Volume 4 Issue 25 Dec. 13–26, 2013
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SERVING OUR LGBT COMMUNITY
Connecting with Frida
SDSU to offer graduate certificate in LGBT Studies
Rick Cervantes | GSD Reporter
Scrooge in drag
Hake in La Jolla
“The Complete Frida Kahlo. Her Paintings. Her Life. Her Story.” does exactly what the title implies; it tells the story of legendary Mexican painter Frida Kahlo’s life. The exhibit, presented by Global Entertainment Properties 1 LLC, features 123 exact replicas of Kahlo’s paintings, each recreated in their original size with original materials and hand-painted—by master artists licensed by her trust—in the same style in which she originally painted them. As a Mexican-American myself, I have always felt a strong connection to Kahlo and her work, even though her time on earth was long before mine and our life’s circumstances are different. But there is something about her style of painting that pulls people in and tells the story — making the connection to Mexican art feel so much stronger to me. I was naturally excited to visit this exhibit which was the first time I had ever viewed so many of her works in one place. Some of my friends, who I might consider to be “art snobs,” complained that the exhibit only features replicas of Kahlo’s work. This was of no concern to me, though, because I was most interested in being able to see many of Kahlo’s works together, in one place. This would be nearly impossible if it were to be an exhibit of her original works. The exhibition is situated in a renovated space in Barracks 3 at NTC @ Liberty Station, and has been laid out so visitors can easily navigate through what becomes a visual history of Kahlo’s life. I opted to take the audio tour, a choice that provided insightful commentary about most of the paintings and other possessions that were on display. Throughout the show are many
Hutton Marshall | GSD Assistant Editor
exhibit was the display over 500 personal possessions — such as jewelry, dresses and other adornments — all identical to those with which Kahlo surrounded herself with during her life. All the items were handmade using traditional methods, materials and tools. The exhibit even included a re-creation of Kahlo’s famous bed, where she spent much of her time. These artifacts gave even more insight into Kahlo’s life, how she lived, and sometimes, what her motivations were for painting. In her painting, “Unos Cuantos Piquetitos” (A Few Small Nips), Kahlo paints the scene she imagined after reading of a drunken man who had stabbed his girlfriend to death. The man told the judge: “But I only gave her a few small nips.”
Beginning in the fall semester of 2014, San Diego State will offer a graduate certificate in LGBT Studies to post-baccalaureate students. The creation of this graduate-level program — one of the first in the U.S. — comes after SDSU established an LGBT Studies major in 2012, the second of its kind in North America. Unlike a typical master’s degree, the graduate certificate requires only four classes. It is primarily intended to compliment the graduate studies of students in another departments, such as English or social work, who intend to focus their thesis or specialization on LGBT-related topics. The adoption of the certificate is largely credited to Dr. Esther Rothblum, who will be the program’s advisor. A longtime women studies professor and pioneer of lesbian studies at SDSU, Rothblum serves as the advisor for the LGBT Studies department as well. After continually hearing student interest for graduate-level LGBT Studies courses, she conducted an informal survey and found more than 30 graduate students from a wide variety of departments had written their theses on LGBT issues. “Across the university, through a variety of different fields, students are focusing on LGBT studies,” Rothblum said. “It shows that students are interested in this at the graduate level.” Thomas Negron, a double major in liberal studies and LGBT studies at SDSU’s Imperial Valley campus, said the creation of the major last year was the reason he
see Frida, pg 5
see SDSU, pg 4
Frida Kahlo, “Me and My Parrots,” 1941. Oil on canvas, Collection Mr. & Mrs Harold H. Stream, New Orleans, LA. (Licensed Replica: © Banco de México
Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo Museums Trust / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2008)
of Kahlo’s well-known paintings, along with some of her lesserknown works, many of which have great significance. One such painting, “The Suicide of Dorothy Hale,” was commissioned by Clare Booth Luce in 1939. Luce wanted Kahlo to create a “recuerdo” (remembrance) portrait of her socialite friend Dorothy Hale who had committed suicide in 1938. According to the audio guide, Luce was “horrified” to receive a painting that depicted Hale’s suicide jump. Kahlo had created a graphic, narrative “retablo” which detailed every step of Hale’s suicide. “The Suicide of Dorothy Hale” stood out because it was different than the typical Kahlo work I was used to seeing and it gave some insight into her darker side — or was it a cultural misunderstanding? Another great feature of the
December is a time of giving and for being alive Britney speaks
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Morgan M. Hurley | GSD Editor Although their “storefront” is rather non-descript, Being Alive San Diego’s Centre Street headquarters is a bastion of support services for men, women and children living with HIV and AIDS. Started in 1989 by health professionals and HIV+ individuals who knew the sharing of information regarding the new disease that was barely yet understood was imperative. Being Alive also provided a safe haven for those diagnosed who had nowhere else to go and soon expanded to adding support services. The Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Act (CARE) Act and others like it came to be just a year later, offering important federal funding to nonprofits like Being Alive, allowing them to provide necessary services to their client bases for years to come. Twenty-four years later, though their services have not dwindled and neither has their roster, Being Alive’s Executive Director Shannon Wagner will tell you that federal money is all but gone. What’s left today covers home-delivered meals for those who are housebound and no longer able to
cook for themselves. And while that is still an important and necessary service, it adds up to about 100 patients for Being Alive, not much when you consider that 8,924 people living with HIV walked through their doors in 2012 seeking assistance. That assistance — despite the lack of federal funding — came in the form of Peer Advocacy (1,219 clients served), a food pantry (3,003 households served), holistic therapies (843 total appointments), a moving program (125 households moved), haircuts (744), educational programs (298 attended) and support groups (322 attendees). Those numbers don’t even count their prevention programs, which are becoming more and more relevant as younger generations struggle to understand the disease’s past and how it may affect their future. “If you want to prevent the spread of HIV in the community, you have to get more people tested, you have to bring more people in, and you have to educate them on how not to pass it to loved ones,” Wagner said. “But if you do that
see BeingAlive, pg 19
The Ribbons of Hope Christmas tree at Revivals on University Avenue (Photo by Patrick Hammond)
GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 13–26, 2013
GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 13–26, 2013
AIDS: Signs of progress, but worries about cuts Lisa Keen | Keen News Service More than 9,000 people with HIV were on a waiting list for federal assistance in buying their medications in August 2011. On [Dec. 2], President Obama announced that, as of this week, that number is down to zero. “At one time, the need was so great that over 9,000 people were on the waitlist,” said the president at a White House ceremony marking World AIDS Day. “We vowed to get those numbers down. And I’m proud to announce that, as of last week, we have cleared that waitlist. We are down to zero. And we’re going to keep working to keep it down.” Carl Schmid, an official at the AIDS Institute who has devoted considerable voice to shining a light on that waiting list, agreed the Obama Administration deser ves some credit. Schmid said the administration’s re-direction of $35 million in funding to the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) two years ago “really helped” clear the waiting lists. The vast majority of names on the waiting lists (96 percent) were in southern states. In August 2011, the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) showed Florida with 3,751 names on the waiting list; Georgia with 1,718; Louisiana with 961; South Carolina with 896; Virginia with 875; North Carolina with 316; Alabama with 130; Arkansas with 51. The only other states with waiting lists were Ohio with 247, Utah with 40, Montana with 29, and Idaho with 25. And most of these same southern states have now declined federal funding under the Affordable Care Act to expand their Medicaid programs and to set up state-run exchanges that citizens can use
to find affordable health insurance options. Schmid said the lack of state-run exchanges doesn’t hurt so much because people with HIV can seek options through the national exchange. (The AIDS Institute has sur veyed the options and is making its recommendations through a mainstream media outlet later this week.) But the refusal of many states to accept Medicaid expansion does hurt many people with HIV, said Schmid, because “most ADAP clients are low income, and the majority are below the poverty level.” So, said Schmid, it’s just not clear how much money will be needed for ADAP in the future because no one can forecast yet just how many people with low incomes and HIV will be able to get medication assistance under Medicaid or through private insurance in the exchanges. Schmid and other AIDS activists are also concerned about federal and state budget cuts generally, as well as the looming sequestration cuts that could hit as soon as Januar y. Many analysts are predicting those cuts could be much more dramatic next year than the first round of sequestration cuts that took place this year. Such AIDS-related funding took on renewed urgency for the LGBT community last week when the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported [Nov. 29] that, among men who have sex with men (MSM), “Unprotected anal sex at least once in the past 12 months [has] increased from 48 percent in 2005 to 57 percent in 2011.” Also in 2011, said the report, MSM “accounted for at least half of persons diagnosed with HIV in all but two states.” The two states were Pennsylvania and South
Dakota, but even in those two states, MSM still accounted for between 46 percent and 49 percent of HIV infections. In his World AIDS Day remarks [Dec. 2], President Obama signaled he understood that urgency for the LGBT community and others particularly hard hit by HIV. “We need to keep focusing on investments to communities that are still being hit hardest, including gay and bisexual men, African Americans and Latinos,” the president said. He also announced that the National Institute of Health would re-direct $100 million in funds over the next three years toward research seeking a cure for AIDS. Meanwhile, many of the community’s own AIDS organizations are struggling with loss of funding and continued federal budget cuts. The National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA) went out of business earlier this year after filing for bankruptcy. Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) in New York suffered a $66,000 cut in federal funding to its meals program for people with HIV and the state was able to chip in only $22,676 last week to help make up that deficit. A sur vey of 131 AIDS organizations in 29 states, released by the AIDS Institute in October, found that 85 percent of the groups experienced a drop in funding at the same time that 79 percent of them saw an increase in clients seeking help. AIDS Institute Executive Director Michael Ruppal said his group was urging “Congress and the President to reverse the cuts caused by sequestration and adequately fund critical public health programs, including those that prevent HIV and provide for care and treatment for people living with HIV.” But it’s hard to predict whether there’s
any chance of that happening. A House-Senate conference committee working on a budget agreement for FY 14 missed its December 2 deadline. The House is due to leave December 13 for the holidays but leaders on both sides of the aisle have indicated they are still optimistic they can come up with a bottom line for the federal FY 14 budget by next week. From that bottom line point, lawmakers then have until Januar y 15 to work out the details agency by agency. —Lisa Keen is a well-known, wellrespected and award-winning gay journalist who spent 18 years as editor of the Washington Blade. See more news from Keen and other select veteran gay journalists at keennewsservice.com.t
GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 13–26, 2013
FROM PAGE 1
began regularly making the hourlong trip to SDSU’s main campus for classes. Also serving as the president of SDSU’s Queer Student Union, Negron was attracted to the program not only because of the breadth of knowledge it offered on LGBT history, but also because it mandates students in the major involve themselves in the community through internships. “[The community engagement] is a big draw for me, because I think a lot of learning comes from working in the community rather than just reading it out of a book,” Negron said. One of the four required courses in the graduate certificate is an internship. Rothblum has estab-
