Editorial – LGBT Weekly http://lgbtweekly.com Mon, 25 Jul 2016 21:12:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 San Diego Pride 2016 photo gallery http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/07/23/san-diego-pride-2016-photo-gallery/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/07/23/san-diego-pride-2016-photo-gallery/#respond Sun, 24 Jul 2016 00:45:14 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=72367 _PRD0577 _PRD0559 _PRD0537 _PRD0531 _PRD0527 _PRD0487 _PRD0478 _PRD0456 _PRD0435 _PRD0431 _PRD0414 crop chris ward _PRD0404 _PRD0401 _PRD0396 _PRD0393 _PRD0382 _PRD0369 _PRD0360 _PRD0349 crop _PRD0342 _PRD0331 _PRD0330 _PRD0326 _PRD0323 _PRD0313 _PRD0309 _PRD0301 _PRD0296 _PRD0290 _PRD0280 _PRD0270 _PRD0262 _PRD0250 _PRD0247 crop _PRD0244 crop _PRD0235 _PRD0231 _PRD0221 _PRD0206 _PRD0204 _PRD0197 _PRD0194 _PRD0172 _PRD0166 _PRD0160 _PRD0155 _PRD0151 _PRD0147 _PRD0138 _PRD0128 _PRD0123 _PRD0120 _PRD0118 _PRD0116 _PRD0111 _PRD0104 _PRD0094 _PRD0090 _PRD0080 _PRD0077 _PRD0074 _PRD0065 _PRD0058 _PRD0052 _PRD0045 _PRD0040 _PRD0036 _PRD0026 _PRD0021 _PRD0003 ]]> http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/07/23/san-diego-pride-2016-photo-gallery/feed/ 0 Dump Trump-Pence: New Web site shows how the Trump-Pence would ‘Take America Backwards Again’ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/07/22/dump-trump-pence-new-web-site-shows-how-the-trump-pence-would-take-america-backwards-again/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/07/22/dump-trump-pence-new-web-site-shows-how-the-trump-pence-would-take-america-backwards-again/#respond Fri, 22 Jul 2016 09:25:36 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=72482

WASHINGTON — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has released a new microsite blasting Donald Trump and Mike Pence for their anti-equality records. As Trump accepted his party’s presidential nomination at the Republican National Convention, HRC promoted the site via social media to its 3.35 million followers.

“It’s time for anyone and everyone who has an LGBTQ person in their lives to ‘Dump Trump,’” said HRC Communications Director Jay Brown. “At every opportunity, Donald Trump has maligned, attacked and belittled anybody he considers different. He’s also vowed to reverse nationwide marriage equality, supported Kim Davis-style discrimination and endorsed laws attacking transgender people. There’s no doubt, Donald Trump is a serious threat to all the progress we have made in the last eight years.  ”

In recent weeks, Donald Trump has reaffirmed his opposition to transgender equality, appeared alongside Tony Perkins — leader of SPLC-designated hate group the Family Research Council,  and delusionally bragged about fictional support from the LGBTQ community in the wake of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando.

Trump’s record on LGBTQ equality stands in stark contrast with presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, who stands with the LGBTQ community, pledging to protect our hard-fought gains and proposing the most robust pro-LGBTQ equality agenda of anyone running for president.

Trump has doubled down on his anti-LGBTQ agenda by putting Indiana Gov. Mike Pence on the ticket. Pence became a national disgrace in 2015, for his “license to discriminate” bill that could have allowed businesses to deny service to LGBTQ people — and for subsequently defending the bill after an outcry from the business community and a majority of Hoosier voters. In a now notorious interview with ABC last year, Pence refused to answer eight separate times when asked whether businesses should be able to discriminate against LGBTQ people.

Pence’s discriminatory bill had enormous consequences for the business and economic health of Indiana after a flood of companies spoke out against the measure. Indianapolis’s nonprofit tourism agency estimated that in their city alone, Pence’s anti-LGBTQ bill cost up to 12 conventions and $60 million in lost revenue. Polling conducted by HRC after the 2015 fight found that75 percent of Hoosiers said the debate was bad for the state’s economy and 70 percent of those surveyed said they opposed the law.

Trump’s false claims about his own support are belied by his own long record of opposing LGBTQ equality. This week, his speakers at the Republican National Convention have launched a slew of attacks on LGBTQ people. Watch retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn’s vile  attack on transgender people during his speech Monday. Meanwhile, former GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson, speaking at the Florida delegation breakfast, compared transgender people to someone who “woke up tomorrow morning after seeing a movie about Afghanistan and saying ‘you know what? I’m Afghanistani [sic].”

Here’s a sampling of how Donald Trump has been threatening to roll back LGBTQ equality:

·         Vowed to rescind marriage equality and, with a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court,  pledged to appoint U.S. Supreme Court justices who would overturn last year’s historic Obergefell ruling;

·         Vowed to sign the so-called “First Amendment Defense Act,” which could allow individuals, many businesses and nonprofit organizations to circumvent critical federal protections and blatantly discriminate against LGBTQ families;

·         Would support anti-LGBTQ governors like North Carolina’s Pat McCrory and Indiana’s Mike Pence when they write discrimination into state law;

·         Pledged to repeal President Obama’s executive orders, which include protections for LGBTQ employees of federal contractors;

·         Has verbally attacked women, immigrants, Muslims, people of color, people living with disabilities, asylum seekers and others for political gain.

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The TP ticket http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/07/21/the-tp-ticket/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/07/21/the-tp-ticket/#respond Thu, 21 Jul 2016 18:58:20 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=72355

Yes, I mean the toilet paper ticket. From now going forward I will refer to the Trump/Pence ticket simply as the TP ticket. Something that Americans should flush down the toilet. LGBT Americans in particular. Of course, Trump’s thoughts on Mexicans as rapists, a ban on Muslim immigration, or the infamous wall, also alienate the majority of voters in America.

With the pick of Pence, Trump doubled down on the anti-LGBT policies adopted in the Republican platform this year. The platform says children “deserve a married mom and dad,” and refers to “natural marriage” as between a man and a woman. The platform further calls for a constitutional amendment to overturn same-sex marriage, appointing Supreme Court justices that support traditional family values, restricting access to bathrooms by transgender Americans and conversion therapy for LGBT children.

Surprisingly Republican LGBT leaders have reacted negatively to the platform. “There’s no way to sugarcoat this: I’m mad as h—- — and I know you are too,” Gregory T. Angelo, the president of the Log Cabin Republicans, wrote in a fundraising email sent last week. “Moments ago, the Republican Party passed the most anti-LGBT platform in the party’s 162-year history.” All LGBT people should flush TP.

Pence embodies the anti-LGBT platform and Trump knows it. The VP candidate personifies everything that is wrong with the Republican Party with respect to the gay community; he signed the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act (RFRA) in 2015. RFRA was basically a law that would have allowed people to discriminate against LGBT people. You know like refusing to make wedding cakes or saying we don’t serve LGBT people at this dry cleaner.

Pence defended RFRA until the unprecedented national backlash against the discriminatory law. Pence relented and made changes to RFRA after organizations like the NCAA, Apple, Salesforce, Eli Lilly and Anthem, to name a few, cried foul. Some governmental organizations even suspended taxpayer funded travel to Indiana. But Trump thinks Pence is the perfect VP candidate. What does that say about what Trump thinks about the LGBT vote?

This presidential election season, I implore all LGBT people to call out their brothers and sisters who support the TP ticket. No more accepting the excuse that an LGBT person is voting for the Republican Party because they are a fiscal conservative. You need to ask your LGBT Republican friends to justify the party platform and TP’s implicit acceptance of it. As if any LGBT Republican would have the cajones or tubes to actually say they are Republican at this point.

I can’t wait to see the TP ticket circle the bowl in November. An energized LGBT vote will make all the difference.

Stampp Corbin


San Diego LGBT Weekly


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Elvira at San Diego Comic Con July 23 http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/07/18/elvira-at-san-diego-comic-con-july-23/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/07/18/elvira-at-san-diego-comic-con-july-23/#respond Mon, 18 Jul 2016 19:12:30 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=72247

ElviraActress/Writer, Cassandra Peterson is known for her portrayal of one of pop culture’s most beloved icons, Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. It has been 35 years since Elvira made her debut as horror hostess on a local LA television show. To celebrate the milestone anniversary, Cassandra combed through her personal archives to assemble a beautiful 240 page hardcover coffee table book titled, Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. The book is filled with over 300 photographs, many never-before-seen, and commentary by Ms. Peterson.

Elvira will be heading to San Diego Comic Con July 23 to promote her new photo book in a Tweeterhead/Elvira SDCC 2016 Exclusive! Booth #5499 (Ozone Productions/Tweeterhead).

“This book represents thirty-five years of work: some of it challenging; most of it interesting; all of it fun,” says Cassandra. “I hope you’ll enjoy taking a walk with me down mammary, uh, I mean memory lane.”

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#WeAreOrlando http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/07/07/weareorlando/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/07/07/weareorlando/#respond Thu, 07 Jul 2016 20:16:55 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71952

As we celebrate Pride in America’s Finest City, we are Orlando. The tragic events at the Pulse Nightclub touched so many in the LGBT and Latino communities, yet we must remember that #WeAreSandyHook, #WeAreSanBernadino, #We AreParis, and #WeAreInstanbul, just to name a few.

While the event in Orlando awakened our community to the gun control debate, I will be honest, why did it take historic gun violence in our own community to make us take action? Why did the community not rise up when our transgender members are killed with guns on an annual basis for living their lives authentically?

I think a quote from Protestant Pastor Martin Niemöller from World War II says it better than I ever could:

First they came for the Communists, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Communist.

Then they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.

Niemöller understood the interconnectedness of those under Nazi rule and the need to band together. Today, the LGBT community needs to learn his prophetic lesson.

When African Americans are inappropriately stopped by the police, the LGBT community should care. When a woman’s right to equal pay for equal work is delayed, the LGBT community should care. When the working poor ask for a minimum wage increase, the LGBT community should care.

When it came time to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, when the Supreme Court supported marriage equality or most recently when the ban on transgender people serving openly in the military was lifted, members of all of these other communities stood with us and we must remember to stand with them. If we don’t, all of the progressive progress is at risk.

This Pride, as we pay our respects to the victims, family and friends directly affected by the Orlando tragedy let us remember that we as the LGBT community must protect the voices of the progressive social agenda because it is that agenda that allows you to hold the hand of your partner at San Diego Pride.

This year bask in the diversity of our community and meet someone from a part of the community with whom you do not normally socialize. I guarantee it will make this year’s Pride special.



San Diego LGBT Weekly


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Presidential Proclamation — Establishment of the Stonewall National Monument http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/24/presidential-proclamation-establishment-of-the-stonewall-national-monument/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/24/presidential-proclamation-establishment-of-the-stonewall-national-monument/#respond Fri, 24 Jun 2016 17:12:57 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71663

The White House today issued a proclamation by the president regarding the Establishment of the Stonewall National Monument.

Christopher Park, a historic community park located immediately across the street from the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City (City), is a place for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community to assemble for marches and parades, expressions of grief and anger, and celebrations of victory and joy. It played a key role in the events often referred to as the Stonewall Uprising or Rebellion, and has served as an important site for the LGBT community both before and after those events.

As one of the only public open spaces serving Greenwich Village west of 6th Avenue, Christopher Park has long been central to the life of the neighborhood and to its identity as an LGBT-friendly community. The park was created after a large fire in 1835 devastated an overcrowded tenement on the site. Neighborhood residents persuaded the City to condemn the approximately 0.12-acre triangle for public open space in 1837. By the 1960s, Christopher Park had become a popular destination for LGBT youth, many of whom had run away from or been kicked out of their homes. These youth and others who had been similarly oppressed felt they had little to lose when the community clashed with the police during the Stonewall Uprising.

In the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, a riot broke out in response to a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, at the time one of the City’s best known LGBT bars. Over the course of the next several days, more demonstrations and riots occurred in the surrounding neighborhood including Christopher Park. During these days, because of its strategic location across from the bar, Christopher Park served as a gathering place, refuge, and platform for the community to voice its demand for LGBT civil rights. The Stonewall Uprising is considered by many to be the catalyst that launched the modern LGBT civil rights movement. From this place and time, building on the work of many before, the Nation started the march — not yet finished — toward securing equality and respect for LGBT people.

Christopher Park and its environs have remained a key gathering place for the LGBT community. For example, on June 26, 2015, within moments of the issuance of the Supreme Court’s historic ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, LGBT people headed to Christopher Park to celebrate the Court’s recognition of a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. A few days later, Governor Cuomo continued that celebration by officiating at the marriage of two gay men directly outside the Stonewall Inn. Within minutes of the recent news of the murders of 49 people in a nightclub in Orlando, Florida — one of the most deadly shootings in American history — LGBT people and their supporters in New York headed again to Christopher Park to mourn, heal, and stand together in unity for the fundamental values of equality and dignity that define us as a country.

Today, Christopher Park is surrounded by brick sidewalks and a nineteenth century wrought-iron fence with gated openings. Educational signs about the Stonewall Uprising are found near the large arched main entryway. Divided into two halves, the western side of the park is open to the public on a daily basis and contains a small plaza lined with brick pavers and benches. George Segal’s sculpture, “Gay Liberation,” stands as a focal point of the plaza. The sculpture was commissioned in 1979 on the tenth anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, and its installation in 1992 cemented Christopher Park’s role as a destination for those wishing to understand the significance of the Stonewall Uprising. The eastern half of the park contains two structures erected in 1936: a statue of Civil War General Philip Sheridan, and a memorial flagstaff and plaque honoring Colonel Ephraim Elmer Ellsworth, an officer with the New York Fire Zouaves during the Civil War.

Across the street from Christopher Park is the target of the June 28, 1969, police raid, the Stonewall Inn (51-53 Christopher Street), originally built in 1843 and 1846 as two separate two-story horse stables. In 1930, the two buildings were combined into one commercial space with a new single exterior facade. In 1934, the first-floor space opened as a restaurant called Bonnie’s Stonewall Inn, which served the neighborhood for over 30 years. The restaurant closed in 1966, but was reopened in 1967 as an LGBT bar called the Stonewall Inn.

The streets and sidewalks in the neighborhood surrounding Christopher Park and the Stonewall Inn are an integral part of the neighborhood’s historic character and played a significant role in the Stonewall Uprising. The narrow streets bend, wrap back on themselves, and otherwise create directional havoc. In the early 1800s, the residents rejected the City’s attempts to enlarge the neighborhood streets and align them with the City’s grid plan, and the extension of Seventh Avenue South through the area in the early 1900s only added confusion. During the Stonewall Uprising, this labyrinthine street pattern helped the LGBT demonstrators, who knew the neighborhood, to evade riot-control police, who were not from the local precinct.

