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Volume 7 Issue 15 July 22 - Aug. 4, 2016

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Photo Feature Page 8

‘We want to be a safe place for these kids’


By Dave Fidlin

They’ve also been busy traveling outside of America’s Finest City. In early July, approximately 100 members of the 150-member group attended the international Gala Choruses Festival in Denver. Lehman noted that approximately 7,000 men and women from all corners of the globe convened in the Mile High City to celebrate the LGBT choral community. “There were a lot of people there who would see us and immediately reach out to congratulate us on how we handled the Padres incident,” Lehman said. Although the Padres were quick to fire the DJ who was responsible for the flub, the SDGMC asked

El Cajon-based treatment facility is expanding its outreach to transgender youth. Sovereign Health of Rancho San Diego is an organization specializing in working with youth who contend with such serious issues as suicidal tendencies, drug and alcohol addiction and severe depression. Each patient has dealt with a specific issue — including but not limited to, eating disorders; mood, anxiety and behavioral disorders; and various forms of addiction — and hails from various corners of the U.S. While staffers said they work with people from all walks of life, they concede that the treatment facility — located in the relatively conservative area of San Diego’s East County in El Cajon — has never served the transgender community, but they are making strides to reverse that trend. In the past year, the in-patient, youth-focused Rancho San Diego facility has begun stepping up efforts to work with transgender youth between the ages of 12 and 17. Dr. Anthony Mele, Sovereign Health Group’s chief clinical officer, said 14 transgender youth

see Thriller, pg 17

see Transgender, pg 3

Corbin switches gears

r DINING The San Diego Gay Men's Chorus on the steps of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts earlier this month, during the national GALA conference. Members in the front row had performed a Beach Boys medley, choreographed by Joe Gregore. (Photo by Patrick Hagerty)

'Cause 'it's a Thriller, Thriller night’ The founders of power sushi


They dance, sing and behave just fine


By Margie M. Palmer It’s been nearly two months since the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus’ (SDGMC) performance of the National Anthem at a San Diego Padres baseball game was drowned out by a pre-recorded female voice. And while the group is currently focused on preparing for their upcoming summer blockbuster show, “Thriller,” SDGMC Executive Director Bob Lehman admits it’s been a hectic couple of months. “It’s been non-stop for us,” he said. “We had the Padres thing, we performed for the first time on the big main stage at the San Diego County Fair with Carly Rae Jepsen and then later that night was the shooting in Orlando. It’s been one thing after another.”

Breaking ground in more ways than one New LGBT-affirmative senior housing will be first in region By Dave Schwab

Community Voices .....….5

LGBTQ leaders are hailing the recent groundbreaking of the first LGBT-affirming senior housing development in North Park as a “game changer for human rights.” “Housing can be especially challenging for LGBT seniors,” noted Tony Atkins, State Assembly Speaker Emeritus, referencing the 76-unit affordable apartment development, which will be located at 4200 Texas St. in North Park. The historic complex is being developed by Community HousingWorks (CHW) in partnership with the San Diego LGBT Community Center (The Center). Open to all seniors, this new community will provide an affirming and supportive environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender seniors. CHW CEO Sue Reynolds, who was just honored with a


see Senior Housing, pg 10

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GAY SAN DIEGO July 22 - Aug. 4, 2016

Local publisher shifts gears Corbin opens center to tackle substance abuse By Desirae Holland Confronting San Diego’s growing addiction problem, Californiabased substance abuse treatment organization, BLVD Treatment Center, recently commemorated the grand opening of their Hillcrest facility. In a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the support from local community leaders including Mayor Kevin Faulconer, City Councilmember-elect Chris Ward, Chamber of Commerce CEO Jerry Sanders, City Commissioner Nicole Murray-Ramirez and City Commissioner Susan Jester, a red ribbon was used to promote awareness of substance abuse. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drug overdose deaths in America hit record numbers in 2014. A total of 47,055 drug overdose deaths occurred that year, with an increase in death among people age 25 to 44. Each day, 78 Americans die from an opioid overdose. These statistics shed light on the opioid epidemic the nation is currently facing. To address the issue, the Obama administration proposed $1.1 billion to help provide treatment and fight prescription opioid

Local leaders joined BLVD's staff at the ribbon cutting: (l to r) BLVD General Manager Jason Monroe; Councilmember-elect Chris Ward; BLVD CEO Stampp Corbin; Mayor Kevin Faulconer; Dr. Lauren Costine; former mayor Jerry Sanders; Demond Burwell, BLVD program advisor; Chris Pruneda, BLVD managing director. (Photo by Andrew Cardillo / BLVD Treatment Centers) and heroin abuse. The proposed funding is meant to create evidence-based prevention programs, prescription drug take-back events, medication-assisted treatment and the overdose reversal drug naloxone, to name a few. In a report from the California Department of Public Health, deaths in the state involving opioid prescription medications have increased 16.5 percent since 2006. In 2012, more than 1,800 deaths occurred from all types of opioids with 72 percent resulting from prescription opioids. Dr. Lauren Costine, the chief clinical officer at Hillcrest BLVD Treatment Center, said she became inspired to help people due to her own personal experience. After becoming sober over 17 years ago, she decided to study psychology to further understand what was happening underneath the symptoms and one’s subconscious. “Substance abuse is a brain disorder,” Dr. Costine said. “Some-

thing is wrong with the brain, there is a change to the chemistry in the brain. We examine the physiological and emotional state to address the whole person.” BLVD Treatment Center’s mission statement states that “a life of active addiction is a shrinking life of ever-diminishing returns; a life of recovery is an expanding one, filling up with love, truth, mindfulness and joy.” In keeping with this mission, Dr. Costine explained that the center provides innovative programs, such as sound healing; drum circles; spirituality groups; cognitive, behavioral and evidence-based approaches; and yoga and Tai-Chi or Qi-Gone. These programs are meant to create an environment that allows each individual to find their purpose. “We meet the client where they are and give them what works for them,” Costine said. “While we support 12-step programs, we aren’t 12-step.” Local publisher and activist

Stampp Corbin is the CEO of the new Hillcrest BLVD Treatment Center. Corbin said that the Hillcrest location was chosen to provide another option in the area for people seeking treatment. “One of the problems with the United States is that 21.5 million people have substance abuse disorders but only 2.5 million people seek treatment and even those people that seek treatment have trouble, at times, due to a lack of facilities,” Corbin said. In addition to offering another access point, the BLVD Treatment Center also focuses on tracks such as the LGBTQ-affirmative and PrimeTime track that specifically cater to the Hillcrest community. The LGBTQ-affirmative track “addresses the trauma people experience when growing up in a world with LGBTQ-phobia,” Costine said. “The track debunks the negative myths and instills an authentic pride in being LGBTQ. With the PrimeTime

track, it caters to clients 35 and older. A lot of treatment centers cater to 18 – 28 year olds, but older clients have a different set of issues, such as careers and relationships. Our core idea for [PrimeTime] is to help clients find their meaning.” Corbin said based on his personal motto of “I do well by doing good,” and his background in the medical field, he jumped back into the workforce when the opportunity was presented to help people with substance abuse. “Our concept is about bringing treatment to the masses,” Corbin said, adding that treatment centers often are costly and reserved for “the very rich” and those who don’t need insurance. “We are trying to provide treatment to the average person who has insurance and is trying to set their life straight. “The facility expresses to people that are going through a substance abuse crisis that there is a life on the other side,” Corbin continued. “Many people that suffer with addiction fear what the other side [of sobriety] looks like. The facility doesn’t represent a clinic, it’s hip and cool.” Corbin also said that the facility is meant to showcase an aspirational life for its clients. San Diego’s BLVD Treatment Center is located at 3785 Sixth Ave., Suite 3, in Hillcrest. For more information on individual treatment plans for drug and alcohol abuse, visit, or to speak confidentially with an expert 24/7, call 888-896-5234. —Desirae Holland is a local freelance writer. You can reach her at or follow her on Twitter @desirae_h_.t




Music by


Lyrics by


Suggested by the Memoirs of GYPSY ROSE LEE

JULY 14 - SEPTEMBER 4 Directed by


Music Direction by


Choreography by





GAY SAN DIEGO July 22 - Aug. 4, 2016


Staffers at Sovereign Health's Rancho San Diego treatment facility simulate some of the activities transgender patients take part in, including team-building with small groups and recreational games. (Photos courtesy Fafe Knapp/Sovereign Health San Diego) FROM PAGE 1

