Evolving as the pandemic endures

The SF Bay Area Queer Nightlife Fund (QNF) was announced on March 17, just a few days after Phil Hammack gathered a group of community leaders to discuss how the recent closure of bars and clubs was going to impact queer nightlife, and how we could help workers in queer nightlife survive the shutdown financially. We’re so grateful for the generosity of our community for contributing more than a quarter million dollars since then. Individual contributions from community members have helped hundreds of workers in queer nightlife, including the 152 who just received grants as part of our second round of applicants.

So much has changed since then. What felt like a steady trajectory toward recovery and reopening has taken a turn, and the reopening has slowed way down. What we’ve learned about the disease tells us that traditional indoor nightclubs – dark, crowded, and sweaty – are not going to be coming back any time soon. At the same time, our country is going through a social justice reckoning, challenging people of privilege to acknowledge our position and take direct action toward equity for all. Black lives matter. Black trans lives matter.

The steering committee of the QNF recently gathered for a retreat. After months on Zoom, this was our first ever in-person meeting, held outdoors, with masks on. We reflected on ways we could continue to grow and be of service to our community, in light of the current climate. This led us to revise our purpose statement, which now reads:

“The purpose of this fund is to provide resources and opportunities that promote queer nightlife in the SF Bay Area during the COVID-19 pandemic. Recognizing the history of white supremacy and male cisgender privilege in queer communities, we aim to prioritize women, transgender, gender nonconforming, nonbinary, and all queer Black, Indigenous, and people of color.” 

Our purpose is evolving on two fronts:

Who we are serving: the QNF will prioritize trans, GNC, enby folks as well as BIPOC. Black and brown artists and trans artists have made immense contributions to dance music and club culture, yet their white and cis counterparts often garner more fame and money. These groups face structural obstacles in our society every day, and we will strive to center them in the work that we do. As part of our commitment to prioritizing activism and education in solidarity with queer and trans people of color, we will continue to engage DJs, hosts, entertainers and collaborations that provide opportunities for all marginalized communities.

What we are providing: in working on the QNF project, we have not only managed to get money in the hands of people who need it, we have built a platform. Thousands of people have tuned in on Twitch or Zoom for our events. This has been an opportunity to showcase talented performers from across the nightlife community. While some artists have chosen to donate their services, paying artists a stipend for their participation in these events has been another way of getting money to workers in queer nightlife who are in need.

We are exploring ways to further develop this platform to serve the community, both to continue as an outlet for artists to perform as well as for our community members to connect with each other socially. We are brainstorming other types of events which can help keep us connected before the clubs open again. In the coming weeks, we plan to host a virtual forum on how we can continue to sustain community during the pandemic. We also plan to diversify our events by organizing educational and professional opportunities for queer nightlife workers displaced by the pandemic. For the moment, we are pausing on another round of grants so we can focus on these new offerings.

We remain firmly committed to the SF Bay Area queer nightlife community. We stand in solidarity with others who are fighting for justice for trans folk and BIPOC. We look forward to actively participating in the work that lies ahead. Let’s move forward together.

SF QNF Grant Update | July 10, 2020

The SF Bay Area Queer Nightlife Fund (QNF) is proud to announce that we are now disbursing grants from our second round of applications.

Between May 8th and May 29, 2020, we received applications from 174 nightlife workers, of which 152 met our eligibility criteria, and were awarded nearly $116,000 in sum ($763.00, on average)

Applications were evaluated anonymously by an internal team of steering committee members and then underwent an auditing process to ensure integrity. Grant amounts were determined based on need, relative to available funds, and all recipients are currently being notified.

Disbursing our second round of grants marks another milestone for the QNF in our mission to provide emergency relief to the SF Bay Area’s queer nightlife workers to sustain them during this pandemic. However, it is clear that there will be an ongoing need for support for workers who are out of work as a result of this crisis.

With this week’s announcement that bars and restaurants in San Francisco will be unable to re-open to the public, it remains uncertain when queer nightlife will resume in the Bay and when workers will be able to safely return to employment.

Meeting the ongoing needs of our community will require strategic action in order to support our vital SF Bay Area queer nightlife institutions and workers. The QNF Steering Committee is currently reviewing options for our next steps to provide needed resources and relief to keep Bay Area queer nightlife alive through this crisis and into the future.

At this point, the QNF has raised over $270,000, and we have established new community rituals to sustain our community during this crisis, including our online Quaran-Tea Dance. Our commitment to organizing events and serving our community remains strong, and we look forward to seeing you at future QNF events.

We wish you health and safety during this time.


The SF Bay Area Queer Nightlife Fund Steering Committee

QNF Grant Update | June 23, 2020

In our second-round of grant applications due May 29, 2020, 2020, the San Francisco Queer Nightlife Fund received 174 applications, requesting minimally $202,386 in funds for relief for lifeline essentials.

