Sister Dana sez, “Well, yippee, it’s income tax time. And on April 17, most of America’s wealthiest citizens will no longer be paying Social Security taxes for 2014. The average member of the 1% of wage earners won’t pay into our Social Security system for the last seven months out of the year. Payroll contributions are only paid on the first $117,000. Even while Paul Ryan’s new budget proposes new tax cuts for these millionaires and billionaires, they don’t even pay Social Security taxes for the whole year. Yes, because they’re the job creators, right?!”
Onto less taxing news… THE LGBT COMMUNITY CENTER’s annual fundraising soiree, A JAZZ TRIBUTE TO SF’S BEAT GENERATION, was held at City View at the Metreon. It featured a hosted bar, gourmet morsels, photo booths, music, dancing, and live entertainment by talented drag queens and other performers. It gave beatniks, hipsters, poets, and romantics the chance to celebrate and support all the ways in which the Center inspires our community to be stronger, healthier, and more fabulous. Senator Mark Leno presented a proclamation.
Now realize how much I love the Center, but I have to complain about the venue. Close to a thousand people attended, but there were way too few bars to serve them. Each bar had lines five deep and stretched all the way to the rear. Also, the food ran out way too early. Perhaps this could be considered when planning next year’s soiree. Just sayin’. Here’s a thought: why not hold the next soiree IN the actual Community Center? No rental fee, bar could be donated, all four floors could serve food and entertainment. It’s a way to get people INTO the Center. And isn’t that the goal of the Center?
THE LESBIAN/GAY CHORUS OF SAN FRANCISCO and CITY SWING presented SWING BREAK, an evening of singing and big band jazz at the Mission Cultural Center. Since 1984, City Swing, an 18-piece big band, has delighted audiences by bringing to life the sounds of big band jazz and its greatest composers. LGCSF Artistic and Music Director William Sauerland (who mostly sang and only partially directed this time) and City Swing Conductor and Trumpeter Bradley Connlain were co-hosts. Local treasure Tom Reardon gave two mesmerizing solos, “Come Fly with Me” and “Luck Be a Lady.” LGCSF’s full chorus, soloists, and small groups shared the stage with the band. We were enchanted by such vocal classics as an a cappella “Tenderly,” “Orange Colored Sky,” and “Chattanooga Choo Choo” (soloed by John Gulloto), and instrumental selections by Count Basie, Duke Ellington, and Glenn Miller. Before and after the show, mostly same-sex couples got to show off their swing dance steps.
“I’ve Got a Gal in Kalamazoo” featured Sauerland, Gullotto, Linda Rodriguey, and Fernando Ruelos. The trio of Wendy Tobias, Scott Turco, and Dale Danley gave a vivacious “Pep, Vim, and Verve.” The quartet of Tobias, Sauerland, Ruelos, and Gullotto crooned a dreamy “Moonlight Serenade.” The entire Chorus showed off their snazzy new silver and black vests as well as their silver throated singing. And how better to end a swinging evening than the Chorus doing “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got that Swing)!”
SHANTI PROJECT presented their 13th Anniversary Margot Murphy Breast Cancer Program event, DOUBLE DOWN FOR SHANTI at the City Club of San Francisco. They provided casino games (Sister Dana was on a roll at the roulette table, but then got cocky and went belly up), cocktails, entertainment, silent auction, and a short inspirational program.
“There are few events in life more heart-breaking than being with a loved one and watching him or her succumb to a life-threatening disease,” said Executive Director Kaushik Roy. “Some of our most loyal supporters are precisely such individuals. Often, they share with me that, as difficult as it is to lose someone to illness, it is through that process that they discover a reservoir of strength and compassion in themselves that may otherwise not have surfaced.”
The event directly benefited Shanti’s Margot Murphy Breast Cancer Program, which provides care navigation, advocacy, emotional support, and health and wellness activities for more than 450 women with breast cancer annually. Shanti honored Tracy Curtis, past Shanti board member and an amazing community leader. Curtis has helped to raise needed funding. Wells Fargo is Shanti’s presenting sponsor and the workplace of Ms. Curtis, Regional President. Senator Mark Leno presented Certificates of Recognition to both Curtis and Shanti.
Each year EQUALITY CALIFORNIA (EQCA) honors the inspirational leaders and outstanding allied organizations whose selfless work helps create a better world for all people. Equality California is the largest statewide LGBTQ advocacy organization in California working to secure full and lasting equality for and acceptance of queer people. Over the past decade, EQCA has partnered with social justice advocates, businesses, grassroots supporters, and legislative leaders to strategically move California from a state with extremely limited legal protections for queer people to a state with some of the most comprehensive human rights protections in the nation. EQCA, together with our allies, has successfully sponsored more than 85 pieces of pro-equality legislation. THE EQUALITY AWARDS-SF was held at the Palace Hotel. The event recognizes the achievements of the organization, its sponsors, members, staff and volunteers, as well as the LGBTQ community. Scott Shafer, KQED correspondent, acted as emcee. Executive Director John O’Connor spoke of the 13 states plus D.C. with marriage equality, and the fact that more and more states are coming to the right side of history every day. “We’re at the tipping point,” he said. He put in a big plug for openly gay David Campos, who is running for State Assembly.
David Campos, San Francisco Supervisor (see story on page 1), presented SF Director of Health Barbara Garcia as Leadership Award Honoree; Fiona Ma, former Assemblymember, presented SF City Attorney Hon. Dennis Herrera, as Vanguard Award Honoree; and Terrance Heath presented transgender activist and technology entrepreneur Dr. Vivienne Ming as State Farm Good Neighbor Award Honoree. Frenchie Davis, finalist on TV’s American Idol , sang two equality emblematic songs: “Firework” by Katy Perry and “We Found Love in a Hopeless Place.”
