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    Sister Dana sez, “Now that Pride Month is over…”

    Words of Wisdumb from a Fun Nun–

    By Sister Dana Van Iquity–

    Sister Dana sez, “Now that Pride Month is over, should we stop being proud of being LGBTQ? Absolutely NOT! Queer Pride is 24/7 nonstop!”

    QUEERTY presented PRIDE50: A VIRTUAL CELEBRATION on June 22 hosted by Dan Tracer honoring 50 individuals who have positively impacted the LGBTQ community over the last year. The event featured conversations with proud out queers: actor Haaz Sleiman, comedian Margaret Cho, country singer TJ OsborneNBA star Jason CollinsPA State Representative Brian Sims, actor Sherry Cola, TikTok star José Rolón, actor Alexandra BillingsDrag Race star Gottmik, and with a special performance by current reigning RuPaul’s Drag Race winner Symone doing a gorge Janet Jackson “Love Will Never Do Without You.”

    Sister Dana sez, “Let’s push for a second, huge Pride Flag in the Castro! We need another big flagpole to fly the PROGRESS FLAG including the Transgender colors and Black and Brown proudly flying included with the six-color rainbow!”

    On June 23, I attended the glorious VINE’S 5TH ANNUAL PRIDE MASS at Grace Cathedral along with several fellow nuns—as I had the great privilege of reading in full rainbow nun habit from the pulpit the scripture in which I got to shout, “Come Out, Lazarus!” The proud congregation as God’s queerly beloved sang all kinds of Pride songs including “I’m Coming Out,” “Born This Way,” and “I Want to Break Free.” Hallelujah!

    SAN FRANCISCO GAY MEN’S CHORUS and Artistic Director Dr. Timothy Seelig presented WIRED: Virtual Pride 2021 on June 24. We sang and danced and generally raised the (Zoom) roof with the Chorus and special appearances by Todrick HallBilly Porter, actor Laura Benanti, actor Kristin Chenowith, actor Wilson Cruz, opera singer Breanna Sinclairé, Secretary Pete and Chasten Buttigieg, plus LeAnn Rimes singing “Imagine with Love” with SFGMC. We celebrated with SFGMC with a “Celebration Medley” including the rousing “Let the Sunshine In.”

    Two Chorus ensembles guest starred. HomoPhonics sang the “Trebles Finals” from the movie Pitch Perfect. “The Lollipop Guild” gave us “Seasons of Love” from Rent. World premieres included the hilarious and pointed “Message from the Gay Community” (yes, be afraid, but they’re recruiting with love) and “28 Barbary Lane” (referencing the imaginary fairyland in Tales of the City). We learned the history of the June 1981 nine-cities national tour of the very young, very well received SFGMC. Interspersed throughout were historical pieces about the first telegraph, phonograph, radio, etc. referring to the show’s theme, Wired, of course.

    Following 10 seasons as SAN FRANCISCO GAY MEN’S CHORUS Artistic Director & Conductor, Dr. Tim Seelig will retire at the conclusion of SFGMC’s Season 44 in 2022. (See cover and pages 2–4 of this issue.) But I will let him tell you all about it in his column. Meanwhile “Message from the Gay Community,” a tongue-in-cheek humor piece, has been used extremely negatively by far right-wing conservative media. Shame!

    PROM was a very special Pride Celebration with us Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence on June 25 under the Historic Dome of Westfield San Francisco Center. We went back in time to our high school gymnasium (it was even decorated to resemble a school basketball gym with court, hoops, and all) to relive a much better time for most of us than we may have had at our original prom. I mean, did YOU wear a wig at YOUR prom?! Did the nuns boogie to the beat with you? There was a dynamic DJ, dancing, photo moments, a cafeteria (and really good food, not the slop your high school dished out), not to mention an open bar (did YOUR prom offer that? I doubt it). As an added treat, CHEER SF took to the dance floor to floor us with amazing acrobatic cheer. It was also a fun fundraiser to help us nuns raise funds for our many worthy beneficiaries.

    On June 26, RAINBOW WORLD FUND‘s glorious RAINBOW BUS was parked in the Castro from 10 am to 6 pm. The Bus had a lovely lounge interior and was open up for visitors. RWF was raising funds for the many programs it supports that helps LGBTQ+ refugees. You can always donate for this tremendous cause.

    We enjoyed the SAN FRANCISCO LESBIAN/GAY FREEDOM BAND conducted by Artistic Director Pete Nowlen as they joined virtually with 12 additional Pride Bands from across America on June 26 for LOUD & PROUD: A Celebration of Pride Bands from Coast to Coast! They covered musical genres including pop, symphonic, classical, modern, soundtrack, and more. My top three fave numbers were “This Is Me,” “Raise Your Glass,” and of course our own SFL/GFB’s “Sure on This Shining Night.” As a grand finale, LGBTQ and ally musicians who did not know each other, plucked through technology, virtually performed a specially commissioned piece, “Deus Ex Machina.” Thrilling!

