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    Sister Dana sez, “Fraudulent Trump has now surpassed the 12,000 mark in making false or misleading claims in just 928 days of stealing the presidency. Liar, liar, country on fire!”

    By Sister Dana Van Iquity–

    sez, “Fraudulent Trump has now surpassed the 12,000 mark in making false or misleading claims in just 928 days of stealing the presidency. Liar, liar, country on fire!”

    The horrible facts shocked us: 22 Dead, 26 injured—El Paso, TX, Walmart; 3 Dead, 12 injured—Gilroy, CA: Garlic Festival; 9 Dead, 27 injured—Dayton, OH; Oregon District—7 Dead, 52 injured. There may have been many more injured or who have died because some avoided hospitals because of Immigration Status. A lively protest on August 11 at noon at Harvey Milk Plaza in the Castro was assembled, lovingly entitled, “PUT YOUR FEETS IN THE STREETS!” One of the organizers, Alex U. Inn, stated, “White Supremacy is at the hands of ‘RUMP, and his dog whistles of HATE have to stop. He has called his people to duty. Are we mad yet? Make your voices heard!” And we did! And there will be more to come.

    QUEER ASIA: IDENTIFY [RE] DEFINED was a reception on August 8 for an exhibition at Strut of the work of several Queer Asian artists, from all over the Bay Area, all gathered and curated by Anand Vedawala. This exhibit was for queer and trans folks who identify as Asian, East Asian, South Asian, South East Asian, Middle Eastern, or Pacific Islander. The goal of the exhibit was to represent the greater Asian diaspora and the breadth of new talent that doesn’t get the space, attention and praise it deserves. Artists submitted works with everything from photographs to oils to lithographs and even soft sculpture. These were Aravani Art Project, Avtar Singh, Ghee Phua, Jeffrey Cheung, Kidtofer, Leah Yael Levy, MariNaomi, Martin Hsu Art, Nien-Ken Alec Lu, Shannon Prasad, Trinidad Escobar, Whitney Romberg, and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. One of my standouts is Kidtofer’s art. As he said, “I use my sexuality and my sense of humor to create my pieces. There’s a lot of negativity going on in the world, and I have this need to create something that makes people laugh or think.” For instance, a cartoon reference to Sesame Street answering that age-old query: “Bert’s a Top.” Also, his “Pepto Pink Wet Dreams.” Another fave is Hsu’s “Dragon Boy Big Splash” cartoon print on canvas, as well as his “George Takei Slays Demon Pig.” A third is Prasad’s “Untitled Tragedy” screen print. I heartily encourage my readers to Google these artists and their amazing works. Meanwhile, since my column comes after these pieces come down, I am forced to just rave about them all over town!  

    On August 12, the Trump administration announced that they will move forward with a change to the so-called “Public Charge” rule, which will deny access to residency to immigrants if they receive federal assistance through various programs. Mayor London Breed immediately reacted, saying, “The federal administration’s decision to move forward with this heartless proposal is the latest in a seemingly unending series of attempts to target immigrants, which tear at the very fabric that ties our community together.” She added, “Let’s be clear—this proposal is designed to make our most vulnerable residents forego critical services, food, and medical care that they lawfully receive or risk the opportunity to remain in the United States in the future. People will go hungry and risk becoming homeless. Children won’t have access to basic medical services, even though immigrant families already pay billions of dollars in taxes.” Breed concluded, “This is not only bad policy, it is immoral. We will do everything in our power to fight it.”

    On August 13, City Attorney Dennis Herrera announced that San Francisco and Santa Clara Counties are filing a lawsuit to stop the Trump administration from moving forward with a change to the so-called “public charge” rule, which would deny access to residency to immigrants if they receive federal assistance through various programs. “This lawsuit is about protecting our residents and standing up against a policy that will have devastating effects on the well-being of many San Franciscans,” said Herrera. “We will continue to fight against any and all efforts to divide us, because by targeting our diverse communities, the federal administration is attacking a fundamental aspect of who we are as a City.”

    Sister Dana sez, “Trump and his cronies have canceled the Statue of Liberty poem: ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses; send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.’ These days, only the WEALTHY immigrants are welcome.”

    IN THE FLESH is water color art by Gabriel Garbow presented by The Elizabeth Taylor 50-Plus Network at Strut. A reception was held on August 17. Sacramento-based artist Garbow elaborates, “My current project is a series of large-format watercolor paintings featuring models over the age of fifty. These full and half-length nude portraits balance vibrant color with stark realism. The men who volunteered were first photographed, then drawn from the most compelling of these references. The finished art was built up with layers of flowing washes and precisely brushed details in a manner that respects the individuality of each subject.” He continues, “The series was conceived as a response to a culture that idealizes young, athletic bodies—and a response to my own participation in that culture. It seeks to balance the scales, presenting the aging body as an object of candid beauty. The subjects in this collection are jeweled with scars, spots, and imperfections. The postures, expressions, and bits of clothing hint at each man’s rich, complex story. Creating these pieces was an opportunity to confront feelings about my own aging body, and how the world perceives it. Hopefully, these paintings offer viewers the same opportunity for reflection and reevaluation.”

