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Volume 7 Issue 11 May 27 - June 9, 2016 Humphrey's Concerts by the Bay Summer Schedule Page 21

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Safe space at the Fair


A farewell to indie rockers


! p a r w a s ’ t a Th FilmOut’s LGBT Film Festival ready for prime time

Mingling with nudes


Rufus does Shakespeare


Ken Williams | Contributing Editor If you like to laugh, FilmOut San Diego has something for you. If you like to cry at the movies, bring your tissues. And if you like films that are moody or dramatic, that’s on the festival program, too. The 18th annual San Diego LGBT Film Festival returns Friday through Sunday, June 3 – 5, at the Observatory North Park, located at 2891 University Ave. Director Casper Andreas snagged both the Opening Night (“Kiss Me, Kill Me”) and Closing Night (“Flatbush Luck”) films. The former is a film noir with a gay murder twist and the latter is a mainstream romantic comedy with a “coming out” subplot.

Around the horn After initial fall out, Padres and SDGMC find common ground Morgan M. Hurley | Editor

Italian Joe's way

Index Opinion ....…...…........…6 Community ...............….8 Theater....................11 Calendar.................22

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San Diego Community News Network

It all started with a Facebook post

Fresh off an empowering performance of the national anthem in front of 1,000 attendees at the San Diego LGBT Community Center’s annual Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast on May 19, 100 members of the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus gathered at Petco Park on May 21. They were there to participate in “Out at the Park,” the annual block-ticketed event coordinated by San Diego Pride, again to sing the national anthem, this time before the start of the Padres-Dodgers

By Margie M. Palmer

seemed reluctant to promote the event beyond those who purchased tickets for the previous Pride Night last August, said Fernando Lopez, director of operations for San Diego Pride. Then, in the days leading up to the game, there had also been tension with the Padres ticket office. In question was whether each of the 100 chorus members were required to pay for a ticket; regardless if they chose to stay for the game or not. Tickets had never been an issue in the past, said Bob Lehman, executive director of the chorus. After much back and forth, the issue was finally resolved on Friday. On Saturday, dozens of chorus

In 2011 a small group of friends decided they’d take a day trip to the San Diego County Fair; that friendly gathering has since blossomed into a daylong, full-fledged celebration of the LGBT community. This year’s Out at the Fair (OATF) will take place on Saturday, June 11, at the San Diego County Fair (SDCF), held annually at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. As in previous years, the event will feature a full day of familyfriendly activities and entertainment and will take place in the popular Paddock area. “We are excited that all of the nonprofits will also be in the Paddock this year,” said Martha Henderson, Del Mar Fairgrounds event coordinator. “In past years, they have been at the Infield Pavilion. We think this will get them more visibility to share all the great things they are doing for our community.” SDCF Marketing Manager Luis Valdivia credits the wellknown Hillcrest deejay, DJ Will Z, as being the event’s brainchild. “He’s the one who got this started as being an unofficial Gay Days,” Valdivia said. “[In 2012] we got wind of this when he started posting stuff about the second edition on social media. He wound up posting something on my Facebook page and after I heard about it I got in touch. Now we’re in our sixth year.” OATF is the only official LGBT event at any county fair in the U.S., Henderson noted. “Back when all this started, I told our then-deputy general manager that we should partner with an organization that has the widest reach in the LGBT community and make this event part of the ‘Out at’ series,” Henderson said. “She loved the idea and that’s how we wound up partnering with San Diego Pride.” San Diego Pride’s Director of Development Sarafina Scapicchio described Henderson, who coincidentally was Pride’s “Volunteer of the Year” in 2015, as being an amazing volunteer and the ‘tour-de-force’ that helps make things happen both on

see Padres, pg 19

see Fair, pg 13

(Courtesy FilmOut San Diego)

Michael McQuiggan, FilmOut’s longtime programming director, chose 37 full-length and short films for the 2016 festival — out of more than 900 entries from around the world. It’s a daunting task to produce a final lineup. “It’s difficult at times, because we have to turn down several really good films each year,” McQuiggan said. “However, we do manage to screen a few of them during our monthly screenings throughout the year. There really isn’t a formula or specific “criteria” for choosing the films for the annual festival, McQuiggan said. “We are constantly looking at other LGBT film festivals throughout the year and of course check out the films selected for Berlin, London and Sundance,”

game in front of 40,000 fans. The chorus had sung the anthem at Petco Park last August, during a separate Pride Night sponsored by the Padres themselves. On May 21, while everything appeared normal to those in attendance, local LGBT community leaders say that in the months prior to the event, things had been anything but. San Diego Pride staff stated that there were new rules being imposed on the group that had not been outlined in years past. The “Pride rally towels,” which were to be given to each ticket holder, were referred to as “hand towels” by Padres employees communicating with Pride. Padres staff also refused to refer to the event as “Out at the Park,” instead calling it Pride Night on the website and in conversations. The Padres marketing group even

see Film Out, pg 20


GAY SAN DIEGO May 27 - June 9, 2016


Alicia Champion (center) in a still from her first solo video, "Bi," which will premiere at June 3. (Photo by Chuck Lapinsky) (below) LoPresti and Champion with their 5-year-old son Lucian (Photo by Morgan M. Hurley)

Farewell San Diego Rock ‘n’ roll mommas stage a love letter to those they are leaving behind Morgan M. Hurley | Editor Danielle LoPresti and Alicia Champion are two names that anyone involved in or who appreciates the music scene in San Diego are familiar with. LoPresti and Champion, both musicians in their own right, launched Indie Fest in 2004 and have lived a whirlwind of a life ever since. In just the past five years alone, the couple has adopted a boy they named Lucian, fought a hard battle against LoPresti’s cancer diagnosis, gotten married, produced IndieFest 2015, and filmed a Christmas video that went viral. Champion also filmed a solo video, and they wrote and recorded a new album as well. As the couple prepares to move away from the city they’ve called home together for more than a decade to a new life in the Bay Area, they are asking both friends and fans to come celebrate their departure. Note — this is not your mom’s going away party, but it certainly is a rock ‘n’ roll mom’s way of doing things. Join them June 3 at Music Box for a farewell concert that features “the Best of IndieFest,” which will include Danielle LoPresti and the Masses and several esteemed guest performances. They will be introducing their latest record, called, “House of D” and Champion’s solo video, “Bi.” Gay San Diego recently caught up with the magical music duo to see what is in store. (Gay San Diego | GSD) What does “House of D” mean? (Danielle LoPresti | DLP) The title of the new record is about the new genre of music I’m doing in album form for the first time. I’ve been a big fan of deep house and and “chillout” music for a long time and have moonlighted with many house DJs over the years, adding vocals to their tracks. I wanted to make this record a lot sooner, but finding time for our own creativity has always been tough with IndieFest taking up so much of our time every year. Actually, it was hard enough to keep regular albums coming with The

Masses, let alone divert off path to do something new and adventurous. (Alicia Champion | AC) The year we put IndieFest on pause is the year we churn out new material like never before [laughs]. (DLP) Makes perfect sense, though. (GSD) I was surprised to read this was Alicia’s first video, ever. Is the song from the upcoming album or a separate project? (AC) Yup! First ever. And this single, “Bi,” is in fact an entirely separate project that happened all kinda quickly and took me by surprise. (GSD) Will the new album have more videos up on the new YouTube channel? (AC) Well, my YouTube channel is new, and this will be the only new release for the time being. (DLP) However, our very last piece of business before we leave town is to shoot the first music video off the “House of D” album (which will feature some very special guests). That video will be coming out later this summer. (GSD) It took three and a half years to make “House of D” – considering everything, was it the most challenging album thus far? (AC) Well, we launched the crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo in the fall of 2012. It went great, and we reached our goal by November of that year. Unfortunately, what happened in December [cancer diagnosis] sideswiped us all. (DLP) Since all of the following year was dedicated to surviving — not only the cancer but the chemo — our music projects were put on hold. It’s been really nice to get back to creating now that that nightmare is gratefully behind us. (GSD) Does the record document Danielle’s battle with cancer? Motherhood? (DLP) There are a few references. I think it may be the most joyous record I’ve written, though of course there are a couple of songs with some bite. It’s no secret that music is not only my therapy, but my favorite tool for social justice. I love to use it to process some of the hardest and most mysterious aspects of life and to hopefully knock some sense into folks — including myself. (GSD) Why are you moving and why the Bay Area? (AC) This move has been a long time coming. The stars just happened to line up this year. (DLP) The move is really all about family. Ever since my sister [Eveoke Dance Theatre founder Gina Angelique] and brother left the city, and now

see LoPresti, pg 17

GAY SAN DIEGO May 27 - June 9, 2016



GAY SAN DIEGO May 27 - June 9, 2016


Nudes! Exploring art with a gay men’s group By Walter G. Meyer They take their art seriously; be it with a camera, brush, pen or pencil. The Gay Men’s Art Group of San Diego meets once a month to ply their chosen media and in spite of their name, they welcome anyone, gay or straight, male or female, bi or transgender, as long as that person wants to practice depicting the male nude. Stu Schwartz is one of the five men who operate the group, but none of them want to be called its leaders and the club doesn’t have officers or titles. They just organize the events and do the setup, tear down and the other little tasks required to running any organization. “Our group was formed as a response to the closing of the life drawing program at the San Diego Art Institute in Balboa Park,” Schwartz said. “Several of our artists were regulars there and several of our models posed there. However, that very popular life art program closed and artists were then struggling to find places where they could pursue their art. That’s when a few of us gathered to try to find a location and offer a life art opportunity in our community. There are now two or three other life art programs across the county.” The group now meets inside the Diversionary Theatre space in University Heights and participants must bring their own drawing supplies or cameras. All skill levels of photography and drawing are welcome. “Since there is no instruction it’s not a class,” Schwartz added. “It’s simply a gathering of artists and photographers.” Brian Meyer uses watercolors. He sets up his easel with the studied patience of someone who has done this often. “Stu was a big help,” Meyer said. “I haven’t had a lot of formal training, just a lot of practice.” Meyer now has a website devoted to his art and has sold some of his work although he said it will take him many more years to

Photographers and free drawing artists of all skill levels are welcome to join the gay men's art group. (Photos by Walter G. Meyer) really get good with his brushes. Most of the participants have had no instruction at all, but Rob Bourne said he was in one of the last photography classes Ansel Adams ever taught. Bourne minored in art and art history in college, though he now works in the mortgage business. “Art has always just been a hobby for me,” Bourne said. “I can’t paint and I can’t draw, but I can stand there and try to look pretty so this is my way to contribute to the art world,” said Brock Warwick, one of the models for the evening who also serves on the club’s leadership team. The group usually has two or three models who do short poses for the photographers, longer ones for the artists, and sometimes two models pose at once so that there is something for everyone. Another leadership member, Doug Shieh, also participated in the sessions at Balboa Park. An amateur photographer, Shieh said he is too shy to model, but likes to practice taking photos, which is why he was willing to help run the group. Shieh has helped with some of the technical aspects of the group, such as creating the website and establishing the mailing list, among other duties. “I think it provides a venue for artists that may not have the opportunity otherwise,” Shieh said. “We’re not so much a social group, but it’s come to the point that many have returned and become friends.” The May 17 session was their seventh since the group reformed and relocated to Diversionary

Theatre. Schwartz said they have had as few as 10 people attend and as many as 31. The most recent session had 25. “So it seems as though our group is doing well,” Schwartz said. “The Diversionary Theatre, where we meet, has been very supportive of our group. However, we are not affiliated with the theater, we rent the space from them.” On Saturday, May 21, the art group hosted a fundraiser for one of their members who is participating in the AIDS/Lifecycle ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles in June. The event drew 64 attendees and brought in $2,720. Organizers were quite pleased that a group so relatively new could put on such a successful event on such short notice. “So many of the persons who attended were very generous,” Schwartz said. “Also, due to so many donations, our actual expenses for the event were under $100. It was a very successful fundraiser.” The next art session will be June 8 at Diversionary Theatre, located at 4545 Park Ave., University Heights. The cost is $10 per session — and they accept cash only, no credit cards or checks — which goes to the rental of the space. Participants are welcome to bring their own food and drink and it is not necessary to RSVP to attend. Interested parties should visit for more information. —Walter G. Meyer is a local freelance writer and the author of the award-winning gay novel, “Rounding Third.” He can be reached at walt.meyer28@gmail. com.t

