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Volume 7 Issue 7 April 1 - 14, 2016

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FilmOut’s LGBT Film Festival taking shape


By Ken Williams

now co-chair of the YPC executive committee, who was anxiously waiting for his bowling ball to reappear from the ball return before sending it down the lane again. Along with Cervantes enjoying the afternoon was a handful of past YPC academy graduates, members of the current academy class and their friends. The YPC Academy — created by Dr. Delores Jacobs, chief executive officer of the San Diego LGBT Community Center — was established in 2012 to “expand the ranks of young LGBT leaders” and prepare them for work in the community through nonprofits or public service. According to The Center’s website, the

A sexy gay thriller with a stellar cast has been chosen as the opening night movie at the 18th annual FilmOut San Diego LGBT Film Festival, running June 3-5 at the Observatory North Park. The plot of “Kiss Me, Kill Me” begins at a lavish birthday party in the Hollywood Hills for Stephen (played by Gale Harold, “Queer as Folk”). His boyfriend Dusty (Van Hansis, “As the World Turns”) gets quite upset when he spies Stephen making out with his hot, platinum-blond ex-boyfriend (Matthew Ludwinski, “Going Down in LA-LA Land”) and flees the party. Stephen chases after Dusty and they end up arguing inside a Pink Dot convenience store where they suddenly find themselves caught up in an armed robbery. Dusty is pistol-whipped by the gunman and passes out. When he awakes, his boyfriend and the store clerk (Jonathan Lisecki, “Big Gay Love”) are dead. He quickly becomes the

see YPC Academy, pg 14

see Film Festival, pg 13

Mixed media live on stage

3 FEATURE (l to r) John Paul Aguilera, Anthony Ehlers (YPC class of 2015 and executive committee member-at-large) and Jasion Minx (Photo by Joseph Ciolino); (inset) Dr. Delores Jacobs drafted the curriculum and teaches all of the YPC Academy’s courses herself. (Courtesy The Center)

Building leaders of the future Bringing the community together on Sundays


The Center’s Young Professionals Council takes ‘community’ to the next level By Joseph Ciolino Smiles and laughs were exchanged as bowling pins were knocked over, or in some cases, missed, during a recent Young Professionals Council (YPC) social event on March 19 at Kearny Mesa Bowl, which coincided with a YPC Academy class. Among those present was Rick Cervantes, class of 2014 and

Working miracles at Lamb's


Fun (and a little serious) in the sun SDGMC’s upcoming ‘California Dreamin’ explores a range of themes By Dave Fidlin

Gwen talks about her gays

Index Community ...............….4 Opinion ....…...…........…6 Calendar .....….…..……18 Puzzle ....…....….......…18 LGBT Books....…......…19

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Translating the sun-and-surf music by such acts as the Beach Boys and morphing it into a medley of choral tunes might seem like an impossible feat, but members of the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus (SDGMC) are intermingling the two genres in their next performance, the aptly-named “California Dreamin’.” While much of the show has a decidedly upbeat tone, Bob Lehman, a five-year veteran of the SDGMC and the organization’s recently installed executive direc-

tor, said there is a dually serious undertone to the performance that is best conveyed by its title. “California has a history of being a safe place for the LGBT community,” Lehman said. “There are a lot of people in the community who uprooted themselves from their cities and towns and came to California to live out their dreams.” The sentiment rings true to Kevin Hannahoe, a six-year veteran and a tenor. Hannahoe is one of about 160 chorus members performing in California Dreamin’,

see SDGMC, pg 12

Artistic Director R. C. Haus (second from left) is surrounded by members of the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus during a recent rehearsal for their upcoming spring show. (Courtesy SDGMC)



GAY SAN DIEGO April 1 - 14, 2016

ArtWalk: When art and dance collide PGK Project joins forces with a visionary multimedia artist By Margie M. Palmer The 32nd annual Mission Federal ArtWalk will return to Little Italy at the end of this month. Every year, new artistic visions expand the borders of art for attendees and this year, dance and paint mediums will merge to offer art lovers something different to wrap their minds around as the art itself takes shape in front of them. Long recognized as San Diego’s premier arts and cultural event, the weekend-long festival will showcase more than 350 local, national and international artists and is expected to attract more than 100,000 art aficionados and visitors. In addition to showcasing paintings, sculptures, glass work, photography and fine jewelry, the free, family-friendly event will also include live musical performances, street food, interactive art activities and Kids Walk, which will offer a wide range of creative projects for young, aspiring artists. ArtWalk San Diego’s managing director, Sandi Cottrell, said

that each year, they strive to produce a festival that encompasses all areas of the arts. “We want to bring a full interactive experience to the attendees who come out to Mission Federal ArtWalk,” Cottrell said. “We work closely with our sponsors, featured artists and entertainment to bring a spectacular art experience to San Diego for art lovers, families, visitors and San Diegans alike.” Among this year’s featured artists is San Diego native Sarah Stieber. For this year’s ArtWalk, Stieber — who graduated cum laude from Boston University with a degree in fine arts and a concentration in psychology — will be showcasing a painting performance with the help of dancers from The PGK Dance Project. The PGK Dance Project is a Downtown-based “world-class” contemporary dance company, which was founded in 1994 by Artistic Executive Director Peter G. Kalivas. Launching originally in Munich, Germany, and New York City, the nonprofit troupe moved to San Diego in 2002. PGK’s participating dancers will be colored and dripped in paint to represent a one-of-akind “raining” effect, to present Stieber’s Electric Rain Project. “My whole concept [for the Electric Rain Project] was that

Sarah Stieber's work (above) involves painting live models and transferring the visual image to canvas. (Courtesy ArtWalk) At ArtWalk, she will include PGK Dance Project dancers (below) (Photo by Sue Brenner) I wanted it to be this evolving collaborative series,” Stieber said. “It started with a photo shoot which I then turned into a painting, then we went back to the photo shoot and a production company filmed the time lapse.” There was also a video installation show held recently at Adelman Fine Art — located just steps from ArtWalk on Kettner Boulevard — where some attending artists dressed up like the paintings and walked around as if they’d just emerged from the canvas. As a result of already being familiar with Stieber’s local work involving the series, Stieber said it was Cottrell who suggested the possibility of adding a dance component. “Sandi asked me about a performance piece in relation to the Electric Rain Project and I

see ArtWalk, pg 4

live in color

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Fish Out of Water – Sarah Stieber, Represented by Adelman Fine Art


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Bringing people TOGETHER Two local promoters strive to be inclusive Morgan M. Hurley | Editor Joseph Whitaker and Linda Kurtya (aka dj dirtyKurty) have been working together since 2014 to produce successful events — like Hoosier Daddy, Lucky Daddy, Dog Tag Tea Dances, Bulge, etc. —but recently the two decided to join forces for a greater good: building community. Presented by Whitaker’s Man UPP Productions with Kurty onboard as featured dj and music producer, “Together” is a new Sunday Funday tea dance-style event taking place at T Lounge (formerly known as Bamboo Lounge), located at 1475 University Ave. in Hillcrest. The two organizers said the goal is to bring everyone — from all walks of life within the LGBT community — to one, inclusive place for an afternoon of mixing it up and sharing experiences. “I’ve learned that it is when we are together that we are stronger,” Whitaker said. Whitaker, who has only been producing events in San Diego since 2012, has expanded his reach the last couple years, taking his copyrighted events up the West Coast, over to New York, and even into Canada. He’s successful at what he does and he enjoys it; it makes him happy to make other people happy. It hasn’t always been that way — he’s not always been a promoter, but he’s always tried to make people happy. Flashback 10 years ago and Whitaker, at 40, was just finally accepting that he was a gay man. He’d spent the last 18 years of his life married to his college sweetheart, raising a son with her, working as a hot-shot managing partner for New York Life and making everyone — his parents, his wife and his in-laws, happy — all the while he was keeping a deep, dark secret and was miserable. With tears streaming down his face, this big bear of a man tells his coming out story without regret, but the pain he still feels from the experience is palpable. Growing up extremely closeted in Alabama, Whitaker never saw role models or even other gays he could relate to. While in college he worked reception at the Student Union when Auburn University’s first LGBT Center was opening on campus amid what Whitaker recognized as a great deal of controversy. Intrigued, he paid close attention and desperately wanted to connect. “Everyone that I saw going to the meeting I couldn’t relate to, because they didn’t look like me,” he said, referring to his bear-like

Whitaker struggled his whole life with his sexuality and started Man UPP to help others. (Photo by Rob Lucas Modern Aperture Photography)

Kurty at her mixer board (Courtesy dj dirtyKurty)

qualities. “I didn’t have any friends that were gay, or admitted to being gay, so I didn’t know how to relate. I didn’t think there were people like myself that could be gay.” One day he stumbled across the website and his life changed forever. “I was in shock,” he said. “I thought, ‘these guys look like me and they seem to act like me and this is crazy and awesome at the same time.’ I started to feel like maybe I’m not weird and messed up. But I was married and I had a son and I realized I wasn’t being truthful.” He reached out to men he networked with on the website, sharing his secrets and story, and got lots of support. One day he met a man at the gym and they began working out together, which soon led to more. “One Saturday my gym partner and I — who was also married to a woman — got in a truck and drove to Denver,” Whitaker said. “We found a house to rent in two days, wrote letters to our families and started our new lives. That was 2007.” Whitaker boldly walked away from everything and never looked back. In 2010, with that first relationship shattered when his partner returned home, Whitaker moved to San Diego. “My idea for Man UPP came from a saying that my dad and my grandfather used to always say to me when I was younger,” Whitaker said. “But I started ManUPP to try

(l to r) Whitaker and Kurty at one of their events (Courtesy Hillcrest Social)

and to create something that could help others struggling like myself. “I have come to realize here in San Diego that as a community it’s not about whether you’re a man or a woman, you’re a person; we’re all people.” Whitaker said he has always made sure his Man UPP events benefit the community, such as Stonewall Citizens Patrol, Sunburst Housing and other programs of The Center. “ManUPP helped me evolve as a gay man,” he said. “It is a term that really and truly means to accept. Accept yourself and accept everyone else. We have to. I have evolved in our community in San Diego.” Kurty, who has a huge following from her residency at Rich’s Nightclub, is no stranger to playing in front of large crowds; in fact, she just returned from a whirlwind trip Down Under to play at Sydney’s Mardi Gras. What started out to be an opportunity for one small gig, Kurty used her connections and was able to roll it into three gigs — one where she was one of two headliners from the United States — and worked out sleeping arrangements. She said many of her friends thought she was crazy to fly to Sydney on what appeared to be a whim — most Mardi Gras promoters are booked six months out and she had to confirmed housing for the entire trip — and the trip was a success. Raised in New Jersey, Kurty arrived in San Diego in 2001 by way of San Francisco — made her dj name and has established a significant following here in San Diego, playing at Rich’s, mostly, but also gigs Downtown, CityFest, Pride Block Party, the Abbey in WeHo, the Facebook float in the San Francisco Pride Parade, and countless other venues. With this latest gig, she can add “international dj” to her resume. “Everyone — the promoters, the djs, the people — was so nice,” she said of her trip to Sydney. “It was all, ‘How can we help you? What can we do for you?’ The kindness and the outpouring of support — I got the feeling they were like that all the time. I felt nothing but love and generosity there.” It reminded her of what is important — and made her even more motivated to make her new all-inclusive event with Whitaker a success. “Joe is such an amazing person in general,” she said. “We are here about community. Making this work together — especially how things are politically — getting violated and beat down in areas that are still so close minded and don’t accept the out community.” In recent weeks she’s been meeting up with old friends, reaching out to all her connections, making sure everyone knows they are invited. “Let’s just come together on Sunday and have fun, regardless of how you identify yourself,” she said. Together’s second event will be Sunday, April 10, from 3 – 8 p.m. A beer bust will begin at 2 p.m., where $10 gets you all you can drink until 7 p.m. A BBQ will be blazing on the patio, art will be available for viewing and Kurty will be spinning tunes in the bar. Everyone is welcome so kick back with a bottomless beer, listen to some great tunes and network away. For more info visit —Morgan M. Hurley can be reached at▼

