Volume 9 Issue 10 May 11 - 24, 2018
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Best of Gay San Diego ballot Page 16
So long, but not farewell
Prison and gender identity Chelsea Manning on prison time, postrelease and the state of the LGBT community
A message of strength through song
By Rick Braatz
Musical history bring light to today’s issues
(l to r) Babycakes co-founders Christopher Stavros and Rafael Del Rio are expanding their business to a larger facility in Paradise Hills in June. (Photo by Albert H. Fulcher)
Fifth Avenue’s Babycakes moves forward with expansion
for Christopher Stavros, Babycakes’ co-founder and president. But after a decade, due to its huge success, this staple of Hillcrest is moving
Albert H. Fulcher | Editor Building Babycakes from the ground up was truly the American dream
And the music never dies
Log Cabin Repubs and Dems for Equality face
By B. J. Coleman
“The pink lady” retains its splendor
On May 8, Gina Roberts, president of the San Diego Chapter of Log Cabin Republicans (LCR), and Will Rodriguez-Kennedy, president of San Diego Democrats for Equality went head to head at the LGBTQ Debate. Trans Narratives and the Hillcrest Town Council sponsored the debate. Held at the San Diego LGBT Community Center, roughly 60 attendees filled audience seats for the multi-hour political debate session. Both debaters focused their political perspectives and ideological views through the prism of LGBT issues and experiences. Rodriguez-Kennedy and
Roberts expressed substantial areas of agreement, even as their views differed greatly on some major policy areas. Prior to the debate, the debaters’ early point of
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see Babycakes, pg 5 agreement was the selection of Morgan M. Hurley, past editor of Gay San Diego, as debate moderator. Questions posed to the partisan debaters were developed from community input over two months. The program began with brief personal background information.
see LGBTQ, pg 4
(l to r) San Diego Log Cabin Republicans and San Diego Democrats for Equality leaders come together for the LGBTQ Debate at The San Diego LGBT Community Center to discuss party differences on May 8. (Photo by Albert H. Fulcher)
Editorial/Letters 619-961-1960 firstname.lastname@example.org
in June to a larger facility in Paradise Hills.
619-762-LOAN DB0# 603K402 / NMLS#1034679
Chelsea Manning is a transgender activist and whistleblower sentenced to 35 years in prison for disclosing more than 700,000 secret military documents in 2010 (which included the fact that the majority of the deaths from U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were civilian). Manning served seven years before President Barack Obama commuted her sentence in 2017. Described as “cruel, inhuman and degrading,” according to the United Nations Special Rapporteur, her time in prison included residing in a cage in Kuwait for two months, solitary confinement for 23 hours a day for nearly a year, and when she came out as transgender in 2013, denied the ability to express her gender identity, much less transition while incarcerated without a long, drawn out legal fight. In 2016, she attempted to commit suicide twice, one of which she was given additional solitary confinement time as punishment. During her time incarcerated and afterward, Manning became a leading advocate for government transparency, transgender rights and prisoners. Earlier this year, she announced her run as a Democrat for a U.S. Senate seat in Maryland, where she lives. Recently,
see Chelsea Manning, pg 3
GAY SAN DIEGO May 11 - 24, 2018
Stronger than silence, louder than hate Women’s Chorus delivers mighty performances with “Voices”
The San Diego Women’s Chorus performing “Voices: Stronger than Silence. Louder than Hate.” at Lincoln High School Performing Art Center on April 29. (Photos courtesy of Sarah Soto Photographics) Albert H. Fulcher | Editor April 29 was a powerful night of musical performances for the San Diego Women’s Chorus as they performed its spring concert “VOICES: Stronger than Silence. Louder than Hate.” Held at the Lincoln High School Performing Arts Center, The venue — Lincoln High School Performing Arts Center — was the perfect setting for the afternoon of inspiring, enabling music. The use of spoken word during many of the songs was brilliant in design and added to the theme of the concert. With a diverse array of musical arrangements, the theme of this
sonata never lost the meaning of the significance of this formidable performance. Although there were many strong performances, my favorite standout was a song I have never heard about, “When I Was a Boy.” Hearing the story about the life of a transgender male, who always felt trapped in his woman’s body and wrote the song just prior to his death, brought a meaning to the words that might have otherwise been lost. But it was a beautiful arrangement that allowed his words to be heard about LGBT rights that those before us never had. Its message was so loud and clear, I still am thinking about this song and its
relevance in our society today. “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story,” from the musical “Hamilton” was another phenomenal choice in artistic direction. With the use of narrators and soloist Cary Lynn Feller, it was a perfect fit translating a well-known song into an anthem of LGBT history and its future. “Where Have All the Flowers Gone,” a timeless piece of music that was written during the Vietnam War protests, was also a splendid performance. It reminded me of needless wars and conflict — past and present — and that we need to learn from our previous mistakes to make a
better future for all. My hope is that the audience understood the relevance and worth that these words have today. “Teach Your Children” (Graham Nash) evoked a similar message. Bringing a smaller ensemble up to the front of the stage, including children present who sang along made this a touching and memorable performance. With beautiful harmonies, exceptional soloists, and the consistent use of the spoken work, there was not a single melody in the afternoon’s performance that was not moving, powerful or engaging. The artistic direction of all of these arrangements really brought home the intended message of the Women’s Chorus. The San Diego Women’s
—Albert Fulcher can be reached at email@example.com
San Diego Women's Chorus Artistic Director Kathleen Hansen leads the audience to sing along with the chorus.
10 T H
Space Reservation Deadline: June 27th
Chorus has some exciting upcoming events, after an already record-breaking season of performances. An ensemble from the chorus will be traveling to Grand Rapids, Michigan from June 27 – July 21 to participate in the Sister Singers Choral Festival, which occurs every four years and brings together feminist women’s choruses from around the country. Hanson has been asked to conduct a newly commissioned work as part of the festival’s mass chorus. During Pride Week, the chorus will present its next concert “A Million Dreams” at the Irenic in North Park. There are some new commissions that the chorus gained, which will likely make the next concert as successful as its spring concert. It is promised to be an upbeat, fun, family friendly concert to kick off Pride weekend.
AN N IVERSARY
friday, may 18
Hilton San Diego Bayfront • 1 Park Blvd. Downtown San Diego
Buy your tickets now! Space Reservation Deadline: July 3rd
To advertise, call (619)961-1958 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Tickets are available at events.thecentersd.org/HMDB or by calling 619.692.2077 All proceeds from this event will benefit The San Diego LGBT Community Center. In the last year, The Center provided more than 73,000 service visits to San Diego community members, and through its events, activities and advocacy, touched the lives of thousands more.
gay-sd.com FROM PAGE 1
learned the most strikingly being a part of all of those institutions of power and then being on the receiving end of those things, even as a homeless person, if that makes sense.
allow. That was the thing that I found most striking — the immense amount of camaraderie and solidarity that I had to have. (RB): How did you get through that experience? Is there anything you could pinpoint? (CM): Other people. Letters as well. I keep reminding people: Prison solidarity is very important. Send letters. They get to us. It reminds us that we’re not alone, that we haven’t been forgotten. Please write letters to prisoners. Do not forget about us. It is very easy to feel forgotten when you are in prison. [There are a number of organizations that offer opportunities to write to prisoners, including the LGBTfocused Black & Pink.] (RB): In what ways has your experience in the military and in prison changed your opinion of them? (CM): These are all intersecting institutions. I wrote a paper in 2014 on the intersection of the prison-industrial complex and the military-industrial complex [published in the anthology, “Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex”] and, at the end of the day, there is an enormous overlap between the structures of power that comprise the military, and what supports that, and the defense industry, and what supports the prison-industrial complex. Prisons, whether
h ANN 0t
LGBT FILM fESTIVAL
RS IVE AR
June 7—10 2018
I was able to briefly speak with Manning before she gave a talk at San Diego State University. While Manning could not address her candidacy, due to federal regulations that prohibit campaigning on university grounds, she was able to speak about her time while incarcerated, her post-release experience and the state of the LGBT community. We begin with her experience in prison. Rick Braatz (RB): Is there anything you could say about your time incarcerated? Chelsea Manning (CM): I would say that the thing that I took away more than anything else was the immense sense of camaraderie and solidarity that I had, and I continue to have with my fellow prisoners. We were placed in such an extreme and volatile environment for a long period of time. We never wanted to have conflict to happen. We wanted to live our lives. We were placed in an institution that would continually screw with us, interfering with our daily lives. So, we lived in this constant state of an intense fear and anxiety, which they stoked, so we would have to come together as a community to push back and fight, to find ways to deal with our own problems in our day-to-day lives that existed outside of what they would
GAY SAN DIEGO May 11 - 24, 2018
Chelsea Manning speaks up close and personal about her time in prison, transgender rights and challenges (Photo by Rick Braatz) they be private, public prisons or police apparatus, there is an overlap where there are fusion centers, like the intelligence sharing [community]. If you take a step back and look more at the abstract, these are systems of control and power that have this power to give you a label and to categorize you, and define you, and then make decisions about where you fit in life and what happens to you. Whether you are targeted for a drone bombing or whether you go to prison and are called a ‘criminal’ or whether or not you are deported — these institutions of power are all-encompassing but they're all a part of this underlying systemic structure. That was the thing that I
(RB): What has your experience been like post-release living as a transgender woman? Have you experienced any prejudice or discrimination? (CM): We all do. I’m a public figure. I deal with a lot of online harassment. It hasn’t really interfered too much with my day-to-day life, which I attribute to kind of living in bit of a bubble in that sense. But you know, I also have this trans fam, which is this extended family of friends that I have. There’s a lot of doxing where you’re harassed by having your personal information posted online or targeted for speaking out, you know about being trans and dealing with this stuff. A lot of people are outing us, if we are not out, to our employers. So, a number of my friends in the last year have faced an enormous amount of friends that have been fired from jobs because of posts about trans issues. I have people who have been harassed by Nazis online. Being out as a trans person makes you a target in so many different ways than just being trans. So, it does impact our jobs and access to things, and there are a lot of nasty people out there and with the
—Rick Braatz is a sociologist, social worker, journalist and a former editor of Gay San Diego. He can be reached at email@example.com
Thursday, May 17
YA+ Discussion Group
LGBT Military Support Group 6-7:30 pm, The Center
Bi Coming Out Group 7-8:30 pm, The Center Join The Center’s discussion group on bisexuality from on the third Wednesday of every month. It’s a welcoming space to share your experiences, ask questions, discuss community issues and meet likeminded people. This group is open to all persons who are sexually and/or emotionally attracted to more than one gender. For more information, contact Aaron Heier at firstname.lastname@example.org.
