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    Sister Dana Sez, “I Hope After Drinking Copius Amounts of Green Beer…”

    Sister-Dana2By Sister Dana Van Iquity

    Sister Dana sez, “I hope after drinking copious amounts of green beer on St. Patrick’s Day, they don’t find me in an Irish blackout chasing after an imaginary leprechaun for his pot of gold! Faith and begorrah!”

    Transgender and gender non-conforming (GNC) youth joined together with community organizations and allies from across the Bay Area to rally in front of San Francisco City Hall on February 23. The purpose of “SHOW UP 4 TRANS YOUTH” was ​​to protest the Trump Administration’s announcement that the United States Department of Justice and Department of Education would no longer enforce Title IX to ensure that transgender and GNC students are treated equally when accessing gendered facilities in schools.

    Trans students and representatives from Bay Area organizations assembled there included GSA Network; LYRIC; San Francisco Unified School District; and Youth Program at the SF LGBT Center. Co-sponsors were AFT Local 2121: City College of San Francisco Faculty Union; Center of Excellence for Transgender Health, UCSF; Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club; National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR; TAJA’s Coalition; TGI Justice; Transgender Law Center, and United Educators of San Francisco.

    Two of the stand-out placards read: “Transgender rights are human rights!” and a large transgender pride flag (two light blue stripes, two pink, and one white in the center) with “RESIST!” inscribed over it. Incidentally, City Hall was lit up in the trans flag colors that weekend to support trans/gnc youth. One of the rallying cries took the old ACT UP chant with a trans slant: “Transgender rights, under attack, what do we do? Act up! Fight back!”

    “While this action is done, the work’s not over,” said rally organizer Gwen Park. “We still have lots to do around trans youth and the many other intersecting issues they and we face. Trump & Co. are attacking all the time, and we need to keep fighting!”

    Sister Dana sez, “I think it’s appropriate to quote what Prez T-rump tweeted on June 14, 2016: ‘Thank you to the LGBT Community! I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs.’ He must have somehow made a typo, because he is actually fighting us, not fighting for us.” 

    Hi, simply hi! It’s your intrepid reportress, Sister Dana from Tinseltown North—nowhere near the red carpet. What was I wearing? Clothes. I’m happy to report that ACADEMY OF FRIENDS presented their always flawless “37TH ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS NIGHT GALA” at The Midway SF on Oscars night—with 100 per cent of ticket sales benefitting HIV/AIDS services in the San Francisco Bay Area. Their beneficiaries were AGUILAS, our nation’s oldest, continuous HIV prevention and support program for those at risk for or living with HIV for Latinx; AIDS LEGAL REFERRAL PANEL, providing excellent counsel to people with HIV in seven Bay Area counties as well as referrals; HIV NIGHTLINE, a project of the SF Suicide Prevention Hotline with phone services, information, and support to anyone with HIV questions or concerns, both prevention and referrals for those living with HIV; MAITRI COMPASSIONATE CARE, the only dedicated hospice for those living with HIV in Northern California; OPENHOUSE, offering housing, housing assistance, and social programs (including the buddy program) for LGBT seniors, including but not limited to those living with HIV; and SPAHR CENTER, the new name for the merger of two historic agencies in Marin: Marin AIDS Project with three decades of prevention, care, and support around HIV/AIDS, and Spectrum, the LGBT Center of Marin. Both previous agencies were founded by Rev. Jane Spahr, the name honoring her leadership.

    In typical Academy of Friends’ fashion, we enjoyed delicious food provided by the Bay Area’s finest restaurants and caterers, wine and champagne by amazing vintners along with a fun way to watch the 2017 Oscars. A very special round of applause and hurrahs goes to the fab five who made this all possible: Gil Padia, Board Chair; Matthew Denckla, Vice Chair; Todd Creel, Secretary; Amanda Watson, Gala Chair; and Beth Feingold, Beneficiary Chair; and all the other many, many dedicated volunteers who gave of their time and energy to make this the Best Oscar Night Evah! As always, all night long we gazed appreciatively at the almost naked models painted head to toe in gold to represent living Oscar statues. Everywhere the decor was all about the theme, SHANGHAI NIGHTS, with Chinese lanterns and dragons galore, finishing at the close of the Oscars with dancers in colorful costumes doing the traditional Chinese Lion Dance. And as if that wasn’t enough fun, there followed a rockin’ Go BANG dance party! And may I just say how thrilled I am that Best Picture went to the very first ever LGBTQ Oscar-first (eleven years after the Brokeback Mountain brush-off) with a powerful affirmation for gay black men in MOONLIGHT. Sister Dana is “over the moon” about that!

