By Sister Dana Van Iquity
Sister Dana sez, “Last week was St. Patrick’s Day. How many of us wore green on that great day? And how many of us awoke the next day feeling a little less Irish and a lot more hung-over?! Oh myyyy! Pssst: Guinness is the unofficial cure.”
Totally sober, we joined EQCA (EQUALITY CALIFORNIA) at their pre-event reception—generously hosted in downtown San Francisco at the law offices of Perkins Coie. At this reception, we had the opportunity to meet fellow EQCA supporters, enjoy La Crema wine and appetizers, and hear from event co-chairs Sen. Scott Wiener and Board of Equalization Member Fiona Ma about the work of Equality California and how we can support the SAN FRANCISCO EQUALITY AWARDS BANQUET in May. To be exact, the Awards Banquet is on Saturday, May 6, from 6 pm–11 pm at the Westin St. Francis in San Francisco. EQCA will be honoring and presenting Equality Awards to Washington Post journalist and MSNBC contributor JONATHAN CAPEHART and transgender activist and TV personality JAZZ JENNINGS, with more to come. Actor and performer SCOTT TURNER SCHOFIELD will serve as celebrity emcee, and LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR GAVIN NEWSOM will be a guest speaker. eqca.org
STRUT, the Castro hub of health and wellbeing for gay, bi, and trans men, invited the public to their ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION. With over 300 of their friends and supporters in attendance, it was an honor to celebrate the successes of their first year; lift up the histories and contributions of STOP AIDS, STONEWALL, and MAGNET; and look towards the future. Strut CEO Joe Hollendoner started off the evening of presentations by listing all of the historical events that led them to this spot, including nods to the STOP AIDS PROJECT and the former MAGNET sexual health clinic (the old sign from which was just recently installed in the 2nd floor lobby). Additionally, he announced that thanks to individual, institutional, and civic partners, to date, they have raised 97% of their fundraising goal of $15 million through their Campaign for Health and Wellness. Strut Site Director Jared Hemming then provided an overview of their various successes. Strut’s 3-fold mission is to promote the health and wellness of gay, bi, and trans men; strengthen our diverse communities; and to reduce the impact of HIV in San Francisco. They fulfill this mission by means of engaging the community through various targeted programs such as Positive Force, DREAAM, 50+ Network, Bridgemen and Stonewall. Baruch Porras-Hernandez, Strut Community Organizer, told us that the sexual health clinic, Magnet, has provided HIV testing, STI screening, and/or treatment services to more than 17,000 patients since opening at Strut. They also expanded their PrEP program at Strut with over 2,000 being prescribed PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) since the opening. So many more speakers—so little space to elaborate. To celebrate their many accomplishments, we joined the board, volunteers, and friends of Strut at their Castro headquarters. We enjoyed appetizers, wine, drag, and laughs to celebrate Strut’s first year in the Castro. We took pictures at the photo booth, got spanked at their friendly and sexy Spanking Booth by activist and writer Andre Shakti and Mr. Daddy’s Barbershop Leather 2017 Geoff Millard, sang happy birthday and, of course, ate cake. There were special appearances by drag artists, Juicy Liu (ALC rider, part of the QueersQueers campaign, and the reigning Miss GAPA) and Stephanie Nichole Le Dream (Royal Crown Princess for Life—Royal Grand Ducal Council of Alameda/Contra Costa County). Juicy’s Madonna lip-synching set was ultra-fabulous! Happy birthday, Strut! Here’s to many, many, many more!
