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Volume 4 Issue 17 Aug. 23–Sept. 5, 2013 Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.



Rustin, Ride given Presidential Medal of Freedom


LGBT leaders among 16 award recipients By Lisa Keen | Keen News Service

José Sarria remembered


Catch up with Terra



Obelisk Mercantile includes the iconic Hillcrest sign. (Photo by Rebecah Corbin)

rises from the ashes Hillcrest gathers for grand opening party of iconic shop By Ben Cartwright | SDGLN Staff Writer

Poking fun


AFCSL preps for World Series

INDEX BRIEFS.…………………5 OPINION…………………6 COMMUNITY…………….7 WEDDINGS……………..10 CALENDAR… ………….12 CLASSIFIEDS……………16

CONTACT US Editorial/Letters 619-961-1952

Advertising 619-961-1958

The iconic Hillcrest store Obelisk Mercantile is back after being closed due to a major fire for nearly two years, and its owner Brett Serwalt has created a unique shopping experience he is convinced the community will love. Community members and customers attended a grand-opening party Friday, Aug. 16 at the store, now located at 1037 University Ave. Originally founded in 1993, Obelisk was the spot where many LGBT San Diegans came to find books, magazines and other information about the community. It was the local, gay bookstore and its prominent location along one of Hillcrest’s main thoroughfares made the store one of the community’s treasures. As the internet changed the landscape for many book retailers, Serwalt said he realized that the business could not survive forever with its primary focus being on the sale of books, videos and CDs. After purchasing the business from its original owners in 2010, Serwalt was slowly beginning to transform the store – then located several storefronts close to the current location – to have a wider selection of apparel, personal care and unique gift items.

“When I took over the business over two years ago, I told the staff we’re not a bookstore anymore. We’re a store that sells books,” Serwalt said in a 2011 interview for Gay San Diego. “In other words, we are evolving into a variety gift shop, catering to the broader tastes of the LGBT Hillcrest community.” A major fire in the summer of that year changed nearly everything for the business. San Diego Gay & Lesbian News (SDGLN) was one of the first media to report on the massive blaze, which broke out on the afternoon of July 6, 2011 from a roof repair happening on the restaurant next door to the building Obelisk was in at the time. In the more than two years that has passed since the fire closed Obelisk, Serwalt has been through numerous challenges to bring the business back to the community, mostly related to city permitting. Serwalt’s plan was to reopen in Obelisk’s original location at 1029 University Ave., which is now home to a home decor and gift boutique called establish. Because of the challenges in getting the original space permitted, Serwalt took advantage of a vacant space two doors down, which most recently housed

see Obelisk, pg 3

The ways of St. Kurty Local DJ’s life has been a journey full of destinations By Morgan M. Hurley | GSD Assistant Editor She didn’t get her first DJ gig until a decade ago – work working at the now defunct Six Degrees – but after spinning to that mostly empty front bar for a year, dj dirtyKURTY has since become one of the most sought-after DJs in San Diego, and beyond. After speaking with her, it is apparent her life has been one long, ever-evolving journey, and she is still openly and acceptingly walking the path to wherever it may lead her. “Kurty” – a derivative of her real last name, dj dirtyKURTY (Courtesy dj dirtyKURTY) Kurtyka – grew up in the coastal town of Tom’s River,

The White House announced Aug. 8 that President Barack Obama has awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to civil rights activist Bayard Rustin and first American woman into space Sally Ride. Both were gay. Rustin and Ride were among 16 award recipients, including former President Bill Clinton, television host Oprah Winfrey, Chicago Cubs icon Ernie Banks and former federal appeals court judge Patricia Wald. A White House press statement noted that the Medal of Freedom is the nation’s highest civilian honor, “presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.” “This year’s honorees have been blessed with extraordinary talent, but what sets them apart is their gift for sharing that talent with the world,” Obama said in the release. “It will be my honor to present them with a token of our nation’s gratitude.” This year marks the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy establishing the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the press statement cited Rustin as an “unyielding activist for civil rights, dignity and equality” for every individual. “An advisor to the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., he promoted nonviolent resistance, participated in one of the first Freedom Rides, organized the Aug. 28, 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and fought tirelessly for marginalized communities at home and abroad,” the White House

see Rustin, pg 13

Rustin on the “Lost Profit” cover (U Chicago Press)

N.J. and graduated from North Carolina State University in 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications. And though her original goal was to be a sportscaster, 20 years later she is communicating to the masses in a much different way – through music. That it took this long is part of the process. Upon ending her commitment with college, and despite a job offer she’d accepted in New York City, Kurty said she wanted to travel, so she went to visit her brother in San Francisco and ended up staying eight years. It was her constant clubbing and the friendships she developed during those years that helped determine her calling. “I thought, ‘What am I gonna do that I’m passionate about? I don’t want to sit behind a desk or a computer all day, it’s just not my personality.’ So I bought some turntables and a mixer and started playing for myself,” she said. In 2003, her journey continued in San Diego, the city she credits with the development of a career that seemed to call her name. She identifies DJ Tova and DJ Antonio Aguilera

see Kurty, pg 19


GAY SAN DIEGO Aug. 23–Sept. 5, 2013


HBA seeks new executive director Benjamin Nicholls helped promote Hillcrest’s LGBT culture By Anthony King | GSD Editor Following Executive Director Benjamin Nicholls’ announcement that he will be leaving the Hillcrest Business Association (HBA), the non-profit, businessser vices organization announced an open call for applicants to fill the position. Nicholls, who has been with the HBA for five years, will be taking a position at McFarlane Promotions, Inc. in Downtown. His last day with the HBA is planned for Oct. 8, the day of the HBA annual meeting where new members are voted in to serve on the board. The organization plans to officially announce its new executive director on that date. “The strength of the HBA comes from the board, and so my goal is to get a good board and a great executive team,” Nicholls said of his last two months. “I don’t want to leave the group without a leader.” Nicholls made the announcement at the Aug. 13 HBA board meeting, immediately following the previous weekend’s CityFest. Nicholls said this year’s annual event was the most successful he has seen in his tenure, and event planning will be a focal point of his new job. “I’ve been working for 16 years running business improvement districts and I think that one of the most fun parts of this job is doing the events. So this is a natural fit for me,” he said. Before the HBA, Nicholls managed the Pacific Beach Business

Association and served as the Program Manager for the Pioneer Square Community Association, a neighborhood business group in Seattle. When Nicholls started at the HBA, the organization oversaw three main events: CityFest, Mardi Gras and Taste of Hillcrest. In his five years, that number has grown to seven, with more soon to be added. This year’s Hillcrest Hoedown is scheduled for Oct. 12 – Nicholls said he would be working that event, too – and the group plans on starting a movie night in the near future. They are also looking at options for a Mardi Gras celebration in 2014 after declining to be a part of this year’s event. Nicholls also spearheaded several initiatives for the LGBT community in Hillcrest while director, including the Pride flag and monument on University Avenue, and partnering with San Diego Pride for the Pride-kickoff Hillcrest Block Party. The decision to help market the LGBT community, he said, was purposeful. “I think that every neighborhood has a culture,” he said, calling Hillcrest’s LGBT community both accommodating and welcoming. “My philosophy was that … as a neighborhood organization you should embrace and reinforce that culture.” For instance, when San Diego Pride moved out of Hillcrest into their offices in North Park, the neighborhood culture was diluted, Nicholls said, and he saw his role

see Nicholls, pg 5

GAY SAN DIEGO Aug. 23–Sept. 5, 2013


OBELISK Pomegranate Home. Negotiations took some time, and Serwalt signed his first contract to lease the new space on Jan. 1. The city required modifications and upgrades to the store, which pushed Serwalt’s lease date to May 1. After an extensive remodel of the space, the new Obelisk Mercantile opened – stocked with apparel items only – in time for July’s San Diego Pride weekend. With the reopening of Obelisk, the south side of the 1000 block of University Avenue is thriving, with all ground floor storefronts occupied. “This block is amazing again,” Serwalt said. “It’s the new center point of Hillcrest.” The new Obelisk looks nothing like the former store. The interior is sleek, modern and hip, with a comfortable non-pretentious feel. The focal point of the space is the 1984 Hillcrest sign that hangs on the wall behind the cashwrap. Serwalt bought the sign during a Hillcrest Business Association auction after a new one was installed over University Avenue in August 2011. Serwalt said the store is designed to be the kind at which he would shop, and while there are products of interest for everyone such as greeting cards and gifts, the target is to reach gay men ages 25 to 55 with some disposable income. “It’s like the general store for this demographic,” Serwalt said. “Customers can find their underwear, apparel, skin care,

(l to r) Council President Todd Gloria and Brett Serwalt at the opening (Courtesy Obelisk) lube, gifts, birthday cards [and] all sorts of things here.” To make the Obelisk shopping experience unique, Serwalt said he worked hard to source brands that are not carried by others in Hillcrest. Walking through the store, customers will find a large selection of high-quality merchandise including urban apparel, designer colognes, unique gifts, premium sunglasses, footwear and more. While the store does not carry as big of a selection of LGBTtheme items, Obelisk still carries Human Rights Campaign-branded apparel, some rainbow items, and Hillcrest and Black’s Beach merchandise. Serwalt said he has had numerous inquiries about selling books since he reopened. Some remember Obelisk as the place where they would go to browse LGBT-themed books and magazines, and wonder why that experience is no longer available in the store. While Serwalt understands the connection and romantic place that LGBT bookstores have in many people’s hearts, he can’t financially survive if no one is purchasing books.


