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Volume 5 Issue 21 Oct. 17–30, 2014 Follow us on Facebook and Twitter



rriage moves forward a M Page 3


Effort to rename Florence Elementary meets resistance


Local activists want century-old school to honor Kehoe Where’s Harvey’s?


Wedding of the year (l to r) “The Dream Team”: Cerissa McPartlin Kieffer, Alisa Kerr, grooms Oscar De la salas and Gary Jackson, Rita Alipour, and Kate Blumenthal have a group hug in during the festivities. (Photo by Jo Auger/Kristina Lee Photography)

Understanding the Hunchback


How our little island moved equality forward in leaps and bounds Morgan M. Hurley | Editor “It started with love and ended with love; and it got ugly, messy, surprising and wonderful in-between.” Those are the words of Gary Jackson, husband of Oscar De la salas, describing the time that encompassed their two recent marriage ceremonies, the first Aug. 17 and another that just took place Oct. 11.

Oscar and Gary’s story is now well known, but it started out very simply. The Phoenix couple travelled to Coronado, California, in August to share their vows for two reasons; their home state doesn’t yet allow same-sex marriage, and Coronado was a favorite get-away spot the couple both enjoyed. Unfortunately, one man’s blinding ignorance put a huge damper on their wedding ceremony and for Oscar, it was important to share with others what had happened in a place they considered ideal. “Days have gone by and the situation is still present in my head,” Oscar wrote in an email to Gay San Diego,


flipping a home is a ‘cinch,’ Altman and Taft both told Gay San Diego how much work and planning actually goes into these projects. “Some think flipping houses is as easy as buying a property with the intent to sell it for a profit,” Taft said. “However the logistics can be pretty complicated. There are a lot of decisions involved in the very

see Flipping, pg 2

see Kehoe, pg 5

see Wedding, pg13

Fall sports wrap

Index Opinion………………….6 Briefs…………………….7 Wedding Guide............12 Calendar....…….....…..14

Local couple takes their houseflipping skills to reality TV George Vernon | GSD Contributor Locally-based designers and Hillcrest residents Joshua Altman and Geoffrey Taft recently came home as the top winners of FYI Network’s “Rowhouse Showdown.” The cable-based A&E-branded reality show, which just aired its season finale in September, had Altman and Taft competing against two other teams as they transformed dilapidated homes in Cincinnati, Ohio. While living together, each team used their creativity and house-flipping skills to renovate one home in the Cincinnati neighborhood of Price Hill, with the ultimate goal of increasing the property value of the neighborhood. The winning team — comprised of Altman and Taft, a real-life couple of six years — took home $50,000 and got their renovation featured on Dwell Magazine’s website. Dwell’s Editor-in-Chief Amanda Dameron guest-judged the finale episode. Several photos of Altman and Taft’s winning renovation can be seen on Dwell, and the magazine said the pair made the “Cincinnati rowhouse a viable and inviting family home.” While many people may be under the impression that completely renovating and

Hutton Marshall | Contributing Editor Christine Kehoe Elementary may be realized by fall 2015 if a group of community activists can rally enough local support to rename the longstanding Florence Elementary. On the evening of Wednesday, Oct. 8, approximately 50 people gathered in a large hall at Florence Elementary for the first public meeting on potentially renaming the school in honor of former state Senator Christine Kehoe. While elected officials, LGBT organizations and other locals vocalized strong support for the effort, volunteers, parents and teachers expressed more hesitancy to makeover the school’s 100-year-old image. Renaming a school requires an extensive outreach effort, a petition drive and ultimately a vote by the San Diego Board of Education. While key figures behind the name-change effort met with Florence staff a day prior, this was the first public meeting specifically targeting the community surrounding Florence. LGBT Activist Nicole Murray Ramirez and City Council candidate Chris Ward started off the meeting, representing the GLBT Historic Task Force, an organization responsible for other renaming efforts like Blaine Avenue near the San Diego LGBT Center becoming Harvey Milk Street in 2012. Both Ward and Ramirez detailed Kehoe’s many accomplishments in the Hillcrest community and in public education. Ward pointed to her “Trees for

Keeping their eyes on Apprize Who ya gonna call?

Murray-Ramirez touts Kehoe at Florence on Oct. 8 (Photo by Hutton Marshall)

(l to r) Hillcrest residents Geoff Taft and Josh Altman recently won a reality show. (Courtesy Jane Street Productions)


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GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 17–30, 2014


FLIPPING early stages of the process.” To get past those early decisions, Taft said buyers must decide what type of property they want to buy, identify a property, and determine how much money to invest while still maintaining a healthy profit margin. Altman said that he has seen “many people either pay too much for a flip or get one for the right price but then [they are] taken advantage of by contractors who bleed the profits dry.” Both Taft and Altman agreed that working with a trusted real estate agent who is familiar with market conditions is one of the most important elements should

Taft and Altman shown competing on FYI Network's "Rowhouse Showdown" (Courtesy Jane Street Productions)

someone plan to purchase and flip a home. The couple’s extensive experience with real estate and renovations was just part of the reason they were selected for the show.

Tipped off to the casting call by a good friend, Taft said the producers were looking for those with “extensive flipping experience coupled with a unique personality.” “My friend was convinced I fit the part — she said that if I didn’t contact them she would do it on my behalf,” he said. “The next day I had a pretty lengthy chat with the casting director. We really hit it off and she offered me the project. Fortunately they were looking for teams so I recommended Geoff as my partner. We did several Skype interviews and they loved our dynamic.” “We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into at the time, other than the fact that we had to make a two-month commitment and we would be involved in renovations of some sort,” Altman said. “We were not clued into how much or how little work would be required of us; they saved that for the first day of filming. I guess the element of surprise adds some excitement for the viewers at home.” Altman and Taft were a hit on the show and have seen their lives change in exciting ways since it aired. “Just being a cast member on a show such as ‘Rowhouse Showdown’ is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Taft said. “We are so grateful to have been awarded the opportunity to participate, let alone

vation won.” He also shared a family connection to the neighborhood where the renovation took place in. “Outside of winning, my favorite part was being able to visit my grandfather’s grave,” Altman said. “He is buried just a few blocks away from the rowhouse we designed. I never got to meet him so renovating in his hometown neighborhood couldn’t have made me happier.” Now that the show is over, the two couldn’t be more excited about what’s in store for them. Owners of Apprize Realty, they are in the process of opening a new office on the 4600 block of Park Boulevard in University Heights. “Our goal is to bring back the level of service that is lacking in real estate,” Taft said, adding they plan to open additional offices in San Francisco to serve Northern California clients. The couple will soon also be returning to television. “We recently signed a contract to develop a new series showcasing our real estate and design,” Taft said. “Stay tuned for more updates as we have a lot in the pipeline.”

Hillcrest residents and life partners Geoff Taft and Josh Altman took a ramshackle rowhouse in Cincinnati, Ohio and using their skills, transformed it inside and out, resulting in a win on "Rowhouse Showdown," a house-flipping reality TV show on FYI Network. More photos are available on Dwell Magazine's have the community and judges recognize our efforts through winning the entire competition.” Thinking back on the experience, Altman said his favorite moment on the show was winning the competition. “Even though I was confident we had the leg up on expertise and design style you never know how things are going to go,” Altman said. “I was thrilled when our reno-

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In the meantime, Taft and Altman are enjoying getting to know their new fans, who followed the show and connected with them through social media. They said they are particularly grateful for the support of their friends and neighbors in Hillcrest. “Being on the show has really connected us to the community we love so dearly,” Altman said. To learn more about Taft and Altman’s real estate company, visit The reality show winners can also be found on Twitter at @JoshAltman and @ GeoffreyTaft where they said they love interacting with friends and fans. To watch episodes of “Rowhouse Showdown” online, visit fyi. tv/shows/rowhouse-showdown. —George Vernon is a local freelance writer. He can be reached at


The marriage numbers continue to roll forward The Keen Files Lisa Keen If state bans against samesex marriages were a table, the striking down of the Defense of Marriage Act last year was like the loss of a leg. The announcement last week that the U.S. Supreme Cour t would not hear appeals to keep such bans on the books was like the loss of a second leg. The table has fallen. All that is left is for the Supreme Cour t to remove the final two legs — by declaring such bans unconstitutional and by ensuring that its declaration does not provide a way for any individual state to continue its ban. The stunning rapidity with which much of this has already happened has left even the most seasoned LGBT activist in awe. Yes, it took 10 years to go from the first trial in Hawaii to the landmark ruling in Massachusetts. And yes, it took roughly another 10 years to witness the decimation of the most harmful part of DOMA. But the number of states — either by legislative action or court order — enforcing the principle of equal protection in marriage law has climbed dramatically in the past 12 months, from 14 in October 2013 to 29 so far this month. And the victory is not in numbers only. The states that have entered the equality column with regards to the right to marry include some of the nation’s most conservative: Utah, West Virginia, and North Carolina, across four circuits: the 4th, 7th, 9th, and 10th. There have been some breathholding moments: Two days after the U.S. Supreme Court refused, on Oct. 6, to hear seven petitions concerning five state bans on same-sex marriage, there was a bit of a puzzlement, even pause. On Oct. 7, the 9th Circuit declared bans in Nevada and Idaho to be unconstitutional, but Justice Anthony Kennedy granted a stay against that circuit’s decision — a stay very much like the ones the Supreme Court had just lifted in three other circuits. The 9th Circuit decision had been issued by a three-judge panel, so Idaho had a right to ask the full 9th Circuit to hear an appeal, and it plans to press that appeal. The puzzlement was that Kennedy’s order included Nevada, and Nevada state officials had not asked for a stay. They had not defended their ban in court and they were ready to enforce the 9th Circuit panel decision. Why would Kennedy include Nevada? Turns out, it was apparently a mistake, and within hours, Kennedy removed Nevada from the stay. By Friday, the entire court lifted the stay on the 9th Circuit panel decision. Not one justice registered a dissent. The Supreme Court had already surprised many court observers on the first day of its 2014 session when it declined to hear appeals from the five states regarding the constitutionality of state laws that ban marriage licenses or even recognition of marriages for same-sex couples. The surprise was not that the court

declined to hear the appeals; a number of seasoned court watchers suggested that scenario because all the lower courts — three federal circuits and five federal district court judges — had agreed such bans are unconstitutional. The Supreme Court does not tend to get involved in disputes where all the courts below agree. The surprise was that the Supreme Court announced its decision so soon. It had sat on previous LGBT-related cases (DOMA and Prop. 8) for weeks before announcing whether it would hear those appeals. The court receives about 10,000 requests each year to review lower court decisions and accepts only about 75 to 80 of those. In order to accept a case, at least four of the nine justices must agree to do so. So, in the case of the marriage ban appeals, there were not four justices who wanted to grant the reviews. That meant six justices said, “No, we don’t want to hear any of these marriage cases.” Those six justices knew that, by denying the appeals, the Supreme Court was allowing at least five — and perhaps as many as 11— states to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples immediately. “I would say the Supreme Court gave an unmistakable signal to lower courts and the remaining states that it is unconstitutional to deny gay people the freedom to marry and equal protection and respect under the law,” said Evan Wolfson, head of the national Freedom to Marry group. That quickly became the assessment of court obser vers and state officials across the countr y. Some expressed that assessment in a way that, while technically incorrect, captured the spirit of the Supreme Court’s impact. West Virginia’s governor and attorney general both issued statements indicating they believed the Supreme Court had “made it clear that laws banning same-sex marriage have been declared unconstitutional.” At least two states are still clinging to the edge of the marriage ban table: On Thursday, the Supreme Court of South Carolina issued an order preventing state judges from issuing marriage licenses to any same-sex couples until a decision is made by a federal court in South Carolina. It’s a long shot effort: The 4th Circuit, which includes South Carolina, has ruled such bans are unconstitutional. But the 4th Circuit decision came from a three-judge panel, and South Carolina is apparently pinning its hopes on getting from the full 4th Circuit bench a decision that counters that of the three-judge panel. The Kansas Supreme Court also issued a decision last Friday ordering a county clerk to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. And some supporters of bans on same-sex marriage point out that the Supreme Court is simply waiting for a circuit to come up with a ruling that is in conflict with the four appeals courts that have previously ruled. They note that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said in a recent public appearance that

see Keen, pg 13

GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 17–30, 2014



GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 17–30, 2014


My precious story Life Beyond Therapy Michael Kimmel As a psychotherapist, clients often ask me: “Why is it so hard to change?” We know what we want, we know who we want to be, and yet, it’s so hard to stop being the way we are and become this new person with healthier beliefs and behaviors. One major obstacle to change is all the negative stories about ourselves that we tend to repeat over and over again. These stories bring us pain and keep us stuck in the past: “I’ll never find a good man.” “I always screw things up.” “My childhood was awful.” “My last girlfriend messed me so much that I’ll never get over her.” By repeating these stories, we stay stuck in them. We want to believe we’ll find a good man, that we can do things right, that our childhood was pretty good in many ways and that we will love again despite what our evil exgirlfriend did to us. But, why is it so hard to shift our mindset? Because we cling to our precious stories. A friend of mine calls it “My Precious Story.” She told me that for many years she wanted to be right and selfrighteous more than she wanted to be happy and free. Now, in her 70s, she usually laughs when “My Precious Story” appears. She doesn’t believe her own stories anymore. And she is happier than she ever was when she believed them.

