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    Sister Dana sez, “Welcome to the 54th Annual SAN FRANCISCO PRIDE PARADE…”

    By Sister Dana Van Iquity–

    Sister Dana sez, “Welcome to the 54th Annual SAN FRANCISCO PRIDE PARADE where absolutely everybody is invited! Sister Dana will proudly sit atop the ‘SF Bay Times’ bus in rainbow nun habit blowing kisses and flashing peace signs to the crowd!”

    The PARADE is Sunday, June 30, beginning at 10:30 am on Market near Beale Street and continues to the Civic Center. It lasts an average of four hours. The Parade and Celebration are free, although donations are encouraged. This year’s theme is “BEACON OF LOVE.” The CELEBRATION  festival at Civic Center Plaza will take place Saturday, June 29, and Sunday June 30. Entrances open at 11 am, and the Celebration closes at 6 pm.

    The opposite of “Gay Pride” has been revealed via a secret recording by inJustice Alito’s wife condemning the PRIDE FLAG. Martha-Ann wants to fly a flag that spells out “SHAME” in Italian. Sister Dana sez, “Shame on you, lady, for having such unCatholic values. That Bible you pretend to believe in commands you “love thy neighbor”—NOT HATE thy neighbor. Stop spewing hatred!

    Adding to hatred in America, eleven states have now passed copycat laws since Florida passed its wretched “Don’t Say Gay” legislation two years ago. North Carolina has now joined the anti-LGBTQ hate bandwagon limiting instruction around sexual orientation or gender identity in schools. NC goes a step further—requiring teachers to out trans students to their parents.  

    The sexiest show of Pride Month was surely on June 16 at Club 1015 Folsom, BROADWAY BARES SF VII: FILMSTRIPS, a burlesque-style show that featured the talented SF cast of Company along with a series of choreography based on famous films with dozens of male and female dreamy dancers baring it all for a good cause. My faves were from Burlesque, Rocky Horror Picture Show (and yes, we did the “Time Warp”), and Dirty Dancin’ when we had “The Time of Our Life.”Proceeds were split between the RICHMOND/ERMET AID FOUNDATION (REAF) and BROADWAY CARES/EQUITY FIGHTS AIDS. The very sexy David Hernandez from TV’s American Idol and stage’s Naked Boys Singing sang and performed to our hearts’ delight.

    And be sure to mark your calendars for the next exciting REAF cabaret benefit, BROADWAY AND BEYOND, on July 14 at Marines’ Memorial Theater, featuring cast members from the Broadway touring cast of Mrs. Doubtfire and other special guests.

    Sister Dana sez, “Big congratulations to openly, proudly gay Jonathan Groff for winning the very prestigious 77th Annual TONY Award of Lead Actor in a Musical (‘Merrily We Roll Along’)! And excellent job to you, loud and proud queer Academy Award winner Ariana DeBose, for third time flawlessly hosting! Could the TONYs be any GAYER?! Woohoooo!”

    Against the odds, on June 16, UKRAINE held its first PRIDE event in three years. They doubted it could be done, but the military and a secret whisper campaign helped make the event a success directly in front of the capital of Kyiv, Ukraine. Organizers described the struggles they overcame to hold these celebrations—pushing against war, anti-LGBTQ protestors, and even the rain to hold the festivities. Over 500 people attended for about 30 minutes before they had to disperse. LGBTQ Nation noted that organizers of the march also advocated for two proposed laws in Ukraine to be passed: Draft Law No. 5488 would enshrine anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ Ukrainians, and Draft Law 9301 would allow for same-sex civil partnerships in the country.

    On June 17, we celebrated SFO airport’s final phase of the HARVEY MILK TERMINAL 1 opening. The project was almost a decade in the making and SF Mayor London Breed happilycut the ribbon along with other dignitaries. Breed noted that visitors landing in San Francisco for Pride Month would be especially proud to arrive at an airport named for one of The City’s true gay heroes—telling “a story that we can be proud of.”

    For anyone not shaking right down to their gay boots regarding the upcoming presidential election, allow me to remind them of the ultra-conservative Heritage Foundation’s 1,000-page “Project 2025 Mandate for Leadership, The Conservative Promise” proposal if Trump steals the presidency. Among the autocratic, extremist, fascistic plans are to condemn single-motherhood and same-sex marriage as well as to eliminate the terms “sexual orientation,” “diversity, equity, and inclusion,” “gender equality,” and “abortion and reproductive rights” from all laws and federal regulations. And that’s just the first of seven other seriously scary sections of Project 2025. This could even turn into Project 2029, unless STOP PROJECT 2025 TASK FORCE takes effect.

    June 19 (JUNETEENTH) was the opening of the FRAMELINE FILM FESTIVALoutside and down the street from the Castro Theater, which was also the official lighting of the fully renovated Castro Theatre blade marquee—counted down by SF’s first Drag Laureate D’Arcy Drollinger. We enjoyed superb drag performances from Reparations, curated by Nicki Jizz, followed by a free outdoor screening of the documentary, LIL NAS X: LONG LIVE MONTERO.

    Sister Dana sez, “Just when you think the Supreme Court is worthless, eight of nine justices have ruled that domestic abusers may be disarmed of guns. Hallelujah! Of course, good ol’ Clarence dissented.”

    Louisiana has become the first state to require that the Ten Commandments be displayed in every public-school classroom from kindergarten to high school. We must keep religion out of schools. America is not a theocracy. Sister Dana sez, “Trump is heavily pushing for this—ironically having disobeyed most of the Commandments himself!”

