Volume 4 Issue 10 May 17–30, 2013
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SERVING OUR LGBT COMMUNITY
EQCA’s new opportunity
ED John O’Connor helms a focused, state-wide outreach By Anthony King | GSD Editor
The fabulous Laura Jane
9 DINING “I Am Devine” will have its California premiere as the closing night film of this year’s 15th anniversary FilmOut San Diego LGBT Film Festival. (Courtesy The Film Collaborative)
Delightful Deli Llama
15 years of LGBT film
FilmOut San Diego’s anniversary festival opens May 29 with bigger, better – and smarter – films By Anthony King | GSD Editor
Secrets & lies in the desert
FilmOut San Diego crosses a milestone this year, celebrating 15 years of LGBT film with their anniversary festival scheduled for May 29 to June 2. While many festivals have shrunk or disappeared completely, FilmOut remains an important staple in the San Diego community. “Sadly, we have seen many LGBT-themed film festivals in the U.S. and beyond struggle,” said FilmOut Festival Director Kaleb James. “Despite the challenges, FilmOut is thriving and we are strong and more solvent than ever in our 15th year.”
James was quick to thank the “excellent leadership, active participation and enthusiastic dedication” of the nonprofit’s board, staff and volunteers, saying the group is deeply determined and devotes time, resources and energy to the organization’s success year round. FilmOut produces monthly screenings of popular general and LGBT films, partnering with local community groups for crossover support. One of those “deeply determined” FilmOut members is Michael McQuiggan, who has been a part of the organization for 13 of their 15 years. Primarily responsible for FilmOut’s offerings, he has been festival programmer since 2004.
McQuiggan said LGBT movies have changed in three areas: “bigger budgets, better directors and better actors,” though he sees a general shift in all aspects as well. “It’s actually the whole package,” he said. “Everything has just overall improved.” For FilmOut, being a staple in the San Diego LGBT community for 15 years has brought an increase in attendance and sponsorship, as well as a way for filmmakers to reach a regular, dedicated audience. “LGBT-themed film festivals are important … because they
SS: In a way. It was an opportunity to make use of all the hours that I’ve spent watching melodramas like “Sunset Boulevard” – anything connected to a certain aesthetic that we associate with camp or just glamour. I had spoken to Michael about it conceptually when we were doing “Traffic,” but when I started researching Liberace, I was really having trouble figuring out what the angle should be. I didn’t want it to be a traditional biopic. It was a friend of mine in New York who made me aware of Thorson’s book [“Behind the Candelabra: My Life with Liberace”]. Once I read that, it solved all my
see Candelabra, pg 17
see EQCA, pg 4
see FilmOut, pg 13
Director talks Liberace biopic and why he’s proud to call it his last film … for now
INDEX OPINION…………………6 BRIEFS…………………..7 COMMUNITY.……...……8 CALENDAR………...……10 CLASSIFIEDS……………16 TRAVEL.……………….19
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By Chris Azzopardi | Q Syndicate Steven Soderbergh knows who’s significantly responsible for the major success of his male-stripper romp “Magic Mike”: gay men eager to ogle the barely-covered bits of Channing Tatum and his hunky posse. The Oscarwinning director’s upcoming feature will obviously court the same audience, and not just because Matt Damon lets it all hang out, too. “Behind the Candelabra” is so gay that major Hollywood studios would have nothing to do with the Liberace film. Premiering May 26 on HBO, the revealing biopic stars Michael Douglas as the shiny showman who died of AIDS complications at age 67 and Damon as his much younger beau, Scott Thorson. In our interview, Soderbergh spoke in depth about their real-life relationship, the “flamboyancy scale” used to guide the actors’ gayness onset, diversity in film and why we should always think 50 years in the future. Chris Azzopardi: Steven, you’ve made the gayest movie of your career. Steven Soderbergh: That was my intent.
John O’Connor (Courtesy OutThink Partners) “The organization is stable. We are solvent. We have a relevant agenda that we are effectively moving forward,” O’Connor said while on one of his recent visits to San Diego. EQCA is headquartered in the Los Angeles area, with offices in San Francisco and Sacramento. O’Connor, whose previous title was executive director of the LGBT Community Center of the Desert, recently moved from Palm Springs, Calif. to L.A. for the position. “We’re moving forward beautifully,” he said. “It will be a couple of years to really fully reposition and restructure the organization … so that we can look at the future and set some realistic goals.” The EQCA team, which recently expanded with the addition of Rikimah Glymph as chief administrative officer and Jesse Melgar as communications director, have been “laser-beam focused,” O’Connor said, on a wide range of initiatives, including sponsoring bills in the California Assembly and Senate, working with other LGBT community groups and organizing education and informational sessions for the larger LGBT community. One project, which can benefit from the organization’s lobbying approach, is the “Health Happens With Equality” campaign funded by
Behind the ‘Candelabra’ SD Hoops expands
Equality California, perhaps better known by its moniker EQCA, has hit the ground running in 2013, after the somewhat surprising departure of former-Executive Director Roland Palencia in 2011 followed by a year of restructuring, when questions arose of the organization’s resilience and relevance. What some saw as a political group focused solely on marriage equality – an issue newly appointed Executive Director John O’Connor said is just a jumping-off point for LGBT rights – the organization has since evolved to focus on much-needed new territory. O’Connor was hired as executive director in December 2012 after an extensive, nationwide search. He came into an organization that was bruised and seemingly without focus, and said the “urgent, crisisoriented” issues have been handled. They are now ready for the future.
(l to r) Matt Damon and Michael Douglas in “Behind the Candelabra” (Photo by Claudette Barius / HBO) CA: Was it?
GAY SAN DIEGO May 17–30, 2013
GAY SAN DIEGO May 17–30, 2013
Mistress of all ceremonies Laura Jane is as bawdy as you want her to be
the San Diego LGBT community’s love affair with the entertainer. When Laura Jane Willcox left Traverse Since then, the enormously talented City, Mich. behind in 2001 and touched down bisexual goddess has not only thrown herself in San Diego to start anew with her young into the community, but well beyond it. She son Dylan, it was mere days before 9/11. is a one-stop shop of entertainment bliss, “Our belongings hadn’t even arrived from mixing comedy, impersonations, music and Michigan yet,” Laura Jane said. outlandish costume changes into her own With her original hopes of becoming a personal cottage industry. As a result, she Christmas party planner dashed due to the is generally booked three months out and nation’s wounded psyche, she shifted gears. rarely takes a day off. She took a stint at Macy’s – “the longest She is still doing karaoke on Tuesdays, three months of my life,” he said – and an but now it’s at Gossip Grill; General Manager acting job with an interactive dinner theatre Moe Girton just so happened to be a memgroup, where she met her future and freber of Coshow’s staff in 2002. quent musical collaborator, Franco Zigarelli. Her Monday nights at The Harp in Ocean After making a few friends in the local Beach may also be filled with karaoke, but LGBT community, Laura Jane volunteered to Laura Jane’s performance schedule runs the host the Lavender Lens magazine launch and gamut these days. She can be found as a DJ said The Flame’s then-owner Carla Coshow on Hornblower cruises, where she said she “took a liking” to her. “makes musical dreams come true” with selecIn January 2002, “Karaoke Tuesdays with tions from her personal cache of 10,000 songs. Laura Jane” was born and so was the start of The LGBT Center also uses her DJ skills for their regular women’s dances, and she has hosted the main stage at CityFest. But perhaps her most rewarding gigs come during Pride season. She puts her powerhouse focus into the Children’s Garden at the San Diego Pride Festival every year, hosts the main stage at North County’s Pride @ the beach; and after years as a volunteer performer and host, is now paid to manage all the entertain(l to r) Franco “Z” Zigarelli and Laura Jane: Zigarelli is a frequent ment for the South Bay musical collaborator. (Photo by Laura Jane Willcock) Pride Art and Music By Morgan M. Hurley | GSD Assistant Editor
(far left) Laura Jane belts out a tune along with other attendees at a recent fundraiser for South Bay Pride at Bamboo Lounge. (Courtesy South Bay Alliance) Festival. This year’s festival is September 14, where Laura Jane will also host. “She gives her heart and soul to her performances,” said South Bay Alliance Chair Dae Elliott. “So much so, it would not seem like South Bay Pride without her.” Supporting pride celebrations in the far reaches of San Diego County is important to Laura Jane. “It’s easy for the bigger cities to have kind of a liberal, gay-loving concentration of people, but in these tender communities like Oceanside and Chula Vista, with more Latino and military, we especially need it. “It recharges the whole community’s gay batteries,” she said. “That is what it does for me. I’m like, ‘Look at all this gay love around me; oh my god I’m not the only bisexual in the world.’” Happily partnered with Kevin, her boyfriend of more than four years, Laura Jane admits that it is still tough, even today, to be openly bisexual. “It’s easy to say the words ‘I’m gay’ when you are surrounded by gay people. It’s harder to say bisexual, whether you are surrounded by gay people or straight people,” she said. “I’ve gotten a lot of criticism from both sides but … I think it is important to have a face to that identity so that people can say, ‘Oh, so it’s really just about who you fall in love with?’” She’s “thrilled, joyous and optimistic”
about recent advances with marriage equality, and although some may point out that she is able to marry in her current situation if she chose to, she knows that could easily change. “For some reason my heart doesn’t have any physiological concerns,” she said. Some fans believe she can sing Cher better than Cher herself and dig the blues from deeper depths of her soul than any Billie Holiday impersonator, but Laura Jane’s true love is the seven-piece band she has fronted and managed the last five years, The Tighten Ups. A mixture of funk, blues, rock and soul, The Tighten Ups consists of Laura Jane on vocals, saxophonist Topher Dub, bassist Gerry Wasson, trumpeter Bob Conrad, trombonist Marie Claire, drummer Brad Smith and a recent addition, guitarist Joey Harris from Beat Farmers fame. “My band is excellent and it blows me away how much world-class talent is in that band,” she said. She is also thrilled they got picked up to play the San Diego Blues Festival Sept. 7, and they will be playing at one of the many after parties for next month’s Rock-n-Roll Marathon. “I’m a Pisces and I’m portable. I can do child appropriate or I can be as bawdy as you’ll let me be,” she said. That pretty much sums Laura Jane up.t
GAY SAN DIEGO May 17–30, 2013
gay-sd.com FROM PAGE 1
Sam the Cooking Guy returns for fifth year as culinary host By Anthony King | GSD Editor The 22nd annual Mama’s Day fundraiser took place Friday, May 10 at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla, with approximately 780 guests attending the food-centric affair that also ser ves as the leading fundraiser for Mama’s Kitchen. Mama’s Day is presented by Nordstrom and hosted by Sycuan Casino. Over 55 restaurants and catering companies came together in one location to offer food and drink samples. The evening raised much needed funds for the local nonprofit that offers “hot, nutrition-specific meals” to individuals affected by HIV, AIDS or cancer throughout San Diego County, a press release
