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Volume 8 Issue 19 Sept. 15 – 28, 2017

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A Gacy-inspired performance

Confessions of a ‘plantaholic’


Jim Bishop is proud of the garden he and his life partner Scott Borden have built at their Mission Hills home. (Courtesy of Jim Bishop)

Mission Hills gay couple builds a ‘sense of place’ with their garden Rejects frontman embraces LGBT

Ken Williams | Contributing Editor Jim Bishop calls himself a “plantaholic.” His friends will toast him — maybe even teasingly roast him — for that. Over the past six years, Bishop has served as president of the San Diego Horticultural Society. He stepped down from that leadership position last month, following his talk about “My Life with Plants: Confessions of a Plantaholic” at the society’s August meeting. The new president, who also


happens to be gay, is North County resident, Frank Mitzel. The society’s mission is, “To inspire and educate the people of San Diego County to grow and enjoy plants, and to create beautiful, environmentally responsible gardens and landscapes.” Bishop and his life partner, Scott Borden, have lived in Mission Hills for almost 20 years. Their garden is such a thing of beauty, that it has been featured in local and national publications.

Those interested in how Bishop and Borden created their wonderful garden from scratch starting in 2003, can find details in a dozen of his “My Life With Plants” columns on the society’s online newsletter, “Let’s Talk Plants!” found at Here are five questions with Jim Bishop:

1. Last month marked your final meeting as president of the San Diego Horticultural Society (SDHS). How has the

society evolved under your leadership, and what do you consider your legacy to be?

Indeed, [just finished] up my sixth year as president of the San Diego Horticultural Society. As I step down, I’m pleased that we have 1,100 members from all over San Diego County, and the organization is in good standing. I know that with the dedication of incoming president Frank Mitzel, our board

see Plantaholic pg 9

Welk Theatre takes a risk


When we RISE


Local activist helps affect large-scale change despite challenging times By Joyell Nevins

‘Staches, burgers and ales

Index Opinion


News Briefs






Contact us Editorial/Letters 619-961-1960

Advertising 619-961-1958 San Diego Community News Network

The reality of ‘neighborhoods first’

The year RISE was foundRelationships. Impact. ed, 2014, was marked by the Sustainability. Excellence. campaigns for the special mayThese are core pillars of oral election between Kevin the RISE San Diego nonprofit, Faulconer and David Alvarez, founded three years ago by and the shooting and protests professionals, politicians and in Ferguson, Missouri. community activists Dwayne One of the underlying tenCrenshaw and Tony Young. “We’re an odd couple of sorts,” sions in the city of Ferguson was the disconnect between Crenshaw said, laughing. “He’s the color of its leadership and an outside table at Starbucks Dwayne Crenshaw, CEO and cothe color of its population: The and I’m an inside table.” percentages didn’t match at all. founder of RISE, speaks at June’s Crenshaw, who is RISE’s Equality March. Also shown is In San Diego, those perCEO, served as executive Councilmember Georgette Gomez centages didn’t match either; director for San Diego Pride (Courtesy San Diego Pride) while people of color make up from 2011 to 2013. He also about 54 percent of the popuran for San Diego’s District 4 lation, they only account for 23 City Council seat in 2013. His percentage problem. Since both percent of the city’s leadership, distinguished resume of public men grew up in southeastern according to Crenshaw. service and government also urban San Diego, In the 2014 mayoral election includes directorships at the they wondered whether campaign, “neighborhoods first” “neighborhoods first” could be Coalition of Neighborhood Councils and the Jacobs Center was a recurring theme: buildmore than just a platitude. ing leadership and change from for Neighborhood Innovation. “We were both concerned the ground up in communities. Young has served as CEO at with, ‘How real was that?’” In their unofficial Starbucks the Imperial Beach/San Diego Crenshaw explained. “We “office” — the real RISE office chapter of American Red Cross, started talking about how to go now sits on Euclid Avenue in president of the San Diego City from lip service to reality.” Lincoln Park — Crenshaw Council, and held a myriad of edsee RISE pg 11 ucational and governmental roles. and Young sat discussing the

Hillcrest gets aggressive Catching up on HBA’s initiatives to keep the neighborhood ‘clean and safe’ Morgan M. Hurley | Editor With the news of Downtown San Diego’s sudden and recent outbreak of Hepatitis A — which has infected 400 people, killing 14, mostly in the homeless community — Gay San Diego decided to catch up with the Hillcrest Business Association (HBA), and find out how our neighborhood can rise above the dire situation facing Downtown residents. It’s widely known that Hillcrest residents and business owners have noticed an uptick in vagrancy in recent years and on numerous occasions some people have experienced aggressive behavior. It is a common topic of conversation among

see Hillcrest pg 19


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For more information or appointment requests, visit: or call: (619) 255-7743.

This material has been reviewed by an authorized local review panel. Funded by the County of San Diego, Health and Human Services Agency.


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The strange case of Glen Meadmore Former RuPaul collaborator to bring his country punk rock to San Diego was like, ‘no, I’ve got my limits.’ of Meadmore being raped by an I won’t go on cheesy national alien to the album art for “Hot, Guitarist/vocalist Glen TV and have people make fun Horny & Born Again.” Meadmore — a staple of the of me,” Meadmore said. “I don’t “Mark was doing the muLos Angeles punk/avant-garde mind being a joke on stage, but sic for this play I was in,” scene of the 1980s and 1990s it’s within my control. He didn’t Meadmore said. “I was looking and an early collaborator of care. He just wanted the exfor a drummer and he said, drag megastar RuPaul —will posure. That’s what separated ‘Why don’t you use our drumbring his act back to San Diego him from me. He was willing to mer?’ … He came out and we for a performance at the Tower do anything to become famous. clicked, and he’s been with me Bar in City Heights Sept. 22. I was not. I wanted to do it my ever since. I have to give credit to Dean and Dave for sticking Long before the native San own way.” with me all these years of no reDiegan built his media empire, Meadmore did just that — if wards … for being loyal friends.” RuPaul performed backing not achieving the same level Meadmore last performed vocals for Meadmore onstage of fame, certainly equal or of in San Diego at the Casbah, in Atlanta, New York and Los greater infamy — in full-on with the Geraldine Fibbers Angeles, and on Meadmore’s drag as guitarist for the punk and the Muffs. He is currently mid-’80s country-techno LP, band Pedro, Muriel & Esther gearing up to play Germany in “Squaw Bread.” (or PME, fronted by perforNovember. Though stardom on Meadmore and RuPaul first mance artist and colleague the level of RuPaul may have met at the Four-Star Saloon Vaginal Davis and including eluded Meadmore, he said he’s in West Hollywood, where Meadmore’s current, longtime happy with his modest but loyMeadmore had a regular bassist Dean Opseth). al fan-base, and excited to still Thursday night show at club After PME’s first EP, be performing. Limbo Lounge, performing his Meadmore decided to form “I opened for Jane’s Addiction version of “(Theme from) Valley his own country-punk band, and I got extremely booed, like of the Dolls,” as well as songs releasing three CDs, “Boned,” it was raining objects on me,” he from his first CD, “Chicken “Hot, Horny and Born Again,” recalled. “But at the same time, & Biscuits” (which led Dead and “Cowboy Songs for Little there was a group that was Kennedys’ frontman Jello Hustlers.” cheering me loudly. I thought, Biafra to pen a fan letter to Three of his songs are ‘That’s great. At least I got a Meadmore’s record label). featured in the 1996 Bruce reaction.’ … In one of our shows “RuPaul stayed with me for LaBruce film “Hustler White,” in Turin, Italy, there was no aua while in Hollywood and did in which Meadmore was also dience except for a lone dog. some vocals on [the song] ‘No cast. “Imagine,” Meadmore mused. Money No Honey,’” Meadmore His current band also “Who plays to a dog? I do.” recalled. “Ru was very shy, very includes powerhouse Dave After hearing about an exquiet, very introspective and Kendrick, a former drummer always talked about being fafor Sparks and Devo. Meadmore hibition of paintings by serial killer John Wayne Gacy at mous — more than anything. met Kendrick through Devo “He wanted me to go on ‘The co-founder Mark Mothersbaugh, Amok Books in Silver Lake, Meadmore was intrigued and Gong Show’ with him and I who contributed an illustration commissioned Gacy to do four portraits of himself — one which became the cover of “Hot, Horny and Born Again,” produced by composer and filmmaker Jack Curtis Dubowski. Meadmore’s Gacy commission evolved into a correspondence that lasted from 1988-93, the year before Gacy’s execution. “I thought, ‘I wouldn’t mind having a painting of myself done by a serial killer, just to see what their impression would be,’” he said. “I thought it would be an interesting slant on art … just from the perspective of somebody with a deranged mind. I was into deranged minds.” Meadmore said he felt the correspondence might help channel “a sense of dementedness and darkness” that he could incorporate into his performances. “I wanted be scary in some way,” he said. “I didn’t want to be like a safe performer.” Meadmore’s performances included opening for Donny Osmond at one of notorious club kid (and later convicted killer) Michael Alig’s parties, in a Swiss Miss outfit. A Santa Barbara show led to an obscenity trial, for which Meadmore was later exonerated. “That was me neglecting to wear anything underneath my costume,” he said. Another performance, which included the insertion of chicken heads into Meadmore’s posterior, got him 86ed from LA’s Anti-Club — no easy feat. “I didn’t put the beak in,” he noted. “I had more sense than that.” RuPaul (left) and Meadmore (far right) backstage during one of their Though Meadmore has since performances in the 1980s (Courtesy Glen Meadmore) put aside drag and flamboyant By Pat Sherman

Glen Meadmore performs during last year’s LGBT Pride festival in Palm Springs. (Photo by Pat Sherman) costumes for a 10-gallon hat, his music is as wild and unhinged as ever. “I can’t say that I was the wildest performer, but I like to think I contributed something to the danger of rock ‘n’ roll,” he said. Glen Meadmore and his Kuntry Band will perform Friday, Sept. 22, at 9 p.m. (with

the Dum Cumpsters and New Swear), at The Tower Bar, located at 4757 University Ave. in City Heights. For more information, visit —Pat Sherman is a local freelance writer and editor and a former editor of Gay San Diego. He can be reached at▼

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“Fostering an inclusive workplace enables our employees to share their unique identities and perspectives, which in turn increases employee engagement, The attachments summarize morale and productivity. As one the overall strategic plan; detail of the region’s largest employers, the county’s enterprise-wide we uphold the highest staninitiatives; explain the role of the dards of equal opportunity and executive diversity and inclusion council and their champions; offer non-discriminatory practices in all county activities [and] would a communications plan; itemize like to serve as a role model a list of common questions; and in the nation for our ability to provide additional research and recruit and retain a diverse resources. workforce that feels valued and While the entire plan cannot fully engaged in our vision of a be covered properly in this space, community that is healthy, safe I will offer excerpts to help sumand thriving.” marize its points. To fully appreciate this six“At the County of San Diego, year plan, one need only to read diversity and inclusion is a how it defines diversity and inclujourney, not a program,” stated sion on Page 4. Helen Robbins Meyer, chief ad“Diversity is the range of huministrative officer of the County man differences — recognizing of San Diego, in the document’s that each person has layers of opening pages. “On this journey diversity, which together make we have had many accomplishhis or her perspective unique and ments, which are highlighted on essential to the success of the pages 8-13 of this plan. We also organization. Human differences recognize there is more work to include but are not limited to perbe done.” sonality, age, life experience, race/ Robbins Meyer is described ethnicity, sociology-economic class, by the county’s website as “the gender, sexual orientation, nationcounty’s highest ranking execual origin, ability and religion. tive, [who] manages a workforce “Inclusion is actively and intenof more than 15,000 employees tionally valuing multiple layers of and an annual budget of $5 bilhuman differences and viewing lion [and] implements policies set such differences as strengths. by the Board of Supervisors and Inclusion is the degree to which oversees a wide-reaching operaemployees and customers of all tion that consists of more than 40 identities — whether visible or departments.” not — are able to be authentic In a message shared by and feel safe and respected.” Robbins Meyer, she hit the nail The plan’s purpose, as stated on the proverbial head. “Our diverse workforce is our greatat the bottom of Page 3 and top of est asset … we strive to attract Page 4, is clear. the best and brightest employ“The County is proud to serve ees who are a reflection of the our diverse customers who are diversity of our region,” she said. from a range of cultural groups

A plan for diversity and inclusion Senior Matters William E. Kelly According to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC)’s Municipal Equality Index: “As of January 28, 2017, at least 225 cities and counties prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of gender identity in employment ordinances that governed all public and private employers in those jurisdictions. This list does not include those cities and counties that prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity for city and county employees — such policies do not affect private employers in those jurisdictions.” The only California cities listed that fully “prohibit” such discrimination (receiving a score of 100) are Cathedral City, Los Angeles, Oakland, Palm Springs, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco and West Hollywood. Areas scored on the index include non-discrimination laws; municipality as an employer;

municipal services; law enforcement; and relationship with the LGBTQ community. While San Diego topped out at 100, Chula Vista received a score of 55; Escondido received a score of 60; and Oceanside received a 99. Santa Cruz County is the only California county named by HRC as one that prohibits diversity based on gender, but San Diego County’s own plan is significant. The County of San Diego’s “Strategic Plan for Diversity and Inclusion 2015-2020: Diversity and Inclusion for a World-Class Organization,” is a 16-page document, that includes an additional 14 pages of attachments. The document covers the strategic plan’s framework, with its mission, definition, purpose and desired outcomes; it explains why diversity and inclusion matter, defining its alignment and the future and current residents it serves; lists the county’s accomplishments to date, regarding customer service, detailing its promotion of equity, workforce diversity and an inclusive workplace culture; and it offers methods regarding how to practice inclusion.

