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    Sister Dana sez, “Hey, Trump, how dare you refer to Haiti and some African nations as ‘sh**hole countries’ while discussing immigration reform with lawmakers at the White House.

    By Sister Dana Van Iquity–

    Sister Dana sez, “Hey, Trump, how dare you refer to Haiti and some African nations as ‘sh**hole countries’  while discussing immigration reform with lawmakers at the White House. The only sh**hole now is your big stinky mouth! Shut your sh**hole!”

    Interesting fact: according to a January 12 WaPo article, “President Trump said he used ‘tough’ language during a discussion on immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and some African nations but appeared to deny using the term “sh**hole.” But Senator Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), who attended the same meeting, said Trump’s denial was false. House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) criticized Trump’s remarks during an event in Milwaukee, pointing to his own Irish ancestors’ migration to America.”

    Sister Dana sez, “And no, Trump, we do not need immigrants from Norway—as you so explicitly stated—and other extremely white people in exclusion of the non-white immigrants. Why don’t you check the inscription on the Statue of Liberty, you racist pig?! Make America White Again? I don’t think so!”

    Meanwhile, art saves us all!

    ART SAVES LIVES Castro gallery and performance space, curated by San Francisco local artist Thomasina De Maio, held the JANUARY RECEPTION on Friday the 12. The live show included performances by locals. Emma Gabriel in black and rhinestoned mask recited a stirring original composition. Redwood Vos gave us some fierce Japanese Butoh ballet—in white face and arms, wearing a body suit and dress made of printed white papers—with Ron Jones on mic acting as human beatbox/ sound effects/percussion as accompaniment. Jazz/blues chanteuse Magnoliah Black, adorned in gold lame‘ gown, wowed us with her poignant interpretation of “I’ll Take Care of You.” Amazing.

    Many of the several dozen artists were there in person to discuss their works. Among my faves still on display all month long: “Metamorphosis” by David Wayne Floyd with a very large gorgeous oil painting of a nude man embracing a larger-than-life butterfly; one of my old continuing favorites is Michael Staley and his crystal-embedded items from a high heel shoe to a puzzle box to a wooden rainbow phallus; some truly lovely photos on aluminum are “Captured Moments in Bali,” by Kent Anderson; the activist in me really appreciated the black & white Billy Douglas pieces, “If You Want to be Free, Act Free,” depicting various protest scenes such as demonstrators carrying placards saying, “People’s Power = Victory,” “Funeral for Politics as Usual,” and “Resist Trump! Fight Racism!” And how current can one get with “Mirror-Mirror” as a series of SF LGBTQ residents’ selfies turned into oil paintings by Alan Beckstead, as well as a beautiful non-selfie oil of the late, great Gilbert Baker at a Gay Pride Parade beneath a canopy of the rainbow flag that he created; for whimsy, I would have to say the ceramic sculptures of lovable creatures and monsters by Jack Stelnick take the prize; quite lovely are Ed Terpening‘s oil on canvas depictions of nature in water on rocks; another recurring artist is Jack Mattingly with his intricate wood and gold-painted miniature pieces placed to elicit a theme; and for those who love kids, Kate Fair‘s series of toys on canvas will appeal—including one of Mickey and Minnie Mouse, a little sports car, an airplane, and a clown. But the most moving piece to this particular Trump-defying nun—and those of us who have seen our flag being metaphorically ripped to shreds—has to be “Tattered Flag,” encaustic on wood by Jon Hearn. His piece makes a powerful statement about the awful mess the opposition has made of our flag and all it used to stand for.  

    STRUT, the Castro hub of health and wellbeing for gay, bi, and trans men, has teamed up with “THE QUEER ANCESTORS PROJECT” to present prints by queer and trans emerging youth artists 18 to 26 years old in the galleries on the third and first floors. The Queer Ancestors Project is devoted to forging sturdy relationships between LGBTQI people and our ancestors. Using history as a linchpin, they build community by providing queer and trans artists free interdisciplinary workshops in printmaking, writing, and queer history. Public exhibitions and readings of their work provide a window on the past through which the larger community can glimpse our collective future. Part of the Seasonal Art Show, they are exhibiting the work of this queer youth project now through May 19, as well as having hosted an opening reception on January 18. Artists featured include Bení Alí Ávalos, Jorge Mata Flores, Cedar Kirwin, Yonit Mordechai Moerman, Ben Panico, Shannon Prasad, Tavi Taos, Princesa Venegas, and Jai Lei Yee. Among my fave linocuts on the third floor are “A Legacy of Resistance” by Panico; “Hugging Themselves” by Flores; “Queer Liberation Means Prison Abolition” by Cedar; “1998” by Avalos in memory of gay man Janes Byrd Jr. murdered in Jasper, Texas, and gay man Matthew Shepard murdered in Laramie, Wyoming; and “Orchid” by Venegas with the witty pun: “Know History, Know Self—No History, No Self.” On the first floor, my picks are “Dragons in Drag” by Avalos; “Lou Sullivan” (a pioneer in SF transgender movement) by Panico; and “Queer Heroes” linocut with watercolor in honor of five heroes–James Baldwin, Audre Lorde, Sylvia Rivera, Marsha P. Johnson, and Leslie Feinberg by Cedar. To find out more about The Queer Ancestors Project and their Artistic Director Katie Gilmartin, visit them at queerancestorsproject.org   

