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    Donna’s Chronicles, “What a thrill to attend Opening Game of the SF Giants…”

    By Donna Sachet–

    What a thrill to attend Opening Game of the SF Giants at Oracle Park on April 7 as the guest of our friend Michelle Jester!  Not only did we marvel at this beautiful ballpark, the gorgeous view, and the accomplished team we call our own, but we had a chance to catch up, probably for the first time since the COVID pandemic hit. All our lives have been changed by this unexpected interruption, requiring some serious reflection, reevaluation of priorities, and thoughtful appreciation for those we count as friends. There were very few topics we did not cover while munching on comfort foods, downing wine and beer, and cheering on our SF Giants, surrounded by thousands of sports fans, San Francisco supporters, and just plain folks. The team may not have won the game, but we left with winning smiles in appreciation of our friendship.

    Of course, every recent event was clouded by the tragic news of the death of Heklina. We shared our personal thoughts in the last issue, along with several evocative photos, but her impact on our community, the city, and places farther away will be felt for years to come. And so it was appropriate that the Drag Up! Fight Back! March & Rally on Saturday, April 8, scheduled in response to the hateful legislation being passed across the nation in various states, also served as a tribute to the iconic Heklina. 

    We joined hundreds of demonstrators at City Hall, including organizers Alex U. Inn, Sister Roma, D’Arcy Drollinger, Honey Mahogany, and Juanita MORE! and State Senator Scott Wiener, Supervisors Rafael Mandelman and Matt Dorsey, senior statesman Tom Ammiano, and so many other leaders within the LGBTQ+ Community, for an old-fashioned, grassroots political action.

    Hundreds more joined us as the march took off down Market Street to Union Square, where speeches, drag entertainment, and overflowing emotion centered on the tremendous strides we have made as a community and how fiercely we are now being bombarded by opposition. Never have we heard Queen Mother Nicole Murray-Ramirez speak with such authority, historic relevance, and wit; no wonder she spoke at each of the Marches on Washington and today heads up the largest and oldest LGBTQ+ organization on the continent, the International Court System. As we have written elsewhere, the current attack on drag and transgender individuals is nothing more than a cheap blow against the most easily identifiable and most vulnerable among us. We can’t let this ploy split us apart!

    The following day, we turned en masse into a horde of celebrants at Easter in the Park with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence in Dolores Park. It was time to turn our attention away from our detractors and towards our own beautifully diverse San Francisco family, as the sun shone bright, the costumes spilled onto the lawn, and smiles and laughter were everywhere. Entertainment on stage, the Sainting of local heroes, and the Hunky Jesus and Foxy Mary contests kept the throng engaged. Whether you arrived early and stayed late or simply visited for an hour or two, you left invigorated and reaffirmed as the resilient community we have always been.

    On Saturday, April 8, Donna Sachet, with Ric LeBlanc and Leandro Gonzalez, joined in the Drag Up Fight Back! march from Civic Center to Union Square.

    The following weekend was a whirlwind of events, starting with Latrice Royale’s Life Goes Onat Bimbo’s in North Beach.  Suzan Revah joined us for a night of perfectly timed moments and amazing connections. As our car pulled up, we glimpsed the star of the show lingering at the Stage Door with her partner and our friend Mahlae Balenciaga who was opening the show.  Latrice and her partner Christopher Hamblin couldn’t have been more gracious and welcoming. 

    Once inside, we were immediately swept back to a bygone era in this richly decorated club that goes back three generations with thickly carpeted aisles, cabaret-style seating, ballroom lighting, and a large raised stage. The usher directed us to our section with open seating, and within seconds, Suzan located a festive foursome with two vacant seats. The house lights dimmed and Mahlae displayed her gorgeous figure, boundless energy, and considerable talents. 

    Then, she was joined by instrumentalists on piano (the aforementioned Christopher), bass, and percussion, and Latrice made her grand entrance. Not being a fiercely loyal fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race, we really didn’t know what to expect, but we were completely won over by the heart, passion, and indomitable attitude of Miss Royale! The show traced her life with personal stories, video clips, and thematic songs, both sung and skillfully lip-synced, as a parade of fabulous gowns dazzled the audience.  She readily addressed the current drag attacks with candid, thoughtful remarks and demonstrated a learned confidence, born of adversity and determination. What a show!

