Recent Comments


    Sister Dana sez, “Unless you are living under a rock, you are aware of gay and lesbian marriage rights achieved nationwide.”


    By Sister Dana Van Iquity

    Sister Dana sez, “Unless you are living under a rock, you are aware of gay and lesbian marriage rights achieved nationwide. Love conqueers all! But that’s just the latest stop on the freedom train. Next stop ahead is the Employment Non-Discrimination Act aka ENDA, which is kinda the end-a queer discrimination.”

    A coalition of equality advocacy groups and aligned citizens, in collaboration with national groups advocating for equality – including Marriage Equality USA, GLAAD, Freedom to Marry, Family Equality Council, and National LGBTQ Task Force – presented DAY OF DECISION, a huge party in the Castro celebrating The Supremes being on the right side of history – for a change. Gay marriage was now a thing. Everywhere! Appearances were made on stage by community leaders, same-sex couples, faith leaders, and leaders in the movement for marriage equality. There was deejaying, live music, and all manner of performances. The event concluded peacefully and joyfully.

    The special PRIDE version of NIGHTLIFE was the Thursday before the Pride Parade at CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES. Did you know that some of our favorite celestial constellations have queer histories? We learned a lot in the special planetarium presentation of STARGAYZE. This once a year Pride special taught us about the ancient gods and goddesses and their gay, lesbian, and transgender same-sex sexual relationships that are not taught on any other night but this one. The narrator at the Planetarium informed us that the slogan “Gay is Good!” was coined by early gay activist Frank Kameny, modeled on the African American slogan “Black is beautiful!”

    In 1957, Kameny was dismissed from his position as an astronomer in the U.S. Army’s Army Map Service in Washington, D.C. because of his homosexuality, leading him to begin a Herculean struggle with the American establishment that would spearhead a new period of militancy in the homosexual rights movement of the early 1960s. Kameny formally appealed his firing by the U.S. Civil Service Commission due to homosexuality. Although unsuccessful, the proceeding was notable as the first known civil rights claim based on sexual orientation pursued in a U.S. court. He has been referred to as one of the most significant figures in the American gay rights movement.

    In the Osher Rainforest, we explored a lush, four-story rainforest teeming with life. In the Coral Reef, we experienced the wonders of creatures below and above the sea, to the fabled funk and soul stylings of Hard French DJs. Inside the Piazza, we unleashed our inner dance floor diva with a high-energy set by DJ Workalook. Alas, I missed the drag show hosted by drag queen extraordinaire Heklina, featuring Matthew Martin, Mahlae Balenciaga, Sexitude, and Holotta Tymes – because I got so engaged with all the fascinating undersea creatures and a live albino alligator. Awesome!

    SAN FRANCISCO GAY MEN’S CHORUS wrapped up their 37th season with a rollicking, joyous sing-along, ELTON: THE SING-ALONG” at Nourse Theater, under the baton of SFGMC’s Artistic Director & Conductor Dr. Tim Seelig – featuring the best of Sir Elton John. From the worlds of pop music, film, and Broadway, they belted out some of Elton’s most iconic melodies such as “Rocket Man,” “Crocodile Rock,” “Can You Feel The Love Tonight,” “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me,” and “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.” The Lollipop Guild, SWAG, and Vocal Minority – three groups culled from SFGMC – also performed. Guest artist Breanna Sinclaire, who recently graduated from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music as the first transwoman of color, gave us several gorgeous solos. A total of 25 glorious Elton hits were sung that night.

