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Volume 9 Issue 12

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June 8 - 21, 2018

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After 18 years, death of gay man goes to court


By Neal Putnam

commendations for his professionalism and dedication. As a gay African-American, Collum said he has a deep appreciation and personal value for is bridging connections between the police department, its officers, and the stakeholders and organizations within the community. Especially the underrepresented.

After 18 years, the cold case homicide of a gay man was declared solved when his empty pants pockets were tested for DNA and it matched the DNA profile of a North Carolina man, who was then arrested for murder. LeRay "Mac" Parkins, 71, a member of the choir at Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) in San Diego, was found mortally wounded Aug. 23, 2000, and died three days later in a hospital. His pockets were turned inside out, which indicated he was robbed, and was found in an alley behind 3675 Pershing Ave. in North Park. A woman who was collecting recyclables found Parkins at 8:43 a.m. He had suffered blunt force trauma to his head from a baseball bat. District Attorney investigator Anthony Johnson asked the San Diego Police Department's Forensic Biology Unit this year to test the empty pants pockets of Parkins for DNA, as his wallet was taken from him. He wrote that recent advances in forensic science might point to a suspect. It did. The DNA match linked Edward Jamar Brooks, now 38, who is fighting extradition to San Diego from North Carolina and remains in jail there, according to DA spokesperson Steve Walker. Brooks and two other men, Lester Roshunn Bell, now 38, and Terrence Maurice Brown, now 36, are also charged with murder along with the special

see Collum, pg 3

see Cold case, pg 5

Diversionary's world premier musical


That’s a wrap Local independent gay director and producer Benjamin Howard on location. His latest new film “Deviant” is showing at the San Diego Film OUT Festival on June 9. (Photo by Ananda Ortanez)

Local independent gay filmmaker’s rise into the industry

Silver linings of business

By David Dixon


Winner of several awards, including the New Filmmaker Award at the 2018 San Diego Film Awards, Benjamin Howard’s passion for filmmaking grew during his time in high

see Benjamin, pg 15

Chula Vista pins first openly gay African American police captain


Albert H. Fulcher | Editor

Foods in the gayborhood

Index 6







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shown on Sunday (June 9) at FilmOut San Diego at the The Observatory North Park. This film is featured as part of a San Diego Spotlight, which features films from local artists.

Building bridges

LGBT history on display


school. And now, this young student and openly gay film director/producer is catching the eye of the LGBT community and beyond with his groundbreaking independent filmmaking. Howard’s senior thesis film at SDSU, “Deviant,” will be

San Diego Community News Network

With more than 26 years under his belt, Phillip Collum mastered the many technical, strategic, communication and leadership skills of being a police officer. Starting out in college part-time as a community service officer while going to college in Santa Cruz, Collum rose through the ranks and specialties of the profession, coming to Chula Vista in 1994. On April 27, Collum became the first African-American openly gay police captain in the Chula Vista Police Department (CVPD). At the pinning ceremony, accompanied by CVPD Chief of Police Roxana Kennedy, his

husband William Lopez pinned his badge promoting him to the rank of captain. Beginning in Chula Vista as a patrol officer, Collum worked his way through several divisions of the CVPD including field training, gang suppression, field patrol, detective, communications and technology. As his experience grew, he spent more than a decade as a supervisor and commander, and in 2017, became acting captain overseeing many of these professional departments. Throughout his journey, he has excelled in expanding his education, his participation in the community as well as received numerous awards and

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Captain Phillip Collum, Chula Vista Police Department (Courtesy photo)



GAY SAN DIEGO June 8 - 21, 2018

History through music Diversionary’s groundbreaking musical premiere Albert H. Fulcher | Editor When Diversionary Theatre’s Executive Artistic Director Matt Morrow said that “The Loneliest Girl in the World” was a “beast” of musicals, he wasn’t exaggerating. This world premier musical has everything you could ask for, including an amazing story that has you addicted from the first scene and leaves you wanting more. Working with writer Gordon Leary (books and lyrics) and musician Julia Meinwald

(composer) for six weeks while putting this musical together was an astute move on Morrow’s part. After seeing, I truly believe the coordination amongst these artists solidified this, which I dub as a groundbreaking, spectacular piece of theater. Its ability to teach a catalytic part of the gay rights movement makes this chef-d’oeuvre of a musical an integral relevancy to the world that we currently live in today. And, after opening-night being such a success, “The Loneliest Girl in the World” is

(l to r) Tommy (Sam Heldt) and Anita Bryant (Allison Spratt Pearce) (Photo courtesy of SIMPATIKA)

already extended to July 1, so there is no excuse not to see this revolutionary work. Based on the lives of anti-gay activist Anita Bryant and Tommy Higgins, a pioneer in the gay rights movement, the platform links the two together in a touching and memorable way. Tommy, played by Sam Heldt, is captivated by Anita Bryant as a young teenager and becomes her biggest fan after she is crowned the second-runner up in the 1959 Miss America pageant. Their relationship begins with a letter from Tommy, encouraging her that she should have won, and that he related to her in so many ways. When her first single comes out, Tommy’s admiration and devotion for her grows even stronger, a bond that later in his life will be difficult to sever. I grew up watching Anita Bryant in my home as a young child, not really understanding the significance of her campaign. The casting of this musical helped connect the dots for someone less aware of the history. Allison Spratt Pearce (Anita Bryant) completely transformed into this role in her look, mannerisms and in many ways, I believe she touched the true heart of Bryant’s life, dreams and struggles. As long as she was on stage, it was uncannily Bryant on the stage. Adding her magnificent voice to the arrangements, I cannot see a better pairing for this role. Her innateness as a performer shined “all Anita” from beginning to end. What I loved most about this musical is the tenderness and compassion that was shown for both Tommy and Anita. They paired them so well — even though they were on opposite spectrums of gay rights, they shared many of the same hopes, convictions, and in many ways, the same struggles of their daily lives moving forward into their politically active roles in history. Though they never met in person, their common bonds threaded together throughout the performance. Tommy (Heldt) was undoubtedly a young man afraid of his sexuality, coming out and then later being thrust into the middle of becoming a gay activist leader. Like Anita, his

‘The Loneliest Woman in the World’ Runs through July 1 Diversionary Theatre 4545 Park Blvd. #101 University Heights Tickets: 619-220-0097 heart was not really dedicated to the movement at all times. Through the music, this emotional turmoil that both shared in this part of history is clearly seen in an endearing way. This was evident early with the song “That’s Okay, Anita/ Dear Tommy.” The music, words and the imaginative choreography (Stephen Brotebeck) drew you in to both worlds effortlessly and set the visionary intention of this drama early — and the journey began. Heldt’s performances throughout the evening not only stood out, but also enriched the performances of Pearce and the other key actors. It carried the aptitude of story-telling to the forefront, a fresh and pleasing sight to see. As Tommy starts understanding and seeking out his own sexuality, he meets Kyle (Shaun Tuazon), inspiring the number “Twin Bed,” which stood out in my mind due to the substance of the lyrics. It made you feel, relate and respond; everything a piece of music should do. Tuazon, who acted multiple roles, was wonderful as Tommy’s first love, had a stunning clear voice, and was also extremely funny. “Let Her Let You Down” left me in a stupor with its lyrics being a pivotal point in Tommy’s adoration for Anita, a distinctly strong performance of the night. The beautiful voice and different roles of Lauren King Thompson (Mary Ann Mobley) had me in stitches all night long. She popped in and out throughout as many characters, but without her witty enactment as a ditzy Mary Ann, the experience would not have been complete.

see Diversionary, pg 12


GAY SAN DIEGO June 8 - 21, 2018


COLLUM “One of my personal missions when I became a captain in an acting capacity [was that] I really wanted to reach out to those in the community that really don’t have a good relationship with the police department,” Collum said. “Many [people] in those communities may not feel comfortable reaching out to the police department, or an officer when they need something, or need help.” Over the months, Collum attended community meetings in an effort to start building a bridge to the underrepresented communities. Part of the process included a youth LGBT safe zone in Chula Vista. He said even though all of this outreach is job related, he loves it and receives personal satisfaction in helping people feel comfortable interacting with the police when they need help. “We are trying to figure out a way that the police department can come and talk to the youth and their families about school safety, safety in general and making people comfortable about our police department, and the perception of the LGBT community,” Collum said. “And the reality that there really is no perception [within the CVPD] other than the same perception of anyone else in the community. Everyone is just part of the community that needs our help.” This is a far cry from the college student who just needed a part-time job to get through college. Applying for a dispatcher position, he was hired for a full-time position that he couldn’t take. But serving as a community service officer solidified a career he never sought. “I learned very quickly on the job some things that really drove me into this career,” Collum said. “I loved talking to different people all the time, being out and about in different places and situations and the human interactions is what really drove me into law enforcement. And to be honest, there was the excitement of the job as well. The whole fictional idea of cops and robbers and chasing bad guys over fences in the middle of the night. But that sense of talking and connecting with people and helping people when I can has never left me.” Last year Collum was fortunate to be selected as an acting captain by Chief of Police Roxana Kennedy. “She’s a true trailblazer, the first female chief here at the department and she has done incredible work here in fostering women in law enforcement,” Collum said. “I had come out of a previous assignment and became the captain of the Support of Operations Division. In June, I take over the Detective Division. The best people in law enforcement work at this police department. The amount of work, the efficiency of their work in this organization is far better than any other agency that I am familiar with or had the opportunity to work with, bar none. We do far more, with far less people in this organization.”

