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Volume 10 Issue 14
July 5 - 18, 2019
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Best of Gay San Diego coming Aug. 2
Stonewall Wall of Honor
LEGENDARY San Diego drag queens at the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the opening of “Legendary Drag Queens of San Diego” exhibit at the San Diego History Center on June 21. (Photo by Albert H. Fulcher) Sirens’ beckoning call
San Diego drag queens honored at the San Diego History Center Albert H. Fulcher | Editor
The place for local events
In conjunction with the current exhibition, “LGBTQ+ San Diego: Stories of Struggles and Triumphs,” the San Diego History Center honored the performance art of drag in San Diego on June 21 at the San Diego History Center.
[Editor’s note: This is part one of a series examining the faith of LGBTQ+ people.]
Index Opinion ................................... 6 Puzzle ................................... 12 Calendar ............................... 12 Classifieds............................ 13
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fabulous costumes, jewelry, and other personal belongings provided by nine leading “drag queens” who made their name locally and nationally. Honorary chair of the exhibit is San Diego’s first lady Katherine Faulconer.
see Legendary, pg 8
See page A1 Pride Guide Directory See page B1
Pride’s interfaith coalition challenges religious right Kendra Sitton | Uptown News
Drag yourself brunch for Pride in Little Italy
Running through Sept. 8, the “Legendary Drag Queens of San Diego” commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising. Curated by internationally-known scholar Dr. Lillian Faderman, in collaboration with the Imperial Court de San Diego, the exhibition displays
A complete look at all things San Diego Pride
As heavy May clouds swirled over a bright sky, the lead pastor of Missiongathering Church in North Park, Brandan Robertson, clicked open his email for another piece of hate mail. This one read “Sorry, Fa****, ‘Pastor’ and ‘Fa****’ don’t go together. Your false narrative and satanic influence will lead you straight to a cell in hell.” The email was a reminder that although LGBTQ+
rights have advanced in some parts of society, among the conservative white Evangelical supporters that remain President Donald Trump’s most faithful base, many see “queer” and “Christian” as incompatible identities that cannot coexist. According to Robertson, who identifies as queer, a decade ago the fully inclusive church he leads would have been an anomaly in San Diego, but with a handful of affirming churches in Uptown, it’s a burgeoning religious movement. “Missiongathering five
see DevOUT, pg 2
St. Paul’s Cathedral lit up in honor of Pride (Photo by Susan Forsburg)
GAY SAN DIEGO July 5 - 18, 2019
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years ago would be a rare church. Today, you can walk down the street in San Diego and within a one-mile radius, there's probably five or six Christian churches that are fully affirming and welcoming of LGBT people. Now, there are dozens more that aren't, but things are changing and they're changing quick,” 27-year-old Robertson said from his office during an April interview. As more San Diego churches affirm LGBTQ+ identities, what have long been sepulchers of LGBTQ+ exclusion are now being led by the very people neighboring churches condemn. By San Diego Pride’s count, there are 100 open and affirming faith congregations in the region. To qualify for the lists, congregations must agree to and embody a statement calling for the equal treatment and inclusion of LGBTQ+ people at every level in their faith community as well as under the law. Fernando Lopez, the executive director of San Diego LGBT Pride, has worked to formalize the inclusion of spiritual and religious members of the LGBTQ+ community in Pride festivities. They plan to launch a formal interfaith coalition called DevOUT in July. Robertson is a key leader in that coalition. Lopez, who is Jewish, said in a phone interview, “I think our job here at Pride is to do our best to make a space that is as welcoming for as many people as possible who are in the LGBTQ community. That doesn't just look like one thing or one viewpoint or one value or one perspective.” Lopez’s activism began in the early 2000s with pushing for same-sex marriage in California. They participated in interfaith organizing to bring clergy in favor of the practice to the attention of lawmakers. Since Lopez grew up in a household with a Jewish mother and Catholic father, they studied different religions and noticed similar core values between them: respect, love, understanding, and forgiveness. However, they noticed religion was often used as a weapon against LGBTQ+ people but knew it could be used by both sides to create moral arguments. “One of the ways that we were fighting back against those messages really centered around ensuring that we had open and affirming faith leaders, right there counteracting those sort of religious arguments against LGBT equality,” Lopez said. Lopez is not alone in seeing religion as a way to inform and catalyze activism. Susan Jester, who is currently in seminary to become a layman minister (meaning not officially ordained) in the Episcopal Church, sees
see DevOUT, pg 4
GAY SAN DIEGO July 5 - 18, 2019
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GAY SAN DIEGO July 5 - 18, 2019
FROM PAGE 2
DEVOUT the religious left as a way to counteract messages from right-wing evangelicals. “This is going to be a Christian right's last stand. They lost on abortion. They lost on all their other issues, but they still have the gay community to maximize [their] fundraising efforts and rally their troops through so-called religious freedom,” Jester said in an interview at Peet’s Coffee in Hillcrest. “In my mind, the only way to mitigate that
— because you'll never shut them down — but the way to mitigate it for our community, to make us safer and freer, is to find alliances and Christian communities and other faiths that have as loud a voice for equality and freedom as the evangelicals do.” She believes lawmakers need to hear the voices of both progressive and conservative religious leaders, instead of just one group. Jester became involved in St. Paul’s Cathedral when she moved back to San Diego in 2011. When the church in Bankers Hill was poised to become the first cathedral in the nation to completely light
up in honor of Pride in 2015, Jester made sure to invite San Diego’s elected officials, including then-Councilman Todd Gloria. The event was historic because it was also the first time a church in a mainstream denomination officially recognized Pride. “The public needs to know that gay people are people of faith and that there are faith practices that accept gay people and honor them,” 75-yearold Jester said. Jester separates the message of God loving and accepting LGBTQ+ people from earthly churches and demonenations. At 16, Jester was married
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and by 17, she was widowed with a young son. Her church, Scott Memorial Baptist Church, became her support system and helped her raise money to care for her son. However, when she came out as a lesbian at age 40 in 1983 after struggling with her sexuality for years, that all changed. “When I came out, they put me out. I didn't step foot in a church for 25 years, but I never lost my personal faith in Jesus,” she explained. Scott Memorial Baptist Church has been renamed Shadow Mountain Community Church, but it is still under the same pastor — televangelist Dr. David Jeremiah. The El Cajon megachurch brings in 10,000 people each week to its Sunday services. Jeremiah currently serves on Trump’s Evangelical Advisory Board. Since she was a little girl, Jester wanted to become a Christian missionary. When the church forced her out, she channeled that religious fervor into helping the LGBTQ+ community and eventually became an AIDS activist who founded the AIDS Walk in San Diego and was central in getting local politicians to respond to the crisis. “One thing I learned during the AIDS epidemic — I was with so many folks in their dying moments — most of our community have some kind of faith practice.
