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Volume 5 Issue 3 Feb. 7–20, 2014 Follow us on Facebook and Twitter





The activist in all of us


Cheli Mohamed reflects on inspiring a generation of volunteers at Pride

Bow ties for butches


Cap’n Crunch cakes

Cheli Mohamed at home (Photo by Hutton Marshall)

e THEATER Jody Sims alongside many of her cat paintings in her Bankers Hill home. (Photo by Morgan M. Hurley)

Coshow gave her a chance and Girton blossomed, getting a Nicky Award nomination later that same year. The rest, as they say, is history.

After nearly a year absence, San Diego LGBT Pride is about to get Cheli Mohamed back. Mohamed left her staff position overseeing Pride’s volunteer and leadership programs in February of 2013, just before what would have been her 20th year with the organization. To honor her many years of service, Pride later named her “Champion of Pride” of last year’s event. Although she won’t return to her full-time position, Mohamed will train, oversee and empower Information Center volunteers at this year’s Pride Festival in July. That last verb, “empower,” may sound a little out of place when referring to a volunteer coordinator, but it’s not only an integral part of how Mohamed operates, it’s how she views the world. There’s an activist inside all of us, according to Mohamed. In leading her volunteer programs for Pride and other LGBT organizations, she instills in those that volunteer with her a sense that they can change the world simply by unabashedly being who they are and following what they believe in. Because of this, much to her confusion, volunteers working with Mohamed end up thanking her, rather than the other way around. She first developed this ideology more than 20 years ago as a UC San Diego student, long before it could boast having the largest LGBT support center in the region. There, she and three other students started the Gay and Lesbian (now, LGBT) Peer Counseling Program under the umbrella of UCSD’s Psychological and Counseling Services. Through this, she began showing fellow LGBT students the power of being open about your sexual orientation. To Mohamed, being honest about your identity is not only good for personal empowerment, it can fuel social change. “You don’t have to be anybody but yourself,” Mohamed said. “That’s how true change happens — you allow people to see who you are as an individual, as a family, as a student.”

see GossipGrill, pg 13

see Mohamed, pg 4

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Morgan M. Hurley | GSD Editor Longtime Bankers Hill resident Jody Sims has spent her entire career as an advocate, dedicated to empowering women and girls in sports and in life. That all began to change a couple years ago, when a series of tragic events left Sims feeling detached, lost and defeated herself. In September 2011, Sims was at the top of her game. An executive working for a local nonprofit, she was in charge of their 100-year anniversary festivities while also

making plans for the third annual “Fling” — a weekend meet-up she founded for women basketball fans in the NCAA Final Four championship city — when her partner, Susanne Whiting, was involved in a catastrophic car accident on the I-5 freeway which almost took her life. Jolted by the news, Sims quickly adapted, tackling the situation like a project. She balanced the coordination of Whiting’s daily appointments, rides and other needs daily before leaving for the office, with the neverending demands of her job once there.

Then, eight months later, the unthinkable happened: Sims herself was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer. For the next eight months, Sims would become her own project, assembling a team and undergoing a rigorous series of clinical trials mixed with aggressive chemotherapy. Whiting, a massage therapist for 20 years prior to her accident and still on the mend herself, found solace in becoming the couple’s nutritionist, mastering

see Survivor, pg 2

Where the girls will surely be

Gossip Grill moves west and beckons us all Morgan M. Hurley | GSD Editor

Moe Girton’s first stint in a bar was over 14 years ago when she worked the coat-check and front door security at The Flame, the once-iconic lesbian bar formerly located on Park Boulevard. According to Girton, she realized the job just wasn’t for her on her very first shift; in fact she was en route to the manager’s office to share that news when the manager grabbed her by the arm. “You look like a bar back. Ya wanna bar back?” Girton accepted the offer on the spot. Within six months she was ready to move up, though she was told she didn’t fit “the look” her future mentor — The Flame’s owner Carla Coshow — traditionally had in mind for someone behind the bar. Despite this,

Hutton Marshall | GSD Assistant Editor

Moe Girton in Gossip Grill’s new home. (Photo by Hutton Marshall)



GAY SAN DIEGO Feb. 7–20, 2014


SURVIVOR daily, protein-fortified shakes and a vegetarian-vegan diet focused on both trauma and cancer. Once able to walk again, Whiting also made three trips per week from their Sixth Avenue at Kalmia Street condo to a pharmacy in Hillcrest, and gave Sims energy-based toe massages during her nightly infusions. “I found it [all] healing therapy for me, too,” Whiting said. Sims responded so well to the combination of treatments during her eight-month regimen that she would not need surgery, but three months of daily radiation was still required as a precaution. Unfortunately, her company was unable to hold her position.

“eye see red” was Sims’ first use of a homophone. (Courtesy Jody Sims) In March 2013, after 11 months of side affects, severe radiation fatigue, heart complications and the loss of her job, this “project”

“leased resistance” (Courtesy Jody Sims) suddenly derailed. “I didn’t have words for what I was feeling. All I knew was that I was really emotional, but I didn’t

“prey for me” was extraordinarily meaningful to the artist (Courtesy Jody Sims)

want to go to therapy and talk about it,” Sims said. “I felt like I was losing sight of me … I had to do something that I was afraid to do in order to just get myself back on track.” A few days later, though she hadn’t painted in decades, she enrolled in an abstract art class at the Art Academy of San Diego in North Park. With her cat Scout as her muse and her instructor Reed Cardwell — a man riddled with cancer himself — as her mentor, the class became her guiding light. Due to radiation fatigue, Sims said she barely made it through the first class, but she kept showing up. Every Monday afternoon for the next three months she found herself in front of an 18-by18-inch canvas creating a new stepping stone on the path back to her self. One day she used a homophone — a word pronounced the same as another but that has different meaning: for instance “eye see red,” her first — in conjunction with a painting. “I didn’t know what they were or what they were called,” she said. “It really happened by accident and was all about my being afraid to tell people what was going on but wanting and needing to.” More and more of them soon came to her. They masked her true emotions but were also giving even deeper insight to her struggles and triumphs along the way. About six paintings in, she realized the paintings were allowing her to process and share things she wasn’t able to do in person. Up until then, Sims said she had pretty much stayed “off the grid” for most of her recovery, so it is ironic that after posting several of her paintings on a whim, Facebook not only became her “testing ground” but also her inspiration to further document what was happening to her. “The response was so over-

whelming,” she said. “It gave me so much courage and strength to just keep going and made it even more powerful.” The end result was “Soul Provider: Conversations with my cat,” a book that contains the 20 acrylic paintings Sims churned out during this painful but immensely healing period. Included with the photographs are journal entries describing each one and passages by famous people she had been saving for over a year that now seemed to resonate with each step of the process. The book unveils the felineinspired paintings in the exact order Sims created them. Each cat image is different in both style and technique, and Sims said they represent “what I wanted … or needed to have happen.” Last October, Sims released the book at a private affair in Mission Hills along with 100 friends and supporters, and has since been conducting public readings at local bookstores and libraries to share her story with others. “I’m just so happy to be back,” she said. Sims is currently included in the Downtown Central Library’s 48th annual “Local Author Exhibition,” on display throughout the month of February. Additionally, on Sunday, Feb. 16, which is also happens to be her 60th birthday, Sims will not only be conducting an author reading, but will also have all 20 of her original “Soul Provider” paintings on display at the Central Library, located at 330 Park Blvd., in the ninth floor special events space. The free, library-sponsored event runs from 2 – 4 p.m. and the public is invited. For more information about this event, or to keep track of other upcoming events regarding Jody and her book, follow “Soul Provider” on Facebook (/soulproviderjournal) or visit her website


Butches, bow ties & Valentines Why you should buy your butch a bow tie this year Butch Jaxon | Special to GSD It’s almost Valentine’s Day. The day of perhaps the greatest pressure on couples. Or at least on butches … or maybe just on me. Last year, it was my first Valentine’s Day with my girlfriend — a long distance relationship. She sent me a gorgeous, custom-made card that was very special. She also shipped me a selection of Belgian beers and a Chimay beer chalice. It was incredibly sweet and thoughtful of her. Guess what I gave her? Nothing. Seriously … nothing. I’m not really sure why. I’d tell you that we just started dating shortly before V-day and I wasn’t that serious about her yet (but that would be a lie). I think it’s just that she was far away and I had a serious lapse. Luckily, she forgave me, or so I thought. A few weeks ago, she quipped light-heartedly, “Are you giving me a card this year?” She’s now my wife, so I suppose I will get her a card — or seven. But I digress. A couple years ago, I wrote to let butches know they needed to hop on the ball for V-day if they were dating (and wanted to keep dating) a femme. This is not that post. This is for those of you out there who are dating a butch, all of you butch-loving butches and femmes. I want to make sure you remember a gift for your butch. We like presents! Make a fuss over us, too! This Valentine’s Day, I want to suggest that your gift be a bow tie. Here are eight reasons why: 1. Every butch looks good in a bow tie. Tall, short, skinny, fat, beefy, young, old, black, white, brown, Russian (yes, there are Russian butches). Every butch looks good in a bow tie. Seriously. If your girlfriend/partner/wife/it’s complicated/brusband is a butch, your butch will look good in a bow tie. If, for some incomprehensible reason I am wrong, then kindly refer to #3 below and see how your butch looks after you untie it. Kaboom! Fantastic, right? Every butch looks good in a bow tie. 2. Bow ties are very stylish. Debonair, even. What butch doesn’t want to be debonair?

