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e 11

Dec. 26, 2014–Jan. 8, 2015

LGBT wrap p l a n o ag ati


Volume 5 Issue 26



Postcards from the year online More Looking

9 DINING’s top read stories for Morgan M. Hurley | Editor

Lost in IKEA


Top performances



As we close out the year, I’ve put together a summary of the top 10 most-read online stories from Gay San Diego’s fifth volume, which represents 26 issues in 2014. The list includes stories that were local, published within 2014, and ranked the highest on our Google Analytics with regards to number of page views. Following the list are honorable mentions. These 10 articles — some news, several features, one column and two opinion pieces — are very diverse in their content and scope. They don’t display what we as a news organization necessarily determine to be the top news stories of the year, or our favorites, and may not reflect what those who pick up our bi-weekly

hardcopy newspaper feel are the most important, but their numbers do show what our online readers were clearly most interested in, for whatever reason. 1. “Love and hate in Coronado,” [Issue 19, Sept. 19] Not so surprisingly, this article is at the top of our list, even though three quarters of the year had already passed by the time it was published. This heartfelt story was written by one of two Arizona grooms who had come to San Diego to share their wedding day with a group of friends, only to have their vows kidnapped by a witness standing on a nearby condominium balcony screaming hate and scorn throughout the ceremony. Oscar De las salas had typed out the unexpected

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see Top10, pg 2

Local producer filming LGBT version of national PSA Morgan M. Hurley | Editor

By Margie Palmer

Cheers to New Years

tragic story of his wedding to his husband Gary Jackson in his own words and sent it to me via email, intending me to use is as a resource. And although the native Columbian made it clear to me that English was his second language, his words were so compelling I decided to run them as is with just an Editor’s Note as an introduction. The story went viral and when it was brought to the attention of Channel 10’s Michael Chen, who brought it to the local evening news, it caused four Coronado women to embark on a journey to right this wrong and show the couple that Coronado was better than that. This article led to two more much happier stories, one of which also made this list.

NO MORE hits a nerve

Housing project for LGBT seniors moves toward final green light The San Diego Planning commission has approved the development of an LGBT-affirmative senior housing complex in North Park. A public hearing was held on Dec. 18; commission members gave the plan a unanimous nod and are recommending the San Diego City Council grant final approval next month. The 76-home senior apartment building is set to be located on the northwest corner of Texas Street and Howard Avenue and will sit adjacent to a 118-home multifamily building on the northeast corner. The mixed-income development is the brainchild of nonprofit developers Community HousingWorks (CHW), which is has


The now vacant lot at Texas Street and Howard Ave (Courtesy Community Housing Works) partnered with the San Diego LGBT Community Center (The Center) to help bring the project to fruition. CHW said the senior apartments will be designed as an affirming and supportive environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender seniors. The Center has confirmed their Senior Services staff will provide services welcoming to the entire senior community of residents.

see LGBTseniors, pg 3

After 18 months in production, the national NO MORE public service announcement (PSA) campaign began rolling out into the public consciousness in September of 2013, through television screens, in print, online, in airports and medical facilities and across outdoor advertising. The PSA focused on putting an end to domestic violence and sexual assault by raising awareness. The program, backed by the Joyful Heart Foundation and directed by actress Mariska Hargitay, involves the faces and voices of more than 50 celebrities and other public figures. The point is to address the issues of sexual assault and domestic violence openly by breaking the silence, and having recognizable celebrities speak out and get people’s attention. Viacom has produced a series of NO MORE PSAs for

see NoMore, pg 3



GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 26, 2014–Jan. 8, 2015


TOP10 2. “Opinion: Why PrEP is a failure,” [Issue 8, April 18] Though The San Diego LGBT Center launched their #BeTheGeneration initiative in September of 2014 — in which Dr. Delores Jacobs herself calls PrEP, “a revolutionar y tool in the fight [against AIDS/HIV],” in the spring of 2014, not much was being said about PrEP, especially here in San Diego. When I received this opinion piece, I took it as that, someone’s opinion, which we welcome and even encourage here at Gay San Diego. I factchecked the author’s statements about side affects and required condom use (with the CDC and Truvada websites), edited it, and ran it. All in all, I considered it one person’s opinion about this new breakthrough drug, which many are still tr ying to understand, and felt it would open up a door for local discussion. Boy was I right. This opinion piece, which was clearly read instead as a news piece by many who responded in both horror and rage, created a firestorm of discussion, mostly negative, that lasted for weeks online, on Facebook and in my email inbox. 3. “Manscaping 101: here, there and ever ywhere,” [Issue 1, Jan. 10] When I first assigned this piece to my colleague and friend Ben Cartwright in December of 2013, I knew that his popularity within the community, coupled with the uniqueness of the subject matter would make it a hit, but I

had no idea how much so. This article has consistently bounced around our top 20 articles all year long. With his easy, honest and uber accessible writing style, Cartwright walked us through three levels of pampering in the men’s body hair department (a shave, a haircut and a Brazilian) with three local ser vice providers. The result was pure gold. 4.“Lez Pride: Five ‘can’t miss’ women’s events Pride weekend,” [Issue 14, July 11] Amanda Nachman summarized for Gay San Diego readers some of the more titillating events on the calendar specifically for the ladies that were happening throughout Pride weekend, and none of them were directly associated with San Diego Pride’s organized events. All but one event, the annual FlawLes pool party — which Nachman focused most of the stor y on — were held at popular bars in and around Hillcrest. The article continues to draw readers today. 5. “Life Beyond Therapy: Hooked on ‘twinks’?” [Issue 13, June 27] Psychotherapist Michael Kimmel’s bi-weekly columns regularly tackle fringe topics and push our comfort boundaries, causing them to often fall in our top 10 for the month, but this one seems to have resonated more than most. Kimmel responded to a letter from a man who complained of his preference for younger men by examining the foibles of selfhatred, avoidance of intimacy, and the difference between love and obsession. I wonder how many of those readers took his advice to heart.

6. “Part of our world,” [Issue 21, Oct. 17] Subtitled “Gay Broadway actor brings Quasimodo to town,” this piece by Monica Medina profiled openly gay actor Michael Arden in advance of his six-week run as Quasimodo in La Jolla Playhouse’s U.S. premiere of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” The title of the article is a play on a song from the Little Mermaid that Arden said he feels a special kinship to, “Part of Your World.” In the profile, the actor spoke about his upbringing, his work and his publicly announced (over social media) engagement to his fiancé and fellow actor, Andy Mientus. 7. “Twenty-five more years of adventures and memories,” [Issue 23, Nov. 14] Sub-titled “A Hillcrest mainstay expands its reach into the community,” this article explored Urban MO’s extensive patio expansion and the other impacts that will result from the renovation. Prompted by a press release that was trying to squash rumors that MO’s would close down completely during renovations, we interviewed several players and got even more information out for our readers. The new patio, still under construction, is expected to have views of the surrounding neighborhood from all sides as well as a pay-parking lot next door in 2015. 8. “Love and support from Coronado,” [Issue 20, Oct. 3] A much happier follow-up to the story that made the top of our list, we shared the overwhelming response to the story of Oscar and Gary’s unfortunate wedding experience. Thanks to four women who dubbed themselves “The Islander Ladies,” vendors and residents of Coronado were coming out of the woodwork to help make the “redo I do” — planned for Oct. 11 at Loews Coronado Bay Resort — a day the gay couple would never forget. With only a couple weeks to pull together, it was quite an epic celebration, something we called “Wedding of the year” on the front page of the next Gay San Diego (Oct. 31 issue), with a recap of the event. 9. “Editorial: I’ve decided to come out,” [Issue 17, Aug. 22] In the wake of Robin Williams’ surprising suicide, I felt I had an obligation to share with readers just how important it is to take note of those we care for, because I knew no one really understood my own struggle with depression, especially those who thought they knew me based on my Facebook page. I had also recently reached out for help with my affliction and I wanted those who may not be able to, to find inspiration from my words as well. It was much easier for me to write and publish this piece somewhat anonymously, for readers that would pick up the paper and read my words in the comfort of their own home or on the bus on the way to work. It was much different, however, to share it on my Facebook wall and open myself up to the scrutiny of my family and lifelong friends … but that was what it was about in the first place. Clearly my words resonated with people, I received dozens of personal emails, texts and messages, as well as posts on the article. I even created a hashtag #ItsTimetoTalkAboutIt and use it whenever sharing articles about similar subjects.

10. “Jewel is saving his soul,” [Issue 20, Oct. 3] As a media person, I get invited to a great many special events, some meh, some out of this world. When the opportunity to attend a private Jewel concert at the US Grant Hotel fell on my lap, I jumped at the chance. Draped across every such invitation is always the hope that I’ll somehow do some editorial promotion either before or after. Since I am also editor of our sister paper San Diego Downtown News, I expected to find a way to share the experience on those pages. The intimate concert was presented by the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) program, of which the US Grant is part of, for SPG members who were willing to shell out points to be included. Most flew or drove in from cities around the country, but as luck would have it, the big winner of the evening (who got to go home with a Taylor acoustic guitar autographed by Jewel) was a local gay man. I was thrilled to be able to share just a small portion of what I learned about Zach Hayes’ interesting life story (and his adoration for the singer) with Gay San Diego readers and it ended up being our 10th most read story online for the year. No doubt it got part of that bump when Jewel herself shared the link on her Twitter feed, stating “I love this, and I love my fans!” Not far behind the top 10 stories were: “Mayor Faulconer makes Pride history” [July], a story about the mayor distributing pride flags around Downtown’s Gaslamp Quarter to commemorate Pride month; “‘This’ kind of sex” [April] — another Michael Kimmel gem talking about sex parties; “Big and getting bigger” [August], a feature about the transition of Top of the Park to the Porto Vista hotel in Little Italy; “Hillcrest’s Fat Tuesday: Mardi Gras gets a makeover” [February] a preview of changes to the event; “Where the girls will surely be” [February] a feature about Gossip Grill’s new bigger and better location; “The ultimate gay mecca returns” [April] a preview of the Palm Springs White Party; and “Heartthrobs and hair” [January], a profile on Tegan and Sara in advance of their performance at Dinah Shore Weekend in Palm Springs. Knocking consistently around the top of the online readership charts but published in previous years (and two from our relationship with syndicates), were: “Waking up with Avicii” [Oct. 2013]; “Food network leaves a happy trail in San Carlos” [Nov. 2011]; “Top of the Park rumored to close by end of year” [Nov. 2013]; “Interview: Boy George talks about getting clean, having a kid and why he’s an alien [March 2011]; “Life Beyond Therapy: Sex, ‘Twilight,’ and my mom” [Jan. 2013]; “Task force proposes new district 3 map at commission hearing” [May 2011]. —Morgan M. Hurley can be reached at

Front page photo credits: (clockwise from top) Michael Arden was Hunchback (Courtesy Michael Arden); Mayor Faulconer installs pride flags (Photo by SDCNN); Tegan and Sara took on Dinah (Photo by Lindsey Byrnes); Gary Jackson and Oscar De la salas had a “redo I do” (Photo by Kristina Lee Photography); Zach Hayes wins a Jewel guitar (Courtesy Starwood Hotels); Moe Girton moves Gossip Grill (Photo by Morgan M. Hurley); Ben Cartwright gets a shave (Courtesy Be Social PR); Pride Pool Party Downtown (Courtesy FlawLes); White Party in Palm Springs (Photo by David A. Lee).


