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Volume 6 Issue 23 Nov. 13 – 26, 2015

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Good night, Citizen Kurt


By Walter G. Meyer

Lesbians find love in the woods


America’s finest tourist attraction Eddie Reynoso is launching a visitor center in the heart of the gayborhood. (Photo by Big Mike)

Fourth LGBT visitor center in nation to open in Hillcrest She’s not Dorothy anymore


Gossiping over brunch


Morgan M. Hurley | Editor San Diego is about to get its very own LGBT Visitors Center, with its grand opening and ribbon cutting taking place Wednesday, Nov. 18 at 4:30 p.m. The San Diego LGBT Visitors Center — only the fourth visitor center of its kind catering to LGBT travelers — is located inside Trinitea, a tea and coffee lounge at 3865 Fifth Ave., in Hillcrest. The other three centers are located in Key

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see Visitors Center, pg 20

Mama’s 'pie in the sky' fundraiser returns Pecan, apple and pumpkin available through Nov. 22 By Margie M. Palmer

A toasty and cuddly Kylie

West, Miami and Seattle. Purveyor Eddie Reynoso (known around the community as “Eddie Rey”) has been in a “soft opening” status for a couple months and is excited for the official launch of his new venture. Fifty people have already stopped by to “check in” on Facebook with selfies to wish Reynoso well and he said he hopes to see lots of people at the grand opening Nov. 18. After moving to San Diego five years ago from the Reno, Nevada, area, Reynoso spent most of those years working as marketing director for MO’s Universe. He said the idea of an LGBT-centric visitor center started after he

Those still wanting to get their hands on a fresh-baked pie from the Mama’s Kitchen’s Pie in the Sky Bake Sale are in luck; online order placement is currently available through Nov. 22 and pies will be available for pick up on Nov. 25. The annual Thanksgiving fundraiser was started in 2005, said Mama’s Kitchen Marketing Coordinator Maurya Siedler. “Back then, ever ything we did started with paper orders,” Sielder said. “Not only has the bake sale grown quite a bit since then, we’ve also started to take orders through

the website,” she continued, noting that adding the online order capability has allowed them to reach a much larger audience. Seidler said they expect to sell approximately 4,000 pies this year and they hope to raise $108,000. Each pie costs $25 and the proceeds from the bake sale are used to help Mama’s Kitchen provide free, nutritious, home-delivered meals to men, women and children who are struggling with cancer or AIDS; three times a day, every day of the year. “Every pie purchased provides seven meals,” Siedler said. The nonprofit is currently celebrating their 25th year of providing their meal services, and if

see Mama's pies, pg 3

Sommelier Angelo Ingrati helps out with JCUV’s pecan pies in 2011 (Courtesy JCUV)

There were tears and laughter, often at the same time, befitting the hilarious contradiction that was Kurt Cunningham when nearly 300 people gathered at a memorial held in his honor — planned by Cunningham himself down to the last detail — at the San Diego LGBT Community Center on Nov. 1. Big Mike Philips greeted everyone who arrived with his camera and a custom-made “step and repeat,” to take photos as a reminder of the event. A very funny, but somewhat subdued Nicole Murray Ramirez emceed the celebration of life for the man he considered “his son.” At times the usually glib and loquacious Queen Mother of the Imperial Court of the Americas had to pause to choke back tears as he spoke of Cunningham, the one-time Empress of the Imperial Court, who ended his life on Oct. 10. Referring to the elaborate plans Cunningham had left for this day, Murray Ramirez said, “Kurt Cunningham was one true drama queen.” The recurring symbol throughout the memorial was that of a peacock, a nod to Cunningham’s title as the former Imperial Peacock Empress de San Diego. An empty throne, as well as Cunningham’s crown and scepter, were all displayed on stage to honor Cunningham’s reign as the 27th elected empress, Summer Meadows. During the speeches, a slide show ran in a loop behind them, containing dozens of photos put together by Cunningham’s friends. Some photos were accompanied by quotes made by Cunningham, some by other people. A quote of Cunningham’s in particular, stood out. “I am the Susan Lucci of the Nickys,” it said, a reference to the soap opera star who was nominated 18 times before finally winning an Emmy. Cunningham had been nominated for a Nicky almost every year of the 20-some years he’d been active in the San Diego community, before finally taking one home at this year’s ceremony in August as “Community Activist.” Politicians, community leaders, current and former royalty of the Imperial Court, members of Cunningham’s family, classmates from

see Kurt, pg 12



GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 13 – 26, 2015

Love among the pines “Raven’s Touch” film to premiere in San Diego Morgan M. Hurley | Editor “Raven’s Touch,” a lesbianthemed independent film, will make its San Diego premiere thanks to FilmOut San Diego on Wednesday, Nov. 18 at Landmark’s Hillcrest Cinemas. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with representatives from the film, as well as an after-party at Gossip Grill. FilmOut, the nonprofit in charge of San Diego’s annual LGBT film festival, screens engaging LGBTthemed films — or those starring gay-icons — throughout the year to raise awareness to the festival and help with fundraising. It is not often that a lesbian-themed film gets into the monthly line up. “We chose to screen [this film] because it is a film about women that is directed and written by women; plus it is a hugely entertaining film that all LGBT audiences and beyond could enjoy,” said Michael McQuiggan, programmer for FilmOut. “In addition, having the director and talent attending for a Q&A and the after party is an added bonus.” “Raven’s Touch,” the fourth film produced by the Los Angeles-based Soul Kiss Films, was written by Dreya Weber, who also stars in the film in the lead role. A professional actor since the age of 10, Weber is best known in LGBT circles for two other films, “The Gymnast,” and “A Marine Story.” Weber’s skills as a silk aerialist, developed while in college and

capitalized on for her role in “The Gymnast,” have led to her choreographing the tours of many pop stars, including Cher and Pink. Weber said she is “extremely proud” of “A Marine Story,” and by making the film hoped to explain why the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy was “absurd.” “Researching for that film affected me profoundly,” she said. “I had not understood the depth of loss gay and lesbian service members suffered in order to continue serving the country that they love.” The executive producer and director of “Raven’s Touch” is Marina Rice Bader, who is also the founder of Soul Kiss Films. Bader spent 18 years as a professional photographer before breaking into indie filmmaking. “I’ve been in love with film my whole life and honestly, I woke up one day and thought, ‘What do I want to do with the rest of my life?’” she said. “If I didn’t follow my passion then, when would I? I’ve always been a late bloomer, so finding out what I’m meant to do at age 53 just sort of fits.” Bader was at Gossip Grill in October doing some fundraising for her next film, “Ava’s Impossible Things,” which is currently in production. The fashion show and date auction was well attended and Bader was thankful to the San Diego community for their help. “Financing most indie films is tough to say the least, but add to that the fact that it’s a woman’s film, and then add lesbian onto that?” she said. Traci Dinwiddie, also seen in another Soul Kiss Film, “Elena

Undone,” plays Raven’s love interest in the film and said she was drawn to the role because of Weber, whom she has “long admired.” Dinwiddie is a yoga enthusiast and very physically active when not in front of a camera, raising nearly $1 million with her T-Bugs — “my cyber tribe of loyal fans on social media,” she said — during her last three AIDS/Lifecycle efforts. Aside from stepping up to donate to her (l to r) Dreya Weber, Traci Dinwiddie and Marina Rice Bader at the LA premiere of “Raven’s Touch.” cause, she said many of Weber and Bader will be on hand for a Q&A after the FilmOut screening. (Photo by Morgan M. Hurley) her T-bugs even join in at a much faster pace,” Dinwiddie to her fourth completed film, on the seven-day, 600-mile ride from explained. “That can add more presBader said its theme reminds her San Francisco to Los Angeles every sure, but as they say, ‘a diamond is to think positive. spring. made under pressure.’” “I love the humanity, the sense of “This will be my fourth year par“Seeing an independent film family and how even in your darkest ticipating in AIDS/LifeCycle,” she through to completion and distribuhour there is light just around the said. “It’s been extremely empowercorner if you keep yourself open,” ing to take on this wonderful cause. I tion is an honor and a feat of extraordinary determination,” Weber said. Bader said about “Raven’s Touch.” felt that my own broken pieces were “There is no glamour, there is no “True and intimate connection with mended by making the commitglory and there’s no financial gain. another human being is so healing, ment to help save lives. She also was “I love filmmaking. I love the and it’s why we’re here.” geared up for the recent seventh craft. I love being part of a team of “Raven’s Touch” will screen at season of American Ninja Warrior people all pulling toward the same 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 18, at but got hurt during training and goal,” she continued. “I am grateful Landmark’s Hillcrest Cinemas, lohad to bow out at the last minute. But she said she can be seen on a that I’ve been supported in making cated at 3965 Fifth Ave., in Hillcrest. spin-off called “Team Ninja Warrior” these films, but the amount of work A Q&A with Bader and Weber will in January. involved is daunting.” immediately follow the film, with an All three women have spent “Filmmaking is such a challenge after-party to take place at Gossip a great amount of time in the at this level,” Bader said. “One small Grill at 1202 University Ave., also in development of independent thing, say Mother Nature blowHillcrest. Attendees at the after-party films, though Dinwiddie has also ing your set down — yes, this just will have an opportunity to meet starred in such large productions happened last week [on the “Ava” Bader and Weber. Ticketholders will as “The Notebook,” and “The Black set] — all of a sudden it adds another get free entry to Gossip Grill where Knight.” They all agree that indie $50K onto your budget for pickup there will be drink specials and other films are a challenge. days and you just want to throw your features. For tickets visit filmout“The major difference between arms up and scream at the sky. But large-scale films and low-budget you can’t. You have to buckle down indies is that the indies run out of and figure out how to fix it.” —Morgan M. Hurley can be money quickly, so we have to shoot When returning her thoughts reached at


GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 13 – 26, 2015



MAMA'S PIES they reach this year’s goal, more than 32,000 client meals will be funded. If you’d like donate to the cause but don’t need a pie of your own, Siedler said there are several ways to do that. One way is to purchase a virtual pie (known as a “client pie”). Client pies are basically a $25 donation toward the cause. Another way is to purchase a client pie in honor of someone you know, maybe a friend, or someone who has died of cancer or AIDS. Each recipient will receive an e-card notification that a pie was donated in his or her honor and everyone who purchases a client pie will be entered into a raffle to win an iPad. Donors will receive one entry ticket for each pie purchased. You can also buy a real pie for a friend or family member; just make sure their name is on the receipt and they know where to pick up their pie. Another way to get involved is to become a “pie seller.” You can sign up to sell pies to your family, friends and coworkers, an option not only makes you eligible for weekly prizes, but prizes at the end of the fundraiser for the most pies sold. Go to mamaspies. org and click “become a pie seller” on the left-hand side. Finally, you can donate your time to the annual pie fundraiser. Siedler said there are many volunteer opportunities available, such as sitting at Mama’s Kitchen or the more than three-dozen Wells Fargo pickup points on Nov. 25 to disseminate the purchased pies. She said they also need drivers to shuttle pies around from the baking facilities to the various pickup locations, including private pickup locations such as Intuit, a local business that buys upwards of 40 pies for their employees. This year’s pie bakers include restaurants and volunteers from throughout the county. Participating restaurants and kitch-

