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    Sister Dana sez, “Dangerous Donald Trump continues to give me nightmares…”

    Sister-Dana2Sister Dana sez, “Dangerous Donald Trump continues to give me nightmares. I am concerned that frustrated and burned Bernie fans will stay home out of spite and thus help usher in this monstrous mercurial megalomaniac. Please, Democrats, get out the vote!”

    Sister Dana was a very busy nun last Friday night, covering not one, not two, but THREE different art gallery receptions. Beginning with the 518 Castro Street ARTSAVESLIVES STUDIO AND GALLERY in the AIDS Healthcare Foundation building, there was the WOMEN’S ART SHOW curated by well known artist THOMASINA DEMAIO featuring two dozen different artists’ works (with three being men) on display. My three favorite artists were BILL BOWERS and his gorgeous fashion display of wearable art, as well as decorated framed photos (one being of Sister Dana and the late, great Sister Mysteria of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence sitting on a car as some of the Grand Marshals for the Gay Pride Parade years ago; YUKARI SHAKURA with “Self Portrait with a Dog and Animals of the Dream,” acrylic on wood, a large white dog surrounded by various beasts including a cat, turtle, snail, frog, bumblebee, butterfly, hummingbird, rabbit riding a swan, and more all by the seaside; and NIC GRIFFIN with his “GRRR,” charcoal on paper of a fierce wolf baring his fangs and ready to pounce.

    An ongoing feature of DeMaio’s art receptions are the highly entertaining pop-up live shows by talented performance artists. This evening began with DEBBIE DORISAL reading her original poem, “Deal Me Out,” a highly charged diatribe against “robotic attitudes toward life”; “True Friends,” a definition; “This Man Is Mad” about unfair incarcerations; and other slammin’ jams. Then LAY-SI LUNA, a lovely lady in dazzling red gown danced to 1930s French chanteuse Edith Piaf’s emotional “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien” (“No, I Regret Nothing”), then stripped down naked except for a sequined thong, next slipped into silk pants, dramatically wiped off all her makeup, put on a man’s top coat to flatten her breasts to become a male! Stunning gender-bending! The next performer was poet RACHEL JANINE reciting her long poem, “Four Walls,” about the metaphoric walls we put up to keep from communicating with one another. Professional masseuse, large and in charge MAGNOLIAH BLACK in cobalt blue hair belted out live the tres tres torchy “Cry Me A River” made famous by 50s singer Julie London. The voluptuous MEGHAN EASON acted as femcee (and is the stage manager for these lively diverse shows), and also did a striking performance piece to “Feel Blind,” blindfolded, wearing a fake white fur splattered in fake blood, “staring” into a hand mirror inscribed “Who Are You?” on the back, stripping down to copper colored panties, biting into an apple and spitting out pieces into the audience. DeMaio joked to me, “The Castro hasn’t seen this much bare boob in a long time!” Agreed. A trio of women (GIGI D’AMORE, AVA LANCHE, & LAVENDER HUNNY), known collectively as Lust Designs, had two seductive ladies in black latex “crucifying” a woman in flesh-tinted translucent latex–the victim’s arms outstretched on a cross-like pole, each hand clutching a bouquet of red roses–while a punk rock medley played. The duo smeared lube all over the woman’s body and bound her in black leather ribbons to become a human maypole, then knelt down and worshipped her, eventually ripping up the roses and strewing petals everywhere. The final performance was by the small, but big on energy and strength, KYOKO UCHIDA dancing to the jazz number, “Compared To What,” executing acrobatics, dance, splits, tricks, and impressive hand stands on poles–including an amazing one-handed stand. Astonishing! What an incredible night of entertainment!!!

