LGBTQ San Diego County News August 2022 Volume 3 Issue 21

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August 2022 volume 3 issue 21

AuGuST 5, 2022 voLumE 3 iSSuE 21





The Pride of Lion King Returns p16 News

California LGBTq Health and Human Services Network Welcomes Dannie Ceseña as the Next Network Director p4

BIg MIkE & FRIENDS Featuring Lawrence Brown p8

LIFE BEYOND ThERApY You are Not Your History p9

TRANS TALk WITh CONNOR San Diego Pride Re-cap and More Community News p10


PUblIC servICe

Taking Care of What’s Important p14

A NOTE FROM TONI Happy August! And, Happy Birthday to us! p6


DISTRICT ATTORNEY NEWS To Share or not to Share p12

Creep of the Week: Marco Rubio p18

COUrT News

Arrest Made in 1990 Murder p19 San Diego Man Pleads Guilty to Murder p p19


EDucATioN, prEvENTioN, AND HArm rEDucTioN ArE KEy until vAccines become much more widely AvAilAble, prevention And hArm reduction Are importAnt strAtegies

aTTOrNeY GeNeral bONTa releases 2021 haTe CrIMe rePOrT

By Allan Acevedo


s more than 75 countries have confirmed over 25,000 Monkeypox cases in non-endemic countries, a myopic hysteria has seized public health experts, the LGBTQIA+ community, and conservatives attempting to weaponize the moment.

Announces creAtion of A stAtewide hAte crime coordinAtor position within the cAliforniA depArtment of Justice

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conversAtions with nicole

saN DIeGO lGbTQ+ hIsTOrY bOOk, FINallY! rEAD oN pAGE 7

alifornia Attorney General Rob Bonta has released the 2021 Hate Crime in California Report and highlighted information and resources to support ongoing efforts across the state to combat hate. At 1,763 bias events in 2021, overall hate crimes reported in California increased 32.6% from 2020 to 2021 and are at their highest reported level since 2001. Reported hate crimes targeting Black people remain the most prevalent and increased 12.5% from 456 in 2020 to 513 in 2021, while reported anti-Asian hate crime events once again increased dramatically, rising 177.5% from 2020 to 2021, and reported hate crimes involving a sexual orientation bias also increased significantly, rising 47.8% from 2020 to 2021. Amidst this surge in reported hate crime events, Attorney General Bonta urges local partners and law enforcement to review the resources highlighted today and to recommit themselves to taking action. The Attorney General continues to convene law enforcement, elected leaders, and community organizations at the local level across the state to help increase awareness around available resources and strengthen responses to hate crime in California. In addition, today, Attorney General Bonta is formally announcing the creation of a statewide hate crime coordinator position within the California Department of Justice’s Criminal Law Division in order to further assist state and local law enforcement efforts to combat hate crime.

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Attorney General Bonta releases 2021 Hate crime report continued from page 1 “Today’s report undeniably shows that the epidemic of hate we saw spurred on during the pandemic remains a clear and present threat,” said Attorney General Bonta. “In fact, reported hate crime has reached a level we haven’t seen in California since the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11. As our state’s top law enforcement officer, I will continue to use the full authority of my office to fight back. We will keep working with our local law enforcement partners and community organizations to make sure every Californian feels seen, heard, and protected. While there is no single solution, it’s up to all of us to heed the call, because when our communities feel empowered, they come forward. Now, more than ever, it is critical that we stand united — there is no place for hate in California.” The California Department of Justice has collected and reported statewide data on hate crimes since 1995. Under California law, a hate crime is a criminal act committed in whole or in part because of a victim’s actual or perceived disability, gender, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or association with someone with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. Hate crimes are distinct from hate incidents, which are actions or behaviors motivated by hate that may be protected by the First Amendment right to freedom of expression. Examples of hate incidents include name-calling, insults, and distributing hate material in public places. If a hate incident starts to threaten a person or property, it may become a hate crime. Historically, hate crime data has generally been underreported and the California Department of Justice recognizes that the data presented in its reports may not adequately reflect the actual number of hate crime events that have occurred in the state. Nevertheless, it is important to note that the total number of hate crime events reported in 2021 is the sixth highest ever recorded and the highest since hate crime events skyrocketed in 2001 in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11.

Some of the key findings from the 2021 Hate Crime in California Report include: • Overall, reported hate crime events increased 32.6% from 1,330 in 2020 to 1,763 in 2021; • Anti-Black bias events were the most prevalent, increasing 12.5% from 456 in 2020 to 513 in 2021; • Hate crime events motivated by a sexual orientation bias increased 47.8% from 205 in 2020 to 303 in 2021;

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• Anti-Asian bias events increased 177.5% from 89 in 2020 to 247 in 2021; • Anti-Hispanic or Latino bias events increased 29.6% from 152 in 2020 to 197 in 2021; • Among hate crime events involving a religious bias, anti-Jewish bias events were the most prevalent and increased 32.2% from 115 in 2020 to 152 in in 2021; and • From 2020 to 2021, the number of cases filed for prosecution by district attorneys and elected city attorneys involving hate crime charges increased by 30.1%.

“Now, more than ever, it is critical that we stand united — there is no place for hate in California.”

In 2021, Attorney General Bonta issued a series of reports, guidance, and resources to help the public and law enforcement better understand and address hate crimes in California. Given the ongoing challenge presented by hate crime, the Attorney General urges leaders across the state and members of the public to review and make use of these important resources, which include a law enforcement bulletin summarizing applicable civil and criminal hate crime laws, guidance to prosecutors to help strengthen prosecution and enforcement, and brochures and fact sheets in more than two dozen languages to assist Californians in identifying and responding to hate crime events. Last year, Attorney General Bonta also released a special report on anti-Asian hate crimes during the pandemic, which offers important context and analysis regarding the recent increases in anti-Asian hate crime events. Ahead of the release of last year’s report, Attorney General Bonta launched the Racial Justice Bureau, which, among other things, supports the California Department of Justice’s broader mandate to advance the civil rights of all Californians by assisting with new and ongoing efforts to combat hate and bias. Since last year, the Attorney General has also engaged with local leaders through roundtables in San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento, San Diego, Riverside, Long Beach, Santa Ana, and San Jose. More broadly, the Attorney General is deeply committed to responding to the needs of historically marginalized and underrepresented communities and, last year, also launched the Office of Community Awareness, Response, and Engagement to work directly with community organizations and members of the public as part of the effort to advance justice for all Californians. Members of the public can further explore the most recent hate crime data on A copy of the 2021 Hate Crime in California report is available files/attachments/pressdocs/Hate Crime In CA 2021 FINAL.pdf.

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understanding monkeypox continued from page 1 At the root of this hysteria seems to be racist and homophobic biases, a lack of Western understanding about the history of Monkeypox, countyspecific underreporting issues, testing bottlenecks, vaccine stockpiling red tapes, treatment impediments, and crisis fatigue. As we collectively continue to follow this outbreak, here is information relevant to understanding, preventing, treating, and educating yourself and others about this outbreak. QuICk HIStoRy ANd FACtS: First identified in 1958, Monkeypox (MPX), which many health care professionals stress needs to have a name change to avoid stigma, is currently considered endemic in ten African countries. It has been around for six decades and has never been considered an STD, Jackson Memorial Hospital medical director, Dr. John Esin, stressed. The self-contained virus tends to last two to four weeks with fatality rates around three to six percent. The incubation period (from infection to beginning of symptoms) is six to thirteen days. For this outbreak, the virus doesn’t look like it does in textbooks. Often, it can take the form of one or two lesions easily confused for STIs such as herpes or syphilis. Textbook symptoms describe a flu-like illness with fever, fatigue, and swollen lymph nodes. A rash soon follows with painful blisters that spread across the body. The rash seems to centralize in the genitals or anus and doesn’t always spread. For some, instead of a pox, there are ulcers or craters. Still, the pain can require medication and the sores may cause longterm scaring. Until recently, it was rare in Europe and the Americas, according, to Smithsonian Magazine. Arguably, MPX in Africa is the result of unequal access to global vaccine stockpiles and other healthcare resources, discussed below. SpReAd: The virus spreads through direct contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids, sores, or scabs and sharing contaminated objects, such as clothing or bedding. While airborne exposure is possible but less common and understudied. Currently, the virus seems to be spreading mainly among men who have sex with other men (MSM). Importantly, smaller number of pediatric cases have been reported. Science Magazine suggests this spread among MSMs could be due to a “highly interconnected sexual networks.” In fact, epidemiologist Mateo Prochazka, who consults for the United Kingdom Health Security Agency, emphasized that transmission risk is “less about sexual identity and more about sexual networks.” The ability to respond to these trends has been further hobbled by a combination of long-neglected historical facts and deeply rooted scrutiny of sexual minorities.