He was also planning to sell gay-themed DVDs at the new store, but a distributor recommended against it as the industry is changing and sale of DVDs will soon be a thing of the past. Serwalt has worked hard to design a store that is comfortable, accessible and attractive to the eye. There is furniture throughout the store, including a couch and seating area in the center, next to their “Living Green” wall. The wall is 8 feet tall by 9 feet wide, and is covered with individual planters that are for sale. Serwalt said he was inspired to install the wall by the giant skylight in the middle of the store. Serwalt also bought several pieces of vintage marine wood that was pulled from the coast of San Diego, and has used it to create some of the store fixtures. Serwalt said most people have responded positively to the changes and he is hopeful that people will come in and support the new store. “As a business owner, I have the legacy of the Obelisk brand as a community resource to carry on, while having to do what is financially right for the business,” he said. “As the LGBT community continues to win battles in its struggle for equality, the need for places like what Obelisk was is not as great anymore.” Serwalt is, however, just as committed to being a part of the community and is pleased to open his doors and be back in the center of Hillcrest. —Ben Cartwright is a staff writer at San Diego Gay & Lesbian News (SDGLN), a media partner of Gay San Diego. He can be contacted at



GAY SAN DIEGO Aug. 23–Sept. 5, 2013

José Julio Sarria, 1922 – 2013 Founder of International Court, political leader & Latino LGBT icon remembered By Anthony King | GSD Editor José Julio Sarria, the founder and first empress of the International Court System, died in his New Mexico home Monday, Aug. 19. He was 91. A proud World War II veteran, Sarria was also the first openly gay candidate to seek public office in the United States, running for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1961. San Diego Commissioner Nicole Murray Ramirez, who succeeded Sarria in 2007 as the International Court Council chair, said Sarria was a true civil rights activist. “José Julio Sarria was indeed the Rosa Parks of the gay rights movement, as an activist in the 1950s and 1960s,” Ramirez said in a press release announcing Sarria’s death. Ramirez was a close friend of Sarria. Sarria was born in San Francisco in 1922. While his father was from San Francisco, Sarria’s mother was from Columbia and Sarria remained a Latino LGBT activist until his death. He helped form

the League for Civil Education in 1961 and co-founded the Society for Individual Rights in 1963. “During such a formative time for the LGBT and Latino communities, it is crucial that we remember and honor the exceptional people like José for making our successes possible,” said GLAAD spokesperson Wilson Cruz in a separate release. “He will forever reside in the hearts and minds of the LGBT and Latino communities and their allies.” Sarria enlisted in the United States Army after graduating from high school and was discharged in 1945 with the rank of Staff Sergeant. After his discharge and before he ran for the Board of Supervisors, Sarria became well known as a female impersonator and drag queen, performing at establishments throughout San Francisco, including the historic Black Cat Bar. Following a performance at the Tavern Guild’s “Beaux Arts Ball” in 1965, Sarria declared himself Empress José I, The Widow Norton, officially launching the fist chapter

of the International Court. Today, the Court System has over 65 chapters in the United States, Canada and Mexico, including the Imperial Court de San Diego. While Sarria ultimately did not win his bid for supervisor – placing ninth in a field of over 30 candidates – his run “shook the political establishment” and is recognized as the beginning of LGBT political power, a release stated. For many, Sarria’s run paved the way for Harvey Milk’s election 16 years later. “José Sarria … showed us how to turn a night into a grand occasion and a grand occasion into a means of providing support,” said Stuart Milk, Harvey Milk’s nephew and current head of the Harvey Milk Foundation, in the release. “He paved the way for my uncle Harvey Milk to run for public office by being the first openly gay man to put his name on the 1961 ballot and was right there to support Harvey’s first campaign in 1973.” Stuart Milk said the “extraordinary good” Sarria did during his life will live on, focusing specifically on his work with the International Court. The LGBT philanthropic organization celebrates 48 years of active service this year. “For the International Court system, he was a guardian and

(l) Sarria in his WW II uniform; (r) Sarria as Queen Mother (Courtesy Imperial Court de San Diego)

an inspiration,” Stuart Milk said. “For anyone who felt like they were different, he was a defender of our dreams. He taught us how to turn an idea into action, how to wear a tiara and how to laugh, and ultimately he taught us how to lift up and nourish a marginalized community.” Local and state leaders spoke out upon Sarria’s death, including former San Francisco Supervisor Bevan Dufty, who authored the naming of José Sarria Place in San Francisco’s Castro district, the first street named after an openly gay individual in the city. Ramirez, along

with Dufty and the International Court, led the campaign for the street’s naming in 2006. “I was sad to learn that our community had lost José Sarria. With a larger than life personality and heart to match, he was a national LGBT icon,” Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins said in the release. “I was honored to know him and proud to call him my friend.” Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, who is also openly gay and Latino, called Sarria a “monumental figure” whose contributions “laid the groundwork” for LGBT politicians. “José’s refusal to be silenced or shamed back into the closet – in an era where LGBT people were routinely discriminated against – was the greatest contribution to our movement,” Pérez said in the release. “José’s courageous personal example of living life openly, with pride and dignity, gave so many others the courage and confidence they needed to do the same.” Council President Todd Gloria released a statement as well, reiterating Pérez’s sentiment. Gloria cited Sarria’s board run, Harvey Milk’s win and former San Diego Councilmember Christine Kehoe’s successful election in 1993 as “critical points” in full representation and equality. Kehoe went on to serve in the State Assembly and as State Senator, retiring in 2012. “The fact that sexual orientation of candidates is no longer considered a barrier to election in San Diego is due to the brave steps Mr. Sarria took for us all 50 years ago,” Gloria said. “I am grateful to Mr. Sarria for paving the way for me and many others to serve the public as elected representatives.” Sarria will be buried in San Francisco, with a memorial to be announced by the Imperial Council of San Francisco.t


GAY NEWS BRIEFS SOUTH BAY ALLIANCE HOLDS ‘MY GAY WEDDING’ CONTEST In celebration of recent marriage-equality wins, South Bay Alliance, organizers of the South Bay Pride Art & Music Festival, will be giving away three wedding packages in their inaugural My Gay Wedding contest. The couples will win wedding ceremonies and minireceptions, to be held at this year’s South Bay Pride. A wedding officiant will perform the ceremony at Bayfront Park in Chula Vista on Sept. 14, followed by a reception for up to 26 guests each. San Diego Photography has donated a $400 photography package, MojoFleur will provide flowers, ReMARKable will offer wedding cupcakes and Barefoot Wine & Bubbly will provide champagne. The newlywed couples will be announced on the main stage as well. To enter the contest, couples must complete an online application and submit a two-minute video. Entries are due Sept. 4. For more information and to enter, visit QUEER QUEENS OF QOMEDY LINEUP SET FOR SEPT. 7 Comedian Poppy Champlin returns to San Diego’s Birch North Park Theatre Sept. 7 at 8 p.m., and Champlin has announced the complete lineup in advance of the show. In addition to Champlin – seen on Showtime, HBO and Comedy Central – Sandra Valls and Shann Carr will each take the stage. Valls is a self-proclaimed “celesbian” who has performed her solo show throughout the United States, as well as part of The Latin Divas of Comedy tour. Carr, a veteran LGBT comic, “works every Pride Festival, Bear Week, Otter Fest and Dyke March this country has to offer,” Champlin said in an email. Local musicians Nick & Mel will perform as well, with their combination of music and comedy. “Think the female Smothers Brothers,” Champlin said. “Come on down and have a gaylarious time.” The Birch is located at 2891 University Ave. in North Park. Tickets for the Queer Queens of Qomedy show start at $25, and can be purchased at 1202 NIGHTCLUB TO CLOSE Announced Thursday, Aug. 22 in San Diego Gay & Lesbian News (SDGLN), 1202 Nightclub will be closing their doors after one last Friday-night celebration, Friday, Aug. 23. The Range Kitchen & Cocktails, located under the same

lease at 1202 University Ave., closed several weeks prior. Owners Lane and Jay Taylor opened the restaurant and nightclub complex August 2012, following the closure of Eden Nightclub in July of that year. Eden had been open at the location for over one year, beginning fall 2010. Universal Nightclub first occupied the space as an entertainment and dining destination, from 2008 to January 2010. SDGLN reported prospective tenants are currently in negotiations with the landlord, and the space is “likely to become a commercial or retail store.” The Aug. 23 closing party begins at 7 p.m. BROADWAY SAN DIEGO ADDS TWO SHOWS Organizers of the 2013-14 season for Broadway San Diego — A Nederlander Presentation added two productions to the lineup: a live broadcast of “A Prairie Home Companion” and “Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Experience.” The shows will join “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” as “extra season events,” a press release stated. “Potted Potter,” an “entertaining and hilarious” parody, will play November 6 – 10, and “A Prairie Home Companion” will feature sketch comedy, music and Garrison Keillor’s “The News from Lake Wobegon” radio show on Jan. 4, 2014. The season opens Oct. 15 with “Priscilla Queen of the Desert.” Additionally, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” will replace the previously announced “The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber,” which organizers said has been postponed for a subsequent season. For complete sea-

son dates visit THE CENTER RECEIVES HUMAN DIGNITY GRANT The San Diego Human Dignity Foundation awarded a secondyear grant of $25,000 to The San Diego LGBT Community Center in support of the nonprofit’s Senior Services, which is designed to improve the quality of life for LGBT seniors in San Diego. “Focusing our community’s philanthropy on our growing senior population is imperative,” said Foundation President Drew Jack in a release. “With scarce resource available to fully fund the services needed to meet the unique demands of LGBT seniors, it is our responsibility to step up and provide the support.” The Foundation is celebrating its 17th anniversary this year, and has granted close to $4 million to local LGBT groups. For more information visit myLGBTfoundation. org or call 619-291-3383. To learn more about The Center’s Senior Services, including 50 and Better Together, visit or call 619-692-2077. NICKY AWARDS HIGHEST HONORS ANNOUNCED The governing board of the 38th annual Nicky Awards will honor actor Wilson Cruz, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Deputy Director Russell Roybal and the local chapter of Gay For Good with a Harvey Milk Award at the Sunday, Aug. 25 ceremony. The Harvey Milk awards were first presented in 1979. Additionally, journalist Bixi Crag will receive this year’s Michael Portantino Media Award. Portantino’s

