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    Sister Dana sez, “HARVEY MILK DAY is on May 22…”

    By Sister Dana Van Iquity–

    Sister Dana sez, “HARVEY MILK DAY is on May 22. Let us honor the amazing activist who helped break down so many closet doors!”

    HARVEY MILK DAY is organized by the HARVEY MILK FOUNDATION and celebrated each year on May 22 in memory of Milk, a gay rights activist who was assassinated in 1978. Milk was a prominent gay activist during the 20th century. He ran for office three times before becoming the first openly gay person elected to California public office, where he served as a San Francisco City Supervisor. “Harvey Milk Day” came about as a day to remember and teach about Milk’s life and his work to stop discrimination against the LGBTQ community.

    In observance of Harvey Milk Day, the Castro Theatre will have a FREE showing of The Times of Harvey Milk and a film about the founder of PROJECT OPEN HAND: The Ruth Brinker Story. Doors open 12 pm with the Milk film at 1:15 pm and the Brinker one at 2:45 pm.

    COUNTERPULSE is a dynamic movement of experimental art that sparks personal transformation and builds enduring community. They provide space and resources for emerging artists and cultural innovators, serving as an incubator for the creation of socially relevant, community-based art and culture. CounterPulse acts as a catalyst for art and action; creating a forum for the open exchange of art and ideas, sparking transformation in our communities and our society. CounterPulsehad a fabulous fundraiser, INNERSPACE: UNDERCURRENTS, on May 6 at their 80 Turk Street venue. We enjoyed gorgeous performances by RUPTURE, Big Purpose, Snaxx, Phoebe Cakes, and ARC combustible artists Driven Arts Collective. We danced together with DJs Nihar and Stanley Frank Sensation and celebrated this lovely community of ours. It was also the perfect opportunity to shamelessly promote we Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence’s upcoming PROJECT NUNWAY, which you will read about in this column and hopefully attend.

    THE SAN FRANCISCO ARTS COMMISSION (SFAC) Main Gallery is excited to present INVINCIBLE BLACK SOUL: The Art of Bearing Witness, a three-person exhibition featuring the works of Mark Harris, Raymond L. Haywood, and Bryan Keith Thomas. The exhibition explores the work and legacy of influential novelist, playwright, activist, gay man, and public intellectual, James Baldwin. This exhibit explores Baldwin’s ideas and examines how artists across different media continue to use art as a tool to bear witness to the times. Curated by artist Mark Harris, the exhibition looks at these themes through the lens of three Black Bay Area artists. The works by Harris, Haywood, and Thomas create a diverse range of responses to Baldwin’s life and writings—from a direct reference to his work to more general reflections on what it means to bear witness to their surroundings. SFAC Main Gallery, War Memorial Veterans Building, 401 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 126. Public reception May 19, 6–8 pm. Free and open to all.

    Sister Dana sez, “Congratulations to RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE ALL STARS for winning the MTV Movie and TV Awards’ Best Competition Series. This is so important during these terrible, horrible, blatantly bigoted anti-drag legislations!”

    Fashion meets philanthropy at the 11th annual PROJECT NUNWAY, the iconic fashion event that raises awareness and funds for local organizations. Presented in partnership with Saint Joseph’s Art Society, this year’s theme, “Sanctuary,” features unique runway looks created from recycled and repurposed materials. “Sanctuary is a powerful theme that speaks to the heart of our community,” says Sister Hera Sees Candy. “We want to use the art of fashion to create a space where everyone can feel safe, celebrated, and empowered.” Sister Dana is thrilled to be one of the nun models werkin’ it! Get your tickets for this fun fashion and full-on entertainment extravaganza on May 26, 7 pm, 1401 Howard Street.

    THEATRE RHINOCEROS & YERBA BUENA GARDENS FESTIVAL presents PERICLES by William Shakespeare, conceived and directed by John Fisher. To those who have seen and loved Theatre Rhinoceros’ queer outdoor Shakespeare revels of years past, which have included high-drama tragedies like King LearTitus Andronicus, and Macbeth, Pericles might seem like a wildcard. Historians often group Pericles, Prince of Tyre with The Tempest and The Winter’s Tale, Shakespeare’s later romances; indeed, they share a tragicomic, darker tone and fantasy-like structure, which oddly makes Pericles the perfect selection to showcase Rhino’s talented ensemble against the unique and beautiful architecture of Yerba Buena Gardens and its surrounding structures. Set outside in the gorgeous Gardens, it runs May 26–27.