NO EXCUSES, NO APOLOGIES, JUST PRIVATE TRAINING WITH RESULTS. and identities. We’re also committed to attracting, retaining and maintaining a workforce that reflects this regional diversity. Inclusion is a fundamental approach to reap the benefits of diversity. Ensuring that our employees and customers are able to be authentic, and feel valued and respected, is paramount to building a culture of inclusion. “Implementing this Strategic Plan strengthens diversity and inclusion efforts and further integrates these values into County” operations. As a result of a comprehensive review of best D&I practices in corporate, government and university organizations, the D&I Task Force identified eight dimensions of successful D&I plans: Customer Service & Community Relations; Leadership Responsibility; Workplace Culture and Retention; Continuous Education & Skill Development; Recruitment, Hiring & Talent Development; Infrastructure & Implementation; Supplier Diversity; and Performance Metrics. Goals have been identified for each of these eight elements and support four desired outcomes.” For those who wish to delve deeper into the 30-page plan, I encourage you to visit bit. ly/2xgiLrg. —Bill Kelly is a longtime local activist who currently focuses on LGBT senior issues and moderates the Caring for our LGBT Seniors in San Diego Facebook page. Access to the group is free to all seniors, their advocates, families, friends and caregivers. Reach Bill at▼


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Whose life are you living? Life Beyond Therapy Michael Kimmel The longer I work as a psychotherapist, the more amazed I am at how we all — myself included — keep doing things that make us unhappy. Call it a pattern or a habit, whatever you wish; we keep repeating behaviors and thoughts that we don’t want to repeat, but feel powerless to change. Why do we do this? Why can’t we easily break free and change our lives by doing new things, thinking new thoughts and behaving in new ways? We can’t do it easily because it isn’t our conscious mind running the show, it’s our unconscious mind that’s usually in charge — operating just below the surface of our awareness — telling us what to do, when to do it and to whom. Ever wondered why it’s so hard to break an old, obviously unproductive habit? You tell yourself, “This doesn’t work anymore, let’s change it.” Sounds good, right? If only it were that easy. The conscious mind knows what would be better, healthier, happier … but the unconscious mind keeps us stuck in the past. I often ask my clients to imagine themselves with one foot firmly anchored in the present and the other stuck in the mud and muck of the past. They’re trying to pull the stuck foot free, so it can join the other foot in the present, but that mud and muck is very strong … it feels impossible to free that foot. Most of our unconscious comes from our early childhood. If you want to free that foot stuck in the muck of the past, getting clarity about your childhood is essential. This isn’t about blaming mommy and daddy or reveling in victimhood. Quite the contrary, this is about taking responsibility for yourself as a mature adult and unraveling some of the chaos and confusion — in your past — that is still (unconsciously) running and ruining your life. Where did we learn our first lessons about who we are, who other people are, what love is, and if we could trust people (or not)?

Our family. The explicit and implicit messages of our family are some of the most powerful determinants in our adult lives; they constitute the primary messages that we have deeply internalized. They’re hard to change because they’ve been programmed into our (unconscious) brains by daily repetition during the years when we were the more vulnerable, malleable, dependent and impressionable. These childhood years are also the times when we were the least capable of rational analysis: A 6-year-old child, told he is ugly and stupid, doesn’t have the analytical skills to think, “That cannot be true. My mother must be saying this because she is unfulfilled professionally and my father must agree with her because he has unresolved issues with his own mother.” Nope. No way. Doesn’t happen. Can’t happen. What does happen is that little 6-year-old me hears my parents and says, “Yep, I must be ugly and stupid. They’re the grown-ups. They know that’s true and what isn’t.” And I keep playing this out my whole life, unconsciously of course, until I begin to take a good look at this (up-until-now) unconscious pattern and examine its origins. When we begin to reflect on the patterns that our history reveals, we learn that our unconscious has pretty much been running most of our life. At this point, you might rightful ask: “Whose life is it anyway? Is it mine (adult me) or is the unresolved (childhood me) life that I was programmed to believe?” When we are living out the unconscious life of our family, we typically repeat the family patterns or find some way to compensate for them, like through addictions, overwork or immersion into the pop culture work of distractions. And we wonder why we feel depressed and anxious. The good news is that even if mommy and daddy really messed you up, you are the one who is continuing to play out these old patterns, going mindlessly through your life, wondering why you keep doing things that make you unhappy. I invite you to begin the

hard — but fruitful — path toward freedom. Internal freedom. Emotional freedom. It’s your life, not theirs. Start asking some tough questions and begin to take it back. Start now. After all, whose life are you living? —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 619-9553311 or visit lifebeyondtherapy. com.▼

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GAY SAN DIEGO Sept. 15 – 28, 2017


her dog and we assembled the selectees to attention and had them sing “Anchors Aweigh” to her at the top of their lungs. Coming from a Navy family herself, Atkins beamed. I spent a great deal of time with a number of the selectees that day, asking them questions about their careers, offering them tidbits of wisdom from my I recently did a cover story on own experiences, making sure Walker and her business partthey showed the proper respect ner, “The South Park blueberry to the genuine Chiefs who argirls,” Vol. 8, Issue 17, or online rived throughout the day, and at]. signing their “charge books.” Since the new selectees will Selectees are required to carry soon be part of the “Chief Petty their individual charge books the Officer Mess,” they are required entire six weeks, never letting to do lots of fundraising during them out of their sight. Only gentheir six-week tenure, so they uine CPOs are allowed to sign join their local mess (a social them, otherwise there are “conclub of sorts, within the rank) sequences” (these repercussions with a financial contribution un- were much greater 20 years ago). der their belt. One aspect of the I made Chief in 1995, back training, aside from further dewhen the Navy was still putting veloping their military skills, is “selectees” through initiation, a to ensure the selectees are more process deemed as hazing comaware of their local community pared to today’s standards, and and volunteer opportunities; as was eventually done away with. a result, they “train” in various Women were still often viewed off-base locations. as less capable than their male Walker’s business, a dog peers then, and the fallout from wash with a retail store, offered the Tailhook scandal of 1991, the perfect location for this while a major motivator for polgroup of selectees to not only icy change regarding the treatraise money but volunteer their ment of women, had only stirred the pot. It was also just a couple time and receive training from years after the “don’t ask, don’t the many retired “genuine” tell” policy had been put in place. CPOs who converged on the While it was still against scene that day. It was a fun day. the rules to be openly gay, I did One of my favorite moments push the envelope by including was when Sen. Toni G. Atkins something very telling. While randomly dropped by with

Hail to the Chief

Local Navy CPO selectees move gayly forward in their careers By Morgan M. Hurley On Sept. 15, 2017, nearly 2,000 Navy servicemembers recently selected to Chief Petty Officer (CPO) will get “pinned” at bases around the world — a reference to an anchor collar device affixed to their uniform and designated them as having advanced. That moment is the culmination of nearly six weeks of training each have experienced, a method the Navy uses to prepare them for the weight their new duties will hold. While the E-7 rank is the same, becoming a Chief in the U.S. Navy is different than advancing to that level in any other military service, except the Coast Guard. As a former CPO, I had the honor to participate in this year’s training process. On Aug. 26, 13 selectees from Commander, Littoral Combat Ship Squadron One (COMLCSRON ONE) were detailed to South Bark Dog Wash for the day. That may sound odd, but one of the owners, Donna Walker, is a retired CPO. [Note: EDITOR Morgan M. Hurley (619) 961-1960 CONTRIBUTING EDITORS (619) 519-7775 Ken Williams, x102 Jeff Clemetson, x119 CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Chris Azzopardi Kit-Bacon Gessitt William E. Kelly Michael Kimmel Jean Lowerison Joyell Nevins Courtney Ray Frank Sabatini Jr. Pat Sherman WEB AND SOCIAL MEDIA Sara Butler, x120

COPY EDITOR Dustin Lothspeich SALES & MARKETING DIRECTOR Mike Rosensteel (619) 961-1958 ADVERTISING CONSULTANTS (619) 519-7775 Andrew Bagley, x106 Annie Burchard, x 105 Michele Camarda, x116 Heather Fine, x107 Sloan Gomez, x104 Brenda Vergara, x110 INTERNS Alex Ehrie Czarina Greaney Erik Guerrero Angel Rodriguez SENIOR INTERN Jennifer Gottschalk

ACCOUNTING Priscilla Umel-Martinez (619) 961-1962 WEB DESIGN Kim Espinoza

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

The participants of CPO Pride Day on Sept. 8 stand in ranks aboard the USS Midway Museum. (Photo by Bird's Eye Aerial Drones, LLC)

all charge books basically start out the same, selectees are instructed to personalize them with items that would describe “who we are.” I went to a craft store and found a small newspaper to identify my newspaper editor father; an artist’s pallet to identify my mother; and a sticker of cartoon character Ziggy, and one of a small but distinct rainbow, to identify myself. It was indeed a risk, but no one ever said a thing. I had an inkling that one of the selectees I sat down with at South Bark was a lesbian and I struggled for a few minutes with how to bridge that gap; in the old days we’d just quickly drop the phrase “Are you family?” and if they didn’t catch on immediately, we’d just keep talking, never skipping a beat. Suddenly I realized that I didn’t have to worry about how I would connect with her

on that level, because it did not matter any more. “Don’t ask, don’t tell” had long been repealed, but since I retired in 2003, it was still new to me. She was probably very much out; and she was. We eventually came to that understanding naturally, as we began to talk about our careers. I shared that three investigations into my alleged sexuality caused me to leave active duty after seven years. When I signed her charge book, I “charged” her to attend the LGBT Veterans Wall of Honor induction at the San Diego LGBT Community Center on Nov. 9. I hope to see her there. Two weeks after that training session, I got to participate in another fun day, CPO Pride Day aboard the USS Midway Museum. A large number of the region’s selectees participated, which consisted of a formal program on the deck of the retired aircraft carrier and competitions between the selectee groups at nearby Ruocco Park. Again, I was elated to see how many of my fellow genuine CPOs — and selectees — were openly gay. I was sure I saw some transgender CPOs, too. I also saw female servicemembers with tattooed sleeves for the first time. Sure I had several tattoos, as did many women I served with, but they were always hidden, just like our secrets. Visible tattoos on male sailors was the norm for centuries until someone in charge a couple decades ago decided they were not consistent with military service. In 2016, however, the Navy reversed that restriction, and now allows sleeves on both men and women. It was awesome to see all these sailors be such a visual cross section of self-expression and authenticity. I was truly inspired by CPO Pride Day. It was one big happy family; men, women, transgender sailors, whites, blacks, Latinos, Filipinos, Asians, openly gay and straight … it was a joy to see. This told me that new CPOs being pinned today are joining a truly integrated mess and these Chiefs will be more open to the reality and expressions of their peers and subordinates than any of those before them. Congratulations, one and all. —Morgan M. Hurley is the editor of Gay San Diego. Reach her at▼

