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Volume 4 Issue 23 Nov. 15–28, 2013 Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.



PG. 17


Senate passes ENDA


With huge hurdle complete, congressional action unclear

Honoring service


Lisa Keen | Keen News Service

Alberto Cortés, said they couldn’t be more excited that their relationship is ongoing. “Most of the funding that we need in order to provide our services comes from the community,” Cortés said. “We get very little government funding and we depend on donations and volunteers to support the foundation.” Considering their cost per meal is approximately $3.12, last year’s donation was substantial. In total, it helped provide more than 3,200 meals to men, women and children who are living with AIDS or cancer. Cortés said that Mama’s Kitchen’s direct involvement in

On Nov. 7, the U.S. Senate approved the flagship piece of legislation that the LGBT community has fought for over the past 19 years and more. The 64 to 32 vote marked the first time the Senate has approved the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). The only other Senate vote, in 1996, failed on a vote of 49 to 50. ENDA seeks to add language to the federal Civil Rights Act to prohibit employers from taking adverse employment actions against employees or job applicants based on “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.” It applies to employers with more than 15 employees but exempts some employers based on the degree to which they are involved in religious activities. While the bill is not as comprehensive as the original legislation introduced by the late Rep. Bella Abzug (DNY) in 1974 and championed by the late Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) beginning in 1996, it is considered to be both a critical step toward securing equal rights for LGBT people and a powerful symbolic asset. The major hurdle now is the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. House Speaker John Boehner has repeatedly said he would not bring ENDA to the floor for a vote in the House, saying he does not believe the legislation is necessary

see RuPaul, pg 5

see ENDA, pg 4

(l to r) Chad Michaels, Lady Bunny and Bebe Zahara Benet will be featured at a benefit for Mama’s Kitchen on the rooftop of Hotel Palomar, Friday Nov. 15. (Courtesy Mama's Kitchen)

Tie a red ribbon around Hotel Palomar



RuPaul’s Drag Race stars to strut their stuff for Mama’s Kitchen Margie Palmer | GSD Reporter

A different road show


For the second year in a row Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar is holding an out-of-the-box charity event that will not only be chock full of drag performers, its proceeds will benefit a much-deserving charity. On Nov. 15, the superstars from Logo TV’s RuPaul’s Drag Race and All Stars Drag Race will rev up the crowd as part of the hotel chain’s nationwide Red Ribbon Campaign. The campaign, according to the property’s sales and marketing director Drew Parker, was first started in San Francisco in the mid-1980s and its mission is to assist HIV service organizations through special events, corporate donations and volunteerism. “Bill Kimpton, who founded Kimpton hotels was very involved

in the LGBT community,” Parker said. “It was his way of giving back in the 1980s when the HIV/ AIDS epidemic hit.” Since that time the campaign has grown to epic proportions. Today, each Kimpton city picks a local charity to work with. All proceeds stay local, Parker said, which allows community members in need to directly benefit from the effort. Hotel Palomar was purchased by the hotel chain in the first part of 2012 and last year’s inaugural San Diego Red Ribbon Campaign helped raise more than $10,000. Mama’s Kitchen was quickly chosen to be last year’s benefactor. The charity’s executive director,

Masquerade with Snooze Local eatery to celebrate 2 years, staff Morgan M. Hurley | GSD Editor

Mysterious Skin


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Hillcrest’s Snooze, an A.M. Eatery opened to great fanfare in November of 2011, and with its colorful motifs, playful décor, delicious food and über-friendly atmosphere, the Colorado-based breakfast restaurant fit perfectly into the neighborhood. Two years later, all the hype has yet to die down while crowds continue to assemble. To celebrate, the staff—led by recently promoted General Manager Nick Papantonakis—is inviting the entire community to join in their two-year anniversary with a Masquerade Party, on Nov. 22, from 6 – 10 p.m. Since Snooze closes at 2:30 p.m. every day, the entire restaurant will be taken over for the event, which will feature an upscale menu, including hors d’ oeuvres and tray-passed finger foods, event-themed cocktails, a carving station and even caviar. A small selection of beer and wine will also be available. Tickets to the family-friendly event are $15 and all proceeds will go to this year’s chosen charity, Feeding America San Diego, a local food bank that serves all of San Diego County. Attendees are also encouraged to bring non-perishable food

The entire inside of Snooze, an A.M. Eatery will be turned into a masquerade ball to celebrate their second anniversary. (Courtesy Snooze) items to further help the nonprofit. Papantonakis—who signs his emails “aka Clark Kent” with good reason—said last year’s “Snooze’s Fun House” anniversary party was an over-the-top event that also raised $1,500, which was split between the Surfrider Foundation and ARTS (A Reason To Survive). The goal this year is to raise $1,000 for Feeding America, the sole benefactor. To help meet that mark, Snooze will be selling

drink and “entertainment” tickets for $1 each at the party, as well as donating 10 percent of all sales on Nov. 18, the Hillcrest location’s actual anniversary date. Aside from live music and dancing at the masquerade party, Papantonakis said the restaurant will “definitely be going all out” with regards to décor and staff costumes. There will also be face

see Snooze, pg 3


GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 15–28, 2013


GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 15–28, 2013

Local LGBT veterans honored Morgan M. Hurley | GSD Editor

The current Snooze Hillcrest staff will be celebrated at the anniversary. (Courtesy Snooze)


SNOOZE painting, tarot readings, a fortune teller, a photo booth, and other fun activities available for the cost of entertainment tickets, and those who bring non-perishables will receive one ticket in exchange for each. “Masks are … I’m not going to say required, but highly, highly encouraged,” Papantonakis said, adding that those who arrive without one can choose a basic mask at the door and decorate it on their way in. The young superhero lookalike said the anniversary celebration also doubles as a staff appreciation party, meaning the entire Hillcrest crew will be in party mode, with staff from Snooze’s new Del Mar location taking over kitchen and serving roles for the evening. “We’re very excited that we’ve made it this far and we want to celebrate that and take care of our staff and show them how much we appreciate them,” he said. Staff appreciation is one of the many things that initially drew Papantonakis to the Snooze family not long after getting his degree in hospitality management at Colorado State University. He said his first interview with owner Jon Schlegel was so impactful, he left feeling, “I have to do whatever I can to let them know how interested I am,” he said. His persistence paid off and after a year in Fort Collins—the third of five Snooze locations currently in Colorado—he made the move to San Diego to open the Hillcrest location as assistant to then general manager, Robert Butterfield. Butterfield recently bumped up to regional manager to oversee the Hillcrest, Del Mar and soon-to-be location in Scottsdale, Ariz., making room for Papantonakis. “We had a nice symbiotic relationship,” Papantonakis said. “He had 30-plus years of restaurant experience … and has been one of the greatest teachers I’ve ever had.”

Papantonakis was also attracted to Snooze’s eco-friendly practices, which include composting, recycling, small business partnerships and energy efficiency. He said the Hillcrest location is able to divert 60 percent of their food scrap from landfills through their compost program. Currently in his third year as Snooze’s representative on the Hillcrest Business Association board, Papantonakis launched his own sustainability committee with the HBA last spring. The group meets monthly and is focused on attaining “eco-district certification” for the neighborhood. As for what else revelers can expect from the upcoming night of masquerade, Papantonakis preferred to offer few details. “People will be dressed to the nines,” he said. “Plan for an evening of mystical, dark deeds.” Snooze’s 2nd anniversary Masquerade Party will take place on Friday, Nov. 22, from 6–10 p.m. Those wishing to attend can purchase tickets for $15 anytime up to the day of the event at the Hillcrest location, 3940 Fifth Ave. For more information about Feeding America San Diego, visit

ter's director of public policy and civic engagement, opened the ceremony by welcoming those in attendance. Wall founder Nicole Murray-Ramirez introduced Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins, who spoke directly to the honorees. “As a member of a military family, I know the kind of sacrifices you each have made in order to defend our nation and our way of life,” Atkins said. “In addition to putting yourselves in harm’s way during your service, you have also given up your own freedom in order to protect ours.