GAY SAN DIEGO April 1 - 14, 2016



GAY SAN DIEGO April 1 - 14, 2016


How to handle disappointment Life Beyond

Therapy Michael Kimmel What do you do when you are disappointed? How do you handle it? That’s what this column is about. Recently, I experienced a surprising disappointment. I had contacted the mayor’s office, asking for assistance with a city-related problem and did not receive the help I’d asked for. My phone calls and emails were not returned and I was not treated well (in my opinion). Trying to make things right, I wrote to the mayor’s office, explaining my experience, asking for an apology for being treated poorly and an acknowledgment of mistakes made. What I got was a complete denial of any mistakes made at all. Wow, was I disappointed. It wasn’t a matter of life and death (thank God), but I had asked for help and did not receive it. I was disappointed. There’s a line in an old Eurythmic’s song that goes: “I could give you a mirror to show you disappointment.” How true this is? Don’t we wear disappointment in our faces? In our tense, tight smiles that hide how bad we really feel? There is no avoiding disappointment: Things don’t always go the way you want. Someone doesn’t do what you think is right. You want something and you don’t get it. So what can we do about it? Here are some ways that we typically react. Some are more helpful than others, but let’s list them all: l Sadness – This is a natural response. I was sad when the gentleman from the mayor’s office didn’t apologize. I was sad when two people in that office treated me poorly and wouldn’t own up to it. I wanted to be treated well and to receive an apology. When it didn’t happen, I was sad. This is what some Buddhists call pain: Life is painful, things happens that we don’t like. What do we do about it?

l Revenge – “You hurt me; I’m going to hurt you.” While this sounds appealing, it really gets you nowhere. In fact, if you keep perpetuating (and escalating) the revenge, it often gets jacked up so high that it makes you miserable … and then, it’s really hard to stop it. l Confusion – “Why did this happen to me?” We try to understand, but often, we can’t. We can’t know how other people feel and why they do the things they do. Sometimes, our mind just keeps spinning and spinning, trying to understand: Have you ever found it hard to sleep because your mind was spinning like this? Your mind can’t figure it out, but doesn’t want to admit it. l Self-blame – “What did I do to bring this about?” This is a useful question IF (and that’s a big “if”) we use it constructively and not just to beat ourselves up. For example, it’s constructive to ask, “How did I contribute to this situation?” And, let’s be honest, we all contribute to a disappointing outcome, but we don’t like to admit it. I asked myself, “How could I have handled the situation better (where I asked the mayor’s office for help)?” “What would I do differently next time something like this happens?” This can be really useful, because we CAN learn from our disappointments. (I know I’m trying to learn from mine).

l Other-blame – This is typically an initial (and normal) response: We blame them. It’s ALL THEIR fault. We avoid taking any responsibility and play the victim. “I don’t deserve this … why are they treating me this way?” It’s okay to indulge in this for a little while, but ultimately, playing the victim isn’t helpful and it feels bad. l Acceptance – This is the hardest response of all. Acceptance doesn’t mean condoning poor behavior, but it does mean that there’s really nothing more that you can (constructively) do about it, and by holding onto it, you’re likely to prolong your suffering. It serves us best to do what we can to take care of ourselves and then let go and release the situation. It sounds simple, but it’s not easy. There’s no avoiding disappointment in life and we have a variety of ways to react. You may go through some of the above responses and wonder: “What do I do now?” I recommend that you allow yourself to feel ALL your emotions and not judge them. Eventually, strong emotions will fade, and hopefully, you’ll reach some form of acceptance and peace. I know that’s what I’m striving for.

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▼


ARTWALK thought it would be awesome to get a dance company involved because adding dance would be a continuation of this project,” she said. “I knew it would be a great way to move the project along and see how far along we could take it.” Cottrell then connected Stieber with PGK Dance founder Peter G. Kalivas and the rest, as they say, was history. Those who attend the upcoming performance at ArtWalk can expect to see the Electric Rain Project in a way that it’s never been seen before. “I wanted to create this evolving series because I wanted to get people thinking about creating their own environment; I wanted to get people interested in creating their own reality,” Stieber said. “I’m excited to take the next step in this collaboration with Peter and to see him put his spin on what we’ve created.” Kalivas said the project reminded him of one he had been involved in 20 years ago, which also involved dancers who dipped their hands into “buckets of paint” and then spontaneously shared that paint with the dancers they were paired with. “Although, it seems Sarah’s ‘Rain Project’ is more planned out with a hope for a more specific result I still think the idea is really exciting and has similar implications,” Kalivas said, “In that I create a dance, my dancers move and at some point parts of the dance inevi- tably need to slow down so that Sarah — who has to insert herself within the dance — begins to paint the moving bodies and ultimately change the appearance of the dancer, the perspective, and the quality, through shifts in appearance, color, texture as well. “I like how this project creates a dependency on each medium intrinsically because of how Sarah’s concept plays out,” he continued. “The best part is that the audience witnesses the entire process as performance, which creates a new and interesting kind of tension and anticipation altogether.” The performance will take place at the Grape Street Dance on the Edge Stage, at 3:30 p.m. on both days of the two-day festival. Those who are interested in seeing more of Stieber’s work can drop by the Adelman Fine Art booth, which will be located at spaces 715 and 717. Mission Federal ArtWalk will take over 17 blocks on India Street between Ash and Grape streets in San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood. The free, outdoor event will run from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Saturday, April 30 and Sunday, May 1. More information is available online at —Margie M. Palmer is a San Diego-based freelance writer who has been racking up bylines in a myriad of news publications for the past 10 years. You can write to her at margiep@alumni.▼


It’s OK to age Back Out with Benny Ben Cartwright Age is a funny thing. Many people make such a big deal about growing older, when really it’s something that should be celebrated. By the time next month’s column is printed, I will have aged another year, turning 36 and hitting the second half of my 30s. While I know that I’m still very young (many of my older friends will remind me of that!), I always get to thinking about age this time of year. In 2010, as I was approaching 30, I wrote a series of columns in my former “Life with Benny” column with San Diego Gay & Lesbian News about my fears of turning 30. For several months leading up to May 3 — the big day that year — I shared about my fears and excitements of “growing older.” Looking back, I chuckle because I have certainly learned since that my 30s have been absolutely wonderful so far. Sure, we’ve all read those articles about how — especially in the youth-obsessed gay male culture — people over 30 are considered invisible or dead. While acknowledging the fact that I am still youthful looking, healthy and active, I have found the notion that life “ends after 30 (or 35)” to be false. And while I have much respect and admiration for our youth and younger community members, I’m certainly not going to let a group of folks who have less life experience than I dictate my relevance. Being in my mid 30s is an interesting place to be. I’ve learned that the idealistic view I had 10 years ago of where I imagined I’d be at this point (living the high life in New York City with a corner-view office; attending the hottest parties and events; travelling the globe) did not quite pan out. And I’m glad it didn’t. I’m more than happy living in the city where I was born (I’m one of those “unicorns” who was born and raised in San Diego) and being lucky enough to be working for an exceptional organization that allows me to serve my LGBTQ community. I was educated at two of our amazing local universities and have had the opportunity to participate in so many great community organizations, activities and events over the last 20 years — and have had a great time doing it. I’m learning to do what makes me happy. I used to envy other people’s social media posts doing things that I felt like I couldn’t do — it looked like everyone but me was travelling, or at the beach, or on vacation, or getting a new car, or whatever. I now realize that in most cases, people only post their best moments on social media, and it doesn’t mean their lives are perfect all the time. I know that I’m doing the things I need to do to provide for myself and those I love, and that’s all that matters.

I’ve also learned to just do whatever I want to do on any given day. In the past, if it was a nice sunny day, I was off work and everyone I knew was going to the beach, I felt like I needed to go to the beach. Just because “everyone else” was. I often didn’t want to go to the beach, but would go through the motions to get there and often not enjoy myself. Shifting my thinking to doing what I want to do and not worrying about what everyone else is doing has been so freeing. If it’s a gorgeous sunny day out and I want to lie in a dark room all day watching Netflix, then I will! As I’ve grown older I’ve also learned that alone time is good time! I have many friends who will tell me “I could never walk into a bar alone” or those who constantly want to be around others and just can’t handle spending a day with just themselves. I enjoy drinking wine (a newer life pleasure as I’ve entered my mid-30s) and one of my favorite parts of the week is a few hours after work every Friday while I sip my wine and read local news (usually via Gay San Diego and San Diego Uptown News) — by myself. Friends will often join me later in the evening, but those first couple of late-afternoon hours are bliss to me. I’m often approached by well-meaning folks I may run into at this particular bar who always seem so concerned that I’m sitting by myself, and they’ll invite me to “come sit with them” because they don’t want me to have to sit alone. But sitting alone is what I want to do and I feel no shame about it. It’s outstanding. While I still have so much learning to do, being able to reflect on 20 years of participating in this community (I attended my first gay youth group in 1996 at age 16) and having my 20s and half of my 30s out of the way, I can say I’ve learned a lot. It’s great to be in the position I’m in with so many wonderful memories to look back on, but so much more life to look forward to. As I approach the next year of my life, I’m most grateful for all of the people who I have met, learned from and experienced life with. Here’s to 36!

Get out with Benny

A reminder that Dining Out For Life San Diego is coming up at the end of this month. This is one of the most exciting eating and drinking days in town where dozens of restaurants pledge to give back 25-100 percent of the day’s proceeds to HIV/AIDS services. Planning your day can be a lot of fun, too. Check out the list of participating bars, restaurants and cafes and plan to Dine Out for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and drinks on April 28! To learn more, visit j6hga54. If you haven’t visited Guys, Games & Grub at The Center

lately, I encourage you to check it out. I call it the best Wednesday night deal in Hillcrest, as a $5 suggested donation gets you all the board games you want to play, as well as unlimited free pizza, beer, wine, soft drinks and snacks. Nearly 100 people show up each month (everyone 21 years and older are welcome), and some come alone (remember what I said about going out alone above — it’s OK!), while others bring their friends. Along with the board games, popular community member John Lockhart leads a Live Trivia game where he writes his own questions and leads teams to compete against each other. Everyone is welcome to jump into the trivia game. GGG is held on the first Wednesday of each month from 6 – 8:30 p.m. (Live Trivia begins at 6:30 p.m.), and is presented by Hillcrest Social. The next one is Wednesday, April 6 — please join us! Finally, tickets and tables are going fast for the annual Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast, scheduled for Thursday, May 19 at the Hilton Bayfront. More on this next month, but be sure to get your tickets now — Have a great April! —Benny Cartwright is the director of community outreach at the San Diego LGBT Community Center. He can be reached at 619-692-2077 ext. 106 or outreach@thecentersd. org. Note: Byline photo by Rob Lucas Modern Aperture Photography.▼

Benny through the years

GAY SAN DIEGO April 1 - 14, 2016




GAY SAN DIEGO April 1 - 14, 2016

Letters How we treat each other Ref: “Back Out With Benny: Let’s stop judging each other,” Vol. 7, Issue 5 or at Judgment is rampant in our small community and you are more than right, it should stop. I remember one time I was kind of seeing this guy and he told his friends about me and one of them, one who I don’t even remember meeting in person, said “oh, isn’t he the sex freak?” I tried laughing it off because not unlike many gay men after growing up being persecuted for just existing, I’ve done my best to live an authentic, congruent, sexpositive life. Just like you said, we react with humor but it did kind of hurt, because even though I’m not ashamed of who I am and I’m proud to hold others up and praise them for embracing all aspects of themselves, it hurts when people talk shit and all we really want is to be accepted. So thank you Benny, I hope more of us can do our best to be

see Letters, pg 15

Guest Editorial

Honoring women leaders in the early years of HIV/AIDS By Nicole Murray Ramirez Editor’s note: These remarks were presented at Lambda Archives’ recent “Heroines, Pioneers and Trailblazers” event, which took place March 19 at the San Diego Women’s Club in Bankers Hill. First of all, I wish to commend Maureen Steiner and the Lambda Archives for presenting this long overdue recognition. To my honorary co-chairs: Speaker Atkins, thank you for making our city and state so proud with your historic role as the first San Diegan and lesbian elected as Speaker of the California State Assembly; Jennifer LeSar, thank you for continuing to lead on the important issue of homelessness; and to our wonderful First Lady of San Diego, Katherine Stuart Faulconer, thank you from all of us for your leadership and commitment and that of the mayor, for EDITOR Morgan M. Hurley (619) 961-1960 CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Ken Williams, x102 Jeff Clemetson, x119 CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Chris Azzopardi Charlene Baldridge Benny Cartwright David Dixon Dave Fidlin Michael Kimmel Walter G. Meyer Margie M. Palmer Frank Sabatini Jr. WEB & SOCIAL MEDIA Jen Van Tieghem, x118 COPY EDITOR Dustin Lothspeich

