“Nah, information pills ask me anything. I’m really open about my life and views, viagra sale ” replies San Francisco mayoral candidate Bevan Dufty when I ask him if he wants to review my questions before going on camera. I can only imagine how tremendous the pressure of running for mayor must weigh on him, and yet he remains relaxed and casual. I ask him about the important issues in our community from HIV services to budget cuts, and we chat about coming out, fatherhood, and dating.
His years of experience show as he answers our questions with confidence. From 2003 through January 2011, Bevan served as the Supervisor for District 8 in San Francisco, the same district as the one that Harvey Milk served when he held the same position 33 years ago. He understands the pressure of withstanding the public spotlight. He has supported cutting edge programs in the city for methamphetamine addition, transgender services, and LGBT youth. “I can take the criticism, the questioning, the challenges… I am so fortunate to be able to do this and I hope I can do our city proud.”
As an HIV social worker, I ask Bevan about his plan to cut all HIV infections in half. How will he do it?
For those of us who have lived in the “gayborhood” of San Francisco, we know that Bevan can be counted on when it comes to engaging with the residents of his district. I saw him as spunky as ever joking around with the cyclists at the 5am kickoff last week for the AIDS Lifecycle, a 545 mile bicycle ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles that raises money for AIDS treatment and prevention. Bevan is a familiar face, and he prides himself on being approachable whether you run into him at a political rally, a community event, or the J Muni public transport. Bevan feels like the attentive next door neighbor who watches out for the block.
It can’t always be easy being in the spotlight. What does Bevan have to say about dating as a public figure in San Francisco?
Bevan came out as a gay man while starting his political career at age 21. While working for Shirley Chishilm, the first Black woman elected to Congress, he began exploring gay life in Washington D.C.. Bevan says, “I wasn’t confident enough to go to guy bars, so I went to lesbian bars the first three years of coming out. I used to be really good at pool.” He says, “I have a love and affinity for the lesbian community. It was a safe space for coming out.”
At age 47 and single, “my clock was exploding” to have a child, so Bevan decided to co-parent with his lesbian friend Rebecca Goldfader. Their daughter Sidney, now 5 years old, often takes the spotlight in public appearances. A reporter once referred to Sidney as Bevan’s accessory, but Bevan jokes saying, “that doesn’t reflect the true power dynamic here. I am truly Sidney’s accessory.”
What impact can Bevan make as San Francisco’s first gay mayor?
We ended our interview asking Bevan what he loves about San Francisco. “I love the beauty, and the people, and the history. I love that this is at it’s core a really small town. I love being here. And as much as people can certainly find things to be critical about city government, I want to be a mayor that helps people to love city government like they love our city. There are amazing people who work for the city. We can do amazing things. And I think I am the right person to do that job.”
You can meet Bevan as well as the other Supergays we have interviewed at our Out & Around launch party at Rebel Bar this Saturday June 18th at 1760 Market Street from 4-9. We are thrilled to have Bevan as a guest speaker.