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    Sister Dana sez, “Everybuddy of mine…”

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

    Sister Dana sez, “Everybuddy of mine (whether I know ya or not) please come to the 2nd ANNUAL BEARRISON STREET FAIR on October 15. Ya don’t gotta be a bear or be a friend of a bear—but just be a care bear and be aware!”

    BEARRISON STREET FAIR, produced by The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence & The Bears of San Francisco, seeks to provide an inclusive community event for all members of the adult LGBTQ+ community that promotes body positivity for all and builds a more supportive, welcoming, and inclusive bear scene by representing a diverse arena of cultures. October 15, noon to 6 pm, Harrison and 11th Streets. Come get a bear hug! Visit us on Facebook!

    Sadly, the leathered folx have to wait a few more weeks for LEATHERWALK 2022, which was rained out this time. The rescheduled parade and bar-crawl will begin at City Hall on October 15 and arrive at the 11th Street BEARRISON STREET FAIR for a celebration of body positivity.

    THE FOLSOM STREET FAIR, SoMa’s 39th celebration of kink and alternative sexuality, took over the blocks between Eighth and 13th Streets all day Sunday, September 24, making room for a matrix of dungeons and dance parties that form what is often identified as the world’s largest outdoor fetish festival. Produced by nonprofit FOLSOM STREET EVENTS, the Fair raises money for a variety of charities, including the PRC AIDS EMERGENCY FUND, DOLORES STREET COMMUNITY SERVICES, and THE TRANSGENDER LAW CENTER. Last year, Folsom found itself at a pandemic crossroads. Having lost 89% of the fair’s revenue in 2020, part of the proceeds from 2021 paid off debts from 2020. This year, Folsom has fully restored its grantmaking program.

    Alas, I have nothing very unusual to report about this year’s Folsom Fair, except one concept that upset me: a vendor’s booth offered “vegan toys.” What’s next then? A Pleather Fair?! Are we to feel somehow superior that we did not skin our cowhide to wear leather? Anyway, most everyone wore leather or some kind of costume or nothing at all. The weather was perfect for wearing just your “birthday suit.” California State Senator Scott Wiener enjoyed the Fair, but unfortunately had to defend his attendance after some homophobic people online took offense over a shirtless photo he posted with leathermen. Well, I give props to Senator Scott!

    One of my fave games offered at all the leather fairs is Steamworks’ lively version of TWISTER, where a spinner tells players where they have to place their hand or foot. The game promotes itself as “the game that ties you up in knots,” and it is such fun seeing half-naked folx doing exactly that! And it was so heartwarming to see the BARE CHEST CALENDAR guys autographing their datebook wares for charity. Special kudos to the Fair producers for providing free MPX and COVID-19 vaccines. Great plan! Sister Dana sez, “Vax to the max!”

    October is LGBTQ HISTORY MONTH in the United States. It was first observed in 1994. October was selected because it coincides with NATIONAL COMING OUT DAY on October 11, and because it is the month of the first “March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights” in 1979. Sister Dana sez, “Try as I might, I just cannot get any further OUT!”

    Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania are trying to pass a bill that goes further than Florida’s DON’T SAY GAY bill. And if Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano wins in November, it could become law. “It is patterned after the Florida bill, but mine goes further,” boasted state Rep. Stephanie Borowicz (R), the prime sponsor of H.B. 2813. Her bill would ban any instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity up through fifth grade. Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill only bans such conversations up through third grade. But that’s apparently NOT not gay enough, because she added, “It really needs to be protected up through 12th grade; we need to go all the way.” And I say, “No Way!”

    President Biden surprised Elton John at the White House with the NATIONAL HUMANITIES MEDAL. The singer said he was “flabbergasted” by the honor for his work in HIV/AIDS advocacy. Congratulations to both Joe and Elton!

    One of the world’s first community foundations of, by, and for LGBTQ people is HORIZONS FOUNDATION, which invests in LGBTQ nonprofits, strengthens a culture of LGBTQ giving, and builds a permanent endowment to secure our community’s future for generations to come. HORIZONS GALA 2022 was held both virtually live-streamed and in person on October 1 at the Fairmont Hotel where fierce Chicana activist and Board Chair Emerita Olga Talamante was honored with the Visionary Award, and Levi Strauss Foundation received the Leadership Award. The evening opened with a special performance by Horizons’ grantee partner, In Lak’ech Dance Academy. Horizons President Roger Doughty inspired us by speaking of what has been accomplished and what is yet to be done.  

