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    Sister Dana sez, “Puff out your chest with Pride, and on June 29–30, Pride Weekend, enjoy the happiest place on earth for us queers here in San Francisco!”

    By Sister Dana Van Iquity–

    Sister Dana sez, “Puff out your chest with Pride, and on June 29–30, Pride Weekend, enjoy the happiest place on earth for us queers here in San Francisco!”

    THE DONNA PERSONNA PORTRAITS PROJECT is proudly on display at the Tenderloin Museum, 398 Eddy Street, until July 7. The opening reception was on June 13 when the producers and some of their subjects spoke from the heart. This is a collaboration between 2019 Pride Parade Grand Marshal Donna Personna, fine arts painter Thomasina DeMaio and photographers Billie Douglas and Steven Pomeroy (who took photos at the sittings of the subjects). Using photography and portraiture as sites for exploring transgender and gender nonconforming identity, this project aims to bring wider visibility and validation to trans lives, and to showcase the wide spectrum of the transgender experience. Originally conceived of and sponsored by ARTSAVESLIVES foundation, this exhibition represents a small portion of a much larger collection on display for Pride at the Eureka Valley Rec Center. Included at the Museum are oil paintings and photos of Collette La Grande, Gretchen and Suzanne Ford. There are oils of Shawn Demmons, Jaylin Abergas and the late great Bubbles, who was savagely murdered in the Tenderloin. Some of the photos are of curator Donna Personna, Suzy Jane Edwards, Veronica Fimbres, Billy Cooper, Elsa, Landa Lake, Bertie Brouhard and Aria Sa’id. Go check out both venues for the complete experience!

    Sister Dana sez, “Happy Belated 73rd Birthday to Trump. Now go get impeached and removed! Truck Fump!”

    KREWE DE KINQUE held our monthly Mardi Gras themed fundraiser on June 15 at the Edge as we kicked off San Francisco PRIDE Week with our hosts Krewe de Kinque current reigning King XVI Aja Monet-Ashton and Queen XVI Kelly Rose, who both gave incredible live performances along with Queen V Cockatielia, King VII John Weber, King X Tippy Marks, Queen XIV Lady Cuki Couture and Queen VII Miss Chief—all with the exceptional deejaying of King XIII Sergio Fedasz. King VII John Weber and Queen VII Sister Dana were emcees. The fundraiser was for SATURATION PURPLE, the Transgender Youth Scholarship Fund launch party and support for anti-bullying. Of course, I was a purple nun, as were so many of our members in thematic purple. Through our Krewe de Kinque ANNUAL MARDI GRAS BALL MASQUE 2019 charity fundraiser, we will help to support the Mission of the TRANSGENDER LAW CENTER. Our club stands in solidarity with the transgender community as the T-rump administration continues to trample equal rights for all Americans. We hope to see everyone at next month’s benefit on July 20, 4–7 pm at the Edge bar. https://transgenderlawcenter.org

    Sister Dana sez, “A new Gallup poll shows that 71% of Americans support Transgender Military Service. But we know how much Trump despises any poll other than one that favors him!”

     The June 20 Opening Film of the FRAMELINE 43 SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL LGBTQ+ FILM FESTIVAL was Vita and Virginia with Elizabeth Debicki as Virginia Woolf and Gemma Arterton as Vita Sackville-West. This was an exotic erotic tale of one of the great lesbian love affairs of the 20th century, in a blend of literary biography and romantic intrigue. It featured a strong supporting role by Isabella Rossellini as Vita’s mother. True to the biography, it did NOT have a happily ever after ending. But what WAS happy was the deluxe after-party at Terra Gallery with my fave “horse ovary” (canapé) being the huge shrimps.

