Volume 4 Issue 2
GAY A AY
Jan. 25–Feb. 7, 2013
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SAN DIEGO SERVING OUR LGBT COMMUNITY
Ever tried to hatch a rock?
Marc Acito and James Vásquez return for Diversionary Theatre’s latest By Charlene Baldridge | GSD Reporter
Jason & deMarco
(l to r) Current Imperial Court de San Diego monarchs the Ruby Empress Ajax and the Obsidian Double Dragon Emperor T. Brian Dickerson reign will end Feb. 2, when two new monarchs will be crowned.
Coronation XLI (Courtesy Ruby Empress Ajax)
Community service ‘beats as one heart’ for reigning monarchs, set to step down after a long, successful year By Anthony King | GSD Editor
North Coast’s fresh air
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When the Imperial Court de San Diego hosts their annual meeting and coronation the first weekend in February, current monarchs Ruby Empress Ajax and Obsidian Double Dragon Emperor T. Brian Dickerson will step down after being celebrated by locals, guests and all who benefitted from their work. And after their whirlwind year of service as the head of the 40-year LGBT charity organization, they certainly should be. “As of the 10th of January, right before the State of the City, we had done 335 days of service and we did 170 events, which is just under an event every other day,” Ajax said, who has been active in the court system for over 15 years. “I knew my year would be about … being visible and being the symbol of the membership, because the membership of our court is in every aspect of San Diego. They volunteer tirelessly,” the reigning Empress said. “If I’m going to be their representative … I have to be at the things that they would go to.” Confusing for some, the Imperial Court – and
especially the reigning monarchs – are more than pomp and circumstance, more than a crown and regal attire. The court is one of the longest-running LGBT charity organizations, with 68 regional chapters throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. The San Diego chapter is one of the most successful fundraising organizations in the county, and helped found The LGBT Center, San Diego Pride, and AIDS Walk & Run, among many others. The International Court System was founded in 1965 by Jose Julio Sarria, who served as leader until 2007, when he crowned Nicole Murray Ramirez as his successor. Empress Nicole the Great de San Diego was then titled “Queen Mother I of the Americas.” “This isn’t just my year of reign, it’s a celebration of four decades of our work,” Ajax said. “I not only have to be a representative to people who are members of the current reign, but I also decided I wanted to go back and dig up the history and find out where our monarchs and our previous family members have been.” Ajax and Dickerson’s work – ranging from
see Coronation, pg 4
During the early part of 21st century, citizens of New York City as well as avid avian admirers nationwide were thoroughly captivated by two nesting couples. One pair, red-tailed hawks named Pale Male and Lola, incubated, hatched and fed chicks in a nest precariously perched on a window ledge near the top of a posh Fifth Avenue co-op. Residents of the building were not amused, and Pale Male and Lola were evicted. The other pair, Chinstrap male penguins named Roy and Silo, lived in Central Park Zoo, where they incubated a fertile egg slipped to them by the zookeeper, who took pity on them when they tried to hatch a rock. The same-sex pair successfully hatched and raised a daughter named Tango. The resulting book, Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson’s “And Tango Makes Three,” has been on the banned-book list ever since it was published in 2005. Enter novelist Marc Acito, who has had a lot of San Diego exposure on a grand scale. He recently wrote the book and additional lyrics for the musicals “Allegiance” and “Room With a View” at the Old Globe. Acito now makes further inroads, this time at Diversionary Theatre with his 2012 Helen Hayes Award-winning play, “Birds of a Feather,” which intertwines the stories of the two bird pairs: Lola and Pale Male and Roy and Silo.
see Birds, pg 13
(l to r) Mike Sears, Steve Gunderson, Kevin Koppman-Gue, Rachael VanWormer and James Vásquez (Photo by Ken Jacques)
Ballers bring another Sin City trophy back to San Diego
Women’s C Division earns softball title; other teams have respectable showing Jeff Praught | Dugout Chatter Over 6,000 athletes descended on Las Vegas over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, as a 12-sport festival named the Sin City Shootout featured some of the country’s best LGBT athletes and their friends. As always, San Diego was well represented. A trophy was brought home in softball, and all had a great time. San Diego took home a firstplace trophy once again, with the SD Ballers of the Women’s C Division earning the title. The Ballers, led by manager Lisa Tinnerman, not
only won all seven of their games over the weekend, but captured the championship in fine fashion: with a walk-off victory. In the title game against Really Though of Los Angeles, Karie Bearup slid in safely at home with the winning run, driven in by Elizabeth “Nemo” Griffin, in the one-run, walkoff victory. Despite winning all seven games, the task was not an easy one. “It meant a lot to us, not only because we came close last year, but because we were down to 10 players on Sunday,” said catcher Chrissy Herzig. “We were a whole team and
were able to stick together and still win a championship. Yeah, some of us have played together for four to five years, but the rest of us had only been together for just over a year.” Urban Mo’s took second place in the six-team B division, while I’d Hit That (C), FBIO (C), and Gossip Grill (D) did not fare as well among the San Diego women’s teams, but had respectable showings. On the men’s side, the Hillcrest Brewing Company Outlaws were looking to defend their C Division title, and the boys in green got off to
a strong start. They won their first three double-elimination contests before dropping a 20-14 decision to the San Francisco Boom. They were then matched up with the alwaystough Las Vegas Grease Monkeys, a team HBC had defeated in pool play. This time, the Monkeys got their revenge with a 17-11 triumph. The Outlaws finished in fifth place. Both the Renegades and Viejas Players made respectable showings too, also in the C Division. The Renegades went undefeated in pool play and demolished their first double-elimination opponent, the Denver Squirrels, 23-2. Next up was tourney-tough Philadelphia Triple Play, a team many San Diegans are fa-
see Dugout, pg 18
GAY SAN DIEGO Jan. 25–Feb. 7, 2013
GAY SAN DIEGO Jan. 25–Feb. 7, 2013
Jason & deMarco return Singers-songwriters and married couple add parenting to the mix, embark on ‘Celebrating Families of Diversity’ tour By Anthony King | GSD Editor Much has changed for the singing duo Jason & deMarco, as the couple start the next leg of their professional – and very personal – journey. Always mixing the two together, the singer-songwriters are touring once again after taking time off to have children, twins Mason and Noah. But they could not stay away from the music forever. “I think we really thought that when we had kids, we were kind of retiring from the road,” said Jason Warner, who professionally goes by Jason. Marco DeCiccio, the second half of Jason & deMarco, agreed. “This is an enormous endeavor, that we’ve organized this tour,” deMarco said. “I’m looking forward to being on the tour bus [because] the hardest work will be behind us and we’ll just be having fun.” Now in their 10th year singing as a duo, the pair are heading out on a 35-day, 22-city tour titled “Celebrating Families of Diversity.” The tour brings them to San Diego on Feb. 8, for a concert held at the Metropolitan Community Church. Jason & deMarco gained enormous popularity during their first few years, in part because the two identified as out, gay Christian artists. After two albums, they appeared on the cover of The Advocate magazine for the 2004 release of their third album,
“Spirit Pop.” In 2007, they were featured in the documentary film “We’re All Angels.” “We’ve been known in the affirming church circuit, [and] we’ve done a lot of inspirational music,” Jason said. “We’ll always do inspirational music, but we didn’t want this [tour] to be about the religious factor.” They will be singing songs from their selection of mainstream pop music, most that they have written themselves. “We wanted this to be bigger than Jason & deMarco. We really want it to be about … celebrating families of diversity and making it something larger than us,” Jason said. “When we were touring [before], it was so much about us and so much about us being gay Christian artists. … This is really about so many families and the diversity we have in this country, and celebrating that.” Together 11 years, the couple starting discussing parenthood
after five years, though they were at the height of their music career, “riding a wave” in the music industry, Jason said. Two years later, they were still riding that wave. Jason said they then took a hard look at what they wanted as a family. “Could this could be the rest of our lives, or do we want something more? For us, that something more was creating a family,” he said, and they began by exploring adoption. Through a series of coincidences, including a dinner where the couple were seated between two fertility experts by chance, they decided to pursue having children via surrogacy. With the help of two good friends, the twins were born in 2011. “It couldn’t have gone any better than we planned it,” Jason said. “Everything just went so beautifully.” In a way, it was a shift toward parenting that led to the tour, even though the pair previously said they
Jason & deMarco’s latest album, “Safe”(Courtesy Project Publicity) would probably not tour again once the twins were born. The other factor, which Jason said was important in their decision to stage a tour for diverse families, was the everchanging acceptance of the LGBT community. “The country is, I think, really shifting in their views of gay mar-
riage, of homosexuality [and] of gay parenting, and I just think if we can be one of the many faces out there representing the community … it’s something that we’re contributing to society as a whole,” he said. “Our Celebrating Families of Di-
see DeMarco, pg 4
GAY SAN DIEGO Jan. 25–Feb. 7, 2013
FROM PAGE 1
CORONATION public appearances at official City events, their annual toy drive and Easter Egg Hunt to other private appearances – will be honored at the Coronation Military Ball, held Feb. 2. “Another individual is going to take the throne at the end of the night, but the entire night is celebrating all the work that the … monarchs have done for their community over the year,” Ajax said. “It is the culmination of an entire year of work for the community.” It is the silent work, Ajax said, that really defines the organization. “That silent work that we do has come from a tradition of having to hide,” he said. “Our first toy drive was done by the Impe-
rial Court in ’74, and the Marines wouldn’t take them because they were from homosexuals.” It was at last year’s Easter Egg Hunt, held at Trolley Barn Park in University Heights, that the organization’s mission really shined. With over 600 children from a diverse set of families – some LGBT, but most not – the event has grown exponentially from its start nine years ago. “I remember the first year we got a load of bikes from the leather community and from Lips. The kids were falling all over themselves to get the bikes. The amazing thing was the absolute innocent joy that these kids had,” Ajax said. “It’s those moments that you step back and you see the much bigger picture about what the court has done.” For the Ruby Empress’ reign, the Easter Egg Hunt is just one at
the top of a long list of touching, favorite memories. Attending the mayoral inauguration in December 2012 was another, as was visiting sick people in the hospital, Ajax said. The pair have been seen together everywhere in the region, from events in East and North County, to The LGBT Center, to Tijuana, Mexico. The work they set out to do was to “break down doors,” Ajax said. “It’s all about being out there for people.” The Empress was quick to say Dickerson was a natural fit as Emperor, and their year together has been “an absolute gas.” While they had worked together in the past, primarily through each representing the leather community as titleholders, the two forged a partnership as monarchs that was visible to anyone who has seen them together. “He’s got a very, very strict sense of gentility, chivalry and poise,” Ajax said. “You are who you are, through the other person, and you decide together how you’re going to accomplish this, together.” “Our community service beats as one heart,” Ajax said. “That was the greatest thing as having Tom as Emperor elected with me.” The host hotel for Coronation is the Marriott Mission Valley, located at 8757 Rio San Diego Dr. The Military Ball, where the new monarchs will be crowned, will be at the hotel from 6 – 11 p.m. on Feb. 2. Tickets are $85 general admission, and $105 VIP. Advance tickets can be purchased online. For the complete schedule of the weekend’s events, including the Tijuana Party on Friday, Feb. 1 and the Victory Brunch held at Numbers on Feb. 3, visit imperialcourtsandiego.com.t
(left) Jason Warner and (right) Marco DeCiccio of Jason & deMarco with their two sons, Mason and Noah (Courtesy silver-image-photo.com) FROM PAGE 3
DEMARCO versity tour will be an opportunity for our fans and friends to learn about surrogacy and the adoption process,” deMarco said. “We will share our personal story and experience during the concert, and tie it all together with our music.” Currently living in Houston, Texas, the two will be happy to return to California, especially Los Angeles, where they share many happy moments, including an impromptu wedding ceremony. “We actually, with very short notice, organized … a little celebration at the actual restaurant and bar that we met,” deMarco said. “That was kind of our first little wedding reception.” deMarco “popped the question,” Jason said, when marriage equality became a reality in California, and the couple married in August 2008.