The honorees (l to r) Wendy Sue Biegeleisen; Maria Galletta; Ruth Hendricks; Nicolette Ibarra; Susan Jester; Laurie Leonard; Carole Norman; Barbara Peabody; Miriam Thompson Slater; and Barbara Vick (Photo by Big Mike)

Nicole Murray Ramirez giving his remarks at the “Heroines, Pioneers and Trailblazers” event (Photo by Big Mike) our city will finally build an AIDS memorial. I will never forget when I was attending a national GLBT civil rights conference in New York in the early 1980s and Larry Kramer and others were telling us about a EDITORIAL INTERNS Joseph Ciolino Tori Hahn ART DIRECTOR Todd Kammer LAYOUT ARTIST DESIGN2PRO SALES & MARKETING DIRECTOR Mike Rosensteel (619) 961-1958 ADVERTISING CONSULTANTS Andrew Arias, x113 Andrew Bagley, x106 Sloan Gomez, x104 Lisa Hamel, x107 True Flores, (619) 454-0155

new “gay cancer” that was affecting gay men in New York. Soon, AIDS would have its name. It would immediately be followed with fear, panic, and yes, hate. We in the GLBT community were alone; no one would help or cared. We had a president who would not even say the word “AIDS” until six years into his administration. There were political voices calling for quarantines and

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

DISTRIBUTION Gay San Diego is distributed free every other Friday of the month. COPYRIGHT 2016. All rights reserved. PUBLISHER David Mannis (619) 961-1951

even tattooing AIDS on victim’s arms. Everyone was afraid. No one wanted to even be in the same room with an AIDS patient. I call the early 1980s “the darkness,” because having AIDS then did equal death. Going to weekly funerals and memorials became a part of our lives. I remember fighting the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese in San Diego to even say a mass for people who had died of

AIDS. With the help of then-Mayor Maureen O’Connor and her Chief of Staff, Ben Dillingham, getting body bags sent to Tijuana because their coroner would not pick up the bodies of Mexican citizens who had died of AIDS without their families supplying one. I remember a San Diego judge who had his entire courtroom wiped clean after a person with AIDS had testified in a case.

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

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

see Honorees, pg 7

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Positive Thoughts Why we need to raise HIV/AIDS awareness among young people By Oriol R. Gutierrez Jr. I was 22 years old when I was diagnosed with HIV in 1992. I have now been living with the virus longer than I did without it. I’m grateful for being alive and healthy, but I can’t say that I’m happy to have HIV. I want to believe that I’ll live long enough to see a cure for HIV, but in the meantime I live with it because I have no other choice. After testing HIV-positive, I was convinced that I wouldn’t even see my 30th birthday. As a young person, I thought that I was being denied something most of us growing up take for granted: dying old. My fear of dying young only grew worse in 1994 when my ex-boyfriend — the person who I believe gave me HIV — died. He was 30. In 1996, effective HIV treatment finally became a reality. As more and more people began taking the new medications and living as a result, my fear slowly turned into hope. I had lived those first few years after testing HIV-positive as if I wasn’t going to have a future. It actually took me a long while to get used to the idea again of growing old. Much has changed in the HIV epidemic since the dark early days. Treatments have improved. Despite getting diagnosed with HIV today, you can expect to live a virtually normal life span as long as you adhere to effective treatment. The research is advancing for a cure and a vaccine. New HIV cases are increasingly being prevented.

Oriol R. Gutierrez Jr. is the editor-in-chief of POZ Magazine All that said, there remains much that isn’t better. Stigma and discrimination related to HIV are stubbornly resistant to change. Access to care and treatment remain out of reach for too many people living with the virus. Although HIV rates have declined, there are still up to 50,000 new cases each year — and that has been true for many years. Unfortunately, one of the most disheartening truths about HIV is related to young people. Current estimates are that one in four new HIV cases in the United States occur among people between ages 13 and 24 — and that 60 percent of these young people living with the virus don’t know they have it. That is just unacceptable. To sound the alarm about HIV among young people, National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NYHAAD) was created in 2013. Commemo-

rated each year on April 10, NYHAAD seeks to educate the public about the impact of HIV/ AIDS on young people. The day also highlights the contributions of young people in the fight against the virus. The organizer of NYHAAD is Advocates for Youth, a nonprofit that educates young people about reproductive and sexual health. Events will be held nationwide with support materials from the advocacy group. Local groups and individuals will host events at such places as high schools, colleges, churches and community centers. Awareness day organizers this year are promoting the idea of a NYHAAD Bill of Rights, which asserts that young people should have certain rights and protections related to HIV/ AIDS. The declaration has five articles, which are listed below. Article 1: The right to live free from oppression. Poverty, racism, homophobia and other forms of oppression all contribute to HIV risk and to quality of treatment and care. Article 2: The right to education. Young people have a right to the education and skills they need to protect themselves from HIV. Article 3: The right to prevention. Young people have the right to condoms, HIV testing and medication needed to help prevent HIV, and have the right to confidential, affordable and accessible services. Article 4: The right to treatment and care. Young people are at risk of not receiving medication regularly enough to have their viral load suppressed. We must ensure that

GAY SAN DIEGO April 1 - 14, 2016 all youth have access to accessible and affordable HIV treatment. Article 5: The right to live without criminalization, discrimination and stigma. Young people living with HIV have the right to freedom and dignity. Laws that criminalize HIV are founded in ignorance and serve only to divert attention and resources from real strategies to end the epidemic. Approximately 1,000 young people in the United States become HIV-positive each month. Undoubtedly, many of these young people living with HIV are LGBT. As such, they need and deserve help from the


LGBT community. To find out how you can help, please go to for more information. You can also get the latest NYHAAD updates by searching “National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day” on Facebook or following @ YouthAIDSDay on Twitter. —Oriol R. Gutierrez Jr. is the editor-in-chief of POZ magazine. Find him on Twitter @oriolgutierrez. This column is a project of Plus, Positively Aware, POZ, The Body and Q Syndicate, the LGBT wire service. Visit their websites — hivplusmag. com,, and thebody. com — for the latest updates on HIV/ AIDS.▼

#BeTheGeneration #GetTested The San Diego LGBT Community Center offers free, anonymous, and confidential HIV testing six days per week. Walk-ins and appointments are both available during the following times: Rapid HIV test — Monday through Thursday, from 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. (last test is at 7 p.m.); and Saturday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. (last test at 1 p.m.). On Fridays, the schedule is as follows: Rapid HIV tests are available from 9 a.m. – noon (last test at 11 a.m.); “Early Tests” from noon – 4 p.m. (last

test at 3:15 p.m.); and Couples Testing — on a walk-in basis only — from 4 – 9 p.m. (last test at 8:30 p.m.). Anonymous (medical staff will not know your name) and confidential (your name is used, but your identity is protected by law) are both available upon request. Appointments can be made by calling 619-692-2077, x101. The Center is located at 3903 Centre St., in Hillcrest. For more information visit


those dark years and even now to this day. I again thank Maureen and the Archives for giving me this rare chance, from the bottom of my heart, to acknowledge them. In closing, I take the following verses from the Bible, Matthew 25: 35-36. “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in. I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” Today, to many of us men you are indeed honoring true angels among us in honoring these women. Thank you and God bless you.

HONOREES I witnessed countless mothers, fathers and families rejecting their sons after finding out they were dying of AIDS; so many who died alone without their family. Many of us felt that we were witnessing some kind of holocaust. These were dark years for our community, but through it all I witnessed the love, compassion and complete dedication of women, both lesbian and heterosexual, who took care of these dying men. Women who gave their blood, opened their homes and marched in the streets with us; women who mourned with us; women who never ever abandoned us; women who would kiss us, touch us, and be by our sides until the very end. They are the unsung heroes and angels of light and love during

—Nicole Murray Ramirez is a city commissioner of the city of San Diego and a board member of the San Diego AIDS Memorial Project.▼

(l to r) Katherine Stuart Faulconer, Nicole Murray Ramirez and keynote Dr. Joycelyn Elders at the Lambda Archives gala (Photo by Walter G. Meyer)



GAY SAN DIEGO April 1 - 14, 2016

A thousand bottles of booze on the wall Restaurant Review Frank Sabatini Jr.



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I’ve eaten inside liquor stores before — pizza at Fiori’s in Mission Hills, a lobster roll at Corner Liquor in Normal Heights, and a memorable “meter feeder” hamand-Swiss sandwich in the presence of attorneys making liquid purchases at Mixon Liquor and Deli near the Downtown courthouse. But in terms of ambiance, nothing beats KnB Wine Cellars in Del Cerro. More than a wine depot, KnB impresses with a dramatic 20-foothigh wall of bottled spirits that leaves you wondering which way to run in the event of an earthquake. The zillion-dollar inventory carries everything imaginable: Aquavit from Norway; Arak from Lebanon; Eau Ve Vie fruit brandy from Switzerland; the brown-bag stuff; and you name it. In the center of it all is a fullservice bistro with ample seating. Opposite the liquor display is a full bar flaunting some serious craft brews. Wander toward the back of the room and you end up in the company of wine — lots of it — lining the shelves in a quieter dining area. Where there is alcohol of this magnitude, there are requisite munchies. Here, it’s a mix of everyday bar food done well and café fare stamped with a fair dose of pizzazz. As our party of eight settled in at a table on the busy front patio (it was a full house inside), we pondered what drinks would pair best to items such as spicy deviled eggs, loaded tater tots, a guacamole burger, fish and chips, and a few other dishes up for consideration. Beer, of course. And it just so happened we came on a Wednesday, when all drafts are $4 apiece, whether served in 12- or 16-ounce glasses. It’s a swell deal considering the choices spanned from high-octane cult favorites like Stone’s seasonal “Enjoy By” series and a couple of citrus brews to imperial porters, a spiced lager, and the “Hopocalypse” double IPA by Drake’s Brewing Company that I ordered. When our food arrived, I basically kept a fork in each hand; one for my own meal and the other for wandering into reachable territory of others at the table. (I was among family, good friends and my spouse, so nobody minded.) The Huevos de Diablo is a single egg, halved and deviled with a peppery, whipped yolk and topped with slices of grilled jalapenos. As the most inexpensive starter on the menu ($1.25), it went down in four easy bites. It’s been a while since tater tots gave me a palatable rush. I’m basically sick to death of them, although when they’re called “tot bombs” and come strewn with roasted jalapenos and pieces of crispy bacon, I couldn’t resist. Better yet, they were crispier than most and mantled in hot, bubbly mozzarella cheese, which smoothed out their starchiness with a buttery essence. Two of my tablemates ordered the panchito burrito encasing a beer-battered chile relleno and juicy carnitas in a large flour tortilla. After coincidentally encoun-

The main dining room at KNB Wine Cellars in Del Cerro includes a 20-foot-high wall showing off a vast liquor inventory. (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.)

KNB WINE CELLARS 6380 Del Cerro Blvd. (Del Cerro) 619-286-0321; Prices: Appetizers and salads, $1.25 to $15; flat breads, sandwiches and burgers, $8 to $13; entrees, $8.50 to $14

tering a rancid chili relleno the previous day from one of my go-to taco shops, I wasn’t inclined to try it at first. But when the oohs and aahs started, I succumbed. It was fresh and flavorful enough to heal my psychological scars. The winning dish of the evening was the fish and chips, a meal that so often fails lately in other places because of skimpy portions, soggy batter or both. These would likely earn kudos from the most persnickety of Brits, even though limes were substituted for lemons, and the tartar sauce was spiked with Chingon Hot Sauce, which is made locally in Lemon Grove and sold at KnB. But the tweaking of citrus and the medium-spiciness of the tartar worked superbly on the large pieces of cod, which yielded an abundance of moist, flakey meat beneath firm, non-greasy batter. The fries, too, were above-average — clean, crispy and not overly salted. The menu is rather eclectic, extending to four different types of Angus beef burgers, various flat breads, blackened tuna salad, fettuccine in creamy tequila sauce and more. From the sandwich category, there’s “the yogi,” which layers melted brie, apples, honey and arugula between toasted olive bread. Pass me the wine list for that one. A few desserts sourced from San Diego Bakery are also in the offing. We passed around the chocolate-peanut butter dome, a gloriously dense creation that sated our palates from only a couple of spoonfuls each. KnB also serves brunch from 10 – 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, when $14 will buy you all the mimosas you can drink in that time span, and in a fitting environment that celebrates the myriad structures and nuances of liquor, beer and wine. —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▼

Tot bombs don’t disappoint.

