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    Sister Dana sez, “Happy HoliDaze to all…”

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

    Sister Dana sez, “Happy HoliDaze to all, and please try to keep the Spirit of the Season rather than being too overwhelmed with shopping frenzy!”

    The mission of the NATIONAL AIDS MEMORIAL is to share the story of the struggle against HIV/AIDS and to remember in perpetuity the lives lost, offer healing and hope to survivors, and inspire new generations of activists in the fight against stigma, denial, and hate for a just future. The NATIONAL AIDS MEMORIAL commemorated WORLD AIDS DAY on December 1 in the Grove in Golden Gate Park with a powerful event as the community came together to remember and celebrate those lost to HIV/AIDS and all who are surviving and thriving today. The Grove was majestic and magical, being specially lighted for the occasion. We were given lit candles to place on the CIRCLE OF FRIENDS with an opportunity to see and honor the names of those who passed away from AIDS. We then travelled down a path beside a “river” of lights over rocks to hear meditative music and witness people gracefully performing ballet among the boulders. We made our way into the warmth of a heated tent to eat and drink among friends. The band KLIPPTONES played music to dance to. AIDS Memorial CEO John Cunningham warmly welcomed us. The programming focused on “Changing the Pattern for a Future without AIDS.” Cleve Jones, founder of the AIDS MEMORIAL QUILT and an advocate for health, social, and LGBTQ rights, was honored with the “National AIDS Memorial Lifetime of Commitment Award.” Jones inspired us with the activism of the late Supervisor Harvey Milk and his words of “hope, courage, and the ability to fight.”

    The CENTER FOR STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION has found that since Elon Musk has taken over Twitter, racial slurs have been on a dramatic rise: use of the N-Word is up 500% and anti-LGBTQ language up 885%. Also, hundreds of QAnon, far-right accounts have returned.

    Sister Dana sez, “Free speech is not hate speech! Musk must be muzzled!”

    A record 124 incidents of threats and violence targeting drag events were reported so far this year across 47 U.S. states. GLAAD’s data did not include the Club Q massacre in Colorado Springs, pending an official declaration of motive. Extremist groups like the Proud Boys, Patriot Front, and local white supremacist chapters were involved in several incidents. In Texas and Arizona, bills would ban minors from attending drag performances. In Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis announced a similar proposal. In Tennessee, a bill aims to ban all drag performances in public, while Michigan lawmakers announced a plan to ban drag shows from schools, despite no such events taking place. Sister Dana sez, “What is so menacing about a man in a dress?!”

    I caught the final night of the fabulous COCKETTES—live, singing, acting, tap-dancing, and flashing—in ETERNAL EMISSIONS at PianoFight in Oakland on December 4. The performers (alphabetically) included Birdie Bob Watt, Bonni Suval, Carl Linkhart, Christian Heppenstahl, Corey Gogo Pup, Diogo Zavadzki, Ellie Stokes, Kitten on the Keys, Matt Bratko, Maxine Hall, Noah Haydon, Scrumbly Koldewyn (original Cockette, on piano/acting/Music Director), Steven Satyricon, and Sunshine. They took us on a joyful journey through the songs Scrumbly wrote for the legendary, psychedelic, pansexual, theatrical troupe who began their notorious midnight shows in 1969.

    THE RAINBOW WORLD FUND (RWF) WORLD TREE OF HOPE is the largest origami decorated holiday tree in the world, standing over 23 feet tall and decorated with over 17,000 origami cranes and stars—each hand folded and inscribed with wishes for the future of the world. The RWF World Tree of Hope is created each year as a symbol of global unity to promote peace, love, and humanitarianism. The tree is created by Rainbow World Fund as a gift from the LGBTQ and friends community to the world. The tree was displayed at San Francisco City Hall for eleven years. 2022 is the sixth year that the tree is displayed at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. The 17TH ANNUAL TREE LIGHTING CELEBRATION was on December 5. Wishes written on folded white cranes from world leaders to school children, from San Francisco to Sir Lanka, make the RWF World Tree of Hope a powerful expression of people coming together to create a better world. Notable wish contributors included: President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Dame Jane Goodall, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, California Governor Gavin Newsom, and San Francisco Mayor London Breed.

    The Grammy-winning San Francisco Boys Chorus sang. Our Emcee was the delightful Donna Sachet. Appearing were: Honey Mahogany, Dulce de Leche, Emperor Brent Daddy Munro, Empress Ehra Amaya, The Rt. Rev. Dr. Marc Andrus, Bishop of California, Leberta Lorál, Tammy Lynne Hall, OrigamiArtist Linda Mihara, RWF Founder Jeff Cotter,and some of us members of The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Inc., blessed the Tree of Hope. The tree will be on display at Grace Cathedral, 1100 California Street, from now to January 7, 2023.

