Thursday, December 30, 2010

The $25,000 Challenge: 72% and hours to go!

As of today at 4 PM, Spectrum has received a total of $18,393 in gifts and pledges toward our year-end goal of $25,000.  Thanks to everyone who has helped us reach our goal!

To learn more about Spectrum and the $25,000 Challenge, visit our website at

Ready to make your tax-deductible gift to Spectrum? Click on the present below, which will take you to PayPal. If you wish to make your gift or pledge by phone, call (415) 472-1945, ext. 209. You may also send your check to Spectrum, 30 North San Pedro Road, Suite 160, San Rafael, CA 94903. All pledges and gifts received by midnight, December 31st, will be counted toward our goal. Thank you, and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The $25,000 Challenge: 64% and three days to go!

Thank you! Your support will help us ring in 2011 with our new Youth Advocacy Project, which will empower LGBT youth and their allies to create safer schools and communities throughout the North Bay.

Also in store for 2011: a variety of new and continuing support, services, and activities for the LGBT community, including:
  • Intergenerational storytelling
  • Grief and loss support
  • Individual and family counseling
  • Support for parents of LGBT youth
  • Lunchtime gatherings for LGBT older adults
  • Inservice training for health and social service providers
  • Celebrations for LGBT people and allies
Here's how to make your year-end gift.

Thank you for standing with us.  Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Year's Eve Comedy Celebration with Kevin Meaney

The Other Cafe Comedy Showcase's New Year's Eve Comedy Celebration
Fun, Laughter, Easy & Relaxed - in beautiful Marin!
December 31st - 8:30 PM
Spectrum's friends at Osher Marin JCC want you to know about this special evening right here in Marin.
The Other Café Comedy Showcase Presents:
A Stand Up Comedy New Year's EVE Celebration In Marin

Say goodbye to an easy year to forget… with a spectacular comedy night to remember!

With a rare west coast appearance from comedian & star of Broadway's Hairspray and countless appearances on Jay Leno

Special guests include:
Famed comedian/juggler Michael Davis & SF Favorite Geoff Bolt and MC/host Robert Strong

Fri. Dec. 31 @ 8:30
Includes After Party & Countdown with the stars 11:15 – 12:30

Come for the comedy~8:30
Stay for the after party~11:15 – 12:30 included with your tix

Countdown-champagne toast-desserts-fun-friends
Ample FREE parking on site and at street make this THE stress free, fun, and fabulous way to ring in 2011 with laughter and friends in beautiful Marin.

So forget the two drink minimum, bridge toll, parking fees and traffic and party with national talent right here in Marin.

DISCOUNTED TICKETS are available TO MEMBERS OF THE Other Café email list
Sign up for the discount code and get more NYE line up info at
VIP tix include champagne & reserved premier table seating

Buy Tix HERE:
Presented in association with the Osher Marin JCC
200 N. San Pedro Rd. San Rafael ~ 415.444.8081

Monday, December 27, 2010

The $25,000 Challenge: 60% and counting!

With just four days left of Spectrum's year-end fundraising challenge, we've raised $15,600 toward our goal of $25,000. 

Did you know that 30% of all gifts to charity are given during the last 48 hours of the year?  It's not too late to make a tax-deductible gift, and we thank you for considering Spectrum as one of the organizations you support this year.

Stay tuned, and thank you for supporting our work.

Read more about the $25,000 year-end challenge here.

Friday, December 24, 2010

The $25,000 Challenge: 56% and counting!

Thanks to the generous donation of new and old friends, we've raised $14,300 toward our goal of $25,000 by December 31st. 

To those who celebrate the holiday, Merry Christmas!  We'll be back online next Monday, December 27th.

Learn more about the $25,000 Challenge here.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The $25,000 Challenge: 52% raised with 11 days to go!

We've raised a total of $13,428 in new gifts and pledges toward our $25,000 year-end goal. Thanks to all who have given! Every gift counts -- no matter how small.

Learn more about Spectrum's $25,000 Year-End Challenge here.

Thank you, one and all, for moving us closer to our year-end goal!

Monday, December 20, 2010

The $25,000 Challenge: 40% raised with 12 days to go!

The $25,000 Challenge: We broke the $10k mark. $15,000 more to raise, 12 days to go. Click on the box to make your gift today, and thank you!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The $25,000 Challenge: 36% and Counting

We've raised nearly $9,000 of our $25,000 year-end goal! Thank you to those who have given -- we couldn't do it without you.

You can be sure of this: after twenty-eight years, Spectrum continues to be your voice for justice on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the North Bay.

You may ask yourself: Is our work still needed, after all these years? Hasn’t the world changed? Haven’t things improved?

The answer is, yes. LGBT people have made tremendous gains toward full equality, and with the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, we've made one giant leap forward.

But you and I both know that our work is not finished.

Many people are still afraid to be out at work. Marriage equality is not entirely won, and legally married same-sex couples do not receive the federal benefits that heterosexual couples get - including those who serve in the military. Each day at school, students of all ages hear anti-gay comments. And, tragically, LGBT youth sometimes take their own lives because they just can’t take it anymore.

Your investment in Spectrum’s work ensures:

• Safety, compassion, and advocacy on behalf of LGBT youth
• Friendship, care, and support for LGBT older adults
• Visibility of LGBT people and families in the community
• Leadership in promoting safer schools and workplaces
• Advocacy on laws and policies that protect LGBT people

With your support, we will continue to make it better, right here at home. Thank you for standing with us.

Read more about the $25,000 Year-End Challenge here.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A $25,000 Year-End Challenge

A $25,000 Year-End Challenge

Dear Friends,

Spectrum's work is all about standing as a beacon of light for the LGBT community in the North Bay, especially for young people who turn to Spectrum for support and guidance, and to seniors who are charting new ground for living life fully.

Russ Zink and Sean Callaway
As 2010 comes to a close, Spectrum supporters Russell Zink and Sean Callaway want to do something special to support our work.  So, we've set a goal of raising $25,000 for Spectrum by December 31st. Russ and Sean have pledged a special year-end gift of $2,500 toward this goal.

Russ and Sean are inviting you to help them meet this goal any way you can. Your gift will go directly toward promoting acceptance, understanding, and full inclusion for LGBT people of all ages in the North Bay.

Help us raise $25,000 by December 31st to support Spectrum's new Youth Advocacy Project. We'll be advocating for safe schools and legislation such as the FAIR Education Act, which ensures that LGBT people are fairly and accurately included in instructional materials.

(you don't need an account to do so)

If you prefer to make a pledge or credit card contribution to Spectrum by phone, call 415-472-1945, ext. 209. Credit and debit cards, monthly pledge payments, and one-time gifts are accepted.

To send a check:
Spectrum LGBT Center
30 North San Pedro Road, Suite 160
San Rafael, California 94903

Because Spectrum is a non-profit organization, your gift is tax-deductible. Please consult with your tax accountant to find out what type of charitable contribution would best serve your needs.

Spectrum's Federal Tax Identification number is 94-2840016.

