Latest Issue – LGBT Weekly Fri, 24 Jun 2016 17:12:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Erasers Thu, 23 Jun 2016 21:47:18 +0000

It seems everywhere I look, mainstream, LGBT and conservative Christian journalists are reporting about, and opining on the Orlando mass murder at Pulse, as well as lawmakers saying things and taking votes.

If we’re going to talk in terms of groups of people, instead of us as individuals, for a moment, we all see random, impersonal death that came from malevolent intent.

Beyond that, it’s as if we haven’t witnessed the passing of the same 49 lives and the physical wounding of 53 more.

I see erasers.

As almost everyone in the LGBT community knows – as almost everyone in the entire U.S. knows – Pulse is an LGBT bar in Orlando, Fla. It was at a Latinx night there when a mass murderer, who swore allegiance to ISIS, took an assault rifle and a pistol to the bar to shoot over a hundred people. About half of those who died were of Puerto Rican descent.

Throughout the coverage of, and reaction to the mass murder, some part of the tragedy, or some part of the people who were directly impacted by the tragedy, were erased.

It was seen in mainstream cable media’s initial coverage of the mass murder, when it wasn’t mentioned that Pulse was an LGBT bar, or that it was a Latinx night and the victims were almost all Latinx were mentioned.

Florida’s Gov. Rick Scott and state Attorney General Pam Bondi faced criticism in the days after the mass murder for not mentioning the LGBT community in their public remarks about it. Lawmakers across the nation generically offered prayers for victims and their families when in previous years these same lawmakers fought against the victims’ ability to have families through marriage.

In a bar that served the entire LGBT community, what media covered any bisexual people killed? A Williams study indicated that 64 percent of LGB families with children have at least one partner that’s bisexual: there were several among the dead who had children. If there were any bisexual people among the dead, lack of coverage erased their identities.

I’ve read several pieces in the religious right press that want to blame “radical Islam,” and erase the victims. Perhaps the worst example of hate was found in a Family Research Council email. In one linked story they talked about how “the Left is still twisting this massacre into an opportunity to shove Christians and radical Muslims under the same umbrella.” Yet in another linked story on the same day, the FRC demonized trans women as voyeurs, or people who enable them. “In Target, yet another man was caught ‘peeping inside a unisex changing room.’ Now that the chain’s bathrooms and fitting rooms are open to everyone, moms and dads are either shopping elsewhere or increasingly wary.”

Personally, I’m reminded of the 2012 Harvard Law Review article Civil Rights Reform and the Body by Tobias Barrington Wolfe. He listed four things socially conservative people of faith and lawmakers offer LGBT community members as solutions in their plan to systematically erase us: convert us, “cure” us, closet us, and kill us.

Islamic fundamentalism, Christian fundamentalism; I fail to see a difference of effect for LGBT community members. Their solutions seem the same.

In my own experience, I went through ex-trans therapy as a Pentecostal in the late 1970s; my experience was being told to pray the gay – I mean “transvestite” – away, and deepen my faith. I was offered conversion, faith as the cure, and a life in a closet.

And, this is what fundamentalist, “radical Islam” teaches their LGBT people of faith as well: pray, and deepen their faith.

At Pulse, we had a radical person professing a fundamentalist faith kill 49 mostly Latinx LGBTQ community members, and injured 53 more. Through death, he erased 49 community members.

And with terror, with fear, he’ll likely functionally closet more LGBT community members, and leave other Latin and/or LGBT community members afraid to leave their homes. That, by function, are what hate crimes are supposed to do.

We have the terrible burden of going out into the world and being who we are within all of our minority intersections so we can change the world. And, we are changing the world.

But, we do this knowing that at all of those intersections where we live – gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, queer, black, Latinx, API, disabled, veteran, old, young, etc. – we may find ourselves, morally, legally, or even physically erased.

Erasers have many kinds of erasing weapons.

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Love ultimately wins Thu, 23 Jun 2016 21:44:08 +0000

As a progressive Christian, I believe there are many names for God and many ways to a loving God; this article reflects one of those ways. Take from here what works for you. Celebrate life with joy and peace!

I don’t know about you, but as I’m writing this, I am still reeling over the horrific mass shooting in Orlando – and I need healing. My heart still hurts looking at the pictures and hearing the stories of the senseless loss of life – tragically cut short. Tears come easy. I feel it in my body.

Part of my self-care this week was to fast from watching TV for 24 hours. I was beyond saturated. The LGBT community (MY community) blatantly attacked by a vicious hate crime. Hatred not spawned from another country – but from American soil. Homegrown homophobia.

Sadly, there are many conservative religious groups that still espouse hate and fear; and if there was ever any doubt as to the strong need for our message of the inclusive love of God for ALL people – that doubt has turned to determination. Hatred, violence, racism, homophobia, transphobia – these are the opposite of community, inclusion, justice and spiritual transformation that we hold as our core values.

Let’s hold our heads up high – being vigilant and wise – and not letting fear be the dominating force in our lives. In less than a month, we’ll be marching and celebrating Pride in San Diego. Let’s come together, in unity, as never before. Sí, se puede!

It was beautiful and healing to gather together as a community at The LGBT Community Center – we need each other. Below is the closing prayer of the rally/vigil before walking to the flag pole and then Rich’s.

God of many names;

God of all-inclusive Love;

We gather tonight to just be with each other, we need each other more-than-ever right now. God, this hurts!

We pray together, we mourn together and seek healing from the shock of the largest mass shooting in U.S. history aimed at our community. It’s hard not to feel this deep in our guts. There are so many emotions we are processing.

We remember the dead, their beautiful lives tragically cut short, we pray for their families and loved ones, we pray for those who are still recovering, and we seek peace and comfort in our own lives. We gather tonight to stand with Orlando.

And yet, standing with the people in Orlando in their shock, their despair and their grief is not enough! We cannot just stand by. Let us renew our commitment to the work of peace and justice!

Replace our fear and anger with hope and faith and love – for we know love ultimately wins!

As we go out into our community right now – may we leave this place with pride and dignity and courage and determination and most of all, love.

Peace be with you;


God bless you!

