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Volume 7 Issue 24 Nov. 25 – Dec. 8 , 2016

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Holiday Guide — Page 13

Chris Ward unfiltered


Councilmember-elect looks at the future Ken Williams | Contributing Editor

Our city has our back

New seniors column


Shown are 15 of the current 17 commissioners who serve on the San Diego Human Relations Commission, advocating for equity across all communities. (Courtesy Dr. Joel Day)

Uplifting advocates and focusing on matters of equity Morgan M. Hurley | Editor The aftermath of the presidential election has seen more than 700 acts of hate across the U.S., according to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), an organization “dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society.” Located in Alabama, the SPLC monitors hate groups, teaches tolerance and works to advance the rights of all.

Nicky winners and more



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said Dr. Joel Day, who took over as executive director in September. “In an age where we are unsure about the protections coming from the federal government in all three branches — executive, judicial and legislative — it means that the work that we do in our neighborhood on equity and diversity and inclusion is not only about our neighborhoods, but it is about modeling for the rest of the country what those issues look like.”

see Commission, pg 17

see Chris Ward, pg 5

’Tis the season to sing at Sycuan SDGMC opens first holiday show in East County By Tom Felkner

Daughter Natasha on Natalie

Here in San Diego, we have our own SPLC: the Human Relations Commission. Founded in 1991 under Article 6, Division 9 of the San Diego municipal code, the mission of SDHRC is to “conduct and promote activities that foster mutual respect and understanding; protect basic human and civil rights; and create an atmosphere that promotes amicable relations” throughout the city of San Diego. “I think that the work that the Human Relations Commission does is more relevant than ever,”

(Editor’s note: This is the second installment of a two-part interview with Councilmember-elect Chris Ward, who won a landslide victory in the June primary against two opponents and did not face a runoff on Election Day. Ward will be sworn into office on Dec. 12 to represent District 3, which includes Downtown and most of the Uptown communities. This article, first published in San Diego Uptown News, has been updated to reflect recent developments.) In part one, Councilmember-elect Chris Ward talked in depth about what he considers San Diego’s top issues: homelessness and the lack of affordable housing. In part two, Ward talks about Balboa Park, San Diego’s crown jewel, and other key issues in District 3.

Jesus Eder never dreamed that one day he’d be singing from the main stage at Sycuan Casino. Growing up in the Philippines before immigrating to the U.S. at age 9, his family started a new life in El Cajon, just miles from the rolling hills of the popular East County landmark. On Dec. 17, 18-year-old Eder will lend his voice to the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus for its holiday show, “Jingle,” at Sycuan’s Live & Up Close entertainment venue. Added to SDGMC’s annual traditional holiday shows at the Balboa Theatre on Dec. 10 and 11, the Sycuan shows will feature all of Jingle’s top audience favorites.

“The fact that we’re able to bring our pizazz to East County is awesome,” Eder said with his trademark smile. “I’ve been trying hard to shine the light of our community on El Cajon and this part of the county for years. This is going to be a big move forward.” While a student at El Cajon Valley High School, Eder joined its Gay Straight Alliance and attended his first SDGMC show thanks to the Chorus’ youth outreach program. With a supportive high school, friends and family, Eder was able to be himself as a gay young man and join the chorus as a performer. “I’m dedicating my singing in this show to my grandmother,” Eder, a second tenor said. “She

Jesus Eder (third from left, bottom) grew up in East County and now sings with the chorus. (Photo by Jeff Redondo) passed away this year, but it’s one way I can connect with her. I feel like she’ll be there in spirit because Sycuan was her favorite casino and she loved to go there and play bingo.”

Eder’s grandmother, already a U.S. citizen before he was born, had later petitioned for his citizenship, and also had

see Sycuan, pg 2



GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 25 – Dec.8, 2016


SYCUAN the opportunity to meet Eder’s partner just before her death. The 140-voice strong chorus will present two, one-hour versions of the show they call “the holly jolliest holiday show in town” on Dec. 17, including many traditional holiday songs such as “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” “Over the River,” “Silent Night” and “Winter Wonderland.” The “pizazz” Eder referenced will most likely come in the form of the chorus’ overthe-top comedic songs, like “Recycle the Fruitcake” and “A Broadway Christmas,” which imagines how Broadway characters celebrate the holidays. Performing at Sycuan is a major milestone in the 31-year history of SDGMC. Since it first began in 1985, the chorus has performed as far north as Oceanside and Escondido and throughout Central San Diego and South Bay, but never in San Diego’s East County region. The significance of this moment is not lost on SDGMC’s singers. “I think it’s an incredible opportunity where our mission is aligning with the community at large,” said Marc Matys, a baritone singer with the chorus. “That’s because this is outreach to a community beyond our own.” Matys first joined the chorus 20 years ago, only taking a

Baritone Marc Matys has a solo in “Jingle.” (Photo by Mark Biedermann) break to raise his two children with husband Robert Gleason. Matys was chosen by Artistic Director RC Haus as one of the soloists for Jingle this year, a fact that Matys said makes him “super nervous.” However, this is a trait he sees as having special significance when singing for a new audience. “If you don’t try new things and build bridges outside of your own community, then you will miss that excitement of doing something new,” Matys said. “We have this desire for the opportunity to sing for people who wouldn’t normally come to one of our concerts. It makes us

look at ourselves differently, too. It reminds us that gay people are part of every world, every nation, every category.” Matys also noted the significance of the LGBT community being acknowledged by a sovereign nation, that of the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation. In particular, Sycuan has consistently kept its message clear — one of opening doors and leading by example. “They have seen what we’ve worked for, just as they’ve made inroads into the community through their support of the San Diego Symphony, their renovation of the US Grant

Hotel and more,” Matys said. “When you step out of your comfort level, people see you in a new light. It’s like coming out — people see you in a new way. Sycuan is doing the right thing at the right time.” On the other side of town one recent Thursday evening, at a sectional rehearsal of second tenors near Balboa Park, several singers gathered around the kitchen island of a chorus member’s home. With a pot of homemade stew being shared among them, they all offered a similar air of excitement and hope for what this performance means for the LGBT community and the chorus.

“This has never happened before,” said Lee Wolfe, who lives in Chula Vista. “We are really expanding, showing that we’re a big part of San Diego. People are looking at us differently.” The group wholeheartedly agreed with nods and talk swirling around the kitchen. At hand was the thrill of a new stage to conquer and an appreciation for the opportunity to do so. “I think it’s a great idea for Sycuan,” said Phil Ouelette of Mission Valley. “What better time for Sycuan to show this kind of unity than at Christmas? It’s smart and this will be a fun day in two ways. Do something fun and then stay for the buffet!” SDGMC will perform Jingle at the Balboa Theatre, located at 868 Fourth Ave. Downtown, on Dec. 10 at 8 p.m., and Dec. 11 at 3 p.m., and then again for two shows at Sycuan Casino, located at 5485 Casino Way in El Cajon, on Dec. 17, at 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. To purchase tickets for the Downtown show, visit and tickets for the Sycuan shows (21 and up) can be found at tinyurl. com/zrkh4en. Auditions for 2017 will be held Jan. 7. To learn more visit —Tom Felkner is a freelance writer and the husband of SDGMC Executive Director Bob Lehman. He can be reached at tdfelkner@gmail. com.▼

events ATTHECENTER Thursday, Dec. 1

Tuesday, Dec. 6

Non-Binary Gender tion Identity and Exploration

Community Food Bank

7:30 pm, The Center

The San Diego LGBT Community Center hosts a distribution site once a month for the Community Cares Project of the San Diego Food Bank. On the first Tuesday of every month, visit The Center’s parking lot for emergency food. For more information, visit the San Diego Food Bank website at

Anyone who identifies with any part of the non-binary gender spectrum or anyone questioning/exploring their gender identity is welcome to join us on the first and third Thursday of every month. Group facilitators bring topics of discussion while leaving plenty of space for group members to steer the conversation where they would like it to go. This group also serves as a social gathering space for non-binary individuals. For more information, contact David Vance at or 619.692.2077 x109.

Monday, Dec. 5

Annual Charity Wreath Auction 6 pm, Martinis Above Fourth Don’t miss the holiday event of the season! Feeling creative? Donate a wreath! We need artificial wreaths in all shapes and sizes for the fabulous live auction. Completed wreaths can be dropped off at The Center or Martinis Above Fourth through Friday, Dec. 3. Then join us at Martinis for an evening of entertainment, festivity, and lots of wreath auction action. All funds raised benefit the Queen Eddie Conlon Youth Fund. Have questions on wreath making or sponsorship? Contact Ian at or visit

9-10:30 am, The Center


Wednesday, Dec. 7

Limited Time Offer

Guys, Games & Grub

3 sessions for $99*

6 pm, The Center Guys, Games & Grub, presented by Men @ The Center and Hillcrest Social, is a fun, free monthly social event designed for men – where everyone is welcome. Dozens of men gather at The Center on the first Wednesday of each month for free pizza, beer, wine, soft drinks, games, prizes, and more. A donation of $5 is suggested at the door to support men’s programming at The Center. Bring friends or come alone and meet new friends! For more information, contact Aaron Heier at or 619.692.2077 x211.

Mission Hills 4019 Goldfinch Street San Diego, CA 92103

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

*Limited time offer. Terms and conditions apply. See studio for details.

Twitter: @LGBTCenter


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The trans community and me community than any other pop- community at The San Diego ulation I serve. I have learned LGBT Community Center where that there is no one way to be a physician was going to speak. mentally healthy. This is not I was really surprised that what they teach you in therapy most of the trans folks looked school. Actually, when I went at me with suspicion: “Why For several years, people to therapy school, serving the are you here?” was the vibe I have asked me to write a colgot. When I told people that I trans population was never umn about the trans commuwas a cis psychotherapist who even discussed. nity. As a cis male, I deferred. wanted to learn more about the My trans friends and clients Instead, I asked trans friends trans community, I expected to have encouraged me to find my to write something, but, no dice. own blend of femininity and be thanked. Nope. Not at all. Last week, a trans client Instead I got a “Mmmm, hmmasculinity. This may sound said, “Why don’t you write a mmm,” and suspect glances. It simplistic, but the more I get to column on us and publish it for was only when I saw a former know trans men, women and the Trans Day of Remembrance teenagers, the more I see that client who encouraged me to (Nov. 20; held Nov. 17 in sit with him and his wife that balancing/blending your masHillcrest this year)?” I felt welcome. My client said, culine and feminine energies Done. “It’s unusual for cis people to is a fluid art form. You get to In the late 1980s, I volcome to these events, people make it up as you go. It’s very unteered for Minority AIDS may be uneasy that you’re here freeing to know that anything Project in Los Angeles doing and wonder why.” is okay, as long as you are true pro bono counseling. Many of Fair enough. It was my turn to yourself and not hurting my clients were transgender, to be the minority in the room anyone else. mostly male-to-female (MTF). and try to fit in. I want to be very clear that In those days, there were many I was talking with a trans I am no expert on the trans difficulties that these brave teenage client of mine and community: I am a resource, folks faced. I, a cis gay white asked him what he thought I an ally. I have some insight male, felt helpless and ignorant should put in this column. into challenges from serving in offering assistance, but I did He said: this population for almost 30 what I could to be useful. My “It’s okay to ask us quesyears and I continue to learn humility helped. tions and it’s okay not to know from the trans community. If About 20 years ago, I startanything. We [the trans comyou’d like to learn more, these ed my private practice in San munity] can teach you how to three books may be enlightenDiego and saw my first trans help us. ing: Janet Mock’s “Redefining client, a young trans woman “The LGB community doesn’t Realness,” Chaz Bono’s who wanted gender reassignsupport us. How can this really “Transition” and Jennifer ment surgery and needed a be a community if they don’t Finney Boylan’s “She’s Not letter from a therapist vouching There” (I had an email correinclude the ‘T’? for her mental health. “Please tell your readers spondence with Jenny for many Thus, began phase two of my weeks after I read — and was that there’s so much more work with the community. blown away by — her first book). than LGBT; there’s life beAs a therapist, I have yond those four boxes: there’s A few years ago, I went learned more from the trans asexual, pansexual, agender, to an event for the trans