(l to r) Chula Vista Police Department Captain Phillip Collum, Chief of Police Roxana Kennedy and Collum’s husband William Lopez at the pinning ceremony on April 27. (Photo courtesy of CVPD) Along with his devotion to police enforcement, Collum also has a love for photography that began in high school. His passion for the art moved him towards weddings and other events, but as opportunities arose, he moved towards commercial photography. Through a friend, shooting commercial photography for a restaurant, he met his husband, William Lopez. “There were some accidental text messages sent, so that’s where our communicating began, so we began talking, then dating and now we are married,” Collum said. They created a home for themselves in La Mesa. Just as the little boy who never dreamed of being a police officer when he grew up, for many years, Collum never identified himself as homosexual. “I wasn’t really dating women to any serious degree ever, but I never gave myself the chance to really self-reflect and even consider the option that I was homosexual. It wasn’t even in my realm of conscience thought,” Collum said. It was a conversation with a friend that made him delve into his own sexuality. Even then, he didn’t believe that he was gay. “I didn’t consider it at the time,” Collum said. “But I’ve been really blessed that I’ve been raised by a loving and caring family in such a way that I have an independent sense of thought. I was objective enough and independent enough to hear that question, even at that moment denying it, truthfully knowing that could not be the case” Over the following weeks and months, Collum realized he could not honestly say that he wasn’t gay. “I realized that I actually don’t know whether the answer is yes or no. I thought, ‘that’s pretty important in my life, I should probably figure that out,’” he said. That was a major turning point for Collum. He started meeting gay people, got more familiar with the gay community, and began to talk to the people he loved and trusted. “It became pretty clear to me, going back through my whole life I remember circumstances as a young, young boy, the reality is that I had been attracted to the same sex all of my life and just never really recognized it,” Collum said. He said once he acknowledged that, there was a period

of about three years in the police department that he chose to conceal it and be in the closet. When asked about his life in daily conversations about marriage, girlfriends and relationships, he learned to skirt around the issue. “But I was also raised in a way, sometimes to a fault, that I’m an honest person,” he said. “I couldn’t handle the dishonesty. At the same time, I made no pronouncement that I was gay.” At one point, Collum told his partner on the Gang Suppression Unit, the closest relationship he had in the police department at that time. “He responded positively, firmly supportive and told me he thought as much, but wasn’t sure,” Collum said. “By then I had already come out to my family, again, an incredible loving and supportive family in every way. I’ve been very fortunate than other people in that respect.” From that point on, Collum never denied it, but also didn’t start wearing flags. If they asked if he was in a relationship, he’d say yes, and say it was his boyfriend. If people didn’t ask, he didn’t bring it up. “Being gay, to me, has never been the defining trait of my life. I am the defining trait of my life and those that surround me define my life,” he said. It became much more commonly known throughout the police department when Collum started playing a role in the gay pride parades. At the time, there were a couple of women officers that were lesbians at the police department. A few years before he became involved, they started taking a small contingent to the pride parade. “The year that I got involved, we took a much larger contingent,” Collum said. “Subsequent to that, I started taking the lead in leading our contingent, so then it became pretty obvious to people. Now, if there is anyone in this department that does not know about my sexual orientation, I would be shocked. At my age, my current level, and plus I have pictures of my husband all over my office. Most of the people here, especially those that I work with on a daily basis, have known my husband for years and love him just like anybody else.” —Albert Fulcher can be reached at

• Art Exhibit • Diva Drop • Dunk a Hunk • Eat a Gay Bug! • Female impersonators • Musical entertainment • Newly Married Game • Laugh Out Loud comedy show • LGBTQ+ nonprofit organizations




GAY SAN DIEGO June 8 - 21, 2018

Change, faith, and silver linings #LGBTB2B Michelle Burkart One of my mom’s life lessons was “change is inevitable, and I needed to get used to it.” After that lesson, there was the “silver lining” one prompting me to always look at the bright side. This was followed by the “have faith” lesson whereby I would not be given more challenges than I could handle. If mama were still here, I would call her and declare that in 2017 all her lessons hit the fan! In 2017, our nation experienced a change in the leadership that has impacted our LGBT community, especially for the LGBT business owner. Since 2014, the Supplier Diversity Initiative (SDI) partnership of the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) which supports certification for LGBT business enterprises, had been growing rapidly both locally and nationally. About 1,000 LGBT business owners had become certified as an LGBT business enterprise. And then came President Donald Trump, and in January 2017, the LGBT business resources page was completely deleted from the SBA website. The agency of the federal government that supports all

before joining the NGLCC staff in 2010. There she rose to the level of senior vice pressmall business owners with certification and success, and ident of Affiliate Relations resources for funding, certifiprovided more than 100 hours and External Affairs at the cation, trainings, and business of business consulting to LGBT NGLCC. Described as a “pasconsulting declared us null and businesses. Up until my last sionate and tireless advocate void. Not to worry, they said it conversation with her in late for the LGBT business comwas for redesign purposes and December 2017, Andrews almunity,” with 15-plus years of common for a new adnonprofit leadership experience, Sam’s underministration to do. But standing for the need we understood the real for social equity is also message, as did our loevident in her relentcal SBA partners. Get less advocacy for LGBT ready for those lessons! people, veterans, and Throughout the past people with disabilities. 18 months of chaos, She led the campaign we can identify heroes to secure an executive that have supported us order from President through the changes, Obama for the inclusion provided us with silof LGBTBEs in federal ver linings and have contracting until time kept the faith that ran out and we all know our Supplier Diversity the rest of the story. Initiative efforts will Talk about “keeping continue. the faith,” Sam kept a Jill Andrews, the busy travel schedule former deputy district both nationally and director of the San internationally, but the Diego SBA office, was one thing I could alnot only a hero to small ways count on was that business in San Diego she always had time County, she was a dyfor calls from small namic change agent Jill Andrews, the former deputy district director of the San business owners and for the LGBT small Diego Small Business Administration office, volunteering at their myriad of quesbusiness owner. She San Diego Pride SBA booth in 2016 (Photo by Michelle Burkart) tions from the trenches. decided SBA needed Talk about “changes,” to “change things up” she participated in changing in their outreach to LGBT ways saw the silver lining and both local and state LGBT businesses in San Diego, so never lost faith. She passed procurement policies in places she sponsored our 2016 and away in January 2018. We will like King County, Washington; 2017 SBA Pride booths and miss her tremendously, howin Sacramento California; helped to staff it. She lobbied ever, we will be ever grateful in Massachusetts; or in New the SBA to help obtain $50,000 for her support of the LGBT York. She would pass on the into expand the certification proentrepreneur. gram in 2017. In partnership Sam McClure was the execu- formation to help us build our with the SBDC, we certified tive director of the Quorum, the program here in San Diego so we all “kept the faith.” The big over 20 new businesses, proTwin Cities GLBT Chamber change now is that Sam’s last vided 12 trainings on LGBT of Commerce, in Minneapolis

events @TheCenTeR

Sat., June 16

Friday, June 22


YPC Academy Graduation Brunch

Community Celebration honoring Dr. Delores Jacobs

11 am-1 pm, The Prado, Balboa Park

6-9 pm, The Center

For the past seven years, the YPC Academy Graduation Brunch has celebrated the accomplishments and future endeavors of the Young Professionals Council Academy. We invite you to join the 2018 Graduating class and members of the Young Professionals Council as we toast to their accomplishments. Single admission tickets are $65 and include a buffet brunch. Additional supporter and sponsorship levels are available as well at the ticket link. Get tickets here: events.

Sat., June 16

Rainbow Prom: Wizard’s Ball 6-10 pm, The Center All LGBTQ+ youth ages 14-18 are invited to the 2018 Rainbow Prom: Wizard’s Ball. This magical dance is completely free and will include a DJ, dancing, food, games, a photobooth, performances, and more! This annual event is one not to be missed. Don’t miss it! For more information contact

Join us to celebrate in community to honor Dr. Delores Jacobs and her 17 years of service to The San Diego LGBT Community Center. The Center’s Board of Directors proudly hosts this no-cost community event, where there will be a live band, dancing, hors d’oeuvres, desserts and refreshments.