The week prior to Veteran’s Day, The San Diego LGBT Center once again honored its local LGBT veterans, inducting 15 of them to the Benjamin F. Dillingham and Bridget Wilson LGBT Veterans Wall of Honor. The wall was first unveiled in November of 2011, two months after “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” was repealed. Thought to be the only wall of its kind in the nation, the Thursday, Nov. 6 ceremony included the third annual round of inductees that served under the hardship of the military’s ban on gays and lesbians and also included the debut of a new annual award which will go to an active duty LGBT service member in future years. That award is the Donna Johnson Equality and Valor Award, named for U.S. Army (l to r) Anna Perez, Kristen Beck and Will Sergeant Donna Johnson, who Rodriquez-Kennedy after the ceremony was killed Oct. 1, 2011 in Afghanistan. Sgt. Johnson was the (Photo by Connor Maddox) first military service member killed in action that was married to “You have lived away from her same-sex partner. home and friends and family and, Tracy Johnson—who was subof course, you have had to deny jected to additional turmoil when who you are and whom you love in the U.S. Army refused to recognize so many cases. her as next of kin when her wife “We are so very grateful to you. was killed—travelled to San Diego Your courage and sacrifice are the from her home in Arkansas to acreason your names belong up on cept the inaugural award on behalf this wall for all to see,” she said. of her late wife. Also in attendance was City The event began with a formal Councilmember and mayoral candipresentation of the Colors by a lodate David Alvarez. cal Naval Color Guard, followed the Sean Sala, Advisory Council National Anthem sung by Portland, Chair, read the bios for each Ore., transplant Patrick Hammond. inductee and presented them with Denise Serrano, The Centheir awards. Some inductees


chose say a few words, many of which visibly moved the audience, especially those of Tracy Johnson. In addition to the certificate of induction, honorees were also presented with certificates of recognition signed by Toni Atkins, and a special commendation signed by Interim Mayor Todd Gloria. The inductees for 2013 were: Joseph C. Rocha, USN; April F. Heinze, USN; Stewart Bornhoft, USA; Kathleen A. Hansen, USN; Morgan M. Hurley, USN; Evelyn Lynn Thomas, USMC; Ben Gomez, USN; Shaun Flak, USMC; Will Rodriguez-Kennedy, USMC; Carlita “Lee” Durand, USAF; John Banvard, USAAC; Gerard Nadeau, USA; Autumn Violet Sandeen, USN; Jacque Atkinson, USMC; Stephen Peters, USMC; and Kristen Beck, USN. All but Hansen and Gomez were present to accept their awards. Beck’s attendance quickly elevated the evening, as it became known that CNN is doing a documentary on the retired senior chief, who recently wrote the book, “Warrior Princess: A U.S. Navy Seal’s Journey to Coming Out Transgender.” CNN was on hand to film the occasion and those who had the potential to be on camera were required to fill out a form. The ceremony ended with a catered reception, where attendees got the chance to mingle with the honorees and thank them for their service. Nominations for the LGBT Veterans Wall of Honor must first meet a specific set of criteria and be vetted by the Advisory Council before acceptance for induction. Specific criteria and instructions for future nominations are available at


GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 15–28, 2013



(Artwork by Rebecah Allison Corbin)

and that it would lead to frivolous lawsuits. That looming hurdle did not dampen the enthusiasm of senators praising the senate for its passage of the bill. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), who took the lead on ENDA in the Senate after the death of Kennedy, praised Kennedy’s leadership and that of others in both political parties. “From the Declaration of Independence to the Constitution to our battles over slavery, our battles over gender discrimination, race discrimination, we have fought to capture that vision of equality and liberty and opportunity and fairness embedded in our found- ing documents and our founding vision,” said Merkley, at a press conference after the first two votes were secured. “We’ve taken a huge stride today in that direction.” Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), who championed the bill in his senate committee, said, “Today is an historic day.” He noted that the Congress passed the Civil Rights Act in 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1994. “Now, we have sort of finished the trilogy,” said Harkin, who also praised Merkley’s leadership on ENDA. “We wouldn’t be here without Jeff Merkley,” said Harkin. “He spearheaded this whole effort.” And Harkin called Senator Tammy Baldwin’s involvement “instrumental.” The passage of ENDA today came after the Senate first rejected an amendment to dramatically expand the number of employers who could claim a religious exemption to ENDA. The amendment, introduced by Senator Pat Toomey (R-Penn.), needed 60 votes to pass. Section 6 of the original bill stated, “This Act shall not apply to a corporation, association, educational institution or institution of learning, or society that is exempt from the religious discrimination provisions of title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.” On Wednesday, Nov. 6, the Senate approved, by voice vote, an amendment from six Republican senators led by Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) to ban state and local governments from “retaliating against religious groups that take action only permissible because of the religious exemption clause” in ENDA. It was approved by voice vote Wednesday morning. While LGBT groups were not enthusiastic about the Portman amendment, they didn’t oppose it. But nearly every LGBT group and supporter opposed the Toomey Amendment. It sought to expand the exemption to include entities “managed by a church or religious organization, officially affiliated with a particular religion, or [that] teach a curriculum directed toward propagating a particular religion.” It would also apply to organizations with “both religious and secular functions.” Speaking on behalf of his amendment Thursday morning, Toomey said ENDA “makes a strong stand” for equality. But he said religious freedom is also an important value. He said he thinks his amendment “strikes an appropriate balance.” He said he was concerned the courts have not been consistent in recognizing which religious institutions should enjoy the religious exemptions that currently exist in the Civil Rights Act. ENDA amends the Civil Rights

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Act to include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.” Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) spoke in opposition to Toomey’s amendment, saying that changing the existing language of the Civil Rights Act will call into question language that employers are already familiar with and know how to comply with. He said the Toomey amendment “officially affiliated with a particular religion” to discriminate. “This is a new term that is undefined in the text of the amendment and could lead to thousands of proprofit businesses being allowed to discriminate,” said Harkin. He said an employer might be considered “affiliated” simply by receiving a newsletter from a religious group. “It threatens to gut the fundamental purpose of ENDA,” said Harkin. Baldwin, the senate’s only openly gay member, said the current religious exemption in ENDA is a “very carefully negotiated bipartisan” religious exemption. She urged the Senate to reject Toomey’s amendment. The Senate did so, by a vote of 43 to 55. 43 to 55. The Senate then voted 64 to 34 to approve a procedural motion to close debate on ENDA. (All roll call votes are available on the senate website approximately one hour after they are recorded.) ENDA supporters were clearly hoping for a robust vote in support of the underlying bill and were heartened that not one senator, over the course of four days of allotted debate time, spoke in opposition to ENDA. Senator Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) did express concern about the addition of language to protect people on the basis of gender identity. Flake indicated he had prepared an amendment that did not make it to the floor, but suggested that his concerns were addressed. “When I voted for ENDA in the House in 2007, it did not contain the provisions with regard to gender identity,” said Flake. “Those added provisions have concerned me in terms of potential costs of litigation or compliance. I still have concerns, and I hope that as we work through the process and this bill moves onto the House that we can find ways to make sure that employers can implement these provisions in a way that is reasonable and proper.” Thanking Baldwin for working with his office on “these issues,” Flake said, “I have a better appreciation for what needs to be done and what we can do with this legislation as it moves through the process.” Baldwin, speaking at the press conference after the first two votes were taken, said “For folks, like myself, in the LGBT community, the opportunity to be judged in the workplace by your skills and qualities, your loyalty, your work ethic, is an important pronouncement for this nation.” She talked also about the “symbolic impact” of the vote. “When we something is wrong and it shouldn’t be done,” said Baldwin, “that sends a powerful message to prevent discrimination in the first place.” “This is a really tremendous milestone,” said Baldwin, “ – a day I will never forget in my service in the senate.” —Lisa Keen is a well-known, respected and award-winning gay journalist who spent 18 years as editor of the Washington Blade. See more news from Keen and other select veteran gay journalists at


Keep Pride free Donation drive for South Bay Pride Art & Music Festival kicks off

Last year’s Red Ribbon event (Courtesy Mama's Kitchen)


RUPAUL the event is more peripheral, as the staff at Hotel Palomar is doing all the heavy lifting. Parker said they hope to raise more than twice the money they were able to take in last year. Their current goal, he said, is in the ballpark of $25,000. “Last year we had a small reception with an art theme. I think about 75 people attended,” he said. “This year we’re putting together a big produced event and expect to attract 400 attendees. As far as I know this is going to be the biggest one out of all of the hotel’s properties.” The festivities will start at 7 p.m. and will include the iconic Lady Bunny, RuPaul’s Drag Race Season One winner BeBe Zahara Benet, Season Three winner Raja and All Star winner Chad Michaels. Live and silent auctions will also take place throughout the night as a means of contributing to the fundraising efforts. Tray-passed appetizers and cocktails will also be available for guests to enjoy. Cortés said that no matter the outcome, he is grateful for the financial support and promotion of greater awareness for Mama’s Kitchen. “One of the things Kimpton is wonderful at is getting people to this fundraiser that are from different parts of the city,” he said. “There is a great value in being able to introduce the organization to younger people or others throughout San Diego County. Creating awareness in new circles not only provides opportunities for people to support us financially, but who can look at other ways to become involved. I can’t possibly convey the value of that.” Hotel Palomar is located at 1047 Fifth Ave., Downtown. Tickets can be purchased for $40 at For more information about Mama’s Kitchen or the San Diego Red Ribbon event, visit




e’ve kicked off our donation drive for the 2014 South Bay Pride Art & Music Festival with a bang, well … really a business mixer, Thursday, Nov. 14. Ever yone came down to meet and mingle with the fantastic businesses members that helped make this past year’s Pride such a success and support next year’s Pride festival. The energy around this great come-back Pride celebration has a lot of people talking about how