Life Beyond Therapy Michael Kimmel

genderqueer, gender-fluid and so much more. Let’s not get stuck in those old boxes. We [young people] aren’t.” A female trans [adult] client told me to include this: “If someone presents as a woman, use feminine pronouns. It’s okay to ask, ‘What pronouns do you prefer?’ If you’re cis, don’t assume you know what it’s like to live the experience of the opposite gender. We are not drag queens.” She then told me something that blew my mind: “As trans women, we get more criticism and taunts from gay men than from anyone else, especially in Hillcrest. Gay men have angst about trans women, maybe because they’re not comfortable with expressing their own femininity.” So queer men and women, let’s wake up to the reality for our trans brothers and sisters. Let’s not make assumptions. Let’s be humble and ask questions. Let’s help them feel safe. It’s time. —Michael Kimmel is a licensed psychotherapist who specializes in helping LGBT clients achieve their goals and deal with anxiety, depression, grief, sexually addictive behavior, coming out, relationship challenges and homophobia. Contact him at 619-955-3311 or visit▼

GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 25 – Dec.8, 2016

Elections, thank-you’s and looking ahead Out of the Archives Archives Staff Of course, we are all still stunned (whether you voted for Clinton, Trump, someone else or “none of the above”); the outcome of the election was almost universally unexpected. But all the shouting is now over and the “fat lady” (Electoral College) is about to sing. However you voted, thank you for participating in democracy. The process is labor-intensive and takes lots of care and feeding. Extra big thankyou hugs to those of you who worked so hard and put in so much time to support your chosen candidates and issues. Congratulations to Morgan Hurley, editor of this publication, for her well-deserved recognition at the Nicky Awards as recipient of the Michael Portantino Excellence in Journalism Award. And congrats to Lambda Archives (ourselves) for the Outstanding Community Organization award.

see Archives, pg 7


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GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 25 – Dec.8, 2016


Reverse mortgages: a retirement safety net Senior Matters William E. Kelly Baby boomers, those born between 1946-1964, collided with the great recession of the late 2000s. Millions saw their retirement investments and savings greatly and suddenly diminished. For many, the bulk of those assets is the equity they have in their homes, for which values fell dramatically. In short, they became the victims of unforeseen circumstances just as they were retiring and the social safety nets designed to supplement responsible and reasonable senior living standards are not currently sufficient to support this rapidly growing senior population. In the matter of housing, studies consistently confirm that “aging in place” is more affordable and preferable to moving into senior communities away from their neighborhoods, familiar surroundings, friends and loved ones. Government regulated reverse mortgages provide a path for homeowners to stay put. But for those who have no or too little home equity, a lack of affordable housing has created a true crisis not adequately addressed. This article will explore the heavily regulated U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

(HUD)-approved standards of protection for the borrowers and lenders of reverse mortgage instruments. My husband and I did our due diligence and are satisfied laws were enacted to fully protect seniors through a very rigorous HUD-approved process, that protects seniors and if married, their spouses, for as long as they are able to meet simple requirements. We consulted a financial advisor and learned all we could about reverse mortgages before interviewing a few HUD-approved companies and selecting one. The process began in early June and was completed in September. We chose CalPacific, a division of Bay Equity Home Loans, and Ian Wright was our senior loan officer. He and his staff walked us through the pros and cons of who would benefit from a reverse mortgage, the application and qualification processes, and they coordinated easily understood answers as quickly as we posed questions. What we discovered was that a reverse mortgage protected us both. It allows us to age in place as long as at least one of us is able to live there, keep our condo in good condition, pay the HOA fees and real estate taxes, and not move out or stay away from the condo for more than 12 consecutive months.

Relieved we had found our answer, I wanted to share a synopsis describing the reverse mortgage process, so I interviewed Ian.

What is a reverse mortgage and who would qualify?

A reverse mortgage or home equity conversion mortgage (HECM) is for homeowners ages 62 and up who currently own a home with sufficient equity or are looking to purchase a home. An HECM allows you to convert a portion of your home’s equity into tax-free cash using a line of credit, fixed monthly payments, or a lump sum payment, while eliminating mortgage payments for the remainder of your life! The most common form is the adjustable line of credit option, due to greater flexibility and the annual growth rate on the unused portion of the line. These loans allow borrowers 62 and older to live more comfortably, provide themselves financial flexibility and live the lifestyle they desire. The home must be an existing or future primary residence only. The property types allowed are: single family homes; two-four unit homes with one unit occupied by the borrower; FHA/HUD approved condos; and those manufactured homes built after 1990. The most common reverse product (HECM) is federally insured by HUD.

Under what scenarios are these mortgages a favorable solution?

Most often it is used to pay off and eliminate existing monthly mortgage payments and simultaneously gain access to a line of credit in order to supplement their retirement income. It’s ideal for folks who want to stay in their home rather than moving into a retirement facility, but may no longer feel comfortable making their mortgage payments. Borrowers are able to enjoy retirement by applying the benefits to things such as traveling; paying for in-home care services; paying off debt; medical expenses and health insurance; avoiding stock sales at the wrong time; making upgrades to the home; purchasing another investment property; paying for professional driver or transportation services such as Uber for appointments and social activities; delaying social security benefits until they are maxed out; and most importantly, living with a greater piece of mind.

A brief description of the process:

● Fill out a loan application online, in person, or over the phone. ● A loan officer will be assigned and will take time to understand your goals, objectives and concerns before generating an estimated proposal for you to discuss. ● If you decide to move forward, the loan officer will send the initial loan disclosures for you to sign. ● Schedule a required HUD counseling session over the phone and provide certification.

● Provide all income and asset documentation to the loan officer. ● An appraisal will be ordered eight days after the HUD counseling session, per guidelines. ● Once the file is complete and the appraisal is in, the loan is then submitted to an underwriter for review. ● Any conditions requested by the underwriter are then satisfied. ● Paperwork is resubmitted for final approval and clearance to order loan docs, which are then signed with a mobile notary. ● After docs are signed and all other conditions are met, the lender funds the loan. Can a reverse mortgage be used to buy another more- or less-expensive home and leave cash left over with no payments?

Yes, it’s an alternative to paying all cash for a property and still having cash left in their account. A senior could put 50 percent down for the new home using existing assets, 401k, gift funds and/or the sale proceeds of their current home. They would then do a reverse mortgage on the remaining 50 percent, completed in a single transaction. See the cheat sheet on this page, showing what that might look like if purchasing a $500,000 home. Therefore, they would be retaining that other 50 percent, allowing their cash investments to continue growing, with no mortgage payments for the rest of their lives. Just to clarify, on a reverse purchase transaction, the borrower does not receive monthly cash payments or draws as they would on a reverse line of credit or fixed refinance option. Interest accrues on the reverse loan itself since the borrower retained 50 percent of their assets. That is the true benefit. Also, no repayment of the mortgage (principal or interest) is required until the borrower dies or the home is sold (on a purchase or refinance). If your heirs inherit the property, the great news is they will never be responsible for paying the difference if the home is now worth less than the amount owed on the loan and they can keep the proceeds if the value is greater than the loan balance. This is truly a great tool for seniors who think they may not qualify based on low fixed income; could benefit from keeping that extra 50 percent as a security blanket; or simply would like to use the additional funds to make upgrades, have that new kitchen they’ve always dreamed of, or even just want to move closer to family. Many real estate agents and lenders will advise this type of buyer to pay all cash, but in reality they may not have to. Those interested in considering a reverse mortgage should do their due diligence as we did, because not all reverse mortgage companies are the same. To learn more about the history of reverse mortgages, visit —Bill Kelly is a longtime local activist who currently focuses on LGBT senior issues and moderates the Caring for our LGBT Seniors in San Diego Facebook page. Access to the group is free to all seniors, their advocates, families, friends and caregivers. Reach Bill at▼


GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 25 – Dec.8, 2016


CHRIS WARD Balboa Park

During his door-to-door canvassing as Ward was introducing himself to District 3 voters, he heard over and over again of residents’ concern about the neglect of Balboa Park. Millions of visitors from around the world come to Balboa Park each year and on the surface, everything appears to be splendid. But look closely and you can see long-neglected historic buildings that need repairing and updating, estimated to cost $300 million or more. The necessary money is not in the city budget and officials don’t have a solution to fix the problems. “It’s an infrastructure problem,” Ward said. “It’s been neglected for over 30 years.” Measure J, which voters approved on the November ballot, will allow the city to direct money from Mission Bay Park’s commercial leases to regional parks, including Balboa Park. It will also allow the city to seek a $125 million bond for regional parks. Even the passage of the measure, Ward said, won’t come close to solving Balboa Park’s financial woes. “Measure J will be a drop in the bucket for Balboa Park’s needs,” he said. Ward vowed to pour his heart and soul into saving Balboa Park. “We can’t solve the problem overnight. My goal is that a generation from now, everything will be whole in Balboa Park,” he added. Ward, speaking to SDCNN on Nov. 18 to update this article, reaffirmed that he is not completely sold on the plan to build a parking garage in Balboa Park. On Nov. 14, the City Council voted to approve the funding mechanism on the Plaza de Panama project, which includes a bypass bridge and road off the historic Cabrillo Bridge and a 797-space underground parking garage behind Spreckels Organ Pavilion. This would allow the city to ban traffic from Plaza de Panama. The plan proposed by Qualcomm founder Irwin Jacobs drew quick opposition from environmentalists and historic preservationists, and the Save Our Heritage Organisation sued the city and won in lower courts. But an appeals court overturned that legal victory, and in September 2015, the California Supreme Court affirmed the appeals court decision and said the project could go forward. “The plans went awry,” Ward said. “What we have now is an approved project that has stood the test of legal challenge.” Ward said many District 3 voters opposed the Plaza de Panama project. When proposed in 2012, the project’s cost was estimated at $45 million. But the delay has bumped up the estimated cost to $79 million, and the City Council decided Nov. 14 to cap the city’s financial commitment at $49 million and assigned the remaining cost, including overruns, to be the responsibility of the Plaza de Panama Committee chaired by Dr. Jacobs.

