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1299 CAMINO DEL RIO SOUTH | 619.906.5546

Oct 25-NOv 7, 2019 vOlume 1 issue 2



es new CoMMunity voiCes

North County & South Bay News c19

Trans Talk with Connor c10

The C Word… Community c11

Bike lanes anes vsParking Local bicycle lane plans could leave businesses and residents without parking

Black Lives

c16 16

are you Pro or Con

Read both sides on page 5

By Albert H. Fulcher Recent plans to make provisions for cyclists are creating dissension between pro-cyclists, the city, local businesses and residents. But there are still many residents and businesses worried about the impact it will have in the long term. Bicycle lanes provide a safe place for cyclists to travel on and are becoming a major part of city planning in San Diego County. There are several plans in the works at various stages, but the key to their success seems to be creating plans that promote safe biking, without interruption to local businesses and residents in the areas. One such project, dubbed the “Normal Street Promenade,” was approved by Uptown Planners on March 5. This project would reduce the parking spots on Normal Street between University Avenue and Harvey Milk Street. Added angled spots will provide a potential gain of 37 to 63 spaces in the surrounding area. The city has asked SANDAG to incorporate the Normal Street Promenade into its eastern Hillcrest bikeway plans. Another project, which would implement a two-mile, fully protected bike lane on 30th Street from Howard to Juniper streets (titled Option A), was approved by Mayor Kevin Faulconer on May 15 and eliminates 420 parking spaces. North Park’s community has organized to save that parking, with opponents including Council member Chris Ward, who issued a memo in July saying he supported a different proposal titled Option B, which would route the bike lane from Howard to Upas streets. Option B would save half the parking spaces in the business district. Bike lanes continues on c2


Eddie goes to Washington Inside the U.S. Supreme Court’s hearing over federal employment protections for LGBTQ+ employees c14

The 411 on all the costume contests in town c18





Quickie restaurant review Capricho


oct 25-Nov 7, 2019 volume 1 issue 2

Tyler Collins for LGBTQ SDC News Photography by Big Mike

Gay Man Charged of Murdering Husband By Neal Putnam The attorney for a gay man accused of killing his dentist husband told a judge Oct. 16 the death was accidental due to an attempt to force feed him because of a medical condition. Dr. Blake Synowski, 62, died Sept. 17 in his home on Explorer Road in Rancho San Diego Thomas Wayne Zupner (facebook) after his husband, Thomas Wayne Zupner, 65, called 911. Paramedics were not able to revive Dr. Blake Synowski (facebook) him. Zupner was arrested by sheriff’s deputies and charged with murder. He has pleaded not guilty. Synowski had a dental office in El Cajon, and his obituary said he helped found a dental clinic in Hillcrest for people with HIV. His memorial service was set for Oct. 26, in Salem, Oregon, where his mother and some of his brothers and sisters live. Former district attorney Paul Pfingst is Zupner’s attorney and he asked El Cajon Superior Court Judge Robert Amador to either release him on his own recognizance or set bail at $150,000. Deputy District Attorney Meredith Pro asked to continue the no bail status for Zupner, or very high bail. Amador set bail at $2 million, Gay man charge continues on c5



oct 25-Nov 7, 2019 volume 1 issue 2

Bike lanes continues from Page 1

Save 30th Street Parking, a community group made up of businesses and residents opposing Option A, officially filed a legal challenge on Tuesday, Aug. 13. In the lawsuit, the group claims the city of San Diego did not perform proper community outreach. Tootie Thomas, executive director at the El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association and chair of the Mid-City Community Parking District, said she is completely embroiled in negotiations for existing and proposed plans for bicycle lanes throughout our communities. Thomas brokered a negotiation at a meeting between the business districts of the North Park Planning Committee, Adams Avenue Business Improvement Association, North Park Main Street, The Boulevard, San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, and some leaders of the North Park Planning Committee. Although she said that it didn’t go completely the way she wanted to go, the meeting did make steps forward and now they are ready to negotiate with the mayor as a collective group for a better outcome. “These business associations, along with the Mid-City Community Parking District, came up with a plan for 30th Street about three years ago,” Thomas said. “We spent $20,000 on a study. The study got us drawings, surveys, and everything needed. We

reached out to the community to see what they wanted, what they would be willing to give up, what their priorities were, and we have this plan. When all of this came about on 30th Street, we asked if anyone looked at the plan and nobody had really paid any attention to it. We brought that back up

“We believe that those people should make decisions on their own neighborhoods.” — Tootie Thomas

events @THeCeNTeR Thursday, November 7

Monday, November 4 6 pm, The Center Please join The Center, Project TRANS, #BeTheGeneration and Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest for an evening of support and education! All are welcome to learn about Gender Affirming Hormone Therapy, PrEP, PEP, and other services! Our vision is to live in a world where sexual and reproductive health services are inclusive and enhance the quality of our lives. We all deserve equal access to health care, every person should have the opportunity to choose their own path. Appetizers and refreshments will be served. For accessibility requests or more information please contact or 619.692.2077 x109.

Tuesday, November 5

Community Training

5:30 pm, The Center

The transgender community is incredibly diverse. Some transgender people identify as male or female, & some identify as nonbinary, genderqueer, agender, or somewhere else outside the gender binary. This training will leave you with a greater level of understanding of transgender & nonbinary identities, as well as offer better competency with using gender-neutral pronouns. For more information or to RSVP please email Sarah or leave a message for her with your information: or 619.692.2077 x214.

LGBT Veterans Wall of Honor 2019 Induction Ceremony 6-8 pm, The Center

Join us for The Benjamin F. Dillingham, III & Bridget Wilson LGBT Veterans Wall of Honor 2019 Induction Ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 7. The evening will include a brief program with celebration of military colors, the National Anthem, the announcement of inductees, and remarks from honorees in attendance. Light refreshments will be served. Please RSVP to rhookheld@ or 619-692-2077 x103.

The Center’s LGBT Safe S.T.A.Y. Program The Center is happy to provide the LGBT Safe S.T.A.Y. Program (Shelter for Transitional Age Youth) for youth ages 18-24. This 4-bed emergency housing program is available three nights per week for LGBTQ youth on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 10 pm- 7am. To inquire about a bed call Silvia at 619.692.2077 x124. The San Diego LGBT Community Center 3909 Centre Street • 619-692-2077

Twitter: @LGBTCenter

as an option. Under that plan, there is no net parking loss. That is always our goal, no net parking loss.” Thomas said that in the plan that the coalition and the North Park Planning Committee first came up with, the loss of parking from Upas Street to Howard Street was 180 spaces. “When we started our project to change side-street parking, so we could accommodate for part of the parking loss, that was going to happen,” Thomas said. “Then we voted on another plan, which could lose approximately 220 spaces. Now that the mayor wants to do a plan that goes all the way from Upas Street to Adams Avenue, there is a lot more parking loss. Almost 400 spaces.” Thomas said with the amount of off-street 30th Street parking being converted, there is no way it could get to that amount without really pushing it into the neighborhoods. “We oppose that plan,” Thomas said. “We want the mayor to look at an easier way and something that grows with the community and allows for safety. That’s where we are at right now.” Thomas said The Boulevard has a policy, created over the past two-three years, that works by testing everything out as a pilot first before it is “foisted it on the community as a concrete measure.” “We have a piloted dedicated bus lane going into The Boulevard that is also bike-friendly,” Thomas said. “It’s a bus/bike lane. That is a piloted measure that will start within a couple of weeks as they’ll start striping. At the end of November, we will have the piloted bus lane in use. There is no parking loss with this

program except for one space at the end of every block to allow for cars to cross and be able to turn right. We are going to see how the community likes it.” Surveys will be taken shortly to find out what the community thinks about the plan now, and at the end of November, community members will be surveyed again to find out their updated reactions. The survey will also look at excise tax revenue and other measures that quantify what is happening, and the public’s ideas on the bus/bike lane. That plan takes the bike lanes up to Park Boulevard. “In no way do we want what we are doing on The Boulevard to affect our neighboring neighborhoods,” Thomas said. “We pass through six neighborhoods on The Boulevard business district. We’ve always been very conscious about how the changes we want on The Boulevard will affect our neighborhoods. Parking, increased traffic, the amount of building and density could actually go all the way from The Boulevard all the way up to the canyon. [It’s] not acceptable for us. We want a shorter amount of distance from The Boulevard, so we are not affecting Balboa Heights, Kensington, Talmage and University Heights. We believe that those people should make decisions on their own neighborhoods. They can keep them quaint if they want or add more housing options if they want to.” Thomas said that it’s important to provide ways for people to get to the business district that is not cumbersome. She said they keep hearing from the city and bike advocates that, “We want to frustrate drivers out of their cars.” “We are not of that same thinking,” Thomas said. Thomas said that local business districts will be impacted negatively by such a large loss of parking. Consumers will go elsewhere, and that is not part of the long-term plan. “We just did a parking study where we quantified what areas were being utilized more and how much,” Thomas said. “So, we feel along 30th Street that the percentage of parking utilization is up by 85-95%. This area is taxed already. If you remove all that parking, where do they go? They are going to go to another business district. We’re going to lose businesses to other business districts and that means less jobs for everybody else.” Thomas noted that 4% of commuters are cyclists. She said the best laid plan is to expand it when it gets to 10%, then expand it again when it reaches 15%, but that it is a mistake to get rid of everything now for those future projections.

Tyler Collins for LGBTQ SDC News Photography by Big Mike

Pros & Cons

oct 25-Nov 7, 2019 volume 1 issue 2



Court news

oct 25-Nov 7, 2019 volume 1 issue 2

Murder of 71-year-old gay man goes to trial By Neal Putnam

TOU Phase 6_GEN_SD Community News Network_RUN: 10_1_19_LIVE: 6.1 x 10.96


Here are some things you can do this season to save between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. when energy prices are highest: Do laundry before 4 p.m. or after 9 p.m. when energy prices are lower. Caulk/weatherstrip doors and windows to save 10-20% on heating. Let hot foods cool off (1hr max.) before placing them in the fridge. Turn off computers, TV’s and other electronics when not in use. Prepare meals in a slow cooker outside the hours of 4 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Find more tips at

Time to save.

© 2019 San Diego Gas & Electric Company. All trademarks belong to their respective owners. All rights reserved. Actual savings may vary and will depend on various factors, including geographic location, weather conditions, equipment installed, usage rates and similar factors.

