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    Sister Dana sez: “Well, THAT decade is over! Now onto the next! Let’s just hope 2020 brings us ‘PERFECT VISION’!”

    By Sister Dana Van Iquity–

    Sister Dana sez, “Well, THAT decade is over! Now onto the next! Let’s just hope 2020 brings us ‘PERFECT VISION’!”

    In reaction to terrible Trump’s tweets about homelessness in our City against SF’s House Speaker Nancy Pelosi & Senator Scott Wiener, the Senator from SF angrily retorted that Trump is “cutting people from food assistance, he’s cutting funding for affordable housing, and then he criticizes us for having a problem with homelessness; so he needs to look at himself in the mirror.” Oh Scott, don’t you know that prez spends plenty of time in front of the mirror. How else would he get that narcissistic orange glow?!

    Sister Dana sez,”Many many thanks to the marvelous Juanita MORE! for sending me the healing Therapeutic Pain Relief Cream from Tender Healing Care. I rub it on my shoulder until I can get surgery on my torn rotator cuff. I love Juanita so much! And I love all of you wonderful friends for your support during these difficult times!” (Editor’s Note: We’re happy to report that Sister Dana’s surgery, which took place shortly after this column was filed, went well. SD is still experiencing pain, however, which we hope will soon be history.)

     On Wednesday, January 8, at 11 am in the City Hall Rotunda, Mayor London N. Breed was sworn in and delivered remarks at her second inauguration ceremony as Mayor of the City and County of San Francisco. Mayor Breed spoke about the challenges of housing affordability and homelessness in San Francisco, and laid out a vision for addressing them. She called for building at least 50,000 new homes in the next decade, supporting policies that allow for more multi-family housing, meeting her goal of opening 1,000 new shelter beds, adding additional mental health beds and services, and opening more Permanent Supportive Housing. This inauguration marks Mayor Breed’s first full four-year term in office. The ceremony featured musical performances and an invocation, and the Honorable Judge Teri L. Jackson administered the Mayoral Oath of Office.

    ME, MYSELF, AND MY DIRTY MIND was an art opening on January 3 at Strut in the Castro for artist Eric McCracken. His works will be on display for all of January. The artist statement: “The series of autobiographical self-portraits follows the timeline of my teenage years. Margaret Thatcher ruled England with an iron fist. Both homophobia and xenophobia flowed through the veins of the everyman. Not only was I an American growing up in London, I was also deeply closeted; full of self-hatred and disbelief of my own homosexuality. The drawings envelop an arc of teenage fantasies that start with my belief of just being in physical proximity of a gay man would lead to my body being overtaken by his. Even in my head where no one else could see, I positioned myself as the innocent bystander. As the narrative in this series of my schoolboy daydreams progresses, I gain confidence in my sexuality and begin to take the reins and wield power. The nature of these outlandish teenage fantasies birthed my art-making as a surreal approach to living in a foreign country and a heterosexual world I didn’t fit into. Through my artistic output I learned to retreat deeply into my imagination to survive.” McCracken creates large scale self-portraits capturing “the delusional world of a humdrum, pencil pushing homosexual in San Francisco.” His art uses his body as a starting point, employing props, costumes, and exoskeletons to augment the narrative structure. His body of work focuses on distorting the human form by adding, subtracting, and modifying the human form to tell a story in a single image. He first Photoshops compositions before projecting them onto 40×60” boards, then uses Copic markers and pens. There are currently seven pieces on display at Strut, 470 Castro Street. https://eric-mccracken.format.com/

     On January 8 at the Herbst Theater, we celebrated the historic inauguration of the Milk Club’s endorsed candidate for District Attorney, Chesa Boudin. The Milk Club shared: “With our Club’s early help, we finally have a District Attorney who will fight for equal justice and the decriminalization of mental illness and poverty throughout San Francisco.”  

    COCKETTES ARE GOLDEN! was an incredible 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Cockettes. This legendary, gender-bending theatre troupe celebrated 50 years of music, art, and mayhem. This One Night Only Extravaganza was an opulent recreation of the Cockettes’ musical numbers with commentary by members of the original Cockettes in person! Musical direction was by original Cockette Scrumbly Koldewyn on piano. It was emceed by Thrillpeddlers founder Russell Blackwood. And it was directed and choreographed by Noah Haydon. The show was performed on January 4 at the Victoria Theatre to a packed house of fans.

    The Cockettes were established on Dec 31, 1969, for a midnight show at the Palace Theater in San Francisco in a haze of sex, drugs, drag, gender-bending and glitter. They took drag and old Hollywood musicals and turned them inside out and upside down, attracting the attention of the American underground culture. As word got out about these astonishing performances, cult filmmaker John Waters, Mink Stole, and drag superstar Divine all traveled to San Francisco to be part of their shows. They were ahead of their time, especially in the acceptance of gender fluidity and outrageousness. With the creation of the Cockettes, a small troupe of drug-infused hippie performers changed the face of drag and counter-culture forever. Waters spoke at the 50th giving us lucky attendees such gems of history. We Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence took the stage to saint a dozen living Cockettes: Pam Tent (Saint Sweet Pam), Fayette Hauser (Saint Fayet-tah), Billy Bowers (Saint Billy), Mardy Haas (Saint Harlo), Jet (Saint Jilala), Ocean Michael Moon (Saint Ocean), Scott Davey (Saint Scottie Tissue), James Windsor (Saint Tahara), Sebastian I.M. (Saint Sebastian), Peter Mintun (Saint Peter), Debra Bauer (Saint Beaver), and Bambi Lake (Saint Bambi). We also sainted John Waters (Saint Shock Value). Supervisor Rafael Mandelman and Senator Scott Wiener presented Certificates of Honor. There were films of original Cockettes, stills, and dozens of supremely talented Thrillpeddler singers and dancers doing Cockettes numbers to perfection.

    In 2008 in San Francisco, a theater troupe named Thrillpeddlers run by Russell Blackwood brought back a celebrated Cockettes show called Pearls Over Shanghai to much acclaim and a 22-month run at their Hypnodrome Theatre in SoMa. I reviewed this and other Cockettes revues with utter glee! Along with The Cockettes—an award-winning 2002 documentary by David Weissman and Bill Weber (who spoke at the event and showed a small clip of that film)—interest in this troupe was reawakened, entertaining an entirely new and grateful audience. I count myself as one of those grateful audience members, though hardly new, ever since I first caught their deliciously bizarre act back in 1969 at the Palace! Hopefully this amazing show will run again!

    WOMEN’S MARCH SAN FRANCISCO, 2020 4th Rally & March, is on Saturday, January 18, 11 am to 3 pm at Civic Center Plaza. The theme is “Together We Rise.” This is a grassroots organization run by 100% volunteers, who are self-created, self-managed, and self-funded and have been since its creation on November 19, 2016. WMSF is led by local community activists working to unify and empower everyone who stands for human rights, civil liberties, and social justice for all through intersectionality and community work. https://bit.ly/2tSztgS

    Thomasina De Maio presents her FIREFIGHTERS PORTRAIT SHOW (40 paintings of firefighters, some of whom saved the Castro via Sister Dana’s window). Thomasina is having a free reception at Eureka Valley Rec Center on January 18, 6 to 9 pm. It features live entertainment from Tribal Baroque and blues by Irene McCalphlin.

    Sister Dana sez, “Hey, DarnOldTrump, please don’t send us into another unnecessary war just because you want to take the national interest off Impeachment and Removal! We see what you’re trying to do!”

    Published on January 16, 2020