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GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 10 – 23, 2017

New Mr. Gay San Diego announced By SDCNN Staff After nearly a decade of hiatus, the Mr. Gay San Diego competition — this year co-produced by Big Mike Phillips and Robert Rodriguez — roared back into the community on Sunday, Nov. 5. It was a packed house at the newly redesigned Hillcrest landmark The Rail, formerly called The Brass Rail, that greeted the eight competitors who each strutted their stuff across the new stage. Emceed by Paris Sukomi Max — who opened up the festivities with a rendition of “I Hope You Dance” — the contest was judged by eight local community celebrities, inclusing event producer Anton Mulvaney; Nathan Kendrick, Mr. San Diego Leather; Morgan M. Hurley, editor of Gay San Diego; Sally Hall, founder of That’s So Gay Live and the Girls Night Out dances; internationally renowned artist Joe Phillips; and City Commissioner Nicole Murray Ramirez. The special guest performer for the evening was current Empress 45, Angel Fairfax. Corporate sponsors for the event were Kettle One and Jagermeister, with local community sponsors offering up dozens of great raffle prizes for the cause, many of which were $25 gift cards for the establishments that participated, or other cash and prizes to the competition’s

two winners. Local sponsors included The Loft, The Caliph, Babycakes, Redwing, Urban MO’s, Rich’s, #1 Fifth Avenue, The Loft, The Caliph, MOS Universe, The Rail, Pup Creations, La Vacienda, Flicks, Uptown Tavern, and Breakfast Republic. The raffle tickets were sold throughout the evening and prizes were distributed at each break in the process. Candidates for Mr. Gay San Diego included Ziggy, Soren, Travis Ti, Bobby, Richard, Kirby, Deximus, and Kai. Each contestant had a bevy of friends backing them in the crowd, all who were quite animated whenever their contestant’s name was called or they appeared on stage. Judges graded each of the contenders in three distinct categories — presentation/casual wear; sexy wear; and swimsuit, which also included a Q&A. Votes were tallied after each round by Scott Parman. In addition to the clever Q&A questions, which were provided by both judges and members of the audience, Paris also asked each contestant to share with the crowd what cause would be the cornerstone of their reign as Mr. Gay San Diego if they were to win the title. Issues mentioned ran the gamut, from empowering LGBT youth, addressing the stigma of mental illness within the community, encouraging people to love themselves more, and many other worthy causes.

The contestants for the 2017 Mr. Gay San Diego contest are flanked by the event’s producers, Big Mike Phillips (left) and Robert Rodriguez. Emcee Paris Sukomi Max is second from right. (Photo by Eric S. Arts) After an evening of fun-raising, scantily clad contestants and cheering crowds, the judge’s votes were in and two of the eight men rose above the rest. The climax of the evening was when Paris made the announcement that Mr. Gay San Diego had gone to contestant No. 7, Deximus Starr.

events @THECENTER Monday, Nov. 13 & Wednesday, Nov. 22

Free Vaccination Clinics 3-6 pm, The Center Stop by The Center on Nov. 13 and Nov. 22 for a free vaccination clinic! The County of San Diego will be offering vaccines for Hepatitis A and the flu. Everyone is welcome. Call 619-692-2077 x0 for more info. To receive your vaccines RSVP here:

Tuesdays, Nov. 14 & Nov. 28

Free Legal Clinicc 9:30-11:30 am, The Center

Lunch & Learn: Medicare Open Enrollment Education 12-1 pm, The Center Medicare open enrollment runs through Dec. 7. Join us for an informative educational discussion that will: simplify the Medicare system into easy to understand benefits, rights and options; cover information for those new to Medicare; share an easy-to-understand format for Medicare Part A, B, C, and D coverages; explain deductibles that could affect your healthcare choices. For more information and to RSVP, contact LaRue Fields at 619.692.2077 x205 or

Big Mike; a bottle of Kettle One vodka; and VIP bottle service worth $150 from The Rail. First runner-up was given to Travis Ti, who received a trophy sponsored by Flicks; $100 cash from Rich’s San Diego; and a gift bag from Kettle One.

see Mr. Gay SD, pg 14

San Diego’s LGBT

Community Newspaper

Affordable Ad Rates Great Results!

Monday, Nov. 20

The Access to Law Initiative, a project of California Western School of Law, will hold ourth Tuesday of legal clinics the second and fourth each month from 9:30am to 11:30am at The Center. At these clinics, attorneys will be available for free, 30-minute consultations to help evaluate legal issues. No appointment is necessary. For more information, call 619.692.2077. The San Diego LGBT Community Center 3909 Centre Street • 619-692-2077

Twitter: @LGBTCenter

Wednesday, Nov. 15

Along with his new yearlong title, Starr received a title sash and a silver-bejeweled medallion necklace, as well as a trophy, all sponsored by Flicks; $300 cash from Rich’s San Diego; a personal illustration of himself by Joe Phillips, as well as one of Phillip’s recent books; a two-hour photo shoot with

San Diego Transgender Day of Remembrance 6-9 pm, The Center Join us as we remember those we lost due to anti-transgender hate and violence. Together we will mourn, honor & celebrate their authentic lives. All are welcome. 6pm vigil march (meeting outside of The Center) and 7pm program at The Center. For more information contact

For advertising information Call Mike at (619) 961-1958

GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 10 – 23, 2017



GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 10 – 23, 2017



TESLOOP more convenience than a regional plane and that it could take me to destinations north over the upcoming holidays while I slept, relaxed or continued to work. What got me even more excited was that the Tesloop ride-share service was using Tesla vehicles, so I immediately reached out to find out more. If you don’t know what a Tesla is, or you’ve never heard of its founder, Elon Musk, you need to start paying closer attention. Teslas are the cars of the future, but they are here right now. Autonomous vehicles can navigate and drive themselves without human input. Tesla vehicles are semi-autonomous, meaning that while they still require a human at the wheel, they can perform certain functions on their own, like changing lanes, slowing down or accelerating in traffic and keeping cars around them a specific distance away. It is the direction we are going, for sure, and Tesla is one of the first automotive manufacturers to go full bore in that direction. They have three models: Model S (sedan), Model X (SUV) and the newly released Model 3 (a very small sedan). Teslas are all-wheel-drive and all-electric, and have a huge 17-inch LCD pad-style computer mounted on the dash; it literally updates just like your iPhone does. Their driving range is approximately 250 miles on one charge and they have a

“Ruby” the red Tesla Model X that is one of two in Tesloop’s San Diego Fleet. (Photos by Morgan M. Hurley) supercharger network that is quite impressive. I got my first ride in a Tesla about six months ago; Bob Nelson, former San Diego port commissioner and a member of our local LGBT community, gave me a ride home in his Model S. I was immediately enamored with the technology but it is well beyond my reach. Enter Tesloop. Founded two years ago in Los Angeles by 18-year-old Haydn Sonnad — yes, 18 — Tesloop does more than just give people rides between destinations; it gives Tesla or other sustainable vehicle enthusiasts an up-closeand-personal view of these incredible cars of the future. It is important to note that Tesloop’s only association with


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Tesla is that they buy and use their cars for their ride-sharing service. They currently have an eight-vehicle fleet of Model X vehicles, with more to come. Tesla’s website calls the Model X the “safest, quickest, most capable sport utility vehicle in history.” San Diego Tesloop currently has two Model X cars, which at the hands of their “pilots,” do four roundtrip routes to Los Angeles per day. Each vehicle has a total of six seats built in; however, only four are sold per trip. Obviously, the driver takes up one of those seats and an additional seat in the back is left down to accommodate luggage. Speaking of luggage, you can really only take something the size of a carry-on in addition to your personal bag, so plan accordingly. Due to the number of miles the cars rack up going back and forth between Los Angeles and San Diego, Tesloop is able to share valuable information with Tesla, like the vehicles’ interaction — with other cars and as well as their pilots — and data acquired about how the cars operate under various road conditions under such high mileage. As far as I’m concerned, it is a great marketing arrangement because once you get into one of these cars, you’re going to want one. Sonnad originally started Tesloop with a Los Angeles to Las Vegas route, which first began with friends and then friends of friends who wanted to travel back and forth to Vegas. That “loop” was put on hiatus in April 2017, but may eventually return. Current “loops” are San Diego to Orange County, San Diego to Los Angeles, and Los Angeles to Palm Springs. Future routes identified on their website as potential expansion cities and/or loops are Santa Barbara, Sacramento, San Francisco, Phoenix, Tuscon, Dallas, and San Diego to Palm Springs. Seats cost you $29–$79, and the price is based on day of week, time of day, seats in the car, proximity to holiday, etc., but you’ll not pay over $79. While this service isn’t yet point-to-point, the pick-up locations in San Diego are pretty convenient. I live in Point Loma and my pick up was Old Town.

The vehicles are driven, not by an engine, but a 17” pad-style computer on the dash. A “concierge” will contact you about an hour before your trip to make sure everything is engaged. Once you arrive at your “pick up” point, you are welcomed by the friendly “pilot,” who knows your name, will take your luggage and open the wing doors for you. Once inside the car, you slide into an extremely comfortable seat, and have access to the following: free WiFi, complimentary healthy snacks and drinks, customized streaming music, head rests/neck pillows, noise cancelling headphones, and USB charging cables. Unlike the many hassles that we encounter these days with plane travel, Tesloop “swoops” you up, plugs you in and lets you settle in for the ride. I took the route to Los Angeles and back in the front seat of “Ruby,” the red Model X in their San Diego fleet. My

pick-up point was the Hilton Garden Inn in Old Town, then we picked up two other individual riders in La Jolla. Michael, our driver, spared no time in explaining the vehicle and its capabilities to us. He said his two interests are sustainable technologies and finance, and those meshed together so well here, he recently walked away from his job as a bank relationship manager to be a pilot for Tesloop. Once the other two riders were settled in, we all participated in a Skype call with the concierge, Myles, who welcomed us and gave us some safety information and guidelines. He mentioned the car’s five-star rating in every category, its eight surround cameras giving the vehicle 360-degree vision, thanked us for traveling green and let us know we were saving 150 pounds of carbon emission with our oneway trip. There is an emphasis in safety, but then these are the safest cars on the road. My ride to LA was a non-stop social experience, as there was so much to see and get involved in from the front seat, and our driver was very engaging. My return trip was an LAX pickup, and I had been reserved a middle seat this time, to experience that aspect of the ride. For this route, I was on my computer and using the noise-canceling headphones the entire time, which made it a completely different experience than the one where I was engaging with the driver and the riders most of the trip. Both trips were enjoyable, however, for different reasons. While they’ve only been in San Diego since the spring, but earlier this year, Tesloop was already given the Global Citizenship Award from the United Nations Association of San Diego, located in Balboa Park, for their work to combat climate change. There is so much more to tell about this company and experience, that I’ve decided to make this a series. If you are interested in taking your own Tesloop trip based on what I’ve told you so far, visit and get started planning your holiday travel. I can’t wait to try it again. —Morgan M. Hurley can be reached at▼

“Deuxy,” the black Model X in San Diego’s fleet, from the rear, showing three rows of seats and a nearly full complement of luggage


PTSD, panic attacks and me Life Beyond Therapy Michael Kimmel When clients ask me, “Why did you become a therapist?” My usual answer is, “If you knew my childhood history, you’d understand.” And I’m not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 5 Americans have been sexually molested as a child; 1 in 4 have been beaten by a parent to the point of a mark being left on their body; and 1 in 3 couples engage in physical violence. A quarter of us grew up with alcoholic relatives, and 1 in 8 have witnessed their mother being beaten or hit. Over the past two decades, I have helped hundreds of clients cope with the feelings of panic, anxiety, worry and dread that often result from a history of trauma. People tell me that I’m rather good at it. It’s probably related to my own history of panic attacks, which started in my teenage years. I rarely have panic attacks anymore, so I was surprised to fi nd myself in the middle of one this week. I woke up in the middle of the night unable to stop shivering (it wasn’t cold), my body was rigid and my mind full of fear. Yep, it was my old “friend,” Mr. Panic Attack.

