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Volume 6 Issue 8 April 17 – 30, 2015

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Homeless in Hillcrest Hutton Marshall | Contributing Editor

Where are you dining?

qFEATURE The community came together April 9 for a vigil to remember Taylor and Sage. (Courtesy North County LGBTQ Center)

Choral mastery


Pain and vigilance in North County Another trans teen takes her life and brings the community together Morgan M. Hurley | Editor San Diego’s North County LGBTQ Resource Center has been filled with sadness for the

Spoofing serial killers


Index Community Voices.….….4 Opinion. . . . … . … . . . . . . . 6 Briefs.......…......…7 Calendar.……………14 Spor ts....…….....…18

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his April Gay San Diego column [“North County Update: A tribute to Sage,” Vol. 6, Issue 7]. “Sage’s stor y brought to our attention just how vulnerable our LGBTQIA youth really are, constantly challenged by a society that only seems to accept and im-

see Suicides, pg 2

see Homeless, pg 9

Singing for a cure Uphill battle for local cyclist to raise money, awareness for HIV/AIDS Timothy Rawles | Contributor

Dishing on the bay

last month, after two transgender teens who both frequented the center took their lives. The first, Sage David, known to many of his friends at The Center as “the green haired boy,” shook the Center to its core when news of his suicide spread in March. Max Disposti, executive director of the North County LGBTQ Center, addressed the tragedy in

As April began in Hillcrest, so did the neighborhood’s largest homeless outreach effort to date. For the next year, two-person teams will roam the streets of Hillcrest five days a week, engaging with Hillcrest’s homeless population to offer assistance and a path to stable housing. Amid what many residents say is a rapidly growing problem in the neighborhood, Hillcrest’s Homeless Outreach Team (HOT) comes from a $50,000 joint effort by the Hillcrest Business Association (HBA) and Councilmember Todd Gloria’s office. Gloria and the HBA chose the Alpha Project, a nonprofit based in Hillcrest, to oversee the program. With experience managing comprehensive homeless outreach programs, homeless shelters and transition housing throughout the region, local leaders say the Alpha Project’s approach will benefit the businesses, the homeless themselves and the community as a whole. The outreach team is the main thrust of the overall effort. Through it, the Alpha Project will invite Hillcret’s transient population to take part in its housing and rehabilitation programs, the ultimate goal of which are employment,

Local resident Karen E. Donahue, 58, is a woman of many passions. From working with special needs children at Kearny Mesa High School, to caring for her adult daughter with Down syndrome, Donahue, along with her partner Barbara Paul, also tries to help their community any way she can. That includes pushing her body to its physical limit by cycling down the California coastline raising awareness for HIV/AIDS. This will be the fifth time that Donahue will ride the weeklong 545mile course from San Francisco to Los Angeles for the AIDS/LifeCycle (ALC) fundraising bicycle ride, taking place May 31 through June 6.

Coproduced by the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles LGBT Center, the ALC website says their mission is to “advance their shared interests to end the pandemic and human suffering caused by AIDS.” Among their many goals to adhere to this mission is to not only raise money for HIV/AIDS services at these two organizations, but to expand awareness to the public of the existence of these programs and to increase AIDS activism and volunteerism; and all three of those are what ALC is all about. Donahue said she is especially motivated to ride in this year’s ALC event because she has a growing concern for

see Singing, pg 7

Karen Donahue halfway to LA on a previous AIDS/LifeCycle ride (Courtesy Barbara Paul)



GAY SAN DIEGO April 17- 30, 2015


SUICIDES pose a gender binar y idea of the world,” Disposti wrote. On April 2, another North County teen, Taylor Alesana, 16, took her life. Alesana, a student of Fallbrook High School, had gained attention with YouTube videos about how to apply makeup, the challenges of being trans and shared personal challenges she was facing at school. News of a second death made all the local media channels, with KPBS holding a panel discussion about the tragedies. Soon the stor y worked its way into national news, with The Advocate and even Rolling Stone picking it up. Disposti, who knew both teens from their regular visits and reliance on The Center and some of its 21 support groups, took the news of a second suicide especially hard; but as leader of the one place where all other North County trans and gay teens can congregate safely, he knew he had to remain vigilant. The Center quickly organized a memorial and candlelight vigil for Thursday, April 9. “We were expecting a lot of people and a lot of people showed up and I think it’s good to see the community coming together,” Disposti said, adding that there was a large number of youth in attendance with their parents accompanying them. “People shared and shared and shared. It was beautiful and painful at the same time.” The Oceanside Police Department was also present, with their newly formed LGBTQ Liaison, and Disposti said they stayed the entire two and a half hours. “I opened [the vigil] and I wanted to set the tone because I know there is a lot of anger in the community, and I didn’t want to have people turn a memorial into a political debate about bullying,” Disposti said. “At the same time we didn’t want to limit people’s anger or disappointment. Our youth were present and the last thing we wanted to do was disarm

them, as desperate as they were.” He said a large number of youth — both LGBT and straight allies — took turns speaking, many confirming the intolerable environment at Fallbrook High School. One random dad took to the podium saying his family had just moved to the Fallbrook area two weeks prior and that his son had befriended Alesana. “‘I realize that my kid is ver y effeminate and he might be gay or he might be trans — I don’t care,’” Disposti quoted the man as saying. “‘As soon as I found out what happened, we came down here and we see all of this and I know I need to do more work as a parent to be more accepting and more inclusive. I don’t want to lose my kid.’” The man’s words were powerful, Disposti said, and his support of his child was important for the crowd to hear. “[The vigil] provided a lot of closure but it was also the beginning of making sure we are more alert with our kids,” Disposti said. “They mean it when they say they are suffering and they don’t want to be alive any more.” “All too often, schools are reactive to incidents like this, instead of doing the preventative work to create a school climate and culture that values and celebrates diverse students,” said San Diego resident Dr. Vincent Pompei, who is also the national youth well-being project director at the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). Pompei is also chair of HRC Foundation’s Time to THRIVE, a national conference that promotes safety, inclusion and well-being for LGBTQ youth. The annual event focuses on youth-ser ving individuals to accomplish this, such as K-12 educators, mental health professionals, pediatricians, religious leaders, recreational athletic coaches and youth development staff. “The vigil was incredibly heartbreaking, yet I am reenergized and convinced we can transform ever y school in San Diego County to be safe and inclusive for our LGBTQ students,” Pompei said. “Professional development is essential to ensure the overall

North County LGBTQ Resource Center Executive Director Max Disposti (center) opened the vigil and set the tone. (Photo by Fernando Lopez)

The vigil lasted for two and a half hours (Courtesy NC Resource Center)

well-being of our LGBTQ youth and it is time that all schools make that a priority.” It takes more than one environment to make LGBTQ kids feel safe, Disposti admitted, adding that area teens attend sup-

port groups at The Center ever y Thursday, but it isn’t enough. “The rest of the week is spent with families and schools where they are not supported and cannot be who they are,” he said. “That takes a toll.”

With that in mind, Disposti and a few colleagues from the North County Center decided to attend the monthly board of trustees meeting of the Fallbrook Union High School District (FUHSD) April 13. “There are a lot of conser vative minds over there that are struggling tr ying to help their kids and they don’t even know where to start,” he said. Disposti was surprised at how out of touch the board seemed to be. “Not a minute of silence,” he said. “Nothing. When they finally got to it, it was ver y generic; they never mentioned Taylor’s name or [the tragedy]. They said, ‘that thing that happened last week.’ “I felt sorr y more than anger,” Disposti continued. “This is exactly what the problem is.” In his remarks, Disposti reminded the trustees that the “world is watching” and are expecting answers as well as proof of efforts to prevent such a thing from happening again. “We are offering help to your district because we feel this tragedy is bigger than you and that an answer to LGBT bullying requires a community’s effort,” Disposti told them. He also pointed out that although city officials, students and family members from all over the county were present at the vigil, FUHSD was not represented. “We want to help because our past concerns to your school went unnoticed and left unanswered … We want to help because all our students have a right to an education, and since sexual orientation and gender identities are also protected classes under California law, we are here to reduce and eliminate your liabilities,” he said. Despite the disconnects they experienced, the small group from “the little Center that could” did not make any waves, because in the end, Disposti said his goal is “to create a real dialogue, not make headlines.” On April 16, Speaker Toni Atkins made a heart-felt statement regarding the suicides during her adjournment of the state assembly. She was visibly moved throughout the two and one half minute speech. “We all know adolescence is tough, but transgender kids face challenges that I don’t know that any of us, even with our experience and obviously my lack of psychological armor, can handle,” the Speaker said. “… All Taylor and Sage wanted was to feel safe at school, in the community and to belong. And that’s not too much for any kid to ask for. “I hope that we can honor Taylor and Sage by inspiring young people and their parents and peers to be kinder and more accepting of those who are dif ferent. Dif ferent in any manner.” [See the Speaker’s entire speech on her Facebook page.] The North County LGBTQ Resource Center is currently working with the Oceanside School District and providing training on LGBT issues and they’d like to take that to Fallbrook. Though no response has yet been received from the district since his appearance, Disposti isn’t concerned. “It’s not going to take a week or two or even a month,” he said. “These things take time. We’re going to have a lot of resistance from them, but we are going to be there.” —Morgan M. Hurley can be reached at