The councilmember-elect marches in the San Diego Pride parade after winning the primary. (Courtesy Chris Ward) Initially, supporters of the project estimated that parking fees would be affordable, perhaps $1 per hour or $5 per day. But now the fees will be $2 per hour or $8 per day on weekdays, and $3 per hour or $12 per day on weekends, holidays and peak periods, Ward said. While Ward thanked Dr. Jacobs for wanting to beautify Balboa Park, protect pedestrian safety in the park and improve the parking situation, he also fretted about the cost factor. He noted that the city only gains 200 parking spaces for its $79 million investment. And Ward expressed concern that parking revenue won’t end up covering the cost of operating the garage; any shortfall would have to be paid through the city’s General Fund.

Hillcrest’s decline

Another area of concern for many Uptown residents is the perceived decline of Hillcrest. “There’s been a lack of change in Hillcrest since the early 2000s,” Ward said. “How did we go from being a destination place in 2007 to today, when it is hard for businesses to stay open?” Hillcrest is falling behind North Park, Little Italy, East Village, the Gaslamp, even Kearny Mesa and Mission Valley, Ward observed. “We’ve been left behind with high prices and empty businesses,” he said. “The energy is now elsewhere.” The Community Plan Update (CPU) for Uptown, which the City Council also approved on Nov. 14, encourages more density along transit areas, including Park Boulevard, Washington Street and Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and University avenues. The City Council vote also removed the Interim Height Ordinance in Hillcrest, which restricted building heights to 65 feet or less. Ward recently sat down with two officials with the Uptown Gateway project to learn more about the conceptual proposal to transform the business core of Hillcrest. Ward first became familiar with the project when he served on Uptown Planners. The Gateway project comprises about 11 acres roughly bounded by Washington Street to the

north, Pennsylvania Avenue to the south, Fourth Avenue to the west and Seventh Avenue to the east. Various property owners who have signed on to the project have said at public meetings that they want to build a high-density project that would include a boutique hotel and a Rodeo Drive-like shopping area between Fifth and Sixth, and between University and Robinson. Gateway representatives gave several presentations on Oct. 6 when the city’s Planning Commission reviewed the proposed Uptown CPU. Commissioners seemed to like the idea, although several members criticized the design of the initial concept. Gateway officials gave an encore presentation to the City Council on Nov. 14, and the council agreed to establish a Specific Plan that would apply to this conceptual project, should it ever get off the ground. The Gateway project could force out local businesses in the core, possibly including three LGBT establishments along Fifth Avenue: #1 Fifth Avenue, the Rail and Babycakes. That led Uptown Planners chair Leo Wilson to warn the Planning Commission of the potential for “cultural desecration” of the LGBT community. “Hillcrest,” Wilson said, “is our Castro.” Ward said he hopes Hillcrest will never lose its title as the “heart of the LGBT community.” “We have the flagpole [at University Avenue and Normal Street], the LGBT Center, and social services already here,” he said. “We must work on preserving our LGBT history. “But, we don’t have to live in the gay ghetto anymore,” Ward continued. “We can live in places like Rolando and raise our families. We are not necessarily tied to Hillcrest anymore.” Ward also pointed out that Hillcrest has already lost part of its LGBT history with the closing of The Flame, the Euphoria coffee shop and other gay-owned boutiques. “Private property owners have the right to do what they want with their properties,” he said. Among the property owners and Gateway project members

is Chris Shaw, the gay entrepreneur who owns Urban MO’s Bar & Grill, Baja Betty’s, Hillcrest Brewing Company and Gossip Grill. Shaw owns a property at 3915 Third Ave. that apparently could be part of the Uptown Gateway project. Ward said he hopes LGBT sites could somehow be incorporated into the Gateway project. As far as the issue over building height and density, Ward said he would judge each project individually. “Is 200-feet height appropriate for the neighborhood?” he asked. “It certainly raises a tremendous issue about transition. Is there open public space? Is it near public transportation?” Ward reminded residents that any proposed building over 65 feet in height must go through a strenuous, heightened review, starting with the local community groups such as Uptown Planners. “I will be open and accessible to all stakeholders,” he said in describing how he would arrive at a decision. “I take an even hand; that’s how I approach the job.”


“I feel ready and excited to represent District 3,” Ward said. “I know I have the chops for it.” One of the things Ward loves about San Diego is residents’ pride in their neighborhoods. “We’re really a collection of small communities,” he said. “That keeps people caring about their neighborhoods.” Still, Ward embraces the push to turn San Diego into a “world-class city for all,” as Mayor Kevin Faulconer urged at his 2016 State of the City Address. That means improving city parks, enlarging the convention center, building a regional bicycling system, adding affordable housing, expanding public transit, and so much more. Ward also supports efforts underway to turn the San DiegoTijuana region into a bi-national powerhouse and capitalize on the area’s reputation as a center for startups and the biotech industry. What Ward fears, however, is that the high cost of living and the lack of affordable housing is driving away the millennials. “We must stop the talent from leaving this city,” he said. The vacancy rate in the rental market is extremely low, which means landlords can keep raising rents. And the dearth of houses and condos for sale shows that people are holding onto their homes. Ward blames the absence of real leadership for the lack of affordable housing. He hopes that the CPUs now under review will provide developers the incentive to build again. “I’m going to have a lot of hard decisions ahead,” Ward admitted, ticking off a list: What to do about the San Diego Chargers, should the team’s stadium proposal fail at the ballot box. How to ensure historical preservation in District 3. How to keep Comic-Con from leaving town. How to deal with short-term vacation rentals. How to make sure the Climate Action Plan meets its goals. How to make San Diego a world-class city. “I will always listen to the people and try to make sure that I do the right thing,” Ward said. “It may require me telling friends something they don’t want to hear.”

Ward’s background

Although many of his constituents know his work as chief of staff for state Sen. Marty Block, some are unfamiliar with his background. Previously, Ward was an environmental planner at the EDAW firm, working with local governments to develop landuse plans and conduct environmental reviews. Before that, he was a researcher at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research at UC San Diego, working on the front lines of San Diego’s world-class biotech sector. Ward earned his bachelor of arts degree at Johns Hopkins University and a master’s in public policy and urban planning at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Since moving to San Diego, Ward has been active with the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation, The San Diego LGBT Community Center’s board of directors, the San Diego GLBT Historic Task Force and other community organizations.

His inspiration

As Ward is poised to become the fourth consecutive LGBT politician to hold the District 3 seat, he said he has found inspiration from Todd Gloria, Toni G. Atkins and Christine Kehoe. “They’ve all gone on to have amazing careers in the state legislature,” he said. But when asked to name his role model, Ward paused and thought intently about who that person was. “Donna Frye is a special friend of mine,” Ward said. “She was always honest and wasn’t afraid to go against the grain. She would always do the right thing, no matter if it cost her politically. I am sure she slept well at night.” Ward, too, plans on sleeping well at night. —Ken Williams is editor of San Diego Uptown News and can be reached at ken@ or at 619-961-1952. Follow him on Twitter at @ KenSanDiego, Instagram at @ KenSD.▼



GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 25 – Dec.8, 2016

Letters Sharing is caring

[Ref: “Profiles in Advocacy: Keeping the torch lit for LGBT seniors,” Vol. 7, Issue 22, or online at] The article that featured me has gotten much attention. I know that oftentimes people don’t make online comments, so I just wanted you to know that Bob and I have both been approached by complete strangers who recognize us from the article and have shared how inspirational it was and the hope it gave them in their own lives. Keep those articles about the people of our community coming. There are zillions of them out there to be written. —Bill Kelly, via email —Letters to the editor can be sent to Comments can also be made on our website or Facebook page.▼

Guest Editorial

5 things you should be thankful for as a modern LGBT person Mikey Rox | The Frivolist If you believe post-election social media, the world is going to hell in a deplorable hand basket. Our LGBT brothers and sisters are frightened for the rights they’ve fought for over the past several decades, which is only exacerbated by a now Republican majority within the United States government led by a “conservative” president and a far alt-right vice president. The fear is palpable. Yet the reality of this situation is that nothing has happened yet. While our hard-won freedoms may be jeopardized in the near future (and that’s a BIG maybe), they’re not currently in the line of fire — but if and when we’re called to battle in the name of equality, we will fight like we always have. Until then, however, let’s give thanks during this time of year when thankfulness is especially important for that which we can count our blessings. Because breathe, gurl — everything will be OK.

1. Your right to marry

There’s a lot of talk about rolling back the marriage-equality ruling now that

EDITOR Morgan M. Hurley (619) 961-1960 CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Ken Williams, x102 Jeff Clemetson, x119 ASSISTANT EDITOR John Gregory CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Michael Kimmel Frank Sabatini Jr. Archives Staff Tom Felkner William E. Kelly Nick Thomas SENIOR INTERN David Sengmany

Trump is president-elect, and if the National Organization for Marriage has its way (its dastardly plan is already drawn up), that conjecture could become constitutional. But when asked what gratitude he has as a modern LGBT person, a friend of mine helped put this long-shot prospect into perspective: “[I’m] thankful that a conservative Supreme Court approved same-sex marriage rather than Congress, which means it’s just as safe as Roe v. Wade has been since 1973,” he said. Let’s hope so.

2. The majority of American citizens are still on our side.

Based on Electoral College votes, Donald Trump will be our next president, but the popular vote chose Hillary. It stands to reason, then, that most Americans — the voting public, at least — sides with us on issues of equality. A Pew Research Center poll in 2016 found that 55 percent of Americans favored same-sex marriage — and that figure is not likely to dip into the minority now that marriage rights are firmly in place. Sure, a red Congress may delay social progress (like transgender-rights bills and anti-discrimination

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

laws), but it will never fully quell it — because the majority of American people have never and will never allow it.

3. Donald Trump isn’t as anti-LGBT equality as you may think.

There’s plenty of volley on whether or not Trump is LGBTfriendly — and we can argue for days about the myriad other verbal atrocities he’s committed — but back in April he expressed support for one of the most contentious talking points of 2016: the genderless bathroom. On NBC’s “Today” show, Trump went against the general consensus of his party when asked how transgender people should use restrooms in public. They should “use the bathroom they feel is appropriate,” he said, according to the New York Times. Staunch conservative advocates — of acts like North Carolina’s economically devastating law that prohibits individuals in the state from using a restroom that does not correspond to their biological sex — railed Trump for the position, but he never rescinded his statements and we’ll keep our fingers crossed that he never does.

ACCOUNTING Priscilla Umel-Martinez (619) 961-1962


WEB DESIGN Kim Espinoza

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

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

ADVERTISING CONSULTANTS Andrew Bagley, x106 Sloan Gomez, x104 Lisa Hamel, x107 Lionel Talaro, x113 Matt Cunningham, X105

PUBLISHER David Mannis (619) 961-1951

4. Children born this year will never know a time without LGBT equality.

Do we still have trails to blaze in the name of equality? Absolutely. But in the past five years alone we’ve made more progress toward that goal than in all of modern history. All of it. Children born today and every day afterward will never know a United States where LGBTs can’t serve openly in the military or legally marry one another — and that’s something of which to be proud. While naysayers are cautious that everything will remain as is given the pending administration transition, it’s prudent to stay optimistic that we are and will remain on the right side of history.

