KELLY MATCHES AWARD, GIFTS LGBT SENIORS
William “Bill” Kelly, a local LGBT senior advocate and Gay San Diego columnist, was presented with the Richard Geyser Community Leadership Award, at the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation’s Aston Brooks gala on Saturday, April 29.
The annual award, which comes with a $5,000 monetary award, is named for the founding board president of the Human Dignity Foundation. It recognizes a San Diego resident who has “contributed significantly to LGBT and/or HIV causes within San Diego County.”
Kelly, who knew six months ago that he’d be receiving the award, decided to donate the money toward the upcoming new LGBT-affirming senior housing development by CHWorks, currently in the build-out stage at the corner of Texas and Lincoln streets in North Park. He also decided to seek additional donations from the community at large to match the gift and in the process raised an additional $7,700, making the total amount he will donate to the housing project $12,700.
Here is an excerpt of his speech at the gala.
“I am deeply honored and humbled to accept this award on behalf of all who supported the vision. The changes we want begin with the visions and dreams of individuals, but the heavy lifting is done by our community organizations, their volunteers and donors.
“A decade ago a group of dreamers began a journey. We called ourselves ‘the ad hoc working group on housing for LGBT seniors.’ … I am so sorry Bill Beck did not live to see this day. It was he who encouraged me to stay with the dream. Because of the dedication of each of you, a dream is being realized that will live beyond us all.
“The San Diego Human Dignity Foundation supported our dream. The Center provided sorely needed professional guidance and the meeting space to nurture it. Community HousingWorks has made it a reality. United as one community, we welcome this award.
“I am very appreciative and happy to announce that a handful of our friends and my colleagues have donated an additional $7,700. I asked and The Center has agreed to earmark the total of $12,700 to provide casework, programs, and services to the residents of the new housing.
“[To my] husband, Bob Taylor … I am forever grateful for your love, patience and understanding of all the late nights and long days. You are truly the wind beneath my wings. Thank you. We must never forget what the collaboration and cooperation between volunteers, donors and organizations can accomplish together.”
Kelly writes the Senior Matters column in Gay San Diego and facilitates the “Caring for our LGBT Seniors in San Diego” Facebook group. To see a recent short documentary on Kelly’s life and service to his community, visit bit.ly/2r6JHUV.
STONEWALL RALLY RETURNS TO PRIDE FLAG
San Diego Pride and the Hillcrest Business Association are working together again this year to kick off the weekend’s 43rd annual Pride festivities on Friday, July 15. The Spirit of Stonewall Rally, which last year took place at the Pride Festival grounds on the West Mesa of Balboa Park — as it had in the years prior to the construction of the Hillcrest Pride Flag — is returning to the flag area at Normal Street and University Avenue prior to the Pride Block Party.
“Our community and this country could use a little more unity right now. By bringing these two organizations together over Pride weekend to honor our history and celebrate our accomplishments we’re also highlighting all that is possible when we work together,” said Fernando Lopez, director of operations for San Diego Pride.
The Spirit of Stonewall Rally — which celebrates local LGBT leaders, offers an inspirational speaker lineup that serves as a call to action during challenging times, and ends with the ceremonial raising of the Hillcrest Pride Flag — has historically kicked off the weekend’s festivities.
This year, as in years past, the rally will be immediately followed by the Pride Block Party, a neighborhood event held alongside the flag area that includes local DJs, carnival rides, bars and a large dance area all in the street at the intersection of Normal Street and University Avenue.
“I am so happy that the Stonewall Rally is returning to Hillcrest this year,” said Benjamin Nicholls, executive director of the Hillcrest Business Association. “Unity is so important as we go forward in an ever more uncertain and difficult world. I know the businesses of Hillcrest are excited to be part of the kick off of Pride 2017!”
The Spirit of Stonewall Rally, which starts at 5 p.m., is free and open to the public. Advance general admission tickets for the Block Party, which will start immediately after the rally and continue until 11 p.m., are currently on sale for $20, with VIP passes $45. Visit fabuloushillcrest.com or sdpride.org for tickets and more information.
