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    Sister Dana sez, “It’s our International High Holy Day of Celebrating Creative Queerness.”

    Sister-Dana2By Sister Van Iquity

    Sister Dana sez, “It’s our International High Holy Day of Celebrating Creative Queerness—otherwise known as Halloween. Please do your part! Stay safe but insane: grrrlll go cray-cray on the costumes!”

    MAITRI honored loving friends, bronze and silver sponsors for BLISS 2016, their annual gala fundraiser, with a THANK YOU RECEPTION. Current Executive Director Michael Smithwick gave a lovely speech about Maitri and their slogan, “No one should suffer or die alone,” regarding the hospice. He is retiring at end of the year and Maitri will be welcoming a new executive director at the 2016 HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE at 401 Duboce Avenue on Saturday, December 17, 2 pm to 5 pm. maitrisf.org

    POSITIVE RESOURCE CENTER held their signature fundraiser WINDOWS OF OPPORTUNITY! in the stylish Art Deco surroundings of San Francisco’s premier business and social club, The City Club. This year they honored AIDS EMERGENCY FUND AND BAKER PLACES, INC., which recently merged, with the Community Legacy Award for their many years of outstanding contributions to our community. For more than 29 years Positive Resource Center has been providing crucial services to the community. Since their inception, they have helped their clients access lifesaving disability income and gainful employment, ultimately providing them with a baseline of financial and healthcare security. PRC Board President David Stith welcomed everybody and introduced Executive Director and new CEO Brett Andrews, who spoke about the state of the three agencies that serve a combined 5,000 clients yearly and “firmly believe in and advocate for the fundamental tenet of social and economic justice.” PRC Board Vice President Kent Roger opened the awards presentation with PRC Advisory Board Member Donna Sachet giving the Community Legacy Award to Joanie Juster and Chris Scott Williams of AIDS Emergency Fund, and to Sherilyn Adams and Margot Antonetty of Baker Place.

    LIVING HISTORY, THE 2016 GLBT HISTORICAL SOCIETY GALA, held in the Green Room of the War Memorial building, was the biggest and most fabulous ever fundraisers for the GLBT HISTORICAL SOCIETY. Hosted by hilarious Honey Mahogany of RuPaul’s Drag Race (in stunning red gown and white gloves), and featuring an electrifying exhibition by performance artist Dia Dear, and celebrity drag king Alex U. Inn (who will be installing the very first Drag King exhibit), the formal dinner and silent auction was filled with entertainment and fun inspired by LGBTQ history. Executive Director Terry Beswick spoke of his activist roots and Vision 2020 (the year the lease runs out for the museum) for the future with support by attendees ensuring that the GLBT Historical Society will continue to fulfill their mission of preserving and presenting our history through their archives and museum— growing their collection of important historical materials, showcasing them in the museum, and preserving them for the benefit of future generaons. Beswick noted we were also helping the GLBT Historical Society as they plan for a new, world-class museum in San Francisco. I felt so honored being seated next to freelance writer, speaker, and collections manager James Van Buskirk and veteran lesbian playwright/actor/activist Terry Baum. Terry and I mused about perhaps presenting a performance at next year’s Historical Society Gala.

    Three amazing community leaders were honored at the gala: Tamara Ching received the 2016 History Makers Award in recognition of her contributions on behalf of the LGBTQ community, and in particular transgender people, Asian Pacific Islanders, people with HIV and sex workers. David Weissman received the 2016 Clio Award in recognition of his contributions to promoting understanding of LGBTQ history through the medium of film. Elisabeth Cornu received the 2016 Willie Walker Award in recognition of her leadership, generosity, and steadfast support of the society’s work in the field of LGBTQ public history.

    CASTRO STREET ART SAVES LIVES Studio and Gallery presented LOCAL SAN FRANCISCO ARTISTS ON DISPLAY at the studio on 518 Castro Street. Artist/ host THOMASINA DEMAIO is currently exhibiting amazing pieces by these artists: Gary Rocchio, Joseph Johnston, J B Higgins, Dale Wittig, Frank Pietronigro, Celia V Beatts, Joel Hoyer, Patrick Bear, James Windsor, Jack Stelneki, Bonita Cohen, and Thomasina DeMaio. At the reception, live entertainment was emceed by the fabulous comic MARGA GOMEZ, who couldn’t help but do a very funny standup routine about the Presidential election follies. She joked how she moved to the Castro because she expected to see her fellow Cubans there—but was pleasantly surprised to find it was a gay haven instead. As always, there was free food, wine, and beer to consume. This was a delightful evening!