Luckily, I knew what to do of those with less power for — how to sooth and assure my- centuries, and those of us who self that it would pass (which have been abused/harassed/ it did), and not mistake it for raped/traumatized have been a heart attack or some other closeted for too long. physical problem, which a panWhile it sure is good to ic attack can sometime mimic. come out of this closet, it can In hindsight, I could see be very uncomfortable to work how a difficult experience I through traumatic experiences had earlier the same day had and come out the other side. “triggered” the panic attack, But, it’s doable. I know, I have but I was still surprised. I done it myself and help my cliknew that I was going through ents do it, too. something unpleasant, but PTSD-related stuff can didn’t think it was a big deal. creep into your life in a way My body and mind, however, you may not anticipate. I used to be surprised when I had a different reaction; they experienced road rage, until panicked. I realized that not being able It’s ironic that, as a psyto express my anger (at being chotherapist, it’s good for me traumatized) in my childhood to have these “experiences” resulted in my expressing it at because it makes me a better unexpected times as an adult. therapist – certainly a more My reactions to other un“real” one! However, as a perskilled drivers’ behavior were son, it’s not much fun. often extreme and I couldn’t So I went back to a book that I fi nd as a great resource: figure out why, until I realized that it was my body acting out “The Body Keeps the Score” by those trauma-related emotions trauma specialist Dr. Bessel from my past. Van der Kolk — and as a reNeuroscience shows us that sult — was inspired to write trauma isn’t just something this column. that happens to us, it’s an I’d like to share some tips “imprint” left by that experion how to begin to heal from ence that physically alters our trauma, aka post traumatic mind, brain and body. Talkstress disorder, or simply therapy alone rarely alters the PTSD. body’s responses that make us In light of the recent hyper-vigilant. Twitter phenomenon of the For real change to take #MeToo hashtag, it’s clear place, the body needs to physthat many of us are survivors ically experience that the of sexual abuse, harassment danger has passed and we’re or rape. (fi nally) safe. In a way, it’s good that Here are three ways to beit’s all coming out: People in gin that process: power have taken advantage

Psychotherapy modalities that focus on the mind-body connection – like eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) and bioenergetics — can bring about powerful changes in how your body responds in difficult situations. Healthy, ongoing relationships (friendships or romance) can be very reparative: We can slowly release the brain patterns that say people are “unsafe” as we learn to trust in and be vulnerable to people who are worthy of our trust. Yoga, rolfi ng, reiki, therapeutic massage and other types of bodywork help to calm our nervous system so that we can release the physical sensations of past trauma. While these are just three ways to begin to calm your mind/brain/body; there are many others. If you have experienced trauma in your past, please take action to break the pattern of fear, hyper-vigilance and acting out. You can do it. I did. —Michael Kimmel is a licensed psychotherapist who specializes in helping LGBT clients achieve their goals and deal with anxiety, depression, grief, sexually addictive behavior, coming out, relationship challenges and homophobia. Contact him at 619955-3311 or visit▼

GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 10 – 23, 2017

North Park senior apartments: the journey Senior Matters William E. Kelly Roughly seven years ago, I asked Dr. Delores Jacobs, the CEO of the San Diego LGBT Community Center (The Center), to provide a meeting space to assemble what became the volunteer “ad hoc working group on housing for LGBT Seniors, San Diego County.” She agreed and she and her staff at The Center provided the very necessary support I needed. Our senior community was finding its voice and Dr. Jacobs and Sue Reynolds, president and CEO of Community HousingWorks (CHW) — both also members of our local LGBT community — and their staffs were listening. Because of them, and the collaborative efforts of too many others to name, the heavy lifting was achieved and the little engine that could is now nearing the top of the hill: the North Park Senior Apartments (NPSA) — an LGBT-affirming senior community — are on schedule for completion in late December.

see LGBT Seniors, pg 17

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GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 10 – 23, 2017

Letters That mysterious but colorful corner

[Ref: “A tremendous splash of color,” Vol. 8, Issue 22, or online at] Editor’s note: We heard back from one of the tenants we attempted to contact!

Guest Editorial

Rev. Darlene Garner, ‘You’re fired!’ By Robin Tyler I am shocked and I am not easily shocked! There are too many powerful, competent women who have been attacked and vilified. Sometimes it is done publicly and nationally. The best example, of course, is Hillary Clinton. As qualified as she was as a candidate for the office of President of the United States, she was seen as ‘pushy,’ suspicious, untruthful, and all the other derogatory adjectives that are heaped upon brilliant successful women by men, and, of course, by other women. Another example is attorney Gloria Allred. She is admired as much as she is vilified. Men are never accused of wanting or getting “too much publicity.” But Allred, who has fought for decades for women and clients who have never been heard or seen, is criticized constantly. Gloria roared when victims barely whispered and began to lead an army of survivors from the darkness of their secrets into the light of truthfulness and healing. Jill Abramson, the fi rst female executive editor of The New York Times (2011-2014), is another example. After EDITOR Morgan M. Hurley (619) 961-1960 CONTRIBUTING EDITORS (619) 519-7775 Ken Williams, x102 Jeff Clemetson, x119 CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Chris Azzopardi Michelle Burkart Eric Carroll Kit-Bacon Gressitt Dave Fidlin William E. Kelly Michael Kimmel Jean Lowerison Frank Sabatini Jr. Robin Tyler WEB AND SOCIAL MEDIA Sara Butler, x120

being a successful managing editor, she was promoted by the paper’s publisher, Arthur O. Sulzberger, Jr. The conflict began immediately. Even though she got high marks for the investigative stories she championed, Abramson was considered “too brusque, too hard to work with, too difficult, high-handed.” Then Jill found out that her compensation as executive editor, and before that, as managing editor, was considerably less than the pay and benefits of Bill Keller, the male editor whom she replaced in both jobs. She sought the advice of an attorney and was fi red, not because of the inquiry, but because Abramson caused “frustration” and was “too pushy.” Really? She had the same personality as executive editor that she did when she was managing editor. Although in 2012, even when she was ranked No. 5 on the Forbes list of most powerful women, she was fired. She is presently teaching at Harvard, the university she graduated from. So, I am not easy to shock. I know of the struggle that competent women face. However, when I heard that after 41 years of working at Metropolitan Community COPY EDITOR Dustin Lothspeich SALES & MARKETING DIRECTOR Mike Rosensteel (619) 961-1958 ADVERTISING CONSULTANTS (619) 519-7775 Annie Burchard, x 105 Michele Camarda, x116 Heather Fine, x107 Sloan Gomez, x104 Brenda Vergara, x110 INTERNS Alex Ehrie Erik Guerrero Jennifer Gottschalk

Rev. Darlene Garner (Courtesy Robin Tyler) Churches (MCC), my good friend Rev. Elder Darlene Garner, age 69, had recently been “fired” and that her last work day would be on her birthday, I felt stunned and shocked. MCC did not call it “firing.” They called it “restructuring.” But a “restructuring” means shifting people around, not eliminating them without warning nor without extending a level of professionalism that could have ended in a win/ win situation. Instead, there was just “Goodbye, Darlene,” with no warning, no severance, and no unemployment compensation from MCC – a church whose “core values” are identified as inclusion (love is our greatest moral value), community, spiritual transformation, and justice (standing with those who suffer under the weight of oppressive systems, being guided always by ACCOUNTING Priscilla Umel-Martinez (619) 961-1962 WEB DESIGN Kim Espinoza

DISTRIBUTION Gay San Diego is distributed free every other Friday of the month. © 2017. All rights reserved. PUBLISHER David Mannis (619) 961-1951

our commitment to Global Human Rights). Excuse me? So a 69-year-old AfricanAmerican lesbian was discarded like yesterday’s trash. Is that justice? Of course, they wanted her to sign a non-disclosure agreement and I’m sure they are rushing right now to put African-Americans on staff and on the board. Did she murder someone in a congregation? No. Did she steal money from the organization? No. So, why? At the MCC General Conference in Vancouver last year, she came in second when they voted for moderator, the top position in the organization. (A Canadian came in fi rst yet did not get enough votes to be elected.) For those of you who are not familiar with this great leader, Darlene joined MCC in 1976. She has been pastor of churches in Baltimore, Maryland, and Fairfax, Virginia, in the United States and in Cape Town, Western Cape in South Africa. First recognized as an MCC spiritual leader in 1993, she was serving as the Convener of the MCC Conference for People of African Descent and as

Thank you for your coverage on our space at the intersection of University Avenue and Florida Street. While we are eager to share our story, we are still in the process of finalizing our vision for the building (e.g. graphic elements). We would be more than happy to connect with you once our game plan is solidified. Our team is currently making final decisions, collecting photo and video assets, developing press materials and even planning a special event. Our publicist, Ray Drasnin, will be the key pointof-contact — he will reach out to you upon completion. We expect this will be in the next few weeks. —Alex Pellegrino, principal, Sequoian Investments, via email What does one sell at an apothecary? —John, via Editor’s response: An apothecary is another name for a drugstore or pharmacy, according to Merriam Webster; but it appears the meaning of the word has expanded over the years. While doing our research, we found this word added to The General Store’s own description of itself on its Facebook page, describing its retail store area, where it sold leather goods and old school grooming items as gifts. I like it. I’ve lived in San Diego for over 30 years (since August of 1987) and that drab old corner at University Avenue and Florida Street could use a bit of color. I hope to see more like it around town (so it doesn’t stand alone)! —Rick D., via

From our followers on Facebook

Really interesting! I hope you hear more from the owners. —Bob Lehman Just OMG! It was so clean cut before. Now it looks like a Rainbow unicorn threw up all over the building! —Robert Bunyard

see Fired, pg 7

Wow!! This looks ... happy!! —Jenn Massey I like it. —Brandon Potter▼

OPINIONS/LETTERS: Gay San Diego encourages letters to the editor and guest editorials. Please email either to and include your phone number and address for verification. We reserve the right to edit letters for brevity and accuracy. Letters and guest editorials do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or staff. Business Improvement Association

SUBMISSIONS/NEWS TIPS Press releases and story ideas are welcomed. Send press releases, tips, photos or story ideas to For breaking news and investigative story ideas contact the editor by phone or email. Copyright © 2017 San Diego Community News Network

Gay San Diego 123 Camino de la Reina, Suite 202 East San Diego, CA 92108 (619) 519-7775 Twitter @GaySD


Getting certified: To pay or not to pay … #LGBTB2B Michelle Burkart

provide additional services and networking opportunities to help promote the businesses of their diversity certified members.

Third party certifications —

This has been a banner year the difference ● More formal process by difor our local LGBT business versity-oriented organizations, enterprise certification efforts. whereby a fee for certification is We accomplished our goals for charged. 2017 and have already set up ● Certification is valid for new ones for 2018. However, one to two years. due to the Trump adminis● Organizations usually tration’s budget and program produce or attend “Meet the changes that have pushed Buyers” bid-matching events through, this coming year will to promote interaction between challenge our funding efforts, certified businesses and the but certainly not our desire to supplier diversity procurement keep certifying LGBT business representatives of private enterprises. companies. The Small Business ● Certified businesses are Development Center’s LGBTBE qualified to do business with certification program funding private companies such as: ended as of Oct. 31. Due to these federal budget cuts, there Toyota, Chevron, Disney, Bank of America, Walmart, Fannie is no more LGBT business enMae, Lowe’s, JPL, Wells Fargo, terprise program investment on the horizon. However, I have US Bank, IBM and American Airlines. been presented with another source of private/public funding, Third party certifiers so our certification program ● Organizations that provide lives on to help more businesses — for a fee — certification proget certified in 2018. grams for members or others. While meeting with busi● Usually offer ongoing nesses who wished to get business development services LGBTBE-certified over this and member networking events. past year, the question of ● Promote their certified “How much will all this cost?” businesses to the private and arose, and whether or not it is government sectors. worth it. The following are considered In the world of business third-party certifiers: certifications, there are two kinds: self-certifications and National Gay & Lesbian third-party certifications. Chamber of Commerce The former — self-certi(NGLCC) fications — are usually free, ● Exclusive third-party informal and involve the time it national certification body for takes a you as a business ownLGBT-owned companies. er to apply to the various agen● LGBTBE certification fee cies for a type of certification, is $400, unless a business is a like LGBT business enterprise paid member in good standing (LGBTBE); Women Business of an affiliate organization. Enterprise (WBE); Disabled ● Modeled after the cerVeteran Business Enterprise tifications by the National (DVBE); Minority-Owned Minority Supplier Development Business Enterprise (MBE); Council (NMSDC) and the or Small Business Enterprise Women’s Business Enterprise (SBE); National Council (WBENC). The latter — third-party ● Facilitate the certification certifications — are provided process and explain benefits by organizations experienced in associated with certification. diversity within business, and ● Work with certified usually charge an administraLGBT business enterprises tion fee for a more formal certifi(LGBTBEs) to help them cation. These organizations also