Saturday, June 23

11th Annual Pachanga de Frida 6-10 pm, The Center Join us for Pachanga de Frida! Celebrating the birthday of Frida Kahlo, and commemorating the legendary life of one of the most influential Mexican painters of the mid-twentieth century, this event features live music, multiple art exhibits by local Latin@ artists and vendors, a Frida look-alike contest, great food and Tequila! Proceeds from this event benefit the Nicole M. Ramirez Latin@ Services at The Center! Tickets and tables are now available for purchase here: The San Diego LGBT Community Center 3909 Centre Street • 619-692-2077 Twitter: @LGBTCenter

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work day at the NGLCC was May 31. We thank you for your tireless advocacy and wish you well. U.S. Reps. Nydia M Velazquez and Yvette Clark, both from New York and serving on the House Small Business Committee, sent a letter to SBA administrator Linda McMahon pressing her on why the content for the LGBT resources page was removed in January 2017 shortly after Trump became president and had not been restored. They expressed concerns that this may have been politically or ideologically motivated. After all, the LGBT business contributes $1.7 trillion dollars to the national economy and 33,000 jobs! Thanks to their persistence and faith in the system, it was restored within a week! I think Jill Andrews had a part in it, too, as she kept saying it would be restored. So, the next time you resist change, lose faith, or don’t see the silver lining, just remember our heroes and what a difference they made for our community. For more information on LGBTBE certification, visit: Join us for our 2018 Let’s Work It certification trainings. —Michelle Burkart is the principal at Diversity Supplier Alliance. Questions? Reach her at For more information on LGBTBE certification, visit

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Saving our culture by saving our bars Back Out with Benny Ben Cartwright A little over a year ago, I wrote in this space about the importance of our bars as places for the community to connect. At the time, I said, “Our bars remain key spaces in our community and it’s important that we protect them, patronize them, and celebrate their existence! I have built many “mini-families” among the various patrons and staff of the venues I frequent, and I am so lucky to have these people in my life.” I still stand by what I wrote today, but one thing I continue to worry about is that we are not protecting and patronizing them as much we should. Since I wrote that column in May 2017, the San Diego LGBT community saw the loss of popular gay spots including Numbers nightclub, and Babycakes. We also saw that The Caliph — a gay piano bar — significantly cut its hours of operation, closing completely two days a week, and cutting out their daytime open hours. While some may say this is just business and say, “Oh well,” it’s so much more than that. Sure, business is business and I place no blame on the owners of these establishments. It’s not their job to provide a space for our community when it comes at a personal financial loss. Our community must step up if we want to save these spaces that are so precious to us. Every time an LGBT bar closes, I see hundreds of people posting on social media and hear people talking out in the community about how sad it is, or how angry they are that we are losing our spaces. But the question I always ask is, “When was the last time you patronized that particular spot?” Our LGBT spaces rely on our financial support to keep them

going. Our bars are our original community centers, but they can’t accept donations or government contracts to keep their doors open. They need people to come in and regularly patronize the business to remain afloat. Why aren’t we doing this as much as we used to? One of the biggest losses for me when I lose one of my favorite places is the sense of family that is developed by becoming a “regular” at a spot. Not only are there other customers that are regulars, but the staff become friends, confidants and a second family. At Babycakes, for example, my regular #BennyHour every Friday afternoon became a tradition. I very much enjoyed catching up with the staff in the early part of the afternoon and having a space where so many friends and community members could stop by to visit and catch up throughout the evening. It was a special place and there really is no place else like it. Some have asked “Where is #BennyHour moving to?” And to that, I don’t know. My Friday afternoon tradition happened so organically. It was the right space, the right people, at the right time. It’s one of those things that just can’t be picked up and moved somewhere else. As Babycakes was entering its final days, I visited a few other places on Friday afternoon, but they just didn’t feel the same. Should there be a spot that eventually feels right, those of you who follow my social media will be the first to know! But for now, #BennyHour is a thing of the past, and I’m just supporting our various bars as I can when I can. We’re lucky in San Diego to still have some fantastic LGBT spaces like Rich’s, Flicks, Uptown Tavern, #1 Fifth Avenue, The Rail and the Mo’s Universe locations including their brand new insideOUT. I hope we will continue to patronize these spaces as much as possible to make sure

that our community has these safe spaces to go to that give back so much. At The Caliph, though not completely closed yet, I became a regular on Monday evenings to hear the legendary Carol Curtis sing and play the piano. While there was rarely a large crowd, there were many regulars who all got to know each other, inside jokes and all. When new folks visited, they were always made to feel welcome too, and sometimes even became part of the family. I miss these folks who I enjoyed music and drinks with every Monday. Speaking of bars, I hope everyone will be able to get out to see the “San Diego’s Gay Bar History” documentary that premieres this Sunday at FilmOut San Diego’s 20th annual Film Festival. This is a very local look at the importance of gay bars to the San Diego region. I encourage folks to give it a watch to understand why these bars were and continue to be so important. It was an honor to be a part of the documentary myself and I can’t wait to see it! If you can’t make it to the festival, it will also air on KPBS TV on Thursday, June 14. The Rail will host a viewing party that night! —Benny Cartwright is the director of community outreach at the San Diego LGBT Community Center. He can be reached at 619692-2077 ext. 106 or outreach@ Note: Byline photo by Rob Lucas Modern Aperture Photography.t


COLD CASE circumstance of murder during a robbery. Bell and Brown were arrested in May in Colorado and Arizona respectively, and are also fighting extradition proceedings. San Diego Superior Court Judge Robert O'Neill reviewed an arrest warrant declaration by Johnson and issued a $2 million warrant for all three men on May 14. "Mac had the most beautiful Irish tenor voice," said senior MCC pastor, Dan Koeshall, who was the music director at the time. “It’s so sad when the most vulnerable of us are senselessly brutalized. May we be ever vigilant in looking out for each other." Lee Bowman, who is minister of communications for MCC, also said he remembered Parkins. "I'm glad that some justice may be finally coming for that senseless crime," said Bowman. Parkins often put his wallet in his front pants pocket, according to his partner at the time. The victim's credit cards were used the same day of his murder at a clothing store and two service stations, and the bills were turned over to police by his partner. His card was used twice at Mr. Rags, a clothing store in Escondido at the time.

GAY SAN DIEGO June 8 - 21, 2018


Follow-up interviews with a former cashier there provided a link to Bell and Brown. The former cashier said she was acquainted with Bell and she recalled him asking her if he could use someone's credit card at the store. The woman recalled Bell and Brown showing up with another man and they all purchased clothes for $53.87 and $169.17, according to court records. The cashier said she used to date Bell and he claimed he had permission from the credit card's owner to use his card. Police interviewed all three men about the slaying in 2001 when they were already in jail on other charges. Bell said he was present when Brooks hit Parkins with a baseball bat in the alley and he said Brown was the driver. According to Bell, Brooks asked Parkins what time it was, and when he turned, he struck him in the head, causing him to fall to the ground. Bell recalled Brooks standing over Parkins and they hurried off. Bell said Brooks gave him a credit card that came from Parkins, according to court records. A police officer who talked to Parkins in the alley said Parkins acknowledged being robbed. Parkins was in a coma for three days at Mercy Hospital and died without regaining consciousness or making any more statements. When Brown was interviewed, he said he was not the driver, but did recall Brooks and Bell having

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see Cold case, pg 7



GAY SAN DIEGO June 8 - 21, 2018

Guest Editorial

Creep of the week: Matt Barber By D’Anne Witkowski Another week, another mass shooting at a school here in what so many claim to be the greatest country on earth. Spoiler alert: when your gun obsession makes children being gunned down in school a regular occurrence, you’re not the greatest country on earth. One of the kids murdered in Texas was an exchange student from Pakistan. She was to return home in June. I can’t help but wonder how many American parents would refuse to send their kids to Pakistan. “Look what happened to that Malala,” they’d say. “It’s too dangerous. Sure, you could argue that Malala Yousafzai was shot by the Taliban and that is totally different from what’s happening in America.” But is it, though? How is EDITOR Albert H. Fulcher (619) 961-1960 CONTRIBUTING EDITORS (619) 519-7775 Sara Butler, x118 Jeff Clemetson, x119 CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Michelle Burkart Ben Cartwright David Dixon Lambda Archives staff Jean Lowerison Neal Putman Nicole Murray Ramirez Frank Sabatini Jr. D'Anne Witkowski WEB AND SOCIAL MEDIA Sara Butler, x118

the gun lobby and the predominantly straight white males who perpetuate gun violence not a terrorist threat in the U.S.? And in this current political climate that gives racists, misogynists, homophobes and gun fetishists the green light to operate without impunity, the threat of violence has only intensified. Right now, #IfIDieInASchoolShooting is trending on Twitter. Go read what young people are saying. It’s astonishing that our kids are literally begging lawmakers for their lives. In America. In 2018. I’m beyond tired of the excuses. “It’s not the guns, it’s not the guns, it’s not the guns,” we hear ad nauseam. We have more guns than we have people in the U.S. It’s definitely the guns. COPY EDITOR Dustin Lothspeich SALES & MARKETING DIRECTOR Mike Rosensteel (619) 961-1958 ADVERTISING CONSULTANTS (619) 519-7775 Heather Fine, x107 Sloan Gomez, x104 Brenda Vergara, x110 Mike Everart EDITORIAL ASSISANT Jess Winans EDITORIAL INTERN Jordan Damond SALES ASSISTANTS Eric Diaz EriK Guerrero

