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    Sister Dana sez, “I think it’s time the White House fat cats go on a ‘skinny repeal’ diet!”

    By Sister Dana Van Iquity

    Sister Dana sez, “I think it’s time the White House fat cats go on a ‘skinny repeal’ diet!”

    It’s Leather Weather, so there was a community gathering at THE GLBT HISTORY MUSEUM for a panel discussion entitled THE FUTURE OF LEATHER: WHERE WE CAME FROM, WHERE WE’RE GOING” as the perfect prelude to the UP YOUR ALLEY leather fair on Sunday. San Francisco has long been known for its groundbreaking LGBTQ leather and BDSM community. In conjunction with the new “South of Market: San Francisco’s Leather Scene” display in the “QUEER PAST BECOMES PRESENT” exhibition in the GLBT History Museum’s Main Gallery, curator/historian Greg Pennington (member of the leather community since 1977) facilitated a discussion about the leather scene from the 1950s to the present and beyond. DORE ALLEY FAIR was born in 1985, soon to be renamed Up Your Alley fair. I recall that first fair when Sister Mysteria and I, in leather nun drag, filled a coffee can with donations to help fight AIDS—from attendees asking to take our pictures. It was such a successful spur of the moment fundraiser that we had to make several trips to organizers to empty our cache and fill up again and again.

    Prominent leather community members, authors and scholars took part in the panel, including Gayle Rubin, Jordy Tackitt-Jones, Rajat Dutta, and Race Bannon. Executive Director Terry Beswick welcomed the standing room only audience. He explained that the museum is a project of the GLBT Historical Society, a research center and archives that collect, preserve and interpret the history of GLBT people and the communities that support them. Founded in 1985, the society maintains one of the world’s largest collections of LGBTQ historical materials. Rubin talked about the early history of leather (with a slide show) including leather bars dating back to the ’50s and ’60s and their demise in the ’80s when realtors took over SOMA. Tackitt-Jones spoke about his book, The Mayor of Folsom Street, a biography of Daddy Alan Selby—“a big flirt, a mentor, and a gentleman” and daddy to many a leather person. The stories brought me back to a memory of Alan always addressing me lovingly as Sister Veronica—even though he knew I was Sister Dana. It was our little joke. Dutta came from India to America at the age of 8 and came out at age 26. He shared his journey, including coming out of the closets of alcoholism and polyamory to become a proud leatherman exploring his limits. Bannon, a veteran leather expert since 1972, spoke of the proud moment he met icon Tony DeBlase, who first presented the design of the LEATHER PRIDE FLAG at the INTERNATIONAL MISTER LEATHER event in Chicago on May 28, 1989. He exhorted everyone to create their own history. He advised people to check out “one of the best leather groups around,” San Francisco Leathermen’s Discussion Group.  

    MAGNE-KINK, a social event for San Francisco’s kinky queer community, was put on for the public by Race Bannon, Jared Hemming and STRUT as their fourth annual event and a warm-up for UP YOUR ALLEY weekend with our fellow queer leather and kink brethren and friends. This year’s event featured: DJ Donovan Jones (aka DJ BRD), impact scenes by Geoff Millard (Mr. San Francisco Leather 2017), bondage scenes by Jorge Vieto Jr., puppy play by San Francisco K9 Unit, raffle prizes from Mr. S Leather, Worn Out West and others, complimentary refreshments and complimentary clothes check. MagneKink took place at Strut HQ, 470 Castro Street. We also sang the “Happy Birthday Song” to Race Bannon.  

    Sister Dana sez, “Hey,Trump! You’re confusing calling America’s White House ‘a dump,’ with the dump you keep taking on the American people!”

    2017 “UP YOUR ALLEY FAIR” & Fetish Street Festival in SoMa was July 30. Usually around 15,000 leather men and fetish enthusiasts attend, making it a smaller, but more local, event (read: fewer tourists) than the FOLSOM STREET FAIR in late September. Attendees of Up Your Alley are mostly male, mostly queer, and into BDSM; while Folsom is the more pansexual, gender-diverse fair. THE SISTERS OF PERPETUAL INDULGENCE were at the gates as ever asking for donations for charity. I was pleased to hear most attendees were very gracious in that department.

    This gay male leather nun has apparently become jaded over the years since 1985, because I could find nothing to titillate my senses. Basically, there was nothing new under the sun. And because there WAS sun, there followed plenty of nudity.