Huevos el Diablo is an easy starter.

Fish and chips – the winning dish.

Chocolate-peanut butter dome.


The North Park Thursday Market debuted March 24 with several new vendors and a tent designated for cooking demos scheduled into the month of May. The weekly farmers market was re-branded through a partnership between North Park Main Street and San Diego Markets. It moved several blocks west from its original location and now occupies nearly three blocks on North Park Way, between 30th and Granada streets. “This gives us higher visibility and we’re right next to the huge parking garage off 30th, which makes it a perfect location compared to the small lot we were in behind CVS Pharmacy,” said operations manager Brijet Myers. Among the newcomers is Ashleigh Dinan of Wild Water, whose first day of business coincided with the market’s launch. She sells vacuum-sealed fruit — kiwis, Asian pears, blood oranges and mandarins — and the bottles used for infusing them into water. J’s Tacos & Ceviche is also new to the neighborhood market, as well as Edible Alchemy, which brings in kimchi

GAY SAN DIEGO April 1 - 14, 2016


A bevy of local chefs and breweries will unite to benefit Feeding America San Diego as they break into duos to create competing pairings of food and beer. The event, titled Pairings with a Purpose, will be held from 1 – 5 p.m., April 16, at the Bobby Riggs Tennis Club & Museum in Encinitas. Attendees will get to sample and vote on their favorite matchups along with a panel of celebrity judges that includes former San Diego Charger Billy Ray Smith and radio personality Scott Kaplan. Nearly two dozen teams are taking part. Among them are: Karen Barnett of Small Bar working with Karl Strauss Brewing Company; Trey Foshee of Galaxy Taco with Benchmark Brewing Co.; Amy DiBiase of Tidal with Modern Times Beer; and more. General admission is $45, which includes tastings from all teams. For tickets and more information, visit 875 Santa Fe Drive, Encinitas.

Catt Fields White of San Diego Markets cuts the ribbon. (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.)

Ashleigh Dinan officially kicked off her Wild Water business at the new North Park Thursday Market. (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.) Meaty sandwiches have entered into the equation since Heart and Trotter Whole Animal Butchery opened a year ago. (Courtesy of Assault Media Marketing) Free pork tacos are up for grabs on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 1 p.m., April 17, as The Heart & Trotter Whole Animal Butchery in North Park celebrates its one-year anniversary. Lauded for its antibiotic and hormone-free meats, the shop also sells sandwiches on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, although it may soon offer them daily according to manager Ben Zuba. 2855 El Cajon Blvd., 619-564-8976,

Eggs from various fowl at the Da-Le Ranch tent and sauerkraut from a nearby kitchen. There are about 65 vendors in total selling everything from produce and street foods to turkey eggs and crème brulee. Myers says the new blueprint allows for future growth. The cooking demos are held at 4 and 5:30 p.m. each week by a local chef. The lineup includes: Anthony Pascal of Saiko Sushi on April 7; Rich Sweeney of Waypoint Public on April 14; “Chef Norbert” from Tiger! Tiger! on April 21; and Joe Kraft of Wow Wow Waffle on May 5. For more information and listings, visit

—Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at▼

MISSING CONTENT Hanis Cavin of Carnitas Snack Shack conducted the first chef demo for the market. (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.) The space that formerly housed D Bar in Hillcrest will undergo a major interior design for the mid-summer arrival of H2O Sushi & Izakay, which has locations in Orange and Los Angeles counties. “We’ve been to their restaurant in Costa Mesa and the food is amazing, and with very reasonable price points,” said Tami Daiber, chief operating officer for Carleton Management Inc., which is handling the lease

Hand-made pretzels from a leading wholesaler are coming to North Park. (Facebook) North Park residents and denizens will soon be able to buy assorted hot pretzels from National City’s San Diego Pretzel Company without ordering online or hunting down retailers that sell them. By mid-April the hand-rolled beauties will be readily available at the upcoming California Tap Room on Ray Street, which will open initially as an eatery until receiving its license to serve craft beers and ciders from more than a dozen taps. 3812 Ray St.,

Oscar’s Mexican Seafood in Hillcrest and Pacific Beach has opened an additional, larger outlet in the East Village, where Toast Enoteca previously operated. The menus are the same at all locations, which specialize in spicy grilled shrimp tacos, yellow fin ceviche, and other preparations of seafood sourced from vendors in San Diego and across the border. 927 J St., 619-564-6007,


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GAY SAN DIEGO April 1 - 14, 2016

Opera: a tragic marriage in Nagasaki By David Dixon Garnett Bruce — director of the famed Opera de Montreal — returns to Downtown San Diego later this month to present Giacomo Puccini’s Italian opera, “Madama Butterfly.” This will be the fourth time Bruce has staged the tragic story for the San Diego Opera and its fans. Set in Nagasaki, Japan, in the early 20th century, a geisha, CioCio-San (Latonia Moore) falls for an American Naval officer, B.F. Pinkerton (Teodor Ilincai). Though the couple weds, the union is bittersweet, because while Cio-Cio-San believes she has found true love, Pinkerton does not take their arranged overseas vows seriously. Bruce said he has read the original short story, “Madame Butterfly,” and seen the David Belasco play, “Madame Butterfly: A Tragedy of Japan.” Both the tale and the drama enhanced his appreciation of Puccini’s music and the libretto written by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa. “Belasco’s script is not a kind portrayal of either Asians or Americans,” he said. “Puccini softened these characters and believed in them with the help of glorious music.” The singer who gets to perform some of Puccini’s most unfor-

gettable melodies is J’nai Bridges, who plays Suzuki, Cio-Cio-San’s maid. Suzuki does what she can to remain loyal as her employer goes through challenging times. The mezzo-soprano said she doesn’t wish her portrayal of Suzuki to be viewed as merely that of a “simple domestic.” “It’s really easy to play this [role] just like a servant who follows instructions,” she said. “I think she’s deeper than just a woman who runs errands.” In the upcoming production at the San Diego Civic Theatre, the bond between Cio-Cio-San and Suzuki will be an important part of the narrative. “I feel like they are sisters in a way,” Bridges said. “Suzuki cares a lot about Cio-Cio-San and does not want her to get hurt.” An aspect of Puccini’s music that continues to fascinate Bruce is the composer’s meticulous artistry. “Puccini is very structured,” he said. “He knows how to hold the attention of an audience and how to take them on an unforgettable journey.” Bridges acknowledges the beauty of Puccini’s compositions. “His music feeds the soul,” she said. “Puccini’s music is really relatable and accessible to people’s emotions.” Even though the interpretation is going to be traditional,

Director Garnett returns ‘Butterfly’ to San Diego. (Courtesy San Diego Opera) Bruce said in-house technology will keep each scene visually fresh. “We’re trying to enhance people’s mood and experience through lighting,” Bruce said. “We have strong reactions to different uses of color.” While Moore has played CioCio-San for both Germany’s Hamburg State Opera (Hamburgische Staatsoper) and New York’s Metropolitan Opera, Bruce hopes that San Diego theatergoers do not compare her upcoming performance to her previous portrayals of the central character. “Everybody who comes needs to have an open mind,” he said. “They need to be ready to hear and see a new side of a familiar role.” According to Bruce, one of the biggest reasons the intense plot continues to make an impact with audiences is the depth of the CioCio-San character.

Moore Latonia in costume at The Met in NYC last month. (Photo by Marty Sohl) “She is very naïve, pragmatic, and trusting,” he said. “We all want to be as good as she is throughout the opera. We want to believe the way she believes and if we can, we’re open to joy.” Similarly to Bruce, Bridges said she feels that the plot has a heart-rending quality. “It is a very humanistic story,” she said. “There are real human emotions from everyone.” With Bruce at the helm, it seems like audiences are in for a grand and passionate rendition of the monumental tale. His version appears to contain all the necessary ingredients to comprise a stirring evening. “Madama Butterfly” will be performed Apr. 16 – 24, at the San Diego Civic Theatre, located at 1100 Third Ave., Downtown. For tickets or more information, visit or call 619-232-7636.

Latonia Moore headline’s ‘Butterfly’. (Courtesy San Diego Opera)

—David Dixon has been a fan of film and theater from a very young age, and has written reviews and features for various print and online publications. Reach him at daviddixon0202@▼

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GAY SAN DIEGO April 1 - 14, 2016


Teaching Helen Keller Telling this story never gets old Theater Review Charlene Baldridge Playwright William Gibson (1914 – 2008) never claimed credit for the huge success of “The Miracle Worker,” the play/film for which he is best known. It was the original story, written by a woman named Anne Sullivan, the one who taught a “deaf, dumb and blind” teenager named Helen Keller to speak. Gibson won the Tony Award for his 1959 play and then adapted it for the 1962 film, which is one of the classics. Lamb’s Players Theatre, where it can be seen now through April 10, first produced it in National City in 1983 with a young Deborah Gilmour (now Smyth) as Anne. It was repeated again 21 years later, in Lamb’s Player’s first season in Coronado, with Cynthia Gerber as Helen and Smyth as Anne. Now Lamb’s is celebrating its 45th year, Smyth is playing in the Gaslamp Quarter with her husband Robert Smyth in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (produced by guest resident Intrepid Theatre), and Robert Smyth has revisited “The Miracle Worker” with a new vision and a few Lamb’s friends, including Gerber (as Helen’s mother), and associate artists Lucia Vecchio (as Helen) and Kelsy Venter (as Anne). Deborah Gilmour Smyth returns in one of her original roles, for sound design. Other significant contributions are made by Charles Evans, Jr., as James Keller, Yolanda Franklin as Viney and Jason Heil as Capt. Keller. Significant cuts have been made and the production rips along at fever pitch in and hour and a half, sweeping us from Anne’s first confrontation with the over-indulged and uncontrollable 12-year-old Keller child (Vecchio) to the life of language to which she introduces her in a few short weeks. By doing what she thinks will work, Anne has unwit-

RAIN A World Premiere Musical

Rain Book by Sybille Pearson Music and Lyrics by Michael John LaChiusa Based on the short story “Rain” by Somerset Maugham Directed by Barry Edelstein

Limited engagement through May 1 Lucia Vecchio and Kelsey Venter in “The Miracle Worker” (Photo by John Howard)

“The Miracle Worker” By William Gibson Wednesdays through Sundays through April 10 Lamb’s Players Theatre 1142 Orange Ave., Coronado $24 – $78 or 618-437-6000 tingly invented a new training system that changed the lives of millions forever. The production is a tribute to Lambs Player’s system of ensemble work and their dedication to telling good stories well. The core performances — delivered by Gerber, Vecchio and Venter — are phenomenal and leagues deep in experience, dedication and understanding. Every performance feeds the beauteous whole providing an exemplary afternoon. Vecchio lives in Encinitas, is finishing up high school and intends to major in theater. Already a member of SAG/AFTRA, she has numerous credits, none of which will be so valued as the

sustenance of that provided by Helen — a most exacting and difficult role — and nurtured by such fine company. Both Gerber and Venter are fine, generous and experienced actors, who possess a deep understanding of textual lyricism and a spirit of camaraderie. There are times one wanted simply to shout with joy. The play was shortened without robbing any of the other characters of depth; one could almost imagine their own further development as they learned, all of them, to better help Helen. In addition to Deborah Gilmour Smyth’s rich sound design, the production benefits from Mike Buckley’s spacious, rather oddly eloquent scenic design, Nathan Pierson’s lighting design and Rachel Hengst’s thoughtful properties. Jeanne Reith gives unusual insight into adaptive costume situations as well as some fine fashions of the day. Jordan Miller provided assistant direction and fight direction — believe me, it’s needed. Stories of innovation, courage and stagecraft abound here. Take the kids. — Charlene Baldridge has been writing about the arts since 1979. You can follow her blog at or reach her at▼


a gathering of gay and lesbian theatre lovers.