to make a difference and one of those differences is to create an LGBT-supportive business network to reach out to the people in the South Bay. The business mixer was held at Scott Styler’s new Celebration Hall, 1351 Palm Ave., in Imperial Beach. Hors d’oeuvres and drinks were ser ved and the “Art of Elegance” was spinning music for us. The opportunity drawing grand prize was an overnight stay at the elegant Loews Coronado Resort in nearby Coronado. In addition to the great music, food, drinks and prizes, Melanie Peters—of Melanie Peters Productions and Agent AKA—made a special presentation “10 Minute Facebook Ad Dash” where she talked about the advertising outreach of social media, in particular Facebook, the difference between a “Promoted Page” and a “Promoted Post” and what companies can really expect from Facebook and other social media networks as a sales tool. All said it was a great time and a great opportunity to check out Celebration Hall for the upcoming holiday parties. South Bay Alliance will be expanding their business listings section of their website to provide South Bay with a source for the LGBT friendly businesses. If

you are interested in being listed on our website, please contact us at SouthBayAlliance@gmail. com and put “business listing request” in the subject line. Our new Business Outreach chair Scott Styler will get back to you! In addition to the business mixer to support the donation drive, South Bay Alliance has launched a crowd-funding site at keep-south-bay-pride-free to help meet our individual giving goal of $5,000 before the end of the year. Your tax-deductible donations will go towards keeping South Bay Pride Art & Music Festival a FREE event for all attendees with no admission charge. Since our inception in 2008, we have been committed to maintaining as much accessibility to the community as possible and keeping the festival a free and open event is a priority. That said, we have grown from a few hundred attendees to an expected 3,000 – 5,000 next year and with that growth has come added expenses. Help us keep South Bay Pride free to all LGBT and their allies to celebrate love, diversity and equality for all. This is particularly important to our youth here in the South Bay and this celebration provides them with a commu-

GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 15–28, 2013


nity Pride event where they can know that they are accepted and valued. Past attendees have expressed that being able to have such an open, accepting and affirming celebration in their own backyard was enormously moving. We are small enough to be a community Pride and big enough to draw a lot of media attention. Your contribution will help us look and feel like a big Pride while still being accessible to the general public. It is a priority that we speak for our diverse community in the South Bay. Our hope is that this event gets bigger ever y year and becomes a destination Pride (much like Palm Springs) as a unique festival on its own. As in the past, we are also reaching out to our corporate supporters to help through their sponsorship of the event. If you are a corporation that would like to be a corporate sponsor, contact us at SouthBayPride@gmail. com. Keep Pride Free. — Dae Elliott is a sociologist and lecturer working at SDSU since 1994. She is one of the founding executive committee members and current chair of South Bay Alliance, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organized in 2006 with the purpose of building a coalition of the LGBT community and allies for social networking, business promotion and political awareness in South San Diego County. South Bay Alliance has been the organizer of South Bay Pride Art & Music Festival since 2007. Contact her at



GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 15–28, 2013

Editorial Fired for being transgender, what ENDA vote means to me By Diane Schroer, from the ACLU Blog Editor’s Note: This opinion piece was first published on Nov. 11, 2013 on blog. For a direct link, visit our website at


A veteran gives thanks By Morgan M. Hurley, GSD Editor This past Monday, Nov. 11, was Veteran’s Day. I was humbled at the amount of genuine appreciation for all veterans displayed on social media that day, and equally thrilled at the high number of profile pictures changed to honor self-service or the service of others throughout the day. I myself am a proud Navy veteran. I served seven years of active duty and another 15 as a very active reservist, retiring as a Chief Petty Officer in 2003.

On the Thursday prior to Veteran’s Day, Nov. 6, I was inducted onto the Benjamin F. Dillingham III and Bridget Wilson LGBT Veteran’s Wall of Honor at the San Diego LGBT Community Center here in Hillcrest. I was nominated by another veteran I greatly admire—Sean Sala—and the evening itself was quite an honor, especially to be included among the 15 other distinguished honorees. The event was well attended and you could feel the love. You can read more about it in my story on page 3. This overwhelming appreciation and support for veterans in 2013 is a far cry from what transpired in the 1970s when our troops

see Editorial, pg 7

Letters Reactions to closure of local landmark A sad turn of events for this wonderful historic landmark to be turned into an off-limits white elephant [See “Top of the Park rumored to close,” Vol. 4, Issue 22]. Sad that we will lose a wonderful place to meet friends on Friday night (old and new), see wonderful sunsets, and enjoy great company. I’m torn if I should begin to not go and withdraw my support or just go and join in the community to keep meeting great people. Perhaps just go up there and not drink. I hope there will be another place that will be willing to host this excellent weekly gathering. —John via Yes the “rumor” is true. After 20 years of being such an integral part of the community, Top of the Park will be no more. I have many fond memories of that venue. It was one of the first places that I would go to after I came out in 1995 as a gay man. I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Willis and I would sit and listen on occasion to his wonderful stories during dinner at the Inn. They weren’t just stories to me, they were adventures. You would always see him with an impeccably pressed shirt, silk tie, cuff links and shoes that were so polished they would sparkle. I thought he was truly a renaissance man. In addition, he mentored many people, which made him larger than life. Many, many wonderful memories I have of that place. The only thing in life that can be guaranteed is change. It’s the end of an era, but opportunities will arise for something new and different that will hopefully honor that part

of the community’s histor y. —Efrain Montes via This is quite an institution that will no longer be available to the LGBT community. When I moved back to San Diego in 1985, I was introduced to the “Top of the Park” by good friends of mine. With all the restaurants around that area that didn’t succeed, i.e. WD’s aka Briefs, aka Lips, the Inn at the Park was always there. The staff not only downstairs in the bar and restaurant, but also upstairs on Friday nights, were friendly and always had a smile (Bob Gromowski!!). When I was president of the California Cyclemen’s Motorcycle Club (CCMC), I had my farewell president’s finner up at “The Top.” Ed Delehanty, the sales manager and Larry, were two of the best managers I had ever worked with. They made us feel welcome. San Diego will miss this great place. Thanks everyone for 20+ years. My best to all. —Paul Buckholz, via Dear Frank, I enjoyed your article ‘Top of the Park rumored to close by end of year,’ and yes, unfortunately, this is true. As you know, Park Manor Suites was a big part of my life for 20+ years, as Director of Sales & Marketing! I ‘semi-retired’ in September of 2011, after our sale to Shell Hospitality. My years spent at The Manor were amazing, I still get emotional passing by, but, as they say, life goes on … we had a terrific team and were able to work closely and give back to the ‘community’ for many years, so thankful and grateful I was a part of this era. After the Wyndham Group gives their formal announce-

PUBLISHER David Mannis (619) 961-1951


ACCOUNTING Priscilla Umel-Martinez (619) 961-1962

EDITOR Morgan M. Hurley (619) 961-1960

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ASSISTANT EDITOR Hutton Marshall (619) 961-1952

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Hearing and reading about the debate over the Employment Non Discrimination Act (ENDA) in the Senate the past couple of days has been a surreal experience. We’ve come a long way. It was not even ten years ago that I had a job offer rescinded—a job I was eminently qualified for, I might add—by my prospective employer (the Library of Congress) once they found out that I was in the process of a gender transition. The ACLU represented me in a suit against the Library of Congress for the unfair way in which they treated me. Several years later in 2008, I testified before Congress in the first-ever congressional hearing on gender identity discrimination in the workplace. It was a unique opportunity for me to tell my personal story of taking steps to transition from male to female shortly after retiring as a colonel after 25 years of distinguished service in the Army, and of being discriminated against by the Library of Congress. Now, in 2013, here we are: ENDA, a

Chris Azzopardi Charlene Baldridge Dae Elliott Lisa Keen Michael Kimmel Paul McGuire Margie Palmer Jeff Praught Frank Sabatini Jr.

