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Volume 7 Issue 2 Jan. 22 – Feb. 4, 2016


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Historic ‘Truax House’ faces possible sale by city

A friend of the Stone

By Walter G. Meyer

Cheryl Houk first took the helm at Stepping Stone in 1989, when it consisted of four dilapidated buildings on two parcels of property in City Heights. “When I first took a tour of it, [its condition] was not acceptable to me,” she said sternly. “I am a lesbian. I am in recovery, and it perpetuated that that’s all we deserved — the worst conditions — like that’s really who we are in life, the bottom of the barrel. That’s what we get. “Well it was my mission to change that,” she said. And change that she did. Houk took the organization

The discussion of the possible sale of the building that once housed the Brad Truax AIDS hospice has been deferred from the Jan. 20 meeting of the San Diego City Council Smart Growth & Land Use Committee until Feb. 10. According to a statement issued Monday, Jan. 11 by Leo Wilson, administrator of the Metro San Diego Community Development Corporation, the Metro SDCDC voted 20-0 to request the building be pulled from the list of properties being considered for sale on the city’s surplus properties list. The city strives to sell the surplus properties it owns to raise revenue for San Diego’s coffers and to prevent abandoned properties from becoming blight. The parcel of land in question at 2513/2515 Union St. in Bankers

see Stepping Stone, pg 9

see Truax, pg 19

Volunteer of the year

w DINING Executive Director Cheryl Houk (inset) returned last November to the recovery castle she built in City Heights. (Courtesy Stepping Stone)

Cheryl Houk returns to pursue her life’s work A foodie’s ‘Brazilian’


Morgan M. Hurley | Editor The executive director who led the region’s only LGBT-centric drug and alcohol rehabilitation center for 17 years and was responsible for the facility’s multi-million-dollar transformation into a residential model for the nation, has returned to her post after a decade away.

Pageantry at its finest Sherlock takes Alaska


Imperial Court de San Diego’s Coronation XLIV to honor past and present monarchs By Margie M. Palmer

News Briefs................15

It’s been nearly a year since Emperor XLIII Mikie Too and Empress XLIII Toni Saunders were elected to lead the Imperial Court de San Diego, but come Feb. 6, two new monarchs will be crowned. Too and Saunders’ reign was marked by a number of successes. In addition to producing the 2015 Children’s Easter Egg Hunt, the Winter Blanket/Clothing Drive, the Scott Carlson Thanksgiving Dinner, the Toys for Kids Drive, and the Nicky Awards, they also helped the court produce the first-ever City Hall exhibit of an LGBT organization. The display was designed to celebrate the 50th anniversar y of the Imperial Court and included specially designed crowns of monarchs, emperor’s uniforms, imperial medals and coronation gowns. Court treasurer and 10-year Empress Lala Too said the pair also helped raise more than $70,000 for charities, organizations, AIDS and civil rights causes. Although this year’s coronation weekend will include a myriad of events — including the annual Coronation Ball and a two-day meeting of the International Imperial Court Council of U.S.A., Canada and Mexico — it will also include a special tribute to local community member Kurt Cunningham. Cunningham, who was also once known as the Imperial Peacock Empress Summer Meadows, took his life Oct. 10 after a longstanding battle with depression.


see Coronation, pg 14

Osmond’s ‘spectacle’

Index Opinion...................6

Calendar................18 Puzzle................18

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“Queen Mother of the Americas, Empress Nicole the Great” at the 2014 Coronation festivities (Photo by Big Mike)


GAY SAN DIEGO Jan. 22 – Feb. 4, 2016


GAY SAN DIEGO Jan. 22 – Feb. 4, 2016


Resolving to make a difference Profiles in Advocacy Ian Morton It’s a new year and that time when many of us take stock of our lives and resolve to do things a little differently. We resolve to feed our bodies a little more responsibly and our minds a bit more vibrantly, but what can we do for our souls? For me, that has often taken on the form of volunteering, where I can leverage either the thing I love to do or a skill set I possess, toward a better world. Whether you choose a one-time event or an ongoing commitment, I encourage you to make this a part of your New Year’s commitments! One San Diegan who has chosen to do this — and rose up in a very significant way during a very challenging 2015 — is Martha Henderson of San Diego LGBT Pride. In 2007, as an “East Coaster” newly settled into San Diego, Martha was looking for a way to connect to her LGBTQ community. She soon met the infectiously engaging Cheli Mohamed (at that time employed by Pride) and began volunteering over the next several years, starting with parade setup and adding other events throughout the season. Her background as an events planner served her well in this multi-faceted event with so many gears and wheels.

In April 2015, Martha’s role transitioned to “community partnership manager,” the liaison and caretaker for nonprofits and community service providers that participate in the Pride festival. This will be especially meaningful as Pride unveils their plan for a free “Resource Fair,” to give community members with financial challenges access to resources that may be life-transforming. Martha and I chatted a bit about 2015’s very wet Pride, as it happened to coincide with her first year of being fully immersed from start to finish. Like many, by the end of Saturday, Martha was soaked through and through and wondering how much more she could handle. “I had taken care of my community partners and they had packed up for the day, but I was feeling pretty demoralized,” she said. “Then I walked toward the main stage and saw a flood of people joining us to see the headlining entertainer, Ruby Rose. “That just brought such a smile to my face,” Martha continued. “At the end of the day, bringing our community together is what Pride is all about, and despite the obstacles, I got to be a part of making that happen.” Martha also spoke to the connectivity she has experienced through volunteering. “Because we all have the common goal of helping each other be successful, that investment in each other provides a foundation for lifetime relationships,” she said. Despite the downpour, Martha

(l to r) Martha Henderson and Fernando Lopez, holding her award (Courtesy San Diego Pride)

Henderson was honored with San Diego Pride’s “Volunteer of the Year” award in 2015. To find out more about how to get involved with Pride, go to Feeling inspired? I hope so and here are some additional options to consider for your 2016 commitment to volunteering. I Love A Clean San Diego: The title really says it all, doesn’t it? If your passion is about the welfare of our planet and you want to leave the environment in better shape than you found it, consider checking out the work of this group. From coastlines to creek beds, their nearly 3,000 volunteers participate in outings to counteract littering and pollution in San Diego County. Visit Urban Street Angels: Based out of Missiongathering Church in North Park, this effort brings clothing, food and hygiene products to San Diego’s homeless youth, many of whom identify as LGBTQ.

Henderson (middle) and other Pride volunteers at last year’s very wet festival (Courtesy Martha Henderson)

Volunteers are needed to assist with food preparation and “survival kit” assembly and distribution. If you’re not able to join, donations of jackets, small hygiene products, backpacks and warm, thick socks are always appreciated! Learn more at Special Delivery San Diego: If you’ve got a vehicle and an indefatigable sunny disposition, perhaps meal delivery would be a good fit for you! Special Delivery provides meals to medically homebound people living with AIDS, cancer and other critical illnesses throughout the San Diego community. Sometimes the person delivering their meals is the only person the homebound client will see that day, so these visits serve both their nutritional and mental health. Go to San Diego LGBT Community Center: The Center continually expands both its in-house programming and space accessibility for com-

munity and grassroots efforts, and it takes a dedicated team of volunteers to make it happen. Whether you’d like to fight HIV through #BeTheGeneration, want to hang out with lads (at Guys, Games and Grub) or ladies (at Red Hot Ladies Night), or find your community in one of the many support groups for women, men, transgender individuals, senior citizens, or queer youth (the list goes on), you can find your place at The Center. And, if you’re looking to participate in a once-yearly event, The Center runs some of the largest volunteer supported events in San Diego, such as Dining Out For Life and AIDS Walk San Diego. Visit —Ian D. Morton is the senior program analyst at San Diego Human Dignity Foundation and produces the Y.E.S. San Diego LGBTQ youth conference. To nominate an individual or nonprofit for this column, please email the information to


GAY SAN DIEGO Jan. 22 – Feb. 4, 2016


More events, donations and visitors in 2016 Out of the Archives Walter G. Meyer As is becoming more the norm, activity at the Archives just keeps picking up. Perhaps celebrating the Epiphany, three wise men recently came in and made generous gifts; thank you Michael Kimmel, Frank Stiriti and Dan Buker. We appreciate their support, as well as that of so many others in the community all year long. Three more wise men accepted President Maureen Steiner’s invitation to join the board; they are San Diego State professor Dr. Michael Borgstrom; attorney Joel Steward; and activist/volunteer Steve Wroblewski. We look for ward to their contributions. In December, I was a guest on the “Fink and West” radio show, to share the great work the Archives is doing. Thanks to Bill West and Jon Fink for being great hosts. Archivist Jen LaBarbera got a thrill when the “queen of LGBT histor y,” Professor Lillian Faderman, recently visited to do some research. Professor Faderman — author of 2015’s “The Gay Revolution: The Stor y of the Struggle” and a dozen other LGBT-themed books — has been commissioned to write a biography of Har vey Milk. Did you ever meet Har vey Milk in San Diego or know anything about his time here? Professor Faderman would like to talk with you. Please get in

touch with us at 619-260-1522 or As consultants continue to work on the LGBT Historic Context Statement for the city of San Diego, the city threatens to do away with more significant sites. Of particular concern right now is the possible sale of the Truax House, as it came to be known, in Bankers Hill. Established in 1988, it was one of the first hospices in the countr y to ser ve AIDS patients. Please contact Councilmember Todd Gloria and let him know we need to preser ve this site of significant histor y. The Archives staff is happy to be working with Parkology, an art project established to tell the less-public histor y of Balboa Park. Of particular interest to the researchers are stories of the Fruit Loop. If you have one, please let us know! With the help of the some great volunteers and student interns, our digital archivist, Ken Selnick, has finished processing the thousands and thousands of photos from San Diego Pride. Many of the photos were in albums and non-archival boxes. Now the photos are housed in acid-free archival sleeves and boxes and indexed by year and subject. A representative sample of each set was digitized and many are now on our Flickr page. Visit lambdaarchives. You may recognize yourself or some friends in the many images there. Our next “Out At the Archives” event will be Monday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. Many of you lived this and

(l to r) Digital archivist Ken Selnick accepts a photo of Dr. Brad Truax from Steve Hill, a representative of Councilmember Todd Gloria's office. (Photo by Walter Meyer) others need to learn, so we will focus on “San Diego Responds to the Early Days of AIDS.” Following a brief retrospective, a live panel will be moderated by Lambda Archives board member and retired HIV/AIDS nurse Steve Wroblewski. Rounding out the panel will be Terr y Cunningham, a social worker who took the first AIDS cases; Bridget Wilson, who worked with early HIV patients with Dr. Brad Truax; and Cher yl Clark, the Health and Science reporter for the San Diego Union at the time; all who will bring their unique perspectives to the discussion. None of them are shy, so expect the evening to “pop!” This event is in partnership with Diversionar y Theatre’s Open Monday series and tickets are free. You need to reser ve a seat at diversionar, however, because this event may sell out! On March 19, please join us for brunch at the San Diego Women’s Club, where we will be hosting our 2016 Heroines, Pioneers and Trailblazers. Honorees will be the San Diego and Tijuana women who stepped up

