LGBTQ San Diego County News November 2022, Issue 4 Volume 3

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Local Artist and Gallery Open Doors for Emerging LGBTQIA+ Artists P12 TheaTer

Queer Joy Driven As You Like It Takes the Stage P14



LGBT Veteran’s Wall of Honor 2022 P3

ConversaTions Big Mike wiTh niCoLe & Friends Joe McCarthy/Anita Bryant Featuring Eras Returning? P7 Dylan Cook P8 LiFe Beyond Trans TaLk Therapy wiTh Connor Love, Lust, Eros, Sex Giving Thanks P10 and Their Friends P9

Crest Café Turns 40! P4 Mama’s Kitchen is at it Again! P5


An Interview with Attorney General Rob Bonta, On Hate P16

COUrT News

Man Gets 44 Days for Slugging Transgender at Homeless Center P18


Daniel Jordan Admits It’s Time for the Truth Get Your T Levels Checked, Stabbing Husband in Bed with Knife P18 now! P17 Dr. Carlton Thomas (photo by Carlos Guillén Apezteguía @cgaphotographs)

How C CHristmas trees touCH tHe Lives of tHose Living witH Hiv/aids

Fes FesTIval OF Trees 2022 By Big mike m Phillips

meet out 100 Honoree

Dr. CarlTON ThOMas

from a reguLar gay dad to amassing over 3.5 miLLion Likes By allan acevedo


photo by Kristofer Reynolds

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to contribute to scientific research


cknowledging the “real possibility of dying just by going to work,” Dr. Carlton Thomas’ arms slowed and clasped each other, in studied calm. I instantly understand why his reassuring voice paired with his facial expressiveness lend themselves to gaymous and TikTok success as a Queer sexual health educator. Talking via Zoom, Thomas arrived punctually, but casually. He wore a black tank top promoting the newly released Bros movie by Billy Eichner. More aware of our limited time, Thomas shared how time during the pandemic inspired him to go from a regular Gay dad to amassing over 3.5 million likes and more than a quarter million followers on TikTok and feeling like “Daddy to the Gay community.” Dr. Carlton, as he’s known on socials, speaks with his whole body. His arms, eyes, eyebrows, mustache, and lower lip all move as separate but complimentary syntax. His hands seem to move randomly, but guide information as if you’re part of his thought process. He furrows his brows when questioning or presenting novel information. Both his eyebrows shoot up in emphasis. With a neat, full beard and broad shoulders, Thomas is framed by a grey wall and window with closed white blinds and minimalist trim. Punctuating Thomas’ wall, and matching his juxtaposed clean cut libertine energy, a single framed piece hangs to the right of the screen. In the frame, either a snapshot or a good sketch of the back of a shirtless man, flexing his bicep.

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La Jolla Institute

Have you been vaccinated and/or recovered from monkeypox?


Eligibility Institutional Review Board Protocol # VD-259-0822 A3 you are healthy, 18+ years old Approved for use until: you have been infected with monkeypox 08/23/2023 and/or received the monkeypox vaccine Participation brief health questionnaire up to 5 study visits with blood draws compensation up to $500 for time and effort


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Festival of Trees continued from Page 1


ast year a great concept for a fundraiser came to San Diego that was different, fun, beautiful, creative, and helped support a lot of people in need. It was a huge success. The place was packed, and most every tree received a new home that evening. Bobby Gordon, founder and creator of Festival of Trees, introduced our community to this extraordinary Christmas in November event. He saw an opportunity in our LGBTQ+ community for a holiday-themed event that could benefit local non-profit organizations while kicking off the winter holidays. People came dressed up, drank, and ate delicious hors d’oeuvres as they walked through the parade of trees set up in the walkway of Inside Out (1642 University Avenue, San Diego, CA). I am so excited to announce that our community will enjoy this event again this year. I believe this is going to become an annual signature event every November. Bobby elaborated, “San Diego was beyond receptive. They totally embrace this new concept and loved the idea that having an already decorated Christmas tree to bid on, and then have it delivered to your home, and set up was such a unique idea. The best part was people had a great time at the event and were compassionate about knowing they were giving back to such a great cause.” The event committee again chose Being Alive San Diego HIV/AIDS Services this year as their beneficiary. In addition to keeping the impact of the fundraising efforts local within our community, Being Alive is one of our oldest HIV/ AIDS organizations that is still in existence. Their mission is to deliver quality and compassionate services to people affected by HIV and AIDS. They continue to provide medications, preventative resources, education, job train-ing, healthcare, and access to other resources. The committee is confident that their chosen beneficiary will be able to use the funds raised to continue their efforts. The selection committee was comprised of last year’s event volunteers and the Board of Directors for BGCA (Big Gay California), a federal non-profit organization that produces the annual Festival of Trees in San Diego. Shannon Wagner, Executive Director of Being Alive expressed her thoughts, “The last couple of years have been difficult for everyone – for members of our community living with HIV/AIDS and dealing with poverty. These times can be even darker and more frightening. All of us at Being Alive San Diego are excited about this year’s Festival of Trees and grateful to Bobby Gordon, his co-host, and the many volunteers for producing a beautiful event and giving hope to some of our most vulnerable community members.” BGCA’s mission is to help aid and support the LGBTQ+ and allied communities in California, including but not limited to HIV/AIDS, suicide

L to R: Bobby Gordon, Chad Michaels and Moe Girton Photo by Kristofer Reynolds

2021 of Trees Festival t pictures by Even Dubois Vanessa

prevention, health promotion, youth engagement and support, and Transgender and other under-represented populations. Being Alive’s mission aligns perfectly with BGCA’s mission to make a local impact in these areas for our local community Last year, the fabulous Mariam T and Moe Girton cohosted with Bobby to present the very first event. This year, the amazing Chad Michaels (RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars Season 1 winner) will join Moe Girton, General Manger, and partner with MO’s Universe, along with Bobby Gordon returning as co-host for the second annual event. We extend huge thank you to all three of these super stars in our community making this event happen again this year. Paris Quion (General Manager of Inside Out and Partner at Mo’s Universe) is happy to invite this event back and exclaimed, “Festival of Trees is such a great addition to our yearlong community events in Hillcrest that I know everyone will continue to enjoy and support for years and years to

come. Showcasing a combinacombina tion of what our community and the holidays are all about which is a simple expression of love!” The committee has been so fortunate to witness such an overwhelming response from the community, both last year and this year, to help support and be involved. Individuals, designers, and local businesses can either donate to the silent auction, become a financial sponsor to help underwrite the fixed expenses of the event, or they can create and donate a tree for auction. So far this year they are on track for about twenty artificial trees donated and expertly decorated by local designers and businesses throughout Hillcrest and the surrounding areas. These trees will be available at the live auction, and the lucky winners will have their trees delivered to their homes by the San Diego Armada Rugby Football Club and Junk Medics the following day, just in time for their holiday celebrations. Sponsorship of a tree, silent auction item, or financial donation provides local

businesses the opportunity for significant promotion via social media, their website, and at the event where they directly spotlight their contributions and donations. All trees, silent auction, and other items are only available during the event. However, those who cannot attend in person or who may be out of town just before Thanksgiving may participate online by either making a direct donation via our website, or by participating in our Travel Raffle. The Travel Raffle features tickets at one hundred dollars each, with a maximum of one hundred tickets sold, increasing the winning odds. The lucky winner will receive a cruise package for two which includes a balcony room for three-four nights out of the port of Los Angeles. The Travel Raffle is the only prize you can win if you do not attend in person the night of the event, and they are very pleased to be working with travel agent Bryan Tivenen to bring this opportunity back again this year. Travel Raffle tickets are available online and at the

event until they sell the maximum of one hundred tickets, so I recommend individuals buy Travel Raffle tickets early if they’re interested before they sell out! There are so many ways for individuals and businesses to get involved. They need, and are asking for, volunteers to help manage the silent auction, sell raffle tickets on-site, help with set-up and tear-down, and related on-site management of the event. Bobby mentioned, “We are still accepting and seeking financial sponsors to help us maximize the amount of money we can donate to Being Alive San Diego HIV/AIDS Services, because every dollar we raise is another dollar that helps us underwrite the hard costs of the event, providing more money that goes directly to our chosen beneficiary. We’re also eager to receive silent auction donations (i.e., gift baskets, artwork, wine baskets, gift cards, creative items, and more) to make a robust silent auction with amazing offerings for our guests to help support this cause. And, of course, if

