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Volume 7 Issue 19 Sept. 16 – 29, 2016

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A “reading” — Page 14

SDSU named top school for LGBT students


By Margie M. Palmer

A Phelps seeks redemption


life partners artners Josh ne and John Caller co chairs of the San Diego Ambassadors of The (l to r) Real Real-life Joshuaa Co Coyne Callery are also co-chairs Trevor Project, organizers of the upcoming Orange Party (Photo by Cory Immele)

Trevor’s Orange Party returns, will honor trans police officer Morgan M. Hurley | Editor

Galas, red parties and more


The Trevor Project is a 17-year-old national life-saving intervention service and suicide- prevention resource for LGBT youth in crisis. Founded in 1998 in Los Angeles by the three creators of “Trevor,” a 1994 Academy Awardwinning short film, The Trevor


Marilyn, with a lil Trump on the side


Project started as the nation’s first 24-hour crisis hotline for LGBTQ youth when the film’s creators realized that none existed. The organization has since grown substantially, with national headquarters in both New York and Los Angeles, along with a network of “Ambassador” cities across the country. These Ambassador groups further the organization’s infrastructure and raise awareness, host fundraisers, expand the project’s reach into more remote areas and assist in supporting those who desperately need Trevor’s services. Smaller cities sometimes have larger needs

since resources for LGBT youth are often at a premium in larger cities, while seriously lacking in others. In the days and weeks that followed the fatal shooting in June of 49 LGBTQA people at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida — which also seriously injured 54 others — Trevor Project officials say they saw a “70 percent increase” in demand for their services. To help sustain the fiscal needs of this important national resource and keep

see Trevor, pg 14

In late 2007, an open letter to openly gay San Diego State University coordinator of fraternities and sororities, Doug Case, ran in the personals section of an independent, student-run newspaper called The Koala. The anonymous post was inflammatory; not only was Case called a “flaming faggot,” the author went on to state “Oh yeah, and get off our [expletive] nuts, I know you love them but unlike your flamboyant self, we like to have girls on them.” That was nine years ago. Today, SDSU has been named as one of the best post-secondary schools in the nation for supporting LGBT students. The Campus Pride Index recently ranked SDSU on its 2016 Top 30 list of LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities. For those who are unfamiliar, the Campus Pride Index is a tool that compares

see SDSU, pg 2

Dems for Equality get large grant Voter registration now focus of LGBT-centric organization By George Vernon

KT is coming to San Diego

Index News briefs








Contact us Editorial/Letters 619-961-1960

Advertising 619-961-1958 San Diego Community News Network

The San Diego Democrats for Equality, with a 41-year history of advocating for the LGBT community, is about to embark on their largest endeavor yet. With the help of a $78,000 grant from businessman and philanthropist Tom Steyer’s NextGen Climate political action committee, the group is now charged with registering 4,000 voters before the November election. Club president William Rodriguez-Kennedy shared the news at their monthly meeting on Thursday, Aug. 25. The announcement was met with

a long round of applause as Rodriguez-Kennedy noted that the project is unprecedented for similar clubs in San Diego County. “In terms of scale, this is unheard of,” Rodriguez-Kennedy said. “Democratic Clubs register voters, organize and contribute volunteers, time, talent and treasure to the party and campaigns all the time, but never on this scale.” Rodriguez-Kennedy said this marks the first time any Democratic Club in the county will have over $100,000 in income and expenses. “This is the first time any [local Democratic] club will have

Club president, William Rodriguez-Kennedy, speaks at a recent event. (Photo by Ryan Trabuco) hired a staff of 10 to implement a professional campaign to register and educate voters,” he said. “The sophistication and professional nature of this program, as well as our intent to empower our community, youth, students, and disadvantaged communities, is simply unprecedented.” NextGen Climate supports organizations and campaigns

that register progressive voters, while also working to combat climate change. Steyer, who previously founded a successful California business, left to work full-time on nonprofit and advocacy efforts. He serves as president of NextGen Climate, which he launched in 2013 to prevent

see Equality, pg 10



GAY SAN DIEGO Sept. 16 – 29, 2016


SDSU LGBT-friendly policies, programs and practices on college campuses. Each campus updates its index annually and uses the Campus Pride benchmarking tool to make improvements for LGBTQ life on campus. It is a list without specific ranks, said SDSU Media Relations Officer Katie White. Not only did Campus Pride give the school a five-star rating, this is the seventh consecutive year that SDSU has been included on the Top 30 list. “We are proud and excited about Campus Pride’s ranking of SDSU as one of our nation’s most LGBTQ-friendly universities,” said school president, Elliot Hirshman. “This recognition is a tribute to the efforts of our students, faculty, staff, alumni and community supporters, who ensure that our campus is a community where all are valued and respected.” The university also has a fully functioning Pride Resource Center that has multiple staff, including graduate and undergraduate assistants. Christopher Lujan, the university’s Pride Center coordinator, agreed with Hirshman. “It’s a great honor to be able to stand out among the institutions in the U.S.,” Lujan said. “There are a lot of amazing things the SDSU campus does for the LGBTQ community and I think it’s amazing that the school has been recognized for the hard work that goes into it.

“We’ve received high rankings for our counseling programs, we’ve made additions to our registrar systems that allow students to change their fi rst name and our health services department offers PREP and hormone replacement therapy, which is very unique to campus health services.” Lujan also noted that as of today, there are 17 gender-neutral bathrooms on campus. Three more are in the early stages of construction.

What the Top 30 means to students

“Being ranked in the Top 30 LGBT+ schools is an honor,” said SDSU senior Sam Nordin. “It means that the work we are doing and the work that others have done before us is making a difference in the lives of students. It also means we need to lead by example and push harder to accomplish more in order to help other schools get through to their administration. Nordin said the university’s Campus Pride ranking factored heavily when she was making her choice of school. “It is important to me that I am able to feel safe on campus, be involved in activism and make friends,” Nordin said. “The fact that I could major or minor in women’s studies or LGBT studies was also a major deciding factor between the options I had.” There are approximately eight student-run “active queer organizations” on campus according to Nordin and she said the Pride Center truly looks at the campus community at large.

(l to r) Joey Semmel, Pride House academic mentor; Sam Nordin, Pride Center student assistant; and Shane James, president of the SDSU Queer Student Union (Photo by Emmanuel Istomin) “The Pride Center holds events and programs inclusive of not only LGBT+ identities, but also on the way all identities — such as ableism, class, sex, age and many more — intersect with gender identity and our lives as a whole.” Another senior, Alex Ramirez, said the school’s ranking also helped influence his decision to become an Aztec. “I come from a small town where there is no strong queer community and I really craved a sense of belonging and receiving acceptance,” he said. “Being ranked top 30 is great but we cannot let that get to our heads, because there are always improvements that can be made.”

Ramirez added that despite the high ranking, the campus “still has a lot of work to do” but he is encouraged by the continued forward movement. “There is no doubt in my mind that progress will continue to be made,” he said. Lujan agreed that while the university has made many strides in recent years, there is still more that can be done. “Although we’ve distinguished ourselves as being among the top 30 in the nation, we understand that even though have this distinction, it’s a reminder that we still need to move forward and build even more support and create more events that bring light to the LGBTQ+ community.” Local activist and SDSU graduate Ben Cartwright has watched the changes unfold before his own eyes over the years. “When I entered SDSU as a freshmen in 1998, all we had for LGBTQ students was the LGBT Student Union with maybe 10 members at most,” Cartwright said. “So many

folks were afraid to even come out on campus so we struggled to build membership. The university left it to our small group to provide all LGBT services on a budget of about $500 a year.” Cartwright said that after he eventually became staff himself in 2007, challenges still existed. “It was a fight to even get the first annual rainbow flag-raising approved — which is now a beloved campus tradition,” he said. “Now with the Pride Center finally open, an LGBT studies major, and so many other activities, I’m so proud to see how far SDSU has come. I’m now a proud Aztec!” To view rankings in the Campus Pride Index, visit To learn more about SDSU’s Pride Center, visit —Editor Morgan M. Hurley contributed to this report. —Margie M. Palmer can be reached at margiep@alumni. ▼


GAY SAN DIEGO Sept. 16 – 29, 2016

Coming around


A young woman’s exodus from hate, and the Westboro Baptist Church


had been raised to espouse. However, Megan said most peoMegan Phelps-Roper was 9 ple she has encountered have years old when she first visited embraced her transformation San Diego, in July 1995. toward self-described “enlight“My most vivid memory is enment.” That acceptance, she being at SeaWorld, with my said, has been both humbling family, and feeling like all was and “shocking in the best way. right in the world,” said Megan, “I had spent most of my life now 30. entirely antagonizing people However, Megan and her and doing some of the worst family weren’t in town merely things,” she said. “I could not to dip their toes in the Pacific imagine the families of the Roper shown protesting while still an or view orcas at SeaWorld. people’s funerals we protested active member of Westboro Baptist They were here to protest San would ever be able to underChurch. (Courtesy Megan Phelps Roper) Diego’s LGBT Pride festivities, stand or be forgiving.” proclaiming — in their capacOf an estimated 250 days ity as members of the Topeka, put in charge of social media to spent protesting with WBC per Kansas-based Westboro Baptist year, Megan said perhaps her bigpromote WBC’s message and Church (WBC) — the assured gest regret is the military funerals. deflect its growing base of dedamnation of all who attended. tractors. It was on Twitter that “We started doing the sol“My family vacationed in San diers pickets in the summer she first came into contact with Diego, but of course, we could David Abitbol, founder of the of 2005,” she said. “When the never just go on a vacation. We time came, I didn’t think it was Jewish culture blog, Jewlicious, always had to picket,” recalled whose approach to dealing with right but as soon as my mom Megan, one of 11 children of and my grandfather laid out all members of hate groups was to Shirley Phelps-Roper, former appeal to them on a human level. these Bible verses that seemed WBC spokesperson and daugh“David also happens to be to support what we were saying ter of its founder, Fred Phelps. a lawyer, and also very log— and powerfully so — even WBC’s well-documented and ical,” Megan said. “He was though it felt wrong and harsh reviled pickets of the funerals using both logic and these sort and awful, I thought it was of people who died of AIDS and, what we had to do. … I grew up of emotional arguments. … later — presumably as advancAccording to the way we had in this culture that celebrated es in HIV medicine led to fewer and and mocked tragedy and been brought up to argue, hugay deaths —servicemembers death all the time. We would be man emotion was essentially killed in the line of duty, led to irrelevant. The problem is, you out there singing and dancing its being classified as a hate can logically discount human on American flags. It didn’t group by the Anti-Defamation emotions, but it’s impossible not take very long for those milLeague (ADL), Southern to have them — as practiced as itary protests to just become Poverty Law Center and other you are.” the norm. … It’s one of the first watchdog organizations. In his response to her slanthings my sister and I stopped Megan will return to San derous tweets about the Jewish doing before we left.” Diego to share the story of community, Megan recalled, In the 2011 BBC documenhow she left the controversial “David was really angry in the tary “America’s Most Hated church, 6:30-9:30 p.m. Tuesday, Family,” broadcaster and docbeginning, which was exactSept. 27 at the Music Box ly what I expected. Then he umentary filmmaker Louis in Little Italy, as part of the switched tactics and started Theroux lived with the church, San Diego Anti-Defamation asking me questions about my which then included Megan. In League’s “Turning Points” sefamily and telling me about the film, her mother, Shirley ries. Tickets to the event, which Phelps-Roper, can be seen comIsrael … I saw what he was doinclude food, start at $25. The ing and was determined not to manding confused children as “Turning Points” series highyoung as age 7 to hate gays and be touched by it, but I still was. lights those that have made … The power of kindness and soldiers. In one scene, one of drastic changes in their lives love, I mean it sounds so cliché, the church’s youngest members and worldviews to become albut that was one of the things is pelted in the head with a lies in the fight against hate that really got through to me. milkshake by a passing motorand bigotry. It was the very beginning of ist — pointing out how some of the WBC’s most vulnerable vic- the thread that sort of began Megan’s ‘Turning Point’ my unraveling.” tims were its own children. Currently living in South Megan, who is current“I think most people can put Dakota with her husband — ly writing a book about her themselves in our position and whom she married last month experience as a member of have been able to understand in Norway — Megan now travor at least empathize with what “America’s most hated family,” els the country sharing her sto- it might be like to grow up in said that even though her heart that environment,” Megan said. and mind told her the family’s ry to combat hate and promote “They understand that it wasn’t tolerance. theology was wrong, a lifetime [an environment] we chose to After years grappling with of cunning indoctrination (a grow up in.” inconsistencies between the word she prefers to “brainwashAs the church’s hatred conchurch’s teachings and what ing”) made it initially impossitinued to fester — adding seem- ble to clear the church’s teachshe herself was coming to ingly arbitrary targets such as believe, in 2012 Megan and ings from her mind. the late Princess Diana and her younger sister, Grace, left “My family is full of lawyers, Comic-Con attendees, Megan the church and their famiso I grew up being surrounded increasingly questioned her ly. Though at the time their by these very analytical people involvement. mother told them they could who, before I ever had a chance “In the beginning, we focused to question or doubt our theolo“always return,” Megan said almost exclusively on gays, but they have effectively been gy, were saying, ‘People are govery quickly expanded and excommunicated. ing to say, this; they’re going to eventually it became literally “Our family won’t have anycome after you with this arguevery single human being who thing to do with us,” Megan ment. Here is the chapter and wasn’t a member of Westboro said, noting that she continverse that explains why they’re Baptist Church,” she recalled. ues to debate and denounce wrong, memorize it, and then “The litany of items that could Westboro’s beliefs via social stand on a picket line.’ Having get you damned to hell for etermedia. to defend those doctrines really Leaving the church at age 26 nity was so long — something gets inside of you,” she said. as simple as seeing a woman (preceded by an older brother The fear of God’s retribution with her hair cut short, like, who fled in the middle of the lingered. “[It was] something that couldn’t ‘Oh, she’s a whore. She’s going night, without notice), Megan just be rationalized away, especially to hell.’” was terrified people would not Another catalyst for her debe willing to forgive her past, see Exodus, pg 20 parture came when Megan was but return the hostility she By Pat Sherman