    One of my fave booths is always the Bare Chest Calendar site, where hunky bare-chested men sell and autograph their sexy calendars in support of Positive Resource Center & AIDS Emergency Fund. Another traditional booth is the Steamworks Baths semi-naked Twister game (right hand – red) where the Milton Bradley Co. would surely blush. And if you hadn’t already brought your gear for the fair, the official fair merchandise booth would outfit you head to toe. The 11th Street main dance stage offered music and rokkin’ with your cokkin’ out! The SF Dept of Public Health had a ring toss onto dildoes and plenty of pamphlets for safer sex info. Mr. S Leather provided a Saint Andrews Cross and a sling/table. The usual BDSM paraphernalia was available for sale everywhere.

    The sartorial styles ranged from birthday suits to leather, feather, fetish gear to semi-drag. The only famous DQ I saw was the always delightful Muthah Chuckah. I saw a t-shirt saying: “Gag on my [emoji of an eggplant].” I spied a guy wearing nothing but an apron with the phrase on it: “Our Dad’s the Greatest!” I don’t think he was doing BBQ, and I very much doubt this was an actual biological father. But my favorite t-shirt of all said quite succinctly: “Mighty Gay.” My feelings exactly!

    “REUNION: A BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION” was the elaborate 60th birthday party of James Holloway, who said on the invitation to his friends: “You are invited to come and remember the fun and fellowship we have had together along the way. Please join with me in celebrating KANREKI, the 60th milepost birthday Japanese style. With Kanreki, we get to return to the joy and freedom of childhood, which sounds good to me!” Gary Virginia and Donna Sachet co-hosted at the ARTSAVESLIVES Castro studio and performance space run by artist in residence Thomasina De Maio. The studio was ornately decorated in a red and yellow theme—including balloons, lanterns, and curtains. On stage left was the Japanese symbol for love, and on stage right the symbol for peace. And center stage was a large symbol of Kanreki. Holloway acknowledged the presence of Mark Leno and Cleve Jones—among the celebrities. Donna outfitted James in a fancy samurai sort of red sparkly vest and matching cap. Later on, she added a lovely pair of red high heels “to elevate James to even greater heights,” as she wittily put it. Deana Dawn took the stage dressed as a beautiful geisha to lip sync “Fujiyama Mama” by Wanda Jackson—strutting that stage and waving her fan; followed by “Let’s Have a Party.” Virginia gave a recitation of James’ impressive bio—all the boards he’s served on, all the honors, all the titles from Mr. September 2004 Bare Chest Calendar guy to Krewe de Kinque co-founder and King. Donna took the stage again to sing an emotional “It Had to be You.” James then told a story of his life while weaving snippets of 16 songs from each era to musically illustrate. He topped it all off with a sing-along that we all sang, “Top of the World” with truly meaningful lyrics: “I’m on the top of the world lookin’ down on creation. And the only explanation I can find. Is the love that I’ve found ever since you’ve been around.” That could only be followed by a huge sheet cake and us gaily singing the “Happy Birthday Song.”

    SISTER DANA SEZ, “HERE ARE SOME ‘AUGUST’ EVENTS YOU MIGHT WANT TO ATTEND. ‘AUGUST’ AS IN ‘IMPRESSIVE,’ NOT JUST THE MONTH OF THE YEAR, Y’ALL!”

    ARTSAVESLIVES STUDIO AND PERFORMANCE SPACE is presenting the AUGUST RECEPTION AND PARTY at the gallery at 518 Castro and 18th Street on August 11, 6–9 pm, free admission with complimentary food and drink. Studio curator Thomasina De Maio will be featuring more than 20 local artists such as Christopher Wood, William O. Webster III, Michael Lownie, Antonio Castellanos, Ed Terpening, Bill Haught, Daniel Lawrence Carniglia, Fr. John Takahashi, and Wil Fredo Santana—among others. Offering live entertainment will be Magnolia Black, Leigh Crow, Claudio, and many others to delight the spirit and the soul. De Maio tells me that the manager of Blick, Tim McLaughlin, has generously contributed many assorted art supplies for artists’ use at De Maio’s regular Wednesday & Thursday 6–9 pm live model sessions at the studio. Sister Dana attends these regularly, in an attempt to sketch different figures in various poses. Do NOT look for these drawings in the exhibits. They are not worthy. Totes newbie! sfartslave.com

