Recent Comments


    Sister Dana sez, “Good news! ‘The Times’ editorial board has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president!”

    Sister-Dana2Sister Dana sez, “Good news! ‘The Times’ editorial board has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, stating: ‘Our choice, Hillary Clinton, has a record of service and a raft of pragmatic ideas, while Donald Trump discloses nothing concrete about himself or his plans—while promising the moon and offering the stars on layaway.’ Kudos, Times!”

    PASSPORT TO BEAUTY was an evening of beauty at The Epi Center MedSpa at 450 Sutter Street. Personally it was kinda an evening of humiliation when I discovered a machine informed me I was overweight. Bummer. But it was also fun to watch my friend Grand Duchess Pollo Del Mar undergoing the cool-sculpting process for weight reduction in full drag while trading loving barbs—i.e. “I hope this won’t hurt the baby,” I joked, and she snapped right back, “Sister Dana, dear, should you be drinking wine when you’re about to deliver a baby?!” All in good fun. Proceeds benefited ACADEMY OF FRIENDS and their 2017 Beneficiary Partners who were announced by Board Vice President Matthew Denckla during this party: AGUILAS, AIDS LEGAL REFERRAL (ALRP), MAITRI, (first-time beneficiary), OPENHOUSE, and the recent merger of SPECTRUM & MARIN AIDS PROJECT into SPAHR CENTER. It was also a time to remind people to save the date for the 37TH ANNUAL ACADEMY OF FRIENDS GALA on February 26, 2017, with all the Oscar fabulousness on big screens and with live entertainment. Academy of Friends is a local nonprofit that raises funds, spreads awareness, and encourages volunteerism that benefits HIV/AIDS direct care and prevention education agencies in the San Francisco Bay Area. Academy of Friends has been in existence and evolving for over 36 years. Soon after the onset of the HIV epidemic, the organization dedicated themselves to the mission of working to ease the burden of this disease through the raising of funds in support of direct care for those with HIV/AIDS and educational programs to prevent infection. As the pandemic grew, thus did their scope; to help “…where the need is greatest, until the crisis has passed.” Through the annual Academy Awards Night Gala, they have raised almost $9 million to support more than 73 HIV/AIDS service organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    Bringing together a creative community of artists, galleries, art donors and art patrons, sponsors and media, the UCSF ALLIANCE HEALTH PROJECT (formerly the AIDS Health Project) presented “ART FOR AIDS” at Metreon City View to connect the art world with one of the nation’s leading HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ mental health organizations. As 2016 is their 20th year, they especially honored the people living with HIV and the staff and volunteers at the UCSF Alliance Health Project. Art for AIDS originated in 1996 when several local artists joined forces and decided to sell their art to help friends living with HIV/AIDS. Over the years, Art for AIDS has grown, and this year over 180 modern and contemporary art pieces were for sale during an evening of silent and live auctions through auctioneer Patrick Walsh in this his 20th straight year. The evening raised crucial funds, nearly $340,000, to provide mental health and wellness services to LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities. I want to mention my favorite pieces with their websites, so readers can contact them if interested:  “Black Stilettos” acrylic by Barbara Heinrich ( are the only heels I could possibly fit into; to go with those stilettos by Heinrich is “Athena the Brave” wire sculpture of a full-length shoulder-strapped gown by Kristine Mays ( “Love Hurts” spray-painted on paper by Fake ( is a silhouette of a little boy and girl, surrounded by hearts and stars—so innocent, until you notice the huge baseball bat with nails being branded by the girl; “The Trio” black & white print by Jim Dennis ( has three tasteful nudes (genders not recognizable) from the backs to the backsides hugging into one loving threesome; “Y Not” silk & cotton quilt stretched over canvas by Amy Ahlstrom ( shows two men in masks kissing in from of a sign, “Hotel deAnza,” and a martini glass forming the “Y” on the sign; among the many lovely portrayals of the City of San Francisco, one stood out for me—”Pier One Reflections” oil paint over collage on wood panel by Catherine Mackey ( because it’s a view from sea level of a rather rugged, weather-beaten pier and pilings; “Farrier” archival black & white ink on matte paper by Frank Doering ( was a hunky blacksmith (yes, I had to look up the word “farrier” to find it was a 16th century British word for “blacksmith”—shoeing a horse, perfect for any leatherfolk, especially during Folsom Week). The most whimsical if not naughtiest piece was “F U” (but spelled out and in bold ALL-CAPS) over an otherwise beautiful floral and butterfly background by Suzy Kellems Dominik ( It was so well-liked that we attendees got our canvas goodie bags printed with that very popular provocative piece!