    The Saturday before the Pride Parade, Gary Virginia & Donna Sachet hosted the 17TH ANNUAL PRIDE BRUNCH as a festive fundraiser for POSITIVE RESOURCE CENTER, honoring the LGBT Pride Parade Grand Marshals at Hotel Whitcomb. Given honor were Celebrity Grand Marshals Rick Welts, President and Chief Operating Officer of the 2015 NBA Champions, the Golden State Warriors. In 2011, Welts became the highest-ranking executive in men’s professional team sports to publicly acknowledge he is gay; Jim Obergefell; the named plaintiff in Obergefell v. Hodges, the case before the U.S. Supreme Court that brought marriage equality to all 50 states; and Anthony Wayne, starring in Mighty Real: A Fabulous Sylvester Musical celebrating the life of Sylvester as the first “Queen of Disco.” Community Grand Marshals honored were Judy Dlugacz, Olivia Co-founder; Alicia Garza, #BlackLivesMatter Co-founder; Brian Basinger, AIDS Housing Alliance/SF Co-founder; and Belo Cipriani, award-winning author and disabilities advocate and first ever blind grand marshal. Lifetime Achievement Grand Marshal was Felicia Elizondo, Screaming Queen, pioneer, legend, icon, diva; Organizational Grand Marshal was Transgender Law Center; The Gilbert Baker Pride Founder’s Award went to Patrick Carney, Pink Triangle Organizer and Co-founder; The José Julio Sarria History Maker Award went to Julia and Sam Thoron, Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), who got a rousing standing ovation; The inaugural Audrey Joseph Entertainment Award went to Audrey Joseph, SF Entertainment Commissioner, activist, record executive; The Teddy Witherington Award to Tita Aida, transgender activist, Asian/ Pacific Islander LGBTQ community leader; Heritage of Pride, 10 Years of Service Award to Tom Taylor and Jerome “Jerry” Goldstein, community advocates and fundraisers; Heritage of Pride, Pride Freedom Award to Mary Midgett, community leader, author; Heritage of Pride, Pride Creativity Award to Monica Helms, creator of the Transgender Pride Flag; Heritage of Pride, and Pride Community Award to Harry Lit, community organizer and fundraiser. Gilbert Baker’s original 1979 rainbow flag was auctioned off for $2,400. Donna closed singing her special marriage victory lyrics to “I Am What I Am” from La Cage aux Folles.

    Sooooo The Parade happened. THE 45TH ANNUAL SAN FRANCISCO LGBT PRIDE PARADE brought out about a million queers and their fans marching down Market. Sister Dana loves controversy, but I do wish the #MY NAME IS: SHAME ON FB protest marchers had been more out in number against Facebook’s absurdly discriminatory “real name” policy. Of course throughout the Parade people had #MY NAME IS purple placards and stickers, and I wore the requisite purple protester shirt.

    Sister Dana was quite proud to be a rainbow nun riding in the SF Bay Times amphibious duck mobile – flashing peace signs and blowing air kisses to the crowd, and receiving same back with equal love. It was a long parade, and my Tivo broadcast ran out of video at hour five! Who knows how much longer it went beyond that?!

    VIP AFTER-PARTY IN THE ROTUNDA featured Extra Action Marching Band, Mighty Real: A Fabulous Sylvester Musical, “Beautility” performance by Monique Jenkinson (Fauxnique), Dark Garden Corsetry & Couture, VivvyAnne ForeverMORE, Jason Brock, and performances from San Francisco’s legendary Monster Show. The North Light Discotheque offered Sergio Fedasz of Go BANG! and SyntheTigers.

    The world’s largest and longest-running LGBTQ film festival, FRAMELINE39, THE SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL LGBTQ FILM FESTIVAL, closed Sunday, June 28, with Natalia Leite’s provocative and visually arresting drama BARE, starring Dianna Agron (Glee) and Paz de la Huerta (Boardwalk Empire). The Festival, with 117 screenings, drew together an audience of 62,000 as well as a cavalcade of filmmakers, actors, and industry guests from around the globe. The Festival spanned 11 days of sold-out screenings, lively parties, events, and special guests, culminating in the Frameline39 awards presentations at the Closing Night party at Oasis Nightclub & Cabaret.

