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    Sister Dana sez, [singing] “All I want for Christmas is impeachment soon. Impeachment soon…”

    By Sister Dana Van Iquity–

    Sister Dana sez, [singing] “All I want for Christmas is impeachment soon. Impeachment soon. Just impeachment soon. If we got impeachment soon, gosh oh gee, how happy I’d be, and what a very Merry Christmas that would be! (Apologies to Don Gardner and his ‘All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth.’)”

    It wouldn’t be the holidays without Tchaikovsky’s classic Nutcracker Suite. No, I don’t mean that tired old ballet with the same boring plot. I’m talkin’ about the yearly SAN FRANCISCO LESBIAN/GAY FREEDOM BAND always selecting a different theme to blend with that of the original. The result is DANCE-ALONG NUTCRACKER, a fun-filled musical production brimming with humor, artistry, and ingenuity (created and written by the Band’s Heidi Beeler). Held at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Forum, the talented cast sang and danced their way through a witty “Pirates of the Caribbean” parody version of the Nutcracker. And when the “Dance-Along” sign flashed, we wannabe ballet artistes in the audience jumped to our feet, tugging on our tutus and pirouetting along with the cast. NUTCRACKERS OF THE CARIBBEAN took us on a high seas adventure with Clara (Dee Nathaniel), Fritz (Zelda Koznofski), and Captain Drosselmeyer (Joe Wicht) as they sought out the buried treasure of Peg Legs Tchaikovsky. The rest of the cast was comprised of villainous Queen Ratannia (Ruby Vixen), Emperor Norton (Flynn DeMarco—who also directed), Al Capone/ Julia Butterfly Hill (Leigh Crow), and Captain Anne Tennille (Marilynn Fowler—who was the clever choreographer). Artistic Director Pete Nowlen conducted the Band in their colorful costumes, ranging from pirates to undersea creatures.

    Thomasina De Maio, owner of the ART SAVES LIVES Castro gallery and performance space at 518 Castro & 18th Streets, hosted a gorgeous reception party, DECEMBER ART, featuring art pieces by 20 artists. Among the artists in the past have been Michael Staley, Jim Knosp, Paisha Rochlin, Kim Andrich, Pesina Michael, Michael Lownie, Liam Peters, Tobi Wiggins, Chris Grassano, Chris Woods, Joel Hoyer, Celia Beattes, Larry Bruderer, and Jerry Frost. Some of the talented local lineup of artists this month were Clint Grassano with his landscapes oil on board; Bill Haught and his studies on nature; Michael Staley and his Swarovski crystal work carefully pasted on everything imaginable including a toaster, a cow skull, and a high heel; the clever cartoonery of gay couples by Oph KhotsimeuanzMichael Lownie and his colorful porthole series; Joel Hoyer with his gold and silver glowing round shapes; and as an avid flamingo collector, how could I resist “Flamingo Queen on Her Throne—all crafted of sea shells—by Larry Bruderer. All of the pieces will be on display throughout December. Free food was offered by Dave and Mauros of Famous Farms. Entertainment was by local celebs, Magnolia Black and Nate James, to name a few. We are so fortunate to have this jewel of a performance space/gallery in the Castro!  

    SAN FRANCISCO BAY TIMES held the annual HOLIDAY PARTY for us staff and our friends at the historic Moby Dick bar on 18th Street in the Castro. This year, we once again joined with the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band for carols and food and good cheer. We celebrated the first night of Hanukkah with a lighting of the menorah ceremony. Then we were joined by Bay Times cover girl Donna Sachet to sing our hearts out with holiday music accompanied by the Band. It was a time to say thank you to everyone who has helped to keep our paper growing and glowing for our community. In 2018, we will celebrate our 40th year. But the topping of the symbolic Christmas tree with a bright shining star was the news that Doug Jones had just defeated the awful Roy Moore for an Alabama Senate seat. This was a glorious victory for human rights, women’s rights, and civil rights—not to mention a huge slap on the predatory face of the Trump monster. You’re next, Donald Dumbest!

    On Sunday, December 10, hundreds met at Lookout Bar (3600 16th Street) in San Francisco for the annual SANTA SKIVVIES RUN, an outdoor underwear marathon. They came to Castro half naked or donned their best jolly old Santa costume in support of the SAN FRANCISCO AIDS FOUNDATION. 100 percent of the proceeds supported free HIV prevention, care, and support services. Yay! But also, brrrrrrr!

