy of the letter to the Mayor of Warsaw that will be from the Committee for the Commission’s approval and included a copy of a letter from the Mayor of Reykjavik, Iceland to the Mayor of Warsaw. He asked the Committee for feedback on the letter. He said that a number of Pride organizations in the United States have sent, or are sending letters to the Mayor of Warsaw as well. He said that the problem Interpride is facing is that people are unaware that this is happening, but one of their goals is to bring awareness to this matter and to get more international support. He said that this is only the start in getting more international solidarity around a lot of issues all over the world where queer pride and rights are not being supported.

    Mr. Brinkin said that the Commission doesn’t like to send letters that affect matters outside of San Francisco, especially outside of the United States, but will do so occasionally. The Committee members reviewed the draft letter and gave feedback to Mr. Dunn. At Commissioner Chung’s suggestion, Committee members have volunteered to work with Mr. Dunn to produce a version of the draft letter to vote on at the January meeting: Mr. Brinkin, Ms. Phoenix, Mr. Schwichow, Ms. Vancil, and Mr. Wood. Mr. Brinkin said that once the draft letter is approved by the Committee, the Commission will get to vote on it at their January 26th meeting.

  6. Presentation from community group Bay Area American Indian Two Spirits (BAAITS):

    Mr. Arana introduced Rope Wolf, the co-chair of BAAITS. Mr. Wolf said that BAAITS was established in San Francisco in response to putting on an international two-spirit gathering, which includes the United States, Canada, and South America. *Hy said the term "two spirit" refers to the male/female spirit and is what LGBT Native Americans call themselves. BAAITS, a non-profit organization with a small volunteer staff, is located at the LGBT Center and serves about 2,800 LGBT people in the five Bay Area counties. BAAITS does cultural, spiritual, and political outreach to the two-spirit community at large in the Bay Area. They also reach out to the larger LGBT community by blessing events, such as the Pride celebration. They were honored at last year’s Pride celebration when Randy Burns, a BAAITS member, was made Grand Marshal. They recently hosted the 17th annual two-spirit gathering in the Guerneville area last June. Hy said that their business meetings are held the 2nd Tuesday of each month, and that everyone in the LGBT community is invited to attend their potlucks held on the last Friday of each month.

    Mr. Wolf entertained questions from the Committee. Hy announced that there will be a panel discussion at BAAITS this Friday, free of cost, and hy recently finished a short documentary on two-spirits which will be shown at Mills College, also free of cost.

    * ("hy" = "he")

  7. Report of the Recruitment and the Racism/Communication Work Groups:

    Mr. Brinkin reported that he spoke to Yong Lee, the staff person for the Racism/Communication Work Group, who will be organizing their next meeting. He said that Mr. Lee would send an email to the work group and the topics will be to discuss racism training (when, where, etc.), and to come up with a topic, or two, on issues affecting people of color ("POC") to be presented at the March and/or the April meeting. These ideas may also be discussed at next year’s Committee retreat.

    Mr. Brinkin reported that he spoke to Hadas Rivera-Weiss, the staff person for the Recruitment Work Group, and came up with a few things: the main one is to contact organizations that primarily serve people of color. He said that a list of organizations was emailed to the Committee members, but hard copies have been provided. On the email, it is asked that all Committee members volunteer to contact at least one of those organizations or more if they can by sending an email version of the recruitment materials and to get on their business meeting agendas to talk about the Committee and Commission and to encourage people to apply. If it’s not possible to get on their agenda(s), try to contact an active member by phone to get the word out to their members or encourage them to provide you or the Committee a way to us to contact them. The following are the names of the Committee member followed by the names of the organizations they volunteered to contact: Commissioner Chung: Asian/Pacific Islander Queer Women and Transgender Coaltion; Mr. Arana: Native American AIDS Prevention Center; Mr. Bagby: Tenderloin AIDS Resource Center; Ms. Balcazar: Hermano, Sol Y Luna; Aguilas, SWANABAQ; Ms. Buchmann: Nia Collective, Pride at Work, And Castro For All; Mr. Cameron: STOP AIDS Project’s Brother Love Group, Craigslist,; Mr. Dunn: Proyecto, Ark of Refuge; Ms. Frank: Glide, Black Coalition on AIDS; Mr. Guggenheim: Immigration Equality, BAAITS (with Mr. Arana), Trikone (with Mr. Raja); Ms. Lawlor: Quelaco, Llego; Ms. Phoenix: And Castro For All, Instituto Familiar de La Raza, Women Organized to Respond to Life-threatening Disease; Mr. Raja: Trikone (with Mr. Guggenheim); Mr. Schwichow: Openhouse, Faithful Fools; Mr. Stein: API Wellness Center (with Commissioner Chung), Positive Resource Center; Ms. Vancil: BDSM Women of Color, Mahogany of Darkness, Kreatibo, Purple Moon; Mr. Wood: Transgender Resource and Neighborhood Space, Native American AIDS Project (with Mr. Arana). Mr. Brinkin distributed the recruitment timeline and described the steps in the recruitment process. Commissioner Chung said that all applications received will be kept for future consideration.

    Though City ordinance says that there must be a 3-member minimum for the LGBTAC, it doesn’t set a maximum number of Committee members. Mr. Brinkin suggested that maximum number of Committee members should be 25, including Commissioners. He said that the press release and the Committee fact sheet will be emailed to the Committee tomorrow and that an online application will be available soon for year-round recruitment; however this aspect will take some time to be completed.

    Mr. Schwichow provided the Committee with the results of the demographic survey of the Committee: 13 Committee members answered the questionnaire, equaling 75% of the Committee. The purpose of the survey is to have a snapshot of what the Committee is as a group.

  8. Commissioners’ Report:

    Commissioner Chung reported that the SFPD is recruiting this month and is specifically reaching out to the LGBT community, particularly to the transgender community. Applications can be found on the SFPD and the Transgender Law Center websites.

  9. Staff Report:

Mr. Brinkin reported that he went to the Creating Change conference on November 10th and 12th, where he attended several workshops as well as led a workshop on aging in the LGBT community. He shared his experience and encouraged other Committee members who attended to share theirs as well.

10. Old/New Business:

Ms. Buchmann alerted Mr. Brinkin by email regarding Home Depot providing domestic partner benefits. Commissioner Chung said that November 20 is the Transgender Day of Remembrance that will be held at the synagogue Sha’har Z’hav, 290 Dolores Street (at 16th Street).

  1. Announcements:

    Ms. Phoenix announced that City College of San Francisco is having its first trans celebration tomorrow that will be held in the Student Union at noon. Mr. Dunn announced that he is working on a project to send safer sex supplies to the queer community in Sri Lanka and asked the Committee for information on where he can obtain lube and dental dams to be donated. Ms. Vancil announced that she is going to the State Capital to speak on disability and Social Security on Thursday.

  2. Adjournment:

The meeting was adjourned at 7:45 p.m.