GAY SAN DIEGO May 27 - June 9, 2016




GAY SAN DIEGO May 27 - June 9, 2016

Letters Open letter to Todd Gloria

Guest Editorial

Honoring Harvey Milk and our own diversity By Nicole Murray Ramirez [Editor’s Note: Following is the opening speech given on May 19 by the founder of the Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast.] Every year San Diegans rightfully come together for the Martin Luther King and Cesar Chavez civil rights breakfasts. Now once again for the eighth year, San Diegans from all walks of life have come together for the Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast. From the San Diego City Firefighters Local 145, to the ACLU, to the Lincoln Club, Planned Parenthood and the Labor Council, look around this room of over 1,000 people and you will see some of the great diversity, which makes San Diego America’s Finest City. I’ve said many times that this old queen has been blessed to have witnessed — and since the 1960s been involved with — the visibility and empowerment of two communities that I truly love and come from: the Latino and GLBT communities. That I indeed feel blessed to have known and worked with Harvey Milk during the Anita Bryant and John Briggs homophobic crusades. To have known and supported Cesar Chavez and his fight for the rights of Latino and Filipino farm

EDITOR Morgan M. Hurley (619) 961-1960 CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Ken Williams, x102 Jeff Clemetson, x119 CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Chris Azzopardi Charlene Baldridge Ben Cartwright Michael Kimmel Walter G. Meyer Ian Morton Kai Oliver-Kurtin Margie M. Palmer Frank Sabatini Jr.

workers, to have had the honor to invite and introduce Cesar Chavez at the 1987 National March on Washington for GLBT rights, which drew a million people to our nation’s capital. As a Latino, I am proud that Cesar Chavez was the first prominent civil rights leader in the 1970s to support homosexual civil rights. You see, Milk and Chavez not only knew each other, they supported each other’s causes. Both men learned from Martin Luther King and the black civil rights movement. The GLBT community and out national leadership will always be grateful to Coretta Scott King, who until her dying days so strongly supported GLBT equality. Harvey Milk not only fought for homosexual rights, but also for the rights of working families and farm workers. He focused on the plight of seniors, rent control and the poor. In Harvey Milk’s first official vote as a newly elected supervisor, he went against the establishment’s candidate for president of the board, and voted for the first elected Asian-American supervisor for board president. Martin Luther King was also a strong advocate against the Vietnam War and the prosperity of all Americans. Cesar Chavez was also not a “one issue” leader. You see, Dr. King, Señor Chavez and Harvey Milk were about human rights and equality for all people. WEB & SOCIAL MEDIA Jen Van Tieghem, x118 COPY EDITOR Dustin Lothspeich

I know and everyone in this room knows that if King, Chavez and Milk were alive today, they would be speaking out again to those who want to build a wall on our borders and deport hard working and contributing undocumented workers. They would be against those trying to defund Planned Parenthood, and those who oppose equal pay for women. They would be speaking up loudly about the Flint, Michigan water disaster. They would be speaking out against the now over a dozen states which imposed new restrictions on voting rights that limit access to the polls for people of color and young voters. And, they would be speaking out against those who are trying to demonize transgender Americans. But then I have a message to our GLBT leadership movement and organizations: Only two decades ago we added the “T” to GLBT, and have for a long time only given our transgender brothers and sisters tokenism and lip service. We have made them invisible, and now we are paying for it and playing catch up. How can Americans really know and understand our transgender community when our very own community has not done enough to truly make them our equal priority and concern.

ACCOUNTING Priscilla Umel-Martinez (619) 961-1962


WEB DESIGN Kim Espinoza

SALES & MARKETING DIRECTOR Mike Rosensteel (619) 961-1958

DISTRIBUTION Gay San Diego is distributed free every other Friday of the month. COPYRIGHT 2016. All rights reserved.

ADVERTISING CONSULTANTS Andrew Bagley, x106 Sloan Gomez, x104 Lisa Hamel, x107 True Flores, (619) 454-0155

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see Harvey, pg 7

This is to voice my support of the proposal prepared by Mr. Soheil Nakhshab, of Nakhshab Development & Design, Inc., to develop the [Truax House, near Laurel Avenue and Union Street]. When implemented, this project will be a significant and positive step forward for the Uptown community as well as the city in utilizing a critical city owned parcel for the public good. I ask for your leadership and support as I realize that you are and have been a strong advocate for the following major issues that Mr. Nakhshab addresses. 1. Rehabilitation of the [property] as a fitting memorial to Dr. Truax and the LGBT community. 2. Dedication of space in the house for use as a community-oriented facility. 3. Provision of affordable housing on the site. 4. Creation of dedicated access to link the property with Maple Canyon open space. Since these admirable goals match your own, as well as the Bankers Hill neighborhood, I strongly urge you to find a way to dispose of the property in a manner that would be conducive to Mr. Nakhshab and his plans. If this is achieved, it will truly result in a “winwin” situation for both the citizens of San Diego as well as the city. Selling the property to the highest bidder will only result in yet another overbuilt/overpriced condominium project and a one-time small contribution to the city’s General Fund. Please take action to insure this proposed development takes place on this currently under utilized property since the benefits to the larger community will continue for the generations to come. —James T. Frost, via email

Coming out on stage

[Ref: “He wants the world to know,” Vol. 7, Issue 10 or online at] One of my favorite local bands and based on the few social encounters I’ve had with Frank, he is truly an intelligent, polite, professional musician. He’s not one to skimp on songwriting, either. That is to say, nothing sounds lazy, tired, or played out. It’s all vital, fresh and inspired original songwriting of a higher standard. I must confess, the music does touch a nerve with the Stranglers fanatic in me! Cheers to Frank. —Kyle Hoffman, via


Ref: “Guest editorial: Solving homelessness,” Vol. 7, Issue 10 or online at Thanks for the thoughtful analysis of homelessness in San Diego. Very few candidates or office holders understand the duplicity and often ineffectiveness of the County behavioral health safety net. Homeless people are often plagued by some type of addiction driven by fear. The fear creates a disease, not a logical choice to use ‘Spice’ or other substances like crystal meth, heroin or alcohol to self-medicate. Peer-to-peer counseling and fellowship-like support groups and harm reduction groups have existed at the Live and Let Live Alano Club ( It is urgent for a “wrap-around program to stop HIV/AIDS and homelessness,” similar to Rachel’s House for Domestic Violence survivors to be studied and implemented now! Consideration urgent. —Robert Tice, via gay-sd.comt

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

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

Business Improvement Association

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


GAY SAN DIEGO May 27 - June 9, 2016



(l to r) Nicole Murray-Ramirez, Big Mike Phillips, and Eddie Reynoso of the San Diego LGBT Visitor Center, visit the Harvey Milk memorial bench in Balboa Park on the slain LGBT activist's birthday, May 22. (Courtesy Eddie Rey) FROM PAGE 6


Let us all stand together, and yes, fight for our transgender sisters and brothers and youth who are under attack. In closing, this coming election will be one of the most important in our nation’s history. Will America continue to move forward, or will we go backwards? The next president of the United States, he or she, could be appointing up to three Supreme Court justices.

And as for local elections, it has been said that if a community does not have a seat at the table of local government, they could end up on the menu. For over two decades the GLBT community has had a representative on the San Diego City Council, a representative who served all the people of the 3rd District, and yes, at times, the 5th District. Now, with our transgender community under attack it is more important than ever to have a GLBT representative on the San Diego City Council. On this day when we celebrate

the legacy of Harvey Milk, let us remember that GLBT Americans still do not have full and equal rights. Indeed, the GLBT equality movement is the last civil rights movement of the 21st century. As Harvey Milk said: “I have tasted freedom. I will not give up that which I have tasted. I have a lot more to drink.” Indeed we do. —Nicole Murray Ramirez is a city commissioner of the city of San Diego and the founder of the Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast.t

The Greater San Diego Business Association (GSDBA) has announced its list of business awards nominees, which will be presented at the annual business award and scholarship dinner June 16. Though the GSDBA is viewed as the local LGBT chamber of commerce, all allies are welcome to join as members. This year’s nominees are: (Business of the Year) San Diego LGBT Visitor Center, Strachota Insurance, and Urban MO’s; (Nonprofit of the Year) Human Benny Cartwright wearing a #BeTheGenRights Campaign SD, Lambda eration T-shirt. (Photo by Rob Lucas Modern Archives, San Diego Gay Men’s Aperture Photography) Chorus; (Emerging Business of the Year) Cody’s Home + Gifts, to date, which indicated that LGBT Chiropractic, Négociant PrEP (pre-exposure prophyWinery; (Community Leader of laxis) and PEP (post-exposure the Year) Dr. Delores Jacobs, Bob prophylaxis) medications can be Lehman, David Mannis; (Corpoextremely effective in preventing rate Partner of the Year) ComHIV transmission. erica Bank, Evans Hotel Group, The campaign relies on Hotel del Coronado. outreach team volunteers to help Members of the GSDBA can share information with comvote through June 8 online at munity members in accessible For more language and without stigma. information about GSDBA inAll members of the outreach cluding their upcoming awards team will receive a #BeTheGenerand scholarship banquet, visit aton T-shirt and a brief training by qualified staff at The Center. Volunteers are then invited VOLUNTEERS SOUGHT to sign up for opportunities as TO HELP END HIV they arise and participate on The San Diego LGBT Commu- their own time. Activities include nity Center’s #BeTheGeneration pub crawls, staffing information program is looking for volunteers booths at community events, eduto join its outreach team and help cational presentations and more. educate community members While there is no specific time about the campaign to end new commitment required, outreach infections of HIV. team volunteers are asked to #BeTheGeneration was participate in at least one activity launched in 2014 as an aggresevery three months. sive and strategic effort to end For more information or to get new HIV transmissions in San involved, contact Benny CartDiego over the next 10 years. It wright at outreach@thecentersd. was prompted by the most clear org or call/text him at 619-316and compelling medical evidence 9197.t

Local middle school students raise money for #ProjectLGBTQ Morgan M. Hurley | Editor On May 19, nine sixth graders in Emily Carter’s class at High Tech Middle Media Arts School Arts (HTMMA) in Point Loma, launched a GoFundMe page called “Project LGBTQ.” The synopsis of the fundraiser, posted by student Ava Polczynski, was as follows: “We are 9 middle schoolers at High Tech Middle Media Arts, San Diego. Our school revolves around ‘Project Based Learning,’ and as the last project of the year, we chose to help support our local San Diego LGBTQ community. Our goal is to raise awareness of LGBTQ abuse, from bullying to suicide. The money we raise will be donated to The Center, SD and SD Pride to help strengthen their support programs. Each and every one of us has a strong connection with someone of the LGBTQ community, and we really want to make a difference in our city. We are

and will be extremely thankful if you could donate. Thank you so much!” Their original goal was $750 and by the end of the first day, they’d already reached $525 in donations. The goal has since been raised to $1,000. According to Carter, the entire sixth grade is collaborating on an endof-the-year project, themed, “How can your voice change the world?” Students were given a sevenweek timeline and could engage a topic that involved animals, the homeless, the LGBTQ community, or refugee/immigrant issues. “When we returned from spring break, the four core teachers in sixth grade had designed a series of lessons based on these broad topics, to expose students to big issues out in our community,” Carter said. “A main focus of this project is perspective-taking and compassion for others. After exploring the lessons, students did some reflecting and chose the one they felt the most passionate

A screenshot from the middle-shooler's GoFundMe video. (Courtesy HTMMA) about or the one they had the biggest connection with.” Carter said after an extended research phase, the teachers interviewed the students to find out what they’d learned, including statistics that might have stood out and any personal stories that may have inspired them. These nine students were all moved by Jonah Mowry’s story, a personal video Mowry created in 2011, using just words on large index cards to share his story of bullying, self-mutilation and coming out. The video, set to Sia’s song “Breathe Me” went viral on YouTube and made the Orange County middle school student a YouTube sensation.