stated. Mama’s Kitchen was founded in 1990. “Mama’s Day is our largest fundraiser of the year and the original food tasting event in San Diego,” Mama’s Kitchen Executive Director Alberto Cortés said in the release. This year’s event netted $215,000, becoming the most successful Mama’s Day to date. “Each year we welcome the best of the best of this region’s culinary professionals from the finest restaurants, hotels and catering companies, and their commitment to our organization enables us to continue to serve meals to critically ill clients throughout San Diego County at no charge,” Cortés said. Sam “the Cooking Guy” Zien
A chef from Puesto prepares food for Mama’s Day attendees. (Photo by Ana Pines & Kim Rescate)
Representatives from Oceanaire Seafood Room participated again this year. (Photo by Ana Pines & Kim Rescate) returned for a fifth consecutive year as culinary host, and VIP guests were treated to an interactive presentation with Zien and Ian Ward, an award-winning mixologist and co-founder of Queen Connor Ward. Guests were welcome to mix and mingle with the hosts, and Zien said the event continues to be a success. “I’d be lying if I didn’t say I kept coming back for the food,” he said, “but really it’s the people: the clients who depend on Mama’s ever y day, but also the Mama’s staff and volunteers. They all work so damn hard, I’m honored to just be part of the event.” AJ Machado from “AJ in the Mornings” on Energy 103.7 ser ved as emcee, and Heather Bowden, a La Jolla, Calif. resident, returned to chair this year’s Mama’s Day committee. In a statement before the evening, Bowden said attendees could expect “a night to remem-
ber” while bringing in “crucial funds” for the nonprofit. “Mama’s Day continues to be one of the leading fundraisers in San Diego, and this year will not disappoint,” she said in a press release. Attendees bid on silent auction items and had the chance to participate in the opportunity drawing, including a chance to win the evening’s “wine vault” with more than $1,000 of premium wines. Auction items ranged from tickets to Broadway San Diego’s “Sister Act” to dinner for two at BiCE Ristorante. Bestselling auction items were tickets for a future San Diego Padres baseball game in a Padres Skybox for 20 people, donated by Sycuan Casino, and a private dinner with Zien. For more information on Mama’s Kitchen visit mamaskitchen.org. Editor’s note: Ana Pines and Kim Rescate contributed to this story.t
a $250,000 grant from The California Endowment. The grant will be administered through the Equality California Institute, the 501(c)3 arm of EQCA. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to leverage one of our core competencies, and that is campaignstyle work in the field,” O’Connor said. “We’re not championing a piece of legislation or a candidate, but a cause.” The grant’s goal is specific: to educate and enroll at-risk and marginalized LGBT Californians in Affordable Care Act-approved health care plans. It makes sense to have O’Connor head that charge, as the Georgetown University graduate said his passion for social activism came while watching the political uprising surrounding the HIV epidemic in the late 1980s. “The AIDS epidemic was raging, and Washington, D.C. was the center of activism and politics,” he said. Watching the “revolutionary spirit” of grassroots groups like ACT UP giving a voice to “a community of people who have been completely overlooked and ignored,” O’Connor said, is one thing that drives him with EQCA today. Taking that grassroots spirit literally, The California Endowment grant offers EQCA the opportunity to reach a larger LGBT community, one that rests outside of the state’s major cities. “There’s been, historically, a feeling from smaller, more rural communities that they are overlooked,” O’Connor said. “It’s a big state [and] we’ll approach it the way we approach a state-wide campaign.” O’Connor and EQCA staff were recently in Fresno, Calif. as part of the health care initiative, which is still in the program-development phase, he said. Reaching Latino, African-American, Asian and Pacific Islander, Native American, and transgender communities is a top priority. “The hard to reach people are hard to reach,” he said, laughing, “but I think they’re easier to reach with cultural sensitivity and cultural competency.” O’Connor said he was trying to reach out to San Diego as well, and was in town on three separate occasions within the month, two to help launch the EQCA-State Farm Good Neighbor Award. This year’s recipient is Vincent Pompei, the director for the Center for Excellence in School Counseling and Leadership at San Diego State University. “Vincent’s passion and dedication to LGBT youth make him the best kind of neighbor to have: engaged, energized and effective,” O’Connor said in a press release. Pompei will be recognized at their annual Equality Awards, to be held June 1. County Supervisor Dave Roberts will also be honored, and O’Connor said he will definitely be attending. “I’m doing my best to be down here,” he said. “San Diego’s important to me and I’ve been very deliberately spending time down here, making connections.” Before June 1, O’Connor and several EQCA staff and board members will be in San Diego once again, this time for The Center’s Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast May 24. These trips are all part of the organization’s focus beyond, and including, marriage equality. “It’s an opportunity of historic proportions, with the wind at our back to continue moving forward,” O’Connor said. “We don’t close up shop now; we redouble our efforts. This is our opportunity.”t
GAY SAN DIEGO May 17–30, 2013
GAY SAN DIEGO May 17–30, 2013
Letters Support shown for Bradley Manning as San Francisco Pride grand marshal The op-ed “San Francisco Pride: Reinstate Pfc. Manning as grand marshal” in our last issue – Vol. 4, Issue 9 – was the most read online story from that issue and started a conversation on our website that was overwhelmingly pro-Bradley Manning and sometimes harsh toward San Francisco Pride. The conversation is far from over, as Manning supporters filed an official discrimination complaint against the Pride organization with San Francisco’s Human Rights Commission. The following is a sample of comments sparked from our editorial. The LGBT community is in need of heroes whose influence is not limited to the queer community. Manning made worldwide progress for democracy and peace when he shared evidence of war crimes and corruption with Wikileaks. Manning is a hero. —Sean Bohac, via gay-sd.com As an Army veteran who did time in Viet Nam, I have seen the nether side of U.S. military occupations. I not only support the actions of Bradley Manning but am awed by his continued courage after a year of imprisonment. We should be proud that he is a member of the LGBT community and be using all the damn Pride events to demand his release. Recalling military parlance, Williams has “released her bladder into her own shoe” and should be forthcoming with her resignation. —John Keasler, via gay-sd.com
The carrot or the stick? By Sean Bohac, San Diego Green Party County Council. We could spend plenty of time debating whether it’s more effective to encourage good behavior or to punish bad behavior when it comes to disciplining children, but there would be nearly unanimous agreement that encouraging bad behavior is sure to end in failure. Strangely enough, most queers and progressives use that tactic when dealing with the children in the House, the Senate or the Whitehouse. Most smart Republicans will say their national candidates are idiots; most Democrats will complain about the marquis issues that their candidates fail them on, but they both will still vote for the same candidates over and over. Voters from both parties – the voters some might refer to as the 99 percent – would agree that leadership on LGBT equality, good schools, fair taxes, a clean environment and peace in the world are great priorities. Unfortunately, corporate ideologues are playing puppet master with the candidates and public opinion through massive lobby and PR campaigns that leave us with painfully slow Band-Aid solutions for queer equality, failing economies and skyrocketing debt, a polluted environment with no real commitment towards improvement, and continuous U.S.-lead international wars. So why do you still offer that carrot? Let me suggest you try “the stick.” Reregister in another party. By keeping your registration with either the Democrats or Republicans you are quietly saying, “I support you leading us into this mess” when you could be saying, “You are not listening to me, and you can’t assume you have my vote anymore.” Whether you are riding an elephant or an ass, their ears will prick up. In 2008 when candidate Barack Obama helped to pass Prop 8 in California I looked around and discovered a Green Party that shares my highest
hopes for this country. And in 2012, I read a fabulous outline of a plan to get the U.S. back on track, called the Green New Deal. I encourage you to explore it at jillstein.org/full_text_green_new_deal/. Many Democrats will be familiar with the Green Party platform because it sounds a lot like the lip service coming from their own party, with two big differences. The Greens don’t have a consistent track record of promising one thing and giving the other – health care, Guantanamo, ending Afghanistan war – and they demand a separation of corporation and state. If I were to guess, I would bet the movement to amend the Constitution to undo the Supreme Court decision known as “Citizens United” will be the next majority-supported movement to gain traction with the American people, but without any “movement” in Washington. We have just seen how public opinion is ignored with the gun purchase reform fiasco of the last two months. A recent Washington PostABC News poll showed 86 percent of Americans support changes to the gun purchase process, but there has been no progress. Congress must be listening to something other than the American people. The corporate sponsors of Democrats and Republicans are not likely to let their candidates diminish their newly gained power by repealing “Citizens United” either. It’s time to do something differently. Join a party that puts your priorities into its platform and is not corrupted by corporate influence. You can put your hands on the reigns of the political system when you affiliate with the party that best represents your ideals, or you can remain in the mule team where you pull and they steer. And for those of you who might feel the need to make a “lesser of two evils” vote, you are always free to vote for any candidate no matter what your party affiliation. I suspect the more you think about it, though, the more you will realize the corporate-controlled candidates can’t give you what you want. They are only likely to tell you what you want to hear. So between “either-or” elections, tell your party where you want them to go; reregister as a Green.t
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SALES INTERNS Charlie Bryan Baterina Andrea Goodchild CONTRIBUTORS Chris Azzopardi Blake Beckcom Gwen Beckcom Max Disposti Dae Elliott Michael Kimmel Cuauhtémoc Kish Paul McGuire Ian Morton Ana Pines Jeff Praught Caleb Rainey Kim Rescate Frank Sabatini Jr. Ken Williams