GAY SAN DIEGO Aug. 23–Sept. 5, 2013 daughter, Tatiana, and brother, Assemblymember Anthony Portantino, will present Craig with the award. Previously announced, The Mayor George Moscone Memorial Award will be given to District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis. San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne and Sheriff Bill Gore will present Dumanis with the award. The ceremony will be held at the Marriott Mission Valley. For more information and tickets visit PALM SPRINGS PRIDE HONORS RUSSIAN LGBT COMMUNITY Sochi Pride of Sochi, Russia has been named Grand Marshal for the 27th annual Greater Palm Springs Pride, scheduled for Nov. 1 – 3. The Russian organization was selected “to demonstrate solidarity with the LGBT community in Russia,” organizers said in a press release. Anti-LGBT sentiment in Russia became national news when President Vladimir Putin signed anti-gay measures into law, and last year a Moscow court banned gay pride parades “for one hundred years,” the release said. Sochi Pride is scheduled to occur on the opening day of the Winter Olympic Games, Feb. 7, 2014. “We will lend our support to the organizing committee of Moscow Gay Pride and founders of the Pride House Sochi in their efforts to organize the Sochi Pride march,” Palm Springs Pride President Ron deHarte said in the release. “We invite any and all who share this vision to gather with us and keep the world’s eyes focused on Russia’s crimes against LGBT individuals.”t



NICHOLLS supporting that culture – the brand, as he called it – as another way to support the businesses. “My goal is to really support that brand, and that meant supporting the culture of the neighborhood, supporting the LGBT community as much as I can and as much as the board wants to,” he said. In his role, Nicholls said he also supported the nightlife businesses and encouraged lowering the regular Pride flag in order to fly the Transgender flag as a way of giving visibility to Hillcrest’s LGBT culture. “All of those things support the idea that Hillcrest is the home to the gay community, and I think that’s a critical part of supporting the business district,” he said. Nicholls’ connection to the LGBT community, and what drives him in his current position, goes beyond providing services for HBA member businesses. He said it also comes from personal connections. “Certainly there are people who were sort of mentors to me who were gay, and people who were friends of mine who aren’t around anymore for various reasons,” he said. “There’s a personal connection there, and when I started in Hillcrest, that was a big consideration for me.” The HBA is currently accepting applications for executive director. Interested individuals are encouraged to review the job description at Candidates can turn in their applications directly to Nicholls at through Sept. 9 at 5 p.m.t



GAY SAN DIEGO Aug. 23–Sept. 5, 2013


Can you keep a secret? Should you? By Colonel (Ret) Stewart Bornhoft


Should Manning have stayed in the closet? By Sean Bohac

queer is for personal liberation, while blowing the whistle on the United States war machine for its apparent war crimes is for all of us.

suspicious promotion of the presiding Judge Lind to the appellate court Whether I talk to queer people above her current post. who came out of the closet 40 years Additionally, no criminal prosecuago, or last week, more often tion was initiated against any of than not it’s a source of trauma. the war criminals that Manning We are rejected by our famiexposed to the world public. lies; perhaps fired from our After all this, Manning was jobs. Maybe we lost previously convicted of crimes that could important friends. It’s hard – have put the soldier in jail for very hard – to come out of the 136 years. “I want people to see closet. the truth … regardless of who With courage we do it they are … because without because there is a truth that information, you cannot make needs to come out. For me, I informed decisions as a pubsat with this truth for a dozen lic,” Manning said about sharyears (I was never that brave), ing the Iraq war diaries and the but I am proud of myself that I “Collateral Murder” video. didn’t let it go on any longer. I It is true that Manning only was not myself before I owned received 35 years, but that is my queer identity and my life a lifetime! Manning’s goal was has been enriched by my act of to inform the U.S. public about courage. how our wars were going, and Pvt. Bradley Manning – what crimes were being comwho stated she will now transimitted in our names. That is tion to female and asked to be worthy of praise, not a lifetime called Chelsea Manning – had in prison. to come out of the closet twice. I urge my lesbian, gay, biWhen she came out as queer, sexual, transgender and other she may have been teased and Bradley Manning (Courtesy Bradley Manning Support Network) queer community members harassed, or perhaps even bulto view the plight of Manlied like the rest of us, but when she During the Manning detention ning through the filter of your own came out as a whistleblower, she was and trial, this soldier was subjected coming-out process, and decide if tortured, jailed and threatened with a to cruel and inhumane treatment breaking some rules, making some lifetime in prison. in the form of forced nudity, sleep people uncomfortable and taking a The two acts of courage are simideprivation and solitary confinement, risk to reach the truth of your own lar in that there is one person sharand strange court tactics, including queer identity is something to be ing a truth that they cannot change, allowing the prosecution to change punished or cherished. in hopes that the future can be charges on the last day of trial, barPlease stand forward to support better. These two acts differ, though, ring the discussion of motives from the effort to release Manning from in that coming out of the closet as the hearings, and President Obama’s any outstanding prison sentence.t PUBLISHER David Mannis (619) 961-1951


EDITOR Anthony King (619) 961-1952

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Sheri Hayeland (619) 961-1957

ASSISTANT EDITOR Morgan M. Hurley (619) 961-1960

Sloan Gomez (619) 961-1954

ART DIRECTOR Rebecah Corbin (619) 961-1961 PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Vincent Berling

ACCOUNTING Priscilla Umel-Martinez (619) 961-1962

Mike Rosensteel (619) 961-1958

Kyle Renwick (619) 961-1957 Yana Shayne (619) 961-1963

SALES & MARKETING SPECIALIST Isabelle Estrella (619) 961-1958

SALES INTERNS Charlie Bryan Baterina Martina Long CONTRIBUTORS

Chris Azzopardi Charlene Baldridge Ben Cartwright Lisa Keen Michael Kimmel Paul McGuire Jeff Praught Caleb Rainey Frank Sabatini Jr. Romeo San Vincente

OPINIONS/LETTERS Gay San Diego encourages letters to the editor and guest editorials. Please email both to Include phone number and address for verification. We reserve the right to edit letters and editorials for brevity and accuracy. Letters should be no longer than 350 words in length unless approved by staff editors. Letters and guest editorials do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or staff. SUBMISSIONS/NEWS TIPS Press releases and story ideas are welcome. Send press releases, tips, photos or story ideas to For breaking news and investigative story ideas contact the editor by phone or email. DISTRIBUTION GAY San Diego is distributed free, biweekly, every other Friday. COPYRIGHT 2013. All rights are reserved.

Those are questions that Bradley Manning faced. “You’re only as sick as your secrets,” is the mantra that psychologists and 12step programs like AA espouse. Suppressing the truth allows us to deceive not only others but also ourselves. The same can be said about a nation, or more specifically the leaders of a nation, those who wield the power and do the things and direct the acts that beg concealment. Exposure could thwart their objectives. Or expose their misdeeds. Whether we are deceiving the people we love or the people we lead, secrets – unchecked by consideration of what is being hidden and who is vetting both the activity itself and the fact that it’s being kept secret – are the breeding ground of corruption and the abuse of power. The litmus test of moral behavior, for individuals and for nations, is often posed as the question: “Would you do it if it was going to be on the front page of the Times or the Post or went viral on the internet?” Ironically, that is what happened. Private First Class Manning’s attempt to make public what his country was keeping private landed him in first-class trouble. Testimony at his sentencing hearing makes clear that he’s already dealing with a host of personal issues relating to his sexual identity, too many of which have needlessly been made public. Given these intimate disclosures and related ones made earlier, there is an understandable eagerness on the part of the LGBT community to rally to his support. That personal compassion is certainly warranted, but do Manning’s actions in making public a host of state secrets, diplomatic dispatches and revealing videos of deadly combat also merit sympathy and support? It is tempting to ponder a host of relevant questions: Should democracies have secrets? If they do, who should safeguard them, and ultimately who should guard the guards themselves? Taken together, these are the fodder for a barrage of academic queries and philosophical debates. But are they relevant to this soldier’s guilt or innocence, and how do his motives bear on his punishment? Given Manning’s rank and age (25), one might view his behavior as that of a naïve youth. However, when you read his statements at trial or listen to his testimony, most people would readily agree that this Army intelligence analyst is both bright and resourceful. His actions were not rash or hasty; rather, they were thoroughly considered, carefully calculated and deliberately executed. There can be little doubt that he is smart enough to understand the words of his oath of enlistment to obey the orders of the President of the United States and the officers appointed over him, according to regulations. By his own admission, he is guilty of violating those orders and breaking numerous regulations. One might, as Manning did, debate the policy implications of what he discovered in the course of his duties. But privates don’t make policy; they obey orders. The military justice system makes it clear that the orders must be lawful, but if they are, they must be obeyed. Good order and discipline demands it, and success in combat depends on it. There are courses of action open to soldiers who are troubled by what they might encounter in the service of their country. In addition to their chain of command, they can report their findings to their Inspector General or even consult their chaplain, if they are so inclined. However, disobedience is not an option and noble motives are not an excuse. Napoleon Bonaparte reportedly used a single incident to illustrate two fundamental aspects of military service. During the Peninsular War, one of the men in his Army performed an act of extreme heroism but had to violate the order of his commander to accomplish that. When the French Emperor learned of this, he assembled his troops and personally decorated the soldier for heroism in a ceremony with full military honors. That same afternoon, Napoleon had him executed by a firing squad for disobeying the order. Manning’s punishment should certainly be less severe, but the message should be just as clear.t

3737 Fifth Ave. Suite 201 San Diego, CA 92103 (619) 519-7775

Business Improvement Association


GAY SAN DIEGO Aug. 23–Sept. 5, 2013


The best little boy in the world The fight for marriage is not over


LEGALLY LGBT It is easy for couples living in California to celebrate their wins, enjoy the string of weddings, and forget that most states in the United States still don’t have marriage equality. The Department of Defense stated in a memorandum dated Aug. 13 that they will expand all spousal benefits to same-sex married couples. Sadly, not all couples have equal ability to get married. A number of major military bases are in states that don’t allow same-sex marriage: Texas, Virginia and North Carolina to name a few. Same-sex military couples living in those states must travel to a state that has marriage equality to get married. In order to provide an incentive for couples to travel to a state where they can get married, a current proposal would allow couples who live more than 100 miles away from a state with marriage equality to take non-chargeable leave so that they can travel to a state where same-sex marriage is legal. Those within the U.S. can receive up to seven days of leave, while those outside the U.S. can receive 10 days of leave. The problem is that when the couple returns home, they will not be treated as married by the state. Among other things, this would lead to complicated tax filings. A couple would be able to file as married federally but would have to file as single with the state. This requires couples to pay more for their tax preparation because they would have to file one return as a couple and one return as an individual. It is unclear if the current Department of Defense proposal would also extend benefits to veterans in same-sex marriages.

