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Volume 8 Issue 17 Aug.18 – 31, 2017

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Emboldened despite anarchy


Morgan M. Hurley | Editor

The ‘South Park blueberry girls’

San Diego loses a giant


(l to r) Donna Walker and Lisa Vella have owned and operated South Bark Dog Wash for nearly 17 years. (Photo by Big Mike)

Despite recent break-ins, they’re still building community one shampoo at a time Morgan M. Hurley | Editor On July 3, South Bark Dog Wash, home of the “blueberry facial” and more than 128,000 dog baths, was broken into for the second time in six months after more than 16 years incident-free. Its owners, Donna Walker and Lisa Vella, who have grown the small business leaps and bounds in its nearly 17 years as a member of the South Park neighborhood, aren’t angry, they’re sad. But they have been buoyed and inspired by the local community that has always had their back. “The community has come together over this and it is providing much talk and interest,” Walker said. “We are hopeful

LaBelle releases a jazz album


that they are caught, but right now are happy that the impact on the community is one of pulling together rather than fear.” The first break-in happened in December when someone used a “break stick” to gain access to the retail area through the thick glass front door. Their computer and auxiliary equipment were stolen but thanks to their own detective work, they were able to buy their equipment back but no arrests were made. During the second break-in, a man used a rock to break the glass door and three individuals — who just hours earlier had wandered around the inside of the store — made off with thousands of dollars worth of flea repellent products.

In both incidences, the “smash and grab” took less than 8 seconds. The total combined loss of the two break-ins is nearly $10,000. “[The cameras and alarms] are a deterrent, but there is no way to stop them,” Walker said, adding that Cafe Madeline, a small French bistro on the opposite end of 30th Street in South Park, had also recently experienced a break-in. “It was a crime of opportunity, and those are all over, not just here,” Vella said. “It happens in North Park, Hillcrest, anywhere. But times are different; it is instant gratification with regards to how easily you can sell something online.”

see South Bark pg 9

On Saturday, Aug. 12, HRC San Diego held its sixth annual gala dinner and auction at Hotel del Coronado. It was the second gala in two years hosted at the Hotel del, and the first since the Trump administration took office in January. Widely supported by the national Human Rights Campaign (HRC) organization, as well as the Los Angeles Chapter of HRC, the event was a great success, and titled RISE, focused on themes of resistance, unity and the continued march forward to full equality. Just hours before the assembly, a race-fueled riot had broken out during a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, when white supremacists — wearing military-style gear and carrying Nazi and Confederate flags, guns and other weapons — clashed with anti-racist counter-protestors. A 32-year-old woman, Heather Heyer, was killed and 19 others wounded when a 20-year-old Nazi sympathizer from Ohio, in

see HRC San Diego pg 7

Changes come to a NP staple


Hillcrest’s piano wench


Carol Curtis loves to perform for her regulars By Benny Cartwright [Editor’s note: This is the second of a two-part feature on Carol Curtis, a musician who has been performing for the LGBT community for decades. She can currently be found singing fan favorites on Monday nights at The Caliph. To read part one, pick up Vol. 8, Issue 16, or find it online at bit. ly/2uDcg1C.]

Giving up the family biz

Index Community




News Briefs




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In 2001, Curtis began her 15-year stint at Martinis Above Fourth, where she experienced three ownership changes over the years. She recalled that the first Friday night she was asked to perform was Sept. 14,

2001 — just days after the 9/11 terrorist attack in New York City. She wasn’t sure if the bar would even be open and whether there would be a crowd, but she came in to work anyway. Though many businesses had closed that week after the largest attack on U.S. soil, many bars — including Martinis — had remained open, serving as places of refuge, and Curtis fell in love with her new venue right away. For most of those 15 years, Curtis was the Friday night fixture at Martinis Above Fourth, but eventually shifted to a Saturday night spot as the

see Carol Curtis pg 19

Carol Curtis (right) takes a break during her set at The Caliph on a recent Monday, while bartender Brody Hess takes over. (Photo by William Pontius)

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Community mourns death of Meldon ‘Mel’ Merrill “I’m sad today at this loss. I extend my heart-felt sympathy San Diegans are mourning to his husband, David, and the loss of Meldon “Mel” Merrill, his many, many close friends one of the pillars of the local in our community. I didn’t see LGBT community, who died Mel much recently, but believe Aug. 10. He was 80 years old. me, every day I’m grateful for Mr. Merrill is survived by path he helped pave for us, for his husband, David Ramos. his role in electing Chris Kehoe, They were celebrating their and for his support for me over one-year anniversary on Aug. the years. Godspeed Mel.” ● Maureen Steiner, former 5 when Mr. Merrill fell ill and president of Lambda Archives was hospitalized, Ramos told of San Diego: Gay San Diego. “Mel was a model of all that “He was a wonderful addiwas good; he was thoughtful, tion to my life, a passionate generous, educated and indefender of LGBTQ rights, far formed, and oh so deliciously brighter about science matters wickedly funny. He gave genthan me, an enthusiast for erously, yet strategically, of his theater, classical music in Los time and treasure. Angeles and San Diego, and “Mel was rewarded in his gin and tonics,” Ramos said in later days with a great love and a Facebook post he also shared fabulous marriage to David with this newspaper. Ramos. As Mel said, ‘I saved “I will miss his wry humor the best for last.’ Our collective and ability to provide balance hearts grieve with you today, to my less tempered Mexican David, as we remember with utways,” Ramos added. “… most gratitude all that Mel gave Thank you to all the friends, family and community for their to the community he loved.” ● Former Assemblymember love and support.” Lori Saldaña: On Facebook, tributes rang “Condolences to friends & out for Mr. Merrill, a longtime family of Meldon Merrill … We Democrat Party activist and will miss his advocacy and support a tireless advocate for LGBT for equality and human rights for causes. ● State Sen. Toni G. all San Diegans. RIP Mel.” ● San Diego Unified School Atkins paid homage: District trustee Kevin Beiser: “Losing Meldon Merrill is a “We lost an amazing person hard one for those of us who’ve been around and part of earlier … when Meldon Merrill passed on. He was a dear friend and LGBTQ Democratic politics. his memory will be a blessing. I’m not one of the first generaOur condolences to David tion of San Diego Democratic Ramos and all who knew this Club members — I came in wonderful man.” 1985 and got more involved in ● Kelly Revak, processthe late ’80s, early ’90s — but ing archivist at the Library of Mel was a stalwart. Congress and former archivist “He was a behind-thefor Lambda Archives: scenes, dedicated Democrat “I’m so saddened to hear and LGBTQ pioneer. He wrote about the passing of Meldon big checks for candidates and Merrill … I worked with Mel for causes but never demanded many years at Lambda Archives, VIP treatment. You could fi nd and he was a true champion for Mel licking stamps (when we the community. His compassion sent snail mail) and staffi ng a booth. He looked out for others, and sharp mind kept us on track and through tough spots in many a he was gracious and kind, and board meeting. His wit and humor he was super-smart and ternever failed to break the ice or ease ribly funny, with an edgy wit the tension in a room. … This is that surprised many when he a big loss for the San Diego chose to use it. LGBT community, and my “He was part of the small heart goes out to his family and circle that worked tirelessly to husband. I’ll miss you Mel!” finally get an LGBT candidate ● Fernando Zweifach elected — Christine Kehoe. López Jr., director of operaHe relished our community tions at San Diego Pride: successes. Ken Williams | Contributing Editor

FEATURE “Meldon Merrill is not someone whose light dims when they leave us. Mel, with his brilliant steady humble passion and wit, served as the architect to our community and guide to so many of us over the decades. He ignited a fire of passion for advocacy in so many of our bellies, hearts, and minds that his flame can only burn ever brighter …” ● Delores Jacobs, CEO of The San Diego LGBT Community Center: “An amazingly gentle, funny and generous man. So grateful that he took so much time with me early on to patiently explain so much community history to me. RIP Mel — you gave us all so much.”

Mel’s life story

Mr. Mel Merrill was born Sept. 1, 1936, in San Francisco. After graduating from the University of California Berkeley and earning a master’s degree in nuclear engineering at the University of Washington, he came to San Diego in July 1960 to work for General Atomics. According to his biography documented by Lambda Archives of San Diego, Merrill designed “nuclear reactors for public utilities, research facilities and outer space.” He came out around 1970, which proved problematic in the workplace. “In 1979 he sought and (after a government hearing) received a Secret level security clearance as an openly gay man,” his biography states. He remained employed at General Atomics until he retired in July 1986. After coming out, Merrill plunged headlong into local Democratic politics. In 1977, he joined the San Diego Democratic Club, the LGBT political group that was the forerunner to the San Diego Democrats for Equality. He served on the board for many years and was involved in the pioneering campaigns for City Council of openly gay candidates Al Best (1979) and Neil Good (1987), according to his biography. As the LGBT political group gained clout, it worked closely to redraw the boundaries of City Council District 3 to make it possible for gays and lesbians to be elected to office. Indeed, in 1993, Christine Kehoe became the first LGBT candidate to win a seat on City Council. Over the years, Merrill also served on the boards of United San Diego Elections Committee, a bipartisan LGBT PAC, and the SAGA ski club. He helped man

GAY SAN DIEGO Aug. 18 – 31, 2017


Meldon Merrill (left) is survived by his husband David Ramos. (Facebook) the phone hotline for the San Diego AIDS Project. He volunteered and donated to political campaigns, the Victory Fund and the Servicemen’s Legal Defense Network. He most recently volunteered at the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation, where he chaired the Grants Committee. Merrill became involved with The Center when it was originally located on B Street. He became a longtime supporter and donor, and “in 1980 joined with six other community members to form a real estate partnership to buy the building that became The Center’s second site on 30th Street,” according to a memorial to Merrill posted by Pat McArron, former webmaster of Lambda Archives, on the website, And Merrill has his name on two rooms at The Center’s current location in Hillcrest, McArron wrote. David Ramos, Merrill’s husband, wrote on Facebook about

how he felt about the numerous tributes: “Thank you everyone. It warms my heart, makes me proud and happy that Mel was my husband when I read the comments. Love you all.” Ramos later told Gay San Diego that his husband was adamant that there would be no memorial service in his honor. “His desire was to have a party at the LGBT Center, of which he was a longtime supporter,” Ramos said. “In addition, he suggested that any memorial contributions made in his name should be made to Lambda Archives of San Diego.” Before press time, Ramos said the party to celebrate the life of Merrill will be held Sept. 23 at The Center. More details to follow. —Ken Williams is a contributing editor of Gay San Diego and can be reached at ken@ or at 619-961-1952.▼


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619-378-1600 (l to r) Doug Case, Mel Merrill, Toni G. Atkins, Jess Durfee, Christine Kehoe, and Kehoe's wife Julie Warren (Facebook)



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LGBTQ rights/protections under California law of all ages within the city of San Diego, my intent shifted to the more relevant laws within the state of California and San Diego County, which the city is obliged to follow. According to Wikipedia, No state has been as “Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and far ahead of the curve as transgender (LGBT) rights in California. In 1999, California the United States are considwas the first U.S. state to leered among some of the most galize domestic partnerships advanced in the world; however, between same-sex couples. they vary on a jurisdiction-by Protections against discrimijurisdiction basis … However, nation because of one’s sexual the United States has no federorientation and gender identity al law outlawing discrimination or expression and the right of nationwide, leaving residents in same-sex couples to adopt have some states without protection been legal statewide since 2003. from discrimination, other than Public education includes from federal executive orders teachings on the history of the which have a more limited LGBT community, students scope than from protections are allowed to choose restroom through federal legislation.” or sports teams consistent The American Civil with their gender identity and Liberties Union points out: “At mental health providers are the close of 2016, 20 states and prohibited from participating D.C. had passed laws banning in reparative therapy for LGBT discrimination based on sexual minors. orientation and gender identity For five months in 2008, or expression in employment, same-sex marriage was legal housing and public accommoda- in California before voters nartions …” rowly passed Proposition 8 to Consensual same-sex sexreverse it. Five years later, the ual activity has been legal U.S. Supreme Court refused to in California since 1976. But recognize the legal standing of the long journey to full civil same-sex marriage opponents rights and protections under in the case of Hollingsworth v. California state law is not over Perry. So on June 26, 2013, the for LGBTQ Californians. ban was no longer enforceable. While researching a plethora Then, in 2014, California beof codes, laws, ordinances, stat- came the first state in the U.S. utes and policies that protect to ban the use of gay and trans the rights of LGBTQ citizens “panic” defenses in murder

