Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Bay Area Reporter expands its repertoire of kink with new columnist


by Chuck Colbert

The leading LGBT weekly newspaper in San Francisco has a kinky new hire. 

Bay Area Reporter’s BARtab Editor Jim Provenzano recently announced the venerable publication would take on a new leather columnist. Race Bannon will replace outgoing leather columnist Scott Brogan.

Bannon, who blogs at www.bannon.com, is a prominent writer and member of San Francisco’s LGBT and leather communities. He has spoken and co-hosted many panels on leather, kink, HIV, aging and other issues in the Bay Area.

Bannon’s inaugural column appeared in the newspaper on Jan. 23. He penned it while attending the annual Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend, held from January 17-20, in Washington, D.C.
Race Bannon

In his debut, Bannon wrote: “San Francisco and the overall Bay Area have one of the most vibrant leather and kink scenes in the United States and indeed the world. Yes, it’s changed and morphed as various factors have influenced how LGBT kinky folk live and express their alternative erotic identities and sexualities. But the scene is still rather awesome here, and I’m comfortable saying it’s in pretty good shape nationally as well.

“Thus all the more reason I am honored to have been asked to carry on the legacy of the original writer of this column, Mr. Marcus (Marcus Hernandez), who established the Bay Area Reporter’s leather column as one of the preeminent leather news and information sources in the world. Upon Mr. Marcus’ passing, Scott Brogan took over this column and truly did justice to Mr. Marcus’ memory. I promise to always try to live up to both men’s history as I embark on being the caretaker of this important piece of journalistic real estate.”

Bannon’s column will be part of the Bay Area Reporter’s BARtab, the publication’s expanded third section that focuses on nightlife and sexuality. After two and a half years as a monthly supplement, BARtab became a weekly section of the newspaper in September 2013. Three of the arts section’s columns —Donna Sachet’s “On the Town,” John F. Karr’s saucy “Karrnal Knowledge” porn reviews and the leather column — were moved to the BARtab section.

In announcing the new hire, Provenzano praised departing columnist Brogan.

“Having edited the late Marcus Hernadez’ historic columns each week for several years, I was always amused and amazed by his thoroughness, his gossipy tone and his devotion to this community,” said Provenzano. “For four year’s after Marcus’ passing, Scott provided a personable style to his writing.” 

Brogan decided to resign from writing the column for personal reasons.

“When Scott announced his departure, the first person I thought of was Race,” said Provenzano. “I’m totally thrilled to have him on board.”

For her part, Bay Area Reporter news editor Cynthia Laird said, “I was excited to hear that Mr. Bannon would be joining [our] team. He has a deep history with the leather community in the Bay Area and I think our readers will enjoy his columns. I also want to thank Mr. Brogan, whose writings enabled the paper to continue its groundbreaking tradition of having a leather columnist in the aftermath of Mr. Marcus’s passing. ”

Among some of Bannon’s numerous achievements include his co-founding (with Guy Baldwin) of Kink Aware Professionals, a non-profit service that refers people to kink-sensitive psychotherapeutic, medical and legal professionals. Bannon recently turned over ownership and management of Kink Aware Professionals to the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom; and they now maintain its web site at https://www.ncsfreedom.org/.

Bannon also served as project leader of The DSM Project, a grassroots coalition of worldwide psychotherapeutic professionals who banded together to influence the categorization and diagnostic criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the book most psychotherapeutic professionals consult when diagnosing mental-health issues. The project led to a beneficial change in the way the psychotherapeutic profession views kink.

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