Thank you, and Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Support group for LGBTQ Youth, December 8th

The next meeting of Spectrum's support group for LGBT and questioning youth ages 14-25 will be on Wednesday, December 8th, 5:00 - 6:30 PM at Spectrum. This is a drop-in group for youth who are just coming out, or have questions about their sexual orientation or gender identity.  Facilitated by Cristin Brew, MFT, the group provides a safe and supportive environment.  For more information and directions to Spectrum, call Cristin Brew at (415) 472-1945, ext. 203. 

Friday, December 3, 2010

This season, shop Spectrum's Amazon stores!

'Tis the season to shop, and Spectrum has three ways for you to round out your holiday giving!

First, bookmark this page! When you click through to Amazon using the banner you see here, Spectrum will earn a percentage from the sale. It's an easy way to support your favorite LGBT Center!

Second, visit our book store, which carries hundreds of LGBT-themed books that have been donated to us over the past 28 years. There are some real finds here and most of our books are in near-perfect condition. And, after shipping costs, Spectrum keeps 100% of the profit on each book sale, which will benefit our programs and services.

Finally, shop the Spectrum aStore, which contains jewelry, clothing, housewares, dvds, cds and other gift items we've selected especially for our site.

All of our online shopping portals are maintained by our Intergenerational Volunteer Task Team.  Thanks to Frances and Jourdan for your fine work on our sites.

Happy holidays, and happy shopping!  Thanks for supporting Spectrum.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Make it Better, Marin

Doug Williams attended public school in Marin County. In this video, he talks about how principals, superintendents, teachers, and parents can make school a better place for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) students.

Thanks to Lacy Atkins for volunteering her time to shoot and edit this video for us; and of course to Doug for speaking!

If you live or work in Marin County, or attend school in Marin, and would like to shoot a "Make it Better, Marin" video contact Paula Pilecki at (415) 472-1945, ext. 209.

Friday, October 22, 2010

President Obama speaks to LGBTQ Youth

The White House has released this message from President Barak Obama to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth. Spectrum LGBT Center, along with many other organizations around the country, continues to work to make it better for all LGBTQ people right in our own community. Please join us in our work.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Support Group Forming for Marin LGBTQ Youth

Spectrum LGBT Center announces a new support group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning young people ages 14-19. The first meeting will be on Wednesday, November 10th, 5:00 - 6:30 pm at Spectrum's offices in San Rafael.

"This group will provide a safe, supportive environment in which young people can ask questions and be themselves," says Cristin Brew, MFT, Program Director at Spectrum and facilitator of the group.  "Many teens go through a period when they have questions about their sexual orientation or gender identity, and will be reluctant to speak with a parent, school counselor, or friend.  This group is for them."

Parents, teachers, and school counselors are encouraged to pass the word on about this group to young people they feel would benefit from attending.  Download and print the flyer here.

For more information, call Cristin Brew, MFT at (415) 472-1945, ext. 203.

Monday, October 18, 2010

October 20: Spirit Day -- Wear Purple!

On October 20th, 2010, we will wear purple in honor of the LGBT youth who have committed suicide in recent weeks/months due to homophobic abuse in their homes and schools. PURPLE represents Spirit on the LGBTQ flag and that’s exactly what we’d like all of you to have with you: spirit. Please know that times will get better and that you will meet people who will love you and respect you for who you are, no matter your sexuality.  Read more here.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Rabbi Chai Levy of Congregation Kol Shofar speaks in support of gay youth

Rabbi Chai Levy, Congregation Kol Shofar
Sermon on Torah portion of Noah
October 9, 2010

Noach Ish Tzadik Tamim Haya B’dorotav. “Noah was a righteous man in his generation.” (Genesis 6:9) He was relatively righteous compared to the corrupt and violent people who lived in his generation, but he wasn’t considered all that righteous…Why? He was eager to save himself and his family from the coming flood, but he wasn’t concerned with anybody else. He let the rest of the world be destroyed. He stood idly by the blood of his neighbor, as the Torah commands us in Leviticus (19:16) not to do. Noah has been described by our tradition as a “tzadik in peltz,” a righteous man in a fur coat, meaning someone who is only concerned with keeping himself warm, while others are freezing.

We’ve all heard in the last week or two about the terrible tragedies that have taken place among young people across the country - as a result of ridicule, bullying, or despair, in most cases, because the young person was thought to be gay. Tyler Clementi was the freshman at Rutgers University, the shy and talented musician who killed himself by jumping off the GW Bridge after his college roommate invaded his privacy and posted a video of him with another man on the internet. Here in California, Seth Walsh, killed himself after relentless bullying and taunting by his peers. He was 13 years old. 15 year old Billy Lucas in Indiana, and 13 year old Asher Brown in Texas also took their own lives, unable to bear the torment of bullies.

In this parasha of Noach, we consider that being truly righteous is not just taking care of ourselves, but looking out for others, not standing by while others’ blood is shed, while others are suffering, while others are being bullied.

You young people know what goes on at school, how kids are picked on, teased, tormented. Maybe you’ve been bullied yourselves. Or maybe you’ve even been the bully at times. I know I frequently heard kids use homophobic slurs that create an unsafe and isolating environment for people. For us adults, what message are we sending to kids when we allow bullying, homophobic language, when we don’t create safe spaces for kids who are struggling with their sexual identities, or with anything else for that matter? We too are standing idly by.

At the end of the portion, after the flood, after Noah and the animals are saved, and society starts over with a second chance, God says to humanity:

“Whoever sheds the blood of a person, so shall his blood be shed. For in the image of God, did God create the human.” (Gen 9:6) And the Torah commentators understand this prohibition of murder to also include a prohibition to not publicly embarrass a person. As the verse says, each person is created in the image of God, and to cause a person to feel ashamed of who they are diminishes them and diminishes the image of God. It can also lead to bloodshed, as we’ve tragically seen too often recently:

Suicide is among the top three killers of young people, and gay and lesbian kids are four times more likely to commit suicide. Last year, 9 out of 10 gay, lesbian, or transgender middle and high school students reported having experienced verbal and/or physical harassment.

The other thing that happens after the flood is that God creates a covenant with the earth, an agreement never to destroy the earth again. And the sign of the covenant is the rainbow. The rainbow is a symbol of gay pride, originating here in San Francisco in the 1970’s – the rainbow suggests the beauty of the diversity of humanity, that people come in all different colors and stripes, and all are created in God’s image.

And there’s also another interpretation of the rainbow as a symbol, found in Maimonides and other Jewish commentators over the centuries: The rainbow is a bow, like that used to shoot arrows. It’s a weapon, but it’s a sign of peace because it’s pointed away from the earth. It shines its true colors without the threat of violence or bloodshed.

This week, I signed a pledge on behalf of our Kol Shofar community on “Keshet” online, which means “rainbow” in Hebrew and is an organization that affirms a place of dignity and honor in the Jewish community for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. It’s a pledge to not stand idly by, and to commit to ending homophobic bullying and harassment and to speak out when we witness anyone being demeaned for their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. It’s a pledge to commit ourselves to do whatever we can to ensure that every person is treated with dignity and respect.

