Volume 4 Issue 22 Nov. 1–14, 2013
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NIGHTMARE ON NORMAL ST.
Photo Feature Pg. 21
SERVING OUR LGBT COMMUNITY
Top of the Park rumored to close by end of year
A loss of the iconic space would be felt community-wide Malashocked
w DINING Monica Collins is a proud member of North County LGBTQ Resource Center’s Project Youth, which organizes the GSA Awards. (Photo by Krista King)
All night diner
North County GSA Awards move to Palomar College By Monica Collins | Guest Contributor
Knapp's inside out faith
A Carrie for queers
INDEX OPINION………………6 BRIEFS.…………………7 COMMUNITY…………….8 THEATER……………….16 CLASSIFIEDS……………18 FITNESS…......………22
Plans are well under way for the North County LGBTQ Resource Center’s fifth annual GSA Awards. The event, presented by the Center’s Project Youth committee, has a new location this year – Palomar College in San Marcos. Students and advisors will be recognized, honored and entertained on Friday, Nov. 8 with a three-hour dinner and awards program. The GSA Awards event is a special evening where students across the northern region of San Diego County gather together for socializing, networking, information sharing, connection and recognition. Project Youth strives to create a feeling of empowerment and acknowledgement among the students participating in the event with the hope that this show of support and genuine caring will help strengthen and sustain the GSAs clubs for another year. The GSA Network defines a GSA as “a student-run club, typically in a high school or middle school, which provides a safe place
for students to meet, support each other, talk about issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, and work to end homophobia and transphobia. There are three typical functions of a GSA club: Support, Social, and Activist.” Once again this year, Project Youth extends great appreciation to Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest and the North County LGBGTQ Resource Center’s “Pride @ the Beach” for their extraordinary and generous financial support of the awards evening. As the event becomes more and more known within the community, GSA club participation increases. Last year saw 14 North San Diego County GSAs attend and receive a monetary award of $250 to assist their organizations in supporting the unique campaigns on their campuses. Recreating last year’s studentcentered program, the 2013 awards will again be emceed by volunteers from local GSA leadership and entertainment will be provided by an improvisational group
Monica Collins helped organize this year’s GSA Awards and is a member of Project Youth. t
(Photo by Vincent Meehan)
By Frank Sabatini Jr. | GSD Reporter The newest landlord of Inn at the Park, Wyndham Vacation Ownership, is remaining tight-lipped over reported plans to end public access to the property’s popular rooftop space, Top of the Park. Yet according to a source who works at the seven-story historic landmark, Wyndham has already informed key staffers that the roof will close on Jan. 31. “There’ll be no more Friday happy hours, no weddings, no anything,” insisted the employee, adding that Wyndham made it known to management at least a month ago that the roof will be converted into a lounge and fitness center designated for timeshare holders only. The employee who spoke about the rumored changes requested anonymity, saying that, “anyone who talks about them would be fired.” For at least two decades, Top of the Park has been home to LGBT happy hours on Fridays and a host of fundraisers and private parties organized year-round by LGBT and other community organizations. It also operates as a restaurant, providing weekday lunch service to locals and tourists alike. In regards to the property’s ground-floor restaurant, 525 at Inn at the Park, its fate has yet to be determined and will reportedly be discussed at an upcoming staff meet-
see TopofPark, pg 5
‘She-Rantulas’ bound to amuse By Charlene Baldridge | GSD Reporter
CONTACT US Editorial/Letters 619-961-1960 email@example.com
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from Del Norte High School. In addition to a monetary award, each club’s president will be awarded a special medal donated by Front Runners and Walkers of San Diego. Thanks to our Community Partners, students will once again have the opportunity to learn about the programs and services of local LGBTQ and ally organizations. The GSA Awards is the creation of The North County LGBTQ Resource Center. As the director and founder of Project Youth, Carolyn Bolton (now Resource Center board chair) has been the driving force behind the committee’s activities for North County San Diego LGBTQ youth. The fifth annual GSA Awards will be held Friday, Nov. 8, from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. at the Palomar College Student Union, located at 1140 W. Mission Dr. in San Marcos. For more information or tickets, visit ncresourcecenter. org/category/project-youth/
Top of the Park is used by many.
(l to r) Tony Houck, Andy Collins, Melinda Gilb, Fred Harlow and Phil Johnson, the cast of She-Rantulas (Photo by Ken Jacques)
A woman of a certain age interviews Phil Johnson and Ruff Yeager about the new comedy they’ve co-written, “She-Rantulas from Outer Space—in 3D!” Longtime friends, Phil Johnson and Ruff Yeager are two of San Diego’s funniest men, gay or straight, on stage or off. Sitting with them in the Diversionary Theatre lobby is like defining two kittens in a burlap sack. Johnson recently completed a run as Bottom in Intrepid Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the Musical,” and Yeager just returned
from acting in the summer productions at Utah Shakespeare Festival. Yeager directs “She-Rantulas,” and Johnson headlines the company as a ‘50s housewife whose pigtailed daughter, Suzie (Tony Houck), is full of surprises. About three years ago the two began working on a script inspired by Maxwell Anderson’s “The Bad Seed” (the play became a 1956 film) in which they scrambled gender roles. Eventually the script morphed into Johnson and Yeager’s own play with similar themes, principally, “What are we afraid of?” The answer, now and in the ‘50s, is “The Other.”
see She-Rantulas, pg 16
GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 1–14, 2013
Conscious Music Fest comes to North Park
(l to r) Universal Spirit Center members Annette Ridenour and Teri Wilder stand in front of the upcoming venue. (Photo by Vincent Meehan)
By Vince Meehan | GAM SD Reporter North Park will host the first annual San Diego Conscious Music Fest, at the Birch North Park Theatre on Saturday, Nov. 9, with a full day program. The event will be presented by the Hillcrest-based Universal Spirit Center, a spiritual community that follows the Science of Mind philosophy and prefer a non-denominational alternative to traditional churches. The show is “a celebration of the spirit of love within us all,” according to the website, and will feature twelve
musical artists; six in an afternoon show from 1-3:30 p.m., and six others from 7-10:30 p.m. Food and drink will be available from West Coast Tavern during the performances, and a V.I.P. artist’s reception will be held across the street at Casa de Luz between sets. “Conscious music” is a term used to describe a genre of uplifting music performed by artist’s intent on spreading a positive message through their music. This music festival will be the first of its kind in the local organization’s twelve-year history, but it is a growing movement. Universal Spirit Center member Annette Ridenour said that this would be a family-oriented performance where all are welcome. Ten percent of tickets sales from the event will support music programs in San Diego public schools. “Music plays a big part in our services at the Universal Spirit Center,” said Ridenour, who also serves as the organization’s treasurer. “Our message is both inspiring and positive, and the music always reflects that.” Local singer/songwriter Teri Wilder will open the festival with her inspirational set, and she said she is excited about bringing her message to a broader audience. “I travel around the country performing my music for all sorts of inspirational groups,” Wilder said. “I’m really looking forward to playing in my hometown and making this concert a success. Our goal is to raise the vibration of good will and help people feel positive about life.” The festival will take place on the same day as North Park’s monthly “Ray at Night” art walk and was deliberately scheduled so attendees could enjoy both events. “We’re going to have wristbands so our audience can come and go as they please,” Ridenour said. ‘That way they can enjoy both shows and make a night of it. This is going to be an event that everyone can enjoy.” The Universal Spirit Center is located at 3858 Front St. in Hillcrest. To learn more about their inclusive spiritual community, visit universalspiritcenter.org. To obtain tickets to the Conscious Music Festival, visit consciousmusicsd.com.t
Old Town’s Dia de los Muertos celebration returning for fourth year By Dave Fidlin With a dip into the past and a nod toward authenticity, organizers throughout Old Town are working feverishly to put the final preparations on the community’s fourth annual Dia de los Muertos celebration. The event, an homage to Mexico’s revered holiday, has been growing since its introduction in 2010 as a large-scale event aimed at attracting people throughout San Diego County. This year’s program will be held in Old Town on Friday, Nov. 1 and Saturday, Nov. 2. One of the centerpieces of this year’s program will again be the Tour of the Altars, a display indoors and outdoors at museums, shops and restaurants throughout Old Town. The international-themed shops at Bazaar del Mundo, 4133 Taylor St., are among this year’s participants. Julia Kinney, manager of the Artes de Mexico and Guatemala shops at Bazaar del Mundo, said a variety of nearly 50 different altars will be on display this year in an effort to give spectators a true feel for the Mexican tradition that more recently has begun spreading to other Latin American countries. Mexican residents have long created altars in their homes as a tribute to deceased family members, ancestors and friends.
“We just finished creating a walking map for this year’s tour, so people will have an opportunity to see all of the 49 altars that will be on display,” Kinney said on Oct. 18, as final logistics were being assembled. The true heart of Old Town’s Dia de los Muertos celebration lies within the El Campo Santo Cemetery, 2410 San Diego Ave. A large public altar will be on display within the cemetery to give visitors an opportunity to share personal items, photographs and messages as tributes to loved ones who have passed on. In keeping with the authenticity, organizers will be holding a candlelight vigil the second day of the event with a large-scale public procession that all visitors will be invited to participate in. “The Tour of Altars is very dramatic and especially spectacular in the evening, when each altar is aglow with a multitude of candles,” said Diane Powers, who owns a number of shops within Bazaar del Mundo. “The gravesites [at El Campo Santo Cemetery] are decorated, and [the site] is illuminated with hundreds of candles.” Since the program’s inception in 2010, organizers have emphasized that Dia de los Muertos is a family event. Kinney said there is not any of the ghoulishness oftentimes associated with Halloween.
An elaborate altar at a past Dia de los Muertos (Courtesy Sandé Lollis) “We’re going to be offering a number of free events that kids will especially enjoy, including face painting, and we’ll be giving out coloring pages,” Kinney said. “This really is a fun, exciting event, and we think people will enjoy it.” Other entertainment throughout the two-day event includes traditional music, dancing and family-oriented craft activities. Many of the programs and activities are free, while a few have a nominal charge. While it comes but once a year, planning for Old Town’s Dia de los Muertos celebration has become a year-round event, organizers say.