    The 25th annual LEATHERWALK 2016  featured pre-walk entertainment at Jane Warner Plaza and hundreds of blue, red, black, and white balloons (the official colors of the leather flag) and banners. The walk took off with Mistress of Ceremonies Sister Roma and Master of Ceremonies Lance Holman on a flatbed truck with performances by some of San Francisco’s most amazing vocal and drag talent, including Empress Emma Peel, Grace Towers, Abominatrix, Raquela, and Mark Paladini among others. Along the way the 200-strong stopped at Powerhouse, Mr. S Leather, Lone Star, and the SF Eagle as the final stop and raising of the leather flag. An excellent prologue to the Folsom Street Fair!

    THE LGBT ASYLUM PROJECT is the only Bay Area nonprofit program dedicated solely to offering pro-bono legal representation to vulnerable LGBT immigrants fleeing persecution abroad and seeking protection in the United States. ​They presented “ART FOR ASYLUM” at Lynn Luckow’s LikeMinded Gallery for a celebration of art featuring the works of LGBTA artists Rene Capone, Travis Monson, Elliott C. Nathan, Daniel Phill and Nikki Vismara. 20% of all sales benefited The LGBT Asylum Project.

    THOMASINA DE MAIO invited the public to her Castro Street ARTSAVESLIVES STUDIO AND GALLERY, at 518 Castro Street, to my buddy’s “RENE CAPONE’S 38TH BIRTHDAY PARTY.This was also the one-year anniversary for the gallery in the Castro. We enjoyed art work co-curated by studio owner Thomasina De Maio and Rene Capone featuring exhibitions by Capone, Andrew Fisher, Peggy Sue Ward, Mike Staley, Carl Linkhart, Eddie Rifkind, Kay Ueda, Aaron Zonka, Jerry Frost, Donna DeMatteo, Paul Richard, Matt Pipes, Brian Moore, Simone, and John Walbinger. The art-packed evening included emcee Kristine Wilson introducing artful live performances by: Jose Cital in just a g-string with a gigantic open eye painted on each butt cheek, doing dramatic contemporary dance and acrobatics; Linx with mind-blowing magic and mind-reading; Carl Linkhart of The Cockettes singing live in orange wig and huge headdress with “Hey There, Soldier” and “Boom,” a dishy, trashy camp classic.

    Miss SF Leather 2016 Stela Furtada served up performance art dressed in black angel wings and lacey skirt, which she stripped off, and then took down her shorts to reveal she had a tail! Don’t worry: it was fake.) Magnolia Black sang an emotional “House of the Rising Sun;” Dahlia Kash gave a brave, gut-wrenching poetry reading practically in the raw to address her issues followed by pride as a woman with “a fat, hairy, brown body;” and Donna DeMatteo offered an original poetry reading—some regarding constitutional law from her lawyer days, some angry, and some homoerotic. Each of their performances was superb! As always, studio resident DeMaio came through with plenty of wine, beer, food, performance, and incredible art. Everything complimentary! DeMaio also offers weekly studio sessions with live models for sketching, sculpting, and painting. Don’t miss the next reception/ show on October 14th, 6 to 9:30pm at ARTSAVESLIVES with comic Marga Gomez as emcee.

    FOLSOM STREET FAIR was bigger and better this year. Approximately 400,000 fetish enthusiasts spread out over 13 city blocks—spanning Folsom Street between 8th and 13th Streets, in San Francisco’s South of Market district. The fair started in 1984 and is now California’s third-largest single-day, outdoor spectator event and the world’s largest leather event and showcase for BDSM products and culture. It was really really really hot—and not just in the sense of weather. Fairgoers attended in all sorts of dress and undress, because nudity was legally allowed. Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and their volunteers collected donations at the gates to benefit this year’s ten major beneficiaries: AIDS Legal Referral Panel, Bayview/Hunter’s Point Community Legal, Berkeley Free Clinic, Castro Country Club, Frameline, Hospitality House, National AIDS Memorial Grove, Pets Are Wonderful Support, Project Inform, and San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus.

    The main stage featured some of the most stellar music from synth pop and electronic to indie and house. This year’s headliners were electronic and indie dance dynamos: Dragonette,YACHT, and ADULT. In addition to the main stage, the fair featured two dance areas: Magnitude Dance Area on 11th Street between Folsom and Harrison and the DEVIANTS Dance District on Folsom at 13th Street. Also on the main stage were Billy Lloyd, Cherushii, Leather Titleholders, Group Rhoda, SOLSUN, and Fritz Helder. There were all the usual booths (over 200 this year) offering information and titillation for BDSM enthusiasts. But among the “something new” category, we got our first taste of SILENCE! at Folsom Street Fair at the SILENCE! booth, where fans were able to take selfies with Hannibal Lecter and Clarice Starling, and, in a nod to the iconic quote from the Academy Award-winning film, Silence of the Lambs, could try to win tickets to the Ray of Light Theatre presentation in latter January 2017 by throwing bottles of limited edition SILENCE! lotion into the “f*#%ing basket!”


