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    Donna Sachet, “Friends sometimes say that we’ll cut the ribbon for the opening of a garage door!”

    By Donna Sachet–

    Friends sometimes say that we’ll cut the ribbon for the opening of a garage door! Well, we think the opening of any new or rejuvenated business is exciting news, especially lately in the Castro. So, when we were invited to join in the festivities surrounding the opening of Eureka Sky, a new cannabis business in the heart of the Castro, we happily obliged. This sleek new shop is right on 17th Street, just past Orphan Andy’s, and features gorgeous marble floors, beautifully detailed walls and ceilings, sparkling lighting, and expansive showcases displaying the various products for sale. You’ll think you are in an upscale nightclub! We attended with our sweet puppy Peanut, who noticed an etagere with cannabis items for dogs! Along with co-owners Ray Connolly, Desmond Morgan, and Chris Callaway, we cut the ceremonial ribbon with City Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, Masood Samereie, Andrea Aiello, and others, as customers swarmed in. Opening festivities also included a traditional Lion Dance in recognition of Chinese New Year with colorful dancers and booming drums that echoed throughout the neighborhood. With so many empty store fronts and shuttered businesses nearby, we have high hopes for Eureka Sky and wish them great success!

    The highly anticipated 40th Anniversary Academy of Friends Gala Sunday night was located in the sprawling Commonwealth Club Building with sweeping Embarcadero views. The Ruby Red theme brought out gorgeous gowns and colorful jackets on hundreds of guests, many of whom spent more time ogling each other than watching the Academy Awards. As with any change of venue, there were challenges, but everyone seemed in high spirits and ready to party. Among the crowd were Juanita MORE!, Tita Aida, Donna Persona, Heklina, D’Arcy Drollinger, Sister Roma, Sister Dana Van Iquity, Gary Virginia, Patrik Gallineaux, Richard Sablatura, Eddy Skees & Nelson Otero, Matthew Denckla, Patty McGroin, Kevin Lyle, Khmera Rouge, Kylie Minono, Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, State Senator Scott Wiener, and even Founder Kile Ozier. Organizers Adam Sandel, Cip Ciprano, and others were everywhere. Perhaps your favorite didn’t win an Academy Award that night, but beneficiary LGBT Asylum Project was a big winner as the sole beneficiary, successfully addressing important immigration cases right here at home.

    This Saturday, it is time to vote! No, not in the California Primary, but for the next Emperor and Empress of San Francisco, continuing a 54-year legacy of charitable work, special event production, and leadership development. With proper ID proving your residency in San Francisco, Marin, or San Mateo County, you can vote in the Castro at the MUNI station, noon–6 pm, in the Polk Street area in front of Project Open Hand, 11 am–4 pm, and in SOMA in front of Powerhouse, 1 pm–5 pm. By now, you know who the candidates are; perhaps you’ve met them out on the campaign trail for the last several weeks: Bill Bulkley is running for Emperor and Migitte Nielsen and Mimi Osa are running for Empress. Take the time to learn a little about them and then vote your choice!

    The following Saturday, February 22, the winners will be announced and crowned at Imperial Coronation: Disco in the Jungle, 6 pm, at the Park Central Hotel, 50 Third Street. The Reigning Emperor Terrill Grimes and Reigning Empress Baby Shaques complete their reign that night and have a spectacular night planned for us, full of musical entertainment, charitable funds distribution, grand ceremonies steeped in tradition, and elegantly swathed attendees from across the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Use the adjacent calendar of events to guide you through the full week of activities, many free and all enjoyable.

    Amid the myriad Imperial activities, for a truly unique San Francisco experience, join us Sunday morning, February 23, as we travel to Woodlawn Cemetery in Colma to visit the gravesites of Emperor Joshua Norton and Empress José Sarria. Yes, it is an early morning, but join us at the Rainbow Honor Walk plaque honoring José Sarria in Jane Warner Plaza in the Castro at 8:30 am and then hop on the bus to Colma. The whimsical ceremony there will truly amaze you, giving proper respect in a generous spirit of humor to these iconic and historic San Francisco figures. Emperor John Weber joins us as co-emcee for this year’s festivities.

    Finally, at a time when it seems that bad news streams into our lives on a constant basis, let’s all celebrate the recent action of our Governor Gavin Newsom who posthumously pardoned civil rights activist Bayard Rustin for conviction of a misdemeanor violation based on outdated laws targeting homosexual behavior. Moreover, the Governor announced a new program specifically 

    designed to facilitate pardons for others wrongly targeted by such laws and resulting in disastrous labeling as sex offenders. This action, heralded across the country by civil rights activists, can be directly tied to a conversation between Queen Mother Nicole Murray-Ramirez of the International Court System and State Senator Scott Wiener right here in San Francisco, witnessed by this columnist. Senator Wiener’s efforts to bring the Governor’s attention to past injustices resulted in this vindication. Yes, we can be proud that our LBGTQ Community played a pivotal role in the U.S. Postal stamp and the U.S. Navy ship honoring Harvey Milk and now the posthumous pardon of Rustin. Never doubt that the actions of individuals and united groups of like-minded people do matter and do produce results!

     Donna Sachet is a celebrated performer, fundraiser, activist and philanthropist who has dedicated over two decades to the LGBTQ Community in San Francisco. Contact her at empsachet@gmail.com

    Published on February 13, 2020

     


    Calendar a/la Sachet

    Saturday February 15
    Voting Day for Emperor & Empress of San Francisco
    Castro MUNI Station, Noon–6 pm
    Project Open Hand, 11 am–4 pm
    Powerhouse, 1 pm–5 pm
    Free!
    www.imperialcouncilsf.org

    Wednesday, February 19
    Imperial in Town Show
    Local performers and Imperial thank you’s
    Hamburger Mary’s, 531 Castro Street
    7 pm
    Free!
    www.imperialcouncilsf.org

    Thursday, February 20
    Imperial Anniversary Monarchs’ Reception
    Hosted by Emperor John Carrillo and Empress Misty Blue
    The HA-RA Club, 875 Geary Street
    7 pm
    Free!
    www.imperialcouncilsf.org

    Friday, February 21
    Imperial Out of Town Show
    Entertainers from across the continent
    Park Central Hotel, 50 Third Street
    7 pm
    $25
    http://www.imperialcouncilsf.org

    Saturday February 22
    SF’s 55th Imperial Coronation: Disco in the Jungle
    Spectacular pageantry, luxurious costumes, generous charity
    Park Central Hotel, 50 Third Street
    6 pm
    $70
    http://www.imperialcouncilsf.org

    Sunday, February 23
    Imperial Pilgrimage to Colma
    Campy visit to the graves of Emperor Norton and Empress José Sarria
    Emceed by Emperor John Weber and Empress Donna Sachet
    Woodlawn Cemetery, Colma
    Bus from Park Central Hotel, 7 am
    Free!
    http://www.imperialcouncilsf.org

    Sunday, February 23
    Imperial Victory Brunch
    Final thanks from Emperor Terrill Grimes & Empress Baby Shaques
    Park Central Hotel, 50 Third Street
    11:30 am
    $40
    http://www.imperialcouncilsf.org

    Tuesday, February 25
    Fat Tuesday Bar Crawl
    Krewe de Kinque’s traditional mayhem
    Bus ends at 440 Castro
    5–7 pm
    $20
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/202756774136/

    Saturday, March 7
    Krewe de Kinque’s Bal Masque XVII: Diners, Divas, & Dives
    Fabulous New Orleans style party benefits Compton’s Transgender Cultural District
    The Café, 2369 Market Street
    6–9:30 pm
    $20 & up
    https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4512891