see Celebrate, pg 22
GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 1–14, 2013
GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 1–14, 2013
Malashock returns with RAW High energy dance is unspeakably physical Anthony King | GSD Reporter There are plenty of ways to classify dance—from grandiose ballet to street-smart krumping, and from modern jazz to the pop-culture speed of “So You Think You Can Dance”—but there really is only one purpose: to tell a story. It is up to the choreographers to determine just what that stor y will be and the dancers to interpret that stor y, but it also takes a little interaction from a third sphere, the audience. And for four years, audiences in San Diego have fallen under the spell of the annual production “RAW,” a collaborative evening of contemporar y performances produced by Malashock Dance. Independent choreographer Michael Mizerany is producing “Malashock/RAW4,” bringing the company’s unique, cutting-edge dance to the L yceum Stage Nov. 14 – 16. Mizerany will be debuting his piece “Unspeakable,” calling it “high energy work that is unabashedly bold and undeniably risky.” In part, “Unspeakable” addresses a taboo subject: physical desire in a ver y dysfunctional family, but he said he has never really shied away from difficult subjects. “The whole thing behind RAW for me is confronting issues that people normally think dance won’t do,” Mizerany said. “I think that dance can address things in a really good way.” In a previous “RAW,” Mizerany brought bullying to the dance floor, which he said came from a ver y personal place in his past. While his experience dealt with bullying because of his sexuality, the bullying piece was a universal look at an epidemic that has plagued almost ever yone. “We’re all human beings, and we all go through the same trials. [It is] more about things we share and less about things that make us different,” he said, acknowledging that young people dealing with their sexuality today, while still difficult, have more support and resources available. “If we focus on things that make us similar … we’re still part of the change. We’re still part of the cycle,” he said. In “Unbelievable,” Mizerany brings five Malashock dancers together to convey the touchy subject: Nicholas Strasburg, Justin Viernes, Blythe Barton, Stephanie Har-
vey and Laura Bender. Strasburg, a North Park resident who also danced in Mizerany’s bullying piece, said he especially appreciates Mizerany’s style. “His subject matter is usually dark, especially for RAW,” Strasburg said. “He has a pretty good idea of a stor y line that he likes to do, and he has a definite technique and dance style that is unique.” Technically trained at Seattle’s Cornish College of the Arts, Strasburg has a unique stor y himself, coming into dance. He was studying to be a roller coaster engineer at Portland State University—taking several physics classes focused on movement and velocity—when he realized he was literally moving in the wrong direction. He said he was attracted to the unusual field because it was “something that makes so many people, so happy,” and then realized dance would achieve the exact same thing. After graduating from Cornish, he moved to San Diego and looked into City Ballet before approaching Malashock Dance. The move, he said, was perfect, and exciting for him as well as his new audience. “I have never heard somebody come see a Malashock show who wasn’t surprised or wasn’t excited, or left bored,” Strasburg said. “It’s a ver y dynamic style of modern [dance]. … It’s always exciting to watch because we do work that seems to defy how the body wants to move.” Strasburg said dancing Mizerany’s choreography is not just physically challenging, but by adding emotional aspects to the movement gives another layer of challenge to the performance. Learning the moves, however, comes first. “When you start learning a dance, our bodies do the movement so often that we create muscle memor y, so our bodies remember how it wants to move with the momentum of how we’ve been doing it,” Strasburg said. Those emotions – sometimes cathartic, sometimes overpowering – come later, and Mizerany is quick to say he does ask a lot from his dancers. “Physically it’s just go, go, go,” Mizerany said, calling the emotional side “some of the hardest stuff” to present to the audience. For him, the pay off is worth it. “It certainly challenges people to look at dance in a dif-
(l to r) Andrew Holmes and Nicholas Strasburg (Photo by Raymond Elstad)
ferent way,” he said. In addition to Mizerany’s “Unspeakable,” the show also features new choreography by Malashock Dance Artistic Director John Malashock and guest choreographer Andy Noble, whose NobleMotion Dance company is located in Houston. Malashock, a Mission Hills resident, will debut “The Garden Path of Lou & Laurie,” a drama depicting an imaginar y, yet doomed, relationship that uses songs by counter-culture musicians Laurie Anderson and the late Lou Reed. In “Beast,” Noble has choreographed an “aggressive, physically-daring and theatrical” story, organizers said, that uses facial expression and movement to initiate the choreography. Movement in the dancers’ faces are examined, then distorted: “unlocking the inner beast,” they said. “Malashock/RAW4” will be staged for three performances, Nov. 14 – 16 at 8 p.m. at the Lyceum Stage, 79 Horton Plaza in Downtown. General admission tickets are $25, and there is a VIP reception after the final performance on Saturday; tickets (which include the show) are $75. For tickets visit lyceumevents.org or call 619-5441000. For more information on Malashock Dance, visit malashockdance.org.t
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ing. The space could potentially be leased, remodeled or closed. After reaching out to Wyndham several times for confirmation, Corporate Communications Manager Lindsay Hodges spoke vaguely by phone about changes to the property, which Wyndham acquired from Shell Vacations LLC in September 2012. “We’re in the process of converting it to timeshares, but we don’t know when it will be fully completed. We don’t have the plans finalized for the rooftop either. I know it’s a very coveted space,” said Hodges. When asked if Wyndham will make renovations to any portion of the property after $3 million was spent upgrading it between 2005 and 2007 by previous owners, she added, “Generally we would make renovations and integrate them into our Vacation Ownership Clubs.” During the interview, Hodges was unable to provide answers regarding plans to the ground-floor restaurant and whether all of the hotel guest rooms would be converted to timeshare units. She also did not know whether Wyndham will direct-market the timeshares to the LGBT community or if the current workforce would be diminished, increased or kept the same. She added, however, that Wyndham provides domestic partnership benefits to its employees and that the company received a perfect score last year on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, which Gay San Diego has confirmed. In a follow-up email sent four days later, Hodges stated in part: “At this time we are still finalizing specific details. When we are at a point when we can disclose this information to the public, we will reach out to you.” Weekly sales sessions for the timeshares have been occurring on the property for a couple of months. And amid a growing buzz by Inn at the Park denizens regarding the potential roof closure, we contacted Hodges and other Wyndham representatives last week, inquiring about any updates. Those calls and emails have not been returned.t
or Gay San Diego
GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 1–14, 2013
Celebrating LGBT writers of color Multicultural LGBT Literary Foundation has first anniversary Caleb Rainey | GSD Reporter The San Diego Multicultural LGBT Literary Foundation is celebrating its first year on Saturday, Nov. 9. The Foundation—the first of its kind in the country to focus on work by LGBT artists of color—was founded last November. What was initially conceived as a book club has grown immensely over the past year. Part of that growth has included expanded programs, including the Visiting Writers Program, the Pat Parker and Arturo Islas literary series, and a soon to be launched nonprofit bookstore. The Visiting Writers Program seeks to build cultural, social, and economic support for LGBT writers of color by introducing them and their work to San Diego, often for the first time, and by physically bringing authors from all over the country to our beautiful city for readings, talks, signings, etc. The Pat Parker and Arturo Islas literary series organizes reading groups and discussions on special topics related to queer authors of color. The current series focuses on the work of Emanuel Xavier and Charles RiceGonzález, two gay Puerto Rican writers who will be coming to San Diego in November for several foundation-sponsored events. The final meeting for this particular series will take place on Nov. 6, from 6–7:30 p.m. at the University Heights Library. Finally, the Foundation is in the initial stages of launching a nonprofit bookstore that will focus on literature by LGBT authors of color. This has all been added to the Foundation’s original program, which is their monthly Book Club/Literary Discussion Group that meets at the San Diego LGBT Community Center’s Library on the first and third Saturday of every month from 4:45-6:45 pm. The Foundation will be bringing its first authors, Emanuel Xavier and Charles Rice-
(Top to bottom) Charles Rice-Gonzales; Emanuel Xavier (Courtesy Multicultural LGBT Literary Foundation)
González, to San Diego for several events, one of which is their anniversary celebration on Friday, Nov. 8. This is a free reading and signing event at the Centro Cultural de la Raza in Balboa Park from 7–9 p.m., and on Saturday Nov. 9 the Foundation and the Lambda Literary Foundation at the New Central Library will host a free reading and panel discussion from 4:30–6 p.m. The Nov. 9 festivities will end with the main event, the Foundation’s one-year anniversary celebration at Bamboo Lounge, 1475 University Ave., from 7–9 p.m. Tickets for the anniversary party are only $30 and can be purchased at sdmllf.brownpapertickets.com/. The celebration promises to draw local scholars and artists, community leaders, and the best and brightest from our various communities, and will serve as a premiere literary event in San Diego. Each visiting writer will make a brief keynote address and conduct readings at the event, and attendees will enjoy the intimate company of these two incredible writers from New York City. New books by the authors will be available at all of the events for donations that match the cover price. “This is such an incredible opportunity for San Diegans to be able to partake in a cultural and literary scene that has not been available in San Diego before,” said Foundation co-founder and CFO Stephany Farley. “This is also particularly exciting given our organization’s dedication to spotlighting voices of LGBT people of color who are too often ignored.” If you have questions regarding any of the events/programs or want to find out more about this up-and-coming organization you can visit sdliteraryfoundation.org/ or “like” them on Facebook at facebook.com/ SanDiegoMulticulturalLgbtBookclub. To find out more about the visiting writers you can visit them online at emanuelxavier.com/ and charlesricegonzalez.com.t
events attheCenter tuesday, nov. 5
thursday, november 7
Food Bank 9 am, the Center The San Diego LGBT Community Center hosts a distribution site once a month for the Community Cares Project of the San Diego Food Bank. On the first Tuesday of every month, 9-10:30 am, visit The Center’s parking lot for emergency food. For more information, visit the San Diego Food Bank website http://sandiegofoodbank.org.
Wednesday, november 6
Guys, Games & Grub
5:30 pm, the Center Join us in The Center’s auditorium for the second annual LGBT Veterans Wall of Honor induction ceremony. The brief program will include a celebration of military colors, the National Anthem, an induction announcement, and remarks from attending honorees. For more information or to rSVP, contact Ben Parmentier at email@example.com or 619.692.2077 x 213.
Save the Date: Saturday, December 14
6:30 pm, the Center Guys, Games & Grub has become a San Diego phenomenon! On the first Wednesday of every month, nearly 200 men of all ages (21+) gather at The Center for a night of games, pizza, drinks and socializing. Some of San Diego’s most interesting men are here – come join them. For more information, contact aaron heier at firstname.lastname@example.org or 619.692.2077 x211.
www.thecentersd.org The San Diego LGBT Community Center 3909 Centre Street • 619-692-2077
LGBt Veterans Wall of honor Induction and Veterans Day Celebration
Come home for the holidays! 5-8 pm, the Center Yes, it’s almost that time again – time to join your LGBT family to celebrate the end of the year with good cheer and good food. There will be arts & crafts for the kids, the Imperial Court’s Coney Island senior experience, and plenty of food, family and friends. Organizations interested in joining the fun as community partners can contact Carolina ramos at 619.692.2077 x116 or email@example.com for details.
GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 1–14, 2013
SDSU has come a long way, baby By Ben Cartwright, SDSU alumni
Greetings Gay San Diego readers from the new editor
Although I’ve been bouncing around our community for a long time, I still feel the need to introduce myself. My name is Morgan M. Hurley and I’m the first female editor to take over the reigns of Gay San Diego. My predecessor, Anthony King, left recently to take a position with the School of International Relations at UC San Diego. He previously held the editor position since August of 2011. Under Anthony’s stewardship, Gay San Diego won the Nicky Award for best paper in 2011, and Anthony himself won “Best Writer/Columnist” in 2012. In addition, San Diego Uptown News, Gay San Diego’s sister-paper, was also was an awardwinning paper while he was at the helm. I was lucky enough to work as Anthony’s assistant on both papers for the last 18 months, while also acting as editor of San Diego Downtown News. Anthony lives in Mission Hills and we’ve asked him to stay on as a contributor, so he won’t be far away. I wish him all the best in his new position (and juggling the freelancing world). Anthony’s bright smile, patient disposition and gentle but impactful guidance will be sorely missed around here, but I know he will do well wherever he goes. Stepping out from behind his incredibly tall shadow will be a challenge for me, but I’m eager to do so. As for me, ironically, I grew up the daughter of a community newspaper editor. I began writing for his paper at 14 and even had a column in my high school years. I then spent seven years in the Navy as a computer technician and also served as the editor of my command’s newspaper. When I chose to leave the Navy in August of 1987, it was just after the sting of my third and incredibly invasive naval investigation for being gay. It was the decade before DADT was put on the books, and I think most of us would say, a much more grueling time. I missed the Navy and the following year returned as a reservist, serving 15 more years before retiring as a Chief Petty Officer in 2003. Though I was still a little spooked when I first left active duty, I was a North Park resident and really wanted to branch out into my newfound LGBT community right next door, so I looked for ways to do so. Besides, I needed an escape from my Navy contractor life when I wasn’t on the road.
