Monday, April 11, 2011

Gay Sup. Wiener MIA at Eagle Meeting;
Allergic to Leather or Activism?

A solid 250-300 packed the backyard and a good size of the inside bar at the San Francisco Eagle Tavern tonight. Reminded me of the old ACT UP/NYC meetings on a Monday night in the late 1980s, when the crowd was fired up and not gonna take it no more. What a kaleidoscope of beautiful people turned out for the emergency meeting.

I'll leave actual reporting of the gathering and what was said about the status of the lease and transfer of liquor license issue to others. The joint was packed with vid and still cameras in the hands of many patrons, and at least a dozen old and new media folks writing notes, getting names, rechecking facts and we'll all get their reports by tomorrow.

What I want to say has to do with the absence of gay Supervisor Scott Wiener. Missing in action again tonight, as he was on February 3 for the rally at Harvey Milk Plaza for murdered gay Ugandan David Kato.

I shouted several times to the crowd: "Where's Scott Wiener?"

The former gay Supervisor Bevan Dufty, now running for mayor, was present and when I saw him I asked if he was looking for the backroom action, politically and sexually speaking. We're at odds with each other about several issues, and we still kissed and hugged, for the greater good of saving the Eagle.

Political drag artiste Anna Conda, chief trouble-making diva, organize the meeting and ran it. She called up Bevan who gave a sketch of what he was working related to the Eagle. "Where's Scott Wiener?" I shouted at him. "That's Petrelis again asking rude questions," Bevan joshed with the crowd. A few people asked where the current gay supervisor was, only they didn't yell.

"I don't know where he is," Bevan said. Later on, a staffer for Supervisor Jane Kim, in whose district is where the Eagle rests, was brought up to the stage by Bevan. The staffer said Kim was making inquiries about the situation and gathering more facts, and that she wants the bar to stay open.

Good to have the former supervisor show up, along with a staffer from the District 6 supervisor's office, but the absence of Wiener or anyone from his staff must be noted here. Is Wiener allergic to leather or activism, or both? This is one pol who not only seriously lacks charisma and people skills, he's lousy at getting messages to organizers of rallies and emergency meetings explaining why he's missing in action.

Where was Wiener tonight? Why couldn't he show up at the Eagle and engage the hundreds of folks standing shoulder to shoulder, who are mobilizing to save our ever-dwindling number of public queer gathering spaces in San Francisco?

The gay community deserves a supervisor who regularly mingles with more than the Human Rights Campaign donors and business people of the Merchants of Upper Market/Castro. One who recognizes when a crisis has hit the community and shows his face to provide political direction and listen to the concerns of his constituents.

The silence and MIA status at the gay Ugandan rally and the Eagle emergency meeting of Wiener are signs of poor leadership.

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