Volume 4 Issue 8 April 19–May 2, 2013
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THEATRE Pg. 11
SERVING OUR LGBT COMMUNITY
Transgender Day of Empowerment
Largest crowd yet assembled at The Center for celebration By Ben Cartwright | GSD Reporter
ArtWalk in Little Italy
9 DINING Dining Out for Life is an international affair, bringing out thousands of diners in one day. (Photo by Peter Lien)
Shades: Pride of OB
Jazz at the REP
Where will you dine? Dining Out for Life 2013 extends beyond San Diego; North County participating for first time By Anthony King | GSD Editor
Center CEO Delores Jacobs, is making it a reality for the first time. “I’m really excited the North County [LGBTQ] Resource Center has come on board,” Johnson said. “It’s new for them, and … the money from that goes to their Center.” While the process for a city to stage the annual event involves a lot of work – everything from securing rights and promotional material to signing up restaurants and organizing volunteers – Disposti said interest was high in North County. He also said he could not do it this year without the help of The Center. “I’ve told everyone how thankful we are for this relationship with The Center,” Disposti said. “Working together has been a great opportunity. Delores [Jacobs] has been very, very helpful.”
Thursday, April 25 marks this year’s Dining Out for Life, with over 100 restaurants and businesses in San Diego County participating in what is a growing event each year. While buzz surrounding the international event is high, it is the local growth that is most exciting for The LGBT Center, who sponsors the San Diego event. “This is the first year where it’s expanded out even further,” said Ian Johnson, Dining Out for Life San Diego coordinator. “We have two restaurants in La Jolla, we have two restaurants in Kearny Mesa and we have a place in La Mesa, which we’ve never had before.” The international event has never reached North County either, and Max Disposti, with Mondo Guerra (Photo by Jeff Ball) the help of Johnson and The
see DiningOut, pg 17
Dancing for acceptance Belinda’s hits
INDEX BRIEFS…………………..5 OPINION…………………6 COMMUNITY.……...……7 CALENDAR………...……10 CLASSIFIEDS……………16 SPORTS.……………….18
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Stopping in San Diego for 8 shows, ‘Billy Elliot the Musical’ addresses universal themes in touching, inspirational production By Anthony King | GSD Editor “Billy Elliot the Musical” leaps into San Diego April 30 for a six-day, eight-show run and the show – adapted from the 2000 film “Billy Elliot” that dealt with, ultimately, being comfortable with being out of the ordinary – has a special place in the hearts of many in the LGBT community. Besides the overarching theme, the secondary storyline of Billy’s friend Michael speaks directly to LGBT issues of acceptance. While hinted at in the movie, Michael’s sexuality and feelings for Billy are played out fully on the stage. “They have a number together in the show, in the first act, called ‘Expressing Yourself,’” said Christopher Howard, a musical theater and dancing professional who has been with the tour for several years. “Billy happens to walk in on Michael as he is trying on his sister’s dress.” Fast forward to act two, and Michael comes out to Billy. A romantic crush on Michael’s part is explored, and Billy, who is not gay, accepts his friend. “Billy sees that there’s nothing wrong with that, and tells Michael, politely of course, ‘Just because I
‘Billy Elliot the Musical’ runs April 30 – May 5. (Photo by Amy Boyle)
like to do ballet doesn’t mean that I’m gay,’” Howard said. “They are certainly not trying to hide who Michael is, and I think that message is important for audiences to see,” he said. “The message itself – saying there’s nothing wrong with being who you are and being what you want to be – is really important.” Howard is in the ensemble of the tour, which he affectionately dubs “Tour 2.5.” The San Diego dates are an extension of the show’s second national tour, after going on hiatus in the fall of 2011. The tour continues in the United States after the San Diego dates through June, and will then travel to Brazil for a three-week run before officially closing. Howard said touring is an “unbelievable experience,” and the group stays for a one-week run
see Billy, pg 14
A standing-room only crowd packed the San Diego LGBT Community Center on April 5 for the 10th annual Transgender Day of Empowerment, an event organized to celebrate the local transgender community. Connor Maddocks, one of the coordinators of the event, welcomed guests by saying this was the largest Transgender Day of Empowerment crowd he ever remembered, and thanked everyone for doing their part to support the transgender community. The evening had a fun, celebratory atmosphere with the event emcees making jokes and audience members cheering, a mood that contrasts the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance held Nov. 20 to memorialize those who have been killed as a result of transphobia. A number of community leaders and representatives from local organizations were present, including Council President Todd Gloria and board co-chair of The LGBT Center, Shaun Travers. Tracie O’Brien, who originally created the event 10 years ago, coemceed the festivities with Maddocks, and received a standing ovation after being introduced. Maddocks said San Diego’s Transgender Day of Empowerment was the first event of its type, and is possibly the only one in the world. O’Brien thanked the organizations in the community that have advocated for the transgender community, and gave special thanks to Stepping Stone and Family Health Centers of San Diego (FHCSD) for their commitments to the cause. FHCSD provides a number of transgender-specific health services, including access to social services, case management, monitored hormone therapy and transition related issues support. Gloria enthusiastically welcomed attendees, also saying it was the biggest Transgender Day of Empowerment crowd he had ever seen. “We are proud of our transgender citizens. We are better because of them, and this community has helped build the cultural tapestry of San Diego,” Gloria said. “So many [transgender leaders] have blazed the trail for new leaders, and your struggle inspires every group in our community.”
see Empowerment, pg 14
T. J. Sequine, keynote speaker (Photo by Deanna Rivera/SCEN)
GAY SAN DIEGO April 19–May 2, 2013
GAY SAN DIEGO April 19–May 2, 2013
Walk the Walk
Previewing this year’s Mission Federal ArtWalk in Little Italy By Logan Broyles | GSD Reporter Art lovers are invited to stroll the streets of one of San Diego’s most iconic neighborhoods and enjoy works from the more than 300 artists that will be showing at this year’s Mission Federal ArtWalk, taking place April 27 – 28 from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. each day. The art on display will primarily be from Southern California-based artists, but there will be a strong presence from the international art world as well, with submissions
‘Light Headed’ by Norm Daniels (Courtesy Mission Federal ArtWalk)
from Mexico, South America and Europe. “People have come to expect high-quality art and we think it gets better every year,” said Sandi Cottrell, managing director of the ArtWalk. “We really work at the artist selection process to bring different and new artists, and the quality this year is going to be incredible.” Among the artists showing is Annie Goldgewicht, who Cottrell said showed how organizers were representing a wide variety of mediums and styles. Goldgewicht combines ceramic work with basketry. “She’s of Costa Rican descent and some of this relates back to artistry that’s done in her home country,” Cottrell said. This year’s 29th annual festival will fill 17 blocks of Little Italy, located just north of Downtown along the waterfront. The free outdoor festival will also include live music, dance performances and an entire section devoted to children. Cottrell said they have used the work of Los Angeles-based contemporary metal sculptor James Hill in their ArtWalk magazines and on all of their marketing posters for years. Another ArtWalk staple is multimedia artist Richard Curtner. “[He] creates all of his artwork out of printed words that he pulls from magazines and newspapers and uses those to outline very intricate scenes,” she said. This year’s ArtWalk will also feature some up-and-coming young artists, including San Diego State University (SDSU) fine arts major and Business of Art Scholarship winner Jennifer Cerutti. The painter will have her work on display at booth 567. “It’s called the Business of Art Scholar-
‘Notel Marvel’ by Richard Curtner (Courtesy Mission Federal ArtWalk)
ship, so while they’re learning how to make art at SDSU this program teaches them how to make a living as artists,” Cottrell said. “We partnered with the San Diego Visual Arts Network, [that] offers them mentoring on all the things that it really takes to be in business as an artist.” Cottrell added that in addition to the opportunity to browse and shop for art, there are also several other components to the event. A new feature for 2013 is called Art Meets Design, a “virtual home” where people can get tips from interior designers on how they can design their homes and rooms around their personal art collection. “When people come to the event they often say they might find a piece of art that they really love but they have trouble envisioning it in their own home,” Cottrell said. Another new event will be an interactive encounter called “Grown Up Finger-
painting.” Participants will be shown how to use paint and their fingers directly on the canvass to create unique art. “It’s not finger painting as you think of as what you may have done as a kid,” Cottrell said. “There’s actually ways of creating very intricate shadings and portraiture. The artist that we’re working with on that, Gabriela Alvarez, has a really unique take on how to paint with your hands and she’s going to be teaching that to the guests.” Attendees will be able to take home their creations. A map can be found on the event website that shows all parking lots in the area, and event organizers recommend people walk or take public transportation, including the trolley. The Little Italy Association will also be offering a valet service at the corner of India and Juniper streets For more information, visit missionfederalartwalk.org.t
GAY SAN DIEGO April 19–May 2, 2013
Supreme Court summary Analysis of Prop 8 and DOMA outlined; decisions expected June By Lisa Keen | Keen News Service Now that legal activists and experts have had a chance to go back over the United States Supreme Court arguments in last month’s two big marriage equality cases, most are predicting victories but only incremental ones. In the Proposition 8 case, it appears that most believe the court will find that Hollingsworth v. Perry was improperly appealed. If so, a lower court decision striking down Proposition 8 will remain intact, and same-sex couples in California will be able to obtain marriage licenses within a few days. In the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) case, U.S. v. Windsor, it appears most believe if the court reaches the merits, a 5 to 4 vote will strike the law down. But there is less confidence with Windsor about whether the court will get that far; many are unsure there will be 5 to 4 to say the case was properly before the court. Much of the post-argument speculation is based on the general consensus that the court’s four more liberal justices – Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan – will vote for marriage equality and that its four more conservative justices – Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito – will vote against. Justice Anthony Kennedy is considered the less predictable vote and one that could go either way to form a majority decision in either or both cases. Prop 8 In the Proposition 8 argument, Kennedy asked three questions concerning legal standing and five concerning constitutional issues. On legal standing, he sent mixed signals. He expressed discomfort with the idea that the governor or attorney general of California could seemingly “thwart the initiative process” by refusing to defend a voterapproved initiative all the way through the appellate process. He also rebuffed a statement by Chief Justice Roberts, who said a state “can’t authorize anyone” to press an appeal. Kennedy said the Yes on 8 proponents were “different from saying any citizen.” Those two points seemed to support allowing Yes on 8 standing to
appeal. And yet, Kennedy acknowledged there is a “substantial question on standing.” On the constitutional questions surrounding Proposition 8, Kennedy signaled five concerns. He underscored a question by Justice Ginsburg concerning whether Proposition 8 might be making a “gender-based classification,” adding that he sees it as a “difficult question” and one he has “been trying to wrestle with.” He challenged Cooper on whether Yes on 8 was “conceding” that allowing same-sex couples to marry posed “no harm or denigration to traditional opposite-sex marriage couples.” He voiced his own concern about the “immediate legal injury” Proposition 8 pressed on the 40,000 children of same-sex couples in California. But Kennedy also expressed his discomfort with the case dragging the court into “uncharted waters,” given the relative newness of families headed by samesex couples. And he declared the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel’s narrow ruling to be “very odd.” That latter declaration seemed odd itself, given that many the Ninth Circuit decision was based largely on a decision Kennedy wrote, in the 1996 Romer v. Evans decision. Legal experts posting at scotus.com have identified at least seven potential outcomes in the Perry case, all of which would lead to same-sex couples being able to obtain marriage licenses again in California. One potential ruling would require eight other states to allow same-sex couples to marry, and a long-shot possibility is that a ruling could require that bans in all states are unconstitutional. But with one exception – the Michigan attorney general – no one is predicting that the court will rule that Proposition 8 is a constitutionally valid measure. University of California law dean Erwin Chermerinsky points out there are two ways the Supreme Court could avoid ruling on the constitutionality of Proposition 8 in Hollingsworth v. Perry. First, the court could decide that the appeal was “improvidently granted” review by the Supreme Court. That would leave the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling intact and gay couples could begin marrying again in California within days.