I consider my first foray into the LGBT community as the two years I volunteered my time on nights and weekends working the cash register at Paradigm Women’s Bookstore, which was located on Adams Avenue where Lestat’s is today. I really came into my own at Paradigm, learning as much as I could about women’s music and literature, expanding both my LGBT friendships and participation within the community. I worked four Labor Day weekends in a row at Robin Tyler’s now defunct West Coast Women’s Comedy and Music Festival (WCWCMF) in Yosemite. Robin Tyler and her wife Diane had just met when I began working for Robin in the early 1990s. Trivia fact: these two trailblazers are responsible for same-sex marriage becoming legal in California the first time around and Robin led the first two LGBT Marches on Washington. Later I managed a women’s softball team in our local America’s Finest City Softball League (AFCSL) for over 10 years. I was raising my two nephews in East County at the time, but it allowed me to keep one foot in the community as well. I longed to return to the gayborhood and finally did so in March of 2011. Prior to coming to San Diego Community News Network (SDCNN) I worked for two and a half years at our media partner, San Diego Gay and Lesbian News (sdgln.com), first as a copyeditor and then as Assistant Editor. The last four years working in the LGBT media have been a blessing and a life long dream of mine. I’m proud to now be at the helm of a paper that has consistently proven itself as a voice of the community since its inception and I hope to continue that trend. I love telling people’s stories and we all have one, so stay tuned. Contact me for any reason at firstname.lastname@example.org. “Anthony was a valuable member of our team and his absence will be felt not only by our staff but by the community. Anthony was instrumental in connecting with our local neighborhoods and covering issues and concerns of the community. We hope he will continue to be a part of SDCNN as a contributing writer. We are pleased to have Morgan step into the editor position at Gay San Diego. She has proven herself with the fine job she’d done as editor at San Diego Downtown News. –David Mannis, publishert
PUBLISHER David Mannis (619) 961-1951 email@example.com
ACCOUNTING Priscilla Umel-Martinez (619) 961-1962 firstname.lastname@example.org
EDITOR Morgan M. Hurley (619) 961-1960 email@example.com
DIRECTOR OF SALES & MARKETING
ASSISTANT EDITOR Hutton Marshall (619) 961-1952 firstname.lastname@example.org
ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Sloan Gomez (619) 961-1954 email@example.com
ART DIRECTOR Rebecah Corbin (619) 961-1961 firstname.lastname@example.org
Patrick Hammond (619) 961-1956 email@example.com
PRODUCTION Vincent Meehan (619) 961-1961 firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike Rosensteel (619) 961-1958 email@example.com
Jerry Kulpa (619) 961-1964 firstname.lastname@example.org Yana Shayne (619) 961-1963 email@example.com
Chris Azzopardi Charlene Baldridge Blake Beckcom Gwen Beckcom Ben Cartwright Monica Collins Dave Fidlin Michael Kimmel Anthony King Vince Meehan Ian Morton Jeff Praught Caleb Rainey Frank Sabatini Jr.
Hearing the news that San Diego State University will open its first official Pride Resource Center in January still seems unreal to me. When I first arrived at SDSU in the fall of 1998 as a first-year freshman, the LGBT students I met told me that university administrators would barely give us the time of day. Looking back, this perception was understandable. From 1978-1996, Thomas B. Day served as president of the university. While he is credited with overseeing a tremendous amount of growth at the campus during his tenure, hIs time in office is not remembered as being particularly friendly to underserved communities. In fact, he was accused in 1994 of “gay bashing” by colleagues when he rejected a University Senate resolution supporting domestic partner benefits for faculty and employees - labeling homosexuality as “unnatural” and compared it to “adultery and permissive abortions.” I came to campus just two years after his retirement, and the university was still trying to gauge the views of President Stephen L. Weber. SDSU has just celebrated its centennial in 1997 and the campus community was beginning to look toward the university’s next 100 years. I learned that there were several dedicated faculty and staff members (along with various students over the years) who had been working on plans for a permanent LGBT Center on campus for many years. Amazing people like long-time students affairs staffer Doug Case, Women’s Studies professors Bonnie Zimmerman and Susan Cayleff, Associated Students Executive Director Dan Cornthwaite, and French and European Studies Professor Edith J. Benkov had put together a very detailed proposal outlining what such a center would encompass. There was even a professionally sketched drawing of what they envisioned the physical space to look like. I was first shown these plans sometime around 1999 and immediately began dreaming of what it would be like to have a space on campus for the LGBT community to call home. As a student leader of the LGBT Student Union (now called the Queer Student Union), I immediately became interested in advocating for this proposal to be dusted off and put into action. But as a wide-eyed 20 year old, I didn’t realize that these things don’t always come as easily as we would hope. That original proposal went through several rewrites over the next decade, with a group we formed called the Pride Action Committee taking the biggest leap forward by updating the original proposal, and submitting it to university officials in 2008. Between 1998 and the time I left the my staff position at the university in 2011 (exactly two years ago this week), I had the privilege of working with so many dedicated students, faculty, staff, administrators, and alumni who literally changed the face of the university’s support of the LGBT community. In 2007, we organized the first Rainbow Flag Raising on the campus, to commemorate San Diego Pride weekend and the 30th anniversary of the rainbow flag’s designation as a symbol of equality for the LGBT community. While the university approved the activity, getting the word out was a challenge. I was told that the university would not be actively promoting the event, and that we were on our own if we wanted to get media attention. Today, the July flag raising has become a campus tradition, sponsored by now President Eliott Hirshman’s office, and receives a significant amount of exposure across the university’s various communications platforms. This is just one of example of the many challenges we encountered over the last decade in trying to get the LGBT community recognized, served, and taken care of at SDSU. The time had passed where rotating casts of student leaders would try to hold the glue together for the community, and where an unofficial network of faculty and departments across campus tried to provide services. In just a few short years, we’ve seen SDSU launch an LGBT Studies minor, and then a major, launch a website dedicated to the LGBT community on campus, provide additional resources and support to the community, and in January, open the first ever Pride Resource Center. That SDSU has achieved this tremendous step makes me think back and reflect on the many great people who worked to make this happen - many of them long before I ever even knew that SDSU would become such a major part of my adult life. While no center, program, or event can completely wipe out the struggles that LGBT students face, this space will provide a cohesiveness for the flourishing LGBT community on campus that has been needed for a long time.
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see Editorial, pg 7
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Business Improvement Association
FROM PAGE 6
EDITORIAL Congratulations to Anthony Keen who will serve as the coordinator of this new space, and here’s to a new era of equality at SDSU! I’m prouder than ever to be an #AztecForLife!t
Rainbow Flag Day By Abby Dees During the government shutdown, my partner, Traci, and I found ourselves in Philadelphia with a handful of useless tickets to the important American history sites there. The irony of not getting into Independence Hall—home of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution—due to governmental stupidity was not lost on us. What’s left to do as a tourist when all the big tourist spots are closed? A Segway tour, of course, as well as a visit to the Mütter Museum – a grand collection of antique medical curiosities and amputated body parts preserved in jars of formaldehyde. (Though I was fascinated, I never did figure out what the takehome message was supposed to be, other than to review the fine print on my organ donor card immediately.) We made do, but I never stopped feeling a bit ripped off by Congress. As we walked through the old part of the city, imagining Ben Franklin, Jefferson and Washington strolling along these same streets, we tried not to feel cynical. I know all too well about the profound failures and blatant inequities in the founding of our nation, but I am still awed by the fact that a small group of opinionated and politically opposed men managed to create a functioning, responsive political system out of a simple set of moral ideals. And that they dared to create a government that placed ultimate power in the hands of the people – well, that that took serious cojones. Do I need to go into a detailed comparison between the founding fathers of 1776 and the headless chickens currently running the country? I didn’t think so. We finally came to Philly’s splendid city hall, once the tallest inhabitable building in the world. Right outside the entrance was an American flag; next to it, a rainbow flag. Traci and I each stopped and stared for a while to make sure we were seeing what we thought we were seeing. It was kind of folded back on itself and, you know, maybe Pennsylvania’s state flag is unusually flamboyant. Clearly, neither of was used to seeing a rainbow flag getting the full unfurling.