They either grew up in it or they have continued,” Jester said. When she returned to San Diego and found St. Paul’s, Jester remembered her commitment to become a missionary. She got involved with the church because of her desire to let LGBTQ+ people know God loves them. “He has plans for you. You're made in his image and however he made you is however you are. So be the best you can. And then the place where you can worship God and feel welcome and productive and have a whole community of supporters is right down the street.” For her and Robertson, secular political activism may be central to what they believe is the role of the church, but they are also working to make the evangelical church less exclusive. “The church and Christianity has done so much harm. It's hard for people to separate God from that. And I just want to help people see that. I believe the God that created us is a God that celebrates and loves and rejoices when we live into the diversity of our identity,” Robertson said. He believes coming to accept his sexuality has bettered his faith. “I think that God is so infinite and diverse that it makes sense that humans are infinitely diverse and
see DevOUT, pg 13
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Beyond Pride Life Beyond Therapy Michael Kimmel
his column is the result of a question I’ve been asking myself lately: What is “beyond” Pride? Another way to put it is: “What comes after Pride?” I’ve been to about 50 Pride celebrations since I came out (in a men’s group in downtown Manhattan in 1983). My first Pride celebration reminded me that, no, I wasn’t a second-class citizen. I wasn’t a deviant (as I’d been raised to think in my rural Ohio upbringing). I was just as good, kind and wholesome as any straight person. As I continue to wonder about what’s beyond Pride, I’m curious about the relationship between “pride” and “power.” In the past, we needed to have pride in ourselves because the people in power — heterosexuals — kept us in a onedown position for many years. So, we were struggling for equality. We wanted to have just as much power as straight folks. And, once we get it, then what? I wonder if compassion comes next. Many people who struggle to be powerful and achieve it find themselves in a very unfamiliar place. What do they do with all that power? Ideally, they will begin to share it with others who are not yet so empowered. However, in the real, greed-filled world driven by consumer culture, that power is often hoarded. “I’ve got mine and — honestly — I don’t give a damn whether you ever get yours.” A prime example of this is the Trump administration: It uses the power of the presidency to disempower people. The only folks it empowers are rich folks (like the people within it) who already have plenty of power and are afraid they may lose it to the LGBTQers, people of color, women, religious minorities … anyone who isn’t just like them. That’s clearly an example of what not to do with power. As we become more and more
empowered (and we are, we certainly are!), how will we use our power? Can we become: • More compassionate. • More humble. • More empathic. • Less greedy. • Less fearful. • Less judgmental. This is quite a tall order. As a white, cis, middle-class gay man, I realize how much power I have been given. How do I use it? Do I have compassion for people who are different from me, or do I judge them? It’s easy to have compassion for people who fit your pictures of “doing it right” (i.e. you should do what I do). But, how compassionate are we for people who aren’t doing things “our” way? It’s not so easy. I love to travel to small towns and rural areas. My conversations there are often with people who certainly aren’t doing things “my” way. It is a continual lesson for me not to judge these folks. And speaking of judgment, have you noticed how many of us at Pride at hyper-judgmental of each other? The beautiful ones judge the
down or slammed as “taking over” the institutions in our community? Can we replace fear, in its many forms (ageism, racism, misogyny), with acceptance and celebration of our differences? Easy to say, hard to do. I’d like to close with “humility,” one of my favorite virtues. As a young queer guy, I thought there was little place for humility. Humility seemed to be about playing small. The older I get, I see the power of humility: when you really know who you are and feel powerful in your abilities, humility is very attractive. So, my fellow LGBTers, as we welcome Pride 2019, let’s look further down the road and see what lies ahead. Some pretty wonderful experiences lie waiting for us, out there … beyond Pride.
less-than-beautiful (“why don’t they go to the gym?”) and the average ones judge the beautiful (“can you believe how superficial they are?”). Despite all our Pride, I notice that, even within our LGBT community, fear of each
other continues to divide us. Since I moved to San Diego 21 years ago, I’ve seen and heard one form of fear — misogyny — repeatedly rear its ugly head. Am I the only one who has been in (mostly gay male) social situations and heard women put
—Michael Kimmel is a licensed psychotherapist who specializes in helping LGBT clients achieve their goals and deal with anxiety, depression, grief, sexually addictive behavior, coming out, relationship challenges and homophobia. Contact him at 619-955-3311 or visit lifebeyondtherapy.com. (Graphic provided by www. CanStockPhoto.com)
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With 50 days left, over 20,000 people have already condemned Trump administration’s attack on trans health By Project Trans Health
How the private sector has been one of the LGBT+ community’s most effective allies By David Reicks and Gregory Diaz Every year, people, communities and companies all over the world celebrate and show support of the LGBT+ community at local Pride festivities. These events are not only cause for celebration, they are also a good time to reflect upon the tremendous strides made over decades and how we got to where we are today. Many of the basic resources available to employees today that seem commonplace were not always available. In many instances when public policy was lacking, it was the private sector and the business community who became early allies and adopters of workplace protections and benefits. For example, in the early 1980s as the AIDS crisis was unfolding and misunderstood, it was a seemingly conservative financial institution — Bank of America — that established one of the nation’s first human resources policies for employees with AIDS. More than 20 years ago, the bank became the first financial services company to offer domestic partner benefits to employees, and more than 10 years ago, they extended health benefits to include medically necessary procedures for transgender employees. From comprehensive health
(l -r) Bank of America Small Business Officer Gregory Diaz and Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Senior Financial Advisor David Reicks care coverage to employee education and employee resource groups, we are proud to work for a company which has been ahead of many in courageous conversations toward greater equality. Bank of America took these actions because promoting a safe, equitable and inclusive environment for LGBT+ employees creates a productive workplace and attracts top talent. Indeed, research shows a correlation between LGBT+ employees who feel comfortable in their workplace setting and higher levels of productivity. It’s simple — happier employees create happier experiences for clients.
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CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Gregory Diaz Christopher Gomez Michael Kimmel Project Trans Youth Nicole Murray Ramirez David Reicks Frank Sabatini Jr. Kendra Sitton
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Today, our LGBT+ employee network volunteers hundreds of hours in the San Diego community, offers educational and career development support for its Out and Ally teammates, and raises awareness of issues relevant to the LGBT+ community across our global company. Our actions go beyond our own employees, extending support to our LGBT+ clients and the communities we serve. Merrill has financial advisors who advise LGBT+ clients about the unique nuances and laws that can impact the finances, financial futures and retirement plans for these households. As we once again prepare to be part of San Diego Pride, we are inspired hearing from colleagues and clients who share their personal stories of courage and milestones, as we work together toward greater diversity and inclusion in every part of our lives. This year, as we parade shoulder to shoulder with colleagues, loved ones and our greater family, we proudly acknowledge the journey and victories with all of you. Be sure to wave hello! —David Reicks is the senior financial advisor at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management. Gregory Diaz is a small business officer at Bank of America.
More than 20,000 people have spoken up in defense of a regulation protecting transgender people’s access to health care just three weeks after the Trump administration announced their rollback and 50 days before a newly announced deadline. On May 24, the Department of Health and Human Services announced a new plan to roll back the Health Care Rights Law, an Obama-era regulation explicitly banning discrimination against transgender people by providers, hospitals, and insurers. In response, the National Center for Transgender Equality and the Transgender Law Center launched Protect Trans Health, a campaign to drive public comments in protest of the administration’s plan. To learn more about the administration’s plan to deny transgender people equal treatment, visit ProtectTransHealth.org. With the help of advocates and celebrities including Jonathan Van Ness, Laverne Cox, Ellen Page, and Tegan & Sara, over 15,000 people have spoken up at ProtectTransHealth.org and thousands more did so through partner organizations. Last week, HHS announced the deadline for public comments on this rule will be Tuesday, Aug. 13. Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, applauded the comment count. “We are so thankful for the energy and action being brought to this fight by transgender people, their families, and allies across the country,” said Keisling, “Already, we have thousands of comments from people denied entrance to hospitals, humiliated by doctors, or denied coverage for basic forms of treatment by their insurer. Medical providers, faith leaders, and allies have already spoken against this rule because the American people know that nobody should be treated differently simply because of who they are.” Kris Hayashi, executive director of the Transgender Law Center, stressed the importance of fighting back against all of the Trump administration’s attacks on the trans community.