Carolyn Myss, in her book, “Why People Don’t Heal and How They Can,” writes: “Your biography [aka ‘your precious story’] becomes your biology.” What we tell ourselves about who we are and what happens to us creates not only our mental health, but also our physical health. Freud said that our subconscious always says, “Yes” to whatever we tell it. When I say, “I’m such a loser. I’ll never be happy.” My subconscious says, “Yes.” When I say, “My life is changing and I am leaving my past behind.” My subconscious also says, “Yes.” What stories do you want your subconscious agreeing with? So how do I change “My Precious Story”? Try these three techniques: 1. Be willing to be wrong about your precious story: One of my precious stories was “I had a rotten childhood and I’m permanently scarred by it.” This is a pretty heavy story to believe and, not surprisingly, it did not create happiness or freedom for me. I began to say, “I am willing to be wrong. I am willing to be wrong.” It sounds simple, but it is quite powerful. Saying this may bring up some strong emotions for you. That’s to be expected, just keep saying: “I’m willing to be wrong.” It starts to create some “space” in your psyche, where your rigid beliefs can start to “melt” a little. 2. Begin to tell yourself a “new” story. For example, “In many ways, my childhood was pretty good. I’m

grateful for those good times.” Your new story focuses on the good, the possible and remembering what went well. If a guy from OKCupid stops returning your texts, instead of telling yourself a story like: “Guys never find me attractive. I always do something wrong.” Tell yourself a new story like: “I am an attractive, desirable man and I attract great guys to me.” Focus on what is good and what you want, not about the negative things that happened to you in the past. 3. When you are tempted to make up a new negative story, like: “I’ll never meet a good man/ woman. I’ll always be single.” Instead, try saying: “I don’t know and I don’t need to know.” This is another way to avoid telling yourself some rigid, self-destructive story that just grows stronger-andstronger and makes you feel worse and worse over time. “My Precious Story” — whatever yours is — has a lot of power to affect your life. You can use this power to keep yourself stuck in those old, negative stories or you can stop repeating them and replace them with new stories that open up your consciousness and make way for good, new things, people and experiences to come to you. The choice is yours. —Michael Kimmel is a licensed psychotherapist who specializes in helping LGBT clients achieve their goals and deal with anxiety, depression, grief, sexually addictive behavior, coming out, relationship challenges and homophobia. Contact him at 619-955-3311 or visit

A little bit of this, a little bit of that Raising the Bar Jeremy Ogle If you had to choose one word to describe Pecs, it would be “laid back.” Wait — that’s two words. Regardless, this gay bar could not care less about what you’re wearing or who your friends are. Pecs straddles the no-man’s land between North Park, University Heights and Hillcrest, and attracts an eclectic clientele. “Ever ybody drinks here — bears, cubs, straight people, gay people,” said Eddie Monteiro, who has been working the bar at Pecs since 2000. “Most people who come here come back — let’s put it that way.” Many come for the drinks, which are exceptionally cheap and stif f. The bar of fers happy hour ever y day from noon to 7 p.m. at rock bottom prices — $3 domestic beers, $3.75 for all other beers and $4.25 for well drinks. Pitchers of domestic beer are available for less than $10. Prices rise only marginally after 7. Many others are attracted by the judgment-free zone they find at Pecs, which occupies a windowless gray building on the corner of Alabama Street

and University Avenue. One thing that sets Pecs apart from other gay dives in the city is the owners’ willingness to evolve to suit the times. Acquired by Sara “Sue” Buettner and Carl “Ted” Buettner in the 1980s, Pecs has opened up over time, both physically and figuratively. Pecs opened its back patio about 11 years ago, providing some much-needed breathing room to the sweaty crowds on weekend afternoons and evenings. Earlier this summer, Pecs installed its first-ever window, in the roll-up garage door style that is now in vogue. The new window pissed of f some of the regulars, who lamented the loss of an especially dark corner that facilitated groping and other activities more suitable for dark corners, but others seem to be enjoying the view onto the patio and the ability to enjoy some San Diego sunshine. “The owners like to keep developing,” said bar tender Brian. “They don’t sit on their laurels and say ‘Well, this worked for the last 10 years. Let’s keep doing it.’” The bar’s social identity has continued to develop, too, becoming less of a bear bar over time and more of an “ever yone

see Raising, pg 18


KEHOE Schools” initiative, which resulted in 300 new trees planted at local schools, as well as her after-school programs and essay contests. He also noted that Kehoe had been named “Legislator of the Year” by both the San Diego County school board and the California Federation of Teachers during her time in office. “It’s clear to us, the GLBT Historic Task Force, that as an advocate for education, for the Hillcrest community, this idea is a perfect fit to meet our goal,” Ward said. Following Ward, San Diego Unified school board member Richard Barrera then spoke of the importance of inclusion and communication in the name-change process, urging the community to follow Kehoe’s leadership style. “It’s very important that the school community is an active equal partner in making this happen,” Barrera said. The apparent running joke among supporters at the meeting was that Kehoe always had to be coaxed by her peers into running for office. Barrera said her involvement in this effort was no different. “The first thing she said to me was ‘I never asked for this.’ The second thing she said to me was ‘By the way, I’m still alive,’” Barrera said, laughing. He also spoke about Kehoe’s career as a potential source of inspiration for students. He suggested the Christine Kehoe Elementary Trailblazers — rather than the Florence Elementary Falcons — as a potential mascot for the school. “So when a kid says I go to Kehoe Elementary, they know what that means, they helped create it, and they are inspired by it every day,” Barrera said. Public comment began with statements on behalf of several elected officials supporting the name change. Susan Jester of the Log Cabin Republicans, a conservative LGBT advocacy group, read a statement on behalf of Mayor Kevin Faulconer supporting the effort. Other statements of sup-

port came from staff representing Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, county Supervisor Dave Roberts, U.S. Rep. Susan Davis and Council President Todd Gloria. The San Diego LGBT Center, the Greater San Diego Business Association and the Hillcrest Business Association also gave statements supporting the measure. Then, a Florence Elementary volunteer changed the tone of the meeting. Jackie Bacon McClish, whose children attended Florence from 2004 to 2013, took issue with the rushed manner in which she felt this decision was being made. After identifying herself as a Democrat and a “great admirer of Christine Kehoe,” she raised concerns that the name change has been proposed “without a plan to forge a meaningful partnership between the community members that want the change and the teachers, staff, parents and volunteers.” She cited the school’s Robert Vaughan Library, which came after years of volunteering by Vaughan and other members of the Assistance League as a prime example of a name change resulting from a well-fostered relationship with the school. McClish also questioned the pertinence that a figure like Kehoe might have to elementary school students, suggesting that a middle school or a high school — where issues such as gay rights and environmentalism are more commonly addressed — might be “a name change with more than symbolism.” “Sen. Kehoe, from what I understand, is a great advocate for issues such as gay rights and environmentalism,” McClish said. “My sons are in middle and high school and

GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 17–30, 2014

“It’s very important that the school community is an active equal partner in making this happen” SDUSD board member Richard Barrera these are very relevant to them; for example, they have friends who are coming out and they are following the stories about marriage equality.” McClish’s comments received applause from several members of the audience who later identified themselves as teachers at Florence. Four more community members followed McClish, with two speaking in favor of the name change and two criticizing the effort for not doing enough outreach prior to the meeting. “I do hope that this lip service that the community will be an equal partner will come to fruition, because it really hasn’t at this meeting today,” one parent said. Another Florence parent questioned the cost of such a transition,

citing that the majority of Florence parents have low incomes or depend on public assistance. San Diego Unified school board President Kevin Beiser later said the name-change petitioner would be required to cover all costs of the transition. After public comment, Murray Ramirez apologized to teachers, parents and volunteers present for the lack of outreach and inclusion. “I hear your concerns, because if I was sitting there I’d have your same concerns,” he said, adding that the GLBT Task Force provides charitable donations to schools in the form of scholarships, school supplies and their annual Easter Egg Hunt. Ramirez said he was told

There is a movement afoot to rename Florence Elementary in Hillcrest. (Photo by Hutton Marshall)


that parents and teachers were made aware of this meeting well in advance. “I think you’ve been disrespected, and that certainly wounds me personally,” he said. At the meeting’s conclusion, Moises Aguirre, who handles external relations for the school district and facilitated the Florence meeting, assured attendees that this was “by no means … the endall-be-all to this process.” “As we can see, we have a lot more conversation that needs to happen,” Aguirre said. “This is only the truly first meeting.” Aguirre also clarified that this meeting wasn’t meant specifically for parents or teachers, but for the surrounding community. He said more outreach targeting parents will come in the second half of October. Aguirre also said the tentative deadline for the name change would be September 2015, just before the start of that school year. Ward added that this process might take even longer. Both Ward and Aguirre agreed that this kind of disagreement was common for an initial meeting regarding a change of this manner. “Some of the feedback you were hearing tonight — it wasn’t totally unexpected,” Ward said. “It is a big idea, it’s a whole identity change for a school that’s been around for 100 years.” “I would be surprised if it went any other way,” Aguirre said. “[But] I think there’s that willingness to work together.” Check, the school district’s website, for upcoming community meetings on Florence. —Contact Hutton Marshall at



GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 17–30, 2014

Letters Fanning the flames Big fan of this place [See “Victorious Flames,” Vol. 5, Issue 20, Oct. 3]. The staff is very friendly and the burgers are top notch! I have been there many times and will be back again. —Doug, via

Advocacy returns Welcome back, Ian! I always enjoy your columns [See “Sabbaticals, shadow cities and San Diego,” Vol. 5, Issue 20, Oct. 3]! Wouldn’t it be nice if even a small portion of the funds that just Team San Diego raises in AIDS/LifeCycle could come back to benefit San Diego’s HIV/AIDS services? Regardless, I appreciate their dedication to save lives! —Benny Cartwright, via

Soul-saving memories I’m so happy for you Zach [See “Jewel is saving his soul,” Vol. 5, Issue 20, Oct. 3]! Loved reading this experience for you and your husband. These are the best moments to remember. —Melissa, via

