Look out! Here comes 2012Conversations with the Mayor of Hillcrest Thursday, January 5th, 2012
Commentary: Conversations with Nicole
Once again, a big thank you to everyone who gave to our community’s holiday food, grocery vouchers, toys and clothes drives. Your generosity and caring made our work projects much more successful.
Going to Church on New Year’s Day
Many of us in our GLBT community are spiritual. I have many Christian and Jewish friends. On New Year’s Day I went to an early morning Mass at Saint Joseph’s cathedral (actually the first church I went to when I arrived in San Diego in the early 1970s.) I went with one of my closest friends, and I hadn’t been to this cathedral for many years as I’ve gone to other churches.
The Catholic Mass was actually beautiful and when “Ave Maria” was sung in Latin it brought back many memories as a young alter boy who actually dreamed about being a priest … OK! Actually being a cardinal or the pope!
Yes, I am a lifelong Catholic and though I believe that the Church has left many of us … I have not left the Church. My God is a loving God who accepts us ALL as his children. I prayed for my friends, family and especially those going through bad times. And yes, I also prayed for those who I have differences with. I prayed for our community and thought of the many friends that I have lost because of AIDS, cancer, suicide etc. I am blessed with two families – my Ramirez one and my GLBT family, friends and allies. I wish you all a healthy and happy 2012.
Landlords and employers are looking at your Facebook
Sometimes people put too much personal information and pictures on their Facebook pages. I’ve had friends tell me they know they didn’t get rented to or employed because, after submitting their applications, they found out that their possible future employer or landlord had checked out their Facebook or Googled them and made some false judgments on them and their lifestyles because of some of their Facebook postings or crazy pictures! My life has always been an open book for decades. A word to the wise – think carefully what statements you post, pictures you display or how much personal information you put out there as there are more eyes looking at your Facebook than you think.
A hate crime against one is a hate crime against all of us
This was in a speech I gave at an anti-hate crime rally that took place after some young gay men, and one who was perceived to be gay, were beaten after our Pride parade in Balboa Park, close to our Pride festival. The attackers were soon caught and were young homophobic men, some associated to gangs.
Recently, in University Heights a Christian church was subject to two hate crimes as someone has tried to burn the church down. A “666” (the mark of the devil) was even left on the wall. I don’t care that this church does not support gay marriage or our civil rights. All churches and temples should feel safe, and all Americans should be free to worship in peace. I talked to our City Councilman Todd Gloria who, along with the police department, has made this hate crime a priority. When I talked with Todd, we talked about the special Hate Crimes Fund established at Crime Stoppers and that it should help up the reward money already offered.
Working with Ms. Sally Cox, the executive director, I, as chairman of the city’s Human Relations Commission, established this special fund. Actually, you did, as this Hate Crimes Fund was established and funded by our community and GLBT bars and businesses after I called for contributions. Using it now is the right thing to do.
Being interviewed by high school students
Gov. Jerry Brown’s signing of Sen. Mark Leno’s bill letting “gay history” be taught in California public schools has already begun to have its effect. Recently, a 17-year-old gay student and a 16-year-old straight student who were filming a documentary about gay rights in America interviewed me. I discussed our struggle for full civil rights since the 1960s and ’70s and I believe two other GLBT activists were also interviewed and filmed. Out of 18 documentaries only three were chosen to be featured on the main stage. Congratulations to Mr. Albretsen and Mr. Gloster for their film being chosen at their high school.
Big Mike’s birthday bash: Jan. 15
Almost every year popular community activist Big Mike Phillips has a birthday party that has raised tens of thousands of dollars for many nonprofit organizations. This year it’s Sunday Jan. 15 at the award-winning Caliph from 4-7 p.m.
This year’s birthday bash will benefit ANoteToMyKid.com so give what you can at the door or send a donation (info: 619-807-7324 or 619-692-1967).
Among the hosts are state Assemblywoman Toni Atkins, County Supervisor Ron Roberts, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, City Councilman Todd Gloria, county and city commissioners and many friends. There will be a fabulous super buffet by Chef Tom Brown and this event is sponsored by the Imperial Court so 100 percent will go to the charity. As always Caliph owner Sherman Mendoza will be rolling out the red carpet.
GLBT student scholarship available
The Imperial Court de San Diego has announced that it’s accepting applications for its Harvey Milk/Nicole Murray Ramirez student scholarship – our community’s and one of the nations oldest GLBT scholarships, founded in 1979. The Harvey Milk/Nicole Murray Ramirez student scholarship will be given out at the 40th anniversary coronation gala/dinner at the Marriott Hotel Jan. 11. For more info: 619-300-1232 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bourbon Street comedy nights are coming
One of the West Coast’s top comedians, Shawn Pelofsky (love her) will be hosting a monthly comedy night at Bourbon Street starting Monday, Jan. 23 (show time: 8 p.m.) Trust me, she is the new “Joan Rivers,” and the best news ever is that there is no cover charge.
My beloved Nixon
Well 2011 has been a rough year for me, especially health-wise and for other reasons. These last months were like a rollercoaster ride for me with more downs than highs. As I’ve said before for many of us seniors, the so-called golden years are sometimes more like bronze or copper years. But look around, there are so many who are going through rougher or more difficult times than us. For those of us who live alone and have pets they become very precious to us. My cat named Nixon is just full of unconditional love and our pets seem, at times, to know when we’re down. My black cat Nixon was a gift to me more than a decade ago from Atty. Rick Kerman and has made my life here at Shady Pines much more comforting. Love you Nixon!
Nicole Murray Ramirez has been an award-winning columnist since 1973, and a Latino and gay activist for well over 40 years. He is currently a city commissioner and has served the last five mayors of San Diego. He is also a national board member of the Harvey Milk Foundation and chairman of the International Court Council of the USA, Canada and Mexico. Nicolemrsd@aol.com.
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