Second, it could decide that the Yes on 8 coalition had no legal standing to appeal to the Ninth Circuit; that would leave the federal district court’s broader ruling in effect. Again, gay couples could begin marrying in California. DOMA and consequences Even though most legal experts say they believe Kennedy will likely provide the needed fifth vote to overcome the procedural obstacles in the DOMA case, he voiced twice as many questions on those issues as he did during the Proposition 8 case. During oral argument in Windsor on March 27, he raised six questions over matters pertaining to the legal standing of the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) and the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in the matter. Kennedy questioned whether BLAG, representing Republican House leadership on appeal, had standing. If just one chamber of Congress could assert standing, Kennedy said, then the other chamber – in this case, the Senate – could also assert standing “to take the other side of this case.” Kennedy, like the more conservative-leaning justices on the court, said he found it “very troubling” that the president would continue to enforce a law that he considers unconstitutional. That appears to be a straw-man argument, as it seems unlikely the court would concede its power of judicial review to the executive branch. But it follows in a line of questions about whether the U.S. government had any need to appeal the Second Circuit decision: that DOMA is unconstitutional. To have an appeal properly before the court, the appealing party must show it is injured by the decision and that there is adversity between the party and the decision. In other words, a party who wins a court decision below has no need to appeal it. And the Obama administration agrees that DOMA is unconstitutional. Kennedy did, however, say it “seems” to him “there’s an injury here.” Justice Kagan identified the injury as a loss of the $363,000 plaintiff Edith Windsor paid to the government in estate taxes after her spouse died. “If the Court dismisses Windsor on standing grounds, it is
harder to know exactly what that will mean,” Chermerinsky said in his March 28 essay at scotusblog.com. “Ms. Windsor will prevail and not have to pay the estate tax owed after her spouse’s death,” Chermerinsky said. “But this would not strike down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act. All other same-sex married couples seeking benefits under federal law would need to bring an action. President Obama, however, could cure this by changing his policy that the federal government will enforce, but not defend, DOMA. He could, and should, issue an executive order that DOMA is unconstitutional and the executive branch may not and will not enforce it.” During oral argument on the DOMA case, Kennedy posed seven questions concerning the constitutionality of the law, five of them to BLAG attorney Paul Clement. Kennedy seemed to accept that the federal government might have occasional need to set a federal standard regarding marriage, for instance, to prevent couples from divorcing at the end of every tax year to reduce their tax bite. But he seemed uneasy with BLAG’s argument that “uniformity” was the overriding need for a definition of marriage that would exclude one group of married couples in more than 1,100 federal laws and regulations. “When it has 1,100 laws, which in our society means that the federal government is intertwined with the citizens’ day-to-day life, you are at real risk of running in conflict with what has always been thought to be the essence of the state police power, which is to regulate marriage, divorce and custody,” Kennedy said. “It’s not really uniformity,” he added later, “because it regulates only one aspect of marriage.” And DOMA does not, as Clement suggested, help the states, Kennedy said, because it contradicts
states that have decided marriage for same-sex couples should be treated the same as marriage for male-female couples. “We’re helping the states if they do what we want them to,” quipped Kennedy, and that, he said, is “not consistent with the historic commitment” of having states regulating marriage and the rights of children. Kennedy dismissed Clement’s claim that Congress, in passing DOMA, was “trying to promote democratic self-governance,” noting that DOMA “applies to states where the voters” have chosen marriage equality. And that, said Kennedy, is “a DOMA problem.” Kennedy resisted efforts to consider the DOMA problem asserted by Solicitor General Donald Verrilli and Windsor attorney Roberta Kaplan: that DOMA violates the equal protection clause of the constitution. Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe, who argued against sodomy laws in the Bowers v. Hardwick case in 1986, said, “I am cautiously optimistic that a majority of the justices will reach the merits in the Windsor case and will strike down Section 3 of DOMA, with the four more liberal justices relying principally on an equal protection analysis and with Justice Kennedy relying principally on federalism principles.” If the court does reach the constitutional merits of DOMA, it appears a 5 to 4 majority will find DOMA unconstitutional but that only four of those five will say it also violates equal protection. That could mean Kennedy would be the likely author – for the third time since the 1996 Romer decision – to write a major pro-gay decision for the Supreme Court. When might all the possible outcomes be known? Even while predicting an outcome, nearly every Supreme Court watcher will acknowledge that outcomes are hard to predict when based on oral argument questions asked by the justices. If the court finds a problem with legal standing or jurisdiction on either of these cases, it will likely issue that decision in the near future. Discussions of legal standing do not generally require a great deal of rumination. If it decides on the merits, the decision or decisions will most likely come out – as they have with past major gay-related opinions – in the final week of the session, the last week in June. Editor’s note: Lisa Keen is a renowned international journalist reporting on issues pertinent to the LGBT community, who was granted a select seat inside the courtroom for the March 26 and 27 Supreme Court hearings. This is the fifth in a multiple-part series called History in the High Court.t
GAY SAN DIEGO April 19–May 2, 2013
GAY NEWS BRIEFS SOUTH BAY PRIDE MEETS MARCH FUNDRAISING GOAL; NEXT EVENT SCHEDULED MAY 4 After successfully meeting their fundraising goals for March, South Bay Alliance has organized a fundraising event scheduled for May 4 at the Bamboo Lounge, located at 1475 University Ave. in Hillcrest. Organizers of the South Bay Pride Art & Music Festival are inviting the community to a karaoke event with artist and entertainer Laura Jane from 2 – 5 p.m., followed by a performance by Laura Jane from 7 – 10 p.m. South Bay Alliance is currently raising funds to support the Pride festival, to take place September 14 from noon – 5 p.m. at Bayfront Park in Chula Vista, and Laura Jane is organizing entertainment for the event. “South Bay Pride is a free event to the public supported by sponsorships, donations and its vendors and exhibitors. We’ve met our initial fundraising goal for the month of March, and hope to build on that momentum during the upcoming months,” said Dae Elliott, South Bay Alliance chair and founding co-member. The March 16 fundraising event was held at Numbers Nightclub, where the San Diego Kings Club performed. Sister Ida Know and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence helped at the March event as well. Tickets for the May 4 event are $10. For more information visit southbaypride.org. DWAYNE CRENSHAW GAINS ENDORSEMENTS FROM PRIMARY OPPONENTS The campaign for City Council candidate Dwayne Crenshaw announced Wednesday, April 17 that Crenshaw had gained the endorsement of five primary-election candidates not in the runoff election. In a special election held March 26, Crenshaw and 8 other candidates ran for the vacant District Four Council seat, with Crenshaw and Myrtle Cole gaining enough votes to move to a second election. Crenshaw gained the endorsement of Blanca Lopez-Brown, Barry Pollard, Sandy Spackman, Tony Villafranca and Bruce Williams, the announcement stated. “I am excited to have received the endorsements of these important community leaders,” Crenshaw said in the release. “During the primary, I was impressed by their shared passion for the neighborhoods of District Four and common commitment to creating good jobs, quality schools and safe streets. … I look forward to working with them.” Born and raised in the
Kasi at 3805 Fifth Ave. in Hillcrest held their grand opening celebration March 30. A packed house, including co-owner Rajiv Chopra, Big Mike Phillips, Frank Lechner, Sally Hall and Council President Todd Gloria, enjoyed authentic Indian dishes from the restaurant’s menu, like tikka masala, saag and aloo gobi. For more information on Kasi call 619-295-8555. (Courtesy Rajiv Chopra) Fourth District, Crenshaw is running for the Council after two previous attempts. Cole led the March election with 32 percent of the vote, with Crenshaw receiving 15 percent. With the five endorsements, Crenshaw’s campaign said he would have garnered 7,434 votes, or roughly 56 percent of the votes cast. The runoff election is May 21. EQCA OPENS GOOD NEIGHBOR AWARD NOMINATIONS Equality California (EQCA) in partnership with State Farm Insurance, will be taking nominations for the State Farm Good Neighbor Award until May 3 to recognize leaders who are working to make a difference in the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in our local community. There will be a kickoff cocktail party and meet and greet with the new EQCA executive director, John O’Connor, on Sunday, April 21 at the home of Randy Clark and Tom Maddox in La Jolla, Calif. The winner of the State Farm Good Neighbor Award will be announced at the 2013 San Diego Equality Awards, held June 1 at The Prado at Balboa Park. Community members are encouraged to make their nominations with an opportunity to win tickets to attend and watch their nominee receive the award. For more information and to nominate an individual visit eqca.org/SD. To RSVP for the kickoff party or for questions, contact Jack Lorenz at email@example.com. CALIFORNIA DEMOCRATIC PARTY ENDORSES LORENA GONZALEZ The California Democratic Party announced their endorsement of Lorena Gonzalez at the 2013 California Democratic Party State Convention held in Sacramento, Calif. Party delegates in the 80th Assembly district announced the endorsement of the Democrat after a unanimous vote. “California needs more women in the state legislature, and who better than Lorena Gonzalez – a woman who has dedicated her life to advo-
cating for more jobs, better jobs and a stronger middle class,” said John Burton, California Democratic Party chair. Several Democratic Party clubs in the district, Mayor Bob Filner and other elected Democrat officials have previously endorsed Gonzalez. The 80th Assembly special election is scheduled for May 21. GAY MEN’S CHORUS SELLS OUT ELTON JOHN TRIBUTE SHOW The San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus sold out their two performances of “Rocket Man – The Music of Elton John,” marking a record weekend for the choral group. The production took place at the Birch North Park Theatre April 13 and Sunday, April 14. “We had an amazing Elton John show. The crowd response was through the roof,” said Membership Director Joe Gregore in a press release. The next production for the 150-member group is the summer show “Feelin’ Groovy – Songs from the ‘60s” and Gregore is inviting interested individuals to participate. “We’re now incredibly excited to start on our next show, and we’re looking for singers and volunteers to join us,” he said. The group is hosting an information session Monday, April 22 at 7 p.m. at the University Christian Church, located at 3900 Cleveland Ave. Additionally, auditions for potential singing members are Tuesday, April 23 at 7 p.m. and April 28 at 2 p.m. Auditions will also be held at the church. Gregore is asking for pre-registration by completing an application at the group’s website: sdgmc.org. For more information call 877-296-7664. PRIDE ADVISORY COUNCIL SEEKS NEW MEMBERS The San Diego LGBT Pride Community Advisory Council, created in 2012 to provide a forum for the local community to give input and recommendations on matters relating to Pride Festivities, is seeking new members. Members of the Council are meant to reflect the diversity of San Diego County and will
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be recommended to the SD Pride board of directors by a majority vote of existing Council members. Current members of the Council include Chair Brooke Sullivan, acting Secretary John Keasler, Mona Berrelleza, Lisa Kove, Augustin Orozco, Angela Van Ostman and Charles W. Patmon Jr. For more information and to download the application visit sdpride.org/PCAC. FILMOUT 15TH ANNUAL LGBT FILM FESTIVAL SCHEDULED Just announced, the 15th annual LGBT Film Festival will showcase more than 35 films during the fiveday festival at the Birch North Park Theatre from May 29 to June 2. Sixteen films will have their premiere with FilmOut San Diego – including the world premiere of Wes Culwell’s “For Rent” and the United States premiere of Victor Lindgren’s “Undress Me” – along with award-winning films from both the Sundance and Berlin film festivals. There will be question and answer sessions with filmmakers and talent from more than half of the films after each film’s
respective screening, organizers said. The opening night-film, Darren Stein’s “G.B.F. (Gay Best Friend),” will screen before the opening party at Claire de Lune’s Sunset Temple Ballroom. The closing-night party will take place at the West Coast Tavern after the screening of Jeffrey Schwarz’s “I am Divine” and posthumous award presentation to honor the late Divine (Harris Glenn Milstead). Tickets and show times are available at filmoutsandiego.com. FASHION WEEK SAN DIEGO 2013 LINEUP RELEASED Fashion Week San Diego (FWSD) announced 26 designers for their 2013 event that will take place Sept. 30 to Oct. 6 in the Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier. Four designers from FWSD 2012 – A’Doreus, Dos Caras Swimwear, nOia by Evelyne and SYC Collection – will rejoin the runway show for 2013. FWSD is a collaborative entertainment fashion event that celebrates emerging designers by
see Briefs, pg 6
GAY SAN DIEGO April 19–May 2, 2013
gay-sd.com FROM PAGE 5
showcasing and highlighting their work. There will be a kickoff for sponsors and designers at Rappongi Restaurant & Sushi Bar in La Jolla on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1. Additional designers for Fashion Week 2013 are: Ashley Raymond, C Venti, CG by Cynthia, Danh Ta, Diestra, Greenpatcha, Isabel Vianey, Johnathan Joesef Garment Company, Collections of Kathryn Elizabeth, Keisha Audrey, Laced with B, ‘Love, Charles’, Mahogany Blues, Maegan Stracy, Makeshift Apparel, Maralonzo, RHCREATION, Second Star Designs, VICTROLA, Wishnow, WM Couture Designs and Yuwei Designs. INAUGURAL TRANS 100 LIST ANNOUNCED We Happy Trans, in partnership with This is H.O.W., have announced their list of 100 trans artists, activists, celebrities and other trans pioneers that have been a part of groundbreaking work for the betterment of the transgender community across the United States. Jen Richards, founder of the website and Antonia D’orsay, executive director of This is H.O.W., launched the project and received more than 500 nominations in December 2012. The Trans 100 launch event was held in Chicago March 9. “The value of the work that is represented by the 100 people on this list is immeasurable,” D’orsay said in a press release. “These people demonstrate the diversity, the determination and the incredible triumph of spirit that informs all trans people, no matter where they are. This is just a glimpse of what trans people can accomplish.” For the full Trans 100 list visit wehappytrans.com.
