Friday, October 24, 2014

Silent Epic Classic 'Eliso' at PFA, Score Performed Live

You have two opportunities to experience a rare cinematic treat over in Berkeley this weekend. The Pacific Film Archive presents two screenings of the silent classic "Eliso" as part of their extensive retrospective of Georgian cinema, and as added bonus a new score will be performed live by the Trio Kavkasia.

Here's an excerpt from the program notes to whet your celluloid appetite about "Eliso":

This historical epic evokes the tragic fate of a nation pacified in 1864 by the Tsarist Russian Empire. When authorities begin to appropriate arable lands, the peasants are forced to evacuate under terrible conditions. In the village of Verdi, we find Eliso, whose love for Vazho is encumbered by differences of class and religion. Yet the most overwhelming passion in this cherished classic is the depiction of Georgia’s majestic landscape and the deep-rooted traditions of its people.

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of discovering the visually astonishing and criminally over-looked Georgian masterpiece "Molba" at the PFA with a full and appreciative audience. "Molba" was so thrilling and just a small taste of this nation's rich cinematic history, I wished the PFA were closer so I could catch more of this series.

If you have any interest in silent films or classics from Eastern Europe, don't miss this exclusive chance to view "Eliso" on the big screen and experience the score, commissioned by the PFA, filling your ears as it's played and sung live by the Trio Kavkasia musicians.

A note to San Francisco cineastes and adventuresome budding film-lovers, who maybe not be familiar with the location of the PFA. It's situated on the University of California at Berkeley campus and short walk from the downtown Berkeley BART station, and well worth traveling to for "Eliso".

"Eliso" plays on Saturday, October 25, at 6:30 pm and again on Sunday, October 26, at 4:00 pm. I'm catching the screening and performance. Click here for more info and details about purchasing advance tickets.
AIDS Healthcare Fdtn Shuts Church Street Pharmacy
By Michael Petrelis

An agreement was recently reached between the Maitri Hospice and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation's over the former's lawsuit against the latter which was a tenant under the hospice's facility on Church and Duboce Streets.

At issue was the foundation's failure to pay rent for the space it was renting to operate a thrift store in the front, with counseling services and a pharmacy in the back.

Last week's Bay Area Reporter said the agreement was confidential and that AHF was expected to vacate the Maitri premises by November 15. That space would be a great #VotePetrelis office!

You may recall a number of AIDS and healthcare advocates, myself included, launched a boycott of the AHF pharmacy on 18th Street in the Castro over AHF's opposition to use of Truvada as a prevention strategy for men and women at-risk of contracting HIV.

This AIDS nonprofit faces much criticism from many HIV prevention experts and activists, charity watchdogs, adult erotic performers and the porn industry. AHF is widely known for refusing to cooperate with community organizers or porn producers.

AHF is in the process of expanding their pharmacy in the Castro and I remind everyone who opposes the conservative approach of the nonprofit to boycott the pharmacy.

I passed by their Church and Duboce location recently and snapped these photos showing AHF has moved out. If only the empty space equaled curbing the Nanny State policies of the group's leader Michael Weinstein and a reduction of their influence, I'd be quite pleased.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Sean Strub, Poz Mag Founder, Donates to #VotePetrelis
By Michael Petrelis

My friend Sean Strub published a memoir this year entitled "Body Counts" and he graciously mentioned my unique brand of HIV advocacy on the first page, which was an 
honor to be included in his personal history book.

Sean has spent decades advocating for the rights of LGBT folks and people living with AIDS, and many know him as the founder of Poz magazine. We met back during the dark plague years when we both were members of ACT UP/New York.

Today he made a generous contribution to our DIY Democracy campaign of $100, as a show of support for me individually and the ideal of more HIV positive people running for elective office.

It's my hope that you'll be inspired by his donation and today make a contribution to my campaign for District 8 Supervisor. All the info you need to do this is in the About box on the left of this Facebook page.

There are only three weeks left until Election Day and a donation of any amount from $5 to the maximum allowed of $500, would go a long way toward assisting me in garnering votes. Please give today.

And thank you, Sean, for the monetary support and friendship!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

12 Reasons to #VotePetrelis
By Todd Swindell and Michael Petrelis

A District 8 voter asked recently us why he should vote for Michael, now that he's received his vote-by-mail ballot and wants to send it back to the Department of Elections.

We reeled off several reasons he should use his first ranked-choice vote for us, starting with he's not pleased with the politics of the incumbent Supervisor.

Then we provided him with a few accomplishments we brought about this year that he should consider as cause to vote for us:

1. Persuaded the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to repaint white bike lane stripes protecting riders near the dangerous Market and Octavia Street intersection at the ramp to the highway. The repainting was done in August.

2. Succeeded in getting the Department of Public Works to steam clean hazardous pigeon poop from surfaces at the 16th Street BART Plaza, while also nudging the Department of Public Health, the SFMTA and BART to expand pigeon proofing and other measures to increase sanitary conditions at this transit hub. This multi-agency advocacy project transpired over June and July.

