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Public Media for Northern California


2010 LGBT Heroes

LGBT Pride Month Local Heroes
Kathleen McGuire

Kathleen McGuire
San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus
Community Women's Orchestra

Australian-born Dr. Kathleen McGuire began her tenure with the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus in 2000. She brought new purpose to the Chorus in its efforts to reach out to and support communities. In her ten years at the podium, SFGMC has raised $430,000 for Northern California charities. Her memorable performances, season after season, have been preserved in SFGMC's award-winning CDs and DVDs. Nationally and internationally, McGuire has directed SFGMC and other LGBT choruses at the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall (2001), and at choral festivals in Sydney (2002), Montréal (2004), Chicago (2006), Miami (2008), and Auckland (2010). Since 2005, McGuire has also helmed the Oakland-based Community Women's Orchestra. Under her direction, she has led the Orchestra at Davies Symphony Hall and their first out-of-state tour, commissioned and premiered works by established, historic, and emerging women composers, and spearheaded the Orchestra's 25th anniversary celebrations in 2010. In other endeavors, McGuire co-founded GLAM Youth Choir, performs regularly at the Metropolitan Community Church of San Francisco, participated in the AIDS LifeCycle as a rider and a roadie, and co-founded Ladies Go Biking with Dr. Betty L. Sullivan. She serves on the Federation of Gay Games General Assembly and the Gay And Lesbian Association of Choruses Services Committee.

Prior to arriving in San Francisco, McGuire conducted for twenty years in Colorado, the United Kingdom, and Australia, leading professional, school, and community orchestras, choirs, operas and musicals. She completed studies in conducting, composition, and music education, and graduated with a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting from the University of Colorado at Boulder (2000). Her renowned arrangements and compositions are widely performed throughout the United States and abroad, and she appears frequently at conferences as a presenter and panelist. Her many achievements include Mayor Gavin Newsom declaring April 22, 2010 as "Kathleen McGuire Day." She is a Choral Conducting Finalist for The American Prize, and proud to be a KQED 2010 Local Hero. Her complete bio is found in Who's Who In The World and other notable publications.

Shane Snowdon

Shane Snowdon
LGBT Resource Center, UCSF
Shane Snowdon has been Director since 1999 of the LGBT Resource Center at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). Mindful that UCSF is the largest healthcare provider and second-largest employer in the city with the largest LGBT population in the country, Shane has worked tirelessly to make UCSF a local and national model for LGBT equality.

In the health realm, Shane has developed visionary programs to ensure that LGBT people receive equitable, knowledgeable care. She's educated thousands of current and future healthcare professionals about the challenges that LGBT patients face, and she's helped UCSF and many other Bay Area health organizations become more welcoming to LGBT people and their families. With her expert guidance, UCSF has become the only healthcare facility in the nation to receive four consecutive perfect scores on the national LGBT Healthcare Equality Index.

Shane has also been a dynamic leader in advocacy for LGBT workplace equality. She headed the successful efforts to persuade the University of California to offer equal retirement benefits to same-sex-partnered employees and equal health coverage to transgender employees, making it the largest employer in the country to do so. And she's offered hundreds of innovative trainings that have opened hearts and minds, and have helped UCSF and other employers address the workplace inequities experienced by LGBT employees.
To maximize the impact of this groundbreaking work, Shane has organized local, state, and national conferences and consulted with regional legislators and policymakers. Her passionate commitment to LGBT health and workplace equality has made a transformative difference at UCSF--and well beyond.

Gloria Soliz

Gloria Soliz
The Last Drag
Coalition of Lavender-Americans on Smoking & Health
In 1991, Gloria found herself looking for a vocation that fit her interests and values - wanting to make a difference in people's lives and interested in working for social justice. A lesbian clinic was seeking someone to start a stop smoking program for lesbians and gay men. Should she take a grant-funded position that was publicly in the gay community? Was it a temporary job that would make it more challenging to get another job if employers knew she was a lesbian?

It has now been 20 years since she established The Last Drag, a stop smoking program for the LGBT community and HIV positive people who smoke and want to quit.

In the early '90s Gloria suspected that the LGBT community smokes at a higher rate. Research is bearing out her suspicion, rates of smoking seem to be significantly higher for LGBT people than in the general population. Gloria is also convinced that the LGBT community has a higher rate of death and sickness related to higher tobacco use. Remember, tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable death in the United States. As part of its commitment to reducing health disparities, the American Lung Association is releasing its first national cessation report on smoking in the LGBT community; Gloria and her colleagues played an important and critical role in this report.

Gloria is a co-founder of the Coalition of Lavender-Americans on Smoking and Health. CLASH offers four free Last Drag classes each year, as it has for the past 20 years, to people in the LGBT community who want to quit smoking and become nonsmokers.

Gloria has successfully assisted hundreds of people in their quit attempts. She invites other LGBT community members to insist that their LGBT organizations and law-makers refuse tobacco industry funding.

