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Volume 5 Issue 24 Nov. 28–Dec. 11, 2014 Follow us on Facebook and Twitter



Holiday Gift Guide Page 9



OH! Juice: the new age milkman

Finding Woo

Local company gets you your greens right to your door

Archives come out of closet

Morgan M. Hurley | Editor


The Grinch returns


Mission Hills resident Beth Brennan finding her own woo in Machu Picchu, Peru (Courtesy Beth Brennan)

Two local women challenge us to better ourselves, one woo at a time Morgan M. Hurley | Editor

Eating on the green


If you’ve ever wanted to find out more about yourself, communicate better with those around you, or live more authentically in all areas of your life, two San Diego women may have the solution for you — just follow their philosophy; it’s called “Woo.” For Mission Hills resident Beth Brennan and Geri Suster, who lives in Carlsbad, “Woo” is something they’ve both been chasing for decades and now they want to share it with others. In October, they launched a website,, and a

corresponding Facebook page, where they are embarking on a journey not only together, but one they hope to share with as many people as possible. They garnered over 400 followers on Facebook in the first three weeks and their web community continues to build ever y day. But just what is “Woo”? According to their website, “Finding Woo is about living life with intention and awareness. It’s a place to come to center, to escape, to gather inspiration and to share your own – a place to laugh and to connect. It’s a shared experience to live life to the fullest

with no regrets and days spent collecting amazing moments.” Here is the backstor y. The two women both worked at San Diego’s Transwestern Publishing, a former publisher of yellow pages publications, for almost 20 years; Brennan was vice president of operations while Suster was her director of operations. Sales and publishing deadlines are a tough business, so together they would kick around ideas regarding ways to enhance the quality of life of their work environment. They brainstormed and “Woo” was born. Suster said the name was a tongue-in-cheek reference to spirituality, in order to get as

see Woo, pg 3

A young local woman is building the business of her dreams, which involves keeping people healthy and empowered. Hanna Gregor is full of more facts and nutritional information that any one person could probably ever use, but that is why she is so good at the helm of OH! Juice — OH stands for “organic health” — the local, all-organic, cold-pressed juice company she started in 2013. In less than a year in business, she has worked her way into three of the most sought after and popular farmers markets in San Diego — Hillcrest, Little Italy and La Jolla — and is tearing them up with her fresh juices every weekend. Though she does not yet have a storefront, she’s established a savvy marketing relationship with The Dailey Method, a fitness studio in Little Italy that also acts as a distribution center, and her Vista-based kitchen is already pumping out 5,000 16-ounce bottles per month. The Portland, Maine, native is barely two years out of Penn State with her degree in nutrition, but you’d never know that when meeting her. She knows her stuff and running her own business, she’s learning more every single day. Natural juicing is becoming a bit of a phenomenon, but it is nothing new to Gregor, she’s been juicing for as long as she can remember. “I always crafted things, whether it was juicing, smoothies or salads,

see OH! Juice, pg 2

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San Diego Pix Magazine sets a milestone By George Vernon

San Diego Pix (SDPix) Magazine, published locally by Hale Media, hit a huge milestone earlier this month, with the publication of its 100th issue. For eight years, the glossy, LGBT-themed SDPix Magazine has hit the streets each month with photos taken by its photographers at various special events and nightlife venues around town, along with a stylish cover model and centerfold spread. The story of SDPix Magazine is a unique one, as traditionally, many magazines are produced in print before or in tandem with the production of a website. In the case of SDPix, however, the website launched in 2002, four years before the company decided to take the brand to the next level with a print magazine.

“In 2006 it was clear to us that it was time to take the next step so we launched our very own magazine,” said founder and publisher Johnathan Hale. “In order to ensure success, we knew that San Diego Pix Magazine would have to be something that nobody in our community had seen before. The magazine would help us to branch out and not just be about nightlife, but also about our community as a whole by promoting local community and charitable events.” Hale said his intention was that the magazine would be something the community would be proud of and even display on their coffee tables at

(left) SDPix's 100th issue (above) Publisher Johnathan Hale and cover photographer Cali Griebel. (Photo by Cali Griebel) home. With its current legacy of 100 issues, the high-quality magazine has clearly resonated with the community, including many who are collectors. A staff member said the office frequently received calls from people who were looking for back issues of

the magazine to fill in gaps in their collections and one such man had saved every single issue from number 1–90, and was only missing issue number 2. While SDPix has always featured diverse people on its cover over the years, — usually consisting of beautiful male models

see Pix pg 14



GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 28–Dec. 11, 2014


OH!JUICE for family friends or teammates because I played Rugby at Penn State,” she said. “I knew I wanted to service people.” After returning to Maine post graduation and recognizing the economy and population was not hefty enough to sustain her dreams there, she took off for California. After two failed attempts at helping other owners who didn’t take her talent or value very seriously grow their juice businesses, she took the lessons she learned and is now forging her own way, though those experiences almost made her throw in the towel last year. Thankfully, two friends did take her passion and education seriously and floated her some seed money to get OH! Juice off the ground, and forge ahead she is. Those two friends — Mike Mendoza and Khaled Azar, business partners in another industry — are still part of her OH! Juice management team, which has since grown to include another Penn State nutrition grad, Anna Duff. Their offerings are vast, with flavors that Gregor often comes up with while lying in bed; as well as three-day, five-day, seven-day and even longer “extended” cleanses; and something Gregor calls the “lifestyle plan,” which is basically a juice subscription of six, 16-ounce

OH! Juice delivers a six pack to your door; (right) entrepeneurs Hanna Gregor and Anna Duff (Courtesy Hanna Gregor bottles per week. Plus, they deliver. “We want to be known as the new age milkman,” she said, laughing. Clients can get them at home, work or choose to pick them up at their local farmers market. There seem to be a lot of new juice companies out there these days, but OH! Juice has a few advantages. Their juice is distributed only in glass bottles to avoid leeching from plastic; it is cold pressed to preserve its nutrients; and it is allorganic — something they are about to have USDA certified. Gregor calls juices that don’t use organic fruits and vegetables a “pesticide cocktail.” “This is a nutrition-based company, this is not just a fun fad

juice company where we want to make sweet juices with the name ‘cold pressed’ on them,” she said. “This is legit. While competition may appear stiff, Gregor knows what she’s up against; she knows what their juices consist of, how they are made, what containers they are sold in, where they are sold, and what drives them. But her true passion is educating her own clients about nutrition, and the advantages of organics and coldpressed juice. “Cold pressed is the most superior way to extract juice from a fruit or vegetable,” the young entrepreneur said. “There is no heat and very minimal oxygen, which are very

detrimental to nutrients. Heat denatures the nutrients and changes their composition, like the sun does to our skin. Oxygen also breaks things down. Think of what happens when you cut up an apple; it turns brown. If you juice at home with a high rpm blade, it’s like cutting an apple a million times very quickly so it browns a lot quicker, where we slowly grind. It’s not being sliced so the cell walls are not being compromised. It’s a living process and it takes 2,000 pounds or more of hydraulic pressure to extract the nutrients.” Gregor said there are many juices on the market that say they are cold pressed but upon closer review they are in fact misleading.

Many she said, are actually using a process known as “high-pressure pasteurization” or HPP, which kills the nutrients. “In the grocery store they are cheaper, and advertise as cold pressed, but there is a little disclaimer on the back that says they have a 60-day shelf life. That means the safety from bacteria may be extended but the nutrient shelf life is gone. You cannot extend the nutrient shelf life, it is five days and done.” Gregor learned a lot about how to create her juices by being a juice customer herself. She got tired of going to a juice bar, starting with a basic apple, kale, and lemon — adding superfoods one at a time and ending up with a juice that was $12.50 out the door, and not even cold pressed. She knew she could do better and at the same time, offer her customers more variety. “We are nutrition first and then flavor,” she said. “You’ll find that people either love or hate some of our juices. That’s okay. But if you hate it, we’ll have something you love, too.” Her standard six-pack, which can be mixed and matched, includes things like cantelope, kale, beets, cucumbers, romaine, pomegranate, coconut and Himalayan sea salt. A full list of ingredients of each flavor is on her website. While she said she used to be able to explore flavors and be creative on a more spontaneous basis, USDA certification will change that. “We want to be different,” she said. “We don’t want you to go to any juice bar and find similar juices.” Gregor said people doing cleanses often aren’t sure what they are getting into but often have specific expectations. “People will think they are going to have these huge transformations but rarely do we ever have disappointment,” she said, adding that even the smallest change motivates people. Cleanses, as well as regular juicing, help people with their digestion, skin tone, hair growth and health, headaches, skin rashes, and most importantly, your body’s ability to absorb nutrients. “You can even have better breath and better body odor, too, because instead of having fatty steak coming out of your arm pits you are having fresh pomegranate,” she said, laughing. “But the positive thing is, when you do give your body the good stuff, your body asks for more of that, intuitively,” she said. They generally recommend the three-day cleanse as a great jump-start, she said, but lately have found that more and more first-time clients are capable of the five-day and beyond. The longer the cleanse, the better the results. What should you expect? Gregor said you should feel “a little bit lighter, tighter, motivated, with a little bit more energy.” She acknowledged that everyone’s body is different on a cleanse, sometimes causing the energy not to kick in until two or three days later. But the most important thing Gregor said she wants her clients to get out of the process is education and motivation to make better decisions about what they put into their body. Thinking of cleansing your system after that big Thanksgiving meal? Want to start 2015 off with a seven-day cleanse? Visit or visit Gregor and her staff at the Hillcrest Farmers Market this weekend. Want to invest? She’s looking for those types of clients, too. —You can reach Morgan M. Hurley at morgan@sdcnn.comt


GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 28–Dec. 11, 2014



many people on board with the idea as possible. “Woo was more playful, less intimidating, because a lot of times the more spiritual folks tend to be a little off-putting for the average person, like ‘I don’t want to dive that deep down the rabbit hole.’” The philosophy stuck. “Geri and I built a culture where people had [Woo],” Brennan said. “Where they could do something that was inspiring for them, use the skills that they were given, and we invested in a lot of training so that they could grow. So it was a ver y open culture where people got to blossom. And that was an important part of what we did, in addition to making the company run and getting out the product and all that stuff.” Though initially skeptical, after seeing productivity rise considerably, Brennan said the CEO never challenged them or stood in their way. With the Woo machine running full steam ahead at work, suddenly the women found themselves addressing major challenges in their personal lives. “We both got kind of hit at the same time with some shocking unexpected things,” Brennan said. “It was like, ‘what the hell is going on here?’” Her 10-year relationship had come to a screeching halt. “My partner came home one day and she said, ‘I met somebody else and I’m done’ so the sand beneath my feet shifted and I said ‘whoa, I thought we were building something here.’” Within the next two weeks, Suster found out her mother had terminal lung cancer. “Two days after she passed, I found out my husband of 14 years was cheating,” Suster said. “It clearly was one of those, ‘you need to change something or your life is going to change’ moment.” The culture they had established at work suddenly became the way to get through their personal storms, too. They started a weekly group built on similar principles and tried to learn from their losses. “One of the things we learned is about how you respond,” Brennan said. “It’s not about what happens. Because some things happen that are out of your control and all you can do is respond appropriately and positively and start rebuilding your life.” After Transwestern was sold in 2005 and Brennan retired, she became an avid world traveler. She found that her sense of adventure also brought her Woo and often found herself facing her fears. “I am not a tourist when I travel, I’m immersing myself into the cultures and really tr ying to explore what’s at the heart of them,” she said. “I never come away from any travel that I do without having learned some-

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(above) Brennan chasing Woo in Thailand; (right) Suster and Brennan in Italy (Courtesy Beth Brennan)

thing that always kind of fits in with the Woo philosophy.” Suster said that whether you are traveling or not, the underlying theme of Woo is pushing yourself emotionally and spiritually — and not settling. “It’s a blessing that ever ybody should have in their life and that’s one of the reasons I feel so passionate about sharing this and know that we are supposed to share it because it would be so great if we could all live this way. Suster said now that she understands Woo, she has started the same kind of relationship with both her sister and her best friend from high school. “We’re not perfect at it,” she said about herself and Brennan. “But we show up differently and more authentic, and more honest about our own failings, because so often we’re full of crap with our friends. We say, ‘I’m fine, my life’s good, everything is great.’ We’re

not sharing what’s really going on. We don’t want to burden anybody or look less-than, but whatever the motivation is, honestly if you take that first step with someone — what opens up is so beautiful.” “The way I look at it is we are all here for a reason and we spend most of our life tr ying to find out what our purpose is,” Brennan said. “A lot of us discover it when it’s way too late to do anything with it and in the meantime we just tr y to fit in. We tr y to look uniform and be accepted, and all that does is cloud these special gifts that we’ve been given to do what we are supposed to do here. “So while we call it a philosophy it’s not really a belief system it’s just a way of thinking about life,” she said. Though it is not as challenging today for the younger generation to come out of the closet, Brennan admitted there are always other challenges.