OPINIONS/LETTERS: Gay San Diego encourages letters to the editor and guest editorials. Please email either to email@example.com and include your phone number and address for verification. We reserve the right to edit letters for brevity and accuracy. Letters and guest editorials do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or staff. SUBMISSIONS/NEWS TIPS Press releases and story ideas are welcomed. Send press releases, tips, photos or story ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news and investigative story ideas contact the editor by phone or email. Copyright © 2019 San Diego Community News Network
“I am heartened that thousands of people have spoken up against the attack on our access to health care, but our fight doesn't stop here,” Hayashi said. “We need people to encourage their friends and family to submit comments and also to uplift those who are experiencing attacks by the Trump administration on multiple fronts. When the government proposes regulations that create barriers in our lives, it is sending the message that we don't deserve the resources all people need to survive and it encourages violence and hate, especially against black trans women and trans migrants. Since the beginning of May, at least eight black trans women have been killed in the U.S. On the first day of Pride month, a trans migrant named Johana Medina Leon died alone in a hospital after weeks of begging ICE for medical care while she was in immigration detention. On every front, we must speak up and continue to take action.” Transgender people face routine discrimination in health care settings. According to the U.S. Transgender Survey: One in 4 transgender people have been mistreated by an insurer, including being denied basic coverage or denied any coverage. One in 3 transgender people have been mistreated by a medical provider, including rude comments, humiliating questions about their anatomy, or being turned away from an office or hospital. One in 3 transgender people have declined to visit a doctor out of fear of mistreatment. Before Aug. 13, transgender people and allies can leave a comment condemning this move by the Trump administration at ProtectTransHealth.org. —Transgender Law Center (TLC) is the largest national trans-led organization advocating for a world in which all people are free to define themselves and their futures. Grounded in legal expertise and committed to racial justice, TLC employs a variety of community-driven strategies to keep transgender and gender nonconforming people alive, thriving, and fighting for liberation. transgenderlawcenter.org.
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GAY SAN DIEGO July 5 - 18, 2019
12-year-old Chase = San Diego Pride Conversations with Nicole Nicole Murray Ramirez
hase Matys-Gleason is a sixth grader at a local San Diego school and last week, he turned 12 years old. He was in New York City, invited to be a special speaker for the official unveiling of the National LGBTQ Wall of Honor at the historic Stonewall Inn, which kicked off World Pride NYC/Stonewall 50. Among Chase's fellow speakers would be civil rights icon Mandy Carter, co-founder of the National Black Justice Coalition; global LGBTQ human rights activist Stuart Milk of the Harvey Milk Foundation; renown LGBTQ allies and respected national spokespersons Judy and Dennis Shepard, founders of the National Matthew Shepard Foundation; California state Senate President Toni Atkins; deputy director of the National LGBTQ Task Force Kierra Johnson; national transgender advocates Karina Samala and Kamryn Whitley; as well as other wellknown LGBTQ American leaders. National media and reporters covered this historic event and it was livestreamed to hundreds of thousands of LGBTQ people around the world. Now this lineup of famous speakers would intimidate anyone let alone a 12-year-old, but not San Diego's Chase MatysGleason. This young trans boy has spoken before more than 1,000 people at the Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast, hundreds of people at the Trans Day of Empowerment Rally, and Equality California's Equality Awards — and every time he did an outstanding job. He was eloquent and articulate, and in fact, he was honored with the Harvey Milk Diversity
Founders Award and given a lifetime title as a Crown Prince of the Americas within the Imperial Court de San Diego. Chase is the proud son of two well-known LGBTQ leaders and fathers, State Commissioner Robert Gleason and Marc Matys of the San Diego Gay Men's Chorus. Chase's 13-yearold brother Maxwell MatysGleason is a remarkable teen in his own right. He is very proud and supportive of his young trans brother. I have had the pleasure of knowing the Matys-Gleason family for almost two decades and they are true role models of the new modern American family of the 21st century. This month, Marc and Robert will celebrate 27 years together and are happily married. Now let me get back to the historic unveiling ceremony of the National LGBTQ Wall of Honor at the Stonewall Inn, which was sponsored by the International Imperial Courts Council — the oldest LGBTQ organization in North America (1965) — and the oldest LGBTQ civil rights organization, the National LGBTQ Task Force. Well, you could have heard a pin drop as Chase gave his stirring speech. He talked about his journey as a young trans boy, his fellow trans friends, and those who helped him and his family. He also spoke of his respect for the many LGBTQ activists’ shoulders he now stands on. There was a hardly a dry eye among those in the crowd as we all were bursting with pride to have the privilege — yes, the privilege — to hear the words of this young activist who absolutely stole the show and was the talk of the town. Yes, I am the one that invited him to speak at this event and after he spoke and received a very long ovation, I said to the crowd, "Chase and our LGBTQ youth are not our future but
our here and now!" The crowd enthusiastically agreed when I said Chase was indeed a future president of the U.S. And now, I would like to officially nominate the Matys-Gleason family for next year's Community Grand Marshalls for San Diego's 2020 Pride Parade. My Pride co-founders Jess Jessop and Tom Homann In 1974, Vietnam veteran Jess Jessop and ACLU attorney Tom Homann and a wild drag queen "Baroness" of the Imperial Court named Nicole went down to the police station on Market Street to try to get a police permit for San Diego's first Pride march/ parade. We were not only told "no," but were told by a police sergeant, "There will never be a homosexual pride parade in San Diego." Well, about 40 of us marched anyway mostly on the sidewalks (Bridgette Wilson was one of us) that year and in 1975, many marched with paper bags over their faces — the "unknown gays." At our first 1974 Pride march and 1975 Pride march/parade, there were hardly any spectators on the streets. Before 1976, homosexuality was illegal and many were sent to mental hospitals for being homosexuals and subjected to electric shock treatment or lobotomies. Jessop went on to establish our LGBT Community Center and Lambda Archives, and Tom Homann went on to become a prominent civil rights attorney and even argued a successful
Surrounded by members of the Imperial Court System, Chase Matys-Gleason speaking at the official unveiling of the National LGBTQ Wall of honor at the historic Stonewall Inn in New York City. (Courtesy photo) case in front of the Supreme Court (he was also my personal attorney). Baroness Nicole went on to become the empress of San Diego and Queen Mother of the Americas. My brothers Jess and Tom died of AIDS over a decade later and every Pride parade and rally, I think of them and miss them very much. They were both good, kind, giving men and true gay leaders. Indeed, God has blessed me to be able to witness the growth and empowerment of the two communities I love. The Latino and LGBTQ communities, and to witness our Pride parade grow from about 40 people in 1974 to now hundreds of thousands. My Pride co-founders would be so proud — and please, never ever forget Jess Jessop and Tom Humann. Thank you, and happy 2019 Pride and Happy Stonewall 50!
