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    Sister Dana sez, “I loved how the Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, head of the American Episcopal Church, who has spoken out positively about immigration and marriage equality, preached about the power of love at the Royal Wedding. A concept that the Trumpians will never ever truly comprehend.”

    By Sister Dana Van Iquity–

    Sister Dana sez, “I loved how the Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, head of the American Episcopal Church, who has spoken out positively about immigration and marriage equality, preached about the power of love at the Royal Wedding. A concept that the Trumpians will never ever truly comprehend.”

    Thank the Film Gawds that San Francisco impresario MARC HEUSTIS came out of retirement at the Castro Theater to produce an extravaganza tribute to KIM NOVAK, one of the few stars remaining from “The Golden Age of Hollywood” who is still very much alive. The May 20 event included Novak’s very rare in-person appearance as the star of surely the single most celebrated San Francisco-set movie ever: Alfred Hitchcock’s VERTIGO, in which she flawlessly played the woman (women?) with whom James Stewart ’s former police detective is uniquely obsessed. If you haven’t yet seen this mystery noir film, rent it. It’s one of Hitchcock’s finest. We got to hear TCM-TV’s noir czar Eddie Muller interview La Novak at this 60th anniversary occasion. Such juicy gossip, but mostly witnessing what a true feminist (pre-#metoo) and human rights activist Novak was and is. She refused to accept the studio’s name change as sexpot “Kit” and chose “Kim” and her real last name. She told us how thrilled she was to be on the Castro stage in the City that personifies civil rights and being one’s own person. She also showed us some of her amazing artworks available for viewing (https://www.kimnovakartist.com/).

    As is Heustis’ tradition, the incredible evening began with a pre-show spectacular. SF’s famous jazz chanteuse Paula West gave us the Rodgers & Hart Novak film classic, “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered” from Pal Joey, and then a heartwarming “My Funny Valentine” from Babes in Arms. Then Huestis had compiled a 15-minute video clip of all the hits of Novak including rare behind the scenes with Hitch and actors, Oscar appearances, and actual scenes from Kim’s many many movies. A representative of SAN FRANCISCO SUICIDE PREVENTION (http://www.sfsuicide.org/) an appropriate charity that night, since the movie character twice kills herself, was there to elaborate on the org’s importance. Also, a representative from the SF Board of Supervisors presented Novak a Certificate of Recognition for all of her film credits “showing vulnerability as power” and her many charitable organizations. After viewing Vertigo, we went upstairs to the VIP mezzanine to meet Kim Novak in person, and then mingle with my pals, Fudgie Frottage & Donna Sachet, while sipping champagne and “Hitchcock” brand zinfandel with finger sandwiches and chocolates. I thought to myself, “Thank God I am so fortunate and privileged to have one of these only-in-EssEff experiences! #blessed, and I mean it!

    KREWE DE KINQUE held our monthly, every-third-Saturday benefit at the Edge. Kelly Rose gave a fabulous performance. As ever, Jack Rojo spun superb disco. Kippy Marks had the crowd pumped up with his electronic violin compositions. Aja Monet-Ashton has the voice of an angel, and those Jell-O shots he served were sooo good. Queen VII Sister Dana was at the door as ever collecting $$$ donations for charity. Big thanks to our founder, King I Gary Virginia for always keeping everything “good times rolling,” as they say in N-Orleans on Mardi Gras. And special accolades go to reigning Queen XV Miss Chief of Krewe de Kinque & Krewe de Kinque King XV Gooch!

    During the SF GAY MEN’S CHORUS annual fundraiser, DRAGATHON at the Oasis, Chelsea Castro (Dan Santos) raised $9,060, and a close second place was my friend Ammy Thest (Edwin Bautista) at $8,883. Congratz to both for working your (padded) bottoms off!

    STOLI vodka unveiled their limited-edition bottle on May 22, also known as HARVEY MILK DAY, with a beautiful kick-off event at San Francisco’s The Café, where artist Oz Montania removed the rainbow flag covering on the outside wall to reveal a new Harvey Milk mural inspired by his original mural at an LGBT community center in Paraguay. The mural depicts Milk in front of a rainbow background holding his famous bullhorn inscribed with “hope will never be silent.” Celebrated chanteuse Leanne Borghesi proudly sang “I Am What I Am.” And Debby Holiday sang “Make a Joyful Sound” and then the number her father wrote years ago, “Put a Little Love in Your Heart,” which we gladly sang along. The event featured remarks by Global LGBTQ rights campaigner Stuart Milk, Harvey Milk’s nephew and the co-founder of the HARVEY MILK FOUNDATION, who spoke about the impact his uncle has had on equality and freedom across the globe. Inside the Café the party continued with Borghesi belting out “Don’t Rain on My Parade” and Holiday singing lively tunes to get us dancing for daze. Check out www.milkfoundation.org