Not blind to other social injustices While I don’t think that we should focus exclusively on marriage I think that progress on the marriage equality front will spill over to other areas of LGBT acceptance [see “One piece of the Puzzle,” Vol. 4, Issue 7]. Marriage equality, along with the repeal of DADT, should make us more mainstream and help with other issues that we face, including LGBT youth homelessness and suicide. Regarding Anne Moody’s work,
working on voting rights helped African-Americans increase their political clout, which is a huge step toward addressing … other problems. It shouldn’t be one or the other. Both sides of these issues need to be addressed simultaneously. I just hope that after LGBT folks overcome our oppression that we don’t become blind to other aspects of social justice. —JF Brady via gay-sd.comt
SOUTH PARK WATER HARVESTING BIKE TOUR DATES SET The San Diego Sustainable Living Institute will host a waterharvesting bicycle tour, showcasing rainwater and greywater harvesting sites from North Park to South Park. Starting at Olive Branch Green Building Supply, located at 3030 North Park Way, Institute members will lead the group by focusing on locations that are currently harvesting rainwater in tanks and barrels, or harvesting greywater to irrigate their yards. “Participants will see over seven unique households showcasing both professional and do-it-yourself applications of rainwater and greywater harvesting,” organizers said in a release. There will be water harvesting professionals on hand and the tour will culminate with a workshop showing people how to install greywater systems. “Rainwater and greywater systems are an effective and cost-efficient way to save water,” organizers said. “Simple greywater systems can be installed for under $200 and can save a family 16,000 gallons of water a year.” Held Saturday, April 20, the bicycle tour is from 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. followed by the workshop from 2 – 5 p.m. For more information visit sdsustainable.org or call 619-884-7749.t
The godfather of LGBT marriage equality By Mark Segal Everyone is predicting how the U.S. Supreme Court will rule on marriage equality. Let me give you my prediction. We already won, no matter which way they rule of the some 200-plus possible rulings. Want proof the battle’s over? It’s easy to supply. If Prop. 8 was before the voters of California today or before the state legislature, we’d win. If DOMA was in Congress today, it wouldn’t make it to the president’s desk and, if somehow it did, unlike President Bill Clinton, the current president wouldn’t sign it. Those two days of hearings on marriage equality had some LGBT activists so enthused with premonitions of victory that they were already handing out credit for victory – should it go to Evan Wolfson, Andrew Sullivan or even actor Rob Reiner? The answer is, none of the above. Each of them has added something to the battle, and each is an incredible asset to our community. But none has much of a history in the war to achieve marriage equality. Yet if I had to vote for one of the three, it would be for Reiner, for three reasons. He really gets what this war is about. Two, he has worked PUBLISHER David Mannis (619) 961-1951 firstname.lastname@example.org
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Belem Hererra (619) 961-1963 email@example.com Kyle Renwick (619) 961-1957 firstname.lastname@example.org
ACCOUNTING Denise Davidson (619) 961-1962 email@example.com
to get this issue before the public in California, so that even if the Supreme Court sends the case back to the state, marriage equality will be a fact in California. And third, he’s a gay ally, and one we should all be proud to have speak for us, similar to those non-African-Americans who spoke up during the fight alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., John Lewis and others of the NAACP and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. But there’s someone to whom even Reiner has to take a back seat. The Rev. Troy Perry, founder of Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) has been called “the godfather of gay marriage.” Talking about the battle for or the history of marriage equality without mentioning Perry is like talking about the history of women’s rights without mentioning Gloria Steinem, Susan B. Anthony or even Emma Goldman. Perry literally has fought this battle longer and harder than anyone. Starting in 1970, across the country from one city to another, he applied for marriage licenses for the members of his church and, even under the threat of arrest, performed commitment ceremonies for same-sex couples. Most of that time, members of the LGBT community looked the other way, thinking it a fool’s mission. He and his church were ridiculed by members of our own SALES ASSISTANTS Charlie Bryan Baterina Andrea Goodchild Marie Khris Pecjo CONTRIBUTORS Allan Acevedo Chris Azzopardi Blake Beckcom Gwen Beckcom Logan Broyles Ben Cartwright Max Disposti Dae Elliott Lisa Keen Michael Kimmel Cuauhtémoc Kish Paul McGuire Ian Morton Jeff Praught Caleb Rainey Frank Sabatini Jr. Anulak Singphiphat Romeo San Vicente
OPINIONS/LETTERS Gay San Diego encourages letters to the editor and guest editorials. Please email both to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include phone number and address for verification. We reserve the right to edit letters and editorials for brevity and accuracy. Letters should be no longer than 350 words in length unless approved by staff editors. Letters and guest editorials do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or staff. SUBMISSIONS/NEWS TIPS Press releases and story ideas are welcome. Send press releases, tips, photos or story ideas to email@example.com. For breaking news and investigative story ideas contact the editor by phone or email. DISTRIBUTION GAY San Diego is distributed free, biweekly, every other Friday. COPYRIGHT 2013. All rights are reserved.
community. Most of the first same-sex marriage applications filed in states and cities around the country came from MCC. But Troy didn’t leave it there: he practiced what he preached. After getting legally married in Canada to Phillip Ray De Blieck, he sued the state of California to recognize his marriage. His co-plaintiffs were fellow longtime LGBT marriage activists Robin Tyler and Diane Olson. That case literally set up the marriage-equality issue in California and made other activists realize this issue was real. When the U.S. Supreme Court rules, it will be due to the diligence of the Rev. Troy Perry, who has fought the court as well as his own community on this issue for more than 40 years. In 1969, Perry held a meeting to organize his church in New York. That meeting was picketed by members of Gay Liberation Front and Gay Youth since in the spirit of the day it was felt that we didn’t need a gay religion, as religion was responsible for most of the problems LGBT people faced. Troy came out and spoke with several of the picketers and explained that there were many people out there who were believers in God and, while you might not win them to your cause, he could help them and bring them forward. I was one of those picketers, and Troy and I have been friends since. —Mark Segal, Philadelphia Gay News publisher, is the nation’s most award-winning commentator in LGBT media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
GAY SAN DIEGO 3737 Fifth Ave. Suite 201 San Diego, CA 92103 (619) 519-7775 www.gay-sd.com
Business Improvement Association
Why I am a Democrat
A L L A N AC E V E D O
Having just returned from the annual California Democratic Party convention in Sacramento, Calif., I had the opportunity to reflect on the many achievements of Democrats and also celebrate many new victories, not just as Democrats, but as members of the LGBT community. This weekend underscored for me why I am a Democrat and why I fight for the party that has fought for me. I want to be clear that I am not a Democrat because I believe 100 percent with the Democratic Party platform. I am also not a Democrat because I like every Democrat in public office. I am a democrat because I see who has been there to fight for the issues most important to me. Democrats have championed issues ranging from women’s right to vote, environmental protection, marriage equality, immigration reform, Social Security, Medicare, the New Deal, the Voting Rights
Act, the GI Bill, Peace Corps, the eight-hour workday, unemployment and consumer protection. Democrats are not a monolithic group with one viewpoint. Democrats represent a spectrum of policy and political preferences that are most closely in line with my own beliefs. I support this party because it has supported me. There is strength in numbers and strength in unity. As a gay man, I know democrats have been the most outspoken in fighting for not only marriage equality, but also a whole spectrum of issues impacting the LGBT community. More importantly, the Democratic Party has made room at the table for our community. From electing Sen. Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin to electing Assemblymember John Perez as speaker of the California State Assembly, the Democratic Party has embraced LGBT leaders in the party in a way that is not true for the Republican Party. I could also not be more proud of the fact that the California Young Democrats this weekend elected their first openly gay president, John Vigna. Vigna is a member of the Sacramento County Young Democrats. I am also proud to have been elected as secretary of this organization, and to serve along Petaluma City Councilmember Gabe Kearney, an openly gay elected official who was re-elected parliamentarian. Within the leadership pipeline of the Democratic Party there are LGBTs, HIV-positive people, women and immigrants. Registering as Democrat is the only option for me. It is not choosing the lesser of two evils; it’s investing the time in learning what
their issues are and what they have done to improve your shot at the American dream. I am proud of the many accomplishments and opportunities I have been afforded at the age of 24, and know that many of the doors opened to me – including a college education and now an opportunity to pursue law school – would not have been possible without the work of the Democratic Party. I know that it was State Sen. Sheila Kuehl, a Democrat, who authored the Student Safety and Violence Prevention Act in 2000 that made it illegal to bully or harass students because of their sexual orientation. I know when I came out in middle school that I had resources and protection when students tried to bully me. I went to high school in a safe learning environment and was able to do well enough to get into college. And today I know that it is the Democratic Party leading the charge on marriage equality. I know one day when I meet the man I want to marry that dream can be a reality because of the advocacy of Democrats. As California makes it easier for people to register to vote, and as young people especially consider for which party to register, I hope you consider who has fought for you in the past and where you can now fight for the people and issues important to you. —Allan Acevedo is co-founder and president emeritus of Stonewall Young Democrats of San Diego. He is the current secretary of the California Young Democrats, and has worked on multiple political campaigns and served on numerous other boards including the San Diego Democratic Club, Gay-Straight Alliant Network and Equality California PAC. Follow @allanacevedo on Twitter.t
GAY SAN DIEGO April 19–May 2, 2013
Heart in the Community, Eyes on Equality our diversity while affirming our differences. It is creating political power and representation so that our voices can be heard everywhere. It is giving an opportunity to our creativity to express itself through the arts and culture, while engaging in equality and acceptance for all. Finally, it means love for ourselves and the communities we live in. This year’s gala theme “Hearts in the Community, Eyes on Equality” connects us with the rest of the nation. We are inspired by the incredible changes that are happening all around us, but we are also in tune with our community and the incredible work that is still ahead of us. For those of you that live in San Diego we ask for your support. Come to our gala with your families and friends and support visibility where it is needed the most. And if you are not able to make it, please consider a contribution of any kind to support our North County work and presence. With San Diego County Supervisor Dave Roberts as keynote speaker and the annual recognition of our community leaders, you are all invited for an evening of arts, entertainment and dancing. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit ncreosourcecenter.org.