5. We can express ourselves in public without (much) persecution.

I know what you’re going to say — it’s still not safe out there for LGBT people. Notwithstanding the fear mongering — which, I will contend, the basis for which isn’t entirely irrelevant — I would argue that we’ve never been so protected. Yeah, some backwoods hick might fling a derogatory

term your way now and then and violence has been levied (though these instances aren’t regular occurrences), but it’s important to remember that we’re not alone in the fight for equality. There’s still a mountain of injustice in this country and around the world — just ask people of color — but those tides are turning, whether or not you can see that yet. Our friends and family are standing up to those who attempt to denigrate us, consumers are fighting homophobia with their wallets, and more and more young LGBT people are coming out at an earlier age because they feel safe enough to do so. In other words, our reality is not always how the media portrays it — a lesson we all learned on Nov. 8, and will be wise to remember moving forward. —Mikey Rox is an award-winning journalist and LGBT lifestyle expert whose work has been published in more than 100 outlets across the world. He splits his time between homes in New York City and the Jersey Shore with his dog Jaxon. Connect with Mikey on Twitter @mikeyrox.▼

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

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

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


ARCHIVES So, how did we get it? Running the archives takes lots of labor and lots of love, too. Come hear about how that all works at our annual meeting Dec. 10 at 1 p.m. We’ll start with a review of our year, which included lots of activities, projects and new relationships, and provide a report of our financial status before we hold our election. We hope you will participate in the selection of new board members to continue our fi ne work. To vote on the nominees, you must be a dues-paying member. Please let us know if you are unsure of your status; we encourage you to vote, but sorry, we don’t yet have absentee or vote-by-mail ballots. No matter the outcome of the board elections, we’ll have a party from approximately 2–4 p.m., on our patio, following the meeting. We wish to thank our members and volunteers as well as welcome any new members and those interested from the community. We will also be bidding au revoir, but not adieu, to two of our longest-serving and most active board members who must step down due to term limits. Board President Maureen Steiner is stepping down after six years of service. She not only greatly increased our community outreach, but also led us through some major changes at the Archives,

Pride Youth Leadership Academy on the Archives’ LGBT History Tour (Photo by Walter Meyer)

including new funding streams that supported the birth of our popular “Out at the Archives” series, the walking tours of the LGBTQ history of Hillcrest and bringing on board three part-time staff members to help the Archives grow and flourish. She has given generously of her time and money to give a successful renaissance to Lambda Archives. Also leaving the board with our hearty thanks for his contributions is Charles Kaminski. Chuck served in a variety of roles on the board and used his expertise as an architect to lead the Archives’ historic sites preservation efforts, especially the LGBT

Historic Context Statement he shepherded through the city processes. But the good news is, in addition to new young leadership on the board, we are working on a few new angles: Maureen and Chuck will continue to serve on committees and lend their expertise and enthusiasm to the organization to help keep us on course. They are jointly heading up a campaign to be known as “30 for 30 at 30.” Come to the party and be one of the fi rst to hear of our grand plans to celebrate our 30th anniversary year. Meanwhile, life goes on: Our tours continue and our programming plans remain strong. We recently held a

special tour for the Pride Youth Leadership Academy. The day was extra special; as the teens walked along brandishing their rainbow and trans pride flags, cars honked and passersby cheered. Hope for the future, in spite of what was for most in our community, the devastating election news of a few days earlier. A week later, a group of teachers from San Diego Unified School District took the walking tour and enriched their knowledge of LGBT history to take back to their classrooms. Nov. 19 was our monthly public tour and Nov. 20 was another special group tour, this one to history students from UC San Diego. If your group would like to have a tour, contact us. Our next general public tour is Dec. 19 at 11 am. Tickets at: In observance of Veterans Day, our new exhibit about LGBTQ veterans and the fight to end the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy is available to visit at the Archives, 4545 Park Blvd. (the Diversionary Theatre Building) almost any afternoon Monday through Saturday with the exception of Thanksgiving weekend. Thanks to Balboa Park Veterans Museum for the loan of some materials and to our awesome volunteers, Brandon Torres and Christine Cooke, for putting the exhibit together. We had a very special Out at the Archives: “Do Ask, Do Tell.” Several veterans and one active duty member

GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 25 – Dec.8, 2016


shared very personal stories of their service in the military. It was horrifying in some ways and heartwarming in others. The struggles of the past are mostly over thanks to changing attitudes and policies. Some recounted stories of harassment and dismissal prior to “don’t ask, don’t tell”, others during it, and the active duty member told us what progress and prejudices persist. Once again, we are grateful to the TransNarratives team of Meredith Vezina and Ellen Holzman for recording it and posting the video on their channel. Go to vimeo. com/191720632 to see it. We are planning more events with the Veterans Museum to continue to tell and preserve the stories and artifacts of those from the LGBT community who have served in uniform. However, (always a fundraising plea) it is expensive to properly preserve the uniforms that our veterans have given to us for safekeeping. Please consider making a special donation as we ease into the holiday period and celebrate the values we hold dear. Adopt a uniform today! —Lambda Archives, a 501(c) (3) dedicated to collecting, preserving and teaching the history of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in San Diego and the Northern Baja California region, is located at 4545 Park Blvd., in University Heights. To learn more, stop in, call 619-260-1522 or visit their website at▼

2016 NICKY AWARD WINNERS Mayor George Moscone Humanitarian Award (tie) (presented by Assembly Speaker Emeritus Toni Atkins, Councilmember Todd Gloria and District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis) • Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman • San Diego Police Department Harvey Milk Civil Rights Award • Patrick Smith 2015 IML Michael Portantino Excellence in Journalism Award (presented by Supervisor Dave Roberts) • Morgan M. Hurley, editor, Gay San Diego Man of the Year • Stephen Whitburn, former executive director, SD Pride Woman of the Year • Barbra Blake, executive director, GSDBA


Straight Ally • Jeff and Hillary Whittington

New Business • Pardon My French Pharmacy • AHF HIV/AIDS Service Provider • Being Alive Community Organization • Lambda Archives

Revelers at the 41st annual Nicky Awards, which took place Sunday, Nov. 13. (Photo by Big Mike)

(l to r) Nicole Murray Ramirez, Sgt. Dan Meyer (holding Mayor George Moscone Humanitarian Award given to SDPD), Police Officer Christine Garcia, Assembly Speaker Emeritus Toni G. Atkins, City Councilmember Todd Gloria (Photo by Big Mike) Bank • California Bank & Trust Sports Organization • America’s Finest City Softball League Neighborhood Bar • Uptown Tavern Online Media •

Women’s Night • Boobie Trap, Gossip Grill

Transgender Personality • Christine Garcia

Publication • SDPix

Impersonator • Paris Sukomi Max

DJ/VJ • DJ Mateo Sagade Bar Event (tie) • DreamGirls, Urban MO’s • Stripper Circus, Rich’s

Male Personality (tie) • Clarione Gutierrez • Fernando Lopez

Title Holder • Kickxy Vixen Styles, Miss Gay Pride 2015 Community Activist • Eddie Rey Writer/Columnist • Tim Parks

Female Waitperson • Tara Novak, Harley Gray

Levi/Leather Personality • Scottie Tidwell

Female Personality • Toni Duran

Entertainer/Group (tie) • Keith London (“American Idol”) • San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus

Male Waitperson • Tali Lopez, The Mission

Bar Manager • Ryan Bedrosian, Rich’s Night Club/Dance Bar • Rich’s Bar Owner • Jeff Jackson, Flicks Restaurant (tie) • Arrivederci • Martinis Above Fourth

Bar Employee • Neal Carson, Flicks

Night Club Dancer • Nelson Marin

Personal Trainer • Marcia Villavicencio

Business • Kevin’s Barber Shop

Female Bartender • Emily, Gossip Grill Male Bartender • Nick Demaeco, Baja Betty’s

Business Woman • Marci Bair Business Man • David Cohen Community Volunteer • Fernando “Ponyboy” Junior

Brunch • Breakfast Republic Bar • Flicks Community Event • Tantrums and Tiaras LGBT Couple • Nelson Marin and Marvin Garcia • Karen and Kerrie Stone Real Estate Agent • Bo Bortner ▼



GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 25 – Dec.8, 2016

Holy bulgogi! Restaurant Review Frank Sabatini Jr. Ask any staffer at 356 Korean BBQ & Bar what the three-digit number in the restaurant’s name signifies, and you’ll be told in rehearsed fashion that it the right temperait’ss “the ture for cooking� — in degrees Fahrenheit, of course. Then, likely before you finish reading the menu, a parade of side dishes and dipping

strewn with large slices of raw garlic. Everything caramelized beautifully, resulting in a pile of charry, mouthwatering beef that left us ignoring at first the garnishes and dipping sauces. The portion was adequate for the two of us, although we would have plowed lawlessly through a second round had we not ordered the spicy chicken as well. The chicken (all thigh pieces) took a few shorter minutes to cook. Bulgogi before it’s cooked (Yelp)

Other protein choices include beef brisket, New York steak, boneless short ribs, pork belly, scallops, shrimp, and lobster. The options are listed under “tapas� and each order comes also with a basic green salad in sesame vinaigrette.

Bulgogi and spicy chicken share grill space (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.)

Ramen with a spicy kick sauces arrive, encirnto cling the grill built into able. the middle of your table. Those little bowls of mbers, kimchi, pickled cucumbers, er savosquid relish and other ries signal the start of Korean barbecue at its best. The difer, is that ference here, however, it’s presented within trendy trendy, industrial trappings and to the cadence of electronic dance music, which thankfully was kept at a bearable volume during our midday visit. The restaurant is located inconspicuously in Westfield Mission Valley mall, between Macy’s and Bed Bath & Beyond. It’s tailored after Quarters Korean BBQ in Los Angeles. The owners of each are good friends, and both kitchens serve their raw beef, poultry and seafood in quarter-pound portions. Grilling assistance is provided by the servers. Although anyone with even a partial knack for cooking over gentle gas flames will sail through the process with the aid of tongs and meat scissors that are brought to the table, not to mention the safety assurance of fire extinguishers hanging over every table in bell-shaped smoke hoods. One of my go-to dishes in Korean restaurants is bulgogi, those thinly sliced strips of beef marinated in soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and honey or brown sugar. The gold standard is achieved when the beef is gristle-free and the ingredients of the marinade meld into sweet-savory harmony. This bulgogi hit the mark with tender rib eye that was sufficiently marinated and

Korean food in a mall nook (Photo by

356 Korean BBQ & Bar 1640 Camino del Rio North (Mission Valley) 619-260-0356 Prices: Ramen and fried rice, $6.88 to $11; quarter-pound portions of raw meats and seafood, $8.88 to $21.88; plates and bowls, $8 to $12 Its reddish marinade appeared spicier than it tasted. But the hot sauce and kimchi in the condiment lineup compensated, while the green-tea salt gave the meat a novel, addicting twang. One of the sauces was cheese fondue, an unexpected accompaniment served tepid. Unlike the remaining sidekicks such as fresh seaweed salad, sautĂŠed broccoli with rice noodles and crispy bell peppers in soy paste, it was pretty much void of flavor and offered zero enhancement to the meats.