Senior Matters William E. Kelly

trials and in 2015 became the first state to agree to pay for transgender reassignment surgery for prison inmates. The following is a summary of the 2016 legislation and resolutions passed and/or signed into law in California, which are critical steps forward. ● SB 1005 — Modernizing Code Language to Reflect Marriage Equality; author, Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara); signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, July 1, 2016. ● SJR 26 — Urging ScienceBased Guidelines for Blood Donation; author, president pro tem Kevin de León; passed Aug. 11. ●• AJR 45 — Resolution in Support of the Equality Act; author, Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco); passed Aug. 24. ● SB 1146 — Uncovering Discrimination in Higher Education; author, Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens); signed by Gov. Brown, Sept. 30. ● AB 2246 — Suicide Prevention Policies in Schools; author, Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach); signed by Gov. Brown, Sept. 26. ● SB 1408 — HIV Organ and Tissue Donation Equity; author, Assemblymember Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica); signed into law by Gov. Brown, May 27. ● AB 1887 — Prevent California-Funded Travel to States with a License to Discriminate; author, Assemblymember Evan Low (D-Campbell); signed by Gov. Brown, Sept. 27.

● AB 1732 — The Equal Restrooms Access Act; author, Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco); signed by Gov. Brown, Sept. 29. Equality California also recently announced 12 initial sponsored bills for its 2017 legislative package, summarized below: SB 239 — Modernizing Discriminatory HIV Criminalization Laws authored by Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Assemblymember Todd Gloria (D-San Diego). It modernizes California laws criminalizing and stigmatizing people living with HIV to reflect current understanding of HIV prevention and treatment. SB 179 — Gender Recognition Act of 2017 authored by Sen. Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) and Sen. Wiener. It will enable transgender, intersex and non-binary people to obtain state-issued identity documents that accurately reflect their gender identity. SB 219 — Seniors Long Term Care Bill of Rights authored by Sen. Wiener. This strengthens protections for LGBT seniors living in longterm care facilities against discrimination, such as refusing to use a resident’s preferred name or pronoun; denying admission to a long-term care facility; transferring a resident within a facility or to another facility based on anti-LGBT attitudes of other residents; or evicting or involuntarily discharging a resident from a facility on the basis of their actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or HIV status. AB 888 — Transparency in Higher Education authored by Assemblymember Evan Low (D-Silicon Valley). AB-888 calls attention to the unsafe atmosphere that institutionalized discrimination can create for students at colleges and universities in California. SB 695 — Tiered System for California Sex Offender Registry authored by Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) and Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles). It replaces California’s existing universal lifetime registration requirement for sex offenses with a tiered system based on the seriousness of the crime, the risk of reoffending and criminal history. AB 800 — Hate Crimes Hotline authored by Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco). The bill would establish a hotline to report hate crimes and bias-motivated incidents and provide information to support targeted communities. AB 1161 — Updating Local Hate Crimes Policies authored by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco). This would help empower local communities to safely reduce the number of hate crimes. SB 310 — Name and Dignity Act authored by Sen. Atkins. The bill would help to ensure that transgender people will be legally recognized for who they are while incarcerated and increases the likelihood of their successful reentry into society upon release from custody. • SB 488 — Diversity and Inclusion in the Insurance Industry by Sen. Steven Bradford (D-Gardena). It would expand existing law to include LGBT-owned and veteran-owned businesses on the list of diverse product and service suppliers for insurers, as well as codify the governing board diversity survey, and extend the supplier diversity survey to Jan. 1, 2025. AB 677 — Reducing LGBT Disparities in Education and Employment by Assemblymember Chiu. This directs 10 agencies focusing on education and employment to collect data on sexual orientation and gender identity whenever additional demographic data is collected. SB 221 — HEAL (Help End Antiretroviral-related Lipodystrophy) Act authored by Sen. Wiener. It requires that all health insurance plans governed by California law must cover medical treatment to correct HIV-associated lipodystrophy, which creates abnormal accumulations of fat in, for example, the neck and upper back areas. AB 1556 — Fair Employment and Housing Act Clarification, by Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-Monterey Bay). AB-1556 would amend the FEHA to remove gendered terms such as “female,” “she” and “her” from statutory provisions for pregnancy-related employment protections, and replace them with gender-neutral terms such as “person” or “employee.” While progress is being made, the work is not finished. We must insist our state officials continue amending existing laws and writing new civil rights protections until all legal loop holes allowing LGBT discrimination to take place are closed. For a more comprehensive in-depth view of the history of LGBT rights in the United States, I highly recommend that you visit Next month, we will look at San Diego County’s 2015-20 strategic plan for diversity and inclusion. —Bill Kelly is a longtime local activist who currently focuses on LGBT senior issues and moderates the Caring for our LGBT Seniors in San Diego Facebook page. Access to the group is free to all seniors, their advocates, families, friends and caregivers. Reach Bill at▼


It’s our 10th anniversary South Bay Alliance Dae Elliott It doesn’t seem like that long to me. OK, I know, I’m old and nothing seems like that long to me, but think about it. Starting as a small group in response to our politicians and other local leaders suggesting that there was no LGBTQ in south San Diego County and the issue of marriage equality during the initial California Proposition 22 was only a “Hillcrest” thing. It was then that many of us realized that we needed to be more visible if we were going to change the sentiments. Most of us in that original group were longtime residents if not born residents of south county San Diego and knew this issue was about our community, our backyard and our neighbors. So began our annual South Bay Pride Festival. We are now 10 years old and have grown from a few hundred to over 15,000 in attendance. We still get the line, “Chula Vista has a PRIDE?” and are hoping to eradicate that but we have certainly come a long way. We no longer have politicians and community leaders suggesting the LGBTQ community doesn’t exist here, we have gay/straight alliances, LGBTQ representation in our public offices and yes, everyone, hear me, we have Pride every year at Bayside Park, Chula Vista, serving the whole south county. A person on social media recently asked, “What do we have to be proud of?” It was hard to respond with all the events happening these past few weeks, with so many of our inroads towards social justice around race, gender and sexuality seems to be getting whiplash from the pushback. Charlottesville weighs heavily on our minds. I can hear the frustration caused by this and division within, so I answered. What do we have to be proud of? A lot, and we need to remind

ourselves and encourage each other during dark times that we have indeed made a difference and will continue to make a difference. Tenacity, hope and persistence all come from the strength of us together. So we work to respect our differences within the community but even more we celebrate those differences as the source of our strength. Our Pride events can model how to embrace each other in all our individuality, how we can have a community based upon mutual respect and appreciation. So I invite you to support South Bay Pride Art & Music Festival on Sept. 9. It is a community Pride put on by a dedicated group of volunteers. While it is a free event, we do ask for a $10 donation. It’s on the beach! We have tons of gourmet, award-winning food trucks, drinks and spirits throughout the park, and the best of San Diego’s up-and-coming bands such as The HoocH, Funkshuiplanet, Social Animal, Ingenue, Smarter Than Robots, Alive & Well, Pretty Vacant and Atlas, along with a lineup of DJs that will keep you dancing on the sands of the beach. It is a great day to enjoy while kicking back and yes, celebrate, our steps forward despite our steps back. We must do this so we can all persevere to a better tomorrow … and … to have a good time among our friends in order to refill our tanks for the ongoing challenges towards the future that includes justice and equality as the essential and unerring part of our national character. South Bay Pride Art & Music Festival takes place Saturday, Sept. 9, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. For directions and more information, visit —Dae Elliott is a founding executive committee member and the current executive director of South Bay Alliance, a 501(c)3 nonprofit and organizer of the annual South Bay Pride Art & Music Festival. Contact her at southbayalliance@▼

GAY SAN DIEGO Aug. 18 – 31, 2017

Three kinds of depression (and what to do about them) Life Beyond Therapy Michael Kimmel “Depression” is used to describe everything from feeling a bit down to feeling suicidal. I’d like to talk about three kinds of depression and what you can do about each one. Chemical — In this type of depression, there is an imbalance in how your brain is supposed to (optimally) function. If this is true for you, then there may be nothing as helpful as the right medication to restore your brain’s chemical process to full functioning. I acknowledge that the mindbody connection is powerful, yet for many of us, our body can’t produce the chemical compounds/reactions that make our brain happy. Over the past two decades, I’ve had clients who have resisted any kind of medication, thinking it signifies a weakness of some kind. For years, they would tough it out and praise themselves for how stoic they were. One client, after years of trying everything but medication, finally gave in. His life changed dramatically and of course he asked, “Why did I wait so long? Why did I suffer all those years?” I didn’t need to reply because he already knew the answer: He thought medication was a sign of weakness and being tough/right was more important than being happy. Anti-depressants usually take about 6-8 weeks to fully kick in, so say my doctor friends, and — media alert! — they don’t really make you “happy.” As someone who tried three different anti-depressants in my younger years, when they work, they reduce your depression, but can’t make you happy, nor can they take away all your problems. What they can do is to help you stabilize your emotions so that you are able to address your problems from a more calm and balanced emotional place. At least, that’s what they did for me and many other people I know.

Let’s move on to the other two types of depression, neither of which typically benefit much from medication. Situational — In this kind of depression, we suffer a loss. This kind of depression is actually a sign of normal mental health. If we didn’t feel sad after our dog died or we lost a job we loved, we’d be strange people indeed. “How long does this last?” you may reasonably ask; or more importantly, “How long should this last?” Ah, now there’s a tough question. Some people take anti-depressants when recovering from a loss, but this may or may not be helpful. We need to grieve a loss; anything that messes up our grieving process may actually prolong our suffering. If you have 1,000 tears to cry over the end of your love affair, then, you need to cry those tears sooner or later. Numbing yourself with alcohol, prescription or non-prescription drugs usually just drags the process out, making it harder to cry those tears, feel those feelings and — eventually — move on. If you feel suicidal in the face of a loss, then do whatever it takes to get yourself through those terrifying feelings. But, for most of us, situational depression is a normal part of life. Something bad or sad happens, we grieve it for a time, and we


slowly heal. Messing with this sequence isn’t usually very helpful. Soulful — Challenges of the soul are often the most subtle and productive forms of depression. You don’t want to numb or medicate them; they are the impetus for positive life changes, and for asking yourself some tough questions and coming up with soul-saving answers. I mean questions like: ● “My life hasn’t turned out as I’d hoped, what should I do about it?” ● “No matter how successful my work and relationships are, I still feel fundamentally sad and empty.” ● “I gave up on religion a long time ago, but, isn’t there something more than just this separate, little life?” This kind of depression is born of wisdom and life experience. As a friend calls it, “the dark night of the soul.” None of us can avoid it, nor should we. The questions it brings unlock hidden rooms in our minds and thoughts that are full of amazing possibilities for growth and change. Maybe this really isn’t depression at all; perhaps it’s really the ultimate adventure. —Michael Kimmel is a licensed psychotherapist who specializes in helping LGBT clients achieve their goals and deal with anxiety, depression, grief, sexually addictive behavior, coming out, relationship challenges and homophobia. Contact him at 619-955-3311 or visit▼


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GAY SAN DIEGO Aug.18 – 31, 2017

Letters Kudos for Carol

[Ref: “Carol Curtis: Hillcrest’s ‘piano wench,’ Part One,” Vol. 8, Issue 16, or online at 2uDcg1C.]