SDSU’s LGBT Studies Graduate Certificate was created by Dr. Esther Rothblum (Courtesy Esther Rothblum) lished relationships with 15 local LGBT organizations that students in the program can intern with. Diversionary Theatre, Mama’s Kitchen and Lambda Archives are just a few of those available to students. Currently a junior, Negron said he’s seriously considering the graduate certificate after graduation as a part of his post-baccalaureate studies. He said the ability to individualize the certificate to fit his career goals is a big draw. “I would like to help write curriculum for K – 12 [schools] and I think [the graduate certificate] would be a great opportunity for me to still be in the field of LGBT Studies, but to really start focusing in on one area of expertise,” Negron said. Associate Dean at the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts Kathy LaMaster, who’s been at SDSU since 1996, said this further establishes the university as a progressive leader in recognizing the academic importance of the LGBT community. “I think it demonstrates that we are continuing to be leaders in this area and that our faculty, staff and students are super supportive of diversity in their studies and in their actions,” LaMaster said. As an administrator for one of SDSU’s most populated colleges, LaMaster said the certificate creates a formal pathway for an academically diverse group of students to engage in LGBT studies. “I just think it’s an excellent opportunity for our graduate
students, as they draw on a variety of courses, to form a coherent, interdisciplinary concentration with their graduate degree,” LaMaster said. While Rothblum said this doesn’t signify a major change of values by SDSU or the academic community — which have historically been progressive — the growing popularity of LGBT studies shows a change in what the corporate world looks for in graduates. She also said an advanced knowledge of LGBT issues is a big plus for graduate-level programs. “Almost any graduate program now, whether it’s medical school or law school or chemistry, any major, is really interested in students with knowledge of diversity,” Rothblum said. “So this is usually quite an asset, and the corporate sector too is really interested in this.” Negron also saw the significance of this program’s popularity as reflective of society at large rather than just SDSU. “To me it says less about the campus and more about the mainstream community; that this is becoming something that’s not that shocking,” Negron said. While the program won’t officially begin until next fall, students can begin taking the graduate-level classes that will comprise it starting in Spring 2014. Information about the program and its classes can be found on the LGBT Studies website at lgbt.sdsu.edu. Those interested can also contact Dr. Rothblum directly at erothblu@ mail.sdsu.edu.t
The certificate is for post-baccalaureate students interested in LGBT topics (Courtesy SDSU Newscenter)
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NEWS/THEATER CHARLENE BALDRIDGE
GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 13–26, 2013
‘Scrooged’ again Exhibit at NTC @ Liberty Station includes paintings and artifacts (Courtesy The Kunstmuseum Gehrke-Remund)
Frida’s paintings flank a replica dress
(Courtesy The Kunstmuseum Gehrke-Remund)
FROM PAGE 1
The gory piece includes all of the additions to the painting that Kahlo made after creating it, including the birdcage that hangs from its frame and the knife she stuck into it. Looking at photos of the original work, this piece is a great example of the pains that were taken to ensure the exhibit is as close to authentic as possible. Winding through the exhibit’s halls, I became immersed in Kahlo’s life, love, and passion, and felt I wasn’t only looking at masterpieces that she created, but actually walking through the beautiful disaster that was her life. At the end of the exhibit was one of Kahlo’s final paintings, “Viva La Vida” which depicts watermelons. It is believed by some that Kahlo added the inscription “Viva La Vida” and her signature to the painting just before her death in 1954, as if she was “signing off.” The phrase “Viva La Vida” — which translates to “live your life” — really captures the true essence of the exhibit and Kahlo’s life. With all the physical and emotional pain she endured, this reminder to live life to the fullest is appropriate. Before leaving the exhibit I encountered a wall painted with the same words — “Viva La Vida” — the perfect ending to my afternoon connecting with Frida. “The Complete Frida Kahlo. Her Paintings. Her Life. Her Story.” continues through Jan. 10, 2014 at the historic Barracks 3, 2765 Truxtun Rd., NTC @ Liberty Station in Point Loma. The exhibition is open Tues. & Wed. from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thurs. – Sat. from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and on Sun. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The replicas of Kahlo’s work were painted by master artists and are licensed by ©Banco de Mexico Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo Museums Trust/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2008. For more info or tickets, visit thecompletefrida.com or ntclibertystation.com/ fridakahlo.php. Rick Cervantes is a social media specialist, an LGBT activist, a pop-culturist and a foodie. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
San Diego first got “Scrooged” in 2008. So wondrous was Tony Houck as Lottie Obbligato that the role garnered him a San Diego Theatre Critics Award for best featured performance in a musical. At one precious, ephemeral moment in Diversionary’s 2013 production of “Scrooge in Rouge” Lottie parades Houck’s award across the stage. The moment might be lost on some, but Houck deserves it. He plays all 13 of Lottie’s drag roles and directs the show as well. He’s also the onstage instigator of merriment. Each of his characters — wives, sisters and sweethearts in the Charles Dickens sendup — has a nasty edge; all personas are larger than mere fiction in this purposefully over the top piece, written by Ricky Graham (book and lyrics) and Jefferson Turner (original music), with additional material by Jeffrey Roberson and Yvette Hargis. “Scrooge in Rouge” takes place in an English Music Hall during Victorian Era (1837–1901). All but three of the theater troupe’s actors have been felled by stomach flu so the others exemplify the “show must go on” tradition, necessitating the gender-bent, quick-change routine. Others in this year’s “Rouge” company are debuting in their roles. Samantha Ginn portrays Vesta Virile (an actual drag per-
“Scrooge in Rouge” Diversionary Theatre Through Dec. 29 (special holiday performance 8 p.m. Dec. 23) Thurs. – Sat. 8 p.m. Sun. 2 p.m. diversionary.org 619-220-0097 former born in 1864), who plays in a series of masculine guises, including the titular Scrooge. Justin Warren Martin plays Charlie Schmaltz, who is foil to Houck. Put Houck and Martin side by side, and it’s a sight gag of the first order. The versatile Ginn makes for an extraordinary trio that’s bound to become even finer as they quit thinking so intensely and simply relax into their roles. Favorite moments are those in which all three are onstage and realize in a panic that another character is about to enter. A hilarious moment involves audi-
(l to r) Samantha Ginn, Tony Houck and Justin Warren Martin in Scrooge in Rouge (Photo by Ken Jacques) ence participation for just such a reason. Seen December 5, the production is much enhanced by Michael Mizerany’s choreography, the musical direction of Rick Shaffer, and the presence of a cocktail bar up in the corner. Jennifer BrawnGittings’ costumes are a hoot and a half, Peter Herman’s wigs and makeup are stunning, and Luke Olson’s lighting, Kevin Anthenill’s sound, and David Medina’s set and props also do the job wondrously well. Appropriately, the music spans the era dominated by the partnership of Gilbert and Sullivan, and the score is replete with a patter song similar to that of the Major
General in “Pirates of Penzance.” One of the listenable tunes, “Good Riddance, Good-bye,” actually follows the listener home. With its familiar ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future, Charles Dickens’ redemptive “A Christmas Carol” is no longer an annual visitor in the San Diego area. San Diego Repertory ceased its long tradition of producing the play after 2005. Other theaters tried mounting versions of “Carol” with limited success. This year a Google search turns up only Cygnet Theatre’s “live” radio version, some middle school productions and a puppet show. Apparently, “Scrooge in Rouge” is the rare “Scrooge” in town.t
GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 13–26, 2013
Editorial President Obama has received a lot of grief the last two months over the inadequacy of the website (healthcare.gov) geared to support the millions of applicants searching for coverage options under the now mandatory Affordable Care Act. Indeed it was a “SNAFU” (a Navy term I won’t decipher for you) but it hardly seems as destructive as shutting down the government for two weeks, a blatant act of defiance that seems long forgotten. As the January 1 deadline rapidly approaches, California’s “Covered California” found at coveredca. org, is reaching out to the LGBT community on a grand scale. In a story written by Ben Cartwright for our media partner SDGLN.com, our state’s healthcare benefit exchange is using a number of methods, and have partnered with local LGBT Centers, the Transgender Law Project and others to assist in this effort. “We are not bashful about reaching out to the LGBT community,” Executive Director Peter V. Lee told Cartwright. “A core value of Covered California is to reflect the great diversity of the state, so we
We have nothing against you, but … Abby Dees, Thinking Out Loud, Q Syndicate A lesson from one Louisiana town on the polite way to send LGBT people back into the closet. No sooner had I written a column a few weeks back about how nice it felt to see a rainbow flag in front of Philadelphia’s City Hall, I saw this headline from July (my online news alert tends to operate on Gay Standard Time): “Louisiana Republican to introduce bill to ban rainbow flag from public buildings.” A little investigation revealed that Councilmember Andy Naquin, of Lafayette, LA, was looking into the feasibility of banning all but governmental flags from city property. A complaint from Ray Greene, 79, and fellow veterans, prompted this inquiry. According to city council meeting minutes, Mr. Green saw a photo of a rainbow flag aloft in Lafayette’s Girard Park, and “it offended him very much.” He told the council, “I am not a gay basher … this is a flag safety
issue,” and then, trying to illustrate his point, proffered two examples in which people had been prohibited from flying the American flag somewhere. The minutes do not indicate if anyone asked what that had to do with his rainbow flag problem. I don’t mean to bash Mr. Green either, nor do I take any issue with his devotion to the American flag. I would, however, like to use his complaint as an example of how our national discussions about LGBT pride avoid the simple truth. Putting it all in context, the flag was hoisted for one day by local group Acadiana OUTspoken Alliance to celebrate the overturning of DOMA. Their president says that they got permission from the city and that the flagpole was not being used at the time. Councilmember Naquin told a local TV station that he was not intending to single out gays, but that he opposed any non-governmental flag going up there. “What would happen if the Catholics were to fly a flag or a pro-life flag was flown or KKK flag was flown or even Taliban flag was
need to walk that talk.” He emphasized that for communities such as ours and African-Americans have often been discriminated against in healthcare, it's a thing of the past. “As for the LGBT community … we want to ensure that all LGBT people know how transformative the Affordable Care Act is to them either today or in the future.” Since I have VA coverage and haven’t received a lot of information about the ACA's benefits in my inbox, I’m a little behind on its specifics, but my recent visit to Being Alive drove home the dire need for healthcare that accepts pre-existing conditions. Covered California wants to get as many people from the LGBT community signed up by December 23 as possible, since many may experience a lapse in their current coverage after Jan. 1 if they don’t. So go to CoveredCa.com and see what’s in it for you. Feel free to report back on what you found and how it worked out. —Edt
flown [sic]? Who would you say ‘no’ to when you open those doors?” This all seems reasonable at first (though any high school civics student could tell you why no religious flags would be allowed). And it’s true that as soon as the government starts cherry-picking what kind of messages are allowed on public property, thorny free speech issues arise. A clean, across-theboard rule could possibly avoid this. But that’s not what’s got me gnashing my teeth. I’m still stuck on why this issue arose at all, which is not so clean and tidy. Let’s say that instead of a rainbow flag, the Boys and Girls Club asked to hoist a flag for a day. Would Mr. Green be so worried as to give an impassioned — though kind of random — speech on the imminent threat facing the red, white and blue? Of course not. While both gentlemen made obvious efforts to demonstrate that they had nothing against the gays, everything else they said belied these assertions. Speaking for the discomfited veterans, Councilmember Naquin said, “They felt it was a disrespect to this country and a disrespect to them and I’d have to agree with that.” I’m trying to find a way to interpret this
that doesn’t mean, “Gays are gross and I shouldn’t have to watch them celebrating gayness in my park.” What am I missing?Mr. Green, less politically evasive than Naquin, got more to the point when he warned, “If you allow the gay pride flag to be flown, then you got to by all rights allow the KKK, the Muslims and anybody else,” which tells me exactly what he thinks of the KKK, Muslims, and yes, gays. This is much less complicated than anyone is willing to admit. At its heart the debate isn’t about the first Amendment, flag protection, or delicate local politics. If a rainbow flag on public property causes someone distress, it is because he or she fundamentally has a problem with LGBT people, a feeling anyone’s entitled to. But any more explaining is merely tap-dancing around this fact. Fortunately, the furor in Lafayette has since died down and the city council is dealing with more important things now. Last I heard, there was an American flag in Girard Park. —Abby is a civil rights attorney-turned-author who has been in the LGBT rights trenches for 25-plus years. She can be reached through her website: queerquestionsstraighttalk.com.t
