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Volume 6 Issue 25 Dec. 11 – 24, 2015

Holiday Guide

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Urgent care clinic opens in Hillcrest

3 NEWS

By Gay San Diego Staff

On Tuesday, Dec. 8, the San Diego City Council voted unanimously to approve financial support for the senior housing project that will honor the region’s LGBT seniors, after a long, tedious process. CHW had acquired the property last year, drafted all the plans, acquired the necessary permits and had dealt with all other hurdles; getting approval for the $7 million from the City Council and the San Diego Housing Commission was the final obstacle. Speaking in support of the project before the vote

The successful Perlman Clinic opened another location on Monday, Dec. 7, this one in the heart of the “gayborhood.” The new urgent care facility is located on the ground floor of the Union Bank building at the northwest corner of University and Fifth avenues, directly under the Hillcrest sign. This is Perlman Clinic’s third location in San Diego, with the other two at the Scripps/Ximed Medical Building in La Jolla and at the De Anza Medical Center in Clairemont. The Hillcrest clinic, which has seven exam rooms, is currently open 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Saturdays. The clinic accepts both walk-in and established patients. In many cases, the clinic can schedule a patient to see a provider that same day. “Our business model is exquisitely simple,” said Dr. Monica Perlman,

see Seniors, pg 2

see Urgent Care, pg 2

Is that really Santa?

8 FEATURE

Safety and comfort (l to r) Dr. Delores Jacobs, Sue Reynolds, and Robert Bettinger in San Diego City Council chambers waiting their turn to speak in support of LGBT-affirming senior housing. (Photo by Bill Kelly)

LGBT-affirming senior housing unanimously passes final hurdle Morgan M. Hurley | Editor Stuffers for your stockings

tDINING

One in five LGBT seniors is homeless. That is a stunning statistic shared by Community HousingWorks (CHW), a California nonprofit that builds affordable housing communities, in a recent public service announcement promoting the progress of San Diego’s first LGBT-affirming senior housing project.

'Disneyland for your mouth' Unique Hillcrest retail store also doubles as a bar, liquor store and tasting room An Ocean Beach favorite

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Morgan M. Hurley | Editor If you haven’t yet stepped into vom FASS, a fairly new retail store located next to Ralph’s in the HUB shopping center, your taste buds are truly missing out. Seven months ago, proprietors Jay and Colleen Cavalieri opened up the Hillcrest store — which features exotic oils and vinegars, quality wines, and dozens of small batch and barrel-aged spirits — because they wanted to be smack dab in the middle of a hip neighborhood. The German-based franchise — vom FASS means “from the barrel” — has been around for two decades. It has stores throughout Europe, Hong Kong, Dubai and the Philippines, but the Hillcrest location is only the fourth store of its kind in California. “It’s a European way of shopping,” Colleen said, referring to the multitude of bottle shapes and sizes

a selected purchase may come in. “It is also a Hillcrest way of shopping. You buy what you need for the short term and you shop often.” She said it especially works well for people coming and going to Ralphs or Trader Joe’s in an area she calls “the errand mall.” “Our only struggle has been trying to get people to slow down. Slow down and come in, because they barely look up,” she said, referring to the constant flow of foot traffic they see passing by the store. That foot traffic, however, has brought them a lot of business and they have already established a solid base of repeat clientele. “The people who want Two Buck Chuck, we can’t compete with that,” Jay said of their wine selection. “We’ve had some people get sticker shock on our craft spirits; it’s crazy good, but it is not cheap.” The store is split into two sides with oils and vinegars to the left and spirits and wines to the right. These are not your mom’s oils and vinegars, though they have those, too. There are amazing tastes you would never associate with the word vinegar and the dozens of

(l to r) Jay and Colleen Cavalieri, owners of Hillcrest’s vom FASS tasting room in front of their many oil and vinegar options. (Photo by Kel Casey) exotic oils here that can either be paired with a vinegar or used alone. It was a complete surprise to hear that many of the oils and vinegars can also be mixed with the spirits for various throwback cocktails called “Shrubs.” The best part? You get to try everything before you buy. Taste testing is not only allowed at Vom Fass, it is highly encouraged and expected. Each of the oils and vinegars are shipped in blister-style containers that never see light or touch the inside of their ceramic dispensers,

meaning the quality of the products keep their integrity, no matter what. Small white ceramic spoons offer dozens of unique tastes you won’t find elsewhere. Some of their many oil varieties include options within the nut, extra virgin olive, seed, wellness and infused styles with hints of avocado, almond, pistachio, walnut, pumpkin seed, grape seed, sesame and more. Vinegar varieties go from classic balsamics to exclusive fruit balsam-

see Vom FASS, pg 4


2

NEWS

GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 11 – 24, 2015

gay-sd.com of us are bilingual as well. We take tremendous pride in offering our services and hope to provide all of our patients with quality care.” The Hillcrest location of the Perlman the founder and medical director of PerlClinic will have five providers, one fullman Clinic in a press release. “It is based time and four that are part-time. Dr. Richon two pillars. ard Keller, a doctor of internal medicine, “First, we strive to create a wonderwill be the full-time resident. The other ful work environment for our doctors, doctors include Dr. Liliana Uribe-Bruce, physician assistants and staff. They are internal medicine and endocrinology; Dr. not incented to churn patients. Perlman Laura Williams, a family physician; Dr. Clinic is based on a tremendous collegialTerrence Gan, also internal medicine; ity among our providers and Emily Ence, PA-C, and the ability for each a certified physician’s of them to spend suffiassistant. cient time with their pa“Hillcrest is a tients — and sufficient very special area with time with their families. a central location in That translates into carSan Diego that has ing, comprehensive and several hospitals caterquality medical care. ing to people of diverse “Second, Perlman backgrounds and who Clinic is devoted to may enjoy living and/ being your medical or working in the heartcare advocate. As an beat of a city,” Perlman Dr. Monica Perlman independent primary said. “The role of Perlcare practice with a large (Courtesy Perlman Clinic) man Clinic is to provide patient population, our convenient first class goal is to be a persuasive and committed and top quality urgent and primary care influence with the specialists with whom medical services to the special people we share patients.” residing or working in the heartbeat of Perlman, who grew up in Mexico City this great city. but moved to San Diego at age 16, com“Furthermore, our model allows pleted her undergraduate studies at UC providers ample time to spend with every San Diego before moving on to UC Irvine patient to tackle most simple and complifor medical school, where she studied cated medical problems,” she said. both internal and preventative medicine. Appointments for all practice locaPerlman specifically chose the neightions may be made online or by calling borhood for her next location. 858-554-1212. Many of the providers and “The reason we are opening our third staff speak Spanish. Most insurances are Perlman Clinic in Hillcrest is because we accepted and are listed on the website. love the community,” Perlman said. “My For biographies of all the Perlman husband, Ron, has had his office in the doctors, physician assistants and dietiUnion Bank Building since 1996 and my cians, or more information about what son, Mitch, works there also. the clinics offer, visit perlmanclinic.com. “The diverse community we serve is no different than our team,” she —This report was compiled by the continued. “The Perlman Clinic staff staff of Gay San Diego. Find us online at comes from all walks of life and many gay-sd.com.t

FROM PAGE 1

URGENT CARE

The North Park development will include 76 apartment homes for seniors at the northwest corner of Texas Street and Howard Avenue (Artist rendering by Joe Cordelle. Architecture by Rodriguez + Associates Architects and Planners) FROM PAGE 1

SENIORS was LGBT senior activist Robert Bettinger; Dr. Delores Jacobs, CEO of the San Diego LGBT Community Center; and Sue Reynolds of Community HousingWorks. No one spoke against the measure and all councilmembers were present for the vote. “This will be the first LGBT-affirming senior community in San Diego, and one of a handful in the U.S.,” said Tony Manolatos, PR consultant for CHW. “There are no remaining hurdles. The project now is fully funded and will break ground next year. It is expected to open in summer 2017.” Other cities with similar housing projects focused on LGBT seniors are Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Philadelphia. The North Park development will include 76 apartment homes for seniors at the northwest corner of Texas Street and Howard Avenue and a multifamily building on the northeast corner. Once completed, the single and multifamily homes will be open to all seniors, but CHW stated they intend “to create an environment welcoming LGBT seniors who have challenges finding LGBT-

affirming housing.” In a recent study conducted by the San Diego LGBT Community Center, it was found that 68 percent of LGBT seniors didn’t have family or younger friends to help take care of them as they grew older and less capable. Much of this was a result of coming out at a time when there was little to no acceptance of their sexual orientation. Additionally, 23 percent responded that their annual income was less than $20,000 per year, and only 16 percent stated that they had been able to save well for retirement. Dr. Jacobs has helped steer this senior housing project for over a decade and helped commit The Center in partnering with CHW to provide a variety of senior services to future residents. After the unanimous vote, Jacobs took to social media to share the credit for the project’s success. “Great projects, historic projects, begin in community,” Jacobs posted on her Facebook page. “While press releases may rightly credit the hard work of organizations, staff or leaders, or a group of those organizations — the deeper truth is that it is the energy, the passion, the persistence and often much of the hard labor is always done by a small group of committed community members

see Seniors, pg 17


gay-sd.com

NEWS

The kiss seen ’round the world Local activists continue to push the boundaries of love

Alec Milstein, who has performed bass for Annie Lenox, came on board, as did Stephen Snyder, musical director for Broadway’s “Jersey Boys.” They were joined by what Champion called a “San Diego powerhouse horn section,” consisting of Gilbert Castellanos, Chris Klich and Elizabeth Lea. Morgan M. Hurley | Editor “I knew I wanted the musical arrangement to be something universally appealing, as opposed to our usual intense, activist Last December, local San Diego activists and indie musibrand of rock ’n roll,” Champion said. “I also knew that I wanted cians Danielle LoPresti and Alicia Champion were enjoying the to ‘normalize’ our family imagery as much as possible — really holidays and watching the “Baby It’s Cold Outside” video, sung try to show that there’s no difference at all between straight and by Michael Bublé and Idina Menzel, with their young, adopted, same-sex families, that we all have the same challenges, joys ... mixed-race son Xander Lucian. that love is love and parenting is parenting.” While the whole family loved the video, Champion said she “Watching the hours Alicia poured into every detail of this and LoPresti were conscious of the cultural cues it offered and set project was both impressive and beautiful,” LoPresti added. “As out to find a holiday video Lucian could better relate to; someher wife and often collaborator, I am constantly in awe of how thing multiracial and that had same-sex parents. much she does and just how gifted she is. One of my favorite mo“And would you believe it … we ments was watching her create pencil couldn’t find a single one,” Champion sketches of the storyboard and then said. “So we thought that since we had put those to the temp track.” access to the resources, maybe we Deciding who would step into should try to make one ourselves ... to the boots of “Mr. Claus” and who both inspire a trend for more holidaywould play the mom apparently didn’t themed videos that feature diverse take much thought. Champion said families. It was meant as a gift to our they knew immediately that to pull it LGBTQ community and hopefully one off with any amount of “mystique,” that society at large would appreciate, LoPresti had to be cast as Santa, since too.” she is the taller of the two. A progressive adaptation of the “I loved playing the dude. So fun!” original 1952 holiday classic, “I Saw LoPresti said. Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,” was “I must confess that I actually do born. enjoy playing the femme every now The video, which features LoPresti, and again,” Champion added. “And (l to r) Alicia Champion and her wife Danielle LoPresti honestly, I’d probably do it more often Champion and Lucian, portrays a in a screen shot from the video (Courtesy Sixty5 Media) same-sex couple on Christmas Eve if it didn’t take so much damn work!” — one pretending to be Santa Claus The film shoot included industry bearing gifts for their young son — who later sneak off for a little veterans, many of whom Champion said worked well below their “naughty and nice” time thinking their son has finally slipped off market value or entirely for free to see this project through. into sugar-plum land, only to be caught in the act. Filming also included plenty of friends chipping in to provide Filmed at the end of last spring and released Nov. 4, the video pampering, hair and make-up, and to keep 3-year-old Lucian has already gone viral and been viewed more than 60,000 times — who stole every scene he shared with his parents — in check on YouTube. and attentive. The shoot, which took four months to produce and 18 hours “[Lucian] was pretty amazing,” Champion said. “We weren’t to film — split between LoPresti’s former home in Pt. Loma and a sure what to expect. … It definitely came with challenges. Let’s friend’s home in Los Angeles — involved Champion as producer, just say we understood right away why almost all child roles in TV Asher Brown of Pollution Studios as director, and LoPresti on and film are cast in identical twin or triplet sets.” vocals. The musicians included top-end national and local talent. “We also had Team Lucian on hand — that was key,” LoPresti

GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 11 – 24, 2015

3

said. “We were blessed by a handful of our beautiful friends Lucian really loves to spend time with. There was at least one person at all times just taking care of him, entertaining him, etc. That helped a great deal.” The couple said they were “grateful” and “couldn’t be happier” with the final product and are thrilled to see the overwhelmingly positive reaction to the video. All the YouTube comments — which continue to be added daily — have provided them endless testimony as to how the video’s message is affecting people. “Alicia and I are moved constantly by beautiful stories of love and family that feature straight folks, so why shouldn’t straight families be moved by love that features a same-sex family?” Lo Presti said. “Honestly, we all benefit so much as a community when we get to peek into people’s lives long enough to realize our similarities … the many ways we are connected. Especially with people who on the surface seem so very different than us. “The truth is, we are often more alike than we could possibly imagine. Understanding this, seeing this, leads to less division — and more peace.” “It’s reached people all over the world — the UK, Australia, Columbia, Canada, even GQ Italy did a piece on it,” Champion said. “It’s been exciting to see such widespread global love for it.” San Diego resident Hillary Whittington, whose own video about her then-6 year-old deaf, transgender son Ryland also went viral two years ago — and was eventually adapted by CNN into a 15-minute documentary — put her two cents on the comment section. “This is such an incredible Christmas video for so many reasons ... not only was the music, videography, and editing perfectly done, the cast of characters gives me such joy, as the depiction of a modern family has finally shifted,” Whittington said. “For anyone who hasn’t met this family, they are some of the most loving, genuine, and thoughtful three people you will ever meet! I haven’t stopped smiling and hoping this will be a commercial I see on television soon. Danielle and Alicia have been raising one of the most polite, warm, kind, little boys I have ever met and you can feel the love for Lucian in their presence. Thank you for making this Christmas card and I am hoping the world can see why this message is so powerful and beautiful on so many levels!” As the video continues to gain momentum around the world, these activist co-parents and co-founders of San Diego’s IndieFest are just looking forward to releasing a new record in 2016 … and enjoying motherhood. “It’s pretty much fantastic,” LoPresti reflected. “We’re really blessed … even when we’re exhausted, we rarely forget how lucky we are.” To watch “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,” visit tinyurl. com/q7rhqs2. —Morgan M. Hurley can be reached at morgan@sdcnn.com.t


4

NEWS

GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 11 – 24, 2015

gay-sd.com

FROM PAGE 1

VOMFASS ics, with offerings such as fig, date, apple, mango, cranberry and other flavors. Colleen said she attended 12 days of training at vom FASS’ U. S. headquarters in Madison, Wisconsin, and she continues to learn about their vast inventory every day. The combinations found here can be used for bread-dips, marinades, salad dressings, smoothies … you name it. The possibilities are literally endless, especially if you enjoy your time in the kitchen. The Vom Fass website offers lots of recipe ideas and you’ll find more ideas in the store. If you are looking for a holiday present for a hard-to-buy for friend or loved one, or don’t know what to bring your Secret Santa at the office, Vom Fass may have you singing a holiday tune the minute you walk in that door. After tasting, you can purchase a glass container and fill it with your oil or vinegar of choice, or put together a gift set or even a gift basket filled with items. They have custom bread-dipping plates and glass bowls and just about anything you can think of to make your basket unique and personalized. Bottle sizes are 100 ml, 200 ml, 250 ml, 350 ml, 500 ml, 750 ml and 1 Liter, with gift pack sizes available in 40

A wall of colorful and flavorful spirits and liqueurs just waiting to be tasted. ml, 50 ml and 100 ml. On the other side of the store, things get even more interesting and complicated. Colleen explained that the right side of the store holds two different types of liquor licenses, which gave ABC a headache as they struggled to wade through the permit process. Since Colleen and Jay’s store does tastings, they are considered a bar; but since they dispense spirits and have retail, they are also considered a liquor store. A wall of oak barrels greets customers as Jay takes the reins. It’s not that Colleen lacks skills on this side of the store — after all she steps in frequently when Jay, a retired Navy Commander, works

his day job as a military contractor — it’s just that the spirits are what appealed to Jay from the start. Inside those oak barrels are the world’s finest whiskeys, brandys, aged rums, 40-year old cognacs, and both single malt and Scotch blends. “You’d be hard pressed to find many of these Scotches somewhere where you’d actually be able to have a glass, let alone take a bottle home,” Jay said, adding that many of the distilleries they carry are small batch only and very rare, but actually owned by big houses like MacCallan, Chivas, and Johnny Walker. They even carry several styles of Absinthe, an anise-flavored, highly alcoholic spirit that was outlawed in the U.S. until 2007.

Kegs filled with whiskeys and brandys (Photos by Kel Casey)

Again, you can mix and match various bottle sizes when you find one you like, but these are prefilled and sealed for obvious reasons. Beyond the barrels are more spirits; dozens of liqueurs, in flavors you’ve never seen, like latte macchiato, pina colada, rose petal, elderberry and violette — the latter three which are great for mixing with sparkling wines and champagnes. Jay will walk you through them all, just ask. They even offer a “cocktail of the week,” and may soon offer three options, since technically, they are a bar. “Anyone can always come in and get a glass of wine or a glass of Scotch,” Jay said.

While walk-in tastings are free — by law the limit is six samples –– glasses range in price but are more than comparable considering the quality and uniqueness of the spirit you receive. For the holidays, they are planning to serve a “Naughty and Nice” cocktail; a mixture of pink grapefruit liqueur, clear absinthe and a splash of cranberry vinegar. It was actually one of the gins that sealed the deal for Jay. He and Colleen were visiting a relative’s store in Claremont, California, when a taster glass of clear, piney gin was mixed with a couple drops of plum vinegar. Jay was sold. “For me as a taste explorer, this place is like Disneyland for your mouth,” he said. In the wine section, Jay and Colleen get to call the shots when it comes to inventory, and they often let their customers do so, too. You’ll again find wine labels you can’t pick up elsewhere, but all the grape varietals that matter: pinots, cabs, chardonnays, merlot, zinfandels, a very bold sauvignon blanc, syrahs, barberas, and even moscatos and ports. They always have a bottle or two open or a special tasting going on. This month they are selling mass amounts of “Vin Glogg,” a spicy winter wine that is served warm. In addition to the walk-in sip tastings, vom FASS has weekly wine tastings, which generally run for $5, regular sparkling wine tastings, Scotch and Absinthe classes, blind tastings, and with a little notice, you can even create your own event. For groups of 20 they will shut down the store for you, but Jay said more than 30 can hamper the experience. This couple loves what they do and it shows. They make contact with every person that enters the store, even the ones who linger outside, because they want you to breech that doorway before passing judgment on what’s inside. “I want you to feel like, ‘you know what, I enjoy those people, and I learned something,’” Jay said. “We really try to engage our regular customers, and we’ll make sure we’re carrying the wine you want”. “Slow down and taste awhile,” Colleen added. vom FASS is located at 1050 University Ave., E103, in Uptown’s HUB Shopping Center in Hillcrest. For more information, visit hillcrest.vomfassusa.com, join their newsletter or stop in and check out their events. —Reach Morgan M. Hurley at morgan@sdcnn.com.t


gay-sd.com

COMMUNITY VOICES

Friendless in San Diego Life Beyond Therapy Michael Kimmel Dear Michael: I don’t seem to be very good at making — or keeping – friends. I’m kind of a loner and always have been, but I’d like a friend to hang around with, especially at this time of year. I’ve not been a very good friend in the past: I get impatient easily, frequently get annoyed with people and don’t like talking on the phone. What would you recommend? —Friendless in San Diego Dear Friendless: Years ago, I facilitated a group that helped my clients develop and finetune their social skills. Making and keeping friends is a skill, and like any skill, it can be learned. Friendships take time, energy and commitment. If you’re not good with communication or understanding social cues — what is often called “emotional intelligence” — relax. You can, with some focus and effort, become better at being a good friend and attracting quality people into your life. From years of helping clients go from friendless to friend-full, here are some ideas for your consideration in how to master the skills of friendship: Loneliness — Most of us want friends so we don’t feel lonely. Loneliness is an emotional response

to not feeling connected to other people, or it can be experienced even when we are surrounded by other people but not relating to them. To me, loneliness is a kind of psychological “alarm clock,” letting us know that we are drifting towards isolation and that we need human interaction (e.g., friends). Impatience — Many of us lack patience when it comes to making new friends. We want great friends and we want them NOW! Unfortunately, it rarely works like that. Some people are impatient with friends they already have; they interrupt their friends with some version of, “Get to the point, already.” If this has been a problem in your friendships, try this the next time you get impatient and annoyed. Take a deep breath, make eye contact with your friend and repeat something that they said (to encourage yourself to really listen). If you typically find yourself rehearsing what you’re going to say when a friend is talking, bring your attention back to your friend and tell yourself, “My turn will come. Let me listen to him/her as I want him/ her to listen to me.” Forgiveness and flexibility — Every friend, no matter how great they are, is going to mess up. Can you forgive them, or do you hold a grudge and try to make them “pay”? It’s got to be okay for you to mess up and for them to do the same; otherwise, your friendships will be very short-lived. Enjoying your own company — What makes you attractive to potential friends? Usually, it’s when someone sees you somewhere and experiences you as happy and confident. It’s hard to be attractive

when you’re miserable. So, how can you enjoy your own company more and be better friendship “bait”? Do things and go to places you enjoy. When you’re enjoying yourself, you naturally appear more attractive. Finding friends — How do you meet like-minded people? Well, what do you enjoy doing? Don’t put yourself in situations that you don’t enjoy. If you’re not a party person, don’t force yourself to go to parties in hopes of meeting friends. For example, if you love being outdoors, get yourself out there and start to notice other people a bit more. You could even smile and say, “Hello.” Phone challenges — Lots of people don’t like talking on the phone, you’re certainly not alone. Texting is a good backup. Some people don’t like phone calls because they feel put on the spot when the phone rings and they don’t know what to say. I suggest you use caller ID so that you can decide whether you are in a good place to talk to the person calling. If not, you can listen to their voice message and call (or text) them after you’ve thought about what you want to say/ask/share. If you do want to talk with them, take a deep breath before you pick up and greet them with some neutral phrase like: “Hi Chris, how’s your day going?” or something equally friendly and benign. Give some of these ideas a try and soon you won’t be friendless anymore. —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 lifebeyondtherapy.com.t

GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 11 – 24, 2015

5

Change is good! North County Update Max Disposti Our “Little Center that Could” needs a bigger space and construction permitted, we will be moving in early 2016. The actual date will be announced soon. However, this Saturday, Dec. 12, the North County LGBTQ Resource Center is holding an open house and tour of the new currently-under-construction site, which is located at 3220 Mission Ave., in Oceanside. The event will be held from noon – 4 p.m. and give interested parties an opportunity to see the floor plans, tour the new digs, help vote for design elements, and create an art tile and share in the excitement. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes! You can also pre-order an art tile or a legacy brick and make yourself a part of the new Center in a physical, long-term way. This is a family event, so kids and children are welcome. Hot chocolate and churros will be served and Santa will be paying a visit, as well. Then, join us Dec. 19 at our current location, 510 N. Coast Highway, Suite C., Oceanside, for a holiday brunch from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. This is another family-friendly event filled with food, friends and fun. We are currently looking for a Bilingual Case Manager. Please find the job posting on our website and apply if it sounds like what you

are looking for. We are also seeking volunteers to work our front desk and need a volunteer coordinator. We also have a calendar on our website that offers a listing of many of our daily meetings and events. The holidays and the end of the year are always a good time to consider donating to your favorite charities and nonprofits and the North County LGBTQ Resource Center would be honored if you considered us during this time of giving. Please visit our website at ncresourcecenter.org to make a donation, sign up for our newsletter, view our calendar, or to locate any of the above job or volunteer opportunities. Happy holidays and see you next year! —Max Disposti is a human rights activist, a community organizer and the founder and executive director of the North County LGBTQ Resource Center. He is currently also serving on the boards of the Oceanside City Library and Main Street Oceanside and previously served on the city’s Community Relations Commission. He can be reached at maxrome@cox.net.t


6

OPINION

GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 11 – 24, 2015

gay-sd.com

Reader's

Poll

Poll Results Rep. Scott Peters recently voted to make it more difficult for Syrian refugees to be accepted into the U.S. How do you feel about that?

Guest Editorial

Thoughts on a lost sister By Eric Hufford Editor’s Note: Oct. 10 was a day that local LGBT activist Eric Hufford had long dreaded; it was the day his best friend, Kurt Cunningham, had finally successfully completed suicide. Hufford was part of a close-knit group of Cunningham’s friends who were the intended recipients of a box of letters that arrived that same day — in which Cunningham explained to each friend the reasons behind his choice and also dictated his wishes — while they waited together for confirmation of the inevitable news. That group became known as the “Kurt Committee,” and they were responsible for the spirited and moving celebration of life held in his honor at the San Diego LGBT Community Center on Nov. 1 [learn more here gaysd.com/good-night-citizen-kurt]. Following are some thoughts Hufford has had regarding his loss that he wished to share with the community and we are giving him the space to do so. In the two months that have passed since my friend Kurt Cunningham’s death, I’ve had to come to terms with the Kurt I knew and the Kurt most everyone else knew. Kurt and I became close fast-

friends when we finally met in a social setting that didn’t involve illegal substances. We were kindred spirits in a way. Two men who loved divas, royalty and fighting for a cause, but were often misunderstood. Nicole [Murray Ramirez] would tell me she felt Kurt and I were the only two who understood each other, and I believe that to be true. I have my own mental health issues, and I often felt insecure around Kurt when we’d go out because I have acute social anxiety and agoraphobia and he’d talk to anyone. He rarely seemed bothered with my poor social skills but took the lead in introducing me to people. We spent many hours talking about how our mental health affected us and we just started building a deeper relationship, one where we didn’t always have to talk to know what the other was thinking. When we did talk, he’d share his fears, losses, disappointments, hopes, dreams and snide remarks and I’d do the same. Our sense of humor toward one another confused others, because we’d often look like we were fighting on social media but we were just bantering. We also knew each other’s

buttons and sometimes willingly — and often unwillingly — we’d set them off. We also liked the same type of men, mostly. I like the guys that look like they’d beat you up but want to cuddle with you and he’d like the guys that looked like they wanted to beat you up and then steal your TV (a true and very funny story). Kurt was always there when I needed him and I was there when he needed me, but I knew the struggle was more difficult than he wanted to admit. I kept on him about going to therapy and his psychologist and being real, but I knew he wasn’t. On Ash Wednesday in 2012, he texted me to let me know his mother had lung cancer and she was refusing treatment. I was actually at Mass and though I grew up Catholic, I’d never lit a candle or said a prayer in a chapel to the Immaculate Conception, but that day I lit two. I knew that he’d be fine while she was alive, but afterward would be another story. Kurt had attempted suicide several times over the years. Most of them I felt were desperate cries for attention and help. I’d ask about his therapy and his meds, both of which I knew he wasn’t using right, but I kept asking. It was while his mother was dying that I came to realize that Kurt would do it and he would mean it. I asked as many of his close friends that I could to be aware of this, but some blew me off. Then [his

