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Palm Springs Pride 2021 P13 Rev. Dusty Pruitt’s New Memoir Nomad for God P15 “Nightmare Prom” On Normal Street P17 Colorado’s First Openly Gay Governor, Jared Polis gets Married P18


CONVERSATIONS WITH NICOLE The Imperial Court de San Diego’s 50th Anniversary P7

BIG MIKE & FRIENDS Featuring Smokey Gonzalez P8


LIFE BEYOND THERAPY Designing Your Relationship P9

TRANS TALK WITH CONNOR What’s Happening? P11



CITY ATTORNEY NEWS Standing up for Those Who Can’t Care for Themselves P12

LePage Sentenced to 5 to Life in 1975 Murder of Alvaro Espeleta P19

A NOTE FROM TONI There’s So Much Going On! P6

We’re Going to Puerto Vallarta P14 COURT NEWS

Miss Ruck N Tuck Redemption Contestants 2021 (photo by Dennis Covey)






en years can fly by, but the growth and assistance the Center provides doesn’t go unnoticed. The staff is busy preparing for their 10 Year Anniversary Gala on October 10th, but they took some time to talk with us about their history, its growth, and their goals for the future.


NC LGBTQ Resource Center’s Sfatt: (LtoR) Allan Acevedo, Leea Pronovost, Relle Goan, Goose, Lisa Nava and Jeri Nicolas (photo by Big Mike Phillips)

rag is not a contact sport?! Tell that to the boys of the Armada, San Diego’s all-inclusive men’s rugby football club. It has been 5 years, well 6 (but let’s not talk about 2020) since the first Miss Ruck and Tuck fundraiser was hosted at Rich’s. During the night, attendees get to see 5 rugby players exchange their cleats for high heels and lip-sync for their lives in order to win the coveted crown. The event is a crowd-pleasing evening of raffles, jelloshots and of course drag performances. Each contestant gets partnered up with a local talented drag performer who serves as a drag coach. These drag coaches put the ruggers through a “Drag Boot Camp” to prepare them for the battle by learning songs, choreography and the art of performing in heels, gowns and wigs. For this year’s installment, the event has turned in to a redemption show where 4 previous contestants will gear up in drag once again to have a second chance at winning the crown. Rugby players are very competitive, just so you know. Aside from the spectacular main show, the event also has some great raffle items you can win, team merchandise for sale, and plenty of rugby boys running around in their short-shorts to push their famous jello-shots and make sure everyone is having a good time.






North County LGBTQ Center continued from Page 1 Tell our readers a little about the history of the Center. In 2011 the Center opened its doors to serve the North San Diego County Queer community. The founder, Max Disposti, has been a leader in the LGBTQ community since 2007, and worked on coalition building and collaboration which eventually led to the opening of the Center. Pride By the Beach and many other activities brought visibility in North County since 2008 when the campaign for Prop 8 and marriage Equality mobilized thousands of people in Oceanside. What was the drive behind founding the center? To create visibility and representation for our community was our first goal. However, we realized that we needed to provide services and resources to a community that felt unseen, broken, and invisible. The Center has grown so much in resources offered. What can people expect when they visit? Everything, and we mean it, everything. It is a place where people come to find refuge, emotional support and advocacy. We provide free mental health through the only behavioral health in North County that is run by Queer people. We connect youth to housing through our program of Unicorn Homes but also do family reunification when possible. We provide food and financial support to those in need, we advocate for youth in their schools, and we help youth build their GSA clubs. We help our Trans community in many different ways through support groups, legal name changes, and policy changes within many insurance companies. We represent and advocate for our Intersex community and educate others

food, we distributed food and we provided emotional support every single day.

Lisa Nava - NC LGBTQ Resource Center’s Pride Director

Max Disposti - NC LGBTQ Resource Center’s Executive Director/Founder

Leea Pronovost - NC LGBTQ Resource Center’s Unicorn Homes Case Manager

Jeri Nicolas - NC LGBTQ Resource Center’s Front Desk Coordinator

Allan Acevedo - NC LGBTQ Resource Center’s Director of Operations and Goose

on our diversities. We have trained different law enforcement agencies, hospitals, youth providers, schools and government institutions. The people that come through our doors find a team of dedicated people that helps them thrive. From survivors of sexual as-

sault and human trafficking to family abuse, we are here for all. There is nothing that we do not do, and when we can’t, we make sure we refer people out to trusted partners. How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected the Center’s

Relle Goan - NC LGBTQ Resource Center’s Project Youth Director

ability to stay open? The Center stayed physically opened throughout the pandemic. We protected ourselves but we continued to serve one by one and by appointment. We experienced an increase in demand for services of over 300%. We help seniors shop for

Celebrating 10 years, what new dreams and goals do you have for the Center? We know we will be experiencing more growth in the next decade. But we need a bigger Center that accommodates our growth. We would like to see an increase in our medical services but also an overall support for our homeless and unstable youth through the creation of transitional. Ultimately, we aim to truly serve our North County region. The big celebration takes place October 10, what can attendees look forward to during the gala? The Gala is always an opportunity to gather and network. After nearly two years of silence, it will be nice to get together and celebrate with food, elected officials, and fun entertainment. We will share our successes and our stories but also our challenges and why we are seeking the support. Lastly, we will require proof of vaccinations to make sure everyone will feel safe to participate. How can people support the center? There are so many ways of course. Donating is the first and more direct way to support our programs. However, connecting our Center with the right people is another way for us to grow. We are working for a greater capital for the purchase of a new space that will require a lot of financial resources and efforts. We are open to what our community will bring us. For tickets and more information on the October 10th gala, please visit



Ruck N Tuck continued from Page 1

San Diego Armada Rugby Club celebrating winning the Bingham plate 2018 (courtesy images)

Miss Ruck N Tuck Contestants 2016

Miss Ruck N Tuck Contestants 2018

You might be wondering why do all of this, aside from the fun experience? The team is raising funds to attend the Bingham Cup 2022 in Ottawa Canada. The Mark Kendall Bingham Memorial Tournament, or Bingham Cup as it is more widely known, is the biennial world championships of Gay and inclusive rugby. The tournament was first held in 2002 in memory of 9/11 Gay rugby hero Mark Bingham, one of the passengers who fought back against hijackers on board United flight 93. While Mark and all on the flight tragically lost their lives when the plane crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, it is widely recognized that through the actions of those brave individuals on board, the plane did not continue on to its intended target. As a Gay man and regular rugby player, Mark played for San Francisco Fog and helped set up Gotham Knights in New York City. The Bingham Cup is held in honor of Mark’s memory and challenges stereotypes and perceptions of the LGBTQ+ community. Mark’s legacy sees rugby players, supporters and staff from around the world coming

together every two years in a celebration of equality, inclusivity and sportsmanship. From its modest debut in 2002, the 2018 edition of the Bingham Cup in Amsterdam gathered 74 teams from 20 countries. The Bingham Cup has become the largest amateur rugby union tournament in the world. The Armada brought home the Bingham plate in 2018, meaning the team took 3rd place worldwide, “a real big damn deal” said Cameron Stevens, one of the current coaches of the team and the club president at the time. And in 2022 they want to keep the Plate in San Diego if not battle to bring the Cup home.