Guest Editorial

Slow the hell down Pedestrians are people too By Morgan M. Hurley Two weeks ago there was another pedestrian hit in Hillcrest. This one in a string of several over the last few years, two of which ended in death. We talk a lot about bicycle safety and discuss issues about making bike lanes and paths safer for riders but rarely do we talk about the safety of pedestrians. Every one of us is a pedestrian throughout our normal busy lives. I am a pedestrian for a great part of each day, since I take public transportation. I’ve been doing so for about two years and I must admit, I fear for my life way more often than I should. The drivers that put me in danger do so for a number of reasons. I’ve categorized them as either distracted, impatient, or just obnoxiously aggressive. I’ve been living on the Ocean Beach side of Point Loma for over two years now and every EDITOR Morgan M. Hurley (619) 961-1960 CONTRIBUTING EDITORS (619) 519-7775 Ken Williams, x102 Jeff Clemetson, x119 CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Chris Azzopardi Ben Cartwright Dae Elliott William E. Kelly Michael Kimmel Jean Lowerison Frank Sabatini Jr. WEB AND SOCIAL MEDIA Sara Butler, x120 EDITORIAL INTERN Jess Winans

day I walk to the No. 35 eastregardless if the light they are bound bus stop nearest my facing is red. These drivers house at the corner of Adrian usually seem more embarStreet and West Point Loma rassed by the experience and Boulevard. avoid my gaze. At least three times per This same situation happened month, as I walk in the crossto me in Hillcrest two Fridays walk toward the bus stop with ago. I was crossing University the WALK sign flashing, I have Avenue and Fifth Avenue in the been nearly hit by a vehicle that crosswalk with the WALK sign is turning west onto West Point flashing and a car that was travLoma Boulevard. eling north on University turned I’ve gotten quite animated right, and right into my path. on most of these occasions and Luckily I was able to long jump to sometimes I’ve jumped up and the curb, but it was quite a scare. down or screamed at the driver There are several other times who on some occasions was so at that same corner I’ve had close I could touch their hood. cars whoosh past in front of me Some of the drivers have yelled or just behind as I finish crossback at me. ing the street. Again, with the Last year, the city painted WALK sign still flashing. a “high visibility” crosswalk I can’t tell you how often I there. Apparently I was not am making my way across any the only person experiencstreet in San Diego and someone is waiting to turn. The second ing this test of mortality. I get past a certain point they Unfortunately, despite the big screech out around me, as if I thick white bars in the crossam a burden to them and they walk, it has not made a bit of want to make a point. I can difference and in fact, matters usually even feel the breeze seem to have gotten worse. caused by their car. Still on othWhat I do know is that I try er occasions, impatient drivers hard to make eye contact with whizz right in front of me. Three them before I step off the curb, even though it is quite a distance. seconds more and I’d have been safely across. The point is the light is flashing. Can I blame the drivers being Other times I’ve also come distracted by their phones? The close to being hit in the same current political climate? Are crosswalk as cars that are travthey late to work or late for a eling east on West Point Loma date with someone? I don’t know. approach the right turn onto What I do know is that I deserve Adrian Street. better. To me, the old adage, I am here to tell you, nine “Treat others how you’d like to be times out of 10, cars turning right do not stop before turning, treated” is key. COPY EDITOR Dustin Lothspeich SALES & MARKETING DIRECTOR Mike Rosensteel (619) 961-1958 ADVERTISING CONSULTANTS (619) 519-7775 Andrew Bagley, x106 Annie Burchard, x 105 Michele Camarda, x116 Heather Fine, x107 Sloan Gomez, x104 John Watson, x113 INTERNS Alex Ehrie Czarina Greaney Erik Guerrero Angel Rodriguez SENIOR INTERN Jennifer Gottschalk

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DISTRIBUTION Gay San Diego is distributed free every other Friday of the month. © 2017. All rights reserved. PUBLISHER David Mannis (619) 961-1951

In the California Vehicle Code 21950 — called the California Crosswalks Law — has two important bits (to find the rest visit (a) The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, except as otherwise provided in this chapter. (c) The driver of a vehicle approaching a pedestrian within any marked or unmarked crosswalk shall exercise all due care and shall reduce the speed of the vehicle or take any other action relating to the operation of the vehicle as necessary to safeguard the safety of the pedestrian. So pay attention. Take a couple extra seconds to make sure there is no one in that intersection when the flashing light is on before you turn. Let people cross the entire street before you take that huge hunk of murderous metal and fly past them. There is no excuse for treating pedestrians as if they are making your life miserable when they are merely walking across the street and minding their own business.

Well clearly I need these articles! Carol, Cheryl, and Jan … er um, Jan, Carol and Cheryl, … no, wait … it’s Cheryl, Carol, and Jan, depending upon who you were speaking with (fathers included), formed in eighth grade at Central Junior High School in Riverside, when we were 13. Many rehearsals were at Carol’s, and hers was the infamous bathroom where all songs were “echo tested” before live performances. We sang for a variety of venues, from our school to Elks Clubs, churches, talent shows and contests, to Sunday brunches; the more professional ones scored for us by our dads. Our biggest fan? Oh, so many! Ha! But no one could squeal like Jan’s sister Sue when we crescendoed at the end of our songs. Life took us different places but Carol and I stayed with music/performance. “Elaine Carol” and I reunited in 1978-80 (until her Oklahoma phase), touring in a comedy/ music lounge/stage show. Jan, the sane one, eventually became a Methodist minister. Carol and I remain best friends. She’s honorary “aunt” to my daughter for whom Carol wrote the song “Li’l Bits,” a lifelong moniker. I make it a point to come see Carol (from Idaho) any chance I get. I’ve audienced at Bourbon Street (my first immersion and start of love for the LGBT community, thanks to Carol’s “jump in the deep end” enthusiasm and caring), W.D.’s, Inn at the Park, her fundraiser with Juice Newton, and the Caliph. My Riverside family is gone now, so our visits are fewer, but the Caliph is still my favorite visit when down south (west)! So happy you are doing this article on Carol! And if I can snag copies I would be forever grateful. I just happened to find this trolling Carols FB page, which I seldom do. I’ve known Carol since kindergarten, by the way — that’s 59 years! Love that woman. —Cheryl Flood, via

—Morgan M. Hurley is editor of Gay San Diego. Reach her at morgan@

—Letters to the editor can be sent to Comments can also be made on our website or Facebook page.▼

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. Business Improvement Association

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. Copyright © 2017 San Diego Community News Network

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



On Sunday, Aug. 20, The San Diego LGBT Community Center, San Diego LGBT Pride, and other social justice groups will be holding a rally at the Hillcrest Pride Flag on Normal Street at University Avenue, from 4-5 p.m. Called the United Intersections of Justice Rally Against Hate (against anti-Semitism, against racism, against homophobia; against transphobia; against Islamophobia; against sexism), the peaceful rally is in

(top, left) Katy Segal accepts her award; (right) former Army Secretary Eric Fanning; (below) event chairs and emcees (l to r) Tessa Cabrera and Clarione Gutierrez (Photos by Vanessa Dubois) FROM PAGE 1

HRC SAN DIEGO Charlottesville specifically for the “Unite the Right” rally, drove his car into a large group of counter-protestors. In a statement, HRC “strongly condemned” the rally its violence. “Hate and bigotry must never be met with silence or half-hearted rebukes,” said HRC president Chad Griffin, who later attended the gala in San Diego. “The horrific events unfolding in Charlottesville today are a stark reminder that the racism and white supremacy that has been allowed to fester for generations has recently been emboldened by the policies and rhetoric of politicians like Donald Trump. There are no two sides.” The events in Virginia were definitely on the minds of all in attendance that evening and the comments of many speakers no doubt served to soften concerns and embolden the attendees. Receiving the “Ally for Equality” award, Segal told the crowd she was “honored” and “humbled” to be considered an ally of the LGBTQ community. She called the event “very eye-opening” and shared that despite her father being a director in TV and film, she, too, experienced discrimination when first embarking upon a career in television. The “National Leadership” award was given to the first openly gay Secretary of the Army, Eric Fanning, who served under President Barack Obama. Fanning was a grand marshal in San Diego’s San Diego Pride Parade in 2016, something he called “one of his greatest memories.” Fanning focused his remarks on the impact of President Donald J. Trump’s recent tweet about banning transgender service members. “… I’m offended that the commander in chief would say

thousands of people under his command, serving today, around the world — many in harms way — are a burden,” Fanning said. “… Furthermore, he said that transgender service is disruptive. … the only thing disruptive is his tweet. It would be disruptive to the thousands who are serving and it would be disruptive to military readiness.” The former secretary said we heard similar rhetoric during “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” and when combat roles were opened up to women, but he was encouraged by the bipartisan support he saw from both sides of the aisle in response to the president’s tweet. HRC has been fighting for LGBTQ equality for 37 years. Segal told the crowd she had joined HRC’s Federal Club, a long-term donor program that starts with a minimum of $100 per month. Many others also became Federal Club members that evening, including Sen. Atkins, who received the “Leader for Equality” award. HRC San Diego had a fundraising goal of $5,000 for the gala, but raised $12,350 in pledges over the course of the evening, which broke the event’s record. HRC San Diego’s steering committee includes 17 people, but with a variety of fundraising and promotional events throughout the year, the committee is always looking for new members and volunteers. To learn more about HRC San Diego, follow their Facebook page or their website bit. ly/2uJZv5v. To read the full story and see photos from the evening, find the story online at —Morgan M. Hurley can be reached at morgan@▼

GAY SAN DIEGO Aug. 18 – 31, 2017 response to recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia. “We invite the community to join us to stand together to say ‘Come for any of us – black, brown, women, Jewish, trans, LGB — and you will be met by all of us. United. Together,’” said Ben Cartwright, the director of community outreach for The Center, in a press release. The rally will feature a variety of speakers, as well as tables from local community organizations to help attendees learn how to organize, vote, host “stay woke” parties and more. For more information about the rally contact Cartwright at or 619-692-2077 ext. 106.



At their last meeting San Diego Democrats for Equalityamended their bylaws to add two at-large board member positions on their executive board. As a result, they are looking for more members. At their next meeting, which took place Thursday before Gay San Diego went to press, they will appoint a nomination committee and begin the process to search for candidates. As one of the largest Democratic clubs in Southern California and one of the oldest active LGBT organizations in the U.S., Dems for Equality strives to support Democratic

see Briefs, pg 20



GAY SAN DIEGO Aug.18 – 31, 2017

Sugar, spice and everything nice Patti LaBelle dishes on ‘still standing’ thanks to the LGBT community, lip-syncing ‘divettes’ and Trump Chris Azzopardi | Q Syndicate Is there a singer more real than Patti LaBelle? The 73-yearold legend of song (and shade) is a firehose of strong-minded opinions, and in an age that has some tight-lipped “divettes,” as LaBelle calls them, refraining from saying too much, the ever-honest LaBelle is, refreshingly, that rare freewheeler who revels in being blunt AF. In 2014, she told me she no longer considers herself a diva because “all these little heifers who can’t sing are called divas.” The word, she observed, is not “cute anymore.” After our recent warm phone reunion, LaBelle, while doing promo for her new jazz album, “Bel Hommage” — who has given the gays so much, from music and pies to a bevy of side-eye-serving GIFs — still has more to give; even her own precious pie-making time. “I really like talking to you,” she tells me when I start to wrap the interview. My allotted time had long passed, but she wasn’t done.

