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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Adore Delano:RuPaul’s Drag Race Contestant Performs in S.F., Talks to SF Weekly

Posted By on Thu, Jan 29, 2015 at 1:05 PM

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Adore Delano
, runner-up on last season’s RuPaul’s Drag Race, is touring the world in support of her debut album, the EDM-inflected and at times outright sinister Till Death Do Us Party. It’s a return of sorts, as Delano—performing under her birth name of Danny Noriega—initially came to fame as a Top 16 contestant on the seventh season of American Idol, getting dispatched by Simon Cowell et al. after performing “Tainted Love.”

Season seven of Drag Race is just around the corner, but Delano's star is on the rise. Having stopped in San Francisco to play a show at DNA Lounge Sunday night, she was gracious enough to speak with me on her day off in spite of being hung over. (“We got drunk after the show last night. I wake up super early, so I’m being lazy today and watching TV.”) She’s been to this city many times, and recalls the bad old days with no small amount of fondness: “My first experience [in S.F.] before Drag Race was at Toad Hall. Nobody showed up but it was so much fun for me.”

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Gay San Francisco Isn't Really the Gayest City in America

Posted By on Wed, Jan 14, 2015 at 8:33 AM

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All appearances to the contrary, San Francisco is not the gayest city in America. “Yeah, it’s Palm Springs,” you might be thinking, “or some tiny city with a significant LGBT population like Key West.”

Well, according to the Advocate, you couldn’t be colder. The Queerest City in America  this year is none other than Dayton, Ohio, aka the “Gem City,” birthplace of Martin Sheen and the Wright Brothers, population 143,000. As evidence, the magazine cites Dayton’s flourishing theater scene, a recent trans-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance, and a group for outdoorsy LGBT peeps.

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Thursday, January 8, 2015

Castro to Lose a Piece of Queer History When Metropolitan Community Church Closes

Posted By on Thu, Jan 8, 2015 at 8:19 AM

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“My God Thinks I’m Fabulous,” reads one of the sidewalk bricks outside of the Metropolitan Community Church on Eureka Street in the Castro. Along with many others that honor lost friends and family, its future is uncertain, because the church is officially up for sale.

Led by the openly gay Reverend Robert Shively, MCC-SF’s congregation voted in December to vacate and sell the building, which dates before the 1906 earthquake and is “beyond the maintenance stage,” according to the Bay Area Reporter. They’ll also be selling the adjacent four-unit apartment building at 138-140 Eureka, purchased as an investment in the 1990s. (While tenants have been known to complain about the noise on Sunday mornings, losing the Lord as their landlord does not bode well for their long-term housing security).

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Monday, January 5, 2015

Man Accused of Stabbing Transgender Woman on Muni

Posted By on Mon, Jan 5, 2015 at 4:35 PM

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San Francisco police arrested a man who they say stabbed a transgender woman on a Muni bus in the city's Civic Center neighborhood over the weekend. 

According to police reports, the victim was at the back of the bus at about 5:55 p.m. on Saturday when an argument broke out; a 54-year-old man who was also in the back of the bus was allegedly harassing the victim for “defrauding him by pretending to be female," the Ex reports.  

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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Is a Shockingly Progressive Queer Allegory

Posted By on Wed, Dec 24, 2014 at 1:11 PM

In the live-action Rudolph, Herbie the Elf will be played by Alan Cumming.
  • In the live-action Rudolph, Herbie the Elf will be played by Alan Cumming.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the Rankin-Bass stop-motion classic narrated by the inimitable (and formerly blacklisted) Burl Ives that just so happens to be a magnificent allegory for the gay liberation. While just about every animated holiday classic goes down pretty easy, the subtexts are where the joy really shines through, and Rudolph’s core theme is about as progressive a message as 1964 was capable of producing.

The unloved ungulate’s struggle over discrimination is almost universally known. But the most remarkable section concerns the Island of Misfit Toys. Populated by a Charlie-in-the-Box, a water pistol that shoots jelly, a cowboy who rides an ostrich, and other rejects convinced no child will love them, the island is a limbo of wayward desires that can never be consummated. Alienated from Santa’s reach, they await liberation in Christmas boxes (metaphorical closets). Until, that is, fellow misfits Rudolph, Herbie the elf, and prospector Yukon Cornelius eventually convince Santa to bring them into the Christmas fold and find suitable partners for them.

