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    Sister Dana sez, “The national policy of switching from standard time to daylight saving time and back again is under legislative challenge from coast to coast. Well, it’s about time! Heeheehee!”

    By Sister Dana Van Iquity–

    Sister Dana sez, “The national policy of switching from standard time to daylight saving time and back again is under legislative challenge from coast to coast. Well, it’s about time! Heeheehee!”

    Members of the KREWE DE KINQUE Mardi Gras-based fun and fundraising club gathered at the Edge in the Castro on Mardi Gras night for cocktails before boarding our chartered bus for our annual KDK BUS & BAR CRAWL, a moving fundraiser for the LGBT ASYLUM PROJECT. First, we hailed our newly crowned Queen Kelly Rose and then took off for our next bar stop. On the bus between trips we drank the Mardi Gras cocktail, hurricanes, and dined on N’Awlins cuisine. At Trax in the Haight, we followed King I Gary Virginia (founder of KDK) and his giant rainbow parasol to distribute colorful bead necklaces to the unsuspecting but delighted patrons. More hurricanes on the bus and then off to Aunt Charlie’s tavern where the reigning King Aja Monet-Ashton served us cocktails. Queen XIV Lady Cookie Couture gave us Lady Gaga‘s “Applause” and also emceed the show, which included stepping-down Queen XV Miss Chief lip-synching Elle King‘s “Ex’s & Oh’s,” Cadillac Barbie doing “You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman,” King Kippy Marks playing on his electronic violin, my King VII John Weber singing, Queen II Deana Dawn (who thankfully continually herded us on and off the bus like wandering cats) entertaining us, and Miss Sheila Rose closing the show with “Be What You Wanna Be.” We sang “The Happy Birthday” song to Sir Douglas Hall. Then we bused (always imbibing all the way) to Diva’s where Empress XXXIII Alexis Miranda served us. She hosts the marvelous midnight drag show there. We arrived at Club 440 (which used to be Daddy’s bar and before that was Bear Hollow). Our final stop was The Edge again, where King Gary and Queen VII Sister Dana gaily closed it down. KDK truly “Let the good times roll!”

    I just have to rave that the Broadway touring cast of the 5-time Tony Award winning show “HELLO DOLLY” put together an exciting and original evening of Broadway-style cabaret to raise funds for REAF (RICHMOND/ERMET AID FOUNDATION) and BROADWAY CARES/EQUITY FIGHTS AIDS at Brava Theater. Local drag legend, Russian opera Diva, the Countess Katya Smirnoff-Skyy, brought her own unique style of comedy to the evening. And what a lovely cocktail party with the cast after the show! REAF always puts on truly talent-filled cabaret events. So, keep your calendar marked for EssEff’s sexiest benefit show, “BROADWAY BARES/SAN FRANCISCO STRIPS” coming back on Sunday, June 16, at DNA Lounge once again. This year’s theme is “Comic Strips.” Your favorite comic book characters will take you on a merry romp where they somehow lose their clothes. Scandalous! https://www.reaf-sf.org/

    At the monthly CASTRO ART WALK, I started out at Art Attack SF, 2358 Market Street, to view the many gorge, vibrant, neon-colorful acrylic paintings of resident artist Tracy Piper. I am drawn especially to the romantic man with man figures such as #53 “L’homme que J’aime,” #61 “A Chance,” and #62 “Love.” Tracy pointed out the one drag queen portrait, #8 “Respect,” is of an actual DQ, Mss Bee, who never wears a wig but is always bald with something interesting on her head. Also on display there are five striking black, grey, and gold canvas paintings by Serge Gay Jr. My two faves of five are #32 “Precious Queen” and #31 “Moonshine.”

    Over at Dog Eared Books, 489 Castro Street, is a particularly intricate mixed media piece trimmed by beads and wrapped in plastic by Cockette artist Bill Bowers with queer nuns, drag queens and other folks—one carrying a “Harvey Milk for Supervisor” sign, definitely designating the era. My last stop was at Spark Arts, 4229 18th Street, where I was greeted by the vivacious owner, Aviva Kanoff, and we danced together before I checked out the art. I truly enjoyed the 1981 piece by Eduardo Michaelsen, a Cuban painter who died January 2010, portraying three of The SF Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and their sign protesting for Cuban refugees in front of the Castro marquee announcing The Nun’s Story with Audrey Hepburn. And do check out the fascinating drawings (some are tropic beach backgrounds with non-specific gender people) by Rene Martinez Pena reflecting his native Cuba. DJ Will Morgan spun salsa for us to dance to. He runs a queer R&B party at a gay bar called Driftwood at Folsom between 8th and 9th Streets every last Saturday (AsQewSF on Facebook). All of the participating Castro venues will have their artists’ pieces on display through the end of the month. So, go enjoy them anytime. www.castroartwalk.com/about