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GAY SAN DIEGO Sept. 16 – 29, 2016

What do you do with your anger? Life Beyond Therapy Michael Kimmel Recently, a client told me, “I’m so angry about how my boss treated me.” I asked him, “So, what did you do with your anger?” He said, “I yelled at some people I work with. Tomorrow, I need to apologize to them.” We all get angry. We’re supposed to. Anger tells us that someone or something has violated our boundaries, our sense of right and wrong. Luckily, when we get angry, we have many choices as far as what we want to do about it. We are not victims of difficult emotions, like anger; we can work with these emotions in ways that help us and don’t hurt us. For example, sometimes it’s best to contain your anger and not express it in the moment. Sounds logical, right? But, how do you pull this off? As children, we got to have temper tantrums; we yelled and screamed (didn’t we?) and were taught by our parents that we need to be responsible for our anger. Unfortunately, some of us didn’t have parents who taught us that; some of us had parents who terrorized and raged at us. As a result,

COMMUNITY VOICES / NEWS we may be afraid of anger, both our own and other people’s. Some of us were raised in an environment where everyone yelled and screamed as the “normal” way of communicating. Then, as we grew up, we were surprised when other people didn’t appreciate our anger. Regardless of how we were brought up, as adults, we are responsible for our feelings of anger. It’s ours to own and to use. One client told me, “I want to get rid of my anger as fast as possible. I don’t like it. It makes me feel out of control.” In our work together, I’ve helped her to simply identify her anger and say: “I am angry right now.” This labeling helps her to observe it — not drown in it or pretend it isn’t there — and to own it. Last week, I went to a professional development workshop for somatic (body-based) psychotherapists in Wyebridge, Canada. I learned a lot there about how to use the mind-body connection when working with difficult emotions, like anger. I’d like to share some of those techniques so that you, too, can constructively express and work with your anger: ● Take a few minutes and write down everything that you can think of that you are angry about. Don’t hold back anything — no one will see this but you. Get it out! ● Call a friend and ask them to listen to you vent your anger. Say everything you need to say, as if you were saying it to the person who really pisses you off. Don’t hold back.

● Have an “adult temper tantrum.” Lie down on a bed and kick your legs as if you were a little kid having a tantrum. Then add your arms, hitting the bed with them. Once you get the rhythm of that, move your head from side to side and say, “I won’t,” or “You can’t make me.” Don’t worry about how it looks: the goal is to get all that anger out of your body. ● Standing with your legs about hips’ width apart, feet parallel and knees bent, shout loudly about what you are angry about. Move your arms as if you’re flinging the anger off of you, out through your fingers. ● Hit the bed. Stand in front of a bed (with your legs in the same position as described above), hold a tennis racket with both hands and hit the bed with it, as hard as you can. Keep your knees bent and swing from over your head. Jut out your lower jaw and make a sound — yell, grunt, scream or say words (“no” is usually good to start with) as you hit. Do this for a minute or two until you’re exhausted. These techniques will help get the anger “out” of your body in a constructive way that will leave you feeling better and calmer. Then, if you like, you can rationally consider if you want to talk with the person(s) you’re angry with. Don’t be angry with your anger! It’s there to tell you something useful. Find ways to work with it so that you’re in charge of the anger (and not vice-versa). —Michael Kimmel can be reached at 619-955-3311 or visit▼


The South Park Business District is sponsoring a South Park style of the popular neighborhood nibbling and mingling event, “Taste of South Park,” on Saturday, Sept. 17, from noon – 4 p.m. Ticket holders can take their “passport” along the corridor that runs down 30th and Fern streets and sample bites and drinks from some of the neighborhood’s favorite bars and eateries. This year’s participating restaurants and bars include Eclipse Chocolate, South Park Brewing Co., Rebecca’s, Station Tavern, Buona Forchetta, Café Madeline, Piacere Mio, Kindred, The Big Kitchen, and many more. Advance tickets are $30; $35 on the day of the event. Each “passport” will also give participants discounts at various boutiques and shops along the tasting route. Passports and a walking map can be picked up at Grape Street Square, located at the intersection of Grape and 30th streets. To purchase a ticket, visit or


The Greater San Diego Business Association

(GSDBA) is hosting a business social Thursday, Sept. 22, from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., at the offices of Strachota Insurance. Located Downtown in Diamond View Plaza, at the corner of 10th Avenue and J Street. Strachota’s 10th floor, open-air patio offers views of Petco Park and on this evening, the Padres will be taking on the Arizona Diamondbacks. The mixer will offer food, beverages and the opportunity to mingle with like-minded business associates and will benefit Urban Street Angels. Tickets are $15 for GSDBA members and their guests. Strachota Insurance is located at 350 10th Ave. To purchase tickets for this social, visit


San Diego’s Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) is working on its “Transit Optimization Plan,” also known as “TOP,” and is asking for public input to better meet the system’s bus and trolley market demands and rider needs. In 2004, a similar analysis saved MTS over $10 million and increased ridership to nearly 20 million since. With the recent addition of the Rapid bus routes from North County to Downtown, and planned the planned addition of a South Bay Rapid line and a Mid Coast Trolley extension, MTS wants to make sure their riders have a voice so they

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Blanche Debris will host SDGMC's Gala Cabaret (Courtesy SDGMC) can prepare. MTS currently operates 95 bus routes and three trolley lines across 53 miles of double-tracked railways. They carry more than 300,000 passengers every weekday. Interested parties can take the survey online and the deadline to participate is Sept. 23. To take the survey, visit sdmts. com/TOP.


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The San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus is calling their upcoming encore benefit gala, which will take place Sept. 29 in Balboa

see Briefs, pg 5


BRIEFS Park, a “star-studded evening.” They promise “incredible acts” from across San Diego County in a night of “burlesque, comedy, song and dance.” Hosting the Gala Cabaret fundraiser will be Blanche Debris, a Las Vegas burlesque star, and Chad Michaels, winner of “RuPaul’s All Stars Drag Race,” will be featured. Michaels will perform as Cher

at the event, which will be produced by Jason Ensign and Keith Elliott, who created

“Dance for Life.” Sponsors include Andrew Christian, the PGK Dance Project, Pride Resource Partners LLC and San Diego Pride. “This will be an amazing show with some of the country’s most talented singers and dancers,” said Bob Lehman, SDGMC executive director. “As our biggest fundraiser of the year, we hope everyone comes out and helps support our chorus and our musical mission of outreach.” Other guest stars will include Paris Sukomi Max, DJ Artform, PGK Dance Project, the Vaudeville Vixens, the Dance Divas, Lola Demure, Frenchie Kiss, Max Cadillac, Mykul J. Valentine (Mr. Continental 2016), Hot Toddy (Mr. Exotic World), Whitney Shay and the Candy Shop Dance Troupe. With more than 200 current members, the SDGMC is celebrating its 31st year of “changing lives, one voice at a time.” They perform dozens of outreach events throughout the year. Proceeds will help the chorus continue their work. SDGMC is still looking for underwriters for the event and auction item donations for the silent auction. Contact Bob Lehman at The gala will be held Sept. 29, at the historic Prado Grand Ballroom, located at 1549 El Prado in Balboa Park. General admission seats

see SDGMC, pg 20

GAY SAN DIEGO Sept. 16 – 29, 2016

When the date meets the ZIP code Ken Williams | Contributing Editor Wednesday, Sept. 21, will be an ordinary day for most San Diegans. But if you live in Normal Heights, it will be a very special day and one that occurs only once a century. That’s the day — after it is shorthanded to 9-21-16 — when the date matches the 92116 ZIP code for the Normal Heights community. It’s is an extremely rare coincidence the postal officials say happens every 100 years and only in certain ZIP codes. “This event is a ‘once in a lifetime’ event that doesn’t always happen in all ZIP codes, so we are fortunate to be able to recognize this day with the community,” San Diego Postmaster Lisa Baldwin said. The John Adams Post Office, located at 3288 Adams Ave. in Normal Heights, is planning to celebrate the event. “I think it is a very fun occasion occurring once in a lifetime and I’m glad to be part of it,” said Erica Hall, station manager for the John Adams Post Office. “This is my first and probably only time that I will be at a postal facility that will celebrate this unique event,” she continued. “It is a very memorable event and also very cool! I’m excited to share this with Normal Heights residents.” To mark the occasion, residents and businesses are

The post office in Normal Heights is preparing for a big day; (inset) when the date meets the zip (Photo by John Hyatt) invited to bring postcards and for collectors or folks who are letters or purchase items from into historical moments: “The the John Adams Post Office special cancellation is a great and have them stamped with way for enthusiasts and collecthe commemorative postmark tors to have a keepsake on this that reads: “SDC-John Adams exciting and extraordinary day 92116 Date Meets ZIP Station.” — Date meets ZIP Station!” The postmark will be available Hall, too, thinks the day will for 30 days after Sept. 21, 2016. be a hit with the community. On that special day, postal “Residents of Normal officials and community leadHeights and stamp collectors ers will celebrate with the will have a unique opportupublic with events occurring nity to have a ‘Date meets between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ZIP Station’ cancellation that “I think it’s pretty awecoincides with their ZIP code some that we can celebrate (92116),” Hall said. “This is anand share this extraordinary other of the things that makes day with our customers and Normal Heights the wonderful community,” Postmaster community that it is.” Baldwin said. Baldwin added that the spe—Ken Williams can be cial postmark would be a boon reached at▼