“Being middle school students, the bullying aspect really connected with them,” Carter said. “During the state testing week, students had the opportunity to think about what they wanted to do to help and create action plans and almost naturally the group of nine split into three groups of three. At first, their ideas were small ... brochures, a flyer, etc. But I did push this group to go bigger and make real change. They went back to the drawing board and #projectLGBTQ was born.” While the group’s initial plans for social media were somewhat low-key, Carter said they talked about what it takes to make

something go viral and the end result was a video and a GoFundMe page. “They took the idea and ran with it,” she said. “The video is 100 percent student written, created, and posted.” With another week left to go, Carter said the students have not yet been in touch with the San Diego LGBT Community Center or San Diego Pride to alert them of the fundraiser. She said they will soon be working on a script for this purpose and she will be overseeing it for how to communicate a message and professional language. Two other groups at the school are also focused on LGBTQ issues and have launched an anti-bullying poster campaign on campus and will dedicate this Friday as HTMMA School Colors and Rainbow Day. In addition, students are also raising awareness and money for the Veterans Village of San Diego and the Poway by Second Chance Dog Rescue. To see the #ProjectLGBTQ GoFundMe or contribute to their campaign, visit gqjqqtl. For more information about High Tech Middle Media Arts School, visit —Morgan M Hurley can be reached at


GAY SAN DIEGO May 27 - June 9, 2016


Come find your voice … Profiles in Advocacy Ian Morton I love to write and I’d like to think I have a talent for the craft, but I recently completed a written composition course that challenged me to push my writing style up to the level of my substance. In my conversations with the teacher of said course, Professor Karen Malfara, she advised me of a nonprofit organization for writers: San Diego Writers, Ink (SDWI). Also, to my great joy, I learned they are a mere building away from my own offices at San Diego Human Dignity Foundation at Liberty Station! Founded by San Diegan Judy Reeves, author of “Wild Women, Wild Voices: Writing From Your Authentic Wildness,” SDWI provides space and support for the burgeoning and seasoned writer alike. Originally a more nomadic “The Writing Center,” SDWI became a nonprofit about 10 years ago, but the core purpose always remained: to be the writing hub of San Diego, where people interested in writing can pen their work, participate in a class, experience a reading and connect with others. Just a glance at the SDWI calendar reveals a plethora of options to engage in reading and writing every day of the month. Whether developing your book’s characters in the Novel III workshop, exploring screenwriting on Thursday nights, or packing a lunch and a pen for the

noon Brown Bag gatherings, there is no shortage of opportunities for nearly every writing genre. While many of the workshops take place in Liberty Station, you can also find SDWI in San Diego’s libraries and coffee shops. I had a chance to catch up with Kristen Fogle, SDWI’s executive director for the past three years, to get a personal perspective on the organization. Of particular note were her thoughts about the transformative nature of what SDWI can offer. “We’ve seen several people start or write their entire novels during our drop-in prompt-based writing sessions; read-andcritiques; [our] Blazing Laptops writing marathons; and classes … We’ve seen authors get their first pieces published in our anthology,” she said. “The best transformations I’ve been able to personally witness have come out of The Artist Way classes I co-facilitate at Writers, Ink, though. Watching people unblock and change their lives to incorporate creative practices is really cool. “In a very small way, I’m able to guide people toward a more joyful life, which is what writing and art-making should ultimately be about,” she said. The anthology Fogle mentions, “A Year in Ink,” now in its ninth volume, will be presented on June 7 at the Old Town Theatre. Showcasing the poetry and prose of both emerging and more experienced writers, this is an opportunity to experience the literary talent of San Diego. This

(top) SD Writer's Ink members with their novel writing certificates from Tammy Greenway's class; (bottom) a class takes advantage of the weather just outside of Barracks 16 at Liberty Station where the nonprofit has its headquarters. year’s volume will include short stories, novel and memoir excerpts, creative nonfiction, satire, flash fiction, and poetry. Then on June 28, at 7 p.m., SDWI will hold their second memoir showcase at the Horton Grand Theater. A contest was held for the best memoir selections and professional actors will

be evoking the winning pieces. I also took the opportunity to check in with Professor Malfara, to discuss the impact SDWI has had on her life. Part of what she has discovered is a sense of community. “Writing is typically such a solitary activity, but San Diego Writer’s Ink offers writers the opportunity to form a community by bringing them together in classes, workshops and read and critique groups,” she explained. “I’ve taken quite a few of their classes led by well-published authors who continue to inspire and help me hone my craft, and I’ve also formed a number of warm supportive friendships with other writers I’ve met there.” With experience that spans magazine writing and editing, theater performance, directing and visual arts, Fogle is excited at what she has witnessed in her time with SDWI and optimistic about the future. “I’m shocked by how much we have grown in the past three years,” she said. “We have offered so many more classes, moved locations, added a space, and had a ton of collaborations in the community. I love our arts community and will continue to look for ways to work with other artists and arts organizations. I would like to investigate doing some programming in North County as well as in more of the libraries. But ultimately, I would like to continue to tap into what the community wants and offer more programs of benefit to them.” To learn more about San Diego Writer’s Ink, their workshops, writing groups, or the two events explained above, visit —Ian D. Morton is the senior program analyst at San Diego 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 ian@


GAY SAN DIEGO May 27 - June 9, 2016


Becoming more resilient Life Beyond

Therapy Michael Kimmel The same bad thing can happen to two people: one gets really down and depressed for a few days/weeks, the other bounces back to “normal“ within a few hours. What’s the difference? When I worked for Child Protective Services, we talked about “resilient children” and how they managed not only to survive abusive/neglectful parents, but to thrive in tough situations. This column is about how YOU too can thrive when bad things happen. Most successful people had a lot of obstacles thrown in their way, but somehow, they kept going. How can we? Here’s a little quiz: When you’re stuck in a bad situation, which answer sounds most like you? 1. “This sucks, but I’ll get through it and be stronger when it’s over.” 2. “Why is this happening to me?” 3. “I know that this is going to screw me up forever.” Obviously, No. 1 is the answer for the most resilient of us, but how do we get there? It’s all too easy to drift into No. 2 (I know that I do), and if we’re really going through a rough time, we might even opt for No. 3. If you want to become more of an No. 1 answer kind of person, here are some suggestions: Be grateful for what works. Stop every so often and tell yourself three things you’re grateful for. Gratitude builds resiliency. Keep learning new stuff. Resilient people don’t sit back and watch bad TV for hours (not usually, anyway). They keep growing and getting smarter and more skillful, so that when

bad things happens, they know what to do. Build a strong support network. No one can do it alone. Do your friends tell you, “Oh, you poor little victim,” or “You can get through this. How can I help?” Hint: Choose the latter. Combine optimism with critical thinking. One guy I know can build or fix anything. Since I’m far from being able to do that, I asked him how he does it. “Well, I think I can figure just about anything out, so I just keep going until I do.” When you combine skill with self-confidence, you can accomplish almost anything. Have an internal locus of control. Resilient people believe that the actions they take will affect the outcome of an event. They know that they have the power to make choices that will affect their situation, their ability to cope and their future. Be a good communicator. Assertiveness comes with resilience: we ask respectfully for what we want and negotiate until we get it, or most of it anyway. A resilient person is calm and cool, and doesn’t create a lot of drama to get her/his way. Identify as a survivor, not a victim. When dealing with any potential crisis, avoid thinking like a victim of circumstance and instead look for ways to resolve the problem. While the situation may be unavoidable, you can still stay focused on the most positive outcome possible. Ask for help. While being resourceful is an important part of resilience, it’s also essential to know when to ask for help. During a crisis, people can benefit from the help of psychologists and counselors specially trained to deal with crisis situations. Cultivate good problemsolving skills. In difficult situations, people sometimes develop tunnel vision. They fail to note important details or take advantages of opportunities. Resilient

individuals, on the other hand, are able to look rationally at a problem and work toward the best possible solution. Embrace change. Flexibility is an essential part of resilience. By learning how to be more adaptable, you’ll be better equipped to respond when faced with a crisis. Resilient people can utilize tough times as an opportunity to try new things and move in new directions. Nurture yourself. Eating junky food, ignoring exercise and not getting enough sleep are all common reactions to a crisis. Instead, by taking extragood care of yourself, you can boost your overall health and resilience and be better able to handle whatever life sends your way. In summary, you can learn to adapt to change. When you’re faced with a crisis or stressful situation, you can’t always choose what happens, but you can choose your response and become more resilient. Since bad things happen to all of us, learning to bounce back quickly from trouble is a really good quality to cultivate. Why not start now? —Michael Kimmel is a licensed psychotherapist who specializes in helping LGBT clients achieve their personal goals and deal with addictive behaviors, coming out and relationship challenges. Contact him at 619955-3311 or visit

Jef Cummings was crowned "San Diego Champion" at the regional cocktail classic in March, held at Rich's San Diego. (Photo by Aaron Cumbey)

Slinging drinks in the Conch Republic

Babycakes bartender heading to Key West Cocktail Classic Morgan M. Hurley | Editor San Diego is about to send a champion bartender to a national contest and you can help push him closer to a win. Ohio native Jef Cummings landed in San Diego 11 years ago, then spent time in San Francisco and Santa Cruz before finally returning permanently to San Diego five years ago. His first job was as a barista at Babycakes in Hillcrest, where he said he moved up quickly to supervisor. Owner Chris Stavros eventually let him try his luck at bartending and he’s been behind the bar ever since. Four years later, as that same luck — or exceptional drink slinging — would have it, Cum-

mings will soon represent both Babycakes and San Diego in Stoli Vodka’s annual Key West Cocktail Classic, taking place June 8 – 12, during the tiny island’s Pride week. Cummings won the title of “San Diego Champion” at the regional cocktail classic, which took place at Rich’s San Diego on March 18, where he beat out six other local bartenders with his winning concoction. He will now join champions from 12 other U.S. cities and two from Canada for the weeklong series of events in Key West. His winning cocktail, dubbed “Hot Flash,” was a combination of three Stoli flavors

see Key West, pg 13



GAY SAN DIEGO May 27 - June 9, 2016

The unruly world of Rufus Wainwright

can’t really coast now. I have to crack the ice a little bit. That’s the way it is. (CA) With this piece in particular, what issues are you confronting? (RW) I think a lot of this is centered around my mother’s illness and death [in 2010], and also aging is in here. I think one of the reasons “A Woman’s Face” is repeated several times — it’s really about an older man kind of fawning over a younger man and that’s a tradition that now I’m on both sides of [laughs]. I’ve been a younger man and I am that older man now, and so I see it from both sides. To have a woman [Anna Prohaska] sing it is very interesting, because that takes it into a whole other mirrored image, which is what’s amazing about Shakespeare — how many reflections [we] can illustrate depending on how old one is or how young one is or what gender one is relating to at that moment. It’s a vortex of possibilities.

