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    Sister Dana sez, “Everybody wave the Light Blue, Pink, and White Transgender Flag…”

    By Sister Dana Van Iquity, Words of Wisdumb from a Fun Nun–

    Sister Dana sez, “Everybody wave the Light Blue, Pink, and White Transgender Flag with Pride for Transgender Awareness Week!”

    TRANSGENDER AWARENESS WEEK, annually observed November 13 to November 19, is a one-week celebration leading up to the TRANSGENDER DAY OF REMEMBRANCE, which memorializes victims of transphobic violence. Transgender Awareness Week is a special opportunity when transgender people and their allies take action to bring attention to the community by educating the public about who transgender people are, sharing stories and experiences, and advancing advocacy around issues of prejudice, discrimination, and violence that affect the transgender community.

    The Transgender Pride Flag has five stripes with alternating colors. A single white stripe is surrounded on the top and bottom by two light blue and light pink stripes. The blue and pink colors are the traditional colors for boys and girls, while the white stripe represents transitioning, intersex, or gender-neutral identities. Professor Sister Dana sez, “Students, learn this history! Okay, class dismissed! Oh, but wait, there’s more.”

    The flag’s symmetry is important as well—according to flag creator Monica Helms, “The pattern is such that no matter which way you fly it, it is always correct, signifying us finding correctness in our lives.”

    AIDS LEGAL REFERRAL PANEL (ALRP) held their 40TH ANNIVERSARY ANNUAL RECEPTION on October 19 in the Julia Morgan Ballroom, raising over $250,000 to provide free and low-cost legal services to people living with HIV/AIDS. State Senator Scott Wiener served as Special Guest Host, helping us recognize and celebrate three outstanding individuals for their service to the community: Laura Thomas received the Clint Hockenberry Leadership Award; Steven Chizen was bestowed with the Attorney of the Year Award; and having served ALRP for 24 years, Outgoing ALRP Executive Director Bill Hirsh received the Special Recognition Award. From recognizing the honorees, to a beautiful tribute to outgoing E.D. Hirsh, to a successful live auction and fund-a-need that raised over $15,000 to sustain ALRP’s law clerk program, the night could not have gone better!

    KREWE DE KINQUE held our monthly benefit on October 21 at Midnight Sun in the Castro, REMEMBRANCE, to help raise funds for Castro’s RAINBOW HONOR WALKKing & Queen XX Mez & Moxie hosted with their usual regal fabulosity. Because it was almost All Hallow’s Eve + Eve * Eve, we raised a glass to the LGBTQ Spirits who have gone before us, especially those honored with bronze commemorative plaques in our historic neighborhood. Among the incredible live performances were Krewe de Kinque Queen and newly crowned Grand Duchess Kelly Rose, KdK Queen Chrisina Ashton giving us full-on CHER, singing and melting our hearts singing live KdK King Mark Palladini, the always spectacular Miss Candi Mint, so many entertainers, Taylor Swift (actually an amazing impersonator), and the live singing Rainbow Honor Walk Board member was our beloved Donna Sachet.

    The Rainbow Honor Walk, located in San Francisco’s world-famous neighborhood Castro district, features stunning bronze sidewalk plaques that honor LGBTQ individuals who have made a significant impact in global history. The Board, formed in 2008 by local community members and allies, is a 501 (C)(3) nonprofit organization. Its main objective is to recognize and highlight the achievements and contributions to humankind made by LGBTQ people. Now spanning many city blocks, the Rainbow Honor Walk public art installation is an educational and inspirational walk among some of the world’s greatest LGBTQ pioneers. Discover how these brave individuals persevered while facing immense oppression and adversity. Sister Dana sez, “Walk ‘till you drop! This sidewalk will never be banned, and it’s better than any history books!”

    November 2, 9 pm to midnight at Club 440, is the launch party for the Every First Thursday BEST BUTT CONTEST with a $150 cash prize. We at Krewe de Kinque used to call this “The Full Moon Contest.” MC Gary Virginia hosts with DJ Jim Hopkins.

    Hours after a federal judge imposed a narrow gag order on Darn Old Trump, the dishonored ex-president made two campaign speeches in Iowa promising the MAGA audience that “what they don’t understand is that I am willing to go to jail if that’s what it takes for our country to win and become a democracy again.” Sister Dana sez, “Yes Donnie dear, that really WOULD help our democracy, and in your notorious chant: ‘Lock him up’!”

    SHANTI PROJECT presented COMPASSION IS UNIVERSAL on October 27 at The Palace Hotel, emceed by a surprisingly, marvelously musical Kevin Joyce. We were welcomed to this annual fundraising gala with warm opening remarks. “We come together to celebrate Shanti’s 49-year legacy of compassion, connection, and community in San Francisco,” said Shanti Chief Executor Kimberly Scrafano. She added that in original Latin, “compassion” is an action verb. “We are especially excited to recognize three individuals who truly embody Shanti’s value of service,” exclaimed Shanti Board Chair Micki Klearman, M.D. Musical guests included the lively Joe Warner ComboSenator Scott Wiener gave everyone a painful but important ‘80s AIDS discrimination history: “When men died alone.” Supervisor Rafael Mandelman heralded Shanti and presented a “Certificate of Recognition” from The Board of Supervisors. First of the awards was the presentation of the 2023 “Margot Murphy Inspiration Award” to Barbara Rose Brooker by Dr. Maura Dickler. Then the 2023 “James C. Hormel Community Spirit Award” was posthumously bestowed upon Juan Pablo Gutiérrez (1953–2021), presented by Prado Gomez and accepted by Luis de la Garza. I was so privileged to sit with this darling duo earlier at the reception, who gave me a priceless, over four-feet long, multi-colored, multi-cultured, gorgeous poster depiction of Día de los Muertos (“Day of the Dead” annually commemorated in The Mission district).

