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Volume 4 Issue 20 Oct. 4–17, 2013 Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.



Pg. 12


Showing our ‘Pride @ The Beach’ Oct. 12



crew have been touring since January, with San Diego near the end of their yearlong run. He said it is easy to get swept up in the visuals – the costumes alone won the Tony Award for Best Design – and party-like atmosphere of the show, but at its heart, “Priscilla” is topical, even 20 years after the film’s debut. “We’re met with extreme enthusiasm and kind of an uncanny amount of energy return at the end of the show,” he said, calling it “beautiful” to feel as an actor. “What I’ve found in touring the

On behalf of the North County LGBTQ Resource Center, we wish to welcome you to Pride @ The Beach: North County San Diego’s only LGBTQ Pride Festival. Created in 2007 by the North County Coalition, Pride @ The Beach offers delicious food, live entertainment, a children’s garden and various recourses and vendors. We invite individuals from all over San Diego County to participate, and with the contributions from sponsors including Family Matters that provide us with a wonderful children’s garden, we invite families with children of all ages. Pride @ The Beach is held Oct. 12 between the hours of 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. at 236 The Strand in Oceanside, Calif. Tickets are $5, however military personnel are free. Our venue is located directly across from the beach, and offers participants a beautiful, peaceful environment. As the director of Pride @ The Beach, this event hits very close to home for me. Growing up in North County as a young LGBTQ person, I found a disconnection between my community in North County and the larger LGBTQ community in San Diego. Attending a Pride Festival for me was nearly impossible, as the nearest Pride event was in Hillcrest. When LGBTQ individuals have a community that is within reach, it provides them with much needed support and resources, and that is why Pride @ The Beach is so important to me. I

see Priscilla, pg 10

see BeachPride, pg 10

Central Library opens

w DINING The touring show of “Priscilla” brings the award-winning costumes to San Diego Oct. 15. (Courtesy Broadway San Diego)

New-world Persian


Costumes & a party atmosphere keep this iconic LGBT story of acceptance and belonging relevant By Anthony King | GSD Editor

‘Oscar Wilde’ fun


There is something special about Priscilla, our own “Queen of the Desert.” Perhaps the LGBT community claims it so strongly because the 1994 film became a commercial and critical hit, launching itself into cult status so quickly upon release. Or perhaps it is because it is inclusive of the often forgotten transgender, gender queer and bisexual identities that make up our LGBT spectrum. What is known, however, is that the story – now a Broadway musical sensation and touring production show – touches on the basic tenants

of acceptance and trusting your own nature, whatever that may be. “Priscilla Queen of the Desert: The Musical” comes to San Diego for eight shows, Oct. 15 – 20, and cast member Wade McCollum – playing Tick, one of the three leads who makes that iconic journey across the Australian Outback – said he loves exactly what he is doing. “The message in the movie and in the play is belonging and overcoming self doubt,” McCollum said. “I think the play does a very good job of partying around those themes.” And what a party this show has been. McCollum and the cast and

Democrats for Equality endorse Alvarez Mayoral candidate forum focuses on infrastructure, jobs and fighting homelessness By Manny Lopez | GSD Reporter

Janelle Monáe is gay inspired

INDEX OPINION…………………6 BRIEFS.…………………7 COMMUNITY…………….8 CLASSIFIEDS……………18 TRAVEL………………..21 SPORTS……………….22

CONTACT US Editorial/Letters 619-961-1952

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The San Diego Democrats for Equality endorsed City Councilmember David Alvarez for mayor at their September meeting. A special election to replace former Mayor Bob Filner, who resigned in August, will be held in November. In a candidate forum held Sept. 26 at the Joyce Beers Uptown Community Center in Hillcrest, Alvarez received the required 60 percent vote needed to win the LGBT advocacy group’s nod after two rounds of polling. “I’m extremely proud to receive this endorsement,” Alvarez said, who, at 33 years old, is the youngest mem-

ber on the City Council. If elected, Alvarez will be San Diego’s first Latino mayor. “I’ve stood with this club on all sorts of issues and this is one of the most important Democratic clubs in the city,” he said. Other candidates at the forum were former City Attorney Mike Aguirre, Save Our Heritage Organisation (SOHO) executive director and businessperson Bruce Coons, and former Assemblymember Nathan Fletcher. Under allotted time limits, Coons and Fletcher introduced their platform and



David Alvarez

see Equality, pg 7

(Photo by Manny Lopez)


GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 4–17, 2013


GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 4–17, 2013


Embrace helps rebuild lives Home remodel to give fresh start to paralyzed Navy officer, who also decides to come out Delaney graduated from the United States Merchant Marine Academy in 1995, and has served as a first division officer, combat system officer, operations officer, executive officer and eventually commanding officer of the USS Harpers Ferry. He has completed deployments to the Persian Gulf, volunteered for a tour in Iraq to support Operation Iraqi Freedom, and earned his master’s degree in transportation management. During his naval career,

make life a little easier for Brian,” said Embrace CEO Sean Sheppard. A paralyzed Navy officer from “Our volunteers and sponsors are San Diego will be getting a helping extremely excited to serve this memhand from a group of local college ber of our armed forces.” students and volunteers, who are Workers will remodel the planning an extensive remodel to kitchen to install ADA-compliant make his house suitable for his cabinets and countertops, allowing needs as a disabled homeowner Delaney to prepare meals or wash and veteran. dishes while using his motorized Navy Cmdr. Brian Edgar wheelchair. Ramps will be installed Delaney, who is still on active duty, and doors will be widened to allow was severely injured approximately easy movement for Delaney. nine months ago in a motorcycle Other changes will include accident that upgrades to severed his spithe front yard nal cord, leaving and backyard, him paralyzed improvements from the armpits to the master down. He was bedroom and in intensive guest bedroom, care for more and making than a month, the barbecue and endured pit wheelchairmany weeks in accessible. recovery. “This As soon as remodel will be he was able, such an amaz(l to r) Embrace founder Sean Sheppard, Frank Havens and Brian DeLaney ing blessing,” Delaney turned (Courtesy SDGLN) over command Delaney said. “A of the amphibilot of little things ous dock landing ship USS Harpers Delaney was well regarded, and that we used to take for granted are Ferry (LSD 49) to Cmdr. Stephen the change-of-command ceremony now causing us a lot of stress and James Ilteris during an April 11 drew Vice Adm. Tom Copeman, aggravation. With the remodel all ceremony at Naval Base San Diego, Commander, Naval Surface Force, of those things are getting taken the homeport of the ship. U.S. Pacific Fleet. Copeman said care of, allowing us to focus on The remodel will mark a fresh Delaney was a “true mariner.” other things such as our relationstart for Delaney as well as his The philanthropic group ship and our family.” partner of 15 years, Frank Havens, Embrace chose Delaney through In the video, Delaney says he is who have decided it is the right its Healing Our Heroes’ Homes time to come out to their family, program. Organizers say the value friends, neighbors and military of the remodel, for labor and supcolleagues. plies, is estimated at $85,000. Work In a video about the remodeling on the group’s seventh project is project, viewers met the couple and scheduled to be completed Oct. Delaney’s mom, who acknowledges 16 – 21, making the couple’s home her concerns on how coming out compliable with American Disabiliwould impact her son’s military caties Act (ADA) standards. reer while pointing out how Havens “Upon meeting Commander could not go to Delaney’s military Delaney, his family and surveying events all these years while the their home, I immediately knew that officer was in the closet. we’d be doing all we could to help By Ken Williams | SDGLN Editor in Chief

(l to r) Havens, DeLaney and Embrace’s mascot, Bracie (Courtesy SDGLN) grateful to Embrace for the remodel, and gets choked up talking about the support he has gotten from his parents and his longtime partner since the motorcycle accident abruptly and permanently altered his life. “The first coherent conversation that I had with [Frank], it was pretty much, ‘I know you are paralyzed, I don’t care, we’re going to get through this, I’m not leaving you,’” Delaney said. People like Delaney are what Embrace is all about. The group’s Healing Our Heroes’ Homes program focuses on helping restore the homes of disabled veterans, and organizers mobilize college students, local residents and other volunteers to serve. The goal is to create a multicultural, multi-ethnic service learning experience for all who volunteer. Delaney said Embrace is

stepping forward quickly, unlike his experience with the Veterans Administration. “The VA has means with which we could remodel our home but as always there is red tape. I’ve been trying to get the process going since January and I was nowhere close when Embrace contacted us. So not only is this an amazing blessing, it is also happening so much faster than I had ever dreamed,” Delaney said. “This is huge for me, makes me feel almost human again, instead of this thing in a wheelchair,” he said. “It’s amazing.” —Ken Williams is Editor in Chief of San Diego Gay & Lesbian News, a media partner of Gay San Diego. He can be reached at, @ KenSanDiego on Twitter, or by calling 888-442-9639, ext. 713.t


GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 4–17, 2013


Central Library opens to much fanfare LGBT collection supported by campaign; branch to host Multicultural Literary Foundation event Nov 9 By Anthony King | GSD Editor

bering near 9,000 titles in that location alone. “The largest part of our collection that is LGBT related is the biographies,” she said. “We also include travel in the History and World Affairs section, and that includes several books about gay travel.” For the Foundation’s campaign, Geran said she and her staff helped summarize some of the branch holdings on LGBT titles to help promote what was available, and what the collection could be with added interest from the community.

The entire San Diego region celebrated the newly completed Central Library, with opening ceremonies and a dedication led by Interim Mayor Todd Gloria on Saturday, Sept. 28 and thousands of visitors on the branch’s first open day, two days later. Many from the LGBT community were in attendance at the dedication, which included a performance by the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus. However, LGBT support for the new library extends far beyond these opening moments. In May, Library Commissioner Susan Atkins spearheaded a fundraising campaign through the San Diego Public Library Foundation with the goal to raise $150,000 from the LGBT and ally community, in part to help expand the LGBT collection and provide financial support to the Teen Center. “Many LGBT leaders have joined in the campaign to help these important programs and make our LGBT presence The San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus sang Saturday, visible at the new library,” Atkins said at the time. “We want the San Diego Com- Sept. 28. (Photo by Big Mike Phillips) munity to know now and for generations to come that LGBT people are supporters of “The Central Library has about 8,800 institutions that serve the best interests of volumes on material that’s LGBT related, and the city.” it’s in every section of the library,” Geran While final numbers were still be tallied said. “The Literature and Language section the week of the opening, Foundation Markethas LGBT-related novels, over 500 volumes.” ing Director Charlie Goldberg said they were Short stories, literary criticism and appreciative of Atkins’ involvement in the music: every section in the library has books specialized fundraising campaign, and excited relevant and related to the LGBT community. with the LGBT community’s involvement. In Social Sciences, Geran said they have Central librarian Jennifer Geran, who books about legal issues, gay parenting, maroversees the History and World Affairs collecriage equality and the military. tion, said the LGBT collection is interspersed While Geran’s focus during the hectic throughout the entire Central Library, numweek was on the Central Library – she said

opening day went “wonderfully” – she was quick to point out the University Branch Library at 4193 Park Blvd. has the “largest distinct collection of LGBT material” in the entire San Diego Public Library system. “They have more than 1,500 titles, and they do have it shelved separately,” she said. “Most of the branch libraries in the past have had subject specialties, and LGBT material was a subject specialty for that library, so it’s been maintained and added to over the years.” Geran said staff and administration were all helping side by side for the Central Library opening day, with over 8,000 visitors, several thousand more than they normally had at the previous location. “We’re used to handling 2,000 but we had a great time,” she said. “Even though we ran into glitches … people were very forgiving and really seemed to enjoy the library.” This was not a surprise, as the number of visitors was expected to be high opening week, and Geran said she felt it would be a trend that extended indefinitely, making the Central Library an institution for the region. “I think it will be a place for activities that will draw people to the library,” she said. “I know it’s just the first couple of days, but we’re already seeing a change with our attendance at programs.” Looking to November, one LGBT group will be utilizing the Central Library when they host two authors as part of an inaugural Visiting Writers Series. The San Diego Multicultural LGBT Literary Foundation, headed by founder and Executive Director Caleb Rainey, is sponsoring out, Puerto Rican writers Charles Rice-González and Emanuel Xavier in early November. “I am absolutely thrilled about the upcoming visit of Xavier and Rice-González. Their visit to San Diego, and more importantly, their literature, is critical to ensuring that LGBT people of color’s lives are centered, and that