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Guest Editorial

Suicide Prevention Month: Memories of San Diego’s own Kurt and Courtney By Courtney Ray September …. always a mixed bag of emotions for people — the end of summer, a new school year, football is back, and it’s fall, with the limited season we have of it here in San Diego. September is also Suicide Prevention Month. For me, it is now the month before Kurt Cunningham took his life by suicide. Unfortunately, I am no stranger to suicide, whether accidental or with purpose; it has touched me too often in my life. Each time as shattering as the last. For those who did not know Kurt, he was a member of our community dating back at least 20 years. He was many different things in the years that I knew him: a devoted son; a volunteer; an activist; an esthetician; a mental health counselor; his alter ego, “Summer Meadows,” was an Empress in the Imperial Court system; and yes, he could also be a royal pain in the ass! For me, he was like a brother, and I affectionately called him “Sissy.” In the early years, I knew that both Kurt and Summer did their fair share of substances, which weren’t exactly the best of choices. Since I worked at a nightclub that really had to tow a hard line with regard to illegal substances, I kind of steered clear of that behavior, and those who indulged in them. And to be honest, at that time, I had enough drug worry in my own inner circle, I could

Cunningham on a good day (Courtesy Courtney Ray)

not take on the worry of Kurt’s choices. By around 2006, we started to become super close. He would often come visit me at my restaurant job and meet his various friends for lunch or happy hour. Sometimes he would bring his beloved mother, Lisa, in for lunch when she came down from North County. You did not have to look far to see how much he loved his mother, she was his world. We would often sit and giggle and spill the tea about so many things; he loved a good shade session. I am so grateful for those memories and for the people who Kurt introduced me to, some really fine people. For me, I can pinpoint the day when Kurt changed and first started into the downward spiral. It was after an event during CityFest; Summer Meadows was supposed to make an appearance, but Kurt did not feel like it. Someone he had been spending time with


Reactions to DACA San Diego area lawmakers reacted to the Trump administration’s announcement on Sept. 5 that it would end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) but would give Congress six months to possibly do something. Here are their statements:

of Dreamers are attending school. Over the next decade, Dreamers are expected to contribute half a trillion in economic activity. The Dreamers are contributing to America in a positive way and they should be allowed to keep contributing.”

• U.S. Rep. Susan A. Davis (D-San Diego) “By ending DACA, President Trump ignores the Dreamers’ economic impact to our country. He has not only put them at risk, but our economy at risk as well. While it’s sad that Trump is siding with the worst elements of his administration, it’s not surprising given his past rhetoric on immigration. “DACA has been a rousing success. Many Dreamer kids in the workforce are earning high wages – an average of $17 per hour. Nearly half

• U.S. Rep. Scott Peters (D-San Diego) “President Trump, in a display of total and complete cowardice, has outsourced the announcement to end DACA to the Attorney General – a remarkable abdication of responsibility for the heartlessness of an action that leaves 800,000 lives in the balance. Ending DACA is unbelievably cruel and it is un-American. It will also immediately damage our economic interests.

had broken things off and Kurt was devastated. He had a bottle of Jack Daniels in his bag and continued on that bottle until it was empty. He showed up, already half intoxicated, and the day just got worse from there. Things were never the same after this day. It was a combination of many things that helped contribute to Kurt’s depression; the closing of his salon in North Park, the death of his mother, the death of two very close friends, drinking, and yes, a little more drug use. In 2012, he attempted to take his life by stockpiling medications. This was not the first time he had attempted suicide, and like the past attempts, he was unsuccessful. I know he was very unhappy that he survived, but after his initial hospitalization and recovery period, he seemed to be on the road to wellness. He was seeing his therapist on a regular basis, he was trying to find the balance with his meds, he was in a stable living environment, he landed his dream job ... he was seemingly doing all the right things. Boy, was I wrong! In October of 2015, Kurt’s final attempt to take his life was successful. He had been planning this outcome for years. In the eight-page letter that he sent to his closest friends, he stated, “A few years ago the the loneliness really started to affect me emotionally, and now that my mother is gone, the empty feeling in my heart is unbearable … The thought of continuing my life alone is too much.” In the letter, he journaled his last days and really did think this through. He did go back and forth, but ultimately his dark thoughts won. He

“Expelling hundreds of thousands of people who have known no home but the United States makes us weaker and diminishes our standing in the eyes of the world. “Failures in leadership have led us to this point. Republicans in Congress refused to even allow a vote on comprehensive immigration reform in 2013 that would have protected Dreamers, which is what led to the creation of DACA in the fi rst place. “Facing this urgent deadline, Congress must finally step up, work together, and do its job. We must move swiftly to protect Dreamers and provide them and their employers with the certainty they deserve. If Congress does not act by March 6, 2018, it is complicit in this economic and moral catastrophe.” • U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) “When President Obama unilaterally created DACA, he unlawfully overstepped his executive authority and only put

GAY SAN DIEGO Sept. 15 – 28, 2017

In memory of Kurt Cunningham and his passion for ensuring that all community members, regardless of ability to pay, have access to counseling services, the Kurt Cunningham Counseling Services Fund has been established at the San Diego LGBT Community Center. This fund provides assistance to community members seeking counseling services at The Center who may be uninsured, under-insured, or need help with payments or co-payments. For more information, visit

made sure he had enough medication this time; he did not want to survive. “I don’t want the cause of my death hidden from the community, [because] depression and mental health issues are always swept under the rug,” Kurt’s letter went on to say. “I want people to be aware and not be afraid to seek help, or discuss things with friends before it is too late for them. “I know most people aren’t really educated on mental health issues. Suicide is not selfish, please do some research so you all have an understanding of depression. To allow people to say suicide is selfish, is extremely disrespectful to that person who suffers from depression.” While this was not easy to read or hear, I knew that this was what Kurt wished.

a temporary band-aid on a problem which prolonged uncertainty for many children brought here through no fault of their own. The administration’s decision today puts the onus on Congress to address this challenge in the right way: for the long-haul, with respect for our nation’s laws, a desire to enhance the integrity of our borders, and a sense of compassion for those who were brought here in their childhood years ago and wish to stay as productive members of our communities. I’m eager to get to work on a permanent fix and call on Democrats and Republicans alike to immediately put political posturing aside and let this be a catalyst to achieve long-overdue reforms in this important area of concern.” • State Senator Toni G. Atkins (CA-39) “This administration has reached a new level of heartlessness and cruelty. Dems and GOP in Congress must come together to #defendDACA.” —via Twitter (@SenToniAtkins)


While I didn’t — and still do not — agree with his choice, I have had to accept it, and it has made my resolve even stronger to speak out about depression, mental illness and suicide. Did you know that suicide is the leading cause of deaths in San Diego? Or that our suicide rate is nearly 50 percent higher than the overall rate in all of California? Suicide can be prevented ... start with listening and educating ourselves on the signs that point to depression, anxiety or mental illness. Therapy is a must. There are many programs available for those that think it takes money to see a therapist, it does not! It is also a misconception that talking about suicide makes it more likely to occur. The fact is, talking to someone who is at risk is often the best way to prevent harm. We must all start erasing the stigma of mental illness and depression. Speak up and out, especially when you hear wrong information being dispensed. Our language is also very important. Take the word “commit” out of the sentence when describing death by suicide. Start with the smallest things and build your education from there. For me, I always knew Kurt held his own fate, but that didn’t make his choice any easier. The reality that he is gone is sometimes hard to accept, and yet, we have to keep moving forward; there is work to do. I just really miss him, now and forever. —Courtney Ray has been a member of the Hillcrest community for many years. She is a “Friend of the Community” Nicky award winner, as well as a Peacock Crown Princess in the Imperial Court. She is currently a manager at Harley Gray in Mission Hills.▼

• Assemblymember Todd Gloria (CA-78) “Ending the DACA program demonstrates yet again that President Trump wants to divide America. His decision is cold-hearted and counter to the bipartisan outcry to allow the 800,000 Dreamers to remain in the only country they’ve known. What’s more is that DACA’s repeal will hurt our economy with an average of 30,000 jobs lost every month equating to billions of dollars in lost economic output. “This decision cannot stand. It is contrary to our country’s values and it spits in the face of the diversity the United States was founded upon. I urge Congress to stand up to the President and immediately pass the DREAM Act. “In the meantime, I will continue to stand in solidarity with our DACA recipients and work with my colleagues in the California Legislature to do all we can to protect our Dreamers.” ▼



GAY SAN DIEGO Sept. 15 – 28, 2017


The third annual Taste of South Park on Saturday, Sept. 16, is a food lover’s chance to enjoy delicious bites from participating restaurants in the neighborhood. From featured dishes to popular appetizers, entrees or desserts, the Taste of South Park will give each passport holder the opportunity to walk and taste their way through South Park. Hours are noon to 4 p.m. Participating restaurants for this year’s event include: Buona Forchetta; Cafe Madeleine; Captain Kirk’s Coffee; Del Sur; Eclipse Chocolate; Grant’s Marketplace; Hamilton’s Tavern; Kindred; Mazara Trattoria; Piacere Mio; Rebecca’s; Station Tavern; Sombrero’s; South Park Brewing Co; The Big Kitchen; The Daily Scoop; and The Rose. Tickets are $35 online presale at or $40 day of event. Only 350 tickets will be sold, so act fast.


Come celebrate three decades of “preserving the pearls of our history” when Lambda Archives of San Diego celebrates its 30th anniversary, Sept. 17. Guest speaker will be Hida Viloria – queer intersex and Latinx activist, author (“Born Both: An Intersex Life”) and founder of the Intersex Campaign for Equality. Viloria is one of the most extensively published intersex writers in the field. This presentation will help those in attendance “learn about the ‘I’ in LGBTQI+.” Follow Viloria at @hidaviloria or A special presentation will honor the late Mel Merrill, a longtime board member of the Archives. The gala will be held Sept. 17 at the Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows, 2223 El Cajon Blvd., North Park. VIP reception begins at 5 p.m., dinner and program are from 6 – 9 p.m. For the event link, visit To buy tickets, visit


The San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus (SDGMC) recently announced the selection of its new principal accompanist. Kevin Cavanaugh, who has more than two decades of musical experience, joins the chorus in time to perform at SDGMC’s upcoming Chamber Chorale’s fall concert series and will also perform at the popular holiday show in December. Cavanaugh has performed at Martinis Above Fourth in Hillcrest, Turf Supper Club in Golden Hill and The Caliph in Bankers Hill. He serves as both the music director for Choral Club of San Diego and choir director for the Ramona United Methodist Church. In addition, his retro-lounge group, Blue Velvet, which he still performs with, has appeared on “America’s Got Talent.” An upcoming collection

of Cavanaugh’s original work, “Hillbilly,” features songs about growing up LGBT and will be released in October. For more information about the chorus, visit


— Moxie Theatre in Rolando has launched a lesbian outreach initiative, the “Bechdel Brigade,” with a focus on “strong work by female artists.” The program was inspired by Alison Bechdel, the legendary lesbian cartoonist of “Dykes to Watch Out For” and author of the tragicomic graphic novel “Fun Home,” which became a smash Broadway hit and won multiple Tony Awards. Bechdel coined the “BechdelWallace Test” to gauge whether works of fiction gave “fair representation” to women. Moxie has borrowed both her name and concept to help support women’s voices in theater. Initially launched in February, the Bechdel Brigade is currently gearing up for the theater’s new season and the Moxie is looking for lesbians and bisexual women to climb on board the brigade. Those involved will help advocate for more “diverse and honest images of women for our culture,” according to Moxie’s mission on their website. Special “Brigade Events” will take place throughout the season and include discounted tickets, pre-show receptions and early seating, meet and greets with the director and artists, opportunities to debate the Bechdel Test, and more. If you sign up for a Bechdel Brigade subscription package — one, two or four shows this season — you will be invited to the special performances, other social events and even receive a T-shirt, as one of the “brigadiers.” Note that the plays at Moxie may not necessarily star all women, but women will have been heavily involved in the production, whether that be writing, direction or as crew. The new Bechdel Brigade season starts Sept. 22 with “Ironbound,” followed by “The Diary of Anne Frank” Nov. 17, with two more shows in 2018. Moxie Theatre is located at 6663 El Cajon Blvd., Suite N, in Rolando. For more information, call 858-598-7620 or visit


Hillcrest’s unique marketplace, filled with the creative artwork of more than 50 artists of all styles and mediums, is celebrating its second anniversary and invites you to join the party. “Meet the Artist’s Night,” taking place Sept. 22 from 6–10 p.m., is open to the public. It gives those who love arts and crafts the opportunity to meet with dozens of artists — many from the local LGBT community — who have their wares for sale and on display, during this celebratory mixer. If you’re in the market for a unique gift for a loved one, this two-story artist haven may be the destination you’ve been