EDITOR Morgan M. Hurley (619) 961-1960 morgan@sdcnn.com

ART DIRECTOR Vincent Meehan (619) 961-1961 vincent@sdcnn.com

PUBLISHER David Mannis (619) 961-1951 david@sdcnn.com

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Ken Williams, x102 Jeff Clemetson, x119

LAYOUT ARTIST Suzanne Dzialo

ACCOUNTING Priscilla Umel-Martinez (619) 961-1962 accounting@sdcnn.com

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Charlene Baldridge Max Disposti Michael Kimmel Jeff Praught Mikey Roxx Frank Sabatini Jr. WEB & SOCIAL MEDIA Jen Van Tieghem, x118 jen@sdcnn.com COPY EDITOR Dustin Lothspeich

PRODUCTION ARTIST Todd Kammer SALES & MARKETING DIRECTOR Mike Rosensteel (619) 961-1958 mike@sdcnn.com ADVERTISING CONSULTANTS Sloan Gomez, x104 Andrew Bagley, x106 Lisa Hamel, x107 Deborah Battista, x121

WEB DESIGN Kim Espinoza espinozawebworks.com kim@kespinoza.com

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

mother passed in August of 2012 and] the Baja Betty’s party happened [in November of that year, explained in Kurt’s “I survived suicide” essay here citizenkurt.net/survival/index.html]. He gave me his phone to listen to the messages Nicole had left him. Since his mother died he hadn’t listened to a single voicemail Nicole had left him and he wanted to know what he was saying. After listening to the messages, I gave him a rundown and he bought me a shot and sent me on my way. When Kurt got home, he posted a cryptic “Winnie the Pooh” quote on Facebook. The next morning I noticed his phone was off (since Kurt and I were both on Verizon, my BlackBerry would notify me when text messages were delivered and none of my messages had been) and his social media had gone dark. I called Cheri Reeves — his close friend and neighbor since about 2000 who had since moved to Michigan — to call his other neighbor Joe, to check on him. Cheri’s scream when she called me back after Joe had gone into Kurt’s apartment and called the police is something I’ll never forget. We spent the next two weeks touch-and-go in the hospital, with Kurt in a medically induced coma, possible multiple organ failures and the fear that the doctors would

see Sister, pg 7

OPINIONS/LETTERS: Gay San Diego encourages letters to the editor and guest editorials. Please email either to morgan@sdcnn.com 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 editor@sdcnn.com. For breaking news and investigative story ideas contact the editor by phone or email.

89% Very disappointed 4% Neutral on this issue 7% Strongly support his choice

This week's Poll If you were not out to your family, would you use the holidays as the chance to do so? Yes No

To cast your vote, visit gay-sd.com.

Business Improvement Association

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


OPINION

gay-sd.com FROM PAGE 6

SISTER not give us any info. Kurt and his brother were estranged at that time and I was afraid he’d show up and cut Kurt’s friends out. But once the doctors were aware I knew Kurt’s medical history and medications, they kept us informed. He and I struggled for a bit after the hospital, but eventually we calmed down and carried on. I knew, however, we had just been given a reprieve and that he wanted to go on his terms. I agreed I wouldn’t interfere when he decided it was time. I was happy to hear when he got his job, but there were a few hints dropped that it was merely a cover. Though he’d share some things about his job, it wasn’t until after he died that I saw the real impact Kurt was having. I didn’t realize he had taken up trans* youth the way he had. We’d talked a bit about it, but nothing that gave an indication of his passion and commitment to it. That was very heartwarming for me. The number of people he touched and worked to make their lives better was astounding. I knew he did a lot, but Kurt was just “Sissy” to me. We spent our time making fun of each other and talking about personal issues. I saw him as family not as his public persona. I’ve heard a lot of people ask whether it could it have been different had they paid attention or offered help. Without a doubt, the answer is no. Kurt had made peace with his choice. I accepted it. I dreaded it, but I had to accept the wishes of a grown man. To those asking if they could have done more, I think you can do something better. Kurt and I talked many times about

the shame and stigma in the LGBT community surrounding mental health issues and addiction. I remember people attacking him for speaking the truth when someone had died from an overdose, because the person’s friend didn’t want it out there. He and I agreed we needed to be open. If I ever relapse and die of an overdose, I hope my friends shout it from the rooftops, in fact I had told Kurt it was his job to do it. If you want to help, talk to your friends about what they do when you aren’t around. Make sure they know they can trust you and that you’ll be there for them; tell them that you’ll help them when they are ready to ask for help and that you won’t hide their manner of death.

Kurt Cunningham (Facebook) Addiction is such a large part of our community; we all just ignore it, or we look down on a weekend “partier,” as we go on to get drunk from Friday to Sunday ourselves. Whether it’s partying or drinking, it’s the same thing. No one could have been a more effective advocate of mental health issues than someone who has lived it; we need to not let this issue fade away. I can’t even list all the names of the people I know who have died by depression; the LGBT community does it at such a higher rate than most. I think, based on my experience with Kurt, most of the time we aren’t paying attention or we’re afraid to ask

the hard questions. It’s up to us to look after our loved ones. Sometimes Kurt and I would get upset at the line of questioning we offered each other. But it was because we cared and “I’m fine” wasn’t a suitable answer. My mom would even talk to Kurt when he got overly concerned when it took long for me to call her back. Through my experience with Kurt, there are always clues dropped about someone thinking of suicide, but you have to be paying attention. And as so many commented on Facebook, he seemed happy, but there were definitely clues. If someone you know is suffering from depression, instead of just telling them to be happy, be compassionate and try to understand that they live with a disease. Some can beat it, and some, like Kurt, can’t. Lastly, this is more from me but it was also something he struggled with, which is coming to terms with having HIV. Kurt learned he was “poz” in 1996 but didn’t go public with it until 2012. I was one of the few that knew and pushed him to be open about it. He slowly came around to the idea of trying to fight the stigma. We need to be more supportive of our HIV brothers and sisters. As the emotions fade and we carry on with our lives, I hope we can do our part to finish what my Sissy started. There was no way to help Kurt, but we can help others, and his memory is best kept alive by helping them. —Eric Hufford is a local LGBT activist. Reach him at ehuffnsd@ gmail.com. Editor’s Note: The holidays are often an incredibly dark time for those who suffer from depression. Don’t hesitate to check in on your friends and loved ones.t

GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 11 – 24, 2015

7

Letters Props for the chorus I have been a member of the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus for a little over a year [see “Proprietors of peace,” Vol. 6, Issue 24, or here gay-sd.com/ proprietors-of-peace]. Singing with the Chorus has been one of the best experiences of my life. The article mentions that we are a “family,” and the leadership of our organization, the board members, and especially RC Haus and Bob Lehman, do their very best to foster an atmosphere of love within our group. I cannot offer enough praise for the leadership of Bob and RC. They are forward-looking, and determined to make the Chorus a force for good for ALL in the community, gay and straight, and ever yone in between. They have recently started a chorus for young people, the San Diego Pride Chorus, for any young person who wishes to sing. The Pride Chorus, even in its infancy, is a spectacular success. One other note of interest: our by-laws specifically permit any man to join our chorus. RC recently mentioned that perhaps our society has progressed to the point that we might actually have straight men for the first time singing with us. We can hope that his vision will soon become reality. I cannot begin to express the respect that I have for the SDGMC and for the benevolent mission that the Chorus

has for bettering this world. —David Ellzey, via gay-sd.com I worked for SDGMC for about a year and a half and learned that it truly is an amazing organization. They worked hard to use music to promote positive social change, and have created a giant family that takes care of each other and our community. Keep up the great work SDGMC — and I look for ward to the holiday show! —Benny Cartwright, via gay-sd.com

Questioning the status quo I was one of the many 1970s women’s liberation feminists who pitched in after work behind the scenes and made friends that I never have had a chance to make of that kind since then [see “Silence and inaction = bedfellows of the status quo,” Vol. 6, Issue 23 or at bit.ly/1OR3Ref]. However, I see a problem for young activists studying our time — the histor y books, films and lectures chiefly cover the iconic writers, theorists and media spokeswomen. By now, most of them totally writing grassroots groups efforts out of histor y all together. I have closed the books and left the lectures (at Yale University, as I lived in New Haven) wondering if I was really there. I even apologized to

see Letters, pg 19


8

GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 11 – 24, 2015

FEATURE

gay-sd.com

Naughty but nice Stocking stuffers to spice up Christmas Day By Mikey Rox Santa checked his list twice for who’s naughty and nice so your Christmas is filled with sugar — and now some spice. Slaphappy Flat Vibrator Marketed as the Swiss Army knife of vibrators (which, granted, maybe isn’t the best tag line for a device you’re putting up your hoo-ha, but I digress), the Slaphappy bendable five-in-one flat dildo is made of 100 percent body-safe silicone, cycles through eight vibrating modes, and stays super quiet so family brunch isn’t too awkward in the morning. $50, slaphappy.com L. Condoms Wrap up your love with “the most natural, pleasurable way to practice safe sex,” according to Fast Company magazine. For every L. Condom purchased, one is distributed in a developing country where the brand is partnering with developing organizations to support women and HIV/AIDS prevention. Plus, one-hour delivery is available in Brooklyn and San Francisco for all you bang bros too lazy to hit the bodega. $15 for 12, thisisL.com Knix Women’s Underwear Figure-flattering Knix underwear for women features cutting-edge technology to keep your partner fresh, dry and confident in three outperforming fabrics: the original seamless basic, sexy lace

for a special night out and a sporty cut for active lifestyles. $20-$38, knixwear.com Adam & Eve Finger Bangers For hesitant bottoms who like a light touch, Adam & Eve mini-vibrating finger bangers are designed with a tapered tip to focus vibrations for maximum pleasure in two styles — ribbed blue and nubby purple — to drive your partner wild with every pulse. $8, adamandeve.com (Adam & Eve, 415 University Ave., Hillcrest) EZ Reach Prostate Massager Backdoor play gets a boost with the EZ Reach Prostate Massager featuring a unique textured surface and curved shaped for ultimate satisfaction while a maneuverable tipped handle stimulates as he moves it around — because every time a prostate sings, an angel gets its wings. $15, adamandeve.com (Adam & Eve, 415 University Ave., Hillcrest) K-Y Love Pleasure Gel Lubes Intensify your sexual connection with this line of couples’ pleasure gels from K-Y — which include “Sensuality” and “Passion” varieties — to take your body-connecting experience to a tingly new level. $17, k-y.com Cheap Undies There’s a veritable smorgasbord of skivvies to choose from at Cheap Undies — including third-party brands like CIN2 and Ginch Gonch — but this holiday season you can make his assets shine with the Golden Luxe Briefs collection, a super-soft cotton blend in saturated tones and shimmering waistbands for that Midas touch. $10, cheapundies.com —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.t

Grab some Cheap Undies for the guys on your list and Knix for the gals or put some K-Y in your loved one’s stocking. (Photos courtesy Cheap Undies, Knix Wear and K-Y)


GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 11 – 24, 2015

gay-sd.com

9

Holiday Guide ’Tis the season … to give to the less fortunate and many members of our local LGBT community wish to give as much as they can. In order to help those who wish to help others this holiday season, Gay San Diego has compiled a list of food and toy drives going around the county.

Various Drives Third annual Ugly Sweater Party. The Warm Smiles Project is having their annual toy and blanket drive at Flicks, Saturday, Dec. 12, from 9 p.m. until close. Hosted by Jason and Erica Foxx, you can win big by having the ugliest sweater. Items collected are for children in Tijuana, Mexico. No battery operated items, no toy guns or other weapons that promote violence, and no books. Supporting Becky’s House. Join Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins and Assembly members Shirley Weber and Lorena Gonzalez when they host their “Holiday Gift-raiser” to benefit Becky’s House, from 5 – 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 16 in the Eshleman Auditorium in the State Building, 1350 Front St., San Diego. Becky’s House is a housing program for survivors of domestic violence,

and Bridges Teen Recovery, a part of Vista Hill Recovery, which supports at-risk youth. Items needed: New (twin only) comforters, blankets and bed linens; bath towels; pots and pans, silverware and kitchen utensils; blenders, fans, vacuum cleaners and clocks; double and single baby strollers; new children’s toys, and unused coloring books and developmental/learning toys. Popular items for girls include those with a “Frozen” theme, Barbies and art supplies. Boys favor balls, Marvel action figures and Legos. Other necessities include diapers and wipes; general personal care products and toiletries; gift cards; and tickets to movies, sporting events and theme parks. Societe Brewing, located at 8262 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., is having their annual food drive, called Sore Eye Sudsmas, a free holiday party on Dec. 19. Bring non-perishable food to donate to the food drive. For every food item you bring, you will receive an entry ticket into a drawing for gifts. If you bring in 25lbs of food or more they will double your entries into the drawings and hope to outdo the 317 pounds they brought in last year. No glass jars or homemade

food items. Most needed food items include: canned chicken and tuna; dry and canned beans; cereal or rice; nuts and seeds; peanut butter; canned soup; canned and dried fruit; canned vegetables; powdered milk; infant formula and more. Consider things canned in water, and low sodium and low fat options, as well. Holiday costumes, ugly sweaters and wrapped gifts are also encouraged. For more information email brian@soreeyesports.com.