    The annual SAN FRANCISCO SILENT FILM FESTIVAL always takes place at San Francisco’s landmark movie palace, the Castro Theatre. Built in 1922, the theater is the perfect setting for these historical silent masterpieces. On May 30, I attended the opening night film, THE MAN WHO LAUGHS with amazing live musical accompaniment by Berklee Silent Film Orchestra. Spellbinding in its visual acuity and psychological depth, director Paul Leni’s adaptation of Victor Hugo’s 1869 novel about a man disfigured from childhood stands with the great masterworks of the silent era. 111 minutes long seems a tad lengthy for a silent flick, but still it works. And the vividly live soundtrack kept me checking back whether this was just a taped background or—oh my—that’s a live orchestra making this film come to life! Afterwards we enjoyed a delicious after-party up at McRoskey Mattress Company at Market and Gough with a live flapper singer and orchestra flawlessly providing a Roaring ’20s ambiance. Along with “prohibition” liquor. So sinful! www.silentfilm.org

    On June 4, from the City Hall Room 200 balcony, Mayor Mark Farrell raised the LGBTQ rainbow flag to kick off the 48th annual PRIDE celebration. So, regarding queer pride: it’s on now! Look for the rainbow flags all along Market Street!

    Sister Dana sez, “So do you hear ‘Laurel’ or ‘Yanny’ in the great utterly meaningless online debate? I hear both, which makes me think I should listen just a teeny tiny little bit more openly to the opposite of my political beliefs. Nevertheless, I continue to hear ‘Impeach’ quite clearly!”

    “I also hear raves about these upcoming events.”

    Alexander Nowik is exhibiting his captivating series of oil paintings at Et Al gallery at 620-B Kearny. There is no sign or anything indicating that this venue exists, so it’s almost like a speakeasy, but you need to walk into the dry-cleaning establishment, go straight forward, turn left, and approach the rickety stairway leading downstairs into a windowless room. There you will see four full walls of Nowik’s works. I prefer his series of Warsaw nature pieces, where he told me he visited, but am equally attracted to his depiction of people captured in real life. His fascination with persimmons remains a mystery to me—although painted quite well. This is up through Pride Month. www.etaletc.com

    PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT is now playing at THEATRE RHINO. This Rhino hit from last season is returning for an encore engagement now through June 30, 8 pm and matinees at Gateway Theatre, 215 Jackson Street at Battery. It’s the musical by Stephan Elliott and Allan Scott, a glorious (very musical) adventure about drag shows, Down Under, and what we will do for love. Based on the 1994 Oscar-winning film, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, the musical is the heart-warming, uplifting adventure of three friends who hop aboard a battered old bus searching for love and friendship, and end up finding more than they could have ever dreamed of. With a dazzling array of over-the-top costumes, extraordinary headdresses, a full-size bus on stage (!), and a hit parade of dance floor favorites, including “It’s Raining Men,” “I Will Survive,” “Shake Your Groove Thing,” and “Boogie Wonderland”—plus several dozen more classics. This wildly fresh and funny musical is a journey to the heart of fabulosity! The musical follows two drag queens and a transsexual (Tick, Adam, and Bernadette), who buy a run-down old bus (they call “Priscilla”) and set out on a road trip across the Australian Outback when one of them, Tick (played by Rudy Guerrero), is invited by his ex-wife to perform his drag show at her far-away resort. However, Tick is hesitant to tell his friends, Bernadette (a former performing icon whose best days are behind her—played by Kim Larsen), and Adam (a rambunctious young troublemaker—played by Charles Peoples III), his own personal reasons for taking the trip. During their journey, the trio encounters an array of Australian citizens, some of who aren’t receptive to their lifestyle, including incidents of homo and transphobia, while widening comfort zones, finding new horizons, and strengthening their own friendship. Sister Dana sez, “Get onboard the bus, baby!” www.therhino.org