Miss Ruck N Tuck Contestants 2017

Miss Ruck N Tuck Contestants 2019

The trip has plenty of expenses, air fare, accommodations, and registration for the event. With the help of local business who sponsor the event the team puts on a fantastic show for folks to enjoy so they can make their way to the cup in Ottawa Canada. Miss Ruck and Tuck Redemption takes over Rich’s Saturday November 6; doors open at 7pm and the show gets going promptly at 7:30pm. The team is keeping everyone’s safety in mind so proof of vaccination is required to attend. See the boys battle it out and put all their sweat and tears into a performance like no other with lots of twist and turns to gag you. New this year the team has partnered up with the folks at OutTV to stream the event live for all the out-of-town folks and the stay-at-home folks who cannot make it in person. More information will be posted on the teams Facebook page San Diego Armada Rugby Football Club. Miss Ruck N Tuck Redemption Saturday November 6, 7pm Rich’s Nightclub $8 Cover - Proof of vaccination required













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


ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Nicole Murray Ramirez 619.241.5672

Toni G. Atkins


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



couple of weeks ago I was waiting on the tarmac at the former Mather Air Force Base in Sacramento to welcome President Biden, who was on his way to tour some of the areas affected by our state’s latest series of devastating wildfires. While I was waiting, I couldn’t help also thinking of other fires and other Presidential visits, including when President Bush came to San Diego County, back when we experienced some of the earliest of what have now become alarmingly commonplace disasters. What made this visit different for me was the full sense of partnership I felt coming from the Biden Administration— not just in terms of disaster declarations and relief we need for recovery, but also in terms of leadership on climate change, which we know is causing wildfires to burn more often and longer in a drier California. The $1.5 billion in new funding for wildfire prevention and $5 billion for drought relief we just invested were two of the high points from the historic 2021 legislative session my colleagues and I adjourned on September 10th. I am also pleased that we made the largest investment in the state’s history— some $3.7 billion dollars—to combat sea level rise, reduce pollution in our urban areas, and make our communities across the state more resilient. My legislation, SB 1, a historic bill to tackle Sea Level Rise,


was recently signed into law by the Governor. When you look at the challenges facing California, it’s clear that with our approach to wildfires and climate change, partnership has to be part of any solution. For instance, now that Governor Newsom has signed the bulk of the Senate’s Housing Package, including my own SB 9 to allow additional housing units, I’m looking forward to a partnership that ensures these bills are implemented as intended— with all protections and safeguards in place—along with all the opportunities the bills provide for more California families. I have to say it was very gracious during his visit for Presi-

dent Biden to congratulate California on enacting SB 9, and, by sharing his planning and zoning experiences as a young public servant, it’s clear he knows the struggle! When I look back at how this year started, and the obstacles to be overcome, I am enormously proud of what my Senate colleagues, the Assembly and Governor did, helping small businesses, tenants, and landlords, providing record funding for schools, homes, and health care, and creating new work opportunities through child care and hiring credits. At the end of my first legislative session in 2011, during the Great Recession, I am reminded of so many of the difficult cuts

US President Joe Biden (L) and California Governor Gavin Newsom (C) are greeted by California Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins at Sacramento Mather Airport September 13, 2021 (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP)

and hard choices we had to make then. Thanks to 10 years of responsible budgeting by Democratic legislators and governors, and with the recovery funds our federal partners have allocated so far, California had a once in a generation chance to make transformational change, and we seized that chance. There’s so much going on. We have to get this pandemic behind us. Community safety and police accountability are still challenges in our communities. And there are others. The October sky is still smoky. But if we can pull it together and work together, our is future bright.

COPY EDITOR Brittany Berger SALES 858.886.9458 STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Big Mike Phillips 619.807.7324 WEB AND SOCIAL MEDIA CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Adam Martindale Benjamin Nicholls Big Mike Phillips Brittany Berger Connor Maddocks Mara W. Elliott Michael Guadarrama Michael Kimmel Neal Putnam 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 © 2021 LGBTQ San Diego County News Editor’s Note: The opinions written in this publication’s 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.





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.


an Diego’s oldest LGBTQ+ organization, the Imperial Court de San Diego will be celebrating its 50th Anniversary with two major events. Friday, February 4, 2022 will be the “Imperial State Dinner” and on Saturday, February 5, 2022 the coronation and crowning of our 50th Emperor and Empress. Both events are at the San Diego Marriott Mission Valley. LGBTQ+ Royalty and guests from all over the United States, Canada, and Mexico will be attending the weekend’s events with the anniversary theme “The Triumph of the LGBTQA+ Monarchy”. In 1971, LGBTQA+ San Diegans began organizing the San Diego chapter of the International Imperial Court System of the United States, Canada, and Mexico which was founded in 1965 in San Francisco and has now 70 chapters all across these three great nations. The first coronation was held in 1972 at the then “Royal Inn” near the Star of India Ship and over 600 were in attendance to see popular bartender Omar and entertainer Tawny Tann elected and crowned as San Diego’s first Monarchs. Keep in mind that in 1972 homosexual acts were against the law in California and San Diego had a law against “cross dressing”, yes being in Drag! One night outside of the Chi Chi Bar in downtown, Empress Toni Saunders and I were actually arrested together for “cross dressing.” Imperial Courts early coronations were the first LGBTQ events held in public at a hotel and were the first events that public officials attended. In fact, at one of my coronations as Empress de San Diego, then State Assemblyman Peter Chacon and then County Supervisor Jim Bates attended, and it was the first time they had ever seen me in Drag. The Imperial Court de San Diego helped finance many of our current LGBTQ and AIDS organizations including San Diego Pride, the San Diego LGBT Center, AIDS Walk San Diego, Stepping Stones, Mamas Kitchen, etc. The list is endless. The San Diego chapter is proud that its membership and leadership has always reflected the true rainbow of our community’s flag, in fact more than any LGBTQ organization, with African American, Latino, Asian, Asian Pacific Islander, Native American, Transgender, the Leather community, straight/heterosexual, ALL are always welcomed. Empress I, Tawny Tann, was African American, Empress III, Ruthie, was a heterosexual woman, and Empress IV was Latino. Many lives have been changed for the better by the noble deeds done these last 50 years by members of the Imperial Court having raised and given out countless hundreds of thousands of dollars, especially during the early years of the AIDS crisis and the current COVID-19 pandemic. The Imperial Court established one of the nation’s first LGBTQ scholarship programs in North America in 1979, and through its Tijuana AIDS LGBTQ Assistance Fund, has provided over $250,000 to meet needs in Mexico including helping recent LGBTQ refugees from all over Central and South America in camps at our borders (Ameri-

Coronation ceremony of the first Imperial Court de San Diego, 1972

(photo courtesy of Lambda Archives of San Diego)



can and Canadian Courts have helped fund this outreach to Mexico since the 1980s). The Imperial Court de San Diego was involved in providing funding against the homophobic campaigns of Anita Bryant (Save Our Children) and then Senator John Briggs campaign which was an attempt to fire all LGBTQ teachers. When the Imperial Court raised money and toys for the “Toys for Tots” in the 1970s, the Marines would not except toys from the “homosexual community”, so the court established the now annual “Toys for Kids Drive.” On Friday, February 4th, the “Imperial State Dinner” will be honoring my over 50 years of Latino/LGBTQ activism and the 15th Anniversary of me being crowned “Queen Mother of the Americas” and thus the titular head of the International Imperial Court System by our founder, Empress I Jose. Also, the filming of my documentary will conclude during these 2 events. Why am I writing this now? Well, there should be no excuse for not attending and showing your respect and admiration to the Imperial Court de San Diego. You’re all invited to attend. For sponsorship, tickets, etc. phone (619)737-7326, (619) 288-1183 or (619) 241-5672. You can also visit





If you were given the opportunity to travel anywhere in the world, and was able to take one person with you, where would you go, who would you take and why? I think I would love to travel with my best friend Richard Poole aka “Regina Styles”. I’ve always wanted to go to New York City. I would love to go see some Broadway shows. Then we would hop on a plane to Europe and travel all over. Ricky and I have been friends for over 20 years. He’s like a brother to me so I think we would have lots of fun traveling together.