Food Drives

The Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank. This food drive can be supported in a variety of ways through Dec. 22: • Donate a pre-filled bag of food: When shopping at Vons supermarket stores throughout the holiday season you can pay for a $7 pre-filled bag of food at checkout and then place it in the red food drive barrels at the front of the store. Every San Diego County Vons location is participating. • Online: Every donation counts. For $1, the Food Bank can provide five meals to families in need. Donate in your own name or as a holiday gift for a loved one and they will receive a letter of acknowledgement from the Food Bank. Donate at tinyurl.com/ nglhknd. • Virtual food drive: Online

options include paying for food items you wish to donate using a debit or credit card. Visit the virtual food drive page at tinyurl. com/jh68ue7. • Host a food drive: Host your own food drive on behalf of the Food Bank. Register your food drive at tinyurl.com/hovuorc. • Shopping: Local businesses have chosen to donate based on shoppers’ purchases and one participant is Jer’s Chocolates. $5 from the sale of each holiday gift box this season will go to the Food Bank. Purchase them here: jers. com/prod_detail_list/27. Visit sandiegofoodbank.org/ holiday for more info. Feeding America San Diego holiday campaign. A few ideas of how to support Feeding America San Diego (FASD) include: • Donate: Four meals can be provided for every $1 donated. You can make a one-time gift or monthly donation online. • Volunteer: FASD relies on volunteers to help sort and distribute products to partners and clients. Sign up to volunteer on your own or with a group at the distribution center (9455 Waples St., Sorrento Valley). • Organize a food drive with your company or at your office. Visit feedingamericasd.org/ events-campaigns/holiday-campaign for more information.

Toy Drives The Giving Tree. Through Dec. 18 The Headquarters at Seaport (849 W. Harbor Drive, Downtown) will have its beautiful Giving Tree on display in the central courtyard. Community members are invited to drop off gifts for children up to 18 years of age and monetary donations for the USO San Diego at the Giving Tree or at Geppetto’s Toys (located at The Headquarters). Visit bit.ly/1MTjo6T for more information. Toys for Tots. The Marines and sailors of the 4th Tank Battalion and 4th Medical Battalion at the Naval and Marine Corps Reserve Center are asking for support of their annual campaign. They request that all toys be dropped off at their headquarters, located at 9955 Pomerado Road, San Diego, 92131, east of MCAS Miramar. For more information, email them at sandiego.toys4tots@gmail.com.

Other drives 13th annual Casa de Amparo holiday drive. Individuals, groups and companies are invited to donate to this drive in a variety of ways. Donations support over 1,000 Casa (Court Appointed Special Advocate) Kids during the

see Holiday drives, pg 10


10

GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 11 – 24, 2015

gay-sd.com

GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 11 – 24, 2015

gay-sd.com

Holiday Guide FROM PAGE 9

HOLIDAY DRIVES holiday season. Learn more about Casa de Amparo at casadeamparo.org. Ways to give: • Sponsor an individual Casa Kid’s wish list or donate from the general wish list: You will receive the name, gender and a brief wish list for a Casa Kid ages newborn – 25 years old. Gifts support Casa Kids during the holidays and throughout the year. • Sponsor a Casa Kid’s room: Choose from several rooms that help Casa Kids at various stages. • Give a cash gift: These can be mailed or donated online at: bit.ly/1kB17VW. The Casa de Amparo donation center is located at 200 E. Barham St., San Marcos. Donation dates and times are as follows: Dec. 9 – 11 from 4 – 6 p.m.; Dec. 14 – 17 from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. For wish lists and more information contact Tania Paniagua at 760-566-3559 or tpaniagua@casadeamparo.org. ‘Stuf f a Stocking’ for San Diego seniors. St. Paul’s Senior Services will be collecting items through Dec. 18 for low-income seniors this holiday season. Suggested items for donations include: (food) dried food, canned food and soft food items; (toiletries) toilet paper, shampoo, soaps and razors; (linens) pillows, sheets and blankets; (household items) cleaners and trash bags; (clothing) bags, purses and undergarments; (other items) stamps, envelopes, journals and notebooks. Donations can be dropped off at the lobby of St. Paul’s Senior Ser vices (328 Maple St., Bankers Hill) and at St. Paul’s Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) locations: PACE Downtown at 111 Elm St., Chula Vista at 630 L St., and St. Paul’s Plaza at 1420 E. Palomar St. For more information, go to stpaulseniors.org or call 619239-6900. Happy holidays from ever yone at Gay San Diego. —Compiled by Jen Van Tieghem. She can be reached at jen@sdcnn.com.t

Broadway/San Diego — A Nederlander Presentation, part of the nationally recognized Nederlander Producing Company of America — is one of the country’s largest and most experienced operators of live theater. Broadway/ San Diego made its original debut as the “San Diego Playgoers” in 1976, after presenting Equus at the Spreckels Theatre in Downtown San Diego. For several years, San Diego Playgoers presented shows at the Fox Theatre (now Copley Symphony Hall) and the Spreckels, before establishing a permanent home at the San Diego Civic Theatre in 1986, with occasional presentations at the other venues. In 2001, San Diego Playgoers celebrated 25 years of presenting the Best of Broadway by becoming Broadway/San Diego, and announced its largest season to date. In its 35-year history, Broadway/San Diego has presented over 325 shows and events, including the record-setting blockbusters “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Miss Saigon,” “The Producers” (in its West Coast premiere), “Les Miserables,” Disney’s “The Lion King” and “Wicked.” To order your tickets for this season’s amazing shows, go to broadwaysd.com.

4545 Park Boulevard San Diego, CA 92116 619-220-6830 diversionary.org

For Christmas, Diversionar y Theatre presents Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel’s “Civil War Christmas: An American Musical Celebration in Concert,” featuring Encore Vocal Ensemble. It’s 1864, and the coldest Christmas Eve in years is whipping through the streets of Washington, D.C. and along the banks of the Potomac River. A countr y stands torn in two as the president plots his next move, his wife visits convalescing soldiers, an escaped slave finds her freedom, and a young rebel comes face to face with his sworn enemy. This uplifting musical pageant weaves together a stunning tapestr y of a community courageously weathering our countr y’s deepest crisis, showing us that hope, humor and peace are innate to being American. Special performances include a Christmas Eve Cookies and Cocoa reception and a New Year’s Eve party to ring in the New Year, all included with your ticket. Presented Dec. 10 – Jan. 3. Find more information at diversionar y.org/civil.

4019 Goldfinch St. San Diego, CA 92103 619-794-0014 | fitnesstogether.com/missionhills

4040 Twiggs St. San Diego, CA 92110 619-337-1525 cygnettheatre.com Since taking flight, Cygnet Theatre has grown into one of San Diego’s largest theater companies and become known for producing adventurous, entertaining and thought-provoking live professional theater year round. Cygnet Theatre invites you to start your own family tradition with one of ours. 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! Don’t miss this wonderful show, playing from Nov. 27 – Dec. 27. To order tickets, call our box office or visit our website.

PRIVACY, RESPECT FOR YOUR TIME, RESULTS. These are the cornerstones of what Fitness Together is all about. We have created an environment where our clients train in luxury private suites away from the unwanted stares, and the waiting found in most “gyms.” Our workouts are specifically tailored to you, your goals, and your schedule. Our Nutrition Together program helps you stay accountable to sensible food behavior’s that enhance your transformation. For those seeking serious personal fitness training and nutritional guidance in a private, welcoming and safe studio that allows them to commit to, achieve their wellness goals, Fitness Together offers highly personalized one-on-one workouts with knowledgeable, friendly and skilled trainers in a clean, upscale environment with more focus on individual clients, than is found in any other fitness facility. People that train at Fitness Together GET RESULTS. You CAN have the body you’ve always wanted.

2910 La Jolla Village Dr. La Jolla CA, 92037 858-550-1070 lajollaplayhouse.org La Jolla Playhouse, a Tony Award-winning professional nonprofit theater, is located in the San Diego coastal suburb of La Jolla, California. Its mission is to advance theater as an art form and as a vital social, moral and political platform by providing unfettered creative opportunities for the leading artists of today and tomorrow. With a youthful spirit and eclectic, artist-driven approach, the Playhouse cultivates a local and national following with an insatiable appetite for audacious and diverse work. Led by Artistic Director Christopher Ashley and Managing Director Michael S. Rosenberg, the Playhouse was founded in 1947 by Gregor y Peck, Dorothy McGuire and Mel Ferrer. The Playhouse has received more than 300 awards for theater excellence, including the 1993 Tony Award as America’s outstanding regional theatre. La Jolla Playhouse is also nationally acclaimed for its innovative productions of classics, new plays and musicals. Scores of Playhouse productions have moved to Broadway, garnering a total of 35 Tony Awards, including “Big River,” “The Who’s Tommy,” “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Tr ying,” “A Walk in the

Woods,” “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” “Dracula,” “Billy Cr ystal’s 700 Sundays,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning “I Am My Own Wife,” fostered as part of the Playhouse’s Page to Stage new play development program and the Tony Award winners “Jersey Boys” and “Memphis.” The Playhouse also presents a wide range of education programs that enrich the community and ser ve 30,000 children, students and adults annually.

3940 Fourth Ave. Second Floor San Diego, CA 92103 619-400-4500 martinisabovefourth.com Martinis Above Fourth | Table + Stage is San Diego’s premier cabaret supper club featuring live entertainment seven nights a week with acts from L.A., New York and beyond as well as no cover entertainment. Enjoy a hip, eclectic dining experience in an upscale, yet un-stuffy environment, while enjoying incredible entertainment presented on the MA4 mainstage. We offer the finest American cuisine with an eclectic menu focused on highlighting seasonal flavors and showcasing the culinar y craft of award-winning Executive Chef Tony Wilhelm. But the most important feature of Martinis is the martinis. Over 100 award-winning specialty martinis are available including an extensive collection of spirits, wine and beer with Happy Hour from 4 – 7 p.m. daily and extend-

ed hours all night on Monday. MA4 brings all the necessar y elements together for a great night of food, drinks and entertainment and delivers it to you with style, sophistication and most of all, FUN!

1363 Old Globe Way Balboa Park San Diego, CA 92101 619-234-5623 TheOldGlobe.org “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” at the Old Globe is a wonderful, whimsical musical based upon the classic Dr. Seuss book. Back for its 18th incredible year, the family favorite features the songs “This Time of Year,” “Santa for a Day,” and “Fah Who Doraze”! Celebrate the holidays as the Old Globe Theatre is once again transformed into the snow-covered Whoville, right down to the last can of Who-hash. For information or tickets visit the website or call the box office.t

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GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 11 – 24, 2015

gay-sd.com

GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 11 – 24, 2015

gay-sd.com

Holiday Guide FROM PAGE 9

HOLIDAY DRIVES holiday season. Learn more about Casa de Amparo at casadeamparo.org. Ways to give: • Sponsor an individual Casa Kid’s wish list or donate from the general wish list: You will receive the name, gender and a brief wish list for a Casa Kid ages newborn – 25 years old. Gifts support Casa Kids during the holidays and throughout the year. • Sponsor a Casa Kid’s room: Choose from several rooms that help Casa Kids at various stages. • Give a cash gift: These can be mailed or donated online at: bit.ly/1kB17VW. The Casa de Amparo donation center is located at 200 E. Barham St., San Marcos. Donation dates and times are as follows: Dec. 9 – 11 from 4 – 6 p.m.; Dec. 14 – 17 from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. For wish lists and more information contact Tania Paniagua at 760-566-3559 or tpaniagua@casadeamparo.org. ‘Stuf f a Stocking’ for San Diego seniors. St. Paul’s Senior Services will be collecting items through Dec. 18 for low-income seniors this holiday season. Suggested items for donations include: (food) dried food, canned food and soft food items; (toiletries) toilet paper, shampoo, soaps and razors; (linens) pillows, sheets and blankets; (household items) cleaners and trash bags; (clothing) bags, purses and undergarments; (other items) stamps, envelopes, journals and notebooks. Donations can be dropped off at the lobby of St. Paul’s Senior Ser vices (328 Maple St., Bankers Hill) and at St. Paul’s Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) locations: PACE Downtown at 111 Elm St., Chula Vista at 630 L St., and St. Paul’s Plaza at 1420 E. Palomar St. For more information, go to stpaulseniors.org or call 619239-6900. Happy holidays from ever yone at Gay San Diego. —Compiled by Jen Van Tieghem. She can be reached at jen@sdcnn.com.t

Broadway/San Diego — A Nederlander Presentation, part of the nationally recognized Nederlander Producing Company of America — is one of the country’s largest and most experienced operators of live theater. Broadway/ San Diego made its original debut as the “San Diego Playgoers” in 1976, after presenting Equus at the Spreckels Theatre in Downtown San Diego. For several years, San Diego Playgoers presented shows at the Fox Theatre (now Copley Symphony Hall) and the Spreckels, before establishing a permanent home at the San Diego Civic Theatre in 1986, with occasional presentations at the other venues. In 2001, San Diego Playgoers celebrated 25 years of presenting the Best of Broadway by becoming Broadway/San Diego, and announced its largest season to date. In its 35-year history, Broadway/San Diego has presented over 325 shows and events, including the record-setting blockbusters “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Miss Saigon,” “The Producers” (in its West Coast premiere), “Les Miserables,” Disney’s “The Lion King” and “Wicked.” To order your tickets for this season’s amazing shows, go to broadwaysd.com.

