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Volume 9 Issue 6 March 16-29, 2018

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Candidate Malbrough speaks, Nordstrom drops out



Dockless bikes in Hillcrest


By William E. Kelly Editor’s Note: This is the second in a three-part series. Read the first in the series online at

Liz Carmouche, a 125-pound bantamweight women's MMA fighter, is ranked No. 6 in the world. (Courtesy of 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu)

First openly lesbian fighter makes her way to the top of MMA rankings Former Christian rocker comes out

Albert H. Fulcher | Editor In 2010, when Liz Carmouche decided she wanted to compete in the MMA (mixed martial arts) professionally, she did so with a “head on” approach. She was


told it would take a year or more of training before she ever saw the ring. But the veteran Marine Corps aviation electrician beat the odds, getting her first chance to fight professionally within four months of starting her training.

Now after 11 wins and six losses, Carmouche is currently the No. 6 ranked 125-pound bantamweight women’s MMA fighter in the world.

see MMA, pg 11

Homelessness in the LGBTQ community

Mayor brings interfaith discussion to LGBT–affirming congregations Albert H. Fulcher | Editor

OnStage Playhouse's "Spike Heels"



Magic with cast iron

Index 6

Opinion Classifieds






Contact us

The Interfaith Shelter Network (ISN) has been an effective program for the homeless throughout San Diego County, so far helping 8,000 homeless individuals gain access to resources and services to get their lives back on track. San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer joined the (ISN) in asking LGBT-friendly congregations to join the network and open their doors to homeless individuals at the ISN Summit on March 5 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral. “We know there are a number of LGBTQ individuals experiencing homelessness and they need our help. That’s why we are asking LGBTQ-friendly congregations, who understand their needs, to join our care network and provide a temporary place for them to begin turning their lives around,” said Faulconer in a press release.

Candidate Ken Malbrough

(l to r) ISN Summit panelists, The Very Rev. Penny Bridges, Trisha Brereton, Fernando Lopez, Gary Owen, and Jonathan Herrera (Photo by Albert H. Fulcher) The ISN Summit discussion panel consisted of The Very Rev. Penny Bridges, dean, St. Paul’s Cathedral; Trisha Brereton, ISN executive director; Fernando Lopez, San Diego LGBT Pride executive director; Gary Owen, ISN volunteer; and Jonathan Herrera, senior advisor on homelessness coordination for the city of San Diego. “You all represent the fabric of our city for wanting to do the right thing and helping people get back on their feet,” Faulconer said when

addressing the summit. “This is a network that works and with your help and participation, I think you will see the benefits in so many ways. That is why I am optimistic about our opportunities to begin making a real difference.” Faulconer said that combatting homelessness is about creating that safe space for those in need, regardless of someone’s race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age or disabilities.

see ISN, pg 15

see Candidates, pg 5

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● Opening statement “The county has $2 billion in reserve tax dollars just floating in a cloud of unknown use by county supervisors,” Malbrough said. He said he pledges to “seek community input” on how these reserve tax dollars can best be utilized and would like to see them invested in “chronically neglected or underfunded areas,” such as housing and public safety in underserved communities. “My priority is reducing our homelessness epidemic and addressing this issue region-wide,” he said. “Providing access to health and human services is the primary and more affordable method to avoid the pathway to homelessness and incarceration.”

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On June 5, San Diego County will hold primary elections for the following seats: county board of supervisors; county assessor/ recorder/county clerk; county treasurer/tax collector; district attorney; county sheriff; county board of education members; community college district members; and superior court judges. In the first of this series, I spoke to Omar Passons and Lori Saldana, two of the six candidates I interviewed who wish to represent District 4 on the San Diego County board of supervisors. Each candidate I spoke to agreed to focus on the challenges facing seniors, and was offered the opportunity to state their priorities, objectives, goals and plans to address and achieve those priorities, as well as share their experience and qualifications. Following are the highlights of responses by candidates Ken Malbrough and Marcia Nordstrom.

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GAY SAN DIEGO March 16-29, 2018

Dockless bikes hit Hillcrest Competition between companies have bikes lining sidewalks Sara Butler | Contributing Editor Walking around the Hillcrest neighborhood lately, it’s hard not to spot them scattered on the sidewalks. No, the spectacle isn’t hipsters — but bright green and yellow bikes. In the last month, dockless bikes have appeared all around San Diego, with a high concentration located in the Hillcrest, North Park, Uptown and Downtown areas. Two companies behind these bikes — LimeBike and ofo — both launched in the city of San Diego on Feb. 15. LimeBike, based in Silicon Valley, has been around since June 2017, while ofo, a Chinese company, very founded in 2014. Both have every similar business models — simply put, pick up a bike and pedal away. Once a resident locates a dockless bike in their immediate area, he or she scans the bike’s QR code using a Smartphone app to unlock the back tire and start their trip. The bikes can be left wherever the rider finishes their route. Bikes do not need to be dropped off at a docking station, which is a primary difference from DiscoverBikes (formerly DecoBikes), a docking bike-share system which the city has had a partnership with since 2015.

This dockless model has raised a few concerns among residents, such as Trisha Kuhlmye, manager of the Liquid Eden Holistic Center located on the corner of Adams Avenue and 32nd Street. Though the bikes haven’t caused an issue for her business, she notices that they are often left out in the middle the sidewalk and pedestrian routes, including outside her store. According to LimeBike and ofo’s websites, dockless bikes are permitted on bicycle racks, curbsides away from buildings and next to bus stops. Parked bikes cannot block pedestrian paths, driveways and bus stops, and cannot be placed on street corners or left overturned on the ground. Each bike is equipped with a GPS device, allowing tracking throughout the city. Both companies have a 24-hour operations team that monitor, move and provide maintenance as needed. Though the companies encourage riders to wear protective headgear, currently helmets are not offered with each bike. Signing up for the mobile app only requires a phone number, email address and credit/debit card. No age or legal waiver is requested on the app; however, rider age requirements (age 13 for

Hillcrest sidewalks are lined with dockless bikes, these ofo bikes are sitting on the corner of Fourth and University Avenues. (Photo by Albert H. Fulcher) LimeBike and age 16 for ofo) are listed in online user agreements. Both companies offer safety information and tips on their websites. As for costs, 30-minute rides are $1 on both systems. However, throughout the month of March, ofo is offering free rides to all residents. According to Anna Wan Christie, general manager of ofo San Diego, this promotion is intended to familiarize the neighborhoods with the newly launched system.



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“We want everyone to experience the benefits of ofo’s dockless bikesharing,” Christie said. “By offering free rides, we’re making it easier for users to become familiar with this new dockless model and learn how it can be a valuable part of their city’s transportation ecosystem.” LimeBike is also hoping to integrate into the San Diego’s existing transportation system by dropping batches of bikes near public transit stops. “Our bikes are distributed throughout the Uptown neighborhoods,” said Zach Bartlett, LimeBike San Diego general manager. “We place bikes at locations in close proximity to transit routes so riders can easily find and ride our bikes. Bikes often end up back in these areas due to ridership to these neighborhoods and businesses.” High volumes of bikes are abundant on major streets, such as Adams Avenue, University Avenue and El Cajon Boulevard. Tyler Harry, a Normal Heights resident, has noticed bikes in many of his nearby neighborhoods, including Kensington and Hillcrest. “They seem really great. I’ve got a bike myself so I haven’t picked one up, but I guess for people who are visiting they seem pretty handy,” Harry said. “I hope it lasts and I hope people are responsible with the way that they use the system.” Kensington resident Paul Jamason — who often uses LimeBike and ofo — thinks these bikes are an inexpensive alternative to driving, as well as help mitigate theft, provide transportation equity, and offer day-to-day convenience. “Dockless bikes are the solution to the ‘last-mile’

problem of public transit,” Jamason said. “I recently rode one from the SR-15 rapid bus stop on El Cajon Blvd. to my house, which saved me a 15-minute walk. And I use them to run errands around my neighborhood.” The “first-mile and lastmile” problem refers to issues that residents may face reaching public transportation, who often have to travel a mile to and from a bus, trolley or other transit stop. Though the dockless bike phenomenon has only been present in Uptown for less than a month, Harry — who recently moved to the community from North Carolina — noted that he also saw something similar implemented on the East Coast. LimeBike and ofo are present throughout many cities, states and countries. LimeBikes are in 45 markets in the U.S. and three in Europe; ofo are in 250 cities across 21 countries. Additionally, dockless bikes have been a part of the Imperial Beach (IB) community since September 2017. IB signed a six-month trial period with LimeBike, which resulted in over 18,000 trips and more than 7,000 riders. According to Imperial Beach City Councilmember Mark West, the beach community embraced the new system of transportation. Though the initial need was to address a tourist concern, he noted that most of the current riders are residents, including middle- and high- schoolers commuting to school, as well as those who rely on public transportation. Andy Hanshaw, San Diego Bike Coalition Executive Director, pointed out that the bikes contribute to the city’s Climate Action Plan, which lists a 6 percent ridership goal by 2020. He notes that the GPS tracking system measures road-share, which will benefit future city planning for bikers. “[This program] will help determine where we need bike lanes … [the data] tells us where people are actually riding bikes and where we need safe infrastructure,” Hanshaw said. Though LimeBike and ofo both received city permits to operate, many community planning groups were not consulted prior to the roll out of the bikes. “While we were able to engage some groups in town before launching, we’re excited to continue building relationships with the community as a valuable partner in helping to reduce carbon emissions, easing traffic congestion, and promoting healthier living,” Christie said.


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see Bikes, pg 8


GAY SAN DIEGO March 16-29, 2018

Fostering tugs on emotions, but ‘it’s worth it’


By Jennifer Coburn Angels Foster Family Network’s mission is to eventually get its foster children back with their biological family. Angels’ foster parents are inclusive with the network being made up of single parents, same sex couples, retirees, dual professional couples, stay at home couples and military families. Foster parents in the Angels’ network come from all walks of life, regardless of political views, religious preferences and cultural backgrounds. Dedicated to ensuring infants and toddlers in foster care throughout San Diego County get the best start in life, this non-profit was founded in 1998 by Cathy Richmond, a volunteer with the San Diego County foster system. Richmond served for five years as a Court Appointed Special Advocate. Angels’ believes that infants and toddlers are better served when placed with one foster family until they can be reunited with their biological families. Foster parents are only given one child or sibling set at a time. Many of these children need special attention due to their biological family’s situation. Some infants are born with drug addiction, lack of interaction with adults, so foster parents are trained in trauma care. They get support through the Angels’ network and are actively involved with the biological family, regardless of their circumstances. When Jayme and Ashley Vella talk about how much Pete, their first Angels foster care placement loved bedtime stories, neither hesitated to recall his favorite. The toddler absolutely adores the titular canine from the David Shannon’s “Good Boy, Fergus!” picture book series. Jayme Vella smiled broadly as she recalled how Pete would sit on her lap and laugh when she asked about whether Fergus liked to be tickled. “He loves Fergus,” said Ashley, adding that Pete memorized every word of the books. This is a far cry from how Pete responded to stories