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GAY SAN DIEGO Sept. 16 – 29, 2016

Letters Cheers for the Rabbi

[Ref: “United she stands,” Vol. 7, Issue 17, or online at] We are getting such overwhelmingly positive feedback from your expanded profile on Laurie Coskey in Gay San Diego. Thank you! I learned so much about her reading it and we have already shared it on United Way’s social media. —Sandy Young, via email

Recruiting for change

[Ref: “Truman wants YOU!” Vol. 7, Issue 18, or online at] One of the best and most positive and uplifting articles I have read in a long, long time! —William “Bill” Kelly, via

Remembering Ross

[Ref: “Chosen family,’’ Vol. 7, Issue 18, or online at]


Being there By Morgan M. Hurley September is Suicide Prevention Month. While I was acutely aware of this when I first began putting this issue together, I didn’t realize how much it would play a part in the overall theme of the paper until it all started coming together. Beginning with our cover story, which is about an upcoming fundraiser put on by the local chapter of The Trevor Project, a very important resource for LGBTQ youth in crisis. The founders had created a short film called “Trevor,” about a young man struggling with his identity who took his life. The 1994 film won an Academy Award and got lots of press, but when it was about to be released on HBO in 1998, the filmmakers wanted to offer a support line at the end of the film for any LGBT youth in need who may tune in. Shocked to find no such thing existed, they launched the Trevor Lifeline. I’m thankful for our local Trevor Ambassadors and their work with this vital nonprofit, especially after hearing that calls spiked 70 percent after Orlando. While we read evidence of our youth being bullied every day, the disenfranchising of our LGBT seniors often flies under the radar. Sure, that may not take the same shape, but it can; often forcing them EDITOR Morgan M. Hurley (619) 961-1960 CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Ken Williams, x102 Jeff Clemetson, x119 CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Charlene Baldridge Michael Kimmel Frank Sabatini Jr. Chris Azzopardi Stacey Blanchet William E. Kelly Margie M. Palmer Pat Sherman George Vernon

back into the closet when dealing with medical or housing issues, the lasting impacts of which cause isolation and thoughts of suicide. Though William Kelly’s piece on page 7 about LGBT-affirming senior housing does not address these issues, seniors who are not empowered enough to remain in control of their own destinies can and do suffer. Bill encourages everyone to get involved and have his or her voices heard. Then on page 16, we share an interview with the playwright of “Lube: A Modern Love Story,” which will have a full script reading at The San Diego LGBT Center Oct. 1, complete with its full suite of music. “Lube” deals with bullying and proceeds from the reading will benefit the “It Gets Better Project,” founded in 2010 by gay activist Dan Savage and his husband in response to mounting suicides of bullied LGBT youth. Two years ago, in August of 2014, I wrote an OpEd piece about my own experience with depression and it apparently touched a lot of people. In early September 2015, I reposted that piece for Suicide Prevention Month. One of the people who reached out that time was Kurt Cunningham. Most readers know that in late 2014, Kurt took a job with Mental Health America of San Diego, as the LGBT liaison. He often shared suicide prevention information with me and offered to write an OpEd some time. I followed his work with the organization and within the community on Facebook. On that particular day, Kurt shared his own essay on the subject of depression, which he’d also written in 2014. I asked Kurt if he’d still WEB & SOCIAL MEDIA Jen Van Tieghem, x118 COPY EDITOR Dustin Lothspeich

be willing to write an OpEd piece for the next issue. He appeared eager to do so, asking the standard questions about word count, deadline, etc. Kurt was juggling a lot at that time, much of it he shared with his friends on Facebook. He was the target of cyber bullying, he had a high-profile death in the family, and he met a biological family member for the first time, all very stressful in their own ways. That’s a lot of highs and lows for someone struggling with clinical depression. Ten days passed and as the article’s deadline approached, I reached out again to make sure we were still on track. Kurt’s tone was quite different this time. He apologized, telling me he “was going through a little something” and asked if he could “pass” on writing the piece. I understood and didn’t inquire further. Just a few weeks later, Kurt methodically planned his exit. I’ve been thinking about him a lot these days. In closing, I’d just like to remind our community to be there for each other: for our youth, our seniors, our friends and our family. Take a moment. You can make a difference. If you or anyone else is in crisis, reach out. The Trevor Lifeline is available 24-hours a day at 866488-7386. Trevor’s teen line, open from 6–10 p.m. (PST) is 800-8528336. You can also contact the CrisisTextLine — text “hello” to 741741. Visit or call them at 888-724-7240, or contact the Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860. —Morgan M. Hurley is the editor of Gay San Diego. She can be reached at ▼

ACCOUNTING Priscilla Umel-Martinez (619) 961-1962


WEB DESIGN Kim Espinoza

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

DISTRIBUTION Gay San Diego is distributed free every other Friday of the month. © 2016. All rights reserved.

ADVERTISING CONSULTANTS Andrew Bagley, x106 Sloan Gomez, x104 Lisa Hamel, x107 Lionel Talaro, x113 Todd Zukowski, x106

PUBLISHER David Mannis (619) 961-1951

I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciated your story on Alice and Ross. You did a wonderful job, very well written, and your article totally honored two of the most valued and important volunteers this agency has ever had. They truly are a part of the Stepping Stone family. On behalf of the board, staff, alumni and residents, I am sending you a very big thank you! —Cheryl Houk, executive director, Stepping Stone, via email Thank you — what a great article and fitting tribute. Very meaningful to have the four personal remembrances. Appreciate your contribution acknowledging our service. —Alice Henry-Taylor, via email

The labors of love and coffee

[Ref: “Labor of love,’’ Vol. 7, Issue 18, or online at] Editor’s note: We received a number of comments, posed directly to the subjects of the article, which we chose to share.

Hi Kathy, Sheryl and I were in last Saturday to see [the] shop on University and missed you! We met you on Pride Saturday before the parade and discovered how delicious your coffee is! I would love to see you and chat — if you remember, I had a coffee shop/teahouse in Rhode Island. Congratulations on this great article and all the best wishes for your success! —Monica Evon, via Hi Kathy and Barb. It’s been five years since I’ve been in San Diego. There was no doubt you would be successful. It looks like your hard work and brilliance is paying off. I’m so happy for you both. As usual Barb, your art is beautiful. I also miss those Pearl Harbor survivors, those crazy guys, I hope they, too, are doing well. —Rhonda Corbin, via I am so proud of you Barb and Kathy … I really truly am … —Christa Newland, via

OPINIONS/LETTERS: Gay San Diego encourages letters to the editor and guest editorials. Please email either to and include your phone number and address for verification. We reserve the right to edit letters for brevity and accuracy. Letters and guest editorials do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or staff.

SUBMISSIONS/NEWS TIPS Press releases and story ideas are welcomed. Send press releases, tips, photos or story ideas to For breaking news and investigative story ideas contact the editor by phone or email.

see Letters, pg 19

Business Improvement Association

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


GAY SAN DIEGO Sept. 16 – 29, 2016


Take stock of your own future LGBT senioraffirming housing reality edges closer By William E. Kelly On Sept. 8, some 200 citizens attended the first of the public informational sessions offered by Community HousingWorks (CHW) regarding the North Park development being built for seniors at the corner of . Held in the San Diego LGBT Community Center auditorium, each attendee was given a folder of information and asked to voluntarily complete a brief demographic survey. The survey should help confirm the senior demographics of those hoping to live in one of the units. A quick glance around the room as well as the stories and questions from attendees revealed a reasonable cross section of the greater community, including at least one self-identifying homeless senior and






William “Bill� Kelly (Courtesy the author) others who remarked they were very near to being homeless. It is no secret that the inventory of affordable housing in San Diego is critically low for citizens in all age groups and getting worse. But the North Park housing specifically addresses the lack of affordable LGBT-affirming senior housing and will be the first in San Diego marketed as such a welcoming community open to all seniors. Attendees expressed one unifying concern that many of them have too much income or too many assets to meet the financial eligibility criteria and yet they cannot independently provide for the basic daily needs of food, clothing, shelter, health care and transportation. This is something more than a decade of research nationwide has mirrored consistently. In short, the far greater majority of LGBT seniors cannot find affordable senior communities where they feel comfortable, safe and welcomed. The population of LGBT seniors has grown dramatically.

see LGBT Seniors, pg 17

HOME HIGHLIGHTS • • • • • • •






Square footage/acreage shown is only an estimate and actual square footage/acreage will differ. Buyer should rely on his or her own evaluation of useable area. Plans to build out this neighborhood as proposed are subject to change without notice. The estimated completion date of the Civita multi-level park is Winter 2017. The date of actual completion could substantially differ from the estimated date. Prices, plans and terms are effective on the date of publication and subject to change without notice. Depictions of homes or other features are artist conceptions. Hardscape, landscape and other items shown may be decorator suggestions that are not included in the purchase price and availability may vary. CalAtlantic Group, Inc. California Real Estate License No. 01138346.




GAY SAN DIEGO Sept. 16 – 29, 2016 100 Wines Kitchen in Hillcrest closed Sept. 10 for remodeling. A public relations rep for the 4-year-old restaurant, which is owned by Cohn Restaurant Group, said the company hasn’t yet released details about the redesign or when the establishment will reopen. The website, however, hints at re-branding by stating, “Thanks for supporting us. Something new is coming soon.” 1027 University Ave.,


LIVING OUT LOUD 2016 “Coronado Luau Special” cocktail at False Idol (Courtesy Arlene Ibarra)

OCTOBER 22, 2016




The re-opening of Craft & Commerce in Little Italy has brought with it the annexation of False Idol, a tiki-revival bar flaunting elaborate Polynesianstyle décor and more than 200 rare and vintage rums. Among the list of nearly 40 exotic cocktails served in custom-made tiki mugs is a punch-bowl creation named Alkala the Fierce, which comes with a showy eruption of a faux volcano as the banquette seats shake and rumble. The bar, which is open daily from 6 p.m.–2 a.m., is an offshoot to Craft & Commerce’s recent renovation, which ushered in an expanded patio, a revamped kitchen, fire pit tables and taxidermy. 675 W. Beech St., 619-2692202, The third annual Hop Heads and Dreads beer and reggae festival will be held from 2–7:30 p.m., Sept. 24, at Harrah’s Resort Southern California. The event features dozens of local and regional breweries, plus food trucks and live reggae music on two stages. Admission is $65, which includes unlimited beer tastings and a festival T-shirt. Designated drivers entering with paid guests pay only $20. 777 Harrah’s Rincon Way, Valley Center, 760-751-3100,

Visit Ponce’s Mexican Restaurant in Kensington from noon–4 p.m. on Sept. 25, and the meal will amount to what you’d pay the year man first walked on the moon. The restaurant, which is normally closed on Sundays, will open that day in celebration of its 47th anniversary, allowing customers to savor the original menu and its prices from 1969. A bean burrito, for example, will cost 70 cents while a three-item combo plate will sell for $2.10. The deals extend to many other dishes, except for take-out items and bar drinks. “We celebrate our anniversary in some way every year, but this is the first time we’re offering a throwback menu,” said Ponce’s director of operations, Mikey Knab. The promotion coincides with the second day of the Adams Avenue Street Fair. 4050 Adams Ave., 619-2824413,

House-made tiramisu, his mother’s recipe (Courtesy Buona Forchetta) Matteo Cattaneo of Buona Forchetta in South Park is putting the final touches on the restaurant’s second location in Liberty Station, which he anticipates will open in late September or early October under the name Officine Buona Forchetta. He launched the venture in conjunction with BICE San Diego, whose chef, Mario Cassineri, will oversee the pasta dishes and entrees. Cattaneo’s team is in charge of pizza making, using two ovens for slinging a variety of styles such as Neapolitan, classic, gluten-free, and rectangular family-style pies called “al metro.” In addition, Buona’s lauded tiramisu and other desserts made by Cattaneo’s mother will carry over. 2865 Sims Road,