Grant applications are currently under review by the SF QNF Grant Committee, who anticipate contacting applicants regarding their application status soon.

Because of prolonged un(der)employment, applicants are requesting more assistance in this round of applications. Individual applicants have requested $1,163, on average—higher than the average request in our first round of applications. 

Among the current grant applicants:

  • 97.7% rent their home
  • 43.7% do not have health insurance
  • 21.3% receive food assistance
  • 75.9% have applied for unemployment pay

The second SF Queer Nightlife Fund grant application period opened on May 8th, 2020. Applications were accepted until May 29th, 2020.

In our new fundraising cycle for our second round of grants, the QNF has raised over $61,000 from 803 grassroots donations, an average donation of $76.91. 

This is less than one-third of the need of our applicant pool.

The need for relief for Bay Area queer nightlife workers is great: The SF Queer Nightlife Fund needs sustained community support to raise enough to provide relief for shelter, food, utilities, and medical necessities for those who work in queer nightlife. 

Those with the ability to do so can make a one-time donation or sign up to make a weekly contribution to the QNF to help sustain those who make the magic of queer nightlife happen here in the Bay.

Quaran-Tea presents PUFF

For our lucky thirteen, the SF Bay Area Queer Nightlife Fund joins up with PUFF, a party blazing a trail in the Bay Area!

In conjunction with our month-long collaboration with PLUS Products, we’ll have some special fundraising incentives and giveaways!

Check out our QNF’s Twitch channel, where you can also view recordings of our recent events:

Zoom will be accessible at

Get the music pumping on Twitch, clear out some space to dance, and log into Zoom with your webcam on to show us what you’ve got.

Hosted by Thee Pristine Condition

DJ Dingbat (aka David Lawrence Hawkins aka Mimieux)
CharmPOP, Toolbox


DJ Marloca
Sunny Days Happy Hour / Mr. Robinson’s Neighborhood / Sisters In Sound

DJ Dank
PUFF, Meow Mix, Show/Off, Toolbox, charmPOP

DJ Die Wies
UhaulSF, WomanopolySF

DJ Chicken (aka Tom Kern)
House of Fish, Rarebits

Quaran-Tea presents Reunion SF

For our twelfth installment, the SF Bay Area Queer Nightlife Fund joins forces with Reunion SF, a throwback hip hop day party for Black Queer and Trans people based out of Jolene’s Bar.

Each week at Quaran-Tea, we feature great music selected by talented DJ’s, talk about the Fund, and encourage donations. In light of the nationwide protests against police violence in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, this week we will also leverage our platform to encourage our community to take direct action, and also share information about how to do so.

We aim to provide an afternoon of entertainment and community, while remaining connected to the racial justice work that is happening today.

RSVP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/611635892784954/

Hosted by Pearl Teese

Featuring DJs

DJ Charles Hawthorne (Quaint But Extra)

DJ Kidd
Founder and Curator of Reunion SF

DJ Olga T

DJ Reeact (Swig – Levels (SF), GOODVBZ, Ginger’s – Taco Belle(SF))

QNF Presents: Quaran-Tea Dance Pride Kickoff

QNF has been producing Quaran-Tea dance on Sunday afternoons since shelter in place began in late march. A chance to feature a broad range of local DJ talent, raise money for the Queer Nightlife Fund, and build community. We are thrilled to present a taste of our Quaran-Tea event as part of this Pride Kickoff series.

$20.00 suggested donation, no one turned away for lack of funds.

Tickets at Eventbrite

Leather Alliance Votes to Fiscally Sponsor the SF Queer Nightlife Fund

The Board of Directors for the San Francisco Bay Area Leather Alliance (http://leatheralliance.org/), a 501(c)3 nonprofit, has voted unanimously to fiscally sponsor the San Francisco Bay Area Queer Nightlife Fund.

The SF Bay Area Leather Alliance is a 100% volunteer 501(c)3 non-profit organization. The Leather Alliance was formed in 2008. The Leather Alliance’s membership and board includes numerous clubs, groups and individuals within the leather, fetish, kink, gear and motorcycling communities located in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Leather Alliance also manages the Bay Area Leather Lifeline (https://ball.leatheralliance.org/), another COVID-19 mutual-aid relief grant available to Bay Area residents.

The Leather Alliance has offered to sponsor the San Francisco Bay Area Queer Nightlife Fund’s mutual-aid work as a nonprofit fiscally sponsored project of its organization. To avail this fiscal sponsorship to the SF QNF, the Leather Alliance will receive a seven percent (7%) fee from all funds donated to the project to cover costs and fees related to administering the project.

