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    Donna Sachet: “If you’ve never participated in Litquake, make a point to do so next year!”

    By Donna Sachet–

    If you’ve never participated in Litquake, make a point to do so next year! Founded 20 years ago by Jack Boulware and Jane Ganahl, a couple of friends, it has quickly grown from a local curiosity, supporting books, literature, and those who love them, to a national model, replicated across the continent. We joined a panel on one of the last nights of the ten-day event at the San Francisco Center for the Book, 375 Rhode Island Street. We offer the address because it is well worth a visit for anyone interested in printing, both historically and technically; the huge iron printing presses on display evoked a time when printing revolutionized public education. The topic was Mason Funk’s The Book of Pride, featuring a cross-section of out individuals who have played some part in the history of our civil rights movement. Scott James, published journalist and frequent contributor to The New York Times, led the panel of Mason, Terry Baum, and Kitty Tsui, and this humble columnist. Each of us was given the opportunity to present our own story and the discussion was lively. Watch for Litquake next year to participate in panel discussions, readings, and the single day of Lit Crawl, taking place at various locations all over town. It is a must for lovers of the written word!

    As a member of the Board of Directors of the Rainbow Honor Walk, responsible for the bronze plaques you see in the sidewalks of the Castro neighborhood recognizing LGBTQ trailblazers, we were happy to join in a celebration dinner last week at Catch, saluting David Perry’s ten years of leadership on this board.  Most of the board was there to thank David and to send him off with gratitude and confidence in the continued work of Rainbow Honor Walk. Watch for new plaques to appear this spring, including Gladys Bentley, Leonard Matlovich, Maurice Sendak, Sylvia Rivera, Vito Russo, Quentin Crisp, and Divine!

    This Old Bag, benefiting the Breast Cancer Emergency Fund, is a truly unique annual fundraiser where handbags are the item of the night, both silent auction and live auction. This year’s event was a hit, newly located to the less used Pavilion of the Fairmont Hotel, so that patrons entered down a long hall lined with handbags in the silent auction, each with a story, either donated by a prominent retailer or celebrity or given in memory or tribute to someone who has experienced breast cancer. The variety was so tempting that bidding by phone began immediately! We chatted with Joanie Juster, Cal Callahan, Neil Figurelli, Gary Virginia, John Weber, and many more. Once in the Pavilion, a splendidly warm night invited guests to take cocktails out onto the garden area where fabulous City views beckoned and friends mingled amiably. On the handsome arm of Michael Loftis, we joined Gus & Bahya Murad, Judith Branch, Jan Wahl, John Newmeyer, Jack Ryder, John Rosin, and many others. After a few hours of vigorous silent bidding, the live auction began, skillfully orchestrated by Liam Mayclem, The Foodie Chap, and more funds were raised with enthusiasm, including during a fund-a-need section. From the smiling faces and shopping bag toting attendees, This Old Bag found new success this year and their important work providing emergency assistance to those impacted by breast cancer will continue.

    The final Daytime Disco atop the Virgin Hotel was a rollicking success with DJ Wayne G and Brian Kent pulling in a tremendous, capacity crowd for fun in the sun! Watch for new and exciting events here as Virgin Hotel joins the list of LGBTQ friendly hotels offering new experiences to our community.

    This column is notably shorter, not for lack of events happening all the time, but due to our own relocation, involving that dreaded packing and unpacking that we have all experienced and most likely hated. Fortunately, it will soon be behind us and we’ll be out there more often once again. Until then, imagine finding closet space for 20 wigs, 40 cocktail dresses, 30 gowns, etc., etc., and take pity on this beleaguered drag queen. We’ll be back very soon!

    Donna Sachet is a celebrated performer, fundraiser, activist and philanthropist who has dedicated over two decades to the LGBTQ Community in San Francisco. Contact her at


    Calendar a/la Sachet

    Every Sunday
    Sunday’s a Drag!
    The Starlight Room
    Sir Francis Drake Hotel
    10:30 am Brunch, 11:30 am Show
    $75 inclusive

    Through November 10
    Terror Vault
    Peaches Christ’s annual haunted house experience
    Old Mint, 88 Fifth Street
    6:30 pm–9:30 pm

    Wednesday, November 6
    Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square Opening
    Union Square
    Celebrity appearances, special performances
    9:30 am

    Thursday, November 7
    Cirque du Soleil’s Amaluna
    Oracle Park Parking Lot
    7 pm
    $54 & up

    Wednesday, November 13
    Celebrity Soirée on the Bay
    Richmond/Ermet fundraiser on a Celebrity cruise ship
    THE event of the season