FrONT PaGe/News

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(image by

someone has a fabulous and creative idea for a tree, they will welcome their tree sponsorship!” Beyond the naughty Santa, Mrs. Claus, and the naughty elf returning this year, the entertainment and emcees will also be the events co-hosts; and don’t forget the fabulous Chad Michaels from RuPaul’s Drag Race. Of course, they will have holiday music playing with many other opportunities to be entertained throughout the event. The VIP Experience is sponsored by Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Little Miss Brewing Company, and those who purchase a VIP ticket get guaranteed seats, an exclusive VIP tree auction before the general event, the official tree lighting ceremony, and more! Inside OUT has generously offered to provide light charcuterie hors d’oeuvres throughout the event for all attendees. This is the holiday kickoff party of the year for the LGBTQ+ community, so do not miss it! Tickets went on sale in early October with early-bird discounts through Halloween, but they will still be available online until the day-of the event, and at the door, if they do not sell out. Individuals can get involved as a sponsor, donor, and/or as a volunteer. To buy tickets online go to: and those interested in getting involved can email festivaloftreessd@ As we get closer, people can follow them on Instagram and Facebook (@ festivaloftreessd) to get a preview of the trees and silent auction items. It is exciting to see everyone working together for a common cause to not only kick off the holidays, but to support such an important cause in our local community. I attended this event last year and found it to be refreshing, creative, and brilliant as a great new fun way to raise money in our community. I asked Bobby, “What makes you proud of this event you created for San Diego and what would you like to see this event become in the future?” “What I am most proud of is how quickly the community embraced this event, ensuring that Festival of Trees will now be an annual event. The outpouring of support from business owners, elected leaders, and community members has just been amazing and something that I could not have predicted a year ago when I came up with the idea to launch an annual holidaythemed fundraising event for the community. It is one of the few events we have in Hillcrest where all the businesses work together to make the event a major success. As we

establish Festival of Trees as an annual event, I would love to see more allied businesses become involved as sponsors, including those outside of the Hillcrest neighborhood. Our impact can grow regionally as the event grows. I would love to have the problem of being sold out with a wait list not only to attend, but also receive so many offers to do trees that we have to create a wait list! Those are good problems to have in future years,” says Bobby. I am very proud to call Bobby a great friend. I believe he has a heart of gold filled with so much compassion to help and give back to all human beings. He is a great addition to our community and those who get to know him feel this generosity and are drawn to join him in his quest to include people in this amazing journey. A huge thank you to the brilliant and talented Chad Michaels who has never shied away from giving back with his talents, time, and money, and Moe Girton, who shines as an example of love and constant positive energy that she always spreads amongst us all. I invite everyone of you to join our San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria, city and county officials, myself, and the entire community to help kick off the first Christmas Holidays event of the year with fun, class, charity and with new and old friends. Save the date for the Second Annual Festival of Trees, on Sunday, November 20, 2022, at Inside OUT located at 1642 University Avenue, San Diego, California. The VIP event will start at 4:00pm and the general event will be from 5:00pm till 8:00pm. Pricing through November 19, 2022, the day before the event: General Admission: $35 and the VIP Experience, sponsored by Tito’s Handmade Vodka & Little Miss Brewing, with VIP tables and guaranteed seating also available (individual seats, tables of 4, or more) are $100. If you cannot attend but would still like to donate or buy an auction ticket please go to the website ( which has a link for direct donations, and they will offer the same opportunity in person for those who are interested in making a direct donation to help support the event and Being Alive. It is so amazing and heartwarming to know that buying a fully decorated Christmas tree could help those living with HIV/AIDS, and can be given that extra special love just because you cared. What a great gift of life to share! See you all there and Happy Holidays to all of you.

lGBT veTeraN’s wall OF hONOr 2022 meet a few of tHis year’s tHirteen induCtees By Neal Putnam


hirteen veterans will be honored Thursday, Nov. 10 at the LGBT Center when they are inducted into the Benjamin F. Dillingham, III & Bridget Wilson LGBT Veterans Wall of Honor. Some of the LGBTQ veterans will speak and share their stories during the ceremony before being added to the Veterans Wall of Honor, which began in 2011. This is the first in-person ceremony since 2019 due to COVID-19. Several veterans on the list this year are deceased, but they are still remembered. It will take place from 6-8 PM. Nov. 10 at The Center, 3909 Centre Street. The program will include celebration of military colors, the National Anthem, recognition of inductees, and special remarks. People wishing to attend are asked to RSVP at vwoh2022 online. Those being honored include: Beth F. Coye, Bob Carney, David Root, David Huskey, Edward Conlon, Hector Rodriguez, Houston Burnside, Jr., John Acosta, Lark Bearden, Michael Donovan, Michael W. Klein, Midori Sabanal, and Thomas Carey. Beth Francis Coye She was a Naval commander who served 20 years and 8 months from Feb. 25, 1960, until her retirement in Sept. 1980. “My own groundbreaking naval career--which began more than 50 years ago when I was a rare female intelligence officer--was challenging and exciting,” wrote Coye in The Ashland Chronicle. “I was born and raised in a military family...,” wrote Coye, adding that her father was the late Rear Admiral John S. Coye, Jr. He was a top submarine skipper during World War II. After she retired, she purchased an office coffee service business in San Diego. She also taught at the Naval War College, San Diego Community

College, and was an assistant professor at San Diego State University for three years. Coye also wrote several books, including My Navy Too. Coye offered her opinion when President Donald Trump went to Helsinki, met with Russian President Vladmir Putin and declared he believed Putin over the U.S. military intelligence that Putin interfered in the 2016 U.S. election. “With regret, I declare our American president to be a domestic threat to our democracy...” wrote Coye in the Providence Journal in 2018, adding that it was based on her experience including three intelligence assignments. “Trump’s hostility towards the military community demonstrates that he is unfit to be Commander-in-Chief and selfinterest dominate his psyche rather than the values of service and sacrifice,” wrote Coye. David Charles Root “The first time I heard the word homosexual was when Anita Bryant said it in 1977,” said Root. “I did not understand what Gay was.” Root is from Seminole, Florida, and recalled the controversy when Bryant led a successful campaign to repeal an anti-gay discrimination ordinance in Miami-Dade County that was designed to protect Gay people. But Root was 18 years old at the time. He was not drafted, and he enlisted in the U.S. Army. “The military was a blessing to me,” said Root. “The Army gave me an opportunity. I have my benefits.” David said he was 10 pounds underweight, and his recruiter told him he needed to gain five more pounds. His recruiter took him to McDonalds, and didn’t allow him to use the restroom before he returned and weighed in. David said he appeared to have gained almost five pounds and enlisted. “I was not a masculine male by any means. I was not

a typical grunt,” said Root, laughing. “The discipline you get is a lifetime bonus,” said Root. “You recall those things, like in boot camp, when you can push through (things).” “It was the first time I ever shot a gun in my life and threw a hand grenade,” said Root. He was stationed in Hawaii and played the French horn in a band. David explored Gay clubs in Hawaii, but no one ever asked him about that. “No one knew you were Gay. How could you be harassed?” he said. He said his sergeant once asked him if he was seen holding hands with a man while on roller skates, and he denied it because it wasn’t true. He said he was promoted and became a squad leader. David decided against reenlistment. “I couldn’t handle wearing olive drab green. To this date, I hate olive drab green,” said Root, laughing. “It was not in my color palate. It made me look washed up.” Root is a hair stylist and a member of the Metropolitan Community Church in San Diego. Houston Burnside, Jr. Houston Burnside, Jr. served in the Air Force and was a staff pastor at the Metropolitan Community Church in San Diego when he was killed in a traffic accident in his van on Oct. 8, 2018. He was 66. He was paralyzed from the waist down during surgery when he was a young man in what was described as a medical mistake. He did not let that stop him from leading an active life. He used a wheelchair, and he visited many people, including those in county jail. His husband is Bruno Giebultowski. The Center’s COVID safety measures require masking indoors, according to Gus Hernandez, Senior Director of Communications.



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hen your dreams come true and then you witness the growth, sweat, and tears of your hard work, it is only then that you know your dreams have taken very good care of you. Believing in themself, their family, their customers, and their business has been the backbone of Crest Café’s success for the past forty years. It is tapping into their creativity and staying true to their values and vision, that they have created a concept that gets their guest’s attention, with good old fashion customer service, good food, and creating a loving family of customers that have them coming back. Owner Cecelia Moreno would tell you, “For the past four decades the business has been built on simple tried-and-true concepts: Comfort, consistency, and community.” With these concepts they have proven to do just that. I have personally known Cecelia for over thirty years. I met her in the early nineteen nineties when she approached me and graciously offered to get involved with our charity by donating food to our main event with Ordinary Miracles, a 501C nonprofit that Nigel Mayer and I founded together to give back to San Diego communities. She continued their support with Ordinary Miracles until Nigel, and I decided to go in a different direction. The Crest Café has never been a stranger when it comes to giving back to the community and neighborhood that has been loyal to their business after all these years. Patrick and Donna McLoughlin, the original owners, started the Crest Café in 1982. They christened the name Crest Café after the neighborhood of Hillcrest. Luis Moreno took over in 1985 with his daughter Cecelia to create what so many of us have enjoyed for the past forty years. Being that it is a family business, Luis Moreno, Ruben Medina, his daughter Sofia Medina (who worked there at the café during her High School years), and current General Manager and part owner Enrique Medina are all part of the continued growth, keeping up with the change while still serving great food with their attentive service. The cuisine at the Crest Café is always unique, using delicious recipes made with quality ingredients by knowledgeable cooks in the kitchen. The Moreno family has always had such pride in their staff. They work very well together to make sure the consistency is always there throughout the entire business. I asked Enrique if they had a signature dish and he said: “With having such an extensive menu it is very hard to choose just one menu item. So, I will give you my top five: Butter Burger, YUM!, Creme Brulé French Toast, Hangover Omelet, Cabo Quesadilla, and this may sound crazy, but we have the best Tuna Melt around. That is my favorite part about our menu. You can get breakfast, lunch, or dinner at any time. The menu boasts creative burgers, sandwiches,

(courtesy image)

The folks at Casa de Luz receiving the donation check from Crest Café. (courtesy image) Luis Moreno & Cecelia Moreno (courtesy image)

CresT CaFÉ TUrNs 40! a deLiCious reCipe for suCCess By Big mike Phillips salads, and appetizers that will blow your mind like the fried mozzarella, which is a block of cheese that sits on marinara. Or the Onion Loaf as well as the nutter grilled cheese. I can go on and on, but I am getting hungry now!” Anyone who is in the food and beverage industry knows how difficult it is to run and keep a restaurant open. The National Restaurant Association estimates a twenty percent success rate for all restaurants. About sixty percent of restaurants fail in their first year of operation, and eighty percent fail within five years of opening. Crest Café has always operated to maintain their trust to those who have and continue to support them. The proof is in the pudding, as my mom would always say, reality never lies. Crest Café undoubtedly, is a true success story indeed. “But how?”, many have asked. Well, it was built by a family with love for each other, for the food they cooked, the service they provide by the staff they support, and the pride and love they give back to their loyal customers. Many of their customers came with their parents when they were kids. Now they have grown up, started families of their own, and now bring their children to eat. Cecelia mentioned “that when they took over the restaurant in 1985 that one of their biggest goals was to make sure everyone who walked through those doors felt like they were at home and part of the family”. The relationship the Crest Café has blessed our community with is composed of such ingredients of faith with themselves and gratitude for San Diego,