“No matter who you are, in order to be authentic you are going to hit obstacles; somebody is not going to like it, it’s not going to fit in their ideals or their box of what life should be like,” she said. Earlier this year Suster was laid off for the first time in her career. It was a sign, and both of them knew it was time to share Woo with the world. They realize not ever yone is going to be able to “get it.” That’s why this past summer they began planning the launch of the website and all it entails. What they unveiled in October is like a roadmap for finding your own personal Woo, and in doing so, they continuing to pursue theirs. On the website, visitors will find weekly podcasts called “Living Woo” posted ever y Monday


where the two women tackle various topics, like “The Gift of Giving Unconditionally,” and “Energy Recycling.” “We are looking at those obstacles and how you can navigate around them, over them, under them, through them and still be true to yourself,” Brennan said, adding that their approach is ver y real and down to earth, not preachy or clinical. On Wednesdays, the women take turns sharing a Woo Journal entr y. On Fridays, Brennan uploads video-casts they call Woo Journeys from her trips around the world. In each post, whether it be something you watch, listen to, or read, the women are hoping to educate followers, establish a Woo community and help them get on their own journey of self fulfillment and being present. They took this leap of faith and are doing what they love, driven by what they feel is their purpose. In the future, trips, seminars, books, and even a game, are all in consideration to assist people with furthering that journey. What are you waiting for? Beth and Geri are waiting for you at —Reach Morgan M. Hurley at


GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 28–Dec. 11, 2014


The impact of visual inclusivity How healthy is your relationship? North County Update Max Disposti Every year, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) releases the Municipality Equality Index (MEI) scorecard, a nationwide evaluation of municipal law, this year rating 353 cities on the basis of their inclusivity of LGBT people that live and work there. In North San Diego County, only two cities made the 2014 survey: Escondido and Oceanside. Unexpectedly (yes, unexpectedly) the city of Oceanside was ranked among the lowest in the state with a score of 57 (out of 100) score, and Escondido had a 60. For those of you that live in San Diego, those scores might not come as a surprise, especially after a perfect 100 for the city of San Diego, but for those of us who live in Oceanside and North County and are familiar with the extensive work that the North County LGBTQ Resource Center has done in the past years, that score hit home and made us feel very uncomfortable. Apparently, many in the community have seen that score; business owners, members, donors, and of course, our city — and realize they are now perceived as anti-LGBT! Despite that score, in the past years the city of Oceanside has shown a close collaboration with the LGBTQ Resource Center. Mayor Jim Wood has

participated in many of our public events, the city has sponsored our Pride by the Beach, and many pro-LGBT policies have been put in place. So what has really happened? A city with an LGBT Center should, in my opinion, reflect that presence by promoting a good and safe environment for LGBT people. So after a few investigative calls to the Oceanside mayoral office, we realized the MEI survey was never filled out and therefore never returned to HRC. While it is not good for the city of Oceanside to miss a national survey that is seen by thousands of residents, business owners, and potential visitors, I am at least now glad to know that the score did not quite reflect where the city actually stands. In fact, last week the city decided to take this survey issue by the horns and called for an urgent meeting with the city’s human resources director, the city manager’s office, the neighborhood services director, Councilmember Esther Sanchez, and myself. In this meeting, the city understood the importance of the survey and apologized for failing to return it to HRC. To amend some of the damages already done, the city has committed to take immediate visible steps in making sure LGBT families and individuals are fully represented. In the next few weeks, a city LGBT liaison will be appointed, and in the next few months, the Oceanside police and fire

departments will follow. Existing anti-discriminatory policies are going to be reviewed and revised to be more inclusive of LGBT people and additional training may also take place. Sanchez also offered to bring a resolution to City Council that allows the city to do business only with contractors that have LGBT anti-discriminatory policies in place. Because of this survey, we were able to come together and reach further agreements that our LGBT Center has pursued and worked for so many years. We look forward to seeing Oceanside become a beacon of hope and inclusiveness for LGBT visibility within the San Diego North County area, and maybe even reach a full 100 percent score in the next few years. But we are also committed to making sure that the rest of the county, such as Vista, San Marcos, Escondido, Fallbrook, and Carlsbad can follow through to become more inclusive and no longer intimidating to our LGBT families and diversities in general. We are here to stay! —Max Disposti is a human rights activist, a community organizer and the founder and executive director of the North County LGBTQ Resource Center. He is currently also serving on the boards of the Oceanside City Library and Main Street Oceanside and previously served on the city’s Community Relations Commission. He can be reached at

Take this quiz Life Beyond Therapy Michael Kimmel

I was recently at a workshop for therapists, and we talked about the differences between addictive love and healthy love. Addictive love isn’t really love at all; it’s about controlling the other person. Addictive love feels desperate and clingy and is more like a business agreement than a love affair. Healthy love is a more subtle and complex animal: there’s trust, space and room for disagreement. Healthy love acknowledges that there are going to be bumps along the way, that we are inevitably going to not like each other at times and that — in the long run — mutual respect and kindness are more powerful than any attempts to control and manipulate. After looking at all the aspects of healthy versus unhealthy (addictive) love, I have created a quiz you can use to take a look at your relationship. There’s even a scoring mechanism at the end. Have fun and use it to learn something useful about yourself and your relationship. If you are not currently in a relationship, think about your last one as you take the quiz. In your relationship, is there: • Room to grow, expand and a desire for your partner to grow too • A willingness to tell the truth and be real • Time for each of you alone and with your own friends • An ability to ask honestly for

what you want • An acceptance of your partner’s flaws • Comfort with your partner’s occasional need for space or distance • A balance between caring and healthy detachment • Trusting each other to tell the truth • Comfort, ease and intimacy • Loving each other but not needing each other • A fulfilling sex/erotic life • Continual growth and learning as individuals • An ability to listen to each other with openness and curiosity • A feeling that you and your partner are equals • “Our” friends and “my” friends (for each of you) • Each of you takes good care of your own emotional/social needs • Safety to expose your imperfections and fears • Affection and sex as natural aspects of your relationship • Emotional safety to bring up and discuss difficult subjects • A balance between giving and receiving • Encouragement of each other’s self-sufficiency • Acceptance of your and your partner’s limitations • No expectation of unconditional love • High self-esteem in both you and your partner • Wanting the best for your partner • One partner whose needs dominate the relationship • Frequent jealousy and possessiveness • A strong sense of competition between the two of you • Feeling “less than” if your partner occasionally wants some space or distance • A strong desire to change the other person • Dependence on your partner to fulfill your emotional/social needs • A feeling that you’re both playing mind games with each other • Rigidity (wanting to keep your relationship from changing) • Needing frequent affirmation and validation from your partner • A strong fear of your partner leaving you (or vice versa) • All your friends are “our” friends • A hazy sense of what’s okay and what isn’t (healthy boundaries) • Frequent power struggles and wanting to be right • An avoidance of discussing difficult subjects • Using affection/sex to reward or punish each other • A strong need to “win” an argument • Trying to take care of/parent/ mentor each other • A tendency to see your partner as mean, controlling or cruel • Demanding and expecting unconditional love • A fear of letting your partner see your imperfections and fears • Strong fears of abandonment • Physical/verbal/sexual violence or intimidation • Using manipulation to get what you want • A need to snoop and check each other’s cell phones/texts/emails • Feeling worthless unless you’re in a relationship How to score: Obviously, the first half of the questions reflect a healthy relationship. Give yourself one point for each of these. The second half reflect an addictive/unhealthy relationship, so take away one point for each of these. What your score means: 11 to 25: You’re doing great. No

see Kimmel, pg 7



New preservation projects on the horizon Out of the Archives Maureen Steiner

Louis “LadyO” Orozco with his daughters; (right) Orozco as LadyO (Facebook) BELOVED ‘LADY O’ PASSES AWAY Local icon Louis “Lady O” Orozco died on Nov. 23, after collapsing at a Hillcrest nightclub. He was 43. Orozco was a well-known drag performer who appeared regularly at several spots around town including: The Brass Rail, Lips, Numbers Nightclub and Rich’s. The tragedy was announced by Orozco’s partner of 14 years, Mario “Luscious” Rodriguez. Facebook lit up with postings from the local LGBT community as they extended their condolences and soon several fundraisers were organized to help pay for funeral expenses. Two were held earlier this week at The Brass Rail. Another will occur Nov. 28 at Numbers Nightclub (3811 Park Blvd., Hillcrest) with attendees invited to celebrate Lady O’s life and all proceeds going toward the funeral. Doors open at 8 p.m. with a show at 9:30 p.m. Venezia, one of Orozco’s two daughters, has also set up a crowd-funding page on GoFundMe to raise money for the expenses. Over $5,000 of the $17,000 goal had been raised at the time of printing. Details on a memorial service have not yet been released. Visit gofundme. com/LadyOrozco to contribute. ‘MAGIC’ FUNDRAISER COMING TO MARTINIS ABOVE FOURTH Children’s Holiday Magic Project (CHMP), a local nonprofit, will host a special fundraiser “An Evening of Holiday Magic” on Dec. 14 at Martinis Above Fourth (3940 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest). The event will support the production and distribution of CHMP’s annual compilation album. Each year they create a disc with songs and stories to be given to children who are hospitalized during the holiday season. Their goal for 2014 is to produce and distribute 10,000 CDs worldwide. Doors will open for the fundraiser at 5 p.m., a three-course dinner will be ser ved at 6:30 p.m., and entertainment is scheduled through 9 p.m. Featured performers for the night include: Ashley Fox Linton, Jennifer Knight, Lele Rose, Jordan Lamoureux and Jeff Davis. President and founder of CHMP Jeff Gelder will act as emcee for the event. Tickets start at $65 and are available at For more information on CHMP and this year’s compilation CD, visit SDHDF AWARDS GALA TO HONOR SEVERAL ACTIVISTS The San Diego Human Dignity Foundation’s (SDHDF) 2014 AstonBrookes Awards Gala ‘Fit to be tied’ will be held at the San Diego Hilton Resort and Spa (1775 East Mission Bay Drive) on Dec. 6. The event will honor actor and activist George Takei with the Lincoln Aston Public Service Award. The award is named for the San Diego developer and philanthropist whose violent murder led to the establishment of the SDHDF. The Sunshine Brooks HIV/AIDS Advocacy Award will go to Cleve Jones, founder of the Names Project who advocates for LGBT rights and for those living with HIV/AIDS. Maureen Steiner, local philanthropist and president of the San Diego Lambda Archives, will be honored with the Richard Geyser Community Award. Each award carries a $5,000 grant from the SDHDF to be bestowed on the LGBT/HIV charity chosen by each award recipient. These charities will be announced at the gala. The black tie-optional event includes a