Photo by Rikke Photography

BIG MIKE AND 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

If you had a chance to spend one million dollars on someone, or any group of people, who would it be and how would you spend that money to better them? I would spend it on close family and friends. If someone needed a car to get to work, or help pay their bills or put a down payment on a house. And then I would donate some to a charity or shelter for abused women and kids. Helping others is something I strongly believe in, and I am always so grateful when I can do so. Knowing that I can be a part of helping my community with joy is the best gift I personally can receive.

“I just want what everyone else wants, and that’s to be happy and to be loved”


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 every lifestyle, talents, and personalities that 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.



How did you end up in San Diego and what do you love about it? I was born in Tijuana, Baja California. I have lived in San Diego most of my life and so I consider myself a native San Diegan. We have the best year-round weather, great beaches, mountains, and desert and of course our world-famous San Diego Zoo. And God knows we have the best Mexican food anywhere!

If you could give someone advise about your art, hobby, or business, what would you tell them? Have fun with whatever it is you are doing. When it’s no longer fun, then find something else to do. And no matter how good you get at your art, always stay humble.

What gets you most excited about life? Little things in life make me happy. Bacon makes me happy. Waking up to the smell of coffee brewing. Sleeping in on my days off. Beautiful sunsets and big fluffy clouds. Performing in drag. Making people laugh. Family and good friends. We all choose our paths in life, mine is enjoying the little things and what I already have. I am grateful and that excites me.

Loving yourself is so important to becoming the best of who you are. Please write a couple sentences to describe your loving self and how you want to live your best life? I just want what everyone else wants, and that’s to be happy and to be loved. I have friends and family that love me, so I am happy and living my best life.

As a businessowner or employee what makes your business stand out and how has it changed your life? I love the job that I do because I meet so many people all the time. I get to help people out every day and when they thank you, it makes the whole job worthwhile. I also love to perform as one of the Drag Kings, knowing how much those who attend our shows enjoy our talents as much as I enjoy sharing my talents with them.

Gratitude is so important in each of our lives, what are you most grateful for, and how do you pay it forward? I’m grateful for the life I have lived. The friends I have made and the family that I have. I’m so grateful I have a roof over my head and clothes on my back. So many people in this world don’t have that and it hurts my heart. I try to pay it forward by being kind to people and helping them out if I can. I am thankful every day for the blessing of life. See you all out there, come checkout and have fun with the Drag Kings.

What small act of kindness were you once shown that you’ll never forget? I was at a convenience store and a man came up to me and handed me one of those quick pick lotto tickets. He said, good luck, I hope you win, and he walked away. Unfortunately, I didn’t win anything, but just that small act of kindness really stood out to me all these years later. Now if I had won, it would have been a great story. LOL If the universe could grant you one wish, what would you wish for, and why? To have more time with my mom. She passed away in 2019. I miss her so much and I think about her every-day. She is and always will be my forever Angel.

Smokey and her Mom (RIP) (courtesy images)

Yvette Ortega-Smokey Gonzalez on Facebook. mr.smokeygonzalez on Instagram.





LIFE BEYOND THERAPY Michael Kimmel —Michael Kimmel is a licensed psychotherapist who specializes in helping LGBT clients achieve their goals and deal with anxiety, depression, grief, sexually addictive behavior, coming out, relationship challenges and homophobia. Contact him at 619-955-3311 or visit


t this point in time, as LGBTQ people, we have a few (but not too many) healthy role models for romantic relationships. Whether we are monogamous or open, legally married or not, we can take the best qualities of both queer and heterosexual relationships and create our own unique kind of relationship. This is what I call “Designing your relationship”. Designing a relationship is a bit like designing a house. Wouldn’t you and your partner decide what are the most important elements/features that you want in your house? I encourage you to look at your relationship in the same way. In that vein, here are some questions for you and a partner (or potential partner) to consider:


So, if you’re beginning a relationship with some wonderful person, don’t just hope for the best and see what happens. Together, you can both take control of the process and consciously design your relationship.

Note: the above exercises are taken from my book, “The Gay Man’s Guide to Open and Monogamous Marriage”. If you want to know more, here’s the Amazon link: https://www.

Join the NEXUS Study

1. What is important to you in a relationship? (make a list and have your partner do the same)

Now enrolling participants! Earn compensation.

2. What are your priorities? On your list, number the items from “1” (most important) and work your way through the list. 3. Compare your two lists: Where do they overlap? Where do they differ? Which of your priorities are non-negotiable? Which of your priorities are optional? Write these down or talk about them with your partner. I urge the couples I work with to be aware that your relationship priorities are likely to change over time. What we see as “crucial” today may be optional next year. Knowing this can save you from becoming too attached to having it “your” way. I’ve seen these kinds of “discussions” become power struggles. They don’t have to be. As you and your partner get to know each other better, over time you can help each other change. Often, in the happiest couples, each person takes on some desired characteristics of their partner. Being in a relationship is a bit like polishing gemstones: the rough (unpolished) stones are put in a contraption that tumbles them against each other. In the process of tumbling, the gems rub each other’s rough edges off. A good relationship is like that: the longer we “tumble” together, the more we can help each other lose our rough (primitive) habits and behaviors. As we rub up against each other, each of us becomes shinier, more brilliant and happier.

(image by

NEXUS es un estudio de parte de UCSD que cubre diferentes temas entre hombres latinos quienes tienen sexo con hombres.

NEXUS is a study being conducted by UCSD which focuses on different topics among Latino men who have sex with men.

Cada participante recibirá una compensación de hasta $360 si deciden inscribirse y completar el estudio.

Each participant will be compensated up to $360 if they choose to enroll and complete the study.

Interested? / Interesado?

Contact / Contact a Stevie Juarez at 619-800-4252

The San Diego LGBT Community Center 3909 Centre Street 619-692-2077




POZITIVELY MICHAEL Michael Guadarrama — I am a 30-year-old Latino male, living with HIV (undetectable) and living my best life. I wanted to write and help others living with HIV realize that they can also achieve living a healthy life, being in love, and being successful.

