Letters to the Editor, April 28Editorial Thursday, April 28th, 2011
Response to ‘hatchet job’
I have been traveling around southern Mexico the last few weeks and the first thing friends handed me when I returned was a column by Nicole Murray Ramirez in the March edition of the LGBT Weekly.
I would like an opportunity to respond to the hatchet job done on my character and the outright distortions which permeated this article. Now, as a journalist (I am a member of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalist Association and Reporters Without Borders) I know that gossip columns need to be a little colorful and racy, so calling me “whacky” is OK. In fact, if you had seen me in my “Hollywood days” that would have been an understatement. I did work for the leather magazine, Drummer, but never “whacked” hard.
Nicole says I “like to run for office” but “no one votes for him.” The truth is I won the only election I ever ran in – for the City Heights Area Planning Committee in 2002. In 2008, I merely took out exploratory papers but never ran for any office.
He accuses me of making up a story about his personal life on a blog, while the truth is Nicole and I are homeboys from the same town – Riverside, California – and in my book, “San Diego: 1st City of Empire,” which was excerpted on several blogs, I report on incidents I saw firsthand (like the time I did a “citizen’s arrest” of Nicole and his then lover Michael Murray) and other incidents which were told to me by members of Nicole’s own family.
Nicole also says in the column, “Rocky has stated he will find a candidate to run against our very own Councilman Todd Gloria,” which is absolute fabrication. I have the highest respect and admiration for Todd, who I know personally. Now, the San Diego Renters Union, of which I am Director, was at one time looking to find candidates for all the City Council seats, but have concentrated on backing me for Mayor of San Diego. They have raised $30,000 for that effort so far and we have a ways to go yet.
I am proud of my membership in the LGBT community and have done my “hard-knocks” for the movement; having “come out” in 1969, I have been arrested twice for my human rights efforts. First, in 1972 I was imprisoned by the Fascist dictator Antonio de Oliviera Salazar for helping gay Portuguese soldiers and sailors escape the country to avoid involvement in the colonial wars in Angola and Mozambique and, in 1976, I was arrested at a fundraising effort for the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, dubbed the “Mark Forty” (Google the Mark IV Bath House Raid). Interviewed many times, including Newsweek magazine, featured in the book, The Sexual Outlaw: A Documentary, by LGBT author John Rechy, I was proclaimed “the Prince” of the 1976 Los Angeles Pride Parade and marched the route in chains.
Coincidentally with this year’s Pride theme of “Pride Around the World,” I live bi-nationally. On weekends I am with my lover, a Mexican national without a passport at our home near Rosarito Beach. Fittingly, I was born on Oct. 11, the official LGBT “Coming Out Day.” So, Nicole can call me “whacky Rocky” with my permission, it kind of rhymes, don’t you think?
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