Volume 4 Issue 24 Nov. 29–Dec. 12, 2013
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Masquerade PHOTO FEATURE Pg. 22
SERVING OUR LGBT COMMUNITY
The solemn celebration of the Tree of Life
Remembering those lost and commemorating the progress made Remembering the Queen
Hutton Marshall | GSD Assistant Editor
5 NEWS ( l to r) Thomas Castets (founder of GaySurfers.net) and Riley Hermann (from Santa Barbara, Calif.) about to go for a surf at sunrise in Sydney, Australia. (Courtesy GaySurfers.net)
New film to explore taboo of homosexuality in surfing Holiday musical cheer
A shopper’s feast
Morgan M. Hurley | GSD Editor “San Diego houses one of the largest communities of gay surfers in the world,” said Thomas Castets, founder of GaySurfers. net and the driving force behind OUT in the Line-up, a new documentary that he hopes will uncover the taboo of homosexuality in surfing. Castets, an Austrailan, launched the GaySurfers.net community in 2010, when it became clear to him surfers around the world needed a safe place where they could connect with other surfers, be it online, or at surfing destinations around the world. The website, which had firewalls and allowed members to
be anonymous if they chose, grew to 500 members in just its first six months. Today the site hosts 5,000 members. “We talked about our surf spots, our boards, our surf trips and what it was like being the only gay surfer in our small towns or cities,” Castets said of the website’s early days. “It was amazing. I received many thank you letters; men and women were stoked they had found the site and suddenly we were not alone anymore.” Castets began traveling to cities around the world meeting with members. It was during a visit to San Diego in 2011 that inspired him to make the film. He returned to Australia and in April 2012, preparations for
Celebrating ‘Mother’ Margaret Cho brings her wisdom to San Diego Morgan M. Hurley | GSD Editor
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It could be said that Margaret Cho has a unique perspective on the world. After all, as a queer woman of color who has admittedly struggled with weight issues, Cho has had first-hand experience with homophobia, sexism, racism and sizeism. That’s an awful lot for anyone—least an actresscomedian in the spotlight—to carry around; but the San Francisco native seems to process those demons by channeling it all through her no-holds barred comedy, much to the delight of a fervent
production on “OUT in the lineup” began. “Speaking with other gay surfers on that trip [to San Diego], I realized that many of us felt quite isolated and were scared about being rejected from our surfing communities if we were open about our sexuality,” he said. “I vowed to return with a camera crew to document some of these stories and when I did in September 2012, we were welcomed with open arms.” Some local members had organized a surf session at Black’s Beach and Castets was thrilled to see almost 50 surfers show up to meet him and learn more about
see AIDS, pg 20
fan base that happens to lean heavily to the gay. Luckily for us, Cho will be returning to San Diego to share her unique brand of activism when her “Mother” tour hits Downtown’s Balboa Theatre on Thursday, Dec. 5. An avid—and often controversial—blogger, Cho further expanded her resume to include singer-songwriter after 2010’s “Cho Dependent” and recently added podcast host when she and comedian Jim Short launched “Monsters of Talk” on soundcloud.com. “It’s something that [Jim and I] have wanted to do for a long time,” Cho said during a recent phone interview. “We thought we should just do it because we are on the road and we’re hanging out with these people anyway.” She described their subjects as “rock and rollers, comedians, all different types of people,” naming Joan Rivers, the band Wilco, and even a Ouija
see Cho, pg 17
On the first day of December for the last 21 years, San Diegans have gathered together for the Tree of Life Lighting Ceremony. This special observance falls on World AIDS Day and serves as a unique opportunity to honor those lost to HIV/AIDS and celebrate the huge strides made in fighting the epidemic. Hundreds are expected for the event’s 22nd installation, to be held Sunday, Dec. 1 from 5 – 7 p.m. at Village Hillcrest, and it will include special guests, a candlelight vigil and music by the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus. Mama’s Kitchen, a nonprofit organization that offers a free, countywide meal delivery service for those affected by HIV/AIDS or cancer, puts on the event, and its one of its three biggest fundraisers each year. 80 percent of the nonprofit’s annual $2.6 million budget comes from donations, so events like this are imperative to continue its mission year after year. Mama’s Kitchen began in 1990 near the peak of the AIDS crisis. For its first 16 years, Mama’s Kitchen was based out of a church basement, preparing and delivering hot meals to those too weakened by HIV/AIDS to cook for themselves. Today, Mama’s Kitchen has a large facility in Fairmount Park where they deliver three meals every day of the year to hundreds of San Diegans. Last year, they
see TreeOfLife, pg 20
Cho will perform in San Diego on her birthday. (Photo by missmissyphotography.com)
GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 29–Dec. 12, 2013
GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 29–Dec. 12, 2013
GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 29–Dec. 12, 2013
Remembering Queen Eddie Annual auction raises funds while memorializing local icon Margie Palmer | GSD Reporter The Martinis Above Fourth annual charity wreath auction is now in its 10th year. Although many in the community are familiar with the event, which benefits the Eddie Conlon Youth Fund, most are unfamiliar with the man who inspired it. Best known to the community as Queen Eddie, the activist and award-winning columnist was among Hillcrest’s most colorful and unique characters. Conlon arrived to San Diego in 1975 and touched countless lives until 2002, when he lost his battle with cancer. Former Martinis Above Fourth owners Chaz Weathers and Dale Dubach started the auction just one year later as a means of honoring Conlon’s memory. “My connection to Queen Eddie came about in the mid-1980s when I was going through a break-up,” Weathers said. “He had an advice column in a paper called Bravo that was like the LGBT Dear Abby, and I wrote to him. Not only did he write back, he asked if he could meet and talk with me, and we became best friends.” Over the years, hundreds of people wrote in asking for advice about their problems, he said, and Conlon would do his best to come up with an accurate and heartfelt answer. “This was before the internet and cell phones, and it was right around the time that the HIV epidemic was beginning,” Weathers said. “People didn’t know what was
Queen Eddie watches over the wreath auction. (Courtesy Chaz Weathers) going on or how people were catching it. If he got a question that he didn’t know the answer to he’d do the research and contact doctors and counselors. If someone had a relationship question or needed advice about coming out to their family, he’d walk them through that, too.” When Conlon was diagnosed with cancer, the diagnosis was also chronicled in his column. Community activist Nicole Murray Ramirez described that decision as both courageous and eye-opening. “He used his column to talk about it and to educate people,” Ramirez said, noting that Queen Eddie was more than just a tal-
ented writer. “She was a well-known entertainer who hosted numerous charity events,” Ramirez said. “At Christmas he’d dress up as Ms. Claus and distribute toys. Everyone knew Queen Eddie and everyone loved him.” Approximately five years before Conlon’s death, Ramirez said the two made plans to meet for lunch. Ramirez said Conlon then told him he had terminal cancer and handed him an envelope that contained the instructions for his memorial service. ‘“I want this carried out to the letter,’” he said Conlon told him. “He was so brave and always had a smile on his face, right up
A painting of Queen Eddie hangs in The Center’s Community Resource Room. (Photo by Ian Johnson, painting by Tug) to the end,” Ramirez said. “How someone can find out something like this and continue to live with dignity and continue to educate people and give back to the community, he was amazing.” Weathers shared a similar memory. “At the time he was battling cancer my grandmother died unexpectedly,” Weathers said. “And he wrote me the most beautiful letter about her having passed with dignity and that she didn’t have to suffer. He was sick himself but took the time to comfort me. He was an amazing man who was extremely caring, and everyone saw that.” According to Ian Johnson, The Center’s nonprofit and community event coordinator, more than $20,000 was raised last year alone
for the Eddie Conlon Youth Fund. Johnson said the funds benefit Sunburst Youth Housing and the Hillcrest Youth Center, two programs at The Center. They also help provide scholarships for LGBT youth and even fund backpacks and school supplies for struggling LGBT families. “This is a really fun event that benefits a great cause,” Johnson said. “And it honors the memory of someone who always believed that youth are our future.” The 10th annual charity wreath auction will be held Monday, Dec. 2 at Martinis Above Fourth, located at 3940 Fourth Ave., in Hillcrest. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the live auction will begin at 7:30 p.m. For more information visit martinisabovefourth.com.t
Light up, light up;
as if you have a choice MARC LIM NORTH COUNTY UPDATE On Nov. 20, the North County LGBTQ Resource Center held its fifth annual Transgender Day of Remembrance to commemorate transgender individuals who were brutally murdered within the past year. Fifty chairs were set up facing one corner of the Center’s adjacent parking lot. The one hundred-strong crowd that actually showed up spoke volumes about the growing public awareness and was a touching display of community support, proclaiming that the lives were not forsaken or lost in vain. To honor the victims, 71 tea-light candles were lit individually—one for each life lost—as volunteers came up to read out each name. Collectively, the arrangement of these candles spelled out a single word: “Remember.” The flame was then passed on to audience members, each holding a long candlestick, to signify the hope that has to burn bright among all of us still living; a hope that the day will come when transgender persons can walk the streets without fearing for their safety and there will no longer be a need to hold yet another Transgender Day of Remembrance. As the flames of hope were lit among the audience, three musicians began to play: Light up, light up As if you have a choice Even if you cannot hear our voice Stand beside us, do not fear. Louder, louder Make something of our lives When we reach our peak, you’ll understand And you will raise your voice to say … —modified lyrics of “Run” by Snow Patrol Unfortunately, the suicide rate among transgender individuals has remained steady over the past 15 years, hovering around 40 percent. To help transgender individuals cope with the struggles encountered along their journey, the NC-LGBTQ-RC holds a transgender support group called “Come as You Are” every Monday night. This group is just as important as our efforts to honor fallen murder victims. Since its start in 2011, more than 60 people have come to participate in the group, and life-saving, close friendships have developed over time among several members. As tangible, loving and supportive communities build among transgender folks and our allies alike, the ideal future where zero suicides exist and zero hate crimes are perpetrated seems much closer than ever before. —Marc Lim is the group facilitator for the “Come As you Are” a Transgender support group of the NC LGBTQ Resource Center. For more information, visit ncresourcecenter.org.t
GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 29–Dec. 12, 2013
Local LGBT choruses to share holiday music Ben Cartwright | GSD Reporter Music is one element of the holiday season that makes this time of year so magical. San Diego’s two largest LGBT-based choral groups, the San Diego Women’s Chorus (SDWC) and the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus (SDGMC), are gearing up their holiday season concerts next month, both which have become a long-standing tradition for many in the community. SDWC, which has experienced a tremendous amount of growth over the last few years, will present “Light Up The World” on Saturday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 8 at 8 p.m. at the University Christian Church in Hillcrest. The concert is a multi-cultural exploration that will give audience members the opportunity to open their hearts and minds to the pure beauty, grace and joy expressed in each piece presented. Carin Scheinin, SDWC’s president, says that “Light Up The World” marks a return to a true holiday concert for the group, as it focuses on the importance of light in all the ways people celebrate winter holidays around the world, including Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali, and Solstice. Selections in the program will feature a mix of music performed in English, Latin, Nigerian, Arabic, Hebrew, Spanish, and Hindu. “Audience members will recognize a lot of the music in the concert, either because they grew up singing it around the holidays or because it is from a more popular music genre,” Scheinin said, noting songs like “Candlelight Carol,” “Believe” from Polar Express, “Amid
the Falling Snow” by Enya, “Grown up Christmas List,” and “Carol of the Bells” will be included. SDWC is also looking forward to introducing their first-ever assistant artistic director, Kathleen Hansen, who was hired in mid-October. “Light Up The World” will be Hansen’s first concert with the group. “[Hansen] has already added so much to the chorus in her short time with us and she’ll be making her official debut with SDWC at the concerts, conducting a few pieces in the program,” Scheinin said. Also this year, some of the youth from the Hillcrest Youth Center (HYC) will be participating in the opening song of the concert by singing and playing percussion. SDWC has been working with HYC over the past year through music workshops and inviting them to participate in rehearsals. “This really fulfills part of our increased commitment to engage youth in the arts and in music making,” Scheinin said. Over at SDGMC, the men are preparing for their annual holiday concert, “The Nutcracker (Men in Tights!)” to be performed Saturday, Dec. 14 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 15 at 3 p.m. at the Balboa Theatre. Bob Lehman, a baritone who also serves on SDGMC’s board as director of marketing, says the show brings out the kid in all of us. “The music is magical and fun and exciting to sing, and we love it because our holiday audiences are the best. It's very, very festive,” he said. Lehman said ticket holders are in for a treat, with a mixture of beautiful music, fun performances
