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    Donna’s Chronicles: “If you are reading this, that means you too survived another holiday season, packed with obligations, but hopefully full of time spent with loved ones.”

    By Donna Sachet–

    If you are reading this, that means you too survived another holiday season, packed with obligations, but hopefully full of time spent with loved ones. We wrapped up the holiday crush on Christmas Eve in the excellent company of Barry Miles, CoCo Butter, and Gary Virginia at the Castro Theatre for the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus’ annual concert. We often write about new and personal traditions and attending this event has become one. For nearly an hour before each of the 5, 7, and 9 pm shows, two lines of colorfully dressed guests begin to form, one for general admission and one for those who pay slightly more for early entry to snag the best seats. As much as we loathe standing in line, there is something quite special about assembling with Castro residents, visiting family members, loyal chorus devotees, and people of all descriptions in anticipation. Old friendships are renewed and new acquaintances often made. Once inside, the rush for seats is manic, but joyful, with every seat taken within minutes. Those with a taste for popcorn or the like then have to endure a less exciting long line for refreshments. Some, like us, claim seats with coats and umbrellas and then adjourn to 440 across the street for stronger libations. Without much fanfare the chorus quickly files in down the aisles and onto the stage as music begins to flood the theatre. The next hour is filled with rich choral singing skillfully performed, playful antics, goofy costumes and “choralography,” and wry commentary from Artistic Director Tim Seelig, whose column can also be found in these pages. Going to the 9 pm show means that when things run a little long, no one really cares; for over an hour, the room is full of nostalgia, laughter, and camaraderie. Such is the gift of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus!

    As the glowing memories of festive holiday events grow dim, we encourage you to hold onto the most universal message of the season, one that we can each personalize every day. Be kind. Take note when that MUNI driver reminds an inexperienced rider that the machine doesn’t give change, saving that rider needless expense and embarrassment. Take note when a friend doesn’t just ask you how you are doing, but genuinely listens, asking specific questions and demonstrating sincere concern. Take a moment to thank your waiter, bartender, doorman/woman, or other person providing you a service, but often overlooked. And while we’re at it, next time you are in a bar or other social setting and notice a person without company, why not say hello with no intention beyond being friendly? True kindness is never difficult or forced; it is as easy as a smile. So many of us are committed to addressing major problems, from the deterioration of the City to shameless national leadership, from displacement of beloved local residents due to unethical rent increases to LGBTQ inequity internationally, and from struggling local arts and business endeavors to terrifying world-wide environmental concerns. The burden can become overwhelming. But each and every one of us can take the time and effort every day to be kind in our everyday lives. Call it civility, conscientiousness, or just kindness, but make it a part of your 2020!

    Donna with friends Steven, Gary and Joshua celebrating New Year’s Eve and the arrival of 2020 at Twin Peaks

    With that new year comes another campaign for Emperor and Empress of San Francisco! As the Reigning Emperor Terrill Grimes and Reigning Empress Baby Shaques complete their wonderfully successful year, tongues are wagging about who will run for these historic titles next. The deadline for submitting applications has passed, review board is this weekend, and the official candidates for Emperor and Empress will be presented on Sunday. Expect to see these as yet unnamed persons out and about during the weeks leading up to Voting Day, Saturday, February 15. Next issue’s Donna’s Chronicles will include complete details of upcoming events surrounding San Francisco’s Imperial Coronation on Saturday, February 22.

    Also, in February, Krewe de Kinque, the San Francisco-based, New Orleans-style Mardi Gras club, kicks into high gear, culminating in Bal Masque. If you love the spirit of Mardi Gras, come to Bal Masque!

    After several weeks of relative calm, you are bound to be caught up again in the whirlwind of LGBTQ events in San Francisco, many providing vital funding for organizations that make this City livable for many in crisis and all of them adding to the special vitality that keeps us here! Read all about it right here and whatever you do and wherever you go … be kind.

    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

    Published on January 16, 2020


    Calendar a/la Sachet

    Sunday, December 22
    Sunday’s a Drag! Holiday Show
    10:30 am Brunch, 11:30 am Show
    Donna Sachet, Lady Tia, Mahlae & guest stars
    The Empire Ballroom of the Sir Francis Drake Hotel

    Saturday, January 18
    An Evening with the Empresses
    All Empresses performing for you!
    Hamburger Mary’s
    531 Castro Street
    7 pm door, 8 pm show

    Sunday, January 19
    Imperial Court Gala & ICP Ball: Angels vs Demons
    Emperor & Empress candidates announced
    With Imperial Crown Prince Brent & Princess Sadyst Payne
    DNA Lounge
    375 11th Street
    6 pm door, 7 pm show

    Friday, January 24
    Disco Coalition honors Donna Sachet
    Honoring Queeros of the LGBTQ Community
    Benefits AIDS Emergency Fund/PRC
    3600 16th Street
    6–8 pm