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    Sister Dana sez, “I absolutely love how Oscar Night opened …”

    Words of Wisdumb from a Fun Nun–

    By Sister Dana Van Iquity–

    Sister Dana sez, “I absolutely love how Oscar Night opened with co-host Wanda Sykes saying: ‘We’re gonna have a great night tonight. And for you people in Florida, we’re gonna have a Gay night!’ And the two other co-hosts gloriously chimed in along with ‘Gay! Gay! GAY!!!’”

    Another triumph for the LGBTQs at Oscars was when Ariana DeBose as Anita in West Side Story won for Best Supporting Actress—becoming the first Afro-Latina and openly LGBTQ actor to win in the category. She proudly said, “You see a queer, openly queer woman of color and Afro-Latina who found her strength in life through art.” Kudos!

    And finally, a win for queers was Jessica Chastain taking the Oscar for Best Actress in the title role of The Eyes of Tammy Faye, while fearlessly addressing the bigoted and discriminatory anti-LGBTQ legislation that is sweeping the nation and dividing the country.

    I’m thrilled to report that billboards boldly emblazoned with just the gigantic word “GAY” or the huge two-word slogan “SAY GAY”’ are going up around Florida. The signs are in response to the state recently passing HB 1557, “The Parental Rights in Education” bill, and Governor DeSantis signing it into law. More commonly dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, it tries to ban the discussion of LGBTQ topics in school. The billboards are the initiative of the super PAC, SOUTHERN PROGRESS, promoting progressive legislation and lawmakers in southern states. SP says it is erecting the first signs in Tallahassee, Orlando, and Jacksonville for a month. I say, “YAY!”

    On March 24 at The Academy in San Francisco, LGBTQ Ukrainians and their friends attended the RAINBOW WORLD FUND fundraiser for Ukraine highlighting particular challenges facing the war-torn nation’s queer community both at home and abroad. Among those attending was Leo Volobrynskyy—now a San Francisco resident and recipient of the Mayor’s Good Samaritan Award. Volobrynskyy is an LGBTQ activist from Odessa who is also a labor union leader supporting nurses. Also at the fundraiser was Polina Krasnova—born and raised in Cherkasy and since the beginning of the war serving as an interpreter—an LGBTQ activist who has also been working to combat climate change and threats to sovereignty and personal freedom.

    Jeff Cotter is the Executive Director of Rainbow World Fund, which has been aiding LGBTQ Ukrainians through the Ukraine-based organizations, FULCRUM, INSIGHT, and LIGA. Fulcrum was co-founded by Tymur Levchuk, who with his husband was the first gay couple to marry in Ukraine. As usual with Academy fundraisers sponsored by San Francisco Bay Times at the Academy, the always delightful Donna Sachet emceed and DJ Rockaway spun tunes.

    According to LGBTQ NATION, the Biden administration has announced it will expedite the resettlement of LGBTQ Ukrainian refugees in the United States. It’s not clear if the refugees will be granted permanent or temporary status. The Biden Administration believes most will want to return home and thus will not need permanent resettlement. They also believe that due to this desire, most refugees will choose to stay in Europe. While Ukraine still has a long way to go when it comes to LGBTQ rights, the country has come a lot farther than Russia, where LGBTQ people continue to be actively persecuted.

    Sister Dana sez, “Senators Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Lindsey Graham, and Tom Cotton really put on quite an outrageous and egregious show at the Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings for Judge Jackson! Those went way beyond mere dog whistles; those were monstrous wolf megaphones!”

    And by the way … soft on crime? Eight of 10 states with the highest murder rates were red Republican states and voted for Trump.

    SF LGBT CENTER will present its 20TH ANNUAL SOIRÉE on Saturday, April 9, 5:30 pm at City View Metreon, 135 4th Street. This promises to be an evening of celebration—starting with reception with a raffle, dinner program with a live auction, hosted by the amazing duo of Sister Roma and Honey Mahogany, open bar and snacks with entertainment by Juanita MORE!, and after-party dancing with DJ Lady Ryan. As they usher in 20 years of service to our LGBTQ community, help them raise $300,000 to ensure continued services for LGBTQ folks most in need.

    Sister Dana sez, “As the de facto head of the Republican Party, Trump is conspiring with the enemy and thereby committing treason. Wake up, Republicans!”