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California: The ‘island’ of dreams Thu, 23 Jun 2016 21:40:44 +0000


California is a big place and it comes in first in all kinds of ways. It’s the most populous state in the U.S. with over 38 million residents. It isn’t the largest, coming in third in land area after Alaska and Texas. It does, however, boast the highest point in the continental U.S., (Mt. Whitney at 14,495 feet) as well as the lowest (Death Valley at 282 feet below sea level).

We all know how many amazing trends seem to start in California, and what a place of dreams it remains in the consciousness of many people. The name itself has an allure, arising from the queen of a mythical island named Califia. She was featured in a Spanish romance, Las Sergas de Esplandian written by Montalvo in 1510, and adopted by Spanish explorers.

Looking around the state, you can sense a thriving economy and indeed, California has the largest economy in the Union. What you may not know is that it is the first state to reach a trillion dollars in gross state product, the seventh largest economy when ranked with the countries of the world. Pretty impressive.

I looked up other statistics that may amaze you. The list of firsts is compelling. Here are a fabulous 10:

• More turkeys are raised in the state than any other.

• San Bernardino County is the largest county in the U.S. at over 3 million acres.

• The largest population of bald eagles in the continental U.S. reside at Klamath Basin.

• The Hollywood Bowl is the world’s largest outdoor amphitheater.

• San Francisco Bay is considered the world’s largest landlocked harbor.

• The largest living tree (102 feet in circumference) is in Sequoia National Park.

• The country store in Baker leads the state in sale of winning lottery tickets.

• Fallbrook grows more avocados than any other area in the U.S.

• The largest railroad museum in the U.S. is in Sacramento.

• There are over a half million detectable seismic tremors in the state annually.

These and other facts come from the Web site You’ll find much more of interest here.

Now that we’ve reviewed a few interesting trivia tidbits about California, we might consider what’s new in the state. I found a few snazzy additions you might want to take in. For travelers, there are apparently some new hip hotels debuting this summer. Even the names suggest a good time. You might consider The Dazzler Clark, Dream Hollywood or the NoMad Hotel, all new in Los Angeles. For something a bit off the path, there is Casa Malibu with 18 rooms modeled after a Japanese ryokan. In fun Anaheim the Great Wolf Lodge has its own indoor water park just for guests.

New rides at Disneyland in 2016 include Autopia for car lovers, Hyperspace Mountain and other Star Wars themed newbies, and you can make reservations for a Paint the Night dinner package with preferred viewing for the nightly parade.

One out of every eight United States residents call California their home. The other seven look to the state as one of the top destinations for travel. The explorers who discovered the state apparently believed California to be an island. Island of dreams, perhaps, as the legend grows.

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The race we all missed Thu, 23 Jun 2016 21:38:05 +0000

Doug Applegate

The June 7 ballots are almost all counted, and the results largely as expected. Mayor Faulconer won an outright majority, avoiding a November run-off, as did Councilmembers Mark Kersey and Scott Sherman and Councilmember-elect Chris Ward. Barbara Bry did slightly better than expected but will have to take on Ray Ellis in the general, where Ricardo Flores and Georgette Gomez will also face off. The biggest surprise may have been Mara Elliott’s second place finish in the race for City Attorney.

The biggest surprise in a race we were watching, that is.

Where northern San Diego County meets Orange County lies the 49th U.S. Congressional District, held by Rep. Darryl Issa since 2001 (when it was the 48th District). Issa has enjoyed a number of electoral advantages: the district leans Republican, he is the richest member of Congress, and he has a high profile within the party, having recently chaired the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. After redistricting cut 6 points off the Republican voter advantage, Issa won re-election in 2012 and 2014 with 58 percent and 60 percent of the vote, respectively.

Given that history, few thought Retired Marine Col. Doug Applegate would be more than this year’s sacrificial lamb, losing big in June and by slightly less in November. Col. Applegate and voters had other ideas. Applegate got 45 percent of the primary vote, holding Issa to 51.5 percent and earning a spot in the November run-off.

Party leaders and pundits have started to take note. Political handicapper Larry Sabato has moved the race from “Safe Republican” to “Likely Republican.”, a progressive news and opinion site, has written how Issa, dubbed “America’s Worst Congressman,” can be beaten. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released a poll showing a tied race, suggesting they may open up their coffers.

Congress is full of representatives and senators who cruised to victory after a primary wake-up call, but there are reasons this race could be different. Issa’s best excuse for his poor showing is that the Clinton/Sanders race energized Democrats more than Trump’s coronation brought out Republicans. That may be true, but it’s clear that things will be different come November. Trump remains unpopular in deep blue California, and #NeverTrump Republicans don’t even have a candidate in the Senate race to excite them. Add in a significant Latino population and the fact that President Obama narrowly won the district in 2008 and Applegate has a viable, if not smooth path to victory.

If Democrats have any hope of recapturing control of the House, they will need to win in places like the CA-49. If Trump loses to Clinton, and Issa loses to Applegate, Speaker Ryan just might lose his gavel.

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‘Tickled’ is no laughing matter Thu, 23 Jun 2016 21:34:15 +0000

David Starr and David Farrier in Tickled

Whether you admit it or not, whether you did it deliberately, you’ve watched some odd sexual stuff on the Internet. Because as the song goes, “The Internet is for porn.” Some fetish videos aren’t surprising, whether it’s feet or leather or women’s panties. But some are, or at least they’re surprising to most people. When David Farrier, a journalist in New Zealand, saw a video of “competitive tickling,” in which strapping young men were held or strapped down and mercilessly tickled by other strapping young men, he thought, well, that’s a story! It was rather funny and odd and perfect for his brand of journalism, which focused on quirky pop culture. But when he sent inquiries to the company, known as Jane O’Brien Media, he received not a polite refusal, but a homophobic screed personally attacking Farrier, who is gay, and threatening lawsuits if he continues with any sort of story. Being the good journalist he is, Farrier was now more interested and more determined, because clearly these tickling videos weren’t just a wacky lark but the project of a weird and somewhat disturbed individual or set of individuals. So, Farrier and his friend Dylan Reeve decided to make a documentary.

