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Volume 6 Issue 26

Ring in

Dec. 25, 2015 – Jan. 7, 2016

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Page 16


Stories of the year


Got art?

They said it in 2015


By Gina McGilliard

Brad Truax Award winner


There’s a new cow in the neighborhood. If you’ve recently been by The Studio Door art gallery in North Park, you may have noticed a partially painted life-sized cow sculpture. It’s the latest art project of out artist and gallery owner Patric Stillman, and the project, which is part of the Milk Loves Art campaign, aims to raise money for a good cause. The California Milk Processor Board (CMPB) — famous for their wildly successful “Got Milk?” advertis-

Morgan M. Hurley | Editor

ing campaign — put a call out to artists across the state to paint the cow sculptures and celebrate the theme, “California’s rich cultural heritage.” With 30 cows made available to be painted, Stillman was among 13 professional artists who were chosen, along with 10 art students and celebrity amateur artist Jaleel White, known for playing Steve Urkel on the ’90s sitcom “Family Matters.” The sculptures will be sold at an auction to raise money for Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times, a free camp that hosts more than 1,500 children and their families battling cancer each year. The camp offers stricken families a medically supervised break from

Gay San Diego is published every other Friday throughout the year — this is our 26th hardcopy issue of 2015. In addition, every publication Friday, we upload all the articles in the current issue to our website at gay-sd.com and we send out newsletters and post them on Facebook and share them on Twitter to garner additional readership through social media. Just as we did last year, I decided to look back and see what our biggest stories online were since we can’t really calculate how many people read the individual articles in the hardcopy version. I’ve only included articles that were written by local writers or columnists about events that directly connected to San Diego; no syndicated articles were selected, though

see Cow Art, pg 3

see Online 2015, pg 13

Patric Stillman with his 'Milk loves Art' cow

Local LGBT artist picked for statewide charity project

A look back to gay-sd.com 2015

(Courtesy The Studio Door)

Happily celebrating ‘all loving couples’ Christmas at wartime


New ramen house in Hillcrest

Index Opinion....…...….....…6 Briefs................7 Classifieds..............12 Calendar....................14 Spor ts................15

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San Diego Community News Network

Local woman serves up samesex nuptials to remember By Lucia Viti North Park resident Bethel Nathan made an unusual career change in the last decade and found her true calling. Now the $64,000 question is: “How does a Wall Street executive become an award-winning wedding officiant?” Nathan’s answer is simple. “My life from Wall Street to weddings is a fun, crazy, un-straight line that began as the sexy job you’re supposed to want, to celebrating life, love and all that is meaningful,” the North Park resident said. “My business education steered me on a traditional corporate path that I loved, but officiating weddings fuels my passion for making a difference in people’s lives.” Touting an undergraduate degree in political science and Japanese studies from the University of California at Berkeley and an MBA in international business from Thunderbird School

of Global Management, Nathan spent nine years working for global investment banks in New York, Japan and London, trading institutional equity derivatives before designing and facilitating worldwide training programs. Her corporate rise remained undaunted until the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. With her office located seven blocks from the World Trade Center, the former California resident found herself walking home shrouded in ash and debris after witnessing the fall of the North Tower. During the nearly 10-mile trek to the Upper West Side, Nathan said she realized that she was being held captive by Wall Street’s lure. “The handcuffs were gold and beautiful,” she said. “But they were still handcuffs. 9/11 solidified my desire to leave. I walked away within months at age 33 never wondering ‘what if?’ because I had already proven my success.” Nathan returned to San Diego and worked as chief operations officer for her family’s 20-year-old promotional

Amy and Stephanie show their appreciation to officiant Bethel Nathan after saying their vows. (Photo by Shuttered Light Photography/shutteredlight.com) products company. Six years later, convinced that she had served her purpose applying her corporate world experience to benefit her parents’ small business, Nathan searched in earnest for her passion. “I left sexy, lucrative Wall Street because it wasn’t my passion, so I knew that I couldn’t continue working with my parents,” she said. “I didn’t have the flexibility not to work, so I questioned, ‘What would I do if I didn’t have to earn a living?’ “The answer was easy,” she said. “Run a philanthropy or marry people.” In 2009, Nathan became an or-

dained officiant, launched Ceremonies by Bethel and devised her own special formula for uniting couples for life. The “off-chance” idea first began when her brother and his fiancée asked her to officiate their upcoming nuptials. The couple requested an interfaith, non-religious ceremony that would celebrate their love. Nathan’s experience as a public speaker propelled her into agreement and in true Bethel fashion, she researched religious, non-religious, traditional and non-traditional ceremonies while as-

see Weddings, pg 8


What the celebs said

“All I can say is, I’ve done both, and I don’t let either experience define me. I don’t let having been with a man make me think I am heterosexual, or make me want to call myself that, because I know I have been attracted to women — and have lived with women. So, for me, I’m not looking to define myself, and I’m sorry if that is something that is seen as a rejection of or unwillingness to embrace [my sexuality] in a public way, but it’s simply not. It’s simply what’s true for me, and that’s all I can speak to.” —Sarah Paulson

“I just hope she finds love. It took me a while, man. And there was a lot of heartache throughout those years. You know, as long as she’s happy, I don’t care either way, and neither does my husband. And we have two other kids as well, and we don’t care either way for all of them.” —Kelly Clarkson on how she’d feel if one of her kids were gay

(Courtesy Interscope Records) (Courtesy Big Machine)

“I would like to think I changed lives – I mean, I get lots of emails saying, ‘Seeing ‘Torch Song’ changed my life,’ ‘seeing this changed my life,’ and that’s wonderful. But I don’t need to worry about if I’m gonna be remembered. I ain’t gonna be here to know if I’m being remembered or forgotten!” —Harvey Fierstein

“I do feel like I occupy — not in any self-aggrandizing way — a space where I have looked to my peers and looked around me and said, ‘Well, who else can I look to?’ And there isn’t anybody else. That to me is significant and personally gratifying as I consider my own journey to self-acceptance.” —Zachary Quinto on the lack of LGBT action heroes

“For me, having kids and being married, it was important to maintain the integrity of those relationships and not teach my kids that this is a shameful secret and that my husband [Simon Halls] has to be waiting in the wings all the time.” —Matt Bomer reflecting on coming out

“I think everybody does, no matter who they are. I do, yeah, of course. Absolutely. I think it’s healthy to gain a perspective on who you are deep down, question yourself and challenge yourself; it’s important to do that.” —Selena Gomez on questioning her sexuality “I’m so excited. What a big day. It’s a huge step toward equality. Everyone should be able to be who they are, love who they want and marry who they want. It’s 2015; for us to still have judgment about people being gay is ridiculous, so I can’t believe it’s taken this long. It’s definitely a big day in history, and I’m just so excited.” —Hilary Duff, on June 26, the day the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality

“What a child needs when they’re growing up is support and love, mainly love. … And if they do happen to be gay, that’s going to be a harder hurdle to get over. What a parent needs to do more than anything is jump in there with love and support. You made ’em. They’re a gift from God. Love ‘em as they are.” —Reba McEntire

(Photo by Nino Munoz)

“When I sent that tweet a few years ago just letting people know that I am gay it was the most amazing day of my life after the birth of my kids.” —Ricky Martin

“I was at some kind of shop, and I was walking around with someone — it was probably my girlfriend. And this guy comes up to me and goes, ‘Hey, I just want you to know, the bears love you.’ I’m like, ‘Excuse me? What?’ And I didn’t know what that meant! I’m like, ‘Are you a baseball team?’” —Josh Groban

(Photo by KathClick)

(Photo by Daniel Sannwald) (Courtesy RCA Records)

(Courtesy Weinstein Co.)

Jane Fonda was emotionally impacted by a question. Josh Groban recalled the moment he learned about his big bear following — and how he mistook them for a sports team. And Sarah Paulson opened up during a candid conversation about her sexuality. Here’s a look back at the most memorable words from some of Hollywood’s hottest and gay-adored celebs during Chris Azzopardi’s 2015 interviews:

“What I like to say is that being unique and original is what makes me happy, and I think that rubs off on them. My sons did their nails just the other day, and the only reason was because their nails were so disgusting! Like, they were in the mud and I was like, ‘We have got to do your nails! Why don’t we do ‘Nail Salon’?!’” —Gwen Stefani

(Photo by Bruce Glikas)

in Revi

Memora ble from Ho quotes llywood notables

(Courtesy Shelter PR)


Chris Azzopardi | Q Syndicate


(Photo by Olaf Heine)

GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 25, 2015 – Jan. 7, 2016

(Photo by KathClick)


More celeb quotes “I find the question so moving that it makes me cry. I had never thought of it before, and it makes me so moved.” —Jane Fonda when asked why there’s always been a place for older women in the gay community “It was the LGBTQ community that inspired me to be the kind of person I wanted to be. I wanted to be authentic and courageous, and for so long I wasn’t.” —Judith Light “You always have to take their stories with a grain of salt. It’s like when there’s a traffic accident and you ask five witnesses and they tell you five different stories.” —director Roland Emmerich on the "Stonewall" film controversy “When we got marriage equality and there was a celebration for that in New York City, it was an honor to be a part of that. I can’t explain it. There are some performances that you do and you’re like, ‘That was cool, that was fun.’ That one was different fun. It was so memorable and an incredible thing to be a part of.” —Carly Rae Jepsen Find many of these complete interviews at gay-sd.com. All interview content courtesy qsyndicate.com.t



GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 25, 2015 – Jan. 7, 2016



COW ART the disease in a therapeutic outdoor environment, giving them the chance to participate in archery, horseback riding, arts and crafts and more. First established in 1993, the CMPB has never undertaken a project of this scale before. “We’ve wanted to do something that would celebrate both cows, which everybody seems to love, and art and families and kids, and we were looking for a way to bring all these things together,” said Steve James, executive director of CMPB. “It’s kind of a win all the way around,” Stillman said. “Because the Got Milk? people are celebrating California artists and using all that creativity and inspiration. ... Not only am I honored to be one of the few selected for the program, I think it’s such a wonderful opportunity to give back.” George Yepes — a well-known muralist whose work has been displayed at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego as well as the Smithsonian Institution and various other high profile art venues — will be overseeing the creative phase of the project and painting a cow sculpture himself. “Whenever there is a chance to get involved in bettering our community and enriching the lives of individuals through art, I’m more than happy to be part of it,” stated Yepes on the CMPB website. The cow is Stillman’s first sculptural project. He decided his artistic concept for the cow would be to illustrate the historic U.S. Route 101, based off of a trail that connected California’s Spanish missions. “There’s something so magical about this to me, that there are 21 missions along the coast,” he said. “And to go back in time, just think of this sort of dirt trail connecting these castles — even though I know they’re not castles, it just has that kind of magic in my mind — that you’re walking along or you’re on your horse and you’re traveling, and then you come across these buildings where you can sit down and meet with

The Hann children surround Stillman (on floor, with SD6 CW interviewer) and his art cow, which is still a work in progress. Katie Hann (top left) is a cancer survivor and Stillman's cow will soon be auctioned off to benefit kids with cancer. (Photo by Keri Hann) people and have a civilized moment before you get back on the trail. “And then over time [the trail had] such importance that it became an actual highway, and eventually that same highway sort of came to represent California’s lifestyle, with all the surf culture,” Stillman said. The other side of the cow will have the words “Greetings from California — Historic California US 101 Route” in lettering modeled after pre-World War II fruit crates, which were also his inspiration for the rest of the artwork’s imagery. “They have such a beautiful graphic quality, so I thought that would really underscore my historic California theme,” said Stillman, who was born and raised in the Minnesota farmlands but moved to California as a young man.

