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    Sister Dana sez, “May I be the first to wish you a Very HAPPY HALLOWEEN!”

    By Sister Dana Van Iquity, Words of Wisdumb from a Fun Nun–

    Sister Dana sez, “May I be the first to wish you a Very HAPPY HALLOWEEN! And because this is our Queer High Holiday, may it be an extremely Happy HallowQUEEN!”

    This October 20 is SPIRIT DAY, when millions of people will “go purple” to take a united stand against bullying and harassment. You can add your name, take the pledge, wear purple, and more—to let your community know you support LGBTQ youth—on “Spirit Day” and every day. This is an annual LGBTQ awareness day observed on the third Thursday in October. Started in 2010 by Canadian teenager Brittany McMillan, it was initially created in response to a rash of widely publicized bullying-related suicides of gay school students in 2010, including that of Tyler Clementi.

    HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN (HRC) held its annual SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA DINNER on October 8 at the Embarcadero Hyatt Regency Hotel. Since 1980, HRC has led the way in fighting for LGBTQ equality and inclusion. This was an incredible evening of storytelling and inspiration. The HRC fundraising dinners provide important funds to fuel their mission, including resources for their work on the critical elections later this year. We joined them at that night to engage in their work as they fight even harder for the LGBTQ community. Incoming new HRC President Kelley Robinson spoke out for LGBQ rights. Robinson—a widely respected leader in the progressive movement—is the organization’s ninth president and the first Black, queer woman to lead HRC. WOW! We embrace her with big, loving, hugging arms! And I am so excited to report that she “took us to church” with her overwhelming enthusiasm—nevertheless it was not all joy. While it was certainly a celebratory and joyous occasion, the hard reality is our community is under vicious and relentless attack. And being together at this time will be essential to show we will not back down. In state after state, LGBTQ Americans are under siege—with a strong focus on queer and transgender youth—the most vulnerable among us. Whether it is the “Don’t Say Gay or Trans Bill” in Florida, the banning of life-affirming queer literature in Texas, or access to critical healthcare in Tennessee and South Dakota—our rights and dignity are being stripped away.

    But on the lighter side, comedian Dana Goldberg got us somehow laughing at our political circumstance (including Trump and his many merciless minions) and served as awesome auctioneer. Singer/songwriter VINCINT utterly rocked the house with his song and dance. We happily jumped in the aisles. Remembering Kelly Herrick received the Charles M. Holmes Award posthumously and was accepted by the proud son of Kelly for all that his father had accomplished for HRC as a volunteer, leader, ambassador—and so much more activism. The gay rom-com, BROS, received the Visibility Award. One of the best parts of that movie for me is just in knowing that almost the entire cast and crew are openly queer. Well, that, and because it is just so much fun to be so gay! After-party entertainment was provided by DJ Nico—we danced the night away to oldies ‘80s! But on an

    especially happy note: in process of attempting to get Sister Dana properly onto the press table, I thankfully got eventually joyfully seated by the awesome activist Tom Temprano—when we dished, discussed, and deliciously did dessert. Delightful! As if there

    weren’t enough reasons not to want anti-abortion hypocrite Herschel Walker to win Georgia but Senator Raphael Warnock to remain, Geoff Wetrosky, campaign director at the Human Rights Campaign, said Walker is recycling the well-worn political strategy of scaring voters using a marginalized minority. “He is spreading propaganda and creating more stigma, discrimination, and violence against LGBTQ people,” Wetrosky said. “Their rhetoric is not about keeping kids safe; it’s about riling up a small number of base voters while interfering with the rights of parents of LGBT kids to provide stable, happy, and healthy homes for the kids.” Sister Dana sez, “If Walker wins that vital senate seat, it will ONLY be by cheating—which Repugnicans have proven to be their only strategy!”

    After fuming over Halle Bailey portraying Ariel in the upcoming live-action reboot of The Little Mermaid, conservatives are at it again—furious over Velma coming out as queer in the new Trick or Treat Scooby-Doo! Sister Dana sez, “Score one more for Our Team!!!”

    President Biden pardoned everyone convicted of marijuana possession under federal law and said the U.S. will review how the drug is classified. The pardons will clear about 6,500 people who were convicted on federal charges of simple possession of marijuana from 1992 to 2021 and thousands more who were convicted of possession in the District of Columbia. Sister Dana sez, “It’s about time; but now we need ALL the states to get a ‘contact high’ and make this statewide procedure! EVERY state must ‘puff puff pass’ this pot policy!”

