Sister Dana Sez: Words of Wisdumb From a Fun Nun

sisterdanaBy Sister Dana Van Iquity

Sister Dana sez, “June 3rd is Election Day. Queer the vote: get out and vote for the out candidates whenever possible!”

HARVEY MILK STAMP UN­VEILING was held at Harvey Milk Plaza in the Castro Station on the of f icial HARVEY MILK DAY, May 22nd, to the excitement of the assembled crowd. Castro/Upper Market Community Benefit District Executive Director Andrea Aiello introduced Branton Burke, editor of California Stamp News, whose idea it was to have this special celebration in the Castro. He said within two and a half hours, every single Harvey Milk stamp of a 10,000 run had sold out at the local post office. Castro District Supervisor Scott Wiener spoke of the importance of the stamp to show queer visibility everywhere. Veteran activist Cleve Jones handed out post cards created by MILK movie author Dustin Lance Black to be addressed to the Sultan of Bru­nei demanding he resign as Beverly Hills Hotel CEO for supporting his country’s murdering of homosexu­als. Jones said while this celebration would have pleased Milk, he would have been ashamed of the terrible disparity and inequality of income and housing in the City. Journalist Wayne Friday commented how Milk would be thrilled to have a mov­ie, a play, a book, and a stamp in his name. City Treasurer Jose Cisne­ros noted it would be an act of activ­ism every time someone mailed a let­ter with Harvey’s face on the stamp. As a huge replica of the stamp was revealed, the crowd hooted, hollered, and blew their safety whistles in ap­preciation. The ceremony concluded with everyone singing “The Happy Birthday Song” to Harvey.

THE NORMAL HEART premiered at the Castro Theatre on Harvey Milk Day, starring Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Julia Roberts, Jim Parsons, and Alfred Molina. Based on the Tony award—winning play by AIDS activist and author, Larry Kramer, the gut—wrench­ing, tear—jerking movie is brilliantly directed by Ryan Murphy (Glee) and co—produced by Dante Di Loreto (who spoke on stage, stressing the fight against AIDS is far from over). Frameline teamed up with HBO TV to screen the film that began running on HBO on May 25th. Frameline Acting Executive Director Frances Wallace welcomed everyone, re­minding them of the upcoming June 19th—29th SF International LGBT Film Festival. HBO Development Director Tara Grace noted the ab­solute joy working with cast and crew on a project decades in the making. The f ilm graphically, brutally, un­f linchingly depicts the onset of the HIV—AIDS crisis in New York City in the early 1980s — and the politics, phobias, and grassroots activism that came with this then unknown plague. Do NOT miss this sure fire Emmy winner!

The mission of AIDS LEGAL RE­FERRAL PANEL (ALRP) is to help people with HIV/AIDS main­tain or improve their health by re­solving their legal issues — providing free and low—cost legal services to people with HIV/AIDS in the Bay Area. ALRP celebrated their sup­porters at Sinbad’s on Pier 2. ALRP Executive Director Bill Hirsh was joined by Board members and Major Gifts Committee Co—Chairs Hai­ley Hibler and Matt Richards in honoring Karl Christiansen of Wells Fargo Law Department with the James C. Hormel Philanthropist Award, and the Eviction Defense Collaborative with the Community Partner Award, accepted by EDC Executive Director Tyler MacMil­lan.

Over the last 33 years, ACADEMY OF FRIENDS has distributed over $8.6 million to more than 73 orga­nizations serving people affected by HIV/AIDS. Funding for these agen­cies is supported primarily at their Annual Academy Awards Night Gala. Board Chair Howard Edel­man and Vice Chair Matthew Denckla distributed checks at a cocktail party at Westin St. Francis to Maitri, Pets Are Wonderful Support, Project Open Hand, LGBTQ Con­nection in Napa, Clinica Esperanza, and Shanti Project.

More than 1,500 people from across the country attended the NATION­AL CENTER FOR LESBIAN RIGHTS (NCLR) 37TH ANNI­VERSARY CELEBRATION — emceed by comic Kate Clinton at the Marriot Marquis — to mark vic­tories in the movement for LGBTQ equality and to honor those who have become role models through their unfailing commitment to justice. Actor Meredith Baxter received the Visibility Award, which honors an individual who has helped to give voice and visibility to the LGBTQ community. Baxter gained fame on hit television shows like Family Ties, The Faculty, and Cold Case, and is a relentless and tireless advocate for queer equality. Survivors of so— called “conversion therapy,” Ryan Kendall and Sam Brinton, re­ceived the Courage Award, honoring individuals who have shown courage and perseverance in the face of great injustice, and whose bravery has be­come a model for all LGBTQ people. Kendall and Brinton shared their personal stories highlighting the ter­rible harms caused by these practices. They have testified to help California and New Jersey pass laws stopping mental health professionals from try­ing to change young people’s sexual orientation or gender expression. Many states have since introduced similar legislation, and both Kendall and Brinton continue to advocate for these groundbreaking protections for other young people. Executive Direc­tor Kate Kendell spoke of the many triumphs for civil rights achieved, and the fights for rights to come.

