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Journalist and multimedia producer based in San Francisco. Bylines: KQED, Outword Magazine, KALW, The Bold Italic christopherjbeale.com

Todrick Hall has a sleeve of tattoos dedicated to “The Wizard of Oz” down his arm. Since he was a child he has identified with Dorothy, The Cowardly Lion, The Tin Man and The Scarecrow, and their particular brand of magic. In a way — Hall’s headlining performance at Sonoma County Pride on June 26 will be a homecoming — the theme of the concert is Oz, and Hall says, “It’s going to be very extra!”

Since his appearance on Season 9 of “American Idol,” Hall’s career has been on a steady, upward trajectory with albums, tours, and appearances on…


Several Asian and Queer community organizations kicked off the first-ever QTAPI Week in the United States over the weekend

Photo: Courtesy of author

Saturday afternoon in San Francisco, several Asian and Queer community organizations kicked off the first-ever QTAPI Week in the United States. Organizers are presenting a week of events dedicated to queer, trans Asians and Pacific Islanders.

The day began with a press conference in Jane Warner Plaza, in keeping with the spirit of the late Supervisor Harvey Milk, whose 91st birthday — which was on the same day — seemed the perfect day for a rally.

Like a human tide, every 12 minutes or so saw the crowd move on and off the tracks as the F-Train, bound for Fisherman’s…


The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, along with Honey Mahogany and Alex U. Inn brought San Francisco’s queer community together Easter Sunday for the 2021 version, of an Easter tradition that dates back more than 30 years.

If you’ve been to almost any pride event since 1980, you have likely seen nuns decked out in over-the-top habits and clown makeup, each with a unique campy drag persona floating about, taking selfies and making noise. These nuns are members of a charitable organization called “The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence’’. Set up in chapters — called “houses” in grand drag tradition — across twenty six states in eight different countries, on four continents — the Sisters have been serving the LGBTQIA community since 1979.

Much of their work is in contributing direct grants to under-funded projects and smaller organizations…


Misinformation, digital and language barriers, economic issues, and general distrust of the government are keeping members of the Native, LGBT, Asian and communities of color in Sacramento County from getting vaccinated.

NOTE: This piece was written for, and originally appeared in Outword Magazine.

For street-level organizations working to vaccinate under-served communities in Sacramento County, vaccine availability isn’t the biggest hurdle they face. Misinformation, digital and language barriers, economic issues, and general distrust of the government are keeping members of the Native, LGBT, Asian and communities of color in Sacramento County from getting vaccinated.


“Faggots,” I heard the man say as he approached us near Market and Church St. in San Francisco.

I heard but ignored the man. For me, being called faggot by a hateful, lesser-evolved creature is nothing new. I came out in high school in the south, and as I approach 40 years old — I am more apt to roll my eyes and keep walking, than to chirp back.

“You’re faggots!” the stranger said, louder this time. My boyfriend Reagan heard him this time, replying loudly,“Yes we are faggots!” The hateful man kept walking.

We continued to the Muni, then…


Like most performing arts, there have always been queer people in professional wrestling. Visibly queer people, that’s a different story.

Photo by Martin Kníže on Unsplash

Professional wrestling — to generations of Americans — calls back memories of greats like Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior, Andre “The Giant“ and “Macho Man” Randy Savage. Only one of those people is still alive (Hogan), and that might make you think — who still watches wrestling?

The better question is, who doesn’t watch wrestling?


Historically, when San Franciscans mourn, some sort of action is taken.

Protestors hold a sign that reads, “Yes Fats, Yes Femmes, Yes Asians!” At the #StopAsianHate March in San Francisco. (Photo: Christopher J. Beale)

San Francisco’s LGBTQIA community gathered Sunday in solidarity with Asian community members, days after a white man murdered eight in a rampage targeted at Asian businesses in Atlanta.

The queer community in America has a long history of activism. In San Francisco, that spirit of protest is often tied to tragedy. Like the White Night Riots in 1979, when 5,000 people marched on City Hall from The Castro, San Francisco’s gay neighborhood, in response to a lenient sentence for Harvey Milk’s murderer.

Historically, when San Franciscans mourn, some sort of action is taken.


We didn’t know our lives would change or that The Stud wouldn’t survive

Inside The Stud. Photo: Christopher Beale

The first week of March 2020 was the last “normal” week here in San Francisco and much of the world. It will go down in history as one of those “remember where you were?” moments, like 9/11 or the Kennedy assassination. The Saturday night before the region-wide shelter-in-place orders, my boyfriend Reagan and I stayed up later than usual. My best friend Todd invited us out to dance at The Stud, San Francisco’s oldest and arguably most iconic queer bar.

I’d never been to the bar before. We arrived around 10 p.m., excited for the experience. The sidewalk outside the…


(Photo: Christopher J. Beale)

I was walking by City Hall Sunday morning when I saw it — the statue of the 16th president, Abraham Lincoln had its face painted red. The letters of his last name were also painted red. As of yet, we don’t know who vandalized the statue, but history may give us a clue as to why.

In school we were taught that Honest Abe freed the slaves, signed the Emancipation Proclamation, and delivered the Gettysburg Address. Those, and other positive impacts of his presidency have been widely celebrated since Lincoln’s death by assassination in 1865. …


Update 11/28/2020: The city of San Francisco has announced new COVID-19 restrictions in light of a spike in cases in the Bay Area.

Today the Walt Disney Family Museum announced they would be closing again — effective Sunday.

I’ll keep an eye on this story. — CJB

The (empty) first room of the Walt Disney Family Museum features an ambulance, like the one Walt would have driven during World War I. (Photo: Christopher J. Beale)

It’s hard to believe but by the time COVID-19 ‘runs it’s course’ — Disneyland is likely to hit at least a full year of being closed. The last time Disneyland was closed for a year it was 1954. The park opened in 1955, so you can see what a big deal this is…

Christopher J. Beale

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