— including sexual rights and the grassroots opposition to sexual pleasure — means, speMeasure A, a large shopping cific to San Diego. and entertainment developThis year’s theme is love, inment proposed for the banks timacy and bonding. of the Agua Hedionda Lagoon, The local event, which is free, which at that time had the full includes raffle drawings, an insupport of the Carlsbad City teractive sexual health exhibit, Council. a panel discussion with comWhen the successful cammunity leaders/educators, free paign ended with a defeat of TEN YEARS OF LGBT NIGHT giveaways, costume/prop photo Measure A in the spring of AT MAGIC MOUNTAIN area, community tables with 2016, Schumacher decided to If you love thrill rides, or education and resources; and run for City Council. Despite grew up in Southern California live music from Lee Coulter. her wide support, it was a and couldn’t wait to take that Event sponsors are close race that led to an exlong ride to Six Flags Magic Empowered Products, the tended ballot count. On Nov. Mountain every summer, this makers of Pink personal lu22, 2016, it was finally anevent is for you. It’s the 10th bricants and Gun Oil. All nounced that Schumacher had anniversary of Out on the proceeds go to the San Diego defeated incumbent Lorraine Mountain, the LGBT night LGBT Community Center. Wood. Schumacher is the first at Six Flags Magic Mountain World Sexual Health Day in LGBT member of the Carlsbad theme park in Valencia, San Diego will be held Sept. City Council and the first California. 22, from 6–8:30 p.m. at the sitting Democrat in 50 years. While the park opens to the San Diego LGBT Community Schumacher married her wife public at 10:30 a.m., the private Center, located at 3909 Centre Maria in 2008 and they live in LGBT party runs from 6 p.m.–1 St. in Hillcrest. Visit bit. Carlsbad. a.m. Those wishing to arrive ly/2wnoveG. To learn more about “The early can stay the entire day. Critical Surf Studies Reader,” ENGAGE WITH LGBTQ Parking is free. visit To learn LATINX COALITION Magic Mountain is known more about Councilmember On Monday, Sept. 25, join for its thrill rides, most which Schumacher, visit, transgender, bisexual, have morphed into newer ver2pcNY. To learn more about her lesbian and gay Latinx comsions of their famous former activism prior to politics, visit munity members, activists and selves and many carry super leaders from across San Diego hero themes. Current rides NHL, SAN DIEGO GULLS County, as they come together include The New Revolution; EMBRACE DIVERSITY to enhance the capacity of the Twisted Colossus; Full The National Hockey League local LGBTQ community’s Throttle; Lex Luthor: Drop of ability to build a movement and (NHL) and 16 other hockey Doom; Green Lantern: First organizations around the world mobilize. Flight; Superman: Escape from Panelists at the event include recently unveiled a set of “prinKrypton; Batman the Ride; ciples” that, among other things, Carolina Ramos, The Center’s The Riddler’s Revenge; X2 and identify their embracement the chief diversity and inclusion ofmany more. Magic Mountain’s LGBT community. ficer; City Commissioner Nicole latest interactive ride is called In keeping with the new Murray-Ramirez, San Diego Justice League: Battle for guidelines, the San Diego Gulls Human Relations Commission; Metropolis, and to commem— who kick off their 2017-18 Fernando Z. Lopez; direcorate Out on the Mountain’s season at home Oct. 7 — have tor of operations, San Diego 10th anniversary, there will incorporated a “Diversity Night” Pride; Nick Serrano, commualso be two mazes — normally into their upcoming schedule. nications director, office of saved for the park’s annual Laid out in what they call Fright Fest — open from 8 p.m.– Assemblymember Todd Gloria. one of many “positive changes The focus of the coalition is midnight; Toyz of Terror and in the sport’s culture,” this to strengthen the educational, Vault 666. “Declaration of Principles” will health, cultural, civic, politiEntertainment for Out on act as the sport’s “internal cal and economic power of our the Mountain will include varicompass,” guiding the decisions LGBTQ Latinx community and ous live performances and DJs, of not only those in the profesthe greater region. Come preall on hand to offer something sional level of the sport, but all pared to share your vision for for partygoers to do in between the way down to the leagues the future. all the thrill rides during this Beverages and light food will that develop children. The hope safe and inclusive event. Talent is that these principles will not be provided. includes Derrick Barry, from only inspire and expand their This free event takes place “RuPaul’s Drag Race” season fans, but create the best possiSept. 25, from 6–8 p.m., at the 8 and “America’s Got Talent”; ble experiences for players, fans San Diego LGBT Community singer-songwriter Maty Noyes; and the local communities they Center, 3903 Centre St., pop and dance recording artist serve. Hillcrest. Direct questions and VIZIN; DJ/remixer Ray Rhodes “[This] statement advocates info to Carolina Ramos at crafrom Gay Days Anaheim; and the game of hockey as a RSVP at DJ SRO, from Micky’s and ful platform for participants to Hamburger Mary’s in Long build character, foster positive Beach. SCHUMACHER INCLUDED values and develop important This year’s Out on the IN ‘SURF STUDIES’ life skills that transcend the Mountain supports various An essay by local activgame,” the organization stated organizations in the greater ist-turned-politician Cori in a press release. Los Angeles area, including Schumacher is included in “The The eight principles dealt The Trevor Project, The Center Critical Surf Studies Reader,” with the important role hockey Long Beach and Los Angeles recently released by Duke plays in the greater community, LGBT Center’s Lifeworks, as University Press. addressing development of charwell as local PFLAG and GSA Schumacher’s piece, “My acter, positive family experichapters. Mother is a Fish: from Stealth ences, and age-appropriateness Tickets are on sale for the Feminism to Surfeminism,” is for all players while taking into advance price of $49, with gate one of 18 essays that make up account each player’s emotional, price of $67. VIP packages are the academic volume, which physical and cognitive states. available. Visit outonthemounwas researched, coordinated The eighth and final and edited by Dexter Zavalza ple spoke to their new commitCELEBRATE WORLD Hough-Snee and Alexander ment to diversity: SEXUAL HEALTH DAY Sotelo Eastman. “All hockey programs should Attend an educational, Schumacher, a three-time provide a safe, positive and inthought-provoking, interacWomen’s World Longboard clusive environment for players tive and community-building Champion surfing champion and families regardless of race, event in San Diego on Sept. (2000, 2001 and 2010), spent color, religion, national origin, 22 as communities around the many years as an activist, gender, age, disability, sexual world celebrate World Sexual not only bringing awareness orientation and socio-economic Health Day. to issues regarding women status. Simply put, hockey is for Produced under the umempowerment in surfing, but everyone.” brella of World Sexual Health also in the environmental areIn addition to these new Day and hosted by Jennifer na, especially when the sea guidelines, a website was Gunsaullus, this program or coastline was involved. In see Briefs, pg 9 is about what sexual health 2015, Schumacher helped lead looking for. Complimentary drinks will be served all night and a raffle for the chance to win $100 gift card will be held. Make it a date night. Creative Crossroads is located at 502 University Ave., at the corner of Fifth Avenue, near the Hillcrest sign.


PLANTAHOLIC and volunteers, SDHS will continue to grow and educate San Diegans about environmentally responsible horticulture. During my tenure, we’ve made the organization more efficient, including bringing the events and membership processes online and tied directly to our website An individual membership has remained the same at $30, which is a great deal since non-member attendance at one of our monthly meetings is $15. We moved the meetings from Del Mar to the UTC area to increase participation from members and garden enthusiasts from central San Diego, East County and South Bay. Our new venue, Congregation Beth Israel, is wonderful. It’s comfortable, has great acoustics, is right off the freeway, and has easy, free parking. We also have one of the largest and most successful annual tours featuring private gardens in a different area of San Diego each year. [I spoke] at our Monday, Aug. 14 meeting, sharing not only my experiences in creating gardens, but photos from the many, many places I’ve lived, as well as adventures with my partner, Scott Borden, traveling to horticultural sites around the globe.

2. Who or what inspired you to what has been called your lifelong “addiction and obsession” with plants?


BRIEFS launched where those interested can learn more. Visit “We believe in our ability to improve lives and strengthen communities globally through hockey. We believe that living by these principles will provide a healthy, balanced and enjoyable experience for all and inspire impactful service beyond the rink,” the statement regarding the principles concluded. The San Diego Gulls, a professional American Hockey League team that plays at

My mother gardened as time allowed, while raising three boys and moving every couple of years. She liked unusual plants, which is probably why I’m fascinated with exotic plants. With dad being transferred to a new place every couple of years, I was exposed to many different plants, climates and environments. Though I’ve lived in California for 35 years, I’ve also lived in South Florida, Texas and the Midwest. We went on annual family road trips visiting many national parks, so I developed an appreciation for nature and natural environments. I enjoy creating garden spaces and watching plants grow, thrive, and change with the seasons.

3. The home garden you maintain with your life partner Scott Borden has been featured in local and national magazines. What was the idea behind the garden, how has it changed over the years, and do you guys have plans to shake things up in the future?

For our garden, which we created and have tended for almost 20 years, we wanted to create a sense of place. We have an historic, Spanish-style home, so we wanted to play off of the architecture, incorporating water-wise plants including succulents, agaves and aloes, as well as plants of Australia, South Africa, and of course, California natives. Currently, we are restoring the bottom slope of our property to be mostly California native plants, especially locally native ones. Our garden is on a steep, north-facing slope, and there’s a

Valley View Casino Center (formerly the San Diego Sports Arena), are affiliated with the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks. Their planned Diversity Night, set for Jan. 20, 2018, against the San Jose Sharks, will be co-sponsored by the San Diego LGBT Visitors Center. The Gulls begin training camp for the new season Sept. 15, with preseason games Sept. 28–Oct. 2 (Sept. 30 is at home). To buy tickets for Diversity Night or any of the Gulls’ games during the 2017-18 season, visit To learn more about the San Diego LGBT Visitors Center, follow them on Facebook/ LGBTVisitorsCenter.▼

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GAY SAN DIEGO Sept. 15 – 28, 2017


100-foot elevation change from the top to the bottom. Because we’re next to wild areas, we try to grow what the animals won’t eat; keeping the gophers out is a constant battle. To conserve water, a few years ago, we installed 2,000 gallons of water storage and we are still using water we collected from last season’s rains.

4. What advice would you give to amateur gardeners in the Uptown and Mid-City areas?

Join the San Diego Horticultural Society! At our monthly meetings, we showcase experts in the field, and their presentations are always insightful and inspiring. The garden societies in Balboa Park are another great community resource for gardeners. As you try to decide what you want to grow, fi nd a garden you like and copy it. It’s totally fi ne to copy what someone else does because it will look different in your yard, it won’t look exactly the same. Find plants that are easy to grow and maintain, and that are appropriate for your space. Get inspiration by going on local garden tours and visiting our local botanical gardens. Of course Balboa Park is wonderful, but also visit the San Diego Botanic Garden, Water Conservation Garden and San Diego Zoo for ideas. The San Diego Horticultural Society’s newsletter site,, has links to years of informative articles, including the 60 I’ve written for the column “My Life with Plants.”

(l to r) Borden and Bishop have travelled all over the world in search of horticulture gardens. These days you may find them at Uptown Tavern, where Borden is co-proprietor. (Courtesy of Jim Bishop) 5. What do you like about living in Mission Hills?