3. Obtained emails from the City Attorney Dennis Herrera's staff revealing that this office provided extensive public relations assistance, using taxpayer-funded infrastructure including organizing an author meet-and-greet inside the City Attorney's City Hall office, to assist promoting a book about Prop 8 that showcases Herrera in a favorable light. This act of civic transparency and accountability was in May.

4. Requested and received the names and demographics on all city residents killed by members of the San Francisco Police Department, in officer-involved-shootings. For the first time ever, we had a central list of all 168 such fatal shootings stretching back to 1939. The SFPD released this info in April.

5. Posted on the web in May, for the first time, a similar list of all BART police officer-involved fatal shootings.

6. After seven years of lobbying, in March convinced the DPH's director Barbara Garcia and the Health Commission to broadcast their bi-monthly meetings on SF Gov TV, bringing much-needed transparency to the DPH and its decision-making process.

7. Revealed that Protocol Chief Charlotte Shultz has a nonprofit group that receives $250,000 annually in taxpayer funds to host soirees and she's violated the sunshine law requiring the nonprofit's board to hold two public meetings each year. It took six months of public records requests to hold Shultz accountable and follow the city dollars that she uses for parties with her friends.

8. Showed that Mayor Ed Lee and his staff hadn't sent a condolence note to Alex Nieto's family and friends after he was fatally shot by an SFPD office, to express condolences over his death. This info came to light after a public records act request was made in September.

9. Obtained the list of all attendees at Mayor Ed Lee's invitation-only meeting with tech firms and executives, where current and future city policies related to the tech industry were discussed, providing sunshine over whom the Mayor meets with behind closed doors. The list was posted on the web in January.

10. Organized a picket and press conference in July at the AIDS Healthcare Foundation's pharmacy in the Castro to protest their unscientific opposition to using Truvada as a method to prevent HIV transmission to negative individuals.

11. Asked for and received monthly calendars from nine of the eleven members of the Board of Supervisors, along with the calendars from the Clerk of Board, and in January shared them on the web while calling on the Supervisors to voluntarily post their monthly calendars on their-city funded web sites.

12. For the first time, making the full audio of Dan White's bone-chilling confession to murdering George Moscone and Harvey Milk available on the web, after requesting a copy of it from the city archive at the San Francisco Public Library back in April. There can never be too much multi-media LGBT history on the web.

Just a few reasons why District 8 voters should make Petrelis their number one choice on their ballots in the remaining three weeks before Election Day.

Here's a photo of Petrelis with his friend and endorser Veronika Fimbres.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Russian Gays Attacked on Coming Out Day in Moscow
By Todd Swindell and Michael Petrelis

One of our Russian LGBT friends, Andrew Obolensky, emailed us recently with news about Russian Orthodox Christians harassing his advocacy group, The Rainbow Association, on October 10th. The good news is that no gays were seriously harmed and a lecture took place in spite of the harassment, but the bad news is anti-gay forces acted with impunity and no repercussions from the police.

He's requested that we share this information:

"This Friday a group of homophobes attacked the Sakharov Center in Moscow and beset it for more than 2 hours. Their goal was to disrupt the event organized by the local LGBT community, dedicated to the International Coming Out Day and attended by more than 50 people.

"On October 10, Sakharov Center, which promotes human rights for all Russians, was hosting an annual interactive meeting titled 'Be Open – And Your World Will Get Broader'.

"Soon after the beginning several dozens of aggressive religious homophobes headed by Dmitry Enteo, alias Dmitry Tsorionov, showed up. They brought the posters and Orthodox icons and started to scream hateful slogans, trying break into the building. They started to throw eggs at the participants who were on their way to the event, threatening physical violence. Meanwhile, the homophobes were giving interviews to the media claiming that the organizers of the meeting are molesting children at this meeting.

"After half an hour, a police squad arrived. They inquired, what are the goals of the event, who allowed this event to be held, and if this event violates the 'gay propaganda' law. The police did not allow anyone from leaving the building unless the participants who their documents in order to prove there was no minors present at the venue.

"This controversial behaviour of police was appreciated by the leader of the homophobic attackers Enteo who on his Twitter account welcomed the cooperation between the police and the Orthodox activists.

"The crucial thing is that despite the attack and the violations on the part of police (some media quoted police saying that the behaviour of the homophobes was peaceful'), the annual interactive meeting was a success. The organizers received very positive feedback from the participants. And thanks to the efforts of the staff of the Sakharov Center and the LGBT activists, homophobes did not make it inside of the building and nobody was hurt."

As you well know, Michael has long been active as a global organizer for gay human rights and while the troubles of our friends in Moscow in recent days aren't an issue in the District 8 Supervisor race, we feel it's important to give attention to this incident on Friday.

The #VotePetrelis team salutes the bravery of our LGBT friends who every day take steps that demand protection of their human rights and show the world that gay Russians are out, loud and proud!