and ACAM2000 is approved under the Expanded Access Investigational New Drug application, but should not be used in people with weakened immune systems, skin conditions, or who are pregnant, according to the CDC. Vaccines are slowly made available to states, who then distribute them to local health care agencies and counties. Some counties, such as Los Angeles, already had a working relationship with the national stockpile so they get their supplies directly. Jynneos doses are administered over two doses, intended to be one-month apart. The maximal immune response development takes 14 days after the second Jynneos dose and four weeks after the ACME2000 dose. Though many health agencies have indicated prioritizing first dose shots. According to the CDC, vaccine side effects are generally mild, more likely to occur in people with chronic skin conditions and those who are immune compromised. Side effects may include: • Soreness or redness at injection point. • Armpit glands may swell and be sore. • Slight fever. • One out of three people feel sick enough to call out of work. • One in a thousand may experience more severe effects.

“Until vaccines become much more widely available, prevention and harm reduction are important strategies against the illness.” VACCINe StoCkpILe CoNCeRNS: Citing a 2004 letter by then Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tommy G. Thompson, where the United States pledged 20 million smallpox vaccines to the global stockpile managed by the WHO, the consumer advocacy non-profit, Public Citizen, urged the United States to expedite releasing the 100 million smallpox vaccines in its global stockpile, “an older generation of smallpox vaccine believed to be [85 percent] effective against monkeypox,” according to the Washington Post. Despite the massive smallpox vaccine stockpile, the federal government has been hesitant to distribute vaccines to states and counties. The CDC also recommends that people with weakened immune systems or certain skin conditions should not take it unless exposed. Conversely, Jynneos was approved for prevention of smallpox and monkeypox in 2019. The company that developed Jynneos, Bavarian Nordic, indicated that the United States government exercised a $119 million order, according to the

Washington Post. The biotech company also indicated several new lucrative deals with undisclosed countries, prompting two upgrades to its financial guidance, as indicated by Reuters. pReVeNtIoN: Until vaccines become much more widely available, prevention and harm reduction are important strategies against the illness. Talk to your partner(s) about recent illnesses and be vigilant of unexplained rashes, especially the genitals and anus. If there any recent flulike illnesses or rashes, avoid sex and contact a healthcare provider, including public health clinics near you. Individuals are encouraged to call providers, not walk in in-person. Screening for STIs is also important because California health experts indicated a 25 percent concomitant infection rate between Syphilis and Monkeypox infections. The best protections are to avoid any form of sex (oral, anal, vaginal); do not kiss or touch each other’s bodies while sick, especially avoiding any rashes. Do not share towels,

fetish gear, toys, or toothbrushes. Harm reduction strategies include considering virtual sex options with no in-person contact. Cover areas where rash is present, reducing as much skin-to-skin contact as possible. Condoms may help prevent the spread of rashes confined to genitals but aren’t likely enough coverage to prevent Monkeypox. Remember to wash any shared items after use. Avoid or limit new, multiple, or anonymous sex partners. Lastly, if you think you are infected, avoid touching your rash, otherwise it may spread to other parts of the body and delay healing. VACCINAtIoN: Currently, California has received more than 61,000 doses, of which the state has distributed over 25,000, according to a press release from Governor Gavin Newsom declaring a state of emergency to combat Monkeypox. Tracking California’s response can also be reviewed online, at the California Department of Public Health. Two vaccines are currently available. Jynneos was previously approved by the FDA

tReAtmeNt: At a California Department of Public Health zoom update this week, health experts stressed that treatment, Tecovirimat (TPOXX), options were available, but currently hampered by burdensome paperwork, which they hoped a declaration of emergency may relieve. Unlike vaccine options, which are currently restricted to those 18 years of age and older, treatment is available to those under 18, but state officials emphasized it was not a “straightforward process”. SAN dIego: Patrick Loose, head of the San Diego County HIV, Hepatitis, and HIV branch, indicated the County had received 3,987 vaccines and have distributed 2,415 as of August 1. Of the vaccine appointments available, 200 were in the weekday evenings (5:30 pm to 8 pm). Currently contracted HIV outreach providers will be charged to include “monkeypox health & risk reduction education at the bathhouse twice per month,” according to Loose. Many new vaccine shipments are “being distributed to health care systems and federally qualified health centers so those organizations can provide post-exposure prophylaxis for their patients.” In discussing the county’s request for more vaccines, Loose indicated the county’s low verified case count, currently at 40 cases as of August 2, limited the state from allotting more vaccines.



August 2022 volume 3 issue 21


he California LGBTQ Health and Human Services Network, the statewide coalition working to advance LGBTQ health equity, announced on July 29, 2022, that Transgender Health Equity Manager Dannie Ceseña will lead the organization as the next Network Director when Amanda McAllister-Wallner steps down at the end of July 2022. The organization began its search for a new Network Director in early March 2022 and is excited to share that its former Director, Amanda McAllister-Waller, will continue to provide strategic guidance and leadership within the organization as Deputy Director of Health Access. The Network has been led by four directors during that time: Daniel Gould, Kate Burch, Amanda McAllisterWallner, and now Dannie Ceseña. Amanda has served as Network Director since 2016. Over the last six years under Amanda’s leadership, the Network has grown to a team of six, and has launched multiple projects, including #Out4MentalHealth, We Breathe, Out About ACEs, and LGBTQ+ COVID Safety. During this time, the Network has firmly established itself as the statewide leader on issues related to LGBTQ health – with state funding to coordinate efforts to reduce LGBTQ mental health and tobacco-related disparities. Amanda has also pushed numerous advocacy efforts, including the creation of the Gender Health Equity Unit at CDPH, collection of sexual orientation and gender identity data during the COVID-19 pandemic, and prioritizing funding for LGBTQ communities impacted by the War on Drugs. “It’s impossible to overstate my excitement to welcome Dannie as the next Director of the California LGBTQ Health and Human Services Network! I feel fortunate to have had a front-row seat to Dannie’s work and leadership over the past four years and have no doubt that he will take the Network to exciting new heights in the coming years,” said Health Access Deputy Director. McAllisterWallner added, “Serving as the Network Director for the past six years has truly been a dream come true. It’s been an honor to have the opportunity to work on behalf of my community, achieve some amazing wins, and work alongside some of the most incredible LGBTQ community leaders in existence.” Dannie Ceseña (he/they) is the first Indigenous, Two Spirit with Mexica roots to lead as Director of the Network. He has over 15 years of experience working with non-profits in program development and advocacy. He has extensive knowledge in creating Transgender and Gender Nonconforming (TGNC) healthcare collaborations by utilizing upstream interventions and addressing the root cause of the lack of access to TGNCaffirming health care. Dannie’s knowledge and leadership have assisted in the creation of two TGNC community health

“Dannie Ceseña (he/they) is the first Indigenous, Two spirit with Mexican roots to lead as Director of the Network”

Dannie Ceseña (courtesy image)

cAliforniA lgbtq heAlth And humAn services network welcomes

DaNNIe Ceseña

as The NexT NeTwOrk DIreCTOr By Ariela cuellar

care clinics, and a monthly TGNC legal clinic in Orange County, CA. Dannie has become a trusted leader in LGBTQ health among partners in the California Tobacco Control Program. He is responsible for building We Breathe: Supporting Tobacco-Free LGBTQ Communities from the ground-up, and has established the program as a leader statewide, nationally, and even internationally. He has provided leadership and guidance for LGBTQ organizations that are new to working with the Department of Public Health, helping them navigate the complicated bureaucracy and ensuring LGBTQ project staff always have a place to turn with their questions and concerns. “With the enthusiastic support from both the staff and the steering committee, I am excited to promote Dannie as the fourth director of the California LGBTQ HHS Network, continuing his work to amplify the voices of LGBTQ-serving organizations and advance health equity.” Said Anthony Wright, Executive Director of Health Access, the statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition, which hosts the

