Monday, September 30, 2013

Three guys, a camera, and some amazing stories

The serious look on this man's face may have something to do with the serious subject: Alzheimer's disease. The picture comes from the latest video by The Jubilee Project. I have written about these three guys with a camera before and will likely tell you more about them in the future. Their story is incredible. The stories they tell are amazing and inspiring. If somehow you have missed by previous writing about Eddie Lee, Jason Y. Lee, and Eric I. Lu and this fantastic program they created, you can click HERE for one of my earlier blogs or even better, you can visit their website at http://jubileeproject.org
 
This latest video about Alzheimer's really touched me.  That's the idea of course.  They make videos to get things happening - volunteers, donations, general awareness - with a variety of causes.  They do it very well too.  I have been moved by each production.  I guess that's why I have written about them so many times!
 
I hope you will check out this video, Melody.  I hope you will also be inspired to learn more about Alzheimer's disease, one of the worst forms of dementia that gradually gets worse over time, affecting not only memory, but also thinking and personal behavior.  I hope you will even consider joining up with The Jubilee Project team at the Alzheimer's walk down in Tustin, CA next month.  The video is HERE and the fundraising page of the walk is HERE.
 
Thank you Jubilee Project for continuing to make a difference!  Your videos are inspiring and your good work associated with each one of them truly is making a difference.  Eddie, Jason, Eric - you guys are incredible!

Friday, September 27, 2013

crumpled paper

You may recall this story. I've told it here before, but I really like it. It is a story that has been told and retold over the years. It's about a teacher who was telling her class about bullying and gave them an exercise to perform. She had the children take a piece of paper and told them to crumple it up, stamp on it and really mess it up, but not to rip it. Then she had them unfold the paper, smooth it out and look at how scarred and dirty it was. She then told them to tell it they are sorry.
 
Okay, that may seem rather odd - talking to a piece of paper, but think of the deeper meaning here.  Sometimes a child who is bullied will later receive apologies, but the damage has already been done. In this exercise, even though they said they were sorry and tried to fix the paper, she pointed out all the scars they left behind. And that those scars will never go away no matter how hard they tried to fix it. That is what happens when a child bully’s another child - they may say they’re sorry but the scars are there forever.

Bullying isn't just done by kids of course and it isn't somehow worse in some cases than in others.  ALL bullying is bad.  ALL bullying hurts and damages another person.  ALL bullying needs to stop.
We have heard a lot in recent years about the bullying of gay kids, but let me be clear. While gay kids are so often the targets of bullies, ALL bullying is bad. We need to get rid of it ALL.

The kids in that classroom learned an important lesson. The looks on the faces of the children told their teacher that the message had indeed hit home. I hope this hits home with all of you too! What will you do to help end the bullying?   

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Just a little background

If you are stumbling upon this blog for the first time today, welcome!  Glad you found us and hope you will check out some of the previous entries.  What I write about here is making a difference in the world - ways to do it, the many ways of giving back and the folks who are leading the way and already making a difference.  I am fortunate to receive an occasional email and every now and then someone even posts a comment at the end of these daily entries.  I sure don't have all the answers, so I am always grateful for the feedback!
 
I might from time to time reference my family or my own life by way of introducing the subject, but I don't just sit here talking about myself because, as the title says, It's NOT about me.  That's important to me too.  I don't want the messenger to ever end up taking the place of the message.
 
Giving back to our communities - sharing the love - making a difference in our world - that is so important and that is why, several years ago, I began writing this.  It is my hope that it occasionally inspires someone and that just maybe another person will get out and do some great thing after having read this.  Please feel free to tell folks about this and please feel free to comment and to send me messages!  We ALL are in this!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

It is us

I came across this picture recently and thought about how well it says it all.  There are still those who think that the Earth is not experiencing any climate change - that there is no such thing as global warming, but those are the folks who need this warning the most.  Earth does not have a backup!  We need to protect our planet!
 
Just a few weeks ago I heard a song from a young Bay Area band called The Blondies.  It's an original song called "It's Us," written and performed by them (with a guest appearance on their video by Pacific Boychoir), acknowledging what mankind has done to the Earth, with the hope of inspiring some or all of us to be a part of the solution.  Click HERE to check out the video - very catchy tune.
 
Just like the title of the song says, it's us.  It's us who brought our planet to the state it is in, but it is also us who can do something about it. 
 