NORTH COUNTY UPDATE
On May 18 at the Oceanside Museum of Art, the North County LGBTQ Resource Center will hold its third annual fundraiser. In three years we have planned and worked, demonstrated and organized, and hoped and struggled to create the conditions for a safe place in North County that anyone can use. Every year, the gala has made an extraordinary difference in our lives. It first allowed us to open our Resource Center, and then helped us to implement services that we now provide for thousands of people. Last year, the gala made it possible to establish even more presence and visibility beyond the city of Oceanside. But we need more. What we need is a community. From Oceanside to Escondido and Fallbrook to Solana Beach, our thousands of LGBT families and individuals need a place they can rely on. Community means expressing
—Max Disposti is the founder and executive director of the North County LGBT Resource Center, a human rights activist, a community organizer and, in his spare time, a real estate broker. He has also served on Oceanside’s Community Relations Commission for several years. He can be reached at email@example.com
Are you following us on… Search for…
PASSION OF CRIME Across 1 Sarandon’s partner in “Thelma & Louise” 6 Neuwirth of “Chicago” 10 Court order 14 Bridge call, informally 15 Like a meticulous bottom? 16 Have ___ to grind 17 Serial killer on 26-Across 19 Baby’s dusting 20 Not oral 21 Man-to-man, to Sue Wicks 23 Bone to pick 25 Rupert Everett’s “An ___ Husband” 26 Fox crime drama 32 DJ’s creation 33 Event for George Frenn 34 Down in the mouth 37 Shakespeare’s foot 38 Detective Ryan of 26-Across 40 Remarkable item
41 Cross-dresser’s cup pair 42 Oz visitor Dorothy 43 On top 44 Actor who plays 17-Across 47 Seat at the Stonewall Inn 50 Strip in the locker room 51 Device used to determine orientation? 54 Flips out 59 It comes at the bottom of a list 60 Actor who plays 38-Across 62 Old fruit drink 63 Hacker’s cry 64 Words from an emcee 65 Govt. investigator 66 Emulate Rufus Wainwright 67 Cuts “Leaves of Grass”? Down 1 School for martial arts 2 At once, to Byron 3 Lincoln’s Johnson
Passion of Crime solution on page 15 4 Pre-Columbian Peruvian 5 TV when you’re watching “Desperate Housewives”? 6 Bunghole’s place 7 Rocker Brian 8 Smooth on top 9 Pronoun for Proust 10 Like “Beauty and the Beast” 11 Cockamamie 12 Latin music 13 Do a bang-up job 18 Rod attachment 22 Like some print 24 Tom Hanks’ Gump 26 Chi paper 27 Get wind of 28 Oscar winner Thompson 29 White lie 30 What a guy may shoot 31 Like treacherous winter roads 34 Foam at South Beach
35 On top of that 36 Moral obligation 38 Show-off on the stage 39 Maugham’s “Cakes and ___” 40 Become prone 42 The Oscars, e.g. 43 It’s comped 44 Bi singer Janis 45 Alerting electronically 46 Second word of a fairy tale 47 Pumbaa’s problem, in “The Lion King” 48 Family figure 49 Largest cornhusker city 52 Dashes through the snow 53 Interstate rumbler 55 Material for Sylvia Beach? 56 Beginning of “Wicked” 57 Left to pirates 58 Biblical patriarch 61 What fifty million Frenchmen drink
GAY SAN DIEGO April 19–May 2, 2013
What is therapy and why would I want it?
LIFE BEYOND THERAPY When I was a kid in small-town Ohio, my grandma told me, “Only crazy people go to therapy. Don’t be crazy.” End of advice. This is a typical response to therapy for some folks. We think that we should be able to handle our own problems without much help and, if we don’t, we’re weak. If only life were that simple. I didn’t start off wanting to be a therapist. I wanted to design cars. Then I wanted to be a musician. Therapist was far from my first choice of career, and way below rock star. Yet at this point in time, I am so glad it’s become my life work. Here’s why: I get to listen to and talk with people, and help them figure out how to change their lives, face their challenges and share their triumphs. I don’t give advice. I am a resource, not a fountain of wisdom. What I aspire to be is a personal trainer for your mind. At my gym, when you hit a plateau and
can’t move past, you get help from a trainer who can observe you, make suggestions and help change your routine. Therapists aren’t so different. I help people who have hit plateaus and feel stuck. I support people who want to fine-tune their lives to get the old, interfering shit out of the way. And if you’ve had a really rough life or childhood, I can help you recover your confidence again and let go of the old belief systems that keep you bored and unhappy. I would never have become a therapist had I not had really good therapy of my own. When I first realized in college that a therapist could help me with my emotional baggage, I entertained the idea that maybe I could do this for others. Becoming a therapist is a long, tough road: it takes a minimum of six years of college, two more years of supervised hours and then two intense exams to make sure you’ve got the basics. Being a great therapist, however, is more about learning from your life experiences than what you studied in therapist school. In my experience, the best therapists are in their 60s and 70s. These folks have a lot of wisdom, have been through a lot themselves and worked with hundreds of clients. They are wise, experienced and calm. I am going to be 60 in June, so I am just beginning my best years as a therapist. I love the work I do. Really. It makes me high. Some of my favorite things to assist clients with are internalized homophobia and coming out issues, how to thrive in the LGBT world, anxiety,
depression, grief, sexual health and intimacy, relationships, recovery, self esteem and body issues, transitions, dealing with emotions like anger, fear and jealousy, and finding purpose in your life. As your psychotherapist, I will encourage you to talk about what’s troubling you. Don’t worry if initially you find it hard to open up about your feelings. My job is to help you do that. Our work together may involve intense emotional discussions: you may find yourself crying, upset or even having an angry outburst during a session. I am there to support you through this so you can learn from it and use it to change your life. As a client, I give you “homework” activities or practices that build on what you learn during your therapy sessions. Homework speeds up the change process considerably. Many research studies have found that therapy helps improve your mood, change the way you think and feel about yourself, and improve your ability to cope with problems. If I could talk with my grandma now – she died about 20 years ago – I’d tell her, “Grandma, smart people with problems go to therapy. Why suffer?” —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
Establishing a landscape of equality: Equality California
I A N M O RTO N
PROFILES IN ADVOCACY The end of March brought with it a Facebook covered with variations on the Human Rights Campaign logo as the Supreme Court prepared to launch into their monumental decisions over the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8. Rallies and debates ensued on both sides of marriage equality, and now we wait to see how the Court will choose to treat our LGBTQ brothers and sisters. For 10 years, Equality California (EQCA) has been a leader in “building a state of equality” in California. With initiatives that include political action and lobbying, public education and legal advocacy for the LGBT community, they work tirelessly to secure equal rights across the board for all. With the question of marriage and relationships so present in our minds, it is important to note EQCA has sponsored many pieces of legislation that erode the barriers to relationship equality. Just viewing the issues regarding domestic partnerships including benefits and taxes, makes one realize how many components must be addressed for the creation of a separate but equal state. Until we see actual marriage equality, it is a daunting task to fight for the over 1,000 inequalities that currently exist. To this end, EQCA is committed to leveraging actual grassroots efforts of volunteerism and social media to sensitively and sensibly combat the opponents of equality. Realizing that each dollar must be effectively spent, their 2012 plan of action shows strategic networking and team building in the major California bastions of support. These efforts, in addition to the 2010 election of a significant number of pro-equality candidates, have set the state of California up for greater equality in the near future. Realizing that marriages have repercussions beyond the spouses directly involved, EQCA also puts a sharp focus on gaps in equality for the full family unit.
For example, they were sponsors of the Protection of Parent-Child Relationship Act, which advocates for the recognition and rights of the parent who has been active in raising the child as well as one who has a biological claim. The recognition of an aging LGBT population is a key initiative as well. For me, being of a generation where I have experienced less overt discrimination, it is important to remember that not all previous generations have the luxury of acceptance among their peers or legal protections. EQCA has been instrumental in pushing many pieces of legislation dealing with deceased-partner estates laws, LGBT training for retirement facilities, and equal taxation and protection for surviving domestic partners. On the other end of the spectrum are issues that affect the wellbeing of LGBTQ youth and those organizations that seek to discriminate against them. Currently, EQCA is sponsoring The Youth Equality Act (SB 323), a bill designed to cut out special tax exemptions for programs and agencies that practice exclusion based on sexual orientation, gender identity or religious affiliation. This is especially timely, in light of the focus placed on the Boy Scouts of America policies. In a press release regarding this bill, EQCA Executive Director John O’Connor said, “We’re thrilled to see even more legislators and organizations embracing a vision of full equality for youth groups and, in doing so, sending a message to the Boy Scouts and others that discrimination has a real cost.” Arguably one of the most marginalized populations, transgendered individuals can also find an ally in EQCA. The group supports legislation that deals with name change and birth certificate documentation, as well as lobbies for gender identity and expression to be official protected categories in non-discrimination laws. The EQCA website is also rich with resources that span beyond their legislative efforts. As easy as it may be to become focused on one aspect of social justice, EQCA truly shows how all of the pieces fit together to create a true “landscape of equality.” For more information visit eqca.org. —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
gay-sd.com Blueberry pancakes (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.)