How I found a little bit of hope during the government shutdown
A quick Google search confirmed that the Philly city hall has been putting out the rainbow flag since 2010 during LGBT Pride month. I had two conflicting responses. The first was how the flag made me feel like I’d finally arrived as a lesbian, even if it was only a big piece of fabric. The statement was obvious: all those professed American ideals of fairness, inclusivity, equality and dignity actually applied to people like me. I asked Traci how it made her feel and she repeated my thoughts. We’d gotten too used to feeling like we have always have to jostle for our little square in the American quilt. For this moment, no jostling was required. And the second response was an instinctive sense of defensiveness, because I know that there’s a large swath of Americans who would view a rainbow flag next to the American flag as the last nail in the coffin in the culture wars – gays just imposing their agenda on real Americans. I hate that I immediately went there, but I’d be naive if I didn’t. I wish I could have put an interpretive sign up explaining what the scene meant to me. There is no agenda, other than the belief that we rate as Americans, alongside the countless other communities that make up our country. I’d celebrate those flags too. In fact, it wasn’t the rainbow flag that held so much meaning, but the American flag next to it. More and more, the stars and stripes have become used as a shorthand for declaring who should and who shouldn’t claim the guarantees of equality and freedom. The flag, at times, has meant that Traci and I were not welcome. But at that moment, as we looked at the two flags together, and even at the same moment as our representatives were probably shooting spit wads at one another through their media surrogates, Traci and I felt a rare sense of patriotism and belonging to a country that tries—often fails, but stills tries—to keep its promises. —Abby is a civil rights attorney-turned-author who has been in the LGBT rights trenches for 25-plus years. She can be reached through her website: queerquestionsstraighttalk.com.t
NEWS BRIEFS HRC SAN DIEGO ORGANIZES WOMEN’S HIKE On Saturday, Nov. 2, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., the local HRC San Diego chapter is organizing a women’s hike at Torrey Pines State Reserve, located at 12600 N. Torrey Pines Rd. “It’s an opportunity to connect within our community, network and learn about HRC’s initiatives, and ways to participate in upcoming events,” said the Facebook event page. Attendees are requested to meet in the parking lot near the entrance at the bottom of the hill, bring water, and to wear appropriate clothing and shoes. For more information or carpool options, contact organizers at info@ hrcsandiego.com. CELEBRATION OF LIFE FOR GLORIA JOHNSON Lifelong community activist Gloria Johnson passed away at the age of 76 on Sept. 22. On Oct. 15, San Diego Democrats for Equality announced that a celebration of life will be held for Johnson on Thursday, Nov. 7 at 1:30 p.m. at the Meeting House of the First Unitarian Universalist Church, located at 4190 Front St. in Hillcrest. Parking will be available on site or in the adjacent lot at UC San Diego. LGBT VETERAN’S WALL INDUCTEES ANNOUNCED On Thursday, Nov. 7 at 5:30, the third annual “Benjamin F. Dillingham and Bridget Wilson LGBT Veterans Wall of Honor” induction ceremony will take place at 5:30 p.m. at the San Diego LGBT Center, located at 3903 Centre St., in Hillcrest. The wall, located inside the auditorium at The Center, was initially built and dedicated in November of 2010, with Dillingham and Wilson as the first inductees. The 2013 committee invites all veteran and active duty service members to attend and celebrate with the honorees. Jacque Atkinson, USMC; John Banvard, USAA; Kristen Beck, USN; Stewart Bornhoft, USA; Carlita “Lee” Durand, USAF; Shaun A. Flak, USMC; Ben Gomez, USN; Kathleen A. Hansen, USN; April F. Heinze, USN; Morgan M. Hurley, USN; Will Rodriguez-Kennedy, USMC; Gerard Nadeau, USA; Stephen Peters, USMC; Autumn Violet Sandeen, USN; Joseph Christopher Rocha, USN; and Evelyn Lynn Thomas, USMC. San Diego-based vocalist Patrick Hammond will sing the national
GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 1–14, 2013 anthem. There will be a reception with refreshments following the induction ceremony. For more information, visit lgbtcenter.org. HILLCREST SET TO HOST FIRST MOVIE NIGHT Hillcrest will host its first ever Egyptian Bazaar & Movie Night Nov. 14 at 3811 Park Blvd. between Numbers Night Club and Heat Bar & Kitchen. The open-air event will be a chance for Hillcrest residents to enjoy a fun movie under the stars event. The night will kick off with the unveiling of Hillcrest’s Egyptian Quarter. This collection of businesses on Park Blvd. between University Ave. and Robinson Ave. is known for it’s Egyptian style revival architecture, vintage and retro stores, and restaurants. In keeping with the Egyptian motif, the night’s feature will be the classic Cleopatra, starring Elizabeth Taylor. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own blankets and chairs and grab a seat in the pop-up park. The park will be decorated as a desert oasis complete with hot cocoa and bags of freshly popped popcorn. Food is also available at the eat Bar & Kitchen. Vintage clothing, retro furnishing and live art will be available in a park sale before the show. For more information, log on to facebook.com/EgyptianQuarter or call 619-299-3330. COASTER HOLIDAY EXPRESS TICKETS TO GO ON SALE Tickets for the holidaythemed COASTER Holiday Express train ride go on sale Nov. 14 and will feature Santa and his friends to entertain riders on this popular holiday event. Families will have two opportunities to hop aboard the Dec. 7 holiday train, the first leaving Oceanside Transit Center at 10 a.m., and the second at 12:30p.m. The funfilled 90-minute experience will taker riders on a non-stop, roundtrip ride to Sorrento Valley and back. Santa and his friends will be on board to pose for pictures. This trip sells out, so buying tickets early is recommended. Tickets are $6 for all passengers and available at GoNCTD.com/
eticket or 760-966-6500. GOODWILL OPENS IN HILLCREST On Oct. 17, Goodwill celebrated the grand opening of its new store in the heart of Hillcrest at 1219 University Ave. with a ribbon cutting ceremony and free cake. “We are pleased to finally open the doors to Goodwill’s newest retail store in Hillcrest,” Mike Rowan, CEO of Goodwill Industries of San Diego County said. “Unique home décor, books, decorative items and quality gently used clothing and accessories have been flowing into Goodwill since we began accepting donations last July, so we have literally thousands of items available for purchase.” Beth Forsberg, vice president of operations said that 25 new jobs were created at Goodwill with the opening of this location. “All of our staff is in place and we’ve been working really hard to make this a ‘go-to’ destination in Hillcrest. A stylish neighborhood like this brings top end donations that will please our shoppers, and help us to create more jobs for San Diegans.” The new store and donation center will be open 7 days a week. For more information on this and other locations, visit sdgoodwill.org. UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS OPEN AIRE MARKET OPENS THIS MONTH Starting on Nov. 16, from 9 a.m. – to 1 p.m., the University Heights CDC will begin putting on a weekly event to offer fresh produce, food truck congregation, art and entertainment. The venue will be the parking lot of the Eurgen Brucker Education Center at 4100 normal Street next to the historic ANNEX at the intersections of Park Blvd., Normal Blvd. and El Cajon Blvd. The event promises dance ad music classes, a monthly art show, and children showcasing their talents. Occurring every Saturday, this event will give University Heights residents the luxury of having a convenient outlet for local produce, shopping and entertainment previously coveted by nearby weekly farmers markets such as in North Park and Ocean Beach.t
THE STORK FLIES OVER THE RAINBOW Across 1 It comes before sex and marriage 5 Techie workplaces, often 9 Zipper problem 13 Rainbow, to some 14 Buck heroine 15 Hair of a stallion 16 Sunday service 17 Caesar’s last question 18 Coffee containers 19 Stalling sounds 20 Start of a Judy Garland quote 22 Ranch house 24 Dossier about Uranus? 25 Wolf’s warning 26 “Chicago” director Marshall 28 It may be kissed 29 Novel conclusion 30 Don, as a nightie 33 More of the quote 38 Bartenders’ servings 39 Two queens, e.g.
40 Pierce’s rank on “M*A*S*H” 43 Giant Mel 44 He gives gifts in stockings 45 Veronica of “Sotto, Sotto” 47 Fuel used in heating 49 End of the quote 52 Texas sch. 53 Seasoning for Rick Rodgers 54 Star of “There’s Something About Mary” 55 Begin to wake up 56 Arab head 57 Harold’s problem in “The Boys in the Band” 58 Fine-tune 59 Grace, or will to be diplomatic 60 Uses the mouth casually 61 They may be split
The Stork Flies Over The Rainbow solution on page 19
Down 1 “Of Human Bondage” author Maugham 2 Plant cultivated for food or flowers 3 Sailor’s dinner companion 4 Tennessee Williams twosome 5 “My Fair Lady” composer 6 Place for vows 7 Bean and Burke waved theirs around 8 Give the cold shoulder 9 Shirtless guy in hot pants 10 Realm of C.S. Lewis 11 Records of anal historians? 12 Beaux ___ (noble deeds) 20 Not in the pink 21 U-shaped river bend 23 Communion offering at Metropolitan Community Church 26 Diplomacy breakdown 27 Makes a selection 30 A gentleman might pull one out for his date 31 Hit high, like Billie Jean’s balls
32 Mt. Everest locale 34 One who handles your horse 35 “The Weary Blues” poet Hughes 36 Milk fortifier 37 Evidence of rubber usage 40 Many are out of it 41 ColÛn locale 42 Like Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” 44 Was in session 46 Not potent 47 Sound of metal on metal 48 Comes out slowly 50 Aussie greeting 51 Flaky mineral 55 Brown’s “Murder, ___ Meowed”
GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 1–14, 2013
Prizila Vidal–living, learning and giving back
I A N M O RTO N PROFILES IN ADVOCACY Prizila Dajia Vidal was not always the open and honest person with whom I shared mintchamomile tea at North Park’s lovely Café Calabria. Born “Jose Vargas” to a mother of Puerto Rican descent and a strong Catholic faith background, her journey has taken her through many trials that have shaped the young woman I had the delight to interview. Jose’s challenges started at an early age. As the second oldest of seven children born within a 12-year period, the need to just survive a childhood defined by a mother’s neglect or shame was paramount. Still “Jose” to family and friends, the gravitation toward clothing and actions that were characterized as “female” came as a natural aspect of his development at the age of 6. His mother went so far as to employ faithbased exorcism tactics to “heal” Jose of the behavior. With no success at familial reconciliation and an increasingly untenable family structure, Jose entered foster care at age 12. For three years, he was shuffled between a dozen different group homes, bearing the burden of being “different.” Self-described as
quiet, emotional and prone to violent outbursts, he found that staff responded to his attempts at “coming out” by denying that being LGBT was the issue. His strategy was to be just resistant enough to authority he’d be sent to his room. There he dove into writing poetry and the prose that would grow into his autobiography. In 2002, at the age of 15, Jose received his first foster placement with a gay couple in the Kensington area of San Diego. This was a hopeful moment for Jose, but unfortunately it was only a moment. After only a week, it was determined that a gay couple could not have a foster child and he was removed and sent to a Chula Vista family. Again, faced with religious surroundings similar to his early childhood, he withdrew once more, bargaining to just stay in a converted garage and not cause any problems. Soon he began sneaking out and travelling to Hillcrest to experience LGBT life. During this time, Jose began working as a contributor to the “Trauma Inform” project through Grossmont College, though he was only 16. These panels were meant to give voice to the reality of the “group home” experience. Although he had experienced abuse and even rape during his group home years, he did not disclose this and chose only to discuss the experience of being gay. At 18, Jose left his foster home and took to the streets, where he was homeless until the age of 20. On his 19th birthday, he was diagnosed the HIV but chose to deny it. It wasn’t until Jose hit his personal “rock bottom” that he began making some changes. He discovered and was accepted into Sunburst House, which gave him an opportunity to “reset” his life. It was three months after this transition that he met and began living with his first partner. Jose speaks fondly of how this man helped to build his sense of selfworth. It was during this time that
Jose came out as a transgender person. Once Jose began his journey toward “Prizila,” a name chosen as homage to “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert,” he questioned how this would affect other aspects of his life. One through line of his adult life had been work at the San Diego Public Library. Two years into his transition, at the time he would begin living as a woman, he inquired as to the protocol for resignation from the library. He found not only tacit acceptance, but support from his supervisor. This validation proved to be key in his steps toward advocacy.