TRANSGENDER were admitted into the Rancho San Diego treatment facility the past few years and he expects the numbers to increase as the organization begins a series of more robust outreach efforts with both local and national LGBT groups. The decision to overtly “throw open the gates” to transgender youth was rather happenstance, though Mele said it gave executives reason to take pause and examine Rancho San Diego’s overarching mission statement. “Our team noticed we had a patient listed with two first names [and a last name], which we originally thought was an error,” Mele said. “We later discovered the patient was going by their opposite gender name, as well as their original name.” As Mele and other staffers began working with the patient, a light bulb went off, and they realized reaching out to a group as marginalized as transgender youth would be an effective outreach effort. “We started talking and we started to sit around and brainstorm,” Mele said. “We realized we have to do something because there are kids out there who are struggling with deep addictions and have gender identity issues. We want to be a safe place for these kids.” Square one was a few years back and the first few baby steps taken toward a full-fledged transgender-geared program have been what Mele described as “an organic process.” Several Sovereign Health staffers are helping head up the transgender-focused program at Rancho San Diego. Leaders include Marilee Wasell, a doctor who serves as the treatment center’s training director, and Jason Hennick, the center’s program director. Hennick said he has seen positive results, based on the 14 transgender youth who have completed one of the recovery programs within the past few years. “For a lot of these kids, it’s the first time they feel accepted,” Hennick said. “We’re starting to see some of them start to come alive. It’s powerful.” Wasell, who has worked in the past with such organizations as

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the San Diego LGBT Community Center in Hillcrest, said she has heartily advocated bringing a transgender-focused program to the Rancho San Diego treatment facility. “Even for the most welladjusted child, adolescence is a confusing time,” Wasell said. “But for transgender youth, you have risks factors, such as body type. It just hits them right in the face.” As is the case with many of Rancho San Diego’s treatment programs, the transgenderfocused effort encompasses a mixture of peer support activities and person-specific treatment plans. Mele emphasized that Rancho San Diego’s transgender-focused program is geared specifically toward youth dealing with very serious conditions, in addition to their gender identity issues. As with any of Rancho San Diego’s treatment programs, patients are admitted through a referral process from physicians and other experts. Mele said the transgender program, as with many others, is funded through insurance and other private payment programs.

Patients go through an intensive in-house program, lasting from 40 to 60 days, then receive an after-care follow-up program. Amber Cyphers Stephens, chief communications officer with the San Diego LGBT Community Center, said while The Center does not yet have a formal relationship with the Rancho San Diego treatment facility, they are looking into it. “We don’t have anyone in our Behavioral Health Services department who’s familiar with the program yet, but BHS staffers are reaching out to meet with them,” Cyphers Stephens wrote in an email. “There is a process for vetting any program we work with.” Sovereign Health of Rancho San Diego is located at 2815 Steele Canyon Road. For more information about the treatment facility, visit To look into The Center’s Transgender Services programs, visit —Dave Fidlin is a freelance journalist with a special affinity for San Diego and its people. Contact him at t

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GAY SAN DIEGO July 22 - Aug. 4, 2016


This weekend, Friday, July 22, through Sunday, July 24, the annual Stand Down for homeless veterans takes place at the upper athletic fields of San Diego High School, located at 1405 Park Blvd., Downtown. Organized locally by Veterans Village of San Diego (VVSD), the national Stand Down event offers homeless veterans across the country a safe place to sleep for the weekend, hot meals, showers, haircuts, medical and dental services, chiropractic and massage services, clothing, socks, job and housing assistance. Last year more than 100 attendees received transitional housing placements. This year the Los Angeles and San Diego LGBT Community Centers are also teaming up to offer additional LGBT-specific services and information to LGBT homeless veterans. If you are a homeless LGBT vet, you are encouraged to attend. To learn more about Stand Down, visit


The advisory council of the LGBT Veterans Wall of Honor is seeking nominations for the upcoming induction ceremony. The wall — named after local LGBT veteran activists Benjamin F. Dillingham and Bridget Wilson — is located inside the auditorium of the San Diego LGBT Community Center. Founded in 2011, the same year DADT was repealed, the wall recognizes LGBT veterans who not only have served their country honorably and while in silence, but have also continued to act as role models to advance equality. The Wall’s annual induction ceremony is held in November, on the Thursday evening before the Veterans Day holiday. Specific criteria and nomination forms are located on The Center’s website. Deadline for nominations is July 31. For more information visit


The Imperial Court de San Diego is seeking participants for its upcoming Miss Gay San Diego 2016 contest, to take place at Rich’s Nightclub, Aug. 7, from 5 – 9 p.m. The drag pageant will have contestants competing in four categories: swimsuit, talent, evening gown, and a question and answer session. A panel of local community judges will select the winners. Those interested in competing should contact producer Regina Styles at 619-288-1183. Admission is $10 at the door. Proceeds will go to Imperial Court de San Diego’s various charity programs. Rich’s Nightclub is located at 1051 University Ave. in Hillcrest.


The San Diego Architectural Foundation is seeking nominations for its 40th annual “Orchids and Onions” award ceremony, taking place Oct. 13. These popular awards recognize both “the best” and “the worst” of architectural design, form and function, in five categories: Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Historic Preservation, Interior Design and Miscellaneous (public

NEWS / COMMUNITY VOICES art, lighting, graphics, etc.). Orchids & Onions allows the public to vote on new designs in their neighborhood that they either love or loathe and “set the standard for future developments,” and to post photos (with a description) of projects online by July 31. To be eligible, the nominated developments/designs must be nonresidential — or include at least four residential units — and have been built within the last three years. No single-family homes will be eligible. Projects nominated in all categories will then be judged by a jury, which was announced this week. The public may then vote online for “People’s Choice Orchid & Onion,” starting Sept. 1. For more information, visit


Gina Roberts, president of the Log Cabin Republicans of San Diego, the local chapter of the larger national LGBT Republican organization, has released a statement regarding the “blatantly antiLGBT” platform recently adopted by the GOP. Roberts identified four planks “that do not reflect [the party’s] need … to return to its inclusive and diversity-embracing roots” of the party: marriage should be between a man and a woman; children raised on “traditional” homes are healthier; parents can force their LBGT children to undergo conversion therapy; and provisions to limit which restrooms transgender people could use. In her statement, released July 20, Roberts listed in detail the reasons these platforms should be rebuked. Regarding marriage equality: “The platform committee ignored the compassionate plea of openly gay delegate Rachel Hoff and chose to include this platform plank that has already been settled by the Supreme Court.” On raising children, Roberts said, “There is absolutely no data from a reparable source that even closely implies these statistics … this statement does nothing but tear down the integrity of the Party.” Noting that conversion therapy “has been discredited by all but the most religious psychotherapists,” Roberts said she has known several individuals who have been subjected to such therapy and now have PTSD that rivals in severity to that of combat veterans. Roberts, a trans woman, called the last plank her “hot button.” “There has never been an issue with a true transgender person using the restroom of the gender they have or are transitioning to … this is a plank that only serves to marginalize a another segment of the LGBT population ...” Insisting that the planks be removed, Roberts then summed up the group’s position. “Taken individually each of these planks shows a significant insensitivity to the needs of a significant portion of the population to live happy, productive lives, but collectively they represent a suppressive attack on this population which provides no benefit to anyone, other than the parts of the conservative right that wish to control others through governmental interaction. This increase in the interaction of government seems to run counter to the core values of conservatives for smaller less intrusive government.” To learn more about LCR San Diego, visit or find them on Facebook.t

GAY SAN DIEGO July 22 - Aug. 4, 2016


Don’t lose yourself in a relationship that way. I know I was. As the oldest of four children, I felt responsible for the younger three. I was also put into the role of my mother’s confidante, further cementing myself into the box of “caretaker/helper/ responsible one.” It has taken me a Often, when I counsel newlylong time to get out of that box. married couples, I hear a familiar We all come to the “caretaker” lament: “I feel like I’ve lost myself role in our own way. since I got married” or “After movIt’s not a bad thing to occasioning in with my partner, I feel like ally “merge” with your husband/ I’ve merged with them so much that wife. But if you have lost yourself I don’t know who I am anymore.” in your marriage and your identity You fall in love. You move in. as an independent person seems to You get married. You get lost. have slip-slided away, then it’s time Sometimes it feels that way and to talk about the art of not merging. you wonder what happened to the It can be great to be part of a person you used to be. You wonder happy couple; to be “Blake’s hushow you lost all those good qualiband” or “Lana’s wife,” as long as it ties that you used to have, all your isn’t your only identity. independence, all those friends. Don’t lose yourself. You need You lament all the activities you friends. Don’t try and make your used to enjoy that you’ve given up. lover your everything. It’s oh so tempting to blame your I like the idea of “healthy partner for all of this. Of course, distance” in a relationship, which perhaps he/she has lost himself/ means that each person needs herself as well. friends of their own and activities Codependence is another they do on their own. It isn’t emoword for feeling hyper-responsitionally healthy to share everything ble for someone else and putwith your partner. A desperate ting their needs first. If you are groping for emotional closeness codependent in relationships, makes you clingy and needy. expect to feel resentment. We all Feeling abandoned? have moments of codependence, This is a sign that you’ve really where we put others first, this is lost yourself: Your whole sense of a normal, healthy thing. Howev- safety and identity depend on feeler, if we find that we repeatedly ing loved by other people and when put ourselves and our needs last, those people temporarily (or not) then we may be losing ourselves turn their love away from you, you … sacrificing our own well-being panic. for that of our partner or other Feeling abandoned is one verpeople we care about. sion of losing yourself. We believe We may have been taught to be that the only way to make our part-

