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    Donna’s Chronicles: Believe it or not, we have survived another San Francisco Pride Week!

    By Donna Sachet–

    Believe it or not, we have survived another San Francisco Pride Week! The Pink Triangle atop Twin Peaks has come down, the rainbow flags along Market have disappeared, and the Pride Parade and Celebration in Civic Center are now but a memory.  Whether you dashed from event to event, concentrated on key films from the Frameline Film Festival, or simply watched from the sidelines as San Francisco and the nation marked the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, it was hard to ignore this year’s historic significance. We all owe a great debt of gratitude to those who fought so hard to open the door to the world in which we live today. Did you legally marry your same gender partner? Have you voted for an openly Gay or Lesbian political candidate?  Are you living your full life as an LGBTQ individual at home, at work, and in the public eye? None of this just happened and we must be ever aware of that fact. Now, what role will we play in the changes to come? Involvement takes many forms, but there is no excuse for idle observation and lethargy. Find your own personal way to join the ongoing fight for full equality and genuine acceptance. You’ll be glad you did!

    One of the highlights of our weekend was the 21st annual Pride Brunch presented by Wells Fargo, relocated this year to the Westin St. Francis Hotel Union Square. In partnership with our longtime friend Gary Virginia, PRC staff members Cal Callahan and Hayden Reynolds, and a team of tireless volunteers, we pulled out all the stops, increasing attendance to over 350, assembling the largest silent auction ever, and creating a gorgeous setting in which to honor the Grand Marshals of the SF Pride Parade. Elected officials were everywhere, including Mayor London Breed, State Senator Scott Wiener, Supervisors Rafael Mandelman and Vallie Brown, Treasurer Jose Cisneros, and City College Board President Alex Randolph.  Mario Diaz, soon to retire from Wells Fargo, our Presenting Sponsor, shared personal remarks, as did PRC Executive Director Brett Andrews. Grand Marshals and Honorees Donna Personna, Vince Chrisostomo, Sampson McCormick, China Silk and members of the casts of television shows Vida and Tales of the City spoke briefly and as always touched the audience with their courage, candor and humor. The Dixieland Dykes + 3, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Korbel and massive rainbow flag decor by Tommy Taylor and florals created by CoCo Butter kept the atmosphere festive and proud. It would be impossible to thank all the many who contributed to this successful event, but their generous financial sponsorships, product donations and hands-on volunteer efforts took the Pride Brunch to a new level. Thank you all!

    We can’t share much personally from the Celebration in Civic Center, but according to all reports, co-emcees Sister Roma and Honey Mahogany expertly guided the thousands assembled through a powerful lineup of speakers and entertainers.  Meanwhile, we were on air covering the Pride Parade on CBS KPIX with news anchors Ken Bastida and Elizabeth Cook, community representatives Peter Gallotta, Michelle Meow, and Pearl Teese, and field reporters Liam Mayclem, Jackie Ward, Anne Mackovec, and Veronica De La Cruz, backed up by the best support team in the business. Because of this bold partnership between SF Pride and CBS KPIX, our Pride Parade was seen on Facebook Twitter, and YouTube by tens of thousands more than those present in person. As more and more Pride Parades across the globe experiment with live streaming and other methods of viewership, let’s not forget that ours was the first to be televised and has been made available to a wider public for over 15 years! What a seat we have enjoyed for 14 of those years as this dynamic, energizing and richly diverse demonstration of the LGBTQ Community passes by! And the 2019 Pride Parade was no exception, skillfully organized by a hardworking SF Pride Board and membership, facing even an unexpected delay with peaceful negotiation and calm resolution.  From the boisterous beginning with Dykes on Bikes through over 280 contingents, we were on display and resolute, supported by thousands of cheering spectators. And if you thought this was an incredible event, wait until 2020, celebrating 50 years of San Francisco Pride!

    The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus Queens concert, presented on June 21-22 at the Sydney Goldstein Theater, featured Donna Sachet singing “I Am What I Am” and introducing members of the Ducal and Imperial Council families along with Heklina, Sister Roma, Sister Phyllis and Kylie Minono.

    Our final Pride event was Juanita More!’s annual Pride Party on Jones Street, packed as always with an eclectic mix of her supporters and this year raising money for the GLBT Historical Society and Museum. Juanita herself was resplendent as drinks flowed, laughter rang out and friendships old and new were rekindled. Reported proceeds exceeded $130,000! What a way to finish off the weekend!

    We end this edition’s column with another thanks to all those behind the scenes of the many Pride events over the past month.  From concerts, films and dance parties to marches, political actions and fundraisers, San Francisco continues to offer something for everyone. Next year, in addition to participating in some of the panoply of events, find your way to contribute to their success, as a volunteer, donor, performer, promoter or active member. And let’s begin now to aggressively reach out beyond our borders whether geographic or cultural to make SF Pride 2020’s Generations of Hope the biggest and best ever!

    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

    Every Sunday
    Sunday’s a Drag!
    The Starlight Room
    Sir Francis Drake Hotel
    10:30 am Brunch, 11:30 am Show
    $75 inclusive
    https://starlightroomsf.com/sundays-a-drag

    Saturday, July 20
    Community Day at Harvey Milk Terminal 1 at SFO
    Sneak preview of historic terminal
    Original art, historic displays, family activities
    Noon–4 pm
    Free!
    www.flysfo.com/grandopenings

    Saturday, July 20
    Black & Blue Ball
    Hosted by Imperial Crown Princess Sadyst Payne
    Catalyst, 1060 Folsom Street
    7 pm–11 pm
    $10
    www.imperialcouncilsf.org/events

    Sunday, July 28
    Up Your Alley Street Fair
    Dore Alley & Folsom Street between 9th & 11th
    11 am–6 pm
    Voluntary gate donation
    www.folsomstreetevents.org

    Sunday, July 28
    PLAY T-Dance
    Brian Kent Production, fetish dance party, DJ Russ Rich
    City Nights, 715 Harrison Street
    $60 & up
    www.eventbrite.com