“But what about mental illness? Surely mental illness is the reason why these insane people go on shooting sprees. We need to talk about mental illness, not guns,” they say. The vast majority of people with mental illness never hurt anybody because they aren’t violent. And if they are prone to violence, people with mental illness are far more likely to hurt themselves than they are anybody else. I’d also like to point out what utter bullshit it is to pretend to care about mental illness but not proposing funding for mental health professionals in all public schools; for trying to tear apart the Affordable Care Act, which is the only way some people who need mental health care are able to get it; for not adequately staffing agencies that are supposed to help children and families by connecting them with social workers and other professionals who are under compensated to boot; for not seriously questioning how this SALES INTERNS Hengli Li James Gonzalez ACCOUNTING Priscilla Umel-Martinez (619) 961-1962

DISTRIBUTION Gay San Diego is distributed free every other Friday of the month. © 2018. All rights reserved. PUBLISHER David Mannis (619) 961-1951

country rewards men who are cruel and abusive. And so, I have no patience with so-called religious conservatives who are wringing their hands over proposed bans on “conversion” therapy for gays. If only they’d show as much concern about making dead kids undead as they do about making gay kids un-gay. Yes, mental health care is important. But conversion therapy is mental abuse, not care. It’s astounding to me that people like Matt Barber call themselves Christians while preaching not only intolerance, but hate, and then turning around and claiming that anyone who disagrees with them wants to ban Christianity. During a recent conversation with Gordon James Klingenschmitt, Barber gave props to Luis Ruiz, a Pulse Nightclub shooting survivor who has declared himself ex-gay. “I love this story,” said Barber, “because it’s a story of

redemption and freedom from demonic oppression and persecution and a sin lifestyle that I believe frankly is spiritual in nature.” Note what he loves isn’t that Ruiz survived one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history. He loves that Ruiz fits his anti-gay narrative. Klingenschmitt and Barber lamented the fact that if conversion therapy is banned then Ruiz might be arrested for talking about his ex-gay experience. This is not true. I don’t know Ruiz. I don’t really care how he identifies. I’m not the boss of him. But it’s pretty striking that folks like Barber look at the Pulse shooting and see the problem as the guy dancing with another guy, not the guy with a gun. —D'Anne Witkowski is a poet, writer and comedian living in Michigan with her wife and son. She has been writing about LGBT politics for over a decade. Follow her on Twitter @MamaDWitkowski.t

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GAY SAN DIEGO June 8 - 21, 2018

Mailboxes full of negative, nasty brochures Conversations with Nicole Nicole Murray Ramirez This week’s primary election was one of the most negative and nasty one in decades. Every day our mailboxes and television programs were nearly full of candidates, with both Republican and Democratic Parties attacking each other. Former Marine Nathan Fletcher was subjected to the most negative campaign ads with about 1.3 million spent against his bid to become a county supervisor. Thank goodness it was a big waste of money, as he pushed to the top of the polls over about half a dozen candidates! I have been a longtime supporter of Fletcher since he stood up in the State Assembly and spoke out against “Don’t Ask ... Don't Tell.” And let me say that of all the LGBT candidates ever to run for public office, Dave Meyers was the worst I have ever seen. He attacked Sheriff Bill Gore as not supporting LGBT civil rights and in particularly failed to protect trans people in jail. Meyers also said that Gore supported Trump. All these are complete lies and I should know as I co-chair the Sheriff's LGBT Advisory Board. Gore is responsible for the jail protocol that protects and respects all transgender inmates as does Carolina Ramos of The Center. Ramos helped write the current protocols for their protection. Meyers ran such a negative and nasty campaign that even Sen. Toni Atkins and Gov. Jerry Brown endorsed Gore, as well as the 2,500 members of the Deputy Sheriffs Association, who accused Meyers of “deceptive campaign tactics.” Now, I would not vote for Meyers even if he ran for dog catcher. Yes, I am a registered Democrat and proudly supported and endorsed Gavin Newsome for governor, Sara Jacobs for Congress as well as representatives Susan Davis and Juan Vargas. But let me say this. The Democrat party’s attacks on Lori Saldana were disgraceful. While I have never supported Saldana's campaigns, she did not deserve those Bob Filner ads. The local Democrat party is a mess and needs new leadership. While most GLBT leaders including Sen. Christine


COLD CASE someone's credit card which was used at a North Park service station and at the clothing store. Brown, who was living with Bell at the time in Spring Valley, told police that he saw two baseball bats in the trunk of the car they were driving, and they belonged to Bell. Two bats were seized as evidence in 2001, but no DNA or blood was found on them.

Kehoe, Sen. Toni Atkins, Assemblymember Todd Gloria and San Diego City Councilmember Chris Ward endorsed Myrtle Cole (the first African-American woman elected City Council president) as I did, the local LGBT Democrat Club did not. Very disappointing. Hooray! Interim San Diego District Attorney Summer Stephan defeated her opponent who received well more than $1 million from outside our city. The three incumbents I endorsed — Cole, and Councilpersons Chris Cate and Lorie Zapf — took the lead. I am also glad to see Antonio Martinez made the run-off in November to replace Councilmember David Alvarez. Gloria easily won re-election with 70 percent of the vote and predictions are that he will announce he is a candidate for mayor early next year. In San Francisco, my longtime friend and former senator Mark Leno took the lead to become San Francisco's first gay mayor as I write this column early Wednesday morning. And the best news of all — Democrats are still in good shape for a possible takeover of Congress.

Salt Lake City, the new gay mecca

Recently, I spent five days in Salt Lake and boy has it changed. It has a lesbian mayor and three gay councilmembers. A new multi-million-dollar LGBT Community Center and its annual Equality Utah dinner gala draws more than 2,000 people! It’s still one of the most beautiful cities in America and no wonder it has been voted as one of the best places to live for LGBT people. Even its homeless problem is hardly noticeable as the city, and yes, the Mormon Church provides many outstanding services. During a reception at Salt Lake’s historic City Hall, its Jackie Biskupski and I exchanged Harvey Milk street signs, as this city is the second one to have a street named after Milk. I fell in love with Salt Lake City and so will you. This city and LGBT community rivals San Francisco, New York City and West Hollywood for the very best quality of life and environment. The mayor proclaimed me a “Honorary Citizen” so I will be back. Brooks denied any involvement in the crime and said he was sleeping with a woman in El Cajon at the time. The woman was interviewed, but she said that didn't happen. Brooks had been paroled from prison just seven days before he allegedly killed Parkins. Johnson wrote in court records that Bell's story is the most truthful because he implicated himself at the scene of the murder. No charges were filed against the men because authorities could not link them to the crime scene.


(l to r) Salt Lake City Councilperson Arlyn Bradshaw, Mayor Jackie Biskupski, Nicole Murray-Ramirez and Council Chair Steve Debry reveal the Harvey Milk Boulevard and Harvey Milk streets signs. (Photo by Nicole Murray Ramirez)

2018 Pride parade new award categories

The Pride Community Advisory Council, along with San Diego LGBT Pride, will be giving out beautiful awards for 12 different categories for this year’s parade for its contingents. Yes, a first, second and a third place will be awarded for every category, so really make sure that your parade contingent really stands out this year!

—Nicole Murray Ramirez has been writing a column since 1973. He has been a Latino/gay activist for almost half a century and has advised and served the last seven mayors of San Diego. Named the “Honorary Mayor of Hillcrest” by a city proclamation, he has received many media awards including from the prestigious San Diego Press Club. Reach Nicole at

Editor’s Note: The opinions written in this column are the author’s own and by no means reflect or represent the opinions of the staff and/ or publisher of Gay San Diego and/or its parent company, San Diego Community News Network (SDCNN). The newspaper and its staff should be held harmless of liability or damages.t

The 12 Categories are: ● Outstanding use of the pride theme by a float contingent ● Outstanding use of the pride theme by a marching contingent ● Outstanding musical contingent ● Outstanding nonprofit contingent ● Outstanding faith based contingent ● Outstanding HIV/AIDS awareness contingent ● Outstanding corporate ally contingent ● Outstanding San Diego business contingent ● Outstanding youth/student contingent ● Outstanding health and wellness contingent ● Grand Marshall Award to the most entertaining/crowd pleasing contingent ● Pride/Judges Award Another DNA profile was found in the pockets of the victim and it matched no known person, court records say. The victim's pants were carefully preserved. Walker said the DA's office will continue to seek the trio's extradition to San Diego. If they are convicted of first-degree murder with the special circumstance, they could be sentenced to life in prison without parole. —Neal Putnam is a local freelance writer. Reach him at