    When world-renowned LGBTQ and Human Rights Activist Cleve Jones was evicted from his long-time home in San Francisco’s Castro District, the Community gathered in support of him. The new landlord had bought the building and more than doubled rent—a situation that all too often shines the spotlight on the vulnerability of San Francisco tenants. THE RALLY FOR HOUSING RIGHTS was then held at Harvey Milk Plaza, 17th & Castro Streets on March 27. Among the many speakers were Dr. Tyler TerMeer, CEO of San Francisco AIDS Foundation; Anand Singh, President of UNITE HERE Local 2; District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman; District 5 Supervisor Dean Preston; and David Campos, CADEM Party Vice-Chair. Cleve said he would survive all right, but such would not be the case with many older tenants whose limited income depended upon rent control to keep them safely housed.

    On TRANSGENDER DAY OF REMEMBRANCE, March 31, TRANSGENDER LAW CENTER said it best: “Trans people come from a long lineage of powerful and accomplished activists, our spirits divinely imbued with their strength and resilience. Throughout history, our transcestors have risen up and fought back in the face of oppression, winning progress even when their fight seemed unwinnable.”

    420 MURAL UNVEILING is on 4/20 at 4:20 pm at Flore Dispensary, 258 Noe. What’s on the wall?

    SAN FRANCISCO GAY MEN’S CHORUS will present VOICES RISING at Davies Symphony Hall on April 10, 7:30 pm. In the early part of the 20th century, San Francisco adopted the rising phoenix as a symbol of having overcome city-wide challenges. It is only fitting that this groundbreaking evening includes Songs of the Phoenix. Tony Award-nominated Broadway composer Andrew Lippa has curated an incredible group of 13 composers and lyricists representing an extraordinary diversity of voices including Ty Defoe, Alexandra Elle, Siedah Garrett, Joriah Kwamé, Patrick and Daniel Lazour, Melissa Li, Ingrid Michaelson, Stephen Schwartz, Stephen Sondheim, Diana Syrse, and Kit Yan.

    The concert will also include highlights from two of SFGMC’s most significant commissions including Andrew Lippa’s Unbreakable and Julian Hornik’s @queerz, which was originally scheduled to have its world premiere with SFGMC in Spring 2020, as well as feature a 10th anniversary performance of Testimony, written by three-time Academy Award and four-time Grammy Award-winning composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz. The evening will also pay tribute to the late Stephen Sondheim with a selection of his beloved works.

    We SISTERS OF PERPETUAL INDULGENCE are happy to announce that we are bringing our annual Easter Celebration back to Dolores Park on Sunday, April 17, after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. Free, but donations are always welcomed and appreciated. The 43rd-anniversary celebration kicks off with Children’s Easter from 10 to noon, followed by the main event from noon to 4 pm. The theme for this year is “BACK TO OUR OLD HABITS,” celebrating our return to an in-person Easter party, following all the current CDC guidelines for outdoor events. On display will be larger-than-life Sister 3-D paintings readily available for selfies, as well as various “holy relics” to take home from the “exoneration station.”

    The day begins with an Easter Egg Hunt, story time, and other fun activities for the kiddies at 10 am—proving that we nuns also have so-called traditional family values. Starting at noon, celebrity guest emcee, San Francisco’s iconic Peaches Christ, will host an exciting adult variety show featuring drag, live entertainment, and miracles as only the Sisters can perform. This year’s lineup includes Kitten on the Keys, Carly Ozard, Kippy Marks, a high-energy set featuring Nicki Jizz & the stars of Reparations, Oakland’s Rebel Kings, Alex U Inn, Katya Smirnoff-Skyy, star of The Voice and Misfit Cabaret Kat Robichaud, and many many more! Throughout the day the audience will take center stage as they show off their Easter spirit competing in the colorful EASTER BONNET CONTEST, THE FOXY MARY CONTEST, and the highly anticipated HUNKY JESUS CONTESTall audaciously administered by Sister Roma and Sister Dana. The contests are open to one and all! Contestants are encouraged to show up wearing their bonnet or Foxy/Hunky look and line up backstage when the contest is announced. There will be an initial screening, so be clever and creative!

    Since their first appearance in San Francisco on Easter Weekend, 1979, the Sisters have devoted themselves to community service, outreach to those on the edges, and promoting human rights, respect for diversity, and spiritual enlightenment. The nonprofit organization has raised millions of dollars for those in need, and everything goes back to the community. Sister Dana Van Iquity has proudly & loudly been with the Order since SF Gay Pride 1985.

    Sister Dana sez, “I never thought I would give props to Arnold Schwarzenegger, but I sure have to thank him for his extremely effective message reaching millions of Russians concerning Putin’s horrifying War against Ukraine!”

    Published on April 7, 2022