Hillcrest, and surrounding communities for their ongoing support. Crest Café also donates to important causes and supports refugees in the LGBTQ+ community beyond the border. I had the pleasure to ride to Tijuana, Mexico with Enrique, and Jack Nooren, who created a safe living space 501C for Casa de Luz in Tijuana. Casa de Luz helps refugees after a long caravan of many that have traveled thousands of miles just to escape death and have a chance for a better life. The home provides housing, food, medical care, and emotional support. In the past twelve months they have helped over two hundred LGBTQ+ refugees legally cross into the United States. They house approximately fifty LGBTQ+ refugees, about one third of them are Transgender or gender diverse. During our ride to the Mexican border, I asked Enrique why they chose Casa de Luz to be the beneficiary of their generous $4000 donation. He explained that “over the past forty years our family has been involved in many different events from being a part of raising the Hillcrest Pride Flag, donating toward a new Hillcrest sign, and many more small organizations; we chose Casa de Luz because we really agree with the message they brought forward. They have gone above and beyond to help people that have been mistreated just because of their sexual orientation or gender identification. I had the privilege to go and meet these hopeful individuals, listening to them talk about where they came from, some as far as Russia or as close as Mexico, and they

all seem very happy just to be in a safe space such as Casa de Luz. Helping other human beings is always the right thing to achieve. It is a part of how our family pays it forward with love. The café will continue to support Casa de Luz throughout the year.” I really enjoyed getting to know Enrique as we travelled to and from the Mexican border while visiting Casa de Luz in Tijuana. He told me he has been involved with Crest Café for close to five years now. He oversees the daily operations. Under his leadership and support of his family, his overall vision is to continue the same success and appreciation for their customers for another 40 years! Enrique brags about his devoted and loving customers. “They’re wonderful and I am lucky. I get to work in a place where I see a lot of the same faces and really get to know people and talk to people. I can ask how they or family and friends are doing, and I consider many of them friends. I have been fortunate to be a part of some very special moments for individuals and couples who I continue to see to this day. I get to watch their children grow and their puppies’ become dogs. It’s very special and I would take that every time over anything else.” Although his customers are so amazing, he gives full credit to his entire staff from the back of the house to those who come in direct contact in the front of the house for the Café’s success: “I could go on and on about my incredible staff. They are hard-working, attentive, trustworthy, and most importantly, loyal. I have multiple staff members

front and back of the house who have worked with us for over five years, some for ten years, and a couple over twenty years. That is certainly hard to come by and I am very fortunate to have each one of them.” Taking over this responsibility of a forty-year success story only encourages Enrique to do his very best with this wonderful opportunity that his family has entrusted him with. Knowing he gets to be a part of the legacy his family has already created makes Enrique especially proud to be a part of the family business. He is excited every day that he gets to work alongside his aunt and his father giving him a chance to show them how hard he will work to create continued success of the family business. Consistency at the core, but also the ability to adapt with the times, is Enrique’s motto. I asked Enrique, “Now you have a chance to say something to your loyal customers, community, and city that supports the Crest Café, what would you like to say to them and what is your biggest hope to them as they continue to support you?” His response was, “I would love to scream “thank you” and let them know how we couldn’t have done anything without their loyalty and support over all these years. My hope is that they continue to do so, and they know that I consider them my extended family. It really is a beautiful part that I really cherish. We get to spend holidays like Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas and so many more with our beloved patrons and I know my family feels privileged to do so because they could be anywhere else, but they chose to spend it with us. We thank you all!” To the landmark pink building that houses the Crest Café on Robinson Avenue at the counter next to the alley that is family owned, thank you for being a reliable place to gather and share delicious food and drinks for forty years. In the process it has created friendships, good times, great food, and loyalty from both the staff and its customers. If for some reason you have never eaten there, I personally invite you to get yourself in there and have some of the best comfort food made with love in San Diego. Oh, by the way they are big huggers. Do not be surprised if you get a warm hug from them one day. Thank you to the Crest Café family for being one of Hillcrest’s examples of longevity, delicious home cooked food, kindness and how to show everyone what love can do after forty years. Here is to the next forty years of making that dream continue. I will see them soon for either breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I hope I see you there as well.

Location: 425 Robinson Avenue, San Diego, California, 92103 Enrique Medina: Cell: 619-987-7186 Crest Café: Office: 619-295-2510


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ama’s Kitchen is a non-profit organization based here in San Diego. Mama’s Kitchen strives to provide nutritional support to our San Diegan residents at risk of malnutrition due to critical illnesses such as HIV, cancer, congestive heart failure, type 2 diabetes, and chronic kidney disease. Along with hundreds of volunteers, businesses, and community supporters, we strive to help our clients stay healthy by providing free, medically tailored home-delivered meals, pantry services, and nutritional education. At Mama’s Kitchen, we value dignity, respect, reliability, integrity, and diversity. We strive for a future where we live in a community where all individuals with critical illnesses are no longer vulnerable to malnutrition. For more information about our work, visit Due to the pandemic, we have seen a decrease in volunteers. While the number of volunteers decreased, the number of clients increased significantly. It’s time for the annual Mama’s Pie event. This is where local San Diego Bakers donate pies to our organization and volunteers sell the pies to their friends, families, and coworkers. All the money will go back to feeding our clients. We are looking for many volunteers to help participate in this event. We have a variety of volunteer opportunities here at Mama’s Kitchen.


5. Pie Support Team – Support the team with last-minute drop-off and urgent needs 6. Cleanup – Support with event breakdown and clean-up (Nov. 23)

To learn more about Mama’s Pies, you can check out https:// We ask that any new Volunteers fill out an application on our website: https://www. opportunities/ Then attend our online orientation. Dates of our online orientation and link can be found here: https://www. opportunities/. For the week of Thanksgiving, we still need to deliver meals to our clients. Our normal delivery days are Tuesdays and Fridays, but we will deliver on Thursday (Thanksgiving Day) instead of Friday to our clients, with the delivery window being from 11am-2pm (Nov. 24).

MaMa’s KITCheN Is aT IT aGaIN!

seeking voLunteers for tHeir annuaL mama’s pie event By LGBTQ San Diego County News Staff MAMA’s Pie VoLunTeeR oPPoRTuniTies: 1. Pie Box Party – Help us build, label, and deliver the pie boxes (Nov. 10-11) 2. Pie Central Staging Operations – Help receive, sort, and prepare pie orders (Nov. 21-23) 3. Pie Pick-Up and Drop-Off Delivery Drivers – Assist in

“Mama’s Kitchen strives to provide nutritional support to our san Diegan residents at risk of malnutrition due to critical illnesses”

picking up pies from bakers and dropping off pies at private and public pick-up sites (Nov. 21-23) 4. Public Pick-Up Site Coordinator – Distribute pre-sold pies to pie buyers at one of 10 public pickup sites throughout San Diego (Nov. 23)


Proposition 1: Yes

District 48: Stephen Houlahan

Championed by State Senator Toni Atkins

District 49: Mike Levin District 50: Scott Peters District 5 1 : Sara Jacobs District 52: Juan Vargas



District 18: Steve Padilla District 38: Catherine Blakespear

District 40: Joseph Rocha



Council Dist. 2: Dr Jen Campbell

U.S Senate: Alex Padilla Governor: Gavin Newsom Lt. Govenor: Eleni Kounalakis

Council Dist. 4: Monica Montgomery Steppe

Secretary of State:Shirley Weber Controller: Malia Cohen Treasurer: Fiona Ma Attorney General: Rob Bonta

STATE ASSEMBLY District 74: Chris Duncan

District 76: Brian Maienschein

District 77: Tasha Boerner Horvath District 78: Chris Ward District 79: Dr. Akilah Weber

Board of Equalization: Mike Schaefer


Council Dist. 8: Vivian Moreno

Supervisor, Dist. 4: Nathan Fletcher

Supt. of Public Instruction: Tony Thurmond

Mayor: Ammar Campa-Najjar

Council Dist. 6: Kent Lee


Insurance Commissioner:Ricardo Lara


Proposition 26: Yes Proposition 27: No Proposition 29: No

Supervisor, Dist. 5: Tiffany Boyd-Hodgson Board of Education, District 3: Alicia Munoz Board of Education, District 5: Rick Shea

County Assessor-Recorder : Jordan Marks Sheriff San Diego County: Kelly Martinez Treasurer-Tax Collector: Dan McAllister

CITY OF SAN DIEGO Measure D: Vote Yes

Kelly Martinez

P.O. Box 33915, San Diego, CA 92163

Community College, Dist. C: Maria Nieto Senour

SD Unified School Board, Dist. B: Shana Hazan

Championed by Mayor Todd Gloria

Joseph Rocha


Brian Maienschein

Founders: John McCusker & Nicole M. Ramirez

Jordan Marks


nOVeMbeR 2022 VOluMe 4 issue 3


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.



want to start this note by thanking our San Diego Padres for such an amazing season. You gave us a lot to cheer about and reminded us of one of the many reasons we love San Diego. Can’t wait for Spring Training! This November, we honor and celebrate three important days. First is Election Day on Tuesday November 8, the culmination of the voting that will have occurred for the 2022 election. With our constitutional rights under attack and damage being done to the institutions that preserve our nation, this is a hugely important election. My ballot has already been sent back, and I hope yours has too! Next, on Friday November 11, we once again honor all the veterans who have worn our nation’s uniforms. I am so proud to represent so many veterans and active duty personnel—and their families. And I will always work to ensure that our veterans get the services they need, and the benefits that they have earned.