ART SAVES LIVES, the studio, gallery, and performance space at 518 Castro and 18th (curated by renowned artist Thomasina De Maio), presented “WE ARE ALL HERE,“ a reception for dozens of artists from The Arc San Francisco with their artworks. These incredible pieces will be exhibited through March 30. THE ARC SAN FRANCISCO is a lifelong learning and achievement center for over 840 individuals with developmental disabilities in San Francisco, San Mateo, and Marin counties. The Arc San Francisco is widely recognized for its innovation in education and career programs as well as independent living services, health and housing advocacy, and a broad range of arts and recreation opportunities. Arc supports individuals with autism, down syndrome, and other disabilities to meet the challenges of adulthood while achieving personal goals and lifelong success. The clients/artists represented were Robert Garcia, Michelle Marie Gonzales, Yukari Sakura, Ashley Chimienti, Eric Crowell, Michael Broadhurst, Tino Bainto, Adam Daly, Hershey Reyes-Aguilar, Xavier Thompson, Anne Slater, Barbara Hales, Claire Beia, Ines Villalobos, Shain Hartzer, Paul Pulizzano, Cindy Lam, and Karim Tulloch. The 3–6 pm Saturday event featured emcee Lance A. Scott, Arc’s director of art, recreation, and socialization, introducing live drag dancing and lip-synching performances by two Arc members, Kandi Delight and Serena Jackson. A very special set by well-known accordionist and chanteuse Kitten on the Keys topped the afternoon’s delightful entertainment. Photographer JB Higgins served as the affable bartender serving a special cocktail of sangria. Oh, and if you’re wondering why the usual 6 to 9 pm show happened so early, blame it on the Castro neighbors to apparently “have to go to sleep at 8 pm.” Yeah—in the Castro! Go figure!
Thirty-two years ago, a band of queer history enthusiasts created the GLBT HISTORICAL SOCIETY to uncover, preserve, and share stories of the LGBTQ past. Six years ago, they opened the doors of the GLBT HISTORY MUSEUM in the Castro. So, they held A DOUBLE ANNIVERSARY PARTY to celebrate these milestones—and to raise funds for their spring makeover. The museum is showing her age and needs a fresh face so she can better welcome visitors for the next four years. I’m delighted to announce there are two new exhibits on display: “Faces from the Past: We Have Always Been Here,” and “South of Market’s SF Leather Scene.” Executive Director Terry Beswick welcomed the guests at the party, encouraging us to carry the torch and move forward for equality. He spoke of the search for a bigger and better queer museum; honored exhibition curator Elizabeth Cornu for her tireless work; and then introduced State Senator Scott Wiener, who presented a Certificate of Recognition from the Senate. Wiener spoke of being a Castro resident two blocks away for twenty years. He said despite the Trump administration’s assaults, “We will survive and still be here fighting for civil rights.” Comic Marga Gomez gave a standout standup routine, including a jab at KellyAnne Conway “who has now made it possible for us to get GRINDR in our microwaves!” On this St. Patrick’s Day, Gomez noted she was not Irish, but was raised by Irish nuns. On a serious note, she said, “We are the resistance, and we are part of the movement against tyranny.” I thought to myself, we are not the Rage Against the Machine, but rather Rage against the regime. OMG. Founder of the revolutionary drag king group, Momma’s Boyz, Alex U. Inn, spoke of the importance of activism in this age of oppression, and encouraged concerned citizens to show up at the next public meeting of the SF Pride Parade Committee (sfpride.org) on April 5 at 30 Pearl Street to change the theme to “Resistance!” VivvyAnne ForeverMore and her coterie also served as amicable hosts. DJ Marke B provided the sounds. Drinks and light refreshments were provided. Proceeds of the party will help them redo the museum entry, reception desk, and shop.
Jim Fourniadis, co-founder and director of the Dark Room, and Erin Ohanneson, decades-long producers of many a fantabulous live interpretation of famous/infamous live stage parodies, are moving away to Sacramento for other artistic venues, and closing down the glorious Dark Room in the Mission. “We always hoped we could keep the Dark Room open forever, but forces beyond our control saw to that, and sadly we join the ranks of so many other venues that are just a memory,” said Fourniadis. Ever since 2004, the Dark Room Theater at 2263 Mission has constantly put on standup comedy and sketch shows, as well as stage parodies of Star Wars, The Terminator, The Princess Bride, Duck Soup, The Wicker Man, the video game “Asteroids”—not to mention the scary/funny live-action Twilight Zone episodes. So, of course, we sent Jim & Erin off in grand style with a fabulous farewell party. Artists, crew, friends, critics gathered at the Dark Room to reminisce and drink ourselves into oblivion because these lovely tiny art freeek venues are drying up here in EssEff.
