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    Sister Dana sez, “I guess self-isolation has gotten to me…”

    By Sister Dana Van Iquity–

    Words of Wisdumb from a Fun Nun–

    Sister Dana sez, “I guess self-isolation has gotten to me, because now I get a tear in my eye every time I see the newest Old Navy ad about gay pride, Black Lives Matter, equality, and women’s rights!”

    For us fans of Midnight Movies and bizarre filmmaker John Waters, drag impresario Peaches Christ invited us to the online celebration of cult film icon Mink Stole in their virtual version of “IDOL WORSHIP“! This cabaret show was about to tour when COVID-19 hit. This virtual treat included a live interview with the darling duo, stories, film clips, anecdotes, and a live Q&A. We got to relive snips of such classic Divine and Mink flicks as Female Trouble, Pink Flamingos, and Desperate Living. As well as Mink and Kathleen Turner in Serial Mom. And filmmaker Peaches’ fabulously frightening All About Evil. I can’t wait until Peaches returns to take over the Castro Theatre again!

    AIDS WALK: LIVE AT HOME was held virtually on Sunday, July 19. This was the very first bi-coastal live-stream event to help support many HIV/AIDS nonprofit organizations that provide critical services to those who are most vulnerable among us. AIDS WALK SAN FRANCISCO has had its impact on the Bay Area community for over 30 years raising awareness and funds to support HIV care and prevention services, as well as mental health, substance use, housing, and other important social programs. Guests included Bette Midler, Gloria Estefan, Ross Matthews, Alan Cumming, Matt Bomer, Speaker Nancy PelosiMayor London BreedPatti LaBelle, and Glenn Close

    SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DRAG? was a compelling competition and delightful drag show fundraiser sponsored by SF DUCAL COUNCIL and HARVEY MILK CIVIL RIGHTS ACADEMY on July 25. The virtual show was hosted by dynamic DQ duo Kylie Minono and Chyna Maykit, with judges Sister Roma, Bebe Sweetbriar, and Alpha Betty. Stellar performances were by Alex U. Inn, Lady Camden, Landa Lakes, Afrika America, Madd Dogg 20/20, Dusty Porn, Venus Soleil, Buganvilia Thorns, Kit Tapata, BeBe Sweetbriar, and Drunk Drag Broadway. Contestants were Markus AKA Betty Bottoms with Cher’s “Shoop Shoop” song; Gino AKA Gina San Species doing Meghan Trainor’s “Genetics;” George AKA Eve Swallows with “Original Sin” including “Toxic” and “S&M”; Michael AKA Shante with her famous dial phone purse and “Call Me”; and Ryan, an actual teacher at HMCR Academy, as Miss Information teaching us about respect and equality for BLM with “Level Up.”After judges held a Q&A session with contenders, they voted first runner-up Gina and winner Miss Information. Condragulations to all five competitors!

    America is in the midst of a public health crisis. Old homophobic discriminatory policies regarding plasma donations are making it worse: leaving trauma victims without donor blood and withholding plasma donations that could potentially save people dying from the coronavirus.

    Sister Dana sez, “It’s time for the FDA to lift the donor ban completely and save lives, dammit!”

    The MODERN MILITARY ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA, the nation’s largest LGBTQ military and veteran nonprofit organization, responded to Secretary Mark Esper’s decision to ban the LGBTQ pride flag. A Pentagon spokesperson confirmed that Esper’s memo on the “Public Display or Depiction of Flags in the Department of Defense”—which was seen as a way to effectively ban the Confederate flag—also bans the Pride flag. “It’s absolutely outrageous that Defense Secretary Mark Esper would ban the Pride flag—the very symbol of inclusion and diversity,” said MMAA Interim Executive Director Jennifer Dane. “In what universe is it okay to turn an opportunity to ban a racist symbol like the Confederate flag into an opportunity to ban the symbol of diversity? This decision sends an alarming message to LGBTQ service members, their families, and future recruits. The Pentagon must immediately reconsider and take swift and appropriate action to ensure the Pride flag and LGBTQ Pride Month observances are not threatened.”