Life Beyond Therapy Michael Kimmel

ner (or anyone) love us is to deny who we really are and “perform” for them: making them approve of us in order to “win” their love. If you were my client and had lost yourself in your relationship, I’d help you gradually begin to remember what you like to do. Some of us have been performing for others for so long that we’ve almost forgotten what we like or don’t like. Our personal preferences were repeatedly pushed aside to make way for the desires of those we wanted to love us. Then, when we actually begin to tell people what we want, we get very anxious: it brings up all our old, unresolved people-pleasing stuff. We can learn to un-brainwash ourselves: We started out in life knowing we were loveable exactly as we are, but along the way we were told that we were only worthy of love if we behaved in a certain way. And, of course, it was impossible to behave in this way all the time. What a set-up for insecurity! Luckily, you’re not stuck there; with help from your partner, friends and others who love you, you can begin to “unhook” from the chronic and debilitating “need to please.” Don’t put it off any longer. If you feel like you’ve lost yourself in relationships, the time to find yourself is now. —Michael Kimmel is a licensed psychotherapist who specializes in helping LGBT clients achieve their goals. Reach him at 619-955-3311 or visit

events attheCenter tuesday, July 26

tues, august 2

Senior Food Bank

Community Food Bank

1 pm, the Center The Senior Food Bank Program provides food and nutrition education to eligible low-income seniors 60 years or older on the 4th Tuesday of the month. Eligible applicants can enroll in the program by applying in person at our site on the day of the event or call the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank at 866.350.3663. For more information, visit the San Diego Food Bank website at or contact Larue Fields at or 619.692.2077 x205.

Friday, July 29

Children’s Playgroup @ the Center 9:30-11:30 am, the Center Join us at The Center on the last Friday of every month for our children’s play group. This group gives children ages 0-5 the chance to socialize and participate in educational opportunities that enhance their sensory skills. Both formal and informal activities will be available. Parents will also have the chance to socialize and network with other LGBT parents. For more information, contact us at

9-10:30 am, the Center The San Diego LGBT Community Center hosts a distribution site once a month for the Community Cares Project of the San Diego Food Bank. On the first Tuesday of every month visit The Center’s parking lot for emergency food. For more information, visit the San Diego Food Bank website at

Wed, august 3

Guys, Games & Grub

6 pm, the Center Guys, Games & Grub, presented by Men @ The Center and Hillcrest Social, is a fun, free monthly social event designed for men – where everyone is welcome. Dozens of men gather at The Center on the first Wednesday of each month for free pizza, beer, wine, soft drinks, games, prizes, and more. A donation of $5 is suggested at the door to support men’s programming at The Center. Bring friends or come alone and meet new friends! For more information, contact aaron heier at or 619.692.2077 x211. The San Diego LGBT Community Center 3909 Centre Street • 619-692-2077 Twitter: @LGBTCenter



GAY SAN DIEGO July 22 - Aug. 4, 2016

Letters On the move to San Diego [Ref: “Back Out With Benny: It’s always someone’s first time,” Vol. 7, Issue 14, or online at] Super article. I was an activist in LA ’70s and ’80s and can remember the first Pride events, great fun events expressing community. Been in the process of exploring a move to San Diego County for a couple years, so I recently Googled “San Diego gay and lesbian leaders” to better understand what is happening in the area. A friend of 30+ years from LA and Palm Springs that I would run into at various spiritual workshops kept suggesting Encinitas. Have made several visits to Mission Beach area and Encinitas. North County Coast is me. Hope to meet and participate in activities once I get settled late 2016. My biggest concern is for the 12-to 20-year old age group that are having difficulty with sexual identity. Counseling professionals tell me a large percent of suicides with this group is because of their sexual identity and related issues. How very sad and unnecessary. Good wishes beautiful San Diego County. —John Edward Jones, via

see Letters, pg 11

Guest Editorial

LGBT community has the power By Shawn Van Diver As we all wind down from another safe and successful Pride weekend in San Diego, I can’t help but think about how the LGBT community has the power to save the world. I am not gay. I don’t identify as LGBT. I do identify as a staunch ally to the LGBT community and have since I was a child; having been raised by a single mother in Bakersfield, California — hardly a bastion of liberal politics — among an incredible LGBT community, thanks to my mom. When I joined the U.S. Navy, a close family friend asked me to promise to look out for the LGBT sailors I might serve with, just as I had done in high school. I agreed. I served for 12 years in the Navy, most of that time under “don’t ask, don’t tell.” I remember when DADT was repealed and how nothing negative happened to anyone. Sailors could finally serve as their true selves and life went on. I also remember when sailors, soldiers, airmen and Marines, including myself, were EDITOR Morgan M. Hurley (619) 961-1960 CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Ken Williams, x102 Jeff Clemetson, x119 CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Charlene Baldridge Dave Fidlin Desirae Holland Michael Kimmel Big Mike Ian Morton Alex Owens Margie M. Palmer Frank Sabatini Jr. Dave Schwab

Shawn VanDiver allowed to march in their uniforms in San Diego’s 2012 Pride Parade. As the lone straight, white male in the contingent, I was so proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with so many of my fellow service members who could finally stand out in the sun and shine. The repeal of DADT and the ability to march in the Pride parade can, like so many other breakthroughs in LGBT rights, be directly attributed to the activism, and to the patriotism, of the LGBT community and us allies. WEB & SOCIAL MEDIA Jen Van Tieghem, x118 COPY EDITOR Dustin Lothspeich

We’ve seen a slew of shootings in recent times, the latest mass shooting to rock the nation occurred the evening of June 11 at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, where 49 LGBTQA lives were taken too soon. I saw the initial reports as I headed to bed. It wasn’t until the next morning — after waking up that Sunday and reading through all the horrific stories — that I realized the full scope of this grotesque attack on a community filled with so much love. Later that day I had a discussion with fellow veterans who are fighting the heartless gun lobby and this time felt different. I joined thousands of others who headed to the San Diego LGBT Community Center the next evening and heard community leaders like Assembly Speaker Emeritus Toni G. Atkins, Councilmember Todd Gloria and City Commissioner Nicole Murray Ramirez speaking about this attack on the LGBT community. Gloria asserted that this time would be different. Gun violence had struck the LGBT community and the LGBT community ACCOUNTING Priscilla Umel-Martinez (619) 961-1962


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would not stand for it. He said that the community would not stand down, would not hide, and would fight this next fight. There is no community that can organize and affect positive change for the world like the LGBT community. Our country has seen an unprecedented level of gun violence, and although we’ve been lucky in San Diego of late, we remain at risk. We remain at risk because of refusal to act. Many often pretend that our political system has problems on both sides. On this issue, that is just incorrect. The fact is that the National Rifle Association was taken over by radicals in the 1970s and has never recovered. What used to be a “sport shooting” organization quickly turned into one controlled by gun manufacturers. Only a well-organized coalition can defeat the machine they have built. It gives me great hope that our local leaders like Atkins, Gloria and Ramirez are engaging on this. With Gloria’s all-but-guaranteed ascension to the state Assembly this winter, he will have an opportunity at the state level to affect smart, principled and common sense change. But California isn’t the prob-

lem. It’s going to take a national movement to enact national legislation. The good news is that LGBT leaders from across our nation are engaging. It’s going to take the entire LGBT community fighting in concert to protect our families. I look forward to working with the LGBT community toward smart, principled gun laws that respect our constitutional rights, even as they respect all American’s right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, free from the danger of being gunned down in the street. Orlando felt different. Then again, Sandy Hook felt different too. This time can be different. This time must be different. The LGBT community has the power to make a difference and I can’t wait to help. —Shawn VanDiver is a Navy veteran and longtime ally to the LGBT community. He is the co-director of the Truman National Security Project San Diego Chapter and serves on the advisory board for the Veterans Coalition for Common Sense. He lives in Hillcrest with his son, Ryan. Reach him at shawn@vandiverconsulting. com or follow him on Twitter @ ShawnJVanDiver.t

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.