I want to say to every young person or adult that bullying, including internet and facebook bullying, spreading rumors, threatening someone physically or emotionally is cruel, it’s wrong, it’s against Judaism, and it’s dangerous, life-threatening even. We grieve for those young people whose lives were cut short because of the pain and isolation that they felt in their schools and communities. Those who bullied them and those who did nothing to ease their pain have to live out their lives knowing the tragedy of the suffering they inflicted or ignored.

And to every young person here who might be the target of bullying, whether it’s homophobic bullying or any other kind of bullying, I want to say: you are created in the image of God. You are sacred exactly as you are. You are worthy of love, you are not alone, you have a wonderful life ahead of you, and your life will get better. If you feel alone, afraid, or hopeless, please talk to an adult you trust, a parent, a teacher, you can talk to me.

May our reading of Noach remind us to be truly righteous by concerning ourselves with those who are suffering, and may God’s rainbow covenant remind us of the beauty of God’s diverse creation, all of whom deserve to live in dignity and peace.

Spectrum welcomes blog posts from religious leaders of all faiths who wish to speak out in support of LGBT young people. Email your post here for consideration.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

GroundSpark offers Streaming Videos Free Until December 1

In response to the recent wave of teen suicides connected to anti-gay harassment, GroundSpark is offering four of their best documentary films for free streaming during October and November.

Their hope is that you will watch these films with your family or co-workers and make a plan to take action in your community to ensure that all youth feel safe and supported.

Use these streams as an opportunity to preview the films for your school, library, PTA, congregation, community group, or upcoming conference.

Use these films to start a dialogue with the people you care about about what’s going on in their lives and how you can help.

Let’s Get Real—about middle school name-calling, bullying, and bias

Straightlaced—How Gender’s Got Us All Tied Up—how teens are confronting our culture’s ideas of “male” and “female”

It’s Elementary—Talking About Gay Issues in School—shows teachers addressing bias in K-8 classrooms

It’s STILL Elementary—a new call to action

Sign up to stream these films here.

National Coming Out Day Focuses on Youth Suicides (News Story)

Spectrum, officials draw attention to bullying, teens.
from San Rafael Patch
By Nancy Isles Nation
October 11, 2010
The Spectrum LGBT Center held a rally Monday to celebrate National Coming Out Day with a focus on young people and the bullying that has caused teens to commit suicide across the country.
Paula Pilecki, Spectrum executive director, read the names and circumstances of recent suicide victims who killed themselves after bullying.

"Gay kids are not the only ones to take their lives to suicide but they are three times more likely to," Pilecki said. "Gay teens have been struggling for quite a while."

Pilecki said she hopes to reach young people from throughout the county.

"It's time for us to come out of the closet and stand together," Pilecki said at the rally on the steps of San Rafael City Hall.

Mary Jane Burke, superintendent of Marin County schools, said it is time for everyone regardless of sexual orientation to be treated with dignity.

She said young people should be looking at dreams and toward their futures.

Vice Mayor Damon Connolly said he has two daughters at Terra Linda High and he has been talking with them about a recent suicide at their school and Proposition 8, the ban on gay marriage in California.

"There's a ray of hope here," Connolly said. We are seeing young people here and their generation gets it."

Connolly referred to two recent suicides at Terra Linda High School and Miller Creek Middle School, saying this is a problem on a larger level.

The Terra Linda incident involved a 15-year-old girl. Monday, the body of a 13-year-old Miller Creek Middle School was found by another child. Neither appeared to be related to sexual orientation but they were both reminders of the vulnerability of teenagers.

"We need to teach the right values and prevent bullying," Connolly said.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Spectrum LGBT Center marks National Coming Out Day with Call to Action

Marin County rallies to raise awareness about anti-gay bullying and teen suicide

SAN RAFAEL, CA -- In response to the tragic suicides by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth in recent weeks, Spectrum LGBT Center has issued a call to action for Marin County residents: Come out and let our youth know they are not alone.

The rally will take place on Monday, October 11th, 6:00 – 7:00 PM on the steps of San Rafael City Hall, 1400 Fifth Avenue (between C and D Streets). The event will feature musical performances, guest speakers, and a special open mic time for youth.

The Marin rally is among thousands of national actions that will occur on October 11th, known as National Coming Out Day, which began after half a million people participated in the March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights on October 11th, 1987.

Paula Pilecki, Spectrum’s Executive Director, says this year it’s especially important to gather together on Coming Out Day. “LGBT young people need to see that they are not alone, and that there are people who will stand with them, support them, and love them unconditionally,” says Pilecki. “We call on parents, educators, faith communities, and the community at large to speak out openly in support of our young people, and against anti-gay bullying and the violence it ultimately causes.”

According to a study conducted by the California Safe Schools Coalition, harassment based on actual or perceived sexual orientation is pervasive throughout middle and high schools. These students typically feel less supported than their peers by adults, teachers, and other students, and have fewer resources for coping with problems. As a result, they are more likely to experience poor academic outcomes, substance use, depression and suicide.

It is common for middle and high school students to hear anti-gay slurs between 10 and 20 times a day while they are in school. According to Pilecki, this requires significant attention from teachers and administrators who will proactively enforce zero-tolerance policies toward bullying for any reason.

Anti-gay comments are often dismissed as harmless behavior by school personnel. They fail to realize the profoundly negative effect these comments have on students who may be struggling with their sexual orientation or gender identity. And, failure to address aggression toward one segment of the student population creates an unsafe learning environment for all students.”

One of the most effective ways to address this situation is to create learning environments where all young people feel safe and respected. Spectrum has created a training program that assists teachers and administrators to do just that.

“We help teachers figure out how to incorporate age-appropriate conversations about LGBT issues in the classroom, and how to talk with students about the impact of anti-gay remarks and slurs against each other,” says Pilecki.

Spectrum also manages a volunteer speakers bureau that reaches nearly 3,000 students each year. The purpose of these classroom presentations is to give students an opportunity to meet someone who is lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, a tactic that has been proven to reduce anti-gay sentiment and reduce negative stereotyping.

“All young people desperately need compassion and understanding from the adults in their lives”, says Pilecki. “We can make it better for them. Let’s not let them down.”

Come out together and make it better for all youth on National Coming Out Day

*Stand against teen suicide
*Support LGBT youth
*Create safer schools and communities for everyone

Organized by Spectrum LGBT Center, with production assistance from Shelley Champine, Local Music Vibe

Monday, October 11th, 6:00 – 7:00 PM
San Rafael City Hall, 1400 Fifth Avenue, San Rafael
Music performances by Shelley Doty, with Green and Root

About Shelley Doty: Labeled "a future legend" by one reviewer and a "guitar goddess" by another, Shelley Doty is considered one the best independent performers in the business. Watching her perform is awe-inspiring due to her masterful guitar licks, soulful voice and charismatic stage presence. As a songwriter, she creates articulate songs for today by sprinkling them with respect for the music of her youth (rock, R&B, jazz, funk). Her brand new CD "Over The Line" is now out and available via CD Baby.