Now let me be clear.  I don't think that Earth is going to cease to exist.  I think the planet will likely continue on and someday evolve into a place where new life forms may be able to exist.  Remember the ages ahead of us?  Remember the dinosaurs?  Remember the ice age?  Earth has gone through a lot and can most likely take a lot more, but can it continue to sustain human life?  Not at the rate we are going!  That is the issue.  That is why we need to wakeup and do something.  So who is with me?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Love until it hurts

Mother Teresa once said "I have found the paradox that if I love until it hurts, then there is no hurt, but only more love." Wonderful!  How can more love ever be a bad thing?

Every time I talk to my mother, she says something about love.  She loves me and my sister but she also loves life, and it shows in everything she does!

A local church here in San Francisco wears buttons and hands them out to visitors.  The buttons say "More Love." What a wonderful concept!

We write here in this blog each day about making a difference in this world of ours. Love is what that comes down to. You cannot do good deeds without love. Love brings joy to those who give it and to those who receive it. Love truly does help us make a difference. Mother Teresa made a difference in this world because of love.

Love is worth it!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Homeless party at cancelled wedding

There are stories all the time that restore your faith in others and truly warm your heart and this is one of those stories to be sure.  An engaged couple called off their planned nuptials, which ordinarily would have been a sad time, but there was partying nevertheless when the bride's parents got ahold of Hosea Feed the Hungry in Atlanta, GA and turned the reception they had planned into the Fowler Family Celebration of Love.   Some 200 people were in the process and the family is working to do it all again in years to come!
 
Now Hosea Feed the Hungry is a pretty special organization to begin with.  They're on the other coast and I only know of them from news accounts and from their website (http://4hosea.org/) but you can see they do some marvelous work!  Carol and Willie Fowler are the real heroes though.  What a kind and generous act on their part to turn their family's own disappointment into such a special day for those less fortunate.
 
This is one of those heartwarming stories that I love coming across.  May their generosity be an inspiration to others!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Needle exchange

In writing about a local organization yesterday, I mentioned that one of their programs was a needle exchange.  A steaming hot email came my way as a result and the question asked (cutting out all the expletives) was how could I support helping drug addicts.  The short answer is that it costs much less to supply a clean syringe than to treat someone for HIV.
 
Needle exchange programs are not new, and there is reliable information that shows that they are helping to prevent the transmission of blood borne diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis C.  The programs are working.  They also can help engage drug users in mental health or in substance abuse treatments - even those individuals with a history of refusing such treatments.
 
Click HERE for a few related facts you might find interesting.  Needle exchange programs save lives.  Before you condemn them, check the facts!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Everyone deserves to be healthy

There are so many fine organizations that I support, but probably my favorite is the Asian and Pacific Islander Wellness Center here in San Francisco.  It's been a long time since I have written about them here, so let me begin with the basics.  API Wellness, located at 730 Polk Street, is the oldest non-profit HIV/AIDS services organization in North America targeting Asian & Pacific Islander communities. Their core belief is that "everyone deserves to be healthy and needs access to the highest quality health care" and their mission is to "transform lives by advancing health, wellness, and equality."  They provide free and confidential HIV testing and treatment, mental health and substance abuse counseling, free needle exchange, numerous health programs, and so much more.
 
When I told you about my participation in AIDS Walk San Francisco this summer (which I do every year), I don't know if I mentioned that I had the great joy of being a part of the API Wellness team.  The money we raised then though was just a drop in the bucket compared to the amount needed to provide the many programs.  Government and foundation grants make up the largest part of them income, but the donations of individuals is a huge help.  Volunteering for the organization helps a lot too!
 
I am hearing about more and more new programs every day - seriously.  One good way to find out more it to visit their website at http://www.apiwellness.org  - also, hear some stories.  Click HERE for a powerful video that will introduce you to the Banyan Tree Project.  More on that at http://www.banyantreeproject.org/ 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Beautiful San Francisco

When you think of the cable cars, Coit Tower, Pier 39, the Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown, and the Cliff House, it's easy to picture the beauty of San Francisco in your mind, but the beauty doesn't end with a few tourist attractions.  This wonderful city is visually beautiful from every angle.  There are colorful houses and colorful flowers.  There are breathtaking vistas and unique buildings and streets. 