The annual WINE TRAIN PRIDE RIDE, a rolling extravaganza aboard the historic NAPA VALLEY WINE TRAIN, (my second annual trip), in support of Bay Area LGBT communities and benefiting the groundbreaking RICHMOND/ERMET AID FOUNDATION, was a smash as usual. But even more special because we got to enjoy socializing with special guest, openly gay PA State Representative Brian Sims, who is both extremely good looking and extremely good politicking. He said, “We have all been impacted by HIV/AIDS, and we will all be the generation to end AIDS!” After a multi-course gourmet dinner onboard with wine sponsored by LGBT vintners, winemakers and allies, we enjoyed a rockin’ after-party with entertainment by the delicious Daft-nee Gesundheit and her two hot go-go boys, with dancing till midnight. It was totally disco retro back to the excellent ’80s with mirror ball and flashing lights. But, before all that, we had delighted in a shuttle bus from the Castro (facilitated by the lovely Skye Patterson) to the Napa train site, imbibing in Stoli voddie cocktails provided by Patrik Gallineaux and enjoyed by such luminaries as Donna Sachet and Sister Roma—as well as the REAF producers Ken Henderson & Joe Seiler. At the after-party, Daphne was an awesome entertainer, singing live from the musical Falsettos, and climaxing with a spot-on Cher lip-synch. And then we journeyed home on the shuttle back to the Castro with cocktails and for more partying in Gay Ground Zero. Grrrrrrrrlll, I was exhausted. But soooo satisfied.
SISTER DANA SEZ, “WHAT’S ALL THE FUSS ABOUT THIS SO-CALLED ‘MARCH MADNESS?’ BACK IN HIGH SCHOOL, THE VERY THOUGHT OF A BASKETBALL HURLING TOWARDS ME MADE ME MAD! BUT DON’T LET THAT STOP ANYONE FROM CHECKING OUT THESE MAD FAB EVENTS TO COME!”
SAN FRANCISCO GAY MEN’S CHORUS invites beachcombers, hula dancers, and others to their next concert, “PARADISE FOUND” at Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Avenue. Sublime Music. Dreamscapes. Ethereal Beauty. Featuring Special Guest Artists Na Lei Hulu Dance Company. Wear your tacky Hawaiian floral shirts, or don’t. Shows are Thursday, March 30, 8 pm; Friday, March 31, 8 pm; and Saturday, April 1, 2:30 pm & 8 pm. This will be a concert full of new delights, cherished favorites, and stunning world-premiere compositions. sfgmc.org
Come and knock on our door … because D’Arcy Drollinger presents THREE’S COMPANY LIVE! back with brand new episodes, March 23–April 29 (Thursdays at 8 pm–Fridays & Saturdays at 7 pm). A gender-bending send-up of the infamous ‘70s sitcom starring John Ritter, Suzanne Somers and Joyce DeWitt, that changed the airwaves forever with their racy subject matter, sexual innuendos, and over-the-top physical comedy. A man pretends to be gay in order to share an apartment with two women in this legendary bedroom farce. The cast features many of San Francisco’s drag stars and even some actual clowns: D’Arcy Drollinger, Heklina, Michael Phillis, Matthew Martin, Sara Moore, Marine Layer, Sue Casa & Laurie Bushman. Fun happens at Oasis, 298 Eleventh at Folsom in San Francisco. sfoasis.com
PEACHES CHRIST PRODUCTIONS and FUDGIE FROTTAGE PRESENTS are proud to announce the West Coast premiere of LADY BUNNY‘s “TRANS-JESTER!” playing in San Francisco’s Verdi Club (2424 Mariposa Street) for a limited two-day engagement on both April 13 and April 14, 8 pm. There are VIP tickets available for both dates. The always hilarious Bunny breaks down some of the latest buzzwords that we’re all supposed to remember for every occasion as we “evolve.” Sometimes, Bunny tells me, that we’re actually evolving away from common sense! Okaaaay?! You’ll absolutely adore Bunny’s hysterically raunchy song parodies. I always do. Tickets available for purchase at peacheschrist.com
TENDERLOIN COMMUNITY BENEFIT DISTRICT (TLCBD) Board of Directors and staff invite the public to celebrate the Office Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting Ceremony with specials guests including District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim and Tenderloin Station Captain Teresa Ewins. Enjoy small bites, beverages, and connect with board members, City officials, community partners, and staff as you explore the new space. Among the office features are a large scale Safe Passage-inspired mural, neighborhood banners, a community chalk board and more. 512 Ellis Street, Wednesday, March 29, 4–6 pm.