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GAY SAN DIEGO July 22 - Aug. 4, 2016

When was your "Pride moment"? (above) Marching with loved ones in the parade? (right) Finishing your first 5K the morning of the parade? (below) Taking in the festivities with your best friend? (Photos by Big Mike)

Finding your ‘Pride moment’ Profiles in Advocacy Ian Morton I am writing this on the evening of Sunday, July 17, 2016 — about an hour after I packed up the San Diego Black LGBTQ Coalition booth and dropped off some of my fellow coalition members at their homes. As last month’s column was only a couple of weeks after the Pulse Orlando massacre, this one comes on the heels of a the shooting of both men of color and police officers, an attack on the airport in Istanbul and the truck rampage in Nice on Bastille Day. We have also seen one of the most anti-gay GOP party platforms in history introduced mere days ago. Yet in an uncertain world, we can still find moments that anchor us to what is good and beautiful and just in the world. So I challenge you: Look back over the weekend of July 15-17, 2016, and find your “Pride moment.” On this, I want to say, let us not conflate “Pride” — the culmination of years of protests and struggle for basic rights — with “Pride,” the production piece in any major U.S. city that strives to find ways to serve a multi-general, multicultural, gender-diverse population. In any given year, you may find your moment in a parade, or a music festival, or a rally,

but you can also find it in those tender moments in between. It could be an older couple holding hands in Balboa Park; seeing your friend, from afar, twirling her iridescent wings; or watching a young person blossom into a joyful warrior before your eyes. This year, I came into Pride feeling the intersection of my identities as a gay man and a black man more keenly that ever before. After Orlando, I felt despair, but after the shootings in Baton Rouge and Minneapolis, I felt resolve. It occurred to me that I have black family members, who I have not yet met, who could be the next casualty. And in a stunning and unexpected turn of events, my somewhat social media-phobic father joined Facebook long enough to turn up some of his estranged family members and help my sister and I become connected with them. I am dis-

2 1 s t

covering and re-connecting with people whom, through divorce, the passing of time and moves across the country, I haven’t seen in 25 years. As a result, in the terms of many of my friends, I have become “woke.” And it’s true; I’ve been a bystander in my black identity for many years and I realize that it doesn’t serve my community and actually harms me to live in the space. I’m suddenly more connected than ever. This year marked the first year of the San Diego Black LGBTQ Coalition marching in the San Diego Pride Parade. Like so many of you, I had some different options for participation this year. My employer, the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation, is made up fellow staff members who I think of as family. I also intersect with San Diego’s leather community and would have loved to march with the giant new leather pride flag created by Jay Heimbach. But this year it was important for me to honor the heritage I have too long kept in the background — and be a part of my black community. So on that picture-perfect Saturday morning, marching in the San Diego Pride Parade with about 20 other coalition members, I had my Pride moment. About one-third of the way through the parade, a woman ran

see Pride Moment, pg 11

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GAY SAN DIEGO July 22 - Aug. 4, 2016

Photos by Big Mike


Though the 2016 San Diego Pride celebration had no torrential downpours to contend with like last year, there were plenty of fears among community members going into the weekend, amassed in the wake of the deadly attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida just a month prior. San Diego’s Police, SWAT and Sheriff’s departments showed up in full force, however, and kept the 100,000 revelers — LGBT and straight — safe and fearless throughout the entire weekend. Pride historic firsts this year included the CEO of the San Diego Padres taking to the Spirit of Stonewall Rally podium, as did the openly gay Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning, who also led the military contingent in the parade. Organizers say ticket sales for “Pride Unites the World” Music Festival saw record numbers and most of those ticket holders clearly showed up for headliner Kesha on Saturday night. A special thanks to the Pride staff, its volunteer board, and the hundreds of volunteers who make San Diego LGBT Pride weekend a success every year. Until 2017! —Staff of SDCNN t


GAY SAN DIEGO July 22 - Aug. 4, 2016

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GAY SAN DIEGO July 22 - Aug. 4, 2016


SENIOR HOUSING Spirit of Stonewall “Champion of Pride” award from the San Diego Pride organization for her efforts with the project, said the new senior housing development, with its focus on affirming LGBT residents, is “the sixth such affordable community in the country.” Reynolds said the new complex is affirming in the sense that “all LGBTQ residents can feel completely confident they will be welcome there.” Atkins said the new housing project addresses an immediate LGBT community housing need. “As members of our community age, we want to be assured that we can live comfortably on a fixed, modest income, in secure housing and in a respectful environment,” Atkins said. “We want to remain connected to our community, and benefit from health care and social services that recognize our unique needs and experiences.” Noting “we need more housing for people of all ages and backgrounds,” Atkins pointed out the complexity of financing for affordable housing projects is always an issue, as is community support. “Fortunately, in this case, the North Park community and

(above, l to r) Dr. Delores Jacobs (The Center), Sue Reynolds (CHW), and local senior activist Robert Bettinger in San Diego City Council chambers last December waiting their turn to speak in support of LGBT-affirming senior housing. (Photo by William Kelly); (right) The North Park development will include 76 apartment homes for seniors at the northwest corner of Texas Street and Howard Avenue (Artist rendering by Joe Cordelle) the adjacent El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement District were strongly supportive,” Atkins said. “Every new project is a step in the right direction. Thankfully, there soon will be 76 new homes that will continue to cater to LGBT seniors and provide a supportive environment for the next phase of their lives.” Reynolds said the North Park Planning Committee was “extremely supportive and welcoming” about the project, as were San Diego’s political leaders including Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Councilmember Todd Gloria and California State Assembly Speaker Emeritus Toni Atkins. Though the apartments will

be available to all qualifying low-income seniors, CHW worked extensively with The Center throughout the planning process to ensure the community provided a safe and welcoming environment for LGBT seniors. “This collaboration between Community HousingWorks and the San Diego LGBT Community Center provides much-needed housing targeted towards the large population of LGBT seniors in the area and couples it with support and services,” said Councilmember Todd Gloria. “Many of these folks have experienced a lifetime of rejection and prejudice. I am glad to have supported this project to provide residents a

community where they can live proudly and without fear, as their authentic selves.” A 2011 needs assessment led by The Center found many LGBT seniors suffered from fears of increasing social isolation, lack of access to culturally competent health and social services, and lack of access to safe, affordable and affirming housing options. The $27 million North Park LGBT-affirming seniors project was financed through several mechanisms, including Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits, city of San Diego tax-exempt bonds, and grant funds from the San Diego Housing Commission, as well as several other public

and private sources. Reynolds said CHW was pleased to be “a part of this trailblazing effort for the LGBTQ community.” “We cannot let low inventory and cost be barriers to housing for San Diegans,” Gloria said. “As regional leaders, we owe it to our residents, especially those in our most vulnerable communities, to create more housing opportunities and increase the availability of affordable housing in our city.” The roots of the new complex go back a decade to when local LGBT senior advocate William Kelly asked Dr. Delores Jacobs, CEO of The Center, if he could have some meeting space to create an ad hoc volunteer LGBT senior housing committee, consisting of local LGBT community members, to look into the matter. “As leader/chair of that effort, Delores not only provided me the space, but she and her staff gave the committee valuable advice and guidance along the way which led to the development, funding and publishing of the Needs Assessment and Recommendations in March 2011,” Kelly said. Jacobs noted the new gay senior housing complex is an effort to give back to the seniors whose struggles helped build the community. “Our seniors … led us from the Stonewall riots, through the most devastating years of the AIDS crisis, to where we are today,” Jacobs said. “Yet their needs as they age have too often been overlooked. These pioneers of the LGBT community deserve our respect, our support and, when necessary, our help. Providing a welcoming, supportive and affordable place for our seniors to live is a fundamental way to show our gratitude.” Reynolds noted that gay seniors are an at-risk population because surveys show “LGBTQ seniors are more isolated than the typical senior and are actually poorer than the typical seniors.” Given that reality, Reynolds added the new North Park housing project “has made a [positive] change in attitude” and is a testament to all the stakeholders “who fought so hard to make it possible.” Construction of the project is expected to take 18 to 24 months. “This place is going to be special,” Reynolds said. For more information on the project, visit —Dave Schwab is a local freelance writer. He can be reached at


GAY SAN DIEGO July 22 - Aug. 4, 2016


PRIDE MOMENT out from the crowd to talk to us. She had just moved here from Atlanta, Georgia, and hadn’t found a black member of the LGBTQ community in San Diego yet. She was laughing and crying and hugging us all, because she now knew we were here … and that was the moment I will most remember from Pride 2016. So here is the important part of this equation: It took work to make that moment happen. It took reaching out to San Diego Pride and saying, “We are an organization with no money,” and asking if they would consider donating a space in the Rainbow Free Zone so we could increase our presence. It took San Diego Pride saying, “Yes,” and offering us a space in the parade, as well.



These stylish and spacious homes feature a variety of distinctive tri-level floorplans with contemporary appointments, expansive windows and indoor/ outdoor living spaces perfect for entertaining. All set within Civita – Mission Valley’s newest master planned community, which will soon offer residents more than 14 acres of parks, walking trails, gardens, lap pool and an outdoor amphitheater.