Rice is oddly missing from the m meal inclusions. From what we deciphered fr from the somewhat m confusing menu, it’s available separate as kimchi fried only separately rice and sells for $11. augment our meal with We augmented size bowl bo of ramen a decent decent-size priced just under $7. We loved the moderate spice level of the beef broth and the tenderness of the thin, Goldilocks noodles, which became incorrigible at times when fishing them out of the bowl. All told, it was the zestiest ramen I’ve had in years, and sans the extreme saltiness of most other versions. A large bar is incorporated into 356’s spacious layout. But it lacks diversity in terms of beer and cocktails. The brew list features only a few crafts by companies such as Belching Beaver, Shock Top and Saint Archer. The remaining choices fall flat with Blue Moon, Corona, Bud Light, etc., while soju serves as the liquor for a limited selection of fruity cocktails. But this is, after all, located in a mall that also claims the beer-centric Yard House as one of its tenants. At 356, it’s mostly about the high-quality edibles and the interactive dining experience you get from grilling foods right at your table with friends, lovers and family members. —Frank Sabatini Jr. is the author of “Secret San Diegoâ€? (ECW Press), and began his local writing career more than two decades ago as a staffer for the former San Diego Tribune. You can reach him atâ–ź

Frank Sabatini Jr.)

*URXS7UDYHO ZLWKWKH&KDPEHU ,UHODQGRU6SDLQa6XPPHURI Join San Diego East County Chamber CEO Eric Lund and his wife Georgia Le Bon Lund to visit Ireland‌

'XEOLQ WR'HUU\ -XO\ă$XJXVW “San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce And East County Schools Federal Credit Union presents...â€?





Grapeless wines arrive to a new tasting room in Hillcrest (Courtesy California Fruit Wine Co.)

Winemaker Emily Bloom asks, “Why should grapes have all the fun?� when citing seven different alternative-fruit wines available for the current soft opening of California Fruit Wine Company’s new tasting room in Hillcrest. The company’s production facility was established several years ago in Carlsbad by siblings Alan and Brian Haghighi, for crafting vinos made with pineapples, mangos, pomegranates and cherries. Cranberries have entered into the equation for a seasonal wine that’s now available through the holidays. The wines are also distributed to local, commercial establishments that include Boulevard Wine & Spirits in City Heights, Double Standard Kitchenetta in the Gaslamp Quarter, Crushed in Pacific Beach, and others. The tasting room, which replaces Vinavanti Urban Winery, also serves housemade sangria, flatbreads and small bites. Bloom says weekend brunch is in the works. Hours of operation are 3 to 10 p.m., Wednesdays and Thursdays (until 11 p.m. on Fridays); noon to 11 p.m. Saturdays; and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays. 1477 University Ave., 877-484-6282,

After two years of catering to hardcore carnivores with items such as beaver tacos, rabbit poutine and gourmet sausages — and to the occasional protests of vegan activists — S&M Sausage and Meat in University Heights closed its doors on Nov. 23. The company, which also shut down its outpost last month in East Village’s Quartyard, recently announced the closing of its flagship establishment on Facebook without explanation. As of press time, S&M’s owner, Scott Slater of Slater’s 50/50, had not returned our calls or emails requesting a statement. 4130 Park Blvd.

Lestat’s Hillcrest soft opened Aug. 9, marking the coffee house’s third location since establishing its original spot in 1997 on Adams Avenue in Normal Heights. The Hillcrest outlet occupies a double-storefront space left behind by Lava Sushi. Manager Joseph Wellman said Lestat’s Hillcrest will begin operating 24 hours “in the next four or five weeks� and that it will eventually take advantage of the property’s full kitchen for expanding the food menu. At present, the offerings are the same as those at the company’s Park Boulevard location in University Heights — salads, paninis, house-made soups and sandwiches. 1045 University Ave., 619-564-6616,

The Hillcrest History Guild will hold its 10th annual holiday potluck dinner at 6 p.m., Dec. 13, at the San Diego Indoor Sports Club in Bankers Hill. The event is free and open to the public. Attendees are asked to bring a salad or savory side dish while donning their festive holiday attire. Turkeys will be provided by UCSD Hillcrest; mashed potatoes, gravy and dressing will be made by Scripps Health; and desserts will be donated by Sharp Health. In addition, breads will be supplied by Bread and Cie. The dinner will also feature raffle drawings and a performance by the Westminster Carolers. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. 3030 Front St., 619-298-0779,

GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 25 – Dec.8, 2016


The biggest ribs in town? (Courtesy Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill) Giant short ribs will be introduced at Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill in Mission Valley, beginning Dec. 9. “We take the whole rib bones from certified Angus beef and then smoke them for many hours over pecan woodâ€? says Wood Ranch’s director of culinary development Alex Benes, adding that each rib measures about 10 inches long, holds 14-plus ounces of meat and feeds two people. Sold singly for $33 with a shareable side dish – mashed potatoes, broccoli, peanut coleslaw or mac n’ cheese – they’re available Fridays through Sundays. 7510 Hazard Center Drive, 619-764-4411, —Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at fsabatini@san.â–ź


Don’t just plead guilty! There may be defenses in your case that can lead to reduced charges or even a dismissal!

A North Park hotspot plans its first beer dinner with a local brewery (Facebook) Since opening earlier this year, Encontro North Park will present its first beer dinner from 5:30–9 p.m., Dec. 8. The fourcourse meal will be augmented by beers from nearby Thorn St. Brewery. The cost is $45 per person. 3001 University Ave., 619291-1220,

A favorite food truck is back in business (Photo by Steven Zatarain) Revered for its crafty hot dogs, parsley-garlic fries and doughnuts made to order, the Dharma Dogs food truck has returned with a fresh set of wheels and in a new, permanent location in the Target Express parking lot in South Park. Steven Zatarain and his girlfriend, Jhoenn Dejesus, introduced the truck several years ago in Hillcrest, where they operated nightly in front of Eli Vigderson’s European Car Repairs on University Avenue. After suspending the effort, Zatarain went into the business of rebuilding food trucks and decided to custom-design one for the re-launch of Dharma Dogs. Their menu remains the same as before, which includes four signature hot dogs such as the bacon-wrapped “Baja� covered in jalapenos, grilled onions, tomatoes and chipotle ketchup. The dogs are available in beef, vegan or organic versions, and patrons can also customize the toppings. Hours of operation are from 11 a.m.– 11 p.m., daily. 3030 Grape St., 619-757-3061.



GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 25 – Dec.8, 2016

GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 25 – Dec.8, 2016



GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 25 – Dec.8, 2016


All Souls’ 65th annual Christmas Home Tour Point Loma, Dec. 3, 2016

All Souls’ Episcopal Church invites you to our annual Christmas Home Tour and Marketplace. Just three weeks before Christmas, it can be a whole day of fun! An expanded marketplace prompts festive planning, with gifts or decorations that include handmade treasures and homecooked treats for Christmas stockings or the feast table! This year’s event will include a limited edition Peter the Church Mouse unveiling and gourmet food trucks and local artisans round out the traditional sumptuous tea! Appreciating Hubbell stained glass and unique Point Loma homes are community celebration highlights. Four distinctive residences delight with their histories, views and decor to pique creative interests. Which home will tantalize with St. Nicholas baking fresh cookies? Which one will showcase delightful collections from decades of personal sailing memorabilia? Which will evoke a long past time in China, with vintage cloisonné, marble

sculpture and centuries old reclaimed wood flooring? Each home enchants with imaginative designs, spectacular vistas or peeks into most fascinating travels! Join us! For more information and tickets visit gqyja6d Broadway San Diego San Diego Civic Theatre 1100 Third Ave. 92101 619-570-1100

“Hedwig and the Angry Inch” Nov. 29–Dec. 4, 2016 Presented by Broadway San Diego, “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” will be making its way to the San Diego Civic Theatre with shows from Nov. 29 to Dec. 4. Described as brilliantly innovative, heartbreaking, and wickedly funny, “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” is the landmark American musical by John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask that is “groundbreaking and undoubtedly ahead of its time” (Entertainment Weekly). This genre-bending, fourth-wallsmashing musical sensation, with a pulsing score and

electrifying performances, tells the story of one of the most unique characters to ever hit the stage. Directed by Tony Awardwinner Michael Mayer (“Spring Awakening”) and winner of four 2014 Tony Awards, including Best Musical Revival, “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” played to record-breaking sell-out crowds on Broadway and promises to take San Diego by storm with what Time magazine proclaims is “the most exciting rock score written for the theater since, oh, ever!” For more information and tickets, please visit tinyurl. com/hsrcrvd. Cygnet Theatre The Old Town Theatre 4040 Twiggs St. 92110 619-337-1525

“A Christmas Carol” Nov. 22–Dec. 24, 2016

Founded in 2003, Cygnet Theatre is a leading regional company and one of San Diego’s cultural icons. Each year, Cygnet Theatre creates an eclectic mix of six or seven mainstage productions, from classics to Broadway-style

GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 25 – Dec.8, 2016

musicals. On stage and off, Cygnet Theatre is dedicated to bringing the best performances to San Diego. In the spirit of the holidays, Cygnet Theatre is proud to present “A Christmas Carol,” with shows at the Old Town Theatre from Nov. 22–Dec. 24. This season welcomes the return of the holiday classic adapted from Charles Dickens’ timeless tale of hope and redemption. This re-imagined, fully-staged production features original new music, creative stagecraft and puppetry, and live sound effects. Step into a Victorian Christmas card for a unique storytelling experience that is sure to delight the entire family! For more information and tickets, please visit z24ppls. Diversionary Theatre 4545 Park Boulevard #101 92116 619-220-0097

“The Mystery of Love and Sex” Nov. 25–Dec. 24, 2016

Diversionary Theatre was founded in 1986 to provide


quality theater for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, with a mission of providing an inspiring and thought-provoking theatrical platform to explore complex and diverse LGBT stories, which influence the larger cultural discussion. Diversionary Theatre is proud to present “The Mystery of Love and Sex,” with preview performances currently through Dec. 2, and opening night on Dec. 3. As Charlotte and Jonny tumble into their 20s, confronting the mysteries of their own bodies and desires, Charlotte’s parents face their own perceptions about love and happiness. Traversing years, shifting relationships and unexpected outcomes, this provocative Southern Gothic romantic comedy peeks behind the curtain of sexuality and race to illuminate secrets of the heart and the fabric of a family. For more information and tickets, please visit The Old Globe Theatre 1363 Old Globe Way 92101 619-234-5623

see Holidays, pg 14

J. Bernard Calloway and Tyrone Davis, Jr. Photo by Jim Cox.

Sm19asthh Year!