    Next Sister Dana walked up the street to STRUT, the Castro health and wellbeing center for gay, bi, and trans men at 470 Castro Street, to check out the May month-long exhibition of DUANE WAKEHAM DRAWS GAY MEN’S SKETCH, 1987-2016. On the second floor of Strut, from left to right, Wakeham displays different sessions, starting with quick gesture drawings (30 seconds to four minute sessions), figure sketches (20 minute sessions), portraits in Prismacolor pencil, and pastel nude studies (20 minutes), and 20 minute pencil drawings with impressive shadowing and shading. Also in the show are several dozen artists all depicting Wakeman in their interpretations through various mediums. My favorite of them is by KEVIN WOODSON, who is exhibiting his glorious floral watercolor paintings, “Peace Within Chaos,” June 1 through July 30 at Joyce Gordon Gallery, 406 14th Street, downtown Oakland, with reception on June 3, 6–9 pm.

    Join GAY MEN’S SKETCH on Sunday, May 22, for the GAY MEN’S SKETCH MARATHON, a Benefit for Gay Men’s Sketch. It’s a drawing group for gay men. MARK I. CHESTER, the founder of the group, has been hosting the sessions in his studio in SOMA for the past 29 years. This year Gay Men’s Sketch is doing an exhibit at Strut for the month of May to celebrate Duane Wakeham, their second longest attending member. As part of the festivities they are hosting a drawing marathon at Strut from 2–5 pm. Bring your sketch book, your pencils, erasers, and grab a seat to join the fun and help raise money for this long-running gay organization. The drawings from the session will be for sale for a donation of $20. If you would like to volunteer to model for Gay Men’s Sketch, feel free to email Mark I. Chester at

    The third reception was at 111 Minna Gallery. Pop artist JASON MECIER delivers a continuation of his one of a kind and outrageous mosaic portraits with his latest body of work titled, “CELEBRITY TRASH,” an extension in his “Celebrity Junk Drawer” series. With current pop subjects such as Pamela Anderson’s laundry, Amy Schumer’s dental dams, and Lindsay Lohan trash, he is well known to meticulously fabricate anybody from anything. From Kevin Bacon out of bacon, to Honey Boo Boo out of 25 lbs. of trash, you can be assured that what is seen, is not what it seems. You can only grasp the humorous irony behind the objects used to compose the subjects by getting up close and allowing your eyes to scan the many depths present in defining the portraits. Among my faves were Amy Sedaris made out of bits and pieces from her craft drawer and Florence Henderson made with empty bottles of her sponsors of Brady Bunch, Polident and Wesson Oil. Mecier’s artwork has been featured everywhere from Entertainment Weekly to The New York Times, on TV shows like Glee, Rachael Ray and TMZ, as well as in music videos by Pink and Pitbull. His portraits are hanging in Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museums, countless celebrity homes, and even in The Playboy Mansion! 111 Minna (Street) Gallery is open weekdays 8 until 5 pm, so be trashy and go see!

    PROJECT OPEN HAND held its signature benefit, TASTE OF THE CITY, its second annual gala as an exciting culinary experience that brought those with an appetite for philanthropy to some of San Francisco’s finest chefs’ tables. The once yearly event celebrated the 31st anniversary of Open Hand, which has provided more than 18 million nutritious meals. The funds raised by this event helped Project Open Hand provide meals with love to seniors and critically ill neighbors. The reception began with an inspirational program and live auction at San Francisco City Hall, and was followed by complimentary transportation of parties of ten to dinner at a top San Francisco restaurant. Hosting the City Hall portion were two drag queen celebutantes: Miss MGM Grande, who was marvelous in magenta lip-synching “Glory,” and Pollo Del Mar sans wig with bald head sprayed silver performing “When You’re Good to Mama” from the musical Chicago. CEO Mark Ryle produced a video with some of the clients giving their thankful testimonies. He introduced special guest William Dean, POH client to speak live about his experience with the service. After the reception, my group boarded a special bus to Starbelly in the Castro for a lovely meal with wine. Tasty!

