News Briefs: MORE!, Roma to headline benefit for mental health

  • by Cynthia Laird, News Editor
  • Wednesday May 3, 2023
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Drag artists Juanita MORE!, left, and Sister Roma will co-host the Queer LifeSpace benefit. Photos: MORE!, Gooch; Roma, Roma<br><br>
Drag artists Juanita MORE!, left, and Sister Roma will co-host the Queer LifeSpace benefit. Photos: MORE!, Gooch; Roma, Roma

Drag artists Juanita MORE! and Sister Roma will co-host "Truth in Pink," a benefit for Queer LifeSpace that takes place Saturday, May 20, from noon to 6:30 p.m. at The Terrace at 620 Jones Street in San Francisco.

The gala and tea dance will benefit QLS, a queer-affirming therapy agency. It celebrated 10 years of service in 2022, where MORE! and Roma, a member of the drag nun Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, emceed at the organization's gala, as the Bay Area Reporter previously reported. QLS is the nonprofit arm of the San Francisco Therapy Collective, and also trains therapists. It started after the sudden 2010 closure of New Life: Services for Our Community, which provided queer mental health services.

MORE! has also chosen QLS as the nonprofit beneficiary of her annual party she hosts on Pride Sunday. Again taking place at The Terrace event space, Juanita MORE! Pride will run from noon to 7 p.m. June 25, and tickets are already being sold at various locations according to her website.

"They have invested in keeping our community healthy with effective, affordable mental health and substance abuse services," noted MORE! in her most recent newsletter. "They help clients from all walks of life, regardless of their ability, to pay in a safe, non-judgmental environment for fellow members of the queer community."

At Truth in Pink, or "La Verité en Rose," guests will be able to view the Pink Triangle Exhibit, a queer history of pride and resilience. There will also be live entertainment with all-star drag performances, local DJs, and dancing.

The event includes a three-course luncheon, cocktail reception, and a tribute to Heklina, the drag persona of Stefan Grygelko who died April 3 in London. Recently, expanded memorial plans for Heklina were announced, as the B.A.R. reported.

Tickets are $240, $300 for VIP, or $30 for artists and students. For tickets and more information, go to

Our Family Coalition to hold Night Out

Our Family Coalition will hold its annual Night Out benefit Saturday, May 6, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the National AIDS Memorial Grove in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. Mimi Demissew, a queer woman who's the nonprofit's executive director, stated that one of the evening's honorees will be state Senator Maria Durazo (D-Los Angeles). Last year, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Durazo's Senate Bill 951 that boosts leave benefits for lower- and middle-income employees to cover more of their regular income while they take time off to care for loved ones. LGBTQ family advocates, such as the San Francisco-based Our Family Coalition, had supported the bill.

Tickets for Night Out start at $250. For tickets and more information, click here.

SF LGBT center to hold job fair

The San Francisco LGBT Community Center will hold its TLGBQ+ job fair Tuesday, May 16, from noon to 3 p.m. at the center, 1800 Market Street. A quiet sensory-friendly hour will precede the job fair at 11 a.m.

According to an email announcement, the center has historically hosted one of the largest TLGBQ career fairs in the country. This is the first one since the COVID pandemic brought an end to the program, the announcement noted. The job fair will showcase leading Bay Area employers from a wide range of industries who are dedicated to providing, and learning to provide, safer and more supportive workplace environments for the TLGBQ community as well as opportunities for gainful employment, the announcement stated.

Some of those employers will include the Arc of San Francisco, Goodwill, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, Hamilton Families, U.S. Bank, United Airlines, Pet Food Express, and the San Francisco Community Health Center.

Attendees can also get free professional headshots taken and access the center's Cyber Center to print out resumes or apply online for jobs.

In consideration of public health and the safety of immunocompromised community members, attendees are asked to wear well-fitting masks.

The event is free. To sign up and for more information, click here.

SFAF panel on harm reduction

The San Francisco AIDS Foundation will hold a panel discussion on harm reduction Thursday, May 18, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Strut, its health center at 470 Castro Street.

An email announcement from the foundation's CEO, Tyler TerMeer, Ph.D., noted that the agency distributed over 41,000 doses of the overdose reversal medication naloxone in 2022, has counseled thousands of people on overdose prevention services, rolled out a new drug-checking program, and fought for safe consumption services.

TerMeer will moderate the panel, which will feature SFAF's Laura Thomas, director of HIV and harm reduction policy; Ro Giulian, senior director of people who use drugs health; and Kyle Temple, senior director of the foundation's Stonewall Project, a state-certified drug and alcohol treatment program.

The event is free. To register, click here.

SF's Walt Disney museum's new show

The Walt Disney Family Museum will present "Pencils and Passion: A Student Art Exhibition" that opens Thursday, May 11, and continues through the fall.

According to a news release, the exhibit is a celebration of the museum's educational initiatives and the achievements of its students. The show is the 37th original exhibition produced by the museum and highlights both past and current student artwork.

The exhibition includes student-created traditional and digital artworks, such as animated short films, which have been produced over the last decade by both the museum and its partner schools and organizations, the release noted.

The exhibition is co-curated by studio manager Anita Meza, studio coordinator Grace Lacuesta, and director of education Travis Lacina, with director of collections and exhibitions Marina Villar Delgado.

The exhibition is free. The museum is located at 104 Montgomery Street in San Francisco's Presidio. For more information, go to

Drag Out the Vote relaunches

Ahead of the 2024 elections, Drag Out the Vote has announced it's relaunching its Drag Ambassador Program to educate, register, and get voters to the polls using the artistry of drag.

The B.A.R. reported on Drag Out the Vote in 2020, when it partnered with the California Secretary of State's office ahead of the November election.

Drag Out the Vote is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization based in New York City that signs up drag performers and activists from across the country to utilize their social media and online platforms. Not only targeted at LGBTQ people, the effort is also aiming to connect with young adults age 18 and older who may not be registered to vote yet, as the paper reported.

This year's relaunch is even more significant because of the various legislative attacks on drag performers in many conservative states.

According to an email announcement, those who sign up will be the first to be contacted about paid in-person and digital activations, receive a drag ambassador media kit, have the opportunity to participate in monthly debriefs with Drag Out The Vote's executives on anti-LGBTQ legislation, and receive the organization's monthly newsletter.

To sign up, click here.

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