Volume 9 Issue 5 March 2-15, 2018
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Candidates Saldaña and Passons speak out
Local man named U.S. Navy’s Military Spouse of the Year
Bair Financial on LGBTBE
By William E. Kelly
8 OPINION (l to r) Brian Alvarado, the USN 2018 Military Spouse of the Year, looks at his then-fiancé Matthew Alvarado in a pre-wedding photo down by the waterfront. (Photo by Rob Lucas Modern Aperture Photography) Morgan M. Hurley | Editor On Feb. 23, local real estate executive Brian Alvarado announced, “with the upmost humility and respect” that he had just been selected as the Armed Forces Insurance (AFI) Military Spouse of the Year (MSOY) for the branch of the U.S. Navy. Alvarado’s husband, Matthew, is a Boatswain’s Mate First Class assigned to Fleet Anti-Submarine Warfare Training Center, part
Rep. Peters getting a bad rap
of Naval Station Point Loma. For the last 18 months, Brian has acted as the command Ombudsman, a liaison between the command and its families and a role typically held by military wives. “This is a true blessing that Matthew and I will forever be grateful for your support through our journey,” Brian stated on his Facebook page when announcing his selection. “The work I do in a volunteer capacity in the military
A tale of two ideologies Leaders of local Dems for Equality and Log Cabin Republicans to debate
Chaz opens up about acting
Morgan M. Hurley | Editor
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After more than a year of political strife, leaders of the two LGBT-centric political organizations within San Diego County — San Diego Democrats for Equality (DFE) and the San Diego branch of the Log Cabin Republicans (LCRSD) — will come together for a one-night debate, and organizers hope to involve the entire community at large in the process. Planned for Tuesday, May 8, in the auditorium of the San Diego LGBT Community Center, the 90-minute debate will feature Gina Roberts, president of the LCRSD, and William Rodriguez-Kennedy, president of DFE, who will take turns fielding a series of pre-selected topics and questions posed by local leaders and community members. The evening will be moderated by
of the oldest, active LGBT organizations in the United States.” The national Log Cabin Republicans organization has been active for 40 years and the local chapter’s Facebook page calls it “the nation’s original and largest organization of Republicans who support fairness, freedom and equality for LGBT Americans.”
see LGBTQ debate, pg 2
(l to r) Gina Roberts, president of the local Log Cabin Republicans will debate with Democrat leader Will Rodriguez-Kennedy on May 8. (Facebook)
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see Spouse of year, pg 3
see Supervisors, pg 4
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outgoing Gay San Diego editor, Morgan M. Hurley, who was chosen unanimously in a bipartisan vote. According to their website, the Dems for Equality is “one of the largest Democratic clubs in Southern California and one
community is the honor of my life. We are blessed to call you all family and friends and look forward to what the future holds. I would like to personally thank the Navy leadership who have entrusted me to be a representative of my husband’s commands over the years and those who nominated me and supported us as we continue the important work of supporting and lifting up our military community.”
Editor’s Note: This is the first of a three-part series. Six candidates seek to replace outgoing San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts, who represents District 4: Bonnie Dumanis; Nathan Fletcher; Ken Malbrough; Marcia Nordstrom; Omar Passons; and Lori Saldaña. The idea to interview these candidates began last July, when I revisited San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chair Dianne Jacob’s 2014 State of the County address. Jacobs warned that the county’s elderly population would surge by more than 30 percent by 2025 and admitted the county is “ill-equipped to handle this rapid growth.” She also stated that as the population ages, the problems related to it will “turn more grave.” Further, Stephen Russell, executive director of the San Diego Housing Federation, calls this phenomenon “a catastrophe.” The Center on Policy Initiatives’ 2015 report “Economic Cost of SD County Ongoing Safety Net Failure,” found the county’s programs inadequate and examined the costs to families and the local economy. The findings were not favorable. (See bit. ly/2B1LbDP.) I have since sat down with each of the candidates to address such issues. To be included in this series, each candidate agreed to focus on the challenges of an aging population, with the intention to give each an opportunity to state their priorities, objectives, goals, and plans to address and achieve them, as well as speak of the experience, qualifications and talents they offer voters. Throughout each article, which will focus on two candidates each — to appear in Gay San Diego issues March 3, 16 and 30, the first being Saldaña and Passons — I will offer shortened links to sites that can offer further context to the candidate’s responses and assist in overall brevity.
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GAY SAN DIEGO March 2-15, 2018 Holzman and Vezina helped launch the first Trans Pride and March event in 2014 and started Trans Elders of San Diego in 2015. For the last four years, they have been working with Lambda Archives of San Diego in various capacities. While there they founded the Trans Oral History Project and have offered their services to record the oral histories of other local leaders within the LGB community. The couple was given San Diego Pride’s Spirit of Stonewall Inspirational Couple award in 2017. They plan to film the debate both for posterity and those who are unable to attend. To facilitate community involvement in the debate, Holzman and Vezina will also launch a public Facebook page for this purpose, where members of the community can submit debate topics as well as questions for consideration. It is important to note that the page will be moderated and
(l to r) Ellen Holzman and Meredith Vezina, founders of Trans Narratives, will be producing the debate. (Courtesy Trans Narratives)
“inappropriate comments will not be tolerated,” according to Vezina. An editorial board will be convened to sift through the ideas and questions posed and come up with a balance of topics and related questions that are relevant to the community at large, which will address the issues that are pressing within our political climate today. The point of this debate is not for Roberts and RodriguezKennedy to state or represent the plank of either of the larger political parties, but to share where the local organizations are coming from and help the community to better understand what drives their beliefs, and where their positions lie. Neither Roberts nor Rodriquez-Kennedy are running for any office, so the debate will not further a specific cause. It is meant to discuss in an open forum the issues that are important to members of our community who happen to look at these issues from opposite sides of the political spectrum. Holzman emphasized that the debate itself will be conducted in a civil manner at all times and the audience will be expected to adhere to this call for civility. This will not be a rally nor an opportunity to voice grievances; rather, it will serve as the opportunity to share views and understand each other better. “[Both sides should] agree that this is a bipartisan, community education event, with a goal to educate and inform community, not to assist any single party or candidate,” stated Dr. Delores Jacobs, CEO of The Center, during the venue’s
in a family of Democrats, she was the only member to pursue Republican views and has been active in political campaigns since Nixon. After graduating from UC San Diego with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, Roberts raised a family (she has a
daughter and two sons) and ran her own engineering firm. She came out as transgender in 2012 and has been unequivocally open about her entire journey, opening minds and hearts within even the farthest right of her party. Roberts is the president of the Log Cabin Republicans of San Diego; the vice chair of the Log Cabin Republicans of California; and corresponding secretary for the Escondido Republican Women’s Federated. In November 2016, Roberts was elected as the first transgender member of the San Diego County Republican Party Central Committee and is a
FROM PAGE 1
LGBTQ DEBATE Producers of this event are Ellen Holzman, a cis lesbian who earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Colorado State University and Meredith Vezina, a trans woman who received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history from San Diego State. The couple, who met in 1990, were first married in 1992 and again in 2013 when marriage equality became legal. They are also founders of Trans Narratives, a video production organization that uses its website and Facebook page “to promote trans visibility and an understanding of trans issues” and documents events related to trans history. Vezina said she first got the idea for this debate between Roberts and RodriguezKennedy last fall and reached out to Roberts.
Republican — Gina Roberts Gina Roberts has been active in the Republican party since attending high school in East County San Diego. Raised
The bipartisan memorial on display at the 2016 San Diego Pride Festival for members of the community to sign. (Facebook fix style of credit and add ) application process. This is not the first time Roberts and RodriquezKennedy came together in a bipartisan fashion. Last summer the two local political foes joined forces to memorialize the victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting during the San Diego Pride Festival. “I reached out to him as a community-building opportunity with no political agenda,” Roberts said. “He was all for it immediately and his board, who was not immediately in favor, came around quickly.” While more information will
be made available in the coming months, organizers want to start the dialogue now and get community members thinking about what kinds of topics should be addressed. While the event will be free to the public, donations — which will be contributed to The Center for the use and clean-up of the space — will be accepted at the door. To learn more about Trans Narratives, visit bit.ly/2oyONcS.
delegate to the California State Republican Party. She is also an active competitive shooter, tactical shooter, firearms instructor and a founding board member of the San Diego County Gun Owners PAC. She is also active in two women’s shooting organizations, “A Girl and A Gun” and “A Well Armed Woman,” where she teaches women how to take charge of their personal safety. Seen as a peacemaker, she is very adept at making diverse groups of people work together for the common good. She has been involved with numerous start-ups
over the years, traveled extensively around the world and is currently establishing a manufacturing plant in rural Pennsylvania. bit. ly/2t8sQWM
—Morgan M. Hurley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Democrat — Will Rodriguez-Kennedy Will Rodriguez-Kennedy is a nonprofit and political resource development manager, a former award-winning reporter, an activist and a veteran of the US Marine Corps with over a decade of combined military and community service.
see Debate bios, pg 8
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gay-sd.com FROM PAGE 1
SPOUSE OF YEAR Underwritten by the AFI, a mutual insurer of property and casualty insurance to military members around the world, the annual competition is presented by Military Spouse magazine, an online and print resource for military families. Alvarado joins five other branch MSOY, each chosen to represent one of the other military services — Marine Corps, Air Force, Army, Coast Guard and National Guard — who were all determined during an online voting process held on Feb. 20. The other branch MSOY winners were Jolynn Lee, Marine Corps, Camp Lejeune, Jacksonville, North Carolina; Kristen Christy, Air Force, Peterson AFB, Colorado Springs, Colorado; Stacy Bilodeau, Coast Guard, District 14 Hawaii and Guam; Sheila Brookins, National Guard, Kentucky; and Krista Simpson Anderson, U.S. Army, Fort Lewis, Tacoma, Washington. It has been reported that voting for this year’s various MSOY levels has seen record numbers of online votes compared to previous years. In May and June of 2015, Gay San Diego ran a two-part series, which chronicled the relationship of the couple [Ref: “Modern Love,” Vol. 6, Issue 11, online bit.ly/2HVBZ8r and “Modern Love 2,” Vol. 6, Issue 12, online bit.ly/2FGtH3N]. The series was named “Modern Love,” because the courtship, proposal, engagement and subsequent marriage between real estate executive Brian Lyons and career military man Matthew Alvarado — while quite normal and almost “by the book” by traditional monogamous standards — was indeed the relatively new normal for many same-sex couples across the country in the wake of marriage equality. In the nearly three years since the article ran, Lyons took Alvarado’s last name and became immersed in his role as a military husband, first serving as president of the Family Readiness Group of Matthew’s Amphibious Construction Battalion at Naval Base San Diego, before taking on the ombudsman role once Matthew transferred to the Point Loma area in 2016. Alvarado has also gotten involved with a national program, “Hiring Our Heroes Military Spouse Professional Network,” and works to assist military spouses with their job search, networking and lobbying to change the perceptions of military spouses and their abilities, and to ease related state licensing restrictions. “This is a passion of mine and am rolling up my sleeves and digging in to work together to secure a higher percentage of gainfully employed military spouses,” Alvarado wrote in his MSOY nomination form. He is also a contributing author to a new legacy project, called “Behind the Scenes: The Tales of American Military Spouses Making a Difference,” which was published in 2017. Fast forward to February
2018, which has been quite a whirlwind month for the Alvarados, who recently purchased their second home in July 2017. With the annual online voting process first starting Feb. 5, Alvarado was nominated for the third year in a row as a local Military Spouse of the Year. On Feb. 13, it was announced he was selected as Military Spouse of the Year for Point Loma Naval Base. Three days later on Feb. 16, online voting opened again and Alvarado was selected as one of the “Top 18” — which included the top three MSOY from each of the six branches of service across the nation. “To say that this is an honor is the understatement of the year,” Alvarado posted on Facebook after learning he’d made the top 18. “When Matthew and I met, we weren't legally allowed to be married and now here we are. The support from our military community is awe-inspiring and will forever be ingrained in my heart.” It was just four days following this honor that the top 18 were paired down to the top six — one from each branch — and Alvarado was selected to represent the U.S. Navy. While it has been six and one-half years since the “don’t ask, don’ tell” policy was officially repealed, this honor is still significant. Alvarado is the only same-sex spouse — and the only male — to have reached this level in the voting process. In reviewing the top 18 and base MSOY winners online, there are several other same-sex spouses, both male and female, recognized. On Friday, March 2 (the day this paper hits the street) voting will again convene online for the overall title of Military Spouse of the Year and the local finalist has a good shot at the title. As for what he would do as the national MSOY, here is what Alvarado shared on his nomination form when asked that very question. “Imagining myself in that role is a humbling and exciting thought,” he wrote. “The MSOYs that I have had the pleasure of knowing are leaders with compassion, role models with class, and strong advocates with passion. One thing I would want to accomplish with this title is to follow in their footsteps, make them proud, and take the MSOY Program to an even higher level of visibility and exposure. This program and the people in it
GAY SAN DIEGO March 2-15, 2018
have the power to change the world for the better and if I was to carry the torch I would want to grow and continue to reach and strengthen our community. This is all about what you do and who you effect and understanding that is the most important piece of this amazing process.” Results should be known over the March 2–5 weekend whether Alvarado will take the top title. Even if he doesn’t, as a top tier winner he will join the other MSOY honorees from across the nation at an awards ceremony, May 9 and 10 at the USO-Metro Gala in Washington, D.C. To learn more about the MSOY program, visit bit.ly/2CPilHy. —Morgan M. Hurley can be reached at email@example.com
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events @TheCenTer Tuesday, March 6
Wed., March 7
Guys, Games & Grub
9-10:30 am, The Center
6-8:30 pm, The Center
The San Diego LGBT Community Center hosts a distribution site once a month for the Community Cares Project of the San Diego Food Bank. On the first Tuesday of every month, visit The Center’s parking lot for the food distribution. For more information, visit the San Diego Food Bank website at www. sandiegofoodbank.org or contact Larue Fields at 619.692.2077 x205 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Everyone is welcome to The Center on the first Wednesday evening of each month for GGG! The popular board game and social night, presented by Men @ The Center, includes pizza, snacks, beer, wine, soft drinks, and hundreds of board games to choose from. Participants are welcome to come alone and meet new friends, or come with a group for a fun evening out. The popular Team Trivia game is hosted by John Lockhart and everyone is welcome to drop in. Suggested donation of $5 is requested for admission. For more information contact Ben Cartwright at email@example.com or 619.692.2077 x106.
