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Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Advisory Committee

Minutes of the July 20, 2004 Meeting

Committee Members Present: Dora Balcazar, Sally Buchmann, David Cameron, Ben Chan, Julie Frank, Ted Guggenheim, Danny Kirchoff, Patrick Mulcahey, Ellise Nicholson, Ren Phoenix, Aleem Raja, Jorge Romero-Lozano, Stephen Schwichow, Morningstar Vancil, Lauren Williams.

Committee Members Absent: Commissioner Pat Norman (excused) Melchor Bustamante, Jay Dwyer, Becky Freund, Aidan Kotler (excused), Nancy Lawlor (excused), Johnny Pratt, Brooklynne Thomas (excused)

Staff Present: Marcus Arana, Larry Brinkin

Guests Present: Angelo Wont, Lance Dwyer, Daniel Frattin, John Newsome

  1. Call to Order and Roll Call:

    Julie Frank called the meeting to order at 5:37 p.m. Mr. Brinkin called the roll. There was not a quorum present. Ms. Frank proceeded to call the agenda items that did not require a quorum.

  2. Public Comments for Items Not on the Agenda:

    Guests Daniel Frattin and John Newsome spoke on behalf of a group known as "IsBadLandsBad (IBB)", which is fighting racism in the Castro. They allege that Badlands asks for 2 picture IDs from female patrons and people of color. So far, 25 people have made allegations to the group and 15 have made statements to the HRC. The group has written to Alcohol and Beverage Control, the state agency that licenses bars, asking them to investigate the charges of discrimination and revoke Bandlands’ license. Mr. Schwichow commended the group for speaking up. Ms. Phoenix stated that she wanted to underscore the perception in many queer communities that the Castro is for gay white men and asked if the group was going to focus attention on these issues outside the Castro as well. IBB replied that they will focus on the Castro as symbolic center of queer community. Mr. Mulcahey and Ms. Phoenix asked that this item be placed on the August agenda as a possible action item.

  3. Approval of Minutes of June 15, 2004:

    A quorum now being present at 5:45 p.m., Ms. Frank called for a motion to approve the minutes. Mr. Schwichow moved to approve the minutes as amended. Ms. Buchmann seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

  4. Pride Day Debriefing:

    Mr. Cameron expressed that he enjoyed working a shift at the booth. Ms. Buchmann stated that she enjoyed Saturdays at Pride and inquired if it were possible to also have the booth on Saturdays as well. Discussion ensued on the difficulties of staffing for two days when it is hard to get sufficient participation for one day. Mr. Brinkin described the two petitions at the booth – insurance equality and same-sex marriages. Several members mentioned wanting to relax on Pride day and not have to work. Mr. Mulcahey suggested getting more Commissioner participation next year. Mr. Brinkin explained that the LGBTAC had decided not to have a booth and that the Commissioners mandated that it happen. Ms. Buchmann asked if it was appropriate to use college students for booth staffing. Mr. Brinkin stated that it was necessary to have people who were connected with the HRC present at the booth.

  5. Intersex Public Hearing – Update on Report:

    Mr. Arana reported on the activities of the Intersex Task Force and the progress of the draft report. The transcripts had not yet arrived despite being ordered on June 10 for a 10-day turnaround. Steve Benolkin, HRC intern assigned to the project, described the letters that were sent to appropriate doctors from UCSF, as well as the California Medical Society and the American Medical Society. Mr. Arana read Dr. Baskin’s response and noted that UCSF does not include hypospadias repair in its numbers of intesex surgeries. Committee members will be asked to assist in the report process at a later date.

  6. How to organize a Committee panel presentation :

    Larry Brinkin presented information on a handout that he prepared for the Committee. Mr. Cameron asked if staff will be assigned to panel committees as well as Task Forces. Mr. Brinkin explained that only Task Forces have staff working with them, though he urged Members working on panels to ask for staff assistance as needed. Mr. Schwichow stated that he has worked on several panels and suggested that a Yahoo group could be set up for easier communication. Mr. Brinkin verified that would be permissible in the absence of a quorum on the list. Mr. Mulcahey observed that the topic of homophobia in communities of color had not been included on the list. Discussion was held about including that topic under the year’s projects. It was determined that since the convener, Lauren Williams, does not have time to manage this topic, it would be deferred for discussion at the next retreat.