Our allies show how it’s done

Editorial Editor’s Note: In advance of this year’s National Coming Out Day on Oct. 11, social media app Jack’d ran a poll among its 5 million users, 80 percent of whom are between the ages of 18 and 25 in the United States, to weigh the attitudes toward coming out in 2014. We felt the results of their poll had some interesting results and are being shared here. This year marked the 26th anniversar y of National Coming Out Day. Despite its impressive tenure, 31 percent of sur vey respondents had never even heard of the holiday before, while 59 percent felt that the date was important. Jack’d users were given a chance to explain why they felt it was important, with some responses including: • To feel the suppor t of people and know you aren’t alone • It’s a way to raise awareness of the multiple issues homophobia causes. Knowing that other people are still “coming out” helps people feel less alone • It creates a safe space for people to talk about sexuality, and to encourage others to come out • People can come out any day of the week, but making a special day for it may be what some people need to give them a little push and … COME OUT! (sic) • It brings a national spotlight to the dif ficulties gay youth face in America and globally too, this is especially needed in a time when people are being killed

for being gay around the world   The importance of National Coming Out Day is highlighted by the fact that 10 percent of sur vey respondents were not out to anyone, with 48 percent of the closeted respondents explained they are still exploring their sexuality and not ready to identify. The other 52 percent explained they are not out due to family, religious, or social pressures.   Despite the rise of technology and the dominant role social media is playing in how young people communicate, it seems that face-to-face still r ules the roost when it comes to coming out. 73 percent of respondents said they came out to someone in person, with only 7 percent using online tools to come out. Fur thermore, 20 percent of gay men are not given the choice to come out, and instead are involuntarily outed by others.   The sur vey also found that gay men are least likely to come out to their fathers first, with 1 percent of votes. 37 percent of respondents identified a heterosexual friend as the person they first came out to. Friends may also be an easier audience to come out to as, according to the survey, family react worse to coming out news than do friends. Some interesting things the sur vey highlighed: • Of those sur veyed 16 percent cited that they came out before they

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EDITOR Morgan M. Hurley (619) 961-1960

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CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Hutton Marshall, x102 Jeremy Ogul, x119 CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Charlene Baldridge Lisa Keen Michael Kimmel Monica Medina Jeff Praught Frank Sabatini Jr. George Vernon

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were 16 years old, with the majority of people coming out before they were 20. • 29 percent of the gay men who responded to the sur vey said that they would come out to someone in their life on National Coming Out Day. • Gay men are most unlikely to come out to their dads of all the people in their life. • Neil Patrick Harris, Lady Gaga and YouTube star Tyler Oakley were all cited as sources of inspiration for those coming to terms with their sexuality and coming out. • 26 percent of sur vey respondents said they are coming out to use National Coming Out Day as a platform to come out to someone in their life • 44 percent of users not out said they are still exploring their sexuality and not ready to identify. • 15 percent of gay men came out of the closet before they were 16 years old. Those who wished to of fer advice to those still not out were given the chance to do so and an over whelming amount of respondents stressed the impor tance of waiting until you’re ready and not r ushing the process.   —Jack’d is owned by Online Buddies, Inc., one of the largest companies in the world connecting men seeking men. Jack›d is available for iPhone and Android. To download the app from our mobile site, go to t

Karen Davis, x105 Lisa Hamel, x107 Yana Shayne, x113

ACCOUNTING Priscilla Umel-Martinez (619) 961-1962 WEB DESIGN Kim Espinoza OPINIONS/LETTERS: Gay San Diego encourages letters to the editor and guest editorials. Please email either to and include your phone number and address for verification. We reserve the right to edit letters for brevity and accuracy. Letters and guest editorials do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or staff.

What a great article! [See “Love and support from Coronado,” Vol. 5, Issue 20, Oct. 3]. Thank you so much for bringing media attention to this! Myself and Kristin Lee Photography were blessed to shoot this beautiful wedding and I was sickened to see this happen especially in my home town of Coronado. The guys handled it with such grace. So thankful Coronado is showing these two lovely people that our island is a beautiful place filled with beautiful people. This is the island I know! —Stacy Childers, via So proud of our community! We were so disappointed [to learn] about the anti-gay harassment endured by a same-sex couple exchanging wedding vows here in Coronado last Saturday. Initially we felt the urge to lash out in whatever way we could … but we realized this: What the LGBT community is doing now, in American history, is uncharted territory. They have the distinction, and it is indeed an honor, to be the ambassadors of change. They forge the way for us all — gay and straight Americans. They’re plotting a course. Their efforts and struggles will eventually prevail. And what it looks like, feels like, and is like for gay marriage to be considered as normal and accepted as the status quo in American society, won’t even be a consideration — because of the work that they are doing now. We are all a part of this change, and it is [our] position and intention to show support and allegiance to these brave men and women. Thank you, from all of us at Weddings of Coronado. —Rev. Rhonda Haiston, via Fabulous of Alisa Kerr for taking action, she brings hope to the human condition. She’s my kind of an attorney! —Larry Profeta, Rancho Mirage, Ca, via gay-sd. com Great article and I am so pleased with how the residents and businesses of Coronado are making right a wrong that was so upsetting to me and many others when we heard the first story from you and on the news. Thanks for being a part of the change! —Larry Dalen, via t

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GAY NEWS BRIEFS MALASHOCK RETURNS WITH FIFTH SEASON OF ‘RAW’ Malashock Dance Company, a local dance troupe founded in 1988 by Artistic Director John Malashock, will return Nov. 7 and 8 for three new installments of its “cutting edge” dance production called RAW. “This program allows our dance company to investigate provocative themes in a ‘safe place to do unsafe work,’” Malashock stated in a press release. Producers also said RAW5’s innovative performances feature “brazen athleticism and dramatic emotionalism.” The troupe encourages active community participation through attendance at

Dancers from Malashock RAW5 (Courtesy Malashock)

open rehearsals, preview performances, and facilitated and interactive panels with the performers throughout the period. “We enthusiastically want our audience to provide feedback because this direct interaction with the artists only deepens their connection to the work,” Malashock said. This year’s performances take place at the Lyceum Theatre, located at 79 Broadway Circle, Downtown. Tickets are now available through Lyceum’s box office at 619-544-1000 or For more information, visit

HOLDER RECOGNIZES JUSTICE DEPT’S ‘WINDSOR TEAM’ Attorney General Eric Holder recognized 278 members of his department’s staff with its highest award for performance on Wednesday, Oct. 15. During the Attorney General’s annual awards ceremony, the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service was given to the selected personnel specifically for implementation of U.S. v. Windsor, the landmark decision that struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Ten other members of the implementation team from outside of the department were also recognized. “The hard work and impressive achievements of these 278 award recipients have inspired their colleagues at every level of the U.S. Department of Justice — including me. Their leadership has been indispensable in defining the past year as one of historic accomplishment in the face of nearly unprecedented challenge,” Holder stated in a press release. The result of Windsor affected more than 1,000 federal laws where the discrimination of same-sex couples was apparent. According to the release, those recognized at the ceremony coordinated across the department and with other areas of expertise to identify not only the laws, but also other federal policies and rules also affected by the dissolution of Section 3 and issue new laws, rules and policies and guidance that expunged all aspects of the former discriminatory verbiage. In doing so, the press release stated, the team ensured that committed and loving

see Briefs, pg 16

GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 17–30, 2014




GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 17–30, 2014

A full schedule of food, wine and beer activities are on the calendar for the expanded fourth annual Baja California Culinar y Fest, to be held Oct. 29 through Nov. 2 at various restaurants and venues in Tijuana, Ensenada and Valle de Guadalupe. Events include ever ything from chef dinners and culinar y competitions to wine tours and demo classes, all highlighting the bounties of the region that have helped put Baja gastronomy on the map. For detailed information, visit bcculinar After a long, successful run at 1417 University Ave., Cesar Gonzales of Mama Testa is moving his colorful taqueria into a bigger space at 9225 Mira Mesa Blvd., which will open in December. “I love Hillcrest, but the rents are getting so high,” he said, adding that his new digs will be close to a few breweries and that he will be expanding both his menu and salsa bar.

Hillcrest has seen a mini wave of kitchens go dark in the past few weeks, which included the sudden but supposedly temporary closure of Har vey Milk’s American Diner at 535 University Ave. According to managing partner Frank Lechner, the restaurant’s shareholders are currently deciding whether to re-launch under the same name or a different one. “We will re-open and we’ll continue to support our community like we have in the past,” assured Lechner while dispelling rumors of Phil’s BBQ taking over the space. “That is absolutely not true,” he stressed. For contractual reasons, Lechner was unable to elaborate as to why Harvey’s shut down; although a posting on the restaurant’s Facebook page dated Oct. 10 maintains that the team is “reorganizing.” “We’re heartbroken and we feel horrible for our employees and realize the financial impact this has on them,” Lechner said.

A public market is coming to Liberty Station. (Rendering by Fitch)

The folks at Counterpoint in Golden Hill are gearing up for their five-year anniversary with a weeklong series of events featuring a Southernstyle low country boil starting at 2 p.m., Oct. 26. The cost is $18 and includes house-made andouille sausage, shrimp, corn, potatoes Counterpoint to have a week of festivities. (Photo by Sara Norris) and bread. Other festivities include a tap changeover on Oct. 28 to introduce “beers we’ve been saving all year,” plus dry-hopped barrel-aged gin cocktails presented in collaboration with Modern Times Brewery. 830 25th St., Suite 100. 619-564-6722 Amici’s East Coast Pizza at 3958 Fifth Ave., has also left the neighborhood due mainly to sluggish sales, according to a former employee. A sign posted on the doors of the double-storefront restaurant in early October simply states: “Visit us at our La Jolla location.”



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What was originally designated for a project called The Shops in the 22,000-square-foot wing of Liberty Station’s Building 1 will instead become the site of Liberty Public Market, a culinary co-op due to open in early summer. Headed by restaurateur and Coronado resident David Spatafore of Blue Bridge Hospitality, and in partnership with Corky McMillin Companies, the goal is to open with 34 vendors of local origins. Spatafore is aiming to include in the vendor lineup a butcher, baker, fish monger, cheese specialist, juicer, tortilla maker and more. “The list of potential vendors is huge. I want an eclectic collection that will drive that sensory overload of a public market,” he said, referring to open markets he’s visited in his travels such as Redding Terminal Market in Philadelphia and Granville Island Public Market in Vancouver, Canada. The vacant 22,000-square-foot space, which was built in 1921 as the Naval Training Center’s commissary, will undergo infrastructure renovations totaling $3 million, although Spatafore is avoiding modern design elements. “A lot of what we’re trying to make is already there,” he said. “It has all the bones for a cool market.” 2816 Historic Decatur Rd.

This year’s San Diego Race for the Cure, a 5K walk/run that begins in Balboa Park to raise money in the fight against breast cancer, will be immediately followed by a special “Brunch for the Cure,” starting at 9 a.m., Nov. 2, at Cucina Urbana in Bankers Hill. The post-event event is being supported by Green Flash Brewing Company, which will be on hand pairing their suds with Cucina’s buffet of California-inspired Italian fare. The brunch runs until 1 p.m. and costs $40, which includes two beer pours. A portion of the proceeds will go to Susan G. Komen San Diego. 505 Laurel St. 619-239-2222. — Frank Sabatini Jr can be reached at

Pizza will be featured at “Brunch for a Cure.”(Courtesy H2 Public Relations)


GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 17–30, 2014

French intimacy (above) Braised pork shank; (left) classic French onion soup (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.)