Now Playing! Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Book and Lyrics by Timothy Mason Music by Mel Marvin Directed by James Vasquez Original Production Conceived and Directed by Jack O’Brien

Generously sponsored by Audrey S. Geisel (619) 23-GLOBE! (234-5623) Dr. Seuss Properties TM & (c) 1957 and 2016 Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. All Rights Reserved.



GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 25 – Dec.8, 2016


HOLIDAYS Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” Nov. 5–Dec. 26, 2016




The Old Globe Theatre has been home to the most acclaimed national artists, designers, directors and playwrights in the theater industry. More than 20 productions produced at The Old Globe have gone on to play Broadway and Off-Broadway, garnering 13 Tony Awards and numerous nominations. In 1984 The Old Globe was the recipient of the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional 868 Fourth Ave. 92101 Theater for its contribution 619-570-1100 to the development of the art form. These awards bring world attention not only to The Old “Jingle” Globe but also to San Diego’s Dec. 10 & 11, 2016 rich cultural landscape. Located in Balboa Park off San Diego Gay Men’s of El Prado, between the San Chorus at Sycuan Casino Diego Museum of Art and 5469 Casino Way, the Museum of Man, The Old El Cajon 92019 Globe is proud to present its 619-445-6002 annual family musical, “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” with shows be“Jingle” tween Nov. 5 and Dec. 26, the Dec. 17, 2016 show is described as a wonderThe San Diego Gay Men’s ful, whimsical musical based upon the classic Dr. Seuss book. Chorus is one of the largest Back at The Old Globe for its gay choruses in the world. Founded in 1985, it has per19th incredible year, this famformed across the nation inily favorite features the songs cluding at the White House, “This Time of Year,” “Santa the Super Bowl and at Comicfor a Day” and “Fah Who Con. Their mission is to create Doraze,” the delightful carol from the popular animated ver- a positive musical experience through exciting performances, sion of “How the Grinch Stole which engage audiences, build Christmas!” community support and proCelebrate the holidays as vide a dynamic force for social the Old Globe Theatre is once change. again transformed into the SDGMC is proud to pressnow-covered Whoville, right ent Jingle with four total down to the last can of Whohash. For more information and shows over two locations tickets, please visit in San Diego. The family friendly spectacular includes z89fsrz. wintry and wonderful holiday music from traditional favorSan Diego Gay Men’s ites like “Silent Night,” “I’ll Chorus at Balboa Theatre Be Home for Christmas” and


Written & Directed by TODD SALOVEY Based on the play by S. Ansky Original Music Written & Performed by YALE STROM Starring RON CA MPBELL

NOVEMBER 23 - DECEMBER 18 Book Tickets Now! Ask About Free Parking! 619.544.1000 | SDREP.ORG | Lyceum Theatre | Horton Plaza

“The Christmas Song” to modern classics like Frozen’s “Do You Wanna Build a Snowman” to a hilarious look at how Broadway stars celebrate the holidays. Featuring special appearances by SDGMC’s highly acclaimed Chamber Chorale and the audience favorite Mood Swings ensemble. For more information and tickets, please visit tinyurl. com/hydsdg3. San Diego Musical Theatre at Spreckels Theatre 121 Broadway #600 92101 619-235-9500

“White Christmas” Nov. 25–Dec. 4, 2016 San Diego Musical Theatre at Horton Grand Theatre 444 Fourth Ave. 92101 760-295-7541

“Miracle on 34th Street” Dec. 1–24, 2016

San Diego Musical Theatre (SDMT), founded by Erin and Gary Lewis on Sept. 26, 2006, is a professional, nonprofit, musical theater organization that produces Broadway musicals. With its mission statement, “To passionately produce and provide professional musical theater that ignites the human spirit,” the SDMT is proud to present two shows this upcoming holiday season. At the Spreckels Theatre, between Nov. 25 and Dec. 4, the classic holiday movie “White Christmas” will be brought to life on stage. Based on the beloved, timeless fi lm, this heartwarming musical adaptation features seventeen Irving Berlin songs. Army veterans Bob Wallace and Phil Davis have a successful song-and-dance act after World War II. With romance in mind, the two follow a duo of beautiful singing sisters en route to their Christmas show at a Vermont lodge, which just happens to be owned by Bob and Phil’s former commander. The dazzling score features well known standards, including “Blue Skies,” “I Love A Piano,” “How Deep is the Ocean?” and the perennial favorite, “White Christmas.” It promises a merry and bright theatrical experience for the whole family! For more information and tickets, please visit

see Holidays, pg 15


HOLIDAYS At the Horton Grand Theatre, from Dec. 1–24, “Miracle on 34th Street” will bring a heartwarming holiday classic to San Diego, retold in the tradition of a live 1940s era radio broadcast. When a department store Santa claims he’s the real Kris Kringle, his case gets taken all the way to the Supreme Court. Watch the miracle unfold when the belief of a little girl makes all the difference in this iconic story. Adapted from the 1947 Lux Radio Hour Broadcast and staged with live Foley effects and a score of holiday carols, “Miracle on 34th Street” is a beloved musical that will melt even the most cynical of hearts. For more information and tickets, please visit San Diego Repertory Theatre Lyceum Space 79 Horton Plaza 92101 619-544-1000

“The Dybbuk for Hannah and Sam’s Wedding” Nov. 23 – Dec. 18, 2016

San Diego Repertory Theatre is San Diego’s resident professional theater —celebrating year-round on three stages and in art galleries the diversity and creativity of the community. As the resident and managing company of the Lyceum Theatre, San Diego Repertory Theatre produces and hosts over 300 events and performances a year. This holiday season features two shows between November and December hosted at the Lyceum Space. “The Dybbuk for Hannah and Sam’s Wedding,” showing between Nov. 23–Dec. 18, features nationally renowned master actor and clown Ron Campbell (“R. Buckminster Fuller: The History — and Mystery — of the Universe”) playing all 21 characters in this “Dybbuk.” The mystical story centers on a broken vow that results in a wandering spirit taking possession of a bride on her wedding day. Boundaries between the natural and supernatural worlds dissolve in this tale of powerful young love and spiritual possession. You will find yourself in the spell of a Yiddish classic that is a humorous and horrific folk tale of wondrous meaning. For more information and tickets, please visit

“A Snow White Christmas” Dec. 2–Dec. 24, 2016

San Diego Theatres, in collaboration with San Diego Repertory Theatre and Lythgoe Family Panto, present “A Snow White Christmas!” with performances between Dec. 2–24, “A Snow White Christmas” is the American Panto version based on the “Snow White” fairytale which includes singing, dancing and interactive fun and magic. Whether young or old, a Panto will be enjoyed by all members of the family during the holiday season. For more information and tickets, please visit▼


GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 25 – Dec.8, 2016


and projections for a theatrical experience like you have never seen before,” said Meffe, head of the SDSU MFA Musical Theater Program. Tickets are $20 for general admission and $15 for students and seniors, and are available online at The performance is rated PG and children under 6 are not permitted.

HILLCREST CELEBRATES ‘SHOP HILLCREST’ WITH ’TINIS A candlelight vigil in honor of those lost to and affected by HIV/AIDS is part of the annual Tree of Life ceremony, sponsored by Mama’s Kitchen and Village Hillcrest. (Courtesy Mama’s Kitchen)

Taste ’n’ Tinis, a spirited cocktail party and holiday shopping fest, will be held Dec. 8 from 4–9 p.m. in the Hillcrest business district. Participants may sample food, enjoy decadent dessert treats and sip holiday inspired martinis as they stroll through the Hillcrest neighborhood. The martinis will be served at retail establishments throughout the area and local restaurants will provide samples of their cuisine to compliment the beverages. In addition, anyone who makes a purchase at participating establishments will receive a raffle ticket for a chance to win nearly $3,000 to spend at participating Hillcrest businesses. Customers who shop or dine in Hillcrest between now and Dec. 24 are also eligible to receive a ticket each time they make a purchase. The raffle is part of the Shop Hillcrest for the Holidays promotion hosted by the Hillcrest Business Association. Tickets for Taste ’n’ Tinis are $25 in advance and $30 on the day of the event. The first 250 to purchase tickets will receive a collectible martini glass adorned with the Taste ’n’ Tinis logo. Those participating in the cocktail portion of this event must be 21 years of age or older and have a valid ID for proof of age. Tickets may be purchased online at

Mama’s Kitchen and Village Hillcrest will host the 24th annual Tree of Life Lighting Ceremony Dec. 1, 6 p.m. at Village Hillcrest, 3965 Fifth Ave. The event, sponsored by AIDS Healthcare Foundation, honors those affected by AIDS and also recognizes those fighting to end this epidemic. The Tree of Life ceremony includes a candlelight vigil to honor those lost to AIDS. The San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus will sing holiday tunes and complimentary refreshments will be served. Trees at the event are decorated with ornaments to honor those affected by AIDS/HIV, and will be on display throughout the holiday season at Village Hillcrest. The ornaments can be purchased prior to the event and personalized with a message. The cost of the ornaments is $15 each or two for $25 and they may be purchased online at Proceeds will go toward ‘GREY’S ANATOMY’ ACTRESS Mama’s Kitchen, San OFFERS CHALLENGE Diego’s only free counSara Ramirez, a Tony ty-wide meal delivery serAward-winning actress, singvice for those affected by AIDS or cancer. The event is er and activist who played a lesbian doctor on the popular free and open to the public. “Grey’s Anatomy” TV show, For more information, or to recently directed a $50,000 participate in other holiday challenge grant toward the giving opportunities for San Diego LGBT Community Mama’s Kitchen, call Aimee Center. Ramirez will match Halfpenny, 619-233-6262. each monetary donation dollar SDSU PRESENT ‘JESUS for dollar up to $50,000 made CHRIST SUPERSTAR’ as part of The Center’s fundThe San Diego State raising campaign through the University (SDSU) School end of this year. of Theatre, Television and Ramirez was inspired to Film in conjunction with the make the challenge grant after SDSU School of Music and a recent visit to The Center. Dance present “Jesus Christ “As a member of the LGBT Superstar in Concert” with community, as an immigrant four performances in the and as someone with deep SDSU Don Powell Theater. roots in San Diego, I believe Performances will be Dec. the work of The Center is 1, 2 and 3 at 7:30 p.m. and essential to creating a safer Dec. 4 at 2 p.m. The perforand more equal society,” she mances are conducted by said in a press statement. “In Robert Meffe and directed that spirit, I am committed to by Stephen Brotebeck. supporting that work with my SDSU’s production of voice and resources.” “Jesus Christ Superstar in The Center asks supporters Concert” draws from the of San Diego’s LGBT commuuniversity’s massive array of nity to donate as generously as talent and performing arts possible during the end-of-year resources. fundraising drive to make the “We are marshaling the best of this challenge. Donations forces of 18 musical theater may be made online at tinyurl. students, 120 choral singers, com/htpp2z7. Donations may 65 symphonic musicians and also be mailed to The Center at a psychedelic rock band to P.O. Box 3357, San Diego, CA perform on stage with spec92163. For more information tacular rock concert lighting call 619-692-2077, ext. 213.▼