A murder trial opened Monday for a man charged with beating a 71-year-old gay man to death, but his lawyer told jurors “the actual murderers” were two co-defendants who pleaded guilty to lesser charges. The case involves the 2000 death of LeRay “Mac” Parkins, a choir member at Metropolitan Community Church in San Diego, who died several days after being struck in the head with a baseball bat during a morning robbery in North Park. Advances in forensic DNA technology led to the arrest of Edward Jamar Brooks, now 39, in North Carolina in 2018, after the empty pockets of Parkins’ shorts were tested for DNA. His wallet was taken in the robbery and a crime lab technician testified Monday that Brooks’ DNA was found in three places of one empty pocket. Brooks’ attorney, Robert Ford, conceded in his opening statement before a nine-man, three-woman jury and San Diego Superior Court Judge Runston Maino that Brooks took his wallet and that’s why his DNA was there. Ford pointed to photos of Lester Roshunn Bell, now 39, and Terrence Maurice Brown, now 38, as the “real murderers” who made plea arrangements with prosecutors, leaving his client “the odd man out.” Ford described Bell as wanting “to save his own skin.” Deputy District Attorney Christina Arrollado Schleicher told jurors both men will testify that Brooks struck Parkins and “took his wallet as he lay dying.” Parkins was attacked around 8:30 a.m. in an alley behind 3675 Pershing Ave. in North Park. Bell pleaded guilty to

voluntary manslaughter and faces up to 11 years in prison. Brown, the getaway driver, pleaded guilty to robbery and faces five years in prison. They will be sentenced Nov. 15. Parkins’ lover, Cordell Hill, testified Monday they were together 20 years. Hill recalled Parkins not returning home from his walk and later discovered him in a hospital where he died two days later without regaining consciousness. Hill testified several credit card bills on Parkins’ card arrived about a month after the attack. Arrollado said the trio bought clothes, and a cashier — who was Bell’s exgirlfriend — remembered the purchases by the men. Ford said Brooks saw Bell and Brown fighting with Parkins and he ran up to them and pushed the victim down, grabbing his wallet. Ford said “Mr. Parkins was landing some serious punches” to Brown before they left. “[Brown] got beat up by a 71-year-old man,” said Ford, who added that Brown got a baseball bat out of the car trunk and went back and beat Parkins with it. Deputy medical examiner Christopher Swalwell testified the victim had two skull fractures with brain injuries. “There was virtually no chance of his recovering,” said Swalwell. MCC senior pastor Rev. Dan Koeshall remembered Parkins as “having the most beautiful Irish tenor voice” when Koeshall was the church’s music director. Brooks, Bell, and Brown all remain in jail. Brooks has pleaded not guilty.

Image from

oct 25-Nov 7, 2019 volume 1 issue 2

Pro Marissa tucker

Con susan Jester


he city recently proposed a new protected bike lane along one of North Park’s busiest corridors, 30th Street. It has spurred countless Nextdoor debates and ruckuses at planning group meetings. The group Save 30th Street Parking is even trying to sue the project into oblivion. Fundamentally, streets are public land owned by every San Diegan, so the 30th Street project should be judged on its ability to contribute to the public good. Nothing is more universally impactful to our region than the air we breathe and the environment we live in. Fiftythree percent of greenhouse gases (GHG) in San Diego are produced by on-road transit. Although universally loathed, work commute accounts for only 30% of Americans’ total vehicle miles traveled (VMT). If San Diego wants to get serious about reducing GHG and congestion, we have to look at the other 70% of our trips: grabbing the groceries, dropping off our kids at school and enjoying everything else in America’s Finest City. North Park is already a dense and amenities-rich neighborhood, all accessible via walk, scooter, or bike ride. Many North Parkers are already choosing to take these alternatives, as demonstrated by the hundreds that biked at the Safe Streets for All rally in support of 30th Street bike lanes. But to reduce VMT in a meaningful way, we need many more people to use alternative forms of transit for these intra-community trips. The biggest barrier: safety. No one should have to fear for their life taking a half-mile bike ride from their house to Barron’s, yet San Diego has the 12th most fatalities per million people in the country.

Photography by Big Mike

Researchers from the universities of Colorado and New Mexico reviewed traffic fatalities of seven U.S. cities over the course of 12 years of data and found that “protected separated bike facilities was one of our biggest factors associated with lower fatalities and lower injuries for all road users” and substantially increased cyclist use of those streets. As a public good, bike lanes should sell themselves: they are good for the economy, good for the environment, and increase public safety for all road users. So, what’s the draw back that has everyone up in arms? Loss of parking. According to traffic engineers, protected bike lanes on 30th Street require removal of substantial parking, a concern for many adjacent businesses. Yet, a review by CityLab of

12 U.S. cities showed that “replacing on-street parking with a bike lane has little to no impact on local business, and in some cases might even increase business.” Are the consequences of our car-oriented choices worth continued unnecessary traffic fatalities, congestion, and climate change? Bike lanes on 30th Street is part of the slow, steady progression away from car-oriented design and toward a transit-oriented, urban future. If the choice of adding a single bike lane in one of our most dense, bike-ready neighborhoods is going to elicit so much public outcry and political second guessing – we’re going to have bigger problems than finding parking. Marissa Tucker is a proud resident and pedestrian of North Park, San Diego and serves on the YIMBY Democrats of San Diego.

Gay man charge continues from Page 1

and Zupner remains in the George Bailey Detention Facility. Pfingst said Synowski had a medical history of spontaneously losing consciousness and other symptoms, but Synowski refused to see a doctor about it. Synowski died of suffocation as paramedics tried to remove matzo crackers that were found in his mouth. There was no allegation of any weapon being used. Pfingst said they were a couple for about 15 years and had been married for 11 years. “There was no quarrel, ill will or any history of domestic violence,” said Pfingst to the judge. “In no way could it [force feeding] be interpreted to harm him.” Pfingst said Zupner had no prior record and said he would agree to wear a GPS ankle monitor if granted bail. He said the forced feeding “was a product of love, not a product of anger.” “This was an accidental death, not an intentional death,” said Pfingst. “There is no history of any animosity between these two.” The prosecutor said Zupner represents a danger to the community and poses a flight risk. She said there was a physical struggle between the two and Synowski had been physically re-


strained. Pro said there were bruises on his arm and body and Zupner had slapped him. Pro said Synowski’s family members were very concerned that Zupner had been named as Synowski’s estate executor in his will. Since he’s in jail, he can’t do that job, said Pro. Synowski’s family may have to go to probate court if they want to remove Zupner as the executor. Pro said the relationship between the two had deteriorated. She said the food had been forced down his throat. Synowski’s sister attended the bail review, and Pro said his family does not want Zupner released on lower bail. A preliminary hearing was set for Nov. 5. Synowski’s online obituary said he was survived by his mother, two brothers, two sisters, and eight nephews and nieces. People have been leaving online tributes to him. The obituary says he helped found a free basic veterinary care for pets, particularly for dogs that belong to homeless people. Zupner’s resume says he worked as a service coordinator for an audio-visual company. —Neal Putnam is a local freelance writer. Reach him at


’m a third-generation native Californian, born and raised in Southern California. Growing up in Palm Springs in the ’50s was a great outdoor experience. Riding a bicycle was a daily experience. I love riding bikes, it’s a great recreational hobby. Riding in traffic or to volunteer work is not a realistic choice for me or for most 75-year-olds. I do not appreciate the new urbanism movement and government planners’ vision to force me out of my automobile with their messianic belief that bikes are the two-wheeled saviors sent to free us from the self-evident evils of the automobile. I do, however, understand the right and the wrong that the automobile has wrought on our country and our environment. When I lived on the East Coast, in the most densely populated cities of New York and northern New Jersey, I learned to love and use public transportation — the bus, the subway, the ferry, the train are all great ways to commute to work or play while others still used an automobile to get from the suburbs to the city. When it comes to American transportation history, development patterns were aligned with automobile usage, but our government stopped building infrastructure for the auto in the 1970s and instead have come up with alternatives. Light rail, buses and bike lanes are the planners’ preferred methods of transportation, except there is very little that these alternatives do to change habits. People riding bikes to work represents .08% of the work force in San Diego. Bike lanes take fourlane streets and turn them into two-lane streets, removing parking spaces, creating more congestion on alternate streets and adversely affecting local

businesses whose patrons rely on the convenience of parking to support small businesses. Cyclists should be required to register their vehicle in lieu of using bike lanes to help ID them when the inevitable reckless cycling results in property damage to cars and personal injuries to pedestrians, which occur more frequently. Since driving is still the most pragmatic way for most Americans to get around, and most are driving with a license and insurance, and paying for the roads at the gas station, cyclists’ bike lanes should be governed accordingly. However, most cyclists, in my observation, are emboldened by their new rights to half the roads, to do as they please, riding three abreast, never stopping for intersection stop signs, and crossing from one side of the road to the other at will. It seems the cyclists believe that everyone who drives a car should be punished be having fewer lanes to drive on. It is my opinion that urban planners see things as they wish rather than as they are. I spent five years working with urban planners at the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, the state’s affordable housing agency. My role as community development officer was to support transit villages, light rail, housing development with transit hubs, and bicycle paths and green spaces galore. Cyclist groups and advocates of bike lanes generally represent a higher-income demographic and don’t usually “bike to work” themselves. They represent 1-2% of the population. I’m all in for those who enjoy the hobby of cycling. I support our ability to make personal choices about alternate modes and methods of transportation. I’m not in, however, for our tax and transportation dollars funding bike lanes that are a part of a vision that serves the public interest of the 2% while discounting and displacing the public interests of the other 98%. Bike lanes in congested areas are imposing an unrealistic vision of urban living on those of us who use an automobile for transportation needs and necessities. —Susan Jester is a longtime local activists and volunteer. She also served as a development specialist at the Human Rights Campaign.