(l to r) Head archivist Jen LaBarbera welcomes renown LGBT historian and award-winning author Lillian Faderman to the Archives. (Photo by Walter Meyer) and made sure men’s needs were met as the AIDS crisis ravaged the gay community in the 1980s and 1990s. These women are often overlooked and underappre-

ciated, but we expect to remedy that in a small way. Details are available at or search for “Lambda Archives” at For more information or to donate to the event’s silent auction, please contact us at Things are staying dr y so far at the Archives — thanks to all who have expressed concern. We have moved things away from potential trouble spots and have sandbags and tarps at the ready. We recently gave a tour to a LGBT veterans group, although the turnout was dampened by the monsoon that was occurring at the time. But we’re hoping they and more of their colleagues will make it in for another visit when they don’t have to use a landing craft to get here. Are you ready for El Niño at home? It’s good to have extra water and food on hand for an emergency and be ready to move to higher ground. Are your photos and important papers stored in watertight containers in case your place gets flooded? We have so much more planned for 2016 and you can be part of it, as a volunteer, donor, or just by popping in for a tour. —Walter G. Meyer is the author of the critically acclaimed gay novel “Rounding Third,” a regular contributor to Gay San Diego, and the manager of Lambda Archives. Reach him at manager.lambda.


A ‘double testosterone’ marriage Life Beyond Therapy Michael Kimmel I am pleased to report that I recently signed a contract for my new book, “The Double Testosterone Marriage: Monogamy or Open Relationship?” with Rowman & Littlefield publishers. I will turn the manuscript in this June and the book should be published later in the year. About six months ago, when I first wrote the proposal for the book, the submissions editor at Rowman & Littlefield asked me a question: “Why do you want to write this book?” This column is, in essence, the answer to that question. As a psychotherapist to many LGBT couples, I have noticed that gay male couples, in particular, often find themselves in a challenging situation: Due to the double testosterone factor, sex is often more important than it is for other couples. In my counseling experience, two married men often have a stronger desire for sex — wanting more of it and with a wider variety of partners — than married opposite-sex or lesbian couples do. So how does this work within the structure of a monogamous marriage? Or does it? When I was playing in a rock band in my 20s, I thought that marriage was obsolete. In my 30s, I found myself wanting more commitment and depth in my romantic relationships. As I approached my late 40s, I wasn’t sure that monogamy was the best way for two men to be together. In my 50s, I discovered that many long-term gay couples gave lip ser vice to monogamy and appeared to be monogamous; but, upon closer inspection, were not. As a psychotherapist now in my early 60s, I’ve discovered that many successful gay marriages are, by choice, not strictly monogamous.

Assuming that same-sex marriages will emulate heterosexual marriages is neither a valid nor a helpful assumption. But as gay men, where does that leave us? There are currently no rulebooks for how a “double testosterone” marriage could or should work. While there are lots of books about how to plan your gay wedding, there are virtually none that address what to do after the honeymoon is over (literally and figuratively). This book — “The Double Testosterone Marriage: Monogamy or Open Relationship?” that I’m in the process of writing — will fill that void. It will offer married gay male couples (and those considering marriage) an easy-to-follow, practical framework that will help create, adjust and structure their marriages. In the book we’ll follow two married couples: Tomas and Larr y, representing a harmonious open marriage; and Ethan and Jake, representing a fulfilling monogamous marriage. Each couple will experience the joys and difficulties of their double testosterone marriages, giving the reader a wide range of options and possibilities for his own marriage. The two couples signify an amalgam of dozens of real couples I’ve worked with over the past 15 years. This book will be frank, engaging and filled with an abundance of practical advice for both newly married couples and single men/couples considering marriage. For example, we’ll look at how aging and illness can affect our sex lives, and what we can do about incompatible sex drives. The “Double Testosterone Marriage” will dare to ask the question: Is monogamy or an open relationship, or a combination of both, the best way to structure your marriage? It is to be expected that some readers (and reviewers) may find my posing these options with regards to marriage between two gay men to be controversial. The

Business Spotlight St. Paul’s Manor 2635 Second Ave. San Diego, CA 92103 619-239-2097 | For over 55 years, St. Paul’s Senior Services has provided communities and services for San Diego seniors. As a non-profit, non-denominational organization, we are dedicated to serving the physical, spiritual, and social needs of seniors. Our active residential community, St. Paul’s Manor, is nestled in the heart of Bankers Hill, close to Hillcrest, Balboa Park, Downtown, Little Italy and more. Residents walk to restaurants, church, Balboa Park museums and theater performances at the Old Globe. “We may be getting older, but the fun isn’t over yet,” said residents Bob and Ellen Eliason. “You’d be amazed at the fun things we can stir up!” Attractions include our restaurant-style dining room, enter tainment, excursions to local shopping and events, and community areas for morning cof fee with friends. And would you believe we even have a light opera company? Residents agree that the 24-hour accessible reception, security and maintenance staf f all result in a truly carefree retirement. The Manor of fers studio and one-bedroom apar tments, which include housekeeping, meal packages, and of course, our full activity and event schedule. Many apar tments feature stunning views of Downtown San Diego and the water front. “What I love about the Manor is how social and community oriented it is. I can’t imagine living anywhere else,” Ellen said.

book may even be disliked. After all, same-sex marriage has been a long time coming — a few thousand years or so — and now that it’s finally here, many gay, bisexual and transgender men may think that it’s a bad idea to “rock the boat” by discussing some of the ideas in this book. I disagree. I believe that now is the perfect time to question what marriage between two gay men can, should, and will be — while it is still relatively new, fresh and malleable. I will keep you posted on my progress with the book and certainly let Gay San Diego readers know when the publication date grows closer.

Please wish me luck and let me know if you have any ideas you’d like to see included (or addressed) in the book. —Michael Kimmel can be reached at 619-955-3311 or visit

GAY SAN DIEGO Jan. 22 – Feb. 4, 2016




GAY SAN DIEGO Jan. 22 – Feb. 4, 2016

Letters Women dancing Great job Sally! [see “Getting all dolled up,” Vol. 7, Issue 1, or]. We always have a great time when we do come. We’ve been working on getting our Doggie Daycare — Dogtopia — up and running for about 18 months, which is why we haven’t been out and about very much. Dogtopia should finally be open February 2016. We will return once our life calms down (if it will)! You and SuSu are a great team and you two draw a wonderful crowd. Keep up the great work. Love, Meg and Diane —Meg Halaska via

Say no to televangelists Greatly concerned, with what happens after the 84-yearold leader is no longer healthy enough to lead [see “How close is too close,” Vol. 7, Issue 1, or]. History is full of these singleleader ministries that fall apart after the leader passes. This is also not open to the public in general; activities are more opened to the members or those who profess closer to this individual ministry’s vision. I believe we can do better. —Mike Van Vugt via

Guest Editorial

Thoughtful Benny

Winter storms: Be prepared

Happy New Year, Benny! [see “Back Out With Benny: To be young and gay,” Vol. 7, Issue 1,] Another great and thoughtful column. Thank you. —Brian Casey via

By Councilmember Todd Gloria After a few showers that were forecast to be far worse, San Diego finally saw in January what El Niño can bring: strong and prolonged rains, winds and floods. As a region known for its nice weather, San Diego got a wake-up call from those major storms. Before any more hit, take the time and make the effort to prepare. Before a storm: • Protect your property from flooding with sandbags. Unfilled sandbags (limit 10) are available at local fire stations for free. Please note: Sand may not be removed from local beaches to fill the bags. • Call 619-235-1000 or submit an online form at to report blocked storm drains. When trash and debris clog the storm drains, rainwater and run-off have no place to go, and flash floods can occur. Prior to the initial El Niño storm earlier this year, city staff cleaned out flood channels and storm drains, which prevented damage from being worse in many locations. • Sign up for Alert San Diego at to receive notifications of weather warnings and other dangerous conditions.

Let’s stop bullying

Camino de la Reina, a main throughway of Mission Valley, was completely flooded by the recent El Nino rains. SR 163 can be seen in the background. (Photo by Morgan M. Hurley) During and after a storm: • Be mindful that 9-1-1 should only be called for an emergency. The city’s first responders are especially busy during such difficult storm conditions, so be mindful about where you report your concerns. • Extreme flooding and fallen trees blocking roadways should be reported to the city’s emergency dispatch center, 619-527-7500. • Gas emergencies and downed electrical lines should be reported to SDG&E at 800-4117343. • If your property is in a flood zone, have critical items (medications, etc.) ready before a storm hits and leave early if flooding is forecast. • If you cannot see the pavement because of

EDITOR Morgan M. Hurley (619) 961-1960

ART DIRECTOR Vincent Meehan (619) 961-1961

PUBLISHER David Mannis (619) 961-1951

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Ken Williams, x102 Jeff Clemetson, x119

LAYOUT ARTIST Suzanne Dzialo

ACCOUNTING Priscilla Umel-Martinez (619) 961-1962

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Charlene Baldridge Michael Kimmel Ian Morton Margie M. Palmer Frank Sabatini Jr. Walter G. Meyer WEB & SOCIAL MEDIA Jen Van Tieghem, x118 COPY EDITOR Dustin Lothspeich

PRODUCTION ARTIST Todd Kammer SALES & MARKETING DIRECTOR Mike Rosensteel (619) 961-1958 ADVERTISING CONSULTANTS Sloan Gomez, x104 Andrew Bagley, x106 Lisa Hamel, x107 True Flores, (619) 454-0155

WEB DESIGN Kim Espinoza

DISTRIBUTION Gay San Diego is distributed free every other Friday of the month. COPYRIGHT 2016. All rights reserved.

pooling water on a road, do not attempt to drive through it. • Stay updated on road closures and flooded areas by following 2-1-1 San Diego on social media, or call 2-1-1 for non-emergency storm assistance options. For more tips on storm preparation, please visit Please don’t hesitate to ask me for assistance as we prepare for additional storms and deal with the cleanup and aftermath. —Todd Gloria is the City Councilmember for District Three. Reach him at ToddGloria@, or 619-236-6633.t