see Briefs, pg 16










240 Fifth Ave., 92101 • 619.338.8111 •

[Editor’s Note: Lambda Archives has been preserving our local LGBT history for decades. We are pleased to offer them the opportunity to share news with our readers about their projects, process, endowments and collections. Watch for them to appear on a quarterly basis.] I want to share with you the exciting LGBTQ Historic Sites project Lambda Archives of San Diego (LASD) is undertaking with San Diego’s respected historic preservation organization, SOHO (Save Our Heritage Organisation). LASD will work with historic preservation professionals and LGBT community members to identify and prepare professional nominations to protect LGBTQ historic resources. Our first identified resource is the former home of Bernie Michels, an early activist and organizer of the San Diego LGBT community. Bernie was one of the planners and first executive director of the Gay and Lesbian Center. While we wouldn’t literally collect these resources, [its protection] certainly would further our mission to preser ve and educate the public about important aspects of LGBT histor y. This project is modeled on the National Park Service Heritage Sites Initiative and may eventually

qualify for federal funding. However, we are collectively looking for “seed money” of about $2,000 for the first professional nomination. The Michels home, located at the northeast corner of Florida Street and El Cajon Boulevard, is threatened with demolition as it stands in a project area. We are working with SOHO, the developer, and professional preservationists. An experienced historical researcher has offered to waive half her normal fee to prepare the nomination report. LASD and SOHO will cobble that savings together with donations from the SOHO board, the Imperial Court, and other donors. That will cover the first identified project, the Michels site. Then, we estimate we will need another $10,000 – 12,000 to do a full-scale identification and “context” report. We would hire a professional consultant to organize

GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 28–Dec. 11, 2014


public meetings to identify historic sites and do historic research to fully describe the resources and prepare the resource descriptions. The resulting document will be provided to planning authorities to help protect sites from demolition or alteration. Further, it will provide context for possible projects like interpretive centers and even a future tour of LGBT historic sites. To learn more, please see our Facebook page “Save the Historic LGBTQ house on El Cajon Boulevard” [link will be accessible online]. We are very excited about both the Michels project itself and the collaboration with our preservation allies at SOHO. We believe this is a project well worth doing to protect San Diego LGBT historic assets. To support this work, please contact SOHO at —Maureen Steiner is the president of Lambda Archives San Diego. She can be reached at maureenon@ For more information about the organization, visit

Lambda Archives is trying to save this building, where lots of local LGBT history was made. (Photo by Greg May)



GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 28–Dec. 11, 2014

Correction The most recent Raising the Bar column ("Stand up and be counted at Numbers," Nov. 14) incorrectly stated that Club Sabbat had no website or Facebook page. In fact, the Club Sabbat has a website at and a Facebook page at clubsabbat. Gay San Diego regrets the errors.

Letters TDOR For those that live in North San Diego County we will also have our 7th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance at 6 p.m. at the North County LGBTQ Resource Center, 510 North Coast Highway, Oceanside, CA 92054. [Editor’s Note: It was an oversight to leave this information out of “TDOR: Standing up for our brothers and sisters,” Vol. 5, Issue 23, and we regret the omission.]

Appreciation for Numbers


Five tips for donating to holiday food drives By Patti Wooten Swanson [Editor’s note: This article first ran on the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources website ( on Oct. 29, 2014. Reprinted with permission.] Thanksgiving kicks off the giving season for many people. If participating in a food drive or giving to a local food bank is on your to do list, get the most bang for your buck by following these suggestions. 1. Ask what is needed before you give. Sometimes what we want to give —holiday foods, homemade jam, or cake mixes — may or may not be what is needed for hungry families. Check the website of your local food bank or call to see what foods they currently need. Generally, the most needed items are: • Peanut butter; • Canned meats such as tuna or chicken; • Cereal; • Canned and dried fruit; • Canned vegetables; • Macaroni and cheese; and • Canned soup. 2. Choose a more nutritious form of the food you want to give. For example, select: • Fruit canned in its own juice rather than syrup; • Vegetables canned without added salt;

• Cereals that are high in fiber and don’t have much added sugar; • Whole grains such as brown rice, whole wheat pasta, and quinoa; • Low-sodium soups and low-sodium versions of other products such as pasta sauce; and, • Lean protein, such as beans and canned tuna. 3. Check the use-by or expiration date on foods you plan to give. If donating food items from your own pantry, check the freshness date. Most food banks will not give out food that is past the use-by or expiration date printed on the container. (Use-by and expiration dates refer to the quality of the food, not the safety.) 4. Avoid giving foods in glass containers or damaged packaging. Some food banks don’t accept food in glass containers — even baby food or infant formula — because they chip and break easily. Inspect the packaging of an item. Avoid dented or bulging cans. Food banks won’t accept damaged or open paper or plastic containers. Only donate commercially prepared foods. Food banks cannot take home preserved foods. 5. Give with the food bank clientele in mind. Are the clientele homeless? If so, they probably don’t have access to storage or refrigeration. Dr. Lucia Kaiser, nutrition specialist at the University of California Cooperative Extension, suggests giv-

PUBLISHER David Mannis (619) 961-1951

ART DIRECTOR Vincent Meehan (619) 961-1961

EDITOR Morgan M. Hurley (619) 961-1960


CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Hutton Marshall, x102 Jeremy Ogul, x119 CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Charlene Baldridge Max Disposti Michael Kimmel Jeff Praught Frank Sabatini Jr. Maureen Stiener George Vernon

WEB & SOCIAL MEDIA Jen Van Tieghem, x118 SALES & MARKETING DIRECTOR Mike Rosensteel (619) 961-1958 ADVERTISING CONSULTANTS Sloan Gomez (619) 961-1954 Frank Lechner (619) 961-1971

Andrew Bagley, x106 Karen Davis, x105 Lisa Hamel, x107 Nicole Perez, x116 Yana Shayne, x113

ACCOUNTING Priscilla Umel-Martinez (619) 961-1962

ing easy-to-prepare and ready-to-eat foods such as: • Pop-top cans of stew, chili, and soup; • Shelf-stable milk and cheese; • 100-percent fruit juices in single-serving boxes; and, • Convenience foods like granola bars, packaged crackers (low fat), beef jerky, and singleserving packages of nuts. Programs for children may want singleserving sizes of foods, such as • 100-percent fruit rolls • Raisins • Graham crackers • Unsweetened applesauce • Fruit cups • Low-sugar cereal bowls • Pretzels. Ideas to help you plan a food drive: Request donations by meal (breakfast, lunch, or dinner), food group (fruits and vegetables, dairy, protein, etc.), or recipe. Another option is a “superfood drive,” where participants donate items on a list of nutrient-dense foods that you provide. Or, help potential donors identify a wide variety of healthy foods to consider by giving them Dorothy Smith’s food bank gift list [this link will be active online]. Here’s to healthy living and giving during the holiday season. —Patti Wooten Swanson, Ph.D., is a nutrition, family, and consumer science advisor at the University of California Cooperative Extension, San Diego County.t

Great column, Jeremy [See “Raising the Bar: Stand up and be counted at Numbers” Vol. 5, Issue 23]! Numbers really is a cool space that doesn’t always get the credit it deserves. With two rooms and a fairly undecorated space, it really is a “blank canvas” ready for event producers to come in and make their own! Glad you had fun at “SIN” last month (next one was Friday, 11/21). —Ben Cartwright, via


I started going to this facility before it was Hamburger Mary’s and Kickers, back when it was Tin Pan Alley [See “Twenty-five more years of adventures and memories,” Vol. 5, Issue 23]. Ever since Chris Shaw took over, the changes that have occurred over the many years have always been outstanding. So happy to be a loyal and dedicated customer to ALL of Mo’s Universe family of restaurants, I look forward to opening day! —Kurt Cunningham, via While I’m glad Mr. Shaw now supports the bike lane on University, I’m very disappointed that the nearly century-old house behind Urban MO’s will be torn down for a parking lot. San Diego badly needs housing and I’d like to see older architecture retained in our urban neighborhoods, where possible. What Hillcrest doesn’t need, in my opinion, is more surface parking lots that negatively impact the urban experience. —Paul Jamason, via

see Letters, pg 7

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

WEB DESIGN Kim Espinoza

SUBMISSIONS/NEWS TIPS Press releases and story ideas are welcomed. Send press releases, tips, photos or story ideas to morgan@

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

For breaking news and investigative story ideas contact the editor by phone or email.

Business Improvement Association

Gay San Diego 123 Camino de la Reina, Suite 202 East San Diego, CA 92108 (619) 519-7775 Twitter @GaySD FROM PAGE 7

LETTERS I would prefer, and ever yone I talk to prefers, that the house next door that was built in 1913, NOT be demolished for a parking lot. If you MUST have that space for a parking lot, PLEASE take the time and have the house moved … —Greg May, via Why does he get credit for “suppor ting a bike lane”? Who doesn’t suppor t “bike lanes”? But this is not about “bike lanes,” this is about Agenda 21 and the city of SD getting millions to increase densities ever ywhere to make room for massive new development and the smokeless patio crap is all par t of Agenda 21. Wonder if Mr. Shaw got money for that from the Agenda 21 mafia aka “The San Diego Foundation”? Why are you guys tearing down a 100-year-old home for a parking lot? This is not acceptable. You are destroying the neighborhood. This parking lot should not take priority over the historic character of the neighborhood. Shame on you Shaw. Tell MO’s and Todd Gloria to stop the demolition ASAP! [Editor’s Note: The reader included a link to photos of the property posted on Facebook under “Gregory’s San Diego.” The link will be accessible in the online version of Letters.] —Christine, via So glad to read the new patio will be smoke free (with a separate smoking section)! A big reason I don’t hang there on the patio much is because the smoke is unbearable! Great move for the health and well being of customers! —Ben Cartwright, via I’m also glad to hear about the non-smoking patio. It won’t be long before San Diego follows other cities with outlawing smoking on patios all together. I love being outside when weather is nice but refused to eat or drink on the patio because of the smoking. —Kent Hammond, via gay-sd.comt


KIMMEL relationship is perfect, but yours is awfully damn good! 1 to 10: Your relationship could use a little turn-up, but you’re doing a lot right. 0 to -10: That red warning light on the dashboard is blinking; something’s not working very well. -11 to -25: Uh oh, your relationship may be going downhill fast. Get some help to change direction ASAP. —Michael Kimmel is a licensed psychotherapist who specializes in helping LGBT clients achieve their goals and deal with anxiety, depression, grief, sexually addictive behavior, coming out, relationship challenges and homophobia. Contact him at 619-955-3311 or visit t


GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 28–Dec. 11, 2014



GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 28–Dec. 11, 2014

Wedding Guide


GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 28–Dec. 11, 2014


Holiday Gift Guide



From all of us at Gay San Diego, thank you for making us your #1 source for local LGBT news!

South Park’s holiday events beckon Get into the spirit early while shopping locally Morgan M. Hurley | Editor For the second year in a row, the South Park Business Group (SPBG) plans to turn their unique business district into a holiday shopper’s paradise with two events that they hope will bring local residents and others from around the county out of their homes and others from around the county into the neighborhood for food, festivities and fun.

