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Volume 7 Issue 3 Feb. 5 - 18 , 2016

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Block withdraws, makes way for Atkins


By SDCNN Staff

Alternative app


Progam Manager Chris Mueller (top row, middle) is surrounded by staff and volunteers in front of Stepping Stone's "donor wall," which community members can now purchase to commemorate the organization's 40th anniversary. (Courtesy Stepping Stone)

They keep coming back ‘The Stone’ prepares to celebrate its 40th year Morgan M. Hurley | Editor

Food that is worth the find


Nerding out in Coronado


For four decades, Stepping Stone — the “little rehab that could” located at 3767 Center St., in City Heights — has served as a drug and alcohol recovery oasis for the LGBT community. It all began when City Heights was one of the most crime-ridden and run-down neighborhoods of San Diego; decades before the major development that turned 40th Street into the 15-freeway throughway; long before the Mid-City Police Headquarters was built just two blocks away and deterred some of the crime; and more than two decades before the one-time eyesore became the jewel of the neighborhood that it is today. “To be a gay and lesbian person to have to come to those conditions, it was absolutely unacceptable to me from the moment I walked in here,” said Cheryl Houk, who served as executive director from 1989 until 2006 and recently returned to the helm. What started out 40 years ago as five run-down homes, “a lumpy courtyard,” and a garage on a twoparcel lot, evolved into a colorful fortress of safety and hope for the LGBT community and a national model for

the recovery community. “We went from the worst to the best,” Houk said. “The amount of love and support that went into this, and still continues to — because of people being thankful for what it brings to the community and themselves and they keep coming back to — is amazing.” Stepping Stone’s four buildings are built high and out to the edge of each of the four sides of the property. The grand courtyard in the middle has as its focal point a staircase in the shape of a high-heeled shoe. Houk said the staircase looked like a shoe on the architect’s drawings, so she asked if they could really make it look like one. “And they did,” she said. “It was all about Priscilla [Queen of the Desert] at the time and so indicative of the culture. Everyone loves the high heel.” The residence area consists of four modules, each with two bedrooms with four beds each and separated by a bathroom and shower room. Male residents currently take up three of the four modules and females always have their own space. Just across the courtyard is an oversized community room — with an attached full-size kitchen — complete with a huge fireplace, cathedral ceilings, a piano and an eating area. That heel and the celebrations held beneath it is one of the things Program Manager Chris Mueller said he

see Stepping Stone, pg 13

Broadway San Diego celebrates four decades, sets season By Charlene Baldridge

Jillian straightens us out

Index Community.................4 Opinion...................6 News Briefs..................7 Puzzle................14

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San Diego Community News Network

At the Balboa Theatre Jan. 23, Broadway San Diego (BSD) tossed itself a party celebrating 40 years. Barbara-Lee Edwards of CBS-TV Channel 8 acted as emcee of the event. There was no birthday cake, just a lot of visual and aural frosting designed to entice onlookers to subscribe to what the organization describes as, “one of their biggest and most chart-topping seasons yet!” One wonders by whose chart; it looks pretty much like more of the same thing they’ve been doing for the past 20 years at least. We are, nonetheless, lucky to have the series here, presenting the latest Broadway tours under the auspices of A Nederlander Corporation, whose Broadway San Diego Vice President Joe Kobr yner,

see Broadway, pg 3

Disney's "Newsies" and "The Lion King" are headed to San Diego (Courtesy BSD)

State Sen. Marty Block announced via his Facebook page on Thursday that he was no longer going to seek re-election to the District 39 seat, leaving Toni G. Atkins the heavy favorite to win the Democratic nomination.

Marty Block (Facebook) Atkins, the outgoing Assembly Speaker who is termed out, has said that she was running for the Senate seat because Block had promised her that he would only serve one term. Block apparently changed his mind over the summer, before withdrawing on Jan. 28. Block wrote on Facebook: “We have obtained the endorsements of the majority of Democratic Clubs that have weighed in on the race and we feel that we have the number of delegates we would need to secure the Democratic Party endorsement. “That said, our debates repeatedly demonstrated that Speaker Atkins and I have very similar progressive positions on issues. It logically follows that we can best advance a progressive Democratic agenda both in San Diego and in the Capitol by working together. In the last few days since our most recent debates, this has become clear to me. Therefore, this morning I announced on the Senate floor that I will not file for re-election next month. “As a loyal Democrat and elected official fighting alongside

see Block, pg 2


GAY SAN DIEGO Feb. 5 - 18 , 2016


From turmoil to technology Local college grad launches LGBT-focused app By Dave Fidlin After years of soul-searching and personal experiences, Sidao Li came to the conclusion he was gay. Many members of the LGBT community can relate to such a moment of reckoning and today he hopes to help others through the process as well. Born of a Chinese immigrant family, Li found himself in a unique situation when he chose to share his revelation with someone who was

Sample interactions (Courtesy Sidao Li)

very close to him — his mother. Her very negative reaction, however, gave Li pause in his journey. “At that point, I knew what I wanted and I knew how I wanted to approach my life,” Li said. “But sharing that [with my mother] was a rushed decision.” As he reflected on his official coming out — it was so powerful that he remembers the exact date: Jan. 3, 2013 — he adamantly admits it was a bad experience for him. “I didn’t have any backup and I wasn’t prepared for her reaction,” Li said. “Suicide once entered my thoughts.” Li soon found solace through a personal exchange on the social networking platform Tumblr, but said he continued to struggle with his sexuality and feared future nega negative reactions from others for a long period of time. Eventually the positive, supportive experience he found on Tumblr led Li to channel his entrepreneurial prowess toward a cause he believed in — a social media platform that would benefit those encountering the types of struggles he endured. After tinkering on some logistical issues with a programmer in late 2015, in early January Li took the wraps off Chippr, an app geared specifically toward the LGBT community. While the product is still in its early stages, a full rollout will occur later this year. Given its social, ease-of-

connection nature and focus on anonymity, Chippr might appear — on its surface — to be a close cousin to other LGBTcentric apps such as Grindr, but Li said there is a clear distinction: Chippr is not designed for quick hook-ups. Instead, Li said he envisions Chippr functioning more as a peer support group where those questioning their sexuality or gender choice can share their thoughts freely in an open, understanding environment. A tool within the app sends a user’s message to others within a 5- to 15-mile radius. Through a user-generated system of checks and balances, anyone posting a message deemed offensive could face censoring. The app includes a feature called Marketing page for Chippr app upvoting and downvoting. If a person’s post has five down- (Courtesy Sidao Li) votes, it will be deleted. The anonymity built around Li said he is attempting to keep the app is important, Li said, because the product’s focus local at the it gives users more freedom in sharmoment to work out any bugs during their thoughts — an especially ing the beta testing phase. At the important point for those who feel moment, it is available for download they are not yet ready to come out. to Apple iOS users and by June, he “A lot of times, we [the LGBT expects it to be available to Android community] don’t help each other users as well. out,” Li said. “I want us to be more Though Chippr remains San engaged with each other. That’s why Diego-centric for now, Li said he I started this.” would like to expand the app’s presLi, who graduated from UC San ence on a national — perhaps even Diego last year with a bachelor’s global — scale later this year. degree in business and economics, For more information on Chippr, said he has postponed entering the visit The website full-time workforce for the time being includes information on how interested participants can be part of the while he pours his time and energy app’s beta phase. into developing Chippr. “I’m still young,” he said. “I fig—Dave Fidlin is a freelance jourured I should take the chance while I can and see what I can do about mak- nalist with a special affinity for San Diego and its people. Contact him at ing a difference. I’ve learned a lot of things about this whole experience.” FROM PAGE 1

BLOCK you for 30 years, my priority is to ensure that our values and policies are moving forward. I remain committed to serving as your State Senator this year with an aggressive legislative agenda to combat human trafficking, secure additional education funding, protect our environment, assist our homeless population, and more.” Rumor has it that Block is eyeing the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s seat, a fitting role for the senator who has championed legislation focused on the community college system and making education more affordable. Atkins released a statement about Block’s decision to not seek reelection late Jan. 28. “I was as surprised as his colleagues with Senator Block’s announcement,” she stated. “What is no surprise to me, having appeared at so many campaign events with him recently, is how much Marty Block believes in the State Senate and its ability to do good for the people of the 39th district. Our community has been beyond fortunate to have had some great State Senators, including Lucy Killea, Dede Alpert, and my mentor, Chris Kehoe. Marty Block was a fitting member of that lineup. I will work very hard to measure up to the standards they all set.” Atkins is currently now seeking the endorsement of the California Democratic Party. The California Primary Election is June 7.t


BROADWAY stated in a media release that he is thrilled with the 40th anniversar y 2016–2017 season, consisting of six touring shows, four additional events, and four shows remaining in the 2015-16 season. Most of the shows are presented at the San Diego Civic Theatre, 1200 Third Ave., Downtown. “We have everything from the classics that have thrilled audiences for years and are now reimagined to some of the biggest titles coming straight from Broadway,” Kobryner stated in the release. An example of this would be “If/Then,” starring Idina Menzel, which played Jan. 5–10. The filmed portions of the celebration consisted of clips from the upcoming shows and commercials for the season’s sponsor, San Diego County Credit Union (replete with the “money, money” TV ad that shows how much those other guys can ding you). There were also filmed testimonials from satisfied BSD attendees who enjoy the benefits of membership in the President’s Club. The promotional film also included an informative segment