    TO LOVE AND BE LOVED IN RETURN was the title of the “Día de los Muertos” (“Day of the Dead”) Exhibition Unveiling and Opening Reception on October 7 at SOMArts Cultural Center. Curated by Rio Yañez and Anaís Azul, it exemplifies how the love between us and our dead continue to help us to navigate the world. This year, artists reflected on how those we have lost have taught us to love and be loved in return. As we navigate a world troubled with war and injustice, we are more connected to each other than we ever thought possible. Love is the orchestrator connecting us to our departed and the action grounding our communities in healing. The show featured curatorial remarks and the launch of the René Yañez Legacy Fund. This was the first public Día de Los Muertos opening reception since 2019.

    Founded in 1974, SHANTI PROJECT was one of the first volunteer organizations in the United States to work with terminally ill individuals, and later became one of the very first community-based HIV/AIDS organizations in the world. Each year, Shanti volunteers provide emotional support and practical assistance to isolated San Francisco residents experiencing systemic inequities and barriers to care, while navigating challenges connected with illness, disability, and aging. COMPASSION IS UNIVERSAL was Shanti’s annual dinner and benefit on October 13 at The Palace Hotel. This year, they celebrated 48 years of Shanti’s work in the community. Emcee/auctioneer was Kevin Joyce. The event recognized those in the community who best embody Shanti’s values of volunteerism and service. Senator Scott Wiener and Supervisor Rafael Mandelman spoke highly of Shanti, and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi sent an inspirational video message. Video testimonials were given by the many grateful Shanti clients. I was so proud when we attending Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence got a special shout-out! The 2022 James C. Hormel Community Spirit Award was given to Dr. Monica Gandhi, Professor of Medicine and Associate Chief in the Division of HIV, Infectious Diseases, and Global Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). She is also the Director of the UCSF Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) and the Medical Director of the HIV Clinic (“Ward 86”) at San Francisco General Hospital. She reminded us of those critical, awful, homophobic days back when AIDS was a huge stigma and how she flawlessly spoke out for Ward 86 and queers despite the discrimination. The 2022 Nancy Pelosi Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Thomas E. Horn, Executive Director of the Bob A. Ross Foundation, which supports HIV-related, LGBTQ, arts, and cultural nonprofit organizations in San Francisco. Featured special guests were San Francisco Poet Laureate Tongo Eisen-Martin, Joe Warner’s Jazz Combo, and Jiten Daiko. Shanti Interim Executive Director Charley Meade closed this lovely gala with even more inspiration.

    The Rhino is in The Castro for another season of fun, naughtiness, and joy. THEATRE RHINOCEROS presents BAD HOMBRES by Guillermo Reyes starring Rudy Guerrero. A collection of wildly comic characters negotiates sexual identity and various Latinx cultural identities. Relationships and marriage, monogamy and sexual adventurism, legality vs. “illegality” all clash in a contemporary setting of American life. Now playing through October 30 at 4229 18th Street.

    THE 2ND ANNUAL BEARRISON FAIR was held on Saturday, October 15, at 11th and Harrison Streets. Billed as “A FAIR FOR EVERY BEAR,” it included bears, bear-lovers, and friends of bears. And even the bear-curious! There were three stages for live shows. There was bear wrestling and weightlifting. Plenty of bear merch was available. I always delight in the Neft Vodka VIP area—serving the smoothest voddie I’ve ever indulged in, while helping out the community.

    BEARRISON STREET FAIR, produced by The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence & The Bears of San Francisco, seeks to provide an inclusive community event for all members of the adult LGBTQ community that promotes body positivity for all and builds a more supportive, welcoming, and inclusive bear scene by representing a diverse arena of cultures. Sister Dana sez, “I can BEARLY wait for the 3RD ANNUAL BEARRISON FAIR!”

    We Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence on October 22 will present: CLOWN FUC#ER, “A Sister Takeover at Moby Dick Bar.” Hosted by Sister Roma and Sister Carrie Me Away. Drag and more at 1 pm, 4049 18th Street.

    The final hearing of the JANUARY 6TH PROBE was a bunch of bad news for Trump. Even though he will refuse the subpoena, there is now plenty of evidence that he is an insurrectionist.

    Sister Dana sez, “I hold dear to my heart that Section 3 of the 14TH AMENDMENT states: ‘No person shall hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof’!”

    Sister Dana Sez, Words of Wisdumb from a Fun Nun
    Published on October 20, 2022