Tuesday, March 6
Transgender name ame and Gender Marker Change Program
Thursday, March 8
6:30 pm, The Center USD Pride Law is sponsoring the Transgender Name and Gender Marker Change Program to provide legal assistance to trans* individuals seeking name and gender-marker changes through the SD County court system. Law students and attorney volunteers will assist eligible clients in completing the requisite applications and navigating the process of obtaining a name and/ or gender marker change. Appointments are available at The Center on the first Tuesday of each month. To schedule an appointment, call 732.567.8394 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
www.thecentersd.org The San Diego LGBT Community Center 3909 Centre Street • 619-692-2077 Twitter: @LGBTCenter
hIV+ Seniors Discussion Group 12 noon, The Center The CDC estimates that over one-quarter of all HIV/AIDS patients are over 50 years old. If you are 50 years or better and living with HIV, then this discussion group is just for you! Discuss the topics that interest you most. Discover how to feel your best. Socialize with others who can relate. Join us for this lively discussion group to connect, to learn, and to have fun. This group meets the 2nd Thursday of the month at noon. For more information, contact Larue Fields at email@example.com or 619.692.2077 x205.
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GAY SAN DIEGO March 2-15, 2018
Why I’ve stopped drinking
Life Beyond Therapy Michael Kimmel It’s probably not what you think: I don’t have a problem with drinking. Before I stopped, I rarely had more than two drinks on any occasion and I often didn’t drink anything alcoholic for a week or two. So why have I stopped then? Years ago, a wise friend asked me, “Why do you want to numb your senses with alcohol? Don’t you want to know what’s really going on?” I was so surprised to hear her say this that I didn’t have an answer. Later, I thought, “I sometimes numb myself with a couple of drinks because I don’t want to feel pain, loneliness, shyness, worry or social anxiety … that’s why.” And I ignored my friend … for several years. But, in my heart, I knew she was right. I want to think more clearly and not numb myself out; even one drink’s worth. I want to be able to function in this world without some “thing” to help me be more social, more relaxed, or less nervous at a party. Last year a client of mine, a very high-functioning guy, decided that he was going to stop drinking “for a while,” to see what would happen and who he would be without the alcohol. He found out and — after a few months of not drinking — now drinks more moderately and mindfully. His experiment inspired me to try mine. Circumstances helped me: I had a fun time in Texas over the holidays but got sick coming home on the plane. I was sick for about two weeks and didn’t eat (or drink) much of anything during that time. When I felt better, I went out with a friend to celebrate being healthy again and I had a margarita with my meal. I enjoyed it at the time, but, later, felt awful … from one lousy margarita! So, I decided not to drink until I felt healthier. Then I decided that I wanted to try an experiment: What if I quit drinking for a month? Wouldn’t it be interesting to go out with friends and not drink to “take the edge off”? To go to a party and not drink to “numb my shyness away”? To not have a glass of wine at the end of a long day to “relax”? To go to a bar with friends and just drink tonic water and lime?
It wasn’t a big “eureka!” moment. It was more like: “Let’s try this and see what happens.” I’ve noticed how much of my social world is connected to alcohol: wine with dinner and cocktails with friends and drinks to celebrate someone’s achievement or birthday. It can be a bit awkward to not join the gang when everyone’s ordering their drinks. It can bring on questions like, “What’s up with you?” or “Why no drink?” I’ve heard my friends and clients in recovery tell me this stuff for years now, but now, I’m experiencing it myself. I don’t think alcohol was a problem for me, but I admit that I’ve used it to not feel unpleasant emotions. And, when I was feeling good, it made me feel a little “high,” for a while, anyway. I’ve never had any concerns about my alcohol consumption and have worked with many clients who’ve really struggled with addictive drinking. I never struggled … I’d just quietly numb out my social anxiety, loneliness, or boredom with a drink or two, rarely more. Well, a month of total sobriety passed last week and I’m still continuing this experiment. I’m not sure how long this will last. Another week? A month? A lifetime? All I know is that I am learning a lot about myself and finding new ways to work with unpleasant emotions, that before, I used alcohol to modulate to a more comfortable level. You might want to try an experiment of your own: What would happen if you stopped drinking for a weekend, a week, or a month? Would you find new ways of being less anxious? Could you enjoy going out with friends in a new way? Could you enjoy being at Rich’s or Gossip with a tonic water and lime? Just asking … —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 lifebeyondtherapy.com. t
FROM PAGE 1
SUPERVISORS Candidate Lori Saldaña ● Opening statement “The largest portion of the county budget — $1.9 billion — is dedicated for health care and human services,” Saldaña said. “My priority concern is to use these funds effectively and efficiently, to provide housing, health care, and restorative care for people who are currently sick, homeless, or in temporary shelters — or at risk of entering one of those categories.” Saldaña proposes that San Diego County emulate a plan similar to one under development in Los Angeles County that creates a “Restorative Care Village” managed by Health and Human Services. (See bit.ly/2HPMji6.) “The aim is to support people as they recover their health and to provide career counseling, jobs training and supportive housing during medical recovery and other assistance to integrate people back into our communities,” Saldaña said. “My objective is to keep all people safe and healthy by reducing homelessness in the short term and eliminating it in the long term,” she said. “I favor using Prop 63 to fund supportive housing and health care for those with long-term disabilities, mental illness, addictions and support a bond measure to provide a permanent source of local funding for housing and health care services. (Learn more about Prop 63 bit.ly/2BUxRVU.) ● Saldaña’s supervisor
qualifications and commitment to seniors “On a personal level, I was a caregiver for older adults in my family: my mother and grandmother,” Saldaña said. “I lived with them for one year as they recovered from surgeries, and arranged for in-home care as I did research at UC San Diego. “Based on this experience, when I served in the California Assembly, I developed a slate of caregiving bills and established a ‘Caregivers Caucus’ to work with other legislators to promote good public policy to protect funding for caregiving services; support family caregivers; and hold people accountable for embezzling or stealing funds from older adults in their care,” she said.
(l to r) Candidates for County Supervisor representing District 4, Omar Passons and Lori Saldaña. (Courtesy the candidates) “As chair of Housing and Community Development, I increased funding for affordable and supportive housing; worked on updating Regional Housing Needs Assessments; and established new standards for transit-oriented development, so that people lived near the transportation they needed to maintain their independence.” Among Saldaña’s key accomplishments, she lists serving in leadership roles during six years in the California Assembly; co-authoring the first marriage equality legislation in the nation (2005); and chairing the Legislative Women’s Caucus. She also served as Assistant Majority Whip; Speaker Pro Tempore; and as a committee member on the Judiciary; Taxation and Revenue; Water, Parks and Wildlife; Natural Resources; and the Elections and Redistricting committees. In addition, Saldaña was appointed to the Assembly Ethics Committee to investigate sexual harassment and other complaints; co-authored AB 32 requiring California reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020; developed new standards for promoting energy efficiency in commercial buildings; and proposed zero-net energy residential standards. Her volunteer work included serving as a founding board member of the first “Earth Fair” celebration in Balboa Park (1990); chairing the San Diego/Imperial Counties Sierra Club (1995-97); and being appointed by President Clinton to the Border Environment Cooperation Commission, tasked with improving water quality in San Diego and along the U.S./Mexico border. “As County Supervisor, I will apply research-based solutions to county policies, based on
Passons grew up with nearly 100 foster siblings; his foster mom (shown here) eventually adopted him. (Courtesy Omar Passons)
my work as an Environmental Policy Research Fellow at the UCSD Center for US/Mexican Studies, and a professor of Information Technology for the San Diego Community College District,” Saldaña said.”
Candidate Omar Passons ● Opening statement “In addition to my focus on children and seniors, my priorities include the homeless crisis, lack of affordable housing, making our economy more inclusive, protecting our environment, responsible regulated cannabis access, reforming our criminal justice system to focus more on prevention, and enhancing our disaster preparedness systems,” Passons said. “My highest priorities relate directly to the impact these challenges have on those with the most potential and those who are our future, children, and those who have given the most to our community, seniors,” he said. ● Passons’ supervisor qualifications Passons grew up in the county foster care system with 100-plus foster siblings. “I know what strong support from regional government can mean and what happens when it is lacking,” he said of that experience. “Whether children live with their biological or adoptive parents, or in foster care, our entire society will improve if they are better armed with early childhood development and support.” With regard to his unique professional qualifications, Passons addressed his education and career history. “Nearly 40 percent of the county’s budget is in health and human services and I am the only candidate with a master’s degree in Public Health who evaluated the proper use of funds and implementation of these programs working with officials in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “In addition, 84 percent of the land area of the county and over 500,000 people are under the county’s land-use control and I am the only candidate with a professional background of more than a decade as a land-use and construction attorney focusing on these issues.” Passons worked in public health and social service evaluation at the federal level before going into law. see Supervisors, pg 19
GAY SAN DIEGO March 2-15, 2018
Trump admin catalyst’ for LGBTBE certifications #LGBTB2B Michelle Burkart There is that saying, “Every cloud has a silver lining.” For our LGBT business community, that silver lining comes in the form of LGBTBE certifications. Since 2003, when National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) first launched the Supplier Diversity Initiative, I have witnessed a tremendous growth in LGBT business owners becoming certified. One of the main reasons is that it is important to have a voice and to be counted, especially in this political environment. And what better way to be counted with the Trump administration than to grow our rainbow color of green $$$. According to Eric Trump, “The one color my father responds to is green!” So, for our message to be heard, we all must recognize and promote the economic impact of the $1.7 trillion dollars our LGBT community contributes to the national economy. Which, by the way, is larger than the gross domestic product of Russia. Our LGBTBE business profile this month is Bair Financial Planning, located in the Mission Valley area of San Diego. Marci Bair, a San Diego native, is president of this company, and vice president of the Wealth Consulting Group, of which she is a member. Marci is a certified financial planner as well as a registered investment advisor and she is ready to be counted. In September 2017, Bair Financial Planning celebrated its 25th year in business as an independent boutique wealth management firm, with $120 million dollars of assets under advisement. Marci has three employees besides herself, including Victor Orozco, who started as an intern with Bair Financial Planning while in college. Through Marci’s mentorship, he became a financial planner, and advanced through various positions to become managing partner and director of operations.
