Category Archives: East Bay

‘Burban Street Art. Really!

20131201-165110.jpg
Suburban, that is! For Bourbon St. And boys showing their dicks for beads click here. These Novy boots are knocking sox outside The World Famous Turf Club, Hayward’s Gay bar, one of the oldest in the SF Bay Area. Post WWII – 1946. Welcome homo, boys!

20131201-165508.jpg
Cool pink t-Rex. Artist unknown. Drawing on map. In a Chronicle box. I think this is the same artist who did the yellow Dr. Seuss fish in the next medley.

20131201-165826.jpg
Do you give a flying fuck? JoJo Mendoco does. Yellow fish? Maybe.

Cool Cali Rabbi Schulman says You Go Gays!

avi_for_weeklyfcb735From pal of this site, Big Gay Al. Word from his groovy Rabbi, who loves on the queer Tribe and the goy gays both. The cool Franciscans dig us, too. Righteous faith communities have been at the forefront of our struggle for a long time. As whip-smart homo-hopper and site-pal Tim’m T. West has said: “If it ain’t Love, it ain’t God.” Word! Thanks for this, Al! Rabbi Avi Schulman is at Temple Beth Torah  in Fremont, California. Such a mitzvah!

A WORD FROM RABBI SCHULMAN:

On Wednesday I rejoiced when I learned that the Supreme Court’s had decided to nullify the Federal Defense of Marriage Act.   As a result of this ruling, gay and lesbian married couples will receive equal protection and benefits under the law as do heterosexual married couples.   I was further gladdened when the Supreme Court declined to overturn the decision by a federal district court invalidating Proposition 8.  In doing so, it is expected that within a month same-sex couples can marry in California.

It has been a long, hard struggle to reach this point in our society.  As a heterosexual male, I have not been subject to the intense discrimination if not outright hatred that gays and lesbians, bi-sexual and transgendered people have experienced.  But I have encountered intense resistance to granting any legitimacy to those who are LGBT.  Some years ago, I gave a sermon advocating for gay rights.  In response, I received the following letter:

“Dear Rabbi,

I hope your Temple isn’t caught up in supporting homosexual rights!!  God in the Old Testament has never approved of the homosexual life style.  In fact they were to be taken outside the gates of the city and stoned.  Also, Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed.

Remember, homosexuals are filthy people and have filthy practices.  No wonder they have AIDS and thanks to them, heterosexuals have it, too.  Don’t give them any rights!

A lot of Jews and Christians are homosexuals because they didn’t bond with a Dad.  The Dad’s too busy for them and they are just around women and get too feminine.

A lot of Jewish boys too are homosexual because they got pampered in the city.
Do not grant homosexuals any rights.  Follow God’s way and not Sodom’s way!”
The repulsive attitude, the appalling ignorance, and the sheer bigotry of the writer of this letter are reprehensible.  But make no mistake, even today there are still people in our society who would agree with these sentiments.

Yesterday’s rulings by the Supreme Court represent landmarks in the fight for equal rights for gays and lesbians in America.  However, there is still much more work to be done.   More than thirty states do not allow same-sex marriage.   However, through education and advocacy, we can help ensure that LGBT couples can marry in every state in the US.

Our Torah proclaims that each human being is unique and precious, endowed with the spirit of the Divine.  Our prophetic tradition urges us to strive toward creating a society that is just and righteous.   Amos the prophet proclaimed:  “Let justice roll down like waters, righteousness like a mighty stream.”  Wednesday’s landmark decisions by the Supreme Court felt like a waterfall of refreshing water that washed over our land.

Go Bears! F***king Hot Wearable Cal Satire

20120607-173330.jpg
Our pal “King Tut” turned us on to this fun and funny t-shirt designed and manufactured locally the old fashioned way: hand-drawn and screen-printed in the artist’s studio. In fact, he gave us the shirt off his back! What a good boy. Artist Auvrey makes these and others and hangs out in San Francisco’s Castro Gayborhood. This one takes off on the UC Berkeley “Cal” mascot. Got the colors down, too. We like it…even though we are Stanford Dads. Hah! Go Bears!

Ooogabooga Under Fascism: Juba Kalamka’s Awesome Album Odyssey

Class Photo (and CD Cover) Juba Kalamka (lower left) and Zulu Level (ages 6-7) classmates at Shule Ya Watoto (School For Children) Chicago, Illinois April 1977 photo: Mama Anita "Kofi" Douglas (RIP)

Juba Kalamka is a 21st century African-American renaissance man, a one-time bougie boho post-pomo afro homo* with a vita that includes being a founding member of the seminal homo-hop group Deep Dickollective, a featured role in Alex Hinton’s 2005 documentary on the homo-hop scene Pick Up the Mic, and ongoing work as a bi/sexual activist, speaking, writing and appearing in films. His lyrics will also be included in the Yale Anthology of Rap, to be released in the winter of 2010. The anthology contains lyrics from the Ooogabooga Under Fascism album track Yeoman Johnson, academic essays by Kalamka, and a song from his previous group project, Deep Dickollective.

