Recent Comments


    Let the Sunshine In

    By Joanie Juster–

    As a lifelong Californian, I’m used to long periods of drought, punctuated by wildly dramatic periods of torrential rains that burst the banks of rivers and send trees and hillsides sliding downward. But even I have to admit that December and January’s relentless series of atmospheric rivers, Pineapple Expresses, bomb cyclones, and hail reached impressively biblical proportions. The sun is now out, and promises to stay so for a while—which, though lovely—always makes me worry that it will never rain again.

    But while all that rain was pounding our beautiful state, plenty else was going on. Here are few things that kept me up at night while watching the rain:

    Bans on Books, Drag Performances, and … Peter Pan?

    The banning of books from schools and libraries has ramped up considerably in the past few years, in a desperate attempt to control the minds of young people, and keep them from actually learning about the world they live in. But it turns out young folks aren’t the only ones who are being denied their freedom to read. One of the reasons I remain on Twitter, despite the hot mess it has become under Elon Musk’s misguided “leadership,” is to learn about news like this: As reported by the Florida Freedom to Read Project, “Over 20,000 titles have been banned from Florida prison libraries. This number is unlike anything seen in any other state. It’s almost as if the DeSantis Administration wants to discourage rehabilitation.” 20,000. Let that number sink in.

    Meanwhile, the Bartlesville, Oklahoma, city council voted 4–1 to draft a new ordinance banning “adult entertainment” in public parks following an outcry over a September Pride event that featured drag performers. And Arkansas, Arizona, and oh so many others are twisting themselves into pretzels trying to tweak language to classify drag performances as unfit for young eyes.

    There are so many of these bills attacking intellectual freedom that it’s clear they are being orchestrated on a national level. And given the intellectual level shown by certain elected officials (Molly Jong Fast of Vanity Fair referred to certain Republican representatives as “congressional Kardashians”), it is clear that there are powerful puppet masters pulling their strings.

    Eternal vigilance may be the price of freedom. It is certainly clear that eternal vigilance is also the price for being able to read, think, and watch performances of your choice.

    Calling All SF Drag Queens: You Have Extra Time for Applying Sequins

    Peaches Christ

    At a time when communities around the country are attacking drag performers—and the very art of drag—by enacting anti-drag laws, picketing or banning performances, spreading vicious and dangerous lies, and even threatening violence, San Francisco is stepping up boldly to affirm the art form and honor the work these artists do in the community by creating the position of Drag Laureate. The fact that this new position is being created by the City of San Francisco itself is a testament to how much this city understands the value that these performers bring to our city, and to our society.

    Sister Roma

    I suspect that anyone interested in applying for the position of Drag Laureate is already on top of this news, but just in case you missed it: The deadline for applying, originally set for January 16, has been extended to February 16. Applicants must reside in San Francisco, and be 21 or over. The position comes with a $55,000 stipend to help cover the cost of the drag ambassador’s duties. Given the abundance of outstanding drag talent in this town, the roster of applicants should be fabulous. 

    For more information and to apply:

    Stepping Up for El Rio

    Have you ever danced the night away at El Rio? Sambaed on their back patio while raising money for a good cause? Missed your favorite song while waiting and waiting and waiting in line for the bathroom? Well, here’s your chance to help provide relief to one of San Francisco’s favorite community gathering spots, a haven for the LGBTQ+ and Latinx communities, and site of countless fundraisers for good causes.

    Here’s the thing: El Rio really, really, really needs more bathrooms. And anyone who has ever had a good time there (and probably waited nervously in line for the toilet) should kick in and help them meet their financial goal so they can install two new bathrooms (one accessible, one with two stalls). Let’s all do the right thing and help them meet their goal, which is being matched by a generous donor. Here’s the link:

    Save the Date: The Saints Go Marching In!

    Last August it was reported that the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence had suffered a significant loss of funds due to misappropriation of funds by one of their own members. While the investigation and legal proceedings related to this incident are ongoing, the need remains for the Sisters to raise funds to fulfill their charitable obligations in the community—and most urgently, to produce their biggest annual community event, Easter in the Park

    In case you didn’t know, it takes years of hard work to become a fully professed Sister. But the Sisters also periodically bestow the honorary title of Saint upon volunteers who elevate our communities with their words and deeds. It is the Order’s highest and only civilian honor, and the Saints always willingly help the Sisters when needed.

    That’s why the Saints are organizing a fundraiser for the Sisters to help close their funding gap. The Saints Go Marching In is scheduled for Sunday, March 19, from 4–7 pm at The Edge. Save the date, and stay tuned for more details.

    UN-Save the Date

    In our last issue we told you about Project Nunway, which was scheduled for February 11. That date is now being changed; stay tuned for updated information, coming soon.

    As the weather turns nicer (at least for now), go outside and breathe some fresh air. We all need to clear the mental cobwebs after a very wet couple of months.

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

    In Case You Missed It
    Published on January 26, 2023