About Green and Root: Their music is an intimate yet spirited mix of folk, pop and rock, with acoustic guitar based songs, dazzling harmonies and award winning songs. Their first music video for their song "Marrying You" is on the front page of and had over 1000 downloads in one week alone. The song is also being used as the theme for a documentary film seen on QTV.

Speakers (partial listing):

Cristin Brew, Spectrum LGBT Center
Mary Jane Burke, Marin County Superintendent of Schools
Lilia Chavez, Youth Leadership Institute
Damon Connolly, San Rafael City Council
Rev. Carol Hovis, Marin Interfaith Council
Rabbi Chai Levy, Congregation Kol Shofar
Maureen Sedonaen, Youth Leadership Institute
Fresh! White, Whole Life Coach
Cynthia Wuthmann, Parent and Board Member, San Rafael Public Education Foundation

Community Co-Sponsors (partial and growing list):
Community Congregational Church of Tiburon-Belvedere
Community Healing Centers, Counseling and Psychotherapy
Community Institute for Psychotherapy - Lesbians & Allies
Local Music Vibe
Marin Peace and Justice Coalition
Youth Leadership Institute

Friday, October 8, 2010


Come out in Marin on October 11th to make it better for ALL youth

October 11th is National Coming Out Day. Let’s rally together to:

*Support LGBT youth*
*Raise awareness about teen suicide*
*Build communities and schools that are safe for all our youth and families*

Gather with us on the steps of San Rafael City Hall
San Rafael City Hall Plaza – 1400 Fifth Avenue (between C and D Streets)

Music TBA

Confirmed Speakers (partial listing):
Mary Jane Burke, Superintendent, Marin County Office of Education
Damon Connolly, San Rafael City Councilmember
Paula Pilecki, Spectrum LGBT Center
Maureen Sedonaen, Youth Leadership Institute
Community Co-Sponsors: Local Music Vibe

Organized by Spectrum LGBT Center 

Complete this form to have your organization listed as a community co-sponsor.

Friday, October 1, 2010

LGBTQ Seniors the focus of City Visions Radio Show -- 10/4

Spectrum's Executive Director Paula Pilecki, and Spectrum volunteer Thom Anderson, will be among the guests on City Visions Radio, KALW 9.1 on Monday, October 4th, 7-8 PM.

The topic is LGBTQ Seniors, a population more likely than their heterosexual peers to be living in isolation and poverty, and encounter discrimination. What issues do LGBTQ elders and aging baby boomers face? How can the Bay Area community help keep our LGBTQ seniors safe and out of the closet? How and who best to navigate their needs and build cultural competency across organizations?

Other guests include Seth Kilburn, Executive Director of openhouse, and Daniel Redman, Elder Law Attorney at National Center for Lesbian Rights.

Join us to explore these issues and more on City Visions on Monday, October 4th, at 7:00p.m. on 91.7, KALW, San Francisco.  KALW is San Francisco's local public radio station.

Call in with questions or comments during the show at (415) 841-4133 or email anytime.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Stand Up to Youth Suicide: Rally in San Francisco October 8

GSA NETWORK is co-sponsoring this Rally and March to Focus on LGBT Youth Suicide and Homelessness on Friday, Oct. 8th.

Being young and gay in much of the United States too often results in homelessness or suicide. A rally and candlelight march in San Francisco on Friday, October 8, is planned to bring awareness to what some have called an epidemic.

The rally at Civic Center will begin at 6:30 pm, followed by a candlelight march to Harvey Milk Plaza at 7:30.

The event is being organized by:

Affirmation: Gay and Lesbian Mormons, and will features speakers from The Trevor Project, Soulforce, Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Equality California, Affirmation, and several of the people appearing in the recent documentary film "8: The Mormon Proposition," according to Robert Moore, Director of Outreach and Advocacy for Affirmation.

Governor Schwarzenegger: Sign the Mental Health Services for At-Risk Youth Act (SB 543)

Seth Walsh, a 13-year-old from Tehachapi, California, died on September 28th after he hung himself nine days before because of years of bullying he endured for being perceived as being gay, according to his peers.  This is the sixth teen suicide we’ve seen in the past month that is closely linked to anti-gay bullying and harassment.

We have to prevent future tragedies by strengthening our efforts in schools to address bullying no matter what the reason.

Governor Schwarzenegger can also do his part to help prevent future tragedies by signing a bill this week that would enable countless at-risk youth to access mental healthcare services and to receive the support and care they need to thrive.

The Mental Health Services for At-Risk Youth Act (SB 543) would expand access to essential mental health services, especially prevention and early intervention programs, for youth ages 12-17 by allowing them to obtain counseling without parental consent. The bill is currently on the governor’s desk.  SB 543 was introduced by Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and is co-sponsored by Equality California, the National Association of Social Workers California Chapter, Mental Health America of Northern California, and the GSA network.

We call on Governor Schwarzenegger to sign the Mental Health Services for At-Risk Youth Act (SB 543).  This law would give youth, like Seth Walsh, access to life-saving mental health services before it’s too late.

The Governor can be reached by phone at 916-445-2841. Tell him you want him to sign SB 543, the Mental Health Services for At-Risk Youth Act.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


School has been in session for only a month, and already the news this week carries the sad stories of six gay kids who have killed themselves in the face of outrageous and unrelenting taunting. We each need to take an aggressive stand to stop this bullying today.

Seth Walsh, 13 y.o., dies today after hanging himself in a tree, when he couldn't handle the nonstop, anti-gay bullying at his middle school in Tehachapi, CA.

Asher Brown, 13 y.o., killed himself with a 9mm Beretta in Texas last week after enduring what has been described as constant, anti-gay harassment at his middle school.

Tyler Clementi, 18 y.o., plunges to his death in the Hudson River last week after his roommate at Rutgers University secretly films him having sex with another guy, and streams it on the Internet.

Justin Aaberg, 15 y.o., kills himself in Anoka, MN, in July, after bullying at his high school, compounded with a recent breakup.

Billy Lucas, 15 y.o., was perceived to be gay by students at Greensburg High School, was called a "fag" and told that he didn't "deserve to live". Two weeks ago, he went into his barn at their home in Indiana and hung himself.

Eric Mohat, 17 y.o., of Mentor, OH was harassed so mercilessly in high school that when one bully said publicly in class, "Why don't you go home and shoot yourself, no one will miss you," he did, earlier this year.

--Chris Kryzan

Chris Kryzan volunteers for Spectrum's Speakers Bureau, which reaches nearly 3,000 students in Marin County schools each year. The goal of the Speakers Bureau is to create safe and inclusive classrooms for all students by shattering stereotypes about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. Volunteer speakers share their personal stories and challenge students to avoid language and actions that promote bigotry, discrimination, and violence against other students. For more information, visit

Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault in the LGBT Community: A Workshop for Service Providers

Saturday, November 13
10 am - Noon
Spectrum LGBT Center
Cost: $20; $40 for continuing education credits*
RSVP to Cristin Brew, MFT, (415) 472-1945, ext. 203 or register now.