Just Call Us Volunteers makes 300 pecan pies for Mama’s Kitchen every year. (inset) Chef Julie Darling, JCUV founder and CEO (Courtesy JCUV) ens include Andaz San Diego, Authentic Flavors Fine Catering & Event, Barona Resort and Casino, Bear Buns Bakery, Behind the Scenes Catering, Betty’s Pie Whole, Brothers Signature Catering & Events, Centerplate, Coco’s Bakery Restaurant, The French Gourmet, Grand Hyatt, Grove Pastry Shop, Handlery San Diego, Hyatt La Jolla, Jenny Wenny Cakes, Just Call Us Volunteers, Kaiser Permanente, Loews Coronado Bay Resort, Mook & Pop’s, San Diego Cake Club, San Diego Culinary Institute, Sea & Smoke, Solace & the Moonlight Lounge, Stone Brewing Company, Sweet Cheeks Baking Co., Sycuan Casino, Twiggs Bakery and Urban Solace. Just Call Us Volunteers (JCUV) founder Julie Darling, who is also the chef/owner of Just Call Us Catering, said she’s been volunteering to bake pies for Mama’s Kitchen for as long as she can remember.

“Volunteers line bake all the pie shells on Saturday and on Sunday, all the volunteer chefs come into make the filling and bake them,” Darling said. “It’s a fun day for the chefs and it’s definitely a day where there is no such thing as having too many cooks in the kitchen.” JCUV has long been coordinating volunteers to help serve meals at shelters throughout the county; donating time to help Mama’s Kitchen seemed like a natural fit for their mission. Darling said getting the chefs together for that fun day in the JCUV kitchen offers them the opportunity to participate even if they don’t have the capacity to do so on their own. The JCUV group — which includes chef volunteers from Carnitas Snack Shack, Sara Polczynski Seasoned Plates, Praline Patisserie and Waters Catering — is on-deck to bake 300 pecan pies this year, Darling said, noting that being able to provide that many

pies for the cause is made largely in part to the generosity of Specialty Produce, which donates many of the ingredients. If you’re curious about these delicious desserts, this year’s pie flavors include traditional apple, pumpkin, pecan, and Dutch apple, and pickup locations are available at 21 different sites throughout San Diego County. For more information on how to get involved, or how to purchase your own Thanksgiving pie, visit or call 619-233-6262. —Margie Palmer is a San Diego-based freelance writer who has been racking up bylines in a myriad of news publications for the past 10 years. You can write to her at —Editor Morgan M. Hurley contributed to this report.t



GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 13 – 26, 2015

Silence and inaction = Fantasy sex bedfellows of the status quo South Bay Alliance Dae Elliott I recently presented to students interested in activism and it reminded me that we all needed to be agentic in our communities and the society at large. This is so much easier said than done, and many of us struggle to find the time, the energy, and the will to do what we can. Many of us who are of the baby boomer generation have seen a lifetime of struggles involved in our attempts to make our world better. In some cases, they are thrilling when we look back at the changes that have happened in the last 40-50 years (yes, in my lifetime!). In other cases, the frustration of seeing how far we have yet to go can be demoralizing and weigh heavily on our hearts. It is so often a challenge merely to manage our own lives and the struggles that come with our jobs, our families, our friendships, etc. Yet, many of us continue the struggle, knowing we are stretching ourselves thin, knowing we will face both success and setbacks, and knowing that we could, if we so choose, quit. So why do we continue? Why do I continue? Why do I tell people they “should” be involved? Why not spend that time kick-

ing back and watching ever yone else do the work since there isn’t that much in it for me? These were the questions that I had to answer for the students who are over whelmed with both their studies and their own jobs in order to afford those studies, and hopefully reach a point where they might have a chance at the American dream. Looking at them, knowing this, how do I answer them? How do I answer you? Can I say, “because if we don’t, we won’t change the world?” Yes, that is true, change happens all the time, but it is the result of those involved negotiating that directs the change. Silence and inaction are always the bedfellows of the status quo. So should I say, “because if we don’t, all the progress we have made could quickly regress and the hard work of those in the past, the for ward motion of all the sacrifice gone before, could be lost in the face of our complacency?” Yes, I think I need to say that too. Should I tell them that some of my most fulfilling relationships were found in the midst of these struggles and I cannot imagine their depth evolving from the mere casual encounters of everyday life? Absolutely, but then I also have to admit that there have been relationships that

see Status Quo, pg 15

Life Beyond Therapy Michael Kimmel

It’s so hard not to compare ourselves to other people. No matter how hard we try, somebody else always seems to have a better life than we do, a better partner, job, car, home or body. This comparison thing also extends to sex. We imagine what other people do and we see — in videos and movies — hundreds of images of how other people have sex. After seeing so many perfectlooking people having perfectlooking sex, it’s awfully hard to come up with our own definition of good sex. Instead, many of us fall into the trap of what I call, “fantasy sex.” Fantasy sex is the kind of sex that we think we should be having, but aren’t. It encourages us to doubt the beauty of the sex lives we have now and wonder if we’re doing something wrong. This damned comparison thing tells us that we should be having amazing sex like people in videos and movies, when, in reality, even they can’t have that kind of sex offcamera: It’s an illusion, a fantasy … and we fall for it. I’d like to deconstruct some of the basic tenets of fantasy sex in an effort to show that what I call “real sex” (the sex lives that we actually have) are usually just fine, thank you very much. Fantasy sex: Most people — but not you — are ready and able

to have sex whenever they feel the need: It’s so easy to just fall into bed with your partner (whether you just met them or have been with them for years) and have effortless, mind-blowing sex. Real sex: Real people aren’t always ready for sex, or ready at the same time as their partner. Us real folks also need to be physically ready to have sex. This is especially true with sex with a new person: If you’re a little nervous about having sex with someone and feel rushed or pressured, sex is often mentally and physically uncomfortable. Fantasy sex: Anything goes. You and your partner are easily comfortable with whatever happens. Nothing is off limits: It’s all a big, exciting erotic adventure, isn’t it? Real sex: Real people have specific likes and dislikes that need to be respected. Lots of erotic videos show couples doing all kinds of sexual activities with great enthusiasm. In real life, every couple decides what is exciting and erotic (or not). Instead of trying to FORCE your fantasy onto someone else, why not try instead to make sex an experiment where you each discover and respect each other’s likes and dislikes. Fantasy sex: The other person intuitively knows what you like — you never have to ask for anything or tell her/him you don’t like something — you are both so tuned into each other that everything just unfolds naturally. Real sex: Mindreading has never been helpful, in sex or in life in general. It sure would be nice if our partner knew what we like, and, over time, a partner probably will get to know some of what you like. But, no matter who you’re with, try a bit of “show and tell.” Show them where you like it and tell them what you’d like them to do there. Invite them to do the same for you. Fantasy sex: You will automatically and easily connect with a sex partner. Real sex: Often, we need to work on establishing and maintaining a connection. Tantric sexual practices encourage us to maintain a gentle, constant eye connection with a partner and to match his/ her breathing. There’s nothing worse (okay, a lot of things are worse, but bear with me) than having sex with someone where you aren’t even with them … you might as well be masturbating by yourself. This kind of sex is usually very unfulfilling. Don’t let it happen to you: Stay emotionally connected with your sex partner. Fantasy sex makes for interesting — if not totally unrealistic — videos, but real life sex holds the possibility for much more. Don’t settle for someone else’s fantasy. Invent and create (and recreate) your own version of good sex. Since no one else can tell you how to do it, why not make it a life-long adventure? You have nothing to lose but all those (impossible) fantasies. —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


They called her 'Super Nova' Another light taken too soon from our community By George Vernon Jamie Nova, a beloved member of San Diego’s LGBT community, passed away on Tuesday, Nov. 10, according to her friend Neil Lequia. She was 31. According to a GoFundMe page that was originally set up to help cover medical expenses, Nova became very sick at the end of last month. Bedridden for nearly a week before seeing a doctor, she was diagnosed with a migraine and sent home. But after experiencing vision and hearing loss the next day, Nova was rushed back to the hospital by ambulance and eventually diagnosed with meningitis, which is described as an “acute inflammation of the membranes of the brain.” The spinal tap procedure that was used to diagnose infection put her into a coma that she pulled out of on Nov. 7. But then a spike in her blood pressure caused her to brain to lose circulation, and Nova was taken off of

Xxxx. (Photo Xx)

Pride Flag, which was installed at the corner of Normal Street and University Avenue in 2012. After news of her death spread on Nov. 10, fellow members of the committee and other friends gathered at the flag at 5 p.m. to remember Nova. The group then marched the transgender flag down University Avenue to Urban MO’s in her honor. The GoFundMe page has now been re-purposed to raise money

life support on Nov. 10. Nova, who died at a hospital in Jackson, Mississippi, had been out of San Diego for the past few months, but had lived and worked in Hillcrest for a number of years, amassing a wealth of friends and supporters locally. The outpouring of love and support for the transgender activist both while she was fighting for her life and following her passing are evidence of the lives she impacted. While in San Diego, Nova worked in the service industry, including positions at MO’s Universe, Harvey Milk’s American Diner, and Brian’s 24 Restaurant Bar & Grill. She was actively involved in the San Diego Amazing High Heel Race committee, the first organized fundraisJamie Nova was a much beloved trans activist (Facebook) er for the Hillcrest

GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 13 – 26, 2015 for Nova’s final arrangements, with a goal of $30,000. Eddie Reynoso, who served on the Amazing High Heel Race committee with Nova, is encouraging friends and community members to support the fundraiser. “It was up to us to raise over $45,000 for the [Hillcrest Pride Flag] project, now help us raise the money to give [Jamie Nova]


her eternal rest,” he said. To donate, visit gofundme. com/4r93whu4. Friends are currently working out plans for a celebration of life, which will be announced as additional details become available. —George Vernon is a local freelance writer. He can be reached at



GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 13 – 26, 2015



Poll Results Will you participate in Black Friday? 0 % Yes, I do every year 29% Maybe, if I see something I need 71% Hell no, REI has a better idea

Guest editorial

Celebrating Transgender Awareness Month By Rea Carey As we mark Transgender Awareness Month, there is much to celebrate in terms of awareness for the transgender community but there are urgent issues that must be addressed that directly affect transgender lives. For the first time, and with activist and actor Laverne Cox blazing the trail, we have two popular television shows with transgender characters in lead roles — “Transparent” and “Sense8” — in addition to the reality shows “I am Cait” and “I am Jazz.” The former has broken new ground by not only featuring Caitlyn Jenner, but also transgender activists such as Angelica Ross who have spoken to the experiences of trans women of color and low-income trans people. This has literally “introduced” millions of Americans to transgender people for the first time and is a success indicator for the years of EDITOR Morgan M. Hurley (619) 961-1960 CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Ken Williams, x102 Jeff Clemetson, x119 CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Chris Azzopardi Charlene Baldridge David Dixon Dae Elliott Michael Kimmel Walter G. Meyer Margie M. Palmer Neal Putnam Frank Sabatini Jr. George Vernon

work to highlight the transgender community and the issues that they face. President Obama made history this year by being the first president to mention transgender people in a State of the Union address. Indeed, the Obama Administration has continued to show strong support for the transgender community — from coming out against conversion therapy after the suicide of Leelah Alcorn, to speaking out against the violence against transgender women of color during a White House reception, to defending transgender teen Gavin Grimm’s right to use the school bathroom that corresponds with his gender identity under Title IX. But with all the awareness, there has been too little attention paid to the murders of transgender women, and particularly transgender women of color, across the nation and the 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

shocking rates of unemployment, homelessness and poverty that are way above those faced by the rest of the LGBQ community and the general public. The solution to these problems are as diverse as employers hiring more transgender people to every level of government passing strong non-discrimination laws, from passing federal legislation that effectively tackles police profiling to not criminalizing people engaged in sex work.