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.

bill that would prohibit discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation and gender identity (like the discrimination I experienced), has passed the Senate with a huge bipartisan margin of 64 to 32. Liberals like Sen. Boxer (D-Calif.) joined conservatives like Sen. Toomey (RPa.) to pass ENDA. It’s truly an astounding achievement. And for me, (like too many other LGBT people) it’s personal. Sometimes, in the midst of policy debates, we forget that workplace discrimination actually happens to real people. But it›s not some mythical thing. I was profoundly affected by the discrimination I experienced. And even though I won my case (thanks, ACLU!) and now have a job that I love, nobody should have to go through what I did simply because of who they are. So I look forward to seeing ENDA eventually reaching the President’s desk, even if it›s not this time around (the prospects for passage in the House of Representatives are uncertain). It will truly be a great day when all Americans have a fair shot at job opportunities and advancement in the workplace regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Diane Shroer is a highly decorated Army veteran with 25 years of distinguished service with the Special Forces as an Airborne Ranger. With over 450 parachute jumps, she retired as a Colonel before beginning her transition. For more information about the ACLU and their involvement in civil liberties issues, follow them on Twitter and Facebook.t

ment (I expect this soon) I would be happy to share my memories with you. We appreciate the many reviews you did for us and your support. I only wish the best to their future. —Ed Delehanty, via The community should be very concerned about the owner of this landmark hotel. It’s owned by a shady “vacation club.” We were solicited at a gay pride event and attended a sales pitch at the hotel. They claim for (a big chunk of cash) you can join this club and stay at this property and others around the country. But check online. Poor suckers who buy this deal are bit with an expensive upkeep fee, can’t get reservations FOR YEARS and can’t unload their membership. The owners are running a sales boiler room out of the hotel. Not congruent with what we need or want in Hillcrest. —K. Connell, via

Applause for following her dreams Ian Morton, this is a wonderful story! [See “Profiles in Advocacy: Prizila Vidal—living, loving and giving back,” Vol. 4, Issue 22] Prizila, I love that you followed your dreams and we are all here to help one another and you are helping many by your life. I wish you the best keep doing what you are doing there are so many youth in need of answers and you lived it. Hugs & Kisses. —Candi Samples, via gay-sd.comt

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

Business Improvement Association



Editor Morgan Hurley’s Sailor of the Quarter photo, 1984. (Courtesy Morgan Hurley) FROM PAGE 6

EDITORIAL returned from Vietnam. Those service members—most of whom were forced into combat in the age of the draft—were brave beyond reason and after a long, bloody, and tragic war, if they came back they were disjointed, a bit tangled and forever changed, only to find they were abandoned by their own country. Thankfully, a moving war memorial and a yellow ribbon campaign during the first Iraq War changed all that and today, even if we as Americans don’t like or agree with the atrocities of war, we all fully understand the great sacrifices our veterans make for each of us when they serve. Although my duties directly supported military action during two Iraq wars, I never spent time “in country;” but as a lesbian, I was dodging bullets and fighting a war of my own here at home. The “witch-hunts” were always around but they seemed to escalate Navy-wide once women were first detailed to Naval ships in 1979 under the Women at Sea program. The 1980s saw a surge in discharges and records show the decade to include the highest rates ever, with women being pushed out in proportions vastly unequal to men. The USS Dixon, a San Diego-based submarine tender, and the USS Vulcan, an east coast based tender, both saw high-profile witch-hunts that made the national news in those early days. I remember in the summer of 1980 telling a friend of the family I was joining the Navy and she said, “Why? Didn’t you hear about all the lesbians on that Vulcan ship?” I immediately thought she knew I was in the middle of my first same-sex relationship and the Navy was part of my escape plan. In those days the question whether I’d “engaged in homosexual acts” sat right alongside the one about drugs on the intake paperwork. Looking back I find it amusing that I felt compelled to tell the truth about the drugs I’d experimented with, but not the women. Although joining the Navy to escape my attraction to women was clearly a ruse, I’m forever thankful of my choice, despite the heartache I later endured. I excelled in the Navy and I’m sure I would have dedicated 30 full-time years and become a highly decorated warrant officer, had its policies not been so homophobic. It was the deepest, most unrequited love of my life. I’m retired now, DADT has been repealed and my name is up on that wall at The LGBT Center for all to see – three things that 20 years ago I never thought possible and I’m quite proud. In the coming year, I’m going to run a profile series on all the LGBT veterans whose names went on the LGBT Veterans Wall of Honor this year, one at a time, starting with the next issue of Gay San Diego. The stories that were told that night by each inductee barely scratched the surface of their careers, good or bad, and their stories deserve to be told. I hope you all take the time to follow along. Veteran’s Day 2013 is behind us now, but please don’t ever give up an opportunity to thank a veteran, no matter what day it is.t

THE CENTER LAUNCHES #GIVINGTOGETHER CAMPAIGN In conjunction with its recent milestone anniversary, The San Diego LGBT Center has launched a new fundraising campaign. Called #GivingTogether, the campaign will use social media to garner support and encourage participation through tax-deductable donations. “For four decades, The Center has stood as a beacon of hope for LGBT San Diegans, and for others across the nation,” said CEO Dr. Delores A. Jacobs in a press release. “Today, we continue to fulfill our dual mission to serve those most vulnerable in our community and to fight for full equality. We remain grateful for the generous investments that have been made in The Center over the past 40 years that have made this work possible, and for those gifts that are being made now in honor of our 40th anniversary.” In order to participate, make a one-time or recurring monetary donation at, then make a sign that states your personal reason for making the donation, including the hashtag #GivingTogether on the sign. Then upload a photo of you holding the sign to social media. On Facebook, tag The San Diego LGBT Community Center and use #GivingTogether in your post. On Twitter use #GivingTogether and tag @LGBTCenter in your tweet. The Center’s development staff will then share your post on The Center’s Facebook page. For assistance regarding the #GivingTogether campaign, contact Rick Cervantes at LESBIANS CONSIDERING PARENTING WORKSHOP Progressive Health Services in North Park is offering a workshop for lesbians who are considering parenting. Facilitated by Suzann Gage, OB/GYN RNC/NP, the workshops will cover donor insemination, foster parenting, adoption options, co-parenting, and related issues. Workshops will take place on the 2nd Saturday of every month beginning December 14, from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Lesbian Health Clinic, 2141 El Cajon Blvd., at Mississippi St. For more information, visit or call 619260-0810. FILMOUT SAN DIEGO BOARD SEEKS APPLICANTS Non-profit organization FilmOut San Diego is now seeking applicants to serve as board members as it prepares to plan its annual LGBT Film Festival, scheduled for late May 2014, and manage their regular monthly film screenings and movie marathons. This will mark the 16th annual film festival, taking place at the historic Birch North Park Theatre, which was recently purchased by West Coast Tavern owners. According to board member Ken Williams, requirements for membership include, “among other duties, participation in monthly board meetings, outreach at the monthly screenings and movie marathons and festival, and securing funds for the operating budget.” Those interested should contact Festival Director Kaleb James at kaleb@ GAY MEN’S CHORUS RECEIVES GRANT The San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus (SDGMC) recently received a $5,000 matching grant from the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation (SDHDF), which together with qualifying donations making the total grant more than $10,000. The funds come just in time to help the chorus present its holiday show, The Nutcracker (Men in Tights!), which is set for Dec. 14 – 15 at the Balboa Theatre. SDHDF Executive Director John Brown, who heads the foundation’s effort to improve San Diego’s LGBT community through philanthropy, presented the grant to the chorus. “Ticket sales only cover about half of our expenses, so we are incredibly grateful for the help of groups like the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation,” said SDGMC President Cheri Curtis in the release. “We couldn’t achieve our mission of using music for social change without their support and that of other groups and people like them.” The funds were designated out of a pot of more than $50,000 the SDHDF offers annually to LGBT nonprofits that service the community. The 150-member SDGMC has been entertaining audiences for almost 30 years, making it one of the oldest gay choruses in the world. For tickets to The Nutcracker (Men in Tights!) visit sdgmc. org or call 877-296-7664. For more info about the SDHDF visit AUNTIE HELEN’S WINTER BLANKET DRIVE Auntie Helen’s, located at 4127 30th St. in North Park, recently announced its annual blanket drive. “Since moving down the street, our homeless intake has almost doubled,” said Executive Director Michael Dudley in a press interview with Equality News Network. “It’s cold out there and it’s the Christmas season. I don’t care if they are torn or tattered, bring them down we will use definitely use them, because people need to stay warm.” For 25 years, Auntie Helen’s has provided a laundry service for people with AIDS and runs a popular thrift store to support the nonprofit and its services. Bring your blankets directly to the store. For more info call 619-584-8438.t

GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 15–28, 2013

Not so local GAY NEWS BRIEFS SEEN ON GOOGLE ALERTS: Acclaimed singer-songwriter Sia has been a longtime supporter of the LGBT community but recently got some flack for appearing on Eminem’s latest release, Marshall Mathers LP 2. On Nov. 6, Sia announced she will donate the fee she received for her appearance on the album to the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center. — Blog Javier Pagan, the openly gay Boston police officer who was a first responder at the Boston Marathon bombing last summer, joins two of his colleagues along with David “Papi” Ortiz on the latest cover of Sports Illustrated. — SEEN ON FACEBOOK: Aspen Ski Week is looking for volunteers for their annual fundraiser for AspenOUT and the Roaring Fork Gay and Lesbian Community Fund, taking place Jan. 12– 19 in Aspen, Co. Volunteers can earn enough hours to get free passes to one or more events. Find out how by emailing —Facebook/gayskiweek SEEN ON TWITTER: Meredith Baxter plans to tie the knot soon with her long-time partner, Nancy Locke. Baxter, best known for her role as Michael J. Fox’s mother on Family Ties TV show, is better known to San Diegans for playing Betty Broderick, the scorned San Diego socialite who killed her husband in his Marston Point home in the 1990s. She made headlines in 2011 when she came out on the Today Show after being seen with Locke on a Sweet lesbian travel cruise. —HuffPo It’s a new era for gay service members when just two years after the repeal of DADT military officials are actually reaching out to them, rather than pursuing them like dogs. On Oct 1, the Veteran’s Administration began dispatching teams to educate VA employees and teach sensitivity training in six pilot metropolitan areas, including San Francisco. — Got something to share? Tweet it to @gaysd.t




GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 15–28, 2013

BY FRANK SABATINI JR. Live music and tapas are among the creature comforts in store at Croce’s Park West, which restaurateur Ingrid Croce plans to open in time for San Diego Restaurant Week (Jan. 19-24). Her landmark Croce’s Restaurant & Jazz Bar in the Gaslamp Quarter will close Dec. 31. The new venture in Bankers Hill will feature several popular carryovers such as baked brie with honeyroasted garlic and grilled swordfish with olive tapenade. The restaurant moves into the former Avenue 5, with promises of several distinct seating areas, an outdoor patio and underground parking. 2760 Fifth Ave.