    Curator and artist Catherine Merrill returns to BACK TO THE PICTURE/VALENCIA STREET exhibition, PARADISE LOST, focusing on the human figure. After last year’s highly successful event, Merrill has collected all new works for the show. She held an OPENING RECEPTION at 934 Valencia Street with the artists on Saturday, January 20. Figurative paintings and sculptures by eight Bay Area artists “Reflect life in these times of darkness, affirming the unifying power of Art,” according to the mission statement. Artists now showing there include Jane Fisher, Sylvie Guillot, Susan Kirshenbaum, Catherine Merrill, Stephen Namara, Fernando Reyes, Rick Rodrigues, and Michael Ruiz. Merrill and Back to the Picture will be hosting a closing reception on February 24, 6 to 9 pm as well. backtothepicture.com

    I was fortunate to attend a meet & greet supporting SENATOR MARK LENO FOR MAYOR to hear Mark’s vision for a new direction for our City. Held on the 40th floor, high above the City in the Transamerica Building, Leno spoke to us one on one and proved he deserves to be San Francisco’s Mayor. For me, just as a citizen of EssEff and not speaking for any organization, Leno is clearly the choice for Mayor. He is my longtime friend and leader in San Francisco and California politics. He has been involved in state and local politics for over 20 years. As Supervisor, he wrote the City’s first affordable housing law, which is still the basis for providing affordable housing in San Francisco. At the state level, he exempted affordable SRO housing from the evil Ellis Act and passed protections for victims of domestic violence to get out of leases with their abusers. Leno passed a bill to allow school districts to build affordable teacher housing. And he convinced Governor Brown to sign a statewide $15 minimum wage into law. Throughout his career, Mark has been a pioneer for trans anti-discrimination laws. He wrote the law protecting trans Californians from housing and employment discrimination. He wrote the law prohibiting government contracts with companies that discriminate against trans people. He wrote the FAIR Education Act to make sure that public schools highlight LGBTQ and other underrepresented groups in history and social studies. Mark Leno is not just a Gay Mayor, but a Mayor for the People. All the People.

    The HANK WILSON documentary, “THANKS TO HANK,” produced by Robert Ostertag, is in process of becoming reality. A web site has been created by director Joan Grossman (pinballfilms.net/thanks-to-hank). There is a lot of information there, as well as a PayPal button people can use to make tax-deductible donations to the film through the fiscal sponsor, the GLBT Historical Society. There is a PDF of a fundraising letter and another PDF of their work plan for the movie. Feel free to share these with others, however you feel is appropriate. Several of us Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence were asked to participate in a photo shoot in the Castro and the AIDS Memorial Grove in which we officially sainted Hank Wilson as Patron Saint of Housing Justice, Compassionate Action, Queer Underdogs, and Plague Survivors—with much deserved pomp and circumstance. We look forward to a teaser of the documentary as soon as funds allow. Their goal is to raise $25,000 by the end of the year from committed donors who can give $1,000 or more. With that money, they will then produce a short film or trailer that will become the centerpiece of a much broader, more community-based fundraising effort.

    Sister Dana sez, “How absurd is it when Congress has to vote whether or not to shut down the government?! Meanwhile here’s what’s happening in our town.”

    Experience the true spirit of Mardi Gras with San Francisco’s KREWE DE KINQUE Mardi Gras club! Our annual BAL MASQUE, with the theme “Flight 420,” will be held at the spectacular Castro nightclub The Café (Market at Castro) on Saturday, February 10. (See Founder Gary Virginia’s piece on page 21.) Expect wild costumes, outrageous performances, regal Kings & Queens, and sexy shenanigans by the West Coast’s authentic krewe! Our traditional Second Line Parade at 7 pm will be led by Celebrity Grand Marshal Mark Leno. And the National Anthem will be played by KDK Member & Trumpeter Aaron Priskorn. Costumes, masks, and beads encouraged. Laissez les bons temps rouler! is French for “Let the good times roll!” Proceeds benefit Larkin Street Youth Services. Since 1984, Larkin Street Youth Services has reached over 75,000 young people, ages 12 to 24, through a range of services including outreach, shelter, housing, health, wellness, education, and employment. Tickets and info at mardigrassf.brownpapertickets.com

    ANGELA DAVIS: OUT SPOKEN is a new exhibition at the GLBT HISTORY MUSEUM drawing on rare posters and ephemera from a private collection highlighting the journey of black lesbian activist Angela Davis: from radical scholar, to political prisoner, to revolutionary icon, to public intellectual. Curated by collector Lisbet Tellefsen and historian Amy Sueyoshi, “Angela Davis: OUTspoken” considers some of the roles Davis has played in the American political imaginary and explores the complexity and impact of her life across nearly half a century. Reception at 4127 18th Street is on February 9 at 9 pm. glbthistory.org

    2019 marks the 35th edition of the BARE CHEST CALENDAR. Finalists will complete their second challenge and show off for the judges at POWERHOUSE PRELIM #1. To date, 400 men have appeared on the pages of the Calendar and this year BCC is looking for 12 or more to represent the final print edition of the calendar. The Bare Chest Calendar and Team BCC exist for one purpose—to raise vital funds that support the missions of its beneficiary, PRC and its program, AIDS Emergency Fund. Come support the contestants on February 1, 8–11 pm at Powerhouse, 1347 Folsom Street. barechest.org

    Sister Dana sez, “Thank you to all the hundreds of thousands of spirited demonstrators in the National Women’s March. Way to set the tone for 2018!”