This is a pretty good article, regarding bullying [see “Editorial: Let’s stop bullying in 2016,” Vol. 7, Issue 1, or juw9udg]. I may now have too much to say about this subject, but as I began reading, my first thoughts were simply, “I don’t recall being bullied growing up.” Where you decided to not call people out by name is where I finally recalled people whose names I couldn’t remember, but were people I would avoid or actually I had been bullied by. To say bullies are people to, is not something that comes up often. How I recall my last encounter with the neighborhood bully and or some of his family, what I recall most was his apology for being mean, chasing me on my bike, etc. At that time,

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

SUBMISSIONS/NEWS TIPS Press releases and story ideas are welcomed. Send press releases, tips, photos or story ideas to For breaking news and investigative story ideas contact the editor by phone or email.

see Letters, pg 15

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GAY SAN DIEGO Jan. 22 – Feb. 4, 2016


Guest Editorial

A gay sailor offers praise to his husband and the Navy By Matthew Alvarado Last month my husband, Brian Alvarado, sat down to have lunch with the Captain, Executive Officer, Command Master Chief, and Ombudsman of my Naval command, Amphibious Construction Battalion 1 (ACB-1). I was preparing to transfer, so they invited him out as a farewell, a thank you and for debrief of the past year that Brian served as president of the Family Readiness Group (FRG), supporting the sailors and families of ACB-1. It was during this luncheon that the first and only mention of our sexuality during the past year had ever been made, and it was my husband who made it. The fact that my husband and I are a same-sex military couple did not bear any importance to the senior leadership of my command. They only cared about the work being done to support their sailors and families. But my husband wanted them to know that this “non-issue” was actually a huge issue, and they were to be commended and applauded. As the Captain presented Brian with our nation’s Ensign to signify his efforts, it took every ounce of strength within not to let his emotions overtake him. The tears were knocking on the doors of his eyes because he kept thinking about where this all started and the fear he used to feel when it came to facing the military as the same-sex partner of a gay active duty sailor. The first time my then-boyfriend Brian came onto my base with me, he was terrified, shaking on the inside and out. It was a weekend and the base was quiet so we weren’t faced with the entire battalion, but he was still scared and felt like he didn’t belong there. “Don’t worry babe, no one is going to say anything,” I kept saying to him, over and over again. We knew at that point that our relationship wasn’t a fleeting one and it was important to me that he understood what I did in the Navy and the mission of my command. I eventually calmed him down and he started taking in what I was showing him. He even stopped staring at the ground anytime we went shopping on base. Just as he was getting more comfortable, a command holiday party was upon us and we decided to “jump off the proverbial cliff” and attend. Up until that time, I had served 15 years without ever taking anyone to a military function. I had never been so nervous and he had never felt so out of place … but all that lasted about two minutes. We were greeted with smiles and hugs from folks in my platoon and Brian immediately became a part of the military family. We will never forget those people that changed our lives that night. After the Christmas party, Brian started coming around my colleagues more and we began hosting football parties at our house. Even when we got married last spring, there was a dance floor full of U.S. Navy sailors dancing to the Village People’s “In the Navy.”

Brian had become a bona fide, and proud, military spouse. Soon the calling came for him to step up and give back. But San Diego is a military metropolis with family resources flowing freely, so what could he possibly do to contribute to the families and sailors at ACB-1? I never came out and asked him to get involved with the command’s FRG, but I would forward him their emails and events, and when they were looking for new leaders, I mentioned that he could bring something special to the group and maybe accomplish something he could be proud of. A few days later, he was voted onto the FRG board and started rolling up his sleeves. Before long he was president. It was important for him to immediately stand his ground on the work that needed to be done within this group and its involvement with the command. He wasn’t going to be a “wives club” type of FRG leader; it just wasn’t in his blood. ACB-1 is a joint-style ship/shorebased command, so there are no deployments, which is what a typical Naval FRG is based around — supporting families while their loved ones are deployed. However, there was still much work to be done to support our Captain’s “family first” mission,

Brian Alvarado holds up a “shadow box” his husband Matthew surprised him with, which exhibit a flag and two certificates previously presented to Brian from Matthew’s U.S. Navy command. Brian was the first same-sex spouse to serve on the board of ACB-1’s Family Readiness Group. (Photo by Matthew Alvarado) and in the last year, Brian accomplished more than I could have ever dreamed. Under his leadership, the FRG built a network that helped sailors find affordable off-base housing and spouses obtain gainful employment opportunities. He also banded the group together when a sailor’s home was struck by fire and made sure the family had the funds necessary to replace their children’s clothes and toys. They also had Navy Pride art projects, fundraisers, beach days — all of which supported the “family first” mission. It has been an incredible year and as Brian and I say goodbye to ACB-1 and I move on to my

next duty station, I know we were blessed to have this experience. The LGBT community has struggled in the deepest ways to get us to this point. We fought hard for the same rights as our heterosexual counterparts, and now we finally have them. But with those rights, come responsibilities, especially for militar y spouses. Same-sex militar y spouses are now ser ving in these same leadership roles all over the countr y and in all branches. There are more and more LGBT spouses stepping out of the shadows and giving back to the militar y community and that makes me proud.

Many people have asked Brian what the secret was to his successful year as board president of ACB-1’s FRG. The answer is plain and simple; he made it about the sailors and the families and not about us. That will always win in the end. —Matthew Alvarado is a Boatswain’s Mate First Class in the United States Navy. He is currently attending Naval Instructor Training at Naval Base San Diego, en route his permanent duty station at Fleet Anti-Submarine Warfare Training Center, Naval Station Point Loma, in March. Reach him at

Bowie 8


GAY SAN DIEGO Jan. 22 – Feb. 4, 2016

His impact on our lives and culture By Morgan M. Hurley | Editor The world was knocked off its feet last week when news of David Bowie’s death from a cancer he’d been fighting for 18 months was revealed. His 28th studio album, “Blackstar,” which would sadly be his last, was released just two days before, on his 69th birthday. The record, which his producer called “a parting gift” to fans, has now given him his first No. 1 record, albeit posthumously. Fans — new and old, gay and straight — and celebrities immediately took to social media to share their reaction and his influence on them. His overall impact on queer culture cannot be denied, though many say his alter ego Ziggy Stardust’s alien bisexual persona and other references to his sexuality over the years were merely to attract attention. If that was his goal he succeeded, as it certainly did … not only from the media, but also from young gays and lesbians struggling themselves with the idea of being “different.” We all saw Bowie as someone who had the courage, the power — and the audacity — to show the world just how different, “different” could be. He crashed into our homes

were witty ironic and mysterious … so ahead of his time … his music was always inspiring but seeing him live set me off on a journey that for me I hope will never end.” The day that I learned of Bowie’s death, I spent hours reading all the tributes I could find on social media. I grabbed a few that struck me most and reached out to our writers about how Bowie had impacted them. Here is what I received.

Max Disposti, ‘North County Update’

In my late teens (in Rome) I saw David Bowie in concert with Peter Gabriel. What I loved about his music was the authenticity of the lyrics and the queerness that permeated throughout his art and personality. In those years, it was not to impress mainstream media, David Bowie authentically represented the cultural revolution that came with quality and style and picked it up where James Brown and Jimi Hendrix had left off before him. In this ocean of unskilled and fame-driven performers you will be missed, but your queerness and message will stay with us forever.

through televisions and (left) Selections from a personal collection (Photo by record players four Frank Sabatini Jr.); (right and top of page) Bowie and decades before marone of his art pieces; through the years; and with riage equality was being debated at kitchen tables his wife (Twitter) across the country. Michael Kimmel, ‘Life Beyond Madonna said she was “devTherapy’ columnist astated” by the news and shared Bowie was a great inspiration to that he “changed the course of her me, as he was only seven years my life forever.” Many compared the elder. When I was 18 he was about 25 two — both masters of reinventand I just thought he was amazing. ing themselves — as news of his I loved his music; it was bizarre, passing spread. mysterious and fascinating. He spoke Her posting continued: “I to me of another world and I wanted already had many of his records to explore that world. and was so inspired by the way I was particularly inspired by his he played with gender confusion appearance and decided to emulate it. … Bowie was both masculine and Not a great idea in a small Ohio feminine … funny and serious ... farm town of about 2,000, but, what clever and wise ... inspiring and the hell, I went for it. innovative … unique and provocaI used Sun-In (remember that?) tive … a real genius … so chic and and easily got the orange hair. I clanbeautiful and elegant … his lyrics

destinely used my sister’s makeup to emulate his look. Then I went to Midway Mall in Elyria and bought the biggest high-waisted, bell-bottomed trousers and the most androgynous shirt possible ... and the platform shoes, of course. Needless to say, it didn’t go down well … at all. But, I didn’t care. He was a symbol to me of what was possible. He spoke of worlds beyond my own; amazing, strange and mysterious worlds. He told me it was possible to go there. And he was right.

Walter Meyer, contributor, and ‘Out from the Archives’

Because of David Bowie’s unconventional take on everything, he made it okay for everyone to fly their freak flag of whatever stripe. He made it okay for many people who felt uncomfortable being who they are to be themselves. Strangely, I was not that big a fan of his music. I liked it, but not enough to have ever bought an album, but he was one of the few big name artists I’ve ever seen live more than once. What I admired most was that he was an entertainer who took chances. He could have played it safe as a pop star, but he took on glam rock; he could have played it safe as the king of glam, but wanted to act (“Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence” always makes me cry); he cross-dressed. He never played it safe and always broke barriers. His duet with Bing Crosby did much to bridge the age gap; he respected and appreciated his predecessors, but he always broke new ground. I was surprised by the amount of emotion I felt at his passing and thought of the lyrics from another British rocker, Al Stewart: “I can still remember the last time I cried, the day that Buddy Holly died. I never met him, so it may seem strange.”

Kurt Niece, ‘All Screens Considered’ columnist

David Bowie performed in Germany before Reagan’s “This wall must come down” speech. His album “Heroes” was iconic and a theme song for German reunification. “Heroes” was recorded shortly after East German guards killed 18-yearold Dieter Schweitzer as he attempted to flee to the West. Bowie spent several years in

West Germany and felt the German angst as only an eyewitness could. Arguably, and against the grain of popular Reagan mythology, David Bowie could very well have had as much influence on German reunification as the leader of the free world. Perhaps Bowie will be best known in European circles as the one who truly helped bring down walls.

Ian Morton, ‘Profiles in Advocacy’ columnist

There are many facets to celebrate about David Bowie, but what I most loved about him was rather simple: he played well with others. Watching his duets with Bing Crosby, Tina Turner, Mick Jagger, or Cher, Bowie always shared his space in a way that enhanced the story of the song. That is its own quietly nuanced gift, and in the iconic and laudable singular artistic statements of which Bowie was capable, for me, this is what humanized him.

