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Volume 6 Issue 6 March 20 – April 2, 2015

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Doin’ the Dinah at 25

Benny Cartwright | Contributor

Morgan M. Hurley | Editor


SDGMC turns 30


Mariah Hanson has been producing Club Skirts The Dinah (also known as Dinah Shore Weekend) in Palm Springs for the past 24 years, with the quarter-century celebration coming up April 1 – 5. Due to her many humanitarian and other accomplishments over those years, Hanson has been honored — and rightfully so — time and again by LGBT community organizations. In the past year alone she was Grand Marshal of the Palm Springs Pride Parade, received the legacy award from the Palm Springs LGBT Center, and at this year’s The Dinah, she will be receiving an award from the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR). She also recently got word that the city of Palm Springs just completed a 50-foot banner to hang across Palm Canyon Drive to commemorate 25 years of Dinah Shore Weekend. “I’m ver y uncomfortable with it all,” she said. “I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished but I don’t think it’s all about me.”

Mary Lambert, who became famous for her part in Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ “Same Love,” appeared on stage at the Grammys with Madonna while Queen Latifah oversaw the marriage of dozens of same-sex couples just weeks before her appearance at the 2014 The Dinah. (Photo by Connie Kurtew) Twenty-five years is a lot of live performances, red carpets, white parties, comedy acts, sun screen and bikinis — not counting hundreds of thousands of women — but after all these years, Hanson still knows what’s most important: the women who attend. “The weekend is like a landmark experience,” she said. “I’m really committed to my customer’s experience and I’m committed to having a staff that understand that this event for so many people is life changing.

Pizza pizza

Reaping what they sew


San Diegans truly DIG this nonprofit KC Stanfield | Contributor

Just the facts, ma’am

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The Atlanta-based nonprofit DIG, which stands for “Development in Gardening,” is returning to Hillcrest for their annual “Reap Life” fundraising event on March 29. Following the mentality of “give a man a fish and it feeds him for a day; teach a man to fish and it feeds him for a lifetime,” DIG travels to developing countries affected by or at risk for AIDS/HIV, to teach small communities how to build and sustain gardens of their own. The new gardeners can then teach neighboring communities how to grow their own food as well. “What we’re trying to do is teach people that they have impact on their nutrition and food security

Let’s end HIV in our lifetimes Launch of ‘Back Out With Benny’ monthly column

Founder still focuses on the attendees’ experience Sheroes of San Diego

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wherever they are,” said Sarah Koch, co-founder and executive director of DIG. “There are things they can do to diversify their diets wherever they are.” According to the DIG website, hunger and malnutrition is harmful to ever yone experiencing those problems, but people with weakened immune systems — such as those with HIV — are much more likely to fall ill, die, or suffer serious complications and have difficulty benefitting from medical treatment. In addition to educating them on how to enhance their nutrition through gardening, DIG also provides guidance on other aspects of sustainability. “[One] common misconception is that you have to use chemicals to be successful,” Koch said. “I know that’s not necessarily a misconception here in the U.S., as organic is a

“And we don’t know who’s coming to that event and this is their last hurrah; we don’t know who’s coming to the event whose heart’s shattered, we don’t know who’s coming to the event whose parents just told them they never want to talk to them again. “We know that the majority is coming to eat, drink and be merry, but that there is also a large contingency of our customers coming that are sad; they’re coming be-

see Dinah, pg 2

The first column I ever wrote for an LGBT newspaper was published on June 29, 2005 — nearly a decade ago. It was called “Out with Benny” and published in the now defunct San Diego Update newspaper, which had been one of the San Diego LGBT community’s leading LGBT news outlets from 1979 until its closure in 2006. I’ve written for most of the other publications in the local LGBT community that have existed since then, and what I’ve learned is that I love sharing information with my community. From the old Yahoo! Groups email list I managed for the LGBT community at San Diego State University, to news reporting, to my networks on social media, I have been given many opportunities to connect people through my writing, other media work and my jobs. I now have a great career as the director of community outreach at the San Diego LGBT Community Center, where a big part of my job is doing what I

see Benny, pg 7

San Diegans are huge supporters of DIG’s efforts abroad (Courtesy DIG) big thing, but the places where we work, organic is fairly unheard of. “People have stopped growing organically in a lot of places and we’re trying to reconnect them to that.” Each garden costs approximately $5,000, and their goal for the fundraiser is $15,000, which will

help renew some projects in Kenya. DIG’s next trip is to Uganda, with travel slated for May. Last year, the local San Diego community helped DIG raise

see DIG, pg 12



GAY SAN DIEGO March 20 - April 2, 2015


DINAH cause they are hoping it will uplift them … and that’s the customer that we speak to.” Hanson created a cottage industry of what once was a series of pop-up lesbian pool parties all over Palm Springs, mainly serving women who were in town to attend the annual the Colgate-Dinah Shore golf tournament, now called the Kraft-Nabisco LPGA Championship, though Dinah Shore’s name stayed as part of the event title until 2000, long after her death. If you didn’t already know, that’s where the biggest lesbian music festival and pool party in the world derived its name from. Editor’s Note: For those who wish to learn more about the history of the lesbians in Palm Springs, visit this article on gay-sd. com and we’ll provide a link to a story I wrote in 2010. Between Dinah Shore Weekend, the men’s annual White Party, and two weekends of Coachella, April is non-stop entertainment — and revenue — for the Coachella Valley. Attendance at The Dinah grew year after year throughout its history, but it wasn’t until Showtime’s The L Word dedicated an entire episode to the women’s weekend in 2004’s season one that attendance blew through the roof with women traveling from all over the world. When asked, looking back, what her biggest accomplishment has been, Hanson pointed to the music festival aspect of the weekend. “We have become — the lesbian community is considered

the trend setters now by the music industry,” she said. “You would be surprised how many artists ask me if they can play the event.” One thing Hanson has clearly gotten really good at is choosing her headliners for the music festival. She seems to be right on the mark when she books female entertainers a year in advance that are just on the brink of stratospheric super-stardom. Think about it; in just the last five years she’s had Colbie Caillet (2008), both Lady Gaga and Katy Perry (2009), Ke$ha (2010), Natasha Bedingfield (2011), Mary Lambert and Iggy Azalea (2014) and in 2015, Meghan Trainor and Christina Perri are headlining. Not only is Lady Gaga one of the biggest stars around today, Katy Perry just performed during halftime at the Super Bowl, just six years after headlining The Dinah. How does Hanson do that? Hanson said she’s been asked that very question dozens of times but she’s keeping a stiff upper lip. “That is the $54,000 question and I’m not going to answer,” she said, laughing. “’GoMagazine’ called it ‘the Dinah Secret Sauce’ and I love it. “I really actually do have a formula that I’ve developed over 25 years of listening to music and booking acts,” Hanson continued. “And it doesn’t work all the time but I’ve got a pretty good success rate – but it’s about 80 percent.” One could say her histor y speaks for itself, and she definitely puts her money where her mouth is. “I spent $100,000 on Meghan Trainor,” she said. “People don’t realize, I’m not making as much money as they think I am — I’m putting it into the entertainment.

If you’re in this business for the money, you won’t last.” Always with a focus on her customer base, Hanson chooses acts that she feels are right for her customers. As a young lesbian, she remembers what it was like to go to bars and nightclubs and events that were a bit on the seedy side, and she’s wanted to provide a better space and experience for the community. “My talent buy this year was huge, it’s actually got me a little nervous, but it was my 25th anniversary,” she said. “No one is making that kind of financial commitment — not at my level — maybe Coachella is, and I’m an ant compared to Coachella. I’m also making a life statement about what I feel like our community deserves – the kind of events we deserve and I’m willing to spend money that I could be putting into my pocket.” She notes that though the cost to attend individual events at The Dinah may seem pricey, the full package for the weekend is a steal. “That’s $269 for 11 parties and two of them are major concert headliners,” she said. “People ask me how I’ve made it this long, and it’s because my commitment is a little greater than making a living. This is my life passion.” However you slice it, women may come for the White Par ty, they may come for the fabulous main acts, they will definitely come for the pool par ties and the camaraderie of thousands of women,; but one thing is for sure — they will always, always come to Palm Springs for Dinah Shore Weekend. —Morgan M. Hurley can be reached at

Club Skirts The Dinah Lineup – Celebrating 25 years APRIL 1 | Wednesday • Official opening pre-party | 8 p.m. • Main Pool, Hilton Hotel, 400 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way APRIL 2 | Thursday • Dinah Comedy Night | Doors 7:30 p.m. — Show 8 p.m. • Palm Springs Convention Center, 277 N. Avenida Caballeros • Starring: Suzanne Westenhoefer, Dana Goldberg, Gloria Bigelow, Dinah Leffert • The Dinah Opening Party | 9 p.m. – 2 a.m. • Zelda’s Nightclub, 611 S. Palm Canyon Dr. • Featuring: Olivia Somerlyn APRIL 3 | Friday • Thank God It’s Dinah Friday TGIDF Pool Party | Noon – 5 p.m. • Main Pool, Hilton Hotel | Featuring: Honeychild • Special Event: An Evening with Christina Perri | Doors 8 p.m. — Concert 9 p.m. • Palm Springs Convention Center | * Note – separate ticket from White Party • The Dinah White Party | Doors 9 p.m. • Palm Springs Convention Center | Featuring: Ivy Levan APRIL 4 | Saturday • Cabana Girl Pool Party | 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. • Main Pool, Hilton Hotel | Featuring: Crystal Waters • Battle of the DJs | Starts at Noon • Main Pool, Hilton Hotel | * Note – included with Pool Party admission • Special Event: An Evening with Meghan Trainor | Doors 8 p.m. — Concert 9 p.m. • Palm Springs Convention Center | * Note – separate ticket from Black Party • The Dinah Black Party | Doors 9 p.m. • Palm Springs Convention Center | Featuring: Bebe Rexha APRIL 5 | Sunday • Wet and Wild Pool Party | 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. • Main Pool, Hilton Hotel | Featuring: Rose Royce • Battle of the DJs | Starts at Noon • Main Pool, Hilton Hotel | * Note – included with Pool Party admission • The Dinah Opening Party | 9 p.m. – 2 a.m. • Zelda’s Nightclub | Featuring: Olivia E11EVEN Visit | Get all 11 parties for $269 (+ $10 for comedy show) or purchase each individually.