    President Joe Biden has signed an extensive executive order aiming to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in the federal government. Biden’s order specifically includes directives that the President believes “advances equity in the workplace for LGBTQ+ public servants” because “for too long, LGBTQ+ employees have faced discrimination and harassment in the workplace.” The executive order’s directives include tasking this initiative with “ensuring that the federal health benefits system equitably serves LGBTQ+ employees and their dependents,” meaning they will additionally look to “expanding access to comprehensive gender-affirming health care” in federal government sectors where employees may not receive equitable health care.

    President Joe Biden also declared “Pride is back at the White House” after designating PULSE a national monument. President Biden signed H.R. 49, the bill designating the site of the 2016 Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, as a national monument, into law. Afterward, Biden commemorated Pride Month with remarks made alongside Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, the first publicly out person confirmed to a Cabinet position. Biden signed that historic legislation as he was surrounded by the victims’ families and other modern-day trailblazers. He then spoke about his administration’s pro-LGBTQ record and his deceased son Beau’s desire to advocate for LGBTQ people. “Just over five years ago, the Pulse nightclub, a place of acceptance and joy, became a place of unspeakable pain and loss,” Biden said at the signing ceremony. He added, “We’ll never fully recover, but we’ll remember.”

    With over 134 film screenings, which included 16 world premieres, nine international premieres, 10 North American premieres, and eight U.S. premieres, FRAMELINE45—the world’s largest LGBTQ+ film festival—wrapped its record-breaking 18-day festival with record-breaking attendance, a hybrid of in-person and virtual offerings, a series of thought-provoking talks, and a host of award winners.

    Queen Latifah, receiving the BET LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD, was honored for her one-of-a-kind 35-year career as a rapper, performer, actress, and more. MC Lyte, Rapsody, Lil’ Kim, and Monie Love performed together and thanked her for being their peer or paving the way for them. But her closing remarks drew the most attention, after the star mentioned her longtime partner, Eboni Nichols, and their son, Rebel. She ended her speech by wishing viewers a “Happy Pride!” So now we know what we have hoped we knew for so long: Queen is on our team!!!

    At a June 28 press conference with Attorney General Rob Bonta, State Senator Scott Wiener, and Assemblymember Evan Low, it was announced that California will be expanding its ban on state-funded travel to states that openly discriminate against LGBTQ+ people. “I’m so proud that California continues to lead the way in ensuring LGBTQ+ people can experience full, lived equality,” says EQUALITY CALIFORNIA ExecutiveDirector Tony Hoang. “Today we are … letting every other state know that passing hate into law will have real, financial ramifications.”

    Sister Dana sez, “It’s about time that finally SF minimum wage workers’ pay has increased to $16.32 an hour!”

    During Pride Month a 30-second commercial furthered the NFL’s support of the LGBTQ+ community and began with the bold statement: “Football is gay.” The entire spot (behind dramatic drum rolls and cymbals) stated: “Football is lesbian. Football is beautiful. Football is queer. Football is life. Football is exciting. Football is culture. Football is transgender. Football is queer. Football is heart. Football is power. Football is tough. Football is bisexual. Football is strong. Football is freedom.”

    THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRAWFORD is a wacky new comedy written by Michael Phillis (playing typical handsome male lead),starring Matthew Martin as nasty ol’ Joan C. Everybody’s favorite Mommie Dearest is thrust into all the female-driven thrillers she was born to play. Martin leads a cast of SF’s finest drag comedians in a madcap farce that just might kill you (with laughter). BYO wire hangers! Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, 7 pm, July 22–August 7 at the Oasis.

    His Most Imperial Majesty Mr. David Glamamore & Her Most Imperial Majesty Juanita MORE! welcome everyone to FAMILY, the INVESTITURE of The Court of More is MORE! on July 16, 7:30 pm, Oasis, 298 11th Street. Investiture is the first major event for the new court, investing the community with unique titles and roles to support our LGBTQ+ family and their allies in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    The next Lockdown Comedy ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY SHOW is July 15, 6 pm. Featuring comedians: Marga Gomez (SF), Shazia Mirza (London), Jim Short (Australia), and Lisa & Mother Geduldig (Florida).

    Sister Dana sez, “I know he’s busy living his life, but wouldn’t President Barack Obama make an incredible Supreme Court Justice?!”

    Published on July 15, 2021