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Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Advisory Committee
Minutes of the September 16, 2008 Meeting

Committee Members Present: Commissioner Cecilia Chung, Jane Aceituno, Rene Astudillo, Saurabh Bajaj, Dora Balcazar, Alex Baty, Samer Danfoura, Bill Doggett, Winston Dong, Jr., Ted Guggenheim, Justin Jones, Poonam, Paul Klees, Allison Laureano, Mark Murphy, Martin Rawling-Fein, Greg Shaw, Lindasusan Ulrich, Brad Vanderbilt.

Committee Members Absent: Yvette Pannell, Alic Shook.

Staff Present: Nadia Babella, Domenic Viterbo.

Guests Present: Kevin Gogin.

1. Call to Order and Roll Call:

Commissioner Chung called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m. Ms. Babella called the roll.

2. Public Comment For Items Not On The Agenda:

No Public Comments were made.

3. Approval of August 19, 2008 Minutes (action item):

This item was tabled due to the minutes not being completed.

4. A Report on Anti-LGBT Harassment in Public Schools: Kevin Gogin, Support Services for LGBTQ Youth, School Health Programs Dept., SFUSD:

Kevin Gogin has been the Coordinator of Support Services for LGBT Youth for the School Health Programs Department (SHPD) of the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD). The program has been in existence since 1990. Originally he was hired to provide counseling for gay students. They soon realized this was a bad idea because one person could not serve, at that time, 15,000 high school students. This prompted changes in the program. The SFUSD and SHPD is required to conduct a Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) because the City receives funding from the CDC. The YRBS survey was generated in 1990 to look at risk factors for young people by asking behavior questions. They are probably the only district that asks sexual orientation questions. For the first time, as illustrated in one of the pie charts, they have numbers along with the other data about their students including race, gender, etc. In addition, they are required by the State to administer the California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS) which is more prescribed; they don't have as much leeway in the questions asked. Unlike the YRBS survey, the CHKS survey doesn't ask questions about sexual orientation, violence, and homeless programs. What they've started last year and will continue to do each year is ask questions related to LGBT issues. The YRBS school climate survey looks at violence, perceived safety, and safety issues of students. Every high school student is given the school climate survey in this district. Some data from the YRBS survey are discouraging, but at the same time it's encouraging because for the first time they have hard numbers which indicate that more work needs to be done. This year's survey will focus primarily on HIV and homosexuality because these two areas are where students need constant correction.

All elementary, (K through 5th grade) middle, and high schools in the City have developed curriculum on sexuality and HIV/AIDS as well as lessons that are not book-based. Each month the teacher comes to them for materials, goes back to the school site, and they monitor the implementation of the curriculum through their monitoring tool which includes the HIV materials and then, because it is state mandated, they also include their LGBT lessons. They can monitor which schools are/are not complying in terms of implementing the curriculum.

The expectation is that every grade level is to have two minimum lessons on sexual orientation (or "family diversity" in the elementary school level) per calendar year. January is violence prevention month which has a strong gay piece. They celebrate gay pride in April since there is no school in June; the expectation is that they do something around that such as hanging posters or handing out buttons that have an anti-gay saying with a slash through it. He also is in charge of World AIDS commemoration on December 1 in which part of the Names Project quilt is brought in and a lesson on homophobia is given.

Wellness centers are provided at every high school which include a school district nurse, wellness coordinator (an MA-level social worker), a full-time mental health provider, and behavioral health counselor. Most high schools have a community health outreach worker (CHOW), a youth outreach worker, who works with students around LGBT pride celebrations and HIV. Available at every middle and high school is a LGBT Liaison Coordinator (LSL) who runs the school's GSA or Rainbow or Diversity Club.

Mr. Gogin gave some preliminary statistics from the YRBS surveys on queer students:

According to the middle school YRBS:

15.7% of middle school students identify as LGB or Questioning ("Questioning" is asked as "Don't Know"); no questions regarding 'transgender' were asked.