Chris Azzopardi (CA) Last time we had a gay press chat it was shortly before you had me twerkin’ on your stage here in Detroit. I still can’t believe you let me do that. What’s the craziest thing a gay fan has done on your stage? Patti LaBelle (PLB) Gosh, I don’t really know! Maybe you! I know I’ve had a lot of gay men on my stage during “Lady Marmalade” and they go way out because once they’re up there they say, “I’m here with Ms. Patti’s microphone and I’m gonna wear it out.” I’ve had so many do so many things that I can’t tell you specifically one.

Patti LaBelle performed in the rain at NYC Pride and said she wore an ’80s hairstyle for the gays. (Photo by W & W) then turned around and pulled his pants down. I had on high pumps. I kicked that ass.

(CA) I don’t know if he was (CA) You even called him a gay, but in Vancouver last year, a “bitch.” fan got frisky on your stage and... (PLB) I did use a curse (PLB) Showed me his ass? word. And I felt so bad. He took me to that limit. I said, “How could he take me there?” And (CA) Is that what he did? they had it on TMZ or what(PLB) Yeah! He mooned ever. I said, “It’s true.” Gotta me! Because he came up and I was looking at him through protect myself. [Laughs] the whole show and I said, “Oh, he’s an enthusiastic fan,” (CA) I was happy to see that right? I try to look at the people you did NYC Pride this summer. Is there something special that I’m gonna bring up, so I brought him up thinkin’ he was about performing for an all-gay cool. He did his little shake and audience? (PLB) That night it poured, so when Deborah Cox was on, she did three songs and then had to be rushed off the stage. It could’ve been shut down ’cause it was so bad. Everybody got drenched. So instead of my going on at 9, I went on at about 10:15 ... and they were still there! My whole thing is, when I knew I was doing gay pride, I said, “I’m gonna wear something beautifully outrageous, and I’m gonna have that old Patti LaBelle hair that I used to do with the fans and all that jazz.” I said, “I’m gonna wear that hair!” And from the time I went on until the end, they never stopped yelling for more. I mean, when we were pulling out in our car, they were still, “More, more, more!” They were so enthusiastic. But what I did, I wore that old hair, and a lot of people who didn’t know me from the ’80s — we got some bad press for it — and I said, “You know what, I did that for my queens. They understand it.” It was for you guys. But I enjoyed doing it. And then the wind knocked that sucker down. I said, “OK, I’m gonna have to kick it up.” [Laughs] (CA) Who would give Patti LaBelle crap for her hair? (PLB) People who didn’t really understand where I was in the ’80s. You know, some of the younger kids — they don’t have a clue who Patti LaBelle or Labelle was. (CA) Speaking of Deborah Cox, a lot of people don’t know that Montell Jordan wrote

“Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here,” but you didn’t love it and then it went to Deborah. (PLB) Deborah always says I’m her reason for being in show business because I let the song go and she got it. That’s her start. After that, I started performing that song at my show and told the audience, “This is the song that got away.” But I’m happy it did, because I love her.

honest. So it will come out and I’ll say, “God, I didn’t mean to say that.” But it’s too late. And I’m not gonna whoop myself up for it. I did it and I’ll do it again. I know I’ll do it! I do have my little cop son watching me, so I try to be nice.

(CA) Three years ago you told me you don’t call yourself a diva because “all these little heifers who can’t sing are called divas.” But then, after that interview, you did VH1’s (CA) I read that “Hello, “Divas Holiday: Unsilent Night” Dolly!” came your way years ago, before it hit Broadway, but last year and then “Daytime you passed on it. When the role Divas” this year. Now, Ms. ultimately went to Bette Midler, Patti, I feel like you’re sending were you kicking yourself for me mixed signals here. not jumping at the chance? (PLB) [Laughs] No — no, (PLB) Nope, I didn’t. ’Cause mixed signals! If I do “Daytime Divas,” which I did, and if I did you know what? That’s a big piece of work and I think Bette “Divas” the concert, of course, Midler can do it much better I’m gonna be in it, but I’m not than Patti LaBelle. I thought saying, “I’m a diva.” about it after she did it. Might People look to me and may I do it in the future? You never see me as a diva and that’s know. a compliment to those who think it’s a compliment. Like (CA) Do you pay attention I said, Lena Horne and Dinah to the memes and GIFs of you Washington and all those beauthrowing shade that people tiful dolls back in the day, they love to share on the internet? were divas. These little divettes (PLB) Yeah, I see them. walking around — I don’t wanAnd you know what, I’m honna put myself in the same senored! [Laughs] And whenever I tence with some of these little see something that’s not totally kids. So, I’m not a diva; just a positive about me, I say, “God, singin’ fool. at least they thought about me.” It’s really the way to look at (CA) People are under these situations. But at the end the impression there’s rivalry between you and Aretha of the day I know who I really Franklin, but you recently am… and that’s a cool chick! squashed that rumor when you said, of anyone, you’d most (CA) Has your son given want to duet with her. Why up on keeping what you say in check? do people think you had a (PLB) Well, he tries. Lately, beef? And what’s the deal with he hasn’t had to because I’ve women constantly being pitted not been saying anything out against each other? of order. But I know he’s al(PLB) I’m not gonna be pitways waiting and when I do ted against any lady in this inhe’ll take me to the side: “Mom, dustry. I do my job, I sing hard and I sing well, and I love what could you not say that ever I do. If another lady finds that again?” I say, “OK.” Something as being too much for them, or happened about two weeks ago whoever might feel I’m being and I’m trying to remember too much, that’s their problem. what it was. This time it was But I’ve never had a beef. about … God, what did I do? Now, there are a lot of laI’m always doin’ something and dies in this industry who don’t he’s always reprimanding me care for Patti LaBelle — and for it. some gentlemen, also — but (CA) Do you ever regret I look at them and I smile. things that you say? Because what can I do? I (PLB) My God, about 50 can’t change your mind, boo, million things. I’m full of resee Interview, pg 17 grets. But you know what, I’m


SOUTH BARK Eighteen years ago, South Park was a sleepy little enclave without a name; many still referred to it as Golden Hill and it didn’t have much of a business center, but what connected people were their dogs, Walker said. “Back then it was the dogs that made the neighborhood come together,” she said. “You’d come together at the park or while you were walking. The dogs make the neighborhood more inclusive, ‘we’re all in this together, type of thing.’” As South Park residents in 1995, Walker and Vella were involved with dog rescues, helped start the “dog owners of Grape Street” (DOGS) group and were instrumental in getting the Grape Street dog park certified. It was this dog-centric aspect of the South Park community that made them realize they could start a viable business. In 1999, Walker had just retired from the Navy as a senior chief petty officer, and Vella was working in a photo lab and teaching photography classes at Grossmont and City colleges. Vella bought the building at 2037 30th St. — which since being built in 1951 had housed a laundromat — and the two partners began a yearlong process to convert it to a dog wash. They opened on Oct. 3, 2000. “At the time, the whole ‘self-service’ concept was just starting and business models were just being developed,” Walker said. “We wanted a more spa-like feel in a more casual, fun, educational and inclusive atmosphere. Over the years, people have joked that they use to wash their clothes here and now they wash their pets.” While they weren’t the first — Walker claims Ocean Beach Dog Wash and My Beautiful Dog O Mat on Park Boulevard were in business before South Bark — what has set them apart from the beginning is their unique approaches to the trade. For starters, their “island tub system,” with the plumbing

in the ceiling rather than integrated below, was the first difference new customers experienced. Vella said their tub systems have seen a few design changes over the years but remain visually the same. Their extensive outside patio is another difference, which was initially used as a waiting area and is now used for grooming, blow drying, teeth cleaning, various obedience and other training classes, and even fundraising events. Finally, their extensive retail business also distinguishes them. Their retail inventory has grown exponentially and also birthed their “blueberry facial” line, which they distribute internationally through their South Bark Professional Pet Products, shipping to every state in the U.S. and 14 countries. Having their own product line has also allowed them to join the pet industry seminar circuit and travel all over the country. Earlier this year they even went to Canada. “We are known as the South Bark ‘blueberry girls,’” Walker said. “We are trusted within the industry for fun and educational seminars. Our topics run the gamut between business centered, skin and coat issues, shampoo use and ingredients, to aromatherapy and now CBD [hemp/cannabinoid for pets].” In 2015, the pair faced an even more difficult time. The city was tearing up 30th Street to replace the underground pipe system. Sidewalks were closed and access to their business was hindered greatly. “It was a scary time for us; we lost over $150,000,” Vella said. “That was a lot of money for a small business but we didn’t let anyone go. I’m grateful for my employees and I’m grateful for Molly Chase [from Todd Gloria’s office at the time] who helped me through it.” Though South Bark’s front door was replaced immediately after the fi rst break-in, today it is still boarded up while they research alternative options. One thing is certain; they don’t want to change the

GAY SAN DIEGO Aug. 18 – 31, 2017

Their outside patio houses training classes and other events. (Photo by Big Mike) inclusive look or feel of their business. “We want to continue onward with our usual style of using artists, metal workers, or craftspeople to implement a solution,” Walker said. “We are also researching some innovative glass and design options.” The South Park community and the extensive network of friends that Walker and Vella enjoy attempted to come to the rescue and start a GoFundMe page, but the women decided against it. “Lisa and I did not turn it down because we are not grateful, we were extremely touched by people wanting to donate money because of our two [break-ins],” Walker said. “After a few days of pondering, we decided not to do it. What

would really help us is for people to come and shop with us or wash their pets. Everyday we work hard to capture new customers and we are so grateful for our returning customers.” Having the internet as your biggest competitor can be a challenge, they said. Sometimes random customers will say they can get one of the products they see in South Bark’s pet market online at a lower price, which causes them to wince. “Small business is so hard. I joke that you can’t wash your dog on Amazon yet,” Vella said. “We generally don’t sell the same things as [the big box stores] but we can get anything you need. If we don’t have something you want, buy a treat. If you don’t have a dog or cat, buy a gift certificate for someone who does.”

—Morgan M. Hurley can be reached at▼

Saturday, Aug. 19

Tuesday, Aug. 22

Ageless Artists: Art Show & Fair

Senior Food Bank

3-5 pm, The Center

The Senior Food Bank Program provides food as well as nutrition education to eligible low-income seniors 60 years or older once a month. Eligible applicants can enroll in the program by applying in person at our site on the day of the event or by calling the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank at 1-866-3503663. For more information, visit the San Diego Food Bank website or contact LaRue Fields at or 619.692.2077 x205.

1 pm, The Center

Tuesdays, Aug. 22 & 29

Male Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence 6:30 pm, The Center This group is for male-identified survivors of intimate partner violence. Group meetings are held every Tuesday from 6:30-8pm. Contact The Center’s On Duty Counselor at 619.692.2077 x208 or to sign up. The San Diego LGBT Community Center 3909 Centre Street • 619-692-2077

The front door to South Bark Dog Wash awaits replacement after a recent break-in. (Photo by Big Mike)

Today the blueberry girls shuffle between the retail business and distribution outlet, traveling to seminars, being involved in the local business community, and their busy personal lives. Walker, the former vice president of the South Park Business Group (SPBG), lives with her wife Lorna in Burlingame with their four dogs and a cat. Vella, current treasurer of the SPBG, lives in Golden Hill with her wife Allie and their 4-year-old son, Rocky. She also still teaches photography at City College. After all these years, the two lifelong friends can’t say enough about the community that has embraced them and their business. They plan to celebrate their upcoming anniversary during the fall South Park Walkabout and do a fundraiser for a local pet rescue. But keeping their community safe for all is at the forefront of their minds. “I want to express to everyone that if you see something that is not right, say something,” Lisa said. “Times are so different. I sound like my father, but it is true. Looking at our [phones] and not paying attention to the world around us is commonplace. We all need to look out for each other. It is so important.” To learn more about South Bark Dog Wash and the Blueberry Facial line of pet products, visit

events ATTHECENTER Enjoy art, wine & snacks, and a chance to win a masterpiece of your own! Art will also be available for purchase. b 21+. 21 Admission is free, but you must be For more information contact LaRue Fields at or 619.692.2077 x205.