Singer-songwriter on being ‘the gay Elizabeth Taylor,’ giving up on Björk and not jibing with the LGBT community By Chris Azzopardi “I’m not at the psychiatrist’s office.” Rufus Wainwright realizes that now, years later. There was a time, he acknowledges, amused by the notion that interviews such as the one we’re engaged in passed as therapy. For that reason, the singer and composer is transparent, a book that never closes. That frankness has long marked his raw musings, windows into his life as a gay man, as a former drug addict, as a son, as a father. The personal catharsis of his latest work is less discernible. Featuring guest collaborators Helena Bonham Carter, Carrie Fisher, William Shatner, Florence Welch and sister Martha Wainwright, “Take All My Loves: 9 Shakespeare Sonnets” adapts the Bard’s work within noticeably non-traditional sonic structures, because this is a Rufus Wainwright album. Before we launch into a wideranging conversation — encompassing issues he sorted through while recording the Shakespearian project, how his “very wry” personality rubs gay people the wrong

way and the Benedict Cumberbatch conundrum — Wainwright said “don’t worry,” reassuring me that even though this isn’t quite psychiatry, “I’m still pretty open.” (Chris Azzopardi | CA) Just when I think you’ve reached peak ambition, you release an album of Shakespeare sonnets set to music. Where do you think your desire to be so outside of the box comes from? (Rufus Wainwright | RW) Well, I was never in the closet, I was never in the box … I was never in my right mind! I don’t know. This album, in a lot of ways, is kind of a miracle in the sense that it’s nothing that I ever really planned on or was working toward; it sort of made itself, and all in conjunction, of course, with the 400-year anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. It just so happens that many years ago I was working on a project of the sonnets (“Five Shakespeare Sonnets,” in 2010) and somehow the work that I was doing with these poems really resonated with all sorts of people, whether it was the San Francisco Symphony wanting arrangements of them or “Songs for Lulu” [his 2010 album

Wainwright's recently released album is called, "Take All My Loves: 9 Shakespeare Sonnets." (Photo by Matthew Welch) grieving the loss of his mother, Kate McGarrigle] or other singers performing them. In fact, there are a few dance choreographers now who have started to choreograph pieces to the work, so it’s just something that happened, and lo and behold it fell right in line with this 400th anniversary. I just had to facilitate that as much as I could. What a lot of people think is outside of my box is really just me following my brute instincts and

going with that fully. I’ve never been able to work otherwise, so I suppose that will continue to be the case. (CA) Yes, you seem a bit artistically restless. (RW) Yes. Also, for me, music is where I really — I mean, speaking about being in a psychiatrist’s office — exorcise a lot of my demons and emotionally confront issues, and in order to do that I

(CA) When it comes to aging, what has been your experience as a middle-aged gay man who’s a public figure? (RW) The Catch-22 is that in 20 years — I’m 42 now — I’ll probably look back at this period as really my zenith, when I was probably the most attractive I’ve ever been. But now that I’m in the middle of it, I’m looking backwards to when I was 22 ... and when I was 22 I was really miserable! [Laughs] So it’s, “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone,” as Joni Mitchell said. But I think artistically in one’s 40s you do feel the joint rapture of both experi-

see Wainwright, pg 16



GAY SAN DIEGO May 27 - June 9, 2016


By Joe DiPietro Directed by Christopher Ashley Tuesdays through Sundays through June 12 La Jolla Playhouse Mandell Weiss Theatre 2910 La Jolla Village Drive Tickets $25-$87 858-550-1010 or

not as expected

Theater Review Charlene Baldridge The world premiere of Joe DiPietro’s “Hollywood,” which opened May 18 at La Jolla Playhouse, lacks nothing. Directed by Playhouse Artistic Director Christopher Ashley, it is grand to look at, has a faultless cast, clever staging, and an imaginative text based on a real, unsolved 1922 murder. With all those virtues, a theater critic would expect to sing the play’s praises, especially one who in childhood had to be pried loose from the cinema, who in her teens wrote to idols and framed the autographed photos she received by return mail. Having studied the case history and the era and interviewed the playwright in preparation for writing an advance article, the critic had great expectations of being wildly entertained. She was not. Perhaps it was the plethora of characters with no identifiable protagonist other than dead film director William Desmond Taylor. Maybe it was the fact that, other than he, few of these Hollywood types were likeable and many were downright unbearable, either as written or as played. As devised, no doubt by the director and the playwright, the action flits delightfully and appropriately between fantasy and reality, with Taylor (handsome actor Scott Drummond) repeatedly rising from the dead to reenact his murder again and again as new suspects are identified in his murder’s half-hearted and haphazard investigation. With conditions as they were

(Will Hayes, who eventually gave birth to the Hollywood Code, had just been appointed to oversee Tinseltown’s morals) no one, least of all LAPD or District Attorney Woolwine (Jeff Marlow), wanted the murderer to be a Hollywood insider. When the play opens, the debonair yet sensible and highminded Taylor is discouraging the advances of his current film project’s 19-year-old, billed as 16, leading lady, Mary Miles Minter (Talene Monahon), who has climbed the drainpipe outside his bedroom. Mary, who has the stage mother from hell, Charlotte Shelby (Harriet Harris), wants to play Joan of Arc in his next film and thinks seducing the director is the way to increase her chances of landing the role. After getting rid of Charlotte, Taylor greets renowned actor Mabel Normand (Kate Rockwell), whom he truly loves and has saved from drug addiction. When he fails to induce her to stay, the two say goodnight to Henry Peavey, his butler (Shaun T. Evans), and Taylor walks Normand to her car. Upon reentering his bungalow, he is shot in the back by someone who follows him through the door. The crime is undiscovered until morning, when Peavey comes to work. Hayes, Paramount Studios head honcho Charles Eyton (Lee Sellars) and the D.A. engage in


(above) Harriet Harris (with scissors) as Charlotte Shelby and Talene Monahon as Mary Miles Minter in a scene from "Hollywood," a La Jolla Playhouse world premiere; (left) Scott Drummond as William Desmond Taylor with Monahon (Photos by Jim Carmody)

endless speculative scenes that don’t increase whatever suspense there might have been, numerous suspects are named and investigated and ludicrous fantasies and realities are played out, all to the accompaniment of suspenseful and wonderfully over-dramatic music composed and played by Wayne Barker. There are subplots concerning Peavey’s homosexual peccadillos in the park and the independent investigations of newspaper reporter Jimmy Dale (Matthew

Amendt). Their shared scene is very funny. No matter: The women own the show. As Normand, Rockwell is convincing as the idolized silent film actor who may or may not still be using and who may not or may just love Taylor. Monahon is cute, but extremely irritating vocally as the not-virginal teenage virgin, Mary. This may be as intended, but it sure put me off. And despite her hard-edged vocalism (Hilary Clinton at her worst), Harris literally steals the show as the Mother from Hell, a woman willing to do anything (and she does) to prolong her little darling’s career. Caroline Siewert and Ja-

cob Bruce share a divine scene between the sheets as a seductive starlet and an assistant director, who advises her “Don’t try too hard.” So, where are the elusive elements of cohesion and suspense? Apparently, they are as difficult to capture as the truth. Scenic designer Wilson Chin, costume designer Paul Tazewell, lighting designer Howell Binkley and sound designer Chris Luessmann uphold the Playhouse’s usual high standards. — Charlene Baldridge has been writing about the arts since 1979. You can follow her blog at or reach her at


GAY SAN DIEGO May 27 - June 9, 2016


KEY WEST — Stoli vanilla, Stoli raspberry and Stoli blueberry, which he infused with jalapeño — sweet and sour mix and a splash of cranberry juice. Winners are allowed to make minor modifications for the Key West event, but can’t change their Stoli flavors or their main ingredients. Cummings is making two minor adjustments. “I was using the bar’s sweet and sour and it tends to be acidic,” he said. “Plus since the competitions happen in different places, each bar’s sweet and sour mix dramatically affect the flavor of the drink. So I’ve been making my own, using lemon, lime and agave syrup. It gives it a fresher taste in general and I have more control over the mixture. “I’ve also been playing with the level of jalapeño,” Cummings said. “I have dialed it back, so you’re getting very little heat on this finish, but you can taste the freshness of the jalapeño. “I wanted to introduce the spice because it will set me apart from the other drinks,” he continued. “I know almost everybody is going to make sweeter, creamier, more fruit-forward drinks and I wanted to go a little different direction. You don’t see a lot of jalapeño or peppers used in cocktails.” Though Cummings has never been to Florida, let alone Key West, he’s looking forward to driving from Miami through the keys with his boyfriend, Leo

Leon, and enjoying the trip’s “life experience, more than anything.” Once in Key West, Cummings and the others will participate in a welcome party, a sunset cruise, two elimination rounds and the finale, and on June 12 the winner will ride as honorary grand marshal in Key West’s Pride Parade along with Bruce Vilanch and Jai Rodriguez. The winner also catches a $10,000 prize; $5,000 for the charity of their choice, and $5,000 for the hotel hosting them. Cummings chose The San Diego LGBT Community Center’s #BeTheGeneration initiative as his charity. Friends and fans who want to help Cummings get closer to his win can vote online for him as their “fan favorite.” The three contestants with the highest number of online votes will bypass the elimination round and move straight to the Cocktail Classic finale. You can vote every day through June 2. Cummings said his coworkers, Babycakes regulars, friends Sarah Merk-Benitez and her sister Megan Meek, and especially Leon, have all been a huge support system for him throughout this competition, making signs, cheering at Rich’s, voting and sharing the link on social media, and easing his nerves. To vote for Jef Cummings and help him bypass the elimination round of the Stoli Key West Cocktail Classic, visit guqj63v. Friend Jef on Facebook to follow his journey through the competition. —Morgan M. Hurley can be reached at

GAY SAN DIEGO May 27 - June 9, 2016




the Pride side and the Del Mar Fairgrounds side. “Our mission is to increase pride and respect for the LGBT community in general —locally, nationally and internationally, and part of that involves having LGBT events in nontraditional spaces,” Scapicchio said, adding that while the event does not raise money for San Diego Pride, it does help to further their mission. “Since we’ve had Out at the Fair the acceptance level [of the LGBT community] and our footprint at the fair has grown.” “Everyone at Pride and here at the Fairgrounds knows and trusts that everything I do is for the good of everyone and the entire community,” Henderson said. “Working for both has earned me that trust and respect.” The feedback from the LGBT community, along with nonLGBT fairgoers, has been very positive. “It’s been really encouraging when you have straight couples with their kids walk by and give words of encouragement and say they’re happy that we’re doing this,” Valdiva said, noting that OATF is by no means a private party. “The fair is for everyone and we’ve made every effort to include every community from San Diego County,” he continued. “We have entertainment that caters to the Hispanic and African-American communities and we also have the Asian Cultural Festival. We

Attendees at the 2015 Out at the Fair pose for a photo. (Courtesy Del Mar Fairgrounds) want everyone to mingle and this may sound cliché but [OATF] is just another baby step in helping integrate the LGBT community into the general community.” Henderson looks forward to the fair and OATF every year. “This year’s theme ‘Mad About the Fair’ is very exciting,” she said. “The theme exhibit, located in the Activity Center, is going to be awesome and we are all excited for everyone to see it. “As for OATF, I just want to be sure everyone knows that the Fair is a safe space for the entire community,” Henderson said. “To have a day specifically to celebrate [us] means a lot to me. I am appreciative to San Diego Pride for the work they do to help communicate this to the local LGBT community, and I am so grateful to have a management team that supports it

and encourages it.” Same-day adult tickets for Out at Fair are available for purchase at the Del Mar Fairgrounds for $16. Those age 62 and older can purchase tickets for $9; while tickets for kids ages 6 to 12 are also available for $9. Advance tickets can be purchased at Information regarding the Out at the Fair event line up is available also online at outatthefair. com. —Editor Morgan M. Hurley contributed to this report. —Margie M. Palmer is a San Diego-based freelance writer who has been racking up bylines in a myriad of news publications for the past 10 years. You can write to her at margiep@alumni.pitt. edu.t


GAY SAN DIEGO May 27 - June 9, 2016

DINING The much-anticipated Cucina Sorella in Kensington opened May 26 with a menu focusing on crafty pasta dishes made inhouse. Owner Tracey Borkum previously ran Kensington Grill and Fish Public in the space, which has been redesigned for the new concept. Helming the kitchen is chef de cuisine Daniel Wolinsky, a graduate of the New England Culinary Institute, who worked in multiple restaurants around New York City and learned the art of pasta-making from famed chef Massimo Bottura of the Netflix series, “Chef’s Table.” 4055 Adams Ave., 619281-4014,