GAY SAN DIEGO April 17- 30, 2015


Dinah Vegas returns for year four Morgan M. Hurley | Editor When Girl Bar owners Sandy Sachs and Dr. Robin Gans first set their sights on Las Vegas as the new location for their Dinah Shore Weekend venture — after 21 years in Palm Springs — they went straight to Caesar’s Hotels and Entertainment, and haven’t looked back. “That first year we had no idea what to expect,” Sachs said last year of their move to Vegas. “We were floored. It just really spoke to us and people are rejuvenated and re-energized. “They are really liking it, and they’re liking our shortened program,” she continued. “Not so many events. We are giving people time to do their own thing — it’s Vegas — there is plenty to do.” “They saw our track record with the LGBT community and wanted to grow and provide a 24-hour entertainment opportunity in Vegas,” said Gwen Mitiga, a member of Caesar’s corporate responsibility group who has worked with the company’s many LGBT initiatives. “We launched the first LGBT employee resource group in the gaming industry about eight years ago, and at that the time we also became one of the best places to work according to the HRC Corporate Equality Index,” Mitiga said. “Today marketing and public advocacy is also part of that rating. Back then we were marketing the Paris Hotel for same-sex unions, and have worked with various Pride organizations and celebrations around the country and LGBT Centers in different regions. Mitiga said while their guest component continues to evolve, a

large portion of what Caesar’s does for the LGBT community at large is to focus on public policy and advocacy, including putting their name behind same-sex relationship recognitions in each state they have a presence and working on ENDA. With 50 properties around the globe and 13 properties across the country that they have active marketing partnerships with the local LGBT community, Caesar’s Las Vegas is opening their doors to the women coming to Dinah Vegas. “Our team looks forward to this event every year and the Dinah Vegas event organizers do a great job of creating some very Vegas only experiences,” said Christina Karas, a public relations manager for Caesar’s Entertainment. The Dinah Vegas 2015 kickoff party on Thursday night will take place at FIZZ, a new champagne bar inside Caesar’s Palace next to the Coliseum. “It is owned by Elton John’s partner David Furnish and includes the wonderful flair that you would expect from Elton and David,” Karas said. “With pieces from their personal art collection inside, it is a really beautiful space.” One of the coolest things for Dinah visitors when they are not hitting the dance and pool parties is the LINQ Promenade. “The LINQ is Caesar’s vision for the future of Vegas,” Karas said. “It is an outdoor shopping, dining and entertainment district that sits directly between what is now the LINQ Hotel, which used to be the Quad, and the Flamingo. It is a social hub and connector for the center of the Strip.” Dinah attendees are encouraged

to check out the shops, restaurants, bars and entertainment venues along each side of the Promenade, most of which you will not find anywhere else along the strip. The crown jewel of the LINQ is the High Roller, a 550-foot tall, 520-foot diameter giant Ferris wheel. Each “cabin” has amazing views of Vegas and the nearby desert. For just a little more than the regular price, patrons can request a bar to come along with them. Called “Happy Half Hour,” the bar rolls right onto the cabin along with a personal bartender for your 30-minute ride. It’s open daily from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. O’Shea’s, one of Las Vegas’ original casinos that was demolished a decade ago to make way for new hotels, has also returned on the Promenade, complete with the original marquee and bits and pieces inside that were part of the original. The Cromwell, which recently received “best boutique hotel in Las Vegas,” is run by women — General Manager Karie Hall is assisted by Melissa Fielding, director of hotel operations and the hotel has an event that women in town for Dinah will want to be a part of. “It is really rare to have a hotel on the strip have that much female leadership and influence,” Karas said. “Every day from 5 to 6 p.m., they have ‘general manager happy hour,’ and lead a toast and mingle with their guests.” Enjoy Dinah Vegas 2015 and try these and other Caesar’s properties while you are in town. For more information, visit —Reach Morgan M. Hurley at

(top to bottom) White Party revelers above the strip under Paris Vegas’ Eiffel Tower; the Flamingo GO Pool; the High Roller Ferris Wheel at LINQ Promenade (Photos by Morgan M. Hurley)


GAY SAN DIEGO April 17- 30, 2015


When things fall apart Life Beyond Therapy Michael Kimmel Maybe bad news does come in threes. Recently a friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer, another friend had an emergency C-section and the baby didn’t survive, and another friend is struggling with crystal meth. When things fall apart, how can we comfort and soothe ourselves? It’s impossible to be an adult and not have things periodically fall apart. As my grandma used to say, “No one’s life is shit-free.” You lose your job, your partner (both have happened to me) or someone close to you loses a child. How do you keep going? Some people go into denial: pretending that everything is fine. I do not recommend this. While it’s common to feel overwhelmed and want to “put on a happy face” when things fall apart, it’s far healthier to let yourself feel numb, sad, angry or confused. Plus, putting on a happy face takes a lot of effort, and eventually, it’s not sustainable. “If I let myself feel what I’m really feeling, it will be too much,” clients sometimes tell me. In that case, imagine that your emotions are like toothpaste in a toothpaste tube. You don’t want to squeeze the whole tube out at once and feel that flood of emotions. So you squeeze out a little bit at a time: a little bit of sadness at your cancer diagnosis,

a little bit of grief for your dead child, a little bit of anger about your problem with crystal meth. With each squeeze, you realize that your emotions will not kill or destroy you. The part of our mind that I call the “self-saboteur” tells us: If you let yourself feel this, you’ll lose it and go crazy. Not true: If you don’t let yourself begin to feel what’s going on inside you, you’re much more likely to lose it and feel crazy. So how can we soothe ourselves when things fall apart? The “attachment theory” says that if we are not “reflected” in a positive way by our caregivers the first 18 months of life, it will always be hard for us to comfort ourselves. We need to internalize the ability to self-soothe, and we get it by being soothed as a baby by secure, loving people who know how to do that. Many of us — myself included — didn’t get that good stuff. Does this mean are we doomed? Thankfully, no. We can learn self-soothing skills, but it takes some work. Here are some ways to comfort and soothe yourself when the shit hits the fan: • Do things that calm you down. For me, it’s reading, listening to music, working in the garden, walking, playing with pets, or talking with a (calm) friend. Discover what calms you down. Make a list and in times of chaos, do things on the list, at least one a day. • Be physically comfortable.

Staying in bed can help (for a few hours, anyway), so can a nice warm bath, going swimming, getting in a jacuzzi/sauna, drinking coffee or tea, exercising, yoga and Pilates. • Tell yourself things that calm you down. When things suck, we usually make ourselves feel worse with self-talk like: “This will never get better” or “I’m hopeless.” Try saying these out loud. See how they only make you feel worse? That’s not self-soothing. Instead, try phrases like, “True, I have breast cancer, but I’ll do everything I can to help myself, taking it one step at a time and letting my friends and partner love me and care for me.” See how much better it feels to say stuff like this? Or try: “I may have a drug problem now, but I can work through this and come out of it. I was clean and sober for many years, I can do it again.” I don’t encourage you to lie to yourself, but I do encourage you to find the most loving truths that you can and to repeat them to yourself. And when it seems like everything is going downhill, try a phrase like: “Out of this awful experience will come something good, I know it.” Now that is a phrase that can bring you comfort no matter what personal hell you’re going through. When things fall apart, you can comfort and soothe yourself. Try it and see. —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

Another Year…

And Dining Out Back Out with Benny Benny Cartwright Right around this time five years ago, I wrote a series of columns on sharing my thoughts about turning 30. And my how time flies! In just over two weeks, I’ll be turning

35. I’ve been thinking since Januar y about whether or not I wanted to document my “journey to 35” in some sort of blog or column series, but this milestone just doesn’t seem to be as big of deal for me as 30 was. While most older than me still consider me to be young, I’ve learned a lot in my 30s, and one

see Benny, pg 8


LGBT speakers participate in a recent oral history event. (Courtesy Lambda Archives)

One big event down and another on tap It has been another very busy month at Lambda Archives. We welcome our new digitization archivist, Ken Selnick, and look forward to his contributions. With the help of a couple of our stellar young volunteers, Ken has already readied our upstairs room and begun storing our growing holdings. Being Alive and Auntie Helen’s both recently entrusted the Archives with some of their memorabilia, which we are proud to add to our collection. We are looking forward to the excitement of our upcoming “Out at the Archives,” part of Diversionary Theatre’s Open Monday series. To kick off a planned ongoing slate of programs highlighting the people, organizations, and events that made LGBT history in San Diego, the first in the series will feature Councilmember Todd Gloria. The event will take place April 27 at 7 p.m., at 4545 Park Blvd. in University Heights. The event is free and open to the public, but advance reservations are suggested to guarantee a seat. Visit: As part of this event, Mel Merrill — long-time activist, political volunteer, and former Lambda Archives board member — will provide a brief history of the San Diego LGBT candidates and office-holders who have paved the way for Gloria. Merrill will also highlight Gloria’s San Diego upbringing and political career. San Diego LGBT Pride Executive Director Stephen Whitburn, a former president of the San Diego Democratic Club and political rival of Gloria’s for Council District 3, will have a one-on-one conversation with Gloria, followed by questions from the audience. A wine and cheese reception on

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Drag at the beach

Profiles in Advocacy Ian Morton

Lambda Archives Walter G. Meyer

GAY SAN DIEGO April 17- 30, 2015

the Archives’ patio will follow. The Out at the Archives event follows the very successful “Telling Our Stories — LGBTQ Oral History,” a presentation featuring clips of some of the interviews that have been shot at the Archives over the last few months. While cataloging and storing hundreds of thousands of pieces of the past, the Archives is also recording the stories of LGBT pioneers, as well as members of the transgender community, and adding those videos to its ever-growing collections. Over 60 people attended the March 21 program. One recent interviewee for the oral history project was Howard Rouse, former publisher of the Update newspaper. Rouse recalled that, because his day job was working for the Navy, he never wanted his name associated with the newspaper or anything in the LGBT community in which he was very active. He marveled that even competing publishers and editors respected his position and never used his name or photo in print. Take advantage of your April 27 visit to Out at the Archives and see the exhibit honoring the life of Jonathan Dunn-Rankin, which has been drawing an average of 10-20 people attending Diversionary Theatre shows. One matinee performance of “Baby with the Bathwater” was attended by students and teachers from Hi-Tech High School in North County, almost 50 of whom opted to also tour the Archives exhibit. The Archives is always looking for volunteers and board members. If you are interested in helping to preserve and celebrate the LGBT history of San Diego and the surrounding region, join us! If you would like to get involved, donate, or become a member, please get in touch! —Walter Meyer is the manager of LASD. You can reach him at manager. or 619260-1522.t

opportunity to reach fellow dance competitors with a message of self-love and acceptance. Diamond came to my attention in 2013 as the newly crowned “Ms. San Diego Pride,” when I covered that year’s “Pride Family,” which also included community advocate Terry Nunez and current Mr. San Diego Leather Jim James. Diamond’s purposeful path has taken him from sparkle to bohemian warrior chic, as his own sensibilities lead him toward an environment of harmonious co-existence, with others and our earth. Diamond gained his under-