FIRED director of the MCC Office of Emerging Ministries when she was dismissed. She has served as executive director of the Philadelphia mayor’s Commission on Sexual Minorities and a member of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations; a co-founder of the National Coalition of Black Lesbians and Gays; chair of the fi rst International Conference for Gay and Lesbian People of Color; president of the Board of North Virginia AIDS Ministry; and so much more. Darlene attended Ohio State University, Samaritan College, and Lancaster Theological Seminary. I worked for Darlene when she was based in Los Angeles. I produced the 31st

anniversary of MCC. That is when I learned what kind of person and leader she truly is. She is one of the most competent, professional, fair, and intelligent women I have ever worked with. At the time of Darlene’s dismissal, the governing board of MCC was three white men, one African-American man, one white transmasculine person, and four white women. Two of the women and the African-American man have now resigned. It was the “interim moderator” (a 40-or-so-year-old white woman who Darlene trained — reminds me of the movie “All About Eve”) who told her she was through. And, of course, MCC will scramble to justify what they/the interim moderator has done. MCC has had a history of racism and sexism (an understatement). I know that MCC, like many other

leverage certification based on business goals. ● Identify and distribute important opportunities. ● No current federal mandate for government procurement activities to recognize LGBT-owned businesses; however, the NGLCC is working with individual agencies to extend contracting opportunities to certified LGBT business enterprises through a series of Memorandums of Understanding.

National Minority Supplier Dev Council (NMSDC) ● MBE certification fee

varies. ● 51 percent owned, managed, operated and controlled by an ethnic minority owner or group of ethnic minority owners. ● The minority owners who make up at least 51 percent ownership must be U.S. citizens. ● The highest titled position in the business must be held by a minority owner. ● Ability to submit all required business documentation for your company. ● Annual membership fee (varies).

Women Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) ● WBE certification fee is

$300. ● 51 percent owned, managed, operated and controlled by a woman owner or group of women owners. ● The women owners who make up at least 51 percent ownership must be U.S. citizens or have permanent legal residency. ● The highest titled position in the business must be held by a woman owner. ● Ability to submit all required business documentation for your company. ● Annual membership fee (varies).

The National Veteran Business Development Council (NVBDC)

● The only third-party veteran-owned business

certification program in the U. S. and is organized as a 501(c) (3) nonprofit foundation. ● The NVBDC was created for the purpose of providing a credible and reliable certifying authority that would ensure that valid documentation exists of a business’ veteran ownership and control. ● Many lucrative business opportunities are available to veteran-owned businesses through the Supplier Diversity programs offered at many companies and government agencies. In fact, the total mandated spend available to qualifying businesses is estimated to be in excess of $80 billion annually. ● With the NVBDC’s FASTRACK process, businesses that have already established existing Minority Status with the any of the following organizations can qualify for Veteran Owned Business Certification in as little as 30 days— Center for Verification and Evaluation (CVE), National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC). Today, the ability to expand your business opportunities could not be more exciting. Let me leave you with a quote from James Nowlin, CEO and managing principal of Excel Global Partners and the EGP family of companies. Nowlin is one of the 1,000 LGBTBE-certified business owners and he shares what being certified LGBTBE means to him. “[Being certified] says that we are not only proud of the work that we do, but that we are proud of who we are. When I am sitting at a boardroom table with a client, I offer them myself and my team without boundaries,” Nowlin said. “Diversity is critical to our success and we know that a high-performing diverse workforce is a significant competitive advantage for our firm. Being proud of who we are inspires a spirit of authenticity and honesty. Our business has grown because of that

GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 10 – 23, 2017


Acronyms to remember B2B — Business-toBusiness commerce exchange CPUC — California Public Utilities Commission GSDBA — Greater San Diego Business Association (San Diego’s local LGBT Chamber of Commerce and NGLCC affiliate) LGBTBE — Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Business Enterprise (relates to being a LGBT Certified business) NAVOB — National Association VeteranOwned Business NGLCC — National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce NVBDC — National Veteran Business Development Council SBA — Small Business Administration SBDC — Small Business Development Center SDI — Supplier Diversity Initiative SDIV SBDC — San Diego/ Imperial Valley Small Business Development Center Regional Network

authenticity, honesty and hard work. And for that, I am very proud.” —Michelle Burkart is the principal at Diversity Supplier Alliance. Questions? Reach her at michelle@ diversitysupplieralliance. com. For more information on LGBTBE certification, visit▼ Darlene was going to retire in just one year and would have qualified then for full social security benefits. This would have been good because, like for all MCC clergy, the MCC pension plan pays less than $150 a month. So it has happened again. After 41 years of service to and with MCC churches, without cause or consideration, a strong, brilliant woman is discarded and her legacy erased. I hope God is watching.

(l to r) Rev. Darlene Garner and her wife, Rev. Candy Holmes (Courtesy Robin Tyler) organizations, was started when there was nothing for LGBT people to participate in. Now that many churches have changed their policy toward our community, MCC has to be struggling. But

this is not the way to go about it. Despite the fact that this primarily male, primarily white organization denies its ageism, sexism, and racism, that is exactly what this is.

—Robin Tyler is a comedian, a major event producer and a civil rights activist. She and her wife Diane Olson were the original plaintiffs in the lawsuit that resulted in same-sex marriage in California in 2008, and as a result, the first same-sex couple to be married in Los Angeles. Five months later, Prop. 8 took the right to marriage away. Tyler and Olson live in Los Angeles with their two beloved pugs, Mushu Pork and Won Ton.▼



GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 10 – 23, 2017

(Bad) Moms know best Mila Kunis and Kristen Bell talk gay bars, ‘Frozen’ drag and waiting to marry until the LGBTQ community could too Kunis getting fingered by actress Zoe Saldana — have “Are there gays in Michigan? certainly reached LGBTQ auThey made it all the way there?� diences from Michigan to West deadpanned Mila Kunis to Hollywood and beyond. native Michigander Kristen The night before our hilariBell, as if to jokingly say all ously revealing sit-down, Bell the world’s queers migrated and Kunis were reaching a from her hometown of West less-gay demographic: 700-ish Hollywood. drunk moms. The occasion? Bell, 37, seated next to An advance screening for “A Kunis, 34, at a hotel conferBad Moms Christmas,� the ence room in The Peninsula sequel to 2016’s “Bad Mwoms,� Chicago, replied plainly. “Well, which also stars “Transparent� yes.� fave Kathryn Hahn. To “I grew up with them in my make the yuletide even gaytheater community,� added er, Cheryl Hines, Christine Bell, who was raised in subBaranski and Susan Sarandon urban Detroit. “When I was join the moms-gone-wild gagthere it wasn’t talked about, gle, respectively playing the which, when I left, I felt very original trifecta’s mommies conflicted about. I hope that dearest. it’s a thriving community now.� To talk about their raunchy “You clearly did not grow new romp — more specifically, up in West Hollywood!� Kunis that scene featuring “This Is retorted, after teasing that Us� actor Justin Hartley in, to Michigan gays “should get out.� many gay men, a very familThough Bell and Kunis iar position — LGBTQ allies come from varying places Kunis and Bell met with me on the gay geographical on a recent afternoon, looking grid, their queer-aligned more like glam moms than bad acting catalogues — Bell’s moms. But when the conversaroles in “Veronica Mars� and tion turned to a diverse range “Burlesque,� alongside Cher, of other topics — how Kunis as well as “Frozen,� as the wouldn’t be married to husband voice of Anna; and Kunis’ redAshton Kutcher if it weren’t hot sex scene with Natalie for the legalization of same-sex Portman in “Black Swan,� and marriage, and, for Bell, the her role in 2007’s indie film satisfaction of knowing that “After Sex,� which features queer Disney diehards dress up Chris Azzopardi | Q Syndicate





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(l to r) Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis and Kathryn Hahn in a scene from “Bad Moms Christmas,� which was released Nov. 1, nationwide. (Courtesy STX Entertainment) as Anna at gay parades — the bad-mom duo demonstrated what it means to be good moms too. (Chris Azzopardi | CA) Mila, as someone who grew up in West Hollywood, you’ve been immersed in the gay community for a long time. (Mila Kunis | MK) I do love me some gays. (CA) When’s the last time you went “bad mom� at a gay bar? (MK) Oh, it’s been a while. Micky’s [in West Hollywood] hadn’t burned down yet, and I used to go because I lived down the street on Kings Road. I mean, Fubar, Micky’s, but before Micky’s burned down. But then it became hip. It was weird. I used to go out to gay bars because I lived in West Hollywood and it was always really easy, like the Abbey. But then when the gays became popular and “in� and fashionable, so did the bars, and it became very hip to go to gay bars. That made me crazy, because I was like, “This is not my intent. I just wanna go and dance to some fucking Madonna. I don’t care that it’s gay.� But it became very hip in LA to be the girl at the gay bar. (Kristen Bell | KB) You invented the girl at the gay bar! (CA) Kristen, have you been the girl at the gay bar too? (MK) Every girl in LA has. (KB) Yes, but not in a very long time — regretfully a very long time. I went to college in New York and went to a ton of gay bars in college. The last time I remember [going to a gay bar] was when my best friend and I, before I had kids — probably six years ago — were sitting on the couch one night. [“Veronica Mars� co-star] Ryan Hansen and his wife, Amy [Russell], and my husband [Dax Shepard] and I were so lame, like “What are we doing? Let’s go on a bar crawl!� We went to four different bars in one night, and I can’t even remember the name of the bar we ended up in, but what I specifically remember is that Amy and I were splitting a martini. It was very dangerous. [Laughs] (MK) Wow, you guys were so exciting.

(KB) But she didn’t drink any of it! She was pretending to drink it! And then the next day she was like, “I’m pregnant.� Such a lame story, oh, my God. (MK) No, that was really cute. (KB) As I was saying it I could feel how lame it was. (CA) But still, you know: gays and pregnancy. (MK) Hey, if you’re transgender, it could happen. (CA) You really are up on your LGBTQ-everything, Mila. (MK) LGBTQ and Q. I learned there’s a secondary Q. (KB) What’s the second Q? (MK) Don’t ask me, but I know someone corrected me when I went LGBTQ, and they went, “and Q.� Ashton and I, when we saw a sign for LGBTQ, had a whole conversation. “What’s the Q for?� And he was like, “Queer.� And I was like, “You can’t say that.� And he goes, “I think it’s for queer.� And I go, “No, it would never be for queer. Queer is considered derogatory.� But it’s for fucking queer! I don’t even understand this! But I don’t know the second Q. (Kunis asks her assistant, seated nearby, to look up the second Q.) (KB) My nieces are talking a lot about — is it pansexual? Shouldn’t they be adding a P? (MK) It’s too much. This is all becoming too much. (Kunis’ assistant) It’s questioning. (MK) See! LGBTQ ... Q. Literally, it’s never-ending letters. (CA) If you’ve worked with Cher and you’ve voiced a Disney princess, does that make you a gay icon? (KB) You tell me. (MK) Yes! (KB) I know better than to put myself in the position of claiming to know what the gay community respects and enjoys ... but they seem to enjoy it. [Laughs] (MK) If you’re a costume at the gay parade, you’re an icon. You’re a costume at a gay parade, girl! You’re an icon. (CA) What does it feel like knowing the LGBTQ community is dressing up as Anna at gay parades?