Network. “Amanda McAllisterWallner took the CA LGBTQ HHS Network to another level, expanding the staff sixfold, creating new programs on mental health, tobacco control and health equity, and winning new policies on SOGI data collection and more. With his significant experience before and during his time with Health Access working on public health, trans inclusion, and program development, we are excited to see Dannie take the CA LGBTQ Network to be a greater resource and leader to support the community.” As the Network Director, Dannie will work with advocates throughout the state to ensure the implementation of legislation and policies that will benefit LGBTQ+ health and wellness. Additionally, he will provide management and direction to Network programs and staff and support the expansion and overall capacity of the Network by adding a new Network Organizer and Trans Health Equity Manager. “Amanda has done a tremendous job in taking a small program that is housed at Health Access and turning it into a Statewide powerhouse and organization that has name

recognition and respect among many state departments,” stated Network Director Dannie Cesena. “Even though I am following in the footsteps of a legend, I look forward to working closely with our Steering Committee and deepening our work in State advocacy and policy for equitable and accessible LGBTQ health care.” Click here to learn more about Dannie’s history with California LGBTQ Health and Human Services Network and other achievements over his decade plus long career in LGBTQ advocacy. The California LGBTQ Health & Human Services Network is an LGBTQ-specific program of Health Access, bringing together more than 60 non-profit providers, community centers, and researchers to advocate collectively for state-level policies and resources that will advance LGBTQ health. Founded in 2007, the Network provides coordinated leadership about LGBTQ health policy in a proactive, responsive manner that promotes health and well-being as part of the movement for LGBTQ equality and ensures that there is a distinct LGBTQ voice in health policy

decision-making venues. In 2012, the program helped launch the California Reducing Disparities Project LGBTQ Phase I Report First, Do No Harm in collaboration with Cal Voices. In addition, the Network was in charge of outreach efforts that reached over 1.2 million LGBTQ Californians at more than 600 events with information about Covered California and the Affordable Care Act. Since 2017, #Out4MentalHealth has provided training, education, outreach, and advocacy throughout the state to address LGBTQ mental health needs. Additionally, in 2018, the Network was selected by the California Tobacco Control Program to lead the first statewide coordinating center to reduce LGBTQ tobacco-related disparities. The Network developed the We Breathe project from the ground-up, gaining statewide recognition. The Network has contributed several other joint projects in the last 3 years, including partnering with Equality California Institute on the California Complete Count initiative and partnering with Cal Voices on Out About ACEs through DHCS.


Rev. Caedmon Grace (courtesy image)

rev. CaeDMON GraCe depArting metropolitAn community church By Neal putnam


Caedmon Grace will be honored Sunday, Aug. 7 before he departs after six years of serving as the Minister of Congregational Life at the Metropolitan Community Church in San Diego. Senior Pastor Dan Koeshall made the announcement July 31 that Caedmon was stepping down and his last Sunday will be

on Aug. 12. Caedmon, who is the first MCC ordained Transgender Minister to serve locally, has been caring for his mother who has Lewy body dementia. She lived in Bakersfield, but recently moved to Tennessee, making commuting back and forth difficult for Caedmon. The congregation gave a standing ovation to Caedmon, who was working in

the sound room at the time, and afterwards there was a line of people waiting to hug him as he emerged. Koeshall suggested people can give him gift cards if they wish or just write out cards to him on Aug. 7. “Caedmon has been an important gift that God has given our church for the past six years,” said Koeshall. “His last day with us will be Aug. 12.” “We honor him, and we support him and as we put our trust in God, I’m confident that God will watch over Caedmon and guide him during this season of life,” said Koeshall. “Our community has very significant and sometimes urgent needs that can only be met with a pastorial presence who is here in our community full time,” said Koeshall. “We ask each of you to join us with your prayers in finding our next minister of congregational life,” said Koeshall. “This will be a challenge we will undertake together with the needs of our community at heart.” Four years ago, Caedmon had a painful motorcycle accident in which he broke his leg in three places. He had a long recovery and was visited by MCC members in the hospital. He talked about that experience in some of his sermons. He will be missed very much! MCC is having only one Sunday service at 10 a.m. in August and September. Services at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. may return in October. The church is located at 2633 Denver Street.

“rev. Grace will be honored sunday, aug. 7”

August 2022 volume 3 issue 21



August 2022 volume 3 issue 21


LGBTQ San Diego County News PO Box 34664 San Diego, CA 92163 858.886.9458



Toni G. atkins

ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Nicole Murray Ramirez 619.241.5672

—Toni G. Atkins represents the 39th District in the California Senate. Follow her on Twitter @SenToniAtkins.

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Cesar A. Reyes (courtesy image)


ixty years ago today, my sister Tenia and I became official residents of Planet Earth, the United States, and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Quite an accomplishment for two little girls! And what an amazing journey it has been since then. To mark this occasion, I thought it would be nice to have Tenia share a few words in this month’s note, though many of the words she likes to use best, we may have to edit out before sending! Because Tenia is the youngest and insists that she has never, ever gotten to go first, I’ve asked her to start. Hello to all my former neighbors in San Diego! I do have to say that I may not have been the first born, but I was the first of us Atkins’ to come to San Diego! Well except for Dad in WWII of course! When I was enlisted in the Navy, I asked Toni if she could move out and help with my newborn son. I think she set a Land Speed Record getting here, and clearly, it was love at first sight! Over the years, one of the things I’ve appreciated about Toni is the support she

A note from toni … And teniA

haPPY aUGUsT! aND, IF I MaY saY sO MYselF, haPPY bIrThDaY TO Us! still gives military families, especially those having trouble making ends meet. Having lived in Virginia and San Diego, myself, I also love how she has been able to bridge those two worlds together. Where I think she is wrong, though, is when she starts… --Thanks Tenia, Happy Birthday and I’ll take it from here! August is going to be busy in the Capitol. We have to deal with all remaining bills and budget fixes by the end of the month. That means as soon as I’m done safely blowing out the candles, I’ll be part of the final negotiations for important bills on climate; women’s health care and abortion access, including my bill SB 1375; and worker protections, as well as casting votes on bills that will improve our state on behalf of all Californians. This follows some great work in June, when the

Legislature passed one of the best state budgets in history, with funding that helps people now, invests in the future, and includes safeguards in the event of an economic downturn. The budget also provides many local benefits, which you can read about in this edition of the newsletter. I am also pleased that SCA 10, my bill to enshrine abortion and reproductive rights in the state constitution, passed both houses of the Legislature before its June 30 deadline, and will appear on the November 2022 ballot as Proposition 1. This is such an unusual and concerning time in our area, our state, and our nation. With many of our rights under attack, it feels as if our communities, friends, and families are drifting farther and farther apart. I have to believe that division isn’t permanent, however. Rather, it is a temporary situation created by

dark-monied, dark-intentioned forces pumping their poison into our society. We have to look at everything we can do to push back and make our politics healthy again. Clearly, organizing and voting are two big components of that. But it’s also important to remember who we are, and who the people we know, and work with, and live by, and love, are and focus on the value of those relationships. The long-term stability of our nation depends on a majority of us finding common ground and casting aside extremists of every persuasion. As Tenia said, building bridges is important. Maybe never more important than it is right now. Thank you for reading. And thank you, Tenia, for being the best sister— younger, older, whatever—that any twin could hope for!

EDITOR IN CHIEF JP Emerson COPY EDITOR Brittany Berger SALES 858.886.9458 STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Big Mike Phillips 619.807.7324 WEB AND SOCIAL MEDIA CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Allan Acevedo Ariela Cuellar Berto Fernández Big Mike Phillips Connor Maddocks D’Anne Witkowski Michael Kimmel Neal Putnam Randall Blaum Summer Stephan Toni G. Atkins DISTRIBUTION LGBTQ San Diego County News is distributed free every first Friday of the month. © 2021. All rights reserved. OPINION/LETTERS LGBTQ San Diego County News encourages letters to the editor and guest editorials. Please email them directly to and include your name, 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 publishers or staff. SUBMISSION/NEWS TIPS Press releases and story ideas are welcomed. Send press releases, tips, photos or story ideas to For breaking news and investigative story ideas, contact the editor by phone or email. Copyright © 2022 LGBTQ San Diego County News Editor’s Note: The opinions written in this publication’s advertorial, editorial and opinion pages are the author’s own and does not necessarily represent the opinions of the staff and/or publisher of LGBTQ San Diego County News. The newspaper and its staff should be held harmless of liability or damages.

This publication was supported in part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library.”


