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    Sister Dana sez, “I wish everyone a HAPPY FATHER’S DAY (June 16) to all the Fathers (Gay and Straight and Leather Daddies) who mean so much to our community.”

    By Sister Dana Van Iquity–

    Sister Dana sez, “I wish everyone a HAPPY FATHER’S DAY (June 16) to all the Fathers (Gay and Straight and Leather Daddies) who mean so much to our community. Rock on, and You Go, Guys!”

    It was my absolute pleasure to attend the VIP Grand Opening and scissors-cutting ribbon ritual of THE LGBT ASYLUM PROJECT‘s Center for Immigrant Protection’s brand-new offices in the heart of San Francisco’s Castro District, 526 Castro Street on May 30. The LGBT Asylum Project is a nonprofit organization that provides pro-bono legal representation for LGBT immigrants who are fleeing persecution and seeking asylum in the United States. Past clients of The LGBT Asylum Project shared their heart-wrenching stories on video; founders Okan Sengun and Brooke Westling discussed the asylum process; Supervisor Rafael Mandelman presented the Certificate of Honor from the unanimous Board of Supervisors; and Asylum Project board members were on hand to explain how to help those who need help. https://www.lgbtasylumproject.org/

    AIDS/LIFECYCLE was co-produced by the LOS ANGELES LGBT CENTER AND SAN FRANCISCO AIDS FOUNDATION on June 2–8. It was designed to advance their shared interest to reduce new HIV infections and to improve the quality of life for people living with HIV/AIDS. As part of this event, thousands of people participated as either Cyclists, Roadies, Volunteers, or Virtual Cyclists to raise critically needed funds for HIV/AIDS-related services and bring to light the fact that HIV/AIDS is still a devastating disease in our society, particularly the LGBT community and communities of color. 

    Mayor London Breed unveiled her budget proposal for Fiscal Years (FY) 2019–2020 and 2020–2021. It includes important new investments in programs to create more housing, prevent homelessness and transition people into services and housing, clean the city’s streets, provide behavioral health treatment, and ensure that the city government is working for all San Franciscans. 

    The Trump administration will launch a human rights panel that stresses anti-gay “natural law,” which is one of the religious right’s favorite phrases for why they oppose LGBTQ rights. Disgraceful! 

    A PRIVATE PARTY for TENDERLOIN TESSIE invited everyone who has volunteered, did fundraising or attended one of the Tenderloin Tessie holiday dinners every year. The nonprofit, all volunteer organization has been feeding the community of San Francisco on Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas for over 40 years. The event was held on June 1 at Manny’s in the Mission with emcees Board President Michael Gagne and Grants Administrator Marilyn MurrilloState Senator Scott Wiener handed out Certificates of Recognition to outstanding volunteers. Gagne also gave certificates to volunteers, including The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence who serve at these gatherings every time. I accepted the award for us. Senator Wiener spoke of the necessity during these terrible Trump times (my words, not his) of thinking and acting locally to result globally, and the importance of Tenderloin Tessie dinners for the homeless and sick people in the Bay Area with events at the Universal Church. One of the features of these dinners is always the live entertainment of Gagne singing with the Songstress of TT, Vanessa Bousay. They do lovely duets and also take turns doing solos—usually hit Broadway tunes that we can sometimes sing along with. Both sang gorgeously at this event. DQ Vanessa can really belt ’em out! https://www.facebook.com/TenderloinTessieHolidayDinners/

    Sister Dana sez, “The Trump administration is rejecting requests to fly rainbow flags during LGBTQ Pride month in at least four U.S embassies. Yet only a week ago he promised that his administration would be standing in ‘solidarity’ with the many LGBTQ people around the world who are oppressed.”

    SAN FRANCISCO BAY TIMES team members and friends enjoyed A TOAST TO PRIDE 2019 on June 2 at Canela Bistro & Wine Bar in the Castro. We heard beautiful music by Dr. Dee Spencer while sipping Napa Cellars wine. Donna Sachet welcomed everyone and introduced Canela Chef Mat Schuster. It was delightful to toast and celebrate the arrival of Pride Season. We also toasted to the leaders of the San Francisco Bay Times/”Betty’s List” contingent in the upcoming SF Pride Parade on Sunday, June 30. Sister Dana will be the Rainbow Nun once again, waving and blowing kisses atop a bus full of excited proud parade celebrants. 

