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    Sister Dana sez, “Every year I wonder: why do we make such a big deal over VALENTINE’S DAY?”

    By Sister Dana Van Iquity–

    Sister Dana sez, “Every year I wonder: why do we make such a big deal over VALENTINE’S DAY? A day named after Saint Valentine, a 15th century martyr, who on February 14th was beaten to a pulp with clubs, then stoned, finally beheaded, and unceremoniously buried. How romantic?! Puhleeeze!”

    On February 4, Presidense Trump delivered his lying, hateful, pompous State of the Union Address. But that same day, award-winning actor Billy Porter gave his awesome, inspirational, fabulous LGBTQ STATE OF THE UNION, which you simply must hear at https://bit.ly/2SgrT9z

    THANKS TO HANK: A MOVEMENT, A PLAGUE, AN UNSUNG HERO was a night at the GLBT HISTORICAL MUSEUM on February 6 featuring the biopic about AIDS activist Hank Wilson. In the 1970s San Francisco, activist Hank Wilson (1947–2008) co-founded the first gay teachers’ union, the first gay community self-defense project, the first gay comedy club, and the first gay film festival. Wilson also worked to draw attention to the problem of gay youth suicide, and after the emergence of AIDS, he spent 20 years running a 150-room residential hotel as an informal hospice for homeless people dying of the disease. Thanks to Hank (2019) is a loving, cinematic portrait of this extraordinary man by director and composer Bob Ostertag, featuring gorgeous handmade scissor-and-paper animation by animator Jeremy Rourke and the music of the Kronos Quartet and the Tin Hat Trio. Some of us Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are also in the film. Following the screening, Ostertag and longtime activist and elected official Tom Ammiano responded to questions and comments from the audience.

    Also on February 6, earlier at 1 pm, Senator Scott Wiener hosted a festive LUNAR NEW YEAR PARTY with entertainment and refreshments to celebrate the Year of the Rat with Assemblymembers David Chiu (D- San Francisco) and Phil Ting (D- San Francisco), Board of Equalization Member Malia Cohen, and Treasurer Fiona Ma in the Great Hall of the Ronald M. George State Office Complex.

    Sister Dana sez, “Mitch McConnell’s Repugnican majority has acquitted DarnOld Trump. Only one Republican senator, Mitt Romney, had the courage to defy Trump and McConnell and to stand up for the rule of law against a wannabe dictator. Republican senators are complicit in covering up a crime, and a reckoning is due. The entire Republican Party—not just Trump—must be defeated in November!!!”

    NATIONAL BLACK HIV/AIDS AWARENESS DAY #NBHAAD was held across the country on February 7. The Strategic Leadership Council plans NBHAAD each year. The 2020 theme is “We’re in This, Together.” This observance is an opportunity to increase HIV education, testing, community involvement, and treatment among black communities. The first National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD) was marked in 1999 as a grassroots-education effort to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS prevention, care, and treatment in communities of color. https://www.hiv.gov/events/awareness-days/black

    VIVA LA FEMME VARIETY SHOW was a free night of original music offered to the community in the Eureka Valley Rec Center auditorium on February 7. The show featured an amazing lineup of four incredible San Francisco musicians: Kitten on the Keys (Suzanne Ramsey, who tickles the ivories ad squeezes the accordion regularly at the Madrone Art Bar, Flower Piano, and the Rite Spot—who was just the right amount of risqué that night); Paula Frazier (whose music is frequently described as melancholic alternative country, but with an eclectic mix of folk, blues, and pop, and whose range and runs were nothing less than astonishing); Stephanie Woodford (a young African American jazz pianist, singer, and composer); and Nancie Mallon (with evocative originals who claims to be “in the musical joy-making-machine,” Macerator). The evening was sponsored by ARTSAVESLIVES and produced by Thomasina DeMaio and Mia d’Bruzzi. This was just another in a series of delightful visual art and live performance art shows that comes to us thankfully somewhat monthly in the Castro.

    Also on February 7, there was a reception at STRUT for QUEER COMICS SAVES LIVES, a show featuring the comic art of cartoonist Lawrence Lindell. The exhibit gives an inside look into some of the pages in Lindell’s life, brain, and how he sees the world. Through the art of comics, Lindell explores queerness, blackness, and mental health. There are multitudinous pieces on view, but two particularly stood out for me: “Queer Love Saves Lives; Queer Love Heals; Queer Love IS Love.” And my second fave: “To Hear Means to Listen.” All these evocative pieces will remain on display through the month of February. https://bit.ly/2SxpQN5

    Sister Dana sez, “On Groundhog Day, it was a real nail-biter at the SuperBowl; but, sadly, our Niners lost 20 to 31 Chiefs at the end. Waaahhh. Can we possibly call upon The Almighty Groundhog to soothe our sad mad souls?!”