Oz Blackaller, owner and chef of Cueva Bar (Courtesy Oz Blackaller) Oz Blackaller of Cueva Bar in University Heights returns to the Food Network, this time in a Halloween “tournament of terror” on “Cutthroat Kitchen,” which features four preliminary matches that will run from Sept. 28–Oct. 19. The series concludes with the winners from each episode competing in a final cookoff Oct. 26. Sworn to secrecy on the outcome, Blackaller appears in the fourth episode, in which the competing chefs used “deadly weapons” to cut steak tartare and resorted to other macabre means for preparing additional dishes. He appeared as a regular contestant on the show three years ago (season five), and plans to hold a public viewing party at 5 p.m., Oct. 19, at Cueva, for his upcoming gig. The gathering will feature tapas and drink specials. 2123 Adams Ave., 619-269-2212, Plans are in the works for a second North Park location of Nomad Donuts, which will open in March less than a mile away from its original address at 4504 30th St. Owner Brad Keiller said the space at 3102 University Ave. is nearly five times larger and it will allow executive pastry chef Kristianna Zabala to expand the company’s rotating donut selection, while incorporating wood-fired bagels into the daily production. “We’ll be moving our entire kitchen into the new location,” Keiller said, adding the bagels will be used for breakfast and lunch sandwiches and that Zabala will be given creative license for introducing a host of sweet and savory specials. Beer and wine will also be available. The original location will eventually convert into a coffeehouse stocked with menu items made at the new address. 619-431-5000, —Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at▼


GAY SAN DIEGO Sept. 16 – 29, 2016


The quirkiest café on earth Restaurant Review Frank Sabatini Jr. I recently met my first Donald Trump supporter. His name is Mario Waclawski, an eccentric Polish immigrant who over the past several months turned his obscure Hancock Street Café into a blatant shrine for the political candidate. But even without the “Trump 2016” sign looming gigantically above the café s outlandish faça çadee, café’s façade, or the scads of Trump meemorabilia memorabilia

placed everywhere throughout the multi-room interior, firsttime customers are in for a head spin. Whatever appetite you arrive with suddenly becomes distorted by a carnival-like atmosphere festooned in effigies of famous people — Marilyn Monroe in the front, and Elvis, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin on the back patio. In between are walls painted in psychedelic patterns, like those inside a garage where heavy-metal stoners hang out. Retro bric-a-brac abounds. Th hough g it is Waclawski’s Waclawskis loqualoqua q Though cious ability for telling tall taless about his life that steals the g show, as you try zeroing in on the makeshift menu of mostly sandwiches and pizzass cluttperched over a clutcoun u ter. tered order counter. He speaks of meeting the pope in Rome with his late wife in 1985, and said he later walked e across the country n on

Pizza and beer with the tableside gnomes

Hancock Street Cafe 3354 Hancock St. (Midway District) 619-408-2101 Prices: Breakfast, $3 to $6; sandwiches and pizza, $5 to $12

A café that catches the eye (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.) her behalf to promote cancer awareness. He talked about serving in the Polish army, and as a musician, boasted about his brushes with notable artists such as Herbie Hancock — all followed by an earful of other stories as he hospitably tries selling you a bottle of Polish beer. It isn’t until you begin absorbing the photographs and newspaper articles camouflaged among the dizzying décor that you realize it’s all true. And you quickly learn he’s an endearing character with a seemingly humanitarian soul, which prompted us to question his die-hard allegiance to Trump. “I love him. He represents a movement in this country,” he said without citing any particular “policy” that has dribbled loosely out of Trump’s mouth since the campaign began. Enamored more by the candidate’s grand personality — ever since witnessing Trump


Owner Mario Waclawski on his Mickey Mouse phone


a gathering of gay and lesbian theatre lovers.


An evening for gay and lesbian theatre lovers and the whole LGBT community. This event includes three drinks from the wine and martini bar, delicious appetizers, and a pre-show mixer. Everyone is welcome. Just $24 per person in addition to your theatre ticket. Call to RSVP at (619) 23-GLOBE or purchase at

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Pictured: Raymond J. Lee and Jackie Chung; photo hoto by Jim Carmody

In the Craig Noel Garden, just steps away from your theatre seats!

Tower go up while previously living in New York City — he opens a notebook filled with penned political messages from customers. Most of them are supportive of Trump. Although if you choose to bash him, Waclawski doesn’t mind, saying he plans to personally deliver the ledger, unedited, to the supposed billionaire if he wins the election. After 20 minutes of chit chat, we finally got around to ordering a vegetarian pizza and a bratwurst sandwich tucked into a hoagie roll with sauerkraut, pickles and mustard. Waclawski does the cooking in a kitchen hidden from sight. I soon learned this isn’t the place to ask if the pizza dough or brats are made in-house, or from where ingredients are sourced. We were given no straight answers. Eating in the company of ceramic gnomes on a patio table, the pizza had a thin pastry-like crust topped with an odd sauce resembling chili paste — not bad, but not classic Italian. The six-slice pie was mantled also with mozzarella, cooked spinach, onions and black olives. The bratwurst sandwich was excellent, except for the thick casing on the link that I peeled off along the way. We washed down the meal with pure-tasting Worsteiner beer from Germany. When I asked Waclawski about the absence of Polish food on his menu, he said it’s too time-consuming to make. Particularly pierogies, which he added, “need a woman’s touch.” I was going to return to try more dishes, such as the Parmesan chicken sandwich a fellow customer recommended, or lamb gyros. But the café really isn’t so much about the food as it is for marveling at the layers of wonky décor and learning about Waclawski’s storied life — and perhaps more so, struggling to understand what makes Trump supporters tick. —Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at fsabatini@san.▼

October Sky September 10 – October 23 Book by Brian Hill and Aaron Thielen Music and Lyrics by Michael Mahler Directed and Choreographed by Rachel Rockwell Inspired by the Universal Pictures film and Rocket Boys by Homer H. Hickam, Jr.

(619) 23-GLOBE (234-5623) Austyn Myers, Kyle Selig, and Patrick Rooney. Photo by Jim Cox.


Directed By


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A cutout of Donald Trump presides over the music room



GAY SAN DIEGO Sept. 16 – 29, 2016


EQUALITY climate disaster and promote prosperity for all Americans. Using the grant funds, the club has leased office space in Mission Valley, and will hire organizers to carry out the goals of the project. The first staff member, who will serve as field director, has already been hired. Rodriguez-Kennedy is in the process of bringing on more staff and volunteers have begun moving into the office space. Steyer was first introduced to the Democrats for Equality group when he was invited to speak to their membership several months ago. Rodriguez-Kennedy said Steyer spoke about his philanthropic and civic work and shortly after the meeting, the club found itself on a list of those requesting grants from NextGen Climate to assist with voter registration efforts. “We were considering a proposal for something like $10,000, but [NextGen Climate’s] staff encouraged us to think big, so we put together a $78,000 program,” Rodriguez-Kennedy said. While Rodriguez-Kennedy wasn’t able to speak to the decision-making process of Steyer and his committee, he said the proposal submitted presented the Dems for Equality’s legacy, its strong

(l to r) Dems for Equality: Promise Johnson, Ramon Montero Marquez, Tommy Meyer, Will Rodriguez-Kennedy, Emily Bonner, Ilka Weston, Patrick MacFarland, Nooria Faizi and Gabby Watson (Photo by Ryan Trabuco) financial footing, and its ability to front costs and start the program immediately. He said he believes these factors likely played a key role in the proposal’s approval. The quick issuance of the grant will create some challenges for Democrats for Equality — primarily related to the short amount of time left until Election Day — as registering 4,000 voters is no easy task; but RodriguezKennedy is confident that their efforts will make a difference in the November election cycle.

“We don’t have much time, but if we pull off the program and build strong relationships, we will have a measurable impact on the immediate election and we may be able to attract donors to continue our community organization and coalition building efforts,” the 29-yearold former Marine said. Another goal of the grant is to strengthen coalitions between the local Democratic clubs. “Oftentimes when clubs are approached by campaign organizers, the conversation is focused on how that particular club can help campaign X or

candidate Y win their race,” Rodriguez-Kennedy said. “We are reaching out to clubs to see how we can bolster their efforts and how we can register more voters as part of our efforts.” Rodriguez-Kennedy said that news of this effort — to have multiple clubs working together on the common goal of turning out as many voters as possible — has been received by many club leaders as “a refreshing change.” The Mission Valley campaign office, located in the Camino Park Office Building at 2667 Camino Del Rio South, #203, will hold its grand opening Sunday, Sept. 18, from noon-2 p.m.

DUI - the Do’s & the Don’ts The best practice is to avoid drinking and driving all together. When the best practices are not observed the following information can be helpful. It’s critical to note that you have three speciłc rights you need to invoke clearly. The 4th amendment, protecting you against unlawful search and seizure. The 5th amendment, protecting you against self-incrimination and gives you the right to remain silent. And the 6th amendment, the right to have an attorney present when being questioned by law enforcement while in custody. If pulled over t*OWPLFZPVSSJHIUT t%P/05BENJUHVJMU t%POPUMJF t:PVDBOSFGVTFBfield sobriety test. t:PVDBOSFGVTFBSPBETJEFCSFBUIBMZ[FSUFTU t:PVXJMMNPTUMJLFMZCFBSSFTUFEBOEUBLFOUPUIF1PMJDF EFQBSUNFOUBOEDIBSHFEXJUI%6* t*GZPVIBWFPOMZCFFOESJOLJOHBMDPIPMBOEIBWFOPPUIFS chemicals in your system opt for the blood test t(FUBHPPEBUUPSOFZ t1SPWJEFESJWFSTMJDFOTF QSPPGPGJOTVSBODF BOESFHJTUSBUJPOXIFOBTLFE )BWJOHUIFSJHIUJOGPSNBUJPOBOESFQSFTFOUBUJPODBONBLFUIFEJGGFSFODFCFUXFFOB%6*BOELFFQJOHZPVS record clean. Call us at Seneca Law Group (619) 630-8LAW, or visit our web site at

Their next order of business will be to solicit volunteers to register, educate, and canvass voters. RodriguezKennedy said that anyone who interested in volunteering for this effort should call 619-269-1007 or email and an organizer will be in touch. It’s unclear whether the office will remain open and the program continue following this election cycle, but club leaders will consider that possibility at a later date. For more information about the organization, visit —George Vernon is a local freelance writer. He can be reached at▼


GAY SAN DIEGO Sept. 16 – 29, 2016

How civilized

“The Cocktail Hour” By A.R. Gurney Directed by Rosina Reynolds

North Coast Rep’s ‘The Cocktail Hour’

Playing Wednesdays 7 p.m., Thursdays-Saturdays 8 p.m., with matinees Saturdays and Sundays 2 p.m., through Oct. 2

Theater Review Charlene Baldridge The normal upper-middle-class childhood circa 1930s was spent in a loving home replete with mother and father. It was an era when the majority of Americans tended to stay put. Many of our generation were born, grew up and remained in the same community all their lives. Others, like I, rolled around for a bit, following their work, their husbands, and at length, their dreams; settling at last in the far-flung elsewhere. Such is the case in A.R. Gurney’s “The Cocktail Hour,” which is set in upstate New York in the mid-1970s. Bradley and Ann’s three children (two seen, one unseen) have flown the coop or are about to do so, and that is a personal affront to their parents and their upbringing. The comedy of manners had its world premiere in the farflung elsewhere, precisely at the Old Globe Theatre in 1988, far from Broadway and far from Gurney’s lifelong teaching gig at