The tagline for the film is “It’s not what you think.” This is pretty accurate, because when you hear that the film is about online tickling videos, you might raise an eyebrow and giggle, but that whimsy lasts all of five minutes in the film. Because the threats from Jane O’Brien Media are so creepy, and the story that follows – which include stories of extreme harassment, destroyed lives, criminal fraud, psychopathologies and a creepy-as-hell villain – isn’t funny except in the few moments when people are being tickled and actually seem to enjoy it. Other times, they’re not enjoying it at all, and you realize the tickle videos are actually videos of sadomasochism and torture.

Tickled is structured as a narrative of Farrier and Reeve’s investigation into the videos, Jane O’Brien, the videos’ down-on-their luck actors, the seedy world of fetish videos and the unhinged person who is actually Jane O’Brien. Reminiscent of Nick Broom’s gonzo documentaries Kurt and Courtney and Biggie and Tupac,Tickled feels like it’s just the result of what happened when Farrier and Reeve found a weird topic and bought some cameras. But like Broom’s movies, Tickled is carefully constructed to seem much less professional than it is. The film is built as a thriller and edited – rather strategically – to make sure the villain is villainous and everyone around him either a victim, a lackey or an innocent bystander. I don’t think the various people involved are as naïve or innocent as depicted. But after seeing the film and reading some of the mountains of press about the film, I have been quite convinced the bad guy is pretty bad. He’s been showing up at screenings and bizarrely confronting the filmmakers, stating that Reeve should fear for his children, that both he and Farrier will go to jail. (Unlikely.)

This all makes for good press, but for me, it begs a few questions. Why is the villain so villainous? Why is he so focused on tickling? How is he getting away with it? These questions are asked but never really answered in a satisfying way. The psychological insight into the villain is brief and seemingly tacked on, while the insight into the popularity of tickling videos doesn’t exist. The bait-and-switch of turning a film about tickling into a psychological thriller does create an entertaining experience, but it also left me wondering about the tickling. I mean, that’s pretty weird.


Written and directed by David Farrier and Dylan Reeve

Featuring David Farrier, Richard Ivey and David Starr

Rated R

Opens July 1 at Landmark Ken

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Letters Thu, 23 Jun 2016 21:30:49 +0000


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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A ‘Perfect’ way to celebrate Marriage Equality Day Thu, 23 Jun 2016 21:24:18 +0000

Authors Michael Murphy, J. Scott Coatsworth, B.G. Thomas and Jamie Fessenden

It’s been a year since marriage equality became the law of the land as the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the last of the anti-same-sex marriage laws. I watched all of this up close, chronicling the fight for eight and a half years as the author of the Marriage Equality Watch blog. I started in January, 2008, as the anti LGBT forces were gathering signatures to put Prop. 8 on the ballot, and just before the California Supreme Court opened the doors to Mark and I and people like us to get married in the state.

In early 2015, as we nervously awaited the final U.S. Supreme Court ruling, I was asked to write a story about the road to marriage. Gay, married author B.G. Thomas invited me and two other married authors to create stories for a planned anthology. I had been writing and selling LGBT fiction for about a year at that point, and I jumped at the chance, and the resulting story, Flames, is one of my favorites to date. But it’s only one of four great stories in A More Perfect Union:

Someday, by B.G. Thomas

Lucas Arrowood is walking to school on his first day of kindergarten when he meets Dalton Churchill – a boy who stops and helps him tie his shoe. He knows from that moment he is going to marry that boy one day. “Boys can’t marry other boys,” his mother explains, but that doesn’t stop Lucas. He knows what he wants.

He and Dalton become best friends—and then, no matter how much he resists, Dalton falls in love with Lucas. Dalton’s very conservative family can’t accept that their boy loves another boy, but finally Dalton stands up for love and for Lucas. Still, he declares he won’t marry Lucas until it is legal everywhere. He hates the “Commitment Ceremonies” gay men have. They aren’t the real thing. Why bother?

So Lucas waits for his day. The day same-sex marriage finally becomes legal and he can be joined forever with the love of his life.

Flames, by J. Scott Coatsworth

Alex and Gio had a big fight, and Alex ran away. Then a fire at home destroyed the life they had built together, and threatened to take Gio away from him.

Alex had always thought love was enough to keep them together. Why did they need wedding rings or legal certificates? But now, with Gio lost in a coma, his mother has banished Alex from his side.

What if Alex’s voice is the only thing that can bring Gio back from the brink? Their memories are all Gio has left, and the urge to just let go is getting stronger.

Still, nothing can keep Alex from Gio’s side. If it’s against the rules, he’ll break them. In stolen moments alone together, Alex fights to bring him back, one memory at a time.

Destined, by Jamie Fessenden

When Jay and Wallace first meet at an LGBTQ group, they have no idea they’ll be dating six years later. In fact, they quickly forget each other’s names. But although fate continues to throw them together, the timing is never quite right. Finally they’re both single and realize they want to be together… but now they can’t find each other! With determination and the help of mutual friends, Jay and Wallace can finally pursue the relationship they’ve both wanted for so long.

It’s only the beginning of the battles they’ll face to build a life together.

From disapproving family members all the way to the state legislature, Jay and Wallace’s road to happily ever after is littered with obstacles. But they’ve come too far to give up the fight.

Jeordi and Tom, by Michael Murphy

Living as an open, loving gay couple in the rural South isn’t easy—even today.

When Jeordi and Tom move in together and come out to their families, Jeordi’s family does not take the news especially well. When yelling doesn’t work, they send in one sibling after another to try to separate the couple. When that fails, they call out their pastor to help Jeordi see the error of his ways. But Jeordi’s love for Tom is greater than anything they throw at them.

When an accident sends Jeordi to the hospital, his family goes too far when they try to keep Tom from visiting his partner. Jeordi and Tom are determined to do everything in their power to gain legal protection so this can never happen again. But when a bigoted county clerk refuses to issue them a marriage license, Jeordi decides a big, bold effort is called for, which is precisely what he sets in motion so no one can ever separate him from Tom again.

As I write this, I’m in a bit of a bittersweet mood. On the one hand, the first anniversary of marriage equality reminds me how far we’ve come. When Mark and I met in 1992, the idea of marrying one another in a legally recognized way seemed patently impossible.

