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Volume 6 Issue 22 Oct. 30 – Nov. 12, 2015

Palm Sp rings Pride Page 3

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LGBT ‘Dems’


Four decades of progress and fun By George Vernon

to everyone. The parade route was shifted a little north on Palm Canyon Drive and reversed its direction to make room for festival setup. De Harte said the festival “changed overnight” once it made the move and stopped charging attendees to get in. “The community and out of town visitors flocked to the festival

The San Diego Democrats for Equality are celebrating 40 years of working within the Democratic Party and greater community to further progressive values and candidates — and they’re ready to celebrate! The club will host a 40th Anniversary Brunch on Sunday, Nov. 7, featuring former Assembly Speaker John Perez with current and past club members, and the general community is also invited. The mission statement of San Diego Democrats for Equality sums up well what the organization has sought to do for the past four decades: “a progressive democratic LGBT and allies San Diego-based organization that aims to unify and organize all those interested in supporting and furthering progressive democratic values guaranteed to all Americans regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, race, class, ethnicity, religious affiliation, or age.” Since its founding in 1975, the club has worked hard to support both candidates and issues that benefit LGBT equality. In fact, the club was named the San Diego Democratic Club until mid-2011 when the organization decided to rebrand itself as San Diego Democrats for Equality. According to the club, back in 1975, there was an overall lack of support for LGBT issues within San Diego politics, even among Democrats. Club founder Bob Lynn and other founding members had difficulty finding 30 people willing to put their name to paper to help secure the club’s charter for fear of being outed. They were able to round up a few courageous non-LGBT friends who came forward to help meet the 30-person threshold and a charter was procured. Early meetings were held in private homes because politicians and others did not want to be seen in a public place attending a gay club meeting. The club’s history in San Diego’s LGBT community is long; the only LGBT organizations in San Diego older than the Democrats for Equality are the San Diego LGBT Community Center and the Imperial Court de San Diego (faith-based groups Metropolitan Community Church, and Dignity San Diego also pre-date 1975). The Democrats for Equality was one of the few social and political outlets available to LGBT people and their allies at the time to help affect change. The club slowly became an emerging force in the 1980s and began using computers to create LGBT voter lists, giving the club the opportunity to have

see Pride, pg 3

see Democrats, pg 18

New era for Diversionary



Ungouging the gouge

The alternative to Turing's Daraprim in different potencies. (Courtesy Imprimis Pharmaceuticals)

Local pharma company responds to price hike of AIDS pill Turing founder and CEO — and former hedge fund manager — Martin Shkreli then increased Daraprim’s price per Turing Pharmaceuticals, a New York-based start-up, aptablet from $13.50 to a shocking $750, almost overnight. pears — on the surface — to be in business for the betterment The impact on the infectious diseases and AIDS/HIV of the world. communities was immediate, costing care of patients who The company’s home page states that Turing is “focused depend upon the drug to skyrocket. on patients with unmet medical needs,” and “dedicated to As news of the inappropriate price gouging went helping patients, who often have limited or no effective treatviral, Shkreli took to social media and even cable news ment options, by developing and commercializing innovative outlets to defend the extreme price increase but crititreatments for serious diseases and conditions across a broad cism only increased. range of therapeutic areas.” The now high-profile entrepreneur even found presiBut at what cost? dential candidates on both sides of the aisle taking issue Back in August, Turing acquired Daraprim, described by with him. the FDA as an anti-parasitic drug used to prevent malaria and After a few days of rigorously defending himself, he finally treat toxoplasmosis as well as opportunistic infections associsee AIDS Pill, pg 2 ated with AIDS and other weakened immune systems.

Morgan M. Hurley | Editor

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Desert hearts North Park staple at 65


An introspective Gomez

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The last Pride celebration of the year Morgan M. Hurley | Editor

Palm Springs Pride, themed “Color Our World With Pride,” is back again and according to organizers, it is bigger and better than ever. In past years, the PS Pride parade has always marched down Palm Canyon Drive, and a Friday night block party took over Arenas Road, but the two-day festival was always held at Sunrise Stadium. Though comfortable enough with plenty of grass and shade, the enclosed stadium facility was ultimately just too far off the beaten path and away the LGBT-focused Arenas Road. That all changed in 2014, however, when the festival was brought to the heart of Palm Springs and spread out across the center of downtown. With some very minor hiccups, the move has been extremely beneficial, said Ron de Hart, executive director of Palm Springs Pride. “The move to downtown created what

San Diego’s big Pride flag is carried down Palm Canyon Drive every year during Palm Springs Pride Parade. (Courtesy PSP) is the largest event to occur in Palm Springs, along with the largest traffic closure the city has ever seen,” de Harte said. “So with that there are a lot of logistics to iron out. We really work hard to have a minimal impact on surrounding neighborhoods and we have seen the community being very supportive.” Not only did they move the festival location, they dropped the entrance fee, opening up the festival



GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 30 – Nov. 12, 2015


AIDSPILL set his Twitter account to private and “receded” from public, USA Today reported on Sept. 24. Forbes summed it up Oct. 27, when sharing the results of an industry poll recently taken on the matter, stating, “The overwhelming majority of people in the biotech industry think that Martin [Shkreli] is a moron.” In the same article, Forbes also reported, “The Biotechnology Industry Organization voted to remove Turing Pharmaceuticals as a member of their organization.” Though at one point Shkreli had promised to drop the price back to $13.50, he has made no move to do so. Enter Imprimis Pharmaceuticals, a San Diego-based pharmaceutical company run by CEO Mark Baum, which announced last week that they will offer a compound alternative of the drug for 99 cents per pill. The announcement elevated this Carmel Valley company to national hero status. Their pill, a compound of Pyrimethamine (Daraprim’s generic name) and Leucovorin, a folic acid that helps reduce the side affects of Pyrimethamine which suppress bone marrow production, is available now for 100 units per bottle ($99). Baum said they have stocked both of these ingredients long before Turing’s price hike — allowing them to respond quickly to the price increase — and that they are easily able to offer the pill for less than a dollar for the foreseeable future. “The chemical Pyrimethamine is very inexpensive,” Baum said. “Leucovorin is more expensive, but it too isn’t that costly relative to other chemicals we buy. We make a nice profit at 99 cents per pill. Not only is that price here to stay, if people cannot afford

Imprimis CEO Mark Baum (above) said he is "sensitive" to the needs of people who suffer from HIV/AIDS. (Courtesy Imprimis Pharmaceuticals) even that price, we will assist them to make sure they have access. The key for me and for Imprimis — is patient access, particularly when the penalty for not having access can be death.” It is important to note that Shkreli stated that even if he were to drop the cost back down to $13.50 per pill, his company was “barely” making a profit. Baum, a Houston native, moved to San Diego for grad school in 1995 and said he never left. He told Gay San Diego that he bought Imprimis in 2011; brought it out of bankruptcy, restructured it, renamed it and began a new company from the ground up. “[We] built our current business model from scratch with the help of an absolutely fabulous and committed team of brilliant, creative and passionate people,” he said, adding that Imprimis is a NASDAQ-listed public company (IMMY). That current business model is getting much better press than Turing is these days. Baum said that although he respects Shkreli’s right to make the

choices he did, he operates his business and his life, very differently. “I have financed businesses — in pharmacy and diagnostics — that have served the HIV/AIDS community for more than 15 years,” Baum said. “I am sensitive to people who suffer from HIV/AIDS. While I cannot exactly understand every person’s particular suffering, God did bless me with empathy for others, and when I learned about what Turing had done, I made sure we had something meaningful to offer, checked with our lawyers to make sure I understood the risks of doing what I was planning and then I decided to take action.” Imprimis does things a little differently than many pharmaceutical companies; they don’t invent new drugs or do what Baum called “expensive and risky” clinical research. Instead, they own four compounding pharmacies across the country and as a result, make their own compounds to meet patient’s needs. They are currently on track to be a national leader in the industry, and this current uptick in attention just might help that along. “We take the existing ‘palate’ if you will, of FDA-approved, wellcharacterized generic drugs and we build new patient-specific drugs with them,” Baum explained. “While we admire the place of the big-branded drug companies to create and innovate and take risk, we serve people differently by using drugs that are already available and well-characterized and we offer them in new ways or for new purposes. “We sort of ‘recycle’ or re-use what already works really well,” he continued. “It isn’t glamorous, but the key is that what we make is based on tried and true FDA-approved active ingredients that have worked for a long time.” Though some will argue that their alternative to Daraprim is not FDAapproved, Baum disagrees. “Our compounded formulation is not FDA-approved and it will never be,” he said. “The bulk drug substance, Pyrimethamine, is FDAapproved. Smart doctors, patients and others understand that Daraprim is just a name in advertising.” Baum also emphasized that Turing purchases Pyrimethamine, but they don’t make it; and they acquire it from the same FDA-approved, registered and inspected manufacturers as Imprimis does. “If doctors think of this as Pyrimethamine instead of Daraprim, and believe that the addition of the active Leucovorin is beneficial to the needs of their respective patients, then patients will be served and all will be well,” he said. He said this type of price gouging happens all the time and the likes of Shkreli are not unusual, and he points to the policies in place that need to be “tweaked” to ensure no more “Turinglike actions” happen again. “This was an unintended consequence of questionable public policy,”

he said. “This was not capitalism, which involves competition, something I am vigorously supportive of. This was someone taking advantage of a government-created monopoly, which I trust was not the intention of anyone connected to the current policy.” Baum was not interested in being called a hero for his actions, but he said he hopes that in addition to San Diegans benefiting from them, that people across the U.S. benefit as well. “Who are the people who suffer from HIV/AIDS? They are our brothers, sisters, cousins and friends. They are people we love. And who knows, ‘they’ could have been me,” Baum said. Baum calls for the FDA, policy makers and the pharmaceutical industry to work together to not only respect innovation, but to reduce monopolies and scenarios that allow for people like Shkreli to take advantage of the policies in place at the risk of patients who wake up to these overnight price hikes. “I can’t imagine what I would feel like if I had toxoplasmosis and felt that kind of sense of desperation,” he said. “This was Turing’s surprise to thousands of people. … Now, there is not any reason to not have access to a viable and low cost compounded medicine for this condition,” Baum said. “Mr. Shkreli can put that in his pipe and smoke it.” If this price hike affected you, talk to your doctor or contact Imprimis Pharmaceuticals at imprimiscares. com. Baum said they will put any physician in touch with the pharmacists who can grant them access to their Pyrimethamine/Leucovorin compound, and address any needs or questions you or your doctor specifically have. To learn more about Imprimis Pharmaceuticals, visit —Morgan M. Hurley is the editor of Gay San Diego. She can be reached at


GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 30 – Nov. 12, 2015




and parade in record numbers,” he said. “Offering free admission opened the Pride experience to everyone in the community and the result was the most diverse attendance ever seen with Pride in Palm Springs.” DeHarte said attendance — which he said was 50,000 on Saturday and another 35,000-40,000 on Sunday — beat the numbers at Los Angeles, Long Beach and San Diego Pride festivals. Despite the road closures and influx of cars and traffic, the event is having a positive impact on businesses, too. “Feedback has been positive from the business community,” de Harte said. “There was only one merchant who complained to news crews but he never contacted Pride. Overall the business community has known for many years that Pride is a huge economic boost to the region. The increase in attendance is music to a merchant’s ears.” Last year PS Pride brought in three large DJ booth / dance floor props from Burning Man, and this year they will again change things up with the Souleil Dance Tent, a karaoke area, and what they are calling the “Big Ass Amazingly Awesome Homosexual Sheep (BAAAHS)” DJ stage. This stage is made up of a 40-foot “art car” sculpture, also from from Burning Man, in the shape of a sheep. It will offer the music of 15 DJs over the weekend during festival hours. In addition to all the options for dancing, their performance stage will once again headline some great acts. Last year one of the biggest draws was the Psychedelic Furs and this year they are bringing 10,000 Maniacs to headline the festival on Sunday. Following the lead of most other large city Pride Parades — San Diego

CORRECTION In our last issue, we incorrectly identified the date of the 2015 induction ceremony for the Benjamin F. Dillingham, III and Bridget Wilson LGBT Veterans Wall of Honor, twice in the same article [see “Freedom to ser ve,” Vol. 6, Issue 21 or at gay-sd. com/freedom-to-ser ve]. The date was corrected immediately online thanks to an ver y alert and helpful reader. For those with the paper, the actual date and time of the ceremony is Thursday, Nov. 5 at 5:30 p.m. at the San Diego LGBT Community Center, located at 3903 Centre St., in Hillcrest. It is always held on the Thursday before Veterans Day. We regret the error.

