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    Sister Dana sez, “It’s time to celebrate BLACK HISTORY MONTH…”

    By Sister Dana Van Iquity–

    Sister Dana sez, “It’s time to celebrate BLACK HISTORY MONTH. Of course, Nikki Haley will not get it. Nor will Florida textbooks even mention ‘SLAVERY’!”

    BLACK HISTORY MONTH began this year on February 1, and ends March 1. Black History Month is an annual observance originating in the U.S., where it is also known as African-American History Month. It has received official recognition from governments in the U.S. and Canada, and more recently has been observed in Ireland and the U.K. The civil rights and Black Power movement advocated for an official shift from Black History Week to Black History Month. And in 1976, on the 50th anniversary of the beginning of Negro History Week, the ASSOCIATION FOR THE STUDY OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY made the shift to Black History Month.

    On February 2 in the War Memorial Veterans building, Mayor London Breed joined elected and city officials, HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION  leadership, and supporters for the convening of BLACK 2 SAN FRANCISCO (B2SF), an initiative led by the Human Rights Commission to host Historically Black Colleges and University (HBCU) programming in San Francisco.

    Later that day, in the City Hall’s rotunda, Mayor Breed joined the AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORICAL & CULTURAL SOCIETY, elected and city officials, and community members for the 2024 Black History Month kick-off celebration.

    Vice President Kamala Harris began her nationwide FIGHT FOR REPRODUCTIVE FREEDOMS tour on January 22 in Wisconsin with an impassioned defense of women’s right to choose an abortion. Part of her emotional speech drove right into the MAGA crowd: “The idea that someone who survived a crime that is violence to their body, and then would not have the authority to decide what happens to their body next, that’s immoral!” Next on her tour, prior to welcoming President Biden onto the stage in Virginia, she said, “And let us all agree that one does not have to abandon their faith or their deeply held beliefs to agree the government should not be telling her what to do with her body! If she chooses, she will consult her pastor, her priest, her rabbi, her imam—but not the government telling her what to do!”

    Harris concluded, “And note while these extremists say they are motivated by the health and the well-being of the women and children of America, in reality, they ignore the crisis of maternal mortality!  The top 10 states in our country with the highest rates of maternal mortality all have abortion bans. The hypocrisy abounds! So, this is, in fact, a healthcare crisis.”

    Sister Dana sez, “The Republican, so-called ‘Freedom Caucus’ is ironic-because it is far from the freedom of basic human rights.”

    The amazing Chita Rivera passed away on January 30 at the age of 91. We drama fags have lovingly witnessed all of her performances on stage and screen, with Chita acting and dancing up a storm. I will quote one of her truly meaningful bits of advice: “We should have two lives—one to try out and one you’re judged by. But we don’t. We have one life, and we have to live it as best we can.” Rest in peace and dance off to heaven, dearest Chita!

    Out skater Amber Glenn has won the U.S. Figure Skating title at the medals ceremony at Nationwide Arena on January 26 in Columbus, Ohio. She draped herself in the “Progress Pride Flag” as she posed with the gold medal. Glenn, who came out in 2019, identifies as bisexual and pansexual. She is the first queer woman ever to win the prestigious title. Sister Dana sez, “Congratulations, Amber, you make us and the U.S. so proud!”

    The House passed a $17 billion bipartisan tax bill that could help 16 million low-income children and restored some business tax breaks on January 31 by a huge vote of 357–70. The bill expands the child tax credit to most of the 19 million children in low-income households that make too little to receive the full credit. It could lift as many as half a million kids out of poverty, according to the CENTER ON BUDGET AND POLICY PRIORITIES.

    Sister Dana sez, “Now it’s the Senate GOP’s turn to NOT pass a bill, because they don’t want President Biden to look good. How revolting!”

    The current Congress has passed fewer bills than any other Congress in history. Of the more than 700 bills voted on, only 27 have passed and been signed into law. Sister Dana sez, “Hey Congress, are you just lazy or maybe quite constipated?!? You can’t pass anything!”

    In the Good News Department, an observation from Sarah Longwell, publisher of conservative website The Bulwark, says that among anti-Trumpers like her, “there’s more of us” now than there were in 2020. MSNBC political pundit Jonathan Lemire adds to the good feels, saying: “There’s a whole swath of the Republican electorate and a good chunk of independents who appear firmly committed to not voting for him in November if he becomes the nominee.” Sister Dana sez, “Chant along with me: No Trump! No Trump! Nooo Trump!!!”

    Nominations for the ninth SAN FRANCISCO POET LAUREATE are open. The Poet Laureate will develop and participate in community-based poetry programs that reflect and honor the diversity of San Francisco and will be a beacon of hope for the city. Nominations are open now through February 16.

