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    Sister Dana sez, “Betsy DeVos just sunk to a new low.”

    By Sister Dana Van Iquity–

    Sister Dana sez, “Betsy DeVos just sunk to a new low. Trump’s Secretary of Education reversed President Barack Obama’s protections for transgender students in public schools. Shame! The Secretary of Education is in need of education!”

    Congratulations to the winners of the three contests at Dolores Park with THE SISTERS OF PERPETUAL INDULGENCE on Easter Sunday: Easter Bonnet winner Miguel Gutierrez (who has won so many times, he probably should be retired to the Easter Bonnet Winner Hall of Fame, if there was such a thing); Foxy Mary winner Motor Boat Mary (Dixie De La Tour, who insisted I motorboat her ample bosom = #metoo); and Hunky Jesus winner Forrest Gump Jesus (Nevin McConnell, who leaped so high he should have been Forrest JUMP Jesus).

    On April 19, Mayor London Breed held a ceremonial swearing-in for 32 commissioners she has appointed or re-appointed to various City commissions and boards. These commissioners represent a wide variety of lived experiences and expertise, and continue her commitment to equitable representation and diversity in City government.

    We took a trip back to old San Francisco on April 22. Actually, this was my second trip for a reprise of the same show in February. Punk rock, trans legend, and sultry chanteuse Bambi Lake and Cockettes songster Scrumbly Koldewyn returned with their fabulous musical revue “TENDER IS MY LOIN” produced by Dan Karkoska at PianoFight in the Tenderloin. This sleazy, seedy, sensational show featured new songs PLUS all my old faves. This homage to the Tenderloin included classic singers Birdie Bob Watt (occasionally on piano), Kitten on the Keys (Suzanne Beignet Ramsey sometimes doing a piano duet and other times on the accordion), sexy Steven Satyricon, Hypnodrome favorite Earl Alfred Paus, the buxom Ruby Vixenn and villainous James Jeske (whom we joyfully booed for his evil real estate takeover plans). The second half of the show was devoted entirely to Queen of the Tenderloin, Bambi, and her jazzy bluesy tunes about the ‘loin. I SINcerely hope this revue runs again and again!  

    LYRIC, Center for LGBTQQ Youth, held its 31st Anniversary Open House, BLOOM: Revolutionary Power from the Margins on April 25th at LYRIC headquarters in the Castro, 127 Collingwood Street. In reflecting what it means to be hopeful that we can transform our communities together, LYRIC Fellows created this season’s message: “At LYRIC, youth leaders grow into ourselves. We unite to heal our communities.” So, when LGBTQQ youth build healthy bonds and form vibrant connections with one another, a community of grounded leaders is created. It was exciting to begin this Spring empowered by the dedication of LGBTQQ youth to see their communities thrive and blossom. And we got to join them on this beautiful journey. Along with a tour of the three-story building, we enjoyed poetry readings and art by undocumented youth. Three institutions received awards: YOUNG WOMEN’S FREEDOM CENTER, ASIAN WOMEN’S SHELTER and SAN FRANCISCO AIDS FOUNDATION

    At this year’s annual gala, OUR FAMILY COALITION assembled on April 26 at the Intercontinental San Francisco for NIGHT OUT, when hundreds of leaders and partners in the LGBTQ family justice and education movement came together to celebrate wins and to gather resources to support OFC’s work in the future. I must say I was quite amused that the signature cocktail of the night was the lemon drop renamed “Tantrum.” Three awards were given: Senator Scott Wiener gave Zach Wahls, Iowa Senator (proud son of lesbian parents), in absentia, the Luminary Award for his clarion-clear voice and potent advocacy on behalf of LGBTQ family and gender equity coast to coast; Zoe Polk of the SF Human Rights Commission gave Alison Collins, San Francisco School Board Member and community organizer, the Community Partner Award for her dedication to educational equity for all; and OFC Education Director Rick Oculto presented AMPLIFY with the Corporate Impact Award for their exemplary, pioneering work in inclusive education. OFC Executive Director Renata Moreira introduced the staff and board and spoke of the importance of educators everywhere being completely inclusive in their curricula. She also showed an impressive video of the accomplishments of OFC.

    Sister Dana with Sister Hellon Wheels on April
    5, at the Opening Night Reception held at Strut
    for the exhibit of work by Ramon Vidali.

    BACK TO THE PICTURE gallery at 934 Valencia Street held an art exhibition reception on April 27, MISSION LEGENDS: THE ART OF ROBLES, RIOS, & ROMAN, curated by Derek Hargrove. These remarkable pieces will remain for viewing now through May 26. It was 1992 in the Mission district of San Francisco, and three artists were already well on their way to legendary status. Calixto Robles had recently taken over for Rene Castro as the head of Mission Graffica; Michael Rios had already formed a strong bond with musician Carlos Santana after debuting his mural on 22nd Street in the late ’80’s and was producing work to critical acclaim; and Michael Roman had just landed in San Francisco after being relocated by Santana. All three were in demand, and extremely popular. Roman’s stencils of Mezzo-American and African American iconography were everywhere, incorporating Aztec gods and designs. In just a few years, Rios’ artwork would grace the cover of Santana’s Supernatural, an image that 27 million people around the world have in their music collection today. Robles also formed a relationship and bond with Santana when he introduced the legendary musician to East Asian deities and symbols of peace in his signature Oaxacan style. The “Artist Affordable Housing” oil by Rios really spoke to me, in all of these tiny one room boxes stacked on top of and beside each other—places where SF artists could barely afford to live in uncomfortably close quarters. Roman’s “punk Latino wild style” is reflected in his silk screen “Pardon Me,” with a cat in high heels stooping over and showing off her cat butt. Also, I loved his Jimi Hendrix rendition of mixed media on paper—taking me back to the late ’60s when I got to hear Jimi and his amazing guitar live at the Hollywood Bowl. Several in Robles’ angels’ series especially appealed to me. Go check all these out!