Rachel Womble as Glinda in "Wizard of Oz" (Courtesy BSD)

about the Ben Vereen Awards (the third annual local talent competition takes place at the Balboa Theatre May 29, with Vereen in attendance). The competition emphasizes the abundance of San Diego’s high school talent. The winners move on to compete in additional cities, including New York. Though we expect to see portions of the film in the form of TV commercials this year, the live talent displayed Friday night at the Balboa was the best part of the celebration. Tshidi Manye, who came direct from the Broadway “The Lion King” cast, sang “Circle of Life.” “The Lion King” returns to San Diego for the third time, Sept. 7–Oct. 2, (the first time in seven years). Danielle Dalli from the touring company of “The Sound of Music” (directed by former Old Globe Artistic Director Jack O’Brien) closed the evening with the title song from that show plus the inspirational number, “Climb Every Mountain,” at which point hordes of kids from The J* Company trooped down the Balboa Theatre aisles to contribute live support to the emotional climax. “The Sound of Music” plays Nov. 15–20. So, what else is new and old? Newer shows I’m most looking forward for the upcoming 2016–2017 season are “Cabaret” (Aug. 23–28), which kicks off the new season; Time Magazine’s show of the year, “Matilda the Musical” (Jan. 31–Feb. 5, 2017); “Finding Neverland” (April 4–9, 2017), and “The Bodyguard” (June 13–18, 2017). “The Bodyguard,” which has been touring Great Britain, debuted in London’s West End, where it played for two years and then went on tour in Great Britain. It is a remake of the film that starred Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner and features such Houston songs as “I Will Always Love You” and “Saving All My Love (For You).” I also look forward to seeing the Broadway tour of John Cameron Mitchell’s über-rock musical, “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” (Nov. 29–Dec. 4), which fails in its description to tell exactly what

GAY SAN DIEGO Feb. 5 - 18 , 2016

Christiaan Smith-Kotlarek as Gaston and the Silly Girls of Disney's "Beauty and the Beast." (Photo by Matthew Murphy) that inch might be, only stating that the musical may be inappropriate for those 12 and under due to strong language and adult themes.

In addition to shows mentioned above, Broadway San Diego has added engagements of two San Diego-connected Broadway hits,


“Rent” (Jan. 10–15, 2017) and “Jersey Boys” (May 9–14, 2017). Other shows remaining in the current 2015–2016 season are “The Realish Housewives of San Diego” (Feb. 2–7,at the Balboa Theatre); “The Book of Mormon” (Feb. 23–March 6); “The Wizard of Oz” (March 15–20); “Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles” (March 29–April 3, Balboa Theatre); Disney’s “Newsies” (May 31–June 5) and “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” (Aug. 2–7). That’s a lot to digest and a lot to anticipate. Readers may find additional information regarding shows and dates at — Charlene Baldridge has been writing about the arts since 1979. You can follow her blog at or reach her at


GAY SAN DIEGO Feb. 5 - 18 , 2016


The month of love Back Out with Benny Ben Cartwright January is my least favorite month. It’s dark and cold, and the festive lights and cheer that hide the dark and cold in December mostly go away. Then of course there’s the pressure to start something new or change habits in the form of New Year’s resolutions, which in most cases, get pushed back with excuses as each day passes in January. That is why I so love the arrival of February — what many people call “the month of love.” The defeat of failed New Year’s resolutions has passed and things seem back on track and “normal” again. The warmer, lighter part of the year also seems within reach come February with daylight saving time returning on Sunday, March 13 and the spring season following just about a week later. I also happen to be a sucker for all things Valentine’s Day, including the decorations, romance, chocolate, and love. With all this talk about “love” in February, it’s gotten me thinking a lot about the greater concept of love and what it means to us as human beings and as a community. As I’ve mentioned in previous columns, I’ve been working hard to love myself more, be it in the health and fitness choices I make, along with the relationships I form. I’m learning to say “no” a lot more and letting my desires and ambitions guide my course in life, not the needs and wants of others. I’d also like to see our community practice a bit more love toward each other. This is particularly challenging in a year like this one, with a presidential election just months away. On social media, I’ve already witnessed what looks like many friendships crumbling, even among people of the same political party who have an allegiance to one candidate or the other. As someone who’s been politically

minded since a teenager (fun fact: Starting around 14 years old, one of the most exciting parts of my weekend was watching the re-plays of the previous week’s San Diego City Council meetings on CityTV), I’ve witnessed a lot of “politics” over the years. I can’t recall a time when nationally, locally, and within our community have we so divided ourselves. I think we all know the media and now social media, have a lot to do with this. A wise mentor of mine always says that getting into an argument on social media is the same as getting into an argument with a drunk. It is a continuous circle that goes nowhere. No one will win and it’s unlikely that either person’s mind will be changed. It’s easy to get sucked into these cycles and unfortunately, more often than not, these exchanges lead to hurt feelings and crumbled relationships. Disagreements are natural and OK, but endless uncivil dialogue is not productive or healthy, nor is it in the spirit of loving and lifting our community up. Let’s try a bit harder to love each other this year, and decide that our friendships and community relationships are a lot more important than being “right” on social media. Really think about what purpose it serves anyone to be just another voice in a sea of comments. If you really find yourself disagreeing with someone and you think it’s that important to correct them, invite them to coffee or lunch to talk it out. Not only will you be spending some quality time to actually connect with someone, it’s very unlikely that either of you will say the inappropriate things that the mask of a computer and keyboard would otherwise allow you to say. You might even learn something from each other. Something I’ve chosen to do if I see a heated topic that I’m interested in is to jump into the conversation and share my point (without attacking anyone) and then jump back out and not re-engage in the feed. In fact, one of my favorite features on Facebook is the “Turn

off notifications for this post” selection so that I won’t even see when anyone else participated in the conversation; and with so much “noise” on Facebook already, I forget about the whole post and move on. Love yourself, love each other and let’s focus on real dialogue this year that doesn’t tear us apart. With that said, please don’t forget about three very important events coming up at The Center this month. As I mentioned last month, our MASQUERADE party is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 11 from 6-10 p.m. at BRICK at Liberty Station. This event is a new one for us, and it’s going to be a lot of fun, complete with amazing aerial performances, luscious live music, fabulous food, curious cocktails, mild mayhem, mystery and more! Visit events. for tickets and more info. Tantrums & Tiaras: Battle of the Bar Queens is also coming up on Feb. 21! This over-the-top drag competition features contestants from five of our community bars who have little or no drag experience and they battle it out for the crown. This show always sells out and is packed with surprises so get your tickets now at Finally, the Bayard Rustin Civil Rights Honors is on Feb. 19 from 6-8 p.m. at The Center. This year’s honorees include the Hon. Tony Young, Vernita Gutierrez, Camille Davidson, Dwayne Crenshaw, and Dion Brown. Everyone is welcome to celebrate these community leaders’ service and accomplishments and for a $15 donation, guests will enjoy a soul food buffet, entertainment and program. More information is here: Remember to practice more love this month — I love you all! —Benny Cartwright is the director of community outreach at the San Diego LGBT Community Center. He can be reached at 619-692-2077 ext. 106 or outreach@thecentersd. org. Note: Byline photo by Rob Lucas Modern Aperture Photography.t

Attracting love — or pushing it away? Life Beyond Therapy Michael Kimmel Google said that the question, “What is love?” is one of its most popular searches; but I believe love is more easily experienced than defined. I like how philosopher Julian Baggini defines love: “Love is not one thing. Love for parents, partners, children, neighbors, God and so on all have different qualities. At its best, however, all love is a kind and passionate commitment that we nurture and develop. Without the commitment, it’s mere infatuation. Without the passion, it’s mere dedication. Without nurturing, even the best can wither and die.” We can experience love toward many love objects: • Love of a lover/partner/mate • Love of a friend or relative • Love of animals • Love of nature, plants and wilderness • Love of God, however you experience Her/Him How do I keep love away? In my work with clients, I often hear: “Why am I so lonely? Why don’t people love me?” Here are some of the most popular ways that we push love away: We confuse obsession with love. Obsession says, “I want you to make me happy. I’m going to control you, manipulate you and do whatever I need to do to make you give me what I want.” This isn’t love; it’s more like the movie “Fatal Attraction.” When you don’t get what you need, you’re tempted into Facebook stalking or obsessively thinking about your alleged love object … or worse. We keep score. “You did this for me, but I did more than that for

you. You owe me.” This is a model of love as a business arrangement, a contract that has little to do with the heart and everything to do with the analytical, measuring mind. This is sure to make any attempt at love into a continual power struggle. Remember that old Janet Jackson song, “What have you done for me lately?” We don’t work through our historical barriers to love. Old wounds, hurts and betrayals can become layers of defenses against love. It makes sense not to repeat the same mistakes, but if we don’t figure out how to grow from these mistakes, we just become older and more bitter and cynical about love. We focus our energy all on one person. “No one else is important.” This is a great way to keep love away and to put inordinate pressure on the one person you do love. It’s nice when your lover is your best friend, but be careful: Don’t pour all your love onto one person. No one person can ever live up to the idea of being “ever ything” for his or her partner. We need several people to love, each in different ways and for different reasons. How do I invite love in? Love says, “I want you to be happy” and “How can I love you better?” I’m not recommending that you become a martyr, but instead, focus on the enjoyment of giving rather than getting. Ironically, this is a sure way to get more! Recognize that love is a verb, not a thought. My Jewish friends tell me that the Hebrew word for love, ahavah, emphasizes the active aspects of love and that the word ahavah is built upon the root consonants h-v, which mean “to give.” In order for love to “live,” it needs active expression. If you love your partner/friend/pet/God, put it into action. Don’t confuse lust with love. Let’s look at it biologically: lust is a (temporary) passionate sexual desire where your body increases a release of chemicals like testosterone and estrogen. A deep, connecting love on the other hand, is a process of attachment and bonding that occurs over time. There is really no such thing as instant love. Instant lust, sure, but love needs time to “unfold.” This unfolding love leads your body on a different biological path, where the brain typically releases pheromones, dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, oxytocin and vasopressin. It’s quite a different experience, both physically and emotionally, from lust. And what if psychiatrist Fritz Perls — the founder of Gestalt psychotherapy — is right? He said: “Finding love has at least as much to do with becoming the right person as meeting him or her.” If this is true, and I think it is, we can focus on who we are becoming and bring lots more love into our lives. —Michael Kimmel is a licensed psychotherapist who specializes in helping LGBT clients achieve their goals and deal with anxiety, depression, grief, sexually addictive behavior, coming out, relationship challenges and homophobia. Contact him at 619-955-3311 or visit