Interim Mayor Todd Gloria emceed opening ceremonies. (Photo by Big Mike Phillips) San Diego becomes a destination for LGBT artists of color,” Rainey said in a release. Rice-González’s novel “Chulito” helped launch the Literary Foundation, which started as a book club in 2012, and Xavier’s novel “Christ Like” was July’s book-club selection. The authors will be co-hosting a reading and panel discussion at the new Central Library Nov. 9 from 4:30 – 6 p.m. Current hours for the Central Library located at 330 Park Blvd. are Monday and Wednesday 12 – 8 p.m.; Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.; Saturday 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.; and Sunday 1 – 5 p.m. For more information on the LGBT campaign through the Library Foundation, visit Information on the Multicultural LGBT Literary Foundation can be found at And the complete information for all San Diego Public Libraries, including the new Central Library, can be found at sandiego. gov/public-library/ or by calling the branch directly at 619-236-5800.t


GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 4–17, 2013


Virginia marriage equality battles escalate Prop 8 legal team Olson & Boies lead one legal effort; ACLU, Lambda Legal lead another By Lisa Keen | Keen News Service The high-powered legal team that brought down California’s ban on same-sex marriage announced Monday, Sept. 30 it will now seek to strike down a ban enacted in Virginia in 2006.

He said it not only denies marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but also denies civil unions, other types of relationship contracts, and recognition of legitimate marriage licenses obtained in other states. “It does great harm to individual citizens of Virginia and their

Ted Olson speaking at the Monday, Sept. 30 press conference (Photo by Diana Walker/ American Foundation for Equal Rights)

Ted Olson and David Boies will lead the team – the American Foundation for Equal Rightssponsored pair that won a lawsuit against Proposition 8 – to go after Virginia’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex couples from marrying. The team is signing onto a lawsuit that was filed without organizational assistance by a gay male couple in Norfolk, Va. The lawsuit, Bostic vs. McDonnell, has since been joined by a lesbian couple married in California who seek recognition of their marriage in Virginia. Meanwhile, national legal groups Lambda Legal and the ACLU announced Monday they were filing a motion for summary judgment in a lawsuit they filed in Virginia, also seeking to strike down the ban. A federal judge had already scheduled their case, Harris vs. McDonnell, for trial next summer. If the summary judgment motion is granted, the judge could make a ruling sooner based on briefs and oral arguments instead. In a press conference in Washington Monday morning, Olson and Boies both pointed to the historic role Virginia has played in legal matters involving marriage, and in a telephone conference later that morning, Olson, who has lived in Virginia for more than 30 years, said, he felt “particularly disappointed” about Virginia’s ban on marriage equality.

children,” Olson said. He added that the United States Supreme Court’s rulings June in the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) case and the case regarding California’s Proposition 8 “lead the way for the courts to decide that this kind of discrimination is not consistent” with the constitutional rights to due process and equal protection. “We feel this is the vehicle that

potentially might go to Supreme Court and vindicate rights for all citizens,” he said. Boies also highlighted the historic underpinnings of waging the marriage-equality battle for same-sex couples in Virginia. “Virginia gave us the first marriage equality case, and the one that most clearly established that the right to marry the person you love is a fundamental right of all Americans,” Boies said, referring to the landmark Loving vs. Virginia case that struck down state bans against interracial marriage in 1967. “It’s fitting, then, that Virginia be the battleground for another great test of that principle.” Olson acknowledged that there is a second lawsuit filed in a federal district court in Virginia, seeking to strike down the ban. He said the Bostic case was the first to be filed and that the attorneys who filed that case in July invited Olson and Boies to participate. The Bostic team also filed a motion this month seeking to have their clients explicitly excluded from the Harris class action lawsuit, a motion that seemed to suggest some tensions between the two cases’ legal teams. Such tensions existed when the Olson-Boies team first announced their lawsuit against the Proposition 8 trial. But Olson said the lawyers on the Bostic team “respect” and “get

(center) David Boies address the press as the Virginia team watches (Photo by Diana Walker/ American Foundation for Equal Rights)

along with the people in the other litigation” and that it is simply “appropriate” for the Bostic plaintiffs be excluded from the Harris class. The Harris case is before Judge Michael Urbanski, an Obama appointee. He has set Oct. 29 to hear motions to certify the class and motions to dismiss the case, and has scheduled a bench trial for June 2 – 13, 2014. The Harris class action would represent both same-sex couples denied the right to marry in Virginia and couples already married in another state but being denied recognition in Virginia. “Virginians denied the freedom to marry have no meaningful legislative path to gain the same protections for their families as other loving and committed couples,” said Claire Guthrie Gastañaga, executive director of the ACLU of Virginia, in a press release Monday morning, prior to the Olson-Boies press conference. “That’s why

we’ve had to ask the federal court to overturn Virginia’s sweeping bans on recognizing same-sex relationships.” The Lambda-ACLU lawsuit was filed Aug. 1 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia. Its named plaintiffs are two lesbian couples, Joanne Harris and Jessica Duff, and Christy Berghoff and Victoria Kidd, as well as “all others similarly situated.” The Olson and Boies’ team lawsuit was filed in July by Timothy Bostic and Tony London, who have been together for 24 years. Another couple – Mary Townley and Carol Schall, who were married in California in 2008 – was added to the lawsuit early this month. No decision has been made on whether the Bostic judge, Obamaappointee Judge Arenda Wright Allen, will hold a trial or rule based on written briefs and oral argument. The next round of briefs in that case are due Oct. 31.t



GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 4–17, 2013

Letters In defense of Harvey Milk’s American Diner When we first heard the name – Harvey Milk’s American Diner – we wondered, is that a good idea? But then we thought if someone had asked Harvey Milk if they could use his name for a diner, he probably would have said, “You want to use my name for a diner? Just make damn sure the food is good.” And it is. We tried it. We’re not sure what all the hissing is about, but the food is great and the prices reasonable. It’s actually better than before because everything’s fresh and made from scratch. We guess it’s the fact that it’s different than before that has everyone off balance. Canned hash and spam have their place: great for a camping trip. But with a world of fresh ingredients and a big kitchen, this diner is doing it right. Try it before your knee jerks. We did. Tasted great, friendly service, and fabulous desserts too, made by a reputable pastry chef. Our hats are off to Big Mike. He’s a giver. Be nice. —Tom Ross and BigTom Lombardo, via email


Is one of you the man? By Abby Dees It happened again. Friends asked my partner, Traci, and me, “Is one of you, like, more the man in the relationship?” This doesn’t piss me off, but it’s still puzzling. After all, I’ve always thought Traci and I were pretty much on the same spot on the gender continuum and yet people keep scratching their heads about it. Here’s what prompted it this time: I posted pictures of us at a hoity-toity fundraiser on Facebook. Traci wore a print dress and I wore black, shiny cigarette pants and a tailored blouse. We both wore make-up and heels, though if we’re nitpicking, mine were only kitten heels. There are any number of reasons why I wasn’t wearing a dress beyond the basic fact that my outfit rocked. Among them: I’m deathly white and L’Eggs in Suntan shade went out of style (if they were ever in style) in the ‘80s; I have a nasty scar on my shin from walking into a broken flower pot; and dresses give my rather cylindrical body a chintz-draped pink column look. Not included on this list is anything having to do with gender roles. In fairness to my friends, they didn’t ask just because of that pic. They’d noticed that most of the time they see Traci she’s in make-up and clothes straight from the dr y cleaner, while I’m usually in jeans and wearing nothing more on my skin than sun block and maybe lipstick if I’m leaving the house. It’s not so off the wall for them to wonder if there was something more to this than fashion. But what’s funny is that they are as much flouters of traditional roles as we are, which is one of the things we love about them. They are a straight couple bonded by Comic-Con geekitude and scholarly understanding of the entire action movie oeuvre. Hell, their wedding cake was a copy of the Millennium Falcon (from “Star Wars,” you ignoramus). The only time I could imagine them in full gender conformity is if she dressed up as Wonder Woman and he as Superman, or whomever PUBLISHER David Mannis (619) 961-1951


EDITOR Anthony King (619) 961-1952

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Wonder Woman is dating these days. Though I’d eagerly pay to see this, they wouldn’t need that much encouragement. What I get from this is a reminder of just how deeply worn our gender expectation grooves are even if real life has much more room for variety. To me, more obvious questions about Traci’s and my sartorial choices might be, “Abby, are you a lazy ADD-addled slug in the morning?” or “Abby, do you not accept the fact that you are a grown-up now and should probably dress like one?” I would have to answer yes to both questions. OK, for the sake of argument let’s say that there’s something to this question about Traci’s and my gender roles. After all, we’re not immune to those expectations any more than my friends are. It’s the model we all grew up with in some way or another about how couples are expected to interact. Is one of us more like a typical man or woman than the other? Honestly, I’d have to say yes. It looks like this: when it comes to heaving bags of fertilizer to the backyard and grumbling after wards about how she shouldn’t have done that to her back, Traci’s the man. When it comes to wiring a stereo or fixing the computer, I’m the man and Traci is the woman making endless suggestions over my shoulder that I tr y to ignore. When it comes to making charts of finances and household numbers, Traci’s the man and I’m definitely the ditzy platinum blonde. When it comes to picking up old socks and underpants from the floor and wondering if Traci even notices, I’m ver y much the woman. When it comes to being patient with a curling iron and mascara, Traci’s the total woman, and I’m the man forever striving to bring my morning grooming ritual in under two minutes. And when it comes to emotional communication, Traci’s the monosyllabic man and I’m the harrumphing woman – but Traci’s still got big girlie delicate feelings. Does that answer the question? —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.comt SALES INTERNS Martina Long Arshpreet Pabla CONTRIBUTORS