An end of the year message from Interim Mayor Gloria Dear Friends, This time last year, I had just been elected Council President for 2013 by my Council colleagues. It was a tremendous honor, and I was looking forward to advancing policies that would strengthen our neighborhoods and our economy. We began the year with a new mayor who accomplished little, disrupted much and ultimately became a liability for our City. What occurred in those first nine months, well it’s nothing I could ever have imagined. When I became Interim Mayor on August 30, it was my intention to accomplish as much as I possibly could in a short period of time. This time of year we all make our holiday lists. Here is a list of my
Favorite Things we’ve done since I became Interim Mayor. Our new Downtown library, the San Diego Library @ Joan ^ Irwin Jacobs Common, opened after 30 years of planning and dreaming and reflects San Diego’s value of knowledge, technology, literacy, and education. The Convention Center expansion was approved which will create 7,000 permanent jobs and have an estimated economic impact of $700 million a year. The Workforce Housing Offset was updated increasing the funding stream for affordable housing options. I brought forth a project list for a $120 million infrastructure bond that includes $43,460,000 for street
resurfacing and additional improvements made to libraries, fire stations, and storm drains. This infrastructure bond will be considered by my Council colleagues next month. Border relations were strengthened by regularly scheduled meetings with elected officials from the Baja region as well as City department leaders meeting with their Tijuana counterparts to make our shared region greater. The Prevailing Wage Ordinance was approved which is expected to result in safer and better monitored work sites, on-time completion, properly trained apprentices, and fewer construction defects, change orders, and cost overruns. A reorganization of City government was approved which will
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make our City’s operations run more smoothly and efficiently, save time and money, and invest in the development of our employees. We unveiled a groundbreaking Climate Action Plan that positions San Diego as a national leader in clean energy and a clean tech economy. The City Council approved dispersing $6 million of collected assessments to the San Diego Tourism Marketing District to re-launch marketing efforts to draw visitors to San Diego and create jobs. Our City’s lobbyists were rehired ending a nine-month period where we had no one in Sacramento or Washington, D.C. vying for resources or funding for our City. I know these accomplishments
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happened because of the cooperative spirit of my Council colleagues, our City leadership team, the City Attorney, City employees, and all San Diegans. Together we helped our City get back on its feet and moving in the right direction again. There is more work to be done between now and March when a new mayor takes office, and I promise you I won’t be slowing down anytime soon. Finally, I hope you’ll be able to join me at the State of the City Address on January 15 at 6:00 p.m. at the Balboa Theatre to celebrate our progress and envision our future. The year started out naughty and ended up nice. I wish you all a joyful and safe holiday season. As always, thank you for the opportunity to serve. Respectfully, Todd Gloria, Interim Mayort
3737 Fifth Ave. Suite 201 San Diego, CA 92103 (619) 519-7775 www.gay-sd.com
Business Improvement Association
GAY NEWS BRIEFS HILLCREST CHEF CROWNED ‘CHEF OF THE FEST’ R-Gang Eatery’s owner and Chef Rich Sweeney won the “Chef of the Fest” title at this year’s San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival. Sweeney swayed the judges with his duck-fat fried beignets with burnt orange dish. The annual bayside competition pitted San Diego chefs in a headto-head culinary cook-off judged by the San Diego Chapter of the American Culinary Federation, along with celebrity guest judges. “Producing the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival this year was a tall order, especially with the expectations that come with it being our ten-year anniversary,” said San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival co-producer, Michelle Metter. “This year’s Chef of the Fest participants were instrumental to our success, putting out dishes that really did our 10th annual event justice.” For the second year in a row, the 2013 Chef of the Fest competition was judged using a blind-tasting format. Forty-two competitors were carefully narrowed down to 10 finalists and five category winners using a graded point system. Sweeney was a contestant on Season Five of Bravo TV’s Top Chef reality show. R-Gang Eatery is located at 3683 Fifth Ave., in Hillcrest. PRIDE EVEN MORE CHARITABLE THAN IN 2012 San Diego Pride’s charitable giving in 2013 totaled $146,000, a marked increase over last year’s amount. Each year, Pride uses profits from the annual LGBT Pride weekend festivities to give back to the community. This year’s July celebration
was particularly successful, which allowed the organization to surpass last year’s funding by 72 percent. “Our greatest drive is to not only celebrate our diversity, but to enhance the well being of our community,” said Pride General Manager Stephen Whitburn in a press release. “We take great pride in supporting more than forty LGBT-serving organizations this year, and we will work to grow that support even more in the future.” Organizations that received financial support from Pride include groups that provide LGBTspecific services and programming in the areas of senior care, foster & homeless youth, HIV/AIDS, women’s health, military spousal support, arts & entertainment, recovery, sports, education, and historic preservation. For more information, visit sdpride.org. GLORIA WILL SEE SECOND TERM AS COUNCIL PRESIDENT Interim Mayor Todd Gloria has been unanimously re-elected as President of the San Diego City Council. The Council President presides over city council meetings, sets the council’s docket, and recommends membership for council committees and representation for external organizations. In addition, the president assumes the role of interim mayor when the City is without an elected mayor, as is currently the case. “Having the confidence of my fellow council members and the support of so many San Diegans is humbling, and I am proud to continue leading the City,” Gloria said in a press release. “Together, we have made tremendous progress in the past three months and more hard work is ahead.” Gloria was first elected Council President in December of 2012, and took over as the interim mayor after former mayor Bob Filner resigned in August of 2013. When a
Not so local GAY NEWS BRIEFS SEEN ON FACEBOOK Oregon United for Marriage has already collected more than the required number of signatures to put the Freedom to Marr y and Religious Protection Initiative on next year’s November ballot, but will continue to collect them. —PQ Monthly India reverses its reversal on gay sex by overturning a 2009 landmark ruling this week, that ended the criminalization of homosexuality in India. A 153-year old law was reinstituted by India’s Supreme Court and makes “gay sex” punishable by up to 10 years in prison. —sdgln.com SEEN ON TWITTER Lesbian waitress whose “anti-gay tip” hoax went viral was fired by the restaurant where the incident had supposedly occurred. Co-workers say the former Marine exaggerated about everything and they knew the story was untrue. —yahoo.com Meredith Baxter weds her longtime partner Nancy Locke in a Los Angeles ceremony Dec. 8. The couple has been together for seven years. Baxter came out on The Today Show in 2009 after they were seen together on a lesbian cruise. —people.com Edith Windsor — 84-year old Greenwich Village resident and plaintiff in the lawsuit that unfurled Section Three of the Defense of Marriage Act earlier this year — has been named as a runnerup for Time’s Person of the Year, which went to Pope Francis. Windsor’s partner Thea Spyer passed away in 2009, leaving Windsor more than $360,000 in estate taxes, despite the fact that they were legally married. A four-page profile of Edith exists on Time online. —Time.com
GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 13–26, 2013
new mayor is elected in 2014, Gloria will remain Council President and the representative for San Diego City Council District Three. For more info visit sandiego.gov/citycountil/cd3. UNION BANK PERFECT ON EQUALITY Union Bank earned a perfect score of 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) 2014 Corporate Equality Index. This is the first year that Union Bank participated in HRC’s rating system, which serves as the national benchmarking tool for corporate policies and practices related to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) employees. With its top score, Union Bank is also recognized as a “Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality” by HRC. “We are extremely proud to receive a perfect score of 100 percent and a ‘Best Places to Work” recognition on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation 2014 Corporate Equality Index,” said Union Bank Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer Annemieke van der Werff in a press release. “Celebrating diversity and inclusion has been part of the bank’s nearly 150-year heritage and it’s exciting when our ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion at all levels within the bank is recognized.” Union Bank’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is illustrated in numerous programs, products and services, such as its annual Local Heroes Awards, which celebrates cultural diversity, and includes extraordinary LGBT honorees. For more info about Local Heroes, visit unionbank.com/global/about/communities/heroes. NEW THAT’S SO GAY! GAME LAUNCHES That’s So Gay! is the name of a new trivia game available just in time for the holidays. A game of LGBTQ
SEEN ON HUFFPO Ocean’s Eleven franchise hotty George Clooney says he’ll never deny all those gay rumors because frankly, he doesn’t “give a shit.” The lifelong eligible bachelor also said, “I’m not going to let anyone make it seem like being gay is a bad thing.” —Gay Voices @ HuffingtonPost.com The uber smart and sharp-witted Rachel Maddow has just signed a six-month contract with Washington Post to write a monthly opinion piece. Her first column will be published the week of Dec. 15. No plans for her to leave MSNBC, however. —Gay Voices @ HuffingtonPost.com SEEN ON GOOGLE ALERTS Los Angeles LGBT Center’s IT systems were compromised between Sept. 17 and Nov. 8, it became known this week. The breach was a sophisticated one searching for credit card and financial info. The Center is working with law enforcement and notifying their nearly 59,000 clients about the cyber attack. —digitaljournal.com Professional athletes Martina Navratilova and Jason Collins spoke at a United Nation’s event on Human Rights Day, adding their voices to help counter anti-LGBT discrimination around the world. Navratilova, the #1 ranked tennis player for decades, has been out since 1981. Collins, a player in the NBA, came out in May of this year. —un.org With the Sochi Winter Olympic games now on the horizon, celebrities are standing up to support the LGBT community in Russia. “Uprising of Love” was launched by Dustin Lance Black and it plans to support organizations there working for change and to give Russian LGBT activists a voice. —usatoday.com This new section shares LGBT-themed news clips from around the world seen across social media platforms. Visit our website at gay-sd.com to access links to the full stories associated with each clip. Got something to share? Tweet it to @gaysd.t
(l to r) Nancy Moors (Hillcrest History Guild), Sonya Stauffer (Hillcrest Business Association) and Luke Terpstra (Hillcrest Town Council) enjoying the Hillcrest Holiday Potluck on Nov. 10, held at the Joyce Beer Community Center in place of the HTC’s monthly meeting. (Photo by sdCNN) Discovery, it features more than 2,400 questions of LGBTQ history and current events. It can be played by two or more people and is ideal for parties and social events. The game seeks to flip the phrase “That’s so gay!” into a positive and fun statement and also serves as an educational tool for both gay and straight players. That’s So Gay! will be made available to student and adults LGBTQ groups — including Gay-Straight Alliances (GSA) — as a fundraising tool, where they can keep $5 for every game sold. “Words can be a tool of our enemies, or can empower us in our work,” said game producer Tracy Baim in a press release. “This game hopes to break down stereotypes while having some fun with our LGBTQ history. The game features color-coded trivia categories similar to Trivial Pursuit, but based on the rainbow colors of the LGBTQ flag. A limited number of copies of That’s So Gay! Are available at Chicago’s Women & Children First Bookstore and Gaymart. Online orders can be made at: thatssogaygame.com
PRIDE @ THE BEACH SEEKS DIRECTOR The North County LGBTQ Resource Center is seeking a new director for its annual Pride @ the beach event to replace outgoing director John Jones. Pride @ the beach is an annual event hosted by the Resource Center to unite LGBT organizations and groups in the North County. The Center’s growth has necessitated bringing on additional human resources and is now asking the community for support. The position is currently strictly a volunteer position, with no compensation to be expected. However, the Board of Director’s goal is to make the position paid somewhere in the near future. The Resource Center is looking for a dynamic, experienced, dedicated, and fun-loving individual who can take Pride to the next level. They are looking for someone who is familiar with the North County community and able to attract more vendors and sponsors. Those interested should contact Executive Director Max Disposti at email@example.com
GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 13–26, 2013
Going home for the holidays?