The pride of
Ocean Beach DINING WITH
FRANK SABATINI JR. 5083 Santa Monica Ave. (Ocean Beach) 619-222-0501
Prices: Breakfast, $3.45 to $11.95; lunch, $5.95 to $9.95; dinner, $8.95 to $17.95
It isn’t too difficult finding a solid breakfast along Newport Avenue in Ocean Beach. But landing upon an eatery displaying a sizable Pride Flag in the window is rare, if not impossible, unless you mosey to the end of the street and curve right to Shades Oceanfront Bistro. The casual 10-year-old restaurant is family-owned and sits in eyeshot of the Ocean Beach Pier. Every seat in the house affords a view of the Pacific Ocean, and the patronage is as assorted as the meals. Breakfast fare is above-board with big lines on the weekends attesting to the fact. Lunch features a hodgepodge of dishes with virtuous names, such as the “wisdom” veggie panini with chevre cheese and the “confidence” turkey sandwich with smoked Gouda. From the flatbread pizza category, the “security” is mantled with numerous curds in a showdown that includes Gouda, blue cheese and Parmesan folded into a five-cheese blend. Dinners ambitiously run the gamut, from filet mignon and cranberry-brandy chicken to hickorysmoked ribs and spaghetti squash with Portobello mushrooms. After sampling from all of the menus, I prefer Shades for a sunny breakfast. “This is the best egg dish I’ve ever had in the U.S.,” said a German visitor in our group, of his artichoke-asparagus scramble laced with a little cream cheese. The creamy refried beans that came with the dish, along with those on my plate of chilaquiles stacked with eggs and cotija cheese, were also commendable. Not surprising since our waitress revealed they’re made “the old-fashion way” with good ole bacon grease. A strawberry smoothie that doesn’t profess to be organic appealed to the inner-child within us while passing it around. It’s made diner-style with vanilla-flavored sugar powder, commercial strawberry puree and milk: less caloric than a milkshake, but as equally coddling. Pancakes also dodge macrobiotic standards, should you prefer the whole-grain type. These are made unapologetically with buttermilk batter, which puff to a sizable girth while effectively soaking in the butter and syrup with their cake-like texture. Conversely, the blueberries appearing on top and within were fresh and whole, an indicator of the restaurant reportedly transitioning into a more natural approach with certain dishes, such as homemade meatballs that our waitress said were being taste-tested in
the kitchen the morning of our visit. Breakfast is served daily until 2 p.m., overlapping lunch service that starts at 11:30 a.m. For late sleepers uninterested in omelets and toast, midday grounding is achieved with a “clarity” salad loaded with strawberries, spring lettuces and other organics. Or the preferred elixir for a pounding hangover in these necks is the Angus “bonfire burger” with barbecue sauce, bacon, onions and blue cheese. Yes, it works. A majority of meals throughout the day feature “mini” sizes, which are reasonably substantial and cost about 15 percent less. The option applies even to dishes that you don’t normally see punched down, like eggs benedict, fish-n-chips and Greek-inspired yemista, a red pepper stuffed with quinoa and veggies. As Shades veers subtly away from pre-manufactured ingredients and keeps its LGBT welcome mat prominently displayed near the entrance, a new upstairs tenant called Wonderland Ocean Pub is about to move in. The pub, which replaces Nick’s at the Pier, is themed after San Diego’s first amusement park that opened in this locale on July 4, 1913, reminding us that Ocean Beach is a playful community with some decent places to grab a casual meal.t
Chilaquiles with chipotle-chili sauce
(Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.)
Cathedral City Boys Club (CCBC) 68300 Gay Resort Dr., Palm Springs, CA 92234 760-861-2932 ccbcps.com Robby Mendez’s Underwear Party started more than three years ago with only two guests, and since then, attendance has grown to at least 200 guests at each event. The now infamous underwear party began back then as a private event, but Robby could not fit more than 80 guys in his apartment, so he decided to take it to the next level and make it open to the public (no girls, however). Now guys can’t stop talking about these parties. Ask anyone who has attended a Robby Mendez Underwear Party and they will tell you he hosts one of the best underwear parties in all California. If you don’t believe it, then check out his first two pool parties of 2013 –on May 4 & 5 – at CCBC, the largest clothing-optional gay resort in Palm Springs, Calif. For more information, please visit RobbyMendez.com or ccbcps.com
GAY SAN DIEGO April 19–May 2, 2013
10 GAY SAN DIEGO April 19–May 2, 2013
Friday, April 19
ALL MY SONS: Community Actors Theatre’s production of Arthur Miller’s WWII drama “All My Sons” opens tonight and runs through May 5, with shows Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. The theater is located at 2957 54th St. and tickets range from $14 - $16. For tickets and information visit communityactorstheatre.com or call 619-264-3391.
Saturday, April 20
TASTE OF HILLCREST: Fabulous Hillcrest has given you a challenge. Come to the Taste of Hillcrest and see how many different tastes you can savor from noon – 4 p.m. Be careful, there are over 50 restaurants participating, as well as local breweries: a first for the annual event. Crest Cafe is back and new restaurants are joining in the fun as well. There will be trolley service too, so really there is no reason to not get your tickets ($30 advance, $35 the day of) at fabuloushillcrest. com or by calling 619-299-3330. Willcall stations today are at The Range, 1220 University Ave., and at the intersection of Fifth and Robinson avenues. 1202 GRAND OPENING: Don’t worry if you missed out on last night’s invite-only grand opening celebration, 1202 would not leave you out of their big weekend. Tonight’s special event is open to all and features DJ Dawna Montell and the launch of Svedka Vodka’s new flavors. There’s a hosted bar from 9 – 10 with Facebook or Foursquare check-in, and text 1202 to 74455 for free entry before 11 p.m. Head to 1202 University Ave. and visit 1202sd.com for more information.
OLD PEOPLE’S GOOGLE: Expressive Arts @32nd and Thorn opens their latest show, “Old People’s Google: The Encyclopedia Project” tonight with a reception from 4 – 8 p.m. The project came about after the arts center received a set of encyclopedias on donation. Owner Tish McAllise then gave part of the collection to over 25 artists to create something out of the relics, and they have now been repurposed into art. After tonight’s opening, the exhibit can be seen during open hours at the studio, located at 3201 Thorn St. For more information visit expressiveartssandiego.com.
Sunday, April 21
CELEBRATE ISRAEL: Join the Jewish Federation of San Diego County as they host their annual event to celebrate Israel, now in its 65th year of existence as an official nation. Called Yom Ha’atzmaut, the event is held at the Nobel Athletic Field in University Towne Center and kicks off with a Friendship Walk at 9 a.m. to benefit children with special needs in San Diego and Israel. Following, the free event will feature a hummus cook-off, live entertainment, folk dancing, a circus, sports, arts and crafts, and programs for teens and children. Fore more information visit sdcelebratesisrael.org or call 858-571-3444. EAR TH DAY: Balboa Park is the place to be for Earth Day, as San Diego EarthWorks hosts the premier event – their 24th – in the heart of the park from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Approximately 50,000 people are expected for this year’s EarthFair, including information on just about
everything you need to become more environmentally conscious. For more information visit earthdayweb.org. STRIKE STIGMAS: Join the arcHIVe project’s second year for the Strikes Against Stigmas BowlA-Thon, a fundraiser to support the nonprofit, which shares art and stories of people affected by HIV and AIDS. The bowl is from 1 – 4 p.m. with registration at 1 p.m. You can pre-register at strikesagainststigmas.org, and cost is $25 pre-registration or $30 day of the event. The fundraiser happens at Kearny Mesa Bowl, 7585 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. For more information call 619-500-4481.
Monday, April 22
THE FINAL THREE: “RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 5” is down to the final challenge, where the top three queens go to court. Special guest Gloria Allred is host for the TV show, and Mo’s is the place to watch it. Happy hour all night long, red carpet arrivals, surprise hosts and big screen TV’s mean you cannot go wrong. Mo’s is located at 306 University Ave., with the night starting at 9 p.m. For more information visit mosuniverse.com.
Tuesday, April 23
TRIVIA TUESDAY: The Hillcrest Brewing Company just started hosting a Trivia Tuesday night from 7 – 9 p.m. Groups of two, four, six … really, it’s however many you can get on your team, but bring a drinking buddy for the fun. Prizes are given out, too. HBC is located at 1458 University Ave. For more information call 619-269-HEAD or visit hillcrestbrewingcompany.com.
Wednesday, April 24
AGING WITH DIGNITY: The Human Dignity Foundation’s latest Aging with Dignity education seminar is today from noon – 1:30 p.m. Called “How to Plan for Long Term Care Needs While Still Giving to Your Community,” guest speakers are Stella Cruzalegui of Golden Years Home Care and Antonio Bestard of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. Lunch will be provided and take place at the Gordon Biersch Mission Valley, 5010 Mission Center Rd. RSVP by calling 619-291-3383. HBA OPEN HOUSE: The Hillcrest Business Association’s quarterly open house will focus on what kind of neighborhood event we want to see in Hillcrest, and will take place at Jake’s on 6th from 5:30 – 7 p.m. Jake’s is located at 3755 Sixth Ave. For more information call 619-299-3330. ANTONIO BARRAZZA: Join singer Antonio Barrazza and friends at Martinis Above Fourth for tonight’s talent showcase, highlighting up-and-coming singers presenting a contemporary blend of pop songs and Broadway classics. No cover, and MA4 is located at 3940 Fourth Ave. The show starts at 8 p.m. For more information visit martinisabovefourth.com or call 619-400-4500.
Thursday, April 25
CLUB FLICKER: We’ve been hearing good things about this night, so bring your Dining Out For Life crowd to a little party at Flicks: Club Flicker. It happens every Thursday night with no cover, local DJs on the main stage and hot go-go dancers. Did we mention no cover?
Flicks is at 1017 University Ave. and the fun starts at 9 p.m. For more information visit sdflicks. com or call 619-297-2056. LEETAL ELMALEH ART: The Lafayette Hotel and The Surfrider Foundation team up to host international artist Leetal Elmaleh with an event that begins at 7 p.m. Elmaleh’s art and photography will be on display and auctioned off, with 80 percent of proceeds going to the Foundation. The Lafayette is located at 2223 El Cajon Blvd.
Friday, April 26
ARBOR DAY: It’s a HillQuest No-Brainer! Arbor Day in Balboa Park brings together the community and the Friends of Balboa Park to enjoy the site of a new tree grove on Quince Street between Balboa Drive and Sixth Avenue. A tree planting will follow the 10:30 a.m. ceremony that will include Council President Todd Gloria and Assemblymember Toni Atkins. For more information visit hillquest.com. BROWN SUGAR REMIX: The Brass Rail at 3796 Fifth Ave. brings back Brown Sugar: Remix, “strictly the best” of 1990s and 2000s hip-hop. From 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. every fourth Friday (starting tonight) rotating resident DJs Myxzlplix and Hektik will spin; no cover before 10 p.m. and $5 after. For more information visit facebook.com/thebrassrailsd. PRIDE HEADLINER ANNOUNCED: SD Pride will announce their headliner for this year’s festival at 1202 tonight at midnight. Don’t miss out, 1202 is located at 1202 University Ave.
see Calendar, pg 11
GAY SAN DIEGO April 19–May 2, 2013 FROM PAGE 10
CALENDAR Saturday, April 27
OUT AT THE PARK: Former Padres player Billy Bean will join San Diego Pride’s annual Out at the Park event and Tailgate Party, starting at 2:30 p.m. The tailgate party is $10 and will be at the Southeast corner of the tailgate lot near Petco Park. The party is in preparation for the baseball game at 5:40 p.m., with tickets only $15 through SD Pride. For tickets contact Helen@sdpride.org or call 619-297-7683. THE UNKNOWN OPENING: Space 4 Art Open Studios hosts the opening reception of “THE UNKNOWN: Reimagining the Unknown” from 6 – 10 p.m. Six artists will present their work that addresses the occult and the metaphysical. The show will remain up until May 25 and the studio is located at 325 15th St. For more information visit space4art. org or call 619-269-7230.
Sunday, April 28
SPLASH: SDPIX, 1202 and The Range Kitchen & Cocktails bring the latest T-dance, “Splash” to San Diego. It’s Sunday Funday with a whole lot of fun from 4 – 7 p.m. Drinks? $4 all afternoon. Come to 1202 University Ave. For more information visit sdpix.com or call 619906-5555. CANDI KISSES: Hugs from Empress Candi Samples for her birthday event, tonight from 6 – 10 p.m. at Numbers Nightclub, 3811 Park Blvd. Hosted by Erika Odessa and Michael Kaye, there will be a light buffet, raffle, auction and, of course, a show. The $10 donation goes to the Imperial Court de San Diego’s Youth Scholarship Fund. For more information visit empresscandisamples.com.