Captain Kirk’s Coffee — will greet Luminaria attendees while they mingle and listen to the live music. The family-friendly community event will also include photo ops with Santa, a kid’s craft table, and more. Though last year’s inaugural Luminaria included a holiday lights contest for residents along the business district, the SPBG has moved that aspect to “the back-burner” as initial participation was not as high

The South Park Luminaria Tree will be lit Sunday, Nov. 30. (Photo by Bonnie Nichols) Luminaria festivities begin at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 30, with music from the San Diego Mandolin Orchestra, a group that will also perform during SPBG’s annual Holiday Walkabout, held this year on Dec. 6. “Last year it was very well attended, much to everyone’s surprise, so this year we are actually amping it up a little bit,” said Lisa Vella, co-owner of South Bark Dog Wash and an organizer of the event. Complimentary snacks from The Big Kitchen and Café Madeleine’s — along with hot chocolate from Rebecca’s Coffee House and

as they’d hoped. “We’d love to make it work but all of us are full-time business owners and we can’t really devote that much time, especially this time of year,” said SPBG Board President Maureen Ceccarelli. Council President Todd Gloria will be on hand again to kick off the Luminaria season, which runs through the end of the year, as both the keynote speaker and celebratory “lighter” of the annual South Park Luminaria Tree. The tree — a custom, reusable “tree” crafted by local artisan Todd Williams — is the focal point

of Luminaria season. It will be mounted in Grape Street Square, an area located on the south side of Grape Street where it intersects with 30th Street and considered the center of the district. Made with reclaimed materials, except for the nuts and bolts that helped piece it together, the tree was designed by Williams inside Alchemy with the culture of South Park in mind. Along with the tree, the bulk of South Park’s business district will also be alight with holiday splendor along 30th Street between Grape and Kalmia streets, and again in the lower business district along Beech Street between Fern and Dale streets, with an even larger coverage area than last year. The premise is to “light up the business district” and entice holiday shoppers near and far to shop locally in a fun, festive environment. “South Park offers a lot of unique gifts that you won’t find anywhere else in places like the malls,” Ceccarelli said. “We have a couple of people that mostly [offer the work of] local San Diego artists and I think because there are so many different personalities that run the different stores, each has its own quirky additions that are fun and funky.” During the walkabout a week later, the business district will offer even more activities, in addition to holiday specials at every storefront. A specialty food truck will take its place in the small lot adjacent to Junc. With holiday lights and music, it plans to add to the fun while also serving as a quick food stop for shoppers. Vella said South Bark, which recently reorganized and added a set of freezers to hold raw food, will offer 20 percent off retail items and hand out holiday gift bags to shoppers based on their purchases. With underground roadwork the last several months along 30th Street impacting sales, Vella said she is looking forward to the SPBG events as well as South Bark’s annual Black Friday sale on Nov. 28. Last year’s sale drew over 150 eager animal lovers before 7 a.m. alone, with people elbowing around each other to garner the best places in line. “It’s hysterical,” she said, adding that this year, the palm trees in front of her stand-alone business are already being outfitted with Luminaria’s holiday lights for the occasion. Though the South Park Walkabouts always take place on the same weekend as the nearby December Nights, Ceccarelli doesn’t see a conflict.

“A lot of people ask ‘Why do you do that?’ but what’s happened is, [December Nights has] gotten so busy over at Balboa Park that a lot of people want an alternative,” she said. “We end up having a good crowd for our walkabout. The other event can be over whelming, while this one is still a really nice community event.” At the Beech Street end of the business district, where she has operated Studio Maureen for nearly three decades, Ceccarelli said shoppers will enjoy “street minstrels,” also known as the Peace on Earth Carolers, while they go door to door during the annual festivities. It’s an event she looks forward to every year. “Many of my customers just come in at Christmastime, so I get to see people that I don’t see the rest of the year, and that’s really fun,” she said. “You know,

in 27 years I’ve become friends with a lot of people that come in, or at least acquaintances, and I know their stories. It’s fun to see ever ybody.” Parrish spoke to the camaraderie and environment that the South Park businesses have created for residents and other visitors, and Luminaria season epitomizes it for him. “What I like most is the smalltown-in-the-middle-of-the-big-city holiday feeling that Luminaria creates,” he said. “I’m a Colorado boy and it gives me the feeling of home ... especially in the evening when the tree-lined street is lit up.” South Park’s Luminaria season kicks off Sunday, Nov. 30 at 6 p.m., and their annual Holiday Walkabout is Saturday, Dec. 6 from 6 – 10 p.m. For more information about both events, visit —Morgan M. Hurley can be reached at


GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 28–Dec. 11, 2014


Holiday G

Whos love C

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Theater Review Charlene Baldridge

Nothing brings a community together so well as tradition. The same is true of family. This is especially true in st the case of the Old Globe’s annual tradi- fo tion, a musical titled “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” Seen opening night Nov. 20, the 17th annual production has become tradition — a perpetual gift to San Diego and San Diegans — just as envisioned by Dr. Seuss’ widow, Audrey Geisel, and thenThrough Dec. 27 (no perfo Globe Artistic Old Globe Th Director Jack 1363 Old Glob O’Brien, who Balboa Pa conceived and directed the first Tickets $37 (adults), $2 production here. theoldglobe.o Those who 619-23-GLOBE / 2 attended O’Brien’s presentation of the concept will never forget his enthusiasm as he described the Whos, Whoville and John Lee Beatty and Robert ch Morgan’s original scenic and costume er designs. Other than slight tweaks to b music and choreography, nothing much F has changed. James Vásquez, who has m staged it since 2003, currently directs M

“Dr. Seu How the G Stole Christ

(l to r) Taylor Coleman as Cindy-Lou Who and Burke Moses as The Grinch in the 17th annual production (Photo by Jim Cox)

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Cygnet Theatre 2410 Congress St. San Diego, CA 92110 619-337-1525 Since first taking flight in 2003, Cygnet Theatre has grown into one of San Diego’s leading theater companies and is known for producing adventurous, entertaining and thought-provoking live professional theater year round. Cygnet began producing high caliber work in a 165-seat house located in San Diego’s Rolando area near San Diego State. Nearly half of all productions have been local premieres, as Cygnet believes strongly in bringing new voices to the community. These have been balanced with classics and musicals. The community response was tremendous and Cygnet soon needed a larger venue. In 2008, they moved to the 246-seat Old Town Theatre in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, where Cygnet now reaches over 40,000 people annually and remains committed to bringing multiple unique voices to the stage. In 11 years, Cygnet has produced over 62 plays, created jobs for over 392 actors, 102 Equity contracts, 200 designers, 61 stage managers, 43 backstage technicians and 50 musicians.

Diversionary Theatre 4545 Park Blvd., #101 San Diego, CA 92116 619-220-0097 Founded in 1986, Diversionar y Theatre produces plays and musicals and develops new works that explore the issues, characters and stories of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in all its complexity and diversity. They are the third-oldest, continuouslyproducing LGBT theater in the United States and are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Diversionar y Theatre was founded at the beginning of the AIDS crisis in order to bring to light important social issues that impact the quality of life of LGBT people. The constantly shifting debates — both within California and nationally — over marriage equality, adoption rights, discrimination, bullying, and militar y service all speak to the importance of Diversionar y’s mission. As the social climate rapidly changes, Diversionar y Theatre has worked to foster conversation in the community about how the narrative of LGBT people fits alongside that of other groups in the community. By exploring stories of what sets the LGBT culture and histor y apart, as well as stories that focus on LGBT people’s humanity rather than their sexuality, Diversionar y is in a unique position in to help bridge the gaps of cultural understanding.

Fitness Together 4019 Goldfinch Street San Diego, CA 92103 619-794-0014 As fitness professionals, the personal trainers at Fitness Together help clients by motivating them to make exercise a fun part of their lives. Whether it’s by improving your overall health and wellness, or through strength training - or by learning about your weight management options to reach fitness goals, Blake and Gwen Beckcom and their team are eager to start you on a journey that will change your life forever. Fitness Together has an exercise program for virtually everyone. Some areas that they specialize in include baby boomer/ older-adult training, high-intensity interval training, partner training, training for women, youth fitness, boxing, strength training and body weight training. The personal trainers at Fitness Together will motivate and guide you in achieving your fitness and health goals. They’ve got the perfect program to get you the results you want. For more information, give them a call.

GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 28–Dec. 11, 2014

Gift Guide


he work. Generations of young San Diegans have seen the show, pointed at he stage, and said, “I want to do that,” nd they have, giving rise to legions of inging, dancing youth who enrich the ocal scene, then spread out, along with heir younger brothers and sisters. “Grinch” utilizes two teams of youngters (Pink and Red), who alternate perormances as Little Whos, Teen Whos, and name-role Whos. On opening night, 8-year-old Taylor Coleman portrayed Cindy-Lou Who for the second year, alternating with Gabriella Dimmick, also a repeat Cindy-Lou. Burke Moses, a Broadway star with impressive and numerous hunky credits, makes his ormances Dec. 25) debut as the eatre Grinch, providbe Way ing a musically ark fine, intentionally gauche 24 (17 & under) green guy, whose org or conversion from 234-5623. heartless Christmas hater to who-man-being is exceptionally touching. This season’s adult company is hock full of familiar and favorite Southern California singer/actors, some debuting in the show and others returning. For instance, Robert J. Townsend (seen most recently as the father in San Diego Musical Theatre’s “Next to Normal”)

uss’ Grinch tmas!”

makes his debut as Papa Who opposite Bets Malone (her second year as Mama Who). Jill Townsend, Robert’s wife and a formidable presence in any company, is among the six Grown Up Whos. Geno Carr and his wife Nancy Snow Carr portray Grandpa and Grandma Who, and extreme veteran Steve Gunderson returns to the show for his 12th year, this time as Old Max, the Grinch’s dog. Old Max returns to Mt. Crumpit to say farewell before he leaves. He relates the story of Young Max (Jeffrey Schecter) and how he abetted the Grinch in his attempt to steal Christmas. Elan McMahan, resident music director at Vista’s Moonlight Stage Productions, conducts the 8-member Who-Chestra, all represented by the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada. With book and lyrics by Timothy Mason and

music by Mel Marvin, the show features “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” the vaudeville number “One of a Kind,” and Cindy Lou’s heart-stopping “Santa for a Day,” sung by the little girl who catches the Grinch stealing her family’s Christmas everything and innocently believes him to be St. Nick. By the time the snow falls and the Grinch learns that Christmas cannot be stolen, all the children and adults in the audience are captivated. As a young boy on his way to the parking lot was heard to say, “Mommy, when can we come back?” —Charlene Baldridge has been writing about the arts since 1979. Her book “San Diego, Jewel of the California Coast” (Northland Publishing) is currently available in bookstores. She can be reached at t

(l to r) Nancy Snow Carr as Grandma Who, Bets Malone as Mama Who, Robert J. Townsend as Papa Who, and Geno Carr as Grandpa Who (Photo by Jim Cox)

La Jolla Playhouse 2910 La Jolla Village Drive La Jolla, CA 92037 858-550-1010 La Jolla Playhouse, a Tony Award-winning professional nonprofit theater, is located in a beautiful San Diego coastal suburb. Founded in 1947 by Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire and Mel Ferrer, the Playhouse is now led by Artistic Director Christopher Ashley and Managing Director Michael S. Rosenberg. Its mission is to advance theater as an art form, and as a vital social, moral and political platform by providing unfettered creative opportunities for the leading artists of today and tomorrow. With a youthful spirit and an eclectic, artist-driven approach, the Playhouse cultivates a local and national following with an insatiable appetite for audacious and diverse work. The Playhouse has received more than 300 awards for theater excellence, including the 1993 Tony Award as America’s Outstanding Regional Theater. La Jolla Playhouse is also nationally acclaimed for its innovative productions, including classics, new plays and musicals, scores of which have moved to Broadway, garnering a total of 35 Tony Awards, including, “The Who’s Tommy,” “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” “A Walk in the Woods,” “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” “Dracula” and the recent Tony winners “Jersey Boys” and “Memphis.” The Playhouse also presents a wide range of educational programs that enrich the community and serve the maximum number of children, students and adults. For more information, visit their website.