Chris Azzopardi Charlene Baldridge Blake Beckcom Gwen Beckcom Max Disposti Dae Elliott Lisa Keen Michael Kimmel Manny Lopez Paul McGuire Ian Morton Jeff Praught Caleb Rainey Frank Sabatini Jr. Romeo San Vincente Ken Williams

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

I want to acknowledge and thank the Harvey Milk Foundation for advancing the LGBT cause with their opening of the Harvey Milk’s American Diner. Over 50,000 cars pass through the intersection of Sixth and University daily, bringing a very visible awareness to the LGBT cause with the big Harvey Milk sign at that intersection. The dream of Harvey Milk, the acceptance of all diversities, is alive in San Diego where Harvey Milk lived during his service in the Navy. We San Diegans have a special connection with Harvey, honoring him with the only street in the nation with his name on it. I for one am proud to see Harvey Milk continuing to impact LGBT acceptance and advancement. Thank you Harvey and the folks at Harvey Milk’s diner for bringing this wonderful place and timely message to our community. —Dusti Gray, Hillcrest

Great fun at Lambda Archives gala Thanks so much for the nice write up [see “Welcomed at the table,” Vol. 4, Issue 19]. The two things that you couldn’t convey in your story: 1) How lovely the setting and atmosphere at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego and 2) How funny Mel Merrilll is! He made us all laugh and made the evening sparkle. Great fun! Thanks again for the great article. It will be kept forever in our archives! —Maureen Steiner, Lambda Archives of San Diego board president, via

It’s a colorful success Editor’s note: “It’s a wrap,” our story from the Sept. 20 issue (Vol. 4, Issue 19), was one of the most read online, and only received positive feedback from our readers. Congratulations to John Thurston Photography and the Hillcrest Business Association for a welcome addition to the neighborhood. A selection of comments is printed here. So proud of your project. Such a wonderful contribution to Hillcrest. Your images are wonderful. I hope other neighborhoods consider it too! —Lisa Vella, via I love these wraps! So colorful and thought provoking!! —Ruth Eastwood, via John, these are wonderful! —Linda Pennington, via Some of the best I’ve seen, very nice. Great photography. —Bruce Coons, via gay-sd.comt

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Business Improvement Association


GAY NEWS BRIEFS 2014 HIV FUNDING COLLABORATIVE ACCEPTING PROPOSALS Following the successful AIDS Walk, Run & Street Challenge Sunday, Sept. 29, the San Diego HIV Funding Collaborative, in partnership with AIDS Walk, is requesting proposals for the 2014 grant year. A program of The San Diego Human Dignity Foundation, the Collaborative has overseen the grant process from funds raised by the AIDS Walk, Alliance Healthcare Foundation and The McCarthy Family Foundation, among others, since its inception in 1990. The competitive request for proposals is open to community-based organizations providing HIV/AIDS prevention and education, or care and treatment programs and services, the website states. In order to help with the process, the Human Dignity Foundation will host a technical assistance meeting Oct. 16 at 12 p.m. at their offices, located at 2508 Historic Decatur Rd. Development Associate Janelle Hickey asked that interested participants for the Oct. 16 meeting RSVP to her directly: janelle@ or 619-291-3383. Completed proposals must be submitted electronically by Nov. 1 at 5 p.m. to Human Dignity Foundation Executive Director John Brown at For complete information including the downloadable proposal form, visit FRONT RUNNERS & WALKERS TO HOLD MEMBERSHIP PARTY Honored this year with a Nicky Award for Best Sports Organization, Front Runners & Walkers San Diego – one of the region’s longest-running LGBT sports organizations – will be hosting their annual membership party Sunday, Oct. 6. The party will be from 2:30 – 5:30 p.m. at Pita Jungle, located at 1045 University Ave. in Hillcrest, and serves as an opportunity for all to meet runners and walkers of all abilities. Member Mira Parfitt will provide live music from a new album due later this year, and Pita Jungle will provide light appetizers. “Our club is a non-profit organization that hosts weekly runs, participates in community events and offers networking opportunities. Our big event every year is the Pride Run, which is held along the parade route; this year attracted over 825 participants,” organizers said. “We are proud of the fact that the club has been part of the community since 1981.” Currently, runners and walkers meet Monday and Wednesday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 8 a.m. at the intersection of Sixth Avenue and Laurel Street in Balboa Park. For the membership party, annual dues are $20 per single or $30 per couple, and include a membership kit and raffle-prize entry. The membership year runs Oct. 1, 2013 through Sept. 30, 2014. For more information visit or call 858-413-7973. SAN DIEGO PRIDE BEGINS 2013 GRANT PROCESS Announced Sept. 25, San Diego LGBT Pride (SD Pride) will continue the organization’s focus on providing grant money to local LGBT-focused groups. Last year’s award winners included the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus, North County LGBTQ Resource Center and Diversionary Theatre, among others. “In addition to being a celebration, Pride is our community’s biggest fundraiser of the year. It is exciting for us to know that funds raised during Pride weekend are now available to be given to our community organizations,” said SD Pride General Manager Stephen Whitburn in a press release. SD Pride

will accept grant requests in amounts ranging from $500 – $5,000 through Oct. 25 at 5 p.m. via email to or at their offices, located at 3620 30th St. The application – highlighting an organization’s mission and vision, stakeholders, action plan, evaluation methods, and budget – is available online at Additionally, SD Pride is requesting community feedback in preparation for next year’s 40th anniversary celebration. Those interested are asked to take an online survey at For more information call 619-297-7683. MULTICULTURAL LGBT BOOK CLUB BECOMES OFFICIAL FOUNDATION Formerly called the Multicultural LGBT Book Club, the San Diego Multicultural LGBT Literary Foundation has expanded its scope after beginning last year. Currently seeking 501(c)3 nonprofit status, the Foundation will be celebrating their anniversary on Nov. 9, hosting their first Visiting Writers Program, opening a non-profit bookstore and adding additional programing to the current Pat Parker and Arturo Islas literary series. The book group will continue, including October’s discussion at Bluestocking Books in Hillcrest, on the first and third Sundays. The literary series currently meets at the University Heights Library on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month from 6 – 7 p.m., however this and the book group location will change after Nov. 6 when they determine a space for their bookstore. “While Bluestocking has been a fabulous starting point for our organization, it has always been our vision to make books by LGBT authors of color widely available in San Diego,” said CFO Stephan Farley in a press release. “Bluestocking Books has proven to be a progressive bookstore and shown a commitment to carrying these titles, so we felt it was a good time to embark on a new phase of our journey and begin offering books for donations that match the cover price.” Executive director and founder Caleb Rainey said they are excited to bring this “historical first” to San Diego, and has teamed up with the Lambda Literary Foundation for the November Visiting Writers Program. They will welcome Emanuel Xavier and Charles Rice-González, two LGBT Puerto Rican writers, for several Foundation-sponsored events, including the daylong anniversary celebration. For more information – including the Nov. 9 anniversary – visit REP. DAVIS COSPONSORS BILL FOR RETROACTIVE PAY TO FURLOUGHED WORKERS Regardless of their furlough status, the Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act (H.R. 3223) will ensure federal employees impacted by the current government shutdown receive retroactive pay for the duration of the shutdown, often called sequestration. Congressmember Susan Davis cosponsored the bill, announced the second day of the government closure, Wednesday, Oct. 2. “I am hearing from many constituents who are anxious about being able to pay bills,” Davis said in a release. “Federal workers are innocent victims caught in the middle of this fight. These are dedicated people who proudly serve the American people. … They should not suffer because a small number in Congress insist on shutting the government down over an ideological crusade.” The government shutdown is due to the failure of the House and Senate to pass a budget, with House Republicans seeking to halt key points of the Affordable Care Act. Covered California, the state-based health insurance exchange, went live Tuesday, Oct. 1. In the San Diego region there are more than 45,000 federal workers, many who have been placed on furlough status, the release said.t

GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 4–17, 2013 FROM PAGE 1

EQUALITY answered prepared questions delivered by Carla Kirkwood, Democrats for Equality vice president of political action. Questions ranged from past support for LGBT equality to issues pressing today: infrastructure, housing and homelessness, job development and the court-defeated Plaza de Panama plan for Balboa Park. Alvarez and Aguirre arrived late from another engagement, and after a rules-change vote – preceded by a spirited debate on whether to let the two address the group – both candidates were allowed to speak, but in an amended format and without opening and closing comments. After wards, all candidates were asked to leave the room while members deliberated on their endorsement. Several spoke in favor of all candidates, yet most of the conversation centered on Alvarez and Fletcher, with votes heavily leaning in each candidate’s favor. After two votes – Alvarez was initially one vote shy of a 60 percent majority, based on club rules – Alvarez won the Democrats for Equality endorsement, reflecting the organization’s opinion on which of the mayoral hopefuls was most electable. “I believe so strongly in ever ything that this club believes in and the values that this club holds, and as mayor it will not be any different,” said Alvarez, who is also a member of the club. “You know who I am, you know where I’ve been, and I’ll continue to be that same individual going for ward.” Elected officials present at the forum included Interim Mayor Todd Gloria and Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins, both from the Democratic Party. Gloria, who previously said that he does not plan to endorse any candidate, said his role as interim mayor is taking his full


attention and, while he would have liked to run for mayor, San Diego is coming out of a difficult time and his attention needs to be on the work that he was elected to do. “I think that voters will be responding to the recent events, so character and integrity is going to be really important,” Gloria said. “But I think the most important issue facing the city is infrastructure and I hope that any of the candidates that are successful will have a good plan for helping to rebuild our neighborhoods.” Atkins called the election one centered on “integrity and transparency,” saying, “People are going to look long and hard at what they know or think they know about the candidates.” Former four-term Democrats for Equality President Jeri Dilno described Alvarez as a progressive who comes from grass-roots beginnings, is neighborhood oriented and, ultimately, has the best chance of winning in the November special election. “Residents of Hillcrest, because of our histor y of struggling for equal rights and civil rights, have a strong commitment to the political process and we are well aware of what it means to have a person in office that represents our views and aspirations,” Dilno said. “I think the overall issue in the Mayor’s race is going to be whether we continue with the progressive type of movement that elected Filner and begin to make some changes, which for years have been controlled by the Downtown interests while neighborhoods have been left in the lurch,” she said. The special election is set for Nov. 19. If no candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote, a runoff election between the top two will be scheduled for Februar y. One Democrats for Equality member recommended that if Alvarez does not advance to a runoff, the club should endorse any Democrat that does. No vote was taken on this issue.t


CHOKE UP ON THE BATMAN Across 1 Smack on the butt, e.g. 5 Gay guy, in Brit slang 9 Top, in a hierarchy 14 It’s a curd in the kitchen 15 Omar of _ER_ 16 City of Da Vinci’s “Last Supper” 17 Lesbos, e.g. 18 Moss in Jamie O’Neill’s country 19 Trump ex 20 “Batman & Robin” star 23 Sporty Mazda 24 Abundant 27 Matt Coles, for one 31 Fruits that gets stomped 32 “Dallas” setting 34 Sports figure? 35 “Batman Returns” star 40 Clergyman Bean 41 Moonshine maker