Viewed from Christopher Park’s central location, this historic landscape — the park itself, the Stonewall Inn, the streets and sidewalks of the surrounding neighborhood — reveals the story of the Stonewall Uprising, a watershed moment for LGBT civil rights and a transformative event in the Nation’s civil rights movement on par with the 1848 Women’s Rights Convention at Seneca Falls and the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery March for voting rights in its role in energizing a broader community to demand equal rights.

Although the 1960s were a time of social and political change that brought greater freedom to many segments of society, these new-found freedoms did not extend to members of the LGBT community. They faced increased oppression and criminal prosecution even for being physically intimate with consensual partners. In New York City, LGBT people were frequently arrested for acts such as same-sex dancing and kissing and wearing clothes of the perceived opposite gender. In some States, adults of the same sex caught having consensual sex in their own home could receive sentences of up to life in prison or be confined to a mental institution, where they faced horrific procedures, such as shock therapy, castration, and lobotomies. LGBT Americans lived their lives in secrecy for fear of losing their jobs, being evicted from their homes, or being arrested. For LGBT people of color or living in poverty, life was especially challenging.

For over a century, Greenwich Village has attracted Americans of all kinds with an interest in political activism and nonconformity. By the 1930s, Greenwich Village was home to a significant LGBT community. Despite the aggressive anti-LGBT policies and practices that emerged in the City in the 1950s and 60s, a variety of bars, nightclubs, restaurants, hotels, and private clubs catered to an LGBT clientele. Many establishments lasted only a few months before police raided them and shut them down, a practice that intensified during mayoral election years such as 1969.

The police frequently raided LGBT bars for illegally selling alcoholic drinks to “homosexuals.” LGBT bars operated by organized crime syndicates often paid off members of the police force and in return received tips about when raids were planned. As part of a crackdown on LGBT bars in June 1969, the Public Morals squad of Manhattan’s First Police Division raided the Stonewall Inn on June 24, 1969, confiscated its liquor, and arrested its employees. The Stonewall Inn reopened the next day. Having made only minimal impact with this raid, the police decided to plan a surprise raid for the following Friday night or Saturday morning, when the bar would be crowded.

On June 28, 1969, undercover police officers raided the Stonewall Inn around 1:15 a.m., after one of them witnessed the illegal sale of alcohol. Customers resisted the police by refusing to show identification or go into a bathroom so that a police officer could verify their sex. As police officers began making arrests, the remaining customers gathered outside instead of dispersing as they had in the past. They cheered when friends emerged from the bar under police escort, and they shouted “Gay Power!” and “We Want Freedom!”. As word spread, the gathering grew in size and a riot ultimately ensued. Around 3:00 a.m., the City’s riot-control force appeared, and started to push the crowd away from the Stonewall Inn. But the crowd refused to disperse. Groups of demonstrators retreated to nearby streets, only to cut back and regroup near the Stonewall Inn and Christopher Park. The riot finally abated about 4:30 a.m., but during the next week several more protests formed, and in some cases, led to new riots and confrontations with the police.

The Stonewall Uprising changed the Nation’s history. After the Stonewall incident, the LGBT community across the Nation realized its power to join together and demand equality and respect. Within days of the events, Stonewall seemed to galvanize LGBT communities across the country, bringing new supporters and inspiring LGBT activists to organize demonstrations to show support for LGBT rights in several cities. One year later, the number of LGBT organizations in the country had grown from around 50 to at least 1,500, and Pride Marches were held in a number of large cities to commemorate the Stonewall Uprising.

The quest for LGBT equality after Stonewall evolved from protests and small gatherings into a nationwide movement. Lesbian women, gay men, bisexual and transgender people united to ensure equal rights for all people regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Hard-fought civil rights victories in courtrooms and statehouses across the country set the stage for victories in the Supreme Court that would have seemed unthinkable to those who rose up in Greenwich Village in June 1969. Today, communities, cities, and nations celebrate LGBT Pride Days and Months, and the number of Pride events approaches 1,000. The New York City Police Department now has an LGBT Liaison Unit to build positive relations with the LGBT community, and provides the community with expert protection when threats are identified. Most importantly, the Nation’s laws and jurisprudence increasingly reflect the equal treatment that the LGBT community deserves. There is important distance yet to travel, but through political engagement and litigation, as well as individual acts of courage and acceptance, this movement has made tremendous progress toward securing equal rights and equal dignity.

WHEREAS, section 320301 of title 54, United States Code (known as the “Antiquities Act”), authorizes the President, in the President’s discretion, to declare by public proclamation historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest that are situated upon the lands owned or controlled by the Federal Government to be national monuments, and to reserve as a part thereof parcels of land, the limits of which in all cases shall be confined to the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected;

WHEREAS, in 2000, the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) designated the Stonewall Inn, Christopher Park, and portions of the surrounding neighborhood as a National Historic Landmark for its association with the Stonewall Uprising, a momentous event that inspired a national LGBT civil rights movement;
WHEREAS, for the purpose of establishing a national monument to be administered by the National Park Service, the City of New York has donated to the Federal Government fee title to the approximately 0.12-acre Christopher Park;

WHEREAS, the designation of a national monument at the site of the Stonewall Uprising would elevate its message and story to the national stage and ensure that future generations would learn about this turning point that sparked changes in cultural attitudes and national policy towards LGBT people over the ensuing decades;
WHEREAS, it is in the public interest to preserve and protect Christopher Park and the historic objects associated with it in the Stonewall National Historic Landmark;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by the authority vested in me by section 320301 of title 54, United States Code, hereby proclaim the objects identified above that are situated upon lands and interests in lands owned or controlled by the Federal Government to be the Stonewall National Monument (monument) and, for the purpose of protecting those objects, reserve as a part thereof all lands and interests in lands owned or controlled by the Federal Government within the boundaries described on the accompanying map, which is attached to and forms a part of this proclamation. The reserved Federal lands and interests in lands encompass approximately 0.12 acres. The boundaries described on the accompanying map are confined to the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected.

All Federal lands and interests in lands within the boundaries described on the accompanying map are hereby appropriated and withdrawn from all forms of entry, location, selection, sale, or other disposition under the public land laws, from location, entry, and patent under the mining laws, and from disposition under all laws relating to mineral and geothermal leasing.

The establishment of the monument is subject to valid existing rights. If the Federal Government acquires any lands or interests in lands not owned or controlled by the Federal Government within the boundaries described on the accompanying map, such lands and interests in lands shall be reserved as a part of the monument, and objects identified above that are situated upon those lands and interests in lands shall be part of the monument, upon acquisition of ownership or control by the Federal Government.

The Secretary shall manage the monument through the National Park Service, pursuant to applicable legal authorities, consistent with the purposes and provisions of this proclamation. The Secretary shall prepare a management plan, with full public involvement and in coordination with the City, within 3 years of the date of this proclamation. The management plan shall ensure that the monument fulfills the following purposes for the benefit of present and future generations: (1) to preserve and protect the objects of historic interest associated with the monument, and (2) to interpret the monument’s objects, resources, and values related to the LGBT civil rights movement. The management plan shall, among other things, set forth the desired relationship of the monument to other related resources, programs, and organizations, both within and outside the National Park System.
The National Park Service is directed to use applicable authorities to seek to enter into agreements with others, and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation in particular, to enhance public services and promote management efficiencies.

Nothing in this proclamation shall be deemed to revoke any existing withdrawal, reservation, or appropriation; however, the monument shall be the dominant reservation.

Warning is hereby given to all unauthorized persons not to appropriate, injure, destroy, or remove any feature of this monument and not to locate or settle upon any of the lands thereof.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fourth day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth.


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Letters http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/23/letters-71/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/23/letters-71/#respond Thu, 23 Jun 2016 21:30:49 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71582


Thank you for “In Celebration of Gay Dads”

Dear Editor,

What a great way to celebrate Father’s Day; an article that provides useful information for underserved dads everywhere. My son and his partner have struggled bravely with issues addressed in your article and I am so excited to know there is a whole community waiting for them to connect with.

So, sincerely,

Thank you


San Diego

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Do something http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/23/do-something/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/23/do-something/#comments Thu, 23 Jun 2016 18:01:33 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71588

What is there left to say about the tragedy in Orlando? The hope is that the senseless mass shooting will finally wake up America about gun control. I can tell you the answer, no. The American electorate who believes in sensible gun control are not those who are angry this year. It’s the people with guns.

The gun lobby and the NRA know that the vast majority of their support comes from those in small cities or rural areas. Those who are least likely to experience gun violence. These gun rights supporters contribute to the National Rifle Association to the tune of $350 million on an annual basis. But gun violence only matters when it happens to you.

I always looked with interest about Category 5 hurricanes but it really did not touch me until I was in Hurricane Odile in Cabo San Lucas in 2014. My perspective completely changed as I worried for my life for six hours, something that television or the commentary from victims can never really convey. Gun violence is no different. The Orlando tragedy seems to have awakened the LGBT community. Why were we not awakened with the shooting deaths of members of the trans community? Why was San Diego not awakened during the Andrew Cunanan killing spree that ended with the death of Gianni Versace? Television desensitizes.

I watched the recent OJ series on ESPN that actually showed the bodies of Nicole Brown-Simpson and Ron Goldman. The gruesome images seemed unreal. Almost like actors in a Law and Order episode. And that is exactly the problem.

Sure you can try to imagine the Orlando tragedy happening in a city where you live but it is impossible to understand the loss of the families and friends. So as opposed to putting up a hashtag or a pic on your Facebook page showing solidarity with Orlando, do something – actually do something. That means write your congressmember and support gun control. In California, that’s all you need to do. Our two U.S. senators, Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein, are already on board. But many of us live in Republican Congressional Districts, your representative needs to hear your voice.

All four gun control measures failed in Congress earlier this week. Would you rather take the time to write your congressional representative or wait until your life is touched by gun violence?

It might be a horrible thing to say but I have experienced the feeling of helplessness during the AIDS crisis. I don’t want to have to experience the same feeling with respect to gun violence in our community. Please do something.



San Diego LGBT Weekly


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Her story is history http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/09/her-story-is-history/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/06/09/her-story-is-history/#respond Thu, 09 Jun 2016 18:42:34 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71166

Hillary Clinton

Well Hillary has finally gotten her true “first.” Secretary Clinton is the first woman to ever be the presidential nominee of one of the two major political parties in America. While Clinton has had an accomplished career, she never had her true first. Sure Hillary was the first first lady to be elected to the Senate, but that was a mouthful and other women had been elected to the Senate long before her.

Why are firsts important? They usually usher in a new state of the world; a change in perceptions. Barack Obama winning the nomination in 2008 was historic. Winning the presidential election in November cemented Obama as one of the most famous presidents ever. Just like Kennedy when he became the first Catholic president.

Hillary should be proud and celebratory, but there is still the ultimate prize; the presidency itself. While one glass ceiling has been broken, Hillary knows that the ultimate one remains, a woman leading the United States. The only thing standing in her way is Donald Trump. While many of you may say don’t be ridiculous, I say not so fast.

Trump’s scapegoating rhetoric has appealed to the baser instincts of those in America who have been left behind in the global economy. Many are looking for someone to blame. That’s why the wall on the U.S. southern border is so appealing. Keep out the Mexicans who are stealing our jobs. Or stop free trade agreements, they are the reason Maytag shut down the plant in our town.

For Hillary to break the final glass ceiling in America, she needs to take these frustrations of mainly white blue collar men seriously. Are these folks in mining and manufacturing simply going to be a lost generation or will she have a solution? No small task.

Hillary can’t simply hope that Donald steps on it. He has done it countless times and his supporters really seem not to care. Donald is not the Teflon candidate, he seems to be one of those newfangled titanium pans in which you can scramble eggs with a mixer and not damage the pan.

So we all need to vote in November. Maybe we will make history again.

Stampp Corbin


San Diego LGBT Weekly


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Todd Gloria should endorse Chris Ward http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/05/26/todd-gloria-should-endorse-chris-ward/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/05/26/todd-gloria-should-endorse-chris-ward/#comments Thu, 26 May 2016 18:13:18 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=70837

Todd Gloria

As many of you know, LGBT Weekly does not endorse candidates because we believe that our readers are smart and when informed make the proper decision. Last week, many in the LGBT community were shocked by Mayor Faulconer’s endorsement of District 3 candidate Anthony Bernal, a Democrat, running against candidate Chris Ward, also a Democrat and the frontrunner.

After making strides within the LGBT community, Faulconer literally flushed his goodwill with our community down the toilet. District 3 is known for producing promising LGBT folk who go on to higher office. Chris Kehoe, Toni Atkins and Todd Gloria. In fact, many people believe that the District 3 council seat guarantees LGBT representation on the council.

Everyone knows that the way the council districts are drawn, there is an African American seat, an Asian seat and a Latino seat; guaranteed. Can you imagine Faulconer going to District 4 and not supporting the African American candidate and suggesting someone of another race win the seat? Of course not. That would be political suicide for Faulconer. Yet, the mayor felt that he could meddle with the LGBT seat and endorse Bernal who is straight.

Faulconer should have taken a page out of Todd Gloria’s book and remained mum on the election. Gloria is in a quandary because Bernal has been a trusted aide but he knows that District 3 has been the launching pad for great LGBT politicos in San Diego. I think Gloria should endorse. After all is Gloria’s loyalty to his staff member or to our community at large?

I can understand why Faulconer would stick his nose in the race; Bernal would be a Dino (Democrat in name only) were he to win. Worse, Bernal has taken money from the Lincoln Club, and are your ready … Doug Manchester. Yes, the guy who helped fund the Prop. 8 campaign that eliminated same-sex marriage. Faulconer bragged about his leadership on same-sex marriage through the Mayors for Marriage Equality at the Harvey Milk Breakfast last week but noted he is still an anomaly in his party. I agree. So when Bernal got donations from the conservative Lincoln Club and Papa Doug, I consider that cavorting with people that dislike our community.

Republican money, Republican endorsements, so how is Bernal a Democrat? I think we need to keep the tradition of electing progressive Democrats for city council in District 3, like Kehoe, Atkins and Gloria. That means there is only one choice June 7; I am voting for Chris Ward.

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Opioid misuse: America’s not so silent killer http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/05/12/opioid-misuse-americas-not-so-silent-killer/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/05/12/opioid-misuse-americas-not-so-silent-killer/#respond Thu, 12 May 2016 18:26:44 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=70448

As America and the world mourns the death of music icon Prince, there has been speculation that his death was the result of an opioid overdose. Yet, the music icon was known for his healthy lifestyle and his rejection of the drug culture that has become a cliché when talking about rock stars. The death of Prince underscores the opioid abuse epidemic in America that is created by the overprescribing of opioids to treat pain known by names like Percocet, OxyContin, Fentanyl and Vicodin.

