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Transforming UC San Diego, inside and out

By Ian Morton | Profiles in Advocacy

The specific issue was whether or not a business should have to make a wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony. The broader ramifications were whether a privately owned business could deny services based on the patron’s perceived sexuality or gender identity.

As a former pharmacy technician, I remember wondering what would happen if a small town’s local pharmacy or private medical practice were suddenly allowed to deny services or medications based on these factors, and how horrifying that would be for LGBTQ individuals.

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‘Animal Crackers’ is bonkers!

By Jean Lowerisonn | Theater Review

“The world would not be in such a snarl, had Marx been Groucho instead of Karl.”  —Irving Berlin

Leave your critical and logical faculties at home when you head for Cygnet Theatre’s wild and woolly staging of the classic goofball Marx Brothers musical, “Animal Crackers.” 

Most people know the 1930 film “Animal Crackers,” a truncated version that cut most of the songs. Now, Cygnet Theatre recreates the era and brings back the brothers in Henry Wishcamper’s stage adaptation of the original 1928 Broadway musical.

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Backseat dining

By Frank Sabatini Jr.        

It was a reservation for two.

“We have the car for you,” said the hostess to our bewilderment, while leading us toward the rear section of the warehouse-style dining room and past a busy, open kitchen.

Within moments a shiny red Fiat perched a couple feet off the ground came into view. Its front seats were missing and the side doors were ajar. Implanted inside was our table, an attention-getting perch that sent my tall spouse into a moment of panic.

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Together strong

By Morgan M. Hurley | Editor

Richard “Rikke” Bahena, known to many in the community as the manager of the popular local watering hole #1 Fifth Ave., is also a photographer. While he was never professionally schooled in the art of photography, he has what the business calls “an eye” for the craft. This quality, coupled with Bahena’s passion for how he “sees the beauty in all things” has resulted in a body of work that has adorned the covers and pages of various local magazines, newspapers, books and record albums over the years.

“As an artist there is nothing better than to see your work all over the place making an impact and creating something powerful,” he said. “But what I care the most is the message I have as a human being, where we all matter and deserve respect, equality and to be treated with dignity, justice, and offered the same opportunities.”

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The power of music

By Jess Winans

What was supposed to be another fun Saturday night spinning records at a popular Orlando gay club turned into a nightmare for Ray Rivera. In the early hours of June 12, 2016, Rivera — whose stage name is DJ Infinite — was playing hits and preparing to wind down the large crowd on the dance floor at Pulse Nightclub’s outdoor patio. He loved watching them dance to the beats he created, beaming with pride and knowing that it was there, at that club, they could truly be themselves.

Suddenly, Rivera’s beats were interrupted by gunshots that fateful night, where 49 members of the LGBTQ community and allies were killed during one of the most horrific mass shootings in American history.

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A marriage of beer and liquor

Posted: July 7th, 2017 | Features, Food & Drink, Profiles, Top Story | No Comments

By Morgan M. Hurley | Editor

Since opening up just in advance of Pride weekend five years ago, Hillcrest Brewing Company — touted as the only LGBT-owned brewery in the world — has become a welcome addition to the gayborhood. Their popular pizzas, tangy wings and array of house-made craft beers and guest craft brew taps draw people from all over to their humble, industrial-style space.

Each year they brew up a special “one-off” craft beer for Pride week, and there is another change this year, one that may take some by surprise: Hillcrest Brewing Company now has a liquor license.

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Grapes, suds and coffee

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

The most commonly asked question by first-time visitors to Negociant Urban Winery is, “Do you make the wines here?”

According to co-owner John Rinaldi, their jaws often drop when he answers “Yes,” despite stacks of wooden barrels forming the backdrop to a modest-size tasting room and wine-making facility that formerly housed a tanning salon.