Palm Springs Pride Nov. 6 – 8

(top) Cheli Mohamed joins San Diego contingent of volunteers each year; (bottom) 10,000 Maniacs will headline; (right) bikes at start of the parade. (Courtesy PSP) is one of the few celebrations across the nation that has a parade on Saturday — the Palm Springs Pride Parade takes place on Sunday, Nov. 8, at 10 a.m. The parade “steps off” in the Uptown Design District at the corner of Tachevah Drive and Palm Canyon Drive and then moves south to Amado Road. This year’s Grand Marshals include Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry; and Paul Campion and Randell Johnson,

both plaintiffs in Obergefell v. Hodges case that opened up same-sex marriage in all 50 states. Community Grand Marshals are the co-owners of Hunters Nightclub on Arenas Road — Patrick Volkert, Jennifer Seymour and Mark Hunter. The parade’s international celebrity grand marshal will be Ruby Murry, dubbed the “Queen of Ibiza, Spain.” After the parade, Murry will perform at 3 p.m., opening for the 10,000 Maniacs on the US Bank stage, and deHarte said “he

should not be missed.” All of the grand marshals will be in attendance and receive recognition at Out PSP, the weekend’s kickoff party on Friday, Nov. 6, from 5 – 8 p.m., which will also include an abundance of food and beverage tastings from area restaurants and bars. For years, deHarte has relied on volunteers not only from the greater Coachella Valley, but from other nearby cities, with a large contingent from America’s Finest City. “In addition to our local volunteers, we enjoy a loyal volunteer team that travels in from San Diego, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, and Phoenix,” he said. “Our stages have been managed by the San Diego Pride Entertainment Team for quite a few years. This year, Gardenia Partridge, Benny Cartwright, Rick Cervantes, Fernando Lopez, Cheli Mohamed, Patty Zwolinski, Anne and Marge Hewett, Edwin Rivera and the Stonewall Citizens’ Patrol are all a part of the Palm Springs Pride team.” All the information you need is on the Palm Springs Pride website, found at —Morgan M. Hurley can be reached at

Out PSP — Nov. 6 Kick-off to Pride El Mirador Plaza, fourth floor Tastings and cocktails from local businesses Tickets: 5 – 8 p.m. Arenas Block Party — Nov. 7 Arenas Road FREE, 21+ Synth pop and Electronic EDM 6 – 11 p.m. Pride Festival — Nov. 7 – 8 Downtown FREE Five stages One dance tent, one karaoke tent 120 performances Two beer gardens 150 exhibitors Food and beverage booths Local merchants open Children’s area Sat: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. (11 p.m. on Arenas Road) Sun: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (6 p.m. on Arenas Road) Pride Parade — Nov. 8 Uptown, Palm Canyon Drive Between Tachevah Drive to Amado Road 10 a.m. – noon



GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 30 – Nov. 12, 2015

Setting the stage for a new era Profiles in Advocacy Ian Morton When it comes to LGBT milestones, I think we can argue that the West Coast is “where it’s at.” From the “The Daughters of Bilitis” lesbian civil rights group, founded in San Francisco in 1955, to the preStonewall gay and lesbian uprisings at Los Angeles’ Cooper’s Donuts, and of course, our history of out LGBT elected officials, the allure of the West Coast has proven a bastion for the LGBT community. San Diego’s Diversionary Theatre, founded in 1986 and the third oldest operating LGBT theater in the U.S., is an important part of that heritage. The 1980s marked tumultuous times for the LGBT community. We were still reeling from the assassination of Harvey Milk in 1978. LGBT civil rights legislation was stagnant under the Reagan administration. AIDS was decimating the gay male community. Over a decade would

The cast of “Amazons and Their Men,” a complex play recently staged and directed by Executive Artistic Director Matt Morrow. (Courtesy Diversionary Theatre)

pass before a major celebrity would come out of the closet. Founding artistic director, Thom Vegh realized that we needed a creative outlet to tell our stories; hence Diversionary Theatre was born. A perfect play on “diversity” and “visionary,” the San Diego LGBT community has supported and kept the theater alive for nearly 30 years. Starting as an itinerant company, the plays were held where room could be found, from bars to junior high schools and even the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theatre. Never shying away from controversial

topics, including the ongoing AIDS crisis, Diversionary cast and crew found themselves ousted from more mainstream venues, but they remained true to the vision of telling our stories. Board member and long-time patron, Scott Williford, has been actively collecting Diversionary’s history, and he shared some of his personal memories and findings with me. “The first 10 years of the theater were an especially tumultuous time and reflected the crises in our community,” Williford said. “The theater

started in 1986 when our first artistic director, Thom Vegh, recognized the need to have a forum to tell the gay and lesbian stories in the mid1980s, when leaders in government from the President on down had yet to publicly acknowledge the AIDS crisis. Many of those early stories such as ‘Disappearing Act’ and ‘Remember My Name’ depicted the stories of people with AIDS and even used actors who were themselves struggling with the illness during their performance. It was a painful and raw time in our community and many of the stories we told reflected these struggles.” In 1994, Diversionary moved into the space with which many San Diegans identify the theater, 4545 Park Blvd. In 2006 this became more permanent as the estate of Dr. Fritz Klein, longtime board member, gifted the building to Diversionary Theatre. Since its inception, the theater has produced nearly 140 mainstage shows, not to mention other artistic and cultural events, which resonate with the LGBT community. As Diversionary prepares to celebrate 30 years of LGBT theater and performing arts, we find artistic director, Matt Morrow at the creative helm. Morrow joined Diversionary in November of 2014, and has wasted no time finding his footing and making his mark. We had some time to discuss his transition, his goals and what drew him to Diversionary. “My first thought was ‘Wow’, this theater is just so beloved by the San Diego community; 30 years of support is a true testament to how much this community values their art and stories,” Morrow said. Helming his first season as Artistic Director as the 30th anniversary of the theater draws near, Matt had a choice to follow a standard script and do a “Diversionary’s Greatest Hits” season, but instead he wanted to stay true to the ongoing mission. “I’m asking people to take a 'leap of faith' with me,” he said. “Let’s focus on new, relevant shows by the writers who are the future of LGBT theater!” His first directed show of the season was the challenging, poignant and sometimes humorous “Amazons and Their Men,” a complex play that required finesse of both acting and production. Through a grant from Las Patronas Foundation, Diversionary was able to upgrade the lighting and production capability of the theater space, making for one of the most nuanced and sophisticated productions to grace the stage. Next we will have the chance to see the West Coast premiere and first regional production of “Bright Half Life,” by playwright Tanya Barfield. Fresh from its well-lauded off Broadway production, the play explores the interracial love between two women over a 40-year period and officially opens on Nov. 6. In addition to a full season of performances, Diversionar y continues to make space and time for emerging artists in multiple areas of the performing and visual arts as well as the greater community. Matt was thrilled to see the revival of the student matinee series, connecting San Diego’s youth to free show performances and providing both a “talk back” after the show and pre/post education in their classrooms. Additionally, programs like Word Play Tuesday provide a monthly forum for up-and-coming playwrights to present readings of portions of their works. Matt looks forward to thoughtful and pragmatic growth as Diversionary finds its “sweet spot,” as he envisions a “neighborhood theater with an international reach.” Purpose, impact, and ultimately, illumination, are the goals for another 30 years. To learn more about Diversionary Theatre, its shows and community programs, visit —Ian D. Morton is the senior program analyst at San Diego Human Dignity Foundation and produces the Y.E.S. San Diego LGBTQ youth conference. To nominate an individual or nonprofit for this column, please email the information to


Kind, flexible and forgiving: the keys to losing weight Life Beyond Therapy Michael Kimmel Of all the problems in life, how much we weigh seems to be a concern for ever yone I’ve ever met, myself included. In my work as a psychotherapist, clients typically don’t bring this up in the beginning of our work together. They usually wait until we’ve gotten to know each other better before they feel comfortable enough to talk about their weight. This tells me that — for most of us — our weight is a ver y tender spot in our psyche. How much we weigh, how our body looks and how we feel about our body is a major part of our selfimage. In the LGBT community, our weight may be even more highlighted than in the straight world. I recently visited family members in Ohio, and my relatives repeatedly told me some version of: “Gay people always look better than us straight folks, you guys are always thinner and work out more than we do.” As a psychotherapist, I often work with clients on their motivation for losing weight. This is usually the essential ingredient to success. I ask my clients: • Why do I want to lose weight? • What will help keep me on track in exercising and eating smart? • How can I not sabotage the process? I suggest that if you want to lose weight, you write down your answers to these questions and post them on your refrigerator. Use them to keep going when the going gets tough. In my experience, only a weight-loss program that is kind, forgiving and flexible will work in the long haul. Keeping that in mind, here are some other strategies I encourage my clients

to use: When you stay on track, reward yourself. When you fall off the wagon — as we all inevitably do — and eat a bag (or two) of chips, forgive yourself. Maybe your program was too hard. Adjust it. Break it down into smaller bits and set yourself up to succeed. Focus on long-term success. Sure, you can lose 15 pounds by drinking only liquids for four weeks, but can you sustain this for the next four months or years? Track your progress. Write it down. Lots of people resist this step because they don’t want to know what they actually eat. It may suck to see exactly what you’re putting in your mouth, but the only way to change is to know the baseline you’re changing from. Fooling yourself doesn’t work. Plan ahead: How will you handle holiday parties, eating out and traveling? Ask for help from other people. People who really love you will help you avoid temptations, those who don’t may enjoy your vulnerability. Surround yourself with the former as you begin to change your old habits. Know yourself: Are you an all-or-nothing person or someone who does best with gradual change? Use your strengths to your advantage. Your weight-loss plan needs to work for you, not the person who wrote the latest diet book. Know your enemies: I always encourage my clients to make a list of the obstacles that interfere with taking good care of themselves. Do you over-eat when stressed or bored, or skip your yoga/pilates/exercise when you’re tired at the end of the day? On a piece of paper, make two columns: the first is for your obstacles to health, the second is what you’ll do to address that obstacle. I used to eat a pint of ice cream out of boredom or loneliness, so I put this in column one.

Then I wrote down two strategies to address this in column two. They were: • Put a sign on the refrigerator: “Are you bored? Are you lonely? Eating won’t fix it.” • Remind myself: “I can eat ice cream as long as I pay attention to ever y bite I eat. When I stop paying attention, I have to put down the spoon.” This really helped me stop “shoveling” the ice cream down my throat without really tasting it (an old habit). Above all, don’t be discouraged if it takes you a while to reach your weight goal — focus on one step at a time. We’re going for long-term health and happiness, not a quick fix that’s unsustainable. Physical health — like mental health —is a lifelong project. To make it work, be kind, flexible and forgiving. Your body (and mind) will thank you. —Michael Kimmel is a licensed psychotherapist who specializes in helping LGBT clients achieve their goals and deal with anxiety, depression, grief, sexually addictive behavior, coming out, relationship challenges and homophobia. Contact him at 619-955-3311 or visit

GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 30 – Nov. 12, 2015


Keeping busy at the Archives Out of the Archives Walter G. Meyer Ever y time we think things are slowing down and we’re catching up, we find ourselves busier than ever here at Lambda Archives. In conjunction with Diversionar y Theatre’s Open Monday Series, Lambda Archives recently hosted another successful Out At the Archives event. In celebration of “Hispanic Heritage Month,” Larr y Baza presented a brief histor y of the Latino/a segment of the LGBT community, followed by a panel of leaders addressing issues of importance to them. About 50 people attended this thoughtful discussion that could have gone on for hours as these representatives spoke passionately of their struggles as both Latinos and members of the LGBT minorities. Many an eye grew moist as Nicole Murray Ramirez told of tr ying to provide body bags for AIDS victims in Tijuana in the early days of the pandemic. In preparing the historical program, we found that sadly, the Archives had little information on the many Latino organizations and individuals that have enriched the diverse world that is San Diego’s LGBT community. We noted another gap in our holdings when activist Kurt Cunningham died and we were shocked to see that we had nothing about him. This raises the point that Lambda Archives is

your histor y. We are only as good and complete as the materials that are donated to the collections. Entire organizations have come and gone without leaving a tangible trace because no one thought to give their photos, papers, and memorabilia to the Archives. Our holdings are especially sparse when it comes to the minorities within our minorities: trans histor y and people of color. If you or your group have meeting minutes, photos, founding documents or other pieces of histor y, we would be happy to have them and promise to do our utmost to make sure they are preser ved for the future. All of our collections are processed into acid-free folders and cartons or photo sleeves and stored in our climate-controlled archival space. Stop by and check out the care given to all of the items that have been entrusted to our care. Rick Cer vantes, co-chair of the San Diego LGBT Community Center’s Young Professionals Council (YPC), spoke of another event this month. “We were so glad to be able to host our October YPC Tuesday series event at Lambda Archives,” he said. “The Young Professionals Council of The Center exists to engage LGBT and ally San Diegans in leadership and community ser vice, and this was the perfect opportunity to show off this San Diego treasure to a group who were primarily unaware of it. Our community has an amazing histor y and we are aware of the importance of honor-

see Archives, pg 13



GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 30 – Nov. 12, 2015

Letters Remembering Kurt Re: cover story

Thank you for this great article Walter [see “Death of an Empress,” Vol. 6, Issue 21, or at nfrkfu7]. Very informative and thorough as far as getting to know Kurt’s struggles. I am a survivor of a carriedthrough suicide act many years ago and while I got help and continue on using mental health professionals and prescribed medication, it is true that it is indeed a lifetime struggle because thoughts of suicide sometimes still come fleeting in my mind even if passive. If someone like Kurt who had a lot of activities on his plate and many people looking to him for help could succumb to those thoughts, then certainly others, especially those who don’t seek help, can as well. —Fred Naval, via

Walt, this is so well-written and helps those of us trying to understand Kurt’s suicide. Surely something he would have wanted. —Ellen Holzman, via