GMC members belt one out. (Courtesy SDGMC)
and other surprises that SDGMC audiences have come to expect. “The first half of our show will be amazingly beautiful songs of the season with our guys decked out in tuxes. It’s holiday choral music at its best,” he said. “The second half is where the party happens and we let loose with lots of fun and craziness. We’ve got dancing mice, men in tutus and marching toy soldiers. You can’t help but leave the show with a big smile on your face and filled with the holiday spirit.” Lehman says that while his group performs incredible music and dance, it is the fun surprises that make the concert extra special. “I can’t wait to see my buddy Fete Sagale, who looks like a Chargers linebacker, dressed as the Sugar Plum Fairy during The Nutcracker act,” Lehman said, laughing. “It will be a moment to go down in gay holiday history! There’s also an original song about San Diego politics I think will be
hilarious as well.” Lehman has been a part of the chorus for many years but says he still gets chills being on stage at each concert just before the curtain rises. “Being together with the [chorus] guys is like being a part of one big family during the holidays,” Lehman said. “It’s an uplifting experience to have worked for months on a show then get to share it with an audience of our friends and family.” Scheinin said the feelings are similar SDWC as they approach show time. “There’s a lot of nervous excitement right now and really great energy as the music we’ve been working on for the last three months really comes together and becomes ready to perform for an audience,” Scheinin said. “I think chorus members know that this is a really special concert and that the music will really touch our audience.” SDWC’s Dec. 7 – 8 concert will be performed at University Christian Church, 3900 Cleveland Ave., in Hillcrest (note this is a change from past years). Tickets are $15, with discounts are available for youth, seniors, military, and students. Visit sdwc.org for tickets and additional information. SDGMC’s Dec. 14 – 15 concert will be performed at the historic Balboa Theatre, 868 Fourth Ave., Downtown. Tickets range from $27 – $70. A VIP pre-show reception is also available for $30 and includes hors d’oeuvres, a complimentary cocktail, and a meet and greet with Holt, the artistic director. Tickets and additional information are at sdgmc.org.t
GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 29–Dec. 12, 2013
Just call us thankful
Financial planning for life stages By Mike Sebring, Union Bank Financial planning is a journey that requires continual monitoring and adjustments. As you move through different phases of your life, priorities and circumstances change that can alter your course. Being aware of changing needs and finding appropriate solutions can help you reach your financial goals. The financial landscape for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans—and in particular, same-sex couples—includes a number of matters that are unique to the community, especially in light of the repeal of parts of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the striking down of Proposition 8 in California. With policies still being established, it’s important to stay informed as the nation’s laws continue to evolve. Following is information to help with financial planning during various life stages. Newly Independent Once you begin supporting yourself by working in your career or trade, it is important to form and implement sound financial habits that will serve you for the rest of your life. At this stage, you may become responsible for rent, paying off a student loan, or other bills, so get in the habit of paying them on time to help build a favorable credit rating. If you haven’t already, it is important to learn how to budget and save. If your employer offers a 401(k) or other savings plan, be sure to take full advantage of this and other benefits. Also, it is wise to have some saving set aside for emergencies during all phases of life.
Establishing Roots Whether you are getting married, starting a family, or purchasing your first home, putting down roots often involves a shift in priorities with a new focus on providing for your family, and building and protecting assets. It is important for married samesex couples and domestic partners to have a serious discussion about finances before committing, and continue to communicate regularly about goal setting, budget and cash flow, insurance and investing. If purchasing a home, shop for a mortgage that fits your personal situation, and be sure that you understand the different types of rates, terms and loan programs for first-time homebuyers. Today, nearly one in five same-sex couples has a child or children under the age of 18 at home. Nearly half of all lesbians (48 percent) under the age of 50 who are living alone or with a spouse are raising a child under the age of 18. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it will cost the average family about $235,000 to raise a child to the age of 17, and that figure doesn’t include the cost of a college education. If you plan to pay for some or all of your child’s college education, begin exploring 529 College Savings Plans and other options that may offer tax advantages. Purchasing adequate insurance coverage becomes important during this life phase to protect your family, home and assets in the event of an accident, death or disaster, as does having a will or living trust. Mid-Life During the mid-life phase the
typical wage earner will be about half way to retirement and near the peak of his or her earning potential. You may be facing the expense of putting children through college, taking care of aging parents, helping with grandchildren or all of the above. While tax planning is important at any stage, one may become more aware of its importance as you accumulate wealth and assets, and you may find it necessary to consult a professional for tax advice. The Internal Revenue Service has recently confirmed that legally married same-sex couples must be treated the same as heterosexual married couples. This means that married same-sex couples can now file joint Federal tax returns and potentially achieve tax savings in this area. Pre-Retirement With retirement on the horizon, your financial goals may shift from focusing on growth and accumulation, to safety and generating income from your assets. Consider meeting with a financial advisor to make adjustments to your investment portfolio. Seek information about Social Security income you may have coming and when you should start claiming benefits. The repeal of DOMA also has an impact on Social Security benefits. Same-sex couples may be eligible for such benefits as the Social Security retirement spousal benefit, the disability spousal benefit and the surviving spouse benefit. Consult with your financial planner for the latest updates in this arena. If you have outstanding debt, work to pay it off so you enter retirement debt free. Evaluate your medical insurance to ensure that it will cover the rising costs of healthcare. Consider purchasing long-term care insurance to cover healthcare expenses should you
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require personal assistance later. Prepare an estate plan to minimize taxes and ensure that your custodial, financial and medical wishes are carried out upon your death. Providing your loved ones with a power of attorney will also give them the ability to make important life decisions on your behalf if necessary. Retirement In retirement, the focus is on sticking to a spending plan that allows you to live off of Social Security, your savings and investments, and ensuring that they last. Housing needs may change and downsizing your home may be a consideration. You may also be in need of an estate plan to determine how you will transfer your accumulated wealth, reduce estate taxes and leave a legacy. This is an area where same-sex couples may need to take special precautions, as marriage laws var y by state, and it’s still smart to prepare an estate plan that clearly spells out your wishes and intentions. Discuss your changing needs with a trusted financial advisor to help you balance what you need to do today to be ready for the years ahead. The foregoing article is intended to provide general information about financial planning and is not considered financial or tax advice from Union Bank. Please consult your financial or tax advisor. —Mike Sebring is a senior vice president and regional manager for Union Bank in the Pacific Northwest. He is also steering committee chairperson of UB PROUD, the bank’s employee resource group for LGBT employees and allies. Visit unionbank. com for more information.t
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Okay, call me a Grinch. I’ve never been one to get all that excited about Thanksgiving. It has always been my least favorite holiday for many personal reasons. Granted, as a child there was always lots of fun to be had with all the other kids regulated to the outdoors at Grandma’s townhouse community, but it seemed like a whole lot of fuss for one meal. What usually came with it was a lot of drinking and arguing among the adults; and sometimes that still seems to happen, but now I’m one of those adults. I also think the older I get, the less I buy into the original concept of Thanksgiving between the Native Americans and the Pilgrims … and even less into the whole “Black Friday” shopping madness that today’s tradition has somehow become attached to at the hip. I’ve always preferred to steal away to a far away place, like heading to Palm Springs for a spa weekend alone, or flying down to lower Baja for tamales and chili relleno with friends. That being said, I’ll be celebrating this year up in Koreatown in Los Angeles with my sister-in-law’s family, a gathering that is always a great mixture of cultures, cuisine and conversation. What I do buy into is that aspect of this particular holiday where you take a moment to reflect and be thankful for all that you have, and at the same time remember that many in our communities have not. After all, it’s the time of year where we naturally want to give back and I appreciate the blanket drives (Auntie Helen’s, Urban MO’s) and the toy drives (Redwing), and hope everyone that can and wants to has time to participate in them. My friend Chef Julie Darling who owns Just Call Us Volunteers knows the meaning of giving back all too well. Darling and her staff of regular volunteers not only just baked and donated 300 pecan pies for the Mama’s Kitchen Pie in the Sky drive last week, this week they were joined by dozens more volunteers to prep (two days of work alone), cook and feed three area homeless shelters on Thanksgiving Day. Darling said she had over 200 volunteers too many this year – which is a good problem to have, but she is looking for ideas to put these people to work. People seem to come out in droves around the holidays to volunteer their time, but I understand she often lacks a full crew for feedings throughout the rest of the year. If you want to learn more about this amazing organization, get on their volunteer list, or offer a home or idea for all those extra volunteers, follow them on Facebook.com/JCUvolunteers. May you all have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving weekend. – Ed.t
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GAY NEWS BRIEFS HILLCREST HOLIDAY POTLUCK The Hillcrest Town Council and the Hillcrest History Guild are joining forces once again for their annual Hillcrest Holiday Potluck Dinner. The dinner will be held in place of the regular Hillcrest Town Council Meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 10 from 6:30 – 8 p.m. at the Joyce Beers Community Center, located at 3900 Vermont St. in the Uptown Shopping Center. The turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, plates, cutlery and napkins will all be supplied, and attendees are asked to bring a vegetable dish, salad or dessert to share. UC San Diego Medical Center and Bread and Cie are among those donating food items. Also planned is a short presentation by the local artist who created the life-sized sculptures located at Balboa Park Drive and Laurel Street, of San Diego legends George Marston, Kate Sessions, Alonzo Horton and Ephraim Morse. For more information call 619-260-1929. LOUISE HAY’S POPULAR HAYRIDE RETURNS FOR REUNION During the height of the AIDS epidemic, award-winning author Louise Hay started “Hay Ride meetings” in her livingroom, to offer those with AIDS a place to feel safe, share their stories and connect with others. The first meeting had six men in attendance and before long, her livingroom was no longer viable and the meetings moved to a West Hollywood gymnasium. “We’d do meditations and songs, and we would have hugs time at the end of the evening,” Hay said in a press release. “This sounds very normal now, but at that time, people were afraid to touch anyone who had AIDS.”It has been 25 years since the last Hayride meeting and Hay wants to have a reunion. The event is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 7 from 2 – 5 p.m. at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre, 4401 W. Eighth Ave., Los Angeles. In addition to Hay, special guests include Marianne Williamson and David Kessler. A $10 donation is suggested and the event is expected to sell out. All proceeds will go to the Hay Foundation. For more info and tickets, visit hayhouse.com. THE CENTER GETS BIG DONATION FROM PRIDE San Diego Pride has donated $40,000 to the San Diego LGBT Community Center in honor of the organization’s 40th anniversary. This “birthday gift” is part of Pride’s annual community giving program. San Diego Pride annually raises funds through ticket and beverage sales during Pride weekend and then distributes the support to LGBT-serving organizations. “We are pleased to contribute funding to The Center each year to support the many vital services they provide to the community every day, yearround,” said Stephen Whitburn, San Diego Pride’s general manager. “These funds are made possible by the hundreds of thousands of Pride participants each year, and we are grateful to them for helping us support our community for 40 years.” The $40,000 grant will be split among four of The Center’s programs and the general fund, including $10,000 to transgender services, $10,000 to family matters, $10,000 to HIV services, and $5,000 to sobriety programs. The remaining $5,000 will be placed in The Center’s general fund. For more info, go to sdpride.org.