(l to r) Jayme Vella, Pete, and Ashley Vella. Pete is the first foster child the Vellas took into their homes until he was able to be placed with his biological family. (Courtesy of Angels Foster Family Network) when he first arrived at the Vella home when he was 15 months old. He walked around the room and seemed unable to sit still. Sometimes he’d bite. But the consistent love and care he received from Jayme, Ashley, and their son Jackson, helped shape him into the secure and well-adjusted 3-year-old he is today. Sitting in their spacious home in a new housing development in Fallbrook, Jayme remembers a time early in Pete’s stay when she picked up the toddler from preschool. “He saw me from across the playground, and shouted, ‘Mommy, you came back!’” she said. “It’s amazing to see a child go from being withdrawn and not knowing you, to complete trust.” That trust was built through establishing a consistent routine and safety net. “We told him he can yell and scream, and we’re going to still be here and keep loving him,” Ashley explained. Soon the toddler began to feel safe and secure. This isn’t to say things were easy. 7-year-old Jackson was elated to hear that he was going to be a big brother, but the realities of going from only-child status to sibling had its challenges. The couple dealt with this by carving out one-on-one time with each child, in addition to their family activities like hiking,

camping, soccer and baseball. And, of course, Pete’s initial crying and pushing felt like a rejection of Jackson. Soon, however, the two formed a solid brotherhood. Jayme said Jackson learned a great deal from the experience — including putting away his dishes because he saw little Pete doing it. “Fostering can be so beneficial for your own kids,” Jayme said. Pete was recently reunified with his biological family, which was hard on everyone in the Vella family. “People think it might be hard to bond with a child who’s not yours, but that’s easy because they really need you,” Jayme said. Saying goodbye was tough, but the family knows that their time with Pete will play a big role in the child’s emotional development. Plus, they still have regular visits with him and plan to stay connected throughout his life, as many Angels families are able to do after reunification. “It’s hard, but in the end, it’s worth it,” Ashley said. “There are a lot of laughs and a lot of cries.” For more information on getting involved with Angels Foster Family Network go to

The San Diego LGBT Community Center’s Board of Directors selected Caroline (Cara) Dessert as its next chief executive officer. Since 2016, Dessert served as The Center’s chief development and community engagement officer. A queer Latina, Dessert is an attorney and nonprofit executive with 15 years in social justice leadership. “We are thrilled to name Cara Dessert as our next chief executive officer,” said Joyce Rowland, co-chair of The Center’s Board of Directors and chair of the executive search committee. “The board also wants to convey our thanks to all the community members who participated in the search process and provided direct input into the qualities they want to see in our next chief executive officer,” she

continued. “After a rigorous, inclusive and thorough national search process, the board is confident that Cara is the right person to lead The Center through this next chapter of our organization’s incredible History.”


(KENTUCKY) The Lexington Herald Leader reported that the University of Kentucky (UK) received five out of five starts for its sense of overall inclusiveness, making it one of only 25 schools nationwide to get a top rating. Campus Pride Index, a national tool that assesses programs and policies for LGBTQ students and employees in higher education, completed the ranking. This index included more than 235 colleges and universities. UK received this top national ranking for its commitments, policies, and programs that protect gay, lesbian, and transgender students from discrimination. UK is the only school in the Southeastern Conference to receive a five-star ranking. For more information, visit

see News Briefs, pg 4

—Jennifer Coburn can be reached at

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March 30-April 1, 2018

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Lady Bunny

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Epiphany Get Paid David Hernandez Internaaonal Drag Superstar American Idol Finalist

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Sexton Jeremiah Clark Aurora Female Illusionist

Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus


GAY SAN DIEGO March 16-29, 2018


The ‘Adam Rippon effect’ Life Beyond Therapy Michael Kimmel I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how the media and most of America have embraced openly — no, defiantly — gay figure skater Adam Rippon. He’s a smart, funny, handsome, proud gay man who embraces his inner “bitch” [his words] and isn’t afraid to tell it. Watching him on shows like “Ellen” and “The View,” he pulls no punches. He is who he is — his gestures, voice and body language are uniquely his own. He’s not trying to butch it up or make himself more accessible to the folks in small-town Ohio [where I’m from]. I talked to some straight, male family members from Ohio, who normally wouldn’t find figure skating to be their cup of tea. Surprisingly, they liked Rippon, finding him, “real,” “honest” and “being himself, no matter what other people think.” I wasn’t yet convinced that straight men would embrace him, so I tried one more group; my straight male friends. Comments from this group were more ambivalent, but, still, Adam won out. “He’s awfully feminine, with all his sequins and stuff, but the guy is funny as hell and doesn’t give a shit what anyone thinks. I like that” and “He’s not someone I’d want to hang out with, but I like his ‘take no prisoners’ attitude. I hope I would be like that if I were gay.” Wow! The “Adam Rippon effect” is real, at least, in my experiment. This raised some questions in my mind.

What does this mean for gay men/ queer people? Is his “take no prisoners” attitude actually pretty butch? Is he a “real man” because he doesn’t worry about what other people think? Adam Rippon appears to have learned from some pretty fierce drag queens in taking their strength and “don’t mess with me” attitude as his own. It doesn’t hurt that he’s handsome and has an amazing body, but so do many other Olympians. What sets him apart is his personality, energy and verbal wit. When NBC wants you to be an Olympic announcer as soon as your event is over, you know you’ve tapped a major nerve in the American TV-watching public. In a recent interview with The Washington Post, Rippon said he did not want to just be an example to gay people, but to everyone. “I think one thing I want people to come away [with] from this competition is that I’m not like a gay icon and I’m not America’s gay sweetheart,” Rippon said. “I’m America’s sweetheart and I’m an icon.” There he goes again. Attacking heteronormativity with his own unique brand of Adam-ness. It’s the Adam Rippon effect in full-force, and he acknowledges his less-than-beautiful side too. “I feel so much stronger since coming out ... now I’m the fully actualized monster I’m supposed to be.” He also called himself, “a hot mess” in one of his TV interviews. Rippon described his coming-out as an act of empowerment. “I think you spend so much time worrying about what other people

think about, that you realize that you had all of this extra energy that you didn’t need to be using,” he said. “And, you know, I think straight people never have this experience of coming out. And it’s such a life-changing moment that you become so strong. I gained so much power and strength from that moment.” The recent Olympics are already fading into the past, but, as one media outlet put it, “Adam Rippon is the gift that keeps on giving.” At the Oscars, he did not disappoint. In addition to his tuxedo, he wore a leather harness, making him an honorary “sweetheart” in the leather community. Before the Olympics, I thought that hunky, ultra-masculine skier Gus Kenworthy would be the breakout gay media star. He’s so much easier for mainstream America to love. Heck, he even had his own Head & Shoulders shampoo commercial. But, no … it’s androgynous, snappy-comeback Adam who everyone’s talking about. As I ponder the long-term effects of the phenomenon that is Adam Rippon, I wonder: Will he encourage all us queer people to be more ourselves and less fearful of offending straight society? Will he lift the rest of the LGBT community with him? Is the Adam Rippon effect lasting, or just a temporary thing? Stay tuned … —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




The Imperial Court de San Diego is sponsoring its 16th annual Children’s East Egg Hunt. This event includes an egg hunt, baskets for each child and a bike raffle with plenty of activities for the kids. The Imperial Court is asking for community support to fill the wish list of 6,000 toy-filled Easter baskets, 7,000 plastic eggs, 21,000 jelly beans, 25 cases of snack-sized juices for the kids, seven cases of water, a popcorn and cotton candy machine, and canopies. To donate, contact Mark Newsom at 619-655-5587 or Barbie Z at 619-822-9343. Sunday, April 1 from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Trolley Barn Park, corner of Florida Street and Adams Avenue. For more information, visit

see News Briefs, pg 9

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GAY SAN DIEGO March 16-29, 2018


CANDIDATES Malbrough said the lack of affordable housing for low- and middle-income families in the workforce, the homeless, the disabled, seniors, as well as veterans, also needs to be expanded. “But first we must convince our citizens that this is a challenge and opportunity to better the lives of human beings, not just an issue that presents a bad optic for the region,” he said. “I would identify the population and predicted growth of homelessness in the region, convene stakeholders to determine roles, responsibilities and funding sources for a county-wide plan to address these goals.” ● Malbrough’s supervisor qualifications Malbrough has served as a Deputy Fire Chief, something he feels makes him uniquely qualified to be a county supervisor. “No other candidate has the relevant applicable leadership experience I have leading an organization with such a large number of personnel and a budget in the hundreds of millions,” he said. “Heading up any large state or city agency, including a fire or police department with the many labor, political, fiscal and bureaucratic challenges provides the actual, practical and directly relevant experience I have had for 31 years at every level.”

Candidate for County Supervisor representing District 4, Ken Malbrough (Photo by Kendra Malbrough)

He included his 12 years of engaging the community while serving on various planning groups, working with developers, elected officials and other area leaders, often with opposing views of his own. “I will not have to learn on the job,” he said. “I will not be taken by surprise by any unexpected disasters, fires or outbreaks and epidemics. As a Deputy Fire Chief and community leader, I have worked in virtually every part of the county that I propose to lead as county supervisor.” ● Malbrough’s thoughts on access “Citizens need good access to health and human services,” he said. “It is the primary and more affordable method to avoid the pathway to homelessness and incarceration.” Malbrough stressed that the county must “lead the way” in

providing the wraparound assistance to health services. “I would push the board to approve financing to update its website with state-of-the art, user-friendly technology to work with mobile and desktop applications; increase staffing and training and provide outreach to the community to inform them of the services HHS provides. This includes utilization of social media tools, like Facebook and others.” Malbrough said his plans would also include neighborhood cleanups conducted with an “aggressive environmental health mobilization” and “community benefit agreements” which would address the areas impacted by the homeless population. He also stated there should be a phased timeline on these efforts that is strictly enforced, with community updates and progress reports provided by his own staff.