    1. JAMES INFIRMARYcommemorated their20TH YEAR ANNIVERSARY GALA on June 2 at Terra Gallery. The Infirmary has been celebrating lives saved and improved health for thousands of sex workers and their families in our community for twenty years. They raised $156,000 that night. The gala was hosted by actor Dale Johannes. Special guests included delicious diva Jennifer Holliday singing “The Way We Were” followed by her iconic “And I Am Telling You” from Dreamgirls; and always funny delightful dyke comic Marga Gomez; along with American Idol‘s Lawrence Beaman singing “Lean on Me.” The after-party was hosted by Sister Roma with Micah Tron performing. https://stjamesinfirmary.org

    GOOGLE celebrated STONEWALL 50 at Google headquarters on The Embarcadero on June 3. There they unveiled the next designs for RAINBOW HONOR WALK plaques to be installed on Market Street. Donna Sachet sang her version of “It Had to Be You,” changing the lyrics to “It had to be LGBTQ.” Supervisor Rafael Mandelman lauded the RHW. The Rainbow Honor Walk features bronze sidewalk plaques that honor LGBTQ individuals who have made a significant difference to society in California, the U.S., or elsewhere around the world. Now spanning several blocks (and growing!), the Rainbow Honor Walk is educational and inspirational for all who walk with some of the greatest and bravest pioneers in modern history. The criteria for all nominations to be honored with an RHW sidewalk plaque are as follows: self-expressed LGBTQ individuals, now deceased, who made significant contributions in their fields. “LGBT history is world history,” said Rainbow Honor Walk Co-Founder and Board President David Perry. “These 24 individuals represent real battles fought during their lifetimes for equality, equity and justice. They are symbols to hold up to future generations so that we may learn from them and continue their work.” http://rainbowhonorwalk.org/

    PAWS (PETS ARE WONDERFUL SUPPORT), a program of SHANTI PROJECT (in operation for 45 years) celebrated at the Fairmont hotel on June 6 with their annual PETCHITECTURE gala. These events always stand out, because attendees are encouraged to bring their dog companions on leash to join in the fun. My tabby cat, Panther, was of course not allowed. Event emcee was Board of Supervisors member Catherine Stefani. There was a display of two dog houses and two feline domiciles on which to bid. This was fewer than other years’ pet homes offered. The always awesome Lenny Broberg flew in from Palm Springs to lead the auctions in his inimitable style. There was an additional opportunity for one dog owner and one cat owner to bid on their pets to become PAWS Animal Idols of the Year. This year was special in recognizing one of the most impactful individuals in PAWS’ thirty-two-year history! Former PAWS Executive Director John L. Lipp received the 2019 Dede Wilsey Champion of the Human Bond Award from Dede Wilsey herself. Lipp, a person with and advocating for Parkinson’s disease, was executive director of PAWS from 2004 to 2011. We heard a touching testimony from 25-year client of PAWS, Richard Smallcomb, an AIDS survivor who has been supported by his dog. PAWS Executive Director Kaushik Roy noted that over the past year, PAWS has served 600 clients and 800 beloved companion animals. He spoke of the healing compassion—no matter what else is happening in our world—that we can always count on from our pets for unconditional love. (See page 32 for more about Petchitecture.)

    Sister Dana sez, “What would ‘TRUMP’ be as an acronym? ‘Tyrannical Racist Ugly Misogynist Pig.”

    Inspired by the golden and silver age comics of Marvel and DC, Cheyne Gallarde re-imagines drag queens as superheroes and villains all month long at STRUT, 470 Castro. With their amazing transformations and over-the-top personas, drag queens are the modern-day superheroes that the world needs today. Cheyne’s work, COMIC BOOK QUEEROES, is nostalgic, celebrating the sentimental look and grit of vintage comics while putting a modern twist on it. On June 7, Strut held a reception for this multi-faceted artist born and raised in Hawaii. Prior to illustration, Cheyne was an award-winning fashion photographer and also a drag queen himself. During an exclusive interview with me, Cheyne revealed his former DQ name was “Rhonda Corner.” Cheyne’s illustration work is quintessential pop art. Of course, I was immediately drawn to “San Francisco Superheroes Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence,” and this, which I adore: “fighting against bigotry and hate with fierceness.” Others I like are Heroes of History: Harvey Milk, “the Political Visionary Power by Hope;” many, many, many RuPaul Drag Superstars “revealing” their superpowers; and Miss Major is a total Trans Activist Superhero. For more of this “sassy artist” Cheyne, go to www.dragpopart.com  