HBA SEEKS VOLUNTEERS The Hillcrest Business Association is seeking volunteers to help staff their booth at the Hillcrest Farmers’ Market on Sundays, from 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Volunteers would be responsible for assisting with set-up and tear down of the booth, helping shoppers, answering general questions about the Market, selling HBA swag and promoting the many projects that the HBA is involved in. Those interested are asked to fill out an application online at hillcrestbia. org or contact Cassandra Ramhap at Cassandra@hillcrestbia.org or 619299-3330 for more information. U.S. CITIES RATED FOR LGBT EQUALITY The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization, recently rated close to 300 cities across the United States for LGBT equality. Labeled the Municipal Equality Index, it is the only nationwide rating system of LGBT inclusion into municipal law. Featured in the survey were 42 California cities, including San Diego, which rated a perfect score of 100. The index found that cities across the country continue to support equality for LGBT people, even when their states and the federal government have failed to do so. Other California cities scoring 100 points were Los Angeles, West Hollywood, San Francisco and Long Beach. Palm Springs also scored 100 points with its neighbors Cathedral City and Rancho Mirage scoring in the 90s. Cities were rated based on 47 criteria falling under six broad categories including: non-discrimination laws, same-sex relationship recognition, employment and contracting policies, inclusiveness of city services, law enforcement, and municipal leadership on matters of equality. “Change is possible everywhere, and the Municipal Equality Index showcases the monumental progress we’ve made,” said Rebecca Isaacs, executive director of Equality Federation. “In cities and towns across America, advocates are telling their stories, organizing their friends, and changing the hearts and minds of our policymakers and neighbors.” The average score
for cities in California was 76 out of 100 points, which fell above the national average. In contrast to San Diego’s high score, local municipality Oceanside bottomed out with a score of 59 and Chula Vista scored a 66. Other low scores included Anaheim with 63 points and Irvine with 54. Northern Californian hubs like Oakland and Sacramento rated excellent with scores in the 90s, while the Inland Empire floundered with Rancho Cucamonga, San Bernardino and Fontana rating in the bottom end. The full report, including detailed scorecards for every city and a searchable database, is available online at hrc.org/mei. ‘LGBT YOUTH GROUPS’ RECEIVE FREE “HOLIDAY HERO” TICKETS Members of three LGBT youth volunteer groups will be the guests of the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus for their performance of The Nutcracker (Men in Tights!). This is made possible through $1000 donations from several chorus members to the “Be a Chorus Hero” program, which the chorus established as an outreach program whereby all donations go towards purchasing chorus tickets for local volunteers in the community. The youth groups awarded this year include: The Center’s Youth Services, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), and the Lambda Archives Student Volunteer Program. Each group will receive tickets to the performance on Dec. 14 and 15 at the Balboa Theatre, located at 868 Fourth Ave., Downtown. “We are thrilled that donors are sponsoring LGBT youth to come enjoy our show,” said SDGMC Artistic Director Gary Holt in a press release. “Our holiday production is always wonderful and uplifting, but also full of fun and mischief. No matter what your age, I guarantee you’ll leave with a smile on your face and in the holiday spirit.” Past “Be a Chorus Hero” recipients have included volunteers with Being Alive, Mama’s Kitchen and Stepping Stone. To make a tax-deductible ticket donation, call Bob Lehman at 619-850-8698. Tickets for the show may be purchased at sdgmc.org or by calling 877-296-7664.t
GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 29–Dec. 12, 2013
Not so local GAY NEWS BRIEFS SEEN ON FACEBOOK The founder of the ACE Hotel Chain, Alex Calderwood, died while on a recent trip to London. He was 47. ACE Palm Springs is a popular venue for LGBT travelers during White Party, Dinah Shore and Pride weekends. —outtraveler.com In order to avoid offering benefits to same-sex couples, Oklahoma will halt all benefits for National Guard service members. Gov. Mary Fallin (R) announced that all state-owned National Guard facilities will no longer allow any married couples to apply for spousal benefits, regardless of their orientation, so she can avoid violating Oklahoma’s constitutional amendment limiting marriage to one man and one woman. —thinkprogress.org SEEN ON TWITTER Transgender health benefits are expanding throughout the business world as more and more corporations sign on. Nearly one fourth—or 25 percent—of Fortune 500 companies are now offering medical expenses associated with transgender care, up from 19 percent last year. —newsday.com Amtrak is reaching out to minority groups—including the LGBT community—in a big way. They recently launched three “microsites”: one to cater to the Hispanic community, one for the black community and another for the LGBT community, which called “Amtrak Ride With Pride.” Mark Mastro, a marketing manager in Amtrak’s Passenger Experience group, is the editor of a travel blog on that page, which will share blogs that will in-
clude travel experiences, insights and travel deals. —Lesbian.com SEEN ON HUFFINGTON POST Photographer Debbie Boud has released an annual calendar called “It’s All Butch,” depicting butch lesbians shown in varying styles and environments. Boud said she is hoping to “break the mullet-wearing stereotypes” and show that butch women can be “hot” too. You can check out a slideshow online before purchasing on her website. —Gay Voices @ HuffingtonPost.com The executive director of an affiliate of the right-wing antigay organization American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property, is claiming that the deadly tornadoes that cut through Illinois last week were God’s wrath as a result of the state’s recent approval of same-sex marriage. —Gay Voices @ HuffingtonPost.com SEEN ON GOOGLE ALERTS Blake Skjellerup, an openly gay New Zealand speed skater, is raising money for his trip to Sochi and plans to compete openly at the upcoming Winter Olympics. Skjellerup told Britain’s The Guardian he hopes to inspire and encourage other LGBT people in Russia and said he would even like to meet Putin while he is there. —edgeboston.com Editor’s Note: This new section shares LGBT-themed news clips from around the world seen across social media platforms. Visit our website at gay-sd.com to access links to the full stories associated with each clip. Got something to share? Tweet it to @gaysd.t
GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 29–Dec. 12, 2013
Bringing history ‘out of the closet’ Loving your IT (Inner Teenager)
I A N M O RTO N PROFILES IN ADVOCACY We are living in a dynamic time when the walls between the LGBTQ community and equality are coming down. With the fall of DOMA and DADT and 16 states coming out in favor of marriage equality, there is much cause for celebration. Yet, with each generation, do we lose sight of the heroes and the cost they paid to pave the way for these rights that were once unequivocally denied? Newly “out of the closet,” Lambda Archives ensures that we do not. Founded in 1987 as the brainchild of Jess Jessop and Doug Moore, Lambda Archives started with a bedroom full of LGBTQ memorabilia that Jessop had collected. Moore recognized the importance of preserving the history and Jessop was a driving force behind the organizing of what was then called “The Lesbian and Gay Archives.” That recognition of the importance of “archiving” is one born out of love for the artifacts that define a history. Having the opportunity to speak with treasurer and long-time supporter, Meldon “Mel” Merrill and archivist, Kelly Revak in the newly renovated space adjacent to the Diversionary Theater’s box office, was quite a treat. With the first glimpse of the archival treasures that are being kept for posterity, it is hard not to get swept up in the nobility of the effort. In general “patriotic” terms, we often hear the phrase, “freedom isn’t free,” and for the LGBTQ community, these pieces of history resonate with that sentiment. Once you have taken in the current exhibit, chronicling LGBTQ integration into San Diego government, the next thing that might catch your eye is the impressive library of fiction and non-fiction books from
floor to ceiling. In addition to the hard copies, there are computers accessible to staff, volunteers and visitors to view the ever-increasing digital collection of photos, letters, diaries and posters from community defining individuals and events. With publications of both local and national significance including 1957’s One Magazine, the first LGBTQ magazine, this repository is one of the most saturated regional collections and a model for other archiving efforts around the country. If you take the time (well worth it) to get a tour of the “stacks,” the number of banners, posters, videos and tee shirts from events is staggering. The photo collection alone numbers more than 200,000 and the collection continues to grow each year.