Last year, American doctors prescribed enough opioids to give every American adult a one-month supply. 30 tablets that could lead to a dependence on a drug that is a stone’s throw away from heroin, which is where some who become addicted to prescription opioids end their journey. Since 1999, the number of opioid prescriptions in the United States has quadrupled; in 2014, 18,893 people died from prescription opioid overdoses in the United States, another 10,574 from heroin overdoses, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

How do you die from opioids? Generally, the opioid simply stops you from breathing. The drug depresses your central nervous system which controls involuntary actions like your heart beating or simply taking a breath.

There are so many Americans on prescription opioids that it has created new classes of drugs; pills to deal with opioid induced constipation and drugs to bring people back from opioid overdoses. The pharmaceutical industry gets paid three times; once for the opioid prescription, once for the pill to deal with opioid induced constipation and again for the drugs that save people from opioid overdoses. Name another industry that can profit from the crisis it created. It would be like the auto industry asking you to pay $75 for the replacement of your recalled airbag.

What’s worse? The Purdue Frederick Company, maker of OxyContin one of the original opioids, was fined $634 million in 2007 for fraudulently marketing the drug as less addictive, less subject to abuse and withdrawal symptoms than other pain medications. The Purdue president, chief legal counsel and former chief medical officer were convicted of misdemeanors with associated multi-million dollar fines. A small price to pay considering sales for OxyContin last year were over $2 billion. Sales of the drug have propelled the Sackler family, owners of Purdue Pharma, to be No. 15 on the Forbes America’s Richest Families List. This week, to protect itself, and the industry from experiencing what the tobacco industry has, Purdue is trying to prevent the unsealing of documents from a settlement in Kentucky related to how the company marketed its powerful opioid medication.

Who is bearing the cost of highly addictive opioids? Families from Maine to California, Washington to Florida. The scourge of overprescribed opioids touches every demographic. The substance use treatment industry also is overwhelmed with the onslaught of opioid addicted patients who frequently relapse.

Isn’t it time that the pharmaceutical industry and doctors be held to account for the opioid addiction crisis that is killing 51 people each day who are addicted to prescription opioids? If Prince’s death begins that conversation, then his legacy will be much more than his music. Stampp Corbin


San Diego LGBT Weekly


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Political loose cannons http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/04/27/political-loose-cannons/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/04/27/political-loose-cannons/#respond Thu, 28 Apr 2016 02:05:59 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=70080


I have rejected the idea that Donald Trump and Sen. Bernie Sanders are similar in any way, but now I know that I have been wrong. Both Sanders and Trump are political loose cannons. Their respective campaigns have a common theme; I will harm my own party in my pursuit of the presidency.

At first, I really believed that Sanders would run an historically clean campaign. And to Sanders’ credit, for most of the election season he has kept his word. But as he realizes that the fun is over and that Clinton will be the nominee, Sanders has become more like your crotchety uncle. The uncle that all the children avoid at barbecues because he is always in a bad mood or simply hates kids. I get that Bernie does not want to relinquish his campaign, who would? You are getting the constant adulation of tens of thousands of voters on a weekly, and sometimes daily, basis.

Bernie has done a lot for the Democratic Party by exciting the youth vote. As he would say with “huge” turnout across the nation. Democrats truly owe Sanders a debt of gratitude. But now Sanders has said that Clinton needs to earn the support of those that support him. Really? Sanders is not going to simply support Clinton because he lost to her? That is what makes Sanders and Trump the same; Sanders does not care that he may be hobbling Clinton in the general election. That’s not being a Democrat. Democrats rally around their nominee because the alternative is not acceptable. Bernie, if you are a Democrat then you know it is time to put down your flag, support Clinton, and implore your followers to do the same.

And then there’s Trump. We all know that Trump is the ultimate narcissist, when he stands in front of a crowd and says “I’m really attractive,” that is true narcissism. Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others. Sound familiar?

Trump’s narcissism trumps everything, pun intended. Trump does not care about how his words may hurt his “adopted” Republican Party in the general election. Forget about party unity, Trump wakes up every day, looks in the mirror and thinks “today it is all about me.”

Sanders won’t quit because it is all about him. Trump won’t tone down his rhetoric because it is about him. In the end, isn’t the result the same? Hobbling one’s own party because you are a freewheeling loose cannon. May be fun for the cannon but not so much for the party.

Stampp Corbin


San Diego LGBT Weekly


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#GayMediaSoWhite http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/04/14/gaymediasowhite/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/04/14/gaymediasowhite/#comments Thu, 14 Apr 2016 20:02:27 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=69718

When I started San Diego LGBT Weekly there were many in the community that offered their sage advice. One of those phrases of wisdom was “if you put anything other than a young white man on the cover, the number of people picking up your magazine will decrease.” I was horrified that people thought they should express this reality. I am an African American gay man who was the former national co-chair of the 2008 Obama Campaign LGBT Leadership Council and owner of LGBT Weekly. Yet, these well intentioned people thought they were helping me by telling me to avoid putting people who looked like me on the cover.

Over the last week there has been a controversy about the lack of people of color on the covers of national LGBT magazines creating the hashtag #GayMediaSoWhite. In particular, OUT and Advocate. The nation has caught up with what LGBT Weekly has known all along, the representation of our community on magazine covers and Web sites is still exclusively the purview of young white males. I am proud to say that LGBT Weekly broke the mold in San Diego.

From June 2011 through May 2016, 15 percent of OUT’s covers have featured people of color (POC) and 10 percent LGBT POC. The Advocate fared better with 23 percent POC on the cover but it should be noted that a cover with four POC was counted four times. Essentially, the analysis counted every person on a cover.

LGBT Weekly has featured 32 POC on its cover for an overall percentage of 23 percent. Of course, we eliminated any covers that were composites of the community with POC in the mix. We only looked at the single imagery that is LGBT Weekly’s brand. If LGBT Weekly counted in the same way as the analysis of the Advocate, our representation of POC on our covers would be significantly higher.

What’s the point? LGBT Weekly is the most honored LGBT publication in San Diego’s history. LGBT Weekly is also the publication which has featured the most POC and trans people on the cover. People read LGBT Weekly because of its content. While the cover is our “lobby,” all types of people come through our lobby each year. Each one of these customers is as important as the other.

That’s why we featured the first transgender woman in San Diego history on our cover. Transgender – not a drag queen. And while transgender issues are trending in the news media right now, LGBT Weekly is the only LGBT publication that had from its launch in 2010 and continues to have a trans column in every issue.

We also cater to the senior LGBT community in every issue, which few if any other LGBT publications do, recognizing the need to provide content “For [LGBT] seniors and those who will be.”

Yes, I am celebrating LGBT Weekly’s commitment to representing the entire community; young, old, Black, White, Latino, Asian, Native American, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, rich and poor. At LGBT Weekly we don’t discriminate. How about the other publications and Web sites you read?

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North Carolina and Georgia http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/03/31/north-carolina-and-georgia/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/03/31/north-carolina-and-georgia/#respond Thu, 31 Mar 2016 17:08:50 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=69363

The LGBT community has finally crossed over into the mainstream. In the last 10 months with the Supreme Court decision supporting marriage equality in the United States, lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender Americans have seen a dramatic shift in how America views our community. That shift underscores the importance of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has said that we have the right to marry and love anyone we want. The result is a new supportive business and political community that is not afraid to show its muscle.

While it is not unexpected that the right wing is trying to undermine the Supreme Court ruling establishing marriage equality, what is heartening is American corporations stepping forward and saying no to discrimination and bigoted laws being put forth by right wing Republicans. Some American companies displayed their political muscle initially during the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act debacle. The NCAA, Silicon Valley firms and others quickly said there would be economic repercussions if the discriminatory law targeted at the LGBT community was passed. It was the first time that many large American corporations collectively, and publicly, came to the aid of the LGBT community.

We now have the contrast of two new attacks on LGBT equality; North Carolina effectively passed legislation that overturns and bans local laws that don’t conform to the state’s nondiscrimination laws for the workplace and public accommodations. Since the state doesn’t ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in the workplace or public accommodations, this effectively forces all North Carolina cities and counties to keep it legal to discriminate against LGBT people.

In Georgia, Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed anti-LGBT proposed legislation because of the visceral reaction from corporations that said they would stop doing business in Georgia. Thank you Disney, Marvel, the National Football League, Delta, Coca-Cola, Home Depot and Apple, among over 450 others. The Georgia governor and the state heard you loud and clear.

Now the North Carolina furniture industry is getting the same message; your state discriminates and you suffer the consequences. With so many LGBT folks in the design industry, the North Carolina furniture industry and state will immediately feel the economic impact. New York State and the city of Seattle have immediately suspended governmental employee travel to N.C.

Discriminate and you now will face the economic consequences. All because of the Supreme Court marriage equality decision. We are now equal and everyone knows it.



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HRC: Here We Go Again http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/03/25/hrc-here-we-go-again/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/03/25/hrc-here-we-go-again/#comments Fri, 25 Mar 2016 15:55:01 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=69213

This week, the Human Rights Campaign has endorsed Illinois Republican Senator Mark Kirk for reelection over Democratic candidate Tammy Duckworth. Many in the community are outraged, but we have been here before, and unfortunately I actively participated.

In October of 1998, I, along with majority on the Board of Directors of HRC, decided to endorse New York Republican Senator Alphonse D’Amato over then Democratic candidate Chuck Schumer. That’s right, now Senator Chuck Schumer.

I was won over by the arguments to support Republicans who were helping to move LGBT rights forward. My inner voice said “this makes no sense,” but in the end I wanted to support the endorsement to show solidarity with others on the Board. Boy, was I wrong.

HRC CEO Chad Griffin and his Board of Directors are wrong again. History is repeating itself. Nothing was learned from the backlash by many LGBT residents and HRC supporters in New York over 17 years ago. One of my best friends has a husband who still will not contribute to HRC because of the D’Amato endorsement. Yet, HRC remains tone deaf in 2016. Straight, Washington salon diva Marylouise Oates, and wife of Democratic consultant Bob Shrum, quit the HRC Board over the D’Amato endorsement. Oates said ”I do not wish to be a part of any organization that applauds and endorses a senator merely for his signing on as a co-sponsor on one bill, after many years of anti-gay votes.”

D’Amato had a higher rating from the Christian Coalition than HRC due to his support of the pro-life movement and the gun lobby. Is there no one at HRC that knows the history of the D’Amato endorsement? Of course not, those in the know have simply forgotten or have no influence with the current Board. Shumer won, and to his credit, forgave HRC for its endorsement of D’Amato.

Griffin has trotted out the same old arguments I fell for when I supported the D’Amato endorsement in 1998. 14 others supported the endorsement of D”Amato, 7 HRC Board members maintained their opposition. I wish I was part of the opposition; my heart told me to say no, but my head said the argument to support those few supporting LGBT rights in the Republican Party made sense. Today I know better.

An endorsement for Senator Mark Kirk? HRC, I will support Tammy Duckworth, as any self-respecting LGBT person should. I wish I had done the same in 1998. HRC, here we go again.

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Sorry Bernie http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/03/20/sorry-bernie/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/03/20/sorry-bernie/#comments Sun, 20 Mar 2016 21:30:05 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=69111

Over the last several days, the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign has put forth a narrative that suggests if the super delegates voted according to the vote of their state then Sanders will win the Democratic presidential nomination. Being a Harvard MBA and a numbers nerd, I decided to take a look at the Sanders’ campaign hypothesis.

Taking a close look at the 28 states and territories that have voted thus far in the Democratic presidential primary race, Clinton has 1139 pledged delegates to Sanders 825. However, you often see the totals of 1614 for Clinton and 856 for Sanders based upon super delegates who have committed to their respective campaigns. Sanders has begun to cry foul and suggest that super delegates should vote according to the residents of their states. Super delegates are comprised of elected officials, members of the Democratic National Committee, and so called Distinguished Members of the Democratic Party like Al Gore.

There are 330 super delegates from the 28 states and territories that have voted so far in the Democratic primaries and caucuses. If the super delegates were allocated based upon the percentage of the vote garnered by Clinton and Sanders in each state or territory, Sanders would be allocated 146 super delegates and Clinton would get 184 super delegates.  That would bring Clinton’s delegate total to 1323 and Sanders to 971. That is better than the 1614 to 856 lead that Clinton holds with the currently “committed” super delegates. So Bernie’s hypothesis does prove the delegate race would be closer. What it does not prove is that Sanders campaign would be victorious. In fact, it underscores the uphill battle facing Sanders.

Even with a proportional allocation of super delegates based upon their underlying state or territory, Sanders needs to win a whopping 57.2% of the remaining 2469 delegates and vote in the rest of the primaries and caucuses to overtake Clinton. Is that possible? Yes. Is it likely? No. Sanders needs to beat Clinton in California and New York by 14% or absolutely kill her by high double digits in the other states and territories yet to vote. Highly doubtful.

As a dyed in the wool Democrat, I was willing to spend a Sunday morning actually running the numbers for Sanders hypothetical super delegate proposal, unfortunately for him they paint a bleak picture even if the super delegates voted according to their state results. Sorry Bernie.





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Letters http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/03/17/letters-70/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/03/17/letters-70/#comments Thu, 17 Mar 2016 21:37:19 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=68974

HBA honors Nancy – but why?

Dear Mr. Younger,

Photo: Thom Senzee

Photo: Thom Senzee

I am writing you out of concern and disgust over the flag at Normal Street flying at half-staff this week. I came across your email from the Hillcrest Business Association’s (HBA)Web site. If this is not a matter that you are involved with, if you would be so kind to forward my email to the appropriate party. I assume the flag is flying at half-staff to recognize Nancy Reagan. If that is not the case, then I apologize. If however, the flag is flying at half-staff then I am angered and baffled that your organization or whomever is responsible for the maintenance and flying of the flag would not be sensitive to the thousands of lives that were lost to AIDS during the Reagan Presidency. Ronald Reagan could not even bring himself or his staff to say the word AIDS. Nancy Reagan was complicit in all of this behavior, even ironically while having a gay son.

I am disgusted that mostly gay men of a certain generation have been forgotten by a younger gay community by not showing appropriate respect and understanding of the facts and either take the flag down in protest or leave it fly at full staff.

It may be of help for your staff to review some of the early press conferences held at the Reagan White House at the beginning of the AIDS Crisis to see how ignorant and non-compassionate the Reagan administration was at a time when people were dying left and right.

As a community that has lost countless to a disease that still is incurable, our Hillcrest community chose to honor the first lady of the president who in my opinion has blood on his hands for not doing more at the early stages of the crisis.