The defunct Freebirds World Burrito on Fifth Avenue in Hillcrest will give way this spring to Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria, founded by a couple of Northeast natives whose first shop was in The Bay Area. They’ve since expanded down the coast, including to La Jolla. Setting their pizzas apart from most others are the crusts, which turn out crispier and darker because they’re cooked directly on the brick floor of a high-heat oven. 3958 Fifth Ave.,

The original founder of Tommy’s Tex-Mex has opened a taco shop in North Park after selling his first eatery on Voltaire Street in Point Loma which he founded 18 years ago. Famous for his hand-rolled flour tortillas cooked to order, Tommy Ramirez says his new location features a revival of traditional Tex-Mex favorites. Among them is carne guisada, a cubed beef dish popular in Texas that’s served with brown gravy. The salsas are also scratch-made, along with queso that he says will appear on the menu in the coming month. 4506 30th St., 619-283-2627. The new San Diego Cellars is up and running after taking over a circa-World War II building in Middletown, which housed a company that made sails for the Star of India in its day. The space Classic arcade games from the 70s and 80s most recently served as a medical marijuana dispensary, are sounding off at Coin-op Game Room, The mother of all epicurean events in San Diego takes place duralthough it’s now operating as a wine-making facility, kitchen a full bar serving casual food that recently ing the 10th annual San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival’s “grand and tasting room boasting a curvy wood bar made from replaced Hubcap in North Park. In addition tasting event,” from noon to 3 p.m., Nov. 23, at the Embarcadero wine barrels. Co-owner Richard Stern says he expects to games such as Ms. Packman, Asteroids and Marina Park North behind Seaport Village. More than 70 restauto produce nearly 1,200 cases of wine from California Donkey Kong, the space accommodates pinball rants and 170 wine and spirits purveyors will be on hand doling out grapes, including some grown in from San Diego machines and taps for local craft beer. 3926 samples. Leading up to the event is a series of daily cooking classes, County. 2215 Kettner Blvd., 619-269-9463. 30th St., 619-255-8523. tasting panels and chef dinners, beginning on Nov. 18. Tickets for the grand tasting are $165 or $200 for VIP status. The festival is produced by World of Wine Events and Fast Forward Event Productions. 619342-7337 or

Roasted turducken (Courtesy H2 Public Relations) Those three-bird roasts known as turduckens are available throughout the holiday season (until supplies last) at Iowa Meat Farms in Mission Gorge and Siesel’s Meats in Bay Park. The Cajun creation comprises a semiboneless turkey wrapped around boneless duck that encases a chicken. Various dressings are layered throughout. Prices range from $60 to $125, depending on weight. To place an order, call 619-281-5766 or 619-275-1234.t

Gourmet food samples at Wine & Food Festival (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.)


(l to r) Croquetas in Creole sauce; turkey and guava cream cheese sandwich; Brazilian-style shrimp (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.)

Dining with



ompared to cities like Miami and New York, we’re sorely lacking in restaurants that send our forks cruising through the Caribbean. Yet at the newish Embargo Grill, the flavors of Cuba, Jamaica and Puerto Rico take center stage, extending in some cases straight down to South America. The eatery is a culinary warm spot among a string of chain restaurants in the Midway Towne Center plaza. Its bright, clean design encompasses indoor-outdoor seating, colorful bulb chandeliers and shadowy palm trees etched into the tables. Despite an order counter fronting the kitchen, we received full wait service, which essentially puts the operation a step above fast-casual. The menu is an amalgamation of recipes picked up by Embargo’s well-traveled owner, Hudi Eshel, who hopes his concept will eventually spawn additional locations. Classic island staples such as goat, conch and land crabs go missing, but things like slow-roasted pork, pink beans and a variety of scratchmade sauces rise deliciously to the occasion. Croquetas de jamon take their cue from Spain, although when the fried orbs filled with smashed potatoes, ham and cheese are smothered in peppery red sauce, they adopt the nuances of feisty Jamaican cooking. Served three to an order, they’re breaded in panko crumbs and appear like Italian meatballs at first glance. Another appetizer, Brazilian camaron, was the spiciest dish of our lunch. It featured six large shrimp doused in citrus, garlic and white wine, which I’m guessing was spiked liberally with cayenne pepper. The sauce carried a wonderful depth of flavor that led me to believe some jerk spices came into play, such as thyme, onion

powder and allspice. The shrimp are served over tostones, dense double-cooked green plantains that pack a starchy punch. In addition to sandwiches toasted on a plancha grill (Puerto Rico’s answer to the panini press), the menu’s backside offers layered dishes closely resembling what the Caribbeans call “pelau,” meaning “cook-ups.” Here, the base is chopped lettuce and diced tomatoes splayed over a round, tin tray. Customers then choose a meat, fish or vegetable that will ultimately crown the dish. Layered in between is a choice of rice (white or yellow) and beans (black or pink). The last step involves picking from a list of nine sauces that include citrus-chili, Caribbean BBQ, and chimichurri. Suggested combinations are provided for those plagued by indecision, but it’s more fun taking a gamble. We chose pulled pork, suspecting that grilled chicken would be boring, mahi mahi too delicate and churrasco (Argentinean steak) too chewy. The category also includes shrimp, portabello mushrooms

and eggplant. Our matchups were yellow rice and delicate pink beans common to Latin-Caribbean stews. Clenching the deal was mojo criollo sauce, which we couldn’t pass up when our waitress conveyed the specs. It’s constructed with garlic sautéed in white wine vinaigrette, a little olive oil, butter and cayenne pepper. All combined, the layered dish that loosely resembles a salad smacked of full, juicy flavors and soft, easy textures. We lucked out. My companion caved also to the temptation of a pressed, Cuban sweet bread sandwich encasing roasted turkey and guava cream cheese. Much to our liking, the fruit aspect was charming without being cloying. If only for its uniqueness, we gave it a firm thumbs up. Along the way we ordered Sangrias, which rivaled any I’ve tasted all year. The white is made with peach schnapps and rum; the red with a pinot-cab blend injected with lots of cinnamon. But a trip through the Caribbean isn’t complete without chocolaterum cake that flies off the charts in terms of density, moisture and decadence. This is how the islanders make it, with butter, nuts and semi-sweet chocolate. Like many of the other dishes served here, you’ll encounter rich, deep flavors that don’t often make their way to northern latitudes.t

GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 15–28, 2013



GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 15–28, 2013

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GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 15–28, 2013

Century 21 Award 619.668.4471 | Why Real Estate? Simply,to be of service. Whether it is finding a nearby restaurant or sharing information about market conditions. Whether finding the perfect home or selling your home, customer service is my primary concern. San Diego is an amazing city with many diverse neighborhoods, each offering their own distinctive traits. If you choose to live in the city, in a suburb, on the coast or in a rural area, you will most definitely find it in San Diego. For this reason, I choose to serve all of San Diego County. As you consider your next move, whether it be selling or buying, let me know how I can be of service. Oh, by the way, should anyone you know need the services of a Real Estate professional, like me, do you have someone to refer them to? I would like to be that person. Don’t hesitate to contact me. I look forward to hearing from you. Please know, I am never too busy for your referrals. One Goal*One Passion*Service



GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 15–28, 2013


Volunteering and your mental health So what about Civil Unions? to charities was directly correlated with levels of personal happiness. “Happiness is a by-product of living generously,” Post says. Volunteering is good for our mental health. Research shows that volunteering:

MICHAEL KIMMEL LIFE BEYOND THERAPY When I lived in Los Angeles, I used to volunteer for my church. On many Sunday afternoons, I would join a group of (mostly) LGBT men and women who went downtown and fed hungry people. It wasn’t glamorous work: there are no photographers taking our pictures and some of the people receiving the food expressed little, if any, gratitude (one man even told me, “Is that all you got?”), but the recipients of those food boxes weren’t the only ones who benefitted. I’m sure I received much more from the process than they did. Why is volunteering so good for us? I did some research on the subject. Many studies show that volunteering not only feels good, it actually improves a person’s physical and psychological health. “One of the best things we can do for our health is to learn to be more caring and compassionate,” says Stephen Post, director of the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care and Bioethics at Stony Brook University in New York. A study published in the journal Science found that money used to pay bills or buy things for ourselves is unrelated to how happy we are, but that donations

