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    Sister Dana sez, “The populist movement for progressivism is beginning to build.”

    sisterdSister Dana sez, “The populist movement for progressivism is beginning to build. Whether it will find expression in the November elections remains to be seen, but it is already moving across the country. Keep it moving!” 

    By Sister Dana Van Iquity

    The classic dragtastic film, TO WONG FOO, THANKS FOR EVERYTHING, JULIE NEWMAR, was screened at the Castro Theatre as part of the 17TH CALIFORNIA INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL where Julie Newmar herself was in attendance to be honored with the CAIFF Lifetime Achievement award. In the hilarious, heartwarming cult classic, To Wong Foo, Wesley Snipes, John Leguizamo, and the late Patrick Swayze star as three drag queens traveling cross-country. Things take a bizarre turn when their Cadillac breaks down, and they are stranded in a hick town. The film also features Stockard Channing, Blythe Danner, and a cameo from Julie Newmar. But first we adored Newmar at Fork Cafe across the street for a tres gay reception. When I told her that I, along with millions of fags, worshiped her, she gave me a kiss. When I asked what the award meant to her, she quipped, “I don’t know. I haven’t got it yet. Maybe they didn’t bring it.” When asked does she love the gays, she remarked, “Right over there is my brother, John Newmeyer, ‘king of the gays,’ who has moon parties in Pacific Heights. You simply must attend!” She said her brother convinced her to do the Batman series, because his Harvard pals loved that show. Her Catwoman cat-suit hangs in the Smithsonian Museum. Movie maven Jan Wahl expressed her disappointment that I was not in full nun regalia, but still forgave me.

    Later, on the Castro stage, Newmar appeared in a sexy black see-through lace body suit, seated on a golden throne, waving a huge rainbow feathered fan to the song from the “To Wong Foo” movie, “Hold Me, Thrill Me.” When Wahl interviewed her and asked why she loved the gays, she joked, “Because they dress so well!” When asked her advice to us, she simply stated, “Moisturize!” When the film came out in 1995, Newmar was in the Gay Pride Parade with her brother. She said she really admired the Radical Faeries. She agreed with Wahl that “the bigger the star, the better they are,” and cited the late Robin Williams, who had a part in the film, as being “a very giving and loving gentleman.” When she finally received the award, presented by Newmeyer, she said she was deeply honored and always had a special place in her heart for San Francisco. As we do in EssEff for her!

    Clammy Fae introduced BEA DAZZLER (1998 Faux Queen) who presented, in association with the KLUBSTiTUTE KOLLECTiVE, FAUX QUEEN PAGEANT 2014: Fashion Faux-ward! Held at SOMArts, this was the original Pageant for Drag Queens Trapped in Women’s Bodies. This year’s beneficiaries were Mickaboo Companion Bird Rescue (mickaboo.org), SaveABunny (saveabunny.org), and Women Organized to Make Abuse Nonexistent, Inc.

    The evening was dedicated to the late, great Arturo Galster, and included video clips of some of the actor’s famous characters – male and female. Celebrity femcees were the First Faux Queen titleholder, the indomitable Laurie Bushman aka Coca Dietetica (FQ 1995), and original faux queen and stylish entrepreneur behind the Glama-Rama Hair Salon, Deena Davenport. Celebrity judges included last year’s title winner Cara Couture (FQ2013); Trannyshack’s own Heklina; Cricket Bardot (FQ 2000), Aunty Anita; and pageant founder Ruby Toosday. Vying for FQ2014 were Agorafauxbia, Alabama Slamma, Ferosha Titties, Hazzard Strange, Linty, KaiKai Bee Michaels, Migitte Nielsen, Roxanne Redmeat, and Miss Shugana. After viewing their talents, judges voted: second runner up was Agorafauxbia, now living in Maryland, with her spectacularly spacey Star Wars number; first runner-up was Hazzard Strange, who said besides her love of horror and gore, she also has an unhealthy obsession with all things cute and fluffy, with her very scary Marilyn Manson “Beautiful People” number; and the new Faux Queen 2014 is Linty, who performed an amazing and much more loving version of Katniss Everdeen from Hunger Games. Linty said she had been inspired by a lecture on how “it’s okay to be different” after wearing mismatched shoes to kindergarten. Cara Couture’s stepping-down swan song was a flawlessly lipped “Will You Still Love Me.” The audience favorite (voted on by amount of tips they gave each contestant) was Hazzard Strange, who was audience favorite last year as well. Faux sho!