42 Test photos 45 Many gays, to Madonna 50 Lease 52 Queer, to straights 53 “The Dark Knight” star 57 Elizabeth Perkins’ role in “Weeds” 59 They aren’t straight 60 One way to buy an item 61 Trolley sound in a Garland song 62 Castle in a board game 63 Big top, e.g. 64 Fingerprint part 65 Enjoys South Beach 66 And so Down 1 Homosexuality, in some cultures 2 Go nuts 3 On the water 4 ___ Rico

Choke up on the Batman solution on page 19 5 Cartoon skunk Le Pew 6 Crude cartel 7 Lesbian character in “She’s Gotta Have It” 8 Size of Mapplethorpe’s opening 9 Tchaikovsky’s “Piano Trio in ___” 10 Party day and night 11 Try to seduce 12 Dynasty long before the Carringtons 13 Writer Castillo 21 Brooks of country 22 URL ending 25 Penn of “Milk” 26 Mass. setting 28 PBS helper 29 Former lovers 30 Site where Franklin, Winston, and Josef came together 33 Fail to grip the road 35 Horse that isn’t hung like a horse

36 Like a good alibi 37 Edith Head designed it 38 It spreads its limbs 39 Mork, for one 40 Putting your mouth on a stranger, perhaps 43 Search for food 44 ___ generis 46 Sales incentive 47 Rubber 48 Stirring up 49 Is responsible for 51 Peter I, and more 54 Drop ___ (moon) 55 PC picture 56 Seeks answers 57 “Suzie Q” band 58 Cole Porter, for one



GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 4–17, 2013

United in diversity: The 2013 San Diego Pride Family


PROFILES IN ADVOCACY What do a sparkling drag queen, lesbian nurse and Marine veteran have in common? No, this isn’t the opening to a bad joke, but it may be one of the most diverse Pride Families to date. Offered as a contest through The Imperial Court de San Diego since 1977, each year before San Diego LGBT Pride the Mr., Ms. and Miss Pride titles – constituting the Pride Family – are bestowed upon community members. This year was no different in that aspect, but the synergy between the winners was immediate and deep. Ms. San Diego Pride 2013 is Terry Nuñez, a Latina lesbian with a background in nursing and HIV care who was nominated by the current reigning People’s Empress, Candi Samples. Small in stature, but full of feisty passion, Nuñez refuses to be placed in one box and is proud to express all

the aspects of her womanhood. Before moving forward as a She simultaneously holds the Ms. team, they took the time to underLatina 2013 title as well. stand and respect the strengths Jim James was encouraged by and alliances each brings to their friends Aaron Duke (Mr. San Dicommon cause. While some may ego Leather 2012) and LeatherSir argue that becoming more palatRon Cage (First Runner-up, Mr. able to the greater world’s tastes San Diego Leather 2013) to vie for is the price for equality, this year’s the title of Mr. San Diego Pride. A Pride Family does not agree. Marine who had just returned from a consulting contract in Afghanistan, his definition of pride was steeped in his own coming-out experience and witnessing the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” “It’s about having complete acceptance and ownership of my sexuality, in face of everything,” he said of his impetus for pursuing the title. The sparkling crown jewel in this trio is Miss Gay Pride, Diamond Sin-Sation. She can be considered a new kid on the block, having arrived in San Diego November 2012. In her words: “The Miss Gay Pride title was the key to do more in the community. It’s an outlet and platform for the organization we look to create: Pride Family 2013.” We all talked a little about what their platform represent- (l to r) Terry Nuñez, Diamond Sin-Station ed. While each have communi- and Jim James (Courtesy 2013 Pride Family) ties with which they identify, an important aspect they said “The gay community is not they needed to address was not homogenous; it’s very diverse and being closed off to the unfamiliar. there are many subcultures within Diamond Sin-Sation is making that must be respected,” James her mark in the drag community, said. Nuñez has long been active in the Diamond Sin-Sation said she lesbian and HIV volunteer comis also looking to change things munities and James is becoming up in her own drag community. a visible leader in the leather and As a performer that never looked fetish community. to fit into one mold, she has the

—Ian Morton has worked in the HIV field since 1994 when he began volunteering with AIDS Response Knoxville. He currently serves as outreach liaison for the AIDS Research Institute at UC San Diego. To nominate a person or organization to be featured in Profiles in Advocacy, please submit name, affiliation and contact information to

40th AnniversAry GAlA saturday, October 19, 2013 • hiltOn sAn DieGO BAyfrOnt Buy your tickets now at @LGBTCenter

ambitious goal of holding one drag-based fundraiser per month. She looks to use this platform to expose the community to new or under-appreciated talent that may work outside the box. This growing troupe will be the backbone of her efforts now, as well as beyond her title year. A specific passion of Diamond Sin-Sation is the fight against bullying, especially when it pertains to youth. In each city where she has lived and performed, this has always been a cause close to her heart, as she looks to be a national voice in the support of LGBTQ and ally youth. James means to take on the challenge of increasing avail the level of services available to the homeless LGBTQ youth population. From simple necessities like a warm meal and clothes, or the ability to call home to linking them to resources that can lead to successful outcomes, he is realizing the gap in services demo for the 17- to 21-year-old demographic. “If you don’t get on your feet at that age, you may never get on your feet,” he said. Nuñez’s advocacy is often inspired by programs that serve the HIV community, such as Being Alive San Diego, Mama’s Kitchen and Special Delivery of San Diego. You can often find her volunteering or working to raise funds for these causes, something she said she will use her title year to bolster even more. She also has a passion for the Latina/o LGBTQ community and the distress they often experience due to family or friend rejection after coming out. “Synergy” is really the best word to describe the force of nature that is the 2013 Pride Family. They work to amplify each member’s causes and passions into their individual constituencies. When you walk into a Pride Family event, they want you to rub shoulders with all aspects of our multifaceted community. I think Nuñez summed it up perfectly: “The community needs to see that there are women, men and youth in need of people to love them for who they are when they are rejected by their own loved ones. We need to be a family and this will give others the courage and will to live the life that they are meant to live.” Follow them at SanDiegoPrideFamily2013/.


‘Ash’ CA L E B R A I N Y

OUT ON THE PAGE “Are you saying all those tales you tell Ash have any basis in reality?” he said in disbelief. “They are only bed-time stories – it is superstition, nothing more.” Elinor’s voice took on an edge that Ash had never heard before. “Those tales serve a purpose, William, and how dare you dismiss our traditions as superstition? There is a reason they have survived.” –Malina Lo from “Ash” Malinda Lo is a Chinese-American lesbian writer who creates young adult fantasy tales that are lesbian centered. Lo is amazing and unique for two reasons: one, she writes young adult literature for young lesbian women who are often overlooked in favor of gay male protagonists. Second, she is the only Asian-American lesbian novelist still in print. Overwhelmingly, Asian-American lesbian writers were published during the height of the multi-racial feminist movement and their work was produced through small, feminist publishing houses that are no longer in business. This is a devastating loss for LGBT and Asian-American literature, and makes the voice and work of Lo a precious resource. In her novel “Ash,” Lo sets out to retell the “Cinderella” story through the eyes of a young lesbian woman who is just beginning to discover her woman-oriented sexuality. The opening scene of the novel features Aisling (Ash) at her mother’s funeral. Her mother was a strong woman and traditionalist who believed in the folktales and rituals of her people. In the novel, older men called philosophers, who have money and power and who are tied to the government, have been going into rural areas, attempting to convert people into a more fact-based faith system. In the traditional system, women hold a central place and it is very earthbased. The religion that is taught by the philosophers is male dominated, devoid of magic, and the earth and is more abstract and cerebral. Ash’s mother has instilled in her the importance of tradition and fairytales, and this belief in the possibility of magic is one of the things that keeps Ash going through difficult circumstances. Ash’s situation goes from bad to worse as her father remarries a cold woman named Isobel, who has two daughters. After an icy first few months, her father dies and Ash’s stepmother realizes he has left multiple debts. In order to raise funds and exact some form of revenge, Isobel fires her family’s servants and demands Ash become the family’s servant in order to pay off her father’s debts.

see Ash, pg 9


GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 4–17, 2013


Grindr, Facebook and the new image culture



As Ash’s life becomes more and more unbearable, she is drawn to the wood where it is believed that magic – in particular, fairies – still exist. During one of Ash’s nightly forays, she meets Sidhean, a beautiful fairy who also takes a particular interest in Ash. Soon after meeting Sidhean, Ash meets the King’s huntress, Kaisa, and begins to discover her attraction to women and what it means to love someone. Through a series of bargains with Sidhean, Ash is faced with a series of hard situations that will determine if she remains with Sidhean or is able to be with Kaisa Lo poses a choice for Ash that is largely symbolic of the choice many young women have to face during their coming-out process. On the one hand, the out option is for Ash to choose Kaisa and live a womancentered life, albeit without the privileges that a life with Sidhean might offer. On the other hand, there is Sidhean and a closeted sexuality that affords her privileges, but denies her the ability to be whole. Another issue that the novel raises is the importance of honoring tradition and remembering the past. With the onset of the philosophers, Ash and her people lose much of their history and this loss sets in motion much confusion, in terms of how to engage with the world around them. Lo is giving a subtle nod to the loss of predominantly earth-based and woman-centered faith traditions throughout the world, as well as their replacement by more abstract and male-centered faith traditions. Lastly, Lo makes a brilliant and radical maneuver in this novel by making lesbian love and female-centered sexuality unremarkable, in the best sense of the word. Kaisa and Ash are one of multiple female couples that get to live in a world where they are not singled out or questioned. This type of society is clearly a desirable one for many young women who are often faced with hostility or fascination that reduces lesbian sexuality to a spectacle. In “Ash,” Lo pushes readers young and old to begin first imagining and then working toward a world where all young women can express their sexuality with freedom from homophobia and sexism. That is certainly a dream worth having and a goal worth attaining. If you would like to engage in more thoughtful discussions around similar issues, join the San Diego Multicultural LGBT Book Club at Bluestocking Books, 3817 Fifth Ave. in Hillcrest, on the first and third Sunday of every month at 7 p.m. “Ash” is October’s selection and is now available. —Caleb Rainey recently graduated with his master’s degree in cultural studies. He is the founder of the San Diego Multicultural LGBT Book Club. Contact him at