With regard to the housing crisis, Malbrough believes that having more housing “stock” in the San Diego region would be the “best way to reduce and stabilize” increasing housing costs. “This can be accomplished by identifying vacant land owned by the County of San Diego; updating all current county community plans and applicable zoning with community input; consider the funding of programmatic environmental impact reviews — a huge developer cost and construction delay issue; synchronizing agency development services and department procedures region-wide; identifying commercial and private lending sources willing to provide reasonable financing in underserved communities for development; and ending the current practice of allowing developers to opt out of providing affordable housing by simply paying a fee.” You can follow Ken Malbrough’s campaign at

Candidate Marcia Nordstrom

In an exclusive interview with Pacific Beach resident Marcia Nordstrom, a graduate of University of Southern California and a mother of two, said she was raised in a “working class family” — her father an engineer and her mother a “stay at home” mom — and was pleased to share that she was “not a career politician, bureaucrat or attorney.” A successful businesswoman and real estate professional, Nordstrom and her family


have owned and operated P.B. Bar & Grill for 20 years. She is the founder of the Pacific Beach Business Improvement District, has served on many area boards and been involved in various volunteer projects, specifically those that focus on quality-of-life issues. Nordstrom took a great deal of time to sit down and share her views regarding the challenges that face seniors, but as of Sunday, March 4, she alerted me via email that she had decided not to file the required documents for her candidacy in advance of the March 9 deadline. “After a lot of thought and discussions with my staff and family, I will not be continuing my run for San Diego County Supervisor,” Nordstrom wrote. When asked for more explanation, Nordstrom offered no further comment. I strongly advise readers follow up with each candidate with your own questions. Be reminded that the last in this series will address the views of candidates Bonnie Dumanis and Nathan Fletcher in the March 30 issue, followed by my personal choice of the best candidate and my reasons why in the April 27 issue. —Bill Kelly is a longtime local activist who currently focuses on LGBT senior issues and moderates the Caring for our LGBT Seniors in San Diego Facebook page. Access to the group is free to all seniors, their advocates, families, friends and caregivers. Reach Bill at

events @TheCenTer Wed, March 21

Thurs, March 22 & April 12

Lunch & Learn:

Sexuality in Later Life: From Barriers to Barrier Methods 12-1 pm, The Center

Young Women’s Circle 7-8:30 pm, The Center

Sex requires creativity, no matter your age or limitations. Join us for a discussion on the joys and strategies behind sex and aging, where we will explore how to accommodate for changing bodies, abilities and libidos. Facilitated by sex shop veteran turned public health consultant Sarah Kellman. For more information and/or to rSVP, please contact Larue Fields at 619.692.2077 x205 or

Aimed at LGBTQ+ women ages 18-30’s, this group hopes to provide a safe, open space for building community in San Diego. Gatherings are held at The Center on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month, and off-site on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays. For the most up to date information on off-site meetings, please visit us at: www.facebook. com/SDLGBTYoungWomen/, or reach out to the moderators at: or

Wed, March 21

Thurs, March 22

Bi Coming Out Group 7-8:30 pm, The Center Join The Center’s discussion group on bisexuality on the third Wednesday of every month. It’s a welcoming space to share your experiences, ask questions, discuss community issues and meet like-minded people. This group is open to all persons who are sexually and/or emotionally attracted to more than one gender. For more information, contact Aaron heier at The San Diego LGBT Community Center 3909 Centre Street • 619-692-2077 Twitter: @LGBTCenter

Kente rising, African American Women’s hIV Support Group 7-8:30 pm, The Center A new group for African American women living with HIV or AIDS will start on Thursday, March 22. The 8 week group is for African American women who are living with HIV or AIDS, would like to have a space to come and share life experiences (positive and negative), would love the support from sistahs that can be understand living with HIV/AIDS, and would like to learn more about HIV and other STDs. This is a closed group. To join, please contact Denice Williams, MSW, ASW at 619-692-2077 x 105.



GAY SAN DIEGO March 16-29, 2018

Letters Response to Peters’ analysis

[Ref: “Claims against Peters unfounded,” Vol. 9, Issue 5, or online at bit. ly/2FvLkCc]

Guest Editorial

No matter what phase, transgender people are still transgender By Dr. Sherman Leis In recent news stories about transgender people, the phase in their transitioning process seems to be an important focus of the story and in the cultural or legal reaction in that story. According to Dr. Sherman Leis, pioneer in transgender surgery, one important distinction may not be communicated well, leading to disingenuous conclusions or reactions. Generally, people like to categorize and list steps in a process to make things understandable. Although there might be a transitioning process with steps, people need to understand that regardless of where a transgender individual is in that process, it doesn’t make them any less of a transgender person and our culture and our laws should treat them as such. Here are five stages that transgender people may go through during their transition. Many don’t complete them all, for a variety of personal, emotional, cultural and economic reasons. 1. Identifying as transgender — Realizing that one is transgender is the first step on a journey of self-discovery and self-exploration. In many ways, this discovery is similar to every human’s sexual discovery. Although born with gender and sexuality, it only becomes apparent at some point. It is also important to note that gender identity and sexual identity are two different things. Transgender people can be gay, bisexual, lesbian, or straight. 2. Presenting as transgender — After identifying, transgender individuals often start to present themselves in the gender that matches their identity. This can be EDITOR Albert H. Fulcher (619) 961-1960 CONTRIBUTING EDITORS (619) 519-7775 Sara Butler, x118 Jeff Clemetson, x119 Morgan M. Hurley CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Chris Azzopardi Jennifer Coburn William E. Kelly Michael Kimmel Jean Lowerison Nicole Murray Ramirez Frank Sabatini Jr. WEB AND SOCIAL MEDIA Sara Butler, x118

done privately first, then publicly, even if only for a few hours at a time. Presenting also can include a new name and new pronouns, as well as experimenting with clothing, hair, makeup and more. Everyone presents themselves at a different rate. Some people are comfortable going public right away, while for others it may take decade. 3. Legal transition — Another stage in presenting includes transitioning one’s legal status. Each state has different requirements regarding changes to one’s birth certificate and driver’s license. Changing a birth certificate is the most difficult of the two, and can require proof of surgery. Legally changing your name also varies from state to state, but it’s usually an easier part of the legal transition. Consulting a local attorney may produce results more quickly. 4. Early transitioning — This can include hormone therapy and limited surgery. Hormonal therapy is an important early step in the process of transitioning to their true gender identity. Hormonal therapy is usually required for at least a year before gender reassignment surgery, described in the next stage. Evaluation and recommendation by two or more mental health specialists is also an important requirement. Early transitioning can also include having facial feminization/masculinization, breast/chest reduction or augmentation, buttock surgery and more. 5. Gender confirmation surgery — There are many surgical options to consider during transitioning. Some are discussed in the previous early transitioning stage. Bottom surgery or genital reassignment or confirmation surgery is often one of the later steps people take. COPY EDITOR Dustin Lothspeich

SALES & MARKETING DIRECTOR Mike Rosensteel (619) 961-1958 ADVERTISING CONSULTANTS (619) 519-7775 Heather Fine, x107 Sloan Gomez, x104 Brenda Vergara, x110 SALES INTERN Erik Guerrero EDITORIAL INTERN Cassidy Klein

ACCOUNTING Priscilla Umel-Martinez (619) 961-1962 WEB DESIGN Kim Espinoza

DISTRIBUTION Gay San Diego is distributed free every other Friday of the month. © 2018. All rights reserved. PUBLISHER David Mannis (619) 961-1951

Genital confirmation surgery helps create total harmony for the transgender person. Proof of this is how the instance of depression and the suicide rate for transgender people drops dramatically after facial, top and bottom surgery. It’s also important to remember that not everyone who is transgender actually transitions by completing all five of these phases. However, these people are still transgender and deserve respect, as well as full protection and benefits under the law.

About the Philadelphia Center for Transgender Surgery

Dr. Sherman Leis is a pioneer in transgender surgery. He is one of the world’s preeminent transgender surgeons and founder of The Philadelphia Center for Transgender Surgery, located in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania. It is recognized as one of the leading facilities in the world specializing in gender reassignment surgery — facial, chest and bottom surgery. The Center was founded to be a single source of information and expertise in medical care for the transgender community and offers a uniquely supportive environment, where one can connect with Dr. Leis’ surgical and non-surgical team of dedicated specialists — surgeons, psychologists, endocrinologists, aestheticians, speech therapists, legal experts, and others. The Philadelphia Center for Transgender Surgery is located in suburban Philadelphia at 19 Montgomery Ave., Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004. Phone: 610-667-1888. Follow Dr. Leis on YouTube /drshermanleis; Facebook /transdoctor; LinkedIn /drshermanleis t

At some point, we as a community are going to have to separate our thoughts and feelings towards the leadership at AHF [AIDS Healthcare Foundation], and our thoughts and feelings towards the very real, life-saving services that AHF provides. We must also hold fire to the feet of our allies — Congressman Scott Peters included. When I received the social media invitation to the protest, I wanted to learn the reasons why AHF was organizing the protest, but also why a Democratic congressman was supporting a moratorium on a program that has helped so many. Finding information on AHF’s Michael Weinstein was not difficult. He is not a wellliked man by many within the LGBT and HIV community. Some of what I read about him was disturbing. But I also read about the vital programs and services AHF provides around the nation and around the world. I also question the reasons the congress member is working with the GOP to co-sponsor a moratorium for the 340B program. Programs such as 340B provide life-saving and life-sustaining services. There is no doubt that the program works. But like many programs, some will find ways to make it work for their gain. In this case, Congressman Scott Peters is also questionably making the moratorium work for his gain by accepting large donations from the “Big Pharma.” These are the same companies that will gain massive profits from both ending or pausing the program. I would encourage everyone to look a little deeper and look at the ramifications that will come as a result of pausing the program. For starters, it is important to remove ourselves from the context which is the California bubble. In communities and cities throughout California, the moratorium will have little impact.

see Letters, pg 7

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

SUBMISSIONS/NEWS TIPS Press releases and story ideas are welcomed. Send press releases, tips, photos or story ideas to For breaking news and investigative story ideas contact the editor by phone or email. Copyright © 2018 San Diego Community News Network

Gay San Diego 123 Camino de la Reina, Suite 202 East San Diego, CA 92108 (619) 519-7775 Twitter @GaySD FROM PAGE 6

LETTERS But when you consider that the South is home to 21 of the 25 metropolitan areas with the highest HIV infection rates in the nation, a different picture begins to emerge. The South also leads the nation for people living with HIV who are unaware they are infected. And over half of the nation’s HIV/AIDS-related deaths occur in the South, and half of all new infections are coming from Southern states. Take Jackson, located in Mississippi — the poorest state in the nation. There, more than 40 percent of self-identified gay or bisexual men are infected with HIV. And adding insult to injury, the Mississippi Health Department now charges for HIV testing. When we look at Louisiana, there is one HIV clinic per 640 miles. Think about what that would mean to those in your life who are HIV-positive. By the way – 640 miles is just shy of the entire length of California. The picture that is painted and the facts and numbers that paint it are staggering to think about. They are also disturbing. There is no reason why people today should not have access to care. But that is the reality for hundreds of communities across the South, communities that will feel the impacts of the 340B bill that Congressman Scott Peters is co-sponsoring with his GOP cronies. In many communities across the South, HIV clinics are just now starting to open. But it is not just the South that will be affected. In Austin, Indiana, which just recently was called ground zero for what the CDC determined was an HIV outbreak in the rural Midwest. A new HIV clinic opened and operates twice a week. In Scott County, near the Kentucky border, 71 new HIV cases were linked to injection drug use. We know that individuals with HIV can live healthy and normal lives when in care. We know that newly infected people who are put on medication quickly will achieve undetectable levels almost immediately. We know that they will live longer lives than those who didn’t go on medication soon after infection. Under Congressman Scott Peter’s 340B proposed moratorium, new clinics in the areas that need them the most will have to wait at least two years to access 340B. Individuals there will have much greater difficulty accessing the very medications and care that can be the difference between life or death. As a gay man, with many friends and loved ones who are living with and a few who have died, I find it vile, repulsive, and insulting that Congressman Scott Peters isn’t thinking about the lives that will be affected, and instead he is only thinking about numbers. He should be fighting to fix and expand the program — not putting the program on moratorium. Now don’t get me wrong, the program has its flaws, and those flaws need to be addressed. But Congressman Peters should