Dining Review Frank Sabatini Jr. Smaller is better when it comes to places like La Bonne Table, an ultra-cozy French restaurant that Chef Renaud Tristan of Paris introduced after closing Voyou bar at the same address. If you’re looking for some serious face time with lovers, friends or family members, perhaps while experiencing the bygone flavor of pommes frites fried in beef tallow, you’ve come to the right place. The menu is elegantly succinct, featuring only five starters, five entrees and a few a la carte side dishes, all written first in French. Combined with a homey, revamped interior marked by antique furniture and a handsome bar, La Bonne feels ver y much like a mini version of the defunct Farm House Café that operated for several years in nearby University Heights. And

it’s become as quickly cherished by local Francophiles. Hanging above a tight arrangement of tables, some adorned with little lamps, are numerous blackand-white images of Paris from the 1930s. Tristan clipped and framed them from a photography book by late photojournalist Robert Doisneau. They are whimsically brilliant and extend into the restrooms. Nearly the entire menu embodies the familiar classics, which doesn’t necessarily mean they’re born from easy recipes given that there are few shortcuts in French cooking. So it came as no surprise to see onion soup au gratin on the starters list. The broth was capped by a bubbly mantle of Gruyere cheese speckled with freshly snipped herbs. Served generously in a lion’s head urn, it started out mildly salty and became sweeter as we descended into a wellspring of richly caramelized onions at the bottom. We were hoping to kick off with some type of pate or liver mousse, which Tristan makes occasionally for his ever-changing menu. But neither was available on this particular evening, so we gave in to the fleshy luxury of ahi tuna tartare instead. The French twists here were olive oil and lemon juice infusing the fish and a dollop of excellent olive tapenade served alongside. Our

sole complaint was that we had to dance around several tendons scattered throughout the supple cubes of fish. Needless to say, the flavor profile was bright and pleasing. Dainty, edible star daisies added prettiness to a fluffy frisee salad accented with toasted almonds and light mustard vinaigrette, which instilled just the right amount of tang to the bitter greens. The salad was complimented by a long finger of grilled bread topped with melted goat cheese, which I passed up because of my aversion to goat’s milk. My companion, however, gave the warm bread and curds his full approval. He ordered steak frites, aka “America’s favorite French meal.” The meat was draped lovingly in wine merchant sauce, a red-wine reduction laced with butter, parsley and shallots. Like in bistros across Europe that serve the dish, Tristan uses flavorful hanger steak, the flat strip of meat that hangs from the diaphragm of the steer. If cooked haphazardly, it’s chewy. But this scored high marks for its seared outer crust and soft, lush interior. If you forgot what French fries tasted like when they were commonly cooked in beef fat instead of vegetable oil, Tristan takes his patrons back to the Old School. The “frites” are blanched and then deep-fried to a delicate crisp. We knew upon first bite there was something superior and different about them. No ketchup needed. A towering bone-in pork shank on my plate yielded enough meat for two meals, which had me toting home a weighty doggie bag. The tender, braised shank rested upon a pillow of homey mashed potatoes kissed with pan juices and a whisper of garlic. It was rustic French cooking at its best. Our vegetable component was a side of green beans still retaining their coveted snap. They were flash-fried and cloaked in olive oil, garlic and parsley. The dish rotates through a repertoire of lentils, peas and other types of beans under “legumes du jour.” While my companion nursed a tall mojito that was garnished with luscious, candied mango, I savored a glass of Malbec from France, which is the grape’s original home despite Argentina claiming 70

percent of the world’s Malbec vineyards. The French version is delightfully inkier with firmer tannins and tarter fruit. Even if pairing it to La Bonne’s seafood-loaded bouillabaisse or especially the duck confit, you really can’t go wrong. Our desserts were expectedly awesome; a juicy raspberry tart and what has to be the most decadent version of chocolate mousse that’s ever passed my lips. “It’s dark or don’t,” said Tristan in his infectious French accent, referring to his use of coffee and all dark chocolate in the recipe. Tristan, who makes his rounds periodically throughout the dining room, is both animated and passionate about his new venture. For him, Voyou is a thing of the past that ser ved as a springboard for opening “the restaurant of his dreams.” Without pretense, he’s undoubtedly arrived with a dining room so small and exclusive feeling, you’ll likely need a reser vation if visiting on weekends. —Frank Sabatini Jr. is the author of “Secret San Diego” (ECW Press) and began his local writing career more than two decades ago as a staffer for the former San Diego Tribune. He has since covered the culinary scene and other subjects for various print and broadcast media outlets in the area. You can reach him at

La Bonne Table 3696 Fifth Ave. (Hillcrest) 619-260-8039 Prices: Starters, $7 to $12; entrees, $18 to $26

(top) Raspberry tart; (below) frisee salad

(Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.)

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GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 17–30, 2014

Part of our

world Arden says LGBT community can relate to Quasimodo. (Courtesy Michael Arden)

Gay Broadway actor brings Quasimodo to town By Monica Medina Michael Arden seems very comfortable and laid-back, as if he has all the time in the world to chat, which, somehow, completely belies the eventful year he’s been having. The actor is currently in rehearsal as the lead role of Quasimodo in “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” a new musical featuring music and lyrics by Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz set to premier at La Jolla Playhouse Oct. 26. On the two days he has off each week from rehearsals, Arden heads to Los Angeles to film episodes of “Anger Management,” the FX series in which he plays opposite Charlie Sheen. He’s also been busy directing a Deaf West Theatre production of “Spring Awakening.” Currently on stage in Los Angeles, the musical has received much critical acclaim, and compelled the Los Angeles Times to call Arden “the real star of the evening ... whose staging

involves a mind-bogglingly intricate meld of the show’s many disparate elements.” Amidst all this activity, Arden became engaged in June to fellow actor Andy Mientus, currently starring on Broadway as Marius in “Les Miserables.” Announcing the engagement on Instagram, Mientus posted a playful photo of himself and a very joyful Arden. Taking a page from Shakespeare’s “As You Like It,” Mientus wrote, “Come, woo me, woo me, for now I am in a holiday humour and like enough to consent.” The two are set to marry next fall. “We met at the opening night of a show I did on Broadway,” Arden recalled. “It was ‘The Times They Are A-Changin,’ which had its premiere in San Diego [at the Old Globe Theatre]. One of the cast members brought his roommate and it happened to be Andy. We were friends first, so we got to know how crazy we each are before we started dating. A lot of times you

mer and I wrote that I learned that try to pretend to be the person you “In a place where you wouldn’t I’m a gay man. She pulled me aside think they want you to be. We got to imagine a big prevalence of art, later on and said, ‘Just so you know, skip all that, which was nice.” there was an incredible youth theI’m here for you and I support you.’ With Arden in Southern Caliater company called the Pickwick She’s been a dear friend and mentor fornia and Mientus in New York, Players,” he said. “I learned so to me to this day.” making time for each other has much and had such a great group Arden took longer to tell his been tricky. of friends. I feel lucky and thankful very religious Southern Baptist “Finding balance is hard,” to have had a great theatrical outlet grandparents, who both passed Arden admitted. “We Skype a lot through our community theater.” and get to see each other maybe a Arden also found a mentor at the away earlier this year. “I didn't think it was helpful to day or two at a time, relishing the Episcopal school he attended — his tell them, but then I did and they moments we get. He’ll be here for English teacher, Shelly Wright. were wonderful,” he said. “I’m opening night, but after the glad they got to see me in a lot of ‘Hunchback’ run, I hopefully plays and when I did a European will be able to spend time with tour with Barbra Streisand, him. I look forward to that.” singing duets of ‘Evergreen’ and Arden, whose father died ‘Somewhere.’” when he was young and whose “The Hunchback of Notre mother had issues with subDame” has been in rehearsals stance abuse, was raised by his since mid-September, and Arden grandparents in Midland, Texas. is feeling good about the show He can remember the moment and its cast. he caught the acting bug: He “I’m really excited to be back was four years old. in San Diego, creating this piece “My grandparents took me with people I love and writers to see Sesame Street Live,” I admire,” he said. “The cast said the 31 year old. “And is phenomenal — Ciara Renee there’s a picture of me in as Esmeralda, Patrick Page as which I’m just on the edge of Frollo, Andrew Samonsky as my seat, absolutely mesmerPhoebus and Erik Liberman as ized. It’s almost as if I’m trying Clopin — and the ensemble, to get on the stage.” they’re all fantastic.” A few years later, he saw his “Hunchback” is produced by first musical, “Big River,” at a lospecial arrangement with Disney cal community theater and that Theatrical Productions, though experience sealed his fate. Arden (right) gets a kiss from his fiancé, fellow outside of the basic structure, “I was just blown away by actor Andy Mientus. (Courtesy Michael Arden) Arden said it is more true to the it and knew I had to do that,” Victor Hugo novel than it is to Arden said. “Whether it was to the 1996 Disney animated film. make it on stage or build the sets “I realized in ninth grade [that I “There are new songs … it’s a or lighting, I just wanted to be inwas] gay, and strangely I never was lot sadder than the Disney movie volved. It’s beautiful and ironic that concerned that it was a problem,” and much more of an adult treat‘Big River’ was not only the first play he said. “Obviously, there were ment,” he explained. “The story I ever saw, but it was also the first moments of fear, but I never felt takes place in 1483, and we’re using Broadway show I appeared in. So ashamed of it. The first person I a lot of techniques that would’ve that was a great turn of events and ever came out to was my English been used theatrically in plays of very special for me.” teacher. Freshman year, first day of school, she gave us an assignthe time. Much of it is set inside Arden said Midland gave him just the support and encouragement ment in class to write about what we the Notre Dame Cathedral, and learned about ourselves that sumwe use our bodies and furniture to he needed to help him succeed. create these worlds. There are 17 in the cast, but what’s truly exciting is that there’s a 32-person choral ensemble that will be on stage every night. It’s thrilling to hear this score sung with that many voices. I would venture to say it's Alan Menken’s finest score.” Arden’s favorite Disney film is “The Little Mermaid,” another Menken musical, co-authored with the late Howard Ashman. Arden sees parallels between the two stories and his own life. “The song, ‘Part of Your World,’ sung by Ariel is about wishing to be part of something,” he said. “Quasimodo also feels removed from living the life other people have. There have been times in my life I felt like, ‘Oh, I’m not allowed to marry. How great it would be to be part of their world.’” For this reason, Arden believes the themes in “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” will resonate for the LGBT community. “Quasimodo has been hidden away and put on the outside because of religion, specifically, Catholicism,” he said. “Yet ultimately, it’s a story about love and how love can conquer everything. “What attracted me most to the project is that it inspires faith, which I feel is so lacking in the world right now, but it’s incredibly important to me. Love and faith go hand in hand, and that’s incredibly life affirming.” As he headed back to rehearsal, Arden paused for a moment to take stock of his career. “What I have is a dream job,” he said. “As long as I can keep working and keep creating new works, I think that’s the greatest thing I can accomplish.” —Contact Monica Medina at monicastangledweb@gmail. com or follow her on Twitter at @ monicastangled.t


GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 17–30, 2014


(l to r) Ray Anthony Thomas as Wynton, Robert Christopher Riley as Jay, Okieriete Onaodowan as Fish, and John Lavelle as Max in Marco Ramirez's The Royale. (Photo by Jim Cox)

Theater Review Charlene Baldridge “A fight the likes of which you will never see, not ever again,” intones an early 20th centur y boxing promoter/referee named Max (John Lavelle in the Old Globe Theatre production playing through Nov. 2), whose ambitious client, Jay (Robert Christopher Riley), holds the World Negro Heavyweight Champion title. The operative word is “Negro,” because Jay wants to be the world champ without qualification and intends to challenge Bixby (unseen), the white titleholder. “The Royale” is a play the likes of which you never saw (it premiered at Center Theatre Group, CTG, in

Los Angeles last year). It is played in 90-some electrifying minutes, directed by Obie Award-winner Rachel Chavkin in the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre at the Old Globe. Playwright Marco Ramirez based “The Royale” on a historic event, a title bout involving an African-American boxer named Jack Johnson, who won his title with the qualifier in 1904 and then insisted on challenging the white champ. Though Johnson’s true story is well documented (in Ken Burns’ film, “Unforgiveable Blackness,” among others), Ramirez departs reality to examine — in a punctuated ringside fashion that pulls no punches — the inner workings of the sport, the man, and his impact on race in America. What is essentially a chamber performance for four virtuoso voices, including those of Jay’s


The Royale Tuesdays – Sundays through Nov. 2 Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre The Old Globe 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park Tickets start at $29. Visit the or call 619-234-5623