Paintings from Gay Straight Alliance members throughout the SDUSD on display at the Archives (Courtesy Lambda Archives)

Juxtaposing the Briggs Initiative Out of the Archives Jen LaBarbera Since early December, Lambda Archives of San Diego’s exhibit space has been brightened by an exhibit on loan from some folks at San Diego Unified School District. Six paintings created by San Diego students at the Youth Safe Zone at Pride 2015 now adorn our walls, accompanied by a display of photos and testimonials from students involved with Gay Straight Alliances (GSAs) in San Diego schools. These beautiful and powerful materials were part of a monthlong display for LGBTQ History Month at San Diego Unified’s district building. We’ve chosen to complement this exhibit with a small display of some of our own materials related to the Briggs Initiative — also known at the time as Proposition 6 — the 1978 ballot measure that, if approved, would have banned gays and lesbians from working in California’s public schools. Included in that display are “No on 6” campaign posters, newspaper clippings related to the initiative from San Diego editorial pages and internal campaign documents from Save Our Teachers, the group working against the Briggs Initiative in San Diego. The progress highlighted by the juxtaposition of these two displays is significant; we’ve certainly come a long way from our community’s defensive position during the No on 6 campaign in 1978, to the student art and testimonials provided by middle and high school GSAs in 2015. The successful messaging used by the No on 6 campaign — deflecting attention from “the issue of homosexuality” by emphasizing free speech, separation of church and state, calling the initiative “unnecessary, dangerous, and expensive” — stand in stark contrast to some of the words on these paintings. One panel proclaims, “I am happy to be gay,” “trans is beautiful,” and “love is universal.” While we’ve seen incredible progress since the Briggs Initiative was on that ballot in November of 1978, there’s still plenty of work to be done. Included in the exhibit materials from current students involved in the local GSAs is a collection called Student Voices, with short testimonials from middle and high school students, and many

of them include calls-to-action for teachers to speak up in response to anti-LGBTQ language. “One of the biggest problems in middle school is the use of the phrase, ‘that’s so gay’ to negatively describe something,” wrote one San Diego middle school student. “Racial slurs and other derogatory words are never allowed by teachers, but the use of ‘that’s so gay’ is always overlooked or ignored by anyone who had the power to stop it.” We’ve been honored to host these materials from San Diego’s LGBTQ youth and GSAs for the past month. It’s not often we get a chance to juxtapose such contemporary materials with our historic collections in our exhibit space, so

do stop by the Archives before the end of February to see this education- and youth-focused exhibit while it’s still here. —Jen LaBarbera is the lead archivist at Lambda Archives of San Diego. You can reach her at jen.

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GAY SAN DIEGO Feb. 5 - 18 , 2016

Letters Osmond feedback Thank you for a well-written article. So few writers give Donny a chance but you did a wonderful job. [See “The spectacular Donny Osmond,” Vol. 7, Issue 2, or]. One correction though, which is very important to not only Donny, but his fans. “Survivor” is not by Destiny Child’s ... this “Survivor” is penned and sung by Donny himself. It is a powerful song about his own survival in life! Here is a link to its video. Thank you again for giving Donny a positive writeup. Aloha. —Jean, via email There is an error. “Survivor” is not by Destiny’s Child. It is an original song co-written by Donny Osmond and Eliot Kennedy for this album and tells what he has gone through in his career. Thanks otherwise for a nice interview. —Carol Nelson, via This “Survivor” was written by Donny Osmond. Listen to it. Poignant. [Link she provided: tinyurl. com/zgfbszb]. —Sylvia Rust, via

Guest Editorial

Survey: straight behavior in gay bars By Eddie Reynoso Last week I was enjoying my “Friday’s on Fifth” happy hour when the bar I was in suddenly filled with 20-30 straight guys and girls. As I looked around, there was a collective gritting of teeth from patrons throughout the bar, including several people who got up and moved to a completely different section, as everyone realized that the bar was about to become a shrieking, fist-pumping “zoo exhibit.” I obser ved and overheard a large number of the new patrons state that it was their “first time in a gay bar” and from my own obser vations, many in the bar were not happy over their attitudes, or behavior. This got me thinking. As the LGBT community, and EDITOR Morgan M. Hurley (619) 961-1960 CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Ken Williams, x102 Jeff Clemetson, x119 CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Chris Azzopardi Charlene Baldridge Benny Cartwright David Dixon Dave Fidlin Michael Kimmel Jen LaBarbera Frank Sabatini Jr. WEB & SOCIAL MEDIA Jen Van Tieghem, x118 COPY EDITOR Dustin Lothspeich

in particular our march towards LGBT rights and equality has become more accepted, what is our expectation of people — specifically straight people — and how they should act and behave in our LGBT bars? Nationwide there is heated debate regarding the “invasion of straights” at gay bars. It is no longer uncommon to see a bachelorette party pile into a gay bar, or a party bus pull into the neighborhood with people who have never been inside a gay bar before and oftentimes their behaviors are frowned upon by other bar patrons. As gays and lesbians ourselves who have been seeking acceptance, what expectations do we have for our straight allies, and what expectations should we have of ourselves when our bars EDITORIAL INTERNS Joseph Ciolino Tori Hahn ART DIRECTOR Vincent Meehan (619) 961-1961 LAYOUT ARTIST Suzanne Dzialo 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

become more mixed or “invaded” by heterosexual people? What rules should the straight community know before walking into a gay or lesbian bar? For example — Should straight girls know and understand that at a gay bar, they will most likely not get served first, just like men at a regular bar won’t get served before a girl? Will this be acceptable? Should straight men know and understand that a bartender at a gay bar will work for his tips and that means serving and flirting with his male clientele. Is this OK? Other examples — Is it OK for a guy and a girl to make out at a gay bar? Or is it OK for a guy hitting on girls at a lesbian bar? Or for straight males to get upset because they are getting hit on at a gay bar — is their anger acceptable? Is their behavior acceptable? Now before you answer those questions, flip it around — is it acceptable for a gay couple to be kicked out of a cab for kissing each other? Or out of a restaurant?

Where does one draw the line? Or will a few simple rules be enough? I want to hear from you. My role at the San Diego LGBT Visitors Center is to ensure that everyone has a fun and safe time at any place I refer my guests to. This includes LGBT individuals, as well as our straight allies. However, judging by the reactions I obser ved during my happy hour, it was clear that we have a lot more work to do for equality — not just for how we expect to be treated, but also how we treat others. Let me know your thoughts. Send them to or comment on this article online. I value your opinion. I only ask that you keep the conversation civil and constructive. —Eddie Reynoso is the founder and operator of the San Diego LGBT Visitor’s Center, located at 502 University Ave., in Hillcrest. Visit LGBTVisitorsCenter.t

Editor’s Note: While researching the article, a Wikipedia page dedicated to the “The Soundtrack of my Life” album provided a hot-link from Osmond’s song “Survivor” to the Destiny’s Child “Survivor” Wiki page, following the format of the other remakes listed on the album. Since a song from The Supremes is also on the album, I did not question this error myself. Our article has been corrected online and a message was sent to Osmond’s management so they can correct the Wiki page.

Discomfort food “The birds are slaughtered humanely with a sharp instrument to the throat while a Muslim cleric recites a prayer.” [See “Where dirty sauce is king,” Vol. 7, Issue 1, or]. Wow. Who wouldn’t be hungry after hearing about that kind of “humane” treatment? In fact, I bet most people wish they could go that humanely. —Mike, via

Concerned for Cerrullo Greatly concerned, with what happens after the 84-year-old leader is no longer healthy enough to lead? [See “How close is too close?” Vol. 7, Issue 2, or tinyurl. com/h6who6f]. History is full of these single-

see Letters, pg 7

SENIOR INTERN Jacob Rosenfarb ACCOUNTING Priscilla Umel-Martinez (619) 961-1962 WEB DESIGN Kim Espinoza

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GAY SAN DIEGO Feb. 5 - 18 , 2016

available at The Center during the following times: Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. (last test is at 8 p.m.); and Saturday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. (last test at 1 p.m.). On Fridays, testing is available from noon – 4 p.m. (last test at 3 p.m.), and couples may test together from 4 – 9 p.m. (last test at 8 p.m.). Anonymous (medical staff will not know your name) and confidential (your name is used, but your identity is protected by law) are both available. Appointments can be made by calling 619-6922077, x101. The Center is located at 3903 Centre St., in Hillcrest. For more information visit programs/hiv-services.

Ryan Birke (Flicks), Joey Adams (Gossip Grill), Spencer Lustin (Martinis Above Fourth Table + Stage), and Colin Wood (Rich’s). Sponsors for this year include Absolut Vodka, MAC AIDS Fund, and Wyndham Vacation Ownership. The show takes place at 7 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 21, with doors opening at 6 p.m. The Obser vator y North Park (formerly Birch North Park Theatre) is located at 2891 University Ave. For tickets and more information about the event, visit To read profiles of each contestant, visit our media partner at


leader 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

Making a dif ference Volunteering can change your life! [See “Profiles in Advocacy: Resolving to make a difference,” Vol. 7, Issue 2, or z7az2jb]. Do it! Get involved! —Benny Cartwright, via

Truax sources You should give credit for the Kavanagh history, to me, and to The Reader, where you read my comment. Seriously. [“Historic ‘Truax House’ faces sale by city,” Vol. 7, Issue 2, or] [link to The Reader article:] —dlmonarch “Honest Government,” via Editor’s Note: The author credits many during his research in the writing of this piece, but your comment on The Reader article was not one of his sources. Thank you for reading and sharing additional information about Truax House.