The Old Globe 1363 Old Globe Way San Diego, CA 92101 619-234-5623 The internationally acclaimed, Tony Award-winning Old Globe is one of the most renowned regional theaters in the country, and has stood as San Diego’s flagship arts institution for over 75 years. The Old Globe produces a year-round season of 15 plays and musicals on its three stages, including its highly regarded Shakespeare festival. The Globe has become a gathering place for leading theater artists from around the world, such as Tom Stoppard, Daniel Sullivan and Chita Rivera, among many others. Numerous Broadway-bound premieres and revivals, such as “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” and “The Full Monty” have been developed at The Old Globe and have gone on to enjoy highly successful runs in New York and at regional theaters across the country. To order tickets, including for Dr. Suess’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!,” call 619-23-GLOBE or email

Spa Lash Studio and Specialty Spa 4720 Palm Ave. La Mesa 91941 619-303-1946 Here at Spa Lash Studio we specializes in customized skin care, massage, eyelash extension ser vices, waxing, and spray tanning, and we also offer monthly comprehensive eyelash extensions training certification. We are an intimate spa that caters to your ever y need; you will be pampered while you are here and leave feeling refreshed and relaxed. Spa Lash Studio is located in the heart of La Mesa Village on Palm Avenue and La Mesa Boulevard. Our business hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Evening appointments are available and Sunday and Monday are by appointment only. Please check our website and Facebook page for weekly specials and monthly training. Gift cer tificates and spa packages are available for last minute holiday shopping.


mo12 c.ds-yaGAY g SAN DIEGO Nov. 28–Dec. 11, 2014


The Princess Bride: Cinema Under the Stars presents the cult favorite fantasy starring Robin Wright and Cary Elwes. 8 p.m. $15. 4040 Goldfinch St., Mission Hills. Movie shows all weekend long. For more info visit or call 619-295-4221.


TRU: Opening night for this look into the mind of Truman Capote. The one-man production is adapted from the author’s words and works. 8 p.m. Diversionary Theatre, 4545 Park Blvd., University Heights. Tickets or call 619-220-0097. 


Sunday Bust in North County: Every Sunday, Hill St. Café turns into a safe space for all LGBT and allies to gather. Food is vegan-friendly, and they serve beer, wine and sake. Fifteen percent of proceeds go to the North County LGBTQ Resource Center. 3 – 9 p.m. Hill St. Café, 524 S. Coast Highway, Oceanside. Visit Scenario Speed Dating: For women of all ages, this twist on speed dating gives a new prompt with each new lady that you meet. 5 – 8 p.m., $15 advance, $20 at the door. Wang’s North Park, 3029 University Ave., North Park. Visit

MONDAY, DEC. 1 – World AIDS Day

Tree of Life vigil: To commemorate World AIDS Day, Mama’s Kitchen will hold its 23rd annual Tree of Life candlelight vigil, to honor those affected. Complimentary refreshments, speakers, SDGMC will sing holiday carols, attendees can donate to Mama’s Kitchen through the Red Ribbon Wall, and more. Village Hillcrest, 3955 Fifth Ave., Hillcrest. For more info visit 26th Annual Dr. A. Brad Truax Award Ceremony and Reception: Honoring the memory of Dr. Truax and his contributions to HIV/AIDS efforts in San Diego. The ceremony will include light refreshments and displayed arts. 3:30 – 5 p.m., San Diego LGBT Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. Visit  Live Music: “The Diva Diaries” starring Leigh Scarritt, Eileen Bowman and more will include music and laughs with insight from the performers about their careers as artists. Doors

6 p.m., show 8 p.m. Martinis Above Fourth, 3940 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest. Tickets visit Transgender Coming Out Group: Welcoming transgender people in all stages of exploring their gender identity, and their friends, family and loved ones. 7 – 8:30 p.m. San Diego LGBT Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. Visit 


“Grab a Mic”: Open mic night hosted by singer/actor Sasha Weiss on the first and third Tuesdays of the month. Sign ups at 6 p.m., show at 7 p.m. Martinis Above Fourth, 3940 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest. Visit


FilmOut Screening (copresented by Diversionary Theatre): “Murder by Death” — the 1976 mystery comedy, written by Neil Simon, is a spoof on whodunits with the cast members (including Truman Capote) playing send-ups of fictional sleuths. 7 p.m., Landmark Cinemas, 3965 Fifth Ave., #200, Hillcrest. $10. Visit


North County LGBTQ Resource Center’s Gay Straight Alliance Awards: Free event for GSA students, their families, advisors and school board members. Must RSVP to mc.gsa.awards@ 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Palomar College Cafeteria, 1140 West Mission Road, San Marcos. Visit Live Music: Dennis McNeil and Friends in “Jingle All the Way” – a musical holiday buffet featuring Dennis McNeil, Keri Kelsey, Mary Bogue and Ed Martel. Doors 6 p.m., show 8 p.m. Martinis Above Fourth, 3940 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest. For tickets visit Woman in the Mirror, A Dancer’s Journey: Devra Gregory blends storytelling with dance excerpts in this show about her life as a professional dancer, Michael Jackson impersonator and Wiccan priestess. Preview night with show running through Dec. 21. 8 p.m. Horton Grand Theatre, 444 Fourth Ave., Gaslamp. Visit


Fridays on Fifth: Sponsored by the Hillcrest Business Association, a weekly Friday happy hour event encouraging people

to eat, drink and shop from 4 – 9 p.m. on Fifth Avenue between Brookes Avenue and Washington Street. Visit


The Gay-Straight Alliance Network #WerkItTour leadership event: An event for queer and trans youth of color and straight supporters ages 12-18. The event includes workshops, a binder of materials for participants and more. North County LGBTQ Resource Center 510 North Coast Highway, Oceanside. Visit San Diego Women’s Chorus presents: Home is Where the Heart Is: The SDWC’s annual winter concert will feature a diverse, globe-spanning program including traditional choral pieces, festive holiday carols and contemporary selections. 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. (additional performance at 4 p.m. on Dec. 7). St. Andrew’s By the Sea Episcopal Church, 1050 Thomas Ave., Pacific Beach. Visit SDHDF Awards Gala – “Fit to be Tied”: The San Diego Human Dignity Foundation’s 2014 Aston-Brookes awards gala includes a formal dinner, entertainment, silent and live auctions and more. Honorees at the event include George Takei, Cleve Jones, and Lambda Archives President Maureen Steiner. 6:30 – 10:30 p.m. Hilton San Diego Resort and Spa, 1775 East Mission Bay Drive. Visit Live Music: Jazz vocalist Jonathan Karrant performs in the Plaza Bar many Saturday nights. 8 – 11 p.m. Westgate Hotel, 1055 Second Ave., Downtown. Visit


Inaugural Red Dress Ride and Benefit: The San Diego Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are commemorating World AIDS day (Dec. 1) with this event benefitting AIDS/Lifecycle. Registration at 1:30 p.m., ride starts at 2 p.m., and benefit show is at Redwing Bar (4012 30th St., North Park) at 4 p.m. Bike ride will start at Plaza de Panama, Balboa Park and end at Red Wing. Riders are encouraged to wear a red dress. Visit Book Signing: Warwick’s and Words Alive present Cary Elwes signing copies of his bestseller “As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride.” The book includes interviews with Elwes’

costars from the movie and is a must-have for fans of the film. 3 p.m. The David and Dorothea Garfield Theatre at Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center, 4126 Executive Drive, La Jolla. Visit Sixth annual “We Care” mixer: Several local LGBT sports leagues come together each year to hold this event. Representatives will raffle off prizes from their respective leagues, with 100 percent of proceeds from raffle ticket sales going to The San Diego LGBT Center and Memorial Prep Middle School in Barrio Logan. The event is free but guests are encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy for the Imperial Court’s Toys for Kids drive. 6 p.m. Rich’s San Diego, 1051 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit the “We Care at Rich’s” Facebook page. Gay Men’s Spiritual Retreat Spaghetti Dinner: The annual fundraiser dinner includes drag performances, a dessert auction and raffle. The event raises funds for the Gay Men’s Spiritual Retreat (June 1214, 2015). 6 – 9 p.m. San Diego LGBT Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. Visit


Annual San Diego Pride meeting: Meeting to discuss Pride’s year in review, data from the most recent economic impact study and announce 2014 Pride grant recipients. 6 p.m. San Diego LGBT Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. Visit 11th Annual Charity Wreath Auction: Creative and unique wreaths made by individuals, organizations and businesses will be auctioned off at this annual event benefitting the Queen Eddie Conlon Youth Fund and the Sunburst Youth Housing Project. 7:30 p.m. Martinis Above Fourth, 3940 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest. For more information, contact Ian Johnson at or at 619-692-2077 ext. 247.


Lesbian Meet-up: Weekly early morning business networking meeting, offering a chance to share and support each other’s businesses and passions. All lesbians in community are invited. 7:30 — 8:30 a.m. Caffé Calabria, 3933 30th St., North Park. GSDBA Social Club – “Dessert before Dinner”: A monthly gathering “unlike a traditional networking event,”

hosted by the Greater San Diego Business Association. 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Babycakes, 3766 Fifth Ave., Hillcrest. Visit Live Music: Sacha Boutros and Jonathan Karrant in “A Holly Jolly Holiday” – two Martinis’ favorites perform holiday favorites at this annual show. Doors 6 p.m., show 8 p.m. Martinis Above Fourth, 3940 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest. For tickets visit Lambda Archives of San Diego annual meeting and director elections: Meeting for members to discuss past year accomplishments and challenges and to learn about future goals. Elections held for new directors. 7 – 8 p.m., Lambda Archives of San Diego, 4545 Park Blvd. Suite 104, University Heights. Visit


San Diego Chorus of Sweet Adelines presents “The Holiday Café”: The chorus’ annual holiday concert will be preceded by auctions and refreshments. Holiday favorites to be performed include “White Christmas,” “Sleigh Ride,” and “Seasons of Love” from “Rent.” Doors 6 p.m., show 7 p.m. Torrey Pines Christian Church, 8320 La Jolla Scenic Drive North, La Jolla. Call 619-796-5162.