While progress has been made through groundbreaking EEOC rulings, we are still waiting for Congress to pass a strong, explicit and comprehensive federal nondiscrimination law. We also know that the Obama Administration’s ICE memo that came out this year will only continue to put transgender detainees in 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.

harm’s way — the only way to stop violence against LGBTQ detainees is to end detention altogether. Last year, the National LGBTQ Task Force launched the public education campaign #StopTransMurders. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the appalling murder rate of transgender women of color across the country and to stimulate discussion about how to solve this national tragedy. To learn more about the campaign, please visit As we mark this very special month, we all must work harder for a world where transgender people and all LGBQ people can bring their whole selves to life without the fear of discrimination, persecution and violence. — Rea Carey is the executive director of the National LGBTQ Task Force, an organization that works to secure full freedom, justice and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people. For over 40 years, they have been at the forefront of the social justice movement by training thousands of organizers and advocating for change at the federal, state, and local level. For more information visit

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Update on Melero trial By Neal Putnam

Granados Beltran, 25, was driving on a suspended license when his 2007 A judge has ordered a drunk Toyota Camry crashed into a BMW driver with two prior DUI convicdriven by Melero, 52, on Feb. 15. tions to stand trial for second-degree A trial date was set for April 18, murder and vehicular manslaughter 2016 by San Diego Superior Court in the death of Oscar Melero, a Judge Charles Rogers, who will longtime hair stylist in Hillcrest. also be the trial judge. At an Oct. 30 preliminary Beltran pleaded not guilty and hearing, Deputy District Attorney waived his right to have a speedy trial. Cally Bright showed the judge court “The [prosecution] has documents that stated Abraham established probable cause. He is therefore held to answer in the amended complaint,” Rogers stated at the end of the preliminary hearing. Beltran’s license was suspended because he was convicted of drunk driving in 2011 and 2013 in Orange County. Bright said Beltran was ordered to pay $23,935 to one victim in a prior DUI crash. Rogers read the documents and noted the wording notified Beltran in 2013 that he could be charged with murder if he has another DUI crash and someone dies. Rogers said Beltran had initialed the pages, indicating he had read them and signed them. The prosecutor said Beltran was personally served with a notice of suspension of his Hairstylist Oscar Melero (center) was killed by a license in 2013 and was drunk driver last February. (Courtesy Indigo Salon and Spa) aware he couldn’t drive.

Bright said Beltran got no sleep after partying and drinking alcohol the night before the Feb. 15 crash, and was driving at an excessive speed when he hit Melero’s vehicle from behind around 7 a.m. Melero was on his way to the California 10/20 race at the Del Mar Fairgrounds when he was killed on Interstate 5 waiting to exit the freeway. Melero was a popular hairstylist at the Indigo Salon and Spa in Hillcrest. He lived in National City with his partner of many years. About a dozen of his friends and co-workers attended the hearing. “He was very much beloved,”

GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 13 – 26, 2015 said the prosecutor. Bright said Beltran, of San Juan Capistrano, admitted to a CHP officer afterwards that he was not able to drive because he had too much to drink. His blood/ alcohol level was estimated to be .11 to .13 percent, which Bright said would come from consuming 5-6 alcoholic drinks. Beltran’s attorney, Alma Cruz, waived making any argument before Rogers ordered him to stand trial on all charges. If Beltran is convicted of second-degree murder, he faces a sentence of 15 years to life in prison. It will be up to a jury to


decide whether Beltran is guilty of murder, vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, or not guilty. Scott Parent, an investigator with the CHP, testified Beltran’s estimated impact speed was between 81-89 mph when he struck Melero’s BMW, which was stopped on the freeway with other cars in front of him. Beltran is also charged with injuring Reed Anderson, a passenger in a Nissan, also involved in the crash. Beltran remains in jail on $750,000 bail. —Neal Putnam is a local freelance writer. Reach him at

Honoring our LGBT veterans

Ten people were inducted this year, two posthumously, during the annual Benjamin F. Dillingham III and Bridget Wilson LGBT Veterans Wall of Honor induction ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 5 at the San Diego LGBT Community Center. (l to r) Lester Lefkowitz (USA); Phyllis A. Daugherty (USAF); (Ken Spindler accepting for) Mitchell Cantrell (USA); Jackie K. Jackson (USN); Diane M. “Semo” Cimochowicz, (USN); Donna F. Walker (USN); (Thomas Vegh accepting for) Gordon K. Wahl (USAAC); Camille Emily Davidson (USAF); Trent Lozano-Osier (USN); and Alberto Cortes (USN). (Photo by Big Mike)



GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 13 – 26, 2015

The fall of a legendary star By David Dixon Judy Garland is one of the queens of family-friendly big screen musicals. Anyone from young children to their grandparents has enjoyed classics featuring Garland, including “The Wizard of Oz,” “Meet Me in St. Louis,” and “Easter Parade.” Now Garland is being brought to life in Intrepid Theatre Company’s “End of the Rainbow” — a life very different from the characters she played in those musicals. CEO/Producing Artistic Director Christy Yael-Cox warns that the evening will not be appropriate for young kids. “It is not a children’s show,” she said. “Garland is nothing like Dorothy. There is some language.” As a result, potential audience members should be aware that the musical drama, now playing at the Lyceum Theatre, is geared towards those 16 years of age and up. Intrepid’s new production of writer Peter Quilter’s play, is a frank depiction of Garland’s time performing at London’s Talk of the Town nightclub starting in 1968. Garland is played by the Craig Noel Award-winning actress Eileen Bowman. Although the deeply flawed Garland hoped to make a comeback, drugs and alcohol destroyed her life. Garland died June 22, 1969 at the age of 47. Despite her inner demons, Gar-

land remains to this day a beloved Hollywood star and gay icon. Bowman mentioned in an interview that the president of Garland’s fan club in the 1970s was asked why Garland was so popular in the gay community. “He explained that Garland had such vulnerability and trials, that she didn’t have a real life,” Bowman said. “Gay people could relate to those aspects of her history.” Yael-Cox has similar feelings about why Garland still continues to be a gay idol. “Garland struggled so publicly, so every time her fans saw her fall down, they also saw her get back up again,” Yael-Cox said. “She was constantly coming back bigger and stronger than before. I think that really struck a chord with the gay community in the 1950s and 1960s.” Quilter’s script features a fictional character, Anthony, who is based on several musicians Garland knew throughout her career, and played by the play’s musical director, Cris O’Bryon. Yael-Cox feels the Anthony character is a wonderful role. “He represents the voice of the gay community at that time in a beautiful way,” she said. “There is a tender relationship between Anthony and Garland and I am thrilled that Quilter saw the significance of their friendship.” Since the 2005 premiere at the Sydney Opera House in Australia, many productions of “End of the

Eileen Bowman plays Garland in Intrepid Theatre’s “The End of the Rainbow.” Rainbow” have played in New York, Lisbon, Brazil, and Buenos Aires. Such an unsentimental treatment of Garland’s decline might sound like a tough sell, but Bowman believes that the multi-talented singer’s popularity has not been lost on theatergoers. Bowman said she thinks the main reason the story has connected with audiences around the world is because Garland was such a beloved actress and singer. “There were at least 20,000 people that went to her funeral,” she said. “I hope Garland knew how loved she was.”

Yael-Cox mentioned that part of the reason the drama has been so successful is that the material does not feel as dark as it would seem to be. “The [writing] is honest and there is something heartbreaking because of the dichotomy between her struggles and tremendous talent,” she said. “However, it’s not a dark play. My goodness was Garland funny. She was hysterical and delightful. The show captures her wit and humor.” The director views Quilter’s script as a perfect introduction to Garland. “This particular play is wonderful for people that know nothing about Judy Garland, because they’ll walk away loving her,” Yael-Cox said. “This play is also wonderful for people who love Judy Garland, because they’ll walk away loving her more.” Since the tale pays tribute to Garland, Bowman hopes that a new generation of people will be influenced to learn more about the legendary performer. “I would like young adults [over 16] to see ‘End of the Rainbow’ and have the staging spike their interest in her,” Bowman said. “That’s how legacies keep going on.” “End of the Rainbow” will be performed at the Lyceum space through Nov. 29. For tickets or more information, visit or call 1-888-71-TICKETS. —A fan of film and theater from a very young age, David Dixon has written reviews and features for various print and online publications. You can reach him at


GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 13 – 26, 2015


A bright, half, 40-year life Theater Review Charlene Baldridge A couple of months ago, in preparation for writing a magazine article about women playwrights, this theater critic read Tanya Barfield’s “Bright Half Life.” Knowing its distinctive quality prior to attending the Nov. 8 matinee at Diversionary Theatre, she thought she knew what to expect — a play that skips merrily back and forth, to and fro, through 40-plus years of a lesbian relationship. Be that as it may, expectations from reading what’s on the page were completely transformed by the power of two live personalities — Rin Ehlers Sheldon and Bri Giger — and by the direction of guest director Lydia Fort, who mysteriously departed her post as artistic director of Mo’olelo Performing Arts Company effective Oct. 23. Barfield’s unusual organization of the material makes perfect sense when you see it played out before you (although I heard that some people in the audience were confused Sunday). The play underscores the circular (non-linear) way many women write and think, something that has long confounded men and may have contributed to our exclusion from the male-dominated bastion of the