My first “gay wedding” was held in 1989 at the Huntington Gardens in Pasadena. Two of our gay friends wanted to have a wedding ceremony. So five of us went into the beautiful stands of bamboo there and found an isolated spot. The three friends hovered protectively around the couple as they whispered their vows and exchanged rings. We knew if anyone saw what we were doing, there could be consequences.

At best, couples who wanted to marry back then were laughed at. At worst, there could be violence.

We are at an amazing moment in our history. We have won marriage, and a measure of acceptance that’s unprecedented in modern times.

And then an event like the Pulse Nightclub shooting comes along to remind us how far we have yet to go – that not only are there those who think we’re sinful, but those who believe we are wicked and worthy of derision and violence. And just like that, the illusion of acceptance and safety is shattered.

I don’t accept that this is the way the world has to be.

What I can do, what I must do, even though it is so hard at the moment, is to put a little more love out into the world. I don’t care about your color, your gender or your physical appearance.

You are my community, my family. Only together can we come though terrible events like this whole.

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Meet Jeffrey Marsh Thu, 23 Jun 2016 21:14:45 +0000

Photo: Daniel Silbert

Meet the Vine star, author and youth advocate who has lit up social media with more than a quarter billion views

In an age of often vapid social media, where our likes, dislikes, beliefs and values are funneled through an echo chamber of our own choosing, it is no surprise that both the metrics and the parameters of fame have changed significantly. The movie star who rakes in millions is now on equal footing with the YouTube sensation who speeds up his voice to sound like an animated chipmunk. The actor who lost weight or braved the elements or went off for six months to learn what prison is really like is no longer in a class by him or herself as a torrent of new media and a global population willing to create content for that torrent approaches the gate.

Jeffrey Marsh, the genderqueer sensation who has taken Vine by storm, appears, luckily for the LGBTQ community, not to be just some momentary fluke with a sense of content-importance. His positive affirmations – which can be largely crystallized down to ‘There is nothing wrong with you’ – have struck a chord in many of today’s youth who, despite enormous strides, continue to struggle with acceptance while navigating a still-hostile world.

Frequently on Vine, a social video app that conveys six-second messages in an endless loop, one can find Jeffrey dancing around in a dress, some blue eyeshadow and frequently a strain of cherry-red lipstick reaffirming everyone’s fabulousness. It seems rather hokey in a Mr.-Roger’s-Neighborhood sort of way but it has caught on like wildfire and there seems to be no corner of the Internet that Jeffrey has not grabbed onto with his message of love and acceptance.

We caught up with Jeffrey to find out who this Internet personality is and what gets them going.

San Diego LGBT Weekly: What do you tell people you do when they ask?

PhotoS: Daniel Silbert

Jeffery Marsh: My all-time fave response is, “I’m really big on the Internet” because nowadays that’s a thing! If it’s a fancy context, I’ll say something like, “I have over a quarter of a billion views on social media and I’m an author with Penguin Random House”. Doesn’t that just sound fancy? I guess, just like ‘What’s your identity?’, the question ‘What do you do?’ is highly contextual!

Do you feel Vine is the medium that works best for your short, uplifting, six-second sound bites and or visuals? If so, why?

My message has always been ‘there is nothing wrong with you.’ Take a couple of breaths. Read that again. There. Is. Nothing. Wrong. With. You. Would you believe I have never met a single person online or off who wasn’t told in some way that there is something wrong with them? I work every day to undo some of that programming we’ve all received. Vine helps me with this mission in a few key ways. As you mention, it’s short. Each Vine is a 6.5 second (or less!) distillation of that core message. In a Vine, I directly address the viewer with a heartening message or I dance around or I tell a joke, but it is always by design something short, sweet and highly digestible. Another helpful thing about Vine is the humanity of it. I get messages all the time from folks who are not queer but see their personhood reflected in me. Video is a highly personal medium, and Vine makes it more personal by stripping it down to your iPhone, you, and your viewers. Vines also loop — over and over on repeat. This helps to reinforce the message.

How has social media affected the message of positive reinforcement? Do you ever feel that it gets drowned out by the sheer torrent of messages available today? If so, how does one do what you’re doing?

If I’ve learned one thing, it’s that people are utterly desperate for my messages. That’s not to brag, it’s just to point out that I never predicted that something loving and kind and affirming could go viral and have the widespread impact my videos have had. The people that need me always find me. And I know it’s essential never to censor the message. You’ll find Vines in my feed that get less likes than others. I don’t believe it’s my job to always try to get likes or do what’s popular or do what will help my Vines stick out in the “sheer torrent” you so aptly mention. It seems like being honest and authentic and me (for lack of a better way to say it) is enough. People who need to find me, find me. And maybe that authenticity makes my videos stand out from the torrent in a truly unique way. The bottom line is that I’ll never change the message. This is exactly why I wrote How To Be You.

We know who you are now. But who were you then? What qualifies you to stand above all the other Viners/social media presences in declaring yourself a bonafide ‘personality’?

Great question! I’m not sure I stand above anybody. Aren’t we all personalities? I guess you could say that not every social star is an author with a major publisher, and not every social star has been Buddhist for over 15 years and lived at a monastery. What I’m guessing “qualifies” me, if we want to talk about it in those terms, is that I speak the truth. I trust that people can recognize when someone is being honest and open with them. In other words, hopefully people can see the truth and quality in what I’m saying, and that simple truth is all the pedigree people should need.

In one Vine clip, you reach out to those followers who may have suicidal ideation. How are you qualified to help? Do you have formal training in, say, social work?

This is something I’ve given quite a lot of thought to. You’ll notice in my videos I talk in very general terms about “feeling suicidal.” This is why, on the whole, I point people who may be suffering in more specific ways toward larger organizations who I’ve collaborated with, like the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and the Trevor Project. Every day, I get comments and messages saying “I was feeling suicidal, and I’ve decided to stick around because I saw your video”. People clearly have a ton of stigma around these thoughts and feelings. It seemed like an important topic for me to address. The only message I would want people to receive is that if they have considered suicide, they are not alone and there is help available if they need it. In How To Be You, I tell people ways to discover more about themselves (their lovely qualities and innocence) and then how to love and accept what they’ve discovered. I offer this because it’s a process I’ve been through. I consider my work a starting point for someone who may be struggling, and I talk in the book about further resources. I do not offer personal counseling or run a hotline precisely because I’m not qualified to do those things.

