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Volume 6 Issue 18 Sept. 4 – 17, 2015


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Pride board speaks


A letter to the community By San Diego LGBT Pride board of directors

friend who had just tested positive for HIV. They prepped and fundraised for a year and in September of 2007, Merk-Benitez participated in her first AIDS Walk. It was a transformative experience. “My first experience as a part of The Center was to just walk,” she said. “At the time I wasn’t even completely aware of who the organization was behind the AIDS Walk. But it affected me so much and was so inspirational — this communal experience that people are walking together and this sense that we are a part of

Another San Diego Pride season has come and gone. As members of the San Diego Pride board of directors, every Pride is memorable. This year, however, will no doubt linger in our memories for years to come. Let’s face it — the rain just came! There were some things we were very prepared for — and our hundreds of volunteers should claim all the praise for ensuring this year was one of our most memorable. But we were all anxious! All weekend we thought about “our numbers” — Will anyone show up? Will people enjoy themselves? What about the stages? Will we lose money? Can we make grants this year?  The entire next year flashes before your eyes and you wonder, “Have we done all we were supposed to do in the last year?” The long and short answer is, there is only so much planning we

see AIDS Walk, pg 5

see Board, pg 14

Local outriggers do it locally


(above) Runners eagerly await the start of AIDS Walk. (inset) Sarah Merk-Benitez and friends supporting #BeTheGeneration (Courtesy San Diego LGBT Community Center)

'This is my community' RuPaul’s ‘Skin Wars’


Local ally gets wrapped up in AIDS Walk Morgan M. Hurley | Editor Sarah Merk-Benitez, the new Volunteer Resources Coordinator at the San Diego LGBT Community Center, has come full circle when it comes to AIDS Walk. In 2006, she and her family and friends decided to form an AIDS Walk team to support Daniel, a close

‘Deliberate Distortions’ Exploring the intersection of jazz music and visual art An under-recognized life


And what a reunion it was

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By Gina McGalliard You might think of jazz music as being a purely auditory art form, but the upcoming “Deliberate Distortions” exhibition — a jazz-themed art showcase held this September at the North Park gallery The Studio Door — may change your mind. Artist and galler y owner Patric Stillman became an avid jazz fan around the age of 20 when someone introduced him to the tunes of jazz trumpet player and vocalist Chet Baker. “I fell in love with him,” said Stillman, who now also enjoys the music of Charles Mingus. “In the late ’50s he was kind of a James Dean heartthrob ... I just found his whole life to be fascinating and it drew me into jazz. From there I think I started off with California light jazz and enjoyed sort of the easy, accessible jazz. Then as I matured, so did my tastes, and I started discovering not only

some of the classic jazz artists but started enjoying things that are not always easy to hear. “To me the sound of jazz is almost like painting the colors on a canvas. There’s so much life,” he said. And it wouldn’t be a very good art exhibition about jazz without some actual live jazz music, right? “Because of the nature of music being tied to visual art, we were able to bring in some great entertainment,” Stillman said. Playing at the artist’s reception on Sept. 2 will be the Nathan Hubbard Quartet and the trumpet-andguitar duo Tin/Bag. A few days later, on North Park’s Block Art night, Sept. 5, The Studio Door will host Stage 4, a contemporary jazz band. For Stillman, a Minnesota native, the spirit of jazz lends itself perfectly to contemporary visual art. “The idea is that jazz as an American art form brings so much life and vitality to the sounds because of the way that it is created,” Stillman explained. “And what I mean is that the musicians working in a jazz quartet play off of each other. Even

The artist/entrepreneur stands in front of his North Park business (Courtesy Patric Stillman) though they may all have a common reference point — which is the song — the way that it’s played is different and unique every time. “So what I wanted to see was a connection to jazz,” he continued.

“In the ’50s and early-’60s, jazz and art seemed to be married together — very iconic visuals, whether it was album covers or movie posters

see Distortions, pg 2


GAY SAN DIEGO Sept. 4 – 17, 2015



DISTORTIONS or concert posters. And I wanted to see what today’s artists were feeling about art visually.” “Distortions” will feature 33-juried artists, 10 of them local, all selected by Melissa Inez Walker from Escondido’s Distinction Gallery. Stillman is particularly excited to have an artist from Norway included, Trygve Amundsen. “It’s not the first time we’ve had international pieces here, but I’m always extra-pleased when the message goes beyond the national call,” Stillman said. Also of note is Ally Benbrook, a watercolorist from El Cajon, who has the distinction of making the The Studio Door’s “50 to Watch” showcase. “She’s definitely a rising star in San Diego and does amazing work,” Stillman said, adding that she was recently accepted into master watercolor exhibitions in China, Arizona, Mississippi and California. “She’s the total package, a real creative inspiration.” Benbrook is looking for ward to the exhibition and explained her inspiration. “In outward appearance, I’m a ridiculously happy 63-year-old grandma,” Benbrook said. “It’s in my art where I can unleash the sultry, smoky, mysterious notes, that lonely spot inside, the place that celebrates the sound of that lonely sax ... the sound of jazz.” Other local artists include Bonnie Owens, Crisinda, DC Langer, Steven Paulsen and Cecelia Linayao of San Diego, Susan Gesell of Carlsbad, Bonnie Ruth of Oceanside, Kathleen McLaughlin of La Mesa, Jane O’Shields-Hayner of Corona and Richard Wynne of Lake Elsinore. Though creative all his life, Stillman said he finally refocused his artistic energies in 2004 and produced the Brotherhood Tarot, “a digitally manipulated photographic deck that draws its inspiration from gay history and mythology,” and is proud to say it is still shipping. After several years as a member of the San Diego Art Department’s Ray Street Artist’s Group, which culminated in the publication of a book profiling their work, “Ray Street Artists,” [GSD profiled this here: “The ‘visual voices’ of North Park,” Feb. 21, 2014, or visit tinyurl. com/visualvoices] Stillman decided it was time to set off on his own. In November 2014, a full 10 years after making that refocused commitment to his art, Stillman launched his own studio just a few blocks from SDAD, which has now

Ally Benbrook, “Frontline Chops,” 2015, Mixed Media

Stillman at work in his personal studio at The Studio Door (Courtesy Patric Stillman) closed. Described on its website as an “arts incubator,” The Studio Door includes a gallery, studio spaces, a thriving arts community, and “art to market” programming and instruction. There, he also shares studio space with his partner of 10 years, Danne Sadler, a designer who moonlights as a stained glass artist and quilter, and Sadler’s mother, Evelyn Loss, a fused glass artist. The upcoming jazz-influenced exhibition will feature diverse mediums of visual art. “I think it just creates a very interesting environment when you have that kind of diversity,” Stillman said. “Paintings, oils and

BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT ‘Strength for the Journey’ — annual HIV/AIDS retreat “Strength for the Journey” is a five day retreat providing a safe, caring, and healing community that fosters spiritual and emotional growth. In addition to providing the physical needs of a retreat, the program also offers various group workshops on health and wellness, medication adherence, nutrition, and diet and exercise. One of the main intentions of the retreat is to provide the circumstances in which people can inspire and encourage one another to develop new attitudes about living with HIV. This year’s retreat will take place September 14 – 18 at Camp Cedar Glen near Julian, California. “San Diego Strength for the Journey 2015” is made possible with the generous support of the United Methodist Church and San Diego AIDS Walk. All of the staff and planners are volunteers. This retreat is open to anyone with HIV/AIDS without regard to religion, race, gender or sexual orientation. Camp Cedar Glen is not wheelchair accessible. Use or possession of illegal drugs or alcohol is strictly prohibited. Any smoking is extremely limited due to fire danger. We may not be able to accommodate companion animals. Register online at regonline/2015sftjsd.

acrylics, and then different forms of sculpture. Instead of going to a show where you see a lot of the same type of art, you get people coming to one of these shows and they start talking about, ‘Oh, I really love this, this is good art,’ or ‘I don’t like this.’ And then they start defining why they like art and what art is to them. “I find that to be so much more rewarding as an artist, to see that the shows are actually giving people something to talk about that is relevant to the work I do,” he said. “Deliberate Distortions” will run from Sept. 1 – 26 at The Studio Door, located at 3750 30th St. in North Park. An artists’ reception will be held on the evening of Sept. 4 at 6 p.m. For more information, visit —Gina McGalliard is a local freelance writer. You can contact her at or follow her blog, mcgalliardmatters. —Editor Morgan M. Hurley contributed to this report.t

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Taking a chance on happiness A wahine in need Life Beyond Therapy Michael Kimmel Everybody I know says that they want to be happy and it sounds like a pretty normal thing, but rarely do we explore what happiness is and how we can get there. Happiness is often defined as some perfect combination of pleasure, joy, exhilaration, bliss, contentedness, enjoyment and satisfaction. Sounds good, right? But if this is something that we really want, then why is it so often missing from our lives? I invite you to look at how much energy you are willing to put out to be happy, and if you’re willing to be temporarily uncomfortable as you change your life and take a chance on happiness. From my work as a psychotherapist, I’ve learned that to really be happy requires that we take risks. We need to do some things differently than we’ve done in our past. For most of us, this kind of change feels scary and makes us anxious. Doing the same-old, same-old is familiar and easy, while making changes to be happier means disrupting our habitual routines. Herein lies the problem: We want to be happy, but we’re often not willing to do anything different to get there. One thing I do with my clients is to look along with them at what has brought them happiness in the past (the reality) versus what they thought would make them happy (their fantasies). I help them see the disconnect — the expectations and the ultimate disappointment — then I ask them: “Did you learn from it or are you still repeating the pattern?” In addition, as LGBT people, I wonder if we have different expectations of happiness than straight folks do and if it’s smart for us to buy into heterosexual definitions of happiness. For example, let’s look at money: At this point in time, we LGBTers don’t typically have as many children as heterosexuals do. Therefore, let’s ask ourselves: Do we really need to make as much money as heterosexuals with children, who typically have lifelong obligations to support them? If not, let’s re-examine if our money/ income/job is making us happy or not. Perhaps we don’t need to work as hard/long/much. Perhaps working less would make us happier. And what about our homes: Do we really need such big homes? So much space? So many rooms? Straight folks with kids may need all those rooms. Do we? If not, why are we paying such expensive rent/mortgages? Isn’t this financial pressure draining our happiness? Would we be happier with smaller residences that cost us less and allow us to make less money and have fewer financial pressures? The two above examples (money and homes) are just two ways that we may want to examine regarding what really makes us happy, and consider adjusting our lives and taking chances by breaking long-assumed heterosexist paradigms of happiness. From my years as a psychotherapist, I’ve observed that when we, as LGBT people, do what heterosexist society says will make us happy (e.g., have a big house, work at a high-pressure job with a big paycheck, work out at the

gym to have a body to be admired) and these actions don’t bring us happiness, then we think there’s something wrong with US. Typically, then we internalize that WE are doing it wrong, rather than questioning heterosexist assumptions about happiness. Let’s start questioning what we thought would make us happy. Because often, it doesn’t. In the short run, this can make life feel kinda shaky. Taking a chance on happiness means taking risks … experimenting … perhaps not initially succeeding … but isn’t it important to take the chance to discover what honestly makes you happy? No one can tell you what will make you happy. You are the one who calls the shots, controls the experiments you make, takes the chances, runs the risks, and is willing (or not) to be uncomfortable as you move past your old definition of who you are. I invite you to take a few minutes, sit down, relax and ask yourself this question: “What risks am I willing to take to have a happier life?” Let your intuition respond. Keep an open mind. You may be surprised with what you hear. Enjoy the process. —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

