Sister Dana Van Iquity thinks May is soooo last month, and welcomes the way kewler June month of Queer Pride!
ALL THINGS MILK included the unveiling ceremony of the new Harvey Milk plaque in Milk Plaza and the MILK movie screening on Harvey Milk Day, May 22nd. The plaque had been stolen, but it has been replaced and well secured. For the ceremony, the SF Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band played “California Here I Come” and “San Francisco,” among other tunes. State Senator Mark Leno (who got legislature to officially declare every May 22nd as Milk Day), Supervisors Scott Wiener, David Campos and Christina Olague, Milk’s speechwriter Frank Robinson, Milk’s campaign manager Anne Kronenberg, and Stuart Milk (Harvey’s nephew) gave lively speeches. The Lesbian/Gay Chorus of SF sang part of The Harvey Milk Cantata. I won’t quote the whole plaque, because I want people to read it for themselves; but I will reveal the very meaningful words by Milk on it: “I am all of us.” We then marched to Milk’s old camera store location, 575 Castro, (where another plaque has been installed) for more speeches and music.
We attended the incredible docu-drama, MILK, the movie at the Castro Theatre as a fundraiser for the Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy in the Castro with guest speakers Cleve Jones (good friend of Harvey and founder of the Names Project AIDS Quilt) and Academy Award-winning MILK screenwriter Dustin Lance Black. Drag queen Ivy Drip, the father of two adopted children attending the Academy and a chief fundraiser and parent teacher association leader for the school, acted as emcee.
BRINGING THE INTERNATIONAL AIDS CANDLELIGHT VIGIL BACK HOME: The first AIDS Candlelight vigil in 1983 was orchestrated by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, led by the banner “Fighting for our Lives.” One of the many speakers to the weeping and angry crowd was Sister Florence Nightmare (aka Bobbi Campbell). She was not only a health care professional, but an advocate for PWAs and was herself HIV positive and “poster boy for AIDS” on national magazine covers. A small group of us marched from Milk Plaza to Milk Library this year. Mike Shriver, a board member of the National AIDS Memorial Grove, was guest speaker.
GAPA BLOOM was a celebration of the Gay Asian/Pacific Islander Wellness Center with 25 years of health, hope & home. Entertainment began with Gregangelo and Velocity Circus, and Catherine Zirillos painted a green dragon on my cheek. (email@example.com: she’ll paint U2!) Tita Aida lip-synched “I’m Every Woman” as ten macho Men of Asia/SF danced. Later the Ladies of Asia/SF danced and lipped to “Burlesque.” Executive Director Lance Toma thanked the many volunteers and staff who serve the clients “with our own San Francisco values.” Toma emphasized, “We are truly an inclusive and diverse community taking care of each other.” Former Mayor Willie Brown presented the Ally Award to Mayor Ed Lee, who helped avert a potential crisis related to HIV/AIDS services as federal dollars to SF were drastically reduced. “This is one of the most important programs we’ve ever had in our city,” said Mayor Lee. “It will continue to be so, and this is a reflection of our commitment.” Newly installed Health Commissioner Cecilia Chung presented the Grassroots Award to Tita Aida (Tagalog for “Aunty AIDS”) aka Nikki Calma, “a central force in our community,” as Toma extolled. She has worked at A&PI Wellness Center and its predecessor, Asian AIDS Project, for 18 years. She is currently the Trans:Thrive program supervisor at the Center.
MAMA TURNED 70 at her big bodacious Beatbox birthday party with Mama’s Family and leather-loving friends in attendance. Sandy “Mama” Reinhardt did not look a day over 40, having “mothered” several hundred members of her million-dollar AIDS/ breast cancer fundraising leatherfolk. A big cake with her image preceded the entertainers: us nuns (I am officially “Mama’s Nun”), Emperor John Weber, Grand Duke Carlos Medal, Empress Tiger Lily, American Leather Woman, Bobby Ashton, Bebe Sweetbriar, Empress Alexis Miranda, and Eric Hansen – all doing “mama” themed tunes. Senator Mark Leno gave Mama a certificate of recognition.
PATRIK GALLINEAUX, fundraiser and fun-raiser extraordinaire also celebrated a birthday (at The Café) - where the Stoli flowed freely. Hot ‘n Sticky was the theme regarding the Pepper Stoli and Honey Stoli cocktails served by hot honey bee boys. Fabulous entertainment was provided by Cassandra Cass, DQs Paju Munro, Gillette Thebestamancanget, Taryn-Thru-U, and Miss Rahni!
MARIELA CASTRO, a sexologist and the daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro, spoke at the LGBT Community Center and visited the GLBT History Museum for a private tour of the galleries. Castro was joined by her husband, Italian photographer Paolo Titolo. Also taking part was Jeff Cotter, director of the Rainbow World Fund, an organization that promotes LGBTQ philanthropy in the area of global humanitarian relief. “Our mission is to inform visitors of all kinds about the diverse histories of GLBT people and about the importance of social respect and acceptance,” said Paul Boneberg, director of the GLBT Historical Society, the institution that created the museum. “Ms. Castro’s visit is very much in keeping with those goals.”
SEX IN THE CITY will be revisited June 5 onward with an all-drag cast. The show revolves around the lives of four young professional women in search of the perfect relationship ... and orgasm! Carrie Bradshaw (Heklina) writes a column about sex and relationships in New York city with three of her closest friends: Samantha Jones (D’Arcy Drollinger), who owns her own PR firm and is more interested in exciting “one-nighters” than long-term relationships; Miranda Hobbes (Lady Bear), a cynical lawyer who prioritizes her career over her erratic love life, and Charlotte York (Trixxie Carr), an art gallery curator who is a bit prudish when it comes to sex, but hasn’t yet lost her faith in finding true love. Featuring Cookie Dough, Jordan Wheeler, and Leigh Crow as Mr. Big. Rebel, 1760 Market Street. Info: brownpapertickets.com/event/245268.
Sister Dana hopes everyone burned the candle at both ends for the Memorial Day wick-end.