“MOMENTUM” is OUT & EQUAL’s annual celebration and gala dinner including top entertainment, thrilling auctions, a cocktail reception, and inspirational speakers. They will celebrate advances in workplace equality and the individuals and organizations who take the lead on fundamental issues of equal rights—both in and out of the workplace. This year they are thrilled to have The Pointer Sisters join the celebration! Featuring Oscar-winning filmmaker Dustin Lance Black, Out & Equal Founder and CEO Selisse Berry, Bravo TV’s Scott Nevins, and comic Kate Clinton. Wednesday March 29, 7:30–10 pm, Westin St. Francis, 335 Powell Street. outandequal.org
This spring and summer, many San Francisco cultural organizations are sponsoring special events to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Summer of Love. The GLBT HISTORY MUSEUM is taking part by mounting a new exhibition set to open April 7: “LAVENDER-TINTED GLASSES: A GROOVY, GAY LOOK AT THE ‘SUMMER OF LOVE.” The exhibit opens Friday, April 7, with a public reception from 7 to 9 pm at the GLBT History Museum at 4127 18th Street in The Castro. Admission is $5; free for members. The show runs through September 27. For more information, visit glbthistory.org/museum
The SF LGBT CENTER‘s 15TH ANNIVERSARY SOIRÉE will be an unforgettable evening to celebrate the completion of their remodel, which breathes new life into their physical space and creates a sustainable home for future generations of LGBTQ people. Saturday, April 8, 5 pm dinner, open bar, entertainment, live and silent auction; 8:30 pm general admission party with open bar and hors d’oeuvres. Juanita MORE! returns as Entertainment Director with performances, music, live and silent auctions, and lots of dancing. The proceeds from Soirée will fund expansion of the Center’s Youth Program, increase Information and Referral services, and improve the building facilities. Terra Gallery & Event Venue, 511 Harrison Street. sfcenter.org
The celebration continues the day after Soirée on Sunday, April 9, as they rededicate the renovated home. Join them at the Center (1800 Market Street, San Francisco) for a ribbon-cutting ceremony and Open House at 1 pm. Registration is free!
TDOV 2017 is TENDERLOIN DAY OF VISIBILITY, LOVE & RESISTANCE on Friday, March 31, reception 5:30 pm, event program 6:30 pm, SOMArts, 934 Brannan Street (between 8th and 9th street). It’s a magical evening of celebrating community. Across the country and internationally there has been an increased visibility of our transgender and GNC communities. Despite increased national media visibility, 2016 goes on record as one of the most dangerous years for transgender and gender nonconforming people, with alarming rates of violence, homicides, and suicides – specifically impacting trans women of color and youth. Special guest: Gigi Gorgeous, with emcees Nya from Transcendent and Shawn Demmons. tdov.org
Sister Dana sez, “‘Beware the Ides of March!’ Well, March 15 is over, but we should still remain aware of our nation being taken over by a tyrant far worse than Julius Caesar. Never mind the Ides! Beware the next four years!”