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    Sister Dana sez, “Welcome to the 53rd annual San Francisco Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Pride Celebration and Parade!”

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

    Sister Dana sez, “Welcome to the 53rd annual San Francisco Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Pride Celebration and Parade! Sister Dana is delighted to once again ride on top of the SF BAY TIMES bus—blowing kisses and flashing peace signs to the beautiful crowd!”

    On Saturday, June 24, and Sunday, June 25, the 53rd Annual Pride Parade & Celebration will take place. This year’s theme is LOOKING BACK AND MOVING FORWARD. The Pride Parade on June 25 begins at 10:30 am and goes down Market Street from Embarcadero to the Celebration at Civic Center (around 8th Street). The parade has over 200 contingents and may go on for over 3 hours. The Pride Celebration will be June 24 and 25. Gates open at 11 am. There will be 5 Community Stages, and the Kaiser Permanente Main Stage will be live noon to 6 pm.

    Sister Dana sez, “June is PRIDE MONTH, a season to celebrate the lives and experiences of LGBTQ communities, and to protest against recent attacks on hard-won civil rights gains!”

    An utterly insightful and special delight was hearing Marga Gomez reading from her latest play, SWIMMING WITH LESBIANS, at Fabulosa Books on June 8. She and I go waaay back when she did stand-up comedy at Valencia Rose and Josie’s Joint in the Mission! But now she has a killer one-woman show she is working on, and can be seen at the Marsh.

    Vermont Representative Becca Balint absolutely destroyed a witness for unnecessarily bringing up transgender rights during a House Oversight Committee hearing on June 6. At one point, Balint asked witness Mandy Gunasekara about her claim that ESG (environmental, social, and corporate governance) promotes forced gender transition for children. “I want to know, do you really believe that garbage?” asked Balint, who is the first woman and openly LGBTQ lawmaker to represent Vermont. She said since marriage equality had such overwhelming approval, the backlash for Republicans is trans kids to be MAGA’s new boogeyman.

    FRAMELINE’s SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL LGBTQ+ FILM FESTIVAL—with 90 screenings at venues in the City and Oakland—got started with an opening night presentation at the Castro Theatre and will conclude on Pride Saturday (June 24). Its 11 days will highlight more than 130 films, among them shorts and world premieres. For those who can’t attend the in-person screenings, they will be available to stream June 24–July 2.

    According to HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN (HRC), over 525 anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced in state legislature (which is a record); over 200 bills specifically target transgender and non-binary people (also a record); and 76 anti-LGBTQ laws have been enacted so far this year (which has doubled). HRC has officially declared that we are in a “State of Emergency.”

    President Joe Biden spoke at a PRIDE MONTH celebration on the South Lawn of the White House on June 10. Guests included survivors of deadly shootings at the LGTBQ CLUB Q nightclub in Colorado Springs last November and Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in 2016. Thousands of guests picnicked on the South Lawn together with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, the first openly LGBTQ person to hold a Cabinet position, and Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services Admiral Rachel Levine, the first openly transgender person to be confirmed by the Senate. Biden, a proud Democrat, urged Congress to pass the EQUALITY ACT which would amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act to include sexual orientation and gender identity for protection alongside race, religion, sex, and national origin, and ban assault weapons. “You are loved. You are heard. You are understood and you belong,” Biden said in his remarks to the cheering crowd. The president praised the “extraordinary” courage of LGBTQ Americans, while acknowledging the discrimination and violence the community faces. First Lady Jill Biden said the celebration was meant to “find joy” and “celebrate the beauty and resilience” of the LGBTQ community.  

    Sister Dana sez, “It really pleases me that the NAACP has issued a travel advisory warning that recent laws and policies championed by Governor Ron DUH Santis and Florida lawmakers are ‘OPENLY hostile toward African Americans, people of color, and LGBTQ individuals.’ Now maybe more activists will join in the fight for equality!”

    Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi joined more than 200 volunteers for the COMMUNITY WORKDAY in the NATIONAL AIDS MEMORIAL GROVE (“the Grove”) on June 17 to commemorate her three and a half decades of service in Congress, celebrating her principles of Love, Action, and Leadership. Featured speakers included Pelosi, National AIDS Memorial CEO John Cunningham, musical performances by New Voices Bay Area TIGQ Chorus, and Bishop Yvette Flunder. As she has done over the years to mark anniversaries of her time in Congress, Pelosi planted a commemorative tree, and rolled up her sleeves to tend the grounds of the National Memorial.

    Krewe de Kinque King & Queen XX Mez & Moxie hosted the “ALL PRIDE – NO PREJUDICE” benefit on June 17 at the Midnight Sun in the Castro! We raised funds for RAINBOW RAILROAD, a global nonprofit organization that helps at-risk LGTBQ people get to safety worldwide. Based in the United States and Canada, they’re an organization that helps LGBTQ people facing persecution based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex characteristics. Queen VII Sister Dana was happy to pass out rainbow bracelets.

    Donald Trump is the only President ever to face federal charges. But he’s still the 2024 Republican frontrunner. Merrick Garland appointed Special Counsel Jack Smith to bring criminal charges against Trump.  Sister  Dana sez, “We can’t let this criminal escape justice yet again!”