The location is so convenient and close to everything. It’s also private, quiet, and laidback, and we like the sea breeze that comes up the canyon. Also, there are restaurants and shopping nearby, and the airport is just minutes away. We enjoy the Mission Hills Garden Club, and I co-chaired their garden tour for four years. Our garden

might be on next year’s tour. We often go to restaurants in Uptown and Hillcrest, and will be doing so even more now, because Scott is now co-proprietor of Uptown Tavern. Maybe you’ll catch me there and we can talk about plants. —Ken Williams is editor of Uptown News and can be reached at or at 619-961-1952.▼



GAY SAN DIEGO Sept. 15 – 28, 2017

A Freedom through femininity All-American Rejects frontman Tyson Ritter on his experience as a cross-dresser, the ‘corrupt’ music biz and support for his lesbian sister Chris Azzopardi | Q Syndicate Tyson Ritter strips down to nothing for the All-American Rejects’ new queer project. Fuzzy leopard-print top, blonde wig, fake eyelashes, low-cut skirt, stilettos — the frontman de-drags as he transforms from a prostitute, Betsy, to a seemingly married, suited-up man and life of the party, Robert. The 11-minute short film conceptualizes identity and authenticity through the

complicated and ultimately haunting duality of a single person. “Sweat,” a swaggering glam-rocker, finds Betsy leaving her mark on the streets — and in a bathroom stall when things get hot and heavy with an androgynous hookup. But then, during the juxtaposing comedown, “Close Your Eyes,” we discover, tragically, Robert’s “real” life comes at a price. As the alt-rockers mount a musical comeback with the two-song EP and a forthcoming

album — their first since 2012’s “Kids in the Street” — Ritter, 33, opened up about his own femininity, being asexual at one point, his strong opinion on celebrities and being there for his kid sister when their family was not. (Christopher Azzopardi | CA) Can you tell me about the concept of this short film and how you ended up using a cross-dresser as your subject? (Tyson Ritter | TR) Jamie Thraves is a brilliant British film director who we were

Tyler Ritter, of the All-American Rejects, is featured in a short film about a cross-dresser. (Courtesy Interscope Records) lucky enough — he’s actually FaceTiming me right now. Hang on. [Laughs] We’ve become brothers over this, but he approached us with a simple one-line concept that just said, “I see Tyson playing a woman and I see him playing a man named Robert whose fantasy is playing that woman.” It broadened beyond that through our correspondence because, of course, I had immediate questions for him about the story of Robert and the purpose of this film. Once we boiled it down, it was just this concept of identity and how people in all walks of life are never the same person in any room they walk into. I think Robert’s struggle to find himself was something that bled into my correspondence with Jamie, and we just started exploring all of our dark secrets together. It was really this cathartic thing to just talk about our lives and the regrets we’ve had and the compromising things we’ve done to become the person we were and are. (CA) How have you had to come to term with your own identity? Have you ever questioned your own sexuality? (TR) I absolutely have. I went through a really bad breakup when I was in my mid-20s and I was asexual for almost three years, just living in New York by myself, totally stone sober and trying to find myself. I was raised by my mom and my grandma, and that femininity and that balance within myself of the masculine and feminine has always been a yin-yang. It’s pushing and pulling, always. And I embrace that energy because I think some of the strongest things about me are from what my mother and my Nannu gave me. (CA) I feel like most alt-rockers are comfortable exploring the gender spectrum. (TR) Iggy, man. I was covering my body in glitter in 2009 and everybody thought I was a lunatic. People forget about the spectacle of rock ’n’ roll being something that is fearless. To be a superhero in a band is something that takes all powers. And when you’re on the stage and giving yourself to thousands of people, you have to be this cartoon; it’s beautiful to embrace that in your own life. (CA) These tea dates, where you meet with fans and have tea, which I love, aren’t exactly

the most masculine thing. Have you had any tea dates with anyone from the queer community? (TR) My tea dates have just started, so it’s been such a mixed bag of all walks of life. It’s incredible. People have been like, “Oh, you should journal about your tea time,” and I’m like, “No, this is precious to me and private.” A lot of people sell their time to their fans. Everybody is selling access now and I think that’s the fucking complete corruption of what’s going on with the music business. Everybody’s for sale in a completely different, fucked up way. (CA) Are you referring to certain mega pop stars who give themselves to their fans in charitable ways for the purpose of advertising their brand? (TR) I mean, I can’t even touch that, man. Everybody’s selling celebrity. And we’re a band that only sells music, and that was the most important part about this visual journey for this band. I grew up in front of the record button since I was 16 — how much have you fucking changed since you were 16? It’s funny, people put these expectations on bands to sound the same, to stay in that little time capsule with their friends from high school and their dreams in their twin-size bed and it’s like, no, art has to grow up; the artist can grow up with you, man. And so that’s where we came at with this new offering of “Sweat”/“Close Your Eyes.” We’re coming back with purpose and I’m proud of that because, ultimately, I’m not trying to sell ad time on my Insta account. Everybody has to have access to you now and so it’s really kind of — I might be shooting myself in the foot because I’m not being this, you know, social whore that most people have to be to play in this crazy rat race of the music business. (CA) As someone who’s been acting for several years now, you may be aware of opposition to cis, white men acting as LGBT or queer. There’s been a lot of pushback regarding this. How conscious were you of that sentiment while developing the storyline for this video? (TR) I always knew that [Betsy] was a fantasy of Robert and it’s that suspension of disbelief that kept me grounded in the character. My wife helped me a lot. I just wanted to make

see Interview, pg 18


GAY SAN DIEGO Sept. 15 – 28, 2017

RISE also picks 10 organizations every year to work oneon-one with, and this year 20 different groups have already applied. The Fellows program is in even higher demand — there were 103 applications last year for 23 open spots. While both programs are free to the trainees, it is a significant cost to RISE to conduct the training (the Fellows program alone is $3,500 per person). As such, the organization is seeking businesses that would like to sponsor a fellow, and they are always accepting private donations as well, be it $5 or $5,000.


RISE Thus, RISE was born. The organization is dedicated to building leaders of color and leaders of urban neighborhoods to affect change in their own neighborhoods first — and RISE does it from the inside out. “Leadership is challenging,” Crenshaw said. “We love to build a leader up in America, but we love to tear them down even more.” So RISE focuses more on who someone is as a leader — their character and their motives — rather than their tactics or skills. “Our desired outcome is not achieving a certain position or title, but affecting community change,” Crenshaw said.

Join in the change

Active programs

One of the ways RISE accomplishes this is through their flagship program, the RISE Urban Leadership Fellows Program, in collaboration with the University of San Diego’s Leadership Institute in the School of Leadership and Education Sciences. The program is also modeled after the Executive Education program at Harvard Business School. The Fellows meet for three full days each quarter and work with a business leadership coach throughout the year.

The many faces of RISE: Tony Young (far left, second row) and Crenshaw (rear right, in red striped shirt) with collaborators (Facebook) and now it’s in the pipeline,” Crenshaw noted proudly. That idea of community spirit drives each of the Fellows. The program is open to any resident of San Diego County over 18 years old, but they must have completed high school and show at least a five-year history of community involvement and/or activism. Aside from that, the Fellows have

“Our desired outcome is not achieving a certain position or title, but affecting community change,” — Dwayne Crenshaw, co-founder and CEO of RISE They also have to complete their own CAP, or community action project. Some of the completed projects have included On the RISE, a youth version of the RISE fellows program, and a senior citizens center for the Filipino seniors in Paradise Hills. For decades, this group of senior citizens had been promised funding for a new center by the City Council, but it was never actually put on the budget. The RISE fellows organized a bus trip, took them all down to City Hall, and secured $500,000 in funding for a senior center for their neighborhood. “For more than 20 years, they were promised funding,


run the gamut of races, creeds, and sexual orientation. “Our classes have mirrored the population of San Diego County,” Crenshaw said, adding that RISE is intentional about its diversity. “We believe there’s talent everywhere.” Partnerships with other groups help with that purpose as well. San Diego Pride offered a scholarship to an LGBT-specific fellow this year. RISE San Diego also recently hosted a table at the Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast, hosted by The San Diego LGBT Community Center in May. RISE’s Urban Breakfast Club — a recurring civic

engagement breakfast series — regularly brings in representatives from other organizations to offer expertise on topics from immigration and refugees to raising boys of color. Through both the Fellows program and the Urban Breakfast Club, RISE wants to promote civil discourse. And both Young and Crenshaw know experientially how to move past (or through) conflict: They ran against each other for the District 4 City Council seat in 2004, and now here they are, business

partners acting on a common belief. “Our civic discourse in this country is so toxic,” Crenshaw said. “We want to get beyond the politics and rhetoric and promote productive, systemic change.” The last program offered by RISE is nonprofit partnership. Going into its second year of doing so, RISE offers monthly trainings and technical assistance for nonprofits and small businesses in areas such as organizational management and marketing strategies.

Crenshaw and Young welcome the community to celebrate their three successful years at the upcoming RISE San Diego Anniversary & Inclusive Leadership in Action Awards luncheon. The luncheon will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 9 in the Celebration Hall at the Joe and Vi Jacobs Center, located at 404 Euclid Ave., in Lincoln Park. For more information about the luncheon, programs, or to donate to RISE, visit or call 619-531-RISE (7473). You can also follow their community and leadership building on Facebook at / risesandiego.

—Joyell Nevins is a local freelance writer. Reach her at or find her blog Small World, Big God at swbgblog.wordpress. com.▼


GAY SAN DIEGO Sept. 15 – 28, 2017

What is TRUVADA for PrEP?

Who should not take TRUVADA for PrEP?

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

Do not take TRUVADA for PrEP if you:

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

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

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

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

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

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

GAY SAN DIEGO Sept. 15 – 28, 2017

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

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

Learn more at



GAY SAN DIEGO Sept. 15 – 28, 2017

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



Before starting TRUVADA for PrEP:

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

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

TRUVADA can cause serious side effects, including:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TRUVADA FOR PREP, the TRUVADA FOR PREP Logo, the TRUVADA Blue Pill Design, TRUVADA, GILEAD, and the GILEAD Logo are trademarks of Gilead Sciences, Inc., or its related companies. All other marks referenced herein are the property of their respective owners. Version date: April 2017 © 2017 Gilead Sciences, Inc. All rights reserved. TVDC0140 07/17


GAY SAN DIEGO Sept. 15 – 28, 2017


‘Spider Woman’ risky, but ‘spectacular’ “Kiss of the Spider Woman”

Theater Review Jean Lowerison Friendship, love, betrayal and the distressing inhumanity of man all play out in a Latin American prison in the musical version of “Kiss of the Spider Woman.” Welk Resorts Theatre presents the Kander and Ebb musical (based on the book by Manuel Puig, with play book by Terrence McNally) through Oct. 22 at the Escondido location. This is risky programming for Welk, which is known for family fare of the type its namesake — conservative bandleader Lawrence Welk — would have approved. Joshua Carr, who has run the theater since 2009, has been experimenting with newer, hipper, edgier fare in hopes of attracting younger audiences. “Kiss of the Spider Woman” is the latest example. “Spider Woman” is set in “a Latin American prison, sometime in the recent past,” generally interpreted to be Argentina during the “Dirty War.” It is a love story between a gay window dresser, arrested for corrupting a minor, and a straight Marxist revolutionary, arrested for political reasons. It’s an odd bird for a musical, not at all like Kander and Ebbs’ megahits “Chicago” and “Cabaret.” It contains only a few memorable songs, has a choppy script with many short scenes, and contains depictions (and sounds) of torture — not your typical musical fare. So it’s up to the director and cast to sell it, and Welk veteran Ray Limon and his fine forces do just that. Window dresser Molina (Jeffrey Scott Parsons) has a passion for old movies, many of which he has memorized, and likes to replay them in his mind — or, even better, describe them for an audience. Molina’s fantasies are about

through Oct. 22 Thursdays and Saturdays, 1 and 8 p.m. Sundays, 1 p.m. Welk Resort Theatre San Diego 8860 Lawrence Welk Drive Escondido Tickets 888-802-7469 or san-diego/theatre (l to r) Jeffrey Scott Parsons as Molina and Richard Bermudez as Valentin share a tender moment (Photos by Daren Scott) Aurora (played with seductive, nearly irresistible panache by Natalie Nucci), who also plays the kill-with-a-kiss Spider Woman. When Valentin (Richard Bermudez), the humorless Marxist (stereotype, anyone?) is tossed into Molina’s cell, there’s an instant chill in the air as Molina immediately strikes up a conversation and Valentin draws a line across the cell, ordering Molina to shut up and stay on his side. But slowly, Molina and Valentin come to realize that they not only like, but also need each other, if they hope to stay alive in (or leave) this dehumanizing place. Prisoner survival is not high on the dance card of the Warden (played with conscience-free relish by Robert Hoyt). His mission is obtaining actionable information about other undesirables, and he does whatever it takes to get it. Limon’s fine, atwwhletic choreography makes this grim topic much easier to watch. The prisoners dance behind (sometimes almost with) the bars they’re penned in by; Aurora dances on an upper-level ramp

and uses the stairs in provocative ways; the Spider Woman dances before an evocative, projected web. This show really belongs to the three principals, and they are all spectacular. Parsons brings commitment and a lovely tone. I confess to a weakness for the power and the beauty of Bermudez’s voice; and Nucci is a fine singer and spectacular dancer. And Justin Gray’s orchestral forces (four) are up to all the challenges. Bravo to Jennifer Edwards and Patrick Hoyny, who add splash and mystery with their lighting and sound design. Kudos also to Lisa Dyson and Kylie Molnar, excellent in their parts as Molina’s mother and Valentin’s girlfriend Marta, respectively. “Kiss of the Spider Woman” is an unusual piece, not often performed. Here’s your chance to see a fine production of another Kander and Ebb show. —Jean Lowerison is a long-standing member of the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle and can be reached at▼

Molina and Valentin share a jail cell in “Kiss of the Spider Woman.” Now Playing!