Mel Merrill at the Archives’ Sept. annual gala that honored local LGBT politicians (Courtesy Lambda Archives) Mel has been a part of this initiative since the beginning as a funder and has held the role of treasurer for three years and, having been in San Diego since 1960, has a personal connection with the stories that the Archive holds. Kelly actually had a background in archiving and discovered Lambda Archives at their San Diego Pride booth about six years ago. Together they get to experience the impact on visitors and interns as they discover the new Lambda Archives space. While having been in existence for 25 years, the move to the lower level of the Diversionary building really was like “coming out of the closet” – literally. Previously, the Archives were housed in a space about one third of their current size in the upper floor of the building, and that space was largely needed for storage. When the larger space became available below, through the generosity of the Fritz Klein Trust, grant and membership sup-
port AND a huge volunteer effort, they were able to create a space that both meets the archival compliance for storage and allows the greater community access to the archives. Mel was able to speak of even earlier precautions that had to be observed in the Archive’s younger days. They did not publish their address, as a firebomb through a window was a very real concern to these delicate, paper-based artifacts. Now, with a more secure space, growing tolerance and the tools to create a digital database of the archives, public visibility is much safer. We also chatted about who is served by the archives on a day-today basis. With the recent development of a San Diego State University LGBT studies major, they have a vibrant stream of student interns spending time at the archives. It is also a great resource for new employees or board members of established agencies and programs in San Diego to learn that employer’s history. No matter who comes through or why, the impact is profound. Many of their interns stayed beyond the required hours and some have chosen to become archivists after their time at Lambda. We talked about why Mel and Kelly love coming through the doors of Lambda Archives and Mel remarked, “I’m old enough to have known many of the people whose stuff is here; it’s like communing with them again.” From an archivist perspective, Kelly recognizes that “This is work no one else is doing and we are making a difference in saving the history of an important movement.” There is not a way to communicate the experience of visiting the Lambda Archives, for it is a visual and tactile journey, nor can I adequately quantify the important role these people play in our lives and those of generations to come. Mel has stories that put so many pieces in perspective. Kelly treats each piece of history and the process of preserving them with joy and reverence. These are people that we need to know! In Mel’s words, “We are here to tell the stories. They are fascinating because we had to do so much by ourselves. We were a hated and criminalized minority, and we went from being low to creating every social and service organization we needed, our own church, our own political organizations and our own medical response during the AIDS epidemic. We’ve had to do everything for ourselves.” For more information, find them online at lambdaarchives.us. —Ian Morton has worked in the HIV field since 1994 when he began volunteering with AIDS Response Knoxville. He currently serves as outreach liaison for the AIDS Research Institute at UCSD. To nominate a person or organization to be featured in Profiles in Advocacy, please submit name, affiliation and contact information to email@example.com
MICHAEL KIMMEL LIFE BEYOND THERAPY There are lots of articles out there in the self-help world about loving your inner child. John Bradshaw made that really big a while back. But, what comes next? In other words, what about our inner teenager? You know your inner teenager; he/she is the part of you that acts just like a 12-18 year old. See if you don’t recognize some of these traits in yourself: • Wants to be free to do whatever they want • Is totally honest, spares no punches • Has a playful, goofy side • Desperately wants to fit in • Dreads growing up and doing things that are “boring” (like a job) • Hates restrictions of any kind • Has a unique sense of humor • Questions anything and everything • Rebels against anything/ anyone they don’t like Sound familiar? Most of us, as adults, still act out these qualities, some of us more than others. How can we enjoy the best of our inner teenager (honesty, humor, playfulness) and minimize those not-so-helpful qualities (mistrust, intolerance, insecurity)? We do it by learning to love our inner teenager (hereafter, our “IT”). We can begin to recognize her/his value and when it’s time to listen to him/her. For example: • It is often wise to question authority and rules • Complete honesty is often the best policy • Having a sense of playfulness helps keep us sane • It is good to rebel when other people try to guilt-trip or manipulate you • Some jobs and obligations are deadly boring and can be avoided • Sometimes it is good to “fit in” To love your IT, talk to her/ him just like you would a real teenager: if you ignore her, she’ll get pissed off and—eventu-
ally—have her revenge. Your IT deserves to be heard, listened to and respected, but he does not always need to get his way. Loving your IT means sometimes saying “no.” How to do this? Just like you would a real teenager: explain the situation and listen to their response. Don’t tell your IT to shut up, e.g., “I don’t care what you think.” Being disrespectful to any part of yourself doesn’t work. We want to make peace with ALL the parts of ourselves. We’re going to be with our inner child/teenager/adult for a long time, so we want to learn to work with them. “All for one and one for all” was the motto for the Three Musketeers. It works well for us as well. How do you love a difficult, stubborn, rebellious teenager? Slowly, gently and honestly. Don’t bullshit them or promise them things that you know you can’t deliver. You want to earn the trust of your IT so that, for example, when you need to go to work and your IT would rather stay in bed and watch videos, you can negotiate. It could go something like: Inner Teenager: I don’t want to go to work today. I’m sick of that place. Adult You: I hear you, it was a drag yesterday. IT: So, let’s not go. Let’s stay in bed and watch videos. AY: You know, it sounds good, but we need the money. IT: Oh, I hate money. Screw money! AY: But money buys us things we like, like movies, food and vacations. IT: I want money but don’t want to do anything boring to get it. AY: That sounds good, but how about a compromise? Let’s go to work, and when work is over, we can do ------------(something fun that your IT would like). IT: Well … okay. You promise? Don’t flake on me. AY: I promise. IT: Okay, let’s get dressed and (sigh) go to work. AY: Thanks, I promise you we’ll do ----------- after work. Get the drift? Work with your IT and create compromises that enable you to fulfill your adult obligations AND do stuff that your IT enjoys. If you’ve never tried this, get ready for some stimulating and surprising conversations. Your inner teenager has a lot that he/she can teach you if you’re willing to listen and work with her/him. Try it. And don’t be surprised when you start to have a lot more fun and less resistance in your life. —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. Michael is currently accepting new clients. Contact him at 619-955-3311 or visit lifebeyondtherapy.com.t
GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 29–Dec. 12, 2013
GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 29–Dec. 12, 2013
Ma ll s e cre t Dining with
FRANK SABATINI JR.
gay-sd.com The Greek burger with potato salad
(Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.)
59th and Lex Cafe | 7007 Friars Road (Fashion Valley) | 619-610-6558 Prices: Salads, soups and sandwiches, $6 to $18; entrees, $13 to $18.
nless you’re a Bloomingdale’s shopaholic, you’ve probably never heard of 59th and Lex Café. Even so, regular customers to the high-end Fashion Valley store could potentially overlook it. Named after Bloomingdale’s Upper East Side location in New York, the full-service café is tucked away on the third floor, camouflaged partially by the house wares department. A glass panel separates it from the retail area, although once inside shoppers can relax their aching feet in a chic, quiet space that feels a million miles removed from the holiday hubbub of the mall and its packed food court. Elegance is achieved through recessed up-lighting, striped wall paper and framed, archival car-toons referring to the prestigious reputation of Bloomingdale’s. Some of them appear lifted from the pages of The New Yorker.
Compared to the cafes at Neiman-Marcus and Nordstrom, prices here are a notch lower and the dishes are mildly seasoned. A monstrous Greek-style turkey burger costing $12, for instance, cried for more of the touted “Mediterranean herbs” in the patty. And the cucumber-spiked sour cream topping, which was thin like yogurt, could have withstood a touch of garlic. Given the burger’s overall lack of statement, the accompanying dill pickle and a pinch of table salt were needed to perk it up.
The “59th burger” appears to be the tastier choice, as it’s made with a blend of ground chuck, brisket and short rib meat. It’s crowned with cheddar and sautéed mushrooms and onions. The burger list goes further with the “Eastern” using ground lamb and Merguez sausage or a salmon patty topped with subtle caper aioli. All include a choice of fries, salad or house-made red potato salad revealing whispers of dill. For nearly a
century, soups, salads and light sandwiches have remained the vital mainstays in department-store restaurants so that visitors can refuel without obliterating their spunk for shopping. Here, the semi-chunky potato soup offered gentle creaminess with hints of sage and rosemary. But the chicken noodle soup was better, sporting a parsley-studded broth and large pieces of breast meat swarmed by finely diced car carrots and celery. My companion’s “zesty” bean and chicken salad wasn’t as zesty as it was earthy and bountiful. The medley contained a few varieties of beans along with kale, spinach, avocado and roasted bell peppers, all dressed prudently in lemon-shallot vinaigrette. I’m not sure if ( l to r) The famous frozen yogurt; chicken soup (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.) the organics are locally
sourced since the menu is devised by a team of regional corporate chefs, but the salad appeals to the demands of San Diegans seeking healthy, fresh meals, not to mention those Bloomie customers accustomed to tailorfitted clothing. Other salads include chopped turkey breast, almond-chicken and salmon nicoise, which represent the standbys dating back decades in cafes at Bloomingdale’s and other highbrow department stores. You’ll also find a Southwester-style shrimp wrap along with classic New York club and chicken salad sandwiches. And speaking of nostalgia, the menu features the original recipe for “40 carrots frozen yogurt,” which the company began serving 30 years ago at its New York City flagship store, shortly before the mass public fully embraced the cold dessert as an alternative to ice cream. There are no carrots in it that we could detect, though it’s available in plain tart or dreamy butter-pecan. The yogurt was exceedingly more satisfying than the pineapplemango smoothie we tried, which wasn’t so fruity tasting. Although if you prefer thin, drinkable smoothies, this hits the mark since it’s made with skim milk. Service was spotty at best, and we expected better. Over the course of three different servers tending to us, one disappeared on a long break after delivering our soups while the others struggled to figure out what we had subsequently ordered. There were many lapses along the way, although the manager sincerely apologized in the end. The café also serves beer, wine, and champagne to perhaps celebrate that purchase of a $1,000 handbag marked down to $400. Or better yet, to decompress after hunting aggressively for a mall parking space. In either case, this hidden café is a godsend to holiday shoppers in need of a peaceful culinary retreat.t
After receiving oceanic treasures to its kitchen by local fishermen for more than five years, Sea Rocket Bistro in North Park is bidding us fond adieu with an announcement that its last day of business will be Dec. 8. In a blog post on the restaurant’s web site, co-owner Elena Rivellino cites growing overheard costs as the cause, adding that “we hope to see you again through the next open door, wherever that may lead.” 3382 30th St., 619-255-7049. Vegetarians and carnivores can take comfort in a couple of weekly dinner specials offered at Urban Solace in North Park. From 4 to 10 p.m. on Thursdays, the sous chefs present three-course vegetarian meals for $30. The dishes change ever y few weeks and have included creamy celer y root and quinoa Napoleon, cornbreadstuffed acorn squash and apple-yam tarts with whipped brie. For those craving grass-fed beef, look no further than the 12-ounce prime rib dinners ser ved from 5 to 9 p.m. on Sundays. The plates come with potatoes and vegetables and cost $34.50. 3823 30th St., 619-295-6464.
Black and white truffles imported from Italy will grace a variety of dishes throughout a brief dinner series at Solare Ristorante Italiano Bar Lounge in Liberty Station. The prized fungi are scheduled to appear in dinners on Dec. 5 and 18, and Jan. 10. Reser vations are required since seating at each event is limited. 2620 Roosevelt St., 619-270-9670.
Considered the highest rooftop bar on the West Coast, Altitude at the San Diego Marriot Gaslamp Quarter will be conjoined in mid-December with a new, separate venue named City Sights. Situated 22 floors above street level, the space replaces a fitness center and will be marked by a glass-enclosed balcony and a lounge filled with modern, modular furniture. The panoramic views go without say. 660 K St., 619-696-0324.t
(top) Assorted dumplings (Courtesy BAM Communications); (below) Chef Heredia has bacon on his mind. (Courtesy Alchemy)
Chef Ricardo Heredia of Alchemy has brought home the bacon with a $10,000 first-place win at the World Food Championships held recently in Las Vegas. The victor y occurred when cooking in the bacon categor y against 450 other chefs. His winning dish, however, is being kept secret until it’s revealed in a broadcast of the competition, due to air early next year on the A&E network. To celebrate, Heredia has introduced a few baconinspired dishes at the South Park restaurant such as the “six degrees of Kevin Bacon” featuring six strips of applewoodsmoked bacon with a choice of bacon-infused sauces that includes bacon fat Hollandaise. 1503 30th St., 619-255-0616.