Manning has followed Ellsberg in revealing the truth about our imperfect government’s ways, and I also believe that he is a selfless hero for knowingly taking the risks he has, sacrificing his very freedom for the greater good of his country and the rest of the world. He is an outstanding example of a true LGBTQ role model for this and future generations. We are all Bradley Manning, in that we who support him are truly proud to have someone like him as a member of the LGBTQ community. Bravo, Private Manning. —Chris West, via gay-sd.com It’s exciting to see the outpouring of support for Bradley Manning’s reinstatement as this year’s grand marshal. Not only do I believe that what he has accomplished deserves such public recognition, but what this demonstrates also is the refusal to allow SF Pride leadership’s attempt to appropriate the voice and to speak for the LGBTQ community as a whole for its own purposes. This community is a broad and diverse one, made up of multiple voices and viewpoints, which nurtures self-criticism and political debate. The “leaders” of SF Pride should take pride in this quality of the community rather than feeling obliged to extinguish it. —Michael Galvin, via gay-sd.com The Bradley Manning SF Gay Pride grand marshal blowup is not a gay tempest in a teapot decorated with hand-painted periwinkles. It is a very profound battle on a higher plane, dealing with fundamental issues of the human race. It raises the most profound questions about patriotism, civil rights the right of the people to be informed, free speech rights, liberty and basic human civility and morality. It pits moral judgment of the individual against oppression of the state. The gay rights movement is coming to maturity, moving away from its silliness and frivolity toward fighting for the deeper issues that give life its most exalted meaning for ALL people — [not] just gays. As a gay veteran, I am greatly encouraged by this new direction in the LGBTQ community. I love frivolity and silliness, and gay humor is especially powerful and entertaining for its satirical and sardonic character. But the gay rights movement is far deeper than this. We must not be sucked in by the dark forces of our culture, our government and our own spirits. We must embrace true valor, courage and patriotism as exemplified by Bradley Manning. —Joe Crews, via gay-sd.com As a queer man and former San Franciscan, I look to the SF Bay Area to take a leadership role in LGBT liberation issues and to fear no controversy in doing so. When I read that accused Wikileaks whistleblower PFC Bradley Manning was nominated as grand marshal of the 2013 Pride celebration by the “Electoral College” of SF Pride, I was elated. That elation turned to disgust when I read the com-
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see Letters, pg 7
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LETTERS ments by SF Pride board President Lisa Williams regarding the board’s decision to rescind the nomination. PFC Manning is a gay man who took a principled stand at great risk to expose the truth about U.S. conduct in the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. What I view as a courageous act of conscience by PFC Manning was dismissed by Ms. Williams as unworthy of “even a hint of support” from the LGBT community. Apparently, a lot of former grand marshals who comprise the “Electoral College” of SF Pride saw PFC Manning in a favorable light for performing his moral duty as a soldier and blowing the whistle on war crimes. I agree with them. From where I live, “gay pride” comes from realizing that the obstacles, hatred, institutional pressures and ridiculous lies that confront us as queer persons are not greater than our selves. I manifest pride when I honor one [from] our community who rises above personal limitations, takes a courageous stand, endures the injuries of the oppressors, and stays true to universal human values. PFC Manning has been doing this for over 1,000 days. Bradley Manning could be any young, queer American male who finds himself confronted by dismal economic circumstances and enters a work environment traditionally hostile to queer folk via the U.S. Army. In the Army, he performs in the job chosen for him based on his skills and intelligence and struggles with coming out issues. Many of us can relate to the confusion and questioning that Manning confronted during his stint in the Army. By acting in accordance with Nuremberg principles and exposing war crimes, he was fulfilling his honorable duty as a soldier. I am especially proud of the way PFC Manning continues to rise above the circumstances of his detention and abuse at the hands of military authorities. He is an LGBT hero. I would be honored to march beside PFC Bradley Manning in any Pride celebration, anywhere in this nation, at any time.
GAY SAN DIEGO May 17–30, 2013
Barbolak and Resource Center Executive Director Max Disposti. The event – themed “Hearts in Community & Eyes on Equality” – is the largest fundraiser for the Resource Center, which serves as a support and educational center for LGBT individuals and families in North County. The gala is being held at the Oceanside Museum of Art in Oceanside, Calif. “Dave [Roberts] completed two terms on the Solana Beach City Council and served as the city’s mayor and deputy mayor,” Resource Center representatives said in the gala announcement. Roberts was elected County Supervisor in 2012, becoming the first openly gay board member. Barbolak, a San Diego resident, is a celebrated comedian and active fundraiser for numerous organizations, including the Center for Autism and Pediatric AIDS Foundation. Tickets for the gala are $50 per person and $90 per couple. The Oceanside Museum of Art is located at 704 Pier View Way and the event starts at 6:30 p.m. For more information and tickets visit ncresourcecenter.org or call 760-994-1690.
NEWS BRIEFS SAN DIEGO PRIDE ANNOUNCES 2013 SPIRIT OF STONEWALL AWARDEES Cheli Mohamed, who served with San Diego LGBT Pride for 20 years before stepping down in February, has been selected as this year’s Champion of Pride. The award will be handed out at the Spirit of Stonewall Rally on July 12, kicking off the official Pride weekend celebration. “The Champion of Pride Award honors individuals … who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in the LGBT community over an extended period of years, or who have made an exceptional contribution over the past year,” SD Pride representatives said in a release announcing the complete Spirit of Stonewall Award winners. This year’s Friend of Pride honorees are Cindy Green, a LGBT ally and community volunteer, and David Boise and Ted Olson, the Proposition 8 legal team. The Stonewall Service Award, which honors a group or organization that supports the LGBT community over several years, is being presented to the North County LGBTQ Resource Center and its executive director, Max Disposti. There are four Community Service honorees being recognized as “up-and-coming leaders within the community,” representatives said. These award winners are Sean Bohac of SAME; Gibran Guido, a queer person of color activist; LGBTQ advocate Hector Martinez; and Jeri Muse, the LGBT Work Group chair and advocate within the Veterans Affairs San Diego health care system. Nominations for honorees were received from the San Diego Community and recommendations were given to the SD Pride board by the organization’s Advisory Council.
THE CENTER TO LAUNCH TRANSGENDER SERVICES PROGRAM PROTECT TRANS Announced Monday, May 13, The San Diego LGBT Community Center will be implementing Project TRANS, a new transgender services program that will serve as an organizational umbrella for the various services previously offered at The Center, including discussion groups, health and HIV-prevention services, youth services and more. TRANS stands for Transgender Referrals, Assistance, Networking and Services. Additional focus areas for the new program will be on advocacy, referrals, outreach, cultural sensitive trainings, social activities and events, workshops and networking. In a partnership with the Transgender Law Center, the program will provide assistance for individuals seeking to change their name and gender marker on their state identification. Project TRANS will be led by Program Coordinator Connor Maddocks, a seven-year employee of The Center. “The Center has offered discussion groups and behavioral health counseling for a long time, but it is time to branch out to
SUPERVISOR DAVE ROBERTS IS KEYNOTE SPEAKER AT NC RESOURCE CENTER GALA At the North County LGBTQ Resource Center gala Saturday, May 18, San Diego County Supervisor Dave Roberts will be the keynote speaker, along with emcee Vicki
address some of the more specific and emerging needs of the community by having a designated program and program staff dedicated specifically to working on the issues that are really affecting the transgender and gender queer community right now,” Maddocks said in the announcement. “I’m hoping we can help build and strengthen the community, and make clear that the transgender and gender queer community are safe, welcomed and celebrated.” An informational session and kickoff meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. May 29 at The Center, located at 3909 Centre St. For more information on Project TRANS visit thecentersd.org or contact Maddocks directly at email@example.com or 619-692-2077. LGBT & ALLY PROFESSIONAL NETWORKING EVENT SCHEDULED FOR MAY 21 The first Career and Professional Networking Night for the LGBT community presented by Equality Professionals Network (EPN) is scheduled for Tuesday, May 21, where registered attendees will have access to human resource professionals, executives and recruiters from a variety of industries. The event is specific to the LGBT community as well as allies to support a safe, open and diverse work environment. “EPN’s Career event is a place where LGBT business professionals can come to network and job hunt, and feel safe that the companies participating in this event are inclusive and welcoming of LGBT employees,” EPN chair Jaye Whittaker said in a press release. EPN is a group of over 125 LGBT business and corporate professionals. Union Bank is sponsoring the event, which is being held from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. at The San Diego LGBT Community Center, 3909 Centre St. “Union Bank is a strong supporter of the LGBT community in San Diego,” said Ken Triemstra, co-chair of UB Proud, the bank’s resource group for LGBT employees. Representatives from over 30 organizations will be present, and Union Bank human resource professionals will present workshops on job hunting and writing resumes, among other skills. For more information and to register for the free event visit epncareers.eventbrite.com.t
—Lawrence Pierce, via gay-sd.com San Francisco LGBTQ Pride parade board = COP OUT! Correct simple solution: SF LGBTQ Pride and many other LGBTQ Prides around the world have had more than one grand marshal, so appoint Hero Bradley Manning one of this year’s grand marshals. Do the Right thing! —Wendy Sue, via gay-sd.comt
WEIGHT A MINUTE Across 1 Film exposing Treat Williams 5 Cock’s cry 9 Walks like you’re fagged out 14 Composer Thomas 15 System for a Johnny Mathis song 16 Get a bead on 17 Hayworth of Hollywood 18 “___ Rhythm” 19 Andean pack animal 20 Job of 55-Across 23 Single-master 24 Advice from Richard Simmons 25 At no time, poetically 28 Fastens like some neckwear 33 Court records 36 Colette’s Parisian heroine 38 Luncheonette lure 39 TV show of 55-Across 42 Specialized area
43 Prefix meaning “half” 44 Rabbit fur 45 As a bottom limit 47 Nautical pole 49 Bygone G.M. cars 51 Gaydar, e.g. 55 Wife of Heidi 61 It could be civil 62 Armed Forces VIP 63 Not just one of those things 64 Cathedral word in gay Paree 65 Sex drive, e.g. 66 Humorist Bombeck 67 Hit in the family jewels 68 Barely made, with “out” 69 Chop ___
Weight a Minute solution on page 15 Down 1 Some musicians pluck them 2 Moon of Uranus 3 Emcee’s task 4 Not nuts 5 Stroke it 6 Latvia’s capital 7 Long ago 8 Lines from Margaret Cho 9 Like a queen’s place 10 Taylor of “I Shot Andy Warhol” 11 Gulf state 12 “There Is Nothing Like a ___” 13 “Sex and the City” creator Darren 21 Unlock, in verse 22 Beneficiary of nepotism: Abbr. 26 FabergÈ creation 27 How to make an entrance 29 Emulates breeders 30 “I’ve had better ...”