Frank Sabatini Jr., contributor, food and drink writer

I have never grieved the death of a person I didn’t know personally. Until David Bowie. My long histor y with him began when NBC aired his “1980 Floor Show” on “The Midnight Special” in 1973. The concert had been previously filmed in London and I was awestruck by his stunning androgyny, but more so, his courage to easefully pull it off at a time when no male artist dared push the envelope that far. (Google it and you’ll be astounded.) His music, clothes, makeup and that perfect carrot-orange mullet were like nothing I had ever witnessed in mainstream rock. There was an elevated brand of intelligence to it all and it became instantly clear that something revolutionary was happening in pop culture. As a closeted gay person growing up in a macho, working-class neighborhood of Buffalo, New York, Bowie ultimately connected me to progressiveminded social circles (gay and straight) as we patronized his concerts together in multiple cities, and shared and discussed at length his brilliant songs rigged to his ever-changing personas. Acceptance for being different came easy from people who liked Bowie. His artistry was liberating and profound right to the end. And it remains for the taking by those less familiar with him, especially when delving into his non-hit songs from a prolific catalog that never became static. —Morgan M. Hurley can be reached at

Iman @The_Real_IMAN

“Sometimes you will never know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory” —meme Bowie’s famous wife posted the day before he died. “The struggle is real, but so is God.” —meme she posted Jan. 10.

Madonna @Madonna

I’m Devastated! This great Artist changed my life! First concert I ever saw in Detroit! R.I.P. Talented. Unique. Genius. Game Changer. The Man who Fell to Earth. Your Spirit Lives on Forever! So lucky to have met you! Hot Tramp I love you So!

Elton John @EltonOfficial

I am still in shock. Never saw it coming. My deepest condolences to Iman and the family. An amazing life. An amazing career.

Frances Bean Cobain @Nova_Bean666

R.I.P. David Bowie. You were an icon, you changed the idea of what a man should be, your musical genius will live on —her father covered Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold the World”

Queen Official @QueenWillRock

David Bowie: The cleverest and most interestingly brilliant man of our time. What a vacuum he leaves, and how he will be missed. Roger

Josh Groban @JoshGroban

He never seemed of this earth. Now he’s left it. He bent rules, gender, genres, and our minds. RIP David Bowie. One. Of. A. Kind.

Russell Crowe @RussellCrowe RIP David. I loved your music. I loved you. One of the greatest performance artists to have ever lived. #sorrow

Adam Lambert @AdamLambert

Bowie was one of the bravest artists of the century. A true Icon

Richard Branson @RichardBranson

When I heard it sent a shiver through me. I thought David Bowie would live forever. Still, in some ways he will.

Linda Perry @RealLindaPerry

Oh this is terrible news. We lost an extremely important and influential artist. David Bowie has been a huge inspiration and will be missed.

Dustin Lance Black @DLanceBlack Love. Loss. Love.

Minka Kelly @minkak

The greatest thing you’ll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return. #Starman

Los Angeles LGBT Center @LALGBTCenter

#DavidBowie Influenced Queer Culture and Helped Us Be OK With Who We Are FROM PAGE 1


from an operating income of $125,000 in 1989 to nearly $2 million when she left the job in 2006. In between, she and the board of directors launched a capital campaign and raised enough money ($2.6 million) to completely demolish the buildings on the property and start anew in 2000, with a beautiful multistory, multi-purpose facility that has a fully operational kitchen, administrative offices, counseling offices, recreational areas, and room for 31 beds. And they did it all despite their many detractors, including their own consultants, many of whom never thought they could make it happen. Three architectural plans were offered and Houk chose the most expensive one; because they only had one shot to do it right. “I picked the best drawing and it had the full courtyard,” she said. “The cheapest drawing had everything all scrunched in more. The courtyard is really, really important. The stairway was made as an entrance and it is shaped like a high heel.” She noted two other important aspects of the facility that weren’t on the less expensive architectural drawings — an upstairs conference room and a downstairs restroom space that opens to the courtyard and serves visitors. “One of the things that is so exciting about our facility here is that it isn’t a hospital-like atmosphere,” said current board President Michael Moore. “The architecture helps create a safe space that is closed but not sealed. The courtyard adds a lot to that whole feeling.” “We have fundraisers out there and the whole property comes alive,” said Chris Mueller, LCSW, the site’s program manager. Now fifteen years old, the facility is still one of the top residential facilities in the nation. Houk said the LGBT community, the housing industry and several local politicians — Chris Kehoe, Ron Roberts and former

NEWS mayor Maureen O’Connor — were instrumental in helping make their dream facility come true, and O’Connor even surprised them with a $100,000 gift from her husband’s foundation at their capital campaign kick off. Six years after the ribbon cutting and dedication of the new building, with Stepping Stone running like a finely oiled machine, Houk decided to take a job in Palm Springs in the drug and alcohol prevention field and finish a book that had long been nipping at her heels. The book, called “What Are You Thinking?” was self-published in 2008 on her Silvermind Publishing and is available on Amazon. “[My book] came out of me from the universe and I’ve been studying positive thinking since I was 24 years old,” Houk said. “I was teaching orientation to new counselors for all of San Diego. Many are in recovery and they want to give back and some didn’t do well in school, so they are thinking, ‘I don’t belong in here. I’m not smart enough to be doing this.’ So I address how important it is to support yourself through positive affirmations and saying ‘I can do this,’ rather than, ‘I can’t.’” About five years after Houk left, Stepping Stone entered into a difficult five-year phase. The current board, led by Moore, had been reaching out to Houk for consultations on various matters, and when a particularly difficult contract — that Houk had originally written herself — was offering some challenges, he decided to ask Houk and her partner Patricia out to dinner. “It became pretty clear, pretty fast that the timing might be right to ask Cheryl to come back,” Moore said. “I left dinner thinking we needed to make it happen and hoping she would be interested in returning.” “I can tell when the universe is putting a pull in my direction and I couldn’t ignore it,” Houk said. “And I know what it takes to do this job. To tr y and search for someone and then give them the ‘Stepping Stone 101’ would have taken up valuable time; time that was needed to put us on stable ground immediately.” Houk’s return in November of 2015 has been met with great fanfare and excitement

GAY SAN DIEGO Jan. 22 – Feb. 4, 2016


throughout the region. “Stepping Stone provides vital support to members of the LGBT community, and for years Cheryl was the driving force behind the organization’s growth,” said Toni Atkins, Speaker of the California Assembly. “I think she is one of the most committed people I know. Her return as Stepping Stone celebrates its 40th anniversary is great news not only for those facing recovery from addiction, but for our community as a whole.” Benny Cartwright, a board member at Stepping Stone since 2011, ser ved alongside Houk on the board and said it was helpful to hear the insight her prior experience as executive director gave her in the meetings. “I’ve never met someone with such a passion for the recovery community, and view Stepping Stone specifically as Cheryl,” he said. “Her return is the boost the agency needs as we continue on a path toward stability. Moore said that Houk (l to r) Cheryl Houk and then City Councilmember Christine expanded the organization’s Kehoe stand on the porch of Stepping Stone's original main services, and she consistently entrance. (Courtesy Cheryl Houk) adapted their programs to meet the “ever-changing needs” of treating addiction. He pointed I was. That is still going on today — you are to her deep-rooted connections within the still not safe being a gay, lesbian, bisexual or community as well. transgender person. You’re just not. “Her positive impact on the staff and our “Recovery is really grounded in honesty residents was immediate,” he said. and your ability to be honest, and willing, and “I love being back here,” Houk said. “It is feel safe. my mission, it’s my place. I have 32 years of “That’s why I know the importance of this sobriety, 33 at the end of this month and it’s in door,” she said. my heart to serve people. “I’m thrilled to be back. I’m pinching “When I went to get in recovery, I went myself.” to a 12-step meeting in a rural area and it just wasn’t safe for me to be out as a lesbian, so —Morgan M. Hurley can be reached at I had to go to those meetings and hide who



GAY SAN DIEGO Jan. 22 – Feb. 4, 2016

Luscious Mediterranean-inspired wraps coming to Hillcrest The taps are up and running at a new brewery on Morena Boulevard (Photo by Scott Linnett)

San Diego’s burgeoning brew scene has come to include Bitter Brothers Brewing, a 3,200-square-foot facility that opened recently in Bay Park by siblings and craft beer enthusiasts Bill and Kurt Warnke from Detroit, and Monica Andresen, formerly of Waters Fine Catering. The project launched with eight types of beer in the offing. They include session IPA, porter on nitro, hefeweizen, dunkelweizen and a pomegranate Berliner Weisse. Food trucks roll in on Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons. 4170 Morena Blvd., 619-961-6690.


Coming into the space that operated as Sally & Henr y’s Doghouse Bar and Grill in Hillcrest is Spitz, a hip eater y spotlighting Mediterranean street food that’s due to open by early Februar y. The concept is the brainchild of college buddies Br yce Rademan and Robert Wicklund, who launched their first location several years ago in Los Angeles after Rademan spent a semester in Spain. They’ve since opened other outlets in the region. The menu features ever ything from crispy garbanzo beans and “street cart” French fries to a colorful variety of doner-inspired wraps and sandwiches made with beef, lamb, chicken or falafel. A full bar and patio will be incorporated into the operation, which will ser ve lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. 3515 Fifth Ave.,

Rubio’s is becoming more sustainable ( Rubio’s has announced that it will begin using only “all-natural” chicken raised without antibiotics as well as nitrate-free bacon across its entire menu at all locations beginning this spring. As part of its “Made with a Mission” effort, the 33-year-old chain is also intent on removing artificial flavors and colorings contained in some of the foods (flour tortillas, fire-roasted corn and a few desserts) while exploring sources for sustainable fish and hormone-free beef. Those changes are slated for late 2017.

Guadalajara-style carne asada at Pipirins

(Courtesy Cook + Schmid)

A fast-casual restaurant specializing in carne asada opened Jan. 21 in Downtown. Touted as an authentic Guadalajaran eatery, Pipirins gives customers a taste of the seasoned beef seared over open flames rather than on a flat grill for achieving what its native Guadalajara owners describe as “campfire flavor.” Everything is cooked to order, including other meat dishes such as chicken and strip loin asado. 531 Broadway, Suite B, 619-795-6960.

Nine chefs from popular San Diego restaurants will unleash their cooking skills at an inaugural nine-course dinner hosted by Common Theory Public House in Kearny Mesa, starting at 6 p.m. Jan. 25. Each savory course will be matched to various releases by Alesmith Brewing Company, and dessert will be paired with a micro roast from Mostra Coffee. Among the chefs taking part are Robert Villicano of Common Theory; Jason Knibb of Nine-Ten; Brad Chance of Juniper & Ivy; Phil Esteban of The Cork and Craft; and Christine Rivera of Galaxy Taco. Tickets are $100 (tax and gratuity not included). 4805 Convoy St., 858-384-7974.

