Friday, January 30, 2015

Misspelled Castro Plaques Not Sold to Aid Transgender Folks

Never expect accountability and transparency from civic leaders in the Castro gayboyhood and friends of Supervisor Scott Wiener, and you'll never be disappointed or surprised.

In September, after embarrassing typos were noticed on the LGBT Rainbow Honor Walk plaques embedded in the sidewalks of the Castro, the man responsible for the plaques, PR guru David Perry, and his friend writer Armistead Maupin, promised to sell the misspelled plaques to aid transgender folks. After a week of rooting around for answers, Perry finally contacted me. Let's unpack his email.

Perry: "I am on sabbatical until March 1 and not online. I was just now made aware of your query. Because of wise and generous counsel from the Transgender Law Center, we were able to correct -- and improve -- the replacement Christine Jorgensen plaque. We reached out to TLC as colleagues and friends as soon as the initial error came to our attention. During those initial days, it was felt that perhaps an auction of the incorrect plaques might be beneficial." 

MP: How curious he found the means to get back to me, even though he's supposedly off-line all the time these days. I'm not aware of anyone who thought selling the incorrect plaques was a smart more and wondered who the heck would waste money on them. Perry omits names of who allegedly felt an auction was appropriate.

Perry: "However, after careful reconsideration it was decided that the most respectful thing to do -- in consideration of Jorgensen's legacy and out of respect for the entire Transgender community -- would be to not allow a plaque with less than perfect language to go out into the public or private hands. To do so could, potentially, lead to further misinformation and possible misunderstandings. Out of respect for the Transgender community, we shelved the idea of an auction."

MP: After garnering barrels of ink after Perry and Maupin announced the auction, and a lotta forgiveness and let's just move on attitude from Wiener, an opaque reconsideration took place out of public view. Clutching his pearls and again invoking the plight of transgender people, Perry stated the auction was swept under the rug, er, called off.

Too bad Perry never informed the Transgender Law Center about all of this. Here is what Nathan Harris of the center wrote to me earlier this week:

"Thanks Michael and sorry for my delay in responding to you. In part that’s due to the fact that I’ve been trying to find an answer to your questions. I’ll let you know when I know more. To my knowledge, Transgender Law Center was named as the beneficiary of the Jorgensen plaque auction. Hunting down more details."

Sure doesn't sound as though Perry, in his "careful reconsideration" reached out to the beneficiary. To claim the auction was shelved out of respect for trans people, and then not communicate his new decision with the TLC is just more b.s. from Perry still covering his ass.

Perry: "Again, I apologize if this information was not conveyed to you before and thanks for your follow through on this issue."

Well, since Perry and his PR machine, and Maupin and Wiener, have all been silent about the promises made in September, how was I or anyone supposed to learn about the "reconsideration"? 

This accountability failure from Perry, Maupin and Wiener is worth noting for the homo history books.

(Photo and image taken from Maupin's Facebook page showing Perry next to the incorrect Oscar Wilde plaque. Not sure why Maupin said the sale would benefit the Rainbow Honor Walk in his message, when TLC was to receive the money raised.)

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