    Sister Dana sez, “Fifty years after the Stonewall riots in New York, the LGBTQ community and allies still stand together worldwide in June to celebrate LGBTQ Pride! And don’t those rainbow flags look fabulous all along Market Street?!”

    New York’s police commissioner, James P. O’Neill, apologized June 6 on behalf of the Police Department for officers’ actions during the STONEWALL RIOT, the seminal 1969 clash outside a Greenwich Village club that is widely regarded as a turning point for the modern gay rights movement.

    Over a decade ago, the person who bought the iconic RAINBOW FLAG APARTMENTS at 324 Larkin took down our flag and chiseled the name off the front of the building. But Q FOUNDATION refuses to let our communities be erased and have been in the wings waiting for the moment to reclaim queer history in the Civic Center Pride Celebration area. On June 11, we were invited to join Q Foundation, Mayor Breed, Supervisors Mandelman, Haney and others for the re-inauguration and Rainbow Flag and plaque installation of the GILBERT BAKER RAINBOW FLAG APARTMENTS in honor of the work of our beloved GilbertBaker—activist, visionary designer, Sister of Perpetual Indulgence and vexillographer (flag maker) behind the iconic Rainbow Flag, an international symbol of LGBTQ pride developed in this our very own Tenderloin/Civic Center neighborhood! https://qfoundation.networkforgood.com/

    Sister Dana sez, “Pride is going full steam ahead in EssEff with so many prideful events, such as the following.”

    Pride Month wouldn’t be complete without the phenomenal concerts from the SAN FRANCISCO GAY MEN’S CHORUS! On June 21 and 22, join SFGMC at The Sydney Goldstein Theater, 275 Hayes Street, for QUEENS: Celebrating 50 Years of Pride, commemorating the gay rights movement and all those who make us proud—including everybody’s favorite songs made famous by stars like Elton John, Sylvester, Lady Gaga, RuPaul, Judy Garland and MORE! “Queens” also features special guest appearances from celebrity drag queens, including Donna Sachet, Heklina, Kylie Minono, and others. https://www.sfgmc.org/welcome/

    FRAMELINE: the San Francisco International LGBTQ+ Film Festival returns for its 43rd edition from June 20–30. This year’s slate includes 59 films screening for the first time in the U.S., including 22 world premieres, 8 international premieres, 12 North American premieres, and 17 U.S. premieres. The lineup also contains a record-breaking 22 first narrative features. Pick up a copy of the booklet available everywhere or check out https://www.frameline.org/

    Start your San Francisco Pride off right with the 3RD ANNUAL SISTER ACT SING-ALONG PRIDE MASS in Grace Cathedral on Wednesday June 26t at 6:30 pm as we sing all of your favorite Sister Act songs—from “Hail Holy Queen” to “Joyful, Joyful”—with an empowering Pride message from author, pastor and activist, Brandan Robertson, followed by reception, book signing and interview. Oh, and don’t be afraid to wear your fiercest outfit! I’ll be in nun drag, of course. 

    THEATRE RHINOCEROS presents ACTION HERO, a cool new play by John Fisher at Phoenix Theatre, 414 Mason Street, now through June 6. http://therhino.org/

    D’Arcy Drollinger presents two brand new episodes of the smash-hit drag parody, SEX AND THE CITY LIVE! Now through July 13, in its 8th year, the uproarious send-up of HBO’s beloved series is back at the Oasis in time for Pride month! Relive some of your favorite Sex and the City moments with this hilarious drag cast. https://sfoasis.com/events/sex-and-the-city-live

    Sister Dana sez, “The Mueller Report stated: ‘If we had confidence the President did not commit a crime, we would have said so.’ Enough with the double negatives already! Not not?!”