Staff of Bair Financial Group, a local LGBT-owned business that recently got LGBTBE certified (Courtesy BFG) Marci has been very active in the LGBT community on so many levels, as well as being a tireless networker, always helping her fellow LGBT business owners. She remembers the Supplier Diversity Initiative’s launch in 2003. However, it was not until 2017 that she finally became LGBTBE certified through the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), and also became certified as a Woman-Owned Business at the same time. Since she has been around from the start of this Supplier Diversity Initiative, my first question was why it took her so long. “Literally, just taking the time to sit down and do it,” Marci said. “Last year I attended the “Let’s Work It!”
trainings and realized it is not that difficult to do. When I sat down finally, it took about two to three hours to gather documents and to apply. The ones for the CPUC and NGLCC are about the same and simple to do. So why now? What made 2017 so different? “The catalyst for me was based on the political climate and the current administration,” Marci explained. “I not only wanted to be counted and to be heard, I felt we needed to walk the talk. Since we work with investing in socially-conscious businesses, we felt that being LGBTBE certified would support our company mission, the LGBT community, and help to build our LGBT economic impact nationally.
Must be knowledgeable of these areas and have a minimum of one year advertising sales experience. The ideal candidate is an energetic team player who is bright, positive, creative and personable who relates to small business owners and can assess their advertising needs. Fulltime, base plus commission. For more information about our community newspapers, visit us at sdcnn.com.
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—Michelle Burkart is the principal at Diversity Supplier Alliance. Questions? Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on LGBTBE certification visit diversitysupplieralliance. com.t
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We are seeking experienced, motivated advertising sales consultants for our six community newspapers.
“The LGBTBE certification aligns with our company culture and goals,” she continued. “We are working on our B-Corporation status this year. A B-Corporation designation is a company that promotes being a socially-conscious, responsible business entity that works towards the greater good in their business transactions.” Now that you are certified, what is on the horizon for Bair Financial Planning? “First, we will strategize a plan of action, which is how we start any new revenue venture,” Marci said. “We have over 1,000 other LGBTBEcertified businesses nationwide for networking and researching what worked, and what did not work for them. We will review what market our services may
be able to target by being certified, and through the NGLCC, we have access to 160 corporate supplier diversity partners as a starting point. We could also meet with the Diversity Supplier Alliance for the execution of the steps required to get our certification program developed; i.e. marketing capability statements, any accounting changes we may need, etc. Also, we would use the newly acquired certifications to add to the branding we already have in place.” After all you have been through getting certified, what advice would you offer those who are looking into this program? “First, I would tell them that there are business contracts that are now being set aside for LGBTBE-certified businesses, waiting to be filled from companies that want to do business with us,” she said. “So, I say, why not me, or why not you? Do not hesitate to at least reach out and learn about this certification from a business development prospective. “People think they are too small, but there are ‘tiered’ contracting levels and you may qualify for a smaller piece of the pie, so can get started that way by subcontracting to the prime contractor,” Marci said. It may have taken Marci Bair and Bair Financial Planning 15 years to get certified, but in perspective, I hear the excitement in her voice talking about the new opportunities she now has for her firm. In March, I will be attending the WBA LGBT Economic Summit and Conference to discuss “Setting the LGBT Economic Agenda” from March 15-16 at the Hyatt Embarcadero in San Francisco. WBA stands for the Western Business Alliance, the group of LGBT chambers of commerce in the western region. Join us next month for a review of that event and to meet another LGBTBE-certified business.
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GAY SAN DIEGO March 2-15, 2018
Letters More AIDS memorial angst
[Ref: “Guest Editorial: Shady funding deal for AIDS Memorial?,” Vol. 9, Issue 4, or online bit.ly/2Guy94E].
It’s just so long … not goodbye By Morgan M. Hurley Well readers of Gay San Diego, I wasn’t sure when this day would come but it has indeed arrived. As of this March 2 issue, I am stepping down as your editor and moving on to another opportunity that first presented itself to me over the holidays. It has been an honor to serve, first as assistant editor and then editor, of Gay San Diego for the last six years. Having been a member of our local LGBT community since 1987 and a voracious reader of every bit of LGBT media I could get my hands on over the years, I was deeply proud of the fact that Gay San Diego was so different from the other papers I’ve read; it was truly a community-based newspaper, always with local news and a local person on our front cover. While I never shied away from hot topics, my goal was to remain civil and whenever possible focus on the positives that build our community up, rather than the negatives that tear it down. I worked hard to gain your trust and be as inclusive as possible on our pages. I sought to include news and features on people and organizations across the LGBTQA spectrum, as well as employ columnists EDITOR Morgan M. Hurley (619) 961-1960 email@example.com CONTRIBUTING EDITORS (619) 519-7775 Sara Butler, x118 Jeff Clemetson, x119 Albert H. Fulcher, x102 CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Chris Azzopardi William E. Kelly Michael Kimmel Jean Lowerison Nicole Murray Ramirez Frank Sabatini Jr. Michelle Burkart (after Azzopardi) Ben Cartwright (after Burkart) WEB AND SOCIAL MEDIA Sara Butler, x118
who shared important, relevant, relatable and educational topics with our readers, none of which you could get anywhere else. For me personally, interviewing hundreds of folx and telling their stories and/or giving a voice to all the people, nonprofits and issues within our close-knit LGBT community over these six years has been the highlight of my life. I’ve met and become friends with so many wonderful people across the entire county and am regularly awe-struck with the commitment and talents of so many of you. There were times that I experienced the negative side of our community while editor; from a barrage of local and even national attacks on my character, when to start a then-dormant dialogue, I decided to publish an opinion piece submitted by a self-described “sero-sorting” gay man regarding his concerns of the use of PrEP; there were those who constantly harangued me with derogatory and demeaning Facebook posts for supporting our LGBT businesses with feature stories; and those who repeatedly blasted me via email every single time there was coverage of The LGBT Community Center (this person even left voicemails threatening bodily harm); and finally COPY EDITOR Dustin Lothspeich SALES & MARKETING DIRECTOR Mike Rosensteel (619) 961-1958 firstname.lastname@example.org ADVERTISING CONSULTANTS (619) 519-7775 Heather Fine, x107 Sloan Gomez, x104 Brenda Vergara, x110 SALES INTERN Erik Guerrero EDITORIAL INTERN Cassidy Klein
to those threatening legal action when they disagreed with things published on our pages. But much more importantly and in leaps and bounds more often, I’ve been awash in all the good and honorableness that exists within our community. I’ve also been honored by organizations for doing what I love to do and that is always very humbling. I’ll miss a dozen things about this job very much, but it is time to move on. Even though I gave my notice back in mid-January, I took my time and rolled out my departure as best as I could so that we could get the right person hired, in house and trained. Starting with the next issue, the new editor of Gay San Diego will be Albert H. Fulcher. For the last four-plus years, Albert has been editor of the East County Californian which publishes out of El Cajon. He lives in Imperial Beach with his husband and other members of their extended family. While it’s been a few years since Albert was immersed in the organized LGBT community, before pressing family matters and everyday life kept him away, for many years he volunteered for the San Diego LGBT Community Center and San Diego LGBT Pride, sang ACCOUNTING Priscilla Umel-Martinez (619) 961-1962 email@example.com WEB DESIGN Kim Espinoza espinozawebworks.com firstname.lastname@example.org
DISTRIBUTION Gay San Diego is distributed free every other Friday of the month. © 2018. All rights reserved. PUBLISHER David Mannis (619) 961-1951 email@example.com
with the Gay Men’s Chorus of San Diego, and was active in the LGBT rodeo community. As a result, I’m confident that it won’t take long for Albert to become reacquainted with the people and issues that are so imperative to our community. Please welcome Albert with open arms as he leads this paper into the future. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. As for me, I’ve accepted a job as the communications director for a local educational consulting start-up business. But I’ll still be around, you’ll still see me out and about enjoying happy hour with friends, attending community events, and the like. You’ll also still see my name on the masthead as “Editor at Large,” I hope to continue telling the stories of our community long into the future and I’ll even still have my email for a while, so continue to drop me a line if you are so inclined. San Diego is a great place to live and it has one of the best, most cohesive and productive LGBT communities in the country. All the LGBT “firsts” seem to come out of San Diego. That says a lot. Thank you for trusting me enough to tell your stories. —Morgan M. Hurley can be reached at morgan@sdcnn. com.t
So the corrupt city politicians stole money from the taxpayers to fund a project they wanted the public to know little about. I’m not surprised. Chris Ward needs to be asked about his part in this. The vote to hide the transfer of money from taxpayers took place just three months ago. I feel sorry for the residents of Bankers Hill who live next door to the proposed memorial site. The city should never have designated that tiny parcel a public park. It doesn’t matter that it was a gift. That parcel has no view or any other particular distinction. It is little more than an attractive nuisance — an empty lot that attracts who knows what sort of people. It should be zoned residential in line with neighboring parcels. The city should use it for senior housing and put the memorial elsewhere. Whatever memorial the city and community finally come up with should be tasteful. A fountain, plaque, tree, or flower bed with some seating around it. Not something that costs half a million dollars. —Andrew Towne, via gaysd.com A memorial should represent the community that it’s placed in. Bringing people together, not dividing them. This does not and it doesn’t have the public support. Third and Olive Street is a small multi-use, little park, in an obscure, out of sight, out of mind location, not suited for a city AIDS memorial. AIDS, the “gay plague,” is very much a part of our LGBTQ history. Hillcrest is the neighborhood where the AIDS memorial story should be told and displayed for future generations to come. HIV/AIDS is still not over. It is now a manageable disease, but there is still no cure. Prevention to educate all, especially our gay youth, should be our top priority to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS. Let’s go for the cure. —Rick Wilson, via email
see Letters, pg 7
OPINIONS/LETTERS: Gay San Diego encourages letters to the editor and guest editorials. Please email either to email@example.com and include your phone number and address for verification. We reserve the right to edit letters for brevity and accuracy. Letters and guest editorials do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or staff. Business Improvement Association
SUBMISSIONS/NEWS TIPS Press releases and story ideas are welcomed. Send press releases, tips, photos or story ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news and investigative story ideas contact the editor by phone or email. Copyright © 2018 San Diego Community News Network
Gay San Diego 123 Camino de la Reina, Suite 202 East San Diego, CA 92108 (619) 519-7775 sdcnn.com Facebook.com/GaySD Twitter @GaySD
Big Mike and I go see a movie sometimes three times a week, so we have seen all of the 2018 Academy Award nominees for Best Picture. Here is a quick review of all of them: ‘Darkest Hour’ — It’s about Winston Churchill and unless you really love history, you will get bored. ‘Dunkirk’ — Seems like the sequel to “Darkest Hour” and about 45 minutes longer. ‘Lady Bird’ — A great movie about a mother/daughter relationship set in the 1990s. ‘Get Out’ — A white neighborhood who likes to use black people for their “parts” … a scary movie! ‘The Post’ — A must-see movie to remind us about presidential scandals and that “Trumpgate” may be coming soon. ‘Call Me by Your Name’ — A gay love story for the 21st century … but I didn’t like the ending. ‘The Shape of Water’ — Another type of love story between a nerd and a buff lizard. ‘Phantom Thread’ — A movie about poison … a waitress … poison … a control freak … poison … and so boring you will want to swallow the poison. ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ —Love, love this movie about a kickass woman who takes no prisoners!
FROM PAGE 7
LETTERS Olive Street is not an accessible or visible enough location. Those we have lost to AIDS really deserve better. —John Keasler, via gay-sd. com
Support for loss
[Ref: “Obituary: JohnMichael Brooks,” Vol. 9, Issue 4, or online bit.ly/2EFfgLQ]. Michael and Dan: You both are in my heart and I send
Oscar insight, more politics and travels Conversations with Nicole Nicole Murray Ramirez
Oscar movie reviews
GAY SAN DIEGO March 2-15, 2018
Many San Diegans are not wanting Rep. Duncan Hunter to be re-elected because of his financial scandal. He is in a super Republican district and word is many top Republicans are urging and wanting Carl DeMaio to become a candidate. I hope he runs. Donald Trump has nominated openly gay Republican Richard Grenell as the next ambassador to Germany. I’ve known Richard since his days in San Diego and he is probably the most qualified, openly gay nominee ever to be nominated. Grenell has an outstanding record on GLBT civil rights and is happily married. Congratulations to our city’s new police chief, David Nisleit. By the way, Mayor Faulconer appointed three LGBT citizens to serve on the community selection panels. Congratulations to Col. Renee Grand Pre (California Army National Guard) and Capt. Jacquie Atkinson (U.S. Army Reserves), on their third wedding anniversary. There was a great turnout for the annual Bayard Rustin Civil Rights Honors at the San Diego LGBT Community Center … Councilmember Chris Ward presented a Lifetime Achievement Award to long-time equality supporter Council President Myrtle Cole. Congratulations to other GLBT African-American honorees Tamanava Eden-McLintock,
Rickie Brown, Ian Morton and Ondra Campbell. Popular former San Diego LGBT Pride Executive Director Stephen Whitburn’s lawsuit against the Pride organization is getting many community leaders offering to testify on his behalf.