Songs on the tour will come from their last album, “Safe,” which was released before the twins were born. “Safe” also represents their nonprofit S.A.F.E., a charity benefitting LGBT foster children, and proceeds from several tour stops will benefit the nonprofit. The Feb. 8 show is free, with an offering accepted at the door. The San Diego performance is at the Metropolitan Community Church, located at 2633 Denver St. near Mission Bay. Bobby Jo Valentine and Randi Driscoll will also perform, and the concert starts at 7 p.m. For more information, visit themetchurch.org. For information on the complete tour, including the Feb. 12 show at the Noho Arts Center in Los Angeles, visit jasonanddemarco.com. “We have a message to share, and I think right now it’s so important,” Jason said. “Let’s go out there and do what we love to do, and have fun doing it.”t
GAY NEWS BRIEFS MAX DISPOSTI HONORED BY LOCAL NAACP CHAPTER North County LGBTQ Resource Center Executive Director Max Disposti was awarded the Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Award by the North San Diego County NAACP at a ceremony held Monday, Jan. 21. The award acknowledges outstanding civic leaders in the community, and is handed out at the NAACP’s annual community prayer breakfast. “This recognition is more than a personal achievement, it acknowledges the existence of our North County LGBT families,” Disposti said. “This is the beginning of a new chapter in our North County region.” Disposti founded the North County LGBT Coalition in 2008, which led to the current Resource Center. The organization opened a permanent location in 2011, serving all LGBT individuals and allies in North County. “There are so many people in our community that are dedicating personal time and resources in helping others,” Disposti said, “but many of these local heroes … are also LGBT people that often struggle to get their families and loved ones recognized and protected. Despite that, I believe change becomes possible everywhere, from the remote Africa villages where being gay is a death sentence to the heart of our communities, where persistence [and] perseverance, but also compassion for others, can make … a better quality of life a possibility.” Disposti also serves on the board of the Advancing Compassion Project and Main Street Oceanside. CONGRESSMEMBER DAVIS ADVOCATES FOR JURY NON-DISCRIMINATION Congressmember Susan Davis introduced legislation to prohibit a person from being removed from a jury because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Called the Jury NonDiscrimination Act, the legislation is in part motivated by a San Diego Superior Court ruling that prosecutors illegally dismissed jurors in the Equality Nine trial based on real or perceived sexual orientation. “Serving on a jury is one of America’s most cherished civic duties. It is unjust to exclude a particular group of people from participating in civil society because of whom they love or what they look like,” Davis said in a statement. Fourteen cosponsors introduced the act with Davis, and federal law currently prohibits juror discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin and economic status. “As we pursue greater equality for all Americans, I believe LGBT Americans should also be free from juror discrimination,” Davis said. CESCAL CONFERENCE DATES SET Organizers from the Center for Excellence in School Counseling and Leadership (CESCaL) announced the dates of this year’s National Educator Conference, to be held at the Doubletree San Diego in Mission Valley. Now in its fourth year, the CESCaL conference, called Supporting Students – Saving Lives, will be held Feb. 15 – 17. The educator’s conference brings together national leaders in education and LGBT experts to provide the tools necessary for creating a safe and inclusive school environment for all youth. “It is important that school districts take preventative measures to ensure that LGBT students feel safe and that we do not have another teen death by suicide due to anti-LGBT bullying,” said Conference Project
Director and Chair Vincent Pompei in the announcement. “It is imperative that we continue to train, encourage and empower educators, counselors, coaches and the entire community to ensure that all of our children are protected from the types of vicious bullying that could lead any young person to drop out of school due to safety concerns,” he said. A part of San Diego State University, CESCaL provides the only national conference focusing on LGBT youth. This year’s speakers include, among others, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, Point Foundation Executive Director Jorge Valencia, and Tracy and Tim Rodemeyer, the parents of Jamey Rodemeyer, a 14-year-old student who committed suicide. A keynote speaker from the Obama administration will be present at the Friday night awards ceremony, which will honor MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts and Betty DeGeneres. For more information on the conference visit lgbtqia2013.org. ATKINS INTRODUCES BILL, EXPANDING ACCESS TO ABORTION Introduced Tuesday, Jan. 22 by Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins, AB 154 would broaden the types of health professionals permitted to provide abortion services in the first trimester of pregnancy. Responding to a shortage of health care professionals providing this procedure, a press release stated, the bill includes nurse practitioners, nurse midwives and physicians’ assistants. “As a former health care administrator in women’s clinics, I know from first-hand experience that safe and ready access to abortion procedures makes all the difference in the world
see Briefs, pg 6
GAY SAN DIEGO Jan. 25–Feb. 7, 2013
Our Jan. 25 Town Hall meeting: a community affair
MAX DISPOSTI NORTH COUNTY UPDATE How many times have you participated to a Town Hall meeting? The tradition of gathering with fellow community members to openly discuss matters of importance is a historical one. If used properly, Town Hall meetings are one of the best tools to communicate with the community at large by encouraging live feedback and ideas for the future. Especially if you are a nonprofit, public community meetings are a must. This is what our team of North County LGBTQ Resource Center leaders believes. The board of directors – Carolyn Bolton, Raphael Rubalcaba, Curtis Fitzgerald, David Blasband, Frank Kieffer and Rob Knauf – has scheduled one of the most important Town Hall meetings for Friday, Jan. 25. Since we opened the doors in December 2011, we became busy
creating a support system that was needed in our area by establishing numerous free services. We went from a few hundred visitors to over 800 per month. We have tested hundreds of new individuals for HIV, while providing education, support and hope when needed. We hired our first employee and have over 100 volunteers year around. We successfully delivered Pride @ the Beach and achieved one of the best years for fundraising efforts. In less than a year, we have gained the trust of local North County agencies that often call us for advice: from mental health providers to child protective services. We have also increased our hours of operation from 30 hours per week to 55. We have marched in Pride parades, Freedom parades and commemorated our third North County Transgender Day of Remembrance. We created our first North County LGBT Interfaith Alliance, and Bolton, our Project Youth director, delivered one of the most recognized Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) award ceremonies where many GSA clubs were recognized and were financially supported for their efforts. We stayed open during the holidays and provided a safe and welcoming space during a time when services are most needed. With so much happening and in such a short time, the need to review our strategy for the future is now a must. One of the things we also believe in is transparency. We always share not only our budget – this year we closed with
almost $70,000 – but also from where the money is coming. So far the contribution of our local community members, the fundraising efforts and the one-time support of others have allowed us to not only stay open but to also increase our reach. Besides the $20,000 in grants awarded us, we have definitely been self-sufficient and would like to remain so. It is amazing what you can do with so many volunteers, but the time for more growth has come and we will be able to increase our services as much as our North County LGBTQ community will allow us to. Of course, help from every party of the County is always welcomed and this is also why we are organizing the Town Hall meeting on Jan. 25. The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the Oceanside Library Community Room, located at 300 North Coast Highway. We believe in community input, transparency and direct participation. We proved to our supporters that we can build a lasting North County presence with just few resources. I hope your participation and support will make it even better. —Max Disposti is the founder and executive director of the North County LGBT Resource Center, a human rights activist, a community organizer and, in his spare time, a real estate broker. He has also served on Oceanside’s Community Relations Commission for several years. He can be reached at email@example.com
GAY SAN DIEGO Jan. 25–Feb. 7, 2013
gay-sd.com FROM PAGE 5
BRIEFS in women’s lives,” Atkins said in the release. Barriers to safe care in rural areas in particular have been created by a lack of professionals who are able to perform abortions, and expanding this number will reduce the pressure on the health care system, resulting in “improved heath and well-being for women” and families, the release stated. “I am pleased to introduce legislation that will increase the number of trained professionals who are permitted to perform early abortions and I look forward to discussing the bill with my colleagues as the bill moves through the legislative process.” AB 154 is sponsored by the California Women’s Health Alliance.
Literature makes difficult issues accessible Great article! I agree that literature is an accessible way to talk about difficult issues, especially when those issues directly affect ourselves and our community [see “Using literature to ‘open up conversations,’” Vol. 4, Issue 1]. These sorts of discussions should happen more often. — Stephany, via gay-sd.comt
At the bottom of the barrel
Do I really have nothing more to say about LGBT issues? By Abby Dees This coming April will mark my 30th anniversary as an out lesbian, and it appears that after all this time I’ve spent writing about being gay, squawking about homophobia, entreating others about LGBT rights, joking about lesbian hair and rescue dogs, and cajoling straight people into LGBT awareness, I might be done talking about it. I can hear you now: “Abby! Uganda’s about to pass the Kill-the-Homos bill. How can you be silent?” or “What about all those LGBT kids who are still at high risk for suicide?” I know. We’re not finished. If anything, we’re just beginning. So, Jodie Foster joked about being a single lesbian on the market at the Golden Globes. That’s not even notable gaylebrity news now. But in the real world, the Supreme Court is poised this year to decide on marriage equality. They could send us back or ahead twenty years. No doubt change is afoot. I must have something to say about it all. But I don’t. So, I guess I’ll riff on that for a moment.