(Courtesy Lord Wallington)

3. My favorite time of the evening is that moment when she unties my bow tie and leaves it to hang around my neck. Your butches probably will be too. Especially if you let her drop a corny, “Bond, James Bond” line or two. (Oh, Miss Moneypenny!) 4. A bow tie is a super easy and relatively cheap way to spice up a black or navy jacket. Also, a white shirt or a pink shirt. Come to think of it, it’s a good way to liven up a sweater or vest. You get the idea?

hella good wearing your butch’s new bow tie when you pull it off her neck and drape it around your bare shoulders. Or, if you prefer, a bow tie makes a really good wrist bind after your Valentine is done wearing it on your Valentine’s Day date. I hope I’ve convinced you. If so, check out Lord Wallington’s located in Downtown San Diego (, or a range of lesbian-owned shingles, like Kreuzbach10, ( I like The Scotsman — part of their ma Eco Collection with its organic material — and its green footprint. There are handfuls of other fun designers. I will be doing a piece on a variety of bow tie makers soon, but these are good options to get you started. It’s butch to buy your butch a bow tie for Valentine’s Day. Be Butch. —Butch Jaxon is a native San Diegan who blogs about beer and being butch at, which is also often carried in the Gay Voices section of the Huffington Post. You can also follow ButchOnTap on Twitter and Facebook.t

5. You can get them themed in anything your butch likes. Is she a Saints fan? Into craft beer? An artist? A fan of architecture? You can find cool bow ties that suit all of those. 6. Or, go for cool red, chocolates, cupids, etc. Check out the cute, kitschy ties from any true bow tie maker. I can see these with a patterned shirt, some sort of vest (maybe tweed) and jeans. 7. A bow tie makes you look cooler. Smarter. More hip. Attentive. The old school style and flare of a bow tie calls to mind the era when all who wore them opened doors for ladies, paid for dinner, were international spies or bad guys. I ask you, what butch can’t be made a touch cooler by a bow tie? A tad more stylish? More professorial? None. And, the sexiest reason of all … 8. You will look

Butch Jaxon (Courtesy Butch Jaxon)

GAY SAN DIEGO Feb. 7–20, 2014



GAY SAN DIEGO Feb. 7–20, 2014


A visitation of spirituality CALEB RAINEY OUT ON THE PAGE In honor of Black History Month, the San Diego Multicultural LGBT Literary Foundation has selected Randall Kenan’s debut novel and masterpiece — “A Visitation of Spirits” — as their February Book Club Pick. “A Visitation of Spirits” tells the story of Horace Cross, a young black man who was raised in a black Baptist church in the rural South who struggles to come to terms with his budding queer sexuality. Horace’s grandfather, the longtime chairman of the deacon board, and his cousin James Green, a young reverend, along with his numerous aunts and uncles, instill in Horace a deep respect for and belief in their version of Christianity. It is due to this centrality of the church in Horace’s life that he cannot imagine reconciling being both gay and Christian. In the novel, we are taken through a single night in young Horace’s life, where he summons a demon to help release him from his spiritual struggle. Throughout the night, Kenan treats readers to various memories that Horace has of his adolescence, and these memories end up telling the story of Horace’s rural black community. “A Visitation of Spirits” is as much a novel about black LGBT people and the Church as it is about family, black history and southern culture. The black church has historically played a critical

role in the African American’s fight for racial justice and liberation. Many major African American leaders and radicals were from faith-based institutions and, even as far back as slavery, spirituals, as well as the story of Moses and the Exodus, provided hope and spiritual nourishment for a people struggling against vicious and unrelenting racism. The church continues to provide a central location where African Americans can come together to build community, sustain culture, and gain access to needed resources. While Christianity was forced upon African Americans in the Antebellum era — even though Africans had sophisticated and well-developed religious and spiritual systems of their own — the black community was able to take an oppressive force and reshape it into a springboard for liberation. This is not to say that the church has provided shelter equally to all members of the African American community.  As Horace learns, the church provided shelter to him against racial and spiritual oppression, but turned its back on him in the face of his sexuality. Horace is left at this crossroads between a need and love for a church that sustains certain parts of him, and a fear and hurt for a church that believes he is an abomination. This is a crossroads that many LGBT African Americans have to negotiate. As LGBT people, we can honor that battle best by not making simplistic condemnations of religion and spirituality and the role they play in LGBT life. For people like Horace, leaving the church and



abandoning his faith is simply not an option. While his religion has wounded him, it has also sustained him; spirituality is a part of who he is and it provides a link to his family and his community’s history. In honor of Black History Month, I invite us all to reconsider the role of spirituality in LGBT life and to begin making space for people like Horace Cross to find a home. You can get “A Visitation of Spirits” by ordering the book online through a non-profit bookstore in San Diego dedicated to promoting LGBT authors, Every book donation goes towards helping preserve our culture. —Caleb Rainey is the executive director of the San Diego Multicultural LGBT Literary Foundation and is a social justice enthusiast. Our book club meets every third Saturday from 5–6:30 p.m. in The LGBT Center’s library. To learn more, email sdmulticulturallgbtlit@

The counseling program was just one of the many endeavors done by Mohamed and her UC San Diego comrades. The young, newly open group of students, led by activist Tony Valenzuela, took hate crimes, discrimination and neglect, and waved it in front of the school’s administration. Amid protests, rallies and picketing, Valenzuela and Mohamed formed a yin and yang. While Valenzuela roared in the streets at rallies and protests, Mohamed preferred to get to know people one-on-one, to have the chance to build an understanding and a connection. Valenzuela encouraged this dichotomy. “[Valenzuela said] ‘I’ll be out on the streets protesting with signs and bullhorns, and there’s going to be a board meeting going on up on the 10th floor,’” Mohamed recalled him telling her. “’They’re going to close the blinds and shut me out and they’re going to turn around and who are they going to find at the table?’” Mohamed became that person at the table. Being a visible, yet relatable member of the LGBT community is a powerful way to change the world around her, she said, because the LGBT community, making up roughly ten percent of the population, doesn’t have the numbers to change legislation. Mohamed fosters understanding because it takes the entire community, not just the LGBT community, to foster societal changes. “That’s when [Valenzuela] taught me that activism wasn’t just picketing and carrying signs,” Mohamed said. “Being an activist is being simply who you are and being truthful about that and allowing people to get to know you.” Last year, after working for Pride, the AIDS Foundation, The LGBT Center and several other prominent LGBT organizations, Mohamed left to take a job, of all places, at the California Police Athletic Federation (CPAF) as its corporate and operations manager. When asked why, after working so long for LGBT organizations — what appears to be her life’s work — she would leave to work at a place as seemingly un-LGBT as a sports league for police officers and fire fighters. Surprisingly, Mohamed said the organization’s conservative nature was exactly what drew her there. “Do I make more of an impact working at The Center as a lesbian or in a roomful of policemen and firemen as an open lesbian?” she asked rhetorically. “I’m going to stand out the most there.” She said the experience at her new job has been overwhelmingly positive so far. When she was named “Champion of Pride” last year, the CPAF was extremely supportive. “Every single board member, who’s a straight, white older man, emailed me said congratulations we could not be prouder of you representing us,” Mohamed said. “I feel like I’m making such a change.” Changing the world by being who you are is the philosophy she continues to live in her new role, and now, volunteers will once again have the chance to share in this feeling with her. She didn’t know she would be returning after last year’s departure, but it was, of course, her volunteers who ended up pushing her. “The most wonderful thing was when I later learned it was a group of volunteers that had submitted my name for consideration [to return as a volunteer coordinator],” Mohamed said. “The lead volunteer sent me a copy of what they had submitted: It was a history of my volunteer service in the community.” While her inspiring approach to volunteerism is certainly a draw to those who choose to spend their free time working for her, she also has several rules guaranteeing her volunteers are treated with respect: When volunteers show up, that’s when the employees should be there too; Never ask a volunteer to do something you yourself wouldn’t do; Make sure everyone knows the value of what they are doing. Her approach appears to be very successful, as she’s developed quite a devout group willing to follow her to volunteering ventures all throughout the region. Case in point, the Facebook page “Volunteer with Cheli” — which just kicked off at the beginning of January — already has a couple hundred “likes.” There, Mohamed simply posts volunteer opportunities and usually a dozen people will take action. “They trust that I take projects that are fun, where they’ll be taken care of, and that will really impact the community,” Mohamed said. This year, Mohamed will oversee the Information Center at the San Diego LGBT Pride Festival, which takes place July 18 – 20. Volunteer registration starts on March 10. Those interested can reach Mohamed directly at, on her Facebook page “VolunteerwithCheli” or at


Shame, guilt and Lena Dunham


LIFE BEYOND THERAPY “Guilt and shame can eat away at smart girls, but remember that mistakes create smart girls.” —Lena Dunham, creator, producer and star of “Girls” on HBO Once again, Lena Dunham gets it right. Shame and guilt can eat away at all of us, and yet — ironically — it’s the mistakes we make that can make us smarter. How can we reconcile these seemingly opposite truths? Let’s take a close look at shame, guilt and how we can use our mistakes to grow, not beat ourselves up. Shame is the inner experience of being “not wanted.” It is feeling worthless, rejected, cast-out. Guilt is believing that you’ve done something bad; shame is believing that you are bad and there’s nothing you can about it. When we feel guilt, it’s about something we did. When we feel shame, it’s about who we are. When we feel guilty we need to learn that it’s okay to make mistakes. When we feel shame we need to learn that it’s okay to be who we are. Lena would approve. Shame comes from being taught that we are worthless or bad. It comes to us in childhood from adults who say things like: “You’ll never amount to anything!” or “You are worthless!” It also comes from severe physical discipline. Each hit with the hand, fist or belt says to a child: “You’re no good unless you do what I tell you to!” And shame comes from being humiliated for our behavior. It comes from adults who say: “You look ridiculous!” or “What’s wrong with you?” Given this source of shame, it’s not surprising that so many of us in the LGBT community struggle with some level of internalized shame in this overwhelmingly heterosexist world. Guilt and shame are with us from a very early age. Child development research suggests that guilt kicks in from around the ages of three to six, while shame occurs much earlier — from 15 months to age 3 (or even sooner). Guilt is considered a “healthier” emotion than shame and easier to work with. Healthy Guilt tells us that something we did or said — according to our own moral code — wasn’t kind, skillful or helpful. Guilt can also be defined as our conscience. However, this “conscience” is not always a reliable barometer of good or bad. When we hold unreasonably high standards for ourselves and inevitably fail to meet those standards, Unhealthy Guilt is the result. When we feel Healthy Guilt,

we are motivated to make amends or apologize. We feel bad about what we did (or didn’t do), but we don’t feel bad about who we are as a person. Healthy Guilt shifts our focus externally (toward the person or people we have hurt), motivates us to acknowledge the harm we’ve caused, and to repair the damage. We feel relief from guilt when amends have been made. Again, here’s how shame and guilt differ: shame is self-critical blaming that’s destructive, neverending, and from which there seems to be no escape. Guilt, however, is about taking responsibility. When we make amends, guilt fades. Shame takes a lot more work to free yourself from. When shame and guilt hit you hard, you might ask: What would Lena Dunham do? I think Lena would say that mistakes are not intrinsically bad; they are natural learning experiences. When you make a mistake, consider your responsibility for the mistake and whether there were any harmful consequences. If so, figure out how to correct the mistake and its consequences. Make amends, as the 12 Steps say. Despite their downsides, shame and guilt can both keep our behavior in check. However, excessive shame and guilt adversely affect our self-esteem, our selfconfidence, our self-worth, and our relationships with others. Those of us who’ve been deeply shamed need to be fully loved, accepted and valued. Some of us find a lover who deeply accepts, loves, and values us, others find a group of friends who deeply accept, love, and value them. Many of us need to work with a therapist who can help us see our value and show us how to stop our negative self-talk. However you do it, listen to Ms. Dunham and don’t let your mistakes push you into shame and guilt. Be a smart girl (or boy), learn from your mistakes, and be true to yourself (like Lena). —Michael Kimmel is a licensed psychotherapist who specializes in helping LGBT clients achieve their goals and deal with anxiety, depression, grief, sexually addictive behavior, coming out, relationship challenges and homophobia. Michael is currently accepting new clients. Contact him at 619-955-3311 or visit

GAY SAN DIEGO Feb. 7–20, 2014


Critters and cocktails, oh my!