www.thecentersd.org The San Diego LGBT Community Center 3909 Centre Street • 619-692-2077 Twitter: @LGBTCenter
Fleet and Family Support Services and AMPA’s LGBT Military Support Group is open to all LGBT Active Duty Service Members and their families. The group meets the third Thursdays of the month. For more information, contact Caroline Bender at 619.545.3615 or email@example.com.
Thursday, May 17 & June 7
non-Binary Gender Identity and exploration
Wednesday, May 16
(RB): What do you think about the state of LGBT community? (CM): I’m noticing that the community is being attacked from all sides. I attribute this to a backlash from the 2015 ruling [on gay marriage]. For the first time in a decade and a half, poll numbers for queer rights have actually been going down, which I attribute to … people are really seeing really hateful things with their public figures. They have this air of authority about them. And I’m thinking of, not just the president, political figures in state-wide things, the bathroom bills that have been thrown out against trans people — all of these things are not necessarily about the legal structures and the things that they are saying, it’s about sending a message to people: It’s OK to hate people and that’s what we’re facing. We’re making it OK to be homophobic and transphobic again. You know we were always facing this harassment and it got better but now it’s not getting better again.
Tuesday, May 15 & June 5
YA+ meets the 1st & 3rd Tuesdays of each month. It is a bilingual discussion and support group for young people who are HIV+. For more information, contact Ricardo Gallego at firstname.lastname@example.org or 619.692.2077 x116.
2891 UNIVERSITY AVE, SAN DIEGO, 92104
internet, it has intensified the range in which that can happen because if you have a Twitter account, anybody can see that. A lot of my friends have even had to make their Twitter accounts protected or private.
events @THeCenTeR 6-7:30 pm, The Center
7:30-8:45 pm, The Center Anyone who identifies with any part of the non-binary gender spectrum or anyone questioning/exploring their gender identity is welcome to join this discussion group. Facilitators bring topics of discussion while leaving plenty of space for group members to steer the conversation where they would like it to go. This group also serves as a social gathering space for non-binary individuals. The group meets on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays monthly at The Center. For more information, contact David Vance at email@example.com or 619.692.2077 x109.
GAY SAN DIEGO May 11 - 24, 2018
FROM PAGE 1
Rodriguez-Kennedy said that he had been homeless for a time after his discharge from the Marine Corps under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” restrictions, and that led him into politics. Roberts noted her experiences as a transgender person inspired her need to bring forward LGBT issues and presence among Republicans. Formal debate questions kicked off with purely political topics. “Do LGBT people need a voice still in politics?” asked Hurley. Roberts replied yes, noting the need is more pronounced at the national level. Rodriguez-Kennedy agreed, quoting a political aphorism. “As the saying goes, if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu,” Rodriguez-Kennedy said. He described Trump administration policy as deeply anti-LGBT. Hurley then drilled down successively into splits within the respective political parties. To Rodriguez-Kennedy, Hurley inquired about racism among Democrats. He replied that
he understands racism in a systemic context and admitted a Democratic Party racial divide in San Diego County. For Roberts, Hurley posed the question of experienced transphobia. “No, absolutely not. I’ve had 99 percent total acceptance,” Roberts said. “Do Democrats need new leadership? How are Democratic progressives and old-schoolers getting along?” Hurley asked. Rodriguez-Kennedy pointed to a culture of toxicity that he believes can be overcome by bringing together all advocates of social justice causes, from all intersectional backgrounds. “That’s the whole point of being a Democrat,” RodriguezKennedy said, “We are a big tent party and solidarity is important.” “Is LCR recognized by Republicans? Is there middle ground between LCR and religious people among GOP activists?’ asked Hurley. Roberts assessed that the state of Texas has problem areas, with conditions similar to those in California five to seven years ago. “We need to educate and engage,” Roberts said. “About religious conservatives versus
(l to r) Gina Roberts, Log Cabin Republicans San Diego Chapter president, LGBTQ Debate moderator Morgan M. Hurley and Will Rodriquez-Kennedy, president, San Diego Democrats for Equality (Photo by Albert H. Fulcher) LGBT conservatives. There transportation in particular, is no pure party. We succeed as the biggest issue driving in getting along by just doing new and renewed political it. We are not giving anything activism. up.” “And transgender bathroom “What about desired changchoice, whose rights are being es from the respective parties?” infringed?” asked Hurley. Hurley asked. “Certainly not mine. I’m Roberts cited California going to the bathroom. If you and national GOP platform have a problem, you’ll have language referring to marto wait,” Roberts said. She riage as between a man and explained that she had never a woman. Rodriguez-Kennedy encountered objections while spoke of membership growth at conservative organizaand inviting new younger tions and only once ever in a voters into the progressive Southern state. RodriguezDemocratic fold. He sinKennedy stated that any gled out economic justice, transphobia would be grounds
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gay-sd.com for dismissal of a member of Democrats for Equality. Roberts added that the bathroom issue is not covered in the current Republican Party-political platform, making the case that the issue has backfired and has been abandoned among the GOP. “If it hurts to shoot yourself in the foot, quit doing it,” she said. Hurley then addressed recent actions from local governments to respond to national-level border security policies. Rodriguez-Kennedy praised local governments that oppose Trump administration moves toward tighter borders and tougher immigration standards. “Local governments have a duty to protect all others,” Rodriguez-Kennedy said. “We oppose splitting up families. This is a cruel policy.” “Sanctuary cities are a bad thing. This is about criminal activities,” Roberts said in response. She drew a distinction between the City of San Diego disfavoring enhanced border security and the San Diego County Board of Supervisors opposing sanctuary cities. “The county runs the jails,” Roberts said, “And county officers have to make reports to immigration officials.” “Entire spectrums of the public feel they cannot come to police to report crimes because they fear deportation,” Rodriguez-Kennedy replied Roberts responded with another distinction. “We have to distinguish between legal and illegal immigrants. The focus should be on criminals,” she said. Roberts continued that people should not fear reporting criminals such as drug lords to police. Further, she said that police should not query about immigration status for those reporting crimes. Rodriguez-Kennedy took his argument further. “There is no fundamental difference between legal and illegal in immigration,” he said. “This is just about a piece of paper. And people on that side lump all immigrants together as unfit.” “And about the proposed border wall?” Hurley asked. Roberts recounted on-scene reports from the Campo area, which she described as being totally open to cross-border traffic. She said Campo residents are reporting that after partial construction on personal properties, border-crossers who traverse landowners’ property are less desirable people, including serious criminals. Rodriguez-Kennedy scoffed. “The real reason the wall is talked about is that it’s popular. This is all bravado. Trump likes to build big things,” he said. “This is a waste of taxpayer money and resources, when money should be spent on repairing potholes and taking care of veterans, on real bread and butter issues.” “How untouchable is the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment?” Hurley questioned.
