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Profiles in Advocacy

The history of the San Diego LGBT Community Center

Posted: October 27th, 2017 | Community Voices, Featured, Profiles in Advocacy | No Comments

By Ian Morton | Profiles in Advocacy

All organizations have peaks and valleys, and the 45-year timeline of the San Diego LGBT Community Center (The Center), has not been immune. As the 1970s came to a close, many of the founding members had moved on to other projects, and the reason behind the creation of The Center had become a bit nebulous.

In 1980, The Center had moved from its B Street location to the Hillcrest “gay neighborhood,” at the corner of Fifth and Robinson avenues behind the Brass Rail, San Diego’s oldest LGBT bar.

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The San Diego LGBT Community Center: The founding

Posted: September 29th, 2017 | Columns, Features, Profiles in Advocacy, Top Story | 1 Comment

By Ian Morton | Profiles in Advocacy

Editor’s note: This is the first in a three-part series.

Imagine (or remember) a world before personal computers, cell phones, the internet, and social media.

It was 1971, and the LGBT community was still reeling from Stonewall (1969) and the inclusion of homosexuality as a mental disorder in the 1968 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Same-sex sexual acts were considered criminal in all but the state of Illinois, in the United States.

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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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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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Mama’s international family

Posted: May 26th, 2017 | Columns, Featured, Profiles in Advocacy | 3 Comments

By Ian Morton | Profiles in Advocacy Members of the LGBTQ+ community have often found themselves in a dynamic of a “two family system”; their family of birth and their family of choice. So when May, and Mother’s Day comes around, many of us find ourselves reflecting, not only on the mother(s) who may have raised us, but the women who have come into our lives as adults. One such community matriarch is “Mama” Sandy […]

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Spring into action

Posted: April 28th, 2017 | Columns, Featured, Profiles in Advocacy | No Comments

By Ian Morton | Profiles in Advocacy Just yesterday, I got to go on my annual Dining Out For Life “date” with the inimitable Elaine Graybill, an event that always reminds me that it isn’t just what’s in our pockets that can help nonprofits move forward, but also what is in our hearts. The “ambassadors” at each participating DOFL business have an opportunity to really elevate the event and make patrons feel great about participating.

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Transformations at The Center

Posted: March 31st, 2017 | Columns, Features, News, Profiles in Advocacy, Top Story | 1 Comment

By Ian Morton | Profiles in Advocacy

For some fortunate cities and regions, there exists in the nexus of the LGBTQ community a hub or center where members can meet, celebrate, mourn and receive services.

San Diego is one such city and the past years have shown impressive and responsive programming from the San Diego LGBT Community Center (The Center).

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Marching forward with the National Black Justice Coalition

Posted: February 17th, 2017 | Columns, Features, Profiles in Advocacy, Top Story | 1 Comment

By Ian Morton | Profiles in Advocacy

On Friday, Feb. 10, I had the privilege of participating in the production of the fourth annual Bayard Rustin Civil Rights Honors at the San Diego LGBT Community Center.

Named for civil rights organizer Bayard Rustin — right-hand man to Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, and gay black man — this event celebrates achievement, advocacy and activism by and for the San Diego black LGBTQ community.

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What love can do

Posted: January 20th, 2017 | Columns, Featured, Profiles in Advocacy | No Comments

By Ian Morton | Profiles in Advocacy With the new year upon us, we set new goals and hopefully some of those goals include ways to strengthen advocacy in the coming year. The San Diego Foundation building, the Malin Burnham Center for Civic Engagement, houses many of the city’s nonprofit foundations and projects — including the foundation at which I work, San Diego Human Dignity Foundation — and it is always an inspirational place to visit. […]

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Keeping the torch lit for LGBT seniors

Posted: October 28th, 2016 | Columns, Profiles in Advocacy, Top Story | No Comments

By Ian Morton | Profiles in Advocacy

It is turning out to be quite a year for community advocate, William “Bill” Kelly, both in impact and recognition.

Kelly will be inducted at the upcoming Benjamin F. Dillingham and Bridget Wilson LGBT Veterans Wall of Honor ceremony; he’ll soon be featured in a KPBS documentary about San Diego seniors; and he has been chosen to receive the Richard Geyser Community Leadership Award at the 2017 Aston Brooks Awards Gala.

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‘Auntie Helen’s 2.0’ ready to launch

Posted: September 30th, 2016 | Columns, Featured, Profiles in Advocacy | No Comments

By Ian Morton | Profiles in Advocacy Auntie Helen’s Community Thrift is poised to make an impact. From its grassroots beginnings, founded in 1988 by Gary Cheatham to address a very specific need in the HIV/AIDS community, 2016 sees a new focus and a new dedication to all individuals living with or at risk for HIV infection in San Diego County.

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Welcome to my home …

Posted: August 19th, 2016 | Columns, Featured, Profiles in Advocacy | No Comments

By Ian Morton | Profiles in Advocacy So, I get to work in an amazing place and it’s about time that I talk a little about my “home away from home,” the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation (SDHDF). Established by a group of concerned LGBT San Diegans, this grassroots foundation’s mission has always been to stimulate and promote responsible philanthropy both to and by San Diego’s LGBT community.

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Finding your ‘Pride moment’

Posted: July 22nd, 2016 | Columns, Featured, Profiles in Advocacy | No Comments

By Ian Morton | Profiles in Advocacy I am writing this on the evening of Sunday, July 17, 2016 — about an hour after I packed up the San Diego Black LGBTQ Coalition booth and dropped off some of my fellow coalition members at their homes. As last month’s column was only a couple of weeks after the Pulse Orlando massacre, this one comes on the heels of a the shooting of both men of […]

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Making a clean start at 8 West

Posted: June 24th, 2016 | Columns, Profiles in Advocacy, Top Story | No Comments

By Ian Morton | Profiles in Advocacy

This has been a rough two weeks, my friends. The Orlando massacre at Pulse nightclub; the individual apprehended at LA Pride; the LGBTQ shootings in Veracruz, Mexico; the responses from homophobes; and the silence of many of our family members and friends has left some heavy hearts.

I, personally, turn to music and the line “I might only have one match, but I can make an explosion,” from Rachel Patten’s “Fight Song” has been anchored in my brain. And I believe it. Those who persevere in lighting the fire of positivity in this world will outshine the ugliness and that’s the reason I celebrate them in this column.

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