Stillman said customers to the art gallery have seemed to sometimes be taken aback by the cow. “I hear people mooing as they walk by,” Stillman said. “But people love it. People stop and take photos with it. At night, the gallery is dark and there are lights on the cow. So as you’re driving by there’s this cow in the window of this building. It’s very exciting.” It is unknown who potential buyers of the cow sculptures could be, but a wide variety of people and organizations are expected. “Until we see what the cows are, the whimsical nature of these sculptures I think will sort of dictate who the buyers would be, whether a children’s hospital, or a school or a library or municipality or just a private individual who wants to donate it to a children’s facility,” James said.

Stillman was given a Jan. 1 deadline and is still actively painting the cow. To see his cow sculpture up close, stop by The Studio Door, located at 3750 30th St., in North Park. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, noon – 7 p.m., and Sunday from noon – 4 p.m. Visit thestudiodoor.com. For more information on the Milk Loves Art campaign, visit tinyurl.com/nob9jrk, or for Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times, visit rmhcsc.org/camp. —Gina McGalliard is a local freelance writer. You can contact her at ginamcgalliard@gmail.com or follow her blog, ginamcgalliard.com/mcgalliardmatters. —Editor Morgan M. Hurley contributed to this report.t



GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 25, 2015 – Jan. 7, 2016


A very full year Out of the Archives Walter G. Meyer Editor’s Note: This issue’s Out of the Archives was written by Maureen Steiner, board president. As 2015 draws to a close, we here at Lambda Archives extend our best wishes for wonderful holidays and good hopes for a fantastic 2016. We thank you for your support of our efforts as we look proudly back on a ver y good year. Some of the biggest changes include the switch from contractors to employees. We now employ two part-time professionally trained archivists and an office manager. We contract for professional bookkeeping services, accounting and tax preparation, and IT support. Shout-out to past treasurer Garold Wampler for greatly facilitating all those steps forward. The board continues to play an important role in the operations and governance of Lambda Archives. Thank you to our volunteer board members. With the combined efforts of our in-house staff, volunteers and board, here are some of the highlights of 2015: • Our head archivist, Jen LaBarbera, has just had a proposal accepted to present at a professional library/archives conference in Vancouver and will discuss “History in the Making: How Archives and Activists Can Work Together.”

• Led by office manager Walt Meyer and in collaboration with Diversionary Theatre, we presented four “Out At the Archives” events, bringing the stories from our history to life. Each event drew an average of 60 attendees. • We welcomed over 300 visitors to the Archives (more than twice as many as in any previous year). Over 100 high school students checked out our collections as part of a partnership that brings them to performances at Diversionary. Elected officials, community leaders, students, neighbors, Dana Springs of the City Arts & Culture Commission and groups from The Center all enjoyed tours and/or research. • Walt also initiated “History of Hillcrest” walking tours, which highlight the rich LGBT history of the “gayborhood.” • Digital archivist Ken Selnick supported all the above while training over a dozen students in the processing and preservation of approximately 40,000 photos from our friends at San Diego Pride. This work is largely underwritten by a generous grant from California Institute for Contemporary Art. • Jen updated our collection management procedures and began processing new collections to make them available and accessible to researchers. • We continued to collaborate with the San Diego Unified School District and provided research assistance to educators who are preparing a curriculum to support the FAIR act. • We tabled at San Diego Pride,

(l to r) Susan Jester of the Log Cabin Republicans and David Warmoth of the San Diego Democrats for Equality agree on one thing: supporting Lambda Archives’ March gala. (Photo by Walter Meyer) South Bay Pride, The Center, San Diego State and other local events. • We highlighted, through exhibits and events, the life of Jonathan Dunn-Rankin; the 50th anniversary of the Imperial Court; a photo exhibit of LGBT military personnel; a look back at end of DADT; LGBT politicians and LGBT Latino history. Our current exhibit is LGBT education, in conjunction with the SD Unified School District. • Through the combined efforts of Meredith Vezina, Ellen Holzman, Bob Lynn, Steven Wrobelewski and Mel Merrill, we conducted 40 oral history video interviews to add to our archives. • We partnered with Save Our Heritage Organisation (originally founded by Miles Parker, a member of our community) in trying to pre-

serve a seminal San Diego LGBT historical site: the former MichelsCarey residence, where much of the initial planning for a San Diego LGBT Center took place. Sadly, we lost, but we did get the attention of the city. The San Diego Historic Resources Board, with our pushing, received a state grant to develop an LGBT Historic Context Statement for San Diego. • We continue to work with our friends at SDSU in many ways. We train students, we support student groups and donate books to the Pride Center, and we are partnering with the library special collections department to receive funding to create increased online research access to our holdings. • The San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus chose us as its fourth quarter community outreach partner. We are pleased and proud to be associated with this great community asset. • We are working with San Diego Human Dignity Foundation and Diversionary Theatre on the ParkArts collaborative to turn 4545 Park Blvd. into an LGBT Cultural and Performing Arts Center. • We now receive support from the San Diego Arts & Culture Commission. Our application received an impressive entry-level 3+ rating! Yet, we feel like our work has just begun. We are seeking to expand the breadth and scope of oral histories with additional interviewers focusing on different subsets within our LGBTQIA communities. We would like to mount more exhibits and provide even deeper glimpses into our rich community history. We will continue to grow our walking tours and “Out At the

Archives” events. And, of course, all the while we continue to acquire and preserve more of your artifacts, papers, photos and other materials of historical significance to the LGBT communities of San Diego and Imperial Counties and northern Baja California. We are protecting and preserving your history so that others may learn! Please support us with a donation to continue that work. Donations are tax deductible (consult your tax advisor) and can be made on-line at lambdaarchives.us/donations.htm or by mailing a check to Lambda Archives, 4545 Park Blvd #104, San Diego, CA 92116. Another very simple way to help is “Smile at Amazon.com.” If you do shopping on Amazon, please use smile.amazon.com and select Lambda Archives of San Diego as your charity of choice. At no additional charge to you, Amazon will donate a percentage of all of your purchases to the Archives. It’s that simple. Thanks in advance. Happy holidays and best wishes for a healthy and happy 2016, from all of us at Lambda Archives. We look forward to seeing you — along with our honorary chairs Katherine Spaulding Faulconer, Nicole Ramirez Murray, Honorable Toni Atkins and Jennifer LeSar — on March 6, as we celebrate our 2016 Heroines, Pioneers, and Trailblazers: Remarkable San Diego Women’s Response to Early HIV/AIDS. —Maureen Steiner is board president of Lambda Archives San Diego. To learn more about the Archives, visit lambdaarchives.us. Walter G. Meyer contributed to this report.t



A new definition Transforming HIV: of ‘peace’

2015 Truax Award-winner, Dr. Douglas Richman

Life Beyond Therapy Michael Kimmel Lots of people make New Year’s resolutions. I don’t recommend them. Usually, they are impossible to keep and make us feel worse about ourselves when we “break” them. Instead, why not ask yourself, “What is it I really want in the coming year?” For many of us, the answer is: peace. Oh sure, we’d like more money and a better body and a great partner and the most fulfilling job possible, but, if you dig deeper, the reason we’d like most of this stuff is because we think that, if we had it, we’d feel a really wonderful deep sense of peace. And we could relax into that peace and maybe, for the first time in our lives, not be so stressed and anxious and worried. Sound good? Peace is one of those words that a lot of us throw around without really knowing what it means. “Peace on Earth” and all that stuff is big at this time of year, but what is peace? My friend Phil told me recently that he was meditating on peace (he’s a deep thinker kind of person) and that he broke “peace” down into five key components: P: patience — Being willing to wait for something that I want right now. Having faith that things will work out for me, so I can relax. I don’t need to push myself (or others) or worr y that things are going to be a mess. I can just put one foot in front of the other and walk on my path, knowing that even if the current part of the path is rough, I can trust that if keep going, I will get through the tough stuff if I am willing to be patient. E: empathy — Understanding that it’s not all about me, it’s about “us” and we’re all a part of that. I can ask for what I want, knowing that I am an integral part of a world of many, many people, and that we all want the same things: to feel safe, loved and secure. I can focus more on how we — as human beings — are all alike, rather than how different

(e.g. better or worse) I am, compared to you. I can open my heart to understand what you’re going through, and even if I don’t agree with you, I can respect you and honor your opinions and beliefs. A: acceptance — For me, this is a tough one, because I like to think that if I tr y hard enough, I can get what I want. It’s easy to accept things when life is flowing smoothly. I don’t know about you, but that smoothness always eventually gives way to some challenges. How do I accept things that I don’t like or want? Can I accept that painful things can ultimately be good for me, or will I fight them tooth and nail, resisting things that aren’t comfortable? C: calm – easy, serene, contented. “Calm” is one of my favorite words. It’s the opposite of worr y, anxiety and panic. Not only does a calm state allow our mind to relax, thoughts to slow down and obsessive thoughts to disappear, but our body calms down too; our heart rate slows and all our organs work better. When we’re in a calm state, we make better decisions, take good care of ourselves and treat others respectfully. What’s not to like about “calm”? E: enlightenment — I think this is one of the most misunderstood words around. I think it means to be full of light and clarity, without heavy, depressing thoughts and emotions. It means realizing that I am on a ver y long path that is eternal (yes, I don’t think that this is the only life we will ever live) and that with each life we have another opportunity to “wake up” and know the truth. And the truth shall set us free … I hope that by breaking down that old, familiar word “peace” into P.E.A.C.E., it has given you another way to look at it. In my experience, once we’ve got peace, we’ve got ever ything. Peace is the bottom line. I wish you a new year full of peace, in ever y area of your life. —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