see LGBTQ, pg 12
NEWS / THEATER
Rise and fall of Anita Bryant
FROM PAGE 1
BABYCAKES Stavros and co-founder Rafael Del Rio created a product and service from scratch that embraced the LGBT community, just as its predecessor David’s Place, which opened up during the height of the AIDS epidemic. Babycakes’ involvement in the community is strong and passionate with its Sunday Fundays events. Babycakes’ allows the community to utilize the space for fundraisers and are a staunch supporter of many events with both its products and presence. With its friendly atmosphere, award winning bakery, food selection and bar, this is more than a business to Stavros, Del Rio and their loyal customers. Stavros said that this was not an easy decision to make but is adamant about their continued involvement with the people the love and serve. Stavros said that they truly believe giving over the past decade has come back to them in many ways. “We have supported the community when we were able and the community in turn has supported Babycakes,” he said. “We will continue to support the community and we will never forget our roots, as our roots go deep. Given the expansion, we will have more opportunity to give. We understand the universal balance of … give and you will receive.” Due to its overwhelming success of its award-winning cupcakes and memorable celebration cakes, the new bakery will quadruple in size, offer ample parking and be conveniently located at the intersection of I-805 and Highway 54. It plans to keep its Imperial Beach location and will have a storefront at the new bakery in Paradise Hills. Stavros said that they also have longer range plans to open a storefront in North County and East County. Stavros said the sky is the limit as they build the Babycakes brand, allowing it to have a presence at its customer’s dinner table by adding it to local restaurants’ menus and on the shelves of neighborhood markets. “There were many variables in making the decision [to relocate], including some that were out of our control,” Stavros said. “Babycakes has been a lifestyle for us, making it challenging for us to separate the personal and professional aspects of a business. At the end of the day, it is a business and we ultimately need to make decisions that were in the best interest of the Babycakes brand. If the yellow brick road leads us back to Hillcrest, we would be honored to return. Hillcrest is where the heart is.” In the beginning, Stavros said they opened during the recession with a lot of skepticism and opposition. “This actually
GAY SAN DIEGO May 11 - 24, 2018
World premiere musical takes a step back in LGBT history Albert H. Fulcher | Editor
Babycakes President and Co-founder Christopher Stavros (Photo by Albert H. Fulcher) strengthened our work ethic to succeed and overcome the social doubt,” Stavros said. “The experience of opening a business in trying times was personally rewarding and only possible with the support of the community and perseverance. I would not change a thing. Thank you to those who have supported Babycakes over the past 10 years, and you know who you are, with much gratitude.” Stavros said he understands the community’s love and support of its current location. “The spirit will always be alive at the venue while it stands, yet we are moving on and taking with us the
pride in doing our best in continuing the LGBT history,” Stavros said. “We will continue to show our true colors at other future locations and hopefully make a positive impact on other neighborhoods throughout San Diego.” Babycakes San Diego’s new location is 2315 Reo Drive in Paradise Hills. To keep up with the latest on Babycakes and the move, visit BabycakesSanDiego. com, or follow Babycakes on Facebook and Instagram at @ BabycakesSanDiego. —Albert Fulcher can be reached at albert@sdcnn. com.t
San Diego, CA - TIME IS NOT A FACTOR IN YOUR LIFE Dave Hohle, CSB
May 27, 2018 2:00PM Free Talk Activities begin at 1:30 First Church of Christ, Scientist San Diego 2450 2nd Ave. San Diego, CA 92101 (West of Balboa Park at Laurel Street & 2nd Ave) This talk explores how we can begin to gain spiritual freedom from limitation associated with time and age.
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Diversionary Theatre’s “The Loneliest Girl in the World” hits the stage on May 24 and runs through June 24. The musical’s story, which follows the life of Anita Bryant and her loyal fan Tommy is based on the book by Gordon Leary, who also adapted the words to lyrics for Julia Meinwald’s musical score. Diversionary Theatre Executive Artistic Director Matt Morrows directs. Morrow said this musical has significant historical LGBT history that is fit for everyone. “It’s a world premiere musical about the gay rights movement between 1958 and 1978,” Morrow said. “It is seen through the lens of the rise and fall of Anita Bryant and a young man who comes of age during that age and loves Anita Bryant until she turned anti-gay.” Morrow said this musical is delightful, moving and reveals an important part of our history in an engaging way. “I truly believe it portrays a time when our community begins to galvanize, organize and really get it together and resist in a way that really made a difference,” he said. “I believe that this is inspirational to hear right now, because right now we are going through a similar chapter in American history where unfortunately we have people running the country that want to roll back the clock,” he
(l to r) Sam Heidt (Tommy) and Allison Spratt Pearce (Anita Bryant) (Courtesy of Simpatika)
continued. “They want to see the LGBT community as having no rights. It’s crazy that we are still fighting this fight across the country on this level. They are stuck in a particular time, but they are in a position of power now.” Morrow said this musical takes a look at that period of time, but it does it in a loving, magical, mischievous way, so it doesn’t come off as being polemic. “We’re not pounding you over the head with the politics of it,” Morrow said. “It doesn’t sugar coat anything, but it does sweeten the story. “What’s really great about this musical is that it is a love letter to people of a certain age of people that lived through the period,” he continued. I believe they’ll be able to see themselves in the story. And it’s also brand new, so I think that will attract a younger generation, a different demographic that will learn more about our history and how we got be here where we are now.” For more information about Diversionary Theatre visit diversionary.org. Albert Fulcher can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
OPINION / COMMUNITY VOICES
GAY SAN DIEGO May 11 - 24, 2018
A little self-care goes a long way I celebrated my 38th birthday last week, and rather than a big party with lots of gifts — as I have done in previous years — I decided to give a gift to myself. Realizing that 38 means that I have legally been an adult for 20 years, it felt like it was time to reflect on those last two decades and think about what lies ahead for me. While I’ve done pretty well and been fairly lucky in my endeavors, it’s certainly been the result of a lot of hard work. I made the decision many years ago to dedicate my life thus far to serving others, and I don’t see that ever changing. Whether it be in a professional capacity as an employee or leader of an LGBT organization, or by continuing to support causes I care about with my time or resources, I will always be there for my community. When I entered San Diego State University (SDSU) as a freshman in 1998, all I wanted to do was go to college, study music education and get out in four years. I didn’t plan to make my gayness too big of a deal, though I did pledge to myself that I would be out of the closet to everyone I came into contact with. However, after I was on campus for a couple months, I realized that plan wasn’t as easily said as done due to what I perceived to be a not-so-LGBT-friendly campus culture. I joined the LGBT Student Union in late October 1998, and while I didn’t realize it at the time, that decision changed the course of my life. Realizing that music wasn’t in the cards for me (in high school I was a talented fish in a small sea, but in college I was just an average fish in a giant sea), I changed my major to “undeclared” and found myself immersed in LGBT community activities. Through being involved with the LGBT student group, I learned so much about the local LGBT community and beyond. I also had the opportunity to meet and learn from many of our community leaders. Because of the work I got involved with, I ended up staying on campus as a student for nine years (I might have purposefully stretched out my time there), and then had the opportunity to be on staff at SDSU for another five years after that. I’m proud of the work accomplished on campus during those years, especially when I see what a great place SDSU is for LGBTQ students today. That early experience that started 20 years ago really solidified my commitment to my community. Over the years, I’ve learned so much about the diverse parts of our community. As I continue to do this work, it’s incredible what I learn from those around me every day. I love seeing people go from struggling with their identity to being open, proud members of our community who support others. I love when our community comes together to lift each other up. I want to do this work forever in some capacity. But in my personal reflections on my 38th birthday, I also learned I need to take better care of myself. Many people who do this work spend so much time taking care of others that they forget that the most important person they can take care of is themselves. Without taking
Back Out with Benny Ben Cartwright
Creep of the week — Donald Trump By D’Anne Witkowski I was in a coffee shop and the song “Safe and Sound” by Capital Cities started playing. I’ve heard it many times and while it’s good, I’ve never paid much attention to it. But I just finished reading Sarah McBride’s memoir “Tomorrow Will Be Different: Love, Loss, and the Fight for Trans Equality.” In it, this song plays a special role in her relationship with Andrew Cray, the man she would fall in love with. The man she would marry. The man she lost four days after their wedding to cancer. So the song now makes me think of these two young people finding love in each other, making a life together and the tragedy of that life together being cut so terribly short. But today “Safe and Sound” took on even more significance because as I was listening to the song I was reading about the Trump administration’s plans to scrap transgender health care protections. As the Boston Globe so plainly puts it: “The Trump administration says it plans to roll back a rule issued by former President Barack Obama that prevents doctors, hospitals and health insurance companies from discriminating against transgender people.” This is, of course, terrible, cruel and completely unnecessary. But there’s an added layer of awfulness: one of the people instrumental in crafting the rule protecting trans people was none other than Andrew Cray. EDITOR Albert H. Fulcher (619) 961-1960 email@example.com CONTRIBUTING EDITORS (619) 519-7775 Sara Butler, x118 Jeff Clemetson, x119 CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Rick Braatz Michelle Burkhart Ben Cartwright B. J. Coleman Dae Elliott Michael immel Jean Lowerison Nichole Murray-Rameriz Frank Sabatini Jr. WEB AND SOCIAL MEDIA Sara Butler, x118
You could say this is a good example of “adding insult to injury,” but such hateful discrimination goes beyond insult. It will, however, lead to injury in that it will harm transgender people, a group so reviled by the Trump administration that every step forward toward freedom and equality under Obama, however small, has been met with hostile pushback. There’s this idea the so-called religious right has that trans people drive up health care costs with their incessant demands for transition surgery that surgeons are being forced to perform. That was one of the stated reasons behind Trump’s ban on transgender troops: the country can’t afford all these trans troops mooching off the military for health care. Let me just state that 1.) There is nothing the military can’t find money for if they want to and 2.) If a transgender person serves the country by volunteering to risk life and limb, something the vast majority of Americans will never and would never do, then the least we can do is pay for their damn health care needs, transition surgery included. As McBride points out in her book, people are much more likely to support trans equality if they know a trans person and the number of Americans who know someone has grown a lot in the last few years. But that number is still quite small because the transgender population is quite small. If we have to wait until every American gets to know a trans person before full COPY EDITOR Dustin Lothspeich
SALES & MARKETING DIRECTOR Mike Rosensteel (619) 961-1958 firstname.lastname@example.org ADVERTISING CONSULTANTS (619) 519-7775 Heather Fine, x107 Sloan Gomez, x104 Brenda Vergara, x110 EDITORIAL ASSISANT Jess Winans SALES ASSISTANT Erik Guerrero SALES INTERN Eric Diaz EDITORIAL INTERN Cassidy Klein Jordon Damond Naja Chaidez
equality is achieved, we are never going to get there. Which is why cisgender people need to advocate for trans folks. As anyone who isn’t a cisgender heterosexual white male knows, having to fight for your most basic rights and constantly advocate for your own humanity is “exhausting.” And unfortunately for transgender Americans, they are the direct target of the most powerful people in the country. It’s not a fair fight by any means, but so long as we have hateful bigots in D.C., trans people are in an especially dangerous position. Though let me be clear: trans people have always been in danger. While we’ve witnessed some gains in recent years, trans people are at a higher risk of discrimination and violence. Trans women of color are at an especially high risk of physical violence and being murdered. If you support trans equality, you need to be more than a silent partner. Speak out and stand up for trans people. Want some tips for how to be a good ally? The National Center for Transgender Equality has an excellent guide at transequality.org at gaybe.am/ RX. As Martin Luther King Jr. wrote, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Putting it another way: Until trans people are safe and sound, nobody is safe and sound. —D'Anne Witkowski is a poet, writer and comedian living in Michigan with her wife and son. She has been writing about LGBT politics for over a decade. Follow her on Twitter @MamaDWitkowski.t
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GAY SAN DIEGO May 11 - 24, 2018
Call him ... Ambassador Ric Grenell Conversations with Nicole Nicole Murray Ramirez
(l to r) Matt Lashey, Judi Grenell, Ambassador Ric Grenell an Ivanka Trump after a ceremony held at the White House appointing Ric Grenell as the 29th U.S. ambassador to Germany (Courtesy of Ric Grenell)
Major milestone in Germany’s new ambassador
Past gay ambassadors nominated by the president served small countries or countries anyone hardly heard of. Well not this time as last week former San Diegan Ric Grenell was sworn in as the 29th United States Ambassador to Germany at a White House ceremony attended by his beloved mother, Judi, brothers Jeff and Brad, as well as his husband Matt Lashey and his parents Dave and Nancy. Also attending was the president's daughter Ivanka Trump, Kellyanne Conway, Hugh Hewitt, actress Suzanne Somers and Vice President Mike Pence.