COPY EDITOR Brittany Berger SALES 858.886.9458

haPPY NOveMBer! Finally, on Thursday November 24, we have the opportunity to gather with family and friends to celebrate our blessings on Thanksgiving. Something I know that we are all blessed by is the hard work of our farmers and farmworkers, grocery workers, and restaurant and service workers who make Thanksgiving possible for so many. Thank you all very much! Of course, as we count our blessings this Thanksgiving,

we also have to remember all those Californians who don’t have homes to call their own. Fixing this must remain a priority in all of our communities throughout California. While homelessness and affordable housing have been in a state of crisis for years, that doesn’t mean give up—it means work harder and work together. The unique opportunities to celebrate abound this month – getting to choose our own leaders and the laws that


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govern us; honoring those who put their lives on the line to serve our country; and being thankful, even in difficult circumstances. November is a pretty big deal, so we should do it proud—Vote. Thank a vet. Count blessings. And go ahead and have some whipped cream on the pie!

Thank you for reading, Toni

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Allan Acevedo Berto Fernández Big Mike Phillips Connor Maddocks Michael Kimmel Neal Putnam Randall Blaum 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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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.



or many of us who lived through the hate filled eras of Joe McCarthy and Anita Bryant it now seems that those dark years are returning. There’s so much hate going on in America that I have not seen this country so divided since the Vietnam War, and possibly even more so now. The rise of hate incidents against the Jewish Community is not only in the United States but all over the world. There are now almost 400 anti-LGBTQ+ bills that have been introduced into legislatures across the nation, it is very reminiscent of Anita Bryant‘s national anti-Gay crusade of the 1970s. In

eras returning?

Idaho there has even been a statewide bill introduced that would ban “public Drag performances” and of course Florida’s “don’t say Gay” state legislation has already been passed and signed by the governor as well as the Texas bill targeting parents of Transgender children. The Supreme Court’s decision to take away the right of people with uteruses to control their own bodies is one of the most alarming and serious in

decades and what other radical decisions could be coming in the future. There is now a large group of Americans who are becoming more visible and upfront about their dislike and bias against people of color and immigrants. We all know that it was the Trump presidency that brought forth this now open hate and bias and the widening division between Americans. I believe that Trump’s slogan should’ve been

“Let’s make America hate again” also returning us to the days of the Ku Klux Klan and the American Nazi Party (now called The Proud Boys). There is also an ongoing effort to suppress the African American vote and the fact that many of these campaigns are succeeding is unbelievable and a smack in the face to the centuries and sacrifices of the black civil rights movement. The growing violence in America seems not to be end-

saTUrDaY, s sa aTUrDa aTU DaY Da aY, DeCeMBer CeMBer 3, 2022

vOTe TUesDaY, november 8tH!

San Diego GLBT 2022 has made the following a top priority on your ballot: STATE SENATE: Joseph Rocha STATE ASSEMBLY: Brian Maienschein SAN DIEGO SCHOOL BOARD: shana Hazan SAN DIEGO SHERIFF: Kelly Martinez ASSESSOR/RECORDER/CLERK: Jordan Marks SAN DIEGO CITY COUNCIL: Kent Lee and Dr. Jennifer Campbell CONGRESS: Michael Levin CHULA VISTA MAYOR: Amar Campa-najjar These are all considered tight races!

You are all invited to the unveiling street sign ceremony for “Nicole Murray Ramirez Way” in Hillcrest. I am so sincerely honored to be the first Gay San Diegan citizen to be recognized in this way (fellow longtime activist Jeri Dilno was the first Lesbian so honored). Yes, the ceremony will be held on my birthday with special guest out of town speakers like Judy Shepherd, Stuart Milk, former San Francisco Supervisor Bevan Dufty and former Mayor of Salt Lake City, Jackie Biskupski.

Joe McCarthy Anita Bryant (courtesy image)

ing and the Republican Party is no longer the political party of Nixon, or even Reagan, it has become an ultra-right nationalism party. What is the answer to all of this? Latinos, Blacks, the Asian/ AAPI, Jewish, and LGBTQ+ communities and the First Nation Natives must all come together and build a strong and united American coalition because the ultraright Trump radicals are indeed after all of us, period!



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Photo by Rikke Photography

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

Dylan and Big Mike (courtesy image)


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 who make our slice of paradise the greatest place to live and enjoy each other’s uniqueness. Sometimes while sharing this earth with so many people you come across individuals who are inspiring as soon as you meet them. I have come across a handful in my life that have done just that for me, and I am still great friends with them to this today. When I met my friend Dylan, it was like I had already known him for a lifetime. He was so accepting, fun, corny, and very easy on the eyes. He made me feel connected to him the first time I ever met him. Sweet, kind, and humble; I am excited to introduce my friend Dylan Cook, here is his story. How did you end up in san Diego and what do you love about it? I have been on a long journey. I was homeless at the age of 17; traveled from state to state. I joined the United States Marine Corps, and it led me here where I got stationed on Camp Pendleton and I love the diversity how big the cities are and there so much to do I grew up in a small town with a population of about 1600, so bigger is definitely better. There’s so much to do in San Diego and it’s just a beautiful place; I could not imagine myself anywhere else. What gets you most excited about life? I love meeting new people and being able to follow my dreams fulfills my journey. Making the best memories with friends and family gets me excited. My favorite, though, is definitely my beautiful wife. in your professional life, what makes your business stand out and how has it changed your life? If it’s a passion of mine, those who know me know I’m


Dylan Cook (photo by Big Mike Phillips)

Dylan Cook (photo by Meemnoon Productions)

“You will see the end of your rainbow” going to put in quality work. I pay very close attention when I work so I can better my craft. It is changing my life every day; my goal is to expand my knowledge start a fashion business, own properties, and explore my horizons from what I have learned working for and with other people. I want to learn and be able to do everything and anything my heart desires. How would friends describe you? They would describe me as a caring and goofy individual who is unique, personable, and confident but humble, and I see the best in people. What or who really makes you laugh and why? I love when other people are laughing, then their laughing causes me to laugh. Now, you need to understand that I have an interesting laugh, so it makes us laugh even more. I think most people would agree how fascinating two strangers, friends, and even loved ones get so much joy when sharing laughter together; sometimes not even knowing what you are laughing about. I know it certainly makes my day

Who inspires you in life to do your very best and why? Everyone inspires me because everyone is different and diverse. We are all special, each in our own way, each with different skills, so I believe I could learn from everyone. I will always aspire to be the best me, as I learn and as I become more successful, I become a better version of myself. As I grow and learn my many different life skills, I plan to inspire and teach, to help others in their journey for the next generation. if you could witness any event of the past, present, or future, what would it be and why? I would want to witness my very own future, because we cannot change the past, but we can change the future by what we learned and experience from our past. It would be very unique to watch my growth and see what I as a person have done, so I could do it differently to better who I am, as well as everyone around me.

if you could give someone advice about your art, hobby, or business, what would you tell them? Confidence is key, never doubt yourself or let anyone ever put you down. You are as beautiful and amazing as you want to be. Never give up on your dreams, no matter what, if you are willing to work hard, believe in yourself, and don’t give up no matter how hard. You will see the end of your rainbow. Work is like a Pencil, it’s easy to look sharp when you don’t do any work, and everything might start looking dull and dark, but keep sharpening your skills after working hard; you will see your result become a positive reality in no time. What are your top five valves you live by? I live by family, passion, dreams, work, and memories… Most people would say that money is a more important value, but you can always make more money, but you can’t get those memories back. If you miss them, you’re only young for so long, so love life while you’re young. Grow as you create memories and new friends and explore life to its

fullest. Then, as you get older you can relax and know you did so much with the one life you have. Gratitude is so important in each of our lives, what are you most grateful for, and how do you pay it forward? I’m so grateful for the support of my family, my work and all the opportunities I am given along the way. Such as this opportunity to express the way I feel and share with other people to never give up on their dreams. I will always support and give back to those who helped me along the way. I now realize that those who did not believe in me did not believe in themselves. I have forgiven them; I wish them well and am focusing on my positive life.

Facebook: Dylan Cook Instagram: (model_ Dylan_cook) (poisonart23)


nOVeMbeR 2022 VOluMe 4 issue 3

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fected wound. You gotta clean out the wound. So, if your sex life is really unfulfilling, stop and notice. Ask yourself: • What am I having sex for? • What emotions do I want to feel during sex? • Am I enjoying certain sexual activities but not others? • Am I enjoying sex with certain people but not others?

lIFe BeYOND TheraPY Michael Kimmel

This kind of stuff is good to know. Don’t judge yourself (or anyone else), just use the information to begin to make changes – small changes. Big changes are usually too hard to sustain. Set yourself up to succeed: move slowly and deliberately when you’re working on your sex life and the emotions that go with it.

—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

Do you find sex great, fulfilling and exciting? If so, bravo! You’re doing something very, very right! But why not finetune it even more? Ask yourself: •What do I like best about sex? •How can I get more of this? •What was my best sexual experience ever? •What about it made it so?


hen talking with my clients about their sex lives, it’s fascinating to look at the interplay of the emotions they feel and the sexual activities that evoke these emotions. Can anyone really separate them out? It seems like they are powerfully linked together. But are they? Do you like to separate your emotional life from your sexual life? Or do you like to mix them together? Can you enjoy sex only with someone you know well, or is sex more like a “sport” for you, with few emotions attached? In this column, let’s look at the interplay of sex and emotions… There are the many, many physical activities that we call “sex”: touching, kissing, masturbation (alone or with someone else), oral (mouth to body) and anal (penetration of the anus with penis, dildo or other toys). There are BDSM/ kink related activities like bondage, mumification, hot wax play, flogging and the like. These are activities, e.g., things you do. They are not emotions, which are how you feel when you enjoy (or not) a particular activity. I encourage you to continually be curious about your sexual and emotional life. For most of us, it changes over time…and it can be ever better the older we are (ask me how I know: I’ll be seventy next year). I encourage my clients to take a regular sexual inventory: How do you feel emotionally during specific activities? Do you enjoy oral sex but not anal? Do you like bondage but not flogging? Do you like touching someone but not kissing them? Just notice. There’s no right and wrong. There’s only what’s true for you. And it will change over time. With more experience, you may learn to enjoy things you didn’t used to. Keep your sexual repertoire fluid (for example: just because you don’t like being anally penetrated doesn’t mean you won’t


lOve, lUsT, erOs, sex aND TheIr FrIeNDs How do you feeL during speCifiC sexuaL aCtivities?

enjoy rimming). Many people who initially found fetish and kink activities “weird” have learned - with patient and supportive teachers - to enjoy all kinds of things they didn’t think they could. Do you find most sex boring? Scary? Confusing? Sometimes, because of a history of trauma, we don’t have good emotional experiences during sex. For example: are you someone who just can’t get enough sex? One of my clients used to feel this way. Once we began working together, it became clear to him that it wasn’t really about sex, he felt empty inside and was hoping that lots of sex would fill that emotional “void”.

vote at the Center

No matter how good (or lousy) your sex life is, it can always change for the better. Start paying attention to Love, Lust, Eros, Sex and Their Friends and whether you’re eighteen or eighty, you can enjoy being sexual – and the emotions that go with it – more than ever.