MICHAEL KIMMEL LIFE BEYOND THERAPY The power of images – specifically, photos – is not to be underestimated. With phone apps like Grindr and Facebook, many of us interact less and less with people face to face. We don’t hear their voice, see how they move or obser ve them with their friends. Instead, we see images of them. Small images. On our phones. Welcome to the new image culture. I’d like to use Grindr and Facebook as examples of this new image culture and to think about how this may be changing us psychologically. Grindr’s main purpose is to

facilitate hookups: you browse thumbnail images, mark the ones you like as favorites or send them messages. Grindr’s own message is immediately clear from the moment you sign up: it’s all about the image; be hot or be ignored. By showing only our best images, we want to appear desirable. We think that desirability will protect us from loneliness, but it doesn’t. Eventually we all learn that popularity on app culture doesn’t really stop our loneliness. It just hides it. For a while, anyway. Images of body parts are available for view and are often ranked and rated cruelly. “It’s sick,” a young client told me. “I get hurt by participating in Grindr. Sometimes guys online make fun of me, but I can’t stop doing it.” The opposite of desire is invisibility. It’s clear who is invisible: “No fats, no fems, no old guys.” Grindr – by reducing us to a bunch of images – dehumanizes us. It reduces complex human beings of depth and complexity to a bunch of images on your phone. As real life interactions become fewer, online images grow in importance. You’d better have some hot photos of you on Grindr and some amazing shots of you (and your fabulous life) on Facebook. Show yourself at your best, they tell us. Since an image-based culture puts a premium on how we look,

men and woman of all ages increasingly have low self-esteem about their bodies. This starts in elementar y school: in a sur vey of 693 students in the United Kingdom, 78 percent of elementar yage girls and 51 percent of boys had low confidence in their body image. Pressure to achieve the perfect body meant girls were likely to go on a diet and boys were prone to start excessive exercise regimes. Young people are under tremendous pressure to have or maintain often unrealistic body images portrayed in the media. If they grow up to use Grindr, what kind of images are they going to want to show of themselves? Better not eat that extra slice of cheese. And what about Facebook, that popular source of social networking? The Facebook life is the perfect life: you only show the pictures that portray your life as wonderful and enviable. No one believes anyone’s Facebook life is real, so why are we tr ying to convince others (and ourselves) that we’re doing great, hanging out with the coolest people and traveling to the best places on vacation? Who are we tr ying to fool? Given all these challenges, where do we go from here? How can we navigate the new image culture? I have some suggestions. •If you don’t want to be objectified into a series of images, don’t allow it. Dare to be real and put up

images that show who you really are, not just your idealized self. •Have real friends, not just Facebook friends. •Have real-life lovers and spend time getting to know them, not just 20-minute Grindr hookups where the next day you’ll be embarrassed to see this guy in public and pretend you don’t know him. There’s nothing wrong with having fun on-line; just don’t settle for a bunch of images when there are a lot of great reallife men and women out there in San Diego, waiting for someone to take a chance and be authentically themselves. You can master the new image culture: don’t settle for superficial. Be braver than that; go for the real thing. Meet, talk with and make love to real men and women. Look them in the eyes, smell them, really see them, and don’t be surprised that you’re less lonely and anxious than you used to be. —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


GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 4–17, 2013



PRISCILLA show is we’ve got this incredible opportunity.” That goal is to entertain, for certain, but McCollum said it was also an opportunity to reach people still not familiar with bisexuality, transgender visibility, or gender queer and intersex. “All those incredibly beautiful spectral gray areas of sexual expression and gender expression are still very topical for almost all communities,” he said. “Just that alone is pretty revolutionary.” During the show’s tour, McCollum said they have taken several opportunities to outreach to local communities, including speaking to a group of queer high school students in Philadelphia about which pronouns they prefer, to visiting a queer youth homeless shelter in San Francisco. Both youth groups came and saw the show as well. “[They are] really on the edge of not having a place to be, and really trying to find a sense of belonging in this crazy world,” he said. He also described a moment at the San Francisco youth shelter where a transgender young woman, reluctant to speak, asked McCollum if there was a place for her “as an artist and a spokesperson,” he said. “The room disappeared, and I was like, ‘Yes, of course. … You’re already starting that conversation just by being in the room,’” he said. Two days later, McCollum and the rest of the cast were in Denver, Colo. being interviewed by Eden Lane, the first out, transgender journalist on national television. McCollum said it was a special moment. “I am drawn to material that is

Wade McCollum plays one of the lead roles in the touring show “Priscilla Queen of the Desert.” (Courtesy Wade McCollum) about inciting those conversations so that we can do what I believe theater’s function is, which is to discourse about the issues within the drama and then grow as a society,” he said. He agreed that he was in the exact right moment he needs to be, both personally and professionally. And as an actor who has been in some of the top theatrical productions – “Jersey Boys,” “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” and “Angels in America” are just a small number of credentials on this actor’s list – that is saying quite a lot.

“It’s an honor to be a part of something that is so aesthetically genius and has such whimsy and depth,” McCollum said. He is, of course, talking about those awardwinning costumes as well. Wardrobe supervisor Gillian Austin travels with McCollum and the rest of the production, each night organizing an integral aspect of the show: the thousands of shoes, hats, wigs and dresses, that can, she said, appear on stage for mere moments. For Austin, it all started as a love of sewing. “It’s really cool that they let me do this,” she said, laughing. Austin, a Chicago native who now calls Louisiana home, said she is working her “dream job” after living in New York City, taking sewing classes and waiting tables. The attention “Priscilla” has given her this year has made her somewhat of a star.

“I’ve been joking that I’m kind of a rock star on this tour, because the costumes are so great,” she said, humbly adding, “It has nothing to do with me.” Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner won the Tony Award in 2011, after winning the 2010 Laurence Olivier Award and an Outer Critics Circle Award for costume design as well. The tricks, Austin said, are making it seamless each and every performance. “The most important part is dressing the show, and making sure the show happens the way it’s supposed to,” she said. “We know how to handle certain situations.” From actors who rip through the dresses in a rush to get prepared, to a tricky scene where one actor sticks his legs through the back, pink curtain for a shoe change – the costumes take up the entire backstage area, directly behind the curtain and often, Austin said, strung up in the rafters – she said everything that could have gone wrong has, though nothing too serious. “I think it’s just really lucky,” she said, calling those “a-ha moments” when they figure out how to maneuver those situations with ease and keeping the costumes new each night as satisfying. McCollum said he works hard to keep each night fresh, too, being “fully present” in his mind to retain some of the innocence of the story. They each get a bit of help from those on the other side of the curtain, as well. “Does the audience keep us buoyant and fresh? Absolutely,” he said. “Priscilla Queen of the Desert” opens at the San Diego Civic Theatre, 1100 Third Ave., on Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. with seven additional performances through Oct. 20. Show times are Tuesday and Wednesday at 7 p.m., Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 1 and 6:30 p.m. For more information and tickets, visit or call 619-570-1100.t

John Jones, Pride @ The Beach director (Courtesy John Jones) FROM PAGE 1

BEACHPRIDE know I am helping to contribute to an event that provides so many LGBTQ individuals in North County a place where they can express their pride, and not worry about being stigmatized, discriminated against, or silenced. Another reason that Pride @ The Beach is so important to me is because the proceeds of our event go toward helping our local Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) clubs in North County. By hosting our annual GSA Awards, we honor local GSA clubs with a monetary donation so that they may continue the work they are doing, and have the ability to afford their much-needed resources. Giving back to our community is what Pride @ The Beach is all about. Pride @ The Beach is also a wonderful event to hear amazing live entertainment. This year, we welcome stand-up comedian Selene Luna as our headliner. Selene has been featured on VH1 with Margaret Cho, and has also appeared in the film “My Bloody Valentine 3D.” Along with Selene, we also have live performance from actress Traci Dinwiddie, singers Celeste Barbier, Gabe Lopez and the San Diego Women’s Chorus, and drag queen performances from Gigi, Kiki, Cassidy and Cheyenne Masters. You don’t want to miss this. New this year, Pride @ The Beach is offering a mass wedding ceremony. Since marriage equality was restored in California earlier this year, we are inviting couples to marry at our event – beachside. Our wedding ceremony will commence at 5 p.m., and individuals that are interested in participating are encouraged to fill out our online application at Pride @ The Beach is a one-ofa-kind event that you don’t want to miss. We invite you to “like” us on Facebook as well as visit our website to keep up to date with everything “Pride @ The Beach.” If you have any questions regarding our event, please email me at or call 760-638-1748. I look forward to seeing you Oct. 12. Thank you to our sponsors: The National Guard, Urban MO’s, Vista Community Clinic, All-Saints American Catholic Church, Déjà Vu Love Boutique, Harrah’s Rincon Casino, Xtreme Ambulance, Planned Parenthood, Hillcrest Pharmacy, Gay San Diego, LGBT Weekly, Holiday Inn, Imperial Court, Family Matters and San Diego Pride. —John Jones is the director of Pride @ The Beach, an event presented by the North County LGBTQ Resource Center in Oceanside, Calif. He can be reached at john@ or by calling 760-638-1748. For more information about this year’s event visit


GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 4–17, 2013


(l to r) Spicy chicken kabobs; the Banoo platter; and seasoned ground beef skewers (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.)


he aromas of cinnamon, turmeric and ginger combine with warm greetings that customers encounter when entering Soltan Banoo, where traditional Persian dishes such as basmati rice casseroles and grilled kabobs oblige to those seeking a little extra heat in their meals. The spicier options are relatively new since the bungalow restaurant opened in 2003, serving as a complement to the celebrated mainstays and a host of vegetarian delights. Overseeing the kitchen is Mahin Mofazeli, who named the restaurant after her late grandmother, which translates to “King Lady.” Mofazeli developed the menu with her two daughters after they ran a small teahouse (Café Caspian) across the street. Their first hot recipe offered at the café back then was pomegranate soup, a popular carryover at Soltan that is made in thick Iranian style with lentils, spinach and discernibly sweet pomegranate juice. “My mom tastes the food every morning,” said Sanam Govari, the daughter responsible for adding piquant twists to the repertoire after visiting India a few years ago. Of late, most dishes include a new side sauce made of yogurt, fig jam and semi-spicy curry. The invention is addicting and goes with everything. For the kabobs,

Dining with available in chicken, beef, fish, veggies or lamb (the latter on weekends only), Govari introduced an optional glaze, which kicks up the heat mildly since the peppery sauce is brushed onto the kabobs thinly as they finish cooking.