Ambassador Grenell's outstanding career as a top policy and communication advisor at almost every level of government indeed makes him the most qualified gay American ever to be nominated. In fact, Grenell was the longest-serving spokesman for our great country at the United Nations. Grenell is now one of the highest-ranking LGBT members of the current administration, but his nomination received hardly any support from national LGBT leaders and organizations as he is a wellknown national gay Republican leader. For months, he was attacked by Democrats on bogus issues and some even tried to paint him as anti-woman. Among those who did support his nomination were Stuart Milk, Harvey Milk Foundation founder; Nathan Page, International Court System executive director; Rob Surreal; the International Imperial Court Council; Canada and Mexico presidents; and yes, myself. I spent months lobbying for his confirmation and comprehend first-hand the hypocrisy and bias of many of our LGBT leaders and organizations, who passed judgement on him without ever knowing him or meeting him. But for many, all they needed to know was that he was a Republican. And let me make it very clear that I don't agree with all of Ric's political positions (I didn't agree with all of the Clintons’ and Gov. Jerry Brown's positions but voted for them), but I do know this. Grenell is a proud gay American and has supported LGBT civil rights all his life
and is happily married to his husband, and like many of us, is a Christian. I first met Ric in the 1990s as we were strong supporters of Mayor Susan Golding and we both served in her administration. Recently, I asked Grenell what he best remembers about those years and he said, “Working with Susan Golding who saw the East Village (Ballpark District) as a must-accomplish project when so many people thought she was crazy.” He also came to San Diego to advise the congressional campaign of former Councilmember Carl DeMaio, who I also supported. The day that Grenell got confirmed by the U.S. Senate, he called me and expressed his sincere appreciation for my support ... that is the way he has always been — loyal to his friends as well as to his community. This past Sunday, I asked Grenell what most he was looking forward to when he moves to Germany and he said, “I am looking forward to working with the German people to deepen our crucial alliance with them. We have so much in common and our differences are minor when compared to the crises we face around the world.” The day after his confirmation, Grenell joined the president and vice president at the White House to welcome German Chancellor Angela Merkel to the United States.
The Rev. Dr. Smith, Rev. Bridges and Rev. Koeshall
Recently, I had the honor and pleasure attending and speaking at three ... yes, three
Dance helps LGBT youths gain confirmation South Bay Alliance Dae Elliott
South Bay Alliance is proud to have worked in conjunction with Mar Vista High’s Gay/Straight Alliance to bring the Sweetwater High “Lost in Wonderland, Glow in the Dark” district-wide dance on April 21. DJ Iredance provided the music that kept 60 youth dancing all night. This is an all-around community effort to create not merely an accepting special annual dance for our LGBT youth and their friends, but a celebration of our diversity. Proceeds from the dance will be donated to the True Colors Fund. As with South Bay Pride, recognizing the need for affirming with such events in our own neighborhood of South San Diego County is extremely important. Many of us live in parts of San Diego where we feel affirmed, others live in parts where we feel reasonably safe, and still others, with as much progress as we have made, feel it is risky to be our authentic selves. Our youth are even more susceptible to feeling this pressure to conform within our heteronormative culture. There are still people who bully, disdain, reject, and assault our LGBT youth right here in San Diego County. In many cases, our youth do not know if even their families will accept them. Our
GSA’s have worked wonders in the schools and yet LGBT youth are overrepresented in the homeless population. The Williams Institute reports 40 percent of the homeless youth identify as LGBT. The Trans community feels the stigma even more harshly which contributes to far more suicide attempts (five to six times the amounts found in the population at large). This dance and the work of our local GSA’s are examples of community-based activism. “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude” (Maya Angelou). Our youth are stepping up to change it. They need to be supported in their endeavors. It is by facing the challenges of making change, both the failures and triumphs, that create our leaders of tomorrow. As both the executive chair of South Bay Alliance and a sociologist at SDSU, I know we have many leaders within our midst with that ‘can do’ attitude. The MVH GSA students are a great example. I am also extraordinarily grateful to MVH’s Gay/ Straight Alliance advisory teacher, June Rogers, for her efforts in cultivating this incredible bunch of young people to step into our shoes and march towards the future. Kudos to all of you! Mishelle Banaga is putting on a ‘fun’raiser to help keep SBPRIDE2018 a free event.
Mishelle’s B’day Bash fundraiser is on May 20 from 12–8 p.m. Regina Styles is our emcee. The bands that will be playing are Ingénue, Veronica May, Network, Girl in the Middle, The Real Fake News, The Social Animal, and Karina Frost & the Banduvloons. To all of these great bands, thank you for your generosity and time. I love how the community reaches out to make this happen every year. Admission is free but we will be selling you burgers, veggie burgers, hotdogs, and all sorts of sides. We will also have drinks available (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic). Thank you, Kim, for lending us your gorgeous yard in Point Loma to have the party. Bring your chairs. She suggested using Uber or Lyft since parking will be limited (and also, then you don’t have to worry about driving home)! Sister Ida will be handing out opportunity prize tickets that will be given out throughout the day. All proceeds will go towards South Bay Pride Art & Music Festival. And finally, mark your calendars: SBPRIDE 2018 is Sept. 8. —Dae Elliott is a founding executive committee member and the current executive director of South Bay Alliance, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and organizer of the annual South Bay Pride Art & Music Festival. Contact her at email@example.com
Nicole Murray Ramirez with the Ret. Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church of the United States (Photo by Nicole Murray Ramirez)
prominent pastors’ birthday tribute celebrations held three days in a row. First was San Diego Metropolitan Community Church’s Rev. Dan Koeshall ... a very beloved man who has a smile for everyone. Koeshall was celebrating his 58th birthday. The next day, it was a high tea 60th birthday celebration for the Very Rev. Penny Bridges, dean of St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral. Bridges is one of the most respected clergy in San Diego and her leadership and devotion to the homeless and poor is amazing. I had a good time when I gave my remarks sometimes in the voice of Queen Elizabeth ... well, maybe in reality, Queen Victoria. When I spoke at the 90th birthday tribute luncheon of Rev. Dr. George Walker
Smith at the Christ United Presbyterian Church, I called him “the Martin Luther King Jr. of San Diego.” And indeed, he is. In my life, I have met and worked with Harvey Milk, Cesar Chavez, had dinner with presidents, governors, senators, as well as Mrs. Coretta Scott King. Well, Smith on that list of great Americans I have had the honor to work with or meet. Smith believed we were all God's children and we met in the 1970s and worked together for the civil rights and equality of all San Diegans. It was truly indeed my honor to speak at these true Christian leaders’ birthday celebrations. God bless them all. —Nicole Murray Ramirez has been writing a column since 1973. He has been a Latino/gay activist for almost half a century and has advised and served the last seven mayors of San Diego. Named the “Honorary Mayor of Hillcrest” by a city proclamation, he has received many media awards including from the prestigious San Diego Press Club. Reach Nicole at Hillcrestqueen5@ gmail.com. Editor’s Note: The opinions written in this column are the author’s own and by no means reflect or represent the opinions of the staff and/or publisher of Gay San Diego and/or its parent company, San Diego Community News Network (SDCNN). The newspaper and its staff should be held harmless of liability or damages.t
Vote for Jeff Bleich for Lt. Governor! Visit: www.jeffbleich.com Strong supporter of California’s gay and lesbian community!