“Bright Half Life” by Tanya Barfield

The play follows the ups and downs of a 40-year same-sex, mixed-race relationship. theater, at least until now when this glorious San Diego month, and this play in particular, celebrates women playwrights. Fort’s casting of these two particular actors is brilliant. Rin Ehlers Sheldon’s Erica is the most vivacious of the pair, who meet when Erica becomes a temp at the company where Vicky is her supervisor. Soon they become lovers. Though she is filled with overt enthusiasm and is game for all the physical challenges that the more athletic and adventuresome Vicky proposes, Erica is really terrified, which endears her all the more. The practical member of the duo, Vicky is the one who considers carefully and provides stability to the relationship. The play begins with Erica’s

marriage proposal; then we’re off and running. Woven into the funny, time-jumping fabric of the patchwork are Erica’s first Ferris wheel ride, buying a mattress together and jumping on some in the store, picking out clothing for special occasions, parachuting, co-mothering a set of twins, individual midlife crises, divorce, and serious illness. They may be mundane, existential events that human beings experience over the course of a long, loving relationship, but having someone who thoroughly understands and loves you to share them with is a remarkable blessing. Its ingenious structure (shifts are indicated by sound) makes this play a joyous challenge as it draws us into the vortex, mixes important moments in time and

(Photos courtesy

never lets us go. The design is elemental, with minimal sets by Kristen Flores, character-defining costumes by Jeannie Galioto, lighting by Sherrice Mojgani and all-important music and sound design by Blair Nelson. Performed in one act of 75 minutes without interval, “Bright Half Life” was developed during a residency at the 2014 Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwright’s Conference. Women’s Project Theater produced the 2015 New York premiere. — Charlene Baldridge has been writing about the arts since 1979. You can follow her blog at or reach her at

through November 30 8 p.m. Thursdays — Saturdays 2 p.m. Sundays Diversionary Theatre 4545 Park Blvd., University Heights Tickets or 619-220-0097



GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 13 – 26, 2015

protein bowls filled with grains, smoked chicken breast and softboiled eggs. 2266 Kettner Blvd., 619-269-9036.

The Crack Shack’s chicken statue

neath the second-level Oceanaire Seafood Room. With locations in Las Vegas and the Los Angeles area, the restaurant is famous for its home-style meals, freshly baked pies, and jumbo pancakes accompanied by melted, clarified butter. Biff Naylor, who is the third owner of the company since it was founded in 1938 in Los Angeles, said his new location will open by the end of the year to the tune of breakfast, lunch and dinner served around the clock. 440 J St.

A five-course meal of “autumn cuisine” with European wines to match is on tap at 5:30 p.m., Nov. 17, at The Patio on Goldfinch in Mission Hills. The event, which begins with a “welcome spritzer,” is part of an ongoing series of limited-seating wine dinners at the restaurant. This month’s menu features grilled octopus, braised veal osso buco, pork belly confit, and more. The cost is $75, plus tax and gratuity. 4020 Goldfinch St., 619-501-5090.

The new Stehly Farms Market features a deli stocked with cold cuts and prepared foods. (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.)

(Courtesy Bay Bird Inc.)

A former mechanics shop next door to Juniper & Ivy in Little Italy has opened as The Crack Shack. The much-anticipated eatery, co-owned by celebrity chef Richard Blais and entrepreneur Michael Rosen, features a playful menu showcasing free-range nonGMO eggs and the chickens that lay them. Blais and Rosen also run Juniper & Ivy on the same lot. Their latest venture is a 5,000-square-foot space designed with custom-made communal tables, a bocce ball court, a nine-foot-tall chicken statue, and an outdoor dining area. Menu items include pollo asada sandwiches with schmaltz fries, chicken-fried farro with a sunny-side-up egg, and

The basics for making sausage will be covered in an intimate handson class at 5 p.m., Nov. 22, at The Heart & Trotter Whole Animal Butchery in North Park. Attendees will be shown how to grind, spice and case various sausages before each taking home nearly three pounds of the links they prepare. The class costs $75 and is limited to six students. 2855 El Cajon Blvd., Ste. 1, 619-564-8976. After a lackluster run on Midway Drive in Point Loma, the owner of Du-par’s Restaurant & Bakery has closed the 24/7 eatery in preparation for moving it to the Gaslamp Quarter, directly be-

Vegetarian cookbook author Gleeson (Courtesy Berkman Communications)

New York Times best-selling author Erin Gleeson will make appearances at The Front Porch in Coronado and in Mission Hills on Nov. 15, from 10 a.m. ­­­­­– noon, and 2 – 4 p.m., respectively. Gleeson will discuss her vegetarian cookbook, “The Forest Feast,” based on her move to a cabin in the woods near San Francisco after working in New York City as a food photographer. The events are free. 918 Orange Ave., Coronado, and 928 Ft. Stockton Drive, Ste. 103, 619-377-0430.

A bigger version of Stehly Farms Market has opened in Kensington with a full deli and kitchen as well as organic produce from the owners’ 300-acre farm in Valley Center. Jerome Stehly, and his brother, Noel, also operate another market under the same name at 1231 Morena Blvd. in Bay Park, which they opened two years ago. The Kensington location, however, features an array of prepared salads, sandwiches and entrees, and café-style seating. In addition, customers will find a large selection of artisan cheeses, bottled kombucha drinks, packaged foods, and a machine near the bulk section used for making fresh peanut butter. 4142 Adams Ave., 619-280-7400.

Tahitian octopus at Duke’s La Jolla

(Courtesy Chemistry PR)

Replacing the former Top of the Cove is Duke’s La Jolla, a two-level restaurant that opened in early November and brings to the Prospect Street dining scene a fusion of Hawaiian and California cuisine. Launched by TS Restaurants, based in San Diego and Maui, the restaurant is named after the late Duke Kahanamoku, a native Hawaiian and six-time Olympic swimming and water polo medalist who is considered “the father of modern-day surfing.” Amid vintage memorabilia, customers can dine on dishes such as charred snap peas with burnt pineapple vinaigrette, Tahitian-style octopus, Kalbi short ribs, and more. 1216 Prospect St., 858-454-5888. —Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at

Brunch Liz and truffle mac-n-cheese

with r o l y a T h t e b a z Eli on the side

“Eggs in purgatory”

Restaurant Review Frank Sabatini Jr. Rarely have I brunched in a LGBT establishment in any city without the cadence of deafening house music that is better suited for the later hours. Weekend mornings (or early afternoons) are all about dishing up conversation with your tablemates over bloody marys and warm waffles, a concept that Gossip Grill seems to understand. A friend and I took a table at the lip of the dance floor on a recent Sunday morning, along the windows of the front, outdoor patio. To our relief, the low-volume tunes allowed for free and easy dialogue, some of which was obviously centered on several dishes we sampled from both the brunch and all-day menus. Embedded beneath our acrylic tabletop was a large black-and-white photograph of Elizabeth Taylor. Looking young and seductive, she essentially stood guard over an array of high-calorie foods she’d never be found eating in her earlier days: bacon-wrapped stuffed jalapenos, truffle mac-n-cheese, chicken and waffles, and other fare that arrived to our table rather quickly. A couple of bloody marys initially got us rolling; a Corona-spiked “coochiecabra” for my companion,

Gossip Grill 1220 University Ave. (Hillcrest) 619-260-8023; Prices: Appetizers and salads, $6.50 to $14; burgers, flatbreads and entrees, $8.50 to $18.50; weekend brunch dishes, $7 to $13

and a classic vodka rendition of the cocktail for me, called “bloody bitch.” Both contained house-made bloody mary mix that was pleasingly zesty, but missing the high spice factor I prefer as a Sunday kick-starter. Gossip’s stuffed jalapenos are divine, not the pre-manufactured kind ruined often by generic breading and slippery, overcooked peppers. Here, the jalapenos are firm and crisp, and filled by hand with silky cream cheese. Their bacon wrappings provide the exterior crunch as well as a big dose of extra flavor that pairs addictively with wild berry sauce lurking on the plate. Chef Nicole Urman oversees the menu, which she has expanded since taking the job at Gossip two years ago. Like the stuffed jalapenos, there are the untouchables that longtime customers can’t live without, such as the ahi won tons, biscuits and gravy, and the mac-and-cheese accented with white truffle oil. We tried the latter, which earned our approval because of its creamy blend of four cheeses — white cheddar, Swiss, jack and Parmesan — and the prized, baked crust along the edges of the dish. Urman, a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu in Los Angeles and former head baker for The Grand Del Mar, takes

DINING a Southern approach with the dishes she’s created. From the brunch menu, her chicken & waffle sandwich receives gourmet spins from honey-maple mustard, hollandaise sauce and arugula. Some of the specs, however, were off point. The hollandaise looked and tasted like cheddar cheese sauce due to the fact it contains chipotle, as Urman explained to us later. And the arugula turned up mostly as spinach from a batch we were told that mixes the two. The hefty sandwich was enjoyable nonetheless, but surprisingly the perfectly browned waffles dominated the flavor profile. Another brunch choice, eggs in purgatory, led us to believe from the menu description that the “fiery tomato sauce” surrounding the delicately poached eggs would offer some mouth burn. But despite ground chorizo in the recipe, it

GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 13 – 26, 2015

The “bloody bitch” and the “coochiecabra” (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.) tasted instead like sweet sloppy Joe sauce; not bad, but not what we anticipated. Had the dish been served with crusty baguette instead of toasted sliced bread, I would have mopped up a bigger portion. The winning dish was a


three-stack of bacon and corn buttermilk pancakes. The corn was folded into the batter, but the bacon wasn’t. It appeared generously on top. The cakes were wonderfully fluffy; airy enough to absorb the butter and syrup we applied to them. And they were as equally springy when I devoured the leftovers the next day. As Urman noted about Gossip Grill’s brunch menu, “It’s not for people on a diet.” Though even if you are, come to reward yourself for eating oatmeal all week, and to catch up with friends in one of Hillcrest’s most easygoing environments. And having a glamorous Hollywood legend who was a champion for LGBT rights watching your every bite is icing on the cake. —Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at



GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 13 – 26, 2015



his Huntington Beach High School, and hundreds of others who called him their friend, attended the event. Speaker of the State Assembly Toni Atkins spoke first in the program. “We share a lot of joy and sadness in this room,” Atkins began, later dropping an “f-bomb” as she explained how Cunningham once gave her a makeover for her official city council photo. “I looked like a lesbian drag queen knock-off,” Atkins exclaimed to roars of laughter. But Atkins also praised Cunningham’s devotion to changing the world, saying he “took personal risks to help the community,” particularly when it came to his battle with depression and being open about his previous suicide attempts. “Thank you for forcing us to pay attention,” she said. “If you knew him, you were his friend,” said Councilmember Todd Gloria, who took to the microphone next. “He was funny and he had a quick wit and a huge smile.” Gloria said Cunningham used social media as an outlet and that he appreciated his use of “Citizen Kurt” as his handle. When he asked him about it, Gloria said Cunningham told him it was a reference to a Louis Brandeis quote; “The most important office is that of private citizen.” “It was a role he took incredibly seriously,” Gloria said, adding that Cunningham’s attempts to be a good citizen were evident in his love for this community, but that he could often be “a bit of a shit-stirrer,” too. Gloria then praised the tone of the celebration that Cunningham had planned. “Kurt made sure it was a joyous occasion, a gathering of friends,” he said. Colby Watson, a minister friend of Cunningham’s spoke next, and likened him to an earthquake. He said that Cunningham’s memorial appropriately occurred on the anniversary of Lisbon earthquake of Nov. 1, 1755 and how it changed everything that came after. He thought Cunningham’s passing would leave in its wake a similar dramatic change. Dr. Delores Jacobs, executive director of The Center, told of a 15-year friendship that grew out Cunningham’s volunteer time at the front desk. She shared that the witty activist hadn’t been volunteering long before he “started making commentary” about the calls he was transferring. “Joe is on line two and I don’t think you should ignore him again,”

A slideshow of photos from Cunningham’s life played on loop behind friends who took turns sharing their memories with the large crowd in The Center’s auditorium.