MICHAEL KIMMEL LIFE BEYOND THERAPY
Prizila Dajia Vidal
(Courtesy Prizila Vidal)
The Prizila that sits with me today is a poised young woman with a mission to give hope to those who can relate to facets of her story. She continues to advocate for foster youth at the New Alternatives Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA), both working with youth during the coming out process, and during the transitional age of 18-24, linking young adults to housing, education and employment resources. She has plans to begin an outreach program to homeless youth to link them to foster care. “Being homeless is not a life,” she said. “I was there and thought things were good, but there is so much more to be linked to in the foster care system.” Prizila’s journey with HIV brought her to the Mother, Child and Adolescent Program (MCAP) at UC San Diego, where she continues to volunteer her time and story as a speaker for events and workshops. She could be found giving her testimonial at the 2012 World AIDS Day events on campus and this year at the National Latino HIV/AIDS Awareness Health Fair. She is also starting a support group at Christie’s Place, focusing on the 18- to 24-year-old population, once they “age out” of the MCAP program. At the library, she is part of the “Check Out a Living Book” series, and will be telling her story to audiences around the county. If that wasn’t enough, Prizila’s story was the inspiration for playwright Olivia Espinosa’s “Diva Piece Theatre,” a project to highlight the stories of foster youth presented at Diversionary Theatre in 2012. Prizila is defined by her experiences, but chooses what that definition will be. Finding her place as a role model, mentor and advocate has been a 26-year journey that will continue. She has received her Associate of Arts (AA) degree and is working toward a degree in Social Work so she can seek more opportunities to change lives. In her words, “Follow your dreams and don’t let anyone stop you. I have no regrets and I am happily living my truth.” t
After the recent Folsom Street Fair, a client said that he saw me on a list of “kink-friendly” therapists. I was intrigued. I wanted to know what that meant, so I Googled “kink” and got: “unusual sexual behaviors or practices.” To this I reply: Who defines what is “unusual” and “unusual for whom?” My curiosity piqued, I Googled: Fetish—an object or a part of the body that arouses sexual desire or is necessary for one to reach full sexual satisfaction. Leather—a community where people of varying body types are celebrated; a form of selfexpression; being proud of your sexuality by displaying it in your (leather) outfit or gear. BDSM—sexual practices or activities involving bondage, discipline, sadism, masochism or acts or domination and submission. Ah yes, BDSM. Years ago, as a new therapist, I felt that if I was going to work with the LGBT community, I wanted to know about aspects of the community that weren’t so mainstream. So, I signed up for a workshop on BDSM. It was quite enlightening. I can’t easily summarize it here, but there is so much more to it than I was aware. There were subtleties and nuances that pretty much blew the lid off my Ohio farmboy mindset. I am ashamed to admit that psychotherapy and psychology have—historically—not been friends to “practitioners of BDSM/Leather/Kink Lifestyles” (the term recommended by the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom). I am adding “fetish” to this community and calling it “the BFLK community.” Unfortunately, a lot of psychologists still view the BFLK community quite negatively, labeling them as “deviant.” To me, alternatives to traditional sexual behaviors and roles are not deviant, they are different. Just because someone else likes to do something that doesn’t appeal to you doesn’t mean it’s deviant, unhealthy or wrong. Many of us have never examined the moral codes that we were
raised with. Believe me: growing up on a farm in Ohio, I was neither encouraged to experiment with nor explore alternatives to traditional, conservative sexual roles. After working with clients over the years, I have learned that BFLK can be a practice, a lifestyle, an identity and an orientation. Regardless of how much a person incorporates elements of BFLK into their life, BFLK practitioners deserve respect and sensitivity, which has not always been forthcoming from San Diego’s LGBT community. Some psychologists label anything BFLK as unhealthy or harmful to your own mental health and that of your partner(s). To me, as a BFLK– friendly psychotherapist, I find that there are many ways to express healthy adult sexuality. For example, you might be tentatively exploring some of your (formerly secret) sexual/erotic fantasies. This exploration could take many forms. It could be as simple as being turned on a bit by the presence of leather or it could involve a major shift in your core sexual identity and lifestyle. The choice is yours. It’s your life and you get to decide what is “healthy” (or not) for you. If you decide to bring elements of the BFLK world into your erotic life, I encourage you to find supportive partners who can help you find a safe space to do so and will give you the support you need in your explorations. Thank God for the Internet, where it’s possible to find others who share your unique and specific fantasies and let you know that you are but one of many. It is very good for your mental health to know that you are not alone: you are a member of a community of like-minded people. Some people have figured out what they enjoy sexually, but have trouble figuring out how to integrate their sexuality into a caring and loving relationship. Being part of a BFLK community/ support group or working with a BFLK-friendly therapist can be helpful. Remember: it’s always worthwhile to question who defines what is “normal” or “healthy” and what their fears and biases are. I believe that it’s not until a person’s inner erotic life is embraced and affirmed that he or she can be intimate with another person. Self-acceptance of our erotic orientation is essential for our own peace of mind and intimacy with others. —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
GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 1–14, 2013
GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 1–14, 2013
We never close Grilled pork chops
(Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.)
FRANK SABATINI JR.
(l to r) The Monte Cristo; the Studio Diner’s neon sign; fish and chips (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.)
For insomniacs who might crave fried clams and a chocolate egg cream at 4 a.m., the Studio Diner is your friend. Or if you prefer pot roast for breakfast or eggs benedict for dinner, you got it.
he chrome-wrapped diner with fishbowl windows fried shell dusted in powdered sugar while applying and neon trim is also a haven for the rest of us raspberry preserves to each bite. It proved too rich to seeking a diversion from the beaten path. It finish and too donut-like for me when I sampled it. shines from a non-commercial district in Kearny Mesa The beer-battered Icelandic haddock used for fish as part of the 22-acre Stu Segall Productions comand chips extended off the plate, resulting also in a pound that was used for filming movies and television doggie bag. The batter was a little heavy, but it kept shows such as Silk Stalkings and The Renegade. The the fish exceptionally moist and flakey. Quelling the studios nowadays, we’re told, are reserved mostly for grease factor was tangy tartar sauce, a classic East military training. Coast version spiked generously with pickles and But the menu and motif at Studio Diner retains lemon juice. its retro-Hollywood flair. Metal movie reels double as I ordered a pair of grilled pork chops that rose Lazy Susans for various condiments while studio lights above the leathery quality found at other diners. point down to seating areas from a tin-stamped ceilSmothered in grilled onions, these were a little thicker ing. There’s also a lunch counter in the front, and juicier than most, although the dull sershould you prefer spying on the kitchen rated knife that was provided led me as it slings out dishes like “stunt to believe at first that the meat was man’s steak” and “Mihanny Vice” tougher than it actually was. egg scrambles. The chops came with The best part is that the green beans commendably diner is open 24/7, includpar-cooked and coated in ing most holidays. This garlic butter. A half cob year, however, it closes at of corn also tasted fresh, 10 a.m. on Thanksgiving not waterlogged, while Day and reopens at 5 the mashed potatoes a.m. the next morning. were from a box. But I’m Christmas hours are yet within that minority that to be determined. easily tolerates them. Customers from the In previous visits, LGBT and arts communiI’ve also tried the “sloppy Prices: Breakfast dishes, ties have been a common Bob,” which effectively $6.50 to $14.95; salads sight in visits I’ve made over summons memories of the years, which comes as a “Joe” with its sweet, tomato-y sandwiches and entrees, surprise that anyone ever finds ground beef dripping out from $3.75 to $21.95 the place given its remote locaall sides of a plain hamburger tion. But that’s part of the appeal. roll. The “big BLT” is a classic The menu runs the gamut from triple decker made with that middle East Coast specialties (New England slice of bread that is normally omitted these clam rolls) and Jewish-style fare (cheese blintzes) to days at other places; shame on them for erroneously Midwest comfort foods (chicken pot pies) and Baja calling them “club sandwiches.” burgers. There are also a few bygones tossed in like At a lunch outing a few months back, I was disappatty melts, sloppy Joes and an extreme version of the pointed with the Reuben, which I ended up sending egg-battered Monte Cristo sandwich. back because the corned beef was tough and fatty. I A separate menu card featuring six different exchanged it for an albacore tuna melt that easily comhomemade soups is currently in the offing. The “Jewpared to my all-time favorite tuna melt at Crest Café. ish penicillin” features clean and savory chicken stock Salad aficionados can go healthy or heavy. The “suhousing a large chunk of breast meat plus flat noodles, per veggie,” with its riot of broccoli, red bell peppers, celery, carrots and onions. It’s as comforting as the tomatoes, olives and avocado, is perfect for a gym day chicken soup at Milton’s in Del Mar. But if you’re look- while the “black & blue,” loaded down with flat iron ing for a cup of creamy decadence, the mushroom-brie steak strips, Gorgonzola and Caesar dressing, seems soup leaves a loving, earthier finish on the taste buds. better suited for a nap afterwards. A companion in our trio hankered for the Monte From the beverage list is the almighty chocolate Cristo, but passed it up in lieu of fish and chips when egg cream, a classic Brooklyn fountain drink combinhe read that it’s stuffed with ham, turkey, cheddar and ing chocolate syrup, milk and seltzer water blended to Swiss. He prefers the classic version filled only with one a foamy consistency resembling beaten eggs. Whether type of meat and cheese. So the other in our party oryou order it as dessert or pair it to meatloaf, a visit to dered it instead, forking through the sandwich’s crispy, this super diner isn’t complete without one. t
4701 Ruffin Road (Kearny Mesa)
GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 1–14, 2013
Drowning in Fire — a stunning debut B Y CA L E B R A I N E Y
OUT ON THE PAGE “I had just come for the test the first time, something I put off for way too long, choosing to live with ignorance rather than facing grim possible realities. If I didn’t know, I didn’t have to do anything. I couldn’t be sick if I didn’t know I was sick, could I? Did I really want to start taking massive doses of AZT, introducing a foreign substance in my body and suffering the side effects, if I ended up testing positive? Which was worse, knowing or not knowing?” This power ful quote is taken from Native American writer Craig S. Womack’s stunning debut novel, “Drowning in Fire.” There is simply not enough space in this column to say how impor tant, beautiful, and enlightening this novel truly is. The novel is structured in a series of memories and stories that span the 20th centur y and follow the lives of several people of the Muskogee (Creek) Nation. Most of the novel is based in Oklahoma, and fluctuates between three main narrators: Josh Henneha, Lucille Self, and Jimmy Alexander. Each narrator has a ver y distinct stor y, though they all interlock in various ways. It is impor tant to note that this novel is written outside white, Western literar y traditions and draws heavily from tribal stor ytelling and oral traditions. For example, narrative time is not linear; rather, the stor y moves back and for th ef for tlessly between dif ferent timeframes. The narrative is also often interrupted to introduce Native American myths and rituals. The novel opens with Josh Henneha
suffering from an earache. His aunt and caregiver, Lucille Self, attempts to comfort the young Josh by relaying to him the origin stor y of their clan. Stor ytelling is an extremely important facet of this novel and of Native writing in general. The incorporation of origin stories, creation myths, and guiding tales is integral to “Drowning in Fire” and provides the reader with an idea of the worldview of the characters. The novel continues to follow Josh—who is a
lying he experiences on the reservation, decides to go to college in the city. He ends up getting a well-paying job with the Department of Agriculture and exploring what the mainstream, white gay community has to offer. This novel ends with both men figuring out how to reconcile and love their Native, queer selves. Lastly, HIV is central to the narrative, as both men have to negotiate the threat and reality of that disease. The
It is important to note that this novel is written outside white, Western literary traditions and draws heavily from tribal storytelling and oral traditions. small, un-athletic, bookish, and feminine boy—as he is bullied to such a degree that “Josh Faggot was as familiar to him as Josh Henneha.” Josh’s childhood crush, Jimmy Alexander—who is athletic, more masculine, and half African-American— is more successful in hiding his queerness. The novel follows the two boys into adulthood as they take very different paths, both of which are intimately related to their Native identities. Jimmy embraces tribal traditions and takes his membership in the Creek Nation very seriously. He has a strong preference for other Native men, and has a deep love for reservation life. Josh, on the other hand, in an attempt to escape the poverty and bul-
opening quote is from Josh’s perspective as he is going into a Native American health clinic to test for the first time. Too often, Native men and women are left out of discussions of HIV and AIDS prevention and treatment. It seems to be common practice for the U.S. mainstream—including the gay mainstream—to behave as though Native peoples no longer exist, while in reality, stifling poverty, cultural genocide, sexual violence, environmental degradation, and HIV/AIDS continue to afflict Native American communities at astounding levels both in cities and on reservations. Craig Womack’s novel asks the reader to remember that Native people are alive and present. Josh, Jimmy, and Lucille insist that the gay
community value queer Native life as sacred and deserving of every effort to preserve it. Our beautiful city of San Diego has a large and thriving Native community that is too often ignored. Native men are left out of our major efforts to end HIV and AIDS, and their cultural practices and beliefs are not incorporated into white gay HIV/AIDS activism. We as a community can certainly do better, and we must. —Caleb Rainey recently graduated with his master’s degree in cultural studies. He is a long-time activist, and the founder and current facilitator of the San Diego Multicultural LGBT Book Club. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 1â€“14, 2013
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GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 1–14, 2013
Century 21 Award 619.668.4471 | cynthiaLbell.com Why Real Estate? Simply,to be of service. Whether it is finding a nearby restaurant or sharing information about market conditions. Whether finding the perfect home or selling your home, customer service is my primary concern. San Diego is an amazing city with many diverse neighborhoods, each offering their own distinctive traits. If you choose to live in the city, in a suburb, on the coast or in a rural area, you will most definitely find it in San Diego. For this reason, I choose to serve all of San Diego County. As you consider your next move, whether it be selling or buying, let me know how I can be of service. Oh, by the way, should anyone you know need the services of a Real Estate professional, like me, do you have someone to refer them to? I would like to be that person. Don’t hesitate to contact me. I look forward to hearing from you. Please know, I am never too busy for your referrals. One Goal*One Passion*Service
GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 1–14, 2013
Friday, November 1
BIG HAIR AT LIPS: Come see the Glamour Girls take the stage at Lips, located at 3036 El Cajon Blvd., As they say, it’s “big hair, high heels and a whole lotta duct tape” with first show seatings at 6:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Second show is 9:15 & 9:30 p.m. For tickets or more info, visit lipssd.com or call 619-295-7900.