Explain ‘genderqueer.’

I try not to explain myself! To me, genderqueer is the closest label there is to no label at all. What does genderqueer signify? It’s a way to talk about my personal gender expression. I do not identify with terms like man and woman. That is a deep, evident truth for me. I am not a man or a woman. As you might have guessed, I’m not quite sure what I am, but I do know I don’t fit into the binary-restrictive view of gender. Hence! I use the term genderqueer to describe my own slippery morphic hard-to-pin-down identity.

“Jeffrey has had a successful public speaking business for years; at lectures and talks, Jeffrey distills the often complicated ideas of gender, identity and sexuality into clear accessible language.” Are these ideas born of academic study – say queer studies – or something more personal?

Photo: Daniel Silbert

It is highly personal. When I am asked to speak it is always as myself, not as a researcher. I do cite recent research in my talks of course, but it is always in the context of what it is like to be me and therefore, more broadly, how to be you. The reason I can take complicated research and distill it down into accessible language is because it is my personal lived experience. To me it’s not academia, it’s my life. There’s nothing wrong with academic research of course, but what I offer by way of public speaking is an openness about how gender, sexuality and identity intersect in a “sample of 1.”

Who has influenced you in who and how you are today?

I admire anyone who is bold enough to be themselves, especially when parents or bosses or our modern American culture encourages them not to be. So in specific terms, it’s David Bowie and Laverne Cox, but also I must say that I am inspired by the young people I interact with online. I see such bravery and fortitude every day. The kid who risks being rejected by her family and school because she wants to take a same-sex date to the prom or the 16-year-old who asks everyone at church to use they/them pronouns for them. It blows my mind! Whatever inspiration people take from my work, I receive 10 times as much inspiration from the real honest lives of the integrity I am privileged to see being lived all over the world.

More at: and

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Orlando: 48 hours in San Diego Thu, 23 Jun 2016 20:55:39 +0000

The Orlando vigil outside Rich’s San Diego, June 13 | photo: rich’s san diego / facebook

Around one in the morning Sunday, June 12, my phone started ringing off the hook. Soon I was in a conversation with Stuart Milk, (founder of the Harvey Milk Foundation), who lives in Florida, and Russell Roybal (Acting national director of the National LGBTQ Task Force in Washington, D.C.) and other national and Florida LGBT leaders and activists. Of course all of our eyes were on the T.V. news stations. Soon the world knew that a gay nightclub had been attacked by a radical Muslim terrorist. Early that morning, texts and phone call conversations began with Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman, Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Councilman Todd Gloria and Dr. Delores Jacobs (CEO of our LGBT Center). That went on endlessly for 48 hours or more.

Police Chief Zimmerman, to her credit, had immediately ordered more police patrols around Rich’s and other nightclubs as LGBT San Diegans were still dancing and having a good time. Soon it became clear that about 49 LGBT people, friends and family had been killed, and then 50 more injured. Almost all of them were Latino as it was a “Latino Night” at the popular club. LGBT people around the world were shocked, and like other cities, San Diego LGBT leaders and activists started mobilizing and reacting. The local San Diego TV news stations started endless coverage and I, like other LGBT activists started getting endless calls from the media for interviews on how “WE” felt?

Matt Ramon of Urban Mo’s reached out to me about a community vigil, and soon Dr. Jacobs and I were discussing a San Diego vigil for Monday night. But, other activists wanted one immediately and soon Paul Rhodes and his friends organized one at the Rainbow Flag pole for Sunday night. Hundreds of people showed up, including Mayor Faulconer, his wife and their children. Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman spoke, as well as Councilman Todd Gloria, and School Board member Kevin Beiser. It was an immediate vigil that was badly needed for many to gather to be followed by the one Monday night, which thousands attended. Thank you Paul Rhodes for organizing the Sunday vigil.

Soon word came out about the man arrested blocks away from Los Angeles Pride, with an arsenal of guns and materials that could make bombs. My phone was ringing off the hook from gay bar owners and concerned LGBT San Diegans, many in complete fear and very afraid. I asked Mayor Faulconer for a meeting with him, Police Chief Zimmerman and Councilman Gloria with bar owners and community leaders, and the mayor immediately set up the meeting at his office in City Hall. Matt Ramon and Dr. Jacobs helped me organize the meeting which resulted in about 50 LGBT leaders and bar owners in attendance. In between all of this, endless calls from all over the United States continued. Yes, many of us did not sleep much those first 48 hours.

Monday night’s vigil at The Center, then the Rainbow Flag pole, ending at Rich’s was absolutely wonderful as our city became “One San Diego.” Personally, I wish to thank the many of you who reached out to me about my speech. All of your responses truly overwhelmed me, and yes, humbled me.

San Diego civic and community leaders from all over the area called our Center and fellow LGBT activists to give their support, including religious leaders, including the Iman Taha Hassane of the Islamic Center of San Diego, and Hanif Mohebi of the Council on American Islamic Relations. I must thank Rabbi Laurie Coskey for her leadership role during those 48 hours, and for organizing the San Diego religious community.

Another standout was St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral and the very Reverend Penny Bridges. A big shout out and thank you to all the San Diego drag queen shows and impersonators and entertainers who came together at Rich’s and did an unbelievable show to end all shows and raised over $8,000 for Orlando! This old queen is so proud of you. I was in Reno, Nevada, but got full reports on all of you fabulous divas!

We are organizing a community town hall meeting at our LGBT Center with local Muslim leaders to continue dialogue between our two communities. More information will be forthcoming later.

Yes, for 48 hours we were indeed “One San Diego!”

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#Homomisia Thu, 23 Jun 2016 20:52:46 +0000


The horror of the Orlando killings is being attributed by most to homophobia, “fear of homosexuality.” The word is not correct as we are clearly not dealing with fear here, but with hate. Using “miso” the more appropriate Greek root, makes the correct formation of the word “homosexualmisia” or more simply “homomisia.” But I guess it is too late to change and the results would be the same.

We seniors grew up amid LGBT prejudices and we made our way in the world adjusting our lives as best we could. The recent world-wide support clearly demonstrates the passing years have produced dramatic improvements in public attitudes. In some ways, however, the current generation has become complacent as the number of anti-LGBT acts have declined and when they do occur the outrage is sincere, but short-lived.

