Author: Juanita MORE!

Juanita MORE! is a denizen of the limelight. For almost three decades, the laudable hostess has blitzed San Francisco with high glamour, drag irreverence, and danceable beats that have illuminated the entire city. MORE! continues to be a heaping dollop of generosity and a sprinkle of nerve. She inspires those around her to make positive differences in their lives and communities — and doing it all with timeless elegance and an innovative spirit. Most recently, after her reign, Miss MORE! holds the title of Absolute Empress 56 of the Imperial Council of San Francisco –– one of the oldest non-profit organizations globally. To date, MORE! has helped raise over 1 million dollars for local charities — among them GBLT Historical Society & Archives, Our Trans Youth, Q Foundation, Queer Lifespace, Transgender Law Center, and more. In addition, MORE! tirelessly fundraises for organizations in San Francisco that are adamant about helping communities in the seven-by-seven thrive, all while shining light and offering support to those who’ve been overlooked for far too long. MORE! embodies what it means to be a conduit of connection. MORE!’ brings the people together to fundraise, celebrate community, and demand social change around San Francisco and elsewhere. Her culinary expressions are an extension of what mothers have been doing in their kitchens for generations — which, simply states, is sharing “loads of love.”
Drag Has Always Been in My Life
Essays, Queerness

Drag Has Always Been in My Life

'With all the glitz and glamor I was subjected to growing up, you'd think it would have unwillingly forced me to become a drag queen.' I was just a kid when one of my cousins took me to see John Water's film Pink Flamingos at the Nuart Theater in Los Angeles. We smoked a joint before going into the theater, and while we were waiting for the movie to start, I swear I saw a raccoon cross the stage. Then, when the lights went down and the film began to play, I was utterly mesmerized by the screen presence of the incomparable drag queen, Divine. In the scene when the reporter asks her character Babs Johnson if she could give him some of her political beliefs –– her response "Kill everyone now! Condone first-degree murder! Advocate cannibalism! Eat shit! Filth are my politics; filth is my life...
Loads of Valentine Love
Essays, Queerness

Loads of Valentine Love

‘With or without the razzle-dazzle of its seductive cover, I hope you can see that I am simply a reflection of all your love and beauty.’ I have never really loved Valentine's Day. So the production and commercialization of Valentine's classics from Hallmark and FTD florist don't interest me. However, if you want to talk about chocolates from See's Candy, I have a moment to sit and chat with you. I took a second to dive into the origins of Valentine's Day, and I don't know how I feel about the celebration. However, the following paragraph was taken directly from the interwebs: "The ancient Romans may also be responsible for the name of our modern-day of love. Emperor Claudius II executed two men — who were both named Valentine — on Feb. 14 of different years in the third century. Th...
The Most Important Person in 2023 Should Be You
Essays, Queerness

The Most Important Person in 2023 Should Be You

'Your well-being is most important. A healthy, more vital one will benefit yourself, those close to you, and our community.' As I look back on 2022, there are many things I'm honored and so proud to have played a role in, including the completion of my reign as Empress of The Imperial Council of San Francisco, Inc. with Emperor Mr. David Glamamore. We helped shine a brighter light on the world's oldest and largest LGBTQIA+ organizations.  Pride this year was such an incredibly magical day –– $151,000 in donations from my annual event went directly to the Q Foundation, whose goal is to ensure people have safe housing, which is now more critical than ever. The nonprofit is creating an app that will connect local LGBTQIA+ people looking for or offering safe housing, based on the 'Juanita'...
This Week Has Seen an Alarming Number Fentanyl-Related Overdoses in San Francisco’s Queer Community
Hyperlocal News + Stories, Queerness

This Week Has Seen an Alarming Number Fentanyl-Related Overdoses in San Francisco’s Queer Community

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, 52 overdose deaths were reported in November of this year — and 41 of those reportedly involved fentanyl. The past three years have seen a troubling number of overdoses due to fentanyl in the San Francisco LGBTQIA+ community. Fentanyl is potent and deadly; it's over 1,000 times more powerful than morphine. Over just the last four nights, friends of mine working in SF hospitals have informed me there have allegedly been at least 17 suspected fentanyl-related overdoses in local emergency rooms. Four of the alleged overdose victims died. Many of these overdose patients were reportedly gay. I worry about how safe our community is when they are obtaining recreational drugs. Drug users do not know what they are taking is perhaps laced with fen...
Old People Need Loads of Love, Too: SF’s Sister Roma Turns 60
Hyperlocal News + Stories, Queerness

Old People Need Loads of Love, Too: SF’s Sister Roma Turns 60

The self-described 'most photographed nun in the world,' San Francisco's own Sister Roma is entering her sixth decade on this mortal coil today. Do you have someone special in your life that you fall into uncontrollable — gut-busting fits of laughter? On many occasions, I've walked away from a particular person... because I was laughing so hard I was going to piss my panties. That person, for me, is the self-proclaimed"most photographed nun in the world," the astonishing Sister Roma! This week we celebrate her birth - as she turns the big 6-0! She is an activist, fundraiser, Master of Ceremonies, a glamorous clown (I lifted that off of her Wikipedia), and has been a member of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence since 1987. An organization that has not only brought smiles to our faces b...
On Love in SF During the Early Years of the AIDS Epidemic
Essays, Queerness

On Love in SF During the Early Years of the AIDS Epidemic

The love I shared with a man in San Francisco during these hard years still lingers with me — decades later. I woke up this morning on World AIDS Day thinking about a guy I dated in 1983. His name was Tom, and he lived just around the corner from my Castro District flat. We would flirt as we passed each other on our way to or from work until we finally stopped and had a conversation. Then, we made a date to see a movie and began a very casual year-long relationship. Tom helped cultivate a relationship built around the foundation of kindness. Tom was so sweet and always had the biggest smile for me. But, he was also private and could be very emotional at times. He was the type of guy that would show up on my doorstep to drop off a cup of coffee from Cafe Flore on his way to work. While ...
On Sharing Food and Cooking Nostalgia Come Thanksgiving Day
Food + Drink, Queerness

On Sharing Food and Cooking Nostalgia Come Thanksgiving Day

Breaking bread and sharing food amongst family, friends, and chosen family is something I will forever cherish — a sentiment that is only highlighted around a Thanksgiving meal. I grew up loving the Thanksgiving holiday as a kid — based solely on the idea of family gathering together to share food. I wasn’t taught the reality of the holiday in grade school - that for many Native Americans, Thanksgiving is actually a day of mourning and protest since it commemorates the arrival of settlers in North America and the centuries of oppression and genocide that followed. When I cook on Thanksgiving Day now as an adult, it’s about conjuring up childhood food memories that connect me to people in my life that have passed but whose spirits still influence me so greatly in the kitchen. I see my g...
On Celebration, Appreciation, and Gratitude for 30 Years of Drag in San Francisco
Essays, Queerness

On Celebration, Appreciation, and Gratitude for 30 Years of Drag in San Francisco

For the past three decades, I've been the prettiest denizen of San Francisco's nightlife — and I feel eternally grateful for the continued success of Juanita MORE!. We are at the end of 2022 and seeing a massive influx of LGBTQIA+ people in America facing discrimination daily. And state legislatures are advancing bills that target transgender people, limit local protections, and allow the use of religion to discriminate are seriously out of control. The exhibit Juanita: 30 Years of MORE! that will be closing in a few weeks means so much to me on many different levels. During Pride Month, celebrations happen nationwide. In addition, the community and its allies remember historical events such as Stonewall and the Compton Cafeteria Riots. And, there is a long list of iconic queer figures...