Special Pre-Show Event Thursday, April 21 at 6:30 p.m. Featuring F eaturiing Special Speciiall Guest: Guest: Barry Barry Edelstein, Edels l tein, i Erna Erna Finci Fi Fincii Viterbi Viterbi Vit bi Artistic Artis i tic i Director Directtor Di

An evening for gay and lesbian theatre lovers and the whole LGBT community. This event includes three drinks from the wine and martini bar, delicious appetizers, and a pre-show mixer. Everyone is welcome. Just $24 per person in addition to your theatre ticket. Call to RSVP at (619) 23-GLOBE or select “Show + OUT event” when purchasing online.

(619) 23-GLOBE (234-5623) At top: Eden Espinosa in Rain. Photo by Jim Cox.

Don’t dream it. SEE IT!




TH ! 7 Y RU MA



(l to r) 17-year-old Lucia Vecchio of Encinitas plays Helen Keller to Kelsey Venter’s Anne Sullivan. (Photo by John Howard)



GAY SAN DIEGO April 1 - 14, 2016


SDGMC which runs April 23-24 at the Balboa Theatre, Downtown. “I grew up in Philadelphia on the East Coast and decided to come to [San Diego] on a whim,” said Hannahoe, who also sang in choruses throughout high school and college. “When I first came here, I didn’t have a job. I came to California to live out my dreams. [SDGMC] was one of the ways I met people when I first came here.” Hannahoe, who presently works for the home care services

provider Love 2 Live, said he is consistently moved and motivated by the camaraderie with fellow musicians and performers. While a few emotionally stirring numbers will be intermingled into the show, Lehman said most of it has a light-hearted feel that represents a variety of Californiacentric themes. “I really hope the audience laughs, but also sheds a tear at some point during the performance,” Hannahoe added. The numbers include renditions of Disneyland princesses proclaiming their love for one another and a tribute

to several California-based TV series of yesteryear, including “Baywatch,” “The Beverly Hillbillies,” “The Brady Bunch” and “Three’s Company.” For the first time in about a decade, the SDGMC is teaming up with the San Diego Women’s Chorus for a small selection of numbers. Lehman said the collaboration will be especially notable during a series of south-of-the-border-inspired numbers with an infusion of Latin rhythms. SDGMC’s artistic director, R.C. Haus, is credited with assembling the different numbers and melding them into the

The SDGMC practice a number from the spring show with members of the San Diego Women's Chorus. (Courtesy SDGMC)

Chorus members backstage at Jingle, their recent holiday show. (Courtesy SDGMC) California Dreamin’ production. In a press release, he emphatically stated, “This isn’t just a concert — it’s a show.” Lehman said there is one consistent theme throughout the performance. “There’s so much spirit behind every minute of it,” he said.With the countdown to curtain day fast approaching, Hannahoe said there is an increasing amount of enthusiasm building as rehearsal periods begin picking up steam. The 160 performers slated for the spring performance began rehearsals in January. “Right about now is the time where everything starts to gel and fall into place,” Hannahoe said, referring to the mid- to late-March time frame.

“Everyone’s getting comfortable and there’s a growing sense of excitement.” SDGMC, which is in its 31st year, has a mission-minded goal behind its performances. The volunteer group’s roster currently stands at 210 singers, meaning three-quarters of the membership is performing in California Dreamin’. From his vantage point, Lehman said he views the SDGMC as ambassadors to the greater community. For this reason, the group has performed at disparate venues throughout San Diego and, occasionally, outside the city. Notable venues and events over the years have included visits to the White House and the Super Bowl. “We’re big on outreach and sharing the message of the LGBT community,” Lehman said. The ages and backgrounds of SDGMC’s membership vary widely, with the young end of the spectrum hovering around 20 years old and the upper end at 85 years old. Lehman said the intergenerational experiences have provided for some poignant, and powerful, moments behind the scenes. “Some of our singers lived through history,” Lehman said. “They attended funerals for people who died of AIDS and fought for [LGBT] rights. It’s a learning experience for some of our younger singers. It’s a real melting pot of different cultures.” SDGMC will present California Dreamin’ in two performances; Saturday, April 23 at 8 p.m., and Sunday April 24, at 3 p.m., at the Balboa Theatre, located at 868 Fourth Ave., Downtown. Ticket prices range from $28 to $70. For more information about the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus, or to purchase tickets for the show, visit sdgmc. org. Tickets can also be purchased by calling the Balboa Theatre box office at 619-5701100. —Dave Fidlin is a freelance journalist with a special affinity for San Diego and its people. Contact him at▼

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GAY SAN DIEGO April 1 - 14, 2016



FILM FESTIVAL prime suspect in the murders, since he stands to inherit Stephen’s multimillion-dollar estate. Directed by Casper Andreas (“Violet Tendencies”) and written by David Michael Barrett (“Such Good People”), the movie also stars Brianna Brown (“Devious Maids”), Yolonda Ross (“Treme”), Jai Rodriguez (“Queer Eye for the Straight Girl”), Kit Williamson (“Mad Men”), D.J. “Shangela” Pierce (“RuPaul’s Drag Race”), Craig Robert Young (“The Last Ship”), Allison Lane (“The Dark Place”) and Jackie Monahan (“The Foxy Merkins”). Michael McQuiggan, the longtime programming director for FilmOut, predicts the opening night film will quickly sell out. “The buzziest film is ‘Kiss Me, Kill Me’ because it is a who’s who of LGBT cast members who have name recognition within the LGBT community,” he said, “and they are exploding on social media. “With the exception of ‘Coming In’ and ‘Shared Rooms’ — which are premiering at FilmOut — all the films are playing at every major LGBT film festival on a global level,” McQuiggan added. McQuiggan and film programmer Jeff Howell screened nearly 900 full-length and short films submitted by filmmakers from around the world, and had the daunting task of choosing the 40 films that will be shown during the three-day festival. Opening night is always a special occasion for FilmOut, as it is followed by an after-party with plenty of food and drink at the Sunset Temple. Tickets for both the film and party cost $30. At least eight of the stars and filmmakers from “Kiss Me, Kill Me” are expected to attend the movie, the Q&A session after the film, as well as the after-party. Andreas, the director, has also scored another major honor by having his other film, “Flatbush Luck,” named as the festival’s closing night film. McQuiggan said FilmOut will be marketing the movie as a “Special Sneak Preview West Coast Premiere Closing Night Film.” “The film will appeal to gay and straight audiences, McQuiggan said. “So I want to tie this all together since it is rare that this occurs.” “Flatbush Luck” stars Tanner Novlan as Jimmy and Robby Stahl as his cousin Max as a pair of Brooklyn boys in deadend jobs working as telephone repairmen. Jimmy is a former Wall Street hotshot who lost his job when the economy tanked, and Max is engaged to be married to his longtime girlfriend Donna (Jenna Perez) until a chance meeting with a hot masseuse (Juahn Cabrera). The comedy-drama takes a couple of interesting turns, dealing with insider trading, phone tapping and even a murder plot. Tickets to the closing night film and after-party at West Coast Tavern is $20. Other highlights of the threeday festival include: l The Festival Spotlight will be the documentary,

“ToY” will be the Girl’s Centerpiece. (Courtesy FilmOut San Diego)

'Coming In' will make its official premiere at the San Diego festival. (Courtesy FilmOut)

“Flatbush Luck” will be a “Special Sneak Preview West Coast Premiere Closing Night Film” on June 5. (Courtesy FilmOut San Diego)

Gale Harold, of “Queer as Folk” fame, stars in the opening night “Kiss Me, Kill Me.” (Courtesy FilmOut San Diego)

“Upstairs Inferno,” by Dallas filmmaker Robert L. Camina. It’s the forgotten story about the largest gay mass murder in U.S. history, which happened on June 24, 1973 at the Upstairs Lounge in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Nobody has been charged in the deaths of 32 people, and the prime suspect is dead. l The International Spotlight will be the Australian film, “Downriver,” which is having its West Coast premiere Writer-director Grant Scicluna follows the story of a young parolee who was accused of drowning a little boy when he was a kid. He risks his freedom and his life to uncover a trail of sins that might give closure to the grieving mother. l The Boys Centerpiece will be either a U.S. or world premiere of “Shared Rooms,” directed by Rob Williams. The romantic comedy weaves three interrelated tales of

gay men seeking family, love and sex during the Christmas holidays. l The Girls Centerpiece will be “ToY,” starring Briana Evigan (“From Dusk Till Dawn”) as a young, talented and naïve artist who inherited her late mother’s wealth and also the thing that took her mother’s life and which she’s desperate to keep secret. Her latest work leads her to a beautiful, but aging call girl (played by Kerry Norton, “Battlestar Galactica”), and the two women fighting their own demons draw closer. Patrick Chapman directs the film. Other feature films include “Theo & Hugo,” “S&M Sally,” “Closet Monster,” “Coming In” and “Front Cover.” The popular “Best of LGBT Shorts” will return, and 25 other short films will be spread out throughout the festival. “A lot are world, U.S. and West Coast premieres,” McQuig-

gan said of the short films. Filmophiles might want to purchase the All Access Pass, which not only provides admission to all the movies, it grants access to the afterparties on opening and closing nights as well. “The All Access pass is $100, which is a $50 savings if you added up all the films dollar-wise,” McQuiggan said.

To keep up with FilmOut and the festival, visit — Ken Williams is editor of Uptown News and Mission Valley News and volunteers on the board of FilmOut San Diego. He can be reached at or at 619-961-1952. Follow him on Twitter at KenSanDiego, Instagram account at KenSD or Facebook at KenWilliamsSanDiego.▼



GAY SAN DIEGO April 1 - 14, 2016


YPC ACADEMY YPC “fosters a culture of diversity, service, leadership, advocacy and camaraderie among young LGBT San Diegans while developing the next generation of LGBT and LGBT-allied civic leaders.” Jacobs, a former professor before taking over The Center in 2010, established the curriculum herself and has taught every academy class since day one, according to Center staff. “Our community is full of young leaders ready and willing to serve, and whose voices are desperately needed,” Jacobs said. “The YPC Academy is designed both to give them the tools to make a difference and to continue to build the network of young leaders who care about equality and equity. They are bright, talented, bring enormous energy and have a very valuable perspective to offer all of our boards, organizations, and our entire city and county.” Events such as the bowling social are held monthly by YPC organizers to encourage networking and personal connections between academy students and other LGBT professionals and allies and they are just a small part of what going through the academy offers.