4545 Park Boulevard San Diego, CA 92116 619-220-6830 diversionary.org

For Christmas, Diversionar y Theatre presents Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel’s “Civil War Christmas: An American Musical Celebration in Concert,” featuring Encore Vocal Ensemble. It’s 1864, and the coldest Christmas Eve in years is whipping through the streets of Washington, D.C. and along the banks of the Potomac River. A countr y stands torn in two as the president plots his next move, his wife visits convalescing soldiers, an escaped slave finds her freedom, and a young rebel comes face to face with his sworn enemy. This uplifting musical pageant weaves together a stunning tapestr y of a community courageously weathering our countr y’s deepest crisis, showing us that hope, humor and peace are innate to being American. Special performances include a Christmas Eve Cookies and Cocoa reception and a New Year’s Eve party to ring in the New Year, all included with your ticket. Presented Dec. 10 – Jan. 3. Find more information at diversionar y.org/civil.

4019 Goldfinch St. San Diego, CA 92103 619-794-0014 | fitnesstogether.com/missionhills

4040 Twiggs St. San Diego, CA 92110 619-337-1525 cygnettheatre.com Since taking flight, Cygnet Theatre has grown into one of San Diego’s largest theater companies and become known for producing adventurous, entertaining and thought-provoking live professional theater year round. Cygnet Theatre invites you to start your own family tradition with one of ours. 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! Don’t miss this wonderful show, playing from Nov. 27 – Dec. 27. To order tickets, call our box office or visit our website.

PRIVACY, RESPECT FOR YOUR TIME, RESULTS. These are the cornerstones of what Fitness Together is all about. We have created an environment where our clients train in luxury private suites away from the unwanted stares, and the waiting found in most “gyms.” Our workouts are specifically tailored to you, your goals, and your schedule. Our Nutrition Together program helps you stay accountable to sensible food behavior’s that enhance your transformation. For those seeking serious personal fitness training and nutritional guidance in a private, welcoming and safe studio that allows them to commit to, achieve their wellness goals, Fitness Together offers highly personalized one-on-one workouts with knowledgeable, friendly and skilled trainers in a clean, upscale environment with more focus on individual clients, than is found in any other fitness facility. People that train at Fitness Together GET RESULTS. You CAN have the body you’ve always wanted.

2910 La Jolla Village Dr. La Jolla CA, 92037 858-550-1070 lajollaplayhouse.org La Jolla Playhouse, a Tony Award-winning professional nonprofit theater, is located in the San Diego coastal suburb of La Jolla, California. Its mission is to advance theater as an art form and as a vital social, moral and political platform by providing unfettered creative opportunities for the leading artists of today and tomorrow. With a youthful spirit and eclectic, artist-driven approach, the Playhouse cultivates a local and national following with an insatiable appetite for audacious and diverse work. Led by Artistic Director Christopher Ashley and Managing Director Michael S. Rosenberg, the Playhouse was founded in 1947 by Gregor y Peck, Dorothy McGuire and Mel Ferrer. The Playhouse has received more than 300 awards for theater excellence, including the 1993 Tony Award as America’s outstanding regional theatre. La Jolla Playhouse is also nationally acclaimed for its innovative productions of classics, new plays and musicals. Scores of Playhouse productions have moved to Broadway, garnering a total of 35 Tony Awards, including “Big River,” “The Who’s Tommy,” “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Tr ying,” “A Walk in the

Woods,” “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” “Dracula,” “Billy Cr ystal’s 700 Sundays,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning “I Am My Own Wife,” fostered as part of the Playhouse’s Page to Stage new play development program and the Tony Award winners “Jersey Boys” and “Memphis.” The Playhouse also presents a wide range of education programs that enrich the community and ser ve 30,000 children, students and adults annually.

3940 Fourth Ave. Second Floor San Diego, CA 92103 619-400-4500 martinisabovefourth.com Martinis Above Fourth | Table + Stage is San Diego’s premier cabaret supper club featuring live entertainment seven nights a week with acts from L.A., New York and beyond as well as no cover entertainment. Enjoy a hip, eclectic dining experience in an upscale, yet un-stuffy environment, while enjoying incredible entertainment presented on the MA4 mainstage. We offer the finest American cuisine with an eclectic menu focused on highlighting seasonal flavors and showcasing the culinar y craft of award-winning Executive Chef Tony Wilhelm. But the most important feature of Martinis is the martinis. Over 100 award-winning specialty martinis are available including an extensive collection of spirits, wine and beer with Happy Hour from 4 – 7 p.m. daily and extend-

ed hours all night on Monday. MA4 brings all the necessar y elements together for a great night of food, drinks and entertainment and delivers it to you with style, sophistication and most of all, FUN!

1363 Old Globe Way Balboa Park San Diego, CA 92101 619-234-5623 TheOldGlobe.org “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” at the Old Globe is a wonderful, whimsical musical based upon the classic Dr. Seuss book. Back for its 18th incredible year, the family favorite features the songs “This Time of Year,” “Santa for a Day,” and “Fah Who Doraze”! Celebrate the holidays as the Old Globe Theatre is once again transformed into the snow-covered Whoville, right down to the last can of Who-hash. For information or tickets visit the website or call the box office.t

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GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 11 – 24, 2015

THEATER

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‘Carol’-ing at Cygnet Theater Review Charlene Baldridge It is with trepidation that the theater critic approaches a production seen annually for a number of years in a row. Such was the case with fourth annual production of Cygnet Theatre’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’ story, “A Christmas Carol,” with music by Billy Thompson. That’s the one where theatergoers remember the title character, whose name, Ebenezer Scrooge, has become synonymous with the word “miser” in the years since the Dickens novella first appeared in London in December 1843. The wealthy man is so wizened of spirit that when asked for a charitable Christmas donation he declares, “I cannot afford to make idle people merry.” Over the course of four years, Cygnet’s production has morphed from a radio show format to a more straightforward telling with multiple narrators and musical refinements. For instance, Thompson’s score, flawlessly played by music director/accompanist Patrick Marion, is laced with Christmas carols, both sung by the company in various combinations and underscoring the dialog and providing melodies for much of the sung text as well — not that the layperson will be aware of such intricacies, which set it apart increasingly from other “Carols” one might experience. In other words, this presentation of the well-known Christmas story, performed by a solid acting/singing company, is quick, emotionally secure, musically satisfying and rich in imagery, clocking in at a bit over two hours and cutting the tale to its essence. In other productions, sometimes the progression of ghosts — Christmas Past, Present and Yet-to-Come, all played by multitalented David McBean — can grow tedious,

David McBean as “The Ghost of Christmas Future,” and Tom Stephenson as Scrooge. and the joyous transformation of Scrooge (marvelously played by Tom Stephenson, one of the city’s finest actors) becomes mired in sorting things out between different groups of related characters. Not in Sean Murray’s adaptation! Here, the primary emphasis is on the family of Scrooge’s employee Bob Cratchit (Patrick McBride) and his wife (Maggie Carney), whose youngest child is the frail, crippled and cherished Tiny Tim. Nonetheless, onlookers get joyous doses of the Fezziwigs (Melinda Gilb and McBride) and also those all-important scenes that help us to understand how Young Scrooge (Charles Evans, Jr.) became Scrooge. He’d been engaged to Belle (Melissa Fernandes), who ultimately broke up with him when it became apparent he would never love her as much as he did money. All but Stephenson play multiple characters and the several talents of each — musical, dramatic and comic — are bounteously utilized. The production’s most ingeniously utilized innovations are the puppets created by Michael McKeon, Lynne Jennings and Rachel

Tom Stephenson’s Scrooge in a scene with McBean, playing “The Ghost of Christmas Past.” (Photos by Ken Jacques)

Hengsy. Convincingly the puppets portray Tiny Tim, a Street Urchin and the waifs Ignorance and Want, who appear from under the skirts of the Ghost of Christmas Past. Ignorance and Want signify Dickens’ empathy for the plight of child laborers caught up in the Industrial Revolution. Such social concerns are endemic of the great writer’s concern for humanity. Today, children are caught up in war, revolution, and closer to home, neglect. Cygnet’s production of “A Christmas Carol” upholds Dickens’ legacy. Beyond its sensitive and ever fascinating portrayals, it is graced with Katie Whalley Banville’s choreography, Andrew Hull’s scenic design, Jeannie Reith’s costume design (based on original design by Shirley Pierson), Kyle Montgomery’s lighting design (based on original design by R. Craig Wolf), Peter Herman’s wig and makeup design, and Matt Lescault-Wood’s sound design. — Charlene Baldridge has been writing about the arts since 1979. You can follow her blog at charlenebaldridge.com or reach her at charb81@gmail.com.t

“A Christmas Carol”

Based on the story by Charles Dickens Cygnet Theatre Old Town State Park 4040 Twiggs St. Performances through Dec. 27 Tickets start at $37 Visit cygnettheatre.com or 619-337-1525 Discounts for students, active-duty military, seniors and groups of 10 or more. Children 12 and under receive half-off tickets with each paid adult. Wednesdays & Thursdays, 7:30 p.m. Fridays, 8 p.m. Saturdays, 3 & 8 p.m. Sunday, 2 & 7 p.m. (Dec. 22, 7:30 p.m., Dec. 24, 2 p.m., dark Dec. 25)


NEWS

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GAY NEWS BRIEFS LGBT SENIORS NEEDED FOR SURVEY LGBT seniors living in San Diego County and aged 50 and older are being sought to complete a survey about their healthcare experiences, the results of which could enhance funding to existing programs — or open up funding to various new programs — that would directly benefit them. San Diego Human Dignity Foundation (SDHDF), Alliance Healthcare Foundation, the San Diego LGBT Community Center, and the North County LGBTQ Resource Center are all partnering and promoting the survey. Health Assessment and Research for Communities (HARC), a nonprofit research firm, developed the survey and is conducting it to gather information about the needs of San Diego’s LGBT senior population and assist SDHDF with a better understanding of the more important projects and where funds for LGBT seniors are most needed. “We’re hoping that the results of this survey will help us identify gaps in services for LGBT seniors in the county, and help direct funding towards those needs,” said Theresa Sama representative of the Palm Desert-based research firm. “In order to get reliable data, we need to reach as many LGBT seniors as possible all across the county,” she continued. “We have been working with the LGBT Community Center, San Diego Pride, North Park Recreation, Carlsbad Senior Center and a few other organizations to help distribute the survey, online as well as printed copies.” To access the online survey, visit surveymonkey.com/r/SD-LGBT. If you do not have a computer or have no way to access the online version and need a hard copy of the survey, email Sama at tsama@harcdata.org.

SHOP HILLCREST OFFERS PERSONAL SPREE The Hillcrest Business Association (HBA) is once again promoting retail shopping at the local Hillcrest

businesses throughout the holidays and offering shoppers the opportunity to win big. The HBA’s “Shop Hillcrest” program offers all San Diegans who visit Hillcrest this holiday season the opportunity for rewards from participating Hillcrest retail shops and restaurants in the form of raffle tickets. Each raffle ticket provided to a customer who purchases items in those establishments throughout the holiday season will give them a chance to win. The more raffle tickets received, the more chances to win. Then at the end of December, one fabulous Hillcrest-shopper will be chosen by the HBA to win a Fabulous Hillcrest shopping spree worth more than $1,500. That is the current amount of Hillcrest gift cards and services donated thus far, and that amount could increase before the end of the promotion. “SHOP Hillcrest for the Holidays is the best way to check everyone off your list and for YOU to enter into the gift-card drawing simply by shopping,” said HBA representatives in a press release. “Give back to your favorite neighborhood and let it give back to you!” For more information, visit ShopHillcrestfortheholidays.com.

SDHDF, PFLAG LAUNCH SCHOLARSHIPS WITH CONCERTS On Dec. 12, PFLAG San Diego County (PFLAG SDC) and the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation (SDHDF) will open up the application period for the 2016 PFLAG Scholarships. PFLAG has awarded more than $125,000 to deserving LGBT high school and college students since 1998. SDHDF joined PFLAG’s scholarship efforts last year and now maintain the PFLAG Scholarship Fund at the foundation. Ten students received scholarships in 2015 and the 2016 awards ceremony will be held May 13. Scholarships are supported through the Rob Benzon Foundation, SDHDF, the family of Stephen G. Bowersox and the Raytheon LGBT STEM Scholarship, as well as through various fundraisers. This year veteran music and event producer Don Johnson, of Dame Ethel Productions [see

more about Johnson in “Profiles in Advocacy: Philanthropy for us all,” Vol. 6, Issue 24 or here tinyurl.com/ ngp7ha3], will kick-off the application period with a series of concerts. The concerts, held at T-Lounge on Dec. 12 (doors at 6:30 p.m.) and Dec. 13 (doors at 4 p.m.), are called “Night of the Rising Stars,” and will include four young local up-andcoming vocalists; Bella Robert is the youngest member of the San Diego Women’s Chorus; Madeline Hernandez is the youngest of the group; and Ryan Dietrich and Peter Armado are both protégés of Leigh Scarritt. The four young singers will be accompanied by the West Coast Heavy Hitters under the direction of Kevin Flournoy. “The scholarships awarded by PFLAG recognize the best and brightest students in our San Diego LGBTQ community,” said Hillary Flocke, PFLAG’s scholarship chair. “We are proud to support these young leaders and are so grateful to Don Johnson of Dame Ethel Productions for donating the concert proceeds to the scholarship fund. These scholarships not only make higher education more affordable, but also remind LGBTQ students that their aspirations are important and commended.” Tickets for the show are $25 for general admission and $35 for VIP, which includes reserved tables and a pre-show reception. Attendees must be 21 and over. Proceeds will help the scholarship fund. Tickets may be purchased at bit. ly/21tTBN7. For more information, visit pflag.org.