    We joined the SAN FRANCISCO LESBIAN/GAY FREEDOM BAND for a fun-filled audience participation concert at the beautiful Sir Francis Drake Hotel. We took our shower-time operatic renditions to the next level as we belted out some of Broadway’s most beloved show tunes from throughout the decades in this super sing-along concert! Artistic Director PETE NOWLEN led the fun as the Band musically transported us to the bright lights of Broadway with tunes from classics such as Grease, West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, Cabaret, La Cage Aux Folles, to name a few. Special guest artists DONNA SACHET and LEANNE BORGHESI emceed the evening and sang some of our favorite tunes. I had the privilege of sitting next to Reigning SF Emperor Salvador Tovar at the ROCKY HORROR SHOW table, where we executed a flawless “Time Warp” dance and dueted delightfully on many B’way hit tunes.

    SAN FRANCISCO GAY MEN’S CHORUS (SFGMC) and the SFGMC DIVAS held their 5th Annual DRAGATHON event at The Café, raising much-needed funds for the SFGMC Financial Assistance Network (FAN). “Five years ago, the idea of “Dragathon” was born at a Chorus member’s birthday party,” said SFGMC Divas leader, Richie Perez. “The Divas banded together to figure out how we could turn it around to benefit the Chorus. Our inaugural event launched in 2011, and it has grown in both size and funds raised every year!” This year’s Dragathon theme, DRAGATHON IS BURNING, came from Jennie Livingston’s legendary 1990 documentary Paris Is Burning, which focused on ball culture in New York City in the mid-to-late 1980s. The film is a vital chapter in LGBTQ history. Dragathon is a five-week crowd-funding campaign where individuals compete for the “coveted” title of Ms. Dragathon 2016–starting with Round One with 5 categories: First Time in Drag (and I am more than thrilled that my dear friend Edwin aka Miss Ammy Thyst (dressed in purple in honor of her hero Prince) took First Place; but that’s not all: she was also Highest Fundraiser having raised $9,225, and wait, there’s more: Ms. Dragathon 2nd Runner Up (I am so proud!); Femme Queen; Butch Queen Up in Pumps; Banjee Realness; and Sh’Free for All. Since Dragathon’s inception, the SFGMC Divas have raised over $102,000 for the Chorus’ FAN network. Nice job, DQs!

    THE WOMEN’S BUILDING of San Francisco, the first women-owned and operated community center in the country, celebrated their 45TH ANNIVERSARY in their building at 3543 18th Street. Since 1971, they have housed 170 emerging women’s organizations, opened their doors to more than 1,000,000 women, and have served as a beacon of hope and stability for San Francisco’s diverse community. Emceeing the fundraiser festivities were The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. Entertainment was provided by Circulo Cultural, Rhythm & Motion, and Sweet Can Productions.

    We celebrated the KICK OFF OF SAN FRANCISCO PRIDE SEASON with members & donors at Lookout bar & lounge. Emcees were SISTER ROMA & DJ SERGIO FEDASZ introducing a long list of talented performers including Cheer SF, Donna Sachet, Deana Dawn, Leanne Borghesi, Emma Peel, Aja Monet-Ashton, Sable Jones, Kippy Marks, and more. Gary Virginia was Event Chair. We got to meet Grand Marshals, honorees, and LGBTQ movers & shakers. This was also INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST HOMOPHOBIA, TRANSPHOBIA & BIPHOBIA, with over 600 events happening worldwide. The acronym used to be called IDAHO, until more contingents joined in.

    OUR FAMILY COALITION, advancing equity for LGBTQ families with children through support, education, and advocacy, presented their 20th anniversary NIGHT OUT 2016 at InterContinental San Francisco. It was co-hosted by Senator Mark Leno & Bishop Evette Flunder with emcee Micia Mosley. Executive Director Judy Appel spoke of the many triumphs of OFC and LGBTQ people in general. Honoree Miss Major received the Groundbreaker Award for her decades of activism. Jonathan Logan and Cheryl Deaner received Legacy Awards. Entertainment was by American Idol finalist MK Nobilette singing and playing guitar.