— Nicole Murray Ramirez has been writing a column since 1973. He has been a Latino/gay activist for almost half a century and has advised and served the last seven mayors of San Diego. Named the ‘Honorary Mayor of Hillcrest’ by a city proclamation, he has received many media awards including from the prestigious San Diego Press Club. Reach Nicole at Nicolemrsd1@ gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @Nmrsd2. Editor’s Note: The opinions written in this column are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the opinions of the staff and/or publisher of Gay San Diego and/or its parent company, San Diego Community News Network (SDCNN). The newspaper and its staff should be held harmless of liability or damages.
events @TheCenTer Tues, July 9 & Wed, July 24
Saturday, Sept 28
Transgender name and Gender Marker Change Program
In its 30th year, AIDS Walk & Run San Diego remains the largest HIV/AIDS fundraiser in San Diego County. Funds raised will support 14 local HIV service organizations and The Center’s HIV services and programs. There are currently more than 18,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in San Diego County. Your participation inspires those living with HIV and honors those we’ve lost to the disease. This event also raises HIV awareness while reducing the stigma – and that is more important than ever to our fight to end HIV. registration is now open at www.aidswalksd.org!
6:30 pm, The Center
USD Pride Law is sponsoring the Transgender Name and Gender Marker Change Program to provide legal assistance to trans* individuals seeking name and gender-marker changes through the San Diego County court system. Law students and attorney volunteers will assist eligible clients in completing the requisite applications and navigating the process of obtaining a name and/or gender marker change. To schedule an appointment email helen at email@example.com or Deja at firstname.lastname@example.org.
South Bay Youth Center
Saturday, July 13 & Sunday, July 14
Families @ The Center hosts The Children’s Garden at San Diego Pride! Once you get to the Pride Festival, check out the great work of our Families @ The Center as they host the annual Children’s Garden for kids 13 and under. The Children’s Garden will feature entertainment, a toddler play area, face painting, hat making, a balloon artist, arts and crafts and more. For more information visit sdpride.org/ childrensgarden19.
www.thecentersd.org The San Diego LGBT Community Center 3909 Centre Street • 619-692-2077 Twitter: @LGBTCenter
The San Diego LGBT Community Center’s South Bay Youth Center (SBYC) in Chula Vista provides similar programming to The Center’s Hillcrest Youth Center, offering a drop-in and recreational center for LGBTQ and non-binary youth, youth living with HIV, and their families and allies. Established in 2019 to meet the increased demand for services for LGBTQ+ youth and families and to increase access to vital support and programs, the SBYC offers gender identity groups, arts programs, social activities, tutoring and discussion groups. A therapist is also be available on site. The South Bay Youth Center is open three days a week from 3-7pm – on Wednesdays for youth ages 18-24, on Thursdays for 14-18 year olds and Fridays for those ages 10-13. In addition, the Youth Center will be open on Monday evenings for Mi Familia, a support group for parents of LGBTQ youth. For more information about the South Bay Youth Center, please contact email@example.com or at 619.692.2077 x207.
GAY SAN DIEGO July 5 - 18, 2019
gay-sd.com FROM PAGE 1
San Diego History Center’s new addition “Legendary Drag Queens of San Diego” (Photos by Albert H. Fulcher)
The San Diego Drag Kings’ local history is recognized in the exhibit.
Legendary drag Queen Chad Michaels, one of the world’s premier Cher impersonators
“Long before San Diego native RuPaul became an international star and household name,” said Faderman, “drag queens used sartorial flair and performance skills to raise money for San Diego charities, including AIDS organizations, scholarships for needy youth, Christmas toy drives, and a winter blanket drive for the homeless in San Diego and Tijuana.” In addition to RuPaul, a native San Diegan, included in the exhibit are: Empress Nicole the Great, Chad Michaels, Tootie, Glitz Glam, Franceska, Paris Sukomi Max, Babette Schwartz, Lala Too and Norma. All were present for the grand opening with the exception of Chad Michaels, who was out on tour. San Diego History Center CEO and President Bill Lawrence said the exhibition could not be possible without the incredible help from the queens being honored. "This group is extraordinary, and we are honored to be sharing your stories with San Diego and the visitors to our region," Lawrence said. Faderman said that drag queens have a long history of fighting injustice in San Diego and elsewhere. She said the exhibit was appropriate to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall rebellion, a beginning of the modern gay rights movement, and that drag
queens were certainly important in that rebellion. "Our exhibit is not about social injustice," Faderman said. "It's about drag as entertainment, drag as glamour and imagination, playfulness and great fun. But I have to say, as I wrote the text and got to know all of the diverse stories of these drag queens, what I learned in every case is that they have used their entertaining talents to raise money for many worthwhile causes." Latino gay rights activist, San Diego City Human Rights Commissioner, and chair of the International Imperial Courts system, Nicole Murray Ramirez said he believes that this addition to the history center’s LGBTQ+ exhibition is a fitting tribute to commemorate the Stonewall uprising. Ramirez said among those fighting back at the Stonewall riots were Latino drag queen Sylvia Rivera and African American drag queen Marsha P. Johnson. "But we must remember that most certainly, they were not alone," Ramirez said. "As lesbians, gay men, and young queers took lead in these riots, it is important to know that many of these gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender were people of color, street queens, homeless and many of them were LGBT youth.” Ramirez said drag queens have played an important historic role in building the LGBT community and the civil rights movement not only in America,
see Legendary, pg 9
Legendary drag queen Glitz Glam chooses fluidity to define their gender by the binary of male or female, becoming known as the bearded queen.
Norma is legendary as the first African American female impersonator in San Diego, coming to the city in the 1970s, still performing drag even though he could’ve faced a dishonorable discharge from the Navy during the time when gay service members were being witch-hunted by the military.
Nicole Murray Ramirez, Queen Mother I of the Americas, International Imperial Court System, is a legendary Latino gay activist, not only in the local LGBTQ community but throughout America.
Legendary drag Queen Tootie has been the headlining emcee at Lips, San Diego’s premiere supper club since its opening in 1999. Tootie’s earned awards for her impersonations of Cher, Lena Horne, Billie Holiday, Jennifer Lopez and many more celebrities.
Babette Schwartz’s incredible career has a great San Diego history, as the world-traveling performer, who regularly performs on stage, emcees local events and is a great campaigner for LGBT rights and disadvantaged communities.
The legendary “Fashionista of Drag,” Lala Too is an Air Force veteran who settled in San Diego, becoming Miss Gay Pride in 1992. She later was elected Empress of the Imperial Court de San Diego in 2004.
Next to her infamous carousel dress, Paris Sukomi Max is a transgender advocate, entertainer, businessperson and showgirl, identifying as a transgender woman. As an entertainer, her persona is dynamic, and a diva with heart. She is a headliner for San Diego Pride’s main stage and produces and stars in “True Colors Revue.”
FROM PAGE 8
LEGENDARY but around the world, even before Stonewall. "Drag shows led the way in raising funds for the fight and campaigning against homophobes like Anita Bryant and (California Representative) John Briggs. Almost every weekend across this great nation, there are drag queen shows being held to this day
Renowned Latina drag activist Franceska started his career in drag at the age of 14 using borrowed identifications. Coming to San Diego in the 1980s he began helping those infected with HIV/AIDS and helped found Orgullo Latino (Latin Pride). (Photos by Albert H. Fulcher)
to raise money for our GLBT charities and organizations. Drag queen shows were nearly the only way of raising money for the GLBT community in the 1960s and ’70s. Today, we are celebrating the important role that drag queens have played in building the San Diego GLBT community." Ramirez said drag queen benefits in the ’70s raised most of the money to establish the LGBT Community Center, San Diego Pride, Metropolitan Community Church and many
other organizations. "The important role that drag queens played during the early dark years of AIDS in the 1980s is undeniable," Ramirez continued. "The first benefit for the AIDS Assistance Fund was a drag show at BJ's and the seed money for San Diego AIDS Walk was raised by drag shows." Learn more at sandiegohistory.org. —Albert Fulcher can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GAY SAN DIEGO July 5 - 18, 2019
GAY SAN DIEGO July 5 - 18, 2019
Cupcakes from a beloved bakery return to Hillcrest. (Courtesy photo)
An iconic restaurant receives public recognition.