At the SAn Diego LgBt Community Center

It didn’t. And it can’t. If you use sex like you use alcohol, drugs or food (to make yourself feel better) you may feel happier for a while, but don’t be surprised when you need sex again and again and again. Painful emotions - like loneliness, depression and feeling unattractive - don’t go away by numbing or distracting yourself. Using sex to deal with them is like changing a bandage on a deep, old, in-

“Keep your sexual repertoire fluid”

The San Diego LGBT Community Center is an official Vote Center for this election. Saturday, Nov. 5th to Monday Nov. 7th 8 am - 5 pm Tuesday, Nov. 8th 7 am - 8 pm Stop by to vote in person at 3909 Centre Street, San Diego, CA 92103


VOluMe 4 issue 3 nOVeMbeR 2022 VOlu


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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


say we do, and I will point out a couple of really great and positive things that have happened. One thing I found in my research is that the Social Security Administration announced in March of this year that they will have an option for a third gender marker, the X, which designates Non-Binary or other gender identities that are not male or female. This option isn’t available right now due to the agency having to reconfigure their computer systems, but what is available now is something amazing. We can now self-select our M or F gender marker. This means Transgender and NonBinary people no longer need to provide some kind of proof as to their legal/personal gender identity. In the past one had to provide proof of gender confirmation surgery, originally this meant a surgeon’s letter indicating genital surgery. This denied so many people the right to have their correct gender marker on so many legal documents. For many Trans and NonBinary people, having access to life affirming surgery is not possible due to financial reasons. Only recently have insurance companies started paying for our medical care, up to and including surgery. As awareness grew more and more, medical and psychological professionals agreed that health care for Trans and Non-Binary folks is indeed medically necessary. Only then did things begin to change for us. When the medical community came onboard to support us, other agencies began to fall in line as well. One of those being the Social Security Administration. Organizations such as the National Center for Transgender Equality, The Transgender Law Center and HRC fought hard to change the way our gender markers could be changed. Slowly more and more states approved gender marker changes to the birth certificates, state ID’s, and driver’s licenses. With some great legal minds, a letter was drafted that was vaguely worded but provided true attestation to a gender confirming surgery, instead of only being allowed to use full genital reconstruction to provide proof of gender change, this letter enabled anyone with any kind of gender surgery, for example


for tHe possibLe and tHe impossibLe!

top surgeries, orchiectomies, or facial feminization to obtain legal proof of your gender. Signed by your surgeon, this letter has been used for about the last 18 years. As time went on most states allowed for a name and gender change through a court order, and this letter was used for that as well. Presently, many states including California, allowed for self-identification on a legal gender change. This legal document could then be used at the Social Security Office to change the gender marker on your records. Other agencies across states and the federal government fell in line and things have been so much easier. It was never ok to have to show medical documentation to a Social Security Clerk about our private medical procedures. As a side note, if you do change your name and/or gender you do have to apply for a new Social Security card. What about passports? According to the US State Department website, this agency has also been working to make changes to their systems. They are actually the first Federal government agency to allow us to self- select our gender marker without proof of medical or legal intervention, even if it doesn’t match other identity documents. In June 2021 the Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken announced this change along with the upcoming X marker as an option for gender. The X marker on Passports has been available since April of this year. Go State Department!

These are certainly huge things to be grateful for. I have a very personal gratefulness I thought I would like to share. Today transitioning folks have in California, and many other states, fairly easy access to gender confirming surgeries. When I transitioned in 2003 there was no easy process. The gatekeeping for surgeries was very high back then. But often the biggest obstacle was the cost. There was no insurance coverage for any kind of surgery, so the only folks who were able to take that step were the ones who could afford it. I was not one of those people. I had my top surgery in 2005 and $7000 dollars was almost insurmountable for me. Thank goodness there were surgery loans of which I availed myself, since my dysphoria around my chest was excruciating. I was thrilled beyond measure after my surgery, only to be deeply saddened by the outcome. My surgeon was inexperienced and talked me into a different procedure from what I wanted. The results were terrible. Three years later, thanks to a very talented, kind and compassionate surgeon, I had my chest surgery completely redone and this time my joy knew no bounds. What an amazing feeling to walk in the world with at least some of your body matching your vision of yourself. By this time, I began to contemplate what we in the community call “bottom surgery”. For Trans-masculine people, this entails surgery on the existing genitalia to create

a phallus. I knew a few folks who had the surgery, as they were financially able to afford not only the cost of the surgery, but also the extensive time off from work, and travel to the few surgeons we had at the time who could do these surgeries successfully. I will admit, I was jealous and longed to have my own bottom surgery. I saw no way for that to happen. Aside from winning the lottery, which by the way I never did, I simply couldn’t even fathom coming up with the necessary amount. So, I put my hopes and dreams away on the shelf and convinced myself I neither wanted nor needed such gender confirming surgery. I did a very good job of that, as I had done numerous times throughout my life, when I saw no hope for the life I had always dreamed of. Trans and Non-binary people are, I think, excellent at dismissing our wants and needs when circumstances build against us, leaving very little hope of achieving even the simplest things sometimes. So there sat my bottom surgery hopes, on the shelf getting dustier and dustier with time. Who needed it anyways? Then something amazing happened. In 2012 the California Insurance Board issued regulations called the Equal Access to Health Insurance: Coverage for Transgender Californians. That stopped insurance companies from discriminating against Transgender people to cover all transition related care, up

to and including surgeries. These regulations would force insurance companies to comply with the California Insurance Non-Discrimination Act which was passed in 2005. I am so grateful I live in a state that holds up their promises to my community. This is something I had never dreamt possible. There was of course still a very rocky road to go getting insurance companies on board, even though it was the law. Today we still fight for some insurance companies to comply with this law. So now I had access to surgery, wow! It awed me, and then, I dismissed it. I had so firmly embedded in my brain that surgical intervention would never truly be a reality for me, that I continued to deceive myself into thinking I didn’t want to do it. Then a funny thing happened on the way to my self- realization. I suddenly did want it and was creating a plan in my head to go and get it. Be all that you can be Connor!! But my life always had a way of circumventing my dreams. Beginning in the fall of 2014 I had a series of injuries that required extensive surgeries. Between 2015 up to April of 2021 I underwent 10 different operations. These events further impacted my mindset that bottom surgery would never become a reality for me. Now here we are in 2022, it was early January when I really took a good look at what I wanted to be able to fulfil myself as a whole person. I had just turned 69 and who knew how much time I had left to undergo my final stages. A new voice entered my head and this time it said, “Why not? Why not me? Why can’t I do this?” So, I summoned up my courage and dialed the number for Kaiser Transgender Care. Within a few months I had my psychological clearance, then a consultation with the amazing team at Kaiser West LA Medical Center. This was really happening, and I was so excited!! A dream dismissed long ago was finally becoming a reality. I wanted my body to match who I am, I wanted to be whole while I had time to settle into my complete self before old age caught up with me. I didn’t want to be in a nursing home without a penis, LOL. As I write this article, I am two days away from my surgery. I am not having the full on create a “giant penis” called Phalloplasty, (kidding about the “giant” penis, it’s usually 4-6 inches) which I once wanted, but due to my age and some medical conditions I have opted for one called the metoidioplasty, which uses the existing enlarged clitoris, a side effect of the Testosterone. They will reroute my urethra so that I can urinate from it, then they close the vaginal orifice, and create a scrotum. A male body at last and I am so incredibly grateful I have the means to achieve my final gender goal. Never give up on your dreams, never say never to yourself for many things which seem to be beyond our reach, are one day possible. Have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving everyone.