Presented by Spectrum LGBT Center, with guest speakers from Community Violence Solutions and the Center for Domestic Peace (formerly Marin Abused Women Services).

Domestic violence is not unique to the heterosexual community and in fact occurs at approximately the same rate in LGBT communities. Domestic violence can occur between intimate partners, in the home or in families and LGBT people (especially youth) are at a greater risk of experiencing violence in the home. LGBT victims of domestic violence or sexual assault face the same issues as any other survivor and also face unique challenges due to societal homophobia, transphobia and heterosexism.

This workshop provides an overview of issues related to domestic violence and sexual assault in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

Learning Objectives: • Describe the dynamics within abusive same sex relationships • Cite similarities and differences between heterosexual and LGBT domestic violence and sexual assault • Recognize barriers to addressing LGBT domestic violence and sexual assault • Strengthen assessment and intervention skills in work with LGBT survivors and aggressors

About the instructor: Cristin Brew, MFT has been working with the LGBT population for the past ten years at Spectrum. Cristin received her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from John F. Kennedy University and also has a degree in Early Childhood Education.

*All courses meet the qualifications for 2 hours of continuing education credit for MFTs and/or LCSWs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. Provider number 4598. CE contact hours: Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider #CEP15508, for 2 contact hours.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Janie Spahr found guilty of misconduct by the Presbytery of the Redwoods

Today, a panel of Presbyterian commissioners ruled that Spectrum founder Rev. Dr. Jane Adams Spahr  acted "contrary to the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)" when she legally married same-sex couples in California in 2008.

However, the panel also called upon the church "to reexamine our own fear and ignorance that continues to reject the inclusiveness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We say this believing that we have in our own Book of Order conflicting and even contradictory rules and regulations that are against the Gospel."

For her actions, Rev. Spahr received an official rebuke from the church, and ordered not to continue with such conduct in the future.

The text of the entire ruling can be found here.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

San Francisco’s New Leaf Services for our Community to Close Oct. 15

We at Spectrum are saddened to hear about the difficult decision made by New Leaf’s Board of Directors to close the venerable 35-year-old agency. Increasing expenses, decreasing revenue and the worst economic environment in more than 70 years has made it impossible for the mental health and substance abuse treatment provider to continue serving its clients.

We understand that New Leaf's leadership team is working closely with the City of San Francisco and sister LGBT agencies to ensure that the needs of these clients will continue to be addressed after the agency’s closing on October 15th, 2010.

Here in the North Bay, Spectrum provides a modest counseling program which includes sliding-scale individual counseling services, as well as therapeutic group support services. We also partner with several community agencies in Marin and Sonoma who accept referrals from us.

Those affected by New Leaf’s closure, and who live in the North Bay counties of Marin, Sonoma, or Napa may contact Cristin Brew, MFT, Spectrum’s Program Director, at (415) 472-1945, ext. 203.

To our colleagues at New Leaf, we say thank you for your years of dedicated service to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community of the Bay Area. You will be missed.

Paula Pilecki, Executive Director
Spectrum LGBT Center
30 North San Pedro Road, Suite 160
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 472-1945

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Spectrum founder Janie Spahr on trial again for marrying same-sex couples

The Redwoods Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has charged Rev. Spahr for officiating at the marriages of committed same-gender couples during the period in which the State of California legally recognized these marriages, June 17, 2008 through November 3, 2008. The constitution of the P.C. (U.S.A.) mandates inclusion within the life of the church and has no express prohibition against same-gender marriage.

The trial will take place beginning August 24, 2010 and will be held at Covenant Presbyterian Church, 1226 Salvador Avenue, Napa, CA.
For more information, visit the trial Facebook page.

Gender Spectrum Family and Teen Conference, Berkeley, Labor Day Weekend

Gender Spectrum Family and Teen Conference
Co-sponsored by GSA Network
September 3 - 6, 2010 -- Berkeley, CA
To learn more or register, please visit or call 877-809-4159.

Teen Conference: $25
Individual Family Conference: $175
Family Tickets $325
Scholarships Available!

Come join other transgender, gender bending, gender nonconforming teens, children and families for three days of celebrating individuality, making friends, and having fun.

Meet other trans and genderqueer teens and adults, hang out, and explore topics on gender: workshops about school, medical and legal issues, privacy and much more!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

NCLR and Spectrum Tea Dance, 8/22

Don't let summer escape without enjoying the company of your favorite people.  Spectrum LGBT Center and NCLR are hosting a Tea Dance on Sunday, August 22, 4:00 - 7:00 PM at The Pleasure is Mine Restaurant @Harbor Point, 475 East Strawberry Drive, Mill Valley. Enjoy lovely vistas of Strawberry Point and San Francisco Bay from the deck and dance to the tunes of DJ Dana Jae. 

Our favorite local hero Kate Kendell will be on hand to share her thoughts on the recent Ninth Circuit Court Ruling on keeping the marriage stay in place.  Spectrum's Executive Director Paula Pilecki will talk about how you can get involved with your local LGBT community center and make a difference, and give you a sneak preview of upcoming events.

$20 admission includes valet parking and hors d’oeuvres. No-host full bar.

For more information and to RSVP, please call Eleanor Palacios at 415.365.1309 or email

Monday, August 16, 2010

What the Ninth Circuit Ruling Means for Same-Sex Couples Who Want to Get Married


(San Francisco, CA, August 16, 2010) — Today, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals granted the Proposition 8 proponents’ motion to stay U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision, which means that same-sex couples in California will not be able to marry while the case is on appeal. However, the Ninth Circuit put the appeal on a fast track and specifically directed the Prop 8 proponents to address “why the appeal should not be dismissed for lack of Article III standing” in their opening brief. That means that the Court will consider whether the decision can be appealed at the same time that it is considering whether Judge Walker’s decision that Prop 8 violates the federal constitutional is legally correct.
All the briefing must be completed by November 1, 2010 and the oral argument will take place the week of December 6, 2010.

Proponents’ opening brief is due September 17. The plaintiffs’ opposing brief is due October 18. The proponents’ reply brief is due November 1.

The Ninth Circuit is not required to issue its decision within any particular time frame after oral argument; however, when an appeal is expedited, the Court tends to issue decisions more quickly. That said, it is still likely to take at least a few weeks or months after the oral argument in December for the Court to issue a decision.

Once the Ninth Circuit rules, the losing side can ask the United States Supreme Court to hear the case. The Supreme Court then has discretion to take the case or to let the Ninth Circuit’s decision stand.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Working With Transgender Clients: A Workshop for Mental Health and Social Service Providers

Saturday, September 18
12:00 Noon – 4:00 PM
Spectrum LGBT Center
30 North San Pedro Road, Suite 160, San Rafael

$20 per person
$85 for Continuing Education Credit (for MFTs, LCSWs & nurses)*

RSVP to Cristin Brew, MFT, (415) 472-1945, ext. 203
or register online here

Light lunch will be provided

While transgender people have been around for as long as people have been existed, the term “transgender” is relatively new and our social dialogue about gender identity is just beginning. This seminar provides an overview of clinical issues in working with transgender clients. Participants will learn relevant terminology, best practices, and hear from guest speakers. Join us in a safe environment to learn more about gender identity, gender variance, transsexuals, cross dressing, drag performance, intersex people, and more. Segments of the film Diagnosing Difference will be viewed and discussed.