The Sierra Club’s endorsement: “Hands down the best candidate for Lt. Governor in 2018” The San Francisco Chronicle’s endorsement: “….depth of experience, a strong candidate….” 30 years experience with many issues, including education, the environment, California lands and coastal issues, homelessness, domestic violence, LGBT issues, many others. See for yourself at jeffbleich.com Other endorsements: Jackie Speier, Adam Schiff, Ro Khanna, Howard Dean, Ted Lieu, even James Clapper, who has never endorsed anybody for anything!
A crucial primary election for California’s future, please vote!
Jeff Bleich, candidate for Lt. Governor (jeffbleich.com)
GAY SAN DIEGO May 11 - 24, 2018
Persistence pays off.…so never give up #LGBTB2B Michelle Burkart Since our last column in March, I traveled to San Francisco to attend the Western Business Alliance (WBA) annual summit. The WBA is comprised of 22 LGBT chambers of commerce in the western part of the United States. This year, the host chamber, the Golden Gate Business Association (GGBA), sponsored a power luncheon and three-day meeting. The theme was the “LGBT Business Economic Summit” whereby participants were divided into groups to discuss five key issues affecting the success of our business community, and to suggest three to five concrete solutions that all the chambers could use and execute. The energy at the summit from the companies taking advantage of the LGBTBE opportunities promotes this issue’s title of “persistence does pay off!” With that in mind, I will continue to introduce you to those LGBTBE companies and supplier diversity partners that are working to keep the LGBTBE certification momentum moving forward by persisting and not giving up. A prime example of this goal is found in Joe Maak, CEO of Pride Resource Solutions in San Diego. His company provides project
(center) Joe Maak, CEO of Pride Resource Solutions in San Diego provides project management and other facility management-oriented services to public utility companies. (Courtesy of Joe Maak) management and other facility management-oriented services to public utility companies. I first learned about this LGBTBE company from a feature article in the San Diego Business Journal, Aug. 28, 2017, titled, “LGBT Certification Gives Co. Visibility, Opportunity.” After reading his story, it was clear Maak benefitted from good timing, taking advantage of an opportunity, and persisting in following up wherever those opportunities could take his company. According to Maak, “My aerospace job was ending with the relocation of the company I worked for as a facility manager. I wanted my own business so started it in 2014, at the same time California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC)
LGBTBE certification started. I was the first LGBT business to be certified by CPUC and I saw the opportunities and visibility a certification could provide to me. I was very lucky to be in the right place at the right time. When I got certified with the CPUC, an affiliate company was looking for a LGBTBEcertified business as a subcontractor to help them win the bid. Thus, within a short time I got my first master contract and my business grew exponentially from starting up in 2015 to $5.5 million in revenues in 2017.” He has not stopped there. In 2016, he received his National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) certification, which is nationally recognized and attended its annual supplier diversity conferences. He also
attended local and state supplier diversity workshops, and matchmaking events to build his network of strategic partners. The impact of his LGBTBE certification certainly jump-started his business. It allowed him to grow to more than 40 employees in 15 categories of “mission specialists.” His business plan projects 250 employees by 2020. Although Maak experienced rapid growth, he says he wants to diversify into other industries, and into the federal contracting world. He stated that the main impact of the CPUC LGBTBE certification, aside from revenues, was the growth of “reputation and credibility” in his company’s performance record as a certified contractor. This will support his diversification into other contracting areas. Since the LGBTBE certification is not mandated on the federal level, Maak is persisting in finding ways to climb this mountain, especially in this current climate that challenges most diverse communities. I asked Maak the advice he would give to other would-be LGBT-certified business owners, to which he replied: ● Be sure to have adequate funding sources, as you are paid 60-90 days out. ● Persistence is really important and take time to talk to everyone even if there seems to be nothing to talk about, as you never know who you will meet. ● Seek out the people in the supplier diversity department to build relationships
gay-sd.com in order to get to the decision maker. ● One does not know everything, so find strategic partners, mentors, or other business owners that can help you navigate the ups and downs of growing your business. The LGBTBE-certified business owner has access to others across the nation so you are not alone. ● Use the supplier diversity resources available to you. With the CPUC affiliates in California, for example, there are great trainings, mentoring and support that a LGBTcertified business has access to through the various affiliate supplier diversity departments. Sempre Energy spends 43 percent of its $9.3 billion budget with diversity-owned businesses, and in 2016 it spent $36.6 million with LGBT-certified businesses so the opportunities are there for us. Maak built a business from a one-person startup and experienced the same growing pains all entrepreneurs do building their company. He may have been in the right place at the right time to start his company. However, to retain that growth and to expand, Maak concurred with our title that persistence pays off…so never give up! —Michelle Burkart is the principal at Diversity Supplier Alliance. Questions? Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on LGBTBE certification visit diversitysupplieralliance.com.t
Bisexual, pansexual, queer, non-binary or something else? Life Beyond Therapy Michael Kimmel I recently met a new client, a man who identified as bisexual. He asked me, at our first session, “Do you believe in bisexuality?” I admit I was a bit stunned by the question. “Of course, I do,” I replied. He said, “My previous therapist told me that bisexuality doesn’t exist.” I kept my mouth
from dropping wide open, but, inside, it did the drop. “How can this be?” I thought to myself, “How could anyone be so ignorant?” Today I was talking with a friend who is celibate, straight Catholic priest. We were talking about straight men and their fears of touching other men and he said, “Yeah, isn’t it amazing how most straight men are attracted to other men, but it scares the hell out of them?” I asked him, “Are you?” He said, “Yes, I find other men attractive.
I think we all do. Most of us don’t do anything about it … but we feel the attraction nonetheless.” When a long-term relationship (with a man) ended for me shortly after moving to San Diego, I went to the Bisexual Group that met at The Center. I used to think that I was exclusively gay, but, now, I was surprised to find certain women at my gym very attractive. I wanted to explore these feelings. I told a friend that if Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie came up to me and said, “Hey, would you like to have a threesome with us?” that I’d have absolutely no hesitation. I found both of them very attractive. Still do. Lately, pansexuality has been in the news with the coming out of singer/actress Janelle Monae. And, of course, queer is another descriptor that many in our community employ. With all these ways to describe ourselves and our community, what does it all mean and what do we do with all these terms? This wonderful variety of descriptors allows us a degree of self-definition that we have never had before. You can define yourself and that can change if you so desire. I have clients who identity as gender neutral, gender queer and
non-binary. How great that we have all these ways to describe ourselves. Sure, it can appear confusing if you don’t know what they mean, but as our world changes and expands, we can refuse to grow and learn (and become rigid and bitter) or we can welcome new information and experiences into our lives. When I lived in San Francisco, I used to go to an event called “The Pansexual Ball.” It was a lot of fun (and a pretty wild scene). Their New Year’s Event was definitely for the sexually open-minded and adventurous. I met amazing people at these events, people who were so far beyond labels that I gave up even trying to find the “right” ones. If you’re unsure what these terms mean, ask the people who use them, if you can, or Google them if you must. I opt for the former. I learn more from how people describe themselves than from textbook definitions of different kinds of sexuality. For example, I really liked this woman’s description of her bisexuality: “I like men and I like women. I’m attracted to both, fantasize about both, have dated and kissed and enjoyed sex with both. “If you lined up 100 people I’m physically drawn to, maybe only four would be women,
but the depth of attraction I’d feel for those women would be the same as for the men. This was true when I was 23 and entered my first romantic relationship (with a woman), and it’s true now that I’m 38. I do not think of myself as 4 percent lesbian but 100 percent bisexual. “My longest relationship was with a woman, and I pictured a wedding, trips to Europe, raising kids. I’ve been to couples’ counseling with a woman. Even when I’m gray and wrinkled and have had my life forcibly downsized and my driver’s license revoked, and my wardrobe reduced to velour loungewear, I will still go both ways.” So, whether you (or someone you meet) call yourself bisexual, pansexual, queer, non-binary or something else, can you open yourself to new possibilities for self-definition for our community, or will you resist change and growth? The choice is yours. —Michael Kimmel is a licensed psychotherapist who specializes in helping LGBT clients achieve their goals and deal with anxiety, depression, grief, sexually addictive behavior, coming out, relationship challenges and homophobia. Contact him at 619-955-3311 or visit lifebeyondtherapy.com.t