Re: op-ed #RIPKurtCunningham [see “The peacock has flown,” Vol. 6, Issue 21, or at]. As I read all the posts from other friends and family, it makes it ever more real that my friend Kurt Cunningham is no longer with us ... I had a feeling to message him some random stupid thought today, only to be reminded that my friend is no longer with us. It’s not even a week since he took his life and everyday I’m reminded not only that he’s not here anymore, but I find myself reading

see Letters, pg 7

Guest Editorial

It takes a village By Anthony Gioffre Editor’s Note: This previously ran with our media partner sdgln. com on Sept. 27. “We are in a crisis and completely unprepared for it!” exclaimed William (Bill) E. Kelly, a longtime volunteer advocate ser ving many San Diego community organizations for nearly a decade. First introduced when Todd Gloria nominated Kelly to the Senior Affairs Advisor y Board (SAAB), he was then quickly appointed by Mayor Kevin Faulconer as chair of the board; it was a true bipartisan effort. Nearly two years later, Kelly stepped down in October to concentrate on collaborative-minded nonprofit organizations and entities gearing up to mitigate the challenges of what Kelly calls “the three A’s”: availability, accessibility and affordability. We met recently over coffee to discuss the crisis in relation to its impact on the elderly LGBT community. The fact that the American population is dramatically aging is undisputed. To say I was over whelmed with a comprehensive, detailed account of the issues facing our aging LGBT community would be an understatement. Kelly has compiled more facts and figures from scholarly reports and studies regarding the alarming crisis and how it affects not only EDITOR Morgan M. Hurley (619) 961-1960 CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Ken Williams, x102 Jeff Clemetson, x119 CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Chris Azzopardi Charlene Baldridge Michael Kimmel Walter G. Meyer Ian Morton Jeff Praught Frank Sabatini Jr. Romeo San Vicente Robin Tyler George Vernon

Putting an end to conversion therapy

the LGBT constituents, but all constituents. In fact if there were an app for senior statistics, it would have a photo of Kelly on it. Before we proceed, allow me to begin with a broader picture. Challenges being faced by a rapidly expanding senior population seriously impacts both older and younger San Diegans. “No man, woman or child will escape this unscathed,” Kelly said. All that having been said, let’s get down to the nitty gritty and how it will affect you. That’s right, you. No need to look around — it’s you. Okay, so now you’re probably wondering how exactly a growing senior population affects you, right? Are you sitting down? The 2010 federal census projections state that the population of San Diego seniors will grow to 200,000 by next year. The fastest growing age group in the entire countr y is 85 years old and above. One out of ever y four households in San Diego is currently caring for a senior. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control said people aged 55 and older account for about one-quarter of persons living with HIV. The Yale School of Medicine predicted that by 2017, half of those living with HIV would be 50 years of age or older. The Yale School of Medi-

see Village, pg 7 WEB & SOCIAL MEDIA Jen Van Tieghem, x118 COPY EDITOR Dustin Lothspeich ART DIRECTOR Vincent Meehan (619) 961-1961 PRODUCTION ARTISTS Todd Kammer, x115 Suzanne Dzialo SALES & MARKETING DIRECTOR Mike Rosensteel (619) 961-1958 ADVERTISING CONSULTANTS Sloan Gomez, x104 Andrew Bagley, x106 Lisa Hamel, x107

By Erik Olivera and Stephen Peters On Oct. 20, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people and their families, and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization, released sample legislation for state legislators and equality groups who want to protect LGBTQ youth from the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy. This first-of-its-kind sample legislation draws from best practices in the jurisdictions that have passed successful laws, the more than 20 states that have introduced similar legislation, the Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act (a federal bill that takes a fraud-based approach to regulate conversion therapy), and the experience of legal exper ts working on this vitally impor tant issue. “This sample legislation is the culmination of two decades working to end conversion therapy, three years helping states take legislative steps to protect youth from these ineffective and harmful practices, and a truly exceptional coalition of legal experts from across the countr y,” said Samantha Ames, NCLR #BornPerfect coordinator and staff attorney. “What has emerged from this extraordinar y process is a bill that is both true to our PUBLISHER David Mannis (619) 961-1951 ACCOUNTING Priscilla Umel-Martinez (619) 961-1962 WEB DESIGN Kim Espinoza

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

shared values and legally airtight. Moving for ward, we could not be more excited to work with state legislators and equality groups equipped with this powerful tool to end conversion therapy once and for all.” “This important sample legislation comes at a critical time in our fight to protect our nation’s LGBTQ youth from the dangerous practice of conversion therapy,” added HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow. “A junk pseudoscience that amounts to nothing more than child abuse, this so-called therapy has been denounced by ever y mainstream medical and mental health association. We look for ward to partnering with state legislators and key stakeholders in working to pass these vitally important measures to stop this horrific practice once and for all.” The sample legislation comes just days after the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration — an agency within the U.S. Department of Health & Human Ser vices — issued a report calling for an end to conversion therapy and urging family acceptance of LGBTQ children. NCLR and HRC are at the forefront of the fight to end conversion therapy, and work closely with legislators and state leaders across the countr y to introduce bills protecting youth from these dangerous practices, which are associated with extreme depression, substance

abuse, and even suicide. Five jurisdictions — California, New Jersey, Washington D.C., Oregon, and Illinois — now protect LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy at the hands of licensed mental health professionals, with leaders from several other states planning introduction of similar legislation in the 2016 legislative session. Last year, NCLR launched its #Bor nPer fect campaign to stop conversion therapy across the countr y by passing laws, fighting in cour trooms, and raising awareness about the serious harms caused by attempts to change a young person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. For more information about the dangers of conversion therapy and NCLR’s #BornPerfect campaign visit or HRC’s resource page at To view the sample legislation, visit tinyurl. com/ojq4okk. —Erik Olivera the director of communications at the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), a national legal organization committed to advancing the human and civil rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education. Erik can be reached at eolivera@ Stephen Peters is the Human Rights Campaign’s national press secretary. He can be reached at

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VILLAGE cine also reported just last week that older Americans are more likely than younger Americans to be diagnosed later in the course of infection. What’s the relationship? One crisis feeds the other. Did you know that one out of ever y four homeless people is currently 60 years of age or older and/or is a veteran? Think the problem is bad now? Those numbers are dramatically increasing year by year. My advice to the city, county, state and Washington, D.C. is to start working together or begin distributing cardboard box shelters and euthanasia kits. Think that’s too extreme? Think again. How are we to deal sensibly as a civilized society with this crushing reality? It is reasonable to ask how all this impacts the LGBT community in the 20- to 40-year-old age range. Well, let’s look at a real-life example: A lesbian couple, one 36 years old, and the other 42 at the time, said their aging parents began impacting their lives. They shared their stor y with me. “My mom required open heart surger y,” one woman said. “Over a five year period, a fall and a subsequent number of other health issues severely limited her independence. Then my father was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Going into this situation, my wife and I were a happy couple with a good 15 years together. “We were both climbing the corporate ladder,” she continued. “An exciting career and stable financial picture was apparent. But life had other plans for us. Over the next five years our lives were an emotional train wreck of loving sacrifices, despair, depression helplessness and resentment, and we were the healthy ones. “It cost me my job and my career and nearly destroyed my social life, marriage, financial stability and emotional well-being. My parents were gone now. We had some time to recover before we would go through ver y similar life-changing events on the opposite coast with my wife’s parents. Now she and I would both have to start over with our lives to care for them.” The stor y is long with dramatic twists and turns that leaves others with many questions of “why didn’t you … ?” or “why couldn’t they … ?” but suffice it to say, what most people discount is the reality of their physical and mental well-being and ability as they or their loved one’s age creates situations that severely limit their options. The reasons are not always logical or rational but they are what they are. The point is, there were few places to turn for people with a strong desire and stubborn determination to “age in place” and the loved ones who must help care for them. They either couldn’t or wouldn’t budge in matters of safety, security, personal care and attention. Fact 1: An aging survey shows 34 million Americans are caring for an older family member. Fact 2: National Center for Health Statistics data shows the life expectancy of Americans jumped 68 percent, to 79 years old and that number continues to rise rapidly. Fact 3: The Institute on Assets and Social Policy states that more seniors are outliving savings,

investments and pensions. Here are three simple steps you can take now: Recommendation 1: Join the Facebook page “Caring for our LGBT Seniors,” repost valuable information, post your own ideas and join conversations with other community members. Recommendation 2: Adopt a “seenager.” Gather four or five friends and name your group for later intergenerational contests and games. Ever yone benefits. Remember, this is great fun for ever yone. Example: Put her to bed by 8 p.m., and prepare for a night on the town, reveling in the fact that you made a difference in each other’s lives. Recommendation 3: Participate in the development of an intergenerational think tank collaboration. So what’s the solution? Senior Villages. Senior Villages are available, accessible, affordable communities that ser ve all the needs of a growing population. What about LGBT Senior Villages and their subsequent needs? Many cities in the Midwest and on the east coast are way ahead of San Diego. If the goal is to maintain the image of a world-class city, one has to consider America’s Finest City proclamation and its long-term goals of being a walkable, agefriendly community for all ages. Many provisions of an age-friendly city also protect its children. The most recent needs assessment of the San Diego LGBT population, conducted by the San Diego LGBT Community Center, reports that our seniors would feel safer living among community members. The main reason why this makes perfect sense is that 68 percent reported having no family or children to count on for the basic necessities of life, housing, food, transportation, safety and perhaps most of all, a sense of love and belonging. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, a ver y popular framework in sociology research, points out that aside from a person’s physiological needs, safety remains the No. 1 necessity of life. It is unthinkable that the generation that commits itself to the obliteration of HIV is the same one that faces another looming crisis. The generation that survived crippling life-long societal and cultural discrimination and HIV is the same generation that now faces another crippling crisis as they age. We simply cannot allow ourselves to turn our backs on those that sacrificed so much of their lives and livelihoods to bring us civil and social equality, justice and freedom. We need not hand our heroes a bronze medal or worse yet, a wooden nickel. After all, we are the Village People. —Anthony Giof fre is a local activist, multimedia artist and an independent journalist. He can be reached at agiof fre81@gmail. com.t


LETTERS the posts from his family and friends and realizing how much of an impact he had not only on my life, but on the lives of everyone he came in contact with.
And as I sit in my car in tears on my lunch break, I know as overused as the saying is, it’s so very true, there will NEVER be another like Kurt. I’ll keep our friendship always in my heart and his smartass remarks always in my head cos like he would say sometimes I just needed to be humbled & brought back down. —Joalby Phoenix, Facebook Wow, Morgan, that is a really powerful piece. I didn’t know Kurt, but I am so sorry that this amazing guy isn’t with us anymore. And thanks for continuing to bring awareness to suicide prevention, a topic that – unfortunately – is relevant for all-too-many of us. —Michael Kimmel, LCSW, via Beautiful piece, Thank you Morgan! —Max Disposti, via Very well written, Morgan. We will all spend the rest of our lives missing Kurt. —Curla Burns, via Facebook

Pride for Pride “Hi everybody!” was my famous shout-out along the parade route [see “Pride board speaks,” Vol. 6, Issue 18 or at]. It was my first-ever PRIDE … I attended with my daughter after I saw her picture in the Parade 2014 and KNEW right then that my goal was to have both total knee replacement surgeries/recovery to walk alongside her at Pride 2015 … I had the pleasure of being a guest of the SDHDF duck boat and met so many wonderful people. Hurricane Delores decided to pay a visit and I have NEVER seen so many smiles and drenched people in my life so far … NO DAMPENED SPIRITS! Did the vendors experience a great loss? NO DOUBT … but I learned so much about kindness … acceptance has always been within me … it was so nice to know that others accept people for their spirit and love … I hope to return for Pride 2016! Thank you for your loyalty and dedication to the world. —Janet Bailey, Three Rivers, Calif., via

Therapeutic insight Michael, thanks for this article [see “Life Beyond Therapy: the challenges of internalized homophobia,” Vol. 6, Issue 21, or at]. Recently, I told a friend that internalized homophobia was the root cause of my inability to find a long-term partner, even though I possess many good qualities. I realize other factors are involved, but I appreciate your insight. It is helpful. I’ve been a fan of yours for a long time. Thanks again. —Roland Poirier, via

The Flame still burns Wow! What a fantastic history and tribute to this space [see “Girls, ghosts and good times,” Vol. 6, Issue 21, or at]! Especially loved reading about Moe’s Red Hot Chili Peppers memory! Looking forward to seeing this important space become something great again. —Benny Cartwright, via

GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 30 – Nov. 12, 2015 Great times ... great memories. I wish future generations of lesbians could experience such a place. It was like Disneyland for lesbians, or at least for this one. —Gwen Rousseau via Facebook Very nice article Frank! I have a lot of memories of this place, and enjoyed reading about the history. Met some very interesting people there. —Daisy Dial, via The Flame was a local lesbian bar where you could feel comfortable hanging out, plus they would have great bands play there, too. —Sue Sneeringer, via Facebook Miss The Flame. My favorite hang out when I came out. I felt safe and accepted there. It also settled any feelings of “confusion” I might have had. I knew I was home. —Lisa M. Bloom, via Facebook Working there was some of the best times of my life. I do remember getting poked several times by “Hands.” He was a friendly ghost thank god. —Marina Aragon, via Facebook I met Andrew Cunanan there (on boys night). —Jim Winsor, via Facebook Running back and forth between The Flame and Numbers on Tuesday boy night was always a blast! Plus I remember being invited to the San Diego Kings Club show there once - first time I saw them and really enjoyed it! —Benny Cartwright, via Facebook In my 40s, my fave thing was going to watch the Drag Kings. One year we staged the [San Diego


Pride] women’s motorcycle contingent pre-parade there. That was a blast too. —Coyote Moon, via Facebook Could be gone for years, come back to town and that was like walking into home. Great fun dancing, and hanging with friends which took no time to make. Just a great place. —Rhonda Bailey, via Facebook Great piece. I have so many fond memories of being at The Flame when I was first coming out and figuring out where I fit in this world. One of my favorite memories is having Linda Perry from 4 Non Blondes walk up to me and say, “I’m going to pinch your ass because I can.” To which I replied, “Then make sure you even it out and get the other side.” I was in my early 20s, and she was there in the Red Room for private wake on a Sunday after softball. —Nicole Sabel-Stoltz, via Facebook