Gay San Diego
A holiday-inspired wine and food pairing to benefit Mama’s Kitchen will be held from 6 to 8 p.m., Dec. 4, in the wine bar at Andaz San Diego hotel. The event, “Sip, Swirl and Savor,” will feature Bordeaux-style blends from Justin Winer y and dishes crafted by Andaz’s culinar y team. The chefs will also provide guests with the latest and greatest ideas for holiday entertaining. For complimentar y admission, bring along a non-perishable canned or dr y food item and RSVP to andazsandiego@prchemistr y.com. 600 F St., 619-849-1234.
BY FRANK SABATINI JR.
In what is being touted as San Diego’s only authentic dim sum restaurant outside of Convoy Street, the new French Concession in Hillcrest has arrived. The newly opened 3,500-square-foot restaurant was conceived by restaurateur Alex Thao, who decided to replace his Thai-themed Celadon with a menu reflecting Shanghai dishes from the 1930s, when the French were in power. The dinner and brunch menus feature nearly 30 dim sum items, classic Chinese dishes and a hefty selection of local and Asian craft beers. Overseeing the menus is Executive Chef is Andrew Kwong, a Hong Kong native who previously worked at several restaurants throughout China. 3671 Fifth Ave., 619-297-8424.
GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 29–Dec. 12, 2013
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GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 29–Dec. 12, 2013
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GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 29–Dec. 12, 2013
3785 4th Ave., (at Robinson) San Diego, CA 92103 | greenfreshflorals.com | 619-544-0504
Passion thrives at Green Fresh Florals Carlos Franco of Hillcrest’s Green Fresh Florals, has a passion for design which is unsurpassed in San Diego. Trained in Paris and London, Franco has combined a classic French motif with contemporary styles to create world-class designs. These arrangements have been featured at top venues such as the San Diego Museum of Art, the San Diego Symphony, the Museum of Photographic Arts, the Westin Gaslamp Hotel, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Oliver McMillan and Bloomingdales. “I approach design as a collaboration with my clients. Together, I can mold their desires into creations that are unique and yet reflective of
their personality or brand,” says Franco. He was recently chosen by the San Diego Museum of Art to be the Rotunda Designer for the annual art and flower spectacular “Art Alive” held in April this year. Over the past year, Green Fresh Florals has grown from an outdoor venue into a showcase for home and garden décor, plants and containers. With his large event and wedding clientele, Franco has enlisted the help of two additional designers, Travis Rogers and Carla Bassi, who help bring his unique floral and design vision to life.
GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 29–Dec. 12, 2013
‘Come look at the freaks; they’ll haunt you for weeks’
nce again our world is rife with stories about the Hilton twins, Violet and Daisy. Born in 1908, they were conjoined at the spine, became vaudeville entertainers who made and lost a fortune, and were featured in a 1932 Hollywood film titled “Freaks.” Having been exploited by others their entire lives, they died of Hong Kong flu in 1969. In 1997, “Side Show”—the Bill Russell (book and lyrics) and Henry Krieger (music) musical about Violet and Daisy—opened on Broadway. Though it played only 91 performances and garnered four Tony nominations, it established cult status. Now reimagined by Academy Award-winning director Bill Condon for La Jolla Playhouse and the Kennedy Center, “Side Show” plays through December 15 at La Jolla Playhouse and June 14 – July 13, 2014, at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. This review is based on the opening night performance Nov. 17. Less bleak than the reality of the Hilton twin’s lives, Side Show is a celebration of otherness, in which the sideshow freaks become endearing characters, and the inseparable, resolute sisters, our heroes. One can’t imagine a more beautiful, fully realized production than the one seen at La Jolla Playhouse. Erin Davie and Emily Padgett—
Through December 15
Mandell Weiss Theatre Theatre at La Jolla Playhouse 2910 La Jolla Village Dr. Tues–Sun, show times vary lajollaplayhouse.org
whose resemblance in every gesture and facial and vocal expression is uncanny—portray Violet and Daisy, respectively. Violet wants nothing more than to be loved by the right man, and Daisy is more ambitious for fame. Matthew Hydzik plays Buddy Foster, the dancer and performance coach who falls in love with Violet and
(left) Emily Padgett as “Daisy” and Erin Davie as “Violet;” (above) Side Show’s “freaks” Zonya Love, Javier Ignacio, Hanna Shankman, Lauren Elder and Brandon Bieber (Photos by Kevin Berne) wants to marry her, giving rise to one of the show’s funniest and most discomfit discomfiting songs, “1+1=3.” Manoel Felciano plays Terry Con Connor, whose ties to the Orpheum vaudeville circuit place the twins before the public, bringing them notoriety and riches. He loves Daisy, but is unable to reconcile his discomfiture, other than to suggest
the girls be surgically separated, something that may be medically and psychologically impossible. Since childhood in the custody of and thrall to a freak show boss, Sir (Robert Joy), the twins decide to leave the only life they’ve known (“The Devil You Know”). Their confidant and defender, Jake (affecting David St. Louis), who plays the Cannibal King in the freak show, goes along. The show’s more memorable songs are Daisy and Violet’s “I Will Never Leave You,” “Feelings You’ve Got to Hide,” and the amazing Act I closer, “Who Will Love Me As I Am?” sung by the twins and the
company of Freaks. St. Louis’s song, “You Should Be Loved,” is a showstopper, as is the 11th hour reprise of “I Will Never Leave You.” The closing number, “Come Look at the Freaks,” is emblematic of the story’s innate sadness. Poignantly Russell, Krieger and Condon ask each of us to examine our secret freak. This may be an act that some musical theater fans are unable to conceive, let alone perform. The idea is what makes “Side Show” special, important, universal and true in the real and human sense. Meanwhile, the lavish production provides grand entertainment, great spectacle, and wondrously fine musical realizations, thanks to the singers and to a fantastic, largely unseen, nine-piece orchestra composed of American Federation of Musicians members. Conductor is music director/keyboardist Gregg Jarrett, who is visible in the extreme. Anthony van Laast is choreographer, and Harold Wheeler, the orchestrator. One so admires Paul Tazewell’s costumes and David Rockwell’s scenic design. Both have magic and surprise. Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer’s lighting and Kai Harada’s sound cannot be faulted. Kudos to all the freaks, er, attractions.t
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GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 29–Dec. 12, 2013
Friday, November 29
CYGNET’S CHRISTMAS CAROL: If you’ve never seen a “live radio play,” this can’t be missed. You’ll be catapulted back to 1944 while watching the WCYG Playhouse of the AIR present this holiday tradition before your eyes. Tonight you can enjoy a low-priced preview show to get you in the holiday spirit. 8 p.m. 4040 Twiggs St., Old Town. Tickets cygnettheatre.com or 619-337-1525. 3RD ANNUAL FUZZY FLOOZY BLANKET DRIVE: Hosted by Ophelia, this is not your typical blanket drive! Pay $5 at the door or bring a gently used blanket or coat to benefit the Alpha Project. 7 – 9 p.m. Urban MO’s 308 University Ave., Hillcrest. More info call 619-491-0400.
Saturday, November 30
WREATH SNEAK PEEK: Get a peek at all the wreaths up for grabs at tomorrow’s auction and help organizers thank all the donors. 7 p.m. More info visit martinisabovefourth.com. MO M.A.N.: The crowning of the man of Movember and Miss Movember. Arrive early for free mustache face paintings. Enter the MO Off with your host, Shaun Flak. $300 in prizes. DJ Kiki spins. 10 p.m. – 12 a.m. Bournon Street, 4612 Park Blvd., University Heights. More info visit flakproductions.com.
Sunday, December 1
ANNUAL HOLIDAY FUNDRAISER: Bring an unwrapped toy or a suggested $10 donation to Redwing to support Christie’s Place. There will be entertainment and an auction with emcee David. 5 – 8 p.m. Redwing, 4012 30th St., North Park. More info call David 619522-3533. TREE OF LIFE LIGHTING CEREMONY: Take a moment for those who we’ve lost and celebrate the progress made. Village Hillcrest on Fifth Ave., 5 – 7 p.m. More info mamaskitchen.org. COUNTDOWN FOR CROCE’S: After 30 years, Ingrid Croce is counting down the last 31 days to the closing of Croce’s Restaurant and Jazz Bar in the Gaslamp Quarter. If you haven’t been in a while, make sure you get there. Check out their jazz calendar and watch for Sue Palmer dates. 802 Fifth Ave. FREE MOVEMBER SHAVES: Mister Brown’s will launch its grand opening at 3064
University Ave., in North Park by offering everyone in the neighborhood a free shave on this first day following Movember. Mister Brown’s offers parlor style barber services in a unique, sophisticated venue. Nice lounge chairs, televisions and a pool table round out the social experience. To reserve a spot for the grand shave-off today from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., email email@example.com. You can also follow them on FB.
Monday, December 2
10TH ANNUAL CHARITY WREATH AUCTION: Come bid on this year’s amazing wreaths and raise money for Queen Eddie’s Youth Fund, which benefits youth and family programs at The Center. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and live auction begins at 7 p.m. For more info visit martinisabovefourth.com.
Tuesday, December 3
HBC TRIVIA TUESDAYS: Our pals at Hillcrest Brewing Company (HBC), advertised as the only LGBT brewery in the world, are kicking it up a notch on Tuesdays with their Trivia game. Come beat the daylight savings blues either alone, in pairs, or with an entire team of 4, 6, or 8 players – and match your skills. You may even win one of the gift card prizes for first, second and third place. The action starts at 8 p.m. HBC is located at 1458 University Ave., in Hillcrest. For more info visit mosuniverse.com.
Wednesday, December 4
COMPLETELY KAHLO: “The Complete Frida Kahlo—Her
Paintings. Her Life. Her Story.” Exhibition with audio guide features 123 precise replicas of Kahlo’s known paintings in their original size, becoming the largest, most comprehensive exhibition ever created about the iconic Mexican artist’s work, life and story, through Jan 10, 2014. Today 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Barracks 3, Liberty Station, 2765 Truxton Rd., Tickets start $12.50. Visit ntclibertystation.com/fridakahlo.php.
Thursday, December 5
CANCER SURVIVOR BOOK READING: Local women’s sports activist and entrepreneur Jody Sims wrote a book last summer about how she used art to overcome cancer and extreme loss. See her paintings and hear her inspiring story. 6:30 p.m. Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 W. Washington Ave. 619-692-4910. MARGARET CHO: Celebrate Margaret’s birthday at her performance Downtown at the Balboa Theatre, 868 Fourth Ave. For tickets, visit sandiegotheatres.org.
Friday, December 6
SCROOGE IN ROUGE: A different kind of Christmas Carol is happening at Diversionary Theatre. Come early for cocktails and kick the tradition in the Dickens with a grown up twist. 8 p.m. 4545 Park Blvd., University Heights. For more info visit Diversionary.org.