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A downtown San Diego Gay bar, 1946.


Nicole Murray ramirez —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 and follow him on Twitter @Nmrsd2.

Recently, local historian Maria E. Garcia’s award-winning book “We Made San Diego”, has been getting rave reviews as it’s about the history of the Latino Community and civic leader/activists in San Diego. It has been my longtime dream for a book to be written about our San Diego LGBTQ+ history and I am excited to announce that I have secured financial backing for such a book to be published. I’ve been in discussions with Bridget Wilson; renowned author and historian, Lillian Faderman; past President of Lambda Archives San Diego, Maureen Steiner; Founder and Executive Director in North County LGBTQ Resource Center, Max Disposti; Susan Jester; (Founder of American Veterans for Equal Rights Bob Lehman), Pat McArron; First Director of DignityUSA’s Pacific Region; Executive Director of San Diego Pride, Fernando Z. Lopez; and many others. As a Latino/LGBTQ+ activist from the 1960/1970s I can sadly, but honestly tell you that we are indeed losing our true LGBTQ+ history as more and more of our longtime activist and leaders pass away. Also, many of us are witnessing a revision of our history by some writers who were not even born in the 1960s or 70s. I want to make it very clear that I respect the long time work the San Diego Lambda Archives has tried to do and in the past I have raised them much funds, but with all due respect, even their San Diego community history timeline has numerous mistakes or omissions for example: The 1972 May Company protest was not just a demonstration at May Company, but we also picketed the Copley Press (Union Tribune Newspaper) that day. The 1972 protest about Gay bars not allowing cross dressers in their bars was not just about not allowing Drag Queens and Transsexuals in their bars but also some “carding” people of color and lesbians, asking them for three forms of identification before admission into certain bars. To write that San Diego‘s first Pride March in 1974 was about 200 LGBTQ+ people, for the first

sAn diego lGbTQ+ hIsTOrY bOOk finAlly!

1975 San Diego’s First Pride with permit Nicole is first person on the left.

The first San Diego Gay Center, 1973

The Imperial Court donates funds raised through drag balls for charitable giving.

time in a “public event” letting the city know we were Gay, is absolutely incorrect. In 1974 Lambda Archives Founder and Vietnam Veteran Jess Jessop, ACLU Attorney Tom Homann, and I went to the Police Department to secure a Pride Parade permit and we were refused but 200 of us marched anyway, just ask Bridget Wilson. Many of our nation’s first Pride marches and parades were not issued permits but marches took place anyway. In 1975 a Pride parade permit was issued to attorney Tom Homman and for the next several years the Police Department sent the permit directly to his office.

Jeffrey Wergeles from ACLU San Diego has a copy of Tom’s letter stating as such. San Diego Lambda Archives timeline has also left out more historically important facts: The first San Diegans elected to serve on the boards of the National Gay Rights Lobby and Human Rights Campaign. The LGBTQ+ community helped fund the first Cesar Chavez San Diego Parade, the San Diego Police Memorial, the Union Tribunes Children’s Shoe fund, etc. The first LGBTQ+ contingent to march in the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade (with the then Harvey Milk Democratic Club of San Diego) which we were frequent-

ly heckled along the parade route. Also, in 1975 Toys for Tots and the Marine Corp refused to collect toys at the Barbary Coast disco because the hundreds of toys collected were from homosexuals. I will soon call a meeting of activists from the 1960’s and 70’s for a workshop about this book and there will be more than one author. Everyone who contributes to the writing will be acknowledged. And yes, though it will be underwritten by wonderful LGBTQ+ people, the sale of this book could benefit the San Diego Lambda Archives, San Diego History Center, San Diego Pride, all to be determined at a later date,

Photos courtesy of Lambda Archives of San Diego

and no one individual will benefit from this history book, only San Diego nonprofits. This “San Diego LGBTQ+ History book” is a project of the San Diego GLBTQ Historic Task Force and input, suggestions, ideas, and historical facts are welcomed and can be sent to me at PO Box 33915 San Diego, CA 92163 or contact me directly at The San Diego GLBTQ Historic Task Force is also proud to announce that after much lobbying one of our Board Members, Attorney Bruce Abrams has been appointed to the City of San Diego’s Historic Site Board.


August 2022 volume 3 issue 21


Photo by Rikke Photography

Lawrence Brown (courtesy images)

I would absolutely take my Mom all over Europe for a month-long adventure. Her and I both haven’t traveled much in our lives, and it would be the greatest to experience that with her. My Mom and I have an incredibly close relationship and we always talk about this trip, and I 1000% will be taking her on it. She deserves the world!

bIG MIke & FrIeNDs big Mike Phillips —Big Mike Phillips is an activist, fundraiser, bartender and photographer who has lived in San Diego for 30 years. He has helped create two nonprofits and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity. He has been a photographer for more than 25 years and has recorded our LGBTq history not only in San Diego but around the country, including three LGBTq marches on Washington D.C. Contact Big Mike at 619-807-7324, or


am excited to introduce our readers to amazing and caring people who live, work, play and do business in our community and city. Learning about people of all lifestyles, talents, and personalities who I think would be interesting for our readers to enjoy. San Diego has a wonderful diversity of individuals that make our slice of paradise the greatest place to live and enjoy each other’s uniqueness. I am delighted to introduce you to my wonderful friend Lawrence Brown. I have known Lawrence for several years now and have always been impressed by his kindness and his hard work ethics. I love his outlook on life and how he shares it with the world. I think you will agree after reading my column. Thank you, Lawrence, for allowing me to focus on your zest for life! Buckle up, here we go… (Oh, and he is very easy on the eyes, just saying).

If you had a chance to spend one million dollars on someone, or any group of people, who would it be and how would you spend that money to better them? I would set up a non-profit that could help as many young people as we could in the LGBTQ+ community. Have a board of directors who were all deeply rooted in this community and find awesome people who could benefit from our help. From all walks of life and for a variety of reasons to help, it would be such an honor to give as much as I could back to this community.

lawreNCe brOwN

If you could give someone advice about your art, hobby, or business, what would you tell them? Real estate is not for everyone! It’s not like a TV show and you really must work hard to make it. I knew as a kid I wanted to be a real estate agent, so it was never not an option. If you are good at building relationships with people, honest and trustworthy, have a little pizzazz and a business-like mind – come talk to me, I’d love to help. Loving yourself is so important to becoming the best of who you are. please write a couple sentences to describe your loving self and how you want to live your best life? I learned how to love yourself from the best possible teacher, my best friend Paris. This whole city knows her, and they love her cause of the love she pours into the community and herself. Being unapologetically me with an open mind and big heart is how I love myself. Gratitude about everything and approaching any situation with kindness is how I love myself.

How did you end up in San diego and what do you love about it? San Diego native!! Actually a 4th generation San Diegan and we (natives) are unicorns, and I always knew San Diego was special place growing up. When I got older and met different people from all over the world who came to live here, they all have the same feelings I have for living here, its magical. Living here is a dream, weather is fabulous, proximity to beaches, mountains, and the desert gives you access to so much fun. San Diego attracts a lot of awesome people with a cool vibe who want to enjoy life. I will never leave! What gets you most excited about life? The endless possibilities! Where I was 5, 10 years ago is vastly different from who I am today. I love that you can always evolve and grow into what truly makes you happy. For me, understanding that has transformed my life and I love being open to all this life has to offer. In your professional life what makes your business stand out and how has it changed your life? I have been selling residen-

tial real estate in San Diego for 13 years, and I absolutely love it! When I was a kid riding in the car, I always paid attention to neighborhoods, streets, buildings, landmarks. I wanted to KNOW all of San Diego, and it helped me tremendously in my real estate business. I am not a “transaction” real estate agent, I genuinely care for every client and want them to fall in love with San Diego/neighborhood like I do. I work with a lot of transplant clients who have

never been here, and now they love calling it home. I know San Diego and its real estate because it’s in my blood. What small act of kindness were you once shown that you’ll never forget? Hillcrest as a community continuously shows me so much kindness with their constant support and client referral for my business. We all take care of each other, and kindness is spread throughout.