Special thanks Benny is so right [see “Back Out With Benny: We are family,” Vol. 6, Issue or olkpx69]. For example, long before he became a friend (and I’m proud he is my friend), I felt that I knew him and we were family because he shared so much that was common between us, and indeed, most members of the LGBT community. Thanks Benny! —Brian Casey, via Thank you Gay San Diego for being an amazing supporter of Pride by the beach. —Max Disposti, via gay-sd. comt



GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 30 – Nov. 12, 2015

“Dorothy” (center) dancing with the Munch Kins and (right) confronted by a flying monkey. (Photos by Ken Jacques)

‘Oz’ is ‘anything but regular’ Theater Review Charlene Baldridge L. Frank Baum’s 1900 book, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” intended by its author to be the first American fairytale, became a cottage industry of 13 sequels, many written in Coronado, which became known as the Emerald City. Thus, the story had natural appeal to the Coronado troupe known as Lamb’s Players Theatre, which decided to commission an entirely

new musical based the beloved story, title it “Oz,” and premiere it in the Lamb’s Theatre Coronado venue, where it opened Oct. 17 and is scheduled to play until Nov. 22. Music Director Jon Lorenz, one of the creators of Lamb’s perennial “Mixtape,” wrote the “Oz” adaptation, music and lyrics, and Kerry Meads is the director. There are no ruby slippers, no “Over the Rainbow,” and no Toto, who is represented only by his bark. But rather than dwell on what is not, let us look at what is. Lorenz’s score is tuneful, with Woodsman’s “Hollow” and Lion’s

“My Great Sorrow” among the best. There’s an ingenious yellow brick road. There are “Munch Kins,” flying monkeys, Winkies, Emerald City citizens, and, best of all, quintet of lovable leading actors to portray Dorothy (Megan Carmitchel), the Lion (Fernando Vega), the Woodsman (Bryan Barbarin), the Scarecrow (James Royce Edwards), and that great humbug, Oz himself (John Rosen). Deborah Gilmour Smyth portrays Aunt Em plus the kindly witch Tatty Poo and the wicked Witch of the West, who does a miraculous melt right before our eyes. Most Oz inhabitants have a slight Celtic lilt to their speech, and costume designer Jeannie Reith has a wizard of a time with their hats and attire, delineating each group, with a wonderful assist by Coni’s wigs. Reith’s Lion, Woodsman and Scarecrow costumes are marvels of detail and craft. Each character is portrayed to the hilt (Lion’s voice has a telltale, Bert Lahr bleat in places); their voices are extraordinary, including Carmitchel’s. Their culminating trio, “All I Ever Wanted and More,” and the show-topping “Home” (the trio plus Dorothy, Glinda and Company) bring nostalgic tears to one’s eyes. Along with Dorothy we feel a deep longing for the Midwest, despite its “Gray,” and the love we received as children. Meads does a fine job of imbuing both story and stage with a feeling of simple storytelling. She is assisted by a total of 14 singing and dancing actors, Mike Buckley’s set, Colleen Kollar Smith’s choreography, Nathan Peirson’s lighting design, Smyth’s sound design and Blake McCarty’s projection design. Playing Taylor Peckham’s orchestration of Lorenz’s rock, folk and ragtime score, an eightpiece band is conducted from the

“Oz: A Wondrous New Musical”

Based upon L. Frank Baum’s American folktale, “The Wizard of Oz” Adaptation, music and lyrics by Jon Lorenz Directed by Kerry Meads Tuesdays through Sundays through Nov. 22 Lamb’s Players Theatre 1142 Orange Ave., Coronado or 619-437-6000 keyboard by Patrick Marion. Among the fabulous understatements in Lorenz’s book are two personal favorites: Uncle Henry’s “Could be a storm comin’” as he tries to load the storm shelter, and Dorothy’s “Oh, that is not regular” when she first lays eyes on Oz. “Oz: A Wondrous New Musical” is a storm of an original that lies close to its source, Baum’s first telling of the great American fairytale. It is anything but regular, and I urge theatergoers to take their families to appreciate and enjoy what it is. For the record, Baum created his own successful musical theater adaptation of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” There have been many screen and stage adaptations since: Among the most successful are: the 1939 MGM film with Judy Garland, for whom “Over the Rainbow” was written; the 1975 stage musical titled “The Wiz”; and Stephen Schwartz’s 2003 Broadway musical, “Wicked,” based upon Gregory Maguire’s far afield novel. —Charlene Baldridge has been writing about the arts since 1979. You can follow her blog at or reach her at

(l to r) Fernando Vega, Bryan Barbarin, Megan Carmitchel and James Royce Edwards play the memorable foursome in "Oz." (Photo by Ken Jacques)


Deep inside Hollywood

of Mar vel stories up to this point (it’s been happening in the comic books for a while already), the impor tance of this development cannot be overstated. Queer viewers, fire up those DVRs.

Romeo San Vicente | QSyndicate

Finally! “Absolutely Fabulous” begins shooting

Ellen Page is flatlining

Ellen Page, so good in “Freeheld” (in theaters as we speak), might ver y well be stepping into Julia Roberts’ shoes. Or maybe even Kiefer Sutherland’s shoes. Because someone is remaking “Flatliners” and Ms. Page is in talks to star. OK, you did not just say, “What’s ‘Flatliners’?” Come on, ’90s people, you remember “Flatliners.” It was that sci-fi movie starring Roberts and Sutherland and it was about sexy young scientists researching the afterlife by making people almost die and studying what happens when the nearly-dead go toward the light. Remember how stupid it was but you liked it anyway? Sure you do. OK, maybe you just remember that it existed at all, which is enough. And it gives the renovation team a fair amount of artistic license, a chance to freshen it up without worr ying about radically changing the original. Because no one cares. In fact, our level of caring is utterly dependent upon the real-life sign-on of Ellen Page. Then we’ll care a lot, just not about the plot.

Cumming’s “Florent” changes its reservation

In the late 1980s in New York City’s meatpacking district, idiosyncratic French restaurateur Florent Morellet opened a French diner that faithfully ser ved

Alan Cumming’s next role is an oddball comedy. (Photo by Debby Wong) customers for 23 years (until the new New York, the one destroying itself with greed, rent-hiked him out of business). And now his stor y is coming to cable, thanks to Alan Cumming. “Florent,” an oddball comedy starring Cumming in the title role, was set up last year at Sundance Channel but has made the switch to Showtime. Written by Patricia Resnick (“Mad Men”) and directed by Rosemar y Rodriguez (“The Good Wife,” Cummings’ other job), the 30-minute show promises to be a sor t of weird foodie’s guide to life. And honestly, does the world need another show about cops, lawyers or doctors, when what it really wants is one where “coq au vin” is the guest star? Search your hear ts and growling stomachs — you know the answer.

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Ellen Page could soon star in a remake. (Photo by KathClick)

A Marvel character who may be making out with women sometimes

“Daredevil” was a huge success for Mar vel on Netflix, which means more and more Mar vel on Netflix, you lucky nerds. Next up? “Jessica Jones,” the former superheroine/private eye, who joins The New Avengers alongside husband Luke Cage. Recently, at New York Comic-Con, the pilot episode was screened and its plotline suggested that Jones (played by the ver y cool Kr ysten Ritter) may have once been involved with a woman. Does that matter? Damn right it matters. And to make it even more enticing, co-star Carrie-Anne Moss will play a woman-loving lawyer who hires Jones for a job. With so little LGBT presence making it to the TV and film versions

Doesn’t it feel like we’ve been talking about the “Absolutely Fabulous” movie for 20 years? They got around to making another “Star Wars” movie with Harrison Ford before anyone could confirm that “AbFab” The Film was even going to be a real thing. So today is a special day; today is the day you learn that principal photography on Fox Searchlight Pictures’ and BBC Films’ “Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie” has begun in the U.K. and the south of France. The shoot will last seven weeks. Stars Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley will be joined by original cast members Julia Sawalha, Jane Horrocks and June Whitfield. Patsy and Edina will dress up, drink up and fall down. All will be right with the world. Speaking officially on the matter, Saunders says, “I am thrilled and excited to finally start filming. We are all taking our medication and hoping for the best.” Begin planning your outfit for its 2016 release. —Romeo San Vicente is currently carrying a Rick Owens live-human-being-backpack all around Los Angeles. He can be reached care of this publication or at

GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 30 – Nov. 12, 2015




Poll Results Palm Springs Pride is the last celebration of 2015. Will you attend? 54% No 34% Maybe 12% Yes

This week's Poll Will you participate in Black Friday? Yes, I do every year Maybe, if I see something I need Hell no, REI has a better idea

To cast your vote, visit


GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 30 – Nov. 12, 2015

DINING What used to be Lei Lounge will soon become Madison, an upscale bar and restaurant venture spearheaded by Jeffrey Fink of FLUXX and Matt Sieve, formerly of Isabel’s Cantina. With mid-century and modern design implements nearly in place, such as intricate wood joinery and vaulted ceilings with sky views, Madison is due to open in late December with a menu combining Mediterranean and Southern California influences. Chefs Mario Cassineri of BiCE has designed the menu, and Tony Gutierrez, who previously worked at La Strada, Opera Café and BiCE, will oversee the kitchen. The redesigned space features a full bar and state-of-the-art sound system. 4622 Park Blvd.,

The chicken bowl and other Latin faves can now be ordered at Barrio Star’s new fast-casual counter. (Courtesy Alternative Strategies) A four-day remodel at Barrio Star in Bankers Hill has resulted in a conversion to counter ser vice, plus windowed garage doors in front and several other light cosmetic changes. Famous for its Latin cuisine with Asian touches, not to mention its blood orange and jalapeno-blackberr y margaritas, the kitchen has combined its lunch and dinner menus while adding more options. 2706 Fifth Ave., 619-501-7827. In celebration of its one-year anniversar y, S&M: Sausage and Meat will be slinging $1 beers and $1 brats during regular business hours on Nov. 4. Since launching last year on Park Boulevard with an array of gourmet sausages, flavored bacon and a stylish cocktail bar, the restaurant has opened an offshoot location at Quartyard in the East Village. 4130 Park Blvd, 619-344-2177.

Tracy Borkum of Urban Kitchen Group is reinventing the 3,500-square-foot space in which she previously operated Kensington Grill and Fish Public. Conceptual details so far point only to a casual take on her successful Cucina Urbana and its spinof fs in Del Mar, Ir vine and Newpor t Beach. The yet-to-be-named restaurant is slated to open in Februar y. 4055 Adams Ave.

An urban winery arrives in North Park. (Facebook) Negociant Winer y in North Park is up and running since holding its grand opening throughout the final week of October. It coincides with the release of a limited production of 2012 Syrah, available only on tap in the tasting room. The chicly designed space encompasses an outdoor patio, a winemaking area and a bar that ser ves craft beer as well. Sandwiches and charcuterie boards are also available. 2419 El Cajon Blvd., 619-535-1747. After sitting empty for nearly a year, the space left behind by Social Experiment in Hillcrest has sprung back to life with a new tenant named Rakitori. The word is a play off the concept that both ramen and yakitori skewers are ser ved under one roof. “There’s nowhere in this area that does a combination of the two,” said General Manager Matthew Lowe. The restaurant was launched on Oct. 24 by chefowner John Kook, who worked at several locations for Nobu and in restaurants throughout South Korea. Lowe said that imported and local craft beers, plus assorted sakes, will be available “any day now” once the restaurant receives its beer and wine license. 530 University Ave., 619-501-4091.

Ramen loaded with fresh ingredients (Courtesy Rakitori)

The daily brunch ser vice held upstairs at Gelato Vero Caf fe in Mission Hills was recently discontinued due to lagging weekday sales as well as customer overflows on Sundays, which the small kitchen couldn’t handle, said co-owner Aaron Rabinowitz. The space will remain available as a seating area and might be used for pop-up dinners coordinated by the café’s former brunch chef, Kirstin Green. Rabinowitz adds that the second-floor kitchen has begun cranking out more baked goods available for purchase on the ground level. 3753 India St., 619-295-9269. —Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at


Allow me to help you grow your business with SDCNN — your local community news network.

Lisa Hamel (619) 961-1957


GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 30 – Nov. 12, 2015


An enlarged photo of JFK passing Rudford’s dominates an exterior wall; the JFK milkshake; (top right) the turkey dinner; the pork chop dinner (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.)