(KB) That someone is having a joyful experience and celebrating with an outfit that I somehow had a part in creating feels amazing. It feels like you’re spreading joy. To make anyone else happy feels wonderful. And if someone will wear that costume and smile and feel like they can relate to that character, then I’ve done a good job on Earth. (CA) Mila, with “After Sex� and “Black Swan� ... (MK) [Looks perplexed] I was like what’s “After Sex�? But yes. Correct. These are my two lesbian parts. Or pansexual. What’s the term? (CA) Are we saying your role in “Black Swan� is lesbian now? (MK) We don’t know. Pansexual! (CA) When did you know you had a following in the LGBTQ-and-now-P community? (MK) When I was, like, 12, because I lived in West Hollywood, so maybe I’m the wrong person to ask. Always, my whole life! (KB) I was on Broadway when I was 21 and I had gone to musical-theater school, so you know, the gays love Broadway. Can you believe it? [Laughs] (MK) [Sarcastically] They like theater? Wow. (KB) As do a lot of straight people and a lot of cool people and some nerds! It’s just a wonderful community. So, I think when I was working in New York on Broadway was when I was like, “This is a very chic group of people and they’re mostly gay guys and I love it.� (CA) What did your gay friends think of the first “Bad Moms�? (MK) The gay community is so wonderful and has always been so amazing in empowering women, and I think the reason why you have the icons — be it Cher, be it Madonna, be it Britney Spears — is because the rest of the world will be like, “They’re such a bitch,� and the gay community is like, “Fuck yeah they are.� They embrace the powerful woman.

see Interview, pg 16


GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 10 – 23, 2017


Author finds ‘Sanctuary’ among rescued animals By Kit-Bacon Gressitt Book lovers often try to find the authors hidden in fictional works, guessing which characters most resemble their creators. Other books lay their authors bare, their raw experiences revealed with hope — for understanding, compassion, shared enlightenment. It is the latter that motived author, artist and former San Diego LGBT community member Jody Sims to write and illustrate “Sanctuary.” Her new book is a sequel to “Soul Provider,” a 2014 Nautilus Book Awards Silver Winner in the grieving category. Sims has had much to grieve. After her life partner sustained a traumatic brain injury in an automobile accident, Sims was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. Together, they struggled to heal, but recovery can be elusive and economically disastrous. “Soul Provider” reflects Sims’ emotional trauma during that period. Her paintings reproduced in the book are dark and sorrowful, a tone balanced by Sims’ text, which seeks insight and renewal. While both Sims and her partner progressed toward health, the economics of their situation required them to relocate. They settled in Knoxville, Tennessee, near Sims’ parents. But the sanctuary they sought was still out of reach. Sims

Jody Sims, shown in her at-home art studio in Knoxville, lived in San Diego for 38 years. (Courtesy Jody Sims) parents died within five months of each other — and Tennessee is not generally known for its progressive culture. “You go to the grocery store and you see Confederate flags everywhere and it’s unsettling,” Sims said. “It’s like how it was maybe 30 years ago in California. So many people are still in the closet. It’s shocking.” As challenging as their new situation was, Sims discovered a neighbor of sorts that posed

an additional challenge: The Gentle Barn, a large and small animal rescue program that she and her partner became involved with. Through providing treatment and love to abused and unwanted animals, The Gentle Barn forced Sims to focus on the positive. The program helped everything from cows to chickens to pigs, including Dudley, a steer that lost a foot, and through the program, received a prosthesis.

Sims discovered and painted messages she gleaned from the animals’eown will to survive and they became the nexus for “Sanctuary.” In one illustration and accompanying text in “Sanctuary,” Sims urges the reader to have courage, like the rescued pig: “Be the light that helps others see.” In another, an elderly goat bears the message, “If you can be anything, be kind.” In yet another, “Love is the language all animals

understand,” Sims represents her own family in a painting of two hens: “I want people to know that they are two females in love. This is my message about equality, diversity, acceptance.” Despite never having really taken to animals, the creatures in Sims’ artwork provided the inspiration she needed to continue her journey. “I was never an animal person, really. Now I think more than anything, I empathize with them,” she said. “It’s all about empathy. It’s about suffering. And this horrible way we treat each other in the world, animals are a way for us to awaken to what we’re doing and not doing, and how we could heal the world.” Sims’ paintings in “Sanctuary” illustrate the healing she has experienced. The images have a decidedly lighter tone than those in her fi rst book. Some are playful — even joyful — and the text reflects the animals’ stories and contentment they fi nd in the nurturing environment of the rescue program. The book also reflects Sims’ new state of mind, some resolution found in a perfectly imperfect life. “Looking back, I can see that I’ve come far. I have!” she said. “The biggest thing is I’ve gotten in touch with my art. I think of myself as an artist now. I really speak

see Sanctuary, pg 15

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GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 10 – 23, 2017


The election on Nov. 7 has many saying it not only proved that the electorate has had enough of Trump and the bigotry that has seeped into the country’s culture since his inauguration last January, it also proved that if Democrats get out and vote, Democrats will win. Transgender candidate Danica Roem — a Democrat, journalist and heavy metal singer — easily took her state representative seat away from the 25-year incumbent Bob

Marshall, who called himself “Bigot Bob” and Virginia’s “chief homophobe” on the campaign trail and was even the author of the transgender bathroom bill. Asked after her win if she’d like to comment on her competitor, she said, “I don’t attack my constituents. Bob’s my constituent now.” Class act. In Minnesota, Andrea Jenkins, who won her Minneapolis City Council seat, is only the second openly transgender black woman to be elected to a public office, the first being Althea Garrison in 1992 in Massachusetts. Jenkins is not alone, however, as openly transgender Phillipe Cunningham won a narrow defeat against longtime incumbent and Minneapolis Council President, Barb Johnson, after

an instant run-off. In Georgia, Stephe Koontz, an openly transgender woman, was elected to the Doraville City Council as the representative for district 3. She won by just six votes. And back here in California, Lisa Middleton became the first openly transgender woman to take a seat on the Palm Springs City Council. Middleton was joined by openly lesbian candidate Christy Holstege, adding yet another LGBT voice to the city’s governing body. “In light of the repeated attacks on transgender people from the federal government, tonight’s wins by Lisa Middleton in Palm Springs and other transgender candidates in Minneapolis and Virginia are a beacon of hope that voters have embraced values of equality and inclusion, said Rick Zbur, Equality California’s executive director, on election night. “By becoming the first out transgender person to be elected to a non-judicial office in California, Lisa is paving the way for others to follow in her footsteps in California and across the nation. Her first place finish out of a field of six candidates demonstrates that a glass ceiling for transgender people who want to serve in elected office was not only broken, but was shattered in Palm Springs. “With the election of Lisa and Christy Holstege, the city of Palm Springs will now be represented by a City Council that is 100 percent LGBTQ,” Zbur continued. Palm Springs is a mecca for the LGBT community, with destination events — such as White Party, Dinah Shore Weekend, Palm Springs Pride and more — happening throughout the year, which draw LGBT travelers from Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Phoenix and Las Vegas. It is also known as a retirement destination for the community.


It’s a myth that a flu shot makes you sick, so don’t use that as an excuse to not get vaccinated against influenza. “The viruses in the flu vaccine are dead or ‘inactivated’ and cannot be infectious or cause illness,” Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county public

health officer, said in a news release. “The most common side effects from the flu shot are soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given.” Some people may experience a low-grade fever, headache and muscle aches within a day or two of getting vaccinated, Wooten said, leading them to falsely believe that they got sick from the shot. “When this happens, the reactions are considerably milder and less severe than the symptoms caused by the flu, which can last up to two weeks,” Wooten said. “Get vaccinated now before the flu starts to spread.” The flu season has already begun in San Diego, and there were 285 known cases of influenza as of Oct. 21. One person has died from influenza to date this year. In addition to getting vaccinated, people who want to avoid getting sick should also do the following: wash hands thoroughly and often; use hand sanitizers; stay away from sick people; avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; clean commonly touched surfaces; if you are sick, stay home and avoid contact with others. Call 211 or visit to learn where to get a flu shot, if your medical insurance doesn’t cover it.


If you haven’t yet voted for your favorite LGBT businesses and personalities for this year’s

see Briefs, pg 21


GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 10 – 23, 2017


A hand-clappin’ hootenanny Theater Review Jean Lowerison “God scratches where the world itches,” says nervous Pastor Mervin Oglethorpe (Brian Mackey) of North Carolina’s Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church. That’s by way of a vamp, since the stars of the church’s first-ever Saturday night singa-log are late. Unfortunately, vamping isn’t the good pastor’s long suit, so he spends considerable energy looking out the window, hoping to see the Sanders family. Finally, they arrive, apologizing all over the place. Seems their van overturned in a ditch next to the local pickle factory (source of more than a few jokes) and they had to wait for help. Lamb’s Players Theatre brings back the seventh edition of one of their most successful shows ever – Connie Ray’s toe-tapping, hand-clapping bluegrass/gospel hootenanny called “Smoke on the Mountain” — for a run through Nov. 19, directed by Kerry Meads. Cast your mind back to 1938, when life was a lot more black and white than it is these days. Baptists didn’t dance (I hear they still don’t), women wore seriously ugly housedresses and didn’t work outside the home (though Rosie the Riveter wasn’t far off), and most activities that “nice” Christian families engaged in were, well, family oriented. Apparently, Baptists also didn’t make as much noise as this group does. The poor pastor tries to keep the Sanders gang under control, but there’s no hope; with four singers and a band consisting of bass, guitar, mandolin, ukulele, tambourine, piano and

“Smoke on the Mountain” through Nov. 19 Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Fridays, 8 p.m. Saturdays 4 and 8 p.m. Sundays, 2 p.m. Lamb’s Players Theatre 1142 Orange Ave., Coronado Tickets 619-437-6000 or

several oddball percussion pieces (see below), this is a musical hurricane that can’t be stopped. This cast is different from the last iteration (2010), except for Deborah Gilmour Smyth, who seems to have a lock on Sanders matriarch Vera. This version is a tad too cloyingly obsequious for my taste, but she has plenty of splendid musicality to contribute. Vera’s husband Burl is played by Rik Ogden this year. Usually seen in the band, Ogden is a welcome presence, demonstrating both musical and acting chops. Steve Gouveia, frequently seen on local stages, is excellent as Burl’s brother-with-apast Stanley. Annie Buckley plays bigvoiced Denise Sanders, who has Hollywood ambitions and is waiting for a callback from Selznick. Her twin brother is just the opposite; shy, diffident, and with hopes of becoming a

(l to r) front: Katie Sapper and Annie Buckley; back: Beau Brians, Deborah Gilmour Smyth, Brian Mackey, Rik Ogden, Steve Gouveia (Photo by Ken Jacques) preacher, Dennis (newcomer Beau Brians) can barely get a sentence out. June Sanders, the “non-singing” member of the family, is played (somewhat ironically) by Katie Sapper, who is known to sing just fine, thank you. But here she says, “I don’t sing, I sign” and limits her musical contributions to the percussion section, playing coconut shells, a washboard, tambourines and a Quaker Oats box with coins inside. This show is more Pentecostal revue than play, and audiences respond accordingly, clapping along and voicing frequent approval. If you’re a hootenanny fan, and fond of gospel and bluegrass, this show’s for you. —Jean Lowerison is a long-standing member of the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle and can be reached at▼






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The cast in song from a scene in “Smoke on the Mountain.” (Photo by Ken Jacques)

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GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 10 – 23, 2017

Pass the kibbeh, please Restaurant Review Frank Sabatini Jr. When asked if the surrounding competition of at least five other Middle Eastern/ Mediterranean restaurants was a deterrent when opening Blue Fourno Grill in Hillcrest earlier this year, owner Abed Shadfan replied, “No. We’re different.” He explained that everything is made from scratch, including the chicken and lambbeef shawarma, for which the meats are spiced in-house and stacked by hand onto a vertical rotisserie until forming a large self-basting cone.

