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    Donna’s Chronicles, “All signs continue to suggest a brighter future…”

    By Donna Sachet–

    All signs continue to suggest a brighter future on the horizon, as the long, cold period of the pandemic fades into memory and lives begin to return to normal. We find ourselves frequently questioning how will things be different or will we simply slip back into a comfort zone? Personally, we have always tried to support local events, ideas, and individuals who passionately pursue their interests and demonstrate amazing talent.                       

    For example, we recently attended the book-signing of John Waters of his most recent book Liarmouth … A Feel-Bad Romance.  During an international book tour, Mr. Waters found himself on a Monday night in San Francisco, not at Herbst Theatre or the SF Main Library or some big national book chain, but in the third floor of the retail store of the over 100-year-old McRoskey Mattress Company. Directly across Market Street is The Green Arcade, where owner Patrick Marks specializes in “San Francisco & California history, the built & the natural environment, politics & social justice, cooking, food & Farming, select literature, noir, art, & children’s books, mostly new, some used.” Mr. Marks has developed a friendly relationship with the family of the mattress company and periodically partners with them for such book events. Could anything be more “San Francisco”?  To spend an evening in the company of a national treasure, the creative and often shocking John Waters, in a comfortable, but humble setting made possible by a personal relationship between local business owners, both with obvious commitments to San Francisco, was a delight and a reminder of the unique qualities of this city we love. It was no surprise to see Peaches Christ, although not in costume, in the audience, nor was it surprising to be greeted by other friends and even to have no difficulty finding someone to take a quick photo after chatting in line and swapping stories of Castro memories. We can’t imagine a similar experience anywhere else.

    A week later, we attended another book-signing event, this time on Castro Street at Fabulosa Books with local writer Mark Abramson. Mark’s carefully kept journals over many years have enabled him to produce a number of books deeply rooted in the Castro Gay Community and filled with references to local personalities, happenings, and locations. The store was packed with his friends and supporters, including Linda Lee, Strange de Jim, Mark Leno, Joe Mac, Gordy Boe, and Sister Dana van Iquity, who relished his brief readings of passages from Arlene Francis and Me: Pandemic Diaries from Castro Street 2020 in the company of several mentioned therein. Afterwards, 440 Castro welcomed everyone for an open-air reception with delicious nibbles prepared and presented by Gary Virginia. It was another event hard to imagine happening anywhere else. 

    During the previous weekend, we headed to Midnight Sun for a mid-afternoon drag show, primarily because our friend Alexis Miranda had informed us about it. This was evidently her first time to return to the stage in such a format for nearly two years, but her talent and love of performing shone through once again, adding immensely to the show, hosted by MGM Grande, another local talent. The enthusiasm of the small audience was contagious, enticing everyone present to tip the entire troupe of performers generously. Even with the tremendous success of RuPaul’s Drag Race and its many offshoots, it can be equally satisfying to watch talented friends entertain and create community within a safe and welcoming environment. Later that same day, the Cinch hosted a much greater number of Imperial titleholders and friends for a Cinco de Mayo celebration in honor of the late Emperor Fernando Robles, hosted by his Empress China Silk. It was one of those regrettably rare occasions when the Imperial Family puts aside differences and comes together in recognition of one of our own who died too soon. Even for an organization known for dramatic pageantry and formality, sometimes these smaller, more intimate events serve a distinct purpose, uniting a disparate family of likeminded people.

    So, as your personal calendar begins to fill up, especially for the upcoming month of June, savor each event and take time to recognize its unique San Francisco qualities. Cherish the friendships that this incredible city has made possible for you. And get involved in your own way to perpetuate and add to the fabulous, ineffable thing that is San Francisco.

    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

    Published on May 19, 2022