Add a little 'Sugar' to your Dinah weekends Morgan M. Hurley | Editor If you’re like me, you like to get a little “gussied up” and pampered before all the pool parties, dancing, concerts and other fun at Dinah Shore Weekend. In the past, I’ve always arrived in the desert a day early — to get a pedicure and hit up a spa in either Palm Desert, Palm Springs or even Desert Hot Springs — for some “me time” before I’m sharing space with all those other ladies. This year, I decided to stay local and try out Indigo Salon and Spa, located at 3545 Fourth Ave., in Hillcrest. My typical spa day has generally always consisted of a facial, some type of body wrap and/or scrub, and a massage; but this time I really wanted to change it up a little and try something I’ve never tried before. I recently heard “sugaring” is the latest trend for removing body hair, especially “below the belt,” and it’s getting rave reviews. I’ll be honest, I’ve never even considered a wax job “down there” before, but after researching the sugaring, I decided to add it to my spa mix. Here’s my spa experience: Essential Facial (60 min) Esthetician Rhiannon Turksu I just love facials, they are the ultimate in pampering and my face soaks it up. Rhiannon was a joy to submit to. She was immediately “present” and interested in me as a person, not just a client.

a hurry? Try their Petite Facial, it’s only 30 minutes!

that have never done me wrong, I’ve never felt a fit. Either they bully my conservative choices, Hair (Color & cut — however give me a chop job, want to make long it takes) Creative Director Jefme a guinea pig with some crazy frey Compton radical cut, or give me a color that Aside from the independent makes me want to scream at the The facial she suggested included stylists, there are three levels of top of my lungs for weeks. all the important stuff; deep cleanshair dressers at Indigo: Stylist, SeBut within moments of sitting ing and exfoliation — feels so good nior Stylist and Creative Director. in Jeffrey’s chair, I trusted him — those darn tingly but necessary Jeffrey, a Creative Director with a completely. And though he said extractions, a customized mask, capital C and D, is 6 feet 4 inches what keeps him standing eight and neck, shoulhours a day, year after year der and hand is “making massages. people beautiOne of the ful,” he applied best parts was absolutely no the conversapressure with tion. Rhiannon me. That tells has an infectious me he can aslaugh that gently sess his clients encouraged my Indigo Salon and Spa in seconds and participation. intuitively work Though neither 3545 Fourth Ave. 92103 with them to of us generally Owners: Randi Hosking and bring out their equate facials Phyllis Strauss best. The color with socializing, Manager: Carrie Daly he chose for when I left, I not Appointments: 619-294-3055 me is one of my only felt totally favorites, ever, refreshed, but he applied an like I’d just spent an hour with An Indigo esthetician holds a handful of sugar, which looks like honey and manages expert “super like putty (Photo by Morgan M. Hurley) crunch” finish an old friend. A just using his week later, my hands and a dryer, and the masface was still feeling fresh, soft and of styling professionalism. The sage he gave my head during the rejuvenated. Austin native moved to San Diego wash phase was heavenly. I highly A San Diego native, Rhiannon seven years ago and got right to recommend him. works Wednesday through Saturwork at Indigo. He’s been doing Jeffrey, who now calls Normal day and on Mondays. She said she hair and makeup since he was an Heights home, works Tuesday hasn’t been to Dinah in years; but adolescent and has been certified through Saturday. that just might be because she and to do so since the year I graduated her long-term partner, whom she high school (1978). He credits his Sugaring (Brazilian style – 20 told me she met on OK Cupid, are mother with encouraging him to pretty darn comfy. pursue beauty school. “She used to min) Esthetician Rhiannon Turksu Rhiannon has been this type of Check out Indigo’s Signature leave books around the house for esthetician for eight years but was or Raw Green Facial or convince me to find,” he said of her supportskilled at waxing, first. Sugaring, she your best pal gay to come along ive and empowering ways. told me, takes a lot of study, a lot of and get their Men’s Maintenance I’ve had my hair coiffed by dozpractice, and a lot of patience. For Facial. The Famage combines the ens of people over the years, and someone like me, who is terrified of essential facial with a massage. In except for one cut and color team

GAY SAN DIEGO March 20 - April 2, 2015


this process, it was important that Rhiannon shared that she knows all the tricks to make the experience “as quick and as painless as possible.” The best thing was that she told me I didn’t have to discuss all the nitty gritty details with the front desk, just book a “Brazilian sugar” and she’d work it out once we decided. She also helped me understand what was what, and since I had already seen her on another day for the facial, I went in feeling pretty confident and not nearly as afraid as I had been. I did get a kick out of the “playful terminology” she gave me that is out there for when you don’t want “the full Monty” — the “Dorito” and the “Frito.” You can use your imagination on those. The minute I arrived for my appointment, Rhiannon began calming my nerves. I must admit at first it was eerily similar to a trip to the OB/ GYN office. Having never done this my expectations were based in fear but after seeing the “sugar” up close and discussing the procedure, my fear fell away. The sugar compound looks like honey and while warm, it is not hot — Rhiannon handles it with her own thinly gloved hands — and it only grabs your hairs, not your skin; plus the removal process is a more common sense approach. Not gonna lie, there was a teeny bit of discomfort in some places, but nothing like what I’ve heard from friends about waxing and the results are fantastic. What was I waiting for? If you’ve only ever had a Brazilian wax, you must try sugaring. If you’ve never tried anything down there, sugaring is the way to go. Rhiannon will give you die-hard waxers a test on your next visit, and I guarantee you will switch. Now go get your sugar on!

— Reach Morgan M. Hurley at



GAY SAN DIEGO March 20 - April 2, 2015

contacting coworkers and clients and handling official duties until Rhodes could return. Melero had known Strauss since before he entered beauty school and had worked with Hosking 30 years before at the former Tops Salon in Mission Hills. Many of the current staff were also brought over to Indigo from Tops and other salons Melero had previously worked at. “He was he was like the godfather of the salon,” Hosking said. “It was really funny because if he told us to do something, we usually did were telling stories because he was passionate about homeless people and he was a runner, and he’d go for a run and he’d come back without his shirt on because he’d given his shirt to a homeless person, or he would knock on someone’s door in Hillcrest because he needed a shirt because he’d given his to a homeless person.” Hosking said weeks later, the salon as a whole is still grieving, but it has brought an already close staff even closer together. “We’re a very tight, tight group,” she said. “We are a very

Oscar Melero (center) beaming at the salon with friends Courtesy Indigo Salon and Spa)

The shirt off his back

Death of a local stylist brings a salon together for greater good Morgan M. Hurley | Editor Indigo is a bustling salon and spa located in the heart of Hillcrest. Its owners, Randi Hosking and Phyllis Strauss, took over from the previous owner four years ago. Since then, they have completely remodeled the inside and grown their staff to 24 chairs and 40 employees, some working as independent stylists, while the others report to the salon’s manager, Carrie Daly, who stayed on along with a number of others after the transition. They are a “no drama” salon, according to Hosking, that is until tragedy struck two weeks ago.

In the early morning of Feb. 15, Oscar Melero, a long time Indigo independent hair stylist, was killed by a drunk driver on his way to the California 10/20 race in Del Mar. Sitting in traffic on Interstate 5, Melero’s BMW was last in a long line of cars waiting to exit Via de la Valle when a 24-year-old second offender with no driver’s license slammed into the back of his vehicle traveling at 85 mph Melero was 52. His partner, Ryan Rhodes, is a pilot and was out of town at the time of the accident. The accident devastated the salon and with Rhodes stuck out of town in an ice storm, Hosking and Strauss had to take action,

The staff of Indigo at the 2012 Keep a Breast fundraiser, owners Phyllis Strauss and Randi Hosking are lower left, respectively (Courtesy Indigo Salon and Spa) it. Everybody else would always try to tell us to do stuff.” The Saturday after the accident, Feb. 21, Melero was supposed to host a baby shower for Michelle Ward, an Indigo stylist about to have twins and one of his closest friends. The salon hosted a Celebration of Life instead. Friends, family, colleagues and clients of decades filled Melero and Rhodes’ home, mourning and sharing their loss. “The celebration of life was beautiful,” Hosking said. “People

large salon without a lot of drama, and it was kind of nice to grieve with a very large group — everybody was really close to begin with.” The staff made an altar at his station with the flowers and notes they received and clients of Melero’s came in to pay their respects; many just wanted to sit in his chair. In a speech given at the memorial service from the salon, Melero’s love for life and people’s love for him was apparent. “You were beyond amazing Os-

car Miguel Melero. Born on Sept. 25, 1962 in Juarez, Mexico, Oscar led a beautiful life in 52 years. After graduating high school in Chicago where the Melero family settled, Oscar served his country and has called San Diego home ever since. An avid runner, he planned to complete the San Diego Triple Crown this year, which includes finishing the Carlsbad, La Jolla and America’s Finest City Half Marathons. Oscar could be found most mornings at Peet’s in Hillcrest getting his morning coffee and on Sundays at the Farmers Market for coconuts and green energy drinks.  His voracious love of food was legendary! As well, his infectious appetite for life was ever evident by the grin on his face. With no effort, his quiet acknowledgment made you feel that you mattered and taught all of us how to be better human beings.  An innate ability to connect, quick to laugh, honest without malice and without being conscious of it he was leader, mentor and friend to countless.” Melero’s passion to help the homeless will carry on, thanks to his friends at Indigo. Hosking, a breast cancer survivor who was rediagnosed just weeks after celebrating her five-year cancer-free anniversary in 2012, has made it a point to hold annual fundraisers at Indigo. She said they knew when they first took over the property they wanted to give back to the community. In 2012, Indigo held their first event, which included a fashion show and silent auction to benefit “Keep A Breast,” a local breast cancer awareness nonprofit. The following year Indigo’s benefactor was the Center for the Blind and last year it was The Center’s Youth Housing Project. Hosking said she spoke to the staff at the salon and it has been decided this year’s fundraiser will benefit the homeless in Oscar’s name. Details have not yet been set, but they are shooting for June and the name of the event is expected to be “The Shirt off of Oscar’s Back.” “He was really a big part of our lives,” Hosking said. “We had dinner with him regularly, his partner Ryan and he had been together over 12 years. They were like family to us.” Stay tuned as we bring you updates to this fundraiser that will mean so much to those who loved Oscar Melero, and the homeless it will help who never knew him. For more information about Indigo Salon and Spa, visit —Morgan M. Hurley can be reached at

Love, friendship and “soul mates” Life Beyond Therapy Michael Kimmel Have you heard people talk about their “soul mate”? This perfectly-designed person is your ideal match. God sent them just for you. There is no other person on earth who would be such a good match. Do you believe this? Because, if you do, recent psychological research shows that you’re going to have a very hard time in a romantic relationship. New research suggests that believing in the concept of a soul mate tends to make people more dissatisfied in their relationships. If your partner must be your soul mate, it implies that the two of you should have perfect harmony and no conflicts whatsoever. As a result, when you and your alleged “soul mate” end up arguing — as you inevitably will — it hurts even more. Studies suggest that instead of looking for your soul mate, couples should instead view their relationship as a journey, a process that unfolds over time, e.g., “our relationship is an ongoing adventure” and “look how far we’ve come.” Viewing love as a journey — not the magical stuff of soul mates — is more associated with happier relationships. Why? Well, these couples expect conflict. They expect hard times along the way. They aren’t naïve, and, as a result, their relationships are more resilient and happier. Believing in soul mates, destiny, or the idea that there is exactly one person you are meant to find is highly correlated to relationships where the couple put less effort into working through relationship conflict. Soul mate people more often expect that nothing should go wrong in their relationship; that it will be easy. When conflict happens, Mr. or Ms. Soul Mate is likely to question whether their partner is really “the one,” so they give up on working it out. People who believe in relationships as a process of growth typically experience disagreements as opportunities to grow closer as they work things out together. The last research study I read found that there’s one relationship cliché that may actually be helpful: thinking of your partner as your best friend. Valuing the friendship aspect of your marriage/relationship might be the most important thing you can do, suggests a study from Purdue University. Couples who are, at their core, very good friends are also more likely to be more in love, are more committed to each other, and even have better sex than couples who value their friendship less. All that good stuff keeps growing over time, this research suggests, and these couples are also less likely