Being upfront about alcohol Hi Michael, I couldn’t agree more about [“It’s not the alcohol, it’s you,” Vol. 7, Issue 2, or at] Glad you are direct with the readers. Enjoyed reading your article! —Robert Awakt, via

Kimmel responds: Thanks Robert. I am glad you enjoyed the article. Your agreement/support for what I wrote about alcohol means a lot to me since you’re a very experienced (and highly skilled) drug and alcohol specialist who I have great respect for.t

Cory Dalton (Photo by Big Mike) MEMORIAL FOR CORY DALTON

There will be a celebration of life for Cory Dalton, a much beloved member of the local LGBT community, at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 11 at Numbers Nightclub. Dalton, who had worked as a bartender at Rich’s and the Loft over the years and most recently could be found behind the bar at Numbers and acting as their house DJ/VJ, passed away in late January after a short illness. In the late 1990s, Dalton also wrote a popular community column in the Gay & Lesbian Times newspaper. “Cory was a very dear, sweet, funny, caring and loving friend,” said Big Mike Phillips, who is helping to coordinate the celebration. “We had so many moments of laughter and shared wonderful times together.” Phillips is working alongside Chris Dalton, Joe Martinez, Richard Aquirre, the Trovillion, Inveiss & Demakis law firm, and others, to plan a proper celebration for the friend they lost. “So many of Cory’s customers that supported Cory over the years loved him and they became very close friends,” Phillips continued. Organizers are asking those with photos of Cory to send them to Big Mike at with “Cory Photos” in the subject line. Photos received will be included in a digital photo collage that will play on the club’s monitors throughout the event. “[Cory] was a true and very loyal friend and I’m happy to say that his friendship was a great gift that I will always cherish,” Phillips said. “Cory will be missed but he’ll always be a part of my life memories.” Numbers Nightclub is located at 3811 Park Blvd., in Hillcrest.


Beginning Feb. 1, the San Diego LGBT Community Center has expanded the available hours it offers HIV testing. “We are working together to attempt to get all sexually active people testing regularly, at least twice per year,” said Dr. Delores Jacobs, CEO of The Center in a statement. “We are really trying to reduce barriers [to testing] and we encourage youth, seniors and trans-genderqueer folks to test.” Both walk-in and appointments for HIV testing are

tion, including the Cockettes — a spectacular local volunteer drag troupe that has been performing for six months. Attendees are also considered a big part of the show, and are encouraged to shout, clap, cheer on the contestants, throw money at the stage and otherwise loudly participate. This year’s judges are the following local celebrities: Chad Michaels, “RuPaul’s All Stars” winner; Shelly Dunn, the “DSC Morning (radio) Show”; Sam Zien, “Sam the Cooking Guy”; Nicole Murray-Ramirez, “Empress Nicole the Great”; and Ashley Neil Tipton, “Project Runway” winner. This year’s participating contestants (and their associated bars) include Baja Betty’s,


The annual Tantrums and Tiaras: Battle of the Bar Queens returns to The Observatory North Park theater on Feb. 19. Hosted by Babette Schwartz, the evening — which doubles as a fundraiser for programs of the San Diego LGBT Community Center — is a drag competition between local bartenders, all who have little to no drag experience. The contestants will be competing in swimsuit, talent and evening gown categories, trying not to fall off the stage while doing so. This event is a collaboration between The Center and MO’s Universe, which consists of Baja Betty’s, Hillcrest Brewing Company, Gossip Grill, and Urban MO’s. It takes nearly 50 volunteers — in such roles as ushers, performers, makeup artists, dressers and more — to put on the popular event. MO’s Matt Ramon serves as the director for the produc-


see Briefs, pg 15



Poll Results

This Week's Question

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

Bob Filner has recently resurfaced in the news. Would you support a Filner comeback?

25% Yes

Sure, why not?

63% No

Hell to the NO

12% Had to work


To cast your vote, visit



GAY SAN DIEGO Feb. 5 - 18 , 2016

A meat smoker, a Dalmatian, and an expert team expert chefchef team Restaurant Review Frank Sabatini Jr. Amid copious flora, quirky statuary, and a layer cake of architectural styles spanning 63 years across 32 acres of the Town and Country Resort & Convention Center is Charlie’s, a hidden gem to locals on the hunt for solid barbecue. But the clock is slowly ticking before it becomes history. Situated in a Googie-style building fronted by a redbrick courtyard, A Dalmatian statue serves as hotel guests may not even find the Charlie’s mascot restaurant so easily without meandering to the far eastern end of the property, past vine-covered gazebos and along narrow pathways lined with roses and greenery. A six-tiered birdbath nearby marks the spot, along with a shiny metal smoker parked out front and a life-size cement statue of a Dalmatian sitting at the door. That’s Charlie. The restaurant doubles as a sports bar, offering ample indoor-outdoor seating and validated parking. Although it wasn’t until several months ago that Charlie’s became a desirable destination for dining and drinking, after receiving a much-needed interior redo and a culinary rescue by chef Paul McCabe and pastry wizard Jack Fisher. Both hail from the local finedining scene. McCabe previously helmed the kitchens at La Valencia Hotel, Delicias, and Kitchen 1540 before taking a two-year gig at the Royal Palms in Scottsdale, Arizona. As food and beverage director for the Town and Country, he will oversee the development of nearly seven new restaurants slated for the resort’s $80 million renovation, which begins in May under the management of Destination Hotels and Resorts. Charlie’s, he said, will remain open to hotel guests and the public through the sweeping transition, although it will ultimately be bulldozed in the last phase of the project “sometime in late 2017.” Fisher’s resume includes jobs at Jsix and Nine-Ten. In addition to crafting Charlie’s soul-warming rum raisin apple pie sundae, super-moist cocoa

Chicken wings with hot sauces (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.)


nib cake and other elevated desserts, he makes all the sandwich buns in-house. 500 Hotel Circle North What you’ll find between his (Mission Valley) breads are Nathan’s-sourced “monster dogs” covered in beef 619-291-7131, ext. 3264; chili or the ambitious “big Texas burger” featuring two patties buried in brisket, Jack cheese and Prices: Appetizers red onions. We tried it, and it was and salads, $6 to $9; frightfully wonderful. The big draws, however, are sandwiches, burgers and the meats that originate from the hot dogs, $12 to $17; smoker parked out front. They’re entrees, $12 to $24 plated with various side dishes also worthy of a few blue ribbons. Chicken wings never tasted so good in this non-crispy form. Juicy to the bones, they’re smoked for hours in a mix of cherry wood and cedar, then flash-fried and dressed in Buffalo, barbecue, honey-Dijon or Carolina sauces. To those with a brawny tolerance for heat, ask for the off-menu sauces on the side — habanero, scorpion or Carolina reaper, the latter of which will numb your gums if applying more than a miniscule eye drop onto your food. Otherwise, it’s actually high in flavor. Brisket and ribs are the biggest sellers. The former flaunted excellent bark (the outer edges) that wasn’t overly concentrated in spices, but rather a peppery segue to moist, tender meat charmed by hickory wood. The ribs were zesty and fairly supple, with the meat requiring a little more chew compared to some in other barbecue joints that over-smoke them to a ridiculously soft texture. There is a limit in my book when it comes to Texas-style barbecuing. We loved the side dishes. The plates come with a choice of two, with the brisket-stuffed baked potato ranking as a meal in itself, given that it also carries a payload of melted cheese and sour cream. My companion gravitated to the mac n’ cheese made with a silken blend of Gruyere, American and cheddar cheeses. The baked beans were thick and flavorful, although more novel was the “warm tater salad” combining fried pee wee potatoes with shallots, red bell peppers and garlic aioli – not the kind our mothers made. That, along with everything else on the menu, isn’t something you would have found here before McCabe arrived. Nearly everything now is made in-house as a primer for what’s on the horizon, when the Town and Country is razed and rebuilt in a modern mid-century style that will bring exciting dining choices to Hotel Circle. For now, the gastronomic wheels are in motion at Charlie’s. —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

(top) Rum raisin apple pie sundae; (bottom) Chef Paul McCabe tending to the smoker (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.)


A six-course modern-Italian dinner constructed mainly with local ingredients and paired to wines is planned for the Feb. 28 launch of 00 Supper Club, which was conceived by restaurant insiders Elliott Townsend and his girlfriend, Kelly Smith, who both work at Juniper & Ivy; and Mark Broadfoot, the bar manager at Galaxy Taco. “We don’t have the funds to open an actual restaurant, but we want to show what can be possible for eating and drinking in this great city if we did,” said Townsend, who will utilize his North Park home for serving the meal to 15 patrons. “We’ll have more guests per dinner if we start branching out to other venues. And the cost for now per person is a donation of any amount,” he said. The supper club is named after the type of fine flour (“00”) used for making pasta and pizza dough. For reservations and information about subsequent dinners, contact Townsend via email at: 00supperclub@ Fans of P.F. Chang’s will have a chance at winning free meals at the restaurant chain for a year if they find certain trees on or near the grounds at each location hiding vibrant red envelopes that might contain the grand prize. Only five of them will be awarded nationwide, although other envelopes can potentially hold certificates for one-time free entrees or added points toward the company’s “preferred club” program. The promotion is being held randomly throughout the month of February at all outlets in celebration of the Chinese New Year, which begins Feb. 8. In addition, the company will donate $1 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America from purchases of select entrees on a limitedtime menu.

GAY SAN DIEGO Feb. 5 - 18 , 2016


Learn how to make Moroccan tagine at a Hillcrest cooking demo (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.) Chef-owner Moumen Nouri of Kous Kous Moroccan Bistro in Hillcrest will reveal some of his cooking secrets for making classic chicken tagine while focusing on the essential ingredients that go into it, such as preserved lemons and various spices. The class runs from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., Feb. 11, and will conclude with appetizers and the meal that participants make. The cost is $45, or $60 with an open bar of wine, sangria and champagne. 3940 Fourth Ave., Suite 110, 619-295-5560.