Book by Kirsten Guenther Music by Nolan Gasser Lyrics by Mindi Dickstein Based on the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer motion picture written by Barry Berman and Leslie McNeil Directed by Jack Cummings III Limited engagement through October 22.

Hannah Elless and Bryce Pinkham. Photo by Jim Cox.

Written and performed by

James Lecesne Directed by

Tony Speciale September 30 – October 29

(619) 23-GLOBE (234-5623) eO dG ob

Natali Nucci’s Spider Woman overtakes Molina’s fantasies. (Photo by Daren Scott)

Kevin Cahoon and Manoel Felciano. Photo by Jim Cox.



GAY SAN DIEGO Sept. 15 – 28, 2017

North Park will see its fi rst hard-cider bar arriving in early October under the name Bivouac Ciderworks, which will also feature a full-service restaurant component. The project was conceived by Missouri transplant Matt Austin, an avid homebrewer with an architectural background, and San Diego native Lara Worm, who helped her parents run Bekker’s Catering.

Bivouac will start out with eight different ciders fermented onsite and dispensed from taps. Using apple bases, the selection will include ciders infused with peaches, pineapples, currants and other fruits. Their alcohol contents will range between 5.5 and 12 percent. Danilo “DJ” Tangalin Jr. is heading up the kitchen after previously working at Tidal, JRDN and Little Italy’s Prepkitchen. His menu will feature seared duck breast, pulled pork sandwiches, a signature burger and numerous vegan/vegetarian options. 3986 30th St.,

A giant photograph of artist Frida Kahlo graces a new Mexican restaurant and bakery in Lincoln Park. (Courtesy Casa Mexico Restaurant & Bakery)

A hard-cider fermentation facility replete with a taproom and restaurant is in the works on 30th Street. (Photo by Arlene Ibarra)

If you’re on the hunt for house-made Mexican cakes, sweet bread, and other traditional south-of-the-border baked goods, you’ll find them at the new Casa Mexico Restaurant & Bakery in Lincoln Park’s Market Creek Plaza. The colorful eatery opened in early September and

is run by a small group of family and friends who also own Wings Empire, a local chain specializing in ribs and chicken wings. At their newest venture the focus is on Mexican savories and sweets, a reflection of Casa’s slogan: “The keeper of heritage, tradition and culture.”

Crispy fried pork belly, spicy wings, pickled garlic omelets and other specialties from all regions of Thailand are available at the new family-owned Soi 30th in North Park. Among the top sellers are green curry noodle soup, five-spice stewed pork, and several vegan and vegetarian dishes from the menu’s “bean” section. 3442 30th St., 619-8927300,

Noodle soup with pickled mustard greens called Khao Soi can be found at a new Thai restaurant in North Park. (Facebook)

The vibrant full-service restaurant greets with f lower-studded walls, a display case stocked with desserts, and an enlarged photograph of renowned Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. 342 Euclid Ave., 619-795-1677.




– Fine Magazine

Winning...Playfully Comic” – San Diego Union-Tribune



HANSOL JUNG LEIGH SILVERMAN Rotisserie al pastor at The Taco Stand, which will soon be coming to North Park. (Courtesy Alternative Strategies)

Yunjin Kim

TV’s Lost, Mistresses

James Kyson

Francis Jue

TV’s Heroes, Hawaii Five-0 Broadway’s Pacific Overtures


The opening of The Taco Stand in North Park has been postponed until late September/ early October as owner Julian Hakim completes the interior design. Famous for its al pastor

(pork) shaved to order from a rotisserie, this marks the fourth location of the eatery, with others in La Jolla, Downtown and Encinitas. Hakim is also opening a Japanese restaurant

in the coming weeks in La Jolla named Himitsu (1030 Torrey Pines Road). Taco Stand’s newest outpost replaces the former Tacos Perla. 3000 Upas St.,

Cohn Restaurant Group’s Tacos Libertad in Hillcrest is donating 100 percent of its September proceeds to benefit victims of Hurricane Harvey via the San Diego-based International Relief Teams organization. The monies are

earmarked for helping families recover from the late-August disaster that ravished large areas of Texas. The not-forprofit eatery has donated $9,000 to three other charities since opening in May: the San Diego Food Bank, the Rob

Benzon Foundation, and Meals on Wheels. 1023 University Ave., 619-481-5035, —Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at fsabatini@san.▼


GAY SAN DIEGO Sept. 15 – 28, 2017


Burger mania on Friars Road Restaurant Review Frank Sabatini Jr. Whether it’s fish tacos, fried chicken or some special sauce that becomes the signature item in certain restaurants, I always try cracking into their guarded recipe secrets through various means. Sometimes I luck out. But more often I hit a wall, especially in franchises protected by scripted personnel. At Mr. Peabody’s Burgers & Ale, I more or less discovered the elusive ingredient that goes into their top-selling burgers. The cheerful Mission Valley establishment has been around for more than 20 years and strikes a refreshing mismatch to the valley’s corporate landscape. It also attracts a remarkably diverse patronage — from nearby condo dwellers and sports fans, to University of San Diego students and familiar faces from the LGBT community. Tucked into the quaintt Lass n Cumbres Square plaza on ad, the west end of Friars Road, the cozy interior features an fulll open flat grill fronted by a full er of bar, plus a limited number hot of o booths and tables in eyeshot here’ss flat-screen televisions. There’s also a dog-friendly patio too thee left of the main doors. Beer, well drinks and reasonably priced bar grub rsrule the day in this Cheersy like atmosphere staffed by ne fast-moving waitresses, one d of whom candidly revealed gerss the twist given to the burgers after I asked how they’re seaever soned. (In past visits, I never got a straight answer.) ured d “A little burgundy is poured ook,�� onto the patties as they cook,� she said. “It gives them more flavor and makes them juicy. I think they do it for our turkey burgers too,� she added. Surprised, I looked for a wine bottle near the grill, crowded mostly with sizzling beef patties, and didn’t see one. In spite of detecting a tinge of wine-like acidity when taking an investigative bite into hubby’s burger, which he requested with jack cheese, I was skeptical. The burgers are only $7.50 and they’re of decent size. Splashing them with burgundy of any quality seems like a costly additive, I thought. So I called the next day to further inquire and was told with less conviction by a different waitress that the cooks squirt the burgers with red wine vinegar. Whatever the case, they’re moist and tasty. The menu also extends to prime rib sandwiches, turkey tacos, loaded nachos and fish and chips. In some past visits we’ve gravitated to the Buffalostyle chicken wings, priced at only $5 per order on Tuesdays. They’re fried to a satisfying crisp but served with either ranch or mediocre blue cheese dip mixed with Caesar dressing. Both are no-no’s to this Buffalo-born wing lover, hence the reason for smuggling in my

own blue cheese dressing a couple of times. The turkey tacos are excellent. Well-seasoned ground meat is tucked into large flour tortillas with veggies, cilantro and fresh guacamole. Flavor and texture-wise, they’re similar to lean-beef tacos. Corned beef is roasted in-house and it makes for a sumptuous Reuben using “basil sauceâ€? instead of Thousand Island dressing inside the sandwich. Though the meat is sliced thicker than what you’d find in a Jewish deli, I found it exceptionally tender. We augmented our burger and Reuben with a sizable house salad, taking advantage of the $5 special on Thursdays. Priced normally at $7.50, it’s loaded with fresh romaine, sliced avocado, mushrooms and other produce – heartier than what you’d expect from a momand-pop drinking establishment. As an additional sidekick, we ordered the sautĂŠed mushrooms speckled tastefully with green onions. Served in a large boat-shaped dish, I suspect they too receive a dose of the burgundy or red wine vinegar in the cooking process. e Better than

Mr. Peabody’s Burgers & Ale 6110 Friars Road, #108 (Mission Valley)

619-542-1786 Prices: Soups, salads and appetizers, $3.25 to $10; burgers, sandwiches and entrees, $4.50 to $17; daily breakfast plates, $4 to $17 Mr. Peabody’s has attracted a diverse patronage for more than 20 years. some of the mushrooms I’ve had at leading steakhouses, they go down easily whether eaten plain or lopped onto your burger or prime rib sandwich. Other daily specials i l d $2 off include ff all ll pitchers of beer

and $3.50 turkey tacos on Mondays; $3.50 shrimp tacos and $4 micro beers on Tuesdays; $5.25 loaded potatoes and $4.50 imported beers on Fridays; d and

$6 carne asada fries and $3.50 well drinks on Saturdays. In addition, breakfast is served daily should you crave a grilled rib eye with eggs or house-m house-made corned beef hash befor boozing b before it up in the comp pan of friendly, chatty company custo ome usually occupying customers the place. pla —Frank Sabatini Jr. is th the author of “Secret San Diegoâ€? (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 atâ–ź

(clockwise from top left) A generous side order of sautÊed mushrooms; the house salad; housecooked corned beef in a Reuben sandwich; and the bar’s famous burger with cheese and a side of O-rings (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.)


GAY SAN DIEGO Sept. 15 – 28, 2017


INTERVIEW sure that I grabbed onto all the femininity that I’m not afraid to show and put it into Betsy. I didn’t wanna approach the character half-assed at all, and as far as it being a risk to play that role, to me it was an escape and a surreal journey through a fantasy of Robert’s. At the heart of this story is a man named Robert who has a life and has a purpose, and I was serving him. So, I guess I didn’t feel like there was a compromise given that the character I was playing was the true heart of this journey.

Ritter, an ally, said he connects to the LGBT community on several levels. (Courtesy Interscope Records)

(CA) In what ways do you identify with Betsy when it comes to any overlapping femininity? (TR) I think that’s precious to me. I think if there is overlap, just top to bottom, it was the curation of getting her walk down. I would wake up almost every day and put on my heels and walk around my house for hours on end to find my gesticulations and where Betsy carries herself. I think it was some of [my] stage persona. There’s a crazy confidence to Betsy that I loved being able to embrace and Robert didn’t have that. Robert’s this guy who hides from himself, and I think being able to embrace that was really a freeing thing. Honestly, it put me back in my own skin in a completely different way where even now on stage I’m finally feeling comfortable to embrace everything that I am.

Getting the family’s acceptance in Oklahoma at 15 — I mean, probably one of the most difficult things I’ve had to help her survive. She helped me survive getting through just being an artist, too, because my parents haven’t always supported me. So we were holding each other’s hand as she got to 18, and now she’s engaged to be married. But I kind of saw a lot of [the LGBT community] through her eyes.

