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    Sister Dana Sez: “National Coming Out Day is October 11th!”

    sisterdSister Dana sez, “National Coming Out Day is October 11th. I don’t know how to come out any further, but I’ll sure give it my best attempt!”

    By Sister Dan Van Iquity

    A CELEBRATION OF ARTURO GALSTER was held at the Castro Theatre, emceed by D’Arcy Drollinger and attended by hundreds upon hundreds of Arturo’s friends, family, and fans. In addition to an incredible archive of photos and video clips (many assembled by producer Marc Huestis) of the extremely talented actor/writer/director, fellow performers spoke and some performed, such as Jason Brock, Laurie Bushman, Connie Champagne, Leigh Crow, Marilyn Fowler, Veronica Klaus, Steven LeMay, Katya Smirnoff-Skyy, and Birdie-Bob Watt – to name just a few I can recall. Through the laughter and the tears, the evening was quite cathartic. I will certainly miss you, dear friend!

    I stuck a feather in my leather and proceeded to LEATHER & FEATHERS at Temple nightclub for the AIDS EMERGENCY FUND’s inaugural 1st annual Fantasy Runway Show and Awards with Mistresses of Ceremonies Donna Sachet & Sister Roma. The two fashionistas excitedly narrated the fashions as volunteer models worked the Leather Runway: Beth Bicoastal, Michael Brandon, Andy Cross, Philippe Gosselin, Lance Holman, Dalton Huckaby, Jr., Julian Marshburn, Honey Mahogany, Demetri Moshoyannis, Noodles and BeefTitanMen exclusive Nick Prescott, Al Saadiaand Emperor JP Soto; and working the Feathers Runway were Mahlae Balenciaga, Demencha, Karen Edwards, Leo Forte, Holy McGrail, La Monistat, Juanita MORE, Mercedez Munro, Mr. Pam, Shokra,  BeBe Sweetbriar, and Kenshi WestoverSenator Mark Leno and the SF Board of Supervisors presented certificates of recognition, and AEF honored Beach Blanket Babylon with the George Burgess Leadership Award (accepted by the gayest Gay Pareee BBB character King Louie), Joanie Juster with the Zach Long Hall of Fame Award, and Dana Van Gorder with the Darrell Yee Community Service Award. A video featured Troy Brunet, past client and current star volunteer. Over thirty million dollars have gone directly to AIDS patients over the years by AEF.

    Capping Leather Pride Week was the annual FOLSOM STREET FAIR, where this jaded nun, having reported on every FSF since its inception, sought something different under the sun. And sun was severely missing, making for a lack of very many full

    moons: nudity was scarcity. Dog masks were big this year. New this time (in addition to the usual flogging and whipping) were Japanese Shibari rope tying exhibitions. The fair had a much bigger footprint this year – Folsom Street between 8th and 13th Streets – allowing attendees to check out the Eagle tavern without leaving the fairgrounds. There was an abundance of the usual booths (over 200) featuring organization information (including general LGBTQ info and HIV/AIDS info), as well as booths with games and booths with leather/fetish/SMBD/gear to purchase.

    A PERFECTLY SUITED EVENING was the annual gala dinner & casino party held at the Fairmont Hotel to help support HORIZONS FOUNDATION and the LGBTQ community. For thirty years, Horizons Foundation has fueled the LGBTQ movement by increasing support for diverse San Francisco Bay Area nonprofits that help thousands of people each day. Their work strengthens organizations and their leaders, mobilizes donors and funders to inspire giving, and actively secures our queer community’s future for generations to come. Gala Co-chairs Rosío Alvarez, Richard Davis, Randolph Quebec, and Irene White welcomed everyone. Entertainment was provided by effervescent singer Terry Bradford. Donna Sachet received the Leadership Award, presented by Senator Mark Leno, and AT&T received the Corporate Champion Award. Executive Director Roger Doughty elaborated on the good works of Horizons and screened an inspirational video.   

    ART FOR AIDS, the 18th annual fundraiser held at City View at Metreon, grossed $290,000 to benefit the ALLIANCE HEALTH PROJECT’s mental health and wellness services for the LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities. They had so much gallery quality art this year for both their live and silent auctions – that a small, outstanding selection of pieces is still available to Art for AIDS attendees and supporters: This opportunity will end October 6th. I was most impressed with the wire sculpture of a gown by Kristine Mays, who told me the piece was formed from hundreds of individual pieces of wire to “create the outer shell, the exterior of a human being, but provoke you to see what’s within.”