SOUTH BAY ALLIANCE Come to “Critters and Cocktails” LGBT mixer and welcome our new leaders. South Bay Alliance has a new operations director, Sue Sneeringer, and South Bay Pride has a new executive director, Joseph Burke. We are excited by the experience, dedication and vision our new directors will bring to South Bay Alliance. Joe comes to us with decades of experience in entertainment and event planning as well as an exciting vision of what South Bay Pride Art and Music Festival can become. Growing up in Los Angeles, Joe started his career in entertainment at the ripe age of 13 handing out tickets to Don Kirshner’s rock concerts (a nationally syndicated program on NBC). In the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, Joe expanded his knowledge about the many facets of production from some of the greatest in the business, working with such “who’s who” of the industr y as Rolling Stones, Queen, The Clash, Van Halen — the list goes on! During this time Joe was also approached to become a key organizer for the LA Street Scene, charged with talent acquisition and the production of this 21-stage event that grew into the largest music and arts festival on the planet. Joe also produced the LA Beach Scene and Countr y Scene and was a key organizer of the 1982 & 1983 US Festivals, Live Aid, the NAMM All Star Jam, and Madonna’s Dance for AIDS. After being involved in artist management, concert production and music publishing, Joe

joined the executive staff at Warner Brothers records as VP of Creative Ser vices in 1989 then moved over to the executive staff at SKG Dream Works Records in 1996. In 2007, he joined Blast Print and Design as VP of marketing. Blast Print and Design caters to the entertainment business producing grand format and cutting edge graphics to Mar vel DC Comics, Comic Con and other trade show centered corporations. On top of this amazing amount of experience in music and event production, Joe is currently the chair of the San Diego County HIV prevention group and a member of the San Diego County Health and Human Ser vices HIV Planning Council, where he also chairs the Continuum of Care committee, representing San Diego County to the California Department of Health STI Prevention Group. His expertise and dedication to the LGBT community will be instrumental in making South Bay Pride Art and Music Festival a destination community Pride event. Many of you know Sue who has worked as the operations manager and member ser vices director at the Greater San Diego Business Association (GSDBA) since 2008. In that capacity, she directs and assists in the overall planning, development, and administration of GSDBA operations. Her experience within both the LGBT

community and the greater business community as well as her amazing organizational, marketing and outreach abilities will help South Bay Alliance grow and achieve our goals to build a coalition of the LGBT community and our allies for social networking, business promotion, and political awareness in South San Diego County. Please come welcome Joe and Sue while supporting South Bay Pride and the Living Coast Discover y Center on Thursday, Feb. 20, from 6 – 9 p.m., at Celebration Hall located at 1351 Palm Ave., Imperial Beach. This is our second mixer this year as SBA continues their outreach to LGBT and LGBTfriendly businesses, community leaders and elected officials in and ser ving the South Bay area. Great food, drink, music and door prizes such as VIP tickets to Mardi Gras and ShamROCK — all for a $10 donation at the door. For more information, please visit SouthBayAlliance. net and RSVP to See you there! — 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, the organizing body of South Bay Pride Art & Music Festival since 2007. Contact her at southbayalliance@



GAY SAN DIEGO Feb. 7–20, 2014


Pride for North County The “Little Center that Could” certainly could not show bigger heart, caring, leadership, and community pride and bridge-building [See “North County Update” Vol. 5, Issue 2]. What an engine for change and inspiration for all of the residents of North County! —Jennifer Schumaket, via You do just great things, Max. We are so lucky to have you in Oceanside. You are a real gem. —Debbie Bitker, via

A mayor for all of us Completely agree with this editorial [See “Editorial: A bittersweet changing of the guard” Vol. 5, Issue 2]. Todd Gloria has been a god-send for this city and has truly “righted our ship.” Todd has also made our LGBT community proud too. May your political career continue to soar, Mr. Mayor!! —John Buckley, via After watching both candidates for at the recent debate and then the State of City speech, the decision for whom to vote was easy. I’m writing in Todd Gloria. —Brian Johnson, via


The future of Roe v. Wade: Our work continues By Darrah DiGiorgio Johnson Women across the country won a major victory 41 years ago when the United States Supreme Court affirmed our right to safe and legal abortion. In Roe v. Wade, the Court confirmed that the constitutionally protected right to privacy includes every woman’s right to make her own personal medical decisions without the interference of politicians. Who knew that we’d still be fighting for a woman’s ability to make her own reproductive decisions 41 years later? Since 2010, when Tea Party politicians picked up key seats in legislatures across the country, we’ve seen an unprecedented assault designed to chip away at access to safe and legal abortion. Politicians campaigned with the promises of creating jobs and boosting our economy. Yet instead they immediately became laser-focused on ending access to safe and legal abortion and limiting women’s health care options. The efforts to end access to safe and legal abortion have a particularly harsh impact on women and families struggling to make ends meet, who often can’t afford to travel hundreds of miles to the nearest health center — if they can make it to a doctor at all. Rather than helping Americans in need, these politicians are making it more difficult for those without resources. According to recent data compiled by the independent research organization the Guttmacher Institute, more

than 200 restrictions on abortion access have become law since 2010. The result: More than half of American women of reproductive age now live in states where access to abortion is obstructed. Sadly, these attacks are happening in states that already have a great need for health care. Here in California, we are fortunate to have a progressive legislature committed to maintaining access to safe and legal abortion. San Diego Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins authored a bill that would expand access by allowing trained Physician Assistants, Nurse Practitioners, and Certified Midwives to provide early abortion care. But in just the last five months, politicians in Texas, North Carolina, Ohio, and Michigan have broken or bent the rules to jam through abortion restrictions that the public overwhelmingly opposes. They’re using every trick in the book — votes in the middle of the night, special sessions, and procedural loopholes. Physicians and other medical experts, including the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which released this statement last year, oppose these actions on medical grounds. These actions also are deeply unpopular with Americans of all political stripes. This is most apparent when I look to young leaders in our community and beyond. Six in ten millennials believe abortion should be available in all or most cases, which is what we see across generational lines. Like a growing number of

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Chris Azzopardi Charlene Baldridge Blake Beckcom Gwen Beckcom Dae Elliott Butch Jaxon Lisa Keen Michael Kimmel Jeff Praught Caleb Rainey Frank Sabatini Jr.

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Americans, young people often do not identify with the traditional “pro-choice” or “pro-life” labels, which don’t reflect the complexity of the issue or the conversation around abortion. And more than any other generation, millennials believe that safe and legal abortion should be available in their communities. Young people are energizing our movement. They led to a decisive 10-point defeat of the Albuquerque 20-week abortion ban and the defeat of extreme Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli in the Virginia gubernatorial race based largely on his opposition to women’s access to safe and legal abortion. And of course, they packed the Texas state capitol in support of Texas State Senator Wendy Davis while she held her ground in the historic 11-hour marathon filibuster to run out the clock on an extreme and dangerous anti-women’s health bill. Millions of abortion rights supporters, both young and old alike, work in all 50 states to fight back against this unprecedented and orchestrated wave of attacks, and we’re not going anywhere. After a record outpouring of opposition to these measures from the Deep South to the heart of the Midwest, it is crystal clear that women and men in states across the country want leaders who value women’s health. As we commemorate the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, supporters of access to safe, legal abortion must remain vigilant in protecting our rights for generations to come. —Darrah DiGiorgio Johnson is the president & CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest.t OPINIONS/LETTERS Gay San Diego encourages letters to the editor and guest editorials. Please email both to Include phone number and address for verification. We reserve the right to edit letters and editorials for brevity and accuracy. Letters should be no longer than 350 words in length unless approved by staff editors. Letters and guest editorials do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or staff. SUBMISSIONS/NEWS TIPS Press releases and story ideas are welcome. Send press releases, tips, photos or story ideas to For breaking news and investigative story ideas contact the editor by phone or email. DISTRIBUTION GAY San Diego is distributed free, biweekly, every other Friday. COPYRIGHT 2013. All rights are reserved.

Morgan, I just wanted to thank you for the very kind words about Todd. I also thank you for seeing that he put the City above his own wants. Like you I know that he will continue to be a great leader of San Diego, the city he truly loves. —Linda Gloria [mother], via

Drama in Utah If the 10th circuit rules that those bans can stand, how much will that influence other circuits? [See “Legally LGBT” Vol. 5, Issue 2] And isn’t the only other circuit ruling the Citizens for Equal Protection vs Bruning. How much weight will that be accorded? —Kenny, via The state of Utah did not request a stay in their filing in the event of un-favorable ruling [See “Legally LGBT” Vol. 5, Issue 2]. The district court looked at the probability of success on the merits and determined the standards for a stay were not met. Even the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the district court and denied a stay. The district court was well within its judicial discretion in not granting a stay. SCOTUS was too in granting the stay. —John, via

Wedging marriage In 2008, LGBT equality was considered a “wedge issue,” even though neither Dem or Repub parties were openly supporting [See “Profiles in Advocacy” Vol. 5, Issue 2]. The only “acceptable” way to fight for equality was “politely.” It should be noted that much of the fierceness, early organizing and philosophy of SAME was developed by the International Socialist Organization in San Diego and a few key members who provided leadership, SAMEs story is not complete without them. Thanks for the shout out, Ian. We would love to meet people interested in pushing for social justice from the Queer perspective at twice monthly meetings at the SD PRIDE Office, 2nd and 4th Tuesdays starting a 6:30 p.m. —Sean Bohac, via gay-sd.comt

3737 Fifth Ave. Suite 201 San Diego, CA 92103 (619) 519-7775

Business Improvement Association


A viewer’s guide to the Winter Olympics Lisa Keen | Keen News Service Tensions are high as the 2014 Winter Olympics prepare to get underway Thursday with figure skating and skiing events and then with the globally televised opening ceremony Friday. While there is a tremendous amount of anxiety over the possibility of a terrorist attack against the Games in Sochi, Russia, there is also considerable uncertainty around who might protest the country’s new anti-gay laws and how and when they might do so. Beyond the expectation that some might wear rainbow pins or hats that include “P6,” a reference to the Olympic charter’s non-discrimination policy, there are several other hints of subtle or overt protest. There is even more uncertainty about what the Russian government will do to anyone who does protest or violate its laws by expressing some positive message about being gay. In a conference call with reporters last week, the International Olympic Committee president, Thomas Bach, said athletes would “enjoy freedom of speech” at press conferences but they could be punished if they do so during competition or on a medal podium. But a few days later, the chief executive of the Olympic Games in Russia, Dmitr y Chernyshenko, seemed to contradict that statement. “I don’t think [athletes] are allowed by the [Olympic] Charter to express those views that are not related to the sport at the press conference room,” Chernyshenko said. “What I would call the Sochi ‘speakers’ corner’ has been organized in Sochi city so that ever ybody can express themselves.” The so-called “speakers’ corner” is a cordoned off protest area six or seven miles from the site of the Olympics., a website devoted to news about LGBT athletes in both professional and amateur sports, says it’s found only seven openly gay athletes coming to Sochi. All are women, none are American and they represent an “an improbably low number” among the 2,500 athletes coming to the games. The six include three speedskaters (Canadian Anatasia Bucsis and Dutch Ireen Wust and Sanne van Kerkhof), two snowboarders (Dutch Cher yl Maas and Australian Belle Brockhoff), one Austrian jumper (Daniela Iraschko-Stolz), and one Slovenian cross-countr y skier (Barbara Jezeršek). “Either GLBT athletes are uniquely bad at winter sports,” wrote Outsports, “or dozens — perhaps a hundred or more — must be competing in Sochi while in the closet.” For U.S. television audiences interested in watching the Olympics for signs of LGBT demonstrations or visibility, there are two options: a condensed broadcast of the events each evening on NBC; or a live webstream at, keeping in mind that Sochi is nine hours ahead of U.S. East Coast time. Following is a list of specific