I’m enjoying this sense of swimming along in the ordinary-ness. This must be what straight people feel. Or rather, I’d characterize it as not so much a feeling, but an absence of a feeling. A sense that I don’t have to remember I’m a lesbian. I can’t count the number of times in the last few weeks in which I discussed my partner with a stranger, barely triggering a blip in my blood pressure. You know what I mean: that slight tightening up when you coolly come out to someone you don’t really know and act like it was no big deal. It’s always a big deal even if people act all hip about it. Saying you’re queer still isn’t the same as announcing that you joined the Kiwanis, no matter where you live. Yet, in my current state of homosexual mindlessness, I’ve been at the local bank, the pharmacy, signing up for the frequent shopper card at the grocery, and giving my partner’s name and “in case of emergency” info away as if I were cashing in coupons. Like I said, it’s kind of nice to burble along, disconnected from the reality that I’m damned lucky (or deluded) to be so unmoved to issue
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an observation. It’s relaxing, even boring. I can only dimly recall that keen sense I used to have of my environment, which came with being on the margins; the knowledge that I could take nothing for granted, and I didn’t want to anyway. I almost giggle at the irony now: I’m a columnist on LGBT issues and a host of one of the oldest LGBT-themed radio shows ever. In short, I’m a professional lesbian, and I’m going about my days with only a casual awareness of LGBT issues. This, I suppose, is what privilege is. Except for one thing. I doubt that I, a woman who is never, ever at a loss for words, genuinely have nothing else to say on this subject or any other. I suspect that what I’m experiencing is not really done-ness, but fatigue. A small voice inside is screaming that I’m tired of having to explain what should be self-evident. I’m tired of cajoling straight people to speak up in the face of bigotry (really, it is your business). I’m tired of reminding us all, straight and LGBT that all social injustices are interconnected and that there’s still a big fight ahead for people who haven’t been able to indulge in a little delusion now and again that everything is OK. Maybe I do have something left to say.t OPINIONS/LETTERS Gay San Diego encourages letters to the editor and guest editorials. Please email both to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com. 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.
CLEAN WATER ACTION CALIFORNIA RECOGNIZES TONI ATKINS Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins was honored as a Clean Water Champion by Clean Water Action California. “Majority Leader Atkins has shown leadership on issues our members care about,” said Director Miriam Gordon in a press release. “We commend our Clean Water Champions for recognizing that protecting the environment moves California not only toward a more sustainable environment, but also toward greater economic sustainability.” Atkins was one of 13 legislators to receive an “A” on the organization’s scorecard, which tallied votes on 16 bills during the 201112 legislative session related to water, environmental justice and pollution prevention, among others. “I am very proud of having been recognized for my commitment to our environment with this award,” Atkins said in the release. “Protecting the water we drink and swim in, the air we breathe, and the health and diversity of our environment are critical to the outstanding way of life we enjoy here in California.” LESLEE EVANS RECEIVES L.I.O.N. AWARD FOR CRAFTSMAN Following a talk by Mayor Bob Filner, the Hillcrest Town Council (HTC) handed out a Let’s Improve Our Neighborhood (L.I.O.N.) award to Leslee Evans for her work restoring the Craftsman building at 3734 Sixth Ave. Evans, who owns the Creative Futons and Furniture store in North Park, opened this second location in Hillcrest after years of renovation. “Every detail, for two and a half years, has been thought through,” Evans said when ac-
cepting the award at the Jan. 8 HTC meeting. “There’s not one thing I didn’t touch in that house – not one – down to the custom-made stained glass … chandeliers. It’s amazing.” HTC Chair Luke Terpstra said he thought the building was going to be demolished before Evans took over, and encouraged people to stop by and look at the renovations. “It used to be a run down … encampment for people who didn’t have a home. That was a blighted problem. Leslee moved in there … and turned things around. We want to recognize her for this with a L.I.O.N award,” he said. At a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new store held Dec. 15, 2012, Evans said she was proud to be able to restore the home. The Hillcrest location will carry items for small homes and apartments, in addition to arts and crafts furniture, lamps and futons. “The history of that house is incredible,” Evans said at the HTC meeting. “It was a church in 1952 and sat empty for over 10 years. … One man owned it and three women. I’m the third woman.” GLBT HISTORIC TASK FORCE LEADS CAMPAIGN FOR LOCAL AIDS MEMORIAL After leading last year’s successful “Harvey Milk Street” campaign, the San Diego GLBT Historic Task Force will now focus on creating a San Diego AIDS memorial, in part to honor over 7,600 AIDS-related deaths in San Diego County. “It is long overdue that we commemorate and remember their lives, as so many other cities have done across this great nation,” City Commissioner and Task Force member Nicole Murray Ramirez said in a release. Ramirez founded the AIDS Assistance Fund, the first nonprofit HIV/AIDS client services agency in the County. The AIDS memorial will be the main focus of the Task Force in 2013, with a coalition created to represent a diverse group from the County. “We will be establishing an AIDS Memorial Coalition to work on this campaign,” Ramirez said. “We have informed Mayor Bob Filner and Council President Todd Gloria of our resolve and commitment to make a San Diego AIDS memorial become a reality.” Early discussion of the memorial, including a permanent location, include a memorial garden in Balboa Park or a memorial wall along the Embarcadero, however all details will be decided on by the new coalition. The Task Force seeks wide community input in the process, as well as private funding and contributions.t
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GAY SAN DIEGO Jan. 25–Feb. 7, 2013
Sex, ‘Twilight’ and my mom Family Health Centers works hard to
LIFE BEYOND THERAPY You never know where you’ll get good advice. I was having a conversation with my mom and she told me how much she wanted to see the latest “Twilight” movie. I was surprised. Mom lives in a ghost town in Arizona that’s really far from a movie theater. For her to see any movie involves a long drive. “Twilight” wasn’t a movie that I expected her to be excited about. I haven’t seen any of the “Twilight” movies, but according to Mom, “Twilight” shows us two extremes for sexuality: (1) Deny your sexual energy, be afraid of it and repress it, or (2) Do whatever you want sexually, let it rip. I would call the first what Freud named the “superego” and second what he calls the “id.” Teenagers want to let the id call all the shots, but their parents are the voice of the superego, telling them, “No, you can’t do that.” The “ego” is Freud’s idea of the adult, mature balancing act that finds the middle ground between the extremes. Our ego wants us to feel good about ourselves and our sexual energy, and to express it in ways that honor ourselves and the people we are sexual with. The id would have us hookup, use each other to get off, and be done with it. The superego wants us to never have sex, labeling it as bad, dirty and something to avoid. We need a healthy ego that allows us to enjoy sex and enjoy our bodies, while containing our sexual energies so we don’t just go acting out sexually all over the place. Anonymous sex addicts, I’m talking to you. There is a tendency I observe in our community to over-identify with the body, including how it looks and what it desires. But we
are much more than our body; we are intelligence (head), emotions (heart) and physical desires (body). I call these the Three Musketeers, and their motto is “One for all and all for one.” When the head, heart and body work together, sex can be amazing. You can connect with your partners intellectually (“I like and respect you”), emotionally (“I really like being with you”) and physically (“My body is excited by you”). What could be better than experiencing all three of these at once? Tantric sex has a similar focus: balancing sexual activity between expression and containment, quietude and excitement. Tantric sex urges us to connect to our partner spiritually as well as physically so that sex is a great adventure shared intimately by two or more people. Back to “Twilight.” Mom said, “In the ‘Twilight’ movies, blood is a symbol of life energy and power. The people in the movie have to learn to hold and contain this energy. They have to learn to work with it, make peace with it. They have to learn to be right on the edge of it and experiment with it.” This sounds like what the Body Electric Workshop calls a full-body orgasm: your body energy is raised to a high pitch but you don’t actually orgasm or ejaculate. It’s more about feeling totally alive than it is about getting off. Let’s be honest, it’s not difficult to get off. You can always find a willing partner somewhere. What I’m talking about here is becoming a connoisseur of your own sexuality; an expert at giving and receiving sensuality and pleasure. Doesn’t that sound a lot more pleasurable than just getting off? Take it from Mom and “Twilight.” Learn to hold and work with your sexual energy so you don’t just act out. Leave behind the teenaged sex life, with virtually no impulse control, and embrace a sexual life that awakens all aspects of yourself and offers a whole range of sensations, from gentleness to wild abandon. I guess, in this case, Mom knows best. —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 lifebeyondtherapy.com.t
balance healthcare access inequities
I A N M O RTO N
PROFILES IN ADVOCACY In Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech, he brings a litany of inequities levied toward the African-American population. Nearly 50 years later, as we witness the second term of an African-American President, it becomes easy for our country to pat itself on the back and say “We’ve come a long way.” Indicated by national trends in healthcare, however, the scales are far from balanced. When we look at health outcomes in the United States, there remains a vast disparity between communities of color and the non-Hispanic White demographic. Barrio Logan resident Laura Rodriguez recognized this divide and, in 1970, established the first clinic that would grow into the multifaceted and wide-spread Family Health Centers of San Diego (FHCSD). Called by many “The Mother of the Barrio,” the seeds of development that she planted have grown to serve not only Barrio Logan residents, but also underserved communities throughout San Diego County. As the second largest system of healthcare providers in the United States, FHCSD has 33 sites, covering much of central and southern San Diego County. With a wide array of primary and specialty care services, they are dedicated to insure that low income and non- or under-insured individuals are not prevented from receiving screenings and treatments that may save their lives. I sat down with Ben Avey, FHCSD’s government and media relations manager, to further discuss the community impact.