(l to r) Thomas and Riley in a tense scene; Montego Glover as Nina. (Photo by Jim Cox)

sparing partner, Fish (Okieriete Onaodowan, seen at the Globe in “The Brothers Size”), and his trainer, Wynton (Ray Anthony Thomas), is interrupted by the appearance of Nina (the redoubtable Montego Glover, whom we experienced as Alicia in La Jolla Playhouse’s 2010 Tony Awardwinning “Memphis”). Glover is a magnificent actor. As Jay’s elder sister, Nina becomes a participant, projecting her personal fears regarding the championship bout about to occur. That fear extends far beyond news accounts of death threats against her brother. “The Royale” takes its title from the barbaric beginnings of African-American boxing, in which Jay’s trainer, Wynton, participated as a boy. As Wynton, Thomas’s monologue is brilliant. The purity and cadence here need no interjec-

tions. On one hand, the work is a paean to those who had the guts to change things; on the other, it feels exceptionally contrived in its striving to be unique. Ramirez provides punctuation where words and their natural rhythms would do. Comparing his work to the late August Wilson’s riles the August Wilson fan. Wilson traced the history of African-Americans in the U.S. with a play for each decade of the 20th century. He’s been compared to Shakespeare. Playwright Tarrell Alvin McCraney, author of “The Brothers Size” trilogy, much more easily achieves a unique style and delivery than Ramirez, and his characters, like Wilson’s, have weight and dimension. Nonetheless, “The Royale” is an exciting ride, the acting company is exemplary, and Nicholas Vaughan’s set, a kind of take-apart boxing ring only fully as-

sembled for the main event, adds to the fascination. Denitsa Bliznakova’s creamy three-piece suit for the champ is delicious. Austin R. Smith is lighting designer and Matt Hubbs is the sound designer. Ramirez, whose plays have been produced at CTG, the Kennedy Center and elsewhere, studied at New York University and The Juilliard School. A native of Florida, he holds commissions from both CTG and Playwrights Horizons [sic] and has credits in television (“Sons of Anarchy” and “Orange is the New Black”) so we will hear and see more of him. —Charlene Baldridge has been writing about the arts since 1979. Her book “San Diego, Jewel of the California Coast” (Northland Publishing) is currently available in bookstores. She can be reached at


GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 17–30, 2014

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GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 17–30, 2014


WEDDING adding that he wanted his fellow LGBT community to hear what happened, to create awareness that — despite the protections of federal and state laws in place — even in San Diego, love could be shattered by hatred. He felt sharing his story might somehow help a similar situation from happening again, and reinforce the idea that “… any couple [should] continue to enjoy the beauties of your urban outdoor spaces as a natural cathedral to exchange their love vows,” he wrote. Gay San Diego published Oscar and Gary’s story in Oscar’s own words Sept. 19, and the story went viral. Soon Channel 10 soon picked it up — Skyping with Oscar in Phoenix and Gary while on business in Prague — and that’s when close friends and Coronado residents Alisa Kerr and Rita Alipour caught wind of it. “My immediate thought was how awful and assaultive the attack was,” Alipour said. “Oscar and Gary’s faces spoke a thousand words. It was such a disgusting thing to do to them.” When the friends spoke the next day, they committed to inviting the couple back to Coronado and throwing a little party for them on the beach. Soon their friends Kate Blumenthal and Cerissa McPartlin Kieffer were on board and the wheels began to churn. Kerr wrote to a friend at a local upscale resort and Alipour wrote the current mayor of Coronado, a childhood friend. Soon the “party on the beach” became a full-blown wedding for 300 guests at Loews Coronado Bay Hotel with Mayor Casey Tanaka officiating. A Facebook page, “Coronado Loves Oscar and Gary” was the vehicle that brought all the vendors and the local Coronado residents together to make this “re-do I do” one the couple would remember the rest of their lives. Once the date was set, the four ladies, who began calling themselves “The Islander Ladies Club,” got to work while an international media firestorm surrounding their actions took off. “We are not in the wedding industry or part of the gay commu-



a decision contrary to these other appeals courts would create a greater “urgency” for the Supreme Court to take a marriage case. But if there was any real likelihood that the Supreme Court might eventually uphold the constitutionality of such bans, it seems quite unlikely that six justices would have rushed to announce on the first day of the court’s 2014 session that it would allow lower court rulings in as many as 11 states to go into effect, enabling same-sex couples to marr y almost immediately in those states. Why create the potential need for years of corrective legal action when the court could simply wait for the right case to come along and then make its decision? What last Monday’s announcement means, as Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker acknowledged in a statement on the campaign trail, is that the issue of the constitutionality of denying

(above) Well wishers sent the couple on a gondola ride prior to the nupitals; (right) after their vows, the grooms smash a glass full of hateful words as Mayor Tanaka looks on. (Photo by Jo Auger/Kristina Lee Photography) nity; I don’t know the other ladies’ political or religious views, none of us had ever met Oscar and Gary, and we never in a million years expected this to become a national story or a big event,” Kerr said. “We simply saw two people treated unfairly in our town and wanted to make it right.” Those who didn’t have wedding-related services to offer found other ways to chip in. One family bought the couple airline tickets, another lined up zoo passes, and still another planned a gondola ride along the Coronado Cays for them. Meanwhile, Oscar and Gary were back at their jobs in Phoenix and still speaking to media outlets about the circumstances of the first wedding. They were excited about what the women were putting together, but understandably apprehensive. On Friday, Oct. 10, at San Diego International Airport, the organizers and a “chariot” awaited the men, consisting of a limo, champagne, and a photographer — all donated — and they were whisked off to dinner “on the house” at the Hotel del. “We were somewhat anxious coming into town and it was compounded by never having met these ladies before,” Gary said. “We were met by these four smart, charming, welcoming women at the door of the terminal and we started with our first of many group hugs. It sounds cheesy, but we were all in this together now and that connection was evident from the start.” After 24-hours of pampering, wedding number two went off withsame-sex couples the right to marry is “resolved”: Such bans are unconstitutional and the Supreme Court will most likely say so if one of the remaining circuits issues a decision to the contrary. The 6th Circuit could issue its decision any day now. The 5th Circuit announced Sept. 25 that a three-judge panel would hear appeals from both Texas and Louisiana, but briefs in the Louisiana case are not expected to be completed until Nov. 7. Meanwhile, more states within the circuits that have already declared the bans unconstitutional may soon join the pro-equality list. A federal judge issued a ruling Oct. 12, that Alaska’s ban is unconstitutional. A federal judge has given Arizona until this Thursday, Oct. 16, to file briefs explaining why it should not comply with the 9th Circuit panel ruling. —Lisa Keen is an award-winning journalist who spent 18 years as editor of the Washington Blade. See more news from Keen and other select veteran gay journalists at

out a hitch, nor a heckler in sight, and was attended by a small group of family and over 200 total strangers, simply there to embrace Oscar and Gary’s commitment and show them a better example of Coronado. A four-foot-wide pan of Paella was the centerpiece of a large spread of food at the reception, held on Loews’ Marina Terrace overlooking the Coronado Cays. Gary said the Paella, an obvious nod to Oscar’s Columbian upbringing and time spent in Spain pursuing his MFA, was just one of the many details of the day that the couple were so touched by, including a recreation of the flowers from the August wedding. “It was very heartening and humbling to be the recipients of that unrestrained generosity, and frankly, very emotional at times to see how this story had connected personally with so many people of all backgrounds,” Gary said. And the gifts just kept on giving at the event, starting with a letter of support from the mayor

of Phoenix, Greg Stanton; Coronado Mayor Tanaka surprising the couple with individual keys to the city; and Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins making an appearance and presenting them with a framed letter that included a photo of the couple, to commemorate the day. “I trust that this second ceremony will be a precious memory as well, but free of any unwelcome intruders,” Atkins said in the letter. “It will be important not only because you have another chance to share your love in front of friends and cherished loved ones, but also because scores of new friends in Coronado have united to show you that one misguided person does not speak for them or their community.” Days later, the couple said they are “still glowing” from the continued support and well wishes, and are working hard to respond to them, as well as all those responsible for the second wedding. “We have started to thank the amazing people who gave of their

time and services and let’s be clear — we know that this whole weekend cost a lot — but we have so many with whom to share our thanks, it is going to take a little time.” Probably one of the most symbolic moments of the wedding was when the couple, joined by the four Islander Ladies, each placed hateful words — racism, hate, bullying, arrogance, ignorance, intolerance, false traditions, prejudice, selfishness, inequality — inside a glass jar that was then placed into a red cloth bag and crushed on the ground by the grooms’ feet. “Now that it’s over I’m really proud of what we accomplished,” Kerr said. “Coronado rallied together and took a negative, disheartening story and created a happy ending with a beautiful message of community, kindness and acceptance. “This story shows that you don’t have to be alike to be friends, you don’t have to be alike to have compassion, and you don’t have to be alike to help,” Kerr said. “Heck, I’m a single, practicing Christian, registered Republican, straight AllAmerican beach girl in flip flops who is now BFFs with a married, Roman Catholic, Democratic, gay Colombian cosmopolitan man who wears Hermes loafers. Despite our differences we accept and appreciate each other and we will be allies for life.” Gary and Oscar couldn’t agree more. “We dream of the day that a ceremony like ours is no longer called a ‘gay wedding’ by the media or anyone for that matter — but it is simply referred to as a ‘wedding,’” Gary said. “It’s about love and commitment, plain and simple.” —Reach Morgan M. Hurley at

Friendly FREE Festival Desert Playground Entertainment Outdoor Adventure Oasis Mid-century Modern Treasures




mo14 c.ds-yaGAY g SAN DIEGO Oct. 17–30, 2014


Breakfast at Tif fany’s: Cinema Under the Stars presents Audrey Hepburn’s most memorable role as Holly Golightly. 8 p.m. $15. 4040 Goldfinch St., Mission Hills. Movie shows all weekend long. Visit or call 619-295-4221.  She-Rantulas from Outer Space in 3D: A send-up of the femme fatales and B-movie horror stories of the 1950s. Costume contest tonight. 8 p.m. Diversionary Theatre, 4545 Park Blvd., University Heights. Tickets diversionary. org or call 619-220-0097. 


An Evening with Jane Lynch: Emmy and Golden Globe winner Jane Lynch debuts her West Coast solo concert. Special guest Kate Flannery. 8 p.m. Balboa Theatre, 868 Fourth Ave., Gaslamp. Visit Joan Rivers Impersonator Dee Dee Hanson: Celebrate Martinis Above Fourth’s third anniversary with comedienne, singer and actress Dee Dee Hanson as Joan Rivers. 9 p.m. Free show, reservations required. Martinis Above Fourth, 3940 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest. Visit  Countr y Western Line Dancing: Every Thursday and Saturday night come check out the cowboys and cowgirls as they spin across the floor, join in or even take free lessons. All skill levels encouraged. Drink specials. 7 – 8:30 p.m. Urban MO’s, 308 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit


Sunday Bust in North County: Every Sunday Hill St. Café turns into a safe space for all LGBT and allies to gather. Food is vegan-friendly, and they serve beer, wine and sake. Fifteen percent of proceeds go to the North County LGBTQ Resource Center. 3 – 9 p.m. at Hill St. Café, 524 S. Coast Hwy, Oceanside. Visit


Transgender Coming Out Group: Welcoming transgender people in all stages of exploring their gender identity, and their friends, family and loved ones. 7 – 8:30 p.m. San Diego LGBT Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. Visit the- The Big Gay Improv Show: San Diego improv actors will perform along with guest monologists from the LGBT Community: “Big Mike” Phillips and Liz Jardine. 8 p.m. Diversionary Theatre, 4545 Park Blvd., University Heights. Visit or call 619-220-0097.


“Grab a Mic”: An open mic night hosted by singer/actor Sasha Weiss on the first and third Tuesdays of the month. Sign ups at 6 p.m., show at 7 p.m. Martinis Above Fourth, 3940 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest. Visit  Jersey Boys: The musical about Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons returns to San Diego and runs through Oct. 26. 7 p.m. San Diego Civic Theatre, 1199 Third Ave., Downtown. Tickets start at $43. Visit Lesbians Considering Parenting Workshop: The workshop (held every third Tuesday of the month) addresses parenting issues and options and is facilitated by Suzann Gage, OB/GYN nurse practitioner, licensed acupuncturist, and nutritionist. 6:30 – 8 p.m. Lesbian Health Clinic at Progressive Health Services, 2141 El Cajon Blvd., University Heights. Visit


GSDBA Social Club: A monthly gathering “unlike a traditional networking event,” hosted by the Greater San Diego Business Association. 6 – 8 p.m. Diversionary Theatre, 4545 Park Blvd., University Heights. Visit FilmOut Screening: “Hocus Pocus” — 1993 fantasy about three witch sisters resurrected in Salem, Massachusetts, on Halloween night. 7 p.m., Landmark’s Hillcrest Cinemas, 3965 Fifth Ave., Hillcrest. $10. Visit


GSDBA Advocacy Committee Meeting: This committee fights for public policies consistent with GSDBA’s mission and core values. Priorities of premier concern are attaining full business equality for GSDBA members and full equality for LGBT persons. 12:15 – 1:30 p.m. GSDBA Conference Room, 3737 Fifth Ave.