North Coast Repertory Theatre (l to r) Shana Wride, J. Michael Flynn, Cristina Soria and Chris Petschler sling more than drinks in “Cocktail Hour.” (Photo by Aaron Rumley)

M.I.T. The premiere was directed by then Artistic Director Jack O’Brien. I don’t intend to make comparisons, would just mention that the play was performed by Keene Curtis, Nancy Marchand, Bruce Davison and Holland Taylor. At North Coast Repertory Theatre, Rosina Reynolds stages “The Cocktail Hour” in a fine, neatly directed production that stars an endearing company, comprising Michael Flynn as the patriarch, Bradley; Chris Petschler as his playwright son, John; Cristina Soria as his martini-prone wife, Ann; and Shana Wride as John’s sister, Nina, who has a predilection for dogs. Lurking off stage is the unseen cook who spoils the roast and causes a protracted cocktail hour, and, in a nearby town, the couple’s other, favored son,

Jigger, who is about to leave his lucrative job to go to California (!) to become a boat-builder. “I’ve lost him!” Bradley dramatically proclaims in Act 2. Seeing this brilliantly comic play about the decline of the hidebound WASP population (white Anglo-Saxon protestants, Gurney’s frequent topic) took me back to Balboa Park, eating sack lunches with the playwright known to his friends as “Pete,” who was much produced at the Globe in those days, and whose childhood was similar to mine. He’s truly a nice, clever and intelligent guy. Marty Burnett’s set gives us some idea of the upper middle-class comfort of old money and established rituals. Elisa Benzoin’s two-piece, peach sweater and skirt set for Ann, allows a glimpse into the

matriarch’s taste for elegance and observance of a certain ritual and code of dress required of everyone. Never mind that a constant parade of servants (they aren’t what they used to be) belies her apparent competency. Her affections and true caring seem a bit lacking. The most reliable daily ritual is the cocktail hour. As his parents are tippling away, John arrives from New York City, where he is in the publishing business. Tucked under his arm is his latest play, already scheduled for Broadway. He’s come to ask permission, or at the very least to let his father know that he is the subject of the play, titled, “The Cocktail Hour.” Bradley, who considers John’s play a form of airing of the family laundry, bribes John to put the piece into a drawer.

987 Lomas Santa Fe Drive Solana Beach Tickets $43-$50 858-481-1055

This conflict, not the only one spread before us, is exacerbated by the lengthy cocktail hour. The play is excruciatingly funny as John’s more than tipsy relatives come to grips with their needs and personal desires and face the fact that their civilized way of life may be a relic of the past. Each role is played impressively and each actor shows a deep understanding of character amidst a playing field where there may have once been love. — Charlene Baldridge has been writing about the arts since 1979. You can follow her blog at or reach her at▼



GAY SAN DIEGO Sept. 16 – 29, 2016

Suddenly she sees KT Tunstall on why kissing girls wasn’t just a phase, admiring gender-fluid teens and channeling her masculinity By Chris Azzopardi Is she or isn’t she? Truthfully, KT Tunstall understands the confusion regarding her sexuality — she’s responsible for it, after all. Tunstall, whose breakthrough song, “Suddenly I See,” became every dreamer’s anthem after it was prominently featured in “The Devil Wears Prada,” opened up about those rumors on the heels of her latest album, “KIN.” (Chris Azzopardi | CA) How do you explain your big lesbian following?

(KT Tunstall | KTT) Listen, I’ve been super well aware of that from day one and have been so grateful for it. (CA) How did you become aware? (KTT) From day one of releasing an album where I have fucking rainbow suspenders on! [Laughs] The British album cover for “Eye to the Telescope” was homage to Patti Smith’s “Horses” album and I loved “Mork & Mindy” too, so we didn’t think about it. It wasn’t me pretending to be gay, but I’m on the front of my album

with these bright rainbow suspenders on. All the gay community thought I was gay — and they still think I’m gay! They’re just waiting for me to figure it out. (CA) Have you figured it out? (KTT) Not yet! [Laughs] Listen, I am absolutely all about no boundaries and no labels. I’m gender fluid. (CA) Is that how you’d describe your sexuality? (KTT) No, I wouldn’t. I am hetero, but you know, I’ve certainly — I did theater studies at college for Christ’s sake; of course I had fun with girls. It was weird in that community not to. And I get the feeling that it’s weird now for people to be kind of hung up about it — certainly in younger people I’ve met, which is such a beautiful shift. There are amazing people

KT Tunstall, whose new album “KIN” was released Sept. 9, performs at House of Blues next month. (Photo by Pamela Littky) spearheading that, like Cara Delevingne, Kristen Stewart and Eliot Sumner — she’s fucking awesome. It’s not even really an issue [for them] and I’m so glad.

(CA) How do those people inspire you? (KTT) I look at them as someone from the older generation and I just am so relieved that there isn’t as much angst. I feel less angst in this new generation of young people. It feels that there are less and less shackles on young people to adhere to old norms and that inspires me just to be brave in everyday life and to honor how confident and self-assured they are becoming at a much younger age than I did. I feel like I’m keeping up with teenage confidence here. (CA) Tell me about studying theater. (KTT) I wanted to be an actress when I was younger, so I started in a theater group when I was 8 years old and started performing when I was quite young. By the time I was 15, I went on this really amazing theater course called Scottish Youth Theatre and it was the first time I left home. We were living in a kind of dorm room situation and it was people who were into all sorts of music that I hadn’t been subjected to. I didn’t go to my first show until I was 15. I grew up at a very sheltered time in Scotland. (CA) What was your introduction to the gay community then? (KTT) It was during that time when I went to live in Glasgow. I had lived in St. Andrews — very, very straight up academic. When I went over to Glasgow for the theater course, many of the lecturers were gay and it wasn’t that it was surprising — I wasn’t shocked by it. It was much more that I realized there was this whole world of life I hadn’t known about. And there was definitely a very open attitude: If you like this person, then kiss them and that’s completely normal. That’s how fucking life should be, quite frankly. Why on earth would anyone have any problem with someone enjoying themselves? It doesn’t make any sense. (CA) And you were kissing girls then. Would you call that a phase? (KTT) No; I think it would be disrespectful to call it a phase. It was part of life. It was learning about love and learning about lust and desire and sexuality and becoming an adult and experiencing people. It was a really important part of my formative years.

see INTERVIEW, pg 13


INTERVIEW What’s interesting now is the gender fluidity issue, I think. That’s really exciting and something that I just personally would relate to much more had that been talked about when I was 17, 18. That’s what I would be leaning my ear into because, I mean, when I get on stage something quite masculine happens to me. I think this is also why people have questioned my sexuality. There’s definitely a kind of masculine energy and I’ve always felt that way and that comes through me when I perform. I think it’s also playing a guitar! [Laughs] I feel like I have a cock! The guitar is basically like a strap-on. But then it depends how you play it, because I don’t know if Joni Mitchell felt that way. There’s definitely something that happens when I take to the stage and it’s definitely much more prevalent than when I’m walking around buying eggs in the supermarket. [Laughs] I read a really great article with Eliot Sumner — Sting’s daughter — and I was quite envious thinking, “Wow, imagine being in my youth and it not really being an issue what gender you are,” because I always felt so tomboy. I grew up with brothers and when I was younger I always had lots of

male friends — mostly male friends. Actually, now, I have mostly female friends, and I think that I’ve kind of inhabited being a woman. I really love my femininity, but I felt like a stranger to it before. (CA) Which track on the album do think your LGBT fans might enjoy most? (KTT) Maybe “Hard Girls,” because that song is really about being vulnerable and not wearing an entire tub of hair gel on your head and all the makeup in the world and just being you, authentically you and not worrying. That song is totally meant to be a celebration, about just fucking not worrying too much about that stuff and letting people get to know you for who you are. (CA) What went through your head the first time you heard “Suddenly I See” in “Devil Wears Prada”? (KTT) I was floored! As an artist, having your song used in a movie — you never get the whole song used and you never get your song used without there being dialogue over the top of it. And the whole threeand-a-half minutes of the opening of the movie is just my song, unadulterated! I remember my manager saying to me, “Enjoy this because it’s probably never going to happen again.” (CA) How did you feel about Hillary Clinton using “Suddenly I See” as her 2008

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campaign song? (KTT) It was great. I’m not American, I can’t vote, but I would always want to see the Democrats in power, so I was really happy to be able to contribute in any way to try and make that happen. I don’t know what [a campaign] song would sound like right now — it’s crazy times. I wouldn’t even know where to start. It’s like watching a game show. It’s like watching “The Hunger Games” or something. It’s just completely bonkers. But seeing a woman in the position of President of the United States would be an amazing thing. (CA) And Donald Trump – many artists aren’t appreciating the fact that he’s been using their songs. (KTT) Yeah, he used one of my songs. I can’t remember where but someone tweeted that he used it. It was just fucking abhorrent and it just makes you want to have a wash. I want my work nowhere

(CA) I don’t want to classify the last album, “Invisible Empire,” as having a “lesbian folk” sound but ... (KTT) [Laughs] Listen, I was playing folk music and I was buttoning up the top button of my shirt — that’s all I need to say. (CA) When I listen to your latest album, it sounds like a kindred spirit to your debut, “Eye to the Telescope.” I hear similarities between the two. (KTT) Me too! It feels like the spiritual follow up to the first album. It feels like it’s taken three records to write my second album! And it’s not to disrespect the other albums, because I love them and they’ve been really important and I’m really proud of them. But I think from a personal point of view there’s a lot of familiarity in terms of where I was at when I wrote this record, where I’m really very unselfconscious and I totally love the music and I’m just having fun. I think it’s taken me a long time to get away from that incredibly powerful gaze of millions of people looking to see what you’re going to do next. It’s hard. (CA) When did you start feeling “that gaze”? (KTT) I think after the success of the first record. Making the second record, I was just

fucking exhausted. I was so tired. I’d been literally touring solid for two years and you’re in the studio trying to make a record and it’s just like … you’re just burned. And there’s a low possibility of you being able to make the best follow-up record that you can. I actually really loved that second record; I was just bummed because I wanted to do it garage-band style live and the record company really didn’t want to do that, so we ended up making a slicker record than I was intending on making. But you know, I’m proud of it. I think I listen back and I love it, but I was definitely feeling the effects of becoming famous. It was very weird. (CA) How would you describe fame? (KTT) You just feel like you’re in a bit of a glass box. And I’d been fairly shy when it comes to interacting with the tabloid press. I absolutely kept my fucking head down because that side of it can be quite frightening in terms of your lack of control of how you’re perceived by everybody. I really just kept my head down and didn’t really engage. I just didn’t want to do it; I didn’t want to go there. I’d actually feel much more comfortable with it now than I did then. Funny enough, [this album] was made in quite a similar way [to the first album]. It was

see TUNSTALL, pg 14

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GAY SAN DIEGO Sept. 16 – 29, 2016


