Briefs – July 8 – 21, 2016

Posted: July 8th, 2016 | Gay News Briefs, News, Opinion & News | No Comments


The LGBT-themed children’s book, “A Peacock Among Pidgeons,” written by Austin-based HIV activist Tyler Curry and illustrated by local artist and San Diego native Clarione Gutierrez — known professionally simply as Clarione — has won several honors in the recent International Book Awards presented by Literary Classics.

The mission of Literary Classics is to “honor excellence in children’s and young adult literature, thereby encouraging a passion for reading while promoting education, imagination and character in the minds of young readers.”

The award-winning "A Peacock Among Pigeons" (Courtesy Clarione)

The award-winning “A Peacock Among Pigeons” (Courtesy Clarione)

“A Peacock Among Pidgeons” took top honors with The Enchanged Page International Children’s Book Award. Only one distinguished picture book is honored each year for this award.

Published by Mascot Books, “A Peacock Among Pigeons” is labeled a “children’s book,” but it also resonates with adults, especially those in the LGBT community.

The book also won two “Preschool and Early Reader Awards,” one in the Cultural Issues category and one identified as Inspirational/Visionary.

Curry’s playful but meaningful storyline takes the reader through the struggles and triumphs of Peter (the peacock). Clarione’s colorful and relevant, eye-popping illustrations are attractive to young readers as well as old.

The honors offer Curry and Gutierrez both credibility and recognition, as well as myriad opportunities to promote the book and themselves as author and illustrator, through Literary Classic Books.

“We are both still so completely floored by this,” Clarione said in a posting on his Facebook page. “We were so honored to be a finalist and hoped we’d win one of the categories, because you know, it would be cool to put a seal on our book. But to find out that we won three awards, including the top children’s book award, is beyond incredible!”

The book’s message, which Clarione said is not only about the importance of loving and accepting yourself, “but really to accept other people’s differences as well,” teaches everyone of every age, that it is OK to be different.

“Thank you to Tyler for putting us on this road,” Clarione said. “Thank you especially to everyone who has supported our project and continues to carry Peter’s message! We are truly #PeacockProud!”

To see the full list of honorees, visit To learn more about this colorful LGBT-themed book, visit


It was recently announced that the honorable Secretary of the U.S. Army, Eric Fanning, will be joining in on several official San Diego LGBT Pride events this year. The first and highest ranking member of the Department of Defense who is openly gay, Fanning was historically confirmed to his secretary post earlier this year after a lengthy process.

Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning (Courtesy San Diego Pride)

Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning (Courtesy San Diego Pride)

Fanning will first act as Keynote speaker at the Spirit of Stonewall Rally, Friday, July 15. On Saturday, Fanning will serve as an Honorary Grand Marshal of the San Diego Pride Parade, and will lead off the military contingent at the front of the parade, just after the bikers.

In 2011, San Diego Pride made both history and headlines, when over 200 active duty service members from every branch of the service marched in the Parade just months prior to the active repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

“From José Sarria, to Harvey Milk, to Eric Fanning, LGBT service members and Department of Defense civilians have been a crucial part of the fabric of our movement and this nation,” said Fernando Lopez, director of operations at San Diego Pride. “San Diego has such a vibrant LGBT service member and veteran community, we know his presence is going to mean the world to so many. It is an incredible honor to host Secretary Fanning at San Diego Pride.”

The Spirit of Stonewall Rally will take place Friday, July 15, at 6 p.m., at the Music Festival’s main stage at Marston Point in Balboa Park.

The Pride Parade will start at 11 a.m., Saturday, July 16 in Hillcrest, at the corner of Normal Street and University Avenue.

“I am humbled to be the keynote speaker and an honorary Grand Marshal.  As our community moves forward, we strive for full inclusion of all Americans who can do the job, and just want an opportunity to serve the Nation they love,” Fanning said.


As the neighborhood that hosts the majority of the San Diego LGBT Pride festivities, Hillcrest needs a bit of polishing each year following the celebration. The Hillcrest Town Council (HTC) will host its annual Post-Pride Clean Up on Monday, July 18, at 8 a.m., and invites all interested community members to participate.

Hillcrest residents Ben Cartwright and Sarah Merk-Benitez participate in a recent HTC cleanup (Courtesy HTC)

Hillcrest residents Ben Cartwright and Sarah Merk-Benitez participate in a recent HTC cleanup (Courtesy HTC)

HTC is an official community partner of San Diego Pride and receives a grant based on the number of volunteer hours completed at the clean up.

Volunteers will help sweep and clean the most heavily trafficked parts of the neighborhood to bring some shine back to San Diego’s most fabulous neighborhood after its biggest weekend of the year.

All supplies will be provided, and volunteers will be provided with an orange Hillcrest Clean TEAM (together we achieve more) T-shirt.

Volunteers will gather at the corner of Park Boulevard and University Avenue at 8 a.m., to check-in, gather supplies and be assigned clean-up locations.

Sunscreen, hats, comfortable shoes, and lots of water are recommended.

Following the clean up, the “Trash Talk” social will be held at Urban MO’s, located at 308 University Ave. All volunteers will be treated to appetizers and drinks, courtesy of MO’s Universe.

For more information or to sign-up, contact David Coben at

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