Saturday, November 2
SHE-RANTULAS IN 3D: The latest Diversionary offering is called She-Rantulas from Outer Space in 3D and we can’t wait to see this new limited engagement comedy of horrors. But wait … if it’s live, isn’t it already in 3D? Created and written by Phil Johnson and Ruff Yeager, tonight is the official opening and they are sure you will be smitten. 8 p.m. at Diversionary Theatre, 4545 Park Blvd. For tickets visit diversionary.org/ sherantulas.html. NIKNO’S BIRTHDAY BASH: After the play, make your way to Rich’s to celebrate Nikno’s big day starting at 10 p.m. beginning with a hosted champagne reception. Then enjoy former Pussycat Doll Jessica Sutta performing her hit single, “Lights Out,” as well as Nikno and DJ John Joseph spinning. Rich’s is located at 1051 University Ave. For more info, visit richssanddiego.com or call 619-295-2195.
Sunday, November 3
PS PRIDE PARADE AND FESTIVAL: If you haven’t made it to Palm Springs for the weekend’s events yet, you still have
time to hit the parade at 10 a.m., which runs straight down S. Palm Canyon in the center of town. After the last contingent floats by, follow everyone over to the Pride Festival, located inside the Palm Springs stadium in Sunrise Park, 1901 E. Baristo Rd., at Sunrise Way. Festival hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more info visit PSPride.org.
Monday, November 4
NO COVER MANIC MONDAY: The Brass Rail is throwing us broke folk a bone with no cover all month long for their ever-popular Manic Mondays. It’s retro-time, with music from the ‘80s and ‘90s. Grunge is back, so put on your best flannel plaid and get to it. Brass Rail is located at 3796 Fifth Ave., doors are at 9 p.m. Visit Facebook.com/thebrassrailsd/.
Tuesday, November 5
HBC TRIVIA TUESDAYS: Our pals at Hillcrest Brewing Company (HBC), advertised as the only LGBT brewery in the world, are kicking it up a notch on Tuesdays with their Trivia game. Come beat the daylight savings blues either alone, in pairs, or with an entire team of 4, 6, or 8 players – and match your skills. You may even win one of the gift card prizes for first, second and third place. The action starts at 8 p.m. HBC is located at 1458 University Ave., in Hillcrest. For more info visit mosuniverse.com.
Wednesday, November 6
GUYS, GAMES AND GRUB: The LGBT Center kicks off the holiday season with this
popular 2-hour event that allows you to socialize while snacking, drinking and playing games with your friends. Cost is only $5 and goes to Men’s Programming at The Center. 6:30 p.m. The Center is located at 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. For more info visit lgbtcenter.org or call 619-692-2077.
Thursday, November 7
BELLY UP WITH MACY: Yep, Macy Gray will be bringing her raspy, soulful voice to the Belly Up Tavern at 8 p.m. Macy will be celebrating the 14 th anniversary of her “On How Life Is” album and playing the entire record for her fans. Belly Up is at 143 S. Cedros Ave., in Solana Beach. For tickets, visit bellyup.com. DUELING DRAG DIVAS: Dueling what!? That’s right, this will be 90-minutes of live singing, comedic female impersonation, with spoofs on Bette Davis, Cher, Eartha Kitt, Boozy Garland, Liza Martini, Karen Carpenter and Mama Cass, among others. Martinis Above Fourth is located at 3940 Fourth Ave. For tickets, visit martinisabovefourth.com or call 619-400-4500.
Friday, November 8
COMPLETELY KAHLO: “The Complete Frida Kahlo—Her Paintings. Her Life. Her Story” and if you haven’t seen it yet, today is the day. The Liberty Station exhibition features 123 precise replicas of Kahlo’s known paintings in their original size, becoming the largest, most comprehensive exhibition ever created about the iconic Mexican artist’s work, life and story (hence
the exhibition title). Also included are over 500 identical Kahlo possessions and a recreation of her studio and bedroom, including the famous canopy bed. This is the North American premiere, and the exhibit will stay at the Barracks 3 at the NTC Arts & Culture District in Liberty Station, 2765 Truxton Rd., Thursdays through Sundays before ending Jan. 10, 2014. Tickets start at $12.50. Visit thecompletefrida.com.
Saturday, November 9
POTTED POTTER: Are you a Harry Potter fan? Don’t miss out on this hilarious national “unauthorized” Harry Potter parody running this week at the Balboa Theatre, located at 868 Fourth Ave., Downtown. Today’s show times are 1:30 p.m., 4 p.m. & 8 p.m. Sandiegotheatres.org/potted-potter.
Sunday, November 10
QUIET AS A CHURCH MOUSE: No one is quiet at the award-winning Church, happening every Sunday at World Famous Babycakes, located at 3766 Fifth Ave., in Hillcrest. There is definitely some preaching going on here between 3 – 8 p.m. For more info visit babycakessandiego.com or call 619-296-4173.
Monday, November 11
ALL YOU CAN EAT SPAGHETTI: When was the last time you had an all-you-can-eat plate of fabulous spaghetti for a mere $5? Now that’s a bargain and the culinary staff at both Urban MO’s and Gossip Grill will make it happen between 6 – 11 p.m. All you need to do is purchase a beverage of
your choice. No take-outs or splits allowed, but who would expect to? Urban MOs is located at 308 University Ave. and Gossip Grill is just a few blocks east at 1440 University Ave., both in Fabulous Hillcrest. For more info, visit mosuniverse.com.
Tuesday, November 12
GSDBA LUNCH FOR PROS: This month the group meets at 11:30 a.m. for a fabulous lunch provided by Wang’s North Park, located at 3029 University Ave., and a presentation on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Small Business by Scripps Health. Members and nonmembers are welcome for just $25. For more information, visit gsdba.org or call 619-296-4543. DON’T CRY FOR HER: YES! Thanks to Broadway San Diego, Evita returns to the San Diego Civic Theatre today! Who doesn’t love the tragic and eventful life of Eva Perone, even if Madonna is not in the mix? Tonight’s show starts at 7 p.m. For more info and other times, visit broadwaysd.com/evita.htm.
Wednesday, November 13
SUSHI AND SAKE CLASS: Sushi lovers join Wang’s sushi master Chef Jeff Roberto for two glorious hours of sushi making and cocktail pairing, starting at 6:30 p.m. Learn how to serve or savor your sushi matched with sake cocktails in Wang’s intimate event space upstairs. This is the final class of the year and space is limited to 20. Cost is $49 per person. To reserve a space, call 619-2917500 or sushionarollsd.com.
see Calendar, pg 15
GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 1–14, 2013 FROM PAGE 14
CALENDAR FILMOUT PUTS ON THE RITZ: This monthly film presented by FilmOUT, San Diego’s LGBT Film Festival, helps them add cash to their coffers to put on a great festival every year. This month’s film is The Ritz, based on Terrance McNallay’s hilarious Broadway play of oddball characters. Come get some belly laughs at the Birch North Park Theatre, 2891 University Ave., starting at 7:30 p.m. For more info visit filmoutsandiego.com.
Thursday, November 14
EGYPTIAN MOVIE NIGHT: Don’t miss this brand new event hosted by the Hillcrest Business Association (HBA) called, “Egyptian Bazaar & Movie Night,” to be held along Park Blvd. between University and Robinson avenues starting at 5 p.m. This area is known for its Egyptian architecture, which the HBA plans to revive, starting with this event, which will include a pop-up park and sidewalk sale, with vintage clothing, retro furnishings, live art and plenty to eat. In addition, the area between Numbers and Heat Bar and Kitchen will be turned into an outdoor movie theater, complete with a hot cocoa and freshly popped corn concession. And the movie? Well “Cleopatra” with Lizzy Taylor, of course! Attendees should bring blankets, chairs, and money. For more information visit them at Facebook.com/EgyptianQuarter or call 619-299-3330. LAUGH OUT PROUD RETURNS: After a short hiatus, the folks who brought you barrels of laughter at the monthly Laugh Out Proud at Martinis Above Fourth are at it again. This is the only LGBT themed comedy show in San Diego, so get there. Sarah Burford is at the helm and headliners will be announced soon. Show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are only $5. Arrive early for pre-show food and drinks and a good spot. For more info, visit martinisabovefourth.com or call 619-400-4500.