The world is big but microcosms can be small. San Diego County’s drag performer population within the overall LGBTQ population, for example, provides a few expected paths, such as a run for an Imperial Court title, a job at Lips, or a place in an established troupe like Dream Girls or the Sinful Dames. So what does a drag queen do when these channels no longer fill their needs? I sat down with La Fierce (Joshua) and Diamond Sin-Sation (Christian) to discuss life outside the “drag bubble.” Ocean Beach is not the expected place to find drag performers evolving their art and passion, but the three of us were sitting in Legends Performance Academy, La Fierce’s dance and performing arts school, right in the heart of OB. Geography was the first commonality I had found, as Diamond has also chosen OB as the heart of his efforts, but their stories and consequent actions also had quite the overlap. Their mutual experiences would not surprise many. Some of their stories read like scenes from “Showgirls,” which came La Fierce on stage (Courtesy La Fierce) with a negativity that was conducive to neither of their paths. So they chose their respective “road less traveled,” redefining standing of the politics of the their definition of “success.” San Diego drag community La Fierce has a passion for while working at MO’s Universe empowering youth and both his and found himself yearning to school and current competition create an environment where choices support that effort. He young spirits could be nurtured. proudly runs his performance Because of the limited opportuniacademy, as an out gay black man ties and intense competition, this who does drag, in an affluent and became a guiding tenet of his predominantly Caucasian area of effort. This yielded “The Facets,” Point Loma. He has also commita drag family that he hopes will ted to doing his national dance define itself through inclusion competitions in drag, which is a and mutual support. first in mainstream competitions, Competition is no longer on whenever possible. In this way, he Diamond’s radar. At the end of brings the world of drag perforhis Ms. San Diego Pride year, mance outside of the box. he symbolically smashed his “All I want is for people to be crown, as he checked out of the inspired by what I put back into “competition rat-race.” His social the world,” La Fierce said. “I do media commentary on “RuPaul’s what I do to make people feel Drag Race” has come under some good and choose to do positive personal fire, but he stands by his things with their lives.” assertion that these competitions He has already experienced can easily be extensions of the victories as a competing pershame and bullying we experiformer in drag and uses this ence by just being members of the

LGBTQ community. “We fight so hard as LGBTQ people to come to terms with who we are in the first place,” Diamond said. “What in the hell are we doing creating and celebrating cutthroat competition at its worst? Is this what five million gays want to tune in to?” “What’s sad is that the world is already doing that to us and then within our community, we do it to one another!” La Fierce added. At the end of the day, both realized that they could not live their truths within the established drag structures. Their trek to the beach has afforded them a chance to do what’s important to their souls. La Fierce hones his focus on creating resilient members of our community, beginning with the youth he teaches and expanding into the mainstream dance world. He has had the opportunity to empower young people in both his studio and at competitions around California through his example as a dancer, a businessman and a teacher. Diamond’s growing artist collective hopes to shake up the scene by introducing a new paradigm, nationwide. Expanding beyond the sole focus of drag performances in bars, this tribe of fire-dancers, stilt walkers, snake performers, burlesque dancers and more are seeking performance spaces in forests and deserts. Found-object jewelry and art abound, while performance art and energy are celebrated. The collective celebrates the best in each member, finding its momentum in lifting each other up, not climbing over others to be “first.” The message I take away from these two is that we do not have to prescribe to the structures we are given. Take a chance and make your own path — it’s worth the risk! To follow La Fierce’s performances, go to jbislafierce. To keep up with Diamond, follow DiamondSinSation. —Ian D. Morton is the senior program analyst at SD Human Dignity Foundation and produces the Y.E.S. San Diego LGBTQ youth conference. To nominate an individual or nonprofit for this column, please email the information to



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GAY SAN DIEGO April 17- 30, 2015


Looking forward: A new Deny me not councilmember is on the horizon and I will not By Christine Kehoe When I was elected to serve our District 3 neighborhoods in 1993, we had many challenges to face. On the top of my list were decreasing crime, increasing access to community services, and initiating improvements to city infrastructure. Add to these overcoming stereotypes and proving that members of the LGBT community can lead. Making progress often felt like a tall order. But progress has been made. Things have improved over the years, not only during my tenure, but also thanks to the strong leadership of those elected after me. Toni Atkins pushed the city’s first inclusionary housing policy and Living Wage Ordinance. Following Toni, Todd Gloria has worked to improve homeless services, update the city’s veteran hiring policy and make street improvements a priority. Both were selected by their colleagues to lead the city during mayoral resignations, and under highly unusual and stressful

conditions they did so admirably and confidently. Term limits prevent Todd Gloria from serving us with another term on City Council, and next year District 3 will be faced with a decision: Who will be able to build on the groundwork of the last 24 years and continue moving San Diego forward? Following a number of challenging years, the city found it was fiscally necessary to scale down city services and programs. Now, with a better economic outlook, our 100-yearold neighborhoods and infrastructure still need close attention; our public safety programs need strengthening and community plans require thoughtful implementation. Providing new facilities to keep up with neighborhood demands, and ensuring smart and sustainable growth continue to be important City Council issues. After considering the knowledge, skills and service-minded approach I know will be necessary to address the district’s issues going forward, I am proud to

PUBLISHER David Mannis (619) 961-1951

ART DIRECTOR Vincent Meehan (619) 961-1961

EDITOR Morgan M. Hurley (619) 961-1960

PRODUCTION ARTISTS Todd Kammer, x115 Suzanne Dzialo

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

WEB & SOCIAL MEDIA Jen Van Tieghem, x118 COPYEDITOR Dustin Lothspeich SALES & MARKETING DIRECTOR Mike Rosensteel (619) 961-1958 ADVERTISING CONSULTANTS Sloan Gomez (619) 961-1954

endorse Chris Ward for District 3 City Council in 2016. With his background in urban planning and long history of service to his community, Chris possesses the skills we expect of our elected officials. As a father and a leader in the LGBT community, Chris has the forward-thinking and compassionate worldview that we deserve. I know that the record of service and leadership that we have built in this community will be in good hands with Chris. I invite all of my neighbors and former constituents to learn about Chris’ record and message for yourself at his website: Let’s use this time in 2015 to have these important conversations about the future of our community as we prepare to elect a new councilmember to implement that direction in 2016. —Christine Kehoe, a former member of the San Diego City Council, the state Senate and the state Assembly, was San Diego’s first openly gay elected official.t

deny you! By William E. Kelly

Like many of you, I have read and listened to the views expressed about the nature of religious freedom versus gay rights in the context of our democracy. It has raised a firestorm across the land of an intellectual and emotional intensity not seen since the civil rights movement in the 1960s. Our democracy protects both religious freedom and the freedom to be free of religion. The question is how do we as a democracy separate church or religion from state as is legally required and still honor and protect the rights of any religion and its followers while simultaneously protecting the freedoms and civil rights of the individual citizen to be independent of any religion. As I see it, we choose to live in a democracy where civil rights are based on citizenship and not on religious doctrines. Civil rights, when based solely on religious

Frank Lechner (619) 961-1971

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doctrine define a theocracy. In our democracy, citizen rights are rooted in civil law not religious law. Therein lies the crux of the dilemma. The first reality is that as a nation we are united by our democracy and its ideals. The second reality is that we are also a nation of many cultures and beliefs, some religion-based and some not. The elephant in the room is the mutual inability to simultaneously accommodate a freedom of religion and a freedom from religion to create a peaceful coexistence. This prompts the question as to whether we can have it both ways and remain a democracy based on a capitalistic free enterprise economy and while being a society composed of great diversity. If indeed the very basis of our democracy is focused on the acceptance of diversity and personal freedoms in the pursuit of happiness and well being, is it not incumbent upon us all to draw a line in the sand that cannot be crossed lest we wish to destroy democracy? Should doctors, lawyers, nurses, firemen, policemen, teachers, soldiers, shop keepers or any public service or vendor have the right to refuse to serve, sell to, permit entry, teach, protect, heal, or care for those whose diverse backgrounds, thinking, cultures or ways are different from their own? Who gets to decide who should be excluded? Is that determined by civil law, or religious law? I submit that we choose to live in a democracy where civil rights and freedoms are based on citizenship, not on religious doctrine. While researching the definitions of democracy I found and quote from the website docs/whatsdem/whatdm2.htm a statement that seems most appropriate, “Freedom and democracy are often used interchangeably, but the two are not synonymous. Democracy is indeed a set of ideas and principles about freedom, but it also consists of a set of practices and procedures that have been molded through a long, often tortuous history.” A theocracy is a government that defers to the interpretation of religious doctrine by a select few. Therein lies a dilemma. Anti-gay persons and anti-religion persons alike cannot threaten, deny and attack the civil rights of the other and in the same breath cry foul when either goes on the defensive. The struggle can be summed up in the words of two cliches. The first is religious based, “Judge not lest you be judged” and the second is a civil cliche, “People living in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” The sum of both and the moral to be learned might well be, deny me not and I will not deny you. Think about it. —William E. Kelly is a local LGBT senior rights advocate. Reach him at

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SINGING teenagers and young adults between the ages of 13 and 24 not being properly educated to the dangers of sex and promiscuity. Working with developmentally disabled high school kids, Donahue sees firsthand the ignorance about the disease and what miseducation can do. “They are doing this without getting tested, without realizing they need to have protection,” she said. “More and more young adults of that age group are being infected and affected by HIV and AIDS. Some of them may or may not know about this disease. They think it’s a gay man’s problem,” she said, adding, “They think the medication is so good that there won’t be a problem or the medication will cure them. They are just not getting the message to be properly protected, and that’s my passion.” As a rider, Donahue said she is doing the hardest part of the fundraiser and it is a venture that can be ver y scar y and sometimes deadly. “Last year somebody who was younger than me was going on one of those ‘quad buster’ hills and had a cardiac arrest with her husband behind her,” Donahue said. “She had been volunteering 11 years. She gave her life for this ride.” It is definitely a challenging ride, with nearly 100 miles ever y day, dodging people and traffic, and tr ying to keep her body nourished takes its toll on her personally, but she is determined since it is nothing when matched with those who suffer from HIV/AIDS. While last year the ALC ride raised over $15 million, Donahue said this year donations overall seem to have decreased. She thinks that it might be because people think that HIV/AIDS is just too daunting to think about. “The problem is painful and too overwhelming, and people don’t realize that one at a time, all of us holding hands together, we can solve this issue,” she said. With a $10,000 goal on her shoulders, Donahue is feeling a little discouraged, because as of this writing, she has only raised 3 percent of her goal and last year she had raised much more by this time. She needs to raise a minimum of $3,000 or pledge to have that taken from her personal bank account in order to ride. “I’m hoping that people will pay their taxes and start donating to my page,” she said.