Ted May


Editor’s note: Ted May’s letter to Glenn Younger, who is vice president of the Hillcrest Business Association, was also sent to San Diego LGBT Weekly.

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Bill is not perfect … http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/03/17/bill-is-not-perfect/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/03/17/bill-is-not-perfect/#comments Thu, 17 Mar 2016 20:31:20 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=68980

Editor’s Note: The original version of this editorial said Bill was reelected, the scandal actually happened during Clinton’s second term. Thanks to all our readers who noted our error.

With that simple phrase Hillary Clinton can completely disarm the attacks about her husband that voters expect from Donald Trump in a general election match-up. Even stronger would be for Hillary to add “and your former wives have had a lot to say about your imperfections Mr. Trump, as I am sure you know.” As my grandmother would say, “that will cut Mr. Trump to the quick.”

The last thing that Donald Trump wants is to talk about the allegations his first wife Ivana made in their divorce proceedings. Allegations of physical and verbal abuse that are clearly stated in a deposition given by Ivana. Ultimately the divorce was granted based upon the “cruel and inhumane treatment” of Ivana Trump by Donald Trump.

Having an affair is a far cry from “cruel and inhumane treatment” of your spouse. Sure, an affair is not the highlight of anyone’s relationship but couples get over affairs all the time, as clearly the Clintons have. Bill Clinton had an affair with an aide that was consensual, he then lied about the affair to the American public, was acquitted of all charges, and was forgiven by the American public. Those are the facts, now what does that have to do with Hillary Clinton’s qualifications to be the president? Nothing, which is evidenced by Trump’s contributions to Hillary’s election campaigns in New York.

Yet voters know that we can expect Trump to try to humiliate Clinton because of her husband’s actions. I just hope that Hillary embraces Bill’s imperfections, admits his mistakes but adds the additional sting of Trump’s own actions against his former wife Ivana that led to the Trump divorce. That will shut Trump up quickly. The last thing that Trump wants during the general election campaign is the spousal abuse allegations made by his former wife being rehashed. Because in the end, the only outcome is for him to call his former wife a liar, or for Ivana to say she made false allegations against Trump which is perjury. Neither situation is one that Trump wants to go on for a couple of news cycles. After all, he needs those pesky female votes to become president. Being an abusive husband probably is not the path to victory.

Hillary, just remember Bill is not perfect, but he is so much better than Donald Trump.



San Diego LGBT Weekly


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Thank you Marco Rubio http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/03/03/thank-you-marco-rubio/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/03/03/thank-you-marco-rubio/#comments Thu, 03 Mar 2016 21:31:37 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=68667
Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio

It is without question that Marco Rubio exposed the major flaws in Donald Trump’s candidacy at the most recent Republican presidential debate: his questionable business practices. Whether it was defrauding Trump University students, manufacturing a line of ties offshore, or hiring undocumented workers, Rubio put Trump’s conservative hypocrisy front and center.

Unfortunately for Rubio and Cruz, it is a day late and a dollar short. Trump is going to win a lot of delegates on Super Tuesday and create an insurmountable lead. What that means is either Trump will be the nominee or have the nomination ripped from his hands at a brokered Republican Convention. Either way spells a win for the Democratic presidential nominee, likely Hillary Clinton.

If Trump goes into the Republican Convention with the most delegates but not enough to win the nomination, there will be a floor fight like no other. Those delegates for Cruz will never support Rubio and vice versa. So Trump may be the compromise candidate which is the Republican establishments worst nightmare.

The Cuban dual between Cruz and Rubio has no signs of abating, so both will stay in the race to the bitter end. Each racking up delegates that will stay with their candidate to the bitter end. How will this impasse be resolved at the convention? Only heaven knows.

No matter what the outcome of the potential Republican fight, in the end the Democrats benefit, thank goodness. Marco Rubio has given the Democrats a gift, he has put on display Donald Trump’s weakness: his business dealings. As a business leader for most of my life, it was clear to me that this was going to be Donald Trump’s Achilles heel. You don’t build a multi-billion-dollar empire in the construction business without turning a blind eye to the immigrant status of many workers. In Trump’s case it was Polish immigrants without the appropriate documentation. Worse, Trump paid them very low wages.

I am absolutely gleeful that the Republicans have created their own prisoner’s dilemma. If the Cruz and Rubio campaigns could work together they would be able to get their desired outcome – a loss for Trump. But Cruz will stay in the race, as will Rubio, which will create a Trump ascendancy. Neither Cruz nor Rubio is willing to let the other win. Either Cruz or Rubio could drop out and endorse the other, creating a big problem for Trump. Don’t hold your breath.

So I want to thank Marco Rubio for exposing what all Democrats know, Donald Trump is a business billionaire who has screwed the American worker. By the way, Rubio I guess you are one of the immigrants who can’t spell, choker is spelled “choker.”

Stampp Corbin


San Diego LGBT Weekly


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The Supremes http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/02/18/the-supremes/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/02/18/the-supremes/#respond Thu, 18 Feb 2016 18:54:14 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=68276

No not Diana Ross, the other Supremes, the Supreme Court. Each presidential political season the Supreme Court gets short shrift because the average American does not often feel the impact of a Supreme Court decision on their life. There is nothing farther from the truth for the LGBT community.

The LGBT community fully knows why the Supreme Court matters because they enshrined same-sex marriage as an equal right, potentially changing the lives of gays and lesbians forever. I say potentially forever because a challenge to the Supreme Court same-sex marriage decision could follow the same path as a women’s right to choose; conservatives trying ever more inventive ways to chip away at the affirmed right by creating new laws or taking innovative cases to the Supreme Court. That’s why the Supreme Court matters.

The conservatives in Congress and on the presidential trail are all saying that President Obama should not be allowed to appoint a replacement for the late Justice Antonin Scalia. That is absurd. Why would the election cycle prevent the president from fulfilling his constitutional role? It’s his job. Obama is far from a lame duck president. A lame duck president is created when there is a newly elected president after the election occurs in November but before the inauguration in January 2017. There is a lot left to President Obama’s term and he will nominate a new Supreme. I predict that Obama will once again “rope a dope.” The Republicans will attempt to delay the up or down vote on the nomination until the election but they do so at their own peril. The longest confirmation process for a Supreme Court nominee is 125 days, the president has over 300 days left in his term of office. So Obama could nominate several candidates even if the Republican Congress tried to prevent him from selecting Scalia’s replacement.

Senate majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that Obama will not be allowed to appoint Scalia’s replacement. McConnell also said he would ensure that Obama would be a one term president. So much for his credibility.

Obama does have one major problem; who should he nominate. It is likely that the first two nominees may be denied by a Congressional vote, or God forbid, each delayed to 125 days of scrutiny. Who would want to be the first nominee and put themselves and their family through this political circus? The first nominee may be a sacrificial lamb. That means the first likely nominee will be Attorney General Loretta Lynch. She has been through the obstructionist processes of the Republican Party to prevent appointments. Lynch survived and did become attorney general. She might be the only one who could potentially survive being the first nominee and get confirmed, plus she can simply go back to being the top lawyer in the United States government if not approved, no harm, no foul.

I bet the process to select the next Supreme, no matter who is nominated, will be best described by a song by the other Supremes, “You Just Keep Me Hangin’ On.”



San Diego LGBT Weekly


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San Diego Opera announces ’50 Years and Counting: A New Vision for San Diego Opera’ campaign http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/02/17/san-diego-opera-announces-50-years-and-counting-a-new-vision-for-san-diego-opera-campaign/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/02/17/san-diego-opera-announces-50-years-and-counting-a-new-vision-for-san-diego-opera-campaign/#respond Wed, 17 Feb 2016 19:09:12 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=68198

SAN DIEGO – San Diego Opera have announced a group of dedicated donors will match up to $500,000 in donations from the community to create a new vision for San Diego Opera. This $1 million campaign will keep San Diego Opera strong, and ensure the company will continue to present world-class opera for many more years to come. In 2014, the local community, as well as the international opera community, rallied around the company to stave off its abrupt announcement that it was going to close. In doing so, the company promised to protect its physical assets, the endowment, and the remains of the Kroc Fund, while making opera affordable and accessible to the community it serves. Since its revival, San Diego Opera has not only balanced its budget each season but made opera accessible through its extensive outreach programs, and by keeping ticket prices low. The company is now prepared to announce a five opera season – three mainstage operas at the Civic Theatre, and two operas in smaller, intimate venues, without increasing its budget. The campaign goal is to raise $1 million by May 7,  the opening night of the West Coast premiere of Jake Heggie’s new opera Great Scott.

“I’m overwhelmed by the continued support and generosity of our supporters who have agreed to match any contribution up to a half million dollars, dollar-for-dollar, during this campaign,” shares David Bennett, San Diego Opera’s general director. “The community’s belief in a new vision of opera is what made coming to San Diego so attractive to me, and this support will allow us to build upon the successes of the past two years and pave the way for San Diego Opera’s future.”

For more information on “50 Years and Counting: A New Vision for San Diego Opera” campaign visit online at: www.sdopera.org/support/challenge

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Off to the races http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/02/04/off-to-the-races/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/02/04/off-to-the-races/#respond Thu, 04 Feb 2016 18:29:48 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=67894

We now know the winners of the Iowa caucuses; Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton. A self-proclaimed conservative outsider and the ultimate progressive insider. So America has a choice, the LGBT community does not.

While the primaries are just beginning, I believe Iowa has actually chosen one eventual nominee and one that will flame out. Sure there may be a few bumps along the way for Clinton, like New Hampshire, but Cruz is highly unlikely to be the nominee of his party.

His Republican peers hate Ted Cruz. So as we move to the next few primaries, it will become evident that the Republican establishment will cast its lot with Sen. Marco Rubio. So that means as we go forward the Republican choice will be Donald Trump or Rubio. Neither of whom is a great supporter of LGBT rights. Just like what the Republicans have done over the last decade with a woman’s right to choose, Trump, Rubio or Cruz would take the same tack with LGBT rights; chip away on the margins to ultimately weaken our marriage and adoption rights.

The choice on the other side Secretary Hillary Clinton or Sen. Bernie Sanders could not be more contrasting. Both are completely supportive of full civil rights for LGBT people. As I say every time, then why do over 20 percent of LGBT people vote Republican?

Well we are off to the races, the race for the White House coupled with a race for demographic advantage. The Republicans are counting on white conservatives to deliver a Republican to the White House. But the demographics just don’t work.

The Republicans have offended Latinos, African Americans, women and LGBT people with a host of positions and statements taken by the Republican presidential field. Not a great way to build a coalition to take you to the White House.

If the choice is between Rubio and Trump, as I believe it ultimately will be, the Republican establishment will pick Rubio. Why? The Republicans think Rubio can peel off some of the Latino vote. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Cubans are the arrogant cousin in the Latino family. Some believe that Cubans are a “special class” because they were treated differently with respect to immigration. A fact that Rubio’s family took advantage of to immigrate to America which Rubio seeks to deny to many Latinos that have come to America with the same dream as his parents.

So if you are pro-LGBT and pro-immigrant there is only one choice, the Democratic nominee. The odds favor a filly.



San Diego LGBT Weekly


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Letters http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/01/21/letters-69/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/01/21/letters-69/#respond Thu, 21 Jan 2016 21:38:47 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=67531


Gay, GOP

Dear Editor,

I thought, when I came out in 2002 at 36 years old, I had made it past the judgment. The truth is, unless you follow a certain pattern in the LGBT community, it will be the community that judges you. We say we seek tolerance and acceptance, but the truth is that’s only if you follow those who suggest you must be a liberal Democrat to fit in.

In 2002, not only did I come out, I switched parties to follow what I thought was necessary — a more liberal perspective. I would soon realize that perspective meant I had to abandon much of what I supported politically.

Many people want you to believe that to be gay, you must be a Democrat, and that the Republican Party hates gay people. That couldn’t be further from the truth, though some conservatives are still struggling with LGBT sexual orientation. The good news: Most have realized being gay is not a disease, and that gay people are not monsters or child molesters.

I wrote this letter because after more than 20 years in this community, and having been on both sides of the political spectrum, I’ve learned that it’s OK to be whatever you want to be: independent, Democrat and, yes, Republican. Your party affiliation doesn’t define you.

I just happen to be gay; I happen to be Republican; and that’s OK.


Orlando, Fla.

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The law of unintended consequences http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/01/21/the-law-of-unintended-consequences/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/01/21/the-law-of-unintended-consequences/#respond Thu, 21 Jan 2016 20:19:11 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=67539

Ted Cruz

I have to laugh as the Republican Party deals with the “birther” issue of Sen. Ted Cruz. There is nothing more amusing than seeing Republicans hoisted by their own petard, or simply put, being hobbled by tactics they developed.

When President Obama was attacked for years about being born in Kenya, not one Republican leader suggested that Obama’s birthplace was irrelevant because his mother was American born. Flash forward eight years and the ultimate hypocrisy of the Republican Party is in full view.

Now that Sen. Ted Cruz is being forced to address issues concerning his birth in Canada and therefore qualification to run for president of the United States, the Republican Party is being forced to actually consider that Cruz’s birthplace needs to be adjudicated.

The concept of a natural born citizen has never truly been defined. Some believe that to be a natural born citizen that a person must be born on United States soil; others believe that the requirement to be an American citizen means one of your parents is an American regardless of where you are born. The latter afforded dual citizenship to Sen. Cruz in Canada and the United States because his mother was an American.

So why all the controversy about President Obama? There was never any question about his mother’s American citizenship. So using the logic currently being espoused by Cruz and his other Republican supporters, there should never have been a “birther” issue with Obama. Even if he was born in Kenya, and he wasn’t Obama was born in Hawaii, according to Cruz it is settled law and Obama’s legitimacy should never have been questioned. At least that is what Cruz is saying now that he is having the same issue.

When the Republicans rushed to vilify Obama’s citizenship they should have anticipated the issue might rear its ugly head in their own party. Sen. Ted Cruz was already becoming a national figure and potential presidential candidate when the Republicans were still harping about Obama’s birthplace.

Now the Republicans are experiencing the law of unintended consequences. Their actions have produced a major issue for one of their leading presidential contenders, all because of their fervor to make Obama an illegitimate president. Now Republicans are facing a dilemma; if they support Cruz’s assessment, the whole Obama “birther” claims become completely ridiculous and a waste of the public’s time. On the other hand, if they don’t support Cruz and say he does not qualify to be president based upon the Constitution, they take out a major leader in their party from presidential contention. We will see whether being born on foreign soil is really important to the Republican Party when it comes to their politicians. I already know the answer, no. Watch as this issue goes away for Sen. Cruz. If I were running as a Democratic presidential contender, I would expose the hypocrisy of the Republican Party by simply asking, “Why does this not matter with Sen. Cruz but it was job one with President Obama?”