OPINION / COMMUNITY VOICES stand up and fight for the program in light of President Trump’s threats to dismantle it. He shouldn’t be co-sponsoring a bill with the GOP to pause the program, he should be leading the charge to protect vulnerable communities that depend on the access to the program. There is no reason why a fix should come at the expense of rural Midwest and Southern communities and individuals – some who will have to drive 640 miles for medication and services. His support of this bill is shameful. Congressman Scott Peters was elected to fight for Californians, not for Big Pharma. He needs to step up and work towards expanding services and care, not limiting or restricting services by adding costly reporting or worse – limiting the expansion of services – where they are needed the most. —Eddie Reynoso, via email

Morgan M. Hurley’s departure

[Ref: It’s just so long … not goodbye,” Vol. 9, Issue 5, or online at] You’ll be missed dearly! It’s been an honor for you to be my editor in some capacity since 2009! —Benny Cartwright, via Well then, so long Morgan until we meet again. You have done a great job at the helm. It is a pleasure to know you and work with you in the community. Best regards in whatever you do next. David and Luke. —Luke Terpstra, via

Morgan, thanks so much for being a fierce defender of our community, for highlighting the fun, the inspirational and the deeply moving events and people. We will miss your wit, intelligence and charm on the pages of our favorite paper! Welcome too, Albert… you have some big shoes to fill, lucky for you! —Elizabeth Hannon, via Such the eulogy! What a martyr for having “experienced the negative side of our community.” How many years later, she’ll still be defending herself for printing the “sero-sorting” op-ed. Thank the gods she was there to revive “a then-dormant dialogue,” (never to be ‘dialogued’ again.) So very cool the new editor has been found “in house” and has already been “trained.” Expecting the best! With all the thanks Ms. Morgan deserves. —Kevin, via Congrats. Onward and upward. Love you, Morgan M. Hurley. Thanks for telling OUR stories. —Sue Hartma, via We are a better community thanks to your good work and stewardship of our printed voice. Thank you, Morgan. —Bob Lehman, via —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 albert@

GAY SAN DIEGO March 16-29, 2018


RuPaul’s hot water, Aztecs and Easter baskets Conversations with Nicole Nicole Murray Ramirez Drag queens are not trans

Once again San Diego native RuPaul has upset many in the trans community by what many feel is an insensitive remark. During an episode of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” she seemingly said that trans women who have had major surgery would most likely not be welcomed as contestants on her hit TV show. In the last decade, the trans community has become more visible and organized. But in reality, most people — including probably a majority of the gay community — could not give you a proper definition of what a trans person is. I come from the 1960s, when there were pre-operative and post-operative transsexual people. I lived five years as a pre-operative in Hollywood. Some decades ago, I was in Washington, D.C., organizing a march on Washington when some activists came to us and wanted us to add the “T” to the name of the march. It was the first time that we were told that the transgender community were transsexuals, drag queens, transvestites, cross-dressers, etc.

After five years together Brian Bazinet and Will Ritchie are now engaged. (Courtesy Nicole) I do not believe that drag queens or cross-dressers are really members of the trans community; drag queens are almost all gay men, who do not dress as the opposite sex 24 hours a day and do not identify themselves as being of the opposite sex. Most trans people identify as the opposite sex and live their truth. Trans people are fighting for their lives to be accepted and not discriminated against, as they have become targets of the extreme right wing.

see Nicole, pg 8

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GAY SAN DIEGO March 16-29, 2018






“There are simply a very staggering number of community groups in San Diego,” Bartlett said. “We also found out about our ability to launch fairly quickly. We were trying to reach out to community groups; we definitely still are. If you’re interested in having a conversation, we’re more than happy to come down and meet with each and every [group].” Some of these groups not consulted are now taking action. In fact, Christopher M. Gomez, district manager of the Little Italy Association (LIA), made a motion for the City of San Diego to cease and desist all dockless bike share in the entire city. “Obviously the LIA is concerned with the program … [it] could be an ADA liability or a safety hazard,” Gomez commented. “I expressed our concerns and how our district might be held liable for negligence of users. I also expressed our frustration with the lack of communication about the bikes/ scooters before our sidewalks were flooded with rogue units.” Though the LimeBikes and ofos are the most prevelant dockless bike brands in the Uptown arena, they aren’t the only two companies on the streets. Others — such as MoBike, JUMP, Spin, and Bird scooters— have also thrown their wheels into the ring. With only one month in, odds are the dockless bike craze will

I think our LGBT community needs to do a major educational campaign about our trans community, because most Americans are confused and lump trans people and cross-dressers together. I believe that the trans community issues are very serious and important, so when some trans leaders include drag queens under their “trans umbrella,” it confuses people. Now let me make this very clear: This is my opinion and there does seem to be many different definitions of the trans community. In my opinion, one of the biggest obstacles facing the trans community is that most people do not understand that it is not simply a lifestyle, but their authentic lives.

The Aztecs were great warriors and the mascot is always portrayed with great respect and honor. Now, some are trying to do away with the mascot, which has been an SDSU tradition for decades ... Go Aztecs!

I love the SDSU Aztec mascot!

Children’s Easter baskets needed

Dockless bikes from LimeBike and ofo are common in Hillcrest neighborhoods, with these parked next to Urban Mo’s during the lunch hour. (Photo by Albert H. Fulcher) continue to gain momentum in the neighborhoods — and likely raise curious eyebrows of residents, business owners and tourists in the neighborhood. [Editor’s note: We will be providing ongoing coverage of dockless bikes and their impact on different Uptown neighborhoods, and would love to hear more input from residents, business owners, members of community planning groups and others. If you are interested in sharing your thoughts or experiences on the topic, please email] —Sara Butler is the editor of San Diego Uptown News.t

I have never understood all the ongoing controversy over the San Diego State University mascot, the “Aztec warrior.” As a full-blooded Mexican-American, I have always felt it was an honor and a tribute to the great Aztec Empire. The mascot is always a handsomely built young man with a fabulous Aztec warrior costume and it’s very genuine and beautiful.

Kids enjoy last year’s Easter hunt, courtesy of the Imperial Court de San Diego. (Courtesy Imperial Court)

For over a decade, the San Diego LGBT community has hosted an annual Easter Egg Hunt at Trolley Barn Park ... the first year, about 40 children showed upon Easter Sunday ... last year, almost 500! So we need either lots of Easter baskets for this year’s event, which will be held on April 1, or for you to make a much-needed contribution. For further info, contact Michael Lochner at 619-972-6369.

—Nicole Murray Ramirez has been writing a column since 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@ 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 16-29, 2018



(GEORGIA) Georgia Voice reported that a state law in Georgia attacked LGBTQ couples who want to adopt with an anti-LGBTQ adoption bill (SB375) to turn away any parents the agencies do not approve based on religious beliefs. It was passed by the Georgia State Senate on Feb. 20. This bill is part of a wide-reaching plan by religious conservatives, backed by President Donald Trump and his administration. The Georgia Voice stated that the goal is to turn same-sex marriage into second-class marriage, reportedly with a long-term goal of overturning federal marriage rights for gays and lesbians entirely. Texas, Michigan, North Dakota, Virginia and Alabama have passed similar laws. For more information, visit


(VERMONT) With a career researching comparative data between Latin American countries and the United States, political science professor, University of Vermont Caroline Beer’s latest study shows Mexico more progressive than the U.S. with LGBTQ rights, especially in the recognition of same-sex relationships. The study measured the effects of LGBTQ organizations, left-leaning governors on LGBT rights and religions in both countries in a study in the journal State Politics and Policy Quarterly. Beer’s analysis was based on national and state-level LGBT legislative activity in the U.S. and Mexico from 2000 to 2014. Data came from the International Lesbian, Gay Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex Association to measure the impact of LGBT organizations on legislations and census figures in both countries to capture the levels of religiosity by state. “Given that LGBT social movements are strong in the U.S., Mexicans are more religious, and conservative religious party has governed Mexico for the better half of two decades, we would expect to find far greater legal equality for LGBT people in the US,” said Beer. “In fact, like a lot of misconceptions about Mexico, that is not the case. Mexico is often perceived as a backwater country that follows the lead of the U.S., but in reality, is very forward-thinking with progressive ideas.” Beer said historically, her latest finding should be no surprise as Mexico overturned anti-sodomy laws criminalizing gay sex in 1871, more than 100 years before the U.S. Mexico passed a national anti-discrimination law making it illegal to discriminate against sexual minorities adding an explicit protection for sexual minorities in its constitution and creating an anti-discrimination agency that launched a national anti-homophobia campaign. For more information, visit

see News Briefs, pg 23



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GAY SAN DIEGO March 16-29, 2018

Trey Pearson finds community through queer-affirming music Singer-songwriter moves on from Christian-rock roots and discovers ‘silver horizon’ in pop music Twitter. I think there’s a great honor in having these people share their stories back to me, but also, we need to tell our stories, because there’s so much power in them. I’ve experienced that.

Chris Azzopardi | Q Syndicate Trey Pearson is living the out gay life he never thought he could. After 20 years as front man of Christian rock band Everyday Sunday, Pearson, who was married for seven of those years to Lauren, with whom he has two children, came out in May 2016. Publicly revealing his sexuality led organizers of Joshua Fest, an annual Christian music festival in Northern California, to nix him from the lineup after staff members kicked up a fuss about his scheduled appearance. Inspired to share his story, Pearson switched gears, cutting a seven-song, pop-oriented EP called “Love Is Love,” which was released in November 2017. Led by first single “Silver Horizon,” the album taps into the range of emotions the 37-year-old Columbus, Ohio, native harbored at one of the most pivotal, and painful, points in his life. (Chris Azzopardi | CA) What song would you most recommend to someone trying to reconcile their religion with their sexuality? (Trey Pearson | TP) I could go on for hours about these songs. But every once in a while, a song comes out of nowhere, in the moment. I wrote “Hey Jesus” in less than a half

Trey Pearson spent 20 years in a Christian rock band before coming out in 2016. Photo Courtesy of Megan Leigh Barnard (Photo by Megan Leigh Barnard) hour, and then I spent another hour or two lying on the floor bawling my eyes out. The song encompasses all the emotions that I always felt growing up and even into my adult life, until I could accept myself. I feel the most free I’ve ever felt. The most joyful, the most peace. I never knew I could feel this way. I did not believe it was possible, and to finally feel this way is the most amazing feeling in the world. But it hasn’t been without loss; having your teenage years robbed from you — it’s OK to allow yourself to grieve that.