    News broke out of a memo from the Department of Defense outlining a plan to implement the military’s employment ban on transgender people next month. If the military moves forward with implementing this illegal and unconscionable ban, it will devastate the lives of thousands of transgender people and their families, who will be put out of work just because of who they are. Disgraceful!

    THE GLBT HISTORICAL SOCIETY presented FLASHING AFTER DARK: Queer Nightlife Photography Then and Now on March 7 at the Castro Museum. Photographer Melissa Hawkins spoke about her work, and what it was like to take nightlife pictures before digital photography, using chemicals to develop her black and white photos. Executive Director Terry Beswick (reminding us that the museum used to be a cruisey Laundromat, is very small in footprint, and in need of larger quarters) introduced a panel of contemporary and classic nightlife photographers and writers who joined Melissa to share their favorite photographs and stories of venturing into the night. The moderator was Marke Bieschke. Additional panelists were photographers Gareth Gooch and Rick Gerharter. They discussed their professional methods, techniques and addressed the challenges and rewards of ever-changing camera technologies, the rise of social media and selfies, and evolving denizens’ attitudes toward being photographed in the midst of debauchery. They also screened the latest installment of the “Fathers” project, by local nightlife photographer and filmmaker Leo Herrera. It imagines an alternate future where AIDS and STDs were eradicated via a surprising part of gay party culture. This program is part of the SoMa Nights: The Queer Club Photography of Melissa Hawkins on exhibition through May 27 at the museum, 4127 18th Street.

    On March 11, Mayor London N. Breed announced that she has selected Deputy Public Defender Manohar Raju to serve as the next San Francisco Public Defender. Raju will fill the vacancy left after the sudden passing of Public Defender Jeff Adachi, who was a good friend to me and the LGBTQ community. He certainly saved my skin in a ’90s DUI I had when my scooter was hit and run, and I awoke on a General Hospital gurney.

    Last week, the president’s Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Arez told Congress that HHS plans on reallocating over $385 million from health programs addressing Alzheimer’s, cancer, HIV-prevention, childcare, refugee resettlement and other issues to pay for additional shelters for immigrant children detained at the southern U.S. border. Sister Dana sez, “So this is our compassionate Prez trading promised HIV and other national needs for more cages for children. Despicable, Donald, despicable!”

    On March 13, openly LGBTQ Representative David Cicilline in the House of Representatives and Senator Jeff Merkely reintroduced the EQUALITY ACT—a landmark bill that would add LGBTQ people to existing civil rights laws while also strengthening protections for all people, including women and people of color. Speaker Nancy Pelosi has helped make H.R. 5 a priority. This is big, folks!

    On March 13, Mayor London N. Breed announced that Deputy Chief Jeanine Nicholson will serve as the next San Francisco Fire Chief. Deputy Chief Nicholson is a 25-year veteran of the Fire Department and will be the first LGBT Fire Chief of the SAN FRANCISCO FIRE DEPARTMENT, and the second woman to run the Department, following Chief Joanne Hayes-White. Congratulations!

    On March 12, Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) made the following statement upon Governor Gavin Newsom’s executive action ending capital punishment: “I applaud Governor Newsom for his courageous decision to put a stop to all executions in California. The death penalty doesn’t make our communities safer, is immoral, and has huge racial disparities. It is time to end capital punishment in our state.” Amen!

    Sister Dana sez, “Why can’t we just veto Trump?!”

