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    Sister Dana Sez, “I’m excited that soon it will be leather weather…”

    By Sister Dana Van Iquity

    Sister Dana sez, “I’m excited that soon it will be Leather Weather—meaning the coming of Up Your Alley leather fair (July 30), Leather Walk (September 17), and big daddy of all: Folsom Street Fair (September 24)! So get out your leather and feather and fetish gear to prepare!

    We got in the groove for the GALA SUMMER OF LOVE LAUNCH PARTY for HORIZONS FOUNDATION at Dolby Laboratories. Our friends at Dolby, who really know how to throw a party, had a special night in store for us with fun retro games (Foosball, 4-in One, Jenga blocks, and more), a far-out drag performance, plus delicious drinks and delectable bites—all to promote the 2017 ANNUAL GALA on Saturday, October 7, at the Fairmont San Francisco. Sister Dana donned his flowery shirt and many peace sign pendants for the occasion. As I walked through the doors, three lovely drag queens in ’60s dresses snagged me for a photo op, and everyone who attended got four pretty poses as a souvenir. The soundtrack was appropriately all the golden oldies of the Summer of Love.

    Anthony Morin, Horizons Corporate Relations and Events Manager, wearing a ’60s fringed leather jacket and colorful headband, introduced the drag trio who performed the Mamas & Papas’ “Dream a Little Dream” and “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” from Hair. Board member Richard Davis-Lowell, Senior Director, BNY Mellon Wealth Management with Horizons, spoke of the upcoming gala and introduced Deb Stallings, Vice President of Development, who was appropriately outfitted in white patent leather go-go boots. She pointed out that at the October 7 gala, Cleve Jones would be honored for over 40 years of activism in the LGBTQ community. Stallings then introduced Executive Director Roger Doughty, who she noted was thrilled to have just gotten his marriage license. He spoke of Horizons’ history and mission. Horizons Foundation’s roots—as with so many Bay Area LGBTQ community organizations—lie deep in the phenomenal growth and development that marked the 1970s and early 1980s. It was a time when tens of thousands of LGBTQ people found their way to San Francisco and, as the population multiplied, activists began to establish organizations to help, support, and advocate for us. The idea behind Horizons was completely new: a community-based foundation to support the whole spectrum of LGBTQ organizations—a foundation that was of, by, and for LGBTQ people. Initially founded as the philanthropic arm of the Golden Gate Business Association, Horizons became independent in 1988. Since those earliest years, Horizons has grown from making two grants of $500 each in 1980 to a total of more than $30 million since that time. horizonsfoundation.org

    Some of the SISTERS OF PERPETUAL INDULGENCE got together across the pond (in the Oakland home of Sister Jendra Uforia and Sister Arianna Badtripp) for a funtastic SUNDAY SISTER SOCIAL. It was a wonderful day, if not a bit on the warm side. We did not wear makeup or drag. It was not a fundraiser nor a protest. It was just plain fun—drinkin’ in the sun—and a time to recharge for upcoming events, such as our annual PROJECT NUNWAY designer and model exhibition/ fundraiser on Saturday, August 19, 7 pm at SOMArts Cultural Center. Sister Dana is again being outfitted by Trash Mash-Up designers. thesisters.org

    KREWE DE KINQUE, the SF Mardi Gras-themed fundraising club, held a “LOVE YOUR SELFIE” party at the Edge, hosted by Queen II Deana Dawn & King II Mark Paladini and raised $1,132 for HepCarestream, a project for Hepatitis C testing and treatment. RN Jennifer Eve Slepin of HepCarestream spoke proudly of the project. All of the fabulous volunteers and performers gave their time and talents: DJ Jack Rojo, Gary Virginia, Patrick Noonan, Tom Basch, Robert Makowka, yours truly Sister Dana Van Iquity, Don Ho, Cody Elkin, Miss Chief (Mahto Marcus), Kelly Rose, Lexi Shimmers, Kevin Lisle & Queen XIV Lady Cuki Couture (Rafael Canadas). Watch for upcoming Krewe de Kinque’s every-third-Saturday beer bust fundraising fun-raisers at The Edge in the Castro.