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Dr. Carlton Thomas continued from Page 1 Thomas grew up in “the deep south in a conservative home.” He knew he was Gay but he “had a girlfriend at another college.” They talked, but “didn’t need to have a big physical relationship”, Thomas laughed, before sharing how she called him out on it. He would eventually come out at 22 after studying abroad in the United Kingdom. There, his flat mate came out as Gay to all his friends in one evening. That night, his flat mate come out to nine different people. Nine different times, Thomas saw real-time reactions to someone’s coming out. “Seven of the nine experiences were positive,” Thomas beamed with a smile composed entirely of his arched eyebrows. Back home, his father developed cardiomyopathy, a heart disease which makes it harder for the heart to pump blood. “I remember I was in that doctor’s office waiting for my dad to be seen”, Thomas shares his fears and pain before talking about the doctor as the “guy who helped my dad.” “Man, I didn’t even like taking biology when I was growing up”, Thomas admitted with a furrowed brow. Despite that, he was ready to be a guy who helped others himself and he earned his M.D. in South Carolina before completing his residency and fellowship at the Mayo Clinic. Thomas settled on gastroenterology because “it touches a lot of lives across the age spectrum, 18 to 100”. Thomas emphasized, “Crohn’s,

colitis, polyps, cancer prevention, ulcers, reflux.” “My first job was in Palm Springs. I served a large Gay population,” Thomas said. Now based in San Diego for 13 years with his husband, Alexander, Thomas sees mostly low income and immigrant patients, many of whom know English as a second language. His bearded smile turned somber with gratitude for the “wonderful people on this Earth who don’t have a lot”, and trust and rely on him to have a healthy life. Thomas swallowed as he declared, “I have needs, too.” He nodded his head, “I missed serving my Gay community like in Palm Springs.” This is when he put it together. We’ve come a long way from Stonewall, but health inequities persist. Thomas understood that through the lens of a GI doctor, or as he puts it, “butt doctor.” On social media, Thomas promotes sex positivity by “maximizing our sexual wellbeing with harm reduction and guidance on how to protect ourselves and our community.” His content covers anything from anal fissures, bottoming, PrEP/PEP, DoxyPEP, and immunizations. He shares clear information to advocate for full STI screenings, specifically that “you have to get a mouth and anal swab for chlamydia if that’s where you play because the urine test won’t catch that.” He’s done countless interviews and partnerships to promote Queerer sex education, including with Men’s Health

Dr. Carlton Thomas (photo by Carlos Guillén Apezteguía @cgaphotographs)

“we’ve come a long way from stonewall, but health inequities persist”

Magazine, discussing “lateral pressure”; with the Jacked and Scruff apps filming sexual health and wellness content; and in the Daily Beast’ Sextemper exposé, to name a few. On May 20, Thomas warned about three cases in Belgium at an event called Darklands. Shortly after, International Mr. Leather Chicago, a fellow doctor began “reporting symptoms and lesions.” Once reports of rectal lesions were coming in, Thomas knew, “this was important to speak on because there was so much confusion and misinformation, especially early on.” He posted awareness videos and people began to message him with symptoms and severe pain reports. “The number of people needing my help kept growing,” Thomas almost shouted with

his hands raised. “July fourth weekend was Daddyland in Dallas,” he continued, “A week after that my inbox had five or six dozen guys who had been there having severe rectal pain.” Since then, Thomas has been on an indefatigable campaign to outreach to our community, educate providers, share his expertise with policymakers, and pushback on misinformation. He’s done that through Lives, including with the White House; by sharing information on literally thousands of vaccine sites and locations around the world; and personal peer navigation to vaccine, testing, or care site, through his social media messages. He’s helped multiple local jurisdictions and appeared on various media outlets, including appearances

on the Savage Love Cast, and various news stations. Notably, he also consulted with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the roll out of a pain regiment he developed through his community outreach. Thomas laughed before inserting a self-deprecating joke at hearing his accomplishments listed. When asked to comment on his induction as an Out 100 honoree, it was about the work. “Monkeypox infections are down. People are getting vaccines,” he celebrated. “This first really reminded me of the AIDS epidemic, but with way less mortality from it. I knew I had to do my part and I hope that shows others the power that social media and one person can have,” Thomas concluded, inhaling deeply.










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Alma Mia by Aiza Pedregon

Untitled by Lauren Patch

lOCal arTIsT aND GallerY open doors for emerging LgbtQia+ artists By LGBTQ San Diego County News


ocal artist and intuitive abstract painter Ell Treese (they/them) is launching a three-part art series designed for LGBTQIA+ youth (18 - 25 years old) at The Studio Door starting in December. The creativity sessions are open to artists of all skill levels. The first two series, Building an Art Journal Habit and Mixed Media & Collaboration will run for six weeks with a third class will be announced in 2023. Participating artists will build upon their creative skills and have the opportunity to showcase their art for sale in the Hillcrest gallery. “This is a real gift to the community. A tangible starting point for our young artists to explore creativity, connect with a working gallery and build skills,” said Ell Treese. “The Studio Door has agreed to offer my classes on a sliding scale for low income and BIPOC students, who have often been excluded from opportunities like this. It’s a small step but one that I’m glad we were able to take together.” Ell Treese has been actively showcasing their artwork through their studio at San Diego’s premier art gallery in

Assending by Aiza Pedregon

the heart of Hillcrest. They have recently participated in this year’s She Fest, Art of Pride, La Jolla Art and Wine Festival, and Hillcrest Farmers Market. Treese is an active member of San Diego Pride’s art committee. LGBTQ San Diego County News featured Ell Treese in February 2021’s issue, which can be read online. suPPoRT LoCAL ARTisTs To kick off the new art series, Ell Treese has curated four emerging Queer artists for small wall exhibition at The Studio Door to close out the year. “Not only does the artist get a thrill to show their work in an important gallery but it means that the community has a window of opportunity to show their support by collecting these emerging artists,” said Treese. “Your investment in these young artists can have a real impact on someone early in their career. We look to our community first to step up to create an art world that is increasingly diverse and inclusive. It starts here.”

Ell Treese

noVeMBeR’s FeATuReD ARTisTs • Lauren Patch (they/them) artwork inspired by art history, mythology, and nature • Aiza Pedregon (she/her) creator of AizaLaArtista “I’m filled with gratitude and love for the opportunity to be a featured artist. I know my younger self is beaming with joy knowing my first feature in an art gallery is in the heart of our queer community,” said artist Aiza Pedregon. Artist Lauren Patch echoed, “As a young artist, it is incredible opportunity to show my work and learn the ropes from The Studio Door. I am so grateful for Ell and the gallery for giving such a critical, visible platform to me and other Queer artists.” DeCeMBeR’s FeATuReD ARTisTs • Ryan (they/them) - also known as The Wandering Muralist • simone stivi (she/her) Visual storyteller specializing in illustration

Kronos by Lauren Patch

PRouD+ nATionAL ART exHiBiTion The series is well matched with the gallery The Studio Door. It is already known for the San Diego tradition of bringing LGBTQIA+ artists together for the past six years with its PROUD+ exhibition. PROUD+ was created to give local artists an opportunity to have their work hang and sell alongside of their national counterparts. More importantly, PROUD+ gives all of the participating artists a network to expand their own presence in the art world through artist connections and important curators. In past years, The Studio Door has partnered with Directors from Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art, Stonewall National Museum & Archives and One National Gay and Lesbian Archives at the University of Southern California. “There are so few national opportunities for today’s LGBTQIA+ artists. It made sense to me to use my gallery as a space that could be an intersection for the artists of my community to see each other’s work, share ideas, and meet up,” said gallery owner and artist Patric Stillman (he/him).

Though the call for PROUD+ 2023 won’t be released until the end of November, Stillman expressed his excitement about confirming 2023’s juror Jonathan D. Katz. Katz is Associate Professor of Practice, History of Art and Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Readers may know him as the curator of a number of national and international Queer exhibitions including Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture at the Smithsonian; Art AIDS America, showcasing the deep and unforgettable presence of HIV in America; and the current two-part exhibition The First Homosexuals: Global Depictions of a New Identity, 1869-1930 at Wrightwood 659 gallery in Chicago. Stillman promises more exciting news for 2023 and invites the community to stop by the gallery. For more information, visit The Studio Door online at and on Instagram at @thestudiodoor. The Studio Door is located at 3867 4th Avenue in Hillcrest. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from Noon to 7 PM.


PrIDe aND PrOTesT:

nOVeMbeR 2022 VOluMe 4 issue 3


Q Puzzle

a CeLebration of LgbtQia Love and aCtivism


rt is more than just an exploration or affirmation of the self; it can be a powerful act of resistance and social protest. This is especially true, relevant, and necessary in our current political climate. San Diego Mesa College’s current exhibition runs through November 17 in the college’s art gallery. The exhibition which opened on October 31 is curated by Mesa’s Museum Studies Class. It is a love letter celebrating the beauty and creativity that blossoms with self-discovery and acceptance. Featuring 25 artists from different backgrounds, the works examine and express the individual and collec-

tive experiences of the LGBTQ+ community and allies of the community. Participating Artists: Marcela Alarcon Lopez Angel Albie Anjos - Cassie Cooties - Stevan Dupus - Marcos Duran - Gaby Espina - Caity Fares - Christopher Ferreria - Scott Gengelbach - John Keasler - Aleya Lanteigne - M. Nick Lowrey - Christopher Martinez - Don Masse Natalia Quintero - Bridget Rountree - Katie Ruiz - Syd Stevens – Patric Stillman - Elizabeth Tobias - Evan Tyler - j Vargas - Tim Weedlum - Kevin Winger Jessica Yambao

Mesa College Art Gallery at San Diego Mesa College, 7250 Mesa College Drive In San Diego. Gallery Hours: M, T, W, TH 12 - 5 PM or by appointment. Closed Fridays, weekends and holidays. Hourly parking available during gallery hours. Permits may be purchased through pay stations for $1 an hour. Please note that exact change is necessary (cash/coin only).

For additional information visit HTTPS://WWW.SDMESA.EDU /ART-GALLERY or contact the gallery at 619-388-2829 during business hours.

art is more than just an exploration or affirmation of the self; it can be a powerful act of resistance and social protest. This is especially true, relevant, and necessary in our current political climate.