TREVOR it thriving, many of Trevor Project’s Ambassador cities host “A Night Out With Trevor” as annual fundraisers, but San Diego has gone their own unique way. The San Diego Ambassadors of The Trevor Project will be hosting the second annual Orange Party on Sept. 24 at Hotel Solamar, a Kimpton hotel and restaurant Downtown. Orange is one of the primary branding colors of The Trevor Project and attendees are encouraged to “wear a splash of orange” to the festivities and get their photo taken on the “orange carpet.” First launched in 2015, the local event is being brought to you by event committee cochairs Joshua Coyne and John Callery, partners in Trevor and partners in life. The couple met at the University of San Diego several years ago, and as John described it, they couldn’t have been more opposite. “Josh’s days are spent building and maintaining relationships, bringing people together and inspiring others to lead,” said Callery, a native San Diegan. “I spend my time in front of a computer analyzing software, infrastructure and processes, and develop solutions to better connect people and information.” Those opposing skill sets acted as a magnet, however, pulling them together and over time, deeply ingrained them in this valuable nonprofit. Aside from co-chairing the local chapter together, Callery is a senior technology advisor to the national organization. But it wasn’t always that way, Callery said. When the couple first met, Trevor was a big part of Coyne’s life but Callery, caught up in his own projects at the time, didn’t really know

much about the organization beyond his boyfriend’s involvement. That soon changed, however, when Callery witnessed Coyne in action as part of a support team leading the response to a youth in crisis; a teen who was the target of bullying from every member of his immediate family, and, contemplating suicide, reached out to The Trevor Project. “It was a stark contrast to my own upbringing and ‘coming out story,’ and opened my eyes to the painful trials and tribulations experienced by so many young people across the country,” Callery said. “I’m not sure why it took this one single experience to open my heart to The Trevor Project’s cause, but perhaps previously ignorance was bliss. “That night, I saw my partner and the other volunteers at The Trevor Project as heroes; however, a Trevor volunteer will never accept the recognition of a hero,” Callery continued. “They see this as a duty to young people who deserve better — who are being raised in a world where a lot of work still needs to be done.” Last year on a whim, Callery drafted a website to help promote the first Orange Party, of which Coyne was then sole committee chair. The success of that inaugural event led Trevor Project CEO Abbe Land to request Callery’s services in developing a promotional website for their popular, celebrity-attended TrevorLIVE fundraisers, which take place in New York and Los Angeles and each bring in nearly $2 million annually. This past July, when Coyne asked his partner if he’d join him as co-chair of the San Diego Ambassadors committee, Callery said he didn’t have to think twice. “The Trevor Project is an integral part of our lives,” Callery said. “It challenges us to work as a team, gives us a common passion and inspires us to give back in ways that we are each

events ATTHECENTER Wednesday, Sept. 21

Saturday, Sept. 24

Lunch & Learn: SDG&E Energy & Money Saving Solutions

7:30 am, Normal St.

12 noon, The Center The state of CA is going through rate reform, which means there are changes coming to your electric bills. Learn about these changes and connect to solutions – programs, services and tools – that can help you save money and manage your energy costs. For more information or to RSVP, contact LaRue Fields at or 619.692.2077 x205.

Wednesday, Sept. 21

Bi Coming Out Group 7-8:30 pm, The Center Join The Center’s discussion group on bisexuality on the third Wednesday of every month. (PLEASE NOTE: the Bi Coming Out Group will meet on a different night next month - Tuesday, Oct. 4 at 7pm.) It’s a welcoming space to share your experiences, ask questions, discuss community issues and meet like-minded people. This group is open to all persons who are sexually and/or emotionally attracted to more than one gender. For more information, contact Aaron Heier at or 619.692.2077 x211.

AIDS Walk San Diego! Don’t forget to register and join us for #AIDSWalkSD! Can’t decide on how you’ll participate? Whether you’re walking, running or participating virtually, you can still sign up and help raise much-needed funds for HIV/AIDS programs and services throughout San Diego County. Register and start making a difference today at

the city of San Diego filmed and released a three-minute documentary on Garcia. It has received nearly 17,000 views on YouTube and Garcia said she has received feedback from around the world on the short film. To view the video, visit The Community Impact Award is bestowed on a member of the local community who has “contributed to the San Diego LGBTQ+ community through service, programs, funding, advocacy and volunteerism.” Coyne lauded Garcia in a press release for “bravely [going] above and beyond the call of duty to be supportive of LGBTQ+ youth, while continually inspiring fellow officers and our community to do the same.” Garcia said she is honored to be receiving this award and w be in attendance, with her will w by her side. wife “She is my rock,” Garcia said. “She has been there for me … she has always been loving and supportive of me throughout this journey. When I was down, she picked me up. She wiped away my tears and encouraged me to keep going. Without her, I would not have accomplished what I have.” Admitting that she, too, has experienced bullying and sufIn addition to the food, fered from depression, Garcia drinks, silent auction and live said she eventually overcame entertainment — including her fear of coming out and Broadway actress and singstepped boldly into her truth; er-songwriter Deborah Cox — both at home with her wife and this year’s Orange Party will two children, and at work, in be honoring one of San Diego’s what most consider a very con“finest” with their Community servative workplace. Impact Award; Christine “I thought I was alone; I Garcia, a transgender police ofthought I was going to lose all ficer with the San Diego Police respect from my family and my Department (SDPD). peers,” she said. “I hated myself Gay San Diego featured Garcia in its July 8 Pride issue. … I felt broken. [I didn’t think anybody] would love me for The article, titled “Change who I was. But I took a shot. I Agents,” told the stories of embraced myself and learned Garcia and police Sgt. Daniel to love myself and in return, I Meyer, who share duties as was loved and accepted, espeSDPD’s LGBT liaison office. As of press time, the feature is still cially by my other LGBTQ+ siblings. I made a change and the No. 1 read article on gay-sd. [others] can do the same. I am com since it was released. Just a week after that article, living proof of that.”

Trans Police Officer Christine Garcia is being honored at the Orange Party. (Courtesy Christine Garcia) By sharing her own story so publicly, Garcia wanted to offer help and guidance to others and she hopes to expand that role in the future. “I want society to see what being transgender is really about,” she said. “To get rid of their perceptions of who [the public believes] we are. I have had multiple people tell me I was not what they expected. We as a LGBTQ+ community, have several different voices with different backgrounds and experiences, but together, our voice can be loud and we all can make a difference. “I would love to start doing anti-bullying/harassment speeches in schools,” Garcia said. “Continue to spread awareness internationally and bring my experience as a transgender police officer to the mind and hearts of the public. We must stop the hate and I want to do my part in doing that.” For those wishing to get involved with The Trevor Project, Callery encourages a visit to their online signup form at trvr. org/sandiego. “We welcome volunteers yearround,” he said. This year’s Orange Party, with its theme of “Protecting the bright future of our youth,” will be held at Hotel Solamar, located at 435 Sixth Ave., Downtown. Tickets for “Orange Access” (general admission) are $75 and include a hosted bar from 6 – 9 p.m. along with dinner and live entertainment. “Trevor Stars” (VIP) tickets, which grant access at 5 p.m. for a special “Champagne Hour,” are $100. Reserved tables of 10 are $1,000, also include entry at 5 p.m. and offer a meet-andgreet with the evening’s talent. For tickets, visit j968em5. —Morgan M. Hurley can be reached at ▼



Tuesday, Sept. 27

Young Men’s Discussion Group 7:30 pm, The Center Connect to The Center and the community. Join other 18-35 year olds to talk about relationships, sexual health, activism, community building and more. The young men’s group meets at The Center on the 4th Tuesday of the month. For more information, contact Aaron Heier at 619.692.2077 x211, or The San Diego LGBT Community Center 3909 Centre Street • 619-692-2077

Twitter: @LGBTCenter

uniquely skilled at; and when combined, extend our capabilities as individuals.” Local entrepreneur John Ealy, who owns Harley Gray in Mission Hills and the Boathouse on Shelter Island, said he has been dedicated to The Trevor Project since 2000, and hasn’t missed a TrevorLIVE event in Los Angeles since their inception. “Trevor has meant the world to me,” Ealy said. “Not only is this a lifeline to young GLBTQ youth around the country, but this has in a way become a lifeline for myself. Understanding that everything I went through as a teen gave me the purpose and incentive to dive in head first and be involved with Trevor.”

made in Tony Hoffer’s studio and he has this really cute, cool DIY homemade studio and— same as the first record — I played a lot of the stuff myself and I think that was important for me, for this record. I put just as much of my undiluted self into this record because that’s where the joy comes from. —Chris Azzopardi is the editor of Q Syndicate, the international LGBT wire service. Reach him via his website at and on Twitter (@chrisazzopardi).▼


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The 27th annual AIDS Walk & Run, themed #NeverAlone, will take place Saturday, Sept. 24, and in addition to the hundreds of participants, it has a hefty list of sponsors. This year, Gilead Sciences, San Diego Human Dignity Foundation and Sempra Energy are all serving as “premier� sponsors for the annual event, which raises vital funds for local HIV/ AIDS service organizations. Other major sponsors include Barona Band of Mission Indians, GEICO, Jimbo’s Naturally, Medical Center Pharmacy, Modern Health Specialty Pharmacy, Urban MO’s, Hillcrest Brewing Company, Gossip Grill, and Baja Betty’s. Event sponsors include AT&T, BD Biosciences, Hillcrest Pharmacy, San Diego LGBT Pride, VITAS Healthcare, and Walgreens. Friends of AIDS Walk & Run are Speaker Emeritus Toni Atkins, Pfizer, Pride Pharmacy, San Diego County Credit Union, and Titlemax. The hydration sponsors, offering the very important hydration stations for runners


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and walkers, are Dasani and Hubert’s Lemonade. Nearly 8,000 participants are expected. Step off for runners begins at 7:30 a.m. in front of the Hillcrest Pride Flag, located at the corner of University Avenue and Normal Street. Walkers begin immediately afterward, at 7:35 a.m. The route takes runners and walkers west down University Avenue, south on Sixth Avenue, left on Laurel Street through Balboa Park, north up Park Boulevard and ends back at the Pride Flag. As of press time, the top five participants were Alex Ordoubegian ($2,551); David Ramos ($2,480); Patrick Anderson ($2,325); Ian Johnson ($2,256) and Kevin Lampard ($2,195). Top five teams are Sempra Energy ($25,180); The Center ($23,104); POZabilities ($12,642); Stepping Stone ($7,745); and WNSC and Walking for Memories ($6,7834). Volunteers are still needed and no experience is necessary. Contact Sarah MerkBenitez at 619-692-2077, ext. 202 or▟

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GAY SAN DIEGO Sept. 16 – 29, 2016


Broadway by way of San Diego Join ‘Lube: A Modern Love Story!’ reading at The Center By Stacey Blanchet Novelist Jack Turner is setting out on a mission to bring his musical “Lube: A Modern Love Story” to the bright lights of Broadway. “Lube” is a gay-themed play, written by a gay man, with music composed by a gay composer, intended for gay and gay-supportive audiences. It is a musical comedy that takes a serious look at growing up gay, including the decision whether to stay in or come out of the closet, bullying, prejudice and the lack of role models, religious persecution and teenage suicide. It also deals with friendship, changing attitudes, and acceptance — especially what can sometimes be the hardest of all: self-acceptance. Turner is on a mission to bring positive role models to gay youth and tell them that you can live happily ever after and he’s hoping San Diego can help with this journey. There will be a public reading of “Lube” at The San Diego LGBT Community Center on Oct. 1. Following is an interview with Jack Turner. Q: You are a sci-fi novelist. Why did you switch to musical theater and how hard is it to write a play? It’s not fair to call me a sci-fi novelist. I wrote two musicals before I ever published my first book! Still, I have five books published while neither of my musicals has been produced. I approach the task of writing a musical by starting with the music. Of course I have some general idea of the plot and I like to figure out where I need to express the emotions that a