San Francisco is also beautiful because of what it stands for.  This is a place with a heart.  This is a place where equality is a reality. This is a place where people actually work together. Oh yeah and if you’re a foodie, welcome to heaven!  Yes, it is expensive, but it is certainly worth it!
 
But what about the other beautiful places on earth?  Oh my goodness!  San Francisco isn't the only one!  I happen to live here, but this is NOT about me.  If you are lucky enough to have discovered the beauty of where you live, congratulations!  Yes, there is beauty EVERYWHERE.  All we have to do is open our eyes.  All we have to do is look at the good.  Too often we focus on the bad - what's wrong with this place?  If we turn our thinking to a more positive direction we will likely feel more like being involved and that can really make a difference!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

links

If you read this blog directly off of its homepage, you will notice to the right a list of links. All of the websites shown there are for things I have previously written about. Currently Latina Contra Cancer, San Francisco Night Ministry, Pam's House Blend (even though that site is no longer active, but the archives are popular), It Gets Better Project, The Jubilee Project, and Go Inspire Go, are the list.  I won't go in to telling you more about them today, but if you are interested, by all means click on the link - that's why it's there!
 
I'm mentioning this list for a couple of reasons.  Some of you may have never noticed and you might find it useful.  Some of you also might have suggestions of other things you think we should have links to.  I do change it up every now and then (and if you should happen to be reading this months after I post it on September 17th, the list might possibly be different).  I also include links within the body of these blog entries sometimes.  If you click on a link and it turns out to be dead, let me know about that too.
 
These hyperlinks are to website that I think might be of help - ones that might inspire you.  Let me know if I was right.
 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Why go to church?

What did you do yesterday morning?  When I was young, the grocery stores in the small town were closed and in fact they all had signs on their doors that read "closed Sundays - see you in church."  Back then more Americans did go to worship services, on Sundays or on whatever day was most significant to their faith tradition.  Now more and more people are asking "Why go to church?"

In an interview with Ladies Home Journal back in 1917, Theodore Roosevelt, our 26th president offered a number of reasons for going to church. One of the things he said was "Church work and church attendance mean the cultivation of the habit of feeling some responsibility for others and the sense of braced moral strength, which prevents a relaxation of one's own moral fiber." I like that. It sounds a lot like the kind of thing I write about here every day.

The Bible calls on us to be the church, and not just go to church. How can we be the church though if we are not there and are not participating?  How can we spread the Good News and feed and clothe the poor and work for justice and pray for peace and promote a better world, if we don't get off our butts and go?

I'm not going to convince someone in this small space that participating in their synagogue, church, mosque, or other place of worship is something they should do. The reasons for going are many. I suppose you could make a list for why NOT to participate also.  Just for a moment today though, think about it.  If you already have a faith community that you have been part of, think about participating more fully, and if you do not, take a look around.  See what's available to you.  Consider joining and making a difference.
 
Roosevelt also said "Yes, I know all the excuses. I know that one can worship the Creator and dedicate oneself to good living in a grove of trees, or by a running brook, or in one's own house, just as well as in church. But I also know as a matter of cold fact the average man does not thus worship or thus dedicate himself," the President said. "If he strays away from church, he does not spend his time in good works or lofty meditation. He looks over the colored supplement of the newspaper."

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Rainbow Walk of Fame

What do Jane Addams, James Baldwin, George Choy, Federico GarcĂ­a Lorca, Allen Ginsberg, Keith Haring, Harry Hay, Sylvester James, Christine Jorgensen, Frida Kahlo, Del Martin, Yukio Mishima, Bayard Rustin, Randy Shilts, Gertrude Stein, Alan Turing, Tom Waddell, Oscar Wilde, Tennessee Williams, and Virginia Woolf have in common? They will be the first twenty honorees in the brand new Rainbow Honor Walk here in San Francisco.

I'm really excited about this project! Seeking to honor the heroes and heroines of the LGBT communities through a sidewalk tribute with bronze plaques from San Francisco’s historic Castro district and up Market Street as far as Gough Street, this is an ongoing project, (think Hollywood Walk of Fame) and it sounds to me like a really good one!  Installation of the first twenty plaques (those folks listed above) is going to be donated by the San Francisco Department of Public Works.  The cost of the plaques though is about $5,000 each. 
 