Seattle and San Francisco
Seattle is a very progressive city that has elected two gay and lesbian mayors in a row … first Ed Murray, who ended up resigning (I still respect him as a friend) and now Mayor Jenny Durkan. I just love Pike Place Market with the very best fresh seafood. Didn’t like the weather while I was giving a speech, I got distracted by the sudden falling of snow. Been coming to San Francisco since the 1960s and am glad to report that Mark Leno is leading in the polls to become the first openly gay mayor of San Francisco. I am also very happy to report that one of the terminals at the San Francisco International airport will be named after Harvey Milk. While in San Francisco, I visited the grave of my mentor, gay icon Jose Julio Sarria at the Coma Cemetery, where parts of me will also be buried (my cheeks!). I had a good talk with Mark Leno and got a good feeling about his campaign. It was also great to see Cleve Jones. And yes, my picture was on the Feb. 8 cover of the San Francisco Bay Times in its salute to the Grace Cathedral. —Nicole Murray Ramirez has been writing a column since
(l to r) Col. Renee Grand Pre and Capt. Jacquie Atkinson (Courtesy Jacquie Atkinson) much love, offer strong shoulders and send a gentle breeze to John-Michael as he wings his way to heaven, where he no doubt will lead the choir of angels. —Paolo Wakham
Joy for art
[Ref: “A community of artists,” Vol. 8, Issue 25, or online bit.ly/2ooiOuS]. Nice assortment of creative artists work! You’re sure to find something here. Succulents, soaps, salves, jewelry, cards, photographs and so much more. Don’t forget to venture up to
the second floor. My favorite beaded and crystalized lamp is up there! Gorgeous! —Louise, via gay-sd.com Can’t wait to come to your store. I live in North Park just down the street. I will come in a couple of days. —Catherine Vercruyssen, via gay-sd.com —Letters to the editor are encouraged. We pull them from email, Facebook, and comments left on articles on our website. If you’d wish to send a letter to the editor directly, email morgan@ sdcnn.com.t
(l to r) City Council President Myrtle Cole receives Lifetime Achievement Award from Councilmember Chris Ward at Bayard Ruskin honors. (Photo by Big Mike) 1973. He has been a Latino/gay activist for almost half a century and has advised and served the last seven mayors of San Diego. Named the “Honorary Mayor of Hillcrest” by a city proclamation, he has received many media awards including from the prestigious San Diego Press Club. Reach Nicole at Hillcrestqueen5@gmail.com.
Editor’s Note: The opinions written in this column are the author’s own and by no means reflect or represent the opinions of the staff and/or publisher of Gay San Diego and/or its parent company, San Diego Community News Network (SDCNN). The newspaper and its staff should be held harmless of liability or damages.t
GAY SAN DIEGO March 2-15, 2018
Claims against Peters unfounded TV ads and protesters give false claims on ending low drug pricing program By Albert Fulcher There is a claim that Scott Peters (D-52) is out to end the 340B program, a drug pricing program intended to provide qualified hospitals access to discounted pharmaceuticals for low-income communities. The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) recently claimed so in a TV ad that aired in the San Diego region. As a result, more than 200 protestors from an organization calling themselves “Let 340B” gathered at the congress member’s San Diego office on Feb. 22, asking him to withdraw his support of H. R. 4710, a federal legislation that would put a two-year moratorium on adding new hospitals, clinics and their subsidiaries in joining the 340B drug pricing program. It’s important to note that Let340b.org is financed by AHF, which should raise some eyebrows across the community. Although news of the moratorium is true, the TV ad does not explain the details of why Peters is co-sponsoring this bipartisan legislation. Last year, the Trump administration announced that it was cutting $1.6 billion from the 340B program, which has damaging consequences to the program and the low-income people and families that it serves. While involved hospitals and clinics get a 20-50 percent discount from pharmaceutical companies, which should support expanding access to
medical care, there are currently no regulations in place to ensure that these providers are using the program as it was intended. There are numerous calls out there to end the 340B program completely, due to claims that many hospitals are exploiting 340B. Some hospitals are padding their own profit margins by using the discounted priced drugs for patients and charging the insurance reimbursement in full, non-discounted prices. This is nothing short of fraud. “The 340B program is critical to provide low-income patients with access to the life-saving treatments they need,” Peters said in a press release disputing the ad’s claims. “The cuts made by the Trump administration to the 340B program need to be reversed. Going forward, we also must find ways to make sure the program is viable longterm; part of that is ensuring that hospitals who participate in the program are getting these critical, discounted drugs to the people for whom they are intended.” H. R. 4710 (short-titled the “340B Pause Act”) does not affect any hospitals or clinics already involved with 340B, but it does allow time for Congress to place further safeguards in place to ensure that hospitals are not profiteering from accessibility to lower priced pharmaceuticals, and that those who need the discounted pricing are the people that need it the most. This would
FROM PAGE 2
DEBATE BIOS In 2008, Rodriguez-Kennedy was honorably discharged from the military under the discriminative “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. He made international headlines in his fight against the policy, and again as one of the first to attempt to reenlist when the policy was first ruled unconstitutional in 2010. Since then he has also been active in local politics. His awards include being selected as Veteran of the Year for the 77th Assembly District
in 2009; the Nicky Award for Outstanding Community Activist in 2011; and induction onto the San Diego LGBT Community Center’s Benjamin Dillingham and Bridget Wilson Veteran's Wall of Honor in 2013. A graduate of the inaugural class of the Young Professional
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More than 200 protesters gather in front of Rep. Scott Peters’ office to protest his support of the “pause 340B” bill. (Facebook)
also help taxpayers who more often than not take the brunt of misguided regulations. “Congress needs to ensure the funds are properly allocated, that there is no abuse and the program is being used as intended,” Peters added. “A temporary pause on 340B will not affect hospitals already in the program and will allow for greater data transparency, appropriate oversight and better care for patients.” This conflicts with what AHF claims in the TV ad, and what the Let 340B protesters are claiming. In reading one of our network contributor’s monthly column, “Congressional Watch,” author Andy Cohen had the following points to say on this subject. ●● In short, the bill co-sponsored by Peters does not end the 340B program. Rather, it seeks to ensure the program’s funds are being used to provide medications to low-income
patients instead of padding hospital profit margins, contrary to the AHF’s assertions. ●● It turns out that AHF — and its founder, Michael Weinstein — derives most of its funding from clinics and pharmacies it operates that depend largely on Medicare and Medicaid insurance payments. These are the types of providers that participate in 340B. ●● When hospitals manipulate the program in this manner, it means there are fewer funds available for rural or underprivileged patients who could truly benefit from the program. ●● The point of the moratorium is to a) preserve the program as is for those already in it; and b) to give legislators time to refine the program and ensure the funds are going to those who need it most, not to bolster profits. ●● Opposing a member of Congress is one thing. But lying about that member’s
stated positions in an effort to undermine their standing is quite another and is something we should never tolerate. This is pomposity at its grandest level. Having a moratorium for two years may not only stop the profiteering, but in the long run it will safeguard this program for the future; especially if we face more cuts. Every penny needs to be accounted for and every underserved person in the community deserves proper care and the medications that they need at a price they can afford. If nothing is done about the problem, it will only go away if 340B is completely dismantled. That would be an atrocity, but in the current state of this administration, not out of possibility.
Council’s leadership academy, a program of The Center, Rodriguez-Kennedy also served on the board of directors of San Diego LGBT Pride from 2010 to 2013. Additionally, he served as a member of the San Diego County Veteran’s Advisory Council from 2010-2016. He currently serves as president of both the California Young Democrats and the San Diego Democrats for Equality, as an executive board member and platform committee member of the California Democratic Party and as a member of the San Diego County Democratic Central Committee. bit. ly/2F7e3kA
left active duty in 1987 and became a Navy contractor, traveling the world as the first female to work on board aircraft carriers. A year later she rejoined the U.S. Navy Reserve Intelligence Program and remained until retirement in 2003. She was inducted onto The Center’s Benjamin F. Dillingham and Bridget Wilson
Veteran’s Wall of Honor in 2013 and has served as chair of its advisory committee since 2016. In 2009, she helped launch San Diego Gay & Lesbian News, an online-only media organization, where she served as assistant editor. In 2012, she moved on to San Diego Community News Network (SDCNN), becoming editor of San Diego Downtown News and assistant editor of Gay San Diego. In 2013, she took over as editor of Gay San Diego. She has received various awards from national journalism organizations, including three first place awards from the San Diego Press Club. In 2015, she received the Nicky for Best Journalist and in 2016, she was presented the Michael Portantino Excellence in Journalism Award from the Nicky’s board of governors. In March 2018, she will be stepping away from SDCNN to pursue a new opportunity as director of communications for a local educational consulting firm.t
Moderator — Morgan M. Hurley Morgan M. Hurley grew up as the daughter of a newspaper editor and got the writing bug at a young age. She entered the Navy in 1980 and after three increasingly invasive but unsuccessful investigations into her sexuality, she
—Albert Fulcher is the incoming editor of Gay San Diego. Reach him at albert@ sdcnn.com.t
GAY SAN DIEGO March 2-15, 2018
It’s all about respect Back Out with Benny Ben Cartwright We all have so much to learn from each other. Every day, I get to enjoy talking to many different people in our diverse community about their interests, needs, concerns and more. Our youth have been especially good in the last couple of years about educating those of us who are older about things like appropriate use (or non-use) of gender pronouns, and reminding us the differences between sexuality and gender. Just a few years ago that I would’ve never thought about sharing my gender pronouns when introducing myself — now I even list them on my email signature line! Overall, the focus on honoring and respecting people’s pronouns and identities is an outstanding thing. It has been met with critics — even from within the LGBTQ community. I’ve heard friends and others in the community say things like, “I don’t get all this pronoun stuff — why do we have to say our pronouns?” Or others who blatantly choose to ignore entire identities (“How could someone be gender fluid?”). These types of sentiments are not good for our community, but unfortunately, they’re out there. I was at a cafe recently, dining alone, when an older community member came up to me and began talking about community issues that eventually led to a discussion of new terms in our community and how confused he was. I started to get a little worked up inside, because at first, it seemed like the conversation was going to go down the “gender fluidity nonsense” road. I assumed that this older, white, gay man standing in front of me was going to disrespect some members of our community, because that’s what I’ve heard so often. But I assumed wrong. He said, “Benny, I just want to say the right thing, because I have the utmost respect for anyone who is brave enough to embrace a gender, orientation, or identity that may not have been initially prescribed to them.” He just didn’t know how to do this. His suggestion, which I first chuckled at, actually made a lot of sense. He said, “Maybe we could put a poster up on a bulletin board at The Center or somewhere that explains the difference between gender identity and sexual orientation, examples of pronouns other than he/she that are used, and some of the other terms people use to identify themselves as. I just want to learn.” Being a senior, he said doing an Internet search is difficult for him and others he knows, but some sort of written material would be helpful. And I think his suggestion is great! It can be so taxing for people who identify differently than someone else to have to constantly explain who they are, how they identify, what it means, and everything that it entails. Could you imagine
every day having to explain to someone what it means to just be human? It’s up to all of us to work together to educate our community regarding gender identity. It’s simply a matter of having respect for each other. The more we respect and take care of one another, the more power we have to ensure a more just society for us all.