NOMORE its own networks, including BET, MTV, VH1, Spike and TV Land. Earlier this year, the campaign took an even more public and emotional turn, when the National Football League decided to join the campaign after a series of domestic violence incidents rocked the NFL. Earlier this year, the NFL PSAs were repeatedly played during NFL games during the 2014 season, arguably reaching an even greater audience than the original PSAs that showed across a variety of networks and media platforms. Starting Thanksgiving weekend, a second, raw and unscripted series of “PSAs called “Speechless,” showed current and former NFL players just prior to speaking their lines, some of them moved to tears due to the content they were about to speak. Producers said the powerful video collection was put together to show “how difficult it is for all of us to talk about domestic violence and sexual assault, which remain taboo, hidden and painful subjects.” Seeing NFL players look into the television screen speechless and near tears or saying the words “NO MORE ‘She was asking for it,’” is incredibly impactful. It was during an NFL football game that San Diego musician Nicki Walker saw one of the PSAs and it got her attention. “I was moved by the ad but then I thought, ‘is nobody going to talk about this in the LGBT community? Are we just going to glance over that or are we going to talk about it?” Walker said. “It’s in everybody’s community, we need to talk about what’s happening with us.

“When you go online and look at the numbers it’s all geared toward heterosexual women,” she continued. “It’s sad and I feel like so many times in our community, they think that they risk so much if they reveal that it’s in our community, so we shy away from it and we don’t talk about it because we don’t want that stigma. But it’s there, it’s real and it’s got to be talked about.” Walker, who often partners on stage with fellow musician and local media production guru Melanie Peters, called Peters to share her idea. Peters contacted the national organization, and seeing there were several “factions” of the campaign but no LGBT version, proposed making an LGBT-centric PSA for the NO MORE campaign here in San Diego. The response was yes. Peters, who was already juggling a dozen other personal and professional projects at the time, got to work planning the PSA. Already lined up to film some local LGBT politicians for other projects, Peters contacted them about their participation and got commitments from openly gay Supervisor Dave Roberts, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins. With offices located at the Missiongathering Church, located at 3090 Polk Ave., in North Park, Peters was then able to set up her production equipment on Dec. 20 in a conference room on the property and film a number of members of the local LGBT community. Peters knows how to work with people behind the camera, and coaches them along to get exactly what she wants. With a long list of NO MORE statements that aligned with the national campaign but resonated with the LGBT community taped to a board, she lined up participants.

“What I’m trying to get from each person is not just to read the statement, but be that response. ‘This doesn’t happen in my community.’ I want them to feel that denial,” she said. “When they get that piece, I get goose bumps up both my arms. You know it’s the right take when you just feel that … it’s in the room.” Empress Candi Samples, who was familiar with the national NO MORE campaign, jumped at the chance to be included in the PSA, though she said she personally has no direct connection with domestic violence and sexual abuse. Peters requested that participants dress in black and she coached them throughout the process. Many participants’ reactions were similar to that of the NFL players, and she plans to create her own version of “Speechless” for our community. “I was happy Melanie asked me to be a part of the PSA … I do like to show my support for the community that supported me in my reign,” Samples said. “I believe it is time to end the silence and I am so glad that Melanie is doing this for our LGBT community; we to have to face this and speak out. I hope through this we can open eyes and voices to end [domestic abuse and sexual assault] or at least not hide and be able to help others. “No more excuses. No more violence. No more silence. No more,” she said. Though Peters had requested that participants wear black to match the national campaign, she asked Samples to wear her full Empress fashion during the filming for its “uniqueness” and connection to LGBT community. GSDBA Executive Director Barbra Blake, who also participated in


LGBTSENIORS Since its inception, the proposal has generated quite a bit of neighborhood support and has received official backing from the North Park Planning Committee (NPPC). “Our committee over whelmingly supported the proposed development,” said NPPC Chair Vicki Granowitz. “We like that it brings well-designed new housing options to our community, and also provides for seniors on limited incomes.” The proposed design provides a large open plaza at the northeast corner of Texas and Howard and significantly enhances the pedestrian experience along Texas Street. Building frontages on Howard Avenue and Arizona Street were designed to have a residential feel that complemented the existing residential uses on the opposite side of the street. CHW officials stated that based on a previous study released by The Center, they identified that San Diego’s LGBT seniors were a particularly vulnerable demographic in need of affordable, welcoming living spaces. The study further indicated that America’s LGBT seniors were far more likely than their non-LGBT counterparts to not have a family-based support network, especially since the vast majority of LGBT seniors are more likely to be single and not have children. Dr. Delores Jacobs, CEO of The Center, said they are ver y enthusiastic about the collaborative project.

Artist’s rendition of the LGBT-affirming senior housing complex coming to North Park (Rendering by Joe Cordelle; architecture by Rodriguez + Associates Architects and Planners) “LGBT seniors have ver y few options for affirming and supportive housing — and for our lowincome seniors, the situation is even more difficult,” Jacobs said. “This development provides a significant step in the direction of making sure LGBT seniors in San Diego can live with dignity. The fact that it’s a CHW development makes it even more exciting, as it gives us full confidence that it will be a safe, supportive, wellplanned community that anyone would be proud to call home.” The development uses an affordable housing density bonus to help make the affordable development feasible. Under that program, 23 of the senior apartments will be restricted to ver y low income households earning 50 percent or less of the county’s median income. CHW Vice President Dave Gatzke said the loss of redevelopment agency funding throughout

California has made resources for affordable housing ver y limited. “I’m thrilled that this mixedincome approach allows us to bring both high-quality market rate development to North Park and offset the gap in funding we have in building affordable housing,” he said. CHW said their intent is to find additional funding sources and to break ground in 2016 with all 76 of the apartments to be affordable. For more information about CHW, or to stay up to date on this project, visit and find “north park chw” listed under real estate development and current projects. —Margie Palmer is a San Diego-based freelance writer who has been racking up bylines in a myriad of news publications for the past 10 years. You can write to her at

GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 26, 2014–Jan. 8, 2015


Melanie Peters (right) directs Empress Candi Samples during the filming of the LGBT NO MORE PSA campaign. (Photo by Varner Photography) the filming, said the campaign hits close to home on several levels. “Not only has someone in my family been a victim of domestic violence, but I know several people in our community who have also been victims,” Blake said. “I participated in the campaign because there is a longstanding myth in our community that domestic violence is not an LGBT issue. In fact, it is one of the most serious health risks affecting our community and in disproportionate numbers compared to those in the straight community. “Standing in front of Mel’s camera, repeatedly demanding ‘no more’ was a very emotional and empowering experience for me,” she said. In two weeks, Peters will be driving to Los Angeles to film Robin Tyler and Diane Olsen, the two women whose lawsuit made same-sex marriage legal in California on June 16, 2008, four months prior to Proposition 8; and Ian Harvie, transgender stand-up comedian and star of Amazon Prime network’s “Transparent.”

Peters and others see that many in our community seem to have “PSA fatigue” because of the NOH8 campaign and “It gets better,” etc., but NO MORE is different. “That’s the beauty of it … it wasn’t OUR idea … they had this idea, I’m sure there is a backstory why Mariska Hargitay was impassioned to do it,” she said. “I first noticed it when I saw the NFL players and I thought ‘I’m glad they’re doing that,’ but it was the silent one that got me, because it’s whwat he didn’t say.” Once filming is done Peters sees the project growing within our community and many are already willing to come on board. Samples said she and her Prince Consort plan on doing a fundraiser in 2015 for the LGBT NO MORE campaign and Peters and Walkers’ “Nick and Mel” entertainment duo have plans as well. Stay tuned. For more information on the LGBT NO MORE project, find them on Facebook. The national program can be researched at —Morgan M. Hurley can be reached at



GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 26, 2014–Jan. 8, 2015

Nothing butt Russell Tovey ‘Looking’ star talks sex scenes, his famous butt and taking his mom to Folsom Street Fair By Chris Azzopardi Despite roles in the BBC supernatural drama “Being Human” and “The History Boys,” both on stage and screen, it’s the HBO dramedy “Looking” that has presented Russell Tovey with considerable exposure. Premiering in early 2014, the show centers on a group of gay friends in San Francisco as they navigate relationships, family and sleeping with your boss. When Kevin (Tovey) and Patrick (Jonathan Groff) finally got down to business during a steamy lay at the end of the first season, the hunky Londoner revealed more than his acting chops. As “Looking” returns to the network, the 33-year-old opened up on a variety of topics: his mom’s reaction to his thigh thump with Groff, the advantages to shooting a sex scene with a gay actor and how, despite his famous butt, fans of the show who meet him aren’t “rape-y.”

Chris Azzopardi [CA]: The Season 1 finale set the stage for a whole lot of drama. What does that mean for this upcoming season? Russell Tovey [RT]: Season 2’s gonna pick up three months on with the fallout from that experience with Patrick, Kevin and Richie [Patrick’s boyfriend played by Raúl Castillo]. They go away on a big adventure and it all unravels. What it means is there’s gonna be tension, and what unfolds is going to be very good television. And I love it. I love seeing “hashtag Team Kevin / Team Richie.” People are really loyal to Kevin or Richie. They’re like, “Sorry – I really like you, Russell, but I’m Team Richie.” “Kevin’s a cheat!” “Leave Patrick alone!” [CA]: What’s your hope for Kevin and this love triangle he’s gotten himself into? [RT]: I want Kevin to be happy, but I want him to find his way to happiness with a lot of drama that’s gonna be entertaining for an audience watching an HBO show. [Laughs] But he has to fuck things up, and I think that’s part of his personality. The more Patrick gets to know him, that’s gonna unravel. [CA]: Soooo: Team Kevin or Team Richie? [RT]: Hmm … would I fuck myself? Or would I fuck Raúl?

[Laughs] If I could have a threeway, it’d be quite nice. You know, a bit of both. But in reality, you’d want a boyfriend like Richie because he could cut your hair, and that’s great — you don’t have to worry about that expenditure every month. He’d do that for free! And he can play guitar, so he can entertain you.

