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    Sister Dana sez, “Everyone knows I have been preaching impeaching the Trump monster ever since the Orange Ogre stole the presidency.”

    By Sister Dana Van Iquity–

    Sister Dana sez, “Everyone knows I have been preaching impeaching the Trump monster ever since the Orange Ogre stole the presidency. But suddenly I realize that impeachment is only the process by which a legislative body merely formally levels charges against a high official of government. Impeachment does NOT necessarily mean removal from office; it is only a formal statement of charges, like an indictment in criminal law, and is thus only the first step towards removal. So, let’s take ALL the steps to throw this despot off his throne!”

    All this chaos in Trumpville is enough to send a nun to his knees. So instead of prayer, The Rev. Diana Wheeler, a couple of us Sisters, and some of the cast of Jesus Christ Superstar took to the sidewalks of the Castro to hand out palms to people on PALM SUNDAY. We got a great reception, and everyone had a lovely time.

    I can no longer be silent about this, which is ironically why I am promoting THE SAN FRANCISCO SILENT FILM FESTIVAL. How about THAT segue, folks?! But seriously, the Silent Film Festival is a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public about silent film as an art form and as a culturally valuable historical record. Throughout the year, SFSFF produces events that showcase important titles from the silent era, often in restored or preserved prints, with live musical accompaniment by some of the world’s finest practitioners of the art of putting music to film. Each presentation exemplifies the extraordinary quality that Academy Award-winning film historian Kevin Brownlow calls “live cinema.” I attended their kickoff reception held at McRoskey Mattress Factory in the Castro. This will be their 23rd annual festival. Every year the Festival brings authors, archivists, and filmmakers to the stage to help audiences appreciate the history, preservation, and continuing influence and importance of these early works of cinema art. The event begins May 30 at the Castro Theatre and promises fun at the after-party at the Mattress Factory. silentfilm.org

    ART SAVES LIVES studio gallery and show place held the MARCH ARTIST RECEPTION for the public. Artists included Liam Peters, Lisa Feldman Keith, Brandy Harper, Paisha Rochlin, Vincent Escareno, Cass Alecs Leung, Jacqui Ray, Brett Vanhorn, Grasson, Star Mott, Jim Knosp, Michael Fasanella, and studio owner and curator Thomasina DeMaio. Entertainment was provided with lively dance and vocals by Tribal Baroque, Penny McClish aka Penny Poundcake doing exquisite burlesqueand Kitten on the Keys, who did not have a piano, so it was Kitten on the Ukulele and somewhat naughty vocals. All in all, it was a fabulous evening of art and performance and friends who enjoy art. The art will remain on the wall all month long, so people can pop into the studio at 518 Castro and 18th Streets and enjoy talented artists’ pieces.  

    Last October, the SAN FRANCISCO GAY MEN’S CHORUS AND OAKLAND INTERFAITH GOSPEL CHOIR traveled to the Deep South for the LAVENDER PEN TOUR. Over the course of 7 days, they made 23 appearances in 9 churches and 5 states and raised more than $100,000 for local LGBTQ+ non-profits along the way. On Maundy Thursday, March 29, they presented “BRIDGES,” a one-night-only musical and emotional extravaganza at Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall, for a journey through music, stories, experiences, and pictures gathered while on the road. SFGMC’s first-ever public performance was at the candlelight vigil mourning Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk after their assassination in 1978. During that performance, SFGMC sang “Singing for Our Lives,” a protest folk song written by activist and singer/songwriter Holly Near. For “Bridges,” Near joined SFGMC as a special guest to sing this iconic song about the struggle against injustice, as well as Near’s “I Am Willing.”

    Other highlights from the tour included such soul-stirring renditions of Avalon’s “Orphans of God,” The Judd’s’ “Love Can Build a Bridge,” “Light” from Next to Normal, Cyndi Lauper‘s “True Colors” and Sara Bareilles‘ “Brave.” Act 2 opened with Phillip P. Whitely in drag as Patsy Kline singing “She’s Got You” while pulling various items from her false bosom (a bunch of 45 records, a saw, a rainbow flag, a pitchfork, a golf club, and more). Hysterical! Then, changing the mood radically, SFGMC sang “Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor,” the words on the Statue of Liberty by Emma Lazarus (something the Trump administration has blatantly ignored). And what a treat to have Beach Blanket Babylon‘s Misa Malone belting out the inspirational authentic self anthem, “This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman. Oakland Interfaith sang several traditional Negro Spirituals. Additionally, SFGMC presented the disturbing California premiere of a brand-new, monumental choral work titled “Seven Last Words of the Unarmed,” by Joel Thompson regarding the fatal shootings of Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant, Eric Garner, Kenneth Chamberlain, Amadou Diallo, and John Crawford—using the text structure of Joseph Haydn’s “Seven Last Words of Christ” honoring those wrongfully slain men and tackling the issues of shameful police brutality and racism in America. For the grand finale, all the choruses got us on our feet to rock out to “Everybody Dancing.”

    It was GOOD FRIDAY, so some of us spiritual folk wanted to celebrate by executing very formal blessings in the Castro. After appropriate liturgical consecration, we spray painted stencils emblazoned with pink “JOY” on sidewalks where past murders, gay bashings, and violence had occurred—sprinkled with pink, purple, silver, and gold glitter. Our little gang consisted of the Rev. Diana Wheeler, Father Alan Young, Sister MaeJoy B. Withu, Castro Community on Patrol volunteer Alex Upchurch, Krewe de Kinque Queen Miss Chief, and others. The Castro is now thoroughly blessed!  