A basic survival guide
LIFE BEYOND THERAPY Same-sex marriage is once again legal, but many of us still are not considered equal—nor are our legal marriages—by our partner’s parents or even our own parents. The holidays can really drive this feeling home: how do you join your partner’s family (or your family) in holiday events when they can barely admit that she/he is your legal wife/husband? Even if you’re not legally married, the same problem exists: if your in-laws don’t want to meet you or your family doesn’t want to know your partner, what options do the two of you have? I had to face this problem about 15 years ago when my mother and her husband were unwilling to have my then-partner and I stay in her home. Do you visit the relatives by yourself or knowingly bring your partner into a bad situation? This is a decision to make as a couple. Both of you need to talk this one through, so neither of you ends up with hurt feelings. Sometimes, the best deci-
sion is to not subject yourself to the hostility. Other times, there is an alternative. For example, my ex and I stayed with my sister—who lived down the street from my mother— and was supportive of our relationship. We didn’t visit my mother because she didn’t welcome us in her home. In fact, we didn’t see her at all. I wasn’t willing to subject my ex to her hostility (and he agreed). It was tough for all concerned. Often, a compromise can be reached: you might have breakfast alone with your family and dinner with your partner and her/his family. What matters is to come up with a plan that both of you feel okay about. If you and your partner decide to spend time with your homophobic family, resist the temptation to act like an angry child when your family does or says something that annoys you, because they probably will. Remind yourself that you’re an adult now and can handle whatever comes your way. You may have been helpless around your family as a child, but you now are a mature adult with resources to take good care of yourself and your partner. Here are some strategies to consider when going home for the holidays with your partner: • before you go home, tell your family about your partner and the relationship that the two of you have; • limit your exposure to family members who are really awful; • stay at a hotel or with a relative you get along with; • have your own transportation and use it to get away when you need a break; • always provide yourself with an escape route; and • tell your family qualities about your partner that they may find appealing and vice-versa. If you think that this situation I’ve described is difficult, imagine your partner dying and his or her
hostile family shutting you out and pretending you don’t exist. This situation is painfully illustrated in the YouTube video “It Could Happen To You,” which was recently turned into a full-length documentary, “Bridgegroom.” I remember seeing a very similar movie about 15 years ago at an LGBT film festival and a TV movie with a similar theme (about older lesbians where one dies and her children are really abusive both psychologically and legally to her surviving partner). I also remember reading an article in a mainstream gay publication on this subject about 10 years ago. What a difference same-sex marriage and enlightened times make! After watching “It Could Happen To You,” it was clear that sometimes there’s nothing you can do to get in the good graces of your partner’s family. If that’s your situation, please address the legal aspects of your relationship: talk with an attorney about power of healthcare decisions, wills, jointly owned property/bank accounts and that kind of stuff. Whether your in-laws love you or hate you, take good care of your relationship—and each other—psychologically and legally, especially at this time of year. Check out the original “It Could Happen To You” video, made by Tom Bridegroom’s surviving partner Shane Bitney Crone, at youtube.com/watch?v=pR9gyloyOjM. This 10-minute video was developed into a full-feature documentary called “Bridegroom” that debuted in October on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). It is now available online at netflicks.com and at Red Box, which has never offered documentaries in the past but is making an exception with this film. —Michael Kimmel is a licensed psychotherapist who specializes in helping LGBT clients achieve their goals and deal with anxiety, depression, grief, sexually addictive behavior, coming out, relationship challenges and homophobia. Michael is currently accepting new clients. Contact him at 619-955-3311 or visit lifebeyondtherapy.com.t
Mandela’s imprint on equality
DA E E L L I OT T
SOUTH BAY ALLIANCE Nelson Mandela was a hero and a model to us all. His life was dedicated to the struggle for equality in times when many of us would have given up. But he would not. His tenacity, his hope, his vision of what was possible, his willingness to continue in the face of great adversity, and his trust that what he was doing would eventually bear fruit — that is what makes a hero. We all know people like this, but what we forget is that each of us can be and are heroes when we step up to the plate and plod through life’s messes. Change is constant around us, but many of us feel helpless and powerless to guide that change. Many grow impatient and wear y after not seeing the results we want in the time we want; others feel inadequate to the task and choose to do nothing because we fear failure. Mandela, I am certain, had all of these feelings throughout his life, but he chose to continue the struggle and trust that even if he would not live to see it to fruition, the battle was worth
waging. He knew that the change that exemplifies the best of humanity only comes when we push for ward, despite our setbacks, insecurities, limitations, frustrations, or our feelings of hopelessness. The hero dares to hope and then to act. These acts may seem small and even unremarkable because the real work is not necessarily glorious or easily made into drama and theater. The reality is that we have many heroes in the world who live and die without the recognition of their struggle and hope. Nelson Mandela knew that and reached out to the hero in all of us. He stood for them and they for him. Nelson Mandela was a friend to our community. He understood that equality was not a single issue of race, class, gender, religion, or sexuality. He knew that equality had to address all of our differences, embrace them, and celebrate them – not merely tolerate them. As a result, South Africa was the first nation to include in their constitution protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation, and it paved the way for open ser vice in the militar y. In 2005, it was the fifth countr y in the world and the first in Africa to legalize samesex marriage. The past couple years have been extremely good for the LGBT community in the United States. We have seen the end of DADT and the integration of our militar y. We have seen DOMA’s reach limited, and we are watching a deluge of states move toward marriage equality. Public attitudes are changing toward inclusiveness, and all of us dare to hope it is the beginning of the end of a struggle. But our struggle for equality does not stop when we reach our personal goals. It stops when equality is no longer a dream, but a reality for ever yone. This may not happen in our lifetime — you may not believe it will ever happen — yet we must continue to work for it in the face of that doubt. It is a battle worthy of the fight whether we believe it is possible or not. The impossible remains so only when we give up the fight, walk away from the dream, and allow others to dictate which direction our world should take. So as this year ends, be grateful for our progress, be mindful of how much further we have to go, and commit to sharing your spirit as a hero. And when doubt rises — as it will — remember Nelson Mandela, and let his life inspire your mind, heart and spirit. — Dae Elliott is a sociologist and lecturer working at SDSU since 1994. She is one of the founding executive committee members and current chair of South Bay Alliance, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organized in 2006 with the purpose of building a coalition of the LGBT community and allies for social networking, business promotion and political awareness in South San Diego County. South Bay Alliance has been the organizer of South Bay Pride Art & Music Festival since 2007. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 13–26, 2013
(l to r) The farm salad; Mediterranean-style striped sea bass; raw sea scallops with cucumbers, lime and orange yuzu (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.)
f the little birdie that told us the chefs from The Hake Kitchen & Bar might open a restaurant in Hillcrest or North Park is correct, both residents and denizens alike will be doing back flips over their poignant seafood preparations. For now, we journey to Prospect Street in La Jolla to indulge in the Mexican-Mediterranean-Asian fare crafted by this relatively unknown power duo, Roberto Craig and Federico Rigoletti. The chefs are each authors of high-end cookbooks printed in Spanish, and along with managing partner Ricardo Dondisch, they run a dozen different kitchens in and around Mexico City. The Hake marks their first splash onto American soil. More than 60 percent of the menu spotlights oceanic proteins that are grilled, poached, steamed or served raw. The latter arises from the “tiraditos” (sashimi) category, where you’ll find hamachi served in a breathtaking balance of miso, jalapeno and minuscule garlic chips. The list extends to octopus with lemon and mint, plus glistening scallops elevated by bits of chipotle, orange yuzu and thinly sliced cucumber and lime. Raw scallops, normally bland no matter how they’re dressed, never tasted so radiant. Hake, the deep-water fish popular in Spain, goes oddly missing despite its usage in the restaurant’s name. Instead, other species more common to American palates such as tuna, mahi, shrimp and striped bass take center stage. Red meat isn’t altogether forgotten, as the menu obliges with steak frites, a Berkshire pork chop and a hefty braised short rib draped in robust Zinfandel-balsamic demi-glace. Though situated on La Jolla’s main drag, the restaurant is easy to miss because
FRANK SABATINI JR.
