Recent Comments


    Sister Dana sez, “November 23 is THANKSGIVING…”

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

    Sister Dana sez, “November 23 is THANKSGIVING. Although I prefer to call it ‘ThanksGaying,’ because I am thankful to be Gay. TGIG! Thank God I’m Gay!”

    Access to abortion and other forms of reproductive healthcare are now legal in Ohio, and Democrats won other victories in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Virginia—the latter voting for its first transgender State Senator Danica Roem. Note that all the Trump-endorsed GOP candidates have lost their elections. Meanwhile, clueless Trump continually brags that he is responsible for doing away with the 50-year precedent of Roe v. Wade.

    Sister Dana sez, “Go Trumpie go! Keep on losing ‘bigly’ for the GOP! That way we will eventually win civil rights for ALL people!”

    PRC has been transforming the Bay Area for decades, helping those affected by HIV/AIDS, substance use, or mental health issues realize their best selves by providing the support and services they need to reclaim their lives. Services include emergency financial assistance for short-term security; legal representation for access to basic income and healthcare benefits; and residential treatment, supportive housing, and employment training for longer-term social rehabilitation. PRC’s integrated services help over 5,000 clients annually on their path toward long-term stability and better financial and health outcomes. We attended PRC’s signature event of the year, MIGHTY REAL, named after PRC’s patron saint and greatest benefactor, the larger than life “Queen of Disco,” Sylvester. This event was about being absolutely fabulous, just like Sylvester. Named after his signature song, “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real),” PRC’s Mighty Real event pays homage to the star who benefited from PRC’s services and in turn gifted his future music royalties to PRC. The event was held on November 9 inside the stunning Saint Joseph’s Arts Society—a former church transformed by designer Ken Fulk into a truly novel, unique, and extraordinary space. Master of Ceremonies was Dale Johannes.

    PRC Chief Executive Officer Chuan Teng welcomed us saying, “This year we honor transformation, to underscore the transformative impact PRC has on its clients, the transformation PRC has undergone over the past year, and our endeavor to leave you, our guests, transformed by a powerful, cathartic event experience.” PRC Board of Directors President Brian Schneider added, “To those new to PRC, and those who have supported our work for many years, thank you for joining us on our mission to transform lives.” PRC honored Joshua Gamson with the Sylvester Community Pillar Award presented by Teng. Joshua chronicled the life of Sylvester in The Fabulous Sylvester: The Legend, the Music, the Seventies in San Francisco and has researched, taught, and written extensively about social movements, popular culture, and gay and lesbian people. PRC also honored San Francisco Pride with the Keystone Service Award for its pioneering work in improving the quality of life in creating a vibrant and inclusive community for LGBTQ individuals and allies. The award was presented by the inimitable Donna Sachet and accepted by SF Pride Executive Director Suzanne Ford. SF Pride shows us all that—through dedication of spirit, hard work, and sheer determination—we can envision a brighter future. In addition, Wells Fargo was given the Outstanding Corporate Partner Award—presented by Brian Schneider—for being instrumental in helping PRC to significantly advance its mission through their generous support of PRC’s housing initiatives and community events. The evening concluded with us dancing to the lively vocals and sound of Dotcom and the Noise.

    Every first Friday, THE CASTRO ART WALK gives us art lovers a range of 16 venues and studios in the Castro district to explore at our leisure on our self-guided tours from 5–8 pm. This one was on November 3. Many of the galleries offer nibbles and liquid refreshments. One of my favorite galleries is 2358MRKT (located at 2358 Market Street, of course) with one of my favorite artists, Clint Frederic, who is frequently onsite with his latest pieces, mixed media on wood. My faves include Energy Is Alchemy, and The CEO of Grindr Is a Pimp. Also, here you will enjoy JB Higgins’ black and white erotic photo pieces.

    Dennis McMillan (aka Sister Dana) with John Brett, the Imperial Council’s Mr. Cowboy 2022, at the Saint Joseph’s Arts Society on Thursday, November 9, attending PRC’s 7th Annual Mighty Real Gala.
    Photo by Chris Michaelson

    Then on November 10, 2358MRKT held an opening reception for a series of 34 paintings, LIFE 101: an INner Child Exhibition by Christopher Coker all month long. This collection “recognizes the hardships, celebrates the realizations, and acknowledges the growth we face, as we grow into the who we are supposed to be.” My faves are: #3 One Hundred and Three with 7-year-old Christopher tragically losing his father in airplane flight 103 crashing; #8 INfragments, when one feels broken into shards of glass but puts them together to create something new; and #34 The INner Light, how darkness can also illuminate a brighter future when powered by the light within.

    Welcome Castro (525 Castro Street) is currently showing amazing, historic black and white photographs by talented photographer Daniel Nicoletta—as well as pieces on loan from LGBTQ history museums nationwide. Here you can see every celeb from Sylvester to Harvey Milk to a scene from the terrible but necessary “White Night Riots.”

    QAF (Queer Arts Featured) (575 Castro Street)features more of Nicoletta’s fine photography. But what enlightened me most was a brilliant brown and bronze poster alerting us that “Grace Towers presents Butch Queen Pageant 2023 at the Castro Theatre.”