The Little Italy wine store that doubles as a wine bar pours off-menu picks on Fridays. (Courtesy Vino Carta Wine Store) Little Italy’s Vino Carta Wine Store and Bar, which soft-opened in March, has just introduced happy hour from 5 – 7 p.m. every Friday. The weekly deal, co-hosted by winery reps, affords customers four wines (averaging 3 ounces each) for $10 a person. They are mostly labels not found on the regular wine list. Vino Carta doubles as a wine bar and retail shop and also sells packaged cheeses from Venissimo, although customers are permitted to bring in their own food when drinking onsite. In addition, there are no corkage fees on Mondays. 2161 India St., 619-564-6589, Labor Day will mark the end of a 14-year run for Shades Oceanfront Bistro in Ocean Beach, which has provided a dog-friendly environment with ocean views for customers under the co-ownership of Jeff Levitt and his wife, Michelle. The couple summed up in a newsletter to customers that it was time to rest and move on. After Sept. 5, the restaurant will be renamed the OB Surf Lodge by a trio of new owners who hold various stakes in other local restaurants and bars such as Wonderland Ocean Pub a floor above, plus Bayside Landing, Resident Brewing Company, and The Local. The menu will remain focused on breakfast dishes with much of the same staff in place, and canines will still be welcome. 5083 Santa Monica Ave., 619-222-0501,

Reinvention is coming to a popular establishment in Mission Hills. (Courtesy PlainClarity) After a six-year run, The Wellington Steak & Martini Lounge in Mission Hills will close June 20 in preparation for a barfocused establishment yet to be named. Owner Trish Watlington, who also owns the adjoining Red Door Restaurant & Wine Bar, said “Wellington’s beef-heavy menu no longer fits our commitment to local sourcing.” Her decision to re-brand was fueled also by the lack of a “true cocktail bar in Mission Hills.” The business is slated to reopen in July, with mixologist Brandt Stenberg overseeing the bar program, and executive chef Miguel Valdez introducing a menu of small plates. 741 W. Washington St., 619-295-6000,

A new type of tasting event is on the calendar that has nothing to do with wine or beer. It involves kraut and kombucha. Jing Chen is heading two 30-minute sampling sessions starting at 6 p.m., May 31, inside her North Park café-kitchen-retail space named JinBuCha, where she ferments seasonal vegetables, brews kombucha, and cooks Chinese specialties such as steamed buns, dumplings and bone broth. Since opening earlier this year, she also conducts cooking and fermenting workshops. Visitors will get to taste four different types of fermented vegetables, including cabbage in the form of sauerkraut, plus her house kombucha, all of which are touted for their high levels of live probiotics. The cost is $10 per person. 3620 30th St., 858-8765464, jinbucha. com.

Jing Chen of JinBuCha prepares a tray of steamed buns (Courtesy JinBuCha) —Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at fsabatini@ rr.san.comt


GAY SAN DIEGO May 27 - June 9, 2016

Italian meals cooked Joe’s way Restaurant Review Frank Sabatini Jr. For three decades, the Busalacchi name has been associated with the kind of Italian food that satisfies the whiniest of back-East transplants who claim they can’t otherwise score a decent plate of rigatoni in San Diego if their lives depended on it. Though despite a glut of comparably notable kitchens that have emerged in recent years, the family’s patriarch, Joe Busalacchi, still leads the pack with five Italian restaurants flourishing within the urban core. Among them is A Modo Mio, which opened in Hillcrest several years ago as a welcome replacement to the long-revered Busalacchi’s Restaurant. The latter was Joe’s first venture, which he launched in 1986 a block away. After closing it, the space was eventually taken over by R Gang Eatery, and more recently, The Brew Project. Yet for anyone who remembers Busalacchi’s luscious pesto crepes, buttery garlic bread or Palermostyle red sauce of spicy Italian sausage, capers and olives draped over rigatoni, a visit to A Modo Mio puts them back into your mouth. The restaurant’s name translates to “my way,” a reflection of new and carryover dishes stipulated by Joe, who is adding Barbusa in Little Italy to his string of ventures next month. That menu will tap exclusively into his native-Sicilian roots with prized options like fresh sea urchin, and pasta with sardines, olive oil, herbs and raisins.

A Modo Mio’s menu, however, hits some playful, contemporary notes, as in the grilled cheese sandwich using truffle butter and aged Manchego. Served with a side of tomato bisque for dipping, Joe’s son, PJ, said his father made the sandwich originally for his college graduation party. Everyone swooned, he recalled, and so were we when crunching into it. Another shareable plate is the “Costatine,” a curious name given to short rib meat set atop crisp, mini potato cakes and crowned with crème fraiche. The interplay between protein and starch is elegantly European and all the more comforting washed down with a glass of well-structured house cabernet. The aforementioned pesto crepes are obscenely rich, as my companion discovered when taking paced bites. They were on the Busalacchi’s menu for 30 years before returning here. She had never tried them before, although I fondly remembered their thin pasta-like texture, silky cream sauce and dynamic basil flavor. Moments of sweetness occur when encountering morsels of sun-dried tomatoes tucked inside. To my delight, the recipe hasn’t changed a bit. Before the entrees arrived, we enjoyed an operatic performance of “Happy Birthday” sung in Italian to a nearby party by our consummate waiter Mario. He began working at Busalacchi’s a year after it opened and knows everything about the food and family history. We were in excellent hands, not to mention perfectly comfy in a corner banquette looking over the refined, warmly lit dining room. The layout extends to a convivial bar and an inviting outdoor patio stocked with space heaters.


Busalacchi’s A Modo Mio 3707 Fifth Ave. (Hillcrest) 619-298-0119 Dinner prices: Starters, $5 to $14; salads and antipasto, $9 to $28; pastas, $14 to $20; meat and fish entrees, $23 to $29

Truffle grilled cheese with tomato bisque; fettuccine bolognese (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.) My companion chose the “Gamberi Busalacchi,” a large plate of jumbo shrimp dressed in an intense sauce of Meyer lemon, pinot grigio and caper berries. The shrimp were propped against a mound of homey mashed potatoes accented lightly with garlic and accompanied by beautifully tender zucchini spears. The fettuccine Bolognese I ordered had everything going for it starting with delicate house-made noodles and deluxe ragu containing veal, beef and pork. Never does this hearty dish in other establishments

include sausage or meatballs. Yet here it comes with both — two house-made sausage links that were extraordinarily tender, plus a meatball that benefited equally from extended simmering in tomato sauce. After sopping our plates with Parmesan-topped garlic bread and designating portions of our meals to doggie bags, we couldn’t fathom the house-made cannoli or lemon meringue cheesecake we intended to order. Those and other desserts such as tiramisu, are made at the

family’s Café Zucchero in Little Italy. But there will be a next time, for sure. —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



GAY SAN DIEGO May 27 - June 9, 2016

tates] I don’t know. I just ... it’s still to be applauded because the sad truth is we are living in reactionary times now and whether it’s Donald Trump or ISIS, there is this kind of tremendous backlash to a lot of the advancements that have been made in the last 20 years, and so I think it’s probably harder in certain places to be gay now than it was a while ago. The pendulum has started to swing the other way. So, as long as people are coming out and continuing the battle, then I think it’s good.


WAINWRIGHT ence and still a sense of youth that can combine and really make you feel like you’re in the present. (CA) Your cross-genre collaborations are constantly surprising people, and there are some unexpected ones on this album. Who is someone you want to work with that we wouldn’t expect? (RW) The other day my sister Martha had her 40th birthday and we had some people up to the house. One of them was Sufjan Stevens, who I’ve admired for a long time and, yeah, he’d be fun to write a song with. I’ve given up on Björk. She’s not taken my lead. [Laughs] I’m like, “Hey Björk, let’s do this” and she’s, like, hanging out with aliens or something. (CA) I saw you in Toronto in 2014 for “If I Loved You: Gentlemen Prefer Broadway,” which was wonderful. (RW) Thank you. (CA) And I’ve seen you many times before, but not in that dynamic, with a bunch of men, many of whom were straight. So I was watching you and, of course, admiring the performances, but I was also noticing the way you interacted with the other fellas on stage and I’m like, “Rufus is such a shameless flirt.” (RW) [Laughs] I know! I’m terrible! (CA) Have you always been that way? (RW) I have. I’m just built that

way. I’m sort of a gay Elizabeth Taylor. (CA) When you’re singing a love song with Josh Groban, I can’t blame you. (RW) Yes, yes. He’s a handsome man. (CA) Did you get a chance to meet Benedict Cumberbatch while recording the BBC’s “The Shakespeare Show: Recorded Live from the Royal Shakespeare Company”? (RW) Yeah! I’ve hung out with Benedict a couple of times. He’s ... he’s quite the figure. Most amazing thing is, I can’t tell if he’s gorgeous or incredibly ugly. [Laughs] It’s a weird combination. At certain angles he looks like my aunt, and then at certain angles he looks the man who’s gonna ruin my marriage. (CA) A couple of years ago,

I was surprised to hear you say you didn’t think you had a big gay following. I’ve been following you since “Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk” and I’m definitely gay. (RW) Aww! Well, thank you. I guess I just feel with the gay community my kind of very wry and frank opinion on things can be misinterpreted. Us queers are kind of a sensitive bunch, so sometimes there’s a bit of a tempest in a teapot [reaction] when I put out certain concepts. Some people enjoy the dialectic of that and other people shy from it and, well, the gay community ... it can get a little insular. (CA) You never had to make a coming out announcement, so I wonder: How do you feel about famous people coming out making headlines in 2016? (RW) Yeah, well … I mean, it’s good that they’re doing it. [Hesi-

(CA) I know you have a lot of opinions on today’s pop divas. So Lady Gaga, Adele and Beyoncé: Which would you fuck, marry, kill? (RW) Fuck, marry, kill — oh boy. Dangerous. I guess I would marry Adele. Ahh, I would, you know, fuck Gaga and kill Beyoncé. (CA) Did you not like “Lemonade”? (RW) I just, ahhh ... whatever. I was only given a few choices, so it’s not my fault. (Laughs) (CA) You don’t have any tour stops in North Carolina, but what’s your take on how artists are handling the situation regarding House Bill 2, the “bathroom bill”? And if you did have a date there, what would you do? (RW) This relates back to what I said before: I think that any kind of pushback against this rising wave of right-wing extremism coming from large sectors in the world is a positive act. What’s good about the North Carolina thing is, I mean, I think the artists are doing their part, which is great, but I think it’s also the business leaders who are really pulling the money out of the state that’s gonna really make a huge difference. It’s all people working in conjunction from all different fields that’s important. And yeah, I’d probably pull out. (CA) So, no North Carolina shows anytime soon? (RW) No, and I don’t have any gigs there. I’ll go to the ladies room one time in protest and scare everybody. [Laughs] (CA) You’re restaging “Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall” on June 16-17 in New York and June 23-24 in Toronto. How will the music and the show reflect the way the world’s changed in the last 10 years since you first performed it? (RW) The main reason I’m doing the show again is to see what condition my voice is in. I mean, I have an inkling that it’s at the top of its game, and the only way to really prove that is to sing that material, so it’s more of a practical exercise for me to do this show again. I’ve been working very hard on my singing over the years and I want to show that off, but on a more philosophical level: I originally did this show because of my broken feelings toward the Iraq War. I needed something to remind me of how great America could be when it wanted to be, and sadly we’re in the same predicament with Donald Trump and this racist, sexist blowback. I don’t know, it just seems to be something that occurs every 10 years in the United States and I’m happy that the Judy show is gonna be back out there again because it is all the good that this country can represent. (CA) Regarding your voice: Haven’t you already proven yourself as a singer? (RW) Well, I’m a big opera fan and in the world of opera, you don’t really hit your stride until you’re in your 40s vocally. That’s when you get all the big roles, so it’s just more of a personal thing. I’m not trying to prove it to anybody; I’m just proving it to myself and also just to be really on top of the material. I loved doing Judy the first time because it was this kind of mad rollercoaster ride that I just attached myself to with handcuffs [laughs] and went along with, but this time I feel like I can hold onto the reigns a little better and just really nail it. (CA) You’ve done Judy and Shakespeare. Which other legendary figures intrigue you enough to make you want to dedicate an entire album’s worth of material to their work? (RW) The figure that’s kind of looming all of a sudden — I’m just hearing little squeaks of this in my psyche, but I’m a big [William] Blake fan. I love Blake. Who knows. Maybe something like that. I’d also like to do a French record at some point to just sort of, you know, loosen it in up a bit. [Laughs] And of course there are my own songs from my own life, so there are a lot of possibilities. (CA) And the Shakespeare character you call your spirit animal? (RW) Oh, gee. I would say I’ve always wanted to be Titania from a “Midsummer Night’s Dream,” because I’m a sad queen, really. —Chris Azzopardi is the editor of Q Syndicate, the international LGBT wire service. Reach him via his website at and on Twitter (@chrisazzopardi).t


