Sooooooo, the SF Pride Parade happened, and that was way fantastic! Sister Dana was the rainbow nun (wearing rainbow habit, rainbow veil, and every kind of rainbow necklace imaginable) standing high atop the Bay Times “Kiss Your Sweetie” bus – blowing kisses to the crowd, receiving some back, and flashing love and peace signs. Then it was the VIP party in the City Hall Rotunda in the Jazz Room starring Connie Champagne as Judy Garland doing her classics; Jason Brock singing his famous “Empire State of Mind” and other goodies; and DQ Daft-Nee Gesuntheit impersonating Barbra, Cher, and Liza – changing characters while sexy dancers Bobby Barnaby & Giamaica Zeidler entertained. WOWZERS!
DAZZLE – BROADWAY… OUR WAY! was the Pride Concert from the sensational SFGAY MEN’S CHORUS, who sang songs from Avenue Q, Dreamgirls, Kinky Boots, Rent, The Sound of Music, South Pacific, Sunday in the Park with George, West Side Story, and more – but most with their own special queerifying touches (for instance, changing the revoltingly funny “Springtime for Hitler” into ‘Pridetime for Putin” along with gay goosestepping pink “soldiers” in leather shorts. Guest soprano, Tony-winning Laura Benanti treated us to “I’m Old Fashioned,” “Unusual Way” from Nine, (which she dueted on Broadway with Antonio Banderas), “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “Model Behavior” from Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (a model in Spain leaving increasingly faster and more desperate messages to her girlfriend back in the states), and singing with SFGMC “Leap” from I Am Harvey Milk, which all of them sang at last year’s Pride Concert. Her singing is superb; but her witty patter is even better! The Chorus sang “If You Were Gay” (“but I’m not gay…”), “La Vie Boheme” from Rent, and “To Life” from Fiddler on the Roof. Lollipop Guild sang a very jittery “Coffee in a Cardboard Cup.” SFGMC performed a dramatic “Send in the Clowns” and also “Tonight” from West Side Story, closing out the first act with “Raise You Up” and “Just Be” from Kinky Boots, complete with a kinda kinky DQ chorus line.
Act Two opened with “Hello” from The Book of Mormon, featuring Vocal Minority and an Elder Price coming out gay. The Chorus changed into loud Hawaiian shirts and sailor caps for a “Suite from South Pacific,” with some rather freaky drag queens playing Honeybun and some hot guys in nuttin’ but towels doing “Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair.” Sunday in the Park with George was dazzling with SFGMC’s new sparkly red ties. Dreamgirls’ “Steppin’ to the Bad Side” was especially “criminal” with the bad guys from SWAG singing. Bringing the mood down a bit was “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” (Les Miserables), “No One is Alone” (Into the Woods), and “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again” (Phantom). Lightening the mood a bit was “Light” from Next to Normal. Bringing the show to a fabulous finish was Laura and everyone singing “Climb Every Mountain” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” A stellar show to be sure!
SF GIANTS LGBT NIGHT OUT at AT&T Park last Thursday started out really fun with the glorious SF Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band playing and the fabulous Cheer SF cheerleading in Seals Plaza at Marina Gate for the pre-party. They also played on the field, as did our Giants versus the Cincinnati Reds. At the pre-party, some dude in a Reds jacket dared to show up. Did we beat him up? No! But we did give him a thoroughly queer booooo! On the big board at the top of the 5th inning scrolled: “Best of luck to all the SF athletes going to Gay Games in August!” The score was 1-0 Reds. I was rather disappointed that on LGBT Night, the Kiss Cam showed NO queers smooching. Before the 7th inning stretch, it was Reds = 3, Giants= goose egg. We all sang along with the Band, “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” At the bottom of the 8th, I didn’t feel much like singing along to “Don’t Stop Believin’” because frankly I was starting to stop believing. G-fans were bailing like rats from a sinking ship. Top of the 9th, and we could still do it. Nope. We lost 3 to 1. But on the half-empty/half-full glass tip, at least it wasn’t a shut-out! And we did come home with way kewl “I rainbow-heart SF” souvenir drawstring backpacks! So not a total loss.