The San Francisco Bay Area Queer Nightlife Fund is grateful for the support it has received from many local and state leaders, particularly the incredible assistance provided by the SF QNF’s prior fiscal sponsor, the Q Foundation and its Executive Director Brian Basinger. The Q Foundation’s operational and logistical support has catalyzed the SF QNF’s mission, facilitating major strides in its emergency relief work for struggling LGBTQ nightlife workers in the Bay

The new fiscal sponsorship and partnership between the Leather Alliance will allow the SF Queer Nightlife Fund will allow the SF QNF to continue operations seamlessly, create synergy with similar mutual-aid efforts, and effectively continue fundraising for its second round of QNF grants, which were due May 29, at 11:59:59 PM PT.

Quaran-Tea Dance presents Electroluxx

For our tenth installment, the SF Bay Area Queer Nightlife Fund joins forces with Electroluxx, an Inclusive Queer Community Welcoming of all Humans. This amazingly creative crew throws amazing, large-scale immersive events, and we are excited to be teaming up with them for a Sunday afternoon of amazing music.

Check out our QNF’s Twitch channel, where you can also view recordings of our recent events:

Zoom will be accessible at

Get the tunes cranking on Twitch, move that coffee table out or nightstand out of the way so you’ve got some space to dance, put together your look, and log into Zoom and turn on that webcam on Sunday to show us what you’ve got.

As usual, our hosts and DJ’s will be entertaining you from their homes, giving you an interactive party experience while we all shelter in place.

RSVP on Facebook

Happy Birthday Harvey!

May 22nd is Harvey Milk Day in the State of California—a day of celebration and reflection on the strength of our community all the more resonant as we face COVID-19 together.

Sponsored by the GGBA – Golden Gate Business Association

To commemorate this day, we present a virtual “block party”, hosted on Twitch and Zoom

This collaborative effort is organized by Supervisor Rafael Mandelman’s office, the Castro LGBTQ Cultural District, the Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club, the Castro Community Benefit District, “Windows For Harvey” presented by the Castro Merchants Association, the Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza, Open House, the GLBT Historical Society, the Tenderloin Museum, the Golden Gate Business Association, and the SF Bay Area Queer Nightlife Fund. This joint effort is not just to wish the happiest birthday to Harvey on what would have been his 90th birthday, but also an opportunity to broadcast our solidarity in hope, because as he so often reminded us, “You gotta give ‘em hope.” This event will be something to remember in these difficult and extraordinary times, just as we will one day look back and remember how we came together even when we couldn’t.

Juanita MORE! will hosting with performances by Mercedes Munro and Bionka Simon and the evening’s tracks provided by DJ’s Parks, Kidd, Jim Hopkins and Paul Goodyear.

This is a companion event to Live Drag for our LGBTQ Elders, happening from 4:30-5:30, just before the block party.

RSVP on Facebook

Live Drag for our LGBTQ Elders

On May 22, Openhouse, SF Queer Nightlife Fund, and the Tenderloin Museum are proud to present: Live Drag for our LGBTQ Elders, a live drag show where powerhouse drag queens Dulce De Leche, Per Sia, Princess Panocha, Mary Vice, and Shane Zaldivar will perform in the courtyard of Openhouse. This performance will be virtually hosted by the one and only Juanita MORE!, and will be safely viewed by its LGBTQ seniors, as well as live streamed to the general public.

A way to both connect with seniors and build an intergenerational community of support, Skultety describes drag as a bonding force within the LGBTQ community—and a way to exalt its elders, many of whom may feel isolated and invisible during the ongoing pandemic. “Drag is powerful in that way—it thrives on audience connection and interaction—and so this is us saying nothing can stop us from connecting with our seniors and we will do it in the most meaningful way,” she says.

Paying homage to the LGBTQ pioneer who helped shape the world for younger generations—and who would have been part of the vulnerable community of LGBTQ elders—This special show will kick off Harvey Milk’s 90th birthday celebration, a series of events celebrating Harvey’s legacy. Openhouse is encouraging everyone to consider a gift of $9, $90, or $900 in honor of Harvey’s 90th.

This event is part Harvey Milk’s 90th Birthday Block Party: https://www.facebook.com/events/625647098031154/

Harvey Milk’s 90th Birthday Block Party
Friday, May 22, 2020; 6:00 p.m.- 9:00 p.m.

Join the party via Zoom here: https://zoom.queernightlifefund.org/

Join the party via Twitch here: https://www.twitch.tv/sfqueernightlifefund/

Openhouse and the Tenderloin Museum are asking you to contribute to the Live Drag for Our Queer Elders fundraiser here: https://www.facebook.com/donate/231605168281729/

Of course, a hero to many near and far, Harvey was and always will be, “The Mayor of Castro Street” to us here in San Francisco. For this reason, even as Castro Street shelters in place, his birthday block party will go on “virtually” in the second half of a two-part event.