(CA) Growing up in Stillwater, Oklahoma, what was your introduction to (CA) There the LGBT are few things harder than not community? being accepted (TR) My for who you are, sister. I was 10 years old but it sounds when my balike you had by sister was each other to born and my lean on. The All American Rejects are about parents had (TR) We did. to release a new record, which At Christmases a complex, Ritter says will “set people free.” we were holdtumultuous (Courtesy|Interscope Records) ing each other Oklahoma in the corner. divorce, and We were the two weirdos, but at I was there to sort of raise her least we had each other. in a lot of ways. When I had to get on the road when I was 16, (CA) What does she think of leaving her was … even talking “Sweat”/“Close Your Eyes”? about it, it kind of echoes a (TR) She loves it. She was heartbreak for me. We kept so proud of me. I was really our correspondence, and as she nervous. I was like, “I hope you grew, I was on the road. When love it and I hope you think I she was 15, she came out. did good.” And she called me and she still has that Southern voice: “Aw, man, ‘Sweat’ is so good. You did so good, bubba.” (CA) There’s an album in the works. What can the gay community look forward to? (TR) This music is gonna be out, man. This isn’t gonna be an All-American Rejects record. This is a record that is gonna feature a lot of evolution. People are either gonna be grabbing onto it or they’re gonna be letting go, and I welcome both. (CA) You’ve given the LGBT community many encouraging songs over the years, including “Move Along.” Can we expect more along those lines? (TR) I realize that, in these divisive times, there is so much hate and division. The thing that breaks my heart right now in the world is just how divided we are. Even my parents didn’t go through this shit. I think it’s pouring out of me right now, so the things that I see and feel in the world are the things that I’m gonna be writing about. There are gonna be songs for people who just want to sing out as an escape, but this isn’t gonna be empathetic pandering — rock ’n’ roll is the escape, man, and I feel like we’ve lost that sentiment with celebrity. People are forgetting about the music. When you come to a Rejects show, it’s non-denominational; it’s a congregation of people who are there to let go of the outside world. The greatest thing that we can do as a people is gather without any sort of ill-will, especially nowadays. So, the beautiful thing about this next Rejects record? It’s gonna be something that sets people free. That’s what it’s doing for me, man. —Chris Azzopardi is the editor of Q Syndicate, the international LGBT wire service. Reach him via his website at and on Twitter (@chrisazzopardi).▼


GAY SAN DIEGO Sept. 15 – 28, 2017


Walking about


HILLCREST friends and colleagues and has often been an agenda item at Hillcrest resident and business group meetings. The goal of the HBA, the oldest business association in San Diego, is to offer business improvement services, which are focused on helping the retail businesses and other operations that reside within the business district. Under the HBA’s Hillcrest Clean & Safe umbrella — which is modeled after San Diego Downtown Partnership’s successful Clean & Safe program — initiatives have a variety of funding sources and many go over and above traditional business improvement. Clean & Safe services include issuing permits for sidewalk signs, furnishings and encroachments; providing security team patrols; steam and power washing sidewalks; litter pick-up; maintaining over 50 trash and recycling cans; on-call large item pickups; undertaking special cleaning projects; gardening; trimming more than 200 trees; and maintenance of the Hillcrest sign and Pride Flag. Specified Maintenance Assessment District (MAD) funds for these efforts cover the core of Hillcrest, which is approximately 17 blocks in an area that generates out from the Hillcrest sign. That leaves a lot of what residents, businesses and others who frequent the gayborhood would consider “Hillcrest proper” out of the loop. “These areas were defined over 20 years ago when certain areas were busier. Businesses have come and gone, and density has shifted,” said Eddie Reynoso, marketing and member services director for the HBA. As a result of these shifts, there has been a push in recent months by the HBA to expand services into an East MAD — which would include the areas on the end of Hillcrest that houses the Pride Flag. Adding to what the homeless community already brings to sidewalk wear and tear, is bar traffic and bus stops, as well as the ficus and Jacaranda trees throughout the neighborhood. Normally, sidewalks in the core area of Hillcrest get steam

Sidewalks within Hillcrest’s “core” get monthly steam cleaning, but a new pilot program allows business owners to opt-in and up the frequency. (Courtesy HBA)

cleaned/pressure washed once a month. Areas outside of the core were cleaned every six months. With the hepatitis A outbreak, this is changing. HBA recently launched a pilot program where additional steam cleaning could be member-sponsored, or “elective,” meaning a business within the core could pay to have their area steam cleaned on a blockby-block basis. On Sept. 12, the HBA voted to extend that program to those outside of the current MAD. Reynoso said because of the reclaimed water process used in the steam cleaning, the program would require that each business on an entire block face participate, in order to maintain the viability of set-up and breakdown costs. “I recently met with Steve from In & Out Pressure Washing to establish a calendar that I can post, along with a map showing what areas are due to be cleaned and which areas have already been done,” Reynoso said. “This page will launch on within the next couple of weeks and it will help people see how their funds are being spent, what services they are receiving and when.” Councilmember Chris Ward heard about the program and decided to offer a $5,000 matching grant from his Community Project, Programs and Services (CPPS) funds for those business owners who opt into the elective program. “The impacts of San Diego’s homeless crisis have been increasingly felt outside of Downtown, and as the city continues to develop new strategies to address the crisis, community groups have also been stepping up in important ways to respond in our

neighborhoods,” Ward said in a press release announcing the match. “The Hillcrest Business Association has done a great job getting this program off the ground, and I’m pleased that my office can invest in keeping Hillcrest safe and vibrant for our residents, businesses, and visitors.” Ward — whose District 3 represents Hillcrest, Mission Hills, North Park, Normal Heights, University Heights, South Park, Golden Hill, Little Italy, Bankers Hill, the Gaslamp Quarter, East Village and other communities of Downtown — is allocating a “major portion” of the CPPS discretionary budget to assist Hillcrest in this endeavor. The council member has also asked the county to install six free-standing hand washing stations in Hillcrest for homeless to use. A representative from Ward’s office said they are now awaiting approval and a timeline for installation.

Reynoso is also ramping up another initiative modeled after Downtown’s Clean & Safe program, the weekly “Walkabout,” where Clean & Safe staff meet up with residents and other stockholders at a different location each Friday and put their eyes on a different area of Hillcrest. “The Hillcrest Member’s Walkabout is an opportunity for business owners and residents to join me on a weekly walkabout around the neighborhood,” Reynoso said. “They will assist me in finding things that need attention from our crews. For example, during a trial walk last week, we discovered “no parking” signs still on the street that had been left over from the Pride parade.” Reynoso said his trial run also uncovered damage to the John Wear Hate Crimes Memorial Plaque on University Avenue, assumedly caused by heavy equipment of city contractors. They also found a chair hidden in the foliage of a tree. The first official Hillcrest Member’s Walkabout will take place Friday, Sept. 22. Each week will cover one of five different “zones” around the neighborhood, the first being Front Street to Sixth Avenue between Washington Street and University Avenue. Zone 1 meet-up will be at Bread & Cie. Times are still to be determined. Those wishing to participate should email Reynoso at —Morgan M. Hurley can be reached at▼

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Zone 1: Front Street to Sixth Avenue between Robinson Avenue and Washington Street • Meet in front of Bread & Cie, 350 University Ave. Zone 2: Third to Sixth avenues, between Robinson and Brookes avenues • Meet in front of Crest Café, 425 Robinson Ave. Zone 3: Sixth Avenue, between Anderson Place and University; University and Robinson between Sixth and Ninth avenues • Meet in front of Babycakes, 3590 Fifth Ave. Zone 4: University Avenue to Herbert Street; 10th and Cleveland avenues; Vermont and Richmond streets. • Meet in front of Lestat’s, 1041 University Ave. Zone 5: Park Boulevard, between Robinson and Lincoln avenues; University Avenue, from Richmond to Park; Normal Street/Pride Plaza to Harvey Milk Street. • Meet in front of Industrial Grind Coffee, 1433 University Ave.

Tuesday, Sept. 266

Thursday, Sept. 28

Free Legal Clinic

Community Forum: San Diego Police Chief Search

9:30-11:30 am, The he Center The Access to Law Initiative, ve, a project ool of Law, holds of California Western School legal clinics the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at The Center. At these clinics, attorneys will be available for free, 30-minute consultations to help evaluate legal issues. No appointment is necessary. For more information, call 619.692.2077.

Tuesday, Sept. 26 1 pm, The Center The Senior Food Bank Program provides food and nutrition education to eligible lowincome seniors 60 years or older once a month. Eligible applicants can enroll in the program by applying in person at our site on the day of the event or call the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank at 866.350.3663. For more information, visit or contact LaRue Fields at or 619.692.2077 x205.


The San Diego LGBT Community Center 3909 Centre Street • 619-692-2077

Cal BRE 01065386 Cell (858)344-7907

Twitter: @LGBTCenter


These weekly walkabouts will take place every Friday in Hillcrest starting Sept. 22. Meetup time is still to be determined. Contact


Senior Food Bank


Hillcrest Walkabouts

6-8 pm, The Center The City of San Diego is conducting a nationwide search to hire a new Police Chief after Chief Shelley Zimmerman retires in March 2018. In an effort to gather critical community input about what citizens would like to see in their next Chief as they lead and transform the department, six community forums have been scheduled throughout San Diego. These forums are a key opportunity to have community concerns and ideas heard! Join us at The Center to ensure our community voices are heard by the City Administration. For more about the community forum, visit events/146428052612708.

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GAY SAN DIEGO Sept. 15 – 28, 2017

‘Notes on a Banana,’ a rich, enlightening memoir moments of inspired description that make the memoir a valuable Prepare one large stack of resource for anyone touched by index cards, each containing the the disorder, sometimes referred memory of a significant life event, to as “manic depression.” its date and the author’s age at The book has made Leite a cethe time in one corner. Arrange lebrity beyond the avid followers of the cards in chronological order. his culinary website and cookbook, Mix in three themes — food, love “The New Portuguese Table.” and bipolar disorder — and stir He’ll be the guest speaker gently. Skim off those cards that at the International Bipolar don’t blend well, and serve with Foundation’s 10th anniversary humor, courage and poignant fundraiser: Starry Night — epiphany. The Fusion of Creativity and This is the recipe for “Notes Culinary Genius. The event is on a Banana: A Memoir of Food, Sept. 28 at Liberty Station. Love and Manic Depression” “I love it when people write me (Dey Street Books, 2017), by and say they’ve gotten something cookbook author David Leite, out of the book, or tell me they’ve creator of the website Leite’s given it to someone,” Leite Culinaria, and a three-time said. “It’s a book of insights for James Beard Award winner. parents. It could create a lot of Leite’s coming-of-age story is compassion and a lot of empathy. an exquisite balancing act beSometimes kids don’t have the tween sometimes gut-wrenching verbal skills — I tried early on to honesty and a tenderness toward describe what was going on with his readers that protects them me, but it only got me so far. It’s from the gory details. Not enough a great book for parents to read so, though, for his Azorean imbecause it really follows someone migrant parents — from very early on, parents often being all the way through a writer’s most avid adulthood. It can fans and critics. help a parent have “They do not an inside look.” want to read it,” It is inside looks Leite said. “My that draw many parents are very, readers to memoirs, very old fashioned. and Leite’s other I told them that two themes, food I say the F word and love, are vivid 20-something and moving in his times, and my telling. mom said, ‘Why He sets the scene do you have to do for an annual casthat? Can you not soulet dinner party, do that?’ And I and the reader can said, ‘Ma, that’s the way I talk.’ feel the burlap table runners, What my mom does, without smell the duck legs, “heady, rich, like spice cake, but with the unreading it, is hand it out to every mistakable bite of garlic and the person she knows, including the calming stroke of bay leaves.” pastor of her church. Love — of family, biological “They don’t want to relive the and acquired — is pervasive in pain,” Leite continued, “and they don’t want to know in an intimate “Notes on a Banana.” Banana, the nickname Leite’s parents way the pain they didn’t see.” gave him, serves as a conduit of And pain is a constant comlove. Leite’s mother inscribed his panion in “Notes on a Banana,” school lunch bananas with caring but Leite tempers the distress notes: “Have a good day! We love and chaos of coming to terms you! God bless!!” The words might with his homosexuality and his have felt futile to the author at bipolar disorder with a brilliant sense of humor, keen insight, and the time, but it is love that has sustained him and allowed the reader to benefit from his book. Read it or not, Leite has some wise and valuable words for children who are struggling and their parents: To young people: “Never stop talking about how you feel. Talk about how you feel to anyone who will listen. Nowadays with the internet, seek out as many services as you possibly can. They weren’t around when I was young. But the most important thing is never stop talking and never stop findDavid Leite (Photo by Bob Carey) ing creative ways to say what you are feeling — and you might have to say the same thing 15 different Meet ways before someone hears you. “And for parents of those chilDavid Leite dren, catch it early, catch it well "Notes on a Banana" and never stop loving.” By Kit-Bacon Gressitt

International Bipolar Foundation Sept. 28, 6–9 p.m. McMillin Event Center 2641 Truxtun Road (hosted valet) Liberty Station Visit

—Kit-Bacon Gressitt formerly wrote for the North County Times. She currently writes commentary and essays on her blog and is a founding editor of WritersResist. com. She also hosts Fallbrook’s monthly Writers Read authors series and open mic. Reach her at▼

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GAY SAN DIEGO Sept. 15 – 28, 2017

Friday, Sept. 15 KAABOO begins: This three-day festival, which includes live music, comedy, inspirational art, gourmet cuisine, and craft drinks of all kinds kicks off today at 11 a.m. and runs through Sunday evening. 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar. Take the Coaster! For more info, visit 2f3Y6zS. To get the entire lineup for the weekend, visit

Saturday, Sept. 16

Hillcrest Classic Car Show: Great Autos of Yesteryear is the largest LGBT car club on the West Coast with almost 1,000 members. Join at least 30 of these car collectors for a “tire-kicking” good time when they bring their cars to the gayborhood to share their love of cars with the public and other members. So roll down your windows, crank up the tunes and cruise on down to this new monthly, free, and kid-friendly event. 1–4 p.m. Pride Plaza on Normal Street at University Avenue in Hillcrest. For information on the club, visit greatautos. org. Event details visit bit. ly/2vSXBMb. SDAFFL’s Gay Bowl fundraiser: Help send three SDAFFL teams to Boston for the Gay Bowl this fall. Come play bingo, purchase raffle tickets, and win prizes while drag host Landa Plenty and special guest, 2017 Laces & Lashes winner, Ms. Bitchy SheBottoms also performs. Bingo starts at 1pm. 12:30–4 p.m. Urban MO’s Bar and Grill, 308 University Ave., Hillcrest


Lambda Archives 30-anniversary gala: Come celebrate three decades of “preserving the pearls of our history.” Guest speaker Hida Viloria – queer intersex and Latinx activist and author (“Born Both: An Intersex Life”). VIP reception 5 p.m., dinner and program: 6–9 p.m. Lafayette Hotel, 2223 El Cajon Blvd, North Park. For the event link visit To buy tickets, visit bit. ly/2vSjGdX.