    Elmo, the lovable, furry red puppet from Sesame Street, asked via social media: “Elmo is just checking in. How is everybody doing?” And in response, folx wrote back some heartbreaking, some depressive, and some just plain negative answers. I am heartened to say that my President Joe Biden wrote back: “I know how hard it is some days to sweep the clouds away and get to sunnier days.” He continued, “Our friend Elmo is right: We have to be there for each other, offer our help to a neighbor in need, and above all else, ask for help when we need it.” The President concluded, “Even though it’s hard, you’re never alone.” Sister Dana sez, “I am imagining at a totally fake-believe press conference with the Trump GOP campaign replying to Elmo: ‘Everything is fine because we have our own ORANGE puppet in charge.’”

    The monthly CASTRO ART WALK happened on February 2. Of all 16 galleries, I want to specially promote my favorites: 2358MKT (2368 Market Street); ART HOUSE SF (2324 B Market Street); and WELCOME CASTRO (525 Castro Street). Go visit them!

    GROUNDHOG DAY was February 2 in Gobbler’s Knob, Pennsylvania, when Punxsutawney Phil failed to see his shadow and “predicted” an early spring. This marks the first time since 2020 that Phil foretold an early spring, and the 21st time since records were kept. Sister Dana sez, “Did everyone celebrate GROUNDHOG DAY? Me neither. I don’t rely on a rodent’s prediction and prefer my local weatherman give me the weather news. Although I DO really enjoy the 1993 rom-com movie starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell!”                                                      

    LUNAR NEW YEAR is a celebration of the arrival of spring and the beginning of a new year on the luni-solar calendar. It is the most important holiday in China, and it is also widely celebrated in South Korea, Vietnam, and countries with a significant overseas Chinese population. In 2024, Lunar New Year here starts February 10, and ends February 24. The number of days of celebration varies depending on the country. Those celebrating consider it the time of the year to reunite with immediate and extended family. It is a fifteen-day celebration, with the fifteenth day of the holiday celebrating the LANTERN FESTIVAL.

    Sister Dana sez, “So in this ‘Year of the Dragon’: Slay, queens!”

    On February 3, Mayor London Breed gathered city officials, Chinatown community members, and local merchants for the Chinese New Year Mini Parade and Flower Market Fair. The festive parade began at Chinatown Rose Pak Station, Upper Plaza, 943 Stockton Street, and ended at Pacific Avenue and Kearny Street.

    Welcome the “Year of the Dragon” with the SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY! Their annual Lunar New Year event draws upon Asian traditions, past and present, in a celebration of music and community. February 17, 5 pm, Davies Symphony Hall.

    Sister Dana welcomed guests to Krewe de Kinque’s Bal Masque 2024.

    While Sister Dana is loath to write sports news, he will take exception for Taylor Swift. The Kansas City Chiefs won the AFC Championship against the Baltimore Ravens, meaning they will be facing off against our San Francisco 49ers in SUPER BOWL LVIII in Las Vegas on February 11. It also means that superstar Chiefs Tight End (heeheehee) Travis Kelce and his gorgeous girlfriend Taylor will keep dominating the news. This has FOX-TV faux news et al in an uproar, calling Swift some sort of deep state witch casting spells for the Democrats—or even more MAGA maniacally made Swiftian conspiracies. But it is such a comfort to recall that last year, Taylor single-handedly inspired over 35,000 new voters to get registered! Sister Dana sez, “Dearest Taylor, please endorse our President Biden to your ‘Swifties’ and everyone. This nun will so be a ‘Sister Swiftie’ for you!”

    On February 5, SAN FRANCISCO PRIDE was proud to announce BEACON OF LOVE as the theme for the 54th Annual San Francisco LGBTQ Pride Parade and Celebration. In a crucial election year when LGBTQ rights are under assault across the country, San Francisco Pride wanted a theme that expressed the undiminished spirit of our great city as a global leader in the fight for LGBTQ liberation and fundamental human rights. Sister Dana sez, “EssEff is a beacon of love—shining our bright light everywhere!”

    SQREAM, a ‘90s drag musical scary parody, returns to Oasis for Valentine’s Day and beyond! From the clever production team that brings you the immersive The Rocky Horror Show experience comes SQREAM, a drag horror “Scream” parody set to all your favorite hit songs of the 1990s. It’s a queer whodunit with the mandatory frightening Ghost-face masked murderer. Go scream along! February 14 to March 23, 298 11th Street.

    VALENTINE’S DAY is February 14. Who is this Saint Valentine anyway? Apparently, Emperor Claudius II of Rome executed two different men named Valentine on February 14 (in two different years) during the third century. One account of St. Valentine says that he was a priest who was arrested for defying a Roman decree that forbade soldiers from marrying. Both Valentines were martyred—one was brutally beheaded.

    Sister Dana sez, “So this year, don’t lose your HEAD over trying to find the perfect Valentine’s gift. Martyrdom is no longer chic!”  

    Words of Wisdumb from a Fun Nun
    Published on February 8, 2024