Have a

Pros & Cons


LeTs Us know


oct 25-Nov 7, 2019 volume 1 issue 2


Guest Commentary:

alzheimer’s and dementia cases in the lGBt community By Alzheimer’s Association san diego


here are more than 60,000 people living with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia in San Diego and Imperial counties. Add to that the number of family members and other caregivers who face the daily challenges of helping those with the disease, and the number surpasses 180,000. These are the people the Alzheimer’s Association San Diego /Imperial Chapter serves, but not only them. While it is hard to firmly establish the number of Alzheimer’s and dementia cases in San Diego’s LGBT community, there is no doubt that this is a proportionately hard-hit community where more people live alone and are less likely to have the extended family support upon which people with the disease frequently depend. It is imperative that the vital

resources provided by the Alzheimer’s Association be taken advantage of. For the thousands of people who have or will have Alzheimer’s but have yet to show symptoms, the association’s services will be critical to enhancing their quality of life, and if we are successful, have contributed to the ultimate goal of finding a cure. The services offered by the Alzheimer’s Association encompass a wide range of activities in our community, including inperson care consultations; support groups both in-person and by telephone; safety programs; and education programs in both English and Spanish, both online and in person, on topics such as diagnosis, warning signs, communication, living with Alzheimer’s disease, and caregiving techniques.

there are more than 60,000 people living with

alzheimer’s disease or related dementia in San Diego and Imperial counties

Abstract photo created by kjpargeter -

Outreach to diverse communities includes the Promotora program focusing on Latino families and individuals that may be unaware of our services, as well as special programs and education in the LGBT community (which we will discuss in detail further). As we are living longer and witnessing the rise in cases of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia, Alzheimer’s has joined cancer atop a list of top medical concerns among all Americans. With no known cure, research becomes a critical component of the national focus of the Alzheimer’s Association. At the forefront of research into Alzheimer’s disease, our region receives more funds in the effort to find a cure than any other region in the country. $12.3 million of current funding from the Alzheimer’s Association has made San Diego a pivotal center of activity. The Alzheimer’s Association also recruits advocates in the community so that the need for Alzheimer’s care, education and research is heard at every level of government. This has helped to pass landmark legislation, and ultimately, funding. In coming issues of Gay San Diego, we will share information helpful to those who may be concerned about the disease, who may be fighting the symptoms of dementia, caregivers to those who may be living with the disease, or to other caring family and friends. This information is culled from our numerous educational classes offered every week somewhere in San Diego. Though the Alzheimer’s Association San Diego/Imperial Chapter’s purview covers 9,000 square miles, the office is centrally located, likely within a few minutes’ drive of most of those reading this now. If you have any questions about Alzheimer’s, visit the association’s website, sandiego, call the 24/7 telephone help line (800-272-3900), or just stop by weekdays at the chapter office, 5075 Shoreham Place, Suite 240. —Since 1982, the Alzheimer’s Association San Diego-Imperial Chapter has been providing free educational programs and support services to our neighbors throughout our community who are living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, and to their care partners. The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading nonprofit organization funding dementia research, providing care and support, raising the public’s awareness of the disease and rallying our elected officials to advance public policies to better the lived of the families that we serve.

LGBTQ san Diego County news po Box 34664 san Diego, ca 92163 PUBLIsHEr Terry sidie AssoCIATE PUBLIsHEr nicole Murray Ramirez 619-241-5672 CrEATIVE DIrECTor cesar a. Reyes 858-204-1071 EDITor-In-CHIEF albert H. Fulcher 619-315-8194 sALEs Mike Rosensteel 619-865-2220 PHoTo EDITor Big Mike phillips 619-807-7324 CoPY EDITor Dustin Lothspeich WEB AnD soCIAL MEDIA CONTRIBUTING WRITERS alzheimer’s association san Diego Benny cartwright susan Jester Michael kimmel connor Maddocks M.G. perez neal putman eddie Reynoso Tootie Marissa Tucker Darnelle williams DIsTrIBUTIon LGBTQ san Diego county news is distributed free every other Friday of the month. © 2019. 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 © 2019 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.

CoMMunity voiCes

oct 25-Nov 7, 2019 volume 1 issue 2


coversations with nicole My two cents on bicycle lanes


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.

ell I think that in San Diego we let in Bicycles and scooters Way Too early as hardly anyone uses them and a lot of people who do need eyeglasses and operation lessons. They are also thrown and left everywhere. And sadly, many homeless people have their way with them. Maybe in the future many people like in Seattle, Portland will use them but not now in San Diego as only the beach areas are more active with users. They took so much space for few users and many ride around like crazy blind hot messes!

support stepping stone!

Barbara dry’s negative Campaign i stand with lorena Gonzalez Yes, politics can be dirty and nasty but the attacks on State Assembly member Lorena Gonzalez recently have absolutely crossed the line. Negative, nasty and false TV ads attacking her and internet posts that are outrageous, false, racist and sexist should be called out by the Democratic leadership. Lorena has been a champion for the poor, women, homeless, mothers, workers, people of color, LGBT Equality — the list is endless. Yes, she can be rough and loud and so are men … and she works in a man’s world of politics. Do I agree with her on all her stands? No, but most of them I do. Interestingly that most of these attacks are from men but if you know Lorena Gonzalez you know she is one tough cookie and Will Not back away from her principles....VIVA Lorena!!!!

Yes, you read right I called mayoral candidate Barbara Bry, ‘Barbara Dry’ as she is as exciting as watching paint dry in one of those always empty “Christian Science reading rooms” Ms. Dry is sinking in the polls — no endorsements — fewer campaign donations from average citizens, so what does this millionaire candidate do? Go negative of course, and put out lies against Todd Gloria. What have you done Ms. Dry when it comes to the homeless issue? People who live in millionaire glass houses shouldn’t throw bricks. The homeless issue is a national epidemic and everyone from Mayor Kevin Faulconer, State Senator Toni Atkins, Council President Georgette Gomez, Councilmember Chris Ward, Assembly member Brian Maienschein — everyone is doing their best. What are you doing other than attacking Todd Gloria?

the Center Many of you have been asking me about your shared concerns about some issues at our LGBT Community Center like the homeless encampment outside, security, major staff changes, etc., etc.! This past Tuesday, I had a private meeting with Lisa Sanders, president of the Center’s Board of Directors (yes daughter of our former mayor and now a wife and mother) and Carolina Dessert the executive director of the Center. I would say it was a productive meeting and soon will be giving you my thoughts and opinions. As for me and all of us, the No. 1 priority should be the clients and programs of our Center which do change and save lives every day.

nicky awards to Honor Police Chief nisleit

The growing drug/alcohol problem within our LGBTQ community has continued for decades to be swept under the rug by many of our community leaders. For decades, Stepping Stone has saved lives and helped countless of our brothers and sisters. I come from the 1960’s and 70’s, lived in Hollywood and lived, “Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll.” To this day, like everyone who has suffered drug addiction, I live one day at a time.Please join me this Friday night at the San Diego Natural History Museum in Balboa Park for their annual benefit. This year fun theme — PINK!

The Board of Governors of the 2019 Nicky Awards announced that San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit will be the recipient of the annual Mayor George Moscone Equality Award on Dec. 8. The Mayor Moscone and Harvey Milk Awards were established in 1979. Police Chief Nisleit has gone out of his way to improve and reach out to San Diego’s people of color communities and the LGBT community. He established the most diverse LGBT Advisory Board in the history of San Diego and has a ZERO tolerance with HATE CRIMES against any citizen. His police Department now includes openly transgender police officers and recently named Lieutenant Dan Myers to a leadership position. Chief Nisleit’s father and son have been police officers and he s one of the best police chiefs in the nation and San Diego is lucky to have him.

Meet Brian Maienschein State Assembly member Brian Maienschein was a moderate pro LGBT equality Republican on the San Diego City Council and State Assembly. I said that because now he is a proud Democrat as he rightly felt the Republican Party left him out. So this coming Monday will be a private Invitation Only reception for LGBTQ organizations presidents, executive directors and LGBTQ leaders to meet him. If you didn’t get your invite, please call me at 619-241-5672. (This is not a fundraiser).

turkeys! urkeys! turkeys! urkeys! turkeys! For over three decades the Imperial Court de San Diego has every year had a Thanksgiving Project that feeds the homeless, families, seniors, etc., including the annual Scott Carlson/Dan Ferbal Thanksgiving Community dinner at our LGBT Community Center where all are welcomed. For the last 7 years Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Katherine Stuart Faulconer (the 1st Lady of San Diego) and many times their children come by and serve. And every year the n eed grows. Yes, if it wasn’t for the continuing support of Todd Gloria, Toni Atkins, Lorena Gonzalez, Chris Ward, the Rob Benzon Foundation, bars and businesses, and you the community, we would never pull it off. Please donate and help. Information contact Steven Blocker at 619-9213775 or Robert Rodriguez at 619-817-9926.


oct ct 25-Nov 7, 2019 volume 1 issue 2

CoMMunity voiCes

are you ready for marriage?

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


great marriage is a verb, not a noun. It takes time, energy and work, and is always changing. Are you and your partner ready for marriage? In this column, I’m providing you with both some practical tools to get a good, constructive discussion going. Don’t put it off, start talking about the hard stuff now. It’s a great investment in your future happiness. Choosing a partner is one of most important decisions any of us will ever make. It determines the harmony – or lack of it – that we will experience in every area of our lives. Unfortunately, the statistics (based on predominantly heterosexual marriages) do not paint a pretty picture: 90% of Americans get married, but half of these relationships end in divorce; 75% of people who divorce will eventually remarry; but only 35% of those marriages avoid ending in divorce. If you hope to be married someday, I’d like to give you some practical tools you can use to talk with your future wife/husband to know if you’re ready for marriage now, or if it would be better to do some work on your relationship before you hire that wedding planner and book your venue. Let’s start with the big three: • Family of origin stuff: Freud said that the family we grew up in, no matter how great or awful, is what we know (subconsciously) as “home.” Find out what your “home” is and all the baggage that you still carry from it. Talk with

The best way to maximize your wedded bliss is to explore the strengths and challenges of your relationship before you and your special person take the plunge into marriage. — Michael Kimmel

your partner about how her/ his parents handled conflict, showed affection and shared responsibilities. What were their family values about money, sexuality and religion? • Conflict: The No. 1 predictor of divorce is habitual avoidance of conflict. If you and your partner are considering marriage, but already disagree about issues related to money, work, sex, chores or children, please discuss this tendency toward denial with your partner. Believe me, as a couples counselor with about 20 years of experience, it doesn’t get better without learning how to constructively handle (the inevitable) conflict. • Repair: Every couple has “irreconcilable differences,” so don’t freak out. Instead, look for ways to accept/ respect your partner and their differences. I worked with one couple considering marriage. They were so judgmental of each other: neither of them was willing to accept the other’s “flaws” and “screw-ups.” One man kept an ongoing list of all the things his future husband did

“wrong.” And he wondered why his partner was so nervous all the time! Sometimes couples tell me, “There are just some subjects that we can’t discuss calmly: we always get into fights.” I like helping couples in this situation. Usually, they’re more focused on being “right” than on actually talking with their mate about their anger/ hurt/disappointment. For example, if you and I were a couple who had an argument last night and we’re talking about it today, suppose that I say to you, “You’re wrong, that’s not what happened. Your memory is terrible.” And then you say, “No, I’m right. You’re the one who always gets it wrong.” This is obviously a communication pattern that doesn’t work for either of us. Instead of wanting to “win” an argument, go deeper. Sure, you can argue like two opposing lawyers, each trying to manipulate the other to admit to guilt/mistakes. But, there is always a calm and respectful way to talk about any subject. Here’s how you could handle the above situation a lot more constructively:

Person A: “I hear what you’re saying, but I remember it differently.” Person B: “Hmmm, I guess we don’t remember it the same way.” Person A: “So, now where do we go from here?” Person B: “Well, since neither of us can prove what happened, can we let it go or is there still something we need to talk about?” This kind of communication is neutral and non-accusatory. It’s also more honest and is likely to have a much better outcome. The best way to maximize your wedded bliss is to explore the strengths and challenges of your relationship before you and your special person take the plunge into marriage. There are tons of free and inexpensive resources out there, use them to educate yourself about how healthy relationships work — consider books, classes, counseling and other resources to get the skills you’ll both need. Graphic by

CoMMunity voiCes

oct 25-Nov 7, 2019 volume 1 issue 2


Top to Bottom

BiG MiKe and Friends

Big Mike and Moe Girton (Photo by Joey Adams) (l to r) Joey Arruda, Moe Girton with her wife Dawn Stultz, and Miss “B” (Chris Barone) who officiated their wedding. (Photo by Big Mike Phillips)

Big Mike Phillips —Big Mike Phillips is an activist, fundraiser, bartender and photographer who has lived in San Diego for 30 years. He has help 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 DC. Big Mike has served the last four San Diego Mayors by serving on their LGBTQ advisory boards. Contact Big Mike at 619-807-7324, or

(l to r) Moe Girton with her wife Dawn Stultz, Chris Barone and Joey Arruda (selfie)


very week, I get the pleasure of introducing my friends to our amazing community; it’s rare that you find individuals that stand out by just using one name like Cher and Ellen, for example. Yet we have the great honor to have Moe from Gossip Grill as one of our leading ladies in San Diego. Loved by so many, she has proven herself as a champion in so many ways. Moe Girton-Stultz lived all over Southern California until she discovered San Diego, which now has become her forever home. I met Moe through my then-roommate and dearest friend Joey Arruda back when Baja Betty’s first opened. We were all so young then. Moe was at one time my next-door neighbor. We used to talk to each other over the fence that divided our homes. As the years flew by, we grew to know each other better, even taking a trip with her, Joey Arruda and Chris Barone to Las Vegas together. All I remember is the four of us laughing the entire trip. As the saying goes, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas — but I do still have the pictures. Moe’s earned so much respect in our community by the kind and generous ways she treats the people she serves and works with, while working in the many MO’s Universe bars and restaurants. Moe got her start in the bar business here in San Diego at The Flame in 2000 starting as a door girl and bar back, working her way up to a bartender and then the manager. She also worked at Flicks for their girls night for a few years. It was after The Flame sold in 2004 that she applied at Baja Betty’s and was hired for their opening crew as a bartender. Being the only girl behind the bar, she had to get creative in marketing herself and building a business within a business. Using a variety of tools from Myspace to email blasts, she was able to build her business and get the attention of Stefan Chilcote and Chris Shaw of Hamburger Mary’s restaurant and bar fame. They then offered Moe a chance to open a woman’s bar as their third restaurant. Gossip Grill was born. Ten years ago, Moe was given the opportunity of a lifetime by becoming co-owner and general manager of Gossip Grill on Oct. 10, 2009, the only women’s bar in the entire state of California. Since then, with her leadership and an amazing group of employees, they have grown as a major hot spot in our LGBTQ community — even being named one of the top nine women’s bars in the world by Fodor’s Travel in

Moe Girton night cap. It went so well that their second date was a Stevie Nicks concert in Las Vegas. They have been inseparable ever since. They got married five years ago on Oct. 21, 2014, in a beautiful wedding at Wilson’s Creek, Temecula (very LGBTQ+ friendly for weddings). Miss “B” (Chris Barone) officiated the wedding in drag. Together they are quite the team! She is her partner in life and the gardener of her soul. They both share their life and their home with their two dogs Frank and Howard Beans. Moe works hard, but she also knows how to live life and stop and smell the roses. When she can get a bit of free time, she enjoys traveling with her wife and two best friends Joey and Chris. They have been on more than 60 trips together in the last 15 years ranging from Napa,

New York City, Hawaii, Tennessee, Seattle and Mexico just to name a few. Moe also likes to take time to go for a motorcycle ride on her Harley or spend time shark snorkeling in La Jolla. Surprisingly, it relaxes her. That’s what she told me! Oh, not to forget — she really enjoys her wine. I asked Moe, “What is something you would like people to know about you?” She said, “I love this community and everyone in it! I am full of gratitude that I get to spend every day with amazing fun people. I also can talk all day about Stevie Nicks, wine and sharks.” I always say, “We live in the best city in the world with the best people in it.” With beautiful, kind and generous women like Moe in our community, I think we will always stand out as the best.

All are

welcome Monte Vista Village is a vibrant, energetic senior living community dedicated to helping you live a life enriched wonderful experiences in a beautiful environment.

2018. Moe and Gossip Grill concentrate on charities that raise funds for either the LGBTQ community, or women’s needs. They hold close to 50 fundraisers a year to everything from The Center to Think Dignity and have raised and donated about $1 million in the last 10 years. Moe continues to support our community whether it’s

by donating food, or offering a free space to hold a meet, Q&A panel, or fundraisers. Giving back is something that just comes naturally with Gossip Grill. Moe met the fabulous Dawn Stultz almost nine years ago in 2011 at Gossip Grill. They agreed to go on a date to grab a drink which turned into dinner, then a


2211 Massachusetts Avenue | Lemon Grove, California 91945


CoMMunity voiCes

oct 25-Nov 7, 2019 volume 1 issue 2

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

we need a voice in the transgender community


Game On 56 TABLE GAMES | 2,800 SLOTS | POKER | BINGO “They have all of my favorite table games.” – Amber Rainey, KSON


n Sept. 28, the very first trans march on Washington D.C. became a reality. What was the march all about? Its Facebook page has this to say, “Members of the transgender, gendernonconforming and nonbinary communities (TGNC/NB) will be taking a major stand against hate and discrimination when they rally in the nation’s Capital for the first-ever National Trans Visibility March (NTVM) on Washington, D.C., Sept. 28, 2019.” “The National Trans Visibility March is of critical importance at this time. With the Equality Act of 2019 being threatened by the Senate and the trans military ban implementation, there is a need to mobilize America to recognize and fight for the rights of TGNC/ NB people. Although the current administration has intentionally rolled back efforts to prevent inclusion of transgender communities in the U.S. census, individuals from the TGNC/NB communities have mobilized and issued a call to action to dismantle the social structures that have oppressed and disenfranchised the TGNC/NB community.” I spoke with one of our own community members Raul Robles, who was at the march, and here is how he described it. “We arrived on Oct. 27 at night before the Torch Awards. On Oct. 28, in the morning, we were transported to Freedom Plaza. Young people began to arrive, complete families, we were an immensely large family, and everything was joy. It was a total success of approximately 2,000 to 3,000 people in this first march. For my part, I was very pleased to meet many siblings since I was making the frames for Facebook profile pictures.” While we were talking about it, Raul shared, “The frame became the official frame for the March, I made about 400 or more.” The frame he made for the march says #March4TransEquality, Marcha Nacional de Visibilidad Trans, using the blue, pink and white trans colors. “I woke up at 3 a.m. to moderate the trans D.C. march with excitement while nervously watching the map light up with posts. A few photos roll in of folks getting ready along with their signs and flags. Then [the] livestream kicks on and we’re watching the community coming together on a stage in D.C. while the crowd starts to swell with energy. It was in that moment, as goosebumps gathered on my skin and fell across my body, I realized not one post with our hashtag was hateful, it was powerful to be visible and loved by the internet. It gives me hope to know we, as a community, when we work together are some of the most powerful humans on this earth and that folks whom aren’t like us can see we are human, too.” This inaugural march on Washington, which I so badly wanted to attend, was a first step for my community to find its voice, not any voice but the big one — the one everyone hears from sea to shining sea. It’s been a long time coming, but our black trans women are being murdered at an alarming rate, from coast to coast, and other members of our community are also being murdered. We need a voice. We need supporters who believe we are a people worth saving. We need news stations that do primetime stories on our issues, not just Matthew Shepard, or children of famous stars that are trans. So far this year, we have lost 21 trans or nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming people this year. We need to be visible and we need to have people out there who care about us. We need to have community members like Raul and Ivan who are willing to be proud and out loudly. That is what visibility is all about. We cannot expect allies, or soldiers of human rights or judges and lawmakers to stand with us, unless we can show who we are, how many we are. But what I truly love about this march is what I have heard and seen in some pictures. These people are happy, happy to see how strong they really are. There is such power in that statement. To my siblings, I tell you to take it and run with it. Stand up and be counted next year for the census. Stand up and be who you are. Make sure to pull up our quieter folks with you if they are willing and give them hope and strength as well. Help our black trans women be safe. Come together as a community and keep each other safe, give a hand up and show some love, not hate. The national Trans visibility March 2019, photography by Ted eytan

CoMMunity voiCes

oct 25-Nov 7, 2019 volume 1 issue 2


Come as you are ago as the “token” straight boy, which didn’t last long because the team is made up of every LGBTQIA … EIEIOh my. Currently there are eight gay guys (is straight acting even a thing anymore?), three straights, a couple lesbians and a bi girl. Jeremy assures us the lines become grey when the drinks start flowing. There’s plenty of that because after a game, the main event starts … pub crawl! I asked about their rebranding to the name Gay for Play and was told that happened when half the team was straight. Doing the math, they either brought in a professional recruiter or the grey areas became real grey. Knowing where I was going with this line of questioning, Jeremy offered up that he stopped drinking because, “[I] got tired of losing my underwear.” I wondered about other teams visiting their home turf in North Park. Did they encounter the same kind of razzing we all took 20 years ago in middle school? Having a team name that says you’re “gay for play” has to bring about

tHe C word … CoMMunity tootie —Tootie is synonymous with Lips, executive director at the El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association, and chair of the Mid-City Community Parking District, vegan and mahu. Contact Tootie at


ll great community events have an open-door policy, “all are welcome,” and you find out that not all come, but some just end up there. Is this how we all ended up in North Park? For years, North Park has been a neighborhood with a motto of “Come as you are.” I think it’s safe to say that we came with our colors flying. In the heyday of Hillcrest when everything was shiny and the large clubs ruled, when homes were being replaced by businesses and the remaining became out of reach, North Park became the alternative — Hillcrest’s affordable, basic sister. Basic not in the millennial definition, but it’s easygoing, dressed down, gritty sister. Some outliers to make things simple: the internet happened, recession happened, and people found refuge in a bedroom community that had its doors open to anyone, late into the night. Wolf’s was pumping; Shooters was glistening; Bacchus House was “getting wet and wild”; the donut shop at 30th Street hosted trans women and drag queens. North Park took “fringy” from Hillcrest to another level … and till this day, Pecs and its regulars for 25-plus years still beckons a good time from the other side of Park. Today, North Park is a patchwork quilt of many communities. It’s large so there is room for everyone. If you are a south University Heights resident, you may consider yourself from North Park; if you are a Normal Heights resident, you may consider yourself a North Parkian; if you are a North-South Park resident, you may consider yourself a North Parker. Being from North Park is more of an attitude rather than a location. It’s more of a lifestyle rather than a location. It’s part of your identity. In 2017, the Times of San Diego ran that, “Two popular internet sites ranked San Diego’s North Park neighborhood as the third hottest hipster neighborhood in America because of its indie businesses and strong housing market.” The days of transition brought us Ray at Night, the San Diego Indie Music Festival World Cup soccer on a big screen in the middle of the street, and at the former Wolf’s, you can hear the cheers of soccer fans echoing out of Bluefoot. The North Park farmers market is growing, and The Observatory is the next incarnation of the North Park Theatre. The venue draws amazing live music acts, Morrissey, The Cure, and … it also hosts the Gay Film Festival. Scolari’s Office is an old dive bar that became The Office with live music. Claire de Lune was an early onset hip coffee place that served local North Parkers and gay youth late into the night with hot baristas (my best friend married one). Claire bought the building, which is the old Masonic Temple and is currently an amazing events venue — think wedding receptions, charity events and quinceañeras and (I hope I’m not blowing the cover) is soon opening a basement speakeasy live-music venue. Early settlers, ex-pats from Hillcrest lament the “good old days.” A resident and hairdresser said, “There’s too much drinking and throwing up, and crime, and people crossing the street where