To look more closely at the current situation, we must look beyond the military. Before DOMA’s section three was struck down, people who were in civil unions or domestic partnerships were, in some states, essentially equal to same-sex married couples. Neither same-sex married couples nor those in civil unions were recognized by the federal government. In New Jersey, for example, the State Supreme Court ruled in 2006 that the state must either provide marriage to same-sex couples or a separate designation that would give couples the same rights. In response, New Jersey implemented civil unions that were recognized by the state of New Jersey as equivalent to marriage. The problem now is that the federal government does not recognize members of a civil union as spouses, a designation required to receive federal benefits. A lawsuit is currently underway in New Jersey – Garden State Equality et al. v. Dow et al. – that seeks to force the state to provide same-sex marriage. They argue that because civil unions are no longer equivalent to marriage, and the state of New Jersey cannot force The Federal Government to recognize civil unions, New Jersey has no choice but to make marriage available to same-sex couples. Oral arguments in the case were heard at the trial level on Aug. 15. A decision is expected in the coming months, but no earlier than September. Beyond New Jersey, there is hope that Hawaii and Illinois will be successful in legislating marriage equality sometime in the next year or two. Oregon is currently in the process of readying a marriageequality initiative that voters can support in the 2014 election. Pennsylvania officials recently issued more than 100 marriage licenses to same-sex couples, even though Pennsylvania still has a ban on their books. A lawsuit is currently pending challenging the authority of the officials to issue licenses. While you enjoy the weddings of your friends this year, remember that the fight for equality is not over. —Paul D. McGuire is an openly bisexual family law attorney in San Diego who assists families dealing with dissolution of marriage and domestic partnerships. He writes a blog on family law and LGBT issues at

In a recently published study, doctors John Pachankis and Mark Hatzenbuehler substantiated what’s called the “Best Little Boy in the World” syndrome (from the 1973 book by Andrew Tobias). It’s the idea that young, closeted men deflect attention from their sexuality by overinvesting their energy in achievement-related success: good grades, elite employment, competition and an over-emphasis on appearance, much more so than heterosexual men. What does this mean for LGBT men and women? To me, it’s the bottom line: we’re fundamentally flawed, and we’d better hide it well. For most of us, this is the message we got from our family and the society in which we grew up. If you didn’t, congratulations. In reality, your friends are struggling with workaholism, perfectionism, rigidity, and alcohol, sex or drugs. Sigmund Freud called this “a superego-driven life,” which is a life focused on being ver y careful to do the right thing, worr ying that someone will judge you as less than perfect. As the best little boys and girls in the world, we were raised to be perpetually vigilant and anxious that someone would discover our hidden secret and expose us to ridicule. It’s not surprising that, as children, we were tr ying to be the best children we could, tr ying so hard to fit into an ultra-heterosexist world where almost ever ything (music, films, greeting cards) is oriented towards people that we can never be. Given all of this, it’s a miracle that more of us aren’t really screwed up by growing up LGBT in a very non-LGBT world. Many of us grow out of the syndrome into healthy, mature men and women. But, many of us still struggle with this internal censor, this superegodriven life that continually tells us that we aren’t good enough, don’t do things right or – our deepest fear – that we are fundamentally flawed and there’s nothing we can do about it. Using Freudian terms, I want to introduce the ego and the id. The id is the part of you that wants to go wild, be free and spontaneous. Good little boys and girls are usually terrified of their ids; they want

MICHAEL KIMMEL LIFE BEYOND THERAPY us to stop being so careful and perfect. Welcome the hero of our stor y: the ego. The ego is that part of us always seeking balance. It helps to continually balancing our extremes, keeping us neither too rigid and repressed nor too wild and out of control. For many of us, our ego is pretty weak. A strong ego can handle a lot of stimulation and not get over whelmed. A strong ego won’t let you get too rigid or controlling. It’ll warn you in a myriad of ways: “Danger, danger; this isn’t making me happy.” A strong ego means death to hyper-achievement and the end of the best little boy or girl in the world. We live in a terribly heterosexist world that isn’t a good fit for us in so many ways but – with a strong ego - we can

find our own path and create a loving, supportive world for ourselves no matter where we choose to live and work. Luckily for us, the ego never stops. The id is always screaming, “Let me out; I wanna be free!” and the superego continually tells us, “Just shut up and suck it up, or there’s gonna be trouble.” The ego is like your ideal parent, protecting you from too much scar y stuff and encouraging you to tr y new things and take risks to grow. Although most of us were raised to be the best in the world, we don’t need to continue to be this way. Begin to give yourself the freedom to be the best version of yourself, rather than having to be someone else’s idea of the best. It’s time for all of us best little boys and girls to grow up. Here’s the bottom line: there is nothing wrong with you. You are not flawed. You are a human being on a journey through a very complex world and you are doing the best you can. You are the perfect version of you: unique and wonderful. Be open to these truths and begin to leave your old rigidity and perfectionism behind. —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. Michael is currently accepting new clients. Contact him at 619-955-3311 or visit


LIVE FROM RIO Across 1 One of the motorist’s aids 8 ___ Records (Etheridge label) 14 Artist Robert 15 Loch name 16 Pope who recently spoke in Rio about gay priests 17 Cobbler containers 18 Uses the keyboard 19 Where to put your meat, in a deli 20 Traveler’s info 21 Studio stages 22 Start of how Pope Benedict XVI labeled gay life style 25 Coming soon 27 Some sex-toy batteries 28 Hook up 31 Medicine dose 34 Beantown tower, with “the” 35 Start of what 16-Across said about gay priests

Live from Rio solution on page 15 39 Prefix with classical 40 Maria’s “Do-___” 42 John, who played a transsexual in “The World According to Garp” 44 Sixth sense 46 Gay porn director Francis 47 See 22-Across 50 Good buddies 54 Half of a ballroom dance 55 Pitching stat 56 Former “American Idol” judge Paula 57 Lane of “The Birdcage” 59 See 35-Across 61 Turn on 62 Tangled up 63 Interrupts, with “in” 64 Bacon procurers

Down 1 Splits 2 Way to serve your meat 3 Make fit 4 Enjoys orally 5 PC alternatives 6 Singer DiFranco 7 Audio systems, for short 8 Acquire, as debt 9 Neighbor of Croatia 10 Tigers of the NCAA 11 Taking stock of 12 Capone colleague 13 Cul-___ 19 Gas additive 22 Problem for skin 23 Cold war defense assn. 24 Catch forty winks 26 Fresh 28 Putting your mouth on a stranger, perhaps

29 Vein filler 30 The number on top of a fraction 32 Bloom of “The Producers” 33 On the down ___ 36 Weight loss product 37 Textiles plant 38 “...see ___ will believe...” 41 Bk. before Jeremiah 43 Quip source Kate 45 Tickle pink 46 NASA outing 47 Mystery writer Claire 48 Poet Frank 49 Sea eagles 51 Confuse mentally 52 German pistol 53 Snow vehicles 56 Showing a tiny opening 58 Hold tight 59 Poet who inspired “Cats,” initially 60 “Put ___ Happy Face”


GAY SAN DIEGO Aug. 23–Sept. 5, 2013


By Frank Sabatini Jr.

San Diego Author Maria Desiderata Montana spares us the hassle of begging restaurants for the recipes of their signature dishes, the ones that we love of course. In her newly released book, “San Diego Chef’s Table” (Globe Pequot Press), she snags the precise specs for spiced Szechuan duck from Jonathan Hale of The Prado at Balboa Park; homemade pretzels with beer mustard from Riccardo Heredia of Alchemy; and the famous pork burger with candied bacon by Hanis Cavin at Carnitas Snack Shack. Recipes from numerous other restaurants throughout San Diego County are featured. The 207-page book is also loaded with chef-restaurant profiles and luscious photography by John Dole. The cost is $24.95. He’s cooked for the likes of Aretha Franklin, Bill Gates, President George Bush and other luminaries, and is now helming the kitchen at Martinis Above Fourth in Hillcrest. Since coming on board recently as its new executive chef, Rodney Robinson has overhauled the menu by about 75 percent. In doing so, he’s given new twists to signature items such as the blue-cheese stuffed filet mignon, served now with two crab-stuffed shrimp. Robinson hails from Detroit and climbed the ranks in major hotel kitchens. Since his arrival, Martinis has extended its dinner hours to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. In addition, “prime rib night” has been reinstated on Wednesdays. The meal costs $20 and includes potatoes, vegetables and bread. 3940 Fourth Ave., 619-400-4500.