    AGUILAS threw their annual XMAS HOLIDAY SHOW AND DANCE PARTY at the LGBT Community Center in the Rainbow Room. The name AGUILAS is an acronym for “Asamblea Gay Unida Impactando Latinos a Superarse,” which translates to Assembly of United Gays Impacting Latinos towards Self-Empowerment. AGUILAS is a nonprofit organization and the largest Gay Latino Organization in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Rainbow Room was decorated to the max in holiday lights, tree, and decor. Authentic Mexican food (including tamales) was served, along with festive entertainment by dazzling drag Santas and Mrs. Clauses. Of course, we danced to “Feliz Navidad,” “All I Want for Christmas is You,” “Despacito,” and the “Macarena” with appropriate choreography.

    Activist Sister Dana joined the DSASF (San Francisco Democratic Socialists of America) group in Harvey Milk Plaza on Friday, December 15, to protest the GOP TAX SCAM that was about to pass along party lines in Congress. We chanted, “Tax the greedy, not the needy!” We heard several speakers give inspiring speeches to resist the tyranny, oligarchy, and autocracy of the current administration. DSASF seeks to create a system based on justice and equality for all people. They believe everyone deserves to live their own life with dignity. They work to equalize political and economic power, because true democracy cannot coexist with inequality. They urgently fight to stop the many crises facing our most powerless members of society. DSASF is not a political party. They are a coalition of people, united to create a more powerful front against the worst that capitalism has to offer. Their next meeting is on January 11, 7 pm, at the Women’s Building, 3543 18th Street.

    HanuCON—Our Big Queer Hanukkah Party—was celebrated at Oasis. We donned our blue and white “Santa” hats/yarmulkes, ate latkes, drank vodka, danced, and lit the menorah, while the delightful Miss Shugana hosted and entertained. Mazel tov!

    Sister Dana sez, “If Jack Frost isn’t nipping at your nose, better check which character is inappropriately nipping without consent elsewhere on your body. Then go check out these holidaze offerings!”

    QUEER INTERFAITH SERVICE CHRISTMAS EVE IN THE CASTRO is offered on Sunday, December 24, 6–7:30 pm in Harvey Milk Plaza. Join SACRED SPACE SF for their 2nd Annual Queer Christmas Eve Interfaith Service. As for last year, hot chocolate and cookie bites will be part of the Communion service. And they are pleased to announce through a generous donation, they will have a limited number of pupusas to serve for the hungry people after the service. Hygiene kits, clean socks, hats, scarves and gloves will be handed out after the service has ended. (Donations accepted).

    Have you seen the new CASTRO STREET CAM? If not, please click onto and have a look. It’s live 24/7 with three cameras streaming, and a fourth for special occasions held at Jane Warner Plaza. You can people-watch the folks who are donning their gay apparel. Thanks to our friends at Cliff’s Variety and Orphan Andy’s for making it so!    

    This December 24, join the SAN FRANCISCO GAY MEN’S CHORUS for some stunning holiday performances that bring together glorious singing and hilarious hijinks to the stage, whisking you away on a journey from the comfort and coziness of your seat all the way to the North Pole. Don’t miss a single performance! HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS plays onstage at the Castro Theatre, 429 Castro Street, 5 pm, 7 pm, and 9 pm—all on Christmas Eve Sunday. Fa la la la la!!!

    The RAINBOW WORLD FUND (RWF) World Tree of Hope is a gift to San Francisco from the LGBTQ and allied friends’ community. The RWF mission is to promote peace, unity and hope by leading the LGBTQ movement to participate in humanitarian relief efforts. “The Rainbow World Fund WORLD TREE OF HOPE taps into two of our most powerful resources—the human mind and heart—to give individuals a way to join together to express our hopes and intentions for the future of our global community,” says Jeff Cotter, Executive Director of the Rainbow World Fund. “The Tree celebrates the power of hope—how essential it is to our survival, our healing and humanity.” Decorated with more than 17,000 origami cranes and stars, the RWF World Tree of Hope is the largest annual origami-decorated tree in the world. Every crane and star contains handwritten notes of peace and love from children and adults across the globe. The wishes were folded into white origami cranes by a diverse team of volunteers, including members of San Francisco’s LGBTQ and Japanese-American communities, among them survivors of the Hiroshima atomic bomb. The tree will be on display at the City Hall Rotunda from now to January 4. Wishes will be added to the tree throughout December. Interested individuals can send a wish by visiting

    Sister Dana sez, “A charitable foundation has been created in honor of the late Mayor Ed Lee at the San Francisco Foundation known as the ‘The Edwin M. Lee Community Fund’ to fund causes important to him—addressing homelessness, fighting discrimination, protecting immigrants, protecting the environment, and increasing affordability for San Franciscans. RIP Mayor Lee, and may his progressive legacy increase ten-fold!”