Classic music never dies
‘Smokey Joe’s Café’ takes you through an era of music Theater Review Jean Lowerison You’ve seen fancy musicals and serious dramas and classic comedies. Now it’s time to sit back, relax, and listen to the soundtrack of a generation. “Smokey Joe’s Café,” playing through June 9 at OnStage Playhouse, offers a cast of nine fine singers and a band of six with an evening of 37 songs by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. Shirley Johnston directs. Don’t worry, you won’t be looking at your watch. Leiber and Stoller wrote primarily in the ’50s, cranking out unforgettable novelty numbers like “Yakety Yak” (wherein mom lays down the law) and “Charlie Brown” (“Why is everybody always pickin’ on me?”) as well as real standards like “Jailhouse Rock,” “Spanish Harlem” and “Stand by Me.” And let’s not forget that great classic “Little Egypt,” about the dancer who had “a ruby on her tummy and a diamond big as Texas on her toe.” “Smokey Joe’s Café” opened in New York in 1995. Nearly five years later, it became the longest-running musical revue in Broadway history. Notice that word “revue.” Realizing it’s not a play will save you the pointless effort of trying to “make sense” of what is essentially a concert. The set design (by Teri Brown and Chad Oakley) is simple, with movable furniture and standing pillars that are
draped with filmy fabric so that one or another cast member can stand behind them. The band is to the left as you enter, and they’ve nicely toned down the decibel level so it’s not too loud in that small space. The songs are mostly presented by two or more singers, but each singer gets a chance to shine in at least one solo. You’ll see those familiar doowop moves (choreographed by director/choreographer Shirley Johnson) in the group numbers. Belinda Pickens’ “Hound Dog” will disabuse you of the notion that anybody is “cryin’ all the time” (Elvis changed the too-racy original lyrics). And you’ll love her beautiful, round sound on “Fools Fall in Love.” Dominique Dales comes into her own in the poignant “I Keep Forgettin’” (we’re not in love anymore). Emma Rose Tarr demonstrates that she can shimmy, hit those high notes and belt out a song with the best of them. Shirley Johnston gets to sing some of my favorites: the melancholy “Pearl’s a Singer,” the cheeky “Don Juan” and the suggestive “Some Cats Know” (“Some cats know how to stir up the feeling. But if a cat don’t know, a cat don’t know”). The women get their chance to shine together in the triumphant “I’m a Woman” – celebrating the strength of women — which may have inspired Helen Reddy and Ray Burton’s “I Am Woman.” Tenor Kyle Leatherbury takes advantage of his ringing falsetto on “I (Who Have
(l to r) Reggie Hutchins, Raymond Stradford III, Emma Rose Tarr, Kyle Leatherbury, Dominique Dates, Alex Salazr-Dunbar, Shirley Johnston, Jake Strohl
(front) Kyle Leatherbury (back l to r) Raymond Stradford III, Alex SalazarDunbar, Jake Strohl, Reggie Hutchins
GAY SAN DIEGO May 11 - 24, 2018
Smokey Joe’s Café’ Plays through June 9 OnStage Playhouse 291 Third Ave., Chula Vista. Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets: 619-422-7787 onstageplayhouse.org Nothing).” Raymond Stradford III shines (with the less-than-interested Dominique) in the desperate “Love Me/Don’t.” Reggie Hutchins has great stage presence, and his lead singing on “Poison Ivy,” “Loving You” and “Dance with Me” is excellent. Jake Strohl and Alexander Salazar-Dunbar were both in OnStage’s wonderful production of “Spring Awakening” last year. Strohl is a fine tenor and a good actor. Baritone Salazar-Dunbar seemed a bit tentative on opening night and doesn’t move as gracefully as the others. But he came through vocally on the amusing “You’re the Boss” with Dominique. “Smokey Joe’s Café” isn’t Shakespeare, but it’s a fine evening’s entertainment. —Jean Lowerison is a long-standing member of the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle and can be reached at email@example.com
(l to r) Dominique Dates, Emma Rose Tarr, Belinda Pickens, Shirley Johnston (Photos courtesy of Adriana Zuniga-Williams)
Jake Strohl and Emma Rose Tarr
GAY SAN DIEGO May 11 - 24, 2018
(Photo by Alejandro Ramon)
North Park will soon see the arrival of a tasting room and restaurant by 619 Spirits, a local distillery established several years ago as a wholesaler and which is now headquartered in the East Village. The company specializes in vodka with various infusions and will allow customers to build their own cocktails with the vodkas via electronic tablets. The space will span more than 4,000 square feet and feature a full bar, a dining area serving lunch and dinner, an outdoor patio, and a production area with stills. It’s due to open by mid-June. 3015 Lincoln Ave. Chef Brad Wise and business partner Steve Schwob, the managing partners behind 100 Proof and Trust in Hillcrest, are opening a third Uptown venture in the coming months—this time in Mission Hills. “We’re still ironing out the concept and name,” said Wise, revealing only that it will be “an elevated restaurant” in The Fort, which is a mixed-use Jonathan Segal building. 1011 Fort Stockton.
Co-owner Matty Ramon and general manager Paris Sukomi Max (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.)
The main dining area features a row of tables along the front windows. (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.)
The lease for Paesano in North Park is up for grabs through the property brokerage firm, Location Matters. The restaurant’s proprietor, Joe Romano, owns the building and has yet to decide whether he will retire or reopen at a different San Diego location once a tenant is found. Paesano originally opened on nearby Ray Street in 1967 by Romano’s parents. The restaurant moved to its current address in 1972 and has become a mainstay for pizzas and classic American-Italian entrees. According to broker agent Mike Spilky, “We’re talking to multiple people interested in leasing the space for restaurant use. And we’re looking for a
MO’s Universe Group has added a chic restaurant-lounge to its portfolio of eating and drinking establishments, all located within Hillcrest. Named insideOUT because customers essentially end up under partly open skies after walking inside, the LGBT-owned venture occupies the ground floor of the new, striking-red Eitol Towers apartment complex at 1642 University Ave. The restaurant boasts a sizable bar, a reflecting pool and a terraced patio with built-in wood benches. It opened quietly on April 27 without much marketing hoopla. “We didn’t want to overwhelm the staff,” said Matty Ramon, a partner in the restaurant group, which also operates Baja Betty’s, Hillcrest Brewing Company, Gossip Grill and Urban MO’s. He added that the project was nearly two
An iconic Italian restaurant in North Park may disappear (Courtesy of Location Matters) long-term tenant that will be good for the community.” 3647
An intimate omakase sushi bar is coming to San Diego (Courtesy of Alternative Strategies)
San Diego’s first omakase-only sushi bar is due to open in Kearny Mesa by
years in the making and describes it as “an elevated oasis.” Heading the kitchen is executive chef and co-owner Maryjo Testa, whose menu points to grilled Spanish-style octopus, Moroccan-spiced chicken tagine, and filet mignon cooked tableside on hot stones. The cocktail, wine and beer lists were created by Mo Girton of Gossip Grill. She, too, is a co-owner along with entrepreneurs Chris Shaw and Stefan Chilcote, and architect Mike Burnett. When asked how insideOUT might affect competition within the neighborhood, and whether it will impact establishments within MO’s Universe Group, Ramon said, “Our goal is to cooperate with other businesses within the community and create more business for everybody rather than steal it away. It’s all about working together.” 619-888-8623, insideoutsd.com.
mid-summer. Named Hidden Fish, the 1,000-square-foot space will feature only 13 seats
30th St., 619-291-4090, paesanoofnorthpark.com. and offer dining sessions lasting either 30 or 90 minutes. The Japanese term “omakase” means that customers leave the selection of what they eat up to the chef. Here, the menu will be void of pedestrian fare such as miso soup and California rolls and instead feature artistic constructs using ingredients like local sea urchin, sea bream, caviar and truffles. The restaurant is headed by chef John Hong (known also as Chef Kappa). He was previously the lead chef at Bang Bang in the Gaslamp Quarter. 4764 Convoy St., Suite A, hiddenfishsushi.com. —Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
A ‘pink lady’ lunch Restaurant Review Frank Sabatini Jr. She’s old, regal and very pretty. And she resides along one of the most stunning shorelines in San Diego. Known as the La Valencia Hotel — and “La V” or “the pink lady” by wealthy denizens — the pink-stucco edifice has retained all of its Mediterranean-style splendor since opening in 1926 in the heart of La Jolla. For those who may never find themselves sleeping in her famous lap of luxury, a meal at the hotel’s flagship restaurant, The Med, is the next best thing. Wander through La Valencia’s unassuming entrance off Prospect Street, then past an outdoor patio and a casual bistro named Cafe La Rue, and you’ll encounter The Med to your left. The threshold leads into a soothing parlor-like dining room replete with heavy wood tables, upholstered chairs, sconce lighting, detailed molding and a cozy fireplace. Large windows along the backside of the room look out to a panorama of lush landscaping and blue ocean. Also, in eyeshot is The Med’s outdoor terrace, situated about a half-level below the indoor dining room. Oddly, in so many lists of San Diego restaurants sporting the best views, food and travel writers often fail to include The Med. Executive chef Alex Emery presents a menu dominated by seafood. Beer-steamed clams, for example, prove an excellent starter if you’re keen on spicy chorizo and garlic confit in the scheme.