If the universe could grant you one wish, what would you wish for, and why? Travel! I want to see all this world has to offer and meet people from all over. I haven’t traveled much in my life and it’s a dream I’ve always had. If you were given the opportunity to travel anywhere in the world, and were able to take one person with you, where would you go, who would you take and why?

gratitude is so important in each of our lives, what are you most grateful for, and how do you pay it forward? Gratitude is a huge mindset for me and my life. I’m SO thankful every day for the life I live. When I’m down and just nothing is going the way I planned, I will take out a piece of paper and start writing every single thing I am grateful for. Eventually the “down” feelings become less and I’m like “I am ok”. I pay it forward by always being grateful to people I come in contact with and saying it to them. It’s contagious and I want to have everyone know just how grateful they should be. @lawrence.sandiego


August 2022 volume 3 issue 21

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Here are some ideas that I use in helping my clients release their painful histories: 1. Recognize that your emotions are only a part of you, not who you are. I’ve had clients tell me, “I’ll die if I have to feel those (unhappy) childhood feelings again.” But, they won’t. If you want to be “free” from painful emotions: listen to them. Trying to get rid of them doesn’t work. No matter how painful they are, they’re only trying to help you to not be hurt again: so slow down and hear them. Often, once they’ve been heard, they fade away.

lIFe beYOND TheraPY Michael kimmel —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

2. As human beings, our default is resilience, not fragility. Your odds of overcoming adversity are greater than your odds of falling apart. Focus more on your strengths than your weaknesses: you automatically do this at a job interview. Take this into other areas of your life.


he word “trauma” is quite popular these days. We’ve all experienced some kind of “trauma”; yet, one person’s trauma is another person’s minor problem. As a child, one of my friends was repeatedly molested by his older brother, but he insists that it wasn’t a big deal. “It happened and I’m over it”, he told me. At first, I didn’t believe him. But, from talking with him over the years and seeing how happy he is, I now believe him. Something “bad” happened to him, but he isn’t wearing it as a badge that says, “I am the walking wounded”. He’s a great example of “You are not your history”. You are not your history of trauma, of bad stuff that happened, of your family dysfunction, of the first person who broke up with you…this stuff may have happened in your past, but how much does your history affect you today? Why do some of us feel like the walking wounded while people around us have moved on into a much happier life? Unlike my friend, moving on from our history is difficult for most of us. Our brain wants us to keep going back in the past – analyzing and overanalyzing – to figure out “what went wrong” so we won’t experience this bad stuff again. To some degree, this is helpful. It’s good to learn from things. But, it’s even better to learn from them and move on, leaving painful old memories behind. Plus, much of what you remember from your history is probably inaccurate. It’s humbling, but true: according to hundreds of research studies, our memories are often very unreliable. In truth, we all have shit in our past, it’s part of life. But, what do we do with that shit and how much do we let it


3. Be willing to change how you see your past. Our experience of trauma is subjective. It’s not the traumatic event itself that messes us up, it’s the story we tell ourselves about it that keeps us stuck in the past. This is good news, because while we can’t change our history, we can change what we tell ourselves about it, e.g., “Yeah, I had a rough childhood, but I am not an abused 8-year-old anymore. I’m an adult with friends who love me and a life that’s mostly good. I am not my history”.

YOU are NOT YOUr hIsTOrY dictate our present? I’m sure you’ve met people who use their past trauma to define themselves, “I’m broken because my childhood was so awful” or “I’ll never trust people after how my ex lied to me”. Regardless of what you’ve been through: you are not your history. You are your present: what are you telling yourself now about your history? That’s what counts. If you’re unhappy, what’s holding you back is not your history, but the habits and patterns you’re stuck in that keep reinforcing that history. Luckily, these habits and patterns can be changed: that’s what psychotherapy is about. The way to a happy life is to confront (in the present) what your past taught you to avoid. My clients are often terrified to do this, “I don’t want to feel all that old pain”, they tell me. “I just want to put it behind me and move on.” Good idea! How do you do that?

“Don’t let trauma define you”

Give these ideas a try a nd let me know what happens:



August 2022 volume 3 issue 21

TraNs Talk wITh CONNOr

Connor Maddocks —Connor Maddocks has been a civil rights advocate in the San Diego transgender community for years. He does trainings on legal and personal transition information. He continues his work, even though he is now retired. Contact Conner at

Transgender Health and Wellness Center (courtesy image)


ope you all are having a great summer so far. San Diego Pride was a huge success as we finally got to come out and celebrate us. I want to thank all the organizations and community folks who participated in the new Pride Trans Village. It was the culmination of a small area I created with Pride back in the early 2000’s. We had the largest area we have ever had for Trans folks and room for over 20 Trans specific vendors and community artists and businesses. Thanks to the LGBT Center’s Project Trans for taking the lead on organizing the village and thanks to the Pride staff who also made sure our area was a success and donated all of the logistical support. So many people stopped by to chat and find resources. Everything from medical services to housing. We had a few local artists and Trans support service providers and medical providers, including the amazing Dr. Jill Blumenthal, Dr. Jennifer Anger and Dr. Amanda Gosman, along with support staff from UCSD Medical Center. Next year I hope the area can also include more Trans artists such as musicians, singers, and spoken word. Who knows, maybe you are a budding comedienne, magician, or other entertainer, so start practicing now for Pride 2023! Other community news. The Center’s Project Trans has new leadership. Achi Vasquez is the new Transgender and Non-Binary Services Manager. I have known Achi for few years, and she is a passionate, energetic, and fierce advocate for our community. I know she will do an outstanding job leading Project Trans and bring new ideas and resources to our community. I am looking forward to working with Achi in the future as she creates new opportunities to assure our community has enriching programming and community resources. Also new to Project Trans is Paris DaSilva. For the first time since its inception, Project Trans now has 2 full-time staff. This addition has long been needed, as the amount of Trans and


pride re-cAp And more community news

TransFronteras (courtesy image)

TransFronteras (courtesy image)

Trans flag (courtesy image)

Non-Binary comAchi Vasquez munity members (courtesy image) has sure grown twofold since I started Project Trans in 2013. Paris will also be an outstanding advocate and leader for our community. She is passionate about helping the community and brimming with great ideas for community engagement. Welcome, to Achi and Paris! Another new resource for us is the Transgender Health and Wellness Center, which recently opened an office in San Diego. According to their website the organization opened its first office in Palm Springs as a 501C3 called

Transgender Community Coalition, whose purpose was to raise funds for a Transgender Day of Remembrance Memorial Statue in Palm Springs. The organization grew and realized they had more work to do. They became the Transgender health and Wellness Center and have grown exponentially since then. They now have 2 offices in Riverside County and in San Diego as well. They offer services like electrolysis, legal help, insurance navigation and more. Find out more on their website at Also, for our Latino/Latina community we have TransFronteras, a new organization whose

TransFronteras (courtesy image)

mission is to help and shelter Trans Women and Non-Binary folks as they cross the Mexican border into San Diego seeking asylum. The organization is run by Frannya Tuchman and an amazing crew of volunteers. So many Trans and Non-binary folks are coming to this country after being incredibly mistreated in their home countries. There are tales of death threats, abuse, and torture, to be Trans or Non-Binary in some countries can be a death sentence. If you wish to find out more or help or donate to this very important organization, you can email Frannya at

Lastly, a word about support for each other. Times can be rough for our community. With so many other states passing law after law taking away the rights of Transgender and Non-Binary people, laws against parents of Transgender youth being criminalized for supporting and accessing lifesaving health care for their child, finding so many ways to dehumanize us that it’s not surprising that many people might feel anxious and scared. This is absolutely normal given the hate and vicious climate that permeates our country at this time. That being said, I want to share a message to all of our community about hope. We know that things are constantly changing, nothing stays the same forever. That change we so desperately need to happen can only happen if we as a community become involved with the rest of the world. For those safe to do so, come out and be proud of who you are. Be proud of all the obstacles you have overcome to be you. Do not let others tear you down or make you feel bad about yourself and less than; if any of us lets that happen, it’s a win for the other side. That is their objective, to have power over you. You have to avoid giving them that power. Even if you don’t feel strong enough on the inside, let your outside stand tall anyways. One of my favorite sayings, “Fake it till you make it!” My ingredients for living a full, happy, and honest life are these things: 1. Be You all the time and never let anyone put you down for that. 2. Embrace all your communities. We are not single-issue people any more than anyone else is. 3. Ask for support from those around you and be willing to give support to those around you. 4. Be part of the solution, otherwise you just might be part of the problem. 5. If you want something go and get it, be resourceful, don’t give up and believe in yourself. 6. Take action. Make sure you participate in the democratic process, like voting. Make sure you help make your world better rather than just complaining about it. Take the initiative, reach out to others, share ideas, plan something and see it through. Every time I follow my recipe, I feel better about myself. I feel empowered, I feel brave, I know that I contributed even if in a small way in making this world a better place, and most important of all feel happy. If you feel overwhelmed, if you feel afraid, if you are discouraged as I often get these days, don’t go through this alone. Hold each other up and help others feel safe and valued. Don’t be afraid to confide in friends or even co-workers that you are teetering on the edge of that dark abyss of depression. Trust me, most folks have been there at some point in their lives. Being strong means asking for help. Each one of you is a wonderful unique vibrant and special member of the human race, and we can ill afford to lose even one of you. In love and solidarity Connor