A member of San Diego LGBT Pride Youth Band (Photo by Big Mike) It took us showing up, without a fancy float or music system and believing that our presence and some homemade signs were enough … and that was enough for a woman from Atlanta to find her community. And that’s the final secret. Your Pride moment may not happen in the VIP section of a fabulous event and your Pride moment certainly can’t be bought. It may happen when you least expect it, but it will happen because you’ve opened yourself up to your community. So dive in. Take chances. Your Pride moment will be waiting for you. —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@



LETTERS Art appreciation

[Ref: “South Bay Alliance: Announcing SB Pride’s featured LGBTQ artist,” Vol. 7, Issue 14, or online at]

I don’t know much about art, although I do know when something moves me … and the work [displayed in this column] titled, “Rainbow Pulse” did exactly that. When I first saw it, I immediately thought of “The Kiss” by Gustav Klimt. It’s beautiful and I would be proud to display in my home. —Jessica Brown, via gay-sd. com t

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Square footage/acreage shown is only an estimate and actual square footage/acreage will differ. Buyer should rely on his or her own evaluation of useable area. Plans to build out this neighborhood as proposed are subject to change without notice. The estimated completion date of the Civita multi-level park is 2016. The date of actual completion could substantially differ from the estimated date. Prices, plans and terms are effective on the date of publication and subject to change without notice. Depictions of homes or other features are artist conceptions. Hardscape, landscape and other items shown may be decorator suggestions that are not included in the purchase price and availability may vary. CalAtlantic Group, Inc. California Real Estate License No. 01138346.




GAY SAN DIEGO July 22 - Aug. 4, 2016

New Jersey transplants Simon Wolujewicz and his wife, Karly, are preparing for a mid-September opening of Bull & Grain in the Googie-style building that recently housed Tabletop Commons. “We’re giving it a makeover and there will be no resemblance to a gaming bar when we’re finished,” said Wolujewicz, who worked in the liquor industry and executed interior design projects for bars, restaurants and casinos before recently moving to San Diego. “This will be both a restaurant and a craft cocktail bar — a gastropub with a twist,” he added. The redo will include a furnished patio with railings using raw metal and ipe wood, and with the structure’s historic stone façade kept intact. Modern-industrial features inside will extend to a full-service lounge on the second level. About 25 percent of the menu will capture the couple’s favorite meals from their travels to France, Holland, Ireland and parts of the U.S., although Wolujewicz is keeping the specifics under wraps until an executive chef is hired. Look for renderings and menu details in the coming weeks on Bull & Grain’s Facebook page and website. 1263 University Ave.,

A makeover that include new concessions is planned for Hillcrest Cinemas (Facebook) Fancier concessions are coming to Landmark’s Hillcrest Cinemas that will allow moviegoers to purchase items such as sweet potato fries, steak empanadas, Southwest-style chicken egg rolls, and more. The expanded food offerings will follow renovations scheduled to begin this summer. They will occur in the lobby, restrooms and all five auditoriums. Two of the auditoriums will be fitted with electric leather recliners and the other two with oversized seats. Beer and wine will also be available. A company spokesperson said completion of the redo is yet to be announced. 3965 Fifth Ave., 619-2982904,

In celebration of its sixth anniversary, Mike Hess Brewing is holding a “Hessfest” block party on Grim Avenue in North Park, July 30, from 1 to 5 p.m. Admission is $50, which includes unlimited beer tastings from more than 20 breweries, plus four food samples from a choice of 10 restaurant vendors. Augmenting the suds from Hess will be beers poured by Alesmith, Monkey Paw, Bear Republic, Karl Strauss and others. Participating eateries include City Tacos, Common Theory, URBN, Waypoint Public, and Slater’s 50/50. A portion of the proceeds are earmarked for the YMCA of San Diego. Tickets can be purchased at Hess Brewing outlets in Miramar, Ocean Beach and North Park, or online at

A stylized Barons Market is coming to North Park later this year (Courtesy Julie Dugas) Several design details have been announced by Barons Market regarding its seventh regional store due to open in North Park in late fall. The company collaborated with Michigan-based Studio H2G in assessing the look and character of the neighborhood before choosing design elements, such as mural artwork on a central pillar inside the 15,000-square-foot space, a food-tasting station decked in galvanized metal and subway tiles, and wood-carved fruits and vegetables dangling from thick ropes at the front of the store, which was previously home to Fresh & Easy. 3231 E. University Ave.,

Zack Gray brings inventive cocktails to Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant (Courtesy

Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant has hired Zack Gray as its new bar manager, who honed his bartending skills at well-known bars and restaurants in San Francisco, such as Volta and Perbacco. Cocktails Gray recently introduced include “Bees of Bennett Valley” using honey and fennel pollen-infused gin; “Cortez the Killer,” which combines Old Harbor Gin with house-made corn milk; and “Sloe Ryed” made with James E. Pepper Rye, gin and orgeat. 2202 Fourth Ave., 619-231-0222,

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Olympic Café’s upcoming move will result in more homemade desserts (Frank Sabatini Jr.)

The Olympic Café at 2340 University Ave. in North Park will move one door west to 2310 University by late September into the space previously occupied by Jersey Joe’s, which suddenly closed a few months ago. Famous for its traditional Greek fare and house-made desserts, the restaurant has maintained its current post for 31 years in a strip plaza at the corner of Texas Street. “We worked so hard to stay in this area after our landlord decided she didn’t want restaurants in the plaza anymore,” said Donna Kotselas, who bakes all of the desserts while her husband, John, cooks the meals. “We just purchased most of our new cooking equipment. We’ll have a bigger kitchen and a covered patio at the new location.” The menu, she added, will retain the popular mainstays after the move — gyros, mousaka, kabobs, and chicken with lemon gravy — although customers can expect to see more baked goods and daily specials. 619-692-9082, —Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at


GAY SAN DIEGO July 22 - Aug. 4, 2016


Executive Chef Jerry Warner has worked in Café Japengo’s kitchen since day one; (inset) Thai basil clams (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.)

A pioneer of contemporary sushi Restaurant Review Frank Sabatini Jr. It wasn’t long after Café Japengo opened in 1990 that the stylish Asian-fusion restaurant began crafting sushi rolls many considered flamboyant at the time. No where else locally did consumers encounter things like shitake mushrooms, zesty aiolis and tempura batter swirling raw fish. Though commonplace today, Japengo still endures as ground zero for the craze. Executive Chef Jerry Warner remembers the evolution well. He started working at Japengo the day it opened, training under the restaurant’s original sushi master, Osamu Fujita. Prior to that, he had worked in a Japanese kitchen while attending college in Northern California. “By the mid ’90s, we started taking creative twists with the sushi at Café Japengo. We were ahead of our time at that point,” he said, noting that other local establishments such as Sushi on the Rock and E Street Alley soon followed suit. With its “clubesque” environment and newfangled inventions such as the no-rice “protein roll” capturing avocado and various seafood in soy paper (a favorite with disciples of the Atkins diet during the ’90s, and still available today), the bustling, low-lit establishment doesn’t appear to have aged a bit. Neither does Warner as he shifts devotedly between the sushi bar and open kitchen on most evenings. Steamed baby clams served in a bread-soaking liquid of white wine, basil and lemongrass are among several starters on the non-sushi menu. Sweet and tender, we counted at least 25 of them in the bowl. They were a refreshing change from ubiquitous black mussels, which are often chewier in comparison. Beef yakitori marinated in mirin and black bean-garlic sauce disappeared quickly. The meat was supple and richly flavored — the true definition of umami that followed onto our spoons with an order of hot and sour tomatillo

“An Austen-tatious Charmer! Embroidered with wit and plenty of worthy songs.” The San Diego Union-Tribune

The baked pizza roll (left on plate) and the beef-less carne asada roll (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.)

Café Japengo

8960 University Center Lane (University City)


Prices: Soups, salads and starters, $3 to $22; entrees, $19 to $46; sashimi, nigiri and rolls, $4.25 to $18 soup, which deserves a few sips before it can be fully appreciated. The dark, viscous broth tasted pungent at first until dredging up the smoky grilled chicken and wok-seared tofu from the bottom. Then, as the tangy, pureed tomatillos meshed with crème fraiche on top, the ingredients united gracefully in what is a unique pottage of Mexican and Chinese influences. Warner said it’s one of the oldest items on the menu. Other kitchen meals include char-siu duck salad, Vietnamese pork, miso butterfish, chicken and cashew stir fry, filet mignon and more. From a paper list of cold salads, sashimi and nigiri, we zeroed in on a couple of signature rolls. The baked “pizza” roll has been a mainstay. Its name, however, is misleading since it thankfully doesn’t contain cheese or red sauce or pepperoni. Stuffed with crab, smoked salmon and rice, it’s topped with crab-garlic mayonnaise that appears like

melted mozzarella – a sacrilegious creation to purists who can’t even fathom dipping their rolls into soy sauce. Though mushy, we embraced its richness and warm temperature. Named also after its appearance is the “carne asada” roll containing shrimp tempura. The outside features a luxurious layer of seared tuna, which at a glance looks like rare beef. Sesame oil and micro cilantro played well into the flavor profile, which isn’t nearly as audacious compared to sushi houses of late injecting their rolls with everything from bacon and poultry to asparagus and pickles. Japengo has drawn a line there, sticking to seafood-fresh sushi options ranging from traditional to safely unconventional. Located in the fashionable Hyatt Regency La Jolla Aventine complex, and owned by Hyatt, the restaurant features a chic bar lounge, full cocktail program, and a patio that puts you in direct eyeshot of some pricey coupés pulling into the front courtyard for valet parking. —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 fsabatini@san.