    However, here’s a bit of history to chew on: On Super Bowl Sunday in 1989, Sisters Vicious (Kenneth Bunch), Blanche de Roote (Joanna Castle), Dana Van Iquity (Dennis McMillan), Luscious Lashes (the late Norman Schrader), and Roma (Michael Williams) went out in habit to bar hop and cheer on the 49ers. Near the end of the 4th Quarter, the Bengals took the lead with less than 4 minutes remaining in the game. The clock was ticking, and San Francisco needed a miracle. So, we Sisters fell to our knees in the middle of the bar and prayed for victory … and the rest is Sistory: The San Francisco 49ers drove 92 yards in the final minutes and scored a touchdown with 34 seconds left to defeat the Cincinnati Bengals, 20–16, in Super Bowl XXIII! Are The Sisters miracle workers? Maybe.

    Sister Dana sez, “How bizarre is it to see parts of Market Street free of cars? As a former motor scooter guy, I would be bummed; but now as a full-time pedestrian, this is wonderful!”

    From a seed planted in San Francisco 55 years ago by Empress I José Sarria and nurtured by the IMPERIAL FAMILY of San Francisco, the INTERNATIONAL COURT SYSTEM grew into a Royal Oak tree that now has branches in 70 cities in United States, Canada, and Mexico. Here in America, our priority focus will be the 2020 elections promoting registering to vote and to GET OUT THE VOTE and dump Trump. But here in EssEff we must also vote for this year’s SF Imperial Emperor and Empress to carry on our queer rights struggle and help for our queer charities.

    SF IMPERIAL VOTING DAY is Saturday, February 15, 11 am–6 pm, at three convenient polling places: Castro Muni Station, Noon to 6 pm; Project Open Hand, 11 am to 4 pm; and Powerhouse, 1pm to 5 pm. Must have valid photo ID showing residency in Marin, San Mateo, or San Francisco Counties. Sister Dana is just gonna give one hint: “Run with the Bull!” http://www.imperialcouncilsf.org/events.html  

    And the Oscar goes to … THE ACADEMY OF FRIENDS for their supporting role of LGBT ASYLUM PROJECT as beneficiary at AOF’s 40th anniversary RUBY RED GALA. The elegant red-carpet affair was held at the Commonwealth Club on Oscar night, February 9, with giant screens everywhere to show the live broadcast to all us film aficionados attending. There were even living golden Oscar statues to lend film awards ambiance.

    Sister Dana sez, “There are plenty more LOVELY events after Valentine’s Day that you will want to attend!”  

    RADICAL is the latest in playwright John Fisher‘s thought-provoking pieces, now playing through March 1 at Spark Arts Gallery, 4229 18th Street and Castro. Jack thinks you should stop paying to ride MUNI, pick up trash off the street, and pee wherever and whenever you need to—that’s why he’s running for Supervisor. Diana and Plant are trying to get him elected even as they are falling in love. But does Jack even stand a chance? And can Diana even trust him?! Find out for yourself and get your ticket at https://therhino.audience1st.com/store/8?show_id=78

    Based on the cult hit film of the same name, THE FULL MONTY, a ten-time Tony Award nominee, is filled with honest affection, engaging melodies and the most highly anticipated closing number of any show. The powerhouse team of Terrence McNally (Ragtime) and David Yazbek (The Band’s Visit) cooks up an electrifying book and score that rocks with soul and still has plenty of heart. This is rated PG-18 (contains mature language, stripping, and partial male nudity—ingredients Sister Dana really enjoys). Now through March 15, Victoria Theatre, 2961 16th Street. https://www.bamsf.org/the-full-monty

    The Imperial Council of San Francisco, Inc., proudly announces CORONATION 55: DISCO IN THE JUNGLE” as the Celebration and Step Down of TMIM Emperor Terrill Grimes Munro and Empress Baby Shaques Munro as we crown the next Imperial Monarchs of San Francisco. Saturday, February 22, 6–11 pm, Park Central Hotel, 50 3rd Street. https://www.facebook.com/events/1443103172533623/

    Join KREWE DE KINQUE and get on the BUS for the FAT TUESDAY BAR CRAWL on Mardi Gras night, Tuesday, February 25. We’ll be starting with a Meet & Greet Happy Hour at The Edge from 5–7 pm then board the bus at 7 pm & make 3 bar stops, then return to 440 Castro at 11 pm for a finale party there. Tickets will be $20 with drinks & snacks on board. You must pre-register: https://bit.ly/2vhRHJd

    I am pleased to announce that The SF Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence have just chosen a theme for our annual Easter in the Park: HINDSIGHT 20/20: An Easter You Can Get Behind! So, pad those buttocks and bring out your buns this Easter!

    Ross, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Phoebe, and Joey are hangin’ at the Oasis stage with FRIENDS LIVE to perform two brand new parodies of your favorite TV Friends episodes. This is “The Other One Where Everybody’s in Drag!” This witty send-up features San Francisco drag stars: Caleb Haven Draper, Carol Ann Walker, Emily France, Emily Dwyer, Titus Androgynous, Sue Casa, Paul Grant Hovannes, Cassie Grilli, Kirk Saraceno, L Ron Hubby, and Anne Norland. The Oasis temporarily becomes Central Perk for this “reunion” at 298 11th Street, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, 7 pm, now through March 14. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/friends-live-tickets-81774665225

    Sister Dana sez, “For those who choose Mike Bloomberg (and I cannot imagine why), just know that he said trans rights are about ‘some man wearing a dress using a locker room with girls.’ Nice. You will NOT be my president, pal!”

    Published on February 13, 2020