NEWS always corporate matching, In an effort to boost I need to have that going,” those donations, Donahue she said. “I need to be an is getting friends together instrument — I need people for a night of music and to help me be an instrument performance May 16, — to be able to do my part at Fredericka Manor, a and to help them do their retirement community lopart.” cated in Chula Vista. For One thing that Donajust $15, Donahue, who hue knows for sure is that will be one of the performwhether you go to the ALC ers, said this special night website and donate money, of entertainment, called or contribute $15 for the “Songs of Life,” promises “Songs for Life” event, you to be full of fun and prizes. will be supporting some“Several of my friends thing much greater than her are donating their time 545-mile bike ride. and their talent to be in “I’m passionate about the show and singing humanity,” she said. “I’m various songs, and we’re passionate about life. It just having a lot of businesses takes $5 – $10, it would donating their services for mean so much to everybody. drawings,” Donahue said. I can’t stress it enough.” In addition to supKaren Donahue with her riding gear at home (Courtesy “Songs for Life” will porting her partner’s Barbara Paul) take place at 7 p.m. May 16, efforts to raise awareat Fredericka Manor, 183 ness, Paul has been Third Ave., in Chula Vista. For extremely active in the cause be speakers and a representative more information or to purchase herself. She has reached out for from ALC on hand to give a motitickets, call 858-384-6596. and received a long list of prizes vating and informative talk. For more information on how and gift certificates from area In order to get HIV/AIDS you can get involved with ALC’s businesses and restaurants for awareness to the masses and May 31 through June 6 ride or to the opportunity drawing, even a make a difference, Donahue said donate money to help Donahue two-night stay at the Hyatt Reevents such as ALC need contrireach her goal, visit tofighthiv. gency in Mission Bay, which will butions from not only the public, org/goto/karendonahue. be offered as the grand prize. but also corporations willing But Paul sees the event as more to reach into their pockets and support riders like herself, so she —Timothy Rawles is a local than just a fundraiser. can be the voice she so desperfreelance writer. He and his husband “It will a celebration of life ately wants to be. live in Mission Hills with their and for all the people who are “I need businesses on board two children. He can be reached at still suffering from this disease,” to give me sponsorships; there is she said, adding that there will

GAY SAN DIEGO April 17- 30, 2015



Rob Lord, a local LGBT singersongwriter, is casting extras to be in the music video he is producing for his gender-neutral song, “Together Now (Forever Now),” with a celebratory theme surrounding all couples in support of marriage equality. “The goal is to raise awareness about much-needed LGBT rights beyond the Marriage Equality movement,” a press release stated. Those who wish to participate in the video may do so after pledging a $35 fee to back the project, which is currently being promoted on the Kickstarter crowd funding website, which has a deadline of April 27. “Those featured can be from anywhere. Images from both the LGBT and straight communities are welcome. It’s all about solidarity and similarity — showing that Love is Love,” Lord stated in the release, adding that ENDA must be addressed. “There are 30 remaining states where it’s still legal to deny employment and housing opportunities to tax-paying LGBT citizens. In 20 states where you can now legally marry a samesex partner over the weekend, you

see Briefs, pg 15


GAY SAN DIEGO April 17- 30, 2015


BENNY of the things I’ve learned is to just take life for what it is. It gives us new challenges, opportunities, struggles, and joy every single day. I go with the flow, do my best, and don’t sweat the small things. And I suppose, turning 35 is just another one of those “small things” and there’s really nothing monumental about it. So that’s all I have to say about that! This time of year is also very exciting to me because there are so many fun events that are happening. One of the most notable events is The Center’s ninth annual Dining Out For Life (DOFL) San Diego on Thursday, April 30. On this day, dozens of participating restaurants, bars, coffeehouses, and nightclubs around the county will donate a minimum of 25 percent of the day’s sales to The Center’s HIV/ AIDS ser vices and prevention programs. It’s an absolutely delicious way to give back! The hardest part about supporting DOFL is figuring out where to dine! I always find myself eating several meals that day, joining different groups of friends or community organizations to support the cause. As they say, calories don’t count when it’s for a good cause. For more information or to see the list of participating locations to plan your day of dining, visit dining-out-for-life-san-diego.html. Looking ahead to May is the seventh annual Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast, scheduled for May 21 from 7:30 – 9 a.m. at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel.

More than 1,000 community members, businesses, groups and organizations come together each year to what is the largest Harvey Milk celebration in the state. Tickets and tables to this event are on sale now, so visit to get more

OUT at the Park returns May 2. (Courtesy San Diego Pride)

information and grab your seat! Since I’ve been on staff at The San Diego LGBT Center, it’s been incredible to see how busy this place really is — every single day — providing resources, events, activities, and support to a diverse group of community members. Check out The Center’s calendar to see all of the daily events that take place Out in the community, the San Diego Multicultural LGBT Literar y Foundation has scheduled their second annual “Expressions of Pride” literature and arts festival May 2 at Diversionary Theatre. The daylong fundraising and awareness event will feature artists Manuel Acevedo and Clarione Gutierrez, and authors Rigoberto González, Chinelo Okparanta, and Craig Womack. Participants will be able to shop from over 400 books by LGBT authors of color —and these titles can’t be found anywhere else. And that’s not all, there are free mimosas with the price admission between 10:30 – 12:30 p.m. More information is here: events/1413146875657026/. Also on Saturday, May 2 is San Diego Pride’s annual OUT at the Park. While most who are close to me know that I’d rather do just about anything else besides attending a live sporting event, this LGBT day at Petco Park is a lot of fun. The San Diego Padres will face off against the Colorado Rockies during the game, which includes a section of seats just for OUT at the Park participants. Before the 5:40 p.m. game is a tailgate party from 2:15 – 5:15 p.m. including food and drinks sponsored by Urban MO’s and Bud Light. And to top it all off, there’s an afterparty at Baja Betty’s (leave it to our community to turn a baseball game into a huge party!). This event often sells out so get additional information and tickets here events/639289396202705/. Finally, on Sunday, May 3, find me out at my favorite #SundayFunday spots in Hillcrest celebrating my 35th year! See you next month! —Benny Car twright is the director of community outreach at the San Diego LGBT Community Center. He can be reached at 619692-2077 ext. 106 or outreach@


HOMELESS sobriety and stability. Alpha Project adheres to the “housing first” approach to addressing homelessness, which theorizes that once a person has a stable living situation, it will be much easier to address root causes of homelessness, such as addiction or mental illness. “It’s easier to work on other parts of your life when you’re not in survivor mode, once you have a roof over your head,” Alpha Project Case Manager Jessielee Coley said. The second prong of the HOT efforts will educate businesses and residents on another important Alpha Project tenant: Don’t nurture the homeless lifestyle. The nonprofit discourages empathetic practices like giving away spare change. Alpha Project CEO Bob McElroy acknowledged that helping the homeless by withholding short-term help can often seem counterintuitive. “There’s nothing better than to hand somebody a meal, than to help someone out,” McElroy said. “That’s a spirituality that all people have, whether you’re a believer or not, you’re still a spiritual being.” But, McElroy said, giving away food and money often enables an addiction, allowing the recipient to continue living a destructive lifestyle without feeling the need to seek treatment. This outreach effort follows a pilot program last year, funded by another grant from Gloria’s council office that proved a need for this new comprehensive approach to solving homelessness. During the pilot project’s threemonth stint, Alpha Project staff estimated they found housing for over 20 people living on the Hillcrest

streets. McElroy estimates there are between 100 – 200 homeless in Hillcrest on any given day. He hopes to drastically cut that number before program ends in a year. “I hope there wouldn’t be any [homeless after the program], but if we did 50 percent we’d be doing great,” he said. Gloria and others have seen what he described as an “exodus” of homeless moving out of Downtown and up toward Hillcrest. Many attribute this to increased homeless outreach and monitoring in Downtown, with those resisting treatment moving to surrounding neighborhoods. “It has gotten more acute,” Ben Nicholls, executive director of the HBA, said of the presence of homeless in Hillcrest. “The people that are here are dodging services Downtown, so we get some of the most troublesome individuals up here … because they’re the ones that don’t want to be treated.” The HBA contributed $30,000 of the $50,000 for the project. The nonprofit also spends approximately $36,000 annually on a security guard in central Hillcrest. Amy Gonyeau, the Alpha Project’s chief operating officer, said the liberal, open-armed atmosphere in Hillcrest creates an environment that enables the homeless to avoid treatment of underlying issues. “We’re way too nice, and we just allow it,” Gonyeau said. “Because you see it when you’re up here, [homeless] people behave. The majority of [locals], the business owners will let them all hang out.” McElroy spent time living with the homeless community in Balboa Park, and he saw this over-nurturing mentality there too. “I found out on the recipient side, there’s a lot of enabling around

GAY SAN DIEGO April 17- 30, 2015


Hillcrest-based Alpha Project will be providing outreach to homeless in 92103, thanks to a contract provided by the HBA and Todd Gloria’s office. (Photo by Hutton Marshall) here,” he said. “Have you ever heard of anyone starving to death on the streets of San Diego? No, it doesn’t happen.” In addition to the outreach program and educational efforts, the program will fund a hotline businesses and residents can call, affording an alternative to calling 9-1-1, which wastes finite police resources and penalizes an already fragile segment of the population. McElroy said anyone wishing to help solve the homeless issue at its core should call. “I’d really like to build a coalition here, not really just for the transients here, but for a community watch program,” he said. “There aren’t enough cops here — or anywhere, really — and it’s a community policing opportunity for everyone here.” McElroy said agility is imperative in effective homeless outreach, because often when a homeless person decides they’re ready to be treated, there’s a very small window

before they change their minds again. McElroy said having someone present while that small window remains open is critical. “There’s always that window where something happens — they get the shit beat out of them, they OD, they’re just sick and tired of being sick and tired — and they say ‘man, I don’t want to do this anymore, I’ve gotta get some help.’ If there’s not somebody there, they’ll just say ‘screw it.’” Thomas, who didn’t provide his last name, had been living on the streets of Hillcrest when an Alpha Project team picked him up on a recent Tuesday morning. Moving into a shelter before transitioning into permanent housing was his ultimate goal, he said, while also pointing out that to get off the streets, one had to resolve to do so in their own mind. “I’m 47 years old, bro,” Thomas said. “I mean in three more years I don’t want to be here saying ‘damn, there goes half my life on the streets.’”