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Marco Rubio moves further to the Christian Right with new ad (VIDEO) http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/01/10/marco-rubio-moves-further-to-the-christian-right-with-new-ad-video/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/01/10/marco-rubio-moves-further-to-the-christian-right-with-new-ad-video/#comments Mon, 11 Jan 2016 01:45:34 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=67244

This week Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio moved unashamedly further to the Christian Right with the formation of a religious liberty advisory board, which includes such notable anti-LGBT figures as megachurch pastor, Rick Warren, Kelly Fiedorek and Doug Napier, lawyers with the anti-LGBT Alliance Defending Freedom and others.

According to a report in The Advocate, Rubio underscores his faith in an ad that just debuted in Iowa, where voters will choose candidates in presidential caucuses February 1, and where the religious conservative vote is important for Republicans. “Our goal is eternity, the ability to live alongside our creator for all time,” he says in the ad. “To accept the free gift of salvation offered to us by Jesus Christ. The struggle on a daily basis as a Christian is to remind ourselves of this. The purpose of our life is to cooperate with God’s plan.”

Watch the ad above.

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An open letter to LGBT Republicans 2 http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/01/07/an-open-letter-to-lgbt-republicans-2/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2016/01/07/an-open-letter-to-lgbt-republicans-2/#comments Thu, 07 Jan 2016 19:58:17 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=67159


As the first contests in the Republican presidential primary come to fruition, I would like to speak directly to my Republican LGBT brothers and sisters. You know I completely disagree with your ability to go into a voting booth and pull the lever for any of the people in the Republican field. But I offer your leaders the ability to respond to this simple question, “Why should a member of the LGBT community vote for a Republican presidential candidate in 2016”?

Is it the Republican presidential candidates’ ardent support of marriage equality? No. The remaining candidate who has the best record on the issue this campaign season is Gov. John Kasich. Kasich said he would support the Supreme Court ruling for marriage equality but remains opposed to same-sex marriage. Transgender rights and the Republican Party, forget about it. What a choice for the LGBT community.

How about the Republican presidential candidates support for immigration reform? Republican presidential candidates veer from ship ‘em all back to their countries of origin and build a wall, to honor the U.S. Constitution and allow children born to undocumented workers full U.S. citizenship. None of these solutions respect the family, which is the harbinger of the Republican Party. At best their policies would separate families at worst it deports all undocumented workers. The Republican Party does not know what to do with respect to immigration which is personified by Marco Rubio. Rubio was for immigration reform before he was against it.

Needless to say, I have a difference of opinion with the Republican Party with respect to immigration reform. I don’t want to punish those who have been here for years, dare I say I have a more Reaganesque approach; modified amnesty. That’s right I said it, amnesty. The people are already here but they did not enter the country correctly. Let them stay and become legal through work visas, but they cannot apply for federal benefits like welfare unless they can qualify for political asylum. Post amnesty we should have severe penalties for those who employ undocumented workers. This will ensure that everyone applies legally to enter the U.S. No opportunity for a job will stem the tide of undocumented workers.

What do the Republican presidential candidates think about women’s reproductive rights? The simple answer; defund Planned Parenthood and eliminate a women’s right to choose. Planned Parenthood provides mission critical services to women who do not have other alternative healthcare options; often the socio-economically challenged among us. If the Republicans are successful in November, the only women who will be denied their reproductive rights are many poor and minority women. The dirty little secret is that wealthy women terminate more pregnancies than poor or minority women on a percentage basis according to a recent study by the Brookings Institute.

What do the Republicans think about Obamacare, the law that is attempting to provide healthcare coverage to all Americans? Repeal, repeal, repeal. For the life of me, I don’t understand why people do not want everyone to get healthcare. Do LGBT Republicans really believe that you should die because you don’t have healthcare coverage? Yes, indigents can go to emergency rooms but by that time they have ignored all preventative measures due to cost. What about medications they cannot afford. Everyone should have the right to live? Right?

Should I vote for a Republican because of potential management of the economy? No. it has been proven that the deficit and economic indicators and measurements have been worse under Republican administrations for the last 50 years.

So why should an LGBT person vote Republican? I can’t find a reason that trumps the above. Pun intended. Explain to me why all the Republican presidential candidates believe that the majority of the electorate of this country is made up of conservative right-wing Christians. Our country was built on religious and cultural diversity. Good luck to your Republican presidential candidates, they won’t win women, they won’t win minorities, they won’t win LGBT people; they simply won’t win.



San Diego LGBT Weekly


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Gym envy http://lgbtweekly.com/2015/12/24/gym-envy/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2015/12/24/gym-envy/#respond Thu, 24 Dec 2015 20:40:39 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=66844


As the New Year approaches, many of us will be making resolutions for 2016. In fact, more than 50 percent of Americans will make a New Year’s resolution with the most frequent resolution being to lose weight. The end result is gym envy.

Gym envy is part of the reason that only 64 percent of people pursuing their weight loss goal succeed. With the goal to lose weight comes exercise, with exercise for many comes the gym. Whether it is lifting weights, running on the treadmill or taking yoga, we all experience gym envy.

Gym envy is where you are comparing your ability to someone else in the gym. It can be completely random. You get a treadmill and there is someone running next to you, do you peak at their stats? How fast they are running, how long they have been on the treadmill, how many calories burned? I sure do.

True gym envy is when you see the person whose body you think you can achieve. That person is already at your goal and you wonder how did he do it? So you look at what type of workout that your gym dream does each time you see him. Oh, he seems to love squats maybe I should add those to my routine. Or she really loves yoga with TRX, maybe that will work for me. You say to yourself, “I’ll have the same body in no time.” Oh the lies we tell ourselves.

Gym envy can be very discouraging because you are not focused upon your own body and what you are capable of doing. I mean you are 40 years old, do you really think that you are going to achieve the body of that 30 year old who is the subject of your gym envy? Doubtful.

Your focus in 2016 to achieve your weight loss or get fit goal should be “slow and steady wins the race.” The problem is American culture is about immediate gratification. So we all want to be like the hare; quick to our goal. Or worse, we lack discipline to be consistent. The first few weeks may only be 10 minutes lifting weights and that is fine. If you can, consistently do it for three months. Why, because otherwise you would be doing nothing. Don’t worry about your friends who work out 90 minutes a day or that hottie you have gym envy about, just be you.

Remember gym envy kills; it kills your motivation, makes you set unrealistic goals and makes you feel the progress that you are making is not enough.

If you make a 2016 resolution that finds you in a gym, make sure that you make a second resolution; the journey is about you and you alone.

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Coming January 2016: ‘The History and the Hair Story: 400 Years Without A Comb’ exhibition http://lgbtweekly.com/2015/12/12/coming-january-2016-the-history-and-the-hair-story-400-years-without-a-comb-exhibition/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2015/12/12/coming-january-2016-the-history-and-the-hair-story-400-years-without-a-comb-exhibition/#respond Sat, 12 Dec 2015 20:30:46 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=66545

four centuries hairESCONDIDO, Calif. — Opening Jan. 16, 2016, and running through the entire month of February 2016 (Black History Month) until March 6, 2016, the unveiling of “The History and the Hair Story: 400 Years Without A Comb” takes place at The Museum at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido. The exhibition transforms The Museum into a journey through pivotal events in our country’s history. Coinciding with the origin of civilization to the civil rights movement to our present culture, the comb’s untold story takes the spotlight by way of 400 years worth of artifacts, photography, historical accounts, propaganda and more!

“The History and the Hair Story” examines 400 years of changing hairstyles, and corresponding historical and political climates that led to them. The exhibit follows hair trends from Africa, into the slave trade, through the civil rights movement, and to modern times to find that hair, across cultures, is irrepressibly linked to identity and individuality. “The History and the Hair Story” features hair implements, products, advertisements, artifacts, and original artwork and photos. Starla Lewis, Professor of Black History at San Diego Mesa College and frequent guest curator and lecturer at the Women’s Museum of California, curates the exhibition.

Among the local artists who’ve been invited to tell their own Hair story is African American entrepreneur, barber, writer, business owner, self-taught chemist and pioneer in the field of African American hair care, Dr. Willie L. Morrow. He presents his extensive collection showing that old flattening irons and wooden combs tell a crucial story about the black experience, slavery and the economic empowerment of African Americans. Dr. Morrow dedicated his life to African American hair care and style through the creation of hair relaxers, chemical-free creams, the Jheri curl (a glossy, loosely curled look popular in the ’80s), and the Afro pick comb.

Dr. Morrow has been featured on magazine covers, as well as in San Diego Daily Transcript, San Diego Union-Tribune, and San Diego Voice & Viewpoint. On the walls of his office, he displays many of these clippings to encourage other blacks that they also can prosper. Now in his mid-seventies, Dr. Morrow has successfully been able to highlight his life’s journey and the history of hair through long-standing dedication to African American hair.

An exclusive media and members-only Opening Reception will be held at The Museum on Friday, January 15, 2016 from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm — the evening prior to the public kick-off of the exhibition. Please join curator Starla Lewis and various artists showcasing their works for a special preview of “The History and the Hair Story.” For all media interested in attending the reception, please RSVP directly to Jesse P. Cutler by Tuesday, January 12, 2016 by emailing jesse@jpcutlermedia.com

The Museum at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido is an inviting 9,000-square-foot exhibition space boasting three galleries, a sculpture court, secure collections storage, and a museum store. During exhibitions, the Museum is open Thursdays – Saturdays (10 am – 4 pm), and Sundays (1 pm – 4 pm). Tickets are $8; members and children under 12 get in free. Senior (60+), military and student discounts are available. For more information, please call (760) 839-4138 or visit: artcenter.org.

In honor of Museum Month, the Center Museum will offer 2-for-1 admission up to four people to anyone who has picked-up a Museum Month Pass at a participating San Diego Macy’s store during the month of February 2016. For more information, please call (760) 839-4178 or visit: artcenter.org.

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Janssen launches phase II of ‘Your Story, Your HIV Wisdom’ campaign http://lgbtweekly.com/2015/12/12/janssen-launches-phase-ii-of-your-story-your-hiv-wisdom-campaign/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2015/12/12/janssen-launches-phase-ii-of-your-story-your-hiv-wisdom-campaign/#respond Sat, 12 Dec 2015 15:30:21 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=66538

Janssen Therapeutics has launched phase II of their Your Story, Your HIV Wisdom campaign. 

The campaign provides space to share and showcase the wisdom of people living with or affected by HIV. Through Your Story, Your HIV Wisdom, Janssen aims to support the HIV community and empower people living with and affected by HIV to share and seek wisdom for their journey. Your Story, Your HIV Wisdom celebrates the wisdom within.

For each submission, you can direct Janssen Therapeutics to make a donation to one of 2 HIV nonprofit organizations, for a total donation of up to $10,000 per organization at the end of the campaign. Limit of one incremental donation for each type of wisdom submitted – text, audio, visual, or video.

Leading HIV activists Guy Anthony, Maria Mejia and Josh Robbins are serving as advisors to the campaign and will work with Janssen to select the wisdom they find impactful to be highlighted on the Web site monthly.

This month’s wisdom includes submissions from:


AngelinaMy name is Angelena Cortello. I have had HIV for 12 years. At first, I wasn’t open about it out of fear of rejection. When I decided to use that part of my life to make a difference, I was surprised at the support I received. Most of my fears were in my head. My HIV Wisdom for you is to not make decisions based on fear but on how you can help others live with it victoriously and help prevent the spread of the disease by letting people know to love themselves enough to protect themselves.

John StrangisMy name is John Strangis and I’m a heterosexual man living with HIV. HIV/AIDS is a condition that affects us all; gay, straight, Latino, black, white; you name it. If you have never been tested for HIV, I would highly recommend you do so because not only you are taking control of your own health, but you are protecting yourself and the ones you love in the process. Protect yourself, get tested, get into treatment if you test positive!
To submit your Wisdom and view more submissions go here.
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The most wonderful time of the year http://lgbtweekly.com/2015/12/10/the-most-wonderful-time-of-the-year/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2015/12/10/the-most-wonderful-time-of-the-year/#respond Thu, 10 Dec 2015 21:36:14 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=66435

As the holidays get into full swing, I have six tenets that should be considered to make sure this is indeed the most wonderful time of the year.

I am not an island

The holiday season anchors your year and gives you the opportunity for reflection. Who are the people and what are the events that have touched and impacted your life this year? How have these people and events changed you? What are your goals for the New Year, not platitudes that are New Year Resolutions, but real items that you want to work on. Who and what are critical in helping you accomplish your goals? How will you measure success?


In order to make your holiday season less stressful, plan, plan, plan. Make a list and check it twice, then plan a day off to do all of your shopping. Why shop on Saturday, Sunday or during the evenings, when you can have a leisurely shopping day on a Tuesday or a Wednesday? Get a friend to do the same and make a BFF day of it. You’ll get all your shopping done, avoid the crowds and get to spend some quality time with a friend.

Make a gift budget and stick to it

The joy of giving can lead to a financial hangover in the first few months of 2016. It is important to understand what you can afford to spend on gifts for those you care about. Make a list of who you intend to gift and make a budget for each person. For example, mom may be $200 but for cousin it may be a Starbucks gift card. You get the idea. My grandmother was always on the top of my list because she said, “It’s the thought that counts, but I don’t like cheap thoughts.”!

Watch your intake at company and co-worker parties

It is great to have fun with your co-workers during the holiday season but an incident can affect how your co-workers and boss view you forever. The old adage “don’t dance with a lampshade on your head” really applies. You don’t want to dread going to work on Monday because you either said something inappropriate, knocked over something, or took a pee in the plant. Moderation is the key to success at all company or co-worker holiday events.

If you are going home for the holidays

Remember that we all revert to our traditional roles. If you are the youngest in the family, you will revert to being the youngest in the family even if you may be 40 years old now. That doesn’t sound very healthy. Which is why some dread the trek home during the holiday season. One way to minimize stress is to stay at a hotel instead of the family homestead.

Sure there are those of you that have a family that the holidays are about joy and light. For the rest of you, remember to break out of your traditional role this season. Be conscious of what your traditional role is in the family and turn it on its head. If you are supposed to make the green bean casserole, call your sister and say you should make it this year, I’m making dessert. You’ll be surprised how such a small change can begin to change family traditions and the whole family dynamic positively this holiday season.