Plant-based food is evolving to Ocean Beach (

An offshoot of Evolution Fast Food in Bankers Hill is scheduled to soft open Jan. 25 in Ocean Beach under the name PlantPower Fast Food. Launched in part by Evolution’s founder, Mitch Wallis, the eatery will serve vegan and mostly organic versions of fast food favorites such as burgers, crispy chicken sandwiches and tacos using tempeh and other plantbased ingredients. The newly built structure, which will open in a few weeks, features indoor/outdoor seating plus drive-up ports resembling those at Sonic. 2204 Sunset Cliffs Blvd., —Frank Sabatini Jr can be reached at fsabatini@


GAY SAN DIEGO Jan. 22 – Feb. 4, 2016


Feijoada stew with rice, farofa and greens

Coxinha and potato sticks (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr)

Tri-tip and portabella sandwich

Pass the feijoada Restaurant Review Frank Sabatini Jr. Despite the suggestion of a waterfront location, there is no bay in sight at Brazil by the Bay. What you see instead while savoring dishes that are as common to Brazilians as meatloaf is to Americans, are low-rise industrial structures and the rear parking lot of the Valley View Casino Center. This is Hancock Street, an unglamorous loop of automotive shops and home-supply outlets that happens to also squeeze in a café and two breweries, not to mention a Thai massage parlor. Brazil by the Bay took residence here 12 years ago after operating as Brazil on the Hill for a short time at the corner of University and Third avenues in Hillcrest. High rent squeezed it out, but the move didn’t kill its following of expats and curious locals. The restaurant adjoins a small store, which carries dry and frozen groceries imported from Brazil — cookies, juices, acai berries, cheese rolls, etc. An interior doorway connects to a casual dining area with a modest-size bar and limited seating that extends to an outdoor patio. Beware of the malaguetas. They’re the bird’s eye red chili peppers used widely throughout Brazil in sauces and stews. On a couple of visits, our waitress brought them to the table as a condiment. Packed in vinegar, they offer a fantastic fruity flavor that turns wildly dangerous when eating more than a speck. Their capsicum levels may easily rival those found in Thai chilies. The peppers lend necessary zing to appetizers such as kibe, a deep-fried log of ground beef, wheat, onions and herbs that’s

sold commonly on the streets of Rio de Janeiro. The coxinha, too, is otherwise bland. The soft, fried dough ball is filled with chicken, cream cheese, tomatoes and onions. Beyond its velvety interior, I found it underwhelming without the added heat. As for the side of potato sticks we ordered with the coxinha, we assumed they were something house-made, but they turned out to be the ones my mother used to buy in a can. Flakier and plumper are the pastels, another dough-based starter encasing beef or chicken, or a combination of cheese and guava, which the menu lists as “Romeo & Juliet.” For good reason, the pastels tend to sell out quickly on most days. Most of the dishes are authentically Brazilian, with the exception of Caesar salad, burgers, and a tri-tip sandwich I recently ordered that was as satisfying as any assembled in an American kitchen. Served on a good French roll, the tender chunks of steak were shrouded in caramelized onions, portabella mushrooms and Jack cheese. Although if you’re looking for the top national dish of Brazil, the feijoada offers a sexy mix of pork, beef and black beans in a thick stew served alongside rice and farofa, a fine manioc flour that looks and tastes like dried breadcrumbs. Brazilians sprinkle it onto pieces of cooked meat as sort of a last-minute breading. It’s flavorless, but adds sumptuous texture. I’ve had the feijoada twice here, and it’s been consistently comforting with its subtle smoky flavor complemented by customary orange slices and braised collard greens. Priced at $16.99, the meal ranks among the priciest on the menu unless opting for the $60 Brazilian-style tri-tip for four, which is brought to the table on a hot grill with roasted garlic. Traditional Brazilian meat

skewers, however, are missing from the menu. Our waitress on my last visit shrugged when I asked why, as if to say, “This isn’t Rei Do Gado,” the churrascaria in the Gaslamp Quarter where patrons are served continuous trains of skewers until signaling their servers to stop. Brazil by the Bay isn’t that, if only because of its humble confines and its intent on serving food common to Brazilian households. As I’ve witnessed each time, customers from the mother coun-

try fill the tables, conversing often in Portuguese with the endearing wait staff. For the cultural experience alone, I can live without the meats on sticks while extinguishing the burn from the malaguetas with a cold Brazilian Xingu beer. —Frank Sabatini Jr. is the author of “Secret San Diego” (ECW Press), and began his local writing career more than two decades ago as a staffer for the former San Diego Tribune. You can reach him at

Brazil by the Bay 3770 Hancock St. (Midway District) 619-692-1410 Prices: Appetizers and salads, $3 to $9; sandwiches, $7 to $10; entrees, $11.50 to $16.99



GAY SAN DIEGO Jan. 22 – Feb. 4, 2016

Holmes goes to Nome Theater Review Charlene Baldridge In Solana Beach Saturday, Jan. 16, North Coast Repertory Theatre presented the world premiere of a thoroughly mysterious and original play with music. It’s titled “Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Great Nome Gold Rush.” Written lock, stock and gun barrel by Joseph Vass (“Words by Ira Gershwin”), directed by Artistic Director David Ellenstein, and featuring a company of fine actors mostly of the area, the wild and wooly work concerns connected murders, one in London, England, and the other in Nome, Alaska. Each was committed to obtain the deed to the same gold mine at the time of the Nome Gold Rush circa 1900. The problem confronting Holmes, the intrepid private investigator (played by Jason Maddy), and his equally intrepid assistant, Dr. John Watson (Nicholas Mongiardo-Cooper), is that the man convicted in London is innocent (they are convinced the murderers are the same person), and unless they solve the murder in Nome, the convict in London will be executed. So, off they go. The first to arrive at Nome’s Dexter Hotel & Gambling Saloon, owned by Wyatt Earp (a panachefilled Richard Baird), is Watson, who early on ingratiates himself with the recently arrived Charlotte (Katie

Karel), a singer who thinks she has claim via widowhood to the mine. Also recently arrived are the piano player (Louis Lotorto) and a violinist (how long does it take to figure out this is Holmes in disguise?). Jacquelyn Ritz plays Earp’s wife, Josephine, and John Diaz, John Tessmer and Andrew Barnicle portray other locals. The nine actors play a total of 13 characters on both sides of the big pond, so part of the mystery is a who’s who, but Holmes, somewhat more appealing a human than usual, and Watson dope it out, even though some audience members may feel more than a bit left in the dust. Additional writing work may be needed, though Vass has certainly done his historical research. It’s interesting to note that Earp and Josie ran a number of saloons and gambling halls in San Diego prior to moving to Nome. As for Mr. Vass’s music, it is particularly suited to the period, though a few modern chord progressions do seep in. Charlotte’s “I’m Gonna Be the Man” is a hit number indeed, with the agile Karel gracing tabletops. The tune that solves the murder is particularly enjoyable and may haunt those driving home, and the “playing” of the piano and violin are almost convincing. Though there are numerous Nome and London scenes, all are accommodated nicely by Marty Burnett’s kinetic scenic design. Other designers are Matt Novotny, lighting; Elisa Benzoni, costumes; Matt Lescault-Wood, sound; and Andrea

Katie Karel as Charlotte and Jason Maddy as Sherlock surrounded by the cast of “Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Great Nome Gold Rush”

(l to r) Andrew Barnicle, Julian Diaz, Katie Karel, Richard Baird, and Jacquelyn Ritz (Photos by Aaron Rumley) Gutierrez, props. There have been numerous Holmes and/or Watson related properties on the stage of late. Though the Watson in Moxie’s “The (Curious Case) of the Watson Intelligence” featured numerous entities named Watson in multiple historical eras, Vass’s Watson and his more renowned counterpart stay put in “Nome,” at least until the murder is solved. And Wyatt Earp nearly makes off with the show. — Charlene Baldridge has been writing about the arts since 1979. You can follow her blog at or reach her at charb81@

World premiere “Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Great Nome Gold Rush” By Joseph Vass Through Feb. 7 Wednesdays, 7 p.m. Thursdays – Saturdays, 8 p.m. Saturdays – Sundays, 2 p.m. Sundays 7 p.m. North Coast Repertory Theatre 987 Lomas Santa Fe Drive Solana Beach Tickets $46 – $50 858-481-1055 or


The spectacular Donny Osmond A ‘Soldier of Love’ brings his tour to town Morgan M. Hurley | Editor While he may not remember the last time he stepped foot in San Diego, Donny Osmond sure knows what kind of a show he plans to put on for San Diegans on Sunday, Jan. 31, at the historic Balboa Theatre Downtown. Called “The Soundtrack of My Life Tour,” Osmond prefers not to refer to it as a “concert,” or consider it merely a tour to support his new album of the same name. “This is more a spectacle … that’s probably too big of a word,” he said. “It’s probably more of [a] musical celebration of 50-plus years.” That is a reference to the five decades that Osmond has been performing, and “The Soundtrack of my Life” — an anthology of popular songs released during his lifetime — is his 60th album. The record includes eight remakes and three original tracks, with three additional remakes on a deluxe version. “And yes, I am promoting an album, but people want to hear the hits,” he said. “You have to put a nice pace to the show together.” Osmond was originally set to perform in San Diego last September, but he had emergency vocal surgery in August by the same laryngologist who brought Adele and Sam Smith back to the stage. The career crooner bested his sister Marie’s 2007 appearance on the popular “Dancing With the Stars” show when he took home the mirror ball trophy in 2009. It was in between these two appearances the pair also began tearing up the Las Vegas strip with a stage version of The Donny and Marie Show. Now in their eighth — and apparently final — year of the award-winning residence at the Flamingo Hilton, Osmond said the tour he is bringing to San Diego is a combination of his chart-topping hits, his new album, his Vegas show, and just some good old-fashioned downtime with the audience. He said he spends close to 10 minutes interacting with the crowd during the “purple card segment,” cards handed out to random attendees before the show to ask questions or

make requests. “I was raised with variety and putting on a show,” he said, adding that at 14, watching Elvis Presley on stage influenced him greatly. “He had the audience in the palm of his hand,” he said. “There were moments where he just [Donny launches into Elvis’ voice singing “Love Me Tender”] and all that he brought, the dynamics of the show

and then BOOM [he drops into Elvis’s voice once again. “We’re Caught in a Trap”] and the place was going crazy. “So it really affected me,” he said. “I thought, ‘this is a show.’” The website is a wealth of information about the pop star. Along with links to his personal