To McElroy, who’s spent nearly three decades helping the homeless, the transient population should be embraced rather than shoved away. Much of Alpha Project relies on the work of former homeless rehabilitated by their programs. This not only allows for a holistic approach to their efforts, there’s a practical aspect to having formerly homeless doing homeless outreach. “They’ve overcome it, and now they’ve turned around and used the gifts and talents they’ve acquired and learned to apply that to help someone else,” McElroy said. “We’ve taken the people who’ve been part of the problem, and now they’re part of the solution. It’s a beautiful thing, man.” —Hutton Marshall has been a contributing editor for Gay San Diego for the last 18 months but as of April 17, is moving on to greener pastures. For questions regarding this ar ticle, email


GAY SAN DIEGO April 17- 30, 2015


Directing her instruments of voice Catherine Spearnak | Contributor When it comes to music, Kathleen Hansen doesn’t pull any punches; and as artistic director of the San Diego Women’s Chorus (SDWC), she understands the medium better than most. “Music touches more parts of the human existence than I think any other art form,” Hansen said. “I’m a big fan of dance, I’m a big fan of poetry, and I’m a big fan of literature, but music really brings it together. It touches the heart, mind and soul. It can help us explore places we’re afraid to explore.” The 39-year-old director joins nearly 100 sopranos and altos that make up the “demographically, ethnically, and sexually diverse” chorus that meets every Sunday afternoon at the Mission Hills United Church of Christ. Members of the chorus — which range in age from 14 to 80 — are currently gearing up for two big upcoming performances featuring Broadway show tunes, one a cabaret-style show with performances by soloists and small

ensembles at an Uptown venue, and their annual spring show at the Balboa Theatre. Long before rising to lead the SDWC, Hansen played trumpet in a jazz band when she was a student at San Diego State University, but said she ended up getting into vocal music when she joined a barbershop quartet. She liked it so much that she turned her career toward vocal music. “To me, your voice is just another instrument,” she said. “You can get some amazing colors out of voices.” The Cupertino, California, native said some of her energy in directing comes from her upbringing; she was born and raised by a “strong, feminist woman,” who took her to ERA (equal rights amendment) rallies when she was 5-years-old. “I have always been supported in anything I wanted to do,” Hansen said. “I desperately want to extend that feeling to people.” Before moving into choral directing, Hansen spent a decade as a high school mu-

(left) Hansen shown directing the Sun Harbor Chorus (Photo by Ron Sanchez) and with SDWC members at San Diego Sings event in Balboa Park (Courtesy SDWC) sic educator, first at Hilltop in Chula Vista, then at Helix in La Mesa. In addition to SDWC, she directs numerous other groups around the county, including Pacific Suns youth chorus, the Sun Harbor chorus, the North County Tremble Clefs — a therapeutic group for those affected with Parkinson’s disease and their care partners — and the San Diego Chorus of Sweet Adelines, a barbershop style-chorus. Christopher Allen, SDWC’s former longtime director who retired last year, said Hansen brings a closeness to the organization. “She brings youth and vitality to the group, as well as her desire to keep the heart and diversity which the group possesses,” Allen said. “With the upcoming concert with Frenchie Davis, Kathleen also possesses a great [deal] of stage knowledge which is needed in a large performance venue. She’s a ‘keeper’ in my eyes.” Allen, who led the women’s chorus for 18 years, mentored Hansen for about a year before she was made director last August. “She was a wonderful colleague as assistant director,” Allen said. “She is a nurturing director. Another plus is Kathleen’s non-egodriven persona. She’s a gem to work with.” “Truly it’s been a wonderful transition,” Hansen said of her time since taking the helm from Allen. “It’s been supportive and empowering and everyone has just jumped right in and bravely done what I asked them to do. I have zero complaints.” Seeing her women’s chorus perform Broadway show tunes before a large audience at the Balboa Theater is something Hansen is looking forward to. Called “Broadway, Our Way,” and benefitting both SDWC and the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation’s Lesbian Health Initiative, the program will include a number of Broadway arrangements personally selected by the chorus. “Instead of just doing a bunch of fun show tunes, we wanted to do things that were more reflective of the women in our chorus and the things we experience in life,” she said. What does the future hold for Hansen and the chorus? “We’re always looking for new members,” she said, laughing, as the group is already 100-strong. “The more people we have, the more people we reach.” The cabaret performance will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 25 at the Irenic, located at 3090 Polk Ave., in North Park. A cocktail hour will precede the show starting at 6:30 p.m. Tickets for this event are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. VIP tickets are $50 and include premium seating; two drink tickets, a food ticket and five opportunity-drawing tickets. Vocal music fans can also see Hansen and the entire San Diego Women’s Chorus in action, live with Frenchie Davis, performing “Broadway, Our Way,” at 7 p.m. May 17 at the Balboa Theatre, located at 868 Fourth Ave., Downtown. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster or at —Catherine Spearnak is a San Diego-based freelance writer. She can be reached at catherine.


GAY SAN DIEGO April 17- 30, 2015


The fairest lady of them all Make no mistake: Cygnet Theatre has yet another musical comedy hit on its hands in Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe’s 1956 Broadway

appalled mother) and Debra Wanger. All double, whether as Eliza’s Covent Garden friends, Doolittle’s drinking buddies or Ascot races aficionados. It’s an amazing array of talent splendidly utilized. When it’s time for Eliza to have her own life, Higgins ruefully admits, “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face.” Whether Eliza, now a consort

“My Fair Lady” Through April 26 Cygnet Theatre 4040 Twiggs St. Old Town State Park 7:30 p.m. Wed. & Thurs 8 p.m. Fridays 3 & 8 p.m. Saturdays 2 & 7 p.m. Sundays Tickets or 619-337-1525

Allison Spratt Pearce is Eliza Doolittle (Photo by Daren Scott)

musical, “My Fair Lady,” which continues through April 26 in Old Town. The classic musical was adapted from George Bernard Shaw’s 1912 play and Gabriel Pascal’s 1938 motion picture, “Pygmalion.” Shaw (18561950) hated the idea of turning the work into a musical, and during his lifetime refused to allow it. Director Sean Murray, who is artistic director of Cygnet Theatre, cast himself as Professor Henry Higgins, as he did when Cygnet was in Rolando. The role suits him to a tee and he plays it with great ease and understanding, singing much more than Rex Harrison, the original musical’s Henry. Murray sets his production in 1936. One supposes fashions in 1936 take up much less room than those of an earlier era. Additionally, the show makes do with only 10 performers plus six exceptional instrumentalists (strings, keyboard, woodwinds, and percussion) including music director/ conductor Patrick Marion. Higgins encounters Eliza Doolittle (Allison Spratt Pearce, a soprano who loves singing) at Covent Garden, where she is a flower seller. The same evening he also encounters Colonel Pickering (Tom Stephenson), a fellow language expert. When Eliza’s cockney grows too much to bear, Higgins bets Pickering he could pass her off as a duchess if given six months to teach her proper speech. A ménage a trois ensues, with the two middleaged men who have nothing but language in mind and a young woman intent on the promise of self improvement and independence (“I Could Have Danced All Night”). Murray’s directorial secret involves excellence and depth of the company, something for which he’s strived but never before achieved to this degree. As one would expect, Ron Choularton delivers nicely in his reprise of Alfred P. Doolittle, Eliza’s canny father, who against his will rises to the top as a homely philosopher (“Get Me to the Church on Time”). Also, Stephenson delivers quality in his reprise of the kindly Pickering. Others in the company — experienced musical theater stalwarts all — are Bryan Banville, Katie Whalley Banville, Charles Evans, Jr. (as Freddy Eynsford-Hill, who sings “On the Street Where You Live”), Ralph Johnson, Linda Libby (as Henry’s

battleship, remains depends upon one’s interpretation of the amorphous, romantic ending. We know what Shaw would have said. Adding to the enjoyment are scenic design by Andrew Hull, costume design by Jeanne Reith, lighting design by Chris Rynne, sound by Matt Lescault-Wood, wigs and make up by Peter Herman, and choreography by David Brannen. Syd Stevens is responsible for props. The hat Eliza wears for her initial arrival at Higgins’ is memorable — and so is it all. — Charlene Baldridge has been writing about the arts since 1979. You can follow her blog at or reach her at charb81@


Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times James Hebert, U-T San Diego

‘Silence of the Lambs’ parody to make its debut Morgan M. Hurley | Editor Cult classic “Silence of the Lambs,” released in 1991, starred then-closeted lesbian Jodie Foster as FBI agent Clarice Starling and Anthony Hopkins as the evil Hannibal Lecter. Their portrayals, along with its horror and crime elements, locked the film into the country’s collective psyche. San Diegans will soon have the opportunity to see a spoof of the Academy Award-winning film when Jamie Morris’ “Silence of the Clams” comes to Diversionary Theatre April 23. Inspired by Charles Busch (“Die Mommie Die,” “Psycho Beach Party”), Morris wrote his first parody after of one of Hollywood’s campiest films — “Mommie Dearest.” “You can’t set out to make a campy film,” Morris said. “You set out to make a serious film and it’s just so ridiculous that it becomes camp.” Morris’ version, “Mommie Queerest,” featured male actors in the female roles, upping the camp factor even more. It premiered in 2003 and continues to build a cultish fan base of its own today wherever it’s performed. The native West Virginian has written four more campinspired parodies since then — “Facts of Life: The Lost Episode”

Morris (as Hannibal) wrote a delicious spoof of the classic film. (Courtesy Jamie Morris) (2004); “Silence of the Clams” (2007); “Re-designing Women” (2004); and “Gilligan’s Fire Island,” which just premiered in February in Dallas, Texas — and has plans for yet another parody

in 2016. These lovable spoofs have become Morris’ full-time career

see Clams, pg 17

MARIACHI VARGAS DE TECALITLÁN RETURNS! San Diego Opera presents Lyric Opera of Chicago in

“A joyous journey! It resonates with audience members from beginning to end.” Diana Saenger, La Jolla Light



SATURDAY, APRIL 25 at 2:00PM & 7:00PM

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



Matt DeCaro, Amy Kim Waschke, and Tanya Thai McBride. Photo by Liz Lauren, courtesy of Goodman Theatre.

“Funny! An engaging performance by David Turner, a funny and charming raconteur!” -Pam Kragen, U-T San Diego


Join San Diego Opera as we celebrate the second mariachi opera - El Pasado Nunca Se Termina (The Past is Never Finished). This dazzling musical fusion brings together rich mariachi sound with brilliant singing to create an irresistible new form of opera.  Composed by José “Pepe” Martínez and starring the world renowned Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán.

TICKETS START AT $35 • (619) 533-7000 Tickets also available at All performances at the San Diego Civic Theatre. ENGLISH AND SPANISH TRANSLATIONS DISPLAYED ABOVE THE STAGE

By Jonathan Tolins Directed by Ron Lagomarsino Out-of-work actor Alex More can’t pass up the oddest of odd jobs—an offer to play shopkeeper for one tough customer who doesn’t let anyone rain on her parade. Soon it begins to take a toll on his patience, his love life, and his view of people (who need people).

Now Extended Through May 10! Contains strong language. David Turner. Photo by Jim Cox.