LOPRESTI that my mother has moved north also, we’ve been feeling more and more the absence of family as we raise our own. As we prepare to adopt our second child, we know that we want our children much closer to their cousins, grandparents, aunties and uncles. (AC) Leaving San Diego is really so hard. We love our community so much. (DLP) Oh my God, so much … I can’t even explain how much sadness I feel about leaving this incredible circle of friends, creatives and social justice advocates we’ve had the blessing of collaborating with over the past decade. Not to mention how hard it is to leave our house. (GSD) Will there ever be another IndieFest — here or elsewhere? (AC) There’s lots of stuff in the works for IndieFest. There are a couple of entities in San Diego that are interested in sponsoring its continuance, and we have interest in the Bay as well to strike up a possible second event. So we’ll see what happens. (GSD) Tell me about the event at Music Box and why it was important to have this going away event. (DLP) The June 3 show will be a lot of things. It will be the CD Release celebration for both “House of D” and Alicia’s debut music video, “Bi,” which I might add, also features a very special guest. (AC) It’s also a chance for us to showcase some of the extraordinary art that’s been featured on the stages of IndieFest over the past decade including Gill Sotu, Laura Jane, The Brothers Burns, and DJ Double Score. We’ll even be screening a couple indie short films, one of which stars our good

friend and past IndieFest film artist, Annika Marks (“The Fosters”). (GSD) What has motherhood been like for a couple of rockers? (AC) Exhausting. (DLP) But amazing! We’ve definitely been forced to learn how to shorthand a lot of our preparation and perfectionism when it comes to work. There’s just not the same time any more to prepare as thoroughly before a session/show or shoot. So we’ve had to learn to trust ourselves a lot more, bless the process with all its possible imperfections and just swing for the fences. (AC) Which is what Danielle has always done anyway. (GSD) Anything you want to say about what else is in your future. (DLP) Our next project will be the music video for the first single from “House of D.” The song is called, “Holy,” and it’s my answer to the religious rights’ argument that same-sex love is wrong. Annika Marks will also star in this video as our lead, and we’ll be joined by Emmy-winning director Mike Brueggemeyer. (AC) And hopefully we’ll return back home to visit annually — maybe even more if we’re lucky — to play shows, visit and support friends, and to participate in important community events. (DLP) We’d love that so much. The Farewell Concert for LoPresti and Champion, featuring the Best of IndieFest, will take place Friday, June 3, at Music Box (formerly Anthology), located at 1337 India St., Downtown. VIP tickets are already sold out but general admission tickets can be purchased in advance for $10 (or $12 day of show) at —Morgan M. Hurley can be reached at

Danielle LoPresti, cofounder of IndieFest, will perform a farewell concert with The Masses in San Diego June 3. (Photo by Blair Robb)

GAY SAN DIEGO May 27 - June 9, 2016




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PADRES members had friends and family in the stands eager to hear them perform and excited to see them up on the park’s giant video screen, the largest in the National League and the third largest in the entire Major League Baseball (MLB). The men were escorted out at the appropriate time and lined up in midfield, prepared to sing in unison to a pre-recorded tape of their performance, which would be played over the sound system at Petco Park. According to an employee of the Padres, this has been standard practice since Roseann Barr’s infamous rendition of the anthem before a Padres game at Jack Murphy Stadium. As the men stood waiting for their cue, there was an unexpected and extended delay, then suddenly a woman’s voice came across the sound system, singing the anthem. The recording played all the way through and the men, startled, sang along as planned. When the anthem ended, there was no thank you to the chorus over the sound system as had been the case in the past, no correction for fans about who had been singing, and no apology for the miscue; they were simply escorted off the field. As they made their way past the stands, many heard boos, laughter and some heard negative comments. Someone heard a fan say: “You sing like a girl.” Another heard: “You’ve never sounded better.” The reality of what had just happened began to sink in for the men, many who had been taunted in high school sports. The chorus members were confused. They were embarrassed. They felt humiliated. They were angry. And they wanted answers. Most of the chorus members who had purchased tickets were so upset they decided to leave, and many were in tears, Lehman said. San Diego Pride reached out to the Padres that same evening and the Padres issued a two-sentence statement offering an apology. The next morning Lehman issued a statement from the chorus in which he said he expressed their confusion and how they felt at that time. It contained strong language. It described the event as a “nightmare.” It accused fans of “shouting homophobic taunts.” It demanded a “full and transparent investigation” by the MLB, suggesting “anti-gay discrimination or a hate crime” may have been committed by the person or persons who played a female voice to represent the large group of gay men. It even dismissed the Padres initial apology. The press release was stark and harsh, but it summed up the organization’s feelings and presumptions of the incident — especially with the pretext that major league sports are now well behind the U.S. military when it comes to LGBT equality — and in doing so, demanded both attention and action. That is exactly what it got. Media organizations immediately fueled the flames with sensational headlines. “Gay Men’s Chorus booed off stage, not allowed to sing at Padres game” was one local headline (this was later changed to “heckled off stage”). The sub-headline was “LGBT ‘Out at the Park’ night

turned into mass homophobia.” Inside the story, it detailed the choruses press release, but it was the headline that got the story shared by hundreds of people within the first hour. Other media began picking up the story and carrying the sensational theme. “Gay Men’s Chorus Silenced at Petco Park,” read one; “Padres accused of humiliating Gay Men’s Chorus with Homophobic Prank,” read another. “Gay Men’s Chorus humiliated in homophobic ‘nightmare’ at Padres game,” offered a third. Not surprisingly, it was the LGBT-media outlets that were coming up with the harshest, most sensational, and most clickable headlines. The mainstream media stuck to the facts and tried not to fan the flames, while still sharing what was indeed a very compelling story. Soon dozens of stories, including the Los Angeles Times, the Huffington Post, among others, and thousands of shares, kept the story in the limelight the entire day. Billy Bean, the openly gay former Padres player, now MLB’s “Ambassador for Inclusion,” released a statement Sunday afternoon, referencing the “unfortunate technical error” and assuring fans of the Padres’ support of inclusion. By Sunday night, the Padres had done an internal investigation, which caused them to fire the DJ responsible for playing the wrong national anthem and suspend the acting supervisor in the control room. Then they released a second statement, referencing their commitment to inclusion and taking full responsibility of the incident. Many deemed it still not enough. In the meantime, the MLB promised a full investigation. By Monday, Art Romero, the DJ who had been fired and known professionally as DJ Artform, had begun speaking to the media and publicly apologized to the chorus. “I let my city down,” he said. Padres CEO Mike Dee quietly met with Lehman on Tuesday. Lehman told Gay San Diego that he hadn’t been able to deal with anything but this incident since Saturday night and that in addition to Dee, he had also spoken directly with DJ Artform. Soon after, the Gay Men’s Chorus released another statement, requesting the DJ be reinstated. Dee then spoke to San Diego Pride, and a meeting with all three organizations was planned for Wednesday, May 25. A Facebook post Wednesday afternoon showed representatives from San Diego Pride, the Padres and the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus assembled around a table, smiling. Thursday morning, May 26, just hours before Gay San Diego went to press, a number of new developments occurred. First, MLB released the results of their investigation, which took place this week. They, too, found that the incident was an accident, “exacerbated by the fact that the lead entertainment supervisor had been in a car accident Friday night and thus was unable to work on Saturday and handle his typical responsibilities.” The MLB said it supported “the Padres’ efforts to remedy the situation.” Councilmember Todd Gloria, whose District 3 includes Downtown, immediately released a

GAY SAN DIEGO May 27 - June 9, 2016

San Diego Gay Men's Chorus wait for their cue on mid-field at the May 21 "Out at the Park" game (Photo by Tom Felkner) statement. “I want to commend the San Diego Padres and Major League Baseball’s swift action towards thoroughly investigating the unfortunate events which prevented the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus from preforming our National Anthem,” Gloria said. “I was heartened by the dialogue among all parties and appreciate them using this as an opportunity towards building a deeper relationship between their organizations going forward. I look forward to seeing the proud men of the Chorus singing our Anthem at an upcoming Padres game, a win for all involved.” Gloria also outlined a number of efforts the Padres have undertaken in the past to prove their commitment to inclusion with regards to the LGBT community. The Padres were the first MLB team to host a Pride Night

in 2001; they have held an Out at the Park/Pride Night event annually since 2008; in 2011, they became the first professional team to sign the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network’s “Team Respect Challenge” pledging to promote an inclusive environment among San Diego school athletes regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation; in 2014, they were the first team to invite MLB Ambassador for Inclusion Billy Bean to speak to players and front office staff; in 2015, the Padres held a pregame ceremony inviting Athlete Ally and representatives from the San Diego Unified School District to join club executives and on-field personnel to collectively sign the Athlete Ally pledge of inclusion. The SDGMC also released a statement in response to the MLB’s investigation. “It is our sincere hope that out


of this incident comes good — and that’s to continue our national conversation about professional sports, professional athletes and the LGBT community,” Lehman stated in the release. “ … We want to thank Mike Dee personally for working so closely with San Diego Pride and our Chorus. With Mike’s leadership, we know the San Diego Padres will become a national model for LGBT inclusion among all professional sports organizations.” Lehman also said the chorus was “greatly humbled and deeply touched” by the overwhelming encouragement and positive support they have received this week from around the world. Dee’s official statement was equally positive. “As we have done this week, we will continue to work with San Diego’s LGBT community to strengthen and expand the club’s relationship with them,” he said. The biggest news of the day was that DJ Artform had been reinstated, though Dee’s exact words were “in a role to be determined.” While the full details of all these meetings between the organizations will come later, it is clear that despite the rollercoaster week for everyone, things are resolving in a forward-leaning way. We will keep the community updated on whatever comes next. For complete statements from all involved, visit the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus on Facebook,,, —Morgan M. Hurley can be reached at



GAY SAN DIEGO May 27 - June 9, 2016


tary examines the true story of the largest gay mass murder in U.S. history. On June 24, 1973, an arsonist set fire to the stairwell leading up to the Upstairs Lounge, a gay bar in New Orleans. Within minutes, patrons were trapped in the raging inferno and behind barred windows. While a few heroes led some of the patrons to safety, 32 people could not escape the flames and perished. Camina, the Texas filmmaker who made the outstanding “Raid On The Rainbow Lounge” previously shown at FilmOut, interviewed emotional survivors, relatives and friends who condemn the callous behavior of the city’s police and fire departments, and its churches that refused to conduct funerals for homosexuals, and the media that barely acknowledged the horrible tragedy. To this day, no one has been convicted of the crime. Shown with a 10-minute short, “Intrinsic Moral Evil” (Netherlands), directed by Harm Weistra. Tickets cost $10.