Getting Out with Benny It’s already March! This year is flying by and I can’t wait, because next weekend, on Sunday, March 11, we “spring forward” and will have those extra hours of daylight! Fridays, 6–8 p.m. — My very talented friend Brody Logan Hess has taken over the piano keys at The Caliph on Friday evenings before the mainstage entertainment begins. He’s a brilliant musician and you’ll enjoy both his piano and singing skills as you kick off your weekend at what he’s calling #BrodyHour (affectionately named after my longtime tradition of enjoying #BennyHour at Babycakes on Friday afternoons). There are great drink specials, too. The Caliph is located at 3100 Fifth Ave. in Bankers Hill. Tuesday, March 6, 6:308 p.m. — March is Women’s History month and The Center’s Young Professionals Council has something unique planned for its First Tuesday Series. In collaboration with the San Diego Area Chapter of NOW, it is bringing a preview of San Diego’s new annual storytelling event, “She Was Warned: Dismantling Barriers, Building Bridges.” The event includes plenty of time to mix and mingle, coffee, tea, treats for purchase, and a preview of the show (the full presentation of which will be held March 20 at the Black Box Theatre on the San Diego City College campus). YPC’s preview event will take place at Industrial Grind Coffeehouse, 1433 University Ave. in Hillcrest. More information, visit bit.ly/2sZbhrZ. Friday, March 9, 5:307 p.m. — We did it! The Center is so grateful for the community’s support of our goal to raise $2 million for our programs, with the generous 4:1 matching contribution by Ron Bowman and Stan Zukowfsky. To celebrate, everyone is welcome to The Prado’s Casa Del Rey Moro Garden on Friday, March 9 from 5:30-7 p.m. A celebratory cocktail and light appetizers will be provided. More information is here: bit.ly/2HSO4es. —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
Rainbow skies Downtown San Diego’s skyline will never be the same. Officials within the San Diego Convention Center recently made this bold proclamation alongside local dignitaries, as the wraps were taken off the Sails Pavilion’s exterior overhaul. The $16.7 million project is one of a series of upgrades to the entire center, and the most visible element within Sails Pavilion’s revamped 90,000-square-foot exhibit space is an LEDpowered light display atop a newly renovated fabric roof, which consists of 20 separate pieces. The fluctuating color schemes mimic those seen on the Empire State Building in New York City. Shown is the rainbow color scheme, which is one of numerous options now available. The series of changes taking place at the Sails Pavilion represent a new chapter for the Convention Center, which next year will celebrate its 30th year in operation. (Courtesy Oliver Yambao, San Diego Convention Center Corporation)
GAY SAN DIEGO March 2-15, 2018
What is TRUVADA for PrEP?
Who should not take TRUVADA for PrEP?
TRUVADA for PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is a prescription medicine that is used together with safer sex practices to help reduce the risk of getting HIV-1 through sex. This use is only for HIV-negative adults who are at high risk of getting HIV-1. To help determine your risk of getting HIV-1, talk openly with your healthcare provider about your sexual health.
Do not take TRUVADA for PrEP if you:
Ask your healthcare provider if you have questions about how to prevent getting HIV. Always practice safer sex and use condoms to lower the chance of sexual contact with body fluids. Never reuse or share needles or other items that have body fluids on them.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION What is the most important information I should know about TRUVADA for PrEP? Before taking TRUVADA for PrEP: You must be HIV-negative before you start taking TRUVADA for PrEP. You must get tested to make sure that you do not already have HIV-1. Do not take TRUVADA to reduce the risk of getting HIV-1 unless you are confirmed to be HIV-negative. Many HIV-1 tests can miss HIV-1 infection in a person who has recently become infected. If you have flu-like symptoms, you could have recently become infected with HIV-1. Tell your healthcare provider if you had a flu-like illness within the last month before starting or at any time while taking TRUVADA for PrEP. Symptoms of new HIV-1 infection include tiredness, fever, joint or muscle aches, headache, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, night sweats, and/or enlarged lymph nodes in the neck or groin. While taking TRUVADA for PrEP: You must continue to use safer sex practices. Just taking TRUVADA for PrEP may not keep you from getting HIV-1. You must stay HIV-negative to keep taking TRUVADA for PrEP: Get tested for HIV-1 at least every 3 months. If you think you were exposed to HIV-1, tell your healthcare provider right away. To further help reduce your risk of getting HIV-1: Know your HIV status and the HIV status of your partners. Get tested for other sexually transmitted infections. Other infections make it easier for HIV to infect you. Get information and support to help reduce risky sexual behavior, such as having fewer sex partners. Do not miss any doses of TRUVADA. Missing doses may increase your risk of getting HIV-1 infection. If you do become HIV-1 positive, you need more medicine than TRUVADA alone to treat HIV-1. TRUVADA by itself is not a complete treatment for HIV-1. If you have HIV-1 and take only TRUVADA, your HIV-1 may become harder to treat over time. TRUVADA can cause serious side effects: Worsening of hepatitis B (HBV) infection. TRUVADA is not approved to treat HBV. If you have HBV and stop taking TRUVADA, your HBV may suddenly get worse. Do not stop taking TRUVADA without first talking to your healthcare provider, as they will need to monitor your health.
Already have HIV-1 infection or if you do not know your HIV-1 status. If you are HIV-1 positive, you need to take other medicines with TRUVADA to treat HIV-1. TRUVADA by itself is not a complete treatment for HIV-1. If you have HIV-1 and take only TRUVADA, your HIV-1 may become harder to treat over time. Also take certain medicines to treat hepatitis B infection.
What are the other possible side effects of TRUVADA for PrEP? Serious side effects of TRUVADA may also include: Kidney problems, including kidney failure. Your healthcare provider may do blood tests to check your kidneys before and during treatment with TRUVADA. If you develop kidney problems, your healthcare provider may tell you to stop taking TRUVADA. Too much lactic acid in your blood (lactic acidosis), which is a serious but rare medical emergency that can lead to death. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get these symptoms: weakness or being more tired than usual, unusual muscle pain, being short of breath or fast breathing, stomach pain with nausea and vomiting, cold or blue hands and feet, feel dizzy or lightheaded, or a fast or abnormal heartbeat. Severe liver problems, which in rare cases can lead to death. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get these symptoms: skin or the white part of your eyes turns yellow, dark “tea-colored” urine, light-colored stools, loss of appetite for several days or longer, nausea, or stomach-area pain. Bone problems, including bone pain, softening, or thinning, which may lead to fractures. Your healthcare provider may do tests to check your bones. Common side effects in people taking TRUVADA for PrEP are stomach-area (abdomen) pain, headache, and decreased weight. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effects that bother you or do not go away.
What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking TRUVADA for PrEP? All your health problems. Be sure to tell your healthcare provider if you have or have had any kidney, bone, or liver problems, including hepatitis. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if TRUVADA can harm your unborn baby. If you become pregnant while taking TRUVADA for PrEP, talk to your healthcare provider to decide if you should keep taking TRUVADA. If you are breastfeeding (nursing) or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed. If you become HIV-positive, HIV can be passed to the baby in breast milk. All the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. TRUVADA may interact with other medicines. Keep a list of all your medicines and show it to your healthcare provider and pharmacist when you get a new medicine. If you take certain other medicines with TRUVADA, your healthcare provider may need to check you more often or change your dose. These medicines include certain medicines to treat hepatitis C (HCV) infection. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.FDA.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Please see Important Facts about TRUVADA for PrEP including important warnings on the following page.
GAY SAN DIEGO March 2-15, 2018
We're open, not unprepared. We know who we are. And we make choices that fit our lives. TRUVADA for PrEP™ is a once-daily prescription medicine that can help reduce the risk of getting HIV-1 when taken every day and used together with safer sex practices. TRUVADA for PrEP is only for adults who are at high risk of getting HIV through sex. You must be HIV-negative before you start taking TRUVADA for PrEP.
Ask your doctor about your risk of getting HIV-1 infection and if TRUVADA for PrEP may be right for you.
Learn more at truvada.com
1/31/18 8:30 AM
GAY SAN DIEGO March 2-15, 2018
This is only a brief summary of important information about taking TRUVADA for PrEPTM (pre-exposure prophylaxis) to help reduce the risk of getting HIV-1 infection. This does not replace talking to your healthcare provider about your medicine.
(tru-VAH-dah) MOST IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT TRUVADA FOR PrEP
POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS OF TRUVADA FOR PrEP
Before starting TRUVADA for PrEP:
• Those in the “Most Important Information About TRUVADA for PrEP” section. • New or worse kidney problems, including kidney failure. • Too much lactic acid in your blood (lactic acidosis), which is a serious but rare medical emergency that can lead to death. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get these symptoms: weakness or being more tired than usual, unusual muscle pain, being short of breath or fast breathing, stomach pain with nausea and vomiting, cold or blue hands and feet, feel dizzy or lightheaded, or a fast or abnormal heartbeat. • Severe liver problems, which in rare cases can lead to death. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get these symptoms: skin or the white part of your eyes turns yellow, dark “tea-colored” urine, light-colored stools, loss of appetite for several days or longer, nausea, or stomach-area pain. • Bone problems.
• You must be HIV-1 negative. You must get tested to make sure that you do not already have HIV-1. Do not take TRUVADA for PrEP to reduce the risk of getting HIV-1 unless you are confirmed to be HIV-1 negative. • Many HIV-1 tests can miss HIV-1 infection in a person who has recently become infected. Symptoms of new HIV-1 infection include flu-like symptoms, tiredness, fever, joint or muscle aches, headache, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, night sweats, and/or enlarged lymph nodes in the neck or groin. Tell your healthcare provider if you have had a flu-like illness within the last month before starting TRUVADA for PrEP. While taking TRUVADA for PrEP: • You must continue to use safer sex practices. Just taking TRUVADA for PrEP may not keep you from getting HIV-1. • You must stay HIV-negative to keep taking TRUVADA for PrEP. Get tested for HIV-1 at least every 3 months while taking TRUVADA for PrEP. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you think you were exposed to HIV-1 or have a flu-like illness while taking TRUVADA for PrEP. • If you do become HIV-1 positive, you need more medicine than TRUVADA alone to treat HIV-1. If you have HIV-1 and take only TRUVADA, your HIV-1 may become harder to treat over time. • See the “How To Further Reduce Your Risk” section for more information. TRUVADA may cause serious side effects, including: • Worsening of hepatitis B (HBV) infection. TRUVADA is not approved to treat HBV. If you have HBV, your HBV may suddenly get worse if you stop taking TRUVADA. Do not stop taking TRUVADA without first talking to your healthcare provider, as they will need to check your health regularly for several months.
TRUVADA can cause serious side effects, including:
Common side effects in people taking TRUVADA for PrEP include stomach-area (abdomen) pain, headache, and decreased weight. These are not all the possible side effects of TRUVADA. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any new symptoms while taking TRUVADA for PrEP. Your healthcare provider will need to do tests to monitor your health before and during treatment with TRUVADA for PrEP.
BEFORE TAKING TRUVADA FOR PrEP Tell your healthcare provider if you: • Have or have had any kidney, bone, or liver problems, including hepatitis. • Have any other medical conditions. • Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. • Are breastfeeding (nursing) or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed. If you become HIV-positive, HIV can pass to the baby in breast milk. Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take:
ABOUT TRUVADA FOR PrEP TRUVADA for PrEP is a prescription medicine used together with safer sex practices to help reduce the risk of getting HIV-1 through sex. This use is only for HIV-negative adults who are at high risk of getting HIV-1. • To help determine your risk of getting HIV-1, talk openly with your healthcare provider about your sexual health. Do NOT take TRUVADA for PrEP if you: • Already have HIV-1 infection or if you do not know your HIV-1 status. • Take certain medicines to treat hepatitis B infection.
HOW TO TAKE TRUVADA FOR PrEP • Take 1 tablet once a day, every day, not just when you think you have been exposed to HIV-1. • Do not miss any doses. Missing doses may increase your risk of getting HIV-1 infection. • Use TRUVADA for PrEP together with condoms and safer sex practices. • Get tested for HIV-1 at least every 3 months. You must stay HIV-negative to keep taking TRUVADA for PrEP.
• Keep a list that includes all prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements, and show it to your healthcare provider and pharmacist. • Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist about medicines that should not be taken with TRUVADA for PrEP.
HOW TO FURTHER REDUCE YOUR RISK • Know your HIV status and the HIV status of your partners. • Get tested for other sexually transmitted infections. Other infections make it easier for HIV to infect you. • Get information and support to help reduce risky sexual behavior, such as having fewer sex partners. • Do not share needles or personal items that can have blood or body fluids on them.
GET MORE INFORMATION • This is only a brief summary of important information about TRUVADA for PrEP. Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist to learn more, including how to prevent HIV infection. • Go to start.truvada.com or call 1-800-GILEAD-5 • If you need help paying for your medicine, visit start.truvada.com for program information.
