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    Sister Dana sez, “Happy Queer New Year!”

    By Sister Dana Van Iquity–

    Sister Dana sez, “Happy Queer New Year! So, how many of us have already broken our New Year’s resolutions? Go on a diet? Exercise more? Stop smoking? Oh, please, do what I do with my easy-breezy, handy-dandy Resolution Solution: ‘I resolve to be the best me I can be.’ It’s faultless. You’re welcome.”

    CASTRO ART WALK—held every first Thursday, 6–9 pm—occurs because participating businesses extend their normal hours to host special events and share artwork with the neighborhood. Each venue will have many works on display and for purchase. This event is free and open to the public. The Castro Art Walk is proudly sponsored by Castro Merchants. Most of the remaining art will be on display all month long. The January 6th Art Walk started out at Art Attack SF, 2358 Market Street, Suite 1, and continued to The Artist’s Gallery, 4406 18th Street-A; Spark Arts, 4229 18th Street; Dog Eared Books, 489 Castro Street; Blush! Wine Bar, 476 Castro Street; Norden Living, 3618 17th Street; 440 bar, 440 Castro Street; GLBT History Museum, 4127 18th Street; The Apothecarium, 2029 Market Street; and S16 Home, 286 Sanchez at 16th Street. Live music was provided in Jane Warner Plaza from 6–7pm.

    The gallery at STRUT, the Castro hub of health and wellbeing for gay and bi men, is currently celebrating the work of David Spiher, entitled, FORGETTING TO REMEMBER THE CLOCKS. The Art at Strut program has been exhibiting the work of a local Gay or Queer artist once a month for over 14 years. Each month, a different queer artist exhibits his or her works on the walls of Strut. They always have a fantastic and impressive lineup of artists and hold first Friday night receptions allowing us the privilege of speaking with the artists in person. Spiher lives in the East Bay and makes art—currently producing prints and paintings—at the Compound Studios in Oakland. “I have been an assistant for a number of artists, designers, and crafts people so I am really used to helping others make work,” he says. “However, very often I have found it really hard to make my own, to justify my own choices, sometimes even to myself. As a way to free myself from these self-imposed restrictions, I have shifted personae depending on subject matter and interest in various media.” From 2004 to 2009, he produced hand-painted pornographic ceramic plates as Virginia Trembles. As David Six, he produced print work. His current body of work under his own name centers on his husband, Dr. Ralph Thurlow, and his struggle with HIVAIDS neuro dementia. “The work submitted for Strut has all been completed in the last two years and revolves around Ralph’s decline, my increasing care-giving responsibilities, and staying alive creatively. So that Ralph is not just the subject but also a participant in the making of the image and artwork. He is involved in the generation of the paintings, actively drawing on the images, generating subject matter, and in ongoing critical conversations as the work progresses.” Thurlow and Spiher are both long term HIV survivors, long term 12 recovery, and are actively working out the ways and means of dealing with their physical, mental, and emotional health. The exhibit will hang on the Strut walls all January.

    And speaking of art, SWEET INSPIRATION ‘s restroom has been substantially made over with new art: owners have installed a new mural depicting us Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. Sister Dana (in orange veil and giant cross) proudly shares a wall with Sister Roma and other nuns. Sweet Inspiration (2239 Market Street between Sanchez and Noe) is open 7 days a week from 8 am to 9 pm.

    KREWE DE KINQUE—the charitable Mardi Gras club founded in 2004—kicked off Mardi Gras season on TWELFTH NIGHT (12 days after Christmas, also known as the Epiphany) for a festive party. Krewe member Donna Sachet offered her lovely Imperial Palace at 21st Street at Castro for our gathering again. Per tradition, masks were required, and beads, costumes, leather/fetish wear, and umbrellas were plentiful! This is always one of our most festive events of the year. In addition to the cutting of the KdK king cake, we secretly announced to “members only” the monarchs elect (King & Queen XV to be crowned at the BAL MASQUE benefiting Larkin Street Youth Services on February 10th at The Cafe). After the potluck of delicious N’Orleans cuisine, we paraded down Castro Street led by Queen XIV Lady CukiCouture to let the GOOD TIMES ROLL with a bar crawl. At our last stop at The Edge, we closed down the bar at closing time. And a good time was had by all!

    Sister Dana sez, “Check out these Januariffic upcoming events!”

    ART SAVES LIVES Castro gallery and performance space, curated by San Francisco local artist Thomasina De Maio, will present the JANUARY RECEPTION on Friday the 12th, 6 to 8:30 pm. It will feature live entertainment by local performers such as Irene McCalphin, Ron Jones, Emma Gabriel, Angela the dancer, and more. Most of the artists will be there in person to discuss their works. Complimentary refreshments will be offered.

    Curator and artist Catherine Merrill returns to BACK TO THE PICTURE/Valencia Street with an exhibition, PARADISE LOST, focusing on the human figure. After last year’s highly successful exhibition, Catherine has enlarged her roster and collected all new works for the show. The Opening Reception with the artists is on Saturday, January 20, 6–9 pm at 934 Valencia Street. Artists showing include Jane Fisher, Sylvie Guillot, Susan Kirshenbaum, Catherine Merrill, Stephen Namara, Fernando Reyes, Rick Rodrigues, and Michael Ruiz.

    Twelve hot men from eleven different countries have stripped down to their Speedos for the 2018 MR. INTERNATIONAL FREEDOM CALENDAR. Proceeds from the calendar support THE LGBT ASYLUM PROJECT, a San Francisco based nonprofit that provides pro bono legal representation for LGBT immigrants who are fleeing persecution and seeking asylum in the U.S. In the two years since its inception, The LGBT Asylum Project has helped 35 LGBT immigrants on their journey from persecution to freedom. To order, click onto

    On behalf of their Most Imperial Majesties, Emperor Nic Hunter and Empress Mercedez Munro, it’s time for Application for Emperor and Empress Deadline, Saturday, January 13, 2 to 4 pm, Twin Peaks Tavern, 401 Castro Street. Applications for submission to the board chairman, Emperor John Carrillo, are available online at

    Imperial Crown Prince Terrill Grimes and Imperial Crown Princess Cameron Stiehl respectfully request your presence at the annual IMPERIAL CROWN PRINCE AND PRINCESS BALL, HEROES FOR ASYLUM, on Saturday, January 20, at Halcyon, 314 11th Street. This superhero-themed gala has doors at 5 pm and show at 6 pm. Net proceeds benefit THE LGBT ASYLUM  

    AWAT Productions presents MEGABYTES! THE MUSICALa world premiere musical comedy revue written and directed by Morris Bobrow at Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter Street (between Powell & Mason Streets in Union Square. January 19–March 3, Fridays and Saturday, 8 pm. Two Low-Priced Previews will be held on January 19 and 20. The Opening Night is Friday, January 26. The show takes a humorous look at how we navigate technology in our lives. It’s about the frustrations, anxieties, annoyances … and occasional joys we encounter as we all struggle to cope with the copious challenges created by technology. The point of view of the show is that of the average person using tech devices, not that of a “techie.” The comedy arises from the situations, positive and negative, that the majority of us encounter in working with these so-called “user-friendly” technological tools. This revue format is a series of 20 plus observational songs and sketches, each depicting its own joy and frustration of living our lives in the modern technological age with varying results.

    Sister Dana sez, “Hey, Trump. Please stop bragging about having the bigger nuclear ‘button.’ Instead, do us all a big favor: button your mouth and disarm your twitter button!”