Kurt Cunningham was honored by the community Nov. 1 she said, quoting Cunningham. Jacobs said Cunningham had also once told her she needed a new professional photo for the lobby at The Center, and tried to sell her on the idea by bragging, “You know, I did Toni Atkins’ make-up for her photo.” This reference, following the Speaker’s own story, again brought on much-needed laughter throughout the room. Jacobs also spoke of the new Kurt Cunningham Counseling Services Fund that has been established at The Center and inspired by him, to ensure that anyone in need of mental health assistance can get it, regardless of their ability to pay. Jacobs said Cunningham was passionate about three things; mental health treatment, LGBT teens and the trans community. “We honor your life and wish you peace,” Jacobs said in closing. “We can focus on his death or we can focus on his life,” said Cunningham’s former girlfriend, Mynde Mayfield. The well-spoken Mayfield, who said she was handpicked by Cunningham to speak, first apologized for her lack of skill in delivering such a eulogy, but moved the assembled guests with her speech. “I implore you to focus on what inspires you to act and continue your personal mission as part of this community,” she said. “I will focus on being grateful that I knew him at all. Death will not rob me of my treasured one or my ability to focus on the joy Kurt shared with us all.” Mayfield included a brief history

(Photos by Walter G. Meyer)

Emcee Nicole Murray Ramirez of what the peacock has represented in cultures around the world and shared with the crowd that she had recently chosen to have one tattooed on her chest and shoulder as a result of scarring from breast cancer, without ever making the connection to Kurt’s love of peacocks. “It will take on even greater significance, now,” she said. After all the scheduled speakers had completed their part of the program, Murray Ramirez opened the microphone up to those in the audience, but said Cunningham didn’t want any drag queens to perform because he wanted the event, “to be all about him.” Many took the opportunity to tell

their personal memories of Cunningham and expressed thanks that he had enriched their lives in some way. Cunningham’s boss from Mental Health America spoke about the impact he had on everyone with whom he worked and how deeply his loss is felt in their offices. The mother of a transgender teen and another teen who suffered from depression spoke of the immense help Cunningham had been to her family, including the night he gave her daughter his Imperial Court pin to make her feel like a princess. “I don’t remember when I first met Kurt, but I do remember when he became part of our family,” she said. The woman broke down as she spoke of how much she missed Cunningham and wondered how her family would go on without him; then encouraged the community to continue helping trans kids as Cunningham had done. Courtney Ray, a member of the “Kurt committee” — which also included Steve White, Frank Jones, and Eric Hufford, among others — that had been charged by Cunningham with arranging the memorial and settling his affairs, thanked everyone for coming. “I hope we can carry on the legacy he left us,” she said, adding that she knew his legacy would be his work with trans teens and he was devastated every time that he heard another young person had taken their lives. Murray Ramirez invited everyone in attendance to “give each other a hug,” likening it to the “kiss of peace” that is part of the Catholic mass, and the program closed with Cunningham’s choice of music, “Amazing Grace” sung by Tina Turner. There wasn’t a dry eye in the

place. A reception in The Center’s library followed the service, with food provided by some of Cunningham’s favorite places, Urban MO’s, Baja Betty’s and Babycakes. At the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation’s Aston-Brooks Gala on Nov. 7, Cunningham was once again honored. It was the first time, as far as anyone at SDHDF knows, that someone has been honored posthumously. “The Richard Geyser Award honors a community leader who displays excellence in ethics,” said John L. Brown, executive director of San Diego Human Dignity Foundation after the award. “Kurt was an honest, truthful, compassionate community leader who displayed all the attributes that Richard Geyser considered important in community work. “I had the pleasure of meeting Kurt and talking with him on occasion,” Brown continued. “I am sorry that I never had the opportunity to work closely with him on a community project.” Brown said that because Cunningham was honored, a total of $5,000 would be donated to the new Kurt Cunningham Counseling Services Fund at The Center, with $4,000 coming from SDHDF and $1,000 from the Rob Benzon Foundation. To view the speeches given at the event or to see the photo compilation that ran on a loop during the celebration of life, visit the Kurt Cunningham Memorial Facebook page. —Walter G. Meyer is a local freelance writer and the author of the award-winning gay novel, “Rounding Third.” He can be reached at walt. —Editor Morgan M. Hurley contributed to this report.t


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GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 13 – 26, 2015

Holiday Fever


[KM] I like them both. They’re so different. I don’t remember when my first cold Christmas was, but that I found it very weird. People who’ve never had a hot Christmas — because most of the world associates Christmas with the cold — just cannot get their head around it. Even when we were recording, all the Brits are going, “Don’t you think it’s weird recording in June, July, August? It’s summer.” I’m like, “Not really — makes sense to me.” I love it.

Kylie Minogue on her hot Christmases, ‘loyal’ gay fans, and the lucky fella she’ll be kissing under the mistletoe

[CA] How did you make it feel like Christmas in the studio? [KM] Basically we just decorated the studio. The studio was full of fairy lights and Santa hats and Christmas candles. We did not hold back. [CA] Did you get dressed up for the occasion? [KM] I went Christmas vibes — I didn’t go for full “sexy snow sleigh” album cover. We did have a sleigh in the studio. We had about five huge Christmas trees, giant crackers, toy soldiers and tinsel. Every day we were in there, it was more and more. It was really festive. It felt like Christmas. And I’m glad the world’s catching up — it’s been Christmas since June!

Minogue’s latest album, “Kylie Christmas,” was released Nov. 13. By Chris Azzopardi | Q Syndicate How does Kylie Minogue make the yuletide gay? “By singing about it,” she says, giggling the cutest Kylie giggle. And then she does just that — she sings. The song? “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” which the Aussie icon spontaneously launches into via phone, putting special emphasis on those “gay happy meetings.” Opening her first holiday album, “Kylie Christmas,” the frosty favorite is one of 13 songs bound to bring a little extra joy to the world. “Christmas is a fun time to be over the top, that’s for sure,” Minogue said, before stating

what every gay man from here to the North Pole already knew: “I deal in glitter.” [Chris Azzopardi | CA] First things first: Have you been naughty or nice this year? [Kylie Minoque | KM] Good question! I’d like to think I’ve been – how can I say this? (laughs) ... the right percentage of both. [CA] How about that time you writhed on a medicine ball during your video for “Sexercise”? [KM] [Laughs] That was a little bit naughty. But a lot of nice. We want nice.

(Photo by Will Baker)

[CA] What were your Christmases like as a kid? [KM] Hot! Over the years, my family has embraced Christmas more so in Australian fashion —we haven’t totally let go of European or British tradition, which most people have a link to in that there is still a roast — even if it’s roasting outside, there’s still a roast in the oven. But I would say, same as the rest of the world. Get up, open your presents, run around. Eat too much. The only difference is, we end up in our swimming suit, jumping in the pool, standing around a barbecue. [CA] Do you like a hot or cool Christmas?

[CA] When it comes to presents: giving or getting? [KM] Giving. I know it sounds cliché, but I love when you’ve got something for someone and they’re gonna understand your humor or get it, or it’s something they wouldn’t get for themselves. I especially like the wrapping. [CA] Who are some of the gays in your life that you spend the holidays with? [KM] There’s normally a few around. I mean, my Christmas is different every year. Last year I was in Los Angeles. I feel really odd answering this question … like numbering them! [Laughs] Let’s just say there’s a smattering. More sparkle!

see Minogue, pg 18

14 14

GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 13 – 26, 2015


Third annual San Diego Literary Gala: The Multicultural LGBT Literary Foundation will celebrate three years of preserving, promoting and teaching works by LGBT artists of color. The event will feature Obama inaugural poet Richard Blanco. The fundraising event will benefit the Foundation’s programs. Hosted bar and hors d’oeuvres will be available. 6:30 – 9 p.m. $65. San Diego Central Library, 330 Park Blvd., Downtown. Visit Fab Fridays on the free ParkHillcrest Trolley: 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. Tonight’s entertainment: Diversionary Theatre presents “In the Va Va Voom Room.” 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 accesshillcrest. com/events/fab-fridays-rock. ‘Trainwreck’: Cinema Under the Stars presents this screwball comedy by Judd Apatow starring Amy Schumer and Bill Hader. Additional screening on Saturday, Nov. 14. 8 p.m. $15. 4040 Goldfinch St., Mission Hills. For more info, visit or call 619295-4221.