Monday, April 29
ANTI-MONDAY: We hate Mondays too. Animal Steel, Mad Traffic and Crowds take over the Casbah for Anti-Monday League, with Tim Pyles. Animal Steel is a group of five friends from Chula Vista with a sound that ranges from intense rock and roll to epic ballads. We’ll be there: 2501 Kettner Blvd. Tickets are $5 at the door, which opens at 8:30 p.m. For more information visit casbahmusic. com or call 619-232-4355.
Tuesday, April 30
TURNBACK TUESDAYS: Hosted by Disco Dollie, the Lips Divas take you back to the ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s for Turnback Tuesdays, each week from 7 – 10 p.m. The retro-drag show includes games and contests, drink specials and a no-cover show. Lips is located at 3036 El Cajon Blvd. Reservations are encouraged at lipsusa.com or 619-295-7900.
Wednesday, May 1
LA TERRAZA: It’s Latin night at Bourbon Street (never a cover) with host Alejandra Sandoval, and special performances by Jenny Salinas and Alexa. Guest bartender is Alonzo, and music tonight is by DJ Sebastian La Madrid. The night starts at 10 p.m., 4612 Park Blvd. For more information visit bourbonstreetsd.com or call 619-291-0173.
Thursday, May 2
LESBIAN SPEED DATING: Jake’s on 6th Wine Bar is host to the Cruise Control Lesbian Speed Dating event, with registration at 6:30 p.m. and start at 7 p.m. The event is being staged by the people behind the popular Hot Flash Dances and cost is $20 for pre-registration, $25 for day-of. Jake’s is located at 3755 Sixth Ave. To register, email Pauline@hotflashdances.com or visit hotflashdances.com.t
Cygnet’s ‘Greatest Hits’
Director James Vasquez digs deep for company’s anniversary gala revue April 20 By Anthony King | GSD Editor
Congratulations go to Cygnet Theatre Company, celebrating 10 years Saturday, April 20 with an all-out anniversary gala celebration. The event includes a party and silent auction at the Cosmopolitan Hotel from 5 – 7:30 p.m. followed by a special 10th Anniversary Revue performance at the Old Town Theater, located at 4040 Twiggs St. The one-night only show brings out all the best: a medley of favorite group songs and solos, a photo montage spanning the theater’s first decade – including those early years in Rolando – and performances by Cygnet favorites Sandy Campbell, Manny and Melissa Fernandes, Phil Johnson, Braxton Molinaro, Tom Zohar and, of course, co-founder and Artistic Director Sean Murray. Who better to helm the revue than Director James Vasquez, whose time with the company goes all the way back to painting those bathroom walls at the Rolando Theatre? Now a resident artist, Vasquez gave us a fun tongue-in-cheek preview of the show, which just might be gayer than you expect.
What’s one of your favorite memories from the past 10 years? ONE of my favorites? I have many. Dancing on pointe as Miss West Coast in the musical “Pageant.” Searching the Theatre in Old Town for hours with Sean Murray after his keys disappeared, then oddly reappeared (the handy work, we’re convinced, of Charlie the theater ghost). Opening night of “The Glass Menagerie.” I wasn’t involved in the show, but it’s one of my favorites as an audience member. Have you been having a good time putting the show together? We’re having a blast, but also finding it heartbreaking. There are hit after hit after personal favorite to pick from for this musical retrospective, and only so much time. We’ve had to eliminate a lot of great songs from the evening. But the ones that have made the cut truly are some of the “Greatest Hits.” And the performers are not only some of my favorites, but most definitely Cygnet audience favorites. Can you give us a hint at the gayest part of the show? Well, with me at the helm there’s certainly a bit of a wink and a nod to the whole evening. The gayest part? Hmm, right now it’s a toss up between the “What’s for Dinner?” mash-up (featuring songs from “Sweeney Todd” and “Little Shop of Horrors”) and “The 2013 Miss Cygnet” portion of the night. You don’t get much gayer than Eliza Doolittle, Sally Bowles and Hedwig vying for the crown. Tickets for the gala, including the 8 p.m. “Greatest Hits” revue, can be purchased at cygnettheatre.com or by calling 619-337-1525.t
What’s in store for people at this weekend’s Cygnet Gala? Well, plain and simple, it’s a great party! There’s a live and silent auction, with some really fantastic and exciting items. But, I’ve been put in charge of creating and directing a musical performance showcasing songs from the musicals Cygnet has produced in their past 10 seasons. I’ve been lovingly referring to it as “Cygnet’s Greatest Hits Album: Volume 1.” What’s your personal connection to Cygnet? I’m a resident artist, and have been involved since their inception. In fact, I painted the lobby and bathrooms of the Rolando Theatre prior to their first production. I’ve been an actor, director and choreographer for Cygnet over the years. But, whether I’m involved in the productions or not, I remain one of their biggest fans.
Joy Yandell and the Kit Kat Girls in the 2011 production of “Cabaret” (Photo by Daren Scott)
GAY SAN DIEGO April 19–May 2, 2013
San Diego & Tijuana jazz converge Ambitious SD REP production entertains on many levels
(l to r) Fernando Gomez, Ian Tordella, Rob Thorsen, Gilbert Castellanos and Irving Flores (Photo by Daren Scott)
“Federal Jazz Project” Through May 5 San Diego REP Thurs, Fri & Sat 8 p.m. Sun 2 p.m. 619-544-1000 sdrep.org
“Federal Jazz Project” is an overly ambitious ably informs the audience of all things San Diego, fusion of jazz, history, dance and song, and the including our bilingual, multi-cultural association brainchild of playwright Richard Montoya, the cowith our musical neighbor to the south. He even founder and lead writer for Culture Clash. interjects the hardships endured by our military This theatrical smorgasbord will and throws into the mix a bit of local history about play through May 5 at the San Diego communism. REPertory Theatre, where cultural diIt’s clearly a hodgepodge of storytelling, but if versity is nothing less than a hallmark you can just sit back and enjoy of constant invention. the ride, you’ll feel the verArtistic Director Sam Woodhouse bal and jazz vibes and have helped secure a grant from the National yourself a good time at this Endowment for the Arts to bring this “South of Broadway” club. project to San Diego, and directs Lorraine Castellanos has a this world premiere that includes principal role in the production, the spoken word, live jazz, tap as does Claudia Gomez, who entertains and and original songs. A true mulspeaks to us with her flawless tap-dancing. ticultural event, the show has The pair play sisters, as well as nightclub an original jazz score and is led entertainers. by Gilbert Castellanos. Few would doubt that there’s too The story is primarily about jazz in much going on in this two-hour San Diego, but crosses the border into extravaganza; the show would surely Tijuana and goes as far as Mexicali as benefit with a clip. But the highs well. The idea sprang from Castelclearly outweigh the lows, especially lanos’ weekly jam sessions held in a raw extended poetic moment by Downtown clubs and warehouses, Montoya that juxtaposes a motorcycle which featured his house band and group called Las Rafas with military drop-in musicians from Mexico and discipline. the United States. Castellanos’ band keeps us enter enterAs a production, it does not take tained throughout; Irving Flores plays a linear ride to tell its story; the show piano, Fernando Gomez handles percus percusmeanders musically along a path that’s sion and Ian Tordella plays the sax. The influenced by the moment. Jazz riffs punctuate show also features nightly guest soloists, every turn, underscoring a story that ratchets as if these musicians just walked in for an up mileage on any number of musical and impromptu jazz session. historical roadways. “Federal Jazz Project” is an ambitious Montoya assigned himself the role of Claudia Gomez production that entertains on many levels, (Photo by Daren Scott) El Poeta, the narrator, and he comfort comfortand is well worth a visit or two.t
The cast of ‘Assassins’ (Photo by Rich Soublet II)
Changing the debate Sondheim musical both clever and complicated As the gun debate in America continues at a feverish pitch, Cygnet Theatre offers up a theatrical piece by Stephen Sondheim that raises even more questions about guns and unsuspecting murder victims. In fact, this 1990 musical asks us to listen to all of the angry, disenfranchised individuals who feel their voices are not being heard. John Weidman’s book for “Assassins,” based on an idea by Charles Gilbert Jr., approaches this heady subject matter by looking at nine of the Presidential assassins and would-be assassins to ponder this very question. But even when the last note is played and the last chorus sung, you might not fully understand the message that Sondheim and Weidman wanted to share with their audience. It remains unclear. Sean Murray, Cygnet artistic director, offers up some solid direction for this long-delayed production and manages to balance these dastardly deeds with some laugh-out-loud comedy. Along the way, Murray and his capable cast attempt to explain the reasons these unheard individuals did what they felt they had to do. “Assassins” may not be for everyone; the storyline may be too oft-putting, too provocatively
“Assassins” Through April 28 Wed & Thurs 7:30 p.m. Fri 8 p.m. Sat 3 & 8 p.m. Sun 2 & 7 p.m. 619-337-1525 cygnettheatre.com gloomy in today’s climate of killings and mass murders, but the show may add an argument or two to the current gun debate that hasn’t been properly voiced. Sondheim’s music, like his characters, is a mixed bag. He employs ballads, a march, a country tune and even barbershop quartet. It’s clever, complicated and provoking. Braxton Molinaro, playing John Wilkes Booth, is the first assassin to grace the stage, anxious to tell his side of the story. He’s followed by actor Geno Carr (as Charles Guiteau), Manny Fernandes (Samuel Byck), Jason Maddy (Leon Czolgosz), Jaycob Hunter (Giuseppe Zangara) and Kürt Norby (John Hinckley). Melissa Fernandes plays “Squeaky” Fromme, declaring herself Charles Manson’s slave, while Melinda Gilb plays Sara Jane Moore. Jacob Caltrider takes on the role of Lee Harvey Oswald, who manages to wear and display a film short of the Kennedy assassination on his shirt. Rounding out the 14-member cast and assisting with the storyline is narrator Andy Collins, Bryan Banville, Stewart Calhoun, Sandy Campbell and Mitzi Michaels. Patrick Marion is the musical director, carrying out his responsibilities for an efficiently talented five-member band with aplomb, while David Brannen making carnival magic with his assignment of choreographer. Ryan Grossheim’s amusementthemed set underscores the tawdry nature of the players, while Shirley Pierson dresses up the cast in circus-like fashion, including a Santa Suit for Byck. Sondheim and Weidman end the musical with the suggestion that life goes back to normal after such tragedies, all-too-quickly forgetting the pain and suffering caused by such events. Perhaps it’s time to change that scenario.t
Belinda Carlisle: Still Go-Going
Singer talks ‘sexually adventurous’ days, gay son and feelings on doing a pop album By Chris Azzopardi | Q Syndicate In the ’80s, Belinda Carlisle’s career demonstrated that, for some, heaven really is a place on earth. As the lead singer of the supremely successful girl group The Go-Go’s – they had the beat, the looks and the talent – the now54-year-old eventually embarked on a solo venture. Four albums and numerous hit singles later, Carlisle’s new “ICON” collection is a celebration of the singer’s best that also includes her first United States pop single in over 15 years, “Sun.” Carlisle chatted recently about not wanting to do another pop album, telling her gay son about her own “sexually adventurous” experiences and the reason she cares about gay rights now more than ever. Chris Azzopardi: Which song of yours has the most significance to you? Belinda Carlisle: Oh gosh. The first one that comes to mind is “Heaven is a Place on Earth,” only because it was so huge and it really established my career not just in this country but all over the world.
