Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Like GOP, SF Media Erase Queer People After Orlando

Former Republican presidential hopefuls Marco Rubio and Mike Huckabee were spanked by Slate's pundit Mark Joseph Stern for tweets about the Orlando massacre and omitting LGBT folks from the tragedy. Also erasing queers from their history after the rupture of normalcy in San Francisco's Castro District are three local media outlets.

First up is Eve Batey over at the SFist who wrote yesterday, "In advance of tonight's vigil for the victims of the Orlando shooting, the Pride flag in San Francisco's iconic Castro District has been lowered to half-mast this afternoon."

Batey used two pics from her BFF and former SFist editor Brock Keeling and the captions, incorrectly report that the regularly-flying rainbow was lowered. The flag is a much smaller version, since the regular one at half-mast might get entangled with a Muni bus.

Nothing about my advocacy calling for the lowering yesterday and the years-long battles over the flag in Harvey Milk Plaza. It's as if there were no controversy over this matter since 2011 for SFist. History erased.

Next, we have Keeling today erroneously stating at the Curbed SF site, "San Francisco also paid respect by lowering the Pride flag to half-staff, the first time in a decade, and illuminating City Hall in rainbow colors typically reserved for Pride weekend."

More homo history deleted. On February 3, 2011, just five years ago, myself and other global LGBT advocates persuaded the Castro Merchants to lower the flag for murdered gay Ugandan activist David Kato.

And on the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorists acts in 2011, I along with Bill Wilson and others pressured the City to lower the flag to honor all victims of that horror and especially gay hero Mark Bingham. Two acts of flag lowering in less than a decade should be reported.

Third outlet omitting queers and our history? SF Examiner opinion writer Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez today wrongfully saying, "For the first time in a decade, San Francisco’s Pride flag waved gently at half mast. There are many Pride flags on Market Street, but this 30-foot billowing rainbow at the top of Castro street is the stalwart of the neighborhood."

Sure would be great to learn from where Rodriguez and Keeling got their misinformation and ignoring the brutal killing of Kato in Kampala.

Regarding the size of the flag flying yesterday, did Rodriguez get an actual, solid look at it, because what I saw with my eyes at the public plaza and as is clearly shown in Keeling's foto, it's not anywhere near 30-feet.

Facts matter and SFist, Curbed SF and the SF Examiner all have some explaining and correcting to do. Color me dismayed with the way queer history in San Francisco's been erased by the writers in question.

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