    SAN FRANCISCO ELVIS ALL STARS is a live band performing on Wednesday, August 16, as an Elvis Presley Tribute Celebration (40th Anniversary of the King’s passing) at Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd Street. Enjoy Elvis Presley songs with musicians Hank Maninger, Mitch Polzak, and Les James, with guest vocalists Elvis Herselvis (Leigh Crow), Fiona Ma, and Ben Fong-Torres. Best pelvis-shaking contest, photo booth to take pictures with the King, and Elvis midnight snack with peanut butter and banana sandwich bites served. facebook.com/events/236789966820243/

    WHEN WE BECOME RAVENS” is the current art exhibition of black & white photos by Jordan Joel Pennock at Strut, 470 Castro Street, for the month of August. The Art at Strut program has been exhibiting the work of a local Gay or Queer artist once a month for over 13 years. “When we Become Ravens” explores the radical queer self, gender queer expression, and the power of the radical flamboyant man,” explains Pennock. “Mixed media portraits document the tragedy, the courage, and ultimately the beauty of queer magic.” Pennock is a practicing artist living in the Bay Area. He moved to the City from a rural coastal town in 2004 to earn a bachelor of science degree from UC Berkeley. Currently working in both visual and performing arts, he spends his time training, dancing, performing, and creating new works. His classical training in analogue photography started in high school where he received multiple awards and acknowledgements. He is completing a documentary photography project he has been working on for 10 years called “The Little River Beach House is Burning.” His photographic work tends to center around environmental portraiture, documentary, and fine art. While aesthetics and beauty are very important to him, themes around people, perseverance over hardship, community, and personal empowerment through faith are major themes in his work.

    Some of my faves are “Philip Robert Chamin, Mendocino 2017” in his pretty pink mini-dress; “Nathan & Alan, Mendocino 2017” in their lovely bridal dresses and veils; and of course, who doesn’t love “Grace Towers, San Francisco 2016”?! In many of the B&W photos, the artist has added a little color post-production by hand in pink and purple tones. There are nearly 50 photos in all. For any interested queer artists, the deadline for submission or your pieces to be displayed at Strut is August 31. At the Friday reception, Baruch Porras-Hernandez, Community Organizer, introduced the photographer. Pennock said, “We are in perilous times, scary times, but also great times to be more and more progressive than ever here in the Bay Area.”

    THE SISTERS OF PERPETUAL INDULGENCE will host their annual PROJECT NUNWAY charity fashion show on Saturday, August 19, at SOMArts, 934 Brannan Street. On its 8th edition, Project Nunway features talented fashion designers paired up with some very special models—us Sisters—to create outstanding runway looks using recycled and innovative materials. The theme for this year is “SINFINITY,” which plays with the idea of a sci-fi extravaganza, celebrating fashion, diversity and the Arts in a true San Franciscan way. To Sinfinity … and beyond! Special guest judges will choose the winning design with the help of the audience. This year’s beneficiary is EL/LA PARA TRANSLATINAS, an organization for transgender Latinas that works to build collective vision and action to promote survival and improve the quality of life of transgender people in the San Francisco Bay Area. Join the Sisters and the designers for a night filled with cosmic glamour! Tix and info at https://goo.gl/s5s2ds

    The RICHMOND/ERMET AID FOUNDATION (REAF) presents HELP IS ON THE WAY 23 – Puttin’ On The Glitz, celebrating music, legends & icons, their 23rd Annual Gala as a benefit for Meals on Wheels of San Francisco, & Positive Resource Center on Sunday, August 20, at Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Avenue. VIP Gala Reception: 5 pm (Green Room), Performance: 7:30 pm; Club REAF After Party with cast: 9:45–11:30 pm (music by DJ’s GoBANG!). Scheduled to appear: Levi Kress, Trent Harmon, Jessica Sanchez, Maureen Mcgovern, David Burnham, Lisa Vroman, Carole Cook, Garrett Clayton, Maddie Baillio, Paula West, Jason Brock, Lisa Viggiano, and Eileen & Leah Bourgade. “Help is on the Way” is Northern California’s largest annual benefit concert benefiting HIV/AIDS and hunger programs. It’s an elegant evening of wonderful music, delicious food and beverages tastings and, most of all, fun. reaf-sf.org

    Sister Dana sez, “Gee, what a really novel plan to invite the Democrats into the previously secret draft of a possibly partisan participation in the national health care plan. Note: the preceding was stated in heavy sarcasm. Get a clue, Repugnicans!”