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    Donna’s Chronicles

    By Donna Sachet–

    The 54th annual Imperial Coronation certainly lived up to its reputation for glamor, entertainment and generosity! Last Saturday, hundreds of attendees from across the continent gathered at the Design Center for the final event of Reigning Emperor Leandro and Reigning Empress Pollo del Mar, as they honored many who had been a part of their exciting year and presented checks totaling over $100,000 to charitable causes they supported. In addition to royalty from Courts across Canada, the United States and Mexico, our local leaders Mark Leno, State Senator Scott Wiener and City Councilman Rafael Mandelman were on hand. Of particular note this year, several Monarchs celebrated major anniversaries of their reigns, including Emperor XVII, After Norton, Jerry Coletti, with a lovely 30-year tribute to his Empress Pat Montclair, Absolute Empress XXIX Anita Martini wearing the same gorgeous dress from 25 years ago and joined on stage and through video by some of her original cadre of supporters, and Absolute Empress XXXIV Sheba! showcasing her musical talents with a spirited troupe of back-up dancers, celebrating 20 years. Other stand-out entertainment came from Absolute Empress XXXVIII Snatch and Miss Gay San Francisco Ruby Red Munro. This was the culmination of a week of activities and events, following the previous Saturday’s public election of a new Emperor and Empress. Although this year’s titles were uncontested, the candidates worked hard to present their visions and at the Imperial Coronation performed beautifully. Much to the delight of those assembled, well before midnight, we crowned Terrill Grimes Munro as Emperor and Baby Shaques Munro as Empress of San Francisco, continuing 54 years of rich and amazing history,

    Even for those truly dedicated individuals, Sunday was a test of fortitude as we rose early for the annual Pilgrimage to Colma.  Yes, there really was an Emperor Joshua Norton and yes, he is buried in Woodlawn Memorial Park in Colma. Yes, Our Beloved Founder of the Imperial Court José Sarria is also buried in Colma nearby her reputed husband. And yes, a rag-tag group of Imperial Court members and other supporters visit their graves annually on the morning after Imperial Coronation.  José loved this campy event organized by the Emperors of San Francisco that includes the Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band, representatives from Night Ministry, Queen Mother of the Americas Nicole the Great, and this humble columnist as emcee.  This year we shared responsibilities with Emperor Berlin, who proved a formidable co-emcee. Robert Sunshine and his singing friends, Full House, provided additional music. Although difficult to describe, this unique gathering on the lawn of a cemetery among gravestones mixes tradition and reverence with camp and whimsy, reflecting the quirky personality of José Sarria. Make it a point to attend next year!

    Sunday ended with the not-to-be-missed 39th annual Academy of Friends Gala at City View at Metreon. What started as a house party with friends has grown into a huge fundraiser for local causes where a well-dressed crowd watches the Oscar Awards presentation on video screens while bidding on silent auction items, sampling food and drink and catching up with friends.  Among those we saw there were Richard Sablatura, Adam Sandel, Cip Cipriano & Okan Sengun, Matthew Denckla, Kit Tapata & Lori Howe, Ron Patton & Mini Minerva, Emma Peel, Patty McGroin, Khmera Rouge, Patrik Gallineaux, Ken Henderson, Bill Hirsh, Paula West, George Ridgely, and Cicero Braganca & Russ Fischella. This year’s Neptune’s Fantasy theme brought out all kinds of creative costumes to complement the undersea décor and cameras were flashing all night. This year’s beneficiaries were AIDS Legal Referral Panel, LGBT Connection, Positive Resource Center and St. James Infirmary. Even when the awards are disappointing, the Academy of Friends Gala never disappoints. We can’t imagine the official party in Los Angeles being any more glamorous! 