SATURDAY, OCT. 25 Nightmare on Normal Street: Hillcrest’s Halloween

street party features an over-21 area on the street and an allages fright zone and soda bar. There will also be a costume competition, food trucks, DJs and more. Pre-parties over the weeks leading up to the event will be held at popular spots in the area. 6 – 11 p.m. Normal Street between University Avenue and Harvey Milk Street. Visit

SUNDAY, OCT. 26 Halloween Festival:

The Center’s auditorium and parking lot will be filled with Halloween activities for all ages. Food and drinks will be provided at no cost, along with pumpkin decorating and a Halloween costume contest. 2 – 5 p.m. San Diego LGBT Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. RSVP (required) at 619-692-2077 x121 or Visit Suite 201, Hillcrest. Visit 9th Annual Har vest Howl: The Metro Area Real Estate Professionals for Young Adult Housing (MARYAH) hosts this annual event benefitting the San Diego LGBT Community Center’s Youth Housing Project. Includes hosted bar, catering by local restaurants, live entertainment and more. 6 – 9 p.m. Top of the Downtown Central Library, 330 Park Blvd., Downtown. Visit Live Music: San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus presents “Crescendo,” a premier concert performance by their 50-voice men’s Chamber Chorale. 7 p.m. The North Chapel, 2881 Roosevelt Rd., Liberty Station. Visit Third Annual CareFusion Silent Art Auction:

Trunk ‘n Treat: Annual Halloween celebration with decorated vehicles, treats and more in a safe, welcoming environment. 5 – 7 p.m. The Metropolitan Community Church of San Diego, 2633 Denver St., Bay Park.

THURSDAY, OCT. 30 Orange is Best with Black Halloween Party: The live entertainment

lineup for this one includes YouTube sensation Steve Grand, Danielle LoPresti and The Masses, Sleep Machine and more. Doors at 6:30 p.m., show at 7 p.m. Queen Bee’s, 3925 Ohio St., North Park. Search for the event on Facebook.

FRIDAY, OCT. 31 A Night of Evil Queens:

The ultimate drag dining experience includes dinner and show hosted by Tootie. Event includes costume contest with $100 cash prize. Lips San Diego, 3036 El Cajon Blvd., North Park. Visit

San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus Halloween Fundraiser “Dusk”: Cos-

tumed event featuring hosted bar, munchies and more. Funds raised allow deserving San Diego youth to attend the Chorus’ Holiday Spectacular in December. 7 – 10 p.m. 2961 First Ave., Bankers Hill. Visit

She-rantulas from Out Space – in 3D: The send-up

of femme fatales and B-movie horror stories of the 1950s wraps up its run over Halloween weekend. Showings at 8 p.m. and midnight on Halloween night will include some tricks and treats plus a costume contest. Diversionary Theatre, 4545 Park Blvd., University Heights. Visit

Clean and Sober Halloween Dance: This

18-and-up event includes a costume contest with several categories and a best-carved pumpkin contest with cash prizes. 8 – 11 p.m. Live and Let Live Alano Club, 1730 Monroe Ave., University Heights. Visit

CareFusion’s GLBTA employee resource group hosts its annual art auction with drinks, appetizers, music and more to benefit The Trevor Project. 7 – 10 p.m. Wang’s North Park, 3029 University Ave., North Park. For tickets visit Psycho: Cinema Under the Stars presents Alfred Hitchcock’s ghoulish masterpiece. 8 p.m. $15. 4040 Goldfinch St., Mission Hills. Movie shows all weekend long. Visit or call 619-295-4221.  Democrats for Equality: This month’s meeting of San Diego’s LGBT democratic club will be held at the campaign headquarters of their “priority campaigns.” 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Carol Kim (City Council D6), 8328 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. Suite 214, Kearny Mesa, and

Scott Peters (Congressional D52), 4715 Viewridge Ave. Suite 150, Kearny Mesa. Visit:


SDHDF Confident Retirement Workshop: Free workshop with experts in estate and financial planning. Lunch provided with required RSVP (no later than Oct. 22). 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Raymond Executive Board Room at San Diego Human Dignity Foundation, 2508 Historic Decatur Rd., Liberty Station. To RSVP call 619-291-3383 or email janelle@ City Heights CDC fundraising reception: Event will feature California State Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins

see Calendar, pg 17


THE GAY JERSEY BOY solution on page 16 Across 1 Where to wallow 5 Branches of a family tree 10 The Phantom of the Opera’s name 14 Etcher’s fluid 15 Islamic deity 16 Moliere’s mommy 17 1962 hit that Bob Crewe co-wrote for The Four Seasons 20 Ten-inchers, for example 21 Beginning of a hickey? 22 Tin Man’s request 23 Former NFL player Tuaolo 24 BB propellant 26 Sad piece 28 Jan. 1 until now 29 Batman’s alter ego Bruce 31 Parts of floats 32 “That was good, honey!” 33 Use your tongue 35 Licks, for example 36 1974 hit that Bob Crewe co-wrote for

Patti Labelle 40 Philbin cohost 41 Childcare writer LeShan 42 Place for Hamburger Mary’s meat 43 “___ roll!” (winner’s cry) 45 Went down on eagerly 47 Vegas opening 50 Cuban coins 51 Hanging spot 52 That is, to Cicero 54 Throw in the towel, with “out” 55 QB’s misfire 57 Freaked out 59 1967 hit that Bob Crewe co-wrote for The Tremeloes 62 Kind of idol 63 Hot blood 64 Nuts 65 Gas brand in Canada 66 In concert 67 Aardvark entrees

Down 1 Moms of comedy 2 Most like a polar bear 3 Fixed, but not repaired 4 It can cut leaves of grass 5 Ass attachment? 6 “Damn straight!” 7 Bibliophile’s deg. 8 Unpleasant experience in bed 9 “Beat it!” 10 Mouth-to-mouth pro 11 Emulated Lance Bass 12 Make moist, and then some 13 Type of car entry 18 Sorta 19 Moves the head 25 Thankless one 27 Early caucus participant 30 Words of woe, to the Bard 32 Hersey’s “A Bell For ___” 34 “Seinfeld” character from Pakistan 36 Green fruit desserts

37 Peter and Paul, but not Mary 38 Some work AC/DC 39 “High Sierra” star Ida 40 Dorothy Parker delivery 44 Q ___ queen 46 Prods 47 Seduce 48 Apperance 49 Pool parties? 53 Secretary of Perry 56 Trojans’ org. 58 Shrek, for one 60 Brian who collaborated with Bowie 61 Same-sex vow

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GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 17–30, 2014

“You can trust A Place for Mom to help you.”


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– Joan Lunden

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

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

7 Eleven (Gossip) 7-Eleven (Texas) Adult World Alibe Artquest Flowers Auntie Helen’s Thrift Store Big City Tattoos Blvd. Fitness Brabant Carls Jr. Center For Social Support

3845 Fifth Ave. 514 Pennsylvania Ave. 1007 University Ave. 415 University Ave. 1417 University Ave. 3863 Fifth Ave. 3800 Fourth Ave. 3766 Fifth Ave. 1421 University Ave. 1010 University Ave. 1475 University Ave. 4070 Centre St. 1010 University Ave. 2200 University Ave. 1040 University Ave. 4033 Goldfinch St. 3862 Fifth Ave. 1050 University Ave. 3785 Sixth Ave. #100A 3636 5th Ave. #300 142 University Ave. 4180 Park Blvd. 734 University Ave. 3896 Fifth Ave. 3955 Fourth Ave. 640 University Ave. 313 W. Washington St. 3747 Park Blvd. 3847 Park Blvd. 313 W. Washington St. 3702 Fifth Ave. 135 W. Washington St. 450 W. Washington. 1010 University Ave. 3645 Park Blvd. 734 University Ave. 142 University Ave. 1295 University Ave. 4019 Goldfinch St. 1017 University Ave. 407 W. Washington St. 2861 University Ave. 1254 University Ave. 1440 University Ave. 1262 University Ave. 141 University Ave. 535 University Ave. 3628 Fifth Ave. 3900 Fifth Ave. 3797 Park Blvd. 1458 University Ave. 529 University Ave. 120 University Ave. 3911 Cleveland Ave. 3780 Fifth Ave. 141 University Ave. 1435 University Ave. 1449 University Ave. 660 University Ave. 220 Washington St. 3755 Sixth Ave. 3172 Fifth Ave. 1807 Robinson Ave. 4021 Falcon St. 3995 Fifth Ave. 1266 University Ave. 3761 Sixth Ave. 2207 Fern St. 325 W.Washington St. 3425 Fifth Ave. 3828 Fifth Ave. 3940 Fourth Ave. 1404 University Ave. 4048 Goldfinch St. 2801 University Ave. 308 Washington St. 925 W. Washington St. 3811 Park Blvd. 1050 University Ave. 1255 University Ave. 141 University Ave. 1037 University Ave. 4504 Park Blvd. 3904 Park Blvd. 350 University Ave. 2525 University Ave 1286 University Ave. 1011 University Ave. 1270 University Ave. 3940 Fourth Ave. 3683 Fifth Ave. 1030 University Ave. 3144 Fifth Ave. 1644 University Ave. 1051 University Ave. 3737 Fifth Ave. 302 Washington St. 3850 Fifth Ave. 606 Washington St. 4021 Goldfinch St. 784 W. Washington St. 2440 Fifth Ave. 3801 Fifth Ave. 1080 University Ave. 4230 30th St. 1050 University Ave. B209A 3796 Fifth Ave. 3909 Centre St. 3841 Park Blvd. 1469 University Ave. 3610 Fifth Ave. 4157 Normal St. 308 University Ave. 610 Washington St. 1483 university Ave. 1220 Cleveland Ave. 711 University Ave. 445 University Ave. 1602 University Ave. 2404 University Ave. 3575 University Ave. 1405 University Ave. 3046 N. Park Way 4127 30th St. 2913 University Ave. 2110 El Cajon Blvd. 2310 30th St. 3008 30th St. 3960 Park Blvd.

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2633 El Cajon Blvd. 2906 University Ave. 3063 University Ave. 3134 University Ave. 4094 30th St. 3200 University Ave. 1960 Norma St. 3501 30th St. 2543 University Ave. 2004 University Ave. 2045 University Ave. 4096 30th St. 3812 Ray St. 4004 30th St. 3830 Park Blvd. 4030 Goldfinch St. 3036 El Cajon Blvd. 2611 El Cajon Blvd. 3855 Granada Ave. 2037 University Ave. 3544 30th St. 3551 El Cajon Blvd. 3911 30th St. 2046 University Ave. 3827 Ray St. 2525 University Ave. 2260 El Cajon Blvd. 3023 Juniper St. 4012 30th St. 3128 El Cajon Blvd. 3620 30th St. 3191 Thorn St. 4046 30th St. 2419 El Cajon Blvd. 3003 Grape St. 3040 N. Park Way 1955 El Cajon Blvd. 3949 Ohio St. 4201 30th St. 3112 University Ave. 3148 University Ave. 3038 University Ave. 4616 Texas St. 3222 University Ave.

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2985 C St. 2236 Fern St. 2801 B St. 3576 Main St. 2773 Main St. 7656 Broadway

NORMAL HEIGHTS/ UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS Adams Ave. Post Office Alano Club Antiques Row Café Bourbon Street Bar & Grill Café Caberet Century 21 Horizon Chase Bank Cheers Bar Diversionary Theatre Heig Restaurant Ken Theatre Kensingtion Café Kensignton video LeStat’s Coffee House LeStat’s Coffee House Pet Me Please Ponces Mexican Restaurant Post Office Public Library - University Salon Kensington Sprouts Starbucks Summer Liquor & Deli The Incredible Cheesecake Twiggs Tea & Coffee

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MISSION VALLEY Metropolitan Comm. Church

ENCINITAS Ducky Waddles E Street Café Lou’s Records Pannikin


OCEANSIDE Jitters Coffee Pub Hill Street Café & Gallery LGBT Center

MESA COLLEGE Mesa College Bookstore

MIRA MESA Siam Nara Thai Cuisine



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GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 17–30, 2014

SD Pride’s grant process are encouraged to visit


BRIEFS couples throughout the country, and their families, would receive equal treatment by the government regardless of their sexual orientation.