events at which the potential for LGBT visibility is higher than most: Thurs., Feb. 6: Dutch lesbian Maas will have competed in the “Ladies Slopestyle” snowboarding event. She has a profile video on YouTube, “Through My Eyes,” that talks about her wife and child and she has spoken in the Dutch press about her unhappiness with the IOC choosing Russia given its hostile laws. Fri., Feb. 7: Two openly gay people are part of the five-member U.S. delegation to the opening ceremony and there seems little doubt that cameras will focus on them from time to time. They are tennis legend Billie Jean King and Olympic figure skating medalist Brian Boitano. There are several things to watch for during the opening ceremony: Do individual athletes wear anything or do anything in the procession of athletes to identify themselves as gay or as supporting equal treatment for gay people? Will Russian President Vladimir Putin voice anything about the highly publicized controversy during his remarks to the opening ceremony? And to what degree will NBC, which is covering the Games globally, report on the controversy? Note: Billie Jean King announced mid-week that due to the illness of her mother, she must withdraw from the presidential delegation to the opening ceremony. Caitlin Cahow will be taking her place (but will not be participating in the closing ceremony). Sat., Feb. 8: Speed skating starts and three openly lesbian competitors are on the oval track. One of them is Canadian long-track competitor Bucsis, who told Outsports, “I could never promote that message of concealing who you are with all of this going on in Russia. I’m kind of happy that I did it on my own terms.” The other two are both from the Netherlands, Wust (short track) and van Kerkhof (3,000 relay). Their presence on the track may be a particularly interesting time to watch. The Washington Post reported that a Dutch brass band Kleintje Pils (“Small Beer”) “always performs at Olympic speed skating ovals” and signaled it might play the iconic gay anthem “YMCA” this year. “We will see if we can get one or two songs into the selection, knowing that in the Netherlands it will be seen as a signal we are thinking of [gays],” said Ruud Bakker, the band’s leader. Wed., Feb. 12: Participating in the first-ever Olympic competition for women's ski jumping will be Austrian Ira-

schko-Stolz, who picked up the hyphenated name after marrying her female partner last year. She told that she doesn't plan any protests during the Olympics. Feb. 16: The Women’s Cross Snowboarding and Australian Brockhoff, the only openly gay person on Australia’s Olympic team, has told home country papers she plans to wear a “P6” logo and make her unhappiness about the anti-gay laws in Russia known. “The Australian Olympic Committee has been really supportive and they want me to be safe. They don’t recommend me waving a [rainbow] flag around which I won’t do,” Brockhoff said in an interview published Jan. 23 in the Courier-Mail.” The most I’ll do is hold up six fingers to represent Principle Six. Possibly I’ll do it on camera here or there, and maybe after the heats of my event.” After her event, Brockhoff said she plans to speak freely about her thoughts. “After I compete, I’m willing to rip on his ass,” she said. “I’m not happy and there’s a bunch of other Olympians who are not happy either.” Also on Feb. 16th, the Australian Men’s Bobsled team will carry “Principle 6” logo down the track on their two-man bobsled. Team captain Heath Spence has spoken out against discrimination of gay and lesbian athletes. He’ll be competing in both two-man and four-man sleds. Feb. 23: Closing Ceremony: The five-member delegation representing the U. S. at the Closing Ceremony will include openly lesbian Olympic silver medalist hockey player Caitlin Cahow. Any athlete who might want to make a show of protest could save their plans for the closing ceremony so as not to risk jeopardizing their competition and medals. —Lisa Keen is an awardwinning gay journalist who spent 18 years as editor of the Washington Blade. See more news from Keen and other select veteran gay journalists at t

GAY SAN DIEGO Feb. 7–20, 2014


GAY NEWS BRIEFS BHRG BIDS TOP OF THE PARK ADIEU The Bankers Hill Residents Group held its last meeting at Top of the Park, the rooftop venue of the former Park Manor Suites, on Jan. 20. Group speaker Ben Baltic thanked the staff at Park Manor for years of service and fond memories before informing members in attendance that February’s meeting will take place at the San Diego Indoor Sports Club located at 3030 Front St. “We’ve had a great run here at Inn at the Park, and we are going to miss this beautiful venue,” Baltic said. “But the people at the San Diego Indoor Sports Club are very enthusiastic about hosting our meetings, and I think we can look forward to some great hospitality at our new home.” The venue is tucked away just north of the First Street Bridge, and one block to the west. There is plenty of free parking, but the group encourages its members to walk or bike to the meetings. The group will continue to meet on the third Monday of the month, the next meeting Feb. 17. FRIDAYS ON FIFTH SEEKS PARTICIPANTS The Hillcrest Business Association has partnered with Babycakes and other restaurants in the heart of Hillcrest to start a weekly happy hour running from 4 to 9 p.m. on Fridays. Babycakes owner Christopher Stavros envisions a weekly four-block pubcrawl involving restaurants, bars, retail outlets and other businesses from Brookes to Washington streets. Currently, Babycakes offers $3 cocktails, beers and wine along with $5 appetizers. While several businesses participated in the inaugural event on Jan. 24, the HBA encourages any Hillcrest businesses interested in participating to contact Megan Gamwell at UC SAN DIEGO LAUNCHES ‘$20 FOR 20 YEARS’ The UC San Diego AIDS Research Institute (ARI) launched its “$20 for 20 Years” fundraiser this month to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its translational research program, the UC San Diego Center for AIDS Research (CFAR). The requested $20 tax-deductible donations will go toward a different theme each month. Donations made in February will go toward the ARI Emerging Investigators Fund, which supports HIV/ AIDS investigators starting their careers. Donors will also be recognized on the AIR website and personalized electronic Valentine’s Day cards are available to those donating on behalf of a friend or loved one. The donation drive will run until April 30. Donations can be made at air. HEALTH FAIR AND GRAND OPENING CELEBRATION The new Hillcrest Pride Pharmacy will hold its two-part Grand Opening Health Fair on Feb. 10 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and on March 2 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Taking the space previously occupied by Blockbuster on 1270 University Ave. in the Hillcrest Colonnade, Pride Pharmacy will offer complimentary glucose and blood pressure screening to all interested, as well as free goodie bags for children and adults. Founded in 2012, Pride Pharmacy offers prescription services, HIV and STD/ STI education classes, and several other health services to the Hillcrest community. For more information, visit



GAY SAN DIEGO Feb. 7–20, 2014

EGGED ON Dining with


3831 Park Blvd. (Hillcrest) 619-293-7275 Prices: breakfast fare, $5.50 to $13.75; lunch items, $5.95 to $11.50


(clockwise from top right) The Cap’n Crunch and blackberry pancake; turkey-brie sandwich with salad; potato and ham hash with brown bread (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.)

s any breakfast-goer knows, the later you sleep on weekend mornings, the longer you’ll wait in line before pulling up to a plate of eggs. We found an exception to the rule, however, smack dab in the gayborhood at Café on Park, where things like Cap’n Crunch pancakes and assorted

hashes rule the day. Arriving to a full house late Sunday morning, our wait time for a table was miraculously six minutes. The lack of sidewalk commotion out front is perhaps due to the café’s understated façade. Ample seating within is also a factor. Or as a comrade in our trio pointed out, “I’ve always confused Café on Park with Parkhouse Eatery,” which is located several blocks north. Though colorless on the outside,

patrons of this 20-year-old kitchen are transported into what feels like a SoHo art gallery, replete with eye-catching works hung on boldly painted walls. The space used to be much smaller until the owner expanded into the adjoining storefront a few years ago, resulting in a bright, airy venue that cranks out exceptionally flavorsome breakfast and lunch fare from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., daily. Turkey breasts are roasted in-house, and you realize it immedi immediately upon forking into turkey hash, which provides generous measures of the diced, peppered meat strewn with tender potatoes and sweated onions. Thankfully cheese doesn’t come into play, which it shouldn’t when there’s fresh sage and rose rosemary accenting the dish. The hash became wildly tastier with every forkful, as the herbs and onions performed their magic in various strengths along the way. My

only caveat was that one of the yolks was mysteriously over-medi missing from a pair of over-medium eggs on top. I’ve seen eggs with double yolks before, but never this. Crispy potato hash included lots of good-quality non-salty ham that mingled with mushrooms and wilted spinach. It too came with two eggs, though with these fully intact. Sour cream was served on the side, but it wasn’t needed. Other hash choices include steak, salmon and Mexican-style with fresh jalapenos, onions, tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. Included with all versions is hearty dark-bread toast that “jams” well to the oh-so-fruity homemade preserves, which combines blueberries, blackberries, mangos and peaches — better than anything that came from grandma’s kitchen. The café’s various pancakes, served singly, cover the diameter of their large serving plates. Unless you’re the type who defies normal human consumption

at IHOP’s all-you-can-eat pancake specials, these are designed for table distribution. We unanimously agreed on the Cap’n Crunch pancake with blackberries in lieu of other tempting choices like cornmeal-honey, banana-chocolate and banana combining Sugar Frosted Flakes. Tapping into our inner-child, we surgically extracted some of the Captain’s cereal from the hotcakes for a nostalgic flavor blast. Otherwise, the little crunchies that we remembered tearing the roofs of our mouths when eating them from a bowl as kids were tamer in texture and less sugary tasting. We left the plate barren. For an extra $1.25, you can douse your pancakes (or cinnamonorange-spiced French toast) in Vermont maple syrup. For those long accustomed to faux commercial brands, the real deal tapped from trees can taste revolutionary. Other breakfast items include a selection of “bennys” that give eggs Benedict a stimulating rise with the inclusions of Havarti cheese, artichoke hearts and chili hollandaise, the latter of which accents a grilled chicken benny. From the lunch menu, the roasted turkey received an encore in a tablemate’s warm turkey-brie sandwich hiding a near-invisible layer of cranberry sauce. Served on sturdy French baguette, it came with a generous side salad and house-made vinaigrette. Even after loading our stomachs, we began picking out dishes for our next inevitable visit: corned beef hash from brisket cooked in-house; the Italian sausage and sun-dried tomato scramble; homemade meatloaf and eggs; the Havarti-Swiss tuna melt; and several other rib-sticking meals that will require midday commitments to the gym.t


BY FRANK SABATINI JR. Gelato Vero Caf fe in Mission Hills has remodeled its 30-year-old digs while partnering with vegetarian chef and mosaic artist Kristin Green, who developed for the café a weekend brunch menu offering mostly vegetarian and gluten-free options. Among them is Tunisian chickpea stew and Finnish Karelian pies. The two-level space shows off a fresh paint job, new furnishings, a revamped kitchen and a “reactivated” upstairs patio. Brunch is ser ved from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday and Sundays. 3753 India St., 619-295-9269.