    PEACHES CHRIST PRODUCTIONS inaugurated this year’s Halloween season with a fabulous movie, HOCUS POCUS, and a thrilling live stage production starring the leading siblings of the drag world: Seattle sisters BenDeLaCreme, fresh from being crowned Miss Congeniality on RuPaul’s Drag Race season 6, and season 5 champ Jinkx Monsoon, who previously collaborated with Peaches Christ on a sold-out touring production of Grey Gardens. Those two nellies of the northwest teamed up with Ms. Christ for a tribute to one of the biggest cult favorites of the ‘90s, and arguably the gayest Halloween movie in history, Disney’s Hocus Pocus! The flick stars Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy as the Sanderson Sisters, a trio of Salem witches brought back from the dead. The drag reproduction (written, directed by, and starring Peaches) was about the Manderson Sisters, three drag queen witches. Sheer insanity ran “amok, amok, amok” at the Castro Theatre. It was “just a bunch of hocus pocus.” The live show, Coven: Return of the Manderson Sisters, starred Ms. DeLaCreme, Ms. Monsoon, and Ms. Christ as the resurrected wenches, as well as Thomas Dekker (All About Evil) as Max, Timmy Spence as the cat, and New Orleans macabre snob Vinsantos as Girdle Snow. And many more talented actors. Choreography by Rory Davis was stunning! One point I must stress: ALWAYS rent the films before you see the brilliant live shows, or you will miss all the witty, sometimes not terribly subtle, take-offs and send-ups! Peaches is a genius lampooning parodist playwright!

    THE SISTERS OF PERPETUAL INDULGENCE, INC. presented their PINK SATURDAY GRANTS GIVEAWAY at Café Flore. In this cycle of the Sisters’ 25th year of providing grants for our City’s needy charitable organizations, $8,000 from gate donations was granted to 10 recipients that were chosen. The beneficiaries were Bay Area BAAITS (American Indian Two Spirits), Instituto Familiar De La Rosa, Zenyu Healing, Ministry of Presence Institute, S4W (Solutions for Women), Trans March San Francisco, Monet Allard (SF Motherhouse documentarian), TALL (Tenderloin Art Lending Library), PFLAG Napa, and Youth Pride Coalition.


    SPARK! is a 12th Anniversary Celebration fundraiser for TRANSGENDER LAW CENTER on Thursday, October 2nd at Sir Francis Drake Hotel, 450 Powell Street, 6pm – VIP Reception, 7 pm – Gala & Awards Ceremony with Claire Skiffington Vanguard Awardee: Willy Wilkinson; Authentic Life Awardee: CeCe McDonald; and Community Partner Awardee: ACLU of Northern California. Entertainment will be by Josh Klipp & the Klipptones with Breanna Sinclairé, plus Go Bang! DJs Steve Fabus & Sergio Fedasz. Mistress of Ceremonies is Veronica Klaus & Master Of Ceremonies is Dr. Kortney Ryan Ziegler.

    41ST ANNUAL CASTRO STREET FAIR (entitled CUTE FROOT) is Sunday, October 5th, 11am– 6pm. Originated in 1974 by Supervisor Harvey Milk, this outdoor celebration features crafts, art, live entertainment, and information booths, plus the best people-watching in the City. This year promises to be the biggest and best ever, since long planned improvements to the neighborhood streets have hopefully been completed – including wider sidewalks on Castro Street, historical messages, and the Rainbow Honor Walk, refreshed greenery and spiffed-up crosswalks with rainbow stripes. Donations at the gates into the fair will benefit local charitable organizations.

    MAGNET, the Castro hub of health and wellbeing for gay/bi men, presents PETER BERLIN: PHOTOGRAPHER/PORN STAR/GAY ICON, solo exhibition of photographs curated by Eric Smith and Mark Garrett, October 1st – 31st, Magnet, 4122 18th Street at Castro Street. Opening Reception: Friday, October 3rd, 8–10pm. Peter Berlin was decades ahead of his time – the master of the SELFIE! Before the advent of the digital selfie phenomena, Peter created thousands of self-portraits in film, when the whole process of film photography required time and skill that we take for granted with instant digital photography. Peter spent hours preparing for each shoot – setting up the camera, creating the outfits, developing the negatives, and printing the photos himself. This level of self-portraiture has unlikely ever been matched in the pre-digital era of photography.

    SHANTI’s 40th Anniversary Dinner, COMPASSION IS UNIVERSAL, is Saturday, October 18th, 5:30pm at The Fairmont Hotel. The Nancy Pelosi Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Reverend Cecil Williams & Janice Mirikitani of GLIDE Memorial Church.

    HBO’s LOOKING in San Francisco:  Back for a second season, Looking, about a group of gay men looking for love and fulfillment, will be filming in EssEff throughout October and November. Watch for film crews and actors Jonathan Groff and Russell Tovey as they sample the City’s unique gay vibe and pour television filming revenue into the City by the Bay. Looking returns in early 2015.

    The 30th Annual HRC SAN FRANCISCO GALA DINNER will be Saturday, October 11th (National Coming Out Day) 6pm at the Westin St Francis Hotel. Nearly 1,000 of the Bay Area’s most influential citizens will gather at this event to celebrate the strides HRC has made toward achieving equality for our community this past year, while preparing for the work ahead in the year to come. Special Awardee, among others: House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.

    Sister Dana sez, “We are practically in World War III, and cowardly Congress is on vacation?! What are we paying them for, anyway?”