SAN DIEGO PRIDE OPENS GRANT PROCESS Thanks to a surplus in proceeds from the 2014 San Diego Pride events and celebration, the organization is opening their community grant process. “The grants are funded by proceeds from the Pride Music Festival in Balboa Park,” Pride Executive Director Stephen Whitburn stated in a press release. “When you buy a festival ticket, you gain admission to the biggest party in town, and you help fund community services at the same time.” These grants are open to official 501(c)(3) nonprofits serving the LGBT community or those that would qualify for official status should they file. Applications are available through Pride’s website sdpride. org/grants and the deadline is Oct. 31. Those selected will receive their distribution later this year. Founded in 1974, San Diego Pride is a charitable nonprofit that has distributed more than $2 million to community organizations since 1995. Those wishing to make their own charitable impact on

SOUTHWESTERN COLLEGE PRODUCES ‘RENT’, OFFERS VOUCHERS The theater department of Southwestern College (SWC) will perform the Pulitzer prize-winning production of “RENT” in October as part of their 2014-15 performance offering. This is the second LGBT-themed production that the South Bay community college has put to stage. The first was in spring 2013 when the department performed “The Laramie Project,” the 2000 play that deals with the death of Matthew Shepard. Tuesday, Oct. 14 was the 16th anniversary of Shepard’s untimely death. The current production’s director Ruff Yeager said the decision to choose the Tony award-winning “RENT” for the department’s current season was easy. “When the opportunity to direct a big musical was offered to me, I knew I wanted to present a work with themes and characters that spoke to our SWC community,” Yeager said. Yeager, who has been teaching theater at Southwestern since 2009, said the college’s music department is also involved in the production, with adjunct music instructor Michelle Tolvo-Chan acting as the production’s vocal director. Actor and Gay San Diego columnist Ian Morton is performing a lead role in the production.

Morton, an HIV/AIDS advocate, also worked with SWC’s performing arts coordinator Silvia Lugo on an outreach project in conjunction with the themes of the play, which follows a group of struggling young artists in NYC at the height of the AIDS epidemic. Lugo plans to issue 100 free vouchers through Being Alive, Christie’s Place and the San Diego LGBT Center, allowing 100 HIV-positive individuals to attend a performance at some point during its run. To watch a five-minute video of the cast’s recent rehearsals, visit and search “Southwestern College RENT.” “RENT” is a rock musical with book, music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson. This play has adult themes and viewer discretion is advised. Performances start Oct. 22 and run through Nov. 1 at Southwestern College’s Mayan Hall Theatre, located at 900 Otay Lakes Rd. in Chula Vista. Free parking will be available in Lot O. For more information, visit

CHRISTIE’S PLACE BENEFITS FROM SWIM FUNDRAISER San Diego’s only LGBT aquatic and social club, Different Strokes Swim Team (DSST), has been holding a fundraising event every year since 1991. Named the Bart Hopple Memorial Swim after the DSST founder who passed away from the disease, each year a dif-

Different Strokes presents a check to Elizabeth Woodhouse (center), operations manager at Christie’s Place. (Courtesy DSST) ferent local HIV/AIDS organization benefits. The objective of the event is for each participant to complete as many lengths of the pool as they can within a one-hour time period, with pledges they have gathered from the community backing up each length completed or for the entire period of their swim. This year DSST chose Christie’s Place — a social service that provides comprehensive education, support and advocacy to women, children and their families impacted by

HIV/AIDS — as their benefactor. On Oct. 11, members of the DSST organization presented Christie’s Place with a check for $1,700 at the YMCA pool in Mission Valley, one of the four local pools they regularly use for practice, training and meets. Founded in 1985, DSST’s mission is to promote swimming for the LGBT community and their friends in a team-oriented, coached setting. All ages and ability levels are encouraged to join. For more information visit




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The Presidio in Mission Valley is thought to be haunted. (Photo by Jeremy Ogul)

The ghost whisperers Local paranormal investigation team always at the ready Morgan M. Hurley | Editor It’s October, a month that — for most of us — is analogous to things that go bump in the night. After all, everywhere we look we see new television shows, movie releases, store promotions, house decorations, costume shops popping up out of nowhere, all centered around the more spooky aspects of Halloween. We become hypersensitive to all those unusual noises or movements we see out of the corner of our eye, especially in the dark, and they heighten our fears more than usual this time of year. But what if you suspected that your house or business was inhabited by spirits, unwanted or not? What if you happened to sense an unearthly presence or two, or heard voices in the night that you could not explain? Who you gonna call? Here in America’s Finest City, many call the San Diego Paranormal Research Society (SDPRS). Founded five years ago by Nicole Strickland, the SDPRS team visits homes, businesses and a historic sites — free of charge — to try to find a logical answer to unexplained events. Consisting of a group of “likeminded” volunteer paranormal investigators, “intuitives” and consultants of various genres, Strickland said her team takes their work very seriously; they are not your typical commercial “ghost chaser” that turns up the scare-factor for profit. SDPRS is the real deal, though Strickland considers herself a “student of the paranormal” and is very aware of the limitations of her field. “People go around tossing out the word ‘experts’ or ‘paranormal experts.’ I am a strong proponent against that. How can anyone be an expert in something that hasn’t been proven?” Strickland, who describes her interest in the paranormal as an “innate fascination,” dates her curiosity back to the age of two, but it wasn’t until after what she described as a “very profound, life-changing experience” with the spirit of her late grandmother in 2000 that she decided her true calling was actively researching paranormal activity. After working with several other teams to sharpen her skills and experience, she launched SDPRS in 2009. “We’re not out to prove the existence of ghosts,” she said. “I can’t sit there and say I’ve had these experiences and that, 100 percent, ‘Yes, I was communicating with a ghost.’ No, we can’t do that. All we do is we try to find logical, natural explanations for what we’re finding, and if we can’t find an explanation for it, then what we’re left with is ‘Well, this is something we can’t explain.’” Paranormal research is a techni-

cal and complex combination of various fields of study, including historical, archeological, genealogical and even weather and environment. It also has schools of thought that deal strictly with the scientific, though Strickland emphasizes that it is more “pseudo-science” than exact science. Science-only Research teams use cameras, video cameras, environmental meters and other specialized equipment designed specifically for the paranormal. Other teams, like Strickland’s, rely on many of those devices — using such tools as infrared cameras, dowsing rods and audio recorders — but their experiments also blend the scientific with the spiritual, metaphysical and intuitive side. And unlike many of today’s TV shows, Strickland said a real paranormal investigation generally lasts between four to six hours; anything longer would be physically and mentally depleting for the research team. In the last several years, SDPRS has done a number of paranormal investigations of public and historical locations in San Diego and beyond and is currently focusing on several properties in Julian. Locally, SDPRS has spent time in active research at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Old Town, the Junipero Serra Museum in Presidio Park off of Taylor Street in Mission Valley, the Berkeley steam ferry along the Embarcadero, the William Heath Davis House Downtown, and the Buena Vista Adobe in Vista, among others. As one of the only teams to conduct research inside the Serra Museum, Strickland said she is fairly sure that they have come in contact with Father Serra himself during their investigations and have also uncovered “residual” Native American energy in the area. Though she hasn’t been able to do any formal research at the Mission de Alcala, she has visited the grounds several times and has felt the same energy there as well. Historical research of a property and its former occupants is an important part of paranormal investigations because often the paranormal research uncovers clues that history can help solve. Gabe Selak, public programs manager with the San Diego History Center (SDHC) in Balboa Park, joined Strickland’s team a little over a year ago, serving as a historical consultant. Selak’s interest was first piqued last year when Strickland approached the SDHC about doing a private investigation of the Serra Museum, one of the properties under SDHC’s tutelage. While such private events do not involve the public and only consist of

the research team, Selak worked directly with SDPRS to plan, research and execute that investigation. “Based on my understanding of the site I was able to tell them a little about the people who lived there, and that led to questions that they were able to ask during the time we were doing the research,” he said, adding that the name Manuel came up during the investigation and they were able to find historical documentation that identified soldiers associated with the Presidio who were named Manuel. “[I helped] them understand who and what activities happened at that site, and that can lead, as it did in the other instance, to questions asking for specific people’s names or whether there are any children, and [based on my research] we know how many there actually were.” Not long after the private investigation was completed, the SDHC asked SDPRC to return to the museum for another investigation last fall, this one public, and they used it as a fundraiser for the history center. The results of that investigation and the private one were “eye-opening” for Selak, who previously had only heard stories regarding the Serra Museum, such as sightings of soldiers up on the hillside, in his 10 years with SDHC. “All places that are haunted have paranormal activity, but not all places that have paranormal activity are haunted,” Strickland said. In addition to historical sites, SDPRS gets many requests for home visits. Odd experiences at private residences make everyday life challenging for the occupants, Strickland said, and many just want assurances that they aren’t crazy. Hence, not all of these requests turn into actual investigations. “We have a very extensive client interview process to get the specifics of the case. A lot of the time it is just educating [the residents] on what it could be. Sometimes it is plumbing or electricity problems or foundation issues with their home and that is all it is,” she said, adding that each case is different and some clients actually know the spirit and wish to coexist with them. Unlike the “Ghost Busters,” however, Strickland said the SDPRS team’s focus is merely to investigate claims of ghosts and hauntings. They don’t try to harass or diminish the spirits they encounter. “Sometimes clients will say, ‘I just want it out — I want it out of my house,’” she said. “That is not our specialty, but we have people that we can refer out to that can possibly come and do spirit rescue or apply different techniques such as blessings, the use of crystals or different types of incense to clear out the area.” Though SDPRS is open to new members who think they may be sensitive to the paranormal, Strickland has a set of bylaws on the website that clearly distinguishes her team from those who she considers “thrill seekers.” “We are a very serious team,” she said. “We take pride in our work and we really strive to help and educate our clients. We’re not experts, we don’t claim to be, and we’re always learning as we go. “If people are just out to copy the guys on some of the TV shows and provoke the spirits, this is not the team for them,” she said. Follow SDPRS through their Facebook page at SDPRS or find out more about them by visiting their website, —Reach Morgan M. Hurley at

GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 17–30, 2014


CALENDAR as the guest of honor. 6 – 8 p.m. $100 donation requested for event; address will be provided after registration. Checks should be sent by Monday, Oct. 20 to 4001 El Cajon Blvd. Suite 205, San Diego CA 92105. Live Music – Sue Palmer: Enjoy a fun Friday with Sue Palmer starting at 7 p.m. in the Expatriate Room at Croce’s Park West, 2760 Fifth Ave., Bankers Hill. Call 619-233-4355 or visit


Light the Night Against Crime 5k Run/Walk: Crime Stoppers event will have cops and robbers theme and a post-race festival with food, entertainment and more. Race day registration opens 5 p.m. Route begins at Presidents Way, Balboa Park. Visit


Know Your Histor y: Sunday Salon presents a discussion on women’s history and issues each Sunday. Topics TBD. Happy hour to follow. Free. 2 – 4 p.m. Women’s Museum of California, 2730 Historic Decatur Rd, Barracks 16, Liberty Station. Visit or contact Anne Hoiberg with questions: 858-245-1677 or


Wine and Canvas: Stepby-step instruction and materials are included in this event to create 16x20 inch gallery wrapped canvas painting to take home. Tonight — “Starry Night.” No outside food or drinks. $35 per person. 6 – 9 p.m. Mimi’s Café, 10788 Westview Pkwy, Mira Mesa. Visit


Lesbian Meet-up: Weekly early morning business


networking meeting, offering a chance to share and support each other’s business and passions. All lesbians in community are invited. 7:30 — 8:30 a.m. Caffé Calabria, 3933 30th St., North Park Leigh Scarritt presents “Stars of the Future”: Young performers showcase musical talents. Doors 5:30 p.m., show 7:30 p.m., Martinis Above Fourth, 3940 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest. Tickets visit


Painting and Vino: Local professional artists instruct attendees (ages 21 and up) on painting a masterpiece. Tonight – “Jack-o-Lanterns.” 6 – 9 p.m.. Cost is $45, all supplies included, registration required. You may bring your own wine for a $15 corkage fee. Limited $10 discount online: use 98BOT14. 98 Bottles, 2400 Kettner Blvd., Suite 110. Visit WOSD Film Night: Women Occupy San Diego presents “Forks Over Knives,” a film the examines the claim that degenerative diseases can be controlled or reversed by rejecting animal-based and processed foods. Doors 6:30 p.m., film 7 p.m. Women’s Museum of California, 2730 Historic Decatur Rd., Barracks 16, Liberty Station. Visit


Live Music: “An Evening Out with Sam Harris” features Harris singing everything from Broadway numbers to pop classics. Doors 6 p.m., show 8 p.m. Martinis Above Fourth, 3940 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest. For tickets visit Young Frankenstein: Cinema Under the Stars presents Mel Brooks’ spoof of the classic tale starring Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle and more. 8 p.m. $15. 4040 Goldfinch St., Mission Hills. Movie shows all weekend long. For more info visit or call 619-295-4221.t


GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 17–30, 2014


Getting past what scares you about working out Fitness Gwen and Blake Beckcom If you associate gyms with the likes of a haunted house, believe personal trainers are as scary as zombies, and find running on the treadmill as fun as running away from a headless chainsaw operator chasing you through a dark corn maze, then working out may just be one of your biggest nightmares. But have no fear — easy and fun fitness tips are here to help you overcome the horror of working out this Halloween.