    I joined Sister Roma and another nun (Sister Rosemary Chicken), drags, devils, and angels at the OASIS for a Falcon video shoot! It was open bar. They were staging a fierce nightclub scene from HELL—a trip to the underground where evil and sex reign. All directed by the fabulous Chi Chi LaRue! Such fun!

    KREWE DE KINQUE, San Francisco’s queer Mardi Gras social club and fundraising society, held our annual FAT TUESDAY BUS/BAR CRAWL on actual Mardi Gras (February 28) with our annual party aboard the KdK Party Bus. It was a night to remember with elaborate costumes and masks, hurricane cocktails on the bus, yummy snacks and N’Orleans cuisine, authentic music, and fun bar stops with photo taking and other shenanigans. We gathered at Lookout bar to party a bit and then board the bus. We made bar stops at Trax, Gangway, and SF Eagle—ending our journey at the bar of our origin, The Edge in the Castro, to party on until 2 am. All along the way we were entertained with delightful performances by reigning Krewe de Kinque Queen LadyCuki Couture, Queen VIII Garza, King VII John Weber, King X Kippy Marks, and Queen II Deana Dawn. King XII Joe Prince Wolfe deejayed at the Eagle. Queen II Deana Dawn and King I Gary Virginia kept everything moving smoothly, and our new King Barry Miles & Queen LadyCuki Couture led the dynamic Second Line Parade entrances to each bar. We were all decked out with noisemakers, parasols, bling, beads & boas! This year’s beneficiary for the bus crawl was HOMOBILES, committed to providing secure and reliable transit to the SF Bay Area LGBTIQQ community and its allies. Now that Mardi Gras is over, tradition tells us that Ash Wednesday (day after Fat Tuesday) says we should sacrifice and give up the sins of the flesh for 40 days of Lent. But Krewe de Kinque Queen VII Sister Dana sez, “Mardi Gras is EVERY DAY, and the only sin I will be giving up is guilt!”

    BALIF (Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom) held its 37th Annual Gala: “WE WILL RISE!” at Bently Reserve. The fundraiser—co-chaired by Sarah Nicole Davis & John Robert Unruh—helped with law student scholarships, mentor programs, CLE, Amicus briefs on LGBT issues, LGBT recruiting, social events to LGBT lawyers, and community outreach. BALIF presented the Legal Service Award to the CENTER FOR IMMIGRATION PROTECTION. Among other things, the Center for Immigration Protection has launched The LGBT Asylum Project, which offers pro-bono legal representation to vulnerable LGBT immigrants fleeing persecution abroad and seeking protection in the United States; and the Community Service Award to the TGI JUSTICE PROJECT (“TGIJP”) with its mission to challenge and end the human rights abuses committed against transgender, gender, and intersex people in California prisons and beyond.

    Sister Dana sez, “Congratulations to Her Most Imperial Majesty, Both Merciful and Stern, The Virgin Empress of San Francisco, The Reigning Empress Mercedez Munro and to His Most Imperial Majesty, The Hunter Green Bootylicious Flaming Giraffe Emperor of San Francisco, The Reigning Emperor Nic Hunter! Long live the Emperor and Empress! We are your loyal subjects!”

    SISTER DANA SEZ, “EVEN THOUGH OUR COUNTRY’S GOING TO HELL, YOU CAN STILL ENJOY THESE GREAT UPCOMING EVENTS IN GOOD OL’ PROGRESSIVE ESS EFF!”

    The West Coast’s largest Irish event celebrating Irish history and culture, 166TH SAN FRANCISCO ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE & FESTIVAL is Saturday, March 11. Parade starts at 11:30 am; Festival: 10 am to 5 pm, Civic Center Plaza. FREE. The SAN FRANCISCO LESBIAN/GAY FREEDOM BAND will gaily participate. The Festival will take place before, during, and after the Parade on Saturday. The Parade begins at the corner of Second and Market, where more than 5,000 participants from all over the states will reel about with laughter and revelry all the way to City Hall. The Festival at City Hall provides a great opportunity for attendees to learn more about Irish history and culture while having fun at the event. Just don’t step on a lucky four-leaf clover!