87% reported hearing anti-gay language at school or harassing language based on sexual orientation such as "that's so gay" or "fag."

According to the high school YRBS:

11% of high school students identify as LGB or Questioning.

82% reported hearing anti-gay language at school.

70% said that they did not hear teachers intervene.

Unlike their heterosexual classmates, they're twice as likely to be threatened at school.

More than twice as likely to have their property stolen.

Twice as likely to get into fights, both in and out of school.

Five times as likely to be injured and seek medical attention through a fight at school.

Three times as likely to attempt suicide.

At a higher risk for smoking and drinking.

Grade level of students surveyed: 23% are 12th graders; 22% are 11th graders; 25% are 10th graders; and 28% are 9th graders.

Mr. Gogin entertained questions from the Committee members.

5. Approval of a Letter to the Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") and Commission Resolution Regarding the FDA-imposed Ban on Blood Donations from Men Who Have Sex with Men (Action Item):

This item has been tabled because clarification is needed by the city attorney as to our authority; either to urge the Commission to adopt the resolution or draft a letter that would be sent directly to the FDA. The final recommendation will be brought forth at next month's meeting. Mr. Astudillo suggested including in the letter the information received from the panel that confirms the view of the position long held by experts in this area. He will rewrite it and email the letter to staff.

6. Letter of Concern to the Health Commission Regarding HIV/AIDS/STD Advertisements Being Stigmatizing (Action Item):

Mr. Klees suggested that the first sentence of the third paragraph should be changed to read "…based on HIV status or had deselected someone…" Mr. Murphy and Ms. Ulrich suggest that an update to the second paragraph be made to include the information currently discussed.

Ms. Ulrich moved to adopt the spirit of the letter and that the content will be modified before submitting it to the Commission to adopt. Ms. Laureano seconded. All approved except Mr. Vanderbilt who objected because the letter doesn't mention any specific ad campaigns that were deemed objectionable.

7. Work Group Reports:

Anti-Racism: Ms. Laureano reported that the meeting was cancelled because Steve Adams of the Merchants of Upper Market-Castro wasn't able to attend. The next scheduled meeting is Tuesday, October 14, at 5:30 p.m.

Youth: Mr. Murphy reported that they met on Tuesday, September 2, and discussed three topics: (1) Looking at violence in schools prevention which included tonight's presentation; (2) Putting a panel together looking at same-sex sexual abuse which they hope to have presented at a meeting early next year; (3) Hosting a 2-hour roundtable discussion with LGBT youth (up to 25 years old) of diverse backgrounds to answer questions on a number of topics such as obtaining medical services, violence, drugs, etc. Ms. Babella will be attending the Youth Commission's next meeting to tell them about the work being done by the Committee and to possibly dovetail on some of the work they're currently doing so that we can collaborate with them. They meet every fourth Monday and their next scheduled meeting is on September 29 at 5:30 p.m. at the HRC offices.

Outreach: Commissioner Chung reported that they met on September 2 and discussed three topics (1) website: Cynthia Goldstein on staff will inquire on any limitations that the workgroup has in making improvements; (2) ambassadorship program: this would pair up Committee members to attend events in each other's communities then to report back to the full Committee by way of a "7X7" presentation. The second phase of this program is to integrate this into next year's Mentor/Mentee program to give each member the opportunity to get to know each other as well as the community they represent. A monthly calendar would be created to include events that Committee members know of and to have it distributed before Committee meetings so that each member can check his/her availability; (3) talking points: talking points to recruit prospective Committee members that were created by a former Committee member will be reviewed and perhaps modified tol be presented to the Committee before the end of the current term.  Mr. Danfoura can provide the current talking points upon request. Their next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, October 7, at 5:30 p.m.