Past and future graduates of the YPC Academy recently got together to network at Kearny Mesa Bowl. (Photo by Joseph Ciolino) amazing work in San Diego,” Gomez said. “It gave me the power to see how change can be made — I got my marching orders when I left YPC.” The issues Gomez is concerned about are the many challenges and inequalities still facing the greater LGBT community, such as high suicide rates among the transgender community and LGBT housing discrimination, she said. “I was exposed to intimate conversations with our local and state elected and because of this, I left with a bigger challenge to

“It is helpful learning what the San Diego community is working toward,” said Derek Hanley, YPC class of 2016 and a recent transplant from Albuquerque, New Mexico. “The Center is so well-connected and it’s great to be able to build a network.” One such future leader produced from the very first academy class in 2012 is Georgette Gomez, who is currently running to represent District 9 on the San Diego City Council. “YPC helped me look at more issues and exposed me to the elected officials that have done

be involved,” Gomez said. One of the elected officials Gomez is referring to — who is very much an advocate of the YPC Academy — is Councilmember Todd Gloria. Gloria spoke to this year’s academy on their first day of class March 5. In addition to Gloria, Assembly Speaker Emeritus Toni G. Atkins also speaks at the academy every year, and The Center has developed strong relationships with both public servants. They are active participants in YPC events, according to Ben Cartwright, Director of Com-

munity Outreach at The Center, and a graduate of the 2012 inaugural class. “One of the big, important parts of going through the academy is this might be the only time where a lot of the members will be able to meet these people — this intimately,” Cartwright said. YPC members are encouraged to give out business cards and shake hands with the elected whenever they attend events. Along with meeting officials and other young professionals comes a variety of leadership-building skills as well. “YPC really teaches you how to start a movement, how to advocate for causes that you’re passionate about,” said Prabha Singh, co-chair of YPC executive committee and class of 2015. “It taught me how to fundraise and how to gather people together.” Singh is now involved with the Narcan program, involving the development of a type of EpiPen used for controlling overdoses, and she attributes YPC for giving her the nudge she needed to start this type of program. She also joined the board of the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus. “YPC propels you to move forward, it opens up opportunities,” she said. “It’s a way of creating leaders who have a strong backing — I met 22 people through the YPC who I know will always support me.” Both Cartwright and Cervantes put weight on the idea that the YPC and The Center’s movement can’t operate in a silo, and the LGBT community and its allies must unite together to make changes. But the driving force of the academy is to teach “intersectionality,” Cervantes said. “We need to honor all of the various identities that exist and work together with other social justice movements to achieve full equality,” Cervantes said. “We need more progressive folks making decisions and by training more of them, we’ll get to a more just society.” The academy holds one class with approximately 20 students each year, and the YPC executive committee looks over applicants and selects who will enter the program. The committee bases decisions on diversity, the applicant’s commitment to the community and their ability to be involved with the community in the future. Enrollment is open to members of the LGBT community and their allies between the ages of 21 and 40 and the academy consists of six courses held on Saturdays over a threemonth span. The current class will continue meeting through June 4, with a graduation brunch scheduled for June 18. Applications for the next class, YPC 2017, will be accepted from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31. For more information, visit and find YPC under Programs. Editor Morgan M. Hurley contributed to this report.


—Joseph Ciolino is an editorial intern for San Diego Community Newspaper Network, the parent company of Gay San Diego, and a senior at SDSU. Reach him at▼


LETTERS accepting of all our LGBTQI family and remember what itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s like to be the outsider. â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Joseph Sago, via Thanks Benny for your insights, you are right about all the judgment that gets thrown around in the interest of having a good laugh or sounding enlightened. For those who think it is acceptable â&#x20AC;Ś it is not funny and you are not enlightened; you are small and shallow and it is not attractive. And another thing, that thing I have on my face when I approach is a smile, it is designed to put you at ease and feel comfortable with another human on the planet. It does not mean that I want your body, nor does it mean that I think I might have a chance with you, and if you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t smile back just for the sake of sharing a smile, then I want nothing more to do with you. Have a nice day. This is Hillcrest, so get with the program and be kinder to your neighbors. â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Luke Terpstra, via

More about The Eagle [Ref: Editorial: â&#x20AC;&#x153;#WeAllMatter: continuing the conversation about bars,â&#x20AC;? Vol. 7, Issue 4, or at gay-sd. com/editorial-weallmatter.] If there is any bias Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve seen from â&#x20AC;&#x153;patrons,â&#x20AC;? it has more to do with folks not being a part of the leather/fetish community and acting like they are visiting a zoo exhibit. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve personally seen all the staff, management and owner treat San Diegoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and visiting leather women with the utmost respect. Again, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s my experience as a semi-regular at The Eagle. â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Ian Morton, via

Regarding Hillary [Ref: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Guest editorial: Why every parent should vote for Hillary,â&#x20AC;? Vol. 7, Issue 6, or at hvgb9vq Great article, I will be voting for Hillary in the fall. I cannot wait to see this countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first woman president. woo hoo! â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Britt Silva, via Tristan Higginsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; guest editorial, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Why Every Parent Should Vote for Hillary,â&#x20AC;? demands a response. Her argument seems to be that we should elect â&#x20AC;&#x153;a woman presidentâ&#x20AC;? in order that small children might be raised to embrace proper values. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a parentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s job, not the presidentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. Should we have elected Sarah Palin, also a woman, as vice-president in 2008 as a role model for family values? I think not. The issue is always not â&#x20AC;&#x153;a woman,â&#x20AC;? but â&#x20AC;&#x153;which woman?â&#x20AC;? In 1964, I supported the candidacy of Margaret Chase Smith, the first woman to serve in both houses of Congress, for the Republican presidential nomination. She was also the first woman ever nominated at a major party convention (Barry Goldwater won the nomination that year). But my choice was based on her character and experience, not her gender. She had been among the first to speak out against Joe McCarthy and was a major advocate for

women in the Armed Forces. Hillary Clintonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s candidacy is problematical for many reasons. A few weeks ago a young Latina, Maria Bustillos, wrote an article for the Los Angeles Times that summed up some major flaws. For her, Clintonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vote for the Iraq War was â&#x20AC;&#x153;a deal-breaker.â&#x20AC;? She wrote, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I can hardly believe that my party has seen fit to put a proIraqi war candidate on our ticket at all,â&#x20AC;? and I â&#x20AC;&#x153;will never support a Democrat in a primary who did not speak forcibly against invading Iraq at the time.â&#x20AC;? Clinton has since tried to walk back her vote. Yet, as Secretary of State, she pushed the Obama Administration hard for the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, which President Obama has recently called the worst foreign policy decision of his presidency. Clinton is an inveterate hawk and has learned nothing from experience. She seems to think that if you just knock off a bad guy, everything will proceed happily ever after. She is now pushing for deeper American military involvement in Syria. Do we really want another George W. Bush in the Oval Office? Clinton has long had serious problems with secrecy and with the â&#x20AC;&#x153;reshapingâ&#x20AC;? of the truth, when not obliterating it entirely. This is why poll after poll shows many people donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t trust her. This was the case as far back as the first Clinton Administration, when she was charged with creating a health plan. It was conducted with great secrecy and when she was called on it, the materials had been â&#x20AC;&#x153;lost.â&#x20AC;? After the furor was over, however, they were â&#x20AC;&#x153;discoveredâ&#x20AC;? in plain sight, on a table in the White House. More to the point is a $650,000 payment for lectures at Goldman Sachs [the text of which] she refuses to release. Then there was the recent Michigan campaign, in which she repeatedly declared she was the only candidate who had voted for the auto bailout. True, but she concealed the fact that the auto bailout was later coupled with the â&#x20AC;&#x153;no accountabilityâ&#x20AC;? bailout for her Wall Street friends, which she conveniently forgets to mention. (Bernie Sanders also supported an auto bailout, but voted against the combined bill.) A week later she was claiming in a victory speech that all of her contributors were small donors. Voila! â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a second Bernie Sanders! I couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t believe what I was hearing, and of course, it was not believable. She said nothing about the river of Wall Street money flowing into her secretive Super PAC. This pattern of secrecy, holdout, half-truths and spin is embedded in the Clinton DNA. (See Bill â&#x20AC;&#x153;I did not have sexual relations with that womanâ&#x20AC;? Clinton.) Hillary and her husband are a political team (called â&#x20AC;&#x153;Billaryâ&#x20AC;? a few years ago). They are a political duo, like Nancy and Ronald Reagan, Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt, Florence and Warren Harding, and Edith and Woodrow Wilson. So electing Hillary is also giving Bill a third term in the White House. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s already her actual campaign manager and surrogate. She has said that when she is elected he is the first person she will consult, â&#x20AC;&#x153;over the kitchen table,â&#x20AC;? on policy. (Others, more knowledgeable, only come into it later?) This is the Bill Clinton who signed the NAFTA agreement, losing 180,000 working-class American jobs. (Once stalwarts of the Democratic Party, these folk seem

now to be supporting Trump.) He signed the repeal of the Depressionera Glass-Steagall Act, separating commercial from investment banking. By doing so, he launched the unsupervised extravaganza that ultimately gave us the worst recession since the 1930s. A nominal Democrat, he cut back subsidies for the poor. And, as every self-respecting gay person should always remember and never forgive, he both signed the Defense of Marriage Act and instituted the infamous â&#x20AC;&#x153;Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t Ask, Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t Tellâ&#x20AC;? policy, which resulted in the witch hunt that destroyed the military careers of countless gay men and lesbian women honorably serving our country. What was the role of the other member of this close-knit political team in all this? Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not saying. [Editorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s note: DADT actually ended the â&#x20AC;&#x153;witch huntsâ&#x20AC;? that took place in the decades prior to its enactment, but service members continued to be discharged in large numbers.] The latest Gallup poll found that both probable candidates, Trump and Clinton, are divisive and disliked figures â&#x20AC;&#x201D; by 63 percent of the population for Trump and 53 percent for Hillary. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been at least 24 years since presidential candidates on both sides drew such negative views. One of my former students is trying to get me to vote for Hillary on the â&#x20AC;&#x153;lesser of two evilsâ&#x20AC;? principle. My response was that being only 10 points less obnoxious than Trump is hardly a qualification for the presidency and that the lesser of two evils is still evil. There are even a couple of points in Trumpâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s favor, if you believe the Republican establishment: As a candidate heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d lose so many Republican senators that the Democrats would take over the Senate, and as president heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d destroy the Republican Party. Sounds good to me! If the Democrats nominate Clinton â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the first pro-Wall Street candidate that party will have nominated since Judge Alton B. Parker in 1904 (Teddy Roosevelt defeated him) â&#x20AC;&#x201D; they deserve what they will get. It will result in a lot of alienated progressive Democrats and independents, who may either skip the presidential line on their ballots or stay home. The only way Hillary can get elected is if Trump continues to be scarier than the prospect of the two Clintons back in the White House. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not a great outlook. Right now, it looks as if the Democratic Party, once on the cutting edge of American politics, seems to need a bigger remake than Volkswagen. â&#x20AC;&#x201D;William A. Koelsch, via email THANK YOU so much for bringing me out of the darkness and into eternal enlightenment by instructing me on who I â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;SHOULDâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; vote for! Your choice of words and tone of communication on pages 6 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 7 of Volume 7, Issue 6, was so â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;well-balanced, professional and inclusiveâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; that I am so ever thankful for you in guiding us the lost masses out here. Please keep up the good, biased opinions coming and tell us what we need to do next. I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t wait. Thank you again. â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Len Feinberg, via email [Editorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s note: As we noted at the start of the opinion piece these responses refer to, we welcome any guest editorials that deal with the upcoming local or national elections, but running them does not imply endorsement.] â&#x2013;ź

GAY SAN DIEGO April 1 - 14, 2016



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Gwen Stefani speaks her (gay) ‘Truth’ Pop star talks sharing a queer posse with boyfriend Blake Shelton, “The Danish Girl,” and her gay support system By Chris Azzopardi | Q Syndicate Don’t speak? Gwen Stefani can’t help it as she opens up about her latest release — the “record that saved my life.” Featuring a multitude of diary-like outpourings related to Gavin Rossdale, whom the No Doubt frontwoman divorced in 2015 after 13 years of marriage, “This Is What the Truth Feels Like” is Stefani’s third solo album and first since 2006’s “The Sweet Escape.” “It’s so therapeutic to talk about it,” she said the day before the album’s release. “And I hope it saves some other lives. I really, really truly do hope that. That’s the message I wanna give.” During our candid tell-all, Stefani also talked about her gay besties, being a (mostly) respected woman in a man’s world, and how she and boyfriend Blake Shelton hang with the same gays. (Chris Azzopardi | CA) In the last year, when the going got tough, which gay friends of yours could you count on to have the wine cupboard fully stocked? (Gwen Stefani | GS) Most of my gay friends are talented, close people who work with me: my hairdresser, my makeup artist. Those are probably my two closest gay friends and what I love about them is how unique they are and how spirited they are and how talented they are. I think “passionate” would be a really good way to describe them. They’re not representing all gay men, but they represent the ones in my life who’ve had a huge impact on me. I turned to them this whole time period, during my whole tragedy and they have been really, really super supportive and loyal and made me look pretty when I didn’t feel pretty. (CA) How did collaborating with Justin Tranter of Semi-Precious Weapons, who’s gay, affect your recording sessions for “This Is What the Truth Feels Like”? (GS) I didn’t know who he was or anything, but the thing that was so great about working with Justin was that he had followed my career for the longest time. He knew everything about every song I’d ever done, whatever I’d worn, every piece of jewelry. It was like, whoa. And he’d wanted to work with me for a long time and I didn’t know that, but it was like God put us in the same room at the perfect time because I needed his understanding and compassion. He was so supportive of me and so confident in me, and I had lost a lot of my confidence, so he really brought that out of me. I felt so comfortable around him from the moment that I met him. So, he was a huge support in making this record and a good friend — an instant friend, weirdly, because I didn’t know him at all. But now I feel like he’s one of my closest friends.