Andrea Villa Dale Dubach Chaz Weathers John Osgood


GAY SAN DIEGO June 8 - 21, 2018

Preserving history


Largest San Diego LGBTQ history exhibit opening in time for Pride

Out of the Archives Archives Staff The largest exhibit of LGBTQ history ever held in San Diego will open July 7 at the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park. The information and materials for the exhibit were provided by Lambda Archives. “LGBTQ+ San Diego: Stories of Struggles and Triumphs” is the result of a partnership between the SDHC and Lambda Archives and was curated by noted historian Lillian Faderman, author of 16 books, including a biography of Harvey Milk published May 22 by Yale University Press. Professor Faderman spent hundreds of hours combing through the collections to find the gems to display. Archives staff and volunteers aided her, searching through records, boxes and digital files to present as complete a portrait as possible. A Community Advisory Committee was headed by former state Senator Christine Kehoe and community leader and San Diego businessman Robert Gleason, and additional community support has been pledged by San Diego Pride, The Imperial Court de San Diego and The Center. Educational and associated programs as part of the

exhibition are being developed by a community-sourced Education and Advocacy Working Group, made up of LGTBQ+ community leaders, educators, and advocates. The group was charged with bringing in voices of LGBTQ+ youth into the exhibition, ensuring that the exhibit is as inclusive as possible, and creating curricular materials and resources for teachers across the county to help them fulfill the FAIR Education Act. Dramatic, 8-by-8-foot letters, which spell out S-A-N-D-I-E-G-O, along with iconic photographs and narratives, guide the visitor through the exhibition and anchor major themes including: ● Identity — who we are and how we define ourselves. ● Pioneers who have helped shape our region’s LGBTQ+ community. ● Families we make and choose. ● Where the San Diego LGBTQ+ community is headed and the ongoing work toward equality and inclusion. ● The next generation: LGBTQ+ Youth perspectives. Visitors will hear from those in the LGBTQ+ community about struggling against persecution, the battle against HIV/ AIDS, standing strong while facing bullying and intolerance, and the power of joining together through growing activism, political strength

. RY R . FU D E IST W Y. T N N FU By




Directed By



Some of the collection provided for the LGBTQ history exhibit provided by Lambda Archives at the San Diego History Museum opening July 7, curated by by noted historian Lillian Faderman. (Photos by Lambda Archives) and community engagement. The San Diego History Center, Videotaped interviews were a Smithsonian Affiliate, has selected from the hundreds the been preserving our region’s hisArchives has and others were tory and making it available to conducted specifically for this the public since 1928. It operates exhibit. its flagship museum in the heart A timeline will cover the of Balboa Park. highlights of local LGBTQ hisThe mission of the Lambda tory with photos illustrating Archives of San Diego is to some of the moments. Military collect, preserve, and teach the uniforms, gowns and crowns, history of lesbian, gay, bisexual, a diorama of a Pride parade, and transgender people in the T-shirts, buttons, shoes, an San Diego and Northern Baja Emmy Award, matchbooks from California region. Although bars, artwork, banners, and most of the collections date to much more will be displayed post-1970, there are original maalong with memorabilia of some terials dating back to the 1930s. local LGBTQ people who made History is best reflected in the it to the national arena in one records and cultural artifacts of area or another. cultural artifacts of those people Thanks to the generosity of who are directly involved in its some donors, the San Diego events. Lambda Archives is dedHistory Center has arranged for icated to preserving and interthe rare display of a portion of preting this important historical the AIDS Memorial Quilt, with material and making it available names of people who held special for learning. significance to our region. The San Diego History Center “This is a story that needs is announcing an innovative to be told here in Balboa Park,” $100,000 challenge grant. From said San Diego History Center now until June 30, every $2 Executive Director Bill Lawrence. raised will be matched at $1 “San Diego’s LGBTQ+ communiby the History Center through ty plays such a vital role in our the estate of Parker H. Jackson community and are part of the and Joseph Blankenship. Visit rich mosaic of this region and our partners at Lambda tion/lgbtq-san-diego or call Archives, we look forward to pro619-232-6203x106. viding a place for all.” A host of public program—Lambda Archives, a 501(c) ming is being planned for this (3) dedicated to collecting, preexhibition and will feature lecserving and teaching the history tures, films, and other activities of the lesbian, gay, bisexual throughout its run. The process and transgender people in San of searching the Archives colDiego and the Northern Baja lections has also helped point California region, is located at out gaps that the Archives staff 4545 Park Blvd., in University and board hope the exhibit will Heights. To learn more, stop in or inspire community members to visit their website at help fill. On Monday, June 25, at 7 p.m., Urban MO’s themed trivia night will feature questions about local LGBTQ history created by Lambda Archives. Community organizations are encouraged to field teams to see which group knows their history the best. So far, St. Paul’s Episcopal, Gay for Good, the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus, and Stonewall Citizens Patrol are among the groups planning to enter teams. Individuals who think they know their trivia but are not affiliated with any group are also welcome to get some friends together to test their knowledge in a fun, friendly competition. There will be prizes for the top three teams and raffle tickets will be sold as a fundraiser for Lambda Archives. You can enter a team at trivia. There is no cost for entry and pre-registering earns a team an extra five points. Fun and a bit of new knowledge go to everyone who attends! The next walking tour of San Diego’s LGBTQ history will take place Saturday, June 16, at 10:30 a.m. It is a great way to learn about the past of the community and hear some of the information that will be covered in the trivia night. Taking the tour would be a good way to get a jump on the competition. Tickets to the walking tour are available at


War of the gardens ‘Native Gardens’ crosses more than

‘Native Gardens’

neighbor’s boundaries

Theater Review Jean Lowerison There’s something to offend everyone in Karen Zacarías’ “Native Gardens,” a sitcom masquerading as a socially conscious comedy at The Old Globe’s in-the-round White Theatre. Property lines and other boundaries (race, class, age and privilege among them) are the topics under consideration in this show, directed by Edward Torres and playing through June 24. Frank (Mark Pinter) and Virginia Butley (Peri Gilpin), 60-plus longtime residents of a WASPy neighborhood near Washington, D.C., welcome 30ish new neighbors Pablo Del Valle (Eddie Martinez) and his very pregnant wife Tania (Kimberli Flores) with red wine and dark chocolate, served in the Butleys’ beautifully manicured garden. Frank is a federal employee who now consults from home, Virginia an engineer at Lockheed Martin. Frank is responsible for the beauty of the Butleys’ garden, which he tends with meticulous care, at one point balletically spraying insecticide to the

strains of a lovely waltz. Pablo is an attorney who wants to make partner. His first mistake is to invite his boss to visit. The boss immediately takes this as an invitation to the whole firm (60 people) and suggests this Saturday. (This strains credulity a bit, but let it pass.) The Del Valles’ garden, an unkempt mess, abuts Frank’s lovely space, separated from it by an ugly chain-link fence now overgrown with ivy (thanks to Frank). There are also a few sad-looking hydrangea plants around the yard. But this garden (or, more properly, space) was the selling point for Tania, who fell in love with the huge oak tree in the middle and has visions of an eco-friendly garden with native plants. She is unfazed by Virginia’s snarky question, “Isn’t it their purpose to be ugly?” It’s this kind of thoughtless comment that pervades the play, as each character reveals un-P.C. thoughts about Mexicans, plants, millennials, Democrats, you name it. These characters (especially Frank and Virginia) are equal-opportunity insulters. The crisis occurs when, in the course of getting rid of

New neighbors draw the line in the battle of the gardens

Things run amuck when new neighbors battle over back yard garden beauty

Runs through June 24 The Old Globe’s Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre 1363 Old Globe Way Balboa Park Tuesday and Wednesday at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m. Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m. Sunday at 2 and 7 p.m. Tickets: 619-234-5623 the chain-link fence and putting up a nice wooden one, Pablo looks at the paperwork on the property and realizes that their property actually extends two feet into the Butley garden. Uh-oh. How will this be resolved? You’ll have to see the play to find out. Along the way, you’ll see two gardeners (Jose Balistrieri and Alex Guzman) who prancingly haul lumber and shove a wheelbarrow around and take down that chain-link fence, on the way to the big Sunday party. Later, the same treatment applies to a surveyor and other officials involved in determining the exact location of the property line. The significance of the dancing is lost on me, though I must admit it is entertaining to watch. Director Edward Torres and his actors manage to keep all the balls in the air without collisions, no small feat given the near-constant motion. Pinter cruises along as the retiree who is really only interested in his gardening (and determined to win the coveted “Best Garden” award from the local garden club), at least until that garden seems threatened. Gilpin (of “Frasier” fame) gives off an air of privilege, though when push comes to