“CRITIC’S CHOICE” -- San San Diego Diego Union-Tribune, Union-Tribune, 2015 2015




NOV 22 DEC 24






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EQUITY Day, who also oversees the International Affairs Board in his position, has a two-person staff and a core group of 15 (currently 17) city commissioners serving the city. Some commissioners were appointed by the (current or previous) mayor, while others were appointed by the city councilmembers directly from the communities they serve. All commissioners are confirmed by the City Council as a whole and serve in fouryear terms. “Diversity is one of San Diego’s greatest strengths, which is why this commission is important for our community,” Mayor Kevin Faulconer said. “We appreciate the work of commissioners to foster mutual respect, promote individual liberty and create a city where we can all succeed.” Three of the current commissioners — Joel Trambley, its chair; Nicole Murray Ramirez, chairman emeritus; and Dion Brown — are from the LGBT community, and two of them are people of color. Other commissioners come from various communities throughout the city. The entire list with bios can be found at j633xp3. “We are the front lines, we are the offense and the defense now,” Day said. “So when I talk to folks in the community about the work of the Human Relations Commission, it is just us. It is about us defending each other’s rights and basic human rights.” Holding public meetings every third Wednesday of the month, the commissioners meet to discuss issues of importance to every community in San Diego — white, black, Latino, LGBT, Asian-Pacific, Muslim, etc. — and advocate for equity for all. They also get their hands into social justice issues including police relationships; undocumented workers; human trafficking; homelessness; and they receive training on various disciplines to assist them in their advocacy. They advise the mayor and the City Council on ways the city does business, assuring local residents are given equal access to political, economic and educational opportunities and are accommodated for across all agencies. The commissioners also work within their communities to educate on methods of inclusiveness and provide intercultural understanding. “What makes the commission so unique is that it brings people together from different faiths, ethnicities and cultures and we learn so much from each other,” Murray Ramirez said. “It is a life-changing experience for many, because for some of us, it is the first time we have had the opportunity to get to know people from our other communities.” In addition to their tireless advocacy and time spent educating the community, the commission also offers those within the city limits who’ve been discriminated against, an outlet for resolution.

Especially now in this post-election atmosphere, having the city of San Diego as an ally in this manner is extremely important. “What we are seeing nationwide is a spike in hate-related crimes from all sorts of folks on the ideological spectrum and what the commission can do beyond anything else is raise awareness about the importance of loving your neighbor, inclusion, respect and respect for diversity within the city of San Diego,” Day said. Once a discrimination complaint is submitted — through the use of an online form provided on their website — the commission will contact both parties, investigate the matter thoroughly and offer mediation, of which both parties must agree to. “What we are seeking to do through the mediation process is to educate and to heal divisions that exist,” Day explained. “Often times folks don’t understand that the language that they use or the attitude that they take in day-to-day life can be hurtful to others within their community or the community at large. “So when we bring people together, it is about education it’s about folks owning up to the aggression or offenses they may have caused and moving forward together as a community of allies,” he said.

Honoring those who promote equality

Ramirez, the first openly gay commissioner, was originally appointed by Mayor Dick Murphy. He served four fouryear terms under Murphy and Mayor Jerry Sanders, including several as chair, before being reappointed to the commission several years ago by Mayor Kevin Faulconer. Ramirez noted one of the more heartwarming stories of his time on the commission was the unlikely friendship he developed with Keith Turnhman, a former commissioner and the namesake of the commission’s highest community award. “Keith was a World War II veteran and a prisoner of war and he’d written a book about it,” Ramirez explained. “He was an ultra-conservative Republican and not at all supportive of the rights of LGBT. They sat me next to him — he said I was the first homosexual he’d ever met — and just because he got to know me, he became very understanding, compassionate and supportive.” Years later, when Turnhman’s health began to fail, Ramirez said that knowing how he had suffered for our nation, he wanted to honor this hero within our midst before his death. In 2005, the commission established the Keith M. Turnham Humanitarian Award. This year, Bob Lehman, executive director of the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus and a Marine Corps veteran, received the commission’s eighth annual award during its November meeting. “The evening was incredibly moving and emotional,” Lehman said. “Nicole, who has known [my husband] Tom and I for nearly 20 years, gave an introduction like no other, talking about everything from my

mother to my military service and to our years of activism in San Diego.” Lehman recalled fighting in the trenches for both marriage equality and the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” and how many in the community, after being decimated by the AIDS crisis, felt that fighting for these rights was an impossible dream. “People told us we were crazy, or were wasting our time,” Lehman said. “Other people told us to move on to something else — no way would we ever get the right to marry or be openly gay in the military. So, hearing Nicole’s introduction brought back all of those memories and it made me feel good about what we’ve accomplished and for my part in making that happen. “I never wanted to look back and think ‘I should have stepped forward but didn’t,’” he said. “Which is why I believe it’s a responsibility for each of us, especially in the LGBT community, to step forward and fight for our rights.” Lehman said he was moved to be honored with an award named after Turnham, “a man who served both his country and his community.” “I admire his approach to service and to life,” he said. “I met Keith and his wife Ginny a couple of times at civic events when Tom was on the commission. They had this incredibly positive outlook on life and always had a smile and a handshake to offer. Keith was the type of man you hope to be like some day.” Based on the award, Lehman has achieved that.

GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 25 – Dec.8, 2016

(l to r) Bob Lehman and Fernando Lopez were honored at the commission’s recent annual awards ceremony. (Facebook) Other annual awards also established by the commission include the Business Diversity Award, the Commission Partner Award, and the Commission Commendation awards. Six were honored with commendations this year, for the “profound impact they have on their communities.” Fernando Lopez, director of operations at San Diego Pride, was one of those recipients. “It was hard for me to wrap my head around what it meant to be acknowledged by my city for the work that I do,” Lopez said. “As an activist and an advocate, it has been my passion to fight for my community, to engage minds, to empower others, and to inspire change in government policy, all in the hopes of LGBT people having a better life. As a person, inside me there will always be that little scared gay kid just doing


his best to get by — driven by the fear of my own memories. “As I sat in that room, weighed down just like everyone else after this election, I looked around at this beautiful family of friends and colleagues who stood by me at different times and through different fights along the way,” Lopez continued. “They weren’t sitting there because of me, I was sitting there because of them. It gave me hope to remember how far we’ve all carried each other and comforted me to be in a room full of San Diegans who are all dedicated to their work for equity and inclusion. The evening left me inspired. Our work was far from over before this election, so it’s a good thing we’ve got each other.” Dr. Day said the commission recognizes people like Lehman and Lopez because the work that they do — which he said can often be isolating and seem futile — is often overlooked in the day-to-day scheme of advocacy. “What we want to do at these ceremonies is pick up the people and identify those hard workers in our community who are working day in and day out to make San Diego an inclusive, welcoming and vibrant city,” he said. To learn more about the Human Relations Commission or to file a discrimination complaint about something that happened within the city limits, visit human-relations. —Morgan M. Hurley can be reached at ▼


GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 25 – Dec.8, 2016


‘The Mystery of Love and Sex’: Diversionary Theatre presents the San Diego premiere of this Southern Gothic romantic comedy exploring themes of race, sexuality and secrets of the heart. As part of the theater’s First Fridays program, complimentary tickets for active duty military, veterans and their families will be offered. 8 p.m. 4545 Park Blvd., #1, University Heights. Visit and bit. ly/2eP7HJx.


2nd annual Holiday ART Market: For Small Business Saturday, the Studio Door is hosting this event featuring small works under $500 by local artists who have exhibited at the gallery throughout 2016. 9 a.m.–7 p.m. 3750 30th St., North Park. Visit ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’: A midnight screening of Guillermo del Toro’s gothic fairy tale set against the post-war repression of Franco’s Spain. Additional screening on Nov. 27 at 11 a.m. Ken Cinema, 4061 Adams Ave., Kensington. Visit


Football Sundays: There are plenty of fun places around the gayborhood to enjoy NFL games on Sunday. Here are a few spots with specials to consider: Flicks: Drink specials include $3-$5 draft beers, $5 Crown Royal and Captain Morgan drinks and $6 Ketel One drinks. BBQ on the patio and happy hour prices all day also offered. Join the “U-Pick-Em” contest to win a prize each week. Doors open at 9:30 p.m. All NFL games shown. 1017 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit Hillcrest Brewing Company: Every Sunday, HBC hosts “Kegs with Eggs” from 9 a.m.–2 p.m. with $8 breakfast pizzas, $5 beer-mosas and bloody beers, $6 Soju Bloody Marys and $10.50 bottomless mimosas while games are shown on their TVs. 1458 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit Uptown Tavern: Games shown with full sound and DJs perform during commercials. Drink specials available. Open at 9:30 a.m. for brunch. 1236 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit


Log Cabin Republicans monthly meeting: This monthly meeting held at Uptown Tavern will feature guest speaker Brian Brady, founder of the San Diego County Republican Liberty Caucus, a past member of the Central Committee and longtime activist. 6:30–8 p.m. 1236 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit


Chris Hassett in ‘December: My Favorite Time of Year’: The vocalist, who returns to MA4 with Drew Massicot on piano, will perform ballads, standards, carols and original tunes to weave a holiday story full of fun and humor. Doors 6 p.m., show 8 p.m. $20–$25 with $15 food/drink minimum. Martinis Above Fourth, 3940 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest. Tickets visit A Drag Queen Christmas: Contestants from “RuPaul’s Drag Race” will perform in this holiday spectacular. Performers include: Thorgy Thor, Kim Chi, Naomi Smalls, Chi Chi DeVayne, Alyssa Edwards, Roxxxy Andrews and Pearl. Tickets start at $22.50 with VIP and “Super Fan” VIP tickets available. 8–11 p.m. Balboa Theatre, 868 Fourth Ave., Downtown. Visit bit. ly/2fpHXjd.