    AIDS LEGAL REFERRAL PANEL (ALRP) held its 33RD ANNUAL RECEPTION & AUCTION in the Julia Morgan Ballroom at the Merchants Exchange to commemorate its 33rd year of service to people with HIV/AIDS at their biggest event of the year—the ALRP FROM THE HEART 33rd Annual Reception & Auction. Executive Director Bill Hirsh thanked everyone for coming out on the night of the presidential debate, and spoke about ALRP as the only institution in the San Francisco Bay Area solely dedicated to providing free and low-cost legal assistance and education on virtually any civil matter to persons living with HIV/AIDS. During the evening, ALRP honored: Jerome Fishkin, Esq. with the 2016 Clint Hockenberry Leadership Award; Okan Sengun, Esq. with the 2016 Attorney of the Year Award; and Anwwdrea Fitanides and Caitlin May accepted for Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP with the 2016 Firm of the Year Award. San Francisco City Attorney, Dennis Herrera, was to serve as Guest Host, bu had hip surgery, so he sent Ron Flynn, Chief Deputy City Attorney and former Alice Club co-chair to emcee and present awards.

    SHANTI celebrated 42 years of compassion and service at COMPASSION IS UNIVERSAL, Shanti Project’s Annual Gala at The Palace Hotel. The Event Chair was Bahya Oumlil-Murad with Honorary Co-Chairs: The Honorable James C. Hormel, U.S. Ambassador and Michael P. Nguyen. The Founder’s Welcome was given by Dr. Charles Garfield. Attendees at the reception were swept into the dining hall by a grand performance by Maisa Duke and Energia Do Samba—ladies in ornate headdresses beautifully rounding us up and into the hall. This year, Shanti recognized two true heroes of our community. The Nancy Pelosi Lifetime Achievement Award was presented by State Senator Mark Leno to life-long healthcare advocate, Dr. Sandra Hernández. Social justice champion Dan Bernal was honored with the James C. Hormel Community Spirit Award, presented by Christine Pelosi.

    TRANSGENDER LAW CENTER celebrated 14 years of igniting change in the law, policy, and cultural climate so that people of all gender identities and expressions can live safely, authentically, and free from discrimination. In the Julia Morgan Ball Room during the TLC fundraiser, SPARK!, they honored Slack Technologies for their visible support of trans advocacy and leadership in the Bay Area tech sector, as well as their prioritizing inclusivity and leadership of historically marginalized people. In an industry that is desperate for models of diversity and inclusion, for more representation and leadership of people of color, women, and LGBT people, Slack Technologies is showing the business community how it’s done. Also honored were The Porters, Zeam, Louise, and EA, a fierce family of advocates for trans and queer youth. Zeam is a member of the joint Transgender Law Center and GSA Network national trans youth advocacy board. When Zeam came out as queer and trans, his parents were supportive and became vocal advocates for trans and queer youth. A third awardee was pioneer and “champion of change” for the transgender community, Ms. Dee Dee Ngozi Chamblee who has over 25 years of grassroots organizing experience and has helped Atlanta through her work in trans advocacy. She has also built an expertise on the issues of HIV/AIDS, homelessness, mental health, mass incarceration, and police profiling. In 2011 President Barack Obama awarded her with the prestigious “Champion of Change” honor. TLC Executive Director Kris Hayashi noted that last year, 23 transgender women of color had been tragically murdered in America. He spoke of the discriminatory bathroom laws denying trans people their right to authenticity, and how California is leading the nation in civil rights for transgender people. “We are building a movement,” he concluded. It should be mentioned that Master of Ceremonies was Don Reed (master story-teller from Snap Judgment), who approached the podium in super slow motion to the stirring theme from 2001 as the audience howled with laughter. He spoke of his hit play, East 14th, which tells the true story of his bold, beautiful trans sister.

    SISTER DANA SEZ, “WITH HALLOWEEN SO NEAR, DON’T BE TRICKED AND MISSOUT ON THESE TREATS—BY THAT, I MEAN THESE UPCOMINGEVENTS!”