French cheeses take the spotlight at a free event in Fashion Valley Mall (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.) French cheeses will be in abundance at a free two-day tasting event in front of Macy’s at Fashion Valley Mall, from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., Feb. 19 and 20. Presented by The Cheeses of Europe, an organization financed by the European Union that promotes French cheeses in the U.S., samples will include brie, Camembert de Nomandie, Fromager d’Affinois and more than 25 other types available for sale as well. A local brewery, yet to be announced, will augment the event. 7007 Fashion Valley Road,

A rendering of the rear dining area at One Door North

(Courtesy H2 Public Relations)

Local designers and architects are busy preparing One Door North on 30th Street for a March-April opening. The 5,000-square-foot space, which formerly housed Mosaic Wine Bar, was taken over last year by Fred Piehl and his wife, Tammy. The couple owns and operates The Smoking Goat next door. Their new restaurant will focus on seasonal, farm-fresh fare served within a playful atmosphere that aims to capture the great outdoors with dramatic forest imagery, communal picnic tables, and safari-like canvas tents lit by chandeliers. 3422 30th St., North Park resident Matthew Lyons is breaking ground in a section of the former North Park Post Office for a late-spring opening of Tribute Pizza, his first brick-and-mortar venture after conducting pop-up pizzerias throughout the neighborhood for the past two years. He has also served as a consulting chef for various pizzerias in San Diego and helped open one in Nairobi, Kenya. Tribute will occupy 3,000 Matthew Lyons will bring years of pizza-making experience to his square feet within the buildupcoming pizzeria in North Park (Photo by Sergey Kolivayko) ing and feature pizzas he describes as “neo-Neapolitan style” that take three to four minutes to cook in a wood-fire oven. The menu will extend also to salads, appetizers, a few protein entrees, house-made charcuterie, and desserts. 3077 North Park Way, —Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at



GAY SAN DIEGO Feb. 5 - 18 , 2016

REP your pride returns Local theater company to honor the Irish while helping the LGBT community By David Dixon Saturday, Feb. 13, will a packed day for the San Diego Repertory Theatre’s Lyceum Space. In addition to the two scheduled performances of “Outside Mullingar,” the Tony-nominated romantic play currently running at the Westfield Horton Plaza-based theater, SD

Rep is hosting a special event and fundraiser for a local HIV/AIDS services organization. Written by acclaimed playwright, John Patrick Shanley, “Outside Mullingar” features an unusual relationship between longtime neighbors, Anthony (Manny Fernandes) and Rosemary (Carla Harting), who live in the Midlands of Ireland. Rosemary really wants to date Anthony, but he seems more hesitant and not willing to express his emotions. Although the plot of “Outside


TOSCA by GIACOMO PUCCINI Tosca takes us to the brink with politics, police brutality, betrayal, jealousy and murder. Puccini’s passionate arias and sensuous melodies perfectly accompany raw emotion and drama.



Mullingar” does not deal specifically with gay or lesbian characters, the community partnerships ambassador for the REP, Vaughn Rainwater, feels that everyone will be able to connect to the drama. “I think the show will appeal to the LGBT community, because love is universal,” he said. “Longing, fear, loneliness, isolation, and hope affect everybody.” Fernandes is no stranger to interpreting Shanley’s prose; he was also in a 2007 rendition of the writer’s dark comedy, “Sailor Song,” at the New Village Arts Theatre in Carlsbad. The Craig Noel Award-winning actor has found some intriguing parallels between Anthony and the seaman, Rich, from “Sailor Song.” “In both shows, I play someone who is trying to figure out where he belongs,” Fernandes said. “Anthony and Rich really have a deep desire for love, but neither know how to obtain that desire. They have to overcome something big and prove their bravery to achieve their goal.” Anthony and Rosemary’s connection draws a fine line between romance and comedic awkwardness. The best way to make the combination work, according to Fernandes, is to portray the situations as honestly as possible. “If Harting and I try to make the story funny, then it doesn’t have the same amount of heart,” he said. “We just have to depict everything honestly and try to have the scenes feel grounded and real. When we do that, there’s actually more humor throughout the tale.” Shanley, the Pulitzer-winning American playwright who many also know as the screenwriter of “Doubt” and “Moonstruck,” often receives praise for his humanistic depictions of unique characters.

(l to r) Carla Harting and Manny Fernandes in the angst-filled romance, “Outside Mullingar” (Photo by Daren Scott) “There is something about the heart and the spirit of these characters that people relate to,” Fernandes said. “He lets them express on the outside the extremes we feel on the inside that most people are afraid to show.” The evening’s fundraiser, called “REP Your Pride: A benefit night for Being Alive,” is another installment of an LGBT-centric community outreach series that SD Rep first launched in October. John Steinmetz, recreation program coordinator for Being Alive, will host the REP Your Pride event and 25 percent of every ticket sold will go toward helping the social services organization. “We’re thrilled to highlight Being Alive, because of its wonderful peer advocacy program,” Rainwater said. “They are a very integral part of our community and it just makes sense that we partner with them.” Rainwater wants theatregoers to

Vaughn Rainwater, The Rep’s community partnerships ambassador (Courtesy San Diego REP)

be aware that the “Benefit Night for Being Alive” is an informal occasion. “We’re not going to have a forum-style panel,” he said. “We’ll invite our audience to meet Steinmetz and ask questions about Being Alive. It should be a wonderful opportunity.” Watching “Outside Mullingar” on Feb. 13 and attending the benefit following the 8 p.m. show should give San Diegans a chance to see a play from a masterful artist while supporting a great cause. Be sure to buy tickets soon in order to be a part of an entertaining, informative, and meaningful night at the REP. San Diego Repertory Theatre is located at the Lyceum Theatre space, 79 Horton Plaza, Downtown. “Outside Mullingar” will run Feb. 5 – 21, and “REP Your Pride: A benefit night for Being Alive” will follow the 8 p.m. performance on Feb. 13. For tickets or more information, visit or call 619-544-1000. —A fan of film and theater from a very young age, David Dixon has written reviews and features for various print and online publications. You can reach him at

Photo: Kingmond Young

Tickets start at $45

SDOPERA.ORG 619-533-7000 Tickets also available at

2015-2016 SEASON Season Sponsor: Gloria A. Rasmussen

Fernandes and Harting get close. (Photo by Daren Scott)


Lamb’s flashback

(l to r) David Heath (“The Nerd”), Mike Buckley, Susan Clausen & Jon Rosen (Photo by Ken Jacques)

Theater Review Charlene Baldridge There are many reasons to resurrect a play, among them the performance of a beloved actor and the enduring quality of the play itself. Larry Shue’s 1982 Broadway comedy, “The Nerd,” was exceptionally popular in its day. Shue, also an actor, wrote another hit comedy, “The Foreigner,” before his tragic death at age 39 in the crash of a small airplane. During the ’90s, Lamb’s Players Theatre presented both “The Nerd” and “The Foreigner” numerous times and actor David Cochran Heath has played the title role in “The Nerd” each time; a guy named Rick Steadman, actually the hero (well not quite) who saved architect Willum Cubbert’s (Mike Buckley) life during the Vietnam War. The play opens in Cubbert’s Terre Haute, Indiana home, where he is throwing himself a birthday party. He’s invited his girlfriend, aspiring meteorologist Tansy McGinnis (Cynthis Gerber), who is moving to Washington, D.C., to take a job as weather forecaster on TV. Cubbert would like to marry Tansy, and she, him, but as she says, he lacks the gumption to make a move. He’s also invited his best friend, theater critic Axel Hammond (Brian Mackey) and his client, Warnock Waldgrave (John Rosen), for whom he’s building a hotel. Waldgrave brings his emotionally frazzled wife (Susan Clausen) and

impossibly bratty pre-pubescent son (Scotty Atienza). Though they’ve never met faceto-face, Steadman and Cubbert have exchanged letters and cards over the years. Just prior to the party Steadman phones to say he’s in the area and is stopping by to take advantage of Cubbert’s offer to help him out if he ever needs it. Thinking it’s a costume party, he arrives dressed as a dinosaur, creates utter chaos, and then moves in, apparently at the end of his rope with other resources. Cubbert lacks the gumption to oust him. Things get worse. Steadman disrupts Cubbert’s professional life and all his friendships, because in a word, Steadman is a nerd. Well, no, he’s not a nerd, at

least not what we think of as a nerd today – some kind of technology-obsessed, intellectually gifted person. Therein lies the problem of this play in today’s world, with its elevated social sensibilities. No matter how it’s directed or acted or even perceived, Shue’s nerd is, without a doubt, mentally challenged and therefore an unsuitable object of derision. Squirm time for the conscious. One supposes it is possible to enjoy the play in a mindset that takes one “back to before” our current awareness. That would be akin to expecting an alcoholic to enjoy three hours of drunkenness in “Harvey.” Perhaps it is possible to forget one’s unease and merely enjoy the performances, Buckley’s sce-

GAY SAN DIEGO Feb. 5 - 18 , 2016

Brian Mackey

“The Nerd” By Larry Shue Extended through Feb. 21 Lamb’s Players Theatre 1142 Orange Ave. Coronado Tuesdays thru Sundays 619-437-6000 nic design, Anna Marie Phillips’s costumes, Nathan Peirson’s lighting, and Patrick Duffy’s sound. All are excellent. It is fitting and understandable


Cynthia Gerber (Photos by Ken Jacques) that Artistic Director Robert Smyth wants to celebrate Lamb’s Players Theatre’s 45th year with Heath’s return to “The Nerd.” What is unexpected, however, is how poorly the play has aged. Pity. Meanwhile, there is the remainder of the Lamb’s season, “The Miracle Worker,” the world premiere of “Dinner with Marlene,” a new musical revue titled “American Rhythm,” “Beau Jest,” and “Equivocation.” As an unrelated bonus, Intrepid Theatre Company presents the Smyths, Robert and Deborah, in Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” Christy Yael-Cox directs Jan. 30 – Feb. 28 at the Horton Grand Theatre, Lamb’s Players’ other theater. For tickets to all, visit — Charlene Baldridge has been writing about the arts since 1979. You can follow her blog at or reach her at charb81@