Morgan M. Hurley | Editor A local woman is seeking to raise funds to assist with their trip to Hawaii later this month along with two others, to participate with dozens of six-person female crews competing in the last race of the season, taking place between the islands of Molokai and Oahu. The Na Wahine O Ke Kai “women of the sea” Outrigger Race, held Sept. 27, is an outrigger canoe race across the Kaiwi Channel — more than 40 miles — that begins at Hale O Lono Harbor in southwest Molokai and ends on the shores of Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki. The five-and-a-half-hour race, organized by Na Wahine Race Association, signals the end of the nine-month long outrigger canoe-racing season for women all over the world. Stead has been focused on

the sport of outrigger canoeing for the last eight years. “I was introduced into the sport through a woman I knew,” Stead said. “I was immediately drawn in by the lifestyle and the passion I felt the moment I witnessed my first sunset paddling out to the open ocean.” Though she has traveled to the Hawaiian islands many times to race in the past, but during the year, Stead said she practices locally three times per week during the season, not counting training they might do on their own. “I paddle with Hanohano Outrigger Canoe Club, and we start out on Mission Bay and take our practices out to the ocean,” she said. Locally the outrigger race season begins in May and ends with the Catalina nine-man race, which starts in Newport and races to Catalina, approximately

Stead (second from left) and members of her local Hanahano Outrigger club (Courtesy Mishele Stead)

GAY SAN DIEGO Sept. 4 – 17, 2015


26 miles. That event will be held Saturday, Sept. 12 this year. Mishele “Paddles” Stead and Julia “Juju” Jones are two of three local women who are part of the SoCal Wahines team — comprised of 30 women up and down the coast including three from Oahu to form three crews for the late September race — and they have been training and fundraising all year for the event. Stead is just looking for a final boost to help her with her travel expenses. She’s taking donations and selling T-shrts to commemorate the event. The shirts are unisex long sleeve or women’s racerback tank, $25 each, and they have all the women’s names listed on the back. For photos of the shirts and more info, email her at t



GAY SAN DIEGO Sept. 4 – 17, 2015

Illusion, magic and the sassiness of queens

A finished “Skin Wars” product (Photo by Lisa Rose/GSN))

By Kurt Niece

RuPaul’s talents persist. He continues to scare the hell out of moss, particularly any moss that would ever consider taking up residence on his rolling stone. San Diego’s own took a timeout for a quick interview and to chat about what he did this summer, the many, many things he did this summer, and especially, one special project. He wanted to talk about a “Skin Wars” episode — specifically season two, episode four — a hybrid of “Drag Race” and “Skin Wars” that aired earlier this summer. It was a doozy. Spinning plates and juggling work and promotion, Ru was, as always, fully composed; but something was up. He seemed a little preoccupied by the memory. He seemed worked up and in short order, the source of that barely detectible edge was clear. Episode four of “Skin Wars” had exploited the fabulosity of drag queens. But these weren’t just any queens — these were the girls from “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” the best of the best that had sharpened their skills and nails under Ru’s ex-

(above) RuPaul (far right) shares a laugh on set; (below) contestants prepare for the show (Photos by Lisa Rose/GSN)

(above and below) Body paint artists prepare contestants (Photos by Lisa Rose/GSN)

pert tutelage; but this time they’d competed in hand-painted outfits and accouterments and most horrifyingly, under the clock. Competing is the operative term here. One could clearly envision the memory solar flares and meltdowns backstage. “Having the queens on the show was hilarious,” Ru began.

“You got a mash up of ‘Drag Race’ and drag. You have illusion, which is magic, and body painting, which is even more illusion and magic. Together they made something that blew your mind.” He paused. “And then you got the sassiness of our queens. These artists [the body painters] are usually alone, ‘painting’ with their own imagination and a model of course, but usually it’s a solitary endeavor. “But, you know, you get our girls in there and they’re not just models,” he added. “They have a voice and they have an opinion they’ve created over a long period of time, so yeah, I think it’s quite magical.” I suspected “magical” was a polite euphemism for any number of other equally colorful and descriptive phrases. Clearly, this was an

especially challenging exercise for the body-painting artists. They not only had to transform a near nude body to fully clothed, but they had to incorporate gender change into the mix as well, and they had to do so with the guidance of professionals. As Ru said, these girls aren’t just models waiting to be made up. The queens are doers and they know what needs to be done. The professional body painters complied in varying degrees and with assorted degrees of success. If you missed the episode, you may want to seek it out and with that, you may need a spoiler alert. Cyndi Lauper was tres fabu and Nicki Minaj had a lumpy ass. Nuff said: See the rest for yourself. With all the movement, the tremendous cultural surges of this summer, Caitlyn Jenner and Su-

preme Court marriage decisions, I asked Ru if he felt body painting in particular was becoming more mainstream, as well. “I don’t know,” he said. “What is mainstream anymore in the age of the Internet? The Internet is our town hall. “Mainstream … I’m baffled by that term because I don’t think it means what it meant years ago,” Ru continued. “Is it more mainstream? Sure! You see it in television commercials and movies. Rebecca Romijn in ‘X-Men’ of course, then ‘Guardians of the Galaxy.’ Several characters in that movie are body painted. But I think body painting has always been here, like lace-front wigs. People thought they were a new phenomena, like Granny in the ‘Beverly Hillbillies.’ Granny is wearing a lace-front wig. They’ve been around.” OK, I had to ask — what is a lace-front wig? No question is too stupid, right? (I hope!) “Those are the wigs that I wear, where it looks like the hair is coming out of my scalp,” Ru replied. Got it — pull the real hair through the lace and it all blends. “But back to mainstream? I don’t know,” Ru continued. “I think everything is everywhere all the time. We just have to notice.” And this is the RuPaul I’ve come to love and admire. RuPaul is still waters running deep. He’s a rolling stone gathering no moss. He’s depth-y haiku just under the surface of all that glitz and glamor. He’s a metaphor for the times. But before digging any deeper I can only suggest that you watch “Skin Wars” and see the blending of art, fashion and a bit of science all served up in a highly entertaining unit. And especially, check out this particular episode. It’s hilarity, fraught with anxiety and the episode will shoot by at warp speed. And as one of the participants pithily observed when the clock was running down, “10 minutes of real time is one minute of drag time.” Indeed. Editor’s Note: “Skin Wars” is a body painting reality game show competition on the Game Show Network (GSN), hosted by Rebecca Romijn with RuPaul Charles as one of its three judges. It was recently picked up for a third season. For more information visit show/skin-wars. —Kurt Niece is a freelance writer who focuses on entertainment. You can reach him at kurtniece@


AIDSWALK something together. And especially that there are people who are living with something that for so long I had this mentality that people were only dying of.” Fast-forward to 2015 and that friend Daniel is now her husband. And after a period that very quickly saw her move from weekly volunteer to contracted worker to full-time employee at The Center, Merk-Benitez is now running the show, responsible for the 400-plus volunteers that will help make the 26th annual AIDS Walk a success from start to finish. “That all happened in the course of one year — it still blows my mind,” she said. Growing up in East County, Merk-Benitez knew she needed to pursue a more urban and progressive environment, so she began her migration west. Though she and Daniel had attended the same high school, it wasn’t until college that they crossed paths. She lived in La Mesa while completing her degree in psychology at San Diego State, but spent a lot of time in and around Hillcrest with Daniel and their many friends. Though unaware then, she had found her future home. “Our involvement with the LGBT community made us want to also have that sense of family and community surrounding us that was outside of our biological family,” she said. After meeting Ian Johnson out and about, Johnson encouraged Merk-Benitez to volunteer at The Center. She signed up online and went to orientation, but there was one more step left to do: She had to go get herself fingerprinted on her own time and it took her more than a year to do so. Her work initially began supporting the Hillcrest Youth Center when it was on Fourth Avenue and eventually branched out to various other events The Center is responsible for, including Dining Out for Life. In 2009, she and Daniel married and along with their friends and family, continued their tradition of walking together every September during AIDS Walk. While she is still figuring out her new role at The Center, it has already begun resonating with her sense of purpose. “I think for myself now, to give people a chance to take part in [AIDS Walk], like helping volunteers to take part in something that literally changed the trajectory of my life — that for me is a humongous deal,” she said. “Every

time I enter a name into a spot, it’s interesting to think, ‘What could happen to their lives?’ ‘What will it do for them going forward?’” Merk-Benitez said that Daniel is “very, very healthy” and has lived a normal life since contracting HIV, experiencing few side effects or challenges. “Other than just learning to be open and tr ying to live openly as a person living with HIV, and I think the AIDS Walk helped him do that,” she said. “His experience has been ver y positive, no pun intended.” Merk-Benitez had only been working at The Center for a short time when #BeTheGeneration took shape, and she feels it has been an important initiative. “We were both really excited about #BeTheGeneration when that campaign first came out,” she said. “The concept of fighting stigma was a big one, because we still have friends who are afraid to share that they are positive. So when #BeTheGeneration came out, we felt it was a wonderful tool to talk with friends about fighting stigma in our community.” The Center has close to 1,000 volunteers for a variety of purposes and while some volunteer opportunities, like AIDS Walk and Dining Out for Life, don’t require lots of paperwork, most do require fingerprinting and a background check — which is now conducted during orientation and not an extra step; they’ve streamlined the process in order to keep those potential volunteers they might otherwise lose. “We tried to remove as many of the complications as possible,” Merk-Benitez said. “[Fingerprinting] was actually one of the reasons that took me so long to volunteer, because I had to take that second step, which is terrible, but it’s the human condition. I actually tell my story now at orientation.” Those interested in volunteering on a regular basis can apply through The Center’s website ( and attend one of three orientations a month. Once they pass the background check they become part of a pool that Merk-Benitez will call upon whenever an opportunity arises. Some volunteers have been around for 18-20 years and many of those will be helping Merk-Benitez manage the 400-plus AIDS Walk volunteers this year. Though she will be part of that volunteer force and not be walking this year — the first time since 2007 — Daniel will be taking to the street again. “He was very clear that he was not going to volunteer,” she said, laughing. “He walks every year and it is very important for him to walk

GAY SAN DIEGO Sept. 4 – 17, 2015


AIDS Walk & Run #26!