Sunday, Sept. 17

‘Homos – or Everyone in America’: Check out a preview performance of the West Coast Premiere of Jordan Seavey’s “brave, cutting edge new play.” Attempting to navigate the complexities of contemporary gay life together, a Brooklyn couple hopscotches back and forth over the timeline of their relationship, offering a sensual, hilarious and compelling story `of their bond emerges. It also confronts the lingering dangers and interconnected values of current cultural issues. 2 p.m. Diversionary Theatre, Park Blvd., University Heights. Visit

Monday, Sept. 18

Golden Girls Trivia: Landa Plenty will be your guide to find out who is the ultimate “know-it-all” of the three ladies that brought us years of laughter. Assemble your golden gaggle of five teammates or less and enter at on the dance floor. You can play at any table in the restaurant. Ten bonus points if you dress up in some kind of “Golden Girls” costume. Pay attention to the event’s discussion thread for a free answer before the event. Register 6:30 p.m., event 7–9 p.m. Urban MO’s Bar and Grill, 308 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit Transgender Coming Out Group: This weekly group supports transgender people in all stages of exploring gender identity. Open to transgender women and men, genderqueer/gender non-conforming people, people who are intersex and those questioning their gender identity. Significant others, friends, family and allies are welcome to attend with their transgender loved ones. 7–8:30 p.m. at The Center, 3909 Centre St. Email trans@thecentersd. org, call 619-692-2077 x109 or visit

Tuesday, Sept. 19

Bruce Vilanch Live: The legendary Bruce Vilanch has put something into a lot famous mouths — jokes! stories! filthy songs! The comedian and six-time Emmy

Award-winner will perform “Uncensored” at Martinis Above Fourth, 3940 Fourth Ave. in Hillcrest. $30–$35 plus $15 per person food or drink minimum. Doors 6 p.m., show 8 p.m. Visit bit. ly/2gDOOHI.

Wednesday, Sept. 20

Guy-Cade at Coin Op: Last month’s debut event was a hit so organizers are back for more. Guy-Cade is a guy’s game night at North Park’s video game bar. Enjoy retro video games, drink specials, tasty bites and craft beers, and awesome guys. No cover. Meet up is at the long communal table in the center of the venue. 8–11 p.m. Coin Op, 3926 30th St, North Park. Visit bit. ly/2w5TSPJ.

Thursday, Sept. 21

Tribute to David Bowie: Ariel Levine and friends perform Bowie’s defining songs and classics spanning his entire career. Full make-up, costumes, visuals, etc. Blonde Bar, 1808 W. Washington St., Middletown. Visit bit. ly/2f3SYMm. Eric Michael Krop in ‘I <3 U’: Powerhouse singer Eric Michael Krop returns to MA4 with musical director Nate Buccieri on piano. The two musicians will perform “I <3 U” at Martinis Above Fourth, 3940 Fourth Ave. in Hillcrest. $20 plus $15 per person food or drink minimum. Doors 6 p.m., show 8 p.m. Visit Small Business Expo: Network with thousands of business owners and entrepreneurs at America’s biggest business-to-business trade show. Free. RSVP required. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. in Hall H at San Diego Convention Center, 111 West Harbor Drive. Visit

Friday, Sept. 22 Meet the artist’s night: Help celebrate an anniversary and meet and greet the fabulous artists of Creative Crossroads. With over 50 unique artists under one roof, there is much creativity to indulge and discover. This creative mixer is open

to the public, so save the date, and bring your date. Complimentary drinks all night and a raffle for the chance to win $100 gift card in celebration of their twoyear anniversary. 6–10 p.m. Creative Crossroads, 502 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit Flicks turns 34: Help celebrate with the staff of Flicks as the bar turns 34 years old. The party starts at 6 p.m. with an open bar until 7 p.m. Free tapas from around Hillcrest, Baja Betty’s, HBC, and more. Hosted by Erica Foxx and Cookie. DJ Will Z will be playing your music videos from the last three decades. Special appearances from favorite local entertainers throughout the night. Champagne toast at midnight with some tasty sweets. 6 p.m.–2 a.m. Visit World Sexual Health Day: Attend an educational, thought-provoking, interactive, and community-building event as communities around the world celebrate World Sexual Health Day. This event includes raffle drawings, interactive sexual health exhibit, panel discussion with community leaders/educators; free giveaways; costume/prop photo area; community tables with education and resources; and live music from Lee Coulter. All proceeds go to the San Diego LGBT Community Center. 6–8:30

p.m. The Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. Visit

Bechdel Brigade at Moxie Theatre: Join the Bechdel Brigade for the premiere of “Ironbound.” Enjoy pre-show drink and bites and then enter the theater early for a behindthe-scenes chat with the director about the show. Use the code BRIGADE at checkout to receive $15 tickets. 7–9:30 p.m. Moxie Theatre, 6663 El Cajon Blvd. Suite N, Rolando. Visit bit. ly/2eTAEln.

Saturday, Sept. 23

Havana Nights 5-year anniversary: Join the staff of #1 Fifth Avenue and fans of Havana Nights to celebrate five years of what many

Sunday, Sept. 24 ‘Homos – or Everyone in America’: Check out a preview performance of the West Coast Premiere of Jordan Seavey’s “brave, cutting-edge new play.” Attempting to navigate the complexities of contemporary gay life together, a Brooklyn couple hopscotches back and forth over the timeline of their relationship, offering a sensual, hilarious and compelling story of their bond emerges. It also confronts the lingering dangers and interconnected values of current cultural issues. 2 p.m. Diversionary Theatre, Park Blvd., University Heights. Visit

Monday, Sept. 25

San Diego County LGBTQ Latinix Coalition: Join queer, transgender, bisexual, lesbian, and gay Latinx community members, activists and leaders from across San Diego County, coming together to enhance the capacity of the local LGBTQ community’s ability to build a movement and mobilize. Focus is to strengthen the educational, health, cultural, civic, political, and economic power of our LGBTQ Latinx community and the region. Come prepared to share your vision for the future. Panel includes local leaders and elected officials. Beverages and

see Calendar, pg 23


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ACROSS 1 Like “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” 8 Sondheim’s Todd 15 “Lisa Ben” to “lesbian” 16 S&M activity 17 “To sum up ...” 18 Send to the bottom 19 Change in form 20 Clumsy circumciser? 21 Sheer material for a drag queen 22 Popular vote winner, initially 25 Put out 26 Ani DiFranco’s “Letting the ___ Ring” 29 CEO’s degree 32 Anal stimulation 33 Sign of a Broadway hit 36 It needs oxygen 38 Hole revealed when you moon someone? 40 Regulars at a gay bar 42 Comportment of hairy gay guys? 43 With 49-Across, movie with Leslie

consider the best Latin night in San Diego, Havana Nights with the Manny Cepeda Orchestra, hosted by Michele Ada. Come celebrate and party the night away. Bring your dancing shoes. #1 Fifth Avenue, 3845 Fifth Ave., Hillcrest. Visit Uncorked – SD Wine Festival: Uncorked Wine Festivals features over 200 wines and ciders, gourmet food trucks, a custom photo booth and live music by local bands. Bring a picnic blanket or beach chair. General admission tickets $60; VIP tickets $70. This event benefits local nonprofit Urban Surf 4 Kids. 21-andup. No pets allowed. 1–5 p.m. at 400 Kettner Blvd., Embarcadero Marina Park North. Visit

Jordan and Alec 44 Sleep (with), to Shakespeare 46 Alec’s character 47 Beloved princess 49 See 43-Across 57 “___ to Watch Over Me” 58 Tinkerbell and others 60 Lou Grant on MTM’s show 61 Gets fired up like lesbians 62 Just Plains folks 63 Prick stimulators

1 Hurt, like a Broadway Auntie? 2 Caligula’s year 3 Social group 4 All shook up 5 Stage name for Leslie’s character 6 Way to have one's meat 7 Mouth-to-mouth pro 8 Lander at JFK, once 9 “___ Afraid of Virginia Woolf” 10 Leslie’s character 11 Gore Vidal novel 12 Dorothy, to Em 13 Pulled the plug on 14 Role for Bela 22 Bottom line 23 Letters on an LP 24 Bears’ home, briefly 27 Property claim 28 Fairy tale start 29 Alec of this puzzle’s theme 30 Theodore Cleaver, to Wally 31 Michelangelo’s painting and sculpture

33 Direction from Stephen Pyles 34 Diggs play about leased digs 35 Blowout 37 Bruin Bobby 39 Parseghian of Notre Dame fame 41 Some pitches, in Billy Bean’s sport 42 Work perk 45 Swerve, at sea 47 Kevin Bacon movie of the ’80s 48 “Lesbians ignite!” e.g. 49 Ingredient in highballs 50 Sharif “Funny Girl” 51 Silence for Bernstein 52 “She ___ Him Wrong” (Mae West film) 53 Emily in “Butterfield 8” 54 “The Bell” author Murdoch 55 “Nick at ___” 56 Will of “The Waltons” 57 Debussy’s dry 59 ’60s draft org.


CALENDAR light food provided. 6–8 p.m. The Center, 3903 Centre St. Hillcrest. Questions and info contract Carolina Ramos at RSVP at PSA Flight 182 Memorial Celebration of Life: Held every year on the anniversary of the crash of PSA Flight 182 and a Cessna 172 over North Park, people gather to

acknowledge and remember the tragedy. Each name of the 144 people who perished is read aloud and will be written on the sidewalk in chalk along with personal messages organizers receive through Facebook. The public is welcome to come pay their respects. Speakers will remember all who were impacted, including victims and their families, first responders, neighbors and local churches. Free. 8:30–10 a.m. at Dwight and Nile streets, North Park. Visit bit. ly/2eTXc5w.

Tuesday, Sept. 26

Alexis Michelle in ‘It Takes a Woman’: Alexis Michelle is all powdered, pink and ready for her MA4 debut. New York’s premiere theatrical drag queen will perform “It Takes a Woman” at Martinis Above Fourth, 3940 Fourth Ave. in Hillcrest. $25–$30 plus $15 per person food or drink minimum. Doors 6 p.m., show 8 p.m. Visit

Wednesday, Sept. 27

Gayzer Tag San Diego: Round two of Gayzer Tag,

GAY SAN DIEGO Sept. 15 – 28, 2017 brought to you by Guy Social, a local organization that curates interactive events and immersive experiences for gay guys looking for alternatives to the bar/club scene and hook-up apps. This fun event includes private laser tag games for Guy Social guests with different game play/rules each game; free pizza; after-event drinks and plenty of guys to meet and mingle with. Tickets are $30 in advance/ $35 at the door. 8–11 p.m. UltraZone, 3146 Sports Arena Blvd., Suite 21. Visit

Thursday, Sept. 28


Official ‘Will & Grace’ viewing party: Every Thursday night through Nov. 16, come watch the next chapter of everyone’s favorite series, “Will & Grace.” Pick your best gal pal and grab your gaggle of gays — the upper deck will be turned into a Will & Grace stylized living room with plenty of sass and drink specials. 8:30 p.m. Enjoy the show on all screens and a big screen on the patio. Urban MO’s Bar and Grill, 308 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit


GAY SAN DIEGO Sept. 15 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 28, 2017

Gay San Diego 09-15-17