[CA]: Or, of course, there’s Kevin, who appears to be — at least from the Season 1 finale — experienced in bed. [RT]: Oh yeah, he’s very good. A lot of me went into that. [Laughs] [CA]: I hear you’re a method actor … [RT]: Totally. I’ve done all the research. [CA]: Unless it’s gay porn, it’s rare in TV and film that actors who have sex scenes are both gay. For instance, Raúl is straight and has on-screen sex with Jonathan. How does the dynamic of a sex scene change knowing both you and Jonathan are gay? [RT]: It makes it so much more relaxed. I’ve had sex scenes with girls, and I feel very relaxed because I’m not worried about anything popping up — I’m just worried about her world and making sure she’s comfortable. When I’ve done stuff with Joe Wilkinson [on the BBC’s “Him & Her”] — and we’re hugging and kissing and whatever, and he goes for it — I feel a slight responsibility to make sure that he doesn’t feel I’m taking advantage of the fact that this has been written. I don’t want him to feel uncomfortable, so I feel a responsibility to him in a different way than I do to girls. With Jonathan, doing these sex scenes just feels so cool. We’re such good mates now, and we laugh and we love doing our scenes together. You can do anything; your hands go everywhere, and it’s fine. Neither of us at any point feels uncomfortable, and that’s why it’s so good. We just completely trust each other, and we go for it. Neither of us hold back, or feel any pang of responsibility for the other one when it comes to that. We just trust each other on a completely open level. Either of us could go to the other, “Hey, you should put your dick in there.” [Laughs] [CA]: Are you saying that you and Jonathan basically direct your own sex scenes on the show? [RT]: [Laughs] No, no, I’m not! [Writer-director] Andrew Haigh is very much involved. [Creator] Michael Lannan is very much involved. When we have sex scenes we have [those guys] there onboard the whole time to make sure it’s all good. But yeah, I think Jonathan and I are, again, method; we

know what we’re doing. [Laughs]

[CA]: Will you have more sex scenes with Jonathan in Season 2? [RT]: God — is it a spoiler if I say yes? [CA]: How do you feel about all the attention your ass has gotten on social media? [RT]: In the future, I imagine myself looking back and going, “God, I had a nice ass. Glad I got that out.” If it’s there now, I’m getting it out because it’s not always gonna look like that. I don’t want to hide it. And it’s nice that people like it. I’ve been very lucky. I’ve grown it myself, and I also have my parents to thank for it being well-received. [CA]: What kind of influence do you see this show having?

Russell Tovey first auditioned using an American accent but producer’s rewrote the role for the British actor (Photo by Richard Foreman/HBO) [RT]: [Laughs] Someone in production. Ahh, as the season goes on you’ll see where that comes from.

(l to r) Tovey and costar Jonathan Gross in a scene from “Looking” (Photo by Richard Foreman/HBO)

[RT]: It’s such a true voice for gay people. Everyone all around the world is able to see their own friends in all these characters. In the gay community, everyone wants stories. Every show [like “Looking”] that comes out is another kind of stamp in the world to say, “This is happening. This is here.” This is another show that proves how normal this is. This show is where we are now — in a place where it feels we’ve moved on so far that we’re able to make a show like this. Here we are — not bad people who are having coming out problems, and where not everyone is dying of AIDS. This is — right now — what it’s like to be a gay man who can get married and adopt. Suddenly, you can sign up to the heterosexual blueprint. [CA]: Growing up, did you have a “true voice” in entertainment? [RT]: No … [CA]: So what finally inspired you to come out? [RT]: I had really close family friends. Myself and one of my best mates now — our dads went to school together — came out to each other when we were like 14, 15. He was very out and proud, and he was going out to all the gay clubs when I was a kid. I was so

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scared to do it, but I went out with him. Going out with him I realized there are other people like me out there, and I was like, “Cool, this is all right.” But there wasn’t anybody in the public eye that made me go, “Oh, thank you.” There were no Tom Daleys, no big coming out stories inspiring me to come out. I do remember seeing the film “Beautiful Thing” as a kid and my mom coming up the stairs to go to bed and me turning it off and going “Night!” I waited till she went to bed to put it back on, and I remember being awestruck at this film, and crying and being like, “Oh my god, that’s me.” “Beautiful Thing” was actually a huge part of my coming out experience.

[CA]: How often are you recognized while filming “Looking” in San Francisco? [R T]: Oh, ever y day. Where I was living in the Castro, I would get into a routine of having breakfast, lunch or coffee, going to the gym, buying a newspaper, and there’s such community there. Where I live in London, it’s like a community where it’s “Morning, Russell!” and seeing people is just a part of your routine. That’s completely what’s so wonderful about San Francisco. And ever yone is ver y respectful. I don’t ever feel under threat or in a rape-y situation. It feels like they are thrilled that we’re there, and we are thrilled to be there. It’s a mutual love for the city and us, which is nice. [CA]: You had a birthday recently. Whose idea was it to make you a cake that said, “Birthdays are like rim jobs … open up and get ready for another great year!”?

[CA]: Oh, so the rimming cake plays a part in the show? [RT]: It might if it stays in! But [the cake] was very nice. We were on a night shoot during our lunch and that cake turned up and I was over the moon. My mom and dad were like, “Oh, I love the cake. Not sure about the rim job. Yeah, not sure of the words — but the cake looks lovely!” But they love it. I took my mom to Folsom Street Fair when I was filming. We hung out with drag queens, transgenders and people with HIV. I gave her the full education. She absolutely loved it! She’s fascinated by it all, and she was asking people why they had silicone in their testicles and piercings in certain areas of their bodies. She’s awesome. She watched Season 1 as well. I said to her not to watch the last episode. She said, “All right,” but then she did and said, “I saw your little bum going up and down.” [CA]: Was it required of you to show off your assets during auditions? [R T]: No, no. I was actually originally up for Patrick — Jonathan’s part — and I didn’t get it. They were like, if [the show] gets picked up, we wanna write you a part. I was like, “Cool, but I’m not holding my breath,” because you hear that a lot. Then they wanted me to go out for this part of Kevin, and I was like, “OK.” I did the [audition] in American — I wanted to make it American — but at the end, as I was leaving the room, I did it in English because I knew they’d ask for it in English. They came back and said, “We loved the English! The Brit, the Brit!” So yeah, I didn’t have to show my genitals; it was merely my acting talent. [Laughs] —Chris Azzopardi is the editor of Q Syndicate, the international LGBT wire service. Reach him via his website at t

Editor’s Note: The second season of ‘Looking’ premieres on Jan. 11. Stay tuned with our online presence (, email blasts, GaySD and Twitter @GaySD) for a fantastic giveaway in advance of Season 2. You won’t want to miss it.

Cleaning up Life Beyond Therapy Michael Kimmel When I was a brand new therapist, I used to think that New Year’s resolutions were a good idea. Now – years later — I see the truth. For the vast majority of people, New Year’s resolutions are not useful and often make us feel worse, because 99.99 percent of the time we can’t follow through with them. Instead, I recommend that my clients use the end of the old year/start of a new one to “clean up.” With a nice, new year we want a nice, “clean” life, don’t we? Isn’t that the point of all those “resolutions” we’ve made in the past? Here are some ideas on how to clean up your new year, and keep it clean: Cleaning up the people in your life: As we mature and get smarter, we outgrow people. People who used to be good matches for us may no longer be. A lot of clients tell me, “I don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings” by moving on from a friendship that has basically wilted. Well, you can let people know, as kindly as possible, that, “I still love you and care about you, but it just doesn’t feel like a good match anymore.” Sometimes, this will jump-start the friendship again and lead to a good discussion of how the friendship went astray. However, it’s perfectly normal to outgrow people. It doesn’t mean that they or you are lacking. It’s more about people changing in ways that aren’t mutual. Many people would prefer to avoid these kinds of “cleaning up” conversations and will just tell the other person, “I’m just so busy” or stop responding to their texts/ calls. Sure, you can do it that way, but then the relationship (and its end) remains messy and there is no resolution. Besides, what will you say to this person if you see them at Flicks or Gossip Grill? You may want to avoid conflict, but honesty and kindness go a long way in cleaning up relationships. Cleaning up your thoughts: Are you tired of feeling bad? Tired of telling yourself that you’re not good enough? If so, it’s a good time to do some thought cleaning. Begin by noticing the thoughts you usually think. Just notice them (some people call this “mindfulness”). How do these thoughts make you feel? Cognitive psychology tells us that first come the thoughts in our heads and then come the feelings that these thoughts generate. If you want to feel differently about your life, love and friends, cleaning up your thoughts is a good way to get to the cause of your unhappiness, which is a lot better than just putting another psychological Band-Aid on the symptoms of your malaise. Begin to notice the negative things you think about yourself and others. Instead of repeating these negative thoughts, replace them with neutral or positive thoughts. For example, you could replace, “I never pick the right people to fall in love with,” with, “I am changing and starting to attract people who treat me well.” Cleaning up your body: January magazines usually have lots of tips to “clean up your body/ diet,” but most of them don’t work for more than a few weeks. Why do


we keep falling back into old patterns? Usually it’s because we’re coming from a deprivation/punishment mentality: “I’m going to force my body to be thinner” or “I’m going to make myself eat healthier.” It doesn’t work: None of us can force ourselves to do something for very long. The only way I know to clean up my body and sustain it is to be kind to it and treat it well. I wear the same size trousers that I did 30 years ago (a 30-inch waist, if you’re curious). I didn’t pull that off by punishing myself. I did it by asking myself questions like, “What would make you feel good today?” and “What kind of exercise would you enjoy?” So go ahead, have that croissant (I love the chocolate ones) and enjoy it. Enjoying food without guilt makes it more pleasurable, and you don’t need to do it again and again when you really savor it. In closing, I suggest you stop making New Year’s resolutions and, instead, clean up your life. Happy (Healthy) New Year! —Michael Kimmel is a licensed psychotherapist who specializes in helping LGBT clients achieve their goals and deal with anxiety, depression, grief, sexually addictive behavior, coming out, relationship challenges and homophobia. Contact him at 619-955-3311 or visit

GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 26, 2014–Jan. 8, 2015


Is it really the best time to buy a home? Real Estate Update Maggie Clemens It’s easy to be confused if you listen to the media. One day the housing market is in a slump and the next day home sales are up. So when your friend, officemate, or realtor says to you, “This is the best time to buy a home,” should you believe them? The answer is yes! There are two good reasons why this is true: 1. Mortgage rates will go up! Now that the “Fed” (Federal Reser ve Bank) has shut off the quantitative easing, lenders are in solid control. Make no mistake, there is only one reason that a bank/lender is in business and that is to make money. Lenders will not be able to raise rates too quickly or they may stall the market, but they will start to increase the rates. And the higher the rate . . . the higher your monthly payment. 2. Home prices will go up! Home prices in San Diego really hit bottom in the fall of 2012, making 2013 a crazy year of super low inventor y and multiple offers. That really drove home prices up. In 2014, we are about double the inventor y over 2013, and most of these are now traditional sales instead of foreclosures and short sales. This means that our real estate market is beginning to stabilize. We may not see the crazy appreciation figures of 2013, but we will close out 2014 with an average of 8 – 10 percent in home appreciation. We expect the same if not

better in 2015. And the higher home prices go up . . . the higher your monthly payment. These two factors plus your down payment are what really affect your monthly mortgage payment. And if you can afford the payment, it makes good financial sense in many ways to be a homeowner or investor. Just ask your tax preparer. The San Diego real estate market, as well as the economy, is recovering. There may be some bumps along the way, but it is definitely improving. If that isn’t enough to convince you, here is more: As we see more inventor y coming on the market, buyers will have a better selection; and since lenders can’t raise rates too quickly, I think we will see them start to ease their credit criteria, which means more people will qualify for a home loan. 2015 is going to be an awesome year in real estate! So yes, get the word out . . . it really IS the best time to buy a home! —Maggie Clemens has lived in San Diego since 1978 while enlisted in the U.S. Navy. She has over 25 years direct sales experience and is now ranked a TOP Performer with Keller Williams Realty. Reach her at 619-800-1145 or

Your community news leader



GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 26, 2014–Jan. 8, 2015

Correction In last week’s cover story [See “Philanthropy shares the love,” Vol. 5, Issue 25], it was reported that San Diego Human Dignity Foundation honoree Maureen Steiner gave the $5,000 endowment award to Lambda Archives of San Diego. She in fact designated $2,500 of the award to Project Trans at the San Diego LGBT Center, $500 to Lambda Archives’ Trans Oral History Program, and the remaining $2,000 to Lambda Archives operations. Ms. Steiner also stated that the fall fundraiser for Lambda Archives at her home raised nearly $30,000, not $6,000 as was reported. We regret the errors.