     SAN FRANCISCO GAY MEN’S CHORUS marked the anniversary of the STONEWALL RIOTS, which began on June 28, 1969, and commemorated San Francisco’s own COMPTON CAFETERIA RIOT that occurred in 1966 with QUEENS. This incredible production honored those who helped to catapult the gay rights movement into the public forum from coast to coast. The men wore different colors of the rainbow t-shirts and black vests accented with drag queen jewelry, and some sported glittered beards. The show featured beloved gay anthems, as well as songs that paid tribute to the themes of strength, perseverance and acceptance. Solos were by Donna Sachet giving a stirring monologue of gay history and then singing “I Am What I Am,” Heklina singing a torchy “Maybe This Time,” Sister Roma with “My Strongest Suit” by Elton John from Aida, and Sister Phyliss with a strong operatic voice doing Rossini’s “Largo Al Factotum.”

    Dennis McMillan (aka Sister Dana) enjoyed the NAPA Cellars wines wth Pride Parade choreographer Juan Davila at the San Francisco Bay Times’ A Toast to Pride Reception at Canela Bistro and Wine Bar on Sunday, June 2.

    Works included Andra Day’s “Rise Up,” Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Sounds of Silence (with black & white photos of the Cafeteria Riot),” “Drag Queens in the Sky” to the tune of “Ghost Riders in the Sky,” “You Will Be Found” from the hit play Dear Evan HansenSylvester’s “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real),” “Hail Holy Queen” from Sister Act with several Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence dancing away, and Sticks and Stones from composer Andrew Lippa’s moving oratorio, I Am Harvey Milk, originally recorded by SFGMC. Some of SFGMC’s very own Drag All-Stars worked the runway. But wait, there’s more! There was also a tribute to the Queens of the Courts, the Imperial Court and Ducal Council of San Francisco! All together an amazeballs concert!

    We thrilled at the world premiere screening of a rousing Tony and Olivier Award-winning musical, in an HD-cinema, live-captured performance from London’s Adelphi Theatre on June 22 in the Castro Theatre, courtesy of FRAMELINE. With a book by Harvey Fierstein and original songs by Cyndi Lauper, the delightful KINKY BOOTS: THE MUSICAL starred original West End sensations Killian Donnelly as shoemaker scion Charlie and Matt Henry as Lola, the feisty drag queen who tries to save the factory with her fabulous fetishish creations. Please put this “bootacular” show on your future streaming possibilities!

    Sister Dana sez, “It is outrageous that Senate Republicans have blocked crucial legislation that would improve the security of our voting machines. Enough obstruction, Mitch ‘Grim Reaper’ McConnell! Oh, and he’s also blocking the Equality Act!”

    SISTER ACT SING-ALONG PRIDE MASS returned on June 26 at Grace Cathedral. For the third year in a row, THE VINE SF celebrated SF Pride with a special service. We kicked off Pride weekend in style and sang along to all of our favorite hits from the SF comedy classic movie Sister Act.

    Sister Dana sez, “June is bustin’ out all over (as musical ‘Carousel’ actors would sing), and likewise June Pride is also bustin’ out with these events!”

    In honoring the Stonewall riots 50 years ago, HARVEY MILK PHOTO CENTER, directed by Dave Christensen, proudly presents the STONEWALL 50 YEARS ANNIVERSARY ART EXHIBIT. This show is intended for local artists to showcase their best contemporary artworks focusing on celebrating LGBTQ community. The gorgeous three-dimensional butterfly logo is by one of my favorite local artists, Gordon Silveria. In the foyer, Silveria’s clever piece is entitled “Love Is Love,” and is the theme of the Art Show in UV print on sintra PVC plastic with cutouts. Silveria comments that the butterfly “represents the spirit of transformation and freedom that burst out of gay communities everywhere.” Community Grand Marshal DQ Mrs. Vera is dramatically caught in Michael Johnstone‘s color photo, “Easter Sunday.” Alan Beckstead has a 48-by-48-inch quilt checkerboard of various people celebrating Pride. I own a mug Beckstead made of a mustachioed drag queen and two leather men, which I proudly display in my hallway.