Pride Youth Leadership Academy: A one-day workshop for LGBTQ+ youth with outdoor activities, bonding exercises and education discussion. 8:30 a.m. – 5:15 p.m. San Diego Pride Office, 3620 30th St., North Park. Visit youth. GSA Leadership Summit: An annual meeting where North County youth gather to develop community leadership skills while learning about LGBT activism, legal rights and more. Limited to 25 people. Breakfast and lunch included. North County LGBTQ Resource Center, 510 North Coast Highway, Suite C, Oceanside. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. RSVP to projectyouth. Gay for Good returns to the Famosa Slough for clean up: Volunteer group Gay for Good will participate in this clean up of the wetland area between Ocean Beach and the San Diego Sports Arena area. 9 a.m. – noon. Visit on.fb. me/1QgIgMo. HRC San Diego family picnic: Families and kids of all ages are welcome a this picnic featuring

games and activities. Grilled food will be provided. 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Pioneer Park, 1501 Washington Place, Mission Hills. RSVP or send questions to Visit Beer and salami pairing with The Meatmen: A San Diego Beer Week event featuring four handmade sausages by The Meatmen paired with four 8-ounce pours of Thorn Street Brewery beers. $25. 12:30 – 2:30 p.m. Thorn St. Brewery, 3176 Thorn St., North Park. Visit Overdrive 2-year anniversary: This celebration will include entertainment by resident DJ Tristan Jazz and debuting DJ Robbie Robb. Hosted Svedka Vodka bar from 10 – 11 p.m.; happy hour from 11 p.m. – midnight. There will also be a Mankind fashion show and more festivities. Spin Nightclub, 2028 Hancock St., Middletown. Visit


Girlboy’s debut CD release party: The band will celebrate the release of their album “Late Bloomers” with this free matinee show. 5 p.m. The Merrow, 1271 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit girlboymusic. ‘Compaña Flamenco José Porcel’: Part of the San Diego Symphony’s “International Passport Series,” this event presents a company of dancers and musicians. José Porcel and his Compaña Flamenca perform their stunning flamenco style in their new program “Flamenco Fire.” 7:30 p.m. $20 - $85. Jacobs Music Center, 750 B St., Downtown. Visit


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


Chi Chi Rones in ‘Steel Cajones’: Emmy Award-winner Chi Chi Rones returns to the MA4 stage with a new solo show with celebrity impressions and Hollywood stories. Doors open at 6 p.m., show at 8 p.m. $15 - $20 reserved seating with $15 food/drink minimum. Martinis Above Fourth, 3940 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest. Visit


FilmOut Screening: “Raven’s Touch” — a film about two women whose lives collide while one is secluding herself following a tragic accident and the other is camping

Thanksgiving dinners around San Diego

3 – 9 p.m. with starters including lamb ragout, Blue Hubbard squash bisque and more. Entrée options include Heritage turkey, beef tenderloin and more with accompaniments, plus dessert. $79 for adults; $39 for children under 12. Mille Fleurs (6009 Paseo Delicias, Rancho Santa Fe): Offering both prix fixe and a la carte menus from 1:30 – 7:30 p.m. The four-course menu will feature three mushroom bisque, salad choice, oven-roasted turkey with sides plus choice of dessert. $75 for adults; $25 for children. To make reservations, visit or call 858756-3085.

Members of our community don’t always have a home to go to for Thanksgiving, so we thought we’d compile a few options around town where you can go be thankful for what you do have. (Note: prices do not include tax and gratuity) 333 Pacific (333 North Pacific St., Oceanside): This Thanksgiving dinner comes with beautiful ocean views. The three-course menu includes twists on Thanksgiving favorites like roasted turkey breast with cranberr y chutney and pumpkin cheesecake with whipped cinnamon cream. $54.95 for adults, $12.95 for kids. Call 760-433-3333 for reser vations. Blue Bohème (4090 Adams Ave., Kensington): This prix fixe dinner will be available from 1 – 8 p.m. Starters include “soupe de citrouille” – a pumpkin hominy soup, “la charcuterie” – with duck pate, prosciutto, picked vegetables and more, among other options. Entrée options include “dindon préparé deux façons” – Diestel turkey prepared two ways, with the breast roasted with fresh herbs and the legs and thighs “confit” style, and “gnocchi a la parisienne” – parmesan dumplings, with many other choices. The meal will end with dessert options plus specialty cocktail and wine specials will be available. $58.95 per person (children’s menu available for $16.95). Reser vations may be made by calling 619-255-4167.

see Calendar, pg 17

Bo-Beau Kitchen and Bar (4996 W. Point Loma Blvd., Ocean Beach): A three-course dinner featuring options like brown butter gnocchi and 8-ounce rib-eye is $41.95 for adults and $12.95 for children. Seating from 3 – 8 p.m. For reservations call 619-224-2884. Giuseppe Restaurants & Fine Catering (700 Prospect St., La Jolla): Their menu is available to order by Nov. 23 and pick up on Nov. 26. Options include oven-ready turkey and roasted and carved turkey, sides like cranberry sauce and mashed sweet potatoes, plus dessert options including pumpkin bread and apple pie. To order, call 858581-2205. Indigo Grill (1536 India St., Little Italy): A Latininspired three-course menu features herb-roasted turkey with warm mushroom stuffing and shrimp maize tamales with warm garlic butter sauce. $44.95 for adults. The children’s menu features petit filet mignon and a sundae. $12.95 for kids. For reservations, call 619-234-6802. JRDN at TOWER23 Hotel (723 Felspar St., Pacific Beach): A three-course dinner featuring main course choices of salmon, hangar steak, confit turkey legs and more with side dishes, starters and desserts. $45 per person. Reservations can be made at Kitchen 1540 (1540 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar): A three-course dinner served from

Mister A’s (2550 Fifth Ave., 12th Floor, Bankers Hill): This prix fixe menu will be served from noon – 8:30 p.m., featuring organic Diestel turkey, butternut squash risotto and traditional fixings. Reservations can be made online at asrestaurant. com or by calling 619-239-1377. Sevilla Restaurant and Tapas Bar (343 Fifth Ave., Downtown): Prix fixe fourcourse menu featuring items like pan-roasted white sea bass, glazed black forest ham, homemade pumpkin pie and more is $29 for adults, $14.50 for children (choice of two courses for children). Their general menu will also be available. Call 619233-5969 or email reservations@ for reservations. Vintana Wine & Dine (1205 Auto Park Way, Escondido): A modern take on Thanksgiving, this three-course menu includes options like backwrapped filet mignon and macadamia and coconut-crusted sea bass. $54.95 for adults, $12.95 for children. For reservations, call 760-745-7777. Westgate Hotel (1055 Second Ave., Downtown): The Westgate offers two Thanksgiving dining options: a four-course dinner in the Westgate Room featuring traditional turkey, sweet yellow corn and stuffing or slow-cooked prime rib with parsnips, Brussels sprouts and potato gratin; or an all-day buffet with multiple stations to choose from including: charcuterie/cheese, salad, appetizer, main courses, carving station and more. The Westgate Room menu is $62 per person and the buffet is $69 per person (children 12 and under are half off for either option).


solution on page 16



1 Where men might sweat together 5 “The Silence of the ___” 10 Bygone pump name 14 Type of sword 15 Turn inside out 16 “Ed Wood” star Johnny 17 Doctor Zhivago 18 Where to see chaps in chaps 19 AIDS flick “Under ___” 20 He played a closeted gay man in 30-Down 23 Uttered obscenities 24 “The Deep Six” actor Zimbalist 25 Craig Claiborne’s gumbo pod 27 Peter I, for one 28 They’re outstanding 31 A woman named Arthur 33 Fouls, to the Pinball Wizard 37 Matchmaker of myth 38 Costar’s first name in 30-Down 40 Ramirez of “Grey’s Anatomy” 41 Meat source Down Under

1 Professional voyeur? 2 Prepares to serve at the Manhole 3 Straight as an ___ 4 Footwear for Aspen 5 “My Fair Lady” lyricist 6 Own up to 7 Prefix for care 8 Songwriter Jacques 9 Wraps for female impersonators 10 Oscar nominee for “The Hours” 11 Part of a “Tommy” lyric 12 Orgasm, e.g. 13 Select, with “for” 21 Puts out 22 “___ first you don’t ...” 26 Cut down to size 27 Resort lake 28 Bottomless 29 Humorist Bombeck 30 2015 film named for a street 32 They could come from Uranus 34 30-Down, to 20-Across

42 Caught at a gay rodeo 44 Spill one’s seed 45 Umpire Dave 47 Homo chaser? 49 Hosp. scan 50 Verlaine’s name 51 6-0 for Mauresmo 55 Mason portrayer Burr 59 “There oughta be ___” 60 Costar’s last name in 30-Down 62 “If ___ I Would Leave You” 63 Avis adjective 64 Contest venue 65 Q to a Scrabble player 66 “Blowjob” filmer Warhol 67 Title character for Barbra 68 Emmy award winner Ward

35 Drop ___ (moon) 36 Tools for woody targets 38 Toto’s home st. 39 Suffix with law 42 Big sticks 43 Say “She’s just a friend” to a jealous lover, e.g. 46 Street named for Liberace? 48 Houston’s WNBA team 51 Angelina’s tomb-raiding role 52 Wife of Buck’s Wang 53 Auction site 54 Receptacle weight 55 Musical critics were torn about? 56 Shrinking sea 57 Foster title role 58 De Matteo of “Desperate Housewives” 61 Boy toy?


GAY NEWS BRIEFS KPBS LOCAL HEROES TO HONOR KEHOE, CUNNINGHAM, OTHERS Every year, through a partnership with Union Bank, KPBS celebrates diversity by selecting two local heroes for specific months throughout the year, highlighting not only the remarkable things these “heroes” are doing within their communities, but to also raise awareness for those communities. There are eight categories profiled throughout the year: Black history month (February); women’s history (March); Asian Pacific Islander heritage (May); Jewish American heritage (also May); LGBT Pride (June); Hispanic heritage (September); Disability awareness (October); and, American Indian heritage (November). This year’s local heroes representing LGBT Pride month are former state senator Christine Kehoe and longtime AIDS activist Terry Cunningham. [See our coverage

Christine Kehoe

Terry Cunningham and, respectively.] In addition to being celebrated within their particular months, at the end of each year, KPBS brings all of the Local Heroes together and throws a big event to celebrate their recognition and share their individual stories. This year’s event will be held Dec. 2, from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m., at the Museum of Contemporary Arts San Diego, located at 700 Prospect St., in La Jolla. RSVPs are requested by Nov. 20. There is no fee for this event but reservations are limited to two guests per reservation. A reception will follow the ceremony. To reserve a spot, visit To learn more about the Union Bank/KPBS Heroes program visit If you would like to nominate someone as a Union Bank/KPBS Local Hero for 2016, visit news/blogs/hey-neighbor/localheroes/nominate.