Top to Bottom North Park sign (Photo by By Visitor7 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, ) A sign at the Redwing Bar and Grill promoting the diversity of its clients. RUFSKIN, an entrepreneurial clothing store for men has its roots and only storefront in North Park. (Photos by Tootie)

they aren’t supposed to, parking in the neighborhoods and late-night drunks trying to find their cars.” The Redwing is a North Park community unto itself, not just a bar or a watering hole but a community of gay, straight and bi homo-flexible residents. The Redwing residents are regulars daily and by night, they welcome in customers from all walks. Look no further than the amazing turnaround of the Lafayette Hotel on The Boulevard. A glorious getaway in the ’40s and ’50s for Hollywood types, it took a downturn in the ’80s and ’90s only to be revived as the jewel of North Park and The Boulevard and a popular Sunday afternoon, all-swim pool party destination with a pool that Johnny Weissmuller designed 70 years ago. Gorgeous people and an eclectic mix meet to get soakin’ wet. The Lafayette earned a spot in National Geographic’s 20 best places to visit and stay in the country for 2016. The sign at the entrance says it all. And so does owner Sarah Critchlow, who bought The Redwing Bar & Grill from the Liptons in 2006, with a dream of opening a men’s bar. Sarah grew up as a bartender in the clubs of Hillcrest where the party raged on till 2 a.m. She said, “Tootie, I loved the way gay men partied.” I know Sarah from The Flame, which hosted Hillcrest’s Tuesday night go-to gay event. The party was fun, and everyone was out. To Sarah’s pleasure, The Redwing became home to countless charity events

always supporting the community, and a group of irregular regulars. The Redwing has been the location that folks will recount as being like home in years to come with proposals happening there and even a wedding. Love overflows at The Redwing. Recently, Sarah married her long-time love, a retired police officer. Her daughter, who is a chef in Northern California, recently joined the efforts in launching a menu and the kitchen at The Redwing. Let me tell you: kitchens are drama. But all I’ve heard is raves on the menu. Sarah is delighted that she has employed some of the same employees who have worked there for 17 years, who run it like it’s their business. Friendships have grown out of employee-customer relationships. Many a drag queen have fallen off of those bar stools and landed on some straight guy’s lap. Even the hours are built with family in mind: Sunday through Thursday, The Redwing closes at 1 a.m. so everyone can get home safely and at a decent hour. PlayBall! Community also takes the form of team sports. Visit gayvarsityleague. com/san-diego where you can hook up with others who share the same idea of fun, sweat, balls, and camaraderie. We caught up with Jeremy from the Gay for Play Kickball Team, yes … a kickball team that practices and plays at Morley Field. For many of us, any organized sport meant heartaches and rejection, but a team like this loves all comers. Jeremy got involved years

some attention. Jeremy responded, “All day, one [guy] recently asked me how much, then he said, ‘I’ve got two dollars,’ I told him, ‘You can’t afford me, sweetheart, however I can refer you over to the donkey — you’ll know who he is when you see him.’” It has got to be tough, but there’s always the option of running Grindr or Scruff while at a game. Seems like fair play to see who’s who in the competition. Are there cheerleaders? Where do I apply? Are there spectators? Are there groupies? Jeremy, who is a handyman/kitcheninstallation specialist serving North Park, doesn’t notice. Typical North Park attitude. It’s the land of hipsters, beer and flexible sexuality. Thank God! He says he knows some romance has started on the field, and that’s a reason for joining up and taking one for the team. If you’re interested, visit There they will have information about kickball, dodgeball, bowling, volleyball, and flag football for those who like to play extra grab-ass. At the beginning of every season, the league has an open play where you can go play for free, get a feel, and talk to their teams. You can sign up as a free agent or sign on with a team if they have room. If you’d like to be a fly on the wall and see the entire interview with Gay for Play kickballer Jeremy, visit our online site and enjoy.

Read Tootie’s interview with Jeremy from the Gay for play kickball team online.


oct 25-Nov 7, 2019 volume 1 issue 2


Quickie restaurant estaurant reviews! eviews!

Capricho...fabulous Mexican cuisine! Checking out a restaurant at 540 University Ave. in Hillcrest is like rolling the dice at Vegas because this location has been cursed for years, with all its previous restaurants having been a hot mess. But definitely not this time … because every time I go there, it’s like I hit the jackpot for Mexican food, as its authentic Mexican family recipes are some of the best I have ever tasted. Don’t walk to Capricho — run before everyone discovers it. Watermelon salad

Quickie Review: Food: The Best! location: In the heart of Hillcrest. service: Good but slow at times. Atmosphere: Fabulous. staff: Wonderful people. Parking: Difficult at times but worth it! Fun Fact: Blue tomatoes… my new favorite. Prices: Medium. most Popular item: Their chicken mole. You will think you died and went to heaven. drinks: Full liquor bar...but I love their fresh watermelon drink. cleanliness: Superior! Recommendations: Watermelon salad and chicken mole enchiladas. executive chef: The one and only Señor Carlos Dorantes 540 university Ave. Hours: Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. monday-sunday! 8 a.m.-9 p.m.: monday-thursday 8 a.m.-midnight: Friday-saturday No reservations (for now)


ThE NiCky AWArds rds Nominations are now open for what has been dubbed as the “Gay Academy Awards.” Nomination deadline is midnight on Oct. 31. The 44th Annual Nicky Awards celebration will be held on Dec. 8 ath the Courtyard Marriott Liberty Station. Vote for you favorite’s in the community!

VoluNTEErs ANd doNATioNs NEEdEd The annual Scott Carlson Thanksgiving Dinner is on Nov. 28. The event will feed an estimated 400 people this year as well as gather food that is taken to the Hillcrest Fire Station, UCSD Hospital and the North Park Senior Apartments. To volunteer or to make donations, contact Robert Rodriguez at 619-817-9926 or Steven Blocker at 619-921-3775.


iNdiE horror: orror: ‘kNifE + hEArT’ Runs through Oct. 31 at Digital Gym Cinema. In this queer, neon-tinged throwback to giallo horror “Knife + Heart”, Anne (Vanessa Paradis), a third-rate gay porn producer, navigates a tumultuous break-up while the cast of her most ambitious skin flick is picked off one by one by a sadistic murderer. Music by M83. $7.50-$11. 2921 El Cajon Blvd.

27 25

ThE PiNk GAlA Get ready to paint the town pink! Hosted by Stepping Stone San Diego, Living Out Loud is back at The San Diego Natural History Museum for the second year. Start the night with hors d’oeuvres, entertainment and cash bar while you enjoy the museum exhibits and bid on exciting silent auction items. There will be a delicious catered dinner and a VIP rooftop post-party. Special performance by Nina West, from season 11 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” $135-$250. Table price available. 5:30-9:30 p.m. 1788 El Prado.


hAlloWEEN AT ThE sTATioN Liberty Station invites the community to join for a free, family-friendly Halloween celebration. All ages are encouraged to come decked out in their most elaborate costumes. The daytime festivities will include trick-or-treating throughout the district, live entertainment, a Hollywood car show, and other spooky surprises. Noon-4 p.m. North Promenade, 2848 Dewy Road.

G4G sAN diEGo Join Gay For Good San Diego as we once again partner with Dos Picos County Park and the San Diego County Department of Parks and Recreation for their annual Haunted Trail! Volunteers are needed to serve as scare actors and spirit guides on the trail. Dos Picos County Park, 7953 Dos Picos Park Road, Ramona. 4-9 p.m.


okToBErfEsT Join Missiongathering for a celebration of all things fall at its Oktoberfest celebration. Live music, bratwurst, sauerkraut, local beer ... as well as a haunted house for children, blackjack tables (non-monetary), and entertainment for the whole family, all are welcome. All proceeds go to benefit the fight to reopen The Irenic and our homeless outreach. Free. 3-7 p.m. 3090 Polk Ave.


hAlloWEEN kArAokE The Merrow, 1271 University Ave. 7:30 p.m. Hosted by Mike Schayer.

oct 25-Nov 7, 2019 volume 1 issue 2

oct 31

disCoo BloodBATh Get spooky with us for the official Halloween event at Kava Lounge. Full on black light costume party with haunted decorations, featuring Drum & Bass Edition with Organized Grime. Brought to you by Midnight Wave and Teleport Events. $10. 10 p.m. 2812 Kettner Blvd.

nov 1

PAlM sPriNGs PridE Nov. 1-3. A weekend packed full of parties, festivals and live music. Palm Springs Pride 2019 is not to be missed. This event is curated by the Palm Springs Pride organization. Visit our events listings for 2019 Palm Springs Pride at

nov 2

Miss GA GAy CAliforNiA AT lArGE CAlifor Please join for the Miss Gay California at Large 2019 being held at Rich’s San Diego. 5 p.m. $10. 1051 University Ave.




nov 5

TrANs/NoNBiNAry idENTiTiEs TrAiNiNG The transgender community is incredibly diverse. Some transgender people identify as male or female, an some identify as nonbinary, genderqueer, agender, or somewhere else outside the gender binary. This training will leave you with a greater level of understanding of transgender and nonbinary identities, as well as offer better competency with using gender-neutral pronouns. The San Diego LGBT Community Center, 3909 Centre St. 5:30-8 p.m.