    In the main room, J.B. Higgins has several photos, but my pick is “Fifth Avenue NYC” of a bold man in butterfly wings holding a sign stating: “In a world full of caterpillars, it takes balls to be a butterfly!” Bill Bowers‘ “The Cockettes” in mixed media is a quilt of the colorful drag queens encased in clear plastic and framed in feathers, buttons and beads. I am proud to own a Bowers original piece in the form of a huge purse with photos of queer folk (one of Sister Dana) framed similarly. Michael Lownie has wall sculptures including “He Ain’t Heavy” of a naked man being carried by another naked man in a cape—reminiscent of a pietà subject in Christian art depicting the Virgin Mary cradling the dead body of Jesus, most often found in sculpture. Jack Davis‘ piece, “Kiss Faggots” was originally shown at the Center for Sex & Culture, where we were told to put on lipstick and make kiss marks all over this red thread sequin embroidered canvas where you can see a depiction of some hater that has scrawled “Kill Faggots,” but Davis has made the sign say, “Kiss Faggots,” and he has added a bundle of sticks also known as “faggots.” My purple lipstick print stands out from the reds in the left lower corner. Quite prominent in the room is the very large 36-by-48-inch oil, “Harvey,” by Roberto Travala, of a big smiling Supervisor Milk. Lastly, Jerry Frost has “Humanity,” a colorful oil of people at a parade. The exhibit will remain up through July 21 at 50 Scott Street. http://harveymilkphotocenter.org/exhibits/stonewall-50-years/

    PRIDE AT THE DISCO! is on June 28, 5–8 pm at Bespoke, 845 Market Street, suite 450. Unleash your inner disco queen on this night of glitz, cocktails and beauty in partnership with us Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. You can count on us to provide the music and glitter, but make sure to bring your favorite wig or accessory to capture the night at our photo booth. And you’ll want to sing your heart out for karaoke. Also enjoy beauty makeovers. Free, but get tix at https://bit.ly/2La1neD

    Gary Virginia & Donna Sachet‘s 21ST ANNUAL PRIDE BRUNCH is on Saturday, June 29, in the Westin St. Francis Hotel Grand Ballroom as a benefit for PRC. This lavish event honors the Grand Marshals of the SF LGBT PRIDE PARADE and affords guests a rare opportunity to meet and hear them speak. Tickets: https://tinyurl.com/pridebrunch2019

    BACK TO THE PICTURE GALLERY presents the opening of their 2nd annual TASTE OF THE WORLD exhibition with reception on June 29, 6–9 pm, 934 Valencia Street. But the show will be on the walls until July 28. The reception features 15 artists donating their pieces in an auction benefiting CREATIVITY EXPLORED, which gives artists with developmental disabilities the means to create and share their work with the community, celebrating the power of art to change lives. https://www.creativityexplored.org/

    Senator Scott Wiener and curator Joseph Abbati invite you to an exhibit featuring 32 LGBTQ Bay Area artists. The event will take place immediately following Senator Wiener’s march in the Pride Parade, Sunday, June 30, 12–3 pm, 455 Golden Gate Avenue, Suite 14800. Guests must pre-register at https://queereyes.eventbrite.com

    OFFICIAL VIP PARTY AT CITY HALL is on Parade Day, June 30, 2–5 pm. Under the Rotunda in San Francisco’s magnificent City Hall you will find the ultimate Pride Sunday gathering! Featuring three rooms of live entertainment, performance, dancing, catering by Whole Foods Market and a hosted bar. While in the Rotunda, check out the giant portraits of us Sisters (including Sister Dana) by amazing artist Deidre Defranceaux. https://bit.ly/2X2lKS4

    The incredible musical CABARET is playing now through September 14 at San Francisco Playhouse, 450 Post Street, Floor 2M. Come here the music play! https://www.sfplayhouse.org/sfph/2018-2019-season/cabaret/

    HAIRSPRAY, winner of eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, is a fabulous fifties musical, piled bouffant-high with laughter, romance and deliriously tuneful songs. Playing July 7 through August 11 at Victoria Theatre, 2961 16th Street. https://www.bamsf.org/boxoffice

    Sister Dana sez, “Thank you, worldwide U.S. Embassies, for boldly defying T-rump admin and freely FLYING those RAINBOW FLAGS! Also, for the first time during a Pride Month, the Rainbow Flag flies over the State Capitol!