Blue Fourno Grill 406 University Ave. Suite B (Hillcrest) 619-795-1197

Prices: Soups, salads and appetizers, $3 to $16; wraps, pizzas and savory pies, $6 to $12; entrée plates, $10 to $21

He further pointed to a few menu items uncommon to traditional Middle Eastern restaurants, such as “Mediterranean tacos” filled with a choice of falafel or shawarma. “We mix Mexico with the Middle East,” he said, referring also to a heaping stack of nachos we ended up ordering. The nachos are constructed with either pita or tortilla chips. We chose the latter and took pleasure in the unique combination of feta and cheddar cheeses strewn throughout the pile, which harbored a thick sauce of tomato paste, garlic and chipotle. There’s also plov, an Eastern European dish that Shadfan likely encountered growing up in Jordan, since it’s embraced by certain Middle Eastern cultures. It features a girthy lamb shank encircled by rice and cooked in seasoned broth. Locally, your best chances of finding it outside of Blue Fourno would be at Pomegranate RussianGeorgian Restaurant in North Park or Kafe Sobaka Restoran in Golden Hill. With the exception of the nachos, hubby and I stuck to the more traditional fare, starting with a three-piece (instead of five) order of kibbeh. This is one of my favorite Middle Eastern appetizers, in which ground beef is blended with nuts, spices and crushed wheat, and then shaped into little

footballs before hitting the deep fryer. These were done right — crunchy and grainy on the outside and moist and gently flavored on the inside — to the point where we didn’t need to dip them into the accompanying yogurt sauce. Had I not been in review mode, I would have devoured a full order of them as my main course. The baba ghanoush was fresh and creamy, although it lacked that desirable smoky flavor that sings so well to pureed eggplant. Pita bread served alongside was warm and springy, straight out of the kitchen’s stone oven, we were told. Hubby ordered the grilled lamb tikka for his main entrée, and I gravitated to the chicken shawarma plate. Both dishes came with fluffy rice and juicy fattoush salad, which blends together tomatoes, cucumbers, fresh herbs and pita croutons in lemony vinaigrette. The charred lamb was fabulous, offering chunks of de-skewered, marinated meat that was subtly gamy and blissfully herby. At times, we detected whispers of cinnamon, which Shadfan later confirmed is indeed used sparingly in the

One of several options for Mediterranean meals in Hillcrest marinade. The plate also featured excellent grilled veggies. My chicken shawarma was tasty but drier than expected. However, generous squiggles of frothy, white garlic sauce on top helped re-hydrate the meat, as did the fattoush salad sitting beside it. Also included was a serving of plain hummus with a pond of olive oil in the middle. Smooth and slather-able, it mingled naturally with everything on the plate. Lentil soup, falafel, stuffed grape leaves, kabobs and cheese, spinach or meat pies are among the usual suspects also available from a menu that wanders largely through Greece, Lebanon, Iran and Turkey. The homey atmosphere features tall ceilings, antique appointments and a cozy bar in

HE’S BACK! 20th Smash Year!

(clockwise from top left) Baba ghanoush; chicken shawarma plate ate with garlic sauce; an appetizer of crunchy kibbeh; the grilled lambb tikka tikka plate

Now Playing Limited engagement through December 24 Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Book and Lyrics by Timothy Mason Music by Mel Marvin Directed by James Vasquez Original Production Conceived and Directed by Jack O’Brien With special thanks to Audrey S. Geisel/ The Dr. Seuss Fund at The San Diego Foundation

(619) 23-GLOBE (234-5623) Dr. Seuss Properties TM & ©1957 and 2017 Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. All Rights Reserved. Edward Watts. Photo by Jim Cox.

the back flaunting nearly two dozen taps of local and regional craft beers. Blue Fourno also serves breakfast from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Friday through Sunday. Among the offerings are stuffed granola pancakes, tahini-avocado brioche toast and “breakfasts from Jordan,” featuring egg pies, fried tomatoes topped with eggs, and more. In addition, happy hour is held daily from 3 to 7 p.m., when prices on appetizers and beer drop down a couple bucks. —Frank Sabatini Jr. is the author of “Secret San Diego” (ECW Press), and began his local writing career more than two decades ago as a staffer for the former San Diego Tribune. You can reach him at▼


GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 10 – 23, 2017

The San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival marks its 14th year with eight days of epicurean events taking place at various local venues and restaurants Nov. 12-19. Highlights include a screening of celebrity chef Ed Lee’s new documentary, “Fermented” at 8 p.m., Nov. 13 at The LOT Liberty Station (2620 Truxtun Road). The film will be followed by a panel discussion and a party featuring cocktails, beer, wine and food stations. The cost is $65. The festival’s Fish Taco TKO competition kicks off at 6 p.m., Nov. 14, at the Broadway Pier (1000 N. Harbor Drive) amid beer and tequila stations. The battle will include chefs from The Blind Burro, Beerfish, Tavern + Bowl and a dozen other local establishments. Admission is $45. A five-course dinner spotlighting whiskey and wagyu beef will be held at 9 p.m., Nov. 15 at Little Italy’s Born & Raised (1909 India St.) The

Commons Town Center, and Encinitas. Another will open in December in University Town Center. “All of those stores are healthy, but the Hillcrest location wasn’t making much money. It was way too big for our concept,” he added. “We have high hopes for the new concept and banners will start going up soon.” 1040 University Ave.,

cost is $189 per person. Learn the ins and outs of Spanish tapas, paella and wines in an instructional tasting class lead by chefs Deborah Scott, Rick Moonen and James Campbell Caruso. The event will be held at noon, Nov. 16, at Coasterra (880 Harbor Island Drive.) The cost is $65. The festival’s biggest and splashiest public event is the Grand Tasting, to be held from noon to 3 p.m., Nov. 18, at Embarcadero Marina Park North (400 Kettner Blvd.). The outdoor grounds give way to more than 150 wine, beer and spirits purveyors doling out samples of their latest and greatest products, in addition to at least 120 local chefs and regional gourmet food companies offering tastings as well. General admission is $145 or $85 for designated drivers. (Tickets allowing for 11 a.m. entry are $185.) For a complete schedule and ticket purchases, visit

Gourmet bites abound at the upcoming San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival. (Photo by Joey Hernandez)

display cases and a menu that allows diners to choose marinades, cooking styles and presentations of their fish – in

Laura Kaminsky

Napizza co-owner Christopher Antinucci is replacing his Hillcrest pizzeria with a new dining concept. (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.) Napizza in the HUB Hillcrest Market has closed, but it will soon restructure under the same ownership as a sit-down modern Italian restaurant called Casa Maestoso. Cofounder Christopher Antinucci said he partnered with a “highend chef from Rome” for the project, which is slated to debut in March. Napizza has existing locations in Little Italy, the 4S

The well-patronized Blue Water Seafood Market & Grill is opening a second location. (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.)

AS One

In its first expansion since opening in 2004, the wildly popular Blue Water Seafood Market & Grill in Mission Hills will branch into Ocean Beach with a second location slated to open this spring. Known for its fresh, local seafood served in a fast-casual atmosphere, founders (and siblings) Matt and Judd Braun teamed up with the locally based restaurant development group, Social Syndicate, which operates Wonderland Ocean Pub and OB Surf Lodge. Blue Water will be located adjacent to them as part of a revitalization project to the plaza in which they reside. The eatery will be similar to the one in Mission Hills, featuring seafood-stocked

sandwiches, tacos, bowls or plates. 5083 Santa Monica Ave. Suite B,

dētour SERIES

Buona Forchetta owner Matteo Cattaneo plans to open a restaurant in a former car dealership. (Photo by Scott Andrews)

Local restaurateur Matteo Cattaneo is on a roll. Since opening the beloved Buona Forchetta restaurant in South Park four years ago, the Italian native has introduced his Neapolitan-style pizzas and comforting pasta dishes to locations in Liberty Station and Encinitas, as well. Now he’s headed to Coronado, where he’ll take over a 1940s-era car dealership to open Garage Buona Forchetta in early 2019. The pizzas, however, will be of the Romana-Teglia variety, which are baked in rectangular sheet pans and distinguished by thicker crusts. Diners can also expect pasta, calzones and entrees served within a 2,900-square-foot space that will pay homage to its historical character. 1000 C St., Coronado, Monday evenings in November are all about pizza and pinot at Vom Fass in Hillcrest. The shop, which specializes in oils, vinegars and spirits, affords guests a bottle of pinot noir paired to a select style of pizza, such as the “figgy piggy” pie on Nov. 13 and a Greek veggie pizza on Nov. 20. Seatings each week are at 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. The cost is $30 per person. Reservations are required. 1050 University Ave., 619-534-5034,

—Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at▼


As One strips the hot button issue of being transgender bare to one human being’s personal and emotional story illuminated by empathy and humor. Stay for Act II, a talk-back with the cast and the creators of the opera, including librettist Kimberly Reed. Financial support provided by the City of San Diego.


(619) 533-7000 Tickets also available at




GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 10 – 23, 2017


MR. GAY SD “I thought the turnout was quite good, considering it was Palm Springs Pride weekend,” Big Mike said. “It was the first year of having the competition in a long time and we not only had a good turnout, we had a nice variety of people, from younger to older. A lot of people who attended mentioned they wanted to get involved next year as well. “We want to thank The Rail for donating the space and we were very happy with our nice variety of judges. We included women because they have good taste in men, too,” he added. According to the co-producers, Sunday’s Mr. Gay San Diego event raised more than $1,700 for the Scott Carlson Thanksgiving Dinner. An annual tradition for almost 30 years, the Scott Carlson Thanksgiving Dinner takes place every Thanksgiving Day, this year Nov. 23, at The San Diego LGBT Community Center, and feeds those with cancer, HIV, seniors, the homeless and others who would otherwise not get a proper meal on the revered holiday of giving thanks. “We don’t turn anybody away,” Big Mike said. “Everyone’s welcome.” Each year, dozens of local LGBT community and civic leaders step into the serving line to lend a hand. Presented by the Imperial Court de San Diego, the dinner was originally founded in 1988 by community member Scott Carlson, as a way to feed a warm Thanksgiving meal to those suffering with HIV/AIDS. Its scope has since expanded. For more information about the dinner and additional fundraisers or donations being accepted, visit the Imperial Court’s Facebook page▼

The 2017-2018 Mr. Gay San Diego (Photo by Eric S. Arts)

Meet the new Mr. Gay San Diego:

Deximus Starr

(above) Three of the eight contestants for Mr. Gay San Diego 2017 (Photos by Eric S. Arts)

(l to r) Winner of Mr. Gay San Diego, Deximus Starr and first runner up, Travis Ti (Photo by Eric S. Arts)

Dex was born in Germany and moved to Camp Pendleton with his mother and stepfather when he was 4. While he moved around a lot, Dex said he always felt that San Diego was his home and returned 10 years ago for good. He said he joined the competition on “impulse” after seeing a post on Facebook from Robert Rodriguez (Robb Rod), one of the co-producers of the event. “I immediately messaged him, without even thinking about it,” Dex said. “I just knew, whatever it was, I wanted to be a part of it.” When he learned there hadn’t been a Mr. Gay San Diego contest in a decade, Dex said the news made it even more important for him to “deliver a lasting impression” in his pursuit of the title. While the new Mr. Gay San Diego had attended numerous events produced by Big Mike Phillips, Scott Parman and Robb Rod in the past, Dex said he was quite impressed with the scope of the event. “I have even more admiration for them, for all of the effort they put in to raise money for the Scott Carlson Thanksgiving Dinner,” Dex said. “Not only did they work incredibly hard on the venue, the raffle prizes, the awards, finding the judges and the overall production, behind the scenes, they were encouraging, communicative and extremely supportive to all of us that were competing.”

Hearing his name announced as the winner was “quite a shock,” Dex said, but it was “a proud and humbling moment.” Mr. Gay San Diego will be a one-year reign and as titleholder, Dex said he plans to promote “an attitude of inclusion” in the local LGBT community. “There are people … that feel underrepresented, marginalized, stereotyped, discriminated against and in some instances, some even feel like outcasts,” he said. “As Mr. Gay San Diego, I’m not just representing myself, I’m representing everyone in this community. I’m not just one person, I am all of us. I am the product of a community that has embraced me, believed in me, shared in my failures and successes and helped me to live in my truth and be the best version of myself that I can be. “I hope to bring that same spirit to those of us that don’t always feel like they fit the mold or are valued,” he continued. “What I love about San Diego and think makes it the best city in the world, is that it’s made up of all different types of people — this also applies in our gay community. We are made up of some of the most incredible people. I hope to spread more love and give more hugs and offer the same support, encouragement and embracement that I was fortunate enough to receive.” Good luck to Deximus Starr.▼


SANCTUARY through my art in these books. But I kid that I have to have some angst in my life in order to be an artist. I have many moments of happiness though, like when I’m painting, I’m happy. But I’m not the same person I was five years ago. Being a cancer survivor, sometimes it’s like waiting for the other shoe to drop. So there’s this little bit of a cloud, at least for me.” While there might always be a cloud or two, Sims’ story is one of self-healing and compassion, inspired by the rescued animals found in her paintings. The book’s message is simple and clear: Sims hopes that her readers will understand these creatures represent all sentient beings, how we treat one another, and ideally what we could become.