see Osmond, pg 17

GAY SAN DIEGO Jan. 22 – Feb. 4, 2016




GAY SAN DIEGO Jan. 22 – Feb. 4, 2016


CORONATION Empress Lala Too said the tribute will include a stor y of Cunningham’s life. “Losing Kurt had an enormous impact on the Imperial Court because he was such an activist for us,” Lala Too said. “One of the things he started before he passed away was the Doug Lathrop Scholarship, which is a scholarship fund for handicapped students.” This year’s celebration will offer thanks to the outgoing emperor and empress for their year reign and honor Empress Lala Too’s decade of participation. The regal event will also celebrate the 10th anniversar y of Nicole Murray Ramirez having been crowned the titular leader of the International Court System, with the title “Queen Mother of the Americas, Empress Nicole the Great.” At that time, the court will also give out their annual Har vey Milk/Nicole Murray Ramirez student scholarships. “One of the most exciting things about this scholarship is that I recently learned there are Nicole Murray Ramirez scholarships in Boston, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles,” Murray Ramirez said. “This is such an honor!” First established in 1979, the scholarship has provided more than $200,000 in grants since its inception. “The over four decades of charity fundraising could not have been so successful were it not for the strong support of the GLBT community of San Diego,” stated Big Mike Phillips, president of the Imperial Court’s board of directors, in a press release. Those who will be attending the event are already abuzz over coronation candidates James Von Rothschild, Mama Cass, and Jaeda Reign. Von Rothschild is running to become Emperor XLIV while Cass and Reign are vying for the title of Empress XLIV. “James was a member of another court in Minnesota,” Empress Lala Too said. “He moved here about five years ago and has been an outstanding member of the community and has done a lot of fundraising for the court. “Jaeda is a former elected Princess Royale and has been involved with the court for four years,” she continued. “Mama Cass has been involved with the court for more than 25 years.” Emperor XLIII Mikie Too said that while his official leadership

(l to r) XLII Emperor Robert Rodriguez and Empress Mia Pearl and other royalty at the 2015 Coronation

Queen Mother of the Americas, Empress Nicole the Great emcees last year's event (Photo by Big Mike) year is about to come to a close, that’s not to say he’ll be stepping away from the court. He’ll rejoin

the board of directors, instead. “The past year has been a ver y interesting year and I’ve

(Photo by Big Mike)

XLIII Empress Toni Saunders and Emperor Mikie Too after their Coronation in January of 2015 (Photo by Big Mike)

enjoyed ser ving as Emperor,” the current Emperor said, adding that his involvement with the court has spanned more than seven years. “I’ve always enjoyed being a part of the court and helping raise money to help less fortunate members of our community,” he said. “Working with the board of directors will help ensure whoever wins will have a successful year.” The entire LGBT community is invited to this year’s Coronation Ball, which takes place Feb. 6. Dubbed, “A Militar y Affair,” the celebrator y event includes dinner, entertainment and “remarkable pageantr y” according to organizers. Tickets are $80 for general admission and $100 for VIP. If you choose to forgo dinner, tickets are $50. The Coronation Ball festivities will take place starting at 6 p.m., at the Marriott Mission Valley, 8757 Rio San Diego Drive. To vote, a valid California or mili-

tar y ID is required. The dress code is cocktail or formal wear. In addition to the Coronation Ball, the weekend will also include a an In Town Show, Thursday, Feb. 5, at 7 p.m. at Numbers Nightclub (3811 Park Blvd., Hillcrest); a Tijuana Party at 11 a.m., Friday, Feb. 5, hosted by Redwing Bar & Grill (4012 30th St., North Park); an Out of Town Show the same night starting at 7 p.m., at Marriott Mission Valley; and a Victory Brunch on Sunday, Feb. 7 at 11 a.m., at Heat Bar & Kitchen (3797 Park Blvd., Hillcrest). For more information, visit their Facebook group, Imperial Court de San Diego, or online at For specific details, call Lala Too at 619-254-6372. —Margie Palmer is a San Diego-based freelance writer who has been racking up bylines in a myriad of news publications for the past 10 years. You can write to her at


LETTERS we were both raising families of our own and though an intense moment for me internally, was good for me to have those words, because I forgave him that instant. (Disclaimer: ever yone’s results will var y on this.) Not being a therapist in a professional sense, I can’t tell people how to react when being bullied. Each act of bullying can be vastly different from the next. Being who I am these days in the community and particularly online, I see bullying in minor and significant ways, most of which can be brushed off and ignored with the “I’m not stooping to that level and replying.” I do feel that people need to be prepared when a bully or bullies start their tirades. Knowledge is key in this respect. It doesn’t have turn violent and inflammator y words in response can and will, more than likely, lead to violence. That being my stance on the

outside of the community hating on LGBTQ people, finding that it happens from within the community tells me that complacency has led to divisions to appear within a community, which I saw seemed to have grown out of this activity. I found this community and was so drawn that I came out of my shell and joined a group who had accepted me for who I am as a person. That is what being gay is to me. Thank you for reading this long-winded comment. Do remember we live in a pretty awesome community. The gay community, which obviously covers more than just what most call the gayborhood. My challenge to people is to show their joy of loving and accepting themselves and others. @}– P.S. Kudos on a good article. —Sister Ida via Well said! Having disagreements are one thing, but going crazy about them often turns into “bullying” and it’s rampant in this community. This is a great resolution for 2016! —Benny Car twright via



Poll Results

This Week's Question

El Nino has arrived. How badly were you affected?

Did you participate in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service?

5% Not at all 32% Mostly affected work commute

16% My yard or car was flooded

Yes No Had to work

47% My neighborhood was a disaster

GAY SAN DIEGO Jan. 22 – Feb. 4, 2016


In agreement I couldn’t agree more [with Michael Kimmel] about “it’s not the alcohol, it’s you.” [see “Life Beyond Therapy: It’s not the alcohol, it’s you,” Vol. 7, Issue 1, or]. Glad you are direct with the readers. Enjoyed reading your article! —Robert Awakt, via

The Flame still burns SOHO is looking for pre1960s photos for The Flame nightclub on Park Boulevard [see “Girls, ghosts and good times,” Vol. 6, Issue 21, or]. We need your help to find pictures of the building showing most of its original architectural elements. Email amie.hayes@ —Alana Coons via Loved reading the histor y about the Flame. I have a lot of good memories with good friends that I still have today. I wish I could win the lotter y and buy it then turn it back to a women’s bar. Thanks for article. —Sue Larson via

Ben Israel is a top read [His] gift is truly an inspiration [see “The sweet genius of Ron Ben Israel,” Vol. 3, Issue 10, or]. Whenever I find myself becoming a bit tired and overwhelmed while decorating, which can lead to sloppy work, I just simply ask this question: “Would Ron Ben Israel put out sloppy work?” I assure you, that question quickly puts me back on track. —Diane Jones via Editor’s note: This profile of Food Network star Ron Ben Israel by Frank Sabatini Jr. in May of 2012 is still one of our most-read articles online.t

To cast your vote, visit

NEWS BRIEFS LGBTQA SUMMER CAMP SEEKS VOLUNTEERS Camp Brave Trails, a twoweek residential summer camp that takes place up in Wrightwood, California, is seeking volunteers to round out their 2016 staff. The organization’s mission is, “to provide lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning youth and their allies, ages 1220, innovative, impactful summer camp programs that foster meaningful relationships and develop 21st century skills to become the leaders of tomorrow.” The leadership summer camp hopes to offer at-risk youth and young adults an atmosphere free of discrimination and confusion. Skills needed / positions open include lifeguard; archery instructor; low ropes instructor; nurse/doctor/EMT. Certification or extensive experience in program area applying for required. Instructors will also work as cabin counselors. To be considered, applicants must be at least 21 years old; complete a volunteer application and reference check; pass a government issued fingerprint test, drug test and criminal background check; attend mandatory pre-camp training; and commit to a volunteering for the full camp session (camp training dates are July 1 – 2; camp session is July 3 – 16). No couples and no compensation for time or travel. Room and board will be covered. For more information visit To view a video about the camp, visit z3rm537.

LOCAL VETERANS SOUGHT FOR PHOTO SHOOT The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is looking for veterans and military family members in the San Diego area for a photo shoot, to take place

Jan. 30 and 31, to spread the word about its #suicideprevention efforts and the #VeteransCrisisLine campaign. If you are a veteran, or know one who would be interested, contact organizers for a pre-photo shoot interview today at All details about the shoot will be provided during phone call to qualified applicants.


The winner of the Hillcrest Business Association (HBA) holiday promotion, “SHOP Hillcrest,” was announced at their Jan. 12 board meeting. More than two-dozen local Hillcrest businesses participated in the promotion and contributed to a basket filled with $1,500 worth of gift certificates, services and other prizes. Shoppers could enter as many times as they liked through multiple visits at participating businesses throughout the Nov. 25 – Dec. 24, 2015 period. The winning ticket came from Establish, a home, lifestyle and design store owned by Burnz Fernandez, located at 1029 University Ave. in Hillcrest. Downtown resident Chris Long won the $1,500 shopping spree after filling out a raffle ticket slip during a single day of shopping at the store. “I’ve known Burnz for a couple of years and I’ve been to Establish a few times,” Long said. “A lot of its stuff caters to people that I do Christmas shopping for, so I decided to go there to do the majority of my shopping. The lucky winner said he bought Christmas presents for

see Briefs, pg 19






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OSMOND accounts on social media, it also offers a discography with photos from every decade of his career; links to his performance schedules; teasers for his current album; a complete list of Donny (and Marie) in the news; and a link to, “Donny Osmond Home,” a business venture with his wife that includes home furnishings, home improvement, blogs, etc. There is another section on the website that many could, at face value, find fault with; a space where Osmond talks about what it means to be Mormon. Simply called, “My Beliefs,” this section is done so thoughtfully and presented so carefully, however, it is difficult to find fault with him. In fact, it is much easier to find renewed respect for the courageous way he has chosen to bridge the gap between his deeply held beliefs and his very public life and the diversity of his fans. “I thought it was one of those things that was actually necessary,” he said. “Back in the ’70s [being Mormon] was pretty obscure. People didn’t really have a lot of knowledge about what it really was. Many thought it was a cult, some people still do.” He said the section is there if people are interested in finding it. “I’m certainly not going to shove it down people’s throats, because religion is such a personal thing,” he said. “But it gives me an opportunity to answer a lot of these questions and put to bed the erroneous propaganda that is out there. But I really am very careful not to talk about it in public and I definitely don’t talk about it on stage.” Osmond said he was well aware of the Mormon Church’s recent decision declaring gays as ‘apostates’ and barring their children from baptism within the church. “That’s quite controversial what the church came out with regarding children,” he said. “Thousands have left. It’s a real tough issue.” He said some of his best friends are gay and he even has four openly gay staff working on his tour. He said he “thinks it’s wonderful” that they no longer have to “hide or feel ashamed.” “My make-up artist and my dresser Jake, he’s actually a Mormon and he is openly gay,” Osmond said. “We have the greatest conversations and we have the best relationship. He’s like my brother and I just love the guy.” He also addressed “8,” the film made by Dustin Lance Black, also raised Mormon, whose original research for a film on homeless LGBT youth changed directions once he found how many of them were Mormons thrown out of their homes. “Oh my goodness,” Osmond