TRUVADA FOR PREP, the TRUVADA FOR PREP Logo, the TRUVADA Blue Pill Design, TRUVADA, GILEAD, and the GILEAD Logo are trademarks of Gilead Sciences, Inc., or its related companies. All other marks referenced herein are the property of their respective owners. Version date: April 2017 © 2017 Gilead Sciences, Inc. All rights reserved. TVDC0154 07/17
1/31/18 8:30 AM
GAY SAN DIEGO March 2-15, 2018
Chaz Bono: Acting out Actor-activist on what made him stop acting, cult seduction and his thoughts on working with mom Cher By Chris Azzopardi As a radical right-winger on last year’s “American Horror Story: Cult,” a far cry from his own liberal leanings, Chaz Bono had his breakout role at the age of 48. Why did it take so long for Bono, who just happens to be Cher’s transgender son, to make his mark as an actor? Because Bono was often in conflict with the female gender of the person he was playing but didn’t know why. At least not at first. Then, suddenly, his interest in male roles changed more than just his acting career; in 2009, the activist transitioned from female to male. Years later, in 2016, Bono followed a recurring role as Reverend Rydale on “The Bold and the Beautiful” with a foray into Ryan Murphy’s “American Horror Story” anthology, first on “Roanoke,” then on the prolific TV creator’s grisly Trump-era “Cult.” Here, Bono opens up about why understanding his gender identity was the long first step to acting again, the “bizarre” possibility of working with mom Cher and what he’s learned about LGBTQ representation from trans youth. (Chris Azzopardi | CA) One of my favorite parts of you starring in “American Horror Story: Cult” was reading your mom’s tweets about the show. (Chaz Bono | CB) You know, she gets confused a little bit. [Before I was killed off] she was in Vegas and she and her best friend Paulette did a binge of the show, but they didn’t know I had gotten killed already, so I think that was a realization. She tweeted me about that and was like, “Was this on yet?” (CA) What was it like to be part of a show that is steeped in total conservative radicalism with a cast that is so LGBTQ-oriented? The contrast is so ironic. (CB) Yeah, it was interesting, ’cause I would say, for me, I had two very distinctive experiences on the show. The first part of it was what you just said: very steeped in a lot of people in the community and then those who are just incredibly open-minded. But then all of these guys come in and I started spending all of this time with all of these young actors and extras and it suddenly became a different experience. That was the first time for me that I started to feel like I was in a cult, and started to experience what that feels like and the comfort it brings. (CA) Are you saying you could understand the appeal of a cult? (CB) I could understand the appeal a little bit, yeah. I’m somebody who keeps up
with the news obsessively, but there was something really nice about when I’d go to work, turning my brain off and being with a bunch of younger actors who were really exuberant, like this full-on, testosterone-driven experience of all of us hooting and hollering and just waiting on every word that Evan [Peters] would say as [cult leader] Kai. That group mentality is very — I understood how it could be very seductive at certain times. (CA) I found it seductive too, but I couldn’t figure out how much of that was because the guys were so hot. (CB) [Laughs] Well, yeah, that didn’t really do it for me, but some of the guys were really great actors. We got along really well, because I’ve done a lot of theater and I’ve been at my acting studio for five years now. I’m used to being around younger actors because I haven’t been incredibly successful in my career, so I’m around young actors all the time, so I feel very comfortable and know what it’s like to be the new guy, because that’s how I felt last season [on “Roanoke”]. We kind of all bonded [on “Cult”], and it was just this really strange experience, like this group-mode mentality. And you know, we were obnoxious. It definitely became a presence on set — and, I mean, I think I was maybe less obnoxious because I’m 48. [Laughs] (CA) Why have you purposefully avoided playing trans roles? (CB) It’s really a twofold thing. First of all, I really consider myself a character actor and I really like playing parts that are very different from myself. That’s what I enjoy about acting, that’s what’s fun for me, and I think it’s what I’m really good at. I don’t really have any interest in playing a trans guy, because I don’t want to play something that’s close to me. If I wasn’t trans, I probably would wanna play a trans person, because that’s the kind of actor I am, but it doesn’t interest me that much because I’ve seen so many actors that I know who are trans playing trans parts and I wanted to try to establish myself as not that. I wanted to show people that that’s just a ridiculous thing and I didn’t want to get pigeonholed, so I just waited and took small stuff here and there that wasn’t that because it’s just not the career that I want. (CA) While working for GLAAD as entertainment media director in the ’90s, you were a consultant on Ellen DeGeneres’ sitcom, “Ellen.” Considering the show’s lead, Ellen, is gay, what did it mean to be a consultant on that show?
Chaz Bono found his love for acting in high school and said he has no interest in being typecast into trans roles. (Courtesy Team Cinematic Red)
(CB) I looked over scripts. I was doing a lot with them as far as — there was a tremendous amount of press and hoopla around the coming out stuff. We were working to coordinate a lot of that stuff for her and then doing a lot of press, because she did so little. So, picking up a lot of slack. I was actually on one of the episodes right after the coming out episode, which was fun, and just kind of there for them. It’s so long ago that I just remember always being there and always organizing shit around that. She’s a lesbian, so she knows how to portray that [laughs]. But there were other questions that came up about other stuff related to the community and little specifics here and there about being a lesbian. You’d probably be surprised to find out that — because one of my good friends is the guy who handles all trans stuff for GLAAD and so I know this — about the number of calls that he gets from actors, writers, producers and people who want to get it right. (CA) You hear stories from celebrities who don’t necessarily want their child to go down the same showbiz path they did. Was that the case for you growing up? (CB) No, not at all. My mom was actually the one who got me into acting. I was 14 and a really miserable kid in middle school, not relating to other kids at my school and just really unhappy, and my mom made me go to an acting class. I was kind of like, “Oh god, why do I have to do this?” and I ended up totally falling in love with it. Then, I auditioned for a performing arts high school and got in and moved to New York, so yeah, my mom has always been incredibly supportive of creative endeavor. (CA) Regarding your sexuality and gender identity, I know you’ve gone through a lot with her. (CB) She has evolved a lot! (CA) She’s getting the pronouns right these days?
(CB) She does get the pronouns right. Now she just gets mixed up and calls me my brother’s name. [Laughs] (CA) Ha! Well, every mother does that. (CB) Yeah, right? But yeah, she’s been supportive. For me, I didn’t know that I was trans at the time, but it was the issue that made me stop acting. I knew that I couldn’t play women and I didn’t really know why at that point. I chalked everything up to being gay and masculine.
(CA) When did you come to the realization that you couldn’t play female roles? (CB) I was 18. I was a senior in high school and I got cast as a male in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” our big senior production at performing arts, and it was the first time that I really felt like I knew what I was doing and felt comfortable and was really good. It was like, “OK, why do I have a handle on playing a middle-aged man? Why is that easier than playing a teenage girl?”
see Chaz Bono, pg 20
GAY SAN DIEGO March 2-15, 2018
Crab cravings 14
Restaurant Review Frank Sabatini Jr.
Way down Rosecrans Street on Point Loma, in the village-like area known as Roseville, is the newest location of the Fish Shop. It arrives here via outposts in Pacific Beach, Encinitas and Hermosa Beach in Los Angeles County. Whether the locally-born eatery will steal a significant chunk of fish-loving customers from nearby Point Loma Seafood is yet to be seen. Although I’m told that lines out the door have been common at this Fish Shop branch since opening barely a month ago. The menus at all locations are the same. And with an operational template dating back to 2010, when the franchise first debuted in PB, a friend and I decided to wait no longer to throw down our anchors at the new digs for an exclusive seafood lunch. As expected, there were no hiccups when placing our orders at the front counter or receiving them by a runner not long after. Nor was there a long line on this late Sunday morning. We each wanted crab. Badly. She envisioned chomping into a crab sandwich and I hankered for crab cocktail. We ended up instead with a decent panko-crusted crab
cake, which is available on its own or in a sandwich or salad. The latter two options didn’t appeal to us and we wondered why the crustacean is so under-represented on the menu. Needless to say, we savored every bite of the fluffy puck of back-fin crab meat, which was subtly spiced and naturally sweet. We didn’t mind that the crispy exterior was a little greasy. A few applications of the accompanying onion-horseradish remoulade made the whole thing praiseworthy. We differed over the shrimp ceviche, served with a generous pile of warm tortilla chips. My friend found it pleasantly zesty while I couldn’t undo the pucker on my lips. Though loaded with chopped shrimp, I found the citrus element too acidic and in need of more cucumbers, a little orange juice or sweeter tomatoes. Before sailing into the three-step portion of the menu, where you pick a fish, a marinade, and then how you want it served — in a salad, sandwich, taco, or on a plate — we chose two signature tacos: the spicy dorado and the TKO (technical knock out), which netted top honors at the 2011 Gourmet Experience Expo at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Both contain seasoned mahi, but were draped in different ingredients. Sriracha aioli slaw and avocado-lime drizzle goes into the spicy taco, and perky
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Point Loma Fish Shop 1110 Rosecrans St. (Point Loma) 619-756-7778 thefishshoppointloma.com Prices: Starters, stews and chowders, $7.50 to $13.50; seafood salads, $11.50 to $18; tacos, $4.75 to $6, sandwiches, $9.50 to $17; plates, $16 to $25.50
tropical salsa and cilantro white sauce accents the TKO. The TKO wooed us with its multi-dimensional flavors and moist pieces of fish. The spicy taco failed only because the mahi was terribly overcooked — a conflicted fate that pulled the same fish in two directions within a single order. We progressed to a shareable, customized plate of swordfish with lemon-butter marinade. Our two sides of choice were seaweed salad accented with sweet chili oil, and onion rings sporting the diameter of a soup can. Both were very good. So was the swordfish, a girth-y filet that retained its scant juices from end to end. The marinade was teasingly apparent, just enough to impart an elusive buttery-citrus essence to the steak-like flesh.
A new fish eatery has come ashore in Point Loma (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.) I suspect some will say it isn’t enough. With nearly a dozen beer taps carried over from when Hollow Point Ale House briefly occupied this space, the interior was brightened up with a fresh paint job. A mural is in the works, reflecting characteristics of Point Loma, and a roomy side patio that will annex the two existing front patios was nearly complete when we visited. To everyone’s benefit, lovely Shelter Island is only a block away should you require a hike after over-indulging in the heavier fare, like New England clam chowder, fish (or shrimp) and chips, or a sandwich of
diver scallops oozing with tartar sauce on your choice of bread. We walked the peninsula after our meal hoping we’d burn off the calories from those hefty deep-fried onion rings. At the very least I’d like to think we canceled out a teaspoon’s worth of that terrific remoulade we fed to our crab cake. —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 email@example.com
A panko-crusted crab cake with onionhorseradish remoulade
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Grilled swordfish with jumbo onion rings
GAY SAN DIEGO March 2-15, 2018
Just in time for the colder half of our winter, the pho-centric Shank & Bone opened recently in North Park with an ample bar and community tables for consuming a host of Vietnamese specialties. Ingredient choices for pho include filet mignon, oxtail, meatballs, and lobster. The menu also features bahn mi sandwiches, bun bowls, and of course, beef shank and bone marrow in keeping with its name. 2930 University A colorful Vietnamese eatery has opened in North Park. (Facebook) Ave., 619-458-9085. A family-run Italian restaurant with a broad menu spilling into all-American fare has opened in Linda Vista’s busy Presidio strip plaza near the University of San Diego. This is the second location for Giovanni’s Italian Restaurant, which operates a kitchen under the same name in Kearny Mesa at 9353 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. Mingling with numerous pasta dishes and pizzas are things like salad wraps, burgers and boneless chicken wings. There are also torpedo sandwiches, including a pastrami Reuben and Philly cheesesteak. Beer and wine are also in the offing. 5277 Linda Vista Road, 619-293-3333.
A lemon tart made with a French touch at the quaint, new Patisserie Melanie in Hillcrest (Instagram) Tarts, macarons, kouign-amanns and other French pastries are in the offing at the new Patisserie Melanie in Hillcrest. The licensed home shop, launched by Le Cordon Bleu alum Melanie Dunn and her husband, Axel Schwarz, showcases elegant pastries and cakes made in small batches in the couple’s home kitchen, a floor above their retail space. 3788 Park Blvd, Suite 4, 619-6772132, patisseriemelanie.com.