“I see myself in these animals — in all animals — our vulnerability,” Sims said. “These animals are me. We are all seeking love, compassion and sanctuary.” From the dark stages of grief for what Sims and her partner lost, emerges a lighter-hearted quest for the future in “Sanctuary.” After all, if a three-footed steer can survive, fi nd love, and thrive, why not the rest of us? Learn more about Sims and her books or follow her on

Two of the paintings featured in "Sanctuary," inspired by rescued animals at The Gentle Barn in Tennessee (Courtesy Jody Sims) by searching for Jody Sims: Artist, Author, Survivor. To learn more about Dudley and The Gentle Barn, visit bit. ly/2hNB6U5.

To read Gay San Diego’s 2014 story about Jody’s first book, “Soul Survivor: Conversations with my cat,” visit —Kit-Bacon Gressitt formerly wrote for the North County Times. She currently writes commentary and essays on her blog ExcuseMeImWriting. com and is a founding editor of She also hosts Fallbrook’s monthly Writers Read authors series and open mic. Reach her at▼

The author with Dudley, one of her inspirations for the book. (Courtesy Jody Sims)

GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 10 – 23, 2017




GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 10 – 23, 2017


INTERVIEW Always have. That’s just the way the gays have been about it, and I’ve always loved that about them. Because anytime someone is like [pointing to herself], “She’s a bitch,” my roommate who was gay was always like, “Yeah, she is!” And he’d turn it around. So, I think the gays have always loved any woman on screen that represents power or strength or something that they have overcome — anything that’s positive. Because I feel like being gay is not fucking easy and I say this because I was raised with the gays my entire life.

It’s always frustrated me when people are like, “It’s a choice.” I never think that people choose to live a life that’s hard. I do think being gay was a challenge for many decades. For our entire life history, being gay was always considered a challenge because, “You chose that, right?” That’s what the world said. And so, I think when they watch women on film who embrace imperfections and embrace challenges and overcome them, and empower themselves and do the opposite of what society tells them to do, they gravitate toward that. To this day, my friends who are gay will always gravitate toward a woman who empowers her strengths and weaknesses. (CA) You both have made major statements about the gay community throughout your

career, and Kristen, you even went as far as to not marry Dax until same-sex marriage was legalized. (KB) Bet your ass. (MK) [Looks to Bell, surprised] (KB) Yeah, we didn’t get married until same-sex marriage was legal. (MK) Neither did I! (KB) You didn’t? (MK) No, my dad talked about it on my wedding day. His whole speech was about when I was 14, I told my parents I’m never getting married and they were like, “OK, let’s talk about this.” I was like, “I’m not getting married because the gays can’t get married and so I’m never getting married.” Never thinking that the gays were ever gonna get married!

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before (MK) My husband’s assisSo, I was just like, “It is what tant is a gay guy. it is.” (KB) My husband is the (KB) It just felt gross. What most masculine pro-gay man are we gonna do? Have a party and be like, “Look at us celethat you would ever meet. brating this thing you can’t do?” (MK) I married a gay man! That’s fucking putrid. Like, 90 [Laughs] (KB) In high school [Dax] percent of our friends are gay! would snuggle and spoon with (MK) I didn’t have that his best friend and his mom much awareness at 14. I don’t know what it was. would walk into the living room (KB) But you knew instincand be like, “Well, OK, anytime tually. You knew it felt gross, you want to talk ... ,” thinking, and it did feel gross. like, is this opening the door (MK) It just didn’t feel equal, to something? And he was like, so why would I? It just didn’t “No, I like snuggling! He’s my feel like it made sense to me. best friend!” And they would The concept of marriage didn’t just be spooning. make sense to me because (MK) Awwww! [Laughs] my friends couldn’t do it and I (KB) He’s so open. found nothing wrong with what they wanted. So, I was like, (CA) Wait, is cuddling gay? “Well, then it’s not sacred, then (KB) [Laughs] No, but you it’s not what it’s supposed to be, have to be very, very open and aware and sensitive to snuggle so I don’t want it.” another man, straight or gay, Then when marriage beas a guy. came legal, the second that it happened I was doing a stunt (CA) There are sometimes in London. I was 35 feet in the I’d rather just snuggle … air and I got a text from my (MK) A dog! roommate who was married to his husband now of 19 years (CA) How have you been in London. So they lived a life describing the NSFW scene where they couldn’t be together featuring Kathryn Hahn waxfor six years because marriage ing “This Is Us” heartthrob wasn’t technically legal, federJustin Hartley’s junk to your ally speaking, so they were a gay friends? cross-continental couple. It was (KB) If you’re wondering, the saddest fucking story ever. “Should I see ‘Bad Moms’?” and So, I got a text that said it was if you’ve ever seen “This Is Us” legal and I’m in the middle of a stunt and there’s fire blowing ev- and thought, “I wonder what that guy looks like naked,” then erywhere, and I just start bawling — literally bawling. Because this is the movie for you. something that I thought was (CA) Is that the “Bad Moms never gonna happen — ever! — happened. The next text was my Christmas” scene that you hope becomes gay famous? husband and he was like, “Now (KB) The waxing scene is what?” And I went, “OK.” gonna become famous in the gay and straight and comedy com(CA) “OK,” as in we can get munities, without question. The married now? (MK) Yes. waxing scene, I think, is gonna go down in history next to the (CA) I didn’t know that “When Harry Met Sally” scene. about you, Mila. When I first saw it, my jaw was (MK) I never said it, but on the ground. It’s incredible. then hearing that [about Kristen], I was like, “Fuck it. If (CA) It’s just what 2017 you’re saying it, then I’ll fuckneeds, if you ask me. (KB) It’s gonna start … ing say it.” (MK) A revolution. (KB) I remember [Dax and (KB) And 2018 off right. I] watched the DOMA reading. It was 7:30 in the morning Guys, is it gonna fix it? Is it gonna fix 2017? Maybe this and he was on the East Coast waxing scene is gonna fix 2017. and I was on the West Coast (MK) It won’t, you guys, but and at 7:31, I proposed to him I like this wishful thinking. on Twitter to make a fucking point of it. To be like, “Now it’s —Chris Azzopardi is the OK, but before, it was not cool.” editor of Q Syndicate, the international LGBT wire service. (CA) I love that your men Reach him via his website at were on the same page about waiting to marry till everyone and on could marry too. Twitter (@chrisazzopardi).▼


Call Today! (858) 210-2034 Kunis, Bell and Hahn being “Bad Moms” in their new film (Courtesy STX Entertainment) FROM PAGE 5

LGBT SENIORS A computer lottery was conducted to randomly select and notify 125 applicants from an interest list of some 500 interested. The process of verifying application information provided by those 125 applicants is now over 50 percent completed and barring unforeseen circumstances, move-ins are expected to proceed in January. The development consists of 76 units located at 4200 Texas St., at the corner of Howard Avenue. It offers seven studios, 65 one-bedrooms, three two-bedrooms and one, on-site manager apartment. It is a rental community that will be open to all qualifying seniors but one that is also LGBTaffirming, meaning all who move in will support that endeavor. While only a drop in the bucket when compared to the more affordable housing units San Diego urgently needs, we must not lose sight of just how groundbreaking and unique this development is as the first in the city to be marketed as “LGBT senior inclusive, supportive and affirming.” Its success will hopefully advance faster development of more affordable senior housing. I recently interviewed Dr. Jacobs about the role The Center will play in providing services and programs to NPSA residents. Though some details are still being worked out, I share our conversation and follow it with my recollections of this incredible feat of a community unified in purpose. (Bill Kelly | BK) How will the services and programs to be offered be determined? (Dr. Delores Jacobs | DJ) Largely, the residents will decide their needs and interests. This will develop organically in a dialogue with residents. Services will begin as soon as residents begin to occupy their new homes. Most successful housing/resident projects have used a resident-driven process to establish services and programs. In partnership with a senior housing coordinator, this is the process we’ll use, including dialogues with all interested residents to discover what they hope for. (BK) Does this mean additional staff for The Center? (DJ) Yes, we will add a new part-time resident services and program coordinator. The position title is Senior Housing Client Manager. Persons interested in the position can read the job description and instructions for applying online at bit. ly/2jbu6Eb. Initially, it will be part-time position during the hours that seem most desirable for residents. More hours could be added if the need and available funding exists. (BK) What role will The Center play in providing resident services and programs? (DJ) The Center will run the programs and services in a community area within the complex. A property management company will be onsite to handle the property

COMMUNITY VOICES management side of the operations, like maintenance, etc., but we will work closely to ensure the best communication and experience for residents. Thank you Delores. I look forward to conducting follow-up interviews in the coming months as the project evolves into its own and all the “i’s” are dotted and the “t’s” crossed. On my 60th birthday a decade ago, my husband Bob and I asked those we knew to contribute funds to add to our $2K donation for opening a donor-advised fund to help address LGBT senior needs. The San Diego Human Dignity Foundation (SDHDF) managed the fund. Shortly after, the “Great Recession” hit and we decided to distribute all the funds to organizations serving seniors at that time and urgently in need of funds. A portion was granted to The Center to help fund the senior needs assessment survey, which produced the report that has helped guide The Center’s Senior Services and the hiring of LaRue Fields, senior services coordinator. That assessment led to other studies and eventually the North Park Senior Apartments. To read the assessment, visit senior services on The Center’s website at I reiterate that while there are far too many names to list, our community is all the better thanks to all the organizations and individuals who in some way contributed to the efforts of this project. To the five original community volunteers of the ad hoc group who stood with me through the entire long and arduous but rewarding seven-year journey, I say WELL DONE! They are the late Bill Beck, Robert Bettinger, Richard Burhenne, Joselyn Harris and George Murphy. These five individuals passionately served their community in exemplary fashion. Because of their dedication, time, talent and donations, the little engine that could lent support to the bigger engines that would and did achieve this monumental collaborative community objective. Last, but certainly not least, I express my deepest gratitude to Gene Burkard, who donated a large majority of the funds needed to conduct the needs assessment; and Dr. Jim Zians, research consultant, who waived a significant portion of his fees to allow us to afford the assessment with the limited funds we had raised. We must forever remember that the sum efforts of a community that works in unison can accomplish nearly anything, as long as it does not waste too much of its time and resources repeatedly recreating wheels, rather than putting the pedal to the metal. —Bill Kelly is a longtime local activist who currently focuses on LGBT senior issues and moderates the Caring for our LGBT Seniors in San Diego Facebook page. Access to the group is free to all seniors, their advocates, families, friends and caregivers. Reach Bill at▼

GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 10 – 23, 2017


The North Park Senior Apartments, an LGBT-affirming development in the works for more than seven years, is nearing completion. The scaffolding should be removed the week of Nov. 13. (Photo by Bill Kelly)


GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 10 – 23, 2017



MEDAVOG Medavog’s fashion career has run the fashion gamut from sexy swimwear, breezy resort pieces, flirty cocktail dresses to extravagant opera coats for women. After attending school at Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, Los Angeles, Medavog designed and showed numerous couture collections throughout North America, including New York, Chicago, and Mexico, as well as abroad in the international scene in Seville, Spain. While in Spain, Medavog was included in “Tenochtitlan 3038,” a theatrical presentation of Mexican myths and people. The project, which he is particularly proud of, was held in conjunction with the 1992 Summer Olympics. Due to his interest in vintage couture, in 2005, he was also asked to curate the “Decades of Fashion” exhibition for Saks Fifth Avenue in Fashion Valley. Once a fashion designer takes the leap and crosses over — designing for another gender — they are inevitably asked why they decided to do it, especially since in Medavog’s case, designing for men can be a far jump from women’s fashion. Medavog explained that since he wasn’t interested in designing suits or dress shirts, it was a natural progression to make his men’s line a bit more androgynous. That’s not to say