GAY SAN DIEGO Feb. 5 - 18 , 2016

Jillian Michaels sets the record straight On misperceptions, reclaiming gay slurs, how Madonna helped her come out and her feelings about marriage By Chris Azzopardi The “shred” will put you through the sweat fires of hell, but despite her extreme workouts, Jillian Michaels wants you to know she is no monster. To set the record, ahem, straight, the out fitness guru is opening the doors to her very “normal,” sometimes emotional, not-at-all-what-youthought life during E!’s “Just Jillian,” where she laughs (you read that right) and … cries?! Yes, that Jillian Michaels — the butt kicker from “The Biggest Loser” — cries actual human tears. Chris Azzopardi (CA): After watching “Just Jillian,” a lot of people will be surprised to find out that you’re not who they thought you were. Jillian Michaels (JM): Very much so, yeah. Here’s what I love about it: Everyone is like, “why would you do this?” And they have these preconceived notions about reality shows and all this drama and, “It’s all fake and it’s all mean spirited,” and that’s not at all why I wanted to open up my life. I feel like the comedy of errors as we go about our daily routine, honestly, is quite enjoyable. And everybody has the same struggles, right? Whether it’s in their work, marriage, family, parenting, as a friend, you go on this journey where you laugh and you cry, and hopefully you learn something with the characters on the show. For me, in my career, it’s always been “Jillian’s the fitness guru,” but the bigger conversation is using fitness as a tool to help somebody build a better life. (CA): Was being out on TV — with a family, even; your partner, Heidi Rhoades, and your two children — something you ever imagined for yourself? (JM): You know, it’s interesting that you ask that. I know I’m sort of in that very pivotal generation, right? I’m on the younger end of Gen X and for me, growing up gay was not cool. Gay was gross. Gay was despicable. People said the word “faggot.” People said “dyke” — I heard that a lot in high school. And it was very scary. I have watched as a people and as a country and a culture over the course of my teenage-into-adulthood life and I do still think there is a tremendous amount of homophobia that exists. And I’ve never been out there with my gay flag. I wanted to take an approach of, “Hey, I don’t need to win you over and I don’t need to fight with you and I don’t want to combat you.” But what I do hope is that people observe me, observe my family, and go, “Oh my god, this isn’t at all what I thought it was. This is actually pretty similar to my family; they’re going through things that my family goes through.” And that’s always been my approach. I don’t need to make these big statements. I’m just going to live my life and my truth and hopefully as

you observe that it will become a little more — and I have so much trouble with this word — normalized for people who don’t perceive it as the norm. (CA): I was struck by the use of “queer” in the show. Some people who are older than us hear queer and still find it offensive, whereas our generations have embraced the term as being allencompassing of any sexual orientation that isn’t straight. Where do you stand on labels? Do you have a preference? (JM): What’s interesting is, I take a very African-Americanusing-the-“n-word” approach with those terms. I’ve claimed them all. I use “homo” and joke about it. I use “dyke” and joke about it. My gay male friends and I use “fag” and joke about it. We’ve

vious. And I hate the obvious and I think it’s cliché, but I think people never really understood “The Biggest Loser.” “The Biggest Loser” was a life or death intervention that existed on a ticking clock on top of which you would see 45 minutes of a television show which is shot over 10 days and so you never saw what I was doing, why I was doing it, what else I was doing, the end result of what I was doing. The intentions were never displayed and it was far more entertaining to have a good guy and a bad guy, and I think some people really saw through that and that’s great; some people did not and that’s that. But what is kind of cool about this show — and it is so appropriately named “Just Jillian” — is you see just me, and it’s the good, the bad, and the ugly. I’m a very real person. So, for those who have idealized me, they’ll be disappointed [laughs]; for those who’ve hated me all these years, I think they’ll be surprised. (CA): Do you regret doing AUTO DONATIONS Donate Your Car to Veterans Today! Help and Support our Veterans. Fast - FREE pick up. 100% tax deductible. Call 1-800-245-0398 A-1 DONATE YOUR CAR FOR BREAST CANCER! Help United Breast Foundation education, prevention, & support programs. FAST FREE PICKUP - 24 HR RESPONSE TAX DEDUCTION 855-403-0213

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Jillian Michaels will show real emotion in her new show. (Courtesy E!) taken them all back and made them our own. What we’ve tried to do is take some of the venom out of the terms by reclaiming them — and I hate to draw this reference — but in the same way the black community has taken back the “n-word.” We don’t allow them to harm us or hurt us and there could be a whole psychology about why we do, but we all do. It’s like, I own these words, they’re my words, and I’ve suffered enough to be able to take them on and wear them with pride, so to speak. None of those words actually have any venom in them for me anymore and I don’t really care who’s swinging them at me — it doesn’t mean anything to me. People can judge it but that’s just something that I’ve done and it is what it is. (CA): What is the biggest misconception about you? (JM): God, I mean, it’s the ob-

“The Biggest Loser”? (JM): Good question. There’s this Latin quote that I heard and it summarizes “The Biggest Loser” perfectly: “That which nourishes me also destroys me.” I’m super grateful for the platform I was given. Obviously I owe everything I have to that diving board, that jumping-off point. But there does come a point where you definitely overstay your welcome, where something starts to become more limiting, it starts to do more harm than it does good, and that was definitely a source of frustration for me. I don’t think it’s a secret — I have been vocal about it — but to say that I’m not grateful for the opportunity and for all it’s done for me would be obtuse, absurd and obnoxious, but I’m not gonna lie and say it didn’t also cost me a host of problems on the backend. Now, I’m hoping this new

see Jillian, pg 16

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STEPPING STONE is most proud of. Mueller, a licensed clinical social worker and therapist, is a return graduate and one of Stepping Stone’s biggest success stories. Mueller said an award he received during his residency 17 years ago gave him the boost in confidence he needed to turn his life completely around. “I went back to college and got my undergrad and my masters,” he said. The award hangs in his office above the courtyard to this day, to remind him of his journey. “For me, the courtyard reinforces the idea of a community that’s open, and you can’t help but feel supported while you are here,” said board president Michael Moore. “Recovery doesn’t have to be somewhere where you go and it is dark and dim conditions,” he continued. “I remember Cheryl saying once, ‘You can get sober and you deserve the best possible environment to make those changes.’” Moore also pointed out a bell affixed to a pillar. “It gets rung during certain occasions but for any new resident, their first experience in the community, the bell is rung and everyone who is on property comes down and welcomes the new resident,” Moore said. Though not a Stepping Stone graduate herself, Houk just recently celebrated over three decades of sobriety and is happy to share her experiences. “I talk to the residents a lot and I know all their names,” she said. “I make sure to touch base with them and let them know I am just like them. One of the things I say all the time is, ‘You made mistakes, you are not a mistake.’” The staff has made sure to pay homage to its past. The buildings “White House,” “Grand Central” and “Animal House” are named after the houses that previously stood on the property. The “Bay View” building is named for the temporary Golden Hill location that housed their residents while the new facility was being built. Two resident lounges are named after

cats that once lived there. Two cement artifacts, both with “Stepping Stone” inscribed on them, were retained and reinstalled. The shovel used for the current facilities’ groundbreaking ceremony is mounted proudly on a public wall. And one of the most poignant trips through memory lane is the donor wall, located just inside the courtyard entrance, which is filled with tiles of various shapes and sizes that honor the contributions of past supporters and friends. Moore said they have future plans for the wall, geared to not only to kickoff the 40th anniversary but act as a fundraiser as well. “This month we begin selling commemorative tiles, which will be added to the wall of our courtyard in a ceremony this spring,” he explained. “These tiles range from $300 – $4,000, depending on size, and allow individuals and organizations to show their investment in our programs and leave a message for all current and future residents and visitors to see.” Moore said the San Diego Foundation’s Gay and Lesbian Fund recently purchased a large tile to show their support of the drive. Those interested in purchasing a tile can call The Stone or visit its website. “For many people that complete the program, this is their home,” Mueller said. “They’re constantly coming back. They’ll come in and have dinner with us, or meet with staff. They really love this property and they are always welcome.” Houk said she and her staff could not do without the many graduates who return to offer their time as board members, sponsors, mentors, drivers, and general facility and kitchen helpers. Many have also joined the organized Alumni Association, which has raised money for things like the television and new carpet in “Tigger Lounge.” But you don’t have to be in recover y or part of the program to work at Stepping Stone or volunteer for the organization, however. Many are family members, friends or just concerned and grateful citizens. Stepping Stone exists almost solely on federal and county funding, outside grants and donations, and the generous contributions of

GAY SAN DIEGO Feb. 5 - 18 , 2016

The "high heel" stairwell that leads from an upstairs landing to Stepping Stone's welcoming courtyard (Courtesy Stepping Stone) others — often those who must first get past their many prejudices in order to do so. It is important to note that today, very little of the money used for operating expenses come from treatment or sober living rent income. Events are a big part of The Stone. Thanks to all the generous local organizations that provide tickets — San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus, FilmOut San Diego, Diversionary Theatre, The Old Globe — many residents get to enjoy something many haven’t attended in ages. Volunteers currently use their own cars to shuttle people around, but a van is in the works. The bi-yearly graduations, held in the courtyard for residents who have completed the six-month in house and after care program, are open to the public and something the staff very much looks forward to. The next graduation is Feb. 19. It hasn’t always been easy for nonprofit, even in the years since the redevelopment, but as some might say, thanks to the “Big Book,” it keeps on going. Just last June, the board of directors released an open letter to the community to reaffirm their commitment to the organization, in part to combat some of the rumors brewing that Stepping Stone was in such disarray it may close. “While it is true that our continued operation depends on support from the community, and always

The community room is across the courtyard from the residential spaces and has a full-size industrial-style kitchen attached to it. (Courtesy Stepping Stone) has, there is no immediate threat to stop offering services nor are there currently any plans in place to shut down or to be acquired. We are committed to our mission to continue to provide services that focus on the LGBTQ communities of San Diego,” the letter stated. But today — with a new board president at the helm and the heralded return last November of its revered executive director — Stepping Stone has returned to its former thriving state. Donations are up, San Diego Human Dignity Foundation just gave them $20,000, and while calls for donations and the acquisition of additional funding will always be in the works, the board and its administration are sure footed.