“A sparkling musical gem! Vibrant, engaging, and thoroughly delightful!” The Desert Sun

Book, Music, and Lyrics by Paul Gordon Directed by Barbara Gaines Based on the Novel by Jane Austen Presented in Association with Chicago Shakespeare Theater

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Limited Engagement Through August 14 Tickets Start at $39 (619) 23-GLOBE (234-5623) Wayne Alan Wilcox and Sharon Rietkerk. Photo by Liz Lauren, courtesy of Chicago Shakespeare Theater.



GAY SAN DIEGO July 22 - Aug. 4, 2016

Recreating ‘Fats’: Harlem circa 1940 Theater Review Charlene Baldridge Many years ago at the interval of what was likely the regional theater premiere of the 1978 Tony Award-winner for Best Musical, “Ain’t Misbehavin’ The Fats Waller Musical Show,” I overheard this remark, one of my favorites of all time: “They’re all black, and there’s no plot. What kind of musical is this?” Lest there be any doubt as to the genre, “Ain’t Misbehavin’” is a musical revue for the most part, comprising pianist/composer Fats Waller’s spicy, jazzy, bluesy oeuvre. In addition to Best Musical, the list of the Tony Award winners included performer Nell Carter and director Richard Maltby Jr. The other performers, whose first names forever identify the characters in the musical revue, were Charlaine Woodard, Armelia McQueen, André de Shields and Ken Page. Since the Broadway production, several of them appeared on various San Diego stages, most notably “Ain’t Misbehavin’” Tony nominee André de Shields, who created the role of Noah “Horse” Simmons in Jack O’Brien’s original Old Globe production of “The Full Monty” and then repeated it on Broadway.

Currently through Aug. 7 at North Coast Repertory, “Ain’t Misbehavin’” is vivaciously revived with a splendid company and excellent musicality. The production is directed by Yvette Freeman, a veteran of the New York and international touring productions (she replaced Carter). In the company are (the one-named) Yvonne, a graduate of San Diego State, Cynthia Thomas, Ron Christopher Jones, Anise Ritchie and Tony Perry. They soar, especially in the more relaxed second act, which contains such enjoyable numbers as “Your Feet’s Too Big” (with its devastatingly funny explication, “Your pedal extremities are colossal”), “The Viper’s Song” (that reefer’s five-foot long!), “Find Out What They Want and How They Like It,” the beautifully sung ensemble number “(What Did I Do to Be So) Black and Blue,” and “Fat and Greasy.” A dynamite instrumental combo is elevated house right, comprising pianist/conductor Kevin Toney, Danny King (drums), Greg McKinney (bass), Julian Davis (trumpet) and Malcolm Jones (reeds). They alone would be worth the admission cost in anyone’s theater. Coolest of the women is the self-assured, smooth-voiced Ritchie, who’s had quite a career on the West Coast and is finally making her North Coast Rep

“Ain’t Misbehavin,’ The Fats Waller Musical Show” Conceived by Richard Maltby, Jr. and Murray Horowitz Directed by Yvette Freeman Through Aug. 7 Wednesdays 7 p.m. Thursdays – Saturdays 8 p.m. Saturdays & Sundays 2 p.m. Sundays 7 p.m. North Coast Rep 987 D Lomas Santa Fe Drive Solana Beach Tickets or 858-481-1055 Note: The show then moves for a brief run Aug. 11-14 California Center for the Arts, Escondido or 800-988-4253 debut. Thomas has a wide-ranging voice with plenty of room on the top. The two guys are nicely varied as to vocal and body type. All create an easy and smooth ensemble, move well to Julia Lema’s choreography and certainly respond whole-heartedly to Lanny

(top) Cast includes (l to r) Cynthia Thomas, Tony Perry, Yvonne, Ron Christopher Jones and Anise Ritchie; (middle) Cynthia Thomas (seated), Yvonne, and Ron Christopher Jones; (right) Yvonne (Photos by Aaron Rumley) Hartley’s musical direction. Marty Burnett whips up an appropriately flashy set and Anastasia Paulova’s costumes have equal pizzazz. Matt Novotny is lighting designer and Melanie Chen is responsible for the clean mix of sound.

In all, it’s a thoroughly enjoyable trip down “Fats” Lane. —Charlene Baldridge has been writing about the arts since 1979. You can follow her blog at or reach her at



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(l to r) Michael Anthony, Joey Grzenia, Jermaine Staten and Paul Hannasch FROM PAGE 1

THRILLER that he be reinstated after he posted a heartfelt apology on his Facebook page. “We right away told [Gala Festival attendees] about all the good things that were coming from this in San Diego,” Lehman said. Since the incident at Petco Park, which made headlines across the nation, the Padres have met with Lehman and other local LGBT leaders, renewed their commitment to the community, participated in last weekend’s San Diego Pride Parade for the first time ever, and Mike Dee, the ball club’s CEO, even spoke at the Spirit of Stonewall Rally on Friday night on the Pride Festival grounds. “That’s what the choral movement is all about — coming together to make things change using our voices,” Lehman said. Their time in Denver was a whirlwind. In addition to performing alongside the San Diego Women’s Chorus, which is something Lehman said SDGMC intends to do more of, they also decided to preview the opening number of their upcoming show. Thriller features the greatest hits of Michael Jackson and the opening number, which Lehman describes as a medley of “Can You Feel it,” “Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough” and “Wanna Be Starting Something,” had the Gala crowd roaring. “We knocked it out of the park,” he said. “It was great.” What’s perhaps most notable about the upcoming “Thriller” show, said SDGMC Artistic Director RC Haus, is that most of Michael Jackson’s songs have never been arranged for a chorus such as SDGMC. “It was about a year and a half in the making,” Haus said. “We needed to get the licensing and hire arrangers because the arrangements weren’t available. There were a couple for maybe ‘Thriller’ and ‘You Are Not Alone,’ but most [of the songs] have never been arranged for an all-male chorus.”

Executive Director Bob Lehman is excited about "Thriller." (Courtesy SDGMC)

GAY SAN DIEGO July 22 - Aug. 4, 2016


(Courtesy SDGMC)

The performers had just three months to prepare for the show, Haus said, adding that one of the biggest challenges has been to get 150 men to all sing a solo lead in a Michael Jackson song together. Lehman agreed, laughing. The SDGMC is “an incredibly diverse group,” Lehman said. “We have a lot of generations. We have some men who are in their 70s and one who is 20. Some are very familiar with [Jackson’s] music and for some, this has been the first time they’ve been exposed.” Others have been prepping by streaming Michael Jackson’s greatest hits on their i-devices, Haus said, while others have been downloading and singing along with rehearsal tracks. “Technology is definitely a lot different than it was when I was younger,” Haus continued, adding that in addition to the men needing to learn their vocal parts, they’ve also needed to learn quite a bit of choreography. “It’s been a lot of fun.” Lehman said that although the past few weeks have been nonstop hectic for the group, it’s definitely been a time of growth and cohesion. “We’ve gone through so much together and we’ve been bonding like we never have before,” he said. “That’s a whole new experience that I haven’t seen in the past six years I’ve been with the chorus. It’s given us some new, incredible energy.” “Thriller” will include tracks from Jackson’s entire performance career, spanning everything from “ABC” with his brothers in the Jackson 5, to “We are the World,” a charity single written and performed by Jackson and a supergroup for children in Africa, to his own solo hits. “Thriller” will be presented at 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 30 and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, July 31 at the Balboa Theatre, located at 868 Fourth Ave., Downtown. Advance tickets are available at or the Balboa Theatre Box Office. Saturday tickets start at $37 and Sunday tickets start at $34. Discounts are available for groups, military and seniors. Those who purchase tickets online and use the code PRIDE will receive a $4-perticket discount. Limited VIP reception tickets are available for $35. For more information, visit —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

(inset) SDGMC's portable banner for the parade; the chorus received a warm welcome at the Spirit of Stonewall Rally the Friday of Pride weekend. (Photos courtesy SDGMC)


GAY SAN DIEGO July 22 - Aug. 4, 2016


Fifth annual Out on a Limb – New Plays from America’s Finest City: The second weekend of this festival is already underway. It showcases new works by San Diego playwrights reflecting the diversity of our city. Showtimes vary through Sunday, July 24. Scripps Ranch Theatre, 9783 Avenue of Nations. Visit Top of the Bay: Weekly rooftop LGBT happy hour and tea dance featuring cocktail specials, shuttle service to and from Rich’s San Diego, and more. Attendees receive a wristband for free entry to Rich’s from 10 p.m. – midnight. 6 p.m. Fifth floor of the Porto Vista Hotel, 1835 Columbia St., Little Italy. Visit TopOfTheBaySanDiego.