CALIFORNIA MEN’S GATHERING RETURNS TO JULIAN The annual California Men’s Gatherings (CMG) hosts a fall retreat every year in Julian, offering workshops, community and other activities. This year’s event takes place Nov. 20 – 22 at Camp Stevens, a peaceful retreat center located at 1108 Banner Road (Highway 78). The retreats, also called “summer camps for men,” offer men an alcohol and drug-free environment where they can “explore different ways of looking at life.” This year’s fall gathering is themed “True North” and encourages adventurous men to join in and find their own true north. Some of the activities include yoga, hiking, archery, meditation, massage, stargazing, dances and more. While most of the more than 100 attendees are gay and/or bisexual, all men 18 years or older are welcome, including those who identify as transgender or straight. The cost is a flat fee of $255 and that includes all food, lodging, workshops and activities. Limited financial aid is available. For more information, visit t

GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 13 – 26, 2015

Sun Bears Weekend coming to San Diego The local Bears San Diego club is hosting Sun Bears Weekend 2015, from Nov. 19 – 22. This event — which in the past has also been called BearQuake — is the largest fundraiser of the year for the local club, and four local charities will also benefit from monies raised this year: Special Delivery, The Trevor Project San Diego, and Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. The weekend kicks off Thursday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m., with a dinner at Redwing Bar & Grill, located at 4012 30th St., in North Park. The kick-off dinner will be followed by Bear-eaoke, also at Redwing, starting at 8 p.m. On Friday, the party moves to the host hotel for the weekend, the Lafayette Hotel and Suites, located at 2223 El Cajon Blvd., also in North Park. Registration for the weekend will take place during the pool party at the hotel, from 1 – 5 p.m. Shuttle services will be provided to all Sun Bear registered guests for any events taking place away from the host hotel. On Friday night, Pecs, located at 2046 University Ave., will host a special “meet and greet” for participating Sun Bears from 7 p.m. – midnight. Saturday’s activities include a private pool party and BBQ from noon – 4 p.m., details of which are reserved for those registered for the weekend. Saturday night is the big event, the Mr. So Cal Bear/Cub Contest at Rich’s Nightclub, located at 1051 University Ave., in Hillcrest,


STATUS QUO included a tremendous amount of frustration, pain and anger, to the point that it was maddening, yet I persisted because the cause was just and it was the right thing to do. Yes, and indeed I told them this, but I also told them to start somewhere. Even if it is only an hour a week, engage and do what you can. If you study social movements, it is

Contestants from a past “Mr. So Cal Bear/Cub” contest

(Courtesy SD Bears)

from 6:30 – 9 p.m. A VIP dinner reception from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. precedes the contest. [Note: Those competing have already applied in advance and are registered for the weekend’s festivities, there are no on-the-spot options for those wishing to compete.] Hosted by Empress Roxy Bleau, the Mr. So Cal Bear/Cub contest will also feature a blessing by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and a world premiere of the short film, “Bearspray.” After the contest, Rich’s will be host to Sun Bears Fuel Bar Dance Party, from 9:30 p.m. – 2 a.m. On Sunday, the Sun Bear weekend continues with brunch and bingo from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. with the San Diego Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence – Asylum of the Tortured Heart, at Numbers Nightclub, located at 3811 Park Blvd., in Hillcrest. The final hosted event of the weekend — the Victory celebration and beer bust — will take place at The Hole in the

Wall, located at 2820 Lytton St., in Point Loma, from 3 – 7 p.m. An optional farewell dinner gathering is also being offered from 7:30 – 10 p.m. at Baja Betty’s, located at 1421 University Ave., Hillcrest. Events detailed above taking place at Redwing, Pecs and The Hole in the Wall are free and open to the public, but those who have not paid the registration fee will not have nametags associating them with the event. Tickets, currently priced at $100, are packaged for the full weekend, and include all events from Friday night at Pecs through Sunday night at The Hole in the Wall, as well as a commemorative T-shirt and shuttle service to any of the events listed. They can be purchased online ($2 PayPal fee) or via snail mail (you must download registration form online). For more information and to purchase tickets, visit sunbearweekendsd. com. To learn more about San Diego Bears, visit

not the heroes we often hear about that make up the backbone and muscle of all movement forward. It is the unsung heroes that put in the work behind the scenes. Their work does not produce the action-packed, exciting scenes that get put into the movies but they still gave their time, their efforts, and their heart in the face of not knowing whether or not ultimate success would happen in their lifetime. They fight the good fight. So what do I tell you? What do I tell the students? Do something so that you know you lived rather than

merely watched from the sidelines as history and circumstances swept by? Do something because there is a difference between passing time and living; and in the end, you want to be able to say, “I lived.” — Dae Elliott is a founding executive committee member and the current executive director of South Bay Alliance, a 501(c)3 nonprofit and organizer of the annual South Bay Pride Art & Music Festival. Contact her at southbayalliance@












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with her teens in an effort to repair her family. Gay San Diego is a copresenter of this event. $10. 7 p.m., Landmark Cinemas, 3965 Fifth Ave. #200, Hillcrest. Visit




18th annual Fantasy on Ice: This year the ice rink moves from Downtown to Liberty Station. It will be open today through Jan. 3, 2016. Money raised by Fantasy on Ice will benefit the Peckham Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Rady Children’s Hospital. Rink hours are 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. seven days a week (closed Thanksgiving and Christmas days). Admission (includes rental skates) is $14 for adults, $12 for children under 12. Season tickets are $40. Plaza adjacent to the Dick Laub NTC Command Center, 2640 Historic Decatur Road. Visit PrideFIT hike club: Meets every Thursday, hosted by Carlos Salazar. 7 p.m. Parking lot at Golfcrest Avenue and Navajo Road, in San Carlos. Visit prideFITsandiego.


California Men’s Gatherings (CMG) fall gathering: This weekend-long gathering will include food, lodging, workshops, activities and more. $255 (limited financial aid is available). Begins tonight at dinnertime and ends Sunday, Nov. 22 at 3 p.m. (option of staying through Monday, Nov. 23 at no cost available). Camp Stevens, 1108 Banner Road, Julian. Visit RISE Urban Breakfast Club: The topic for this month’s breakfast meeting is: “2016 election preview – an urban focus” with candidates in local races sharing thoughts and ideas on issues. $20 includes breakfast and program. 8:30 – 10 a.m. Ray and Joan Kroc Center, 6611 University Ave., Rolando. Visit Fab Fridays on the free ParkHillcrest Trolley: 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. Tonight’s entertainment: Live painting by Pilar. 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 accesshillcrest. com/events/fab-fridays-rock. San Diego Transgender March of Resilience: A march to bring visibility to the merging of the #BlackLivesMatter and #TransLivesMatters social justice advocating forces to bring about changes in our communities. Everyone is welcome. 6 p.m. The Center, 3903 Centre St., Hillcrest. Visit on.fb. me/1O2hFzk. Trans Day of Remembrance: An event to commemorate the many transgender lives taken by violence in 2015. No RSVP required. All are welcome. Oceanside Community Center, 330 North Coast Highway, Oceanside. Visit ‘Me and Earl and the Dying Girl’: Cinema Under the Stars presents this comedy-drama, which garnered praise at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, starring Thomas Mann, Molly Shannon and Olivia Cooke. Additional screening

Fifth annual Dine with the Chorus: Dinner will take place at several private residences around San Diego with members of San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus (SDGMC). Dinner at 5 p.m. followed by a dessert buffet and evening cabaret with Keith London and SDGMC soloists at 7:30 p.m. $60 per person of $100 per couple for dinner and dessert. $25 for dessert and cabaret only. Cabaret at home of Executive Director Bob Lehman and Tom Felkner, 2961 First Ave. Visit on.fb. me/1L8Usac. Girls Night Out San Diego: Monthly dance for the local women’s community, consisting of a night filled with dance music, celebrations, flash mob dances and more. $10. 6 p.m. Brass Rail, 3796 Fifth Ave., Hillcrest. Prepay for tickets via PayPal using email Visit


Young Professionals Council November social: Join the YPC for a night out of karaoke to kick off Thanksgiving week. 9 p.m. Flicks, 1017 University Ave., Hillcrest. YPC co-chairs Rick Cervantes (ricky. or Prabha Singh ( for more information. Visit facebook. com/YPCSD.


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 The Center, 3903 Centre St., Hillcrest. Visit


LGBT Military Support Group: For LGBT active duty service members and their families — meeting on the fourth Tuesday of every month. Open for couples with or without children. 6 – 7:30 p.m. For more information, contact Caroline Bender at 619-222-5586 or San Diego LGBT Center, 3909 Centre St., 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


14th annual Father Joe’s Villages Thanksgiving Day 5K: More than 10,000 San Diegans are expected for this traditional race. Father Joe’s famous Thanksgiving pies will be sold at the race as well. Registration opens at 6 a.m.; race begins at 7:30 a.m. Fun run (untimed) is $41; “Speedy Turkey” (timed) is $44. Discounts for youth under 17 and active/veteran military: $36 for fun run, $39 for “Speedy Turkey.” San Diego Museum of Man, 1350 El Prado, Balboa Park. Visit —Compiled by Jen Van Tieghem. Email calendar items to morgan@ sdcnn.comt

GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 13 – 26, 2015



GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 13 – 26, 2015


MINOGUE [CA] What is the craziest Christmas gift you’ve ever received from a fan? [KM] Oh, I don’t know. I can’t think of one. Nothing that alarmed me. Maybe this year will be different now that I’m Miss Christmas. [CA] If you could kiss anyone under the mistletoe, who would it be? [KM] Awww — that would be my boyfriend [actor Joshua Sasse], for sure! It will be our first Christmas together, so Christmas is even more special for me this year. I better order the mistletoe!

INTERVIEW hate feeling that I’m restricted in any way, and definitely when it comes to love. You should love who you love. Of course there’s been those headlines, but people seem to also think that we look like we should be together, so it’s not been as bad as it could’ve been ... let’s put it that way. [CA] As a public figure, do you feel people are more prone to put you in a box? [KM] Oh, definitely. I remember it happening from quite a young age, and it would drive me crazy. I started in TV as an actress and began singing, and they’re