August 2022 volume 3 issue 21



PUblIC servICe

August 2022 volume 3 issue 21

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summer stephan —District Attorney Summer Stephan has dedicated more than 29 years to serving justice and victims of crime as prosecutor. She is a national leader in fighting sex crimes and human trafficking and in creating smart and fair criminal justice solutions and restorative justice practices that treat the underlying causes of addiction and mental illness and that keep young people from being incarcerated.


echnology has made it easy to track your friends and family through location sharing apps, providing comfort for parents worried about their children or making sure your elderly parent made it to their doctor’s appointment. But there is a dark side to location sharing because bad actors have found nefarious ways to abuse the technology and technology companies collect that data, combine it, and sell or monetize it. Location sharing uses sensors on mobile devices to pinpoint their location and report back to the interested party. This is generally done via a combination of GPS, cellular radios, and Bluetooth radios. Often, the accuracy of the subject can be narrowed within a few feet. The area a device is in, as well as the state of the device will dictate how accurate the technology can get. Location sharing can be a permanent in that it is always turned on, or it can be an option that is activated for a specific timeframe or event. For instance, going to an amusement park? You may want to start sharing your location with your friends or children for the remainder of the day, so if you get separated you can find your way back to each other. The benefits of being able to see where your loved ones are is obvious. However, understanding the potential tradeoff is also important. There are several ways to use location sharing. These include offerings already on your phone such as Find My or Google Maps or third-party options such as the popular Life360. The largest first party offerings include: As with any technology designed for good, there are scammers ready to take advantage. Location sharing technology can be used by stalkers and in abusive situations.

TO share Or NOT TO share: locAtion shAring Apps And services

When using sharing your location keep in mind the following safety tips: •Never authorize location sharing with someone that you don’t know. • Discuss location sharing with your kids, and make sure they understand how it works, so that they do not share their location with would be bad actors. • iPhones have a built-in service which will notify you if an unknown AirTag (location tracking device) is traveling with you, Apple also offers an app on Android which allows you to scan your area for any AirTag devices which may be surreptitiously tracking you. In addition, consider the following when deciding to use location sharing: • Larger more well-known companies are generally safer to trust. • Read the fine print: most companies like Life360 publish their privacy policy on their website. • Location sharing is a two-way street, at least as it applies to adults. Both parties should give consent to the location sharing before it is used. • Consider all options when you activate location sharing and make sure it is setup in a way that works for you and gives you the features you want. • Be aware of the principle on which certain location-sharing products work. Most apps offer

the ability to share your current location, but it also tracks your movements in real-time. Choose what is best for you. • Think carefully before turning on geotagging in your tweets, blogs, or social network accounts. • Apply location features selectively. Consider only allowing geotagging on photos when you specifically need to mark them with your location. Note that it’s safer not to geotag photos of your children or your house.

Location sharing is a great example of technology that wasn’t readily available a few years ago, but now offers piece of mind. Used appropriately it offers great options for safeguarding your family and friends. As your District Attorney, I’m committed to increasing communication and accessibility between the DA’s Office and the public. I hope these consumer and public safety tips have been helpful.

“as with any technology designed for good, there are scammers ready to take advantage.”

eveNTs/ PUzzle

August 2022 volume 3 issue 21


Q Puzzle

DoN’T BE LiKE ANyoNE ELSE AcroSS 1 place for susie bright’s drawers 5 poet Angelou 9 field of ursula le guin 14 upfront amount 15 cheesy side trip from Amsterdam 16 “___ river” 17 “doggone!” to laura? 18 rub the wrong way 19 male deliveries? 20 start of Jill’s advice about “don’t be like anyone else” 23 bottoms in the navy 24 sympathetic sounds 25 notice a cologne queen 27 At heart 32 “i’m ___ sexy” 33 former nfl player tuaolo 36 hoped for responses to come-ons 37 more of the advice 40 least of the litter 41 katharine’s “butch cassidy” role 42 bad way to come 44 went down on 45 food fowl 47 susan b. Anthony coin 49 “the sound of music” song 52 wine region of da vinci’s land 53 lupino of “women’s prison” 54 end of the advice 60 paul monette’s partner horwitz 62 leaning erection site 63 diggs of “private practice” 64 screen siren garbo 65 Admit openly 66 seduce 67 op-ed offering 68 dramatist williams, for short? 69 Zip

Solutions on page 19

DoWN 1 dick cheney, to mary 2 gomer’s “no mo’!” 3 go down swinging, to glenn burke 4 where bitches hang out 5 streep of “the hours” 6 lorca’s “later!” 7 yellow sea feeder 8 nat. counterpart in mlb 9 Jill, the source of the advice 10 where men don’t date women 11 Apple that isn’t a fruit 12 change from red to pink 13 hmo concern 21 strikes out 22 it connects dick to dyke 25 eye problem 26 not worth oral treatment 27 skater orser 28 shrill barks 29 garden-variety 30 part of a “fashion-able” name 31 visual artist hernandez 34 metellus ___, foe of Julius caesar 35 cube designer rubik 38 “the Amazing ___” 39 founder of Jacob’s pillow dance festival 43 cosmetics name 46 “sure feels good Anyway” singer 48 like a merry christmas in st. louis 49 “six feet under” song? 50 ban targets 51 current fashions 52 flaming queen’s activity? 55 opening for the crack of dawn 56 it was gauche, for debussy 57 use an eighteen-wheeler 58 vidal’s breckinridge 59 stein’s “wars i have ___” 61 sked info


August 2022 volume 3 issue 21


(courtesy images)

TakING Care

of whAt’s importAnt By randall Blaum


ime. There’s never enough it seems and there’s always one more thing to do than time allows. I’m facing such a problem now when it comes to my health journey, and it seems many people face the same thing. I have taken a new job that will have me commuting to Sacramento and Oakland 20 days out of the month, with the remaining days here in San Diego. My problem: How do I continue to work out and eat right when I’ve got a new gig, am traveling a lot and won’t have my trainer with me for weeks at a time?

Additionally, I like most people, am a creature of habit and making new habits is hard and I just don’t want to do it. Enter my next problem, when I lose a habit and have no support while forming new ones, I tend to get lazy. I’ve been talking with John, my trainer about this and my largest fear with all the newness in my life is that I will slide back to the old me and stop working out, will eat “on the run” rather than plan meals and I’ll get fat again. How do we make time for everything when sometimes it’s not possible? I’m sure many people have said it, but my

mom always told me you take care of what’s important to you. It’s that simple. But is it? In my normal life here in SD my days are planned, and I can prep food, so I really have no problem at all. Now, going on the road means everything I know will change. How do I change with that and pay attention to what’s important? – In this case me, my workouts, and my food. How would or have you handled this? Do you just create a new plan and get to it? Do you flounder around a while to see what works and then jump in? Or, as I am wanting to do, do you procrastinate until it’s

almost too late and then do something? A friend of mine once told me that “Commitment is what you have when passion or circumstance fails or changes”. This is the key then, I think, to keeping my health journey going and perhaps it could be a key for you as well. I am committed to staying healthy. I’ve dropped over 80 pounds and it looks like my bodybuilding competition will be in October so I can’t give in or give up. The question is, how do I implement a strategy that allows my commitment to work well, for only having commitment is not the answer. If there’s no plan, all the dedication in the world won’t get you very far. I looked at how my life is assembled. Maybe it’s because I’ve been in the media business for so long, but I figured out how to “day part” my life. In other words, what do I do during different parts of the day? Early morning, late morning, mid-day, early afternoon, evening, and overnight. My life and my day parts are about to change radically. But knowing how to slice my life into parts gave me the key to success. To me life is like a set of Legos. There are different shapes, sizes, colors, and they all work together to build almost anything. Kind of amazing. With my set of life Legos and my day part strategy I was able to reconfigure my new days so I could start mentally forming new habits before I leave. This should help me transition to the new life much easier as I can play with all the life Legos and see how they best fit together for me.

