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    Sister Dana sez, “Prez wannabe candidate Ted Cruz has written a book.”

    sisterdSister Dana sez, “Prez wannabe candidate Ted Cruz has written a book. It’s on the “New York Times” bestseller list. It’s in Oprah’s book club. Only one of those three statements is true. I am waiting for his book to hit the $1.99 book bins – in about a day or so. A Time for Truth, indeed!”

    By Sister Dana Van Iquity

    MAGNET TURNS TWELVE was the 12th anniversary celegaytion of Magnet, the Castro hub of health and wellbeing for gay, bi, and trans men – at 4122 18th and Castro Streets. Magnet opened its doors on July 1, 2003, hoping that if they had done their jobs right, the community would embrace them and their proud approach to celebrating the sexual health of gay, bi, and trans men. Before that, Sister Dana reported on their press conference – with much anticipation and expectation – just before they opened their doors. Well, in the last twelve years, more than 100,000 men have walked through their hallowed doors and received top-notch sexual health services. They’ve featured nearly 140 artists on their gallery wall; we’ve laughed at their dozens of open-mic nights; heard numerous local authors read from their books at their book clubs; and celebrated major milestones in our diverse queer community. Executive Director Steve Gibson thanked the hundreds of volunteers and incredible staff whose hearts and souls are the secret sauce that make Magnet unique. And Gibson noted, of course, that their work would not be possible if it weren’t for the THOUSANDS of gay, bi, and trans men who believe that by taking care of their health, they are also improving the health of our community. We enjoyed a lovely sheet cake (proudly inscribed in frosting: “MAGNET: 12 YEARS OF MEN, SEX, HEALTH, LIFE,” champagne, and a special 12-year anniversary souvenir: Magnet’s latest hot t-shirt subtly stating that we are all one at Magnet – positive and negative HIV and supporters – boldly emblazoned with big circular O’s around: “ +, -, =, M,” and tastefully printed on the back at the neckline: “Magnet 12 years, a program of SAN FRANCISCO AIDS FOUNDATION.”

    Senator Mark Leno sent a Certificate of Recognition for Magnet’s “commitment providing high quality care for gay, bisexual, and transgender people.” Matthew Denckla, a community advisory board member at Magnet who has been involved for eight years – beginning at the very first meeting in April 2001 when the project didn’t even have a name yet – said it was important in the planning process to have a glass front to be visible, so clients would be unashamed in seeking sexual and social health care. Sister Dana was there when he made that groundbreaking announcement. Denckla also revealed that his and my good friend Steven had his original start at STOP AIDS, when we were so small we had to meet in our friends’ living rooms. Denckla also humorously “outed” Steven at his first job working at Condomania in the Castro – a short-lived establishment trying to sell designer condoms. Steven also showed pride in their first-in-EssEff (and possibly the country) mobile vans testing for STDs. Denckla presented a very special engraved plaque to Gibson for his years of service. Gibson pointed out Dr. Steven Tierney, Director of HIV Prevention in San Francisco, 2006, who got the City to fork out funding for the creation of Magnet.

    The next night, MAGNET held an artist reception for the fine photography portraits by MIKE SHRIVER on its gallery wall, depicting various Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence as they are putting on their faces. Mike told me that the pieces on Magnet’s walls only represented half of his show; so Sister Dana and a few dozen other queer nuns had to get cut from this show. Ouch! Mike said another viewing would be held in the future with the other half of the show. “The Sisters are a community legend, whose 35 years of work on behalf of the health and wellbeing of the LGBTQ community is astounding,” he said. “They are heroes, and at the same time they are completely unique personas who only come to life when they are in full face, in full attire, and in full gear.” He added, “These heroes are real people. How they become superheroes is a fascinating and inspiring process – a process of which I was allowed to witness and was entrusted to represent.” Mike is a long-term survivor and has been living with HIV for over 28 years.

    SPARK! is the TRANSGENDER LAW CENTER’s anniversary celebration, Thursday, October 1st, acknowledging their 13-year history of changing laws, hearts, and minds to advance equality for transgender and gender nonconforming people. A couple months prior, TLC held IGNITER at CODE Salon, 370 4th Street for their kickoff party.

    The HARVEY MILK LGBT DEMOCRATIC CLUB held their 39TH ANNUAL DINNER & GAYLA at New Asia Restaurant. Keynote Speaker was Jovanka Beckles, Councilmember for the City of Richmond, California. Honorees were as follows: Hank Wilson Activist Award: Gerard Koskovich (individual), #MyNameIs (organization); Bill Kraus HIV/AIDS Activism Award: Prevention Point; Bayard Rustin Civil Rights Award: TAJA’s Coalition; Sylvester Pride In The Arts Award: Shine Louise Houston; Howard Wallace Labor Leadership Award: Jane Martin, SEIU-USWW; Community Ally Award: Tim Redmond, 48 Hills; Harry Britt Lifetime Achievement Award: Miss Major, TGI Justice Project. Congratulations to all!