Saturday, December 7
SAN DIEGO WOMEN’S CHORUS HOLIDAY SHOW: Join the full chorus for their annual Christmas performance
called “Light Up the World, which will honor how light is used in all the ways we celebrate the holidays around the world. 7 p.m. at University Christian Church, 3900 Cleveland Ave., in Hillcrest. Tickets $15. sdwc.org IVANA FORD BOOK SIGNING: Special book launch and exhibition of “Vixen Obscura,” a self-published book of “sexy, pretty pictures” by photographer Ivana Ford. Ford will be on hand for a meet and greet and book signing. 5 – 8 p.m. The Rubber Rose, 917 E St., Downtown. More info IvanaFord. tumblr.com.
Sunday, December 8
SAN DIEGO WOMEN’S CHORUS HOLIDAY SHOW: Join the full chorus for their annual Christmas performance called “Light Up the World, which will honor how light is used in all the ways we celebrate the holidays around the world. 8 p.m. University Christian Church, 3900 Cleveland Ave., in Hillcrest. Tickets $15. sdwc.org.
Monday, December 9
ALL YOU CAN EAT SPAGHETTI AND SHOWTUNES: When was the last time you had an all-you-can-eat plate of fabulous spaghetti for a mere $5? Now that’s a bargain and the culinary staff at Urban MO’s will make it happen between 5 p.m. – 2 a.m. All you need to do is purchase a beverage of your choice. No take-outs or splits allowed, but who would expect to? Urban MOs 308 University Ave. For more info, visit mosuniverse.com.
Tuesday, December 10
HILLCREST HOLIDAY POTLUCK: Join the Hillcrest Town Council and the Hillcrest History Guild for their annual holiday potluck. Bring a vegetable side dish, a salad or a dessert, all the other trimmings will be provided. The sculpture artist of local heroes found at Laurel St. and Balboa Park Dr. will also make a presentation. Joyce Beers Community Center, 3900 Vermont St. in the Uptown Shopping Center. For more info call 619-260-1929.
Wednesday, December 11
DREAMGIRLS REVUE IS BACK: Every Wednesday join Chad Michaels and the entire DreamGirls, followed by DJs spinning dance music immediately after. 8 – 9:30 p.m., $ 7 cover. Urban Mo’s, 308 University Ave. Visit urbanmos.com or call 619-491-0400. PICTIONARY: Come play with Tiger … and Sister Ida Knows on the back patio. Match your skills, win fun prizes and raise money for a good causes. 7:30–10 p.m. #1 Fifth Ave, 3845 Fifth Ave., Hillcrest.
Thursday, December 12
TASTE ‘N TINIS: Shop Hillcrest for the holidays and have a ton of fun while you do it. Tonight to introduce you to all the shops, more than 20 different tastes and 12 different martinis await you make your way around the Hillcrest neighborhood. 5 – 9 p.m. Advanced tickets, $20. FabulousHillcrest.com.
For inclusion in the calendar, email firstname.lastname@example.org
GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 29–Dec. 12, 2013
16 Sarah Silverman
(Photo by Robyn von Swank)
Sarah Silverman talks HBO special, Miley and gay jokes By Chris Azzopardi | Q Syndicate There’s nothing too taboo for Sarah Silverman. Not AIDS, not poop. And in her 20-year career – which began in 1993 with a spot on Saturday Night Live, and then led to a hit comedy special, “Jesus is Magic,” and her own sitcom—The Sarah Silverman Program—the comedian has established herself as one of the ballsiest voices of our time. With an all-new HBO special, “We Are Miracles,” Silverman caught up with us to talk about crushing on Patti LuPone, being “older and wiser and dumber” and the meaning of life. Chris Azzopardi: I saw a children’s book the other day called “Why Dogs Eat Poop.” Guess who it reminded me of? Sarah Silverman: Aww, was it me? CA: Of course it was you. SS: I knew it was either gonna be me or Helen Mirren. CA: Your comedy special, “We Are Miracles,” sounds very inspiring. Will we be inspired? SS: Yeah, I hope that you’ll leave
that show completely changed. Just kidding. I mean, maybe a little bit. But probably not. CA: What can you say about the special? SS: All I can say is that the special is mind-blowing and life-changing for the viewer. It’s just a really honest reflection—either literally or figuratively—of where I’m at right now, just in my life. Not that it’s autobiographical at all—it’s still lies— but it’s just what I’m into now. Like, I’m older and wiser and dumber. It’s different than my first special. It doesn’t digress into other videos or things. There’s a scene at the beginning and at the end but besides that it’s just the live performance. It’s just the standup special with a teeny-tiny audience – just 39 people. CA: Tell me there will be poop jokes. SS: Why of course, baby! There’s at least one. CA: You attract all sorts of people. SS: It’s so weird that I have such a random and eclectic demographic, like the old, the young, the gay, the gayer.
CA: And your style of satirical comedy, where you make fun of just about every group of people, seems to have the ability to unite people. When you look out at your audiences, do you feel that way too? SS: Aww, yeah. Half of it is the energy in the room. It’s like sometimes you listen to Howard Stern and you might think he sounds like he’s being really mean, but if you’re in the studio and you saw the mischievous smile on his face, it’s a totally different thing going on. CA: What’s your special ritual before you hit the stage? SS: I write out a set list and yell at myself for waiting to the last minute. And I have a sugar-free Red Bull. CA: No sugar? SS: No. There are drugs they put in it. Whatever it is. It’s the “limitless” pill. Oh God, I want the limitless pill so bad. CA: Have you ever felt badly or regretted a joke you made? SS: Yeah, I never wanna make anyone feel bad, but I also know
gay-sd.com that’s not possible. Everyone who watches comedy, they’re watching in the context of their own life experience, so you don’t know what’s gonna catch someone.
are finally changing with these fucking idiots.
CA: Just recently the tables were turned and you were hurt by some age jokes during “The Roast of James Franco” on Comedy Central.
SS: Very little. I find an outfit I feel comfortable in—or that I did well in (laughs)—and I just wear it until I have to wash it. I’m just kidding. I do laundry.
SS: I wanna be so protective of the rules of the roast, which is that there are none and that anything goes – and I protect that. I would never want to change anything that was said. It just was separate from the roast, and I said brutal things – that’s just how it is. But it’s separate from that. It just illuminated things for me in my life, and you’re right – it is just like that. In the context of my life, that stuck. It’s like, I had feelings! But I still loved it. And I feel like I’m better for it because it forced me to deal with stuff. You know, Jonah (Hill) said the same thing. He said, “Everything that is my biggest fear in life was said tonight and I lived through it,” so there’s something cathartic about it as well. CA: Did it make you rethink your approach to comedy and how something you say could offend someone, as well? SS: No, no, no. First of all, I don’t talk about specific people in general. I mean, not as a rule, but I don’t tend to in my stand-up. Roast is a very specific thing. CA: You push buttons, though. When does a gay joke become offensive? SS: Well, what is a gay joke? Where, like, homosexuality is the joke? Is the punchline? I don’t see that a lot right now. That’s in an ugly past. Hopefully perceptions
CA: How much thought goes into what you wear onstage?
CA: You do your own laundry? SS: I do, actually. I’m in a building, so I don’t even have my own washer and dryer. There’s just one for every floor. It’s me ... and people’s maids. CA: If comedy didn’t exist, what would you be doing with your life? SS: I’d work with chimps and apes and monkeys – be a Dian Fossey type. I mean, I’d want to, like, always be by a really nice bathroom. So, close to Dian Fossey but with a nice place to stay. CA: You’ll soon star alongside Patti LuPone on HBO’s “People in New Jersey,” which is being produced by Lorne Michaels. SS: Oh my God! I don’t even know what to say about Patti LuPone. She’s everything you could dream of and so much more. I knew I was a huge fan. I knew I was excited. But she is the most awesome. She is so cool, she’s so funny and her improv skills are crazy. I mean, I couldn’t keep it together. She’s the coolest. I think I have a crush on her. CA: And she’s gonna be your mother. How does it feel living the dream of every gay man on earth? SS: It feels so right. CA: OK, the lightning round. SS: Holy shit. CA: Lady Gaga or Katy Perry? SS: Katy Perry. I just like “Firework.” I love that song. So good. And “Roar” – I like “Roar,” too! I love any kind of anthemic music. CA: Is “Roar” your pre-show pump up song? SS: (Laughs) Honestly, for a while, it was. CA: Miley Cyrus or Hannah Montana? SS: Miley Cyrus. I mean, I love “The Climb” and “Party in the U.S.A.,” but I’m interested in what she’s doing now. She’s expressing herself. She’s got the right to express herself. She’s 20 or something. It’ll be interesting to see where it leads. CA: Eminem or Coolio? SS: No Doubt. CA: What’s the meaning of life? SS: I don’t know, but it involves Nerds Rope. CA: Any last words? SS: No. Sarah Silverman’s HBO special, “We Are Miracles,” premiered Nov. 23. —Chris Azzopardi is the editor of Q Syndicate, the international LGBT wire service. Reach him via his website at chris-azzopardi.comt
FROM PAGE 1
board expert as recent guests. As if that wasn’t enough, add philanthropist to that resume because earlier this week a motorcycle Cho donated—2012 Suzuki L650 Savage—was auctioned off on eBay for the National Association to Protect Children. After 51 active bids, the winner paid $3,500 for the cycle, which had less than 1,500 miles but was chock full of celebrity autographs. “My problem is I don’t know how to really rest,” she explained. “That is my issue. I have pretty severe insomnia. It’s like the opposite of ADD. I’m too focused on things and get too caught up in things, so for me, activity is a kind of rest.” Last spring during a tour stop in Australia, Cho received some unexpected attention when she outed John Travolta on stage. Her commentary caused an immediate backlash, which mostly played out on Twitter. Cho, who was raised in the gay bookstore her parents owned in the Castro, took to her blog and set comedy aside: “… I learned about outing in the ‘80s and ‘90s from the fiery, political homosexual men who raised me. They believed in Harvey Milk and walked for miles with candles after his assassination in 1978. You can see them in their great numbers in the film “Milk,” a deep, blue ocean of my family, grieving, unbelieving. I come from this watershed time in queer history, when we were at war with homophobia, at war with ignorance, at war with our most formidable enemy, AIDS. … I wish we had a military cemetery for those fallen soldiers, but all we have is a quilt. It’s a nice one, though. I love that quilt. I have cried so many tears on it. It’s heavy with the hopeless slaughter of an entire generation who should be remembered as veterans. AIDS was a war that they fought and did not come back from. We miss them. They are our heroes. We wanted gay celebrities to come out because we were dying, and we needed help. I still feel this way. … If public figures came out of the closet, then the LGBT kids who saw them on TV would feel safe, before they even knew why they felt dangerous. Maybe if enough people came out of the closet, gay kids would never feel dangerous. Maybe we could have a world where we could all just live. We may not all agree, but why can’t we just all live? I have seen too much death to take things lightly. I don’t have a prescription for a chill pill. I don’t
GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 29–Dec. 12, 2013
CA L E B R A I N E Y OUT ON THE PAGE
Cho on one of her many motorcycles. (Photo by Austin Young)
think that I am asking so much of celebrities. I don’t think I am asking that much of the world.” Clearly the images that burned deep during those years are also channeled through her stand-up and lend to her activism. Her latest tour is about just that, she said, the issues she feels are connected with aging and getting older and all that comes with the experiences of life. “For me motherhood is about wisdom,” she said. “This show is sort of my ode to that, my ode to aging and wisdom and getting to that place.” Marketing campaigns for the tour say it’s “XXX” and that “Nothing is sacred,” but that’s pretty standard comedic fare for Cho. But she said the content of “Mother” delves into an array of controversial subjects: drugs, abortion, guns, her own neuroses, gay politics and bisexuality. “I think [bisexuality] is important because we don’t hear a lot about that and it is something I have to offer,” she said. “There is also a constant search in the gay community for those mother figures and often [they] are painfully flawed, like Joan Crawford or Judy Garland … we have these attachments to these strong women who have endured a lot,” she said. “So this is my bid to be one of those and it’s also a show about celebrating that kind of an icon and archetype.” Word on the street is that it’s her birthday and Cho said she plans to spend time with loved ones while she is in town. “It’s sort of my family’s adopted hometown, [they have] all relocated there,” she said. San Diegans can celebrate with Margaret Cho on Thursday, Dec. 5 at the Balboa Theatre, 868 Fourth Ave., Downtown at 7:30 p.m. For tickets, visit sandiegotheatres.org.t