nov 7

lGBT VETErANs WAll of hoNor The San Diego LGBT Community Center announced the 2019 inductees into the Benjamin F. Dillingham, III & Bridget Wilson LGBT Veterans Wall of Honor. The public is invited to join the community in honoring the inductees. The evening will include a brief program with celebration of military colors, the national anthem, recognition of inductees and remarks from those honorees in attendance. Light refreshments will be served. Free. 6-8 p.m. 3909 Centre St.a send calendar events to

Q Puzzle NOBOdy dOesN’t like sARAH GilBeRt AcROss 1 Family room piece 6 Actor Omar 10 Pious ejaculation 14 Pat Benatar’s “___ With Your Best Shot” 15 Voting group 16 Type of sci, in college 17 Old line for cockpit workers 18 Lorca’s room 19 Partner of Circumstance 20 Mother of Mark, played by Sarah Gilbert 23 Target of malice, per Lincoln 24 Org. for narcs 25 Meryl Streep’s “Out of ___” 29 Disney’s Iago and others 33 Start of a quote by Mark 36 “Cool” amount 37 Barrie’s Wendy, e.g. 38 Bit of grain for a stallion 39 Sappho’s B 40 Officer in the Navy (abbr.) 41 End of quote 45 Many a place near Aspen 47 Mishima and Ang Lee 48 Eligible for soc. sec. 49 Bear market order 51 How ABC described Mark before

he came out as gay 58 Mostel of “The Producers” 59 “From Here to Eternity” setting 60 “A Boy ___ Sue” 61 The I in IHOP (abbr.) 62 Bottom 63 C-3PO, for example 64 Irate, with “off” 65 One-armed bandit’s opening 66 Father of Chaz dOwN 1 Sound of getting banged? 2 You need one to go to Rio 3 Have top billing 4 “Casablanca” croupier 5 Stamp of “Priscilla” 6 “The Wizard of Oz” dropout Buddy 7 Put in position 8 Teri of “The Fosters” 9 Series with gay veep Cyrus Beene 10 Come out 11 Shakespeare’s Othello, e.g. 12 Shade trees 13 Tuck’s partner 21 Linguist Chomsky 22 Big name in soft balls 25 Media exec Roger 26 Meat cut

27 Portia de ___ 28 Nurses stick these in us 29 Antifur org. 30 Greek edition of Oprah’s magazine? 31 Tennessee tight end, e.g. 32 Does in 34 Eastern discipline 35 Mineo of movies 39 ASCAP alternative 41 Put out 42 They get attention in the shower 43 Chip’s cartoon buddy 44 Word after Virgin 46 Harvey, in “Torch Song Trilogy” 49 Bonehead 50 Shoot off some hot stuff 51 Drag queen ___ Pool 52 Art Deco name 53 Male actor named Julia 54 Starch source 55 “It’s showtime!” 56 Blood line 57 Cruising hazard 58 Blemish, in slang

solutions on page 17



oct 25-Nov 7, 2019 volume 1 issue 2


n Tuesday, Oct. 8, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments for a trio of cases that dealt with federal employment protections for LGBTQ+ employees. I flew to Washington D.C., and camped out for three nights and four days just to secure one of only 50 seats reserved for the public inside the nation’s highest tribunal. Two of the cases, Gerald Lynn Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, and Altitude Express, Inc., et al. v. Melissa Zarda, as Executor of Estate, were consolidated. Heard together, this raised the question if Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 offers protections for sexual orientation. A subset definition of sex, like sexual harassment is included as a subset definition of sex. The third case, R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, & Aimee Stephens raised the question whether gender identity or gender expression is a form of sex discrimination and therefore prohibited. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 bars discrimination on the basis of sex, but says nothing explicitly about sexual orientation or gender identity. As executive director of the Equality Business Alliance, I felt it was important that San Diego’s business community have a voice in national discussions and litigation that affects the LGBT business community. Not only in San Diego, but around the nation and the world. Since 2014, for far too long, San Diego’s business community has not had a voice in local, regional and national advocacy. In fact, since our launch in 2015, as a primarily tourism-focused organization, the role of the Equality Business Alliance evolved. It was necessary to fill the void and lack of services that the former Greater San Diego Business Association once offered. We shortened our name and rebranded. We now work to elevate the business community’s voices, here and with our regional partners. We’ve taken an active role to educate elected officials and key stakeholders about issues that impact our members and business community in general. And we will continue to do so. The Equality Business Alliance is here to stay and will continue advocating for inclusive policies and legislation at all levels of government. For that reason, while in D.C., I livestreamed accounts of the mood and energy in the nation’s Capitol to local and national media via FaceTime and Skype. My accounts, photos, and role as the head of a small but growing LGBTQ chamber of commerce made headlines in some of the nation’s biggest newspapers such as The New York Times, Washington Post, Washington Journal, Huffington Post, USA Today, The Hill, and Politico. Also, I made televised appearances on national news networks such as CNN, MSNBC, CBS and ABC, including many local stations in San Diego, and Los Angeles. Being in D.C., sleeping on

Top to Bottom Georgia LGBTQ activist Gerald Bostock addressing supporters on Tuesday, Oct. 8. Eddie Reynoso camped outside of The Supreme Court for three days to gain entrance to The Supreme Court’s deliberations concerning LGBTQ rights. (Photos by Eddie Reynoso)

eddie goes to washington By eddie Reynoso equality Business Alliance, executive director the steps of the Supreme Court in the cold and rain under the light of the moon, gave pause to hundreds of daily passersby, media and people from all walks of life from all over the world. Who would stop and ask why? That question is easy to answer, and it comes in two parts. First, it is the role of each of us to humanize the effects on our lives of legislation and how our neighbors vote. In 1978, Harvey Milk said, “Gay brothers and sisters, you must come out. Come out to your parents. I know that it is hard and will hurt them but think about how they will hurt you in the voting booth! Come out to your relatives. Come out to your friends, if indeed they are your friends. Come out to your neighbors, to your fellow workers, to the people who work where you eat and shop. Come out only to the people you know, and who know you, not to anyone else. But once and for all, break down the myths. Destroy the lies and distortions. For your sake. For their sake.” Second, if we are to be a voice, we as an organization should have filed an amicus brief to the court. But we

didn’t. No voice representing our region was raised. This is unacceptable for our organization and our community’s longstanding chambers and associations. Instead, I did the next best thing. With a final push from the nation’s largest LGBT organizations and our regional partners on the West Coast, and here in San Diego, our organization has worked to incorporate ourselves so that never again can such an important issue go without input from San Diego’s LGBT business community. A few

weeks later, I was on a flight to D.C., where I engaged our national partners on the front lines of the battle for equality, where we faced off against our adversaries. Here in San Diego, it seems we have forgotten about Proposition 8 and the lessons taught to us when votes were cast to deny us of our rights. Currently 21 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico have statutes passed by legislators that protect against both sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in employment in the public and private sector: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, and Washington. Two states, Michigan and Pennsylvania, acquired protections through executive orders, court rulings or binding decisions by their respective civil rights commissions. In addition, two other states, Indiana and Wisconsin,

prohibit discrimination on account of sexual orientation only. Gender identity was not addressed. But even with these advances, the rest of the nation remains without protection. Yes, we can get married on Sunday. And yes, some of us can still get fired on Monday — simply for being our true and authentic selves. In D.C., of the hundreds of daily conversations and dozens of interviews, only one couple reacted negatively when they learned I was there to defend and stand up for the rights of all LGBTQ/2S Americans. Every other individual or group I spoke with was shocked and surprised to learn that Americans could be fired on the basis of being LGBTQ. One couple in particular engaged me for over an hour. They were in D.C., from Michigan to celebrate and attend Eugene Scalia’s swearing-in ceremony as the United States secretary of labor. They peppered me with questions, and as it turns out, we agreed on the Second Amendment. And when it came to federal employment protections for LGBTQ Americans, they were flabbergasted and floored that the current administration was fighting against our cause. So much, they promised to raise the issue back home in Michigan upon their return. The next day, Tuesday, as I prepared to enter the court, they delivered my breakfast to me. It was them that cheered me on and waited at the bottom of the steps to ask me how the case went. That alone gives me great hope. But we need more than hope to change the minds of our neighbors and elected officials. We need action. Each one of us needs to stand up and speak up, even when an issue does not affect us directly. Indeed, as the great words have long inspired the oppressed: an injustice on one of us is an injustice on all of us. Right now, our LGBTQ siblings in 28 states can lose not just employment, but should we lose at the Supreme Court, we can also lose federal protections in health care, housing, education, finance and more. Make no mistake, this isn’t about employment. This is about a small but powerful group whose sole aim is to deny LGBTQ Americans the freedom and equality that is engrained in our Constitution. And with each opportunity they get to reach the highest court, their aim gets better and better. If we don’t keep standing up, we will lose. And it will set us back decades. It is the job of those of us who have achieved the next step up of freedom and equality, to reach our hands down to our siblings across the nation and lift them up with us. The more we speak up and show up, the more public opinion and perception is changed. It is that public perception and opinion that can best alter and nudge the slow and monolithic movements of the Supreme Court — bending that arc of equality more toward our favor.