(CA) How do you feel about being an example for other queer people who are also struggling with self-acceptance? (TP) It’s exciting. It feels like it’s something I’m passionate about, and I also feel a responsibility, too, because I know if it wasn’t for people like Ellen [DeGeneres] coming out and being vulnerable in her truth, I might not have been able to own mine. Ever since my story came out, there’s almost not a day that goes by where people don’t reach out to me on Instagram, Facebook or

(CA) After you came out, you were driving for Uber to make ends meet, right? (TP) Yeah, I had to cancel a tour and figure out how to make money over a twomonth period, so I was like, I’m gonna drive for Uber and make money. So, I picked up this guy — and this was right after I came out to my family — and he was like, “So, what do you do besides this?” and I was like, “Well, I usually tour around the world in this Christian rock band and I just came out of the closet to my family.” He ended up being the editor of a magazine, which is where I originally came out publicly. But rumors were spreading. When you’ve been in the Christian music industry your whole career, and you’ve played in thousands of churches, it’s amazing how quickly gossip can spread in churches around the world. (CA) Are you still being asked to perform in churches? (TP) Actually, there have been a lot of affirming churches that have asked me to come. I started this private group on Facebook called Trey’s Safe Space and there are hundreds of thousands of people who are sharing this space. People who are either queer or allies, and they just tell their story. But I’m not playing in churches; I’m playing in music clubs. A lot of progressive and affirming churches are asking me to share my story, so I am speaking at a lot of these churches on Trey’s Safe Space tour. I’ll do a Pride festival on a Saturday night, and then Sunday morning I’m speaking to these churches. It’s been really cool. (CA) Did anyone in the Christian music community reach out to you when you came out? (TP) Yeah, actually lots of people did. A lot of people in

the industry expressed love toward me. But none of them did it publicly because they’re all scared of their careers being on the line and that’s a shame. If every Christian artist that reached out to me would have done it in a public way, I think it would force the industry to rethink their view on the subject, and hopefully one day that’ll happen. Unfortunately, we’re not there yet. I’m doing everything I can to change the conversation, though. (CA) What did it feel like writing and recording your first song, “Silver Horizon,” as an out gay man? (TP) Liberating. The fact that I suppressed so much of myself for my entire life and to finally have that out in the open — there are so many emotions that come with finally extending myself in that way. Joy and freedom, and a lot of grieving. I missed out on certain things. I knew I would lose people in my life, but this weight that I had been carrying my whole life finally was lifted from me. There’s a part of myself I couldn’t be even as an artist because I wasn’t able to face it in my own life. This valve burst open with creativity and another level of my songwriting. It was another level of intimacy and vulnerability. I wanted the EP to be long enough to really explore some of these emotions I have experienced since coming out. I literally just played those songs on my floor bawling my eyes out as I wrote them. But I started to turn the corner. It just feels almost like a diary. And with every song I either wanted to make you dance or cry. [Laughs] (CA) Sounds like you’ve been doing a lot of dancing and crying in the last year. (TP) Thank god, it’s turned into a lot more dancing than crying these days. —Chris Azzopardi is the editor of Q Syndicate, the international LGBT wire service. Reach him via his website at and on Twitter, @chrisazzopardit

BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT Stuart Benjamin & Co. Jewelry Designs 7510 Hazard Center Dr. #405 619-297-7666

Bold, dramatic and enchanting are three words that help describe the finely-crafted jewelry of Michael Jensen Designs. With award-winning designs that inspire images from the popular “Game of Thrones” series on HBO, they are being featured as the Designer Spotlight for March by Stuart Benjamin & Co. Jewelry Designs. For over 20 years, Stuart Benjamin & Co. has presented the finest jewelry designs in San Diego, and this month they feature a large collection of the stunning Michael Jensen Designs jewelry in-store. On Saturday March 24, join them for an exclusive one-day Trunk Show sale and “Meet the Designers” event. Michael Jensen Designs is the partnership of Michael and Catherine Jensen. Michael has been a designer and metalsmith for over 34 years. He has a background in sculpture and experience in engineering and a degree in fine arts. Catherine is a gemologist with a passion for jewelry’s art and history. She is a member of the American Gem Trade Association and the American Society of Jewelry Historians. Michael Jensen Designs is Jewelers Board of Trade listed.



In the cage, she is known for her unrelenting strength and combination of Brazilian jiu jitsu, boxing, kenpo, and Marine Corps martial arts, making her a formidable force. As the first openly lesbian fighter to headline the first Women’s Bantamweight UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) in 2013, she said that she has had nothing but positive experiences being out in the MMA circuit. Getting dubbed as the “GIRL-RILLA” and having her “LIZBO Posse” fan base behind her is much more than just a publicity gimmick, it fuels her desire to represent herself as openly gay both in and outside of the cage. After three tours in Iraq, when she decided that MMA was her future, she said finding the right gym to train in was a crucial part in her journey. She found that gym, with a coach and a team that did not care about her sexual identity, only about her ability to fight, and to win. Carmouche has carried that philosophy in the running of her own business. She owns three 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu gyms, one in Mission Valley, Spring Valley and another in Oceanside. “Seeing in our own gym more and more, people from the LGBTQ community are transitioning, they come in here feeling confident that this is a safe place for them,” she said. “For a lot of the members, it provides them with

confidence in self-defense, helps them lose weight, have a place where they have camaraderie and come together knowing everyone else is seeking the same things that they are.” Not only is she a business owner, she runs everything in sales, membership, products, as well as teaches all of the classes and does one-on-one training, along with getting teams ready for competitions. “At our gyms, we offer ‘for all’ walks. It doesn’t matter what their skill level is,” she said. “It can be their first day and they have never walked into a gym their whole life, to elite professional athletes, and anything in between. We like to cater to everybody and let them know that they are welcome. Skill level, age, mindset, their paths, disabilities, it does not matter.” She said for herself, it is her way of relieving stress and staying healthy. Even though it is a contact sport that comes with injuries, compared to her lifestyle before [training for MMA], everything she does goes into being healthy for MMA, and making that a lifestyle. “Mixed martial arts combine all the puzzle pieces,” Carmouche said. “To really succeed in MMA, you have to know how to do boxing, punch, know how to move your head, and counter. You do muay thai, so there’s knees, kicks, elbows and punches. You have to know how to wrestle and take someone down to the ground. You have to know jiu jitsu once you get them to the ground, what to do with that control of body, whether it be

joint manipulation, positions, chokes. MMA teaches you to combine all of them into one sport.” As a gay business owner, and a gay professional athlete, she wants to encourage other gay athletes to feel comfortable and come out. In an interview with “TMZ Sports,” she said she believes that the UFC is ready to accept a gay athlete and that a man could come out as openly gay and rise to the top of competition. She said she had doubts about a man coming out at first, following her being openly out, but she feels different now after seeing how LGBTQ fighters are treated in MMA gyms. She said she believes that if a man came out now, people would take him for his skill set, not his sexual orientation. A strong advocate for the LGBTQ community, Carmouche was also happy to see that CBD (a chemical compound found in hemp plants) was removed from the World Anti-Doping Agency’s 2018 banned substance list, opening access to thousands of athletes around the globe subject to drug testing. CBD, cannabidiol hemp oil, or CBD hemp oil, is made from a high-CBD, lowTHC hemp. These hemp oil products are non-psychoactive because hemp only contains trace amounts of THC. Partnering with San Diego-based CBD company HempMeds, Carmouche is a strong supporter for its use with professional athletes. She said, as an athlete, it means a lot and that it makes a significant difference in recovery. “Each organization, whether

you do NFL, NBA, jiu jitsu or MMA, each organization controls banned substances that athletes can or can’t take into their body,” she said. “Every athlete, whatever they do, are breaking their body every single day. All of us are looking for ways to recover and manage the pain, and inflammation. CBD is a natural way to do that.” She said now she doesn’t have to take pharmaceuticals, which have many negative side effects. She said in conventional drugs, the negatives outweigh the positives. “CBD doesn’t have any negative side effects," she said. “So, the only thing you can get from it is gains. As an athlete, that is all I want. If I am doing something to help my

—Albert Fulcher can be reached at

March 17-25 SAN DIEGO

Florencia and her CIVIC THEATRE fellow travelers begin a magical journey (619) 533-7000 down the Amazon River, experiencing awakenings and transformations when fantasy and reality at the opera become enmeshed. Inspired by the magical JOIN US FOR OUT AT THE OPERA, FRIDAY MARCH 23! realism writings of This project supported in part Gabriel García Márquez. by an award from the National Libretto by Marcela Endowment for the Arts. Fuentes-Berain.


Liz Carmouche owns three 10th Planet Jiu Jistsu gyms; Mission Valley, Spring Valley and Oceanside. (Courtesy of 10thPlanet Jiu Jitsu)



body recover, it’s not going to hurt me down the road. CBD is something I can take every day for the rest of my life and I can take as much as I want today and it is not going to hurt me down the road.” Originally from Okinawa, Japan, and a resident of San Diego since 2006, Carmouche is still fighting her was to the top of her professional athletic and business careers. She is a mom to 2-year-old Brant and wife to her partner Braelyn. Find more about 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu Follow Carmouche on Facebook: Liz Carmouche (Official), and on Twitter/ Instagram, @iamgirlrilla.

Florencia en el Am azonas


GAY SAN DIEGO March 16-29, 2018

Daniel Catán


GAY SAN DIEGO March 16-29, 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, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Please see Important Facts about TRUVADA for PrEP including important warnings on the following page.

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GAY SAN DIEGO March 16-29, 2018


I’m open-minded, not uninformed. I know who I am. And I make choices that fit my life. 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

8/7/17 10:10 AM


GAY SAN DIEGO March 16-29, 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.



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 or call 1-800-GILEAD-5 • If you need help paying for your medicine, visit 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. TVDC0169 07/17

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“What we are focusing on today is that we are LGBTQfriendly, but it is another completely different thing to understand what that fully means, what these individuals are going through, and how we can help serve their needs,” Faulconer said. “We are spending more time, effort and resources probably more than we ever have because we need to. And that’s the bottom line.” Bridges added that people of faith already know that hospitality is the first and greatest virtue of all faith communities. “At St. Paul’s, we have been a part of the ISN for about four years and it really has been a blessing for our volunteers, our staff, and to be able to open our doors to people that are in need of shelter,” she said. Brereton said ISN has provided 250,000 nights of safety — with security, warmth and meals — for homeless individuals for 32 years. The ISN provides rotational shelters from one congregation to another every two weeks, with more than 120 active congregations in the network. Of those, 67 act as housing hosts. ISN utilizes case managers throughout the county, which is broken up into seven geographical areas. “Each person that comes through our shelter, a case manager works with them to create a personal plan to be able to get out of their situation as quick as they can,” Brereton said. “We work with a group that we call situational homeless, mostly people that have been on the street two years or less. The reality is that these people are highly motivated, because they faced homelessness not necessarily through their own choices, but because of situations like family illness, job loss, or a death in the family. If you didn’t have a paycheck for two months, would you be able to maintain your home and not become one of the homeless?” ISN also provides educational workshops with tailored programs to fit the needs of families and individuals to get them back on their feet as quickly as possible. “We have more than 4,200 volunteers that work with us year after year after year. And they come back because it feels good,” Brereton said. “We are looking for additional congregations of faith work, different civic clubs and organizations that would like to host or help with being part of this network,” she continued. “We have always been affirming with all our congregations being open to the LGBTQ community ... and today, this is the beginning of that coalition, of this conversation.” Lopez shared his personal story of how he became a homeless LGBT youth. As an “interfaith baby,” Lopez said he was the product of a Russian Jewish woman and a Mexican Roman Catholic man. As a Jewish/Latino, he said discrimination was something he got used to at a very young age,