Letters Singing praise I have been with the Chorus now going on 16 years [See “Changing lives, one voice at a time,” Vol. 5, Issue 25]. I have seen this chorus grow and grow, and have never been more pleased with it as now. RC Haus is an amazing artistic director and he brings out the best in all of us; singers, dancers, choreographers and volunteers. I am very proud to say I am a singing member of the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus. —Paul Buckholz, via I am a new member to the SDGMC. Belonging to this group of wonderful men has been one of the best experiences of my life. We love RC. —David Ellzey


Supporting our community through the years By John L. Brown Celebrating our past, standing firm today, looking to make the future bright; that’s what we do every day at San Diego Human Dignity Foundation (SDHDF), but at this time of year, it is especially important to remember and learn from our past while we deal with current challenges and plan for future needs. San Diego is a wonderful community for LGBT people in many ways. We are fortunate to have many community-based organizations that support the diverse needs of our community. We are also fortunate to have elected officials who ensure that LGBT people have access to city and county resources as well. San Diego Human Dignity Foundation has played a vital role in getting us where we are today and keeping us there. In 2014, SDHDF granted out $558,997 to 39 San Diegobased charitable efforts that directly benefitted the LGBT community, and we have targeted our funding to meet current compelling needs in our community. Through sponsorships and donor-advised fund grants, we have also broadened that support to include issues of social change, art and culture. The LGBT community has always relied on ourselves to support and nurture our community — to develop services and efforts to meet current and changing needs — and we always will. That is something the founders of SDHDF understood and it is the driving force behind our efforts today. None of us have a crystal ball. We cannot say exactly what the future needs of our community will be, but we know for a fact that it will be up to us to deal with them. By having our own LGBT-specific community foundation, we are able to grow an endowment that will be administered by a board of directors in the future, who like the current board, have their fingers on the pulse of the LGBT community and can best decide where to invest those dollars. This last year SDHDF supported our HIV/AIDS organizations through our HIV Funding Collaborative, helping to fill gaps created by reductions in government dollars for HIV. Working with both Lambda Literary Foundation and the San Diego Multicultural LGBT Literary Foundation,

we were able to introduce LGBT-specific literature to new audiences including high school and middle school students and communities of color. We were also able to put money and support into the community through our Lesbian Health Initiative and our Aging with Dignity Initiative. We also encouraged our charities to raise funds by offering matching grants for dollars raised. All in all, it was a very good year for us. This next year we are facing some big challenges and we are gearing up to meet them. With the growing arsenal of prescription medications to deal with the prevention of new HIV infections, we have for the first time tools other than behavior change to affect outcomes. We can lower the risk of those living with HIV from infecting others by ensuring that they adhere to their treatment and suppress their viral loads. We can also lower the risk of those most likely to become infected by giving them access to medications that for the first time ever have proven to block HIV infection. SDHDF is developing new funding strategies with our collaborative to ensure that San Diego is on the cutting edge of change as we look to a real possibility of eliminating new HIV infections in our community. We continue to partner with The Center to meet the social and emotional needs of our growing number of LGBT seniors and with The Trail Blazers as they continue the effort to document the specific and special needs of our seniors. We look forward to another successful spring concert event at The Balboa Theatre with San Diego Women’s Chorus to raise funds and awareness for our Lesbian Health Initiative. SDHDF is also beginning a new and exciting partnership with Diversionary Theatre and San Diego Lambda Archives to meet the cultural and performing arts needs of our community. As we reflect on our past accomplishments and plan for the future, there are three things we would like everyone to consider: First, know that when you make a direct donation to SDHDF, you leverage our grant-making dollars and have a larger impact on the issues that concern you most. Second, look into opening a donor advised fund with us. It is a wonderful way to help grow the Foundation and at the same time make your giving better organized and more effective. Last but not least, remember SDHDF during your estate planning and in your will. Your gift of cash, stocks, real estate or art will ensure that we are here, meeting the current needs of our LGBT community, now and in the future. —John Brown is the executive director of the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation. He can be reached at

PUBLISHER David Mannis (619) 961-1951

ART DIRECTOR Vincent Meehan (619) 961-1961

EDITOR Morgan M. Hurley (619) 961-1960

PRODUCTION ARTISTS Todd Kammer, x115 Suzanne Dzialo

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Hutton Marshall, x102 Jeremy Ogul, x119 CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Chris Azzopardi Charlene Baldridge Maggie Clemmens Michael Kimmel Margie M. Palmer Jeff Praught Mikey Rox Frank Sabatini Jr.

WEB & SOCIAL MEDIA Jen Van Tieghem, x118 COPYEDITOR Dustin Lothspeich SALES & MARKETING DIRECTOR Mike Rosensteel (619) 961-1958 ADVERTISING CONSULTANTS Sloan Gomez (619) 961-1954

Frank Lechner (619) 961-1971 Andrew Bagley, x106 Karen Davis, x105 Lisa Hamel, x107 Yana Shayne, x113

ACCOUNTING Priscilla Umel-Martinez (619) 961-1962 WEB DESIGN Kim Espinoza

DISTRIBUTION Gay San Diego is distributed free every other Friday of the month. COPYRIGHT 2014. All rights reserved.


Getting steamy

A new approach to tobacco harm reduction in the LGBT community By Gregory T. Angelo

The push to blunt tobacco use across the country is nothing new, but after years of increased restrictions on tobacco use and sales, the number of cigarette smokers in the United States has hovered stubbornly around 20 percent for the better part of the past decade — with LGBT Americans more than twice as likely to take up smoking than our heterosexual peers. A new approach to tobacco harm reduction isn’t just important; it’s necessary. Before moving to Washington, D.C. to head the Log Cabin Republicans, I was a resident of Manhattan, living in the “city that never sleeps” from day one of the tenure of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who made smoking cessation a public health priority of his administration. I saw it all: the implementation of smoking bans in restaurants, bars and nightclubs all the way to a ban on smoking outside (The latter, a law against smoking in public parks, was eventually knocked down by the courts, but showed that Hizzoner was serious about snuffing out smoking). Considering the tremendous amount of time, energy and public resources devoted to preventing puffing, it’s frustrating to see the smoking rate in the Big Apple has actually risen in the last year. Given statistics from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) that show minority groups have far higher smoking rates than other groups, it’s not a leap to assume the LGBT community comprised a fair part of that uptick. So what’s to be done, not only in New York, but across the countr y? Last month CVS put an end to all sales of tobacco products in their stores — a move that will likely do more to improve the drugstore’s image than lower national smoking rates. A federal ban on smoking? Hardly — if government intrusion

see Opinion, pg 7

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

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

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


GAY NEWS BRIEFS AMFAR ANNOUNCES NEW GRANTS FOR ITS GMT INITIATIVE The Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) has awarded a number of new research grants to study the impact of innovative HIV ser vice deliver y models in low- and middle-income countries for gay men, other men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender individuals — collectively known as “GMT.” The awards, totaling more than $2.6 million over three years, will support three major studies: 1) the most effective ways of identifying those who are HIV positive; 2) putting those identified on treatment; and 3) ensuring they remain on treatment until their virus is fully suppressed. Continuum of HIV care will be a focus as gaps remain. Rates of infection among GMT men are unchanged or continue to climb despite declining numbers of infection in the general population. Gay men or other MSM are estimated to be 18 times more likely to be infected with HIV than the general population, according to UNIAIDS. Transgender women are 49 times more likely, and since these affected populations are often underser ved due to stigma, discrimination and poverty, they are at higher risk. “Research has shown that targeted inter ventions such as early diagnosis of HIV and suppression of viral load are critical to changing the course of the epidemic among GMT,” said Kevin Robert Frost, amfAR’s chief executive officer. “Through implementation science research, we want to determine conclusively which inter ventions work best for different populations so that these strategies can be put into practice, scaled up, replicated, and start to make a real impact.” Countries involved in the studies include Myanmar, Peru, and Thailand. AmfAR’s GMT initiative has been providing financial and technical support to low- and middleincome countries since 2007. The three new projects were selected after a highly competitive process and rigorous peer review. For more information about amfAR’s GMT initiative, visit amfar. org/2014-2017-ImplementationScience-Grants.


OPINION failed in New York City, there’s little reason to believe federal action would be any more effective. On the other hand, the burgeoning popularity of so-called “ecigarettes” seems to offer a promising step-down from old-fashioned combustible tobacco products. While the efficacy of e-cigs in smoking cessation has yet to be conclusively proven, even the American Heart Association has acknowledged that medical doctors should consider encouraging e-cig use when gums, patches and other alternatives fail. It’s an alternative form of nicotine consumption that, while imperfect, is far less harmful than tobacco. Even Stanton Glantz, an e-cig critic and director of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California, declared: “There’s no question that a puff on an e-cigarette is less toxic than a puff on a regular cigarette.”