GAY SAN DIEGO June 8 - 21, 2018


(l to r) Eddie Martinez as Pablo Del Valle, Kimberli Flores as Tania Del Valle, Peri Gilpin as Virginia Butley, and Mark Pinter as Frank Butley in “Native Gardens” (Photos by Jim Cox) shove, her family’s Polish background comes out and she proves an effective verbal street fighter. She is perhaps better defined by her costumes (by Jennifer Brawn Gittings) than the others, though Frank’s tucked-in jean shirt is also a dead giveaway to his status. Flores’ Tania, about to defend her dissertation in anthropology, is no verbal slouch either. She, from New Mexico, though of Mexican ancestry, and Virginia have a few exchanges that begin as peacemaking efforts and end up rather more explosive. Martinez’s Pablo has to try to salvage what he can of sanity and dignity, having unwittingly precipitated the crisis with his ambition. Balistrieri and Guzman may or may not belong in

this show, but they could go on the road as comedic dancers. “Native Gardens” boasts a fascinating sound design (credit Mikhail Fiksel), and an admirable set (that tree is truly amazing) by Collette Pollard, nicely lit by Amanda Zieve. Zacarías is one of the most-produced playwrights of the day – her “Into the Beautiful North” premiered last year at San Diego Repertory Theatre. There are ideas worthy of discussion here, but they are too often used in the service of quick, shallow laughs. — Jean Lowerison is a long-standing member of the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle and can be reached at



GAY SAN DIEGO June 8 - 21, 2018

From North County farm to Ocean Beach tables Restaurant Review Frank Sabatini Jr. Restaurants that source from nearby farms aren’t unique. Nor are eateries that brand themselves around all-American diner food. But finding both concepts meshed together is rare. Toss in a cocktail program that also relies on locally grown ingredients and you end up with Royale, a restaurant and bar with a tasteful 1960s design and ample parking in the back. This used to be Sessions Public, a beer-focused pub with similar grub but missing the

direct connection to a 16-acre certified-organic farm that Royale’s owners maintain in North County. Those lettuces, beets and heirloom carrots adding prettiness to your salad came from that farm the same day. Ditto for the garnishes topping your grass-fed beef burger — and the guavas, kumquats and passion fruit sweetening up certain cocktails. Husband-and-wife team Jordan and Mariah Brownwood first introduced Royale at Park & Rec in University Heights, where they sold burgers and grilled cheese sandwiches from the bar’s small kitchen. Their eagerness to open a place of their own materialized several months ago on this fairly

Owners Mariah and Jordan Brownwood (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.)

Royale 4204 Voltaire St. Ocean Beach 619-431-5653 Prices: Salads, $6 to $14 burgers, $8.95 to $11 sides, $5 to $7 bustling stretch of Voltaire Street in Ocean Beach. Despite its smallish facade, which adjoins Catalina Lounge, customers will be surprised by the roomy interior, which features dining areas in both the front and back, and a lengthy bar in between. Unlike many establishments less than a mile away near the ocean, which are magnets for beer nerds and beachcombers, Royale feels more diversified and LGBT-friendly. My hubs started with the “rum cocktail,” a feisty mingling of white rum, China liqueur, absinthe and house falernum. Lemon and kumquat from the farm added a bright aftertaste. The Brownwoods are fans of simplicity. Hence, they avoided cutesy names for the drinks and instead list them as “rye cocktail,” “gin cocktail, “mezcal cocktail,” and so on. I opted for a house-made agua fresca bursting with ultra-fresh guava, passion fruit and lemons. It was love at first gulp, as though I was drinking from the spout of a juicer in motion. If you’re the designated driver, don’t pass it up. With the exception of a smoked trout salad, which we didn’t try, there is nothing out of the ordinary on Royale’s succinct menu. The quality of the food, however, compensates for such commonalities as burgers, tuna melts, onion rings, etc. The tuna melt was superb. The fish are trawled off the coast of Ensenada by a local angler. They arrive to Royale in whole form, and then broken down and boiled in pickle brine. Even when converted into classic tuna salad like this, you’ll realize by its purity of flavor it doesn’t come from a can.

Quaint exterior leads into a roomy, retro-style bar and restaurant A patty melt using grassfed beef sourced from central California arrived medium as requested. It yielded lots of natural juices and sweetness from the caramelized onions on top. In addition to American cheese, it also flaunted a slice of oozy Gruyere, which jived well with the toasted rye bread. My only caveat was that I would’ve preferred the mustard outside of the sandwich, or none at all since it overpowered the sandwich’s subtle, buttery essence. The veggie burger is made in-house with a rich combination of black beans, quinoa, fried eggplant and sautéed mushrooms. Served on a whole wheat bun with spicy vegan mayo and pickled veggie slaw, it’s thick, nourishing and delicious, albeit messy and crumbly as you make your way in. Right down to the hand-battered onion rings and

accompanying ranch dressing — and a hot pretzel with homemade cheese sauce — the junk factor is noticeably devoid from what is essentially naughty diner food. But these are meals that assert themselves as fresh and traceable rather than light and healthy. And that’s good enough for me. The availability of well-constructed cocktails, craft beer and a handful of nice wines are the icing on the cake in what is a unique and easygoing kind of establishment run by a cool, metro-based couple that happen to be farmers. —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

The house-made veggie burger

The farmer’s market salad

The patty melt (l to r) Agua fresca made with guava and passion fruit, and a rum cocktail with kumquat

Tuna melt


The food court on the second level of Fashion Valley Mall will soon feature its first-ever cheesesteak tenant. Charley’s Philly Steaks is due to open by mid-July, according to franchisee JohnJohn Kim, who previously ran restaurants in China

and South Korea. The space was last occupied by Muscle Beach Lemonade & Hot Dogs. Charley’s spans the globe with 500 locations and features a variety of cheesesteaks made with beef or chicken. 7007 Friars Road, Suite 925,

A colorful eatery specializing in rolled tacos has opened in North Park. (Courtesy of Alandra Chavarria)

The new El Tianguis in North Park has one of the most straightforward menus of any Mexican eatery in San Diego. Aside from agua frescas, horchata and sodas, customers are faced with four easy meal decisions: beef, chicken, potato or lentil-quinoa rolled tacos. They’re served with or without sour cream, cheese, lettuce, salsa and guacamole. The quaint space captures the vibrant colors of Mexico’s markets and bazaars, which are known as tianguis throughout Latin America.

The eatery is owned by Oscar Ancira, whose family founded the highly successful Deli Mex, a wholesaler and manufacturer that supplied taquitos to retailers mainly in markets west of the Mississippi. Ancira says that when his family sold the business in 2001, they were making 2 million rolled tacos a day, hence the idea to open an eatery specializing in “what I know best.” 2810 El Cajon Blvd., 619-677-3581,

Astounding numbers are in on how many orders of mussel bisque have been served at a well-established Downtown restaurant. (Yelp) Scores of San Diegans have contributed to the latest tally of mussel bisque orders served at Dobson’s Bar & Restaurant since it opened in 1984. According to head chef Martin San Roman, records show that 1.1 million servings have been sold. The famed pastry-crowned bisque, which receives a generous pour of sherry when it’s served, has sated the likes of President Bill Clinton, world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo

Ma, famous bullfighters from Mexico and other luminaries. Of late, San Romano says he sells up to 700 orders per week. As for the origin of the recipe, the restaurant’s founder, Paul Dobson, obtained it decades ago from a bistro in Normandy, France. 956 Broadway Circle, 619-231-6771, —Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at fsabatini@san.

GAY SAN DIEGO June 8 - 21, 2018

Forget acai bowls and kale salads if you’re delving into the newest foods at the San Diego County Fair, which opened June 1 and continues through July 4. This year’s lineup includes deep-fried filet mignon, which Cotton candy ice cream sandies are among the new, pales in sinfuloutrageous foods at the San Diego County Fair. ness compared to (Courtesy of Del Mar Fairgrounds) items such as spaghetti and cheese compacted into the shape of donuts; bacon-wrapped baklava; chocolate-flavored pasta served in red velvet waffle bowls; lasagna nachos; ramen burritos; and unicorn cotton-candy ice cream sandwiches. On the liquid side of things, there will be plenty of suds and spirits for the tasting as the grounds make way for the San Diego International Beer Festival (June 15-17) and the Distilled Spirit and Cocktail Festival (June 23). 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar, 858-755-1161, This year’s annual Pride brew is a collaboration between Ballast Point Brewing and Hillcrest Brewing Company (HBC). Described as a “cucumber lager,” the newly released product is made with German hops and Bock yeast. Brewers Kelly Tidwell of Ballast and Clinton Shaver of HBC began

working on the recipe earlier this year at Ballast Point’s brewing facility. It is available at Ballast Point locations ( and HBC (1458 University Ave., Consumers can also find it at various West Hollywood bars starting June 10.

