I attended a secret anti-trans dinner in San Francisco and then threw up


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As a former food critic, I don’t often come to dinner on assignment anymore. But last week, I spent a grueling few hours in the private back room of a North Beach restaurant, listening to a crowd gnash their teeth about “parental rights” and the trans conspiracy to destroy the American family, while gnawing very dry garlic bread .

Hosted by the San Francisco Republican Party, the event was described by group chairman John Dennis as “a sensible conversation for parents with concerns.” Speakers included Pamela Garfield-Jaeger, a former Bay Area social worker and leader of the right-wing organization MOM Army; Erin Friday, a San Francisco attorney who spoke of saving her child from “transgenderism”; Sierra, a woman who formerly identified as transgender; and Brie Hanni, chair of the ultraconservative organizations Moms for Liberty and Moms for America in San Mateo County.

The organizers claimed that this was the first GOP event on the subject in California, so I attended to get a sense of just how deep the local wing had gotten into the anti-trans rabbit hole. For as anti-trans politics unfolds across the United States, it is becoming clear that the “parental rights” issue is just a prelude to a ban on adult gender welfare. Over the past year, lawmakers in several states, including Missouri, Florida and Arizona, have implemented underage treatment bans with adult gender care bans. I wanted to know: are local anti-trans activists willing to go that far?

The event was strictly sealed off “for security reasons”. You were not told the venue until after you paid the $20 for the event, or $55 if you wanted to attend the buffet dinner (which I did due to my morbid curiosity). The alley entrance to the American Bites restaurant had two levels of security.

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