Abe Botello (Courtesy Alternative Strategies) Armed with plenty of garlic, vanilla beans and chipotle peppers as some of his favorite cooking ingredients, Chef Abe Botello has been hired to elevate the menu at West Coast Tavern in North Park. The locally based chef grew up in a restaurant family and attended the Art Institute of San Diego’s culinar y program before working at Urban Solace, True North Tavern and Station Tavern. His menu includes roasted bone marrow with apple-rhubarb chutney; an eight-ounce Duroc pork chop in brandied cherr y gastrique; and coriander-crusted halibut with garlic butter sauce. 2895 University Ave., 619-295-1688. Vegetarians steer clear. The Hormel Black Label Bacon Fest is coming Aug. 31 to Preble Field in Liberty Station and its promoters are declaring without apology that the event will be completely void of produce vendors. But there will be dozens of local breweries on hand to compliment bacon-heavy dishes from popular San Diego eateries such as Crazee Burger, Hash House a Go Go, Slater’s 50/50, Carnitas Snack Shack, Studio Diner and more. The pig out coincides with International Bacon Day and costs $60, which includes all food and drink samples. Attendees must be 21 years of age or older. Tickets can be purchased online at

The view inside Tom Ham’s Lighthouse (Photo by Derek Plank) The iconic Tom Ham’s Lighthouse in Harbor Island, built in 1971, has reopened after a $3.5 million renovation that showcases the early-California design of the restaurant. Its newest features include a bay-facing upstairs bar, a keg room and a bayside wedding site marked with an eye-popping arch containing 2,000 aluminum rings (yes, the restaurant has been catering to same-sex weddings since the days of non-official commitment ceremonies). The menu has also been modernized with dishes like pomegranate-glazed pork belly, lobster bouillabaisse and crab BLTs. As for those piles of lobster claws and crab legs that create frenzies during Sunday brunch, they still remain. 2150 Harbor Island Drive, 619-291-9110.t


GAY SAN DIEGO Aug. 23–Sept. 5, 2013

(l to r) The harvest bibb salad, Ricotta, garlic and smoked tomatoes in a jar, and Crab cake sliders; (below) white truffle and artichoke flat bread (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.)


Dining with

t was a mainstay in the Uptown District Shopping Center for 15 years, where patrons dined on pumpkin ravioli, lobster mac-and-cheese and hardy meat dishes before sweetening their palates with chocolate ganache “cigars.” Others fondly remember Terra Restaurant for its weekly barbecues, held on one of the first dog-friendly patios in Hillcrest. Despite her departure two years ago, Terra is alive and well. Since relocating a few blocks shy of La Mesa on El Cajon Boulevard under the rename Terra American Bistro, chef-owner Jeff Rossman has gone full guns with his sustainable dining concept by sourcing all of the kitchen’s organics from various local farms. The proof of his passion for doing so lies within the hardbound cookbook he authored a few years back, “From Terra’s Table” (Chef’s Press). His new digs are quainter and more homelike. A threesided bar supplies specialty cocktails and local craft beers while antique decor and beamed ceilings displaying burlap-covered soundproofing panels impart an earthy flair that we didn’t see in Hillcrest. “I miss the people and the patio we had in Uptown, but I don’t miss the lack of parking,” Rossman said, pointing to the ample side lot he gained at the new location. Rossman’s cooking has taken on bolder flavors since accompa the move, starting with his food-filled mini jars accompanied by grilled toast. In one of them, he combines smoked tomatoes and roasted garlic cloves with ricotta, which turns the normally understated cheese into a woodsy tasting delight at every spoonful. Another jar, packed with creamy chicken liver pâté, spotlights the additives of brandy, thyme and onions. It’s the kind of pâté that belongs on a picnic blanket in the French countryside. A riot of fresh greens comprised the sprawling harvest bibb salad, which included baby kale, broccoli sprouts and edamame. The kaffir lime vinaigrette was stimulating and applied judiciously, although two more drops would have sent it over the top, especially given that we ordered


7091 El Cajon Blvd. (Rolando)

619-293-7088 Lunch prices: Starters, soups and salads, $7 to $9; sandwiches, flat breads and main courses, $10 to $16

the salad draped with citrusgrilled chicken breast. Priced at only $7, it easily constitutes a full, healthy meal that Rossman recognizes isn’t so common in these necks, where fast-food chains and tavern grub rule the boulevard. From several newly introduced flatbreads, the white truffle version with artichokes, mushrooms and Asiago cheese proved jaw-dropping, thanks in part to the springy, melt-in-your-mouth crust originating from my favorite bread maker, Sadie Rose Baking Company. Garlic and thyme were also evident, along with the zippy sweetness

of balsamic used for marinating the artichokes. My companion ordered an entrée that seemed better suited for winter. The plate featured a generous piling of green pappardelle noodles waltzing with short rib meat, mushrooms, roasted garlic and Gorgonzola cheese. He loved the rich, heavy flavors of the dish while I backed off after a couple samples. The summery fare that had come before it, coupled with a round of super-refreshing lemongrass-ginger lemonade, matched awkwardly to the pasta medley. My main course, blue crab cakes tucked into a pair of slider buns, returned me back to season. Served on a weighty piece of slate, they struck a keen balance between sweet and spicy, with chipotle-infused honey fusing perfectly with jalapeno slaw. Greaseless fries came on the side, along with house-made ketchup accented with allspice. The flavors across the stone were pronounced, but without snuffing out the subtle pith of the crabmeat. A variety of gluten-free bowls pairing brown rice or quinoa to tofu, seafood and meats are also on the lunch menu. Heavier fare such as beer-braised pot roast and chipotle skirt steak appear at dinnertime while dishes like stuffed French toast, egg skillets and short rib hash are available from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. during Sunday brunch. From the former Terra days, Rossman has retained his weekly barbecue nights (on Thursdays) and his famous tripleganache dessert, which is molded into the shape of a stogie and wrapped in phyllo pastry. It’s presented in a heavy glass ashtray with whipped cream and cocoa powder adorning the tip to create the illusion of burned-down tobacco. That alone is reason to venture a little east.t



GAY SAN DIEGO Aug. 23–Sept. 5, 2013

GAY SAN DIEGO Aug. 23–Sept. 5, 2013


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GAY SAN DIEGO Aug. 23–Sept. 5, 2013

Friday, Aug. 23

GAME NIGHT: It’s Screwy Louie game night at Pleasures & Treasures, where California Men’s Gatherings San Diego comes together for a little bit of card-playing fun. Never heard of Screwy Louie? How about Oh Hell? Screw Your Neighbor? Don’t worry, they’ll teach newcomers, too. Be there before 7 p.m., newbies, because by 7:30 p.m., it’s game on and the fun lasts until 9:30 p.m. Cost is $5 at the door (but they won’t turn you away if you can’t pay), and light snacks will be provided. Pleasures & Treasures is located at 2525 University Ave. To RSVP visit BAR OLYMPICS: The best of the best of San Diego (bar) athletes descend on Fiesta Cantina tonight from 6 – 9 p.m. Professionals and amateurs alike will compete in Giant Jenga, Flip Cup and Beer Pong for $1,000 in prizes. The fabulous Tori Heart will be the official master of ceremonies, and Cantinas is located at 142 University Ave. For more information visit or call 619-299-2500.

Saturday, Aug. 24

POOL PAR TY POTLUCK: Hosts Dan Mock and Kevin Beiser open up their home for the second pool party of the summer for California Men’s Gatherings San Diego, taking place from 12 – 4-ish p.m. There will be a cap of 70 people, so make sure to RSVP. Cost is $5 plus a potluck item (vegan food really never spoils), and remember to bring your suit, towel and sunscreen.

To RSVP and for the location, visit HAVANA NIGHTS: This is the place to be, that’s for sure. #1 Fifth Avenue’s Havana Nights – a night of salsa, Cumbia, merengue and Cuban music – is packed, and features Manny Cepeda and Orchestra, along with house DJ M&M. Get there early and stay late, dancing the night away on the back patio. #1 is located at 3845 Fifth Ave. For more information call 619-299-1911.

Sunday, Aug. 25

THE NICKYS: It’s the annual Nicky Awards where you are invited to come out and support us in our win (we hope). Who are we kidding, we hope everyone wins! Bonnie Dumanis receives an honorary award, there will be a red carpet arrival and all will see the return of Grace Towers. It’s the Academy Awards for the LGBT community, and it’s for a good cause. The evening starts at 6 p.m. at the San Diego Marriott Mission Valley, and tickets start at $65. For more information visit

Monday, Aug. 26

CHAD MICHAELS DEBUT: Tonight’s video and single release party for Chad Michaels’ “Tragic Girl” is an excusive for MO’s Bar & Grill, and will feature Liquid360 and Michaels singing the single… live, and special guests too. First come, first served seating opening at 7 p.m. It’s a free event; come out to the #BestGayBarInTheWorld at 308 University Ave. For more information visit TOGETHER AGAIN: Mar-

tinis Above Fourth plays host to the reunion of Sandy Campbell and G. Scott Lacy, two awardwinning performers and musical partners who have not performed their cabaret act publicly since 2009. They’ll be performing classics as well as new pop and cabaret songs, to a new audience. Tickets are $20 reserved seating, and the show starts at 7:30 p.m. MA4 is located at 3940 Fourth Ave. For more information visit or call 619-400-4500.