If you don’t have to drive, don’t

Many of you will think this is about drinking, which to a certain extent it is. Yes, please do not imbibe and drive. That’s table stakes during the holidays. But driving at all can just be stressful during the holidays. With the advent of Uber and Lyft, there is absolutely no reason to drive to your holiday party, pay for parking and have the hassle of getting in out of the parking garage. This is also the same for any house party you are attending. Why not let someone else’s feet do the driving while you can relax and enjoy your evening. Happy Holidays!

Follow these rules and it will absolutely be your Happy Holidays!

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Letters http://lgbtweekly.com/2015/12/10/letters-68/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2015/12/10/letters-68/#respond Thu, 10 Dec 2015 21:36:10 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=66431

The Pope’s messages are more important than his religion

Dear Editor,

This letter is addressed to San Diego LGBT Weekly publisher Stampp Corbin.

So I can better understand from where you’re coming, please indulge me and tell me what your religious preference is? Obviously you’re not Catholic, so are you a Protestant or an atheist? And if you’re a Protestant which denomination do you embrace?

I’ve enlisted sentences from your piece about Political Leadership (Message from our Publisher – San Diego LGBT Weekly, Oct. 1, issue 183.) You make numerous assertions to which I would like to respond. Your words are written in italics.

“Pope Francis was able to take Donald Trump out of the relevant news cycle for a week.” Yes, and what a relief it was! You say religion was allowed to take over our country for a week … but then you pointedly mention it was the Catholic religion that had done so. What’s your concern here, religion per se or Catholicism?

You point out that the dominant faith in this country in Protestantism. I agree, and would say that of the Protestant religions in this country the Southern Baptists are the most numerous and the most fundamental. Protestantism has always been a decentralized religion as it compares to Catholicism. Sure, each of the Protestant religions has their hierarchies, but collectively they don’t. You’re right; the difference between Protestantism and Catholicism is organizational. So what?

You mention that Protestants collectively “dwarf” Catholics in the U.S. But you should have also mentioned that Protestants are collectively “dwarfed” by Catholicism worldwide. Size, organization and worldwide influence do make a difference to heads of states. Perhaps, what we’re seeing from you is disdain that Protestantism is being “upstaged” by the Pope. Perhaps, when you say, “I do not think the Pope should have been shoved down the collective American throat on every news and entertainment channel,” you really mean Catholicism shouldn’t have been the source of that throat shoving. Envy amongst religions is nothing new. That’s why I want to know about your religious affiliation. Are your opinions impartial as you would have us to believe, or do they simply represent religious bias? By the way, I was aware China’s head of state Xi Jinping was in town and I thought his coverage in the news media was adequate. You said, “Whatever you think of the Pope’s visit, you can’t say it was not effective.” I agree, and that’s what’s important here. This Pope is a world recognized leader espousing good messages to which I agree. To me, his religion is irrelevant.


San Diego

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Cyndi Lauper shares ‘Hard Candy Christmas’ http://lgbtweekly.com/2015/12/09/cyndi-lauper-shares-hard-candy-christmas/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2015/12/09/cyndi-lauper-shares-hard-candy-christmas/#respond Thu, 10 Dec 2015 01:06:42 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=66372

Hard CandyMusic icon Cyndi Lauper adds to her vast history of memorable holiday classics with her new cover of “Hard Candy Christmas.” Famously recorded by Dolly Parton and written by Carol Hall, the song originated in the play and film The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas. This adds to Lauper’s veritable canon of Christmas songs which includes her classic album Merry Christmas… Have A Nice Life and legendary collaborations with Frank Sinatra (“Santa Claus Is Coming To Town”) and The Hives (“A Christmas Duel.”)  The track can be heard here and will be available at all digital download and streaming outlets this Friday, Dec. 11.

Ever the musical chameleon, Lauper is in the final production stages for her new album Detour, recorded in Nashville and showcasing her signature takes on classic country songs from the 1950’s and 60’s. The album will also feature appearances by some of county music’s most-celebrated artists. Detour will be Lauper’s first album for Sire Records and will be executive produced by legendary Sire founder Seymour Stein. The album is set for release in 2016 with more details to follow in the coming months.

Detour is the follow up to Lauper’s most recent studio album, 2010’s critically-acclaimed, Grammy-nominated Memphis Blues. A celebration of the blues, Memphis Blues featured collaborations with B.B. King, Jonny Lang, Allen Toussaint, Ann Peebles and Charlie Musselwhite and debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top Blues Albums Chart. The album held the top spot for 14 weeks, finishing out 2010 as the top-selling blues album of the year.

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Judged by the actions of a few http://lgbtweekly.com/2015/11/25/judged-by-the-actions-of-a-few/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2015/11/25/judged-by-the-actions-of-a-few/#respond Wed, 25 Nov 2015 19:30:05 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=66030


The terrorist attacks in Paris have alarmed people all across the world including the United States. Understandably, many have questioned the logic of allowing Syrian refugees into our country because the extremists of ISIS use Syria as a home base.

Many Republicans and Democrats suggest that Syrian extremists will be able to come into our country by posing as refugees and do harm on American soil. Sure that is a possibility, but that possibility is based upon religious stereotyping, plain and simple.

It is always interesting how racial, and some religious groups, are discriminated against based upon the actions of a few. Historically one of the worse periods in American history was when people of Japanese heritage were put in internment camps during World War II. American history also includes slavery, anti-Semitism and the infamous Operation Wetback by President Eisenhower that moved illegal Mexican immigrants back to their home country, often accompanied by civil rights violations and physical abuse.

In retrospect, all of the events where America has tried to control the movement, access and liberty of a particular group, based upon religion or race, are always looked upon with embarrassment. All of these horrible events were driven by powerful white men. Yet we do not stereotype all white men as evil. At least I don’t, I have spent my life with one.

It is the divine irony that white men who stereotype other groups and take actions to limit that group’s liberty are never stereotyped in the same way. Most mass shootings not involving family members; white males. White inmates are three times more likely to have abused a child than black inmates. Remember Timothy McVeigh who killed 168 at the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City? We don’t stereotype white men as pedophiles and sociopaths; and rightfully so.

I watch the fear mongering about Muslims take hold with many of our presidential candidates, particularly Republicans, as they trot out soundbite solutions to an audience desperate for reassurance that these atrocities won’t happen on American soil. Unlike these seekers of high office, I think in 20 years this will just be another embarrassment in American history.

I can only hope that as Martin Luther King famously said that people be judged by the “content of their character.” It is what we all hope, including the LGBT community. You do not want to be judged by the actions of a few in the LGBT community. How many of you have complained that XYZ in the Pride Parade does not represent me? Muslims deserve no less, they are individuals and judging them as a group by the actions of a few is simply unfair. Let’s ensure that America lives up to its creed and shows the true essence of its character; freedom and equality.



San Diego LGBT Weekly


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Just desserts http://lgbtweekly.com/2015/11/12/just-desserts/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2015/11/12/just-desserts/#respond Thu, 12 Nov 2015 20:26:16 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=65709

Prop 1Everyone is up in arms about the recent defeat of a pro-LGBT law in Houston called the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance or HERO for short. The issue, known as Proposition 1, was intended to ban discrimination based upon sexual orientation and gender identity by city and private employers, as well as in public accommodations. The ordinance would have also made prohibitions against discrimination based on sex, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, familial status, marital status, military status, religion, disability, genetic information and pregnancy explicit in the city’s code. Easy to support, right? Not so fast.

While LGBT advocates nationwide are pointing fingers at those who they perceive to be involved with the defeat of the legislation, and looking to build bridges with allies to pass similar legislation in the future, they seem to be holding everyone accountable except LGBT people themselves.

257,309 people voted on the HERO proposition; dismal turnout. The Houston adult population is roughly 1.6 million adults. Let’s assume that the LGBT population is 10 percent because the LGBT population density in Texas is 3.3 percent for the entire state and most LGBT people are located in the population centers of Houston, Austin, San Antonio and Dallas. That means there are 160,000 LGBT adults in Houston; why did they not turn out? Houston is a city which elected Annise Parker the openly lesbian mayor – three times! There is simply no excuse why LGBT voters didn’t turn out.

Only 100,000 people voted to support the HERO proposition. Even if you assume a 5 percent Houston adult LGBT population that would be 80,000 LGBT people. Yet the HERO proposition only got 100,000 votes. The national average for voters who self-identify as LGBT when asked is 5 percent, which means only about 13,000 LGBT people voted for HERO; the rest stayed home. LGBT voters in Houston did not care enough about their own civil rights to vote. Sound familiar? It should. That is exactly what happened in California with Proposition 8 in 2008.

I really don’t understand why our community does not turnout in droves when our rights are put on the ballot. Why isn’t the LGBT turnout 95 percent or 98 percent in these situations? How many times does a defeat like HERO and Prop. 8 have to happen before those in our community get that voting matters?

As we look to 2016 and the presidential election, it is this type of voter apathy that could deliver the Democratic nominee a defeat and put all of the gains the LGBT community has garnered over the last seven years at risk.

Unfortunately, if we lose our rights due to LGBT voter apathy we will be getting our just desserts. I pray that doesn’t happen in the 2016 presidential election, but to be honest, I am afraid.



San Diego LGBT Weekly


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Letters http://lgbtweekly.com/2015/11/12/letters-67/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2015/11/12/letters-67/#comments Thu, 12 Nov 2015 20:26:07 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=65699

New GOP embraces gays

Dear Editor:

As a dedicated reader of GLBT online newspapers, including yours, I’m amazed by how endlessly hateful and intolerant the reporting is on the Republican Party.

There is a new day for gay people in the GOP.

Consider this:

The Republican National Committee has removed all anti-gay planks from their 2016 national platform.

The lead attorney, who won the California and USSC cases that declared bans on same-sex marriages unconstitutional, was George W. Bush’s former evangelical right-wing Solicitor General Ted Olsen. Yet, Mr. Olsen’s name is never mentioned in the gay press.

GOP senators from Illinois, West Virginia, Ohio and New Hampshire, as well as the Koch brothers, signed amicus briefs to the USSC in support of gay marriage. So did over 300 other influential conservative Republicans, former cabinet members, and senior staffers to GOP senators and U.S. representatives, as well as those serving powerful Republican state legislators, according to Time magazine.

GOP Govs. Rick Snyder (MI) and Chris Christie (NJ) dropped their opposition to gay marriage. Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman supported legal same-sex marriage. Tennessee Gov. and chair of the Republican Governors Association Bill Haslam, now supports marriage for us, and so does Gov. John Kasich of Ohio.

Sen. Rand Paul has advocated for estate rights for gay couples.

Tammy Bruce, an avowed lesbian and top ranked conservative talk show host for Los Angeles KABC-AM, is also the deputy editor of the conservative Washington Times, as well as a regular panel host for women of the televised Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

No GOP Congress has ever cut AIDS funding.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott selected an openly gay man as his chief economic development adviser. Mr. Scott also appointed the president of the Log Cabin Republicans of Miami to the Florida Commission on the Status of Women.

And Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner joined New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in banning conversion therapy.

When the light is shining in, the gay press should not keep their readers in the dark.



Orlando, Fla.

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Revisionist history http://lgbtweekly.com/2015/10/29/revisionist-history/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2015/10/29/revisionist-history/#comments Thu, 29 Oct 2015 20:28:27 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=65358

Hillary Clinton

Many in the LGBT community are crying foul about comments by presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on the Rachel Maddow Show last week. Clinton, when asked about the damage her husband’s two anti-LGBT compromises, the Defense of Marriage Act and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, inflicted upon our community, responded that they were defensive moves to prevent something worse from happening. In particular, Clinton stated that there were forces out there trying to mount a Constitutional amendment to prevent same-sex marriage.

As an activist of a certain age, I know this is not true. As do many others who were active in the ‘90s during the signing of the two horrible laws. First, let me be clear that I understand that Secretary Clinton did not sign the legislation into law, her husband was the culprit. So Secretary Clinton should not be held to account for her husband’s actions. I get it. My husband would hate being held to account for many things I have written in LGBT Weekly. I also hope that my husband would defend my opinions in a public forum or at least attempt to, as I am sure you would like your partner to do too. So, where’s my beef? With LGBT activists who are screaming about what Clinton said, many of whom were ardent Clinton supporters in 2008.

If Clinton’s comments are LGBT poison in 2015, why were the same LGBT activists supporting her in 2008? The simple answer is they should not have been a Clinton supporter in 2008 or they should continue to support Clinton today. You don’t get to have it both ways.

Yes, Clinton is using revisionist history when she tries to defend her husband’s pitiful compromised decisions. But LGBT activists who vigorously supported Secretary Clinton in 2008 are also using revisionist history to justify their indefensible outrage about Clinton’s defense of her husband. It is also the height of hypocrisy.

These LGBT activists were fine with Clinton in 2008 because it was a different time, now the activists have evolved and Clinton as a candidate in 2008 is no longer as acceptable in 2015. When you hold someone to a standard you cannot uphold yourself, the old Biblical saying says it best, “Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone.” There are some mighty glass houses in our community on this issue. You see a little revisionist history goes a long way.

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Letters http://lgbtweekly.com/2015/10/29/letters-66/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2015/10/29/letters-66/#respond Thu, 29 Oct 2015 20:28:22 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=65352

SB 731: A step in the right direction for LGBTQ youth in foster care

Dear Editor

The California legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown took vital action by passing into law Senate Bill 731 (“Protections for transgender foster youth signed into law,” Oct. 12, 2015), a step that could vastly improve the lives of California’s transgender foster youth. Starting in 2016, the new law will require the state to consider a young person’s gender identity when choosing a foster care placement. It also adds protections for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) foster youth in the state by requiring training on how to best care for this broader population.

Across the country, there are approximately twice as many LGBTQ youth in foster care as in the non-foster care population, in part because many are abused at home based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. The impact of family rejection is profound: One study found that LGBTQ youth who experience family rejection are eight times more likely to attempt suicide, six times more likely to have serious struggles with depression and three times more likely to engage in drug use or unprotected sex.

When LGBTQ youth enter foster care, all too often they are further discriminated against and harmed, exacerbating the trauma they have already experienced. Children’s Rights has been told countless stories of young people being placed in hostile foster homes or institutions where they suffer verbal, physical and sexual abuse. Such incidents are particularly pervasive and horrific for transgender youth, whose very identities are rejected in these placements – and who, when bullied and abused, are criminalized for acting in their own self-defense.

It is crucial that foster care placements be safe and affirming. Considering how vulnerable LGBTQ youth in foster care are, this groundbreaking legislation is certainly a step in the right direction. Other states should enact comprehensive LGBTQ-affirming policies and regulations as well as processes for ensuring their implementation. Our young people deserve nothing less.