For inclusion in the calendar, email editor@ gay-sd.com.t
Music with a deep message Jennifer Knapp was a Christian-folk-rock-music sensation and at the top of her game, when she suddenly took a leave of absence and disappeared “down under.” Seven years later she re-emerged, with a whole new cache of songs—considered more mainstream than Christian—and some pretty big news: she was gay. Fast-forward three years since her last record, “Letting Go” was released and its accompanying tour offered its challenges, after which Knapp launched “Inside Out Faith,” a nonprofit aimed at opening up dialogue between her secular and non-secular fans and bridging the gap between those who were gay and those who were not. “Religious leaders and communities are starting to get organized and realize that breaking the cycle of faith-based oppression and marginalization of LGBT people is theirs to influence or ignore,” Knapp told Gay San Diego. “Some of us gay folks are finding not just safe places to tell our stories, but powerful, ready to act communities of support.” This weekend, Knapp returns to San Diego with a new message; it’s okay to be gay and Christian. She will take the stage at 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 1 at The Ineric, located at 3090 Polk St. in North Park, an entertainment venue that doubles as Missiongathering Church the rest of the week. She said you can expect her set to include songs from her award-winning Christian albums, songs from “Letting Go,” and new songs she’s been working on for her next record. On Saturday at 7 p.m., Knapp will return to the church and have a conversation about what it is like to be an LGBT person of faith. She said she will play a few songs that helped her through her journey and then open it up to questions. Missiongathering is a progressive evangelical church led by openly gay Pastor Rich McCullen. Knapp says social media has played a big part in keeping her music alive and she is currently involved in a crowd-funding campaign to finance her next album. You can follow her on Facebook and even throw a little cash her way to help get this next record made. She describes the writing as “really circumspect, relational, and very vulnerable ... Let’s see if I have the courage to let it be as raw as it might need to be.” Her crowd-funding site is pledgemusic.com/projects/jenniferknapp. Tickets to Knapp’s Friday, Nov. 1 performance are $20 in advance, $22 at the door. Her “Inside Out Faith” series is open and free to the public. To purchase advance tickets or to learn more about Knapp and her nonprofit, visit jenniferknapp.com or insideoutfaith.org.t
(Courtesy Jennifer Knap)
GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 1–14, 2013
Currently, the San Diego premiere of Kristoffer Diaz’s 2010 off-Broadway Obie Awardwinning (and Pulitzer Prize contender) comedy, “The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity,” is co-directed by company member Catalina Maynard and Founder/Executive Artistic Director Claudio Raygoza at Hillcrest’s ion theatre. All it requires is rudimentary knowledge of professional wrestling, a sharp ear and a well-honed sense of fun. Diaz, Maynard, Raygoza and an exceptionally good company provide the rest. The show is ingeniously staged upon Ragoza’s set, which sports a wrestling ring drafted by Curt Green and constructed by Meservy Custom Fabrication. Every power bomb slam seems so real and painful the viewer is rocked to the toes. Each elaborate entrance of the champion fraud named Chad Deity (Vimel Sephus) enhances the experience even more, and one totally falls for the oily charms of wrestling promoter Everett K. Olson (Jake Rosco), who uses an outrageously fake voice when hyping coming attractions. Playgoers may remember Diaz’s knack for sharp, articulate dialogue from “Welcome to Arroyo’s,” an entertaining hip-hop play presented by The Old Globe in 2010. A rip-roaring comedy, “Chad Deity” proves the Puerto Rican-American Diaz is a voice to which attention must be paid. This work, too, has its hip-hop, heard in the natural dialogue that occurs between the hired “fall” guy, Macedonio “Mace” Guerra (Steven Lone), and his handpicked successor, Vigneshwar “VP” Paduar (ion debutant Keala Milles). Macedonio acts as narrator, and in one of the playwright’s most brilliant strokes, all the remaining challengers—Bad Guy, Billy Heartland and Old Glory—are portrayed by one actor, in this case the battered but unbowed
Evan Kendig. At its heart the play exposes the cheesy nature of wrestling, and wrestling is, as Macedonio says, “a unique expression of the ideals of this nation.” Everything is exploited; everyone is insulted. Like that or not, “The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity” is a truly funny and raucous send-up of what many take quite seriously, the collision of muscles and money and elaborate entrances. The work is both amusing and terrifying, and it makes for grand entertainment, especially as crammed into ion so tightly that every fall is felt. The artistic team comprises producer Glenn Paris, stage manager Jessica Abad, sound designers Kendig and James Dirks, lighting designer Karin Filijan and costume designer Mary Summerday. With brilliant reds, blues, spandex and sequins, Summerday captures the cheese right down to the wrestlers’ tip toes. It’s one magnificent sombrero and so much more! Other than discovering and presenting such fare, the primary gift of ion theatre company is that Paris and Raygoza stick with their art-
ists, nurturing and challenging them over an extended period, inviting their full potential. For instance, we’ve had glimmers before, but who ever knew that Steven Lone was such an excellent comedian? It’s as if Diaz wrote this play for this theater company and this company of players. “The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity” continues through November 16 at ion theatre company, 3704 Sixth Ave., Hillcrest, tickets are $29–$35, iontheatre.com or 619-600-5020. Charlene Baldridge moved to San Diego from the Chicago area in 1962. She’s been writing about the arts since 1979, and has had her features, critiques, surveys and interviews included in various publications ever since. Her book “San Diego, Jewel of the California Coast” (Northland Publishing) is currently available in bookstores. She can be reached at email@example.com. t
(t to b) Steven Lone and Vimel Sephus. (Courtesy ion theatre)
gay-sd.com FROM PAGE 1
SHE-RANTULAS When investigating the “bad acting” in films of the era, they ran across a movie poster that featured a huge, hairy tarantula. Give that spider a gender switch, mix with fear of the other, and it becomes “She-Rantulas from Outer Space— in 3D!” Johnson terms the work a mix of farce and satire – a new genre called “fartire.” The production features some of San Diego’s finest comedians. In addition to Johnson as the AllAmerican Mother, Tony Houck as her daughter, Suzie; Andy Collins as Harry/Harriet; Melinda Gilb as Flora, Gladys et al; and Fred Harlow as Fred/Frieda. Once the punctuation of “SheRantulas from Outer Space—in 3D!” had been nailed down, the writer asked what one needed to know before attending. “Wear spatter-proof clothing!” exclaimed Johnson, adding immediately, “Unlike ‘The Long Goodbye, we don’t really splash blood, but people will be killed.” Yeager says, “But don’t tell people that. We want it to be a surprise. There are lots of surprises.” Johnson allows there are plenty of just plain surprises, but the visual ones are going to be funny and fantastic. “It’s so much of the era, he says, “fear of Communism, fear of talking about sex, fear of dealing with other people – thick with denial that eventually pops out in front of your face.” Yeager adds a landlord and his wife with marital problems and an Avon lady who fears those who do not go to church. “It’s all comedy based in human problems.” Johnson visited Yeager in Utah. They tweaked the script, eliminating only a page, which indicates it was already tight when they went into rehearsal, where they continue to make refinements. Meanwhile, Johnson has female problems. “It’s so complicated, being a ‘50s woman,” he says. “This isn’t just drag makeup. I’m used to putting on some foundation and that’s it – Go! Collins and Harlow are in the same boat with me – who took my eyelashes?” Johnson is enamored of his character’s apron, utilitarian tea towel on one side, “and then you turn it around, and it’s an entertaining apron with chiffon and sprinkles! In that world, you know, you have to be ready to change in a second.” Yeager says the play has its own kind of formal and polite language, full of superlatives like, “’Oh, the thrilling, delicious refinement of your embroidery’s edge!’ when ‘Take a look at that drape’ would do.” No matter how you say it, spell it or punctuate it, “She-Rantulas” is bound to amuse. Can’t wait for Jennifer Brawn-Gittings’ costumes and Peter Herman’s wigs and makeup design. “She-Rantulas From Outer Space—in 3D!” plays October 24 (official opening, November 2) through November 17 at Diversionary Theatre, 4545 Park Bvld., diversionary.org or 619-220-0097. t
GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 1–14, 2013
(l to r) The San Diego Wrestling Club holds practices twice a week at The Center (Courtesy SDWC). Roman Jimenez coaches first base during a Spring 2013 game. (Photo by Josh Ramirez)
San Diego Wrestling Club Recognizing Roman The San Diego Wrestling Club (SDWC), the only local wrestling club catering to the LGBT community, is beginning its 16th season. The club invites those interested in learning freestyle wrestling to attend practices on Thursdays from 7 – 9:30 p.m. and Sundays from 4 – 7 p.m. at The San Diego LGBT Center. This is an opportunity to learn the basics of wrestling and how to participate with the Bulldogs. Bring your workout gear and be ready to hit the mat. The Center is located at 3909 Centre St., just off University Avenue on the eastern edge of Hillcrest. The SDWC and its talented coaching staff focus on the adult wrestler and offers a place for all those interested in wrestling, regardless of age, weight, gender or orientation, and especially welcomes beginning wrestlers. The club also participates in tournaments and competitions including its own Bulldogs Wrestling Tournament, hosted here in San Diego ever y Februar y. The next competition for local wrestlers will be the Sin City Shootout, held in Las Vegas over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend in Januar y. To help send the club to its upcoming competitions, including the 2014 Gay Games in Cleveland, SDWC will be holding a fundraiser at Flicks on Nov. 8 at 9 p.m. There will be wrestling demonstrations, drink specials and raffle prizes. If you are interested in learning more about SDWC, please contact Coach Tom via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 619-569-7547. You can also visit the San Diego Wrestling Club’s website at sdwrestling.org.
In late 2008, my friend Roman Jimenez and I acted on an idea we had chatted about for over a year, coaching together. We both enjoyed the teaching aspect of softball every bit as much as actually playing the game and Roman was already the manager of his own C team in America’s Finest City Softball League (AFCSL). We had played together in the B Division before, as well. While I had years of experience playing in the B division, other recreational leagues and during high school, I had never coached in AFCSL and I was not ready to do it alone. If Roman had not said yes, I would not have had the chance to coach. We began recruiting players who we felt would be coachable and would fit into our team chemistry demands. Win or lose, we were going to build a team that got along and had fun. Roman was a big part of that. He has been a popular figure in the LGBT sports community for well over a decade. If you have played softball, you know Roman. He wrote a longrunning sports column in the Gay and Lesbian Times. When you combine his visibility with an affable sense of humor, I knew people would want to play for him. Our team would be sponsored by Baja Betty’s, and in choosing not to have a team nickname—we jokingly referred to ourselves as Sin Nombre, meaning “without a name” in Spanish—we quickly became known both locally and around the country as “Betty’s.” Among Roman’s first recruits was Luis Perez. Yes, THAT Luis Perez, the DJ whose career is flourishing in New York City now and who plays at venues across the world. When we think of big-
name DJs, we do not often think of beginning-level softball players. But Roman and Luis were friends, and the DJ turned out to be a cheetah in the outfield and on the base paths. Teams could not throw him out because he was too quick. Roman also recruited a man then in his late 50s, John Thorley, who proved to be as solid of a pitcher as anyone in AFCSL’s D Division. Roman was a master at finding hidden gems. Of the 15 players who made up Betty’s inaugural team in Spring 2009, 11 of them had never picked up a bat. Roman spent countless hours working with guys at the batting cages teaching them what a swing plane is, how to rotate their hips and how to watch the ball without being afraid of being hit. Despite our inexperience, we went 18-2 that season, mostly due to our offense. Roman pounded the message into their heads: hit the ball into the ground and run like the wind, because the other team will not throw you out. Betty’s made it to the World Series that year in Milwaukee and finished a remarkable eighth place out of nearly 40 teams. I recall shaking Roman’s hand after the final game, looking at him as we both realized just how proud we were of those kids. Many of the guys, ages 21 to 58, had never succeeded at any level of any sport in their lives. Seeing a man in his 40s, Jeffrey Lyman, hit well in the only sport he had really ever played gave us each a lot of satisfaction as teachers. I would rather see Lyman hit a game-winning double than hit my own walk-off home run, and so would Roman. “Roman inspired me to want to be a better player,” recalled Lyman. “His enthusiasm for the sport just couldn’t help but rub off on you.”
Betty’s went 17-3 during the 2010 spring season and returned to the Series, this time in Columbus, Ohio. With most of the same team from 2009, Betty’s went on a run that neither Roman nor I have experienced while playing on our own teams. We lost our first double-elimination game and were then down a dozen runs in the final inning of what would be our final game if we lost. Instead, the boys rallied to tie the game and sent it to extra innings, where we prevailed over a shocked Houston team. We went on to keep winning all afternoon, finally running out of gas by dawn but finishing a San Diego D Divisionrecord fifth place in the Series. I credit that remarkable run by the players to two things: their ability to perform, and their refusal to ever quit regardless of the score. Roman had a tremendous knack for getting guys to believe in themselves at the plate and not worry about the score or the count. Players win games, but I give Roman a big assist here. Roman recently announced his retirement from coaching our D team. As Commissioner of AFCSL, manager of the Flicks Lawmen in C, and head of the committee working to bring the World Series to San Diego in 2016—not to mention having recently tied the knot—his plate is full.