“It’s important to remember that our services are open to everybody,” he said. “No one is turned away, as we provide services to people regardless of their ability to pay.” In a time of healthcare coverage change and uncertainty, this is especially important for individuals who have a lack of education about healthcare enrollment. After assuring that patients receive the immediate care that they need, FHCSD provides assistance in assessing what healthcare coverage programs for which they might be eligible. In Avey’s words, “If you are sick and need healthcare, we are here for you.” One health issue that drastically impacts the African-American and Latino populations is HIV and AIDS. While communities of color comprise 30 percent of the overall U.S. population, in 2012, 71 percent of new HIV infections were diagnosed within this demographic. Additionally, a disproportionately high percentage of these diagnoses happen in a later stage of infection, when significant damage has been done to the immune system. In The Mix (ITM) is an HIVprevention program for young gay and bisexual men between 18 and 29 years old, which addresses this priority. In concert with Vista Community Clinic and The LGBT Community Center, this program mobilizes men to shape a healthier community and support safer sex through support groups, activities and HIV-testing initiatives. Additionally, Tuesday and Thursday night clinics offer STD testing for gay men and transgendered individuals at the Ciaccio Memorial Clinic in North Park. One column is not enough to outline all of the services that FHCSD offers, so I will close with a client story that Ben
shared with me: Maria was born in Logan Heights and received her healthcare through FHCSD since she was a child. Now living in North Park, she is a single mom with three children. During her routine exam, a lump was discovered in her breast and a biopsy revealed that it was cancer. The diagnosis came on a Friday and by the following Wednesday, Maria had been connected to the FHCSD Susan G. Komenfunded breast cancer patient navigator, Eva. Eva helped coordinate Maria’s care and connected her with their breast cancer support group, which helped her make it through the treatment that included a double mastectomy and chemotherapy. Today, Maria is cancer free and is a FHCSD breast cancer program volunteer. Her experience and bilingual language skills have allowed her to transform what could have been a devastating experience into a gift that supports others. When Rodriguez established the first part-time clinic in Barrio Logan, she couldn’t have known how that seed would have blossomed 43 years later. Honored by President George H. W. Bush in 1991 as the 595th “Point of Light” recipient, she is a San Diego legacy that speaks to the power of the words, “I have a dream.” For more information, visit fhcsd.org —Ian Morton has worked in the HIV field since 1994 when he began volunteering with AIDS Response Knoxville. He currently serves as outreach liaison for the AIDS Research Institute at UCSD. To nominate a person or organization to be featured in Profiles in Advocacy, please submit name, affiliation and contact information to imorton@ ucsd.edu.t
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GAY SAN DIEGO Jan. 25–Feb. 7, 2013
Hillcrest staple has offered ‘comfort, consistency and community’ since 1983 By Monica Garske | GSD Reporter While it can sometimes seem as though the restaurant and business landscape in Hillcrest is ever-changing, one thing remains constant: Crest Cafe. Located at 425 Robinson Ave., the retro, bright pink, family-owned cafe has been smack-dab in the middle of Hillcrest for 30 years. And as owner Cecelia Moreno would tell you, for the past three decades the business has been built on simple, tried-and-true concepts: comfort, consistency and community. “Like any longtime business, we’ve had our ebbs and flows. But, our main goal is to be a consistent, comforting place where the customers really know the staff and the staff really knows them,” Moreno said. “We want our customers to feel a certainty when they come here, as if they’re right at home.” For Moreno and her family, Crest Cafe truly is home. She remembers the ver y day, back in 1985, when her father, Luis, took her to the quaint, quirky cafe for lunch, topped with a little business proposal. “My dad drove me to Hillcrest that day and we had lunch at this cute little pink place. After lunch, my dad told me it was for sale and he was thinking about buying it,” Moreno said. “It was the perfect
size for us and just felt right. Plus, I really loved the pink.” That lunch date changed the course of her family’s lives forever. In 1985, fresh out of college, Moreno went into business with her father. They purchased the restaurant in the heart of Hillcrest from Patrick and Donna McLoughlin, a married couple who had owned the building since 1982. Moreno had worked in San Diego-based restaurants for years, including Houlihan’s, where she met her husband more than 20 years ago. Her father, a food-lover in his own right, had been in business with Foodmaker Inc. for years, running six local Oscar’s Drive-In locations in the 1960s and 1970s. In 1979, he left the carhop diner business behind to branch out on his own. “I’ve learned ever ything I know about restaurants from him,” Moreno said. “My dad is a young 80 years old now, and he works one day a week at the cafe. He still helps with ever ything.” Moreno said her father can be seen chatting with customers, overseeing the kitchen or bussing tables. Her cousin, Ruben Medina, oversees the kitchen as manager. They are just two of the familiar faces patrons will often see at
Crest Cafe. Moreno herself is constantly at the restaurant, another reason why she said she believes her business has had longevity. “My family is ver y hands-on, so we’re here ever y day. That’s part of owning a restaurant. Being present, involved and invested in the people and community around us is ver y important,” she said. To that end, Moreno said she requires her small, close-knit staff to act as knowledgeable “ambassadors of Hillcrest,” and keep up with anything and ever ything happening in the community. She herself is a member of the Hillcrest Business Association, helping to keep a finger on the pulse of the Uptown neighborhood. “If a customer comes in and wants to know where to park, or where to shop or where the farmer’s market is, we should be able to share those details,” she said. “We’re proud of our neighborhood and ever ything that makes it so great.” Moreno attributes much of the cafe’s success to her staff. She said employees tend to stick around for a long time, which is comforting for regular patrons as well. She said one of the best things about being in business for 30 years is that she can remember the face and name of ever yone that has ever worked at Crest
(l to r) Owner Cecelia Moreno and Ruben Medina (Photo by Bryan Oster) Cafe. She has also been able to essentially grow up with some of her frequent customers, seeing them through different stages of life. “I’ve literally seen people go from highchair to marriage. That really puts things in perspective,” Moreno said. “I feel lucky and humbled that we’ve been around for this long.” With 30 memorable years under her belt, the journey continues for Moreno and Crest Cafe. This year, she said she plans on introducing new menu items and specials, which are always on rotation at the restaurant. This includes new prix-fixe menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Moreno said the eater y is also offering “all menus, all the time,” which means – depending on patrons’ preferences – hamburgers in the morning and a pancake breakfast at night. “Something about eating pancakes for dinner makes you feel good. It reminds you of living at home with mom,” she said with a laugh. In April, Moreno said she hopes to host a celebration at the
cafe that includes special prices on menu mainstays. With inspiration from her father, she is also working to create a small-bites menu catered to folks who prefer light snacks and smaller portions. No matter what, Moreno said variety will remain a staple at the eater y, with an extensive menu boasting both comfort food and new, unique dishes. “I’m easily bored, so I’m always looking for ways to expand the menu and tr y new things,” she said. “We like spice and interesting flavor combinations. That works for us.” But regulars who order their “usual” at the cafe need not worry. Moreno said fan favorites that have been on the menu for decades, including the Honey Glazed Porkchops, Chicken Tortilla Soup and The Hangover Omelette, will continue coming from the kitchen. After all, consistency is key, and you can bet Moreno, her father and the longtime staff will be on the other end of those dishes, cooking, garnishing and ser ving their customers with those constant, familiar smiles.t
GAY SAN DIEGO Jan. 25–Feb. 7, 2013
Submarine fever 1620 C-Camino De La Reina (Mission Valley) | 619-542-1987 | Prices: Salads, $6.99 to $8.49; sandwiches, $4.99 to $14.99
Chicken cheese steak with hot peppers (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.)
The chain has been in business for over 35 years. (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.)
hese are exciting times for submarine sandwich buffs. Just when Subway was seemingly quashing prospective competitors with more than 37,000 locations around the globe, along came a couple of East Coast contenders that construct the elongated sandwiches with mom-and-pop flair. The Delaware-founded Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop is the latest to descend on San Diego with its daily roasted turkeys used for making “The Bobbie.” With homemade stuffing and cranberry sauce packing down the freshly pulled poultry, you end up with a veritable Thanksgiving dinner bursting out of a bakery-fresh submarine roll. A big shout-out goes also to Jersey Mike’s Subs, a fastexpanding chain that nails down its sandwiches with meats and cheeses that are sliced to order, not to mention dressing the sandwiches with the appropriate mixture of oil, vinegar and herbs. At last count, there were 16 locations throughout San Diego County. Capriotti’s in comparison has only three shops countywide (Mission Valley, Rolando and San Marcos), but with more coming down the pike over the next year as it nears the 100 mark nationally. “We have the whole area to build,”
Grilled cold cuts comprise the Italian sub. (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.)
FRANK SABATINI JR.