Medavog has designed fashion wear for the female frame for decades but is releasing a line for males Nov. 16. (Photos by Dante MC)

Medavog has shown his fashions all over the world but still lives in his hometown of San Diego. (Courtesy Francisco Medavog)

he was looking to do something which takes place every Medavog wants everyone to “unisex” or gender-neutral; he October — where all the male remember to “look for what’s wanted his men’s fashion to attendees get to flaunt their underneath.” be elongated, flowing, sheer, feminine side for one night. Intrigued? sexy, and edgy, while fitted to a “We inspire each other,” Local LGBT fashion demale’s frame at the same time. Medavog said of the men who signer Francisco Medavog Let’s call it “tasteful rock ‘n’ seek out his designs for the will present his first collecroll.” benefit, rather than just grabtion for men, “Black Noir “I have always looked at big bing something off the rack. – The Men’s Collection,” at 8 things, like art and architec“It’s an opportunity that doesn’t p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16, at ture, but what really inspires happen very often; to dress up, Brick Bar, located at 1475 me is people,” Medavog said of be avant-garde, have fun.” University Ave., in Hillcrest. his work. “People are inspiring.” So has black made a come“Black Noir” musical direcMedavog is often asked to back? Is black now the new black? tion for the evening will be design several sexy and fun “I hope black noir is the new composed by Leah Bowden, of the Red Notes, a local pieces for the annual Red Dress black,” he said, smiling. jazz quintet. While this Party — a local fundraiser As far as additional suris a free event, RSVP to for local HIV/AIDS programs, prises at the upcoming show,

franciscomedavog@gmail. com is encouraged. To learn more about Medavog and his fashion, follow him on Instagram @medavogcouture or facebook. com/medavog. —Eric Carroll is the membership and marketing coordinator for the Greater San Diego Business Association (GSDBA), the local LGBT Chamber of Commerce, and pursues a little freelance writing in his spare time. You can follow him on Facebook, ericcarrollsd.▼


GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 10 – 23, 2017

SDGMC’s chamber chorale will take part in the festivities as well, beginning at 8 p.m., with a concert, “Faith and Freedom: An Evening of Traditional Sacred and Patriotic Masterworks.” Artistic Director RC Haus will lead SDGMC’s 40-voice chamber ensemble through a series of selections, including “God Bless America,” “American Armed Forces Medley” and “The Majesty and Glory of Your Name.” For more details on the art and wine fundraiser, visit SDGMC’s Facebook page or the group’s website, For information on “A Peacock Among Pigeons,” visit


ART AND WINE timeless message of celebrating the attributes that make each of us special and unique. “It’s turned out to be very popular with adults,” said Gutierrez, who conceptualized the book with author and longtime friend Tyler Curry of Austin, Texas. “Tyler and I didn’t really think it would be received this way. But we’ve heard from so many adults who said they wished they’d had a book like this as kids.” The release of “A Peacock Among Pigeons,” as it turns out, could be the latest in a series of chapters for this book’s storied tale. The San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus is working with Gutierrez to bring the story of Peter, the titular peacock, to the stage as a full-on musical. To help facilitate that, members of the chorus are holding an art and wine fundraiser Saturday, Nov. 18, to help in the effort. Bob Lehman, executive director of the choral group, said youth outreach is an important component of SDGMC’s overall mission. Shining a spotlight on a book such as “A Peacock Among Pigeons,” he said, is an excellent way of carrying out the goal. “This is a great book with a wonderful message,” Lehman said. “It’s a universal message.” Proceeds from the upcoming art and wine fundraiser will help with some of the logistical elements of a stage adaptation, including the possibility of bringing in a Broadway composer. “It’s going to be a lot of money, but I think it will be worth it,” Lehman said. For Gutierrez, who has aspirations of producing a musical, the mere mention of a stage adaptation of “A Peacock Among Pigeons” is an awe-inspiring revelation. As he looks in the rear-view mirror at the steps toward bringing the book to fruition, Gutierrez said he cannot help


—Dave Fidlin is a freelance journalist with a special affinity for San Diego and its people. Contact him at dave.fidlin@▼

The book local artist Clarione Gutierrez helped conceptualize and illustrated will soon be made into a musical in collaboration with the SDGMC. A fundraiser to support the making of the musical will be held Nov. 18. (Courtesy Clarione) but feel amazed by the way the “A Peacock Among Pigeons.” way the process has unfolded. Curry and Gutierrez embarked “A Peacock Among Pigeons,” on a Kickstarter campaign to Gutierrez said, is a 50-50 collab- bring their dream to life. oration between he and Curry, “We were looking to raise though Curry planted the seed $5,000, which was what we for the contents within the book. were quoted as the cost to “It was initially supposed to have the book self-published,” be an essay — an allegory of Gutierrez said. “We met our goal within 24 hours.” the coming out process — but Gutierrez said he and Curry I thought it didn’t translate well as a short story,” Gutierrez knew they had a unique book said. “I felt like it needed more.” within the LGBT literary marketplace. Curry subsequently fleshed “It’s definitely not an original out the story of Peter the concept, but it’s another way to Peacock; from there, Gutierrez tell the story,” Gutierrez said. said the book and its message “Celebrate the feathers you are took flight. born with.” “After reading through The San Diego Gay Men’s Tyler’s manuscript, the whole Chorus’ Art and Wine fundstory really illustrated itself,” raiser will begin at 6 p.m. Gutierrez said. “Thoughts were Saturday, Nov. 18, at St. just flying through my mind. It David’s Episcopal Church, 5050 all just came together.” Milton St. in Bay Park. Tickets Once the written words and are $125 for the VIP preview illustrative accompaniments and reception, and $40 for genwere in place, the next step in eral admission. the process was self-publishing

Artistic Director RC Haus (left) with the 40-strong San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus Chamber Chorale (Courtesy SDGMC)

In addition to ticket sales, SDGMC is raising additional proceeds through an art auction with technology in mind. “It’s going to be an all-digital auction,” Lehman said. “People will be able to bid on pieces on their phones. It’s all going for a great cause.” The VIP showing will be at 6 p.m. and includes an hourlong preview of the gallery. Festivities for VIP ticket-holders include specially-made hors d’oeuvres, beer and wine, and chocolate pairings from Eclipse Chocolate in South Park. The group Blue Velvet, whose members appeared on “America’s Got Talent,” will also perform. The general-admission portion of the evening will kick off at 7 p.m. All attendees will have an opportunity to stroll through the 70-piece fine art exhibit and make their bids. Gutierrez will perform a live rendition of “A Peacock Among Pigeons.”

Additional Veterans Day performance Nov. 11 at St. Paul’s Cathedral

Members of the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus Chamber Chorale (Courtesy SDGMC)

In the first performance since its nationally acclaimed Lincoln Center debut in June 2017, the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus Chamber Chorale returns with “Faith & Freedom: An Evening of Sacred and Patriotic Masterworks.” Artistic Director RC Haus leads the 40-voice ensemble, the largest of its kind in the country, on a pilgrimage through decades of deeply moving and inspiring masterpieces. Selections include “God Bless America,” a spirited new arrangement of the “American Armed Forces Medley,” “The Majesty and Glory of Your Name,” and the traditional spiritual “My Soul’s Been Anchored in the Lord.” “Faith & Freedom” will be presented at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral, located at 2728 Sixth Ave. in Bankers Hill, on Veterans Day, Saturday, Nov. 11, at 7 p.m. As part of the SDGMC’s Faith & Freedom concert, they will also proudly recognize the 2017 inductees into the Benjamin F. Dillingham III and Bridget Wilson LGBT Veterans Wall of Honor, whose induction ceremony took place Nov. 9. For more information or tickets, visit▼




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BRIEFS Nicky Awards, you’ll get the opportunity to do so with others at a new public event hosted by the Imperial Court de San Diego. The voting party will be held Sunday, Nov. 19, from 2–6 p.m. at the San Diego LGBT Community Center, located at 3903 Centre St. in Hillcrest. The event is free and open to the public. If you cannot make the voting event and still wish to vote on the community members nominated, visit bit. ly/2m5Ntj3. The 42nd annual Nicky Awards will be held Dec. 3 at the Courtyard Marriott Liberty Station, located at 2592 Lansing Road. Mia Pearl, who was a finalist on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” will return as this year’s emcee. The 2017 George Moscone Humanitarian Award, which is presented each year to a worth public official, will go to Ambassador Marcela Celorio, the Consul General of Mexico. All other awards will be announced at the annual ceremony. The producer of this year’s event, Ebony Mullins — a former co-chair of San Diego Pride — is bringing some new energy to the annual awards show and a few surprises, including a new menu option for the event. In the past, attendees were able to purchase beverages, but this year food trays may be pre-ordered for each table of 10 people, at a cost of $60. The two different options will be available: tray No. 1 will include imported and domestic cheeses, seasonal berries, crostini and artisan crackers, vegetable crudité, and toasted pita served with hummus, ranch and Green Goddess dressings. Tray No. 2 will include ginger soy chicken with a sweet chili sauce, beef skewers served with horseradish cream, and pot stickers with ponzu. The Nicky Awards were founded in 1975 by City Commissioner Nicole Murray Ramirez and the Imperial Court de San Diego. Proceeds from the event benefit the Court and their student scholarship programs. “The entire LGBT community, families, friends and allies are always invited and welcomed at the Nicky Awards,” said Big Mike Phillips, president of the Nicky Awards board of governors. All ticket sales and pre-ordered food trays must be ordered prior to Dec. 1. To order tickets or learn more, visit


Mama’s Kitchen’s infamous “Pie in the Sky” annual Thanksgiving bake sale is underway and sales will continue through Nov. 19. Organizers say it is the largest bake sale on the West Coast, and pies are available in pumpkin, pecan, traditional apple and Dutch apple, and can be purchased for $25 each.

Volunteers will deliver the pre-ordered pies to 21 different pick-up locations around the county on Nov. 22, just in time for Thanksgiving. Now in its 13th year, the annual event is a critical fundraiser for Mam’s Kitchen, a local organization that provides nutritious meals to men, women and children with HIV, cancer or other critical illnesses. Last year the pie event raised $116,500. One pie can serve eight meals to those in need. “Mama’s Pie in the Sky has become a local tradition many San Diegans look forward to as they give thanks over the Thanksgiving holiday,” said Alberto Cortés, Mama’s Kitchen’s executive director. They currently have 30 bakers confirmed, including Andaz San Diego; Barona Resort & Casino; Bear Buns Bakery and Café; Behind the Scenes Catering & Events; Betty’s Pie Whole (Encinitas); Brothers Signature Catering & Events; The French Gourmet; Handlery Hotel in Mission Valley; Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine; Jenny Wenny Cakes in Carmel Mountain Ranch; Jewish Family Services; Just Call Us Volunteers (Clairemont); Kaiser Permanente Medical Center; Kitchens for Good (Lincoln Park); Loews Coronado Bay Resort; Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego; Mook & Pop’s Culinary Delights in Scripps Ranch; Nine-Ten Restaurant (La Jolla); San Diego Cake Club; San Diego Convention Center; Soleil@K (Downtown); Stone Brewing (Escondido); Sycuan Casino (returning for their 13th year); Twiggs Bakery; and The Wild Thyme Company. New contributors this year are Art Institutes (San Diego); Sugar and Scribe Bakery (La Jolla); Starry Lane Bakery (Hillcrest); Town and Country San Diego Resort in Mission Valley; and Wyndham Vacation Ownership (Mission Valley). Additional bakers are still needed. Individuals and teams are encouraged to sell pies and use their social media to promote their participation and compete for generous prizes. To learn more about how you can bake, sell, volunteer, or buy, visit or call 619-233-6262.