RICHMOND/ERMET AIDS FOUNDATION held a fun fundraiser at Marines Memorial Theatre, BIG GAY COMEDY SHOW, produced by executive directors Ken Henderson and Joe Seiler. It was an evening of outrageous stand-up and musical comedy by an amazing group of performers including Bruce Vilanch, Shawn Ryan, Shann Carr, Marga Gomez, Ali Mafi, Kitty Tipata, Katya Smirnoff-Skyy, Jason Brock, Marga Gomez, Cassandra Cass, Leanne Borghesi, and B.O.O.B.S! Hilarity!
The Easter Bunny is hop hop hopping down the bunny trail with THE SISTERS OF PERPETUAL INDULGENCE, beginning with the Sisters’ Archive Exhibition, HOLY THURSDAY! MAGNET CELEBRATES 35 YEARS WITH THE SISTERS, 7-9pm at Magnet (4122 18th Street between Castro and Collingwood Streets). Then COOKIE DOUGH’S MONSTER SHOW: “HOLY BROADWAY” is at The Edge, 9:30pm–12:30am, (4149 18th Street at corner of Collingwood Street), featuring us nuns performing. Good Friday, April 18 is the third annual JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR SING-A-LONG, a benefit for the Trans March with Sisters as ushers at the Victoria Theatre, 7–10pm (2961 16th Street and Mission). Tix on sale at the box office. victoriatheatre.org
Easter Sunday, April 20th is The Sister’s 35th Anniversary, EASTER IN GOLDEN GATE PARK: THE EMERALD JUBILEE, A “TRIP” TO OZ. And since it’s on 4/20 as well as being the Emerald anniversary, this will be The Greenest Easter Ever! NOT held in Dolores Park, as in previous years, it takes place at Hellman Hollow, 50 Overlook Drive, San Francisco (formerly Speedway Meadow), Fulton Street/25th Avenue. Children’s Easter starts at 10am. The Adult show begins noon and ends at 4pm. This could well be the party of the year with attendees encouraged to create their own Wizard of Oz themed costumes. The day will feature some of the old standards as well as all new features. There will be an Easter Egg Hunt and other fun activities for the kids, and our adult show on the main stage featuring music, burlesque, and live entertainment – including our traditional Easter Bonnet Contest and the Hunky Jesus Contest. With the addition of a new one - Foxy Mary Contest. Anyone can enter any of them. Sister Roma and Sister Dana will be judging, as usual. Cum one! Cum all! thesisters.org
And here’s something you can drop into that Easter basket. In a show of support for the National Day of Silence on April 11, JOSEPH NOGUCCI is donating 10% of its proceeds from the sale of the designer jewelry piece titled “the Rainbow Pride Bracelet” to the IT GETS BETTER Project. The National Day of Silence is a day of action in which students across the country vow to take a form of silence to call attention to the silencing effect of anti-LGBTQ bullying and harassment in schools. Wear these lovely bracelets with pride – hand-woven from rhodium-plated charms and hand-finished with brilliant enamel polish using all of the colors in the rainbow. shop.josephnogucci.com
Hotel Nikko San Francisco and Michael Feinstein are thrilled to welcome back THE COUNTESS KATYA SMIRNOFF-SKYY – Gaymerica’s favorite Russian redheaded drag queen – to Feinstein’s at the Nikko, 222 Mason Street, for one-night-only with her hit show, BACK IN THE USSR, A VOYAGE INTO THE BEATLES’ SONGBOOK on Sunday, April 27 at 8pm. Katya will take audiences on a musical adventure that examines her personal relationship with the Fab Four, as only Russia’s (self proclaimed) greatest mezzo-soprano-understudy-turned-Countess, could envision. It’s Abby Road meets The Met with a good dose of cabaret and “popera.” Tix at 866-663-1063 or visit ticketweb.com, russianoperadiva.com
Join LAMBDA LEGAL’s Bay Area Leadership Council for SAN FRANCISCO SOIREE, Friday, April 25th, 6-11pm. Lambda Legal is the nation’s oldest and largest legal organization working for the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, and people with HIV/AIDS. Supporters will learn of Lambda Legal updates while taking in stunning views at City View at Metreon (135 Fourth Street) and enjoying a fantastic dinner. Call (212) 809-8585 ext. 231. lambdalegal.org
One of the community’s most popular spring events, the 10TH ANNUAL OPENHOUSE SPRING FLING is a fundraiser to help ensure that the pioneers of our community – the LGBTQ seniors and older adults who paved the way for our rights and freedom today – can age with dignity, security, and community. This year’s event will honor two individuals who have made outstanding contributions on behalf of queer seniors. Pam David will receive the Founders Award in recognition of her outstanding activism and community leadership, and Openhouse is also proud to honor Judge Vaughn Walker whose courageous ruling on Proposition 8 set the stage for the eventual overturning of that measure by the U.S. Supreme Court. Featuring the song stylings of Jason Brock. Sunday, April 27, 11am to 2pm at Four Seasons Hotel. openhouse-sf.org
PORNUCOPIA: this week’s flick picks are OPEN ROAD, PART ONE AND TWO from ragingstallion.com
MAGNET, the 18th and Castro health hub for gays and bi men, is currently exhibiting LAW OF IDENTITY: PORTRAITS BY MATTHEW WIEGAND. As a portrait artist, Matthew invites viewers to cultivate the skills of seeing themselves through the images of others. If viewers can absorb the beauty of the portrait before them, it will naturally reflect upon their own self. I admit, I may not be unbiased, but my two faves are of Bebe Sweetbriar and Sister Roma.
Sister Dana sez, “See you on Easter in Golden Gate Park, hunny bunny!”