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    Sister Dana sez, “Happy Father’s Day, Sunday, June 21, to all you fathers out there!”

    Words of Wisdumb from a Fun Nun–

    By Sister Dana Van Iquity–

    Sister Dana sez, “Happy Father’s Day, Sunday, June 21, to all you fathers out there! And that includes drag king fathers and daddies of daddies’ boys!”

    San Francisco’s oldest LGBT bar, THE STUD, has closed down its current location after 54 years in business and 33 years at the corner of 9th and Harrison. The Stud has survived over the years because it has always been an iconic institution that locals have been proud of. In 2016, when the owner of the Stud announced that the bar was closing due to rent hikes, members of the community came together to buy the bar and create the first cooperatively owned LGBT nightclub in the U.S. Since then, the Stud has seen a renaissance with new parties, DJs, and performers drawing national attention. The country’s first, cooperatively owned, LGBT venue invited all us people whose lives were touched by the Stud to join them for an online, live DRAG FUNERAL on May 31st to mourn the end of an era.  

    Co-emcee Honey Mahogany opened the service with a special nod to African-Americans in mourning the loss of Black lives from violence. “Black Lives Matter” also shared the evening’s theme. Co-emcee VivyAnneForeverMore gave us a stunning Stud history lesson. After a few long, annoying sound drop-outs, Co-emcee Jillian Gnarling and Vivvyopened Part Two of the service. Over 100 multi-talented “widows” performed and/or eulogized. After the 6th hour, emcees left their duties (and Sister Dana had to leave and rest my strained eyeballs) to let the show go on without them. In lieu of flowers, mourners are still asked to donate to the SAVE THE STUD STABILIZATION FUND to help the Stud finally find its new home: www.gofundme.com/f/stud-in-exile

    Oakland City Council President and fellow San Francisco Bay Times columnist Rebecca Kaplan proposed a ballot measure to allow 16 and 17-year-olds to vote in school board elections. It passed unanimously! Congratulations to Kaplan! Now wouldn’t it be awesome to let 16-year-olds vote in general elections?

    In April, Trump halted funding for the WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO) in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis. Seeking anyone to blame but himself for the country’s rising infection rate and death toll, Trump announced he would suspend funding for the United Nations agency for 60 days. And as if restricting funding for the world’s foremost international health organization in the middle of a pandemic wasn’t bad enough, on May 18, Trump threatened to permanently withdraw U.S. support for the WHO. Who is this madman?!

    Sister Dana sez, “Hydroxychloro-Trump was proudly taking that drug that is not approved by the FDA for coronavirus, and could cause heart failure and serious side effects. So, if this was an attempted way out—bring it on, Trumpy!”

    Because June is PRIDE MONTH, a lot of companies will be slapping rainbows on their products. But Skittles candies are already rainbow-colored, so they’re giving up their colors instead. Skittles will be selling limited edition packs of color-less candies in a nod to the rainbow flag, with part of the proceeds going to LGBTQ organizations. The uncharacteristically dull grey package states: “Only one rainbow matters during Pride.”

    The casts of the Broadway, movie, and television productions of HAIRSPRAY have united in a massive at-home performance of the lively song, “You Can’t Stop the Beat.” Stars such as Harvey Fierstein, Kerry Butler, Kristin Chenoweth, Matthew Morrison, Sean Hayes, Marissa Janet Winokur, Laura Bell Bundy, Jackie Hoffman, Nikki Blonsky, and Derek Hough appear, and even Randy Rainbow pops up to belt out a few lines. I dare you not to shake your bootay at this terrific toe-tapper! https://tinyurl.com/ybuvzt36

    It was the amazeballs GGBA WATCH PARTY on HARVEY MILK DAY when Openhouse, SF Queer Nightlife Fund, and the Tenderloin Museum presented Live Drag for our LGBTQ Elders on Friday, May 22.It was a live drag show with powerhouse drag queens Dulce De Leche, Persia, Princess Panocha, Mary Vice, and Shane Zaldivar performing in the courtyard of the Openhouse LGTBQ senior housing center. Center residents were able to safely view the show from their windows and balconies while it also streamed to the general public online. 

    Then following all that glitter and gayness, the same night we Zoomed and Twitched to enjoy HARVEY MILK’S 90TH BIRTHDAY BLOCK PARTY. This Virtual Block Party was a collaborative effort organized by Supervisor Rafael Mandelman‘soffice, the Castro LGBTQ Cultural District, the Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club, the Castro Community Benefit District, “Windows For Harvey” presented by the Castro Merchants Association, the Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza, Openhouse, the GLBT Historical Society, the Tenderloin Museum, the Golden Gate Business Association, andthe SF Bay Area Queer Nightlife Fund. So many guest celebs—from famed politicos to plain folx to drag stars to friends who actually knew Harvey back in the day! After three hours of that, there was even an after-party! What fun watching my friends and also total strangers, live and also in the chat room!