    EQUALITY CALIFORNIA (EQCA) will be celebrating Pride in San Francisco on Tuesday, June 20, at El Rio, 3158 Mission Street, from 6–9 pm. This year their Pride theme is REVOLUTION OF LOVE to celebrate the LGBTQ community and support the work Equality California is doing every day to advance LGBTQ civil rights and social justice!

    Swedish Liberal Party leader Jan Jönsson has released a video of himself dressed in drag reading a fairy tale to children. But in a cutting dialogue with the camera, he addresses adults, not kids. “Fairy tales are not dangerous for children, and drag queens aren’t either; but populism and intolerance: those are dangerous for children, and for adults too,” he says in the video. “When right-wing populism seeks to stamp its rule over culture and ban drag queens reading fairy tales, they are limiting children’s freedom, the freedom to laugh, be inspired, and discover new worlds,” he said. “They won’t be satisfied until the whole world is as grey and depressing as their own.” Exhorting at the end of the video, he exclaims, “This is a time when we need more glitter, love, and rainbows!

    On Father’s Day, June 18, 6 pm, we participated in a CASTRO DRAG STREET EUCHARIST at the 18th and Castro LGBTQ Community Shrine, which included a march from there to Jane Warner Plaza and everyone gaily gayly singing “This Little Light of Mine.” After many blessings, we ate the holy rainbow cupcakes and drank the holy wine (grape juice). It was “Queer Church like you’ve never experienced before. It was a Drag Celebration!” All this was presented by the Faithful & Fabulous of the SAN FRANCISCO NIGHT MINISTRY.

    Sister Dana sez, “It’s Pride Month, and as more and more businesses have climbed on board the rainbow train, Republicans are running out of places to dine out. Oh, tell them to ‘Taste the rainbow’”!

    To launch the third season of Divas & Drinks, the San Francisco Bay Times and The Academy SF proudly will present powerhouse vocalist Rhonda Benin and her All Stars: Grammy winner Tammy Hall, legendary bassist Ruth Davies (whose discography includes several platinum and Grammy-winning records), and drummer Mark Lee, who has backed The Pointer Sisters, and many other artists. Emcee will be my fellow Bay Times columnist, Donna Sachet. Featured guests will include SF Pride Executive Director Suzanne Ford and SF Pride Past President Carolyn Wysinger.

    Gary Virginia & Donna Sachet ‘s PRIDE BRUNCH is celebrating 25 years! The 25th Annual Pride Brunch honors the San Francisco Pride Parade Grand Marshals. This beloved tradition marks a major milestone this year and is a rare opportunity to meet and hear from the Grand Marshals as we mix with movers and shakers, enjoy hosted bars, take pleasure in live entertainment, and dine on fine cuisine. All proceeds support PRC’s lifesaving, integrated social, legal, and behavioral health services for those affected by HIV/AIDS, mental health issues, and substance use. June 24, Saturday from 11am-–2pm at the Westin Saint Francis, Grand Ballroom, 335 Powell Street.

    For the fourth consecutive year, activists and community leaders Alex U. Inn and Juanita MORE! will be leading the PEOPLE’S MARCH & RALLY – UNITE TO FIGHT! on Pride Sunday, June 25, on Polk Street in San Francisco. The event will begin with a rally at the corner of Polk and Washington Streets, then march down Polk Street—the same route as the first Gay Liberation Protest, which occurred on Saturday, June 27, 1970. The march will end at Fern Alley for a celebration of culture and community with DJs, performers, and artists’ booths.

    Having raised an impressive $1 million for LGBTQ nonprofit organizations to date this year, Juanita MORE!’s highly anticipated Pride event, taking place on June 25, will serve as a fundraiser for QUEER LIFESPACE. This organization offers affordable mental health services tailored to the LGBTQ community in San Francisco and beyond. By selecting Queer Lifespace as the beneficiary, Juanita aims to provide much-needed support and resources to help enhance the mental well-being of LGBTQ individuals in the area. Juanita’s Day Pride Party is June 25, noon to 7 pm at 620 Jones Street. Her Night Pride Party is 6 pm, June 25, to “late” at Halcyon, 314 11th Street.

    Enjoy free admission to the Castro Theatre along with complimentary refreshments for a showing of “To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar”—the first major Hollywood studio film to center on drag queens! Your emcee for this historic evening to help close out Pride Month 2023 will be Donna Sachet. The event is sponsored by Comcast, in partnership with the San Francisco Bay Times and The Academy SF. June 28, 6 pm, 429 Castro Street. Don’t miss this hilarious romp!

    INDEPENDENCE DAY and/or THE FOURTH OF JULY is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the Declaration of Independence, which was ratified by the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, establishing the United States of America.

    Sister Dana sez, “May I be the first to wish you a happy 4th of July or Independence Day! I just wish we could be less dependent on the united MAGA Republicans who continually get in the way of democracy!”

    Words of Wisdumb from a Fun Nun
    Published on June 22, 2023