it’s located below sidewalk level, between Azul and George’s at the Cove. There are no views from inside, but the ambiance is nonetheless embracing and rather casual for this location, feeling more like an innercity bistro with globe lighting and mixed elements that include subway tiles. Lucky for us, the same consummate waiter (George Gadonas) who happened to service my table in a recent brunch visit to Bertrand at Mister A’s was our server at The Hake. Employed by both restaurants and loaded with Greek charm, he’s the type of professional who meticulously divides shareable plates in front of your eyes with two spoons, making sure each person is given every ingredient in the dish while explaining the various specs along the way. Gracious, warm and on the ball, you can’t help but love him. After being wowed by the sashimi items, we proceeded to tuna chicharron, which became my favorite starter. The finely chopped tuna is floured lightly and fried to a crackly texture in classic chicharron style. What’s surprising is that the chefs mix it with minced pork skins for a meatier outcome. The dish is clenched brilliantly with onions, cilantro and soy butter. Served alongside were house-made corn tortillas and a dramatic sauce of sesame and olive oils, white wine vinegar and jalapenos. All combined these were the best tacos I’ve ever assembled in 10 seconds. Mahi tacos rubbed in smoked guajillo peppers and constructed in the kitchen followed. They too were over-the-top luscious when biting through a shield of house coleslaw, avocado and chipotle aioli. In addition to the braised short rib entrée, which sported incredible girth and
tenderness, we ordered the striped bass. lime semifreddo and then onto dense chocoWe were reluctant at first, fearing that the late-hazelnut cake made with Nutella ganache Kalamata olives in the set would overpower and fruity raisin-like goji berries. As with the the delicate, yet distinct flavor of the fish. savory dishes, the desserts revealed finesse But in true Mediterranean style, the chefs complexity in terms of flavors and textures. got it right by using the olives sparingly Our meal zigzagged three continents, along with a few baby heirloom tomatoes, yet everything along the way tasted cohecapers, lemon and watercress. sive. The chefs’ desire to open another resFrom a list of à la carte sides, the polentaurant in Uptown isn’t yet set in stone, and ta struck an ideal balance of creaminess and we’re told that if and when they do, it would graininess. The crispy broccoli, however, likely have a different name and menu. was a minute overdone and arrived without Whatever the case, their cooking deserves the Serrano ham listed on the menu, thus a big audience.t turning the dish from its intended Spanish construct into a contemporary American departure. An impressive drink list augments the good eats at The Hake, with a few notable Cabernets from Napa (Faust, Atlas Peak and Buehler) and spirited concoctions using fresh organics and crafty syrups. You’ll also find an ambitious selection of premium mezcals, hailing mostly from Oaxaca. Dinner ended with a bang as we poked through a thick 1250 Prospect St. (La Jolla) mantle of basil cream leading to key
Prices: Appetizers & sashimi, $6 to $18; entrees, $14 to $33
10 GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 13–26, 2013
Holiday Gift Guide Bino’s Bistro & Crêperie Hillcrest Colonnade 1260 University Ave. San Diego, CA 92103 619-688-1674 | binosbistro.com After 14 years of slinging crepes, we closed up shop in Coronado and re-opened our European-style Bistro in the heart of Hillcrest. Our new location has a laid back, café vibe with a beautiful outdoor patio and lots of European flair. Most importantly, we want Bino’s Bistro & Crêperie to be unpretentious, reasonably priced and welcoming to all who walk through the door. We are still using an old-world French recipe to make the same sweet and savory crepes that our customers craved in Coronado. As for the rest of the menu, we’re keeping it simple, yet flavorful, by using local, organic ingredients, whenever possible, to create bistrostyle dishes made from scratch. So, if you have not done so already… stop by, enjoy some wonderful food and meet our friendly staff! Bino and Roswitha Sanchez, proprietors Column One – Steve Moore 401 University Ave. San Diego, CA 92103 619-299-9074 San Diego’s Gardenware Source Since 1987 Everyone loves a bargain ... especially when the holidays are upon us. This December, the best bargains to be found are at Column One! After 26 years in Hillcrest, we will be closing our doors for the last time on New Year’s Eve. Take advantage of our liquidation prices—savings of 20 to 75 percent—on everything throughout the store. Gifts, gardenware, home accessories, statuary and fountains … EVERYTHING is priced to sell quickly! So don’t delay, the bargains are first-come, first served. And even if you’re not shopping, please stop by to say “farewell.” We’ll miss you! Fitness Together 4019 Goldfinch St. San Diego, CA 92103 619-794-0014 fitnesstogether.com/missionhills
PRIVACY, RESPECT FOR YOUR TIME, RESULTS. These items are the cornerstones of what Fitness Together is all about. We have created an environment where our clients train in luxury private suites away from the unwanted stares, and the waiting found in most “gyms.” Our Nutrition Together program helps you stay accountable to sensible food behaviors that enhance your transformation. For those seeking serious personal fitness training and nutritional guidance in a private, welcoming and safe studio that allows them to commit to, and achieve their wellness goals, Fitness Together is the answer. Our Holiday Fitness Offer is your choice of nine sessions for $549, or three sessions for $149. It’s a great Christmas gift, too! – Blake and Gwen Beckcom, owners The Old Globe 1363 Old Globe Way San Diego, CA 92101 619-234-5623 theoldglobe.org America’s favorite holiday fable returns for its 16th joyous year! Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is a wonderful, whimsical musical based upon the classic Dr. Seuss book. Back for its 16th incredible year, the family favorite features the songs “This Time of Year,” “Santa for a Day” and “Fah Who Doraze,” the delightful carol from the popular animated version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Celebrate the holidays as the Old Globe Theatre is once again transformed into the snowcovered Whoville, right down to the last can of Who-hash. The Old Globe produces a year-round season of plays and musicals on its three stages, including its highly regarded Shakespeare festival. Numerous Broadway-bound premieres and revivals, such as “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,” “The Full Monty” and “Damn Yankees” have been developed at The Old Globe and have gone on to enjoy highly successful runs in New York and at regional theatres across the country. The Old Globe is at the forefront of the nation’s leading performing arts organizations, setting a standard for excellence in American theater.
Stuart Benjamin and Co. 7510 Hazard Center Dr. San Diego, CA 92108 619-297-7666 stuartbenjamin.com
Stuart Benjamin & Co. proudly serves as San Diego’s top jeweler when it comes to service and quality We strive to create unique, one-of-akind jewelry in a very comfortable, no-pressure atmosphere. Our staff offers personal service to clients looking for uniquely designed and crafted jewelry. Our service and integrity has qualified us to be accepted into the American Gem Society. This is a unique honor as only five percent of jewelry outlets in the nation qualify for membership. Need your jewelry repaired or appraised? Stuart Benjamin & Co. offers on-site jewelry repair by a master jeweler and appraisal services while you wait. We are more than happy to assist you with any questions or concerns you might have. “What A Dish!” 8209 La Mesa Blvd. La Mesa, CA 91942 619-644-3474 facebook.com/whatadishsd
We specialize in both Fiestaware dinnerware and Fiestaware tabletop accessories and also offer open-stock dinnerware and tabletop items from around the world, including glassware from Portugal. Fiestaware, however, is our pride and joy. We also offer a wonderful selection of DANSK dinnerware and many of their beautiful serving pieces. We have focused our attention on offering unique, one-of-a-kind items that are unavailable at larger department stores. At “What A Dish!” we offer a wide range of gourmet food items from Stonewall Kitchen and also loca San Diego manufacturers. We also have a wide variety of candles from Voluspa, Zabana and Kinsey. We also offer GoVino wine glasses, a unique plastic wine glass, which can be reused or recycled. In addition, we have the ability to order any item, in any color to fulfill our customer’s needs. If you break a DISH, we can order it for you.t
GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 13–26, 2013
The his and hers 2013
holiday gift guide
Margie Palmer | GSD Reporter It’s that time of year again. Now that the holidays are upon us you may be scrambling to find the perfect gift for a certain special someone. But what do you get for the person who has everything? We’re taking some of the stress out of your shopping with a list of unique presents for that special guy—or girl—in your life.
FOR THE GUYS:
Cellex-C Enhancer G.L.A. Eye Balm: In Southern California, everyone wants to look their best, but we’re not going to be in our 20s forever. That’s not to say we can’t look the part. This rich, non-irritating eye cream not only moisturizes, it helps soften the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This product is most easily found online, with some websites offering to ship for free. RuPaul’s GLAMAZON: Leave it to the world’s most famous drag queen to launch her own makeup line. “Glamazon is for men and women of all ages who share one thing in common: they are not afraid to be fierce,” said the dynamic diva. Gift boxes include blush, eye shadow, liquid eyeliner, mascara and a waterproof eye pencil. The sets are available through Colorrevolution and Ricky’s NYC and are a perfect stocking stuffer for the queen who has everything. Mahogany-framed wine cork coasters: Behold – a legitimate reason to drink up! These coaster frames can be filled with keepsake corks so the wine memories remain. Not only is this product unique, it’s a fun, eco-friendly way to turn someone’s love for wine into a handsome home accent. The set of four includes frames and instructions – it’s up to you to provide the corks and imagination. The wine cork coaster set can be found at wineenthusiast.com. A personalized option is also available. Stocking Stuf fers, a collection of homoerotic Christmas tales: Any book with a Santa-Dad-
dy on the cover is bound to please. This collection of hot holiday stories is perfect for that special guy in your life, no matter the season. As one reviewer put it, these erotic tales are bound to warm any December night or can have you feeling as if it’s Christmas in July. “Stocking Stuffers” is authored by David Laurents and can be found in stores and online.