Hillcrest Taste ‘N’ Tinis: A self-guided walking tour of martinis, small bites, desserts and shopping. 5 – 10 p.m. Locations throughout Hillcrest. Visit Live Music: Sharon McNight in “Twisted Xmas: A Druid’s View of the Holidays” –Tony-nominated performer Sharon McNight offers an alternative to traditional holiday shows. Doors 6 p.m., show 8 p.m. Martinis Above Fourth, 3940 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest. For tickets visit TRU: This one-man production about Truman Capote is adapted from the author’s words and works. Tonight’s performance includes a happy hour with director Derek Charles Livingston and includes hosted hors d’oeuvres, drink specials and more. 8 p.m. Diversionar y Theatre, 4545 Park Blvd., University Heights. Tickets diversionar y. org or call 619-220-0097.    —Email calendar items to


SHAKESPEARE IN DRAG Across 1 Manhandle, with “with” 5 Where to have cybersex 8 Shoe bottom 12 Engaged in 13 Went without saying? 15 Each 16 Prepare for phone sex 17 Story on the stand 18 Elizabeth of “Transamerica” 19 If the Bard had written a play about ___ in the Roman senate ... 22 (With 23-Across) ... what would ___ have said to a friend ... 23 (See 22-Across) 25 Flying toy 27 “The Untouchables” Oscar winner 28 “Etta ___” (old comic strip) 29 First in a Latin threesome 31 ___-sex marriage 32 Capital of Venezuela 36 ... when he saw him wearing a ___? 44 Still waiting to go out

45 Art of Cukor 46 Daily allowance 48 Heisman Trophy winner Tony 49 Answer to the riddle 51 Michelangelo’s painting and sculpture 54 Mishima, for one 55 Make a hole bigger 59 Eagles, but not leather bars 60 Went up 61 Zipped 62 Red planet 63 Gets a butt-whuppin’, maybe 64 Prissy hissy

solution on page 16 Down 1 Base for some wrestlers 2 Frasier or Niles 3 Like the Oscars, as sparkling celebs appear? 4 Featured player 5 Montgomery Clift’s “ ___ River” 6 Islamic leader 7 Neuwirth of “Chicago” 8 Homo ___ 9 Where to go with your first mate 10 Reach of the law 11 Clean air gov’t grp. 13 Stroke with an upright stick 14 Music of the the Village People 20 Where to put your meat, in a deli 21 ___ Francisco 22 Stone film 24 Seed spilled by some farmers 26 Features of Disney’s Dumbo 27 Comedic actor James 30 Where wrestlers lie together 32 Like orange traffic markers

33 Nevertheless 34 Tales 35 Drag queen’s mini, e.g. 36 Type of tent that may be erected 37 Request to Sajak 38 Country est. in 1948 39 Cashes in, as coupons 40 Butt plugs, e.g. 41 Maiden name preceder 42 Std. of a line through Auden’s land 43 Posed for Annie Leibovitz 47 El Prado, for one 48 Cover with cloth 50 Antigay prejudice, e.g. 51 It swallows plastic and spits cash 52 “Breakfast on Pluto” actor Stephen 53 Seaman 56 Many, many moons 57 Jackie O.’s second husband 58 Came upon

Holiday food and toy drives



#GivingTuesday with Gays For Good and Feeding America: Dec. 2 is #GivingTuesday, a global day for giving back. Join G4G for two hours of packing food at Feeding America San Diego, which feeds more than 73,000 people each week. Volunteers needed. G4G are also collecting gift cards for San Diego’s Monarch School, which serves homeless kids in the city. A $25 Target gift card is suggested. 6 – 8 p.m. Feeding America San Diego, 9455 Waples St. Suite 135, Mira Mesa. Visit The Center’s Young Professionals Council (YPC) Holiday Gift Card Drive and mixer: The YPC invites you to don an ugly holiday sweater and join in for an evening of food, drinks and donating — plus a visit from Santa Claus. Gift cards from grocery stores, Target and Toys “R” Us are appreciated. 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Babycakes, 3766 Fifth Ave.,Hillcrest. RSVP on the event page on Facebook or call Steven Cavanaugh at 619-201-2088.


Gay for Good San Diego Holiday Gift Card Drive and Mixer: Celebrating their fourth year, the LGBT volunteer chapter will celebrate the holidays and collect gift cards for Monarch School San Diego. A $25 Target gift card is required for entry to the mixer. 6 - 8 p.m. 57 Degrees, 1735 Hancock St., Midtown. For more info, search for the Gay for Good San Diego Facebook group.


Imperial Court de San Diego’s 39th annual Toys for Kids drive: The oldest toy drive of the local LGBT community will run through Dec. 21. Toys will be distributed to at least six local organizations. Drop off locations include: San Diego LGBT Center, 3909 Centre St.; Redwing Bar & Grill, 4012 30th St.; Haircut Boulevard, 1050 University Ave.; The Eagle, 3040 North Park Way; Lips, 3036 El Cajon Blvd. For more information contact Emperor Robert Rodriguez: 619-817-9926 or Empress Miss Pearl: 619-737-7326. The Center’s Gift Card Drive: Gift cards to local grocery stores, Target or Toys “R” US in denominations of $25 or more can be dropped off or mailed for this drive through Dec. 31. Donated cards will benefit seniors and families this holiday season. Drop off at the San Diego LGBT Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest or mail to PO Box 3357, San Diego, CA 92163. Visit

Dining Review Frank Sabatini Jr. In terms of age, Tobey’s 19th Hole Restaurant is basically on par with The Waterfront Bar & Grill, having opened only a year later in 1934 a few miles away within the Balboa Park Municipal Golf Course, which was formerly known as The Rock Pile. Aside from being one of San Diego’s oldest kitchens, it has also ranked among the most hidden from some of us who don’t know the difference between a putter and a 9-iron. “Until around the year 2000, about 75 percent of our customers were golfers. Now it’s the other way around,” says Steve Tobey, adding that his late grandparents, Chester and Lois, grossed $9,000 from meal sales in their first year of operation. Tobey’s father, Earl, took over the restaurant in 1969. He had previously cooked for a general in the South Pacific during World War II while serving as a staff sergeant. “He was a good cook. Everyone used to come in for his short ribs, lamb shank and the Monday specials of meatloaf and roast beef, which still remain.” Tobey jumped into the business at an early age to assist his father, who passed away in 2010. As chief proprietor, he recently began grooming his son, Chris, to eventually take over the restaurant, which is leased from the City of San Diego. Tobey’s marketing efforts over the past several years have prompted an increased number of non-golfers and retro-foodie types to take the winding ride down Golf Course Drive for meal ser vice that runs from 6 a.m. to sunset — and 365 days a year. “We only missed one day ever because of the 2003 Cedar Fires,” he added. Visitors are greeted first by a central lobby filled with old photographs capturing how the land looked more than 60 years ago. There are enough of them to warrant a museum exhibit, so do a little browsing. Inside the restaurant is a lunch counter seemingly frozen in time. To the right of it is the main dining room and balcony, which face out to sweeping green lawns and the San Diego skyline. The bigwindow views duly compensate for the stark (and refreshing) absence of modern design elements. Breakfast is ser ved all day, and lunch runs from 11 a.m. until closing. Since a friend and I arrived in the hang, we ordered a little of each. Tobey’s is one of the few restaurants in San Diego that makes traditional corned beef hash from scratch. The meat is roasted in-house, then finely ground and mixed with shredded potatoes that are boiled daily. Plenty of wilted onions are also tossed in, resulting in a fluffy hole-in-one hash sporting appealing, crusty edges.


GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 28–Dec. 11, 2014


with history

Top sirloin is used for the steak and eggs. The cutlet was trimmed of fat, yet tender and well-marbled. We chose house-made potatoes O’Brien for the dish, which tasted crazy-good when dribbling them with the spicy green salsa created by one of Tobey’s cooks. So zesty and complex, we actually doused nearly everything else with it: our eggs, a serving of hearty meatand-bean chili and an accompanying cheese roll. The chicken fried steak, however, stood fine on its own. Served with green and yellow beans as well as real mashed potatoes, the obligatory white gravy on top is commendable. It escapes the vapid, pasty ilk common in other places, thanks to proper seasoning and chunks of sage-y breakfast sausage strewn throughout. Tobey’s is a green-enveloped shrine to food that is nostalgic and unpretentious. It has withstood the test of time while cranking out such other dishes as Denver omelets, grilled ham steaks, biscuits and gravy, liver and onions and cod fillets.

Beer, wine and low-alcohol cocktails are also in the of fing, qualifying it as a true “19th hole” destination for those avid golfers who have long advanced of f the putting green. —Frank Sabatini Jr. is the author of “Secret San Diego” (ECW Press), and began his local writing career more than two decades ago as a staffer for the former San Diego Tribune. You can reach him at


19th Hole Restaurant 2600 Golf Course Drive (Balboa Park) 619-234-5921 Prices: All breakfast and lunch items are under $10, with the exception of top sirloin steak priced at $10.50 (clockwise from top) Chicken fried steak; house-made corned beef hash; and steak and eggs with potatoes O’Brien (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.)



GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 28–Dec. 11, 2014



posing in name-brand under wear — the 100th issue is unique in that it features a female couple. Marcia Villavicencio, who graces the front and back covers, is joined by her wife Heather Porritt in the centerfold. “I was honored to shoot the 100th issue of SDPix,” said Cali Griebel, local photographer and longtime contributor. “With each magazine feature cover I shoot, I have artistic freedom. So my goal has always been to do what’s never been done before. That’s why it was special and important for me to feature a lesbian couple on the 100th issue. It was a celebration of more states making gay marriage legal, and the magazine hadn›t seen a female couple on the cover yet.” Griebel is one of many photographers that are the heart and soul of SDPix — a team led by longtime lead photographer Jim Winsor — who are consistently out and about in the community ever y single week taking photographs of people at bars, nightclubs, and special events. “It’s been an honor and a privilege to have helped make such a comprehensive photographic historical record of the community since 2002,” said Winsor, who has been with the publication since its ver y first print issue. “And make no mistake, we could not have done it without the help of other amazing photographers over the years. In addition to myself, we currently have Vanessa Dubois, Cali Griebel and Isaiah Walter providing scene photos

(above) SDPix photographers, Isaiah Walters and Cali Griebel; (right) SDPix generally has provocative male cover photos (Photos by Cali Griebel) for us on a regular basis, and their work is top notch. I could not put this magazine together each month without them.” Jonathan Rivera, account executive for Hale Media, said after all these years, seeing SDPix staff at events is now almost expected by the community. “Even before I worked for the company I remember always seeing the photographers out at events and then checking the magazine the following month to see if my friends or I made it into print,” he said. While SDPix has greatly expanded over the years, it is those scene photos of community members out having a good time at nightlife events that have remained at its core and continue to be the most popular feature of the publication. “Our original concept, which

we’ve stayed true to, was to have photographers at ever y LGBT club, event, and function in or around San Diego and to take pictures of anyone and ever yone who wanted to pose,” Hale said. “Then, we would post those photos for all to see both on our web site and in [other] local magazines. It did not take long for the community buzz to begin and for to become one of the most visible online brands in the San Diego LGBT market.” While only a limited number of the nightlife photos actually taken have been published in print due to space limitations, hundreds of thousands of photos are housed on dating back to Januar y 2003. “Our collection is one of the largest of its type anywhere,” Hale said. “Since we’ve been doing this for so long, it’s fascinating to look

back at the older photos from venues that are still around and those that have come and gone and remember the various people, places, and events that have made our community such an exciting place to be a part of.” In addition to the magazine and website, the company also puts together the largest online LGBT calendar in the community and co-produces numerous nightlife events such as the weekly #WET contest at Bourbon Street, and a monthly rotating theme night at Rich’s. “SDPix really brings the community together, whether it be through images, events, or partnerships, and has always been there

for the community,” Rivera said. “[SDPix] has given me amazing opportunities to spread my wings as a photographer and experience amazing events, moments, and people from a behindthe-scenes vantage point that few get to see,” Griebel said. “It is magical and I am ver y grateful for these experiences.” As for what’s next, Hale said SDPix will continue what it has been doing over the last decade while staying in tune with the events, happenings, and desires of San Diego’s LGBT nightlife community. “We are so proud of how far SDPix has come and so appreciative of the large following of community members who have suppor ted our brands for so many years,” he said. And that social media following is quite extensive; as of publication time, there were over 47,000 followers on the San Diego Pix Facebook page alone, and that doesn’t include their Twitter account or weekly newsletter subscribers. “Thank you to ever yone who has been part of SDPix — we look for ward to another 100 issues,” Hale said. Issue 100 hit the streets on Nov. 6 and can be found at many local spots around Hillcrest, North Park, and University Heights. A digital copy of SDPix magazine can be found online at —George Vernon is a local freelance writer. He can be reached at Editor Morgan M. Hurley contributed to this report.t

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Finding Senior Housing can be complex, but it doesn’t have to be. “You can trust A Place for Mom to help you.”

GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 28–Dec. 11, 2014


DOWNTOWN Abbott Real Estate Group VI Star Sthephanies City Administration Bldg. County Admin.Bldg. Hall of Justice Porto Vista Hotel & Suites San Diego Court Café Lulu Coffee & Art Ace Hardware City College Bookstore City College FIT Athletic Club Village 631 Cheese Deli


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– Joan Lunden

(800) 217-3942 A Place for Mom is the nation’s largest senior living referral information service. We do not own, operate, endorse or recommend any senior living community. We are paid by partner communities, so our services are completely free to families.

501 First Ave. 2355 India St. 1501 India St. 202 C St. 1600 Pacific Hwy. 330 Broadway 1835 Columbia St. 300 W Broadway 419 F St. 777 Sixth Ave. 675 Sixth Ave. 1313 12th Ave. 1313 Park Blvd. 350 10th Ave. #200 631 Ninth Ave. 1000 Fourth Ave.

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GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 28–Dec. 11, 2014

hosted bar reception from 6 – 7 p.m. followed by a formal dinner. Entertainment for the night will include Tony and Emmy Awardwinner Andrea Martin performing with Broadway actor and musician Seth Rudetsky. Jeff Gelder of Gelderhead Productions will ser ve as emcee. The will also be a silent and live auction. For more information on the foundation and the gala visit

a new, unwrapped toy for the Imperial Court’s Toys for Kids drive. League representatives will raffle off prizes donated from their respective leagues with 100 percent of proceeds from raffle ticket sales going to the San Diego LGBT Center and Memorial Prep Middle School in Barrio Logan. Between raffles, there will be live entertainment and special appearances by singer Kori Gillis, DJ Marcel Hetu, and Keith London (“American Idol”). The event kicks off at 6 p.m. For more info, view the event on Facebook.

LGBT SPORTS LEAGUES HOST HOLIDAY MIXER FOR LOCAL CHARITIES For the sixth year, several local LGBT sports leagues will band together for the “We Care” holiday mixer. The event will take place on Dec. 7 at Rich’s San Diego (1051 University Ave., Hillcrest). The leagues participating this year include San Diego American Flag Football League, SD Hoops Basketball, San Diego Tennis Federation, SAGA Ski/ Snowboarders, Armada Rugby, SD High Rollers bowling league, America’s Finest City Softball, Different Strokes swim club and Pride Fit. The event is free but guests are encouraged to bring

BAJA BETTY’S TURNS 10 Mexican bar and eater y Baja Betty’s — part of the MO’s Universe group of Hillcrest dining and drinking establishments — celebrated its 10th anniversar y on Nov. 17 with the local LGBT community and other Hillcrest residents who all came out to help celebrate and walk the red carpet. Hundreds of people, most dressed in some sort of red as requested by the invitation, packed the restaurant, which offered dozens of free, tray-passed appetizers along with Avion and Partida tequila shots, plenty of ’80s music and even mariachis. Chris Shaw, owner and president of MO’s Universe, made an



appearance and Betty’s General Manager Stefan Chicote was seen dancing to Missy Elliot in the tequila bar. Employees from across MO’s Universe were seen enjoying the festivities, wearing stickers that identified the number of years they’d worked for Shaw, and management from Betty’s three sister restaurants — Matt Ramon from Urban MO’s, Moe Girton from Gossip Grill, and Joey Aruda from Hillcrest Brewing Company — were also all on hand to offer their support. Baja Betty’s, the second “planet” to emerge in MO’s Universe, was actually its first. Urban MO’s, which had operated as a Hamburger Mar y’s since 1992, didn’t rebrand with its current name until 2006, two years after Shaw opened his second restaurant in 2004. Originally named Margarita Mar y’s, He was forced to make changes due to a conflict with the name. Shaw reached out to the entire community to rename the venue and Baja Betty’s was the winning submission. The Mexican-themed restaurant has since thrived, becoming a staple within the Hillcrest community and made popular for its extensive tequila list and its Saturday (and Sunday) all-you-can-eat brunches. For more information visit t




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GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 28–Dec. 11, 2014


The Letting Go

A conversation with Melissa Etheridge

have social media, I can let every single one of them know. I can sell just as many records as I had been selling with a record company, and I can “own” my record. I could take charge of this, and I don’t have to answer to a record company. [C.A.] Was it something you regretted not doing sooner? Because I bet you wished you owned the rights to “Come to My Window.” [M.E.] Absolutely. You have to just look ahead, though. You can’t look back and go, “Ah, all those songs!” That’s just the way it is.

Etheridge’s new album is called, “This Is M.E.” (Photo by John Tsiavis) By Chris Azzopardi It’s been more than 20 years since Melissa Etheridge, after declaring herself a lesbian at an inaugural ball for President Clinton, came out on record. Released in 1993, the artist’s benchmark album, “Yes I Am,” would signify a giant leap for ward for the LGBT community — and, also, Etheridge’s career. The landmark LP, her mainstream breakthrough, came before Ellen, before “Will & Grace,” and before Laverne Cox graced the cover of Time magazine. Putting her career on the line, Etheridge still stood like a pillar of hope, valiance and torch-carr ying fortitude. And it wouldn’t be the last time. Taking another shot in the dark with “This Is M.E.,” a DIY disc released on Etheridge’s own label, M.E. Records, the 53-yearold goes independent for the first time since signing with Island Records in the mid ’80s. Catching up with Etheridge one recent afternoon — she’s crunching on some granola, which is so ver y Melissa Etheridge-y of her — the rocker discussed how “flatlining” influenced her decision to go indie, why she stopped reading her own press and which hit she was “forced” to record.

Chris Azzopardi [C.A.] The album is called “This Is M.E.,” a play on your initials. But how about nicknames — do you have any of those? Melissa Etheridge [M.E.] I don’t. I pretty much answer to whatever anybody calls me. [Laughs] [C.A.] Especially if that person is Linda Wallem, your wife. [M.E.] Exactly. “Yes, dear!” [C.A.] To quote one of your songs, was the process of making this album like “the letting go”? [M.E.] That was exactly it. Thank you so much for seeing that, because last year I did cut all the strings. All of them — every single one. I gutted my whole team that I had behind me for 20-plus years. I just said, “Look, it’s time. I need a new model. I need a new way of doing this.” I completely flatlined and had no interest in just “business as usual.” In doing so, I went and talked with and interviewed a bunch of managers, record companies, lawyers, agents and dozens of people, and I found out a lot about me in doing so. I got a new view of what other people in the business think about me and my business and [learned that] I don’t need those old structures anymore. Because of the new technology, I can reach my fans. I have a fan base, I

[C.A.] What’s the best part about being your own boss? [M.E.] The responsibility. There’s no one I can blame. I have to believe in every single one of these songs. In the studio, working with each of these producers and musicians, I was taking full responsibility for every single note on this album. [C.A.] Had you been feeling a lack of support from your label? [M.E.] Oh yeah. From “Lucky” in 2004 and on, the record industry was, every year, falling in huge amounts and getting less and less, and also, those albums were not incredibly commercial albums because they were introspective. I was investigating myself and my own spirit and thoughts, and so those albums weren’t gonna be big commercial hits, so they didn’t get a lot of attention. [C.A.] On “Lucky,” with the song “Meet Me in the Dark,” you actually addressed this sense of abandonment you were feeling at the time regarding the label’s lack of support. Isn’t that right? [M.E.] Exactly — I did. I sat down and said, “I’m gonna write this song for those people who listen to albums to find that song that’s just special.” [C.A.] Was it then that you first started thinking of career alternatives? [M.E.] Yeah, indeed. [C.A.] What kind of pressure were you experiencing from the label? At the time, were they forcing you to make radio hits? [M.E.] [Pauses] Well, there’s

only so much you can do with me. I am what I am, and I know that on “Lucky” the song “Breathe” was not my song at all. That was one that the record company came to me and said, “Look, we think this could be a hit.” I did something that I will never do again. I like the song — it’s a great song — but I really felt like I was doing something I didn’t wanna do. I got cancer afterwards and went, “Never again.” [C.A.] At this moment in your career, you’re really embracing solitude. [M.E.] Yes, I am. [C.A.] How have all these changes reshaped how you approach music and how you approached this album? [M.E.] It’s reinvigorated my love for the industry and the art form beyond just singing and performing, but actually with the writing and the producing and creating of these songs. My god, I think there are at least five different producers on this record “and” I worked with others that didn’t quite work out. I got to work with all kinds of people. I threw out to my management, “Think outside the box,” and that’s how I ended up with RoccStar and Jerry “Wonda.” [C.A.] Is it easier to write with a broken heart or a happy heart? [M.E.] Well, it’s not easy to write in any situation, but it depends. I think one has to learn how to make any personal state a state that one can create from. I can write “Who Are You Waiting For” — which is both. Yeah, I was brokenhearted and smashed and lifted up, so I can create from both. I can create from an old memory of, “You done me wrong,” and write “Ain’t That Bad.” That’s the craft of writing. You give me even a mundane subject and I will craft a human experience around it.

[C.A.] Tell me the story behind the first song you wrote for the album. [M.E.] There are two. I wrote them by myself before I brought them to a producer and those were “Who Are You Waiting For” and “A Little Hard Hearted.” For those two, I sat down the way I normally do: I actually sat down at the piano because I like writing on the piano; it brings out different musical things than if I write on the guitar. So “A Little Hard Hearted” was actually more of a ballad than it ended up being. But yeah, that was one of the first ones. It was like, “I don’t wanna be broken any more. I wanna move on,” which is what we’ve done. With [ex-wife] Tammy [Lynn Michaels], both of us have worked really hard to put all the crap behind us and just be two loving households that can work together for the kids. [C.A.] How did you deal with the tabloids that pitted you two against each other? [M.E.] I just didn’t go online for a couple of years! [Laughs] I don’t look at that stuff because it’s this sense of, I have no control over what people are thinking. I know what my truth is and there’s no way I can convince other people of it. They’re gonna believe whatever they believe, and I just have to move on through this. Time will always tell, and the truth always comes out, so I’m just gonna be the best person I can be and move on. I could get stuck in that. And that’s like a whirlpool. That’ll just suck you right down into it. [C.A.] Have you ever read your own press? Googled “Melissa Etheridge”? [M.E.] Oh, sure. Eight times out of 10, it’s a pleasant experience. Other times it’s, “I didn’t need to see that.”

see Etheridge, pg 18


GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 28–Dec. 11, 2014


Jump-start your 2015 plans You Should Be Doing It Brian White [Editor’s Note: We’d like to welcome Brian White, a local fitness expert who has been a regular in our sister paper, San Diego Uptown News, and will now be joining us here on the pages of Gay San Diego.] Don’t start 2015 digging yourself out of a hole. Get started now and hit the 2015 ground running. Rocking 2015 with a terrific and vibrant body starts NOW — in November — not sometime in Januar y, hung over and way out of shape. We allow ourselves to get so over whelmed at this time of year. “I have so many parties to go to — I’ll be drinking and eating more.” “I’ll be eating foods I don’t usually eat, and exercise — how am I going to find time to exercise?” Does that sound similar to the voice in your head? You know the one, the one that justifies sleeping in on a cold morning rather than going for a run, or the one that says ‘just one glass of wine’ won’t hurt. We all have that voice — some listen to it more than others, but it’s always there. In fact, that voice has already been telling you to not worr y too much about the holidays, because you are going to be on top of your nutrition and exercise come Jan. 1! So

this is just the calm before the storm that is Januar y’s weight loss crusade. My question is why put yourself behind the eight ball even more than you already are? Why justify the bad holiday habits, just because in Januar y you think you are going to stop (maybe). It needs to star t now — not an all-out assault, but a realistic plan that will lay the foundation for your Januar y crusade. Listed below is your plan to simplify your holiday exercise and nutrition regimen without losing your edge and without giving up friends, family and the holidays. Change your workout routine completely. Bring your resistance workouts down to just 40 minutes, but increase the intensity. Because you will be eating more this month — increase the weights you are using as much as is safe and do half the amount of reps. The extra work and intensity on your muscles will help suck up the extra sugar and calories you will surely be taking in at those parties. Drink 4-5 liters of water ever y single day — do not miss a day. When you are well hydrated, you will be less apt to give in to cravings, especially sugar. It is a well-known fact that those of us who deal with serious cravings are usually just dehydrated — but the body won’t necessarily know the difference. Focus on your sleep. Get an extra hour of sleep ever y

single night. You should aim for 8.5 hours each night. This helps immensely — your entire life will be better with this one tip. Less sugar craving, more body fat burn, more muscle building, huge testosterone increases (guys: harder erections) and the body will also fight of f stress better. Be aware of your thoughts. We are justification machines all year long, but we really crank up the amount of bullshit we tell ourselves to insane levels during the holidays. Do not eat mindlessly — journal your foods, eat slowly, pick your three favorite holiday foods and stick to those — don’t tr y ever ything. Pay attention to ever ything you put into your mouth this holiday season; a little mindfulness can go a long way to decreasing the excess calories this year. Remember, the goal for the holidays is to get through them with relatively no damage and maybe a little progress, so that in Januar y you will already be 5 pounds ahead of where you would have been if you hadn’t made the changes above. —Brian White owns Brian White Fitness (BWF), located in Hillcrest. He runs boot camps in Balboa Park and trains clients at Diverge Gym. Read his blog at, or take his seven-day video challenge to get back into healthy habits. Contact Brian at t