tools, which also include the use of condoms and PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis), called the “morning after” pill. Also lending financial help to produce the event Morgan M. Hurley | Editor this year are Gilead Sciences, a research-based biopharmaceutical company, as presenting sponsor The 26th annual AIDS Walk & Run is just around and the Human Dignity Foundation, a longstanding the corner. Established in 1989 as AIDS Walk San supporter of the event, as the premier sponsor. Diego, more than 8,000 people are expected to par“By serving as the presenting sponsor, Gilead Sciticipate on Sept. 26, making it the largest HIV/AIDS ences, is investing in our efforts to help San Diegans fundraising event in San Diego County. learn more about the new tools and services available After many years starting and ending in Balboa to stop the transmission of HIV,” said Dr. Delores Park, the official start and finish was brought to HillA. Jacobs, chief executive officer of The Center in a press release.
“Together, we will crest, at the corner of Normal and #BeTheGeneration that ends HIV as Harvey Milk streets, just steps from an epidemic.” the San Diego LGBT Community Though thousands of individuCenter, the organizer of the event. als register every year, teams have There is a 10K run (7:15 a.m.), always been an important part a 5K run (7:30 a.m.), and a 5K of AIDS Walk and this year is no untimed walk (7:35 a.m.) offerexception. According to The Center, ing participants plenty of options. race and walk teams have been This year “virtual” runners and responsible for nearly 70 percent of walkers are also able to sign up, the total funds raised over the last allowing those who want to raise few years. Teams for 2015 that raise funds but don’t want to crawl out $1,000 by Sept. 21 or sign-up 10 or of bed to do the race, a chance to more members by then will receive participate. the yellow show placard that bears Funds raised in 2014 were able their name. The “Extra Mile Club” to benefit 16 different AIDS/HIV Center employees prepare for AIDS is for individuals who raise $1,000 or service providers who have come Walk (Courtesy more and club members will receive to rely on this support, since San a crown to wear during the event Diego is third in the state with and be invited to a post-walk brunch more than 20,000 people living with cruise on Nov. 7. HIV throughout the region. Nationally, that number The top 10 teams and individual participants are is closer to 1.2 million, according to the Center for currently listed on the AIDS Walk website, showing Disease Control (CDC). their current fundraising tally. Sempra Energy/San In addition to raising needed funds and sending Diego Gas and Electric is at the top of the list, with a message of compassion to those in the community $21,695 raised so far. The top individual is currently currently living with HIV, another goal of the San Richard Valdez, with $2,810. These numbers are Diego LGBT Community Center is to bring greater likely to change as Sept. 26 gets closer. attention to their #BeTheGeneration initiative, which Free parking will be made available at Hillcrest encourages San Diegans to educate themselves and DMV 3960 Normal St.; Alice Birney Elementary others so they can help end HIV in their lifetime. School at 4345 Campus Dr. (north of the intersecEnding the disease can be achieved by diminishing tion of Washington and Normal streets); and the San the stigma surrounding HIV, utilizing various testing Diego Unified District Offices 4100 Normal St. (near and treatment options, and expanding prevention intersection of Park Boulevard and Normal Street). awareness to sexually active men who have sex with Registration fees and more information is listed other men. on the website. Businesses that One of the newest preventative treatment opwish to pursue AIDS Walk sponsorships should tions is PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis), a daily pill contact Ian Johnson, director of special events, at recommended by the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) as one of many HIV prevention with that same group of friends and family. We had an honest conversation about it and that is what’s important to him.” She won’t be completely alone, however, Daniel’s mom and her father plan to volunteer; the rest of the group will walk with Daniel. “I will miss walking for sure,” she said. “But there is something really powerful about what I’ll be experiencing this year, and besides, I’ll still see everyone before and after.” The AIDS Walk experience is what solidified Merk-Benitez’ sense of belonging. “I think for myself as an advocate and ally that this experience was one that allowed me to feel a part of this community,” she said. “So I encourage straight allies who

want to get involved to do so. Walk and be a part of the crowd. “This is not just an LGBT issue; it is a human issue. I am a part of this community. And though there have been LGBT people in my life most of my life, I consider this work and this community to be my

family. I would just encourage allies to take part. They’d find that this is their community, too.” For more information, visit —Morgan M. Hurley can be reached at



GAY SAN DIEGO Sept. 4 – 17, 2015



Poll Results Have you ridden the Hillcrest Lunch Loop yet?

21% Yes 79% No This week's Poll How many different Pride celebrations do you normally attend per year?




5 or more


To cast your vote, visit


Positive thoughts: HIV is not your enemy By Myles Helfand Please don’t be afraid of HIV. It doesn’t deserve it, and you deserve better. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not anti-fear. I’ve got a whole mess of fears myself — of failure, of illness, of crossing the hectic street outside my office in Manhattan. I’ve got fear pretty down pat. Heck, it’s even healthy. Fear is one of our most fundamental human instincts. It helps keep us safe. I even think it’s healthy to have some fear when it comes to HIV. It’s OK to fear becoming infected with HIV, and it’s OK to be scared of what HIV might do to your body if you’re positive, or to be concerned about the potential side effects of treatment. Those fears can be good if they result in action that makes us better. If we’re appropriately afraid of becoming infected with HIV, we’ll (hopefully) learn more about how the virus is transmitted and the right ways to protect ourselves, and we’ll seek to make changes in our lives that reduce our risk. For some of

us, that’ll mean using condoms or starting pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). For others, it may mean leaving an abusive relationship, or challenging conditions such as poverty and lack of safe housing that put many at greater risk. If we’re living with HIV and afraid of what comes next, we’ll (hopefully) talk to our doctors and read information on reputable websites, so that we can ease that fear with information and a plan forward. But to fear HIV itself? That’s where I think we run into problems. Fearing HIV because it exists isn’t logical: HIV itself is not some kind of cold, calculating, devious enemy that seeks to destroy us. It doesn’t care about us at all. It just wants a place to live, and we happen to be a pretty hospitable environment. Nonetheless, a whole lot of us fear HIV itself. Maybe part of that is sheer, animal instinct, but I think much of it is learned. Over the years, an endless array of awareness campaigns has cast HIV as a villain to be conquered, as though it were some kind of inherently evil creature. We’re at war with HIV, the common

refrain goes (I’m as guilty as anyone of using it), and in that life-or-death fight, the virus is the big bad. But here’s the thing: When we see HIV as a vicious enemy, many of us — far too many — tend to start seeing HIV-positive people as enemies by extension. “Those people!” we think. “They allowed this thing to get inside them. They’ve put others at risk. They bear as much blame as the virus itself.” When HIV-negative people become HIV positive, that fear — that judgment, that blame — needs somewhere to go. A lot of the time, it lashes out in two directions: inside, toward themselves; and outside, toward the person they think they got HIV from. This can also be the reaction when HIV-negative people find out that a person they’ve been intimate with has HIV, even when there’s little or no risk of transmission and they remain negative. This is how stigma happens, and when it happens, discrimination follows. It’s how people — Americans, in 2015 — get sent to prison for HIV exposure, some serving terms that are longer than sentences for voluntary manslaughter. These people didn’t share their status because they were afraid. Afraid to be judged. Afraid of the stigma. Afraid to be alone. And, in some cases, maybe at least a little afraid of themselves.

EDITOR Morgan M. Hurley (619) 961-1960

ART DIRECTOR Vincent Meehan (619) 961-1961

PUBLISHER David Mannis (619) 961-1951

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Ken Williams, x102 Jeremy Ogul, x119

PRODUCTION ARTISTS Todd Kammer, x115 Suzanne Dzialo

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Michael Kimmel Gina McGalliard Kurt Niece Jeff Praught Frank Sabatini Jr.

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

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WEB & SOCIAL MEDIA Jen Van Tieghem, x118 COPY EDITOR Dustin Lothspeich

ADVERTISING CONSULTANTS Sloan Gomez, x104 Andrew Bagley, x106 Lisa Hamel, x107

WEB DESIGN Kim Espinoza

DISTRIBUTION Gay San Diego is distributed free every other Friday of the month. COPYRIGHT 2015. All rights reserved.

It’s a cycle that feeds on itself. We see it in too many HIV education advertisements; one recent campaign features a couple in bed, one partner facing toward us, the other sitting behind them and looking down at them, wondering, “Do I trust him (or her)?” Screw that. Preventing HIV isn’t about whether we trust our partner. It isn’t about fearing the virus or people who live with it. Those instincts are the reason HIV continues to thrive in so much of the world, the U.S. included. Fear breeds stigma, and stigma breeds silence. No, preventing HIV means caring about ourselves enough to understand what HIV is, how it works and what the risks are. And it’s about respecting ourselves enough to know that we’re worth the steps we can take to keep ourselves, and others, as healthy as we deserve to be. I’m not saying it’s easy to do this, neither for us as a society nor for you and me as individuals. But we need to, or HIV will continue to hurt us in ways that go far beyond the damage it does to our bodies. Maybe it can start with HIV education efforts that focus less on fear, and more on self-respect. In mid-July, humanity lost a man named Bob Munk. He was diagnosed with HIV in 1987, and immediately dove into AIDS activism, which became his passion. He was

a brilliant, kind, deeply caring man. One of his most enduring legacies is AIDS InfoNet, a web-based effort he started in the early years of the Internet to create and distribute a huge array of fact sheets on HIVrelated topics to as many people, in as many languages, as he could possibly manage. These fact sheets are short, to the point, easy to understand and deeply rooted in reliable research. They say to people: “Here’s what we know. We trust you with this information. Read it, learn it, and use it to make life better.” In a world so often gripped by an obsession with using fear as an HIV prevention tool, Bob Munk opted to take the high road: education, empowerment, self-care. His fact sheets have helped countless thousands, and they push back against what sometimes feels like a relentless tide of fear, stigma and ignorance. I think he had it right. Fear of HIV isn’t the answer, and doesn’t help anyone. We need to respect ourselves — and each other — enough to ensure that we each understand HIV so that we can help one another get past it. We deserve that. —Myles Helfand is the editorial director of and Find him on Twitter @MylesatTheBody.t

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Louganis returns to San Diego this weekend Morgan M. Hurley | Editor This weekend the third annual U.S. Sand Sculpting Competition (USSSC) and Dimensional Art Exhibition will hit the shores of Downtown San Diego, with literally tons of special sand and dozens of sand sculpture artists, food trucks, three-dimensional art vendors, entertainment and more at the B Street Pier, located at 1130 N. Harbor Drive. Greg Louganis, a native San Diegan and four-time Olympic Gold Medalist, will also be making an appearance. Last month we reported [see “Louganis on board,” Vol. 6, Issue 18] that HBO Sports had released a documentary about the openly gay Olympian, called “Greg Louganis: Back on Board,” and it is currently in rotation on all HBO channels. The documentary tells the story of Louganis’ challenging life as a gay sports superstar, both before and after he publicly admitted he was not only gay, but HIV-positive. Greg Louganis joins the USSSC by way of the “Road to Rio” tour, presented by U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) in conjunction with Liberty Mutual Insurance. The primary goals of the tour is to heighten awareness and anticipation of the upcoming Summer Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, give fans access to former Olympic athletes through meet-and-greets, interactive sport participation, and virtual-reality experiences. San Diego is the second stop of the yearlong, nine-city tour, which started in Philadelphia and also includes Boston, Los Angeles, New York City, Oklahoma City, Indianapolis, Chicago and back to Boston for the Aug. 5 opening ceremony of the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil. In addition to Louganis, other Olympic legends attending include Susan Francia (rowing), Brenda Villa (water polo) and Nastia Liukin (gymnastics) as well as a number of other Olympic and Paralympic athletes. “San Diego is a city with passionate Team USA fans, a deep Olympic history and decorated American athletes, making it an ideal city for the Road to Rio Tour presented by Liberty Mutual Insurance,” Lisa Baird, USOC chief marketing officer, said in a press