LOCAL LOG CABIN MEMBER VISITS WASHINGTON
On Tuesday, May 9, Gina Roberts, president of the local Log Cabin Republicans organization, traveled to Washington D.C. with the transgender leadership caucus of the national organization to brief the Department of Education on the issues surrounding the safety of transgender students and equality for all students. Specific topics in the 23-page white paper presented included the challenges facing transgender K-12 students; establishing new guidelines; federal guidelines, local conditions and flexibility; terminology and biographies of the authors of the white paper, who came from both the national Log Cabin Republicans organization and the Liberty Education Forum.
The white paper was written in response to the Trump administration’s February 2017 letter rescinding the Obama administration’s letter rescinding protections for transgender students and which also called for a need to “further and more completely consider the legal issues involved.” The white paper was presented to the civil liberties and legal staff of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
Roberts, a resident of Valley Center and an active member of the San Diego LGBT community, assisted with the drafting of the white paper and was part of the contingent.
“It is an honor to represent Log Cabin Republicans and our transgender community to the Department of Education,” Roberts said in a press release from the Log Cabin Republicans. “We are very pleased with the conversations and are looking forward to helping to produce Title IX guidance that will protect the privacy and needs of all students, both transgender and non-transgender alike.”
For more information on their visit to Washington and read the white paper, visit tinyurl.com/kdje3z8.
LOCAL CHIROPRACTOR WISHES TO ‘CONNECT’
Dr. Katie Schlein, of Life Within Family Chiropractic, a pediatric and prenatal family chiropractic practice in Hillcrest, recently announced that she is reaching out to the local LGBT community and offering a monthly social event for same-sex parents.
Called “Connect,” the event will take place June 1 from 7–9 p.m. at their Hillcrest office space and Schlein hopes the event will allow parents to do just that: Connect with one another.
“What motivated me to start this group is my passion to support children and families in a population that I am actively a part of,” Schlein said in an email. “I recognized the need to support an up and coming community in a space where people can connect, learn and grow from one another’s experiences. I am passionate about this parent population as I one day will be a part of it when I eventually have kids of my own. Through first-hand experiences, being that my sister is an LGBT parent, I know that it brings a different set of challenges that families overcome.”
Schlein describes this free event as an opportunity to allow LGBT parents a monthly space to “connect, share highs and lows and come together” and support one another through the trials and tribulations of surrogacy, adoption, insemination and parenting.
While the first social will be “kid-free,” she hopes to incorporate kid-friendly events in the future.
Life Within Family Chiropractic is located at 1452 University Ave. For more information, call 619-291-LIFE (5433) or visit lifewithincenter.com.
NEW CYCLEBAR OPENS WITH PHILANTHROPIC GOALS IN HILLCREST
A new health environment focused on the popular “spin” exercise regimen has opened in Hillcrest and its owners are also launching a philanthropic arm.
CycleBar Hillcrest — scheduled to celebrate its grand opening at 1040 University Ave., Suite B213 on June 8 — will also introduce CycleGiving, a new philanthropic effort that plans to raise money for local nonprofits while promoting health and fitness.
To help engage the community in its grand opening, CycleBar will be offering 70 free classes over 10 days, which will take place June 8–18.
The new work out center promises a “concert-like atmosphere” for its indoor, high energy workouts in what they describe as a “state of the art CycleTheatre” with specific CycleStar instructors leading 44 riders on the 50-minute workouts, complete with widescreen graphics, a DJ booth and LED lighting. Participants can relax and cool down post-workout with fresh fruit, enhanced water options and an aromatherapy experience throughout the new facility.
“I have been a competitive endurance athlete since college and have been very active in the San Diego group fitness community for the last 10 years,” University Heights resident and CycleBar Hillcrest owner Bob Franzetta said in a press release. “Hillcrest is such an active, vibrant area and CycleBar fits into our community’s health and fitness lifestyle while making the experience fun for both new and experienced riders.”
For more information, visit cyclebarhillcrest.com.