I know I usually write a review of a particular book and celebrate its creative power. I have decided to do something slightly different for this holiday season. I want to talk about writers’ lives and I am going to use a particular writer, Emanuel Xavier to demonstrate some general trends for LGBT writers of color. The life of a queer writer is undeniably a hard one. Add to that being “of color” in a world where white still reigns supreme and the journey toward being able to support yourself economically and socially through your art is treacherous, indeed. It is a fact that we have lost many of our writers and as a result their works are no longer with us. Writers like Assotto Saint, Melvin Dixon, Carol LaFavor, Pat Parker, Arturo Islas, and Essex Hemphill are not well known and their books are out of print despite all being talented artists. And it seems as though history continues repeating itself. As of right now, LGBT bookstores are closing or being perceived as obsolete. LGBT presses have either shuttered their doors or gone exclusively to e-books while straight writers and many white LGBT writers get to enjoy being in print and in e-book form thereby boosting their sales and visibility. We have only two organizations in the country that focus on LGBT literature, both of which are based in California and have small budgets. Many LGBT writers of color are with small presses who are unable to support them, so they have to work full-time jobs in order to survive and have no funding for travel and advertising which makes getting the word out about their books almost impossible. Even in a time where LGBT people are enjoying unprecedented progress, our artists and writers continue to be ignored and shunned. And this is doubly true for LGBT writers and artists of color. Ask yourself how many LGBT writers of color do you know? How many are Black? Chicano? Native American? Asian? Puerto Rican? Arab? Where is their literature and why are our diverse youth growing up in a world where they cannot find themselves reflected in one of the oldest and most enduring art forms? Something must be done to begin pushing back
against this invisibility. Emanuel Xavier is a prime example of an amazingly talented queer writer of color who has been publishing through small, underfunded, independent presses since the 1990s and in turn has gone largely unrecognized and ignored. I had the privilege of meeting Emanuel through the work I do at the San Diego Multicultural LGBT Literary Foundation. The organization hosted him to celebrate their one-year anniversary of “promoting, preserving, and teaching works by LGBT artists of color.” This event coincided with the publication of his fourth volume of poetry, titled “Nefarious,” a book that is incredible in many ways; not the least of which is Xavier’s ability to create poems that delve deeply into his own life and come up with truths that stretch far beyond the bounds of his own personal life and are able to touch us all. I listened to him perform his poetry (and I use “perform” deliberately because he definitely does not just read it) and was absolutely mesmerized as he spouted off poems about fathers not loving their queer sons, homelessness, hook-ups gone wrong, and the difficulties facing gay Latino/as. Xavier as an individual and as an artist is extraordinary. He was homeless when young and had to engage in prostitution in order to survive. He also developed and then beat a drug addiction while he was on the streets. Xavier never received formal literary education and does not have a degree. Rather, he learned his craft on the street and it is because of this “outsider” status that his poems—particularly those found in Nefarious—are so gut wrenching and raw. Xavier’s poetry tells his story and other stories like his, of people the LGBT community often forgets about and people we certainly do not want spotlighted. He pushes poor queer people of color into the center of attention and unapologetically celebrates their lives, longings, and defeats. It is not a question of whether his poetry and novels are good. It’s a question of whether we
Poet Emanuel Xavier (Courtesy LGBT MLF)
as a community are going to support Xavier and writers like him as they try to tell us their stories and carve out a space for themselves and others like them in the LGBT community and in the arts world. It is no surprise that many have not heard of Xavier before. LGBT people of color who dare to be artists and dare to center their lives and experiences are often left out in the cold; but this does not have to be the case. We as a community and as individuals can and must change this trend. We are the only people who can. If a community lets its artists live lives of desperation and allows them to be ignored and die unknown, what does that say about that community? What does that say about that community’s pride and investment in its heritage and culture? We can and must do better. This holiday season I urge you to begin making a change and go get a copy of “Nefarious” and any of Xavier’s other great work. We can reverse this trend but only if we support our artists financially and socially. So pledge to get his book and make a difference in at least one poet’s life. “Nefarious” and the rest of Xavier’s titles are available at the Foundation’s online bookstore at sdliteraryfoundation.org, Amazon, or Blue Stocking Books in San Diego. —Caleb Rainey recently graduated with his master’s degree in cultural studies. He is a long-time activist, and the founder executive director of the San Diego Multicultural LGBT Literary Foundation. Contact him at email@example.com
DUDE LOOKS LIKE A LADY Across 1 With 56-Across, “Today” Halloween character of 2004 6 “The African Queen” author 10 Last year’s frosh 14 Socrates’ market 15 Cold feet 16 Scarlett’s plantation 17 Guitarist Eddie Van ___ 18 Turned tail 20 Where to slap a football player on the butt? 22 Frida’s husband 23 With 25-Across, “Today” Halloween character of 2013 25 See 23-Across 27 Gielgud’s john 28 FabergÈ objet 30 Business mag 31 Hot blood 33 About 36 Bubbly home 40 Brady Bunch prefix
41 Matt, who portrayed the 3 women of this puzzle’s theme 42 Q-Tip, for one 43 Neighbor of Senegal 44 What comes to mind 45 “Dawson’s Creek” characters 46 Give a chit 48 PBS relative 50 Personal-ad info 51 With 71-Across, “Today” Halloween character of 2000 56 See 1-Across 58 Uranian, for example 59 Mead studied them on Samoa 61 Kingdom of Alexander†the†Great 63 Vonda Shepard’s “It’s ___ Kiss” 66 Believe-not connection 67 Milk candy 68 Compensate 69 Some have electric organs 70 Poker chip, e.g. 71 See 51-Across
Dude Looks Like a Lady solution on page 19 Down 1 “Poppycock!” 2 Palindromic title 3 Virginia Woolf, to many writers 4 Cara of “Fame” 5 Adam of “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry” 6 Do style 7 Susan’s partner in “Thelma and Louise” 8 Gone from the platter 9 Pull a boner 10 Where both gays and straights go down 11 One of the “Maneater” singers 12 Rag˙ alternative 13 Wore 19 Adam and Steve’s locale? 21 Go the other way 23 Colorless watery fluid 24 Vital carrier 26 Contemporary Christian 29 Cattleman’s tool 32 Willa Cather classic 34 Feel sorry for
35 " ___ Saves the Worled" 37 Spa? 38 Brando’s last one was in Paris 39 Dramatist Henrik 41 Willingly 45 Of little consequence 47 Air force 49 First letter of the F-word, for Socrates? 51 Billy Elliot portrayer Bell 52 Tickle pink 53 Actor Williamson 54 Cause of “bed death” 55 Police actions at Stonewall 57 Slow, to Saint-Saens 60 Bit of business 62 Ann Bannon’s " ___ Girl Out" 64 Suffix with Paul 65 Remarks, slangily
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GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 29–Dec. 12, 2013
FROM PAGE 1
FROM PAGE 1
the film. Carlsbad resident and three-time women’s world champion long boarder Cori Schumacher was also in attendance. “The welcome from the community was overwhelming and really inspiring,” he said. Schumacher, who has long been a very outspoken catalyst for change against the discriminatory culture that exists against both women and gays in professional surfing, will be prominently featured in the film. “The precedent that has been set is that if you are gay, or we think you’re gay, then you’re out,” said Schumacher in a press release announcing the Kickstarter campaign. “And that social coercion is the most powerful coercion that exists within the surfing world.” Castets said the first round of filming in San Diego “established their foundation and momentum” for the production and since then, he and his team of Sydney-based filmmakers have travelled to other surfing locations in California, Hawaii, Mexico, Equador, the Galapagos Islands and his native Australia, filming the stories of other gay surfers for the film. The main goal of the film is simple: reach out to those who feel alienated. “Obviously it will particularly resonate with members of the gay and surfing community who feel pressures to conform to stereotypes but we feel this will be an inspirational tale for anyone who has felt like an outsider,” Castets explained. “Through the film we want to demonstrate the freedom and joy that can come from ‘being yourself.’”
served more than 377,000 meals. Mama’s Kitchen also created and continues to expand their food pantry service, which, starting in 2004, provides groceries to those healthy enough to cook for themselves, but still struggling with HIV/AIDS and limited income. Alberto Cortés, who has served as Mama’s Kitchen’s executive director for more than a decade, said the Tree of Life Candlelight Vigil does far more than simply bring money into the organization. “To this day, people still attend this event for no other reason than to remember someone they lost to HIV/AIDS, but it’s also to acknowledge and to celebrate a community’s response to an epidemic … and things that have become better around dealing with HIV/AIDS and our advancements in medicine,” Cortés said. In addition to the “spiritual” aspect of mourning and remembrance, Cortés pointed to the importance of keeping the struggle still faced by millions in the limelight. “It’s also affirming for people living with HIV or people who know someone living with it to hear someone say this is still an issue, this is still a challenge faced by many, because AIDS has disappeared from the front pages of the newspapers,” Cortés said. Hillcrest resident Michael Manacop echoes this need for awareness and advocacy on behalf of those living with HIV today. Diagnosed in June 2012, Manacop had his second “coming out” earlier this year on the first anniversary of his diagnosis. “After coming out as gay, I never would have imagined having to come out of another closet door,” Manacop wrote in his “Coming Out Note” on Facebook on the one-year anniversary of his initial diagnosis. “Unfortunately, similar to being gay, there are plenty of misconceptions and stigma still attached to HIV & AIDS that have made me live in fear of sharing such an important part of my life with others.” The San Diego State senior said he decided to be an example of the openness and transparency that is needed if the issue is to be adequately confronted. He said his generation often makes the mistake of thinking HIV/AIDS is a thing of the past, a hazardous assumption to make. In reality, the number of young gay men newly diagnosed with HIV jumped from 7,200 in 2008 to 8,800 in 2010—a 22 percent increase. “The stigma within our community is still so bad … I’ve had
A group of gay surfers from the San Diego region met with Castets in Sept. 2011 at Black’s Beach for filming. (Courtesy Gaysurfers.net) On his travels, Castets has heard stories from people who have quit surfing, fearful of the rejection that would surely come should others in their local line-up find out they were gay. “I hope that this film will make gay surfers from remote areas realize that they are not alone and that there are all types of people in the line-up,” he said. “The more visible homosexuality becomes the more it will be accepted as an undeniable part of our society. Although the surf industry has stated that being gay is a nonissue, Castets and his team could get no one to go on record to say that, and weren’t able to secure any sponsors in the industry to assist with the making of the film. “I hope that by getting the topic out into the open, the film will provoke discussion and hopefully create a safer platform from which the surf industry can embrace the diversity that exists within the surf community,” he said. The film is almost complete, but tens of thousands of dollars are still needed to secure a 2014 release of the film. To meet that need, Castets recently launched a Kickstarter campaign with the hopes of raising the money by a Dec. 13 deadline. He goal is to submit the film to 30 independent film festivals around the world and ride the 2014 circuit.