Clear out the cobwebs

Getting started with anything new, especially working out, can be difficult if you don’t know where to begin. There’s no better time than this Halloween to stir the skeletons in your closet and move yourself into a fitness-oriented routine. Dust off your sneakers, shake the cobwebs off your workout clothes, grab a partner in crime and get started today with achieving your fitness goals. “We work with a lot of clients who are intimidated by the gym because they don’t know what to

expect, they don’t want people to watch them work out and they are worried about not being able to work the machines,” said Gwen Beckcom, personal trainer and studio owner at Fitness Together Mission Hills. “Once you go and get a routine going, it gets easier. You get stronger, you get more confident and it trickles down to all of the other areas of your life.”

Banish the evil spirits

The evil spirits of self-doubt, negative self-talk and bad attitudes can easily stand in your way of starting a fitness routine if you feed into their haunted nature. Beckcom has had clients who were hesitant about working out because they feared not being able to do one push-up or they were afraid they would have to give up everything they loved to live a healthy lifestyle. Contrary to these common misbeliefs, living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t necessary mean going without. Instead of giving up what you love, you only need to adapt your favorite foods/hobbies/etc. into healthier choices. And it’s important to remember that the reason you’re starting a fitness program in the first place is to learn how to do push-ups, core work, strength movements and cardio exercises.

That’s what makes trying something new so fun — it’s an adventure of learning new movement and eating strategies that will help you make healthier, stronger and happier lifestyle choices. “People think they’ll have to skip meals or give up their favorite foods in order to lose weight. Or they’re afraid they’ll be hungry all of the time,” Beckcom said. “If you’re feeling deprived, you’re not going to be able or willing to stick to healthy eating and controlled portions. Instead of eating three large meals, eat five smaller meals and drink enough water. You also need to make sure to have enough protein in your meals along with vegetables that are filling and full of fiber and nutrients to help you feel satiated longer. When you live a healthy and fit lifestyle, it keeps you from overfilling your plate during meals and at holidays.”

Stare intimidation in the face Setting goals can be intimidating, especially if your goal seems out of reach and unattainable. Instead of giving up before you even start, break down your goal into smaller, actionable and achievable mini goals that will support your ultimate aspirations. Instead of signing up for a race before you’ve ever ran a mile and then go

pale as a ghost the first time you step on a treadmill, start off easy by incorporating 10 minutes of walking/running into your daily routine. Eventually work your way up to walking/running the time or distance you want to achieve and enjoy the journey in the process. “If you start with small steps and develop healthy habits along the way, you will be happier and enjoy a healthier lifestyle,” Beckcom said. “When it becomes a lifestyle, it’s easier to do.” It also can help to align your fitness goals to something in your life that has meaning – lose 50 pounds before setting sail on a family cruise, elevate your fitness level to participate in a sport or activity you used to do when you were younger, or incorporate daily activity into your life with your family so you can play catch with your kids without getting winded. Just make sure to celebrate all of the small successes along the way to keep you motivated and dedicated to succeeding.

Trick or treat?

You might think you can trick yourself into not eating your favorite holiday treat, but typically the more you deny yourself, the greater chance you are setting yourself up to failure. Don’t be


RAISING and ever ything” bar. It’s still more of a bear bar than almost any other in town, except perhaps The Hole, but overall there is less segregation because there are other ways to find what you’re looking for now, Brian said. “It’s been such a cultural shift,” he said. “If people want to have sex, they order in.” As a result, people find it less imperative to go to a bar based on who they might find to sleep with, he said. Instead, they’re more looking for a place where they can go out with a group of friends and enjoy themselves. Another thing that sets Pecs apart are its two pool tables, which seem to always be in play. Dan, a New Orleans native who has frequented Pecs since moving to San Diego 20 years ago, said ever yone on the competitive pool circuit looks for ward to playing at Pecs. With cheap drinks, a friendly atmosphere and — most importantly

afraid to enjoy the holiday today, but make sure it only lasts for one day and doesn’t trickle over into the next two or three months. Beckcom tells her clients to have one piece of their favorite candy out of the Halloween sack, then move on and forget about it. There is no need to keep the entire candy bag around the house haunting you after Halloween is over. “When you exercise and practice healthy eating habits, it gives you the freedom to enjoy the foods you love,” Beckcom said. “You just have to focus on moderation, portion control and being active.” Take the fear out of fitness and the horror from working out by taking the first step this Halloween season toward living an active and fit lifestyle. It’s not as scary as you think if you just take one step at a time, continue to look forward and not let your fears haunt you. —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 — tables that are positioned to minimize conflicts between pool cues and walls, what more could a team ask for? Hanging out at Pecs and asking people for their thoughts, I heard more than one person compare it to Cheers, the University Heights bar I profiled in my last column. There are indeed many similarities between the two: the neighborhood feel, the cheap drinks, the lack of polish. But the real difference between the two is size. At Cheers, you can hardly have a conversation without half the bar overhearing you. At Pecs, more than 100 people could squeeze in and there would still be room for pool and drunken dancing. And if you’ve never been audience to drunk, middleaged, over weight manly-looking gay dudes clumsily dancing to Beyoncé after midnight, you’ve obviously never been to Pecs. —“Raising the Bar” focuses on a different LGBT-oriented bar in San Diego every month. Do you have a story to tell? Write to Jeremy Ogul at Purple Light Vacations

Travel in the know, WHEREVER you go!

Call 619-324-1444 to book CST#2113473

Find the Purple Light Prize Wheel and win an iPad mini! See us Nov 8th & 9th at Palm Springs Pride!


Competitors at the 2013 Autumn Classic battle it out at third base. (Courtesy AFCSL)

Autumn in San Diego — a time for sports Dugout Chatter Jeff Praught 31st Autumn Classic

The 2014 version of America’s Finest City Softball League’s (AFCSL) Autumn Classic softball tournament was smaller than usual, but the city of San Diego represented itself favorably both on the field and off over the Columbus Day holiday weekend. Boasting between 90 – 100 participating teams in recent seasons, this year saw 70 teams battle it out in the two-day event. Two major factors contributed to the diminished field. First, due to the heat factor in Dallas, the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Association (NAGAAA) World Series was pushed for ward to the final week of September, instead of its usual August date. Asking Open Division teams to travel twice within a month is too difficult and costly if they are not within driving distance. Second, there was no Women’s Division in the Autumn Classic this year because the women were headed to Las Vegas for their own World Series with the Amateur Sports Alliance of North America (ASANA). The B Division featured just eight teams, including three from San Diego. My own Loft team struggled badly, missing five regular starters. Strike Force performed well, but it was the San Diego Spikes who finished highest amongst the locals, ending up in third place. The Los Angeles Redline took the title, taking down the Palm Springs Rounders at Poway Sportsplex. The majority of the 28-team C Division tournament was held at Mount San Miguel Park in Chula Vista. Here, the local Sol team ended up taking second place after long, grueling days on Saturday and Sunday. Getting to the title game in a large division requires a lot of wins, though Bill French’s Sol squad took the path of least resistance by advancing through the winner’s bracket instead of the loser’s bracket. Sol eventually fell to the Los Angeles Cozyboys in the title game. Hats off also to the Firestorm, led by David Pence and Kyle

Matthews. The team had its best tournament ever and nearly cracked the top 10, which is impressive since the team is under new management and has not been around in its current form for ver y long. In the D Division, the Number One on Fifth Avenue Hitmen put an excellent finish to what was an outstanding 2014 season for Austin Jacobsen’s club. The team had never won much before the calendar turned in Januar y. They went to Las Vegas and gained confidence by playing well. They went to Phoenix in April and took second place after a long winning streak. They finished second in AFCSL’s spring season and earned their firstever World Series bid. And here at San Diego’s Autumn Classic, they skyrocketed up the winner’s bracket to finish in second place, with only the Sacramento Glit-

ters beating them out. The Flicks Fireballs also earn a mention here, partly because I coach this D team and am so proud of the guys, but also because they had their best tournament showing in their still brief existence. Back in Januar y, we went to Vegas and returned winless. Fast for ward to the Autumn Classic, and the Fireballs emerged from pool play as the number-three seed out of 34 teams, having blasted two teams, including the eventual thirdplace Long Beach Queen Mar ys. The Fireballs picked up a pair of wins in the double-elimination portion of the tournament, and will head to Fort Lauderdale over the Thanksgiving holiday to represent the West Coast in that city’s Hurricane Showdown. An acknowledgement also is due for AFCSL Commissioner Roman Jimenez, who worked tirelessly with his army of volunteers to put on this big event. Jimenez also recently spearheaded AFCSL’s efforts to bring the 2016 World Series to San Diego, a bid that eventually lost out to Austin, Texas, in a September vote. The folks who run AFCSL work as hard as anyone in the countr y and ever y year, this tournament remains among the best in the countr y. AFCSL has one more weekend of “Fall Ball,” and then it is on to the offseason, allowing most players to rest, save a tournament here or there. Spring 2015 for the league will see major changes in roster construction for the teams that have performed at high levels in the C and D Divisions. NAGAAA recently voted to lower the rating caps for players in D (down to 10) and C (down to 14), meaning many players will now have to move up to higher divisions in order to play. B was lowered even more dramatically (down to 19), but this will not affect local AFCSL play, as we have no A Division in San Diego. Those who are interested in finding more about AFCSL can visit the league’s website at

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Gay Bowl XIV

While many of San Diego’s LGBT athletes and friends were playing softball over Columbus Day weekend, dozens of local football players made the trip to Philadelphia to participate in Gay Bowl XIV. As they did in Denver in 2012 and Phoenix in 2013, the topseeded San Diego Bolts captured the title with a thrilling 51-50 victor y in the championship game,

GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 17–30, 2014


SD Hoops fall season

SD Hoops is kicking off its 16th fall season this October, beginning with its draft party Oct. 19 at the Loft at 1:30 p.m. There, players will find out what team they were drafted to in San Diego’s only basketball league for LGBT players and their friends. SD Hoops plays every Wednesday night at Golden Hill Rec Center, with the long fall season running into March. Players who did not register

A runner beats the throw to first base at the 2013 tournament. (Courtesy AFCSL) giving the locals from the San Diego American Flag Football League (SDAFFL) a “three-peat” they can be proud of. Our local SDAFFL holds its season from March until June, and the effort it takes to build teams to perform on the national stage is demanding. The popular league continues to grow and interested players should visit to get more information about participating in 2015.

by the Oct. 17 deadline can get on a waiting list by contacting the league through its website at —Jef f Praught is actively involved in the LGBT spor ts community, having par ticipated in softball, basketball, football and pool as a player, serving on AFCSL’s board, and currently serving as the commissioner of SD Hoops. He can be reached at


GAY SAN DIEGO Oct. 17–30, 2014

Gay San Diego - October 17 2014  
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