Training objectives:
  • Providers will have the opportunity to examine their own experience and understanding of gender.
  • Providers will have an increased understanding of the difference between sexual orientation and gender identity and will learn about various transgender identities. 
  • Providers will have greater knowledge of the barriers that transgender clients face in accessing services and how transphobia impacts mental health.
  • Providers will have greater knowledge of resource and referral information for transgender clients. 
*All courses meet the qualifications for 4 hours of continuing education credit for MFTs and/or LCSWs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. Provider number 4598. CE contact hours: Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider #CEP15508, for 4 contact hours.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


August 4, 2010

Today in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, a federal lawsuit challenging California's Proposition 8, Judge Vaughn R. Walker of the U.S. District Court in San Francisco ruled that Proposition 8 violates the United States Constitution's guarantees of due process and equal protection of the laws.

With his decision, Judge Walker has upheld the right of equality for same-sex couples under the U.S. Constitution. The ruling reflects the growing consensus in courtrooms and legislatures across the country, and around the world, that there is no good reason to exclude same-sex couples from marriage.

Marriage equality opponents built their case on discriminatory, fear-mongering arguments, and have tried over and over again to frame same-sex marriage as detrimental to our society. Judge Walker ruled that there is no substance to these or any other arguments from those who wish to deny equality to same-sex couples.

Even as this decision is a victory for same-sex couples in California, 44 states continue to deny same-sex couples the freedom to marry, and federal marriage discrimination persists. We must continue to work toward eliminating the unfairness of both state and federal laws that prohibit same-sex couples from marrying. Today's ruling by Judge Walker powerfully confirms the growing consensus that same-sex couples deserve basic fairness.

IF YOU LIVE IN MARIN: Join Spectrum at Jason's Restaurant, 300 Drake's Landing, Greenbrae tonight (Wednesday, August 4, 6:00 PM and raise a glass to equality!

For other events around the Bay Area:

Let Freedom Ring!

Paula Pilecki, Executive Director
Spectrum LGBT Center

Help Us Make History Wednesday - Join Your Local Day of Decision Gathering

Marriage Equality Supporters,

Judge Walker will issue his decision in the Federal Prop 8 case on Wednesday, August 3, 2010 between 1-3pm.  The decision will be posted at and on our home page at and you can watch the decision being read by an actor playing Judge Walker at

Then, plan on joining the local community gathering near you to celebrate (hopefully) and organize our next steps on our journey to justice.   Let's turn out for love, justice and equality for all - bring your family, bring your friends - be counted!

Below is the current list of over 30 organized events.  If your location isn't currently listed and you'd like to organize an event, post it at and contact us a  

And to support Marriage Equality USA with grassroots organizing, like these Day of Decision rallies, please become a member or donate to our organization at

Federal Prop 8 Trial Day of Decision Events

Below is our current list for Day of Decision events.  For the latest information, go to the Day of Decision website (

In California:

Contra Costa County – Concord at Todos Santos Plaza at Willow Pass and Grant at 6PM.  Contact

Contra Costa County – Martinez at the County Clerk’s Office at 822 Main Street at 6PM.  Contact

Contra Costa County – Pittsburg at Community Presbyterian Church at 200 E. Leland Road at 7pm.  Contact

Contra Costa County – Richmond at City Hall at 450 Civic Center Plaza at 6PM.  Contact

Contra Costa County – Walnut Creek at City Hall on 1666 North Main Street at 6PM.  Contact

Fresno County – City Hall at 2600 Fresno Street at 7:30pm.  Contact

Kern County – Bakersfield at the Outback corner of Stockdale and Village at 5pm.  Contact

Los Angeles County at 647 N. San Vincente Blvd, West Hollywood from 6-8pm. 

Los Angeles County at Olivera Street Plaza, 845 N. Alameda Street in LA; a candlelight vigil from 8-10pm. 

Mendocino County – Ukiah at Alex Thomas Plaza at 6 PM. Contact

Orange County - Santa Ana at Sasscer Park at 7 PM

Riverside County – Palm Springs at the County Courthouse at 7 PM. 

Riverside County/San Bernardino County - Rancho Cucamonga at Day Creek and Foothill Blvd, 6 PM

Sacramento County – Sacramento County – Two hours after the decision is released; a Sacramento press conference at the LGBT Center at 1927 L Street (off 20th Street).  Contact

Sacramento County – 6pm at McMartin Realty at 2031 K Street (corner of 21st Street).  Contact

Solano County on the Vallejo Waterfront at the Ferry Terminal at Mare Island Way and Georgia Street at 5:30-7 PM.

Sonoma County - 7:30pm, Santa Rosa City Hall at 100 Santa Rosa Ave. in Santa Rosa. Contact

San Diego County – Gather at 6pm at 6th & University, march to The Center at 3909 Centre Street for a Town Hall from 7-8pm. 

San Francisco County – San Francisco starting at Harvey Milk Plaza in the Castro at 5PM and ending with a march to Civic Center Plaza for a rally at 6:45PM. Contact

San Luis Obispo County at the Mission Plaza Amphitheater at 5:30pm.  Contact

San Mateo County/Mid-San Francisco Peninsula at the corner of 5th and El Camino Real in San Mateo from 6-8pm.  Contact

Santa Barbara County at Jill's Place, 632 Santa Barbara St at 7pm.  Contact

Santa Clara County - Mountain View CalTrain Station and City Hall at 6PM.  Contact

Santa Clara County – San Jose at the Billy De Frank Community Center at 938 The Alameda at 6 PM.  Contact

Tulare – Kings Counties- Porterville on sidewalk in front of SaveMart at Henderson and Port at 5PM.  Contact

Outside California:
Arizona – Cesar Chavez Plaza, Phoenix from 5:30-8pm. Contact

Colorado – Boulder County at 6:30pm at the Boulder Pride House (2132 14th Street, Bouder).

Colorado – Denver at the Colorado State Capitol Building at 6 PM. Contact

Texas – Austin at City Hall at 5:30 PM.

Texas –  Dallas at the Center Cedar Springs Road and Oak Lawn at 6 PM.

Texas – Denton at Courthouse Square at 5 PM.

Texas – Houston at City Hall at 5:30 PM.

Texas – San Antonio at City Hall at 6:30 PM.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sonoma County Defendants to Pay Clay Greene

Sonoma County Defendants to Pay Clay Greene over $650,000 to Settle Case in Which County Forcefully Separated Greene from his Partner of 20 Years

From NCLR's website (

(San Francisco, CA, July 23, 2010) —Late yesterday evening, Clay Greene and the estate of Harold Scull, Greene's deceased partner of 20 years, reached a settlement resolving their lawsuit against the County of Sonoma (“County”) and other defendants.