31 Dire sign 32 Quaint negative 33 Gillette razor product 34 Guitarist Atkins 35 Dark greenish blue 37 Beginning to whiz 40 Saw in one’s head 41 Reward for an actor between parts? 46 Poseidon’s province 48 It hangs from your butt 50 Smile of the smug 52 Beatles’ jacket choice 53 Snail trail 54 “A Room of One’s Own,” e.g. 55 Male private parts, in slang 56 Part of, as a plot 57 Dietary, in ads 58 Anecdotal knowledge 59 _Bus Stop_ playwright 60 Reproduced without sex, for short
GAY SAN DIEGO May 17–30, 2013
Spiritual or religious: what’s the difference?
LIFE BEYOND THERAPY As a psychotherapist, I know psychology can only take you so far. It can’t answer questions like “Why am I here?,” “Is there a God or Goddess?” or “What is my purpose in this life?” Counseling is good with stuff like “Should I stay in this relationship?” and “Why is my self-esteem so low?” But in all honesty, there are big-picture questions that are much more in the realm of spirituality and its best “frenemy,” religion. At cocktail parties, I sometimes hear people talking about their “spiritual path” as a source of peace, comfort and insight. But what is a spiritual path anyway? And is it the same as a path based on religion? Spiritual or religious: what’s the difference? This is a controversial question, with devotees of each side arguing passionately against the other. Let’s look at each to see how they
overlap and how they differ. Many wise people say there is no definitive definition of spirituality. Given that, let’s come up with a working definition: Spirituality is about a process of transformation; it’s an internal experience that is usually not easily put into words. It’s more experiential whereas you feel it but it’s hard to talk about or explain. For some, spirituality and religion are a nice combo. They find the structure of religion creates a container in which they can explore their spirituality. They find that the brother and sisterhood of communal worship helps create a space where a spiritual experience is more likely to happen. Other people have the opposite experience: seeing spirituality as separate from religious institutions. It’s an internal experience, not about getting together with other people. For some, spirituality excludes religion. In this paradigm, religion represents the organized institutions that press people into a mold and demand money for the favor. Spirituality blends humanistic psychology with mystical traditions and eastern religions, and is also associated with mental health. It can be a path to finding purpose and meaning in life. Now let’s look at religion. For many in our community, churches and organized religion have been powerful resources in their personal growth. Author T.M. Luhrmann said, “one of the most striking scientific discoveries about religion in recent
years is that going to church weekly is good for you. Religious attendance boosts the immune system and decreases blood pressure. It may add as much as two to three years to your life. … Frequent churchgoers had larger social networks, more contact with, more affection for, and more kinds of social support from those people than their unchurched counterparts.” Luhrmann also said, “Any faith demands that you experience the world as more than just what is material and observable. … Those who were able to experience a loving God vividly were healthier — at least, as judged by a standardized psychiatric scale. Increasingly, other studies bear out this observation that the capacity to imagine a loving God vividly leads to better health.” Wow, that’s an awful lot of good stuff associated with going to church. Food for thought, no? Just to make it even more interesting, I find the relationship between physical and mental illness and spirituality and religion is an intriguing one, and not easily quantified. I remember an issue of TIME magazine that cited studies showing that people who were unknowingly prayed for recovered more quickly from disease than those who were not prayed for. What can we make of that? Psychology is more of an art than a science; the same is true for spirituality and religion. However, the lack of empirical proof doesn’t mean that they are not powerful. I invite you to be curious about both spirituality and religion. Experiment with them: see what works for you and feel free to move on if it doesn’t. I would like to include a personal note here. Since moving to San Diego in 1998, I have over the years found fellowship and support of my own spiritual practice at Metropolitan Community Church, Unity Fellowship Church, Unitarian Universalist Church and Universal Spirit Center. I thank them for being there and for being supportive of my own spiritual path. —Michael Kimmel is a licensed psychotherapist who specializes in helping LGBT clients achieve their goals and deal with anxiety, depression, grief, sexually addictive behavior, coming out, relationship challenges and homophobia. Michael is currently accepting new clients. Contact him at 619-955-3311 or visit lifebeyondtherapy.com.t
Working to end HIV: AIDS Research Institute
I A N M O RTO N
PROFILES IN ADVOCACY It occurred to me that it was time to write about the nonprofit for which I work: the AIDS Research Institute (ARI). Founded in 1997, the ARI is the Organized Research Unit (ORU) of UC San Diego that both links the many HIV/AIDS programs at the university together as well as provides a bridge between those programs and the larger community. The programs include, but are not limited to, the AntiViral Research Center (AVRC), Mother and Child Adolescent Program (MCAP), Center for AIDS Research (CFAR), Owen Clinic, HIV Neurobehavioral Research Program (HNRP) and HIV/AIDS projects through Global Public Health. In the United States, the men who have sex with men (MSM) population is still the most disproportionately affected demographic for new HIV transmissions, so the research being done by these various programs affects the LBGT population in a very real way. In a 2008 study of HIV/AIDS programs, the UCSD programs were among the top 10 National Institutes of Health-funded programs in the country, second only to Harvard in the category of universities. Additionally, ARI Director Dr. Douglas Richman was shown to be the most cited HIV author in the world, which brings me to an important focus of this column: the individuals that are creating change in the world through their tireless work. A well-lauded and globally recognized researcher, Richman began focusing on HIV/AIDS near the beginning of the disease’s discovery. His wide-ranging research in the HIV field has encompassed resistance, viral pathogenicity and host immune responses. Under his leadership, the labs at UCSD’s Center for AIDS Research have been responsible for discoveries that have literally changed the way we look at and treat HIV/AIDS. I’d like to focus on two extremely significant ones. As many know today, there is a very diligent push for those who choose to start medication to be extremely adherent to their dosing schedule and not miss doses. The reasoning behind this is that HIV
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can mutate into a strain that medications cannot fight if the drug level falls too low in the bloodstream. This phenomenon, called “HIV drug-resistance,” was first demonstrated by Richman’s research group in 1989. This knowledge has formed one of the foundations of successful HIV treatment and can be linked to the success of many long-term HIV survivors. Another significant discovery in 1997 was HIV latency. Until this was demonstrated in the Richman lab, there were conflicting ideologies about whether being HIV “undetectable” (the goal of treatment) was equivalent to being “cured.” Showing that there was indeed latent HIV in a person’s system was important to validate the fact that, to this date, HIV drug therapy is a life-long commitment. Recently, it is important to note that it was Richman and his team that studied the blood samples of the “Mississippi Toddler” and confirmed that she was HIV free. His lab and team members are called upon for their expertise on a national and global level. The second researcher that I would like to highlight is Dr. Susan Little. Based at the AVRC, she has been a leader in testing, treatment and prevention strategies at the university since 1993. Her development of The Early Test protocol allows for HIV to be detected in its earliest stages of development (within seven days) as opposed to the three or more month window that standard free testing requires. With studies showing that nearly 50 percent of new HIV infections are transmitted by individuals that do not know they are HIV positive, it is imperative that those engaged in high-risk behaviors know their status as early as possible. Getting into care and on medications has been shown to both produce better outcomes for the HIV-infected individual and greatly reduce the risk of further transmitting the virus. In her successful Lead the Way campaign, Little has created an accessible space and timeframe for this testing by extending weekday hours to 8 p.m. and offering weekend testing. The project is already showing a marked increase in the number of tests given and the number of HIV-positive individuals identified through The Early Test than in years prior to the campaign. In addition to offering the testing service, Lead the Way also gathers data as to the reasons why some choose or avoid getting HIV tests, which can be disseminated on a national level. With Saturday, May 18 being National HIV Vaccine Awareness Day, it seemed a good time to highlight the important research going on in San Diego County. While no one has reached the holy grail of a vaccine or cure to date, it is research like that at the ARI that will get us there. Advocates come in all forms, and the investigators that bring their skills to the challenge are soldiers in the fight against HIV/AIDS. For more information about the ARI visit ari.ucsd.edu/. —Ian Morton has worked in the HIV field since 1994 when he began volunteering with AIDS Response Knoxville. He currently serves as outreach liaison for the AIDS Research Institute at UCSD. To nominate a person or organization to be featured in Profiles in Advocacy, please submit name, affiliation and contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org
Names like Oprah Winfrey, Jeff Mauro and Julia Child have each contributed unknowingly to the menu at The Deli Llama, a sandwich shop that greets with a Victorian-inspired circus theme. Just step right up to the big iron chest and place your order for a Tattooed Lady, a Sword Swallower or a Knife Thrower and behold some of the magic that goes between bread. Owner Laura Sullivan designated the circus spectacles to various sandwiches, some of which have celebrity ties. The Flying Trapeze, for example, is a chic grilled cheese that Winfrey discovered in a Michigan café and then publicized on her “favorite foods” list. It’s made with Havarti, mozzarella and Fontina cheeses, plus basil, tomato and a speck of honey. For a panini-style Reuben called the Dancing Bear, Sullivan tracked down Mauro’s recipe for the requisite Russian dressing, which the chef has touted on his Emmy-winning Food Network show, “Sandwich King.” Ingredients such as sour cream, chili sauce, shallots and smoked paprika make it a showstopper, not to mention the fact that Deli Llama’s sandwiches are constructed with filler-free meats and cheeses from Boar’s Head. “We’re one of the few places in town that use Boar’s Head products. I won’t compromise that quality,” said Sullivan, who combines the products with a variety of fresh breads and rolls she receives each day from California Baking Company. Among the “side shows,” a Dijon-based Tuscan potato salad originates from the recipe archives of the late Julia Child, served with or without bacon. The supply was sold out on a recent visit, so I opted instead for Sullivan’s snappy Southwestern macaroni salad strewn with peppers,
The Grandmaster Gobbler with cranberries and pesto mayo (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.)
onions, feta, pine nuts and a good dose of fresh cilantro. For carb-fearing customers, salads such as pomegranatepear and veggie delight are also in the offing. “I want to make things that don’t taste like you bought them from the grocery store,” Sullivan said, referring also to blue cheese coleslaw and her mother’s recipe for “mac with tuna.” On a sandwich named after the winner of a customer recipe contest, the Eric Carroll’s Carnivale with black forest ham and avocado is decadently enhanced with double cream Brie cheese. Unless you’re shopping in a cheese shop on French soil, you’ll be hard pressed to find the super-rich curd gracing a casual sandwich. Carroll is an employee at the nearby Greater San Diego Business Association, and he obviously understands that we’ll walk tightropes to obtain a fix like this. Sullivan’s sandwich circus features about 25 other options, including the Grandmaster Gobbler that seems like the gourmet answer to Thanksgiving Day leftovers. It features roasted turkey with dried cranberries, shaved Parmesan, romaine and pesto mayonnaise made in-house. Veg Vegetarian options such as the Thin Man with veggies and hummus are also available. Most of the condiments are scratch-made, such as the “clown sauce” constructed with mayo, blue cheese, garlic and Frank’s Hot Sauce. You’ll find it naturally paired to the Caliente clown car sandwich layered with roasted chicken and bacon. For the top round beef and cheddar sandwich called the Acrobat, a lemonseasoned Dijon aioli spiked with Parmesan cheese provides uncommon oomph to an otherwise familiar duo of proteins.