Profiles in Advocacy Ian Morton The late-December/earlyJanuary “Profiles in Advocacy” column tends to be the one closest to my heart, for a couple of reasons. First of all, it marks my column anniversary, as my first piece was written about 2012 Dr. A. Brad Truax Award-winner, Liz Johnson of Christie’s Place. Secondly, to honor World AIDS Day (Dec. 1) and AIDS Awareness Month (December), I have a tradition of dedicating each year’s issue to the individual honored by the San Diego HIV/ AIDS community with that year’s Truax award, given out annually by San Diego County’s Health and Human Services HIV Branch. Because my own advocacy roots are in the HIV field, this is always the perfect way for me to reflect upon my personal advocacy plan, heading into the New Year. Named for physician activist Dr. A. Brad Truax, this award recognizes an individual who has displayed a commitment in the field of HIV/AIDS, transforming the landscape as we know it. This year’s recipient is perhaps one of San Diego’s most “unsung heroes” locally, though recognized worldwide as one of the pioneers of HIV/AIDS research: UC San Diego’s Dr. Douglas Richman. The arc of Richman’s research career would defy the constraints of this column, but it’s important to acknowledge that some of the basic tenets of HIV care have been developed as a result of his work. Foundational knowledge — such as HIV drug resistance (the virus’s ability to mutate to resist medications) and the reservoir of latent HIV (pockets of “inactive” HIV in the body which cannot be detected and impacted by current HIV medications) — was established through his research. Of particular note was that Richman knew and actually worked with Truax, making this year’s presentation that much more poignant. Richman touched upon this during his acceptance and I was excited to

discuss this a bit more during our interview. Their first interaction was in 1979, through a student who was looking at instances of Hepatitis B in the MSM (men who sleep with men) community and happened to use samples from Truax’s private practice clinic. In the 1980s, when the antibody test for HIV was developed, Richman tested those same samples, finding that about 15 percent of those individuals were co-infected with HIV and Hep B, as early as 1979.

Dr. Douglas Richman (Photo by David Ahntholz)

Even more significant, in a time when acquiring venues for research space was challenging, Truax offered his clinic space for the very first AZT (Retrovir) clinical drug trial in the world, conducted by Dr. Richman. These early trials led to the first antiretroviral therapy and opened the door to “HAART” (Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy) in combatting HIV. It was also during this time that Richman noted Truax’s commitment to making HIV a priority in San Diego County. Thirty-plus years later, Dr. Richman is focused on the HIV Cure Initiative, which will likely be the fitting final effort to a career dedicated to quietly fighting HIV on many fronts. He recognizes that this may be a 10- to 20-year process, and also hopes to see TasP (Treatment as Prevention) continue to be highlighted and

GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 25, 2015 – Jan. 7, 2016


implemented, as a strategy to end new infections, both nationally and globally. Even as a pre-eminent figure in the field of research, Richman has continued his role as a physician. Having lived through and practiced what he has often referred to as “battlefield medicine” during the initial HIV pandemic, he finds it gratifying to see how HIV treatment, which was developed, in part, as a progression of that first AZT trial, has vastly changed the face of HIV. “A lot of my long-term patients — some of who have been with me 10 to 20 years — now we’re growing old together,” he remarked. “I’m having the opportunity to address the more mundane issues, such as smoking cessation and keeping a healthy weight.” As we closed our discussion, Richman was optimistic about the global increase of HIV-infected individuals in care, citing that nearly 15 million people are in treatment, but also noted that to achieve 100 percent retention in care, HIV must continue to remain a focus of donors. Because HIV is no longer a “death sentence,” it is easy to become complacent, but we have the tools to end new infections. It is access to those tools for the most vulnerable that comprises the new challenge. Richman will be passing some of his “batons” to UC San Diego’s very worthy successors as he revels in his other roles as husband, father and grandfather. His legacy encompasses the very foundation of HIV research and treatment, and he has truly earned a place among those who have transformed the framework for ultimately defeating this disease. To learn more about Dr. Richman and the HIV research that takes place at UC San Diego, please visit cfar.ucsd.edu. —Ian D. Morton is the senior program analyst at San Diego Human Dignity Foundation and produces the Y.E.S. San Diego LGBTQ youth conference. To nominate an individual or nonprofit for this column, please email the information to ian@sdhdf.org.t



GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 25, 2015 – Jan. 7, 2016


Letters Open arms for clinic Glad to see this clinic getting some press! [“Urgent care clinic opens in Hillcrest,” Vol. 6, Issue 25 or at tinyurl.com/jcukbqf] I’ve been going to the location in La Jolla for years and couldn’t be happier. Dr. Perlman is a sweetheart! —Chris Swamson, via gay-sd.com

Cheers for the new senior community Congratulations to the community members who have worked so hard to get this groundbreaking project to the point of implementation [“Safety and comfort,” Vol. 6, Issue 25 or at tinyurl.com/nw9cs8l]. A great and valuable contribution to San Diego. Thank you. —Joel Pointon, via gay-sd.com

Friendless in San Diego OK you are not alone and I am far from a therapist but I found San Diego people very hard to make friends with [“Life Beyond Therapy: Friendless in San Diego,” Vol. 6, Issue 25 or at tinyurl. com/ojgtz8j]. I was born and raised on Long Island, New York. I moved to San Diego back in 2000 and

see Letters, pg 7

Guest Editorial

Holding legislators accountable for their 2015 LGBT votes By Rick Zbur On Dec. 15, Equality California released its annual Legislative Scorecard for 2015, rating lawmakers on how they voted on the organization’s highest priority legislation to advance LGBT equality and acceptance. The annual publication is a tool to educate LGBT community members and allies about how their legislators voted on bills that positively impact LGBT people, and to hold those lawmakers accountable for their votes. The bills we scored to rate lawmakers this year all advance our refocused mission in three key areas: advancing LGBT civil rights and acceptance both inside and outside of California; reducing disparities in health and wellbeing of LGBT people compared to the general population; and creating a fair and just society for all communities of which LGBT people are a part.

In addition, legislators were rated on their votes on SB 4, Sen. Ricardo Lara’s (D-Long Beach) Health for All Kids Act, strongly supported by Equality California.

The measure will help provide quality, affordable health coverage to thousands of LGBT undocumented youth in California. This year was a pivotal year for our organization. Our legislative package began to focus on the serious disparities that LGBT people continue to

face in so many areas compared to the general population. Our Scorecard offers a glance at how California’s elected officials voted on the legislative initiatives that matter most to our community. Overall, this year’s Equality Scores for the two houses of the California Legislature did not change substantially from 2014. In the state Senate, the average score dropped somewhat from 76 percent to 72 percent in 2015, due mostly to a slight drop in support for equality legislation among Senate Republicans. In contrast, every Senate Democrat earned a perfect 100 percent Equality Score. In the Assembly, the average score improved by one point — 76

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 Michael Kimmel Gina McGilliard Walter G. Meyer Ian Morton Frank Sabatini Jr. Maureen Steiner Lucia Viti WEB & SOCIAL MEDIA Jen Van Tieghem, x118 jen@sdcnn.com COPY EDITOR Dustin Lothspeich

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

percent in 2014 compared with 77 percent in 2015. The average Republican score in the Assembly increased from 24 percent in 2014 to 34 percent in 2015. The average Equality Score for Assembly Democrats was 99 percent. Gov. Jerry Brown earned a score of 100 percent, having signed all eight pieces of Equality California priority legislation that crossed his desk. This year’s bills will measurably improve the lives of LGBT people in California and across the countr y. The laws adopted and signed in 2015 will give tools to health and social service agencies to better meet the needs of LGBT people, will give teachers better resources to support LGBT students in our schools, will require that LGBT people and families are better reflected in California’s education curriculum, will strengthen the rights of LGBT parents, will reduce discrimination against transgender people in jury selection, will provide healthcare to thousands of LGBT undocumented youth, will better protect transgender youth in foster homes, and will require companies that contract with the state

of California to provide the same healthcare to transgender people that they provide to their other employees, among other things. We are extremely grateful to our partners in the legislature, to the leadership of Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León and Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins, and to Governor Brown for their support of the legislative priorities of the LGBT community. This year’s Legislative Scorecard is dedicated to the memory of George Zander, Equality California field manager from 2009 to 2015, who passed away last week. — Rick Zbur, is the executive director of Equality California, the nation’s largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization dedicated to creating a fair and just society. Their mission is to achieve and maintain full and lasting equality, acceptance, and social justice for all people in our diverse LGBT communities, inside and outside of California. To learn more about their mission and programs, visit eqca.org. To read the entire Legislative Scorecard for 2015, visit tinyurl.com/pqaxvkl.t

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.