A super torpedo at the new Giovanni’s Italian Restaurant (Courtesy Giovanni’s)
—Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at fsabatini@san. rr.com.t
San Diego present The 27th
Jen Byard, of North Park’s Communal Coffee, is branching into South Park with an outdoor concept. (Hale Production Studios) A vacant lot in South Park will soon be transformed into an espresso bar and pastry outlet in a garden setting. The project is the brainchild of Jen Byard, founder of Communal Coffee in North Park (2335 University Ave.). This will be her second location of the popular cafe,
which she’ll partly contain in a 1959 Shasta trailer for selling a rotating selection of lattes and other coffee drinks, plus outsourced pastries. Her menu will be similar to the North Park location’s, and will also include donuts and bagel sandwiches supplied
Moumen Nouri of Kous Kous Moroccan Bistro in Hillcrest is reconfiguring his 12-year-old subterranean restaurant to allow for a bigger patio, which he’ll grace with custom-made Moroccan furniture. The remodel is expected to be completed by mid-March — and by midApril he plans on introducing more small plates and vegetarian items to the menu. He will also start featuring late-night DJs and belly dancers on the weekends. 3940 Fourth Ave., 619-295-5560, kouskousrestaurant.com.
through a partnership she recently formed with Nomad Donuts. The 2,000-square-foot parcel will offer scattered seating and serve also as a community space with artistic elements and a stage for live performances. 2221 Fern St., communalcoffee.com.
Commercial property brokerage, Location Matters, recently signed into place a Japanese-owned establishment in Kensington called Tanuki. The business will operate as a coffee spot by day and a sake bar by night. Sushi, sake and matcha tea will be available. Tanuki is expected to open within the next few months. 4191 Adams Ave.
Performances by: P.O.D. Trouble in the Wind Surefire Soul Ensemble Whitney Shay Parker Meridian Berkley Hart House of Blues San Diego March 19, 2018
Tickets On Sale Now
A portion of the proceeds from this event will once again benefit the San Diego Music Foundation and Taylor Guitars for Schools
GAY SAN DIEGO March 2-15, 2018
Random, serendipitous lives Theater Review Jean Lowerison How are human connections made — and missed? Is there such a thing as serendipity, or is playwright Steven Dietz’s character Bernadette right when she says, “There are only accidents?” Dietz plays with these questions in his charming “This Random World (the myth of serendipity),” in its San Diego premiere through March 18 at North Coast Repertory Theatre.
Scottie (Anne Gee Byrd), a mother in her 70s, lives alone but has an aide, the kindly Bernadette (Yolanda Franklin). She also has two adult children, Beth and Tim, and a secret life of travel that she does not share with them. She has tired of certainty and now embraces randomness in her life. Beth (Lisel Gorell-Getz) worries about her mom, but at the top of the play is busy reading her self-written obituary to Tim (Kevin HafsoKoppman), just to tie up that loose end so he won’t have to do it when the time comes. She says she’s planning a big adventure “way off the grid”
(l to r) Kevin Hafso Koppman (as Tim) and Lisel Gorell-Getz (Beth)
in Tibet, and is thinking ahead. Tim, an amusing nerd sitting on the floor and noodling around on his computer, says, “You just stop living. I’ll take care of everything else.” Meanwhile, Tim’s “everything else” has just been stalled by the loss of both job and girlfriend. Bernadette’s sweet sister Rhonda (Ava Hill) works at Arbor View Memory Gardens, where she helps (and sometimes puzzles) the bereaved — and is jazzed by another (unseen) employee’s suggestion that some of the people who walk through their door might not be, well, alive. Then there’s Tim’s highschool ex-girlfriend Claire (Diana Irvine), an engagingly loony late-20s character, and her present boyfriend Gary (Patrick Zeller), with whom she has one of the best (and funniest) theatrical breakup scenes on record. She says she “sucks at life.” From these characters’ viewpoints, all are lacking connections, one to the other and sometimes (it seems) to themselves. But since we, the audience, are outside their world, we get to watch them through time shifts and observe the connections that are actually made, as well as ponder the ones that might have been. It’s an intriguing idea, made more fascinating by Dietz’s ability to write not just engaging characters but wonderful, often funny dialogue. Byrd’s Scottie is suitably mom-like, willing to lie or just leave things out to keep the kids from worrying. But she’s also willful and not shy about expressing her opinions. Franklin’s Bernadette has a welcome calming influence — on me as well as on Byrd’s somewhat scattered Scottie. Gorell-Getz is charmingly eccentric as Beth; HafsoKoppman amusingly low-key and aimless as her brother Tim. Both are unsatisfied. Beth wants a big adventure; Tim is just discovering that his internet joke has gone awry. Diana Irvine is a stitch as Tim’s ditzy ex-girlfriend Claire, who seems to have trouble keeping a boyfriend. There’s more to Patrick Zeller’s Gary than is first seen, but it’s his initial classic interactions with Claire you’ll remember. Ava Hill is adorable as Rhonda. If you ask me, she’s also the real adventurer here (or maybe just around the bend), eager to try just about anything. The uncredited Joe Paulson does an amusing turn toward the end that adds to the quirky quotient. David Ellenstein directs this bittersweet piece with great humor, panache, and humanity. Marty Burnett gives us a woodsy setting — long rectangular strips of wood glued into a solid piece on stage right; squares of wood pieced
(l to r) Ava Hill (Rhonda) and Ann Gee Byrd (Scottie) in a scene from North Coast Rep's 'This Random World' (Photos by Aaron Rumley) together on stage left. In the middle is a projection of a river or lake scene — gray, rainy and with trees. The action takes place in various locations on land, simply rendered with movable furniture. Elisa Benzoni’s suitably woodsy costumes look just right. Matthew Novotny and Melanie Chen Cole make solid contributions in lighting and sound designs. These folks all live in their own separate worlds (don’t we all, really?), connected (though they don’t know it, only the audience does) by serendipitous (or random) happenings. It’s a fascinating evening of theater. —Jean Lowerison is a long-standing member of the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
“This Random World (the myth of serendipity)” Through March 18 North Coast Repertory Theatre 987 Lomas Santa Fe Drive Solana Beach Wednesdays, 7 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 8 p.m. Saturdays, 2 and 8 p.m. Sundays, 2 and 7 p.m. Tickets 858-481-1055 or northcoastrep.org
(l to r) Yolanda Franklin (Bernadette) and Diana Irvine (Claire)
(l to r) Lisel Gorell-Getz (Beth) and Patrick Zeller (Gary)
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GAY SAN DIEGO March 2-15, 2018
Friday March 2
‘The Stonewall Salon’: Diversionary Theatre presents “The Stonewall Salon,” a production featuring local LGBT seniors who have met twice a week since January to work on their storytelling and improvisational skills to create an ensemble performance which culminates in tonight’s showcase. This is an extension of Diversionary’s free acting class, Silver Squad, which has trained over 100 participants since 2016. For more info, call 619-220-6830 x109. Diversionary Theatre, 4545 Park Blvd., University Heights. bit.ly/2olQWrg
Saturday March 3
Whiskies around the world: Come taste the best whiskeys from small distilleries around the world. Attendees will sample American, Irish and Scotch whiskies as well as a few of VomFass’ newest international whiskies. Food pairings with each tasting. No passport required. 6:30– 8:30 p.m. VomFass, 1050 University Ave., Hillcrest. bit.ly/2GbycDk ‘San Diego, I Love You #SWIPERIGHT’: Circle Circle dot dot invites you on an avant-garde art adventure, where attendees physically move with the performers around San Diego during the performance. The show is inspired by the trials and tribulations of identifying as bisexual in the world of online dating. This production will feature male and female versions of the show; attendees are encouraged to attend both. Tickets $15. Various times and locations. bit.ly/2o83e6P
Sunday March 4
Red Carpet Party: Presented by the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus, this is San Diego’s biggest Academy Awards viewing party, with 25 HD widescreen TVs, great food, drink specials, $1,000 in cash and prizes. You can even walk the red carpet and enjoy the Oscars with a packed house of other movie lovers. 4–9 p.m. True North Tavern, 3815 30th St. bit. ly/2CfIYJQ
gay-sd.com A Night at the Oscars: The Uptown Tavern crew will be rolling out the red carpet at 4 p.m., so here’s another option to “dress to impress” for the paparazzi. Complimentary flavored popcorn and movie-themed drink specials offered. 4¬–10 p.m. Uptown Tavern, 1236 University Ave., Hillcrest. bit.ly/2FcjT3m ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’: Oscar Wilde’s last play before his incarceration and eventual untimely death, “The Importance of Being Earnest” is probably his wittiest and is called “trivial comedy for serious people.” 2 hours, 25 minutes including intermission. 2 p.m. matinee and 7 p.m. The Old Globe, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park. bit.ly/2orULvt
Monday March 5
Mazing Mondays at the Caliph: Sing along to the songs of your past with Carol Curtis from 5–8 p.m. and enjoy karaoke with Brody from 8:30 p.m.–12:30 a.m. at this easygoing cocktail bar and lounge that has been in our community since 1960. Happy hour 4:30 p.m.–1 a.m. The Caliph, 3100 Fifth Ave., Bankers Hill. Visit thecaliph. net.
Tuesday March 6
YPC First Tuesday — Women’s History Month: In collaboration with the San Diego Area Chapter of NOW, this will be an exclusive preview of San Diego’s new annual storytelling event, “She Was Warned: Dismantling Barriers Building Bridges,” (March 20, see bit.ly/2GILo1C), which recognizes that women’s history is intersectional. This event honors women’s voices and experiences by highlighting the work San Diego women are doing today and the history being made now. Industrial Grind Coffee owners, Kathy Hansen and Barbara Jeanine, both veterans, entrepreneurs and members of local LGBT community, are hosting this event after hours. Come ready to enjoy their coffee and gluten-free pastries, and stock up on bags of their whole bean coffee. Wheelchair accessible and sign language
interpreters have been hired. Contact ypc@thecentersd. org if you have any questions or requests. 6:30–8:30 p.m. Industrial Grind Coffee, 1433 University Ave., Hillcrest. bit.ly/2sZbhrZ Free legal clinic – name and gender-marker changes: Hosted by ProjectTRANS, meet with attorneys and law students who can provide assistance and guidance filling out forms required to apply for a court order necessary to change your name and/ or gender marker on birth certificates and other official documents. Sponsored by Pride Law at USD School of Law, Tom Homann LGBT Law Association and The Center. Appointment times are 6:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. To schedule, email TransClinic.SanDiego@ gmail.com. Walk-ins based on availability. Repeats monthly. 6:30 p.m. The Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. bit.ly/2DBFrpn
Wednesday March 7
GGG Games and Trivia: Join Men @ The Center for February’s GGG. Everyone is welcome for an evening of Live Team Trivia, board games, pizza, drinks, snacks and socializing. Hundreds of board games available to choose from, or bring your own. A donation of $5 is suggested to support men’s programming at The Center. For more information, contact Benny Cartwright at 619-692-2077 x106 or email email@example.com. 6–8:30 p.m. The Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. bit.ly/2n5bEff Leslie Jordan, ‘Exposed’: Emmy-winner Leslie Jordan from “Sordid Lives” and “Will & Grace,” is coming to Hillcrest with his show, which is part “coming-of-age story and part light-hearted Hollywood expose.” $50 reserved, $15 food/drink minimum. Doors 6 p.m., show 8 p.m. Martinis Above Fourth, 3940 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest. bit.ly/2BKLTZM DreamGirls Review: Rotating cast of your drag favorites; call for this week’s performers. $10. 7–11 p.m.