said Director of Operations Peter Didomizio when Capriotti’s made its splash in Mission Valley’s Park Valley Center in 2011. Prior to that, in 2005, the company wasn’t quite ready for prime time when it appeared briefly in Hillcrest without branding or serious promotion. I was among the mourners when they went poof. Still, upon return, the shops roast several whole gobblers a week in addition to stocking decent-quality cold cuts that include the rare deli offerings of soy turkey and chicken. As for the monstrous 20-inch subs of any type, you’ll need a pair of stretchy pants after finishing one. They’re the size of baseball bats. My latest addiction is the chicken cheese steak, for which I always request hot and sweet peppers. Their light, tangy brine adds juiciness to the meat while imparting classic backEast flair to the sandwich. The beef cheese steak is commendable too; a perfect piling of thinly sliced top round that was supple and gristle-free when I last ordered it. A version of The Bobby, named Cole Turkey, comes with a piling of coleslaw that’s a little too wet for my liking. When shoving lean turkey, dressing and bread into my mouth, a
The top-selling Bobby features freshly roasted turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce. (Courtesy Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop)
little mayo and cranberry sauce are sufficient moisturizers. Keep in mind also that a “small” nine-inch Bobby weighs in at nearly a pound. For the meatball subs, the ultra-soft all-beef orbs are homemade. They derive most of their flavor from blankets of melted Provolone and grated Romano cheese. But compared to scores of other meatball subs I’ve consumed in Northeast cities, I was hard-pressed in detecting any oregano or rosemary in the meat or the red sauce. Conversely, the “grilled Italian” is loaded with herbs and spices belonging to a thick fold of Genoa salami, peppered ham and spicy capicolla. The meats (not the roll) are flash grilled to a glistening sweat and then topped with crisp lettuce, chopped tomatoes and a wisp of onions. The warm and cool temperatures within the sandwich create an addicting mouth feel that rivals the cold versions. With nearly 20 varieties of sandwiches in total, including some using Kaiser Rolls or white bread, Capriotti’s adheres to its Delaware roots dating to 1976, when it opened humbly in Wilmington’s Little Italy section. Despite franchising and moving its headquarters to Las Vegas, some of the original family members are still involved with the company, which might explain why these subs taste pretty close the kind you’d make on your own kitchen counter.t
10 GAY SAN DIEGO Jan. 25–Feb. 7, 2013
Saucy Monky returns to San Diego Feb. 2 for a free concert By Morgan M. Hurley | GSD Assistant Editor
This female-fronted band based in Los Angeles has been around the world, and each other, for over a decade. Now they’re on a mission to put themselves on the radar of the LGBT community, and after their last successful House of Blues gig in San Diego last November, they decided to swing back into town. The two founders and front women – Cynthia Catania, a New Jersey native (vocals, guitars and keyboards), and Anne Marie Cullen, who hails from Dublin (vocals, guitars) – have been making music together for 11 years. Their relationship has moved through some challenges over that time, including a breakup of their relationship, but in the end, it was their shared passion for music that held them together. “For me personally, to lose the relationship and to lose the band might have been more trauma than I could handle, so I think I just dug in,” Catania said. Commitments to the band and legal contracts at home and abroad kept them from running in opposite directions when it would have been easier to do so. “I’d like to think that we’re supposed to make music together and that’s why it worked out,” she said. “When you work with somebody and you have a really deep connection, and if you’re open too, it can translate into other areas
Friday, Jan. 25
HILLQUEST NO-BRAINER: Right off the Hillquest.com website is this week’s no brainer event, the Marston House Museum Tours. We couldn’t agree more. Check out the arts and crafts movement in San Diego with this classic example. The tours are Friday through Sunday starting at 10 a.m., so you have plenty of chances. Located at 3525 Seventh Ave. in Balboa Park, tickets to the museum tour are $8 for adults, with discounts for seniors, children and Save Our Heritage Organisation members. For more information visit hillquest.com or call 619-297-9327
Saturday, Jan. 26
(l to r) Cynthia Catania, Megan Jane, Anne Marie Cullen and Steve Giles (Photo by Carrie Gifford)
of your life, but I think with Anne Marie and myself, our connection has always been the music. That’s been our lifeline,” Catania said. Drummer Megan Jane is a native San Diegan, and has been with Saucy Monky for over four years, commuting back and forth to Los Angeles for rehearsals. Steve Giles rounds out the band on bass guitar. Giles first joined Catania and Cullen eight years ago and, according to Catania, is the grounding force not only for the music, but the women themselves. “He is wonderful. He kind of calms every body down and I couldn’t imagine the band without him,” Catania said. Their publicity materials boast a broad resume that includes gigs all over the world and everything from iCarly to P!nk and the Black Eyed Peas, but don’t be fooled. Their
tight, sassy, alternative rock sound is instantly approachable but it pulls you in by your bootstraps. Their new EP, entitled “Trophy Girl,” consists of three singles – “Awkward,” “Slow Lane” and “Ghosts” – and is being released over time, to keep interest up. “We’re trying to open ourselves up to the gay and lesbian marketplace,” Catania said. “It’s our niche and our target; it’s our people!” The “gay-centric” first song off the EP, “Awkward,” is now a hot, sexy YouTube sensation with a definite musical hook that tells the story of running into your ex at a party with her new girl on her arm. Saucy Monky plays House of Blues on Feb. 2 at 7 p.m. and the event is free. House of Blues is located at 1055 Fifth Ave., Downtown. For more information visit houseofblues.com or saucymonky.com.t
AFTER DARK: San Diego’s latest burlesque show, After Dark, is brought to you by The Pixie Stixx Dancers. The show is called neo-burlesque, as they bring together contemporary dance with the “wit and sex appeal” of “old-world burlesque.” Members have been performing all over San Diego, and tonight’s dinner show is catered by the Range Kitchen & Cocktails. From 7:30 – 9 p.m. at 1202, tickets will get you into the club after. 1202 is located at 1202 University Ave. For more information and tickets visit facebook.com/psxdance. WHITNEY SHAY: Martinis Above Fourth has started a wonderful Saturday tradition, bringing saucy singer Whitney Shay to the restaurant starting each week at 7 p.m. There’s plenty to see and hear from this songstress, come out and grab a drink. No need for tickets, kids. Martinis is located at 3940 Fourth Ave. For more information visit martinisabovefourth. com or call 619-400-4500.
Sunday, Jan. 27
BUNCO PARTY: The San Diego Woman’s Club is holding a Bunco Party fundraiser to aid surviving spouses through the Gold Star Wives of America, Inc. Lunch will be included, and the cost of the event is $20. The Clubhouse is located at 2557 Third Ave. and reservations can be made by contacting Bobbie at 619-296-5569. BIG MIKE’S BIRTHDAY BASH: Benefitting the Harvey Milk Foundation, everyone’s good friend, Big Mike, is celebrating his birthday with an all-out bash. Special guest Chad Michaels, the winner of “RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars,” the “Queen of Queens” and the first Hall of Fame inductee. Surprises, more guests and DJ Rob Klaproth will be there, as will, of course, Big Mike. Come wish him a happy birthday from 1 – 4 p.m. at Wang’s North Park, 3029 University Ave.
see Calendar, pg 11
GAY SAN DIEGO Jan. 25–Feb. 7, 2013
FROM PAGE 10
CALENDAR Monday, Jan. 28
ANTI-MONDAY: It’s the fourth and last residency of the Anti-Monday League at the Casbah, featuring Tiny Telephones, Family Wagon, Great White Buffalo and Calico Kids. I hate Mondays, for the most part, but these guys help. The 21 and older event is only $5, with doors opening at 8:30 p.m. The Casbah is located at 2501 Kettner Blvd. For more information visit casbahmusic.com
Tuesday, Jan. 29
TURNBACK TUESDAYS: The Lips girls want to take you back to the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s at Turnback Tuesdays, hosted by Disco Dollie. The retro drag shows come at you between games and contests, as well as a three-course meal for $15.95. No cover tonight for the show, and Lips is located at 3036 El Cajon Blvd. For more information visit lipsusa.com or call 619-295-7900.
Wednesday, Jan. 30
HBA OPEN HOUSE: It’s all about parking in Hillcrest at the latest Hillcrest Business Association member open house, held tonight at D Bar. You don’t have to be a member to find out what’s happening in the realm of parking, including a new shuttle, bike corrals and validation programs. Interested yet? The open house is from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. and D Bar is located at 3930 Fifth Ave. For more information visit hillcrestbia.org MISCHIEF WITH BIANCA: It’s the finals to crown San Diego’s hottest go-go boy, with over $1,000 in cash and prizes awarded. Hosted by Bianca, the night starts at 10 p.m. and there is no cover thanks in part to our friends at SDPIX. The go-gos are dancing at Rich’s San Diego, 1051 University Ave. For more information visit sdpix.com.
Thursday, Jan. 31
STOP AND LIS(T)EN: Every Thursday at The Range and 1202, Lis(t)en showcases the best upcoming local live entertainment. This is by far starting to be one of the best ladies events in San Diego. The evening starts at 7 p.m. The Range Kitchen & Cocktails is located at 1220 University Ave. For more information
visit Facebook.com/listenat1202 or call 619-269-1222.
Friday, Feb. 1
WAR OF THE ROSES: Melt presents a night of Kings and Queens with War of the Roses at the Brass Rail. All proceeds benefit the Human Rights Campaign, and in addition to the King and Queen drag contest and ceremony, there will be live performances. DJ Shawna from Milwaukee and local boy DJ Marcel will spin, with drink specials to boot. The fun starts at 8 p.m., and the Brass Rail is located at 3796 Fifth Ave. For more information visit facebook.com/brassrailsd. CAMARADA: Join composer Juan Ramirez-Hernandez and the classic chamber group, Camarada, as they present “Latin Postcards.” Ramirez-Hernandez will be available before and after the show to discuss his work, and the show will also include work by Gabriel Peirne and Villa-Lobos. We’ve been hearing good news for our Camarada friends, so you won’t want to miss this 75-minute musical performance. The concert takes place as St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 2728 Sixth Ave. at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 general admission, with discounts for seniors, students and military. For more information visit sandiegochambermusic.com.
Saturday, Feb. 2
GLBT MEET-UP: Held each year at the San Diego Black Film Festival, this afternoon’s threefilm screening includes the shorts “The Untimely Concurrence” and
“You Are What I Want” followed by the documentary “Thirteen Percent.” The documentary is a “provocative perspective on how and why African-Americans account for a disproportionate percentage of new HIV/AIDS cases.” Tickets are $10, and well worth checking out. In fact, don’t miss any of the film festival, screening at the Reading Cinemas theater in Downtown from Jan. 31 – Feb. 3. Reading Cinemas Gaslamp 15 is located at 701 Fifth Ave. For more information visit sdbff.com.
Sunday, Feb. 3
NT LIVE!: Returning for their fourth season, John Lithgow takes on the title role in the first showing of NT LIVE! Broadcast from the U.K. into the Reading Cinemas theater in Downtown, “The Magistrate” showcases Lithgow in the title role of this Victorian farce directed by Timothy Sheader. In the same vein as National Theatre classics “She Stoops to Conquer,” “The Magistrate” will screen twice only: today at 2 p.m. and Tuesday, Feb. 5 at 7 p.m. Reading Cinemas Gaslamp 15 is located at 701 Fifth Ave. Tickets are $20. For more information visit readingcinemasus.com.
Monday, Feb. 4
GIVING US FIVE: Manic Monday at the Brass Rail celebrates its five year anniversary tonight, as one of the best 1980s nights in San Diego. There will be $2 drink specials all night long and Junior the Disco Punk and DJ XP will spin. I remember the 1980s.
They were good. This is better. The Brass Rail is located at 3796 Fifth Ave. For more information visit facebook.com/brassrailsd.
Tuesday, Feb. 5
OSCAR SHORTS: Get yourself ready for the 85th Annual Academy Awards show on Feb. 24 by brushing up on this year’s Oscar Nominated Short Films – both animation and live action – screening at the Ken Cinema for two weeks only. Offered by Landmark Theatres only, the two programs will each be hosted by last year’s winners, respectively. In the Live Action category, see all five nominees including “Asad,” “Buzkashi,” “Curfew,” “Death of a Shadow” and “Henry.” In the Animation category, see “Head Over Heels,” “Paperman,” “Fresh Guacamole,” “Adam and Dog” and “Maggie Simpson in ‘The Longest Daycare.’” Check their website for show times. The Ken is located at 4061 Adams Ave. For more information visit landmarktheatres.com.
Wednesday, Feb. 6
CYBER CENTER AT THE CENTER: David Bohnett’s Cyber Center is open for 12 hours today
for people over 50. It’s a slow pace, no crowds or wait during this time, just drop into the Cyber Center at The LGBT Center, located at 3909 Centre St. For more information visit thecentersd.com or call 619-692-2077.