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Guest Editorial

Happy holidays from AMR San Diego’s new emergency medical provider By Mike Murphy

As you may know, American Medical Response (AMR) recently purchased Rural/Metro, the city of San Diego’s 911 emergency medical responder. With the acquisition, AMR has now become the city’s official 911 responder. We at AMR could not be more excited to be ser ving the people of San Diego and delivering the highest quality of emergency care to communities throughout the city, including Hillcrest and the surrounding area. We’re certainly not new to San Diego. In fact, AMR has ver y deep roots here. We’ve been ser ving communities in the north, south and east county for more than 65 years. AMR is now pleased to bring to the city of San Diego and its 1.3 million residents the resources of one of the nation’s most respected emergency medical responders, with more than 19,000 paramedics, EMTs, Registered Nurses and other professionals who transport more than three million patients ever y year. Since taking ownership of Rural/Metro, we have been working closely with the San Diego Fire Department, moving quickly to improve ser vice and address some of the response time issues that occurred under the previous provider. We immediately brought in additional ambulances and paramedics, as well as a strike team of experts to design a citywide deployment plan aimed at reducing response times in both the urban core and outlying communities. To date, these


LETTERS I had the same problem making friends here. The only people who wanted to be my friends were people who could use me and get whatever they can out of me for their benefit. I moved back to Long Island in 2009 and realized that New Yorkers are far more friendlier than the guys in San Diego. I now have too many friends LOL. The other thing I’ve realized is that the older we get the less we put up with or have patience for along with having certain standards. It seems like little things that other people do will irritate me. So instead I tend to avoid that by being alone. Make new friends, find the people you have similar interests in common with and share them with that person. You are not always going to find

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Mike Murphy efforts have been successful. For AMR, though, serving the community means more than responding to life-threatening emergencies — it means preventing them as well. We will be working across the city to create a healthier and safer San Diego through community-based programs that range from improving one’s heart health, to helping people avoid household accidents, to training San Diegans in the life-saving skill of CPR. Whether it’s responding to emergencies or preventing them, saving lives is what we’re all about — 24 hours a day, seven days a week. On behalf of the women and men of AMR here in San Diego, I want to wish you and your family a healthy and happy Holiday Season and a wonderful New Year.   —Mike Murphy is the General Manager of AMR, San Diego. Learn more at amr-sandiego.com.t the “friend” that will have the same interests as you and it may take a while or may not even happen. This has been my life long experience. When you’re younger, it seems ver y easy to have the same interests but as you grow older your life changes, your interests change and it’s a challenge without a doubt, so hang in there and just live your life! The other option is to get a pet. A pet will always be your best friend and will always give you unconditional love! —Steven in San Diego, via gay-sd.com Michael Kimmel replies: Thanks for your comments Steven. It’s a nice problem to have too many good friends. I also like your suggestion to consider a pet. As an animal lover, I have had many wonder ful and loving experiences with animals … people too! t



Beginning Jan. 3, 2016, the Department of Defense will begin accepting female applicants to every military occupation across the U.S. Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and state National Guard platforms. “They’ll be allowed to drive tanks, fire mortars and lead infantry soldiers into combat,” stated Secretary of Defense Ash Carter at a press conference Dec. 3 at the White House and reported by Defense News. “They’ll be able to serve as Army Rangers and Green Berets, Navy SEALs, Marine Corps infantry, Air Force parajumpers, and everything else that was previously open only to men.” Since 2013, more than 111,000 additional positions had opened to women, but the Dec. 3 announcement allows 220,000 additional positions — nearly 10 percent of all military positions, including reconnaissance, infantry, armor and special operations that had previously remained closed — to now also open. On Dec. 21, leaders of the California National Guard and state legislators joined female troops at the Capitol Building in Sacramento to honor the significance of this change. “Female military members’ remarkable service in Iraq and Afghanistan showed that no military can achieve its full potential without utilizing the talents and abilities of its female citizens,” said Maj. Gen. David S. Baldwin, California’s Adjutant General. “Rescinding all combat restrictions was more than a move toward equality, but a tactical advancement as well, as this will ensure each mission is staffed with the best-qualified and most-capable personnel.” Defense Department figures state that more than 280,000 female military members in uniform have deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in the nearly 15 years since the war first began after Sept. 11, 2001. It was their performances in these forwarddeployed combat roles that contributed to Secretary Carter’s decision to lift all remaining restrictions. “Women in uniform have fought in every major conflict since the American Revolution with courage and valor on and off the battlefield,” said House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi in a press release. “Removing the barriers that have prevented women from officially serving in combat roles honors the service and sacrifice of all female service members and veterans who have fought for our country.  “Ability and bravery will determine who can fight to defend democracy,” she continued. “We are proud to join the Cal Guard in celebrating this historic victory and usher in a new era for women, for our Armed Forces, for our shared future.” Pelosi’s remarks emphasize the fact that in opening these

GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 25, 2015 – Jan. 7, 2016

roles to women and offering equal opportunity does not necessarily mean that participation in all specialties will be equal. Most positions, such as those in the California National Guard, are based on ability and merit. However women have worked through the Cal Guard ranks to some of the highest leadership positions available, including brigadier generals and a colonel on the Joint Staff. “Women have played important roles in every military conflict in U.S. history, laying the foundation for the tremendous achievement we celebrate today,” said Assemblymember Susan Eggman, who served as a medic in the Army who participated in Monday’s event. “We have a stronger, more modern force than ever before, and we will continue to gain power as the contributions of our female service members grow.” For more information about the California National Guard, visit calguard.ca.gov.

CLINTON RELEASES PLAN TO CONTINUE FIGHT FOR LGBT EQUALITY On Dec. 17, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is also running for President of the United States, released a policy briefing that outlined the many ways in which she would continue pushing forward for full equality for the LGBT community. National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) — a national legal organization committed to advancing the human and civil rights of LGBT community through litigation, public policy and education — released a statement that called the “landmark” policy paper “the first and most specific issued by any presidential candidate currently in the 2016 race.” Clinton’s policy briefing, which was released on her website hillaryclinton.com and titled “Fighting for Full Equality for LGBT People,” identified six key areas she will focus on. The areas — fight for full equality for LGBT Americans; support LGBT youth, parents and elders; honor the military service of LGBT people; secure affordable treatment for people living with AIDS; protect transgender rights; and promote human rights of LGBT people around the world — each had bullets with detailed mission statements regarding how these topics would be addressed. “The policy positions announced today by Hillary Clinton sketch a bold vision for our community in this country and beyond,” stated Kate Kendall,


NCLR executive director. “We applaud Secretary Clinton for her audacious and uncompromising support for a range of policy initiatives which, if realized, would improve the lives and futures of every lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender person in our nation and the world. “By addressing issues like parenting and adoption, protections for LGBT youth, conversion therapy, violence against transgender people and transgender service in the military, and health care access for people with HIV — issues which have long been part of NCLR’s work — Secretary Clinton reflects a genuine understanding of the issues facing LGBT people and their families. Her passionate support is extremely gratifying,” Kendall stated. The “fact sheet” included specifics under the six key areas, such as “work with Congress to pass the Equality Act,” “improve school climate for all students,” ensure LGBT elders can retire with dignity and respect,” “support efforts to allow transgender personnel to serve openly,” “cap out-of-pocket expenses for people with HIV/AIDS,” “protect transgender individuals from violence,” and “streamline identify documents,” are just a handful of the subtopics listed.


Assembly Speaker Atkins’ AB 482, also know as the “Snoopy plate bill,” was established in 2013 with the support of Jean Schultz, the widow of Charles Schultz, and the California Association of Museums, the commemorative plates with a image of Snoopy’s “happy dance” will raise money for the California Cultural and Historical Endowment and help fund the states 1,400 museums. After being signed into law later that year, backers of the plate have been seeking a minimum preorder of 7,500 plates before the first printing could begin. Speaker Toni G. Atkins recently announced a new incentive — called “Beagle Backers” which offered a free year of access to over 85 California museums — to garner more advance Snoopy plate orders. On Dec. 16, it was announced that the goal had been reached, which clears the way for the Department of Motor Vehicles to begin production. Plates are $50 each, personalized plates are $89, and annual renewal costs are $78. To order the plate, visit snoopyplate.resources.ca.gov.t



Poll Results

This Week's Question

If you were not out to your family, would you use the holidays as the chance to do so?

Do you make New Year's resolutions?

11% Yes 89% No

Yes, always and with great success Sometimes, but rarely follow through Hell no, what's the point?

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


GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 25, 2015 – Jan. 7, 2016




WEDDINGS signing homework to the couple. “I initiated assignments that I still use today,” she explained. “Their homework is a two-part process that consists of questions — answered separately — to pull in their voices, as couples share how the relationship differs between them from the beginning of their relationship, to what it is, and what lies in their future. The exercises remind couples why they’re getting married, which can easily get lost when planning the party. “Part two details vows, rings, readings, creative visuals and all components that personalize the ceremony,” she said. “I write services based on what speaks to each couple and what they’re willing to share.” The new venture proved to be a smash hit. To date, Nathan has officiated 665 weddings, a good percentage of which she said include same-sex couples. Nathan said her original business and marketing plan, drafted during her research in 2008, included “all loving couples,” but that changed when she finally launched the following spring, due to what she calls “the frustrating and painful days of Prop 8.” Nathan continued to marry same-sex couples in the five years between November 2008, when Proposition 8 became law, and June of 2013, when it was struck down, promising the couples she’d meet them at the County Clerk’s office when it became legal again. “After all, everything we had done together and everything their ceremony included, with vows and promises for their life together, would be all that was ever required – I just was unable to legally pronounce them and sign a marriage license for them in the meantime,” she said. “So, it was one of my favorite things, whenever I got to celebrate one of my couples a second time, hearing their vows to each other once again, but this time being able to pronounce them as wives/husbands, spouses, and legal partners in life, emphasizing each and every part of that. “I happily admit that I often cried with them,” she said. Nathan — and Jason, her husband of nearly nine years who also officiates — offers a wide variety of ceremony styles, including Ring Warmings, “Handfastings,” Stone Blessings, Salt Covenant, Rose, Tasting the Four Elements, Breaking of the Glass, Box with Wine and Love Letters, and they make a special effort to get to know each couple. “Every ceremony is different because every couple is different,” she said. “No matter how off-beat, couples can assimilate their personality into any tradition to give it a personal and cool meaning.” In the latter part of 2013, Nathan said she married 22 same-sex couples, many from out of state who came to San Diego for the ceremony. In 2014, 36 of the 128 weddings she performed were same-sex couples, and this year — though she has limited her officiant duties to balance her time with a new offshoot business she and Jason recently launched — 15 percent of her weddings were still same-sex couples. The majority of Nathan’s clients remain local San Diegans and she said the “backlog” of same-sex couples that “waited out” all the legal red tape to marriage equality has pretty much been taken care of. “Now we have the current status of couples going through the ‘normal’ relationship progression of

Ryan and Christopher came in from Michigan for an elopement on the La Jolla coast. (Photo by La Vida Creations)

Ann and Jacqueline at Bali Hai on Shelter Island, with Jason officiating (Photo by Shuttered Light Photography/shutteredlight.com)

Peter and Robert enjoy a light moment with Nathan during their ceremony. (Photo by La Vida Creations)

Joshua and Robert perform a Salt Covenant overlooking Downtown.