FILM OUT he said. “Filmmakers find us now since FilmOut is in a major LGBT film festival database. “Short films are definitely more difficult to select — especially when you receive 700 of them,” he continued. “So hundreds of LGBT short films slip through the cracks. We could literally have an LGBT Short Film Festival and still not have enough room to screen them all.” After 17 years, FilmOut has become special to a number of filmmakers, such as Andreas, whose films have been showcased at the festival for more than a decade. Board members regularly get highly positive feedback from filmmakers who attend the festival. “We are a low-maintenance festival and we treat our filmmakers/talent exceptionally well — hotel rooms, air/ travel for spotlight films, additional comp tickets, etc.,” McQuiggan said. “LGBT filmmak-ers talk [about the festivals they attend] and I have had dozens of messages each festival from filmmakers telling me specifically how well-respected FilmOut is as an LGBT film festival.” A few years ago, FilmOut slimmed the festival down to only three days. “Theater rental cost was a deciding factor,” McQuiggan said. “Ideally, FilmOut should be four days: Opening Night on a Thursday, then two movies on Friday evening and all day the rest of the weekend. Adding Thursday would allow us to add two more features that we normally have to pass on. “As of right now, I am OK with a three-day streamlined festival,” he added. “Our festival is too big for Hazard Center in Mission Valley and Hillcrest Landmark Cinema. They only have 100-150 seats in their theaters. Some of our films draw 750 people. Observatory North Park or Ken Cinema are our only options. We will definitely expand for our 20th anniversary — the number of days to be determined.” But McQuiggan is getting ahead of himself. What about the 2016 festival? “The selections this year were pretty much dark in tone — ‘Kiss Me, Kill Me,’ ‘Paris 05:59 (Theo and Hugo),’ ‘ToY,’ ‘Downriver’ and ‘Closet Monster’ — or rom-coms, ‘Coming In,’ ‘Shared Rooms,’ ‘S&M Sally,’ ‘Front Cover’ and ‘Flatbush Luck,’” McQuiggan said. “There really was no middle ground. There were a few more outstanding documentaries to include, but simply no room,” he added. “And documentaries that play at FilmOut are a tough sell, unless they are about a celebrity, like ‘Tab Hunter Confidential’; contain risqué themes such as ‘Interior Leather Bar’; are socially relevant like ‘In The Turn’; or are about our history, as in this year’s ‘Upstairs Inferno.’” In all, the film festival will showcase two world premieres, six U.S. premieres and four West Coast premieres.

• 5:45 p.m. | Bisexuality Showcase

“Coming In” (Germany)

Directed by Marco Kreuzpainter West Coast premiere Kostja Ullmann portrays Tom Herzner, a notoriously hip hair stylist in Berlin who is viewed as a role model for the gay community. But things get complicated in this sophisticated comedy when Tom finds himself attracted to Heidi (Aylin Tezel), a sassy but unpretentious — and straight — hairdresser who runs an edgy salon. Shown with an 11-minute short, “The Memory of You” (Sweden), directed by Nils Asen and having its U.S. premiere. Tickets cost $10

FilmOut’s 2016 San Diego LGBT Film Festival will run Friday through Sunday, June 3-5, at the Observatory North Park, 2891 University Ave. The box office and entrance are just around the corner on 29th Street. To purchase individual tickets or an All-Access Pass to all festival events, visit

• 8 p.m. | Boys Centerpiece

(top) A scene from “Front Cover,” Sunday's Asian Showcase; (inset) a still from "Shared Rooms," Sunday's Boy's Centerpiece; (bottom) “Paris 05:59 (Theo and Hugo),” Saturday's Late Show film (All photos courtesy FilmOut San Diego) Here is the schedule of events for the festival:

FRIDAY, JUNE 3 • 7 p.m. | Opening Night film and after-party

“Kiss Me, Kill Me” (U.S.)

Directed by Casper Andreas California premiere Screenwriter David Michael Barrett (“Such Good People”) and director Casper Andreas (“Going Down in LA-LA Land”) team up for a gay twist on the classic film noir set in L.A. Van Hansis (“As The World Turns”) stars as Dusty and Gale Harold (“Queer As Folk”) as his wealthy boyfriend Stephen. After angrily confronting his cheating boyfriend, Dusty blacks out and wakes up in the middle of a murder scene. His nightmare only gets worse as he becomes the prime suspect. The stellar cast includes Brianna Brown, Yolonda Ross, Jai Rodriguez, Matthew Ludwinski, Kit Williamson, D.J. “Shangela” Pierce, Allison Lane, Jackie Monahan, Craig Robert Young, Michael Maize and Jonathan Lisecki. Shown with a 15-minute short film, “B” (Germany), directed by Kai Stanicke. The West Coast

premiere is the story of “B,” who is torn between a loveless relationship with “K” and her feelings for another woman. Tickets cost $30 for the Opening Night film and the after-party at the Sunset Temple.

SATURDAY, JUNE 4 • 11 a.m. | Best of LGBT Shorts Short 1: “The Tormentors” (Australia), directed by Darren L. Downs (16 minutes) Short 2: “Wedlocked” (U.S.), directed by Puppett (11 minutes) Short 3: “Back Again (De Vuelta)” (Spain), directed by Gabriel Dorado (13 minutes) Short 4: “The Future Perfect” (Canada), directed by Nick Citton (12 minutes) Short 5: “Girl Night Stand” (U.S.), directed by Jenna Laurenzo (9 minutes) Short 6: “Vessels” (U.S.), directed by Arkasha Stevenson (15 minutes) Short 7: “Buddy” (Netherlands), directed by Niels Bourgonje (11 minutes) Short 8: “Spare Parts” (U.S.), directed by Yasmin AllManaseer (7 minutes) Short 9: “Spoken In Jest”

(Mexico), directed by Rolando Trevino (5 minutes) Short 10: “My Life Is A Dream” (U.S.), directed by Brian Benson (9 minutes) Tickets for the 10 short films cost $10. • 1:15 p.m. | Girls Centerpiece

“ToY” (U.S.)

Directed by Patrick Chapman Southern California premiere Briana Evigan plays Chloe, a young, wealthy, talented but naïve artist whose newest artwork leads her to a beautiful, aging call girl named Kat (Kerry Norton). As each woman fights their own personal demons, they begin to grasp on to each other. It’s a story of second chances and the desperation to survive. Shown with two 7-minute shorts: “Blind Date” (U.S.), directed by Adrienne Lovette, in its world premiere; “Partners” (U.S.), directed by Joey Ally, has its West Coast premiere. Tickets cost $10. • 3:30 p.m. | Festival Spotlight

“Upstairs Inferno” (U.S.)

Directed by Robert L. Camina This powerful documen-

“Shared Rooms” (U.S.)

Directed by Rob Williams U.S. premiere This romantic comedy looks at the meaning of home and family through three interrelated stories of gay men finding connections during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Stars Justin Xavier Smith, Eric Allen Smith, Daniel Lipshutz, Robert Werner, Christopher Grant Pearson, Alec Manley Wilson, David Vaught, and Alexander Neil Miller. Shown with the 15-minute short, “Bed Buddies” (U.S.), directed by Reid Waterer and having its U.S. premiere. Tickets cost $10. • 10 p.m. | The Late Show

“Paris 05:59 (Theo and Hugo)” (France)

Directed by Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau The extended opening scenes, filmed inside a Parisian sex club, are about as intense and graphic and sexy as a movie can be. Two young men (Geoffrey Couet and Francois Nambot) lock eyes from across a darkened dungeon, beginning a long night of sex and conversation that leads to totally unexpected places. Couet and Nambot give electrifying performances that are totally

see Film Out, pg 23


GAY SAN DIEGO May 27 - June 9, 2016


Cyndi Lauper doesn't arrive until October, but there are plenty of LGBT-oriented performances before then. (Courtesy Humphreys by the Bay)

Keeping the beat on the Bay

Humphreys Concerts returns with an expanded lineup By Kai Oliver-Kurtin

Back for its 35th annual year, the Humphreys Concerts by the Bay series features more than 50 performances, with additional shows being adding throughout the season that runs through October. Singer Tori Kelly kicked off the concert season last month with a sold-out show and jazz artist Kamasi Washington will close out the music series on Oct. 7, with Tracy Morgan recently added Oct. 20. For 32 of the artists, this year marks their Humphreys debut at the popular outdoor venue on the water. “This year’s lineup is a little more diverse,” said Bobbi Brieske, vice president of Humphreys Concerts by the Bay. “It’s heavy on classic rock, but also includes more alternative acts — and, of course — our perennial favorites.” Brieske said artists are selected based on their touring schedules and which acts her staff thinks will sell tickets and enhance the lineup. “Bob Dylan sold out in minutes,” she said. “I also expect Ringo Starr, Boston, Jackson Browne, ZZ Top and The Mavericks to sell quickly, just to name a few.” According to Brieske, the success of the concert series is driven by the lineup. She said that while the venue has its own special charm since it’s outside and on the water, the performers are what make it so successful year after year. Typically nearly half of the concerts sell out and attendance varies depending on how many shows are held each season. “It’s a concert experience like no other,” Brieske said. “You’re outdoors along San Diego Bay in a tropical setting, watching your favorite artist on stage. It’s fun, peaceful or lively, depending on the artist.” Ticket prices vary depending on the show. With only 1,450 seats, even the very last row

Of interest

June 22 Neko Case/k.d. lang/ Laura Viers Aug. 12 Indigo Girls Aug. 24 Culture Club featuring Boy George Sept. 9 Lost 80s Live Sept. 30 Paula Poundstone Oct. 3 Cyndi Lauper

Other performances

June 30 Mudcrutch – Mike Campbell, Tom Petty July 1 Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band July 11-12 Boston: 40th anniversary July 19 Psychedelic Furs / The Church Aug. 21 Gipsy Kings Aug. 31 The Australian Pink Floyd Show Sept. 1 Huey Lewis and The News Sept. 2 The Mavericks Sept. 4 YES - The Album Series Sept. 23 Air Supply For complete list, visit is only about 100 feet from the stage, making it a truly intimate experience no matter where you are seated. Food and drinks are available for purchase in the back of the venue, but most shows also offer cocktail service in the seated area. Tucked in between Humphreys Restaurant and Humphreys Half Moon Inn & Suites, the venue overlooks Half Moon Marina, located on Shelter Island in Point Loma. As a result, there are also a limited number of

dinner and dinner/ hotel room and suite packages available that include preferred concert seating. Concerts are scheduled on varying nights of the week, with most shows beginning at 7:30 p.m. To view the 2016 concert schedule and purchase tickets, visit —Kai Oliver-Kurtin is a local freelance writer. She enjoys covering events, restaurant news, culture and entertainment. Contact her at





GAY SAN DIEGO May 27 - June 9, 2016


SDPIX presents ‘Divas’: This week’s “Divas” features RuPaul Drag Race season six’s Joslyn Fox, plus Kickxy Vixen, Jasmine Masters, Chad Michaels and Vanity Jones with special guest Missy Vee. Doors at 7 p.m.; show at 8 p.m. Rich’s San Diego, 1051 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit ‘The Boy Who Danced On Air’: A new musical about the tradition of Bacha Bazi in Afghanistan where poor boys are bought by wealthy men who train them as dancers and parade them as their property. The story follows two dancers — Paiman and Feda — who fall for each other and try to start a new life. Runs through June 12. 7 p.m. Diversionary Theatre, 4545 Park Blvd., University Heights. Visit


‘Smarty Pants Saturday Brunch’: Gossip Grill’s “brainstimulating” brunch menu will be served from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. From noon – 2 p.m. there will be “Not Just Trivia!” with Hillcrest Brewing Company’s Chris Daigneau. Participants in the trivia/game show can win gift cards for up to $30. Gossip Grill, 1220 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit


36th annual Ethnic Food Fair: Food and entertainment from all over the world will highlight this annual event. 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Balboa Park, 1549 El Prado. Visit


‘Marathon Monday Recovery Brunch’: Gossip Grill wraps up Memorial weekend with bunch featuring bottomless bubbles from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Buy-oneget-one-token happy hour follows from 2 – 6 p.m. Gossip Grill, 1220 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit


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. Visit facebook. com/SanDiegoLGBTPride.