    I spoke with the model “Man 8,” Raoul Thomas, who said it was an easy process for him: posing without clothing for a minute of two in front of a camera. The hard part was making it into a watercolor. Garbow told me he would like to someday maybe do a piece of Sister Dana in nothing but a wimple and very very loooooong veil. You have been warned! The exhibit will be on display on the third floor at 470 Castro until October.  

    Sister Dana sez, “No, Trump, you cannot buy Greenland. You’ve already ‘bought’ America and practically bankrupted it!”

    You gotta love Senator Scott Wiener who recently said, “I support Israel as a nation, and I have strong disagreements with Representatives Omar and Tlaib on Israel. Yet, they have every right—as Americans and members of Congress—to travel to Israel.” He added, “The day people are banned from traveling based on political views is the day we move toward fascism. Trump and Netanyahu are strongmen who are unfit for public office. They need to go!”

    REAF (RICHMOND/ERMET AID FOUNDATION) presented their Silver Anniversary Gala, “HELP IS ON THE WAY XXV: CELEBRATING BROADWAY,” on August 18 at the Herbst Theater and Green Room of San Francisco. REAF benefits many HIV, homelessness, and hunger programs. This star-studded spectacular celebrated Broadway’s best with Tony Award-winning and nominated singers, songs and casts. The excellent entertainers included the San Francisco touring cast of Hamilton in several numbers—the most rousing being “Let the Sunshine In” from Hair, taking me back to my hippie days at UCLA demonstrating against Vietnam. But there were so many other incredible highlights. Tyne Daly belted out her famous “Rose’s Turn” from Gypsy, and then joined Sharon Gless as Cagney and Lacey TV characters “bitterly” reuniting to remind each other “You’re Nothing Without Me” from City of Angels (using each one’s Tony and Emmy as a “weapon”). Constantine Maroulis magically moved us with “This is the Moment” from Jekyll & HydeLisa Vroman romanced and reprised her Phantom of the Opera Christine doing “Think of Me.” And what could follow that but Franc D’Ambrosio as The Phantom with his haunting “Music of the Night”! Sam Harris was a sexy hooker crooning “Use What You’ve Got” from The Life. Kimberley Locke knocked us out with “The Impossible Dream” from Man of La Mancha. The always hysterical Bruce Vilanch donned a pink tutu and red suspenders to give his hilarious version of “At the Ballet” from A Chorus Line, backed by Broadway Dares Dancers. Paula West delighted us with Cole Porter’s “DeLovely.” Even though I never saw nor wanted to see the musical interpretation of Young Frankenstein, chanteuse extraordinaire Leanne Borghesi made me reconsider that show as she sang a terrifically torchy “He Vas My Boyfriend” to her monster lover. Scary but somehow sweet. Playwright (Sordid Lives, etc.) and Southern charmer Del Shores managed to make the auction portions of the show into pure entertainment with his wit. Eileen Blum on violin gave a string sensation to her Les Miserables medley, along with contemporary dancers Yelena Vayn & Brandon Canela. And from that same Broadway blockbuster, Steve Knill made me weep with “Bring Him Home.”

    Dennis McMillan (aka Sister Dana) with Larry Lare Nelson at the 43rd Annual Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club Gala held at the Green Room.

    For this reviewer and longtime fan of the Help is on the Way cabaret fundraisers since the very beginning, I was exceptionally excited to see The Broadway Broad Herself, Carole Cook, receive a long overdue Lifetime Achievement Award. She has performed at just about every REAF show in SF and even in Los Angeles. Star of stage and screen, she has been mine and the entire gay and HIV community’s hero. This night, she enthralled us with her recounting memories including those involving fellow actors Lucille Ball & Carol Channing. Of course, she did not disappoint us with her naughty, salty sense of humor. Cook always makes us laugh and cry and stand on our feet, which was no exception with her renowned “Before the Parade Passes By” from Hello Dolly! Carole Cook is nothing less than ASTONISHING! As I gladly told her at the VIP party.

    It must be pointed out that these always amazing musical extravaganzas are only because of the phenomenal producers and REAF founders Ken Henderson & Joe Seiler, who were given a well-deserved Proclamation from the office of Governor Gavin Newsom. And now please allow me to promote REAF’s next One Night Only benefit cabaret, PROTEST: REVEL WITH SOME REBELS with cast members from Hamilton and more at Marines’ Memorial Theater on September 9, 7:30 pm. https://www.reaf-sf.org/

    As a news reporter, I calls ’em as I sees ’em, so be aware of this shocking announcement from THE IMPERIAL COURT! “We the Governing Board of the Imperial Founding Mother Court of San Francisco established by our beloved founder Absolute Empress 1 de San Francisco, José Julio Sarria in 1965 and a member of the International Court Council, Inc. have been made aware of an unauthorized organization in Alameda, Contra Costa and Santa Clara Counties referring to itself as a “Barony Court.” In order not to editorialize, I am just giving you the official website to check: http://www.imperialcouncilsf.org/

    Sister Dana sings the ‘September Song’: ‘Oh, it’s a long, long while from May to December; but the days grow short when you reach September.’ I’m not really sure how that relates to these upcoming September events.”

