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    Sister Dana sez, “Happy Halloween (or HallowQueen to some of us)!”

    By Sister Dana Van Iquity–

    Sister Dana sez, “Happy Halloween (or HallowQueen to some of us)! Orange used to be my favorite color for Halloween; but now the Orange Oligarchic Ogre in the White House has ruined that for me. I guess it’s back to black.”

    Mayor London Breed and District 2 Supervisor Catherine Stefani hosted a ceremony on October 17 commemorating the 30th anniversary of the 1989 LOMA PRIETA EARTHQUAKE. First responders recounted their experiences during and after the magnitude 6.9 earthquake, and held a formal commemoration at 5:04 pm, the exact moment that the earthquake struck. It killed 67 people, including several in San Francisco, injured thousands, and caused more than $5 billion of damage around the Bay Area. Since the Loma Prieta Earthquake, San Francisco has invested $20 billion to seismically strengthen critical lifelines, facilities, and emergency resources. In addition to the ceremony, City departments and partners presented a COMMUNITY PREPAREDNESS FAIR with emergency preparedness training, a display of first responder apparatuses, and an earthquake simulator.

    THE GREATEST SHOWQUEEN was a very special program of Tom Orr singing his hilarious parodies at Martuni’s, accompanied by pianist Russell Deason, and so fitting to do the new show on October 13, the anniversary of being sainted by the Russian River Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence! He told his story—both good and bad, happy and sad, but always entertaining, including the props and costume changes. Bless you, Saint Orrcopalypse, and long may you live to inspire us!

    The 35TH ANNUAL SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA HRC GALA DINNER & AUCTION was held on October 19 at Hyatt Regency San Francisco. It was a time to celebrate our victories and double-down on our work to advance equality here locally, and to protect the gains that we’ve made nationally. Producer, actor and “Try Guys” member Eugene Lee Yang was the recipient of the HRC Visibility Award. Yang came out earlier this year in a powerful video, “I’m Gay – Eugene Lee Yang,” which he wrote, directed, and choreographed. Alongside Yang, HRC honored LEVI STRAUSS & CO. with the Corporate Award and John Lake, Vice President, Multicultural Strategy and LGBTQ Segment leader for WELLS FARGO, with the Charles M. Holmes Community Service Award. In addition to the honorees, this was HRC President Alphonso David’s first appearance at the San Francisco Bay Area Gala. We learned how to further mobilize in our fight for equality. David noted that as one of the largest civil rights organizations working to achieve equality for LGBTQ Americans, the Human Rights Campaign represents a force of more than 3 million members and supporters nationwide—all committed to making HRC’s vision a reality, a world where queer people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work, and in every community. For live entertainment, TV’s American Idol finalist Effie Passero performed at the event.

    OURTOWNSF NONPROFIT EXPO 2019 took place noon to 4 pm on October 19 at Eureka Valley Rec Center. This was the largest LGBTQ resource fair ever in EssEff with over 175 groups serving our community participating. It was the 4th annual resource fair of arts, community, fundraising, health, legal, political, recovery, service & spiritual groups for a day of fun and community building in the Castro.

    Sister Dana sez, “Mitch McConnell, Trump’s most powerful ally, has been running campaign ads on Facebook pledging to block any impeachment attempt for as long as he remains in charge of the Senate. We know Moscow Mitch will rig any impeachment trial in Trump’s favor, so let’s make sure he can’t rig his own election next year!”

    How could I possibly resist the “PAPASAN AND PATRIK: Together again and it feels StO-li good!” event?! Well, here’s how I was invited to the party: “Many years ago, two friends were torn apart by an evil sorcerer who cast a powerful (and completely not-fabulous) separation spell in the kingdom of Stoli. Yet resilience and valor to find a way out of the darkness remained, and today at last the curse has been reversed; all the Lords and Ladies of the Castro may rejoice!” Well of course Sister Dana just HAD to attend and—as one of their most loyal friends—help celebrate the reunion of YOUNG’S MARKET COMPANY (Michael “Papasan” Daniels) and STOLI vodka (Patrik Gallineaux, National LGBT Manager/Global Ambassador) in the high castle of The Lookout in the Castro. Patrik and Michael have been longtime providers at many an LGBTQ fundraiser that I have attended.