    OPENHOUSE, providing housing, services and community for LGBT seniors, presented their annual SPRING FLING at 5 Embarcadero Center in the Grand Ballroom as their biggest and most popular event ever. Some 600 civic leaders, business people, corporate sponsors, donors, and community members came together to honor long distance swimmer Diana Nyad with the Trailblazer Award presented by Seth Kilbourn and the Adelman/Gurevitch Founders Award presented by Dr. Marcy Adelman to philanthropic leader Roger Doughty. Also honored were Den Reno & Molly Reno with Service Awards presented by Director of Programs Michelle Alcedo. Spring Fling Co-Chairs were Tracy Gary and David Wabel. Event Hosts included Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, House Democratic Leader; Mayor Ed Lee; Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr.; Mayor Art Agnos; California Assemblymember David Chiu; City Attorney Dennis Herrera; Treasurer Jose Cisneros; and the Board of Supervisors. Executive Director Seth Kilborn spoke about the many victories for LGBTQ seniors and announced that “in just a few weeks, applications for the Openhouse senior community at 55 Laguna will be available.”


    Sister Dana sez, “These are events you won’t want to miss.”

    Andrew Fisher, Thomasina DeMaio, Brian Moore, Matt Pipes, Morris Taylor, Elliott C Nathan, James Swainson, and other artists will proudly display their magnificent pieces when 611 Hyde Street is transformed from now to June 30 into PRIDE ART SHOW. Presented by RENÉ CAPONE and curated by MISS KAREN IMPERIAL of The Bryant Street Gallery in Palo Alto, artists will reflect their vision of  “Pride, Ritual, Independence, Determination & Endurance.” Opening reception: June 2, First Thursday’s Art Walk, 6 pm–10 pm; Open: Mondays through Saturdays 1 am–7 pm. Open during Pride weekend & the GLBT Pride Parade Special Screening of original Cockette Rumi Missabu’s hysterical 1972 Drag Cult Classic, Elevator Girls in Bondage. Dragalicious!

    PAWS (PETS ARE WONDERFUL SUPPORT) Program, a program of the SHANTI PROJECT, is San Francisco’s only program dedicated to preserving the human-animal bond. PETCHITECTURE is the signature annual fundraiser for PAWS. Funds raised comprise a key source of support for companion animal support services for low-income seniors and people living with HIV, cancer, or other disabling illnesses in San Francisco. Wednesday, May 25, 6 pm. Reception and Silent Auction followed by Program at the historic Fairmont Hotel. Woof & meow!

    SASHA SOPRANO presents The DRAG QUEENS OF COMEDY 2016 on Saturday, May 28, 6 and 10 pm at the Castro Theatre. Featuring 10 of the Most Outrageous & Hilarious Drag Artistes, Hosted by BIANCA DEL RIORuPaul’s Drag Race Winner–Season 6, starring: Coco Peru, Varla Jean Merman, Lady Bunny, Alyssa Edwards, Trixie Mattel, Bob The Drag Queen, Heklina & Peaches And Sasha Soprano. For information call 415-254-3362,

    THEATRE RHINOCEROS presents PRESENT LAUGHTER by NOËL COWARD May 21 through June 18 at Eureka Theatre, 215 Jackson Street. Present Laughter is one of Coward’s most personal and wittiest comedies. Present Laughter premiered in 1942 during the Second World War just as the upper classes were threatened with fundamental social change. This semi-autobiographical comedy follows a self-obsessed actor in the midst of a mid-life crisis who freely indulges his considerable appetite for wine, women, men, and sleeping late. At the center of his own universe sits matinee idol Garry Essendine: suave, hedonistic and too old, says his wife, to be having numerous affairs. Just before he escapes on tour to Africa, the full extent of his misdemeanors is discovered. And all hell breaks loose.

    Sister Dana sez, “Contrary to decades of right-wing misinformation, we do NOT have a Social Security crisis. But we DO have a retirement crisis, caused by rising inequality, stagnating wages, and the failure of 401Ks to replace vanishing defined benefit pension plans. Social Security is the only part of our retirement system that is still working–and it works great! The only problem? Benefits are far too low!”