Etheridge has been a breast cancer survivor for almost 10 years. (Photo by John Tsiavis) FROM PAGE 17

ETHERIDGE [C.A.] Having spent so much of your life on stage — how has that changed for you? How is getting out on stage different now than it was when you first got out there? [M.E.] I’m different. I mean, I’ve been on stage since I was 11 years old, so I went through a lot of being on stage when no one knows who you are, being on stage when you’re singing other people’s music, being on stage when no one’s paying attention — I know that. I also know the wonderful feeling of being on stage when people are expecting something. I was always thrilled when I walked on stage and someone paid money to come see me. Now when I walk on stage, I haven’t even sung a note and people are going crazy. That’s just ... that’s a dream come true. To start a song and people know it — I love it, love it, love it. [C.A.] Was that something you imagined for yourself as a kid? Are you the artist you set out to be? [M.E.] Yeah, I knew that I wanted to be a singer/songwriter. I knew that I wanted to write the songs too — that it was important that that be a part of what I do — so I’m very happy that when I start these songs that I’ve written, people know that. So yes, I am. [C.A.] Knowing all you know about yourself now, what would you tell the Melissa Etheridge of the ’80s? [M.E.] “Hey, you can relax. Don’t worry. Don’t get all worked up about it, because it’s all right – you’re gonna make it.” The best part of the whole thing is the journey— it’s actually the

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getting there, not the being there. It’s who I met in the process, and the memories. Just the whole experience is what it’s about, and I’m so grateful for it. [C.A.] As one of the first out public figures, what’s your proudest moment as a gay icon? [M.E.] It’s when a teenager or a successful 27-year-old will come up to me and say, “Thank you. You saved my life. If it weren’t for you, I would’ve never come out and been able to live the life I’ve lived.” And what can I say? That’s worth everything. Ever y single person who makes that choice to stand up and present him — or herself in life as who they are — ever y single time one person does that — it changes the world. It goes out and it changes others, and if they’re doing it in public and living their truth — I mean, come on, Ellen and Michael Sam! They change the world. [C.A.] What do you want your legacy to be? [M.E.]: I would love for it to be, “Hey, that Melissa Etheridge, she just changed the world a little bit.” That maybe — because I was here — life was great for some other folks, you know? That’d be nice. [C.A.] Which song of yours will likely be played at your funeral? [M.E.]: [Sings creepily] “Coooome to my windoooow.” [Laughs] I really haven’t thought about it. That’s one thought I haven’t thought about! I’ll leave that up to you guys, OK? [C.A.] In 2002, you released your memoir “The Truth Is...: My Life in Love and Music.” Would you consider writing another? [M.E.] Oh yeah. That one was just the first third of my life. I have much more to write about. Life happens so quickly that I haven’t even jotted anything down, but I think about it all the time. The next book I’m gonna write, I will have sat down and taken a large chunk of time to write it because I think it deser ves that. [C.A.] What would you call this second book? [M.E.] Something like, “The Truth Changes.” Because it does! With my mother and my sister, I certainly don’t hold the same sort of angst that I used to at all. That’s so far away from me. I can look back and tell a stor y that I told and I look at it a little differently now, because I’ve learned more things and I’m a different person. —Chris Azzopardi is the editor of Q Syndicate, the international LGBT wire service. Reach him via his website at


GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 28–Dec. 11, 2014


Thankful for sports in San Diego Dugout Chatter Jeff Praught Death, taxes and columns about what we are thankful for coming out during Thanksgiving Week — these are all certainties. As cliché as these columns are, I have never actually participated in that particular rage … until now. Being a sports fan and involved in San Diego’s LGBT recreational sports community really does make it pretty easy to reflect on how good we have it here.

ply what happens on the baseball field. Of course, winning matters most. But those who attend games do so for the camaraderie with fans, the conversations you can have thanks to the pace of the game, and the amenities. Petco Park has arguably the best beer selection in baseball, and the food options are fantastic. I would not be the least surprised if, 10 years from now, we can look back and say that the Padres played in the World Series again, and the city hosted a fantastic All-Star Game. And for that hope, I am thankful.

Tony Gwynn’s long career with the Padres was a gift to local baseball fans. (Photo by Morgan M. Hurley)

Amateur and professional sports

Only 31 cities in America can boast that they are home to a National Football League team, and we reside in one of them. Despite the down years, the unreached potential of the late 2000s, and the fear of the team relocating to Los Angeles (I have never feared that this will happen), the San Diego Chargers have been bringing joy and entertainment to our area for a long time. I’m thankful that I get to attend every home game as part of their game staff, working with some fun and passionate football fans while getting paid, essentially, to watch football. Before games, I am thankful that my good friend Laura Szymanski throws a giant tailgate party, which continues to grow every year. The day before every home game, Laura goes through the tedious process of loading up her car with all of the materials needed to set up her tented tailgate party in Section G2 at Qualcomm Stadium. Friends bring various food and beverages. The food spread is always fantastic, and much better than what they serve in the press box. Many of the regulars at these parties met in the parking lot and have become friends, meeting up to watch the Chargers play on the road or at Flicks’ awesome NFL Sundays. If you’re not tailgating before attending an NFL game, you’re not doing it right, and Laura does. The San Diego Padres gave us one of the most beloved athletes in Major League Baseball history in Tony Gwynn. While No. 19 did not get to play Downtown at Petco Park during his career, much of what he accomplished, along with the 1998 Padres World Series team, directly led to getting Petco Park built. We have a gem of a ballpark for fans to enjoy. Despite recent struggles, the team has won a pair of National League West titles since relocating Downtown, and the future is bright. The new left field scoreboard will be really bright as well, as the team is installing what will be the largest high-definition board in the National League. Attending baseball games is more than sim-

The city also gives us an annual golf tournament every February at Torrey Pines, attracting the biggest names in the sport, including Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. Soccer fans get to enjoy wildly entertaining San Diego Sockers games. On occasion, the National Basketball Association plays exhibition games in our city as well. Last, but not least, I am grateful for what is happening on the mesa at San Diego State University, particularly with the men’s basketball program. Once a perennial doormat in their conference, the basketball program has burst onto the national scene with a pair of Sweet 16 appearances in the NCAA tournament, some conference titles and frequent residence in the national polls. Head coach Steve Fisher has built a program that features stifling defense and remarkable athleticism. The team is built for tournament games because of that defense. Home games used to be empty, boring events. Now, Viejas Arena is sold out every game, with a raucous student section, dubbed “The Show,” adding to the entertainment value of the games. The Show has been recognized nationally by publica-

tions as being one of the best student sections in college sports. It did not invent the “I Believe” chant (that credit goes to Navy, followed by Utah State), but The Show sure did perfect it. And schools across the country have copied The Show’s long tradition of bringing huge cardboard heads of public figures, aimed at distracting opposing free throw shooters. Aztecs basketball is alive and well, with a trip to the Elite 8 not out of the question soon, and I am thankful for Fisher bringing the campus back to life.

LGBT sports leagues

There are too many to list in one column, but for that, I am ver y thankful. It means no matter what your competitive interests are, there is probably a sport out there for you. There are popular gay bowling leagues on Wednesday and Thursday nights at Kearny Mesa Bowl. Front Runners and Walkers offers a friendly group to remain active in San Diego while not participating in team sports. The San Diego Tennis Federation boasts hundreds of members, offering a recreational opportunity for players of all skill levels to enjoy the sport of tennis. Want something a little more physical? Give the San Diego Armada Rugby club a try. Ruggers are known for their physical prowess on the pitch, and their wild partying between matches. There is even a club for wrestlers and those who want to learn how to wrestle. Enjoy team sports but not getting hurt? The San Diego Pool League has been around since the late 1970s and has two seasons per calendar year, playing on Monday nights. I am most thankful for three sports leagues I have played in over the years. Founded by Ivan Solis as a small venture, the San Diego American Flag Football League has exploded in popularity. Its players have strung together championships at the national level, as SDAFFL has become one of the largest leagues in the country. Its season begins in February with clinics and a draft, and runs into June. I have had the pleasure of serving as Commissioner of San Diego Hoops for almost four years now, and I am thankful for all of the ballers who formed this league in 1999, giving LGBT basketball players and their friends a welcome place to play. I love seeing some of the league’s longest-tenured members still out on the court, including Paul Demke, Brett Drake and David “Mona” Valenzuela. Mona, in particular, is a fantastic story as he now plays with a prosthetic

Flicks bartender Kyle Matthews plays in the D Division of the San Diego Pool. League (Courtesy Flicks) leg. The over-40 club does not heal as quickly, and the league has a large influx of young and athletic new talent, but the “old guys” still hang tough with the kids. We also have a few really talented female players who play the game the right way. Finally, I am thankful for America’s Finest City Softball League, and all of the board members who helped establish and maintain AFCSL as San Diego’s largest LGBT sports league. From Doug Hotaling, George Biagi, Jim Costello, Tom Abbas, and many others who served in the past, to Brian Burnett and current Commissioners Dani Goodlett and Roman Jimenez, AFCSL has been in great hands and operated smoothly for almost 35 years. Softball brings friends together as families, often, because this league allows teams to stick together over multiple seasons. Playing in AFCSL allowed me to get accustomed to our community, way back in 2003 when I was actually a decent ballplayer. Now, I get as much joy out of coaching my Flicks Fireballs D team as I do coaching and playing on my Loft B team. Both teams I consider to be like a large second family to me.

A Sunday at the softball field enjoying our amazing weather is a far better way to make new friends and acquaintances than hanging on a patio drinking at a bar (though that usually comes after the games). And on this Thanksgiving weekend, I am thankful that I am sitting in Fort Lauderdale with the Fireballs, playing in the Hurricane Showdown tournament, enjoying tournament parties, seeing sights, and watching a terrific slate of NFL games on Sunday. To find the sport that is right for you, just search San Diego Gay [sport] and something is sure to come up. We have the best weather in the country, several college and professional sports options, and many wonderful, hardworking people who help these recreational leagues operate. Yeah, I’m thankful. —Jeff Praught is actively involved in the LGBT sports community, having participated in softball, basketball, football and pool as a player, serving on AFCSL’s board, and currently serving as the commissioner of SD Hoops. He can be reached at dugoutchatter@

GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 28–Dec. 11, 2014


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