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    Donna’s Chronicles, “As we all know, drag can take many forms…”

    By Donna Sachet–

    As we all know, drag can take many forms. Historically, it has been a staple of the LGBTQ+ Community, offering individuals a way to explore other parts of their personality, while sometimes injecting humor into darker days, providing a visible rallying point, and simply entertaining us with their gender reversals. RuPaul’s Drag Race has put drag in every living room across America, but only a thin slice of drag is presented during this hugely successful competitive and ostensibly unscripted television show. We are not all so competitive, nor as skilled in the art of gender illusion, much less as vicious or manipulative. San Francisco is the perfect place to witness the panoply of drag expression, which ranges from dressing up to shock and amuse to serving on Boards of Directors, producing quality events, and raising tons of money for charitable causes.

    During a recent visit from Florida, our good friend and former SF resident Skye Paterson told us a story from our visit with him a couple of years ago. He recounted that many local friends in the LGBTQ+ Community in his Florida town had been asking about my impending visit. They were anxious to meet someone he had taken about extensively and some wanted to know if we would be doing splits, cartwheels, or maybe a death drop. Skye simply shook his head and said, “She’s not that kind of drag queen! I doubt that she’ll perform any of those antics, but she just might help change the world.”

    You can imagine the impact that had on us. Here was a friend who truly got it. For most of us who pursue drag as a public image, we discover things about ourselves and gradually find the power of our own drag. There are fabulous performers, internationally known personalities, politically active individuals, excellent emcees, hilarious comedians, social media stars, sage business professionals, and much more. Somewhere along the way, we have found our role, and San Francisco and indeed the larger community have encouraged us enthusiastically. Changing the world? Maybe that’s a bit ambitious. But we are convinced that we are constantly presented with opportunities to change minds, change hearts, and change directions.

    All that brings us to Krewe de Kinque’s Klassy vs. Trashy show at Midnight Sun last weekend. Don Ho Tse and Mark Paladini have been producing this event for years, encouraging friends to find their inner drag, whether it be elegant or down-to-earth, and show up to raise money for a good cause while having fun.

    Over the years, we’ve watched Little Kim Chi (aka Ho) develop into a gorgeous drag queen, while Mark has rallied the less glamorous gals. Promoted as the last time the event would occur and that money was being raised to help Kippy Marks with the expenses of his recent medical emergency and loss of income, how could we say no? So, we revived our rendition of “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina” with lyrics changed to reflect our love of San Francisco and strode onto the stage in a sparkling white gown with hooded, faux fur trimmed cape. At the peak of the song, our tiara lit up, courtesy of a carefully concealed battery pack. But this was only our contribution to the event! 

    The bar was packed to the rafters as performer after performer, including someone who vaguely resembled Mr. SF Leather Mark Hankins, Jr., dazzled the crowd, garnering tips dispersed into buckets marked for Team Klassy and Team Trashy, and raffle ticket winners collected numerous prizes. When all was said and done, $2700 was raised and smiles abounded. Did we change the world? Not really. But we helped a dear friend in need, encouraged a variety of gender expressions to entertain us, and probably opened some eyes to a greater variety of drag than they might have ever witnessed. What a night!

    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 empsachet@gmail.com


    Calendar a/la Sachet

    Thursday, December 1
    Drag Queens on Ice!
    Performances by Khmera Rouge, Mahlae Balenciaga, Dusty Porn, Jubilee, Tara Lipsincki, and more with emcee Donna Sachet
    Union Square Safeway Ice Rink
    7 pm
    Free!

    Friday & Saturday, December 2 & 3:
    Holiday Spectacular
    SF Gay Men’s Chorus
    New Artistic Director Jacob Stensberg
    Sydney Goldstein Theater, 2755 Hayes Street
    8 pm Fri., 3:30 & 8 pm Sat.
    $25 & up
    https://www.sfgmc.org/

    Saturday, December 3
    100: The Story of Mama José Sarria – a 100th Birthday Celebration
    Emperor William Bulkley produces
    Celebrity emcees and performers
    Oasis, 298 11th Street
    6:30 pm
    $15–50
    https://www.sfimperialcouncil.org/

    Monday, December 5
    Rainbow World Fund’s Tree of Hope Lighting
    Grace Cathedral, 1100 California Street
    Donna Sachet, Tammy Hall, Jeff Cotter, & more
    5:30 pm
    Free!
    https://www.rainbowfund.org/

    Tuesday & Wednesday, December 6 & 7
    Brian Kent presents Songs of the Season
    Holiday cabaret benefit with Kenny Nelson, Leanne Borghesi, Donna Sachet, Russell Deason, & more
    Feinstein’s at Hotel Nikko
    7 pm
    $60–100
    https://tinyurl.com/j23nzf9b

    Tuesday, December 13
    GGBA Holiday Party with the San Francisco Bay Times
    The Academy SF, 2166 Market Street
    Welcome by GGBA Board President Tony Archuleta-Perkins
    and GGBA Ambassador Olga Garcia
    Emcees Liam Mayclem and Donna Sachet
    Performer Kippy Marks
    Music by DJ Rockaway presented by Olivia Travel
    Register for $25: https://tinyurl.com/e633m8pf
    Throughout December

    Golden Girls Live
    Hilarious drag parody with Holotta Tymes, Heklina, D’Arcy Drollinger, & Matthew Martin
    Victoria Theatre, 2961 16th Street
    Showtime varies
    $35–65
    https://www.eventbrite.com/

    Donna’s Chronicles
    Published on December 1, 2022