    A stellar intre-act performance by Drag Artiste Kylie Minono gave us classic, excellent Ella Fitzgerald. Then we were truly inspired by heartbreaking yet also joyous remarks from guest speaker Richard Goldman, Shanti volunteer, client, and former staff. And finally, the presentation of the 2023 “Nancy Pelosi Lifetime Achievement Award” was given to Tom Nolan by Dr. Charles A. Garfield, the incredible Shanti founder. The perfect finale, and so thematic and dramatic for this utter evening of love, was another grand performance by Grand Duchess Kylie Minono with her amazing drag expression of “Origin of Love” from the Hedwig and the Angry Inch musical.

    “Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!” That’s the motto of Mame Dennis, one of musical theatre’s all-time greatest heroines—in this tuneful, hilarious, and touching adaptation of Patrick Dennis‘s bestseller book, Auntie Mame. The show, MAME, opens November 2 and plays through November 19 at Gateway Theatre, 215 Jackson Street. Check the website for various times.

    In two parts of 45 minutes, PIAF! THE SHOW tells the story of the amazing career of the classic French singer EDITH PIAF through her unforgettable songs in an original scenography and projections of unpublished images of Piaf never published before. Monday, November 6, 7:30 pm—one night only! Herbst Theater, 401 Van Ness Avenue.

    The 26th Annual San Francisco TRANSGENDER FILM FESTIVAL screens at the Roxie Theater, 3117 16th Street (and also online with tickets) on November 8 through November 19. Check the related feature in this issue of the San Francisco Bay Times and go to the SFTFF website for the full schedule:

    PRC has been transforming the Bay Area for decades, helping those affected by HIV/AIDS, substance use, or mental health issues realize their best selves by providing the support and services they need to reclaim their lives. PRC’s signature event of the year, the MIGHTY REAL GALA, is all about being Mighty Real. It’s also about being absolutely fabulous, just like gay iconic singer, Sylvester, and his classic hit, “Mighty Real.” He transformed our ideas about who and what we could be, and he went on to be a star. We can be a star for a night on November 9, 6:30 pm, St. Joseph’s Art Society, 1401 Howard Street.

    Trump was impeached not once, but TWICE, for his corrupt and dangerous actions during his presidency. He should be BANNED from running again. 147 Republican lawmakers—including Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, and Marjorie Taylor Greene—voted to overturn the 2020 election results. It is extremely dangerous that Republicans in Congress continue to spout Trump’s lies that the election was stolen. We want to see more strong Democratic women elected to Congress who will fight back against Trump-loving Republicans. Representative Liz Cheney has been boldly, bravely fighting for democracy. Sister Dana sez, “Award Liz Cheney with the Presidential Medal of Freedom! She certainly deserves that honor!”

    Disgraced ex-president Donald T-rump faces 91 felony counts. If found guilty, he could face up to 700 years in prison.  Sister Dana sez, “Lock him up—and not just home confinement at the extravagant Mara-A-LOCO. Put him in the nastiest prison possible!”

    The shooting in Maine is a horrific tragedy. And until leaders in Washington finally stand up to the gun lobby and ban assault weapons, it will only be a matter of time until the next mass shooting leaves another community torn apart by these weapons of war. Sister Dana sez, “Dear Republicans, stop arguing that ARs are necessary for ‘deer hunting.’ Those dear deers don’t stand a chance against such evil weaponry!”

    The November installment of LOCKDOWN COMEDY on Zoom takes place on Thursday, November 9, 7 pm and features Matt Kirshen (LA, via London), Dhaya Lakshminarayanan (SF), Nicole Tran (LA, via Vietnam), show producer/comic Lisa Geduldig,and her 92-years-young mom, Arline Geduldig (Florida)—aka The Geduldig Sisters

    We Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence got Halloween off to a great start with our fun and festive HALLOWEEN COSTUME CONTEST at the Castro Theatre on October 28. Costumed folx got in for free. Cash prizes were awarded for the best costumes in the categories of SPOOKIEST, SEXIEST, FUNNIEST, and BEST OVERALL. Emceed by Sister Roma & Sister Morticia, we judges narrowed them down, and then let the audience roar for approvals. I was dressed as the Republicans’ biggest fear, a Gay Recruiter—in rainbow nun drag plus my black t-shirt with neon orange, all caps stating PROMOTE HOMOSEXUALITY. The best part that warmed my heart was when the hundreds of people emotionally, excitedly chanted along with me, “Promote Homosexuality!”

    Dennis McMillan (aka Sister Dana) with Sister Roma at
    Shanti’s Compassion Is Universal gala
    dinner at the Palace Hotel on Friday, October 27.

    After three weeks of the Congressional clown show, Repugnicans finally got themselves a speaker, Rep. MAGA Mike Johnson of Louisiana. This could maybe be good news for us liberal Democrats (and Independent fence-sitters). RePUNKlicans now have to defend an extremely anti-abortion, anti-LGBTQ, anti-democracy, election-denying insurgent. Sister Dana sez, “This is not the time to stay home from voting all blue, no red, not even a purple! For heaven’s sake—Our human rights are at stake!”

    Words of Wisdumb from a Fun Nun
    Published on November 2, 2023