Farewell to the cherished Farm House Café in University Heights. The six-year-old French restaurant, run by chef-chocolatier Olivier Bioteau and his wife, Rochelle, has been sold to local chef Mike Almos, who once worked at the now-defunct Vagabond in South Park. For his first solo venture, Almos will reportedly take the American comfort road with his menu while renaming the restaurant, Circa. In the meantime, the Bioteaus are looking for a new location with a larger kitchen within San Diego County. Their last day of service will be February 28. No word yet on when Circa opens. 2121 Adams Ave., 619-269-9662.

Terryl Gavre whipping up Southern favorites at her new restaurant (Courtesy ACME Southern Kitchen)

GAY SAN DIEGO Feb. 7–20, 2014


Wine and vintage music albums combine at Proprietor’s Reserve (Courtesy Lori Brookes Photography) Bring your old LPs to Proprietor’s Reser ve Wine Bar in Normal Heights on March 7 for “Vino and Vinyl Viernes,” a monthly event held on various Friday nights from 7 p.m. until closing. Launched by a few devoted patrons several months ago, the albums brought in by customers feature music spanning from the 60s to 80s. The bar offers discounts on wines by the glass and bottle during the event. Food from the regular menu is also available, which includes steak and fish entrees, chili rellenos, cheese plates and more. 4711 34th St., 619-283-7449.

Restaurateur Terr yl Gavre of Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant has opened ACME Southern Kitchen in the East Village, featuring original recipes inspired by Junior League cookbooks from The South. Situated in a quaint, corner brick building, the menu pays tribute to dishes that are nearly extinct in urban restaurants such as smothered pork chops, chipped bologna sandwiches on homemade white bread and chicken pot pies nestled in yeast-infused “angel biscuit” crusts. Sidekicks include pimento cheese with Saltines, Southern-style deviled eggs and of course, fried green tomatoes. Gavre is also the founder of Downtown’s Café 222 and co-owner of Market Restaurant + Bar in Del Mar. ACME is located at 901 E St., 619-515-2225.

Known for its vast selection of vodka, Scotch and toothsome front-counter candies, Ser vall Liquor in Hillcrest is about to triple its beer inventor y with additional local, national and international choices, thus replacing a few aisle’s worth of groceries to accommodate the suds. With dozens of new labels already in stock, the owners say the collection will grow to around 2,500 varieties in a couple of months. 1279 University Ave., 619-692-3225. Rumor has it that the space being left behind by Gossip Grill — since moving down the street to 1220 University — might become occupied by an organic burger chain out of Vancouver, Canada. A rep from MO’s Universe, which holds the lease to the property, said “nothing is set in stone yet,” but added that other prospective tenants have so far included an Italian restaurant, a breakfast café and sandwich deli. Regardless what moves in, chances are good that the property won’t sit vacant for very long. 1440 University Ave.t


GAY SAN DIEGO Feb. 7–20, 2014

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Wedding Announcements: GARWOOD


Surrounded by dozens of well wishers, Uptown community activists Ann M. Garwood and Nancy A. Moors joined their hands in marriage on Oct. 20 at 1 p.m. at their home The Meadows on Maple Canyon in Bankers Hill. Standing up for the couple was Mike Wright and Nancy’s son Dustin Moors, with longtime friend Susan Fosselman officiating the loving ceremony. The 90-year-old mothers of both brides were also in attendance, as were six of their nine grandchildren. Lots of champagne and a

three-layer cake immediately followed the wedding, with music and dancing throughout the afternoon provided by Laura Jane Willcock with a personalized song-list provided by the brides. “Lots of bubbles, happy people, laughter and conversation made the day perfect,” the brides said.

GAY SAN DIEGO Feb. 7–20, 2014

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Green Fresh Florals 3785 Fourth Ave., (at Robinson) San Diego, CA 92103 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.

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GAY SAN DIEGO Feb. 7–20, 2014




The new urban squatters


op philosophy, self-delusion, despair, determination and paranoia are just a few of the conditions and survival methods that swirl around the characters in “Bethany,” a new play by Juilliard playwriting graduate Laura Marks that plays in its West Coast premiere at The Old Globe through Feb. 23. Gaye Taylor Upchurch, who staged the off-Broadway production last year, directs. Fragmented thoughts and paraphrased platitudes of Marks’ characters include the following: “Go with the devil you know.” “This is the universe, taking care of me.” “You must be ready to receive transmissions.” “We met for a reason: there is much we can learn from each other.” The most overtly delusional and quite likely schizophrenic is Gary (darkly threatening Carlo Albán), who blames our society’s ills on “the military industrial complex,” redolent of so many homegrown terrorists. It’s early 2009 in America, the economy has collapsed, and homeless Gary goes from foreclosed home to foreclosed home, seeking electricity and water and refuge from the streets. Currently, he resides in an upstairs bedroom of such a house in an unoccupied exurban subdivision. A Saturn salesperson, Crystal (Jennifer Ferrin, who currently plays Louise Ellison on AMCs “Hell on Wheels”) is looking for shelter as well, having been foreclosed

(l to r) Jennifer Ferrin and Sylvia M'Lafi Thompson


(Photo by Jim Cox)

Through Feb. 23 The Old Globe Tues & Wed 7 p.m. Thurs & Fri 8 p.m. Sat 2 & 8 p.m Sun 2 & 7 p.m $29 and up 619-23-GLOBE (234-5623) upon. She and Bethany, her little girl, were living in Crystal’s car until authorities took the child into protective custody. Crystal has to have a home in which to meet with Toni, the welfare worker (Sylvia M’Lafi Thompson) assigned to her case. She would do anything to get her child back. Crystal picks the place already inhabited by Gary, who is, as he puts it, “the devil you know.” No dummy and full of ingratiating wiles, Gary plays plumber when Toni calls to interview Crystal. Meanwhile, at the Saturn dealership run by a woman named Shannon (Deanna Driscoll), Crystal seems close to closing a deal with Charlie (natural James Shanklin, who plays Aaron Hatch on “Hell on Wheels”). Charlie is a

self-help guru whose platitudes are ever more inane while situations collapse as rapidly as the housing market. His deluded wife (Amanda Naughton) says, “He’s just not himself right now.” Doggedly, Crystal controls it all, doing whatever she must to achieve her goal, at least until the house of cards collapses along with the Saturn dealership. The playwright masterfully propels the breathless audience toward their individually imagined mayhem and catastrophic denouement. There is suspense. There is blood. Yes. Whether the onlooker feels cheated depends upon each one’s sensibility and expectations. No matter, it was a jolly good ride. J. David Brimmer deserves an award for his extraordinary fight



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the stage. All performances at the San Diego Civic Theatre.

choreography and Leon Rothenberg for his suspenseful original music and sound design. The designers are Lauren Helpern, whose set morphs easily from house to dealership; Sarah J. Holden, whose costume designs support illusions; and Japhy Weideman, whose moody light-ing enhances the eeriness of a forsaken neighborhood. Upchurch understands character and the tonal shifts employed by Marks, who is most certainly a playwright to watch. There is much wisdom and depth in her darkly comedic, gruesome and triumphant exurban tragedy. Note: The Cabrillo Bridge is currently closed. Closest drop-off point is Alcazar Garden parking lot.t

Jennifer Ferrin as Crystal (Photo by Jim Cox)

NEWS cently voted Buzzfeed’s “fifth best lesbian bar in the world” — is expanding. It’s moving just two blocks west on University Avenue into a space that is literally twice its current size. Community anticipation for the new location has been growing rapidly since November, when Girton first officially took over The Range’s former space, which included an outside patio bar and an adjoining restaurant. Their original plan to open in late November was immediately thwarted by the condition the facility was left in and issues with the liquor license. However, the extra time allowed Girton and her team to create a top-notch venue — which now includes a new nightclub, dance floor and a separate patio just for smokers — just waiting for customers. “I’ve really been listening to my guests over and over and trying to hear what they need and what they want,” Girton said. “We’re the only place for women and we didn’t have a dance floor ... over 30 percent of our budget went into lighting and sound.” Although Girton tried to keep the same look and feel of the previous location, there are some unique changes that patrons are sure to love. Aside from the two firepits and the mirror ball from Bette Midler’s Caesar’s Palace set, one of those changes consists of the tables, both inside and out. Thirty-three new handcrafted iron and resin tables will each beam the black and white likeness of a different iconic woman from American pop culture. “A lot of blood, sweat and tears went into these tables,” she said. “Every one has its own personality. It took us three weeks of working every single day to get them done.” That “us” includes Jennifer Quimby, her happy hour bartender and “Set Director” (aka handyperson), who laid the resin on every table. Each area of the new space has a special theme for the tables: The inside dining area tables are all iconic Hollywood stars no longer with us, like Lucille Ball, Judy Garland, Liz Taylor and Monroe. The outside dining patio along University has mostly music icons,


GOSSIPGRILL “The Universe had different plans for me,” said Girton at the newly minted Gossip Grill location at 1220 University Ave., scheduled to open Friday, Feb. 14. Gossip (or “GG” as some patrons call it) is one of four restaurant/bar venues that fall under Chris Shaw’s MO’s Universe brand, which also includes Urban MO’s, Baja Betty’s, and Hillcrest Brewing Company, all located along University Avenue in Hillcrest. Girton has been a partial owner and general manager of Gossip Grill since Shaw first opened its current location at 1440 University Ave. in October of 2009. Her path has been steady. When The Flame closed in April of 2004, Girton started at Baja Betty’s that same weekend. It was brand new and the second venue opened under Shaw’s growing brand. Girton quickly became a star, making upward of 40 to 50 percent more than her peers for the restaurant and herself. It wasn’t long before she was offered bigger and better things — her own location. “I turned it down twice,” Girton said. “I didn’t think a ‘quoteunquote’ lesbian bar would work in this town again. I said, ‘if you let me do it my way and do it as a women’s bar — geared towards women and catered towards women but take the word ‘lesbian’ out of it — I’m willing to go for it.’” The third time Shaw asked, he was willing, like Coshow before him, to take a chance on Girton and they ran with her concept. It worked. Girton said Chris Shaw “is the most amazing man you can possibly imagine” and really empowers his general managers. “He is so good about giving you room to spread your wings, but he is always there to make sure you don’t fall,” she said. “Something happens and all of a sudden here comes Chris. He’s been doing this a long time.” Five years later, Girton’s bustling ‘women’s bar’ — re-