Tickets start at $29

(619) 23-GLOBE (234-5623)

Lyric Opera of Chicago/Todd Rosenberg

Theater Review Charlene Baldridge



GAY SAN DIEGO April 17- 30, 2015

Travel-free vacation dining Restaurant Review Frank Sabatini Jr. It opened with a $2.1 million bang. But unless you stroll along Bayside Walk on Sail Bay or penetrate the fortress-like Catamaran Resort Hotel & Spa from Mis-

sion Boulevard, the new Oceana Coastal Kitchen can completely escape your radar. Tucked into the resort’s backside with nary a sign pointing the way, the 8,200-square-foot restaurant greets with a blatant marine theme that feels both dated and modern. You’re greeted at first by a sleek seafood “cold bar” glimmer-

Oceana Coastal Kitchen 3999 Mission Blvd. (Pacific Beach) 858-539-8635 Dinner prices: Starters, flatbreads and cold bar dishes, $7 to $21; entrees, $16 to $33

ing with sea glass and mother of pearl. Several feet away, an illuminated jellyfish tank towers over koa wood tables and boldly designed carpeting in splashy ocean colors. The room flows out to a spacious outdoor patio boasting picturesque views of green lawns and the bay, which provides ringside seats to gaggles of locals and tourists taking advantage of balmy days. Oceana has a LGBT connection. The resort is among a string of properties owned by Evans Hotels, which features accomplished community activist Robert H. Gleason as its president and chief operating officer. Gleason is a former board member of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund and a past chair of the San Diego LGBT Community Center. Visiting with a pescatarian before sunset, we began our patio dinner with complimentary rustic breads and buttermilk biscuits flavored with orange zest before proceeding to white sea bass ceviche from the cold bar. Served prettily in a martini glass with mangos and Serrano chilies, some of the fish pieces were over-marinated in lime, raising the pucker factor too high in certain bites. Conversely, the tofu spring rolls in rice paper tasted minty and soothing as we kicked them up with the accompanying spicy peanut sauce along the way. Good stuff, especially the cubed tofu inside, which was firm and meaty enough to pass as chicken. For those on the hunt for shellfish, the cold bar also offers oysters on the half shell, chipotle shrimp cocktail and king crab legs with lemon-ginger mayo. Or for large parties, the “seafood tower” appeases with a variety of oceanic treasures stacked onto either two or three tiers at a cost of $75 and $95 respectively. Oceana’s executive chef, Steven Riemer, hails from the reputable A.R. Valentien at The Lodge at Torrey Pines, which is also operated by Evans. Here, he maintains an upscale approach for cooking with fresh, sustainable ingredients, but within a less-conservative locale allowing for flatbreads and familiar sushi rolls to enter the menu. This is after all a vacation hotspot located practically in the heart of freewheeling Pacific Beach. Our tempura shrimp roll was well constructed and stuffed also with bits of crab. Added crispiness was achieved with the additions of cucumber inside and a generous dusting of panko crumbs on top. With avocado in the scheme as well, the roll was served with a cruet of low-sodium soy sauce as to not obliterate the delicate flavors. The notion of lemon ricotta on the chili shrimp flatbread intrigued us into ordering it. But the citrus went missing just as it did in my companion’s English pea risotto with walnuts, pine nuts and supposedly Meyer lemon. The risotto was the daily vegetarian entrée of which our waitress later confirmed the kitchen had indeed failed to include the lemon. With it, the dish would have sung

(from top) Sea bass ceviche (Photo by Auda Photography); tofu spring roll; filet mignon; crispy shrimp roll (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.) with the backup voice it needed. Nicely cooked broccolini was strewn across our flatbread, which was fiercely spicy in parts and starkly tame in others due to an uneven distribution of chili sauce centered mostly on the shrimp. The crust was commendably light and crispy without turning soggy over the hour or so we picked from the dish. Don’t assume that Oceana is all about seafood. The roasted filet mignon I ordered was on par in texture and flavor as anything you’ll find in fancy steakhouses. Served medium as requested, the red wine sauce spiked with blue cheese butter made it all the more decadent, prompting me to eat the whole thing rather than taking home half as I normally do when choosing filet. The plate included au gratin potatoes sporting desirable pockmarks of toasted bubbling-hot cheese, plus roasted baby carrots finished with flattering measures of cumin. Oceana’s all-California wine list is heavy in fish-friendly Chardonnays. But we stuck to reds, a

mellow Sonoma Valley pinot noir for my companion and a wonderfully jammy Napa Valley cabernet that carried me all the way to an equally fruity “new school banana pudding” for dessert. The twist in the pudding was caramelized bananas with vanilla cookie crumbles strewn throughout. Most of that went home with me for my sweet-tooth spouse in waiting. My companion opted for a trio of donuts filled with chocolate cream, which were still warm and airy when I stole a bite. Oceana is still young and seemingly trying to figure out whether to come across as a fine-dining establishment or one that comfortably embraces T-shirts and board shorts. From our observation, there’s a fork in the road allowing for two legitimate directions. —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

More than 20 restaurants are taking part in the 26th annual Taste of Point Loma, from 5:30 to 9 p.m., April 22. The event is presented by the Peninsula Chamber of Commerce and encompasses restaurants on Shelter Island, parts of Rosecrans Street and several of its side streets. New to the lineup is Vessel Restaurant at Kona Kai and Pomodoro Restaurant Italiano. They will be joined by repeat participants such as The Wine Pub, Old Venice Restaurant, The Elegant Truf fle, Mitch’s Seafood, The Pearl and more. Admission is $25 or $15 for cyclists, students and active militar y. Tickets include a sample dish from each restaurant. For more information, visit Chef Mike Almos is calling it “the big night” at Circa in University Heights for when he presents a prix fixe family-style dinner at 6:30 p.m., April 29, in celebration of the restaurant’s one-year anniversar y. Inspired by scenes from the movie, “Big Night,” which will be showing without sound, guests will be seated at communal tables while passing around platters of food. Among the dishes in the five-course lineup are black kale salad, King Ranch flat iron steak, chocolate mousse and more. The price is $35, not including tax, tip or beverages. Reser vations are required. 2121 Adams Ave., 619-269-9152. The eco-conscious Hammond’s Gourmet Ice Cream in North Park has introduced several first-time flavors to its ever-changing repertoire. As of this month, look for candy ginger, Jack Daniel’s, Kahlua Cream and Reese’s Pieces in

DINING the rotation. Known for its super-premium ice cream containing 18 percent butterfat, the shop features a communal table made from a fallen eucalyptus tree and a chandelier crafted from repurposed sundae cups. 3077 University Ave., 619-220-0231.

Leave it to the French kitchens for snagging some of the first seasonal bounties when devising their spring menus. Chef Ken Irvine of Bleu Boheme in Kensington has just introduced a new list of dishes that unite early asparagus and English peas in farro salad; fresh heirloom cauliflower and haricots vert for steak au poivre; and pistachios and local strawberries in apricot-mascarpone tarts. In addition, mussels cooked in a variety of different sauces and herbs are now available in 1- or 2-pound pots. 4090 Adams Ave., 619255-4167.

GAY SAN DIEGO April 17- 30, 2015

The pistachio-strawberry tart signals a new spring menu. (Courtesy Wicked Creative)

and many more. Craft beers and specialty cocktails augment a menu of comfort food and desserts authored by Chef Miguel Valdez, who recently helmed the kitchen at 100 Wines. A few empty wall spaces for rotating artists are yet to be filled. 1263 University Ave., 619-487-1382.

The Maverick is the latest organic release for Vinavanti, soon in Hillcrest. (Courtesy Vinavanti) Hillcrest will see its first urban winer y with the July arrival of Vinavanti, which is moving its entire operation from Sorrento Valley into the former V Outlet building on University Avenue. Vinavanti president and winemaker Eric Van Drunen said he was looking for a bigger space in a more retail-friendly location for selling his certified-organic wines, which use grapes sourced from Ramona, Temecula and Warner Springs. “Since opening in Sorrento Valley three years ago, we’ve been producing about a dozen different wines annually,” Van Drunen added. “And our new location will feature a tasting room and a first-time food menu. 1477 University Ave., 877-484-6282.


Dozens of games are for the playing at a new Hillcrest venue. (Courtesy Tabletop Commons) A restaurant and bar featuring tabletop games and a comic-book motif has softopened in Hillcrest, in the Google-style building that formerly housed Commonwealth Ultra Lounge. Its new tenant, Evan Jones, promises a playful atmosphere at Tabletop Commons, where guests can square off over popular games such as Cock & Bull, Boss Monster, Say Anything

Attention taco and burrito lovers on the hunt for something a little different but not over the top. The new Amorcito Corazon Mexican Bistro in North Park is up and running with a few menu standouts you don’t often find amid the competition. Vegetarians, for example, can opt for tortillas filled with cactus or huitlacoche (corn fungus) while carnivores can opt for red snapper, calamari or chili verde in theirs. And for those who can’t live without their kale salads, this one receives a worthy kick from jalapenoCaesar dressing. The modestly decorated eater y recently replaced Veg-N-Out. 3442 30th St., 619-293-3569. —Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at

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‘Big Eyes’: Cinema Under the Stars presents Tim Burton’s film about a scheming husband (Christoph Waltz) who passed off his wife’s (Amy Adams) paintings as his own. Based on a true stor y. 8 p.m. $15. 4040 Goldfinch St., Mission Hills. Movie also screens Saturday. For more info visit or call 619-295-4221. Dapper Boi Jeans spotlight: Models will be showing off Dapper Boi Jeans followed by sticker giveaways and questionanswering company representatives. 9:30 p.m. Gossip Grill, 1220 University Ave., Hillcrest. Find the event on Facebook.


15th annual Taste of Hillcrest: This year’s event will feature samples from over 40 restaurants on a self-guided tour spanning more than 12 blocks. Noon – 4 p.m. $30 in advance, $35 day of the event. Visit Eighth annual CityBeat Festival of Beers: Block party in front of the Lafayette Hotel featuring over 100 beers, live music, food vendors and more. 2 – 5 p.m. 2223 El Cajon Blvd., North Park. Visit Mr. Bear San Diego 2015 Contest: Contestants for Mr. Bear San Diego 2015 will compete. Fundraising money from the group will be distributed to Special Deliver y, Stepping Stone and The San Diego Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence at the event. 7 p.m. The Hole, 2820 L ytton St., Midway. Visit San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus’ 30th anniversar y celebration: The 200-member chorus will celebrate by performing favorite songs with special appearances and guests. Additional performance on Sunday, April 19. $20+. Saturday 8 p.m.; Sunday 3 p.m. Balboa Theatre, 868 Fourth Ave., Gaslamp. Visit Second annual Laces and Lashes Ball: Contestants from the San Diego American Flag Football League will compete in drag; hosted by Mayhem Miller and featuring a red carpet event (6 p.m.) and cocktail hour. Showtime at 7 p.m. Rich’s San Diego, 1051 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit


Pride: Mix and Mingle:

San Diego Pride Board of Directors invites the community to come meet those who organize Pride and learn about getting involved. 3 – 5 p.m. Gossip Grill, 1220 University Ave., Hillcrest. Find the event on Facebook. ‘The Facts of Life: The Lost Episode’: Final performance of this parody of the vintage sitcom by Jamie Morris (“Mommy Queerest,” “ReDesigning Women”). 5 p.m. Diversionar y Theatre, 4545 Park Blvd., University Heights. Visit diversionar or call 619-220-0097.


