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    Donna’s Chronicles, “As many of our readers undoubtedly know…”

    By Donna Sachet–

    As many of our readers undoubtedly know, thanks to Facebook and other social media tools, we recently spent a week in sunny Palm Springs for their Pride Celebration. Since this column is devoted to the happenings closer to home, we won’t go into great detail about that trip, but will simply mention three things. First, the sheer number of transplanted San Franciscans now residing in the Palm Springs area is astounding, resulting in frequent reunions with friends and memories shared. Second, if you do find yourself there, please make a point of visiting the pop-up museum dedicated to the late José Sarria, one of our true pioneers, visionaries, and trailblazers. The collection of memorabilia, largely made possible by Gene Brake of the Imperial Court of San Antonio, will amaze you and certainly confirm José’s rightful place in the California Hall of Fame, an honor still not confirmed, but indisputably deserved. And third, as much as we enjoyed our trip, loved being spoiled by our generous host Tom Ray, and marveled at the variety and energy of nightlife there, we remain a San Franciscan, confident that even more wonders, excitement, and fulfillment are right around the corner!

    Last Saturday night, The Academy continued its tradition of Legends Awards, recognizing a variety of individuals within our community who are doing important work that benefits us all. The ceremony itself was more professional than ever, held in the adjacent Swedish American Hall and featuring hostess Sister Roma, performances by Katya Smirnoff-Skyy, Andrew Bundy, and Katy Stephen, and an enthusiastic audience that reflected the rich diversity The Academy includes. We were honored to present the Diane Jones Solidarity Award to Race Bannon; Debra Walker gave the Architect Award to the artists who created the stunning mural outside Oasis, J. Manuel Carmona, Simon Malvas, Serge Gay Jr, Elliot C. Nathan, and Xtopher J. McCutcheon; and Mercedez Munro gave Kochina Rude the Exemplar Award. Finally, State Senator Scott Wiener recognized this year’s Legend Award recipient Graylin Thornton, who gave a humble and gracious acceptance speech. Most attendees then adjourned to The Academy next door for an after-party hosted by this columnist, where cocktails and conversations continued into the night. Next time you are at The Academy, look for the latest Legend symbol, a handsome leather Drummer vest, donated by Graylin.

    The next day, we were back to full swing with three events, starting at Patricia’s Green on Octavia Boulevard for Absolute Empress XXV Marlena’s birthday celebration. For the past several years, Emperor William Bulkley has organized this mid-day al fresco gathering of friends with Champagne and cake honoring Marlena, right in front of the building that used to be home to her eponymous bar. The sun was shining, her friends were smiling, and Marlena was showered with love.

    We then dashed to OMG on Sixth Street for the “Out of This World” themed Investiture of recently elected Grand Duke Gregg Starr and Grand Duchess Kelly Rose. The club was packed with local and visiting supporters who enjoyed several performances, including a sweet duet with the Monarchs, and received titles and recognitions. The chosen charities for the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess are La Casa de las Madres, Castro Country Club, and SF Night Ministry. This couple is off to a great start and we look forward to seeing them all over, raising money and spreading fun wherever they go.

    Our final official stop was Beaux for Mama G’s Drag Night with hostess Ruby Red Munro. This girl knows how to pull a show together and raise some money! The entertainment was amazing, including Mercedez Munro, Alexis Miranda, Black Opal Munro, Natalie Ray, Sage Sanchez Munro, and more. Rarely do we see such a diverse crowd, such a variety of entertainers, and such a warm and welcoming feeling at an event. Mama G’s 14th annual Thanksgiving Dinner for those in need will certainly welcome the nearly $1000 raised that night.

    Of course, being right there in the Castro, we felt obligated to check out a couple of other establishments, so we joined Alexis for a quick bar tour, running into friends all along the way, including CoCo Butter, Jon Folmsbee, and Jose Serna at Midnight Sun and Dan O’Leary at Twin Peaks.

    Finally, although it is not included yet in the adjacent calendar of upcoming events, we are happy to announce that Brian Kent is again producing Songs of the Season at Feinstein’s, Tuesday and Wednesday, December 6 and 7, 7 pm. You won’t believe the cavalcade of singers he has assembled! You won’t believe the incredible music you will hear! And you won’t believe what we’ll be wearing! See for yourself in December, as always, benefiting PRC. Yes, the holiday season is closer than you think!

    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

    Saturday, November 19
    Klassy vs. Trashy: The Final Chapter
    13th & final annual drag battle
    Benefits Kippy Marks Recovery Fund
    Midnight Sun, 4067 18th St.
    4–7 pm
    Free! But tips encouraged

    Saturday, November 19
    Golden Gate Guards Retirement Ceremony
    Celebrating 36 years with food, drinks & friends
    Final charitable disbursements
    SF Eagle Tavern, 398 12th St.
    6–8 pm

    Sunday, November 20
    FIFA LGBT Protest: Love Is Not a Crime
    Soccer-themed event highlighting Qatar’s criminality
    Dr. Nas Mohamed of Qatar
    Lookout, 3600 16th St.
    2–7 pm

    Sunday, November 27
    Giving Thanks for Steve
    Cabaret tribute to Stephen Sondheim
    Carly Ozard, Donna Sachet, Jennifer Martinelli & more
    Barry Lloyd on piano
    Martuni’s, 4 Valencia St.
    7 pm

    Monday, November 28
    Castro Holiday Tree Lighting
    Annual tradition w/Donna Sachet, Freedom Band, SFGMC & more
    Bank of America Castro
    6 pm

    Donna’s Chronicles
    Published on November 17, 2022