Hola amigos,

I hope all of you have been well. If you didn’t notice I took a little hiatus from writing my column due to limited time and juggling life. Can you believe we are in October? Even more unbelievable is that 2022 is just a few months away! This year seems like it passed by slowly, with Covid still around and new variants, but in all actuality, I cannot believe the end of the year is upon us. I hope you have all been able to stay healthy and productive during these wild times. Since we are on the subject, have you guys gotten the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd vaccine yet? I’m patiently waiting for me to get my booster (3rd), I know there are a lot of people on the fence about getting any of the vaccines. I think that we should all be free to make our own decisions with our body, however, I also find it important that we all take care of one another to avoid getting sick. I know a lot of us have lost loved ones during the pandemic, stay strong and always carry their love with you. Let’s stand together and stop the spread of Covid. During my Hiatus I have lost some very important people in my life, and it just made me realize how precious life truly is. We need to remember to make memories, take pictures, listen to stories from our elders about our family to reshare them to the next generations, learn family recipes, and spend time and share with our loved ones. We never know what day will be our last and we must truly live our lives to the fullest. There are many things I regret, but lately I have been really beating myself up for not spending more time with the people that I love. Take a moment and think about this before it’s too late. If you had a falling out with someone and want to be able to move forward and grow from that, reach out to that person and fix it, if you want to help someone with something, do it. Let go of all the dead weight you are carrying, and you will see how much easier your day to day will become. Love those around you and hold them tight. Some other fun things I have done is go to Mexico, LA, SD, SF, PS and a few other places. I don’t know about you, but I love

traveling to new cities to check out the boys, the eateries, the culture, shopping, and site seeing. I’m lucky to have been able to visit these places more than once so I don’t have to do the whole tourist thing repeatedly. I talked to a few boys on Grindr and Scruff at different cities. The boys at PS, LA and SF were not so worried or concerned about my HIV status. PS was very welcoming and fun! The best part of PS is having a pool. It was so hot, and a pool party is always a wonderful way to meet new people, have a fun afternoon, and drink some cold drinks. Remember that clothing is ALWAYS optional LOL! SF was super fun! I went to Folsom for my second time and let me tell you it never disappoints! There was sooooo much to look at, lick, nibble, and taste! Everyone is so loving and welcoming in the Bay Area. I love seeing all kinds of body types, colors, and people from all walks of life while being accepted and embraced into the wonderful SF culture. It was nice to see all the eye candy from around the world. I will say that I had forgotten how hot it gets wearing leather in the full sun! I tried to behave, and I was only able to succeed for a few hours, ha ha! In SF, I met a porn star that was asking if I was having fun. I told him I was, but a guy I was going to meet up with, who I had met the last time I was in SF, ghosted me (after inviting me to meet his friends and hangout) when he saw my Grindr profile picture where I wore a shirt supporting an HIV organization. My new sweet friend quickly reassured me that there was nothing wrong with me and that some people still have a very bad image of people living with it. He told me he has been POZ for more than 20+ years and that he has encountered the same kind of people and judgement. He gave me a hug and said, “We have come a long way since the 80’s and 90’s but we still have growth to do. We need to educate ourselves, especially as Gay men, and be more accepting. Nobody chooses to be POZ.” I appreciated his kind words and truly understood that I wasn’t the only one that has been turned down or shunned. The “boy” I was supposed to meet up with said, “I didn’t know you were POZ! When were you going to tell me?” I was shocked that he would just assume I was POZ from a shirt I wore. I felt ashamed and like a liar with such questions and quickly realized that it was his lack of education on the matter than had him talking from a place of fear. I told him I was POZ and undetectable and what that meant. I felt great being able to educate him and allow him to ask me any questions he might have. At the end I realized that he wasn’t someone I wanted to continue being close to as he was still not very comfortable being with someone that is POZ. I must remember to not take it personal and move forward with my own happiness and love. Folsom was a wonderful way to have some fun. All I will say is that I haven’t had so much fun like I did in Folsom. Whatever happens at Folsom must STAY there (insert evil grin). Be kind to yourself and others and remember that your words can hurt others. Remember that nobody choses to be POZ and we need to EDUCATE ourselves. As a community we have a lot of growth to do to be more inclusive. Until we meet again and who knows what adventures await.

Much love and stay Positive,




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—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


he Trans and Non-Binary Community in San Diego is large and diverse. But that doesn’t mean we can’t all come together and enjoy each other’s company. I think it’s beneficial for us all if we safely increase our social interaction. Now that it’s a bit safer to venture out in to the open (masks are always encouraged) we can get to know each other better. That will bring a greater understanding of our diversity where we can learn to celebrate each other, instead of tearing each other down. So, what is there to do together? One way of getting out and meeting new friends is volunteering. I have made so many of my friends through volunteerism. It’s a fun healthy way to be a part of our community and do some good for others. San Diego Pride has many transgender volunteers. They run a program called Pride 365. It’s a year-round program of volunteering for many events. You can help in the office. You can help plan next year’s Pride Parade and Festival. Work at a vaccination clinic and so much more. Coming up is Black Girl Magic featuring A’Keria C and the Vixen. Saturday October 16, 2021 at Viejas Casino. The doors open at 7pm and the show starts at 8pm with an after party with DJ Pure Flo. Tickets are $25 from the Pride website. Viejas is located at 5000 Willow Road, Alpine, CA. For more information visit sdpride. org/Viejas. Grab some friends and have a blast. San Diego Pride also sponsors and promotes different events. On October 5th watch the TGNCxAPI Panel. It’s an hour-long presentation that will be bringing awareness to the intersection of TGNC community and the Asian Pacific Islander Community. Brought to you by APIENC, APIE Los Angeles and San Diego Queer APIMEDA Coalition. This sounds like a great event to learn more about members of our community. To register go to Are you a veteran? Active duty? Join the San Diego Pride Military Dept. on November 11th at the San Diego Annual Veteran’s Day Parade. The Parade kicks off at 10am, 1600 Pacific Highway, San Diego. Join your fellow Veterans and Pride supporters and show folks who you are. Not a Veteran? Not a problem, come and support our Trans and LGBNC military by marching with them. Meet on the lawn of the County Administration Building at 9 am. Not into marching? Grab some friends and come and watch this great Parade. Parades are just a lot of fun. We have a great Drag community in San Diego. There are many ongoing Drag shows at some of our local bars. We all know that the Drag community’s connection to the Transgender Community is very old and very affirming. The Drag community has long been a place where our Trans women and Trans men, Gay and straight can come out for a great night of fun and be themselves in a safe environment. It is also a community that allows for anyone to come and express themselves and have a great time doing it. Did you know that the term “Drag” originated in the late 1800’s? Men would dress up in petticoats to perform in shows, the petticoats “dragged” on the ground, hence the term Drag. Drag is a performance art where anyone can express their true gender or just enjoy expressing the gender bender. See Wikipedia for more fascinating information on the history of Drag. So where can we go to see Drag? Here are a few local places. Always number 1 on my list is LIPS!! Lips is a dedicated Drag performance venue and restaurant. Everyone goes there at

least once in their life. They host everything from birthday parties to bachelorette parties. Lips is open 6 days a week, closed on Mondays, with fantastic performances by different Drag artists. I hear Wednesday is Bitchy Bingo-now that would be a blast for sure! Lips is located at 3036 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego 92104. Let’s grab a group and go. There are also shows at the Merrow Bar on University Ave, The Rail and great dancing at Rich’s, Gossip Grill and Mo’s Universe. All of these venues are open and affirming to Trans and Non-Binary people. Bar’s aren’t your thing? Not a problem. Maybe you are the more sports minded person. There are several great sporting teams here, we certainly have the weather for it. America’s Finest Softball League plays a long season of great softball fun. Open to everyone to join a team and have a ball. Learn more