Turkey and a presidential milkshake Restaurant Review Frank Sabatini Jr. An affable 60-something man eating a veggie burger at the far end of the lunch counter at Rudford’s Restaurant eagerly swiveled his seat in full direction of our booth when we interrupted him to ask how long he’s been coming to the historic eater y. He appeared to be a regular. “Since I was a kid,” he replied. “My parents used to bring me in all the time for breakfast. We’d have to get here by 5:30 in the morning or else wait in line.” When we inquired how often he currently patronizes the restaurant, he said, “Twice a day, but I need to cut it down to one time a day because my rent just went up.” His favorite dishes, he added, are the chicken strips and spinach salad. Rudford’s is one of the last vintage diners still standing in San Diego, and with the added bonus of operating 24/7. It opened in 1949 by John “Tommy” Rudford, who ran for mayor that same year, but was defeated. He found greater success at his North Park establishment, which captivated the public with its homespun cooking and nurturing waitresses. After passing away in the early ’70s, his daughters ran the business until selling it in 1983 to a businessman outside the family. It changed hands again nearly two decades ago to current owner Jeff Kacha, who also ran the historic Hob Nob Hill in Bankers Hill for a while until transferring the ownership to his ex-wife, Tania. Most of Rudford’s pies, however, are prepped at Hob Nob Hill’s well-equipped kitchen and then baked at Rudford’s, should you wobble in after a night of bar-hopping with a hankering for lemon custard mantled with pecans. Equally sobering is Rudford’s signature JFK milkshake, a blended bomb of vanilla ice cream and milk strewn with big bits of bacon and topped with whipped cream. The sweet-and-salty shake landed on the menu in honor of President John F. Kennedy after he passed Rudford’s in a motorcade in 1963, while on his way to give a commencement speech at San Diego State University. The moment was captured in a photograph taken by James Daigh, a teenager at the time

Rudford’s Restaurant 2900 El Cajon Blvd. (North Park) 619-282-8423 Prices: Soups, salads and appetizers, $2.95 to $10.95; sandwiches and burgers, $7.95 to $10.95; entrees, $10 to $16.25; breakfast plates, $5.50 to $11.95

whose credit appears on an enlargement of the photo stretching across Rudford’s west-facing exterior wall. It had been more than 15 years since the hubby and I last ate here. The interior appeared cleaner and shinier than what I remember, although the older, folksy waitresses that used to greet you like offspring have either retired or passed away, we were told. The ser vers are much younger now, relating to customers more like second cousins — friendly but without calling you “honey” or “sweetie” or asking, “What will it be today?” We ordered two dinners, the Sunday turkey special and the famous bone-in pork chops, which are still ser ved in pairs as they have been forever. Meals include a choice of soup or salad; baked, mashed or french-fried potatoes; a choice of veggies seemingly from a can; and a dessert from the day’s selected list. Based on a few disappointing experiences at other diners, we had low expectations for the turkey until forking into it. We were stunned that the generous pile of meat didn’t taste or appear like it came from a compressed loaf. It was as tender and flavorful as a freshly car ved Butterball. In addition, the golden-brown gravy wasn’t salty or dull, and the dressing and mashed potatoes didn’t seem pre-manufactured. When I asked a manager if ever ything on the plate was indeed homemade (except for the water y beets), he was quick to tell us that whole turkeys are roasted inhouse, the gravy is made from the drippings, and the ultra-smooth mashed potatoes are real. Assuming the meal is consistently this good; I know where I’ll be going when the urge strikes for Thanksgiving dinner outside of November. The pork chops were exactly the same as when I last visited — thin and pan-fried, slightly chewy,

and with delicious fatty edges. They’re the kind of old-fashion chops you grab by the bone and eat without a fork and knife. The accompanying iceberg salad and green beans were lackluster. But the baked potato was steamed to perfection, much better than the parched ala-carte tuber I encountered recently at a pricey steakhouse. Only in diners dating back to when color televisions and car seat belts were a novelty will you find grilled liver and onions, Swiss steak, and Jell-O up for grabs. Rudford’s obliges with those items as well as later-century fare like Buffalo chicken-cheese fries, trendy bison burgers, grilled snapper and more. There’s also Southern-fried

chicken, a tasty draw by some accounts that I’ve yet to try. For dessert we chose apple Betty crisp, which was homey and delectably sweet. The other was some type of solidified custard zapped of flavor. Both were ser ved in small silver bowls beckoning to a time when restaurants pampered you with an entire meal for a single price. For that reason alone, Rud-

ford’s is a gem that will hopefully sustain its quirky sparkle for many more years to come. —Frank Sabatini Jr. is the author of “Secret San Diego” (ECW Press), and began his local writing career more than two decades ago as a staf fer for the former San Diego Tribune. You can reach him at



GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 30 – Nov. 12, 2015

The gay world of Selena Gomez Selena Gomez talks lesbian rumors, (maybe) dating gay men and why she’s proud of Nick Jonas Chris Azzopardi | Q Syndicate Selena Gomez is alive, revived and relieved. After photos turned up in 2014 of Gomez scrub-a-dub-dubbing with gal pal Cara Delevingne, who’s openly bisexual, what transpired? Gay gossip, of course. Gomez doesn’t care. In fact, regarding the blogosphere buzz, Gomez, 23, told me she “loved it,” a testament to the entertainer’s true-to-herself, not-really-caring-what-you-thinkanymore persona. That same perspective is reflected in all the dizzying late-night pillow talk throbbing throughout her sexually liberated and self-reflective second studio album, “Revival.” For a small-screen darling who grew up under the watchful eye of Disney, Gomez’s openness both on the album and in conversation is refreshing. After recently revealing that she was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease lupus in 2013, she concurs that, yes, this is her coming out party of sorts. (Actually, the way she puts it is, “werk!”) And so it is, as Gomez speaks candidly about other aspects of her life: “absolutely” questioning her sexuality, growing up around her mom’s gaggle of gays and — cue the awws — her admiration for ex-flame Nick Jonas’ “love and compassion.”

[Chris Azzopardi | CA] Growing up in Grand Prairie, Texas, what was your introduction to the gay community? [Selena Gomez | SG] You have to understand: My mother is absolutely fantastic and she worked at a modeling agency when I was a ver y young girl, so ever y Sunday I would have brunch with her and all of her gays, and I just remember a lot of mimosas. It was the best. So, I’ve been around it my whole life and, you know, I love it. I have to tell you: On my 16th birthday my mom had a bunch of drag queens come out and they sang “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)” and it was sooo funny. [CA] As someone raised Catholic, accepting the LGBT community was never an issue for you then? [SG] Not at all. Look: There’s a huge difference in how I was brought up; the word “religion” is a ver y complex thing. It’s something you have to follow, and that’s not what faith is. Anybody who has a higher power, anybody who has anything they believe in: If you don’t know how to love other people, I don’t believe in it. It doesn’t work that way. [CA] Have you ever met a Selena Gomez drag queen?

Gomez has had great taste in men (Jonas, Bieber, Lautner), but will she ever date women? (Courtesy Interscope Records) [SG] Yes! I had one who did one of the viral videos of “Love You Like a Love Song” (Willam Belli’s “Love You Like a Big Schlong”). [She] did a nasty version of it, which was hysterical, and I went to the Logo NewNowNext Awards and I got to meet her, which was amazing. Honestly, I feel like that’s when I made it — genuinely! I emailed it to my mom and she emailed it and CC’d ever ybody. [CA] You say Selena drag queens were the true measure of success for you. But isn’t it true that you’re not truly famous until you’ve been the subject of a gay rumor? And last year, the tabloids had a field day with photos of you and Cara Delevingne. [SG] I’ve made it! [CA] How did you react to those rumors? [SG] Honestly, I loved it. I didn’t mind it. Especially because they weren’t talking about other people in my life for once, which was wonderful. Honestly, though, she’s incredible and ver y open and she just makes me open. She’s so fun and she’s just extremely adventurous, and sometimes I just want that in my life, so I didn’t mind it. I loved it. [CA] Have you ever questioned your sexuality? [SG] Oh, I think ever ybody does, no matter who they are. I do, yeah, of course. Absolutely. I think it’s healthy to gain a perspective on who you are deep

down, question yourself and challenge yourself; it’s important to do that. [CA] Your friend Demi Lovato played a lesbian on “Glee,” starring as Naya Rivera’s love interest. Who would you choose as an onscreen lesbian love interest? [SG] That’s a long list! Suki Waterhouse — she’s a model; she was Bradley Cooper’s girlfriend. [CA] As a performer, when were you first aware you had an LGBT following? [SG] My first single was when I was 16 and that went to No. 1 on the Dance Club charts so that was my introduction. I don’t think people really knew me, so I don’t know if it was a following necessarily, but once I hit “Love You Like a Love Song” status, that’s really when I started realizing it. And it was the best! My concerts used to be little kids, and then seeing the entire front row being all these guys who were wearing neon T-shirts and just losing their minds — it’s incredible. And then you see the jocks in the other corner throwing their boxers on stage. It’s like, “Oh gosh.” It’s amazing. [CA] You say “oh gosh” like it’s a problem. [SG] [Laughs] Well, it is a little bit; come on. [CA] Do you keep your gay fans in mind when you create music, particularly with “Revival”? [SG] Absolutely. One hundred

percent. Even with my earlier stuff, I’ve always tapped into it, and at the end of the day I’m a full-on pop artist, so I wanted the tracks to be incredible because I know how important that is. But on top of that, having the lyrics be equally as important was something I needed to do for this album. I think it just kind of came together really well. I spent a year on it and I poured ever ything I had into this album, and I was thinking of ever yone. I was thinking of my diehard fans from ever ywhere. [CA] Have you ever dated or fallen for a gay man? [SG] Honestly, I don’t have that stor y, but two of my best friends do and it’s ver y Will and Grace-like, which I love. But no, I haven’t actually experienced it — wait, maybe that’s not fair to say. Maybe I won’t know? Maybe I don’t know? [Laughs] I just thought about that. Oh my gosh. I’m thinking about my whole life now. [CA] Nick Jonas, Justin Bieber, Taylor Lautner: Aesthetically speaking, you have good taste in men. How jealous do your gay guy friends get of the people you’ve dated? [SG] Oh gosh, they’re more into it than I am. Honestly! Part of the reason I probably went out on a few dates is because of them. They’re just like, “Go! Go!” I’m like, “No!” They’re all about it, for sure.

see Interview, pg 19


GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 30 – Nov. 12, 2015



The Center’s Young Professionals Council paid a visit to the Archives; (below) panel members from the recent “Hispanic Heritage Month” presentation event at the Archives (Photos courtesy Lambda Archives)


The Bart Hopple Memorial Swim is an annual meet hosted by the Different Strokes Swim Team (DSST), San Diego’s LGBT swimming club. Hopple, who died of AIDS complications, was one of the swim team’s founders. Now in its 24th year, DSST uses the annual event as a fundraiser and then presents an endowment to a local AIDS-related charity. This year, the swim team chose Christie’s Place as the 2015 benefactor. “Christie’s Place is the only organization in San Diego whose mission is dedicated to ser ving women, children and families infected and affected by HIV/AIDS,” said Corey Federle, a DSST swim coach. On Oct. 10, the team presented Liz Johnson, executive director of Christie’s Place, with a check for $2,160 at the Mission Valley YMCA Pool, one of the many pools DSST uses for practice and swim meets around the county. For more information about Christie’s Place, visit To learn more about DSST and how to become a member, visit


ARCHIVES ing and remembering our histor y as we work to continue to move for ward in our quest for equality.” Nearly 50 people attended the patio event and took tours of the Archives and several attendees were impressed enough to sign up for memberships on the spot. The Lavender Caucus of the SEIU holds their monthly meetings at the Archives and as a result, almost all members of the caucus have become dues-paying members of the Archives, which we appreciate. If your group needs space for a small meeting (we can host up to about 15 people inside) get in touch; we’d be happy to host and show off our space to more members of the community. The Archives staf f, along with the new San Diego LGBT Visitor’s Center and other interested members of the community, are seeking to identify cur rent and past sites of interest to of fer tours celebrating our histor y. Stay tuned for more information. On a recent visit to Diversionar y Theatre, about 35 students from North County’s High-Tech High came in to check out the Archives. If your school group would like to attend a performance at Diversionar y or visit the Archives, we’d be happy to set it up! Get in touch with the Archives or Diversionar y. An Archives representative attended a recent meeting of the city’s Arts and Culture Commission to thank them for the grant funds they provided and inform the commissioners and other grantees about upcoming events

The 2015 San Diego Show Queen Pageant, set to take place Nov. 22 starting at 6 p.m. at Numbers Nightclub, located at 3811 Park Blvd., in Hillcrest, is seeking contestants. The annual event will include four judged categories; showgirl presentation, in which headdresses are encouraged; a 3 – 5 minute talent presentation; an evening gown presentation; and an on-stage question and answer session. Show Queen 2010, Cassidy Richards, will be on hand to present the crown to this year’s winner. Contestant entry fees are $30 and the deadline to sign up is Nov. 18. Mandatory rehearsals for all contestants will take place Nov. 22 at 1 p.m. Those interested in signing up or requesting more information call Regina Styles at 619-2881183. General admission to the show will be $7. For more information visit Show Queen Cassidy Richards

at the Archives. There is much more to come from your Lambda Archives. The Archives is open noon – 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and stays open until 9 p.m. on Thursdays.

—Walter G. Meyer is the author of the critically acclaimed gay novel “Rounding Third,” a regular contributor to Gay San Diego, and the manager of Lambda Archives. Reach him at manager.lambda.

The Different Strokes Swim Team presents a check to Christie’s Place. (Courtesy DSST) see Briefs, pg 15

14 14

GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 30 – Nov. 12, 2015

ParkHillcrest Trolley presents Fab Fridays Fridays – Oct. 30 – Nov. 27

For the next several Fridays, you can park for free at the Hillcrest DMV (3960 Normal St.) and hop on the ParkHillcrest trolley for a chance at winning prizes, plus the guarantee of fun, live entertainment and great stops all around Hillcrest. You could win prizes from some favorite local businesses including Uptown Tavern, Fig Tree Café, Brazen BBQ, Gossip Grill and more.