Tuesday, Aug. 27

MARRIAGE EQUALITY FORUM: Rep. Susan Davis and The Center host a Marriage Equality Town Hall meeting to answer the many questions raised by June’s Supreme Court decisions against DOMA and Prop 8. Experts will speak on tax, immigration and law, and guests include Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins, Council President Todd Gloria, San Diego LGBT Pride and the American Constitution Society. The Center is located at 3909 Centre St., and the free Town Hall is from 6 – 8 p.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 28

REGENERATION: Andy Bell of Erasure, Howard Jones, and Men without Hats come to Humphreys Concerts by the Bay for the Regeneration Tour 2013. Relive the iconic songs from the past at 6:30 p.m. Humphreys is located at 2241 Shelter Island Dr. and tickets start at $55. For more information visit FETISH MEN OF SD: Join the non-commercial, nodues, no-elections, all-friendly

Fetish Men San Diego at their regular monthly discussion night, where you can join in the discussions about “stuff that matters” and build new friendships outside the bars. The discussion group meets from 7 – 9 p.m. at Pleasures & Treasures, 2525 University Ave. For more information (and to see the simplest website ever) visit

Thursday, Aug. 29

SIMPLY SCI-FI: Tonight is the first of the last two performances of “Simply Sci-Fi,” a selection of new plays by local writers that is currently being performed at The Big Kitchen in South Park. Six short plays from “Crash Bang Boom” to “The Time Travel Café” will play at the intimate restaurant, marking the second New Play Cafe production. Both the performances – tonight and tomorrow, Friday, Aug. 30 – start at 7:30 p.m., with tickets including coffee or tea and dessert. The Big Kitchen is located at 3003 Grape St. Tickets are $30 at the door ($20 advance) and for more information visit or call 619-663-4852.

Friday, Aug. 30

COMEDY AT THE RAIL: The “Let’s Talk SH#T” live comedy showcase comes to the Brass Rail tonight, hosted by Ophelia Later and featuring comics Steven Briggs, Danny Hannify, Greg Salerno and Bobby Wayne Status. Doors open at 8 p.m. and the show starts a half hour later. The Brass Rail is located at 3796 Fifth Ave. For more information visit or call 619-298-2233.

Saturday, Aug. 31

WTF MASSIVE: Rich’s San Diego and SDPIX bring all the Hillcrest Hillbillies they could find for tonight’s WTF Massive, including an outdoor dance floor and after hours until 4 a.m. What? You didn’t know it was Labor Day Weekend? DJ Taj plays the opening set, followed by Nikno. DJ Vaughn Avakain is in the front room, and SDPIX members receive front of the line privileges and $5 off cover before 11 p.m. Rich’s is located at 1051 University Ave. For more information visit

Sunday, Sept. 1

SUNDAY SCHOOL: Spin Spin Sugar Sunday School at Gossip Grill has it all (including DJ Dida starting at 7 p.m.). Social Studies starts with brunch from 10 – 2 p.m., and includes P.E. all day long (NFL on seven flat-screen TVs). Recess is happy hour from 2 – 7 p.m. After school special? That’s $4 frozen black lemonades and $3 22-ounce draft beers. Gossip Grill is located at 1440 University Ave. For more information visit or call 619-260-8023.

Monday, Sept. 2

PFLAG SAN DIEGO: Held the first Monday of each moth, the San Diego chapter of PFLAG meetings are open to all and provide a safe, friendly place where parents can voice their concerns surrounding homosexuality while LGBT people can tell of their experiences in seeking parental acceptance. The 7 p.m. meeting is at the First United Methodist Church, 2231 Camino del Rio South. For more information visit

Tuesday, Sept. 3

MA4 LIVE!: It’s your chance to check out the new Martinis Above Fourth menu while listening to some great live music, when MA4 LIVE! features Amelia Browning & Aaron Turner. The show runs from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. and MA4 is located at 3940 Fourth Ave. For more information visit or call 619-400-4500.

Wednesday, Sept. 4

LA TERRAZA: Ever y Wednesday at Bourbon Street Bar & Grill is a full night of Latin Flavor, music and a spectacular show, hosted by local celeb Alejandra Sandovol. Special bartender Alonzo has all the drink specials, and Jenny and Alexa will perform. What? I said no cover, all starting at 10 p.m. DJ Sebastian La Madrid spins, and Bourbon Street is located at 4612 Park Blvd. For more information call 619-291-0173.

Thursday, Sept. 5

DINE WITH DIVAS: Oh Flicks, you had us at “dine.” Join Cher, Madonna, Aretha Franklin, Selena, Lady Gaga, Mariah Carey, Dolly Parton and Tina Turner (what a lineup) ever y Thursday night for dinner and celebrity-impersonator drag. Ever y week new “celebs” show up, and Lips is located at 3036 El Cajon Blvd. There is a $5 cover and $15 food minimum; the show is from 6:45 – 10 p.m. For more information visit or call 888-284-5716.t FROM PAGE 1

RUSTIN release stated. “As an openly gay African-American, Mr. Rustin stood at the intersection of several of the fights for equal rights.” The statement cited Ride as “a role model to generations of young women,” saying she “advocated passionately for science education, stood up for racial and gender equality in the classroom and taught students from every background that there are no limits to what they can accomplish.” The award to Ride was announced in May, in a separate press release, which indicated that her “partner” and other family members were notified of the president’s award decision. Ride, who became the first United States woman in space in 1983, died in July 2012 of pancreatic cancer at the age of 61. In a press release announcing her death, her organization issued the first public acknowledgement that Ride was gay, noting that Tam O’Shaughnessy had been “her partner of 27 years.” The Human Rights Campaign issued a press release, saying that its president, Chad Griffin, had submitted a letter to President Obama urging him to award the Medal of Freedom to Rustin, who died in 1987. He was survived by his partner of ten years, Walter Naegle. In an interview for Democracy Now! following the announcement, Naegle said it was a great honor, especially coming close to the 50-year anniversary of the March on Washington. As an out gay man, Naegle said Rustin was more open and comfortable fighting for gay rights as well. “He was in his 60s, early 70s, and, you know, the gay movement as I remember when it first started, it was really largely a movement of young people,” Naegle said. “So I think they were kind of seeing him as a senior figure, as an elder.” Also during the Democracy Now! interview, Rustin biographer John D’Emilio said Rustin was “very aware” of social attitudes about gays and lesbians while working with King. “He couldn’t, you know, be out there with the rainbow flag. This was before gay liberation,” D’Emilio said. His biography “Lost Prophet: The Life and Times of Bayard Rustin” is considered by some to be the seminal work about the late civil-rights activist. Earlier this year, The International Court Council, San Diego’s LGBT Center and the GLBT Historic Task Force of San Diego County held the first local Bayard Rustin Civil Rights awards, honoring several community leaders who embody Rustin’s activism. Regarding other Medal of Freedom awardees, Banks, recognized for his Hall of Fame-level contributions to baseball, has been a prominent supporter of equal rights for gays and lesbians. He rode a Cubs float in the Chicago pride parade in 2010 and signed a letter to the Illinois legislature to support a marriage equality bill this year. Wald served as a judge of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for Washington in 1992 when Navy midshipman Joe Steffan lost his case against the Naval Academy that expelled him because he simply told a friend and a chaplain that he was gay. In an interview several years later, Wald identified her dissent from that decision was one of her proudest achievements. Note: Anthony King, Gay San Diego editor, contributed to this story.t


‘Edinburgh’ CALEB RAINEY OUT ON THE PAGE “What do they look like faggot, he says. Just leave me alone, Fuck off me. Get the fuck off me. He pushes, unable to move against me, and then he manages, rolling us over so that he pops up and off. Dick, he says, kicking snow across the top of me. Dick. The snow on my face begins to melt. Peter, I say. I love you. I sit up, to see his face, dark and wet. What. Is. This. He yells each word. What. Shut. Up.” –Alexander Chee from “Edinburgh” It is with great pleasure that I begin this review. Asian-Americans are often silenced in the United States, and their issues are rarely considered, even when discussions of race and communities of color are taking place. Indeed, one of the most pernicious stereotypes of Asian-Americans is that they are a perpetual foreigner, never able to become fully “American.” This sentiment can be heard in questions and statements like “Where are you really from?” or “Your English is wonderful.” Within the gay male community, Asian men face a host of sexual stereotypes that are rooted in racism. The stereotyping of Asian American men as bottoms, having small penises, and being submissive and feminine, are all ideas that have a strong following in our community. Further, within the realm of

literature generally – LGBT literature in particular – Asian-American books are rarely read and AsianAmerican writers are under-supported. So when I discovered the treasure that is Alexander Chee’s “Edinburgh,” I quickly decided to profile the book and write a review. “Edinburgh” was released in 2001 and the author Alexander Chee is of Korean ancestry, a racial identity that the protagonist of “Edinburgh” also shares. The novel begins with the main character, a young boy named Aphias, or “Fee,” beginning his journey into joining a choir. Music and the ability to sing are central in the novel, as it is through the choir that Fee learns he loves other boys and is exposed to events that will leave scars throughout his adult life. Within the first few pages, Fee is auditioning for Pine State Boys Chorus where he is interviewed by Big Eric. Big Eric is the adult choir director and is called “Big” because there is a choirboy also named Eric, referred as “Little” Eric throughout the novel. When Fee officially joins the choir, he is introduced to Peter, a friend with whom he falls in love and whose memory will haunt Fee well into adulthood. Peter, Fee, and most of the other boys in the choir are habitually sexualized and molested by Big Eric, who masquerades as a doting husband and father while he takes his pick of the young boys and makes them play “games” with him. While Fee is a victim of these acts, he quickly notices that, due

to his Asian features, he is spared being Big Eric’s “favorite,” unlike Peter and other boys who are blond and light-featured. Big Eric is eventually discovered about mid-way through the novel, and the rest of the book explores the traumatic fallout of being a survivor of childhood sexual violence. As they grow into adolescence and young adulthood the boys begin handling the onset of puberty, their own budding sexuality and their past abuse in different ways. Fee becomes a quiet and reserved boy, while other young men, such as Peter and Zach, handle the abuse in more selfdestructive ways. The second half of the novel witnesses Fee growing into adulthood, becoming the swim coach for an all-boys school where he meets Edward, a 17-year-old young man who reminds Fee of his first love, Peter, and who also harbors a terrible secret. The end of the novel, while far from a typical happy ending, provides a gritty portrayal of what can