do something. I just don’t know what that will be. CA: Are you not interested in doing a pop album? BC: Not really, no. Uh-uh [laughs]. But maybe. I mean, in the past three months, people have approached me to do a pop album in English, and I have to think about it; it’s a big commitment, not just in the studio but a big commitment in the prep work and also after it’s released. There’s promoting and touring for it. You can’t just put it out and not tour. It’s a good two years at least, so I don’t know. I’m just gonna wing it and see what happens. If it’s something that I really wanna do, then I’ll do it. CA: Kathy Valentine recently left The Go-Go’s. I can’t not ask what happened there. BC: Well, it’s kind of sensitive, but I will say that for a band and a band member to go separate
CA: Hardcore fans seem to agree that “Runaway Horses” is your greatest solo album. BC: I think so, too. CA: Oh yeah? You agree? BC: I love some of the songs on there. “Summer Rain” makes the whole album for me. That and “Mad About You” are my two favorite songs of my career. “Voila” is my other favorite, but for different reasons. The production of “Runaway Horses” just kind of captured a moment. CA: It’s been six years since your last studio album, “Voila,” which was in French. Is the new single, “Sun,” the beginning of a new pop album? BC: I don’t know. I don’t know what I’m doing, actually [laughs]. Honestly, I have some amazing opportunities that have come my way for some amazing projects, and I might do something in English, I might do something in French, I might do a yoga album – I don’t know. I’m at a really good point in my career where I can kind of do what comes from the heart, and that’s the only way I can work now, so it’s whatever really feels right. I can’t make a pop album just because I can. I don’t like to work that way anymore, so we’ll see. I’m sure I’ll
CA: Will you miss her being a part of the group? BC: Of course I will. She was a really important part of the beginning. She wasn’t a founding member, but she was there for [our debut] “Beauty and the Beat,” and it’s definitely going to be strange without her. CA: If you could relive any part of the ’80s, what would it be? BC: Oh god, I don’t know if I’d want to relive any of the ’80s. I think I did the ’80s really well, so I think it’s time for me to move on from that. There’s not really one thing I’d like to repeat, to be perfectly honest. CA: Especially not the clothes, right? BC: [Laughs] definitely not the fashion, that’s for sure. CA: Do you still have any of the clothes from that era?
CA: The song you wish you didn’t have to sing ever again? BC: Um, yes. There are a few of them. But they’re songs that people insist on hearing [laughs]. I don’t like doing “Heaven” in rehearsal. I don’t like doing “We Got the Beat” in rehearsal. There are certain songs I get lazy about in rehearsal, but when I do them live, just the reaction from the audience makes it OK. But yeah, there are some songs you’re like, ‘Uh, next.’
ways after 30-odd years, there has to be some pretty significant reasons – and it’s not all for nothing. That’s as far as I can say, because it’s very sensitive at this time.
BC: There’s one dress that I have. I used to wear it out up until about 15 years ago. It’s like a square dance dress, but now I would just look like some scary bag lady if I put it on, like someone trying to be young and fresh [laughs]. It’s in my closet, and it’s still really cute, but I don’t think I could wear it again. CA: How does being the mother of a gay son change the way you see your gay fans? Is it like an extended family now?
Belinda Carlisle (Photo by DT Ltd.)
BC: Actually, it kind of is. You know, I’ve always kind of gotten
GAY SAN DIEGO April 19–May 2, 2013 it, because from the beginning, my friends have been 90 percent gay and lesbian. That’s just the way it’s been for me. So I’d rather have a gay son than a straight son, let me just say that. But now, I look at it differently, because I know that when my son told me, it was like, ‘What’s life gonna be like for him? Is he going to be treated equally wherever he goes?’ I think about that for any gay person now, and I never really thought about that before. Now I think about how the world is toward gay people, and although it’s better, we’re still not 100 percent accepting. CA: If you’ve been around gay people your whole life, what about James coming out shocked you? BC: Well, it shocked me and it didn’t shock me; I had little clues along the way. So I was driving the car and he goes, ‘I like boys,’ and I had to pull the car over. It was like someone socked me in the stomach, although it was totally fine. The first thing I thought about was, ‘How am I gonna tell your father?’ I was fine with it. [James] said something really smart: ‘My sexuality does not define me.’ For a 14-year-old to say that, that’s pretty unbelievable. For me, the hardest part was thinking, ‘What is the world going to be like for him as a gay person?’ I had to go to my therapist because I went through all those stupid things: Was it something I did? Something I said? Things I’m sure any parent kind of goes through, and I knew it wasn’t. This is just the way it is. He was born gay. CA: I don’t think it’s uncommon for parents to be like, ‘Was it my fault?’ ‘Did we watch too much “Golden Girls?”’ BC: It’s normal. And it’s funny – he loved “I Love Lucy,” he went to “Phantom of the Opera” and loved Andrew Lloyd Webber. We laugh about it now. When I look back on it, there are funny little clues, but there are other things that were more telling and very peripheral that I really can’t go into, but still, I thought, ‘What have I done? Did I indulge him when I went to get his
costume at The Disney Store for Sleeping Beauty and Snow White?’ My therapist said that I should have my son tell my husband, but I thought, ‘No.’ Instinctively, it’s something that I need to do, because what if he had a bad reaction, even though I knew he wouldn’t, but you never know. When I told him, he was like, ‘It’s just a phase,’ and for a year afterwards they went at it back and forth, but now my husband and I can’t imagine having it any other way. CA: You’ve hinted at being sexually adventurous back in the day, while performing with The GoGo’s. Everyone was in the ’80s. BC: Exactly. CA: I recall reading interviews where you didn’t want to get into details about that time because James reads your interviews. You’ve been so open about most aspects of your life, though, including your drug addiction, so why do you want to shield him from this? I think most gay kids would think it’s cool, and might feel more accepted, if their parent had a same-sex experience. BC: I know. It’s just funny, I guess, him and I being from different generations and me being more modest with that. He does know that I was adventurous in that way and we kind of joke about it. I don’t necessarily want to go into details, because I want to keep my more conventional secrets secret, too. My son and I butt heads about anybody’s sexuality, and he thinks that everybody who’s gay and in the closet should come out; it’s their responsibility. And I say no. I think if a person doesn’t want to come out, it’s their business. They have their reasons. That’s kind of the way I feel about myself, too. But he knows. We laughed about it the other day. I think everybody does [have those experiences] and nobody likes to talk about it, that’s all. —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 April 19–May 2, 2013
Tracie O’Brien (far right) poses with three attendees. (Photo by Deanna Rivera/SCEN)
(l to r) Drew Minard and Christopher Howard in the beloved pas de deux. (Photo by Amy Boyle) FROM PAGE 1
– called sit-downs – in each city. Before arriving in San Diego April 30, they were in Costa Mesa and Sacramento, Calif. “It’s every performer’s dream to be able to do what they love while they’re touring the country,” he said. “[It is] exhausting, but well worth it.” As part of the ensemble, Howard may have one of the busiest schedules on stage, too, playing several parts, moving sets and changing costumes multiple times. “We do a bit of everything,” he said laughing. Patti Perkins, a veteran to both musical theater and the “Billy Elliot” musical said the same, and called the entire ensemble “unsung heroes” of the show. Perkins has been with the production for three years, or nearly 700 shows, she said. She also has a special connection to San Diego, after coming here in 2000 to take part in “The
Full Monty” at The Old Globe Theatre, which eventually moved to Broadway. For this turn in San Diego, Perkins plays Billy’s grandmother, the silent but moving character from the original movie. “It’s very different,” Perkins said of the musical version of her character. Besides having spoken lines, the grandmother character has her own deeper side-story that is developed on the stage, including a disappearing youth and abusive husband. The story is played out primarily in the number “Grandma’s Song.” “I love my moments just singing the song to the child,” she said. “It’s so fun to do and gratifying.” Another key point in the arc of the show is the pas de deux, or ballet sequence between two characters: Billy as a boy and the mature, adult Billy of the future. Howard, who is also understudy for the adult Billy role, spent seven months playing the character, and said the piece between the two was pivotal for the show. “It is very climactic of Billy’s story,” Howard said. “I think that’s that switching-over point where he
says, ‘yes, this is what I want. This is what I’m going to be.’” Perkins too said the moment was important, calling it a crowd pleaser and a good example of the imaginative side of the production. “That ballet is totally in [Billy’s] head,” Perkins said. “His young self is dancing with his old self. It’s gorgeous.” One of the actors playing young Billy – there are four total, aged 12 to 15, who rotate throughout each weeklong run – said he liked the scene as well, though it takes a lot of stamina. “It starts out with us spinning a chair, and we dance around with that,” Drew Minard, one of the Billys, said. “It’s really cool to watch and do and then we go into the pas de deux … with a bunch of lifts and turns and leaps. Then at the end, he hooks me up and I fly.” Working with young actors like Minard has been wonderful for both Perkins and Howard. “The kids are very well spoken and they’re very direct,” Howard said. “Not once anywhere has the audience not stood at the end,” Perkins said. “It just gets to people.” Tickets for the San Diego run of “Billy Elliot the Musical” start at $25. The production takes place at the San Diego Civic Theatre, located at 1100 Third Ave., Downtown. For complete show times and tickets visit broadwaysd.com.t
The event drew the largest crowd to date. (Photo by Deanna Rivera/SCEN) FROM PAGE 1
EMPOWERMENT After Gloria’s remarks, Maddocks asked those who identify as transgender to stand. The room appeared to be equally split between transgender individuals and their allies. T.J. Seguine, a local transgender man, was one of two keynote speakers and shared many personal details about his life. Seguine spoke of beginning his life as “Tammy” and growing up poor in Tennessee. “I used to pray under the covers at night to wake up as a boy,” Seguine told the crowd. To Seguine’s dismay, his prayers were never answered as he hoped they would be, and he later came out as lesbian. Seguine spent 10 years in the Navy under the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and eventually met his wife Sarafina. With the support of Sarafina and many close friends, Seguine eventually began his transition.