The first official Pride event in Little Italy is coming. (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.) Little Italy’s Piazza della Famiglia will make way for “Out in Little Italy: Pride Brunch,” from 9 to 11:30 a.m., July 14. The event coincides with San Diego LGBT Pride weekend (July 12-14) and is presented by the Little Italy Association. It is the neighborhood’s first sanctioned Pride event.
Not Not Tacos. In addition, Frost Me Cake & Bakery will supply coffee and other items. Live entertainment will be offered throughout the brunch by a trio of drag performers: Jinx Mirage, Glitz Glam, and Kickxy Vixen-Styles.
Tickets are $75 per person, which includes the bottomless Set outdoors, the brunch mimosas, food, and transportation from the piazza to will feature bottomless mithe San Diego Pride festival mosas and a choice of dishes in Balboa Park. They can be from vendors inside the Little purchased online at littleitItaly Food Hall. They inNINE-TEN July 5 Ad.pdf 1 06/27/2019 7:11:59 PM alysd.com or sdpride.org. 619clude Roast, Ambrogio 15, 297-7683, 523 W. Date St. Wicked Maine Lobster and
The famed Chicken Pie Shop in North Park was recently named Small Business of the Year for 2019 in District 39 by Senate President Pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins. She congratulated members of the Townsend family, who have owned the eatery since 2000, for upholding it as a San Diego institution. “It has thrived for eight decades because it adheres to several core principles: high-quality product, first-rate customer service and an undeniable sense of community,” Atkins noted in a statement. The pie shop originally opened in Downtown San Diego in 1938. Its late founder, George Whitehead, moved the business to Fifth Avenue and Robinson Street in Hillcrest in the 1940s. Because of continued popularity, it ended up moving to its current, larger space nearly 30 years ago. 2633 El Cajon Blvd., 619-295-0156, chickenpieshop.com.
Hillcrest welcomes the return of Babycakes on July 8 as the bakery offers its acclaimed cupcakes and cakes inside Fiji Yogurt
at the HUB Hillcrest Market. Babycakes left its gayborhood digs on Fifth Avenue a year ago to focus on its larger facility in Paradise Hills while maintaining its coffeehouse and bake shop in Imperial Beach. Co-owner Christopher Stavros says the Hillcrest outlet will be temporary until settling on a permanent space. 1010 University Ave., 619-990-2282, babycakessandiego.com.
Exclusive chef-driven meals will be served starting July 17 at a dining counter facing this oak-fueled oven in Mission Hills. (Courtesy of Chemistry PR) Gather ‘round the crackling wood-fire oven at Fort Oak’s 14-seat dining counter for a six-course meal experience presented every two weeks on Wednesday and Thursday evenings by chef-owner Brad Wise. The exclusive dinners will be held every other week starting July 17. Customers will get to savor off-menu items involving locally grown vegetables, grilled
meats and fresh seafood crafted for the occasion by Wise and his culinary team. The price is $100 per person. Wine pairings are available for an additional $40. The Mission Hills restaurant is part of the locally based group that also operates Trust Restaurant and Hundred Proof. 1011 Fort Stockton Drive, 619-722-3398, fortoaksd.com.
Since splashing into University Heights three years ago with their sweet and savory pot pies crafted in individual sizes, owners Steven Torres and his husband Gan Suebsarakham of Pop Pie Co. have added whole 9-inch dessert pies to their repertoire. Those same pies are now also available by the slice. “We’ve done whole pies for catering and weddings since we opened, and thought it was time to change it up at the restaurant,” Torres stated to Gay San Diego via email. “We are still doing individual size sweet pies with minimum orders, but this format is here to stay,” he added.
Gay-owned Pop Pie Co. debuts whole pies in assorted varieties.
House-made rolled tacos at Los Panchos (Courtesy photo) Los Panchos Taco Shop in Hillcrest is due to reopen in about six weeks, according to owner Luis Diaz. The eatery will resurface one address away from its previous spot, in the corner structure on Washington Street and Fifth Avenue where Brazen BBQ operated (441 Washington St.). Dunkin’ Donuts is going into that address by late
(Photo courtesy Haley Hill)
The new, large varieties are Key lime, apple crumble, coconut cream, strawberry-rhubarb and German chocolate fudge. They sell for $30 apiece and $5.50 per slice. 4404 Park Blvd., 619-501-4440, poppieco.com.
fall. In addition to its popular tacos and burritos, the revised operation will offer a full bar as well as entrees featuring seafood, steaks, fajitas and more. “We were hoping to be open before San Diego Pride (July 12-14), but it wasn’t possible,” said Luis, who just opened an inviting, colorful location in Mission Valley (6110 Friars Road) that offers the shop’s standard fare, plus complimentary bean soup that comes with all orders. A beer and wine license is in the pipeline for that branch. 619-272-0626. —Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at email@example.com.
GAY SAN DIEGO July 5 - 18, 2019
Lured ashore by a celebrity chef Restaurant Review Frank Sabatini Jr.
’ve followed the San Diego ventures of Frankie Terzoli for more than a decade. With a taste for adventure, the mercurial chef-entrepreneur once told me he had opened more than 40 restaurants all over the world in a span of 20-something years. Locally, I recall his smoked meats at Frankie the Bull’s BBQ in Linda Vista, which was renamed The Bull after he bailed. In 2010, he had taken a serious shot at Creole cuisine in Hillcrest with The Big Easy, only to later introduce “Southern nouveau” meals at the antiquated Proud Mary restaurant in Kearny Mesa’s Ramada Inn. Most recently there was Fishmonger’s Market & Seafood in the former 57 Degrees wine bar in Middletown. And through it all, he made a name for himself on Bravo’s “Top Chef” (season two) and other cooking-competition TV shows with his charming personality and no-nonsense kitchen antics. Now he’s back in Hillcrest with Sirens Bar & Restaurant, presenting a renewed seafood concept in a stylish space previously held by Pardon My French. Since opening a few months ago, Terzoli has struck ties to the LGBT community by bringing drag shows to the establishment on the last Sunday of every month during brunch service. He has also committed to giving a portion of those brunch sales to the San Diego LGBT Community Center. In addition, he will hold an after-party for Trans Pride on the evening of July 12, along with food and drink specials for the remainder of Pride weekend, on July 13 and 14. Sirens is a play off the mythical, beguiling mermaids that lured sailors and fishermen to Mediterranean shores with their songs — and then
ultimately to their destruction. What a friend and I found when sailing in for brunch the last Sunday in June was hardly destructive or sinister, although we were disappointed to learn the drag performers had been postponed that particular month. But the “European breakfast board” duly compensated for the lack of flamboyance. It’s a sensational spread of artisan cheeses, cured meats and pickled and smoked fish, all interspersed by nuts, breads and dried fruits. Fresh fruits are served alongside in a bowl. The board can easily feed four people. And the spread is priced remarkably at only $18. Having eaten our fair share of fish from the board — pickled herring, smoked-pickled salmon, traditional lox and aggressively salted smoked swordfish — we skipped over the few seafood items on the menu and found ourselves bewitched by the Italian beef and pepper omelet, a creation I assume is fueled by Terzoli’s Sicilian heritage. The large, puffy omelet captured thin, tasty slices of the beef as well as bell peppers sauteed to proper softness. The provolone cheese inside was a couple notches away from being completely melted, hence its unruly stringiness. It was an enjoyable omelet nonetheless, although the side of cubed roasted potatoes needed work. They were overcooked and cried ideally for some kind of vinaigrette. Sirens’ lead chef is Esteff DeFelice Jr., who Terzoli recruited from Fishmonger’s. He’s from New Orleans and knows his Cajun-Creole cuisine inside and out. So with the lunch menu also available, we couldn’t pass up a shrimp po’boy sandwich. Constructed without any silly California spins, the sandwich adhered to its classic style featuring a good French roll filled with lightly battered Gulf shrimp, shredded lettuce, tomatoes and a zippy house-made remoulade. It became one of our favorite items.