From the raw bar, he offers a near-classic shrimp cocktail that we found irresistible. Served over ice, the dish held four peeled Mexican white shrimp of jumbo size, standard cocktail sauce and charred lemon. It’s the kind of appetizer that never goes out of vogue in historic, upscale places like this. Emery is a graduate of the San Diego Culinary Institute and began fondly working with seafood at The Oceanaire Seafood Room in the Gaslamp Quarter. He also cooked at The Pearl Hotel and was a private chef in a few European countries. He describes his culinary style as “classic with twists.” Crab Louie, for instance, is served normally over iceberg lettuce with capers, hard-boiled eggs and a mayo-based dressing. It’s a construct that came into existence during the early 1900s in San Francisco. Emery instead mingles the lump crab meat with grilled romaine, shaved baguette, avocado emulsion and thousand island dressing. Sticklers of the original version won’t mind his tasteful tweaks. My companion’s lobster roll flaunted sizable pieces of Baja lobster tucked into purse-shaped brioche with tangy mustard seeds. Silky aioli made with wagyu beef fat, along with browned butter and crispy shallots added further dimension while offering a doable departure from traditional New England lobster rolls. I veered from sea to land with a fried chicken breast sandwich that exceeds the imaginations of most chefs who offer them. Marinated for two days in buttermilk, mustard powder, coriander and hot sauce, the Jidori chicken is breaded in seasoned flour,
GAY SAN DIEGO May 11 - 24, 2018
The Med 1132 Prospect St. (La Jolla) 858-424-0771 lavalencia.com/dining Lunch prices: Salads and starters, $14 to $28 Raw bar items, $17 to $19 Sandwiches, $17 to $29 Entrees, $29 to $36 fried to a cracking crisp, and served on a Dutch crunch roll. Its unique standout feature is maple aioli, which is smeared judiciously inside the sandwich to lend a teasing sweet contrast to the chicken’s spicy essence. House-made sweet pickles were included on the side. And both entrees included french fries dusted in brown sugar and Old Bay Seasoning. They were difficult to stop eating. Other lunchtime choices include grilled octopus with white beans and fennel hearts; Skuna Bay salmon rillettes with roe; a blue fin crab cake sandwich with Nueske bacon; local black sea bass paired with seasonal vegetables; and housemade linguine with Manila clams. Emery also created The Med’s breakfast and dinner menus, as well as the more casual dishes you’ll find in the hotel’s Cafe La Rue and La Sala Lounge. Since this was a workday lunch, we regretfully passed up some tempting cocktails on The Med’s drink list, which spotlights some classic favorites such as mint juleps, pisco sours and French 75s. Naturally, there’s also a pink lady made with vodka, watermelon, sugar, lemon juice and basil, a frilly drink I’m guessing only us gay males and women tend to order.
Spicy buttermilk chicken sandwich with fries (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.)
A passion fruit “egg” with cookies and nuts
Classic shrimp cocktail over ice
The Med offers a stately, Mediterranean-inspired ambiance. Our lunch ended with a splat of passion fruit sauce hitting my companion’s face. It was an artistically plated dessert of butter cookies, cashews and a meringue-like egg filled with the mouthwatering sauce. A few taps of my fork to gently crack it open had gone awry, resulting in a drastic rupture that sent some of the liquid flying clear across the
table. Indeed, the mishap bestowed toothsome levity to a fine-dining experience. —Frank Sabatini Jr. is the author of “Secret San Diego” (ECW Press), and began his local writing career more than two decades ago as a staffer for the former San Diego Tribune. You can reach him at email@example.com
GAY SAN DIEGO May 11 - 24, 2018
FROM PAGE 4
Roberts noted that she had recently gone to Washington, D.C., in a group of women to weigh in on behalf of firearms ownership rights. “The Second Amendment refers to the right of the people to keep and bear arms,” Roberts said. She stated that the phrase “the people” was carefully, purposely chosen. “The people who wrote the Constitution had just beaten the most powerful nation in the world, because of individual gun ownership,” she continued. “Mass shootings are mostly in gun-free zones. Criminals don’t care that they are breaking the law by bringing a gun into a gun-free zone. A gun incident takes two to three seconds, while police response time averages 15 minutes.” Rodriguez-Kennedy strenuously differed. “Those were wealthy white men who wrote the Constitution,” he said. “When they wrote about the militia they meant only themselves. They had muskets then, and weapons today have advanced. This is a weird, almost treasonous belief in firearms being for overthrowing a tyrannical government. The Constitution is a living, breathing document.” Roberts shot back figuratively. “The superior weapons for the colonists made the difference,” she said. “They could
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NEWS / COMMUNITY VOICES shoot British officers off their horses at a distance with their rifles. And the framers knew that technology would change. Guns can if need be put down an oppressive government.” Hurley posed a related question about whether firearms can put down or deter anti-LGBT violence. “Concealed carry is great. People with concealed carry licenses are vetted to an incredible level,” Roberts said. Rodriguez-Kennedy replied somberly that he had lost two friends in the Pulse nightclub shooting. “Training is not the case for everyone,” he said regarding gun use, especially widespread arming and use by the untrained public. “Any responsible person opposes that.” The debate continued on the subject of open transgender military service. Hurley gave background on the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT), drawing parallels before DADT repeal to restrictions on transgender troops today. The debaters agreed on open service for transgender military personnel. “There are deployability issues involved,” Roberts said, citing recovery from transitioning surgeries being comparable to pregnancy in affecting unit readiness and deployment, as a matter of national security. Hurley next asked debaters to define and discuss identity politics. “The previous party in power was aggressive in pushing us into the tiniest pieces and fragments possible,” Roberts said. “Republicans are not about breaking us up.” She expressed
exasperation and frustration over being labeled a racist automatically for belonging to the GOP. “This is used to vilify everybody.” “We are having these discussions on the Democratic politics side too. For us, this is really a civil rights issue,” RodriguezKennedy said. “We emphasize diversity, equity and justice. We embrace our differences and build coalitions.” “My party believes let’s just treat everybody equally,” Roberts said. “But this is an ugly subject. There is no easy solution to it.” She favored congressional and court action on identity politics policies rather than presidential edicts. Both debaters decried the current circumstance that 34 states permit unconditional firing of LGBT employees. An audience member, a self-described Muslim gay American, then requested statements regarding Trump administration policies seeking to limit immigration from specified Islamic nations. The disagreement on this issue turned vehement again, with audience members becoming vocal in objection to use of the term “Trump ban” as a mischaracterization. “This is not a ban, this is about more vetting,” Roberts said. “This is just about a higher threshold of scrutiny for those from countries supporting terrorism. This is a higher level of security, not a ban.” “This policy doesn’t make sense. And it’s unconstitutional to ban people on the basis of
religion,” Rodriquez-Kennedy said. Concluding comments discussed how to involve more young people in the political process. The debaters generally agreed on the topic. “The system has failed this generation,” RodriguezKennedy said. “Both parties in power have been racking up debt, and economic issues are important. We’re falling behind in this generation. Our party has active outreach.” He ended by citing Democratic support for student movements as bringing many new younger voters into the ranks of Democrats. “Across our entire party, there are amazing young people running the party,” Roberts said. “We are agreed on the national debt. Our solution as Republicans is to shrink government and allow businesses to grow by getting rid of regulations and cutting red tape. “We are failing people. Young people are recognizing that they cannot find jobs,” she continued. “We need to change, to increase the tax base, because otherwise there are no jobs.” For more information San Diego Democrats for Equality, visit bit.ly/2F7e3kA. Learn more about Log Cabin Republicans of San Diego at bit.ly/2KOnXHh. —B. J. Coleman is a local freelance journalist and editor/staff reporter with 22nd District Legionnaire. B.J. can be reached at bjcjournalist@ gmail.com.t
gay-sd.com FROM PAGE 6
care of oneself, it can become nearly impossible at some point to take care of others. Burnout is common in this type of work and I’ve experienced it a few times. A birthday gift I gave myself truly was to myself. I decided to take some alone time and reflect. I decided to pay better attention to my finances, health and exercise habits. I’m taking a minimum six weeks break from drinking alcohol (as of the date of this publication I’m on day 20!), and I’m re-evaluating the relationships I have with other people. I’m going to stand up for myself more in group settings, at work, and in spaces where I deserve to be heard, while continuing to advocate for those who have less privilege than me to be heard. It’s all part of focusing on that thing we call “selfcare,” although I look at self-care differently than many of my friends and colleagues. People often make pledges to themselves to engage in more self-care, but that often means scheduling time for a massage, bubble bath or glass of wine. To me, scheduling time to relax just seems like additional work and stress. I think self-care is a daily process ingrained in everything I do. I take short breaks throughout the day, ensure that my work is meaningful so that I actually enjoy it, and make sure that the people around me are loving, supportive, and just good people. I’ve still got a lot of learning to do, but in my 20 years of adulthood, I think I’m finally ready to take the advice I’ve given so many people over the years: take care of yourself first. I’m ready to practice what I preach. Happy birthday to me. —Benny Cartwright is the director of community outreach at the San Diego LGBT Community Center. He can be reached at 619-692-2077 ext. 106 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Note: Byline photo by Rob Lucas Modern Aperture Photography. t
