Friday, May 04, 2012


Time:  Near future.

Place: ATT Park, Giants' Press Room

Manager Bruce Bochy at the dais. Room jammed with reporters and cameras.

BOCHY: Thanks for coming.  Today we brought up a great young pitcher from double-A, Johnny Doe. He's got a live arm, and we need his live arm.

Young Johnny Doe moves to the microphone.

JOHNNY:  Thank you, sir.  I feel privileged to have a shot at the Major Leagues right out of high school. It's an amazing challenge.

There's a pause then Johnny continues:

JOHNNY: Please take note:  I am Gay. Completely, 100% Gay.

The silence shows how unexpected this was, then the reporters recover and start shouting question.

Tim Lincecum steps to the dais and leans into the microphone.

LINCECUM: Anyone have a problem with Johnny... you got a problem with me!

Tim hugs Johnny Doe and takes a place next to him, facing the reporters.

Angel Pagan moves to the microphone. He seems particularly intense.

PAGAN:  If anyone... anyone! has a problem with Johnny Doe, you got a problem with me!

And so it goes, through the entire Giants roster, the short speech, the embrace, then standing shoulder-to-shoulder.

Finally, after twenty-three repetitions, some pro-forma, some glowering, Bruce Bochy, returns to the microphone.

BOCHY:  Thanks for coming, we won't be taking any questions.

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Thursday, May 03, 2012


Now that the U.S. Military welcomes openly gay and lesbian recruits, professional sports remains the leading proponent of gay-exclusion.

There are more than 750 men employed as players by Major League Baseball.

There are zero (0.00%) openly gay players in Major League Baseball.

The only possible explanation for this amazing statistic is that Major League Baseball has and maintains a hostile work environment for openly Gay players.

Yet, the San Francisco Lesbian and Gay Freedom Band performs at Giants' LGBT Night promotions. A video on their website shows a pep contingent playing in the stands on a previous Gay Night

Another SF Giants LGBT Night is coming up May 29. Purchasers of special tickets will receive the knit cap pictured below.


What could the gay band's participation signify but approval for the status quo in MLB?

According to the Giants' website, a portion of the special event ticket price will be donated to LGBT non-profits.

So questions for Julie Williamson, president of the San Francisco Lesbian and Gay Freedom Band, include:

1) Will the Gay Band (SFLGFB) participate in the Giants LGBT Night on May 29?

2) How much money has SFLGFB received from the Giants in the past?

3) How much does SFLGFB expect to receive from the May 29 proceeds?

4) Why else would a gay band perform for such a blatantly homophobic organization?

Consider the positive effect of Gay pro athletes and their supportive straight teammates coming out.

What if it became fashionable for athletes to protect gay kids from bullying?

What if...


Saturday, April 28, 2012


In addition to the no-black-musicians weirdness at the recent concert of the San Francisco Lesbian and Gay Freedom Band there was even more weirdness: the band's seeming endorsement of an anti-Gay religious group.

The concert, held at Ebenezer/Herchurch Lutheran church was kicked off by a "welcome" from Pastor Stacy.


This is the first time, of all the concerts I've attended in churches, that the minister of the church addressed the audience.

It was like, is this a religious service or a concert? Was the music just bait for a religious pitch?

I find this unacceptable, in and of itself. And it is completely unacceptable for a group that receives public funding. (SFLGFB receives funds from the San Francisco Hotel Tax Funding for the Arts.)

Pastor Stacy's little speech was halting and awkward--making vague connections between the goodness of music and the goodness of, well, goodness.

She knew she shouldn't proselytize so she was trying to proselytize without proselytizing.  The result was pure embarrassment.

The group Pastor Stacy represents is anti-

Most Lutheran groups agree with most Christians that all gay sex is always sinful.

The highly liberal Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, includes people with differing views on gay sex.

Many ELCAers hold the traditional view that all gay sex is sinful.

Other ELCAers focus on the value of faithful monogamous (sic) lifelong relationships. Their position is, "Let's not talk about the sex part too much."

So ELCA, which includes Ebenezer/Herchurch, is unwilling and unable to say that gay sex is good, or even that gay sex is not sinful.

Pastor Stacy thinks it's just fine to belong to a group that tolerates the assertion that all gay sex is sinful.

So why is a group with "Lesbian and Gay Freedom" in its name endorsing an anti-Gay religious group.

Who the fuck knows?

But it's weird.

As far as I can tell, Herchurch is a Lutheran outreach to feminist/lesbians, making the story of the Bible palatable by manipulating the gender of pronouns.

See here, ELAC's position(s) on homosexuality.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012


The city is San Francisco.

The year is 2012.

The musical group is called the San Francisco Lesbian and Gay Freedom Band, performing in concert at Her Church.

Sixty-three musicians plus conductor.


None of them African-American.

Going by surnames in the program,  five Asians, including the conductor.

Otherwise, all white.

I sent an email to the band's president pointing this out and asking how the band was dealing with this imbalance.

1) Has the band (which is run by a Board of Directors) ever discussed this issue?

2) Have there been any outreach efforts to address this imbalance?

3) Are there plans for future outreach?

I was expecting a brief, sort of boilerplate reply, such as:

The Board is aware of this lack of diversity and we take it very seriously.  We have reached out in various ways to non-white communities and will continue to do so.

My inquiry met a stone wall. As if I was asking for a discussion, not answers, Julie replied

I am more than willing to make the time available to discuss the concerns you raise, and to learn from your experiences in bridging cultural and power differences in our community. As an organization we continually strive to evolve, and we welcome fresh perspectives and constructive ideas for how we can better achieve our mission.

So, I take this response to mean:

NO, the Band/Board has never really considered the issue of racial diversity.

NO, the Band/Board hasn't reached out to non-white communities.

NO, the Band/Board has no particular plans for future outreach.

This is surprising, coming from a well established, highly organized group.

SFLGFB led the last Veterans Day Parade, in honor the recent repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell.

SFLGFB has been named the official band of the City and County of San Francisco.

SFLGFB receives public money from the SF Hotel Tax fund.

You'd think that some PR-minded band member would have noticed.

Or possibly the lack of racial diversity at this particular performance was a complete anomaly.

It would be nice to get the simple questions answered before beginning a complex discussion.

Us old folks remember "token integration." Much derided, tokenism was at least better than total segregation. One black face in a sea of white might presage another and another.

How far have we regressed?

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