The scale and atrociousness of this recent tragedy will strongly focus attention on our struggle and the haters surrounding us. My love and sympathy go out to all including the Muslim community which is so suffering from the unfair backlash. It is like blaming all Christians for the actions of the proudly Protestant KKK.

Our community has long been the object of slurs and lies feeding the myths and fears because people think no family member or friend is LGBT. Fight them and open their eyes. Let them know the truth. Speak up and actually say “Hey, I’m LGBT and that is not funny,” or “You’re talking about my friend, sister, uncle, dad, aunt.” I hope they (like Mayor Jerry Sanders) will see the light and become supportive. Maybe we should revive: “We’re here. We’re queer. Get used to it.”

Inconceivable birthdays

My fellow seniors, it is a shock to learn and hard to acknowledge, but Marilyn’s 90th birthday just passed. (If you have to ask, “Marilyn who?” you are reading the wrong column.) The majority of those on the UT’s birthday list are unknown, but the first few are always great favorites. Seeing their ages, however, makes me realize my own. These unexpected reminders pop up when we glance at the vaguely familiar face in the mirror, gasp for breath half-way up the stairs or struggle to get out of a low chair.

These things haven’t happened yet? Wait. Solutions or adjustments are possible. Walking up the stairs is great exercise, just go slow. You can look younger and more energetic by simply standing straight, shoulders back. Rise from sitting with the help of a cushion or buy a higher chair. Look your best: go easy on the make-up, try a new hair style, clip the ear and nose hair, shave or trim and don’t forget to smile.

Clothes that no longer fit are a big negative, so enjoy shopping for new, fashionable outfits suited to your body modifications. You do not want to look foolish, so be mindful of your age and reality; even in Hillcrest there are limits. With a spiffy outfit you will look and feel better when you mingle with friends in a chat or hobby group or attend a movie, concert or restaurant. To rejuvenate, splurge once in a while. If not for dinner, then just a fancy dessert place. We may be retired, but we are not the aged men and women stereotypes we grew up with when 65 meant rocking away a couple of years with pipe or knitting patiently awaiting the reaper.

This wouldn’t be for Marilyn and it isn’t for us either.

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MCC’s Pastor Dan gets community service award Thu, 23 Jun 2016 20:49:44 +0000

Rev. Dan Koeshall receiving the award from Pastor Emeritus Rev David Farrell | PHOTO: LEE BOWMAN

San Diego Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) Senior Pastor Dan Koeshall was really surprised and shocked June 19 when a community service award he thought was going to someone else was actually presented to him.

Koeshall was about to praise a gay couple at the MCC whom he thought would get the award but was interrupted by Pastor Emeritus David Farrell.

Farrell announced, “Our pastor who personalizes community service” was the winner of the Rev. David Farrell Community Service Award that is presented every Father’s Day.

Farrell, who pastored MCC in San Diego for 20 years, said Koeshall goes to community events, holds religious services in jail for inmates, makes visitations and other duties.

“He personifies (the award),” said Farrell. “He makes a big difference.”

Koeshall, who has been senior pastor for eight years, got a standing ovation at both services.

MCC Vice Moderator Al Smithson humorously said there was “a giant conspiracy between the staff and me” to pull it off. The award, which had Koeshall’s name on it, was never in his hands to view. Farrell already had a microphone activated for which he could step up from the audience and interrupt Koeshall, said Smithson.

“We let Dan think it was going to be for a couple, who were in on it,” said Smithson. “We knew Dan would never permit us to give it to him. He’s too modest. Dan would have been too humble to let us do that.”

“Dan had to back off and let (pastor emeritus) David start talking,” said Smithson.

“He was so shocked,” said member Pam Raptis.

“He is a community leader,” said Auny Rogers, who attends MCC and who was at The LGBT Center June 13 when people gathered to mourn the loss of 49 people at an Orlando gay nightclub.

Koeshall gave the invocation at the event. “His prayer Monday night at The Center was beautiful and perfect for the occasion, a unifying prayer,” said Rogers.

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MCC increases security in light of Orlando shootings Thu, 23 Jun 2016 20:46:54 +0000

Because of fears of a copycat attack following the June 12 massacre at an Orlando gay nightclub, San Diego Police had a presence outside the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) Sunday, June 19 for both services.

Additionally, three members of the Stonewall Citizens Patrol were inside the church during the worship services.

Senior Pastor Dan Koeshall called Councilmember Todd Gloria last week to see if there could be a police presence. The answer was easy: Of course.

“Pastor Dan’s intention was for us to be calming of people’s fears,” said Lee Bowman, the minister of communications for MCC.

“We are presently working on creating a safe environment for people to come to church,” said Bowman.

Bowman said the church board is working with the Stonewall Citizens Patrol to develop a comprehensive emergency action plan.

MCC members saw the police patrol car before they entered the church at 2633 Denver Street and several people said it was reassuring.

Koeshall announced the increased security at the start of both services and thanked both the police officers and citizen patrol volunteers for being there.

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Mayor, police chief assure, seek help from LGBT leaders after Orlando Thu, 23 Jun 2016 20:42:40 +0000

Kevin Faulconer and Todd Gloria | Photo: Thom Senzee

A cadre of business owners, nonprofit executives, journalists and activists from San Diego’s LGBT community met with Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Chief of Police Shelley Zimmerman within 48 hours following the mass shooting in Orlando, now almost two weeks ago, to discuss security.

“The police department, our community members, our media; we all have a role to play to make sure we get accurate information out there,” Zimmerman told the crowd gathered around the mayor’s conference table inside City Hall. “Because the last thing we want to have is information that goes out that just increases the fear and increases the concern that isn’t accurate.”

Zimmerman said and the mayor reiterated, there are those who wish to do harm to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, as was made devastatingly clear in the early-morning hours of June 12 in Florida.

Faulconer told local LGBT-community leaders that the saying, “if you see something, say something” cannot be repeated enough and should not be thought of merely as a slogan.

“We have one goal,” the mayor said. “A safe environment for everybody.”