MO’s Bar and Grill, 308 University Ave., Hillcrest. bit. ly/2CWU2eX Queerversations: An ongoing discussion group supporting LGBTQIA students held every other Wednesday. Topic — Queer at Work and School: Coming Out on the Daily. SDSU Pride Center, 5141 Campanile Drive., College Area. bit. ly/2ENMhcP
Thursday March 8
Leslie Jordan, ‘Exposed’: You know Emmy-winner Leslie Jordan from “Sordid Lives” and “Will & Grace,” who brings his show to Hillcrest, which is part “coming-of-age story and part light-hearted Hollywood expose.” $50 reserved, $15 food/drink minimum. Doors 6 p.m., show 8 p.m. Martinis Above Fourth, 3940 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest. bit. ly/2BKLTZM HIV+ Seniors Discussion Group: The CDC estimates that over one-quarter of all HIV/AIDS patients are over 50 years old. If you are 50 years or better and living with HIV, then this discussion group is just for you! Discuss topics that interest you most. Second Thursdays. 1¬–2 p.m. The Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. bit. ly/2HAZF1Z
Friday March 9
#2Million Match Celebration: Join the San Diego LGBT Community Center to celebrate reaching their #2Million Match fundraising goal. Light appetizers and a cocktail are included. Free, but RSVP required. 5:30–7 p.m. at The Prado’s Casa Del Rey Moro Garden, 1549 El Prado, Balboa Park. RSVP: bit.ly/2oiznsh or bit. ly/2ojoGG5. Discussion: ‘What is the Women’s Community — voices of lesbian, bisexual, queer and heterosexual women,’ is presented by Women’s Resources at The Center. Many women have a fantasy of a welcoming, supportive community when they move to a new place, which provides friendship, fun activities and support when
1 Sistine Chapel figure by Michelangelo 7 Torah at Beth Chayim Chadashim 13 It may include Log Cabin candidates 14 Gaily colored flower 15 Start of a quote from Richard Pryor 17 Where students come together 18 Post-lovemaking sighs 21 Departure from life 22 Ice in Ulm 25 Chiwetel Ejiofor’s “Kinky ___” 27 Dude chaser 29 Cut it 30 Back biter 35 Final Foursome org.? 36 More of the quote 39 Luau food 40 Where to find a Pacific Rim job 41 Ship letters 43 Pirate’s hue 45 Heads of trains 47 Treat badly
48 Flynn role in “They Died With Their Boots On” 49 End of the quote 53 Big name in soft balls 55 Lover of Dali, perhaps 56 Rock Hudson’s “A Farewell to ___” 59 Jump for Adam Rippon 60 Ready for action, for guys 61 Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys 62 ___ Damon (Barbara Grier pen name) 63 Word after “Queer” on Netflix 64 “Saving Private Ryan” event
Saturday March 10
Revolutionary — Pride Youth Art Show: Presented by San Diego Pride, Art of Pride and the Trevor Project, this exhibition will showcase junior-high- through highschool-aged LGBT artists. 6–8 p.m. San Diego Pride, 3620 30th St., North Park. bit.ly/2sHOEIL
Sunday March 11
Hillcrest Farmers Market: 9 a.m.–2 p.m. on Normal Street between University and Lincoln avenues. Visit hillcrestfarmersmarket.com
Monday March 12
Mobile medical unit at The Center: The Family Health Centers of San Diego mobile medical unit will be located in the San Diego LGBT Community Center’s parking lot every Monday from 3–7 p.m. Services include basic primary care, immunizations, PEP & PrEP (through Rx), STD screening and treatment, chest/breast cancer screening, family planning, pap smears, pregnancy testing, hormone therapy, and sick and well visits. To make an appointment, call 619-692-2077 ext. 208. The Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. thecentersd.org.
Tuesday March 13
Showtunes Spaghetti Tuesdays: Sing your heart out and have a drink and allyou-can-eat spaghetti with some of your favorite show tunes from past, present, and everything in between. Watch musical clips from your favorite TV, movie and stage productions. $6 per person, eat in only. 5 p.m. Urban MO’s Bar & Grill, 308 University Ave., Hillcrest. bit.ly/2iHAwXA.t
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we need it — but the reality often falls far short. This talk will focus on what is meant by “community,” who is in our communities, and hear from Dr. Esther Rothblum of SDSU about her research on lesbian and bisexual women’s communities compared with those of their heterosexual sisters and also discuss ways to find community. 7–9 p.m. The Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest.
solution on page 17 DOWN 1 Alec’s “Star Wars” character 2 Butt 3 Sports car, briefly 4 They may rain on my parade 5 “Zami” author Audre 6 Code of conduct 7 Margaret Mead topic 8 Peter the Great, and more 9 Monaco VIP 10 Stew in Sitges 11 Island necklace 12 Dog or work area 16 Shoshonean tongue 18 “Ellen” network 19 It may arouse a sleeping camper 20 “Two Women” actress 22 Came upon 23 Shout after being blinded by a facial 24 Doo-wop syllable 26 You might tuck it into your jeans 28 “Two Little Girls” singer DiFranco
30 Williams of “Brokeback Mountain” 31 Heed a master 32 Comic actor DeLaria 33 Former Minnesota governor Carlson 34 Condom, in slang 37 Loads of 38 Base-running term 39 Pitchfork-shaped letter 42 Cold War abbr. 44 Drag queen’s petticoat feature 46 ___ Records (Etheridge label) 50 Folk history 51 Hunted animal 52 ___ homo 53 Will to Grace, or Grace to Will 54 Extension on a hard drive 57 “Mamma ___!” 58 Crazy like a fox
GAY SAN DIEGO March 2-15, 2018
FROM PAGE 4
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SUPERVISORS “One of the lessons those experiences taught me was that we must be thoughtful about having information before making claims about what can be accomplished by when,” he said. “Your question about goals and objectives requires experience in long-range planning and action. Goals point us in a direction while objectives measure our progress towards those goals. Our county ought to have a goal of making sure that the more than 60,000 people with dementia in our region have access to appropriate care and their families have access to support within their communities.”
● Passons’ commitment to seniors “My foster/adoptive 84-yearsyoung mother gave of herself throughout life in San Diego but could not afford to live out her years here. I saw up close how challenging the system is when she broke her hip several years ago. We struggled to piece together the care and support needed,” he said. “Our society’s collective failure to adequately support our seniors is a massive crisis that we must address. Over 240,000 senior citizens in San Diego County can’t pay their basic bills — food, housing, health care and transportation. That number will more than double over the next decade if we do not act — and it is my view that we must shift our thinking and our priorities.” Fundamentally, Passons believes it is crucial to protect our seniors’ ability to age in place, foster social participation, ease the safety and availability of transportation access, and make homes more affordable. These must all be a part of the strategy. He referenced the eight domains of livability that AARP has identified and views them as core to a foundation of dignified living. (See bit. ly/2lZSnMh.) “Our ‘Housing4All’ plan calls for specific incentives for the construction of senior living residences to increase supply while bringing down the costs,” Passons said. “I am working with public and private sector leaders and service providers to propose actions supportive of ongoing essential work, e.g. increasing affordable housing funding to augment state and federal resources; improving aging-in-place support with more resources for retrofitting seniors’ homes; increasing transportation safety and efficiency to protect the safety of all citizens; encouraging senior homes/apartments be built closer to pharmacy/medical needs; and requiring ‘Complete Streets’ design for walker/ wheelchair ease of use.” Passons emphasized that his strategy also calls for a longterm, local source of affordable housing funding in the region, to help ensure that projects like the LGBTQ-affirmed North Park Senior Apartments, developed by Community HousingWorks and located near his home, are built with greater frequency.
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Lori Saldana, candidate for Supervisor “Our government made it harder, and often illegal, for LGBTQ San Diegans to have families that might aid in care during a person’s later years, so this focus is an important example of the need to shift policies long term for all San Diegans,” Passons said. “That includes supporting further retrofitting for seniors so they can remain in their homes as long as possible and augmenting the Older Americans Act funding provided by the U.S. Government with regional resources focused on senior livability. “The retrofitting issue is acute in District 4, where seniors from Clairemont and La Jolla to North Park, City Heights and southeastern San Diego have lived in their homes for decades, but lack the resources to upgrade with things like ramps, voice-assisted devices, wireless technology upgrades, and so forth.” In closing, Passons stressed that the position of County Supervisor is “not a ceremonial one,” and that it is “too important” for voters to simply choose a “career politician” for the role. “Instead, it requires substantive knowledge and relevant experience about the many issues we face,” Passons continued. “I have negotiated multi-party settlements with multiple attorneys as a litigation attorney and have worked with local, state and federal officials, both in public health and as an attorney and community leader. I am a Democrat who has worked with all political persuasions to improve my community and to fight for what I believe in and I bring these skills to my candidacy as well.”
Continue the series:
These interviews are not all-inclusive, so I strongly advise readers to follow up with each candidate about any additional questions they might have. You can also learn more about Lori Saldaña and Omar Passons by visiting their websites, loriforsupervisor.com and omarpassons.com, respectively. Tune in next issue for the statements of two more candidates, Ken Malbrough and Marcia Nordstrom. —Bill Kelly is the author of Gay San Diego’s Senior Matters column. He is a longtime local activist who currently focuses on LGBT senior issues and moderates the Caring for our LGBT Seniors in San Diego Facebook page. Access to the group is free to all seniors, their advocates, families, friends and caregivers. Reach Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org
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GAY SAN DIEGO March 2-15, 2018
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CHAZ BONO (CA) Did you process this on your own? Did you talk to your mom? (CB) No, I didn’t process it on my own. And I couldn’t — I wasn’t out to my mom. My mom did not handle the coming out thing well, so no, trans wasn’t there yet and what I knew was, OK, clearly as a working actor I wouldn’t be able to go out for these parts. But this was the first time I really loved acting and it didn’t feel like a struggle. It was fun and joyous and “Wow.” Honestly, it didn’t really strike me until I started to realize I was transgender and looking back over my life for evidence, when I was in that fact-finding part of the journey of trying to figure it out. It’s a weird thing, because on the one hand I try to emphasize that being transgender doesn’t affect my acting at all, which it doesn’t — I’m just an actor who happens to be transgender — but what it did affect was that, unfortunately; I started doing what I love so late in life, because it happens to be a profession where you have to be comfortable and in the right body to do it. (CA) I imagine now you’re hustling for roles. (CB) Always hustling. (CA) What’s next for you acting-wise? Will we see you on this year’s season of “American Horror Story”?
(CB) I don’t know. I mean, yeah, I’ve got little projects and stuff that I’m working on, but that kind of stuff takes forever. I’m hoping to have a better pilot season than last year and, yeah, we’ll see. (CA) Are you interested in self-financing and self-directing? Have you collaborated on any projects with your mother? (CB) No, I haven’t collaborated with her. Yeah, that I would probably do. That would be so bizarre, but I think she’s very talented [laughs]. But I don’t have any interest in directing. I’m just not a very visual person, but I do have an interest in getting projects off the ground and producing. I produced a play out here — a Lee Blessing play called “Down the Road” — and I would probably do more. (CA) As GLAAD’s former entertainment media director, are you encouraged by the increase in trans representation in media? What do you see as far as trans representation goes? (CB) It’s really interesting because I facilitate a group once a month with a bunch of other people for an organization that I’m on the board of. It’s a big organization with lots of moving parts, but I facilitate a group for trans youth, and so we had a conversation recently and all these trans kids — basically middle school through college — were talking about representation. It was interesting to hear from them, because as an adult with a long life growing up in the ’80s where
there was — forget about no trans representation, there was no gay or lesbian representation — my feeling is, “Wow, we’ve come so far.” But, listen, these kids they were like, “God, why am I not seeing XY and Z? I’m not seeing this, and I’m not seeing that.” It was a really interesting perspective to see because, yeah, we’ve come a long way, but there’s still a long way to go. And the people who need to see themselves reflected in media really badly are not getting their needs met. The number of trans youth just seems to be growing vastly and they are not seeing themselves represented, and when they are, it’s the same story. It’s always about figuring it out and transitioning and they’re like, “I don’t want to see that anymore. I want to see a trans person in sci-fi. I want to see a trans person in fantasy. I want to see trans people represented in the kind of stuff that I like. I’m not seeing that.” (CA) Is that something you want to see as well? (CB) Honestly, it’s not something I think about that much. My life is so much about my acting career and so what I want is to just get more work [laughs], so it’s hard. And when I think about politics or that kind of stuff, there is, to me, just so many bigger fish to fry. It’s been so long for me since I needed to see myself reflected in anything, that you forget; so it was an interesting lesson, because I don’t need to see myself reflected. I don’t need to relate
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While Bono is GLAAD's former entertainment and media director, he's learning a lot from LGBT youth today. (Courtesy Team Cinematic Red) to a character because they’re trans. If I were to say all of the things that I am, trans is at the bottom of my list, so it doesn’t affect my life in any way. It’s just a thing. It’s not a part of my identity at all. (CA) Does the fact that last year we elected trans officials, such as Danica Roem of Virginia, excite you? (CB) Yeah, totally, that was amazing. That was awesome. That was a little bit more exciting, but I have to say I also get excited about any person that is a minority — that is the first person to get, in this climate, ahead. So, any people of color, people of Muslim faith, anybody
who is marginalized. Because at this point in my life, I see us all as the same thing. I really don’t differentiate. To me, I’ve evolved to the point where we’re all the same and I think if everybody could get there we’d be such a very large, strong majority. So, I was really excited by all the women who took office and there was a woman of color who got elected where that had never happened before, so all those milestones were exciting for me. —Chris Azzopardi is the editor of Q Syndicate, the international LGBT wire service. Reach him via his website at chris-azzopardi.com and on Twitter, @chrisazzopardi.t
Published on Mar 2, 2018