(Photo by

True Photography)

dating, committing, getting engaged, and now planning their wedding, just like any loving couple,” she said. Now viewed an expert on same-sex weddings, Nathan is often asked to speak at various workshop events and conventions around the country. Her “very strong and quite loud” allegiance as a straight ally of the LGBT community within the wedding industry has even garnered a significant LGBT referral business from her colleagues.

“They know that those couples will be in caring and experienced hands with me,” she said. To learn more about Nathan and her methods of marriage, visit her website at ceremoniesbybethel.com. —Lucia Viti is a local freelance writer. Contact her at luciaviti@ roadrunner.com. —Editor Morgan M. Hurley contributed to this report.t



GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 25, 2015 – Jan. 7, 2016


Christmas at wartime Theater Review Charlene Baldridge Playwright Paula Vogel set out to write the great American equivalent to Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” You may judge for yourself. The result, titled “A Civil War Christmas,” plays through Jan. 3 at Diversionary Theatre, featuring an ensemble company of nine-plus, for a little aural boost, the Encore Vocal Ensemble. In the true sense of the word “ensemble” means “together.” From my vantage point Sunday, Dec. 13, the ears would never have guessed. Although there are some fine singers in this ensemble, they fail to listen to one another and achieve a blend — even when it is as few as two singers — and the musical numbers (carols and music of the times) are many. Hidden behind a sheer curtain, Encore doesn’t help matters as director Kim Strassburger obviously intended. Despite her efforts and those of music director Tim McKnight at the piano and Kristopher Apple on fiddle, edgy vocalism and belt do not tend to blend. What makes the experience of “A Civil War Christmas” worthwhile is the ingenious way Vogel weaves together a plethora of story threads that take place on Christmas Eve in 1864, less than four months prior to the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln (Skyler Sullivan). The president has left wife Mary Todd Lincoln’s Christmas gift at their summer home an hour’s horseback ride away, and sets off to retrieve it, followed by a group of eventual assassins, among them John Wilkes Booth (Adam Cuppy). Meanwhile, Mary Todd (Annie Hinton) decides to surprise Abe with a Christmas tree,

(above) Durwood Murray as Decatur Bronson, with Tanika Baptiste is in the background as Rose; (below) Skyler Sullivan as Abraham Lincoln and Adam Cuppy as Moses Levy (Photos by Simpatika)

“A Civil War Christmas” (An American Musical Celebration in Concert)

By Paula Vogel Directed by Kim Strassburger Thursdays through Sundays through Jan. 3 Diversionary Theatre, 4545 Park Blvd., University Heights diversionary.org | 619-220-0097

(top) Adam Cuppy as John Wilkes Booth and Julia Nardi-Loving as Lewis Payne; (bottom) Tanika Baptiste as Hannah and Casha Monya as Jessa (Photos by simpatika.com)

but because of the Civil War raging around them few trees have not succumbed to kindling for army campfires. She succeeds only to have the decorated tree stolen from the presidential residence. On the other side of the Potomac, a free slave and her young daughter (Tanika Baptiste and Cashae Monya) flee the chaos of battle looking for safety in Washington, D.C. When the mother hides her child on a cart, it is with instructions they meet at Lincoln’s home. The child, who becomes lost, is a symbol for the Christ Child, for whom there is no manger.

In another part of the forest, a young man (Julia Nardi-Loving) has fled his unhappy home to join the army. The lad leaves his faithful horse (Cuppy in one of the play’s best and funniest cameos) in search of fodder and is captured by Union soldiers led by a freed slave captain (Durwood Murray), who nearly executes him. Other ensemble members are the nimble Brian Bose in numerous roles and the vocally robust Taylor Henderson, who plays Mary Todd’s seamstress and confidante. These are the main stories. Scenic designer Kristen Flores presents a rustic room set up for a staged reading. The actors carry their scripts. Beth Connelly is costume designer, Curtis Mueller the lighting designer, and Blair Nelson the sound

designer. Most character changes are effected by the addition of a cap or shawl. Vogel piles on many stories and threads, including poet Walt Whitman’s visit to a dying Jewish soldier. Though the onlooker is hard pressed to keep everything and everyone straight, the denouement(s) are heartfelt and rewarding. One returns home believing that in many ways Vogel achieved her purpose despite the not-quite-cooked musical elements here and the fact that even at two hours the piece seems weighed down by its own fascinating complexity. — 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


GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 25, 2015 – Jan. 7, 2016




Beating to a different ber, non-Asian customers have sometimes expressed a preference for saltier, more Restaurant Review robust broth opposed to the “natural” style cherished widely by those from Asian Frank Sabatini Jr. cultures. As a result, he has found a middle ground, and assures the broths can be easily Rarely do you find yourself in a Japaadjusted to anyone’s liking. nese restaurant deciding between ramen My companion’s “Rakitori special” possibilities and assorted mini skewers featured a combination of beef and chicken beaded with various meats and veggies. broths. The salt level was balanced, not Invariably such kitchens specialize in one overpowering, and the flavor was as pacifyor the other. Rakitori Japanese Pub and ing as crawling into a warm blanket on this Grill nails down both. ridiculously chilly evening. Lunch or dinner at this Hillcrest newThe squiggly wheat noodles (used comer potentially begins with across the menu) were of the softthe skewers, which are er ilk, perhaps not as firm or contemporary offshoots of earthy tasting as some would yakitori (skewered chicken like, but satisfying nonetheless pieces grilled over charcoal). when mingling with a soy-glazed Ideally, the meal concludes boiled egg, a juicy sausage link, a with a big bowl of brothy shucked mussel, chicken yakitori, noodle-rich ramen. Though no enoki mushrooms and a kimchi matter what you eat first, the “ra” dumpling for good measure. and “kitori” in the restaurant’s My vegetarian ramen, which name quickly makes sense. I augmented with a few drops The skewers are available of chili oil, offered a bouquet of in numerous varieties — filet corn, bean sprouts, scallions, cold mignon, chicken hearts, spicy tofu and other garden goodies eel, okra, baby zucchini, and that gave it the depth of flavor I more. They’re sold in pairs feared might be lacking. Withand presented with edible out regret, it was my first-ever orchids and other pretty departure from the meat garnishments within an ramen I always order in atmosphere that hugs other places. you with its dark-wood Rakitori offers a trappings and dim, separate bar menu, ambient lighting. from which you’ll As a twosome, find seafood carpacwe started with five cio, salmon skin different skewers salad, creative staggered over two sushi rolls and a courses. First up duo of Korean-style was the filet, plus tacos filled with salmon interspersed marinated skirt with green onion. steak (bulgogi), They were positioned kimchi slaw and spicy A sake light show around a flower of cumayo. Just when I (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.) cumber skins and illumistarted getting burnt out nated with a tiny LED light on unconventional tacos, in the middle. Quite striking. these renewed my affection The beef was rich and tender for them. Since recently receiving a beer and wine and sported a faint, tantalizing glaze. It license, Rakitori’s drink menu has come was just enough to quell our hankering for to include inventive soju cocktails, with steak but without killing our appetites for some using blueberry vinegar juice and more to come. candied ginger in their constructs. Craft The cubed, thoroughly cooked salmon beers are on tap too, and there are infused struck a fine chord with the green onions sakes served in eye-catching illuminated while the pork belly skewers that followed glassware. The yuzu sake we tried was both needed no additional support given their smooth and stimulating. unctuous texture and creamy flavor. Kook’s wife, Young Eun Im, works the Adding verve to all of the skewers was front of the house most days with general the chary, upfront taste of white oak coals manager Matthew Lowe, who previously fueling the grill. The smoky essence is opened Tabletop Commons down the softer than mesquite and more appealing street. Both are knowledgeable about the than regular charcoal, though unmistakfood and drinks, and know the value of able even when we chomped into baconextending sincere greetings to customers wrapped asparagus and spicy chicken as they arrive. gizzard skewers. And while some might lament that the Chef-owner Jon Kook is particular about his ramen broths. He’s originally from South venture is just another ubiquitous ramen house that San Diego doesn’t need, the Korea, where he worked in several restauyakitori and tacos prove otherwise. rants and attended a culinary arts school. His broths are made over eight-hour periods —Frank Sabatini Jr. is the author of “Sewith the bones and parts from chicken, beef cret San Diego” (ECW Press), and began his or fish, depending what ramen you choose. local writing career more than two decades There is also a vegetarian version that I ago as a staffer for the former San Diego found equally comforting, despite its lack of Tribune. You can reach him at fsabatini@san. fat and marrow. rr.com.t Kook says that since opening in Octo-

Rakitori's Korean-style bulgogi tacos are filled with skirt steak

(Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.)

A pair of filet and salmon skewers, with a flower of cucumber skins nearby

The "Rakitori special ramen" features a combination of beef and chicken broth. (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.)

Rakitori Japanese Pub & Grill 530 University Ave. (Hillcrest) 619-501-4091 Prices: Starters and sushi rolls; $4 to $9; ramen, $7 to $10; yakitori, $3 to $8; combo meals, $12

(Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.)



GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 25, 2015 – Jan. 7, 2016


A unique vegan restaurant flaunting a horned four-eyed wolf as its mascot has soft-opened in the space formerly occupied by Alchemy in South Park. Named Kindred, the venture was spearheaded by Kory Stetina, a self-described “metal-head and punk-rock dude of the ’90s” who got his feet wet running pop-up vegan beer dinners for a few years. The restaurant’s two other partners are acclaimed designer Paul Basile, and Arsalun Tafazoli, who separately operates a cache of local hotspots such as Soda & Swine, Polite Provisions and Noble Experiment under Consortium Holdings. Basile helmed Kindred’s eclectic design, which meshes together Gothic and FrenchVictorian elements. The concept features an ambitious cocktail program as well. Stetina sums up the food as “rich and creative.” The meals were created by Kindred is “a vegan restaurant for non-vegans.” (Courtesy SIMPATIKA) head chef Jeremy Scullin, a native New Zealander who worked for acclaimed vegan restaurants in London, New York and Philadelphia. But the word “vegan” ing sandwiches, baked pistachio-crusted tofu, and misodoesn’t appear anywhere on the menu. cashew cheese balls that appear on a charcuterie board. “It’s because we want to destroy the stereotype that Kindred is open daily from 4 p.m. to midnight. Weekend plant-based food is somehow less or different than non-vegan brunch will be introduced in early January. 1503 30th St. food,” said Stetina, referring in part to the chef’s “big, crush619-546-9653.