There is currently an online fundraiser with a $5,000 goal, but I think we can do better!  Let's shoot for $10,000.  I KNOW we can do it is everyone chips in - even if you are only donating ten of fifteen dollars.  Click HERE to go to the indiegogo fundraising site.  For more information, go to http://rainbowhonorwalk.org/ - Let's make the Rainbow Honor Walk a reality.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

doing something about the guns

Gun violence is in the news every day.  Innocent bystanders are being killed.  Children and young adults are seeing their lives changed in the most horrible way.  There is talk right after every tragedy, but little action.  We need to do something about the guns and we need to do it now! 
 
Early this year, California Assemblyperson Phil Ting (San Francisco) and Jimmy Gomez (Los Angeles), introduced legislation that would require gun owners to purchase liability insurance.  Assembly Bill 231 would require the owners to cover damages incurred from incidents stemming from their firearms.  I think this is a brilliant idea.  It should have been passed by both houses immediately and signed by the governor!
 
Ting also introduced Assembly Bill 232, which would provide state income tax credits for people who participate in local gun buyback programs, with a cap of $1,000.  Gun buyback programs have been proven to help get guns off the streets.
 
AB 231 have gone back and forth between the Assembly and Senate.  It is back in the Assembly in what will likely be its final form.  It needs to pass now and Governor Jerry Brown needs to sign it.  Let's hit the phones and send out some email and tell them what we think!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Forever in our memory

Today on this anniversary of  one of the saddest days in world history, and on the morning after President Barack Obama gave a speech filled with hope for peace instead of more fighting, I want to quote a clergyman named Frank Tracy Griswold.  Back in 2001, Griswold was the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the US. This essay of his (which he wrote a few days after the terrorist attacks) is a personal account of how he spent the days that followed those attacks, and it is a story of hope in the face of despair. This is what he wrote:

On Friday, September 14, the day of national mourning, I knew my place was here in New York with those who were courageously struggling with the aftermath of the hideous events of the previous Tuesday. A police van picked me up at the Church Center and transported me through checkpoints to the Seaman's Church Institute within the restricted area where police, firefighters, National Guard, rescue workers and Con Edison technicians were being cared for with food, fresh changes of clothing, and words of thanks and encouragement from tireless volunteers.

In the midst of the chaos I was asked to celebrate the Eucharist. It was Holy Cross Day, and how appropriate and right it was that our mourning and grief be rooted and grounded in the mystery of the cross. St. Paul speaks of sharing the sufferings of Christ. I thought that every act of violence, and all that it produces, is an instance of Christ's own suffering with and on behalf of those he came to reconcile to one another through the cross.

In the Gospel reading for the day, we hear Jesus proclaim: "When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people to myself." The cross is Jesus' facing into all the subtle and obvious forces of evil the divide the human family, drawing us all to himself in order that we might be transformed and live in new patterns of relationship: patterns which are grounded in the awareness that - at the heart of all differences of language, race, culture and ways of believing and naming God - we are profoundly one in the mind and heart of our Creator. That this terrible act of terrorism has provoked blind and indiscriminate blame directed against our Moslem and Arab neighbors is to allow the evil we are suffering to catch us up in its ongoing destructive force, and make us its victim in yet another way.

After the Eucharist, Phoebe and I were taken through more checkpoints to "Ground Zero." This close to the impact, gray ash lay everywhere and coated the silent and abandoned buildings, among them St. Paul's Chapel where George Washington worshiped. Outside the church the American and Episcopal Church flags, stained and torn, fluttered at half-mast. An ancient tree had been uprooted and its branches rested on the gravestones. The building was intact, but the churchyard was thick with ash and debris and thousands of bits of paper. The iron gate was ajar. I pushed it open and climbed the littered and ash covered steps to the open door of the church. In an eerie way, everything seemed to be in order, except for the covering of dust. I found myself in tears. Here, at the heart of all the chaos and destruction was a place of solace and prayer.

The sacristy door stood open. I went in and found a piece of paper and a pen and wrote "I have been here and you have my prayers and my love. Frank Griswold, Presiding Bishop." I turned to leave and just then the priest arrived. "I'm here and the church is open," he said. What more could one ask for at a time like this than the ministry of presence.

As we left, I looked up at the crucifix above the altar and had the sense that the extended arms could receive and embrace all the madness and hatred and destruction and suffering that lay close by and in all the places in our fragile world where violence and death and innocent suffering are a daily reality. Somehow this terrible event has joined us in solidarity with the suffering of the world.