Betty’s will never be the same without Roman and as such, we have decided to re-brand ourselves as a new team under a new sponsor. L yman is the only original “Betty” still on the roster. From young guys like Casey Bell and Kyle Bullis to veterans like Thorley and Danny Garcia, Roman played a major role in helping these guys succeed and believe in themselves. Instead of being picked last on the elementar y school team or made fun of, these guys were champions, coached by someone I am proud to call my friend. “Wow, I am really sad to hear that he is leaving,” Garcia said. “Roman asked me to play with Betty’s that first year, and I have never had a better season before or after! He coached us to be teammates, softball players, and contenders. He was not only a coach, but someone I call a friend!” “Roman is one of the reasons I fell in love with softball,” said Josh Tucker, Betty’s third baseman. “He taught me to keep score when he coached the man I was dating. He took the time to foster my understanding of the game and encouraged me to keep it up even when I wanted to quit. He’s an awesome coach, a good player, and a riot to play with.” While we did win a Palm Springs tournament in 2011, we do not measure the success of Betty’s in wins and losses. We measure it by the number of lives changed for the better. Roman is not going away, but his five years co-managing our team in the D Division were as memorable as anything I have ever had in sports. Thanks buddy, you will be missed. —Jeff Praught is actively involved in the LGBT sports community, where he plays in the local softball (AFCSL), football (SDAFFL) and basketball (SD Hoops) leagues. He has served on AFCSL’s board of officers in various capacities and is currently the commissioner of SD Hoops.t
GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 1–14, 2013 ADOPTION
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GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 1–14, 2013
DollarSmart 405 Washington St. San Diego, Ca 92103 619-542-0500 | dollarsmart.org
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THE STORK FLIES OVER THE RAINBOW, from pg.7 LANDSCAPING
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Gay San Diego
GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 1–14, 2013
A Carrie for the Queer Age
Chloë Grace Moretz talks gay brothers, queer take on a classic and not being a lesbian Chloë Grace Moretz as Carrie (Courtesy Screen Gems)
By Chris Azzopardi | Q Syndicate We might not have telekinetic powers, but the gay community knows what it’s like to be Carrie. We know the torment from kids at school. We know the pressure from parents to change who we are. It only makes sense, then, that a lesbian filmmaker—“Boys Don’t Cry” writer/ director Kimberly Peirce—give her spin on Stephen King’s creepy classic, first adapted for the screen in 1976 with Sissy Spacek in the titular role. This reboot stars 16-year-old Chloë Grace Moretz as Carrie, and Julianne Moore plays her intensely religious mother, Margaret White. We caught up with Moretz to chat about her gay brothers inspiring this take on the iconic character, the queerness of Peirce’s reimagining and why people think the actress is a lesbian (but shouldn’t). Chris Azzopardi: As if you weren’t cool enough, you recently told the press that you stuck up for your brothers when they were being teased for being gay. Chloë Grace Moretz: Aww, thank you. People say that, but I don’t even do it to have that effect. I do it because I know what’s right and I know what’s wrong, and I grew up with my two gay brothers who were completely ostracized and manipulated into thinking what they were feeling, from the time they were born, was wrong and sinful and potentially life-threatening. CA: How much of your brothers’ personal experience became a part of your experience on Carrie? Did you have them in mind while you were playing her?
CGM: Yeah, of course. Whenever you play a character that is going through certain things and you can, in some way, understand them even more—when you have a personal aspect that can actually relate to the character—then it takes (the role) to a whole other level, because you’ve seen it and you’ve experienced it. CA: Why didn’t people mess with you when you were younger? They obviously didn’t know you’d grow up to be Carrie. CGM: (Laughs) I dealt with a lot of stuff when I was younger. I had girls tell me it was a dress-up party and I showed up in a ballet-dancing outfit and it turned out that it wasn’t a dress-up party. No one was dressed up except for me. CA: Bullying, particularly in the LGBT community, has been a hot topic in the last few years. With that said, how is Carrie particularly relevant now? CGM: It strikes a definite chord within us because we have seen these kids who have been pushed so far and have been so isolated and so ostracized within their communities that they eventually emotionally combust in several different ways: in suicide, in massacres, in whatever else. And the sadness about this movie is, it’s what you’ve seen in real life; it’s just portrayed on a screen. It’s relevant because of the things that have been going on, and it strikes a deeper chord than it did in the ’70s. CA: What was it like working with Kimberly Peirce?
CGM: Working with Kim is something that’s always been a dream for me. She’s an absolutely brilliant director and she taught me so much as an actor, especially not being scared to jump into things. Also, she shared a lot of her personal experiences with me. Because Kim is a lesbian, I saw a whole other side of what she went through (being gay) in a different time period. It was interesting to see the different takes on it, me being a young straight kid who’s never had to deal with that. I’ve dealt with bullying in different aspects, but my friends who are lesbians— and gay people in general—have dealt with another level of bullying. CA: Why do you gravitate toward strong female roles? CGM: They’re close to home. For me, playing these fiercer characters is easiest for me. Where I thrive the most is playing these characters that are strong and forthright. Just being able to play characters like Carrie who are vulnerable and scared is more of a stretch for me and more of an acting job, which I find particularly a bit more interesting. But I also love playing the fierce, empowering female characters, just because I think we’ve passed the point in time where female actors always have to be the damsel in distress. CA: You must know that gay men really admire strong female characters. Because of the tough roles you play, how would you feel one day being regarded as a gay icon?
gay-sd.com in a lot of movies, especially horror movies, women tend to become sexually exploited. I think working with a female director – one that is a lesbian – she definitely respects women more. I found that enlightening in a way, and refreshing compared to a lot of male directors who just want, you know, sex in their movies because they think that’s what hits the teen community. CA: You have “Laggies” with Keira Knightley coming out soon. Rumor is there’s some lesbian action between you and Keira. So … is there? CGM: (Laughs) There isn’t any! That was such a lie. It’s so funny. I talked to Keira about that and she said, with every single movie she’s ever done, that’s a rumor and she doesn’t know why it’s a rumor. But literally, in any movie she does with another female actor, that rumor comes out. CA: Would you be up for it if the role required it? CGM: If it’s appropriately done, I don’t have any fears about it. It’s a real part of life, and as an actor you have to be able to portray any character. If it’s a brilliant role with a great director and a great script and everything else, then why not? Chris Azzopardi is the editor of Q Syndicate, the international LGBT wire service. Reach him via his website at chris-azzopardi.com.t
CGM: That’d be crazy! It’d be such an honor to be considered that. I think that is a community that, when they recognize you and accept you into the fold, it is one that is very, very true and honest and they are very supportive. That’s all my brothers want from me! CA: Did Kimberly leave her queer mark on this film? CGM: Yeah. Honestly, I think what I found interesting is, with her take on it she didn’t exploit female characters. I feel like
(l to r) Moretz and Julianne Moore as her mother (Courtesy Screen Gems)
GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 1–14, 2013
NIGHTMARE ON NORMAL ST. The San Diego LGBT Center presents Nightmare on Normal Street Saturday, Oct. 26 (Photos by Big Mike)
GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 1–14, 2013
6 Tips to Avoid Skipping your Workouts
BLAKE & GWEN BECKCOM
FITNESS Around this time of the year, as opportunities arise to trade in daily workouts for work, and personal extracurricular activities, you may be tempted to skip your workout and derail your health and fitness goals. To help keep you focused on your ultimate fitness goals and ensure your workout commitments stay intact, incorporate the following techniques for continued health and fitness throughout the year. • Change it Up: If your workouts are getting dull, start off fresh by trying a new workout routine or activity. Do you
current routine backwards, or cut it into thirds and move the thirds around in the workout. If you’re lacking motivation and looking for a social outlet, challenge a friend, colleague or family member to pair up so you don’t have to go it solo. Or, one-on-one personal training can keep you on track with a customized workout and nutrition plan designed to meet your specific health and fitness goals. • Pen it In: Regularly scheduled workouts make exercising a priority in your busy life and turn a tentative penciled in obligation into an inked commitment. By making routine fitness appointments with yourself, you eliminate the urge to second guess yourself or make excuses for bailing on your workout. When you build out your time budget, make sure that this is in it. • Buddy Up: When a friend is relying on you to show up for your workout each and every day, you are less likely to skip out on your fitness routine. Find a buddy to work out with to increase your accountability, add a social aspect to your routine and have someone to share the journey with to overall health and fitness. The
extra push you get from someone in the trench with you, can and will reignite any dormant fitness flames. • GO when you don’t want to: The mental boost you get from fighting off the bailout thoughts is extremely rewarding. Once you get started; and your heart rate comes up, and those endorphins start dancing about, suddenly you’re alive again. Some of my best workouts came on the back of not wanting, or feeling up to it. The physical and mental boost was enormous. • Scale it Back: While you would love to have a full hour to work out every session, you know that isn’t always possible. Instead of bailing on your workout, when your schedule gets tight, opt for a scaled-down version of your regular routine. Focus on quality over quantity by reducing the number of exercises you do, but increase the intensity of the exercises so you can still get in a good sweat even when you’re limited on time. • Reward Yourself: To stay motivated with your workout routine, it’s important to focus your outlook and approach on positive measures. Reward yourself with positive reinforcement each time
you reach a health and fitness goal and celebrate your successes when you accomplish major fitness milestones. Seeking a reward and then receiving the reward is a good mental motivator. Stay on track with your fitness routine by implementing the above fitness tips into your daily life. You will be glad you did when the weather allows for more and more revealing attire. Plus, your mental state of mind will be upbeat and positive as you will know that you conquered the temptations to miss workouts that create set backs. It is a great feeling of both visual and mental accomplishments. If you need help with keeping your workout commitments, give us a call to re-commit yourself to living a healthy and fit lifestyle. —Gwenn and Blake Bechcom own Fitness Together in Mission Hills, offering personal training with qualified professionals by regular appointment in private suites. Exercise and nutritional programs are custom designed to fit your needs and abilities. Call 619794-0014 for more information or to schedule a free fitness diagnostic and private training session.t
gay-sd.com FROM PAGE 3
CELEBRATE The Save Our Heritage Organization (SOHO), which touts itself as San Diego County’s largest historic preservation group, is behind many of the details. “We think it’s especially fitting to celebrate this holiday in Old Town, the oldest part of San Diego and historically multicultural, having been settled first by Native Americans, then the Spanish and Mexicans, and then the Americans,” said Alana Coons, director of education and communications with SOHO. Coons, described as chief organizer of Dia de los Muertos, said one of the primary objectives behind the Old Town event is to give visitors an insight into the holiday, which is frequently confused with Halloween, but not associated with it despite the close proximity on the calendar. “This celebration is a means of bringing the community together to experience the tradition and culture surrounding Day of the Dead,” Coons said. “We hope everyone will embrace the magic and leave the event with something lasting on an emotional level, as well as having just a great, fun time.”t
GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 1–14, 2013
GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 1–14, 2013