Twitter: @LGBTCenter


Thursdays, Aug. 24

The Center’s South Bay LGBTQ+ Clubhouse for Youth 4-7:30 pm, The Center We are so excited to now offer an affirmative LGBTQ+ drop-in center for LGBTQ+ youth ages 14-18 in South Bay! The space will include a place to hang-out, chat, and participate in fun social activities. For more information contact Isaac Gomez at


GAY SAN DIEGO Aug.18 – 31, 2017

What is TRUVADA for PrEP?

Who should not take TRUVADA for PrEP?

TRUVADA for PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is a prescription medicine that is used together with safer sex practices to help reduce the risk of getting HIV-1 through sex. This use is only for HIV-negative adults who are at high risk of getting HIV-1. To help determine your risk of getting HIV-1, talk openly with your healthcare provider about your sexual health.

Do not take TRUVADA for PrEP if you:

Ask your healthcare provider if you have questions about how to prevent getting HIV. Always practice safer sex and use condoms to lower the chance of sexual contact with body fluids. Never reuse or share needles or other items that have body fluids on them.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION What is the most important information I should know about TRUVADA for PrEP? Before taking TRUVADA for PrEP:  You must be HIV-negative before you start taking TRUVADA for PrEP. You must get tested to make sure that you do not already have HIV-1. Do not take TRUVADA to reduce the risk of getting HIV-1 unless you are confirmed to be HIV-negative.  Many HIV-1 tests can miss HIV-1 infection in a person who has recently become infected. If you have flu-like symptoms, you could have recently become infected with HIV-1. Tell your healthcare provider if you had a flu-like illness within the last month before starting or at any time while taking TRUVADA for PrEP. Symptoms of new HIV-1 infection include tiredness, fever, joint or muscle aches, headache, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, night sweats, and/or enlarged lymph nodes in the neck or groin. While taking TRUVADA for PrEP:  You must continue to use safer sex practices. Just taking TRUVADA for PrEP may not keep you from getting HIV-1.  You must stay HIV-negative to keep taking TRUVADA for PrEP:  Get tested for HIV-1 at least every 3 months.  If you think you were exposed to HIV-1, tell your healthcare provider right away.  To further help reduce your risk of getting HIV-1:  Know your HIV status and the HIV status of your partners.  Get tested for other sexually transmitted infections. Other infections make it easier for HIV to infect you.  Get information and support to help reduce risky sexual behavior, such as having fewer sex partners.  Do not miss any doses of TRUVADA. Missing doses may increase your risk of getting HIV-1 infection.  If you do become HIV-1 positive, you need more medicine than TRUVADA alone to treat HIV-1. TRUVADA by itself is not a complete treatment for HIV-1. If you have HIV-1 and take only TRUVADA, your HIV-1 may become harder to treat over time. TRUVADA can cause serious side effects:  Worsening of hepatitis B (HBV) infection. TRUVADA is not approved to treat HBV. If you have HBV and stop taking TRUVADA, your HBV may suddenly get worse. Do not stop taking TRUVADA without first talking to your healthcare provider, as they will need to monitor your health.

 Already have HIV-1 infection or if you do not know your HIV-1 status. If you are HIV-1 positive, you need to take other medicines with TRUVADA to treat HIV-1. TRUVADA by itself is not a complete treatment for HIV-1. If you have HIV-1 and take only TRUVADA, your HIV-1 may become harder to treat over time.  Also take certain medicines to treat hepatitis B infection.

What are the other possible side effects of TRUVADA for PrEP? Serious side effects of TRUVADA may also include:  Kidney problems, including kidney failure. Your healthcare provider may do blood tests to check your kidneys before and during treatment with TRUVADA. If you develop kidney problems, your healthcare provider may tell you to stop taking TRUVADA.  Too much lactic acid in your blood (lactic acidosis), which is a serious but rare medical emergency that can lead to death. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get these symptoms: weakness or being more tired than usual, unusual muscle pain, being short of breath or fast breathing, stomach pain with nausea and vomiting, cold or blue hands and feet, feel dizzy or lightheaded, or a fast or abnormal heartbeat.  Severe liver problems, which in rare cases can lead to death. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get these symptoms: skin or the white part of your eyes turns yellow, dark “tea-colored” urine, light-colored stools, loss of appetite for several days or longer, nausea, or stomach-area pain.  Bone problems, including bone pain, softening, or thinning, which may lead to fractures. Your healthcare provider may do tests to check your bones. Common side effects in people taking TRUVADA for PrEP are stomach-area (abdomen) pain, headache, and decreased weight. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effects that bother you or do not go away.

What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking TRUVADA for PrEP?  All your health problems. Be sure to tell your healthcare provider if you have or have had any kidney, bone, or liver problems, including hepatitis.  If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if TRUVADA can harm your unborn baby. If you become pregnant while taking TRUVADA for PrEP, talk to your healthcare provider to decide if you should keep taking TRUVADA.  If you are breastfeeding (nursing) or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed. If you become HIV-positive, HIV can be passed to the baby in breast milk.  All the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. TRUVADA may interact with other medicines. Keep a list of all your medicines and show it to your healthcare provider and pharmacist when you get a new medicine.  If you take certain other medicines with TRUVADA, your healthcare provider may need to check you more often or change your dose. These medicines include certain medicines to treat hepatitis C (HCV) infection. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Please see Important Facts about TRUVADA for PrEP including important warnings on the following page.

GAY SAN DIEGO Aug. 18 – 31, 2017

I’m open-minded, not uninformed. I know who I am. And I make choices that fit my life. TRUVADA for PrEP™ is a once-daily prescription medicine that can help reduce the risk of getting HIV-1 when taken every day and used together with safer sex practices.  TRUVADA for PrEP is only for adults who are at high risk of getting HIV through sex.  You must be HIV-negative before you start taking TRUVADA for PrEP.

Ask your doctor about your risk of getting HIV-1 infection and if TRUVADA for PrEP may be right for you.

Learn more at



GAY SAN DIEGO Aug.18 – 31, 2017

IMPORTANT FACTS This is only a brief summary of important information about taking TRUVADA for PrEPTM (pre-exposure prophylaxis) to help reduce the risk of getting HIV-1 infection. This does not replace talking to your healthcare provider about your medicine.



Before starting TRUVADA for PrEP:

• Those in the “Most Important Information About TRUVADA for PrEP” section. • New or worse kidney problems, including kidney failure. • Too much lactic acid in your blood (lactic acidosis), which is a serious but rare medical emergency that can lead to death. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get these symptoms: weakness or being more tired than usual, unusual muscle pain, being short of breath or fast breathing, stomach pain with nausea and vomiting, cold or blue hands and feet, feel dizzy or lightheaded, or a fast or abnormal heartbeat. • Severe liver problems, which in rare cases can lead to death. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get these symptoms: skin or the white part of your eyes turns yellow, dark “tea-colored” urine, light-colored stools, loss of appetite for several days or longer, nausea, or stomach-area pain. • Bone problems.

• You must be HIV-1 negative. You must get tested to make sure that you do not already have HIV-1. Do not take TRUVADA for PrEP to reduce the risk of getting HIV-1 unless you are confirmed to be HIV-1 negative. • Many HIV-1 tests can miss HIV-1 infection in a person who has recently become infected. Symptoms of new HIV-1 infection include flu-like symptoms, tiredness, fever, joint or muscle aches, headache, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, night sweats, and/or enlarged lymph nodes in the neck or groin. Tell your healthcare provider if you have had a flu-like illness within the last month before starting TRUVADA for PrEP. While taking TRUVADA for PrEP: • You must continue to use safer sex practices. Just taking TRUVADA for PrEP may not keep you from getting HIV-1. • You must stay HIV-negative to keep taking TRUVADA for PrEP. Get tested for HIV-1 at least every 3 months while taking TRUVADA for PrEP. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you think you were exposed to HIV-1 or have a flu-like illness while taking TRUVADA for PrEP. • If you do become HIV-1 positive, you need more medicine than TRUVADA alone to treat HIV-1. If you have HIV-1 and take only TRUVADA, your HIV-1 may become harder to treat over time. • See the “How To Further Reduce Your Risk” section for more information. TRUVADA may cause serious side effects, including: • Worsening of hepatitis B (HBV) infection. TRUVADA is not approved to treat HBV. If you have HBV, your HBV may suddenly get worse if you stop taking TRUVADA. Do not stop taking TRUVADA without first talking to your healthcare provider, as they will need to check your health regularly for several months.

TRUVADA can cause serious side effects, including:

Common side effects in people taking TRUVADA for PrEP include stomach-area (abdomen) pain, headache, and decreased weight. These are not all the possible side effects of TRUVADA. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any new symptoms while taking TRUVADA for PrEP. Your healthcare provider will need to do tests to monitor your health before and during treatment with TRUVADA for PrEP.

BEFORE TAKING TRUVADA FOR PrEP Tell your healthcare provider if you: • Have or have had any kidney, bone, or liver problems, including hepatitis. • Have any other medical conditions. • Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. • Are breastfeeding (nursing) or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed. If you become HIV-positive, HIV can pass to the baby in breast milk. Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take:

ABOUT TRUVADA FOR PrEP TRUVADA for PrEP is a prescription medicine used together with safer sex practices to help reduce the risk of getting HIV-1 through sex. This use is only for HIV-negative adults who are at high risk of getting HIV-1. • To help determine your risk of getting HIV-1, talk openly with your healthcare provider about your sexual health. Do NOT take TRUVADA for PrEP if you: • Already have HIV-1 infection or if you do not know your HIV-1 status. • Take certain medicines to treat hepatitis B infection.

HOW TO TAKE TRUVADA FOR PrEP • Take 1 tablet once a day, every day, not just when you think you have been exposed to HIV-1. • Do not miss any doses. Missing doses may increase your risk of getting HIV-1 infection. • Use TRUVADA for PrEP together with condoms and safer sex practices. • Get tested for HIV-1 at least every 3 months. You must stay HIV-negative to keep taking TRUVADA for PrEP.

• Keep a list that includes all prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements, and show it to your healthcare provider and pharmacist. • Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist about medicines that should not be taken with TRUVADA for PrEP.

HOW TO FURTHER REDUCE YOUR RISK • Know your HIV status and the HIV status of your partners. • Get tested for other sexually transmitted infections. Other infections make it easier for HIV to infect you. • Get information and support to help reduce risky sexual behavior, such as having fewer sex partners. • Do not share needles or personal items that can have blood or body fluids on them.

GET MORE INFORMATION • This is only a brief summary of important information about TRUVADA for PrEP. Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist to learn more, including how to prevent HIV infection. • Go to or call 1-800-GILEAD-5 • If you need help paying for your medicine, visit for program information.

TRUVADA FOR PREP, the TRUVADA FOR PREP Logo, the TRUVADA Blue Pill Design, TRUVADA, GILEAD, and the GILEAD Logo are trademarks of Gilead Sciences, Inc., or its related companies. All other marks referenced herein are the property of their respective owners. Version date: April 2017 © 2017 Gilead Sciences, Inc. All rights reserved. TVDC0169 07/17


GAY SAN DIEGO Aug. 18 – 31, 2017


Defining the family business Theater Review Jean Lowerison Keep it in the family, they say, but when Sheila (Amanda Quaid) complains that “I just don’t know how much … joy I get from this anymore” and threatens to quit her job as a hired assassin, it not only threatens the family business but also kicks off a fascinating, sometimes horrifying, often funny meditation on the possibility and likelihood of human change.