    Join me for this year’s RUNWAY 31GAPA Foundation‘s annual drag competition and entertainment extravaganza! GAPA Foundation provides funds and leverages resources to empower the Asian/Pacific Islander LGBTQ community. Proceeds from Runway will benefit GAPA Foundation’s Student Scholarship and Community Grants Programs. Watch contestants vie for the titles of Mr. GAPA and Miss GAPA 2019 through an exciting series of fashion, talent, and Q&A before a panel of API & LGBTQ+ community leader judges. Returning as co-hosts are Mr. GAPA 2013 Nguyen “Sir Whitney Queers” Pham and Miss GAPA 2012 Jezebel Patel. This year’s theme for Runway 31 is CIRQUE DU RUNWAY, so come one, come all, to the greatest show on earth! Come root for your fave competitor: Miss Lea Salonganisa, Mister Matthew, Miss Sushi Rollita, Mister Brandon, Miss Hennessy Williams, Mister SNJV, Miss Tommy Clifford-Carlos, Mister Nam, Miss Mo Li Hua, Mister Valentino Spencer, Miss Tracy Hilton, Mister Bobby Slay, Miss Vermicelli Versace, and Miss Mocha Fapalatte. Me so hornay to find out who wins! Event is Saturday, August 24, at Herbst Theatre; VIP is at 5 pm; general admission starts at 7 pm.

    The scintillating VERONICA KLAUS returns to San Francisco to sing 4 shows only with The Tammy Hall Trio! Don’t miss Veronica’s 2nd Annual SF Return with her favorite group of stellar musicians, The Tammy Hall Trio featuring Tammy Hall on piano, Daniel Fabricant on bass and Daria Johnson on drums. Tickets are available for 4 shows only: Saturday, August 31, 4 pm; Saturday, August 31, 7 pm; Sunday, September 1, 4 pm; and Sunday, September 1, 7 pm. All at Martuni’s, 4 Valencia Street. Tickets online: https://m.bpt.me/event/4265338

    PORN YESTERDAY is a free staged reading by Andrew Black and Patricia Milton, directed by Alan Quismorio held at Spark Arts Gallery, 4229 18th Street on Tuesday, September 3 at 7 pm. In a queer riff on Garson Kanin‘s classic play: a porn star is set to make his classical stage debut in Edward II. A local theater director is brought on to coach him. Sparks fly, characters’ lives are changed. This ain’t American Conservatory Theatre, but you’ll enjoy it anyway—and the price is right. http://therhino.org/

    CALIFORNIA REVELS will sponsor a day of picnicking, song, and dance at a family-friendly celebration of the ancient English Abbots Bromley “ANTLER DANCE.” This free event will take place in The Pinewood Picnic Area of Joaquin Miller Park in Oakland on Labor Day, September 2. Picnickers can arrive any time after 11:30 am and are asked to bring the kids, a blanket, and favorite foods and beverages. At 1 pm, members of California Revels will teach the Abbots Bromley Antler Dance to everyone to form what Revels artistic director David Parr says will be “a unique way for families to spend Labor Day.” Just don’t labor too hard in the Antler Dance! The event ends at 3 pm. http://www.californiarevels.org/

    Sister Dana sez, “Have you seen this petition: Rename Fifth Avenue in front of Trump Tower: ‘President Barack H. Obama Avenue’?! Just the ticket to give the old oppressive oligarch a heart attack!” Please add your name: https://bit.ly/2Mp4WPD

    CASTRO COMMUNITY OPEN HOUSE welcomes all. As a follow-up to the lively discussion at their last CASTRO MERCHANTS MEMBERS meeting on Thursday morning, August 1, San Francisco Public Works (SFDPW),  S.F. Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), and S.F. Planning Departments are hosting an Open House in the Castro about the City’s proposed BETTER MARKET STREET PROJECT and its impacts on the Castro/Upper Market Street area, especially additional vehicle restrictions on Market Street between Octavia Blvd. and east to Hayes Street. The Open House is on Tuesday, August 27, 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm in the Auditorium at Sanchez Elementary School, 325 Sanchez between 16th and 17th Streets. http://www.castromerchants.com/

    The Tony Award-winning SAN FRANCISCO MIME TROUPE continues their 60th Anniversary Season with their newest musical, TREASURE ISLAND – A Toxic Tale of Corporate Corsairs, Swashbuckling Swindlers, and Big Buck Buccaneers on the Bay! This open-air opportunity opened to a huge crowd on the 4th of July and continues through September 8. Check places, dates, and times: https://bit.ly/2Xzx7MZ

    Sister Dana Sez, “The gay conservative group, Log Cabin Republicans, has decided to endorse Donald Trump for reelection in 2020. Have parts of Queer Universe gone utterly mad?! You unfortunates won’t even be able to afford to LIVE in a log cabin with Trump as King!”