Guys, Games and Grub: The name says it all! This event held on the first Wednesday of each month features free pizza, beer, wine, soft drinks, games, prizes and more. A $10 donation for attending the event will go to men’s programming at The Center. 6 p.m. San Diego LGBT Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. Visit ‘Booby Trap Burlesque Show’: A show featuring the ladies of Pink Boombox Productions plus all night happy hour. $3 cover, or free before 9 p.m. Show at 9 p.m. Gossip Grill, 1220 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit


Birthday bash at Babycakes: This birthday bash is normally held every third Saturday of the month to celebrate anyone born this month. This month’s bash has been moved to May 28. Hosted vodka bar from 9 – 10 p.m., free cupcakes, giveaways, party favors, drink specials and more. 9 p.m. Babycakes, 3766 Fifth Ave., Hillcrest. Visit SDPIX presents ‘Euphoria’: This dance party will feature Havana Brown with DJ Taj and DJ Dikno in the main room and DJ Moody Rudy and DJ K-Swift in the front room. 10 p.m. – 4 a.m. Rich’s San Diego, 1051 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit bit. ly/1szbgpk.

Sunset Poolside Jazz Series: The Westgate Hotel kicks off its third annual summer concert series with this show featuring Gilbert Castellanos Hammond B-3 Trio. Concerts continue every Thursday through Aug. 25 on the third floor of the hotel. 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. The Westgate Hotel, 1055 Second Ave., Downtown. Visit ‘The Philadelphia Story’: Cinema Under the Stars presents this film starring Katharine Hepburn as a socialite ping-ponging between ex-husband Cary Grant and tabloid reporter Jimmy Stewart. Additional screening on Friday, June 2. 8 p.m. $15. 4040 Goldfinch St., Mission Hills. For more info, visit or call 619-295-4221.


18th annual FilmOut San Diego LGBT Film Festival opening night: The festival kicks off tonight and continues throughout the weekend showcasing LGBT films from around the world. The opening film “Kiss Me, Kill Me” will screen at 7 p.m. The new thriller by director Casper Andreas and screenwriter David Michael Barrett stars Van Hansis as a jilted lover who blacks out while confronting his cheating boyfriend played by Gale Harold. Hansis’ character wakes up to find someone has been murdered and he’s the prime suspect. Observatory North Park, 2891 University Ave., North Park. Visit filmout- Gale Harold stars in "Kiss Me, Kill Me," FilmOut's Opening Night



San Diego County Fair: The fair opens at 4 p.m. today and runs through Monday, July 4. This year’s theme is “Mad About the Fair” and again promises rides, games, decadent food and world-class musical performances. Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar. Visit Danielle LoPresti farewell and Best of SD IndieFest: This event will celebrate a decade of the art and activism of San Diego IndieFest and bid farewell to the event’s founders Danielle LoPresti and Alicia Champion. The event will serve as an album release of LoPresti’s “House of D” as well as a debut for Champion’s music video “Bi.” There will be indie film screenings, special guests and more. 7 p.m. The Music Box, 1337 India St., Little Italy. Visit


Red Dress San Diego Launch Party: This launch party will reveal the venue and the theme for this year’s Red Dress Party San Diego (RDPSD). Early bird ticket sales will also open and a portion of drink sales will benefit RDPSD. 2 – 5 p.m. Uptown Tavern, 1236 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit June Jubilee: This fundraising gala for the North County LGBTQ Resource Center will feature special guest Alexandra Billings of Amazon’s “Transparent.” $100 for general admission; $200 for VIP ticket including meet and greet with Billings. VIP entry at 5:30 p.m., general admission 6:30 p.m. Private residence, 2165 Grandview St., Oceanside. Visit

Prince tribute and birthday celebration: Local musicians will gather to honor the legacy of Prince by performing his music and celebrating his birthday. 8 p.m. The Office, 3936 30th St., North Park. Visit bit. ly/1TvYynJ.


‘Showtunes Spaghetti Tuesday’: A weekly sing-along with showtunes from all eras and musical clips from TV, movie and stage productions from 5 – 10 p.m. All-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner and drink specials offered from 5 p.m. to closing. Urban MO’s, 308 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit


‘Heat Pool Party’: This monthly pool party features three DJs, games, drink specials and more. Event is 18 and up. Presale tickets are $20; general admission at the door is $30. This edition will feature DJ John Joseph and DJ VIND3R. Noon – 5 p.m. Lafayette Hotel, 2223 El Cajon Blvd., North Park. Visit 18th annual FilmOut San Diego LGBT Film Festival closing night: The festival finishes up today with several screenings from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. The closing film at 7 p.m. will be “Flatbush Luck.” All films screen at Observatory North Park, 2891 University Ave., North Park. There will also be an afterparty from 9 – 10 p.m. at West Coast Tavern, 2895 University Ave., North Park. Visit


‘Dreamgirls Revue’: A weekly revue with a rotating cast of performers and featuring drink specials. $8 cover. Showtime is 8 p.m. Urban MO’s, 308 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit bit. ly/1oRJFO4


‘Rebecca’: Cinema Under the Stars presents this Alfred Hitchcock thriller starring Laurence Olivier. Additional screening on Friday, June 10. 8 p.m. $15. 4040 Goldfinch St., Mission Hills. For more info, visit topspresents. com or call 619-295-4221. —Compiled by Jen Van Tieghem. Email calendar items to or jen@



solution on page 18



1 Start of a favorite holiday 6 Drag queen on the make 10 Orchestra section 15 Stroke your boa, e.g. 16 “La Traviata” solo 17 Porno film “___ 69” 18 Spanish painter, with “El” 19 Part of Mapplethorpe’s equipment 20 Try a Susan Feniger cookbook, e.g. 21 Start of what Grace said to Robert about a portrait on a chair 24 P-town summer hours 25 Rubber 26 Cluck of condescension 27 B. Bean’s greatest hits 29 Come out on the beach 31 Hot stuff 34 Army base 38 Greek fabulist 42 Composer Copland 43 Soothing agent 44 Words before evil 45 More of what Grace said


48 Scores by David Kopay 49 Arena cry, to Lorca 50 ___-Magnon man 51 On the other hand 52 Suffix with prefer 54 Inventor Otis 57 “Xena” deity 58 End of what Grace said 61 Opportunity for Glenn Burke 63 Soon, to Shakespeare 64 “My Fair Lady” composer 67 Elizabeth Perkins’ role in “Weeds” 68 Billy Masters’ specialty 69 Wong in a 1960 film 70 Went down on a body part 71 Groups of games, to Navratilova 72 Playground retort

1 Car ad stat 2 It’s for sweaters 3 Boat bottom bumpers 4 Jenner’s Olympic event 5 Party to 6 Balls in battle 7 Gladiator area 8 Works the shaft 9 Out 10 Mel’s role with Jodie in “Maverick” 11 Signature dish of Auden’s land 12 Rainbow flag sticker sites, often 13 Are lousy 14 DC figure 22 “Let’s do it!” 23 Land of singer S. O’Connor 28 Drummer managed by Brian Epstein 30 Opera villain, usually 31 Montmartre menu 32 “Surprise Symphony” composer 33 Like Pepper on “Modern Family” 34 Social workers’ work 35 “I Could Have Danced ___ Night”

36 Francois Ozon, to himself 37 Inclinations 39 South Beach cooler 40 When actors should come 41 Bishop and Teasdale 46 With 40-Down, Jackie’s designer 47 Interest, slangily 53 Intercourse while surfing? 55 Lint collector 56 Stallion’s sound 57 Colette’s love 59 “Now!” in a hospital 60 Lancaster of “Bride of Frankenstein” 61 When doubled, defensive fire 62 Ann Heron’s “One Teenager in ___” 65 Ill. neighbor 66 Antidiscrimination letters


FILM OUT believable and rich in depth. Shown with the 20-minute short, “Sauna The Dead: A Fairy Tale” (U.K.), directed by Tom Frederic and having is U.S. premiere. Tickets cost $10.

SUNDAY, JUNE 5 • 11 a.m. | International Spotlight

“Downriver” (Australia)

Directed by Grant Scicluna West Coast premiere Reef Ireland plays James, a young adult just released from prison after serving time for his involvement in the drowning of a young boy in a river in Australia. Ravaged with uncertainty, dealing with his estranged family and forced to face the dead boy’s mother, James sets off for the river on a journey of self-discovery and a search for the truth. A dark, brooding and intense movie from Down Under. Shown with two shorts: “Little Elephant” (U.K.), directed by Kate Jessop and having its U.S. premiere; and “Easy: A 3-Minute Love Story” (U.S.), directed by Robert Guthrie. Tickets cost $10. • 1 p.m. | Comedy Showcase

“S&M Sally” (U.S.)

Directed by Michelle Ehlen Michelle Ehlen plays Jamie, an insecure lesbian who learns that her girlfriend Jill (Jen McPherson) has been going to sex clubs to enjoy BDSM — something she knows nothing about. But Jamie gamely decides to become “Sally” and join Jill on her sexpoits. It’s a hilarious comedy for all audiences. Shown with two shorts: “Escape” (U.S.), directed by Simha Pradeep Katasani; and “Step” (Sweden), directed by Alva Lindenbaum. Tickets cost $10. • 3 p.m. | Afternoon Showcase

“Closet Monster” (U.S.)

Directed by Stephen Dunn Connor Jessup plays Oscar Madly, a creative and driven teenager who is unsure of his sexuality and haunted by horrific images of a tragic gay bashing he witnessed as a young boy. Oscar dreams of escaping the small

town where he feels he is suffocating and in his fantasy he has created a talking hamster that helps him confront his surreal demons and discover himself. Shown with the short film “Noam” (Israel), directed by Boaz Foster. • 5 p.m. | Asian Showcase

“Front Cover” (U.S.)

Directed by Ray Yeung Jake Choi stars as Ryan, a New York City fashion stylist who has rejected his Asian upbringing. But an assignment to style a macho-acting but closeted Chinese actor (James Chen) forces him to reexamine his heritage and make a life-changing decision. This comedy/drama is nuanced and charming. Shown with two short films: “True Colours” (Australia), directed by David Valent with its West Coast premiere; and “Family Values” (U.S.), directed by Val Singhal with its world premiere. Tickets cost $10. • 7 p.m. | Closing Night film

“Flatbush Luck” (U.S.)

Directed by Casper Andreas West Coast premiere Tanner Novlan stars as former Wall Street hotshot Jimmy who works alongside his cousin Max (Robby Stahl) as telephone repairmen in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Flatbush. Jimmy overhears illegal insider trading and takes advantage of the information to make a killing in the stock market. Meanwhile, Max is engaged to be married to Donna (Jenna Perez), but gets cold feet when a massage by a hunky Latino (Juahn Cabrera) makes him question his sexuality. A terrific movie for all audiences, written by Andreas and James Balletto. Shown with two shorts: “Lady Of The Night” (France), directed by Laurent Boileau; and “Dinner With Jeffrey” (U.S.), directed by Sam Greisman and having its U.S. premiere. Tickets cost $20 for the Closing Night film and the after-party inside the theater, catered by West Coast Tavern. —Ken Williams is a contributing editor of Gay San Diego and can be reached at or at 619-961-1952. He also serves a voluntary position as Film & Media Relations Director for FilmOut San Diego. t

"S&M Sally" plays Sunday as the Comedy Showcase. (Courtesy FilmOut San Diego)

GAY SAN DIEGO May 27 - June 9, 2016



GAY SAN DIEGO May 27 - June 9, 2016

Gay san diego 05 27 16  
Gay san diego 05 27 16