• helps us stay active in our community; • prevents us from feeling socially isolated; • enhances our sense of belonging; • increases our sense of purpose; and, • improves our perception of our own self-competence. Wow, that’s an awful lot of good stuff from doing good for others. “People that help others live longer than those who don’t,” says Stephanie Brown, assistant professor of general medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School and a faculty associate at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research. A 2003 study by Brown followed more than 1,500 elderly couples for five years. It found that people who provided hands-on support (such as help with transportation, shopping, housework or childcare) to friends, relatives or neighbors, were half as likely to die over the study period as their less helpful counterparts. It’s also pretty cool that science can now explain why volunteering makes us feel better about ourselves. “There’s a growing body of evidence showing that compassionate care and helping activities elevate levels of neurotransmitters like dopamine,” says Stephen Post, who wrote “Good Things Happen to Good People.” “They also impact the release of endorphins, the body’s natural opiates, resulting in what has been widely documented as the ‘helper’s high.’” Compassionate activities are associated with elevated levels of oxytocin. Higher levels of

oxytocin are associated with a reduction in the levels of certain stress hormones that cause wear and tear on the body. “Acts of kindness always move us away from hostile and angry emotions that are clearly connected with elevated stress and higher mortality over the years,” Post says. You might be reading this and saying, “I’m too busy to volunteer and I don’t have any money to spare.” Luckily, it doesn’t take much altruism to reap the benefits of better health. “Studies emphasize that just a couple of hours of volunteering a week can make the difference,” Post says. I know firsthand the benefits of volunteering, as I volunteer my time offering workshops at The Center and with my church. I also enjoy giving money to people on the street. Yes, I’m one of those people. One recent Monday night, after my yoga class, I walked past two ladies on El Cajon Boulevard who appeared homeless. I got to my car and paused. I had lots of coins in my spare change dish. Why not give them some? So I did. The ladies were very gracious and asked me to get down on my knees with them and thank God for this grace. I did. If you were driving by the yoga studio, you would have seen the three of us, down on our knees in front of a vacant lot, by the on-ramp to 15 North. I still feel good about it … a week later. Try it. Give of yourself and see how good YOU feel. —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

PAU L M C G U I R E LEGALLY LGBT You may have heard about the latest developments in the fight for marriage equality. Illinois and Hawaii both passed marriage equality through the state legislature recently. New Jersey’s path to marriage is a bit different. A court challenge was filed in state court and before the challenge made it to a full decision by the New Jersey Supreme Court, the New Jersey Supreme Court stepped in at an earlier stage to indicate it was likely to rule in favor of the challengers. In response, The New Jersey Attorney General withdrew its opposition to the challenge, giving marriage to the entire state. Like California soon before them, all of these states had either civil unions or domestic partnerships in the law before the passage of marriage. Some might be wondering why marriage is such a big deal if these states already had either civil unions or domestic partnerships. For many the distinction is obvious. Some see civil unions and domestic partnerships as a sort of “separate but equal,” just a consolation prize states use to get the activists to leave them alone. The federal government’s lack of recognition of civil unions was the main reason the New Jersey Supreme Court made its latest decision that New Jersey must allow same-sex couples to marry. The idea is that civil unions aren’t equal to marriage if they aren’t recognized by the federal government. Civil unions also carry with them uncertainty of recognition outside the state of celebration. It is not always clear how states and other countries that recognize same-sex marriage will treat couples in a civil union. In Canada a same-sex couple had to go through the courts to get approval to have Canadian courts split up their civil union. The trial judge took the initial position that it couldn’t hear the case because

Canada only recognizes marriages. It is likely that other entities in Canada had similar problems knowing how to treat civil unions. The same problem could arise in states like Washington or New York that recognize same-sex marriage. But what about those people who want to enter into a civil union despite this uncertainty? Some people believe that marriage is an institution they want nothing to do with because they don’t believe in the religion that is typically associated with marriage. Gay and lesbian couples especially may have a problem with an institution primarily championed by Christian churches that many were excluded from in the past. Others might take issue with the gender inequality that for so long went hand in hand with marriage. Why would gay and lesbian activists fight so hard for equality only to participate in an institution that traditionally made men essentially owners of their wives? In order to truly support the rights of the people who choose to not get married, the federal government and all the states would have to figure out ways to treat civil unions and domestic partnerships like marriage. I don’t expect the people who opposed same-sex marriage to welcome recognition of opposite-sex civil unions. To them, marriage is the ideal and anything else is a poor substitute. Some couples in Connecticut were surprised to learn that passing marriage automatically translated their civil union into a marriage. Illinois did not abolish civil unions with the latest bill so some couples may decide to remain in a civil union. Hawaii’s bill leaves in place civil unions and also a reciprocal beneficiary designation status that lacks the rights of both marriage and civil unions, but is much easier to exit. Moving forward, there is still much uncertainty for couples in civil unions or domestic partnerships. Will the federal government ever recognize them? It doesn’t seem likely. Some couples may eventually determine that federal recognition of their relationship is more important than the things that kept them from wanting to marry. Others may start up the fight for the recognition of their civil union or domestic partnership. —Paul D. McGuire is an openly bisexual family law attorney in San Diego who assists families dealing with dissolution of marriage and domestic partnerships. He writes a blog on family law and LGBT issues at


BREAKING UP IS HARD ON YOU ACROSS 1 Dancer Taylor 5 Anal insert from a UFO? 10 Cole Porter’s “Well, Did You ___” 14 Hollywood canine 15 Early caucus participant 16 Abercrombie & Fitch event 17 Portrayer of Ted 20 “Suburgatory” daughter 21 Org. offering AIDS coverage 22 Fashion photographer Herb 23 PC display 25 “Modern Family” family member 26 Portrayer of Ben 31 Warming in relations 33 Lorde of verse 34 Give some lip to 37 Female flyer 38 Like the “fruit loop” section of a city 39 Mouth, slangily 40 With 44-Across, portrayer of Jorge 44 See 40-Across

47 Pittsburgh pro 49 Some may be iron 50 Tool with jaws 51 Waffle choice 52 2013 movie about two married gay men forced to live apart 57 Jodie Foster’s “___ Driver” 58 Cowboy’s rope 59 Cinder suffix 61 Where to find hot buns 62 Everglades wader 63 Auctioneer’s word 64 Computer company’s erection? 65 Catch in a trap 66 Defied radar

Breaking Up is Hard on You solution on page 15

DOWN 1 Warsaw agreement 2 Queens tennis stadium 3 Versatile vehicles 4 Shags on the carpet? 5 Wrestler’s victory 6 Gossip columnist Barrett 7 Got a little behind 8 Lower, to Lorca 9 Bambi’s aunt 10 Nose rubbers 11 Bottomless 12 Gobs 13 Layers in the barnyard 18 Apiece 19 Spot on a cliff 24 Hereditary chain 25 Antonio’s _Evita_ role 26 Novelist Rona 27 One of a wheel’s nuts 28 Lupino of “Women’s Prison” 29 Take a crack at

30 Entree 31 “Jabberwocky” starter 32 “Hold your horses!” 35 Performed like Rufus Wainwright 36 Sites for three women in a tub 41 Stationary acceleration 42 Peace Nobelist Wiesel 43 Streetcar and more? 44 Change places 45 Russian saint 46 Nala, for one 48 Give up an office 49 Put in shackles 52 Composition of some beds 53 Alternatives to asses 54 Poet Teasdale 55 Unappetizing food 56 Pronoun for Proust 57 Stranded driver’s need 60 Dipstick word

GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 15–28, 2013

Friday, November 15

EVITA AT BROADWAY SAN DIEGO: No Madonna but who doesn’t love Eva Peron? Rumor has it this production brings Che back as narrator in with his dreamy baritone. 8 p.m. Special “Broadway Insider Night” discussion one hour before show, open to all ticket holders. San Diego Civic Theatre, located at 1100 Third Ave. For tickets visit or call 619-295-7900.

Saturday, November 16

MALASHOCK/RAW4: Presented by FilmOut and Malashock Dance, RAW4 is a “high energy dance that is unspeakably physical.” Tonight includes a VIP reception. 8 p.m. at Lyceum Stage, 79 Horton Plaza. For tickets ($25 general admission or $75 with VIP event) visit or call 619544-1000. OVERDRIVE: Make room on your calendar for San Diego’s new quarterly after-hours event with DJ Joe Gauthreaux and a Big Dipper laser show, presented by DJ Tristan Jaxx and Flak Productions. 10 p.m. – 4 a.m. Spin Nightclub, 2038 Hancock St. Tickets

Sunday, November 17

SAN DIEGO WOMEN’S CHORUS REHEARSAL: Have a strong sense of social conscience and wanna sing? Come join the non-audition community-based chorus that is open to all women. 4–7 p.m. Mission Hills United Church of Christ, 4070 Jackdaw St. For more info email

Monday, November 18

SO YOU THINK YOU CAN’T DANCE?: Come to an hour-long beginner’s ballroom and Latin dance class taught by internationally known expert Kurt Popp and Aaron Palmer. Kurt’s mission is to build a dance community in San Diego where you can feel welcome and experience the joy of dancing. 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. The LGBT Center, 3909 Centre St. Visit

Tuesday, November 19

SPECIAL ELECTION DAY: Today is the day you hit the polls to vote for our new mayor. More info or call Registrar of voters 858565-5800.