The entertainment lineup is:

Oct. 30: Brew Ha Ha “Comedy Scare Ride” Nov. 6: The PGK Project dance troop Nov. 13: Diversionar y Theatre presents “In the Va Va Voom Room” Nov. 20: Live painting by Pilar Nov. 27: Music by Sister Speak Trolley rides are free and take riders up and down University Avenue between Normal Street and Fifth Avenue from 5 – 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. For details and routes visit


Nightmare on Normal Street: This annual street party will feature a costume contest with prizes, live entertainment, food trucks, an outdoor dance floor and more. One hour of complimentary cocktails for first 300 guests from 6 – 7 p.m. Tickets start at $15 pre-sale and $45 for VIP pre-sale. Proceeds support The Center and HBA. 6 – 11:30 p.m., University Avenue and Normal Street. Visit ‘The Massaquerade Ball’: A huge Halloween Party featuring five areas with live entertainment, spooky attractions and more. Circus Mafia to perform with scary stilt walkers, LED dancers, and more. Costume contest with prizes and cash giveaways. Tickets start at $50. Lafayette Hotel, 2223 El Cajon Blvd., North Park. Visit House of Ter-Her at Gossip Grill: Six “terrifying” themed areas, drink specials, DJ Demonic Dida. 6 p.m. – 1 a.m. $6.66 after 9 p.m. 1220 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit Horror Hotel at Lips: Dinner and spooktacular show; costume contest and $100 cash prize. 3036 El Cajon Blvd., North Park. Visit Lose your head at Babycakes: Free bloody cupcakes, drink specials, costumes encouraged, DJ Dark Daddy. 9 p.m. – 1 a.m. 3766 Fifth Ave., Hillcrest. Visit Halloween Party at #1 Fifth Avenue: Come in costume to your favorite neighborhood bar. 8 p.m. Visit Halloween Costume Contest at Flicks: Wear your Halloween best while DJ Will Z spins and win cash prizes for first, second and third place. Contest at 9.m. 1017 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit Sabados En Fuego Halloween: The Brass Rail celebrates Halloween and Dia de los Muertos with a costume contest, spooky sexy go go dancers, and the best Latin music with DJs XP and KA. 9 p.m. – 2 a.m. 3796 Fifth Ave., Hillcrest. Visit


‘Nasty Baby’: A dark comedy about a Brooklyn artist (Sebastian Silva) and his boyfriend attempting to have a baby with the help of a friend (Kristen Wiig) as a mentally ill neighborhood man known as The Bishop harasses them. Various show times through Nov. 5. Digital Gym, 2921 El Cajon Blvd., North Park. Visit ‘The Birds’: Cinema Under the

Stars presents this Alfred Hitchcock classic starring Tippi Hedren and Rod Taylor. Additional screening on Saturday, Oct. 31. 8 p.m. $15. 4040 Goldfinch St., Mission Hills. For more info, visit or call 619-295-4221. ‘Fright Night at Top of the Bay’: A special edition of the weekly LGBT happy hour promises boos and booze. Costumes encouraged. As always it will fea-

ture cocktail specials and shuttle service from The Loft and The Caliph every 30 minutes. 5 p.m. Glass Door, 1835 Columbia St., Little Italy. Visit facebook. com/TopOfTheBaySanDiego. Clean and Sober Halloween Eve Party: A costume contest with cash prizes, music by DJ Mateo and more highlight this clean and sober event. $10 donation. 8 p.m. – midnight. The Live and Let Live Alano Club, 1730 Monroe Ave., University Heights. Visit


A celebration of the life of Kurt Cunningham: A remembrance for Kurt Cunningham — a local advocate, mentor, friend and family member who was lost on Oct. 10. In lieu of flowers, please donate in Kurt’s name to The Center’s behavioral health programs. 2 p.m. San Diego LGBT Community Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. Visit Uptown Tavern Halloween ‘Funk You Up’ Contest: Special Halloween version of the monthly “Funk You Up” costume bash, with $1,000 first place prize. Go go dancers, live DJs. 9:30 p.m. 1236 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit


PrideFIT run club: Meets every Monday, hosted by Miguel Larios. 6:30 p.m. Corner of Sixth Avenue and Upas Street. Visit prideFITsandiego. The San Diego Sisters present ‘Day of the Dead’: The San Diego Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence will celebrate Dia de los Muertos with food, games and an altar and memory area. 9 p.m. – midnight. Hillcrest Pride Flag at University Avenue and Normal Street. Visit


YPC First Tuesday Series: The Young Professional Council (a program of The San Diego LGBT Community Center) will host this edition of its First Tuesday Series at Gossip Grill. The evening will include a mixer and special presentation on “privilege” by Carolina Ramos, The Center’s director of training/chief diversity officer. $3 well drink special plus full menu available. 6:30 – 8 p.m. 1220 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit


San Diego’s 15th Annual Diversity Employment Day Career Fair: This event will feature over 20 major employers with employment opportunities from entry to professional level. Multicultural/ bilingual, people with disabilities,

women, LGBT, veteran and mature candidates encouraged to attend. Free and open to the public over 18 years of age. 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Handlery Hotel San Diego, 950 Hotel Circle North, Mission Valley. Visit Betty’s Nacho Daddy Contest: The first annual “Nacho Daddy” nachos eating contest. Check in 5:30 – 6:30 p.m., contest starts at 7 p.m. $20 entry which gets you nachos and a margarita. Baja Betty’s, 1421 University Ave., Hillcrest. Register in person or online at


‘Culture and Cocktails: The Art of Music’: This event presents unique ways to experience “the art of music” — from a silent disco dance room to guitar-pick jewelry making. Treats by Blush Desserts, saison beer tasting by Duckfoot Brewing and more. Free for members, $20 for nonmembers and $25 for nonmembers at the door. 6 p.m. San Diego Museum of Art, 1450 El Prado, Balboa Park. Visit LGBT Veterans Wall of Honor: Annual induction ceremony for local LGBT veterans who are finally being honored for their service and being openly gay at the same time. Color guard, dignitaries, entertainment, ceremony, post-ceremony reception with refreshments. 5:30 – 7 p.m. The San Diego LGBT Community Cneter, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. For more information visit


‘Bright Half Life’: Opening night for this dynamic play that explores two women’s relationship over a 40-year period, told through snap shot scenes from various moments in their lives. Pre- and post-show receptions for opening night. Runs through Nov. 29. 8 p.m. Diversionary Theatre, 4545 Park Blvd, University Heights. Visit


SDHDF’s Aston Brooks Awards Gala: This formal dinner with feature entertainment, silent and live auctions, special guests and more. Awards will be given in the names of two well known pioneering benefactors of the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation: Lincoln Aston and Hattie “Sunshine” Brooks. 6 p.m. The Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa, 1775 East Mission Bay Drive. Visit San Diego Mac ‘n’ Cheese Fest: The first ever local mac ‘n’ cheese fest will feature San Diego restaurants competing for the honor of “Best Gourmet Mac ‘n’ Cheese.” There will be local wineries and breweries on hand, live music and more. Waterfront Park, 1600 Pacific Highway, Downtown. Visit


Sunday Bust in North County: Every Sunday, Hill St. Café turns into a safe space for all LGBT and allies to gather. Food is vegan-friendly, and they serve beer, wine and sake. Fifteen percent of proceeds go to the North County LGBTQ Resource Center. 3 – 9 p.m. Hill St. Café, 524 S. Coast Highway, Oceanside. Visit


Feeling Fit Club: New 50 or Better class for older adults and suitable for all levels on Mondays and Wednesdays. Improve balance, strength, flexibility, etc. Exercises can be done sitting or standing. 1 – 2 p.m. For more info contact La Rue Fields at seniors@thecentersd. org. The Center, 3903 Centre St., Hillcrest. Visit


Ric Henry Productions presents ‘Law and Disorder WTF’: A fun evening by Ric Henry’s Cabaret Productions Workshop brings you “a hilarious, poignant and politically incorrect account for the killers and deviants that plague the police and detectives of the Los Angeles homicide case squad.” $20 reserved seating with $15 food/drink minimum. Martinis Above Fourth, 3940 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest. Visit

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 11 — Veterans Day

Vickie Shaw and Jennie McNulty in ‘Breaking Glad 2.0’: Back by popular demand, two of the best lesbian stand-ups will perform together bringing each of their unique comedy styles to the MA4 stage. Doors open at 6 p.m., show at 8 p.m. $15 per person with $15 food/ drink minimum. Martinis Above Fourth, 3940 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest. Visit Date Night at Croce’s: Every Wednesday get a shared appetizer, two entrees, a bottle of wine, Croce’s ambiance and live music for just $49. Tonight’s live music by Louis Valenzuela duo. 6 – 9:30 p.m. 2760 Fifth Ave. #100, Bankers Hill. Visit


Hillcrest Movie Night: For its fourth quarterly community movie night, “101 Dalmations” will be shown in Hillcrest’s Egyptian Quarter on a large outdoor screen while fresh popcorn and other snacks will be available for purchase. Free. The event starts at 6 p.m. with the movie starting at 7 p.m. Lot between Heat Bar & Kitchen and Numbers Night Club, 3811 Park Blvd., Hillcrest .Visit fabuloushillcrest. com or —Compiled by Jen Van Tieghem. Email calendar items to morgan@sdcnn.comt


solution on page 17



1 First man to say to a man, “You slay me!”? 5 Hard blow 9 Bean and Burke waved theirs around 13 Item on a docket 14 “June Is Bustin’ Out All ___” 15 “Exotica” director Egoyan 16 “Doggone it!” 17 Go down 18 Zip 19 She was a roomer at Meredith Grey’s house 21 She was a roomer at Meredith Grey’s house 22 Peters out 23 Bambi’s aunt 24 Producer Neil 27 Singer Etheridge 31 R.E.M.'s “The ___ Love” 32 Pansy, e.g., to Pasolini 34 Silver screen computer 35 With 50-Across, group that Meredith

1 Current band of the past? 2 Roseanne, once and again 3 Morales of` “Jericho” 4 Cole Porter song from “Paris” 5 Singer David 6 Maurice of “Bewitched” 7 Sultry Horne 8 Threesome for Michelangelo 9 Japanese battle cry 10 The whole shebang 11 Tara portrayer Collette 12 Opponent of Tinkerbell 20 Metal container 21 Shoreline opening 23 Like Christopher Rice’s stories 24 Surfer’s need 25 ___ Gay 26 Scouting job 27 Shortens leaves of grass 28 Oral pleasures at a gay bar

Grey could join if she got rid of her roomers 38 “Can’t Get It Out of My Head” rock gp. 39 Witherspoon of “Legally Blonde 2” 40 Palindromic male name 41 The guy you’re seeing? 43 Ponders 44 They could come from Uranus 45 Susan B. Anthony dollar, e.g. 47 She was a roomer at Meredith Grey’s house 50 See 35-Across 54 “___ Baldwin Doesn’t Love Me” 55 It brings out the flavor in your meat 56 De Matteo of “Desperate Housewives” 57 Triangle ratio 58 Reed in a Ned Rorem work 59 Word from a pen 60 What fluffers give 61 “Perry Mason” star Raymond 62 Catches on to

29 Cook in a wok, maybe 30 Some opera queens 32 Ridges on Melissa’s neck 33 Words said with a nod 36 Mount the soapbox 37 Elvis song about a real bitch? 42 Freed from frost 43 To me, to Hirschfeld 45 Pink, for one 46 Movie like Rock Hudson’s “Gun Fury” 47 S/M unit 48 Foundation for Humanity name 49 Warrior Princess of the boob tube 50 “Seinfeld” character from Pakistan 51 Canal traveled by New York ferries 52 Let out 53 Competitor of Barneys 55 Have a bawl



The annual Aston-Brooks Awards Gala of the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation (SDHDF) — the sole foundation organization dedicated to fund and benefit local LGBT programs — will take place Saturday, Nov. 7, from 6 – 10 Andrea McArdle p.m., at the Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa, located at 1775 East Mission Bay Dr., on Mission Bay. In addition to a formal dinner, a silent and Kurt Cunningham live auction, there will be three awards, named after three of the foundation’s most important funders, each bestowed upon LGBT leaders, one posthuWilson Cruz mously. The Lincoln Aston Public Ser vice Award, honoring someone who uses their public influence to encourage equality and raise awareArchbishop Bean ness of LGBT issues will go to well-known activist Wilson Cruz; the Sunshine Brooks HIV/ AIDS Advocacy Award, which recognizes someone who has significantly improved the lives of those living with HIV/AIDS will go to openly gay Archbishop Carl Bean, D.Min; and the Richard Geyser Community Leadership

Award will go to Kurt Cunningham. Tony Award-winning Andrea McArdle, Broadway’s “Annie,” has also performed at Carnegie Hall, the MET Opera House, and the White House, among others. On Nov. 7, she will perform for attendees at the Aston-Brooks Gala. Individual tickets and tables are available for purchase at


The San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus (SDGMC) will perform its annual holiday show, “Jingle,” on Dec. 12 and 13, and this year, they’ve chosen Lambda Archives of San Diego as their outreach partner and benefactor. The chorus, celebrating its 30th anniversary year, chooses a special outreach partner for each of its biggest performances throughout the year. The deserving local nonprofits chosen are deemed to have made a “major, positive impact” on the local region and not only receive a boost of visibility and public awareness at the SDGMC show, but also become the recipients of a large money drive held during the performance. “Throughout the year, we’ve been honoring our founders and revisiting our three decades of musical outreach, so it was a natural to select Lambda Archives as our partner,” said Bob Lehman, SDGMC executive director in a press release. “Its work documenting LGBT history is a remarkable service to our community.” Lambda Archives launched in 1987 with the mission of gathering, collecting, preserving and teaching the community about the history of the local LGBT community. An all-volunteer organization, the recent big thrust of their work involves digitizing photos, articles, documents and taking photos of large objects for archival and online retrieval purposes. They are currently working with the special collections department of San Diego State’s library to obtain more funds for this important work. They are always looking for more volunteers in addition to the many interns they receive from local colleges.

GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 30 – Nov. 12, 2015

“It’s great for the real pioneers to see their work preserved, but what’s really exciting is to see how younger generations react when they learn our history,” said Maureen Steiner, Lambda Archives President, adding that an upcoming project, “Blood Sisters,” will document how lesbians stepped in to donate blood during the AIDS crisis in the 1980s when gay men were barred from doing so. SDGMC outreach partners in the recent past have included Rady Children’s Hospital Gender Management Clinic; the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Diego; the San Diego Women’s Chorus and the Veteran’s Village of San Diego. Tickets to “Jingle,” which will be performed at the historic Balboa Theatre located at 868 Fourth Ave., Downtown, will range from $32 – $70. Those who wish to pay an additional $35 will enjoy early entry, complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a beverage, and Artistic Director RC Haus’ director’s prelude, one hour before showtime. Discounts are also available. For more information about “Jingle” and to buy tickets, visit Lambda Archives is located at 4545 Park Blvd., in University

Heights. For more information about Lambda Archives, visit


Affordable Colleges Online — a website that helps families identify best-fit higher education opportunities for their students — recently released their top 23 LGBTQ-friendly universities across the nation, and UC San Diego made the top 10. The report, which ranked UCSD at No. 9 on the list, identified the local university as making “exceptional strides toward creating an LGBTQ-friendly environment.” Important aspects of an inclusive environment mean that students not only feel safe learning, but growing and otherwise participating in the campus community. “We are honored to be ranked as one of the most LGBTQfriendly universities in the nation,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla in a press release. “UC San Diego is committed to diversity, and our LGBTQ-identified students play an essential part in contributing to our vibrant

campus community.” Required criteria to make the list included having an LGBTQ student organization, LGBTQ inclusion policies and gender inclusive residence halls. In addition, availability of LGBTQ health, counseling and LGBTQ gender studies programs were also considered. Retention and graduation rates were also included in the scoring. UCSD was not only praised for having its LGBT Resource Center but an undergraduate program offering a degree in critical gender studies. Shaun Travers, campus diversity officer and director of the campus LGBT Resource Center sees areas where the campus can be even more inclusive. “Considering intersecting identities such as race, ethnicity, class and more helps to understand that other groups have different lived experiences,” Travers stated in the release. “We are on the right path, but we have a lot more work to do.” To learn more about UCSD and its programs, visit For a list of other colleges ranked by Affordable College Online, visit


Diversionary Theatre and FilmOut San Diego are each presenting entertainment that focuses on the dynamics of lesbian relationships. Diversionary will stage “Bright Half Life,” a play that follows two women — one white and one black — over the 40-year course of their relationship, from beginning to end and beyond. “It is a dynamic exploration of what comprises a life with another person,” said Executive Artistic Director Matt Morrow. Starring Rin Ehlers Sheldon (Erica) and Bri Giger (Vicky), the play, which runs Oct. 29 – Nov. 29, will offer a special performance Nov. 17, when proceeds will benefit the Lesbian Health Initiative, a project of the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation (SDHDF). On Nov. 18, at 7 p.m., FilmOut will present “Raven’s Touch,” an independent film about two women, both in crisis, who meet in the woods and foster intimacy and healing in each other. The film will see its San Diego premiere at the Hillcrest Landmark Theatres, located at 3965 Fifth Ave., in Hillcrest. Starring Dreya Weber (“The Gymnist,” “A Marine Story”) and Traci Dinwiddie (“The Notebook,” “Elena Undone”), the film was written by Weber and coproduced and directed by Marina Rice Bader, of Soul Kiss Films. It is the fourth feature film from Soul Kiss Films, which is currently in the middle of production on

(l to r) Dreya Weber, Traci Dinwiddie and Marina Rice Bader (Photo by Morgan M. Hurley)

its fifth film, “Ava’s Impossible Things.” The stars and Bader will be on hand for a Q&A after the film as well as a post-premiere party at Gossip Grill. “It’s not often such great programming for women is offered in San Diego, let alone at the same time,” said Matt Harding, general manager of Diversionary Theatre. “We are doing some great events around “Bright Half Life,” and we’re working together with FilmOut to offer each other’s audiences easy access to both pieces.” Stay tuned for the next issue of Gay San Diego for more information and interviews with some of the actors. To learn more about Diversionary or to purchase tickets to “Bright Half Life,” visit For tickets to FilmOut’s San Diego premiere of “Raven’s Touch,” visit














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GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 30 – Nov. 12, 2015


… and then came marriage A book review of a most groundbreaking journey By Robin Tyler In the fall of 1959, at age 17, I told my Jewish mother that I was a lesbian. Mrs. Chernick (my mother) had sent me to the Banff School of Fine Arts in Canada to become a thespian. When I got on the train to Alberta, I immediately fell in love with another young woman from Winnipeg. Obviously, I had not heard my mother correctly. But that summer I read a magazine called The Ladder. In it was an article by Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon who said there was nothing wrong with being a lesbian (but think about moving to a big city immediately!). My mother and I were in the kitchen when I “came out” to her and she grabbed a knife and said “here, stab me in the heart, pour salt in the wound!” Obviously, she did not take it well, but I believed what Del and Phyllis had written; that there was nothing wrong with me. So, in 1962 I moved to New York City’s Greenwich Village to meet other out and proud women. I hit the clubs and I was immediately arrested for female impersonation, but that is different stor y. In 1991, 32 years later, another lesbian came out to her Jewish mother (had I known her at the time, I would have warned her not to do it in the kitchen). When Roberta Kaplan told her mother she was gay, her mother kept banging her head against the wall. Needless to say, Mrs. Kaplan took it as well as Mrs. Chernick. Roberta was so closeted, that while attending Harvard, she got the reputation of being a neoconservative, reactionary homophobe because she yelled at a woman she was secretly in love with for falling for another woman! She enrolled in law school at Columbia and after graduating at age 24, she finally “kissed a girl.” But Kaplan was petrified of coming out publicly. She did not know that closets were “vertical coffins” that suffocated those inside to death. So, in 1991, Kaplan, who was just coming out and was “seriously depressed and anxious,” saw a therapist for two sessions to tr y to get help, and that therapist’s name was Thea Spyer. Kaplan was scared of not being able to have a relationship, a family, and a normal life. But Thea said, “it was possible to have a fulfilling relationship and happy life, even if you are a lesbian,” and then she told Kaplan about her own 25-year relationship with the beautiful and brilliant (IBM math wiz) woman named Edie Windsor. Eighteen years later, 81-yearold Edie Windsor sought legal help. Thea had died of multiple

sclerosis and although Edie and Thea had been married in Canada in May of 2007, because of DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act), their marriage was not recognized in New York and Edie had to pay $363,053 in estate taxes. Edie went to Lambda Legal, because she and Thea had contributed to them, and a junior attorney told her it was the “wrong time” for the movement. HRC gave her the “cold shoulder” and the ACLU agreed with them. Mar y Bonauto and GLAAD had filed a lawsuit in Massachusetts challenging DOMA on behalf of eight couples and three widowers. Bonauto’s strategy of attacking DOMA so soon was not exactly greeted with enthusiasm by others in the LGBT movement. Both Lambda and the ACLU took the position that Bonauto was moving too fast and could create bad legal precedents that would be damaging going for ward. (My wife and I heard the same scripted response when we were the first to sue for marriage rights in California in 2004. “The time is not right! We have a plan,” said major LGBT attorneys. Of course, later they jumped in with their own clients and we won.) Besides, the LGBT legal cabal felt that the issue of a widow having to pay “estate taxes” was not the issue that would defeat DOMA because Edie was “just a bit too wealthy and privileged to be the face of gay rights.” Really? When Robbie Kaplan was called by an activist trying to help Edie get an attorney, Kaplan walked four blocks over to Edie’s apartment excited to know that she was going to meet the woman whom Thea Spyer, her therapist, had told her about all those years ago. She showed Edie a video of her 2006 oral arguments in a NY marriage case. Though she had argued brilliantly, she had lost; yet several law school professors had used it in their class to teach oral advocacy. Edie Windsor immediately wanted Kaplan to represent her. After the movement’s organizations refused to represent her, here was a major law firm willing to take the case “pro bono.” (yes, for free!) What made Edie’s case so unique was that, unlike the gay legal organizations that represented multiple plaintiffs — Robbie kindly refers to them as a “diverse coalition of plaintiffs” but I refer to them as a chorus line of plaintiffs to stand behind attorneys who wanted to be the stars — Edie was the sole plaintiff and Kaplan put her front and center. Also, the organizations



Roberta Kaplan signs copies of her new book after speaking at the Los Angeles Public Library. (Photo by Robin Tyler)

did not want to focus on the legal protections and penalties same sex couples experienced because of a lack of Federal Recognition. They wanted to focus on smiling couples, holding hands and talking all about love, because that is what their focus groups told them people wanted to see. The exception was the Proposition 8 Olson/Boise case where two famous, non-gay male attorneys, one Democrat and one Republican, got so much press themselves, that this “odd couple” should have been standing together on top of the wedding cake! But they went against movement’s bad “advice” and were hired to file a federal lawsuit to overturn Proposition 8. Kaplan, this brilliant, experienced attorney did not listen to the organizations. She was an experienced litigator, and was going to win by focusing on two things. l. Unfair taxation, which is something she felt even conser vatives understood. 2. Edie Windsor, Edie Windsor, Edie Windsor In her new book, “Then Comes Marriage — United States v. Windsor and the Defeat of DOMA,” Kaplan documents the case from beginning to end. This book tells all. Two great love stories (Robbie and Rachel, Thea and Edie), the trial, and all

the internal struggles. It was so interesting and well-written that I could not stop reading it! The book goes into the drama, the behind the scenes struggles, the fights, the attacks, and the competition that Kaplan had to endure. And that was just from our side! In March of 2013, my wife and I flew to Washington, D.C. to go to the U.S. Supreme Court to see the arguments in the Proposition 8 case. We had filed a lawsuit against Proposition 8 through our attorney, Gloria Allred (whose firm had won our marriage case) but we had lost the Proposition 8 case in the California Supreme Court. So we went to D.C. to watch the legal conser vative ‘mega star’ Ted Olson, argue in the U.S. Supreme Court. I can’t tell you how disappointed I was. One justice referred to our movement as “an experiment,” and Olson didn’t respond. Another justice referred to incorrect negative information about children raised by same-sex couples, and Olson didn’t answer. I had thought of him as “the $6 millon Wizard of Odds,” but was livid when I walked out of the courtroom. Because of the huge press buildup around this famous Republican attorney who had won case after case at this court

(including Bush v. Gore), I had expected more. The next day made up for ever ything. I had read about Kaplan, but because she wanted Edie and Thea’s great love stor y ver y public, most of the articles, as planned, were about her client. So when I watched her oral arguments, this now out, proud, lesbian partner of Rachel and mother of Jacob pleaded the case with such brilliance, that there was not one thing they could get her on. Her arguments came not only from her brain, but deep down, from her soul. She painted the stor y of Edie Windsor and Thea Spyer with such passionate strokes, that many of us in the courtroom, who already knew the stor y, sat there mesmerized and many of us were cr ying. A lot of attorneys had helped Kaplan prepare, but when she stood up in the U.S. Supreme Court for the first time in her career, she “hit it out of the ballpark.” We knew this was it. We knew that this would go down in histor y as the case that not only brought down DOMA, but would pave the way for marriage equality, which in turn will be the Trojan horse in which all of our equal rights will finally arrive. Decades from now, when people look back in disbelief that we could have experienced this kind of discrimination, and we think of winning marriage equality, the picture that will indelibly be etched into all of our memories, is the one of Edie Windsor, almost running down the Supreme Court steps, pink scarf flying in the wind, beside her unstoppable attorney, Roberta Kaplan, waving to the thousands of supporters, cheering them on to what became our greatest victor y. And this is the picture that will go down in histor y. Mazel tov! Roberta Kaplan is currently on tour with her book, “Then Comes Marriage — United States v. Windsor and the Defeat of DOMA” published by W. W. Norton & Company. For tour dates, visit robbiekaplantour.html —Robin Tyler has been a marriage activist since 1987, when she produced ‘The Wedding’ at the 1987 March on Washington. She and her wife Diane Olson were the first lesbian plaintif fs to file in the case that brought marriage to California in June 2008 (Tyler v State of California).t



GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 30 – Nov. 12, 2015


DEMOCRATS a greater reach. It was also during this decade that the club began to produce its voter information guide, a popular tool to this day for many in the community who want to cast their votes for LGBT-friendly candidates. Stephen Whitburn, a former San Diego Democrats for Equality president — who was also endorsed by the club when he sought elected office — praised the organization for its role in making San Diego a better place for the LGBT community. “The club’s been instrumental in making San Diego the LGBT-friendly city it is today,” he said. “Its early leaders harnessed the size and fundraising power of our community, giving it political muscle. Then, the group played key roles in the city council elections of [out lesbians] Christine Kehoe and Toni Atkins, and it was effective in helping pass laws prohibiting discrimination. “I think the thousands of people who’ve participated in the club over the past four decades can be rightfully proud of its place in our community’s history,” Whitburn said. Certainly, the devastation of HIV/ AIDS hit the club hard, as it did many other LGBT-community based organizations, with several club members losing their lives, including two prior club presidents, Dr. Brad Truax, and Doug Scott. Club members became actively involved in Life Lobby, a forerunner to Equality California, which was a federation of local organizations throughout the state that helped lobby for greater awareness of AIDS/HIV issues. Club leaders say that the AIDS crisis forced many people to come out of the closet and become more engaged in the fight for LGBT rights and it helped increase