(CA) I don’t think it’s too far of a stretch to say that any gay man would instantly connect with you. (GS) Awww! That makes me happy. (CA) Did Blake have to get your gay friends’ approval? (GS) Well, I mean, Blake’s definitely like — how would I describe it? All the same people all the time are always in the room together and we do everything together, so it’s like we’re all a big posse. It’s funny, too, because Blake’s mom was a hairdresser growing up, so he was definitely introduced to that world a looong time ago. (CA) As the frontwoman of No Doubt, there have been many times you’ve been the only female rocker on a festival bill. For you, what’s that experience been like? Did the boys take you seriously from the beginning? (GS) No, it’s crazy. I’ve been so unbelievably blessed. I grew up in a man’s world and it really doesn’t make any sense either. In the past, as a girl — a baby girl — I was a girly girl and I wasn’t guy-

ish at all, but when I did discover music, I really got into this niche music, which was ska. I really related to it. All of the people who were my mentors as far as music, they were all guys, and to be in a band with my brother [Eric Stefani] and then my boyfriend [Tony Kanal], I was in this little family and very protected. I always felt like my opinion was counted, and not even counted but even counted with double stars. My creativity was respected. There was a moment back in the day when I was doing festivals and we were just getting known and I do remember being disrespected here and there — they’d want me to take my top off or whatever — but it really didn’t take long for me to be able to prove that I wasn’t gonna stand for that. I don’t know where the confidence came from, but I would get up there and I just knew I was gonna win them over and do whatever it took to win them over. I was not gonna leave the stage until I had a pit going. That’s it. No question. It was a fire that was inside of me. I wasn’t rebellious; I had this really normal, easy, beautiful, loving family. But I feel like I’ve always been respected and never had to really worry about, “Oh, I don’t get respect because I’m a woman.” And that’s a really good thing, because that means if I can have that, other women and other people can have that and we are making some progress. (CA) You’re known for your sonic soul-barings, but lately, you also seem especially candid in interviews. Why did you decide to be so open about your life in the last year?

GAY SAN DIEGO April 1 - 14, 2016


Gwen’s latest release tells all. (Photo by Jamie Nelson) (GS) Because I’m the kind of girl that’s just not good with secrets. I tell everybody everything. If I ate too many Oreos, Imma tell you about it! I grew up Catholic, so I just need to confess everything. I feel like I’ve always been really open, but there was a point in

my marriage and in my relationship [with Gavin Rossdale] — because maybe we were born out of the ’90s — it felt cooler and more protected to not talk about the relationship, or it felt awkward

see Stefani, pg 20

Tips to Safely Connect to WiFi Hotspots Increasingly, access to the Internet is important for all areas of life. Whether you’re looking up the best place to have lunch, checking your work email or connecting with friends and family, WiFi hotspots are a convenient way to stay connected when you’re on the go. Using hotspots also can save you money on your mobile data plan. However, it’s important to be mindful of activities that could put your security at risk. Here, Joe Andreozzi from Cox Communications, discusses how to safely connect to hotspots. How do I know how safe a WiFi hotspot is? Some hotspots have security settings, while others do not. For example, hotels and coffee shops often require a password before you can connect. Other security settings may be seen by hovering your mouse over each WiFi connection in your WiFi settings. The name, signal strength and security type will display. WPA2, WPA and WEP are three types of secured connections. Others will say ‘unsecured.’ Once connected, be sure to select ‘Public network’ when prompted to select a network location. This will block some common routes for potential hackers.

Where can I access a hotspot? Hotspots will be listed in your devices WiFi settings. Cox customers have access to more than 400,000 hotspots across the United States, including 148 in Balboa Park, 40 new hotspots on the USS Midway and nearly 100 hotspots in Downtown San Diego. In total, customers can access more than 500 hotspots throughout San Diego County, just find ‘Cox WiFi’ or ‘CableWiFi’ in your WiFi settings. Noncustomers are able to access the hotspots by signing up for a free one-hour trial. Find a hotspot at Learn more about your digital security by visiting Store Manager Joe Andreozzi at the Hillcrest Cox Solutions store at 1220 Cleveland Ave., or call (619) 780-0800.

• Use HTTPS and SSL to make your connection to websites more secure. Both are protocols that provide encrypted communications. Many browsers offer notifications to show enhanced security, such as displaying a padlock next to a website address or turning the address bar a different color.

How can I protect my information when I connect to a public hotspot?

• Update your device when prompted. Often, these contain security updates to keep you protected.

• Avoid tasks such as paying bills, accessing your bank information, and using your credit card online when using a public hotspot.

• Keep WiFi off if you don’t need it.

• Opt not to save passwords, especially when it comes to your financial accounts, like credit cards and banks.

• Verify that you are connecting to a legitimate connection. For example, Cox enabled WiFi hotspots are named ‘Cox WiFi’ or ‘CableWiFi.’ In other instances, ask an employee the name of their hotspot before connecting.

How much speed do I need? The level of speed you need varies on the activities that you use the Internet for. Use the Cox Speed Advisor tool at to determine what’s best for you. Cox WiFi hotspots have download speeds of up to 15 Mbps and upload speeds of 4 Mbps. These can vary and are dependent on the number of devices connected to a hotspot at any given time. Cox High Speed Internet ranges from 15 Mbps up to Gigabit speeds. I keep hearing about Gigabit speeds. What is it? Gigabit speed is Internet that’s 100x faster than the average speed. With gigabit speed you can download 100 songs in three seconds, an HD movie in under one minute and upload 1,000 photos in about one minute! To find out more about Cox’s Gigablast, including whether it’s offered in your area, visit


GAY SAN DIEGO April 1 - 14, 2016


The Dinah: The weekendlong girl party music festival is already underway. Continues in Palm Springs through Sunday, April 3. Visit Diversionary Theatre’s 2016 Gala: ‘Daring Decadence’: America’s third-oldest LGBT theater will celebrate its 30th anniversary with this gala. The celebration will start with a VIP cocktail reception at 6:30 p.m. followed by general admission beginning at 7:30 p.m. Dinner stations will open at 7 p.m. and the entertainment portion will begin at 8 p.m. Entertainment will include a performance by Tony Award-nominee Beth Malone from “Fun Home” (Broadway’s Musical of the Year), an anniversary tribute video and more. Mistress of Ceremonies for the gala will be Deborah S. Craig from Amazon Prime’s “Transparent.” 6 p.m. Shiley Suite at the Downtown San Diego Public Library, 330 Park Blvd., East Village. Visit ‘First Fridays: Latin/Salsa/ Hip-Hop Dance’: A monthly women/girls/ladies/bois dance night featuring the aforementioned genres spun by DJ Fariba and a 2,000-square-foot dance area. Drink specials throughout the night. Doors open at 7 p.m. Numb3rs, 3811 Park Blvd., Hillcrest. Visit


‘Strawberry Jam Season’: A family event where attendees can pick strawberries for $4 per pint (other size options may be available). The event will also include food for purchase, live music, kids’ activities and more. 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Suzie’s Farm, 2570 Sunset Ave., Nestor. Visit ‘BeerFit Brew Mile & 5K’: This running series hits San Diego with options to run the “Brew Mile” – a beer every one-quarter mile or the 5K Classic – with a free beer after-party. 10 a.m. Qualcomm Stadium, 9449 Friars Road, Mission Valley. Visit ‘Uncorked: San Diego Wine Festival’: This wine tour is doing

its inaugural San Diego event featuring over 50 wineries, gourmet food trucks, live music and more. VIP admission at 1 p.m. is $65; general admission at 2 p.m. is $55. Both include wine tastings; food is sold separately. Embarcadero Marina Park North, 500 Kettner Blvd., Downtown. Visit ‘The San Diego Golden Girls’: A drag show featuring special guest Brittany Morgan along with the San Diego Golden Girls. $5 cover. Doors open at 6 p.m., show at 7 p.m. Numb3rs, 3811 Park Blvd., Hillcrest. Visit


‘5th annual Chocolate Festival’: An all-ages event with vendors, crafts, demonstrations and more. There will be beer and wine pairings for grown-ups as well. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Maritime Museum of San Diego, 1492 N. Harbor Drive, Downtown. Visit San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus bachelor auction: Win a date with some of San Diego’s handsome and talented singers. Fifteen bachelors will be up for auction with a meet-and-greet starting at 4:30 p.m. and the auction starting at 5 p.m. Dinner dates will take place immediately following the auction. Hosted by Landa Plenty with proceeds benefitting the chorus’ musical mission. No cover to attend. There will be Jell-O shots, raffles and more. Flicks, 1017 Universitiy Ave., Hillcrest. Visit


East Village sixth annual opening day block party: Baseball is here and admission is free for this event featuring food, entertainment, a beer garden and other vendors. 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. J Street between Sixth and 10th

East Village. Visit


Young Professionals Council’s first Tuesday series: Join the YPC for a mixer at a participating restaurant of Dining Out For Life San Diego. There will be a brief presentation on The Center’s HIV/AIDS services and the #BeTheGeneration campaign. 6:30 – 8 p.m. Spitz, 3515 Fifth Ave., Hillcrest. Contact YPC co-chairs Rick Cervantes (ricky. or Prabha Singh (prabha711@gmail. com) for more information. Visit


Roman Polanski’s ‘Macbeth’: Polanski’s nightmarish vision of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy. Showings at 2, 5 and 8 p.m. Ken Cinema, 4061 Adams Ave., Kensington. Visit ‘Playing around with pie dough’ baking class: Handson class with simple doughs for hand pies, meat pies, pop tarts and more. $80. 6 – 9 p.m. Bake Sale, 815 F St., Downtown. Visit


Veterans Democratic Club endorsement meeting: This meeting will feature a Q&A with Rep. Scott Peters and discussion of endorsements for Congressional District 52, Assembly District 78, Supervisor District 3 and mayor of San Diego. Social half hour begins at 6:30 p.m with $2 drinks and tacos; call to order at 7 p.m. Open to all but only members can vote. Visit ‘Community Conversation’ with Chris Ward: An opportunity to meet and chat with candidate for San Diego City Council District 3, Chris Ward, at a South Park wine bar. 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. The Rose, 2219 30th St., South Park. Visit


avenues. Visit San Diego Padres home opener: Watch our Padres take on the Los Angeles Dodgers in our first home game of the season. Today’s promotion will be an “Opening Series Rally Towel” presented by Sycuan Casino. 4:05 p.m. Petco Park, 100 Park Blvd.,

White Party Palm Springs: The largest gay dance festival starts today and continues through Monday, April 11. Festivities start with a pool party at the Renaissance Hotel Pool. $10 for hotel guests; $15 for general admission. Party included with VIP weekend pass. Visit 13th annual Transgender Day of Empowerment: This year’s celebration will include

a youth-focused program with guest speakers, entertainment, refreshments, awards and more. The recipient of the 2nd annual Tracie Jada O’Brien Transgender Student Scholarship will also be announced. 6 – 9 p.m. San Diego LGBT Community Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. Visit bit. ly/1UxShrm.


Gay for Good – ‘Lend a Paw’: Volunteer group Gay for Good will be helping out Rancho Coastal Human Society to spiff up their shelter. Duties may include painting and landscaping assistance. 8:30 a.m. 389 Requeza St. Encinitas. Visit ‘Desperate Living’: FilmOut San Diego, Horrible Imaginings and The Film Geeks present filmmaker John Waters’ horror-comedy about a murdering housewife on the lam with her overweight maid. $5 for MOPA members; $10 for general admission. 3 – 5 p.m. Museum of Photographic Arts, 1649 El Prado, Balboa Park. Visit ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’: A free family movie night showing the newest “Star Wars” movie at sundown (approximately 7:15 p.m.). Attendees can bring food and non-alcoholic drinks from home or nearby restaurants. Snacks and drinks will be available for purchase as well. 6 p.m. Comickaze Liberty Station – Barracks 15, 2750 Historic Decatur Road, Suite 101. Visit facebook. com/LibertyStationMovieNight.


‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ season eight viewing party: Hosted by Chad Michaels every Monday featuring guest hosts Paris Sukomi Max and Glitz Glam. There will be a “Dueling Divas” contest following the show with $50 weekly prizes and a $500 grand prize. 8 p.m. Urban MO’s, 308 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit


‘Spring Winemaker Dinner’: A five-course meal inspired by the spring season will be paired with wines from Salem Wine Company, Piedrasassi and Sandhi. A different wine with each course will compliment and enhance the flavors of the meal. Tickets are $85. 5:30 p.m. The Patio on Goldfinch, 4020 Goldfinch St., Mission Hills. Visit ‘Sips & Civility’: The League of Women Voters San Diego is hosting this nonpartisan event of drinks and discussion. The topic for this installment is: money in politics. League leaders will share information about Super PACs and “dark money.” This event is open to anyone ages 21 and over. RSVPs are appreciated. 6 – 8 p.m. San Diego Central Library, 330 Park Blvd., East Village. Visit bit. ly/1RwxLBc.


Live music – Hillcrest Wind Ensemble: Tonight’s program will consist of “La Fiesta Mexicana,” “The Sinphonians March,” “Cloudburst,” and more. A jazz trio will be spotlighted performing “Escapades” and “Casey at Bat” with narration. A free-will offering is suggested to benefit the venue and the ensemble. 7 p.m. St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 580 Hilltop Drive, Chula Vista. Visit


Richard O’Brien’s ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show Live’: This cult classic satirical musical celebrates the science fiction and B-list horror genres. These performances are rated R for mature humor, language, sexual content and partial nudity.

FilmOut Screening: “Donnie Darko” — the psychological thriller starring Jake Gyllenhaal is celebrating 15 years as a cult classic. $10. 7 p.m., Landmark Hillcrest Cinemas, 3965 Fifth Ave. #200, Hillcrest. Visit


‘SheFest Paint Party’: A fundraiser for SheFest 2016 with painting and cocktails. Guests will recreate a featuring painting and sip specialty cocktails from Three Olives Vodka. Price includes all supplies and one cocktail. Save $10 with offer code: SheFest2016. Regular price is $45. 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Gossip Grill, 1220 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit

—Compiled by Jen Van Tieghem. Email calendar items to morgan@ or


solution on page 15


ACROSS 1 Barely beats 5 Stat for Richard Simmons 9 They’re tops on the beach 13 It can bear fruit 14 Morales of “La Bamba” 15 Wilde country 16 “Cabaret” mister 17 Mild oath 18 Once more 19 Start of Mark Hamill’s answer about Skywalker’s orientation 22 Coin of Foucault 23 Boob tubes 24 Memorial designer Maya ___ 27 Go gaga over Lady Gaga, e.g. 30 Restroom, for short 33 “Double Fantasy” artist 34 More of the answer 35 Sex attachment 36 E. Wolfson or R. Cohn 37 Came together 39 P-town’s Crowne Pointe, e.g. 40 “May the ___ be with you”

The show runs through May 1. 6:30 p.m. 4040 Twiggs St., Old Town. Tickets 619-337-1525 or

42 More of the answer 44 Like a muscle Mary pumping iron 46 “At Swim, Two Boys” writer Jamie 47 Like some exotic fruit 50 End of the answer 54 He cruised for forty days straight 55 “Ed Wood” role 56 Blast furnace fuel 58 Stud fee? 59 Richard of “A Summer Place” 60 One of the Brewer models 61 Jethrene Bodine portrayer Max 62 Bianchi and Hulce 63 Material for Sylvia Beach?

1 Ordinal for John Nash 2 Hot temper 3 “Frasier” actress Gilpin 4 Workers at the bottom 5 Bridge call 6 Twin to Jacob 7 Dogs do it when they’re hot 8 Visit Judy Garland’s birthplace, e.g. 9 Billy and family 10 Button’s place 11 “We ___ Family” 12 Work under Edith Head, perhaps 20 “__-hoo! Fellas!” 21 Nurses stick these in 24 Sits on one’s bottom 25 Coming up behind 26 Cathedral word in gay Paree 28 California has a big one 29 Heart test 30 One of the Mario Brothers 31 Record in a queer archive 32 Record material 37 Part of MGM

38 Shore of Palm Springs 41 Position near Dave Pallone 43 Goes for 45 “Dang straight!” 46 Indian et al. 48 Rag alternative 49 Religion of Allah 50 Sometime Capote associate Chaplin 51 It has a fickle finger 52 “The Music Man” setting 53 It comes after fore 54 Snatch 57 Split one in the locker room


‘Under the Udala Trees’

GAY SAN DIEGO April 1 - 14, 2016

Gay Resort Dr. | Cathedral City (760) 324-1350 | (800) 472-0836




A coming of age — and out — story that’s relatable too all


Out on the Page Katrina Young “Under the Udala Trees” is Chinelo Okparanta’s second book and her first full-length novel. Not unlike her first novel, “Happiness Like Water,” this is a book full of hope and the universal pursuit of happiness. Although this story is of a Nigerian lesbian coming of age during civil war, I was surprised by how relatable the story was. If you’ve ever had your heart broken, problems within your family, struggled with your sexuality, or had to hide your sexuality for your own safety, then this book is for you. The protagonist is Ijeoma and when the book begins she is a young girl, age 11, living amidst war. Not war like turning on the TV or radio and hearing about the latest casualties, but war like walking down the street and seeing the casualties lying in the road like trash. The war was as close as her front yard and eventually directly in her home. One moment Ijeoma is in the parlor and her mother is in the kitchen and the next moment they have to take shelter in a bunker on their property while enemy fire hits their home. A short time later, Ijeoma’s mother sends her away to a place where she will be safer. This is only the beginning of the trauma Ijeoma will go through. While her country is fighting battles outside her front door, Ijeoma fights battle after battle within herself. She suffers through conversion attempts when her mother discovers that her affinity towards other girls is in a manner that is not acceptable culturally or religiously. A few years later, she is heartbroken by her first love turned

unrequited love. Ijeoma resolves to move on and in time finds love again. She is living in lovers’ oblivion until the gruesome murder of a local lesbian woman shatters her bubble. With fear in her heart and no other solution seemingly plausible she enters into a marriage with a man that she does not love; at least not like a wife should love her husband. She finds solace when her daughter is born but that is short lived and she ultimately decides enough is enough. Ijeoma is a tremendously brave soul wanting to simply live an authentic life. Hope. Compassion. Love. Endurance. Survival. Courage. This outstanding novel has them all. Chinelo Okparanta wrote an undeniably beautiful story that forces the reader to feel every emotion along the way. She keeps you engaged until the very last word. Okparanta is a graceful and honest writer and I applaud her for this honesty. She is just as brave as the character Ijeoma, for she wrote a critical story for the LGBT people of Nigeria, where people in same-sex relationships and their allies are criminalized and even murdered. As long as one LGBT person in the world is in danger because of his or her sexuality, then every LGBT person is in danger. If for no other reason than that, you should read “Under the Udala Trees.” —Katrina Young is the treasurer of the Multicultural LGBT Literary Foundation and a lover of LGBT literature. Contact her at or follow her on Twitter @sapphicreader.▼





GAY SAN DIEGO April 1 - 14, 2016

that] these days, and it’s hard for me to understand because it doesn’t seem different or weird or anything anymore because it just seems so normal to me. I just saw that movie … what was it … “The Dutch Girl”? (CA) “The Danish Girl” … ? (GS) Yeah, “The Danish Girl.” I think what was so incredible about that movie was just — that was so long ago. I mean, can you imagine back then? Whoa. Now it feels like nothing anymore. (CA) As a pop star over 40, what’s it like navigating the pop world with so much pressure on youth, age and beauty? (GS) There was a moment right before I did “The Voice,” in between [No Doubt’s 2012 release] “Push and Shove” and “The

Album cover of Stefani’s first solo LP since 2006 FROM PAGE 20

STEFANI because maybe we were both doing the same thing and I didn’t wanna say something and he’d be like, “Why’d you say that?!” There were probably some limits during that relationship. And then with my children, obviously I can’t talk about them because they’re gonna be 15 and like, “Mom, why did you say that? You’re embarrassing me!” I have to think a little bit about that now. But I just think … I don’t know how else to be. Everybody knows what happened to me. I got a divorce. It’s the worst thing that can happen to me besides death. My whole life all I wanted to do was be a mother and a wife and I had the dream of having this family because that’s what I had. I have parents who’ve been married since high school, who are in love, and they’re still in love and having their big wedding anniversary. I had a perfect example, so it’s super tragic for me. My dreams are shattered and I feel so embarrassed about what happened. I don’t feel embarrassed to talk about it though, with respect to my kids. I just think what happened was: In February [2015], my family fell apart. It was devastating. I didn’t know what to do. It was a real big secret, but as I just explained, I’m not good with that. I tried everything to fix it. By June [2015], I went into the studio and started writing. I was praying. I had already started on a spiritual journey when I got pregnant with Apollo [in 2013] that was sort of like, “Wow, really? I’m gonna be blessed with a baby ... now?” That was a miracle. It just started me on this spiritual journey and thank God it started then because I was prepared when I had the tragedy. I had that nest of spirituality in me. (CA) They say everything happens for a reason. (GS) And you kind of can’t see it until you go through it and look back at it and see all the signs. I had the baby. Then I got “The Voice,” which was so needed. I needed to do something like that. I needed to play that role and I also got in the room with Pharrell

again who’s been like a guardian angel to me. (CA) You mentioned Apollo and you also have two other sons: Kingston and Zuma. There are people who don’t appreciate the fact that you allow them to explore their feminine sides by painting their nails. How would you respond to those critics? (GS) Obviously I’ve lived my life with criticism for a very long time and my personality is, I live in truth and reality, and if somebody says something about me and I don’t know them and they’re not my friend or part of my life, it really doesn’t affect me. Of course everyone’s gonna have their perspective and their opinion, and I know what’s real and what’s honest and true, and that’s really all that matters to me and all that’s important. So, it doesn’t really bother me. As long as my boys are protected and happy and I’m spending quality time with them, whether it’s doing sports or doing nails, it really doesn’t matter. (CA) What would you say to one of your boys if they came out to you one day? (GS) I would be blessed with a gay son. You know that I would feel blessed about that. I just want my boys to be happy and healthy and I just ask God to guide me every day to be a good mother because it is not an easy job. I’ve been lucky enough to have such a blessed life. I’ve been able to travel the world and meet so many different kinds of people. And it doesn’t really matter if you’re gay, straight, whatever. There are good and bad people, and I would be happy. I just want my kids to be happy, and whatever journey God gives them is their journey. I just need to be there to be the most supportive mom that I can be and that’s what I’m gonna be. I always ask my gay friends, “OK, so what was it like when you were a little boy?” Because I do know that it’s gotta be difficult to be the alternative, to not be the mainstream, or to be different, if you want to call it that. I feel like it’s less and less [like Voice,” where I was concerned about it and desperate to have new music and it took a little earthquake to be like, “OK, let’s get some perspective here. You’ve already had the longest career. You’re so blessed to have any of this and any of this that happens after this is literally icing on the cake.” I’m not delusional about where I’m at in my career. I know that this opportunity to have new music is magical and there’s not one second that I don’t appreciate it and I think it is what it is. I feel proud of the career that I’ve had and I feel so grateful for it and I mean, we all have to go through life. This is life. Life is … “born to blossom and bloom to perish.” That’s it. That is what it is. And the way

to do it is to be grateful and to be spiritual and try to do the best you can every single day — to be in the moment. I’m not thinking about the future. I’m really trying to focus on right now, today. I wanna be in the moment right now because it’s so much better if you’re not thinking about the past or the future.

(CA) Gwen, you have such a healthy perspective on life. (GS) Oh, I have to work on it! I work on it every single day. Some days I’m a mental case. —Chris Azzopardi is the editor of Q Syndicate, the international LGBT wire service. Reach him via his website at and on Twitter @ chrisazzopardi.▼

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Gay san diego 04 01 16