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such as Stevie Nicks, Dolly Parton and Cher. The smoking patio has Pink and Mae West sporting long cigarettes, and the high tops on the outside bar’s patio are more modern, with the likes of Amy Winehouse, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Aniston and Mila Kunis gazing back at you. Girton acquired most of the photos on eBay, while some belonged to her and her girlfriend. They then photographed them and had them sized and printed. “I’m really excited about the tables,” she said. “I can’t wait for people to come in and ask to sit at Joan Jett or Stevie Nicks.” The walls will be reminiscent of the previous location, every inch filled with posters and female-leaning memorabilia. “We really tried to make it as comfortable as possible,” she said. “That’s another thing I always heard from my guests — ‘I really like [Gossip] cuz it’s hidden’ or ‘I like the little nooks and the plants.’ So again, we’re listening. Even though we have a space twice the size of what we had, we brought the artwork and all the plants and we’ll make it as intimate and as comfy as it was over there.” Girton said she’s been getting a lot of feedback from the women in the community who are afraid the new location will quickly turn into a “men’s bar.” She has an answer for them. Show up. “We have done everything in our power to make this the best women’s bar in the world for them,” she said. “Everything is pro women — the whole food menu item names are geared toward women, there is no male on any picture. Everything is female oriented. The staff, except for Justin and the guys on Thursday, is all

GAY SAN DIEGO Feb. 7–20, 2014 women. “We made it all female for them. They’ve just got to show up and support. This is their bar. This is their home.” Parking will take a hit, but they have developed a relationship with both Lyft and Uber to get patrons safely home. The new and very separate “smoking patio” was not only a must due to ABC and health regulations, it has become the house rule, with even vapor not being allowed elsewhere. “[Smoke] was the number one complaint by far,” she said, adding that smokers need not feel left out. “They’ll have cocktail service, it will be catered. We’ll bring everything to them.” And there’s more. They’ve hired a new chef who’s changed the brunch menu around and added 24 more items to the regular menu, thanks to the new expanded kitchen facility. They are changing up their nightly format, some things will stay, but most are now focused on bringing in the women — and even the men, on Thursday nights. Once a month they plan to have some major entertainment, which will kick off with comedian Vicki Wagner on Feb. 15 [see sidebar]. “I want to franchise, and to be the number one women’s bar in the United States,” she said. “I want to be world famous. I want to be like the Abbey or MO’s, where now you go to Italy and say you’re from San Diego and they say ‘oh they have that bar MO’s over there.’ I want to be in that conversation.” Her long-term goals may seem lofty to some, but considering Girton’s track record, they aren’t lofty at all. For more information about the move, visit


(Courtesy Vicki Wagner)

‘A Night With the Hilarious …’ Vicki Wagner, winner of the “2013 Battle of the Comics,” will be the first performer at Gossip Grill’s new expanded location. Wagner — a Midwestern-native who currently resides in West Hollywood — had just recently returned from a seven-year break from comedy when she successfully beat out 100 others over a three-month period for the title. Excited to bring her observational-style comedy to San Diego in a one-woman show this Valentine’s weekend, the veteran comedian said she plans on “rocking the house with laughter” and then sticking around afterwards to meet with her fans. During her set she’ll be cutting up couples, V-Day, being single, and plenty of gay-oriented jokes with her “best 30 minutes” of stand-up comedy. Doors open at 7 p.m., show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are just $10 and available at tickets. Gossip Grill’s new location is 1220 University Ave.t


GAY SAN DIEGO Feb. 7–20, 2014

The kid is more than all right


Jonathan Groff on all his gay projects, idolizing Mark Ruffalo, and how ‘Looking’ freaked out his family Chris Azzopardi | Q Syndicate Jonathan Groff is remembering a scene he shot for the upcoming HBO adaptation of “The Normal Heart.” It’s his only part with Julia Roberts, and he doesn’t have a single line with her. “She plays a doctor and I collapse on the street and then they take me into her office and she’s like, ‘He’s dying,’” the actor recalls. “So I didn’t get to act with her because I’m, like, hyperventilating on a stretcher. I was foaming at the mouth. She was probably all, ‘This kid is really going for it.’ But she was really nice, very chill, very undramatic and easy.” The same could be said for Groff. The affable Pennsylvania native got his start on stage, nabbing a Tony nomination for his role in the 2006 Broadway musical “Spring Awakening” before battling it out with New Directions on “Glee,” portraying a young David Sedaris in “C.O.G.” and voicing Kristoff in Disney’s hot winter hit “Frozen.” Now the actor plays Patrick, the charmingly clueless lead in the new gay-friends-living-in-San-Fran series “Looking,” also on HBO. Will there be foam? Probably, but only if it’s at a party. Chris Azzopardi (CA): With “Looking” and “The Normal Heart,” it must be nice knowing that HBO is gonna pay your bills for at least the next year. Jonathan Groff (JG): [Laughs] Right? It’s great. But I’ve already been paid for those jobs in 2013! (CA): In the pilot’s opening scene, after a phone call interrupts a hand-job hookup, you tell your friends you worried it was your mom calling. Has your own mother seen the show? (JG): My mom has always been really supportive of my work. When I was doing “Spring Awakening” she took bus trips of people to come and see the show — like, seriously, 40 people on a touring bus up from Pennsylvania. That was before she had even seen it, so she was shocked when she saw the sex

and the nudity and me hitting Lea Michele with a stick, but she obviously enjoyed it ... because there were three more bus trips after that! So she overcame the awkwardness of seeing my butt on stage, but ever since they cast me in “Looking,” the big question in my family has been: “Are they gonna watch it or not when it comes on TV?” When I came home for the summer to Pennsylvania, I brought the pilot home on DVD and I just said, “I don’t know if you wanna watch this or not, but I feel like if you do watch it, you probably won’t wanna watch it with me in the room.” I think that really freaked them out. [Laughs] (CA): Director Andrew Haigh, who also did the 2011 gay indie drama “Weekend,” has a knack for capturing real moments on camera. How do you think he’s accomplished that in “Looking”? (JG): I could spend hours talking about Andrew Haigh. I saw “Weekend” and was like, “Wow, somehow he’s made a gay movie that feels universal.” I feel like whether [the characters] were gay or old or whatever, he could take any story and humanize it. He’s somehow able to catch really human moments. I would be done with work some days and Frankie [J. Alvarez], Murray [Bartett] and I would look at each other and say, “Did we even act today?” It felt so much like us hanging out that it didn’t feel like we were “acting.” It speaks to the energy of his movie “Weekend,” and also to the energy of our show. It was really unlike anything I’ve ever worked on before. (CA): For “Looking,” what’s expected of you sexually and what are you not comfortable doing on the show? (JG): Seeing “Weekend” and knowing Andrew Haigh was attached to direct the show, I was like, “Okay, I feel 100 percent comfortable to sign that nudity waiver and do absolutely anything.” I signed on before I really even knew him. I was like, “Yes, whatever, I’ll do

Groff (center) with costars in HBO’s “Looking” (Photo by John P. Johnson/HBO) anything.” Also, from years of being in “Spring Awakening,” I’ve built up a tolerance for acted intimacy. [Laughs] It doesn’t freak me out. And I don’t wanna give the story away, so I’m not gonna tell you the guy who I get naked with. (CA): I hope it’s your boss. (JG): [Laughs] I know! He’s cute, right? (CA): What do you have to say about the show being called a “gay version of ‘Girls’” –— which, by the way, I don’t think is accurate. Your boobs don’t look anything like Lena Dunham’s. (JG): [Laughs] I love that. It’s about a group of friends in the way that “Girls” is about a group of friends, but the tone, writing and acting are totally different. I do think if you enjoy “Girls” you will enjoy “Looking,” because it’s about relationships and trying to find love and your place in the world. (CA): When “Queer as Folk” aired in the early 2000s, the show reflected how anti-hair the gay community was. Body hair wasn’t as accepted in the gay community as it is now. And “Looking” and “Weekend” really represent the zeitgeist in that regard. How do you feel about “Looking” embracing a hairier man? (JG): The more natural the body, the better. What they’re trying to do in “Looking” is show as many types of people and as many different types of bodies as possible, and also to stay true to San Francisco. And there’s a lot of facial hair and body hair in San Francisco!

first time I did the audition scene — the scene on the train where I meet Richie (Raul Castillo) — I started to get hot, but not in a sexy way. I got nervous-hot. I started sweating and blushing and I felt immediately, in the audition room, like, “I know who this guy is. I feel so connected to his social anxiety.” (CA): What shows and films did you connect with as a gay man who was figuring it all out? (JG): I remember being in eighth grade and seeing the billboards for “Will & Grace” — and then, there was so little gay anything. Not as much gay press, not as many out gay actors or gay material to watch, certainly not on network television. Any sort of shred of people being gay was like, “Oh my god, look at that. Is that me? Is that who I am?” Even though I was not out in high school I knew that I was gay and seeing that billboard and watching the show, even though I didn’t really feel like I was a Will or a Jack — I didn’t necessarily connect these characters to me — but just to see some gay characters on TV was great. It made me feel less alone. As far as “Looking” is concerned, the story is very specific to Michael Lannan, our creator, and his group of friends. When they were auditioning for the show, they had pictures of his friends on the casting board to say, “This is what we’re looking for.” It’s very specific to his experience in San Francisco, but the gay community will hopefully still embrace the fact that there are gay people on TV in the way that I watched “Will & Grace” growing up.

(CA): How much do you relate to Patrick and what’s going on in his life?

(CA): Because of your role in “Looking,” how do you feel about possibly being the new poster boy for the gay community in the way Jack and Will were?

(JG): At the first audition, because I knew Andrew’s work, I knew the lines but I didn’t do a lot of emotional preparation. I didn’t even say the lines out loud until I was in the room with him, because I wanted to find it in the moment. The

(JG): I feel so excited to be a part of a show that could potentially be a great moment for the gay community, because it’s crazy how few shows there are where there are a lot of central gay characters. As an actor you sort of become the face of

whatever you’re working on, and I feel really lucky to be a part of this specific show because I believe in it so much as a television show. I’m so proud to be a part of this show. (CA): Maybe Patrick will inspire some kid to feel less alone. (JG): Yeah, totally. That would be amazing. I mean, that’s so cool. Yeah, that’s like beyond. (CA): Everyone’s always saying how you’re the most charming man ever. But what sets you off? What makes Jonathan Groff a living hell? (JG): Oh, good question. When we were doing “Spring Awakening,” I had to do this beating scene with Lea where I got really angry. In early days of rehearsals, Michael Mayer, our director, screamed at me, “Seriously, you’re like the most everything-happens-for-a-reason person I’ve ever met. What makes you angry? I don’t get it.” And I said, “You, when you belittle people!” Which is what he was doing to me in that moment. He was thrilled to get a rise out of me and help me finally get there. But here’s what I hate: I hate when you’re at dinner with a couple who are dating or married and they belittle the other person in front of a group. It’s like nails on a chalkboard. I fucking hate that. (CA): And you just dropped the f-bomb, so I know you really mean it. (JG): [Laughs] Yes! I hate that! I honestly hate that in any way, shape or form — with teachers, directors, producers, friends or anyone that is talking down to me or down to someone I’m with. It really pisses me off. (CA): As a Disney fan, was the experience of voicing Kristoff in “Frozen” surreal for you? (JG): Yeah, I was Mary Poppins for Halloween, I was Peter Pan, and I grew up watching Disney movies. (CA): Do you see “Let It Go,”

see Interview, pg 19


IT FIGURES, SKATER Across 1 “Hold your horses!” 5 Resided 10 Words in an analogy 14 Apiece 15 City of Lorca’s homeland 16 Helped with a line 17 Homo leader to toga-wearers? 18 “ ___ Room” 19 Composer Thomas 20 Start of a quote from Brian Boitano 23 Legal matters 24 Showy bloomers 25 Threesome on a sundial 27 Come together 29 Singer Marilyn 31 Clay Aiken was almost one 32 More of the quote 37 Go on and on 38 “Peter Pan” pooch 39 “The Jungle” novelist Sinclair