    Broadway star Ben Platt, who is openly gay and way way cute, has a really inspirational song he has written for us during these times of doubt and worry.  www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VjDNOJHQ3g

    This year was meant be a phenomenal year for LGBTQ-themed art exhibitions around the world—until March and the coronavirus pandemic came along, shuttering museums and putting the planet on lockdown. Fortunately, several of the top LGBTQ ART SHOWS originally planned for physical reality can now still be experienced virtually, as indeed can a number of excellent exhibitions by and about queer artists from years past. Check these out at https://nbcnews.to/37co8aV

    Playwright and gay HIV activist Larry Kramer passed away on May 27 from pneumonia at age 84. Kramer was a legendary activist who co-founded the GAY MEN’S HEALTH CRISIS and ACT UP, two organizations devoted to helping people living with HIV and AIDS. He was the author of many works, including the 1978 novel Faggots and The Normal Heart, a 1985 play about the early years of the AIDS crisis. Kramer was working on another play before his death, An Army of Lovers Must Not Die, which was partly about the coronavirus pandemic. “Unless we fight for our lives we shall die,” he wrote in 1983. His writings helped put the pandemic and its impact on gay men on the national radar. (For more about Kramer, see page 8.)

    The 5th annual OURTOWNSF LGBTQ NONPROFIT EXPO will be on Saturday, August 15, 12:30–4:30 pm. This is the largest LGBTQ resource fair in SF history! Over 150 groups from all over the Bay Area serving our community and thousands of attendees are expected to participate. This virtual resource fair includes arts, community, fundraising, athletics, health, legal, political, and recovery services & spiritual groups serving the Bay Area LGBTQ community coming together for a day of fun and community building. www.facebook.com/events/2201298380166099/?active_tab=about

    ART + PRIDE 2020 is a Virtual Kickoff Party for HARVEY MILK PHOTO CENTER on Friday, June 19, 6–7 pm, hosted by Peaches Christ, Sister Roma, and STUD Bar streaming: http://www.harveymilkphotocenter.org/art-pride-2020

    Sister Dana sez, “So now Tweeter-in-Chief Trump is waging a Twitter War against Twitter! Welcome to Upside-down Land!”

    THE GLBT HISTORICAL SOCIETY currently has three PRIDE-related exhibitions mounted on its website:  “Performance, Protest & Politics: The Art of Gilbert Baker,” “50 Years of Pride,” and “Labor of Love: The Birth of San Francisco Pride, 1970–1980.” This fascinating online panel discussion brings together curators from all three exhibitions to discuss their curatorial approaches and decisions. Using different sections of the online exhibitions as a guide, they will outline the themes they selected, discuss the curatorial lenses that informed their work, and consider both the history and the future of Pride. More information is available at https://bit.ly/3ekJLZ9

    Registration is available online at https://bit.ly/2ZscB5C

    Many thanks go to Horizons Foundation for providing LYRIC with $15,000 and to San Francisco Foundation for granting them $10,000 with the goal of allocating these funds to provide support to queer youth who are in critical need. LYRIC will be able to provide essential services and resources to youth who are in high need during SIP to attain secure housing placements, individual youth advocacy, and access to therapy. Kudos!

    All tea & no shade: Jackie Huba, founder and executive director of DRAG OUT THE VOTE, has a vital message for drag queens and queer folx: “My background in participating in our democracy was limited to just voting in presidential years. But after the 2016 election, I quickly learned that over 100 million people did not vote. I also learned that one out of five LGBTQ folks were not registered or didn’t vote. I was floored by this lack of participation by so many Americans.” Especially RuPaul fans and others as well should check out Jackie’s blog: www.dragoutthevote2020.org/blog/founder

    TENDERLOIN MUSEUM presents THE COMPTON’S CAFETERIA RIOT: Reading and Discussion virtual event on Thursday, June 18, 7 pm. The play dramatizes the events surrounding the eponymous 1966 riot that catalyzed LGBTQ activism in San Francisco and worldwide. https://calendar.asianart.org/event/the-comptons-cafeteria

    The PRIDE AT WORK National Executive Board issued the following statement: “Black and Brown people across the United States continue to suffer daily from police brutality and systemic racism. Too many Americans fear that what happened to George Floyd could happen to them. In fact, the LGBTQ community lost one of our own, a Black transgender man named Tony McDade, to police violence just a few days ago in Tallahassee, Florida.” My heart continues to break. And please, fellow demonstrators, let’s make all protests nonviolent!

    Published on June 11, 2020