The much-anticipated gelato shop that looks like a dry cleaners has opened in North Park under the misleading title, An’s Dry Cleaning. Many of the signature flavors are named after linens such as chiffon

(strawberry-ginger), poplin (cucumber, lime and mint), and silk (almong-sage). The gelatos are scratch-made in small batches and use locally sourced ingredients. 3017 Adams Ave., 619-450-6166,


The hearty “Hillcrest toast” at Bardo Lounge (Instagram) The chic, little cafe in Hillcrest formerly known as The Kouch is now called Bardo Lounge. Its recent re-branding has resulted in more options for breakfast and lunch as well as a “lightened up” motif in Pride rainbow colors — but in pastels, according to manager Jack Castillo. In addition to beer, wine, cocktails and coffee drinks, the menu includes colorful “ombre” pancakes, tacos, quesadillas, salads, various burgers, wraps and more. There are also two types of multigrain toast: The Hillcrest features egg, avocado, feta cheese and chipotle aioli, and the LGBT is topped with guacamole, bacon, lettuce and tomatoes. A new, daily deal has also been introduced. For $8 you can score two fish tacos and a Modelo beer at any time during regular operating hours. 3852 Fourth Ave., 619269-5729,


GAY SAN DIEGO June 8 - 21, 2018


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DIVERSIONARY The entire casting was faultless, with Bob (Steve Gouveia) who played Bryant’s overbearing husband and had some clever and hysterical cameos. In particular, Lawrence Welk caught me off guard in the best of ways. Also, Marci Anne Wuebben (Tommy’s mother Kay) was solid as a mother who struggled with her son’s sexuality, yet her love for her son overcame her fears, doubts and beliefs. For such an elaborate production — and a small theater — the stage setting really added a reality to the storyline. Its television targeted setup created a believable atmosphere for the many scenes that were based on TV appearances and shows. The stage crew did a remarkable job with little props, and the background blended with the transitions from television to home. The crew seamlessly changed scenes without any disruption or distraction, a difficult task to master. It is no wonder that this has already been extended. There are numerous reasons why everyone of all ages should take the time to go see this wonderfully arranged musical. Although not documentary styled, it is full of real history in a relationship that was a catalyst of the early stages of the gay rights movement. Even if you know the history, the way

(l to r) Bob (Steve Gouveia), Anita Bryant (Allison Spratt Pearce), Tommy (Sam Heldt), Lauren King Thompson (Mary Ann Mobley, Et Al) and (back) Kyle (Shaun Tuazon) (Photo courtesy of SIMPATIKA) this story is told will make you look at it in a completely different way. Striking in absolute sonata, it touches the very soul of human conflict at the heart of the characters. Even though Anita Bryant is on the wrong side of gay history, her story is told with compassion, love and truth of her convictions which fuses together with the life of Thom Higgins. In many ways, their stories are the same. Powerfully and poignantly

written, produced and performed, this world premier has an impact that can journey further than Diversionary Theatre. But thanks, Diversionary and the theater’s entire team for tackling such a challenging piece of art. I believe it will be another sparkling gem in its repertoire of groundbreaking performances. —Albert Fulcher can be reached at

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GAY SAN DIEGO 13 June 8 - 21,

GAY SAN DIEGO 13 June 8 - 21, 2018

Friday, June 8

‘The Loneliest Girl in the World’ – Diversionary Theatre presents the world premiere of “The Loneliest Girl in the World,” a groundbreaking new musical that charts the emergence of the gay rights movement on intimate turns. This musical follows the rise of Anita Bryant and her youngest, greatest fan who does not understand Bryant’s sudden stance against the gay community. Books and lyrics by Gordon Leary, music by Julia Meinwald and directed by Diversionary Theatre’s Artistic Director, Matt M. Marrow. Playing through July 1 at 4545 Park Blvd. #101. LGBT Film Festival 2018 – FilmOut San Diego kicks off with its Opening Night Film and Party featuring “Ideal Home,” followed by film shorts “Turn it Around” and “Femme.” Tickets $10–$50. The four-day festival features 17 films and shorts at $10 per showing. All access passes for the entire film festival are $150, which includes entrance to all films, parties and events. Runs through June 10. Various times at The Observatory North Park, 2891 University Ave. San Diego Greek Festival – Get your annual fix of traditional and contemporary Greek food, music and dancing all weekend. Runs through June 10. Free on June 8, $3 donation on June 9 and 10. Various times at 3655 Park Blvd.

Saturday, June 9

2018 San Diego Festival of the Arts – During its two-day run, the 2018 San Diego Festival of the Arts will feature legendary composer and performer Jack Tempchin (The Eagles), Riley Biederer, (winner of YouTube’s “best.cover.ever” contest and recent competitor from “The Voice”), guitarist Peter Sprague and many others. In addition to great musical entertainment, the festival will

showcase stunning works of painting, sculpture, photography, glass, jewelry, ceramics, wood, fiber and mixed media from nearly 200 world-renowned artists at the Downtown San Diego Waterfront Park. Tickets for the festival start at $14 with proceeds benefitting adaptive sports programs for San Diegans with disabilities. Also on June 10. 1600 Pacific Highway.

Sunday, June 10

LGBTQ Friendly Catholic Mass – Mission Hills United Methodist Church at 6–7 p.m. 4044 Lark St. ‘This Is Home’ at MOPA – Join Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA) for a celebration of international film, education on issues facing displaced people and inspiration to get involved. All ticket sales benefit IRC (International Rescue Committee) programs in San Diego. $10– $35. 6:30 p.m. at MOPA, 1649 El Prado.

Tuesday, June 12

Hillcrest Town Council – Joint the Hillcrest Town Council (HTC) for its June community meeting at the Joyce Beers Community Center. Along with updates from elected officials and community representatives, Fernando Lopez, executive director San Diego Pride, will give an update about this year’s pride weekend festivities. Benjamin Nicholls, executive director of the Hillcrest Business Association, will share some exciting updates about changes to popular neighborhood events such as the Pride of Hillcrest Block Party and Hillcrest CityFest. The Uptown Community Parking District will update on changes to parking in the neighborhood. Everyone is welcome at the HTC meeting, whether or not you live in the neighborhood. 3900 Vermont St.

Thursday, June 14

‘The Year of the Woman’ – Black Kat is back at the Women’s Museum of California with a comical look at some of the biggest issues facing women today. An original sketch comedy presents a hilarious look at womanhood that covers everything form the pay gap to gender stereotypes, health care, the workplace and more. Also, on June 15, 16, 21, 22, 23. Doors open at 7 p.m., curtain call at 7:30 p.m. Tickets $16. 2370 Historic Decatur Road, Suite 103.

Saturday, June 16

Taste of Gaslamp – Celebrating 24 years of the historic Gaslamp Quarter’s exquisite dining options, the Taste of Gaslamp — presented by Karl Strauss — returns for another delicious, self-guided tasting tour from 1–4 p.m. This delectable day of dining not only celebrates the wide variety of well-established eateries, but also the longevity of the event that has made this culinary tour a true tradition in San Diego’s historic Gaslamp Quarter. Taste of Gaslamp will be dishing out savory bites from 24 participating restaurants. Check in begins at 12:30 p.m. at Gaslamp Square, 538 L St. Pre-sale general admission: $35; pre-sale VIP admission: $65.

University and Lincoln avenues. REHAB Pool Party – LE Parties’ first event of the summer. Get ready to lounge, relax and rejuvenate at the DoubleTree Mission Valley Pool. Three local DJs: DJ Tony, Jrafa and headliner dirtyKurty. Sip on a Stoli signature cocktail and get some free swag from Impulse San Diego. Tickets: Earlybird $12, pre-sale $16, general $20. Table service is available by contacting LE Parties at 949-441-0035. 7540 Hazard Center Drive.

Thursday, June 21

North Park Farmers Market – Shop more than 90 tents of locally grown produce, artisan grocery items, prepared foods and hand-crafted goods. 3–7:30 p.m. at 3000 North Park Way, stretching from 31st Street to Utah Street, North

Saturday, June 23

House concerts – Awardwinning songwriters Lindsay White ( and Sarah

Sample ( will share the stage at Oasis Concert Series, hosted by Raymond and Liberty Riggs in Encinitas. White — fresh off the heels of her Best Singer-Songwriter win at the 2018 San Diego Music Awards — is promoting her latest record “Lights Out,” while Sample is touring in support of her new album “Redwing.” A growing movement in the folk and songwriter community, house concerts offer a fun and intimate space for music-lovers to gather and connect via original music, storytelling, and conversation. Hosts volunteer their homes (living rooms, back yards, garages, etc.) as a makeshift stage and invite their favorite musicians to perform for audiences comprised of friends, neighbors, and members of the community. Guests typically contribute a small donation that goes directly toward supporting the performers. For more information and resources on the house concert scene, visit Potluck at 5 p.m., music starts at 6 p.m. $20 suggested donation. RSVP:

Rainbow Prom: Wizard’s Ball – All LGBTQ+ youth ages 14–18 are invited to the 2018 Rainbow Prom: Wizard’s Ball. This magical dance is free and includes a DJ, dancing, photobooth, performances and more. 6–10 p.m. at The Center. For more information contact 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest.