    Exciting news from our friends over at PRC. Having recently merged Positive Resource Center, AIDS Emergency Fund and Baker Place into one agency, PRC was anxious to find a physical home where all of their services would be readily available.  Their new home will be on Ninth Street just south of Market! In preparation for this expensive but necessary move, they happened upon a unique fundraising idea called Chair the Love. Just as a couple about to wed or expecting a child might create a registry to guide guests in their gift-giving, so PRC provides a website where you can sign up to fund the furnishings vital to the activities in this new home. Instead of buying a set of wine glasses, a toaster or a microwave, you can envision your contribution of various dollar amounts underwriting chairs, tables, office furniture and other essentials so that PRC can open this headquarters for the wide variety of services now available from a proven staff of professionals. Naming opportunities are available for larger contributions, proudly marking your support of PRC. Check out the website ( ). And watch for the Grand Opening in May!

    Our final event report is on Krewe de Kinque’s Bal Masque XVI at the Café last Saturday night. For lovers of Mardi Gras, New Orleans or just a rocking party, this event had it all. The Bohemian Royalty: A Glam Rock Revolution theme encouraged all kinds of entertainment and costuming as King Gareth Gooch and Queen Miss Chief oversaw the festivities with Grand Marshals Michelle Meow & Tookta. Guests enjoyed food galore, a huge silent auction, raffle prizes, festive cocktails and a thoroughly entertaining show and new King Aja Monet-Ashton and Queen Kelly Rose were crowned. While we know it takes an army of volunteers to throw a party like this, the lion’s share of credit goes to the founder of the club and tireless champion of its activities, Gary Virginia; if he gets behind an event, it is going to succeed! This year’s beneficiary was the Lesbian/Gay Asylum Project, soon to move operations onto Castro Street. 

    In preparing the calendar of upcoming events for this edition’s column, we were amazed to find a quite limited number of big galas, parties or special events, so we decided to remind everyone of some ongoing weekly and monthly events that keep this City so interesting. Seriously, there is something to do every night of the week, many of them in support of worthwhile charitable causes. So, reacquaint yourself with these regularly scheduled events and the hard-working people behind them!

    And finally, we recognize the recent loss of a true public servant, Public Defender Jeff Adachi, who died suddenly on February 22.  The City and the many individuals he helped mourn his death.

    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


    Calendar a/la Sachet

    Every Sunday
    Sunday’s a Drag!
    10:30 am Brunch, 11:30 am Show
    The Starlight Room
    Sir Francis Drake Hotel
    $75 inclusive

    Every Monday, Wednesday and Sunday
    Musical Night
    The Edge
    18th & Collingwood
    7 pm
    Different themes, different VJs, always crowded

    Every Monday
    M@M Munros
    Midnight Sun
    4067 18th Street
    9 pm RuPaul’s Drag Race viewing
    10 pm drag show

    Every Monday
    Underwear Night
    440 Castro
    9 pm
    Yes, Underwear Night, really!

    Every Tuesday
    Vice Tuesday
    456 Castro
    9 pm
    Women’s night

    Every Wednesday
    Castro Karaoke
    Midnight Sun
    4067 18th Street
    8 pm
    Bebe Sweetbriar hosts, cash prizes

    Every Thursday
    The Monster Show
    The Edge
    18th & Collingwood
    9 pm
    Outrageous drag show with lively audience

    Every Friday
    Beards & Booze
    The Edge
    18th & Collingwood
    7 pm
    Brian Kent, dancers; beard or not, everyone is welcome

    First Saturday of Every Month
    Go Bang!
    The Stud
    399 9th Street
    9 pm
    Legendary dance party, legendary club

    Second Saturday of Every Month
    Mother at Oasis
    298 11th Street
    10 pm
    Award-winning, long-running themed drag show & party

    Fourth Saturday of Every Month
    The End Up
    401 6th Street
    10 pm
    Very popular themed dance party

    Saturday, March 9
    Stand Out, Stand Up – Jennie McNulty
    Comedy showcase
    3092 16th Street
    $15 & up

    Friday, March 22
    The Brits Are Coming!
    SF Gay Men’s Chorus concert
    Davies Symphony Hall
    8 pm
    $25 & up