Monday, September 13, 2010

Pelosi, Drag Artiste, Partied
While GetEQUAL Protested

(The swellegant Speaker Pelosi and Romana Bracco at Friday's grand opening of the new opera season. Photo credit for both images: Catherine Bigelow, SF Chronicle.)

This past Friday, with only a few hours notice to mobilize the local gay community, GetEQUAL staged a 5:00 PM protest about federal employment protections for gays at Castro and Market streets. The intended target of the action was Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, but where in the world was she at that time?

Down at our gorgeous City Hall, also starting at 5:00 PM, was the pre-party for the opening of the new San Francisco Opera company's season. Our local Congresswoman and her handsome husband were there, as they usually are for this kick-off to the fall cultural season.

Also in attendance, and looking simply fab and ravishing, was Donna Sachet, local drag artiste and tireless supporter of many gay and HIV causes. Here she is at the opera ball, in a lime green gown and a bouffant hair creation, with her pals the dashing Richard Sablatura, and the glamorous Lisa Breakey.

While looking for other photos from the gala opera events, I stumbled upon this info, from SF Mike's Civic Center blog:

San Francisco Society has seen just about everything at their opera openings over the years, from the four-hour-late curtain when Domingo flew in for "Otello" cross-country in 1983 to the year ACT-UP disrupted the proceedings with yells and whistles during the overture to "Barber of Seville" later in the decade. Those disruptions were nothing, of course, next to the noisy and persistent anti-fur protestors of the 1960s through 1980s.

Can imagine the political and media impact gay rights protesters would have had on the steps of the War Memorial Opera House on Van Ness Avenue, as Pelosi and the other opera-goers had to pass a picket line, or the blocking of limousines? Heck, since GetEQUAL has hundreds of thousands of dollars in their budget, they could have easily purchased a few seats inside the opera house, disrupted the performance and really sent a message directly to the Speaker of the House.

But GetEQUAL supporters were far, far away in the gay ghetto, delivering their demands to the Castro community.


Civic Center said...

Dear Michael: I was thinking the same thing. Blocking traffic in the Castro, and alerting the police ahead of time about it, struck me as the lamest excuse for a gay protest in years.

By the way, the info you quote is from my blogsite, "Civic Center," while you have a link to some amalgamation website called NewsoDrome which is excerpting my post without permission. If you could change the link, I'd much appreciate it. Here it is:

And I would have loved some good protestors in front of the SF Opera opening night. There were so many juicy targets.

Anonymous said...

my pal rick gerharter, longtime community and BAR photographer, makes a correction about the ACT UP disruption:

"It was not ACT-UP that disrupted the opera opening, it was SANOE (Stop AIDS Now Or Else).

I was there. Rick"

thanks for the correction. -michael