CUMMING UP!

BLOOM is the annual festive fun­draiser for A&PI WELLNESS CENTER featuring hosted bar and a menagerie of restaurant sponsors to enjoy – all while delighting in a live performance by Monistat. Thursday, May 29th, 6:30—9:30pm, City View at Metreon, 135 Fourth Street, 4th Floor. apiwellness.org

NATIONAL HIV/AIDS LONG— TERM SURVIVOR’S AWARE­NESS DAY is June 5th, presented by LetsKickASS.org, with HEART CIRCLE & TREE PLANTING in the National AIDS Memorial Grove, 10:30am—12:30pm. Register for free transportation at summit­transport.eventbrite.com. Same day is AIDS SURVIVORS SUMMIT from 1—9pm at SF LGBT Commu­nity Center, 1800 Market Street (free but registration required: aidssur­vivorssummit2014.eventbrite.com). Also from 1—6pm at The Communi­ty Center is THE EXPO with infor­mation tables staffed by local AIDS organizations. Join them for any part of the day or evening activities, where something is going on all day until 9pm. aidssurvivorssummit.org

EYE ZEN & COUNTERPULSE present HOMO FILE as part of the National Queer Arts Festival, writ­ten and directed by Seth Eisen, at CounterPULSE, 1310 Mission Street, May 30—June 15, Fridays, Saturdays 8pm, Sundays 7pm. Homo File chronicles queer iconoclast Sam Steward — the sexiest professor on campus; seminal tattoo artist, author of pioneering homoerotic fiction; and sexual rebel. counterpulse.org

Celebrate EVIE LEDER: THE OB­JECTS on view at ASC Projects May 30th—June 29th, 3150 18th Street, #104 (entrance on Treat Avenue). ASC PROJECTS is pleased to pres­ent “The Objects,” featuring a new series of approximately 30 videos, along with a series of detail photo­graphs and video stills by San Fran­cisco—based filmmaker and video artist Evie Leder. The studies of men — a diverse group of perform­ers and artists in the San Francisco queer scene — are meant as col­laborative frames to allow the sub­jects’ humanness to slowly appear, continuing the artists’ interest in gender, power, identity, and the ten­sions inherent within the medium of video. “The Objects” coincides with Frameline, and is supported in part by the San Francisco Arts Commis­sion. Reception is Friday, May 30th, 7—9pm.

You are cordially invited to THE RICHMOND/ERMET AIDS FOUNDATION’s HELP IS ON THE WAY 20 KICK—OFF PAR­TY, “That’s Info-tainment,” Thurs­day, June 5th, 6-8pm, at Nespresso , 90 Grant Street. Enjoy complimen­tary wine, Ketel One cocktails, ap­petizers, and drinks by Nespresso. Singer extraordinaire Jason Brock performs. REAF’s 20th Anniversary fundraiser, “Help is on the Way” gala, happens August 24th at the Palace of Fine Arts Theater. RSVP with your names by June 2nd to info@richmondermet.org or call (415) 273-1620.

The City of San Francisco is saluting 40 YEARS OF STEVE SILVER’S BEACH BLANKET BABYLON on Friday, June 6th, noon at San Fran­cisco City Hall (see pages 13—15). Free admission, but space is limited.

MR. IRRESISTIBLE is a new Sci-Fi Musical Comedy Thriller written by D’Arcy Drollinger and Chris­topher Winslow, June 4th- 8th, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Sat­urday 8pm; Sunday 7pm. Alcazar Theatre, 650 Geary Street. Based on Aesop’s fable, The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing. Described as “The Termi­nator meets Ugly Betty.” mrirresist­iblemusical.com or (415) 766-4588.

Enjoy the fabulous views at the world famous Tom and Jerry Christmas Tree House, featuring live music from Band ensembles, select Califor­nia wines, and a gourmet luncheon. Proceeds support the SAN FRAN­CISCO LESBIAN/GAY FREE­DOM BAND. Saturday, June 7th, 2-5pm, 3650 21st Street. musicand­wine.bpt.me

PEARLS OVER SHANGHAI, The Cockettes’ amazeballs mu­sical and comic mock—operetta (5th Anniversary Revival) extends through June 28 — due to heavy demand, sold—out houses, and stellar reviews. Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays, 8pm at The Hypno­drome, 575 10th Street and Bryant. thrillpeddlers.com

Pornucopia: flick pick of the week is Edge: Turn It Up, falconstudios.com. It’s edgy!

Sister Dana sez, “Senator Patty Murray and Senator Mark Udall have introduced the Social Se­curity and Marriage Equality Act. We have to speak out now to build support for this important legislation. The SAME Act will ensure survivor benefits to any legally married persons regardless of their state of residence or their marriage ceremony location. Tell Congress: a marriage is a marriage, and our Social Security system belongs to all of us!”