Anne Tamar-Mattis

Anne Tamar-Mattis
Advocates for Informed Choice
Anne Tamar-Mattis has been working in the Bay Area LBGTQI community as a community organizer, youth worker, non-profit manager, advocate, trainer, and attorney for more than eighteen years. From 1992 until the group disbanded in 1994, she was a member of the San Francisco Street Patrol, a volunteer group that patrolled the Castro and street fairs, intervening in gay-bashing. She spent six years in the '90s as the Director of the LYRIC (Lavender Youth Recreation & Information Center) Youth Talkline, a peer-support line for LGBTQ youth (now part of the Gay and Lesbian National Hotline). Anne took this group from a regional service to a national operation, and trained over 100 queer youth talkline listeners who handled thousands of calls from around the country. She was the first Program Director for the San Francisco LGBT Community Center, establishing many of the programs that still exist there today. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law in 2006 after serving internships with the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the East Bay Community Law Center's HIV Law Clinic.

In 2006, Anne founded Advocates for Informed Choice (AIC) where she serves as Executive Director. AIC is the first organization in the country to undertake a coordinated strategy of legal advocacy for the rights of children with intersex conditions. Recent accomplishments include negotiating an apology from a leading hospital and physician to an intersex woman for harm she suffered as a result of her childhood medical treatment; assisting in a successful asylum claim by an African mother of a child with an intersex condition, whose life was threatened in her home country; and collaborating with leading bioethicists to instigate a federal investigation of possibly unethical research on pregnant women who may be carrying a child with an intersex condition. AIC is changing the conversation about intersex in the medical world by bringing the legal and human rights of children into the dialogue, and by bringing parents, physicians, and activists together around their shared concern for children.

Anne teaches classes in Sexual Orientation and Law at UC Davis and UC Berkeley Schools of Law. She and her partner of fifteen years, intersex activist and physician Suegee Tamar-Mattis, are the parents of two children.

Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman

KQED Multimedia Award
Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman
Telling Pictures

Rob and Jeffrey are among the most honored directors and producers of non-fiction film, having received between them two Oscars, multiple Emmys, three Peabodys, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. They are partners in Telling Pictures, a San Francisco production company they founded in 1987.

Their most recent film is HOWL, a non-traditional narrative feature about Allen Ginsberg's groundbreaking poem and the obscenity trial that followed its publication. Starring James Franco, Jon Hamm, David Strathairn, Jeff Daniels, Mary-Louise Parker, Treat Wiliams, Bob Balaban, and Alessandro Nivola, HOWL had its North American premiere on opening night of Sundance 2010, followed by a European premiere in competition at the Berlinale and will be released this fall through Oscilloscope.

Paragraph 175 (2000), narrated by Rupert Everett, about the Nazi persecution of homosexuals. Filmed in Germany, France, England, and Spain. U.S. premiere: Sundance (Documentary Jury Prize for Directing); European premiere: Berlin International Film Festival (FIPRESCI Award from the international film critics association). U.S. theatrical and home video: New Yorker Films; U.S. broadcast: HBO special event. Co-production with HBO and Channel 4. Represented internationally by Films Transit.

The Celluloid Closet (1995), narrated by Lily Tomlin, a hundred-year history of gay and lesbian characters in Hollywood movies,featuring interviews with Tom Hanks, Susan Sarandon, Whoopi Goldberg, Shirley MacLaine, Tony Curtis, Gore Vidal, Arthur Laurents, Paul Rudnick, Susan Sarandon, John Schlesinger and others. Festival screenings: Venice, Toronto, Berlin, Tokyo, Sidney, New York, Sundance (Freedom of Expression Award). U.S. theatrical and home video: Sony Pictures Classics; represented internationally by Films Transit (including theatrical, TV, home video in France, Italy, Japan, and U.K.) U.S. broadcast: HBO (premiere; Peabody Award, Columbia-DuPont Award, Emmy Award for Directing), Bravo, Logo. Co-production with HBO, ZDF-Arte, and Channel 4.

Common Threads: Stories From The Quilt (1989), narrated by Dustin Hoffman, about the first decade of AIDS epidemic in the U.S. and the government's failure to respond. Premiere: Berlin Film Festival (Interjury Award, followed by screenings and TV sales worldwide. Broadcasts: HBO (premiere), PBS, BBC (U.K.) Academy Award, best documentary feature; Peabody Award; duPont-Columbia Award; Emmy Award for Bobby McFerrin's original score.

Prior to Telling Pictures, Rob made The Times of Harvey Milk (1984), narrated by Harvey Fierstein, about the assassination of California's first openly gay elected official. Festivals: Telluruide, Sundance, New York, Berlin. New York Film Critics' CircleAward, best non-fiction film; Academy Award, best documentary feature; Peabody Award; three Emmy Awards. Named by American Film Magazine critics' poll as one of the best documentaries of the decade; chosen by the UCLA Film & Television archive for restoration and preservation. Theatrical and home video re-release in 2000 by New Yorker Films.

Rob has taught in the graduate film program at Tisch School for the Arts at NYU, and is currently chair of the MFA Film Program at California College of the Arts (CCA). Jeffrey has taught film in the graduate documentary program at Stanford University and at the California College of the Arts. Rob and Jeffrey are members of the Directors Guild of America, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, where Rob currently serves on the Board of Governors and is chair of the documentary branch.

Also on KQED.org this week ...

Through a Lens Darkly
KQED Celebrates Black History Month

KQED proudly celebrates the diversity of our community by commemorating Black History Month. During February, KQED Public TV 9 and KQED 88.5 FM schedule programs that focus on African American themes and issues.

Yo Yo Ma
"Boomtown" History of the San Francisco Bay Area

KQED's "Boomtown" series will seek to identify what is happening in real time in the current boom, and also draw out the causes and possible solutions to the conflicts and pressures between the old and the new.

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