Herbie is a twinky blond and Yukon Cornelius is a burly daddy, but is Rudolph himself queer? In love with the bashful Clarice, he’s obviously heterosexual, and his athletic prowess initially impresses Santa. But his flamboyant physiology, which his hyper-masculine father Donner tries to suppress, marks him as ambiguous and socially unacceptable. In the end, he’s more of a messianic figure who leverages his own experience to open up a space for the true misfits. Rudolph isn’t necessarily queer, but Rudolph is.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

We Took a Tour of Oasis, San Francisco's New Drag Club

Posted By on Wed, Dec 17, 2014 at 2:49 PM

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It's true that San Francisco has been standing by watching on average two gay bars per year close its doors, with the most recent one being the Lexington Club. But all this loss has inspired some good news on the corner of Folsom and 11th Street. Drag performers Heklina and D’Arcy Drollinger will be opening Oasis to the hordes on New Year’s Eve, working on Christmas Day in order to get it done.

The duo, who have been friends and colleagues for 25 years, has been working with two other partners to start a new drag club for the last two years. “We looked at many venues, all over the place,” Drollinger said, “and although each of us looked good, as a group we had never run a club or a business like this, so we were outbid at a lot of places.”

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Tom and Jerry Christmas Tree: A $1,000 PG&E Bill That Spreads Joys Across SF

Posted By on Wed, Dec 10, 2014 at 4:06 PM

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One of the best holiday traditions in temperate, snow-less San Francisco is the “Tom and Jerry House” on 21st Street between Church and Sanchez, almost at the top of Liberty Hill. For over a quarter-century, Tom Taylor and Jerry Goldstein have decked out their house in an elaborate display of lights and oversized ornaments, with candy canes, carolers, and Santa stationed nightly through Christmas Eve. An antidote to the season’s hyper-commercialization, it’s completely free.

I followed Tom around the property as eight elves (i.e., a crew of no-nonsense workmen) were busily assembling Christmas all around us with only one day remaining before opening night. My first question was how they plan to deal with the impending Storm of the Decade and its 40-mph winds. Although Jerry later told me by phone that they’ve “found ornaments down the block and in Dolores Park” after heavy storms, Tom was fairly sanguine about it, smoothly interrupting himself to correct minor details as we crossed and re-crossed the site.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Radical Faeries Attempt to Raise $900,000 to Buy the 14th Street House

Posted By on Wed, Nov 26, 2014 at 3:20 PM

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For years, 455 14th Street has been known as the “Faerie House.” As something of the Radical Faeries’ spiritual home for over a quarter-century, it’s been the site of numerous gatherings (sexual and otherwise) as well as a the spot for weekly yoga and potluck dinners. Now, it’s being sold, and rumors are flying.

To quell the confusion, I met with 14th Street House Project board members Darwin Mastin, Mike Korcek, and Rik Lee (with Stuart Siegel joining later), who were gracious enough to speak with me in a loud Mission coffeehouse after just coming out of a three-hour board meeting. We touched why the 14th Street House isn’t actually a “Faerie House,” how the group plans to raise nearly a million dollars in a fairly short time, and what the alternative might be if it does get sold to a third party. This conversation has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Drag Queens on Ice Returns to Union Square

Posted By on Mon, Nov 24, 2014 at 4:51 PM

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Casting aside, for a moment, the time-held tradition of the strip club toy drive, nothing rings in the holidays in San Francisco like a drag queen on ice skates.

Or rather, a drag queen on ice skates with a bevy of corporate sponsors.

Ergo, the fifth annual Drag Queens on Ice: Glitz and Glamour, will be held Thursday, Dec. 11, at 8 p.m. in Union Square.  The show features San Francisco society dames Mutha Chuka, Holotta Tymes, Kylie-Pop, Kim Chi Chi, BeBe Sweetbriar, and Mahlae Balenciaga. Donna Sachet hosts, alongside special guests Queen Dilly Dally and Sister Roma of the Order of Perpetual Indulgence (and Facebook-flogging fame).

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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Speed Dating in a Grindr World: A Chat With Ben Chang of SF Gay Speed Dating

Posted By on Wed, Nov 5, 2014 at 1:40 PM

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Speed dating (or at least the term itself) was supposedly conceived in 1998, by one Rabbi Yaacov Deyo at a Peet’s Coffee in Beverly Hills. Compared to the history of human sexual relations, it’s still very new, but in a culture saturated by dating apps, there’s a whiff of quaintness about it.

Moreover, the idea of putting yourself out there without a protective membrane of carefully calibrated profile pics probably sounds scarier to many people than it did five years ago.

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  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"