Thursday, Feb. 7
GSDBA MARDI GRAS MIXER: Head out to Bourbon Street Bar & Grill for tonight’s GSDBA Mardi Gras mixer. Held from 6 – 8 p.m., the event will feature appetizers by Lei, prizes and lots of Mardi Gras “merriment.” We’re talking beads! Tickets are $10 for members, $25 for guests. Bourbon Street is located at 4612 Park Blvd. For more information and to advance purchase your tickets visit gsdba.org. ALONG CAME A SPIDER: Nathan Hubbard returns to the Back Room at 98 Bottles in Little Italy for this 21 and older event, performing with Rob Thorsen, David Borgo and Ian Tordella. The concert starts at 8 p.m. with food service starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are $8, with a $10 minimum on food or drinks. 98 Bottles is located at 2400 Kettner Blvd. For more information visit 98bottlessd.com.t
GAY SAN DIEGO Jan. 25–Feb. 7, 2013
(l to r) Bjorn Johnson and Meghan Andrews (Courtesy Aaron Rumley)
Blueprint for making resolutions Bjorn Johnson and Meghan Andrews provide a breath of fresh air Willy Russell’s “Educating Rita” is an excellent choice to start things off for this New Year, as this sociological comedy is a clear blueprint for a steadfast New Year’s resolution. It underscores the desire for tenacious self-improvement and hard work to lift oneself up from a tedious, mediocre existence. This 1980, two-hour North Coast Rep vehicle still has some legs, though the first act’s repetitive set in a university professor’s office gets a bit tiring. It’s a modern version of George Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalion,” with the playing field limited to two actors. Frank, played by Bjorn Johnson, and Rita, played by Meghan Andrews, define their characters nicely. Frank is an alcoholic poet and professor who takes on a private tutoring session for some extra cash as part of an open university
course. Rita is a hairdresser set on improving her intellectual skills. In short, Rita is Shaw’s lovely Eliza Doolittle while Frank is her Henry Higgins. Director Rosina Reynolds allows both actors to change incrementally, in a balanced, believable production. Unlike the greater distance between Eliza and Higgins, the intellectual and emotional distance between Frank and Rita seems surmountable. Johnson’s Frank is played with an air of amusing academia, but lacking the usual disdain. Andrews plays Rita as a free spirit and a woman showing lots of unbridled spunk. Both peal off conversation naturally with just enough jokes and bon mots to keep the audience’s attention. In the end, the student’s success eventually overshadows her cynical university professor. We become a witness to his loss of control over
‘Educating Rita’ Through Feb. 3 North Coast Rep Thurs. – Sat. 8 p.m. Sat. & Sun. 2 p.m. Sun. & Wed. 7 p.m. 858-481-1055 northcoastrep.org Rita, and his further loss of control of himself. But it’s a win for the common people and we cheer her success. Marty Burnett’s set design was perfectly shabby: overstuffed bookshelves with hidden liquor bottles behind a myriad of favorite book titles. The windows haven’t been opened for six years, underscoring a line in the play that equates Rita as the first breath of air that’s been in Frank’s office for years. Jeanne Galioto got a workout designing outfits for Rita’s evolving self over the course of the play, while additions to Frank’s wardrobe were appropriately minimal. Russell’s play still carries that underlying push to succeed. It’s a perfect play to accompany our hastily mandated resolutions for the New Year. One can only hope that those would include visiting the theater more often, most especially North Coast Rep.t
Racially charged ‘Clybourne Park’ Meticulous direction adds perfect timing to superb acting
(l to r) Sandy Campbell, Monique Gaffney, Jason Heil and Matt Orduna (Photo by Daren Scott)
Political and racial ideology battle it out on the San Diego REP stage in Bruce Norris’ Pulitzer Prize-winning story “Clybourne Park.” Norris explores the topics in 1959 and again in 2009, letting audiences know nothing much has changed when it comes to racial bias and rage. All of the action takes place in a Chicago home, and the story and the characters’ reactions are built around one soldier’s decision to commit suicide. In the first act, the residents of Clybourne Park attempt to convince Bev and Russ, played by Sandy Campbell and Mark Pinter respectively, to not sell their home to an African-American family. In the second act there’s a re-
Through Feb. 10 Lyceum Stage (Downtown) Thurs. – Sat. 8 p.m. Sun. 2 p.m. 619-544-1000 sdrep.org versal – set fifty years later – when an activist named Lena (played by Monique Gaffney) argues to preserve Clybourne’s historical character, again with potential buyers. She just happens to be a descendent of the first AfricanAmerican family that integrated into the same community. Steve and Lindsey (played by Jason Heil and Amanda Leigh Cobb) are the couple who want to purchase in 2009, in a move towards Clybourne Park’s gentrification. The cast plays different characters in both acts. Jason Maddy manages to play a man of God in the first act and a gay lawyer in the second, in addition to a third character: a Korean War veteran who makes a brief visit in both acts. Though the play has many moments of hilarity, it’s nonetheless a verbal and physical battlefield. Skirmishes between the characters permeate the air without pause, underscoring, challenging and topping political and racial views on community. Sam Woodhouse’s meticulous direction underscored both laughter and pathos in equal measure. The company of actors must all be applauded for their superb acting, most especially their perfect timing. Cobb gets a special nod for her first-act performance as a deaf spouse. Robin Sanford Robert’s set pieces provide a middle-class mindset in the first act, and then show that same home in a state of almost complete dilapidation in the second. Jennifer Brown Gittings dresses up the cast well to match both eras. In the end, although there may be arguments to the contrary, little has changed in our community when it comes to racial bias, with many carrying their prejudices on their cynical sleeves, proud and willing to shout it out.t
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“The play came to me literally in a dream,” Acito said, who was walking his dog in Central Park when reached by phone. “I’d read about both situations when I came down with a really bad flu, the kind where you can’t get your head off the pillow; the kind where you say, ‘Oh, I’m sure I can get up now,’ and when you sit up you lie right back down again.” The two stories began orbiting around one another in what Acito said was a fever dream. “As soon as I could sit up, I grabbed my computer and started writing. Because I’d thought about it so long, I wrote the first draft in 11 days. I’ve never written anything so fast.” Of course there were rewrites before the piece premiered at The Hub Theatre in Fairfax, Va. in 2011. Director James Vásquez will mount the second production and West Coast premiere of “Birds of a Feather” at Diversionary Theatre. At the time of this interview, Vásquez was recovering from his own flu. His particular fever dream involved Acito’s play, its two mating pairs, and four actors – Mike Sears, Steve Gunderson, Kevin Koppman-Gue and Rachael VanWormer – who play 27 characters in scenes set in six locations, including a zoo and a window ledge, of course. “I’m spoiled rotten with this cast,” Vásquez said. “The show sounds so simple at the heart of it, and it is, really. It’s about love and it’s about family and what defines a family. It’s about self worth and the struggles we have to accept who we are. It’s
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fascinating to watch these characters living these human emotions.” Gunderson plays the more flamboyant penguin; in Vásquez’s words: “out loud and proud and comfortable with himself.” Sears plays his same-sex partner, who struggles a bit with his sexuality. “Then, before our eyes in the middle of a scene, they become the hawks. Steve plays Pale Male, and Mike [plays] Pale Male’s girlfriend, Lola. We get to see each actor take on a really masculine role and then an equally strong, yet feminine character,” Vásquez said. When “Room With a View” played at the Old Globe, Acito met with Vásquez, who had been recommended as a potential director for “Birds of a Feather.” Vásquez said he had read and loved the play, as well as Acito’s writing, which he finds poetic and lyrical. That is no surprise. Acito is a former opera singer. “And not a very good one,” he said. “I came to opera from the theater and played character roles: the mad scientist, the hunchback, the dwarf and the drunk. Opera spans 400 years of Western culture, not to mention a real understanding of comedy and comedic roles, which I was playing. Ultimately, I became more interested in creating my own work than in interpreting someone else’s.” In throes of what he describes as a midlife crisis, Acito moved to New York to become a playwright. “Allegiance” will move to Broadway sometime this season, and “Room With a View” is scheduled for another production, somewhere Acito said he cannot reveal. “And then we’ll see,” he said. The openly gay Acito has been in a longterm relationship since he was 20, which
heavily influenced “Birds of a Feather.” “It’s now 26 years,” he said. “I don’t know a lot, but I know about marriage mar from first-hand experience. Our marriage is all over this play, kaleidoscopically. There are pieces of us in snippets of conversation throughout. Relationships require an immense amount of work [and] to find them and to sustain them is difficult. A line in the play sticks out to me: ‘Love is indeed a rare bird.’ It is, indeed, an illusive, delicate thing that has to be cared for.” “Birds of a Feather” plays at 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays, from Jan. 31 to March 3. The official opening night is Feb. 9, and the company has several theme nights scheduled for the run, including a Woman’s Night hosted by Pink Egg Media on Feb. 7 and a Friends + Family event hosted by PFLAG on Feb. 15. Diversionary Theatre is located at 4545 Park Blvd. in Normal Heights. Tickets range from $25 to $45, with discounts for groups, seniors and military. Student rush tickets are $12 and available one hour prior to curtain, with proper identification. For complete show times and tickets, visit diversionary.org or call 619-220-0097.t
GAY SAN DIEGO Jan. 25–Feb. 7, 2013
(Courtesy Diversionary Theatre)
GAY SAN DIEGO Jan. 25–Feb. 7, 2013
Let’s get Franco Breakout star Dave Franco talks new coming-of-age film, his sex appeal and getting gay with brother James By Chris Azzopardi | Q Syndicate James Franco isn’t the only one fearlessly exploring homosexuality in his career. His own brother, Dave, is too. With himself, even. The 27-year-old has attracted a big gay fan base ever since he starred in the 2007 indie “After Sex,” the one where Mila Kunis was a lesbian, and put Channing Tatum in his place after a homophobic mix-up in last year’s _”21 Jump Street.” But it’s Dave’s viral Funny or Die videos, where he’s had sex with himself and also told actor Chris “McLovin” Mintz-Plasse “I wanna strip you down” among other homoerotic things that have really made the gays smitten. Now the heartthrob is fighting zombies in the film adaptation of the best-selling book “Warm Bodies,” also starring Nicholas Hoult of “A Single Man.” In his first gay press inter view, we picked Dave’s brain on the outsider theme of his new flick, whether he plans to work on a gay project with James and how his sexually explicit videos are in no way baiting the boys who love them. Chris Azzopardi: Under what conditions could you fall in love with a zombie? Dave Franco: I don’t think the physical appearance is getting in the way for me [laughs]. As long as they were a good person in the past life, and there’s just some kind of sweetness behind those eyes, I’m in. I don’t need much else.
a bit. So I was first aware that there was maybe some awareness of me from the gay community when all my friends were telling me there’s all this stuff online and if you Google my name, the first thing that comes up is “Dave Franco Gay” [laughs]. CA: So right around the time you fucked yourself?
(Photo by Summit Entertainment / Jan Thijs)
CA: Whether you’re having sex with yourself in “Go Fuck Yourself” or talking dirty to Chris in “You’re So Hot,” are these videos your way of showing your acknowledgement and support for the gay community? DF: Yeah, sure – definitely! I have gay friends and of course I’m comfortable enough with my sexuality that I’m open to doing videos like that. I know a huge audience is going to think that I am gay. I’m just tr ying to blur the lines, I guess. I’m not consciously tr ying to do that, but it’s not something I think about. Like with my friends who are gay, it’s not like that’s the first thing I associate with them. They’re just another friend, and they just happen to like guys. CA: Why are all the videos so gay?