    THE RICHMOND/ERMET AID FOUNDATION held a fun fundraiser, TRICKS & TREATS, a Halloween Party at the Edge in the Castro, on October 22 with GoGo Boys in costume, raffle prizes, Jello shots, and a special show by Empress Mercedez Munro as well as fabulous performances by members of the House of Munro. And what a treat to see REAF Executive Director Ken Henderson as Batman! I went as a gay recruiter nun.

    BREAST CANCER EMERGENCY FUND held their 15th annual fundraiser, THIS OLD BAG: the Power of the Purse, on October 25 at the Fairmont. Every bag sold gave life and spirit-saving financial assistance to low-income people battling breast cancer. Emcee and auctioneer was my good friend Liam Mayclem. I had my eye on a red Georgio Armani fanny pack, but it got swept away. Many caring people snapped up designer bags. BTW please don’t call this old nun “this old bag.” Thankew.

    THE SISTERS OF PERPETUAL INDULGENCE threw a sensational SAINTS & SPINNERS HALLOWEEN PARTY on October 26 at Spin. We nuns had a fun-filled, spooky night of dancing with DJ Juanita MORE! spinning for us, amazing pop-up drag performances by Alex U. Inn, Mutha Chucka, Tara Dactyl, Honey Mahogany, Bella Donna Summer, & Roxy-Cotten Candy, unlimited ping pong, and FUNdraising. I was delighted to co-judge the costume contest with Sister Roma. The winner was the witty woman in a huge peach costume with a sign: “IM-PEACH!”

    Sister Dana sez, “Make a note. Plan to vote. Queer the Vote on November 5th!” A federal judge has struck down parts of a federal law that protects transgender patients. Judge Reed O’Connor in the Northern District of Texas ruled on October 15 that protections for transgender patients in the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) violate the religious freedom of health care providers. Unconscionable!

    Sister Dana sez, “Let’s talk turkey: there are a lot of great events coming up way before Thanksgiving.”

    For the month of November, STRUT, 470 Castro Street, is exhibiting the paintings of Serge Gay, Jr., an incredibly talented artist. He is a Grammy nominated Creative Director and Art Director. Also a Painter, Illustrator, Graphic Designer, currently based out of San Francisco. His art infuses inspiration from living in cities from coast to coast. Influence in his work can be found from the culture sociology of his homeland of Haiti, New York, Miami, Detroit, and EssEff. “My work shows layers and strokes to predict what a person, place, or thing should look like from the creator’s mind to reality,” he says.

    The next CASTRO ART WALK is November 7, 6 pm–9 pm. As always, it is free to the public and is a reception by 14 venues in the Castro. Venues are: Apothecarium, 2029 Market Street; Art Attack SF, 2358 Market Street; Blackbird, 2124 Market Street; Blush! Wine Bar, 476 Castro Street; Dog Eared Books, 489 Castro Street; Flore, 2298 Market Street; Local Take, 3979 17th Street; Norden Living, 3618 17th Street, Ruby’s Clay Studio & Gallery, 552A Noe Street; Spark Arts, 4229 18th Street; The Artist’s Gallery, 4406 18th Street; The Detour, 2200 Market Street; and TIN Rx Castro, 2175 Market Street.

    LIVING ANGELS is a group art show curated by Thomasina DeMaio depicting caretakers in our community. They were on the front lines during the 1980s until now taking care of people and their needs. Entertainment with Tango dancing, music and art. An artful evening. Join them to celebrate some caring people. Eureka Valley Recreation Center, 100 Collingwood Street, November 9, 5:30 pm–9 pm.

    THE SAN FRANCISCO TRANSGENDER FILM FESTIVAL will present a stellar collection of transgender films from around the globe. This year’s festival takes place at The Roxie Theater, 3177 16th Street, November 7 at 7 pm–November 10 at 8 pm.

    BAY AREA MUSICAL’s production of GYPSY runs at Alcazar Theatre, 650 Geary Street, November 9–December 8. I will give my review in the next column, but I just know us theater fags will be totally queer for this! “Everything’s coming up Roses!”

    SOIRÉE ON THE BAY II is an annual festive fundraiser for THE RICHMOND/ERMET AID FOUNDATION (REAF) on Wednesday, November 13, 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm, on the docked “Celebrity Eclipse,” Pier 27.

    Sister Dana sez, “Have you ever in your life heard the phrase ‘QUID PRO QUO’ used so so sooo many times, day after day after day?! Ugh.”