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    Sister Dana sez, “Hey Congressmen, reaching across the aisle does not mean giving a reach-around!”

    By Sister Dana Van Iquity–

    Sister Dana sez, “Hey Congressmen, reaching across the aisle does not mean giving a reach-around!”

    Sister Dana celebrated Thanksgiving (or what I like to call “ThanksGAYing”) with three dozen LGBTQ friends and non-nuclear chosen family in a lovely Castro home—eating and drinking too much, but not having to address any rightwing crazies since we were all very much partners in progressiveness. Then as an extra bonus, our hosts had Leftovers Night two days later for more eating and drinking too much. On that Thanksgiving Day, I was especially THANKFUL to be GAY!

    Many people say, and Sister Dana sez, “The holidays don’t begin until you’ve seen Donna Sachet’s Songs of the Season!” Donna Sachet‘s 25th Anniversary SONGS OF THE SEASONheld at Halycon, benefitted PRC and AIDS EMERGENCY FUND. The show delivered an evening filled with a variety of locally and internationally recognized and spirited entertainers, all designed to usher us into the joy and excitement of the holiday season. These special Silver Anniversary performances featured some of our favorite performers: Sharon McNight, Kippy Marks, Leanne Borghesi, Dan O’Leary, Brian Kent, Kenny Nelson, Paula West, Adam Reeves, and Jason Brock. And, of course, Donna sang some of her lovely standards and a few new tunes.

    The annual HOLIDAY TREE LIGHTING event, always held the Monday after Thanksgiving, was sponsored by CASTRO MERCHANTS. For all to see through December, this 28-foot custom-decorated community Holiday Tree is in front of Bank of America, Castro at 18th Streets. The program featured Mistress of Ceremonies and First Lady of the Castro, Donna Sachet; holiday music and sing-along with Golden Gate Men’s Chorus, Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco, San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, and the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band; brief greetings from City Hall and other elected officials and special guests; a blessing by The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence; then Santa and his Elf showed up by special S.F.P.D. escort to light the Tree. All of Castro Merchants’ 100+ Holiday supporters are listed on the big sponsor banner hanging through the Season, from the side of Bank of America.

    We joined ACADEMY OF FRIENDS at their annual HOLIDAY PARTY at sponsor Williams-Sonoma in the Polk in support of Bay Area HIV/AIDS service organizations. We enjoyed live entertainment, festive cocktails and bites prepared by the Williams-Sonoma chefs while shopping for all our holiday essentials. The mission of AoF is to continue raising money for HIV/AIDS services for this community as long as the need endures. They have distributed over $8.8 million to HIV/AIDS services since the beginning of the pandemic.

    On November 27, 1978, Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone were killed as they served the public in City Hall. On the night of their murders, a group of tens of thousands gathered in the Castro and began an impromptu candlelit march to City Hall. The event commemorates the lives and untimely deaths of these two extraordinary individuals on the anniversary of their assassinations in 1978 and commemorates the spontaneous candlelight march the night of the shootings. The HARVEY MILK LGBT DEMOCRATIC CLUB hosted their 39th annual VIGIL FOR HARVEY MILK in Castro’s Harvey Milk Plaza. On the anniversary of Harvey’s assassination, we honored our hero, his legacy, and the decades of community activism that has followed in his wake. There was a short speaking program from legacy club members and community leaders. Then they opened the mic for folks to say a few words, after which we made a short candlelit walk to the spot of Harvey’s camera shop, now the HRC store. From there, we headed to The Mix for a mixer of our own.

    We celebrated “SHELF LIFE,” the art of Dominic L. Garcia, where his photography is being exhibited on their first and third floor galleries at Strut until the beginning of January. Inspired by some of the great performance artists of the 1960s, he adopts the practice of using his body to convey ideas. “After stripping off all my clothes, remote shutter in hand, I climb into a glass case, onto a shelf, or paint half my body. Some photos are inspired by various Greek stories and motifs,” says Garcia. “The classical nude poses are over-dramatized situations of a figure contorted in tight spaces. These are in proximity to contemporary objects; they express my ideas of obedience, labor, vulnerability, and commercialism. By integrating a nude figure with clothes as shackles or weights, the images ask the viewer to question their relationship to commonly purchased objects.

    Sister Dana sez, “For your amusement, go to this URL to see a Catholic school’s statue depicting a saint handing a young boy a loaf of bread. But the location of the bread, seemingly emerging from the saint’s cloak, and the proximity of the boy, suggests something far less wholesome than the innocent offering of a baguette.”

    Sister Dana sez, “Now don’t miss these great holiday events coming up!”