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It Figures, Skater solution on page 15 Down 1 Pee-__ Herman 2 Estate for Frida 3 Special time 4 Clumsy come-on 5 Bolivian city that means “peace” 6 Trump ex 7 Record material 8 Top 9 Country house, to Nureyev 10 “___ almost taste it!” 11 Extremely precise 12 They may mount 13 Verse on a vase 21 Poet Sarton 22 Conclusion of sex? 23 Screw royally 26 Tiny bit 28 Main members of fleets 30 Standard 32 Believe, informally

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GAY SAN DIEGO Feb. 7–20, 2014

Friday, February 7

CORONATION POOL PAR TY: It’s Coronation weekend, so don’t miss this pool party at The Lafayette Hotel, 2223 El Cajon Blvd. Splash around with sexy mermen and mermaids for just $20. 11:30 a.m. For more info, visit HRC SD COLLEGE VDAY DANCE: This first annual Red Hot Affair Valentine’s Day Dance is an outreach to college students at UCSD, SDSU, USD, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, all the area community colleges and more. 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. 18+ event. For $5 cover, you’ll receive complimentar y non-alcoholic drinks, snacks, a chocolate bar and dance music. Attendees are encouraged to wear red. The LGBT Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. For more info email

Saturday, February 8

SHE SHE DANCE: Remember the Hot Flash/ Wildfire Dances? That event for San Diego has been taken over by local entrepreneur Carmen McKay who has renamed and completely revamped it, while staying true to the “35 and older” crowd. Join in the singles mixer from 5 – 6 p.m., followed by an hour-long performance by local artist Tori Roze and the Hot Mess and a dance from 7 – 10 p.m. All that for just a $10 cover. A full bar and gourmet tacos will also be available. Sunset Temple (next to Claire de Lune) 3911 Kansas St. North Park. For more info, visit THE TIGHTEN UPS: Who doesn’t love Laura Jane? If you haven’t seen her perform with her band The Tighten Ups, maybe it is time you did. The fun happens at Wong’s Dragon Room in La Mesa. It’s a Chinese restaurant that will be packed with a whole lot of soul, funk, rock, and blues that night from 9 p.m. – 1 a.m. and there is no cover. Wong’s is located at 7126 University Ave. For more information call 619-464-9772. CORONATION: The People’s Ball – Imperial Court Coronation XLII takes place at The Lafayette Hotel, 2223 El Cajon Blvd. Attire is regal, gowns and uniforms. $50 and $75, 6 – 9:30 p.m. For more info, visit

Sunday, February 9

AFCSL PLAYER SIGNUP & CLINIC: Want to play softball? Join America’s Finest City Softball League at their first of three clinics of the 2014 spring season. Come sign up and get placed on a team. Women’s Division clinics are at 8:30 a.m., Open Division follow at 11 a.m. Hourglass Park (Miramar College campus) at 10440 Black Mountain Rd., Mira Mesa. For more info visit 619299-3330. SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DRAG?: Join Paris, the Lips Divas crew and past performers of “So You Think You Can Drag” for this fabulous night of giving back to the community. $500 in cash and prizes will go to the winning amateur or professional drag artist. All cover charges, 25 percent of dinner sales and 100 percent of shots will go to Rady Children’s Hospital. Seating 7 p.m. Cover $5, $15 minimum. For reser vations, visit or call 619-295-7900 x5.

Monday, February 10

HEALTH FAIR AND GRAND OPENING: The new Pride Pharmacy is having a health fair to celebrate their grand opening from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Complimentar y blood pressure and glucose screenings, B12 shots (for a small fee), one-on-one consultations, and free adult and children goodie bags will be offered to anyone who attends. They can even ser vice your pet’s prescriptions. Pride Pharmacy is located in the Hillcrest Colonnade Shopping Center at 1270 University Ave., in Hillcrest. Call 619-501-5888 for more info. LONELY HEAR TS PREV-DAY PAR TY: Not looking for ward to Friday? Come to a dance party of your own with ‘80s and ‘90s music. 9 p.m. – 2 a.m. Brass Rail 3796 Fifth Ave., Hillcrest. RSVP at

Tuesday, February 11

LESBIAN MEET-UP: New weekly early morning business networking meeting, offering a chance to share and support each other’s business or passions. All lesbians in the community are invited. 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. Caffe Calabria, 3933 30th St., North Park. CRAFTS AND WINE NIGHT: Jake’s on Sixth is pairing up with Mona Lizzy Art Studio for a night of crafts and

wine. During a two-hour class of instruction, attendees will learn how to make cork place card holders, which can be used for a variety of events. Cost is $40 and includes two glasses of wine. Reser vations are recommended. For more info, visit Jakes is located at 3755 Sixth Ave. in Hillcrest.

Wednesday, February 12

PICTIONARY: Come play with Tiger … and Sister Ida Know on the back patio. Match your skills, win fun prizes and raise money for good causes. 7:30 – 10 p.m. #1 on Fifth Ave., 3845 Fifth Ave. LATRICE ROYALE & THE DREAMGIRLS: Every Wed. is the DreamGirls Review but this week Latrice Royale from RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 4 will be the special guest. 7 p.m., $7 cover. Urban MO’s, 308 University Ave. Reservations call 619-491-0400.

Thursday, February 13

GSDBA LUNCH EVENT: The GSDBA — in cooperation with the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) and Add Us In — is offering a program briefing to local businesses about how they can benefit from using pre-screened, highly qualified interns with disabilities. Complimentar y lunch will be provided. 12:30 – 2 p.m. Handler y Hotel, 950 Hotel Circle North in Mission Valley. For more info, visit #LEZ AT RICH’S: The women are at Rich’s tonight for DJ Von Kiss, hot go go girls and the Mar y Lambert CD Release Party. 10 p.m. – 2 a.m. Rich’s is at 1051 University Ave. in Hillcrest. For more info, THE UPS AND DOWNS OF LOVE: Join Broadway star Telly Leung and his jazz trio at Martinis Above Fourth for a special pre-Valentine’s show as they share the ups and downs of ever y day love. $20 & $25 reser ved seating with a $15 food minimum. 8 p.m. Martinis is at 3940 Fourth Ave. For more info,

Friday, February 14

LIVE*LOVE*LUST: In conjunction with Little Italy’s Kettner Nights and Valentine’s Day, Kettner Arts studio and galler y is having a special opening reception for their “LiveLoveLust” exhibition, from 6 – 9 p.m. Christian Michaels will show his Andy Warhol-inspired

video portrait series; Ginger Lou will have an array of love/ Valentine’s-themed clutches and scar ves available for purchase, and Lindsay Duff will have her “energy emitting” paintings on display and Indulge Gourmet will share their delicious chocolates. Other artists will also be on hand. Kettner Arts is at 1772 Kettner Blvd. For more info visit V-DAY PROM AT LIPS: Join Tootie and the girls for the 6th annual VD Prom dinner and drag show. First show, seating 7 p.m. – second show, seating 9:30 p.m. $29.95 & $8 cover, which includes three-course meal, costume contest, prom photos and special prom performance. Lips is at 3036 El Cajon Blvd. in North Park. For reser vations, visit or call 619-2957900 x5.

Saturday, February 15

A NIGHT WITH VICKI WAGNER: Rumor has it that Gossip Grill has moved and for their first major event, they are hosting the “2013 Battle of the Comics” winner, Vicki Wagner from WeHo. The fun begins at 8 p.m. and nothing is off limits for Vicki. Tickets start at $10 and admission gets you Vicki’s crazy comedy and then into the new Gossip nightclub for Spin Spin Sugar with DJ Dida. Gossip Grill is now at 1220 University Ave. More info visit

Sunday, February 16

TANTRUMS AND TIARAS: It’s back! After a five-year hiatus, Tantrums and Tiaras returns with a “fun, campy drag pageant” spoofing Miss America and starring local bar staff from around the community who have little to no experience dragging it out. Hosted by Babette Schwartz and produced by MO’s Universe, proceeds from this “Battle of the Bar Queens” will benefit the San Diego LGBT Center. 7 p.m. For more info, visit tantrumstiaras. org. Birch North Park Theatre is located at 2891 University Ave.

Monday, February 17

YOGA FOR EVERYONE: Wanting to try yoga but afraid to start? Check out this weekly free basic yoga class at The Center, taught by Tim Schultheis. Options available for the more advanced. 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. The LGBT Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. Contact LaRue Fields,


Tuesday, February 18

LESBIAN MEET-UP: New weekly early morning business networking meeting, offering a chance to share and support each other’s business or passions. All lesbians in the community are invited. 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. Caffe Calabria, 3933 30th St., North Park. AFTER WORK OFFROAD WITH RAINBOW CYCLISTS: These midweek rides var y but last a couple hours and generally take you to Mission Trails, Pensaquitos or San Clemente Canyon. Starts at 5:30 p.m. and it gets dark so you need a light. Contact Bill at 858-467-1090 or in advance for details and start location.

Wednesday, February 19

COMPLETELY KAHLO – EXTENDED!: “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, now extended through March 9. Today 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Barracks 3, Liberty Station, 2765 Truxton Rd., Tickets start $12.50. Visit PICTIONARY: Come play with Tiger … and Sister Ida Know on the back patio. Match your skills, win fun prizes and raise money for good causes. 7:30 – 10 p.m. #1 on Fifth Ave., 3845 Fifth Ave.

Thursday, February 20

LGBT BUSINESS MIXER: South Bay Alliance, organizers of South Bay Pride Art & Music Festival, are hosting a business mixer to bring more South Bay businesses on board and give all participants the opportunity to network and welcome two new leaders to the organization. Raffle and door prizes, music, food and drink all for $10. The event takes place from 6 – 9 p.m. at Celebration Hall, 1352 Palm Ave. in Imperial Beach. RSVP to and find out more at For inclusion in the calendar, email



GAY SAN DIEGO Feb. 7–20, 2014

A woman’s ‘secret sauce’ for feeling great and looking fabulous ally gaining weight. When you add strength training, your body will finally respond and you will begin to positively affect your bones, muscles and hormones. It’s the secret sauce to continuing to look fit all the way into your 50s, 60s and 70s.