2016 Pittie Palooza: A fundraiser for The Pits Dog Rescue featuring a food truck, raffle and more. $25 ticket includes four 4-ounce beer tasters, one 8-ounce pour of your choice, brewery tour and more. 1 – 5 p.m. Second Chance Beer Company, 15378 Avenue of Science, #222, Carmel Mountain Ranch. Visit Rainbow Prom 2016: LGBTQ youth and allies are invited to this “Alice in Wonderland” themed prom with music, dancing, food and fun. Come dressed as your favorite character, fancy attire or whatever you feel comfortable in. 6 – 9 p.m. San Diego LGBT Community Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. Visit Short films by or about women, curated by Omar Lopex: SDAI artist-in-residence Omar Lopex is spearheading this screening of short films. $5 admission. San Diego Art Institute, 1439 El Prado, Balboa Park. Visit bit. ly/29LnJyf.


Ronnie Larsen presents ‘Making Porn’ and ‘A Gay Marriage’: The Off-Broadway hit comedy “Making Porn” explores the lives of six people working in the gay porn industry. Runs through July 31. “A Gay Marriage” is a new play about a gay couple in their 30s dealing with life after the honeymoon is over. Runs through July 31. Diversionary Theatre, 4545 Park Boulevard #101, University Heights. Visit


Broke Ass Mondays: Happy hour cocktails and food $4 all night. 2 p.m. to close, every Monday. Urban MO’s, 308 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit


Trivia Tuesday: Every Tuesday, come alone or with a group of friends for a chance to win valuable HBC gift cards. 7:30 – 10 p.m. Hillcrest Brewing Company, 1458 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit hillcrestbrewingcompany. com or call 619-269-4323. Painting and Vino: Local professional artists instruct attendees on painting a masterpiece. Tonight – “Twilight Beach.” 6 – 9 p.m. 21+. $45, all supplies included, registration is required. Bring your own wine / $15 corkage. 98 Bottles, 2400 Kettner Blvd., Suite 110. For more info, visit


Painting and Vino: Local professional artists instruct attendees on painting a masterpiece. Tonight – “Almond Branches.” 6 – 9 p.m. 21+. $45, all supplies included, registration is required. Candelas on the Bay, 1201 First St. #115, Coronado. For more info, visit


‘The Big Chill’: Cinema Under the Stars presents this classic ’80s film starring Kevin Kline, Glenn Close, Jeff Goldblum, Meg Tilly, William Hurt and Mary Kay Place. 8 p.m. $15. Additional screening on Friday, July 29. 4040 Goldfinch St., Mission Hills. For more info, visit topspresents. com or call 619-295-4221.


Top of the Bay: Weekly rooftop LGBT happy hour and tea dance featuring cocktail specials, shuttle service to and from Rich’s San Diego, and more. Attendees receive a wristband for free entry to Rich’s from 10 p.m. – midnight. 6 p.m. Fifth floor of the Porto Vista Hotel, 1835 Columbia St., Little Italy. Visit TopOfTheBaySanDiego.


Third annual Live Well San Diego 5K: This family- and pet-friendly event will be held in partnership with the San Diego


Bubbles & Cupcakes in support of #AIDSWalkSD: The Center’s Young Professionals Council will hold this fundraiser for their AIDS Walk team. Cupcakes, Champagne, prizes and more. 6 – 8 p.m. Babycakes San Diego, 3766 Fifth Ave., Hillcrest. Visit Blood Bank. The race starts at 7:30 a.m. with a post-race expo featuring a pet zone, kids zone and more. Proceeds benefit the San Diego Blood Bank. Waterfront Park, 1600 Pacific Highway, Downtown. Visit SDPIX 14th anniversary: SDPIX will celebrate 14 years online and 10 years in print. SDPIX VIP members get $5 off cover before 11 p.m. or text SDPIX to 46786 for $5 off cover before 11 p.m. Hosted Champagne and cake from 10 – 11 p.m. DJ Taj will perform in the main room with DJ KSwift in the front room and there will be a special live performance by David Hernandez. Rich’s San Diego, 1051 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit ‘Local Inspiration’ art exhibit: The newest exhibit at Ashton Gallery will honor local artists and their work including everything from plein air pieces to abstract paintings to photographs. The opening reception is free and will be held from 6 – 8 p.m. The exhibitions run through Sept. 3. The Ashton Gallery is located at Art on 30th, 4435 30th St., North Park. Visit ‘Thriller: The Music of Michael Jackson’: San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus will hit the stage with two performances of Michael Jackson’s greatest hits. The allnew show will feature eight-part harmonies on “Ben” and “You Are Not Alone” plus the fun, pop-styled dance songs of “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” and more. 8 p.m. Additional performance on Sunday, July 31 at 3 p.m. Balboa Theatre, 868 Fourth Ave., Gaslamp. Visit


Painting and Vino: Local professional artists instruct attendees on painting a masterpiece. Tonight – “Jar of Flowers.” Noon – 3 p.m. 21+. $45, all supplies included, registration is required. Bring your own wine / $15 corkage. 98 Bottles, 2400 Kettner Blvd., Suite 110. For more info, visit ‘Gong Bath’: Ken Goff and his seven wind gongs promise an afternoon of sound immersion experiences. The gong bath gently immerses guests in soothing and supportive gong vibrations as Goff cultivates a relaxing atmosphere for mind, body, and spirit. 2 – 5 p.m. San Diego Art Institute, 1439 El Prado, Balboa Park. Visit bit. ly/29LsU0Y.


Trashy Daddy Disco: Happy hour all night long plus throwback disco music and videos. 6 p.m. – closing. Urban MO’s 308 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit


Bubbles & Cupcakes in support of #AIDSWalkSD: The Center’s Young Professionals Council will hold this fundraiser for their AIDS Walk team. Cupcakes, Champagne, prizes and more. 6 – 8 p.m. Babycakes San Diego, 3766 Fifth Ave., Hillcrest. Visit Live music – Duran Duran: The founding members of the legendary pop band are on tour in support of their 2015 album “Paper Gods.” 7 p.m. Sleep Train Amphitheatre, 2050 Entertainment Circle, Chula Vista. Visit


1 Straight, to mixologists 5 Lindsay of “Liz & Dick” 10 Cut 14 Composer Thomas 15 Commandment word about coveting thy neighbor’s ass 16 Whom Lincoln showed malice toward, in a speech 17 Enterprise helmsman 19 Cho, who plays 17-Across as a gay character 20 Screw-up 21 Really sucked 23 Invitation to a top? 26 Cake parts 27 Portrayer of 17-Across on TV and in movies 32 Melissa Etheridge’s “___ It Heavy” 33 Complexion affliction 34 Paul of “Hollywood Squares” 39 Fruits did this in the orchard 40 What the smithy did to a stallion 42 On the calm side

43 Greek fabulist 45 Cinder suffix 46 News columnist Lisa 47 Gene, who created the character of 17-Across 50 Bewitch 54 Cole Porter’s “Let’s ___” 55 3-D Disney movie of 2000 58 Cicely of “Fried Green Tomatoes” 62 With 63-Across, movie with 17-Across as a gay character 63 See 62-Across 66 Toledo’s lake 67 James Baldwin work 68 Movie dog 69 “L,” in box scores 70 Debussy contemporary Erik 71 Someone who’s kind of queer

Guys, Games and Grub: The name says it all. This popular monthly event features time to socialize for men ages 21 and older. A $5 suggested donation for attending goes toward men’s programming at The Center. 6 p.m. San Diego LGBT Community Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. Visit


Kickers Country Line Dancing: Every Thursday and Saturday night come check out the cowboys and cowgirls as they spin across the floor, join in or even take free lessons (7 – 8:30 p.m.). All skill levels encouraged. Drink specials. 7 p.m. – close. Urban MO’s, 308 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit

Comic-Con Through Sunday, July 24 This annual convention showcases all things comics and popular arts with a huge exhibition hall, workshops, panels and much more. Visit