The spiciest dish on our table during a recent visit was loubiah polo, one of the specialty rice options I chose with succulent chicken breast kabobs. The curry in the recipe provides a slow burn


that jives with the additions of tomatoes, tender green beans and neutral Persian spices, perhaps nutmeg and cumin. In Iran, says Govari, the dish is normally very bland. Other rice choices on the menu are dramatically milder, but noteworthy given their bewitching blends of tart barberries, almonds and orange rinds that appear in zereshk polo, or sour cherries, cinnamon and saffron used in albaloo polo. Fans of brown rice can take comfort in adasi, which incorporates lentils, mung beans and squash in what is probably the healthiest concoction you’ll find outside of a vegan restaurant. My companion’s entrée, a pair of koubideh kabobs, proved to be a simple yet masterful use of ground beef formed around each skewer, much like kafta that you’ll find in Lebanese restaurants. She chose “spicy” for one of the kabobs, although we became so enamored by the turmeric and pureed onions in the meat that we couldn’t tell the difference. Soltan’s menu extends to sprightly salads such as the tabouli-strawberry combo; walnuts and feta with spring greens; and a raw medley consisting of broccoli, carrots, quinoa, sunflower seeds and more. There is also a variety of chicken, veggie and tofu wraps that are substantial is size and served with pita chips. First timers will be piqued by Soltan’s array of Arabian dishes

starting with the Banoo platter featuring smoky babaganoush (eggplant puree), a spinach-potato stuffed sambosa, warm pita and a feta-topped salad. Also noteworthy is an appetizer of dill-spiked potato pancakes that incorporate quinoa into the batter. Really, everything that originates from this little kitchen is stamped with big doses of healthiness. From a list of daily specials, customers will find aromatic stews and rice dishes that can be fortified with chicken, lamb and tofu. On Tuesdays, the classic Iranian feserjoon stew is available, bringing together a rich blend of pomegranates and pureed walnuts

cloaking either chicken or tofu. For dessert, we tried the Persian ice cream flavored with significant measures of rose water, which is an acquired taste outside of Middle East diets. It’s served in a cut-glass chalice and garnished with pistachios and airy, unsweetened waffles. Like most of the restaurants along this row in University Heights, Soltan is quaint, intimate and casual. The women running it greet you like an old friend, as though you’ve entered into their house for an overdue visit. Combined with their homey dishes containing spice combinations uncommon in our everyday meals, the restaurant’s staying power comes as no surprise.t



GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 4–17, 2013



What October event would be complete without a costume competition? Wear your best Urban Cowboy outfit to the Hoedown and stick around for judging at 6PM, when we'll award our winners with the ultimate Hoedown prizes – over $1,000 in gift certificates brought to you by Boot World. Sign up at:



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GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 4–17, 2013

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GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 4–17, 2013



‘Wilde’ fun at Cygnet Working in repertory, standout Jordan Miller leads sublime cast in Old Town sweet treat


ygnet Theatre in Old Town is at it again. Artistic Director Sean Murray stages two productions simultaneously: Oscar Wilde’s 1895 “The Importance of Being Earnest” and its companion riff, Tom Stoppard’s 1974 “Travesties.” The two works play in rotating repertory through Oct. 27. Having attended the opening performances of both plays Sept. 28 and having been present at Murray’s original pairing of the two interconnected scripts at North Coast Repertory Theatre in 2002, this writer recommends a thorough knowledge of the Wilde play before viewing Stoppard’s sendup. Even then, Stoppard so relishes his own cleverness it is a challenging intellectual exercise to keep up with “Travesties.” It is the kind of tasty theatrical nut that dyed-in-the-wool theatergoers relish. Some may return to see it again in order to get it more fully, something that may not be possible. Playgoers may take the Wilde all in fun, exercising as little mind as they will; the Stoppard, however, is another matter. His play requires mental muscle. Both “Earnest” and “Traves-

“The Importance of Being Earnest” & “Travesties” In repertory through Oct 27 Cygnet Theatre, 4040 Twiggs St. Wed & Thurs 7:30 p.m. Fri 8 p.m. Sat 3 & 8 p.m. Sun 2 & 7 p.m. 619-337-1525 ties” are sublimely cast, directed and produced: absolutely gorgeous to look at, hear and savor. Only one actor does not appear in both plays. Their production in repertory is another of Cygnet’s exceptional treats and reason to cherish the theater company’s existence even more. Murray and his partner, Bill Schmidt, founded the theater in 2002. Jordan Miller, who has numerous musical theater credits, may be remembered by Cygnet fans as

(l to r) Manny Fernandes, Jordan Miller, Patrick McBride and Brian Mackey in “Travesties” (Photo by Ken Jacques) Volodya in the 2009 remounting The plot defies synopsis. Magof “Bed and Sofa.” He also may be gie Carney (Miss Prism in “Earadmired for his musical perfornest”) portrays Nadya, the wife of mances, most recently as Sasha Vladimir Lenin (Manny Fernandes, in Lamb’s Player’s “Fiddler on the the two servants in “Ear “EarRoof,” however his Cygnet pornest”). David Cochran trayals of Algernon Moncrief in “Earnest” and Henry Carr – the aged and undependable narrator in “Travesties” – prove him an actor of extraordinary talents beyond anything heretofore experienced. Carr’s befuddled memories of Zurich in 1917 give the “Trav “Travesties” playwright license to move forward and back in time and to employ different styles and rhythms throughout the play. Director Murray terms the work “a three-ring circus of ideas, jokes, literary and historical references. Its scope ranges from James Joyce’s “Ulysses” to the rise of the Soviet Union, to the (l to r) Brian Mackey and Linda Libby in “The explosion of modern art Importance of Being Earnest” (Photo by Ken Jacques) by the Dada movement.”

Heath (Rev. Chasuble in “Earnest) plays Bennett, Carr’s manservant; Brian Mackey (Jack Worthing in “Earnest”) plays Tristan Tzara, a founding member of the Dada movement; and Jacque Wilke and Rachael VanWormer play Gwendolen and Cecily in both plays. Linda Libby portrays Lady Bracknell (Aunt Augusta) in “Earnest,” and in his welcome Cygnet debut Patrick McBride plays “Ulysses” author James Joyce in “Travesties.” The character is a visual delight – just one of the show’s delicious treats. Murray’s direction of both plays is meticulous without being fussy, and physical in many subtle ways. The design work transmutes easily from “The Importance of Being Earnest” to “Travesties.” Sean Fanning designs the sets; Shirley Pierson, the luscious costumes; Peter Herman, the to-die-for wigs; Chris Rynne, lighting; and Kevin Anthenill, sound. Properties designer Angelica Ynfante works overtime on teapots, teacups, topiaries and lumps of sugar. Seeing these productions together is a sweet treat in itself. There are several opportunities to see both in one day with dinner in between.t

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GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 4–17, 2013

Friday, Oct. 4

Y.E.S.: Following up on a successful inaugural year last October, this year’s Youth Empowerment Summit (Y.E.S.) has expanded its scope to provide two workshop tracks: one for LGBTQ youth 13 – 17 years old, and the other for young adults, 18 – 24 years old. Y.E.S. is a collective of community members and stakeholders coming together to provide positive role models, workshops and programming “to stimulate empowerment, self-esteem building and erase societal or selfimposed barriers” for LGBTQ youth. This year’s location is at San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Dr. from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Breakout sessions include (but are totally not limited to) discussions on social justice, LGBT in media, Trans 101, as well as sexual assault and abuse, and living beyond gender-normative stereotypes. For more information visit GAY DAYS ANAHEIM: Well it was Folsom Street Fair last weekend, and now at the other end of the spectrum, Gay Days Anaheim starts today and runs for three days, through Oct. 6, attracting over 30,000 “people of the rainbow” to Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif. Yep, it’s Gay Days at Disneyland, featuring “Glee” star Alex Newell, Coco Peru, Tabatha Coffey and Susan Eagan, two dance parties, a scavenger hunt and events for everyone. It’s not an official Disneyland event (they don’t endorse any group at their parks) so be sure to wear red and let the other gays find you. Visit for the complete list of events. DEEPLY ROOTED: The Brass Rail seems to be expanding into new territories with a new vibe, they say, including tonight’s Deeply Rooted art, music and dance extravaganza. Local artists will have their work on display, percussionist Richie B will be doing his thing and I’m going to assume “Rings of Fire” by Jackie G is exactly that. Deeply Rooted starts at 9 p.m. and goes all night, with $5 cover and three DJs spinning deep, soulful, classic housemusic. All are welcome, they said. The Brass Rail is located at 3796 Fifth Ave. Visit or call 619-298-2233.

Saturday, Oct. 5

TRANSGENDER COMMUNITY PICNIC: Join The Center’s Project Trans community picnic in Balboa Park from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Bring a dish to share – and your family and friends too! – for this potluck picnic at the intersection of Upas Street and Sixth Avenue. Email or call 619-692-2077. PRIDE WARM UP: Harrah’s Rincon Casino & Resort joins the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) for an official Pride @ The Beach warm-up party, today from 1 – 5 p.m. Called “Dive into Pride,” the poolside party will include DJs, drink specials (at the Rincon swim-up bar, nonetheless) and lots of pride, including a roundtrip bus from Hillcrest to Harrah’s in Valley Center for $10. RSVP instructions and info can be found at

Sunday, Oct. 6

METH HEAD: FilmOut San Diego’s runaway hit from this year’s festival, “Meth Head,” returns to San Diego for one screening only. Starring Wilson Cruz, “Meth Head” is the story of Kyle, who must choose between love, a life, his job, family, friends, and that dirty little drug. It also features our favorite bad boy from “Days of Our Lives,” Nick (aka

Blake Berris). “Meth Head” screens today at 2:30 p.m. at the Digital Gym Cinema, 2921 El Cajon Blvd. in North Park. Tickets are $10.50. Visit or call 619-230-1938. SOIRÉE SUNDAY: Ladies can get into a different experience every week, organizers said, at Soirée Sundays at Bourbon Street Bar & Grill. They bring a “sexy vibe” to ladies night, with drink specials, hosted contests, guest DJs and go-go dancers, from 9 p.m. – 2 a.m. Bourbon Street is located at 4613 Park Blvd. Visit or call 619-291-0173.

Tuesday, Oct. 8

ATKINS AT THE GSDBA: Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins is this month’s guest speaker at the Greater San Diego Business Association’s luncheon series, taking place from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Wang’s North Park. Atkins will discuss “A View from the State Capitol,” highlighting the past legislative session and looking to the future. Admission is $25 for pre-registration, and $35 at the door. Wang’s is located at 3029 University Ave. Visit or call 619-296-4543 for tickets. GSDBA MEMBER FORUM: The Greater San Diego Business Association (GSDBA) board invites GSDBA members for a member appreciation forum, held from 6 – 7:30 p.m. at Top of the Park, 525 Spruce St. The board will present the state of the organization and plans for the future, as well as provide a space for feedback from members. RSVP at or by calling 619-2964543 by Monday, Oct. 7. SAN DIEGO REMEMBERS: Now in its sixth year, San Diego Remembers Matthew Shepard (SDR:MS) is a sometimes somber celebration of queer visibility in honor of Matthew Shepard, who was killed 15 years ago simply because he happened to be gay. This year’s events start at 7 p.m. at the Hillcrest Pride Flag, with a performance by the San Diego Women’s Chorus. Following, attendees will march to the John Robert Wear Hate Crimes Memorial Plaque and then to The Center by 8 p.m. for a screening of the new film “Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine.” The filmmakers will be there, too. It should be a great night. Visit PET SHOP BOYS: I’m going to go out on a limb and say the Pet Shop Boys have played just about every type of venue available, including tonight’s Copley Symphony Hall concert at 8 p.m. That doesn’t mean it’s going to be a tame show, for sure. The Hall is located at 750 B St., and the show is close to being sold out (so hurry up already). Visit or call 619-235-0804.

Wednesday, Oct. 9

MORE PRICILLA: Get set for this week’s Broadway musical cover story by watching the original 1994 film, “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.” Staring Hugo Weaving, Guy Pearce (swoon) and Terence Stamp, show times are today at 7 p.m. followed by Oct. 12 and 13 at 3 p.m. The cult classic screens at Digital Gym Cinema, 2921 El Cajon Blvd. Tickets are $10.50. Visit or call 619-230-1938.