Small batch whiskey pairings will be on tap Dec. 29 at Vom Fass. (Photo by Kel Casey)

Some of the latest and greatest whiskeys from small distilleries throughout Scotland, Ireland and the U.S. will be discussed and paired to various foods from 6:30 to 8 p.m., Dec. 29, at Vom Fass in the HUB (formerly the Uptown Shopping District). The tasting is $35 per person. Reservations are recommended. 1050 University Ave., 619-534-5034.

A favorite South Park hangout closes at the end of December.

(l to r) Dylan and Kevin Redmond are the newest brewers of North Park. (Courtesy Hawthorn Coffee) Get your “third-wave” coffee drink at the new Hawthorn Coffee, which debuted Dec. 20 in North Park by Kevin Redmond and son, Dylan. The aforementioned term translates to medium-roast coffees. “We’re lightening things up a bit and extracting as many flavors as possible,” Redmond said. “Some of the baristas we hired are familiar with the concept.” The shop, which features communal seating, sources from Flying Goat Coffee in North California and Foxy Coffee Co. in San Diego. 3019 Adams Ave. 619-501-4882.


Adam Parker of Brabant Bar & Café in South Park says his Belgian-inspired eatery “will go out with a bang” as he prepares to close the business on Dec. 30. “We’ll have a lot of sales on beer and food, and we’ll also be selling off some of Belgian glassware between now and our last day.” Parker

opened the business two years ago with a few partners, some of whom are pursuing other business interests. He said the address will be taken over by K&L Neighborhood Eateries, which hasn’t yet announced its plans for the space. 2310 30th St., 619-516-5100.

Replacing the former House of Khan in Hillcrest is Veganic Thai Café, which opened Dec. 12 with standard Thai dishes, half of which are vegan and the other half vegetarian. The remodel stands out with colorful murals depicting Thai citizens dressed in ancient garb. 1417A University Ave. 619-230-5540

The build-out is underway in a historic, 4,200-square-foot structure in Liberty Station for Moniker General, which will open in February as a modular retail store complete with a coffee bar spotlighting small-batch roasters, a taproom specializing in brews from North Brewing Company in Miramar and an outdoor patio. The project was launched by The Moniker Group, which introduced the multipurpose arts and business center, Moniker Warehouse, to the East Village 10 years ago. 2680 Sims Road, monikergroup.com.

Look for burrito-size sushi rolls fusing Asian and Mexican ingredients together by the middle of January, as former Project Pie exec James Markham opens Rolled Up in the heart of Hillcrest, in a space that has housed a number of fleeting, casual eateries over the past decade. The concept will reportedly serve as a pilot for other locations, judging on how well consumers respond to rolls containing everything from crispy beef and pulled pork to five-spice chicken and seasonal vegetables. 3884 Fourth Ave.

—Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at fsabatini@rr.san. com.t


GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 25, 2015 – Jan. 7, 2016

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moving 12-song tribute to Tyler Clementi in the spring [tinyurl. com/ph6f54t]. Clementi, a gay college student, committed suicide after being cyber-bullied in his dorm five years ago. His mother and brother were in San Diego for the Chorus’ performances.


ONLINE2015 many would have made the cut. This past year in our community was punctuated by grief, with a beloved hairstylist killed by a suspected drunk driver, four local transgender teens taking their lives, and a well-loved activist also choosing to do so. Businesses closed and changed hands, and others thrived and gave back to the community. Community members were profiled for their altruism and activism, while others were featured for their talents in sports, music and on television and sports.

Vigil for trans teens (NC LGBTQ Resource Center)

The most painful stories of the year had to do with the surge of transgender teen suicides. One that has continued to climb in readership was a very personal essay [tinyurl.com/j9ll36m] that Max Disposti, executive director of the North County LGBTQ Resource Center, ran in place of his own monthly column by a close friend of Sage, the first of four trans teens lost to suicide. Taylor Alesana, Kyler Prescott and later Emmett Castle also died. Disposti had a vigil at the North County Center in honor of the teens [tinyurl.com/qz68vpj]. Our community also experienced a few other tragedies this year. Kurt Cunningham, a much beloved and often controversial LGBT and mental health activist, also took his life in October. Two articles — one a story about his

GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 25, 2015 – Jan. 7, 2016 Stories about community leaders also received high readership, including a feature on Kathleen Hansen, the artistic director of the San Diego Women’s Chorus [tinyurl.com/o7rzfaw] was near the top of our list; Rebekah Hook, a new young leader at The San Diego LGBT Community Center [tinyurl. com/q6y2c3j], and Rick Cervantes, also a Center employee, who penned a “Pride primer” on PrEP that got lots of reads, as part of organization’s #BeTheGeneration efforts to end HIV/AIDS [gay-sd.com/100days].

the columnist’s good friend Michael Petracca and fellow member of the AFCSL, who suffered a brain injury when a bat flew 100 feet and hit him in the head [tinyurl.com/j2tg8ed].

Nicole and Kurt (Facebook) death titled “Death of an Empress,” [tinyurl.com/oq4xzo5] and another personal essay about Cunningham [tinyurl.com/ j5q34qz]; — were both among our top read stories. Another story about Cunningham’s well-attended celebration of life held at The Center titled “Good Night Citizen Kurt,” [tinyurl.com/zcjj65m] followed a couple weeks later. In Februar y the community lost Oscar Melero, a popular Hillcrest hairdresser, at the hands of a a man who had several former DUIs and was driving with a suspended license [tinyurl.com/ q8l97ty]. Several follow-up stories have been written as we follow the criminal case against the man who killed Melero. And just a month after Cunningham’s death the community learned of the loss of a former resident and much-loved bartender and trans activist Jamie Nova [tinyurl.com/jtdv9n9] to a sudden bout with meningitis.

Chris Shaw with friends at Urban MO's (Photo by Lukas Volk) Philanthropy was also on people’s minds this year, as a story on the giving spirit of Chris Shaw — owner of the four restaurant/bars that make up MO’s Universe — in September, came in number two for the year [tinyurl.com/orgltd3]. Other charitable issue stories that made the top 25 included a story about a benefit at Gossip Grill (one of MO’s Universe), promoting lesbian-made independent films [tinyurl.com/ q2mz34q]; another explaining how the local two-decades-old Bears organization raises money for their favorite charities [tinyurl.com/pf2k2lg]; and one about two members of the Stepping Stone board of directors participating in the AIDS LifeCyle bike ride [tinyurl.com/nqaathz].

Bourbon Street (Photo by Jim Winsor/sdPIX) Stories about legendary LGBT bars also made the Top 25, starting with Bourbon Street’s closure back in January [tinyurl.com/ paon577]; a ditty about Top of the Park’s replacement, Top of the Bay [tinyurl.com/he6sjvz]; and more recently, with news in October that long-shuttered The Flame was finally sold, we did a historical account of the popular women’s bar [tinyurl.com/zqckx4l].

Petracca on the mend (Petracca family)

The Clementis with the Chorus (Photo by Tom Felkner)

Our own San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus performed a

PrEP regimen on Day 20 (Rick Cervantes)

Popular sports column Dugout Chatter had three hits in the Top 25, one that featured the Urban MO’s basketball team [tinyurl.com/ pazgu2x]; another about how players in all sports should treat their referees [tinyurl.com/zpdpjfz]; and the one that made the Top 10 was about

"Drag Race" meets "Skin Wars" (Photo by Lisa Rose/GSN)

A love for both the small and the big screen also made the cut, with a behind-the- scenes story about what it was like for RuPaul to mix his “Drag Race” with “Skin Wars” over the summer [tinyurl.com/jkrtkrn]; news of a casting call for a San Diego-based online dating show called “Tops and Bottoms” [gaysd.com/caught-on-camera]; and a profile of Tab Hunter, whose “tell all” documentary was brought to us by Film Out San Diego in June June [tinyurl.com/z5ntkt9]. Old stories that still get lots of hits included “Manscaping 101” (January 2014), is still in the Top 20; “Top of the Park rumored to close” (November 2013); Michael Kimmel’s “Hooked on Twinks,” (June 2014) and interviews with Avicii (October 2013), Ron BenIsrael (May 2012) and Boy George (March 2011) constant mainstays. We hope you have enjoyed Gay San Diego’s coverage in 2015 and we look forward to serving you in 2016. —Morgan M. Hurley can be reached at morgan@sdcnn.com.t




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GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 25, 2015 – Jan. 7, 2016

live-in nurse for him. The seemingly sweet Michelle (Kristina Klebe) shows a disturbing dark side while caring for George as tension mounts. 9 p.m. Film runs through Dec. 30. Digital Gym, 2921 El Cajon Blvd., North Park. Visit digitalgym.org. Winter White Party: A winter wonderland party complete with DJs dirty KURTY and K-Swift, plus frosty go-go boys. White attire is encouraged. 10 p.m. Rich’s, 1051 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit richssandiego.com.

‘Bubbles, Cheese and Chocolate’: A special class by Venissimo Cheese teaching the best cheeses and chocolates to pair with sparkling wines. $60. 6 – 7:30 p.m. Venissimo Cheese, Flower Hill Promenade, 2650 Via de la Valle. Visit venissimo.com.

FRIDAY, DEC. 25 – CHRISTMAS DAY ‘Carol’: This film directed by Todd Haynes tells the story of Carol (Cate Blanchett) and Therese (Rooney Mara), who take a spontaneous road trip in 1952 after a chance encounter and end up falling deeply in love. Showing at Landmark Hillcrest, 3965 Fifth Ave. #200 (through Dec. 31) and UA Horton Plaza, 475 Horton Plaza, Downtown (today only). Visit tickets.carolfilm.com for show times and tickets. The Center holiday hours: The Center will be closed today through Dec. 27, reopening Dec. 28 at 9 a.m. San Diego LGBT Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. Visit thecentersd.org. Christmas Day buffet: San Diego’s only leather bar hosts a Christmas Day buffet. 5 p.m. San Diego Eagle, 3040 North Park Way, North Park. Visit bit.ly/1O4jk99. ‘A Flicksmas Party’: Flicks will open at 8 p.m. on Christmas Day with DJ Will Z and the Hillcrest Social Network. 1017 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit sdflicks.com.