3797 Park Blvd. (Hillcrest) 619-510-4933, sirenssd.com Dinner: Soups, salads, bowls and appetizers, $10 to $18 “Land and Sea” entrees, $19 to $42 Lunch: Soups, salads, bowls and appetizers, $10 to $18 Entrees, $10 to $20. Brunch (9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday and Sunday) $9 to $18
There are several waffle choices on the brunch menu, ranging from those topped with Nutella or s’mores to others capturing mixed berries or crispy chicken with melted Swiss. We tried the bananas foster served with an excess of uber-sweet banana mash as well as sliced fresh bananas. I wouldn’t answer to this siren call again mainly because the waffle was too dense and heavy to consume entirely. We later learned from DeFelice that it’s an experimental recipe
Earth tones and comfy banquette seating define the indoor dining area (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.)
using beignet dough. I vote for the standard Belgian-Liege batter. With a full bar in place, we tried a watermelon-mint margarita offering a fine balance of sweet and sour, in addition to the “wake up call” martini made with vodka and coffee liqueur. That was a little too cloying for our taste. Terzoli’s use of earth tones and recessed lighting have added a higher level of comfort to the space. Outdoor patios in front and alongside the building remain intact, as does the intimate bar. The establishment, however, is still taking root per the quiet, relaxing atmosphere we witnessed during our visit. We were told the slow pace was an anomaly. Yet I’m guessing that a true party vibe during weekend brunch (9 a.m. to 3
p.m.) will begin growing once revelers of San Diego Pride further discover the place — and after more Sunday drag shows are held. Until then, those seeking a calm and sophisticated atmosphere on weekend mornings should steer their ships into Sirens now. Closed on Mondays, Sirens also serves dinner Tuesday through Sunday; lunch Thursday through Sunday; and happy hour every day except Monday, from 4 to 6 p.m., and from 9 p.m. until closing. —Frank Sabatini Jr. is the author of “Secret San Diego” (ECW Press), and began his local writing career more than two decades ago as a staffer for the former San Diego Tribune. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
3/10 Fitness Together
Shrimp po’boy sandwich from the lunch menu
A loaded European-style breakfast board The Italian beef and pepper
Sirens Bar & Restaurant
GAY SAN DIEGO July 5 - 18, 2019
‘Little Shop of Horrors’ – Take a musical journey through the streets of skid row to a rundown flower shop where a bloodthirsty plant from another world eagerly awaits its next victim. Full of delightfully demented humor, this long-running off-Broadway musical comedy was inspired by Roger Corman's shockingly schlocky B-movie. Enjoy all the bloody good fun of doo-wop inspired songs like “Somewhere That’s Green,” “Feed Me” and “Suddenly, Seymour” with this creepy, campy creature feature ... starring some of San Diego's best musical theater talent! Runs through Aug. 4 at New Village Arts Theatre. $28$50. 2787 State St., Carlsbad. bit.ly/2XlbErQ The Music of Cher – Get ready for our biggest summer blockbuster ever! It’s our allnew, nothing-held-back Cher show featuring her iconic hits belted to the high heavens in tribute to the legendary diva. Don’t miss the fishnets, feathers and hair out to there — all live on the famous Balboa Theatre stage. You’ll love this show from Cher’s early days singing “I Got You Babe” with Sonny to her comeback sailor-boy smash “If I Could Turn Back Time” to her smoldering, scene-stealing “Fernando” from “Mama Mia 2!” Just wait until you see our 200 singers, dancers and musicians give our own hair-flippin’ spin on “Strong Enough,” “Believe” and “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me.” Calling all dark ladies, gypsies, tramps and thieves. Don’t miss the ultimate show of the summer with the world-famous San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus! $27-$75. 868 Fourth Ave. bit.ly/2KIIrEG Red Dress Party 2019 – Red Dress Party San Diego is a whimsical fundraising event where everyone is encouraged to be brave, let loose, and celebrate impact. Like the name suggests, attendees are required to wear a red dress, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. This serves as a powerful sign of compassion and solidarity for those affected by HIV/AIDS and as a way to unite the crowd in
gay-sd.com one radiant theme. Pre-sale tickets now available at discounted prices for this Sept. 14 event. General admission: $55. VIP admission: $150. Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier. 100 N. Harbor Drive. bit.ly/2HnWRpr
Saturday, July 6
Mr., Miss, Ms & Mx Gay Pride 2019 – Join us as we crown our new 2019 Gay Pride Royalty and honor our 2018 titleholders. Raffles, entertainment, and lots of FUNdraising! Emceed by Empress XLVI Barbie Z. $10 suggested donation with all proceeds benefiting the programs of the Imperial Court de San Diego. bit.ly/2Ncim2I
Sunday, July 7
PREP Social – Hosted by Good To Go San Diego, come to the PREP Social, a clothing swap for trans women and the nonbinary community. Although not required, don’t forget to bring clothes and accessories to swap. The event includes a pop-up swap, resources, entertainment, and PrEP and sexual health topics. Good to Go San Diego, 3830 Park Blvd. 2-4 p.m. Free. bit.ly/2Xy8u7p
Monday, July 8
Pride Week Kick Off Mixer – Annual Pride mixer for members and friends of the San Diego Equality Business Association (formerly the GSDBA, Greater San Diego Business Association). Hosted food, new members, veteran members and lots of fun conversations. Come mix and mingle and start Pride right. bit.ly/2xf0dGO
Wednesday, July 10
SDSU Aztec Pride Mixer – Please join SDSU in celebrating San Diego Pride with LGBTQ+ alumni, staff, friends and allies. SDSU is committed in bringing LGBTQ+ individuals together for this special annual occasion. With the impact the LGBTQ+ community has had on local, national and international fights for equality. RSVP to get your name on
our email list for additional information on the mixer and other LGBTQ SDSU updates. bit.ly/2ZMYO6h ‘50 Years of Fabulous’ – FilmOut San Diego presents Director Jethro Patalinghug’s “50 Years of Fabulous,” which recounts the rich history of the Imperial Council, the oldest LGBT charity organization in the world. Founded in San Francisco by renowned activist, drag queen and performer José Sarria, the council has helped shaped LGBT life and social history in San Francisco and beyond throughout the last five decades. Sarria was also the first openly gay man to run for political office in the United States in 1961. From its genesis as a critical public space for the community and capacity building of LGBT San Franciscans, to its vital role in the advocacy for LGBT human rights, “50 Years of Fabulous” documents the full scope of the organization’s historical evolution up to its contemporary struggle in finding relevance — both in the wake of social progress it has helped foster, and in light of a newly empowered political coalition committed to rolling back a half century of civil rights achievements. Landmark’s Hillcrest Cinemas, 3965 Fifth Ave. 7-9 p.m. bit.ly/2Xd4ZnH WellFare Wednesday – Join us on WellFare Wednesday on July 10 as we kick off Pride with Ariana Grande Night at Flicks! Tons of Ariana Grande videos all night, pop-up performances, and more. No cover. 9 p.m. to close. Flicks, 1017 University Ave. bit.ly/2Livwsv
Thursday, July 11
