Queen Heklina’s Top Picks for SF Pride Parties


“In light of the events that happened in Orlando, this year’s Pride theme is extremely appropriate. I know it might sound trivial, but if we can’t have fun at Pride, then terror wins.”

One of San Francisco’s most well-known drag queens, Heklina, certainly knows who’s hosting the best parties on Pride weekend. What better source for Pride veterans and newbies alike to get the hookup from? This week, I sat down with her to pick the brain under that fabulous wig — and to hear her picks for the best Pride party options for any and every stripe.

Continue reading in The Bold Italic.

Queen Heklina’s Top Picks for SF Pride Parties

Friends Forever


Not us

I have amazing friends. My next story for The Bold Italic about SF Pride parties comes out Monday and I’m in the research phase for something new. I was given an assignment to review a device that allows women to urinate standing up. I’m going to pee like a man all over the Bay Area.

I have amazing friends. Today I’m taking this show on the road. Men pee in empty bottles instead of pulling over while on road trips. I’m going to do that. My friend D and I are on our way to Napa today. She’s given me permission to put down some plastic and attempt to use my device to pee into a bottle in the backseat of her Honda Element while she’s driving.

I have amazing friends.

Friends Forever


Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 3.41.00 PMBy R. Winkeller

Inordinate bouts of booze at the end of the bar. Strangers drinking all more than I could. The blonde woman in a pink smile. Or was it brunette? She was quite pretty. She told a story about her boss yelling at her in a meeting. After a meeting? I couldn’t tell if she was serious. Late night, might head back.

Mm, back OUT it was. To another bar. The Blind Tiger. Mad Oak. Lost and Found, for the Old Fashioned’s that tasted like watered down apple juice. Still do. Ah that’s it, she was redheaded, very redheaded. Strawberry blonde with streaks that reminded me of a blind tiger. Or a zebra. Or was that someone else? Mysteries in my liver distract any progress I might make with this. I can’t quite put my finger on her face.

These blacktop walkers could help. They look like they’d want to smoke the joint in my pocket. Unless we already did. I could uncertainly ask, if they would stop taking pictures of themselves. Perhaps they’re only on Facetime, or an equally antiquated messaging tool. Etched cave rocks possibly. What noises they’re making. They don’t present themselves like a crowd I’d mind a smoke with, but night time beggars are shifty choosers. Especially tonight.

I say hello. She says something back that I can’t wrap my attention around. Minutes go by between us in a conversational hail storm.

She laughed. You’re funny, she said. I responded that I do sketch comedy. She laughed a second time. You’re funny, she said again, now inaudible. She seems easily amused. I’d like to get a ride from her but I’m worried about leaving my car in this neighborhood. Good that I parked in a different neighborhood. One much more dangerous than this a couple miles up this street. I shouldn’t be worried, I’d venture that the car’s already gone by now. I’ll need to buy a new one tomorrow. Maybe the answer was on my phone. A blistering numbness perspired my fingertips and the phone broke face first from my jeans into a rust parking block. Its gears were turning. Did anyone see? All the eyes I find avert mine in slurred volley. I don’t think they saw.

Sienna dusted the screen, my fingers, reminiscent of the shrill makeup muzzling the nostrils of these trendsetters. Must have been cut with something foul. But I hadn’t time to waste on other people’s drug habits, I had a phone to address. Instagram still works. Their logo’s changed again, currently a lattice animation of veins, glowing blue in the shape of a leaf. Incredibly inaccurate and unrealistic, I thought. I’d have to tell the designers.

Now to finding faces to book on Twitter and Tinder. Right, yes. Molasses Tea. The reason I took out this fissured shell of a nail file. My fingerprints started prodding at the back of my brain in a deaf frenzy. What were they up to now? They looked to be bleeding again. Just the thumb and index this time. Parings of my necessities. I needed tape for the phone’s screen. Scotch probably wouldn’t do, though more whiskey might help me get through this fevering. At least a double. Realistically I’d need a bottle. Maybe that joint had figured itself back into a pocket. I patted my thighs. No, clear packing tape would have to be my resort.

Where to find it? Another outdoor group hung themselves by the dumpster, cackling the way a man and his iron lung might try to nail one liners. In the darkness, their denim costumes and strobe bodies told me a Brock Turner joke would be an apt entry into their conversation. I reconsidered. These white drunkards were too likely to flex proverbial Johnsons at any foreign jesting. Mincing fists with them would have to wait for another patron.

Do any of you ladies happen to have packing tape on you? Or do you know where I could get some at this time of night? And what time would you say it is? Any estimate? A ridiculous consideration to canvass, but the most important one on my plate. I ran through more lines in my head, whispering my thoughts aloud to the bouncer. He stood quiet, like a deranged mortician.

Clear packing tape, I remembered. Specificity’s important among sponges like these. Not literal sponges of course, that would be barbaric. Though their skin is eerily porous. They’d be lucky to get some rain tonight.