    Sister Dana sez, “Do not despair! You can still do a fair! The Castro Street Fair! And all these other lovely coming events.”

    MIGHTY REELS: A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE GAYBORHOOD is at the GLBT HISTORY MUSEUM, 4127 18th Street on Friday, September 30th, 7–9 pm, admission: $5; free for members. This month’s installment of the “Mighty Reels” series of historic LGBTQ film and video from the archives reveals the sights and sounds of the early years of the CASTRO STREET FAIR. Media preservationist John Raines presents rare videotape of the 1976 and 1978 fairs as captured by the Queer Blue Light media collective. Always held on the first Sunday in October, the fair has been a favorite with residents and visitors alike for over 40 years. A major highlight of these videos is a brief interview with Harvey Milk, who explains his rationale for establishing the event in 1974. The screening takes place just two days before this year’s fair.

    A memorial reading from writings by Mark Thompson is Friday, September 30, 7 pm to 8:30 pm at Dog Eared Books Castro. Mark Thompson had a major influence in so many areas of Queer life, as a Radical Faerie, journalist, author, leatherman, and photographer.  The readers include Trebor Healey, Sister Merry Peter, Ganymede, Carol Queen, Justin Tanis, Jim Van Buskirk and others.

    THE FORTY-THIRD ANNUAL CASTRO STREET FAIR is back! On Sunday, October 2, 11 am–6pm in the heart of the Castro, show the love to my favorite gayborhood! Located at the intersection of Market & Castro Streets and the surrounding area, The Castro Street Fair is a community street celebration that was founded by Harvey Milk in 1974. Featuring four fabulous entertainment areas, hundreds of local and artisanal vendors, food and beverages, and the Castro businesses you know and love, it’s a day to celebrate with friends in the San Francisco sunshine. Dance Alley will keep you dancing, Sundance Saloon will keep you stomping, the Main Stage will keep you whooping, and the newest stage, the Castro Street Stage, will keep you loving. A small $5–$10 donation at the gates will keep the Fair up and running, and gets you a discount on adult beverages, so bring some cash with you! The Fair is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, and all proceeds go directly to charitable causes important to the Castro community. Additionally, the Fair funds the rainbow flag that flies over the intersection of Castro and Market. Don’t miss this annual tradition in the Castro! (See pages 20 and 21 for more info.)

    THRILLPEDDLERS presents SHOCKTOBERFEST 17: PYRAMID OF FREAKS: 17th Annual Extravaganza of Terror & Titillation at The Hypnodrome—575 10th Street (between Bryant & Division Streets), October 6–November 19, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays – 8 pm. This annual festival of Grand Guignol horror theatre and black comedies plays as a limited engagement of only 22 performances. The festival includes five new one-act performances plus the fun and scary lights-out spook-show. It’s the perfect prelude to Halloween.

    FILM/FAN is a periodic gathering dedicated to affirming space for queer community, film, art, and literature in San Francisco. The events bring together LGBTQQ artists and LGBTQQ people to the ARTSAVESLIVES studio, 518 Castro Street (courtesy of founder/creator Thomasina DeMaio). They meet for a film every 2nd Wednesday. There is a pre-gathering with potluck-style snacks—and they provide the popcorn! Bring a nonalcoholic drink and/or something to eat. There is always a great discussion following the screening. The last time we enjoyed LEMONADE by Beyoncé. On October 12, KUMU HINA is a powerful film about the struggle to maintain Pacific Islander culture and values within the Westernized society of modern day Hawaiʻi. It is told through the lens of an extraordinary Native Hawaiian who is both a proud and confident māhū, or transgender woman, and an honored and respected kumu, or teacher, cultural practitioner, and community leader. Attendees meet at 6:30 pm for popcorn, snacks, and socializing. The movie starts at approximately 7 pm. Check out their Facebook page for news and info:

    Sister Dana sez, “Hopefully we can turn Donald Trump into the big old anchor that’ll drag the GOP down—allowing us to take back the Senate, pick up a slew of House seats, and usher in a whole raft of down-ballot progressive candidates in the process! But we gotta get out the vote!”