Gam3rCon 2016

Through Sunday, July 24

A gaming convention held to celebrate all kind of gamers, featuring everything from classic board games to trading card games to console games and more. Stage play “Gam3rs” by Gay San Diego contributor Walter G. Meyer will be performed on Sunday, July 24 at 4 p.m. Tickets are $20 for

see LGBT Comic-Con, pg 20




solution on page 15 DOWN 1 Slangy refusals 2 “Dancing With the Stars” cohost Andrews 3 ”Diana” singer 4 “No, No, Nanette” song 5 SEC powerhouse 6 Understanding comments 7 Dwelling, to the von Trapps 8 Weight loss product 9 Set with an unknown number of members 10 “Have a ball!” 11 Lorna of literature 12 “___ Shoes” (Toni Collette movie) 13 Sees to 18 Made a “clang, clang, clang” sound 22 Word with Mary 24 Angry in., for example 25 Emulated Paul Cadmus 27 “Do What U Want” Lady 28 Land of Emma Donoghue 29 They’re straight on the Kinsey Scale 30 “I’m ___ Cowhand”

31 Passed out, with “over” 35 “Happy Talk,” perhaps 36 Glenn Burke, formerly 37 Bambi, e.g. 38 Start of a counting rhyme 41 Paul of “Little Miss Sunshine” 44 Sheryl Swoopes and Michael Sam 48 Uses a gifted tongue 49 Word before “my shorts” 50 Ford lemon that was not fruitful 51 Big bang cause, briefly 52 Lover of Henry and June 53 Social customs 56 Bear that may be a minor 57 Silence for Saint-Saens 59 “I’ve had better ...” 60 “I’m ___ your tricks!” 61 Minn. neighbor 64 Word after “Cobra” in “The Karate Kid” 65 Tournament exemption for Mauresmo


No Comic-Con tix? Conan O’Brien will tape four shows at Spreckels Theatre during Comic-Con, including one this Saturday. (Courtesy TBS)

Getting the most out of the weekend, even without a coveted ticket By Alex Owens The hottest ticket this month is definitely a four-day pass to Comic-Con, which officially started July 20. But if you haven’t purchased your ticket yet, you’re out of luck. All the available tickets for the Con have been sold and new security measures using RFID codes will keep people from sharing passes they way they have in previous years. Even though you need a ticket to get into the Convention Center, there are still ways to get into the Comic-Con spirit without a ticket — and some don’t cost a cent. For instance, just by walking down Fifth Avenue, especially on the Friday and Saturday Con days, there will be plenty of people watching and lots of photo ops of attendees in costumes (called “cosplay”), and galleries with comic-centric window displays. Props from Hollywood studios can also be seen. In addition, there are always lots of people handing out cool swag of all shapes and sizes. For instance, last year, a three-block stroll yielded some free stickers, a poster or two, a special Comic-Con edition of the Hollywood Reporter, ice cream and a Sharknado hat. Oh, and sometimes you can get passes for free movie screenings. This year, there will be a screening for Paramount’s world premiere of “Star Trek Beyond” and also “Sausage Party,” a Rrated animated comedy written by and starring Seth Rogen. The hottest free ticket for an event outside of the Con may be for talk show host Conan O’Brien, who is taping Comic-Con shows for the second year in a row. This

year, he taped shows on Wednesday and Thursday already this week and will tape two more on Saturday, at the Spreckels Theatre, located at 121 Broadway #600, Downtown. Other shows worth checking out include the Aquabats, a rock-ska band that pretends to be a team of crime-fighting superheroes. They will be playing House of Blues (1055 Fifth Ave.) on Saturday night. Cult filmmaker Kevin Smith will be at the American Comedy Club (818 Sixth Ave.) on Saturday night discussing his films, other films and any damn thing he feels like. As you might expect, local businesses are getting into the Con spirit with a wide variety of promotions. The Hard Rock Cafe is holding a “True Hero” comic book drive to send to United States Marine Corps serving overseas. Starting July 18, the Monday of Con week, the restaurant will offer a special limited edition collectible lanyard to the first 400 people who drop off comic books to the restaurant (801 Fourth Ave.) Downtown restaurants are also using the Con to get creative with the menu. Puesto at the Headquarters (789 W. Harbor Drive) has created a Comic-Con inspired taco duo. On one hand, The El Heroé taco mixes Maine lobster, filet mignon, crispy melted cheese, avocado, crispy onions and chipotle heroé sauce. Its counterpart, El Villain (the evil villain) has duck carnitas, black bean purée, whipped avocado and habanero pickled onion. Tajima Ramen (901 E St.) is celebrating the Con with a Naruto Ramen, which is based on a popular Japanese anime character named Naruto who is always eating miso ramen. The Blind Burro (639 J. St.) is doing a “Game of Thrones”themed hot dog, called Wun Wun’s Giant Dog, that is made with a half-pound hot dog, candied bacon, pinto bean puree among other ingredients. Bake Sale (815 F St.) has two “Star Wars”-inspired goodies:

Wookiee Cookies, which are chewy coconut macaroons, and Dagobah soup, a white bean and summer vegetable soup inspired by Yoda’s swampy home planet. There will be a big “brew-haha” on July 23, at Waterfront Park (1600 Pacific Highway) thanks to the Heroes Brew Fest, a beer event with nearly 40 breweries and lots of people dressed in superhero costumes. For complete details, check out For more information, visit for Con-related info and for offsite events. For Comic-Con events with an LGBT theme, check out our calendar starting on page 18. —Alex Owens is a San Diegobased freelance writer. He can be reached at alexowenssd@gmail. com.t

GAY SAN DIEGO July 22 - Aug. 4, 2016


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GAY SAN DIEGO July 22 - Aug. 4, 2016



LGBT COMIC-CON one day or $60 for the full weekend. NewSchool of Architecture & Design, 1249 F St., Downtown. Visit

San Diego DIVAS Comic-Con show

Friday, July 22

DIVAS will be hosting a cosplay show with special guest Chad Michaels (winner of “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars”) plus Phi Phi O’Hara, Kickxy VixenStyles, Daisy Deadpetals, Glitz Glam and more. Music by DJ Michael Romano. Cosplay costume encouraged by not required. Doors at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m. Costume contest at end of show. Rich’s San Diego, 1051 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit

Geek Week presents The Superhero Underwear Party

Friday, July 22

In honor of Comic-Con, this event invites attendees to strip down to their superhero undies for a fun night. DJs Drew G and Moody Rudy will perform in the main room with DJ Will Z in the front room. Other highlights include: go-go dancers, underwear contest for cash and prizes, and free face painting. Free admission. 10 p.m. – 2 a.m. Rich’s San Diego, 1051 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit

LGBT cosplay group photo

Saturday, July 23 at 3 p.m. and Sunday, July 24 at 10 a.m.

LGBT cosplayers will meet up for huge group photo sessions at these two times over ComicCon weekend. Show off your best cosplay and have a chance to be part of a video documentary on “Gaymers.” Back steps of the San Diego Convention Center, 111 W. Harbor Drive, Downtown. Visit

Geek Week presents the 12th annual Heroes vs. Villains Party

Saturday, July 23

Comic-Con weekend continues with this party featuring four DJs, Go-Go Heroes and Villains. Wear your best cosplay and enter a costume contest hosted by Kickxy Vixen-Styles. 10 p.m. – 2 a.m. Rich’s San Diego, 1051 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit bit. ly/29LllqW.

Comic-Con Cosplay Concert & After Party

Saturday, July 23

Featuring Geeky Trivia hosted by Kickxy Vixen-Styles, Mega Ran with Bitforce, and video game musical covers by Kirby’s Dream Band, Vic Viper and The Koopas. Drink specials all night. $10 in advance/$15 at the door. Doors at 6 p.m.; music at 8:15 p.m. The Merrow, 1271 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit

Heat Comic-Con Pool Party

Sunday, July 24

This Comic-Con edition of the monthly pool party features two DJs, games, and more. Event is 18 and up. Presale tickets are $20, general admission at the door is $25. Noon – 6 p.m. Lafayette Hotel, 2223 El Cajon Blvd., North Park. Visit —Compiled by Jen Van Tieghem. Email calendar items to or jen@

DUI - the Do’s & the Don’ts

The best practice is to avoid drinking and driving all together. When the best practices are not observed the following information can be helpful. It’s critical to note that you have three specific rights you need to invoke clearly. The 4th amendment, protecting you against unlawful search and seizure. The 5th amendment, protecting you against self-incrimination and gives you the right to remain silent. And the 6th amendment, the right to have an attorney present when being questioned by law enforcement while in custody. If pulled over • Invoke your rights • Do NOT admit guilt • Do not lie • You can refuse a field sobriety test. • You can refuse a road side breathalyzer test • You will most likely be arrested and taken to the Police department and charged with DUI • If you have only been drinking alcohol and have no other chemicals in your system opt for the blood test • Get a good attorney • Provide drivers license, proof of insurance, and registration when asked Having the right information and representation can make the difference between a DUI and keeping your record clean. Call us at Seneca Law Group (619) 630-8LAW, or visit our web site at

Gay san diego 07 22 16  
Gay san diego 07 22 16