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    Donna’s Chronicles, “The headlines are full of announcements of the return to live and in-person events…”

    By Donna Sachet–

    The headlines are full of announcements of the return to live and in-person events, so keep that proof of vaccination handy, tuck a mask in every jacket pocket, and find your own comfort zone within the waning weeks of the COVID pandemic, but by all means, get out of the house! Let’s support these restaurants, bars, clubs, entertainment venues, and more that have been hanging on against all odds for two years and now await your festive return.

    We found ourselves several times recently at Oasis, well-known for offering a smorgasbord of performances representing the rich diversity of our LGBTQ+ Community. We caught the second of two nights of Heklina’s Grand Opening, her first one-person show and what a debut! She may be one of the most recognizable drag personalities in town, even after her recent move to Palm Springs, but never has she told her own story in this way and the audience was crazy for it. With Tom Shaw on piano and sharing the stage with Trixxie Carr and Matthew Martin, Heklina belted out songs, dazzled in two different sequin mini-dresses, dished the dirt on fellow performers, and basically showed us the world through her personal lens. The crowd was on their feet by the end of the show! Brava, Heklina!

    When the constant flow of international news is so full of dire reports from Ukraine, one can easily feel helpless against such a faraway disaster. We are sure you’ve seen and maybe participated in a number of fundraising efforts designed to help relieve the pain and misery of the Ukrainian people, but can we give generously, confident that the money raised will have some real impact? The Rainbow World Fund has decades of experience raising money in the LGBTQ+ Community to address international concerns and a small band of enthusiastic, grassroots activists created a fundraiser at Harvey’s to support their efforts. Moxie & Ben Penn spearheaded this project, Christina Ashton emceed, Tweaka Turner DJ’ed with panache, Erin Lavery sold tons of raffle tickets, Sister Roma represented the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, and Gary Virginia lent his considerable event planning and execution skills. The fast-paced show included heftily tipped performances by Olivia Hart, Kelly Rose, Brett Wiley, Gregg Starr, Carly Ozard, Alexis Miranda, John Weber, Jasper David Lauter, Candi Mint, Bobby Friday, Sara Nicole, and the Reigning Emperor Brent Marek & Reigning Empress Ehra Amaya. What a show, enjoyed by all in attendance and many passing by on the street! When all was said and done, this one-night event raised $4500! Guess what? There is a way for us in San Francisco to make a difference half-way around the world!

    Your next opportunity to join a very hands-on fundraising effort for Ukrainian disaster relief is tonight, March 24, at The Academy and Divas & Drinks. These monthly events have usually been pretty lighthearted, but tonight, we’ll hear from Jeff Cotter of Rainbow World Fund and Ukrainian Americans Leo Volobrynskyy and Polina Krasnova with personal stories to tell. Let’s see what we can raise in a few hours!

    Proving that even larger scale in-person events are making a come-back, we spent Saturday night back on the dance floor! First, we joined friends and supporters of Wayne Sobon for his LOVE60! 60LOVE! birthday celebration at Great Northern. The party had several phases, from mid-afternoon to late evening, but you can guess when we arrived! Parked in front was the decked-out Baah Bus, a fixture at Burning Man, and a couple of food trucks, ensuring that celebrants wouldn’t go hungry. Once inside, the venue exploded with colorful décor, booming music from DJs Shaman and Prince Wolf, and all kinds of circus-inspired performances, not to mention colorfully dressed attendees dancing with abandon. Rarely have we seen such a diverse group of people getting along so easily under the trance of music, color, and friendship … truly a tribute to the guest of honor and host.

    Too early to call it a night, we headed over to DNA Lounge, where producer Brian Kent pulled the stops out for a St. Patty’s Day dance with DJs David Harness and Dan Darlington. We can’t attest to the Irish heritage represented, but the crowd was definitely easy on the eyes. Dancing into the night felt so refreshing and rejuvenating after such a long absence from the dance floor and what better place than at a Brian Kent produced extravaganza!

    So, check out the calendar adjacent to this column and elsewhere to find your opportunity to get dressed (not just from the waist up for a Zoom call) and hit the town once again! San Francisco is ready; are you?

    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 March 24, 2022