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GAY SAN DIEGO May 17–30, 2013
A classic Reuben with gourmet Russian dressing (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.)
The Eric Carroll’s Carnivale sandwich on a torta roll (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.)
Located on a corner lot, the quaint deli is loaded with whimsical décor that Sullivan has collected over the years. Hovering over antique paintings and a glass-enclosed statue of a llama-faced ringmaster is a large pendant light festooned in black velvet and black feathers. Indeed, both the ambiance and high-quality sandwich fixings confirm this isn’t your run-ofthe-mill deli stop.t
10 GAY SAN DIEGO May 17–30, 2013
Friday, May 17
DESERT ROSE PREMIERE: The Desert Rose Playhouse in Rancho Mirage, Calif. presents their final production in the 2012-13 season, where film and stage actor David Pevsner stars in his solo musical show “Musical Comedy Whore.” The five-week run ends June 16. Pevsner is co-writer of “Naked Boys Singing,” and was on stage in “Fiddler on the Roof,” “When Pigs Fly” and “Party” in New York and L.A. His film work includes “Joshua Tree 1951: A Portrait of James Dean,” which screens at this year’s FilmOut Festival. “Musical Comedy Whore” is a funny and thoughtful journey, where you will just have a ball. Tickets are $25, and performance times are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays. The Desert Rose is located at 69620 Highway 111 in Rancho Mirage. For more information visit desertroseplayhouse.org.
Saturday, May 18
NATIONAL COMEDY THEATRE: Celebrate with National Comedy Theatre as the company becomes the longest-running show in San Diego, with over 3,800 performances in 14 amazing years. There are plenty of ways to celebrate, including a pre-show soiree at 6 p.m. where you can mingle with the cast, followed by two performances, one at 7:30 p.m. and the other at 9:45 p.m.
All this takes place at the theater, located at 3717 India St. in Mission Hills. That’s not all, however, because there is an after party at 57 degrees, located at 1735 Hancock St. at 11:30 p.m. For tickets visit nationalcomedy.com. UTOPIA LUAU: The United Territories of Pacific Islanders Alliance, aka U.T.O.P.I.A., present the third annual luau today from 6 – 9 p.m. Food, entertainment and prizes will be available, as well as a special performance by LEIISA. Presale tickets are $10 for those under 11 and $15 for 12 and older, $20 at the door. The luau is at The Center, 3909 Centre St. For more information visit utopiasandiego.org. L.L. BEAR ANNIVERSARY: It’s one of San Diego’s largest leather, Levi and bear events, and they’ve been going for 11 years strong. To celebrate, they are bringing out the best: DJ Shane Stiel and a special live performance by Frenchie Davis. Early arrival is strongly recommended, and they will offer a free clothes check if you’d like. Come to Rich’s San Diego, 1051 University Ave., from 9:30 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Sunday, May 19
KARAOKE AT FLICKS: OK, we’ve come up with a plan. Get a group of friends together and go to Flicks for their karaoke Sundays and Mondays (both starting at 9 p.m.) and only choose Michael Jackson songs. Jackson 5 and Janet Jackson are fine, but the point is to turn it into an amazing Jackson
tribute. The Flicks host, Rebekah, won’t know what happened and everyone will have a great time. Flicks is located at 1017 University Ave. For more information visit sdflicks.com or call 619-297-2056.
Monday, May 20
BALBOA PARK PLAN: Mayor Bob Filner will be at the Bankers Hill Residents Group meeting tonight to discuss his plan for traffic in and around Balboa Park. Come listen and discuss the plan to close Cabrillo Bridge over the weekend, and get those cars out of the central plaza. The group meets from 6:30 – 8 p.m. at the Inn at the Park, 525 Spruce St. Everyone is welcome, and there will be a no-host bar at 6 p.m. For more information visit bankershillresidents.org.
Broadway, Downtown. For more information visit eldoradobar.com or call 619-237-0550. LGBT CAREER NIGHT: We wrote a little brief on it, but it has to be mentioned more than once. Career seekers and networkers are invited to this free career fair put on by the Equality Professionals Network. The mixer will include employers who want you to work for them, as well as employment training and leadership development. The event is at The Center, 3909 Centre St., from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. RSVP (required) at epncareers.eventbrite.com.
Wednesday, May 22
Washington, D.C. (Capital Pride)
May 29 – June 9 Salt Lake City, Utah May 30 – June 2 Boston May 31 – June 9 Fresno, Calif. June 1
Tuesday, May 21
RANDOM ACCESS PARTY: El Dorado is hosting a very special listening party tonight in honor of Daft Punk’s new and super-highly anticipated album “Random Access Memories.” It is the French duo’s first album in eight years and El Dorado will be bringing in three San Diego DJs to play the entire album throughout the night. What’s more, they’ve partnered with Funktion One, renowned designers and manufacturers of the highest quality sound systems for over 20 years. The party runs from 9 p.m. – 2 a.m. and El Dorado Cocktail Lounge is located at 1020
Long Beach, Calif. May 18 – 19
Honolulu, Hawaii June 1
From “The Agency” (Courtesy
The Estate of Robert Mapplethorpe)
THE AGENCY: Alexander Salazar White Box Contemporary is showcasing a very special exhibit, titled “The Agency – 30 years later” and featuring 36 rare Polaroids by a budding photographer, Robert Mapplethorpe. In 1983, Mapplethorpe was trying to break into the world of fashion
see Calendar, pg 11
Los Angeles (West Hollywood)
June 7 – 9 Ensenada, Baja Calif. June 15 Sacramento, Calif. June 15 Flagstaff, Ariz. June 15 – 16 Santa Fe, N.M. June 22 Tijuana, Baja Calif. June 22 New York June 28 – 30 San Francisco June 29 – 30 Seattle June 29 – 30 Los Angeles (At the Beach – L.A. Black Pride)
July 3 – 7 San Luis Obispo, Calif. July 11 – 14 San Diego July 12 – 14 Santa Barbara, Calif. July 13 Vancouver, B.C. Aug. 4 Reno, Nev. Aug. 17 San Jose, Calif. Aug. 17 – 18 Las Vegas Sept. 6 – 7 Chula Vista, Calif. (South Bay Pride)
Sept. 14 Oceanside, Calif. (Pride @ the beach) Oct. 12 Bakersfield, Calif. Oct. 19 San Bernardino, Calif. (Inland Empire Pride)
Oct. 26 – 27 Palm Springs, Calif. Nov. 2 – 3
GAY SAN DIEGO May 17–30, 2013
FROM PAGE 10
CALENDAR photography and approached The Agency Models Incorporated President Alfredo Santiago several times. Santiago relented and, now a San Diego resident, has offered up the never-before seen photographs for the exhibit, which closes June 15. Do not miss this. White Box Contemporary is located at 1040 Seventh Ave. For more information visit whiteboxcontemporary.com or call 619-237-8813.
Thursday, May 23
being called the most compelling album to date. He’s not too bad on the eyes, either. Musician David Ramirez opens. Soda Bar is located at 3615 El Cajon Blvd. and tickets are $10 advance, $12 at the door (which opens at 8:30 p.m.). For more information and tickets visit sodabarmusic.com. PINK BOOMBOX: It’s the second in a monthly series of Beyond Burlesque, aptly titled Pink Boombox Revue. There will be performances by Lilly Holiday, Nancy Drew Blood, Saraphim, Avarra LaRoux, Stone L’amour and Holly Quinn. And while I’m not quite sure what this is, there will also be a signature Pink Boombox Jack Daniels drink on special, from 9 p.m. – 2 a.m. The Brass Rail is located at 3796 Fifth Ave. For more information visit facebook.com/thebrassrailsd.
Friday, May 24
Jay Nash (Photo by Deborah Lopez) JAY NASH: Indie-folk performer Jay Nash comes to the Soda Bar to support his new album “Letters from the Lost.” Nash has shared the stage with some of the best: Maroon 5, Ingrid Michaelson, Lucinda Williams and Counting Crows, and he has been compared to Lyle Lovett and Bruce Springsteen, among others. “Letters from the Lost” was mostly recorded at his home in Vermont, and has received plenty of praise, including
HARVEY MILK BREAKFAST: The LGBT Center is proud to host today’s special, annual event, the fifth year for the Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast. Held at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel, honorees include Oregon Governor Barbara Roberts and filmmaker Dustin Lance Black. The breakfast is from 7:30 – 9 a.m. at 1 Park Blvd. Individual tickets for the event are sold out. For more information visit thecentersd.org.
Saturday, May 25
RIVER CITY WITH BOY KING: Two amazing bands play at Bar Pink tonight, River City and Boy King. River City is an altcountry band that is sort of folk, sort of not. They were nominated
for Best Americana band at the 2009 San Diego Music Awards, although I’m still trying to figure out what that genre is exactly. Boy King used to be Bunny Gang, and features Dustin Lothspeich, Megan Liscomb and Adam Eldson. Don’t let Liscomb’s sweet face fool you; they’re a rock band through and through. Bar Pink is located at 3829 30th St. and doors are at 9 p.m. For more information visit barpink.com.
Sunday, May 26
JUMP IN: It’s Memorial Day tomorrow, kids, so don’t even think about going home early. Urban Mo’s is hosting their 15th year of the Deep End Party to kick off the summer, and it all starts at 2 p.m. Dress right in board shorts, Speedos, flip flops, floaties and anything else that screams pool party. DJ Marcel is spinning until 6 p.m., when DJ TAJ takes over until closing. Mo’s is located at 308 University Ave. For more information visit mosuniverse.com.