BLAKE & GWEN BECKCOM FITNESS Strength training isn’t just for body builders, fitness competitors and men. Building strength is for every mom, businesswoman and female who wants to look good, feel great and maintain or enhance her athletic capabilities. It’s the missing link to achieving the health and fitness results you want, and it’s absolutely necessary to combat the hormone imbalances, weight gain, bone loss and reduced muscle tissue and strength that are ever so common as women age into adulthood and eventually go through menopause. A lot of women neglect weight training and only focus on cardiovascular work. Like hamsters spinning in a wheel running circles over and over again, they aren’t getting anywhere; they get frustrated and oftentimes are actu-

Build, not bulk up, muscle tissue Strength training is an integral component in slowing down the natural decline of muscle tissue in your body as you age and keeping your body’s metabolic rate at a higher level. A decline in muscle tissue creates a decrease in your basal metabolic rate, which is the amount of energy you expend daily at rest. Muscle or “lean tissue” are “active” in that they burn calories to exist, while fat, well, just hangs there. Once your basal metabolic rate goes down by losing lean tissues, your body fat is going to increase and the actual number of calories you can consume will go down. The less muscle tissue you have, the less nutrition you can take in without an increase in activity. Keeping your metabolic rate up through regular weight training helps keep your muscle tissue up, leading to stronger bone density and a body that is more metabolically active. Strength training is a must for women who want to increase or maintain muscle mass, as well as bone density. Women shouldn’t shy away from it, but rather make it a core component of their weekly exercise routine.

A common misconception about weight training for women is that you are going to bulk up, look huge and build bigger muscle than you desire. However, women simply don’t have enough testosterone to create “manly bulk” and you have to follow a specific eating and weight lifting program to develop the bulky type of muscles associated with muscularity. It’s a FULL-time job to bulk up. You’re going to have to put a lot of work into it, if you really, really wanted to “bulk up.” It’s not going to happen doing full body strength workouts two or three times a week, if you’re training with the right program and trainer who customizes the program for you. Increase bone density to combat osteoporosis Improving bone density and building strong muscle mass go hand-in-hand, especially for women as they age. When you go through menopause and your estrogen levels decrease, your bone density is going to drop. And, since women don’t have as much muscle mass as men to start out with, bone density declines earlier in women than men as muscle size and strength decreases. As we get older, if we aren’t doing weight-bearing exercises that put a load on our bodies to make it work, then our bone density is going to decrease. Genetics and nutrition play into osteoporosis too. But if you can do one thing to keep your bone health up, it should be strength training. Women should do strength

training workouts at least two times per week with a mix of exercises that engage the entire musculature, such as push-ups, pull-ups, squats, dead lifts, overhead presses, situps, front/side planks, and some rotational movements like chops, lifts and Russian twists. These exercises can all be performed with free weights, medicine balls, cables and bands. You don’t have to perform all of these exercises during each workout. You may split your workouts into upper/lower body days, push/pull/lower body, or simply do whole body workouts every time. The point is to work to the right intensity and not over train. Get a handle on your hormones Your hormones are the center of your body’s functionality and coordination. If you have a decline in lean tissue, an increase in body fat and your estrogen is declining, it’s going to put your hormonal levels at a low spot. This is when you start to see visual changes in your body that you aren’t used to and you question yourself about what is going on with your body. This is when women start to get frustrated and they start to feel like they’ve lost themselves. “Where is the old me?” they wonder. Some people automatically think they can’t do anything about it, which is absolutely not true. Getting into the right nutrition and training program that includes flexibility, cardiovascular, strength and functional training is what makes the difference. A great thing about strength training is that regardless of what age you start with resistance workouts, you can still experience the same type of muscle tissue response at any age. Whether you’re 20 years old or 80, you can have the same percentage of increase in muscle mass from strength training. You’re never too old to get started!

Enjoy your new-found strength Don’t be afraid to begin a strength training program to elevate your health and fitness levels, as well as complement your daily activities. Strength training doesn’t mean you’ll be body building. It means you will be more effectively and efficiently performing functionality training that uses movements to mimic your daily activities while keeping you fit and strong. When you strength train with explosive activity, you’re actually tearing muscle fibers. You experience an after burn during the muscle repair process, which is what creates energy consumption. Your metabolic rate increases because it has to repair the muscle fibers and it can stay higher for up to 72 hours after your strength training workout. The power of the after burn associated with strength training will also help you achieve your fitness and weight loss goals without spending a lifetime in the gym. Results don’t actually happen in the training room, they happen during the rest and recovery period; hence the reason nutrition and rest are so importantly intertwined in a healthy lifestyle. The mental boost realized with strength training is also a big component of wellness. Everything is just easier when we are strong, fit, toned, and feeling good about ourselves and our mirror. Though challenges may come, you will be strong enough to face them, strong enough to get through them, and feel good about the process. —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


Reasons for the seasons J E F F P R AU G H T

DUGOUT CHATTER San Diego Pool League I have had the pleasure of playing in a handful of the tremendous LGBT sports leagues here in San Diego, but this year, I finally took the plunge and signed up to play in the San Diego Pool League (SDPL). When I first heard about the league, formed way back in 1978, I was concerned that one had to be an expert player to even qualify. And a few years ago, I really stunk as a player. Fortunately, there are varying divisions based on skill level, and I also don’t stink quite as bad as I used to. I wanted to be able to play with or against my friends, who were all better than me, so I kept playing against them to learn the game and improve. The season began in January and I landed on my good friend Laura Szymanski’s Flicks D pool team. The league is divided in four divisions (A, B, C, D), though the D division really is just a random split of the C division. Two weeks into the season, it is very clear that our opponents are not novices, which a D division would seem to imply. That said, to anyone who is just picking up the game, the D division is definitely for you and I would encourage you to look into joining next season. Matches are on Monday nights at various sponsor bars around town. From 6 – 6:30 p.m., the home team gets to practice on the table and the visitors take their turn for 30 minutes thereafter. At 7 p.m., the first of 16 singles matches are played. League rules are slightly different than your standard casual pool, especially when it comes to scratches. While a team can claim victory if they win at least nine games, the standings are not built around wins and losses. They are calculated simply by adding up the number of individual games each team has won. So even if your team loses 12–4 like we did last night, it is better for us that we won four games than had we been shut out. Individual and team trophies are presented at the conclusion of each season during the league banquet, with winners earning invitations to the West Coast Challenge, which occurs twice a season. The WCC is held every year in Janu-

ary and again in July, and rotates between San Diego, Long Beach, Los Angeles and San Francisco. SDPL holds a fall season that runs from August until December, and a spring season that runs from January until June. The diversity of the league’s membership is broad, as both men and women ranging in age from 21 up through the 80s participate. Player fees are just $2 per player, per game that you play on a given week (maximum of four games per week). If you are interested in learning more about the league or getting matched up with a team, visit the league’s website at America’s Finest City Softball League clinics Year 32 of San Diego’s largest LGBT sports league begins on Sunday, March 9 as AFCSL kicks off its spring season in the Women’s and Open Divisions. Each division is broken down into subdivisions based on the skill level of teams, utilizing player ratings to make those determinations. Teams form themselves, as opposed to leagues such as basketball and flag football, where players are drafted onto rosters. Newcomers to AFCSL, or those who have been out of action for at least two seasons, are required to attend one new player clinic. Each of these events are being held at Mira Mesa’s Hourglass Park, with separate clinics for women and men. Men cannot play in the Women’s Division, but women can play in the Open Division, as a handful already do. Players are run through a variety of basic fielding and hitting drills that allow evaluators to bin players as beginner, intermediate or advanced. If teams will have them, players can always play in higher-rated divisions than their own player rating, but not vice versa (for safety and competitive reasons). Player fees are a modest $55 for 20 games during the season, which runs until June. Games are mostly held at the nice complexes in Poway and Santee. If you are interested in playing but have not found a team to play for, the league will help place you on a team, so do not let your free agent status deter you from playing. For more information about the league and to see when the next new player clinics are being held, visit the league website at

San Diego American Flag Football League holds draft SDAFFL, now in its 11th season, held its draft party on Saturday, Feb. 1. Once again, the league has expanded, with a record 18 teams playing this season. Congratulations to Commissioner Russ Edra and his hard-working board on getting the logistics in order to accommodate so many players. Finding officials and field space for so many games is no easy task, but the popular league has outdone itself in offering a place for nearly 300 players to enjoy the sport. Every year, an influx of new players comes into the sport, unsure of what to expect from this highly competitive league. There are no varying divisions based on skill level, so players will get a chance to perform against the worst and best SDAFFL has to offer. Rookies can look forward to experiencing high-energy games, a crazy post-game social experience, and a lot of soreness on Sundays. Good luck to everyone this spring season. Games are held on Saturdays at Doyle Community Park in University Town Center. For more information visit —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


INTERVIEW the film’s musical climax, being done by drag queens? (JG): Oh my God, completely. It’s like a gay anthem. I asked [composers] Bobby [Lopez] and Kristen [Anderson-Lopez], “Did you intend to write a gay anthem? Because I’m pretty sure you did.” They’re like, “No; honestly, when we wrote that song we were like, ‘We’re gonna go to a room right now and get really in an emotional place and write this ballad that is just true and honest and real.’” So they did not intend to write a gay ballad — but I think they did anyway! (CA): You worked with Julia Roberts and Mark Ruffalo on Ryan Murphy’s adaptation of Larry Kramer’s 1985 play “The Normal Heart,” which airs in May. I mean, no big deal or anything. (JG): I know, it’s crazy. When “The Kids Are All Right” came out, I saw that movie three times in the movie theater and I’m so obsessed with it and I’m so obsessed with [Ruffalo] in it. Like a crazy person, I cut out a picture of him in a magazine — I’m not even kidding, I never do this — and put it on my dressing room mirror because I was like, “That’s who I wanna be.” I just admire him so much. And so in the movie I play his ex-boyfriend ... (CA): Do you get to kiss him then? (JG): We don’t have a kissing scene, which is unfortunate for me, because when the movie starts,

GAY SAN DIEGO Feb. 7–20, 2014


we’re already exes. But just to be in the same room as him was a big deal for me. I fell deeper in love. (CA): What do you hope the takeaway will be for this generation of LGBT people who didn’t experience the AIDS epidemic like those who saw “The Normal Heart” in its original form? (JG): We did this scene on the beach on Fire Island where they had a white party and there were extras in their early 20s — and I’m 28 — and we’re all having a blast, and then it hit a bunch of us as we were standing there that, in the story of this movie, most of these people are dead. Just standing there on the beach with everyone dressed in white being so young and having a great time — and thinking about what happened to the people who were dressed like this — it was really powerful and really affecting. For my generation of people watching the movie, hopefully that will be like, “Oh, this was like us. This was us 30 years ago.” It’s so amazing that they’re turning that play into a movie, and that young people will watch. Maybe people who aren’t as connected to the AIDS crisis will be able to look back and see themselves in these characters and pass the story onto the next generation. Editor’s Note: To read the entire interview between Chris Azzopardi and Jonathan Groff, visit —Chris Azzopardi is the editor of Q Syndicate, the international LGBT wire service. Reach him via his website at


GAY SAN DIEGO Feb. 7–20, 2014

Gay San Diego - February 7 2014  
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