Do Biz with Pride – Mix and mingle during a festive happy hour with a diverse group of LGBT and allied business professionals and organizations at the third annual Pride Business Mixer, presented by San Diego Pride, and Stoli Vodka in association with the Equality Business Alliance/San Diego LGBT Visitors Center, Bair Financial Planning, Diversity Suppliers Alliance,
Ellevate and Rich's San Diego! Hundreds of professionals come to mix, make employment connections, strengthen their networks, and have a great time. This mega-mixer is San Diego's largest LGBT-themed mixer of the year and serves to kick off the annual San Diego LGBT Pride Parade & Music Festival. Rich’s San Diego, 1051 University Ave. 5-8 p.m. $20 pre-registration until July 10. $25. bit.ly/2LiJJp2 Annual Light the Night – County of San Diego LGBT and Allies Association invites all to attend the second annual lighting of the County Administration Center in rainbow colors in honor of Pride weekend in San Diego. Guest of honors: County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, the Honorable Christine Kehoe, Senate President Toni G. Atkins, San Diego LGBT Community Center CEO Cara Dessert and San Diego Pride Executive Director Fernando Lopez. Gather at the fountain on the west side of the complex at 7:30 p.m., lighting planned for 8 p.m. bit.ly/2RAfk6I
Friday, July 12
Saturday, July 13
20th annual Women’s Pride Brunch – Join inspiring LGBTQ women leaders as we kick off Pride in San Diego at the annual Victory Fund Women’s Pride Brunch. Since 1991, Victory Fund has worked to increase the number of openly LGBTQ elected officials by providing campaign, communications and fundraising support to our endorsed candidates. More than 200 guests are expected to attend the annual event, which kicks off the annual Pride Parade in San Diego. The event attracts leading donors, elected officials and activists. 8-9:45 a.m. $135 individual ticket. Table prices $1,300-$3,500. Gossip Grill, 1220 University Ave. bit.ly/31QEIKm
Pride of Hillcrest Block Party – The Pride of Hillcrest Block Party returns to Pride Plaza celebrating the culture, history, diversity and LGBTQ+ community that lives, works and plays in San Diego’s most colorful and vibrant community. Registration, online donations and VIP tickets: bit.ly/2xcLb4n
San Diego Pride Parade – The annual San Diego Pride Parade is the largest single-day civic event in the region and is among the largest Prides in the United States, attracting over 250,000 cheering supporters of the LGBTQ community! Hillcrest Pride Flag, 1600 University Ave. Free. 10 a.m. sdpride.org/parade
Spirit of Stonewall Rally – Pride celebrations everywhere trace their heritage to the evening of June 28, 1969, when patrons of the Stonewall Inn in New York City said, “No more!” to police harassment. That protest has grown to annual events held in major cities throughout the world. Hillcrest Pride Flag, 1600 University Ave. Free. bit.ly/2IKKJkb
San Diego Pride Festival – Tickets are on sale for this year’s San Diego Pride Festival on July 13-14. The festival is time to be out and proud in San Diego tradition. Enjoy the city’s largest celebration with thousands of attendees, vendors and information booths. Entertainment includes more than 100 entertainers with four stages. General Admission: $15-$30. VIP Admission: $150-$200. High school-aged youth and under admitted for free at the box office. Marston Point, Balboa Park, Sixth Avenue and Laurel Street. sdpride.org
UNITE! Music Festival – UNITE! Music Festival is an all-inclusive nightlife experience. We strive to bring all walks of life together to laugh, dance and live. Join us as we
Q Q PUZZLE PUZZLE
YOU BET YOUR SWEET ASTRONAUT ACROSS
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41 Fag ___ (women with gay friends) 42 Cheese in red 43 It may get a licking 44 Charles, who could make you a man 45 Type of aircraft engine 47 It is butt a toy 49 Cornmeal breads 51 Nap with Frida? 56 Liszt of piano pieces 58 Subject of 20-Across 61 Having nice stems 62 Cloverleaf part 63 “A Streetcar Named Desire” director Kazan 64 Caligula’s year 65 Folk history 66 Permission request 67 Carolyn who wrote about a Nancy 68 Marsh of “South Park” 69 Very in Vichy
solution on page 14 DOWN 1 They serve up whoppers 2 In a dominant position 3 Swingers’ place? 4 Venom carrier 5 Put in shackles 6 Cukor's rib donor 7 Old Italian coin 8 Téa of “Fun with Dick and Jane” 9 Makes pigtails, maybe 10 58-Across before he changed his name 11 Opinion piece in “The Advocate,” e.g. 12 Arizona river 13 Force that causes you to go down 21 He took a bow 25 Time that goes either way 27 Wild pig 28 Deep throat problem 30 “Cunt” author Muscio 31 Give some lip 32 Raspberry that isn’t a fruit
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Robertson is also convinced queer people are the future of the church. While Pew Research Center tracked a decrease in Americans identifying as Christians between 2013 and 2015, the number of lesbian, gay or bisexual Americans identifying as Christian actually went up from 42% to 48% in the two-year period. One of the pastors Robertson has formed a relationship with is Miles McPherson, the pastor of the Rock Church in San Diego. The former NFL player brings in 19,000 people across five campuses in the region. Robertson pointed out a picture of McPherson he keeps in his office to remind him of why he needs to
FROM PAGE 4
DEVOUT that it's in our diversity and in our complexity that we most reflect God,” he said. “Now, my sexuality and my faith go hand in hand because through the diversity of sexuality and gender identity, I think we have a unique lens into the creativity of God and a God that is that creative is so much more interesting than a God who wants everybody to be the same and to conform.” It was seeing other queer Christians in a church service that first made him rethink his theology. While in college, he and fellow students went to a church just a few blocks from Moody Bible Institute. There, he saw a woman take the pulpit and preach for the first time in his life. At that point, the other students left, loudly. Despite believing a woman speaking in church was unbiblical, Robertson stayed. At the end of the service, he noticed two women holding hands while singing praise music. He said this was the first church he saw embody radical welcome for everybody and calling people deeper into who they truly are. After he was outed publicly in 2015, Robertson spent years meeting with prominent evangelical leaders and debating them, or as he put it being a “fly in their ointment.” Now, he has a
GAY SAN DIEGO July 5 - 18, 2019
keep going. When the mega-church pastor and Robertson meet, Robertson takes all issues of homosexuality in the Bible or politics off the table. He just wants to shatter McPherson’s paradigm by being a gay Christian with an authentic faith. Robertson does not think the Rock will be an inclusive church anytime soon, but he does credit McPherson with continuing to meet with him. Jester has less hope one of the major proponents of Proposition 8 will make any meaningful efforts at reconciliation with the LGBTQ+ community. For her, McPherson privately
see DevOUT, pg 16
Susan Jester is in seminary to continue her work at St. Paul’s Cathedral. (Photo by Kendra Sitton)
different approach to changing the minds of conservative pastors. “I think sharing stories and cultivating empathy is what will change conservatives’ minds on LGBT issues. I've got the chance to sit with some of the largest churches in the country and just share
who I am,” he explained. “I've seen churches of 10,000 people where the pastor goes from anti-gay to completely affirming and trying to figure out now what do they do with their church of 10,000 people. How do you convince 10,000 people to change their mind?”