    Outstanding First Feature Award was presented to In the Grayscale, directed by Claudio Marcone; First Feature Jury awards gave an honorable mention to Stories of Our Lives, directed by Jim Chuchu; Jury Award for Outstanding Documentary was Alex & Ali directed by Malachi Leopold; Documentary Jury awards got an Honorable Mention to The Amina Profile directed by Sophie Deraspe.

    AT&T Audience Award for Best Short was Adrift In Sunset by Director Narissa Lee; Audience Award for Best Documentary was Game Face by Director Michiel Thomas; Audience Award for Best Feature was Margarita, With A Straw by Co-directors Shonali Bose & Nilesh Maniyar. Frameline39 Volunteer of the Year, Jackie Dennis, selected the powerful Kenyan anthology, Stories Of Our Lives, to be the recipient of the special Volunteer of the Year Award grant – underwritten by an anonymous donor and Frameline, carrying a $2,000 grant for the selected filmmaker.

    However, what we’ve all been waiting for (well, a few maybe) is the coveted (not) awards: THE SISTER DANA SEZ DON’T MISS THESE FRAMELINE FLICK PICKS (when they hit the theaters, DVDs, and streaming): TAB HUNTER CONFI-DENTIAL, which had special appearances at the Festival by old school Hollywood heartthrob-turned-gay Tab Hunter and its filmmaker Jeffrey Schwarz (2015 Frameline Award honoree); there we also got a special sneak peek preview of the hot, hot, HOT MAGIC MIKE XXL, which was preceded by an electrifying surprise performance by an athletic quintet of male dancers who left us audience members hot and bothered. But hey, can anybuddy tell me the meaning of “XXL”? Is it Extra Extra Large? A soul-based periodical?? A gay dance club in Europe?? SEED MONEY:THE CHUCK HOLMES STORY, the brilliant biopic about the creator of gay male porn empire, Falcon Studios, and also a huge benefactor for queer charities (which is why the LGBT Community Center is named after Chuck Holmes); BEAUTIFUL SOMETHING, following four men in intertwining searches for gay sex, love, and identity in Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love; GUIDANCE, the hilarious scrapes a drunk former child star (played and directed by a real former child star) can get into when pretending to be a high school guidance counselor who also becomes a serial burglar; and THOSE PEOPLE, a witty, modern interpretation of Evelyn Waugh’s classic Brideshead Revisited. All six truly deserve TSDSDMTFFPawards!


    MAGNET, the Castro hub for health and wellbeing for gay and bi men, turns 12! Celebrate their 12 years of service on Thursday, July 9th, 8pm, 4122 18th Street for cake, champagne, and a special 12-year anniversary souvenir. Free. Also, don’t miss MAGNET ART OPENING reception featuring the art of MIKE SHRIVER, July 10th, 8-10pm.

    SF OASIS & EXHIBIT Q present BALONEY: PRIDE, San Francisco’s Gay All-Male Revue choreographed by Rory Davis, directed by Michael Phillis, starring Rory Davis, James Arthur M, Adam Roy, Shaun Mullen, Moe Arikat, Alex Steinhaus, Simon Palczynski, Tim Wingert, Michael Phillis & Aaron Sarazan, Thursday July 9th, Friday July 10th, Saturday July 11th, doors 7pm, show 8pm, Oasis, 298 11th Street at Folsom.

    HARVEY MILK LGBT DEMO-CRATIC CLUB is presenting their 39TH ANNUAL DINNER & GAYLA at New Asia Restaurant, 772 Pacific Avenue, Thursday, July 16th, 6-9pm. The keynote speaker is Jovanka Beckles, Councilmember, City of Richmond.

    The Cockettes photo book, TOO MUCH IS NEVER ENOUGH! needs Kickstarter donations to publish a limited edition, high quality comprehensive photo book of the seminal San Francisco theater troupe from 1969-1972.

    Sister Dana sez, “Happy belated Fourth of July! Well, we achieved independence from Britain in 1776 to become first class American citizens; so why can’t we queers in 2015 become more than second class American citizens?!”