    Take four talented drag performers, cast them in two new Xmas episodes of the uproariously funny TV show The Golden Girls and you have an assured night of theater for the entire family. Now a yearly tradition, this loving tribute to the characters the entire world has come to know and love features local drag stars Heklina (Dorothy), Matthew Martin (Blanche),D’Arcy Drollinger (Rose), and Holotta Tymes (Sophia). Prepare yourself for Blanche’s sexy antics, Sophia’s cutting wit, Dorothy’s consternation, Rose’s endearing stupidity and lots of beefy shoulder pads. Nothing warms your heart—or keeps you laughing—like THE GOLDEN GIRLS-LIVE. December 1–23 at the Victoria Theatre, 2961 16th Street.

    Join RAINBOW WORLD FUND, San Francisco’s LGBTQ humanitarian organization, for the 12th Annual RWF WORLD TREE OF HOPE TREE LIGHTING Celebration on Monday, December 4, from 6–8 pm in the San Francisco City Hall Rotunda. Admission is free, but get there early for good seating. The festive holiday event promises a concert by the Grammy winning San Francisco Boys Chorus; Armistead Maupin; performances by Broadway’s Meggie Cansler and Joey KhouryThe Secret Garden’s Katie Maupin; emcees Cheryl Jennings and Donna Sachet; Mayor Ed Lee; Deputy Consul General of Japan Shoichi Nagayoshi; Origami Artist Linda Mihara; The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence will bless the tree; and much more.

    SANTA SKIVVIES RUN, an annual half naked and/or costumed run for charity through the Castro is on Sunday, December 10. Don your gay apparel! Check in is from 9:30–10:45 am. The run begins at 11 am with the start & end at Lookout, 3600 16th Street. 100% of the proceeds from Santa Skivvies Run support the free HIV prevention, care, and support services of SAN FRANCISCO AIDS FOUNDATION. With your support, San Francisco can be the first U.S. city to end the transmission of HIV. Santa Skivvies Run may cause uncontrollable jolliness, sudden loss of clothing, fundraising fabulousness, and bouts of glittery creativity.

    HELP IS ON THE WAY FOR THE HOLIDAYS XVI” is a holiday concert and gala by RICHMOND/ERMET AID FOUNDATION to benefit LARKIN STREET YOUTH SERVICES and PROJECT OPEN HAND. The event is on December 4, 6 pm silent auction, 7 pm doors open at the Marines’ Memorial Theater, 609 Sutter Street, 2nd floor. This year’s gala will feature cast members from the Broadway touring cast of Disney’s Aladdin, plus other special guest stars including: American Idol recording star Kimberley Locke, 2-time Star Search grand champion Jake Simpson, America’s Got Talent semi-finalist Shawn Ryan, X-Factor finalist Jason Brock, Velocity Circus founder/performer Gregangelo, jazz diva Kim Nalley, and cabaret star Jessica Coker. An after party with the cast will take place at the nearby Clift Hotel in the Redwood and Velvet Rooms. The after party will feature an assortment of decadent desserts, wine tastings, and special spirit bars. 100% of the ticket sales will go directly to the beneficiary agencies.

    Join STRUT at 470 Castro Street on December 1, 8–10 pm for their last Art Opening of 2017. Oscar Gallegos Zamora is their artist for December. The Art at Strut program has been exhibiting the work of a local Gay or Queer artist once a month for over 14 years. This upcoming exhibition is entitled “PHYSIQUE AND FANTASY,” a series of collage shadow boxes that depict muscular men from vintage bodybuilding magazines, modern-day gay magazines, and the internet placed in their own dream worlds. The series was originally inspired by the many vintage bodybuilding magazines that were coded gay media which carefully avoided breaking the obscenity laws of the time. Free drinks and light snacks will be provided.

    For a third consecutive year, INSCRIBE will be happening in The Castro on World AIDS Day, December 1. Children will be given sticks of chalk to inscribe on Castro Street sidewalks the names of their friends and relatives with HIV. Join them for their morning circle at 9 am on WORLD AIDS DAY. Then join their event programming at STRUT around 10:30 am.  

    ART SAVES LIVES studio and performance space will again offer a free reception for the public to enjoy approximately 20 different artists’ works and their presence at the 518 Castro Street studio on December 8. Manager and artist in residence Thomasina DeMaio promises the usual lineup of talented performers. Wine, beer, soda, and passed-around bites are complimentary as are customary from 6–9 pm. @sfartslave

    The third annual HANUKKAH MENORAH LIGHTING with SHA’AR ZAHAV is on Wednesday, December 13, 6 pm in Jane Warner Plaza (Market at Castro-17th Streets). It is sponsored by CASTRO MERCHANTS.

    Sister Dana sez, “T-rump is utterly unfit to serve as president. From obstructing justice by firing the head of the FBI, to threatening nuclear war with North Korea, to normalizing white supremacy, he has shown that he is exactly the person the founders had in mind when they wrote impeachment into the Constitution. So bring it on!”