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COMMUNITY VOICES to split up. Why is friendship so important to a loving relationship? I think that the core of friendship is the core of a good marriage/partnership: mutual respect, enjoying each other’s company, common interests and values, kindness and acceptance (even when there are major differences of opinion). These values make both friendships and marriages strong. What about sex, you might say? Well, great sex is a wonderful thing, but in most long-term relationships, the sex continues, but is often less important than the emotional bond and the physical intimacy — touching, kissing, lying on the couch together watching a movie — that may not lead to orgasm. Friendshipbased love will grow stronger as the (inevitable) repetitive nature of sex with someone you love — over time — becomes less exciting and novel, but deeper and more fulfilling. When I was younger, I loved the idea of soul mates and was determined to find mine. I was idealistic and went through quite a few men (and women) in my search. Alas, none measured up: They were all too fallible, just like me. Now that I’m older (61), I see that every relationship in my life is an unfolding adventure. Every relationship is hard to predict, from casual acquaintance to intimate partner. Despite our good intentions, we never really know everything about someone we love. There is always the unknown and the unpredictable and if we don’t make room for it, our relationships probably won’t last very long. A great relationship is less about magic or destiny, and more about finding someone who is both friend and lover, fellow adventurer and faithful companion. May you find such a person and treasure him/her when you meet. Enjoy your search. —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

In their own words Profiles in Advocacy Ian Morton I love that March is Women’s History Month. Now, with social media, I am continually blessed in being regaled with how sisters have been and continue to be “doin’ it for themselves.” So, for this month’s column, I wanted to open the platform to three San Diego County leaders who inspire me. No “mansplaining” needed —they tell their own stories. Tina Maravilla — Ms. San Diego Leather 2014-15; sexpositive activist “I’m one of those rare San Diego natives, a yacht club member who grew up in Coronado. For a long time, I struggled with fitting into my family and that typical Coronado community, trying to be straight, smart, successful, pretty, skinny, because it was expected of me. My struggle led to realization, but not before it led to drug abuse. My stepfather abused me as a child. I was a tomboy who fought with everyone. After a number of suicide attempts, I turned to drugs. Meth became my favorite addiction, and then abusive relationships. Five years ago, I found Leather, and the sex-positive community that emboldened me to figure out who I am. I’m queer, smart, successful, happy with my body, sober and damn sexy, because I want to be. I am transforming this community with a new sex-positive community center called The Stomping Ground San Diego (TSGSD). Empowerment and sexual freedom go hand and hand for me. Taking back what was once a very negative part of my life has become a major life goal. I empower others by asking them what it is that they really want. Sexual freedom starts with self. I’m Tina; Ms. San Diego Leather 2014-15.” Heather Arculeo — determined advocate I had been serving for eight years in U.S. Marine Corps when I was

GAY SAN DIEGO March 20 - April 2, 2015


San Diego, I came out in college and began my transition with haste. After marching through my teen years resenting my body’s puberty, when I diagnosed with HIV in 2007. I was turned 18, I came out to my parents. confused because growing up in a The fear of waiting any longer far small farm town, never experimentoutweighed my fear of the repercusing with drugs, and being that I was sions of coming out. Luckily my a married woman, I was far from the parents’ love was unconditional, and stereotype I had of individuals who I was supported through college and were HIV-positive. Attending a class my transition. at the Balboa Naval Hospital gave me I spent an entire childhood indoors in the suburbs of East County insight into my new diagnosis, but it not knowing what ‘community’ truly could not help me understand how meant. I found the power of close I contracted HIV from my husband, bonds and community in other trans who was also in the military. people while struggling with postWhy wasn’t I taught about the graduation unemployment and after prevalence of HIV in the military volunteering as a camp counselor at a at our annual health and wellness summer camp for transgender youth. trainings, and how did this happen The wholly and completely safe if military members were supposed space I experienced at that camp showed me what the world was missing, and soon after I began volunteering with queer and transgender youth all over the greater San Diego County area. Since then I have worked with multiple nonprofits, started a resource website, held a title, started events large and small and have worked (l to r) Heather Arculeo (Self); Claire Russell (Photo by Sarah Loud); (front cover, top) Tina tirelessly to bring the trans comMaravilla (Photo by John O'Mara) munity together and to foster its growth. This has only been the first couple of years of my work as an to be regularly tested for all STD’s activist and advocate and every time I each year? I only found out I was am told I helped save someone’s life, positive through the standard testing helped someone find resources, or used when I went to donate blood. If simply brightened someone’s day, it I could have imagined I was at risk, I fuels me to do more and more.” would have been more careful, especially having found out that my husThere are heroes walking band was diagnosed in the military among us, great and small. two years before he even met me. When you see these women, or I have and will continue to fight to any who you know are on the bring HIV education into the annual front lines or behind the scenes trainings for military because there of social justice movements, are major risk factors for military don’t forget to stop and say, members. I will also continue to focus “Thank you”! on educating and inspiring other military members to take an active role —Ian D. Morton is the senior in their own care, and to advocate on program analyst at San Diego the much-needed change in policies Human Dignity Foundation and regarding HIV testing and retention produces the Y.E.S. San Diego LGin the military.” BTQ youth conference. To nomiClaire Russell – trans activist nate an individual or nonprofit and advocate; juggernaut of optifor this column, please email the mism and positivity information to “Born and raised right here in



GAY SAN DIEGO March 20 - April 2, 2015



Tax planning update for same-sex couples By the California Society of CPAs Since 2013, federal tax laws for married couples have applied to same-sex couples who are married in jurisdictions where same-sex marriage is legal, even if the couple lives in a jurisdiction that doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage. Below the CalCPA address some of the tax planning issues facing the growing list of couples affected by these legal changes and offers timely advice. Make the most of deductions This is good advice for virtually any taxpayer, but it may take on new importance for some legally married same-sex couples. That’s because like any married couple, they may face the “marriage penalty” that will hike their tax bill if both spouses earn about the same amount. If one spouse makes significantly more than the other, however, their joint tax bill may decline slightly after marriage. Couples who were married

before the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013 may also want to consider amending eligible earlier returns if they are due a refund for those years. Your CPA can help you understand your situation and plan ahead to minimize your tax bill. Grapple with state tax issues For couples who got hitched in a state where same-sex marriage is legal but who are now living in states that do not recognize it, tax time can be particularly complicated. They may find themselves filing one federal tax return as a married couple filing jointly and two separate state returns as individuals, or preparing-but not submitting-two individual federal returns to help in figuring out their state taxes. For these couples, it’s impor-

tant to understand the tax laws on same-sex marriage in their home state and how they may affect them. Reconsider estate planning The Supreme Court case that made same-sex marriage recognized at the federal level was actually a tax case, brought by a woman who had to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in estate taxes when her spouse died, money she would not have owed if she had been part of a heterosexual married couple. Estate planning is an important consideration for any couple, and legally married same-sex couples should be aware of new opportunities on this front, particularly those who have accumulated valuable assets. Each spouse can now inherit an unlimited amount from the other tax free, like any other married couple. Think about home and health In planning your future together, it’s important to take into account some of the other advantages of marriage. For example,

PUBLISHER David Mannis (619) 961-1951

ART DIRECTOR Vincent Meehan (619) 961-1961

Frank Lechner (619) 961-1971

EDITOR Morgan M. Hurley (619) 961-1960

PRODUCTION ARTISTS Todd Kammer, x115 Suzanne Dzialo

Andrew Bagley, x106 Ilka Weston, x105 Lisa Hamel, x107

WEB & SOCIAL MEDIA Jen Van Tieghem, x118

ACCOUNTING Priscilla Umel-Martinez (619) 961-1962

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Hutton Marshall, x102 Jeremy Ogul, x119 CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Benny Cartwright Michael Kimmel Jeff Praught Ian Morton Frank Sabatini Jr. INTERN KC Stanfield

COPYEDITOR Dustin Lothspeich SALES & MARKETING DIRECTOR Mike Rosensteel (619) 961-1958 ADVERTISING CONSULTANTS Sloan Gomez (619) 961-1954

WEB DESIGN Kim Espinoza

DISTRIBUTION Gay San Diego is distributed free every other Friday of the month. COPYRIGHT 2015. All rights reserved.

owning investments jointly as a married couple gets easier and reaping the benefits of homeownership is less complicated because couples can take the mortgage deduction together on a joint return instead of splitting it between two individual returns. They can also qualify together to take the home sale exclusion, which can allow them to avoid taxes on up to $500,000 of the gain on the sale of their principal residence. Other advantages include the potential to quality for spousal health insurance and to avoid extra taxes for it. Consult your local CPA Same-sex couples face new financial planning opportunities and potential complications. As you work to address them, remember that your local CPA can help. Turn to him or her with all your financial questions. —This information is provided as a joint effort of the American Institute of CPA and the California Society of Certified Public Accountants (CalCPA), headquartered in San Mateo, California, as part of the profession’s nationwide 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy program. For more financial tips visit calcpa. org or

The Greater San Diego Business Association (GSDBA) is requesting nominations from the community to recognize business and community leaders at its annual business awards dinner and silent auction, which will take place in June. Submissions, which are due by April 5, are requested in the following categories: business of the year; nonprofit of the year; community leadership award; emerging business of the year; and corporate partner of the year. Those wishing to nominate a business or community leader for those categories are asked to fill out an online nomination form, complete an interactive PDF, or download a printable nomination form and fax it to 619-274-8180 or turn it in to the GSDBA offices at a 3737 Fifth Ave., Suite 201, in Hillcrest. All nomination options are available on the website. Brief narratives along with the name of the community leader or business and the reason for the nomination, including any outstanding personal achievements or civic involvements should be considered part of the nomination as well as ways in which the nominee “assisted, advised, motivated and inspired others.” There is a 200-word limit for the nominations. The GSDBA’s awards dinner, presented by California Bank and Trust, will be held at the Kona Kai Resort & Marina, located at 1551 Shelter Island Drive, on June 11 from 6 – 9 p.m. Tickets are $80 and must be reser ved by June 5. For more information visit

JOIN THE CENTER’S #BETHEGENERATION TEAM AT BABYCAKES The San Diego LGBT Center’s latest initiative — the #BeTheGeneration campaign to end HIV/ AIDS — is picking up steam. The Center’s BTG team has been seen all over town wearing their #BeTheGeneration t-shirts in recent weeks, showing up in force to talk about PrEP, listen to concerns and answer questions from anyone who wishes to learn more about how they can be part of #BeTheGeneration. This Sunday, March 22, during “Church” from 3 – 7 p.m. at Babycakes, located at 3766 Fifth Ave., in Hillcrest, the BTG team will be on hand to share more information. Those

see Briefs, 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.