‘HOT GUYS’ RETURN TO DIVERSIONARY STAGE Diversionary Theatre’s Cabaret will once again bring “Hot Guys Dancing” to their stage Jan. 2 – 4 and Jan. 8 – 11. The revue, conceived and directed by Michael Mizerany, will also feature work by other “dynamic and daring” Southern California choreographers Melissa Adao, Erica Buechner, Ami Ipapo, Caryn Marie Glass and Kevin Williamson. This is the third installment of the hit dance series and it will include a restaging of Mizerany’s erotically charged and award-winning duet “Let Me Into Your Skin,” where the sensuality of a slow caress in anticipation of a first kiss is revealed. “A commissioned piece, [Let Me Into Your Skin] exposes the insecurities of young love in a beautiful and breathtaking dance,” Mizerany said. “It’s a very human experience and masterfully crafted with two dancers weaving a tale we can all relate to. This piece recreates such a fundamental experience that it cuts through words and leaves you to remember the lingering memories of your own life.” The revue will be filled with hot guys, steamy dances, profanity, sexual situations and partial male nudity. Tickets range from $15 – 30 and are available at or by calling the box office at 619-220-0097. Military, student, senior and group rates available. Diversionary Theatre is located at 4545 Park Blvd., University Heights. For $5 off, use GAYSD05 when ordering online. SHONDA RHIMES TO BE HONORED AT HRC GALA The annual dinner gala to benefit the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Los Angeles will take place March 14 at the JW Marriott LA Live Hotel, 900 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles. Shonda Rhimes, the creative force behind “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal,” and “How to Get Away with Murder” — all popular television shows with prominent LGBT characters — will be this year’s recipient of the Ally For Equality Award. Rhimes has won multiple awards and is a “fierce and longtime advocate for LGBT equality,” said an HRC press release. More announcements with regard to speakers, honorees and program participants are still forthcoming. Individual tickets are available for $295, VIP tickets are $400 and Federal Club tickets are These are words lawmakers and e-cig opponents should keep in mind. While not smoking at all is the best course of action, a healthier alternative is better than no alternative. And even if science concludes that e-cigarettes are not particularly effective at aiding in ending smoking entirely, it could be years before such data is accumulated — years that someone who smokes cigarettes today could be vaping “less toxic” ecigarettes instead. So instead of telling smokers they can’t use e-cigs, lawmakers should kick their habit of encroaching in areas of commerce where their actions make “the perfect” the enemy of the good. We’re better off reducing tobacco consumption any way we can rather than blowing smoke about imperfect solutions to complex problems. —Gregory T. Angelo is the Executive Director of Log Cabin Republicans. He can be reached at

also available. Table Captains are encouraged to sign up and fill a table of 10 with friends and family. There is no financial obligation and Table Captains will be listed in gala advertisements and programs for helping to support HRC. For more information about becoming a Table Captain, contact Jessica. For more information about the HRC LA gala, visit

GROSSMONT COLLEGE AND POINT LOMA NAZARENE UNIVERSITY PARTNER ON FOUR-YEAR NURSING DEGREE Starting in fall 2015, graduates of Grossmont College’s nursing program will be able to continue their education on the community college campus and receive their bachelor of science in nursing degree from Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU). The two

educational institutions announced their partnership in December to address workforce demands and the increased demand for nurses with bachelor’s degrees. The program will take students 15 months to complete and cost $16,200, which includes the cost of books. A press release by both schools stated that Grossmont’s nursing students will “benefit from the instruction and student support resources from the university.” A fulltime PLNU advisor will be at Grossmont to assist with enrollment and provide scholarship information. PLNU’s nursing program recently celebrated its 40th anniversary and is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and licensed by the California Board of Registered Nursing. For more information visit RNtoBSN.

GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 26, 2014–Jan. 8, 2015



GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 26, 2014–Jan. 8, 2015


Local and imported foods in Bankers Hill (Courtesy Back to Roots Market)

Chef Alberto Morreale of Fig Tree Café in Hillcrest and Liberty Station has advanced into Mission Hills with his recently opened Farmer’s Bottega, a “farm-to-fork” restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Morreale launched the venture in the space formerly occupied by Olivetto Ristorante and brings to the table everything from sausage meatball hash and Mediterranean-style omelets to Portobello sandwiches and stuffed quail. 860 Washington St., 619-458-9929.

San Diego’s newest culinar y emporium, Back to Roots Market in Bankers Hill, is up and running and currently embraces about a dozen vendors selling ever ything from prepared paella and fresh pastas to European cheeses, chocolates and spices. But according to co-founder Philip “Curro” Ariza, the 700-square-foot startup will expand into its neighboring storefront in the coming months. Ariza also operates El Campito Farm in Descanso and runs his new indoor mini market with Alvaro Miranda of Iberico Taste, a local company that imports foodstuffs from Spain. 3318 Fifth Ave., 619-431-5009.

New lighting has been added to Kous Kous Moroccan Bistro (Courtesy Moumen Nouri) The lively, subterranean Kous Kous Moroccan Bistro in Hillcrest has expanded into the adjoining space that housed Full Circle Fitness, which moved upstairs. “We now have the entire basement and gained an additional 1,250 square feet,” says chef-owner Moumen Nouri, who appointed the new dining room with Casablanca-style décor and more lighting fixtures imported from his homeland. The bar and lounge in the original portion of the restaurant have also been expanded. Starting in early January, Nouri will introduce belly dancers and live DJs on Friday and Saturday nights. 3940 Fourth Ave., 619-295-5560.

The remodeled bar at Kous Kous (Courtesy Moumen Nouri)

A second location is on the horizon for Normal Heights’ Soda & Swine, which will open another kitchen at an undisclosed spot in Liberty Station in March or April. Famous for its selection of gourmet meatballs, the Point Loma digs will feature a mini pie shop within the restaurant and an outdoor patio with fire features. For updates, visit Founded more than 30 years ago in Pacific Beach,Rubio's Fresh Mexican Grill is rebranding to Rubio’s Coastal Grill. Over the next several months, the company will redesign all of its Southern California locations, beginning with San Diego. New menu items are also in the works, such as mahi salads and a greater use of 100 percent sustainable Alaskan Pollack, slated to appear in tacos, burritos and bowls. The redesign process will bring an end to the tiki-style thatched roofs that canopy some of the tables while ushering in natural wood, art panels, pendant lighting and a new color scheme of cobalt and indigo.

Hillcrest Newsstand

Featuring San Diego’s best collection of hard to find international magazines! We also carry all your favorite local & national publications, as well as souvenirs, snacks and lotto tickets!

529 University Ave.- Hillcrest (619) 260-0492

“Doughnate” to charity by eating pies at URBN Coal Fired Pizza (Courtesy H2 Public Relations)

A charity drive with multiple beneficiaries titled, “Roll the Dough to Raise the Dough” runs Jan. 5 – 10 at all three URBN Coal Fired Pizza locations (North Park, El Cajon and Vista) as well as at BASIC Kitchen + Bar in the East Village. For every pizza purchased at any of the New Haven-style pizzerias, URBN Restaurants Inc. will donate $1 to the North Park Main Street Association, the YMCA, Solutions for Change or St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center – depending on where you dine. The effort corresponds to National Pizza Week. —Frank Sabatini Jr. is the author of “Secret San Diego” (ECW Press), and began his local writing career more than two decades ago as a staffer for the former San Diego Tribune. You can reach him at


GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 26, 2014–Jan. 8, 2015


Mission Valley

A hidden dining deal in IKEA Restaurant 2149 Fenton Pkwy. (Mission Valley) 619-563-4532 Prices: 99 cents to $7.99 Dining Review Frank Sabatini Jr.


nless you know IKEA well, you can quickly feel trapped by its lengthy, windowless pathway by the time you zigzag past the first showroom of assemble-it-yourself furniture. The regulars know the hidden shortcuts for fast-tracking to the checkout lines. And most of them are also aware that between 9:30 and 11 a.m., the Swedish department store offers an underpromoted breakfast for 99 cents ever yday, except on Mondays, when the meal is completely free. No lie. You don’t have to be a kid, a senior or active military, or show proof of a store purchase to qualify. Both the weekly giveaway and the 99-cent bargain are available to all visitors (one per person) and feature a scoop of scrambled eggs, a plop of cubed potatoes and either two thin strips of bacon or two sausage links that are akin to Brown ‘N Serve by Banquet. If you’re arriving only to eat, ascend to the second floor from the foyer, make a hard left and enter into IKEA Restaurant, which operates

technically as an all-day cafeteria with clean Scandinavian flair. The food line greets with illumi illuminated photographs of menu items hanging above a refrigerated display case that allows you to pluck out plated desserts, salads and smoked salmon — in that order. Just ahead is the hot food, dispensed with brevity from steam trays by spoon-wielding employees flashing pleasant smiles. The dining room is pure IKEA, an airy space filled with blond-wood chairs, sleek white tables and groovy light fixtures that seem lifted from the glory days of ABBA. Parked near the cash registers are metal carts designed to wheel multiple trays of chow to your table, should you be the one fetching for your group. If there is such a thing as cheerful institutional food, this is it, whether it’s sausage and eggs, smoked salmon or the restaurant’s wildly famous Swedish meatballs in gravy. Nothing is greasy or overly salted. And everything is served on ceramic dishes with real silverware. Better yet, the meals are dirt cheap, perhaps as compensation for having to purchase a tote bag for your store purchases or for the work you’ll invest in putting that new desk together screw by screw. In an initial visit to the restaurant, I upgraded my breakfast for $2 to include a foursome of Swedish crepelike pancakes. Served with a daub of

lingonberry sauce that also accompa accompanies the Swedish meatballs, each was folded into half moons and sported lacy edges and crispy brown “veins.” They were good but not sensational. Coffee with unlimited refills, by the way, is something like 79 cents, though free anytime you visit if you obtain a “family” card. A few days later I came for lunch, which netted me 15 Swedish meatballs draped in decent brown gravy for only $5.99. The plate included real mashed potatoes speckled with some of their skins, as well as the wonderfully tart lingonberry sauce that pairs with the little orbs of beef like lemon does to seafood. When chatting with a customer at a nearby table who also ordered the meatballs, she too counted 15 of them on her plate. The food servers are apparently highly adept at exact rationing, despite the fast and loose fashion in which they spoon the meatballs onto the plates. In a final visit amid the crush of Christmas shoppers, I considered the open-face shrimp and egg sandwich bedded on dark bread and garnished with fresh dill. It looked fresh and tempting, like a buffet dish served aboard a Scandinavian cruise ship. I opted instead for smoked salmon sashimi plated with mild horseradish sauce and toasted bread. The fillet was somewhat thin and slightly dry, but it sprung to life from

the creamy sauce. For only $4.99, I couldn’t really complain. From the dessert case, there’s chocolate overload cake and various pies. I caved in to the cream cake, though unsure if the recipe adhered wholly to Swedish tradition, which incorporates buttermilk into the batter. But within the little pink dome, encased in marzipan frosting, was the conventional thin layer of fruit jam along with a sheet of cream verging on the richness of butter. It was cold, spongy and super refreshing. The faux-Swedish culinary experience, however, doesn’t end there. If you go through the entire store, the journey concludes with packaged goods from a Swedish food market, where you’ll find imported Bryggkaffe Mellanrost coffee, Atlantic salmon and creamed smoked roe in a tube. Or if you’re not feeling so international, you can grab a plain ole hot dog at the exit doors instead. —Frank Swabatini Jr. is the author of “Secret San Diego” (ECW Press), and began his local writing career more than two decades ago as a staffer for the former San Diego Tribune. You can reach him at

(from top) IKEA’s cream cake; Swedish meatball plate; the 99-cent breakfast that’s free on Mondays; Swedish pancakes (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.)


GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 26, 2014–Jan. 8, 2015


Where were


when the lights went up? (above) Cygnet Theatre’s “Pageant” was one of the critic’s favorite musicals of 2014. (Photo by Daren Scott); (top right) La Jolla Playhouse’s Hunchback featured Ciara Reneé as Esmeralda. (Photo by Kevin Berne); (bottom right) The cast of Cygnet’s “Spring Awakening” (Photo by Daren Scott)

A wrap of 2014’s stage performances Theater Review Charlene Baldridge


ou were sitting in a seat facing the stage, I hope, taking advantage of a San Diego production or even a Broadway tour. Like any year, 2014 had its hits and its misses. Across the broad spectrum of entertainments, your intrepid critic and arts fan attended more than 150 events, including musicals, operas, symphonic or chamber music concerts, and straight theater; okay, some of it not so straight. Venues ranged from the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and Disney Concer t Hall in Los Angeles, to Orange County’s Segerstrom Ar ts Center, to San Diego County theaters large and small, near and far. Lots of people want my job, but please be assured it’s a pain in the ass sometimes, especially when something you simply must see plays in a folding-chairs venue. This was a big year for musicals, some highly touted yet bland, others surprisingly rich. It was also a big year for off-pitch singing. Broadway/ San Diego’s “Once” was an intriguing and intimate musical mostly lost in the cavernous Civic Theatre. Some of the biggest, and not

necessarily the best, were as follows: La Jolla Playhouse’s “Hunchback of Notre Dame,” buoyed up and somewhat redeemed by the fine singing of the San Diego choral group, SACRA/ PROFANA; The Old Globe’s “Bright Star,” in which an over wrought book was nearly saved by a rolling bluegrass band and one exceptionally talented heroine. The outstanding musical production of the year was Lamb’s Players Theatre’s much-extended “Les Misérables,” which featured a magnificent company headed by Brandon Joel Maier as Jean Valjean. The other best was ion theatre company’s “Passion,” featuring an indelible performance by Sandy Campbell as Fosca. Cygnet Theatre also produced excellent productions of “Pageant” and “Spring Awakening.” These were my favorite plays: Ayad Akhtar’s “The Who & the What” at La Jolla Playhouse; ”Time and the Conways” at The Old Globe; “All My Sons” at Intrepid Shakespeare; “Mandate Memories” at North Coast Repertor y Theatre; “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” at The Old Globe; Herbert Siguenza’s “El Henr y” co-produced by La Jolla Playhouse and San Diego Rep at the outdoor Maker’s Quarter; “The Pianist of Willesden Lane” at San Diego Rep; “The Clean House” at New Village Arts; “Honkey” at San

Diego Rep; “Enron” at Moxie; and “Pericles, Prince of Tyre” acted by The Old Globe/USD MFA students. Notable: San Diego Musical Theatre’s production of “Next to Normal.” Richard Baird is back with New Fortune Players, which produced a fine “Henr y V” at ion theatre, starring himself and a mostly grand company. Sledgehammer also reappeared with a production of “Happy Days” at 10th Avenue Arts Center. Speaking of 10th Avenue, it was one of numerous venues for the second annual San Diego International Fringe Festival, bigger and better this year. Mercifully and by some kind of miracle, San Diego Opera sur vived its near closure, and the two recitals performed as fundraisers for the 50th anniversar y season — which opens at the end of Januar y with “La Bohème” — were exceptional, sung by soprano Ailyn Pérez and tenor Stephen Costello and by mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe, were SRO. All three singers have endeared themselves to San Diego Opera audiences through appearances in previous seasons. Epic turkeys were “Orphan of Zhao” and “Ether Dome” both at La Jolla Playhouse. See you next year at the theater!

(above) The Old Globe’s “Bright Star” was a hit with theatergoers. (Photo by Joan Marcus); (right) Richard Baird returned to produce and star in “Henry V.” (Courtesy New Fortune Theatre Company)

—Charlene Baldridge has been writing about the arts since 1979. Follow her blog at charlenebaldridge. com. She can be reached at charb81@ t










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Seven hot topics that had us talking in 2014 By Mikey Rox This year the LGBT community laughed together, cried together and celebrated together as news broke on issues important to us all. To refresh your memor y, here are my picks for the top headlines that had us talking in 2014. 1. Michael Sam becomes first openly gay NFL player — then quickly gets the boot American football defensive end Michael Sam rocked the sports world when he publicly addressed his sexuality while still a player at the University of Missouri, an admission that spread like wildfire through mainstream media. An NFL draft contender nonetheless, Sam eventually became the first openly gay athlete drafted into the NFL as the 249th overall pick, selected by the St. Louis Rams. Sam’s good fortune was short-lived, however, as the Rams cut the buzzed-about athlete at the end of training camp, and the Dallas Cowboys — who picked up Sam after his release from the Rams — sent him packing from the practice team after the first seven weeks of the season. Currently, Sam is a free agent who likely won’t ever play an NFL game, but at least he has a cute shoulder to cr y on in boyfriend Vito Cammisano. 2. World protests Russia’s anti-gay policies ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics As early as 2012, the ire of equal-rights advocates was drawn when the notoriously anti-gay Russian government blocked the establishment of Pride House — a designated sanctuar y for LGBT athletes, volunteers and other visitors — at the 2014 Winter Olympics. The reason for the smackdown? A Russian judge ruled that “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relationships” would “undermine the security of Russian society.” Mmmkay, Felicia. By June 2013, Russian lawmakers passed a law to “impose fines for providing information about the gay community to minors,” and foreign citizens were being taken into custody for violating the bans. It all — pardon the pun — sort of snowballed from there. Thankfully, the world wasn’t taking any B.S. from Putin and his henchmen, and a show of solidarity for LGBT athletes (and

the community as a whole) was displayed throughout the games across the globe. 3. Countr y music had its own “Coming Out Day” — but nobody got the memo Countr y crooner Ty Herndon — who rose to the top of the charts in the mid-1990s —unexpectedly shook things up in Nashville and beyond when he came out in an inter view in People magazine this past November to promote his aptly-titled new album, “Lies I Told Myself.” In the inter view, Herndon, who was married twice before to women, came clean about his troubled past (his rap sheet is cray, y’all) and revealed that he’s been all booed up with a man named Matt for the past few years — all the while inspiring another countr y singer to breakthrough the closet doors the ver y same day. Fellow artist Billy Gilman, who you might remember as the 11-year-old who wowed the world with his debut single “One Voice” back in 2000, revealed his sexuality in a YouTube video, giving credit for his newfound confidence to Herndon. Countr y icons Ricky Scaggs and LeAnn Rimes have since publicly supported the duo, who will hopefully inspire other entertainers to step out from the shadows. 4. Straight dudes anonymously admit they secretly watch gay porn As if you didn’t already suspect, heterosexual men are watching gay porn in droves —even if they won’t publicly admit it. According to Queerty. com, Reddit user “father_fig” posted a question to the community asking straight dudes if they “watch gay porn as a fetish rather than an aspect of your sexual orientation.” It didn’t take long for the thread to explode with anonymous admissions from horny bros who sometimes like

to get off watching other dudes get it on. The thread received more than 75 comments/confessions, the awesomest of which came from this straight shooter: “I watch gay porn because my dick tells me that’s what I want to be watching. I’m not gay; I just sometimes get this urge that says ‘watch a man rail another dude in the ass.’” Touché — welcome to the club, buddy. 5. Nineteen more states license gay marriage, bringing total to 35 Since 2004 — when Massachusetts became the first state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples — the fight for marriage equality steadily made progress, giving homosexual couples in certain states access to wedded bliss. Fast for ward 10 years later and the campaign moves along at bullet speed, picking up 19 more states with legalized gay marriage on the books this year alone. As of press time, the total number of states that allow same-sex marriage stood at 35, and five more with stayed rulings will likely follow suit in the near future. At this rate, it won’t be long before the same-sex couples can say ‘I do’ all over the United States, and then go home and fight about who emptied the dishwasher last. 6. Seemingly straight celebs get super gay-friendly to woo demographic If it seems like ever ywhere you went on the Internet over the past few months, Nick Jonas — former boy-bander and purityring wearer — was pining for your attention (like grabbing his crotch; don’t act like you didn’t look), you’re not alone. The nowsolo artist launched a ver y gayfriendly campaign to promote his eponymous new album, but while he was winning over some of the LGBT community with his new singles (but mostly his abs), he offended others for his alleged gay-baiting marketing tactics. And he’s not the only one. TV host Mario Lopez, actor James Franco, One Direction’s Harr y Styles, and up-and-coming Australian actor Brenton Thwaites have all been accused of the

GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 26, 2014–Jan. 8, 2015 offense recently — which, let’s get real here, if they’re showing a little skin while they’re at it, is it really that offensive? 7. Petition created to end the Duggars’ reality reign after anti-gay actions Scientific anomalies and selfcontained cult the Duggar Family, whose reality show “19 Kids and Counting” is a huge hit for TV’s TLC, came under fire for a number of alleged anti-LGBT moves over the past year. Matriarch Michelle Duggar was accused of recording an automated call urging her hometown voters to repeal a law that would protect LGBT people from being evicted or fired based on their sexual orientation; son Josh has taken a job with the notoriously anti-gay Family Research Center; and the most


recent eyebrow-raiser includes accusations that the family deleted Facebook photos of same-sex couples kissing each other, despite the Duggars’ call for Facebook users to post such images to celebrate their daughter Jessa’s marriage. The latter sparked a petition that calls for TLC to cancel the Duggars’ TV show — which probably won’t make a lick of difference considering that that backwoods “Duck Dynasty” quack is still spreading his hateful gospel all over the airwaves. —QSyndicate contributor Mikey Rox is an award-winning journalist and blogger whose work has been published in more than 100 outlets across the world. He lives in Manhattan with his husband and their cuddle-buddy furbaby. Connect with Mikey on Twitter @mikeyrox.t




