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    Donna’s Chronicles, “As this year comes to a close…”

    By Donna Sachet–

    As this year comes to a close, our cherished traditions are being challenged right and left. How many of you spent every Christmas Eve for many years at the Castro Theatre enjoying one of the SF Gay Men’s Chorus’ three concerts there? How many of you giddily hopped onto a plane, eagerly anticipating a reunion with family members and the comfort of familiar foods, conversation, and atmosphere? And how many of you simply donned your gayest apparel before heading South of Market or to the Castro to spend some time with your favorite bartender at a local bar? Few of us will spend this holiday season as we have in the past and many of us may not see easy alternatives. It has indeed been (to borrow the phrase of dear Queen Elizabeth II) an annus horribilis, Latin for horrible year.

    Yet, in the LGBTQ Community, we know how to face challenges, seeing new possibilities and finding creative alternatives. The SF Gay Men’s Chorus presents (At) Home for the Holidays, an online program of holiday music on Christmas Eve. Zoom and Facebook Live chats will have to suffice this year instead of large family gatherings. And believe us, the bars and businesses of SOMA and the Castro will welcome you in your festive attire, only in parklets, socially distanced, and safely masked. No, it may not be exactly what we would prefer, but try something different and you may be surprised at how many of the same nostalgic feelings will come to the surface. We’ll miss many of the events for which we have happily served as emcee, hostess, or simply ribbon-cutter, but that doesn’t mean we’ll stay home all month! We’ll be safe and festive! Even without a big official in-person lighting, the lovely origami tree sponsored by the Rainbow World Fund will still appear at Grace Cathedral and the Castro Holiday Tree still glitters in the Castro. Online programs abound with music, dance, theatre, and other art forms, including Donna Sachet’s Songs of the Season produced by Brian Kent on Monday, December 14, at 7 pm.

    In the spirit of this radically different holiday season, we hope you enjoy this poem, penned by us, with apologies to Clement Moore.

    ‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the ‘hood
    Not a creature was stirring, not even Masood.
    The merchants in the Castro had decorated with care,
    At least the businesses that were still there.
    The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
    The Castro Holiday Tree only a memory in their heads.
    When out on the street there arose such a clatter,
    A drag queen in red said, “That tree, it still matters!”
    So down to the B of A a small group flew
    With a tree, some lights, and decorations too.
    They spoke not a word, but went straight to work,
    And set up a holiday tree, then turned with a jerk.
    No chorus this year, no children, no band,
    But elected officials, sisters, and a few others on hand.
    And so once again the Castro Holiday Tree arose,
    A place for residents and visitors to pose.
    The Castro still offers this tree to remind us
    That isolation and gloom will soon be behind us.
    Masks and gloves will be a thing of the past.
    Let hugs and parties return to the Castro at last!
    Picture streets that are crowded with folks having fun,
    Busy restaurants, shops, and bars in 2021!
    And I heard that drag queen exclaim, as she headed out of sight,
    “Happy Holidays to all and to all a good night!”

    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


    Calendar a/la Sachet

    Wednesday, December 4
    The Academy Legends Award Night
    Honoring Juanita MORE!, hosted by Liam Mayclem & Donna Sachet
    Facebook and YouTube online event
    7 pm, Free!
    www.academy-sf.com/club

    Saturday, December 5
    DIVALICIOUS Brunch: Holidays are a DRAG!
    Hosted by Afrika America & BeBe Sweetbriar
    With Princess Poppy, Amora Dior Black, Connie Hung
    Beaux, 2243 Market Street
    Noon
    $5 cover
    www.beauxsf.com

    Thursday, December 10
    I Am Divine movie virtual group viewing
    Documentary about the legendary entertainer & honoree
    Hosted by and benefiting Rainbow Honor Walk
    7 pm
    $10
    www.rainbowhonorwalk.org

    Saturday, December 12; Sunday December 13
    The Nutcracker Express, SF Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band
    Dance Along Nutcracker reimagined online
    Special guests, great music, comedy
    7 pm Saturday, 11 am Sunday
    Free! $15 suggested donation
    www.sflgfb.org

    Sunday, December 13
    Help Is on the Way for the Holidays XIX
    Richmond/Ermet Aid Foundation’s virtual gala
    Featuring clips from 18 past concerts
    6 pm
    $25 & up
    www.reaf-sf.org

    Monday, Dec. 14
    Donna Sachet’s Songs of the Season produced by Brian Kent
    Virtual cabaret of holiday music with Frenchie Davis, Leanne Borghesi, Russell Deason, Roberta Drake, Kippy Marks, Kenny Nelson, Dan O’Leary, Effie Passero, Breanna Sinclaire, Sister Roma
    Benefits PRC
    7 pm & 3 pm on Sunday
    Free! But donations welcome and appreciated
    www.prcsf.org

    Thursday–Sunday, December 17–20
    The Golden Girls LIVE!: The Christmas Episodes
    Featuring Heklina, Matthew Martin, D’Arcy Drollinger, Holotta Tymes
    Virtual show with new episodes
    $30 & up
    www.stellartickets.com

    Thursday, December 24
    (At) Home for the Holidays, SF Gay Men’s Chorus
    Legendary Xmas Eve concert goes virtual
    5 pm
    Details coming soon
    www.sfgmc.org

    Published on December 3, 2020