VEGAS IS OUT was a fun Pride party at Hotel Vitale put on by LasVegas.com and Stoli vodka, produced by the always clever Patrik Gallineaux. Naturally I wore my lucky rainbow dice necklace for the occasion. They served Moscow Mules in way kewl metal mugs and something called The Squeeze in rainbow color-changing martini glasses – both Stoli based. Best yet was the XLNT schwag they gave away, including a device you pressed, and a fan whirled to reveal changing circular rainbow neon colors. Also rainbow dog tags and key chains. I was totes rainbowed out!
It couldn’t possibly be Pride Weekend without the 16TH ANNUAL PRIDE BRUNCH (which raised over $42,000 for POSITIVE RESOURCE CENTER last year and even more for PRC this year) perpetually hosted by Gary Virginia & Donna Sachet at Hotel Whitcomb. Senator Mark Leno, wearing pink on Pink Saturday, spoke about the SF Compton Cafeteria Uprising back in 1966 for transgender rights. We were entertained by the delightful Dixieland Dykes+3 and got up close and personal with the Grand Marshals. Author/activist Judy Grahn gave an incredible history of the Mattachine Society and read a riveting poem urging us to stay centered and keep redefining. Dr. Ted McIlvenna, (age 82) Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality president, said as a United Methodist clergyman, he heard the voice of God “granting us 300 extra orgasms.” Surprise guest Lea DeLaria, star of Orange is the New Black, did a hilarious stand-up routine as her old persona, Effin Dyke, back at her early days in ‘82 at the Valencia Rose. Veteran (literally from the military) trans activist Felicia Elizondo spoke how proud she was that the only transgender named after a street (at a celebration prior) was exquisite trans DQ Vicki Marlane whose street on 100 Turk is now “Vicki Mar Lane.” Elizondo introduced Jamie Wolfe, representing Organizational Grand Marshal Trans March, to speak about the successful March the day before. Comical talk show host Ross Mathews told DeLaria (regarding her OitNB character), “I will be your prison bitch any day, and my name will be MuffinTop!”
Longtime trans activist (participated during the Stonewall Riots) Miss Major Griffin-Gracy swore like a sailor and encouraged us to keep up the fight! Housing rights activist Tommi Avicolli Mecca exhorted we need to stop the horrible Ellis Act evictions. Youngest ever Grand Marshall (16) trans teen Jewlyes Gutierrez spoke of her being bullied and wrongfully arrested in her Hercules, CA, school. Speaking for also wrongfully imprisoned Chelsea Manning, trans and peace activist, was Lauren McNamara, who said since Manning could not be here, we have to be her voice. South African attorney and global human rights advocate Melanie Nathan spoke passionately of the atrocities in Africa – especially Uganda and the “Kill the Gays” law. Closing out the brunch was sensational Sachet singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” with her special improvised lyrics.
THE RICHMOND/ERMET AIDS FOUNDATION (REAF) presented a delightful ONE NIGHT ONLY BENEFIT CABARET with company members from the national touring cast of ONCE at Club Fugazi and special guest stars: David Burnham & Mark Vogel dueted “Because I Knew You” from Wicked and Vogel played keyboards for Burnham’s stunning solo “Over the Rainbow” from Wizard of Oz. Sharon McNight was her usual brash and brassy self singing “Sharon’s Song” about living “in the meantime.” Spencer Day jazzed it up with his deep baritone “Missing Tonight.” Emcee Matt DeAngelis gave a rousing “Wagon Wheel.”
The cast did several songs and jigs from the ONCE pre-show, as well as showcasing many of their own original pieces. Several stand-out classics: Tina Stafford’s “Black Coffee” and Noel Coward’s drunken “I Went to a Marvelous Party” (“and I couldn’t have liked it more”); Donna Gardner’s ever-accelerating snipe “If You Hadn’t But You Did;” Christine Bokhour’s sexy “All That Jazz;” and Matt Wolpe & Tiffany Topol running through every imaginable 90s golden oldie in a manic mash-up.
Since 1987, AIDS WALK SAN FRANCISCO has raised more than $82 million for lifesaving HIV prevention, testing, and care programs and services, and has grown into the largest AIDS fundraising event in Northern California. The AIDS Walk is July 20th in Golden Gate Park. aidswalk.net/sanfran.
Sister Dana sez, “The ink is barely dry on the Supreme Court›s Hobby Lobby decision, but already conservative Repugnicans are trying to use ‘religious freedom’ as a justification for firing people simply because they’re gay. OUTRAGEOUS!!!”