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    Sister Dana Sez,”Hey, Trump, what’s with all the constant overuse of hyperbole…”

    By Sister Dana Van Iquity–

    Sister Dana sez, “Hey, Trump, what’s with all the constant overuse of hyperbole, superlatives, and bluster? ‘the likes of which the world has never seen before’?! Oh puhleeeze, I’m hugely, bigly, tremendously, terrifically, fantastically disgusted! Why don’t you try being presidential for a change?!”

    In April, shocking news broke that gay men were being rounded up and held in concentration camp-like prisons in Chechnya, Russia. Reports claim that more than 100 men were detained, beaten, electrocuted, tortured, and at least three were killed. In response to such accounts of gay concentration camps in Chechnya and President T-rump’s call to ban transgender individuals from U.S. military service, the SISTERS OF PERPETUAL INDULGENCE hosted “STILETTOS FOR SHANGHAI FOR CHECHNYA,” a community event and fundraiser at the Castro Theatre. It was the U.S. premiere of Stilettos for Shanghai, a documentary depicting the drag nuns when they traveled to China for the city’s 2014 Pride festivities. In addition to the screening, there was a VIP cocktail reception, a pre-show performance by drag superstar Honey Mahogany, and several guest speakers. All ticket proceeds and any additional donations went towards two organizations that help LGBTQ people around the world seek refuge and asylum: the ORGANIZATION FOR REFUGE, ASYLUM, & MIGRATION (ORAM), and RAINBOW RAILROAD, which works directly with the Russian LGBT Network in Chechnya. The completed film—which includes interviews with former state Senator Mark Leno and former Assemblyman Tom Ammiano discussing international anti-gay legislation (there are over 70 countries with anti-gay laws on the books)—also includes rare archive footage supplied by the Sisters depicting the early days of the Order.

    STRUT held an opening reception to celebrate their exhibition of the work of internationally-renowned artist, Felix D’Eon. “We are thrilled that he has come all the way from Mexico City where he lives to showcase his epic work with us,” said Baruch Porras-Hernandez, Community Organizer. “His work will be displayed on the first and third floors until the end of September.” D’Eon says he is enamored by history and art-historical styles, and has found through his practice that he is a good mimic of the artwork of different eras. He loves late Edwardian illustration, mid-century children’s books, and golden-era comics, to name a few styles. The work on display at Strut specifically celebrates his Latino heritage; the images play with traditional Mexican fantasies of romance, as imagined by the artists of the golden age of Mexican cinema, Mexican calendar painting, and advertising from the turn of the last century, for example. In these paintings, the tropes of Mexican imagery are inverted, so that queer characters act out the romantic fantasies traditionally embodied by the heteronormative and cis-gendered body. A few of my faves: “Summertime of Love and Lavender Romance,” a butterfly man kisses a man riding on a giant bee; “Midnight in the Trenches” with soldiers carrying on while war is going on above them; and a series of three “Mythological Erotica.” Everything will be on display for all of August. strutsf.org

    THE EUREKA VALLEY NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION (EVNA) held an OPEN HOUSE FOR MEMBERS AND THE CURIOUS AND THE QUESTIONING. Over 50 of us attended. “I hope the meeting helped with everyone’s understanding of the mission and goals of EVNA, its organizational structure, and the process and positions available for those who want to step into leadership and volunteering,” said Mark D. McHale, who facilitated. “Our general meetings will provide the forum for sharing stories, getting educated on issues, coordinating outreach and resources, and giving shape to the scope and efforts of the committees. We need every hand to accomplish our work.” The next EVNA Board Meeting (for board members, general members, and the curious) is September 12, 6:30 pm, Chase Community Room, 15th and Market Streets.