FORMER LOCAL PROMOTER NEEDS HELP

Linda Estep — known for over two decades to the local LGBT com-

GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 11 – 24, 2015

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munity as an iconic club event planner and bartender — has taken ill and returned home to family. Led by her longtime DJ Robin Roth, friends are gathering together to assist her with expenses and have started a fundraising page. “She made her mark in the straight, bi, Goth and gay men’s arenas more than the lesbian,” said friend Tryce Czyczynska on a Facebook post. “But, she made a mark on my life by convincing me to work at Rich’s when they started Hedonism and later by hiring me as a Goth go-go dancer — a privilege I hold dear to this day. There are The 12th annual Wreath Auction at Marso many folks Linda E has tinis Above Fourth on Dec. 7 raised nearly touched.” $20,000 for The Center’s Queen Eddie ConThe crowdfunding site lon Youth Fund. (above) Toni Duran shows was established onyoucaring. off her $150 Glamour Girl wreath, donated com with a goal of $3,000. by Delta Medallion Passengers and Flight The fundraising drive is curAttendants. (Courtesy Toni Duran) rently set up to last through February and into March. winery recently moved its wine“As she waits for her disability tasting room from North County and finds medical help in her new to 1477 University Ave. on the east surroundings, this will be a much end of Hillcrest in the old V-Outlet needed gift,” said organizers of business, just steps away from the her funding page. “This fund has San Diego Pride Flag. been set up especially for those that “We’re providing a San Diego were out of town during her going winery experience in an urban home fundraiser. Also, for those setting — something most people of you that don’t live in San Diego aren’t familiar with. And it’s not just that want to contribute. Plus, all the the wine! We have food, beer, and people that love her and want to cocktails too! There’s something for continue supporting Linda.” everyone,” said Eric Van Drunen, To access the site and contribute to Vinavanti’s winemaker and presiEstep, visit tinyurl.com/of8zaag. dent, in a statement. Vinavanti boasts that it produces URBAN WINERY OPENS local wine at its purest and keeps IN HILLCREST things authentic, so it’s no surprise Vinavanti Urban Winery in the winery for its grand opening Hillcrest held a VIP reception on chose to team up with a nonprofit Nov. 30, as a preview to its grand see Briefs, pg 16 opening on Saturday, Dec. 5. The


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GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 11 – 24, 2015

DINING

Restaurant Review Frank Sabatini Jr.

Most of the recipes at Nati’s Mexican Restaurant date back to when Dwight D. Eisenhower was president. Anchored two blocks from the Ocean Beach Municipal Pier, it’s one of San Diego’s oldest restaurants and the only dining spot in this cramped beach community with a sizable parking lot. Yet little is known about the surname or background of its original, namesake founder, Nati. According to longtime co-owner and general manager, Marilyn Thomas, she’s been long deceased. And it’s unclear how long Nati owned the restaurant prior to selling it in 1960 to the late Vern Lontz, who had operated a gift shop on the property for several years in a nook that has since been incorporated into the spacious back patio. “Nati may have moved to Arizona after selling to Vern, but we’re not really sure,” said Thomas, whose business partner Dennis Kerr purchased the restaurant from Lontz in 1973 after serving as an employee for a few years. Shortly after, Thomas stepped in as a manager and eventually became a stakeholder, recalling that she and Kerr were both students at Point Loma High School when they began working there. Over the past 55 years, many of the original dishes listed on an old menu displayed on a memorabilia wall near the kitchen haven’t disappeared. With the exception of full dinners costing only $1.90 in their day, and the addition of vegetarian choices such as bean tacos and guacamole tostadas, you’ll still find today many

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(clockwise from bottom left) The No. 6 combo plate; complimentary table noshes; enchiladas in No. 6; crispy quesadilla; the “burrito special” (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.) of the same combi combination plates from yesteryear. On a recent visit, I learned from our waitress that the “No. 6” has been the top-selling combo ever since she started working at Nati’s in 1974. It’s a trifecta of Ameri-Mex yumminess featuring a cheese enchilada speckled with raw onions, a puffy chili relleno, and a commendable ground beef taco that shouldn’t be compared to those served at Taco Bell. Here, the meat is beefier and far less liquidly. The plate comes with mildly spiced rice and creamy refried beans, of which no apologies are made for the use of lard in the recipe. Whole pinto beans, vegetarian-style, are available as well. After dining here several times, I finally got around to trying the crispy quesadilla, which my companion and I rated as the lightest in town. The thin tortilla resembled flakey, delicate phyllo pastry that I would have guessed was baked rather than fried. Topped simply with a bubbly layer of mild cheddar cheese, it was a fabulous non-greasy starter that disappeared from our plate in lightening speed. The food at Nati’s, however, might taste too north-of-the-border for some, especially to those swept up in the recent surge of traditional and contemporary Baja cuisine entering many San Diego establishments.

Nati’s Mexican Restaurant 1852 Bacon St. (Ocean Beach) 619-224-3369; natisrestaurant.com

Prices: Soups, salads and appetizers, $3.40 to $9.14; tacos, burritos, enchiladas and tostadas, $3.45 to $6.45; combination plates, $8.65 to $12.60; specials and “favorites,” $7.95 to $12.65

The table salsa, for example, is smooth and saucy, appearing commer commercially manufactured despite the fact it’s made in-house. But the heat factor and bright tomato notes were satisfactory on a majority of my visits, thus compensating for the absence of any visible cilantro or roasted peppers. And as my most recent dining companion stated when spooning into it, “The thinner consistency applies better to the food.” Also, the Angus carne asada lacks the depth of flavor obtained from marinade. It’s instead dry-rubbed with understated spices, which Thomas said many patrons love. But I’ve come to favor the ground beef over the chunked meat because I find it tastier, and it’s truly a rarity in local Mexican restaurants. Carnitas is missing altogether from the menu. “We used to have it, but it’s a preference that we don’t anymore,” Thomas said. “We focus instead on our customer favorites.” Other palate pleasers I’ve encountered at Nati’s include a well-stuffed chicken torta, and the “burrito special,” which mixes ground beef and refried beans in a bakery-fresh flour torti-

lla. It isn’t the chubbiest burrito in the galaxy, but it hits the spot with a crowning of warm cheddar and peppery enchilada sauce, as well as the accompanying plop of shredded lettuce buried beneath sour cream and sliced black olives. A variety of margaritas and boozy coffee drinks are also in the offing, along with beer and wine. Ranking as the most popular libation is the traditional Puerto Vallarta margarita constructed with a shot and a half of Cuervo Gold tequila. With two dining rooms and an outdoor patio that feels like Old Town, Nati’s longevity has been built upon trend-resistant meals and an accessible, central location in the heart of Ocean Beach that includes two hours of free parking. “Being here for 55 years, we’ve had four generations of loyal patrons come through our doors, and some of our employees have worked here for almost that long, which is rare in small businesses,” Thomas said. —Frank Sabatini Jr. is the author of “Secret San Diego” (ECW Press), and began his local writing career more than two decades ago as a staffer for the former San Diego Tribune. You can reach him at fsabatini@san.rr.com.t


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DINING Pastry maestros Keegan Gerhard and his wife, Lisa Bailey, of D Bar, have decided to close on Dec. 20 after a three-and-a-half-year run in Hillcrest. The couple owns a dessert eatery under the same name in Denver, and Gerhard said they will continue to operate that venture in addition to exploring “a commissary project” there. “One of the biggest reasons I’m closing Hillcrest is that I’m tired of being separated from my wife,” Gerhard said. “It isn’t because of a rent jack-up. I just need to be in Denver more.” D Bar’s last day of business will conclude with brunch from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., although Gerhard says he will offer various drink and food specials leading up to the closure as a way of thanking customers for their support. 3930 Fifth Ave., 619-299-3227.

(l to r) Brothers Javier, Guillermo and Tony Fragoso bring a Mexico City concept to Fifth Avenue (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.) Proprietors of the former Local Habit in Hillcrest have transformed the space into a colorful Mexican eatery called La Vecindad, which focuses primarily on street tacos and ceviche. Menu standouts on a recent visit included tacos filled with bacon-wrapped shrimp, carnitas, and beer-battered tilapia. Margaritas are generously portioned, with the shaker served alongside the glass. Tony Fragoso, who co-owns the restaurant with his brothers Guillermo and Javier, said they closed Local Habit in October because “people didn’t respond to the Louisiana-style menu we offered.” He describes the current concept as “Mexico City with a little bit of California.” The interior redo shows off vibrant wall colors, picnic tables, and whimsical décor that includes garments pinned to a clothesline hanging above the dining area. The full bar was also given a bright makeover. 3827 Fifth Ave., 619-501-2885.

The new Hillcrest winery is open seven days a week (Vinavanti Urban Winery) Winemaking is occurring in the heart of Hillcrest with the arrival of Vinavanti Urban Winer y, which opened Dec. 5 in the space that was V Outlet discount store. The venture was moved into the neighborhood from Sorrento Valley by Eric Van Drunen and his fiancée, Clara Brinkmeier. They’ve created a tasting room, bar, kitchen and production facility. Most of the grapes are sourced from vineyards in San Diego County and Temecula for making a variety of organic, unfiltered, non-sulfite blends such as Malbec and Petite Verdot, Grenache and Mourvedre, Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio, and more. The “small bites” menu includes roasted beets, yellowtail crudo, and pork tenderloin. 1477 University Ave., 877-484-6282.

Joanne Sherif of Cardamom Café & Bakery in North Park grabbed top honors for her pumpkin-brioche cinnamon roll at the Cinnamon Roll & Coffee Challenge held recently at Modern Times Beer in Point Loma. Sherif won both the judges’ and people’s choice awards after competing with five other contestants. Her swirled pastry featured rum raisins and apples in the middle, and caramel

GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 11 – 24, 2015

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cream cheese frosting with sea salt on top. It was paired to Blue Sky coffee by Café Moto. Sherif has begun selling the winning version of the roll on weekends at her café, “at least through the holidays,” she said. The event was presented by Eating and Drinking in San Diego, a locally based Facebook group with nearly 6,500 members. 2977 Upas St., Joanne Sherif with her trophies (Eating and Drinking in 619-546-5609.

Breakfast Republic in North Park is spawning a second location in Liberty Station in June. Its owner, Johan Engman, also plans on opening a fourth location of Fig Tree Café next year as well, in a former office building at 1495 Pacific Highway, at the corner of Beech Street. His other Fig Trees are in Hillcrest, Liberty Station and Pacific Beach. Regarding Breakfast Republic’s new location, Engman will add a 600-square-foot patio to what was previously Mura Sushi, at 2865 Sims Road, Suite 106. “I’m so blown away by how well Breakfast Republic is going in North Park that I plan on duplicating the same concept in Liberty Station,” he said. “The difference will be that we’ll have a full liquor license for craft cocktails and an evening menu that might possibly be breakfast dishes and desserts.” Craft cocktails will also be emphasized at the new Fig Tree. breakfastrepublicca.com, figtreeeatery.com. The sixth annual SoNo Chili Cook-off, held at 32nd and Thorn streets on Dec. 6, attracted nearly 40 competitors from bars and restaurants throughout North Park and South Park. With entries ranging from meaty to meatless and mild to spicy, this year’s winners were: Toronado, which won for best overall chili; Monkey Paw Pub & Brewery for best vegetarian; and South Park Brewing Co. for most unique. The people’s choice award went to West Coast Tavern for a short rib/tri tip chili cooked by Chef Abe Botello.

San Diego)

Tender Greens brings its unique aeroponic tower gardens to Mission Valley (Photo by Ellen Lu) San Diego’s fourth location of Tender Greens, which opened Dec. 7 in Westfield Mission Valley, features “aeroponic tower gardens” for growing produce that will appear in various side dishes. The vertical columns are positioned on the outdoor patio and use 95 percent less water compared to traditional farming methods. Only a few other locations in the Los Angeles area have implemented the towers. The fast-casual eatery, known for its farm-driven fare and cafeteria-style concept, also operates kitchens in Liberty Station, Westfield UTC and Downtown San Diego. Its latest outpost is at 1640 Camino del Rio North, Suite FS-7, 619894-8916. —Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at

fsabatini@san.rr.com.t


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CLASSIFIEDS

GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 11 – 24, 2015

ADOPTIONS

FROM PAGE 13

BRIEFS whose focus is local agriculture. San Diego Roots Sustainable Food Project is a nonprofit whose mission is to educate, cultivate and empower sustainable food communities throughout San Diego County. Project operators offer San Diegans hands-on opportunities to grow food, get dirty, and gain skills and knowledge at their 5-acre farm, Wild Willow Farm & Education Center, in San Diego near the border with Tijuana. “It’s the perfect partnership, their ideas with agriculture align well with our winemaking philosophies,” Van Drunen said. Vinavanti’s wines are organic and non-filtered, making them “accidentally vegan,” stated co-founder and Van Drunen’s fiancé, Clara Brinkmeier, at the VIP event. The grand opening was celebrated for an entire day and a portion of the wine proceeds were donated to San Diego Roots.