Thursday, Oct. 10

SAFEZONES: Celebrate National Coming Out Day with SaveZones@SDSU for their fifth anniversary celebration. There will be a

lively discussion, a visit by President Elliot Hirshman and the unveiling of their new look at the Scripps Cottage from 4 – 6:30 p.m. Scripps Cottage is located on campus at Scripps Terrace and Hilltop Way. Ask and Aztec. Email for more information.

Friday, Oct. 11

AT THE TABLE: Lambda Archives of San Diego is hosting an opening reception for their current exhibit, “20 Years at the Table.” This week we celebrate National Coming Out Day, so “come out” and honor those political leaders who have pushed – no, shoved – open the doors for LGBT acceptance. The exhibit includes items from the political campaign of nine openly LGBT elected officials, from T-shirts and photographs to bumper stickers and those soughtafter buttons. Tonight’s reception is from 5 – 7:30 p.m. at Lambda Archives, 4545 Park Blvd. Suite 104. RSVPs requested to info@ or by calling 619-260-1522. CINE GAY: Direct from the Cine Gay Showcase at this year’s Latino Film Festival, “Marcelo” starring Aarón Díaz opens tonight at 7 p.m. and plays through Oct. 17. The Mexico film features Díaz at the title character, who feels he has found the incarnation of his favorite superhero in his neighbor, who really just wants to be a porn star. The mother gets involved, in what Latino Film Festival programmers called a film about self-identity. “Marcelo” screens at the Digital Gym Cinemas, located at 2921 El Cajon Blvd. Tickets are $10.50. Visit or call 619-230-1938.

Saturday, Oct. 12

ART & WINE IN LA JOLLA: Named a top food and drink event, the La Jolla Art & Wine Festival takes place today and tomorrow, Oct. 13 at 10 a.m. Now in its fifth year, the event highlights over 20 wineries (as well as a handful of breweries) and art, art and more art. The free event is open until 7 p.m. today and 6 p.m. tomorrow, and takes place on Girard Avenue in downtown La Jolla. There is a $5 suggested donation at the door, and last year’s event raised over $100,000 for local elementary schools. Visit for parking, transportation and artist information. HILLCREST HOEDOWN: Get your boots and spurs shined for this year’s Hillcrest Hoedown, taking place from 12 – 10 p.m. The Western event is centered around University Avenue and Richmond Street with the grand stage, featuring live music and a dance floor. There will be dueling mechanical bulls (!!) as well as casino tables in the 21 and older area. In addition to line dancing lessons, a streetside salon and a petting zoo (it’s humane), DJs BullDog Mike, Rosa and Tim Harmon will spin throughout the day (interspersed with a special performance by Urban Kickers). “Save a horse; ride a cowboy.” Visit

Sunday, Oct. 13

SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DRAG?: Hostess Paris takes control of this fun amateur-professional drag contest at Lips, with $500 in cash and prizes. As far as we can tell, Mary Murphy will not be judging but there will be plenty of queens on that hot tamale train


to drag stardom. Lips is located at 3036 El Cajon Blvd.; the night starts at 7 p.m. Visit or call 619-295-7900.

Tuesday, Oct. 15

TASTE OF MISSION HILLS: Last year’s inaugural taste was such a kick, we are sure to be at this year’s, which includes bites from all areas of Mission Hills. Don’t be put off by the hill aspect, as Old Town Trolley will provide a free shuttle up and down Washington Street to Goldfinch Street (the epicenter of this wonderful neighborhood). Tickets are $20 and the event is from 5 – 9 p.m. Visit for tickets and more information. PIE IN THE SKY: The Greater San Diego Business Association (GSDBA) teams up with Mama’s Kitchen for tonight’s Pie in the Sky mixer, a networking event to learn more about Mama’s Kitchen (and to buy some of their amazing pies). Attendees can visit the Mama’s Kitchen’s digs at 3960 Home Ave. from 6 – 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 for GSDBA members and $25 for guests. Visit or, or call 619-296-4543 for more information.

Thursday, Oct. 17

RADAR BROTHERS: You know if Bar Pink has to charge for tickets that it must be a must-see show. Radar Brothers’ latest album “Eight” (yes, their eighth) is called their “darkest, hardest rocking, most psychedelic” release yet. Little White Teeth open at 9 p.m., and tickets are $6. Bar Pink is located at 3829 30th St. Visit





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GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 4–17, 2013


Pleasures & Treasures

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The Phantom of the Opera, inspired by Her Majesty’s Theater in London, has come to life San Diego. Visit Pleasures and Treasures located at 2525 University Ave., to see their Halloween spirit. If you’re in the North Park neighborhood, especially at night, look closely at the detail of the handcrafted display in the window, designed and created by Joseph A. Valenzuela. Then come inside, meet Bill, Tim and the staff, and browse for a costume, accessory, or new toy. Voted San Diego’s Outstanding Adult Business. Store hours are Monday thru Saturday, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

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GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 4–17, 2013

this music directly to you. JM: And that’s fine. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being gay or lesbian or straight or black or green or purple, so I’m OK with that. CA: “Q.U.E.E.N.” uses phrases like “throwing shade” and “serving face,” which are often heard in drag culture. Has the drag world influenced your style and how you present yourself and your music?

Janelle Monáe

(Photo by Marc Ba


Janelle Monáe on her gay inspiration, gender-bending and lesbian rumors By Chris Azzopardi | Q Syndicate The ambiguity of Janelle Monáe – who will take the stage in San Diego Nov. 6 at Downtown’s House of Blues – can be summed up in her own two words: “top secret.” That – and, “I’m sorry, I can’t tell you” – is all she says about her pompadour when asked how it stays in a perfect pouf. It’s the kind of James Bond elusiveness that’s left a lot to the imagination since the Kansas City native spawned her fembot alter ego. “The Electric Lady,” the third in the saga, is designed to be a prequel to the narrative of 2010’s “The ArchAndroid.” It’s very gay – but it doesn’t mean she is. Chris Azzopardi: People have

speculated that the album’s first single, “Q.U.E.E.N.,” alludes to your attraction to women. And on “Givin Em What They Love,” you refer to a woman who follows you back to the lobby for some “undercover love.” Are people reading too much into the lesbian themes of this album and applying them to you? Janelle Monáe: I actually have never heard that. This is the first time I’m hearing it. But I will say that a lot of my work always comes from an authoritative stance, so it may not be about me; it may just be about a story, or something that I’ve witnessed, or my imagination. You just never know. CA: A lot of people are relating

JM: Yes. I think it is an art form that’s so funny and so inspiring, so I use it in my lyrics. I have gay friends who speak in this language, and it’s just hilarious and entertaining and I thought it would be cool to, you know, give them something to kiki about. CA: Because of your fondness for suits, people have described you in some ways as being a drag king. JM: Right. CA: How do you feel about the term “gender bender” as it’s applied to you? JM: I think it’s awesome. I think it’s uniting; I’m a uniter. I won’t allow myself to be a slave to my own interpretation of myself nor the interpretations that people may have of me. I just live my life, and people can feel free to discuss whatever it is that they think and use whatever adjectives they feel. It’s a free country. CA: You’ve said “The Electric Lady” was inspired by a female silhouette you were painting. You saw her as a new 21st century woman who’s not marginalized. Are there any real-life women you would call “electric ladies”?

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619-746-8132 | JM: Absolutely. They’re walking all around every day. You can find a lot of them in the community, nurturing the community. Electric ladies don’t have the same shape or hair color or background, but our number one commonality is the ability to want to be the change that we want to see. We want to see positivity. We want to see the community cleaned up. We know that we have to go out and be leaders and take action and make it happen. CA: Can the electric lady be a lesbian or transgender woman? JM: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely! CA: Is the android an artifice that allows you to be more earnest, especially politically and even sexually, than you would be otherwise? JM: No, no. The android represents the form of the new other. You can parallel the android to someone who has been ostracized or discriminated against or marginalized, like you would of a gay man or woman. Or African-Americans during slaveries, even post slavery. Immigrants. The excommunicated. The untouchables. And the negroids. There are so many parallels to the android – and it’s important to speak about the future, as well – so it’s just my way of communicating to my audience and anyone listening that these people, they walk amongst us. As an artist and as a human rights activist, I feel it’s my duty to speak out against any discrimination or marginalization of people who might not have the power to gain control of their rights. CA: Why is standing up for the oppressed, particularly the gay community, important to you? JM: Because I can relate. I can relate being a woman and being African-American. There are definitely stereotypes that I am fighting against. There is marginalization. There is sexism. So many things that I think we’re mutually having to go trough. And I have parents, I have friends, I have loved ones who come from working-class backgrounds and who have oftentimes definitely felt oppressed. And I have friends who are gay. I have people I love and care about, and I feel like I want to use my platform to bring awareness and talk about that. “Q.U.E.E.N.” was written for those who are oftentimes marginalized. I mention the word marginalized a lot, but it’s important that people understand what that word means and what we can do to get rid of it. CA: Do you feel that artists have a responsibility to stand up for causes they believe in, or is doing so simply a personal choice you’ve made? JM: It’s a personal choice. I don’t think the world should put any pressure on artists to be leaders; it’s just been a personal choice of mine. Your heart has to feel propelled to want to be a leader. If that’s your calling, you go after it. CA: From the beginning, your hope was to unite people and bridge gaps among various communities, including the LGBT community. How is “The Electric Lady” an extension of that career mission? JM: I think that “The Electric Lady” is interested in a purple state – not a red one or a blue one, but mixing those colors together and creating something that everyone can believe in. With more compassion for one another, we will be

more united and able to look past our religious beliefs and sexual preferences and realize that we came into this world together and we’ll leave together, and so we have to protect each other and protect ourselves while we’re here. I have songs on “The Electric Lady” – from “Sally Ride” to “Electric Lady” to “Q.U.E.E.N.,” and the list goes on – where I definitely thought of the gay community in terms of a community that is oftentimes discriminated against and marginalized. Again, when I speak about the android, it’s the other. And I think, again, you can parallel that to the gay community, to the black community, to women – we have so many things in common, and we sometimes don’t know it when we allow small things to get in the way. So this music is meant to inspire and bring wings to those who are weak and grace to those when they are strong. CA: You’ve told Rolling Stone that “the lesbian community has tried to claim me.” How did they try to claim you? JM: I was just making an observation. You know, the straight community has tried to claim me as well – sorry, maybe that didn’t get written in the article. But the straight community tried to claim me, the android community tried to claim me, the Hispanic community tried to claim me. We can go on and on [laughs]. It just feels good to be loved. And no disrespect to anybody. CA: You have challenged and redefined the concepts of masculine and feminine fashion in a way that really resonates with the queer community. How do you personally think our society can begin to encourage healthy self-expression and selfimage for future generations? JM: By just allowing your kids and the people around you to be themselves. We have so many different ways to live marketed to us in the media – what we should look like, what beauty is – and it’s so important to embrace the things that make you unique, even if it makes other people uncomfortable. You never know whom you’ll free by just being yourself, flaws and all. I just think it’s so important that at a young age we teach our kids and those whose future we’re nurturing that it’s OK to love whomever it is that you love and whom you’re attracted to – and it’s OK to like a dress if you’re a boy and to like a pantsuit if you’re a girl. These are just fears that previous generations have placed upon us, or people who’ve tried to control us and make us believe that this is just bad. But I think whenever you stop the true essence of a person loving who they are – the God-given person that they’ve been blessed to be – that is a crime. CA: What does being part of the queer community mean to you? JM: It means everything. I feel like I have a community to continue to write music for and inspire and empower. There are so many people in the queer community who have committed suicide for being shunned by their families, there have been hate crimes – and I’m just about love. I’m ready to unite. I want to make sure that I’m living on Dr. King’s dream. I feel like it is my job as a descendant of that dream to stand up for other civil rights and human rights. —Chris Azzopardi is the editor of Q Syndicate, the international LGBT wire service. Reach him via his website at


GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 4–17, 2013


The view from Mt. San Jacinto State Park (Photo by Andrew Collins)


OUT OF TOWN A desert hideaway nestled beneath the dramatic San Jacinto Mountains, Palm Springs is home to dozens of gay-owned clothingoptions resorts, friendly bars and lounges, hip restaurants, and stylish shops, and it’s also surrounded by spectacular natural scenery that’s perfect for hiking, wildlife watching and photography. Here’s one itinerary for making the most of three days in Palm Springs, with a mix of lazy downtime and more scenic exploring. If you do plan to ride the aerial tram, as recommended here, be sure to pack at least one outfit for cooler weather (and possibly a light hike). The temperature at the upper tram station is usually about 30 degrees lower than in town.