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QuEEN SiGhS aCroSS 1 eagle’s perch 5 sitcom with a cross-dressing corporal 9 enjoys the scenery at a gay bar 14 nuts 15 Concerning 16 injures severely 17 dixie Chicks’ “goodbye ___” 18 the folks over there 19 mosque heads 20 Queen frontman 23 Lance once of ‘n sync 24 Legal wrong 25 bedside noises 28 Commercial snap 29 silly goose 32 “my Heart will go on” singer dion 33 start of a quote by 20-across 35 actor mcCormack 36 “vice versa” publisher Lisa ___ 37 blows away 38 more of the quote 41 is unruly in a crowd 43 tournament exemption 44 “Hair”’s “___ to be Hard” 45 bloody mary stirrer 46 miss, to mauresmo 47 in the nude for love, perhaps 48 end of the quote 54 tool in the woodwork shop 55 opening amount 56 fox comedy with Jane Lynch 57 Houston team member 58 daughters of bilitis co-founder phyllis 59 “east of eden” director kazan 60 Joins with a torch 61 nathan of “the producers” 62 woody valley

Solutions on page 18

DoWN 1 symbol on samuel barber’s score 2 Jungle warning 3 area of 160 rods 4 valuable part of the road to oz? 5 gertrude stein collected his paintings 6 grate stuff 7 banana stalk 8 sylacauga, alabama, to Jim nabors 9 “o” of sapho 10 entire range 11 iago, notably 12 award for Laverne Cox in 2015 13 teakettle sound 21 Rhett Butler’s final word 22 magazine section 25 Like sour balls 26 producer mervyn 27 toklas of expats 28 Similar to a flaming queen? 29 Like a top 30 Head helper 31 full of lip 34 Like a biped 36 aLoto sport 39 stock exchange bears 40 albee’s “three ___ women” 41 type of triangle 42 gay cable network 46 worked one’s shaft 47 bernstein’s tool 48 “would ___ to you?” 49 it’s common in row houses 50 “Lord of the rings” singer 51 woods of “Legally blonde” 52 “broadway bound” writer simon 53 stud poker demand 54 blow in a comic book



nOVeMbeR 2022 VOluMe 4 issue 3

QUeer JOY DrIveN

“as YOU lIKe IT” TaKes The sTaGe gender is witHout a doubt one of tHe main tHemes of tHe pLay

Cast Rehearsal (courtesy image)

By: Berto Fernández


hakespeare’s classic pastoral comedy As You Like It is being produced by La Jolla Playhouse in association with Diversionary Theatre, the third oldest LGBTQIA+ Theatre in the country, with its home here in San Diego. The exciting aspect of this new adaptation of the play (with some musical aspects and songs) is that the entire creative and cast is composed by Trans, Queer, and Non-Binary artists. Christopher Ashley and Will Davis, co-directors of the show, reimagine this piece, giving the power to the cast so they can bring their own story to these gender-ful characters. In a recent talkback with the show’s creatives, the discussion of bringing a joy driven story to audiences, was one of the focal intentions in producing the play, as opposed to any violent or traumatizing events driving the plot. The lightness of the story helps discover new layers and wonderful complexity in these characters, as Ashley describes. Davis mentions his excitement of co-directing this piece, which in itself disturbs the binary to its core. “In a very future forward thinking, as we continue to think about the way that we are accumulating and expanding ideas, the concept of having a single director is not that great, so codirecting the play seems more effective.” “Something about Shakespeare seems incredibly Punk-Rock and Gay, and As

You Like It feels incredibly Queer, because it is light in plot,” he adds. The concept of not jumping up to Shakespeare, but bringing him down to us, summarizes how this work will reach contemporary audiences. The basic storyline of the play, set in the 1600’s revolves around Rosalind and Orlando being enamored with each other during a court wrestling match won by Orlando. In the midst of family and political turmoil, Rosalind is banished by the duke Frederick, and seeks shelter in the Forest of Arden with her cousin Celia, and Touchstone, the court fool. Both Rosalind and Celia disguise themselves; Rosalind as a young male, Ganymede, and Celia as his sister and shepherdess Aliena. During their visit, they meet a number of interesting characters, including Orlando, who runs into the forest seeking nourishment for himself and his crew. When Ganymede (Rosalind) encounters Orlando, she convinces him that she can “cure” his love for Rosalind by wooing “him” through daily lessons and tasks. After the duke learns about Orlando’s disappearance, he sends his other son Oliver, bitter about

of the directors’ vision including the actors’ personal lives to the piece. A gender open pool of talent massively expanded the concept of who these characters could potentially be. Davis explains that when auditioning, the team asked the actors to decide themselves which character(s) they identified with and were interested to play, as opposed to what the creatives saw them as. “The energy between artists in the audition room is the most important aspect of the process,” he added. T. Carlis Roberts, musical director and arranger, also brought the cast’s skillset to the musical aspect of the show. Being able to adjust whatever vocal range the actor feels most comfortable in, is yet another way this production brings an organic approach to the storytelling. The show will also include some body percussion provided by the stage actors, that will add to the atmosphere and emotional feel of it. “The journey into the forest, is not just how your gender identity evolves, or how your sexuality evolves, but how your sense of personhood evolves,” mentions Regina

“something about shakespeare seems incredibly Punk-rock and Gay …” the whole situation, off to the forest to find them. After several encounters of all the characters, who end up falling in love with each other, Rosalind decides to end her impersonations with Orlando, who accepts the idea. After they all return, the old duke, who had been banished, gives his daughter Rosalind away, while duke Frederick leaves court to become a hermit. Four weddings happen and the joy returns to court. Gender is without a doubt one of the main themes of the play, as characters disguise themselves in search of another frontrunner theme… love. This text opens the conversation of this adaptation being gender-ful as opposed gender-less or gender-formative, making it a fascinating piece to bring Queer, Trans, and Non-Binary creators to the forefront. Casting the production was an important process, because

Victor, the dramaturg of the production, who also points out the cyclical feel of the play, regarding the political uncertainty of the times, same as our current state. The creative team has also put together a playlist of contemporary songs that they think could potentially fit in the play’s time and setting, giving us another clue of their vision for the production (the list can be found on the show’s website below). Collaboration seems to be a common thread in this team. The core subject of As You Like It is learning something about yourself that drives you to understand your importance to the collective, hence why it makes complete sense to produce this story from a Queer point of view. This series of mirrored relationships, as Davis calls it, metabolizes the questions and queries they have through these relationships they build in this forest of freedom and nourishment. This undoubtedly resonates with the Queer community and our development as gender-ful joy driven human beings.

As You Like It is presented by La Jolla Playhouse in association with Diversionary Theatre with performances November 15 – December 11, 2022, and the Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre, San Diego. Tickets and info:

ON sTaGe

nOVeMbeR 2022 VOluMe 4 issue 3

SCOTT ROBBINS AND THE TRAVELING SHOW Book, Music & Lyrics by Tyler Tafolla Directed by Tyler Tafolla Tyler Tafolla Productions at Diversionary Theater november 11 & november 12, 2022 /details


Book, Music, and Lyrics by Lin Manuel Miranda Directed by Thomas Kail Choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler Broadway san Diego Civic Center, Downtown san Diego november 9 – november 20, 2022 /hamilton-2022/

The story of Scott Robbins, a kid from the streets of America’s Great Plains during the 30’s, who joins a traveling circus pretending to be a worldfamous magician. This new musical from local artist Tyler Tafolla, will be presented at the Diversionary Theatre space.

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s huge global hit Hamilton comes to San Diego. The musical is based on the story of American founding father, Alexander Hamilton, and his historical endeavors told through a rich score featuring hip-hop, rap, and R&B genres that bring a contemporary twist to the story.

KEN LUDWIG’S BASKERVILLE: A SHERLOCK HOLMES MYSTERY novel by Arthur Conan Doyle Lamb’s Players Theatre october 8 – november 20, 2022 /baskervilledescription

A hilarious Sherlock Holmes mystery style comedy where 5 actors play 39 different characters to take audiences on a theatrical journey through the hubbub of London to the Devonshire moors in search of the legendary Hound of the Baskervilles.

Celebrate Sycuan’s Anniversary With This Special Hotel Offer!




By William shakespeare Globe for All Tour The old Globe november 1 - november 20, 2022 globe-for-all/?id=8679 The Old Globe offers San Diego’s community a program called Globe for All, bringing free, live, professional productions of Shakespeare to schools, public libraries, community centers, and military bases throughout the county and even Tijuana. Fantastic way to introduce anyone to Theatre!










nOVeMbeR 2022 VOluMe 4 issue 3


e sat down virtually with California Attorney General Rob Bonta, on Friday October 21. Recipients of the California State Libraries-administered Ethnic Media Outreach Grant were invited to a special opportunity to speak directly to our state’s chief law officer. The state attorney general’s office sees the grant recipient’s awareness raising work as a “critical part of ensuring accurate, timely reporting at the local level to help victims get access to the support and resources.” Bonta fielded questions touching on local, statewide, and national issues. He spoke extemporaneously on topics ranging from abuse of discretion review; advice on addressing API-specific hate; the realities of working with a narrowly tailored definition for what counts as a hate crime; explored a discussion on better developed LGBTQIA+ inclusive basic training curriculum for police officers; and recognized space for potential future collaboration with the California Department of Education, considering new ethnic studies graduation requirements (and model curriculum) signed into law last year, effective in 2029. CALiFoRniA ResPonDs To HATe CRiMes on THe Rise: Reported hate crimes are at their highest since the attacks on September 11, Bonta acknowledged in opening

Attorney General Rob Bonta (courtesy image)

an interview witH

aTTOrNeY GeNeral rOB BONTa, ON haTe reported Hate Crimes are at tHeir HigHest sinCe tHe attaCks on september 11 By allan acevedo remarks, while affirming, “We do not shy away from hard truths.” Notably, anti-Black hate crimes are at the highest, followed by an almost 200 percent increase in API communities reporting incidents, which was already up more than 100 percent the year before. Bonta also acknowledged an increase in reported incidents of sexual orientation bias, by a third. Regardless of who is attacked, Bonta centered the fact that “a hate crime is not just a crime

against the individual but a crime against the community.” While stating that hate crime deterrence is mostly based on the fear of proportionate punishment and accountability, Bonta recognized that “We cannot prosecute our way out of this epidemic of hate.” On addressing hate crimes when they do occur, Bonta referred to his office’s advice to local jurisdictions: Establish a hate crime division. Focus on victim services, trauma-informed care, and language equity.