    SONGS OF THE SEASON was back and lively for 2022 at Feinstein’s at the Nikko. This was a magical, merry, and mirthful evening celebrating the holiday season with sass on December 6 (there was a second show on December 7). Now in its 30th year, this benefit supporting PRC returned with star-studded talent, curated and emceed by Billboard Recording Artist Brian Kent, who opened the show singing the humorous song “Sugar and Booze.” Donna Sachet gave us the sentimental “Just in Time for Christmas.” Leanne Borghesi was an angry Mrs. Claus about to divorce her husband with “Subaya Santa.” Kenny Nelson gave St. Nick a reminder to his gay boyfriend, “Santa Baby,” to remember him at Christmastime with expensive gifts. Effie Passero took us to the opera with her coloratura soprano of “Oh Holy Night.” Charles Jones jazzed it up on the piano singing “The Christmas Song.” Kippy Marks amazed us on his electric violin with “Psalms of the Season.” Donna closed Act One, reading her “Letter to Billy Ray,” a funny take on the famous letter, “Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus;” but changing it to: “Yes, Billy Ray, There Is a Donna Sachet.”

    Act Two began with Brian’s kinda sad but sweet regret, “Lonely Jew at Christmas.” Leanne belted out “Zat You Santa.” But I have to mention that backstage before the second act, Leanne gave me a makeup makeover of lipstick, eye shadow, and rouge to make this man become Sister Dana! Moving along now. Kenny’s tender tenor explained “What Christmas Means.” Sister Roma first presented a memoriam of all the show people we lost this year, but then broke into stellar standup comedy with holiday jokes, some of which were a roast of her fellow performers that night. Effie returned with an emotional “Ave Maria.” Charles did Mariah Carey proud with his version of “This Christmas.” Kippy’s violin was “Beating the Odds,” and I was reminded of his recent successful liver transplant. Donna bombarded us with “Christmas Clichés.” Sister Dana sez, “Because if it weren’t for Jesus, HOWEVER would Hallmark Cards have SURVIVED?!” Then Lianne and Effie dueted in “Happy Days Are Here Again,” reminiscent of the renowned duo of Streisand and Garland’s team-up years ago. And bringing it all home was the whole cast in the grand finale getting us to sing along with “White Christmas” and the wishes for the New Year with “Auld Lang Syne.” I felt perfectly properly prepared for Two Thousand Twenty-Three!

    PROJECT OPEN HAND celebrated 30 YEARS OF HAND TO HAND on December 9 at The Hibernia. Among the honors given were the “Ruth Brinker Visionary Award” to Bill Hirsh and “Most Outstanding Community Partner Award” to an organization, Richmond/Ermet Aid Foundation (REAF), and an individual, Bau Ky, serving more than a million meals. Emcee was the delightful Shawn Ryan. Musical guests were Spencer Day, DJ Airsun, and Joe Wicht. Open Hand’s mission is to improve health outcomes and quality of life by providing nutritious meals to the sick and vulnerable in SF and Alameda counties. Every day they prepare 2,500 nutritious meals and 200 bags of healthy groceries to help sustain their clients as they battle serious illnesses, isolation, or the health challenges of aging.

    On December 10, Mayor Breed, Senator Scott Wiener, Supervisor Matt Dorsey, SFPD Command Staff, and United Playaz Leaders held this year’s GUN BUY BACK EVENT, providing a place for people to turn in their weapons, no questions asked, and get guns off the streets and out of communities. The Gun Buy-Back program has operated since 2014 and has collected nearly 2,500 guns. People can turn in their guns in exchange for $100 for a handgun and $200 for assault weapons. Funding for the gun buy-back was provided by philanthropic donations and a grant from the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development. Sister Dana sez, “Unfortunately they did not want Sister Dana’s water pistol!”

    We celebrated at The Academy on December 13 as we came together with the San Francisco Bay Times and the Golden Gate Business Association with a gorgeous holiday event, TOAST TO THE SEASON, featuring media personalities and philanthropists Liam Mayclem and Donna Sachet as emcees, with music by DJ Rockaway and DJ Christie James presented by Olivia. Internationally-known performing artist Kippy Marks gave us electric violin. We were welcomed by GGBA Board President Tony Archuleta-Perkins and Ambassador Olga García.

    It is amazing that the landmark bill protecting same-sex marriage rights cleared Congress after it received bipartisan approval in the House. House lawmakers passed the bill with a vote of 258–169. And we know for sure President Biden will gladly sign it into law! So, take THAT, Supremes! 

    Part comedy musical, part dance-it-yourself ballet, and part symphonic concert, the SAN FRANCISCO LESBIAN/GAY.

    FREEDOM BAND’s DANCE-ALONG NUTCRACKER features the holiday fun and tradition you’ve come to expect from this San Francisco favorite. You’ll waltz! You’ll march! You’ll pirouette! You’ll sing along! You’ll enjoy music from The Nutcracker ballet, performed live by the 75-piece Official Band of SF! December 17, 18.

    LOCKDOWN COMEDY is on hiatus in December and will return in January. But the 30th Anniversary of KUNG PAO KOSHER COMEDY™ will be live—in-person and virtually on YouTube Live—on Dec 23–25.

    The GOP has been on a RAMPAGE to eliminate LGBTQ history from textbooks and ban LGBTQ authors from library shelves. There’s been a record-breaking 238 anti-LGBTQ bills filed in 2022 so far. Sister Dana sez, “We MUST pass the Equality Act!”

    Sister Dana Sez
    Published on December 15, 2022