Upon arrival, spend time relaxing by the pool and, ideally, combining this with a spa treatment or perhaps poolside cocktails and appetizers. Obviously, the earlier you get to Palm Springs, the more time for planning at the spa. Among gay resorts, both the upscale East Canyon Resort (, which primarily

draws gay men but also welcomes women (swimsuits are required at this property) and the men-only La Dolce Vita ( have intimate, relaxing full-service spas offering an extensive menu of treatments. Both facilities are open to nonguests, but these are great places to stay on property, too, with their expansive pools (two of them at La Dolce Vita) and attractive rooms. Many of the other LGBTexclusive properties in town do have massage services, some with separate massage rooms and others providing in-room treatments. For example, at the well-established clothing-option women’s resort Casitas Laquita (, you can book Swedish, deep-tissue and reflexology. Palm Springs’ other popular women’s resort, Queen of Hearts ( also has on-site massage. Additionally, some great mainstream but very gay-popular resorts have fabulous spas as well as big, gorgeous swimming pools. Consider the boldly colorful, moderately priced Saguaro Palm Springs (, where you can enjoy date-shake wraps and hydrating facials, perhaps before dining at the superb on-site restaurants El Jefe (fun for tacos and cocktails) and the swankier Tinto (specializing in Basque cuisine). Of course, at mainstream

properties, you’re going to have to keep your swimsuit on; if you prefer tanning and swimming “au naturel,” stick with one of the clothing-optional gay resorts. These may have smaller pools, but the intimate vibe can also make it easier to meet new friends, and with fewer guests than at the bigger hotels, these smaller gay hideaways can actually feel less crowded in and around the pool. As the sun sets over Palm Springs your first night, if you’re looking for a terrific dinner option, head for the Tropicale (, an eclectic and fun restaurant-lounge that’s perfect for just about any mood or budget, and very popular as a gay-date venue. Everything from gourmet pizzas to Asian-inspired tapas to creative takes on Southern fried chicken and Cuban-style skirt steak are served. Dine inside in a space that has the sophisticated ambience of a modern supper club, or out on the quieter patio beside the gurgling fountain. The owners are planning to unveil a stylish, mixed gay/straight nightclub, Copa Room (, next door toward the end of the year.


Now that you’ve hopefully settled in a bit, worked your tan, and perhaps refreshed your skin and body, your second day in town

is an ideal time for some outdoor recreation. Start your day at what might just be the best breakfast spot in town, Cheeky’s (, but beware that the crowds tend to inundate this cheerful cafe with indoor and outdoor seating. If there’s a wait, put your name on the list and spend some time strolling around the lively Uptown Design District (, checking out the many shops and galleries specializing in everything from Mid-Century Modern furniture to contemporary photography and art. Next, make your way to the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway (pstramway. com), which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. From the tram base, a rotating car carries passengers to the 8,516-foot tram station, which offers access to miles of hiking trails in beautiful Mt. San Jacinto State Park. When you walk out the door of the upper tram station (you can obtain trail maps and advice at the small visitor center inside), proceed down the winding paved pathway a short distance to the bottom. For a longer hike, turn right and stop inside the ranger station to sign in and obtain a free backcountry permit. Hikes from here include a five-mile round-trip jaunt through mountain meadows and a rigorous 11-mile round-trip trek to 10,834-foot

San Jacinto Peak. For a shorter, easier hike with amazing views, turn left at the end of the concrete path and follow signs for the Desert View Trail, a one-anda-half-mile loop with five short side legs leading to spectacular panoramas of the Imperial Valley, from Salton Sea to Joshua Tree National Park. Many visitors stop for drinks or dinner at the Peaks Restaurant or more casual, cafeteria-style Pines Café in the tram station. The food is decent, but it’s the views that make it worth dining here. Returning to Palm Springs – assuming you’re still in the market for dinner – head back to the Uptown Design District. Trio ( is one of the hip, see-and-be-seen dining options in this lively neighborhood, serving globally inspired modern dishes like pan-seared rare scallops with honeydew-watercress sauce, and center-cut pork chops with tangerinehorseradish marmalade. Nearby, the owners of Cheeky’s operate a couple of outstanding and reasonably priced dinner venues. From here you’re a short walk to several very fun downtown bars, including LGBT-favored Azul Tapas Lounge/Georgie’s Alibi (, the chic new Clinic Bar & Lounge (clinicbarps.

see PalmSprings, pg 22



GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 4–17, 2013



Revisiting April predictions Passionate baseball fans like me have an addiction to preseason predictions. We make them ourselves, and we scour the internet looking to see what local and national media think is going to happen during the upcoming season. Writers tend to hate the prognostication process because, as any trip through the comments section of an online article will show, readers are not a friendly lot. I am happy to take over the dunce captoting role by revisiting the predictions I made back in April when, you know, I thought I knew baseball. With the regular season having ended on Sunday, Sept. 29, now is a good time as any to enjoy a good laugh. I began my prediction piece by asking if anyone would flop as badly as Boston did in 2012, when their first-place aspirations ended up in a nightmarish last-place finish. This year’s winners of the flop award would be the Angels and Giants, with the White Sox also making an argument here. The Angels spent a king’s ransom to bring Albert Pujols over to Anaheim in 2012, and as we’ve learned in baseball, fat contracts generally serve more as an albatross to a team’s budget than a procurement deed for a World Series title. They doubled down on this failed strategy by signing All-Star outfielder Josh Hamilton who, unlike Pujols, did not hit up to his expectations. The popular pick to lead the game in scoring offense couldn’t hit, nor could they pitch, finishing 78-84 and 18 games back in the AL West standings. The White Sox were no sure thing to become a playoff monster, but they can be considered a flop simply because of how awful this large-market team performed. They set records for futility in offense and defense, with only starting pitcher Chris Sale keeping the team from becoming the putrid Houston Astros. A team built around a lot of aging veterans finished with 99 losses and in the AL Central cellar.

It is with great disappointment that I include my beloved Giants on this list, but they belong there. Winners of two of the last three World Series titles, they were again co-favorites to win the NL West, on the strength of their tremendous starting pitching. That pitching failed them early on, though they did not begin to truly spiral out of contention until early June, when they suddenly forgot how to score runs. San Francisco went on a late run to finish 76-86, good for a third-place tie with the Padres in the NL West. I labeled the Washington Nationals the best team on paper, but boy did they disappoint. They just could not put together a sustained winning streak until it was too late, mostly due to a stagnant offense. Atlanta ran away with the division, which I suppose is good for me since I had them reaching the World Series. In the NL Central, I had St. Louis edging out the Reds for the title. This did, indeed, happen, but I neglected to credit the Pirates with the ability to compete (as did most of the nation). About Pittsburgh, I wanted their ridiculous streak of 20 consecutive losing seasons to end, which did end – emphatically – as they reached the Wild Card game against Cincinnati. I openly rooted for the Dodgers and Yankees to fail, and halfway through the season, I was getting my wish. New York ended up missing the playoffs for the second time in almost 20 years. The Dodgers were in last place in June. But suddenly, the Bums found their stride, and went on a ridiculous 42-8 run that pushed them into first place in the mediocre NL West. Revisiting my World Series predictions is not as traumatic, as both predicted teams (Tampa Bay and Atlanta) made the playoffs. Regardless, it is nice to see some of the smaller market teams crash the playoff party (Cincinnati, Oakland, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay), and great to see the Yankees playing golf instead of October baseball.t FROM PAGE 21

PALMSPRINGS com), the darkly seductive craftcocktail spot Bar (barwastaken. com) and the always packed gay dance spot Hunters Nightclub (


The SD Hoops fall league begins Oct. 23. (Photo by Joe Covino)

Around the city October is a slow time for many of the major LGBT sports leagues in town, but this is not to say that the schedule is totally blank. America’s Finest City Softball League (afcsl. org) hosts its annual Autumn Classic softball tournament Oct. 12 – 13, with about 100 teams expected to participate, including many of our local women’s and open division teams. San Diego American Flag Football Association ( is enjoying its offseason, but many of its players are preparing for the big Gay Bowl national title tournament in Phoenix, Ariz. over the same weekend as Autumn Classic. Three men’s teams and one women’s team will be heading to the desert, hoping to bring back a title that San Diego won in Denver last year. SD Hoops basketball league ( is openly recruiting new players to join in advance of its Fall Season, which will begin Oct. 23. All players must attend at least one Coaches Review on Wednesday, Oct. 9 or 16 at Golden Hill Recreation Center, between 6 and 8 p.m., in order to be eligible to be drafted onto a team. Men and women of all ages and skill levels participate, and it is $90 to play in a schedule that will feature at least 16 games per team.t

How you spend your final day in town again depends largely on how early you have to leave. With just under a three-hour drive back to San Diego, you can arrange to store your bags and linger by the pool a bit longer. In the morning, you might consider one of the other inviting breakfast options in town, such as King’s Highway in the Ace Hotel (acehotel. com), which serves delicious chilaquiles; the uber-gay java spot Koffi (, with two locations serving superb espresso drinks and pastries; or open-air Norma’s in the glam Parker Palm Springs (, where the lobster-caviar frittata ranks among the most decadent and expensive breakfast meals in California. If you still have a little time on your hands, check out the excellent Palm Springs Art Museum (, continue your shopping adventures downtown, or pop into Great Shakes ( for a sweet treat on your way out of town: the unusual flavors here include a fun take on the traditional Palm Springs date shake (with crushed walnuts) to the imaginative blueberry-butterscotch. —Andrew Collins produces the site and contributes to many other travel magazines and websites. He can be reached care at


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GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 4–17, 2013


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GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 4–17, 2013

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