How about football? The San Diego American Flag Football League is open to everyone, the Gay run league wants to be visible to all players and spectators. For more information go to https://sdaffl.leagueapps. com/. How about swimming? Join the Different Strokes Swim Club, all ages 18 and up. Even the old folks like me can swim competitively against our peers. Check it out at There is bowling, surfing, volleyball and so much more. Check Facebook or simply google the sport of your choice. I do not know of any of these leagues who are not open to Trans and Non-Binary People. If you crave something different just do a little research. Try the meetup groups on Craigslist. There are quite a few Lesbian meetups every month. I have personally worked with them and know they are Trans and Non-Binary friendly. Start a book club, plan your own weekly or monthly meet-ups. A trip to the Zoo, to the park, to the beach. It’s easy to organize these kinds of social activities. Back to volunteering, most LGBTQ+ organizations have a need for volunteers, sometimes just a once in a while gig. Check out the San Diego LGBT Center, Mama’s Kitchen, Gay for Good, Being Alive, Volunteer with Cheli, or try other local organizations like the Zoo, public library, and City Council members. Last but not least we have a very special event coming up on October 8th. Miss Pepper, or Mama Pepper as you may know her, has been running a group at the SD LGBT Center for quite a few years now. She has been honoring those ladies from her group as they have achieved so many wonderful things. She opened it up to folks outside the group who are part of the Trans and Non-Binary community to be recognized. The event is put on by the Center and will be held on Friday October 8, 2021 at the Fair at 44. This is located at the corner of 44th St. and El Cajon Blvd. It’s between the CVS and the CopleyPrice YMCA. It is an outdoor venue, and all are welcome. The festivities begin at 6pm but I would advise getting there earlier in order to find parking. Go to find out who will be honored this year!!!







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- fail to have an effective discharge planning process

—Mara W. Elliott was elected City Attorney of San Diego in 2016 after serving as the chief deputy attorney for the Office’s Public Services Section and legal adviser to the city’s Independent Audit Committee and Environment Committee. Elliott and the lawyers in her section held polluters accountable, reformed city contracting, cut administrative red tape, and strengthened the city’s living wage and non-discrimination in contracting ordinances.


e rely on hospitals to care for us in our times of greatest need. We entrust them with our lives when we’re at our most vulnerable, and we expect that they will put the health and safety of patients first. Hospitals break that trust when they illegally discharge gravely disabled patients in need of care.

Patient dumping is unethical and it is illegal. That’s why my Office sued Scripps Health for releasing from their hospital a 68-year-old man whom a court had determined was so gravely disabled that he could not care for his own basic personal needs. He was hospitalized after being found naked, disheveled, and delusional during a welfare check by the City Attorney’s Office on residents of a substandard and unsafe College Area independent living facility where tenants are supposed to live independently.

will be used to prevent other such cases from occurring. Our ultimate goal is to get Scripps Health to follow the law. In bringing this action, we want to ensure that all San Diego hospitals understand their duties under the law. That’s why my Office wrote a letter to remind each hospital that patient dumping is illegal and will not be tolerated. My Office will investigate and hold accountable facilities that:

- fail to transport patients to proper outpatient facilities - fail to provide a written aftercare plan for mental health patients prior to discharge


Based on the victim’s condition, a judge ordered that he be placed in a secured facility, and that no lesser level of care would suffice. Contrary to the court’s order, Scripps Health discharged the victim to a group home to fend for himself. The victim, who suffers from mental illness and hallucinations, was expected to manage his own prescriptions, keep medical and psychiatric appointments, and arrange for his


own transportation. After his discharge, our investigators found him sick and isolated, with no way to get to his doctors’ appointments or understand which medications to take. Our investigator and victim services coordinator quickly stepped in to provide him clothing and hygiene items, help him dress, and arrange transportation to medical care. They worked with his case

manager to secure his placement in a skilled nursing facility where his medical needs are being met in a safe and clean setting. Scripps Health did not have an effective discharge plan for this victim and did not transfer or refer him to an appropriate facility for follow-up care. Our Office is seeking an injunction prohibiting Scripps Health from continuing these practices, and civil penalties of at least $1 million, which

- fail to have a patient or representative make informed decisions regarding care - fail to have social services staff participate in discharge and after-care planning - fail to have a process for reevaluating the patient’s condition to identify necessary changes to the discharge plan I am determined to stop this disgraceful practice in San Diego. Our most vulnerable residents are the most deserving of our compassion and care. Community members are encouraged to report instances of patient dumping to the City Attorney’s Office by emailing

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FEATURED PROGRAMS AND OFFICIAL EVENTS INCLUDE: George Zander Candlelight Vigil and March Monday, November 1, 2021 (6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.) New Downtown Park at Museum Way and Belardo Rd, Palm Springs, CA Pride Drive-in Movie Night screening presented by Nissan November 3, 2021 (5:30 – 9:30 p.m.) Camelot Theatres, 2300 E Baristo Rd Flag Raising - Presented by Lighthouse Dispensary Friday, November 5, 2021 (10:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.) Palm Springs Coming Out Celebration - A Night of Hundred Stars Friday, November 5, 2021 (5:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.) Palm Canyon Drive from Museum Way to Tahquitz Canyon Way



By LGBTQ San Diego County News Staff the theme of the “You are Included” is35th annual Palm

Springs Pride LGBTQ+ celebration happening November 1-7, 2021. Join in on this FREE, family-friendly, fun-filled festival that includes multiple stages of live entertainment, exhibitions, a vendor marketplace, and of course a Pride Parade all in the heart of Downtown Palm Springs! This year marks the return of the celebration after the COVID-19 pandemic caused a cancellation in 2020. According to Desert Charities News (DCN News), this event is expected to attract record numbers of attendees to the desert, where in 2019 140,000 people celebrated, generating $28 million in direct spending economic impact for area hotels, shops, restaurants, and other local businesses. Palm Springs Pride president and CEO Ron deHarte explained that after last year’s cancellation, this year’s “plans call for traditional Pride Week programming, and […] a celebration of equality and diversity to be remembered for years to come. Of primary importance is hosting a safe event. If health guidelines are issued for large in-person events occurring in November, we are prepared to follow state, county, and city live event protocols.” Due to the great impact this event has for the community, you can rest assured that they are doing everything they can to celebrate Pride in a way that makes all feel safe and welcome. Festival highlights include a Youth Zone, Children’s Garden, LGBTQ artists performing live, 200 back-to-back exhibitors, food and beverage stations, health resources, and HIV testing sites. Take your photo with Arty, the 20’ tall leather bear, and enjoy yourself in the Arenas Rd gayborhood, our pedestrian-only social center of LGBTQfriendly bars, restaurants, and shopping. There’s something for everyone. Favorite bars and local businesses will be packed and spilling out onto the streets for the biggest LGBTQ street party in Palm Springs. This is a FREE event. Details for Pride Week activities can be found online at

Interfaith Pride Kabbalat Shabbat Friday, November 5, 2021 (6:30 p.m.) Light Up the Night - Presented by Alaska Airlines, and Gay Desert Guide November 1 – 7, 2021 (5:00 p.m. to Midnight daily) Front Runners Pride 5K Run and Walk Saturday, November 6 West Chino Drive and Belardo Road 5th Annual Palm Springs Pride Golf Tournament Saturday, November 6 (7:00 a.m. – 2 p.m.) Marriott’s Shadow Ridge Golf Resort in Palm Desert PRIDE FESTIVAL DAYS 1 & 2 Saturday, November 6, 2021 (11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.) and Sunday, November 7, 2021 (11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) A street fair, a music festival of diverse artists, and a gathering place, the Pride Festival is a celebration of all that is LGBTQ+ in Palm Springs. Downtown Palm Springs. Exhibitor marketplace opens at 11:00 a.m. Sip, Sashay and Celebrate - All the action happens on Palm Canyon Dr and in the new downtown park and surrounding streets. • Main Stage on Tahquitz and Palm Canyon. (2 p.m.–10:00 p.m.) • Downtown Park Stage on Museum Way and Museum Dr (2 p.m.–10 p.m.) Servicemember Reembrace Wreath Laying for LGBT Veterans Saturday, November 6, 2021 (2:00 p.m.-2:30 p.m.) Youth Zone @ the Pride Festival The Youth Zone is the hub for LGBTQ+ youth and their allies at the Pride Festival. Free access for youth 14 to 21. Open Saturday 11 a.m.–5 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Children’s Garden – C-HQ A playful place for children and their accompanying adults to celebrate Pride Free for infants to pre-teen Open Saturday 11 a.m.–5 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. PS Drag Brunch Pride Edition Sunday, November 7 (9:00 a.m. – Noon) Roly China Fusion 1107 N Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs EIGHT4NINE Restaurant & Lounge Champagne Brunch and Parade Party Sunday, November 7 (9:00 a.m.) 849 N Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs Trio Pride Parade Party Sunday, November 7 (9 a.m. until parade ends) 707 N Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs

(courtesy images)

PALM SPRINGS PRIDE PARADE Sunday, November 7 (10:00 a.m. To 12:30 p.m.)

COLORFUL CHARACTERS ACROSS 1 You could get wet watching him at SeaWorld 6 Mariah or Madonna 10 WNBA hoops 14 The ___ Spoonful (‘60s band) 15 Colorado, to Cocteau 16 Tamper with text 17 Bodies of soldiers 18 Title role for Jodie 19 Part played by Nabors 20 Power Ranger’s pittance? 22 Bunkers’ old auto 24 Ship, to seamen 25 Power Ranger’s dismissal notice? 26 Etheridge concert setting, perhaps 29 Boy king that goes either way 30 Big name in stunt riding 31 Bring to the auto repair 33 King James affirmative 36 Power Ranger’s route? 40 It may come before long 41 Bundle of grain 42 Colon in an analogy 43 The first word in cocktails? 44 Characters in “Rent” 47 Power Ranger’s cravat? 51 Fingers, in a lineup 52 Israeli artist Perez 53 Power Ranger’s place to fly? 57 Mishima’s continent 58 In ___ of 60 Area near the private parts 61 Went down 62 Parrot in “Aladdin” 63 Eliza, to Henry 64 Word before love, for some 65 Like Izzard’s comedy 66 Gay rodeo target

Solutions on page 19

DOWN 1 Homophobic word, e.g. 2 Fine-tune 3 Hot to trot 4 A dad of Lily on “Modern Family” 5 Not noticed 6 Result of getting rear-ended 7 Sodom ending 8 “Grease” singer Frankie 9 Provincetown’s ___ House 10 Offering from Susan Feniger 11 Pastoral poem 12 One thousandth 13 Hard to mount 21 Org. that likes to shoot off 23 Shut out 25 Divvy up 26 Out partner 27 Soccer legend 28 “Wouldn’t ___ Loverly” 30 Queer body part on TV 32 Either bride after the wedding 33 David, once of Power Rangers 34 Avoids family cooking, with “out” 35 “Oklahoma!”’s ___ Annie 37 Port in the land of samurai 38 Bedroom compliment, perhaps 39 Remove soap from 43 Borgnine TV role 45 Love, to Billie Jean 46 “Mature” viewers, online 47 Zach of “Scrubs” 48 Cutting light 49 Loads 50 Story of Greeks and Trojans 53 Channel marker 54, e.g. 55 Trick joint, maybe 56 North Sea feeder 59 It gets laid





A RETURN TO CRUISING By Adam Martindale —Adam Martindale is a luxury cruise travel agent and specializes in Wine, Food & LGBTQ group cruises & tours. Adam has over 30 years of experience, working for 4 major cruise lines, luxury hotels and resorts as Food and Beverage Director. Adam is a board member with San Diego ASTA (American Society of Travel Advisors). Adam specializes in Oceania and Regent Seven Seas Cruises and has been recognized as a “Cruise Connoisseur” Agent for his volume of business with Oceania Cruises. Contact him at 206-399-2138 and



ne of my favorite places to visit for an easy getaway from San Diego is beautiful Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I feel that Puerto Vallarta is much more authentically Mexican than Cancun or Cabo San Lucas and my first choice for a LGBT+ friendly vacation. An easy 2 hour and 20-minute direct flight on Alaska Airlines from San Diego or fly on Volaris from Tijuana. I prefer to travel one way on Alaska Airlines, which departs San Diego at 10:25am, arriving in PV at 3:30pm and return on Volaris to enjoy the last day until your 7:30pm flight home (which arrives at 8:30pm in Tijuana Airport), an easy return through CBX (Cross Border Express). Did you know that Puerto Vallarta is known as The Friendliest City in the World, thanks to the warmth of its people and the welcoming of its visitors with open arms. For more than 60 years it has established itself as one of the LGBT+ community’s favorite places. Besides its warm hospitality, Puerto Vallarta is a destination with lots of allure, from restaurants and bars, to spas and exclusive tours to explore and admire the natural beauty and biodiversity that this privileged place has to offer. You can stroll along the Malecon under the sunset light, explore its streets full of lovely surprises, savor the gastronomy of its restaurants and bars, enjoy the nightlife in the Romantic Zone or take a moment for relaxation at its world-class spas or a massage by the sea. MY FAVORITE ADULT-ONLY PROPERTIES LOCATED IN THE ZONA ROMANTICA AREA (OR CLOSE BY) ARE: Almar Luxury Resort LGBT Beach Front resort Hotel Mousai Casa Cupula Villa Premiere Boutique Hotel MY FAVORITE PROPERTIES IN RIVIERA NAYARIT/PUNTA MITA Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit Marival Armony Luxury Resort St. Regis Punta Mita pvrxr-the-st-regis-punta-mita-resort/ Puerto Vallarta has so many great restaurants to choose from. Here are my favorites:


A jimador harvesting agave to make tequila or raicilla in Mexico. Photo Credit: Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board

FOR AN EXQUISITE CULINARY EXPERIENCE: - Cafe des Artistes - Barrio Bistro by Memo Wulff - Tintoque - Casa Kimberly, you have to experience this place! - Le Kliff - Tre Piatti GREAT DINING EXPERIENCES: - Joe Jacks Fish Shack - Tacos Sonorita Olas Altas - Barcelona Tapas - La Tosca - Mariscos el Guero - Opa - Tacos Revolution - Coco’s kitchen - Pipis - Vitea Oceanfront Bistro My favorite bars and nightclubs are CC Slaughters, Industry and Garbo Martini Bar; make sure to say hello to German, the owner. If you get tired of the bars and beaches, treat yourself to a tour. Puerto Vallarta, located on the coast of Jalisco, is not far from many of the hundreds of small-batch distilleries that produce tequila throughout the state. Besides tequila, Jalisco is also known for the production of raicilla, another agave spirit that has been passed down for

generations. In 2019, the spirit was officially recognized with designation of origin status. Here are a few ways to make the most out of your margarita or raicilla cocktail when visiting Puerto Vallarta this fall. GET OUT TO EL TUITO Roughly two hours south of Puerto Vallarta, in the hills of Cabo Corrientes near the stunning Costalegre, is the tranquil village called El Tuito. While heading out to the remote, wild and rugged beaches of southern Jalisco, it is worth stopping in El Tuito for a taste of local raicilla. Travelers can visit raicilla producers for personalized tasting sessions, along with sampling homemade panela cheese and traditional pastries. Puerto Vallarta Walking Tours is offering a Raicilla in El Tuito excursion in the fall, led by professional photographer Sandra Cesca. The small-group tour is roughly six hours and includes a visit to Mi Pretexto, a 20-year-old raicilla distillery and farm to see how the spirit is produced as well as a stop at a family-run panaderia for homemade empanadas. Tours begin at $70 and include lunch at a restaurant.