  7. Commissioners’ Report:

    There was no Commissioner’s Report due to the absence of Commissioner Norman.

  8. Staff Report:

Mr. Brinkin reported on the status of the budget process. Although the budget hearings are not over, the HRC budget has been approved as proposed and there will be no layoffs this year, however the HRC lost line items for training, travel, and reproduction costs. Mr. Brinkin also reported on the 40th anniversary celebration that is being planned by the Friends of the HRC. Martin Meeker, formally with the LGBT Historical Society, is now with UC Berkeley and will draft a historical record of the HRC. Lastly, Mr. Cameron and Peter Tannen will be receiving a letter of thanks from the Commission that is anticipated to be approved at the July 22, 2004 Commission meeting. The Commission wants to express its deep appreciation to Mr. Cameron and Mr. Tannen for their generous donation to the Friends of the HRC that paid for the court reporter, transcription of the hearing, and the recording and broadcasting of the Intersex public hearings on SFGTV.

  1. Old/New Business:

    Ms. Buchmann brought a publication that was sent to City employees who are members of the City Health Plan. The publication, Total Wellness, is produced by an anti-queer conservative group. Ms. Buchmann stated that the publication had the City seal on it implying that S.F. condones the activities of that group. She asked that distribution be halted. Staff will look into the situation and report back next month. Ms. Nicholson stated that the Employment Law Center’s newsletter had an article detailing the work of the Transgender Worker’s Rights Project and offered to invite Shelley Gregory to attend a future LGBTAC meeting to present more information on the project. Mr. Arana mentioned that the Department of Homeland Security is now overseeing the former INS, now the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services. Director Tom Ridge issued a memo dated January 21, 2004 detailing that gender reassignment documentation was not to be accepted in the case of marriages between transgender people and their partners, for the purpose of immigration. Ms. Phoenix requested that this item be placed on the August agenda for a possible action item, and suggested that the Committee invite representatives from Immigration Equality to attend that meeting.

  2. Sub-committee and Task Force discussion and planning:

    The discussion began with the topic of racism in queer communities. Mr. Brinkin recommended that the HRC produce a town forum to discuss this issue. He also suggested that timing was important due to the Badlands complaint and that the start of next year might be best. John Newsome suggested that IBB is working on providing a common vision of community building. Mr. Kirchoff expressed concern that the scope was limited if the focus is limited to the Castro leaving out many people who do not feel like a part of that culture. Mr. Brinkin suggested making the text of the 1984 HRC report on racism available to the public before the forum. Mr. Kirchoff questioned the reliability of comparing 20-year-old data to the current culture. Mr. Schwichow suggested that a way to avoid the pitfall of the Forum becoming a "gripe" session was to use the report as a tool to focus the discussion and consider a public hearing on the topic as opposed to a forum. Ms. Phoenix suggested using the Badlands scenario as the reference point. A discussion ensued about focusing on process planning as opposed to content. Mr. Brinkin asked if the Task Force on Homophobia in Communities of Color could be postponed until the next year’s agenda, given the lack of staff resources and the demand of the Intersex report. Ms. Balcazar drew a correlation between racism and immigration issues and urged that the Committee keep Racism on this year’s agenda. Two outside meetings will be held with Members to discuss the two issues of Racism and Immigration. Mr. Brinkin offered staff assistance for the Task Forces.

  3. Announcements:

Mr. Cameron announced that there was an article in the August POZ newsletter about transgender people with HIV called "Trannies Get Your Guns." He also announced that there will be a special showing in October of a movie about the life of an intersex person called "Mani’s Story – Yellow Is For Hermaphrodites." Mr. Mulcahey announced that a young woman in the Castro Youth Housing Initiative had a baby. There will be a shower held on August 2 at 5:30 p.m. at the Most Holy Redeemer Church in S.F. Ms. Buchmann announced that Labor Fest will be held in July and there will be a presentation on July 27 from noon to 7 p.m. at New College regarding "Sex Workers United for Civil Rights."

  1. Adjournment:

Ms. Frank called for a motion to adjourn. Mr. Schwichow moved to adjourn in memory of Scott Campbell. Mr. Guggenheim seconded. The motion passed unanimously. After a moment of silence, the meeting was adjourned at 7:40 p.m.