Briefs – Aug. 19 – Sept. 1, 2016

Posted: August 19th, 2016 | Gay News Briefs, News, Opinion & News | No Comments


Hillary Whittington, author of “Raising Ryland: Our Story of Parenting a Transgender Child With No Strings Attached,” will discuss the dynamics of her family, participate in a Q&A, and sign copies of her book Sunday, Aug. 21 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., at Foothills United Methodist Church’s King Hall, located at 4031 Avocado Blvd. in La Mesa. The event is sponsored by the Foothills UMC Reconciling Fellowship, and a complimentary brunch will be provided.

Ryland book“The Foothills UMC Reconciling Fellowship believes our church family is made up of people of differing sexual orientations and gender identities. We are socially, politically and theologically diverse, yet we are one in the body of Christ,” the group stated in a press release.

Whittington and her husband Jeff became internationally known when a home video they created about their deaf, 6-year-old transgender son Ryland went viral, receiving more than 3 million views on the internet in 2014. The video has since received nearly 8 million views.

San Diego residents, the Whittingtons have been active participants in the local LGBT community after being introduced at the Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast in May 2014. Hillary has been doing speaking events to open people’s minds since the release of her book earlier this year.

For more information about her talk, call the church at 619-670-4009. To watch the couple’s original video about their transgender son, visit


From event management and filmmaking to learning how to manufacture guitars, San Diego City, Mesa and Miramar colleges, along with San Diego Continuing Education, are offering an array of new degrees, certificates and programs for students when the San Diego Community College District’s (SDCCD) 2016-17 academic year begins Aug. 22.

Many of the programs were developed in collaboration with local industry and are aimed at meeting employer demands.

“A key component of the [SDCCD] mission is in workforce development, as we play a major role in growing the regional economy,” said Chancellor Constance M. Carroll.

Here is a list of new programs in the district:

  • City College: Advanced Arts Entrepreneurship (Certificate of Performance); Arts Entrepreneurship (Certificate of Performance); Sports Management (Certificate of Performance); VITA Tax Preparation Training (Certificate of Performance); Conflict Resolution and Mediation (Certificate of Achievement); Nail Technician (Certificate of Performance); Broadcast News (Certificate of Achievement); Documentary Film (Associate of Science); and Media Management and Marketing (Certificate of Achievement).
  • Mesa College: Event Management (Associate of Science); Event Management (Certificate of Achievement); and Phlebotomy (Certificate of Performance)
  • Miramar College: Emergency Medical Technician (Certificate of Performance); and Graphics-Visual Production (Certificate of Performance)

Continuing Education: Windows System Administrator Program; and Small Business Growth

Other new programs at City College include Broadcast News (Certificate of Achievement), Nail Technician (Certificate of Performance in Cosmetology Program), and Documentary Filmmaking (Associate of Science Degree).

Working adults who want to earn a college degree should also look into the new accelerated business degree program that launches this semester at Mesa. The program offers convenient evening, hybrid and online classes, and puts enrolled students on a sequential path that enables them to complete their degree in three years — and gives them priority admission status to the California State University system.

The district anticipates an estimated 1,000 additional students during the coming academic year.

Second largest of California’s 72 community college districts, SDCCD’s budget calls for more workforce preparation programs, additional course sections and increased initiatives aimed at ensuring student success, along with reinstating intercession in January 2017.

For more information or to register, visit


Strength for the Journey is a five-day retreat, providing a safe, caring and healing community that fosters spiritual and emotional growth. This year’s retreat will take place Sept. 12 – 16 at Camp Cedar Glen near Julian, California.

In addition to providing the physical needs of a retreat, the program also offers various group workshops on health and wellness, medication adherence, nutrition, diet and exercise.

Founded by the Rev. Burt All, a United Methodist minister who was himself living with AIDS, Strength for the Journey provides the circumstances in which people can inspire and encourage one another to develop new attitudes about living with HIV.

Burt had a vision of a place far away from the city and the pressures of day-to-day life, where others living with HIV/AIDS could rest, relax, share, connect, play and heal. His vision was realized in 1988, when the first Strength for the Journey retreats took place in Los Angeles and San Diego.

San Diego Strength for the Journey 2016 is made possible with the support of the United Methodist Church and San Diego AIDS Walk.

The staff and planners are all volunteers and the retreat is open to anyone with HIV/AIDS without regard to religion, race, gender or sexual orientation.

Notes: Camp Cedar Glen is not wheelchair accessible and may not accommodate companion animals. Use or possession of illegal drugs or alcohol is strictly prohibited and cigarette smoking is extremely limited due to fire danger.

To learn more about the retreat, visit and type in Strength for the Journey in the search box. Early registration is advised due to limited camp capacity and a minimum of $25 is required at registration. Register online at


Stefan Talian recently became an American citizen and has set up shop at The Studio Door gallery in North Park. Talian has worked as both an executive chef and a yoga instructor, for nearly six years. However it was the struggles he has endured and his passion for expression that pushed him in 2013 to pursue his dream to live as an artist, despite having no formal art education.

Stefan Talian Artist Portrait

Stefan Talian in his studio at The Studio Door (Photo by Monica Mahdion)

His work has been seen in various juried art shows and on display at the San Diego Art Institute and now he is working alongside San Diego’s artist mentor of the year, Patric Stillman, owner of The Studio Door.

Though he’s been in San Diego for about six years, when Talian first arrived in America, he’d packed everything he owned in two pieces of luggage. Unfortunately the luggage never showed up, forcing him to start from scratch on the East Coast.

“From the first moment I arrived, I felt very welcomed and I knew I wanted to stay. I fell in love with this country,” Talian stated in a press release about his quest for citizenship. “For me becoming an American citizen meant making it permanent so nobody can get between us, like a marriage, it’s forever in good and bad.”

Those interested in Talian’s work can stop by The Studio Door, located at 3730 30th St., North Park, and watch him in action. The Studio Door will also be hosting an Open Studios San Diego reception Oct. 8, from 6 – 9 p.m, where numerous local artists, including Talian, will have their work on display. For more information about Talian, visit or visit

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