    Saturday started with Mark Rhoades’ screening of The Girl from 7th Avenue: Pat Cleveland and the Runway Revolution at the Museum of the African Diaspora. The film’s directors, Antonio Contreras and Genho Aviance, were on hand and local fashion designer Kevan Hall led an interview and Q&A with legendary model Pat Cleveland. For anyone with even a middling interest in fashion and/or knowledge of the historic Battle of Versailles fashion show, this was pure gold! Pat’s richly told stories of that event and her relationships with the likes of Karl Lagerfeld, Andy Warhol, Halston, and so many others kept the audience enthralled. Thank you, Mark Rhoades, for bringing these people together for a unique San Francisco moment!

    We then dashed to The Café for Krewe de Kinque’s 20th annual Bal Masque, a Mardi Gras decorated and 415-themed party and fundraiser for Ukrainian relief through the Rainbow World Fund. Celebrity Grand Marshal Tory Teasley sang a crowd-pleasing number and then joined the Second Line Parade, led by King Mark Hankins & Queen Tawdry Hepburnn.  Entertainers then took us on a musical tour of San Francisco neighborhoods, starting with Connie Champagne as Judy Garland singing the classic “San Francisco”and followed by solo and group member numbers, including Carly Ozard’s vocals, Mark Paladini’s Village People tribute, Kippy Marks’ violin virtuosity, Leandro Gonzales’ amazing rope mastery, and Vivianne Vixen’s high energy finale. A silent auction, raffle prizes, Jell-O shots, and general revelry added to the party.

    At the conclusion, the current King & Queen stepped down and Krewe de Kinque crowned their new King XX Robert Tucker and Queen XX Moxie Penn. New Orleans has nothing on San Francisco when Krewe de Kinque Founder Gary Virginia and these party people throw a fundraiser!

    Our weekend concluded with AsiaSF’s 25th Silver Anniversary. It’s hard to believe that so many years have passed since the founding of this entertainment staple of the city opened for business, but this party marked the occasion with panache! Larry Hashbarger and his incredible team at AsiaSF welcomed elegantly dressed guests to the downstairs lounge for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres first and a little teaser of entertainment. 

    Then upstairs, they gave the packed house a show to remember, prefaced by remarks from State Senator Scott Wiener, Assemblymember Evan Low, Supervisor Rafael Mandelman,and our favorite political figure Mark Leno. Among the crowd were Sister Roma, Mike Youens, Lawrence Wong, Suzanne Ford, Nguyen Pham, Lynn Luckow, and so many othersThe ladies, emceed as always by the wonderful Tita Aida, were at their best with beautifully executed choreography, elaborate gowns, sexy show dresses, and magnetic stage presence, as the sparkling lights and rich sound system completed the picture.  Make a date now to experience AsiaSF!

    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

    Donna’s Chronicles
    Published on April 20, 2023

    Calendar a/la Sachet

    Saturday, April 22
    Imperial Investiture: An Enchanted Evening
    Welcome Reigning Emperor Michael Anthony Chua
    & Empress Cameron Stiehl-Munro
    Entertainment, recognition, new beginnings
    DNA Lounge, 375 11th Street
    4–8 pm
    $35 & up

    Saturday, April 22
    SF Gay Men’s Chorus annual gala
    Honoring Nancy Pelosi, London Breed, Brian Boitano, Greg Sarris
    Cocktail hour, dinner, entertainment, awards
    Four Seasons Hotel, 757 Market Street
    5 pm
    $450 & up

    Friday, April 28
    Divas & Drinks @ The Academy:
    Celebrating Frameline47
    San Francisco Bay Times-produced event benefiting Frameline
    Emcee Donna Sachet, DJ Page Hodel,
    Bacardí specialty drinks, and much more
    The Academy SF, 2166 Market Street
    6–10 pm

    Saturday, April 29
    Show of Hope
    SF Community Health Center’s annual gala
    Honoring Nancy Pelosi & Cecilia Chung
    Cocktails, dinner, program
    Emcee Reggie Aqui, Headline performer Martha Wash
    Hyatt Regency SF, 5 Embarcadero Center
    $350 & up