Seguine said the hardest part was telling his boss while in pretransition. Working in a military prison, Seguine said he was unsure that his plan to transition would go over well with his co-workers. To his surprise, his conversation with his boss was positive, and he has experienced a surprising amount of support at work, he said. The second keynote speaker was Maria Roman, a transgender activist from Los Angeles. Roman told the crowd about her childhood growing up in Puerto Rico. She spoke about her relationship with family, playing football and the struggles her family faced. But it was not until she was 18 years old and thrown out of her mother’s house that Roman’s “journey” began, she said. Roman found herself in Los Angeles where she said she began “tricking” and selling drugs to make money, and it was not until she met her husband Greg that her life changed: deciding then that there was more to life than what she was doing. She eventually graduated from beauty school, had transition surgeries and began a new life. However, there was a point when Roman said she was tired of standing by watching the suffering in the community and she wanted to do something bigger with her life. She started attending a transgender support group, and eventually was trained to become a health educator. “I was the first program manager of the biggest transgender program in the United States,” Roman said. “I had no education but I did have drive and passion.” Roman, who has been the subject of several documentaries and stories about the transgender community, told the crowd she hopes the world can stop focusing on people’s differences and to celebrate people for who they are. “Beauty is over-celebrated in the LGBT community, but we’re all the same inside,” she said. Following the speeches, three community awards were presented. Lita Wexler received the Community Service Award; Loryn Pachecho received the Satin Styles Youth Award; and Cheli Mohammed received the Ally Award. To close out the event, presentations from five participants in the Visible Bodies San Diego project shared their stories. Visible Bodies is a transgender community project that highlights over 30 local transgender individuals through portraits and accompanying captions written by the participants. For more information about Visible Bodies San Diego visit facebook.com/VisibleBodies.t
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gay-sd.com FROM PAGE 1
DININGOUT Like any other of the cities across the United States and Canada participating in the daylong event, the money raised from the North County restaurants will go directly to the HIV/AIDS service organization working in North County. For Disposti, contacting restaurants and inviting the community to come out April 25 further fights the stigma of being LGBT in a more conservative part of the region. “In North County, when you have so much LGBT disability, you really have to sell it,” he said. “This is the beginning of [creating] relationships.” Convincing the five restaurants in North County – Petite Madeline, Hill Street Café, Fish Joint and Tony’s Bar & Grill in Oceanside, Calif. as well as Vinz Wine Bar in Escondido, Calif. – to participate was easy, said Disposti, who went into places that knew him personally from his work in the community. “We’ve really made it … clear that we’re there also to support them [and] to make sure that people go and eat where they are,” he said. “[For] these restaurants, it’s going to be a big day.” Restaurants in San Diego are anticipating a large turn out April 25 as well, all as a way to give back to the cause. There are over 100 in San Diego signed up to participate, with owners pledging to donate between 25 and 100 percent of proceeds from breakfast, lunch, dinner or the entire day. Some are even getting creative with their pledges. Wang’s North Park co-owner Joe Herzer is aiming to be another top-fundraising venue this year and partners Tom Eads and Beth Gattis will be making a wine selection available with 100 percent of sales going to Dining Out for Life. Both Adams Avenue Grill and Jersey Mike’s are extending the donation period to Saturday and Sunday. Johnson said he is sometimes overwhelmed with the response from restaurant owners, with many coming directly to him
NEWS eager to participate. The restaurant in La Mesa, The Mesa Grill, was one of those, and Johnson was quick to bring that participation back to the event’s purpose. “That’s great to see that the word about HIV and AIDS, the awareness, can branch out from our community,” he said. Dining Out for Life is truly international, with over 3,000 restaurants participating in over 60 cities. The fundraising event started in Philadelphia in 1991. Organizers estimate over $4 million will be raised on April 25. This year’s national spokespeople are Ted Allen, Pam Grier, Daisy Martinez and Mondo Guerra, the “Project Runway All-Stars” winner and outspoken advocate for HIV/AIDS awareness. Guerra designed a T-shirt for this year’s event, which is available online at subarugear.com. Subaru is now in its seventh year as sponsor. Guerra’s T-shirt design – salt and pepper shakers on black and white – is called “Movers and Shakers.” The purpose, he said, was to meld his creative talent with his passion. “This has been such a long journey, not only being HIV positive, but being an artist,” he said. “I’ve always grown up knowing my work would have some impact in a positive way. I never knew what that was, but even as a little boy I felt it.” Guerra disclosed his HIV-positive status while on the eighth season of “Project Runway” in 2010 during an emotional scene where designers were asked to describe the inspiration for a particular design. After keeping his status a secret from family for 10 years, he said coming out was paramount. “I knew that if I had left that runway not … talking about the true inspiration behind my work, I would be very upset,” Guerra said. “Creativity has kept me alive my entire life.” Now, Guerra takes every opportunity to talk about his status, using his time on the TV shows as a way to launch into deeper conversations about the virus and disease. He said more people should do the same. “Everybody has their story. If they really honor their journey and really respect what has happened in their life, and they’re able to talk about their story, that is so much
Mondo Guerra in ‘Movers and Shakers’ (Courtesy Dining Out for Life)
power,” he said. The designer said he was at his sickest the Christmas before he was cast on “Project Runway,” calling that time his “rock bottom.” Ten years of keeping silent about his status took its toll, and he said he felt ashamed, scared and alone. “It’s a lot of weight. If we’re open within the community – talking about HIV – I feel people are going to be more comfortable to approach somebody and talk about it,” Guerra said. “In turn it’s going to really make our community, the gay community, take responsibility.” Johnson said he also hopes Dining Out for Life will help more people talk about HIV and AIDS, not only on April 25 while at the
GAY SAN DIEGO April 19–May 2, 2013
restaurants, but on April 26, April 27 and beyond. “It’s bringing HIV and AIDS back into the conversation that people are having,” he said. Johnson has been volunteering in different capacities with Dining Out for Life for seven years. His volunteer work, which also includes organizing a team for The Center’s annual Aids Walk & Run, among others, is grounded in remembering friends who have died from the disease. But it is also, he said, about keeping them alive in the conversation. “It’s a positive experience,” Johnson said. “The majority of the people are going out and frequenting these restaurants because it’s their opportunity to give back.” Johnson said there are tangible results from Dining Out for Life as well, as all the money goes back to The Center, which in turn funds several HIV/AIDS service organizations in San Diego County. He said fundraisers like this are keeping people alive. The restaurants and the diners are only two aspects to the event, as none of it could be done without a dedicated team of volunteers, Johnson said. And as Dining Out for Life has grown year after year, the demand for volunteers, called ambassadors, has grown as well. The Center’s Volunteer Coordinator Jerry Tomaszewicz sent out a special call April 12 for more volunteers, and called the ambassadors the “heart and soul” of the event. They are at each of the restaurants to help businesses manage the increase in guests, as well as to solicit additional donations from patrons. Guerra said the goal, however, is to help in any way while having a good time. “You can help the organization in your Community with Dining Out for life that night,” he said, “and if you don’t want to volunteer, you can go out with a group of friends and sit at a table and have a good meal. It’s that simple.” Those interested in being an ambassador can contact Tomaszewicz at 619-692-2077. For a complete list of participating restaurants visit diningoutforlife.com/sandiego.t
GAY SAN DIEGO April 19–May 2, 2013
So, you think you can coach? Ask anyone who plays in local LGBT sports and they will have opinions about who the best and worst coaches are in those leagues. Opinions – or should I say, critiques – of coaches are easy to find and an expected part of the game. They usually rear their ugly heads following losses, when a player thinks a coaching decision cost them the game. It is far easier to assign blame than to accept responsibility. What is not easy is to actually coach a team, and to do it well. I have coached teams in just about every sport. I have heard all the criticisms before, either spoken directly to me or through third parties. It is sort of a golden rule that if my team loses a game, there will be at least one coaching decision that I made that was the wrong one, and certain players will not hesitate to point that out. A good coach needs to be able to process the critiques, avoid overreacting, and not make them feel personal. While I feel I have been a fairly successful coach, I should first point out that none of my softball teams have ever won a tournament. My Loft B softball team came close, with a third-place finish at the 2011 World Series in Chicago. My Baja Betty’s D softball team finished fifth the year before in Columbus. But I have never actually earned the label “champion coach,” and certain people measure coaching ability simply by wins and losses. That is fair, but I do not believe it covers everything necessary to make a successful coach. Winning
games is the ultimate goal, but there is so much more going on inside a coach’s head that most players do not hear, see or realize. Even before winning, my first priority is to try my best to field a team that has fun no matter the result. Talent wins games, obviously, but I am a big believer that solid team chemistry matters more, and can make up for certain voids in talent. A team that has fun together wins together. Making the experience a fun one, at least in softball, is no easy chore. It starts with managing players, not just coaching them. Managing players means getting to know what makes every individual tick. On my B team, most of the guys do not need actual teaching moments; many are far better players than I am now, though I used to be in their shoes. My D guys are beginners, and the bulk of teaching comes with this team. If a B player struggles with his hitting, I need to know which players want feedback – “hey, you are dropping your shoulder” – and which ones can work themselves out of it. Giving a player unsolicited advice, especially right after a bad at-bat, not only is not fair to the talented player who is likely sorting through a million critiques in his head, but it opens a coach to be snapped at. The experience of being snapped at is not really such a bad thing, except that it can undermine a coach’s authority if seen by other players. And with coaching, respect is the key to having your team follow you and your philosophies. If
guys are openly ripping the coach, that respect is lost. Coaches need to get into the minds of their players, learn how they handle success and adversity, and react accordingly. Because my B players are well accomplished in the game, personality management is far trickier than with the D players who are just learning the game and who pretty much react the same way. My B team has several former coaches and one does not become a coach without thinking they know the right way to do things. It is my job to allow them to have their opinions heard. Sometimes their advice will be good, and sometimes it may not match my own thinking. The opinions can range from who should be on the mound to something as small as what type of lineup board we hang in the dugout. Letting players have their say is important – I am looking at you, Grady Mitchell! – because this is how a good coach measures the mood of his players. Happy players play better. Then there is the obvious juggling act of finding enough playing time for everyone. There will be players who do not mind if they sit out, and there will be some who steam about sitting. While I have to field lineups that give us the best chance to win, it is important to remember that we play in recreational leagues. Everyone paid the same amount of money to participate. Everyone deserves to play. Randy Miller is the coach of the Outlaws in the C division and he
Roman Jimenez (center in blue) and Jeff Praught (second from right in blue) co-coach the wild and talented Baja Betty's D team (Photo by Josh Ramirez) owns several tournament titles, of which I am envious. He has coached tennis, bowling and basketball teams as well. When asked what the most difficult part of coaching was, Randy provided this gem: “We shouldn’t be called coaches or managers. We should be called babysitters. If you thought dealing with adults would be easier than dealing with kids, the error would be yours. Balancing several individual personalities and still trying to find a chemistry and cohesion and camaraderie is really difficult.” He knows our pain. And what of the coaching rewards? “Once you gain their respect, they will listen to you. And when they listen, I very much enjoy the teaching part and passing on my years of experience. And then when you see it all come together, it is extremely rewarding,” Miller said. You gain that respect not only by winning games but by managing players as well. One of my best players on The Loft is going through some serious struggles right now. It would be easy for him to play angry and not enjoy the game. Instead, he has found a way to compliment me as a coach. I trust that he will get his game back to where it belongs, but it is definitely rewarding to gain the respect of a player who has more talent than I ever had. Roman Jimenez, with whom I coach the Betty’s team and who also is a title-winning coach of the Flicks Lawmen in C, has battled the respect issues in the past. He stepped up and managed a B team several years ago, and a few players undermined his authority. Jimenez knows the game about as well as anyone, but he will be the first to admit his talents do not match his knowledge. Those players saw a coach giving advice despite being half the player they were, and they openly
dogged him for it. I was on this team, and my first thought was, “at least he stepped up to coach a team, what have you guys ever done besides complain?” The advice he was giving was valid. In the highly competitive SD Hoops, playing time is by far the most burning issue. You can only put five players on the court at once so a few guys are sitting out. And some of those guys may be older or less talented. Getting them enough minutes while putting the team in the best position to win is tricky. In flag football, rosters are so big that players tend to understand the playing time issue a little better; teams can only throw seven guys out there at once. Instead, X’s and O’s are the target on a coach’s back. Does he have the right quarterback? Is he calling the right plays? Can the leaders handle adversity or do they crumble under pressure? All of these things go through a coach’s mind, even if the players do not see it. My advice to other players: if you think coaching is easy, give it a try. My advice to coaches: never criticize a player in front of his teammates, grow thick skin and study your players’ personalities. I can still learn a lot from people like Miller and Jimenez because they have put together teams that are like families, much like my own Loft team, and they are successful because of it. But they also have those darned elusive titles that I crave. —Jeff Praught is a contributing writer for Gay San Diego and fan of most sports. He 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
(Photo by Morgan M. Hurley)
THE DINAH Palm Springs, CA APRIL 4–7, 2013
(Photos by Cornelia Kurtew unless indicated otherwise)
GAY SAN DIEGO April 19–May 2, 2013
GAY SAN DIEGO April 19–May 2, 2013
May 10–26, 2013
Sept. 27– Oct. 13,