Things still needed include a “colorist” to prep the final film for big and small screens; a sound mixer to make sure the music and the dialogue is just right; and music and surf clip rights..The money will also allow them to share the film with audiences on multiple platforms and languages, to expand it reach.. With a Kickstarter campaign, if the monetary goal is not met within the days specified (30 in this case) no transactions are processed and the project is not funded. However, if donations meet or exceed the goal, all money will go to the cause. Incentive levelsoffer bounty to each donor based on amounts pledged and everything from copies of the film on DVD to surfing lessons are sweeting the pot. If “OUT in the line-up” gets the funding and is made, San Diegans can expect to play an important part in the making of the film. “I would say the gay surfing community in San Diego is very special in its vibrancy and diversity,” Castets said. “I think this is representative and a wonderful testament to the city’s thriving gay and surfing communities.” For more information or to make a pledge, visit Kickstarter. com and search for “Out in the line-up” or visit their website, outinthelineup.com.t
AIDS quilt at 2012 Tree of Life ceremony (Photo by Anthony King) friends that have told me they’re too afraid to get tested and to me, that’s shocking,” Manacop said. In 2009, the CDC estimated 1.1 million people in the U.S. were living with HIV, 18 percent of whom were unaware of their condition. According to Manacop, the problem goes beyond lack of education and understanding and a reluctance to get tested; there’s a harmful negative stigma about living with HIV that pressures many people to feel they have to keep their condition a secret. “I’ve shared with others before how I ironic it can be because everyone in the LGBT community has faced that struggle or that challenge coming out about their sexuality, and they should be more open and accepting about people who are living with HIV,” Manacop said. He has attended the Tree of Life Ceremony since his freshman year at SDSU and says it does much more for the young people in the LGBT community than just educate them about the epidemic. “For the youth in our community—people who are newly coming out and are new to our Hillcrest community—it’s an amazing opportunity to learn about our past and our history and just to remember why it’s so important,” he said. This year’s worldwide theme, just as it was last year, is “Getting to Zero,” which focuses on zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. With nearly 50,000 people being diagnosed with HIV in the U.S. annually, this goal undoubtedly sets the bar high, but Cortés finds it inspiring—and perhaps even within our grasp. “I think it’s a very relevant theme and it’s valuable in that getting to zero you think ‘wow, there was a time where we never considered that realistic,’” Cortés said. “To consider that as a theme … [may] be ambitious, but … isn’t out of sight and out of possibility.” Trees during the ceremony will be decorated with ornaments honoring those affected by HIV/ AIDS and will remain on display at Village Hillcrest throughout the holiday season. Personalized ornaments can be purchased online at mamaskitchen.org for $15 each or $25 for two. For more information visit mamaskitchen.org.t
GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 29–Dec. 12, 2013
AFCSL looking for a Few Good Men America’s Finest City Softball League (AFCSL) is San Diego’s longest-running athletic organization for the LGBT community and its friends. Like any league, it has endured financial and logistical challenges during its 31-year history, despite the fine line of leaders who worked tirelessly to bring competitive and fun softball—and arguably the most organized league of any kind—to America’s Finest City. Under the leadership of Commissioners Dani Goodlett (Women’s Division) and Roman Jimenez (Open Division), AFCSL is thriving, with innovative marketing helping bring new players and teams into a league that featured 39 teams during Spring 2013. Yet, on the Open side, a new and difficult challenge has emerged, mirroring a trend being experience by National American Gay Amateur Alliance Association (NAGAAA)-affiliated leagues nationwide: its best male players are leaving the sport. Both the Open and Women’s Divisions are divided up into divisions based on the skill level of its teams’ players. On the Open side, each player is assigned a rating of 1-27, based on NAGAAA questions that ask if a player can perform a particular skill. The higher the rating, the higher division that person is required to play in. For example, to play in the C division, men and women are required to be rated no higher than a 15; not only are players rated in order to maintain competitive balance, but also to prevent safety hazards such as a beginning player attempting to field hard-hit line drives off the bats of advanced players. Like NAGAAA, AFCSL is not having a system-wide shortage of players. At least two new teams have joined AFCSL in each of the last four seasons, and sometimes more. The D division has doubled in size from the time when I first started coaching in it back in 2009. The C division reached a dozen teams in 2013 and had to be split into two sub-divisions. Yet the B division shrunk to just two teams: The Pecs Diegans and my team, The Loft. I would hazard to guess that there are two major reasons the best players have weaned out softball from their lives. First, using San Diego as a prime example, cities now offer a larger variety of well-organized sports leagues. Sure, bowling and tennis have been around for quite some time. A handful of cities offer LGBT basketball, though those seasons are not necessarily played at the same time as softball. But the explosion of flag football across the country has made a measurable impact. The San Diego American Flag Football League (SDAFFL) has exploded to 16 teams in the last two years. Its games are played on Saturdays, concurrent with the Sunday AFCSL schedule. While some athletes choose to play both sports, not everyone has the time or energy to do each. I know from personal experience that football beats you up, and bouncing back to play two or three games of softball the next day may not be as appealing as hitting the beach or relaxing. SDAFFL founder Ivan Solis has had a hand in the expansion of flag football across the country as well,
through networking and involvement in tournaments. SDAFFL is among the biggest leagues in the country, and San Diego just returned home from Gay Bowl with its second straight national title. Rugby is another physical sport that shares a season with softball. Like flag football, it is more difficult to be successful at rugby than softball. Physical requirements aside, the perception exists that rugby and football are not for beginners, unlike softball’s aforementioned D division. While not true—SDAFFL and the San Diego Armada Rugby Club strenuously reach out to beginners to let them know their perspective leagues welcome “newbies”—this perception can be intimidating to less-experienced players. So when you have a flag football league full of really talented players, the games are more competitive and appealing to the best LGBT athletes in town; great games between great teams are often what drive the best athletes. “While we have done a great job of making sure that we are a welcoming and safe place for people who are just beginning to explore their athletic prowess, we need to do a better job of making it clear that we are ALSO a place for highly-skilled athletes with a very competitive personality,” Jimenez wrote in an e-mail. A broader theory involves the general homogenization of LGBT individuals into society. Attitudes have changed. More and more people know LGBT family and friends. Acceptance is on the rise. It no longer is such a big deal to play on a “gay team” because quite often, teams in straight leagues have a few gay players. A gay guy or gal does not necessarily need to play on Sunday, but can join a Tuesday night league and get the same enjoyment. Our B division has several straight players in it, including three on my own team. Our teammates’ sexuality is rarely part of the conversation – it is all about the game and the fun we have playing. When I joined AFCSL in 2003, it was my only pathway to even meeting gay ballplayers. Now, I play in a Tuesday night league and have the option of taking Sundays off if I feel like it; I have no plans to do that any time soon, because AFCSL is the best-run sports league of any kind that I have ever been a part of. Other factors may also play a
small part. When I joined, there were eight teams in my B Division. With fewer teams like today, players might wonder what the fun would be in joining a league where one would play the same teams over and over. During my tenure on the AFCSL board, we introduced a creative wrinkle to the schedule, playing interleague games against B teams from Long Beach, Los Angeles and Palm Springs. AFCSL also rotates some games against the C Division in order to give variety to the schedule. Money always has been a factor for some players, because leagues are not free to play in. Yet AFCSL’s player fees are among the lowest in the city: $55 per person for an entire season. That fee may be a problem for a handful of people, but as far as preventing B players from joining, I believe it to be an insignificant factor. That said, I credit the current AFCSL board for instituting a brand new policy for 2014 regarding player recruitment. The league has decided to offer financial incentives to any existing player who recruits B players into the league. Futhermore, players who participate in more than one sport (including SD Hoops and SDAFFL) will be offered a discounted player fee, possibly by each league. “Retired” players will be offered a discount to return, as well. Nationally, NAGAAA (which governs the Open Division, not Women’s Division) has thrown around the idea of changing the ratings thresholds for its teams. There are currently only nine A teams nationally, none in San Diego. 65% of NAGAAA’s B teams earned berths to the 2013 World Series, whereas just 21% and 15% from C and D, respectively, earned berths. In short, the path to the World Series is more difficult in the lower divisions. Jimenez agrees with me that rating changes could be a temporary band-aid solution to get more teams into B, but is not the right course of action. “My concern is that unless we local leagues deal with [the decline of the B Divison] and refocus our efforts on upper-level player recruitment, whatever realignment solution is put forward will always only be a temporary fix,” wrote Jimenez. Just re-shuffling players around does not bring new blood into the
AFCSL hosts divisions for players of all skill levels (Photo by Joe Covino) mix, and risks alienating players who are not comfortable playing in higher divisions. Whether AFCSL’s efforts will prove to be fruitful remains to be seen. As Commissioner of SD Hoops as well as player in SDAFFL, I am fully aware of how many talented athletes this city has. Many of us in the B division do our part trying to recruit more people to play. It would not surprise me to see some of the better football players move back to softball after a few years in SDAFFL, as the wear and tear of flag football can be grueling. SDAFFL’s popularity is at an all-time high right now, with approximately 250 players. AFCSL has nearly double that amount. Even getting the B division back to just four teams
would be terrific. With competent leadership, outstanding facilities, a functional website with league information, and a thriving social calendar, AFCSL offers so much to its players for a small price. If you or any of your friends would like more information on the league, visit its website at afcsl.org, as the popular Spring season is just a few months away and important dates begin popping up in February. —Jeff Praught is actively involved in the LGBT sports community, where he plays in the local softball (AFCSL), football (SDAFFL) and basketball (SD Hoops) leagues. He has served on AFCSL’s board of officers in various capacities and is currently the commissioner of SD Hoops.t
GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 29â€“Dec. 12, 2013
Masquerade On Friday, Nov. 16, more than 100 revelers attended Snooze Hillcrestâ€™s second anniversary party, a grand masquerade ball full of attractions, and not only helped celebrate their employees but also to exceed their goal of raising $2,000 for Feeding America San Diego. (Photos by Vincent Meehan)
GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 29–Dec. 12, 2013
GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 29–Dec. 12, 2013