Monday, May 27
ACT UP: The Frequency Film Festival is screening “United in Anger: A History of ACT UP” twice, tonight at 8 p.m. and again June 8. The film, part of the ACT UP Oral History Project, is directed by Jim Hubbard and includes archival footage from the days of the HIV/ AIDS political and social activist group, revealing the group’s culture and incredible energy. The festival, which runs several days May 23 – June 8, screens all films at The Ocean Beach Playhouse, 4944 Newport Ave. For more information and tickets visit frequency-
filmfestival.com. RECOVERY MONDAY: All Deep End Partied out? Recovery Tea Dance at Urban Mo’s, 308 University Ave., is from 1 – 8 p.m. Visit mosuniverse.com. ROPE ENTHUSIAST: The San Diego Rope Enthusiast group host regular meetings at Pleasures & Treasures; tonight’s meeting is from 7:30 – 10:30 p.m. Bondage-friendly clothing is suggested, and bring your own rope plus someone to tie up (or be tied up by). There is a $4 cost to help cover the cost of the practice space. Pleasures & Treasures is located at 2525 University Ave. For more information visit pleasuresandtreasures.biz.
Tuesday, May 28
TRASHY CLASSY: We’re all about Laura Jane and karaoke this issue. Did you know the fabulous musician hosts Trashy Classy Tuesdays at Gossip Grill, where people like you and me can take the stage for a little karaoke from 6 – 11 p.m.? Now you know. Organizers said if you’re feeling trashy you can get a PBR tallboy for $3.50. Double that to add a burger, too. Gossip Grill is located at 1440 University Ave. For more
information visit thegossipgrill. com or call 619-260-8023.
Wednesday, May 29
FETISH MEN SD: The weekly FestishMen San Diego meet-up is going strong, each Wednesday night from 7 – 9:30 p.m. at Pleasures & Treasures. The group meets to discuss subjects pertinent to the male leather, rubber, uniform and fetish community, and they really only discriminate against grumpy people, they said. Pleasures & Treasures is located at 2525 University Ave. For more information visit pleasuresandtreasures.biz.
Thursday, May 30
GAVIN NEWSOM KEYNOTE SPEAKER: The Tom Homann LGBT Law Association will be treated to keynote speaker Gavin Newsom at tonight’s 20th Annual Installation Dinner and Awards Ceremony, held at the US Grant hotel, 326 Broadway in Downtown. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. with a cocktail hour followed by the program at 6:30 p.m. Tickets start at $85 for law students, and $115 for non-members. For more information and tickets visit thla.org.t
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GAY SAN DIEGO May 17–30, 2013
Secrets, lies and the desert Actor Dana Green’s in-your-face attitude highlights Old Globe’s latest (l to r) Dana Green, Kandis Chappell and Robert Foxworth (Photo by Snaps Studio)
Jon Robin Baitz’s “Other Desert Cities,” a Pulitzer finalist in 2012 that played on Broadway for a time, is another cozy family get together that reveals a few lies and one big secret. The story resuscitates a chapter in the Wyeth family that a few members would like to eliminate from their personal history. It’s a drama that has a bevy of laugh lines, allowing us to make fun at bored Hollywood expatriates – actors, producers, screenwriters and the like – who now camp out in the desert in plush digs. Director Richard Seer capably moves his five actors across a wide expanse of modern, sterile living space designed by Alexander Dodge. The residence is planted somewhere in Palm Springs, surrounded by those other desert cities. It’s 2004 and the family is celebrating the holidays together: mother, father, son, daughter and aunt.
Dana Green takes on the role of the daughter, Brooke, while Andy Bean plays her sibling, Trip. Robert Foxworth and Kandis Chappell play the parents, Lyman and Polly respectfully. Robin Pearson Rose takes on the role of Polly’s sister, Silda. She is staying at the Wyeth’s desert home while she recovers from her most recent fall off the wagon, and Pearson Rose milks the mostly humorous part for all it’s worth. Lyman and Polly are content to hob-nob at the country club and talk politics with mutual, right wing thinkers that still hold Ronald Reagan near and dear to their hearts. Their kids, as well as Silda, are liberals; Trip produces a show for TV while Brooke is a writer who has just sold her second book. Brooke courts the approval of the entire Wyeth clan for her memoir that will soon be published and excerpted in the New Yorker. It’s a tell-all book that will be a hard
“Other Desert Cities” Through June 2 Old Globe Theatre Tues & Wed 7 p.m. Thurs & Fri 8 p.m. Sat 2 & 8 p.m. Sun 2 & 7 p.m. 619-234-5623 oldglobe.org sell, especially to mother and father as Brooke writes about the Wyeth’s first-born son, Henry. The visit to the desert lays the daughter’s written work out for the family to review; most want nothing to do with it and hope that Brooke will reconsider having it published, at least until after the parents’ death. Green finds the sensitivity in Brooke’s past and churns it out with an inglorious in-your-face attitude that underscores ingratitude to parents who saved her from a recent mental breakdown. Bean’s Trip is the good guy: family arbiter who attempts to keep the peace within the family. Chappell plays her part like an Ice Queen who must have all things in proper Republican order. Lyman emotes uncomfortableness throughout, as if he’s an actor awaiting a script to study. “Other Desert Cities” is all about family, and as we all know, every family has a few secrets and tells a few lies along the way.t
The “American Idiot” company (Photo by Litwin)
set for San Diego Groundbreaking musical brings actor closer to family By Anthony King | GSD Editor Broadway San Diego follows up their run of “Billy Elliot the Musical” with “American Idiot,” the story of three friends “forced to choose between their dreams and the safety of suburbia,” promoters said. That choice is perhaps no more apparent than for Jared Young, a young actor who has been touring with the show since the beginning. Young grew up in a large Mormon family and left the comfort of his home – as well as Brigham Young University after coming out – to move to the Big Apple to pursue his dream of singing. It was a tough decision. “I was just this little country boy with big dreams,” Young said, laughing. “It was tough at the beginning, but I kept at it. …
It was really kind of like a whole revolution in my life.” His family – some now based in Oceanside, Calif. – are huge supporters, he said, for which he calls himself lucky. After conquering Broadway, Young said he wants to end up in California, closer to family and friends. “American Idiot” is based on the Grammy Award-winning album by Green Day, and Young’s main number, “Favorite Son,” sees him transform from a burlesque dancer into an official Army recruiter. “It’s a lot of fun. I have a really good time with this role,” he said. The show is one hour and 40 minutes long, with no intermission, which is a long time of nonstop, high energy, Young said. For an actor who starts on stage in nothing but his underwear, he said one of his main concerns while touring is making sure he works out and eats right. A self-proclaimed “relationship-oriented guy,” Young also said the long touring schedule takes its toll. The show opened in the United Kingdom before moving State-side. The cast was recently in Maryland on the way to Florida, and then across the country for the first West Coast stop here in San Diego. San Jose, Calif. follows and, finally, the show ends in Las Vegas. But only for a moment, for after a short break the production has a stint in Japan starting August. For Young, all this was after preliminary auditions in 2011, workshops in May 2012, followed by rehearsals in July and previews in September. And what about those audience members who are not necessarily Green Day Fans? “It’s just a groundbreaking musical,” he said, adding that a lot of people – season-ticket holders included – come to the show not knowing what to expect. “They really enjoy it because it’s something they haven’t seen, ever,” he said. “It’s definitely a piece of theater.” “American Idiot” opens May 28 for eight shows over six days, closing June 2. The show plays at the San Diego Civic Theater, 1100 Third Ave. For show times and tickets visit broadwaysd.com.t
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FILMOUT give voice to filmmakers who seek to share the challenges, joys, humor and heartaches of our LGBT community with a wider audience,” James said. “In a time when the world is finally beginning to come to the table to speak openly and acceptingly about human equality, these themes couldn’t be more paramount.” For this year’s festival, FilmOut received over 350 submissions, which McQuiggan and the board had to reduce to 35 films, including 16 features. “I had to turn away a lot of good films,” he said. To make sure the passed-on selections have an audience, FilmOut is looking to present some at later monthly screenings in 2013. McQuiggan said those they were able to secure for this year’s festival – the process is greater than pre-screening and includes negotiating with filmmakers and producers, scheduling guest appearances and securing rights – are more intelligent than movies that have screened in the past. “This year, a theme for me that I’ve noticed is they’re more socially relevant and they’re darker than they have been in the past few years,” McQuiggan said. “There have always been good LGBT films, but now there are so many.” One film receiving a lot of buzz, he said, is the James Franco-backed “Interior. Leather Bar.” The movie is documentary-style, based on the controversial film “Cruising” that starred Al Pacino. Before the 1980 release, the “Cruising” director was forced to cut 40 minutes of sexually explicit material and Franco, along with codirector Travis Mathews, reimagined the scenes for “Interior. Leather Bar.” “I’m expecting that one to do extremely well,” McQuiggan said. FilmOut will be screening San Diego filmmakers Fernando Garcia and Anthony Diaz’s short “Leather and Grace” before the Franco feature, marking a change from previous festivals. Instead of presenting an entire series of short films in one sitting, FilmOut has scheduled several select shorts prior to the feature films. “The only reason why I did that is because we had so many excellent feature film submissions this year that I didn’t want to give up a slot,” McQuiggan said. “I picked the best shorts that I could find and paired them up with the features.” While reluctant to say which are his personal favorites, McQuiggan said he was particularly excited for the seven showcase films: opening
“Angels of Sex” (Courtesy FilmOut)
“Margarita” (Courtesy Margarita the Film) night’s “G.B.F.,” Boys Centerpiece “Love or Whatever,” Audience Spotlight “The Go Doc Project,” Girls Centerpiece “Margarita,” Festival Spotlight “Meth Head,” International Spotlight “Out in the Dark,” and closing night’s “I Am Divine.” “We’re kicking it up a little bit more than usual,” McQuiggan said, including more filmmakers and actors in attendance, and opening and closing night parties that he hopes stand apart from what they have been in the past. “It’s weird, because to me it doesn’t feel any different than any of the other festivals I’ve programmed,” he said. “It just happens to be a milestone year.” All films screen at the Birch North Park Theatre, located at 2891 University Ave. Festival passes start at $99, and $10 individual screening tickets are available online or at the door. Tickets holders for the opening night film will have entrance to the party at Claire de Lune’s Sunset Temple, 3911 Kansas St. The closing night party will be held in the lobby of the theater, hosted by West Coast Tavern. For complete information, including each film’s synopsis and ticket purchase, visit filmoutsandiego.com. “I couldn’t be more proud of our accomplishment and resiliency as we prepare our 15th anniversary festival,” James said, “which is sure to be our best yet.”t
WEDNESDAY, MAY 29 7:30 p.m. G.B.F.