The view of the mountains and the sea from Cabo Corrientes in the state of Jalisco. Photo Credit: Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board

Almar Luxury Resort (courtesy images)

TASTE TEQUILA IN PUERTO VALLARTA Of course, you don’t have to go far from the beach in order to get some great tequila (or raicilla or mezcal). Vallarta Tequila Tastings serves up sommelier-style, personalized tequila tastings across the city, from the privacy of guests’ casas or rented villas. The tastings include a range of gourmet experiences, including the Spirits of Mexico sampling, which includes a walk-through of the production of agave-based spirits. There is also the Tequila Food Pairing, which pairs four artisanal tequilas with Mexican cuisine, and the Tequila Chocolate Pairing, which pairs the earthy beverage with sweet, handcrafted chocolate. VISIT A RAICILLA PLANTATION Beginning in 2022, Hacienda El Divisadero will welcome guests for epicurean experiences, starting with a breakfast of handmade tortillas, cheeses and fruit before hopping on horseback and riding with a charro to a river for a refreshing dip. The experience includes a visit to the on-site raicilla distillery for a tasting. Transfers are provided back to Puerto Vallarta, or guests can stay in a rustic cabin and be the first to see the production of raicilla on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.





ev. Dusty Pruitt has detailed her life story in her memoir that includes winning a lawsuit against the Women’s Army Corps after being discharged following an outing by the “Los Angeles Times” as a lesbian. Her amazing story is told in “Nomad for God,” and she will be signing copies of her book on Saturday, October 16th at the Metropolitan Community Church at 2633 Denver Street from 10 a.m. to noon. Pruitt was named Woman of the Year in 1991 by The Advocate, the first LGBTQ magazine, for her lawsuit which was filed in 1987 in U.S. District Court. This is how Pruitt described her win: “I got reinstated to the Army, promoted to Major, and retired from the Army reserves all in one day!” She added: “However, it would take a full 15 years to see the complete end to the ban on LGBT people in the military and the new policy, a federal law dubbed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” “My case served as a building block for others who served just as capably,” wrote Pruitt. Pruitt was a minister in the Metropolitan Community Church for many years and recalled in the book about being interviewed by an L.A. Times reporter. She was asked about other work and said she had been in the Army reserves and was about to be promoted to major.


Rev. Dusty Pruitt (courtesy image)

Pruitt said she had not been interviewed by a reporter before and quickly said, “Maybe you had better not print that” in reference to her military career. She had hoped that comment was not for the record, but unfortunately it made the newspaper. The U.S. Army informed her later that week that she was being investigated for “moral dereliction” on suspicion she was “a homosexual” and rescinded her promotion to major. She argued her involuntary discharge was a violation of her rights to free speech guaran-

teed by the First Amendment. The back of the book contains the appendices with the actual words used by the

military in discharging her. The word lesbian only appears once, with the pronouncement that “homosexuality is incompatible with military service” because “persons who engage in homosexual conduct […] seriously impair the accomplishment of the military mission.” Pruitt was pastor of the MCC church in Long Beach at the time. She wrote about men with military haircuts who began showing up at church and following her, apparently in connection with the Army’s investigation. She wrote she suspected the church’s phone was being tapped because of


suspicious clicks on the line. She humorously recalled serving communion to 6-8 military men in suits and escorting them out a back entrance. Her name was mentioned in the 1995 movie “Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story” starring Glenn Close and directed by Barbara Streisand. Cammermeyer was a colonel in the Washington National Guard, and an actress portrayed Pruitt in one scene. The book is on sale at the MCC bookstore which is open on Sundays only from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The book can be ordered on Amazon. com,, and on Pruitt’s website at Pruitt also writes about growing up in a fundamentalist household and her struggle to reconcile being a lesbian and her faith. One of the themes in the book is God’s faithfulness. Pruitt will be preaching most Sundays at MCC in San Diego in October. Senior Pastor Dan Koeshall returns November 7th from his clergy renewal period. Worshippers are requested to wear masks but there are no other restrictions. Reservations are not needed. Songwriter Marsha Stevens, who wrote “For These Tears I Died” at age 16 and who has a following of her own, wrote the book’s forward.








illcrest’s haunted Halloween dance party and costume competition is back! With late night live entertainment, a costume competition runway, outdoor bars, and the best people watching in all of San Diego - this is an event you won’t want to miss!

Nightmare on Normal Street (this years theme is “Nightmare Prom”) will take over Pride Flag Plaza, at Normal Street and University Ave. for this community fundraising event benefiting the San Diego LGBT Community Center and the Hillcrest Business Association. Pre-sale general admission tickets are now available for only $20. Eat, drink and be scary with our VIP pass for $45, which includes two cocktails, food credit, private restrooms and private stage viewing. Ticket prices will increase to $25 for General Admission and $55 for VIP on the day of the event. The evening’s chills and thrills include: • Doors open for Happy hour at 2pm. • Complimentary cocktails from 6 pm -7 pm during our Haunted Hosted Hour • Main Stage with local DJs and live performances • Runway show costume competitions • $2,000 shopping prize for costume competition winner • Food trucks with delicious bites • Huge immersive “Nightmare Prom” selfie station • Outdoor block party and dance floor



(courtesy image)

By Benjamin Nicholls, HBA Executive Director

• Two bars serving up spooky cocktails and beer • Best Halloween peoplewatching in San Diego • Pet Costume Competition • Special Drag Queen guest performances The San Diego LGBT Community Center The San Diego Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgen-

der Community Center, Inc., is the nation’s second oldest and one of the largest LGBT community centers in the nation. Functioning as the LGBT community’s anchor organization, The Center is led by a 15-member board of directors, employs more than 50 paid staff and utilizes more than 1000 community volunteers to achieve its twin goals of

promoting LGBT health and human rights. The Center provides direct program services to the many different facets of the LGBT community, including men, women, youth, seniors, families, LGBT Latino community members and their families, and those living with HIV. Last year The Center provided more than 73,000 direct service visits to San


Diego community members, and through its events, activities and advocacy, touched the lives of thousands more. The Hillcrest Business Association was established in 1921, making it the oldest business association in San Diego. The Hillcrest Business Improvement District was created in 1984. The HBA represents over 1,300 businesses and acts as a liaison between the business community and the city while encouraging economic development for the Hillcrest area through events and promotions. The Business Association also employs private security patrols in the core of our neighborhood, maintains cleanliness on the streets and keeps the Hillcrest Sign shining bright. Hillcrest’s annual Halloween event began in 1992 as a community celebration outside of the San Diego LGBT Community Center. In 2014, the Hillcrest Business Association took over as producer of the event, committing to donate 50% of the funds raised during the event to the LGBT Community Center. Since then, the event has continued to grow for the community and is now also a major fundraiser for both organizations. Information: Ticketing: /nightmare-on-normal2021/tickets Facebook: /FabHillcrest Twitter: @FabHillcrest Instagram @FabulousHillcrest