‘Rent’: California Youth Conservatory will stage a special engagement of the hit musical “Rent” at Lyceum Theatre through Jan. 10. Opening night features a complimentary Champagne and dessert reception. 7 p.m. Lyceum Theatre, 79 Horton Plaza, Downtown. Visit cyctheatre.com. Live music: Eve Selis and Friends: This multi-talented songstress will perform her eclectic style. $10 cover. 7 p.m. Croce’s Park West, 2760 Fifth Ave. #100, Bankers Hill. Visit crocesparkwest. com. ‘Dementia’: A psychological thriller centered on aging and disabled Vietnam vet George (Gene Jones) as his family hires a


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.


Spaghetti & Showtunes: When was the last time you had an all-you-can-eat plate of fabulous spaghetti for a mere $6? Now that’s a bargain. 5 p.m. – 2 a.m., ever y Tuesday. Urban MO’s, 308 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit urbanmos.com.


The Center holiday hours: The Center will be closed today through Jan. 2 reopening Jan. 4 at 9 a.m. San Diego LGBT Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. Visit thecentersd.org. Port of San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade: America’s largest balloon parade will hit Downtown San Diego with marching bands, floats, drill teams a procession of enormous balloons and more. Grandstand seats will be at the intersection of Harbor Drive and Ash Street. 10 a.m. Visit sandiegobowlgames.com/parade.

FRIDAY, JAN. 1 – NEW YEAR’S DAY Old Harbor Distilling grand opening: The celebration will take place at Silo at Makers Quarter and the nearly finished Old Harbor Sunset Bar. Tickets include one drink ticket. A free bus will be driving between the two venues. Live music by Wild Wild Wets, Botanica Chango, Diamond Lakes, Jimmy Ruelas and more. 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Silo at Makers Quarter, 753 15th St., East Village. Visit on.fb.me/1RBjebu.


Soy candle making class: All material included with this class where you choose a color and scent and create an 8-ounce candle to take home. Attendees can bring their own wine, beer and/or snacks to class. $45. 1 – 3 p.m. VIP Paints, 4123 30th St., North Park. Visit vippaints.com. ‘Bubbles, Cheese and Chocolate’: A special class by Venissimo Cheese teaching the best cheeses and chocolates to pair with sparkling wines. $60. 6 – 7:30 p.m. Venissimo Cheese at The Headquarters Seaport, 789 W. Harbor Drive, Marina District. Visit venissimo.com.

Uncorked Tuesday at Croce’s: Every Tuesday features great live music for free. Tonight’s live music by Steph Johnson and Rob Thorsen. 6 – 9:30 p.m. 2760 Fifth Ave. #100, Bankers Hill. Visit crocesparkwest.com.

‘Totally Garbage Pale Drag’: The first Saturday of every month featuring performances by the City Royals All Stars. Doors at 7 p.m.; performance at 8 p.m. The Brass Rail, 3796 Fifth Ave., Hillcrest. Visit thebrassrailsd.com.

Painting and Vino: Local professional artists instruct attendees on painting a masterpiece. Tonight – “Winter Stream.” 6 – 9 p.m. 21+. $45, all supplies included, registration is required. Bring your own wine / $15 corkage. 98 Bottles, 2400 Kettner Blvd., Suite 110. For more info, visit paintingandvino.com. YPC First Tuesday Series: The Young Professional Council (a program of The San Diego LGBT Community Center) will host this edition of its First Tuesday Series at San Diego Pride’s offices. There will be a tour of the space followed by a presentation on the history of San Diego Pride. Light refreshments will be served. 6:30 – 8 p.m. 1220 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit on.fb.me/1OGOdgg.





New Year’s Eve celebration starring Spencer Day: An NYE bash featuring Spencer Day and his four-piece band. The festivities include a five-course dinner, Champagne toast and — of course — the live entertainment. $125 per person. The evening starts with a no-host cocktail reception from 7 – 8 p.m.; dinner is from 8 – 10 p.m.; and Spencer Day and the band hit the stage at 10 p.m. Martinis Above Fourth, 3940 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest. Visit martinisabovefourth.com. ‘A Civil War Christmas: An American Musical Celebration in Concert’ and New Year’s Eve celebration: A post-show buffet will be included with a ticket to tonight’s performance of the uplifting musical by Pulitzer Prizewinner Paula Vogel. $45 ticket includes open bar and buffet. 7 p.m. – midnight; performance at 8 p.m. Runs through Jan. 3, 2016. Diversionary Theatre, 4545 Park Blvd., University Heights. Visit diversionary.org. ‘Rent’ and New Year’s Eve celebration: California Youth Conservatory will stage a special engagement of the hit musical “Rent” at Lyceum Theatre through Jan. 10. Tonight’s special event features a post-show party on the stage with food, wine, Champagne and a countdown at midnight. Performance at 9 p.m. Lyceum Theatre, 79 Horton Plaza, Downtown. Visit cyctheatre.com. ** See our special NYE events on page 16

Sunday Bust in North County: Every Sunday, Hill St. Café turns into a safe space for all LGBT and allies to gather. Food is vegan-friendly, and they serve beer, wine and sake. Fifteen percent of proceeds go to the North County LGBTQ Resource Center. 3 – 9 p.m. Hill St. Café, 524 S. Coast Highway, Oceanside. Visit ncresourcecenter.org. VIP Paints class: Tonight’s painting is “Love Birds Sunset.” Attendees can bring their own wine, beer and/or snacks to class. $45. 4 – 6 p.m. VIP Paints, 4123 30th St., North Park. Visit vippaints.com.


Transgender Coming Out Group: Every Monday, welcoming transgender people in all stages of exploring their gender identity, and their friends, family and loved ones. 7 – 8:30 p.m. San Diego LGBT Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. Visit thecentersd.org.


Community Food Distribution: The first Tuesday of the month, receive emergency food, pre-screen for food stamps and sign up for a range of other services, including employment and medical and well as low-cost utility programs. San Diego LGBT Community Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. Visit thecentersd. org and sandiegofoodbank.org.

‘Shades of Color’: An empowerment group for black men (MSM) every Wednesday with lunch provided. These sessions cover a variety of topics and sometimes include guest speakers. Noon – 1:30 p.m. San Diego LGBT Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. Visit thecentersd.org. Guys, Games and Grub: The name says it all! A $10 donation for attending the event will go to men’s programming at The Center. 6 p.m. San Diego LGBT Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. Visit thecentersd.org.


Painting and Vino: Local professional artists instruct attendees on painting a masterpiece. Tonight – “Cherry Blossom Pond.” 6 – 9 p.m. 21+. $45, all supplies included, registration is required. Food and beverages available for purchase. Caffe Bella Italia, 1525 Garnet Ave., Pacific Beach. For more info, visit paintingandvino.com. ‘In the Va Va Voom Room’: An evening of contemporary Burlesque conceived and directed by Michael Mizerany — the provocateur behind “Hot Guys Dancing.” Five performances only through Jan. 10. 7 p.m. Diversionary Theatre, 4545 Park Blvd., University Heights. Visit diversionary.org. —Compiled by Jen Van Tieghem. Email calendar items to morgan@ sdcnn.com or jen@sdcnn.com.t



solution on page 12



1 Log Cabin Republican’s poster word 6 Verlaine or Rimbaud 10 Merry escapade 14 Not a fave of those who want less beans 15 Vaulted area at the Cathedral of Hope 16 In a bit, to the bard 17 Dress with a flared bottom 18 “Lawrence of Arabia” director David 19 Sheltered spot 20 Grandma portrayer, in “Grandma” 22 Character of 20-Across 23 The Buckeyes, for short 24 Wayside retreat 26 McKellen’s “X-Men” role 30 Dancer Duncan 34 Physicians’ org. 35 What have we here 37 Memorial of coming out of Egypt 38 Daughter of 20-Across, in “Grandma”

1 Jerusalem server 2 Eddie’s part in “The Danish Girl” 3 Disney’s “___ and the Detectives” 4 Deep crack in Mother Earth 5 Dangerous fly 6 ___ Springs 7 Autobahn auto 8 Morales of “Resurrection Blvd.” 9 Amelie Mauresmo’s game 10 The color purple, pale version 11 Like a thermometer that tastes funny 12 “___ Tide!” (Alabama cheer) 13 Spanking spot 21 “___ sight!” 25 Sally Ride’s org. 26 Heather’s parents 27 Big name in refrigerators 28 “With parsley,” for Craig Claiborne 29 George Burns film 30 “All I Ever Need ___” (Sonny &

42 Kofi of the UN 43 Melville tale 44 Cotton gin inventor Whitney 45 Like Mary or Peter 47 Defeat at tilting 50 Cole Porter’s “___ Love You?” 51 Bit of grain for a stallion 52 Character of 38-Across 55 She plays Deathy, in “Grandma” 62 Whitman’s “Sometimes With ___ Love” 63 Come out 64 Partner of doom 65 Owner of a gay dog on “South Park” 66 Lesbian poet Gidlow 67 “My Fair Lady” lady 68 “YMCA,” for one 69 Straight, in a bar 70 Kildare and Aramis, to Richard Chamberlain

Cher hit) 31 More queer, but not less straight 32 Old Hollywood movie centers 33 Bill T. Jones’ partner Zane 36 “___ Spartacus!” 39 Making yams sweeter 40 Keen on 41 GLAMA award, e.g. 46 Myles of poetry 48 Closet triangle 49 Verdi opera 52 “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” creator Whedon 53 “Render therefore ___ Caesar ...” 54 “Giant” James 56 Trucker’s shaft 57 Kind of plastic 58 State of fifty million Frenchmen 59 Shakespeare’s was “mortal” 60 Seep slowly 61 Opening day, briefly



