Pacific Heights-based David Landis is a freelance writer for the San Francisco Bay Times in which his monthly column, The Gay Gourmet, profiles iconic San Francisco restaurants with an LGBT lens. He has lived in San Francisco for four decades. Learn about David Landis…
Hometown: San Francisco, CA
First job: Teaching piano to neighborhood kids for $1 per lesson.
Favorite ways to spend your free time in CA: Eating/drinking at San Francisco’s fabulous restaurants; attending a drag show at The Oasis; cultural events; dog walks on the beach; travel to Carmel, Napa, Tahoe and LA.
Your biggest accomplishment and why: When I worked in television at KPIX TV (CBS San Francisco), we created the country’s first AIDS education program, syndicated it to 55 stations nationwide, were the first to get Elizabeth Taylor involved in the cause, brought the Names Quilt to Washington DC for the first time, and won a National Emmy and a National Peabody Award.
The biggest obstacle you have overcome: In 2001, our firm went from $3.2 million in revenues to $800,000. We had to lay people off, I didn’t take a salary for a year and a half, took out a second mortgage to pay my people. But we’re back (now a $2 million agency). I feel like this prepared us (a bit) for COVID.
Someone who inspires you and why: Harvey Milk and Martin Luther King, Jr., who both fought with humor and non-violence for human rights. I think if we could all respect each other a bit more, the world would be a better place.
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: For writing–get out and do it! Write a blog, approach a local newspaper or magazine and try to get yourself published. For PR, ditto–because excellent writing is the pathway to PR success.
Favorite quote: “Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death.” –Auntie Mame
Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I was a piano major in college.
What makes someone fabulous in your own words: Creativity, innovation, humor and a love for life!