GAY SAN DIEGO Aug. 23–Sept. 5, 2013


happen when cycles of violence are introduced into young people’s lives. It is clear throughout the novel that Chee is a master at his craft, and he provides the reader with a literary delight. Chee is also an important figure in queer arts and letters, as he is among a handful of Asian-American writers who have managed to be published and have his voice heard. Because Asian-Americans face such an array of stereotypes, especially in gay male communities, it is vital that we begin to see alternative portrayals of AsianAmericans as told by themselves instead of a vision that is designed by and for white men. While Chee’s novel rarely concerns itself with issues of race, Chee’s protagonist remains keenly aware of his racial difference from other boys and how that difference impacts how others view him. We as a community could do so much more to truly include Asian-American experiences in our culture and politics. Chee begins that conversation, and it is critical that we listen. If you would like to engage in more thoughtful discussions around similar issues, join the San Diego Multicultural LGBT Book Club at Bluestocking Books, 3817 Fifth Ave. in Hillcrest, on the first and third Sunday of every month at 7 p.m. “Edinburgh” is September’s selection and is now available. —Caleb Rainey recently graduated with his master’s degree in cultural studies. He is a long-time activist, and the founder and current facilitator of the San Diego Multicultural LGBT Book Club. Contact him at



GAY SAN DIEGO Aug. 23–Sept. 5, 2013


Poking fun


Neighborhoods take center stage as The Second City comedy troupe gives San Diegans reason to laugh at themselves How does a comedy troupe “have at” a city? The Second City currently demonstrates just that, sending up San Diego in “The Good, the Bad and the I-5.” Its individual members poked about our neighborhoods, discovering stereotypes and characteristics and using them to spoof locales and inhabit inhabitants, sometimes to hilarious effect. That’s what improvbased sketch comedy is all about: hits and misses and insults. Thus Hillcrest becomes a metaphor right along with the extremes of La Jolla, Santee and El Cajon, which in Second City’s fractured Spanish, is a dude with only one. Cojones, that is. The part-time star of Second City’s topical lampoon becomes Mayor Bob Filner. How could they resist? There

is no richer local comedy lode to mine, and the physically facile and vocally insinuating Mitchell J. Fain is adept and fascinating as the mayor with wandering hands. Should Filner be persuaded to resign prior to the end of Second City’s engagement Sept. 1, Second City would have fun with that, too. The lanky Marla Caceres, and pert, gravelly voiced Andel Sudik

(l to r) Marla Caceres, Andel Sudik and Kevin Sciretta (Photo by Todd Rosenberg)

provide the distaff in the troupe. Music is provided by on-the-spot sound designer and composer Julie Nichols. Billy Bungeroth directs. interest The other males, an interesting assortment of body types, are Frank Caeti, Kevin Sciretta and Travis Turner. All are versatile and specific. Even though they missed calling it “The Village,” the bravest of all the sketches was the troupe’s bang-on send up of entrenched La Jolla attitudes. One could feel the squirm factor, and admires the nuclear family they fielded – mother, father and three (l to r) Andel Sudik and Frank Caeti sons – spanning cultural (Photo by Todd Rosenberg) norms and attitudes in

“The Good, the Bad and the I-5” Through Sept 1 The Second City, Mandell Weiss Forum at La Jolla Playhouse Tues & Wed 7:30 p.m. Thurs & Fri 8 p.m. Sat 2 & 8 p.m. Sun 2 & 7 p.m. 858-550-1010

various decades. There are other stars as well, some drawn from the audience and others in their seats, interviewed by the troupe. These little nuggets form the basis of improvisations and – as with any in-tune troupe – are cleverly employed later in the quicksilver two-hour evening. Other segments encourage the audience to shout out names and locales, and include a hysterically funny send up of attendees at the recent Comic-Con. One must commend this particular touring company drawn from The Second City comedy troupe for their perspicacity regarding our city. If one didn’t feel a bit defensive, it wouldn’t be nearly so funny.t






GAY SAN DIEGO Aug. 23–Sept. 5, 2013


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Inside outCeleb superfan Ross Mathews on his own talk show, road to success and being a ‘full tilt’ gay By Chris Azzopardi | Q Syndicate Ross Mathews is talking to me from his own office in Hollywood and he can’t believe it. “It’s the dream,” he said, bubbling over with joy. “I’m getting to do exactly what I’ve always wanted to do.” That dream began back in 2001 when the pop-culture fanatic landed a spot on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” as the host’s buoyant intern. It wasn’t long before Chelsea Handler took him under her wing and he became the comedian’s resident gay. Now, she’s letting him fly solo: Mathews launches his very own show, “Hello Ross,” with Handler co-producing, on Sept. 6 on the E! network. In our chat, Mathews talks about how over-the-top gay his new show will be, why he learned to embrace his high-pitched voice and the trick to keeping it together when meeting Madonna. Chris Azzopardi: Your story of being this kid from a farm town who didn’t feel like he fit in, who was bullied and is now the star of his own show, must be really inspiring to young gay people. How do you hope your story inspires those who are going through what you went through as a young gay kid? Ross Mathews: When I was growing up, I remember thinking, “What is my life gonna be like?” I didn’t know what it meant to be a successful, happy, grown-up gay person because I didn’t see that. I didn’t see that in my small town. I didn’t see that represented on television. Even when I started on television in 2001, it was really at the beginning, before “Queer Eye” and “Will & Grace,” before Ellen was out, before Rosie was out; it really wasn’t represented anywhere. I started appearing on national television as people like Rosie and Neil Patrick Harris came out and shows like those became relevant, and I was part of something. From this point forward, whenever kids are realizing they’re gay, they know what it means to be a happy, successful, openly and unapologetically grown-up gay person, and what that looks like and what life can be for them. And I hope people can see me on “Chelsea Lately” and see me on my show and say, “Hey, look, he’s got a partner and a family and a dog and friends, and he never apologized for who he is and neither will I.” CA: Do you realize that you are like the modern-day Ellen and the modern-day Rosie? You are now that person that you once looked up to. RM: OK, now that freaks me out! I have a lot more to achieve to reach anything like that, but I will gladly fulfill that role for people, whomever needs it. I feel like I have a big ol’ wagon; everybody hop on it and let’s do this together. CA: Who’s the tougher boss: Jay Leno or Chelsea Handler?

Ross Mathews

(Photo by Austin Young)

RM: [Laughs] well, I would never categorize either one of them as tough in terms of tough on me. I will tell you, though: they’ve both given me incredible platforms, which is very rare for comics to do. I take it very seriously when they do that because they don’t do it lightly, and I know if they give me that opportunity, I gotta show up and be on point. That’s how you get the next opportunity. That’s how this town works. You get a shot, you deliver and you get another one.

[Laughs] all of a sudden he’s there and he had heard me on “Howard Stern” talking about how, maybe, I had fantasized about him as a young kid watching “Saved by the Bell,” and he said he heard that and told his wife and screamed, “Ross Mathews masturbated to me!” It really was like my head was going to explode.

CA: And now look at you in your own office.

CA: Tell me about the “interactive” element of your new show.

RM: I know. Isn’t that nuts? And Chelsea is upstairs. You know, there’s been two pivots in my life when it comes to my career: one was meeting Jay Leno and the other was meeting Chelsea Handler, and both of them have been so instrumental and crucial and supportive and inspiring and have served as the most amazing mentors anybody in this town could ever have. I don’t know what I ever did to deserve them, but I will spend the rest of my life thanking them.

RM: It’s a big party. This show is what I wish existed when I was a little kid, when I could reach out and be a part of pop culture. The audience is joining the conversation, and I’ll literally be in the audience with a microphone asking people’s opinions. When I have a guest, the people in the audience can ask the guest questions. We’re Skype-ing people in from all over the country so they can ask questions as well. Everybody’s welcome.

CA: Don’t forget about MarkPaul Gosselaar, who you interviewed recently when you guest hosted “Chelsea Lately.”

CA: How gay and fabulous is your set?

RM: When I guest hosted and I said, “Please welcome Mark-Paul Gosselaar,” and he walked around the corner, it was like I needed a time machine to go back to myself at 12 years old in my bedroom and be like, “Oh my god, guess what he just said?” – because it was the most surreal thing in the world.

GAY SAN DIEGO Aug. 23–Sept. 5, 2013

CA: No pun intended? RM: [Laughs] hilarious!

RM: Oh my god, it’s pretty great. It’s a little Palm Spring chicy, but very comfortable as well. We’re trying to mix the two things. And it’s all a little elevated because I am super gay, so it has to be; people would be disappointed if it wasn’t. CA: Ellen has her dancing. Rosie had her Koosh balls. What will be

your signature thing on this show? RM: I don’t know! I think that kind of thing just evolves, so I’ll figure that out. My thing is interacting with the audience; this show is really for the fans, so if that’s the legacy of this show, I’m thrilled with that. CA: How did you decide on “Hello Ross” as the name? RM: There was a lot of debate from a lot of people about the name, but there was never a debate on my end about the show. To me, it was always “Hello Ross.” That’s my Twitter, that’s my website, that’s the spirit of the show. CA: Chelsea is a producer on the show. How involved will she be?


your point of view and your perception of things and your truth. I know that sounds really hippy-dippy, but if you look at her, how many times do you think she’s probably heard, “You can’t say that”? And I’ve heard, “You can’t be that gay, you can’t be that high-pitched, you’ll never host a show with that voice.” But what I’ve learned from her is to use what makes you different to stand out. I could’ve come to this town and taken hosting classes and done this and that and tried to lower my voice, but I would’ve looked like every other rock on the beach. The ones that work are those weird-looking rocks. Those are the ones you notice. CA: When did you start to really love and embrace your voice? RM: There was a point in my teenhood when I realized that the voice wasn’t changing. I was this gay cartoon of a person and it was a crossroad for me: I could either hate myself or I could love myself, and it’s just not in my nature to hate, so I said, “Fine, I accept myself fully. Go 100 percent. Be you. Do you.” CA: You talk about your Madonna encounter in your book. What’s the trick to keeping it together when meeting Madge?

CA: What have you learned from Chelsea about having your own show?