CoMMunity voiCes

oct 25-Nov 7, 2019 volume 1 issue 2


Clockwise Pride banners being carried in the 1990 Pride parade Front-runners in an early Pride parade. Show Doug Moore (at far right) carrying the banner for the Lesbian and Gay Historical Society (now Lambda Archives) in a Pride parade (Photos by Lambda Archives)

out ut o oF tHe arCHives dana wiegand —Lambda Archives, a 501(c)(3) dedicated to collecting, preserving and teaching the history of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in San Diego and the Northern Baja California region, is located at 4545 Park Blvd., in University Heights. To learn more, stop in or visit their website at

took to not only get Pride institutionalized in San Diego, but to bring Pride to a national and international level — it also holds a great deal of sentiment thanks to all of the physical items. Every single item in this collection

represents the overwhelming dedication and the pure devotion that Moore had for preserving this major part of LGBT history. After all, Pride is a celebration of our identity, of our community, and of all that we and the


valiant trailblazers before us have accomplished — so it is an honor that this collection has beared witness to and continues to represent the fight, the passion, and the courage of what it means to have Pride.


pride festival november 1-3 pride parade november 3












































tchotchke that he could get his hands on, effectively preserving the history of Pride celebrations around the world. The Doug Moore Pride Collection housed at Lambda Archives contains incredibly valuable pieces of Pride’s history, including early San Diego Pride banners and beautifully mounted button displays to boxes of collectables and documentation on Prides around the globe. If there was anything related to Pride, Moore saved it. In doing so, he preserved a majority of Pride’s history and by donating these materials to the early incarnation of Lambda Archives, he has enabled LGBTQ peoples and researchers from around the world to experience that history. While the vast documentation on the history of Pride allows those interested to learn exactly how and when major turning points occurred, it is the physical items in the collection that allow whoever accesses them to experience that part of our history. Buttons proudly displaying the occurrence of a city’s very first Pride celebration or boldly exclaiming that this community was “United for Our Rights,” bring back memories of our community’s drive and fight to exist as we are. The collection of Pride theme banners that were carried during San Diego Pride parades commemorating Pride themes from 1975 through 2004, proclaim slogans echoed at Prides nationwide such as “Proud, Diversified, United” (1982) and “Forward Together” (1986) allow us to gain insight into what was the most important feeling or sentiment to be celebrated in full at that year’s festivities. Moore’s Pride Collection is one of the most comprehensive and thorough collections Lambda Archives houses. Not only does it have extensive documentation into what it


After moving to San Diego in 1972 and coming out in 1974, Moore was brought to a planning meeting for the first permitted Pride parade — held at The Center’s first location on B Street — by Howard Williams of the Oceanside Metropolitan Community Church. It was there that he witnessed Nicole Murray Ramirez speaking with inspirational flair to those who had gathered in front of the house. Moore attended the 1975 Pride Parade, but according to the Center’s Wall of Honor, Moore kept a low profile at the event, sticking to the side streets and peeking out from behind trees to watch the parade for fear of being recognized. But by the next year, Moore was marching in the parade himself and soon after became a prominent organizer, founding Lambda Pride in September 1980, beginning a long and dedicated career of Pride organization. But Moore’s involvement with Pride not only reached across the United States, but across the world. Thanks to Moore, San Diego has the honor of being one of the founding cities for some of the most prominent LGBT Pride organizations such as InterPride. Moore and other LGBTQ activists from New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, and San Francisco worked together to found the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Pride in 1983, which would later become InterPride or the International Association of Lesbian and Gay Pride Coordinators (IALGPC). It was during his increasing involvement with organizations like San Diego Pride, InterPride and the California Association of Pride, Inc. (also known as CAPI), that Moore developed his collection of all things Pride. Moore began saving every button, T-shirt, poster, Pride guide, and Pride-related

doug Moore, a pioneer in san diego’s lGBtQ history


When thinking about the history of Pride in San Diego and its establishment as an institution, one thinks of all the LGBTQ pioneers that made it possible for us to celebrate our identity proudly and publicly. We may think of those who bravely walked in unpermitted marches, the gay-ins at Balboa Park in the early 1970s, and of those who organized the very first permitted San Diego Pride Parade in 1975. Though all of those pioneers made their mark on San Diego’s LGBTQ history, when it comes to Pride, Doug Moore is considered one of the most influential.


THAT ‘80S BAND | HAPPYFORYOU | DJ PETER BARONA | DJ KIDD MADONNY | LUCY WHITTAKER AUTUMN LEILANI | DJ JEFFREE RAY RHODES | PAUL COWLING | JOSH ZUCKERMAN | KEISHA D Tara Macri | Ted Fox w/Joe Musser & The Roadhouse Rebels | Jessica Inserra | Probe 7 | DJ Eric Ornelas | DJ Galaxy | Ryan Sky | DJ Vaughn Avakian | DJ Drew G DJ Aaron C | DJ Addict Risqué | Now Serving The Chilldren | Modern Men | Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus | A Cabbello | Siobhan Velarde | Arenas Fashion Show Miss Bea Haven | DJ Austin Del Rio | Michael mAr | Krystofer Do | James Sings...Olivia | Cat Lyn Day as Marilyn | Z LA LA | Kendra Dahl Sax-Playing Drag Queen Madyx | Ayline Artin | MARY | Isabelle | Steven Fales | Torrey Mercer Emcees Bella da Ball & Alexander Rodriquez | Anita Rose & Company | Anita Treadmill & Divas On The Dance Floor | Erica September Carrington | Ms. Bea Haven | Iowna Mann | Lilly White Pink Lemonade | Samantha Montgomery | Candace Camera | Charles Herrera | Cher-Javier | Dan Westfall | Desert Rose Playhouse | Eve Holmes | Jason Hull | JB | Jesse Jones | Johnny Gentleman Lola Showgirl & Team Lola | Marina Mac | Maxx Decco Patsi | Phillip Moore | Randell McGlasson | Robbie Wayne | Sadie Ladie | Steven Michael Dance Machine | The Mod Squad Variety Francesca Amari | Jeff Stewart | Wayne Abravanel | Tommie Douglas | Tommy Dodson | Tony Romano | Willie Rene | Brian Scott | Dammit Jim | Luka




CoMMunity voiCes

oct 25-Nov 7, 2019 volume 1 issue 2

People of color need an opportunity, not a handout

BlaCK lives darnelle williams —Darnelle Williams is a business professional who has worked in the insurance industry for more than 23 years. Presently, he is a supervisor and certified arbitrator. Darnelle is also an entertainer and appeared on “America’s Got Talent” season two, and worked weekly for the La Jolla Comedy Store’s “Best of San Diego.” He’s a duel title-holder for the Imperial Court de San Diego and is a member of the LGBTQ Black Coalition. Darnelle can be reached at

Image from


’m an overweight, black, gay, professional, formally homeless youth, former addict, married man that is a proud descendant of slaves. I have a liberal/conservative, and oftentimes, libertarianleaning view on life and believe we are at our best when people in positions of power move out of our way. I value freedom and thoughtful opinion. People living on the streets has become an epidemic in our city and our state. I have grown to consider my time living and surviving as a homeless person a blessing that I wouldn’t wish upon anyone. I remember being bathed in gas station bathrooms in the dark before school. I remember my mom begging to get me into free lunch programs.

I remember the cold nights with not enough blankets. And I remember the times when there was just enough money to get a cheap hotel room for a few hours and my mom would plead for a little more time because I hated having to check out and go back to the streets. Not having an address is a sobering and humbling situation that has made me appreciate everything. In hindsight, I know what we needed, and it wasn’t a dollar or two — we needed an opportunity, we needed someone to give us a chance. With this platform, we have a seat at the table. What are your thoughts on the increasing number of Americans on the streets? I want to hear from you, I want to hear your black voices.


MICHAEL KIMMEL Psychotherapist Author of "Life Beyond Therapy" in Gay San Diego 5100 Marlborough Drive San Diego CA 92116 (619)955-3311

news / Business & serviCes

oct 25-Nov 7, 2019 volume 1 issue 2

Business & serviCes

Top to Bottom (l to r) 2019 Community Wall of Honor inductees Conner Maddocks, Venice “Lady Pepper” Price Brooks, Andrea Villa, Julia Legaspi, Maureen Steiner, Teresa Oyos, Tracie Jada O’Brien, and Chris Shaw and Doug Snyder Community Wall of Honor inductee Tracie O’Brien (left) with her sister, reading the names of 21 trans women of color killed this year. (Photos Big Mike Phillips)

History Present, History Past

Local activists inducted into the Community Wall of Honor attorney

By Albert H. Fulcher


edicated to honoring local LGBTQ torchbearers and allies, The Community Wall of Honor at the San Diego LGBT Community Center is one of the only dedicated walls in the nation. On Oct. 17, community leaders gathered with a full house to honor this year’s eight inductees. 2019 San Diego LGBT Community Wall of Honor inductees include community activists Tracie Jada O’Brien, Venice “Lady Pepper” Price Brooks, Connor Maddocks, Andrea Villa, Julia Legaspi, Teresa Oyos, and business leaders Chris Shaw, Doug Snyder and Maureen Steiner. The Center’s CEO Cara Dessert said she saw the wall in her early 20s and although she did not know any of the inductees, she was deeply inspired by looking at the photos and reading their history. “At that moment in time, I understood that there was a generation that came before me that has and still is fighting for this community, working to make it better for the next generation,” Dessert said. “That experience made me feel less alone and it gave me a deep sense of hope for all of our futures. This month is LGBT History Month and I can’t think of a better time to honor these living legends.” Assembly member Todd Gloria said that the honorees are people that helped the community to be able to gather together in a safe place. Speaking for all of the LGBTQ elected officials in this region, Gloria said that they would not have the opportunity to serve without the people being honored that evening and the many people honored in the past. “The fact is, because we are often told we are courageous in the way we are standing out there in public office,” Gloria said, “none of us would have the courage if it wasn’t for so many other people who have knocked down doors, shattered glass ceilings and made it possible, not only in politics, but in business, social services, civil rights and other forms of activism. Our individual successes are our collective successes. We are a community, we are family.” Gloria said that Nicole Murray Ramirez, founder of the wall, was instrumental in remembering that we cannot work toward the future without remembering the his-

tory of the people that allowed a platform. Ramirez said that many of the honorees came from an environment of police harassment, laws against homosexuality, job discrimination and the many fights still before us — starting with the Stonewall riots and building a foundation of activism that is still creating a difference today. “Tonight’s honorees truly reflect our rainbow flag in all of its beauty,” Ramirez said. “Tonight’s honorees include individuals who were activists and leaders in the early 1970s. Let us never forget that it wasn’t until 1976 that homosexuality was made legal in California. Today, these are still challenging times for our great nation, for the people of color in our communities, for women and our LGBTQ community. While this administration is trying to erase our trans brothers and sisters, we here in San Diego are proudly honor-

ing four transgender San Diegans who we felt belonged on this wall. We are sending a message that an attack on one of our brothers and sisters is indeed an attack on all of us.” Local activist Bridgit Wilson, a former inductee to the Wall of Honor, said the honorees were a long list of “worker bees.” “[This list] are people that kept their heads down and continued the work of our movement,” Wilson said. “You have people that have served on boards, people that raised money to keep our institutions open, and people that moved quietly to help each other.” Maureen Steiner said that she has only been able to serve the community in her many capacities

because of the community that surrounds her. Community activist Julia Legaspi said that it was an honor to be in the company of such an amazing group of people that have dedicated their lives to the LGBTQ community and dedicated the honor to all of her transgender brothers and sisters. “Although the transgender community has gained visibility, there is still a long way to go,” Legaspi said. “We must continue to fight for equality. We want acceptance and understanding for the transgender people that are part of this community. For if not, we will be invisible again.” Community activist Conner Maddocks said that the work that this class (2019 honorees) did is amazing. “It is only going to get so much better having you in our community,” Maddocks said. He added that his work in the trans community since he came to San Diego has been a “work of passion” and that he has never felt so much a part of a community before. Honoree Tracie Jada O’Brien, along with her sister, read the names of the trans women of color that have been killed this year. “This is 21 too many,” she said. “We stand here as two lovely blessed trans women,” O’Brien said. “We must speak out about trans women who are being murdered every day. The trans community needs your assistance. We’ve been here since the beginning and it is time for us to move from the back of the bus to the front of the bus.” Activist Venice “Lady Pepper” Price Brooks said that though she is honored with this recognition, but she said that she is not done with her work in the community, alongside current and past honorees. “With the help of God, we are going to win this fight,” she said. Community activist Andrea Villa said she was honored, but that the community and she are standing on the shoulders of those honored before. “Anything that I have ever done is because of the people that I have seen do it before me,” Villa said. “And more importantly, when someone asked me to do something, I said ‘yes.’ One does the work that is set before you. So when someone asks, just say ‘yes.’”