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.

Business Improvement Association

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

BRIEFS wishing to get a BTG T-shirt and join them can do so for just a $15 donation through the #BeTheGeneration Sunday at Babycakes event page on Facebook. Once you make the donation a representative from The Center will contact you about the shirt. For more information about The Center’s programs, visit

FREE INTERIOR DESIGN WORKSHOPS Lamps Plus is hosting two free home decorating workshops where attendees can speak with interior designers and have oneon-one project evaluations. Open to anyone interested in learning the basics of interior design or sprucing up their home, the first one will take place March 28 at the Lamps Plus located at 8375 Hercules St. in La Mesa. The second workshop will take place April 25 at the Lamps Plus at 1303 W. Morena Blvd. Both workshops start at 11 a.m. and each one-hour class will mention recent trends in interior design, style, color and lighting. Attendees will learn how to define their unique styles and make a statement in any room. They should bring their project photos and plans for the one-on-one evaluations after ward. Classes will be led by a certified speaker and home specialist with the American Lighting Association, which is a trade association that represents the lighting industr y. For more information visit

AVER TO LAUNCH NEW CHAPTER IN SAN DIEGO The American Veterans for Equal Rights (AVER) is hosting an open house and luncheon at 1 p.m. on March 29, to kick off the start up of its new chapter in San Diego. The luncheon, themed “Share the Pride,” is open to all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender armed forces veterans and ser vice members, and will be held at T Lounge (formerly Bamboo Lounge), located at 1475 University Ave., in Hillcrest. AVER President Steve Loomis, a retired Army lieutenant commander and gay combat veteran, and vice president, retired Navy Chief Petty Officer Julz Carey, will both be on hand to meet guests and “share in the pride” of opening this

NEWS/COMMUNITY new chapter. Founded in 1990, AVER advocates for veteran and ser vice members’ “honor, right and duty to ser ve,” as well as for equal benefits and a support system. Membership in AVER is $35, but free for active duty and reser vist personnel, and both WWII veterans and those over 80 are offered free lifetime memberships. RSVP to the luncheon at For more information visit

SEX-POSITIVE COMMUNITY CENTER LAUNCHES On March 7, The Leather Foundation, a local 501(c)(3), launched the Stomping Ground San Diego (TSGSD), a safe, legal, membership-based, BDSM sex-positive space to be used for educational workshops and alternative sexuality play. Led by interim board president Tina Maravilla, aka “Sarge,” who is also Ms. San Diego Leather 2015-16, TSGSD is supported by a dedicated group of proponents from the leather, kinky and sex-positive communities who have worked together to establish a space with the shared philosophy of having a safe and welcoming space for all. “It’s clear that I’m not the only one who has wanted a sex-positive center here in San Diego,” Sarge said. “But it takes a village to make this happen. I’m fortunate to be able to work with so many people who are tirelessly giving their time, energy, and even their money to make this space a reality.” TSGSD will offer annual private memberships for the 1,600 square foot space that are “affordable for most ever y budget.” The play space will include high quality BDSM and bondage furniture and offer a schedule of events that includes a “play party” ever y week. First Fridays will be men only; second Fridays will cater to pansexuals; third Fridays will be women only; and the fourth Friday will be themed or fetish. The occasional fifth Friday will be set aside for member’s choice or all volunteers. During the week educational presentations will be offered during the evenings and the space will also be available for private parties. TSGSD’s mission statement is as follows: “The Stomping Ground San Diego promotes the exploration and celebration of human sexuality. TSGSD seeks to educate and facilitate consensual open sexual expression and dialogue and provides a venue for fellowship and community. TSGSD’s vision is inclusive of all sexualities and of the vast

expression of human sexuality: As proponents of sex positive culture, we believe that the appropriate uses of sex extend beyond reproduction. In a sex positive world, ever yone has the freedom and resources to pursue a fulfilling and empowering sex life.” For more information about memberships, email You can also find them on or Twitter @TSG_SD.

TASTE OF HILLCREST RETURNS The annual “Taste of Hillcrest,” sponsored by the Hillcrest Business Association (HBA), will bring the neighborhood’s top chefs and their fabulous cuisine together for the 15th year April 18. “We are ver y excited about the 2015 Taste of Hillcrest,” said HBA Executive Director Benjamin Nicholls. “It’s the perfect place to experience a unique culinar y adventure and enjoy an afternoon here in San Diego’s finest neighborhood.” The self-guided tasting tour will span approximately 12 blocks and include more than 40 cafes, bistros and five-star dining establishments. Food from far-reaching locations such as Italy, the Middle East, Asia and Mexico as well as American favorites will tantalize foodies making the four-hour trek from noon to 4 p.m. Check in will be at the corner of Fifth and Robinson avenues. Tickets are $30 and available at under events.

LOCAL HRC GALA IN PLANNING STAGES HRC San Diego invites the public to their Gala Table Captain party, to be held March 26, at Busalacchi’s A Modo Mio in Hillcrest. Gala Co-Chairs Lisa Mata and Dorian Moore, along with the HRC San Diego Board of Governors, and the HRC San Diego Steering Committee, will convene to commemorate the kickoff of their 2015 Gala season. They will update the community on gala plans and the work HRC in doing in San Diego and around the countr y. Special guest speaker will be San Diego resident, Dr. Vincent Pompei, director of HRC Foundation’s Youth Well-Being Project and chairman of Time to THRIVE. For more information visit

see Briefs, pg 9



GAY SAN DIEGO March 20 - April 2, 2015


treatment options now available to prevent HIV infection, including pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) medications. Educate medical providers to make routine opt-out HIV testing more available. Help those living with HIV to receive the medical care and medicines needed to keep their viral

love to do — connecting and informing people. When Gay San Diego reached out to me about the possibility of writing a regular column for this paper, I knew that it would be the perfect way for me to mesh my love of sharing information with the community, and my passion for the work we do at The Center every day. In each edition of this column, I’ll highlight some of the great things we’re working on at The Center, as well as other cool events and happenings around town, and maybe throw in fun personal updates. While today’s column is intended to be a shorter introduction, I assure you that there will be a lot of great reading ahead. I do, however, want to introBenny Cartwright. (Photo by Rob Lucas/Modern Aperture) duce you to The Center’s #BeTheGeneration campaign, which loads down, so they are able to launched late last year. Through live long, healthy lives — and are this campaign and the strategies less likely to transmit the virus. associated with it, we have a Advocate for public policies goal of ending new HIV cases in that give those at risk for HIV San Diego by 2024. It’s bold and full access to medical options to ambitious, but it’s completely prevent and treat HIV. doable. Strengthen HIV prevention The big question I get ever y and education efforts, includtime I mention that goal is “How?” ing routine and easier access So many people are unaware to PrEP and condoms, so that of the game-changing advances people can manage their sexual in HIV prevention and care, health without fear or shame. mostly because of the shame You’ll hear a lot more about and stigma that still surrounds this campaign in the future, but the disease. As I’ve written in the meantime, visit events.thebefore, I, too, feared HIV/AIDS to learn more. for most of my adult life and And if you’ve been wondering it has only been recently, with where to get the great #BeThenewly gained education, that I Generation T-shirts you’re seeno longer believe that HIV is an ing around town, there are still inevitable par t of my future — a few left. Just head to events. or the future of my community., I’ve outlined six things tion, make a minimum donation we are doing in the campaign of $15 to the campaign and get a to work toward the end of new T-shirt of your own. cases of HIV. Stop the fear and stigma too of—Benny Car twright is the ten associated with being HIV-pos- director of community outreach at itive, which prevents people from the San Diego LGBT Community testing and seeking treatment. Center. He can be reached at 619Educate all San Diegans 692-2077 ext. 106 or outreach@ about the full range of medical t



GAY SAN DIEGO March 20 - April 2, 2015


A renewed concept is in store for Local Habit in Hillcrest as it reopens on March 28 with a “Cali-Creole” menu authored by consulting chef and Louisiana native Nick Brune. The restaurant has been under renovation for the past few months and will spring back to life with a sidewalk patio, rollup windows and a splashy mural created by acclaimed live artist Sean Dietrich. (Look for our full stor y about Local Habit’s rebranding in the March 27 issue of San Diego Uptown News.) 3827 Fifth Ave., 619-795-4770.

(clockwise from above) Half Buffalo chicken, half Alfredo pizza; Pieology’s storefront; half pepperoni, half sausage pie (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.); (below) rustic veggie pizza (Courtesy Pieology)

Restaurant Review Frank Sabatini Jr. Ever since ancient Romans and Greeks began lopping various ingredients onto flatbreads, the quest for supreme pizza-making has raged on. Few other foods incite such widespread bravado, with some pizzas adhering sternly to 19th-century Italian standards and others following along more modern, deviant lines. Pieology espouses a little of both and does it fairly well in fastfired fashion. Headquartered in Rancho Santa Margarita, California, the company has four locations in San Diego County and about 50 nationwide. They greet with a hodgepodge of inspirational quotes by notable people, painted across a large wall leading to the order counter, where some serious finger pointing begins. Customers choose their crust, sauce, cheese and toppings from a staffed assembly line in the same manner they would when building a burrito at Chipotle. But for pizza, the possibilities are expectedly greater, if not dizzying at Pieology. Size is the only factor set in

stone. Each pizza measures 11 1/2 with “Alfredo’s inches in diameter. The dough Alfredo” captur(white, wheat or gluten-free) is ing forgivably pressed thin for several seconds in mild cheese sauce a modern contraption resembling beneath a tasty blanket a large pressure cooker. For better of mozzarella, Parmeor worse, the dough disks are san, garlic, mushrooms, free of air bubbles, wrinkles and artichokes and fresh basil. Not crimped edges. bad, but it was the Buffalo-chicken Once the ingredients go on, the hemisphere that kept me singing pizzas get baked in a flaming oven with its powerful, zesty flavors. for four to six minutes while their My companion fell instantly makers poke and prod them along in love with the “rustic veggie” the way to ensure even cooking. pizza, also from the “favorites” The entire process is conmenu. We ordered it on ducted in plain sight. wheat crust, which At no extra paired pleasantly charge, Pieolto its crowning ogy makes of roasted pizzas with peppers, split toppings red onions, 3455 Sports Arena Blvd. regardless sweet corn, Suite 110 how dramatigarlic, (Midway District) cally one half basil and 619-223-0600 differs from plops of Prices: Salads and sides, the other. creamy $2.95 to $7.95; For our first ricotta. It’s pizzas, $6.45 to $7.95 custom pie, we rich and fla(add $2 for glutenborrowed from vorful enough the “favorites” to satisfy stubfree crusts) menu, choosing half born carnivores. Buffalo-style chicken on We self-crafted a bed of Gorgonzola, mozzaour third pizza with half peprella, cilantro and fiery sauce closely peroni and half meatball. No fancy resembling Frank’s RedHot Sauce. cheeses, just plain ole mozzarella We contrasted the other side with red sauce on the pepperoni side and herby butter sauce on the other, which can potentially compliment a host of other available toppings such as ham, chicken, sausage, spinach, etc. Both halves were slightly greasy, but in that good way you encounter on pies slung by traditional AmericanItalian pizzerias. Other pizza ingredients that feed into indecision include pesto and barbecue sauces — or simply