    ARTSAVESLIVES STUDIO AND PERFORMANCE SPACE again hosted the monthly AUGUST RECEPTION AND PARTY” at the spacious gallery at 518 Castro and 18th Streets. Studio curator Thomasina De Maio featured more than 20 local artists such as Jack Mattingly and his mixed media sculptures mostly in gold tone; Bob Burnside (whose small geometric 3-D model interprets the much, much larger version stretching from one wall to another in majestic expansion), Christopher Wood; William O. Webster III; Michael Lownie; Antonio Castellanos (“Joteria: Playing with Pride”—a takeoff on Mexico’s Loteria with 16 LGBTQ-themed cartoon characters); Ed Terpening (local nature and landscape paintings); gorgeous color photography of Bill Haught (especially the purple “Winged Iris”); Michael Staley (who has bugle beaded and Swarovski-crystalled sculptures from toasters to skulls to marital aids); Daniel Lawrence Carniglia (acrylic artist of “St. Archangel Ariel: the Dawn of Destiny;” Fr. John Takahashi, Wil Fredo Santana (a series of mixed media vignettes of mysterious hybrid creatures); lush floral designs by Gary Virginia (“Namaste” and “Global Peace”)—among others. Offering live entertainment were Magnolia Black (singing a bluesy “I Want a Little Sugar in My Bowl” and a sexy “I Just Wanna Make Love to You”); Claudio (giving us thrilling high opera with “O Sole Mio” and “Granada” while a ballet dancer illustrated with vivid choreography); Ruby Vixen with singing, burlesque, fan dancing, and more; Penny Poundcake lip-synching and stripping to “You Light Up My Life” while her dress and headdress literally lit up in sequence; and many others to delight the spirit and the soul.

    Staff and friends of the San Francisco Bay Times assembled for the “SUMMER OF LOVE” Exhibit Tour at the de Young Museum as a celebration of our nice trophy win for the SF LGBTQ PRIDE PARADE contingent. Of course, true to theme, many of us dressed in a variety of tie-dye shirts, bell-bottom pants, peace symbols, “flowers-in-our-hair” and other nods to the ’60s. As we approached the museum, everywhere were ’60s sayings on signs: “Give Earth a Chance;” “Love Is Happening;” “Make Love, Not War;” “Equal Rights;” and “Flower Power.” There were over 450 different pieces as part of the memorable exhibit, which has sadly gone like much of this summer. I was especially interested in the contemporary writers recording the Summer of Love and the free speech movement. We talked about fashion from the miniskirt to cheap vintage clothes at Good Will thrift stores to the blue jeans from Levi’s started here in EssEff in 1967 and the re-appropriation with embroidery and patches to make the clothing your own. We spoke of our patron saint of San Francisco, St. Francis and his teachings of kindness to animals, against war and hate, and for love and acceptance. Psychedelic posters were all the rage—being turned out by the thousands in print shops to advertise upcoming rock shows. That led to checking out the printing process of lithography using ink on stone. We honored Dr. David Smith who created the Haight/Ashbury Free Clinic for poor hippies needing free medical care. We enjoyed colorful light shows that were famous in dance venues—made from oil and food dye on overhead projectors timed to the music. We discussed the ugly President Nixon Watergate scandal and impeachment, which is all too familiar with today and Trump’s scandalous, impeachable activities. All in all, we saw how the “Summer of Love” is not very different from today’s “Winter of Discontent.” At least politically. 

    “DO WHAT THOU WILT”: KENNETH ANGER & THE DAWN OF AQUARIUS was a fascinating talk by curator Joey Cain at the GLBT History Museum. Groundbreaking avant-garde gay film maker Kenneth Anger began expanding the possibilities of cinema in the late 1940s, and his visionary films had a decided influence on the participants in the Summer of Love. A foundational element of Anger’s poetics is the work of bisexual poet and ceremonial “magickian” Aleister Crowley. Cain presented research into Crowley’s homosexuality, philosophy, and system of magick along with excerpts from Anger’s films to elucidate themes in Anger’s ecstatic cinematic dreamscapes.

    THE SISTERS OF PERPETUAL INDULGENCE hosted our annual PROJECT NUNWAY charity fashion show at SOMArts. Project Nunway featured fashion designers paired up with Sisters to create runway looks using recycled and innovative materials. This year’s theme was “SINFINITY”, a sci-fi extravaganza celebrating fashion, diversity, and the Arts in a true San Franciscan way. Special guest judges—Reigning Emperor Nic Hunter; Reigning Empress Mercedes Munro; Alex U. Inn; Queen Dilly Dally; and Francisco Rangela and Stefany Gallante of El/La Para Trans Latinas—chose the winning design with the help of the audience. The winner was Sister Freda Desire by designer Kitty Muentzel. Sister Dana boldly worked the catwalk in a divine creation by Bridget McCracken of Trash Mash-Up. We lost, but we won in fun! The event also featured performances by local San Francisco artists, such as king of Bear-lesque, Devyl Mae KareLanda Lakes lip-synching an emotional “I’m Only Human;” totes gorge singing by Kat Robichaud; and fascinating dance numbers by Lady SatanRasa Vitalia; Stela Furtado; and Mini Minerva. The show was emceed by Sister Hera Sees Candy; Sister Roma, and VivvyAnne ForeverMORE. This year’s beneficiary was EL/LA PARA TRANSLATINAS, an organization for transgender Latinas that works to build collective vision and action to promote survival and improve the quality of life of transgender people in the San Francisco Bay Area. To Sinfinity … and beyond!