said, learning the news. “See, that’s where people go wrong,” he said. “You embrace them. You love them.” So what about those purple socks? “We were playing these stadiums and arenas and with all the people in the nosebleed sections, no one could see who was who,” he said, adding that as a result, his mother decided to give everyone a color. “My original color was yellow, I’m so glad they changed it,” he said. The socks themselves, however, weren’t originally part of that plan. “One Christmas, I think it was 1974, there was a big sale going on at K-Mart; a blue light special, and there were all of these purple socks,” he explained. “As a joke present, my mom and my sister were out shopping and they said, ‘let’s just get Donny these since his color is purple.” And there you have it. The CD cover of “The Soundtrack of my Life” shows a pensive “adult” Donny Osmond — the singer is now 57 — dressed in a suit and looking down while adjusting his cuff links. The image is overlaid on a screened image of a much younger Osmond, wearing a big cuff-style shirt of the 1970s, also looking pensive but directly at the camera. The thoughtfulness seen on the cover comes across inside the record. “To do an album like this and take classics and touch upon them is kind of a bold move because if you do it just like the original, then you’re basically doing karaoke and I’m not interested in that,” Osmond said. The compilation is an interesting one and offers the listener a great deal of diversity — not only in the selections and style of the music, but also his voice. Starting with a list of 300 songs, Osmond said over the course of a year, he and his producer, Eliot Kennedy, tailored the list down to the final 14 he chose and discussed how to approach each one. “The criteria were that each song had to have a significant story as to why I was recording it and covering it and then I had to take that song and make it my own,” he said. Though many of the songs were written by those considered his peers, many were superstars in their own right long before he was. “Let’s take for instance ‘The Long and Winding Road,’” he said. “How do you improve on Paul’s performance? You can’t. So you just make it your own.” Other songs on the record include “My Cherie Amour,” with Stevie Wonder playing harmonica; Elton John’s “Your Song”; “Ben,” originally written for Osmond but made famous by Michael Jackson; Destiny’s Child’s “Survivor”; “Baby Love” by the Supremes; and “Nothing Compares to You” by Prince; among many other tracks. His personal connections to each song are listed on the liner notes of



GAY SAN DIEGO Jan. 22 – Feb. 4, 2016

the record and also on a new app (simply called, “Donny Osmond”) created specifically for the album, now available for download through either iOS or Android devices. The app offers short clips of each song along (including the deluxe selections) with the liner notes for each song. It is a great introduction for anyone interested in “The Soundtrack of My Life.” Looking back at his career, Osmond contemplated what he’d have done differently. “I wouldn’t have worn the purple socks,” he said, laughing. Donny Osmond and “The Soundtrack of My Life Tour” perform at the Balboa Theatre, located 868 Fourth Ave., Downtown, Jan. 31 at 6 p.m. For tickets, visit —Morgan M. Hurley can be reached at

Donny Osmond comes to Balboa Theatre Jan. 31.



GAY SAN DIEGO Jan. 22 – Feb. 4, 2016

FRIDAY, JAN. 22 ‘The Intern’: Cinema Under the Stars presents this comedy starring Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway. 8 p.m. $15. Additional screening on Saturday, Jan. 23. 4040 Goldfinch St., Mission Hills. For more info, visit topspresents. com or call 619-295-4221.



Gospel Brunch: Hosted by Sister Nun-of-the-Above and the Sisters of Sequins, this brunch features unlimited mimosas, champagne and bloody Marys for $19.95 (plus $5 cover). First seating at 11 a.m. Second seating at 1:30 p.m. based on availability. Reservations encouraged. Lips, 3036 El Cajon Blvd., North Park. Visit lipssd. com or call 619-295-7900.


Gay for Good exhibit instal installation: Gay for Good will be volunteering at Reuben H. Fleet Science Center to help install the museum’s newest exhibit “Taking Shape.” 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, 1875 El Prado, Balboa Park. Visit Oil and vinegar class: This class will teach you how to make vinaigrettes and salad dressings just like a professional chef. You’ll take home your own custom vinaigrette and recipes after class. $20. 9 – 11 a.m. Vom Fass Hillcrest, 1050 University Ave., E103. Visit ‘Throw Back Bingo’: Hosted by Gouda and Mama MO this session will feature special guest host Max Carter. $5 for one board; $10 for three boards. Win prizes! Check in at 12:30 p.m.; game starts at 1 p.m. Urban Mo’s, 308 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit bit. ly/1Pfkscz. Bernie Sanders live broadcast: Supporters of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders will gather to watch Sander’s live broadcast on the Observatory’s big screen at 3 p.m. Festivities will start at 2 p.m. The Observatory North Park, 2891 University Ave. Visit on.fb. me/1Sv5wHG. Club Sabbat presents ‘A Night Honoring David Bowie’: Robin Roth will host this night of music, fashion and dance to honor the life of Bowie. Multiple DJs will play songs by David Bowie along with Bowie-inspired tracks plus gothic, industrial, EBM and darkwave music throughout the night. All proceeds go to UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center. Club Sabbat is “San Diego’s classiest Gothic, Industrial and Fetish event.” 9 p.m. Numbers Nightclub, 3811 Park Blvd., Hillcrest. Visit on.fb. me/1JWQUhB.

Out at the Archives – Open Mondays: ‘San Diego Responds to the Early Days of AIDS’: This popular series returns. A brief history of the topic will be given followed by a panel discussion. Panel includes: Terry Cunningham, Bridget Wilson and Cheryl Clark, moderated by Lambda Archives board member and retired HIV/AIDS nurse, Steve Wroblewski. Free with reservations. 7 p.m. Diversionary Theatre, 4545 Park Blvd. #101, University Heights. Visit on.fb. me/1lswO3d.


LGBT Militar y Support Group: For LGBT active duty service members and their families — meeting on the fourth Tuesday of every month. Open for couples with or without children. 6 – 7:30 p.m. For more information, contact Caroline Bender at 619-222-5586 or San Diego LGBT Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. Visit


Wednesday wine tasting: A weekly tasting featuring various styles and winemakers. This week showcases Ramona’s Hellanback Ranch Winery. $5. 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Vom Fass Hillcrest, 1050 University Ave., E103. Visit Pride annual meeting: This meeting’s purpose it to review last year’s activities and look ahead to this year’s event. 6 p.m. San Diego LGBT Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. Visit ‘Steamed Heat Jazz: Girls Night Out with Celeste Barbier’: Vocalist Celeste Barbier will be singing songs you know and love for hump day. 6 – 9 p.m. Heat Bar and Kitchen, 3797 Park Blvd., Hillcrest. Visit Out Night at Cygnet: An evening for theater-lovers in the LGBT community. Pre-show mixer on the patio for everyone with a ticket to tonight’s performance of “When the Rain Stops Falling.” The show runs through Feb. 14. 6:30 p.m. 4040 Twiggs St., Old Town. Tickets 619-337-1525 or

Melinda Doolittle in ‘It Must Be Love’: “American Idol” contestant (season six), Melinda Doolittle brings an evening of everything from American standards to Top 40 hits to MA4. Doors open at 6 p.m., show at 8 p.m. $25 – $35 reserved seating with $15 food/drink minimum. Martinis Above Fourth, 3940 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest. Visit


LGBTQ 101 training: All are invited to learn about being a better supporter and ally by taking this training and Q&A session. Free. Signups encouraged. 6 – 8 p.m. Foundry United Methodist Church, 861 Harold Place Suite 103, Eastlake. Visit on.fb. me/1njDFxG. Democrats for Equality: Monthly meeting, open to public, on fourth Thursday of month. Meeting at 7 p.m. with social time beginning one half-hour prior. Joyce Beers Community Center, 3900 Vermont St., Hillcrest. Visit


Pop-up exhibit and meet the artist: Alexander Salazar Fine Art will host this preview of the Qais Al-Sindy exhibit where attendees can meet with the curator and Iraqi artist. A wine reception with oil and vinegar tasting will be hosted by the venue. Free and open to the public and art will be for sale. 4 – 8 p.m. Seaport Oil and Vinegars, 3913 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest. Visit North County LGBTQ Resource Center’s annual public meeting: A chance to get to know the folks at the center, learn about their operations and find out how they plan to grow. Food provided by Fair Housing. 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Oceanside Public Library, 330 North Coast Highway, Oceanside. Visit


PrideFIT walk club: Meets every Saturday, hosted by Maribel. 10 a.m. Corner of Sixth Avenue and Upas Street. Visit prideFITsandiego. Casamigos tequila pairing dinner: This four-course surf and turf dinner will include a margarita, Casamigos tequila flight, appetizer, salad, main course and dessert. Limited seating. $50. 7 – 9 p.m. Baja Betty’s, 1421 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit ‘Shipwrecked’: SDPix presents this theme night with pirate décor throughout the club, pirate go-go dancers and more. Attendees are encouraged to wear a costume or accessory related to the theme. DJ Taj and DJ K-Swift will perform. 10 p.m. Rich’s, 1051 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit on.fb. me/1WsisNP.


Man-Upp presents ‘Bulge Sunday’: A new “Sunday Fun-Day T Dance” event kicks off today with DJ Max Bruce and DJ Taj. This event will raise funds for The Center’s “Be The Generation” campaign. 2 – 9 p.m. Urban MO’s, 308 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit

Live music – Celeste Barbier: The vocalist will perform three hours of jazz, blues and other songs. 1 – 4 p.m. Wine Steals Hillcrest, 1243 University Ave. Visit


PrideFIT run club: Meets ever y Monday, hosted by Miguel Larios. 6:30 p.m. Corner of Sixth Avenue and Upas Street. Visit

TUESDAY, FEB.2 Cinema Under the ‘Burnt’: Cinema Stars presents this dramedy starring Bradley Cooper with Sienna Miller, Uma Thurman and more. 8 p.m. $15. Additional screening on Saturday, Jan. 30. 4040 Goldfinch St., Mission Hills. For more info, visit or call 619-295-4221.