“For Rent” (Courtesy FilmOut)
Opening night party & gala THURSDAY, MAY 30 5 p.m. Joshua Tree, 1951: A Portrait of James Dean 7 p.m. I Do 9:30 p.m. Angels of Sex
FRIDAY, MAY 31 5 p.m. Raid of the Rainbow Lounge 7:30 p.m. Love or Whatever 10 p.m. The Go Doc Project “Polaroid Girl” (Courtesy FilmOut)
SATURDAY, JUNE 1 12 p.m. Naked As We Came 2:15 p.m. Margarita 4:30 p.m. Pit Stop 7 p.m. Meth Head 10 p.m. Interior. Leather Bar.
SUNDAY, JUNE 2 12 p.m. Submerge 2 p.m. Out in the Dark 4:30 p.m. White Frog 7 p.m. I Am Divine
Closing night after party “The Go Doc Project” (Courtesy FilmOut)
GAY SAN DIEGO May 17–30, 2013
GAY SAN DIEGO May 17–30, 2013
Opening night selection “G.B.F.” director Darren Stein By Ken Williams | SDGLN Editor in Chief “G.B.F.” – the opening night selection for FilmOut San Diego’s 15th annual LGBT Film Festival – promises to be a real crowd pleaser with its funny and uplifting tale about a teenage boy who is outed by his classmates but becomes the object of attention by three prom queen candidates who want to gain an edge. Directed by Darren Stein and written by George Northy, “G.B.F.” brings together a cast of fresh faces with a few big-name surprises, including gay icon Megan Mullally as our gay hero’s super-cool mom and Jonathan Silverman as Mr. Daniels. Michael J. Willet plays Tanner, the teen who is outed, and Sasha Pieterse, Andrea Bowen and Xosha Roquemore are the three queen wannabes. Stein, 41, directed, produced and wrote the films “Aviel” (1988), “Sparkler” (1997), “Jawbreaker” (1999), “Put The Camera On Me” (2003) and “Color Me Olsen” (2007). He also was the producer of the horror comedy “All About Evil” (2010) and executive producer of “Wild Tigers I Have Known (2006). Stein chatted with San Diego Gay & Lesbian News about how he discovered the “G.B.F.” script and why it was so important for him to turn it into a movie. SDGLN: What is the genesis
of this movie, and what is the buzz on the gay film festival circuit? I discovered the script through the Outfest Screenwriting Lab. They match the five screenplay finalists with directors to do staged readings at the festival, and I got paired with “G.B.F.” I loved the script so much that I called the writer George Northy in Brooklyn and asked him to option it. So really I have Outfest, a gay and lesbian film festival, to thank for the script. So far the film has screened at Tribeca, Miami and Boston, and all the screenings have been pretty raucous. The gay audiences, in particular, have really been responding well. There’s so much laughter that they miss half the jokes, which is actually a good thing because there will be more jokes to discover on repeated viewings. SDGLN: Why was it important to you to make this particular movie? I loved that it was a big teen comedy that happened to have a gay protagonist. It was nice to see the universe of the teen genre shift to the place where a gay kid could be the hero. It’s his story. He was no longer relegated to the sidekick we’ve seen in movies like “Mean Girls.” I also liked that it was first
(l to r) Sasha Pieterse, Andrea Bowen, Michael J. Willett and Xosha Roquemore (Courtesy G.B.F.) and foremost a teen comedy. It wasn’t just a gay movie though it does have a gay character in the lead. SDGLN: Did you pay homage to “Glee” and teen-oriented movies, and which ones? There are tons of pop culture homages in the film but I think the teen films I referenced most were the films of John Hughes – particularly “Sixteen Candles” and “Pretty in Pink” – and of course I have a special place in my heart for “Clueless.” SDGLN: How did Megan Mullally get involved? Was the part of the gay teen’s mom written especially for her, or did she audition for the part? Paul Iacono who plays Brent
had played Megan’s son in the “Fame” remake a couple years back. He offered to call her and get her the script. She had been on a list of actresses we were interested but it always helps to have a personal relationship on an independent film. I was pretty floored when she said yes. SDGLN: Similarly, what about Jonathan Silverman? I loved Jonathan in films like “Weekend At Bernies” and “Girls Just Want To Have Fun.” He was an actor I grew up with in teen films in the ‘80s and I wanted to give a nod to those films. He’s also got a lot of heart to go with the comedic chops. It also helped that he looks like he could be Michael J. Willett’s Dad. SDGLN: Where did you
shoot the movie, and why did you choose this location? We shot at a charter school in Encino, [Calif.] on weekends and holidays. It was an incredible-looking school, modern and architectural with a smaller scale that made sense for the scope of our film. We also shot in homes in North Hollywood, Santa Monica and Encino. Prom was shot at a nightclub in Hollywood called the Avalon. SDGLN: What do you want audiences to remember about the film after they leave the theater? People should be taken on their own terms, as individuals – it’s not about their sexuality, gender or religion. Perhaps people will realize being gay in high school is no different than any other element of their personality they may feel insecure about. It’s really about making the gay high school experience relatable on a more universal level. SDGLN: Do you prefer the LGBT genre? I just prefer good movies. If they happen to feature LGBT characters, that’s always of particular interest to me since I’m gay myself. But really films are about the human experience and that includes everybody. SDGLN: Has LGBT cinema grown up, is it crossing over to attract mainstream audiences or do you sense it will remain a niche product? I really think its crossing over in cinema just as LGBT acceptance is making headway in society. I think more films that feature gay characters without making gayness an issue or pushing an agenda are being made and that we’re moving in that direction culturally. SDGLN: Will you be coming to California for the FilmOut San Diego LGBT Film Festival? I live in L.A. so I’ll be driving down to San Diego with several members of the cast. Any excuse for a road trip! “G.B.F.” screens opening night, May 29, at 7:30 p.m. with the short films “Grotto” (2012) and “Coffee & Pie” (2011). Festival tickets are now on sale at filmoutsandiego.com. —Ken Williams is Editor in Chief of San Diego Gay & Lesbian News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, @KenSanDiego on Twitter, or by calling 888-442-9639, ext. 713.t
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gay-sd.com FROM PAGE 1
CANDELABRA problems. That was six years ago. So we’re sort of experiencing everything through his eyes. He’s Alice going down the rabbit hole. CA: What did you know about Liberace before reading Thorson’s book? SS: I’m old enough to have seen him on TV when he was still performing. I was, however, young enough to not really be able to articulate what was distinctive about him [laughs]. But I remember my parents always made a point of turning on that channel if they knew he was going to be on somebody’s show or if he had a special. I had this vague sense of him being a very flamboyant entertainer. In 2000, as I started to learn more about him and gather material, what was great was discovering that he was an amazing technical musician, an incredible keyboardist. I found it fascinating that somebody with that sort of skill set was very happy to hide it behind a real genuine desire to put on a very popular and entertaining show. He wouldn’t have been as interesting to me if it turned out that he was a so-so keyboardist. CA: How did Michael pull off the piano-playing parts? SS: Oh, lots of tricks. CA: Then you fooled me, because at one point he’s playing 16 beats to the bar for “Boogie Woogie” and you can clearly see Michael’s hands on the piano. SS: In my mind, that was a very important scene. Because if we don’t sell that, then we have a problem. There was a lot of effort expended on that particular scene. Michael had to spend a lot of time making sure that he was doing the right thing so that the effects would work properly. He couldn’t just sit there. He had video of the pieces and he had to make sure his hands were very close to being perfectly placed so that we could make it work.
friends called Liberace] first meets Scott backstage, I would’ve said to Michael, ‘OK, this is about as far as I want you to go. Take it as far as you feel comfortable.’ CA: Matt had said that it’s a challenge creating chemistry with someone you wouldn’t normally be attracted to. As the director, was it a challenge to make this relationship seem real? SS: The key, which they understood intuitively, was the chemistry was going to come from the comfort level, and the more comfortable they felt with each other and the more that it seemed, ‘Oh, this is how people act when there is not a camera around,’ that’s what would sell it. Just being totally inside of it and never stepping out of it and looking back at it. You have to just jump into the hot tub, and that’s what I think really sells it when I see the movie. They seem so comfortable with each other. CA: And only one take for the sex scene where Matt is on top of Michael – really? SS: [Laughs] I said, ‘OK, Mike, you’ve gotta be able to reach the amyl nitrates, so you should be here. Matt, you’re gonna be on top of him here. I’m gonna drop the camera down here.’ We did a take, there was a long pause and I was just like, ‘I don’t have any notes. That’s that.’ CA: Studios turned down the film because they said it was ‘too gay.’ What exactly is ‘too gay’? SS: They weren’t convinced that anybody who’s not gay is going to want to see it. That was really their attitude. It’s not like, ‘We don’t like gay people.’ They had concerns about how to sell it. And when you’re just looking at it on paper, and then when you see what Michael and Matt did, I get why they couldn’t see it. I was just frustrated that they didn’t believe that we could see it. CA: What do you think it says about Hollywood and society when a movie about two gay men won’t get picked up by a major studio
SS: That’s more about the culture at large than it is about the studios. They don’t give a shit. If movies like this were making a lot of money, that’s all they’d be making. The reason you don’t see more movies made with non-white protagonists as leads is because, in our culture, non-white audiences go in significant numbers to see movies with white protagonists, but white audiences do not return the favor. It’s not reciprocal, and that’s the only reason that movies lack so much diversity. CA: How did you perceive their relationship? SS: I took the relationship at face value, and I believed that it was a real relationship and that they did love each other. It’s a very weird environment in which to maintain any relationship, but I felt that it was a sincere relationship and that they were both broken but in different ways, and so there was a kindred feeling somehow. CA: And that last scene really brings authenticity to the relationship. SS: When I read the book, it convinced me that this was worth doing, because it really surprised me. The way the movie lands emotionally is really unexpected and in the book, I just found that scene incredibly moving and sad. CA: Do you see this film and Liberace’s life as a cautionary tale at all? SS: No. I guess when I look at it, there’s just more of a frustration that there was this added pressure because of the time period – the pressure of hiding the relationship and then, of course, the threat of mortality that was circulating amongst the gay community during that period. I mean, I lived for nine months with my sister in San Francisco during the summer of ’80 through the spring of ’81 on Market Street. If I was gay, I’d be dead. That was ground zero. CA: What was that experi experience like for you?
