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    Donna’s Chronicles, “PRC’s annual Mighty Real Gala went virtual this year…”

    By Donna Sachet–

    PRC’s annual Mighty Real Gala went virtual this year, pivoting with the times, as so many other organizations have, but delivering an exciting evening unlike any other! The legendary Patti LaBelle received the Sylvester Pillar Award and thrilled the viewing guests with three musical numbers accompanied by piano and two back-up singers. Fashion guru André Leon Talley introduced a sweeping retrospective of Ms. LaBelle’s illustrious, over four-decade career, complete with photos and videos of various performances. The star power continued with appearances by Mayor London Breed, Cyndi Lauper, and Whoopi Goldberg, all honoring Ms. LaBelle and expressing support for PRC. 

    We were thrilled to emcee the evening, given the challenging, but important task of requesting donations throughout the evening.  Yes, this pandemic has impacted many we know personally with reduction of or loss of income and it may be harder to look beyond individual needs, but organizations like PRC continue to provide essential services to those most in need and those demands have grown with the pandemic. Throughout, PRC has continued and increased its daily work, finding new ways to meet the needs of its over 5000 clients each year. Well, after a stirring video explaining the work of PRC, an inspiring speech by CEO Brett Andrews, and a frantic fund-in-need auction, those watching happily shared financial support at a variety of levels.  The silent auction included a concise group of travel, food, and celebrity themed packages and premium ticket holders had dinner and wine delivered to their homes by Absinthe restaurant, recently reopened after months of closure.

    Once again, PRC and its top-notch technical team assembled a slick, professional program that lived up to the reputation of the agency, now enhanced by the association with such luminous musical talents. Thank you to all the sponsors, donors, and participants who made the evening a smashing success.

    Amid the many precautions of the day, but with careful planning, two of our LGBTQ Community’s favorites recently celebrated their birthdays surrounded by friends. Gary Rahlf, lovingly referred to as “The Queen,” gathered an intimate group of admirers in the 440 Castro parklet to enjoy munchies from The Cove, cocktails from 440, and camaraderie with each other.  There was cake, laughter, testimonials, singing, and general mayhem, but all within the City’s safety guidelines. A few weeks later, Absolute Empress XXV Marlena perched upon a bench in the green space in front of what was once Marlena’s bar to greet a small invited group of friends to celebrate her birthday. Many spoke of the large parties once held to celebrate her birthday and that of Emperor Matthew Brown, born on the same date, who now resides in Palm Springs. This party was admittedly much smaller, but no less sincere, hosted by the Reigning Emperor William Bulkley and Reigning Empress Mimi Osa,with cake and champagne, singing, and lots of revelry. Despite so many changes in the way we currently go from day to day, creative minds find low-risk solutions and provide methods to stay in touch and to celebrate together. We encourage all our readers to remain vigilant, but to explore new ways of connecting safely.

    It is not our mission to write political opinions; the San Francisco Bay Times has many who write for this paper with much greater qualifications in that field. Nevertheless, we would be remiss if we did not at least acknowledge the national election of earlier this month. As the world becomes ever more connected, we are ever more cognizant of how precious our freedoms are in the United States. Flawed as our system may be, we see a continuous arc of improvement, as we struggle towards that “more perfect union” written about in the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States. That struggle has never been easy and those leading the charge have the battle scars to prove it, but struggle we do. An essential part of the success of our democracy is our hard-won right to vote. How can it be that property owning males were the only ones allowed to participate in the election process when this nation began? Or that females only gained that right within the lifetimes of many current citizens? Without preaching from our soap box, we will admit to disappointment in election results several times in the past, questioning the very sanity of the electorate in the face of seemingly unassailable facts. This democracy, however, is based on the fair election process and, especially in our current predicament, we must allow that process to be completed. Votes must be verified and counted.  Litigation must be reviewed and settled. And yes, perhaps, the Electoral College, gerrymandered districts, and other specific details of the process should be examined, but we must see the election of November 3 through to its just conclusion. 

    Raucous celebrations, including those in the Castro, may have felt good, but when Inauguration Day comes in January, it will be time to unite as a nation and to move forward with an acknowledgement of our differences, but an understanding of the many concerns we all share. As many have said with many different words, when all is said and done, we have more in common than we have that separates us. Let’s get down to work!

    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

    Thursday, November 19

    The Plunge: A Digital Drag Show
    Monthly digital event hosted by
    D’Arcy Drollinger & Snaxx
    Performers include
    Trixxie Carr, Holotta Tymes, Roma Holiday, Cash Monet
    7 pm
    $10
    www.twitch.tv/sfoasis

    Thursday, November 19

    Glide Memorial Church virtual Holiday Jam
    India Arie, Joan Baez, Lisa Fischer, Goapele, Michael Franti,
    Tim Johnston, Ledisi, D’Wayne Wiggins, GLIDE Ensemble, Change Band
    Emceed by Renel Brooks-Moon
    7 pm
    Free, donations encouraged
    GLIDE 2020 Holiday Jam

    Saturday, November 21

    Babes Who Brunch
    Mercedez Munro & the Ladies of the House of Munro
    Beaux, 2344 Market
    Noon & 2 pm seatings
    https://www.facebook.com/events/278474676920209

    Wednesday, December 9

    Donna Sachet’s Songs of the Season produced by Brian Kent
    Virtual cabaret of holiday music from local favorites
    Benefits PRC
    7 pm
    www.prcsf.org

    Thursday, December 10

    I Am Divine movie virtual group viewing
    Documentary about legendary entertainer
    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

    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 November 19, 2020