Club members with Speaker Atkins and Councilmember Alvarez during this year's Pride parade (Courtesy SD Dems for Equality) political mobilization by friends and family of those affected by the disease. The women of the club also stepped up in support of club members and others in the community stricken with HIV/AIDS by forming the Blood Sisters, whose mission was to promote blood donations with the San Diego Blood Bank, American Red Cross, and other blood bank organizations, and to interface with those organizations on behalf of their gay brothers who were banned from donating. It was in the 1990s and 2000s that the Democrats for Equality became a more robust organization and began to have a quantifiable impact upon the San Diego political scene. Prior to 1990, San Diegans citywide voted for all city council seats, making it difficult for an LGBT person to get elected. The club was very involved in the effort to pass a ballot initiative to establish district-based City Council elections in the city of San Diego. The creation of the Third Council District ensured that the LGBT community could use their influence effectively to elect an LGBT-friendly candidate and have a voice on the San Diego City Council. The District came about largely through the research

of Democratic Club member Charles McKain, who ignored advice from some other community leaders and developed a case for an LGBT “community of interest” in the Hillcrest/North Park areas, based on voting patterns and other factors, even concentrations of subscribers to The Advocate. Ushering in district elections and providing a driving force for the creation of an LGBT-friendly council district were important first steps. Long-term success required that a viable candidate for that council position be found; and Christine Kehoe was that candidate. Kehoe’s election — the first openly-LGBT person to hold public office in San Diego, and which the club played a very large role in — ushered in a new era of political power for the local LGBT community. Since Kehoe’s election, the club has continued to play a major role in advancing LGBT candidates and causes in the region. “Over the past four decades, San Diego Democrats for Equality has played a substantial role in getting us closer to full equality for LGBT San Diegans,” said Councilmember Todd Gloria. “They should be credited for helping to elect Christine Kehoe to be our region’s first out elected official and passage of many legislative efforts that made our city a national leader in the LGBT civil rights movement. I am grateful to the San Diego Democrats for Equality and value their partnership.” Toni Atkins succeeded Kehoe in the District Three council seat in 2000, and is now the Speaker of the California State Assembly. “San Diego Democrats for Equality is one of the oldest LGBT groups in the country, and has been an important part of our community since it began 40 years ago,” Atkins said. “In that time, the club has fought tirelessly and successfully for fairness, dignity, justice and equality. As a former vice president of the group, I know I would not be where I am today without them. I wish my home club a very happy 40th anniversary and continued success long into the future.” The club was very active in the fight against California’s Proposition 8, and continues to play a key role in the local Democratic Party structure. Current Democrats for Equality member Jess Durfee became chair of the San Diego Democratic Party from 2004-2013. He also served as chair of the California Statewide LGBT Caucus from 2007-2011 and became the first San Diego member of the Democratic National Committee in 2008. He also served on the national Stonewall Democrats for 11 years. Club leaders say that accomplishments like this among from club members would have been unthinkable 10-20 years prior. Doug Case, who served twice as president of the club (1991-1992, 20112014) and served on the executive board for 26 consecutive years from 1988-2014, noted how much political power the club has helped the community gain. “San Diego Democrats for Equality is a genuine institution in the San

Diego LGBT community that has re-shaped politics in the city of San Diego,” Case said. “Many in the community rely on our endorsements in making their ballot choices because they know our decisions are based on a rigorous evaluation of candidates and issues by our membership.” Case also currently serves as vice chair of the city of San Diego Citizens’ Review Board on Police Practices. Craig Roberts, another long-time member, said that being part of an organization like this is also a great time. “My 22 years of participation with the San Diego Democrats for Equality has enriched my life immensely,” Roberts said. “I’ve made dozens of friends, been able to go to 21 consecutive California Democratic Party conventions and two Democratic National Conventions and, as part of the club, helped make San Diego a better place for the LGBT community. It still blows my mind that, through my participation in the club, numerous elected officials recognize me and know me by name. And while much of it was hard work it was, and continues to be, a lot of fun.” The 40th anniversary brunch, scheduled for Saturday, Nov.7, will be held at The Prado Restaurant, 1549 El Prado, in Balboa Park. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Former Speaker of the Assembly John Perez is the special guest. Tickets are $40 for club members and $50 for friends of the club and include brunch buffet and cash bar. For $250 sponsorship, guests receive two tickets, two mimosas, and acknowledgment. Additional sponsorship levels are available. For tickets or additional information visit democratsforequality. org/event/40th. —George Vernon is a local freelance writer. He can be reached at


INTERVIEW [CA] So your gay friends are your matchmakers? [SG] All the time. Whoever I’m with or like or don’t like, they’re all about dissecting it and putting me with other people. [CA] It must be fascinating for you to see Nick Jonas become such a gay icon. His outreach … his under wear pics ... [SG] And his [gay] characters that he’s been playing! “Scream Queens” and the other show, “Kingdom,” which I thought was super rad. We actually talked about it at dinner one time. He’s incredible, and I think it’s amazing. I’ve known him for years — we were 14 when we met — so it’s crazy, because I actually knew him at a dif ferent time in his life. Now, to see him have this amazing perspective on life is awesome. I’m really proud of him. [CA] Are you surprised by the way he’s connected with the gay community? [SG] Yeah, for sure! Not in a bad way, but I was like, “Thank you.” It was kind of incredible for somebody to step out of their zone for a minute. It’s really incredible to see what he’s done. It’s incredible to not really be in a judgmental place and to really let down all of your guards. I just think you have to really let go, and you do have to find this in your hear t. He clearly has had a love and compassion for ever yone, and I think that’s great. [CA] The cover of your album, where you’re basically naked, is pure empowerment. You seem ver y comfor table in your own skin. [SG] Ever y other day it changes, but this year is a ver y impor tant year for me. A lot of discovering and exploring who I am. It was exciting for me while also being a little complicated; I had dealt with cer tain body issues and things like that. Once the album was put together and I went through so many dif ferent emotions, I knew that this was my moment to really share my hear t, because there are so many people who follow or look up to me who are dealing with so much in their own life. I just want to give my all to it — give all of myself literally. [CA] Are there any gay people in your life currently who

helped you on your journey to self-actualization? [SG] Yes, one of my dearest — his name is Gweny. He’s been on my Instagram many times — featured on my Insta! (Laughs) But he’s ver y sweet and unbelievably confident. He’s a dancer, so he knows how to move his body. Even when I dance, sometimes I’ll ask him to dance with me in the mirror so I can be comfor table in my movements. Sometimes I get a little self-conscious and don’t think I’m a great dancer and he’s able to pull me out of my head instantly. Also, I’ll wake up one morning and he’ll be cooking breakfast, and all of a sudden “The Sound of Music” is on and it just makes my life happy. He’ll just r un into my room and cheer me up and yeah, he’s been a huge par t of the last four years of my life. He’s changed my life. [CA] You have had to become an adult in front of the whole world. For you, how hard is it to grow up in the limelight? [SG] The worst par t about it is the lack of forgiveness. When you’re a quote end-quote “child star,” it’s just unfair to be able to throw things at people when they don’t even know who they are yet. So that’s the only frustrating par t, because, ultimately, that’s life. Ever ybody goes through things, and more than anything, I think it’s just the judgmental par t. But I enjoy it. I love my life, and I’m so thankful for it. I have been able to experience life in a dif ferent way, and even though there are some low moments, it’s incredible to do what I do. [CA] You’ve credited Taylor Swift as not just a friend but someone you admire. How often do you and her shake it of f at the gay clubs? [SG] Oh my gosh — how chic! And all the time. Taylor and I literally will have mini dance par ties with all of her dancers who are 100 percent gay [laughs] –— and it’s the best feeling ever! It is so fun, and we just lose our minds. [CA] So wherever you and Taylor are, it’s always a gay club? Even in her apar tment? [SG] Yeah, in New York! On tour! Backstage! The whole thing. [CA] What is the most common misconception people have of you? [SG] Lack of credibility. I understand that I come from Disney or whatever, but I feel like

I’ve just scratched the sur face of what I wanna do in film and music, to be honest. Even though I’ve been doing it for a while, I don’t feel like I have really gone there yet, and that’s fine. I think I gotta grow into it and make mistakes and learn and whatnot, but I do feel like that [credibility] is the one thing that people don’t give me enough of.

GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 30 – Nov. 12, 2015 can’t do it often. I didn’t do it after the album came out because I didn’t know what the reviews were gonna be, and I mean, I can’t do anything about it now — the album is out — so I have to be confident in what I released. But yes, I have, of course. If people text me things or if I hear people talking about stuff, yeah, I’ll do it.

[CA] Do you ever Google yourself? [SG] I have, yes. It’s ver y dangerous. I

Selena Gomez (Courtesy Interscope Records)

[CA] What is the craziest thing you’ve read about yourself?


[SG] What have I not read about myself at this point?! My gosh. I think I’ve been pregnant 15 times. That’s always been the craziest thing for me, which is my favorite. I’ll be at the beach and have the flattest stomach or not, and regardless, I’ll be pregnant. It’s the most hysterical thing to me. [CA] To debunk any rumors of a 16th baby – are you pregnant right now? [SG] No, nope — definitely not! [Laughs] —Chris Azzopardi is the editor of Q Syndicate, the international LGBT wire service. Reach him via his website at and on Twitter (@ chrisazzopardi).t



GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 30 – Nov. 12, 2015

A friendly game of rugby Dugout Chatter Jeff Praught Fall is finally upon us, and for those of you who are not necessarily into the most traditional American sports like basketball, football, softball, or tennis, there is a great alternative sport out there that may be just what you are looking for. The San Diego Armada Rugby Club (SDARC), our city’s gayinclusive rugby team, offers yearround opportunities for matches, practices, beneficial cardio, and world-famous socializing — nobody parties like ruggers! The SDARC celebrated its 10th anniversary this past April, and has just begun moving into its preparations for the 2016 season. The club competes in the Southern California Rugby Football Union, which holds a 10-game regular season that begins in January and lasts into April. Playoffs follow for qualifying clubs, and the SDARC competes at the Division III level. To prepare for that season, the SDARC starts holding full-contact practices twice a week at Robb Field in Ocean Beach. These practices are held on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6 – 8 p.m., and represent the

best time for new players to get involved in the sport. They also hold touch rugby games every Sunday year-round from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Freedom Park in Balboa Park. “These October practices are ideal for [newer players interested in the sport] because we focus more on passing and catching drills, as well as getting our cardio in order, before moving on to the more physical aspects of the game,” said club secretary James Ellis. Essentially, the club members gladly teach newcomers the basic skills needed to compete, before getting into the more challenging things such as scrums and learning new rules. “We welcome people year-round,” Ellis added. “If someone wants to come in February or the summer, we definitely focus on development at any time during the year.” The club’s next few months will be busy, preparing for the aforementioned 2016 season. Preparations will include a couple of “friendlies” (matches that do not count in any official standings) against the Division I Aztecs Alumni team, as well as the current UCSD rugby team. In addition, the SDARC plays in the annual “Rucktacular” tournament, which will take place this year on Dec. 5 in Los Angeles. This event features the gay-inclusive teams from Los Angeles, San Diego, San

The San Diego Armada Rugby Club offers year-round opportunities for practices, matches, cardio, and a special kind of socializing. (Courtesy SDARC) Francisco, and Seattle. Once the season starts in January, the club will host five home matches and play five more on the road; the furthest they travel is to the northern Los Angeles area. Most opponents are considered “straight” teams, but the sport of rugby is evolving so quickly that more gay athletes are playing on these teams as well. When the season concludes in April, the majority of the team gets right back on the “pitch” (the field), with more non-contact practices throughout the summer. They also prepare to participate in various Rugby Sevens one-day tournaments

in the area. Rugby Sevens is a different style of game, with seven players on the pitch instead of 15. It is a higher-paced, less-physical game that really challenges your cardiovascular stamina. For those who may recall, Petco Park played host to the international Rugby Sevens tournaments for a few years, and the action was incredible to watch. Participating in any sport means that there is a cost associated for membership. At first glance, rugby might seem to be pretty expensive, but allow me to explain how the following costs are really a good deal. All players are required to obtain

an annual $75 membership from USA Rugby. This provides each athlete additional insurance against injury, something you would definitely want. Then there is the SDARC team fee, currently $250 for the year. That price will go up to $300 in the middle of November. If that fee seems expensive, it actually is a really good value. Not only does it cover participation in games, it helps cover field costs, referees and your jersey. Better yet, the home team in every match hosts a social after the match, where each team parties together. The only additional expenses would involve rugby shorts, cleats, and a mouth guard. The age range of club members is typically 21, all the way up to the mid-50s. The majority of the players are in their late 20s to mid-30s, but there are several guys playing in their 40s. Not only is now the best possible time to get involved with the Armada, but it would get your foot in the door before the club prepares to travel to Nashville, Tennessee, for next year’s Bingham Cup, the biyearly international amateur rugby tournament. If the name Bingham sounds familiar, it’s because that tournament is named in honor of one of the heroes of Flight 93 during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, gay rugby player Mark Bingham. If you'd like to support the Armada on their trip to the Bingham Cup, check out their crowdsourcing page at Visit the club on Facebook at, or their website at, or send an email to info@sdarmada. com. Or, just show up to the fields during a practice and get ready to run around with San Diego’s wildest party team. —Jeff Praught can be reached at

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