My mother was loving, protective, funny, and never not the life of the party.
Mom was born to a family of immigrants from Chihuahua, Mexico, during the Depression of the 1930s in Niles, California. The little town of Niles had hit its peak as “Hollywood of the Silent Film Era.” Around this time, many Mexican Americans were facing threats of deportation and struggling to find work amidst the era’s job crisis and food shortages.
(Now, I’m not sure how my grandparents arrived in California, but I heard rumors that my great-grandfather worked as a railroad conductor for a company that…
I’m honored to be your new Empress of San Francisco
Picture this: The year is 1980 and the Mr. & Miss. Gay San Francisco Pageant is taking place at California Club — a formal event space that was a then-touchstone in a queer neighborhood — on Clay Street between Polk and Van Ness. Miss Gay San Francisco, Shelly Rio, takes the podium to say a few words as she comes to the end of her one-year reign. As speeches go, this one wasn’t going to be a glowing account of her past year nor a humble farewell speech. Rumor has…
She will build on the tremendous impact she has already made for decades
I can’t remember precisely when Roberto Ordeñana, Deputy Executive Director of the LGBT Center, and I met — but we were probably laughing. There was a connection and sense of family from the very start.
It is an incredible honor to receive an endorsement from the San Francisco LGBT Community Center. An institution that has helped connect our diverse community to different opportunities and resources. It has achieved its vision of a more robust, healthier, and more equitable world for LGBTQ+ people and our allies.
I flopped the screen test for the role of José Sarria in the ABC mini-series When We Rise
I just love the thinking about Jose Sarria being crowned queen at the Beaux Arts Ball in 1964 and stating that he was “already a queen.” He then proclaimed himself “Her Royal Majesty, Empress of San Francisco, José I, The Widow Norton,” thus giving birth to the Imperial Court system. Jose was ballsy — especially for his time.
Mark Leno’s endorsement of my run for Empress of the Imperial Council of San Francisco
I’m the type of person who wonders why their paths cross with someone else — especially when it’s someone you admire, look up to, and respect. In this case, it’s my friend Mark Leno.
Even before Leno served in the California State Senate until November 2016, I’ve long supported his work and mission. Leno at the time represented the 11th Senate district, which includes San Francisco and San Mateo County. (Before being elected to the State Senate in 2008, Leno served in the California State…
I want the Imperial Council’s visibility to a new LGBTQ generation
Did you know that there’s a study on running in high heels? However, the running I’m doing at the moment isn’t on a race track or hosted by a TV drag personality. But, I’m running as a candidate for the role of Empress of the Imperial Council of San Francisco — the Founding Mother Court of the International Court System, a non-profit and the oldest LGBT charity organization globally.
The organization hosts various entertainment, educational events, and activities to raise funds; these ventures support the causes of other diverse…
It’s time we had the hard conversations with loved ones and strangers.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, harassment and violence against Asian Americans has continued to grow. Across America, there has been an enormous surge of racism and attacks in our Asian communities.
A year ago, I wrote an essay on Medium — because I was fed up with the killing and treatment–the racism, police brutality, and scapegoating of Black Americans. The murders of trans people of color and our countries continued hatred of Latinx immigrants are exhausting me. …
I’ve deactivated FaceTime for a reason
I can almost see the tiniest hint of a rainbow starting to form up in the sky right now; it brings me some hope.
I’m doing great. Mostly — sometimes, that is not a lie. The endless amount of hours we have spent alone, topped by underlying depression, has been genuinely exhausting. And, on top of that, I often find myself not wanting to talk to anyone.
Actual conversations have been far and few throughout isolation. I’ve missed the good ol’ days when I had to yell at someone at the bar to stop…
2020 has been such a shit show I don’t even want to talk about it anymore!
I am happy to see this year go and I’ve already started to make plans to produce more art, philanthropy, and activism for 2021.
Imitation, they say, is the highest form of flattery. The next best thing is having a mural painted of yourself. The only thing better than that is having a lot of them! As the darling Pete-Astrid Kane stated in the SF Weekly article, How Many Murals Does Juanita MORE! Need?
“San Francisco is a street art kind of town…
2020 has sucked.
We have completely missed out on living our joyful lives during this time of Covid-19. My friends and family have tried to dedicate themselves to living fully in the moment, approaching people and the world by interacting in kind, considerate, safe, and respectful ways.
As this year comes to an end, we are confronted with the fact that we’re still on a Covid-19 timeline. It will keep pounding out that same steady beat throughout winter, whether we like it or not. Please continue to wear a mask!
And then, as though this year hasn’t been tough enough…
High glamour, drag irreverence, danceable beats, culinary delectables, political activism and a philanthropic heart.