To stop hate (and by proxy stop hate crimes) it starts early: Education, prevention, and broader cultural understanding. These three pillars, Bonta emphasized, are the preventative tools to systematically address hate. Though Bonta stressed the difference between a hate incident and the more narrowly defined hate crime. nARRoWLy DeFineD: HATe CRiMe Various news publications had questions about a local alleged hate crime in their community. Their earnest inquiries generally shared background information about the individual and the incident, followed by concerns with either the investigational or prosecutorial discretion of the local jurisdictions involved. Bonta accepted a limitation on being able to delve into specific cases without all the facts. He did, however, speak at length about some of challenges and homed in on the procedural hurdles which many may not understand. “It is difficult to prove a hate crime,” Bonta lamented. There are specific definitions and elements. Bonta also emphasized that there are other actions fueled by bias action which may not be hate crimes. Bonta indicated a practice of stressing to local jurisdictions a need to capture all the factual components of the alleged crime, including to: - Collect evidence if it is safe to do so. - Focus on discriminatory animus with intent to perpetuate the crime. - Memorialize the exact words used in the perpetuation of a crime. - Investigate social media accounts (to suggest intent). Bonta also stressed the need to work with local district attorney’s offices to guide them towards building a hate crimes case. Outside the existing framework, Bonta acknowledged that there could be a push to lobby for changing the definition of a hate crime or their accompanying verdicts.

LGBTQiA+ sPeCiFiC ConsiDeRATions Discussing the lived experiencing of Queer people reporting hate crimes, I reflected on details from an upcoming interview with a local victim of an alleged hate crime who struggled with the responding officers and with follow ups after the matter. I also paralleled our community’s struggle — specifically for Trans and Non-Binary folks — in dealing with personnel who have training deficiencies compared to specialized individuals or departments in the health care setting. “The lived experience of the person who has been harmed and attacked. That should be supported and affirmed,” Bonta added. Bonta acknowledged that “often” hate crimes aren’t identified as hate crimes and attributed this to a short fall of training. Bonta highlighted a principle from the sets of guidance provided to district attorney offices: Vertical prosecution. “Certain trained individuals work the case from beginning to end. Sometimes there’s a lead with the charging decision and then another person to take it to trial. We encourage continuity,” Bonta said. Bonta also noted the ability to review and revise individual learning domains (part of curriculum standards adopted by state commission) for police officer basic training to better reflect the competencies needed to work with all members of the LGBTQIA+ community. eTHniC sTuDies CuRRiCuLuM CoLLABoRATion: Reflecting on the 2021 passage of legislation requiring ethnic studies in California public schools, I asked Bonta about the overlap in goals between ethnic studies and practical education and cultural competency as tools for hate crime prevention. As a former assemblymember, Bonta was a longtime co-author of this legislation, including 2020 version of the bill which passed both legislative houses, but was ultimately vetoed by Governor Gavin Newsom. Bonta celebrated that a “large part of our cultural awareness and sensitivity is embodied in our ethnic studies curriculum” and credited outside work addressing genocide and hate. Bonta agreed these efforts “could evolve into potential curriculum.” Bonta explained that the ethnic studies curriculum includes hate-based acts and parts of history that are part of the lived experiences of many groups. Bonta agreed that “there’s capacity and potential to build out the existing curricular requirements” to define and address modern hate crimes legislation, through the California Department of Education’s curriculum committee, more specifically. This publication was supported in whole or in part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library.


IT’s TIMe FOr The TrUTh get your t LeveLs CHeCked, now! By randall Blaum


lot of guys have a low Testosterone count. I did. I’ve been taking testosterone for over a year now and it’s been amazing. It’s made my workouts better, I feel great, and it’s made my sex life amazing. When I was first tested, I had a T count of a 14-year-old girl, really, it was that low. I had no idea. I felt fine and my workouts were going great. Once I was on Testosterone, which is the base of all steroids, I became “enhanced”, and no longer truly natural or “natty” as it’s known. Or am I? I’ll get to that later. First, the elephant in the room. Guys it’s possible you have low T and it’s a simple blood test to find out, but our macho society says that if you have low T, you might be less of a man. B.S. The stigma is going away but so many guys are afraid to find out. Why? Who knows. Cultural issues, mental blocks, or just afraid to know. In the end, though, if you find you have low T it’s easy to fix. Super easy. And no one ever has to know. I’m telling you about it here because I get asked all the time what I take for supplements, and it seemed disingenuous to not tell about the Testosterone; that’s ok with me. Nothing to hide – but never has it been in this column. When you get the blood test, they can also test

Randall Blaum (courtesy image)

your liver, cholesterol, prostrate, and a range of other things that are important to guys of all ages. And it’s not just older guys that get low T. It can happen to anyone at nearly any age. Okay, so how much Testosterone should you use? The only answer is to ask your doctor as it’s different for different guys. I run 200mg a week with two injections I inject myself twice a week. When I started, I did have a small bout of acne as a side effect; we lowered the dose a bit and the acne went away. I’m back at 100mg twice a week and there are no side effects now. If you do research, there is a lot out there that says start with 75 mg a week. Again, talk to your doctor. I see my doctor at Optimize U here in San Diego every five weeks and I can talk to them almost any time. They will teach you what the numbers on the blood work mean and how to ensure you are optimizing everything. Adding Testosterone to my regimen gave me more strength and stamina, a lot more. When it came to sex, I never shied away from it, I love it. Now, however, how to say this, I have the stamina of a 22-year-old and it’s better than ever. So, I feel better, my workouts are better, and sex is better. There is a trifecta of wins in my book. So, knowing all this

why wouldn’t you want to have everything better? Fear? Maybe. Feeling less than? Possibly. All I know Is that I’m better than I was before, despite how I fought getting tested. This got me to thinking about how many things in our lives we don’t do because we are afraid of what others might think or what we might think of ourselves. Has this happened to you? Why must we learn from pain rather than joy? I don’t know, but we do. Let me make it easy. Get your T levels checked, now! It can change your entire life and if your levels are fine, then you’ll know. Now, getting back to the question, am I still a natural body builder or not? First, does it matter? To some it does. To me, it does not. Am I natural? No, I’m not. Even though Testosterone is naturally produced by our bodies I am taking an addition to that so the T itself is natural, but since I run 200mg a week, that’s more enhanced than it would naturally be. Don’t run away from things because there’s some stigma attached to it (ED, etc.). Get the shot, take the tablet, and live a superb life. It shouldn’t matter what others think and you don’t have to tell anyone. Testosterone changed me for the better. I’m stronger, have more stamina and great sex.

nOVeMbeR 2022 VOluMe 4 issue 3



COUrT News

nOVeMbeR 2022 VOluMe 4 issue 3


man who committed a hate crime when he punched and yelled slurs at a Transgender person at a homeless facility has been sentenced to 44 days in jail he has already served. Tony Taverlia McQueen, 57, was ordered to stay away from the San Diego Homelessness Response Center at 1401 Imperial Ave. where the incident occurred in May under terms of two years’ probation. McQueen frequented the center and was known to the staff there. He made a derogatory remark about the victim’s clothing and called the transgender person “a faggot”, according to witnesses. McQueen punched the victim four times in the head, but the victim was not seriously injured. “Every person should be able to live a peaceful and dignified life free from intimidation and violence,” said City Attorney Mara Elliott in a statement.

(courtesy image)

MaN GeTs 44 DaYs

for sLugging transgender at HomeLess Center By Neal Putnam

“Crimes like this have no place in our society. We strongly encourage victims and witnesses of hate crimes to come forward so that we can seek justice for our communities,” said Elliott.

San Diego Superior Court Judge Daniel Goldstein warned McQueen, also known as Tracy James, not to frequent the homeless facility under terms of probation. If he violates those terms, he could return to jail. The victim was also seeking services at the homeless resource center at the time. McQueen pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery during a hate crime and to felony theft in an unrelated case. Court records show he has had five misdemeanor and two felony cases filed against him since 2000. Elliott said her office participates in the San Diego Regional Hate Crimes Coalition; a group formed to unite law enforcement agencies with community-based organizations to address hate crimes. The City Attorney’s office takes reports of hate crimes seriously and Elliott urged victims and witnesses to report incidents to San Diego Police or to call her office directly at (619) 236-6220.

“McQueen pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery during a hate crime and to felony theft”


man who stabbed his husband 50 times in bed will likely be sentenced to 16 years to life in prison in January after he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. A sentencing hearing for Daniel Scott Jordan, now 46, was set for Jan. 11, 2023 at 1:30 p.m. in El Cajon Superior Court for the death of Kevin Powell, 38, who was found deceased in his La Mesa home by detectives on Oct. 11, 2020. Powell’s family members will speak at the hearing, which is estimated to last 45 minutes, said Deputy District Attorney Eva Kilamyan. Judge Kathleen Lewis accepted the guilty plea from Jordan on Oct. 19 to second degree murder, which carries a sentence of 15 years to life in prison. Jordan admitted to personally using a knife in the crime, and Lewis could impose one year consecutively for that offense.

Daniel Jordan (courtesy image)

DaNIel JOrDaN aDMITs sTaBBING hUsBaND in bed witH knife

By Neal Putnam

The knife was found embedded in Powell’s body. Due to the horrific nature of the crime, Jordan may never be granted parole. Or the Department of Corrections could keep him until he reaches his 80s or 90s, and then parole him. Powell was a city of Chula Vista employee in the human resources department and was well thought of by co-workers. He missed two online meetings which was unusual for him, so the detectives made a welfare check at his home in the 4400 block of Carmen Drive where he lived with Jordan. Jordan had fled to Nevada but was arrested in Reno and was extradited back to San Diego. He never had a preliminary hearing, and the case was delayed after he was exposed to COVID-19 in jail. Jordan remains in the George Bailey Detention Facility without bail.


QuEEN SiGhS From PaGE 13

nOVeMbeR 2022 VOluMe 4 issue 3



nOVeMbeR 2022 VOluMe 4 issue 3