    HARVEY FIERSTEIN & CYNDI LAUPER, co-creators of the smash hit musical, KINKY BOOTS, appeared on the Orpheum Theatre stage to be interviewed by Randi Zuckerberg, director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and editor-in-chief of Dot Complicated, a digital lifestyle website. In between the gales of laughter and mock fights between the two actors/composers seated on stage, we learned that shoes are a metaphor for how a person walks and acts. It is best to strive to be triumphantly authentic. Be yourself out loud and proud. The story is how two completely different characters learn to stop having preconceived notions and prejudices against each other and eventually find common ground, partnership, and friendship. Fierstein called himself “Mommie Dearest” to Lauper’s “Christina” during the creative process and beyond. Both were just hysterical, worthy of a standing ovation, and it didn’t hurt that they have done so much for the LGBTQ community!

    FLIRTING & CRUISING was a “playshop” (“workshop” is too formal and less playful a word for it) held at Magnet, the health and wellbeing hub for gay/bi men in the Castro, put on by the folks at queerbody.com, facilitated by Dr. Sam & Josh. We learned about playing with body language and other nonverbal cues; successful flirting and cruising techniques and strategies; changing the way we think about and experience flirting, so we don’t have to *think about it* but can just play and enjoy connecting with new guys! Flirting is fun! It’s a way of playing with people socially.

    GLAAD GALA San Francisco, held at the Hilton, was entitled GAME CHANGERS! It was a celebration of national and Bay Area leaders advancing LGBTQ equality through the media. GLAAD introduced the Ric Weiland Award, a new honor for innovators promoting queer equality through tech and new media, which was given to Google and YouTube. During a night of incredible performances, a delicious dinner, and inspiring speeches, this fundraiser helped GLAAD extend its long history and successful track record of advocating for LGBTQ inclusion in various media into a safe and inclusive digital world.

    Eight out of 10 LGBTQ youth report being bullied. That’s unacceptable! At the GLAAD reception, attendees could have their picture taken while holding a sign against bullying, promoting Purple Spirit Day, October 16th, when activists worldwide will wear purple to take a stand protesting bullying.

    GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis noted our victories as well as our challenges reported in the media. Proposition 8 plaintiffs Kris Perry & Sandy Stier were honored with the Presidential Local Hero Award. Rick Welts, openly gay president and COO of the Golden State Warriors, received the Davidson/Valenti Award. The gala was hosted by Orange Is the New Black star Taryn Manning and featured a special performance by Glee star Alex Newell singing “Don’t Rain on My Parade.” Lead singer for Third Eye Blind, Stephan Jenkins, sang “Jumper” – about a gay teen considering suicide. Other special guests were TV host and political pundit Meghan McCain and actor/director Peter Paige, as well as YouTube LGBTQ advocates Tyler Oakley & Hannah Hart. The after-party was hosted by Juanita MORE.

    CUMMING UP!

    Arthur Francis Galster, known to his friends and loved ones as ARTURO, died suddenly on August 25th. With innumerable friends and theatre colleagues in disbelief that Arturo is no longer with us on earth, a CELEBRATION OF LIFE – one that he would be proud of – has been planned for Monday September 22nd at 7:30 pm at the Castro Theatre – 429 Castro Street. The event is FREE and open to the public. The evening will be a multimedia celebration of all stages of Arturo’s life and work – including song, dance, visual art, video, film, and photography. Please come as who you are – festive attire is highly recommended and encouraged! An Indiegogo Campaign has been created to help defray costs for the memorial service. To contribute please visit: indiegogo.com/projects/a-celebration-of-arturo-galster/x/157923

    ART FOR AIDS, presented by The UCSF ALLIANCE HEALTH PROJECT, is at the City View on September 19th – with a thrilling auction. Funds raised at Art for AIDS support mental health services for LGBTQ and HIV-affected clients at AHP. ucsf-ahp.org

    LEATHERWALK, the kickoff for Leather Week, took place on Sunday noon at the 440 bar in the Castro. After a brief ceremony, leatherfolk proudly marched down Market Street, stopping at various leather-themed watering holes in SoMa for cocktails, ending at The Eagle for the official raising of The Leather Flag. All this was in preparation for the leather/fetish/SM event of the year, the FOLSOM STREET FAIR on Sunday, September 21st, noon-6pm, on Folsom Street, 9th to 11th Streets and beyond.

    ROYAL BRITISH COMEDY THEATRE presents ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS (ABFAB) starring Terrence McLaughlin as Edina, ZsaZsa Lufthansa as Patsy, Annie Larson as Gran, Dene Larson as Saffy, and Raya Light as Bubble at Stage Werx, 446 Valencia Street, Thursdays at 8pm and Fridays at 11pm. “Fashion and Fat”: October 2nd-3rd, 9th-10th; “France and ISO Tank”: Nov. 6th-7th, 13th-14th; “Birthday and Magazine”: December 4th-5th, 11th-12th. Tickets: eventbrite.com/e/absolutely-fabulous-abfab-tickets Sweetiedarling, don’t miss these!

    Sister Dana sez, “House Repugnicans just postponed a vote on funding the government to next week – and Ted Cruz started talking about the unthinkable: another government shutdown. We cannot let this happen again!”