Greg Louganis (Courtesy HBO Sports) release. Louganis will be available and signing autographs on Sunday, Sept. 6, from 12:30 – 2:30 p.m. Tickets to USSSC are just $9.99 (adults 12 -62) in advance online, and $11 at the gate. For those wishing to attend all days tickets are $16.99 in advance and $19 at the gate. Seniors, children, and those with proof of MTS transit pass receive a $2 discount at the gate. For more information about the Road to Rio, visit ovkquc2. To learn more about the Master sand sculptors and the other entertainment at the USSSC, visit


able dolphins we’ve been playing with, she had to use the bathroom. Tosha was never able to time Paula Poundstone, who comes back around to the notion that she needed to use the bathroom Humphreys Concert lineup on Sept. 11, has been with how long it was going to take her to get there, doing stand up gigs in San Diego for as long as so we were always in a panic over an incident like she can remember. One venue she remembers this. So we came across this sign that said ‘please well was the now-defunct and former local favorite go around, don’t walk through the courtyard area’ Anthology. due to the wedding. “It was a great I looked around and venue — it was my realized ‘I have no idea daughter’s favorite,” how we will get to the she said. “I think she room if we don’t go felt mature when she through here’ so I said, was there. It did have ‘screw it, we’re goa Nick and Nora feeling.’ We always think ing about it.” that there must be a When speaking couple somewhere that with Poundstone, has these beautiful anecdotes and personal photographs with the stories abound, generPoundstones all soakally in one long stream ing wet with our hair of consciousness style all a mess and Tosha’s of recollection. spindly legs and the “It’s been a long big inflatable dolphins time since I’ve been at in the background.” Humphreys and I loved The Humphreys it there, too, so I am venue is often crashed looking forward to goby a lively group of ing back,” she said. people, positioned “One time years stage left, who paddle ago we occasionally vaup in kayaks and cationed at Humphreys small boats to listen too — well as long as for free. Some artists the Poundstones vacahave been visibly untion, which would be ner ved by them, but a night or two at best. not Poundstone. Paula Poundstone likes the boaters at Humphreys A long, long time ago “I’m kinda (Courtesy Paula Poundstone) we were there when charmed by the boat the kids were little people,” she said. and we were at the pool,” she continued, setting up “The boat people are the boat people — you the story. “My oldest daughter has cerebral palsy have a dif ferent relationship with the crowd that and she walks very slowly. So there was a wedding comes out to see you and are sitting in the seats going on and there were these signs and I forget in front of you. Look, my biggest concern about where our room was but I have no sense of directhe people in the boats is that they pay their tion so we’re walking back to our room from the see Poundstone, pg 15 pool, we’re all dripping, we have these big inflat-

Morgan M. Hurley | Editor

A master sand sculptor builds a welcome statue for the U.S. Olympic "Road to Rio" tour. (Courtesy USSSC)

GAY SAN DIEGO Sept. 4 – 17, 2015


GAY SAN DIEGO Sept. 4 – 17, 2015


Forgotten hero: paying tribute to Bayard Rustin By David Dixon Accomplished Broadway actor Michael Benjamin Washington is about to bring the story of a civil rights activist — who although was front and center of the movement, is little known to the masses — to the La Jolla Playhouse stage this month. Washington has performed several times at the Playhouse in recent years, headlining musicals such as Des McAnuff’s revival of “The Wiz” and an early version of the Tony Award-winning hit, “Memphis.” Now, Washington will star in — and has also written — the Playhouse’s latest production, “Blueprints to Freedom: An Ode to Bayard Rustin,” based on the life of the African-American organizer of the 1963 March on Washington. As is the case with many scripts, Washington’s play has been a work in progress over the years. He started out with a 30-page treatment of Rustin’s life and just last year, Phylicia Rashad directed a version of “Blueprints to Freedom” during the Playhouse’s “DNA New Work Series 2014.” According to Washington, the biggest change to the text since last year was finding ways to make Rustin’s life resonate even more with modern audiences. “America has changed so much, however I’ve really been very cognizant of how relevant the story is today as it was in 1963,” Washington said. “[When we did] the first reading and the workshops, it was very much a dusty history play that had this lost prophet at the center. “In the past year and a half, we’ve had the Black Lives Matter movement and police brutality shown on television and social media,” Washington continued. “What I’ve learned is that the response to the same events that were happening 50 years ago are happening now. The question still remains: How do people choose to respond to it? This is very much a play about our times and how to find the healing bonds to get through [them].” Despite being openly gay, Rustin wasn’t involved with gay rights activism until late in his career, which he tried to downplay in public interviews. Washington acknowledged that even though Rustin did not hide his sexuality, he generally wanted to keep his personal life separate from his public persona. “He was pretty much out and about with his sexuality, he just never put it front and center,” Washington said. “Rustin never denied the fact that he was gay, but I don’t know if he ever promoted it either, before dying in 1987.” Due to scheduling conflicts, Rashad was unable to continue with the readapted version of “Blueprints to Freedom.” The current work is being directed by Lucie Tiberghien, who staged the relevant political thriller, “Blood and Gifts,” at the Playhouse in 2012. “The moment I was told the piece was about Bayard Rustin, I was in,” Tiberghien said. “I had seen the documentary “Brother Outsider,” and was fascinated by this man’s story. Being a part of a project about him and his legacy, at this particular time in history, when we have so much we could learn from his particular brand of activism, seemed like an opportunity not to be missed.” Though Washington was not able to see “Blood and Gifts,” he agreed to collaborate with Tiberghien after Artistic Director Christopher Ashley recommended she take over the project. “He was very impressed with the investigative work that she did in terms of text, handling politics, and handling muscular plays,” Washington said. “We’ve had a great time investigating the text. Rustin is such a global character having done so much work in India, London, America, and Africa. It’s become really great opening the story up in terms of the lens of his global influence.” “Michael had a ver y clear vision, having already seen the play up on its feet in the DNA New Work Series,” Tiberghien said. “The development process for me was about asking questions, trusting that perhaps they would shed light on aspects of the stor y or ideas being presented that could be clearer. Additionally, being able to work with the play’s dramaturg Gabriel Greene — who also ser ved as dramaturg on the DNA workshop —was invaluable and provided great continuity as we began rehears-

Playwright and actor Michael Benjamin Washington plays Rustin (Photo by J. Katarzyna Woronowicz)

als for this world-premiere production.” Washington said he hopes that people learn more about Rustin’s accomplishments during the evening, not only the freedoms and non-violent civil disobedience he worked for, but his efforts to eradicate poverty, help single mothers, protect children and raise the minimum wage. “There is a lot to be said about being exactly who you are, no matter your race and sexuality,” Washington said. “I think Rustin is a great example of living a life on purpose and in purpose. He was a forgotten hero.” The world premiere of “Blueprints to Freedom: An Ode to Bayard Rustin” will be performed at the La Jolla Playhouse Sept. 8 – Oct. 4. For tickets or more information, visit —A fan of film and theater from a very young age, David Dixon has written reviews and features for various print and online publications. You can reach him at

Bayard Rustin timeline 1912 Born March 17, in West Chester, Pennsylvania 1936 Moved to Harlem, New York, was an accomplished tenor vocalist, worked as a nightclub and stage singer, civil rights activist 1942 Arrested and beaten for refusing to move to the back of a bus 1944-1946 Imprisoned for violating Selective Service Act 1947 Journey of Reconciliation – the first of the Freedom Rides to test the Supreme Court ruling that banned racial discrimination in interstate travel 1953 Arrested in Pasadena, California, for homosexual activity, accepted a “lesser charge” of “sex perversion” and avoided the limelight as a speaker thereafter but always worked behind the scenes as an organizer and advisor 1955-1968 Lead strategist of U.S. Civil Rights movement 1956 Became an advisor to Martin Luther King Jr. 1963 Orchestrated the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom 1964 He wrote “From Protest to Politics,” urging blacks to strengthen their political alliances with white unions and churches for economic reasons 1987 Died Aug. 24, survived by Walter Naegle, his partner of 10 years 2013 Presidential Medal of Freedom, presented posthumously by Barack Obama Nov. 20, 2013 “The principal factors which influenced my life are 1) nonviolent tactics; 2) constitutional means; 3) democratic procedures; 4) respect for human personality; 5) a belief that all people are one.” —Bayard Rustin, quoted in his obituary

2015 Nicky Awards


Publisher David Mannis was honored the paper took home two Nicky Awards this year: Gay San Diego as outstanding publication and editor Morgan M. Hurley as outstanding writer/columnist. Here are the awards, in order they were given: Presented by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzales — Mayor George Moscone Humanitarian Award: Mayor Kevin Faulconer Presented by Councilmember Todd Gloria — Harvey Milk Civil Rights Award: Connor Maddocks Harvey Milk Civil Rights Award: Carolina Ramos Michael Portantino Media Award: Rage Magazine Winners in the “Outstanding” categories: Presented by Big Mike and Gigi Masters — Straight Ally: Adriana Martinez
 New Business: Breakfast Republic Pharmacy: AHF Pharmacy HIV / AIDS Service Provider: Mama’s Kitchen Community Organization: Human Dignity Foundation Bank: California Bank & Trust Sports Organization: San Diego American Flag Football League Neighborhood Bar: Uptown Tavern Online Media: DJ / VJ: DJ Dirty Kurty Bar Event (tie): Top of the Bay and Bearnight @ Numbers Entertainer / Group: San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus Title Holder: Angel Fairfax Community Activist: Kurt Cunningham Writer/Columnist: Morgan M. Hurley Achievement in the Arts: Travis Ti Leather Personality: Paulo Batista Transgender Personality: Will Williams Impersonator: Paris Sukomi Max Female Personality: Susan Jester Male Personality: Rich Reyes Philanthropist: Ben Dillingham III Bar Employee: Johnny Goodman – Babycakes Personal Trainer: Grant Foreman Female Bartender: Jersey at Top of the Bay Male Bartender: David Cope at Urban MO’s Male Waitperson: Marshall Alexander at Martinis Above Fourth Female Waitperson: Elly at Gossip Grill Female Waitperson: Mayra Gonzales at Baja Betty’s Women’s Night: LEZ at Rich’s Publication: Gay San Diego Bar Manager: Patrick Walsh at Flick’s Night Club / Dance Bar: Rich’s Bar Owner (tie): Jim Simpson & Doru Tifui of Martinis Above Fourth and Nick Moede of Rich’s and Numbers Restaurant: Heat Bar & Kitchen Night Club Dancer: Jake London Sawa Business: Green Fresh Florals Businesswoman: Joyce Rowland Businessman: John Ealy of Harley Gray Community Volunteer: Rick Cervantes Brunch: Martinis Above Fourth Bar: Urban MO’s Community Event (tie): AIDS Walk and Cityfest LGBT Couple (male): Jay Jones & Brad Hart LGBT Couple (female): Moe Girton & Dawn Stultz Real Estate Agent: Ryan Dick Man of the Year: Matt Stephens Woman of the Year: Toni Durant

GAY SAN DIEGO Sept. 4 – 17, 2015

Beauty is only skin Theater Review Charlene Baldridge

Chock-a-block with tunes, Jeanine Tesori’s 1997 off-Broadway musical, “Violet,” opened San Diego Repertory Theatre’s 40th season Aug. 26 (this review based on the performance of Aug. 27), featuring acclaimed musical theater performer Sutton Foster, who got her start in Tesori’s “Thoroughly Modern Millie” at La Jolla Playhouse. In the title role of San Diego Rep’s “Violet,” recent UC San Diego MFA graduate Hannah Corrigan is a real find. She is a fine actor and has an unwavering voice of purity, integrity and quality, perfect for the score, which embraces gospel, country, blues, bluegrass and rock. Not only that, director Sam Woodhouse surrounds Corrigan with a solid company of excellent singer/actors. When they sing ensemble, accompanied by a seven-member orchestra that includes conductor/keyboard Korrie Pallioto, the Rep’s roof raises at least 12 feet. It’s one of those rare occasions when you wish the show would go on forever. The score, largely through-sung, ranges from the tiniest, most intimate whisper to full-throated gospel. Corrigan plays a young farmwoman from Spruce Pine, North Carolina. Violet has a horribly disfiguring scar on her face (we