    KREWE DE KINQUE, the Mardi Gras based fundraising social club, held the first of their KdK KINKY FUNDRAISING 3rd Saturdays, 4-7pm, monthly at the Edge. Each month the beneficiary for the $10 beer bust/ Jello shot event is Dolores Street Community Services/JAZZIE’S PLACE – the nation’s first LGBTQ adult homeless shelter. Krewe de Kinque (KdK) was officially founded on Mardi Gras night, February 24, 2004, in San Francisco’s Castro district. It was on this date when a small group of friends formed a fraternal organization, Krewe de Kinque, to promote the culture and traditions of Mardi Gras celebrations worldwide while raising funds and awareness for charitable causes. We are a volunteer-based organization made up of individuals (straight and gay) who care about GLBT issues with an emphasis on diversity and inclusion. The Krewe’s diverse membership includes San Francisco GLBT community and business leaders, titleholders, members from San Francisco’s Imperial Court, Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, the Bay Area Gay Rodeo Association, and the City’s leather, bear, and drag communities. All members embrace a commitment to serving the GLBT and greater community through volunteer efforts. Membership to the Krewe is by invitation to individuals who embody this same commitment to community service.

    Ginger Snap hosted and performed, along with Deana Dawn, Steven Duplicity Roberts, and Kit Tapata. Jimmy Strano was deejay, Gary Virginia, Joe Prince Wolfe, Sergio Fedasz, Boomer, and I handled the raffle contest. Be sure to cum out and join us next third Saturday, and “Let the Good Times Roll,” as they say during Mardi Gras.

    CUMMING UP!

    There is a film that debuted at the SF INTERNATIONAL LGBT FILM FESTIVAL that I did not have enough column inches to review last edition: DO I SOUND GAY? Sister Dana sez this witty, informative, thought-provoking DVD should be part of every card-carrying queer’s personal film library. Do I Sound Gay? should definitely be available on every streaming service’s menu. After a break-up with his boyfriend, journalist DAVID THORPE embarks on a hilarious and touching journey of self-discovery, confronting his anxiety about “sounding gay.” Enlisting acting coaches, linguists, friends, family, total strangers, and celebrities, he quickly learns that many people – both gay and straight – often wish for a different voice. In Thorpe’s feature-length documentary debut, what starts as a personal journey becomes a chance to unpack layers of cultural baggage concerning sexuality, identity, and self-esteem. Is there such a thing as a “gay voice”? Why do some people “sound gay” but not others? Why are gay voices a mainstay of pop culture – but also a trigger for anti-gay harassment? This smart, funny, and provocative feature documentary explores these questions and more, and includes revealing interviews with such celebrities as Margaret Cho, Tim Gunn, Don Lemon, Dan Savage, David Sedaris, and George Takei. So tell me, dear readers, do I sound gay? I know I write gay; but do I sssssound gaaaaay?!!

    sistaNAKEDSWORD and MEN.COM present “BIGGEST CATCH” DVD RELEASE PARTY on Friday, July 24th, 9pm at Lookout, 3600 16th Street @ Market. Contest: Is your date the biggest catch? NakedSword.com

    UP YOUR ALLEY, EssEff’s annual leather & fetish fair, is Sunday, July 26th, 11am to 6:30pm on Dore Alley between Howard and Folsom, continuing on Folsom from 9th to Juniper and the adjoining block of 10th Street. It’s not for the faint of heart – where leather daddies rule the streets of San Francisco’s South of Market district – featuring leather, rubber, sportswear, biker gear, skinheads, punks, human animals, and any variety of hot, hairy men and hot women. Nearly 15,000 fellow leatherfolk and fetish enthusi asts engage in BDSM play at over 50 adult vendor spaces. Here you will find spanking, punching, whips and floggers, bondage, domination and submission, creative watersports, toys, and so much more. Info and live entertainment lineup is at folsomstreetevents.org

    THE RICHMOND/ERMET AID FOUNDATION presents HELP IS ON THE WAY XXI – HOLLYWOOD GLAM, REAF’s 21st Annual Gala benefiting Meals on Wheels of San Francisco & San Francisco AIDS Foundation, Sunday, July 26th, 7:30pm, (VIP party at 5pm), Palace of Fine Arts. Featured stars include Loretta Devine, Contantine Maroulis, John Lloyd Young, Carole Cook, Susan Anton, Jai Rodriguez, Jake Simpson, and Paula West. reaf.org

    Sister Dana sez, “This is the final showdown to stop Repugnicans from starting a war with Iran. The United States, Iran, and five other world powers announced a historic deal to dramatically curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for easing international sanctions on Iran. Repugnicans are trying to sabotage the deal, put us back on the path to confrontation with Iran and start a war – but they can’t do it unless Democrats help them.”