plain olive oil — plus feta, ricotta and Gorgonzola cheeses along with sausage, bacon, banana peppers, pineapple and more. Oddly, seafood is completely missing from the protein lineup, mainly to prevent cross contamination within the ovens as the pizzas bake, we’re told. Aside from the pies and their countless possibilities, there isn’t much else on the menu other than herb-butter dough strips and a couple of pre-made salads packaged in full and half containers. Basically you come for the pizza or you don’t come at all. For dessert, we tried an offmenu pizza sauced in lemon and pineapple juices and sprinkled with cinnamon. Luscious and juicy, the recipe was conceived by general manager Andrew Moreno, who hopes the corporate kitchen will add his fruity creation to the menu company-wide. In the spirit of advancing pizza concepts through continued study, as the name Pieology denotes, we cast our votes in favor of it. —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

BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT Conceptual Options 13025 Danielson St., # 200 | San Diego, CA 92064 858-771-0825 | Conceptual Options and The Center in Hillcrest are partnering up to bring a series of surrogacy and fertility informational classes to the LGBT community. There will be specific classes centering on women and their fertility and egg freezing options. This ongoing series will cover surrogacy, egg and sperm donors, fertility, as well as the reproductive legal process specifically for the LGBT community. Though the classes are open to everyone in the community, space is limited. Conceptual Options Surrogacy and Egg Donation Agency has

been making families a reality since 1999. Conceptual Options is experienced and dedicated to helping build your family through surrogacy, egg donation and sperm donation — regardless of your sexual orientation, marital status, or location. We offer a hands-on gestational surrogacy and egg donation program that encompasses all aspects of your case from surrogate and egg donor screening to preparing you for delivery. We strive to manage every aspect of your case, so that you can enjoy the special journey of creating your family.

Trey Nichols and James Holtslag at their spanking new butchery in North Park (Photo by John Dole) After many delays, the longawaited Heart and Trotter has opened in North Park with a meat case stocked with various cuts of chicken, beef, lamb and pork. The whole-animal butcher y launched a couple years ago as an online meat supplier by college pals Trey Nichols and James Holtslag. It has since relied partly on funds raised through Kickstarter before it could move into a retail space. In addition to raw meats, customers can also purchase pates and head cheese prepared in-house. A beer and wine license is in the works as well as butchering classes that will begin in a couple months. 2855 El Cajon Blvd., 619-564-8976. San Diego’s barbecue scene is about to expand when Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill finishes remodeling the space previously occupied by Randy Jones All American Sports Grill at the Hazard Center in Mission Valley. The Moorpark, California, chain makes its local debut in May with ribs, steaks, brisket, burgers, poultr y and fish cooked over oak fire. A full bar using freshly squeezed fruit juices will also be in place, along with “tailgate ser vice” that allows customers to pick up their orders from the restaurant’s parking lot before heading to the ball parks. 7150 Hazard Center Drive, Suite 215, Patty Thongchua, the owner of Plumeria Vegetarian in University Heights and Asian Bistro in Hillcrest, is opening a third restaurant in Normal Heights in the next few months. She plans on naming it Chi, followed perhaps by “bistro” or “kitchen.” The menu will feature all-organic, largely vegetarian dishes with some poultry, eggs and fish sprinkled throughout it along with Thai influences. The space is located at the corner of Adams Avenue and Idaho Street.

see Foodie, pg 15 FROM PAGE 7

BRIEFS GAY MEN’S CHORUS KICKS OFF 30TH YEAR The San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus will present a “Greatest Hits — Volume One” concert in honor of its 30th anniversary on April 18 and 19 at the Balboa Theatre, Downtown. This show will feature songs such as “Dancing Queen,” “Like a Prayer,” “True Colors” and “Over the Rainbow.” Two small ensembles — the Chamber Chorale and the Mood Swings — and

The San Diego Gay Men's Chorus is celebrating 30 years (Courtesy SDGMC) the new San Diego Youth Pride Chorus will also perform. “This concert will showcase all of the most amazing songs from those years, including a very special encore of the first song we performed 30 years ago,” said Artistic Director RC Haus in a press release. The San Diego Gay Men’s chorus was founded by a group of 40 gay men; today it is one of the largest gay choruses in the world with more than 200 members, including 185 singers and a dance troupe. Tickets range from a low of $17 up to $70 for preferred VIP seating. For tickets, visit, call the Balboa Theatre box office at 619-570-1100 or visit the San Diego Theatres Ticketing Services booth near the Civic Theater at Third Avenue and B Street.t


Telling our stories Lambda Archives Walter G. Meyer This weekend, in cooperation with Diversionary Theatre, San Diego Lambda Archives presents “Telling Our Stories — LGBTQ Oral History,” Saturday, March 21 at 2 p.m. Long-time activist Steven F. Dansky is visiting from New York to talk about his project, “OUTSpoken: Oral History from LGBTQ Pioneers,” that unpacks our history with stories from audacious pathfinders and gay liberationists; dykes and lesbian separatists; and radical fairies and queens. These pioneers formulated a daring politics with insights about human existence, trans- and gender identity, and sexual orientation that has inspired generations of postStonewall Rebellion activists and change-agents, academics and historians, and artists, filmmakers, and writers. Dansky will screen an op-doc trailer with snippets of the archived interviews. He’ll discuss saving our history throughout his journey traveling coast-to-coast through rural communities to urban epicenters, and globally via Skype to Bangkok, Buenos Aires and Melbourne. Joining Dansky on stage will be the people recording our own local oral histories. Attorney and activist Robert Lynn has been interviewing pioneers of the San Diego LGBT community including Bridget Wilson, Stan Lewis, Chris Shaw, Al Smithson, George Murphy and oth-

ers. When someone recently asked when the project would be finished, a spokesperson for the Archives said, “Never.” There are so many people whose histories are worth preserving that the list is endless. In addition, local videographers Meredith Vezina and Ellen Holzman have been borrowing the Archives to record interviews for their trans history project. They have taped the histories of transgender individuals including those of Connor Maddocks, Vicki Estrada, and Tracie O’Brien with many more scheduled. These local videos will become part of the Archives’ permanent collection. At the “Telling Our Stories” event, Dansky, Lynn, Vezina and Holzman will each talk about their process, show clips from their work, then join in a discussion of oral histories and answer questions. The program will last until 3:30 p.m., followed by an hour-long reception. This very special event will be held inside the Diversionary theater space, 4545 Park Blvd., and is free to the public. There is a $10 suggested donation. The Archives will be open for tours before and after the program. For more information, visit our Facebook page and click the dropdown menu “More” and click “Events.” Other archival news • On Feb. 2 at Cygnet Theatre, the Archives helped with a wonderful memorial to Jonathan DunnRankin. Many in San Diego knew this amazing man as a newscaster or an actor, but less aware of his activism as one of the first gay people to seek public office in San Diego. He was also a founder of the

GAY SAN DIEGO March 20 - April 2, 2015


San Diego Democratic Club, a leader of the Gay Academic Union and an early supporter of Lambda Archives (to which he made donations of both money and materials pertaining to his work). The Archives will continue its tribute to the life of Dunn-Rankin with a display in the lobby of Diversionary Theatre during the current show (“Baby with the Bathwater” — through March 29). Dunn-Rankin starred Items left behind at Bourbon Street now have a new in several plays at home (Courtesy Lambda Archives) Diversionary, served on its board (even tions and newspapers have closed, as president), and donated a tile in Lambda Archives became recipient front of the theater that bears his of that irreplaceable history. We favorite quote from Hamlet: “Suit thank the new owners for saving that the action to the word.” part of our community’s past. There will be more information There is a lot more planned for about Dunn-Rankin on display at the the Archives! Follow us on TwitArchives (located just behind Diter @LambdaArchives and like us versionary) and the lobby’s exhibit area will be open extra hours during on Facebook (Lambda Archives of San Diego) or visit our web site much of the show’s run so theater( to get the latgoers may visit both before curtain est updates on all that is happening, and during intermission. including the ongoing collaboration • The Archives recently got a with Save Our Heritage Organizavisit from Andy Zlotnik, one of the tion to identify and preserve places new owners of Park & Rec, formerly known as Bourbon Street. He said of importance to LGBT history. And that in the process of remodeling stay tuned to this column for more he and his business partner John exciting events coming soon from Pani found sports trophies, Nicky Out of the Archives! awards, other civic commendations, and hundreds of photos from events —Walter G. Meyer is the author at the once-popular gay bar. They of the critically acclaimed gay novel contacted Bourbon Street’s former “Rounding Third,” a regular conowners who said they’d be happy giv- tributor to Gay San Diego, and the ing the memorabilia to the Archives. manager of Lambda Archives. Reach So as has happened when so many him at manager.lambda.archives@ other LGBT businesses,

events attheCenter tuesday, March 24

Wednesday, March 25

Senior Food Bank

Diamonds in the rough: etiquette with Miss Pepper

1 pm, the Center The Senior Food Bank Program provides food and nutrition education to eligible low-income seniors 60 years or older once a month. Eligible applicants can enroll in the program by applying in person at our site on the day of the event or call the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank at 866.350.3663. For more information, visit the San Diego Food Bank website or contact Larue Fields at or 619.692.2077 x205.

12 noon, the Center

tuesday, March 24

Women’s Discussion Group

Young Men’s Discussion Group 7:30 pm, the Center Connect to The Center and the community. Join other 18-35 year olds to talk about relationships, sexual health, activism, community building and more. The young men’s group meets at The Center on the 4th Tuesday of the month. For more information, contact aaron heier at 619.692.2077 x211, or

Project TRANS invites you to join Miss Pepper Price every other Wednesday for a fun and informative class on etiquette designed especially for trans women. The group meets from 12 noon-1:30 pm in Latino Services. For more information, contact Connor Maddocks: or call 619.692.2077 x109.