“Kill Local” Through Aug. 27 Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays at 8 p.m. Saturdays at 2 and 8 p.m. Sundays at 2 and 7 p.m. La Jolla Playhouse Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre 2910 La Jolla Village Drive UC San Diego Campus Tickets 858-550-1010

Mat Smart, a 2004 UC San robbed hundreds of people of Diego Playwriting MFA, debuts their life savings. And I have his new play “Kill Local” through enjoyed doing it. And it sucks.” Aug. 27 at La Jolla Playhouse’s What? He now regrets it? Or Sheila and Hughes Potiker does he only regret paying for it Theatre. Jackson Gray directs. with his life? “Kill Local” is a shocker from To Sheila’s annoyance, Todd the opening curtain (a plastic won’t shut up. He tells her shower curtain) where, in an about his dad leaving half the unfinished apartment with construction company to his more plastic curtains where half-sister, though his dad had windows should be, a man never even met the girl (the named Todd (Matthew Amendt) issue of a long-ago affair). But hangs by his hands from the now Todd wants to say goodbye ceiling while Sheila sits calmly to her and begs Sheila to dial on a nearby folding chair, playthe number so he can. ing Bejeweled on her cell phone. These three are all interesting When Todd tries to start characters, but when she thrashan (unwelcome) conversation, es in, blowsy mom Gloria (Candy Sheila pauses the game to call Buckley) steals the show as her sister Abi (short for Abigail). matriarch of the family business. Abi (Xochitl Romero) is a comGloria is matter-of-fact about puter guru who does all the bewhat she does. Her principle: hind-the-scenes office work like “You cannot concern yourself with locating the victims, but shies right and wrong. There is only away from the messy business one question: What is the job?” of offing the targets. Sheila is Then a stranger shows up: awaiting the signal from mom a 17-year-old kid named Ami to do the job. Meanwhile, she (“with an i, not a y”), who asks Abi to order lunch. says she comes here from high Why is Todd a target? He is school when she wants a smoke. the proprietor of this intentionPlayed with teenage bravado by ally unfinished building, and Carolyn Braver, Ami creates a lives by the dictum: “In capitalfew more complications. ism, the question of morality is Can a leopard change its answered by asking only one spots? Can we talk ourselves thing: Will someone pay for it?” out of destructive behaviors we Sheila puts it this way: “You have talked ourselves into? Gloria claims no morality. wanted to wreck people’s lives She does the job she is paid to to make your own life better.” do. Sheila tells herself she’s Todd doesn’t disagree. righting supposed wrongs, but “I did want this building to right now she just wants to setfail,” he says. “I have done this tle down and have three kids over and over. In 12 states. In like her old high school friend. five different countries. I have

Critic’s Choice “Fun, frothy summer entertainment! A brightly colored, lighthearted take on the legend, which audiences may find just right for a summer evening in Balboa Park.” The San Diego Union-Tribune

By Ken Ludwig Directed by Jessica Stone

2nd week added Must close September 10!

(619) 23-GLOBE (234-5623) eO dG obe Meredith Garretson and Daniel Reece. Photo by Jim Cox.

(l to r) Amanda Quaid (Sheila) in a scene with Xochitl Romero, who plays Sheila’s squeamish sister, Abi (Photo by Jim Carmody) Abi doesn’t want to be in the business at all. And Ami might not be what she seems. If you’re on the squeamish side, the violence in “Kill Local” may not be for you. To me it seemed sufficiently cartoonish not to detract from the play’s

more intriguing comedic and psychological aspects. —Jean Lowerison is a long-standing member of the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle and can be reached at▼



GAY SAN DIEGO Aug.18 – 31, 2017

Lasting just shy of a year, Bull & Grain in Hillcrest has closed. In a brief phone conversation with owner Simon Wolujewicz, the New Jersey transplant stated, “I’m too upset to give a comment,” neither denying nor confirming rumors that the restaurant and bar shuttered because of a rent increase, internal problems or lack of an executive chef. Wolujewicz’s opening chef, Daniel Barron, left abruptly earlier this summer. The space previously housed a fleeting number of businesses, including Tabletop Commons, Commonwealth Ultra Lounge, The Range, Ruby Kitchen, a hookah lounge, and two different Mediterranean restaurants. 1263 University Ave.

An established North Park diner has re-branded. (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.) The Old Mill Café in North Park has changed its name to North Park Diner and will begin introducing Korean-inspired barbecue to its lengthy menu this month. Harry Kim, who took over the restaurant 10 years ago with his wife, Kyoung, has already added ramen to the menu. Also in the pipeline is “cup bob,” an offshoot of ramen served in a cup with vegetables, noodles and a choice of meat. “We’ll also soon start making our own burgers from fresh beef instead of frozen,” he said, noting that french fries will be made fresh as well. The diner, which operated briefly nearly 15 years ago as The Lumberjack Grille under different ownership, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. 3949 Ohio St., 619-294-3804.

Mister A’s in Bankers Hill and The Marine Room in La Jolla were named among the 100 “most scenic” restaurants in the country by, meaning the views outside their windows are worth noting. The ranking was tallied from more than 10 million diner reviews of more than 25,000 U.S. restaurants. Mister A’s offers 12th-floor views of the San Diego Bay and Downtown skyline and The Marine Room looks out to the sands and Pacific Ocean from its coveted beach perch. 2550 Fifth Ave., 619-239-1377,, and 2000 Spindrift Drive, 858-459-7222,

Party like it’s 1955 at Uptown Tavern (Ellis Consulting) A public party celebrating the new owners of Uptown Tavern and its five-year anniversary will be held at the tavern from 7–10 p.m., Aug. 31. The popular Hillcrest establishment was recently purchased by Michael Saltsman, a former longtime manager of Urban MO’s, and his business partner, Scott Borden, of Etc Adventures LLC. To commemorate the building’s roots, which decades ago served as an auto repair garage and gas station, the staff will be dressed in 1950s “greaser-themed” attire. The party will also feature go-go dancers and live spins by DJ Taj. There will be no cover charge and guests can enjoy drink specials such as $3 well drinks and select domestic beer as well as $4 house wines by the glass. A full dinner menu will also be available. 1236 University Ave., 619-241-2710,

An honorable view in Bankers Hill (Google images)

Fudge sandwich cookies and other allergen-free baked goods have arrived to Hillcrest. (Courtesy Starry Lane Bakery)

in Hillcrest

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Starry Lane Bakery in Hillcrest will hold its grand opening from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 19, with more than $1,000 in confectionary giveaways. Known for baked goods that are free of gluten, soy, dairy, eggs, nuts and artificial dyes, the business recently moved from Santee after operating there for five years. At their new location, owners Jaime Schwartz and her sister, Jennifer, have rolled out a menu that includes everything from fruit tarts and brownies to cinnamon rolls and pound cakes, all safe to eat by those with allergies to the above-mentioned ingredients. The bakery also sells custom-made cakes. 3925 Fourth Ave., 619-328-0500, Festive fl ights of red, white and blue hard ciders will be sold at Waypoint Public over Labor Day weekend as a fundraiser for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, which provides care to those grieving the loss of a loved one serving in the armed forces. The ciders, produced by Julian Hard Cider, are made individually with cherry juice, apples and berries to achieve their patriotic sequence of colors. They’ll be available from Sept. 1 – 4 at Waypoint’s North Park and Del Sur locations. 3794 30th St. and 16480 Paseo Del Sur, —Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at▼


Restaurant Review Frank Sabatini Jr. Ingrid Funes has figurativelyI have a major problem dining at Olympic Café. Nearly every menu item — Greek, American and the house-made desserts — sends me into a state of shameful

most of us haven’t encountered. Seeing is believing how owners John and Donna Kotselas transformed a shabby single-standing structure that previously housed Jersey Joe’s into an exquisite space loaded with antique elements from Europe. Compared to the generic atmosphere of their original location, this is akin to an inviting taverna on Santorini Island, missing only a high-c high-cliff view of

aforementioned pork skewers and fluffy feta spiced with oregano, olive oil and pepperoncini brine, we breezed through an order of thick house-made hummus. It came with excellent cornmeal-dusted pita bread sourced from a Chicago company — not the doughy pockets that taste like their plastic-bag wrappings I encounter frequently from other distributors. We proceeded to two Greek entrees: Olympic’s eminent

(clockwise from top left) Pastitsio with oven-roasted potatoes es and salad; a spicy feta appetizer; Greek custard pie known ass galactoboureko; and a half-chicken dinner (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.) gluttony quelled only by overeating and stealing forkfuls of food from my tablemates along the way. Things have become worse in this respect since the 32-yearold restaurant recently moved from its original location into larger digs a half-block down the street. There are now more options such as spicy, whipped feta served with pita bread and veggies; green beans braised in Mediterranean-style tomato sauce; pork souvlaki skewers that you douse in fresh lemon; and more. There are also additional desserts, which if you’re lucky, might include galactoboureko, a fast-selling custard cake layered meticulously with phyllo pastry. It’s a classic Greek confection

the Aegean Sea. John, a native of Greece, possesses an eye for Old World charm. His redesign included the creation of a covered side patio framed in flora and detailed wrought iron — exactly what was needed to camouflage the unremarkable aesthetics of University Avenue out front. The patio is also available for private events. At a recent wedding-rehearsal dinner for a lesbian couple, the space easily accommodated 20 guests for a Mediterranean feast that included Greek wedding cookies called kourabiedes, one of the many confections Donna makes from scratch and displays in heavy glass domes inside the restaurant. Before devouring the

half-chicken dinner with or without lemon gravy; and a homey casserole of tube pasta and meat sauce mantled in béchamel sauce, called pastitsio. Both meals include Greek salad garnished with a plank of good non-salty feta cheese made appropriately with sheep’s milk. Olympic’s charbroiled chicken consistently sports ultra-crispy skin dusted in aromatic oregano, which pairs finely to the lemon gravy. My companion requested it on the side as well as on the accompanying mashed potatoes, allowing her to control the tangy, addicting effect it has on the chicken. My softly spiced pastitsio served with roasted potatoes was creamy and meaty but

GAY SAN DIEGO Aug. 18 – 31, 2017 lighter and looser compared to Italian lasagna, thanks to lessstarchy noodles and the absence of cheese in the construct. The kitchen’s charcoal grill is what consistently instills extra life into various meat dishes, which except for the burgers and Greek-style meatloaf, are marinated for at least 24 hours. And then there’s the warm family element that raises the dining experience to a desirable level, no matter what you eat. Two of the couple’s handsome sons also work at the restaurant, Nick and Kostas, as does John’s mother on occasion. Everyone in the clan is gracious and sociable, as though they’re serving you dinner in their own houses. With mom-and-pop restaurants verging on extinction, this is one of San Diego’s most thriving holdouts. We concluded with a few of Donna’s desserts, which are half the reason for coming to Olympic Café. They included a slice of “blueberry boy bait cake” that Donna added to her repertoire before this year’s San Diego LGBT Pride weekend. It’s an old recipe she found in a contemporary cookbook that mingles fresh blueberries with classic coffee-cake crumb. Rumor has it the cake was named from its man-attracting powers. We also seized the last towering slice of the custard-y galactoboureko with cinnamon sprinkled on top. It matched in decadence to a piece of cheesecake crowned with a layer of sour cream, not to mention a spiced Christmas-y tasting

2310 University Ave. (North Park)

619-692-9082 Lunch and dinner prices: Salads, soups and starters, $3.75 to $13.75; sandwiches and burgers, $4.95 to $8.75; entrees and combo plates, $8.75 to $15.75. Breakfast dishes: $5.25 to $11.95

melomakarino cookie made with obvious measures of orange juice, orange peel and honey. Olympic Café, which also serves daily breakfast, hasn’t wavered in service and food quality since I started coming here several years ago. And now with a charming élan that fits its Greek roots, the Kotselas family has achieved everything customers demand from a neighborhood restaurant. —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▼

“Stomach-churning suspense.” – San Diego Union-Tribune

“High adrenaline THRILLER” – EDGE Media Network





(l to r) Kotselas family members, Kostas, Donna, Nick and John (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.)