CA: Do you think there’s some subtext in the movie’s theme about love being boundless and knowing no sex or race – even life or death – that you think your gay fans might appreciate or relate to? DF: Definitely. If you take the zombie element out of the movie, it is still this comingof-age movie about this outsider who is tr ying to find himself and eventually does through love. It does speak to the fact that it doesn’t matter what your race or your sexual orientation is. Sometimes you can’t explain a connection that works.
DF: There are a lot of very overtly gay things in these videos, but for some rea reason while I was making them, or while I was even initially thinking of the ideas, I swear to god I didn’t think, ‘OK, we’re gonna make another gay video that’s gonna shock people.’ The way “You’re So Hot” came about: I worked with Chris on a movie called “Fright Night” and in between takes we would play this game. It was a game that he and his buddies played growing up and it just made me laugh my ass off, so when the movie was done and we were back in L.A. I thought to myself, ‘This would make a really funny short.’
CA: When were you first aware you had a gay following? DF: My friend I grew up with started calling me out and saying, ‘Dude, I can’t even imagine what people who don’t know you think of you.’ It’s not like I’m doing these videos because I’m tr ying to shock or confuse people. I’m generally drawn toward material that’s just different and unique and is gonna maybe surprise people
Dave Franco on set
DF: [Laughs] That didn’t help things.
CA: Being comfortable with your sexuality seems to be something that runs in the Franco family. Obviously your brother also has no qualms with his sexuality. But whereas you explore it with humor, James has more of a political and sexual agenda. Do you see any overlap in the way you two explore homosexuality? DF: That’s a good question. The main overlap is just how hard we dive into it. There’s nothing subtle, I guess, about how we embrace gay culture, and there basically are no boundaries. We both push the envelope. I don’t know why a lot of what we create deals with that subject matter. I get asked that all the time, and I’m not consciously thinking to myself, ‘I’m gonna make these sexually explicit gay videos.’ It just comes through us for some reason. CA: How do you react to the gay community’s excitement over you and your videos? DF: I gotta embrace it, right? I love it. At this point, I’m so happy that anyone is even aware of me or is a fan of me. It’s still something that I don’t think I’ll ever get used to. From just what I’ve heard and what I’ve ob obser ved, the gay community, when they revolve toward someone or something or a movie, they come full force and they tell ever yone about it. Tell me if I’m wrong. CA: No, word spreads fast in the gay community if a Franco brother is naked. DF: Exactly. So I totally embrace it. CA: With your upcoming role in “Now You See Me” alongside some heavy hitters, your career is really tak taking off. Are you ready for a lead role? Any idea what you might want that to be? DF: I’m definitely ready for a lead role. My criteria for picking a project these days is just wanting to work with filmmakers I admire. I do want to make my own films one day. I’ve been writing and producing and editing all these Funny or Die videos, and it’s kind of been practice on a much smaller scale. I want to work with guys like Jonathan Levine, who directed “Warm Bodies” and who I’ve admired for years. I just wanna be on set with these guys and see the process and see how they work with ac actors regardless of how big or small my role. So, honestly, I would be an extra in all of Paul Thomas Anderson’s mov movies. I just wanna be around these guys.
see Franco, pg 18
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This salon has been located at 1262 University Avenue in the Hillcrest Colonnade for 10 years, but this past June we ended our franchise agreement and branched out on our own. Needing a new name, we engaged our customers and the local community in a contest to find one and the winner was “Haircrest.” We are in the same location, with the same stylists, the same reasonable prices, and the same great reputation as before – the only thing that has changed is our phone number. In these difficult times we are asking our community to visit either our website Haircrest.com or our Facebook page to find the four different coupons available and come pay us a visit. We want to serve you for another 10 years! Open seven days a week and walk-ins are welcome, too! Haircrest 1262 University Ave. (at Richmond) in Hillcrest. 619297-HAIR (4247)
Transconjunctival Blepharoplasty Transconjunctival blepharoplasty is a surgery performed to correct “eye bags” on younger patients. A small incision on the lower eyelid from the inside of the lid is done; it is a gentle, precise, safe and tissue-sparing procedure that offers eyelid rejuvenation. Patients contemplating eyelid surgery for eye bags and lower eyelid laxity should consider the benefits associated, as the transconjunctival approach offers several aesthetic and long-term functional advantages compared to traditional techniques. Transconjuctival blepharoplasty can also be referred to as “tissue-sparing lower blepharoplasty,” “muscle-conserving blepharoplasty,” or “no-touch blepharoplasty.” Basically, these all refer to the concept of leaving the structural middle-layer of the eyelid, transconjunctival blepharoplasty instantly approaches the deep plane and allows very precise adjustments to the orbital fat. For patients with good skin elasticity, a transconjunctival blepharoplasty is the only procedure needed for the successful removal of eye bags. It is an ideal surgery for younger patients. The recovery time for this surgery is seven days and can be performed as an ambulatory surgery. Patients with a combination of herniated fat (eye bags) and minimal loose skin will also benefit from transconjunctival blepharoplasty, as with the traditional blepharoplasty it is necessary to do a small additional incision starting below the lashes, which allows for both skin tightening and muscle restoration. Dr. Alfredo Harris at New Me TJ can offer you a complimentary consultation to see if you are a good candidate for a transconjunctival blepharoplasty. Visit us today at NewMeTj.com for a virtual consultation or call us today at 619-2400740 follow us on Facebook as New Me TJ.
I DREAMED A DREAM, from pg.14
ROMEO SAN VICENTE Sean Hayes is playing that ‘Hollywood Game’ It’s not the same kind of exposure as a weekly sitcom brings, but Sean Hayes is still out there in front of the camera, whether it’s with his upcoming recurring role on the “Smash” second season or unrecognizably nebbishy as Larry in last year’s unexpectedly funny “The Three Stooges.” But the real money and power come when you pull the strings, as Hayes has learned in his time as producer of “Grimm” and “Hot in Cleveland.” So it’s no shock to learn that the comic actor has a goofy game show up his sleeve, too. “Hollywood Game Night.” based on his own idea, will place two contestants in a Hollywood cocktail party setting to mingle with celebrities (better name: “Drinking With The Stars”) and compete for cash prizes. NBC has already ordered eight episodes for an unspecified future date. Now to get some big names who’ll drink the contestants under the table and/or be cruel enough players sabotage their chances. Somebody get Lindsay Lohan and Tommy Lee Jones on the phone. Logo turns back time for Cher Did you know Cher could write? Neither did we. But the Oscarwinner is working with co-writer Ron Zimmerman on a drama pilot for gay cable channel Logo and she just might star in it, too. The script has no title just yet, but word is that Logo is looking for the period drama, to be set in 1960s Hollywood, to give them another hit show so that reruns of “Bewitched” aren’t all they have up their sleeve over there besides “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” And Hollywood in the 1960s is a world Cher remembers well, so the whole thing could take on an air of autobiography if she wants to spill the dirt. Word is that the show is not specifically gay, in spite of Logo’s participation. And Cher’s participation. And… oh who’s kidding whom? It’s going to be really gay, especially if she’s writing a part for herself as a 22-year-old pop star ingénue. ‘The L Word’ is still a thing This might be news to you, but Showtime is still cashing in on “The L Word.” It all seems very long ago and far away since the days when the fashionable world of Los Angeles lesbians soaped it up on premium cable. And we don’t really know anybody who watches “The Real L Word” and its contrived, scripted “reality,” yet apparently it’s
DEEP INSIDE HOLLYWOOD still on TV and has a viewership of some sort. But David Nevins, who makes these sorts of things happen at the cable channel, is eyeing new, different sort of life for the brand as a stand-alone documentary. The idea: get out of New York and Los Angeles, hit the road and make a real documentary (or two, or three, or more) focusing on real lesbian communities in the places cameras usually don’t go, like the Midwest and the South and other places with no Prada boutiques or skateboard/ smoothie/hair salon hybrids. Could gritty, true lives of gritty, true lesbians be the franchise’s next-phase salvation? It’s all in the ambiguously defined research stage right now, but get ready: this could all turn into something… what’s the right word… real. Academy gets the documentary treatment with TCM Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman already have their own Academy Awards as the team behind 1984’s “The Times of Harvey Milk” and 1989’s “Common Threads: Stories From The Quilt.” So who better to direct a documentary feature about the Oscars themselves? The filmmaking partnership is shooting material now for a feature-length doc for Turner Classic Movies, one that will focus less on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences itself and more on the history of the awards: the trends in nomination, the patterns of history that find themselves reflected in winners and losers, the snubs and oversights and upsets and controversies – in other words, the things people are genuinely interested in. Set to air during the channel’s Oscar Month in 2014, here’s hoping they secure that footage of Rob Lowe singing to Snow White. That was the best. The Beekman Boys ‘Race’ amazingly well OK, to be honest, we were actually rooting for Natalie and Nadiya, the Sri Lankan identical twins who never stopped shouting, “GO TWINNIE!” to win this season of “The Amazing Race.” But when they were ousted close to the end, our second favorites, the bickering married gay goat farmers from upstate New York (making a sideline visit to competition game shows from their own reality program about what it’s like to be, well, gay goat farmers), were still waiting in the wings. Former “Martha Stewart Show” fixture Brent and author Josh had their share of rocky
roads during the race: mistakes and errors nearly sent them home more than once. But when it was all said and done it was a pleasure to watch this couple give each other a big fat victory kiss on primetime television. And nab that cool two million bucks. Free goat cheese for everybody! Frank Ocean (and some more usual suspects) come out Yes, Anderson Cooper. Yes, Matt Bomer. Yes, Jillian Michaels. Yes, Kristy McNichol. We’re glad each and every one of them decided to go public with the information that pretty much everybody already knew. It’s welcome information, yes, and we can always use more people with public voices coming out and committing themselves to the cause of LGBT rights. But who was surprised? OK, besides One Million Moms. And then a real surprise took place in the form of Frank Ocean. Not a household name before the release of his now-Grammy-nominated album “Channel Orange,” the singer-songwriter and member of the indie-cool Odd Future collective turned the hip-hop world upside down by coming out as a man who loves men. It prompted supportive responses from the (formerly) notoriously anti-gay hip-hop world. Well, mostly. There are always haters. But when you make them upset you’re really doing something right. —Romeo San Vicente’s Oscar party is clothing optional. He can be reached care of Gay San Diego or at DeepInsideHollywood@ qsyndicate.com.t
GAY SAN DIEGO Jan. 25–Feb. 7, 2013
GAY SAN DIEGO Jan. 25–Feb. 7, 2013
FROM PAGE 14
FRANCO CA: The Funny or Die videos really helped launch your career, as did the “Acting with James Franco” skits. Other than “Broken Tower,” do you have plans to work on any projects with James that might have a gay sensibility? DF: I love my brother and I respect him so much, but in general, I have been tr ying to distance myself from him just in terms of work because I need to kind of car ve my own path at this point. I don’t want to be referred to as ‘James Franco’s little brother’ for the rest of my life. So it’s hard sometimes, because he is creating so many of his own projects and he asks me to be a part of them and I would love to, but at this point, I just need to distance myself from him work-wise. Down the line, who knows, man. We do work ver y well together and our sensibilities are ver y similar, obviously. We might push the envelope almost too far if we combine our heads. I’m open to the idea. If I establish myself a little bit more, and people start giving me my own due, I would love to work with him down the line. CA: You mention his projects, and currently James is making headlines for his interest in gay art films, including the gay sex indie “Interior. Leather Bar.” Have you seen it? Do you plan to? DF: The only one I’ve seen is “Broken Tower,” just because I was a part of that production. I’ve obviously heard stories or read about these projects, but I really have no basis to say anything at this point.