The Big Gay Improv Show: Local improvisers present hilarious scenes inspired by the real life stories of two guest monologists from the LGBT community. This month: Diversionar y’s Executive Artistic Director Matt M. Morrow and Lambda Archives Board President Maureen Steiner will be the guests. This show raises funds for the theater. $10 in advance, $12 at the door. 8 p.m. Diversionar y Theatre, 4545 Park Blvd., University Heights. Tickets diversionar or call 619-2200097.

(Courtesy Diversionary Theater)


HRC Connect: A social event for networking and hearing about topics of interest in the LGBT community. This month’s topic is: “LGBT and Visible: Navigating the Complexities of Corporate Culture.” 7 – 9 p.m. Wang’s North Park, 3029 University Ave., North Park. Visit


‘Present yourself powerfully with Dana BristolSmith’: An event hosted by the Greater San Diego Business Association to build public speaking skills. Free. 6 – 7 p.m. Qualcomm Campus, 5535 Morehouse Dr., Sorrento Valley. Visit


Well-Strung in ‘POPssical’: A singing string quartet will perform a mixture of classical and contemporar y songs. Doors 6 p.m., show 8 p.m. $40 with $15 food/drink minimum. Martinis Above Fourth, 3940 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest. Visit Big Hard Talk: This event presented by Impulse San Diego will answer hard questions related to STIs and HIV. Hosted bar and hors d’oeuvres. 6 – 9 p.m., Snooze, An A.M. Eater y, 3940 Fifth Ave., Hillcrest. Find the event on Facebook to RSVP for entr y. San Diego Pride volunteer info session: An information session to learn about various volunteer opportunities with Pride. 6 p.m. San Diego Pride, 3620 30th St., North Park. Find the event on Facebook. MARYAH Annual Poker Tourney: Metro Area Real Estate Professionals for Young Adult Housing’s annual David Yoder Casino Royale and Poker Tournament raises funds for the Sunburst Youth Housing Project with samples from local restaurants and casino-style gaming. $30 – $50. 6 – 9 p.m. Claire De Lune’s Sunset Temple, 3911 Kansas St., North Park. Visit mar ‘The Silence of the Clams’: Opening night for this parody by Jamie Morris (“Mommy Queerest,” “ReDesigning Women”). 7 p.m. Diversionar y Theatre, 4545 Park Blvd., University Heights. Visit diversionar or call 619-220-0097.

for GSDBA members to socialize while bicycling around San Diego. The ride will begin at the Chula Vista Marina: 20mile ride starts at 8:30 a.m., 10-mile ride starts at 9:30 a.m. Participants are invited to brunch/lunch after wards at Galley at the Marina. Register online. Visit Adams Avenue Unplugged: Two-day music festival featuring wide-ranging local bands including Anais Mitchell, Hot Buttered Rum, David J and more. Free. Saturday noon – 10 p.m.; Sunday noon – 7 p.m. Visit Creek to Bay Cooper Canyon Cleanup: Gay for Good San Diego is participating in this cleanup to remove invasive plants, litter and more in Cooper Canyon. 9 a.m. – noon. 42nd and Thorn streets, City Heights. Find the event on Facebook. North County LGBTQ Resource Center’s Trans* Day of Empowerment: Celebration of trans* histor y with art, music and live performances. 3 – 6 p.m. Librar y Community Room, 330 North Coast Highway, Oceanside. Visit San Diego Women’s Chorus presents ‘Cabaret: An Evening of Broadwaythemed Entertainment’: This concert will feature soloists and small ensembles from the Women’s Chorus with songs from favorite Broadway shows. Tickets start at $15 in advance. 6:30 p.m. The Irenic, 3090 Polk Ave., North Park. Visit


Celebrate the Boulevard: The El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association is hosting this annual event showcasing businesses of the Boulevard. Festivities will include food, drink, local merchants, raffles, live music and more. 7 – 11 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 day of show. Visit


GSDBA Pedal, Network, Prosper Social Club: A way

AIDS. $65. 6 p.m. Martinis Above Fourth, 3940 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest. Visit


‘Out at the Archives’ with Todd Gloria: Co-sponsored by Lambda Archives and Diversionar y Theatre, this event will include a one-onone inter view with Stephen Whitburn asking questions of Councilmember Todd Gloria. Wine and cheese reception to follow the Q&A. 6 p.m. Diversionar y Theatre, 4545 Park Blvd., University Heights. Visit diversionar


LGBT Militar y Family Support Group: For LGBT active duty ser vice members and their families — meeting on the fourth Tuesday of ever y month. Open for couples with or without children. 6 – 7:30 p.m. For more information contact Caroline Bender at 619-222-5586 or caroline. San Diego LGBT Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. Visit


Devlin in ‘Moving On’: Actress, singer and cabaret artist Devlin returns to MA4 with jazz, blues, pop and Broadway tunes. Doors 6 p.m., show 8 p.m. $20 with $15 food/drink minimum. Martinis Above Fourth, 3940 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest. Visit Conceptual Options LGBT Fertility & Surrogacy Series: Free monthly classes discussing various topics surrounding fertility and surrogacy; this session’s theme is surrogacy. 6:15 p.m. San Diego LGBT Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. Visit



Fraternity Feast: Threecourse dinner with live entertainment by Don L. and Ria Carey to benefit Fraternity House which provides housing and care for homeless men and women living with HIV/

Dining Out for Life San Diego: This fundraising event is held the last Thursday in April by restaurants across the county with owners pledging 25 – 100 percent of food and drink sales to benefit HIV/ AIDS ser vice programs at The Center. Visit for participating restaurants and follow Dining Out for Life San Diego on Facebook. —Email calendar items to



ACROSS 1 Race site in Auden’s land 6 Express pleasure orally 10 “Rat Bohemia” author Schulman 15 Dutch resort isle 16 Painter Bonheur 17 Board material 18 What they call discrimination in Indiana 21 Test the weight of 22 “There ___ be a law!’” (anti-gay motto of Indiana?) 23 Coldcock 24 Gasteyer of “SNL” 25 While you’re doing it 27 Arkansas Gov. Hutchinson 28 Layer of some balls 30 Journalist Ted 32 River of Auden’s land 33 Pioneer automaker 37 Twenty Questions turn 38 With 56-Across, sign in the window of any place that discriminates, per “SNL”

41 Start to pea? 44 Stonewall Jackson, and others 45 Montagues and Capulets, e.g. 49 Assholes 50 Begins to take notice 51 “__ Enchanted” 52 Roundup rope 54 Moo juice source 55 Says, “Let’s do it!” 56 See 38-Across 63 McCullers’ “Ballad of the ___ Café” 64 Cup material 65 Signs of using a rubber? 66 Singer Di Franco 67 Islands instrument 68 Way to get a bone up? 69 Creepy Chaney 70 Former Russian orbiter 71 Felt in one’s bones 72 Three of Napoli

solution on page 15 DOWN 1 Swank, in a 2009 flick 2 Peacock, e.g. 3 Ingredient in dye or fertilizer 4 Memorial column 5 “The Advocate,” briefly 6 Tile surrounder 7 Type of trade 8 Question about a cross-dresser, perhaps 9 1993 treaty acronym 10 Get a load of 11 City north of Des Moines 12 Bureaucratic tangle 13 Makes moist or hard 14 Pew books at Metropolitan Community Church 19 Burial site of Macbeth 20 Place for pool players’ balls 25 “___ The Woods” 26 Deli request 29 Take into the body 31 Did not wait to exhale?

33 R.E.M.’s “The ___ Love” 34 Target of discrimination in Indiana 35 Buck’s mates 36 George Takei’s role on “Star Trek” 39 Apr. 15 letters 40 Cooking meas. 41 Package pouch 42 Beach of Bette’s home state 43 “AIDS: Profile of an Epidemic” narrator 46 Aging first mate, perhaps 47 She loved Franklin and Lorena 48 Tin fish 53 In the sack 54 Cold War rival of the USA 57 Creator of Sal Mineo’s “Exodus” character 58 Letter enc. 59 “The doctor ___” 60 Whoopi and others in “Sister Act” 61 Follies costume designer 62 Rank Mauresmo, e.g.


BRIEFS can also be legally fired or evicted by a boss or landlord who doesn’t approve come Monday.” To visit Lord’s campaign and sign up to participate in the video, visit this shortened link To learn more about Lord and his music career, visit


Readers know local entrepreneurs Hanna Gregor and Anna Duff’s OH! Juice from recent profiles in Gay San Diego as well as their regular presence at the weekly Hillcrest Farmers Market. Gregor and Duff have grown their raw, organic, cold-pressed juice business so much in the last year that they need a new kitchen to meet consumer demands and better equip themselves for their recent USDA organic certification. On April 1, they launched a month-long Kickstarter campaign to assist them in meeting these goals. Though they live and run their business in and around San

GAY SAN DIEGO April 17- 30, 2015

Diego proper, their first kitchen was in Vista, which, though necessary at the time, caused headaches and gas bills running back and forth. The new space will be in Carlsbad at Gateway Center and with a goal of $55,000, will also give them a storefront, something they have lacked in their two and a half (l to r) Hanna Gregor and Anna Duff (Courtesy OH! Juice) years of operation. “With the little to more information about OH! Juice, no money in our pockets you can visit imagine the stress, to keep everyone on payroll and to keep the customer’s juice flowing,” the entreSD PRIDE ANNOUNCES preneurs state on their campaign page. “Being vulnerable and asking SCHOLARSHIPS FOR LOCAL for help is a very difficult thing but FIRST-RESPONDER ATHLETES we’ve had no other choice but to The annual United States be resourceful and find what OH! Juice needs to thrive.” For a more Police and Fire Championships information about the campaign, (USPFC) is an Olympic-style watch a video of their venture, read event open to athletes who are profiles of the two owners and see members of law enforcement, what you will get in return for your fire, prison and border protection generous pledges, visit the short agencies. This year’s USPFC takes link at The camplace May 30 through June 6 at paign will last through April and more than 35 venues throughout they still need lots of support. For San Diego County. Participating

athletes compete in more than 50 sporting events over the weeklong championship series. San Diego Pride approached the USPFC organization offering five, $100 scholarships to support participating LGBT first responder athletes. The Pride-sponsored scholarships would help cover registration and sport-related fees for the athlete’s participation. In order to qualify, athletes must be openly gay at their workplace or agency, actively engaged in diversity awareness and training efforts there, and meet all USPFC participation eligibility requirements. For more information, visit uspfc. org/lgbt. Applications should be downloaded and returned to Cheli Mohamed at and will be accepted through May 15.