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Tracing San Diego’s queer history

By Archives Staff | Out of the Archives

On a bright December day in 1970, 60 or so San Diegans gathered in Presidio Park with balloons, face paint, and guitars to take part in a monumental picnic. Despite homophobia and hostility toward gays prevailing as a mainstream position of society at that time, these folks came together to publicly express and celebrate their sexuality. The crowd danced, sang, played games, and displayed posters asserting their right to be out and proud. In the spirit of civil rights activism, the event was declared a “Gay-In.”

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Marching with Pride

Posted: June 23rd, 2017 | Features, News, Top Story | No Comments

By Morgan M. Hurley | Editor

Even though President Donald J. Trump refused to recognize June as National Pride Month — on his first opportunity to do so — members of the LGBT community from around the nation marched in unity on July 11, perhaps in spite of his lack of action. President Barack Obama had recognized National Pride Month for the last eight years.

While nearly 5,000 San Diegans marched locally, many others made the trek to Washington, D.C. to participate in the National Equality March, the sixth March on Washington of the LGBT community since 1979.

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The ultimate tease artist

Posted: June 23rd, 2017 | Arts & Entertainment, Features, Top Story | No Comments

By Margie Palmer

Burlesque icon Dita Von Teese will be kicking off the West Coast leg of her critically acclaimed “The Art of the Teese” tour on July 5 in San Diego. Gay San Diego recently caught up with Von Teese to learn more about her past, her style and what show-goers can expect from her upcoming NSFW performance.

Von Teese never imagined she’d grow up to be the international “Queen of Burlesque.”

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FilmOut announces awards for 2017

Posted: June 23rd, 2017 | Arts & Entertainment, Features, Top Story | No Comments

By Ken Williams | Contributing Editor

“The Lavender Scare” — a powerful documentary about a largely forgotten chapter of American history when President Eisenhower unleashed a witch-hunt in the 1950s to rid the U.S. government agencies of homosexuals as “security risks” — has been honored with the Freedom Award at FilmOut’s 19th annual San Diego LGBT Film Festival.

The relentless persecution of homosexuals ruined tens of thousands of lives and lasted for many years until astronomer Frank Kameny, one of those fired government employees, fought back. Kameny’s dogged pursuit for justice would go on to inspire the modern-day gay rights movement.

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Let’s #BeTheGeneration

By Ian Morton | Profiles in Advocacy

Since its discovery in the 1980s, HIV/AIDS has both disproportionately impacted and been the “burden” of the LGBTQ community.

When the infection seemed to spread like wildfire through the gay community, our lesbian siblings were our allies — even when shown that HIV had no boundaries — much of the heterosexual population actively avoided engaging in a dialogue around the disease.

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Endangered species

By Frank Sabatini Jr. | Restaurant Review

We were seven strong, a modern family of two same-sex couples, two high-achieving college girls we collectively and proudly call our daughters, and their grandmother visiting from Missouri.

If this were 1971, when Bully’s East — which now has “Prime Bistro Sports Bar” tagging the name — we’d be paying only 15 cents for bottomless coffee and $4.50 for prime rib with side dishes. We would have also been brunching in an insufferably discriminating climate, no matter where. (I’ll take today’s prices any day with the bonuses of freedom and acceptance.)

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Gay marriage: Monogamous or open?

By Ken Williams | Contributing Editor

As a psychotherapist focusing on LGBT issues, Michael Kimmel has heard it all. His clients have run the gamut from newly married gay couples to porn stars, go-go boys, male escorts and even a male “madam.”

But since June 26, 2015, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality, Kimmel has been flooded with questions about how gay men should embrace same-sex marriage.

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Where in the world is Elizabeth Hannon?

Posted: June 9th, 2017 | Community Profile, Features, Top Story | 1 Comment

By Morgan M. Hurley | Editor

Members of our local LGBT community, as well as many residents and business owners in the Uptown area, are all familiar with Elizabeth Hannon, who for the last several years was a very visible force as the CEO of the Uptown Parking District.

But earlier this year, Hannon seemed to effectively drop out of sight; causing many in the community to wonder where she is and what she is up to.

Wonder no more.

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