Here’s one day of the old and new day-parted life to give you an idea of how this works: oLd dAy pARt: Wake up 4:30 a.m. Read, see what happened in the world Relax and meditate Feed and walk the dog Eat breakfast Go to work Work Work out Go home Take the dog for a walk or run (cardio) Eat dinner Relax Catch up on anything I want or need to do Sleep NeW dAy pARt: Wake up 4:30 a.m. Relax Read Work out Eat breakfast Go to work Work Go home Rest Catch up on things Cardio Eat dinner Rest and do what I want Go to sleep You see, it’s basically the same thing, just with my life Legos rearranged to meet the reality of what is. Try my life day part strategy for yourself and see if you break things down to what they are and what time of day they CAN happen and see how they all fit together. It took me a few days of rearranging my life Legos into my day parts to craft a plan I think would work. At least, now I am confident I have a way to stay on my health journey. Be well!

August 2022 volume 3 issue 21




August 2022 volume 3 issue 21

PlaCes, PeOPle. PlaCes!

berto Fernández — Berto Fernandez is a Puerto Rican actor, singer, and artist currently performing in Theatre productions all over Southern California. He holds a BA in Communications, and is a proud member of the LGBTqIA+ community.


he year was 1999, and I was beyond excited to experience my first visit to New York City, and most importantly my very first Broadway show. I went with no plans. My high school classmate was attending college in the city and let me crash with him at his dorm in the Bronx. At the time, Times Square was bubbling with tourists rushing to catch all the jaw-dropping Broadway shows playing at the time. Les Mis, Phantom, Ragtime, Cats, but the highest grossing one that year was Disney’s The Lion King, so naturally it was completely sold out. My friend was not much of a Theatre lover, so after we took the train to Midtown together, he went off on his own while I decided to join the cancellation line of the show. I had heard that single tickets were tough to score, because most people would come in pairs to attempt getting seats. After about an hour in line with not much luck, the ticket booth attendant flung the window blinds open and announced to the line that he had one single ticket in the orchestra. My eyes were ready to pop out of my head. Surely, someone in front of me would snatch it, but it was my lucky day. I was the first single ticket in the line. A few hours later, after a celebratory dance near a steaming gutter and scarfing down a couple of slices of pizza, I stood in front of the New Amsterdam Theater in awe of all its glory. The lights, the buzz of the audience members hungry for a hit musical. I felt like I was in gay heaven, even though I had never experienced it! The usher checked my ticket and escorted me to my seat, Orchestra Center E101. I will never forget that moment, walking into this huge, stunning venue, and I’m seated so close to the stage on an aisle seat. This is incredible. One of my favorite sounds in existence is the A note that the orchestra tunes their instruments to right before a performance. The show is about to start! What happened after was a surreal experience. I was completely immersed in the magic of The Lion King, and it being my first Broadway show, it will forever live in my heart as a very special moment. One

THE priDE of

lion king rETurNS To SAN DiEGo

Buyi Zama (Rafiki) ©Disney. Photo by Deen van Meer

Kayla Cyphersl as Nala and Buyi Zama as Rafiki. ©Disney. Photo by Deen van Meer

Circle of Life. Photo by Brinkhoff-Mogenburg

Gerald Ramsey (Mufasa) ©Disney. Photo by Matthew Murphy

of the aspects of the production that has stuck with me to this day is the puppetry. When giant actor-controlled giraffe puppets strolled down the aisle inches away from me, my body filled with joy. The costumes, the special effects, the stunning score, the jaw-dropping performers, all created a powerful production that, 24 years later, still resonates with audiences all over the World. Broadway San Diego will be bringing the touring production of Disney’s The Lion King to the historic Civic Center for a three-week exclusive run from August 24 through September 11. The timeless musical, based on the Disney animated film, won six Tony Awards the year it premiered, including Best Musical, Best Scenic Design, Best Costume Design, Best Lighting Design, Best Choreography, and Best Direction of a Musical. One of the main puzzle pieces that are essential to the success of the show is its Director and Costume Designer Julie Taymor, who still is actively involved in maintaining the integrity of the majestic play produced in nine languages across the globe. Undoubtedly, Elton John and Tim Rice’s score are the heartbeat of the show. Songs like “Circle of Life”, “Hakuna Matata”, and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” have become iconic, even in our LGBTQ community. Drag performers regularly include music from this show in their repertoire because the audience connects with them on a very personal level. That’s the power of The Lion King and its compelling soundtrack. You will leave the theater humming at least one of the catchy tunes. Also, the fabulous and imaginative costumes have also been

muses to Queer performance artists throughout the years. The cultural references this show has brought to mainstream media are astounding, particularly African music, dance, art, language, and traditional attire that are brought to the forefront and celebrated in this piece. Our humanity, sense of family, understanding of defeat, perseverance, and love for each other, are themes that resonate loudly throughout the beautiful musical. All these are messages that our LGBTQ community needs to continue preserving, nurturing, and fighting for. So, I’m really glad that I took a gamble and stayed patiently waiting in that cancellation line at the New Amsterdam Box Office. Watching this show live, truly propelled my Musical Theatre career, and solidified my love and respect for the artform. Theatre transforms people, it brings messages that audience members need to hear or be reminded of. If you haven’t experienced Disney’s The Lion King, this is your opportunity to leave your worries behind and have a night of Theatre with your family and loved ones, you will leave inspired and moved to keep living our lives to the fullest with one simple phrase: Hakuna Matata.

Disney’s The Lion King is presented by Broadway San Diego with performances August 24 through September 11 at the Civic Center in Downtown San Diego. Tickets and info:

ON sTaGe

August 2022 volume 3 issue 21



Book by terrence mcNally music by Stephen Flaherty Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens Based on the Novel by e.L. doctorow director/Choreographer: John Vaugh moonlight Amphitheater August 17 - September 3, 2022 shows-tickets/ragtime Set in the United States during the early 20th Century, Ragtime depicts the intertwining lives of an African American family, an Easter European Jewish Immigrant family, and a wealthy White family in the suburbs of New York. Considered by many to be one of the greatest musicals of all time, Ragtime brings America’s social and racial injustice to the forefront in a powerful and resonant way.


World premiere! Book by omri Schein & david ellenstein Lyrics by omri Schein music by daniel Lincoln directed by david ellenstein North Coast Rep theatre Now - August 28, 2022 the-remarkable-mr-holmes/ Set in London during the 1890’s, this fast-paced musical comedy follows the famous detective Sherlock Holmes and his assistant while they solve a series of head scratching crimes. This world premiere murder mystery themed show promises to give audiences a laugh out loud good time.


World premiere! By moisés kaufman and Amanda gronich Conceived and directed by moisés kaufman La Jolla playhouse Now through August 21, 2022 here-there-are-blueberries/ This World Premiere true story play explores the discovery of a photo album containing World War II photographs of staff members of Nazi concentration camps in Germany. US Holocaust Memorial Museum archivist Rebecca Erbelding and her team take on the task to unveil the stories of the shocking images and how they reveal important details of the historical event and it’s impact in our humanity.

By William Shakespeare directed by patricia mcgregor old globe theatre, Lowell davies Festival theatre Now - September 4, 2022 The historic Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park brings this Shakespeare classic comedy to the stage. This joyous and hilarious journey of love, magic, deception, and disorder takes place in an enchanted forest where fairies trick lovers with the help of enchanted potions creating chaos all over the kingdom.




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bill to protect marriage equality passed in the U.S. House recently and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is raring to get it passed in the Senate. Which would be nice! (And which would also be more likely if senators would stop getting Covid). For some reason, someone asked Sen. Marco Rubio (RFL) what he thought about the bill and his response was that it was a “stupid waste of time.” Forgive me if I do not think that my marriage and the protection it affords me, and my family is a “stupid waste of time.” That’s pretty offensive, actually. And it turns out a lot of the people who are threatened by the right-wing Supreme Court and radicalized Republican Party’s obsession with undoing marriage equality are also offended. One of these people is Transportation Secretary and married gay Pete Buttigieg. Buttigieg told Jake Tapper on CNN’s State of the Union on July 24th, “If [Rubio]’s got time to fight against Disney, I

Marco Rubio (courtesy image)

creep of the week:

MarCO rUbIO By D’Anne Witkowski

Monkeypox Be Aware Know Signs Lower Risks

Monkeypox is a viral disease that can make you sick. One symptom includes a rash, which may look like pimples or blisters, often with an earlier flu-like illness. Monkeypox is rare and does not spread easily between people without close contact. The threat of monkeypox to the general U.S. population remains LOW.


