Press 2017

Bay Area Marks Pulse Anniversary

The Bay Area Reporter by Seth Hemmelgarn • June 8th 2017

“The shooting at Pulse Nightclub hit me hard because I had spent years in the 1990s lip-synching in drag at clubs” in San Francisco, particularly at the former Trannyshack drag show at the Stud bar, Maxson said. “After seeing all the names and faces of the people that passed that night at Pulse” on TV several days later, Maxson added, “I created a 14-foot sculpture made of aluminum flowers that spelled out the word Pulse. I wanted to honor and pay respect to those that were killed in the most disrespectful way. And I was impressed with all the other people who felt the same way and were sharing their art on social media. A year later I wanted to do my part to honor those that had fallen at Pulse and to give the opportunity for other artist to participate.”

The money raised from portrait sales will go to the Q Foundation and the LGBT Asylum Project.


Pulse: One Year Later

The Bay Area Reporter by David-Elijah Nahmod • June 8th 2017

For many it’s difficult to believe that one year has passed since 49 LGBT people, mostly Latino, were massacred at Pulse, an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, Florida. 53 others were wounded at Pulse on June 12, 2016. The incident now holds the record as the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.At its summit last year it added a young professionals track for the first time and had 700 people under the age of 30 attend. It will be expanding the track of sessions offered at the 2017 summit being held in October in Philadelphia.

“I was in shock as the news starting coming in about the shootings,” drag icon Juanita MORE! told Bay Area Reporter. “That shock turned into denial. I couldn’t believe it was happening and was unable to move or react. It was so paralyzing.”

MORE! noted that some of the families and loved ones were aware of the event but that she didn’t know if any planned to attend. MORE! also mentioned that proceeds from the portrait sales would benefit Q Foundation (until recently known as AIDS Housing Alliance) as well as the LGBT Asylum Project.


Business Briefs: Business Group Starts Program for Young LGBTs

The Bay Area Reporter by Matthew S. Bajko • June 8th 2017

Out and Equal Workplace Advocates has long trained senior business executives on how to foster a more welcoming environment at their businesses for LGBT employees. Now the San Francisco-based nonprofit is turning its focus on the next generation of LGBT business leaders.

At its summit last year it added a young professionals track for the first time and had 700 people under the age of 30 attend. It will be expanding the track of sessions offered at the 2017 summit being held in October in Philadelphia.

At Castro clothing store Unionmade, 493 Sanchez Street, Mexican-American artist J. Manuel Carmona, who lives in Mexico City, painted a mural on the wall fronting 18th Street that features More! bracketed by the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay Bridge with a fluttering rainbow flag behind her. The mural doubles as the poster art for More!’s party the Sunday of Pride, which this year will raise funds for The Q Foundation, formerly the AIDS Housing Alliance/San Francisco, and the LGBT Asylum Project.


Nonprofit execs say results weigh more than pay

The Bay Area Reporter by Seth Hemmelgarn • April 6th 2017

For years after he founded San Francisco’s AIDS Housing Alliance in 2004, Brian Basinger was paid only what would fit within the limits that Social Security Disability Insurance would allow.

But Basinger, a gay man who’s living with AIDS himself and remains executive director of what’s now known as Q Foundation AIDS Housing Alliance, recently had to make a change.

His low wages “left the organization in a vulnerable place as far as sustainability planning is concerned,” Basinger said in an email. “If something were to happen to me, the organization would be hard pressed to find another person with the required skill set to work for $700 per month. After much soul-searching, I decided to let go of disability so that we could grow the compensation for my position to market-rate.”


SF To Designate Nation’s First Transgender Historic District In The Tenderloin

SFist by Caleb Pershan • January 31st 2017

After a complicated back-and-forth process between local activists, politicians, and the developer of a large hotel and condo complex on Market Street, San Francisco will designate the nation’s first transgender historic district located within the Tenderloin as the development project moves forward.

Supervisor Jane Kim announced the deal, which she helped broker, on the steps of City Hall today, also introducing legislation to define the district. That’s to be called Compton’s TLGB District: A reference to a historic local uprising and an arrangement of the acronym more commonly rendered as LGBT that serves to highlight the contribution of trans people in that uprising, the district, and the queer rights movement generally. The official district will comprise six blocks in the southeastern Tenderloin, crossing over to Market Street to include two blocks of 6th Street.

As of last fall, local advocates citing historic LGBT sites in the area were hoping to halt Developer Group I in its efforts to build a 12-story mixed-use project at 950-974 Market with 250 residential units, 232 hotel rooms, and ground floor retail space. Tenderloin nonprofit the Q Foundation, an extension of the AIDS Housing Alliance, was at the helm of the preservation effort, led by Brian Basinger. The Q Foundation cited LGBT bars in the area, like the Old Crow at 962 Market, which served the neighborhood’s well-represented LGBT population from 1935 until it closed in 1980, and the Silver Rail at 974 Market.


Housing subsidy program up in the air

The Bay Area Reporter by David-Elijah Nahmod • January 26th 2017

Citing the voters’ decision not to approve a sales tax increase last fall, San Francisco city officials have not restored $3 million in housing subsidy funds, setting off a scramble so that low-income people, including those living with HIV/AIDS, can get shelter.

Last week, about two-dozen clients of the Q Foundation met at City Hall to implore the Board of Supervisors to restore $1.6 million in housing subsidy money that had been cut by Mayor Ed Lee, according to Brian Basinger, executive director of the Q Foundation.

Q Foundation provides rental assistance subsidies to low-income people with AIDS and other disabilities, as well as to low-income LGBTQ seniors.


Funding cuts for AIDS housing a worthy first battle for HIV-positive supervisor

San Francisco Examiner by Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez • January 10th 2017 

San Francisco’s first openly HIV-positive supervisor, Jeff Sheehy, is already facing his first major task from his community.

Nearly 250 people bordering on homelessness, many of whom are diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, are seeing their housing subsidies cut by Mayor Ed Lee.

Will Sheehy push to restore that funding?

Mayor Lee made the cuts in the wake of 2016’s failed Proposition K, which promised millions of dollars for San Francisco homeless programs. That includes a $3.1 million cut in funding to the AIDS Housing Alliance, leaving potentially dozens of homeless and HIV-positive San Franciscans at risk.

Some may sleep on our streets, a “solution” no one wants.

The mayor approved 2016’s budget last year, with millions of dollars factored in under the assumption Prop. K would pass. But as moderate and progressive Democrats tussled over a ridiculous number of propositions on last year’s ballot, Prop. K failed under a sea of in-fighting — including the god-awful, hate-filled Proposition Q, authored by Supervisor Mark Farrell, which promised to take tents away from people living on the street.

According to Brian Basinger, head of AIDS Housing Alliance, Mayor Lee said he would not release the $3.1 million to the organization — crucial to subsidize (and not even fully) housing for at least 250 San Franciscans — after Prop. K failed.


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