FOR THE GIRLS:
A spa day for two: There are dozens of great spas in the San Diego area and a good massage is a great way to put a smile on both your faces. Everyone loves to be pampered, by the end of the day your trophy girlfriend will be soft, relaxed and feeling like a million bucks. Packages include everything from facials, hair care, nail care, body scrubs, body wraps, microdermabrasion and more. If you’re looking to splurge yet save, be sure to check out what’s available on Groupon. Spa packages are a hot commodity and a number of businesses offer deep discounts to online shoppers. A gondola trip on the Cays: Not too many people know about the Coronado-based Gondola Company, but ever yone should. Each 50-minute cruise is private and includes ice buckets, glasses
and a wine opener (you’ll need to provide your own snacks and wine). Italian-style music is played throughout your time on the water and cruises are available between 11 a.m. and midnight. The gondolas depart from the Loews Crown Isle Marina and travel through the canals and water ways of the Coronado Cays, a small community about four miles south of Coronado Village. Cruises need to be booked in advance and can be done online or by calling 619-429-6317. Craft beer of the month club: Americans are finally starting to treat craft beer as seriously as they do fine wine. The Craft Beer Club offers exceptional brews from Brewmasters all over the countr y. Each selection is produced by small-production, independent brewers, who use traditional ingredients and time-honored methods. Whether you’re looking to purchase a single shipment or have a box delivered each month, this gift is bound to please. The beer series features 12 beers per month and includes four different selections of three each, although a 24-beer shipment options is also available. For more information call 800-200-2959 or visit them online at craftbeerclub.com.t
GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 13–26, 2013
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LGBT Wedding Announcements
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Green Fresh Florals 3785 Fourth Ave., (at Robinson) San Diego, CA 92103 greenfreshflorals.com | 619-544-0504
Passion thrives at Green Fresh Florals Carlos Franco of Hillcrest’s Green Fresh Florals, has a passion for design which is unsurpassed in San Diego. Trained in Paris and London, Franco has combined a classic French motif with contemporary styles to create world-class designs. These arrangements have been featured at top venues such as the San Diego Museum of Art, the San Diego Symphony, the Museum of Photographic Arts, the Westin Gaslamp Hotel, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Oliver McMillan and Bloomingdales. “I approach design as a collaboration with my clients. Together, I can mold their desires into creations that are unique and yet reflective of their personality or brand,” says Franco. He was recently chosen by the San Diego Museum of Art to be the Rotunda Designer for the annual art and flower spectacular “Art Alive” held in April this year. Over the past year, Green Fresh Florals has grown from an outdoor venue into a showcase for home and garden décor, plants and containers. With his large event and wedding clientele, Franco has enlisted the help of two additional designers, Travis Rogers and Carla Bassi, who help bring his unique floral and design vision to life.
GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 13–26, 2013
DoubleTree by Hilton 1646 Front St. | San Diego, CA 92101 619-819-4652 | DoubleTree.com What better way to say “I Do” in America’s Finest City than with stunning urban & bay views of San Diego as your backdrop? At the Doubletree by Hilton San Diego Downtown we can make that your wedding day reality. Once the formalities are over, move into one of our beautiful ballrooms and celebrate in style with a scrumptious brunch, trendy cocktail reception or elegant dinner for you and your guests. Our friendly and gracious staff anxiously await the opportunity to exceed your expectations and truly make the happiest day of your life one to remember. Contact our Sales & Catering Department today for further details at 619-819-4651. DoubleTree by Hilton, Downtown San Diego
GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 13–26, 2013
Friday, December 13
SAME HOLIDAY SOCIAL: Join members of San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality (SAME) to celebrate their fifth anniversar y, learn more about the organization and share some holiday cheer. 7 – 9 p.m. Bamboo Lounge, 1475 University Ave., Hillcrest.
Saturday, December 14
JINGLE BELL ROCK BALL: A fun-filled holiday event to benefit the San Diego LGBT Center’s #GivingTogether campaign with your host, Aaron Heier, half of “He Said She Said,” and more than a dozen others. Enjoy holiday cheer, drinks, bites and music spinning. Surprises for those who pledge to give at least $15 at the event. 6 – 9 p.m. Commonwealth Lounge, 1263 University Ave., Hillcrest. UGLY SWEATER PAR TY AND BLANKET DRIVE: Join Will Z and the Warm Smiles Foundation at Flick’s in your worst holiday sweater and bring a blanket or a toy for needy kids in Mexico. From 9 p.m. – close. 1017 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit sdflicks. com or call 619-297-2056. GAY MEN IN HOLIDAY TIGHTS: Join the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus for their annual holiday show, “The Nutcracker: Men in Tights” at the historic Balboa Theatre, 868 Fourth Ave., Downtown. Show starts at 8 p.m. For more info or tickets visit sandiegotheatres.org or call 619-615-4000.
Sunday, December 15
DECK’EM OUT 4 THE HOLIDAYS: Join the SUP Chicks So Cal Crew (SUP=stand up paddlers) at this Urban Surf 4 Kids gift wrapping party event. Their goal is to collect 500 presents—surf attire, hats, t-shirts, board shorts and flip flops—for orphans and foster youth in So Cal and Baja Mexico. Bring a pair of board shorts in any size and a roll of wrapping paper. 1:30 – 5 p.m. The Wavehouse, 3125 Ocean Front Walk, Mission Beach. GAY MEN IN HOLIDAY TIGHTS: Join the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus for their annual holiday show, “The Nutcracker: Men in Tights” at the historic Balboa Theatre, 868 Fourth Ave., Downtown. Show starts at 3 p.m. For more info or tickets visit sandiegotheatres.org or call 619-615-4000.
Monday, December 16
MOSCOW BALLET PERFORMS NUTCRACKER: Talk about gay men in tights—come see Moscow Ballet’s celebrated “Great Russian Nutcracker”— performed by a company of 40 for two nights (Dec. 16 & 17) only. Includes a special tribute to world peace and 200 new costumes, all hand-embellished by costume makers in St. Petersburg’s oldest costume shop. Tickets start at $28 but discounts for militar y, seniors and AAA are available. Copley Symphony Hall, 750 B St., Downtown. Visit nutcracker.com/buy-tickets or call 619-235-0804.
Tuesday, December 17
PAINTING AND VINO: Local professional artists instruct attendees on painting a masterpiece. Tonight – two locations: (1) “Poppies at Sunset” at Michael’s Lounge, Hyatt Regency La Jolla, 3777 La Jolla Dr. (2) Chagall’s “Adam and Eve” 98 Bottles in Little Italy, 2400 Kettner Blvd., Suite #110. Both events are from 6 – 9 p.m. and are 21+up. Cost is $45, all supplies included, but registration is required. Visit paintingandvino.com. MOSCOW BALLET PERFORMS NUTCRACKER: Talk about gay men in tights— come see Moscow Ballet’s celebrated “Great Russian Nutcracker”—performed by a company of 40 for two nights (Dec. 16 & 17) only. Includes a special tribute to world peace and 200 new costumes, all hand-embellished by costume makers in St. Petersburg’s oldest costume shop. Tickets start at $28 but discounts for militar y, seniors and AAA are available. Copley Symphony Hall, 750 B St., Downtown. Visit nutcracker.com/buy-tickets or call 619-235-0804.
Wednesday, December 18
SUE PALMER AT CROCE’S: Make sure you catch our beloved Queen of Boogie Woogie Sue Palmer at Croce’s in the final weeks of its operation. Sue has been a staple at the iconic jazz bar. 7:30 p.m. Croce’s Restaurant and Jazz Bar, 802 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter. For more info or reser vations, visit croces.com or call 619-233-4355. DREAMGIRLS Christmas Revue: Join Chad Michaels and the entire DreamGirls crew for a special Christmas version of their popular review. Think Grinch, Nightmare before Christmas, etc.,
Sunday, December 15
Cris Williamson will perform at her CD release in San Diego. (Photo by Irene Jones)
CD RELEASE PERFORMANCE: The iconic Cris Williamson is coming to San Diego (one of her favorite places) for an acoustic set to support the release of her new “Pray Tell: Songs of the Soul.” 7:30 p.m. Dinner packages are sold out but reser ved row seating is still available for $22. AMSD Concerts, 4650 Mansfield St, Normal Heights. For tickets or more info amsdconcerts.com and holiday cheer. Show starts at 8 p.m., $10 cover. Urban MO’s, 308 University Ave. Visit urbanmos.com or call 619-491-0400.
Thursday, December 19
GET A FREE SHAVE AT MR. BROWN’S: Grand opening of the new ultimate barber salon in North Park will offer complimentar y shaves and cuts. This modern-while-still classic barbershop features an elegant lounge, a pool table, televisions, and a bar, making it not only a place you cut your hair but socialize, too. 3064 University Ave., in North Park. Festivities begin at 6 p.m. After party will be next door at Seven Grand Whiskey Bar. For more info, visit misterbrowns.com or reser ve your spot at RSVP@besocialpr.com.
Friday, December 20
A BABETTE CHRISTMAS: As the 20th anniversar y, this is a VERY Babette Christmas! Expect to see special guests on this special night. DJ Taj will spin after the 8 p.m. show. 421 University Ave., Hillcrest. Mosuniverse.com.
Saturday, December 21
BEAR BRUNCH: Ever y first and third Saturday, join local cuddly bears at Har vey Milk’s American Diner from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. 535 University Ave., in Hillcrest. For more info visit har veymilksamericandiner.com or call 619-295-2747. COMPLETELY KAHLO: “The Complete Frida Kahlo. Her Paintings. Her Life. Her Story.”
Exhibition with audio guide features 123 precise replicas of Kahlo’s known paintings in their original size, becoming the largest, most comprehensive exhibition ever created about the iconic Mexican artist’s work, life and story, through Jan 10, 2014. Today 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Barracks 3, Liberty Station, 2765 Truxton Rd., Tickets start $12.50. Visit ntclibertystation.com/fridakahlo.php.
Sunday, December 22
a Rainbow Sunday School at 5 p.m. Ser vices officiated by Rev. Houston Burnside, Jr. 2633 Denver St., San Diego, 92110. For more info, visit themetchurch.org. MG — JOIN MISSIONGATHERING at 6 p.m. & 11 p.m., with Pastor Rich McCullen. 3090 Polk Ave., North Park. Visit missiongathering. com or call 619-624-9335.
Wednesday, December 25
BE GAY FOR GOOD: The local nonprofit that organizes community service projects to assist nonprofits in the area is looking for volunteers to help Promises2Kids. Volunteers will sort and wrap holiday gifts that have been donated to needy children. 9 a.m. Polinsky Children’s Center, 9400 Ruffin Court, Kearny Mesa. For more info, send Jeff Fleming a message at facebook.com/NeonJeff.
FLICK’S IS OPEN! Welfare Wednesday starting at 8 p.m. 1017 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit sdflicks.com or call 619-97-2056.
Thursday, December 26
Monday, December 23
SCROOGE IN ROUGE: Special Monday night holiday performance of the gender-bending Christmas Carol production at Diversionar y Theatre – guaranteed to be the only one in town with drag. 4545 Park Blvd., University Heights. 8 p.m. For more info or tickets, visit diversionar y. org or call 619-220-0097.