That evening I took part in a service at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. At the end of the service, the congregation with lighted candles in hand followed us out onto the cathedral steps where people, instead of dispersing into the evening, drew close to one another, still holding on to their candles. Passersby joined them, some stopping to buy candles in nearby shops.

Spontaneous singing began…"We shall overcome…." I thought of the overwhelming generosity of spirit that had flowed through the day. I thought of the selfless volunteers and their eagerness to be useful; the many workers and their gratitude; the congregation bound together in mutual support. I was seeing evil overcome by good which is the only way in which our world can be healed. I was also seeing our church in action and prayer and hospitality mediate the real presence of Christ.

How grateful I am for our Episcopal household and for its clear witness at this time. The days ahead will be difficult and demanding for us all, and I pray that we will be able to live them with the courage and strength that are ours in the risen Christ.

-The Most Reverend Frank T. Griswold
 XXV Presiding Bishop and Primate
 The Episcopal Church, USA

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

changes

If you are reading this blog for the very first time, it isn't one that shares details of my world travels or my cooking adventures or my musical ability or even my athletic abilities.  In fact, as the name indicates, this blog is NOT about me.  It is about all of us doing something powerful - making a difference.  People talk about changing the world and you know what?  We ALL have the power!  We ALL can give back.
 
Changes don't have to be huge ones.  Changes don't have to involves a lot of people.  Changes don't have to cost a lot of money.  The change we are talking about is making things better for ourselves and for those who come after us.  We see a need and we fill it.  This is OUR world - we should all want to make it better!
 
Over the years I have highlighted ideas, organizations, and individuals that have helped make things better.  Yesterday I had lunch with someone that I think truly makes a huge difference in our world.  He really is a giver!  I don't have all of the answers of course and from time to time I have asked for your suggestions.  This morning I am asking again.  Do you know of an individual or organization that is doing great things?  Do you have some ideas of how to make life better for us all?  I'd really love to hear from you!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Jason hits the road again!

For the past several years I have had the pleasure of knowing Jason Villalobos, one of those people who truly makes a difference, and I have written about him several times here, especially when he has participated in AIDS LifeCycle.  Well friends, he's doing it again!

For those of you who don't know, AIDS LifeCycle is a seven day, 545-mile trek from San Francisco to Los Angeles via bicycle.  All of the participants must raise at least $3,000 but Jason want to take in $10,000!  That is an impressive goal, but he'll do it because he really believes and he works hard.  This is Jason's fifth time doing this and he continues to be a great inspiration.
 
If you can help, click HERE.  Every single donation helps, no matter the size!  YOU are making a difference by backing Jason's efforts!
 
Having spent nine years in San Francisco, Jason was looking for a change when he moved back to his hometown.  He has since met a man to share his life with and appears to be head-over-heels in love.  Making public appearances for various causes, especially those that are AIDS-related might not be as easy in a small town, but you cannot take the activist out of Jason.  His participation in LifeCycle once again is just one example of that.  Help him make his goal!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Wipe out cancer

To continue with what I was saying here yesterday, cancer is bad and needs to be gone - we all agree on that.  But how?  There are those who say it is hopeless.  Some say that scientists and drug companies don't want a cure because the money is in the suffering.  I tend to believe in the goodness of human beings and I believe too that when we get together we can pretty much do anything.

I mentioned the Light the Night Walk which I am participating in once again this month. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's annual event is just over a week away at AT&T Park here and you can get involved with that by signing up to walk or by donating money to sponsor a walker.  It's a good time to learn more about blood cancers and to make a difference in the fight.  By the way, you can simply click HERE to sponsor me - EVERY donation helps!

There are other organizations of course and I highly recommend the American Cancer Society both as a source of information and as a place where we can all get involved.  There have many different programs and the best place to start is at their website at http://www.cancer.org Years ago I worked for them, and I can assure you they are a top notch organization that does many amazing things.

Donate money.  Write letters to elected officials urging them to dedicate laws to cancer treatment and research.  Volunteer at cancer centers - sometimes something as simple as reading to cancer patients can make a big difference!  There are many ways to get involved.  (Perhaps you have some that you would like to share with us).  To wipe out cancer we need to get involved and we need to care, but I really believe we CAN do it!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

speaking of cancer

September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.  It is also Lymphoma Awareness Month, National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and Leukemia Awareness Month.  As you can see, the spotlight is indeed on cancer this month.  Let's talk a little about it.

