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    Sister Dana sez, “On Veterans Day, I thought of Leonard Matlovich, a gay Vietnam Veteran…”

    sisterdSister Dana sez, “On Veterans Day, I thought of Leonard Matlovich, a gay Vietnam Veteran whose anonymous tombstone today reads in bold letters: ‘When I was in the military they gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one.’”

    Having nothing to do with that, the gala San Francisco premiere of BILLY CLIFT’S feature film, HUSH UP SWEET CHARLOTTE, was held at the Castro Theatre to much acclaim. The movie version of the stage play starred Matthew Martin in the Bette Davis role, Varla Jean Merman in the Olivia DeHaviland role, David Millbern, Mink Stole, Jason Stuart, Jeffrey Patrick Olson, Mark Sargent (Ethel Merman), Mike Finn, J. Conrad Frank, Joe Wicht, Fudgie Frottage, Heklina, Prince Herman, Honey Mahogany, Evan Johnson, Elizabeth Clift, Matthew Florence, Nick Candito and Miles Davis Moody and Raja Gemini…plus some wonderful cameos by SF’s finest…like The Tom Shaw Trio, Tom Shaw, Roberta Drake and Paul Eastburn. A packed house roared at the horror!

    HOLLYWEEN was San Francisco’s newest, sexiest party at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum at Fisherman’s Wharf just days before Halloween. A multitude of Hollywood celebs, both dead and alive, greeted us in wax. Stoli Vodka and Barefoot Cellars kept us lubricated, plus tasty bites were everywhere, special entertainment was by pop recording artist Xavier Toscano, as well as dancing to the beats of GoBang! The spooktacular event was hosted by San Francisco’s Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and Passport magazine. Proceeds benefited THE RICHMOND/ERMET AID FOUNDATION.

    ACADEMY OF FRIENDS honored AoF founder Kile Ozier at Mission Rock Resort, and Gala Chair Amanda Watson announced their 2016 Gala theme, KINGS AND QUEENS: A VERY ROYAL AFFAIR, to be held on February 28th at the SF Design Center, 101 Henry Adams Street. Aof Board Chair Gil Padia also announced the November 12th SHN production of If/Then as a fundraiser, as well as the December 2nd Holiday Party at Williams-Sonoma on Polk Street. Ozier pointed out one of the original sponsors, John Newmeyer, who was present that night. “I am amazed that after 35 years this event is still going on,” said Ozier. “And for such important agencies.” AoF Treasurer Ruth Feingold announced those beneficiaries for this Gala as HIV Nightline/Suicide Prevention, Maitri Hospice, AIDS Legal Referral Panel, Project Inform, Project Open Hand, and Positive Resource Center. Note: it is not mandatory to wear crowns to the Royal Gala – but it couldn’t hurt! academyoffriends.org

    MACY’S, OUT MAGAZINE, THE HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN, PROJECT INFORM, TREVOR PROJECT, and AIDS EMERGENCY FUND kicked off the season in style at Macy’s Union Square for MEN’S DESIGNER EVENT. We checked out the latest trends from Impulse and their top-name designers, including Tallia Orange, Buffalo jeans, Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss, Kenneth Cole, Guess, Armani jeans, and more modeled by handsome guest models from the Bare Chest Calendar, such as Bradley, LaGuan and Derek. Donations benefited the Human Rights Campaign, Project Inform, Trevor Project, and AIDS Emergency Fund.