Jack Turner (Courtesy Stacey Blanchet)

song evokes. I write the name of the songs first and then flesh out the lyrics. Next, I write the book around the lyrics and then fill in with additional songs. I always write more music than needed, since it’s easier to cut a song than it is to write one. The level of difficulty is based on how well one writes. I think I write pretty well, so I haven’t found it exorbitantly challenging. Q: Why do you believe “Lube: A Modern Love Story” should be on Broadway? While it’s impossible for me to be impartial, first and foremost I think “Lube: A Modern Love Story” is a really great show. It has sympathetic characters placed in interesting situations. The lyrics are witty and the music is fabulous. Further, “Lube” has a message: “Just love yourself; the rest will fall in place.” This musical is one more, albeit important, voice in a chorus — or perhaps a cacophony — of voices expressing their support for gay youth. Suicide rates for teens in general are high, but for LGBT youth, those figures shoot up dramatically. But “Lube” doesn’t just tell gay youth that “it gets better.” It tries to send a message to every person out there that life is difficult enough for an isolated teen, whether he or she be straight, gay, bisexual, or questioning, without adding to their misery. Treat everyone the way you would like to be treated. It might make some individual feel better temporarily to take their rage, hatred, and frustrations out on someone else, but ultimately they are only giving themselves more misery. Karma, if you want to call it that. Q: There is a process for which playwrights get their plays seen? Are you in that process and is it as hard as you thought it would be? Yes to both. I am in that process with the help of my

very talented creative team. This is the first time I’ve done this: my first audition, my first rehearsal, my first recording. It’s frustrating, at times, but fun. We’re still in our infancy, and who knows? Ultimately it may be too hard to get “Lube” to Broadway. Only time will tell. Our next step is to hold a public reading of “Lube” at San Diego’s LGBTQ Center. Q: “Lube: A Modern Love Story” conveys the universal message, “love yourself.” What sets the play apart from others and why should the public get behind it? People express this sentiment in different ways. The It Gets Better Project closely aligns with what I’m trying to accomplish. Even with countless celebrities sending that signature message, teen suicide rates are at epidemic proportions. More teens commit suicide in the U.S. each year than all the mass shooting deaths combined by a factor of 2 or 3. I don’t want to lecture on the topic, but the national figures are cause for grave concern. One of the reasons I wrote “Lube” was to provide positive gay role models in a fun and entertaining manner. The musical includes gays, lesbians, straights, bisexuals, and a drag queen or two. “Lube” is not a beall and end-all cure for gay suicide, but it’s one way of trying to reach that target audience, and perhaps, provide some relief, some hope, some sense of what could lie ahead for an individual to help convince them to stick around for a while.

Ultimately, one must ask: “What does ‘Wicked’ or ‘Hairspray’ offer, and why did the public get behind them?” I think the answer is that they are just a lot of fun. That’s my intention and I hope audiences will find that “Lube: A Modern Love Story” is exactly that. Q: How challenging is what you are trying to accomplish? It takes a long time for a play to make it to Broadway. Even if “Lube” was the best musical ever, it would take years to open there. The road we’ll take after the reading is a bit hazy. A lot depends on how well received the reading is. I submitted the play for production at Diversionary Theatre and the La Jolla Playhouse. Diversionary has declined to produce the show, but I suspect that “Lube” is too “big” a show to fit in their small space. I haven’t yet heard back from the La Jolla Playhouse, but should we get accepted, we’d really be on our way. I remember watching “Thoroughly Modern Millie” there before it opened on the Great White Way. If they also decline to produce the show, things get a bit more complicated. Q: What is your ideal situation for “Lube: A Modern Love Story”? Locate an LGBT celebrity to emcee the reading; hold a successful first reading of the full script with the music recorded and played at appropriate points; the La Jolla Playhouse informs

me that they would like to stage the play; we get offers from other theaters around the country to stage the musical; “Lube” goes off-Broadway for final tweaks; we open on Broadway as a smash success; and everyone associated with the play wins a Tony Award! This is a long journey. For most, it never happens. There will be setbacks, heartbreaks and a time when it all seems hopeless. But, for the dreamers this is when they shine the most. A deep belief in themselves and their project sustains them when most throw in the towel. I, for one, want to take that magic carpet ride to the light of Broadway. Who is going to join in? “Lube: A Modern Love Story,” a gay-themed Broadway-style musical, will have a full script reading on Saturday, Oct. 1, at 7 p.m. in the San Diego LGBT Community Center’s auditorium, located at 3909 Centre St., in Hillcrest. The cast will include Jeremiah Hein, Manny Lopez, Grace Karl, Jon Bada, Princess Grafwallner, Joseph White II, Whitney Reade, Jennifer Leon, Danny Ingersoll and Tim Arends and all 24 songs written for the play will be performed during the reading. Proceeds will help benefit the It Gets Better Project. For more information, visit lubemusical. com. For tickets, visit tinyurl. com/zncmkgs. —Stacey Blanchet can be reached at yourowngirlfriday@▼


GAY SAN DIEGO Sept. 16 – 29, 2016


Senior LGBT-affirming housing project

LGBT SENIORS Affirming senior communities are popping up in several communities coast to coast but most are unaffordable for the majority. Of the greater list of senior housing and communities, some are more affordable but not openly LGBT-affi rming. Of course much more needs to be done to prepare for the burgeoning onslaught of not just LGBT seniors, but seniors from the entire spectrum of a very diverse population. The good news is that most communities have a huge reserve of senior energy, talent, knowledge and experience, just ready to be harnessed. That represents an incredible resource opportunity worth tapping. As administrator of a 735 member Facebook group, called Caring for Our LGBT Seniors in San Diego, I’ve found the group to be fertile ground for tapping into that resource. Caring for Our LGBT Seniors in San Diego provides a safe site for the exchange of useful information, serving as a platform for outreach and the encouragement of direct member involvement and support. Here lie ideas waiting to be born and nurtured to create avenues for change. The reality is that San Diego is in a position to turn an unfolding crisis level disaster into a positive outcome and a successful model for the nation. We — you and I, the

The first informational session regarding the new senior LGBT-affirming housing project in North Park, currently under construction, saw a nearly packed house. (Photo by Ben Cartwright) ordinary citizens — are the force necessary to see to it that such a model is created. Because all San Diegans of all ages are at risk of seeing their standards of living and quality of life decline, we collectively have no choice but to form intelligent partnerships of healthy and mutually beneficial collaboration and cooperation throughout our city. We seniors must never believe that there is nothing we can do to create needed and desirable changes. We do not fare well when we depend totally on others to do for us what we can individually or collectively do for ourselves. If we do, we should never adhere to the fantasy that someone, who has not yet

experienced the challenges of aging or caring for an aging person, will deliver to us on a silver platter exactly what we need. As a society, we must keep government officials and agencies, businesses and nonprofits keenly aware of the immediate crisis level priorities at hand and make sure they take rational steps with us to address it. More importantly, we must be responsible for being a significant part of the changes we need and want to create. If you want to be included in the special Facebook group noted above, message me your email address via my personal Facebook account under William E. Kelly and I will add you as a member. Your email address

will not be used by or provided to anyone else other than to send you occasional but seldom daily notifications that a member has posted something relevant. —William E. Kelly is an LGBT senior advocate and activist in San Diego. Reach him at NOTE: If you missed this informational session but are interested in senior LGBT-affirming housing, the next session will also be held at The Center, Oct. 5 at 5:30 p.m. For more information contact LaRue Fields at or call 619-692-2077 x205. For a FAQ page, visit tinyurl.comjja3m4u.▼


4200 Texas St., North Park (Texas Street and Howard Avenue) Summary: 76-home development (65 one-bedrooms, 3 two-bedrooms, 7 studios); mixed-income; LGBT-affirming “‘LGBT-affirmative housing’ lets all interested parties or prospective applicants know that this housing community is one that affirms and supports its LGBT residents and their cultures. It actively works to ensure that all involved in management and service provision … are working to ensure the environment treats all residents with equality, respect and dignity.” —Dr. Delores Jacobs, CEO San Diego LGBT Community Center Projected opening: December 2017 Developer: Community HousingWorks Architect: Rodriguez + Associates Architects and Planners Builder: Alliance Residential Website: northparkchw FAQ: To watch the PSA about this special project, visit Next informational session: Oct. 5, 5:30 p.m., The San Diego LGBT Community Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest For more information: contact LaRue Fields, 619692-2077 x205


GAY SAN DIEGO Sept. 16 − 29, 2016


Kaaboo Del Mar: The three-day “mix-perience” starts today featuring music, comedy, craft cocktails, art exhibitions, gourmet food and more. Music headliners include: Aerosmith, Jack Johnson, Lenny Kravitz and more. Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar. Visit kaaboodelmar. com/passes. End of Summer #AIDSWalkSD Party: This party, which includes drinks, snacks and great people, will raise funds for AIDS Walk San Diego. $10 suggested donation. 5:30–8:30 p.m. Merk-Benetiz Residence, 3515 Fourth Ave., #3, Hillcrest. Visit Creative Crossroads one-year anniversary party: This marketplace featuring local art and handmade gifts will celebrate their one-year anniversary. Works by over 35 local artists will be featured. There will also be free drinks and snacks plus music, raffles and more. 5:30–9 p.m. Creative Crossroads, 502 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit Free family movie night: The Center will host a screening of “The Peanuts Movie.” These free family movie nights are held on the third Friday of each month. Attendees are encouraged to bring sleeping bags, blankets and pillows and dress in pajamas. 6:30–8:30 p.m. San Diego LGBT Community Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. Visit


Hillcrest LGBT History Tour: Lambda Archives of San Diego will lead this fun and informative walking tour through Hillcrest and its history. $20 for Archives members; $25 for non-members. 9:30– 11:30 a.m. Visit Queer/Trans people of color mixer: For a $5 donation, attendees can enjoy drinks, dancing and mingling at this 21-and-up mixer. Email Carolina Ramos at cramos@ for more information. 6–9 p.m. The Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. Visit American Military Partner Association West Coast Gala: The first West Coast gala of the AMPA will be held here in San Diego for LGBT military, veterans, spouses and allies. 6:30–10:30 p.m. Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina, 1380 Harbor Island Drive. Visit militarypartners. org/westcoastgala. San Diego Kings Club Anniversary Show: The San Diego Kings will celebrate 16 years at this party with hostess Miss Regina Styles and performers: Lisa Raye, Rudy Ramrod, Smokey Gonzalez, Whiskey Dick and Tony Technique. $5 at the door. Doors at 6 p.m. Show at 7 p.m. Numbers, 3811 Park Blvd., Hillcrest. Visit ‘Girls Night Out’ dance: Monthly dance for the local women’s community, consisting of a night filled with dance music. This month’s theme is “Mad Hatter” with a best hat contest, prizes and more. 7 p.m. Brass Rail, 3796 Fifth Ave., Hillcrest. Visit


Sunday School: Uptown Tavern’s “all new Sunday Funday” with childhood inspired cocktails and school food tray specials. 2–7 p.m. Uptown Tavern, 1236 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit


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


‘$6 Tuesdays with Showtunes’: A weekly singalong with showtunes from all eras and musical clips from TV, movie and stage productions from 5–10 p.m. All-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner for $6 and $6 drink specials (Urban MO’s Black Lemonades and Skyy vodka cocktails) offered from 5 p.m. to closing. Urban MO’s, 308 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit


World Peace Day celebration: A gathering by Mindful Mobile Learning for

an Om mediation with the intent to ripple peace from Ocean Beach throughout the world. Free, with donations appreciated. 6:30 p.m. Ocean Beach Tower 4. Visit

Diegans living with HIV and AIDS. Registration is $35. 7:30 a.m. The walk begins at the corner of University Avenue and Normal Street. Visit YPC September social: Join the Young Professionals Council for participation in AIDS Walk San Diego followed by a postwalk brunch at Spitz. Visit bit. ly/2cIiOPJ to join the AIDS Walk team. For more information, contact co-chairs Jeremy Bloom (jeremy.bloom@alumni. or Prabha Singh ( 9:30 a.m.–noon Spitz, 3515 Fifth Ave., Hillcrest. Visit facebook. com/YPCSD. The Orange Party 2016: The San Diego Ambassadors of The Trevor Project host this annual event to raise awareness for the services of The Trevor Project and raise funds to support it. There will be a silent auction, 4-hour hosted bar, dinner stations, live entertainment, and more. Tickets start at $75. 5–9 p.m. Hotel Solamar, 435 Sixth Ave., Downtown. Visit Food, Wine & Brew Celebration: This event at the San Diego Zoo is celebrating over 30 years and more than $5 million raised for wildlife conservation. The event includes food samples, tastings of wines and beers, live music, exotic animals and more. Tickets start at $125. 6:30 p.m. San Diego Zoo, 2920 Zoo Drive, Balboa Park. Visit SDPIX presents the Active Duty Military Party: Camo attire encouraged at this event featuring DJ Taj and DJ K-Swift. 10 p.m.–2 a.m. Rich’s, 1051 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit


‘To Catch A Thief’: Cinema Under the Stars presents the Hitchcock film starring Grace Kelly and Cary Grant. 8 p.m. $15. Additional screenings on Friday, Sept. 23 and Saturday, Sept. 24. 4040 Goldfinch St., Mission Hills. For more info, visit or call 619-295-4221.