 The attackers gathering outside the LGBT meeting.

 LGBT Russians and allies conducted their lecture inside the center as planned.

Remnants of eggs that hit a gay leader are visible on his head and jacket.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

#VotePetrelis Posters Now Up on District 8 Streets
By Todd Swindell and Michael Petrelis

Our fabulous DIY Democracy campaign posters went up on October 10th on select utility poles around District 8 and we're hoping they attract the eyeballs of voters.

Several posters were taped up near pedestrian crosswalks, where people may spend a few extra moments reading the posters before crossing the street.

If you wish to donate money to increase the number of posters we can display with just over three-weeks left before Election Day, please do so using PayPal or sending a check to our post office box.

Thanks, to all our donors who made this signage possible!

Weekend Woof #92 : Big Bears & Muscle Boy

One aspect of campaigning for District 8 Supervisor of San Francisco is meeting-and-greeting lots of handsome men on the street or just watching them and snapping a few photos as they walk around.

Here are just a few of the dudes we've seen recently out and about who caught our queer eye. Thanks for gracing the lens of our camera.

And how was your week for cruising men and boys?

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Ebola Signs Posted at UCSF's HIV Clinic
By Michael Petrelis

October 10 was my follow up visit date to get lab results from a blood draw two weeks ago and it was impossible to ignore the many signs at the HIV clinic about Ebola.

They were impossible to ignore starting with the two at the reception desk, in the examining room where my vitals were taken, and also on a bulletin board in the hallway.

Even though Ebola has not spread to San Francisco, I was curious why several alerts were posted around the UCSF 360 Positive Clinic and asked my physician if there was a special concern for HIV poz folks about the Ebola epidemic.

Dr. Susa Coffey said the signs were put up because of heightened concerns among the healthcare workers throughout the UCSF clinics and hospitals, and administrators want to build general awareness regarding Ebola.

It's never too early to educate everyone about a public health hazard and I certainly understand the fears healthcare workers have, coming in contact with lots of people with illnesses and infections.

Personally, my lab results were pretty good considering the recent week-long bout with food poisoning and going off my AIDS cocktail and all meds during that time.

As I've written before, I'm a Truvada bore and take the drug (comprised of two treatments in one pill), to combat my HIV and hepatitis B infections, and it continues to radically reduce my hepatitis B viral load.

Before my consultation was over, I shared a #VotePetrelis campaign card and button with Dr. Coffey, who wished me all the best in the election.

Final point. Dr. Coffey was pleased I got my flu shot two-weeks ago because it means I'll have maximum protection during the height of the flu season. Have you had your flu shot yet?

Armistead Maupin, Scott Wiener & Me on Castro Street 
By Michael Petrelis

While out campaigning on Castro Street near Walgreens at approximately 3:30 pm on Saturday, October 11, I ran into "Tales of The City" author Armistead Maupin with whom I am acquainted because of my decades of HIV and LGBT activism.

When I asked for his endorsement in the District 8 race for Supervisor, Armistead said his policy is not to endorse any candidate.

But when I requested a photo of us together, he readily agreed to pose for my camera and we stopped a young woman walking by to snap a picture of us two happy homosexuals.

Barely a minute after we checked the images on my camera, none other than the incumbent, Scott Wiener, came striding up Castro Street and for perhaps two or three seconds we looked at each other.

He kept on walking up toward Market Street, Armistead and I finished our conversation, and I resumed campaigning giving out cards and buttons.

You never know who will cross your path when you're on the streets of District 8 soliciting votes and pushing visibility for the #VotePetrelis effort!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Wiener Accepted Gilead's Medical Affairs VP's Donation 
By Todd Swindell and Michael Petrelis

Last month, District 8 incumbent Supervisor Scott Wiener generated lots of media attention after disclosing he's taking Truvada as part of a PrEP regimen to avert contracting HIV.

The disclosure was made in advance of a hearing he and Supervisor David Campos held at City Hall, looking at a supplemental budget allocation to the Department of Public Health in order to investigate educational and cost issues related to Truvada for use for pre-exposure prophylaxis reasons.

We wondered why these gay Supervisors waited more than two-years since the FDA approved Truvada for prevention purposes and how many sexually-transmitted HIV infections occurred in San Francisco in this period that could have been averted if the at-risk individuals had access to PrEP.

A story in the Bay Area Reporter by longtime LGBT health writer Liz Highleyman on the hearing generated a comment from John Steen asking if either Supervisor had received donations from Gilead. Steen seems unaware that such info is a few clicks away.

The SF Ethics Commission's contributions search engine (,shows that Wiener in 2010 during his first run for Supervisor, received $125 from Hans Reiser who is Gilead's vice president for medical affairs.

We seriously doubt that donation played any role in Wiener pushing for the DPH to receive the Truvada educational allocation, but in the interests of providing transparency between the incumbent and Gilead we're sharing the info since it was omitted from the tremendous coverage last month.