    SISTER DANA SEZ, “IF YOU’RE NOT HUNKERED DOWN IN YOUR FALLOUT SHELTER HIDING FROM IMMINENT NUCLEAR ATTACK, CHECK OUT THESE FUN EVENTS ABOVE GROUND!”

    “GAPA Runway 29: SLAYYY-vatar” The Legend of GAPA is Saturday, August 26, 7 pm at Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Avenue. Water. Earth. Fire. Air. Long ago, there was harmony throughout the Gay Asian Pacific Alliance community. Then, everything was trumped! Only the Slayyyvatar can restore the unity within GAPA and save the world. Join GAPA for San Francisco’s most popular annual pageant that celebrates the gaysian community—where candidates will vie to be crowned Mister and Miss GAPA, and where the new Slayyyvatar shall fabulously re-emerge. gapafoundation.org

    Adultery, blackmail, confessions, amnesia, nervous breakdowns, bigamy, adoptions, divorce, kidnapped babies, evil twins, seduction, catfights & shoulder pads! “BITCH SLAP” is D’Arcy Drollinger’s send-up of the 80’s television soap opera and telenovela in this high-camp exploration of melodrama. With nods to Dynasty, Days of Our LivesMaría la del Barrio, Jackie Collins and more, Bitch Slap centers around Diana Midnight, and her fashion empire, as she struggles to maintain power and desperately keep control of her prize possession … the patent for shoulder pads. The stars of this hilarity are Manuel Caneri, Leigh Crow, D’arcy Drollinger, Crissy Fields, Nancy French, Steven Lemay, Sergio Lobito, Matthew Martin, Adam Roy, Katya Smirnoff-Skyy, and Jef Valentine. Now through September 9, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at the Oasis, 298 11th Street. 21 and over: it’s also a bar, ya know. sfoasis.com

    A special showing of “REEL IN THE CLOSET” is on Thursday, August 31, 7 pm at the Roxie Theater, 3117 16th Street. It will benefit preservation of the film and video collections of the GLBT HISTORICAL SOCIETY. The feature-length documentary reveals LGBTQ life through rarely seen home movies dating back to the 1930s, drawing on extensive footage from the Historical Society and from other archives around the world. The screening will offer a new cut of Reel in the Closet with added historical material providing glimpses of 20th-century life as it was experienced, viewed, and recorded by members of the LGBTQ community. Filmmakers Stu Maddux and Joseph Applebaum will be on hand to introduce the film and respond to questions, plus they’ll show a bonus episode of their new web series, Queer Ghost Hunters. General admission is $15; admission for GLBT Historical Society members is $12.50. Advance tickets are available for purchase online via the Roxie Theater website. Tickets: roxie.com/ai1ec_event/reel-closet-stu-maddux-joseph-applebaum

    HARVEY MILK LGBT DEMOCRATIC CLUB presents the 41ST ANNUAL DINNER & GAYLA on Wednesday, September 6, 6:30 to 9:30 pm, Gray Area/Grand Theater, 2665 Mission Street to celebrate 41 years of queer progressive politics and activism in San Francisco. Their focus includes: resistance against the current regime; police accountability, reform and transparency; fighting for Trans lives; solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement; preserving our Sanctuary city; housing affordability; addressing the homelessness crisis; fighting for economic, social, and environmental justice; and working with progressive elected officials to ensure our voices are heard and counted. milkclub.org

    Sister Dana sez, “We must tell T-rump and his Repugnicans: Stop advancing a hate-filled agenda. White supremacy? Racism? Hell no! Stand against the forces of exclusion and exploitation. Help us build a country where justice and equality prevail!”