Top of the Bay: SDPIX hosts this edition of the weekly rooftop LGBT happy hour and T-dance featuring cocktail specials, shuttle service to and from Rich’s San Diego and more. Attendees receive a handstamp for free entry to Rich’s from 10 p.m.–midnight. 6 p.m. Fifth floor of the Porto Vista Hotel, 1835 Columbia St., Little Italy. Visit TopoftheBaySanDiego on Facebook. 33rd anniversary at Flicks: This event will feature performance and go-gos hosted by Erica Foxx and music videos from the past three decades by DJ Will Z. There will be a hosted bar and free tapas from 6–7 p.m. and early bird raffle prizes from 7–9 p.m. Flicks, 1017 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit ‘Divas’: This week’s “Divas” features Vanity Jones, Jasmine Masters, Kickxy Vixen, Landa Plenty and the last performance by Ginger Douglas. The event will raise awareness and funds for AIDS Walk San Diego. Doors at 7 p.m.; show at 8 p.m. Rich’s San Diego, 1051 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit



AIDS Walk & Run San Diego: More than 8,000 individuals, teams, local businesses and other organizations will participate in this year’s AIDS Walk & Run to remember those lost to the disease and raise funds to support the more than 20,000 San

San Diego Restaurant Week: For eight days, over 180 participating restaurants in San Diego County will offer three-course prix-fixe menus for dinner from $20–$50 per person and two-course prix-fixe lunches for $10–$20 per person. Visit sandiegorestaurantweek. com. 5th annual Big Queer Bonfire: This bonfire and picnic will be held at Ocean Beach just south of Dog Beach. Fire should be raging by sunset at 6:40 p.m. Attendees should


Trashy Daddy Disco: Happy hour all night long plus throwback disco music and videos. 6 p.m.–close. Urban MO’s 308 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit bit. ly/2czzGuY.


Dolly Parton: The legendary performer will make a stop in San Diego! Tickets start at $40. 7:30 p.m. Valley View Casino Center, 3500 Sports Arena Blvd., Midway. Visit bit. ly/2czBNyI.


‘Dreamgirls Revue’: A weekly revue with a rotating cast of performers and featuring drink specials. $8 cover. Showtime is 8 p.m. Urban MO’s, 308 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit


SDGMC encore benefit ‘A Gala Cabaret’: Las Vegas star Blanche Debris will host this night of burlesque, comedy, song and dance, featuring Chad Michaels as Cher. Many guest stars scheduled to perform. All proceeds benefit the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus. 6–10 p.m. The Prado Grand Ballroom, 1549 El Prado, Balboa Park. Visit bit. ly/2czA0cZ.

—Compiled by Jen Van Tieghem. Email calendar items to or jen@▼


solution on page 14


ACROSS 1 Knight in the saga of Moff Mors 5 Put your rear in gear 9 Bring shame to 14 Early AIDS play 15 Hot stuff that gets shot off 16 “The Wizard of Oz” producer Mervyn 17 Character played by 10-Down 19 Story about busting some Trojans 20 Dig it 21 Remove a slip, perhaps 22 Danes of “Romeo + Juliet” 23 “People” person 25 Future queen of “Star Wars” 27 Start of a legal conclusion 30 Like “Beauty and the Beast” 34 Like Oscar of “The Odd Couple” 37 Direction for seamen 39 Achilles’ weak spot 40 Sheltered on the sea 41 “Growing Up Gay in the South” author James 42 “___ Upon a Mattress” 43 Glenn’s “Fatal Attraction” character

bring things to share and a bundle of wood. 2–11 p.m. Visit Benefit for Gypsy Wuf: A fundraiser for San Diego Cruisers Motorcycle Club member Gypsy Wuf (Roy Chrz) who was in a motorcycle accident. Special guests will include Chad Michaels, Angel Fairfax, Celeste W. Starr, Michael Torres and more. There will entertainment, Jell-O shots, an auction, raffle and more. $10 suggested donation 3-7 p.m. Redwing Bar & Grill, 4012 30th St., North Park. Contact Michael Lochner 619-501-6793 or Stephen Boyer 619-379-0281. Visit

44 Hathaway of “Brokeback Mountain” 45 Check out, in a fitting room 46 Book about autoeroticism? 48 Megan’s “Will & Grace” character 50 Comedian Johnson 52 Britten’s “Billy Budd” and others 56 Soup scoop 59 Pasolini’s sweet 62 Eighth mo. for Caesar 63 On the other hand 64 Disney series with 10-Down 66 He comes once a year 67 Land of Sinead O’Connor 68 Chance beginning 69 Deuce toppers 70 Like a generation, to Stein 71 Singer Fure

1 Father in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” 2 Former NFL player Tuaolo 3 Tool for cutting carrots 4 Expert ending 5 Pansies and similar groups 6 Chloe’s role in “Boys Don't Cry” 7 Plumb, and others 8 O’Keeffe’s stand 9 Cher’s portrayer in “Clueless” 10 Actress who just came out and tweeted “Aww thank you ...” to supportive fans 11 Aida solo 12 Fly like an eagle 13 London park name 18 Herman of “Hello Dolly” fame 24 Orientation of 10-Down 26 Screws up 28 World War II carbine 29 Do an Oscar winner’s job 31 Start of a selection process 32 Style of many South Beach buildings 33 Narrow valley

34 Way to address a dominatrix 35 Scat queen 36 In view 38 Part of San Francisco’s BART 41 Highsmith’s “The Price of ___ “ 45 Erection on the Great Plains, once 47 “Spartacus” venues 49 Type of man in an Elton John song 51 Ford flub 53 Turner that goes either way 54 Penetrating 55 Ire. patron 56 Bringing up the rear 57 Mold medium 58 Hamlet, for one 60 John Goodman’s “Normal, ___” 61 “Gay Cosmos” author Eighner 65 IRA increaser


LETTERS Yesterday I had a great cup of “Chief” [brand coffee] while admiring Barbara’s art that was painted with … COFFEE. You two are my heroes! Congrats on the new University shop. And I wish this article included how you both are so beloved by the Pearl Harbor survivors. —Vicki Jones-Pittman, via

Open and affirming in East County

[Ref: “Guest Editorial: East County church opens hearts, minds and doors,” Vol. 7, Issue 18, or online at] What a joy that book signing/brunch day was! People are still talking about the feelings of closeness we have for each other and this terrific and articulate family! Our family feels blessed and truly lucky to be included in the process of becoming open and affirming! My invitation is for anyone looking for a faith journey filled with love and being connected to people who care about you, that you feel welcome to attend Foothills Church at 4031 Avocado Blvd., La Mesa, California, 619-670-4009, services at 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. See you in church! — Lesley Huffaker, via

GAY SAN DIEGO Sept. 16 – 29, 2016

UPS practices called into question I wish to make Gay San Diego and our community aware of LGBT discriminatory practices of UPS. I understand their policy for someone to pick up a package is that they must have the same last name. While it is customary for heterosexual couples to have the same last name, thus allowing a spouse to pick up a package, it is not the case for same sex couples. I know of a few married couples that have either hyphenated or changes their last names, [but] everyone (including UPS) should understand that this is not the practice in the gay community. I understand the concern for security. Anyone picking up a package for a loved one can prove they are at the same address via driver’s licenses and utility bills. Perhaps this is a minor issue, but is a practice that unfairly affects our community. At first I tried to make UPS directly aware of this, after five phone calls to various representatives and supervisors, they had no intention of getting me to someone who could address this. Thus allowing a discriminatory practice to continue. Your help is greatly appreciated in making the community aware of this is appreciated. —Michael Martinez, via email ▼


Gay Resort Dr. | Cathedral City (760) 324-1350 | (800) 472-0836





SATURDAY Sept 24th

SEPT 29-30




GAY SAN DIEGO Sept. 16 – 29, 2016





are $25 and fully tax-deductible. VIP tickets are available for $125 and include a hosted cocktail reception from 6 – 7 p.m. VIP tables are $800 (six people) and $500 (four people). General admission doors open at 7 p.m. For tickets, visit sdgmc. org or call 619-432-2244.


The San Diego Natural History Museum in Balboa Park will be host of the 2016 Red Dress Party, which returns to San Diego Oct. 8, from 8 p.m. – midnight. The evening, dubbed “Red & Wild,” is promised to be full of surprises, though cofounder Marvin Hanashiro refused to divulge his secrets. “We’re very excited to host this year’s event at such a grand venue with ‘Red and Wild’ as our new theme,” Hanashiro said. “We also have some stellar entertainment and surprises in store for this year’s attendees and can’t wait for everyone to revel in the celebration.” Though Hanashiro remained tight-lipped, the evening has been billed as “a night of music and dancing mixed with charity.” All attendees are required to wear a red dress — the color identified with the original AIDS ribbon insignia — regardless of sexual identity or sexual orientation. “This serves as a powerful sign of solidarity and compassion for all of us affected by HIV/AIDS and a way to unite the crowd in one radiant theme,” Hanashiro said. The primary beneficiary for the second year in a row is the San Diego HIV Funding Collaborative (SDHFC). Chaired by the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation, the SDHFC has been a local HIV funding and advisory resource since 1990. The Red Dress Party event sold out in 2015 and their fundraising goal for 2016’s “Red and Wild” night is $20,000. Founded in 2015, the Red Dress Party San Diego is presented by the Think Red Project, a 501(c)3 that’s mission is “to plan, promote and produce events that raise funds and awareness for the local HIV/AIDS community, as well as activate a new generation of philanthropists who want to do something that is both feelgood and fun-loving.” For more information, visit ▼

that first year,” Megan said. “When we first left Kansas [for] Deadwood, South Dakota, so many times on that drive I kept envisioning our car flying off the road or head-on collisions, because … every bad thing that could happen to you was a tool in God’s arsenal. I kept thinking, God is testing me and I’m failing and now I’m going to get cancer, or I’m going to be murdered. Any horrible thing that could happen to us was definitely something that was on the table and a felt like a legitimate fear.” Though she has no contact with her seven siblings who

remain in the church, asked what her hope for them is, Megan said, “I hope that they all leave — and not just that they leave, but that they come to see that the things we were taught are so much more than questionable. There’s so much in the world that contradicts those things that we were trained not so see. ... I hope with all my heart that something will get through that shield of guilt and fear and shame.” For tickets or more information on the ADL’s presentation with Megan Phelps-Roper, visit or call 858-565-6896. —Pat Sherman is a local freelance writer and editor and a former editor of Gay San Diego. He can be reached at▼

San Diegans can hear the story of Roper's exodus from the WBC and her family on Sept. 27 (Courtesy Megan Phelps Roper)

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