Monkeypox is spread through close personal, often skin-to-skin contact including: Kissing, cuddling, sex, and Contact from objects and fabrics that have been touched by infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids.

KNOW SIGNS Fever Headache Muscle or back aches Chills Swollen lymph nodes Rashes or sores


Avoid skin-to-skin contact, especially where there are visible sores and rashes. Wear clothing to avoid skin-to-skin contact at festivals, raves, and parties.


As of June 27, 2022, there are 62 cases of monkeypox in California and of that, there are four probable or confirmed cases here in San Diego County.

After infection, incubation is 6 to 13 days before symptoms begin. Illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks. People who do not have monkeypox symptoms cannot spread the virus to others.

Avoid kissing. Wash your hands. Limit your number of sexual partners to avoid opportunities for monkeypox to spread.

don’t know why he wouldn’t’t have time to help safeguard marriages like mine. But this is really, really important to a lot of people. It’s certainly important to me.” Of course, we know Rubio’s dismissal of marriage equality has nothing to do with time constraints and everything to do with him being a spineless cheerleader for Christian extremism and an apologist for a failed president who famously said that Rubio had a small d*ck on national television. Buttigieg then began to describe how he spent his morning giving breakfast to his twins and allowing his husband a small break. “It was one of those days where the tray table wasn’t quite fitting into the highchair and I’m trying to make sure that they’re busy enough with their little cereal puffs to give me enough time to chop up the banana and get the formula ready,” he said. “And it just, I don’t know, that half hour in the morning had me thinking about how much I depend on and count on my spouse every day.” It brought me back to when my son was a baby. Those early days, my wife and I were SO TIRED because having a child (let alone twins) is exhausting. It’s wonderful, sure, but it’s so, so much work. Having a spouse who is a good co-parent means everything.

My wife and I will have been together 25 years as of Sept. 1. That’s a lot of years. And we’ve been through a lot together. Committing to being there for someone you love through the inevitable ups and downs of life is hardly a waste of time. “Our marriage deserves to be treated equally,” Buttigieg continued. “And I don’t know why this would be hard for a senator or a congressman. I don’t understand how such a majority of House Republicans voted no on our marriage as recently as Tuesday, hours after I was in a room with a lot of them, talking about transportation policy, having what I thought were perfectly normal conversations with many of them on that subject, only for them to go around the corner and say that my marriage doesn’t deserve to continue.” Of course, we all know why this is hard for Republicans. It’s because they have made vilifying and dehumanizing LGBTQ+ people a campaign strategy because they do not have any policies to address things like inflation, gas prices, climate change, gun violence, poverty, public education, and on and on. They have NOTHING. This is not a party of ideas. This is a party of obstruction. And a party of pain in that cruelty is the point. It’s what they do best. Even better when they can pretend, they’re doing it in the name of Christianity. And if Republicans are so concerned about “time,” Buttigieg said, “they can vote ‘yes’ and move on. And that would be really reassuring for a lot of families around America, including mine.” Rubio responded to Buttigieg via a video in which he said, “I’m not going to focus on the agenda that [is] dictated by a bunch of affluent, elite liberals and a bunch of Marxist misfits who, sadly, today control the agenda of the modern Democratic Party.” Never mind that the Republican party is dominated by white supremacists who consider it their Christian duty to seize power over this nation by any means necessary. There’s a word for that. And it sure as hell isn’t “misfits.” There are a lot of things that are a waste. But protecting LGBTQ+ families is not one of them.

D’Anne Witkowski is a writer living in Michigan with her wife and son. She has been writing about LGBTQ+ politics for nearly two decades. Follow her on Twitter @MamaDWitkowski.

“For some reason, someone asked sen. Marco rubio (r-Fl) what he thought about the bill and his response was that it was a “stupid waste of time.”

COUrT News


he murder of a sailor 32 years ago after his nude body was found in Point Loma appears to have been solved with the arrest of a Tennessee man on July 13, according to District Attorney Summer Stephan. Larry Joe Breen, 32, was found without clothing in the backyard of a home at the corner of Nimitz Boulevard and Locust Street on May 25, 1990, where he had recently rented. He was found slumped against a fence and had been stabbed several times in the neck, said Stephan. Brian Scott Koehl, now 51, was either 19 or 20 years old when he allegedly killed Breen. Extradition proceedings have started in Tennessee, and he has made one court appearance there. An arrest warrant affidavit was sealed by a San Diego Superior Court judge, so details of the case have not yet been made public. Stephan announced the case was investigated by the Cold Homicide and Research Genealogy Effort (CHARGE), which is the research technique that identified the Golden State Killer via DNA. In homicides involving knife wounds, attackers often

Larry Joe Breen (courtesy image)

arresT MaDe IN 1990 MUrDer OF

lArry Joe breen By Neal putnam

Brian Scott Koehl (courtesy image)

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cut themselves accidently and leave their own blood behind as evidence, which is collected and saved by investigators. It is possible that happened in this case. Breen was a petty officer and cook and was stationed abord the USS Fox CG-33 at the time. Praising all the agencies that worked to make the arrest, Stephan said, “We will at long last be able to seek justice and accountability for the killing of Larry Breen.” Those agencies include San Diego Police, FBI, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the Knox County Sheriff’s office in Tennessee, and the Knox County District Attorney’s office, she said. The San Diego UnionTribune posted their 1990 story about the homicide online with the story about Koehl’s arrest. In 1990, a couple looking at rental property found Breen’s body and called police. Breen’s car was found abandoned a mile away. Police said at the time there was more blood inside the house and there was a broken window as if Breen went through it to leave the house.

“The case was investigated by the Cold homicide and research Genealogy effort (CharGe), which is the research technique that identified the Golden state killer via DNa”


San Diego man pleaded guilty July 26 in Texas to murdering his boyfriend who was stabbed 93 times, according to the U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of Texas. Alexander Yoichi Duberek, 25, traveled to Plainview, Texas where he stabbed Chad David Luera, 30, according to Texas newspapers. The spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney said she could not identify the victim, but he was identified by media. Luera was stabbed on the side of a rural farm road in Hale County on Oct. 31, 2020, and the body was dumped elsewhere. Duberek pleaded guilty to committing one count of interstate domestic violence resulting in death. Duberek faces a life sentence in federal prison, but no sentencing date has been set, said public affairs officer Erin Dooley. Duberek lived in San Diego with his parents and a few other locations. “Not every brutal domestic homicide falls within federal jurisdiction, but when it does, we are determined to use whatever tools we have to bring the perpetrator to justice,” said U.S. Attorney Chad Meacham of Northern District of Texas. “Mr. Duberek now faces the possibility of a life behind bars pondering his evil act,” said Meacham.

Chad David Luera (courtesy image)

sAn diego mAn pleAds guilty to murder,

sTabbeD bOYFrIeND 93 TIMes IN Texas By Neal putnam

Alexander Yoichi Duberek (courtesy image)

“This defendant plotted the murder of an innocent young man, methodically purchasing equipment, locating a stretch of desolate road, and stabbing the victim nearly eight dozen times,” said Meacham. Duberek told authorities he arrived at the Lubbock airport and purchased a Toyota Camry for $3,000. He drove to a Walmart, where he purchased a knife, a hatchet, a gas can, a collapsible shovel, a change of clothing, and boots. No specific motive was given by the defendant. He sold the vehicle, but when investigators found the Camry, they discovered blood in the back seat that matched the victim. Duberek remained at large for five months and returned to San Diego. Duberek turned himself into the San Diego sheriff’s department on March 18, 2021. While being booked, he was asked about a tattoo of his boyfriend’s first name on his ring finger. He answered that it was the name of the person he had killed, according to Dooley. Duberek remains in federal prison without bail. Dooley said the agencies that participated in the investigation included the Hale County sheriff’s office, the Texas Rangers, the FBI, the Texas Highway Patrol, and the U.S. Secret Service.


DoN’T BE LiKE ANyoNE ELSE from pAGE 13



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