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Business Spotlight Studio 1 3304 30th St. San Diego, CA 92104 30th and Thorn 619-291-0343 30 YEARS EXPERIENCE! The finest hair salon in North Park and South Park! Trust Martha Alboney with all your styling needs! She’s the expert in hair! If you are in need of a hair and make-up stylist for any special event like weddings and parties, Martha is the right person to call. Martha specializes in men, women, and children cuts and style, shampoo and sets, color Correction, highlights, up-dos and more! Call Martha today to schedule your appointment.

Business Spotlight Stuff Furniture Consignment Shop 3514 Adams Ave. San Diego, CA 92116 619-563-2342 | stuffonadams.com Welcome to Stuff Furniture Consignment Shop — voted BEST of San Diego! Offering a unique selection of furniture, art, lamps, garden and patio items, architectural elements, home accents and much more. We also keep a large inventory of desks, tables, chairs, dressers, nightstands, trunks, end tables, coffee tables, sofa tables, bookcases, file cabinets, and other desired pieces. Come in today for our big moving sale with 20 – 50 percent off! After seven years in business we are moving to the College Business District in December 2015! Open daily from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday noon – 5 p.m. Closed Monday. Delivery available. All credit cards accepted!

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gay-sd.com FROM PAGE 2

SENIORS and volunteers. “Great projects need so much more than the capacity of one single group – that original small group often becomes a larger group; a list of people who, across years of work, form a long relay of baton-bearers who are the heart and inspiration of all that is done. “ … a small group of seniors almost a decade ago, began conversations with a variety of LGBTQ organizations, staff members and leaders about the emerging needs of LGBTQ seniors. Chief among the needs was affordable, safe housing. That was 10 years ago, and yesterday – after a decade of their hard work, patience and persistence, the project received the go-ahead.” William “Bill” Kelly was one of those people and though he didn’t speak in front of the city council Dec. 8, he beat his drum consistently in the weeks leading up to the vote, doing whatever he could to shepherd people to the council chambers. Kelly originally got behind the cause after he, along with his husband Bob Taylor, cared for his aging parents when they lived in the Midwest. A few years later they moved to California to take care of Taylor’s parents. Kelly said that despite the differences in income, education and living conditions, the issues are the same. “What I discovered, is that the problems are the same for every senior no matter what their background is or what their situation is. What makes the difference is the priority of their issues,” he said, adding that money, transportation and a combination of other variables come into play. Kelly said that he saw what was needed across the board was more collaboration and cooperation between government officials, various groups of organizations, businesses. Everyone had to get on board to get involved. “We started with an ad hoc group that Delores and The Cen-

ter helped us put together,” Kelly said. “It was a difficult time, we had marriage equality, DADT and the recession on the way. But she stuck with me. We locked horns as a lot of people do from time to time, but I owe it all to The Center for the work that I was able to accomplish. It was a lot due to them and the help and encouragement that they provided at a time when it wasn’t ver y easy to deal with at all.” Though the project will be open to any senior seeking safe, affordable housing, it will be marketed as LGBT-affirmative housing. “The descriptor ‘LGBT-affirmative housing community’ lets all interested parties or prospective applicants know that this housing community is one that affirms and supports its LGBT residents and their cultures,” Jacobs said. “It actively works to ensure that all involved in management and ser vice provision — from the developer to property management to on-site senior ser vice providers — are working to ensure the environment treats all residents with equality, respect and dignity.” In the PSA, several members of the local LGBT senior community joined CHW representatives to share the positives of what an LGBTaffirming project would mean. “I’m so glad we have come to the point where we can talk openly about the need for LGBT-friendly housing,” said an emotional Bettinger, 87, in the PSA. “Many people are going to benefit from relief from isolation, depression, anxiety, and find that moments in their last day can be full of compassion and warmth.” Kelly said Bettinger, who was the only activist to address the city council, had been on “every committee and at every meeting.” “He was the perfect speaker for such a project.” For more information about the CHW LGBT-affirming senior housing project, visit chworks.org/ northparkchw. To watch the PSA, visit tinyurl.com/omjumtj —Morgan M. Hurley can be reached at morgan@sdcnn.com.t

GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 11 – 24, 2015

Deep Inside Hollywood By Romeo San Vicente

Remember that Freddie Mercury movie they keep promising? It’s still happening, for starters. Sacha Baron Cohen has dropped out, as we reported earlier, and frankly, after that, everything sort of seemed to be falling apart. But now it looks as though a new screenwriter is on board — Anthony McCarten, whose “The Theory of Everything” screenplay earned an Oscar nomination — and there might be a title: “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Smart move there, really. Instant name recognition and all that. As for a star? That’s trickier. So many names have been tossed around. Currently the producers are hot for Ben Whishaw, which would be another smart move, because he’s terrific, and also because he looks more like Mercury than Benedict Cumberbatch or Tom Hardy, England’s other go-to hotshot young actors. And if they can’t get him, then … well, we have no idea. This could go on longer than that Janis Joplin movie that still hasn’t shown up on screens.

Moore ‘Wonderstruck’ with Haynes Julianne Moore and director Todd Haynes — his recent film “Carol” is generating lots of Oscar buzz — go way back. In 1994 she starred in Haynes’ critically acclaimed drama “Safe,” then again in 2002’s critically acclaimed drama “Far From Heaven,” and again in the critically acclaimed drama “I’m Not There.” The two of them and “critically acclaimed” are kind of a thing at this point, that flashpoint where like-minded artists meet and make fire. So it’s no surprise that the Academy Award-winning Moore and her preferred auteur are teaming up again. She’ll star in “Wonderstruck,” Haynes’ adaptation of Brian Selznick’s children’s novel. It’s about two hearing-impaired children — a boy in the 1970s and a girl in the 1920s — whose lives intertwine when they both flee their homes and run away to New York City. Yes, in different decades. Look, we trust these people to make it work. Longtime Haynes collaborator Christine Vachon will produce, and the words “critically acclaimed” are fairly certain to make another appearance when all is said and done.

Chris Colfer is in the ‘AbFab’ movie, sweetie Post-“Glee” life continues to look absolutely fabulous for Chris Colfer. Not only will he star as the legendary Noel Coward in an upcoming biopic, but he’s also about to work with Kim Adele’s ‘Hello’ director to Kardashian. OK, he might not Julianne Moore (Photo by Kath Click) keep working in English share any scenes with the co-star Prolific and highly lauded, of “Tyler Perry’s Temptation: gay French-Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan is in Confessions of a Marriage Counselor,” but he will his late 20s and has already directed several films share a credit crawl with the infamous reality star, that have made the arthouse world sit up and take because they’ve both taken roles in the “Absolutely a lot of notice: “I Killed My Mother” and “HeartFabulous” movie. Colfer will play the (we assume beats,” to name two. gay) hairdresser/social media consultant to Edina But it’s his most recent work — his first big (“AbFab” creator Jennifer Saunders) as she cavorts project in English — that has earned him half a bilaround Europe with Patsy (Joanna Lumley), deslion YouTube views: Adele’s “Hello” video. Now the perately maintaining their connection to youth and director will tackle a feature film in that language, glamour. “The Death and Life of John F. Donovan.” It will The only thing more delightful than this news is star Susan Sarandon, Kathy Bates, Jessica Chastain, the clip going around online where Colfer explains Taylor Kitsch, and Kit Harington in the title role. “Absolutely Fabulous” to a befuddled Larry King, The film concerns a young actor who corresponds who appears to have never heard of such a thing. with an American TV star who dies, the fallout of Your day will be made, trust us. that relationship affecting everyone connected. As of this stage in the development process, —Romeo San Vicente thinks Kim K’s coffee table there would appear to be no role written for the book of selfies is totally misunderstood. He can be world’s most famous British singer. But you know reached care of this publication or at DeepInsideHolit would only help raise the movie’s profile. lywood@qsyndicate.com.t

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GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 11 – 24, 2015

FRIDAY, DEC. 11

Quartyard’s holiday market: The second day of this holiday market will feature craft vendors, holiday cocktails, live music and more. Pet and family-friendly. Free. 5 – 10 p.m. Quartyard, 1102 Market St., East Village. Visit quartyardsd.com. Log Cabin Republicans of San Diego County annual membership meeting and Christmas party: A chance to renew membership and enjoy holiday lights with elected officials. $20 per person. 6 – 8 p.m. Broadstone Little Italy, 1980 Kettner Blvd. RSVP by email to lcrsandiego@gmail.com or by phone to 619-269-9474. Visit facebook.com/lcrsandiego. ‘Love Is’ concert: San Diego Women’s Chorus will present their annual winter concert with music that celebrates all types of love. $18 – $27. 7 p.m. Performing and Media Arts School, 5050 Conrad Ave., Clairemont. Visit sdwc.ticketleap.com/loveis.

Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) San Diego County’s ninth annual Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) ice skating event: A meetup for GSA students to mingle with friends and ice skate. Arrive by 7:15 p.m. for free entry with group; those arriving after must pay for own ticket. 7:15 – 10 p.m. UTC ice rink, 4545 La Jolla Village Drive. Visit facebook.com/ GLSENSanDiego. ‘Love Actually’: Cinema Under the Stars presents this holiday-themed romantic comedy with an ensemble cast including Hugh Grant, Keira Knightly, Emma Thompson, Colin Firth and many more. 8 p.m. $15. Additional screening on Saturday, Dec. 12. 4040 Goldfinch St., Mission Hills. For more info, visit topspresents. com or call 619-295-4221.

SATURDAY, DEC. 12

March and Rally for Climate Justice: As world leaders meet in Paris to negotiate a new global climate treaty, locals will come together to call for “bold climate

solutions that create local jobs, strengthen community power and transition us to 100 percent clean energy by 2035.” Noon – 3 p.m. Balboa Park, Sixth Avenue and Laurel Street. Visit facebook.com/ SanDiego350.

Girls Night Out San Diego: Monthly dance for the local women’s community, consisting of a night filled with dance music, celebrations, flash mob dances and more. This month’s “Decades Dance” will feature music from the ’60s through 2015. $10. 6 p.m. Brass Rail, 3796 Fifth Ave., Hillcrest. Visit facebook.com/LezDanceSanDiego. Holiday art show: An artist reception with hosted wine, hors d’oeuvres, new artwork by several artists and jewelry plus live jazz. More details to come. 7 – 9 p.m. Adelman Fine Art, 1980 Kettner Blvd. #40, Little Italy. Visit adelmanfineart.com. ‘Jingle’ holiday concert: 160 members of San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus will perform renditions of holiday favorites, along with special guests and a singalong. 8 p.m. (Additional performance on Sunday, Dec. 13 at 3 p.m.) Balboa Theatre, 868 Fourth Ave., Downtown. Visit sdgmc.org. 3rd annual ugly sweater party and Warm Smiles Project’s toy/blanket drive: Bring an unwrapped item for donation to be delivered during the weeks before Christmas; and enter to win prizes in the ugliest/most festive sweater contest. No cover. 9 p.m. – 2 a.m. Flicks, 1017 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit facebook.com/hsnnightlife.

SUNDAY, DEC. 13

Holiday on Adams Avenue: Santa will be listening to wish lists starting at 2 p.m. with snow covering the park (until it melts), a performance by Fern Street Circus (noon – 1 p.m.), treats, music and more. Free. Noon – 4 p.m. Kensington Park, 4121 Adams Ave. Visit adamsavenuebusiness.com. ‘Jingle’ holiday concert: 160 members of San Diego Gay Men’s

Chorus will perform renditions of holiday favorites, along with special guests and a singalong. 3 p.m. (Additional performance on Saturday, Dec. 12 at 8 p.m.) Balboa Theatre, 868 Fourth Ave., Downtown. Visit sdgmc.org. #BeTheGeneration holiday bar crawl: A festive bar crawl to promote the campaign, share resources and have fun! Wear your #BeTheGeneration Tshirt (available with $20 donation through The Center) and holidaythemed accessories. The crawl starts at 3:30 p.m. at Babycakes, 3766 Fifth Ave., Hillcrest. For more information contact Benny Cartwright on Facebook, text 619-316-9197, or e-mail outreach@ thecentersd.org. Visit facebook. com/bethegeneration. San Diego Bay Parade of Lights: A special tradition of the boating community sponsored by Port of San Diego featuring decorated boats. This year’s theme is “Christmas Around the World.” 5:30 p.m. (Additional procession on Dec. 20). Visit sdparadeoflights.org.

MONDAY, DEC. 14 – LAST NIGHT OF HANUKKAH

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

TUESDAY, DEC 15

Young Professionals Council holiday social: Join the YPC for

a mixer with a brief presentation on YPC’s 2016 academy class, mingling and more. Anyone interested in applying to the program is encouraged to at attend. 6 – 8 p.m. #1 Fifth Ave., 3845 Fifth Ave., Hillcrest. For more information contact The Center’s YPC staff liaisons Ben Cartwright (bcartwright@thecentersd. org) and Rebekah Hook-Held (rhookheld@thecentersd. org). Visit facebook.com/ YPCSD. Leslie Jordan in ‘Unwrapped – Southern Holiday Stories’: Leslie Jordan returns to MA4 with his special holiday show. The actor-comedian from “Will and Grace,” “The Help,” and “American Horror Story: Coven” will ring in the holidays with three intimate evenings of laughs. Don’t miss out on this hysterical show filled with holiday cheer and Southern style! Tickets are $40 – $45 for reserved seating (plus $15 per person food/drink minimum). Doors open at 6 p.m. each night with the show at 8 p.m. Martinis Above Fourth, 3940 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest. Visit martinisabovefourth.com.

MO’s and Baja Betty’s staff will be participating in this one-night-only show. 8 p.m. Baja Betty’s, 1421 University Ave., Hillcrest.