Bisexual Invisibility: Ms. Ulrich reported that they met a week ago and discussed the scope of the report and how tasks will be divided. Their focus is on the structure of the report and who will work on the various parts of the report. Mr. Rawlings-Fein said that they've come to a consensus over how the report should look like and that things are moving along smoothly. A date of their next meeting has yet to be determined.

8. Commissioners Report:

Commissioner Chung reported that Commissioner Dunlop was not reappointed onto the Human Rights Commission. Though he's no longer one of our commissioners, he has a standing invitation to attend meetings. Also a new commissioner has been appointed: Commissioner August Longo, a gay man who also represents the disabled community. She reported that she is one of two nominees vying for the Commission Chair position. The election is set for the October 23rd meeting. The Commission Chair leads the dialog among all 11 commissioners, but the main responsibility is working with the director to agendize items for commission meetings. If she is elected as the Commission Chair, she intends to remain as Chair of the Committee if there is no other commissioner to co-chair.

9. Staff Report:

Ms. Babella reported that staffmember Ellise Nicholson had recently accepted a position with the Office of Citizen Complaints. The Committee will be notified as soon as an announcement is made that her position will be made available. A new upper management position has been created for the LGBT & HIV Division; any interested applicants should contact staff for information. New staffperson, Boris Delepine, was hired as HRC's new Administrative Analyst and is a former legislative aide to Supervisor Mirkirimi. Staff led several LGBT sensitivity trainings in the past few months: 8 to employees at DPT. On Friday, September 12, Ms. Babella, staffmember natoyiniinastumiik, and Ms. Laureano led a training session to members of the Sheriff's Department. Mr. Brinkin is currently in Detroit, MI attending a joint conference of the International Association of Official Human Rights Agencies and the National Association of Human Rights Workers. He led a workshop on LGBT issues today and will be the keynote speaker at the Awards Dinner tomorrow.

10. Old/New Business:

No Old/New Business was discussed.

11. Announcements:

Ms. Laureano announced that the Transgender S.F.'s cotillion will be held on Saturday, February 7, 2009, at the South San Francisco Conference Center. Tickets are currently on sale on their website: They are also looking for entertainers, pageant contestants, and judges. Pageant winners would represent the organization at various community events.

Mr. Bajaj announced that former Committee member Ryan Fuimaono is appearing in a show called "Third Eye: the b-side monologues", at Mama Calizo's Voice Factory, 1519 Mission Street, San Francisco. He's also dancing in "The Hula Show 2008" presented by local hula company, Na Lei Hulu I Ka Weikiu, at the Palace of Fine Arts in October. For times, dates, and ticket information, go to their website: He also announced that the A&PI Wellness Center, one of the beneficiaries of this year's Folsom Street Fair, is looking for volunteers to help at the fair. Any members interested in helping out are to contact him directly.

Mr. Danfoura announced that Club La Zeez, a dance party specializing in Middle Eastern, Arabic, South Asian, and Latin dance grooves, is this Saturday night, September 20, at Club Eight, 1151 Folsom Street.

Mr. Vanderbilt announced that the St. James Infirmary is having an open house on Friday, September 19, at 1372 Mission Street from 5:30-7:30, to introduce the clinic's services to the community. He also announced that an event benefiting a number of LGBT Latino organizations called Sexy Black Leather will be held at Club Cocomo, 650 Indiana Street.

Ms Babella announced that speakers from two international LGBT organizations - one from Zimbabwe and the other from Palestine - will be presenting at the LGBT Community Center. She will send an email to the Committee with more details.

Commissioner Chung announced that the Transgender Law Center will celebrate its 6th year anniversary with a fundraiser at AsiaSF on Monday, October 20.

Mr. Dong, who was asked to be Co-Chair of NCLR's giving campaign for this year, and will soon be asking Committee members for their support.

Ms. Aceituno asked members who are interested in working on the lack of a women's community to meet shortly after the meeting has adjourned for a brief discussion.

12. Adjournment:

The meeting was adjourned at 7:09 p.m.