This collaborative effort is organized by Supervisor Rafael Mandelman’s office, the Castro LGBTQ Cultural District, the Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club, the Castro Community Benefit District, “Windows For Harvey” presented by the Castro Merchants Association, the Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza, Open House, the GLBT Historical Society, the Tenderloin Museum, the Golden Gate Business Association, and the SF Bay Area Queer Nightlife Fund.

About the queens:

Juanita MORE!
Juanita MORE! is a denizen of the limelight. For almost three decades, the tireless hostess has blitzed San Francisco with high glamour, drag irreverence, danceable beats, culinary delectables, political activism and a philanthropic heart that has illuminated the entire city. Juanita remains a creation of fashion and glamour, generosity and nerve, inspiring those around her to make a positive difference in their lives and in their communities, doing it all with timeless elegance and an innovative spirit.

Shane Zaldivar
Shane is originally from Florida and moved to California for school and the pursuit of an authentic lifestyle. Since moving in 2014, she has thrived as an artist and activist. Shane acted as a lead role in the immersive play, The Compton’s Cafeteria Riot. This play is a collaboration with The Tenderloin Museum and depicts events leading to the historic riot of 1966, which marked the beginning of transgender activism in San Francisco. The play premiered in February 2018 and is looking to return sometime in 2021. Shane also performs as the Pop Up Drag Queen, where she brings smiles and drag to the streets of San Francisco (on select weekends). This performance-project began in 2017, and Shane has since collaborated with local San Francisco bands and toured internationally with the project.

Shane is currently working as a Training Coordinator for The Office of Transgender Initiatives, the first and only trans-led city government office, where she trains City and County employees on topics relevant to transgender & gender non-conforming (TGNC) and/or LGBQ+ populations. She also coordinates a Fellowship for TGNC and/or LGBQ+ immigrants.

Per Sia
With a pedigree from performances at the late, iconic Esta Noche, Per Sia’s trajectory has gone on to include art curation, stand-up, television, modeling, and maybe a quinceañera or two, in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and México. Currently, she is a regular performer in the nationally acclaimed “Drag Queen Story Hour” as well as an educator in residence at the Children’s After School Arts (CASA) program in the San Francisco Unified School District recently profiled on KQED Arts and National Public Radio.

Dulce De Leche
Dulce De Leche is a multifaceted drag performer best known for her powerful, soulful voice. Inspired by 50’s & 60’s soul divas and her childhood icon, Bette Midler, she is a ballsy and brassy broad who is a proud member of one of SF’s most respected drag houses, The House of MORE! Dulce has appeared on-stage with Peaches Christ Productions; on-screen in Adrian Anchondo’s Beyonce parody “In N Out Mission,” as the Cowardly Lion for the FRAMELINE29 promo video, and on HBO’s LOOKING. She has performed at Daytime Realness, WOMAN, Dragula SF, Honey Sound System, Hard French, Blow Pony and many other events. She was crowned the 2013 Miss Tiara Sensation and is the reigning Hard French Winter Ball Queen.

Princess Panocha
Princess Panocha is an Irish Mexican San Francisco native, where her drag resides on the corner of sex appeal and camp.

Mary Vice
Mary Vice has been part of the drag scene in Soma and the Tenderloin for the last 4 years. Pre-quarantine she was a regular fixture at Aunt Charlie’s, Powerhouse and The Stud, where she hosted a monthly party, Lip Service. She works closely with her drag mother, Mr. David Glamamore, sewing gowns for some of the biggest names in town like Juanita MORE! and projects like Levi’s 2019 Pride campaign. During shelter-in-place she can be found hosting an online drag show, Glama’s Pillows, every Monday night at 9 PM and Girl Talk, a current events drag talk show every Friday at 3 PM. Both shows air at twitch.tv/CashMonetDrag.

About the organizations:

Founded in 1998, Openhouse works to center the voices and experiences of LGBTQ older adults by providing opportunities to make social connections and build community. Openhouse is committed to creating a safe environment to encourage and support community members to share our diverse perspectives and identities to foster dynamic community engagement. We recognize and affirm that LGBTQ older adults live at intersections of race, ethnicity, class, culture, HIV status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and expression, spirituality and ability. At Openhouse, everyone is a community member.

Tenderloin Museum
Tenderloin Museum celebrates the rich history of one of San Francisco’s most overlooked neighborhoods. Through history exhibitions, resident-led walking tours, community programs, and the presentation of original artwork, the Tenderloin Museum invites all to learn about the roots of our dynamic neighborhood, and reclaim our city’s past and future. All are welcome to join us in telling its story.