Mi CA: Did you discuss with Michael how flamboyant he could go with Liberace?
SS: It was interesting to be 17 and walk down the street and have somebody look at me in the way that I’d be looking at girls [laughs]. That was the first time being exposed to that, but it wasn’t a problem. The friends I did have that were gay and sexually active were really, re really paranoid and being super safe. They were scared. It’s a classic case of everybody realizing every everything too late. I always wish we could think 50 years in the future when we look at what’s going on right now in terms sitof equal rights. I’m just sit ting here going, ‘50 years from now, we’re going to be wondering why we were even arguing about this.’ Why can’t we just pretend that it’s 50 years later and just end it now?
numSS: Sometimes I’d use a num ber. I’d go, ‘Oh, I think he should be at a seven here.’ CA: A seven on the flamboyancy scale? SS: Yeah. But more often than not, he and Matt would both tell you that once you put on the outfit and the hair and everything, you’re kind of there. I don’t remember having to really talk about how gay I wanted them to be. [Michael] would just show up in that outfit with that hair and it was happening. CA: Was there a scene where you told them to take it to a 10? SS: The first meeting where Lee [the name close
but a movie that exploits violence does?
(l to r) Michael Douglas and Matt Damon (Courtesy HBO)
—Chris Azzopardi is the editor of Q Syndicate, the international LGBT wire service. Reach him via his website at chris-azzopardi. com.t
GAY SAN DIEGO May 17–30, 2013
GAY SAN DIEGO May 17–30, 2013
SD Hoops announces summer league SD Hoops, San Diego’s only LGBT basketball recreation league that was founded in 1999, announced plans for its first summer league. In the past, players have traditionally participated in weekly open gym sessions from May to September, the offseason months surrounding its popular regular season. During all-star balloting this past March, a player poll was administered and support for a summer league grew to the point where it was economically and logistically feasible to give the new season a shot. Keeping with the league’s
long-standing tradition, teams will be formed via a draft. Coaches will gather June 8 to select up to eight players per team, and rosters will be announced that evening at Hillcrest Brewing Company during the league’s draft party, beginning at 6 p.m. For coaches to better get to know the players who will participate, players are encouraged to attend current weekly open gym sessions, which began Wednesday, May 15 and take place every Wednesday at Golden Hills Recreation Center, 2600 Golf Course Dr. Participants are asked to bring $5 to help offset the cost of the gym
reservation fees, as well as lightand dark-colored shirts to play in. Games run from 6 – 8 p.m., so players should arrive early if they want to get into the first rotation. Players are rotated through so everyone plays roughly the same number of games. As far as the summer league sign-ups, interested parties should visit the league’s website at sdhoops.net and click on the registration page, where they can submit their information and pay their $55 player fee. Anyone who pays that fee will then have subsequent open gym fees waived, should they choose to participate. The deadline
to register for the summer league is May 29. Players will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis depending on the date they registered, so they are encouraged to register early. Unlike the regular season, there will be no coaches’ reviews that players will be required to attend. The 2012-13 SD Hoops regular season saw an expansion to nine teams for the first time. The league does not anticipate having that many teams during the summer, but will accept a minimum of four teams and a maximum of eight. Games will begin on June 12 and, depending on the team count, will run each Wednesday through the end of August, culminating with playoff games. Open gym sessions will immediately resume in preparation for the full fall season. As commissioner of SD Hoops, I can attest to the fact that the current board of officers does not quite know what to expect out of this first attempt at a summer league, but we are excited about the enthusiasm our growing base of players has shown for the concept. We have seen quite a bit of turnover in the last three seasons, and as the league continues to grow we will be able to iron out the kinks and provide great summer and fall seasons. Summer options Two major recreational leagues – flag football and softball – are about to end their seasons. The 16-team San Diego American Flag Football League (sdffl.org) culminates with its playoffs June 8 and America’s Finest City Softball League (afcsl.org), which boasts 40 teams, ends with its final slate of games on June 23. Many of those athletes will be also looking for other activities, and San Diego features a generous slate of opportunities. The basketball league is one option, open to players of any skill level. The city also boasts a large LGBT tennis league, the San Diego Tennis Federation (sdtf.org), which has been around since 1983. Players from novice to advanced levels can become members by signing
up on the website. The club offers weekly tennis evenings at the Balboa Tennis Club at Morley Field. SDTF will be hosting the 28th edition of its annual tournament, San Diego Open, from July 5 – 7, and members can still register online to enter that event. San Diego Front Runners and Walkers (frwsd.org) is an LGBT sporting and social club that offers gatherings ranging from race training to casual walking. Every Saturday morning, Monday evening and Wednesday evening the club meets in Balboa Park. Visit the website and check their calendar to get a better idea of which gatherings will meet your fitness needs. If you are looking for something a little more physical, consider giving the San Diego Armada Rugby Club (sdarmada.com) a look. Although their season ended in April, the Armada still holds structured practices every Wednesday evening at 6 p.m., and casual “touch rugby” sessions on Sunday mornings at 11 a.m. The Sunday events are especially designed to attract new players to the sport, and offer a great chance to learn. The San Diego Wrestling Club (sdwrestling.org), which just celebrated its 15th anniversary, invites interested people to check out the sport of wrestling by attending practices held at The Center in Hillcrest, Thursdays from 7 – 9 p.m. and Sundays from 4 – 7 p.m. The gay bowling league has already begun its eight-team Wednesday summer league, but interested individuals should check in with either the High Roller League or the Rainbow League in advance of their long-running September Fall seasons. Visit sdgaybowling.org for updated contact information for each league. —Jeff Praught is actively involved in the LGBT sports community, where he plays in the local softball (AFCSL), football (SDAFFL) and basketball (SD Hoops) leagues. He has served on AFCSL’s board of officers in various capacities and is currently the commissioner of SD Hoops.t
OUT OF TOWN This city – sculpted by Puget Sound and Lake Washington, and crowned with leafy hills – abounds with lively diversions, both indoor and outside. A sunny and mild climate from June through well into October makes it one of the country’s most enchanting summer destinations. It’s actually a cool getaway with year-round popularity – yes, even during the grayer, wetter winter months – with superb restaurants, offbeat shops and a mix of accommodations for all budgets. Downtown, with its dashing, postmodern skyline, contains a mix of enticing museums, historic blocks and trendy retailentertainment strips. The city’s many visitors are often drawn to Seattle’s LGBT hub, Capitol Hill. Students, dot-comers, latter-day hippies and young families of all persuasions live in this lofty neighborhood, a 20-minute walk or short cab ride east of Downtown. Cutting-edge music, liberal politics,
coffeehouses mingling with microbreweries, computer technology and environmentalism are among the ties that bind Capitol Hill’s disparate populations. The best way to enjoy Seattle is to set aside a few hours each day and focus on a particular neighborhood with its corresponding draws. Start by touring Downtown, with its landmark Pike Place Market, a sprawling 1907 structure abuzz with fishmongers and food marketers of every ilk. If you love to eat or cook, the halls of gourmet goodies are reason alone to while away an afternoon here. North of Downtown, you’ll find the loft-style galleries, restaurants and music clubs of Belltown, and beyond that, the 600-foot Space Needle, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2012. The structure ranks among the nation’s most distinctive buildings: you can take an elevator to the top for breathtaking views of the skyline, Puget Sound, and the surrounding Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges. The Capitol Hill neighborhood has a few formal attractions, but several commercial pockets are
excellent for shopping, club hopping, distinctive dining and people watching. Pine and Pike streets hold many gay bars, plus some live-music halls and coffeehouses, and Broadway Avenue bustles with a youthful mix of straight- and gay-popular businesses. Set aside some time to explore verdant Volunteer Park, home to an exotic-plant-filled conservatory, a 75foot water tower affording panoramic city views and the outstanding Seattle Asian Art Museum. One theme that unites virtually all of the city’s most intriguing districts is delicious food: Seattleites take eating seriously, and restaurants here strive to feature local – often farm-totable – produce, cheeses, seafood, meats, wines, jams and honeys. Two of the nation’s most celebrated lesbian chefs, Christine Keff and Tamara Murphy, are based here. Murphy runs Lower Capitol Hill’s much-heralded Terra Plata, which opened in late 2011 and is a fine place to sample creative, beautifully prepared market-driven dishes like sea scallops with smoked tomato vinaigrette, and roast pig with chorizo, clams, and smoked paprika.
GAY SAN DIEGO May 17–30, 2013
Downtown Seattle, with Mount Rainer in the distance (Courtesy Q Syndicate) Murphy also oversaw the café in the new Capitol Hill location for the Elliott Bay Book Company, a locally owned icon for the city and one that is not to be missed. Most of the city’s LGBT nightspots are in lively Capitol Hill, including the ultra-popular – new May of last year – Social nightclub, a swanky gay dance club that adjoins a stylish restaurant and lounge called Evo. Longtime mainstays of the gay scene include R Place, great for dancing and drag shows; the cruise-y Cuff Complex, which draws a masculine, bear-ish bunch; the leather-themed Seattle Eagle; and Neighbours, a favorite dance club. Lesbians favor the Wildrose Tavern, a spacious bar with DJs and dancing that’s been going strong since the mid-1980s. A quirky, retro-glam hole in the wall, Pony Bar plays fun music and
attracts a diverse bunch, from gay hipsters to students to older dudes who appreciate the throwback-to-the1970s gay-bar aesthetic. CC Attle’s, which moved to a handsome new space in 2011, is a friendly spot drawing an eclectic, mostly 35-and-older crowd, and cozy and fun Diesel is one of Seattle’s newest bear bars. The stylish, mod Lobby Bar is a top happy hour pick with a kitchen turning out tasty victuals, as is trendy and newish Saint John’s Bar, which serves drinks all evening and dinner late, plus an excellent brunch. —Andrew Collins covers gay travel for the New York Times-owned website GayTravel.About.com and is the author of Fodor’s Gay Guide to the USA. He can be reached care of Gay San Diego or at OutofTown@ qsyndicate.com.t
GAY SAN DIEGO May 17–30, 2013