    ARTSAVESLIVES CASTRO ART STUDIO shares the Castro space with AIDS HEALTHCARE FOUNDATION, so it was only natural that curator of the studio Thomasina De Maio presented “DOLLS OF HOPE,” a project of AHF. Dr. Cynthia Davis joined AHF’s board of directors in 1988, served as an advocate for the development of the first women’s HIV treatment clinic in South Los Angeles, and helped develop and operate Agape House, a residential care facility for HIV positive women and their children. She also initiated the nationally recognized “Dolls of Hope” project, which makes and distributes handmade cloth dolls for AIDS orphans. She is passionate about her work and has been tireless in her efforts to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS on a local, national, and international level. De Maio said they had a great turnout with everyone busily making dolls for AIDS orphans and flood victims. Recently they held a small reception at ArtSavesLives studio to celebrate and admire their work.

    SISTER DANA SEZ, “DON’T MISS THESE UPCOMING EVENTS!”

    UP YOUR ALLEY is FOLSOM STREET FAIR’s nasty younger brother. It used to be called Dore Alley Fair, because it was the cruising street of choice in the South of Market. Today it’s a street fair that is an unrivalled, one-of-a-kind event that takes place ONLY in San Francisco. Only for real players—and not for the faint of heart.  You should be comfortable surrounded by leather, feather, fetish, and BDSM—especially if you dress for the occasion. Don’t be a looky-loo; participate! It’s more fun that way. This year, Up Your Alley is on Sunday, July 30, 11 am–6 pm. To make that happen, they’ve got volunteer shifts starting as early as 4:30 am and ending as late as 10:30 pm. As always, the fair is held on Dore Alley between Howard and Folsom, continuing on Folsom from 9th to Juniper and the adjoining block of 10th Street. See ya there at the fair! folsomstreetevents.org  

    THE SISTERS OF PERPETUAL INDULGENCE are presenting “HOW TO IMPACT GLOBAL LGBT ISSUES AS A LOCAL ACTIVIST & GROUP”a forum for activists, because for grassroots organizers and activists, our work is often directed at the most immediate problems in our community. However, there are opportunities to leverage our visibility as queer activists, organizers, and performers to raise awareness, fundraise, and advocate for change in international contexts in conjunction with local ones. With a political environment that demonizes refugees and immigrants, and a diplomatic corps that has been told to cast a blind eye to private and public abuses, we often ask ourselves, “How can we impact the lives of those not in our immediate community?” This hour-long workshop on August 1 from 7 pm to 8 pm at the Chinatown Branch of the SF Public Library, 1135 Powell Street, is intended for anyone who wants to learn more about how their work can and does actually create positive change for LGBT groups around the world. They will focus on digital channels, crafting messages, researching international events, and how to be empathetic toward unique local contexts of activism & sexuality. They will focus on how LGBT human rights crises often have their origin in the United States—be it through our religious groups and leaders, business groups, and foreign policy—and that by concentrating on changing that origin, we can make lives better for our LGBT community around the world. If you are interested in speaking on these issues, please contact co-organizers Novice Sister Normalee Chaste at normalee@thesisters.org or Sister Desi at desi@thesisters.org

    Event on Facebook: facebook.com/events/892093294263061

    You can still check out the excellent art exhibition at Strut, “YUH LOOKIN GOOD: Portraits from the Other Rainbow Nation” by Ajuan Mance, a professor of African American literature at Mills College. There has only been one other woman artist showing at Strut. The show features eight drawings and paintings of queer and trans men of African descent, selected from a handful of recent projects, along with some new pieces created especially for display at Strut. My fave is “Darnell Helps Marquis with His Finishing Touches” digital collage with a special intimate feel. My second pick is “Teddybears Are All the Rage.” sfaf.org

    The GLBT HISTORICAL SOCIETY has launched a new oral history project under the guidance of historian Joey Plaster to chronicle, preserve, and share the history of ACT UP/SAN FRANCISCO and other AIDS direct-action groups in the City from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s. See more about the effort at “In the News” in this issue of the San Francisco Bay Times and at glbthistory.org

    EUREKA VALLEY NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION is a great place to get plugged in for good, if you live in the gayborhood! Find out more at the OPEN HOUSE on Wednesday, August 9, 7 to 8:30 pm at Eureka Valley Rec Center, Upstairs Meeting Room, 100 Collingwood Street.

    Sister Dana sez, “I still think the best healthcare bill of all would be to Repeal and Replace Trump. I know I would be a lot less sick not having to see that evil orange ogre oligarch anymore!”