Striking a somber tone, Faulconer put previously scheduled Monday-morning commitments on hold to address the meeting of LGBT-community leaders.

“Obviously, the tragedy, the hate crime, the terror that took place in Orlando is why we’re here today,” Faulconer said. “I think that it’s important that we continue to stay united as a community.”

Saying that he had consulted with longtime activist, City Commissioner Nicole Murray Ramirez immediately after the shooting in Orlando took 49 lives inside Pulse Nightclub about how San Diego’s officialdom might work within the local LGBT community; Faulconer zeroed in on next month’s Pride festivities.

“One of the things we particularly wanted to focus on is what we are doing and what we are going to be doing here both in the short term and the longer term as we look toward Pride to make sure we have a safe environment and that we are always doing everything that we need to be doing as a city to protect our entire community with particular emphasis and focus on our LGBT community, and our bars and our nightclubs and our restaurants,” said Faulconer.

Councilman Todd Gloria addressed LGBT business owners who rely on customers from the LGBT community who might be worried about a negative impact resulting from people staying home instead of going out to spend money because they fear Orlando-style attacks.

“We want to make sure we’re being responsive to relevant events,” Gloria said. “I think it’s important in talking to friends who are a little bit scared—they’re on edge and they’re staying home. And, for a lot of the business owners around this table, you’re very important to Council District 3 and to the whole city; and I want to make sure that your businesses are not impacted by this. I think the message has to get out that if folks are staying home, the bad guys are winning.”

Asked by San Diego LGBT Weekly if her statement that the San Diego Police Department would have a “significant presence” at this year’s LGBT Pride parade and festival meant that there would be more officers at the events this year versus 2015, Chief Zimmerman said that it would be counterproductive to announce her department’s policing tactics and strategy prior to the event.

However, said Zimmerman, there will be a law enforcement presence “that you can see, and that you can’t see.”

Chief Zimmerman said she and her command staff are closely engaged with other law enforcement agencies throughout the region and around the country, with which SDPD is working to prevent terrorist attacks.

“We have a very good network of major city chiefs,” Zimmerman said. “If something happens in one part of the country, we all start making phone calls because we don’t know if something is coordinated or not.”

Zimmerman said there is no specific threat to San Diego. Nevertheless, as many local residents and business owners have noticed, especially in Hillcrest and adjacent environs, there has been a greater visibility of resources on the streets and sidewalks during the past week-and-a-half.

“We’re providing increased officers especially in the LGBT areas,” said the chief. “We have additional officers not just in vehicles, but cars parked in certain areas in the community, officers on bicycles; we have officers on foot. You’ve seen a lot more foot patrols that are out there.”

Zimmerman declined to say if there would be an end date to the increased police presence in the LGBT community. She did say that a special phone number to report potential terrorist threats may be in the works. In the meantime, residents and business owners should feel free to report suspicious activity by calling 911.

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Do something Thu, 23 Jun 2016 18:01:33 +0000

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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Breezy casual sophistication Thu, 23 Jun 2016 15:09:58 +0000

Appetizer Steak Tartare | PHOTO: PARC BISTRO-BRASSERIE

That’s how “Pierce” described the ambience at Parc Bistro-Brasserie, and I had to agree. Garo Minassian, known for numerous popular and award-winning restaurants, has transformed the space previously occupied by Croce’s Park West into a bright urban oasis. Off-white walls and judicious touches of seaside inspired muted pastels. White globe sconces and chandeliers. A mirror and glass back bar. Light-toned wood floors and accents. A large black and white mural of a quintessentially French country cafe. Everything contributing to an air of breezy casual sophistication.

Dustin – friendly and fresh-faced, attentive but not intrusive, introduced the menu inspired by French and Mediterranean cuisine. Pierce and I nursed adult beverages – the Parc ($10) for me and a Thorn Street Saison du Parque ($6) for him, while perusing the evening’s selections. Rosemary Gin is mixed with elderflower liqueur and lemon juice for a complex sweet/sour, herbal/spicy concoction. Refreshing and potable. The Belgian style saison, 6.7 percent alcohol by volume, satisfies with hints of zesty citrus and black pepper. Light bodied and quaffable.

I hadn’t seen my smart and sexy dinner companion for several weeks and we caught up over appetizers, Prime Steak Tartare ($14) and Frisee Lardon Salad ($14) with duck confit ($8). The tartare, served with hot-from-the-fryer waffle cut potato chips, is a velvety blend of minced beef, capers, egg yolk, herbs and Dijon vinaigrette. Fennel provides a surprising licorice note and Dijon cream sauce completes the presentation. Slightly bitter frisee is tossed with smoky lardons and crunchy croutons in a delicate bacon and shallot vinaigrette. Two soft poached eggs nest on top. The confit leg and thigh is rich, savory and succulent with a delicious crispy skin.

I chose the Dijon Chicken Fettuccini ($18) as my entrée, and Pierce selected the Butter Roasted Salmon ($22). The pasta, topped by grated parmesan, is a delicious well-balanced mélange of fall-off-the-fork-tender chicken combined with roasted cherry tomatoes, ripe olives, garlic, olive oil and chile flakes. The eight ounce salmon fillet rests atop earthy lentils sweetened with a dash of orange juice. Asparagus tips and a drizzle of asparagus cream sauce completes the plate.

I paired a glass of Zenato 2014 Pinot Grigio ($8) with the chicken, and Pierce ordered a Cucumber Gimlet ($10). The zesty straw colored pour greets the nose with tart citrus and stone fruits, then presents smooth undertones of green apple on the palate. The finish is long and pleasant. The mix of gin, basil, lime juice and simple syrup, garnished with a slice of cucumber, is thirst-quenching and delightful.

Dustin then tempted us with a recitation of the dessert options, which ranged from crème brûlée to fruit sorbet to chocolate ganache with mocha crème sauce and fresh raspberries. Pierce and I shared the Apple Tarte Tartin. A flaky pastry base heaped with sugary hot apples floats on a meander of caramel sauce. Fresh berries, a dollop of homemade vanilla ice cream and a dusting of powdered sugar add the final touches.