Senior Staff Attorney

Children’s Rights

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True friendship http://lgbtweekly.com/2015/10/15/true-friendship-2/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2015/10/15/true-friendship-2/#respond Thu, 15 Oct 2015 19:00:28 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=64981


I have been thinking about true friendship over the last week. We all have many types of friends. There are those new “social media” friends, who may be people who we have never even met. An interesting development, since the concept of a friend to me has always been someone with whom you share experiences – dinner, drinks, theater, travel, you get the idea.

I pass no judgement that the word friend has been changed to be something totally different. So what I want to talk about are those people who are your “true friends.” A true friend is someone who you know in the physical world with whom you can laugh and cry. A true friend is someone who you cannot see for years but when you reconnect, it’s like you were never apart.

I have reconnected with some of my true friends in Los Angeles over the last few weeks. Men who I lived with in Boston but who now all live in L.A. We all left Boston in 1992 and went our separate ways. Some to New York, some to Miami. I moved to Los Angeles. Over the last few years for various reasons they have all landed in L.A. Our lives became our lives and I did not see many of them for literally decades, yet now we are all back together and it could not be more fun.

When you get together with a true friend, you can reminisce about the fun you used to have when you were years younger that brings into perspective who you are today. I laughed till I almost peed my pants with one of my friends from Harvard Business School. Mike and I travelled the world together for 16 years every New Year’s Eve with three other HBS grads. There are stories and events in my life that only those four guys know and that will bond us forever.

I went out with two other friends from my Boston days and we went to the Tortilla Republic, The Abbey and Here; the Weho Sunday bar triumvirate. What was interesting is that my old friends and I were all the same, just older and wiser. We still find the same things amusing, we still have the same political opinions and we still can agree to disagree. At the end of the night, I realized how much I missed them because we have a true connection. One that should be cherished.

I have an assignment for you this week. Reach out to a true friend and reconnect. Not through Facebook or any other social media platform. How about an old fashioned phone call? You can use social media to “reconnect,” but call the person. Hear the cadence of their voice, their laugh, their pain of telling you that someone close to them passed away. Reconnect with someone who knew you when life seemed less complicated or was your best friend in high school.

Trust me it will feed your soul, as only true friends can do.

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See Israel with PRIDE: May 26 – June 2 http://lgbtweekly.com/2015/10/09/see-israel-with-pride-may-26-june-2/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2015/10/09/see-israel-with-pride-may-26-june-2/#respond Fri, 09 Oct 2015 15:24:44 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=64740

Israel PrideSAN DIEGO – The Jewish Federation of San Diego County and the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), invite members of the Jewish community on a unique and historic mission to Israel.

See Israel with PRIDE offers a unique opportunity to join members of the Jewish LGBTQ community to experience Israel like never before and give participants a chance to connect with the land and people of Israel. They will also learn about the successes and the challenges the community are facing, and to feel a part of the Jewish collective.

The mission also serves as an amazing opportunity to see first-hand Federation’s work with LGBTQ activists and politicians that is changing lives not only in Israel but around the world. Israel is considered highly progressive when it comes to LGBTQ rights, and by far is the most progressive in the region – In fact, Tel Aviv is often called the “gay capital of the Middle East”.

On this mission, participants will have an opportunity join Reuven Rivlin, President of the State of Israel, for a festive opening dinner. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity will focus on work he is doing to help progress LGBTQ rights in Israel.

The mission takes place in from May 26 – June 2, 2016, and will include a visit to Jerusalem’s Old City, a chance to relax on Tel Aviv’s world famous beaches, opportunities to meet activists, politicians, LGBTQ community leaders, and a chance to have dinner with IDF soldiers and officers. As a bonus – there will be a special opportunity to dance the night away with Israeli pop star Ivri Lider, best-selling artist and the host of The X Factor Israel.

Tel Aviv’s Gay Pride Festival, one of the largest in the world with hundreds of thousands of participants will take place on June 3, and options are available for those travelers who wish to stay and enjoy the festivities.

To learn more about See Israel with PRIDE, visit the Jewish Federations Web site here or email Miriam Norten of the Jewish Federation of San Diego County at miriamn@jewishfederationsandiego.org.

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Mental health, gun violence and blame http://lgbtweekly.com/2015/10/07/mental-health-gun-violence-and-blame/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2015/10/07/mental-health-gun-violence-and-blame/#respond Wed, 07 Oct 2015 18:03:40 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=64692

GunAnother mass shooting perpetrated by a young white man. I use that description because if these shootings were being perpetrated by young Latino or black men, it would be the headline but I digress before I really get started.

Another mass shooting by a person who is mentally unstable. There is plenty of blame to go around. Since many think I have a liberal bent, let me start with my liberal friends at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The ACLU has been a tireless advocate for the rights of the mentally ill, so much so that it is extremely difficult to, as my grandmother used to say, “put someone away.” In fact, the ACLU has said the goal should be “nothing less than the abolition of involuntary hospitalization.”

Now families have limited ability to take action when their loved ones exhibit bizarre behavior. To get their loved ones help is almost virtually impossible due to the rights of the mentally disabled. While I am for personal rights, why should the rights of the mentally disabled trample someone else’s right to live? Are we willing to let innocent lives be lost to protect a mentally unstable individual’s rights? The ACLU believes the answer to that question is yes.

The pendulum needs to swing in the other direction; families need to be able to more easily commit their loved ones who they believe are a danger to themselves or others. The liberal ACLU needs to admit their responsibility in the increase of mentally unstable individuals roaming our streets, some who perpetrate mass murder.

Then there is the GOP. The Republican Messiah, Ronald Reagan, bears some responsibility for the mentally unstable and homeless on the streets of America, particularly in California. In 1967, then Gov. Reagan signed into law a bill that made it extremely difficult to commit a loved one involuntarily. The result, homeless, mentally unstable people on the streets because they were released from mental hospitals with episodes of violence like mass shootings. As California goes, so does the nation. Other states adopted the California plan, all in the pursuit of saving money and reducing the size of government.

Then there are the so-called Second Amendment advocates. You should be able to buy a gun, anytime, anywhere. No background checks, no mental health screenings, no mandated licensing. So the mentally ill can easily purchase a gun and inflict carnage at the local school, mall or workplace. The unfortunate perfect storm.

The ACLU protects the rights of the mentally ill making it harder to commit a loved one, Ronald Reagan and the right created the release of the mentally ill from state run hospitals to save money and the gun lobby allows the mentally ill easy access to guns. Is it any wonder that mass shootings have so dramatically increased? Unfortunately, all of the stands taken by each of these interest groups seems intractable. That means we will be talking about another mass shooting in about 150 days. Then the conversation about what needs to be done will begin again. And nothing will change.

This commentary was first published on The Huffington Post Politics Blog 10/6/15

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Positional leadership http://lgbtweekly.com/2015/10/01/positional-leadership/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2015/10/01/positional-leadership/#respond Thu, 01 Oct 2015 18:01:11 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=64570

Pope Francis and President Obama

The Holy See of the Catholic Church, known simply as the Pope, dominated the airwaves in America last week. Pope Francis was able to take Donald Trump out of the relevant news cycle for a week. Now that is something. Something that should concern all Americans.

The media and our government has allowed religion, the Catholic religion, to take over our country for an entire week. Turn on any news program, the Pope. Turn on an entertainment news program, Gloria Estefan performs for the Pope. Turn on CNBC, “Is Pope Francis a business basher?” You get the idea. The Pope 24/7.

That is very troubling. Just like what is required with political candidates, shouldn’t other faiths get equal airtime? Sept. 22 was Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish faith’s calendar this year but you would never know it because the Pope was in town. When a leader of another faith comes to America, should we close down roads, and have incessant coverage on the airwaves? After all, Evangelical Protestants make up a higher percentage of the American faithful than Catholics. In fact, when you combine Evangelicals with traditional Protestants, they dwarf Catholics in the U.S.

Some would argue that the coverage is because the Pope is a head of state since the Vatican is a sovereign nation. Did you know that China’s head of state, Xi Jinping, was in town last week? Probably not. The Pope’s coverage has nothing to do with him being a head of state. It has everything to do with Pope Francis being the head of the Catholic Church.

So why does the Pope get so much attention? Organizational structure. The Pope is the infallible leader of the Catholic Church. Other religions are not organized in the same way. For example, each denomination of Protestants have a different leadership structure, with some not having a divine leader at all. The same for the Jewish faith, largely due to the diaspora, no ultimate divine leader. So the Pope is unique and his power comes from his position.

At Harvard Business School, one of my classes was called Power and Influence. The class looked at how leaders derive and use power. One type of leadership is simply positional power. You are the CEO and your power to influence others is derived from the position. That is what gives Pope Francis his power; the ability to minister to the over 2 billion Catholics in the world. Does that warrant 24/7 coverage? No.

While I support the Catholic faithful celebrating their Holy See, I do not think the Pope should have been shoved down the collective American throat on every news and entertainment channel.

Many wonder why the Catholic Church has so much power in the world. The power of the Catholic Church is its organization. One leader who speaks directly for his God. Last week illustrated the power of organizational structure and positional leadership at its best and its worst. Other faiths and organizations should take note. The civil rights movement was so effective because there was ultimately one leader – Martin Luther King. Imagine what our community could accomplish if one leader emerged. Whatever you think of the Pope’s visit, you can’t say it was not effective.



San Diego LGBT Weekly


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San Diego LGBT history and art on display http://lgbtweekly.com/2015/09/24/san-diego-lgbt-history-and-art-on-display/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2015/09/24/san-diego-lgbt-history-and-art-on-display/#comments Thu, 24 Sep 2015 18:43:01 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=64411
RD and Rainbow River Book

RD and Rainbow River Book

SAN DIEGO, California – San Diego-based LGBT artist RD Riccoboni will host a retrospective of his LGBT-themed works entitled “RAINBOW RIVER: An LGBT Artist’s Retrospective” at his newly opened gallery in Bankers Hill this Sunday, September 27th from 2:00pm to 5:00pm in support of San Diego Pride.

Known for his vibrant landscapes and city-scenes, RD Riccoboni has also faithfully chronicled watershed moments in LGBT history throughout his lifetime. His depictions of LGBT events and happenings – which began as a way to remember friends he had lost to HIV/AIDS – detail the growth and strength of the community over the past 25 years. Topics of this show will include the 1993 LGBT March on Washington, the 25th Anniversary of Stonewall in NYC, the 2008 protest of Prop 8’s passing in San Diego, the Repeal of DOMA and more!

Riccoboni explains, “These paintings tell a slice of San Diego’s LGBT history. It is my honor to share this with you, and the friends of San Diego Pride, as we travel together through this period of time along the Rainbow River.”

Signed and numbered copies of his most recent rendition of San Diego Pride’s 30 foot rainbow flag flying from the Museum of Man this past July will be on sale for a special price, and framed versions will be available by silent auction.

A $20 suggested donation is requested at the door to support San Diego Pride. Light refreshments and an open bar will be provided. The gallery is located at 2121 Fifth Ave Suite 205, SD CA 92101. Street parking is plentiful and free on Sundays.

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ABA names recipients of Stonewall Award honoring LGBT advancements in the legal profession http://lgbtweekly.com/2015/09/19/aba-names-recipients-of-stonewall-award-honoring-lgbt-advancements-in-the-legal-profession/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2015/09/19/aba-names-recipients-of-stonewall-award-honoring-lgbt-advancements-in-the-legal-profession/#comments Sun, 20 Sep 2015 01:45:42 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=64289

AwardsCHICAGO — Three longstanding LGBT legal activists will be honored by the American Bar Association Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity with its third annual Stonewall Award during a ceremony on Feb. 6, 2016, at the ABA Midyear Meeting in San Diego.

Named after the New York City Stonewall Inn police raid and riot of June 28, 1969, which was a turning point in the gay rights movement, the award recognizes lawyers who have considerably advanced lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals in the legal profession and successfully championed LGBT legal causes.

The 2016 award recipients:

Thomas Fitzpatrick, the first openly gay person to be elected to the ABA Board of Governors, who worked to make the ABA a more inclusive and supportive place for LGBT, including working to expand the association’s diversity goal to include sexual orientation and gender identity and to create the Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. A partner at Talmadge Fitzpatrick Tribe in Seattle, he practices in the areas of professional responsibility, municipal law, land use and litigation. A graduate of the University of Montana and University of Chicago Law School, from 1999 to 2004, he was the assistant chief of the Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office Civil Division and served as executive director of Snohomish County from 2005-06.

Abby Rubenfeld, who filed the Tennessee lawsuit in 2013 that led the U.S. Supreme Court to legalize gay marriage in June, has been an attorney and legal director of Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, serves on the board of the Human Rights Campaign, and has worked with the Tennessee Equality Project, American Civil Liberties Union and the National Center for Lesbian Rights, among other advocacy groups. A graduate of Princeton University and Boston University Law School, she worked to overturn Tennessee’s sodomy law in 1996. Rubenfeld is an adjunct professor at Vanderbilt University Law School and former chair of the ABA Individual Rights and Responsibilities Section.

Evan Wolfson, the founder and president of Freedom to Marry, a group favoring same-sex marriage in the United States, is considered by many the father of the same-sex marriage movement. The author of the 2004 book “Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality and Gay People’s Right to Marry,” Wolfson graduated from Yale College and served in the Peace Corps in Togo in west Africa before getting his law degree at Harvard Law School. After stints that included teaching philosophy at Harvard, serving as an assistant district attorney in Brooklyn and as associate counsel to Laurence Walsh in the Office of Independent Counsel, Wolfson worked for the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund from 1989 to 2001 before leaving to form Freedom to Marry in 2001. In 2004, Time magazine included Wolfson on its list of the “100 most influential people in the world.”

“The American Bar Association is pleased to recognize these three gay rights pioneers. Each has been a forceful voice for LGBT inclusion and legal progress,” said Mark Johnson Roberts, chair of the ABA Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.

The ABA Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity leads the ABA’s commitment to diversity, inclusion and full and equal participation by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the ABA, the legal profession and society. Created in 2007, the commission seeks to secure equal treatment in the ABA, the legal profession and the justice system without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity.

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Hypocrisy http://lgbtweekly.com/2015/09/17/hypocrisy/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2015/09/17/hypocrisy/#respond Thu, 17 Sep 2015 16:17:08 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=64167

Carly Fiorina ----I am really enjoying the side show that is the Republican Presidential Primary. Now I don’t like all of the anti-LGBT rhetoric and hate speech, but I do enjoy the ridiculous hypocrisy of many of the candidates.

Donald Trump said the following about Carly Fiorina, “Look at that face!? Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?!” Trump added, “I mean, she’s a woman, and I’m not supposed to say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?”

The media went wild. Oh my goodness what a misogynistic thing to say. Talking about a woman’s appearance, beyond the pale. How could Trump get away with such a thing?