A difficult goodbye Dugout Chatter Jeff Praught While I realize with Jeff's byline above you are probably expecting his words to follow here, unfortunately that won't be the case. Jeff — who has been at the helm of this column since Sept. 14, 2010 — tendered his resignation this week. Yep, after more than five years committed to a bi-weekly sports column, he's done. So I'll take it from here. Truth be told, he tried to quit a few months ago but I — his editor — begged him to stay, even if it meant just one issue per month. He begrudgingly agreed, then took a little time off. I was eager to see him back in the saddle for a couple issues, but after writing a moving tribute to a beloved friend who passed away suddenly last month [see “A standing ovation for #PressGateBruce,” Vol. 6, Issue 25], Jeff threw in the towel for the very last time. In the five-plus years Jeff has tendered this column, he’s tackled topics in a wide range of areas and proven that his knowledge of sports reaches across all platforms. Jeff’s column has included features on major league baseball and its players; predictions of an entire MLB season; many annual predictions of the NFL season; his random thoughts on the Chargers and the Padres; several “looks back” on the year of sports; and he’s even shared his personal feelings regarding MLB’s broken Hall of Fame process and how people treat referees. Jeff has also written features on local women’s tackle football teams; and various LGBT sports clubs that he’s not personally interested in, including rugby, skiing, tennis, wrestling and swimming. More often than not, Jeff’s column has provided play-by-play

coverage of the local LGBT-centric basketball, flag football and softball leagues he loves so dearly, especially for games during an annual tournament or playoff series. Jeff has also told some very poignant stories about several people in our local sports community that mattered to him — #PressGateBruce, Roman Jimenez, David “Mona” Valenzuela, and Mike Petracca, to name a few — the latter who suffered a brain injury earlier this year when a bat, accidentally thrown during a batter’s swing, connected with Petracca’s head some 100 feet away. Jeff handled each of their stories with such comfort and care that he made them matter to us, too. It is important to note that Jeff has written all of these columns while not only juggling a full-time job that required long hours, extended work weeks and various required special events, but also while serving on the board — and even as president of — various local sports organizations; often more than one at a time. This man lives and breathes sports and he has always shown up always. I wish him all the best in the next phase of his career (he recently received two quick promotions at the sport-related job he adores) and hope I will continue to see him knocking around town at his favorite watering holes. It has been my pleasure to work with him on this paper. Thank you, Jeff, for your dedication and mastery of the game. Please take a moment to tell Jeff how much you have enjoyed his column by writing him at dugoutchatter@gmail.com. P.S. Though it will be almost impossible to fill his shoes, I am now accepting applications for a sports writer. —Morgan M. Hurley is the managing editor of SDCNN and the editor of Gay San Diego. She can be reached at morgan@sdcnn.com.t

Praught (far right) and other friends of Mike Petracca show their support. (Courtesy J. Praught)

GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 25, 2015 – Jan. 7, 2016




GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 25, 2015 – Jan. 7, 2016


Ring in 2016 right! It’s hard to believe 2015 is coming to close, but before you start making New Year’s resolutions be sure you’ve got your New Year’s Eve (NYE) plans in order. With all of the “no cover” events, you have plenty of options and may even be able to take in a number of places in one evening.

NORTH PARK / UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS Eagle (3040 North Park Way) wants you to come join them as they say goodbye to 2015 starting at 9 p.m. Hors d’oeuvres at 10 p.m., prizes, balloon drop and Champagne toast at midnight. Visit sandiegoeagle.com. The Lafayette Hotel (2223 El Cajon Blvd.) will host “Mystère in the French Quarter” with three separate event areas. “The French Quarter” will greet you as you enter; the Louisiana Ballroom will become “The Bayou” with good ol’ fashioned rhythm and blues; and the main stage will offer danceable tunes in the “Voodoo Lounge.” Musical acts for the night include: the Stephen Rey Sextet, Miss Erika Davies, Mr. Tube and the Flying Objects, Trio Gadjo and many more. A three-course dinner will be offered from 6 – 9 p.m. Tickets start at $64.29, room packages start at $289 and include two tickets to the party. Visit lafayettehotelsd.com for tickets and more information. Park and Rec (4612 Park Blvd.) is putting on “The Galactic Ball” with no cover before 10 p.m. and only $15 after. Entry includes a Champagne (or beer) toast at midnight. Entertainment will be provided by DJs The Big Lewinsky and Boogie Bubba. Visit ParkandRecSD.com for information. West Coast Tavern (2895 University Ave.) will feature cocktails, food and dancing with DJ Dom King. Table reservations are required starting at 9 p.m. and include Champagne toast and party favors. Visit WestCoastTavern.com for more information.

HILLCREST Brass Rail (3796 Fifth Ave.) is featuring a Latin New Year’s Eve celebration. Featuring music by DJ Ka and offering VIP booths with bottle service, this event is from 9 p.m. – 2 a.m. Check out thebrassrailsd.com for more info. Flicks (1017 University Ave.) is having DJ Will Z countdown Hillcrest’s Top 25 requests of 2015. Raffle prizes, complimentary party favors, go-go boys and Champagne toast at midnight. Visit sdflicks.com for more info. Gossip Grill (1220 University Ave.) is boasting a dinner to remember: a fourcourse filet mignon dinner prepared by Chef Nicole for $50, with a complimentar y glass of Champagne or wine. Reser vations required. DJ Kinky Loops and DJ Dida will spin the night away with a NYE Champagne menu and a complimentar y toast at midnight! $5 cover after 9 p.m. Visit gossipgrill.com. Martinis Above Fourth (3940 Fourth Ave.) will host a bash featuring Spencer Day and his four-piece band. The festivities include a five-course dinner, Champagne toast and — of course — the live entertainment. The evening starts with a no-host cocktail reception 7 – 8 p.m.; dinner 8 – 10 p.m.; and Spencer Day and the band hit the stage at 10 p.m. $125 per person. Visit MartinisAboveFourth.com for more information.

The Merrow (1271 University Ave.) will feature festivities with a DJ and dancing. No cover for this one, plus drink specials including $7 for a beer and a shot and $15 for a bottle of Champagne. There will a complimentary Champagne toast at midnight as well. Visit TheMerrow.com for more. Numbers (3811 Park Blvd.) is offering a special NYE version of “Uncut,” their Latin and hip-hop night. Special performance by Gia Marie Farre from Las Vegas, and Daisy Salinas’ Mega 2016 show starting at 9 p.m. DJ E-Flex and DJ Fariba will also spin. Get tickets at NumbersSD.com. Rich’s (1051 University Ave.) is hosting their special NYE edition of MASSIVE party from 9 p.m. – 4 a.m., with DJ dirty KURTY on the main floor counting down 2015’s hottest tracks and Nikno taking over at midnight with EDM. DJ Moody Rudy will be in the front room, spinning hip-hop. Free Champagne toast at midnight with a $1,000 cash balloon drop. Get tickets at richssd.com. Uptown Tavern (1236 University Ave.) Join them for their Casino Royale NYE party. DJ Tone Capone begins at 9:30 p.m. No cover, Champagne bar, table buy available for entire night. Visit uptowntavernsd.com.

BANKERS HILL / DOWNTOWN Croce’s Park West (2760 Fifth Ave.

#100) has three dining packages for their NYE Jazz Party. The early package ($50) from 5 – 6 p.m. includes a three-course meal, a la carte appetizer menu, two-hour seating and live music with Irving Flores. Reservations from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. ($65) will include a three-course meal, a la carte appetizer menu, party favors, two-hour seating and live music by Blue Largo. And the late night option from 9 p.m. until closing ($95) will include a three-course meal, a la carte appetizer menu, party favors, Champagne toast at

midnight and live music by Blue Largo. Visit CrocesParkWest.com to check out the tasty dinner menu and purchase tickets.

Marina Kitchen at the Marriott Marquis San Diego (333 W. Harbor

Drive) is offering two separate wine pairing dinners to kick off the New Year, with Executive Chef Aron Schwartz and Advanced Sommelier Wendy Shoemaker both at the helm. The first seating is from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., with an “early-hour” prix fixe, four-course meal for those with plans elsewhere for the bigger celebration. $55 dinner with a wine pairing added for $25. The next seating is at 8:30 – 10:30 p.m., with a six-course meal and champagne toast priced at $95 with the wine pairing at $45. Those who stay for New Year’s Eve will enjoy live music by Crown Town featuring Matt Heinecke from 8 p.m. – 1 a.m. Visit Marriott.com/SANDT. Boasting stellar views, Mister A’s (2550 Fifth Ave.) is offering two dining specials for NYE. The early menu from 5 – 7 p.m. will feature signature items to choose from including lobster bisque, pan-seared Maine scallops and Tahitian vanilla bean crème brulee. The second option will be offered from 7:15 p.m. until closing with a five-course prix fixe menu at $135 per person. Visit AsRestaurant.com for more information and to make reservations. Just a quick cab ride away in Downtown San Diego are several more festive events and dining options.

Top of the Hyatt at Grand Hyatt San Diego (1 Market Place) Ring in the New

Year 40 stories above San Diego at the newly renovated Top of the Hyatt. They will offer premium liquor and Champagne, hors d’ouevres, dessert, and DJs to help you dance into the New Year together. A special overnight package is also available with premium views, two tickets to the NYE party and a breakfast buffet for two at the renovated Seaview Restaurant on New Year’s Day. US Grant Hotel (326 Broadway) This elegant and historic Downtown mainstay has three options for New Year’s Eve. Start

your evening off with dinner in the Grant Grill with seatings from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. for a three-course prix fixe dinner by Executive Chef Mark Kropczynski. Reservations recommended. Then continue your evening with a unique nightclub experience in “Bivouac,” the hotel’s basement speakeasy from 9 p.m. – 2 a.m., with live music, a club DJ, specialty cocktails, absinthe, cask beer and more. General admission and VIP tickets with bottle service available. Or choose an exclusive New Year’s Eve dinner package that includes a five-course rare wine pairing dinner, live music, and a midnight countdown with a complimentary Champagne toast. Seatings between 8 – 9:30 p.m. Reservations are required and this dinner always sells out. Call 619-744-2077 or visit usgrant. net/san-diego-new-years-eve or opentable. com/grant-grill. The Westgate (1055 Second Ave.) will host “The Westgate Casino Royale” with Bondinspired cocktails, a five-course dinner, casino games, dancing and more. $219 per person. Visit WestgateHotel.com for more information.

POINT LOMA The Hole in the Wall (2830 Lytton St.) is having the “never ending New Year’s Eve party” as they welcome the New Year around the world in every major time zone, beginning at 4 p.m. and continuing through midnight. No cover, party favors and lots of surprises. For more info visit theholesandiego.com. These are just a smattering of all the happenings in and around the gayborhood this New Year’s Eve. Share your plans in the comments below. And whatever you do to ring in the New Year, be safe! Have a happy New Year! —Compiled by Jen Van Tieghem and Morgan M. Hurley.t

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Gay san diego 12 25 15