    STRUT is presenting TRANSCEND, the art of RAE SENARIGHI, for the month of Pride at the 470 Castro Street gallery. He is a transgender non-binary artist currently living and working in Portland, Oregon. “TRANSCEND” is a portrait series celebrating transgender and non-binary artists, activists and leaders throughout the world. Transgender is not just about one experience, not linear and not simple. Each transgender person is unique with incredibly diverse experiences yet united in a common struggle. Portraits in this series are of individuals living their lives out in the open and choosing integrity over safety. To live openly as transgender requires personal courage to live authentically in oppressive environments. Artist, designer, and muralist, Senarighi (b. 1979) is best known for vivid colorful abstracts, intricate typography, and bold transfixing portraits of modern icons. Each portrait is labeled with the model’s twitter handle, so observers can communicate with them. My faves are “Chris” and “Nitzan” in their rainbow colors. After studying fine art at the University of Montana (2000, 2004), he finished his BFA degree at the Art Institute of Seattle in 2009. He received a Hall of Fame Award from the Art Institute of Seattle in 2011. His detailed, thoughtful works are influenced by nearly a decade of scientific illustration, studying the natural world in micro and macro. His illustrations have been internationally published in Cell, Nature, Gertrude Press, and Science magazines, among others. After facing cancer in 2015, he refocused energy into creating fine art. www.strutsf.org

    LGBTQ SENIOR PRIDE PROM is June 9 from 4–7pm at 401 Van Ness Avenue. This popular event returns for its third year and in a new and expanded location—the SF War Memorial Green Room! LGBTQ Senior Prom is a celebration for seniors and allies of all ages to get another chance at reimagining Prom—with none of the tradition or rules. No dress code, no need for a date, no dancing required, no gender rules and no holding back: acceptance is the only theme! The event features a DJ, performances, food and drinks, prizes for prom royalty and an amazing time for all. Please RSVP (http://www.eventbrite.com/e/lgbtq-senior-prom-san-francisco-tickets) or call 415-685-0886.

    “Lights. Camera. Take Action” is the slogan for this year’s Frameline, the world’s longest-running and largest showcase of queer cinema. FRAMELINE42: SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL LGBTQ FILM FESTIVAL will take place June 14–24 in the San Francisco Bay Area. With an expected attendance of 60,000, Frameline42 will draw film lovers, media artists, and LGBTQ communities from the Bay Area and all across the globe to discover the latest slate of queer cinema. With 52% of all films directed by women, 39 countries are represented, including Brazil, Japan, Lebanon, Norway, Paraguay, Kosovo, South Africa and Malaysia. The lineup—featuring 153 narratives, documentaries, episodics, and short films—also includes 25 World Premieres. Frameline Executive Director Frances Wallace emphasizes the mission is to change the world through queer cinema. The opening night film and gala is on June 14, 7 pm at the Castro Theatre. TRANSMILITARY tells the inspiring stories of four transgender troops who are the visible front lines of America’s fight for LGBTQ rights. The after-party is at Terra Gallery, 511 Harrison Street. For more info and the schedules go to www.frameline.org

    On Tuesday June 12, 8–11pm at El Rio, 3158 Mission, there will be Comedy, Music, and Movies to raise money for a documentary about my late great friend and beloved gay activist Hank Wilson—featuring comedy by Tom Ammiano, Karen Ripley and Laurie Bushman and the first sneak preview teasers of THANKS TO HANK, the Hank Wilson documentary by Bob Ostertag and Jeremy Rourke. Some of us Sisters are in the video. $20–$100 sliding scale.

    Tickets are on sale and going fast for RICHMOND-ERMET AID FOUNDATION (REAF)‘s 3rd annual “BROADWAY BARES/SAN FRANCISCO STRIPS” BENEFIT SHOW. Last year’s show, “MANUSTRIPT, Literary Tales with Happy Endings” sold out early, and they expect this year’s show to sell out as well. This year’s show, Top Shelf COCKTAILS: TALES OF SIPPING AND STRIPPING, will take place on Sunday, June 17, 8 pm at DNA Lounge, 375 11th Street in San Francisco’s Soma district. Join these dancer/strippers as they bar hop around some of San Francisco’s favorite watering holes celebrating a variety of signature cocktails in each number. Somehow, they tend to lose their clothes on their merry romp around town. What’s your favorite cocktail to get naked with? www.reaf.org

    HARVEY MILK PHOTO CENTER presents 2018 LGBTQ ART+PRIDE, a fine arts celebration in a mixed media exhibit with special reception on June 16, 6–9:30 pm at the Center at 50 Scott Street in the Castro. This Art and Pride Exhibit is an eclectic gathering of work by notable contemporary artists from across the United States. This show is a celebration of their embrace of the creative process. Each contributed work they felt resonated with the complexity of their artistic spirit. This show includes photographers, painters, sculptors, filmmakers, illustrators, writers, graphic designers, textile artists and poets. The opening reception will offer live entertainment. This event is free and open to the public. The exhibit runs June 16 through July 22. www.harveymilkphotocenter.org

    Sister Dana sez, “With all this obsession over the nonexistent SPYGATE, Trump should be much more concerned about WATERGATE and its return. Just like crooked Nixon, you goin’ DOWN, Donald!”