Now Fiorina has responded with an ad called Look at the Face that trumpets the contribution of women in America. And Fiorina says she is proud of her 61-year-old face and every wrinkle on it. How inspiring! Right?

Well not so fast. Fiorina is the ultimate hypocrite. She thinks that the voter has a short memory and Fiorina is right. But then there is me, not your average American voter. I am engaged and have a very long memory.

When Fiorina was cutting her political teeth running for the Senate against Sen. Barbara Boxer, Fiorina learned what an open mic is all about. While she was waiting for a CNN interview, Fiorina made some comments that were recorded that showed her true personality. Chatting with her aides as the cameras were rolling, Fiorina mocked the coiffure of Boxer saying that “everyone says ‘God what is that hair? It is so yesterday.’” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XtPMq9xxOY

Hypocrisy thy name is Fiorina. This is exactly why it is ridiculous for Fiorina to say anything about Trump’s comments about her. Such a double standard. Fiorina can say nasty things about Boxer’s hair but her mug is off limits? Ridiculous. I might even say it’s worse for a woman to make negative appearance comments about another woman versus a misogynistic man making a comment you would expect. But I digress.

Fiorina has responded to Trump with the Look at That Face ad but there was no Look at that Do ad to celebrate women’s hair choices when Fiorina ran against Boxer. That’s what makes Fiorina the ultimate hypocrite. I hope the debate moderator asks Fiorina about her Boxer comments at the debate on Wednesday. That would be great television.

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God told me not to http://lgbtweekly.com/2015/09/03/god-told-me-not-to/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2015/09/03/god-told-me-not-to/#comments Thu, 03 Sep 2015 18:48:18 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=63894

Kim Davis

The last several weeks have been monumental with respect to the implementation of marriage equality in the United States. As gays and lesbians have celebrated the Supreme Court decision giving us equal marriage rights across the nation, there are those committed to ensuring that it is not universally applied. That is one reason why you need to remain vigilant in the fight for LGBT equality. The battle has now moved to the nebulous ground of faith – the combustible combination of politics and religion.

Quietly the Republican National Committee passed a resolution last month in support of the so-called First Amendment Defense Act (FADA). If passed, FADA will create a breakdown of government services and runaway litigation. For example, FADA will permit a federal employee to refuse to process tax returns, visa applications or Social Security checks whenever a same-sex couple’s paperwork appears on his or her desk. Meanwhile in Kentucky …

While the FADA legislation is designed to discriminate against legally married gay and lesbian couples, the concept is already being extended to couples who want to get married. Kim Davis, a clerk in Rowan County Ky., has repeatedly refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples because she does not want her signature on those licenses due to her religious beliefs. Be damned the hypocrisy of issuing licenses to divorced people or adulterers. Nope, just gays and lesbians.

Davis’ refusal has made its way into the courts where she has lost several times. She has appealed to the Supreme Court without success. Yes, the same court that just ruled in favor of same-sex marriage across the nation. Davis, similar to the ideas espoused by the Republican Party, believes she has a First Amendment right, under the guise of religious freedom and protection, to deny same-sex couples marriage licenses. Yet LGBT tax dollars help pay her salary. Davis needs to be fired; her job is to issue marriage licenses according to civil law, not the laws of her supreme being.

If you thought the fight for gay and lesbian marriage equality was won, think again. Republicans, and people like Davis, believe they have a religious right to discriminate against the LGBT community in the public square. When LGBT Republicans pull the lever for their nominee in 2016, they are also agreeing with the party platform that says religious people have the right to discriminate against LGBT people in government services and beyond.

The bakery that does not want to bake your wedding cake. The county clerk that does not want to issue you a marriage license. The restaurant that does not want to serve same-sex couples. All supported by the FADA legislation and the Republican Party. And unbelievably, LGBT Republicans.

LGBT Republicans will twist themselves into knots trying to explain how they don’t support that part of the Republican Party platform. How what’s in the platform does not matter. How other issues are more important and the FADA legislation is dead on arrival. All excuses for them to support a party that hates you. Disgusting.

You need to remain engaged in the LGBT journey toward full equality. Four Republican presidential candidates have signed a pledge to work to overturn marriage equality. Bigoted people across the nation are refusing LGBT people medical services, meals at restaurants and other accommodations. The people who hate us will never give up, will you?

We must not forget about members of the LGBT community who live in the hinterlands of America. Until they can walk freely, none of us are truly free and equal. Just ask the clerk in Kentucky.



San Diego LGBT Weekly


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Letters http://lgbtweekly.com/2015/09/03/letters-65/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2015/09/03/letters-65/#respond Thu, 03 Sep 2015 16:48:13 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=63888


Thanks for having my back

Dear Editor,

Thanks for your publisher’s editorial on diversity at San Diego Pride (issue 179, Aug. 6). I can be impressed by shirtless 30-year-olds partying but to have only a +55 shade place for seniors is beyond insulting and is noticed. I supported LGBT Pride with contributions and attended events, but no longer will I support an organization that likes my money but discriminates against me.


San Diego

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New survey shows U.S. Catholics open to non-traditional families http://lgbtweekly.com/2015/09/02/new-survey-shows-u-s-catholics-open-to-non-traditional-families/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2015/09/02/new-survey-shows-u-s-catholics-open-to-non-traditional-families/#respond Thu, 03 Sep 2015 00:57:07 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=63843

When Pope Francis arrives in the U.S. for the World Meeting of Families later this month, he will find a Catholic public that is remarkably accepting of a variety of non-traditional families, according to a new Pew Research Center survey that provides an in-depth look at American Catholics’ views on family life, sexuality and Catholic identity.

Nine-in-ten U.S. Catholics say a household headed by a married mother and father is an ideal situation for bringing up children. But the survey shows that large majorities think other kinds of families – those headed by parents who are single, divorced, unmarried or gay – are OK for raising children, too.

Catholics Say Traditional Families Ideal; Other Family Arrangements Acceptable

Nine-in-ten U.S. Catholics say, when it comes to parenting, a married mother and father are ideal – as good as, or better than, any other arrangement for bringing up kids. But large majorities of Catholics think other family configurations generally are acceptable, too.

For example, 84% of Catholics say it is acceptable for unmarried parents who live together to bring up children, including 48% who call this as good as any other arrangement for raising children. And fully two-thirds of American Catholics think it is acceptable for same-sex couples to raise children, including 43% who say a gay or lesbian couple with children is just as good as any other kind of family.

For more on the study go here.

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Changing advertising in America http://lgbtweekly.com/2015/08/20/changing-advertising-in-america/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2015/08/20/changing-advertising-in-america/#respond Thu, 20 Aug 2015 18:00:28 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=63409

I just returned from Las Vegas after attending the inaugural conference of the National Equality Publishers Association (NEPA). A group of publishers serving the LGBT community across the nation began the process of creating the organization almost a year ago. NEPA is an advocacy group for LGBT print publishers and associated Web sites. Why should you care?

With the marriage equality ruling by the Supreme Court, the world has changed for gay and lesbian people throughout America. The ruling means that LGBT culture will begin to be mainstreamed. The closest example would be what happened to African Americans after the implementation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Before then, African Americans rarely saw themselves and their lives reflected in any type of advertising, or on television and radio programs.

After the passing of the Civil Rights Act, companies began to acknowledge that African Americans purchased dish soap, hair products and food, just like white people. Today the concept of avoiding African American consumers seems absurd but that is exactly what is happening with marketing to the LGBT community.

In the last year how many ads from large mainstream brands have you seen yourself? One? Two? Three at the most? I do not mean a rainbow flag or the HRC yellow equal sign. I mean actual people that look and act like you. I mean a gay or lesbian couple drinking coffee in an ad for Folgers. You get the idea.

Over the next five years, marketers for the largest companies in the nation will realize that being a first mover in appealing to the LGBT community through effective advertising will build their brand and revenues. There have been some trailblazers like Absolut Vodka.

When Absolut came to America from Sweden in 1979, the company did not get the memo that said don’t market to LGBT people. Absolut built its brand in progressive nightclubs like Studio 54 in New York and the Trocadero Transfer in San Francisco. Trendsetters attending these clubs during the disco age included many LGBT people who were drinking the high end brand along with their straight counterparts. Subsequently in 1981 Absolut began taking out ads in the LGBT publications The Advocate and After Dark, while unabashedly placing their brand in exclusively LGBT establishments. Sure there were other alcohol brands in LGBT bars but those brands were really about taking our money not about marketing to the community. Think Coors.

Absolut did not have people in its ads but the fact that the brand took out ads at all was so incredibly trailblazing it is almost impossible to describe. After a night of partying at the Trocadero, I sat on the patio of the End Up with an Absolut Cape Cod in hand and vowed to drink Absolut until I died. A vow I have managed to keep. Brand loyalty that is truly deserved. And there are scores of LGBT people of a certain age who agree with me.

Flash forward 34 years and not much has changed. There are a few ad campaigns targeted at our community but nothing compared to the ad dollars spent pursuing the African American and Latino communities. In 2014, Marriott launched the #LoveTravels campaign that featured LGBT people in their true state as individuals and couples. How many of you saw the campaign? Probably not many because the ad support was limited to national publications and Web sites that may not have not reached you. That is about to change.

The National Equality Publishers Association was created to ensure that the LGBT community gets the respect it deserves from the Fortune 500 brands and beyond. You buy Tide, Febreze, iPhones and Ford cars like everyone else. It is time for these brands to actively pursue your business just like they do for other communities.

The LGBT consumer is no longer content to hand over its hard earned dollars to companies that are not willing to acknowledge them as a customer. NEPA will help the Fortune 500 make the transition to marketing and advertising that includes you. That means that the kid in Tuscaloosa, Ala. who is L, G, B, or T will be able to turn on the television, open their tablet or read their favorite print magazine and see LGBT people represented, just like everyone else. That’s impact.

The ad will make an even greater difference with the Tuscaloosa kid’s straight counterparts. Now that LGBT kid will no longer seem different, he will be just like the people the straight kid saw in an ad for their favorite jeans. That’s why you should care that publishers serving the LGBT community have formed the National Equality Publishers Association.

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NYPD arrest man in connection with hate crime attack against West Point gay couple http://lgbtweekly.com/2015/08/12/nypd-arrest-man-in-connection-with-hate-crime-attack-against-west-point-gay-couple/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2015/08/12/nypd-arrest-man-in-connection-with-hate-crime-attack-against-west-point-gay-couple/#respond Wed, 12 Aug 2015 18:47:03 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=63145

Larry and Daniel Lennox-Choate | Photo: Facebook

A man who allegedly attacked the first gay couple to be married at West Point has been arrested by police in New York.

According to the Advocate, Thomas Clabough, 57, of Queens was to face a judge Wednesday, on charges of assault and attempted assault as a hate crime.

Aug. 2 Clabough entered a deli on Prince Street in lower Manhattan to buy a beer, and saw Daniel and Larry Lennox-Choate and allegedly began yelling anti-gay slurs at the couple and then punched Daniel in the face.

Larry took up the story on his Facebook page, “It’s hard to believe that in 2015 we would have to deal with anti-gay hate crimes in soho of all places but that’s what happened today. First off- we’re ok. Aside from one fat lip and a sore punching arm, we are fine. The guy who screamed anti-gay obscenities at us in a bodega before sucker-punching Danny? He left covered in his own blood with his tail between his legs after I handled the situation and tossed him in the street like the coward loser he is. The hate crimes division of the NYPD is on the case and we have full faith a positive outcome will follow. We refuse to be victims and are thankful we can defend ourselves, but are saddened by the fact that idiots like this guy might not pick two guys who went through Plebe Boxing next time.”



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Diversity at Pride should mean more than a 55+ cooling zone! http://lgbtweekly.com/2015/08/06/diversity-at-pride-should-mean-more-than-a-55-cooling-zone/ http://lgbtweekly.com/2015/08/06/diversity-at-pride-should-mean-more-than-a-55-cooling-zone/#comments Thu, 06 Aug 2015 19:00:10 +0000 http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=62951

As Pride season ended, I had several conversations with those of a certain age about the events around the country. Many of those that are 40 years old and older are beginning to feel left out of the festivities. Pride seems to be all about youth. Is it time for Pride to grow up and provide programming that appeals to those who want to do something other than look at hot, young men and women enjoying their youth dancing in bars and having libations? My older gay brother always says, “Stampp get over it. If you can’t hold on to your youth, hold on to a youth!” That works for some, but most people 40 and over that I have talked to would like Pride to have a more diverse program of activities.

When I have experienced Pride in international cities, whether it was Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Montreal or a host of other cities, I am always struck by the diversity of the events that constitute Pride. EuroPride this year was accompanied by a Freedom Conference, as well as a film festival and a host of workshops. The Sydney Pride festivities featured art, cinema, debates, trivia and sporting events. Same for Amsterdam. Just check out the events in London, Copenhagen or Madrid, you’ll get the idea quickly that international cities understand that Pride is for everyone, not just those who want to party. Not that there is anything wrong with that. It’s just that if Pride is to celebrate the “community,” it should do that with varied activities that appeal to all aspects of the community.

Many Prides, including the one in San Diego, think diversity is providing a hip-hop and Latino dance area. To be fair, San Diego Pride has provided 55, the senior cooling zone, for several years. The program says the space offers “a cool, shady area with seating and services for people 55 and up.” Are you kidding me? That’s what San Diego Pride thinks is programming for a 55-year-old? I hope next year they have space for my walker and oxygen tank.

As our community continues to experience full equality, Pride should and must appeal to the diversity that is the LGBT community. That includes those who are looking for something other than the ability to wear fun crazy outfits, cruise that hot man or woman, or try a Jagerbomb for the first time. We live in America’s Finest City and our Pride should be America’s finest.

How about some Pride activities that take advantage of our beautiful city? What about an organized hike at Iron Mountain Trail or Cowles Mountain? Or organizing a Pride Gallery Hop that would feature LGBT artists from the community at various galleries around the city? How about a “Night at the Museum” where a couple of the museums in Balboa Park are opened late for cocktails and a curated tour? What about a comedy night at the former Birch North Park Theatre? Or a lecture series and tour of the history of San Diego? Or a special Pride performance at the Spreckels organ pavilion? America’s Finest City Pride should have cultural, sporting and entertainment events that appeal to a diverse age group. One of the wonderful benefits about aging is your interests become increasingly more diverse. While Pride should have great activities for those celebrating their youth and new civil rights freedoms, it should also acknowledge the wonderful diversity represented by those who helped create the very rights that young LGBT people are experiencing.

I do have interests beyond seeking shade and “services” in the 55 and over area. It is the equivalent of those over 40 years old suggesting there should be a Pride 25 and under baby bottle area.

OK Pride, now you know. What are you going to do about it in 2016?



San Diego LGBT Weekly


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