MICHAEL KIMMEL Psychotherapist Author of "Life Beyond Therapy" in Gay San Diego 5100 Marlborough Drive San Diego CA 92116 (619)955-3311 www.LifeBeyondTherapy.com
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GAY SAN DIEGO July 5 - 18, 2019
Celebrate Pride in San Diego at the First Annual OUT in Little Italy: Pride Brunch By Chris Gomez Head to the Little Italy neighborhood on Sunday, July 14 to honor the LGBTQ+ community with a brand-new, sanctioned San Diego Pride event, OUT in Little Italy: Pride Brunch hosted by the Little Italy Association. The celebration will be held in Little Italy’s stunning Piazza della Famiglia from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The intimate mimosa brunch will feature eclectic food offerings from participating eateries at the Little Italy Food Hall, bottomless mimosas, live drag performances, fresh PRIDE/house music, and more! The heart of Little Italy will come alive with colorful rainbow décor and exciting festivities to take place during the mid-morning event, including DJ Jinx Mirage spinning tracks and drag performances by the winner of XTina Draguilera on Bravo TV’s Watch What Happens Live, Kickxy Vixen-Styles and Glitz Glam. A portion of proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the programs of San Diego Pride. Guests will be entertained the whole morning by all three talents. Not only is Kickxy Vixen-Styles the winner of XTina Draguilera on Bravo TV’s Watch What Happens Live, but she’s the queen of many faces and specializes in cosplay drag. Kickxy Vixen-Styles always brings everything to each stage her heels step on, so OUT in Little Italy: Pride
DJ Jinx Mirage
Brunch attendees won’t be let down! Glitz Glam was married at the Grammys by Queen Latifah and is house DIVA and manager of Urban MO’s Bar & Grill in Hillcrest. She’s been serving gender fluid fierceness since 1998 and will bring the glitz and the glam of Pride to Little Italy with a special performance during brunch. Live entertainment isn’t the only thing on the itinerary. All OUT in Little Italy: Pride Brunch ticketholders can select brunch options from the Little Italy Food Hall vendors, including Ambrogio 15, Mein St. Asian Kitchen, Bobboi Natural Gelato, Not Not Tacos, Roast and Wicked Maine Lobster. Attendees also receive bottomless mimosas from the Little Italy Food Hall and coffee from the Piazza della Famiglia’s Frost Me Café & Bakery. Bloody Mary’s and other cocktails will be available for purchase at an additional price. Tickets for OUT in Little Italy: Pride Brunch can be purchased online and are priced at $75. The ticket includes bottomless mimosas, food offerings, transportation from the Piazza della Famiglia to the San Diego PRIDE Festival in Balboa Park on Sunday and all entertainment. Ticketholders can also buy a ticket to Sunday’s San Diego Pride Festival for an additional cost of $25. The Piazza della Famiglia will be sectioned off for ticketholders and guests will receive wristbands. To learn more about the event, visit OUTinLittleItalySD.com. To stay connected with Little Italy, check out what’s going on in the neighborhood by following the community on Instagram and Twitter: @ LittleItalySD and Facebook: LittleItalySD. To learn more things happening in the neighborhood, visit LittleItalySD. com. —Christopher Gomez has been Little Italy’s district manager since 2000. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Glitz Glam (Courtesy photos)
GAY SAN DIEGO July 5 - 18, 2019
building around Light Up the acknowledging that,” Lopez Cathedral and Pride week. said. “How can we find a She remains influential in healthy path forward to comDevOUT. In the wake of the bating anti-Semitism, comPittsburgh Synagogue mass bating racism, and combating apologizing to queer leaders shooting, Jester convinced homophobia and transphobia about past harms will not Lopez to bring attention to and do that collectively? How remedy the damage perpetuJewish gay people. That deare faith institutions doing ated in his church today. cision was further confirmed that? How are they doing Jester said, “If he really after the shooting at the it together and how can we wants to apologize, then he Chabad of Poway synagogue. build strength through that should start talking to his “In the last few years, diversity in our commucongregation about equality there's been a huge uptick nity to fight those battles and equal rights for gay peoin violence and hate crimes together?” ple. [They say] ‘you're accept- and toward the LGBT comAt this year’s Light Up the ed.’ Their line is ‘we welcome munity, towards people of Cathedral on July 10, Lopez you,’ but they want you to color, towards immigrants will give the Light of Pride ultimately change.” and particularly towards the award to Jewish Family Still, she appreciates larger Jewish community Service of San Diego for Robertson’s youthful ide[from a] place of hate and their service to the Jewish, alism, which is one of the white supremacy. Their roots LGBTQ+ and refugee comreasons she has turned over are traced back to the same munities in the area. In the reins for the interfaith place and we really wantaddition, the keynote speech coalition she years ed to ensure that we were 07_03_2019__TRIM: will be given Jewish TOU spent Tips Phase 5__SD Community News Network_RUN: 6.1by x 10.96
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Susan Jester speaks at the first Light Up the Cathedral. (Photo by Susan Forsburg) activist and Rabbinical student Steven Goldstein. Jester wanted to bring him to San Diego so he could teach interfaith leaders about how to organize and use their platforms to counteract hate at a workshop on July 11. “We all have a common denominator and that is white supremacy or white nationalism. Anti-Jew, anti-Muslim, anti-gay — it's all the same. We're all in the same boat together and we need to find those things that we have in common and to fight back,” Jester said. The work of DevOUT will continue past Pride week with the interfaith coalition getting involved in legislation Jester characterizes as anti-LGBTQ+ disguised as religious freedom. During Pride, the twothirds of LGBT people who self-identify as spiritual or religious will have several ways to take pride in their sexual or gender identity and faith at the same time. “Far too many young people hear from their faith leaders that their mere existence is a sin, a moral failure, and that eternal damnation awaits them. I was one of those young people,” Lopez said in an email following the United Methodist Church’s decision in February to strengthen bans on same-sex marriages and ordaining LGBTQ+ clergy. “While many of us still carry the trauma of the bigotry and harm we experienced in the name of faith, 65% of all LGBTQ people embrace their personal connection to faith.” The interfaith celebration of Pride kicks off with the annual rainbow lighting of St. Paul’s Cathedral, known as Light Up the Cathedral,
which will happen on Wednesday, July 10, at 7 p.m. at St. Paul’s Cathedral. The next day, faith leaders are invited to attend a workshop on how to change the world through interfaith organizing at Ohr Shalom Synagogue on Thursday, July 11, at 10 a.m. DevOUT is hosting Pride’s first Interfaith Village where festivalgoers can access a chaplain for spiritual direction or counseling and find resources on affirming faith organizations. There will also be presentations, workshops, and spiritual practices held in the event space from July 13-14. Queer faith leaders will offer a prayer and blessing ahead of the Pride Parade under the Hillcrest Pride Flag on Saturday morning. The blessing, now an annual tradition, historically began with allies offering prayers but is now led by LGBTQ+ clergy. “The 50th anniversary of Stonewall is this year and we see how much has changed in 50 years regarding sexuality and gender in American culture. It's faster than any other social movements in American history,” Robertson said. “So we have a lot of reason to hope. Years from now, I don't even think we can fathom how different our society can become if we keep pressing forward believing that change is possible and working for that change.” — Kendra Sitton is the editor of San Diego Uptown News, a publication of San Diego Community News Group. Kendra can be reached at email@example.com.