For as they begin the planning for their 40th anniversary gala in October and a special alumni homecoming this summer where they hope to bring together as many graduates as they can, the board and staff of Stepping Stone are in the midst of laying the groundwork for the organization’s viability for generations to come. To learn more about Stepping Stone, visit Their website hosts a wealth of information. If you or someone you know needs help, visit the site, leave a message or make a call to the staff or a board member. —Morgan M. Hurley can be reached at






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GAY SAN DIEGO GAY DIEGO Feb. 5SAN - 18 , 2016 Feb. 5 - 18 , 2016


Bully’s East 45th anniversar y party: The steakhouse will celebrate 45 years with beer, wine and cocktail specials. The first 250 people to arrive after 4 p.m. will receive complimentary 45th anniversary shot glasses. There will be tray-passed appetizers from 5 – 8 p.m. Bully’s East Restaurant, 2401 Camino Del Rio South, Mission Valley. Visit ‘An Evening with Vivienne Ming’: A special presentation featuring Dr. Vivienne Ming who will share her unique work and perspective as a woman of trans experience. 7 – 8 p.m. San Diego LGBT Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. Visit ‘The Realish Housewives of San Diego: A Parody’: Every performance of this comical parody will feature customized comedy crafted for the audience. Mature audiences only. 8:30 p.m. (Additional performances Saturday, Feb. 6 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 7 at 1 p.m.) Visit the-realish-housewives-of-san-diego.


‘Recycle, Repurpose, Reuse’: Gay for Good San Diego is partnering with 4 Walls International on an ongoing project to beautify Border Field State Park. Bring sun protection, close-toed shoes, gloves and water. 9 a.m. – noon. 1500 Monument Road, San Ysidro. Visit

‘Pugs and Kisses Party’: Nonprofit organization Pug Rescue of San Diego County will host their annual Valentine’s wine and cheese fundraiser to raise money for the organization. The event will include a pug fashion show, pug kissing booth, pug boutique and Valentine’s-themed raffle baskets. Guests are encouraged to bring their pugs. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door and include four glasses of wine or soda and unlimited cheese, crackers and desserts. The event will be held from 2 – 5 p.m. at Fido & Co. (1228 University Ave., Hillcrest) Visit PRSDC for more information and get tickets at

Fitbit Local fitness session: Part of a free workout program hosted by local fitness experts. Today’s session will include a walk/ run and farmers market shopping trip with Sheri Matthews and Mike Sherbakov. 8:30 a.m. Meet at San Diego County Waterfront Park, 1598 Pacific Coast Highway and 899 West Cedar, Downtown. Visit Imperial Court de San Diego Coronation XLIV: A Militar y Affair: A celebration of the efforts of Empress Toni Saunders and Emperor Mikie Too and the crowning of new monarchs for 2016. Doors at 5 p.m.; dinner at 6 p.m.; and program at 7 p.m. Marriott Mission Valley, 8757 Rio San Diego Dive, Mission Valley. Visit ‘Hearts Afire’: The San Diego Women’s Chorus (SDWC) presents a cabaret-style evening of lovethemed music with solo, duo and small ensemble performances by members of the chorus. Pre-show happy hour at 6:30 p.m. with appetizers, beer and wine for purchase along with free coffee and water. There will also be a silent auction and drawings to raise money for the SDWC’s festival travel fund. Show at 7:30 p.m. The Irenic, 3090 Polk Ave., North Park. Visit on.fb. me/1SWri7q.



‘LGBTQ+ in Schools: Status update’: The San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) school board will provide an update on the progress of efforts by the district and community groups (Pride, The Center, PFLAG, and more) to create “better, safer, more inclusive environments” for LGBTQ+ youth.” SDUSD students and parents are encouraged to attend. Eugene Brucker Education Center Auditorium, San Diego Unified School District, 4100 Normal St., University Heights. Visit on.fb. me/1PPVQ4m.


Wednesday wine tasting: A weekly tasting featuring various styles and winemakers. This week showcases wine rep Tasha Elkovitch. $5. 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Vom Fass Hillcrest, 1050 University Ave., E103. Visit hillcrest.vomfassusa. com. FilmOut Screening: “Victor Victoria” — The classic film starring Julie Andrews as Victoria Grant who teams with a cabaret performer Toddy (Robert Preston) who bills her as a male female impersonator. Directed by Blake Edwards. $10. 7 p.m., Landmark Cinemas, 3965 Fifth Ave. #200, Hillcrest. Visit


‘Victor y Brunch’: A postCoronation celebration to welcome newly elected monarchs to the Imperial Court de San Diego. $25 for brunch. 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. The Caliph, 3100 Fifth Ave., Bankers Hill. Visit

Super Bowl 50 Sunday at HBC: Hillcrest Brewing Company will have the big game on all TVs (including their HD 55’’ flat screen) plus deals on food and beer. 3 – 6 p.m. 1458 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit


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

The Center’s ‘Masquerade’: A Mardi Gras-inspired party with aerial performances, live music, food, cocktails and more. Individual tickets start at $125; sponsorships available. 6 – 10 p.m. Brick/828 Events, 2863 Historic Decatur Road, Liberty Station. Visit events.thecentersd. org/masquerade. ‘Now or Later’: Previews start tonight for the West Coast premiere of this political drama exploring American freedoms and political backlash. “Now or Later” opens Feb. 20 and runs through March 13. 7 p.m. Diversionary Theatre, 4545 Park Blvd., University Heights. Visit


‘Spectre’: Cinema Under the Stars presents the latest Bond

film starring Daniel Craig and Christoph Waltz. $15. Additional screening on Saturday, Feb. 13. 4040 Goldfinch St., Mission Hills. For more info, visit or call 619-295-4221. ‘El Dia De San Valentin!’ weekend; Friday, Feb. 12 – Sunday, Feb. 14: Ortega’s Mexican Bistro (141 University Ave., Hillcrest) says “lobster is for lovers” with a 3-course lobster prix-fixe menu all weekend. The dinner is $39 per person and features choices for each course. The regular menu will also be available. Visit for more information and call 619692-4200 for reservations. ‘Lovers’: Alexander Salazar Fine Art will host this art exhibit of paintings by Iraqi artist Qais Al-Sindy with two chances (Feb. 12 and 13) to meet the artist. A wine reception will start each evening at 4 p.m. RSVP to AS@ Alexander Salazar Fine Art, 1040 Seventh Ave., Downtown. Visit


‘The Princess Bride’: A special screening of this beloved cult classic starring Cary Elwes and Robin Wright. “Valentine date night packages” available. 7 p.m. Balboa Theatre, 868 Fourth Ave., Downtown. Visit ‘Sabados En Fuego: PreValentine’s Day Affair’ The Brass Rail (3796 Fifth Ave., Hillcrest) presents this event to bring your Valentine to or “find one there” starting at 9 p.m. There will be Latin music spun by rotating DJs, $5 margaritas until 11 p.m. and sexy boy and girl go-go dancers. Visit bit. ly/1RWlFWI for more information. ‘Red and White and Sugar and Spice’ singles dance: An intimate gathering for singles and friends (couples welcome). Dance to music from DJ Kiki and play some fun games. Wear red if you have a “devilish side” or wear white if you have “angel wings.” $10. Air Conditioned Lounge, 4673 30th St., University Heights. Visit ‘Rep Your Pride’: This benefit night for Being Alive is sponsored by Gay San Diego. The event takes place after the 8 p.m. performance of “Outside Mullingar” with snacks, wine and mingling on the stage. The theatre will donated 25 percent of all ticket sales for tonight’s show to Being Alive for its services to men, women and children living with AIDS/ HIV. Lyceum Stage, San Diego Repertory Theatre, 79 Horton Plaza, Downtown. Visit engagement-events.php.

‘Lust All Day’ and ‘Love All Night’: Uptown Tavern (1236 University Ave., Hillcrest) will kick off Valentine’s Day with their “Reload Sundays” from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. with go-go dancers, a live DJ and drink specials. Following that, dinner specials will start at 5 p.m. Visit bit. ly/1KSE8vM for details. ‘VD Prom’: The ladies of Lips (3036 El Cajon Blvd., North Park) will put on a special show for its “Valentine’s Day Prom.” Attendees are encouraged to wear prom attire for an outrageous and festive evening. Visit for more information.