Greene and Scull’s estate will receive well over a half a million dollars—a total of $653,000—to compensate for the damages the couple suffered due to the County’s discriminatory and unlawful conduct. The County has agreed to pay $600,000, with a smaller payment by defendant Agua Caliente Villa of $53,000.

What Clay and Harold lost can never be replaced, but this settlement brings a measure of justice to their story," said Amy Todd-Gher, Senior Staff Attorney for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, which represented Greene with The Law Office of Anne M. Dennis and Stephen O'Neill and Margaret Flynn of Tarkington, O'Neill, Barrack & Chong. "This victory sends an unmistakable message that all elders must be treated with respect and dignity, regardless of their sexual orientation, and that those who mistreat elders must be held accountable. Even as we celebrate this victory, however, we are deeply troubled that the County of Sonoma continues to refuse to take responsibility for their egregious misconduct and violations of the law in this case. We urge every citizen of Sonoma County to demand more oversight of the Public Guardian’s office. They need to be watched."

Greene and Scull lived together for 20 years and had executed both mutual powers of attorney for medical and financial decisions and wills naming each other as beneficiaries. In April 2008, County employees separated the couple after Scull fell outside their shared home. In the next three months, County officials ignored the couple’s legal documentation, unlawfully auctioned their possessions, terminated their lease, and forced Greene into an assisted living facility against his will. The County did not consult Greene in Scull's medical care and prevented the two from seeing one another. In August, 2008, before the partners could be reunited, Scull passed away after completing a photo album of the couple’s life for Greene.

In August, 2009, Greene and the representative of Scull’s estate, the couple’s longtime friend Janette Biggerstaff, filed a lawsuit alleging elder abuse, elder financial abuse, breach of fiduciary duty, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, false imprisonment, and other claims.

In addition to agreeing to pay a substantial sum, as a result of the lawsuit, the County has changed or modified a number of important policies in its Public Guardian’s Office, including requiring County employees to follow protocols before seizing private property, preventing County employees from relocating elders or others against their will, and prohibiting County employees from backdating information in their guardianship database.

“This settlement will allow Mr. Greene to finally have the quiet retirement he deserves,” said Anne Dennis, one of Greene’s attorneys. “Although nothing can undo the harm to these gentlemen, we believe the changes made because of the lawsuit will improve services to elders and other individuals who need the assistance of the Sonoma County Public Guardian’s Office.”

Plaintiff Jannette Biggerstaff , the executor of Scull's estate and a longtime friend of the couple, added: "There is no possible justification for what happened to my friends Harold and Clay, and I still feel outraged and heartbroken that they suffered such a terrible tragedy, which was made worse by the county spreading such terrible lies about Clay," she said. "But I am pleased that their rights have been vindicated, and I'm hopeful that their story will help to prevent this from happening to other vulnerable people."

Thursday, July 8, 2010

LGBT Pride on the Fourth – Sonoma Style

As LGBT* people, we often refer to other LGBT people as “our community;” a cozy notion that enables us to stand our ground and apply the safety-in-numbers line of defense. For those of us who are community elders (who knew LGBT people got old?), we see a continuum of life that tells a history of changes, while acknowledging that we’re still not considered first class citizens. Our generation has proven ourselves to be resilient and adaptable. That doesn’t mean we don’t all carry our own wounds; but it does mean that we have, and continue to have, productive, creative, lives.

Of course we all play our many and various roles in the larger communities of our towns and cities. And at no time of year is community more prominent than on the 4th of July. Known for its scrubbed, clean images, this iconic holiday promotes the American story in shades of red, white and blue.

This past 4th holiday, in the City of Sonoma, several members of the Spectrum group, LGBT Seniors Getting Together in Sonoma, decided to march in the local parade. A big decision, really. The Sonoma parade, on the fourth, is a funky affair that travels around the 175 year-old Plaza to the cheers of the many citizens lining the streets. We were in a purple pick-up truck, with Pride flags flying; Gary was driving, Sally and Joan sat on the tail gate, legs swinging, as Buz and Art walked (often running) along side the truck, handing out purple and green beads.

It was a moment when we moved from “our community” to the larger community. As Buz said, we were “stepping up and stepping out.” A doctor came over to us to say she’d like to refer her LGBT patients to our group; a teenage girl asked if she could carry one of our signs because she wanted to support us. There were waves, cheers, and thumbs up. There were also, I have to admit, blank stares and disinterest; but no overly ripe fruit projectiles.

Having everyone in town looking at you, just as you’re shouting, I’m gay!, can make a guy wish he’d stayed home, arranging flowers. We all had our version of dread and sudden thoughts of retreat; however, for our small group, it was cleansing that left us feeling proud and shame-free.

*Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender.

Gary Shepard (pictured above) is Spectrum’s Senior Outreach Coordinator in Sonoma County. You can reach him at or at 707-583-2330 (message line).

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Prop 8 Love Stories

Life, Love and Discrimination...

Actors age 10 to 17 years old interviewed 8 couples (3 mixed- and 5 same-gender) on LIFE, LOVE, and DISCRIMINATION. Now watch these young actors portray the couples (and families) word for word (with innovative, gender-blind casting!) in the most potent, moving, hilarious theatre you’ve seen! San Francisco’s own Phyllis Lyon is one of the interviewees.

Tickets can be purchased by phone at 345-7575 or online at

Find out more at

Sunday, July 11, 8pm

NorthSide Theater
Fort Mason Center, Bldg D, 3rd Floor
San Francisco

Friday, July 2, 2010

Tea Dance with NCLR & Spectrum LGBT Center

Spectrum LGBT Center and NCLR are teaming up to bring our mutual North Bay friends together for a fun afternoon on the Bay. 

Enjoy spectacular views, catch up with friends old and new, dance the afternoon away, and hear from Kate Kendell and Spectrum Executive Director Paula Pilecki about what NCLR and Spectrum have in store for the rest of the year.
Sunday, August 22, 2010 - 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

The Pleasure is Mine Restaurant
Harbor Point Racquet Club
475 East Strawberry Drive, Mill Valley
Admission - $20.00

Dance to the sounds of DJ Donna Jae. Admission includes hors d’oeuvres and no host bar.

For more information and to RSVP, please call Eleanor Palacios at 415.365.1309 or email

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Faces of Spectrum / Las Caras de Spectrum

Faces of Spectrum is a project designed to raise the visibility of LGBT community members and their straight allies in the North Bay.

Spectrum LGBT Center would like to thank the volunteers that have been instrumental in making this project a reality. Thank you to Wade for being the first Face of Spectrum and allowing us to share his story, to Nik Wilhelm for graciously taking some amazing photos, to Becks Hawkins of Dirty Hippie Feet Design for generously giving us brilliant graphic design and artwork, and Marisol Muñoz-Kiehne, PhD for her translation services.
Faces of Spectrum in English and Spanish!


Be on the lookout for the Faces of Spectrum around the North Bay!