    Strut (470 Castro Street) had their monthly art opening to celebrate the work of Julien Tomasello, Secrets of Summer. It’s pop culture, it’s high art, it’s gay, it’s collage! Then on November 11, Strut held a reception for Brittany Maxste, part of The Black Queer Visual Arts Program. Curated by Ajuan Mance and Serge Gay Jr., this solo exhibition, The Queer Body Project, is a collection of stunning color photographs focusing on queer people and a diverse group of body types. A special treat was the reading of truly emotional, inspirational poetry by Aja Renae!

    So, I will see all of you fellow art lovers at the next Castro Art Walk on Friday, December one!  

    PROJECT OPEN HAND‘s mission is to improve health outcomes and quality of life by providing nutritious meals to the sick and vulnerable, caring for and educating our community. Open Hand is having their annual HAND TO HAND fundraising gala on November 17, 6 pm at the Hibernia, 1 Jones Street.

    APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) Economic Leaders’ Week has been observed November 11 through 17 in San Francisco. The United States was proud to host APEC this year under the theme of “Creating a Resilient and Sustainable Future for All.” By mid-November, concluding its host year, the U.S. will have hosted the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week (AELW) in our iconic San Francisco because we represent a story of resilience, innovation, and inclusivity—the core themes of APEC 2023. With a GDP of $501 billion, the San Francisco metropolitan area is the fourth largest economic region in the U.S., and the San Francisco Bay Area is home to many of the biggest Fortune 500 companies in the world. And we can proudly say Asian Americans represent 33% of San Francisco’s total population.

    And just in time for APEC, Illuminate San Francisco displayed 12 lasers of color-changing rainbow splendor, beginning November 13 through 16, sunset to sunrise, the full length of San Francisco’s Market Street. This was a reprise of Illuminate’s PRIDE 2022 impressive display of rainbow lasers, but twice as many this time.  

    Sister Dana sez, “I’m not saying these 2023 rainbow lasers represented LGBTQ pride—but that’s MY queer-identified interpretation. That’s so gay, and that’s a good thing!”

    The annual TRANSGENDER DAY OF REMEMBRANCE (TDOR) is November 20. The week before TDOR, people and organizations around the country participate in Transgender Awareness Week to help raise visibility for transgender people and address issues the community faces. TDOR was started in 1999 by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil to honor the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998. The vigil commemorated all the transgender people lost to violence since Hester’s death, and began an important tradition.

    The annual CASTRO TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY is on November 28, 6 pm outside Castro and 18th Streets. Come celebrate the holidays with Mayor Breed, Donna Sachet, Senator Scott Wiener, Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, SF Gay Men’s Chorus, SF Lesbian and Gay Freedom Band, and Santa!

    The November installment of LOCKDOWN COMEDY on Zoom took place on November 9, and sadly this was the LAST “Lockdown Comedy.” This finale featured Matt Kirshen (LA, via London), Dhaya Lakshminarayanan (SF), Nicole Tran (LA, via Vietnam), andshow producer/comic Lisa Geduldig (Florida). Goodbye and farewell, you funny funny show!

    Sister Dana sez, “Have Congressional Republicans DISCUSSED the best way to avoid Government Shutdown—or are these Republicans just plain DISGUSTING?!”

    Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia has announced that he will not seek re-election—dealing a blow to Democrats. The decision by Manchin to step down will leave open a seat in a deeply red state. It should be pointed out that this senator was not progressive and watered down much of what President Joe Biden proposed when the other senators gladly passed the legislation. Manchin, along with now Independent Kristen Sinema, were blue-dog Democrats and sore thumbs to the Senate. Manchin gave deals to Big Oil and billionaires while West Virginia citizens suffered. He plans to travel the states “listening and lecturing.”

    Sister Dana sez, “Bon voyage, and bye, bish!”

    Congratulations to actor and SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher, who was overjoyed to announce an extraordinary labor deal for fellow actors and the end of an 118-day strike! Tens of thousands of actors will now go back to work. Drescher gushed, “It’s a great deal, a triumphant deal, a historic deal, a seminal deal!”

    Sister Dana sez, “Way to go, and props to ‘Nanny Fine’!”

    SALTBURN is coming to theaters on November 22, a beautifully wicked tale of privilege and desire. Struggling to find his place at Oxford University, student Oliver Quick (Barry Keoghan) finds himself drawn into the world of the charming and aristocratic Felix Catton (Jacob Elordi), who invites him to Saltburn, his eccentric family’s sprawling estate, for a summer never to be forgotten. (See Gary Kramer’s review of Saltburn in this issue.)

    The annual HARVEY MILK CANDLELIGHT MARCH is Sunday, November 27, 6–8 pm at Castro and Market Street. This is a night of remembrance of the lives and untimely deaths of Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone on the anniversary of their 1978 assassinations—and commemorating the spontaneous candlelight march on the night of the shootings. Bring your candles to the Castro to honor SF’s fallen leaders, Milk and Moscone. Meet at the Castro Station area, then march two blocks up the street to the site of Milk’s old camera store for speeches by local celebs and recorded archival speeches from Milk.

    Sister Dana sez, “While at the Milk memorial, be sure to check out the plaque over Milk’s ashes, and look up to see a small mural of Harvey looking down at us! So inspirational!”

    Sister Dana Sez, Words of Wisdumb from a Fun Nun
    Published on November 16, 2023