Hannah Corrigan plays Violet (Photos by Daren Scott) “Violet” by Jeanine Tesori

Based on “The Ugliest Pilgrim” by Doris Betts Through Sept. 13 7 p.m. Wednesdays 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays 2, 4, & 8 p.m. Saturdays 2 & 7 p.m. Sundays San Diego Repertory Theatre 79 Horton Plaza, Downtown Tickets $36-$75 or 619-544-1000

don’t actually see it; merely see it as reflected in the faces of others who see her for the first time). Violet has never forgiven her Father (Jason Maddy) for the accident and its aftermath. Now that he is dead and has left her a little money, she goes on a Greyhound bus quest to see a Tulsa TV evangelist (Jason Heil, perfectly smarmy), to whom she ascribes the power to rid her of her scars. Violet will come back home beautiful and triumphant. Throughout the entire musical Violet is tailed by young

Violet (amazing 13-year-old singer Katelyn Katz from Carmel Valley Middle School). On the long bus trip Violet becomes acquainted an Old Lady (Melinda Gilb, who later plays a hotel hooker to great, hilarious effect) and two soldiers, Flick (Rhett George, ye gads, he grows on you) and Monty (Jacob Caltrider, surprising in his newfound romantic machismo). Each of the men, in his own way and for his own reasons, falls in love with Violet. One white and one


African-American, both are on their way to assignments, ver y likely in Vietnam. Others in the company portray bus drivers, landladies, nightclub and TV congregational singers. They are the faultless Bryan Banville, Kürt Norby, Tanika Baptiste, and Anise Ritchie, all familiar from their work on local stages. Remember the Beggar Woman in Diversionary’s “A New Brain”? That was Tanika. According to Woodhouse, speaking in a “Surround Event” pre-performance seminar, the “Violet” players have become a family, as large ensembles rarely do. This listener is a believer: They are an extraordinary group, playing, singing and moving so well (choreographer is Javier Velasco) on Giulio Perrone’s accommodatingly adaptable set (mostly unseen, the orchestra is center above). Jeanne Reith’s costumes are appropriate to the times (country cottons and socks for the girls) and environs. Lighting designer is Trevor Norton, and sound designer Kevin Athenill creates a magical balance of singers and orchestra to audience. There are several moments so touching, so affecting, that they bring the observer to tears. The music lover goes home sated on solos, duets and ensembles of surprising variety. Violet goes home with the one who saw her beauty the moment he looked at her. Trust me, “Violet” is a most unusual musical. Kudos to Woodhouse and all involved for bringing such a treasure to San Diego. — Charlene Baldridge has been writing about the arts since 1979. You can follow her blog at or reach her at



GAY SAN DIEGO Sept. 4 – 17, 2015 establishments are participating. No passes are tickets are required, although organizers encourage diners to make advanced reservations at the restaurants they choose to visit. For more information, visit



Abbott Real Estate Group VI Star Sthephanies City Administration Bldg. County Admin.Bldg. Hall of Justice Porto Vista Hotel & Suites San Diego Court Café Lulu Coffee & Art Ace Hardware City College Bookstore City College FIT Athletic Club Village 631 Cheese Deli

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#1 Fifth Avenue About Face Hillcrest Ace Hardware Adam and Eve Akinori Alexis Greek Café Au Revoir Babycake’s Baja Betty’s Baggels Bamboo Lounge Being Alive Aids Support Big City Deli Bodhi Animal Hospital Bo’s Seafood Market Brooklyn Girl Buffalo Exchange Carole Realty - Cent.21 Cascade Spa The Center For Health Charisma Restaurant Chevron Chipotle Chocolat Club San Diego Community Prescription Community Pharmacy Cottage Drive in Liquor Crypt on Park CVS pharmacy Deli Llama Del Mission Liquor Dollar Smart Energy Zone Embassy Suites Fed Ex Kinkos Fiesta Cantina Filter Coffee House Fitness Together Flicks Floyds Barbershop Glenna Liquor Golden Spoon Gossip Grill Haircrest Hairspray Salon Harvey Milks Amer.Diner Hash House hAve.n Body Therapy Heat Bar & Grill Hillcrest Brewing Co. Hillcrest News Stand Hillcrest Pharmacy Hillcrest Post Office Hillcrest Sandwich Shop Hillcrest Smoke Shop House Boi Ichiban (original) iTan Jack in the Box (220) Jakes wine bar Jimmy Carters Café Dr. Jeff Keeny D.D.S. J. Stuart Showalter, JD, MFS Kona Coffee Lalos Mexican Food Lotus Thai Cuisine Make Good Mail Station Mankind Video Martin & Wall (5th Ave.) Martinis Above Fourth Mc Donalds Meshuggah Shack Mission rest. Mission Hills Automotive Mission Hills Library Numbers Nutri Shop Nunzi’s Café Ortegas Mexican Bistro Obelisk Mercantile Park Boulevard Foods Park Boulevard Pharmacy Peets Coffee Pleasures & Treasures Postal Annex (inside) Postal Place (Uptown) Pride Pharmacy Priority/Being Alive Center R Gang Eatery Ralph’s (Uptown Ctr.) Rayzor’s Revivals Rich’s San Diego Community News Shell Station Snooze Rest Somerset Suites Hotel Special Delivery Food Starbucks Starbucks Starbucks Starbucks (Uptown Ctr.) Sunshine Denistry Suntan Lounge The Brass Rail The Center LGBT The Crypt (Park Blvd) T-Deli The Loft Uptown Car Wash Urban Mo’s US Bank V-Outlet Wells Fargo (Uptown Ctr.) Whole Foods Market Winns Barber Shop

NORTH PARK 7 Eleven (Gossip) 7-Eleven (Texas) Adult World Alibe Artquest Flowers Auntie Helen’s Thrift Store Big City Tattoos Blvd. Fitness Brabant Carls Jr. Center For Social Support

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Chicken Pie Shop Claire De Lune Coffee Controversial Books Creative Futons Crypt CVS DMV Eddies Place Espress Market F Street (Park Blvd.) Farmers Liquor Filter Coffee House Gallery Kevin’s Barbershop Lead The Way Lefty’s Chicago Pizzaria Lips Club Little B’s Mary McTernen’s Real Estate Mexico Lindo North Park Family Health North Park Produce Para’s Newstand Pecs Bar Pet Palace Pleasures & Treasures Postal Place Rebecca’s Coffee House Redwing Bar & Grill S&D Property Mgt. San Diego Pride Office Santos Coffee Sicilian Thing Pizza Tanline The Big Kitchen The Eagle Club The Laundry Room The Old Mill Café Tioli’s Crazy Burger U31 Cocktail Lounge Urban Body Gym Undisputed Valero Gas Station Walgreen’s

2633 El Cajon Blvd. 2906 University Ave. 3063 University Ave. 3134 University Ave. 4094 30th St. 3200 University Ave. 1960 Norma St. 3501 30th St. 2543 University Ave. 2004 University Ave. 2045 University Ave. 4096 30th St. 3812 Ray St. 4004 30th St. 3830 Park Blvd. 4030 Goldfinch St. 3036 El Cajon Blvd. 2611 El Cajon Blvd. 3855 Granada Ave. 2037 University Ave. 3544 30th St. 3551 El Cajon Blvd. 3911 30th St. 2046 University Ave. 3827 Ray St. 2525 University Ave. 2260 El Cajon Blvd. 3023 Juniper St. 4012 30th St. 3128 El Cajon Blvd. 3620 30th St. 3191 Thorn St. 4046 30th St. 2419 El Cajon Blvd. 3003 Grape St. 3040 N. Park Way 1955 El Cajon Blvd. 3949 Ohio St. 4201 30th St. 3112 University Ave. 3148 University Ave. 3038 University Ave. 4616 Texas St. 3222 University Ave.

SOUTH PARK Millers Market The Whistle Stop Bar Express Center Postal Business Preview Emporium VCA Main St. Pet Hospital Video Exchange

MIDDLETOWN Gelato Vero Café safron chicken Spin Nightclub Starlite lounge

BANKERS HILL Barrio Star Mexican Rest. Caliph Canvass For A Cause City liquor Indigo Café Marketplace Market SanFilippo’s SRO Club

Café Madeleine will join the lineup for Taste of South Park (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.)

Practically every kitchen in the neighborhood is taking park in the inaugural Taste of South Park, which will be held from noon to 4 p.m., Sept. 19, along the corridors of 30th and Fern streets. Participants include Eclipse Chocolate Bar & Bistro; Buona Forchetta; South Park Abbey; Café Madeleine; Mazara Trattoria; Fire Horse, and several others that locals residing outside the area may have not yet discovered. Tickets, which include samples from each restaurant, are $30 in advance at events, or $35 at the information booth on the day of the event (Grape and Fern streets).

2985 C St. 2236 Fern St. 2801 B St. 3576 Main St. 2773 Main St. 7656 Broadway

NORMAL HEIGHTS/ UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS Adams Ave. Post Office Alano Club Antiques Row Café Bourbon Street Bar & Grill Café Caberet Century 21 Horizon Chase Bank Cheers Bar Diversionary Theatre Heig Restaurant Ken Theatre Kensingtion Café Kensignton video LeStat’s Coffee House LeStat’s Coffee House Pet Me Please Ponces Mexican Restaurant Post Office Public Library - University Salon Kensington Sprouts Starbucks Summer Liquor & Deli The Incredible Cheesecake Twiggs Tea & Coffee

The Patio Restaurant Group, which owns The Patio on Goldfinch and The Front Porch, both in Mission Hills, as well as The Patio on Lamont Street in Pacific Beach and the upcoming Fireside by the Patio in Liberty Station, has acquired the iconic Saska’s Steak & Seafood in Mission Beach. The family-owned restaurant opened in 1960 after operating for 10 years as a dive bar named High Tide. With its original leather booths and cedar paneling still intact, a minor facelift is planned. The acquisition also included the adjoining Saska’s Sushi Bar and rooftop SkyBar, which were added to the operation in the late ’90s. 3768 Mission Blvd., 858-488-7311.

3288 Adams Ave. 1730 Monroe Ave. 3002 Adams Ave. 4612 Park Blvd. 3739 Adams Ave. 4134 Adams Ave. 4078 Adams Ave. 1839 Adams Ave. 4545 Park Blvd. 3381 Adams Ave. 4061 Adams Ave. 4141 Adams Ave. 4067 Adams Ave. 4496 Park Blvd. 3343 Adams Ave. 3401 Adams Ave. 4050 Adams Ave. 3288 Adams Ave. 4193 Park Blvd. 4104 Adams Ave. 4175 Park Blvd. 4134 Adams Ave. 4602 Park Blvd. 3161 Adams Ave. 4590 Park Blvd. 3753 India St. 3737 India St. 2028 Hancock St. 3175 India St.