CoMPuter/it suPPort

Puzzle solution NOBOdy dOesN’t like sARAH GilBeRt from page 13




oct ct 25-Nov 7, 2019 volume 1 issue 2

Halloween HaVana nIgHtS paRty at #1 fIftH aVenue

Saturday, oCt. 26 eventS:

Halloween MaSSIVe at RIcH’S

There’s always something fun going on at #1 Fifth Avenue, especially the popular monthly Havana Nights event. This month, not only will you get to dance to the sounds of Manny Cepedra and his orchestra, there will be a costume contest at midnight with cash prizes! More info here:

The biggest costume contest in the area will be at Rich’s San Diego’s Halloween MASSIVE party. Rich’s goes all out for Halloween with a massive indoor/outdoor party, three dance floors, live entertainment, headlining DJs, and after-hours until 4 am! The contest begins at midnight, with a $2,500 prize! More info here: http://bit. ly/2MC78lL.

nIgHtMaRe on noRMal StReet eet

Nightmare on Normal Street is a huge neighborhood block party under the Hillcrest Pride Flag, featuring food, drinks, music and dancing, entertainment, and more! The huge costume contest begins at 9 p.m., with a $2,000 shopping spree prize package! The event benefits the San Diego LGBT Community Center and the community beautification projects of the Hillcrest Business Association. More info here:

Halloween coStuMe conteSt at flIckS

Make Money off your Fabulous halloween Costume

and enjoy the party By Benny Cartwright

Spooky pRe-Halloween BaSH & coStuMe conteSt at uptown taVeRn

Uptown Tavern will host a fun and “spooky” preHalloween Bash & Costume Contest! Participants will compete for a $1,000 cash prize going to first place, $250 cash for the runner up, and a $100 Uptown Tavern gift card for third place. The party goes from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. More info here:

While Halloween falls on Thursday, Oct. 31, the big celebrations in Hillcrest and surrounding areas typically take place this weekend. Many of Hillcrest’s bars, nightclubs, and diners will host Halloween parties and costume competitions, with the main event being the Nightmare on Normal Street Block Party on Saturday, Oct. 26, at the Hillcrest Pride Flag. I’ve compiled some of the biggest Halloween costume contests happening around the neighborhood (and some beyond!) so that you can show off your costume or just go to gawk at all of the amazing costumes that our community comes up with!

images by freepik

Halloween coStuMe conteSt afteR nIgHtMaRe on noRMal StReet at uRBan Mo’S

Maybe you didn’t fare so well in the costume contest at Nightmare on Normal Street and want to try again in another competition? Urban MO’s has got your back! They’ll be hosting a costume contest at 11 p.m., with signups beginning at 10 p.m. Participants have the chance at getting their hands on $700 in cash and prizes if they’re successful! More info here:

Flicks is definitely a Saturday night hotspot and is sure to be packed with all kinds of great costumed revelers on Halloween Saturday. DJ Will Z will provide the great tunes, and there will be a costume contest featuring $250 to the first-prize winner, $100 to second place, and $50 to third place. More info here:

HIllc HIllcReSt’S 1St coStuMe conteSt at Baja Betty’S

Right across the street the Nightmare on Normal Street festivities, sits Baja Betty’s, which will host “Hillcrest’s 1st Costume Contest” just before the contest across the street — and this contest is high tech! Participants will get their photos taken between 7-9 p.m. at Baja Betty’s, with online voting happening for the following five days, and the winners announced on Thursday, Oct. 31. There will be more than $1,000 in cash and prizes handed out to the winner(s). Visit for more information.

SaBadoS en fuego coStuMe conteSt at tHe RaIl

Saturday nights are always packed at The Rail for the popular Sabados en Fuego Latin night, and it will definitely be another place to be Saturday night! Along with the usual dancing, drinks, and great music, there will be a costume contest with cash and prizes. More information is available here:

While this list is not conclusive, it gives a good sampling of the many options the community has to celebrate Halloween Saturday … and once this weekend comes and goes, Halloween hasn’t even happened yet! Most local bars and nightclubs will again celebrate Halloween on the holiday, Oct. 31 — giving you the opportunity to show off your costume again or have a second one. Wherever and however you choose to celebrate, please be safe, and most importantly, have fun! Happy Halloween!


nortH County/ soutH Bay

oct 25-Nov 7, 2019 volume 1 issue 2


NORtH cOuNty

Faith, Hope and Brunch The first gala raised needed funds for Fraternity House, Inc

Clockwise Babette Schwartz emceed the Fraternity House’s inaugural ‘Faith, Hope and Brunch” entertainment filled fundraiser at Martinis Above Fourth on Oct. 12.

Albert H. Fulcher

Shaun Tuazon performing “This Beautiful City.” Taylor Henderson (Photos by Big Mike Phillips)


eld at Martinis Above Fourth | Table + Stage on Oct. 12, the first “Faith, Hope and Brunch” gala raised needed funds for Fraternity House, Inc. and its programs. With a silent auction, a personalized brunch menu and unlimited mimosas and bloody marys, the crowd was treated to local San Diego talent, all who delivered phenomenal performances in celebration of 31 years of Fraternity House. Mistress of Ceremonies Babette Schwartz, an official San Diego drag queen legend, kept

the crowd entertained and in check as people were given one performance after another. Shaun Tuazon, a well-known talent in local theater, sang “This Beautiful City” from Diversionary Theatre’s musical of the same name. Janice Edwards and Nathan Fry took everyone to church with a jazzy rendition of “This Little Light of Mine.” Top Shelf Brass stepped in and out with a display of brass play that took you back to good ol’ New Orleans. Aaron Mellon, who resides at Fraternity House’s

Michaelle House in Vista shared an original. Rounding the morning out were some extraordinary performances by Taylor Henderson and Eboni Muse. Together, they performed a beautiful and powerful rendition of the acclaimed “Seasons of Love” from “Rent.” Fraternity House, founded in 1998, provides a caring, supportive home to people with AIDS. It is responsible for San Diego County’s only two residential care facilities for the chronically ill, with rehabilitative support services and

transitional living apartments — Fraternity House in the Elfin Forest is home to eight men and Michaelle House in Vista houses 10 men and women. Its homes provide 24-hour care, activities, diet, medical case management, transportation, counseling, and other in-house and referral services to get their clients at their highest level of independence. In the mid 1980s, an Oceanside man named Ray Bierle opened his home to care for homeless and chronically ill individuals affected by the

AIDS virus. He saw a need as many people infected were evicted from their homes and turned away by family friends due to the fear that the AIDS crisis fueled. When his neighbors questioned why so many people lived in the house, his answer was, “Tell them it’s a fraternity house.” Fraternity House, Inc. was born.

For more information about Fraternity House, its services and opportunities, visit

sOutH BAy (l to r) San Ysidro Health Program Coordinator Marcos Sigala and Jacmine Arias, program supervisor of Outreaching Testing for HIV

Free Health service for national latinx aids awareness day Albert H. Fulcher


n celebration of the annual National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day on Oct. 15, San Ysidro Health held a free community health fair in San Ysidro on Oct. 17. Part of the parking lot on the 400 block of San Ysidro Boulevard transformed into a health clinic with the use of its mobile unit, and community partners joined in with the different services that they offer Latino and African American communities.

The last data from the Centers of Disease Control showed that at the end of 2016, 231,838 Hispanics/Latinos were living with HIV in the U.S. and dependent areas. At the end of 2017, 32.8% of people living with HIV were Hispanic/Latinos. Jacmine Arias, program supervisor of Outreaching Testing for HIV, San Ysidro Health, said that the fair was possible thanks to the different services provided by San Ysidro Health and other community partners. “Today we are doing free screenings for HIV, hepatitis C, blood glucose sugar,” Arias said. “We are being disproportionately affected, both African American and Latino populations. They are way above their presentation of the general community. A lot of people don’t think to actually ask a doctor to get tested because it’s something that they don’t do.” Arias said people should all get tested at least once in their lifetime, and fair events like this are one of the ways they are reaching out to the local community. She said the San Ysidro Health Clinic offers free HIV

testing. They take its mobile site to different places without creating a fair throughout the year. The clinic offers testing Monday through Wednesday and Friday. “It’s free,” Arias said. “You don’t have to be a client of the clinic. No need to register. It’s confidential. We can help if an HIV test is positive. We do linkage to care, medical case management and all the clinical needs. We also can refer to other programs they might need, housing, transportation… Even if they don’t qualify for any insurance, we can help get them access to care.” National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day is also intended to create awareness around the impact of stigma, discrimination, homophobia and transphobia in communities.Partners in the fair included The South Bay Youth Center, Western Dental & Orthodontics, Southern Caregiver Resource Center, Blue Shield California, Susan G. Komen San Diego, and Casa Familiar. For more information about san Ysidro Health and its programs, visit


oct 25-Nov 7, 2019 volume 1 issue 2

out & aBout

Joe’s 80th Birthday Bash!

Community members joined Joe Letzkus in celebrating his 80th birthday at a special reception at Flicks on Oct. 19. Letzkus was the owner of Flicks from 1994-2006. In lieu of presents, Letzkus asked for donations to go towards Assembly member Todd Gloria’s run for mayor. A buffet was provided by Baja Betty’s and his guest list included Gloria, the Mayor of Hillcrest Nicole Murray Ramirez and other honored guests and friends.

wall on Honor 2019

Eight trailblazers of the San Diego LGBT community and allies were inducted into The Community Wall of Honor at The San Diego LGBT Community Center on Oct. 27. Founded in 2004 by Nicole Murray Ramirez, the Imperial Court de San Diego and The Center, the Wall of honor is a recognition of the significant affirmative influence in the San Diego County LGBT community. (Photos by Big Mike Phillips)

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LGBTQ San Diego County News, Volume 1, Issue 2, Oct. 25-Nov. 7, 2019  

LGBTQ San Diego County News, Volume 1, Issue 2, Oct. 25-Nov. 7,2019

LGBTQ San Diego County News, Volume 1, Issue 2, Oct. 25-Nov. 7, 2019  

LGBTQ San Diego County News, Volume 1, Issue 2, Oct. 25-Nov. 7,2019

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