‘Ménage à Trois’ tasting: Pardon My French Bar & Kitchen is hosting their second “Ménage à Trois” event after selling out the first tasting. A guest sommelier will give a talk on pairing food with wine. The all-inclusive event includes six wine pairings, imported cheese and cured meats. $40. 6–7:30 p.m. 3797 Park Blvd., Hillcrest. Visit


Bar AIDS San Diego 2016: On World AIDS Day, bars, coffee houses, nightclubs and other shops will support HIV services in San Diego by donating 25

percent (or more) of the day’s beverage sales to the San Diego HIV Funding Collaborative. Visit 28th Annual Dr. A. Brad Truax Award Ceremony and Reception: Honoring the memory of Dr. Truax and his contributions to HIV/AIDS efforts in San Diego. Awards are given in three categories: HIV Education, Prevention and/or Counseling and Testing; HIV Care, Treatment and/or Support Services; and HIV Planning, Advocacy and/ or Policy Development. Light refreshments, displayed arts, and Spanish interpretation provided. Attendees are invited to walk to Village Hillcrest for the 23rd annual Mama’s Kitchen Tree of Life Lighting Ceremony following the awards ceremony and reception. 3:30–5 p.m., San Diego LGBT Community Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. Visit Mama’s Kitchen’s 25th annual Tree of Life tree lighting ceremony: Sponsored by AIDS Healthcare Foundation, this annual event commemorates World AIDS Day and recognizes the ongoing efforts to end the epidemic. Several trees will be decorated with personalized ornaments in honor of those affected by HIV/AIDS. They can be purchased for $15 each or two for $25. The San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus will perform holiday tunes. Complimentary refreshments will be served. Delana Bennett of the “Jesse Lozano in the Morning” show on Star 94.1 will be the emcee. Free to attend. 6 p.m. Village Hillcrest, 3965 Fifth Ave. Visit KPBS 2016 Local Heroes Celebration: This year’s honorees include LGBT Pride Month Local Heroes Mattheus Stephens and Jonathan Bailey along with many others recognized as heroes in San Diego diverse communities. The event will include a ceremony followed by a dessert reception. 7–9:30 p.m. Kitchens for Good at the Jacobs Center, 404 Euclid Ave., City Heights. Visit


Opening ceremonies for December Nights with SDGMC: The San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus will perform on the Organ Pavilion stage just after the tree lighting and dignitaries speak at the

opening ceremonies. Those in attendance will be treated to a sneak preview of the chorus’ Jingle concert (Dec. 10 and 11 at the Balboa Theatre). 7:30 p.m. December Nights continues on Saturday, Dec. 3. and SDGMC will perform again in the Organ Pavilion. Visit


Spaghetti dinner holiday party: Gay Men’s Spiritual Retreat will celebrate its 25th anniversary with this annual party. There will be photos with Santa, carolers, dessert, wreath auctions and live entertainment. 6–9 p.m. San Diego LGBT Community Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. Visit SDAFFL Gay Bowl reunion party: The four San Diego American Flag Football League teams that participated in this year’s Gay Bowl will be welcomed back at this reunion party. Attendees are invited to celebrate the San Diego Bolts sixth national title. There will also be an award ceremony. 2–6 p.m. Urban Mo’s, 308 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit


Red Dress Ride and Picnic in the Park: This event by the San Diego Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence will start with a meeting in Balboa Park’s Plaza de Panama at 11 a.m.; there will be a safety talk at 11:45 a.m. followed by the 10-mile bike ride leaving at noon. The route will go from Balboa Park through South Park, North Park, Kensington, Normal Heights, University Heights and Hillcrest, finishing back in Balboa Park. A picnic will be held after the event on the lawn in front of the Balboa Park Botanical Gardens. Proceeds benefit The Cretins and the Sisters’ AIDS/LifeCycle participants. 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Visit We Care 8th annual Holiday Mixer: Several local LGBT sports leagues come together each year to hold this event. There will be a large benefit with proceeds benefitting youth programs at The Center and students of Fay Elementary in City Heights. The event is free but guests are encouraged to


Annual Charity Wreath Auction: There will be over 40 handmade wreaths for sale at this year’s auction. There will also be an opportunity drawing and, of course, MA4’s hot wreath boys. The wreath preview and registration starts at 6 p.m. and the live auction starts at 7:30 p.m. All proceeds benefit the Queen Eddie Conlon Youth Fund, which provides assistance to San Diego youth for education-related expenses, housing, booking, supplies, clothing and more. $10 donation requested at the door. 6–10 p.m. Martinis Above Fourth, 3940 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest. Visit


The Kinsey Sicks in ‘Oy Vey in a Manger’: Diversionary Theatre and MA4 present three nights of performances by The Kinsey Sicks. ‘Oy Vey in a Manger’ pays homage to the December holidays with a show about the group selling off their manger — “yes, that manger” — before it’s foreclosed on. The group reimagines holiday classics performing tunes like “I’m Dreaming of a Betty White Christmas” and “God Bless Ye Femmy Lesbians.” Doors 6 p.m., show 8 p.m. Additional shows on Wednesday, Dec. 7 and Thursday, Dec. 8. $25–$40 with $15 food/drink minimum. Martinis Above Fourth, 3940 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest. Tickets visit


Sparkling wine and Champagne tasting: Just in time for the holidays and New Year’s celebrations, Vom Fass is hosting a tasting of sparkling wines and Champagne. $10. 5:30–7:30 p.m. Vom Fass, 1050 University Ave., E-103, Hillcrest. Visit

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


solution on page 16


ACROSS 1 Style of Marcel Duchamp 5 Showing a tiny opening 9 “___ of the Dead” 14 Aware of 15 “If I ___ a Rich Man” 16 Three-card hustle 17 Anna Madrigal’s daughter 18 Responds to Marc Antony 20 Like X-rated fare 22 Start of a definition of 52-Across 23 End of the definition 25 Gore and “South Park’s” Big Gay 26 Post office machines 30 Reid of “Josie and the Pussycats” 34 Young stud? 37 Strong wind, or Dorothy who rode a tornado 38 Word after post or ad 39 Matthew of “Brothers & Sisters” 40 With 56-Across, source of the definition 42 Rob of “Brothers & Sisters” 43 A as in Austria

bring an unwrapped toy for the Imperial Court’s Toys for Kids drive. Ages 21 and up only. 6–9 p.m. Rich’s San Diego, 1051 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit

44 River in the land of Colette 45 Bette Davis feature of song 46 “___ Let the Sun Go Down on Me” 48 Give a cocky look to 50 Root word 52 Not necessarily brothers & sisters 56 See 40-Across 62 Zellweger of “Chicago” 63 Vehicle for cruising 65 Chaplin spouse 66 Belief summary for Troy Perry 67 Part played by Nabors 68 Body of soldiers 69 Like soap operas 70 Room for Marga Gomez 71 Cash register section

1 Joltin’ Joe 2 Battery pole 3 Cushion under your bottom 4 Niles and Frasier 5 Leather sticker 6 “M*A*S*H” vehicle 7 Composer Thomas 8 What “let” means to Mauresmo 9 Vidal’s “Visit to a ___ Planet” 10 Like Abe 11 From the top 12 Colorado neighbor 13 Peter by the piano 19 Sites for three women in a tub 21 To boot 24 Twist an arm 27 Falcon grabber 28 Porn director Francis 29 Witherspoon of “Cruel Intentions” 31 “Hi, sailor!” 32 Wade’s legal antagonist 33 Deck foursome 34 Rep in the ‘hood

35 Birth state of Langston Hughes 36 “Just As I Am” novelist E. ___ Harris 41 Big name in soft balls 42 Cry from the closet 47 Tire patterns 48 “A Boy Named Sue” writer Silverstein 49 Rhine tributary 51 Piss off 53 Combined 54 Pinko’s hero 55 “Sailing to Byzantium” poet 56 “Before Stonewall” and others 57 Drag queen’s stocking shade 58 Went right with your stallion 59 Splits open 60 “Lord of the Rings” singer 61 Bear market order 64 “Breakfast on Pluto” actor Stephen


Natalie! Natasha Gregson Wagner on Thanksgivings with her mother By Nick Thomas With the holiday season now upon us, seasonal movie favorites will soon be inching their way into television schedules. While considered perennial Christmas fare, the opening scenes of “Miracle on 34th Street” actually take place at Thanksgiving with the annual Macy’s parade. The 1947 movie and Thanksgiving festivities hold special significance for actress

but now knows that’s her grandmother as a little girl,” Natasha said. “She asks, ‘So grandma Natalie met Santa Claus? I thought kids aren’t allowed to see him.’ That’s a hard question to answer!” Thanksgiving meals with her mother also remain memorable for Natasha. “She loved Thanksgiving which With her mother in the 1970s was always very festive and our (Courtesy Natasha Gregson Wagner) house was filled with a large extended family,” Natasha said. “You’d be surprised,” Natasha “But my mom was not a big cook said. “A lot of young people seem so a lovely couple, Helen and to know who my mother was, Gene, would prepare the dinner especially if they grew up with every year. And the lady who parents watching her movies. helped raise us, [housekeeper But it’s also a modern fragrance and nanny] Willie-Mae, would that speaks to young women.” make sweet potato puree in a In addition to promoting the hulled out orange shell topped with marshmallows — delicious!” “Natalie” products, Natasha continues the family acting traThis Thanksgiving, Natasha dition — her stepdad is Robert is employing additional senses Wagner.

Natasha with her husband Barry Watson on the set of the 2016 film, “Search Engines” (Courtesy Natasha Gregson Wagner) Natasha Gregson Wagner. “I don’t recall the first time my mother showed me ‘Miracle on 34th Street,’ but I remember as a child knowing she was in the cast and enjoyed watching her as a little girl,” said Natasha from Los Angeles. That little girl was Natalie Wood, whose films have been airing throughout November on the Turner Classic Movies network. “The first time I saw my mom on the television was on one of those big old square box sets and I actually found it a little scary,” recalled Natasha. “I even went around the back to try and figure out how she got inside!” Now Natasha is sharing her mother’s Hollywood fame with her children, 4-year-old daughter, Clover, and two stepsons. “Last year we showed them the film. Clover was a bit young

to reinforce memories of her mother and she’s sharing them with fans. “We just launched a gardenia scented candle,” she said. “When I was growing up, my mom always burned scented candles and gardenia was her favorite scent. And last March, our ‘Natalie’ perfume was also introduced. It’s gardenia based, too, with my favorite citrus notes added such as orange blossom.” And with a tie back to “Miracle on 34th Street,” a Natalie holiday gift set is also available exclusively from — where else — Macy’s! But with fragrances from contemporary entertainers such as Mariah Carey and Kim Kardashian dominating today’s market, could a perfume named after a classic film star compete?

GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 25 – Dec.8, 2016 Her last film, an independent feature called “Search Engines,” toured the festival circuit this year and also features Natasha’s husband, “7th Heaven” star Barry Watson [see]. “I haven’t been focusing on acting since I was pregnant, but thought it would be fun working with my husband,” Natasha said. “And, the film is set at Thanksgiving!” While cautious when discussing her family with the media, Natasha recently shared some reminiscences as well as rare family photos in Manoah Bowman’s book “Natalie Wood: Reflections on a Legendary Life” released in October, available on “There’s at least 50 never-before-seen photos,” Natasha said. “My mom saved everything and it’s all housed in a secure storage facility. I


just felt it was the right time now to sift through it all for the book.” Natasha, who turned 46 in September, was just 11 when her mother died 35 years ago this month. While her mother tackled acting and parenting successfully, it’s not a juggling act Natasha wants to attempt at the moment. “I’m quite happy working on my mom’s legacy and raising my children while taking a break from full-time acting,” she said. To find the fragrances named after and inspired by Natasha’s mother, Natalie Wood, visit —Nick Thomas teaches at Auburn University in Montgomery, Alabama, and has written features, columns, and interviews for over 600 magazines and newspapers. See ▼


GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 25 – Dec.8, 2016



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