Chef Donald Lockhart (La Jolla’s Cusp restaurant) helms the kitchen. Lockhart’s simple cooking approach is to gather the freshest ingredients, use time-proven techniques and allow the flavors to shine. Parc Bistro-Brasserie has been open for a few short weeks and the menu is still being tweaked, but I’m not sure how one improves perfection. Eat this, hungry readers. You’ll be glad you did.

Parc Bistro-Brasserie

2760 Fifth Ave.

Open daily 11:30 a.m. (10:30 a.m. Sat. and Sun.)-10 p.m.


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UnREAL Thu, 23 Jun 2016 15:08:51 +0000

Shiri Appleby and Constance Zimmer in UnREAL

dvr this

Lifetime, Mondays at 10 p.m.

UnREAL is a deeply cynical, sometimes funny, and very entertaining drama about the making of a show just like The Bachelor. Shiri Appleby plays Rachel Goldberg, a feminist who has found herself producing a paean to misogyny, which contributes to the disappearance of her ethics and a nervous breakdown or two. A brilliant Constance Zimmer is Quinn King, Rachel’s boss, who created the show with her former lover, the despicable Chet Wilton (Craig Bierko). Rachel’s ex Jeremy (Josh Kelly) works on the show and after last season’s events loathes Rachel with extreme passion. This season, the “suiter” is a black man, the first for the show, and in addition to examining the sexual and gender politics of bad TV, UnREAL is going after the worst ways that TV handles racial strife. Oh, my.

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Midnight Special Thu, 23 Jun 2016 15:00:47 +0000

Midnight Special

dvd of the week

Jeff Nichols’ low-budget science fiction thriller was met with some ecstatic reviews when it was released a few months ago. They were hyperbolic, because the film isn’t as smart or deep as many claimed it was, but it’s worth watching for the acting and Nichols’ taught direction. Alton (Jaeden Lieberher) is a boy with weird, dangerous powers who has grown up on the compound of a Texan cult. When the cult’s leaders conclude he is a prophet of some sort, the boy’s father Roy (Michael Shannon) runs away with the assistance of his friend Lucas (Joel Egerton). The film is a nonstop, almost breathless series of chases peppered with shoot outs and meteor showers. Shannon is, per usual, extraordinary in his desperation and dedication. Nichols clearly had little money for large special effects, but he gets a great deal of thrills from cheap but smartly placed explosions of light and sound.

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The City: Top to Bottom Thu, 23 Jun 2016 14:48:33 +0000

Melissa Villaseñor

thursday, june 23

Melissa Villaseñor

Melissa Villaseñor is a creator of many. She is an impressionist, stand-up comedian of 10 years, actor, musician and graphic artist. You may have seen her as a top 16 finalist on Season 6 of America’s Got Talent or heard her voices on Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time. Her credits also include work on Family Guy, Comedy Central’s Trip Tank, and she has headlined over 100 clubs and colleges around the country.

The American Comedy Company, 818B Sixth Ave. in San Diego, 8 p.m., tickets $10, 619-795-3858,

The Hillcrest Wind Ensemble

friday, june 24

Blast to the Past

The Hillcrest Wind Ensemble takes a Blast to the Past, celebrating pop music from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. The band welcomes special guests, Kevin Cavanaugh and Blue Velvet, a dynamic retro act which has performed in numerous night clubs in San Diego. These three decades had some of the best pop music ever produced. The ensemble will perform a symphonic tribute to the Beatles as well as music ranging from Queen to The Carpenters. A highlight of the night will be a special tribute to the late Prince.

Mississippi Room, Lafayette Hotel, 2223 El Cajon Blvd. in San Diego., 7:30 p.m., tickets $20, 619-692-2077 x814,

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

saturday, june 25

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

The musical black horror comedy (1978) film directed by John De Bello and written by Costa Dillon, John De Bello and J. Stephen Peace and scored by Gordon Goodwin and Paul Sundfor. In this spoof of B movies, a group of scientists band together to save the world from mutated killer tomatoes.

Balboa Theatre, 868 Fourth Avenue in San Diego, 7 p.m., tickets $12, 619-570-1100,

Murder at the Howard Johnsons | PHOTO: KEN JACQUES

sunday, june 26

Murder at the Howard Johnsons

All is fair in love? Even murder? That’s the question posed by this light and funny suspense comedy about a love triangle in a Howard Johnson Motor Inn. A three scene love triangle involving a woman, her lover, and her husband. “Enough laugh lines, mirth provoking situations and extravagant sight gags to outfit two rapid fire farces of the absurd.” – Variety

Scripps Ranch Theatre, 9783 Avenue of Nations in San Diego, 2 p.m., tickets $31, 858-578-7728,

Spreckels Organ Pavilion

monday, june 27

Summer International Organ Festival

San Diego Civic Organists Emeritus Robert Plimpton performs with the Marine Band San Diego. This concert will be preceded by the annual Bach’s Supper fundraiser. Bach’s Supper tickets are $35 per person.

Spreckels Organ Pavilion, Pan American Road E in Balboa Park, 7:30 p.m., free, 619-702-8128,

Mackenzie Melemed | PHOTO: R. ANDREW LESLEY

tuesday, june 28

Mackenzie Melemed

From Bach to West Side Story, Rachmaninoff to The Sound of Music, there will be something for everyone at this not-to-miss performance! A junior at The Juilliard School in New York City, Mackenzie Melemed has won prizes in numerous international piano competitions. In addition to performances at The White House and Carnegie Hall, he has performed throughout the world, most recently in the Czech Republic, Japan and China.

North Coast Repertory Theatre, 987 Lomas Santa Fe Drive in Solana Beach, 7:30 p.m., tickets $30, 858-481-1055,

The Last Tiger in Haiti

wednesday, june 29

The Last Tiger in Haiti

It’s the final night of Kanaval in Haiti, and a group of abandoned children spend it trading fantastic folktales until the line between reality and fiction blurs. At daybreak, the oldest plans to leave for a new life but discovers the story of his future and past are in the hands of someone else. Set in a world that is utterly real and remarkably imaginative, this unforgettable new play from Jeff Augustin weaves Haitian lore into a contemporary narrative of survival and betrayal.

La Jolla Playhouse, Forum Theatre, 2910 La Jolla Village Dr. in La Jolla, 7:30 p.m., tickets from $20, 858-550-1010,

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