Golden Gate Ferry adds extra service for the Pride Parade/Celebration

Ply the Bay Aboard GOLDEN GATE LARKSPUR FERRY to the 40th Annual San Francisco Pride Celebration and Parade

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The San Francisco Pride Celebration and Parade takes place on Saturday, June 26 (noon to 6 pm) and Sunday, June 27, 2010 (noon to 7 pm) at the Civic Center, San Francisco. This year's theme is "40 AND FABULOUS."
On Sunday, June 27, the Pride Parade takes place on Market Street, starting at 10:30 am and ending at the Civic Center celebration area. The San Francisco Pride Celebration is packed with a wide variety of exhibitors, artists, music of all kinds, performers, dance stages and venues, and fun. There really is something for everyone. Admission is free.
One Larkspur-San Francisco ferry trip will be added to depart the Larkspur Ferry Terminal at 8:45 am and arrive at the San Francisco Ferry Terminal, behind the Ferry Building at 9:35 am. The Larkspur Terminal is located at 101 East Sir Francis Drake, Larkspur. 

Monday, June 21, 2010

LGBT Business Mixer in Marin - June 29th

Connect with other LGBT business owners at Spectrum's Business Mixer on Tuesday, June 29th, 5:30 - 7:00 PM. Find out about forming a professional network for LGBT business owners right here in Marin County. Enjoy a no-host bar, and light appetizers compliments of Dan Miller, owner of the Panama Hotel. $5.00 at the door.

For more information, contact Paula Pilecki at (415) 472-1945, ext. 209.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Caregivers: A free film and discussion

A free workshop especially for LGBT caregivers, or caregivers of an LGBT person.

Two dates and locations:
Monday, June 21, 10:30 am - 12:00 noon
San Geronimo Valley Community Center
6350 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, San Geronimo
(includes lunch after the film)

Saturday, June 26, 1:00 - 2:30 PM
The Redwoods
40 Camino Alto, Mill Valley
Refreshments provided

-Featuring the film CAREGIVERS, an HBO documentary telling the story of five caregivers

-Discussion with Deanna Randall, Family Care Specialist at Alzheimer's Association, Northern CA Chapter, who will answer your questions about caring for a friend or loved one who is experiencing memory loss

-Resource materials from other Bay Area agencies that provide services for caregivers.

RSVP to Lynne Teismann at Spectrum - (415) 472-1945 ext. 202.

Friday, June 11, 2010

An Open Conversation with 5th Graders

On June 3rd, I had the privilege of working with four classes of 5th grade students at one of the San Rafael elementary schools. Standing in front of a sea of 10 and 11 year olds is beyond intimidating. After about five minutes of nerves at the beginning of each class, I relaxed into the brilliance of talking with them for an hour. These kids were amazing.

I had two phenomenal volunteer speakers with me from Spectrum’s Speakers Bureau program. One speaker told of his experience being the 5th grader that teased other presumably gay boys and growing up to be the "out" high schooler who was teased on a daily basis because he was gay. The other speaker told of her experience having been born and raised male, joining the Marine Corps, and eventually transitioning to female. Can any of you imagine being in 5th grade and having someone stand in front of you and say, "I was born a boy, but now I’m a girl?" Or, having someone stand in front of you and say, "I will never be able to take back the pain I caused some of the boys that I teased that did grow up to be gay men, but I can try to make better decisions now." There is no way that ever would have been my reality in 5th grade!

The young people at this school blew my mind. We had conversations about bullying, teasing, harassing, how it feels to be teased, how it feels to be the teaser, and how we can all work together to make the school safer for all students, including those who are LGBT.

I think that my favorite take-away memory is from a young person in the last group of the day. We asked the group, “How do you think someone feels when they are being teased or bullied?” One young person said, "It's just like People magazine. When someone like Brad Pitt does something kind of silly, People magazine jumps all over him. They put it all over in their magazine. A lot of Americans get really excited because they can feel better about themselves knowing that someone really famous like Brad Pitt did something silly. But, sometimes I wonder if anyone stops to think about how it makes Brad Pitt feel. It might really hurt his feelings."

It was such a great experience. Time and time again, I am so grateful that I am able to work here at Spectrum and be part of an organization that really is doing groundbreaking work. Every day, I feel like we are creating a safer community right here in Marin County for all LGBT people.

I think that the 5th grade students said it best: "It feels icky to be bullied so we should all look out for each other and take care of each other."

Casey Halcro coordinates Spectrum's Speakers Bureau and Youth programs.  Her email address is

Spectrum LGBT Center

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Underserved and At Risk: Working with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Older Adults

A workshop for Mental Health and Social Service Providers

Saturday, July 10
12:00 Noon – 4:00 PM
Spectrum LGBT Center
30 North San Pedro Road, Suite 160, San Rafael

Cost: $20 per person; $85 for Continuing Education Credit*
Lunch will be provided.
*This workshop meets the qualifications for 4 hours of continuing education credit for MFTs and/or LCSWs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. Provider number 4598. CE contact hours: Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider #CEP15508, for 4 contact hours.

RSVP to Cristin Brew, MFT, (415) 472-1945, ext. 203 or register online at

OVERVIEW: An estimated 8,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) older adults (60+) live in Marin County. They are hidden, isolated, and underserved. They do not access the services that are available to all seniors in Marin, and when they do, they do not talk about their lives. Compared to their heterosexual peers, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender older adults are more likely to live alone, less likely to have adult children and partners, less likely to be connected to family of origin, and do not have pension, social security survivor, and other federal benefits.

This workshop provides an overview of clinical issues related to working with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults. Participants will learn relevant terminology, best practices for working with LGBT older adults, and hear from guest panelists who are LGBT older adults. At the end of the workshop, you will:
  • understand basic terminology related to working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender older adults
  • learn about the ten practical suggestions that will make your services more accessible to LGBT older adults, whether or not these clients “come out” as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender
  • recognize the factors that put LGBT older adults at greater risk than their heterosexual peers for poor physical and emotional health
  • learn about community resources that can assist you, and your agency, with serving LGBT older adults
Register by July 8th to guarantee a space. 

Friday, June 4, 2010

Faces of Spectrum

Faces of Spectrum is a new project designed to raise the visibility of LGBT community members in the North Bay.

We would like to thank the volunteers that have been instrumental in making this project a reality. Thank you to Wade Flores for being the first Face of Spectrum and allowing us to share his story, to Nik Wilhelm for graciously taking some amazing photos, to Becks Hawkins of Dirty Hippie Feet Design for generously giving us brilliant graphic design and artwork, and Marisol Muñoz-Kiehne, PhD for her translation services.

Be on the lookout for the Faces of Spectrum in the North Bay!
In English and Spanish!

Spectrum would like to highlight all of the different folks that we work with here in the North Bay and we need your help! We would love to have you be the next “Face of Spectrum.” What that entails is allowing us to use your story and a photo of you. Please call or email Casey Halcro at 415-472-1945 x 213 or if you are interested in being the next “Face of Spectrum.”