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INTERVIEW because I don’t wanna change your mind. You go on thinkin’ about me the way you think. But no — I haven’t had beef with anyone. I’ve had a lot of dislikes. But I pay no mind. I keep moving and I don’t stop to talk about the ones who talk about me.

(CA) There couldn’t be a more perfect time. There is so much happening in the world. Maybe you heard, but President Donald Trump said trans people are no longer able to serve in the military. (PLB) I know! My friend told me. They’re banned from service, according to the Trumpette. Ain’t that a witch.

(CA) Let’s talk about food. You know how people say gays don’t eat carbs? (PLB) Gays don’t eat carbs? Who said that? Every gay guy I know, they eat carbs. [Laughs]

(CA) Regarding “Bel Hommage”: If there’s ever an album that pays homage to you the way you pay homage to artists such as Nina Simone and Frank Sinatra on this album, who would get your blessing to cover your songs? (PLB) Oh, I would give Fantasia blessings. And Ledisi. The little singing girls. The ones who can really, really sing. (CA) What does it mean to you to be able to “really, really sing”? (PLB) Someone who can sing without someone in the studio tweaking what they just sang because it was so flat or whatever. Sing straight out in the studio, record without all those little gimmicks. Some of them are lucky because they end up selling a lot of music, but a singer is a person who goes out there and throws down. Just get on a microphone and sing. Phyllis Hyman was that girl.


who might be going through something with life. You’re in the land of the living, so act like you’re living. I just know what gay men go through and I wanted to put that song in the air, but I will.


(CA) And they eat your pies? (PLB) They eat my pies, honey! And my peach cobbler. You have to go to Walmart, or I’ll have to come and make you one personally. One more thing about food: I start taping my cooking show soon and Laverne Cox is one of my cooking buddies.

GAY SAN DIEGO Aug. 18 – 31, 2017

Ms. LaBelle (Photo by W&W) (CA) Maybe you two can hook up for a song on your dance album, which I believe is in the works. Hopefully we don’t have to wait as long as we waited for this jazz album. (PLB) Right?! Not 10 years, that’s for sure. I have not started working on it. I’m working on a Christmas album at the moment and old R&B favorites of mine from back in the day. And that … the uptempo music, I call it [laughs] … that will be done as soon as I do something with these other two projects, but it’s definitely in the mix. (CA) Will it be for the gay clubs? (PLB) Oh yeah, for the gay clubs. You know what, I was so angry with myself when I did NYC Pride. There was a song that I recorded many, many years ago called “Land of the Living.” I meant to do it that particular night and we didn’t have time to rehearse it, but I’m gonna put stuff like that back in my show. (CA) Why did you want to perform that song at NYC Pride? (PLB) Because there are so many gay men who were there

(CA) Would you still regard a “singer” as someone who can throw down in the studio but lip-syncs live? (PLB) Oh, a lot of them lip-sync. But they lip-sync and they do it so well you can’t tell that they’re doing it. But I can always tell. I can always tell. I’ve never done that.

(CA) Do you think about your legacy, Patti? (PLB) I just want to be honest and truthful, and I want people knowing that when I did whatever I did, it was all the way. Never half percent, always 100 percent. One-hundred percent in everything: my cooking, my dressing, everything. If I can’t go all the way, I won’t go halfway. I have to go all the way. And just how honest I am — they can remember that. The more honest I am, the better I get by, the more things come to my plate. Everybody knows that if you give Patti something, it’s gonna be quality. That’s just how I work. (CA) Any last words for your gay fans? (PLB) I just want all of my gay fans to know that I will always be here for them the way I am: honest, to the point, and loving my gay fans even more and more each day. I mean, when I think about it, the gay fans are some of the reason — one big reason — I’m still standing, ’cause they loved me when other people tried not to. Everybody always says, “What makes gay men like you?” “I have no clue,” I say. I still don’t. But I know that love has lifted me up for many, many years.


Her “Bel Hommage” jazz album has been released. (Photo by W & W) As long as I can stand on stage and my gay men and lesbian women see Patti LaBelle as someone who’s always been honest on stage — you know, I’ll stop and have to go to the bathroom and I’ll let them know I’ll be right back. A lot of cutie girls stand up there and they pretend for the hour or however how long and that’s just gross. It turns me off. (CA) They pretend like they wanna be there? (PLB) Yes! And everything you see of them is gonna be

mechanical. Gladys Knight – she’s a raw girl. And whenever you see Gladys, you’re gonna see a different Gladys. If you just saw her show five nights in a row, she will not do everything the same. (CA) You just want something real. (PLB) It has to stay that way. —Chris Azzopardi is the editor of Q Syndicate, the international LGBT wire service. Reach him via his website at and on Twitter (@chrisazzopardi).▼

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(CA) What gives them away? (PLB) Their mouths sometimes miss the movement! [Laughs] Your mouth should be making a certain movement when you sing a certain note and they miss sometimes. But that’s what they do for a living. I don’t do that.

Call to Schedule a Showing

(CA) So we’ve got Fantasia — who else is on this covers album? (PLB) Ledisi, Andra Day, Emeli Sandé and Leela James — my God, that girl can sing. I love these ladies. (CA) Why have you never duetted in the studio with your goddaughter, Mariah Carey? (PLB) I don’t know. We always talk about it when we see each other.

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GAY SAN DIEGO Aug. 18 – 31, 2017

Friday, Aug. 18 So Say We All Millennial Park: Literary nonprofit So Say We All presents an evening of storytelling as part of the Millennial Park exhibit. Join them for true personal narratives about identity, queerness, sex and reclamation from locals. All ages, though some stories contain mature language and themes. Tickets $8 and members $5. 7–9 p.m. at San Diego Art Institute, 1439 El Prado, Balboa Park. Visit bit. ly/2utYgmL.

Saturday, Aug. 19

Hillcrest Classic Car Show: Roll down your windows, crank up the tunes and cruise on down for this fabulous new monthly event. Fabulous Hillcrest, MO’s Universe and Great Autos of Yesteryear present the Hillcrest Classic Car Show. Each event will feature at least 20 car collectors. Free and family-friendly. 2–6 p.m. at Pride Plaza on Normal St. Visit Ageless Artists: Art Show & Fair: Enjoy art, wine, snacks and a chance to win a masterpiece. Art will also be available for purchase. Free admission. This is a 21-and-up event. Contact LaRue Fields at seniors@ or 619-6922077 x205. 3–5 p.m. San Diego LGBT Community Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. Visit Girl’s Night Out: Gather your ladies and go dance at the monthly women’s dance every third Saturday. This month’s Leather and Lace theme is optional. DJ Fariba will be supplying the tunes. 7–10 p.m. at The Rail, 3796 Fifth Ave., Hillcrest. Visit REP your Pride with ‘Evita’: San Diego Repertory Theatre presents a musical about the 20th-century legend Eva Peron, an Argentinian actress and political figure. A free engagement event will follow. Tickets start at $20. Fifteen percent of single ticket purchases will benefit the Sunshine Brooks HIV Fund. Use promo code “BROOKS.” 2–4 p.m. at San Diego Repertory Theatre, Lyceum Stage, 79 Horton Plaza, Downtown. Visit bit. ly/2vqENVe. San Diego Kings Club: It’s time to rock out with your favorite Kings! The San Diego Kings Club drag show will feature live entertainment and cocktails. Tickets $5. Doors open at 6 p.m. and show starts at 7 p.m. Numb3rs Nightclub, 3811 Park Blvd., North Park/ Hillcrest border. Visit bit. ly/2wN1hiN. Casino Night: The third annual Casino Night, hosted by the San Diego LGBT Community Center, is a fun-filled evening of mock gaming with casino tables, food, drink, live music, great prizes and a bourbon bar. Proceeds will support The Center’s many community programs. Limited tickets. 7–11 p.m. at a private estate in Rancho Santa Fe. Visit

Sunday, Aug. 20

LEZBeHonest All Summer White Party: Have some summer fun with the girls from LezBHonest dragon boat team. Grab a date, friends, your partner or anyone, and wear all white and dance. The event features two female DJs, raffle tickets and a game of flip cup. Tickets $5–$10. 3–8 p.m. at The Brew Project, 3683 Fifth Ave., Hillcrest. Visit Film screening: Hemlock Society of San Diego presents “An Act of Murder,” a film that explores the moral dilemma of a stern hardline judge whose wife is diagnosed with an incurable and painful illness. Discussion to follow. Free. 1:30–3:30 p.m. at Mission Valley Library, 2123 Fenton Parkway. Visit

Monday, Aug. 20

Transgender Coming Out Group: This weekly group supports transgender people in all stages of exploring gender identity. Open to transgender women and men, genderqueer/gender non-conforming people, people who are intersex and those questioning their gender identity. Significant others, friends, family and allies are welcome to attend with their transgender loved ones. 7–8:30 p.m. The

Center, 3909 Centre St. Email trans@thecentersd. org, call 619-692-2077 x109 or visit

will be added to their invite list for upcoming local events.

Friday, Aug. 25 The Red Dress Swap: Get #RedDressReady. Bring your little red number from last year’s event and swap it out for a new fab frock to wear this year. Red dresses will be on sale starting at $25. Receive $10 off if you donate a wearable or slightly used red dress. ‘DIVAS Welcomes: NAYSHA LOPEZ!’ will immediately follow the event. Free. 5–7 p.m. at Rich’s San Diego, 1051 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit Discounted tickets to the upcoming #RDPSD2017 event will be offered.

Tuesday, Aug. 21

Great American Eclipse Viewing: Enjoy the Great American Eclipse as the Fleet Science Center will host various activities — including a viewing and “Ask an Astronomer” — throughout the morning. Free. 9–11:45 a.m. Fleet Science Center, 1875 El Prado, Balboa Park. Visit or bit. ly/2wMZPwD.