Tuesday, December 24 Christmas Eve Services
MCC — JOIN METROPOLITAN COMMUNITY CHURCH for two candlelight ser vices, 5 p.m. & 7 p.m., with
SUE PALMER AT CROCE’S: Make sure you catch our beloved Queen of Boogie Woogie at Croce’s in the final week of its operation. Sue has been a staple at the iconic jazz bar. 7:30 p.m. Croce’s Restaurant and Jazz Bar, 802 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter. For more info or reservations, visit croces.com or call 619-233-4355. SCROOGE IN ROUGE: One of the last performances of the gender-bending Christmas Carol production at Diversionar y Theatre – guaranteed to be the only one in town with drag. Three actors play 23 different roles. 4545 Park Blvd., University Heights. 8 p.m. For more info or tickets, visit diversionar y.org or call 619-220-0097. For inclusion in the calendar, email email@example.com
GEE WHIZ, LIZ Across 1 Top 5 Path through leaves of grass 10 In need of a massage 14 Just one of those things 15 Eagle on a par five 16 TV’s Trebek 17 “South Park” composer Shaiman 18 Lubricated 19 One who says, “Let us prey” 20 With 34-Across, where sister Liz is 22 ___ Hari of espionage 23 Part of an IRS return 24 Type of fluid 26 “Love Songs” poet Sara 30 Bounce on the knee 31 Stroke the ball gently 33 Rods’ partners 34 See 20-Across 39 Error or erection 40 Short term employee 41 Susie Bright, to erotica
Gee Whiz, Liz solution on page 15 43 Game in which you bend over 49 Provides a seat for 51 What Garbo “vanted” to be 52 Bahrain biggie 53 Source of the quote 57 One with flaming pants? 58 Hurricanes of sports 59 Targets of men who make passes 60 Suffix with sermon 61 Banish from a flat 62 Buster Brown’s dog 63 A Scout may do a good one 64 Piddle around 65 Sucker’s start?
Down 1 Tops 2 Monopoly square 3 Style expert Stewart 4 Emulates Paul Cadmus 5 Unload loads 6 Spin like a top 7 Alice’s Restaurant patron 8 Andrew Van de Camp, and others 9 Avoided commitment 10 “Giant” actor 11 Poisonous bush 12 How an a**hole behaves? 13 Blows out 21 Leno’s announcer Hall 25 Shopping area 27 Letters on love letters to GIs 28 Judy’s daughter Lorna 29 Merman of Broadway fame 32 What cons do 34 Anal type? 35 New member
36 Put off 37 Boy who shoots off arrows 38 Sweaty place 39 Cut at a slope 42 Just missed, on the green 44 “Poppycock!” 45 Commands of admirals 46 Bush predecessor’s nickname 47 Liable to blow 48 Yellowstone sight 50 Easily screwed 54 Train track 55 Village People hit 56 Place for Maupin’s tales
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Bryan McNutt, M.A., LMFT, GC-C Psychotherapist (MFC 52348) Certified Grief Counselor 3960 Park Blvd. Suite C., San Diego, CA. 92103 (619) 540-6560 Inevitably, our lives will bring about difficult experiences. We’ll face losses, crises and questions that challenge our sense of direction in life. Yet within these moments of turmoil, we also carry with us the inherent potential for growth and change. The path to healing often requires a deepened commitment to fostering an authentic relationship with ourselves, others and the world around us. A psychotherapist’s goal is to work collaboratively with the patient, and to help them understand the challenges and possibilities in life. Bryan McNutt offers psychotherapy and counseling for individuals, couples and families. He specializes in grief and loss, older adults, chronic and terminal illness concerns, and issues specific to LGBT concerns.
Solar Rain Water
302 Washington St., Suite 112
Are you following us on…
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Void where prohibited, some restrictions may apply.
Joe Whitaker operates H.R. Tactics, a full-service human resource consulting firm in Mission Hills, providing a broad range of human resource support, products and solutions for small to midsized companies with fees designed to put affordable human resources in reach. He can be contacted at 804-4551 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Gay San Diego
GEE WHIZ, LIZ, from pg. 14
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GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 13–26, 2013
My 8 Minutes with Pop star on (not) being a gay icon, feeling like an outsider and that ‘adorable and hilarious’ comment Chris Azzopardi | Q Syndicate It’s Britney, bitch. No, really, it is. She’s on the phone. And Britney Spears — the meek, reserved, media-shy entertainer — doesn’t get on the phone with press very often these days. She’s speaking to me from L.A. on a busy day full of frenzied promo leading up to her eighth release, “Britney Jean,” when she drops the word that elicited eye rolls from some in the gay community. The word is “adorable,” and Spears — who, in a radio interview with San Francisco radio station 99.7 NOW FM, used it to describe her beauty team (they’re also “hilarious,” she said at the time) — mentions it to me when I ask her how wild the gay boys go when they’re in the midst of their pop princess. “They’re adorable,” says Spears, 32. “They’re absolutely adorable.” It seems like an appropriate time to tell her how that “adorable and hilarious” comment went viral and rubbed some the wrong way. “Wait, what? Who felt the other way?” she asks, sincerely concerned she’s offended people, and even a little lost. You get the impression Britney Spears doesn’t Google herself, so I fill her in. “I would never say anything to be mean to them. I love my gay fans. Gay people are always usually my best friends in the whole world,” she says. “I completely adore them.” Considering the pop star’s clout in the gay community, it’s obviously mutual. From the then-17-year-old’s sexually suggestive breakout hit “... Baby One More Time” — when the once-Mouseketeer, dressed in that iconic Catholic schoolgirl getup, merged childhood innocence with the onset of sexual desire — to “Toxic,” easily one of the greatest gay club jams of the aughts, Spears has influenced the queens and queers of the dance floor as much as they’ve influenced her. “I get inspiration from them on almost all of my songs,” Spears says of her gay fans. “They’re somewhat girls, so it’s so inspiring to do stuff that they like to hear, like the cool ‘in’ stuff. Whatever I do for each record is definitely inspired by them.” If you’ve heard 2007’s defiantly
bold “Blackout” and its pop-dance follow-up “Circus,” and then, obviously, “Femme Fatale,” you know Britney isn’t just full of it. These are really gay albums. But her gayest? Is it “Britney Jean”? “I would say so, yes,” Spears says, sounding almost unsure, as if the gayness exists equitably on all her releases (and, really, it does). “I just feel like it has that feeling. You can’t really put your finger on it. It just really has that feeling of ... that.” “Work Bitch” has the feeling of “that” — of gay — so much so that Spears herself has said it’s a salute to her queer fans. The title is “a term of endearment” and was inspired by gay patter among her pals. What other queer street slang has she picked up from them? She snickers, letting her Louisiana drawl fully flex. “I don’t really know that much. I mean, I hang out with gays all the time. They always surprise me. It changes weekly, you know?” “The slang you learn?” I ask, just to be clear. “Yeah.” So maybe Britney doesn’t watch “RuPaul’s Drag Race” on the regular, maybe she isn’t out getting all crazy at the gay clubs (she tells me that being a mom doesn’t allow for nights out with her friends at queer bars, but before children: “Yeah, always”), but part of her — a part she’s not really addressed until now — can empathize with the plight of growing up gay. “Alien,” one of the most selfreflective tracks on “Britney Jean,” alludes to her own feelings of being an outcast, of being alone, of being Britney Spears: “Had to get used to the world I was on / While yet still unsure if I knew where I belong / That was then, like an alien.” “The song is basically about when you’re all alone and you feel like you’re alienated from the world,” Spears says. “I think it’s human nature; we all innately do that sometimes and keep to ourselves, and that’s what the song is about.” It was during her second release, 2000’s “Oops! ... I Did It Again,” with its self-empowerment mantra “Stronger,” that she recognized a big gay following. “I really started noticing more coming to the shows,” Spears recalls. “People were emulating my clothes and wearing the same outfits, and it was just really fun.”
Through the years, she’s met many of these gay boys after shows, where, she says, “a couple of them have told me about their heartbreaks and shared stories about their boyfriends, which has been really kind of sweet.” I tell her we relate to people who fall down and get right back up. Britney, for all her success, has been to the top, but not without seeing the bottom. Between 2006 and 2008, Spears divorced Kevin Federline, fought tirelessly for the custody of her two boys and sobered up at a drug rehab facility. There was also the panty-less partying, the British accent, the head-shaving and the time she attacked a paparazzo with an umbrella. Life was looking bleak for Britney then, and she knew it. On “Piece of Me,” a track off “Blackout,” Spears called herself “Miss Bad Media Karma.” But when she talks about the time she felt alienated, there’s no mention of this more recent regrettable history. It’s clear — not just from our chat, but the rare times she’s been on the phone with a journalist in the last five years — that she doesn’t care to look back. For the most part, anyway. “Since I was in high school, I’ve been kind of a shy person,” Spears admits to me. I ask, “Would you say you felt like an outsider then?” Her voice drops. “A little bit, yeah.” Because she felt different as a kid, but also, of course, musically — Spears, despite her public ups and downs, has been a mainstay in the queer scene for the last 15 years — I wonder if Britney considers herself what many call her: a gay icon. “I don’t know about that,” she says, surprisingly frank. “But I know I do have gay fans.” I remind her that a large part of the community sees her as a gay icon. Her response? “That’s nice. I don’t know about that.” But surely she’s thought about her status in the gay community, right? “Not really, no.” What about equal marriage? Would Britney like to see her gay friends — she tells me later, via email, that she has an “amazing” relationship with them, many of which are her dancers — get married? “Yeah,” she says. Then silence.
Britney will soon start a two-year residency at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. (Photo by Michelangelo Di Battista) (I give her the opportunity to elaborate over email after our phone chat: “Yeah, it would be a special moment.”) “So you believe gay people deserve equal rights?” “Yeah,” she assures. (Via email: “I think everyone should be treated equally.”) At this point, seven minutes into the conversation, a publicist grabs Britney’s attention. She tells me to hang on a second. Because she’s getting whisked away for a “Britney Jean” listening session that she’s already late to, “This has to be the last question,” she informs, sounding distracted. I ask about Las Vegas, where she’s launching her two-year residency, “Britney: Piece of Me,” at Planet Hollywood. Expect half-naked men — she says, because obviously — but also
“look forward to a really good time. They’re gonna definitely feel like they’re a part of a show.” Milking every second of my scheduled 10 minutes with her by sneaking in one final question, I ask her which girl kiss she preferred: the cheek peck Rihanna gave her during the 2011 Billboard Awards, or the legendary Madonna lip-lock at the Video Music Awards? There’s brief silence, a “thank you” and then a sudden click. That’s it. Our eight minutes together. And just like that, Britney Spears gives exactly what she promised: a piece of her. — Chris Azzopardi is the editor of Q Syndicate, the international LGBT wire service. Reach him via his website at chris-azzopardi.com.t
GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 13–26, 2013
SD Hoops league sees unparalleled parity San Diego’s only LGBT basketball league, SD Hoops, kicked off the 2013-2014 fall season in October with eight teams vying for a championship. I joined this league in 2006, and now in my eighth season, I do not believe I have seen this level of parity before. Top to bottom, the teams are fairly even and certainly capable of beating each other on any given night. In recent years, we had a team go undefeated for the entire season. I once played on a team that did not win a game the entire season. That was a disheartening experience, because the point of recreational leagues is to go out and have fun while playing, and to feel like your team has a chance to win. This year, every team in the league should feel confident that it can win. The parity could partially be attributed to a tightening of roster rules and how the league handles its draft and in-season player acquisitions. Honestly, though, I believe it stems from an influx of talented young players coming into the league, both gay and straight. While it is true that the league is “straighter” than it used to be, talented LGBT players have been joining in large numbers over the past two-three seasons. A look at each team’s strengths:
Coached by Noah Ingram, a speedy guard with a deadly
three-point shot if left unguarded, this squad relies on athleticism and pressure defense. Ingram and Ray Valenzuela play the game at 100 miles per hour, constantly defending the ball as well as pushing the offense up and down the floor. Teams can get tired playing against this style. And “Ace” Vieyra is quickly earning himself a reputation as one of the best all-around players in the league. He has great hops, rebounds well, and always seems to find the ball on the offensive end. Sami Sweiss throws in an occasional jumper and rebounds well, too. Nick Daniels joins me as the team’s only centers, though the offense runs through our guards.