Monday, March 30

7 pm, the Center NEW FACILITATOR! Join us in room 201 for an open discussion group for LBT women to talk about a variety of subjects, including relationships, school, work, family, friends and any other topics of interest. For more information, email The San Diego LGBT Community Center 3909 Centre Street • 619-692-2077 Twitter: @LGBTCenter

mo10 c.ds-yaGAY g SAN DIEGO March 20 - April 2, 2015


Community Movie Night: For its third quarterly community movie night, “The Wizard of Oz” will be shown in Hillcrest’s Egyptian Quarter on a 26-foot outdoor screen while fresh popcorn and other snacks will be available for purchase. Free. The event starts at 6 p.m. with the movie starting at 8 p.m. Lot between Heat Bar & Kitchen and Numbers Night Club, 3811 Park Blvd., Hillcrest .Visit or Facebook. com/egyptianquarter. San Diego Bike Party – March Madness Ride: This monthly bike ride will celebrate basketball and encourages attendees to represent their favorite college teams. 8 p.m. Meet at Balboa Park Fountain. Find the event on Facebook under “San Diego Bike Party.”


NOH8 open photo shoot: Join the worldwide NOH8 campaign with your own solo or group photo. Single photos: $40, couple/group photos: $25 per person. Payment includes one edited digital photo made available online. 2 – 5 p.m. W Hotel, 421 W. B St., Downtown. Visit Telling Our Stories – LGBTQ Oral Histor y: This event presented by Lambda Archives of San Diego is free with a suggested donation of $10, which benefits the Archives (RSVP required). The program is from 2 – 3:30 p.m. with a reception following until 4:30 p.m. Diversionary Theatre, 4545 Park Blvd., University Heights. Visit


SDGMC Bachelor Auction: This bachelor auction will benefit the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus. After the event, winning bidders will accompany their bachelors on dinner dates to nearby sponsoring restaurants. Flicks, 1017 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit


Brad Bradley in ‘B Squared’: Hometown talent Brad Bradley performs a show that explores his journey from a young man struggling with his sexuality to realizing his dream with a career on Broadway. $20 reserved seating with $15 food/ drink min. Doors 6 p.m, show 8 p.m. Martinis Above Fourth, 3940 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest. Visit


Pride Legal Clinic: San Diego LGBT Pride and Tom Homann LGBT Law Association have teamed up to hear the legal concerns of the LGBT community and provide resources. Registration 5 p.m., event 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. San Diego Pride Office, 3620 30th St., North Park. Visit facebook. com/SanDiegoLGBTPride. LGBT Militar y Family Support Group: For LGBT active duty service members and their families — meeting on the fourth Tuesday of every month. Open for couples with or without children. 6 – 7:30 p.m. For more information contact Caroline Bender at 619222-5586 or caroline.bender. San Diego LGBT Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. Visit


Feeling Fit Club: New “50 or Better” class for older adults and suitable for all levels, Mondays & Wednesdays. Improve balance, strength, flexibility, etc. Exercises can be done sitting or standing. 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. Contact La Rue Fields at seniors@ The Center, 3903 Centre St., Hillcrest. Visit HIV testing: Lead the Way is offering this free and confidential service every Wednesday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Walgreens, 301 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit ‘This Is Family’ documentar y: A free screening of the LGBT documentar y with DignityUSA Associate Director Jim Smith. 4564 Idaho St. #13, North Park. Find the event on Facebook.


GSDBA Advocacy Committee Meeting: Fighting for public policies consistent with GSDBA mission and core values, the current priorities of premier concern are attaining full business equality for GSDBA members and full equality for LGBT persons. 12:15 – 1:30 p.m. GSDBA Conference Room, 3737 Fifth Ave., Hillcrest. Visit Volunteer info session: Learn about getting involved in this year’s Pride parade and festival. 6 p.m. San Diego Pride, 3620 30th St., North Park. facebook. com/SanDiegoLGBTPride. Democrats for Equality: Monthly meeting open to public on fourth Thursday of month. Meeting at 7 p.m. with

Thursday March 26

AIDS MEMORIAL BENEFIT CONCERT This comedy and music extravaganza will feature entertainment by Suzanne Westenhoefer, Chad Michaels, the San Diego Gay Men's Chorus and Manny Cepeda, and offer auctions, as well as food and drink. The event kicks off the first fundraiser for the mayor's San Diego AIDS Memorial Task Force. Show starts at 7 p.m. at The MG Chad Michaels (Photo by WDphotoINC) multi-use space located at 3090 Polk Ave., North Park. Tickets start at $20. Visit SDAIDSMemorial social time beginning one halfhour prior. Joyce Beers Community Center, 3900 Vermont St., Hillcrest. Visit Simply Barbra in ‘Back to Barbra’: Steven Brinberg will perform Streisand classics as Simply Barbra. Doors 6 p.m., show 8 p.m. $20 – 25. Martinis Above Fourth, 3940 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest. Visit ‘Baby with the Bathwater’: This comedy by Christopher Durang is directed by Andrew Oswald and showing through March. 29. Tonight’s performance includes a “Next Act” gathering: a chance to mix and mingle with stars of the upcoming Diversionary show, “A New Brain,” with hosted hors d’oeuvres, drink specials and more. 6 p.m. Use code GAYSD05 for $5 off tickets. Diversionary Theatre, 4545 Park Blvd., University Heights. Visit or call 619-220-0097.


Live Music: Jazz vocalist Jonathan Karrant performs in San Diego regularly. 8 – 11 p.m. 3797 Park Blvd., Hillcrest. Visit


GSDBA Pedal, Network, Prosper Social Club: A way for GSDBA members to socialize while bicycling around San Diego. The ride will begin at the Coronado Ferry Landing: 20-mile ride starts at 8:30 a.m., 10-mile ride starts at 9:30 a.m. Coffee, pastries and healthy snacks will be provided after the ride. Register online. Visit Volunteer info session: Learn about getting involved in this year’s Pride parade and festival. 6 p.m. San Diego Pride, 3620 30th St., North Park. facebook. com/SanDiegoLGBTPride.


Sisters’ Spring Fling Picnic: A celebration of the spring equinox with food, drink and entertainment along with the San Diego Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. Special gifts for those in costume. Noon. Balboa Park Botanical Gardens, 1549 El Prado. Visit


Divas sing ‘Into the Woods’: Eight performers including Leigh Scarritt, Tom An-

THE CHANGING FACE OF ATHLETICS 41 Emperor played by Charles Laughton 42 Where to gaze at a hottie 45 Cereal for which 20-Across was a spokesperson 47 “ ___ aux Folles” 50 Movie tough guy Chuck 51 Reef buildup 52 “Meet Me in St. Louis” writer Brecher 53 Fear of gender reassigned people 58 Diamond of note 60 Ease off when you masturbate? 61 Blow hard, in and out 62 Oz visitor Dorothy 63 Wife of Portia 64 Irish tongue 65 Filed for palimony, e.g. 66 Baryshnikov's jetes, e.g. 67 Charlie Brown expletive


Cesar Chavez day: The Center will be closed in observance of Cesar Chavez Day. Tantrums and Tiaras viewing party: For the first time, the event will be viewed in a real movie theatre. $5 donation at the door. Preparty on Urban Mo’s new balcony from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m., movie at 7 – 8:30 p.m. Landmark Hillcrest Cinemas, 3965 Fifth Ave., Hillcrest. Visit event/1365074.


TURN IT UP for Change: W Hotels worldwide have par tnered with HRC to stand up for marriage equality in all 50 states. Come listen to some live music and show your suppor t ever y first Wednesday of the month! A percentage of the proceeds go to HRC’s marriage equality initiatives. 6 – 9 p.m. W Hotel San Diego, 421 W. B St., Downtown. Free. Visit Guys, Games and Grub: The name says it all! A $10 donation for attending the event will go to men’s programming at The Center. 6:30 p.m. San Diego LGBT Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. Visit


Ben Rimalower in ‘Bad With Money’: This solo show treads deep personal territor y with Rimalower’s stor y of money struggles. Doors 6 p.m., show 8 p.m. $20 reser ved seating with $15 food/ drink minimum. Martinis Above Fourth, 3940 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest. Tickets visit ‘Easy as Pie’ baking class: Learn the basics of preparing dough, baking single and double-crust pies, lattice top pies, cream pies and hand pies. $75. 6 – 8:30 p.m. Bake Sale, 815 F St., Downtown. Visit —Email calendar items to

Q Q PUZZLE PUZZLE ACROSS 1 Delivered a mouthful, perhaps 5 Escort from the door 10 Straddling 14 Meat stabber 15 Too-too 16 Starch source 17 Bear up there 18 Emulate a pansy 19 “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning” singer 20 Athlete currently undergoing gender reassignment 23 Small salamander 24 Trapp title 25 Bitch of the ‘50s 27 Mortgage holder 29 20-Across won gold at this 1976 competition 31 Albee for short, et al. 32 SEC overseer 34 Is orally aggressive 35 Event for which 20-Across won the gold 38 On the ocean

drew and Sandy Campbell will perform songs from the Tony Award-winning musical “Into the Woods.” Doors 6 p.m., show 8 p.m. $20 reserved seating with $15 food/drink minimum. Martinis Above Fourth, 3940 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest. Tickets visit

DOWN 1 Designer ___ (facial hair style) 2 Attack by spraying from above 3 Provides with coverage 4 Official at Metropolitan Community Church 5 English Lit., e.g. 6 “Vogue” competitor 7 Collar kind 8 Club for Sheehan 9 To wit 10 From __ Z 11 Endures the masochist role 12 Opening 13 Emily Dickinson, in her day 21 Carbon compound suffix 22 Macho movie guy 26 Word with top, for Mauresmo 28 SASE, for one 29 One of the “Maneater” singers 30 Cowardly lion actor 33 Sadist’s tool 35 Letter opener

solution on page 12 36 Weird Al Yankovic song sucks? 37 “Ha ha!” on the Internet 38 Storefront shaders 39 “Walden” author 40 Like a slave to a master 42 “Nitrate Kisses” director Hammer 43 Hostile to 44 Ties in 46 Land of the cut 48 Essen exclamation 49 Chris of “American Beauty” 54 Ready and willing partner 55 Simba’s Broadway love 56 Brady Bunch prefix 57 Whitman and Dickinson 59 Was out in front


Diversionary hits high water mark with “Bathwater”

“Baby with the Bathwater” through March 29 7 p.m. Thursdays 8 p.m. Fridays & Saturdays 2 p.m. Sundays Diversionary Theatre 4545 Park Blvd. University Heights Tickets $32 & up or 619-220-0097

Scenes from Diversionary’s “Baby with the Bathwater”(Photos by Daren Scott)