    HEELS FOR HOPE is a Variety Show Fundraiser for MAITRI. This party features incredible local talent and fabulous drag queens with proceeds benefiting Maitri Compassionate Care and their services for low-income people living with HIV/AIDS or recovering from gender-affirming surgeries. They have some incredible artists joining them this year: hilarious comedian and lesbian icon Sydney Stigerts; the most up-and-coming funk & soul vocalist in the Bay, Tory Teasley; OutMusic Award winner and Billboard Recording Artist Brian Kent; and high camp drag from FOU FOU HA! Marines’ Memorial Theatre, 609 Sutter, June 3, 5 pm for VIP reception and show at 7 pm.

    Mark your calendar, prepare your best and brightest, and kick off PRIDE AT GRACE CATHEDRAL on June 4, 6–7:30 pm. This year’s event is all about celebrating community, as we gather and celebrate with our friends and neighbors. The celebration begins with LGBTQ organizations from across the bay in a joyful procession up the cathedral’s rainbow steps. PRIDE MASS is presented by Grace’s extremely inclusive, gay-loving offshoot, THE VINE, which meets every Wednesday night at 6:30 pm in the cathedral. For “Pride Mass,” we are delighted to welcome special guest preacher Marvin K. White—writer, artist, public theologian, and Minister of Celebration at GLIDE, with Grace Cathedral’s own Rev. Canon Mary Carter Greene, presiding. Music will be provided by the renowned GLIDE ensemble. There will be a rainbow cake, confetti, and champagne. You don’t have to be religious to enjoy Grace!

    Dennis McMillan (aka Sister Dana) with Honey Mahogany at Innerspace: Undercurrets, the
    annual CounterPulse banquet and art party, held in 2023 on Friday, May 5, at 80 Turk Street.

    SF SNARKFEST: A Trans BIPOC Comedy Festival is a two-night comedy carnival featuring 9 trans BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) comedians, which will be screened on YouTube on June 6 and 7. Filmed in April in front of a small audience of 50 in San Francisco, the festival is the first of its kind. Five comedians ranging in ages from 20s to 60s will perform each night including Nori Reed, who created Disney’s first-ever live action trans character, Nikki, on the show Raven’s Home, and Ms. Billie Cooper, a black transgender activist and former San Francisco Board of Supervisors candidate. The need to hear trans voices is greater now than ever under the current political climate, with GOP scapegoating of trans people and attempted passage of laws targeting trans youth throughout the country.

    LGBTQ SENIOR PROM is back! No dress code, and no dates required—OPENHOUSE welcomes wallflowers, dancing queens, and everything in between. They will provide a DJ, light appetizers, prizes for prom royalty, and an amazing time; you just bring yourself! June 8, 3–6 pm at 75 Laguna. RSVP at 415-231-5871 or

    According to data collected by researchers from USC, UCLA, UC Merced, and Oregon State University, daily use of hate speech by those who previously posted hateful tweets nearly doubled after Musk finalized the Twitter sale. And the overall volume of hate speech also doubled site-wide.

    Sister Dana sez, “One billionaire owner yields twice the hate. Musk must be muzzled!”

    According to GUN VIOLENCE ARCHIVE, there have been 667 mass shootings since the awful, racist Buffalo massacre on May 14, 2022. Meanwhile, five and a half months after the deadly Club Q shooting in Colorado Springs, many thanks go to openly gay Colorado Governor Jared Polis (D), who has signed four new gun control bills into law—and, of course, a gun rights group is already suing. The laws raise the minimum age to buy a gun from 18 to 21 (though there are exceptions); establish a three-day waiting period before a gun can be delivered after purchase, and a background check; remove liability protections to make it easier for gun violence victims to sue manufacturers for defective products; and expand the state’s red flag law.

    President Joe Biden wrote in a May 14 op ed: “The majority of Americans—even the majority of gun owners—want Congress to take some common sense action to reduce gun violence. But too many Congressional Republicans are doing the bidding of gun manufacturers instead of their constituents.”

    Sister Dana sez, “Congress must reinstate the Assault Weapons Ban! It worked in the past and can work again. Most Americans agree: Civilians do not need military-grade weaponry!”

    Words of Wisdumb from a Fun Nun
    Published on May 18, 2023