BULLS AND BEARS
It would be foolish to ever count out a Paul Demke-led team, as the veteran always pioneers a well-coached squad that does well in the playoffs. His balanced roster this year features a rebound vacuum in Jeff Lehmann (who may be the tallest player in the league), solid contributors in Dan Gapp and Dustin Mears, and high-speed scorer Brandon Patchett, who seems to live along the baseline creating scoring opportunities. The team initially struggled out of the gate but has since welcomed back top-five scorer Jay Irby, who recently completed his recovery from knee surgery. Demke himself is known for attacking the basket and drawing fouls.
Adapt, embrace, commit and gear up
BLAKE & GWEN BECKCOM
Patrick Schoetter (left, in Wsup Now jersey) is a two-time MVP. (Photo by Joe Covino)
It could be argued that Dave Batzer’s team boasts the best center in the league, in the name of newcomer Greg Carson, who joined SD Hoops in summer. The lanky big man is active on the offensive glass, creating frustrating second-chance points. It takes a lot of energy and manpower to defend his post game, and in doing so, sniper Paul Piercy is often freed up to hit big shots. Philicia Harris is a tremendous talent as well, both as a ball-handler and shooter. And newbie Sam Marquez can really shoot the basketball. This team has a lot of scoring weapons.
HILLCREST BREWING COMPANY
An injury to Brian Jinings may hurt this team in the short term, but having player/coach A.C. Carter may be enough to overcome that problem. Carter is an MVP candidate who has taken games over in the past, capable of dropping 30 points on any given night. As A.C. goes, so will this team.
John Crockett has coached The Loft to back-to-back titles, even with different rosters, which shows that the man knows how to run a team. Joe Mattia is their scorer, though Johnny Stultz is probably the team’s best overall player, as he is not only a terrific scorer but possibly the best defender in the league. He gets his hand on the ball with lightning quickness. Marcus Lenihan is a high-energy scrapper who outhustles everyone for loose balls and rebounds, despite not being the biggest guy out there. Robbie Baker, newcomer to SD Hoops and former commissioner of the Dallas LGBT league, is a talented forward as well. Coach Crockett has game, too.
The team may currently reside in last place, but do not expect them to roll over come playoff time. In January, near the season’s halfway mark, they will be welcoming back All-Star Eric Reissner to their lineup, once he moves back to San Diego. Reissner was a key cog in the aforementioned undefeated team’s title run a few years ago. Team him with big man Tommy Miles (athletic, strong) and speedy guard Eddie Quintero, and this Pecs team has as good of a shot at the title as anyone.
Captained by the lovable Sereeta Jones, who is sitting out the season while rehabbing a knee injury, this squad has talent up and down the roster. Start with Brandon Horrocks, a big man who plays as intelligently as anyone I have seen at the center position, and is mechanically difficult to defend, thanks to his wing span. Devin Timpson has to be the fastest player in the league, a constant fastbreak threat every time his team pulls down a rebound. Adam Neese is sneaky deceptive, hitting baseline and free-throw line jumpers not often made by taller players. Darius Artiola is a fighter who plays tough and gets to a lot of loose balls. Brett Drake and Bryan Robbins can hit threes when left uncovered.
In a league where ever y team is capable of winning, this roster may stand out to me as being the best of a good group. Coach James Vidovich has improved his game ever y year, both in creating driving opportunities and knocking down multiple three-pointers during one of his patented hot streaks. It does not hurt that the team boasts two MVP candidates in Patrick Schoettler (two-time winner) and Jon Dyer (runner-up). Each can play low or shoot from outside, and both are supreme rebounding machines. Pat Jackson and Derek Rice are each quite capable of dropping in double digits in points if teams concentrate on the two stars. SD Hoops has almost reached the halfway mark and if the first five weeks were any indication, the regular season is merely going to be a war of attrition. Avoid any major injuries, and any team can go in to the playoffs thinking they could win it all. The league was founded in 1999 and plays every Wednesday night between 6 – 10 p.m. at Golden Hill Rec Center. Visit sdhoops. net for more information. —Jeff Praught is actively involved in the LGBT sports community, where he plays in the local softball (AFCSL), football (SDAFFL) and basketball (SD Hoops) leagues. He has served on AFCSL’s board of officers in various capacities and is currently the commissioner of SD Hoops.t
Adopt a convenient fitness-friendly schedule With mornings buzzing to get kids to school on time and afternoons filling up quickly with after-school activities, your window of opportunity for getting in your workout may seem to be disappearing quicker than the afternoon sun setting on the horizon. To keep your fitness routine on track, you may have to adjust your workout schedule to earlier in the day before everyone in the house is awake, or head outside to exercise right after you drop your kids off at school. If your kids are enrolled in afterschool activities, you also can schedule your own fitness time during their extracurricular commitments. Rather than sitting on the bleachers reading a book during sports practices, walk laps around the field with a friend or go for a run around the park. Walk or run the stands themselves … oh my!! By being active when your kids are busy, you can be more efficient with your time and make working out convenient with your family’s schedule. Your location should always be convenient to where you work and live. With the days getting shorter and darker earlier, pick somewhere close so you don’t have to allocate additional time driving far to your workout location. Embrace consistent activity As weather fluctuates during the this season, it can be helpful to have a few indoor alternatives lined up for when calm weather quickly turns into cold, wet weather. Yes, it will probably rain again this month in So Cal. So, this can be a great time for incorporating new indoor activities into your fitness routine such as racquetball, fitness classes, kick boxing, yoga, spin or strength training. The most important thing is to not let unbearable weather derail your fitness program and attitude. Instead, focus on staying consistently active by striving to do something, even if it’s only a 10-minute workout, every day. A lot of people enjoy being outside, but when you can’t — due to weather, or shortened days — you need a “Plan B” option. It’s important to add variety to keep your body guessing and to help you stay motivated. Commit to leading by example Committing to working out on a regular basis is not only important to your health, but also to the health of your family. Parents are a huge influence on their children’s lifestyles. If you are active, then it is more than likely that your kids will be too. Scheduling your workouts just like any other appointment tells your kids that being active is important
see Fitness, pg 19
gay-sd.com FROM PAGE 18
FITNESS to a healthy lifestyle. But, actually following through with working out regularly shows them that you mean business. Take time outside to be active as a family, whether it’s going out for evening walks or playing football in the yard on a Sunday afternoon, to not only help improve your fitness levels, but to also strengthen the bond between family members. Enjoying a breath of fresh fall air with your loved ones can make some of the best life-long memories. To this day, I remember kite flying with my dad … fondly. Growing up as a kid, you were probably always active. With the technology abounding, it is easy to slip in to patterns of “sit and watch,” verses “go outside and play,” as we did back in the day. As a parent, you have to practice what you preach. Any bit of activity is worth it. Gear up for the elements With fluctuating temperatures and quickly changing weather conditions, what you wear can have direct impact on the success of your outdoor exercise experience. Dressing in layers with a moisture — wicking material at the base can help keep you dry and warm as
your sweat levels rise and the outdoor temperatures cool. Reflective gear is an important piece of safety equipment any time of the year, but especially if you are being active before dawn and after dusk during the fall and winter seasons. Please remember if you walk at night or during the day we are to walk toward oncoming traffic. I learned this as a young lad back in my Boy Scouts days. When you walk facing oncoming traffic you can see what is coming at you. If your back is turned to traffic, i.e., walking with traffic, you cannot see what is coming up behind you to react to potential threats to your safety. As the conditions of the outdoor environment change this time of year, you can use all of these fitness strategies to ensure your activity levels and workout routines don’t fall to the wayside. Grab a friend or a family member to get outside, get active and enjoy the fall fitness season. —Gwen and Blake Beckcom own Fitness Together Mission Hills, offering personal training with qualified professionals by regular appointment in private suites. Exercise and nutritional programs are custom designed to fit your needs and abilities. Call 619-794-0014 for more information or to schedule a free fitness diagnostic and private training session.t
GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 13–26, 2013
FROM PAGE 1
BEINGALIVE and you do a very good job of it for very long, and I think this organization did and so did a lot of others, you bring more and more people into care every year that were not in that pool. “So the cost for the care itself goes up, the amount of people in the pool go up, and over the last 20 years, it has slowly melted away all the money that there was for support services,” she said. Though last month Auntie Helen’s donated a $10,000 moving truck for Being Alive’s Helping Hands Moving program and the LGBT Center, San Diego Pride, MO’s Universe and various other organizations throughout the community are avid supporters, ongoing funding to sustain the important mission of this nonprofit is still a problem. This month, the community can help. Being Alive currently has two ongoing fundraising efforts that speak directly to this season of giving. The first is the Ribbons of Hope campaign, similar to the VFW’s annual “Poppy” fundraising campaign, where red ribbons can be purchased in $1 and $5 incre-
Babycakes is selling cupcakes to benefit Being Alive all month. (Photo by Patrick Hammond)
ments with all sales going to the local nonprofit. The red ribbons are for sale at 25 different locations throughout Hillcrest, Bankers Hill and North Park. Revivals, located at 1644 University Ave. in Hillcrest, is the campaign’s presenting sponsor, and a big white Christmas tree full of ribbons is there to greet shoppers just inside the door. The second fundraising campaign is even sweeter. Babycakes, at 3766 Fifth Ave., is selling Red Ribbon cupcakes for the month of December. One dollar from each cupcake goes to Being Alive. Most of the people Wagner and the Being Alive staff are responsible to are living with HIV/AIDS,
but due to the high cost of their medications — which Wagner said is approximately $20,000 per year — they can’t afford many of the day-to-day necessities that most of us take for granted. This is where Wagner said Being Alive steps in, but in recent years, skyrocketing costs have challenged the nonprofit, and just last year, Being Alive almost closed its doors. Wagner hopes fundraising programs like the red ribbon campaign and the cupcake drive will continue to help them thrive. For more info about Being Alive, visit their offices at 4070 Centre St., their website at beingalivesd.com, or call 619-291-1400.t
GAY SAN DIEGO Dec. 13–26, 2013