    The GLAAD Gala San Francisco, #THIS IS MY STORY, was held at SF Hilton Union Square. Looking’s Daniel Franzese hosted and screened his hilarious takeoff of Sam Smith’s “Stay with Me” with Daniel’s satiric version “Please Go Home” (backed with the SF Gay Men’s Chorus) about a trick that just would not leave. Funnny! The evening featured openly gay, proud black activist/ actor Jussie Smollett (starring as Jamal Lyon on Empire), who introduced also openly gay black activist DeRay Mckesson, co-organizer of “Black Lives Matter,” with an inspirational speech about equality for all people. Grammy-nominated recording artist Ledisi (Selma) took us to church with her awesome gospel performance, and then got the audience to sing along with Smollett with a different, rousing number, “All Right” with the really positive chorus: “You’re so beautiful!” Teenage trans sensation Jazz Jennings (I Am Jazz on TLC) spoke, as did Leo Sheng (out transgender advocate and Instagram personality of Instapride). We honored YouTube star and LGBTQ youth advocate Tyler Oakley with the Davidson/Valentini Award, and celebrated those who work to advance LGBTQ acceptance through digital media. We also honored Megan Smith. “Throughout her career Megan Smith has been at the forefront of innovation and a staunch advocate for LGBT acceptance,” said GLAAD CEO & President Sarah Kate Ellis. “Whether she was bringing LGBT stories to digital platforms at PlanetOut, developing a diversity initiative at Google, or advancing the future of our nation as the United States Chief Technology Officer, her advocacy and dedication make her one of the strongest leaders for equality and acceptance in the tech industry.” Ellis concluded, emphasizing that despite all the victories we LGBTQ people have won, the fight is far from over, and we must not become complacent

    COMING UP!

    SAN FRANCISCO TRANSGENDER FILM FESTIVAL will take place November 12-15, at the Roxie Theater and the Castro Theater. Founded in 1997 and originally named Tranny Fest, SFTFF was North America’s first transgender film festival. They organized their first festival for the same reason so many other marginalized communities have organized film festivals: the absence of authentic representations of their lives and experiences in the mainstream commercial media. Click here for the schedule: sftff.org/2015-festival-schedule/

    sftff.org/2015-festival-schedule/

    LADY BUNNY appears in PIG IN A WIG! at SF Oasis November 18th-21st, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, 7:30pm. Bunny told me in a recent interview, “The show contains my usual raunchy humor and digs at pop culture. And as someone who has performed one woman shows in SF since Josie’s Juke Joint (where a pre-drag Cookie Dough aka Eddie Bell did my sound!), I do an ode to SF of days gone by in an actually touching and rousing version of ‘I’m Still Here’ – with a shout-out to both Cookie and Arturo Galster, who slayed with his famous Patsy Cline impression at Wigstock for a couple years.” She continued, “And like San Franciscans, New Yorkers are wondering what happened to their city. And personally, I’m wondering how we became so politically correct that we can’t laugh. So I’m making daffy digs at Caitlyn Jenner, RuPaul’s Drag Race, cell phone addiction, Kim Davis, and more.” Catch the always clever Bunny at 298 11th Street. Hop to it! sfoasis.com

    Peaches Christ Productions Proudly Presents ADDAMS FAMILY VALUES with the deliriously creepy and kooky Pre-Screening Parody Spectacular, Addams Apple Family Values starring Sharon Needles, Jinkx Monsoon & Peaches Christ at The Castro Theatre, November 21st at 3pm and 8 pm. Audience members are encouraged to don their best skintight black couture, and be sure to get a few drinks at the Camp Chippewa bar. peacheschrist.com

    MATERIALS OF SURVIVAL is artist/photographer GRAHAME PERRY’s exploration of the issues of HIV and long term survival at Magnet, 18th & Castro, through November. It comes from the personal and communal experiences of being a long-term HIV survivor and ties it into the broader ideas of illness, stigma, health and survival. Fantastical depictions of pills, bottles, prescriptions, vials, and other paraphernalia provide a colorful, but poignant, visual vocabulary with which the artist tells his own story of struggle, uncertainty, memory, and survival. Most outstanding are his use of thousands of obituaries, and panels from the Names Project, creating two large works, Every AIDS Obituary and Healing Quilt.

    Sister Dana sez, “Our democracy is in crisis, with voter turnout at an abysmal low. And with the Supreme Court gutting the Voting Rights Act in 2013, things are only getting worse. But there is one simple thing President Obama can do: He can sign an executive order to make Election Day 2016 a federal holiday, like it already is in so many other countries.”