Where ALL GUYS come together Visit today to join the action








ared Polis, the Governor of Colorado married his longtime partner, Marlon Reis, on September 15, 2021 at the University of Colorado Boulder. This is some exciting news for the couple who tied the knot on the anniversary of their first date, 18 years and two kids later. This was the first same-sex wedding of any sitting US Governor, thus, positively historic. Gov. Polis was also the first same-sex parent to be elected to Congress and he was the first openly Gay man to be elected Governor of any state. Another first for Polis is that he is the first Jew to be elected Governor of Colorado. In 2020 he also became the first openly Gay Governor to become engaged while in office. Not only was he the first of many things as a gay man, Gov. Polis has an impressive background. He lived in San Diego as a teenager, graduating high school in only three years with multiple honors from La Jolla Country Day School. He earned his B.A. in Politics at Princeton University, before founding the very successful online floral company ProFlowers, out of La Jolla. This company and other entrepreneurial endeavors helped Polis gain his wealth and gave him the ability to become a leader in the government and around the world for LGBTQ rights and equality. Polis has been an activist for LGBTQ rights for many years. He was a member of the LGBT Caucus and pushed for the repeal of the Defense

Governor Jared Polis and First Gentleman Marlon Reis wedding (courtesy images)

of Marriage Act, which was found to be unconstitutional by the Obama Administration. He helped make schools and colleges a safer place for LGBTQ students by co-sponsoring the Student Non-Discrimination Act with Senator Al Franken. He also voted to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, supported anti-

hate crimes movements, and advocated for protections for LGBTQ victims of domestic violence. Additionally, Polis has been recognized for pushing human rights investigations about the treatment LGBT Iraqis and violence against the LGBT community in Honduras. The First Gentleman of

Colorado, Reis, is the first, first man. He too has a well-rounded background in LGBTQ rights. Reis also focuses on animal rights, environmental concerns, and civil rights. Reis is a freelance writer, having articles published in USA Today, Politico, CNN, and the Washington Post. Reis follows a vegan lifestyle and as such, sought out vegan suits from a local Colorado designer for the wedding. Machete and Sons was the Denver-based designer that worked with the couple to design completely vegan suits inspired by designs from the 1920s and 1930s. A.J. Machete, co-owner of the company, told The Denver Post that almost all suits are made from wool, with goat or horsehair providing structure to the interior fabrics, silk in the interior, beeswax used in waxing the thread, and shells or buffalo horns making up the buttons. The vegan suits worn by Gov. Polis and Reis were, however, made of hightech polyester fabric, rayon, satin, and cotton. They were made in such a way that they retained the crisp look of nonvegan suits. The couple has a 9-year-old son and a 7-year-old daughter who were the ring barer and flower girl for the ceremony. The children were said to be even more excited about the wedding than their fathers. It was even noted that the wedding gave the couple the opportunity to educate their children about the history of same-sex marriage.

Gov. Polis proposed to Reis last December when he was sickened by the coronavirus and getting ready to go into the hospital, barely able to breath. Polis, who had been planning the proposal for 7 months, was scared that he wouldn’t get the chance if he waited any longer. While in a rush to get out the door to the hospital, with their daughter and son next to them, Polis paused in the middle of the chaos and fear, got down on one knee, and asked his longtime partner to marry him. Reis was motivated to get healthy quickly for his family and reflected about the pandemic saying that it made the world realize that people we may take for granted “can still be taken away from us, sometimes without any notice.” He went on to express the lessons the pandemic has taught him: “Let’s not wait. Let’s live life while we have it to live. Let’s celebrate and look out for each other and keep caring about the things that we care about. Even though we’re dealing with these circumstances, we can’t give up on our dreams.” Gov. Polis also had contracted the virus, but he reported that he only had mild symptoms. May the happy couple and their family enjoy a long and healthy life together and continue to make great impacts in the LGBTQ rights movement.





A man who strangled a gay man 46 years ago was sentenced Sept. 21 to 5 years to life in state prison, which was the maximum penalty for second-degree murder in 1975. Dennis Lepage, who was 18 years old when he killed Alvaro Espeleta, 28, is now 64 years old. Lepage was dressed in blue jail clothing and wore a white mask when he appeared before San Diego Superior Court Judge Laura Halgren. “The law has changed dramatically since (the 1970s),” said Halgren to attorneys. The judge directed the state Department of Corrections to re-figure the exact sentence. Deputy District Attorney Lisa Fox said it is likely the 5 years to life sentence will be changed to six years. If the Department of Corrections decides to make the sentence longer than six years because of the case’s circumstances, a hearing will be held, said Fox. Second-degree murder sentences today are a standard 15 years to life in which an inmate must serve at least 15 actual years before he/she can be eligible for a parole hearing. LePage said nothing in

Dennis LePage (center) (courtesy image)

court. Halgren gave him credit for 607 actual days spent in jail since his 2020 arrest in New York and then added 303 days of credit because inmates were allowed those credits in 1975. In recent years, the law was changed so homicide defendants can no longer get the extra credits, said Fox. LePage admitted to beating and strangling Espeleta in his apartment on Dec. 31, 1975 in the 3200 block of Reynard Way. He struck Espeleta with a heavy ashtray that broke into six pieces, which cut LePage’s hand leaving his blood on a towel in the bathroom. LePage’s DNA was found on the bloody towel as well as on cigarette butts at the scene. He also left his palm print on the bathroom sink, another on the bathroom door, and his thumb print on a beer bottle in the apartment. Investigators were able to lift LePage’s palm print from Espeleta’s chest. Espeleta was found naked in bed by his co-workers who showed up at his apartment when he failed to come to work as a dental technician for the Navy. His finger and palm prints and DNA were submitted by investigators many times, but it didn’t get a match until


2019 by NCIS as a result of LePage’s arrest in 2010 in which his DNA and prints were taken. LePage was arrested in Massachusetts in 2010 for violating a restraining order sought by his son involving some type of dispute, said Fox. LePage was also in the Navy and his attorney said Espeleta invited him to a party only to find out he was the only guest there. LePage claimed he went to sleep in LePage’s bed, and “snapped” when Espeleta attempted to have sex with him that night. LePage’s attorney, Denis Lainez, said LePage only acted in self-defense to avoid being raped, but Fox responded that was “a self-concocted story 45 years later.” LePage pleaded guilty in June to second-degree murder. On July 30, the victim’s family members spoke out to LePage about their loss. “I don’t know what happened between you and my brother, but you didn’t have to take his life,” said Alicia Espeleta Almeyda, the victim’s sister. “We had no open casket because of what you did,” said the victim’s sister. On Sept. 21, Halgren said about the family members “I have their comments and I remember their statements.” Lainez asked the judge to seal three pages of the sentencing report that will follow LePage to prison. Halgren granted the request and those pages, which involve the 2010 case, are not public record. LePage has been divorced from three different women over the years and he is a grandfather. A New York newspaper said two grandchildren attended a hearing there when he was first arrested in Jan., 2020. LePage worked as a truck driver and as a warehouse manager, his lawyer said. It isn’t exactly known what type of dispute LePage had with his son, but had he not been arrested, his DNA and fingerprints would not have been collected and the case would still be unsolved.







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LGBTQ San Diego County News Volume 3 Issue 1 October 2021  

Our October issue is packed with events and news. Front page we feature the staff of the North County LGBTQ Resource Center and their 10 Yea...

LGBTQ San Diego County News Volume 3 Issue 1 October 2021  

Our October issue is packed with events and news. Front page we feature the staff of the North County LGBTQ Resource Center and their 10 Yea...

Profile for sdcnn0

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