Boston native Pete DeCoste is putting the finishing touches on his upcoming Pete’s Seafood and Sandwich, a North Park venture that will soon appear in the space formerly occupied by Bazinga Eater y. A remodel is nearing completion, and the overall theme is New England, with a menu focusing on clam chowder, lobster rolls, fried and grilled seafood, and hearty East Coast-style sandwiches. DeCoste, who worked for Lefty’s Chicago Pizzeria in Mission Hills for five years, said he hopes to be up and running by early October. 3382 30th St. 619-255-8940. Chef Fred Piehl of The Smoking Goat, and his wife, Tammy, will open One Door North in the adjoining 5,000-square-foot warehouse held previously by Mosaic Wine Bar. Their newest venture, scheduled to launch by November, will offer casual farm-fresh fare and a community bar that opens to the outdoors. The eatery will be open for lunch and dinner daily, and also operate for weekend brunch. 3422 30th St.

2706 Fifth Ave. 3100 Fifth Ave. 2139 First Ave. #100 1801 Fifth Ave. 1435 Sixth Ave. 2601 Fifth Ave. 2949 Fifth Ave. 1807 Fifth Ave.

POINT LOMA/OB/PB Adult Depot Barnett Adult Store Dr. Loves Boutique Hi-Lite Books Living Room Coffee House Street The Hole X-SPOT 9 OB Business Center OB Peoples Food Store

COLLEGE AREA Cross Cultural Center Jolar Adult Shop The Living Room San Diego Desserts

MISSION VALLEY Metropolitan Comm. Church

ENCINITAS Ducky Waddles E Street Café Lou’s Records Pannikin


OCEANSIDE Jitters Coffee Pub Hill Street Café & Gallery LGBT Center

MESA COLLEGE Mesa College Bookstore

MIRA MESA Siam Nara Thai Cuisine



3487 Kurtz St. 3610 Barnett Ave. 1155 Garnet Ave. 3203 Hancock St. 1018 Rosecrans 2820 Lytton St. 3606 Midway Dr. 4876 Santa Monica Ave. 4765 Voltaire Ave. 5400 Remington Rd. 6321 University Ave. 4531 59th St. 5987 El Cajon Blvd.

A sectional rendering of TRUST Restaurant in Hillcrest (Chemistry PR)

2633 Denver St. 414 N. Coast Hwy. 101 128 W. E St. 434 N. Coast Hwy. 101 510 N. Coast Hwy. 101 333 S. Twin Oaks. 510 N. Coast Hwy. 524 S.Coast Hwy. 510 N. Coast Hwy. 7520 Mesa College

Coming to the ground floor of the new Mr. Robinson loft building at the corner of Park Boulevard and Robinson Street in Hillcrest is TRUST Restaurant, where seasonal shareable plates, artisan wines, craft beer and crafty cocktails will rule the day. The 2,600-square-foot space, which extends to a spacious patio, is due to open in late fall as the building nears completion. Executive Chef Brad Wise, who worked at JRDN, Draft, and Cannonball, will helm the kitchen. 3752 Park Blvd.

8993 Mira Mesa Blvd. 1157 Sweetwater Rd.


There are numerous Uptown kitchens taking part in the 11th annual San Diego Restaurant Week, to be held Sept. 20-27. Meal options feature two-course lunches priced at $10, $15 or $20, and three-course dinners ranging from $20 to $50. Among those taking part are Barrio Star and Croce’s Park West in Bankers Hill; Bleu Boheme in Kensington; Brooklyn Girl Eater y in Mission Hills; 100 Wines in Hillcrest; and Circa in University Heights. Countywide, nearly 180

The vintage view from Charlie’s Sports Bar at the Town & Country Resort in Mission Valley (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.) As a teaser to the $80 million renovation planned at the Town & Countr y Resort and Convention Center in Mission Valley next year, Chef Paul McCabe has returned to San Diego from Arizona to oversee the property’s culinary program. Prior to taking a gig at Royal Palms in Phoenix, he worked at Delicias, Kitchen 1540 and Top of the Cove. Joining him in the effort is acclaimed Pastry Chef Jack Fisher, formerly with Jsix and Cucina Urbana. The duo completely revised the menus at the resort’s two existing restaurants: Charlie’s Sports Bar and Terrace Café. Both are open to the public and have received interior makeovers, although the property’s fine-dining restaurant, Trellises Garden Grill, is now closed permanently. At Charlie’s, smoked meats, gourmet burgers and scratch-made sauces have entered into the equation. Breads, buns and pastries are also house-made, some of which supply the all-day menu at Terrace Café. The restaurants, however, will be demolished when work begins on the 32-acre property in the fall of 2016. “Ever y building except for the towers and convention center will be bulldozed,” says McCabe, adding that “three or four” new restaurants will emerge once the resort is rebuilt. He and Fisher will oversee their concepts. “We’re making these upgrades now to give our customers some really great food in the interim,” he says. The flora and gazebo-filled resort, which was built as a motor lodge in 1953 by Mission Valley developer Charles H. Brown, is managed by Destination Hotels & Resorts. McCabe says the sweeping redo will “honor the history of the property, but with a more updated feel.” 500 Hotel Circle North, 619-291-7131. —Frank Sabatini Jr can be reached at fsabatini@

Bri n g n w o r u o y s e g a r e v e b

Restaurant Review Frank Sabatini Jr. Through the sound of electric hair clippers, I could hear growls emanating from the stomach of my hair stylist while her midsection pressed against my arm. She excused herself with a chuckle, adding that I was the last appointment before her lunch break. When I nosily asked where she’d be eating, she replied with maniacal enthusiasm, “That truck selling fish tacos down the street on Friars Road. It’s the best Mexican food anywhere!” For nearly two years, I’d been passing this kitchen on wheels parked daily at Del Mesa Foods and Liquor near my residence, intrigued by the lines that form around it despite the vehicle’s lack of aesthetics. Now, with a firm recommendation, I decided to cheat on my go-to joints for cheap Mexican grub. Sorry La Posta and Roberto’s. Known as Kiko’s Place, the truck is a descendant of a former family-owned taco stand dating back to 1983 in San Felipe, Mexico. “My father started that business in Mexico, but our family closed it some years ago,” said Javier Escamilla, who also owns a second Kiko’s truck that operates everyday from the parking lot of Texas Food and Liquor in North Park. Both feature the same seafood-heavy menus. Since making a couple visits to the Mission Valley site, I feel that any fish taco or seafood burrito that enters my mouth will henceforth taste blatantly north-of-the-border in comparison. The heart and soul that goes in to Kiko’s


cooking becomes evident upon taking your first sip of seafood broth dispensed for free while waiting for your order. Scallops, clams, oysters, octopus, sea bass and marlin trawled from Baja waters dominate the menu, landing in tacos, burritos, quesadillas, ceviches and seafood cocktails. Shrimp are served in abundance, too. They’re sourced from Ecuador. As common throughout many Mexican provinces, the proteins cozy up often to medleys of crisp, grilled vegetables, including thick-cut celery folded into Kiko’s piquant and wellendowed shrimp burrito, called The Governor. Cheese is kept to a minimum, in fact only visible if you look hard. In the surf-and-turf taco called “chignon,” shrimp and carne asada team up with diced red onions, tomatoes, cucumbers and what seemed like tiny cubes of honeydew melon. The beef was somewhat under-seasoned, but the other ingredients compensated with their gardenfresh flavors. If you’re hankering for chicken or beans or rolled tacos, they don’t exist here. Nor do water or sodas, which is advantageous to the stores from which the trucks operate, if not a condition within their partnerships. Though if you want “Viagra,” you’re in luck. It’s the name of Kiko’s heartiest seafood cocktail, a “clamato” to be exact, which contains every species of fish kept in stock, all of it cloaked in mildly tangy tomato sauce laced with clam juice. I preferred the shrimp cocktail because it was more manageable in terms of volume. Plus, I fell instantly in love with the sweet, firm quality of the shrimp here, and I wanted as much of it as possible. Served in clear, plastic cups and avail-

able in four sizes, the cocktails are capped with impressive slabs of avocado. The fish tacos were heavenly. Fillets of battered sea bass were hidden beneath mantles of unadulterated guacamole, crisp cabbage, raw onions, tomatoes, fresh cilantro, and white sauce that’s a little thicker than most. You can order the fish grilled as well, but when I’m leaning against an old-school food truck with genuine ties to Mexico, the extra calories don’t scare me. Neither do the house-made hot sauces kept on ice from the built-in condiment bar. The thick, red salsa made from dried chili peppers is the bomb. I dabbed it on everything. There’s also creamy chipotle and a thin habanero sauce, both of them hot, but offering notable depths of flavor. I can’t speak for the truck on Texas Street, but the one on Friars Road features a side ledge along the driver’s side, where customers can stand and eat. Less reachable is the small order window perched about seven feet from the ground. Some neck cranking and arm stretching is required when paying and receiving your food. But it’s worth the strain. The trucks open at each location at 10 a.m. daily and continue serving until 7 p.m. on most days. —Frank Sabatini Jr. is the author of “Secret San Diego” (ECW Press), and began his local writing career more than two decades ago as a staffer for the former San Diego Tribune. You can reach him at

GAY SAN DIEGO Sept. 4 – 17, 2015


(clockwise from top left) Kiko’s truck in Mission Valley; the spicy “governor” burrito; surf and turf tacos; fish tacos; shrimp cocktail (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.)

Kiko’s Place 6090 Friars Road (Mission Valley) and 4404 Texas St. (North Park) • 619-341-7397 Prices: Ceviches and seafood cocktails, $5 to $20; tacos, burritos and quesadillas, $1.75 to $8.75


GAY SAN DIEGO Sept. 4 – 17, 2015


Body Art Expo: This weekend-long event features over 200 top tattoo and piercing artists on site, live entertainment and more. Continues through Sunday, Sept. 6. San Diego Concourse, 202 C St., Downtown. Visit U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge and Dimensional Art Exposition: This four-day event starts today attracting sculptors from around the world and resulting in sandcastles and art stretching along the bay. Event continues through Labor Day - Monday, Sept. 7 when Greg Louganis will make an appearance as part of the “Road to Rio” tour. B Street Pier, 1140 North Harbor Drive, Downtown. Visit Out at the Races: This event at the track will serve as a preparty for the DJ Paul Oakenfold performance to follow the races. The Out at the Races Seaside Tropical Cabana will be located trackside at the top of the stretch run, west of the tunnel entrance. There will be a “craziest hat” contest, happy hour in the cabana and more. Concert included with track admission; starts after the last race. 3 p.m. Del Mar Racetrack, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar. Visit Summer Movies in the Park – ‘E.T. the Extra Terrestial’: This installment of the movie series features the 1980s classic about a friendly alien trying to return home. Free. 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. Waterfront Park, 1600 Pacific Highway, Marina. Visit ‘Casablanca’: Cinema Under the Stars presents the iconic film starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. Additional screenings on Saturday, Sept 5 and Sunday, Sept. 6. 8 p.m. $15. 4040 Goldfinch St., Mission Hills. For more info, visit topspresents. com or call 619-295-4221.


16th annual Hawaiian Plumeria Festival: Free weekendlong event featuring Hawaiian and Polynesian music and dance, flower show, potted plant sale and more. Continues, Sunday, Sept. 6. 10 a.m. Casa del Prado, 1800 El Prado, Balboa Park. Visit Glamour on Goldfinch: Part of a fashion and food series by Fashion Week San Diego, this event will feature informal modeling during brunch hours. Partial proceeds from cocktail purchases will go to Rancho Coastal Humane Society. 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. The Patio on Goldfinch, 4020 Goldfinch St., Mission Hills. Visit


Chili Peppers and Jack Johnson. 6 – 9:30 p.m. 2760 Fifth Ave. #100, Bankers Hill. Visit crocesparkwest. com.