    HARVEY MILK CENTER FOR THE ARTS & PHOTO CENTER held its 10th Annual Art & Pride Opening Event & Exhibit, LIVING LIFE GOLDEN, on June 22. Hosted by the fabulous LOL McFiercen, there was a story hour, rainbow flag corps twirling, and live drag show on the first floor, and a community exhibit featuring artwork from more than 20 artists “embracing life in the moment, individuality, breaking free from societal expectations, and living life to the fullest.” Curated by Nicola Bosco-Alvarez, the amazing art will be on display now through July 31 at 50 Scott Street.

    A tight race for Congress is shaping up in California’s 41st District, and it could impact the balance of power in the House of Representatives. Openly gay Democratic candidate Will Rollins, a former federal prosecutor, ran for and lost the same House race two years ago against fiercely anti-LGBTQ Republican Rep. Ken Calvert (longest serving Republican incumbent ever—having kept his seat for 32 years). Calvert voted to decertify the election, called for dropping charges against the January 6 insurrectionists, and is wholeheartedly supporting Trump and MAGA. Rollins has received the vital endorsement of the PALM SPRINGS POLICE OFFICERS ASSOCIATION—which has drastically switched from their endorsement of Calvert in 2022.Rollins wrote, “We deserve a Representative who cares more about the 750,000 of us in Riverside County than one convicted felon in New York.” He added, “Equality and freedom for gay Americans makes this entire country stronger!” Sister Dana sez, “Hey you gays in Palm Springs, you and your friends need to get behind this proudly GAY candidate and win one for democracy and for our team!”  

    JT PRESENTS AND THEATRE RHINOCEROS bring Jake Brunger’s hit from London to San Francisco in time for Pride and beyond. Heralded in England as “a tightly-structured, intelligent play that veers from laugh-out-loud comedy to thoughtful drama with real skill,” FOUR PLAY has arrived at the Castro’s Theatre Rhino courtesy of producer Joe Tally. Alejandro Torres has directed an extremely talented cast of four Bay Area actors: Aaron Orpilla, Louel Senores, Michael Conner, and Kaz Valtchev who play gay married men—some of whom want to temporarily act single and mingle a little. We the audience are the voyeurs in this intimate little theater, spying on the secret lives of gay couples in their San Francisco bedrooms working out the often-difficult process of opening up their relationships. Watch the action now through July 7, (Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8 pm; Sundays at 3 pm; no fireworks onstage, and no show on the 4th of July) at 4229 18th Street.

    Activists and community leaders Alex U. Inn and Juanita MORE! successfully produced their fifth annual Pride event, PEOPLE’S MARCH & RALLY—UNITE TO FIGHT! In past years, the event was held on Pride Sunday; but this year, it was on Sunday, June 23. The event began with a rally at the corner of Polk and Washington Streets, featuring speakers and entertainers, then marched down Polk Street—the same route as the first GAY LIBERATION PROTEST on June 27, 1970. The march ended at Polk and Sutter Streets with a music festival and celebration of culture and community including DJs, performers, and artists’ booths. The day’s final event was the FIRST ANNUAL PEOPLE’S MARCH DRAG CONTEST at Music City, 1353 Bush Street.

    SAN FRANCISCO PLAYHOUSE’s season will conclude with Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Tony Award-winning, powerful Broadway pop-rock musical EVITA. This captivating show explores the life and meteoric rise of First Lady of Argentina Eva Perón, transforming from a poor child to an ambitious actress, to the most powerful woman in Latin America as the wife of military leader-turned-president Juan Perón. Evita will perform June 27–September 7 at 450 Post Street.  

    In honor of LGBTQ Pride month, California Attorney General Rob Bonta has issued a new “STATE OF PRIDE REPORT” highlighting the California Department of Justice’s (DOJ) recent actions to support, uplift, and defend the rights of LGBTQ communities across California and beyond. AG Bonta says that Pride Month is a time to celebrate the strength and diversity of LGBTQ communities, as well as to reflect on the struggles, sacrifices, and historic accomplishments of the queer civil rights movement. Despite the immense progress that has been achieved, Bonta says more work remains. Amidst alarming and increasing attacks on LGBTQ communities—from far-reaching book bans to states across the nation pushing discriminatory policies—DOJ stays steadfast in its commitment to fight alongside LGBTQ communities in pursuit of justice and equality.

    Dennis McMillan (aka Sister Dana) with Grammy winning singer Melissa Manchester at the Richmond/Ermet Aid Foundation’’s One Night Only benefit cabaret, “The Diva’s Toast,” held on May 20, at the Marines’ Memorial Theatre. The show, which included cast members from the national Broadway touring company of Funny Girl, and special guest Bruce Vilanch, benefited REAF and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

    “I stand in solidarity with our LGBTQ community this Pride Month and every month. Regardless of how you identify or who you love, everyone deserves to be safe, healthy, prosperous, and celebrated for who they are,” Attorney General Bonta emphasized. “Today’s report shows the California Department of Justice’s continued commitment to defending, expanding, and advancing LGBTQ rights. As the People’s Attorney, I’m proud to celebrate the beautiful diversity of our LGBTQ communities and recommit to fighting alongside them!”

    Sister Dana sez, “As you walk or march down Market Street on Pride Weekend, be sure to look up to the Twin Peaks hills and notice the giant PINK TRIANGLE—once a mark of oppression that has been gloriously transformed into a symbol of Gay Pride!”

    Words of Wisdumb from a Fun Nun
    Published on June 27, 2024