Mayor Kevin Faulconer addresses participants in the Interfaith Shelter Network Summit. (Photo by Albert H. Fulcher) but that his parents prepared him. They sent him into the world with their own stories of discrimination that they had faced themselves. But they were not quite ready for a gay son, he said. “How is [being] LGBT different from being any other minority?” Lopez asked. “If I’m Jewish, I’m born into a family that is prepared to handle that. If you are Latino, you are born into a family that is prepared to handle that. But if you are a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, questioning, asexual, ally or pansexual, you are not born into a family that necessarily understands you. Which means that from a very early age you are already disconnected from your friends, your faculty at school, your family and your institutions of faith.” Lopez said these networks that many people rely on are the very threads that connect us to the world can be severed for LGBT youth — often with disastrous consequences. “These social severances lead to higher absenteeism, lower grades, diminished educational opportunities, higher rates of depression, suicide, unsafe sexual behavior, self-denigration, substance abuse and addiction,” he said. Lopez experienced this personally after his family broke up and he was left at home alone with a homophobic father. When he came out to his father, he became a homeless LGBT youth with nowhere to turn. What followed was long nights sleeping on couches and in cars. He said he knew sticking to his education was the best thing he could do, so he graduated, and then moved to San Diego and enrolled in college. He got a brief respite from homelessness while in a relationship, but it soon became abusive and he had to leave. So, he decided to go to

Hillcrest as a last hope in finding a community that he could belong to. By this time, Lopez was suicidal. “I thought only death would bring me peace at that point,” he said. “I sat crying in front of The Living Room cafe, when a stranger touched my arm and in two sentences, changed my life and set the person that I wanted to model my life after. ‘What’s wrong, and what can I do to help?’ The voice of that person was a local LGBT leader, Benny Cartwright.” Cartwright and his mother took Lopez in for one month and during that time, he received a promotion that allowed him to get his first apartment. He met the love of his life, got married and had two children. “The eyes that are looking at you now are the same eyes that looked at the world with no hope,” Lopez said, “I know that you are here today to lend your lives to the helping of others. There are more than 90 LGBT open and affirming congregations in this region and I know we are all ready to act.” Volunteer Gary Owen is the coordinator at St. Paul’s for the hosting of the ISN. “I identify with the homeless to a degree,” he said. “More than once I have been in a situation that could have led to the lives of those people that are sleeping on those cots.” Owen said St. Paul’s has limited space for a shelter, but that is immaterial if you get a good coordinator, volunteers and help for food. He said consistency, fairness and firmness are the essential rules to success of operating any shelter. Those are the things that provide the secure base that homeless people need to go forth, he said. “This [housing the homeless] is doable by almost any congregation,” Owen said. “You do not have to be a big church or a wealthy church.

GAY SAN DIEGO March 16-29, 2018 Our job, in the course of this job, is not feeling good — it is doing good. If we can provide the basics of meals, showers, and a secure, safe place to store their stuff and sleep, we’ve done our job. It does not have to be fancy and it does not have to cost a congregation a great deal.” Jonathan Herrera, senior advisor on homeless coordination for the city of San Diego, said he hears stories like Lopez’s day and night, and they motivate him to address the homelessness issue on the front line. “These stories that I hear, you take home with you, it’s not a job that is 9 to 5,” he said. “As a city, we are definitely spending a lot more time and resources on addressing this issue, because we have to and it is the right thing to do. It is really important to understand that we cannot do it alone.” Every community that has had success in addressing the crisis of homelessness has had assistance from political leaders, the private sector, philanthropic resources and faith-based organizations. They all play a critical role, Herrera said. “Many have physical, mental and spiritual needs, and that opportunity is absolutely essential in engaging the faithbased community to provide these people the opportunity to rebuild themselves,” he said. “The ISN is something we are really proud to support.” Lopez provided statistics concerning the LGBT homeless


situation on a national and local level. Forty percent of all homeless youth are LGBTQ identified. LGBTQ youth are 120 percent more likely to be homeless; Latinos, 33 percent; and African-Americans, 83 percent. Every year, 1.6 million youth are homeless and 40 percent of those are LGBT. Not necessarily knowing it, 99 percent of homeless service providers are already working with LGBT homeless youth. Released in 2016 by Chapin Hall, a research and policy center at the University of Chicago, the report included data from the San Diego region. Lopez shared these results to give a clearer picture of the problems of homelessness within the LGBT community: 7 percent of homeless identified transgender; 34 percent identified were LGBT; LGBT youth experience 7.5 times more sexual violence than their heterosexual peers; and more than half (62 percent) attempt suicide. With the amount of LGBT homeless people, the goal of this summit was to bring LGBT-affirming congregations into the discussion of San Diego’s homeless problem. The ISN is open to any religious or civic organizations and is asking them to become part of the network in any way possible. To become a participating congregation, supporting congregation, donor, or volunteer, visit —Albert Fulcher can be reached at

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GAY SAN DIEGO March 16-29, 2018

BEST OF BALLOT Gay San Diego, May 6th


Class conflicts and gender roles Theater Review Jean Lowerison Four characters in two Boston apartments weather the vicissitudes of human relationships, heartbreak and love (mutual and otherwise) in Theresa Rebeck’s rom-com of manners “Spike Heels,” playing through April 7 at OnStage Playhouse in Chula Vista. Along the way, contemporary issues are raised, such as class conflict, gender roles and oh, yes, the real reason some women wear those awful shoes. Andrew (Daniel SosaPorter), an academic who teaches political philosophy, has established a sort of Henry Higgins relationship with upstairs neighbor

Daniel Sosa Porter as Andrew, Andrea Acuna as Georgie (Photos by Andriana Zuniga-Williams)

Georgie (Andrea Acuna), a loud, foul-mouthed Bostonian (sounds like Southie), to whom he funnels books and talks about Nietzsche and Homer’s “Odyssey.” He has also gotten her a job as secretary for

Andrea Acuna as Georgie

San Diego present The 27th

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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

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A portion of the proceeds from this event will once again benefit the San Diego Music Foundation and Taylor Guitars for Schools

his lawyer friend Edward (Mauricio Vetaci). Andrew is engaged to upper-crust Lydia (Samantha Schmidt), so hanky-panky with Georgie isn’t an option. But when Georgie tells him Edward both propositioned and then threatened to rape her, Andrew blows up and starts talking lawsuit. Is it morality or self-interest that’s really driving him? Rebeck (whose other plays “Seminar” and “Bad Dates” have been seen on local stages, and has written for TV shows “L.A. Law” and “Law and Order: Criminal Intent”) has a way with snappy dialogue and familiar, easy-to-relate-to characters, and “Spike Heels” is no exception. Though Rebeck’s TV experience shows in some of the monologues that stray into

GAY SAN DIEGO March 16-29, 2018 preachy or overworked territory (the men reminisce about how nice it was when men could blame all their problems on women; Georgie goes off on a justifiable diatribe about shabby treatment based on class differences that sounds a bit dated), but consider the play’s 1992 publication date. “Spike Heels” offers believable characters and engaging dialogue, and Director Charley Miller and the cast do a good job on Rebeck’s behalf. Georgie is a bit of a lower-class stereotype, but thanks to Acuna, an utterly engaging character you can’t help pulling for. Sosa-Porter’s Andrew is, OK, a bit of a prig, but well meaning even if he does think Georgie needs some self-improvement. Sosa-Porter is a good actor, but I kept thinking a few wellplaced gray patches in his hair would make him look more, well, academic. Vetaci’s Edward is convincing as a typical legal scumbag who’s gotten away with it long enough to apparently believe it’s the way things are and perhaps even ought to be. He offers this charming comment about Lydia, “She’s pale … what happens when you dust her off and put her in sunlight?” Schmidt’s Lydia gets short shrift on stage time, but her late scenes — especially with Georgie — are affecting. Chad Oakley’s simple, movable set works well, and does his usual fine job on lighting as well. Sarah Robinson’s costumes reflect their wearers well (but


Andrea Acuna as Georgie, Daniel Sosa Porter as Andrew please fix that floppy opening-night pocket handkerchief for Edward!). In case you’re wondering why women wear those spike heels, it’s because they make your legs look amazing. And in Georgie’s case, “It’s the only way I can look you guys in the eye.” By the time “Spike Heels” ends, the women have realized that they have more power than they ever thought. That’s a nice thought to go home with. —Jean Lowerison is a long-standing member of the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle and can be reached at



GAY SAN DIEGO March 16-29, 2018

Cast-iron magic Restaurant Review Frank Sabatini Jr. I’m betting The Brazilian Guys will soon enjoy a popularity explosion. The business, which began two years ago at the Hillcrest Farmers Market and still operates there on Sundays, occupies a kitchen and cafe that it shares with a quaint custom-order bakery in Mission Hills — Cake. It was inside this space where a national cable network spent two days filming the young, ambitious guys conjuring up their notable stuffed

hash browns and other fare for an established culinary show. However, The Brazilian Guys (Ricardo Oriente Mendez and business partner Camilo Quadros) are still under a disclosure agreement that doesn’t allow them to reveal any details about the episode to the media. But based on what I was told off the record, it’s scheduled to air in June — and not on the Food Network. In addition to the Hillcrest market, they appear at other farmers markets: La Jolla (also on Sundays), Horton Plaza on Thursdays, and Vista on Saturdays. Their limited brickand-mortar hours have kept them relatively obscure, as they are only open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tuesday through Friday.

Double cast iron pans are used for making the stuffed hash browns and savory pies.

The Brazilian Guys 3085 Reynard Way (Mission Hills) 619-735-1655 Prices: Stuffed hash browns, $7 to $10 Savory pies and crepes, $9 to $15 Cheese bread balls, $8 Acai bowls, $9 Here, in the company of a polished-wood hutch looming over a few cafe tables, and with additional seating on an inviting outdoor patio, you can savor a menu of breakfast-lunch fare unique to our local foodscape. Stuffed hash browns, for example, are a southern Brazil specialty using two modest-size cast iron pans lined with shredded potatoes. Various fillings such as eggs, bacon, cheese and beef chorizo are sprinkled on top of the spuds in one pan as the other closes over it like the lid of a waffle iron. The result is a tightly sealed puck of hash browns sporting a reddish hue from a final brushing of oil infused with annatto seeds. The nearly burnt edges add a ton of additional flavor to the assorted fillings. I chose seasoned scrambled eggs and cheddar cheese in mine, a common pairing of breakfast proteins, yet utterly original in this presentation. Only at the cafe do the guys sell cheesy bread balls, a Brazilian staple known as pao de queijo. They’re made from tapioca flour and flaunt the airiness of oven-fresh dinner rolls while

(l to r) Co-owner Ricardo Oriente Mendez, and employees Carlos Pinto and Rafael Mendes (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.) packing in the tangy essence of cheese. In this recipe, mozzarella and Parmesan are used. Served eight to an order, you’re given a choice of dipping sauces: sour cream, guacamole, dulce de leche or guava jam. I chose the latter and loved the savory-sweet interplay of the puffy orbs with the tropical house-made jam. The same tapioca-based dough and cheeses are used for the crust in a variety of cheese pies made in the same fashion as the stuffed hash browns. The filling I chose was most unusual — ground beef, mozzarella and fresh bananas. “It sounds so wrong, but tastes so right,” Oriente Mendez told me as I initially leaned toward the filling of roasted vegetables, balsamic vinegar and cream cheese. Indeed, he steered me in the right direction. The fruit gave the mildly spiced meat an exotic richness I found deliciously novel. And the crust boasted

the same cheesy goodness as the bread balls. Hash browns and the cheesecrust pies each come with a side dish. I skipped over roasted Brussels sprouts, broccoli and a pair of fried eggs in lieu of sauteed mushrooms, which offered an appealing steakhouse flavor. I also chose the avocado-tomato salad dressed in green goddess-type dressing. Everything that went down my gullet on this midweek morning carried multiple flavor notes that you’ll be hard pressed to find in other local breakfast joints. And the reasonable menu prices combined with friendly Brazilian hospitality is a double bonus. —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

The “mineira” cheese-bread pie with sauteed mushrooms

Cheesy bread balls with guava jam

Stuffed hash browns with tomato-avocado salad


This summer marks the arrival of a nonprofit Italianinspired bakery and breakfast joint in the South Park space that formerly housed Rebecca’s Coffee. The project is the brainchild of Matteo Cattaneo, founder of nearby Buona Forchetta and Officine Buona Borchetta in Liberty Station. Profits raised at the still-unnamed eatery will benefit public schools within the San Diego Unified School District. In addition, Cattaneo plans to include in the project a space where kids can learn cooking techniques and participate in a variety of classes offered by the schools. For updates, follow Buona Forchetta on Facebook or Instagram. 3015 Juniper St.