Wednesday, November 20

TRANSGENDER DAY OF REMEMBRANCE: Join the vigil to remember those lost due to anti-transgender violence with a march starting at The LGBT Center at 6 p.m. with a program to follow at 7 p.m. All are welcome. Visit PICTIONARY: Come play with Tiger … and Sister Ida Knows on the back patio. Match your skills, win fun prizes and raise money for a good causes. 7:30–10 p.m. #1 on Fifth Ave., 3845 Fifth Ave.

Thursday, November 21

ABBA MANIA: Straight from London’s West End – the ultimate Abba Tribute. It’s been 31 years since the original Abba toured, so don’t miss this. 7:30 p.m. Balboa Theatre, 868 Fourth Ave., Horton Plaza. Tickets $24-$49. For more info, visit or call 619-570-1100.

BYOG PAINT PARTY: Bring Your Own Growler (or buy one) to Hillcrest Brewing Company (HBC) tonight and beautify it. Paint supplies provided and participants will get Hoppy Hour pricing from 8–9:30 p.m. Compete for a $25 gift card. HBC, 1458 University Ave. Visit

Friday, November 22

COMPLETELY KAHLO: “The Complete Frida Kahlo— Her Paintings. Her Life. Her Story.” Exhibition with audio guide features 123 precise replicas of Kahlo’s known paintings in their original size, becoming the largest, most comprehensive exhibition ever created about the iconic Mexican artist’s work, life and story, through Jan 10, 2014. Today 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Barracks 3, Liberty Station, 2765 Truxton Rd., Tickets start $12.50. Visit

Saturday, November 23

“TWO SPIRITS” FILM SCREENING: Presented by SAME Alliance, Activist San Diego and Canvass for a Cause, this film interweaves the tragic story of a Native American mother’s loss of her son with a revealing look at the Native American culture’s acceptance of people with integrated genders. 7 p.m. Joyce Beers Community Center, 3900 Vermont Ave. Visit

Sunday, November 24

QUIET AS A CHURCH MOUSE: No one is quiet at the award-winning Church, happening every Sunday at World Famous Babycakes, located at 3766 Fifth Ave. There is definitely some preaching going on here between 3 – 8 p.m. Visit or call 619-296-4173.

Monday, November 25

ALL YOU CAN EAT SPAGHETTI: When was the last time you had an all-you-can-eat plate of fabulous spaghetti for a mere $5? Now that’s a bargain. All you need to do is purchase a beverage of your choice. 6 – 11 p.m. Gossip Grill, 1440 University Ave. Visit

Tuesday, November 26

CREATIVE WRITER’S GROUP: Love to write but need a little push? This 50 & Better Together group meets every fourth Tuesday and might be just what you need to become a better writer. No experience necessary

but bring a pen and paper. 11:30 a.m. The LGBT Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. More info or call 619-692-2077.

Wednesday, November 27

DREAMGIRLS REVUE IS BACK: Every Wednesday join Chad Michaels and the entire DreamGirls, followed by DJs spinning dance music immediately after. 8 – 9:30 p.m., $ 7 cover. Urban Mo’s, 308 University Ave. Visit urbanmos. com or call 619-491-0400.

Thursday, November 28

“HE SAID SHE SAID” LIVE: Come join Aaron and Ophelia while they broadcast “He

Said She Said” live from Urban Mo’s. They offer local & global news and events from candid, comedic viewpoints with a little crass and a lot of sass. Fun starts at 4 p.m. Urban Mo’s, 308 University Ave. Visit or or call 619-491-0400. WRESTLING: Who doesn’t love a half-naked man in a singlet? You can watch and/or learn freestyle wrestling in a fun, safe and challenging way with the San Diego Bulldogs Wrestling Club. All skill levels. 7–9 p.m. The LGBT Center, 3903 Centre St. Visit or call 619-692-2077. For inclusion in the calendar, email


(l to r) Milo and Thayer

The 60th anniversary of a groundbreaking mid-century modern style furniture design, Thayer Coggin & Milo Baughman Road Show, comes to Lawrance Furniture, 633 University Ave., Nov. 16 – Dec. 31.t


GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 15–28, 2013




The cast of “Skinless” create a mystery for the audience in more ways than one. (Courtesy Moxie Theatre)

A Mystery Some claim that Johnna Adams’ new play, “Skinless” (Moxie Theatre through December 8), is sci-fi. Purportedly there are skinless people in the woods, or at least Adams’ fictional novelist, Zinnia Wells, believes there are. Her sisters Marigold and Chryssie keep the peace by humoring her. Bluebell is too young to remember events that led to the quivering status quo. At its best, “Skinless” is creepy and weird and at worst, it grows tedious and telegraphs the solution to its mystery. Selected and directed by Moxie Artistic Director Delicia Turner Sonnenberg, the play revels in its own cleverness and inscrutability, which is thickly slathered-on as it pertains to overt and covert messages and portents. The settings are two: Georgia in the mid-20th century, and an Emory University advisor’s office in the present. The Wells family comprises novelist Zinnia Wells (Jo Anne Glover); the level-headed Marigold (Lisel Gorell-Getz), caretaker of the premises and also the unseen Wells matriarch; Bluebell (Erin Peter Peterson), the youngest, who has no first-hand memory of events that shaped the present; and the largely mute, deeply disturbed Chryssie (a vivid character characterization by Amanda Morrow), who is keeper of the mystery that hangs over the household. On the right, Jerry M. Sonnenberg’s ultra realistic set is devoted to the sisters’ home, its wrap-around porch, which is a step up from ground level, a toolshed, and an immense tree. Another large tree separates the rural from the urban left, the past from the present, in which Emmi Falco (Anna Rebek) wants to devote her master’s project to the obscure Zinnia

and her mid-20th century pulp-fiction milieu. Emmi’s professor and adviser, Sylvia Diaz (Rhona Gold), tries to talk her out of the project. Both are steeped in women’s studies (a Georgia O’Keeffe hangs on the wall), and their divergent opinions and self-aggrandizing raison d’être represent the new feminism and the older, more militant style. One of the play’s more fascinating aspects is that Emmi is drawn increasingly from one side of time to the other. When she finally crosses over into the homestead, she discovers the appalling mystery that so unsettled the Wells sisters. The biggest mystery is lavishing so much grand acting and design work in support of “Skinless.” Granted, Adams is recipient of a Princess Grace Award, and her play “Gidion’s (sic) Knot,” which won the Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association Citation in April, will be published soon by Dramatists Play Service, and is set to receive numerous productions nationwide.

“Skinless” Through Dec. 8 Moxie Theatre 6663 El Cajon Blvd. Thur – Sat 8 p.m. Sun 2 p.m. 619-220-0097 In many ways—as they claim—“Skinless” is a Moxie play. In my opinion it is especially so in terms of metaphorical application. Perhaps to be skinless means to be unfettered by convention. To Moxie’s credit it is that. Jacinda Johnston-Fischer’s city and country costumes fit the bill. Sherrice Kelly is lighting designer and Matt Lescault-Wood provides eerie sounds. Among others, Angelica Ynfante provides a churningly haunting prop.t

(l to r) JoAnne Glover and Lisel Gorrell-Getz (Courtesy Moxie Theatre)

GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 15–28, 2013



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(Courtesy Focus Features)