    RAINBOW WORLD FUND threw a joyous FUND LGBTQ PRIDE IN CUBA party on April 28 at Gough House—a beautiful 1889 Victorian mansion in Pacific Heights. This was to help support our Cuban LGBTQ brothers and sisters to achieve full civil rights and recognition in Cuban society. Hosts Cleve JonesJohn NewmeyerGareth Gooch and Rainbow World Fund welcomed us to an evening of Cuban music, Cuban themed cocktails, wine, food and entertainment as we raised funds for PRIDE IN CUBA. Alexis Miranda really got us salsa dancing during her lively Cuban number. This May, RWF is traveling to Cuba with a delegation of 20 queer activists from San Francisco to participate in the 12th Cuba’s LGBTQ Pride Celebration. LGBTQ civil rights leader Jones, founder of the NAMES PROJECT AIDS Memorial Quilt and co-founder of the SAN FRANCISCO AIDS FOUNDATION, will travel to Cuba May 8–18 with Rainbow World Fund to participate in the 12th Cuban Journey against Homophobia and Transphobia. Jones will receive the Humanitarian Award in Cuba; the AIDS Memorial Quilt will be displayed in Cuba for the first time; and U.S. activists will raise $50k to fund Cuba’s LGBTQ Pride event. 

    Sister Dana sez, “May Day may be over, but Cinco de Mayo is coming, and there are still a lot of events in May to enjoy.”

    Empress China Silk invites you to FERNANDO’S CINCO DE MAYO FUNDRAISER on Saturday, May 4, 3–6 pm at The Cinch Bar, 1723 Polk Street. The event benefits the late Emperor Fernando’s Scholarship Fund. Emcees will be Emperor John Carrillo & Empress Alexis Miranda.

     MAITRI will present the annual BLISS fundraiser on Sunday, May 5, Cinco de Mayo, 4–8 pm at Mission Bay Conference Center at UCSF, Robertson Auditorium, 1675 Owens Street. Beloved vocalist and once called “the finest jazz cabaret singer around,” Paula West will be the featured entertainer for the evening, serenading guests with a heartfelt performance sure to delight. Maitri provides compassionate residential care to men and women in need of hospice or 24-hour care, and cultivates the deepest respect and love for life among its residents and caregivers. https://maitrisf.ejoinme.org/MyEvents/MaitriBliss2019/

    THE RICHMOND/ERMET AID FOUNDATION (REAF) presents a spectacular “One Night Only” benefit cabaret show with the touring cast of the hit Broadway show CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY on Monday, May 6, 7:30 pm at SF Oasis nightclub, 298 11th Street. Special guest emcee/performer is famous NYC drag diva Ellie Monae. https://www.reaf-sf.org/

    2020 BARE CHEST CALENDAR FINALS, benefiting POSITIVE RESOURCE CENTER, are happening at Club DNA, 375 11th Street on May 11, 3–6 pm. Come out and support your fave bare-chested babe! Woof! https://www.classy.org/campaign/bare-chest-calendar-2020/

    FABULOUS MAY ART EXHIBIT will be on display all month long, starting with a festive reception on May 11, 6–9 pm at Eureka Valley Recreational Center,100 Collingwood Street. Mostly centering on trans folks from the Bay Area, the event is hosted by ARTSAVESLIVES, curated by Thomasina DeMaio and is free to the public. All paintings will be gifted to those who posed for DeMaio. Some subjects are well known (such as Bubbles, Fatima and Donna Personna) and some will be making their debut in paint. There will also be two photographers, Steven Pomeroy and Billie Douglas and their photos having captured the process, while Thomasina painted the subjects, learning their personal journey through transition. There will be live entertainment and refreshments. Remember the fun times when ArtSavesLives held free nights of art and performance in the Castro? Well, they’re back and better than ever—with an actual stage this time.

    You are invited to attend 42ND STREET MOON‘s fun-filled fundraising cabaret concert, BROADWAY FLIPPED, on either Sunday, May 12, 7:30 pm or Monday, May 13, 7:30 pm, at San Francisco’s Gateway Theatre, 215 Jackson Street. You will experience some of the Bay Area’s best musical theatre actors and favorite Moon performers singing songs from roles they would otherwise never get the chance to play. All funds raised will benefit 42nd Street Moon’s Education, Outreach and Main Stage programs, allowing one of the Bay’s most venerable theater companies to continue bringing the joy and magic of live theatre to thousands of people each year. http://42ndstmoon.org/flipped/

    MAYOR OF FOLSOM STREET is a new exhibition at the GLBT HISTORICAL SOCIETY, with an opening reception on May 16, 7–9 pm, 4127 18th Street. The Museum uses archival documents, photographs, artifacts, fine art and digital displays to document the life of Alan Selby, also known as Mr. S, who opened the iconic leather and kink retail store Mr-S-Leather in the SoMa district in 1979. https://www.glbthistory.org/visitor-info/

    Sister Dana sez, “Happy Mother’s Day (May 12) to all you mothers out there, and that includes drag mothers!”