Scott Andrews)

Chilled crawfish at a giant, new buffet in Mission Valley (Yelp)

Everything from chilled seafood and grilled meats to a chocolate fountain and gelatos in 20 different flavors can be found at 100s Seafood Grill Buffet in Mission Valley. The mega restaurant recently replaced Todai with a sleek, new look reminiscent of a Vegas establishment. The daily allyou-can-eat buffet varies in size according to the time and day. They range in price from $14.99 to $32 per person. 2828 Camino del Rio South, 619906-4886,

Restaurateur Matteo Cattaneo has embarked on a nonprofit culinary concept in South Park. (Photo by

San Diego’s only cafe devoted exclusively to the medicinal green tea known as matcha recently celebrated its oneyear anniversary with impressive numbers. Since opening in March 2017, the pink-themed Holy Matcha in North Park has accrued 25,000 followers on Instagram and tripled the number of matcha-infused menu items. According to owner Geraldine Ridaura, more than 30,000 matcha lattes have been sold. Chili-spiked avocado toast at Holy Ridaura hinted she may open Matcha (Photo by Sergey Kolivayko) another location somewhere in San Diego next year. Her current menu includes waffles, soft serve, vegan donuts, avocado toast, specialty drinks and more. 3118 University Ave., The Mission Valley Craft Beer Festival returns March 31 to the tune of 30 local breweries and 20 restaurants taking part. Distilleries such as Henebery, Malahat Spirits Co., and others will join the lineup as well. The event, now in its eighth year, will be held from 1:30 to 5 p.m. at SDCCU Stadium. (Admission for VIP attendees starts at noon.) Tickets range from $55 to $90, depending on the date of purchase. They include drink and food samples. 9449 Friars Road, —Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at fsabatini@san.

GAY SAN DIEGO March 16-29, 2018


The new Maestoso in Hillcrest (Courtesy of Contour PR + Social) The much-anticipated “chefto-table” Maestoso recently opened in the HUB Hillcrest Market. It replaces Napizza, which moved to University Town Center and still maintains a location in Little Italy. The new eatery is headed by chef Marco Maestoso, an

Italian transplant who has cooked for Donatella Versace and former Italian president Giorgio Napolitano. The menu features “daily whims of the chef” offered directly to guests’ tables, plus build-your-own pasta dishes, and pinsa, which is

the Roman ancestor of pizza blending rice and wheat flour into the crust. Distinguishing the sleek 2,000-square-foot interior is a large, majestic chandelier and an open kitchen. 1040 University Ave., 619-642-0777,

After a two-month closure for renovations, JRDN at Tower 23 in Pacific Beach reopened with a glass-enclosed sushi kitchen, new sushi bar, stylish indoor-outdoor furnishings, and a revised menu with family-style dishes. The updated Asian-California cuisine features food like Korean lamb lollipops, smoked maitake mushroom tempura, wagyu New York strip steak, and build-yourown poke bowls. The fare is complemented by Japanese beers, sake, inventive cocktails and ocean views. 723 Felspar St., 858270-2323,

Skewers on the cheap at the new Espettos (Facebook) Brazilian-style skewers containing beef, chicken, sausage, shrimp or veggies are in the offing at the new Espettos in Hillcrest. The eatery, which features live Brazilian music certain nights of the week, sells the skewers for $2.99 each (or five for $10), and also carries beer and wine. 3803 Fifth Ave., 619-600-0001.

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GAY SAN DIEGO March 16-29, 2018


Sweating with your sweetie Pros and cons of getting your burn on together Fitness Blake and Gwen Beckcom Now that you’re several months into your health and fitness goals for the year, you might be thinking it’s time to spice up your workouts by inviting your spouse/partner to join you at the gym. Before you embark on the journey of sweating with your sweetie, it’s important to take into consideration the pros and cons of working out with your spouse so you both are successful in accomplishing your health and fitness goals. Gwen and Blake Beckcom, married for 21 years, personal trainers and co-owners at Fitness Together Mission Hills, both agree that it takes commitment, dedication and realistic expectations to make working out with your spouse a healthy and happy experience.

Pro: Share in the experience of getting fit together

One of the biggest assets to accomplishing your health and fitness goals is having an accountability partner who motivates you and supports your journey toward a healthy lifestyle. When your fitness partner is also your spouse, it allows you to be on the same page both mentally and

logistically. It’s a lot easier to make eating healthy and working out regularly a priority in your life when your spouse commits to making the same lifestyle choices. This joint commitment to fitness not only helps to support personal growth, but also can lead to improvements in your relationship and the overall outlook in your household. “You’re going to need encouragement along the way,” Blake said. “If your workout buddy is your spouse/partner, then it’s easier to stay motivated and accountable to each other. You’re setting a couple goal together, which can be a powerful thing.” “Couples who sweat together stay together,” Gwen added. “When you work out with your spouse, you come away with feelings of a cooperative spirit, a shared passion and the feeling of synchronization. When you both have the same goals of being healthy and fit, it can be a real powerhouse for any relationship.”

Con: Different goals, body types and approaches may hinder results

A common hang-up that can deter couples from working out together is when each person has different exercise goals and fitness levels. And, even if a husband and wife are both striving to lose weight or gain strength, it’s important

to remember that men and women typically need to approach fitness goals differently in order to get the results they need. “Couples need to know upfront that men lose weight and grow muscle faster. So it’s important for each person to have accurate baselines and realistic goals when they start working out together,” explains Blake. “It can be a challenge for husbands and wives who have two different types of workout approaches. It can even be difficult for Gwen and I because I’m going hard and heavy while Gwen is going light and fast. I’m not as patient and Gwen is more patient.” One solution the Beckcoms found to overcome the obstacle of having different workout approaches and attitudes is to focus less on doing the same exercises and more on working out in the same place and at the same time. Going together and leaving together, but doing your own exercise routine while at the gym, can be a great approach for mutual success. “When Blake and I go to the gym together, he’s working out separately from me, but we’re both there together,” Gwen said. “We can look across the room and smile at each other. It’s a good feeling to know we’re both on the same page and we’re both willing to work out, stay healthy and fit with each other. Knowing that Blake cares enough about me to take care of his body is a great feeling.”

Pro: Celebrate accomplishments and work through obstacles together

Every fitness routine will have its ups and its downs. Working out with your spouse allows the two of you to share in celebrating the accomplishments along the way, as well as support each other through the inevitable setbacks and obstacles you’ll face. Having someone in your corner who can relate with what you’re going through and cheering you on along the way will not only strengthen your commitment to establishing a healthy life for each other, but it also can have a positive impact on your marriage as well. Working out with your loved one can lead to improved intimacy, a stronger closeness, increased endorphins and more energy. “Ultimately, working out together can be a real relationship builder,” said Blake. “There’s going to be some big wins you’ll share along the way and setbacks you can work through with each other. Usually going through difficult things together is when you can grow your relationship.”

Con: Syncing schedules challenge busy couples

Finding time to work out is one of the most common obstacles for busy individuals to adopt a healthy and fit lifestyle. But when you have dual-income families with both spouses juggling professional and family responsibilities, it can be nearly impossible for spouses to get on the same workout schedule. Instead of adding stress and tension by trying to force the issue of working out together regularly when it doesn’t sync with your schedule, make it a point to exercise together during special occasions like family vacations and holiday breaks. You can still reap the benefits of re-connecting and supporting each other’s fitness goals even if you can only manage to work out together at various times throughout the year. “Blake and I love destination workouts,” Gwen said. “When you’re on vacation, it’s like an adventure and you can’t say you don’t have enough time. We just enjoy being together. It’s fun to have him spotting me and me spotting him. We give each other high-fives and offer the same encouragement to each other that we give our clients in the studio.” It’s healthy for both married couples and partnerships, to commit to living a fitness-focused lifestyle. But make sure you work through the pros and cons discussed above before you decide to get your burn on together. Whether you work out at the same time or maintain separate sessions, the most important thing is to support each other’s efforts while committing to being healthy and fit for you and your family. —Blake and Gwen Beckcom own and operate Fitness Together in Mission Hills. To learn more, visit bit. ly/2FFTXdS or call 619-7940014 to make an appointment for a free fitness diagnostic and private training session.t


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GAY SAN DIEGO March 16-29, 2018

Friday, March 16

Diversionary Theatre — A West Coast premiere of “The Happiest Place on Earth” by Philip Dawkins and directed by Jonathan L. Green. This “once upon a time” story begins in 1955 and spans a magical kingdom’s quest for restoration of its founding principles for 50 years. The show runs through April 15 and tickets are available at San Diego Leather Pride — Kick off Leather Pride on the back patio of #1 Fifth Avenue, home to Tiger’s Pictionary every Wednesday from 7:30–10 p.m. Tiger, the event’s host, is Ms. San Diego Leather 2010. Although it is a fundraiser, it is free to anyone who wants to attend and participate. Funds are raised through donations from attendees and generous gift donations from local businesses. bit. ly/2FlL6S7 Play: ‘A Little Night Music’ — Cygnet’s own favorite musical, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, based on the book by Hugh Wheeler and directed by Sean Murray. When both of Desiree’s lovers — and their wives — show up for a weekend in the country, a tangled web of love and desire leads to humorous and heartbreaking revelations. Sophisticated, literate and stylish, but also disarmingly warm, funny, charming and very human. It features the hit song “Send in the Clowns.” Through April 22. Cygnet Theatre 4040 Twiggs St., Old Town. San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus — The San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus Chamber Chorale teams up with the La Jolla Symphony and the full chorus for its third appearance of Carl Orff’s famous cantana “Carmina Burana.” Showtimes are at 7:30 p.m. both Friday and Saturday with a 2 p.m. matinee performance on Sunday. This event will take place at the Mandeville Auditorium at UC San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, #0099, La Jolla. Tickets are available at