Young Professionals Council’s first Tuesday series: Join the YPC for a presentation at the Hillcrest Youth Center to learn more about what The Center has to offer and how to get involved, plus tour this drop-in space for 14- to 18-year-old youths. 6:30 – 9 p.m. Hillcrest Youth Center, 1807 Robinson Ave. #106, Hillcrest. After the presentation and tour the


Wednesday wine tasting: A weekly tasting featuring various styles and winemakers. This week showcases winemaker Kyle Knox. $5. 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Vom Fass Hillcrest, 1050 University Ave., E103. Visit Guys, Games and Grub: The name says it all! A $5 suggested donation for attending the event will go to men’s programming at The Center. 6 p.m. San Diego LGBT Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. Visit


Live music – ‘Americana: Traditional American Masterworks’: San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus’ acclaimed Chamber Chorale will present this concert of classic American songs like “Amazing Grace,” “Over the Rainbow,” “America the Beautiful” and more. $15 - $30. 7 p.m. University Christian Church, 3900 Cleveland Ave., Hillcrest. Visit PrideFIT hike club: Meets ever y Thursday, hosted by Carlos Salazar. 7 p.m. Parking lot at Golfcrest Avenue and Navajo Road, in San Carlos. Visit ‘The Musical Menagerie of Debby Holiday’: International singer/songwriter Debby Holiday brings her musical histor y to the MA4 stage with a night of music, song and laughter. Doors open at 6 p.m., show at 8 p.m. $20 – $25 reser ved seating with $15 food/drink minimum. Martinis Above Fourth, 3940 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest. Visit —Compiled by Jen Van Tieghem. Email calendar items to morgan@ or


solution on page 17


ACROSS 1 Brown’s “Cat on the ___” 6 Cicero’s singular 10 Asks from one’s knees 14 “After Delores” author Schulman 15 Big ones in porn films, sometimes 16 Focused on one’s work 17 Not novel 18 Lesbos love 19 Delany of “Desperate Housewives” 20 Obsession with facial hair 23 Almost ready for the tooth fairy 24 Make airtight 25 Charades, basically 28 Prick 29 Peace Nobelist Wiesel 30 Eurythmics’ “Would ___ to You?” 33 Pub round 37 Kind of man, in Oz 38 Life style of hairy gay guys 40 One to ten, e.g. 42 Saltine brand 43 DeLaria of “Orange Is the New Black”

group will head to Heat Bar and Kitchen for drinks and fun (3797 Park Blvd., Hillcrest). Contact YPC co-chairs Rick Cer vantes (ricky.rc.cer or Prabha Singh (prabha711@ for more information. Visit

44 Journeys like a post-Trojan War epic 46 Buck feature 48 “Lady Sings the Blues” star 49 Queens ballpark 50 Sci-fi that uses technology and aesthetic designs 54 Artist Aaron, whose style has been described as a combination of 20-, 38-, and 50-Across 58 Do road work 59 “Let me repeat ...” 61 160 square rods 62 Disney’s “___ and the Detectives” 63 Lets up 64 Bear’s den 65 Where you can eat a hero 66 Bitchy warning 67 Mireille of “World War Z”

1 One that comes quickly 2 Eat pasta, with “up” 3 Buffalo’s lake 4 Barney, who romanced Romaine 5 Aileen Wuornos portrayer Charlize 6 Boat bottom bumpers 7 Be in harmony 8 What an athletic supporter might do? 9 Help out 10 Whoopi’s ill-fitting garb in “Sister Act”? 11 Online prostitution? 12 Big name in cutters 13 Terence of “Billy Budd” 21 Stray on the range 22 Earhart’s “Friendship” and others 25 Gide’s subway 26 Homer-erotic tale? 27 Of a coin factory? 28 Brief moments in the “Kama Sutra” 31 Turning tray for Anthony? 32 Incenses 34 Void’s partner

35 It can bear fruit 36 Brown quickly 38 It’s a bust 39 Place for Young men? 41 One from the land of the circumcised 45 Lays eyes on 47 Some like it hot 49 Biathlete, for one 50 Went lickety-split 51 Meek and mild 52 Apt anagram for vile 53 Org. that could help you see Uranus 55 “___ do anything better than you” 56 Dixie Chicks, e.g. 57 Word on either bride’s towel 60 Data transmission letters



his mother, aunt and some friends and didn’t expect to win. “I never really get lucky with stuff like that,” Long said. “I did my Christmas shopping in Hillcrest and it paid off.” To learn more about the winning business, visit establishsd. com. To find out more about HBA promotions and events around the gayborhood, visit

Hill also includes another smaller house at the adjacent address of 540 W. Laurel St. The latter property has been continuously occupied and is in much better shape than the former Truax House, which while empty has fallen into disrepair including a visibly worn-out roof. The city real estate office initially estimated costs of repairing the larger building at $1.48 million. Lambda Archives board member and retired architect Chuck Kaminski said he had not inspected the building closely or been inside of it, but said he found it absurd that it could possibly cost that much to fix. Upon further investigation, the city found an estimate done for Father Joe’s Villages in 2012 that put the cost of repairing the Truax House at approximately $270,000. Father Joe’s was the last occupant of the house, using it as transitional housing. Kaminski was part of the group that, along with the Save Our Heritage Organisation (SOHO), attempted to save the Michels-Carey house on El Cajon Boulevard at Florida Street, which had been a meeting place for early LGBT community members as they planned the formation of what was to become The San Diego LGBT Community Center. That house was demolished before it could be granted historic protection. Kaminski and others are concerned that a similar fate could befall the Truax House. The destruction of the MichelsCarey house led to the city obtaining a state grant to identify sites before they are threatened. “The city’s Historic Resources Board has engaged a consultant to prepare an LGBTQ Historic Resource Context report that will address properties such as this so sensible and informed land use and planning decisions can be made,” Kaminski said. “The report will be completed later this year.” The council’s Smart Growth & Land Use Committee will make recommendations to the city council, which will have the ultimate say on which properties are sold. This will also open up additional opportunities for public input before a final decision is made. “Dr. Truax was a true leader in San Diego’s LGBT civil rights movement,” said Councilmember Todd Gloria. “The home that bears his name played a key role in comforting many during the early days of the AIDS epidemic. I understand the community’s concerns about the property. I also understand that the home is in poor condition and continuing to deteriorate. Additionally the Planning Department does not favor converting the parcel into park land or open space.



FilmOut San Diego unveiled their new logo Jan. 13, at their monthly screening of “My Own Private Idaho” at Landmark’s Hillcrest Cinemas. Board members said the new logo better reflects the mission of the organization and community it serves. “We have been toying with the idea of updating our logo slightly to incorporate different color and font designs,” said Michael McQuiggan, FilmOut’s festival programmer. “Basically a mini facelift to freshen up the old adage.” According to their website, the mission of FilmOut San Diego is to “enlighten, educate and entertain the communities of San Diego County and beyond, through the exhibition of LGBT-themed films.” FilmOut’s annual film festival takes place June 3 – 5, 2016 at North Park Obser vator y (formerly Birch North Park Theatre), located at 2891 University Ave., in North Park. For more information about FilmOut, visit


The Hillcrest Business Association presented a check to the San Diego LGBT Community Center at its Jan. 13 board meeting. Benny Cartwright, The Center’s director of outreach, accepted the $12,459.50 check on The Center’s behalf. The funds were raised during the most recent Nightmare on Normal Street, a Halloweenthemed block party held on the streets of Hillcrest in late October. Produced by The Center for decades, management of Nightmare on Normal Street was taken over by the HBA in 2013, and they also expanded the theme into a block party. Through an operating agreement between the two organizations, The Center still gets a share of the proceeds. For more information about the event, visit or


GAY SAN DIEGO Jan. 22 – Feb. 4, 2016


“Input from the public and city staff will help inform my decisions about its potential sale,” Gloria said. In his statement, Wilson said the Metro SDCDC does think the property has potential as a park. “I now believe it would be a good location for a western trailhead for Maple Canyon,” Wilson stated. “At places the land is steep, but there is still room for a trail and there are nice views of Maple Canyon and San Diego Bay. The Truax House is impressive and would be an excellent interpretive center. “It is also time for Dr. Brad Truax to be honored for the role he played in both the San Diego GLBT community and as an early AIDS treatment advocate,” Wilson said. “We understand the community in its Community Plan Update process would like to have this property included in a proposed public park,” said Bruce Coons, executive Truax House, the first AIDS hospice in the nation, is located on 2513/2515 Union director of SOHO. “We believe St. in Bankers Hill and is in danger of being sold. (Photo by Walter Meyer) any attempt to sell the property needs to wait until that process is completed. We also believe that the property is potentially eligible for historic designation for its architecture and its significant LGBTQ history. We further assert that it is at once financially impractical and a significant breach of the public trust to try and sell a city-owned asset until it has gone through the historic review process.” The Truax house was originally built in 1912, by early San Diego entrepreneur Edward Kavanagh, also Some of the plaques and photos regarding Dr. Brad Truax donated to the Archives by Todd Glospelled Kavanaugh in some sources. Kavanagh ria's office, on behalf of the City of San Diego (Photo by Walter Meyer) sold it and in 1922 it was the residence of the son of a mayor Truax at the time it was imperaTruax was such a well-known pioof San Diego. As one of the first tive for his name to be associated neer in the treatment of AIDS that houses in Bankers Hill, the house with the hospice, so that it would his death also made the Times. may have other historic significance get more focus and funding from Kaminski and Lambda Arin addition to its role as the hospice. the start. chives, along with Coons and The city acquired the prop“At first he was ver y relucSOHO, and Wilson and Metro erties in the 1960s to build an tant, but when I explained that SDCDC, all want to at least delay a extension of Union Street through he said yes,” Murray Ramirez decision on the disposition of the Maple Canyon, but for a variety of said. “He died without ever seeproperty until a more complete reasons that road was never built ing the house, but because it was study of the building and its posand the city has leased or loaned named after him we got a lot of sible future uses can be completed. the property on a month-to-month contributions.” To have your voice heard about basis ever since. Twice before, in Truax was nationally known as preserving Truax House, write 1980 and 1987, the house also faced one of the doctors who pioneered Councilmember Gloria at toddglopossible sale by the city, but each treating AIDS patients. He died of time it was spared and another use the disease in November of 1988, was found for it. only months after the hospice was —Walter G. Meyer is a local Nicole Murray Ramirez said dedicated in his name. activist, freelance writer and the when then-mayor Roger HedgeThe opening of an AIDS author of the award-winning gay cock appointed Truax to the city’s hospice was such a rare event that novel, “Rounding Third.” He can AIDS task force, Truax was the Truax House was covered in the be reached at walt.meyer28@ “first openly gay man appointed to Los Angeles Times and likewise, anything in San Diego.” When the building on Union Street was loaned by the city for use as the hospice, it was empty and the community had to raise funds to furnish and maintain it. Murray Ramirez said he told


GAY SAN DIEGO Jan. 22 – Feb. 4, 2016

Gay san diego 01 22 16  


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