Billy Porter: In full bloom

By Chris Azzopardi | Q-Syndicate

Sociopolitical demonstrations have long been woven into various musical genres — even Katy Perry’s ironically shiny single, this year’s “Chained to the Rhythm,” like Simone’s “Mississippi Goddamn,” underscores continued minority suppression.

In 2013, singer and theater performer Billy Porter left his mark on socially-conscious art while originating the role of Lola, a drag queen who finds common ground with a shoemaker, in the Broadway musical “Kinky Boots,” which garnered the Pittsburgh native a Tony Award for Best Actor.

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Kathy Griffin to the rescue

Posted: March 31st, 2017 | Features, Interviews, Top Story | No Comments

By Chris Azzopardi

Of course Kathy Griffin’s manager asks if our conversation is being recorded — have you heard her talk?

Luckily, the celeb-skewering, gay-loving, Trump-hating comedienne’s filterless mouth moves at a meteoric pace, which is good news for anyone who wants to know her thoughts on basically everything: the practicality of celebrity activism, her idea for a “My Life on the D-List” spinoff and the surprising number of people she meets who say they’ve never encountered a gay person.

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LGBT on the links

Posted: March 17th, 2017 | Features, Interviews, News, Sports & Fitness, Top Story | No Comments

By Morgan M. Hurley | Editor

The annual Kia Classic tennis tournament — March 20–26, at the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort in Carlsbad — is the closest San Diegans get to the LPGA tour, unless they take a trip to Palm Springs the following week for the ANA Inspiration championship (formerly the Kraft Nabisco Championship), during Dinah Shore Weekend.

The 2017 Kia will feature 144 women golfers, including Paula Creamer, Stacy Lewis, Michelle Wei, Lexi Thompson, and the 2016 winner, Lydia Ko.

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All About Susan

Posted: March 17th, 2017 | Features, Interviews, News, Top Story | No Comments

By Chris Azzopardi

Maybe gay people are customarily compelled to thank Susan Sarandon for her longstanding advocacy, because that’s how I begin my frank, anything-goes conversation with the 70-year-old multi-hyphenate.

After all, no matter where you stand on Sarandon’s divisive decision to vote for Green Party candidate Jill Stein in the recent presidential election, we can all agree that the Oscar-winning actress has used her massive screen-icon prestige to aid in the advancement of LGBT rights.

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2-1-1 — a San Diego resource

Posted: March 17th, 2017 | Columns, Featured, Interviews, Senior Matters | 2 Comments

By William E. Kelly | Senior Matters There is an invaluable nonprofit resource and information hub here in San Diego, that employs 72 call-takers who connect people to community, health and disaster services through a free, 24/7 stigma-free confidential phone service and a searchable online database. That resource is 2-1-1 San Diego. 2-1-1 is well known to service providing organizations but not to the same degree by all San Diegans.

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On top of his game

Posted: March 3rd, 2017 | Features, Food & Drink, Interviews, Top Story | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

As one of the rare entrepreneurs in the country with a knack for weaving chocolate and caramel into savory dishes, Will Gustwiller accepted an invitation from the Food Network to be a contestant on a special episode of “Guy’s Chocolate Games” and ended up $16,000 richer because of it.

The segment was a spinoff of “Guy’s Grocery Games” hosted by Guy Fieri. Gustwiller was among four competitors vying to survive three elimination rounds of cooking for up to $20,000 in prize money. The episode was taped in November in Santa Rosa inside a closed set, replete with food-stocked aisles resembling a commercial grocery store.

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Making America hopeful again

By Chris Azzopardi | Q Syndicate

With an emotionally resonant acceptance speech, Dustin Lance Black accepted the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay in 2009 for “Milk”, a powerful tribute to gay political hero Harvey Milk. Could an Emmy be next?

It’s possible, even if the 42-year-old Sacramento native is too modest to admit that his latest screen ambition, “When We Rise,” the accomplished filmmaker’s tremendous seven-part undertaking chronicling the progressive uprising of the 1960s and ’70s, is certainly golden statue-worthy.

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Transforming minds one truth at a time

Posted: February 17th, 2017 | Arts & Entertainment, Features, Interviews, Top Story | No Comments

By Chris Azzopardi

For Ian Harvie, it’s not about earning the title of “first trans person in the world with a one-hour standup special” — though that’s a tag the FTM comedian can now claim — for him, he’s hopeful more trans comedians will walk through the door he swung open with “May the Best Cock Win,” airing on NBC’s digital network, SEESO.

“I’m so excited that a digital network like SEESO, an NBC-based company, has said ‘Yes’ to the first trans comic special, which will provide a pathway for others to come through,” said the Portland, Maine native.

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Yes, they can (and did)

Posted: February 3rd, 2017 | Arts & Entertainment, Features, Interviews, Top Story | No Comments

By Chris Azzopardi

Marriage equality was a mere pipe dream when Indigo Girls duo Emily Saliers and Amy Ray came out in 1988, coinciding with the release of their eponymous Epic Records debut. There was no groundbreaking television sitcom. Melissa Etheridge wasn’t formally out, and wouldn’t be until 1993, when she released “Yes I Am.”

With regard to popular entertainment, particularly within the music business, Saliers and Ray were at the forefront of the queer rights movement. They won a Grammy and released chart-toppers like “Closer to Fine.” And they refused to let their sexuality get in the way of their success, brazenly being themselves at a time when being a gay public figure was uncommon and even downright scary.

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This little light

Posted: January 20th, 2017 | Arts & Entertainment, Interviews, Top Story | No Comments

By Chris Azzopardi | Q Syndicate

“It was a lot,” Tarell Alvin McCraney said of his oddly coincidental evening recently, when the out playwright attended the premiere of “Moonlight” in Miami, the city where he grew up.

Family he hadn’t met before came out in droves; his brother showed up and longtime friends, too.

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Good things come to those who are Megan Mullally

Posted: December 23rd, 2016 | Arts & Entertainment, Interviews, Top Story | No Comments

By Chris Azzopardi | Q-Syndicate

Tip one back for Megan Mullally, who’s making a move to the big screen in “Why Him?” after a drove of indie roles, including gay-affirming mom Mrs. Van Camp in 2013’s “G.B.F.,” and a variety of TV stints.

But when it comes to the small screen, it was the 58-year-old actress’s eight-year role on the groundbreaking late ’90s NBC sitcom “Will & Grace” — as quippy, martini-swigging socialite Karen Walker — that changed Mullally’s life as much as it changed ours.

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Love is love is love

Posted: November 11th, 2016 | Arts & Entertainment, Interviews, Top Story | No Comments

Michael Bublé on leaving an LGBT-affirming legacy, man crushes and male admirers

By Chris Azzopardi

“You know what I’ll be Googling tonight: Bublé, gay, queer, all that stuff,” said Michael Bublé one recent afternoon, after being informed that said search terms render colorful results.

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