First a little personal background.  My mom lived for several years with leukemia.  Earlier this year when she died, the leukemia was a factor, but she also had developed lung cancer.  It is not uncommon for more than one form of cancer to invade someone's body.  Her mother also died from cancer.  This week, a friend of mine died after a three year fight against cancer.

We don't have cures and we don't know all the causes. We do know that they are very diverse and complex and that over 200 different known cancers that affect human beings. That to me is pretty incredible. President Richard Nixon declared a "War on Cancer" in 1971 and since that time, the United States has spent over $200 billion on cancer research, and we of course are not alone. Since cancer is not just a single disease, but rather a class of diseases, it is not likely that there will be a single cure. We have made some progress though. The death rate is slightly lower.
 
We need to do more though.  That is one reason why I am raising funds through the Light the Night Walk later this month.  That's why I support the American Cancer Society.  That's why I am excited that there is attention given to several different cancers during the month of September.  We need to wipe out all cancers, and I believe that we ARE capable of doing it!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

helping the helpers

Let me tell you about service animals - not just the guide dogs you may already be familiar with for the blind, but also the others that help with a variety of conditions. Besides visual difficulties, animals can be trained to assist with hearing impairments, seizures, autism, diabetes, mental illness, and more. Typically we are talking about dogs, but some other animals can be trained to render assistance.

Training takes time and money. If you have a service animal you can deduct the expenses related to the buying, training and maintenance of that animal. These are considered medical expenses. This includes expenses for the animal's food, grooming, and medical care. Still even with this, the cost is high and many cannot afford the expense.

The wonderful helper animals, needing some help of their own, actor Dick Van Patten did something and created National Guide Dog Month, after learning that the costs to raise and train guide dogs are cost-prohibitive for many people. Every September there is not only an informational campaign, but also a fundraiser. The Petco Foundation also helps in this effort each year.

The Petco Foundation also helps animal-welfare organizations find loving homes for millions of orphaned animals, as well as fund spay and neuter efforts, animal assisted therapy programs and humane education.  You can find more about them HERE and more about National Guide Dog Month HERE.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

What's in a name?

Back when I was in high school, I was part of the Father Nash Youth Fellowship.  I mention this only because of the name - Father Nash had died long before I was even born, but because someone had named this organization after him, his memory lived on and indeed folks asked "just who was this Father Nash?"
 
There are airports named for people, and schools, and other organizations, and of course streets.  When you head over to Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall, you just might ask yourself who was this Louise Davies?  If you find yourself down along the Embarcadero and see the sign that reads  Herb Caen Way. . . you just might wonder about that Caen fellow.  Naming things for people creates some excellent teaching moments.
 
Now I don't agree that every single thing should have a name attached to it.  The name and the location should, in my opinion, have some logical connection.  All of this brings me to Vicki MarLane - this is an excellent idea if ever I heard one!  The San Francisco Board of Supervisors is being petitioned to rename the 100 block of Turk Street after pioneering transgender drag performer Vicki Marlane.  (Since lane is part of her name already, just highlight it with a capital L).  The legendary Compton's Cafeteria riot (where trans women revolted against a police raid in a pre-Stonewall uprising in 1966) was right there at that corner and in addition, Ms Marlane performed for many years at Aunt Charlies, right across the street.
 
Yes, this is a name change that makes perfect sense.  It would provide recognition to Vicki Marlane and her incredible talent and also be a visible testament to the many contributions of the trans community in San Francisco.  I invite you to sign the petition HERE.

Monday, September 2, 2013

honoring labor

No school.  A last chance to picnic.  The end of summer.  Labor Day means many things to different people, but the first Monday in September is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of workers and it is a day to celebrate our labor unions.  The working class are the ones who keep the nation moving and so a day of tribute is indeed in order.  (Labor Day is also observed in Canada on the same day, by the way).  Hard work, whatever you do, has value.  This is the day we honor that.
 
Now many folks get the day off from work today.  Seems odd, huh?  How do you celebrate labor by not laboring?  This is a workingmen’s holiday, but not all of us need to work on the day to appreciate the significance.  For over 100 years we have remembered labor on this date - it all began back in New York City with the Central Labor Union, and hopefully we will continue to, because as I said, workers truly are our country's backbone.

Have fun today.  Enjoy whatever it is you may be doing.  Remember though the real meaning of today, and give your support to labor!