RM: Clench your legs. Don’t just, like, lose it. And if you’re a huge fan, perhaps bring a diaper, because I have to tell you, that was so surreal. All I was thinking was, “Don’t say something that makes her kick you out.” I’ve shot pieces at zoos with animal keepers where they hand you a snake and you think, “This is exotic, this could bite me and this could kill me at any second.” It felt the same way when I met Madonna.

RM: That there’s a power in saying “I am what I am.” Never secondguessing that thing that only you own and only you know, which is

—Chris Azzopardi is the editor of Q Syndicate, the international LGBT wire service. Reach him via his website at

RM: She’s been involved every step of the way. She sees the whole process and she’s invested a lot in this. Not financially or anything like that, but to say, “I pick Ross, I think the audience wants to hear from Ross, I get behind Ross” means more to me than she’ll ever know.



GAY SAN DIEGO Aug. 23–Sept. 5, 2013



Five teams head to nation’s capital for World Series The Open Division of America’s Finest City Softball League (AFCSL) is sending five of its best spring teams to Washington to compete in the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance (NAGAAA) World Series from Aug. 26 – 31. What makes these World Series berths such a tremendous honor for the teams is that they had to earn their way into the tournament by outlasting their opponents during the 20-game season. The flag football league, on the other hand, sends All-Star-type teams that are composed partially on talent and partially on popularity. In AFCSL, if your team does not win, you do not go to the World Series unless you are fortunate enough to be selected as one of an alternate team’s four pick-up players. Representing San Diego out in D.C. will be Bourbon Street Krush, The Loft (D), Flicks Lawmen, Mariposa SOL and The Loft (B). Since the spring season ended in late June, each of these teams has been going through arduous preparation for the weeklong tournament. Part of this process includes fundraising, as sending a traveling party of 14 to 18 people is very expensive, when factoring in rental cars, hotel, flights and other expenses. Having put together several summer fundraisers for my Loft (B) team, I can attest to the fact that more time is spent putting these functions on than actually out on the fields preparing. As the only B team earning a berth, our on-field practices

have been limited to working on fundamentals and shaking off the rust from the layoff. We were able to scrimmage Flicks and SOL to get game action, but pool play will prove to be a tough challenge, as we have not played true B competition since May. My veteran team missed out on the World Series in 2012 but took third place nationally the year before, and knows the challenges that lie ahead. During World Series week, all teams will play three pool play games that are used to assign teams a seed for the ensuing double-elimination tournament in each division. Thirty-nine teams will battle for the B Division crown. Flicks and SOL will battle it out in the 47-team C Division. Flicks, under the guidance of manager and league commissioner Roman Jimenez, has qualified for the World Series for the fourth year in a row. The Law Lawmen will be playing without arguably their best player, Shawn LeClaire, but have replaced him with equally talented Brian Burnett, who was picked up from the Outlaws. As it always does, the success of Flicks will

come down to their bats. This team plays steady defense, and between Jimenez and Brent Kostelecky, they always pitch well. Their offense, as potent as anyone’s when it is firing on all cylinders, tends to go into hibernation during tournaments. If they can stay hot all week, Flicks may be bringing a trophy home on Labor Day Weekend. SOL qualified for the World Series by edging out the perennial World Series qualifiers, the Outlaws, in the spring playoffs. First-year manager Bill French, a former member of Flicks who left his friends there to coach, has put together a powerful lineup. SOL does not boast quite the same defensive prowess as Flicks, but their lineup is steady, consistent and capable of dropping 20 runs on a team at any time. French is their best all-around player, but the team has a lot SOL of veteran experi experimoves ence, including two on to D.C. former B players in (Photo by Jose “Cookie” Salas Joe Covino) and Leon Ramos.

This team will win at least a few games in double elimination on the strength of their bats. In the 54-team D division, Krush and The Loft (formerly Brass Rail Blasters) once again represent San Diego. These two teams have been the class of the D division in each of the last three years, though neither has been able to make a formidable run in the World Series. They certainly have the talent to do so, as you do not win the D Division here without being one of the better teams in the country. Much like Flicks and SOL, these two teams have different strengths. Krush, under the lead of manager Sam Baxter, has always been the team that will mash their opponent, often putting up crooked numbers on the scoreboard in multiple innings. Outfielder Aaron Ernest is a terrific player and kickstarts their offense. Their gloves have always been the issue. The Loft, on the other hand, plays steady defense. They made an excellent choice in picking up pitcher David Pence, who gives them stability on the mound. They will need to pick it up on offense a bit in order to compete, but they certainly can. Most players from these five teams will arrive in Washington on Monday, Aug. 26, where they will take part in the tournament’s opening ceremonies that evening. Pool play games are played on Tuesday, with double elimination beginning as early as Wednesday. Any teams that lose their first two double-elimination games will then be entered into a single-elimi-

nation “loser’s tournament,” which is held on Friday. Championship games in each division are played on Saturday, and trophies are handed out at the raucous closing ceremonies that night. Win or lose, players on these San Diego teams will be treated to an unforgettable experience, which makes the hefty price tag of attending well worth the cost. Over 3,000 athletes and their supporters will be in town for the event. Most people make life-long friends at these tournaments, and some have even met their life partners at the World Series, including my teammate Grady Mitchell, who met his partner James in Kansas City at the 1999 Series. The tournament planning committee has arranged for an Out at the Park event on Aug. 27 at Nationals Park, one of the many nightly events scheduled once game play is finished for the day. World Series game results will be available on the tournament website ( and AFCSL traditionally announces them as well on their Facebook page. With no time to rest, AFCSL’s fall season will begin Sept. 8. There is still time to register and find a team, and interested players can do that by visiting for more information. —Jeff Praught is actively involved in the LGBT sports community, where he plays in the local softball (AFCSL), football (SDAFFL) and basketball (SD Hoops) leagues. He has served on AFCSL’s board of officers in various capacities and is currently the commissioner of SD Hoops.t



KURTY as her mentors, and honors Rich’s San Diego owner Nick Moede and General Manager Ryan Bedrosian for giving her what she considers her breakthrough opportunity. Bedrosian offered her a fill-in gig on a Wednesday night several years ago and the response eventually led to a permanent Friday night slot at the Hillcrest venue. While it is unusual for female DJs to perform regular gigs at gay clubs, that is where Kurty feels most at home. “It is amazing – the greatest thing in the world,” she said. “A thousand times different [than spinning for lesbianonly audiences]. I always say ‘I am an inner gay man’ because house music is my passion. Boys love house music and they want to hear it. I love it so much that I think it comes out in my music.” This is not to say she doesn’t appreciate her lesbian fans or want to play for them, as she said she’s found a combination that works for all audiences. “You can’t play a full night of house for the girls,” she said, laughing. “You can play a 30-minute set here or a 30-minute set there, but they want hip hop, it’s what they love.” Aside from open venues like her gig at CityFest earlier this month or the Pride of Hillcrest Block Party and Gay Days at the County Fair in July, lady fans can still occasionally find her at Repent, a Thursday women’s night at Rich’s, and she recently nabbed a resident position with Girl Bar at The Abbey in West Hollywood one Wednesday per month. She has also been a regular at The Dinah Palm Springs and hopes to join Girl Bar for Dinah Las Vegas next spring. Kurty said one of her biggest career achievements to date is being named the corporate DJ for Facebook, where she performs at their Christmas and various corporate parties, and for the last two years has been the DJ on their float during San Francisco Pride. She has also gotten in with Micro-

(l to r) Best friends Martha Lewis and Kurty on the Camino de Santiago, with just 194km left. (Courtesy dj dirtyKURTY) soft, displaying her spinning skills in front of 4,000 people at a recent Xbox party in Seattle. As her confidence has increased in recent years, corporate gigs are something she said she’d like to see more of, along with some really big events, like the Coachella Festival or even the White Party in Miami. Earlier this year, and fresh out of the commitment of her last relationship, Kurty was again ready to travel when suddenly another life-changing opportunity opened up for her. She was asked to join her best friend and five others on the “Camino de Santiago,” also known as “The Way of St. James,”

GAY SAN DIEGO Aug. 23–Sept. 5, 2013


an annual pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela that travels along the Northern Coast of Spain. It was a 300-mike trek by foot that took her 30 days to complete and may take a lifetime to process. “I got a lot of things from it … but I think the thing that stands out for me is just letting go,” she said. Along with a photo of her ex, she said a picture of her late uncle took on the greatest significance during the trip, as he had always taken a special interest in her travels before she lost him to cancer a couple years prior. After an emotional ceremony at the end of the Camino in Galicia, Spain, Kurty traveled three more hours by bus to Finisterre, a coastal town along the Atlantic – on the opposite side of the same ocean she grew up near – to pay homage to him. “I walked out on a pier, meditated, took my uncle’s photo, said a prayer and threw it into the ocean,” she said. “And then let it go – thanks for being there.” Ironically, Kurty didn’t listen to music while she was on the Camino. “It was more about unplugging for me,” she said. “Being quiet, and hearing the sounds of nature and the birds and the trees.” Meeting so many people from various places around the world who were all walking the Camino and all in such different places within their own lives impacted her greatly, she said, and made her realize even more that everyone is on their own personal journey, and doing so at their own pace. “I’ve had a lot of success in my life, but I think that was just on a different level,” she said. “Physically it’s not hard for me, but mentally it just was really awesome to be with people and turn off and not worry.” Kurty said she hopes to return to Spain – her dream is to DJ in Ibiza – and maybe even do the full 600-mile Camino next year. For now, however, her journey is leading her to Burning Man next week, and then she’s looking forward to reestablishing and continuing to expand her roots here in San Diego. That’s a path her fans could jump on. Keep up with dj dirtyKURTY’s journey by following her Facebook fan page at


GAY SAN DIEGO Aug. 23–Sept. 5, 2013

Gay San Diego  

August 23, 2013 edition

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