Kalamka’s current project is called “Ooogabooga Under Fascism.” A multimedia project, it will include cds, chapbooks, 7″ vinyl 45 rpm records, and assorted ephemera, including stickers. He is raising completion funds through kickstarter.com. Kickstarter is an on-line project for funding-raising for creative projects.

The album cover features a very young Kalamka. Four children look directly into the camera’s gaze. Its focus is intense. They return its intensity fearlessly . These are kids coming up in a particular educational environment at a unique moment in time. The place, Chicago, near Douglas Park in the North Lawndale neighborhood. They are being schooled in, among other things, a certain strategic fearlessness in the face of a powerful, always potentially hostile, white gaze.  The children wear colors of pan-Africanism, the red and green that represent blood and  life. The adult figure is cut by the photographic frame at the face. His gaze is concealed, although his position and influence are clear.

The Gay Highwaymen talked to Kalamka, who said that: “Thematically, Africentricity and Black Nationalism and how they shaped my later politics, identity formations and aesthetics are a part of the theme of the album.” A short interview follows.

GH: I didn’t pick up on little Juba at first. Fierce! Great photo. Shule Ya Watoto was your school, right?

JK: Correct.

GH: How old were you?

JK: I’m six years old in the photo, turned seven that July 12.

GH: Rites of Passage Academy? Primary or supplementary?

JK: Shule ya Watoto was a full-time primary-1st Grade school and was so from 1972-1982. I attended from January 1974-June 1977. It has mostly been a “Saturday Academy” and Rites of Passage Academy in years since, mostly thru the mid 1990s.

GH: It was associated with Malcom X College of Chicago?

JK: Shule Ya Watoto at one time belonged to CIBI (Council of Independent Black Institutions) of which Uhuru Sasa (NYC) and IPE/New Concept Development Center (Institute Of Positive Education) were affiliated as well. The Shule was co-founded by Hannibal Afrik (the adult in the photo, upper left corner) who most recently ran Community Youth Achievers/Environmental Village Campus in Hermanville Misssissippi. Malcolm X College is actually one of The City Colleges of Chicago. It is the former Wilson Jr, College which has been around since the 1940s, but was re-named Malcolm X in 1971 when the new campus opened. “Malcolm” as it’s affectionately known in the community, has been ground zero for Kwanzaa events and Africentrist anything on the west side of Chicago since around 1973 or so. I’ve been there for some event or other every year since about 1976 or so, the last time this past June.

GH: What about the title “Ooogabooga Under Fascism”?

JK: “Ooogabooga Under Fascism” is taken from a quote by Illinois Black Panther Party Chair Fred Hampton. Hampton had been indicted by a number of members of cultural nationalist organizations because the Panthers didn’t wear the popular quasi-african garb (dashikis and the like) or have African names. Hampton responded by saying (paraphrasing) that if one was in a room that was on fire, that your politic would not be a dashiki- it would be a bucket of water.

He saw nothing wrong with African names and such, but he thought the criticism was short sighted- saying in (another paraphrase) that if he changed his name to “Ooogabooga” and didn’t do anything about the fascist conditions that he lived under, that he would in effect be “Ooogabooga under fascism”**

The message has lost no political vitality. On a another note, Juba pointed out in reference to the cover photo: “…how insanely jealous I was of Osei’s afro. My mom kept cutting my hair!!”

For details on how to support this project, go to his Kickstarter site.

For more on Juba Kalamka, read an Amoeba interview by Billy Jam here.

*From the Deep Dickollective album of the same name.

** J.F Rice. Up On Madison, Down On 75th Street: A History of the Illinois Black Panther Party. Evanston, 1983.

Not So Still Life. Richard Bolingbroke at Hayward’s Sun Gallery.

San Francisco watercolorist and printmaker Richard Bolingbroke has a solo exhibit called Not So Still Life at the Hayward Center for the Arts’ Sun Gallery. It opened Friday with a reception and artist’s talk.

Sun Gallery is Hayward’s longest standing non-profits arts organization, with a mission to “enrich the cultural life of our community and promote art as the universal language between cultures, income levels and ages.”

Earlier this year, Bolingbroke produced a short-run volume of his long-term project Rituals and Meditations. More on that and information on how to order it or view it online is available here.

That’s Mr. pony to You, Sir! Marc Owens is Mr. Alameda County Leather 2010.

Marc "pony" Owens and Trinity - Mr. and Ms. Alameda County Leather 2010. Photo: Rich Stadtmiller.

Friend of this site Marc “pony” Owens is the new “Mr. Alameda County Leather” for the 2010/11 season.

Some say the Leather contests and the titles and bearers associated with them are just butch beauty pageants, the titles mere bait in extended ego-promo games in which a leather sash can snare that night’s prize trick. And they’d be at least partly right.

But…at their best, Leather contests and the titles and bearers associated with them serve the communities in very real ways, fundraising for worthy organizations and causes and using their increased visibility in overall service to the community. It is that spirit that pony will certainly bring to the title and we congratulate him on his win. Work hard; play hard: Genuine Leather.