    THE SISTERS OF PERPETUAL INDULGENCE offered to the public their egg-celent 39th anniversary EASTER IN THE PARK: Sacred Jesters, Wise Fools (because it was also April Fools’ Day) in Hellman Hollow of Golden Gate Park. The day began at 10 am with the family-friendly, traditional family values Children’s Easter (which included an egg hunt, games, and face painting for the little ones). Then at noon the PG portion started where a stage had been set up. The show opened with emcees Kit Tapata & Jimmy Strano introducing Tribal Baroque. Then Krewe de Kinque King Gooch & Queen Miss Chief took the stage. Electric Spectrum Circus performed with a loop-de-loop hoop show. Her Most Imperial Majesty, The Razor-Tongue Beacon of Hope, Unity, Sass & Service, Reigning Empress Pollo Del Mar and His Most Imperial Majesty, The Teal Mariachi, Golden Bear, Protector of the People Emperor, The Reigning Emperor, Leandro Gonzales took the stage, with Emperor Gonzales having already been sainted by The Sisters.

    The Grand Duke and Grand Duchess spoke and brought on Sister Roma & Sister Dana to judge the Easter Bonnet Contest. Queen Dilly Dally and her puppet gave us “Dancing Queen” by ABBA. Then Breanna Sinclaire served us with her gorgeous high soprano operatic singing. Next, the Sisters held Saintings of living saints in the community, distributed Grants to worthy charities, and took their solemn Vows in unison. Juanita More and Carletta Sue Kay were next, followed by RuPaul Drag Race Queen winner Honey Mahogany with her amazing, astounding coloratura soprano. Roma & I then judged the Foxy Mary & Hunky Jesus Contests. The Foxy Mary crown went to an older woman, “been there, done that, for centuries,” who was looking to hook up with an older Joseph. The Hunky Jesus title was whittled down to a battle between “Gun Control Jesus” and “Puerto Rican Jesus.” The crowd decided the winner was P.R. Jesus, especially after he tossed many, many rolls of paper towels into the audience! Mark Leno, candidate for our proudly loudly openly gay next Mayor of San Francisco, spoke of his many years fighting for us Sisters to stage an annual Easter party in a park (including the infamous battle with the radical Catholics for us nuns to shut down the Castro and hold our celebration), as well as other ways he has been our savior, helping our queer community. He’s the best! And the festivities came to a boisterous booming end with the wonderful Trashkan Marchink Band. It was another fabulous Easter in the Park celebration!

    Sister Dana sez, “Spring has sprung, so why not spring on over to these upcoming fun events!”

    OPENHOUSE is excited to invite you to the annual SPRING FLING celebration on April 8, 11 am to 5 pm at The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco, 600 Stockton Street. Come out for a fabulous brunch and program honoring LGBTQ older people and those fighting to keep them central in our lives and our community. Stay out to enjoy the Tea Dance on the gorgeous Ritz Terrace Courtyard. openhouse-sf.org/fling

    Join NCLR on April 12 at the Main Stage of the Brava Theater, 2781 24th Street, for an intimate dialogue between two extraordinary women who have each made their mark for equality on the courts. Kate Kendell, Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, will interview sports icon and social justice pioneer Billie Jean King at 7:30 pm, with a special screening of the film Battle of the Sexes following at 8 pm. The film tells the story of the fabled 1973 tennis match between Ms. King and chauvinist-provocateur Bobby Riggs, and stars Emma Stone and Steve Carrell. nclrrights.org

    Come to a reception featuring Bay Area artists and their take on “NITE LIFE” at the office of Senator Scott Wiener on April 13, 5 to 7:30 pm, City Hall, 455 Golden Gate Avenue, Suite 14800. Curated by Joseph Abbati, these artists come from all different backgrounds, ages, sexual orientations, countries of origin, races, and artistic styles. They represent all of the incredible diversity of the San Francisco Bay Area, and their pieces are just as diverse. Free, but you need to register at eventbrite.com/orderconfirmation/43263706912

    THE RICHMOND/ERMET AID FOUNDATION (REAF) proudly presents DONNA SACHET’S SONGS FOR NO REASON: The Big Gay Comedy Extravaganza on April 20, 8 pm at the Russian Center of San Francisco, 2450 Sutter Street. This unique collaboration builds on the popularity and following of the annual “Songs of the Season” with its theatricality and signature humor, while engaging the professional experience and entertainment expertise of REAF, best known for their annual “Help is on the Way” concert and gala. reaf.org

    SF LGBT COMMUNITY CENTER will present the annual SOIREE on April 14, 5 to 11:30 pm at Terra Gallery, 511 Harrison Street. Juanita MORE will once again serve as entertainment director for this evening of wining and dining and dancing and enjoying entertainment. sfcenter.org

    Sister Dana sez, “DarnOld Trump has announced he will DEMAND immigrants and communities of color reveal their citizenship in the next U.S. Census. This means immigrants and communities of color will feel disempowered from responding to the Census; they won’t be counted when new Congressional districts are drawn; Repugnicans can use this sensitive information for their relentless voter suppression operation; and Democrats will disproportionately be underrepresented in Congress for a decade. RESIST!”