United against haters

After being spit on at their own parades, having their car windows smashed in parking lots and being harassed at public appearances, members of the gay community are saying enough is enough. Local groups have united to conduct a town-hall meeting on October 25 in Sacramento to discuss the recent intimidation and harassment witnessed and experienced by many of the area’s gay activists at public events. The latest acts of violence are believed to have been perpetrated by local anti-gay evangelical church groups.

“As they were escalating their aggression at several events throughout the year, we realized that we needed to come together and do what we could to start a dialogue and try and handle that threat,” said Dr. Darrick Lawson, president of the Stonewall Democratic Club of Greater Sacramento and scheduled speaker at the meeting. “Make no mistake about it; we felt very threatened by their actions.”

So, Lawson’s organization and other groups got together with local police and fire departments, as well as other political allies, to better protect themselves from the recent public displays of aggression. Local law enforcement and other public officials will be present at the meeting to brief attendees on the current situation as well as brainstorm possible measures to be taken in the future. They are encouraging the larger Sacramento community to show its support and attend.

“In addition to the queer community showing up, we would love to see support of our allies,” said Lawson. “I can’t imagine any community tolerating that type of hatred.”

The town-hall meeting is scheduled for October 25, from 6 to 8 p.m. at 2791 24th Street, at Curtis Hall in the Sierra 2 Center.

—Luke Gianni

Patently Ab Zurd

If Phil Angelides is harboring any doubts at all about his chances in the November 7 election, he might want to steer clear of Lori Fontanes’ new documentary, The Day Arnold Schwarzenegger Kicked my A**. Subtitled Don’t blame me, I voted for myself, the semi-satirical 88-minute film documents her 123rd-place showing as a semi-satirical Democrat in the 2003 recall election.

Winner of the Best No-Budget Feature award at the Broad Humor Festival in Venice Beach in July, the film will test-screen for free today, October 19, at 7 p.m. at the Crest. Fontanes will be available for questions afterward.

“I wanted to show it right now, because we’re on the cusp of possibly or very probably re-electing Arnold,” said Fontanes, who campaigned during the recall as her own Afro-wearing alter ego, Abner Zurd—Ab Zurd for short. As in “it is absurd that a wealthy whiner like Darrell Issa can dig into his personal piggy bank and attempt to undo a legal election,” as Fontanes/Zurd proclaimed when she entered the race, promising to “kick Arnold’s a**.”

“I think it’s very, very informational, very educational for people to see what brought him to power to begin with and kind of re-examine our process in a way that the major media never covered it to begin with,” she added.

The veteran independent filmmaker, who counts Woody Allen’s 1979 masterpiece Manhattan as a key influence, said she jumped into the race and chronicled her campaign on film to prove everyone can be politically involved.

“I think you walk out of the movie much more optimistic about what can be done,” said Fontanes. Though she ultimately spent more on her film than she did campaigning, and though her 365 votes were no match for Schwarzenegger’s 4,203,596, local cinematographer Mark Herzig suggested the current governor could learn from his friend. “I don’t think he’s as complex a person as Lorraine,” Herzig said.

—Graham Womack