GAY SAN DIEGO 13 May 11 - 24, 2018gay-sd.com
GAY SAN DIEGO gay-sd.com 13 May 11 - 24, 2018
Friday, May 11
Mama’s Day – This year’s culinary host is Emmy award-winning chef and author, Sam “The Cooking Guy” Zien, who will be providing a special cooking presentation for VIP guests. Proceeds from the event help to raise critical funds for Mama's Kitchen mission to deliver three hot, nutritional meals a day, seven days a week and free of charge to local women, men and children vulnerable to hunger due to HIV, cancer or other critical illnesses. This year, the event aims to raise $215,000 which will provide 73,000 meals to San Diego’s critically ill neighbors. 6:30 p.m. at Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine, 3777 La Jolla Village Drive. bit.ly/2I8NMmU
Saturday, May 12
Palm Springs Hot Rodeo 2018 – Two days of gay rodeo excitement in Palm Springs May 12–13 with a kick-off concert on Friday, May 11, featuring Brandon Stansell at 9 p.m. Gates open for the rodeo both days at 8 a.m. with vendors, food and festival area and early events. Grand entry and afternoon events begin at noon. Following Saturday’s performance, there will be Dancing Under the Stars from 7 p.m.–1 a.m. For more information about all events and tickets, visit: psrodeo.org/hotrodeo
Sunday, May 13
Bo-beau kitchen + cache Mother’s Day – Special three-course brunch menu from 10 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Menu is priced at $39.95 per person. BO-beau will also be serving BO-beau favorites such as croque monsieurs and chicken and waffles, the regular dinner menu beginning at 5 p.m. Reservations are required. bit.ly/2IisG5H 3 Year Anniversary Day Two – Vom Fass Hillcrest is turning 3 years old. Join them for complimentary cake, raffle prizes, gifts
with purchase and more at 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 1050 University Ave. E103. Spin San Diego – House2ourselves X Noise Complaint featuring Doorly will be performing at 3–9 p.m. at 2028 Hancock St. Tickets available at bit.ly/2jCTb7U
Monday, May 14
Comedy Night – Martinis Above Fourth Table + Stage presents Hillcrest Comedy Night with Jaleesa Johnson. Headlining the evening is Bo$$ Lady, featuring Anna Valenzuela and performances by Vanessa Gritton, Corie Johnson, Whitney Ralls, Madison Shepard and Ellen Doyle. $10 reserved seating; $15 food/drink minimum per person, doors open at 6 p.m. with show beginning at 8 p.m. bit.ly/2CQp6u7
Thursday, May 17
Diversionary Theater Industry Nights – World premiere musical “The Loneliest Girl in the World.” 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance or paywhat-you-can at the door. bit.ly/2IpcwHt
Friday, May 18
Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast – The Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast brings together more than 1,000 diverse people who support equality and justice at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. Proceeds benefit the social services programs of the San Diego LGBT Center. 1 Park Blvd., San Diego. Individual tickets are $65 and sponsor tables are available. bit.ly/2KKGi88 Top of the Bay – Established in February of 2014, Top of the Bay San Diego is the original LGBT happy hour with an entirely new point of view. Located on the Ripassi Rooftop of the Porto Vista Hotel. Five floors up with a view of the harbor. Shuttle pick up is also
available at The Loft and The Caliph in Hillcrest every 30 minutes from 5–10 p.m. bit.ly/2t6rjg7
Saturday, May 19
Un-Masquerade Ball – Burlesque, boys and girls, drag queens, as well as a special performance by Sketchalina Jones, will be featured, along with some major surprises, in an upcoming effort to support and raise awareness and money for LGBT youth experiencing homelessness as well as those living with HIV/AIDS. This is the first Un-Masquerade Ball in San Diego and will be held at the Sunset Temple in North Park from 6 –11 p.m. Extreme incognito dress is greatly encouraged. Custom, handmade masks may be ordered at UnMasquerade Ball's website at unmasqueradesd. com. Guests may purchase masks elsewhere or make and wear their own masks. The point of the Un-Masquerade Ball, in addition to raising funds and awareness for LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness and for people living with HIV/AIDS, is to remove everyday masks of social rank, status and division. Paradoxically, that will happen by wearing an identity-disguising mask to the Un-Masquerade Ball. Funds by the UnMasquerade Ball will be applied to the AIDS Lifecycle 2018 account of veteran ride-participant, Christopher Michael Lefebre, founder and lead organizer of the UnMasquerade Ball. bit.ly/2I9SL3e Launching Leaders – PFLAG San Diego County, in partnership with the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation, is hosting a scholarship awards luncheon. Scholarships are awarded to LGBT high school seniors continuing higher education or fulltime undergraduate and graduate students through a competitive application and essay process and are
awarded based on commitment to their chosen field, financial need and academic achievement. Event starts at 11:30 a.m. at The Jacobs Center, 404 Euclid Ave, San Diego, CA 92114. Tickets available at bit.ly/2HX1fiv 12th Annual Senior Resource Fair – The San Diego LGBT Community Center’s 12th Annual Senior Resource Fair will include educational and information booths. Free lunch will be provided to the first 100 attendees who are age 50 and over, 10 –1 p.m. For more information, contact LaRue Fields at 619-692-2077 x 205 or email@example.com.
Sunday, May 20
Michelle’s B’day Bash – Mishelle Banaga is putting on a ‘fun’raiser to help keep SBPRIDE2018 a free event. Mishelle’s B’day Bash fundraiser from noon to 8 p.m. Performing bands include Ingénue, Veronica May, Network, Girl in the Middle, The Real Fake News, The Social Animal, and Karina Frost & the Banduvloons. Admission is free, but food will have to be purchased. Both alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks will be available. All proceeds will go towards South Bay Pride Art & Music Festival. 1420 Willow St., San Diego bit.ly/2FWb5v6
Monday, May 21
Actor Academy – ion theatre is relaunching its highly acclaimed Actor Academy. Teaching indepth course work in scene study, deep text analysis, auditions, cold readings, improvisation, voice and movement. Skills learned easily transfer to stage work or to other scenarios where public speaking and confidence-building are essential. 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at ion’s URBN CNTR 4THE ARTS in Hillcrest. bit.ly/2IhB1Xh
1 Express pleasure orally 5 Give the once-over in a gay bar 9 It may be grand, to Glenn Burke 13 Chaplin partner 14 Collette of “The Hours” 15 Forfeit 16 Just right 17 Very top 18 Cicero's singular 19 Start of a quote that follows “I don't define myself” 22 Queen toppers 23 Made a profit of, in Mauresmo's sport? 24 Web info source 25 MBA subj. 26 More of the quote 31 By mouth 34 The Gay '90s, and others 35 Stone of “Easy A” 39 Revolution opponent 40 ___ in the hay 41 Bellow in the library
42 Homoerotic tail? 43 Two for Sue Wicks, once 45 AAA way 46 River of Gay Paree 48 Sponsorship 50 End of the quote 55 Responder to “Bite me!”? 56 Cruising 57 Black and white sandwich 59 With respect to 60 Went lickety-split 61 Began like Sheehan, with “off” 62 Precious stones 63 David ___ Pierce 64 To be, in Brest
Showtunes Spaghetti Tuesdays – Join us for a singalong and a drink with some of your favorite showtunes from musical clips, TV, movie and stage productions. $6 per person, in-house dining only 6 –10 p.m. at Urban MO’s 308 University bit.ly/2rrStO9
Wednesday, May 23
GSDBA 2018 Annual Membership Meeting – Find out about all the great things happening at GSDBA. Take the opportunity to learn about new programs and benefits, ways to increase visibility for your business, and hear about what's in store for your LGBTQ chamber of commerce. Event starts at 5:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Handlery Hotel Reef Lounge 950 Hotel Circle North. bit.ly/2FUhDKu
Thursday, May 24
“RuPaul’s Drag Race” – season 10 viewing party at Urban MO’s from 8 –10 p.m. at 308 University Ave. bit.ly/2If V88j Trans Veterans & Military Group – Meet other veterans and active duty trans folks to support and share resources for smoother transitions within the military and VA agencies; a great place to share your hopes and struggles. This group meets on the second and fourth Thursday at the Center at 7 p.m. in Hillcrest 3909 Centre St. For more information, contact transgender services at firstname.lastname@example.org Amy & Freddy – Music and comedy legends Amy Armstrong and Freddy Allen are opening and sharing the spotlight with some familiar names including Kathy Griffin, Mary Wilson and the Supremes, Phyllis Diller, Bea Arthur, Jennifer Holiday and Judy Gold. 8 p.m. at Martinis Above Fourth Table + Stage bit.ly/2jDoOhv t
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Tuesday, May 22
solution on page 14 DOWN 1 Fly cry 2 Grace to Will, once 3 Where to find some fruit 4 But of course 5 Chat room request 6 Nightclub in a Manilow song 7 One more time 8 Cynthia, who is the source of the quote 9 Marks on your lover's back 10 Rough house 11 Brody of “The Pianist” 12 Judy Garland's “___ My Shadow” 20 Starch source 21 Event for George Frenn 27 Designer Wang 28 Aphrodite's son 29 Result of four balls 30 Wight, for one 31 Miss among Cole Porter hits 32 Sitcom with Sara Gilbert 33 One way to walk in a Gay Pride March 36 Funny Cho
37 Marlon Brando, in “The Bounty” 38 Stein fillers 43 Reno action 44 Eastern philosophy 47 Bernstein's staff members 49 Ham it up on Broadway 51 Diced meat 52 Catch sight of 53 Robert of “The Brady Bunch” 54 Go in only partway, at South Beach 55 Job for a rock band 58 It may be Sapphic
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GAY SAN DIEGO May 11 - 24, 2018
...for a chance to win tickets to Divisonary Theatre’s “The Loneliest Girl in the World”