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    Late August Events

    By Joanie Juster–

    Annual Photo Show at Harvey Milk Photo Center

    The Harvey Milk Photo Center is featuring its annual Member, Staff, & Volunteer Show through September 2, and it’s always worth a visit. The show, which is free to the public, features current works by 67 photographers created in the Center’s darkrooms and digital lab. The photos encompass a broad range of subjects, and were curated by the staff, members, and volunteers.

    Associated with the San Francisco Recreation & Parks Department, the Harvey Milk Photo Center has served the San Francisco community since 1940. It houses the oldest and largest community wet darkroom in the U.S., as well as a full digital lab for members. It is located at 50 Scott Street, within Duboce Park. Since the Photo Center is a multi-use space with limited staffing, call ahead to see if the exhibit space is open for viewing. More info:

    Third Annual SF Queer Film Festival Returns August 25–27

    The SF Queer Film Festival is coming back August 24–27, and at a new location: Landmark’s Opera Plaza Cinema. The festival opens on August 24 with what is sure to be a wild, raucous, and packed-to-the-rafters tribute to Heklina: Filthy Gorgeous: The T-Shack Story. Director Sean Mullens and producer Deena Davenport are expected to attend, and they promise some never-before-seen footage of Heklina. Get your tickets now; this one will definitely sell out quickly.

    Days 2 and 3 of the festival will include multiple programs from 12:30–6 pm each day, with each program featuring a number of films ranging from very short to feature-length. There are plenty of programs and films to choose from, so peruse the festival program and take your pick.

    Third Annual San Francisco Transgender Immigrant Symposium

    On August 25, The LGBT Asylum Project and Parivar Bay Area are hosting the third annual San Francisco Transgender Immigrant Symposium at Strut, at 470 Castro Street in San Francisco, from 4–7 pm. This free event aims to provide immigrant resources and community networks for transgender immigrants, in an effort to help them build their new lives in the U.S. It also fosters transgender intersectional unity, bringing together trans immigrants from different cultures and providing a sense of community. Bringing immigrants together with the organizations to serve them helps further empathy and understanding, helping organizations have a better understanding of the challenges that transgender immigrants face, so they can make sure their programs and services are transgender-friendly.

    The symposium includes a full program including keynote speaker Bamby Salcedo, a 45-minute screening of Belonging: A Trans Indian Immigrant Story by Amir Jaffer, an art display by Parivar co-founder and drag artist SNJV, and a resource fair featuring organizations providing support and services to transgender LGBTQ+ immigrants and refugees.

    Admission is free, but for security, registration is required:

    Sunday’s a Drag, and José Sarria Enters the California Hall of Fame

    On August 6, Donna Sachet opened the new incarnation of her long-running drag brunch, Sunday’s a Drag, at historic Club Fugazi in North Beach. Pre-pandemic, Sunday’s a Drag had enjoyed a 15-year run at Harry Denton’s Starlight Room at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel. Then came the pandemic, and the hotel was sold. But Donna, ever the optimist and creative spirit, has found a new home for the beloved show, and it’s an inspired fit.

    While the Castro may now be known as the center of LGBTQ+ life in San Francisco, North Beach was actually the original epicenter of queer life in the city. It was where José Sarria performed at the famous Black Cat Café, and where for decades Finocchio’s featured a cabaret revue with accomplished female impersonators that attracted tourists from all over the world.

    Donna skillfully and lovingly weaves much of the city’s drag history into this lively show. And by happy coincidence, during the course of the show’s run, it was announced that legendary queer activist José Sarria was finally to be honored by being inducted into the California Hall of Fame, an accolade his supporters have been seeking for several years. Sarria was not only the first openly gay candidate for public office, but also the founder of the Imperial Court system. His induction took place on August 22.

    Besides emcee and star Donna Sachet, Sunday’s a Drag features a rotating cast of some of the city’s top drag performers, including Holotta Tymes (who used to perform at Finocchio’s), Khmera Rouge, Mini Minerva, Mercedes Munroe, Cassandra Cass, Ruby Red Monroe, and DulceDe Leche. I went on opening day, and the packed house was having a ball. I was seated next to a quiet-looking young woman from North Carolina. She had just arrived in San Francisco, and thought Sunday’s a Drag sounded like fun. It was her first-ever drag show, and she was having the time of her life. This show is for everyone.

    This four-week trial run at Club Fugazi ends August 27. It is hoped that the show will be able to return on a more permanent basis in January. In the meantime, get your tickets for the final show while you can!

    For tickets:

    Joanie Juster is a long-time community volunteer, activist, and ally.

    In Case You Missed It
    Published on August 24, 2023