Sunday, June 17

Hillcrest Farmers Market – About 175 vendors offer a variety of locally grown fruit, produce, gifts, arts and crafts, flowers, and more. 9 a.m.–2 p.m. on Normal Street between


solution on page 14




1 With 19-Across, Broadway revival of a 1970 film 8 Home fit for a queen 14 Wonder Woman's wrist ornament 15 Cook of “The Maltese Falcon” 16 Word after poet 17 Draws a bead on 18 Gay rights defender, at times 19 See 1-Across 21 Sandra, in a “Grease” song 22 Cukor's _ __ Girls 24 Fabric suffix 25 Bio. or chem. 26 Izzard in a whirlpool? 28 Lovers of Ellen, for example 29 Title for Ian McKellen 30 Poughkeepsie campus 32 Pre-kiss insert, perhaps 33 With 50- and 61-Across, line from

the Chinese version of the revival? 37 Is worthwhile 38 Circumcision, e.g. 39 Brief endorsements 40 ___ bit (slightly) 42 Like a “Queer Eye” client, at first 46 Where they shoot “Will & Grace” 47 West of Hollywood 48 Legal matters 49 They could come from Uranus 50 See 33-Across 53 Pastry with fruit, perhaps 54 Sautéed delicacies 55 Veggie burger, at Hamburger Mary's 58 Fashion designer Pucci 59 Maidenhead, for example 60 Spruce up 61 See 33-Across

1 Followed a trail 2 With “ass,” hurried 3 Tan relative 4 One ruled by a queen 5 Plug attachment 6 Hairy Himalayans 7 British carbine 8 Showy cock's partner 9 Sigourney Weaver sequel 10 Life partner 11 Margaret Cho show 12 Meeting unexpectedly, with “upon” 13 Crash into the ground, slangily 14 Zorro was a gay one 20 Cause anguish to 22 Ballet move 23 Canadian gas brand 27 Burl of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” 28 Prima ___ evidence

31 Castro, in San Francisco 32 Kunis of “Black Swan” 33 Escort from the bar to your room 34 Off rhyme for a lane on “Desperate Housewives” 35 Activist Clare Boothe ___ 36 Vietnam neighbor 37 They ring twice, in film noir 40 Tennis star Mauresmo 41 Jude Law in “Sherlock Holmes” 43 Political analyst Ron 44 Like Christmas tree lights 45 Lauded makeup maker Lauder 48 Poet Vivien 51 Salmon after becoming a breeder 52 Mary had a little one 53 Spelling of “Trick” 56 “What ___, chopped liver?” 57 JFK's successor



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San Diego’s LGBT News source Volume 9 Issue 6 March 16-29, 2018

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Vote for your favorites Page 16


Candidate Malbrough speaks, Nordstrom drops out


Dockless bikes in Hillcrest



By William E. Kelly Editor’s Note: This is the second in a three-part series. Read the first in the series online at

Liz Carmouche, a 125-pound bantamweigh t women's MMA fighter, is ranked No. (Courtesy of 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu) 6 in the world.

Renee Differ

Former Christian rocker comes out

First openly lesbian fighter makes Albert H. Fulcher | Editor In 2010, when Liz Carmouche decided she wanted to compete in the MMA (mixed martial arts) professionally, she did so with a “head on” approach. She was


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her way to the top of MMA rankings

told it would take a year or more of training before she ever saw the ring. But the veteran Marine Corps aviation electrician beat the odds, getting her first chance to fight professionally within four months of starting her training.

Now after 11 wins and six losses, Carmouche is currently the No. 6 ranked 125-pound bantamweight women’s MMA fighter in the world.

see MMA, pg 11

Homelessness in the LGBTQ comm unity

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Mayor brings interfaith discussion Albert H. Fulcher | Editor

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The Interfaith Shelter Network (ISN) has been an effective program for the homeless throughout San Diego County, so far helping 8,000 homeless individuals gain access to resources and services to get their lives back on track. San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer joined the (ISN) in asking LGBT-friendly congregations to join the network and open their doors to homeless individuals at the ISN Summit on March 5 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral. “We know there are a number of LGBTQ individuals experiencing homelessness and they need our help. That’s why we are asking LGBTQ-friendly congregations, who understand their needs, to join our care network and provide a temporary place for them to begin turning their lives around,” said Faulconer in a press release.

to LGBT–affirming congregations

Candidate Ken Malbrough

(l to r) ISN Summit panelists, The Very Rev. Penny Bridges, Trisha Brereton, Fernando Lopez, Gary Owen, and Jonathan Herrera (Photo by Albert H. Fulcher)

The ISN Summit discussion addressing the summit. “This panel consisted of The Very is a network that works and Rev. Penny Bridges, dean, with your help and participaSt. Paul’s Cathedral; Trisha tion, I think you will see the Brereton, ISN executive dibenefits in so many ways. That rector; Fernando Lopez, San is why I am optimistic about Diego LGBT Pride executive our opportunities to begin makdirector; Gary Owen, ISN voling a real difference.” unteer; and Jonathan Herrera, Faulconer said that combatsenior advisor on homelessne ss ting homelessness is about crecoordination for the city of San ating that safe space for those Diego. in need, regardless of someone’s “You all represent the fabrace, color, religion, gender, sexric of our city for wanting to ual orientation, national origin, do the right thing and helpage or disabilities. ing people get back on their feet,” Faulconer said when see ISN,

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see Candidates, pg 5

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● Opening statement “The county has $2 billion in reserve tax dollars just floating in a cloud of unknown use by county supervisors,” Malbrough said. He said he pledges to “seek community input” on how these reserve tax dollars can best be utilized and would like to see them invested in “chronically neglected or underfunded areas,” such as housing and public safety in underserved communities. “My priority is reducing our homelessness epidemic and addressing this issue region-wide,” he said. “Providing access to health and human services is the primary and more affordable method to avoid the pathway to homelessness and incarceration.”

pg 15


On June 5, San Diego County will hold primary elections for the following seats: county board of supervisors; county assessor/ recorder/county clerk; county treasurer/tax collector; district attorney; county sheriff; county board of education members; community college district members; and superior court judges. In the first of this series, I spoke to Omar Passons and Lori Saldana, two of the six candidates I interviewed who wish to represent District 4 on the San Diego County board of supervisors . Each candidate I spoke to agreed to focus on the challenges facing seniors, and was offered the opportunity to state their priorities, objectives, goals and plans to address and achieve those priorities, as well as share their experience and qualifications. Following are the highlights of responses by candidates Ken Malbrough and Marcia Nordstrom.

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BENJAMIN The drama follows a 1960s teenager, Marcel (Rudy Pankow), during the aftermath of suffering from electrotherapeutic conversion therapy. When thinking about advice for LGBT talent that want to become involved with the entertainment industry, Howard believes people should “keep it interesting.” “We’ve seen a lot of stories about people struggling with their identity,” he said. “Finding a new perspective on sexuality and touching on that is something that I encourage. Keeping the story universal enough that you can empathize with the character is what storytelling is all about.” And Howard has utilized his cinema talents in many areas of his life. Howard used cinema to ask his prom date to the school dance. “My project was about me and another guy trying to find a way to ask their dates to prom,” he said. “Once the final scene was over, we walked through the classroom doors and asked them afterwards. That was an early sign that I wanted to make a career out of this.” Following graduation, he studied film at SDSU where he developed and honed his skills. When he first started classes, his original goal was

Filmmaker Benjamin Howard is going to UCLA to get his master of fine arts in film production/direction. (Photo courtesy of Ethan Garcia)

to be involved with movies as much as possible and, during his time on campus, he made seven short motion pictures. One project that Howard loved working on was his Intermediate Film Production course project, “Sleep on It.” The motion picture, which is filmed in one take, focused on a gay couple mattress shopping for their apartment. An argument that escalates between them was inspired by relationships that Howard and his friends had in their lives. “Sleep on It” received several nominations at the 2018 San Diego Film Awards and played at festivals like the Corvallis Queer Film Festival, the Culver City Film Festival, and HollyShorts Film Festival. Another film he was proud

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of was the 2016 award-winning short “Disconnect,” which was filmed at KFMBTV studios. Produced for a cinematography class, the shoot was a memorable one because of the location. “It was really exciting to film in a live, working news station,” he said. “I was stoked to have that opportunity.” While his tales can be very personal, Howard wants to make sure that his work will connect with audiences. “Whenever I start to write something, I ask myself — could I see this film playing at festivals and does this have appeal with a wide variety of audiences?” he said. “I’m always pondering the festival circuit.”

GAY SAN DIEGO June 8 - 21, 2018 For the fall, Howard is going to UCLA to get his master of fine arts in film production/ direction. At the moment, he has ideas for narratives that can be filmed for the university. In terms of his objectives at UCLA, Howard wants to learn about different aspects about film. “I want to learn from as many people as I can,” he said. While a lot of his stories feature LGBT themes, he didn’t initially plan to focus on these topics in his work. “Since I’m gay and we’re taught to write what we know, it’s easy to write about that kind of experience,” he said. “Half of my shorts from SDSU either had gay


characters or were about a gay struggle.” UCLA seems like a perfect place for Howard to create unique and original movies. Don’t be surprised if you continue to see new work from the rising storyteller at a variety of film events and festivals. FilmOut San Diego continues at The Observatory North Park through Sunday, June10. “Deviant” will screen on Sunday as part of San Diego Spotlight. For tickets or more information, visit or call 619-665-1029. —David Dixon is a freelance film and theater writer. He can be reached at


GAY SAN DIEGO June 8 - 21, 2018




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Gay San Diego 06-08-18  
Gay San Diego 06-08-18