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Design your behavior for fitness success! You Should Be Doing It Brian White Have you ever seen someone who looks really healthy and is in great shape and thought, “He just has willpower and self-motivation that I will never have, it’s just not in me.”? I am sure many of you have felt like this at some point. But, there is no such person on this planet that possesses an endless supply of motivation. Motivation runs out quickly and often. Relying on motivation is a terrible way to make a lasting change in your life, because it isn’t always going to be there for you. If you are hoping to actually stick to a healthier lifestyle, then you can’t rely on getting inspired at the right time and hoping your willpower will carry you through. The solution to this problem is to design your behavior by altering the environment around you. That way, you don’t even need to think about making good decisions, they’ll just happen for you. You have a much better chance to design your behavior to stay out of tempting situations than you do

relying on willpower if those chocolates are only an arm’s length away. Many of us have muttered the words, “I just don’t have the willpower,” if you fail at a diet. Or if you can’t seem to finish a major project, you might say, “I am a great starter, an idea guy, I just can’t seem to be a finisher.” These statements imply that our habits and actions are determined by some set of characteristics that we are born with. But that is wrong. It isn’t just your personal characteristics that drive your successes or failures, but your habits have a ton to do with your environment and designing your behaviors around it. So with New Year’s right around the corner, let’s talk about the environment around you and how to design your behavior for health success in 2015. The first step required to create a new habit is to simplify the behavior. Make it so tiny that it is ridiculous. For example, floss one tooth, do five pushups, or go to bed 15 minutes earlier. The second step is to find a spot in your daily routine where the new behavior seamlessly fits. Put it after an act that is already an established habit for you, like brushing your teeth

or sitting down for dinner. This is key when it comes to a new habit — make sure you know what it comes after. The third step is to establish the cycle. Focus on doing the ridiculously tiny behavior as part of your routine — every day — on cycle. At first, you’ll need reminders, but soon it will become automatic. Focus short term, like 21 straight days without missing a day and you should be home free! The cool part about this ridiculously tiny habit is that it will naturally expand to a bigger behavior. Just keep the tiny habit going and eventually without much effort, you’ll be doing the full behavior. Believe in baby steps. So as you ponder how you are going to crush 2015 with your new, healthy habits, remember these three steps: Make it tiny. Find a spot. Train the cycle. —Brian White owns Brian White Fitness (BWF), located in Hillcrest. He runs boot camps in Balboa Park and trains clients at Diverge Gym. Read his blog at, or take his seven-day video challenge to get back into healthy habits. Contact Brian at





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3288 Adams Ave. 1730 Monroe Ave. 3002 Adams Ave. 4612 Park Blvd. 3739 Adams Ave. 4134 Adams Ave. 4078 Adams Ave. 1839 Adams Ave. 4545 Park Blvd. 3381 Adams Ave. 4061 Adams Ave. 4141 Adams Ave. 4067 Adams Ave. 4496 Park Blvd. 3343 Adams Ave. 3401 Adams Ave. 4050 Adams Ave. 3288 Adams Ave. 4193 Park Blvd. 4104 Adams Ave. 4175 Park Blvd. 4134 Adams Ave. 4602 Park Blvd. 3161 Adams Ave. 4590 Park Blvd. 3753 India St. 3737 India St. 2028 Hancock St. 3175 India St.

2706 Fifth Ave. 3100 Fifth Ave. 2139 First Ave. #100 1801 Fifth Ave. 1435 Sixth Ave. 2601 Fifth Ave. 2949 Fifth Ave. 1807 Fifth Ave.

POINT LOMA/OB/PB Adult Depot Barnett Adult Store Dr. Loves Boutique Hi-Lite Books Living Room Coffee House Street The Hole X-SPOT 9 OB Business Center OB Peoples Food Store

COLLEGE AREA Cross Cultural Center Jolar Adult Shop The Living Room San Diego Desserts

MISSION VALLEY Metropolitan Comm. Church

ENCINITAS Ducky Waddles E Street Café Lou’s Records Pannikin


OCEANSIDE Jitters Coffee Pub Hill Street Café & Gallery LGBT Center

MESA COLLEGE Mesa College Bookstore

MIRA MESA Siam Nara Thai Cuisine



3487 Kurtz St. 3610 Barnett Ave. 1155 Garnet Ave. 3203 Hancock St. 1018 Rosecrans 2820 Lytton St. 3606 Midway Dr. 4876 Santa Monica Ave. 4765 Voltaire Ave. 5400 Remington Rd. 6321 University Ave. 4531 59th St. 5987 El Cajon Blvd. 2633 Denver St. 414 N. Coast Hwy. 101 128 W. E St. 434 N. Coast Hwy. 101 510 N. Coast Hwy. 101 333 S. Twin Oaks. 510 N. Coast Hwy. 524 S.Coast Hwy. 510 N. Coast Hwy. 7520 Mesa College 8993 Mira Mesa Blvd. 1157 Sweetwater Rd.



mo14 c.ds-yaGAY g SAN DIEGO Dec. 26, 2014–Jan. 8, 2015


The Center holiday hours: The Center will be closed through Dec. 28 reopening Dec. 29 at 9 a.m. and closed again from Dec. 31 – Jan. 4 reopening Jan. 5. San Diego LGBT Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. Visit Live Music – Sue Palmer: Enjoy a fun Friday night with this legendar y artist starting at 7 p.m. in the Expatriate Room at Croce’s Park West, 2760 Fifth Ave., Bankers Hill. Call 619-233-4355 or visit Top of the Park Doubletree: Another rooftop bar wishes to bring back the nostalgia of Park Manor’s revered Friday night happy hour event. Drink specials, pool access, DJ Dida Padilla, bay and cityscape views. 5 – 9 p.m. rain or shine. 1646 Front St., near Little Italy. Cinema Under the Stars: After the weekend showings of The Big Lebowski (tonight at 8 p.m.) the theater space will be closed for repairs until Februar y. For more info visit 


Holiday Under wear Party and Contest: Year-end under wear contest with $100 first place prize and $25 bar tab second place prize. San Diego Eagle, 3040 North Park Way, North Park. Winter White Party: A winter wonderland party complete with DJs and frosty go-go boys. White attire is encouraged. Rich’s, 1051 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit


Stripper Circus: Sunday Funday with cheap drinks, games and circus strippers, including 15 “go-go boys” from Los Angeles, Las Vegas and San Diego. No cover. 8 p.m. – 2 a.m. Rich’s, 1051 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit


Feeling Fit Club: New 50 or Better class for older adults and suitable for all levels. Improve balance, strength, flexibility, etc. Exercises can be done sitting or standing. 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. For more info contact La Rue Fields at seniors@ The Center,

3903 Centre St., Hillcrest. Visit Transgender Coming Out Group: 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


San Diego Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence: The Sisters’ end of year open general meeting. 7 p.m. #1 Fifth Avenue, 3845 Fifth Ave., Hillcrest. Visit

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 31 – New Year’s Eve See our NYE sidebar for ways to celebrate! Free, confidential HIV testing: Lead the Way is offering this ser vice ever y Wednesday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Walgreens, 301 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit Live Music — Straight No Chaser: The male a cappella group brings their “Happy Hour Tour” to San Diego. Pre-show dinner package available. 9 p.m. Civic Theatre, 1100 Third Ave., Downtown. Visit

THURSDAY, JAN. 1 – New Year’s Day

from pg. 12


Help build the San Salvador at Spanish Landing: Gay for Good will be participating in this monthly clean up day at the San Salvador construction site. Must bring proof of medical insurance. 8 a.m. 4300 Harbor Dr., Point Loma. Find the Gay for Good group on Facebook.


Painting and Vino: Local professional artists instruct attendees on painting a masterpiece. Today – “Starr y Night Bridge” at 98 Bottles in Little Italy, 2400 Kettner Blvd. 1 – 4 p.m. 21+. Cost $45, all supplies included, registration required. Corkage fee $15 if you bring your own wine. For more info, visit

Kickers Countr y Line Dancing: Ever y Thursday and Saturday night come check out the cowboys and cowgirls as they spin across the floor, join in or even take free lessons. All skill levels encouraged. Drink specials. 7 – 9 p.m Urban MO’s, 308 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit 




Friday Night Liberty: Large art walk on first Friday of each month. Free open artist studios, galleries and performances. 5 – 8 p.m. NTC at Liberty Station, 2640 Historic Decatur Road. Visit Exhibit “Gifts of our Sisters – Lost & Found”: Free admission to see this exhibit with wine and snacks ser ved. Show runs through Feb. 1. 5 p.m. Women’s Museum of California, 2730 Historic Decatur Road, Barracks 16, Liberty Station. Visit



Live Music – Sue Palmer: Enjoy a fun Friday night with this legendar y artist starting at 7 p.m. in the Expatriate Room at Croce’s Park West, 2760 Fifth Ave., Bankers Hill. Call 619-233-4355 or visit Hot Guys Dancing: The third installment of the theater’s cabaret dance series conceived and directed by Michael Mizerany opens tonight. 8 p.m. Diversionar y Theatre, 4545 Park Blvd., University Heights. Tickets diversionar y. org or call 619-220-0097.

Karaoke with Rebekah: Ever y Sunday, Monday and Tuesday with Rebekah. New songs ever y week, if there is something you want to sing and they don’t have hit, they will get it. 9 p.m. – 2 a.m. 1017 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit 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 ser vices, including employment and medical and well as low-cost utility programs. The Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. Visit and GSDBA Engaging Aging Professional Af finity Group: Greater San Diego Business Association’s program designed to provide professional development and

education for members in professions that ser ve the aging population. RSVP required. 12 – 1:30 p.m. Vi at La Jolla Villas, 8515 Costa Verde Blvd., La Jolla. Visit Dirty Dancing: Broadway San Diego brings this classic stor y to the stage through Jan. 11. 7 p.m. Civic Theatre, 1100 Third Ave., Downtown. Visit “Grab a Mic”: Open mic night hosted by singer/actor Sasha Weiss on the first and third Tuesdays of the month. Sign ups 6 p.m., show 7 p.m. Martinis Above Fourth, 3940 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest. Visit


Free, confidential HIV testing: Lead the Way is offering this ser vice ever y Wednesday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Walgreens, 301 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit


Live Music: Anne Steele makes her MA4 debut performing current and traditional pop selections. Doors 6 p.m., show 8 p.m. Martinis Above Fourth, 3940 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest. For tickets visit —Email calendar items to 