The unlikeliest of love stories McConaughey and Leto talk inspirational HIV drama Chris Azzopardi | Q Syndicate The AIDS crisis reached a devastating peak in the mid 1980s, a time before cocktail therapies were sus-

taining life. Back then, people were diagnosed and dead within days. Ron Woodroof should’ve been. The party boy, who was given just 30 days to live after he contract-

ed HIV in 1986, defied the odds, and by smuggling anti-viral medications from across the globe into the U.S., helped others do the same. “The hard truth that I could see, and the way I approached it, was him getting HIV is what gave him his purpose in life,” says Matthew McConaughey from the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, still looking slender after dropping 40 pounds to play Woodroof in the critically-acclaimed dramedy “Dallas Buyers Club.” “That’s the first time that he had something that he grabbed ahold to for 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day, until he was here no longer. That’s where he found a real identity. That’s where he found a purpose.” Jean-Marc Vallée, director of “C.R.A.Z.Y.” and “The Young Victoria,” tells the Texas cowboy’s story in this dramatized adaptation of his inspiring evolution from hard-edged homophobe to unlikely hero – and

all from the perspective of a heterosexual man who thought only gay people got HIV. “He doesn’t start off as this crusader for the cause,” McConaughey says. “He’s not waving the flag. If anything, he’s a selfish son of a bitch who’s doing what he can to survive.” To find that fortitude, McConaughey channeled a buddy’s real-life battle with cancer. “He had a lot of similar instincts, fight and characteristics that Ron had,” he says. “I secretly had some of this based on this guy and the way he was fighting against cancer.” Using a friend to inspire his performance—along with Woodroof’s diary, which the actor considered to be his “Pandora’s box”—McConaughey tapped into Ron’s humanity, says Vallée. “When he portrays a guy who’s racist and homophobic, and then his arc changes slowly but surely without even realizing it—he’s going to become the spokesperson of the gay community he’s been bashing for years and years—that’s what (McConaughey) brought naturally.” As he becomes a crusader for advancements in HIV medicine and the gay community, Woodroof’s journey leads him to Rayon (Jared Leto, who won our hearts in the mid 1990s during his “My So-Called Life” stint), an HIV-positive trans woman with just enough spunk to stand up to Woodroof’s narrow-minded machismo. “Rayon is quick to love and fall in love,” Leto said. “She’s full of grace and charm and a huge, open heart, and Ron provides some kind of a father figure. She was shunned by her father at a very young age and, in a lot of ways, Ron provided that father figure, that big brother – and there was a lot of love there.” Vallée shares that sentiment, noting a scene where Woodroof sticks up for Rayon. “This is a love story between two guys,” he says, “and we’re not telling that, and it’s not really about that, but these guys love each other.” He pauses, laughing about the possibility of taking their relationship one or maybe two steps further. “I was asking myself, ‘Should we hint to the audience that maybe they’ll have sex together?’” Leto’s ‘role of a lifetime’ So how did Jared Leto fare in heels? “I was a bit of a natural, to tell you the truth,” he laughed. “Size 12, baby!” The reason for that, and it’s just now dawning on Leto: This ain’t his first time at the rodeo. “I forgot about this, but there was another project years ago—I forgot what it was for— where I went and auditioned in drag for another film and walked down Fifth Avenue and thought I would have everybody fooled. But nope, nobody was having it.” In “Dallas Buyers Club,” every time Leto slipped into those heels, he slipped right into Rayon. And he did it often. “Every morning when I showed up on set—it didn’t matter how ex exhausted I was—I always stepped out of that van, that glorious passenger van, in my heels,” he says. “That was one of the little things that helped me lock into the character.” The transformation, though, involved more than shoes. “You practice,” he says. “It’s one of the reasons why I was in character for the entire course of shooting, so I could get as much time in her skin as possible. But there was a lot going on. There was the gender. There was the voice. There was the dialect. There were the heels. There was the waxing. There were all kinds of things that made it a really unique experience.”

GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 15–28, 2013


He also had another priority: Embrace her as a sexual being. “Oftentimes, you see this role in a film and it’s a punch line, it’s a bit of a stereotype, and it’s also a safe choice for a lot of people,” he says. “It’s a role that doesn’t have a lot of sexuality. I mean, the character isn’t sexualized. And to me, I thought it was important not to be scared of that part.” And though the heels came easy, his biggest concern was avoiding caricature pitfalls and “representing (her) with dignity and grace.” As a “young creative kid,” Leto was surrounded by a diverse circle—including transgender folks—while living city life in New York and Los Angeles. “I think that the people come to these cities to be who they really are, and you certainly come across people of all shapes and sizes and desires (who are) living their dreams as they wish them to be. That’s what’s so great about them.” But before securing the role of Rayon, Leto wanted to dig deeper. To do so, he met with young trans kids to discuss their challenges and to give him a better understanding of what life looks like for transgender people. He calls that time with these teens “impactful.” “For me, it was important to identify with the desire to get to know oneself—one’s true self—because that’s what identity is really about,” Leto says. “It goes even beyond gender. It’s who are you in your heart, and how do you express who you are? And Rayon was in a process of discovery as well. She was finding out who she really was and certainly wanted to live her life as a woman and identify with that. So, [for me, it was] a really beautiful experience and a role of a lifetime.” Behind the scenes it was as well. Leto recalls dancing and laughing at a bar after the cameras stopped rolling. Was it a gay bar in real life too? “Well, if it wasn’t before, it is now,” he says, laughing. “We certainly had a good time there. It was wild. It was toward the end—I think it was my last day—and I just kind of let loose.” Having minimal time to mingle during the intense 25-day shoot, McConaughey remembers it a little differently: “I gotta tell you, I had blinders on.” But he chuckles when asked how immersed he got with the gays. “Well, pretty immersed in those bars!” —Chris Azzopardi is the editor of Q Syndicate, the international LGBT wire service. Reach him via his website at

Jared Leto as Rayon

(Courtesy Focus Features)



GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 15–28, 2013

JEFF PRAUGHT San Diego SAGA Ski Club The last few weeks around San Diego have not given us much indication that winter is coming, especially with 80-degree temperatures finding their way towards the beaches within the last week or two. But just because it is great tennis weather now does not mean the sunshine is here to stay. Those of you who are avid snow-sport lovers will be looking for ward to the first big storm of the season so you can hit the slopes. Mountain vacations can be quaint or romantic, but if you are looking for a wilder experience while expanding your social circle with members of the LGBT community and their friends, the San Diego SAGA Ski Club is the organization for you. The SAGA San Diego snow sports and social club, active in our community since 1979, is a diverse group specifically for those who love skiing and the social extra-curricular activities that go with it. To be more specific, SAGA (Skiers and Gay Athletes) offers a little bit of ever ything, regardless of your age, skill

level, partying abilities or sexual orientation. The club meets on the first Tuesday of ever y month at The Hole in Point Loma (2820 L ytton St.) at 7 p.m. Topics on the table include upcoming trips and social events. Among the trips on the schedule for this winter are visits to Big Bear (Jan. 3–5), Aspen Gay Ski Week (Jan. 11–18), Whistler Gay Ski Week (Jan. 26–Feb. 2), Lake Tahoe (Feb. 5–9), Crested Butte and Telluride Gay Ski Week (Feb. 22–March 2), Mammoth Elevation (March 12–16) and even Austria Gay Ski Week (March 22–29). SAGA also offers one-day ski trips to local resorts for beginners. The group has several social events off the slopes, including an annual Halloween party, a Christmas party (this will be held on Friday, Dec. 13 up on Cortez Hill and ser ves as a great opportunity to meet new and returning members), as well as pool parties throughout the summer. Why should you consider joining? Well, for one, traveling with a big party makes it a better party. You have the option to check out


places such as Austria that maybe you had never even considered traveling to before, and traveling internationally with a bigger group might be more comfortable. Two, as a member of the club, you’re entitled to discounted ski packages. And finally, thanks to the aforementioned social events, this club offers a great way to meet new people, friends or other wise, outside of the bar scene here in San Diego. SAGA also offers a buddy pass that provides a free annual membership to newcomers if a current member purchases a ski trip through SAGA. To enjoy full benefits of SAGA, members must be at least 21 years old. Annual dues are $35 per year (June 1 through May 31), and you can check out the club’s website at for more information or to sign up for the club’s e-mail list. Or, just show up to one of the meetings; the club’s next meeting will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3 at The Hole. San Diego Lady Links Because the cold season has not arrived just yet, the weather is

still fantastic for those weekend golf outings. Ladies, if you are an avid golfer, or even a novice, there is an LGBT golfing group just for you. San Diego Lady Links (SDLL), founded in 1996 by Wisconsin-native Vicky Minneti, gathers a couple of times a month to play on courses in San Diego County and surrounding areas. But this is not simply a group of ladies that gets together to golf. The club stresses a relaxed environment with little or no organized competition. The focus is to just simply enjoy the game of golf and if you want to learn tips on how to improve your game, those opportunities exist; the club conducts golf clinics with teaching professionals a handful of times throughout the calendar year. While SDLL focuses on the camaraderie aspect of golf more so than the competitive nature of the game, there are a few important rules players are asked to abide by. Pairs and foursomes are not required to be of the same skill level to play together. No official

handicap system is used within the group, as players are expected to encourage each other on and off the course. And slow play on the course is never tolerated, so regardless of how well you are playing, you are asked to keep the pace comfortable for ever yone. Some of the courses SDLL plays on frequently include beautiful Mt. Woodson in the hills near Ramona, Singing Hills near Sycuan Casino, Eagle Crest near Escondido and Balboa Golf Course near Balboa Park. Minneti is a breast cancer sur vivor, a Marine Corps veteran with 20 years of ser vice and an avid dog lover, as she owns “Dog Walks ‘N More, LLC.” You can introduce yourself to her by visiting the SDLL website at, or you can look up the group on Facebook. —Jef f 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 of ficers in various capacities and is currently the commissioner of SD Hoops.t

GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 15–28, 2013



GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 15–28, 2013

Gay San Diego - November 15 2013  
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