Use our words or your own. Tell our electeds why this IS OUR SPACE!
MILK CLUB LETTER ON THE EAGLE CLUB’S SALE
It has recently come to our attention that a non-LGBT group of entrepreneurs has entered into a purchase agreement for the former Eagle Tavern. This comes as a shock to many in the LGBT community as there was no outreach done or notice given about this historical community space despite the fact that many LGBT San Franciscans had expressed much interest in the building’s future. Furthermore our community had previously heard that there were queer entrepreneurs in negotiation to take over this space; buyers who intended to return it to a place that would continue to serve as a center to those who previously patronized the Eagle and enjoyed it as a LGBT-friendly space.
This startling change of course has caused great concern within those of us who considered the Eagle as a haven and who still view it as a revered symbol of San Francisco’s continued struggle with the HIV/AIDS epidemic and a critical meeting site for the marginalized queer community. To our dismay, such spaces are becoming scarcer, and our marginalization is becoming more profound. The Eagle is more than a bar and a business, yet current city processes appear to regard it as just another tavern. The Eagle is hallowed ground for us, and we as stakeholders must participate in any decisions about its future through a vigorous community-wide dialogue where all voices can be heard.
We offer here several specific reasons why we consider the Eagle to be a sacred space. They are given so that you can understand and respect our alarm at these developments:
*The ashes of gay men and women who died during the AIDS epidemic are scattered there.
*The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence have blessed it as hallowed queer space and have used it to veil many postulants.
*Over its 30 year history over $50 million was raised for charities, particularly HIV/AIDS organizations.
**It was a place that was accessible to the full spectrum of diversity of the LGBT community.
It was our community center.
Given the historical, cultural, and emotional significance of this site we find it just to demand a process where all members of the queer community have an opportunity to participate in decisions regarding its future. We demand that an open meeting be held at the earliest possible date and ask that our elected officials, community representatives, the general public, and all key parties be in attendance. We also believe that the Eagle must be given Historic Landmark status.
South of Market is undergoing a massive shift in its composition and it is important to allow members of the community to speak for themselves before rash decisions about its future are made. We look forward to this discussion.
Jane.Kim@sfgov.org (D6 home of the Eagle)
Christina.Olague@sfgov.org (D5 and head of committee reg. liquor license transfer)
David.Chiu@sfgo.org (D3 President of the BOS)
Sean.Elsbernd@sfgov.org (D7 on committee for liquor license transfer)