On Nov. 6, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors again extended the hepatitis A outbreak public health emergency for another two weeks. The county’s public health officer declared the outbreak emergency on Sept. 1 and the board is required to review the need for continuing the declaration every 14 days. As of Nov. 1, there have been 544 cases associated with the outbreak, including 20 deaths and 372 hospitalized. The county and community partners have given nearly 84,000 hepatitis A vaccinations, including 70,748 to the at-risk population, which includes homeless individuals, illicit drug users, people with chronic liver disease, law enforcement and emergency personnel, people who work with homeless or treatment

see Briefs, pg 23

MICHAEL KIMMEL Psychotherapist Author of "Life Beyond Therapy" in Gay San Diego 5100 Marlborough Drive San Diego CA 92116 (619)955-3311

GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 10 – 23, 2017



GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 10 – 23, 2017

Saturday Nov, 11

Chamber Chorale Presents ‘Faith & Freedom’: For Veterans Day, in the first performance since its nationally acclaimed Lincoln Center debut in June, the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus Chamber Chorale returns with “Faith & Freedom: An Evening of Traditional Sacred and Patriotic Masterworks.” Artistic Director RC Haus leads the 40-voice ensemble, the largest of its kind in the country, on a pilgrimage through decades of deeply moving and inspiring masterpieces. 7-8:30 p.m., St Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral, 2728 Sixth Ave., Bankers Hill. bit. ly/2zwbapC vary, and are all held in an inclusive and respectful environment. 4:30-6 p.m. NCHS La Mision Family Health Center, 3220 Mission Ave., Suite 2. bit. ly/2zKhXgu

Sunday Nov, 12

‘The Legend of Georgia McBride’: What do you do when your Elvis act gets the ax? With a pregnant wife, a woefully empty bank account and an eviction notice coming his way any minute, Casey is left with no choice but to trade in his signature jumpsuit for sequins and start strutting his stuff around as the Florida panhandle’s newest drag queen. 2 p.m., Cygnet Theatre, 4040 Twiggs St., Old Town San Diego.

Tuesday Nov, 14

‘The Legend of Georgia McBride’: What do you do when your Elvis act gets the ax? With a pregnant wife, a woefully empty bank account and an eviction notice coming his way any minute, Casey is left with no choice but to trade in his signature jumpsuit for sequins and start strutting his stuff around as the Florida panhandle’s newest drag queen. 3 and 8 p.m., Cygnet Theatre, 4040 Twiggs St., Old Town San Diego.

Saturday Nov, 11

Trans-cend Support Group: Weekly group meeting at the North County LGBTQ Resource Center. Members are ages of 18 and older. Anyone under 18 who is interested in attending, contact the group directly at: Bgillenz@ Activities

‘Dueling Drag Divas’: Emmy Award winner Chi Chi Rones and acclaimed impressionist Jo Anna return to MA4 for one night only! The Dueling Drag Divas will perform their new celebrity impression show with live vocals (no lip syncing). 8 p.m., Martinis Above Fourth Table + Stage, 3940 Fourth Ave., second floor, Hillcrest. ma4sd. com/service/ddd/ Our Space: LGBTQ Teens: Encinitas meetup with other LGBTQ youth and allies in a safe and friendly atmosphere to hang out, chat and have some fun! Just drop in! Ages 14-18. 6 p.m. Encinitas Library, 540 Cornish Drive.

Thursday Nov, 16

Workshop — the ABCs of LGBT Language for Writers and Editors: An abundance of LGBT writing, themes, and content has emerged on the popular scene along with an expanded vocabulary. Janet Williams will teach writers and editors about the fast-changing LGBT-related do’s and don’ts for fiction and non-fiction markets, including the proper use of pronouns, how to smooth out samesex sex scenes, and using LGBT lingo. She will also discuss of LGBT archetypes. 6:30 p.m., San Diego County Health Services Complex, 3851 Rosecrans St. bit. ly/2j9jSUs Building on a Positive Life: Weekly educational/support group for HIV+ men, designed to educate men about living with HIV, combat stigma and end discrimination. Be empowered, share and grow with other HIV+ men who can relate and aid you in your journey to a fuller and happier life with HIV. Guest speakers. 6-8 p.m., Mercy Gardens Community Room, 540 Lewis St., Hillcrest.

Kickers Country Line Dancing: Don’t let footwear stop you, come dance in whatever you’ve got. Join the staff every Thursday for Kicker’s Country Western Night and catch all the hot cowboys and cowgirls as they swirl and line dance. Lee Armentrout offers free country dance lessons for the first hour. 7 p.m., Urban MO’s, 308 University Ave., Hillcrest. bit. ly/2zpBW3x.

Friday Nov, 17

LGBT-ed Talks: Sociology Department event with host Sean Davis. Starts at 4 p.m. with a reception, food, refreshments, outdoor entertainment and the distribution of educational materials. The main event begins at 5 p.m. when 11 student speakers deliver 10-12 minute presentations (á la TED Talks) that address issues in the LGBTQIA+ community. Entertainment will include drag performances, dance sets and other types of artistic expression. 4-7 p.m., MiraCosta College, 1 Barnard Drive, Oceanside. miracosta. edu/events.html.

Saturday Nov, 18

Park, 2965 Mission Blvd., Mission Bay. bit. ly/2zvK2oC.

Bingo for TransFamily Support Services: Raise money for TransFamily Support Services, a local nonprofit that helps youth and their families make the gender transitioning process the most positive experience through services such as family coaching, assistance with healthcare and insurance issues, navigating the legal system, and advocating for resources and support at schools. 12:30-4:30 p.m., Urban MO’s Bar & Grill, 308 University Ave., Hillcrest. bit. ly/2hi91nj

Building on a Positive Life: Weekly educational/support group for HIV+ men, designed to educate men about living with HIV, combat stigma and end discrimination. Be empowered, share and grow with other HIV+ men who can relate and aid you in your journey to a fuller and happier life with HIV. Guest speakers. 6-8 p.m., Mercy Gardens Community Room, 540 Lewis St., Hillcrest.

Saturday Nov, 18

Art & Wine Benefit for SDGMC’s Youth Outreach: Support the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus youth outreach programs. Proceeds will help SDGMC bring to musical life the children’s book “A Peacock Among Pigeons” with a special message for LGBT youth about celebrating our unique and colorful feathers. VIP preview and reception that includes tray passed hors d’oeuvres, entertainment, $125; general admission, $40. 7-9 p.m., Saint David’s Episcopal Church, 5050 Milton St., Bay Park. Bay Bonfire: Join the very first event for Lesbians Like Us in an evening of conversation, socializing and laughter. We recommend you bring a chair or beach blanket to sit on, layers of clothes, a snack to share (healthy preferred). Musical instruments for those who’d like to share their talent also welcomed. 5 p.m., Bahia Point

Girls Night Out Dance: Hit the dancefloor for this month’s dance, themed the Thank-ful dance with Nicky-nominated DJ Fabriba. Lip sync battle from 6 – 7 p.m. 7 p.m., The Rail, 3796 Fifth Ave., Hillcrest.

Tuesday Nov, 21

Showtunes Spaghetti Tuesdays: Sing your heart out and have a drink and all-you-can-eat spaghetti with some of your favorite show tunes from past, present and everything in between. Musical clips from your favorite TV, movie and stage productions. $6 per person, eat in only. 5 p.m., Urban MO’s Bar & Grill, 308 University Ave., Hillcrest. bit. ly/2iHAwXA.

Kickers Country Line Dancing: Don’t let footwear stop you, come dance in whatever you’ve got. Join the staff every Thursday for Kicker’s Country Western Night and catch all the hot cowboys and cowgirls as they swirl and line dance. Lee Armentrout offers free country dance lessons for the first hour. 7 p.m., Urban MO’s, 308 University Ave., Hillcrest. bit. ly/2zpBW3x. Round Table: A discussion group for LGBTQ individuals, ages 21-30, seeking community, acceptance and a safe space to explore a variety of topics, from experiences in the community, to dating and friendships. 6:30-8 p.m., NCHS La Mision Family Health Center, 3220 Mission Ave., Suite 2, Oceanside.


solution on page 20


ACROSS 1 Bear that may be a minor 5 Opposed to, to 8-Down 9 Carell, who played Bobby Riggs in “Battle of the Sexes” 14 Like a Peter Lorre film 15 Sweeping story 16 Movie based on “The Price of Salt” 17 Half of a pair for grabbing 18 Stuffed shirt 19 Exams on sexual technique? 20 Start of a Bobby Riggs quote in “Battle of the Sexes” 23 Tries to lose 24 “Poppycock!” 25 Silent Bob’s partner 28 “So’s ___ old man!” 29 Clearest of head 33 Dark version of the color purple 34 “Innocent” author Scott 35 Guys under Hoover, e.g. 37 More of the quote

Thursday Nov, 23

39 Tickle pink 41 Pottery ovens 42 Right on a map 43 Placed one inside another 45 Kerouac’s “Big ___” 48 Mouth-to-mouth pro 49 One of TV’s “Bosom Buddies” 50 “Fantasia” ballerina 52 End of the quote 56 Evita portrayer on stage 59 Sophie B. Hawkins’ “The Cream Will ___” 60 “Nurse Jackie” protrayer Falco 61 Whiskey bottle word 62 Lines from Lesbos 63 Perform a decorator’s task 64 Emma, who played Billie Jean King in “Battle of the Sexes” 65 Boss Tweed caricaturist 66 Three of Frida’s family

1 Like Oscar Madison of “The Odd Couple” 2 Bert, to Ernie 3 Mary Lambert, for one 4 Lingo 5 Org. with a common purpose 6 “West Side Story” faction 7 “___ Rhythm” 8 Jim who played Gomer 9 “To Kill a Mockingbird” tomboy 10 Pastry with fruit, perhaps 11 Pitching stat 12 Tennessee foot player 13 Dottermans of “Antonia’s Line” 21 Copies of “The Advocate,” e.g. 22 Safe to put in your mouth 25 Male private parts, in slang 26 Be in a cast 27 “Let’s do it!” 30 “___ and Old Lace” 31 Classic Japanese theater 32 “Return of the Jedi” creatures 33 Muscle Mary’s concern

34 Cho’s “I’m the One ___ I Want” 36 1982 biopic with Ian Charleson 37 Trial run 38 Sense of humor 39 Drench Trump in a Russian video 40 On the ___ (running away) 44 “You’ve Got Mail” director Nora 45 “Kiss of the ___ Woman” 46 Positive aspect 47 Shakespearean lover and his namesakes 49 Penetrating weapon 51 Like helium and krypton 52 “Blame ___ The Bossa Nova” 53 Slave in an Elton John musical 54 Objectifies, sexually 55 Flak jacket, for one 56 It may come at the end of a love letter 57 What Michelangelo put out 58 To boot

GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 10 – 23, 2017 FROM PAGE 21

BRIEFS programs, food handlers, and men who have sex with men. Health officials are encouraging all local men who have sex with men to get the hepatitis A vaccine, in an effort to prevent the disease from spreading. “We’re broadening our ongoing efforts to reach the MSM community because this is an area where the outbreak could potentially spread,” said

Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., county public health officer on the county’s website. “We are encouraging people to get vaccinated to protect both themselves and their close contacts.” The board was presented with a letter from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that recommended against testing the San Diego River or any body of water for waterborne hepatitis A virus. The CDC letter stated there has not been a documented waterborne hepatitis A outbreak in over 30 years and referred to the “futility of environmental sampling” during

a person-to-person outbreak such as San Diego’s. “There is no evidence that either water or environmental sampling provides additional information for addressing person-to-person HAV transmission,” said John Ward, CDC director of viral hepatitis wrote in the letter. “Thus, investing in these activities would unnecessarily divert resources that are needed to contain the outbreak in proven and effective ways (vaccination, education, restrooms, and hand hygiene practices).” To read more, visit the at bit. ly/2y4MncM.

Call 211 if you suspect you have hepatitis A, or need to find out where to get vaccinated, or visit


The number of prescription drug and other opioid-related deaths in San Diego County has remained steady over the past few years, according to the latest report. The county’s 2017 Prescription Drug Abuse Report Card shows 253 fatalities last year. That is five more than in 2015, but 15 fewer than in 2012


when the highest number was recorded. “It’s good news that prescription drug–related deaths have dropped slightly since 2012,” said Alfredo Aguirre, director of Behavioral Health Services for the County Health & Human Services Agency and a member of the Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force executive committee. “However, misuse and abuse of prescribed medicines continues to be a serious issue in the region.” To read more, visit the at bit. ly/2y5gXDe.▼


GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 10 – 23, 2017

Gay San Diego 11-10-17