    San Francisco filmmaker, StormMiguel Florez is one of 26 Latinx artists who has been awarded a National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures Latinx artist grant for his directorial debut feature documentary, THE WHISTLE, which is about a 45-year old Latinx trans man (Florez) who returns to his birthplace, Albuquerque, New Mexico, searching for the origin of a secret lesbian code he learned when he identified as a teenage lesbian in the 80s. The film aims to collect and preserve a part of LGBTQ and Latinx history and explore the resilience of queer communities. Watch the teaser trailer at https://www.stormflorez.com/the-whistle.html/

    I caught the closing of SAN FRANCISCO’S 42ND STREET MOON production of the musical FIORELLO at the Gateway Theatre. In the quite apt words of director Karen Altree Piemme, “At a time of intense political polarization in our nation, it was exciting to have the opportunity to work on a show about an individual who was a champion of people in immigrant communities, supported women in the labor movement, and believed that true leadership meant stamping out political corruption and serving all members of our community equally. This story inspires us to be our better selves.” So true! Next up for 42nd Street: At turns introspective, romantic, and joyously hopeful, 110 IN THE SHADE is a poignant look at romance in a drought-stricken Depression-era town. This beautiful show boasts a score by Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones (best known for the longest-running musical in history, THE FANTASTICKS). Runs April 24–May 12 at the Gateway. https://tickets.vendini.com/ticket

    Great news: Brett Kavanaugh could be investigated for LYING during his confirmation process. He is BEYOND unfit to serve on the Supreme Court. Even better news: Now that Democrats control the House, they can begin the process of impeaching a horrible Supreme Court Justice!

    Oh hey, belated congratulations to newly crowned Emperor Terrill Grimes Munro & Empress Baby-Shaques Munro! I know they will bring even more fabulosity to the Imperial Kingdom. All hail the Emperor and Empress!

    Sister Dana sez, “The month of March may be ending, but there is still enough time to March right into some of these upcoming events!

    DEATHTRAP, the Classic Killer Comedy Thriller written by Ira Levin runs March 22–April 13, Wednesdays–Saturdays, 8 pm, Saturday matinees, 3 pm at The Gateway Theatre (formerly Eureka), 215 Jackson Street. Playwright Sidney Bruhl needs a hit, desperately. Is he willing to kill to get it? Will his wife help him? How far will their nerve take them? And what will handsome Cliff’s reaction be when he finds out? Check it out, and you’ll find out! http://therhino.org/buy-tickets/

    SAN FRANCISCO GAY MEN’S CHORUS presents THE BRITS ARE COMING! on Friday, March 22, 8 pm in Davies Symphony Hall. Accompanied by a five-piece band, SFGMC will take audiences on a journey through the colorful and varied British songbook—from Handel and Sir William Walton to The Beatles and Adele, to Sir Elton John and, of course, Queen! Grab your mates for a smashing evening of memorable music, cheeky humor and the posh stylings of 300 queens (minus Elizabeth, natch). https://www.cityboxoffice.com/eventperformances.asp?evt=2542

    GAPA MEN’S CHORUS is presenting their upcoming concert, PRELUDE: SONGS AND STORIES FROM THE HEART, on Saturday, March 23, 8 pm at the beautiful St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, 3281 16th Street. At “Prelude,” they will present the program that they plan to sing in Tokyo, Japan, in April as part of the “Hand-in-Hand” ASIA LGBT CHORAL FESTIVAL. This festival is the third choral meet of LGBT choruses from all over the Asia-Pacific, including groups from Australia, China, Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan. Of course, they will represent the USA to support the LGBT rights movement in Asia. www.gapamc.org     

    April 1 thru April 28, NO STIGMA/NO SHAME: Ramon Vidali‘s early Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence portraits from the John Lough Collection will be on display at STRUT‘s 2nd floor gallery, 470 Castro Street. There are two public evening events: The SFAF sponsored OPENING NIGHT reception is Friday, April 5, 8–10 pm; and the Sister-hosted CONCLAVE (a gathering of nuns from around the world) is on Monday, April 15, 7:30–9:30 pm. All are free and include bevvies and nibblies. Info: https://www.strutsf.org/

    Tony Award-winning musical FALSETTOS will be at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Theatre from now through April 14. FALSETTOS revolves around the life of a charming, intelligent, neurotic gay man named Marvin; his wife; lover; about-to-be-Bar-Mitzvahed son; their psychiatrist; and the lesbians next door. It’s a hilarious, tres gay, and achingly poignant look at the infinite possibilities that make up a modern family … and a beautiful reminder that love can tell a million stories. BTW, the NATIONAL AIDS MEMORIAL has been selected to receive a portion of ticket sales! https://www.shnsf.com/Online/default.asp

    As part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, WALK AGAINST RAPE will be held on Saturday, April 6. The march will be about 2.2 miles and will start and end at The Women’s Building. http://www.sfwarevents.org/

    Sister Dana sez, “Donald J. Grump has called our Gavin Newsom a ‘grandstanding Governor of California.’ Oh my, look which pot is calling the kettle black!”