An in could be these sketches this young woman seemed so fond of. Molasses Tea, the name I kept sharing. Hilarious she said of them. I might have made that up to further my own esteem. I can’t find her to confirm. Did she run back inside? Or to another bar. She was wearing higher heels than most, so I hoped she wouldn’t be running anywhere particularly fast. A light jog at most. A bad enough rolled ankle could be amputated in the wrong neighborhood, not that I knew the name of this one. I could barely read in this humid mental fog. There was much room for error, but finding her way back would be difficult. As would finding my own. She’d been smoking cordial amounts of cannabis when I gave her my number. A clue on this search.

Perhaps not. I suppose it’s just a waiting game now. I’ll have to skip back inside and prepare myself for it with another apple juice.

But I’ll need more entertainment.

I need Molasses Tea.


I Crafted

FullSizeRender (79)My friend D and I are headed to the Napa Valley this Friday to get drunk. More accurately, we are going to a closing reception for my friend’s art show at the Napa Valley Museum in Yountville. My mother taught me not to go to shows, parties, anywhere empty handed. D and I are crafting a bouquet of flowers inspired by his art. I once made a bouquet out of light bulbs for a friend’s found object lamps show

My friend’s art is so good that when I look at it, I start hard mathing on how many dirty sex acts I’d have to perform in order to own a piece. He describes the process he used to create his arousing piece Transitions #1, “Paperback books are cut up, and then reordered to create gradations with the paper edges. Each gradation in this piece is from a different book. In total, there are 33,558 pieces of paper sorted in order.” Fuck yeah.

I headed to Oakland’s Urban Ore to pick up some vintage art books to defile. One of them is about CCA, which is cool because I think he’s taught there. I had all the other necessary materials at home in my craft chest. Yes, I have one of those. I got tired of the Warriors watching bar scene, so D and I are going to work on this project while watching Game 6 at home (someone else’s home that has a projector).

I think my first draft is pretty good but I’m not sure it will make the cut. My young male co-workers like it but their opinion doesn’t count. The best part is the “petals” with the headers, “Abstract Art and the Future” and, “Why Abstraction?” I think I’ll also make a flower with tiny googly eyes all over it, which I realize is on the schnoz but what else am I going to do with my extra-large bag of googly eyes?

I Crafted

Hey Bullies!

Hey Bullies

“Love does not despair. Love makes us strong. Love gives us the courage to act. Love gives us hope that change is possible. Love allows us to change the script. So love your country, love your family, love the families of the victims and the people of Orlando, but let’s remember that love is a verb, and to love means to do something.” 

-Stephen Colbert

You are: the Orlando gunman, a terrorist, an organization of hate, a government, a politician, a corporation, a boss, a parent, a spouse, an ex-lover

We are: Stanley Almodovar III, Amanda Alvear, Oscar A Aracena-Montero, Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, Antonio Davon Brown, Darryl Roman Burt II, Angel L. Candelario-Padro, Juan Chevez-Martinez, Luis Daniel Conde, Cory James Connell, Tevin Eugene Crosby, Deonka Deidra Drayton, Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, Leroy Valentin Fernandez, Mercedez Marisol Flores, Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, Juan Ramon Guerrero, Paul Terrell Henry, Frank Hernandez, Miguel Angel Honorato, Javier Jorge-Reyes, Jason Benjamin Josaphat, Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, Christopher Andrew Leinonen, Alejandro Barrios Martinez, Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, Kimberly Morris, Akyra Monet Murray, Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, Joel Rayon Paniagua, Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, Enrique L. Rios, Jr., Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, Edward Sotomayor Jr., Shane Evan Tomlinson, Martin Benitez Torres, Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, Luis S. Vielma, Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, and Jerald Arthur Wright, innocents, community members, lovers, queers, people who deserve respect

You are: wrong, a fucking coward, cruel, ignorant, violent, a narcissist, someone who will never win

We are: courageous, precious, strong, beautiful, informed, voting, remembered, loved

You will: stop, please stop, be stopped, lose

We will: keep dancing

Hey Bullies!

My First Drag King Show

FullSizeRender (78)
On Saturday night I went with my friend H to a fundraiser for Somos Familia, which supports and provides education for Latino families with LGBTQ children. The organization was started by two East Bay mothers who admit that they struggled with acceptance when their gay and bisexual sons came out to them. They write, “We envision a world where youth of all sexual orientations, gender expressions and identities are accepted and celebrated by their families and communities.” The fundraiser was a community meal by Shannon Moe Cooks and a drag king show featuring Momma’s Boyz.

Vegas Jake who performs with The Rebel Kings and DJ Luna at White Horse Inn in Oakland was great. I also saw baby drag kings Ryder Nightly, Pressure Point, Javier Miguel, and Joey Gelato. Momma’s Boyz consisting of Alex U. Inn and The Mailman brought down the house. I’ve seen my share of excellent drag queens but I’d never seen a drag king show. It’s fun!

I just asked my coworker E if Latino families had a particularly hard time accepting LGBTQ children and he said, “We’re the only culture that names their kids Jesus.”

My First Drag King Show