CA: Do you get annoyed when journalists bring your brother up? DF: No! I totally understand it. It could be a lot worse. At least he’s a ver y well-respected guy, and I do love him. We get along ver y well. But with that being said, it is a little comforting, and I feel slightly relieved, that at least the James questions have been dialed down a little bit. CA: What’s coming up for you besides “Now You See Me” and “Warm Bodies?” DF: There are a few things that are in the air that I can’t quite talk about just yet, but I am always pumping out these Funny or Die videos. I do all of them with one of my good friends who I’ve known since childhood, and we have one coming out in a couple weeks. This one is actually the cleanest one we’ve done. The rest are rated X, but this one’s like a hard PG-13. Without giving too much away, it’s with an NBA star who’s 7 feet tall and then, of course, myself. I’m not the biggest guy in the world, so it’s this odd couple: the two of us competing in a series of events. It’s still in the same vein and tone as the rest of the videos, but because he’s a professional athlete, he can’t push the envelope as much as I’d generally like to. I’m always writing something. I’m working on a feature-length film right now. Two years ago I made a decision to only audition and meet on projects that I’m actually passionate about. I knew it might be the stupidest decision I ever made because I might never work again, but in the meantime, that’s how these Funny or Die videos came out. —Chris Azzopardi is the editor of Q Syndicate, the international LGBT wire service. Reach him via his website at chris-azzopardi.com.t
The SD Ballers were crowned champions of the Women’s C Division at this year’s Sin City Shootout. (Courtesy SD Ballers) FROM PAGE 1
DUGOUT miliar with from other tournaments. Triple Play handed manager Jose Cuellar’s Renegades their first loss, 11-8. The next day, the Renegades squared off in an epic battle with the LA Reaction, and Los Angeles walked off with a 16-15 victory that eliminated the Renegades. After a 1-1 start in pool play, Tim Bactad’s Viejas Players knocked off the Long Beach Havoc 11-3 and then the Boston Cream 17-15 in an extra-inning
affair. Viejas could have matched the Outlaws’ 3-0 start in double elimination but were edged out in an 8-7 loss to the Nashville Chaos. The LA Swingers then eliminated the Players with a 15-7 victory. The Redwing Rebels pulled off a decent showing, winning three of their five games over the weekend. Included in that tally was a demolition of the fellow San Diego D Division Masterbatters during their first game in double elimination. Unfortunately, the Masterbatters and Firestorm each went winless over the two-day tournament. Finally, there was my B Division team, The Loft. We went with a team I thought could pull off a top-three finish as we finished fifth last year and brought a stronger roster, but the B division is as tough in Las Vegas as it is in the World Series. Twenty-four strong teams came to win, and we did not play the kind of defense needed to make it far in the tournament. We scored a lot of runs, but ran up against a hot-hitting Atlanta Crew team and, after wiping out the SF Bombers in double-elimination, we ultimately succumbed to last year’s champion, the LA Thunder. Needless to say, we fell far short of our goal. While all of our softball teams would have liked to have performed a bit better on the field, no city can claim to have enjoyed the Sin City Shootout Closing Party at the Tropicana’s night club more than we did. San Diego literally commandeered an entire corner of the dance floor at the fantastic event, one that featured a surprise appearance from Wanda Sykes. Additional results Trying to build upon a secondplace finish in last year’s tournament, San Diego sent a similar roster of players from San Diego Hoops. Despite hanging tough with the San Francisco Rockdogs – famous for their cable reality show a few years back and annually rated as the best gay team in America – our boys from San Diego were unable to pull of the upset. In fact, the team went a disappointing 0-4 in its games over the weekend, a surprising result given the talented players that made the trip to the desert. With apologies to our San Diego friends in sports such as tennis, hockey, soccer, wrestling and dodgeball, results were not available online or through tournament representatives in time to make this column. —Jeff Praught is a contributing writer for Gay San Diego and fan of most sports. He 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
GAY SAN DIEGO Jan. 25–Feb. 7, 2013
Mexico City offers dynamic fun for LGBT travelers at least a day downtown in the Centro Historico and adjoining Alameda Park areas, where you’ll find a number of noteworthy attractions. Here at the city’s main square, the Zocalo, you’re a stone’s throw from the National Palace, the cathedral, the fascinating Templo Mayor Aztec excavations, the Museum of the City of Mexico and San Ildefonso College (now a museum and cultural center with huge murals by Rivera, Orozco and others). The neighborhood is also home to the beloved gay club, El Marrakech Salon, an extremely fun and friendly space for dancing and drinking. Also worth a look is the endearingly dive-y, to the point that it’s somewhat trendy, Cerveceria Viena. Around nearby Alameda Park, you’ll find many of the top arts attractions in the city, among them the spectacular Palacio de Bellas Artes with its glorious art deco interior, the Museo Mural Diego Rivera and the Museo Nacional de Arte. Fringing the north side of enormous and beautiful Chapultepec Park, the upscale Polanco district is a favorite area for high-end shopping and dining. In the park itself, you’ll find such iconic attractions as the Museum of Modern Art, National Museum of Anthropology, Museum of Natural History, Chapultepec Zoo, and Chapultepec Castle. There’s not much of a gay scene in this part of the city, though the Friday-night party Envy and Saturday-night fete Guilt are two of the hottest LGBT events in Mexico City and are well worth checking out if you like dancing into the wee hours.
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—Andrew Collins is the editor in chief of the LGBT travel magazines OutAloha and OutCity, and he covers gay travel for the website GayTravel.About.com. He can be reached care of Gay San Diego or at OutofTown@qsyndicate.com.t
Millard’s Fur Service
Hipster approved On the east side of Chapultepec Park, you’ll find the artsy and increasingly trendy
from Polanco or downtown. San Angel is anchored by charming Plaza de San Jacinto, with its famed Saturday art market and many fashionable restaurants. It’s a short cab ride from here to visit the former home and studio of Diego Rivera, now a museum. In Coyoacan, take a tour of La Casa Azul, the rambling and beautifully restored home in which Frida Kahlo resided. It’s a short walk from here to visit the eerily well-preserved Leon Trotsky House, where the larger-than-life Russian revolutionary lived in exile until he was assassinated – in this very house – in 1940. Walk a few blocks south of Museo Frido Kahlo into the colonial center of Coyoacan, stopping by the Mercado (a bustling market where you can nosh on delicious and inexpensive tostadas topped with ceviche, octopus and shrimp), and continuing to the town square, which is rife with charming bars, shops and cafes.
Off the beaten path Two charming and fascinating neighborhoods that are a bit off the beaten path but right beside each other are San Angel and Coyoacan; you can reach the latter by Metro, or figure on about a 20- to 30-minute cab ride
Key neighborhoods For such an expansive place, it’s relative easy and very affordable to get around Mexico City. Cabs are inexpensive, although traffic – especially from late afternoon to early evening – can be frustratingly slow in central neighborhoods, and the city’s efficient, safe, and unbelievably cheap subway system, the Metro, is the second most extensive in North America, with 12 lines. No visit here is complete without spending
Condesa and Roma neighborhoods, which have a sizable LGBT population and enough cool and inviting bars, cafes and restaurants to keep you busy for weeks. Condesa is well past being “edgy” at this point. It’s a certifiably gentrified, hipster-approved neighborhood with leafy parks, quite a few galleries, and an artsy, relaxed pace compared to parts of the city more dominated by skyscrapers and traffic-choked boulevards. There’s a fun gay hangout, too, Tom’s Leather Bar (which actually draws a very mixed crowd). A short walk north, Zona Rosa contains the lion’s share of Mexico City’s gay bars and businesses, many of them along Calle Amberes and the blocks just off of it, from about Paseo de la Reforma south for a few blocks to Avenida Chapultepec. It’s reasonably safe to walk around here, but do keep your wits about you and avoid wearing flashy jewelry or attire. Top picks for partying include the drag cabaret El Butter, the adjoining bars Pussy (for women) and Gayta (for guys), the come-as-you-are Nicho Bears & Bar, the stand-and-model Papi Fun, and the large and quite scene-y nightclub Lipstick. There are many other fun options, and check out the Thursday-night party Ken, at Chapultepec 420, on the border between Zona Rosa and Roma.
Few places in North America are more misunderstood by United States travelers than Mexico City, a dynamic and unquestionably enormous metropolis that’s incredibly rich in history, abundant with culture, blessed with chic restaurants and gay-friendly bars, and abuzz with trendy hotels. This city with a staggering metro-regional population of 21.6 million and a dizzying elevation of about 7,500 feet is expensive by Mexico standards, especially when it comes to international hotels, restaurants and other establishments that cater to business travelers. But if you venture a bit off the beaten path, you can enjoy a five-star vacation here for a fraction of what you’d pay for a comparable experience in many U.S. cities. Most visitors who spend a few days or more here come away surprised, if even perplexed, by the lousy and unfair press Mexico City has received over the years. Whatever the city’s risks and inconveniences, they’re greatly outweighed by its bohemian sophistication, creative energy and friendly demeanor.
Palacio de Bellas Artes
(Photo by Andrew Collins)
Andrew Collins | Out of Town
GAY SAN DIEGO Jan. 25–Feb. 7, 2013