‘Marathon Monday’: Gossip Grill kick starts the day with brunch from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. featuring $9.50 bottomless mimosas and a Bloody Mary menu. Next up is two-for-one happy hour from 2 – 6 p.m. – buy a drink, get a token for the next one, plus food specials. And it’s also $5 all-you-can-eat spaghetti night – add a meatball and/or garlic bread for $2.50 each, plus all bottles of wine and bubbles are half off. 1220 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit


HRC Connect: A monthly social event for networking and learning about topics of interest to the LGBT community. Details to come on this month’s Connect. 7 – 9 p.m. Waypoint Public, 3794, 30th St., North Park. Visit


Wednesday wine tasting: A weekly tasting featuring various styles and winemakers. This week showcases Dan Alexander pouring Robert Hall and Brady wines. $5. 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Vom Fass Hillcrest, 1050 University Ave., E103. Visit


‘Rainbow Rave’: A special electronic dance music party with a giveaway of four Dinah Shore weekend passes. $5 cover. Rich’s San Diego, 1051 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit on.fb. me/1NONBUD. —Compiled by Jen Van Tieghem. Email calendar items to morgan@ or


solution on page 13


ACROSS 1 Historic Stonewall event 5 Reformer Anthony 10 Top 14 Word used in dating 15 In flames 16 Lake traveled by Ohio ferries 17 Romeo or Juliet 18 Puccini opera 19 Neighbor of Mass. 20 Androgynous alter ego of David Bowie 23 Egypt and Syr., once 24 Ford flub 25 Puts in a position? 28 “Diamonds ___ a Girl’s Best Friend” 29 Airport fleet 33 Childcare writer LeShan 34 Tiny balls 35 Stritch of Broadway 36 David Bowie song with the lyric “Look up here, I’m in heaven” 39 David Bowie hit of 1972


40 Use them to play Johnny Mathis records 41 Cocks and bulls 42 Chicago trains 43 A bit, informally 44 Half of a Greta Garbo monogram 45 What gay partners can walk in every state 47 List-maker Schindler 49 Curry of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” 50 David Bowie role in “The Last Temptation of Christ” 55 Cry of Dorothy 56 Neighbor of Sudan (var.) 57 Marilyn Monroe’s sexy pair 59 Hold, as an opinion 60 “If ___ Walls Could Talk” 61 Salt’s saint 62 Doesn’t rent 63 Toys that do tricks 64 Hayes of “Will & Grace”

1 Sarah Schulman novel “___ Bohemia” 2 Don Juan’s mom 3 R.E.M.’s “The ___ Love” 4 Source of oral pleasure 5 Lusty deity of antiquity 6 Sky sightings 7 Women who don’t have sex with men 8 Where a pinball wizard might lurk 9 Moves toward 10 Queer 11 Love of Lesbos 12 “It ___ Necessarily So” 13 Doll that “came out” in 1993 21 “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” to Mick Jagger 22 Actress Reese 25 Aids 26 “My Own Private ___” 27 Stropped item 28 Muscle Mary’s pride 30 They don’t use their mouths for talking 31 ___ fours (doggy-style) 32 Gaydar, e.g.

34 Mass transit vehicle 35 Saucer pilots 37 Straight and gay 38 Friar’s affair 39 Get a load of 41 Town for fudge packers? 44 Evita’s cowboy 45 Be confined to the bed, perhaps 46 They may be spitting 48 Litter critter 49 Streisand’s “Prince of ___” 50 “That was close!” 51 Serious sign 52 Part of UTEP 53 Maupin story 54 Thompson of “Angels in America” 55 Rene Auberjonois role 58 Chaz to Cher



Attention graphic artists or others who enjoy tinkering with their creative side, San Diego Pride is giving members of the community the opportunity to participate in their 2016 Pride logo contest. This year’s theme is “Pride Unites the World” and the themed-logo will appear on programs, flyers, emails, the Pride website, social media, commercials, banners and more. It would be a great way to show off your artistic talents. The theme should reflect the “global rallying cry for equality.” Design submissions should be in vector format only (Adobe Illustrator, SVG preferred), 5x5 inches in size, 300 dpi, and in multi-color and single color (black, but not gradient). They are due by Feb. 29 to logo@sdpride. org. Include your name, email, telephone number and mailing address with your submission.


On the cold morning of Jan. 28, at a small nonprofit on a nondescript street, Lori Saldaña announced she was throwing her hat into the ring of the mayor’s race and doing so as an Independent. The native San Diegan ser ved for six years on the California State Assembly as a Democrat. After a failed attempt as a candidate for Congress against Scott Peters for Brian Bilbray’s seat in 2012, and further disagreements with the party in 2014, Saldaña decided to walk away from politics and continue teaching within the San Diego community college system and at San Diego State. All that changed Jan. 28 at 10 a.m., when Saldaña, greeted by a throng of media and an eclectic crowd of ardent supporters at the

Grassroots Oasis — on Moore Street just off of Rosecrans in the Sports Arena District —announced her plans for the future. “I was the daughter of a career Marine,” she said, referring to those who’ve asked if the task is worth the effort. “He taught me some battles are worth fighting, some challenges are worth taking on, no matter what the odds are and I love this city ver y much and I think fighting for a better, brighter future for San Diego is well worth the fight, and well worth the challenge.” The former Democrat said she was told while ser ving on the state assembly that politicians should “never sign a pledge.” But in front of the media and her supporters, she did just that. “This is a pledge that if elected mayor, I will stay the full four years, and ser ve the full term in the city of San Diego,” she said, holding up the document that she signed after her speech. “I will happily sign that and it would be an honor to ser ve people and for the full term.” Saldaña said she intends to ask Mayor Kevin Faulconer to sign the same pledge, because she doesn’t believe his sights are still on America’s Finest City. She talked about his fundraising methods and his “o ut of state consultants” and referred to him as “the Dean Spanos” of local government. “He will up and move his franchise to a bigger media market as soon as the opportunity arises,” she said. “And he is raising campaign money hand-over-fist, from the wealthiest people in San Diego not to run a competitive race here, but to run a competitive race at the state level or beyond.” The California Primary is June 7. For more information about Saldaña’s run for the city’s highest office, visit her on Lori4Mayor.t



GAY SAN DIEGO Feb. 5 - 18 , 2016




GAY SAN DIEGO Feb. 5 - 18 , 2016


JILLIAN show is really just my best foot forward and the thing is, I am sarcastic and I am obnoxious but I’m also loving and I’m also passionate and I’m also caring and I’m all those things. At least now if people hate me, they’ll hate me for a legitimate reason — that, I’m really excited about! [Laughs] At least they’ll hate me for a reason that’s real. (CA): And unless those tears are CGI, you cry. Quite a bit, in fact. Actual human tears, I think. (JM): [Laughs] No, no, no. It’s just tear-gas shit they sprayed at me during the interviews. (CA): You’ve been called a bully to overweight people and I know that must be hard to hear for somebody who was bullied. (JM): I know, I know. (CA): What does that feel like? (JM): It’s a shame. For somebody who comes to an environment where they’re literally committing suicide with food, let’s cut the shit. Some of them are 400 or 500 pounds, they’re killing themselves with food and the amount of time they have left is five or 10 years, if they’re lucky, 15. It’s suicide with food. In some cases I would have a week with one of these people, so I will try everything under the sun, but if I can’t do it with hugs, love and kisses, then I’m gonna do what it takes. What people should really pay attention to is, I was less concerned with being likable than getting done what I needed to get done. (CA): So this goes back to the whole “I didn’t know Jillian

Michaels was sensitive” thing, but you’re a fan of Tori Amos, which we discover in the first episode. That is some deep sensitivity. What kind of influence did she and her music have on you? And what Tori song got you through your teen years? (JM): God, so many of them. I was very much that kind of bullied emo kid. And a lot of teenagers go through that emo phase and it manifests in different incarnations for every generation, but in some of those darker moments during that very kind of impressionable and pivotal part of my life, her music was something I could really relate to, especially “Cornflake Girl.” She’s sort of the outcast and that whole song was, to me, about being an outcast, being on the outside. Or “Silent All These Years” where she finally finds her voice ... and it took me a long time. As much as I’m very outspoken now, I wasn’t always so. I didn’t always have that inner sense of strength and authenticity and passion. I was extremely shut down and shamed — and geez, there are so many. “Past the Mission.” I could go on and on. “China.” Literally on and on. (CA): When did you find your voice? (JM): It was a series of things … it was a process. Basically it was a combination of getting involved in martial arts and having these small successes within martial arts, which empowered me to start taking steps in my personal life, in my relationships, in my professional life, and then, honestly, when it comes to accepting my sexuality — I didn’t even know I was [gay] until later in life. I mean, I realized I was bisexual at about 18 but I didn’t even realize I was gay until into my 20s. we gonna see that? (JM): You gotta watch! Have to watch. That’s all I’m gonna say. And here’s the thing, because another journalist who’s gay was like, “Don’t you think that you’re disrespecting the right we all fought for?” And here’s my answer: We fought for the right to choose and so therefore it’s my choice to say, you know, I’ve had some bad experiences with marriage. [Laughs]

Michaels hopes her new show will change people's perceptions. (Courtesy E!) I think what helped that, and I know this sounds ridiculous, but Madonna and her “Justify My Love” video made a really big difference for my generation because [being gay suddenly] wasn’t something that was disgusting and gross — just something that became cool overnight, thanks to Madonna. That allowed me to feel less ashamed. It became almost cool to explore it and, unfortunately or fortunately, that exploration was not just an exploration, it wasn’t just me experimenting. It turns out that was what was going on with me throughout all my teenage years. I really didn’t know. I really thought something was wrong with me. I didn’t know that I liked women, but I knew I didn’t

like men. I knew when I was a kid I didn’t want to be physical with my boyfriends. Didn’t wanna make out with them. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. Then at 18, I was kissed by a girl, like the Katy Perry song, and I shit you not, I was like, “Oh my god, this is what’s been going on all these years.” The light bulb went off in me and I’m like, “I’ve been fucking gay this whole time,” and I, honest to god, was in such deep denial that I had no idea until that moment. (CA): Thanks Madonna! (JM): Honestly, you’re absolutely right. (CA): Are you gonna end up getting married on this show? Are

(CA): How do you feel about comments like that? (JM): Again, I hate to reference the African-American community again, but the reality is that gay rights are the civil rights movement of today, right? Women have fought for rights. The African-American community has fought for rights. Every minority has fought for rights. This really is our moment for the gay community — the LGBT-whatever — put all the letters in there. With that said, Malcolm X didn’t like Martin Luther King; there’s always a lot of kind of inciting as progress is being made as to how we need to go about making that progress, so I think being a public gay figure, there’s always a lot of criticism about what I say, what I didn’t say, how I did it, how I didn’t do it. If I live my life to make all these people happy, that’s obviously impossible — I can’t please everybody all the time — so I live my life in my truth. I hope it’s enough. I hope that it’s enough for me and for my family, and that’s really all I can do. —Chris Azzopardi is the editor of Q Syndicate, the international LGBT wire service. Reach him via his website at and on Twitter (@chrisazzopardi).t

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