Theater Review Charlene Baldridge Having seen Christopher Durang’s devastating and devastatingly funny “Baby With the Bathwater” around the time of its 1983 birth (my children had somehow survived into their teens), and having read the devastating review of a recent Chicago production, this intrepid theatergoer approached Diversionary Theatre’s production with (devastating) trepidation. Then, as now, “Baby With the Bathwater” is an indictment of inept parenting. Granted, society’s perceptions have changed. The play came out of an era when psychotherapy supported victims’ beliefs that all their woes proceeded from their badly managed upbringings. To his credit, Durang celebrates ineptness, from the initial “Oh, it’s a baby, and whatever shall we do with it?” phase to continuing clumsiness, to prolonged psychotherapy, to owning the consequences of one’s situation and moving forward. It’s straight out of a manual for living and after all these years holds up beautifully. Diversionary is under the new artistic leadership of Matt M. Morrow. The omission of director Andrew Oswald’s name from the title page did not auger well. However, Oswald’s casting of Durang’s early satire assured one that here were some actors skilled at the task of presenting true wackiness as if to the manner born. As it should be, the manner is utterly serious. In order of appearance, Amanda Sitton and Brian Mackey (the parents, Helen and John), Shana Wride (the Nanny and others), Kailey O’Donnell (numerous roles), and J. Tyler Jones (the Young Man) are adept to the point of thrilling. I sailed home, high on hope for Diversionary’s future. Helen and John, like many of the era, are totally unprepared for parenthood. In preposterous “fact,” they haven’t even discovered the sex of their child (they don’t want to be intrusive), so they put him into a dress and call him Daisy. What to do about Daisy’s wails? The sexually voracious Nanny arrives and promptly seduces John, who over the course of Daisy’s upbringing sinks deeper into various addictions, the only way of coping. By the time he is 17 Daisy’s closet is still full of dresses and he is full of neuroses, every teenage cry for help misunderstood and unanswered, until finally he enters

therapy during his decade-plus college career. Seen through 2015 eyes, the play is masterful. The Chicago critic who called Daisy’s treatment “child abuse” was bang-on. It is, hilariously, outrageously so. And in Diversionary’s hands there you have it in all its horrific ugliness. The Diversionary actors are beyond reproach. Mackey’s physi-

cality, Sitton’s naiveté, Wride’s Mary Poppins-saccharine voraciousness — beautifully supported by O’Donnell — are all worth a second viewing. In his Diversionary debut, J. Tyler Jones, seen recently in New Fortune’s “Henry V,” is truly a fine addition to the local theatrical scene. The production is also royally supported by Kim Parker’s wig styling, the adaptable scenic design of Kristen Flores, the props of Bonnie Durben, the costumes by Kate Bishop, the lighting by Chad Shelton and the sound by Melanie Chen. Anthony Methvin is the assistant director. — Charlene Baldridge has been writing about the arts since 1979. You can follow her blog at or reach her at

GAY SAN DIEGO March 20 - April 2, 2015


One of the girls Playwright spoofs his way back into town David Dixon | Contributor Edna Garrett, Blair Warner, Natalie Green, Jo Polniaczek and Dorothy “Tootie” Ramsey from

— has written an original all male hit spoof called “The Facts of Life: The Lost Episode” which asks the question, “What would the girls of Eastland Academy do to keep the place from closing?” The answer may surprise you, but not before you experience a number of belly laughs along the way. Morris was inspired to write a full-length homage to the sitcom, which ran from 1979 – 88, when he

Jo, Tootie and Natalie in a scene from "Facts of Life: The Lost Episode" “The Facts of Life” are back, but the characters have never been so politically incorrect. Jamie Morris, the writer responsible for a series of satires written for the stage — including one of the popular sitcom “Designing Women,” entitled “Re-Designing Women”

(Courtesy Jamie Morris)

was in Portland, Oregon, performing in “Mommie Queerest,” an original work he penned mocking “Mommie Dearest.” “I wanted to write a new world

see Girls, pg 13

“Visually splendiferous!” Chicago Tribune

“Strikingly beautiful!” National Public Radio

Wait till you meet my parents


Written and Directed by Mary Zimmerman Based on the classic Chinese fable

STARTS SATURDAY! March 21 – April 26 Tickets start at $29 (619) 23-GLOBE (234-5623)







Alan C. Campbell




WWW.DIVERSIONARY.ORG • (619) 220-0097 4545 PARK BLVD • SAN DIEGO, CA 92116


GAY SAN DIEGO March 20 - April 2, 2015




enough money to plant three community gardens in Kenya. Those three gardens are earning income for those families and allowing them to consume five times the amount of vegetables they did before. DIG has done similar feats for communities within Zambia, Uganda, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic and more. The organization also makes sure to stay in touch with these communities by doing followups, evaluations and providing troubleshooting assistance. Founders Koch and Steve Bolinger were inspired after Bolinger helped repair a West African hospital’s garden during his time in the Peace Corps. The patients’ health improved, which gave the two entrepreneurs the idea to establish an organization focusing on HIV and AIDS. “Being able to come in and work with them and help improve what they’re doing, grow healthier, more diverse produce and also for less cost, is really interesting for people,” Koch said, adding

that nutrition is particularly to return annually for the Reap many in this community have important for other vulnerable Life event. fought stigma and discrimination groups, pregnant and nursing “It is the place we can always in their own lives; I don’t know,” mothers, and the elderly. go back to and not only find supKoch continued. “What I do know Koch and Bolinger officially port for our work, but passion is that the DIG supporters in launched DIG in San San Diego understand Diego in 2007. community. They have “Steve was closely shown time and again connected to the San that we are connected Diego community, as he in more ways than had been living there for we are not and that some time before joincompassion and love ing the Peace Corps,” transcends borders, Koch said. “He reached gender, health, and out to a few friends economic status.” like Big Mike, Michael The upcoming Reap Mack, Art Kelleher, Life event will provide Nicole Murray Ramirez, an opportunity for DIG Wayne Back, Eric supporters to meet with Shearin, David Perkins, board members and the Brian Voogd and others people leading the projfor support.” ects. Attendees will see Encouraged to hold a short film about DIG, a fundraiser in San participate in silent and Diego, the inaugural DIG teaches sustainable gardening to communities struggling live auctions, and enjoy event raised the money with HIV. (Courtesy DIG) food and drinks. needed to launch their General admission first project — an HIV tickets for the event are clinic in Dakar, Senegal, that and community for the cause,” $15 and include entrance and hors proved so successful, Koch said she said. “Perhaps it’s because d’oeuvres. “Home Gardener” tickboth Bill Clinton and Laura Bush San Diego has been touched ets are $100 and include entrance, made visits. by the ravages of HIV and the hors d’oeuvres, a drink ticket, and Koch notes that while DIG’s innate understanding that how special recognition during the offices are now based in Atlanta, we nourish our bodies can have a event. they will always consider San Dilife-saving effect. For those unable to attend but ego home and have made it a goal “Or, perhaps it’s because so wishing to get involved, there are

many ways to do so. The “Monthly Farmer” option is a one-year, $25-per-month commitment, which comes with two “Home Gardener” tickets to the Reap Life event that can be given to the attendees of your choice. You can also donate through the website, purchase items from the “garden” store on the website, and even “get your hands dirty” by joining DIG in achieving their missions both locally and abroad as a volunteer. DIG offers short and longterm internships and also — for a fee — others the opportunity to travel with DIG in small groups and enjoy a mixture of vacation and volunteerism; a combination of sightseeing and “giving back” to these impoverished nations. The ninth annual Reap Life event will be held March 29, from 3 – 5 p.m. at T Lounge, (formally Bamboo Lounge), 1475 University Ave., in Hillcrest. For more information find the “Sundowners in San Diego” event on Facebook or visit —KC Stanfield is an editorial intern with SDCNN. —Editor Morgan M. Hurley contributed to this report.t





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premiere for Provincetown [Massachusetts], which is where ‘Mommie Queerest’ originally premiered,” he said. “I was in a bar during a musical Monday night, when clips from the Tony Awards, film and stage were shown on screens. One

GAY SAN DIEGO March 20 - April 2, 2015


end up being so successful. “I took a break from doing Broadway publicity in New York City to stage ‘Mommie Queerest,’” he said. “I thought I would just be doing the satires in the summer and then there wouldn’t be a life for the stories afterwards. I never dreamed that they would still be produced 11 years later.” In an era when younger audiences might be more familiar with

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(l to r) Natalie, Blair and Mrs. Garrett in a “Lost Episodes” scene (Courtesy Jamie Morris)

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Natalie and Blair digging up some dirt (Courtesy Jamie Morris) of the clips was from ‘The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas’ and the idea popped into my head of what if the girls from ‘The Facts of Life’ became hookers? After that, it just kind of all fell into place.” The playwright is a huge fan of the popular series, especially episodes featuring Geri Jewell, who played Blair’s “cousin Geri” on the program. “Every episode that she was in I loved, because it was groundbreaking TV that she was the first person with a disability [cerebral palsy] to have a recurring role on a primetime show,” Morris said. “When ‘The Facts of Life: The Lost Episode’ was in Los Angeles a few years ago, Jewell saw the production, loved the experience and asked if she could be a part of the play. “She and I wrote a sort of a Sarah Palin/Tina Fey moment where Jewell came out and busted the actor playing her,” he continued. “The moment was all lighthearted and fun and we have since become friends. I am trying to get her to do a few cameos during the three week run at the Diversionary Theatre. Last time it played in San Diego, she came from LA.” Not only has Morris’ script been produced several times throughout California, it even returned to the Ringwald Theatre in downtown Ferndale, Michigan, for a second run. Morris said he never imagined that his homage would

the world of Eastland Academy because of references on “Family Guy,” Morris believes that people who are not familiar with “The Facts of Life” can still appreciate the comedy. “If only the people who are familiar with the sitcom thought it was funny, then I would really be limiting my audience,” he said. “The feedback that I have been getting over the years is that it stands on its own. If you do know the sitcom, it helps, but it’s not necessar y.” Morris hopes, more than anything, that audience members come to see “The Facts of Life: The Lost Episode,” for an evening of constant humor. “It’s not Shakespeare,” he said. “It’s a silly night at the theatre. Just come ready to laugh.” “The Facts of Life: The Lost Episode,” returns to Diversionary Theatre for a three week run, April 2 – 19. It will be followed by a twoweek run of another one of Morris’ satires, “The Silence of the Clams,” April 23 – May 2. Diversionary Theatre is located at 4545 Park Blvd., in University Heights. For tickets, visit or call 619-220-0097. —A fan of film and theatre from a very young age, David Dixon has written reviews and features for various print and online publications. You can reach him at