    COMPASSION IS UNIVERSAL is SHANTI’s annual dinner and benefit on Thursday, October 13, 6–9 pm at The Palace Hotel. This year, they will celebrate 48 years of Shanti’s work in the community. The event will begin with a cocktail reception, followed by dinner and a program to recognize those in the community who best embody Shanti’s values of volunteerism and service.

    Sister Dana sez, “With all these lawsuits pending, Trump will play a very special game of MONOPOLY and ‘Go directly to jail: do not pass Mar-a-La GO!’”

    The mission of AIDS LEGAL REFERRAL PANEL (ALRP) is to help people living with HIV/AIDS maintain or improve their health by resolving their legal issues. ALRP represents the legal community’s caring response to AIDS and is the only institution in the Bay Area whose sole mission is dedicated to providing free and low-cost legal services. On October 19, ALRP will commemorate 39 years of serving the legal needs of people living with HIV/AIDS with their FROM THE HEART Reception & Auction, 6–9 pm at the historic Julia Morgan Ballroom, 465 California Street, 15th Floor. This year’s special guest host will be David Chiu. Since its beginnings in 1983, ALRP has handled over 85,000 legal matters for people living with HIV/AIDS. The agency currently leverages almost $1 Million each year in donated legal services to serve over 1,300 clients annually.

    ARTSAVESLIVES, produced by Thomasina DeMaio, presents NEW FARM SHOW on October 16, noon to 6 pm, 10 Cargo Way. 15 Local artists, spoken word, and 4 bands.

    LOCKDOWN COMEDY on Zoom, now in its 3rd year, will be on Thursday, October 20, 7 pm featuring Candy Shaw (SF), Nick Leonard (SF), Ying Vigilan (Spokane via China), and “The Geduldig Sisters”—producer/comic Lisa Geduldig with her 91-years-young mother, Arline Geduldig (both in Florida).

    THE SAN FRANCISCO ARTS COMMISSION is currently presenting JUANITA: 30 YEARS OF MORE!, showcasing the life and work of Juanita MORE!, the grande dame of the San Francisco drag scene. The exhibition is available to the public at the SFAC main gallery in the War Memorial Veterans Building, 401 Van Ness, now through November 12. It was a joy hugging Juanita with congratulations—among all her other admirers—on September 30 at the festive Opening Reception. The impressive exhibition features over 40 pieces of commissioned artwork, a roomful of photos, gorgeous gowns displayed, and gobs of jewelry fit for a queen collected in a glass case. These items offer a glimpse into the fabulous, purpose-driven life of Juanita and the thousands of artifacts that she has accumulated throughout the course of her career.

    An entire wall is devoted to display the multitudes of awards and certificates of honor given Juanita, including those from various city supervisors, boards, and even one from then-District Attorney Kamala Harris. Of course, being a nun, I most appreciated the time we Sisters sainted Juanita in 2006. A framed certificate gives proof, and the admission into Sainthood came with a declaration: “St. MORE is Better, Our Lady of Boundless Lashes and Bottomless Boys—Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. Be it decreed that from this day forward—that your good works shall be remembered in honor and perpetuity. You shall forever stand as a pillar of strength in The Community. You are hereby perpetually allied with the Order of The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Inc.” Sister Dana sez, “Amen to all that!”

    The 48th CASTRO STREET FAIR happened all day Sunday, October 2. The Fair has been celebrating the vibrant Castro District since its founding by Supervisor Harvey Milk in 1974. Producers have been able to give back more than $1.5 Million to their beneficiaries through the years. I was thrilled to see that Kaiser Permanente held a drop-in combination MPX (monkeypox)/updated COVID booster/flu vaccination clinic at STRUT during the Fair. At the SF BAY TIMES booth, the eternally rainbow-costumed Juan R. Davila gave fairgoers rainbow-colored bubble wands. We cheered on cheerleaders CHEER SAN FRANCISCO. And what joy seeing the SAN FRANCISCO LESBIAN/GAY FREEDOM BAND proudly marching right down the middle of Castro Street!

    THE CASTRO ART MART was that same Sunday—full of LGBTQ artists, live music, and drag performances. “Castro Art Mart” occurs every 1st Sunday of the month on Noe Street & Market, 11 am to 5 pm.  

    Sister Dana sez, “I am enraged that the awful QAnon creeps have stolen my favorite alphabet letter (‘Q’ is for Queer) for their horrible, dangerous, anti-democratic conspiracies!”

    Words of Wisdumb from a Fun Nun
    Published on October 6, 2022