FRIDAY, DEC. 18

Eagle Xmas Party: San Diego’s only leather bar hosts a special holiday party with gifts every half hour. 6 – 11 p.m. San Diego Eagle, 3040 North Park Way, North Park. Visit bit. ly/1SMF1uc.

SATURDAY, DEC. 19

Fitbit Local fitness session: Part of a free workout program hosted by local fitness experts. Today’s session will include an ocean-view run/walk and yoga with Sheri Matthews. 9 a.m. Law Street Beach, Pacific Beach. Visit fitbit.com/local-events.

WEDNESDAY, DEC 16

Out Night at Cygnet: An evening for theater-lovers in the LGBT community. Pre-show mixer on the patio for everyone with a ticket to tonight’s performance of “A Christmas Carol.” The show runs through Dec. 27. 6:30 p.m. 4040 Twiggs St., Old Town. Tickets 619-337-1525 or cygnettheatre.com. FilmOut Screening: “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion” — a comedy about friends who haven’t accomplished as much as they had hoped in the 10 years since graduating high school. The duo (Mira Sorvino and Lisa Kudrow) invent fake careers to impress the classmates at their reunion but their lies spin out of control. $12. 7 p.m., Landmark Cinemas, 3965 Fifth Ave. #200, Hillcrest. Visit filmoutsandiego.com outsandiego.com.

THURSDAY, DEC. 17

Holiday cocktail party for Just Call Us Volunteers: A holiday party to thank JCUV volunteers for their ser service throughout the year. Live music, appetizers and beverages provided. 5 – 8 p.m. Snooze, an A.M. Eater y, 3940 Fifth Ave., Hillcrest. Visit facebook.com/ JCUvolunteers. ‘Drive By Drag’: Urban

North County LGBTQ Resource Center Holiday Brunch: A celebration with friends, family food and a chance to donate gifts for the Trans Youth Project of San Diego. Visit goo.gl/forms/ IfVcMn81rz to sponsor gifts (not mandatory to attend). 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. North County LGBTQ Resource Center, 510 North Coast Highway, Suite C, Oceanside. Visit facebook.com/nclgbtqresourcecenter. Birthday bash at Babycakes: This birthday bash is held every third Saturday of the month to celebrate anyone born this month. Hosted vodka bar from 9 – 10 p.m., free cupcakes, giveaways, party favors, drink specials and more. 8 p.m. Babycakes, 3766 Fifth Ave., Hillcrest. Visit babycakessandiego.com. Overdrive: The dance event moves to Rich’s San Diego for one night only as a kick-off party for Masterbeat New Year’s Los Ange-

see Calendar, pg 19 QSyndicate.com

Q Q PUZZLE PUZZLE

solution on page 16

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DOWN

1 Brown’s “Cat on the ___” 6 Cicero’s singular 10 Asks from one’s knees 14 “After Delores” author Schulman 15 Big ones in porn films, sometimes 16 Focused on one’s work 17 Not novel 18 Lesbos love 19 Delany of “Desperate Housewives” 20 Obsession with facial hair 23 Almost ready for the tooth fairy 24 Make airtight 25 Charades, basically 28 Prick 29 Peace Nobelist Wiesel 30 Eurythmics’ “Would ___ to You?” 33 Pub round 37 Kind of man, in Oz 38 Life style of hairy gay guys 40 One to ten, e.g. 42 Saltine brand 43 DeLaria of “Orange Is the New Black”

1 One that comes quickly 2 Eat pasta, with “up” 3 Buffalo’s lake 4 Barney, who romanced Romaine 5 Aileen Wuornos portrayer Charlize 6 Boat bottom bumpers 7 Be in harmony 8 What an athletic supporter might do? 9 Help out 10 Whoopi’s ill-fitting garb in “Sister Act”? 11 Online prostitution? 12 Big name in cutters 13 Terence of “Billy Budd” 21 Stray on the range 22 Earhart’s “Friendship” and others 25 Gide’s subway 26 Homer-erotic tale? 27 Of a coin factory? 28 Brief moments in the “Kama Sutra” 31 Turning tray for Anthony? 32 Incenses 34 Void’s partner

44 Journeys like a post-Trojan War epic 46 Buck feature 48 “Lady Sings the Blues” star 49 Queens ballpark 50 Sci-fi that uses technology and aesthetic designs 54 Artist Aaron, whose style has been described as a combination of 20-, 38-, and 50-Across 58 Do road work 59 “Let me repeat ...” 61 160 square rods 62 Disney’s “___ and the Detectives” 63 Lets up 64 Bear’s den 65 Where you can eat a hero 66 Bitchy warning 67 Mireille of “World War Z”

35 It can bear fruit 36 Brown quickly 38 It’s a bust 39 Place for Young men? 41 One from the land of the circumcised 45 Lays eyes on 47 Some like it hot 49 Biathlete, for one 50 Went lickety-split 51 Meek and mild 52 Apt anagram for vile 53 Org. that could help you see Uranus 55 “___ do anything better than you” 56 Dixie Chicks, e.g. 57 Word on either bride’s towel 60 Data transmission letters


CALENDAR / OPINION

gay-sd.com FROM PAGE 18

CALENDAR les. Attendees will have a chance to win free weekend passes to Masterbeat. Features Masterbeat DJ Brett Henrichsen, DJ Tristan Jaxx and more. 10 p.m. – 4 a.m. Rich’s San Diego, 1051 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit overdrivesd. eventbrite.com.

SUNDAY, DEC. 20

Lady B’s Holiday Showcase: An evening of Christmas favorites and songs to inspire the soul, plus dessert table, auction, Jell-O shots, raffle prizes and more. This drag show will benefit Trans Family Support Services. $10. Doors at 4 p.m.; show at 5 p.m. Numb3ers Nightclub, 3811 Park Blvd., Hillcrest. Contact Lady B at 619-518-4923.

MONDAY, DEC. 21

Annual Manic Monday Ugly Sweater Pre-Christmas Party: An ’80s and ’90s dance party with DJs XP and Junior “The Disco Punk.” 80cent drinks until midnight, $2 drink specials and more. $2 cover or wear

an ugly sweater for no cover. 9 p.m. – 2 a.m. Brass Rail, 3796 Fifth Ave., Hillcrest. Visit thebrassrailsd.com.

TUESDAY, DEC. 22

FROM PAGE 7

LETTERS

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

my now feminist niece that I didn’t become a FF — Famous Feminist. However, I, and my grassroots friends that I have talked with, do not necessarily want to stand out as individual iconic collectivist ’70s feminists for younger people as writers or speakers. That would go against all we stood for. —Lynne Shapiro via gay-sd.com

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 23

A visitor center for all

Dave Koz Christmas Tour 2015: Saxophonist extraordinaire Dave Koz will bring his holiday show and special guests Jonathan Butler, Candy Dulfer and Billy Medley to Balboa Theatre. VIP Packages available with pre-show meet and greet, collectible Dave Koz Christmas ornament and more. Tickets start at $32.50. 8 p.m. Balboa Theatre, 868 Fourth Ave., Downtown. Visit sandiegotheatres.org.

THURSDAY, DEC. 24 – CHRISTMAS EVE ‘A Civil War Christmas: An American Musical Celebration in Concert’ and pre-show reception: The reception with cookies, hot cocoa and more will be included with a ticket to tonight’s performance of the uplifting musical by Pulitzer Prize-winner Paula Vogel. Show at 7 p.m. Runs through Jan. 3, 2016. Diversionar y Theatre, 4545 Park Blvd., University Heights. Visit diversionar y.org. —Compiled by Jen Van Tieghem. Email calendar items to morgan@ sdcnn.com.t

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I’m ver y proud of Eddie Rey’s hard work in creating this amazing Visitors Center together [“America’s finest tourist attraction,” Vol. 6, Issue 23 or at

http://bit.ly/1POg0iK]. I still remember it was just over five years ago when he reached out to me on social media from Nevada asking about the LGBT community in San Diego, and since moving here shortly after that, he has soared and become an integral part of our community! Keep up the great work, Eddie! —Ben Cartwright, via gay-sd.com I’ve had more visitors come in and get information as a direct result of reading your article. I’ve had over 10 people come in today alone with either a paper in hand or because they read about it from a post. I’m thinking I’ll need to budget more money for advertising going into the new year. —Eddie Rey, via Facebook

GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 11 – 24, 2015

19

Remembering Kurt Kurt always gave me a sense of order. Funny, honest, kind, giving, living, caring and most of all, being there for ever yone in great amounts. Thank you for allowing me to make you look alive and your memor y will remain the same, cherished. I miss you my friend. —Jordan Andrews, via Facebookt

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SPORTS

GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 11 – 24, 2015

A standing ovation for #PressGateBruce Dugout Chatter Jeff Praught “Press Gate Bruce” is what we called him; awesome and funny and caring and friendly and unique is how we will all remember him. Friendly to everyone and memorable to all, the LGBT and professional sports communities in San Diego lost an amazing contributor when Bruce Ragland, just 55 years young, passed away on Nov. 24. I will always refer to him as Bruce, because he was so impressionable, it seemed that no one knew his last name. During his time working for the San Diego Padres and San Diego Chargers, he was simply “Press Gate Bruce.” Bruce manned the press gate entrance at Qualcomm Stadium and Petco Park for over 20 years and during that time, he forged personal relationships with scores of media members and team employees — including those from other teams — while simply trying to “do his job,” as he would often say. “Doing his job” meant putting on an entertaining and unique schtick as people entered the venue. He always had his famous lollipops ready for when he would sing to children as they came by for a hug. Bruce had scores of personal fans who entered through other gates but just had to say “Hi” to the affable greeter who seemingly never missed a day of work. Part of what made Bruce so interesting to people was his “this is me, take it or leave it” personality. A gay man with a flair for entertainment, Bruce never hid who he was. He was open about his sexuality in an industry that has traditionally been as homophobic as any out there, including the military. Fortunately for everyone, the ice is thawing on the discrimination era and people like Bruce helped begin the process of making that possible. Everyone — and I mean everyone — knew him as kind, trustworthy and like a family member. If you have not heard Bruce sing to you at the press gate, you truly have not lived. I can recall friends walking in to claim their game tickets and having to — correction: getting to — sit through a five-minute song and dance that Bruce had prepared. He almost always remembered everyone on a first name basis, even if you had only met him once. Marty Caswell, a producer at local sports talk radio station Mighty 1090, tweeted this upon Bruce’s Nov. 24 passing: “Think of the one person that makes you smile every single day when you go to work. That was #PressGateBruce Will be missed by all.” The next day, Caswell went on to give a nearly five-minute, on-air tribute to Bruce. It was chilling and it was emotional and it was awesome, as he perfectly summed up the human being thousands of people had gotten to know over the years. If you do a Twitter search on

#PressGateBruce a long list of other tributes will appear, coming from not just friends, but so many media members. “Just heard about the passing of “Press Gate” Bruce Ragland ... a very kind man who had a smile for everyone he met,” added Channel 10 Sports Director Ben Higgins. Former Padres manager Bruce Bochy was a favorite friend of Press Gate Bruce, and Bochy would often go out of his way to pay Bruce a visit during his trips to Petco Park, even though he had moved on to manage the archrival San Francisco Giants. Bruce’s demise came from a catastrophic stroke he suffered while enjoying the Hillcrest neighborhood on Halloween night. His friends in the LGBT community recall hearing Bruce tell stories from 30 years ago, when life in the gay community was vastly different than the one he was living in today. He would often play pool while simultaneously “holding court,” sharing laughs and stories with anyone who wanted to talk over a drink. Bruce had so many stories to

tell because he lived a lifetime of experiences in just 55 years. He had a speaking role in the movie “Titanic” where, as one of the rescue boat operators, he yelled out, “There’s nothing there, sir!” He also played a bit role in “Angels in the Outfield,” as well as in other productions in New York City. He often tried out for additional commercials and on-stage speaking roles during his free time. Those who have known Bruce for many years remember two different people on the outside. The Bruce many fans remember — walking the walkway at Qualcomm Stadium while blowing kisses to the crowd and waving to kids and friends — was a very large man. He was not embarrassed to admit that at one point in his life, he had topped out at 500 pounds. The Bruce of recent years had shed most of that weight, but what never changed —in Bruce’s case this is not cliché at all — was his personality. He was never ashamed of anything, and in fact, embraced his personality and his body. He was as self-deprecating as he was hilarious. He was Press Gate Bruce, the big gay man with the famous cackle and heart of gold, and there was just no way you could not love spending a few minutes of your day with him. Bruce leaves behind a family and a world of friends with heavy hearts; but he would not want us to grieve. He would want us to

gay-sd.com party and celebrate his life, and the family is respecting his wishes. This Saturday, Dec. 12, his family will arrive at the Ocean Beach Pier by boat to spread his ashes at sea. There will be light music and some words of remembrance delivered. The event is open to all of Bruce’s friends and loved ones. Biodegradable items — such as flowers — are permitted, for tossing into the ocean along with his ashes. The celebration will then move to his favorite neighborhood bar, The Loft, located at 3610 Fifth Ave. in Hillcrest, where his friends will host a Celebration of Life which will also act as a fundraiser to help assist the family that Bruce leaves behind. I visited Bruce a few times at the hospital, and it was heartbreaking to see the affects Bruce Ragland (Courtesy Giselle Grayson) this unforeseen tragedy could inflict upon a man who may well have been the least infectious laugh and the kindness deserving of such a fate. in which he treated every single At 55, it is unthinkable that person who crossed his path. someone who loved life as much as Rest in peace, Press Gate Bruce. Bruce could be taken from us so suddenly, so soon, and so tragically. —Jeff Praught can be reached at I will always remember his dugoutchatter@gmail.com.t

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