    THRILLPEDDLERS presents SHOCKTOBERFEST 17: PYRAMID OF FREAKS: 17th Annual Extravaganza of Terror & Titillation at the Hypnodrome, 575 10th Street, now through November 19 (Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays @ 8pm) plus 2 Special Halloween performances (both 8 pm, Sunday, October30 and Monday, Oct. 31 —Halloween Night).

    Fresh from their success promoting Absolutely Fabulous the Movie, the company of ROYAL BRITISH COMEDY THEATRE presents “ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS: SEASON 3!” Oct. 27–November 19 at Exit Theatre, 156 Eddy Street. Starring: Terrence McLaughlin as Edina, ZsaZsa Lufthansa as Patsy, Lisa Appleyard as Justin & Christopher, Dene Larson as Saffy, Ryan Engstrom as Gran, and Raya Light as Bubble. With: Nick Leonard, Ginorma Desmond, Steven Sparrow, Lisa Darter, and Hilda Roe. Do not miss this deliciously wicked live interpretation of two classic TV AbFab faves, “Sex” and “Small Opening.” If you pass this up, so sad, it’s “squish squish, sweetiedarling!” rbct.us

    PROJECT INFORM is proud to announce their annual event, “EVENING OF HOPE – A NIGHT OF LIFESAVING FASHION,” on Saturday, October 29, 7 to 9 pm, 401 Van Ness Avenue in the stunning Green Room. At the event, you can enjoy delicious food and drinks on the balcony, listen to music by Jason Brock and DJ Christopher B, and, of course, enjoy the fashion presentation of designers showcasing their one-of-a-kind condom couture! Most importantly, all proceeds from the event go to fight HIV and hepatitis C in the US. projectinform.org

    NOCHE DE AMBIENTE” opens on Friday, October 28, at the GLBT HISTORY MUSEUM with a public reception set for 7 to 9 pm, 4127 18th Street. For decades, Spanish speakers in many parts of the Western Hemisphere have recognized the word “ambiente”—literally meaning “atmosphere” or “environment”— as a coded reference. The show at the museum opens a window into the meanings of “ambiente” as reflected in Latinx drag performance and LGBTQ and AIDS activism in San Francisco from the 1970s into the 1990s. Wine and light refreshments will be served. Admission is $5; free for members. The exhibition will be on display in the museum’s Front Gallery through February 2017. Muy bueno! glbthistorymuseum.org

    There’s still time to catch BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER LIVE! at Oasis, 298 11th Street. D’Arcy Drollinger presents the drag sendup of the beloved Sci-fi television series— based on the popular 90’s supernatural series known for its groundbreaking themes and smart quips. It stars Michael Phillis (as Buffy), Kim Burly, Melanie Marshall, Flynn DeMarco, Adam Roy, John Paul Gonzalez, Laura LeBleu, Sergio Lobito, Sue Casa, Laundra Tyme and D’Arcy Drollinger as the Master. Buffy befriends two schoolmates, Xander Harris and Willow Rosenberg, who help her fight a series of vampires, in order to prevent The Master, an ancient and especially threatening vampire, from opening the Hellmouth and taking over the world. This is all especially challenging when Buffy suffers from a massive crush on a totally hot Vampire named Angel. Thursday at 8 pm; Friday & Saturday at 7 pm, with a special Halloween show on October 31, which will include a costume contest and Buffy trivia challenge. Call 415-795-3180 or sfoasis.com

    The ART SAVES LIVES Gallery is happy to offer two Día de los Muertos themed community workshops centered on the art of nichos on Saturday, October 29, 1 to 4 pm, 518 Castro Street. The nicho is a time honored and therapeutic craft that is practiced throughout Latin America and serves to honor loved ones lost, saints, deities and other important cultural figures. Under the direction of William Sauerland, the LESBIAN/GAY CHORUS OF SAN FRANCISCO presents its fall concert, ALL CREATURES, GREAT AND SMALL, at Community Music Center, 544 Capp Street, November 5 at 7:30 pm and November 6 at 4 pm. lgcsf.org

    Sister Dana sez, “Just because it’s pumpkin season, don’t make the terrible mistake of voting for Old Pumpkin Face—better known as T-rump the Total Ass!!