‘Superhero Day’ at Petco Park: Attendees can take pictures with superhero characters and enjoy KidsFest at the Park at the Park before the game. The first 500 fans who purchase a “Superhero Day” ticket will receive a Padres superhero mask. Game vs. Dodgers at 1:10 p.m. Petco Park, 100 Park Blvd., East Village. Visit padres. com/superhero.


San Diego Lesbian Meetup: Third annual beach party to celebrate Labor Day with other local lesbians. Tables will be set up and barbecues, grill and charcoal will be provided. Attendees are asked to bring firewood. 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Mission Bay. Visit on.fb. me/1NNG7GV. Greg Louganis at U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge: As part of the “Road to Rio” tour several Olympians will have autograph sessions during the USSSC. LGBTrights activist and Olympic gold medalist Greg Louganis will appear today from 12:30 – 2:30 p.m. B Street Pier, 1140 North Harbor Drive, Downtown. Visit

PrideFIT hike club: Meets ever y Thursday, hosted by Carlos Salazar. 7 p.m. Parking lot at Golfcrest Avenue and Navajo Road. Visit ‘The Princess Bride’: Cinema Under the Stars presents the cult favorite fantasy starring Robin Wright and Cary Elwes. Additional screenings on Friday, Sept. 11 and Saturday Sept. 12. 8 p.m. $15. 4040 Goldfinch St., Mission Hills. For more info visit or call 619-295-4221.


Paula Poundstone: The veteran comedian brings her distinct brand of standup to Humphreys by the Bay. $50. 8 p.m. 2241 Shelter Island Drive. Visit San Diego Bike Party – ‘Video Game On’: This monthly bike ride invites riders to bring their favorite video game character to life. Prizes for best costumes. 8 p.m. Balboa Park Fountain, El Prado. Visit sdbikeparty.


Coronado Art Walk: Two-day free art walk featuring displayed art and art activities. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Continues Sunday, Sept. 13. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Coronado Ferry Landing, 1201 First St. Visit


Date Night at Croce’s: Every Wednesday get a shared appetizer, two entrees, a bottle of wine, Croce’s ambiance and live music for just $49. Tonight’s live music is Patrick Dowling, whose major influences are Ben Harper, Red Hot

‘Amazons and Their Men’: Opening night tonight for this West Coast premiere. The new play was inspired by the life of Leni Riefenstahl – auteur of “Triumph of the Will.” Runs through Oct. 4. 7 p.m. Diversionary Theatre, 4545 Park Blvd., University Heights. Visit or call 619-220-0097. PrideFIT walk club: Meets every Saturday, hosted by Maribel. 10 a.m. Corner of Sixth Avenue and Upas Street. Visit prideFITsandiego.



Free legal consultations: A free legal clinic held the second Tuesday of each month by Access to Law Initiative. Attorneys will be available for 30-minute consultations to help evaluate legal issues. 9 a.m. San Diego LGBT Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. For appointment or info, contact Joshua Bruser at 858-342-0551 or josh@

April Ventura and Laura Jane. The “On Deck DJ Stage” will feature DJs Fariba, IDeaL, Starlett, EvLo, Dida, Susu, and Rick Betta. Admission is free! Noon – 10 p.m. Bayside Park, Chula Vista. Visit San Diego Crab and Sushi Fest: The first ever San Diego Crab and Sushi Fest will feature live music and more. Proceeds benefit Rady Children’s Hospital and Friends of Scott Foundation. Tickets are $75; VIP is $150. Noon – 6 p.m. Liberty Station, Cushing and Roosevelt roads, Point Loma. Visit Sixth annual Throw Down for a Cause: A fundraiser featuring women’s Jell-o wrestling to support programs that serve at-risk and homeless youth in San Diego. Tickets start at $20. 4:30 – 9 p.m. Visit

South Bay Pride Art and Music Festival: The South Bay Alliance’s annual event will be full of activities for families and individuals. The event is predicted to draw 10,000 attendees this year. There will be children’s rides, art, a beverage garden and more. Two stages will host live entertainment. The main stage includes performances by Ivy Levan, Vokab Kompany, Ricky Rebel, Castillo Rock, Celeste Barbier, Liz Grace and the Swing Thing, Rhythm and The Method, The Social Animal and emcees

‘Strike Up The Band’ cabaret: A celebration of the military through music. $20. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., cabaret at 7 p.m. Coronado Playhouse, 1835 Strand Way. Visit ‘Queer Queens of Qomedy’: An all-star lineup of comedians put together by Poppy Champlin featuring Vickie Shaw, Karen Williams, Mimi Gonzalez, and Jennie McNulty plus local comedy musical duo Nick & Mel. Tickets start at $20. 7:30 p.m. The MG Space, 3090 Polk Ave., North Park. Visit


PrideFIT run club: Meets every Monday, hosted by Miguel Larios. 6:30 p.m. Corner of Sixth

Turnback Tuesdays: Paris Sukomi Max hosts this throwback night celebrating the best of the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s. Dress as your favorite time period and enjoy $5 frozen cosmos all night. $5 cover plus $15 food minimum. 3036 El Cajon Blvd., North Park. Visit or call 619-295-7900.


End of summer business social: The GSDBA is hosting this social event with food and drink on the Paseo Lawn of the Hotel Del. Guests and non-members welcome. $15. 6 – 8 p.m. Hotel Del Coronado, 1500 Orange Ave. Visit FilmOut Screening: “Beautiful Something” — a film based on true events following four diverse gay men over the course of one night. Shown with “The Puppet.” $10. 7 p.m., Landmark Cinemas, 3965 Fifth Ave. #200, Hillcrest. Visit


‘An Evening with Molly Ringwald’: The singer-actress returns to Martinis to perform songs from her album “Except Sometimes.” Ringwald blends traditional jazz with hits from the Great American Songbook. Doors open at 6 p.m., show at 8 p.m. $50 – $60 reserved seating with $15 food/drink minimum. Martinis Above Fourth, 3940 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest. Visit  OUT at the Globe: A pre-play mixer for LGBT theater lovers includes three drinks from a hosted wine and martini bar, appetizers and door prizes. 6:30 p.m. $24 plus cost of a ticket to “In Your Arms” or “The Comedy of Errors.” Old Globe Theatre, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park. For more information visit or call 619-234-5623. ‘The Godfather, Part 3’: Cinema Under the Stars presents the final film in Francis Ford Coppola’s celebrated American crime trilogy. Additional screenings on Friday, Sept. 18 and Saturday, Sept. 19. 8 p.m. $15. 4040 Goldfinch St., Mission Hills. For more info visit or call 619-295-4221. —Email calendar items to morgan@sdcnn.comt

solution on page 16

EVERYONE DIGGS HIM 1 Loads 5 Nancy McKeon’s “___ of Life” 10 Cold feet 14 When quadrupled, a song by Bikini Kill 15 Finish off 16 Foam at the mouth 17 Grace ___ 18 First name in cosmetics 19 “East of Eden” son 20 Start of a quote by 68-Across 23 Abe Lincoln’s boy 24 Disencumber 25 Not potent 28 More of the quote 31 Pluck ’em 35 Arnaz, whose inlaws had Balls 36 Muscular strength 38 Young stud? 39 Sobriquet for 68-Across




Avenue and Upas Street. Visit San Diego LGBT Pride Town Hall: Meeting to discuss main Pride events and board service. Those interested in joining the board can learn about the application process and what service entails. 6 – 7 p.m. The Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. Visit

DOWN 42 Inventor Otis 43 Examine the testes again, e.g.? 44 Take a crack at 48 Enjoy a hot tub 51 Tooth care org. 52 Sex, crudely 56 End of the quote 59 Emphatic affirmative, to Frida 60 Opportunity for Glenn Burke 61 “So ___, Farewell” 63 Went down 64 2014 film about a voter-registration drive 65 A girl named Frank 66 High place with a flat top 67 Kilmer poem 68 Diggs

1 “Atlas Shrugged” author Rand 2 Fifth-century pope 3 Scout’s recitation 4 Hissy fits and such 5 Did a slow burn 6 On an Atlantis cruise 7 Publisher and friend of Moss Hart 8 Jethro of rock 9 Weapon of Caesar’s day 10 A real pussy? 11 Bring home the bacon 12 With mouth wide open 13 Kevin Bacon in “Footloose” 21 Winery container 22 Thousandth of an angry inch? 25 “Why, ___ delighted!” 26 Title role for Jodie Foster 27 Morales of “La Bamba” 28 Bellows of “Ally McBeal” 29 Collection suffix 30 “___ out!” (Pallone cry)

32 Frat toga, e.g. 33 Julia Morgan wings 34 Keep in 36 “Beat it!” 37 Sitcom radio station 40 Uniform material 41 Piss off 45 Wine expert, maybe 46 Safe to swallow 47 Title for Colette 48 Word from Bruce Weber, perhaps 49 Wet spot on a blanket of sand 50 “West Side Story” girl 53 Black key for Elton John 54 “___ roll!” 55 Dustin Hoffman biopic 57 Cartoonist Thomas 58 Sappho’s H’s 59 “American Beauty” director Mendes 62 Head-scratcher’s comment


GAY SAN DIEGO Sept. 4 – 17, 2015


‘Hoops’ play championship game on new court Dugout Chatter Jeff Praught San Diego has a really cool LGBT basketball league, named SD Hoops, and it has been around since 1999. Of course, I am biased because I recently spent four years as commissioner of said league. I am happy to report that the group is doing just fine without me since I retired from that leadership role in March of this year and handed the keys to the younger and talented Noah Ingram. One of his first priorities was to explore other venues in which to play league games, and I made my way out to the newest SD Hoops venue on Wednesday, Aug. 26 for the SD Hoops Summer League championship game. With the help of league member Brandon Horrocks, the SD Hoops board was able to secure gym space on Wednesdays at the Linda Vista Boys & Girls Club. Every gym has its pros and cons, and the Golden Hills Rec Center was good to our league for many years. The new venue offers a lot more seating for fans (a pro), a full-size regulation court (a pro or con, depending on what kind of shape you are in), and muchimproved upkeep of the surface of their floor (a big complaint recently at GHRC). On championship night, I could only detect two cons, which will be addressed later. Because the summer league was abbreviated and only offered teams five games, SD Hoops scheduled a fifth-place game at 6:30 p.m., one which was won by Flicks in a 51-32 triumph over Doghouse. At the conclusion of that game, Baja Betty’s and Hillcrest Brewing Company

battled in the third-place game. This was a tight game throughout, and Betty’s held a 64-61 lead with just a few seconds remaining. Betty’s inexplicably fouled Raudel Artega as he heaved a 3-pointer in an attempt to tie the game at the buzzer, but when the first of his three free throws bounced out, Betty’s had itself a close victor y. The main event featured topseeded Pecs against No. 2 Urban MO’s, in a rematch from three weeks earlier when Pecs edged MO’s 50-49. On paper, Pecs boasted — by far — the most talent in the league, with three former league MVPs on its roster. But the games aren’t played on paper, and MO’s had an All-Star roster itself, highlighted by uberathletic Joe Taormino, physical force Chris “Thor” Schoch, and a perennial All-Star sharpshooter in Ingram. Title games have become part of Pecs’ coach John Crockett’s legacy, as he had won three of the league’s previous four titles despite being at the helm of different rosters; SD Hoops is a draft league, so players do not remain on the same team ever y season. The title game was played at the beginning of a heat wave, so the Boys & Girls Club gym was roasting. The two teams spent the first four minutes feeling the pressure of the game, as many shots were fired but few fell in, with MO’s taking a 4-2 lead at the 14:22 mark of the first half. AC Carter (Pecs) hit an off-balance baseline jumper, which was quickly followed by an MVP-type play by Patrick Schoettler, who stole the inbounds pass and laid it back up and in to give Pecs a 6-4 lead. Each team applied significant defensive pressure, with Schoettler, Ingram, Taormino, and Johnny Stultz (Pecs) trading