Saturday, March 17

San Diego Leather Pride — Doors open to the public at 6:30 p.m. at the World Beat Cultural Center, 2100 Park Blvd. San Diego Bootblack and Leather 2018 Contest run from 7:30–9:30 p.m. The fourth San Diego Bootblack and the 24th and 36th Ms and Mr San Diego Leather will be chosen by a panel of esteemed and titled community members. Social hour is from 9:30–10:30 pm. Announcement of winners and photos no later than 10:30 p.m. with an Afterglow Party starting at 10:45 p.m. Unofficial After Party at the San Diego Eagle, 3040 North Park Way. 38th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival — Come experience the largest St. Patrick’s Day parade west of the Mississippi. Join the Irish Congress of Southern California from 9 a.m.–6 p.m. at Balboa Park between Sixth Avenue and Laurel Street. Join more than 30,000 attendees, featuring a parade with more than 125 entries, more than 75 food/craft booths, a beer garden, two band stages, and a Celtic Village and Kids Zone. Festival and Beer Gardens open at 9 a.m. Flag presentation ceremony on the corners of Sixth and Juniper avenues at 9:45 a.m. Parade starts up Fifth Avenue to Upas Street, then back down Sixth Avenue to Laurel/El Prado beginning at 10:30 a.m. bit. ly/1DC1RRg MO’s Big Lucky Saturday — Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Charity Bingo at 12:30 p.m., $15.25 corned beef hash plates, $3 Jager shots, $5 Jager mules and Jameson shots and finish off the evening with country line dancing beginning at 7 p.m. 308 University Ave., Hillcrest. Cesar Chavez Day of Service — Join Gay for Good San Diego from

8 a.m. to 1 p.m. for its annual Cesar Chavez Day of Service. This is G4G’s fourth year partnering with the San Diego County Cesar Chavez Commemorative Committee; they will beautify Emerson Bandini Elementary School by painting, planting a garden, hosting a clean-up and judging essays. 8 a.m.–1 p.m. with a free BBQ lunch at noon. School is located at 3510 Newton Ave., Southcrest. Rummage Sale — Live & Let Live Alano Club is hosting a rummage sale fundraiser at 8 a.m. on both March 18-19. Bring your clean, working donations seven days a week between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. 1730 Monroe St. bit. ly/2tswL0L St. Pat’s at Gossip — Get your lucky charms to Gossip Grill this St. Patrick’s Day for the luck of the Irish. Green beer, drink specials, corned beef and DJs all-day long. 1220 University Ave., Hillcrest.

Sunday, March 18

San Diego Leather Pride — Victory Brunch with keynote speaker International Ms Leather 2017 and vendor fair is your best opportunity to get those leather gifts in the social pavilion. Girl Complex, inside the WBD. Bootblacks will be available and the Leather History Project will have exhibits up. 11 a.m.–1 p.m. World Beat Cultural Center, 2100 Park Blvd. Hillcrest Farmers Market — About 175 vendors offer a variety of locally grown fruit, produce, gifts, arts and crafts, flowers, and more. 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Normal Street between University and Lincoln avenues. Visit bit. ly/2FC4slg.

Monday, March 19

PFLAG San Diego youth meeting: — Our Space, Poway (youth facilitated) for LGBTQIA middle schoolers will

be held 4:30–6 p.m. St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, 16275 Pomerado Road, Poway.

Tuesday, March 20

Showtunes Spaghetti Tuesday — Sing your heart out with a drink, all-youcan-eat spaghetti and show tines. Watch musical clips from your past and present TV, movie and stage productions. $6 per person, eat in only. 5 p.m. at Urban Mo’s Bar & Grill, 308 University Ave. Visit

Wednesday, March 21

Imperial Court de San Diego Community Meeting — Held every third Wednesday of the month, learn about the organization at its monthly community meeting. Refreshments begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by a “bring a dish” potluck at 7:30 p.m. at the San Diego LGBT Community Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. bit. ly/2G6LEZi FilmOut San Diego screening — The hilariously funny John Waters’ film, “Pecker.” This is a journey of Pecker (Edward Furlong) a blue-collar kid with a functionally dysfunctional family that travels with him through his journey as a photographer that leads to overnight fame. Landmark Hillcrest Cinemas, 3965 Fifth Ave., Hillcrest.

Thursday, March 22

North Park Farmers Market — Shop more than 90 tents of locally grown produce, artisan grocery items, prepared foods and hand-crafted goods. 3–7:30 p.m. at 3000 North Park Way, stretching from 31st Street to Utah Street, North Park. Visit bit. ly/2H9AItc.

Friday, March 23

Hillcrest Clean, Green & Safe Walkabout — Join the Hillcrest Business Association for their weekly “walkabout.” This is an opportunity for Hillcrest residents and business

‘Out at the Opera” — San Diego Opera is partnering with SD Pride, OUT at the Fair, and Hillcrest Social Media surrounding a performance of Daniel Catán’s “Florencia en el Amazonas.” The event starts at 6 p.m. with a private mix-andmingle hosted reception with General Director David Bennett welcoming guests until the 7 p.m. performance at the San Diego Civic Theatre. Tickets are available online at bit. ly/2FC9COY.

Tuesday, March 27

Play: ‘Love Never Dies’ — After escaping the Paris Opera House, the Phantom has escaped to New York, but the only thing missing is his protégé Christine. Wanting only to win back her love, he deceivingly invites her to sing in New York. “Love Never Dies” is Andrew Lloyd Weber’s sequel to one of the best musicals of all time. Through April 1. Broadway San Diego, San Diego Civic Theatre, 1100 Third Ave., Downtown.

Friday, March 30


Hillcrest Clean, Green & Safe Walkabout — Join the Hillcrest Business Association for their weekly “walkabout.” This is an opportunity for Hillcrest residents and business owners to offer constructive suggestions, insight and express concerns in the neighborhood. Wear comfortable shoes, the walk lasts at least 1.5 hours. Accommodations will be made for people with mobility challenges. This week investigates Zone 3, with meet-up at Babycakes, 3766 Fifth Ave., Hillcrest. t


solution on page 21




1 Queer-looking E 6 Opening noted at the office 10 Hieroglyphic serpent 13 Hometown of Brando 14 C&W singer McCoy 15 Homophone of a Broadway bio 16 Target of deep thrust? 17 Lynch of “Glee” 18 Will beneficiary 19 Jabbed with a joint 20 Bear of the night 21 Bannon and others 22 Decide not to go straight 24 Performing in the Globe, e.g. 26 Suffix with cigar 29 “Sweatin’ to the Oldies” guru Richard 31 Marvel Comics superhero 32 ___ tape (video starring Trump) 33 Tavern with naked dancers? 37 Word before “ass” 39 Org. for Jodie Foster 41 What parents may hope homosexu-

owners to offer constructive suggestions, insight and express concerns in the neighborhood. Wear comfortable shoes, the walk lasts at least 1.5 hours. Accommodations will be made for people with mobility challenges. This week, Zone 2, with meet-up at Crest Café, 425 Robinson Ave., Hillcrest. bit. ly/2G6BKqH

ality is 42 Beat up on 44 “I have a headache” et al. 46 “Brothers & Sisters” producer Ken 47 Washington setting of “Frasier” 49 Strip under the futon 50 ___ People 53 Wannabe singer’s tape 55 “Spamalot” writer Eric 56 Type of bag 58 Paul Lynde, on “Bewitched” 62 “The multitudinous ___ incarnadine” (“Macbeth”) 63 Man, as a cruising goal 64 It comes under a jockey’s shorts 65 Scots cover their heads with them 66 Adverb in verse 67 News show of Jenna Wolfe, formerly 68 State that didn’t elect homophobe Roy Moore (abbr.) 69 Oldest of the Brady kids 70 Begins, on Broadway

1 Batman word like “Pow!” and “Bam!” 2 “Move your butt!” 3 In the pink 4 Start of the “bottom line” about lesbian sex as you get older 5 Alternative to TNT 6 More of the “bottom line” 7 Kind of beer 8 1996 Lili Taylor movie with Mel Gibson 9 She loved Franklin and Lorena 10 “Spartacus” venue 11 Filing for palimony, e.g. 12 As such 15 End of the “bottom line” 23 Gaydar, for example 25 Move the football between your legs 26 Jazz singer James 27 What you must remember, as time goes by 28 Todd Oldham designs, e.g. 30 Stood for 34 Bouncer for Amelie Mauresmo

35 China setting 36 Money from Lucy to Ethel 38 “___ yellow ribbon ...” 40 Comic Dana, source of the “bottom line” 43 Falling behind 45 Cole Porter’s “___ America First” 48 More economical verbally 50 End of a farewell from Frida 51 Like Everett, as a movie husband 52 Wool source 54 Michael of “The Village Voice” 57 Away from the wind 59 Turn over 60 Like some meat 61 Maker of some fruity flavors



On March 9, the San Diego LGBT Community Center received its largest non-government gift in The Center’s history. At a community event to reach The Center's #2Million matching campaign, longtime supporters Ron Bowman and his husband Stan Zukowfsy announced an additional $1.65 million to pay of The Center’s mortgage. This is in addition to the $1.65 donation they contributed to the matching campaign, which helped The Center raise $2 million for programs and services. “Ron and Stan have contributed to The Center — and our San Diego LGBT community — in a way that will have impact for years to come,” said Caroline Dessert, Esq., chief development and community engagement officer. For more information, visit In other news, The Center is now holding a free legal clinic to provide transgender people help to change their names and gender markers on official documents. This service is provided free by law students from the University of San Diego every first Tuesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. For more information, visit


Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PLAG) San Diego County opened its 40th annual Launching Leaders PFLAG scholarship awards. Scholarships start at $2,000 and include eight scholarship categories. LGBT high school seniors continuing on to higher education and full time undergraduate and graduate students are eligible. PFLAG San Diego County has awarded more than 1000 scholarships to LGBTQ+ students in

GAY SAN DIEGO March 16-29, 2018

the amount of $170,000 since 1998. Applications are due by March 28. To find out more about categories, requirements and eligibility visit



(WASHINGTON) OutServe Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) announced the hiring of Kai River Blevins as Director of Education, Chapter and Veteran’s services. The oldest and largest LGBT military organization announced its continued growth with the edition of Blevins and expansion of its programming services. This follows the organization’s merger with the Military Partners and Family Coalition that was finalized in December 2017. Blevins said he is thrilled to be part of the OutServe SLDN team. “This position reflects OutServe SLDN’s commitment to our service members, veterans and their families,” said Blevins. “Through providing direct services and advocacy, revitalizing our chapters, and delivering educational programming to our members and those who serve the LGBT military community, we are ensuring that our community has the tools and resources they need to thrive, particularly at this political moment. It is an honor to be able to serve my community in this role.” OutServe SDLN marked another expansion with Legal Director Peter Perkwoski becoming a certified Veterans Services Officer. This addition allows OutServe SLDN to engage more with its LGBT veteran community ensuring they get necessary and vital services. Kai River Blevins (they/ them) has been involved in LGBTQ activism since 2011 when they originally joined OutServe SLDN’s team as the New York Regional Chapter Leader.t

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

Upcoming Events April 6-7 Cumunion April 13 – 15 Coachella 1 April 20 – 23 Coachella 2 & Bears On The Prowl April 27 – 28 White Party

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GAY SAN DIEGO March 16-29, 2018

Gay San Diego 03-16-18  
Gay San Diego 03-16-18