Wednesday, Aug. 23

Guy-Cade Gay Night at Coin-Op: You’re invited to Guy Social SD’s second launch event. Guy-Cade is a gay game night at CoinOp video game bar. Enjoy a night of mingling, retro video games, craft beers, specialty cocktails and tasty treats. Meet at the long communal table in the center of the bar. 8–11 p.m. at Coin-Op San Diego, 3926 30th St., North Park. Visit Blue Lives Matter Comedy Tour: You have the right to remain silent — but that’s not going to be easy at this comedy show. Current or former police officers take to the stage to offer quips and observations about their life and work. This performance features comedians Roger Rodd, Dwayne Gill and David Raibon. A local officer from SDPD may open the show. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 pm. Two item minimum purchase required. 18-and-up. Free parking. Tickets $10 and a portion of the show’s proceeds will go to funds for families of fallen officers. 8–10 p.m. at The Comedy Palace, 8878 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. Visit

Saturday, Aug. 26

Sharp HospiceCare regatta: Watch the benefit regatta sponsored by Cortez Racing with special spectator yacht seating. Celebrate the race with a yacht reservation, lunch, refreshments, wine and post-race dinner party. Tickets $150. 11 a.m. at Coronado Yacht Club, 1631 Strand Way. Race begins at 1 p.m. Visit give. Resiztance Party: Never fight alone … join the Resiztance Party. Support human rights, democracy and each other. Dance to live protest music from The Resizters, enjoy drink specials, and mingle with Resiztance organizers from the ACLU, Planned Parenthood and National Organization for Women. $5 cover benefits ACLU, PP and NOW. 6–9 p.m. Gossip Grill, 1220 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit

Sunday, Aug. 27

Thursday, Aug. 24

LGBT Financial Resources Party: Stop by #1 Fifth Avenue for free beer and music to celebrate the launch of LGBT Financial Resources. Free. 5–8 p.m. at #1 Fifth Avenue, 3845 Fifth Ave., Hillcrest. Visit bit. ly/2vIRAoP. Note: If you participate in the organization’s survey at, you

QueerGirl Launch Party: Come out and celebrate the launch of QueerGirl, a local company that puts on inclusive events geared toward queer women. The kickoff features local DJs, go-go dancers, contests, games and more. Tickets $8–$15. Five percent of proceeds from the event will benefit LGBT nonprofit Happy Hippie Foundation. 21-and-up. 3–10 p.m. Uptown Tavern, 1236 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit

SDGMC info night and open auditions: Join the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus on stage for their popular Christmas show, “Jingle!” They are looking for fun and talented people who love to sing and dance and volunteer for the arts. 7 p.m. Meet at University Christian Church, 3900 Cleveland Ave., Hillcrest. Free parking at DMV. Apply at

Tuesday, Aug. 29

Turn Back Tuesdays: A fabulous retro show, hosted by Paris Sukomi Max with all of your favorite hits from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. $5 cover, $15 food minimum per-person. Seating between 7–7:30 p.m. Reservations required. Lips, 3036 El Cajon Blvd., North Park. Visit

Wednesday, Aug. 30

Peacock Alley Fundraiser: Rage Monthly Magazine hosts the Peacock Alley fundraiser, which will raise money for the upcoming KPBS documentary “San Diego Gay Bar History.” Enjoy San Diego comedian Brandon Potter, ’80s inspired drag performances from Rage’s Barbie Z and Strawberry Corncakes, Go-Go boys and rollback drink specials. Raffles and a silent auction will also be offered. Free. 7:30 p.m.–2 a.m. at The Merrow, 1271 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit

Thursday, Aug. 31 Live jazz music: Betty Bryant is an international jazz pianist/singer sensation and living legend. She will perform blues, jazz and other torchy originals all with her elegant and whimsical good humor. $20 plus a $15 per person food or drink minimum. Doors 6 p.m., show 8 p.m. Martinis Above Fourth, 3940 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest. Visit

—Events listed are based on information available during the production process and not intended to be allinclusive. To include your event in our calendar, email▼


solution on page 16


ACROSS 1 “Viva, Las Vegas” middle name 5 Pantywaist 10 Loose woman, in the land of Auden 14 She played Glinda in “The Wiz” 15 It arouses two body openings 16 Give some relief 17 Tops cakes 18 Copier refill 19 Tin Woodman’s concern 20 On “The Ellen Show,” DeGeneres accused her of being “not on board with” gay marriage 23 Not in the pink 24 Bear that roams the night 25 All thumbs 28 Spear of Minnesota 30 Fruits for condom demos 32 Femmes ___ 36 Beret or beanie 37 In 2010 he hosted a “Big Gay Show” 41 Ref for Woolf

Monday, Aug. 28

42 Cindy Brady braid 43 They won’t eat your meat 46 Singer Shepard on “Ally McBeal” 50 Like unhappy lovers, maybe 51 How quickly one comes 54 One E of EEC (abbr.) 55 On her show, she joked with Ellen “I could be Lebanese myself” 59 Western wolf 61 Brian of figure skating 62 “Spamalot” writer Eric 63 Que. or Ont. 64 Brandish, as a sword 65 One side of Ed Wood 66 “I’m too ___ for my shirt” 67 Warhol’s range? 68 Gay cable network

1 Cher’s portrayer in “Clueless” 2 Automaker’s woe 3 “At Swim, Two Boys” writer Jamie 4 Cartoonist who drew Santa 5 Lech of Greek lore 6 “M. Butterfly” actor Jeremy 7 First name in Dick Button’s field 8 Nemesis of Tinkerbell 9 It’s a long story 10 Samantha’s witchy cousin 11 Olivier of stage and film 12 Tammy Baldwin’s party symbol 13 Porter’s “I ___ a Kick Out of You” 21 Type of probe 22 Henry and June’s Anais 26 ’50s talk-show pioneer 27 Meas. for Traci des Jardins 29 Zaire’s cont. 30 Lahr of “The Wizard of Oz” 31 Bangkok continent 33 Key in 34 Early AIDS play

35 Tank contents (abbr.) 37 Versatile vehicle 38 Pen name of Gore Vidal 39 David, who played the bishop in “The Bishop’s Wife” 40 Shine, in some ads 41 Breeder need 44 Way to feel, in a Paul Simon song 45 “___ De-Lovely” 47 Tattooist’s tool 48 Less lively 49 Dahl of Hollywood 51 Sat for Diana Davies 52 “Hello” singer 53 S&M types are bound to use them 56 “The Music Man” setting 57 One of Grampa Walton’s grandaughters 58 Approaching 59 Johnny Mathis disks 60 Nonpornographic raw material


CAROL CURTIS venue’s entertainment lineup changed in later years. While she’s no longer a regular entertainer there, she said she still feels like a part of the Martinis family and continues to be available to fill in whenever needed. On Monday, Oct. 3, 2016, The Caliph brought Curtis “back home” to entertain from 5–8 p.m. each week. Ever since, longstanding fans and newer regulars — many who followed her over from Martinis — come fill The Caliph each Monday evening to be entertained, sing along, enjoy well-priced drinks, and together they have created a family type of atmosphere. Originally called “Matinee Mondays” by some regulars, it soon became known as “(A) mazing Matinee Meatball Mondays” after Curtis and a few customers began bringing meatballs for all to enjoy. While the meatball tradition recently fell by the wayside, she hopes it will soon be revived again, for at least the first Monday of each month. Curtis’ local longtime fans have been dubbed the “CarolAires” (like “carolers”). She describes them as a closeknit group of regulars who originally came together during her first go-around at The Caliph in the 1990s. These fans would rarely miss a performance, were ready to sing along at all times, took photos, and became somewhat of a mini-family, even having had T-shirts made at one point. She remembers many of the original Carol-Aires fondly, naming folks like Kim and her brother Eric, Sue, Brian, Larry and many others. While she has no plans to have T-shirts made anytime soon, Curtis is honored that many of the original CarolAires are still following her, and that a new generation of Carol-Aires has emerged — many just since the time she started her second chapter at The Caliph last October. How does one become a Carol-Aire? “Fans simply qualify with regularity,” she said. Curtis, who often changes a few lyrics in well-known songs in her repertoire to please her guests, pays homage to the Carol-Aires in her rendition of “Under The Boardwalk,” which she sings most every week at the request of one specific fan. In one particular line of the song, made famous by the gay-favorite film “Beaches,” the original lyrics are, “From the park you hear the happy sound of a carousel …” In Curtis’ version, you’ll hear her sing “From the park you hear the happy sounds of the Carol-Aires …” and she’ll often wink, nod or smile at any of the Carol-Aires she’ll see in the room at the time. Her set list is fun and diverse, with songs ranging from Carole King classics (“Carol sings Carole!”) to Broadway. On any given

night she’ll also include Billy Joel, Petula Clark, Leonard Cohen, Carly Simon and Joan Baez. Guests are welcome to peruse her menu of choices, but look out for the selections with an asterisk next to them! Curtis needs to be at least one hour into her set to be warmed up enough for those pieces. Those who arrive early enough, right at 5 p.m., will get to hear Curtis’ lovely rendition of Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now,” which she opens/warms up with each week. By the time the second hour of her set rolls around, she’ll usually be powered up enough to open with “Downtown,” and then everyone knows the night is coming to end when the classic notes of “Happy Trails” begin. Curtis said she loves being back at The Caliph, and since it is a much smaller room than venues where she previously performed, there is much greater ability to interact with the crowd. And while she taught classroom music and private lessons for a few years, she said she has now chosen the lounge environment over the classroom. “Both have the same kind of feel, I’m always teaching — but the classroom environment tends to frown upon having a glass of wine while doing said teaching,” Curtis said with a laugh. As for the future of gay piano bars, Curtis thinks it is changing, but still bright. “Fifteen years ago, I feared for the longevity of the piano bar,” Curtis said. “It had become nothing like it was 30 years ago. But in the last 15 years or so, there have been some changes. The piano bar is evolving — maybe a bit too slowly — but evolving enough to stay current.” She acknowledged her many colleagues who entertain San Diegans at The Caliph and other local live music venues with helping to move this evolution forward, as well as other talented upand-coming performers she has met in recent years. One is a young man named Brody Logan Hess, who not only bartends at The Caliph, but is also a brilliant singer and pianist. Curtis will occasionally “hand over the keys” to Hess when she takes breaks between sets, and the Monday night crowds have become as interested in hearing from Hess as they do Curtis. Curtis is also grateful for the many younger CarolAires who have emerged since she moved to The Caliph and believes this group will be piano bar music fans for years to come. “It’s become trans-generational, and that’s what music is all about,” Curtis said. Catch Carol Curtis every Monday night at The Caliph, 3100 Fifth Ave. in Bankers Hill. Learn more about Curtis at —Benny Cartwright is an avid Carol-Aire and can be reached at▼

GAY SAN DIEGO Aug. 18 – 31, 2017

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GAY SAN DIEGO Aug.18 – 31, 2017


BRIEFS candidates for appointed and elected positions at local, state and national level, advance public policies for social change, promote fairness and democracy, create connections with other progressive community organizations and mentor progressive advocates to promote social justice. For more information on how to become a member, visit

membership. Those interested in serving on the board are asked to contact Will Rodriguez-Kennedy, board president, at


On Thursday, Aug. 24, from 5-8 p.m. LGBT Financial Resources will be hosting a launch party. Founded by Robert Hubbard and Michelle Mai, both active members of the local community, LGBT Financial Resources is an online resource that will

provide community members with fi nancial assistance and promote fi nancial empowerment within the local LGBT community. The website will feature certified public accountants, real estate professionals and fi nancial service professionals who plan on offering workshops, mixers, one-on-one meetings and webinars to provide a “one-stop-shop” for all. To celebrate their launch, Hubbard and Mai will be hosting a free, 21+ event at #1 Fifth Avenue, located at 3845 Fifth Ave, with beer and music. ‘KISS’ COMES TO WELK FOR EXTENDED RUN

“The Kiss of the Spiderwoman,” based off of a book by Terrence McNally, is coming to the Welk Resort Theatre in Escondido. The production showcases the story of Latin American cell mates Valentin and Molina — a revolutionary undergoing torture and a homosexual who is in prison for eight years for deviant behavior. The film was considered quite groundbreaking when it hit theaters in 1985, starring Raul Julia as Valentin and William Hurt as Molina.

“I have always wanted to direct ‘The Kiss of the Spider Woman,’” said director Ray Limon in a press release. “The piece is a powerful look at very different people coming together in difficult time and finding common ground. A theme that remains incredibly relevant and important to explore.” Lawrence Welk Resort San Diego is located at 8860 Lawrence Welk Drive, Escondido. Performances will be Thursdays and Saturdays at 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 1 p.m., from Sept. 1through Oct. 22. Tickets range from $38-$51. Visit▼

Gay San Diego 08-18-17  


Gay San Diego 08-18-17