DOING IT UP ON NEW YEAR’S EVE We’ve rounded up ways to ring in 2015 whether you want to stay close to the hood or get away. Whether you prefer to wind down 2014 with a fancy dinner, a festive dance party or live music — we’ve got you covered. 98 Bottles (2400 Kettner Blvd. #110, Little Italy): Meet-up group Active Lifestyle Nerds will present “Nerdy New Year 2015” with DJ Joelskee, dancing, munchies and a midnight champagne toast. The party goes from 9 p.m. – 1 a.m. $15. 98bottlessd. com/event/nerdy-new-year. Baja Betty’s (1421 University Ave., Hillcrest): Specials on NYE start with lunch from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. followed by $4 Papi Hour until 6 p.m., Double Dos (BOGO) from 6 p.m. – 11 p.m. and $4 “Nite Cap Cocktails” wrapping up the night until 1 a.m. Plus a

champagne toast at midnight, of course. BB’s will also offer their amazing champagne brunch on New Year’s Day from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. bajabetty. com Belly Up Tavern (143 South Cedros Ave., Solana Beach): North County’s premier music venue has a night full of live music to ring in the new year. The happy hour show starts at 5:30 p.m. with the main NYE party kicking off at 9:30 p.m. The Candye Kane NYE Happy Hour will feature the legendar y songstress with special guest Debbie Davies. The main event concert features Donavon Frankenreiter with opener Tom Curren. $12+ for NYE happy hour; $65+ for NYE party. Brass Rail’s New Year’s Eve Latin Edition (3796 Fifth Ave., Hillcrest): Latin and dance music by DJ XP, hosted by Daisy Salinas. Complimentar y champagne toast, party favors, VIP booth, bottle ser vice. 619-298-2233 or Bourbon Street (4612 Park Blvd., University Heights): Seattle’s DJ Bret Law will lead this celebration spinning a festive mix. Champagne toast at midnight. No cover. Croce’s Park West (2760 Fifth Ave., #100, Bankers Hill): Croce’s will celebrate its first anniversar y with this party. Three dinner seatings include a three-course meal plus live music by Ir ving Flores and Gilbert Castellanos and The Park West Ensemble. $50-95. Flick’s (1017 University Ave., Hillcrest): This party will feature Hillcrest’s top 25 video requests countdown with DJ Will Z, complimentar y party hats and a champagne toast at midnight. sdflicks. com. Gossip Grill (1220 University Ave., Hillcrest): Reser vations are recommended for GG’s four-course filet mignon dinner with a glass of wine or champagne, entertainment by DJ Dida and a complimentar y toast at midnight. They’ll follow up the festivities with brunch on Jan. 1 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. featuring $9.50 bottomless mimosas. 619-2608023 or Brew Year’s Eve at Hillcrest Brewing Company (1458 University Ave., Hillcrest): The brewer y will open at 3 p.m. for those wanting to start the party early and continue the countdown to a champagne toast at midnight. Visit hillcrestbrewingcompany. The Lafayette Hotel (2223 El Cajon Blvd., North Park): The historic North Park hotel will host this 1920s-themed event in a trio of areas on the property: “The City Within a City,” “The Cotton Club,” and the “Speakeasy” — if you can find it. Dubbed “On with the Show,” the festivities will include a four-course dinner, live entertainment and more from 7 p.m. – 2 a.m. Music from Lady Dottie and the Diamonds, Trio Gadjo, Miss Erika Davies, Sarah Cranberr y and more. Additional entertainment from Circus

see NYE Calendar, pg 16


GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 26, 2014–Jan. 8, 2015


My year in sports Dugout Chatter Jeff Praught National Football League Every year, I find it fun to look back and think about how much the sports landscape has changed from January to December, whether professional or amateur sports, or even in our local LGBT recreational sports leagues. Maybe I’m just getting older, but it seems to be tradition that I seem to forget so much that’s transpired throughout the year. 2014 was no different. The big event during the first part of the year is always the Super Bowl, and the National Football League’s 48th championship game under that moniker was mostly a dud. While many of my fellow 49ers fans were annoyed that the Seattle Seahawks emerged as champions, probably everyone can agree that the bigger problem with the Super Bowl result was that it was such a lousy game. Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos were rattled early and often, and could not even give Seattle a decent game, as the Seahawks won 43-8. Many of us remember that result, but let us not forget that the game was played in New Jersey. The big talk in the months leading up to Super Bowl XLVIII was the controversy about the NFL’s decision to even hold the game in a cold-weather climate. None of those fears were realized, as the weather was balmy by East Coast standards in February. We also look back and remember what a dominating performance the Chargers put on in winning their Wild Card game at Cincinnati, though that victor y could also be attributed to Andy Dalton being his typically awful playoff self at quarterback for the Bengals. But do Charger fans remember how epically bad the offense performed the following week during the first half at Denver? In a game that ended up just 24-17, who knows what could have been if San Diego had offered any resistance during the first 30 minutes? Major Leasgue Baseball The Padres are the talk of baseball these days, and rightfully so. The team’s new General Manager, A.J. Preller, has remade the entire roster and given San Diego arguably the most potent outfield in the National League. The 180-degree turn this team has taken under his stewardship is remarkable, when you consider that the Padres were on a historic pace to set record lows in several offensive categories this season. Preller was not even in the organization at the beginning of 2014, and he’s already created a buzz that has fans and so-called experts predicting a Padres playoff run in 2015, after the team’s mind-numbing series of trades in mid-December. Multiple power bats have joined the club, and fans will be lining up to get tickets to see the new-look Padres at Petco Park — complete with a brand new, high-definition scoreboard — in 2015. To the dismay of most of Southern California baseball fans, the San Francisco Giants unexpectedly won their third World Series title in five years, despite not having what most would

consider to be even one of the top five teams in baseball. Essentially, Madison Bumgarner carried the team to the title, boasting a 1.01 ERA during the postseason in which he pitched over a third of the team’s total innings. The lefty was dominant in Pittsburgh during the play-in wildcard game, and culminated the title run with a remarkable five-inning save at Kansas City in Game 7, coming off just two days’ rest. Baseball is not supposed to be a one-man show, but Bumgarner threw what might have been the most remarkable postseason in MLB history, giving Giants fans another even-year parade in The City.

A group of San Diego fans made the trip to Santa Clara see the Chargers beat the 49ers. (Photo by Laura Szymanski)

SDAFFL boasted a record 18 teams last spring.(Photo by Scott Donald) San Diego State The university’s basketball team grabs most of the headlines, and rightfully so. Head coach Steve Fisher has transformed this once-doormat of a team into a national presence, dancing on the doorstep of being an actual powerhouse. The team won yet another regular season Mountain West Conference title, and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament for the second time in school histor y, dropping a tight 70-64 affair to the Arizona Wildcats. SDSU is well known for its pressure defense, boasting athleticism few schools can match. Their Achilles heel has always been shooting, and this year’s squad is no exception. Lacking a true point guard and struggling to score, the Aztecs in 2014-2015 are only going to go as far as their offense will take them, as the defense will keep SDSU in every game. Regardless, 2014 has been another successful year on the Mesa. The football team’s accomplishments should not be overlooked, even if many believe the school is still mired in mediocrity. It is easy to forget where this program was before former head coach Brady Hoke took over the program during the 2009 season. SDSU had not been to a bowl game in many of my reader’s lifetimes, and now the school has just played in its fifth consecutive bowl game, having taken on Navy in the 2014 Poinsettia Bowl. It is impossible to go from bottom-of-the-barrel to national championship contender in short time, given the power conferences and money being thrown around. But at least SDSU has begun developing a winning tradition, and with better recruiting, there will be better bowl games on the horizon.

LGBT Leagues The San Diego Bolts, a team of All-Stars chosen from the San Diego American Flag Football League (SDAFFL), traveled to Philadelphia for Gay Bowl XIV and brought home the city’s third consecutive national championship. The competition at the national level is terrific, and winning just one title is no small feat. Hats off to league organizers and SDAFFL players who have not only put San Diego on the map in flag football, but made SDAFFL arguably the premiere league in the United States. From my own experience, the biggest shock locally to me is what has changed in America’s Finest City Softball League (AFCSL). Because of national rating rule changes, the Open Division has seen its membership thrown into a flux, with many players being forced to move to higher divisions. For years, the C Division has been dominated by the Outlaws

and Lawmen, with occasional challenges from teams like Sol, The Loft and Viejas. With players moving on, the Lawmen have had to almost entirely flip over its roster, and the Outlaws have disbanded. Watch out for up-andcoming Firestorm, who absorbed a few playoff-seasoned Outlaws onto its roster. This year in San Diego Hoops is a transitional one for me, as I ser ve my fourth and final year as Commissioner — I am retiring at the end of the season. I have also had to sit out the season for the first time in nine years, which has been difficult to wrap my mind around. I plan to still be involved with the league as a player, but the league is in good shape and I am excited to see what tomorrow’s leadership has in store for San Diego’s best basketball league. Sports vacations I cannot do a year-in-review piece without thanking the friends who traveled with me on various sports vacations this year. My Loft B softball team competed in the 2014 World Series in Dallas this past September. My Flicks Fireballs D

softball team competed in the Hurricane Showdown tournament over Thanksgiving weekend in Fort Lauderdale. In November, I took a birthday trip with a dozen people to see the 49ers play the Saints in New Orleans. And in December, I joined a group of Chargers and 49ers fans in making the trek up to Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara to witness the Chargers’ exhilarating 38-35 overtime comeback that kept the team in playoff contention. 2014 has been a wild and fantastic year in sports and I am excited to see what 2015 has in store. One thing is for sure: my Charger fan friends and I have our eye out for the April schedule release date, because San Diego plays at Green Bay next year. Road trip! —Jeff Praught is actively involved in the LGBT sports community, having participated in softball, basketball, football and pool as a player, serving on AFCSL’s board, and currently serving as the commissioner of SD Hoops. He can be reached at

Josh Ramirez is a leader among the spirited Flicks Fireballs. (Photo by Adriano Mabeza)


GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 26, 2014–Jan. 8, 2015 FROM PAGE 14

NYECALENDAR Mafia, DJ Man Cat and improv comedy shows. $50+ Lips Masquerade Ball (3036 El Cajon Blvd., North Park): Three-course pre-fixe dinner hosted by Tootie, live drag shows, dancing, midnight celebration, champagne toast, masks, horns and party favors. 619-2957900. Martinis Above Fourth (3940 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest): This venue offers two celebration packages, each with a five-course dinner. The “East Coast” starts at 5 p.m. with Andy and Nathan from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. and a champagne toast, $60. The “West Coast” celebration starts at 7:30 p.m. featuring Andy and Nathan from 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. and Amy Armstrong and Freddy Allen at 10 p.m. plus a champagne toast at midnight, $125. martinisabovefourth. com/nye  Red Wing Bar and Grill (4012 30th St., Nor th Park): This par ty will feature karaoke hosted by Ms. Pearl, par ty favors, drink specials and no cover. Star ts at 9 p.m. On New Year’s Day, they’ll host their eighth annual pajama par ty with $5 breakfast (free if you’re in pjs!), $3 bloody mar ys and $9 bottomless mimosas. Rich’s (1051 University Ave.): This “Massive” event features DJ K-Swift, DJ Dirty Kurty and DJ QooLee Kid. At midnight there will be a free champagne toast and a $1,000 cash balloon drop. Doors at 9 p.m., party goes til 4 a.m. $20. San Diego Eagle (3040 North Park Way, North Park): The only leather bar in San Diego opens at 2 p.m. for NYE with an hors d’oeuvres buffet starting at 10 p.m. She She Single’s New Year’s Eve (Private address given after ticket purchase): This event for women over 35 will include ice breaker games, dancing, appetizers, a midnight champagne toast and a balloon release after midnight. No host bar plus non-alcoholic drinks. 8 p.m. – 1 a.m. $50. shesshefun. Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens (2816 Historic Decatur Road, Liberty Station): This NYE party from 8 p.m. – 1 a.m. includes three ser vings of beer or wine, food stations and desserts, and a commemorative glass for the midnight toast with a rare Stone beer. There will also be a heated outdoor cigar lounge with items for purchase. Discount tickets available for designated drivers. DJ Tim Altbaum Productions on the dance floor and live music throughout gardens and restaurant. $99 Urban MO’s (308 University Ave., Hillcrest): You can dance into the new year with DJ Jon Williams and a balloon drop with champagne toast at midnight. The par ty star ts at 8 p.m. with a $5 cover.

Gay San Diego - December 26, 2014  
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