    According to the Associated Press“The number of openly LGBTQ elected officials in the United States has more than doubled in the past four years—and those ranks could soon grow, thanks to a record field of LGBTQ candidates this year.”

    Republicans hold a 53–47 majority in the Senate. That means Democrats need to win at least three seats to take back the Senate and make real change for good. The good news is that we’re on offense this year, with Republicans defending a monstrous 23 seats and Democrats just 12. But it won’t be easy to flip the Senate.

    The very recently late, great civil rights hero, Rep. John R. Lewis, once cited President JFK, stating “If not us, then who? If not now, then when?” and that still applies today regarding human civil rights. More than just the conscience of Congress, Rep. Lewis was the conscience of America.

    San Francisco has become the first major U.S. city to pass a resolution to promote medical and scientific collaboration with Cuba to combat the COVID-19 global pandemic. Supervisor Hillary Ronen was lead sponsor with Supervisors Peskin and Walton co-sponsoring. The resolution calls upon the U.S. government to lift economic sanctions that restrict the evaluation and importation of promising anti-viral treatments that have been developed by Cuba’s biotech industry. 

    Sister Dana sez, “One good thing about PPE and face masks is that they have enforced good oral hygiene, because nobody enjoys their own bad mask breath! Ew.”

    The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that it would be rolling back the Obama-era Equal Access Rule, which required homeless shelters that receive HUD funding to house transgender people with the gender they identify as. A copy of the new rule that will allow homeless shelters to refuse transgender people has been leaked, and it contains instructions on how to spot transgender women to target them for discrimination. Preposterous prejudice!

    Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently succinctly summed up the trouble with the T-rump admin and Republican Congress with the 3-Ds: “Delay, Denial, and Distortion of facts.”

    Randy Rainbow has a witty parody of “Officer Krupke” from West Side Story:

    Lean into #MuseumFromHome and engage with art at a distance. See this site for a list of digital experiences to bring the ASIAN ART MUSEUM into your home. Hopefully these resources will keep your spirits up and the inspiration flowing.

    The SAN FRANCISCO TRANSGENDER FILM FESTIVAL seeks entries for their 2020 online Festival (November 12–15). This year they are prioritizing films 20 minutes or less. SFTFF accepts narrative, documentary, experimental, animated films, and music videos. All work should be created by transgender/genderqueer people. Deadline is August 5.

    SFGMC TV is bringing the very best of the SAN FRANCISCO GAY MEN’S CHORUS free and online to their friends and supporters around the world. Check out the variety of shows to enjoy:

    CASTRO MERCHANTS have applied to close two blocks of 18th Street, on either side of Castro Street, to vehicles on the weekend to create outdoor space for seating and physically distanced movement. This is part of the City’s new SHARED SPACES program to support economic and social recovery from COVID-19. Specifically, they propose to temporarily close streets from now through December 31 as follows: 18th Street between Hartford and Castro streets; and 18th Street between Castro and Collingwood streets, Friday–Sunday 2 pm to 9 pm each day. The street would return to normal overnight each night.

    As coronavirus infections spike in Georgia, televangelist Paula White will be holding an in-person campaign event for Trump that features five well-known vehemently anti-LGBTQ activists.

    The MODERN MILITARY ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA has condemned use of military uniforms by unidentified federal agents. “Wearing unmarked military uniforms to snatch up American citizens peacefully exercising their First Amendment rights is a gross misuse of power and dishonors the service members who fought and died to protect and defend the Constitution,” said MMAA Interim Executive Director Jennifer Dane. “Congress should take immediate action to address this alarming turn of events.”

    THE EQUALITY ACT will write protections from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in education, employment, health care, housing, and public accommodations into federal law. The Senate needs to advance the Equality Act. It’s been over a year since it passed in the House, and it is time for equality for all.

    BROADWAY CARES/EQUITY FIGHTS AIDS is taking its signature sensational striptease online for the first time with BROADWAY BARES: ZOOM IN, a celebratory virtual edition streaming on Saturday, August 1. Free, but accepting donations.

    Sister Dana sez, “Let’s pin a big badge on Big Boy Trump, who sometimes can appear actually slightly almost presidential! Slightly. Rarely. If ever.”

    Published on July 30, 2020