Joe Taormino brings the ball up court as LaQuann Brown defends (Photo by Jeff Praught) steals. MO’s passing early on was a notch better than Pecs’, and after a great no-look pass from Taormino and another nice bounce pass from Ingram produced a couple of layups, MO’s jumped out to a 15-10 lead with 8:10 remaining. Carter, as he is known to do, took note of the deficit and began to attack the basket himself. This is a good strategy when the shots are failing, because he can outscore anyone. But when they are not dropping — and they weren’t in the first half — his teammates are often left as frustrated obser vers. Carter did hit a couple of free throws late in the half, as he and his teammates rallied to take a 20-19 lead into halftime. Max Winsauer hit the first big shot of the second half: a 3-pointer at the 17-minute mark that gave MO’s the lead back at 25-24. Pecs responded with consecutive baskets before Rob Harjani banked in an awkward 3 from the left side, making it 30-28 MO’s with just over 11 minutes remaining. Then, one of the gym’s few

flaws reared its ugly head: the scoreboard stopped working. It actually malfunctioned twice, but when players vying for a championship cannot see a running clock or the score of the game, it can throw off their mental game, regardless of how many times the scorers yelled out that information as they tracked it on their phones. As play continued without the board, a significant absence was noticed. Schoch had not been in the game for quite some time, leaving the game with an apparent leg injur y in what was a huge loss for MO’s. As talented as Pecs is, none of their players could match the physicality that Schoch (aka Thor) brings on the boards. When a big man attacks the MVP guards and for wards, it forces those players to exert energy playing defense. Without Thor, MO’s attack became limited. James Vidovich converted a three-point play for Pecs, and Schoettler followed with a jumper to make it 39-32 Pecs with 5:06 remaining, at which point, the scoreboard was finally

powered back up. Ingram nailed a 3-pointer to close within 39-35, but Pecs would go on to score the final eight points of the game, claiming a 47-35 victor y and giving Crockett yet another trophy for his coaching mantle. SD Hoops goes on a short break, with Open Gym sessions beginning Wednesday, Sept. 16. Players are asked to bring $5 to help offset the cost of the gym, and to have dark- and light-colored shirts to wear. Players of all skill level are welcome to participate. Registration for the 2015-2016 Fall Season has been opened online at New players are required to attend one of the two coaches reviews (Oct. 14 and 21). The season will begin Oct. 28. Player fees are $95 per person if paid before Oct. 7. —Jef f Praught is actively involved in the LGBT sports community, having participated in softball, basketball, football and pool as a player, and serving on several boards in recent years. He can be reached at dugoutchatter@














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BOARD can do. We have a top notch board, staff and volunteer team; but the magnitude and duration of that rain was an immense surprise and a blessing ... almost Godly! While our entertainment lineup (mostly) remained the same and we were pushed to the limits as an organization, the most memorable and irreplaceable part of San Diego Pride 2015 was the rain, and no amount of money could have paid for that. transgender communities locally, nationally and globally. The board avoids involvement in operational activities to reduce temptation to micromanage our very capable staff and volunteers, and to help maintain objectivity when overseeing the effectiveness of the organization’s programs. The all-volunteer board of directors meets up to four times per month to set policy, review financial statements, or perform other business on behalf of the organization. However, meeting times and frequency is on a downward trend as the board continues to become more

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San Diego Pride Board gather in front of Pride offices (Courtesy SD Pride) We were highlighted in the national press such as the Los Angeles Times and the Huffington Post, through insightful articles around transgender rights and the confluence of our event with efforts within the Department of Defense to welcome transgender service members. Nearly all local and national news media mentioned the rain being the most memorable part of Pride. Our community members and allies standing tall and wet, smiling and waving, and joining us later for the celebration, was an amazing feeling. Our San Diego LGBT Pride is decidedly unique; we are one of the largest in the nation. We, as the whole, receive little grant support from the city or county — yet have a $1 million plus budget. We were proud recipients of tourism marketing funds this year, and are pursuing partnership with our local officials in order to not only change this dynamic, but also be more effective civil actors as an organization. We pay for city services — something we are proud of, and it shows our commitment to not leave our city in the lurch for our event. Additionally, we are in an area where we have a dearth of entertainment venues and options, making our entertainment selection process ... interesting. As a board, we have made a commitment to ensure a blend of entertainment that highlights local and LGBT entertainers, alongside those we know can draw a crowd, and to be global in our approach to our mission and vision. The board of directors is the governing body of San Diego LGBT Pride, but it may come as a surprise to many in the community that the board doesn’t select the entertainment for the festival or decide in what order the parade contingents march down University Avenue. The board’s role is to set the longterm vision for the organization, create and monitor the progress of the strategic plan, set organizational policy, and to provide the necessary oversight to ensure that the organization’s resources are allocated responsibly in the advancement of our mission to foster pride in and respect for all lesbian, gay, bisexual and

efficient and the backlog of work is whittled down. The San Diego LGBT Pride board of directors consists of: Our officers: Co-chairs: Primary duties include setting the meeting agendas, running efficient board meetings, keeping the board focused on the task at hand so that the organization continues to make progress towards its strategic objectives. Secretar y: Primary duties include generating meeting minutes, maintaining our process and by-law documentation, and generally ensuring transparency to the process of Pride. Treasurer: Primary duties include chairing the finance committee and maintaining stewardship over all financial affairs of SD Pride. Our committees: Board and Diversity Development: Responsible for recruiting board candidates and ongoing training opportunities. Some of the training topics over the past year have been: financial statement over view, transgender relations and good financial asset stewardship. Policy, Compliance and Strategic Planning: Defines and maintains the by-laws, processes and policies of SD Pride, and provides recommendations to the general board for grant recipients. Finance: Reviews the SD Pride financial statements, i.e., balance sheets, profit and loss statements, and strategic investments. Our General Board members: Participate in all monthly board meetings and the committees of their choice, based on experience and areas of personal interest. Our Emeriti: These are previous board members with a minimum of nine years of service. They serve as consultants to the board and not only provide their years of experience, but a link to all the hard work and dedication that has brought us to where we are today. It’s always important to know where you’re going, but it is equally important to know where you’ve been. We are forever grateful to our emeriti for never letting us forget. Our current board members are as diverse as our mission

see Board, pg 15


BOARD and vision. Our members come from the fields of accounting, real estate, engineering, IT, human resources, non-profits, health care as well as a few “living legends,” having continuously served the San Diego LGBT community since the 1970s. Our board members serve for many reasons, but one reason we all share is to be part of an organization that provides an avenue for those who are not out, feel shame about their identity, feel alone, and/or can’t really be who they are. SD Pride 2015 had events and a fabulous weekend to help those who are isolated to feel that

we are a dynamic, proud, vital community. It gives many people permission, support and courage to be who they really are. For these reasons, serving on the board of SD Pride is an incredible, meaningful and purposeful experience. While our movement will always have “a long way to go” as long as any form of discrimination exists, our San Diego LGBT Pride board can be credited with being diverse, forward thinking, and thoughtful about the future of our organization and our movement. Important reminders: • We are always on the lookout for potential board members. If you have an interest in serving on an executive body, being an advocate for the LGBT community, and growing your own personal skill sets in the process, feel free

to attend a general board meeting, contact a current member, or submit an application. Applications are available on the San Diego Pride website. • Our general board meetings are held every third Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Pride office, located at 3620 30th St., in North Park. • On Sept. 14, San Diego LGBT Pride we will have a Town Hall meeting at the San Diego LGBT Community Center, located at 3303 Centre St. in Hillcrest. The purpose of this town hall is to brief the community on our most recent Pride celebration and to gather feedback from the community about every aspect of the event. The town hall starts promptly at 6 p.m. For more information visit

GAY SAN DIEGO Sept. 4 – 17, 2015 FROM PAGE 7

POUNDSTONE taxes. I don’t care which shows they scam. “I remember them somewhat fondly, honestly,” she continued. “It’s good to know that someone who could do anything, chose to come do that — where money was no option, or perhaps it was — you know what they say about boats, it’s a hole in the ocean that you pour money into.” In addition to being a regular on NPR’s “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me,” and traveling, Poundstone makes great use of social media and often “live tweets” special events, such as the Oscars. Her website is also one of the most interactive in the business, but face-to-face stand up in


front of a live audience is her bread and butter. “My rule for many years was that I’d do three nights a week once a month and the rest had to be two nights a week and that rule got broken far too often,” she said. Now that three of her four children are grown, and her youngest is away at school in Virginia, she tours a great deal. “I gotta pay for that school in Virginia,” she said. “But honestly, I’m well aware I have the easiest, luckiest job in the entire world.” Paula Poundstone plays Humphreys by the Bay, located at 2241 Shelter Island Drive, in Point Loma, Friday, Sept. 11. For tickets or more information, visit —Contact Morgan M. Hurley at t

see Briefs, pg 15



GAY SAN DIEGO Sept. 4 – 17, 2015

(l to r) Shaun Travers, Nicole Murray Ramirez, Dion Brown

(l to r) Geri Rochino, Hal Sparks, Amy Rochino

Hal Sparks (All photos by Big Mike unless otherwise specified) (l to r) Don Wolf, Larry Potter, unk, Eric Lovett

The San Diego Human Dignity Foundation’s Annual Reunion Party Aug. 8, 2015 Lawn of the Sheraton Harbor Island Entertainment: Hal Sparks (“Queer as Folk,” “Lab Rats”) Imperial Court de San Diego

Imperial Court Empress Toni Saunders

(l to r) Drew Jack (SDHDF), Oliver Welty, Todd Bell

Imperial Court drag artist

(l to r) Hal Sparks, Joselyn Harris (SDHDF); Jerry Strayve (SDHDF) (l to r) Morgan M. Hurley (Gay SD); Ken Williams (Uptown News); Ben Cartwright (The Center); Mario Ortega, James Herder (Photo by Pro Motion)

Jeffrey Dunlap and Layne Rackley

Gary Wayne and Bill Kelly


Ian Morton (SDHDF) and Luis Hall

(l to r) Tom Harpole, Rebekah Hook, Chris Ward



(l to r) Robert Bettinger, Janelle Hickey (SDHDF); Bill Kelly

Chula Vista

Las Vegas, NV

Gay Days Vegas


• • Sept. 12 • • Sept. 10 – 14

(l to r) Sister Bianca Tempt, Barbarella Fokos, David Fokos

• • Sept. 18 – 19 • • Oct. 10

Palm Springs • • Nov. 7 – 8

Gay san diego 09 04 15  


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