Sunday, October 14, 2012

BAR, WTF?: Lesbian Dogcatcher,
Not Trans Flag, is News This Week

Let's follow up on my post from last Monday, about the Bay Area Reporter repeatedly failing to cover the many developments with reclaiming the public rainbow flag at Harvey Milk Plaza, but devoting ink to publisher Tom Horn's pals social lives.

As promised, writer Matthew Bajko ignored the Merchants of Upper Market Castro telling trans leader Veronika Fimbres that on Transgender Day of Remembrance, Nov. 20, there will be no modification of the rainbow flag display and the Trans Pride flag will not be raised at Milk Plaza.

What was news for Bajko and the BAR? Another lesbian trying to carve out a political career:

On the Peninsula, Moss Beach resident Sabrina Brennan, 42, is running for a seat on the San Mateo County Harbor District. The obscure body has oversight of two marinas, the bayside Oyster Point, where a new East Bay ferry service launched, and the seaside Pillar Point.

The BAR is obsessed with endlessly covering every lesbian running for dogcatcher, or an obscure marine commission, and not just at election time but year round so it makes BAR-sense to write about this off-the-radar race. The paper's publisher and editor, Cynthia Laird, are shameless believers in the theory of electing LGBTs to any office is a great advancement for the rest of us. Not all political leadership or steps forward come from electeds.

There were two editorials about other LGBT politicians, a lengthy piece about Ross Mirkarimi getting his elected sheriff's job back (a story covered far and wide by the mainstream media and with no queer angle), a story on gay family images in campaign materials from gay office-seekers  and a news note that early voting has begun (yawn).

Yes, I know an election season but that shouldn't mean an explosion of developments in overall rainbow flag control matters and the outpouring of anger from trans people and their allies over the MUMC rejection that insulted trans leader Fimbres are ignored in the print edition of the BAR when news on that front breaks.

What about the BAR's blog, another way they could report on the daily developments over MUMC, the trans flag and control of public space in the Castro? Nope, no trans flag coverage there.

However, on Friday the BAR blog ran original reporting on the police officers' union rescinding their number two ranked-choice endorsement of bisexual Supervisor Christina Olague. That's news, but the MUMC rejection to fly the trans flag on Nov. 20 isn't?

The latest BAR blackout on the continuing b.s. of MUMC comes after nearly two years of sparingly sprinkling flag news in the paper. There has yet to be a piece just on the complex basics of how MUMC came to control the public flag, and the many people who want transparent and community domain over this vital piece of public property.

Bajko's blog post in February 2011 about my battle to have the flag lowered for murdered gay Ugandan David Kato, contained an important promise and quote from then-leader of MUMC Steve Adams:

“I am open to dialogue though. [Activists] may not get what they want, but I am open to talk about it. That is a democracy.”

Just one more broken promise from MUMC. There's been zero open dialogue with this private organization and as all know from MUMC's rejection letter to Fimbres, they are not the least bit interested in democratic engagement and transparency.

Wish I knew why the BAR has not followed up on that promise of dialogue.

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