[CA] Get on that, Kylie. [KM] Note to self: mistletoe. [CA] What do you make of headlines that draw attention to the fact that he’s 20 years younger than you? [KM] I understand it’s bound to happen because that’s a fact, but I just cannot express to you enough that it just doesn’t factor — it really doesn’t. I mean, I was surprised myself, but who you’re attracted to or who you fall in love with is beyond any kind of boxes that society puts you in. And you know what, I Minogue said her new album has a “toasty just-wanna-cuddle-and-wear-cashmerehate boxes. I sweaters vibe.” (Photo by Will Baker)

so sort of close-minded: You’re an actress, not a singer, and then I was known for singing and finally I am a singer and they don’t understand that I still act. That was definitely the first time that that kind of notion hit me, and it just made no sense to me whatsoever. In a broader sense, I hate being stuck in clothes, I hate being stuck in ideas. Maybe it’s being a Gemini — I need freedom! It’s like with the pony in the yard: If you close the gate, I will go wild; if you leave the gate wide open, I’m probably not going to leave. I just need to know that you’re not closing me in with anything physical or mental. It’s a very deep issue for me. [CA] Christmastime evokes different emotions for different people. For you, what kind of emotions do the holidays trigger? [KM] Excitement, then sheer panic because you think you’re ready but you’re not ready and then it all kind of creeps up on you. I think part of that panic is part of tradition, I guess. I would like to think this year I am officially ahead of the game. Also, wanting to be with family, if possible. And holiday — having a break. I would have to say one of the big pluses about a Christmas album is: At least I know when I’ll be finishing with promotion. Dec. 25, I’m done! My work here is done! [CA] How are some of these emotions presented on the album? [KM] On the album, there’s the kind of toasty just-wanna-cuddle-and-wear-cashmere-sweaters vibe, which I didn’t have the last couple of years because I didn’t have a boyfriend, so that’s exciting. Then there’s the more emotional, bittersweet ones where you’re thinking about someone you love and you’re not with them, and I have that pretty much ever y year because I haven’t had a family Christmas in Australia for about six years and I’m not having one this year either. Then there are the ones where ever yone’s had a few drinks — Nana’s had a couple sherries — and ever yone’s feeling ver y merr y. Then it’s naptime, and you start again. [CA] Earlier this year, and after releasing “Kiss Me Once,” you left your former management firm, Jay Z’s Roc Nation. [KM] I was getting used to a new situation, and I loved it for all of those reasons. If I compare (“Kiss Me Once”) to making this album, it’s an unfair comparison. Within the confines of Christmas, you can’t do whatever you want — it’s a Christmas album — but I did learn some extremely valuable lessons through that, and my time there was well spent. [CA] How will what you learned from that experience influence your approach to the next mainstream pop album you do? Assuming it’s pop ... [KM] Oh, it will be. I think when Christmas is done, the pop drug will come back … gosh, I mean, this album is pop-y anyway. But with “Impossible Princess,” I got that out of my system and then I did “Light Years” which had “Spinning Around,” and then to “Fever,” which was not quite as camp — it was more icy-pop. What I’m trying to say is that, after “Kiss Me Once” with Roc Nation, yes, I’ll do things differently, but I kind of do that after every album anyway. But I wouldn’t go around and work with so many people. I would try to be a little more streamlined. And I can say that because I did it and I learned a lot. Six of one, half dozen of the other. [CA] When it comes to your career, your gay audience has been there every step of the way. It’s clear we have a special relationship. After all this time, how would you describe that relationship? [KM] Strong. Genuine. Definitely funny at times. [Laughs] We get the same jokes, put it that way. And I never take it for granted. But you, for a long time, have been very loyal, and I feel like we’ve had a relationship for such a long time — and it’s a true relationship. —Chris Azzopardi is the editor of Q Syndicate, the international LGBT wire service. Reach him via his website at chris-azzopardi. com and on Twitter (@chrisazzopardi).t


A challenging childhood leads to greatness Out on the Page Katrina Young It takes a village to raise a child and our villages are uniquely our own. In the memoir, “The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood,” we learn some of the things from young Riqui’s Cuban-American village that

shaped him into the book’s author — writer and poet Richard Blanco — who became the inaugural poet for President Obama in 2013. As only the fifth poet to ever read at an U.S. presidential inauguration, Blanco was also the youngest, the first Latino, the first immigrant, and the first openly gay person to do so. Blanco shares an inviting memoir that, true to the poet inside him, focuses on the heart of the stor y and takes creative authority with the facts. He paints a picture that captures the essence of what it was like for him to be a member of a vibrant Cuban family, while also portraying the disconnect he felt with his Cuban roots. Having been conceived in Cuba, born in Spain, and raised in the United States, Blanco was on a journey of self-discover y to know how to answer when asked, “Where are you from?” Blanco’s self-discover y goes far beyond navigating his Cuban and American roots; he also navigates accepting his sexuality despite being reprimanded for anything

deemed as feminine. The matriarch of his family tells him “it is better to be it and not look like it than to look like it even if you are not it.” On one hand he is being told to hide what does come naturally to him (his sexuality) and on the other hand he is tr ying to be more Cuban in ways that do not seem to come as naturally to him as they do to Cubans who have lived in Cuba. The chapters in “The Prince of Los Cocuyos” — which could each be short stories on their own — tell stories of Blanco with members of his Cuban “pueblo” in Miami. The characters are so well developed and the imager y is so clear that the theme of nostalgia resonated loudly for me. I felt for each of them in their heartbreaking tales of how much they missed Cuba, the beauty

GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 13 – 26, 2015 of the people and the land, the wealth that some once had, and the family and loved ones that they may never see again. Despite the heartache, threads of humor and cheerful Cuban pride helped brighten the stories. True to its title, this memoir is of Blanco’s childhood in Miami and that could leave us to question what happened next, but the ending of “Prince of Los Cocuyos” answers that question seamlessly. Blanco gives readers glimpses into evolutions within himself and his relationships with family members. I enjoyed seeing how he goes from being confused on how to answer when asked, “where are you from” to being the inaugural poet for the President of the United States. I look for ward to meeting Richard Blanco on Nov. 13 at


the Multicultural LGBT Literar y Foundation’s third annual San Diego Literar y Gala where he will be the featured artist. The gala will be held at the San Diego Central Librar y located at 330 Park Blvd., Downtown. For tickets and more information on this year’s gala, please visit sdliterar —Katrina Young is the treasurer of the Multicultural LGBT Literary Foundation and a lover of LGBT literature. Follow her on Twitter @ sapphicreader.t

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GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 13 – 26, 2015


VISITORS CENTER put together a number of packets for groups coming to San Diego for different reasons that wanted to do excursions in Hillcrest and centered around MO’s Universe properties. In 2013 he was also a finalist for’s “Gay Travel Guru,” a competition that took him to Ensenada, Denver, Aspen, Key West and a host of other locations, where he saw first-hand how eager hotels around the country were to work with LGBT travelers. “I thought if these places are willing to give free hotels or a stipend to writers, why can’t we do that in San Diego?” he said. When Reynoso and MO’s Universe parted ways earlier this year, he knew it was time to focus on his this new venture. Rekindling old connections and lining up new ones took center stage in his life for the first few months of his new career path, while also juggling a number of sponsored out-of-state trips he had in the works, including a trip to witness the Supreme Court hearings on arguments for same-sex marriage in April. Also on the agenda was finding a place to hang his shingle. Reynoso did some homework while on the road, speaking to the other three LGBT visitor centers in the country, and even visiting one in person. He found that the majority of them are less than 200 square feet, so he didn’t need much room to do what he had planned. Most of the property owners he spoke to in Hillcrest, however, only had massive spaces available and were unwilling to reduce the size of their footprint. Wanting to launch in an area

Reynoso shown in the LGBT Visitor Center, surrounded by tourist information. To his left is the image he drew of Harvey Milk. (Photo by Big Mike) of the city that he knew best, the budding entrepreneur decided to co-op. He soon aligned with Jei Tang, owner of Trinitea Tea on Fifth Avenue, taking over 135 square feet in their lobby, just steps away from the Hillcrest sign. The synergistic relationship allows tourists who visit the center a place to relax, and have coffee, tea or snacks while they mull over maps and tourist information; and it brings the tea shop additional business through tourists and foot traffic they would not normally get. “It is a mutually beneficial relationship,” Reynoso said, adding that they even recently installed 5G Wi-Fi for customers’ use. Furniture for the space — such as information racks and display cases — as luck would have it, was not a problem. After a revamped Embarcadero along Downtown’s waterfront forced the closing of the old International Visitor Center along Harbor Drive earlier this year, it also ushered in a new San Diego Visitor Center at the upgraded cruise ship terminal.

Old Town Trolley Tours won the contract to manage it and brought in all new equipment, paving the way for Reynoso to acquire some of the old center’s assets. In addition, the La Jolla Visitor’s Center also recently shuttered its doors, and sold Reynoso its three high definition TVs at closeout costs. With equipment in hand and the new space all laid out, Reynoso found he had a “blank slate” on one side of his display case, so he decided to draw an image of Harvey Milk there. The hand drawn image shows a bullet entering one side of the slain activist’s head and the word “hope” exploding on the other, a nod to one of Milk’s more famous quotes, “If a bullet should enter my brain let that bullet shatter every closet door …” “At first I was really afraid of putting the bullet because I thought it might offend people, but it gives me a great segue to educate the community about Harvey Milk’s connections to San Diego,” Reynoso said. “We have the Harvey Milk Bench which is one of the first Harvey Milk memorials anywhere in the world and it is right here in Balboa Park. We also have Harvey Milk Street and people within the local LGBT community helped get the Harvey Milk stamp approved.” Some of his plans are to incorporate LGBT history and culinary walking tours and possibly bring back a form of the Hillcrest History Guild’s Toast to Hillcrest. To assist in this, he recently took a walk through the neighborhoods with other activists and a representative from Lambda Archives, to identify locations that touch on our LGBT-history. “One thing that I look for when I travel is history, arts and culture and theater,” he said. “So the more we can incorporate history or historical sites and buildings and all that — that’s what people are looking for the most.” The high definition TVs Reynoso acquired from La Jolla are already up on the wall and are being used for digital ad space for businesses and he’s received a great deal of interest. One potential client definitely sees the value. “We are exploring the branding opportunities that the San Diego LGBT Visitor’s Center has to offer,” said Brian Alvarado, realtor and vice president of marketing for Dwell Well Realty. “We already have a walk-in office Downtown where our foot traffic has resulted in traveling guests buying property on the spot and we believe having a presence in Hillcrest can bring us the same opportunity. These folks are here enjoying the weather and the laid back atmosphere from places ranging from New Hampshire to China and they start thinking, ‘I want to live here,’ or ‘I want to retire here.’ “What the Visitor Center is doing for us essentially is giving us another opportunity to get our brand in front of these travelers so

when they are ready to write that check, it is our number they are calling,” he said. Since setting up shop Reynoso said the most commonly requested information is for maps — of gay places, local attractions, craft breweries, the waterfront and even Temecula wineries — and he’s got it all. He’s also made space for nonprofits to display their wares and soon plans to expand the tickets he offers to local events and attractions. One thing he said he wanted to make clear, is that even though the name is the San Diego LGBT Visitor Center, he doesn’t want people to think it is just a welcome mat for Hillcrest. “There are so many amazing things to do in San Diego, so we want to highlight the entire community,” he said. “We wanted to find a way to separate ourselves from the other visitor centers and be a place where the LGBT community can come and get trusted, reliable information — from another gay person — on attractions, hotels, restaurants, shopping.” He said he wants to focus on businesses where LGBT tourists will feel safe and feel comfortable while holding their partner’s hand or bringing their family. “Even though we’re the LGBT Visitor Center, we are looking to support businesses that are open for business and open for all; welcoming of everyone,” he said. The San Diego LGBT Visitor Center’s grand opening is Wednesday, Nov. 18 at 4:30 p.m. at 3865 Fifth Ave., in Hillcrest. Refreshments will be served. Hours of the visitor center are currently 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Visit them on Facebook at LGBTvisitorscenter. —Morgan M. Hurley can be reached at

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