    Celebrate Spring and Persian New Year at the new San Francisco Mission Bay location of BACK TO THE PICTURE GALLERY with Opening Reception Saturday, March 11, 7–10 pm, featuring the art of: Amir Rahimi, Farbod Mojallal Mehr, Sara Pisheh, Haleh Douraghy, Shiva Pakdel , Fateme Rezeefar, and Keyvan Fehri, with live Persian Flamenco Jazz by Farzad Arjmand. Exhibition will be on view March 11–April 30, daily from 11 am– 6:30 pm. Entrance is complimentary. backtothepicture.com

    A TRIBUTE TO SAN FRANCISCO DRAG QUEENS is a series of gorgeous, larger than life tapestries from photographs and video by JOSEPH ABBATI—featuring DQs Sister Roma, Peaches Christ, Heklina, Grace Towers, Juicy Liu, Juanita More, Honey Mahogony, Creme Fatale, and more DQs now on display at STRUT, 470 Castro Street—#DragIsResistance. These will be up all through the month of March. And as we go to press, I’m excited about the ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY PARTY of Strut and at Strut on March 6, which I will report on in the next edition of the San Francisco Bay Times.

    Thirty-two years ago, a band of queer history enthusiasts created the GLBT HISTORICAL SOCIETY in San Francisco to uncover and preserve stories of the LGBTQ past. Six years ago, the society opened the doors of the GLBT HISTORY MUSEUM IN THE CASTRO, the first stand-alone museum of its kind in the United States. To celebrate these milestones and to raise funds for a planned museum makeover, the society is holding a double-anniversary bash in the galleries after the museum closes on the evening of Friday, March 17: “TURNING 32, TURNING SIX, TURNING UP THE MUSIC” is set for 7–9 pm at the GLBT History Museum at 4127 18th Street in the Castro. glbthistory.org

    THE NAPA VALLEY WINE TRAIN PRIDE RIDE is March 18! If you haven’t experienced the Napa Valley Wine Train, you don’t know what you’re missing! It all starts with the sound of corks popping—a delightful tasting of JCB’s outstanding No. 69 Cremant de Bourgogne and as you sip the pink bubbles, you can mingle with prominent Napa Valley LGBT winemakers and wine professionals as well as other beautiful LGBTQ people and their allies as well as fun loving foodies during the pre-wine train ride welcome reception at the wine depot. Then you’ll board the wine train where your wine hosts will be right alongside to share their expertise while you enjoy a multi-course culinary experience. Glide along the legendary rail corridor on board the perfectly appointed early 20th Century Pullman cars while you enjoy views of the Napa Valley wine country vineyards. At the end of the 3-hour excursion, return to the Wine Train Depot’s electric after-party with music and entertainment featuring Mistress of Ceremonies DQ Daft-nee Gesundheit. Dance the night away in a virtual boogie wonderland and with the Pride Ride GoGo Boys adding to the festivities. Luxury bus transportation from San Francisco is available for $50 for those who don’t want to drink and drive, and there’s a list of conveniently located preferred hotels near the Wine Train Depot. The bus transportation must be booked by phone: 800-427-4124. reservations.winetrain.com/details/91988

    Three desperate actors take to the road in search of roles. Along the way they encounter highway hooligans, porno shoots, offended politically-correct youths, and “all the crazies” of America. Daniel Chung as Endin, John Fisher as Aaron, and Donald Currie as Dobbins Del Rey star in “FLIM-FLAM” by John Fisher, a Theatre Rhinoceros Production at the Eureka Theatre, 215 Jackson Street, now through March 18, 8 pm. therhino.org

    Renowned artist BRIAN SINGER is installing his mural, “HOME STREET HOME,” a thought-provoking art installation on the fence at 1990 Folsom Street in the Mission District. The property, owned by the Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) and Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation (TNDC), is slated for development of more than 140 units of affordable housing. Singer’s artwork is intended to call attention to the issue of homelessness in the neighborhood, showcasing the need for affordable-housing solutions across San Francisco.

    Sister Dana sez, “When T-rump heard scientists had discovered seven new planets, he immediately made plans to build walls around all of them to keep the aliens out of the U.S.!”