GAY SAN DIEGO March 20 - April 2, 2015

Urban MO’s wins SD Hoops league title Dugout Chatter Jeff Praught In a championship game that was anything but a classic, the Urban MO’s basketball team and number-two seed in the SD Hoops playoffs staged a huge rally in the second half to defeat Hillcrest Brewing Company 39-37 on March 12. While the score was close, the affair was a sloppy one, filled with ice-cold shooting, turnovers and question-

able decisions. MO’s could not buy a bucket over the first 15 minutes of the game, despite boasting league MVP Johnny Stultz among its starting five. The team’s strength had been creating easy baskets with the athleticism of David Piedra, Ace Vieyra and Stultz. A strong defensive team, MO’s often created fast-break opportunities for its guards and forwards in finishing 9-3 during the regular season. But as athletic as the roster is, MO’s did not boast much size down low, and Chris “Thor” Schoch was

able to take advantage early for HBC. His ferocious rebounding and physical attacking of the basket gave HBC an early 20-10 lead, and the fourth-seeded underdogs carried a 24-15 lead into halftime. HBC looked like it was going to pull away in a blowout, extending its lead to 14 points with under 14 minutes remaining. But for whatever reason, HBC then stopped going to Thor in the second half, and MO’s began to chip away. Piedra and Stultz knocked down a couple of shots, and MO’s went on a 6-0 run. “Chipped away” is a more appropriate description of what transpired, because it took MO’s nearly six minutes to go on that run. HBC was suddenly lost on offense, passing the ball around but failing to get any open looks. When they did, the shots were not falling. While HBC struggled, MO’s

Urban MO’s after winning the title (Photo by Steve Weathers) crawled closer. Vieyra hit a threepointer with 4:03 remaining to give MO’s its first lead since the opening minutes of the game, 36-35. Samantha Raymer, the lovable coach of HBC, answered with a jumper a minute later. MO’s then took its time passing the ball around before Stultz, the league’s 7th leading scorer with 15.7 points per game during the regular season, found a crease and drove to the basket for another layup. With just over a minute to go, HBC had the chance to re-gain the lead but could not, and had to foul. Stultz made one of two from the free throw line, giving MO’s a 39-37 lead with 25 seconds, but grabbed an all-important offensive rebound. He drew another foul, but missed the front end of the one-and-one. Jake Hodgens took the ball upcourt for HBC, but MO’s was able to tie him up in a controversial no-call wrestle match for the ball, sealing the twopoint victory. Before the title tilt, numberthree seeded Wells Fargo and number-one seeded The Loft squared off in the third-place game. This high-scoring affair was won by Wells Fargo, 63-58, despite a furious second-half rally by John Crockett’s Loft squad. Crockett had previously captained three of the league’s previous four title winners. On March 18, the league honored its league award winners. In addition to Stultz being named Most Valuable Player, Hodgens captured Defensive Player of the Year honors. Two-time MVP and former DPOY honoree Patrick Schoettler (Wells Fargo Advisors) was given the Best Big Man award. The league’s Best Sixth Man was handed out to Piedra. Bob Iddings (Flicks) was named Most Improved. Taking home perhaps the league’s most prestigious honor was Raymer. A positive spirit on and off the court, this SD Hoops veteran was presented with the Jeremy Parrish Spirit Award, given annually to the player who best demonstrates sportsmanship while representing

the spirit of our league, San Diego’s only basketball league for the LGBT community and its friends. Having played alongside Raymer for several years, it is no surprise that her name was engraved on the trophy that is named after a beloved, fallen friend and original member of the league. SD Hoops now transitions into its offseason, and will do so under an almost entirely new leadership. I have had the honor of serving on the board of officers for each of the last five years, including the last four as commissioner. During that time, so many league members and officers helped assist me in keeping SD Hoops stable financially, active in our community doing service and outreach, and generally introducing our league to dozens of new players. The time has come for a new voice to help guide the league, and I could not be more excited that league All-Star and young spirit Noah Ingram will take over the role as commissioner of SD Hoops, after serving as the league’s community outreach officer the past two seasons. His assistant will be David “Mona” Valenzuela, with Brett Drake (treasurer), Brian Ruszkiewicz (webmaster), former Dallas Commissioner Robbie Baker (community outreach), and Marcus Lenihan (secretary) rounding out the board of officers for 2015-2016. I would be remiss if I failed to recognize a few members of the league who made significant contributions during my tenure. Outgoing treasurer Jeff Hammond served a record eight years on the board as treasurer, and was instrumental in maintaining good relations with the gym and referees. Sereeta Jones had to relocate to Los Angeles for work, but this dynamic player on the court, and lovable character off of it, served on my boards and was always willing to help the league whenever needed. Crockett served multiple terms as the league webmaster, providing fantastic game previews and a broad range of individual statistics for players to track. And hats off to Paul Demke, longtime coach, player, and sponsor in the league. Demke announced his retirement from the league following Wells Fargo’s third-place finish in the playoffs. One of the longest-tenured members in league history, Demke made many memorable runs at league championships, helped contribute to the positive spirit of this LGBT league, and many will miss his on-court personality. It has truly been a joy to be a part of SD Hoops’ legacy over the past half-decade. The league will soon announce a schedule for “open gym” sessions on Wednesday evenings, as well as plans for its third summer league, which begins in June. Check the league website ( for updates. —Jeff Praught is actively involved in the LGBT sports community. He can be reached at dugoutchatter@


FOODIE What’s being touted as “the largest oceanfront sushi rooftop in San Diego” is Cannonball at Belmont Park in south Mission Beach, due to open April 1. Overlooking the boardwalk, the 9,400-square-foot space will be marked by aquatic-themed design elements and a glass-enclosed “sushi cube” for diners wishing to partake in traditional Japanese rolls. The restaurant will also feature an array of share plates capturing Pacific Rim specialties along with craft cocktails tailored to oceanfront lounging. 3105 Oceanfront Walk, 858-228-9304. Tin Can Ale House in Bankers Hill has changed its mode of operation slightly under the new name of

Balboa Bar & Grill. According to managing partner Tom Logsdon, “We’ve done away with the canned beer concept and stepped up our cocktail game quite a bit,” adding that the specialty list features old classics with modern twists. Having “warmed up” the interior as well, Logsdon’s hot-selling burgers (beef or black bean) served on locally baked bolillo rolls remain in place. 1863 Fifth Ave., 619-955-8525. For those who have never had a White Castle burger, or long for one after moving here from points east, the company is making a grand presence at the upcoming Great American Foodie Fest on March 27-29 in the northwest parking lot of Qualcomm Stadium. The event brings together a mix of restaurants, specialty food vendors and dozens of “celebrity” food

BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT The Laundry Room 1955 El Cajon Blvd. 92104 | 619-795-9588 A new breed of coin laundromat Coin operated laundromats have come a long way. The first coin laundr y was introduced in the early 1900’s when the first wringer clothes washer was developed. At the time, public coin-operated laundries did not exist. Public laundr y was introduced in the 1920s and ’30s. They were a place for the public to drop off their laundr y. It wasn’t until the 1950s that selfser vice coin laundr y was intro-

GAY SAN DIEGO March 20 - April 2, 2015

duced. Small stores equipped with a few washers and dr yers began opening. Unfortunately, owners neglected them and the stores deteriorated … and … so did the public’s image of the coin-op laundr y. The Laundr y Room — a hip, upscale urban laundromat — is clean and safe, with ser vice attendants, fluff and fold ser vice, happy hour pricing, TVs, workstations, and free WiFi. Come to The Laundr y Room where ever y wash is naturally sanitized.

Get your White Castle burger fix (Courtesy Red Dragon LLC) trucks spotlighted in recent years on The Food Network, The Cooking Channel and The Travel Chan-

nel. Among them are several local favorites such as Devilicious, Curr ywurst and Crepes Bonaparte.


They will be joined by nearly 50 other vendors of local and national origins as White Castle projects to sell 100,000 of its iconic mini burgers from a large cook station during the three-day festival, which is presented by Red Dragon LLC from Las Vegas. Cocktails, wine, beer and live entertainment will also be featured. Admission is $8 a day or $13 for a weekend pass if purchased in advance at greatamericanfoodiefest. com. Gate prices are $10 and $15 respectively. Once inside, attendees purchase their meals and beverages a la carte from the vendors. Food items will average between $5 and $10. Hours are from 4 p.m. to midnight, March 27; noon to midnight, March 28; and noon to 8 p.m. on March 29. —Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at


GAY SAN DIEGO March 20 - April 2, 2015

WIN Dining and movie Gift Certificates! Vote today and you will be entered to win ENTRY RULES: Choose your favorite! Tell us who the “best of the best” is and you’ll be entered into our free drawing. One “best of” will be awarded in each category. Please complete at least 50 percent of the ballot. One ballot per person. Ballots must be postmarked, submitted online, or hand-delivered by 5 p.m. on Monday, May 11, 2015. MAIL BALLOTS TO: Gay San Diego, 123 Camino de la Reina Ste. 202 East, San Diego, CA 92108 OR VOTE ONLINE: CONTACT INFO (Must be completed to be valid for mail-in ballots):


VOTE ONLINE: DINING & ENTERTAINMENT American Cuisine: Bakery: Bar: Bar Cuisine: Barbeque: Bartender: Breakfast: Brunch: Burger: Burrito: Casino: Casual Dining: Chinese Cuisine: Cocktail: Coffee Shop: Craft Beer Bar: Deli: Dessert: Dinner: DJ: Donut Shop: Family Restaurant: Farmers’ Market: Female/Male Impersonator: Fine Dining: French Cuisine: Frozen Yogurt: Greek Cuisine: Happy Hour: Healthy Dining: Indian Cuisine: International Cuisine: Italian Cuisine: Japanese Cuisine: Late-night Dining: Live Music Venue: Live Theater Venue: Leather Bar:

Daytime Phone: Email:

Lunch: Mexican Cuisine: Micro Brewery: Neighborhood Bar: New Restaurant: Night Club: Outdoor Bar: Outdoor/Patio Dining: Pet-friendly Dining: Pizza: Romantic Dining: Salad: Seafood: Server: Sports Bar: Sub/Sandwich: Sushi: Thai Cuisine: Vegetarian/Vegan: Vietnamese Cuisine: Wine Bar:

BUSINESS & RETAIL Accountant: Acupuncture: Adult Business: Antiques: Appliance Store: Art Gallery: Auto Dealership: Auto Repair Shop: Bank: Bike Shop: Boutique: Bridal Shop: Chiropractor: College/University: Consignment Shop:

Cosmetic Surgeon: Credit Union: Day Spa: Dentist: Doctor: Dry Cleaner: Financial Planner: Florist: Furniture Store: Grocery Store: Gym/Workout Studio: Hair Salon: Hardware Store: Health Food Store: Hospital: Hotel: Jeweler: Lawyer: Manicure/Pedicure: Massage: Men’s Fashions: New Business: Optometrist: Pawn Shop: Personal Trainer: Pet Boarding/Daycare: Pet Groomer: Pharmacy: Real Estate Agent: Real Estate Office: Resale/Thrift Shop: Retirement Living: Tanning Salon: Tattoo/Piercing Studio: Tuxedo Shop: Veterinary Hospital: Wedding Venue: Women’s Fashions: Yoga Studio:

Gay San Diego - March 20, 2015  
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