CITY ADDS GENDER TO NONDISCRIMINATION POLICY On April 7, District 3 Councilmember Todd Gloria announced that the San Diego City Council had approved an amendment to add gender identity and expression to the City’s nondiscrimination in contracting ordinance. The State of California Govern-

ment Code already includes both gender identity — the individual’s sense of self regarding characteristics labeled as masculine, feminine, both or in-between — and gender expression — a person’s gender-related appearance and behavior whether or not stereotypically associated with the person’s assigned sex at birth — as protected classes with regards to employment. “San Diego stands against discrimination. Today’s action demonstrates that by ensuring the city will not award contracts to any business that discriminates against anyone, including transgender people,” stated Gloria in a press release. Though San Diego scored a perfect 100 in the Human Rights Campaign’s 2014 Municipality Equality Index, it missed two points because it was lacking the gender identity clause in the contractor non-discrimination code. Gloria, who stated he wanted to do better, worked with city staff on the amendment. The current types of unlawful discrimination in San Diego’s Municipal Code, Chapter 2, Article 2, Division 35 are now listed as: race, gender religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender identify, gender expression, sexual orientation, age or disability.t








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GAY SAN DIEGO April 17- 30, 2015


“I do play up the fact that Jodie Foster is a lesbian,” said Morris, who plays Hannibal “Lickter” in the play. “She is hunting serial killer ‘Beaver Bill’ [Buffalo Bill in the film], who is skinning his victims to make a merkin.” Morris said the play is a little like “Silence of the Lambs” meets “Airplane!” “It is a brilliant film so I wanted to honor it but also make it silly and stupid,” Morris said. “[‘Clams’] is based on the movie with a few

as he travels all over the country, both producing and performing in them; often licensing them out to theaters that love rotating them into their lineups. Morris’ first four parodies have all come through San Diego in the past several years, with “Redesigning Women” making a run in spring of 2014. This June, Morris and his Dallasbased thespian pool will take “Redesigning Women” off-Broadway for a two-week run at the Rose Nagelberg Theatre at Baruch College. “Facts of Life: The Lost Episode,” "Silence of the Clams" comes to Diversionary April 23. sees the final (Courtesy Jamie Morris) curtain of its most recent San Diego run this weekend, April 17, 18 and twists and turns to make it mine 19. Based on the 1980s hit television and to make it more gay friendly. A show of the same name, “Facts” also goofy version but still keeping the has an all-male cast playing all the creepiness of the film and those female roles. iconic scenes.” Diversionary basically goes Those scenes, Morris said, dark when Morris comes to town, are imperative when converting but he considers them more of a a film that has become a cult co-producer because they give a lot classic, because those are what of support and include his plays as ever yone remembers. part of their subscription series. “If you don’t have the wire “Diversionary Theatre is one hanger scene, the queens will kill of the special ones that you want you,” he said. to keep coming back to,” he said. “Silence of the Clams” plays “They just trust you.” April 23 – May 3. For tickets, visit “Silence of the Clams” comes to the Diversionary stage on the heels of “Facts,” making its San Diego —Morgan M. Hurley can be debut April 23 – May 3. reached at



GAY SAN DIEGO April 17- 30, 2015

My MLB predictions Dugout Chatter Jeff Praught I do not really know where the time went, but somehow the calendar has turned to the page that says “April,” and Major League Baseball is back. As I do every year, I am going to make a bunch of predictions that will likely be equal parts correct and embarrassingly bad. AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST A case can be made for any of the five teams in the American

League East to be division winners, but for the first time in ages, that parity is based more on mediocrity than the usual dominance this group of teams has shown over the last decade. I do not see the Yankees winning anything because I just do not see how they will not break down over the course of the season. Will CC Sabathia, paid like an ace, even be a regular contributor to the starting rotation by the All-Star break? Their best starter elected to avoid surger y while rehabbing a serious arm injur y. Alex Rodriguez returns after a year-long suspension, and there is just no way that he will justify his astronomical

salar y, a point the local media will focus on relentlessly if he struggles. Just too many question marks swirling for this team to be considered a contender. It’s a shame that Tampa Bay lost manager Joe Maddon, along with Ben Zobrist and Wil Myers. Those are tough hits for an otherwise strong franchise. Baltimore basically stood pat during the offseason, a tactic that rarely translates into a return to the postseason. Toronto and Boston stand out to me as the less-flawed teams in the division, with Boston getting the edge thanks to a dynamic offense that may lead the league in runs scored. AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL It’s just about time for the Detroit Tigers to pay their credit card bills, as they have over $600 million tied up in long term commitments to their stars who are all on the wrong side of 30. If they do not win it this year, I cannot see them winning any time soon. Gone is Max Scherzer, the AL Cy Young Award winner. Justin Verlander was hurt in 2014 and nobody knows how he will rebound. There are plenty of bats in the lineup, but will their health hold up? Instead of the Tigers as favorites, I am going with the Cleveland Indians, who nearly put it together last year. The team finally has some pitching, and made a few offseason additions to their lineup that make manager Terry Francona’s team a dark horse candidate to win the division. As wonderful of a story as the Kansas City Royals were in 2014, they were not as good as the late hot streak they went on and it is tough to see them returning to the postseason, especially without workhorse James Shields anchoring the rotation. The White Sox are intriguing, because they essentially flipped half of their roster. They will be competitive. The Twins are in for a long summer. AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST If it were not for the moves the Padres made this offseason, Oakland general manager Billy Beane would be drawing more attention for the astounding number of trades he made in remaking his roster. Beane is famous for dumping guys just before their salaries are set to skyrocket and acquiring cheap and controllable talent. With as much turnover as Oakland has experienced this offseason, I find it almost impossible to predict how well they will do. The division is much improved, however, as the Seattle Mariners look like a good bet to win the West and return to the postseason after several years. Felix Hernandez is the best right-hander on the planet, and they have added some offensive pieces to help Robinson Cano and the M’s score runs. The Rangers have become a cursed franchise that just cannot avoid injuries to their big-time players. The Astros should continue their improvement, with Jose Altuve and George Springer providing some excitement atop their lineup. NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST On paper, the Washington Nationals are the best team in baseball and it’s not even close. Their starting rotation is sick. Their fifth starter, Gio Gonzalez, is better than some teams’ ace. Having to face Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, and Jordan Zimmermann on consecutive nights is sure to be hell for most lineups. An early-season knee injury to rising star Anthony Rendon is concerning, but how many runs does this team really need to score to win games with that rotation?

The Mets and Marlins are each improved, though if I had to pick between the two, I would bet on Miami having the better season. Each team boasts an ace returning from a serious arm injury, with New York hoping for dominance from Matt Harvey and the Marlins anxiously awaiting the return of Jose Fernandez. The Braves have gutted their roster with an eye towards 2017, while the Phillies could be the worst team in baseball as they endure a major rebuild. NATIONAL LEAGUE CENTRAL There has been a lot of chatter about the Cubs and their chances for making the playoffs, and rightfully so. They added one of the best managers in the game (Maddon), signed the top free agent pitcher on the market (Jon Lester), and have a slew of young prospects — some of the best in the game — ready to contribute. With all of those young bats, though, will come some adjustment periods as hitters try to deal with how major league pitchers react and adjust to them. I do not think the Cubs have enough good starting pitching to counter what is sure to be a powerful but inconsistent lineup. Instead, I give the edge to those consistent St. Louis Cardinals. To fill the hole left by the tragic offseason death of young star Oscar Tavares, the team traded for gifted outfielder Jason Heyward, who may be primed for a breakout season himself. Adam Wainwright returns 100 percent healthy to anchor a solid starting staff. The team can hit and plays terrific defense. The Reds could give the Cards a run for their money, but I believe they are going to miss Mat Latos, whom they traded to Miami, more than they realize. Even if Joey Votto bounces back with an All-Star caliber year, the Reds’ pitching worries me. The Pirates, on the other hand, would not surprise me if they battled St. Louis all the way down to the final week. This team is as complete as they have been in 20 years. Solid pitching, great defense, and a lineup powered by MVP Andrew McCutchen means the Pirates could have a long postseason run in them. As for Milwaukee, that rotation looks pretty ugly. NATIONAL LEAGUE WEST As much as I hate to predict it, I think the Dodgers will run away with this division. Furthermore, as a Giants fan, I would be awfully surprised if the defending World Series Champions even reached the .500 mark this year. The starting rotation is full of a lot of promising “if” scenarios, but relying on “ifs” rarely pans out. The offense took a major hit with the loss of Pablo Sandoval, and with Hunter Pence out for a month, that lineup looks tepid. On the bright side, the Padres look like they will be challenging

see MLB, pg 19



for a playoff spot this year. The starting rotation, if it remains healthy, looks fantastic. A lot of teams would take Shields, Andrew Cashner, Tyson Ross, and Ian Kennedy as their top four starters. Adding Myers, Matt Kemp, and Justin Upton has given the lineup instant credibility. The Rockies are often mocked for their awful pitching, but in reality, their biggest downfall has been their offense in road ballparks. The drop off from their production at Coors Field is astounding. Meanwhile, the Arizona Diamondbacks look like a franchise that just has no idea what it wants to be. They have dealt away a tremendous

amount of young talent under their former regime. The new regime, led by first-time general manager Dave Stewart, does not believe in analytics. This should be an ugly season in the desert. Playoff Predictions • NL Wild Card Game: Padres defeat Pirates • NL Division Series: Padres defeat Dodgers • NL Division Series: Cardinals defeat Nationals • NL Championship Series: Cardinals defeat Padres • AL Wild Card Game: Blue Jays defeat Tigers • AL Division Series: Mariners defeat Blue Jays • AL Division Series: Indians defeat Red Sox • AL Championship Series:

Indians defeat Mariners • World Series: Indians defeat Cardinals As you can see, my playoff predictions do not match up well with how I believe the regular season will shake out. As the Giants have proven three times in the last five years, you do not need to be the best team to win the title. Just get into the playoffs, and you have a chance. Here is hoping that the Padres just make it in, because no city in America deserves a title more than San Diego, and this year’s roster is capable of winning a short series against anyone in baseball. —Jeff Praught is actively involved in the LGBT sports community. He can be reached at

GAY SAN DIEGO April 17- 30, 2015



GAY SAN DIEGO April 17- 30, 2015

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