Letters to the editor – July 21, 2017

Posted: July 21st, 2017 | Editorial, Featured, Letters to the editor | No Comments


[Ref: “Analysis: Status of a Pride Parade,” online only at]

I am soo happy that the much needed dialog has begun … I would love to attend a function to learn more about #NoJusticeNoPride. After the rally
as an “elder” and fighter, I am very interested in empowering the voice of the unheard!

—Tracie Jada O’Brien

I agree with #NoJusticeNoPride — the erasure of brown and black lives matters, but San Diego is actually really good about this. The police — no; but San Diego — yes. Honor that. Let’s also honor the trans women we have lost to homicide, and trans youth we continue to lose year after year to suicide.

Regarding the corporate sponsorship of Pride. It seems to me that $20 for the entertainment portion of the event, is fair, given the value derived, especially when the money goes to [community] grants, to typically the small, unfundable, and necessary programs that help people in our community, and a portion internationally in places where people face death or worse for it. The [Spirit of Stonewall] Rally on Friday is to me the part that matters most, and it is free — where are y’all then? The parade as well is free.

About the festival, the money-making part of Pride … without corporate sponsors, either the ticket price goes up (you will hate that I am assuming) or it will turn into a picnic, which is cool, but then you lose out on being one of if not the largest civic events in San Diego, and one of the leading ones in the nation, in tone and practice; and the jobs for black, brown, and all other colors in San Diego that are created are important, especially sex workers who make a large portion of that income over the weekend.

Let’s be real and direct petulance to where it belongs, but love and cherish the beautiful thing we have going. Pride the entertainment event, could eventually be free if folks got together and found the right equation. All this anti-corporatist hate (who feeds and jobs you), racism, and anti-trans BS has got to go. Show up to be community. Or stay home … these people put the event on for free so you can show up and have a platform. Use it wisely.

—J, via

Another attempt to stop peaceful protests. What a sham! Nice tactic by Pride and others, to all the protesters, raise that fist in opposition. Raise it high!

—XStacy, via

Fantastic work by Fernando, Ian and Syra! Each of us need to follow their lead and have conversations … only through listening and sharing, will we find avenues for acceptance and change. Fantastic article, Morgan. Thank you.

—Elizabeth Hannon, via

This article gives misleading information on the status of #NoJusticeNoPride. The article makes it appear that #NoJusticeNoPride will not be holding a rally Saturday because of the conversation between Syra, Fernando and Ian.

This is in fact incorrect.

Firstly, there was never a plan to blockade and shut down Pride. Secondly, we will be hosting a peaceful rally on Saturday in solidarity with #NoJusticeNoPride movements across the country.

We are hosting the rally to resist corporate sponsorship of Pride, fight the erasure of black and brown lives, and honor the trans women we have lost.

—Jen DeVries, via email and

Thank you for commenting and clarifying the intention of #NoJusticeNoPride, a national movement, which of course belongs to no single individual. As a black gay man, I thank you for your commitment to fighting the erasure of black and brown LGBTQ lives. I hope that, in addition to your rally, you will consider being a part of the conversations that follow. In my younger days, I experienced both the “gatekeepers” who had no interest in what I brought to the table, and the allies who worked to amplify my voice. My goal is to always be the latter, whenever I can.

—Ian Morton, in response to Jen DeVries

More on ‘Pride, Inc.’

[Ref: “Guest editorial: Celebrate our corporate allies,” Vol. 8, Issue 14, or online at Note: This opinion piece was in response to “Guest editorial: Pride, Incorporated,” Issue #13, located online at]

Dave, I fully agree with the points that you are making.

As we baby boomers age, the next generation fails to appreciate how much society has changed and takes the acceptance we appreciate for granted. Living in Southern California, we also forget that we are blessed not with just the sunshine, but with society’s acceptance.

Having my employer allow me to have domestic partner benefits as well as a Council on Diversity is truly evidence of ongoing evolution of society. But we need to remember, and be aware, that there is a huge demographic that does not share in the benefits of society’s evolution. Corporate support and sponsorship helps to bring insight and acceptance to those areas where such evolution is lacking.

—Scott, via

Pulse survivor

[Ref: “The power of music,” Vol. 8, Issue 14, or online at]

Great piece on how this tragedy affected so many in so many unseen ways. Glad to see how complete strangers are reaching out to help survivors.

—Jen, via

Tracing our history

[Ref: “Out of the Archives: Tracing San Diego’s queer history,” Vol. 8, Issue 14, or online at].

Thanks for publishing this enlightening article. Big props to Angela for writing it and for all the great work she does at Lambda Archives. To paraphrase Angela, this is why preserving this history and documenting it in an accessible way matters. Kudos to all who work every day to create and to document! Onward in Pride!

—Maureen Steiner, via

Saying it again: The first Pride march in San Diego was in 1974. The ’74 March was as official as it gets, if the people who are marching are making that determination. It was not given a permit because the police refused to issue a parade permit to “criminals” and “deviants.”

To imply that the first March was somehow not legitimate because the cops would not approve of it, does not change that it was the first Pride March in San Diego. I think Nicole [Murray Ramirez] would agree with me on this, we were there. And we feared for our safety.

There were a lot of cops following us that day, when we were pushed onto the sidewalks; some wore bags over their heads, for example, service members who would lose their careers if identified. We did not know if we would be arrested, or beaten. It insults those who risked their well-being to dismiss that 1974 march because we had to defy authority to do it. Our lives were criminal until 1976. The police viewed us as unapprehended criminals.

The first Pride March was in 1974. The first to be issued a parade permit, under the threat of lawsuit from my friend, the late Tom Homann, was 1975. I was there for both and four decades more.

—Bridget Wilson, via

Please don’t use the word “queer” in your paper. It is a slur as ugly as “ni**er” and is impossible to “reclaim” without bringing all the hate and ugliness wit it.

—Joe Doe, via email

Thank you for writing this article reminding everyone about the meaning and history of the Stonewall Rally in San Diego. Connecting our past to the present provides our LGBTQ community with a foundation to move collectively forward to meet the challenges awaiting us.

As a recipient, along with my wife Ellen, of this year’s “Inspirational Couple” award, the event has a special meaning of being connected to all those who have come before us.

Whether Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Queer or Trans our history is interwoven together. At this year’s fourth annual Trans Pride, Ellen and I will be hosting a booth featuring a timeline of local trans history. The T has been ignored for too long and it is time that we take our place next to our LGBQ siblings.

—Meredith Vezina, via

Location of AIDS memorial

[Ref: “Opinion: Where our AIDS Memorial belongs,” Vol. 8, Issue 10, or online at]

Another question is where are the funds? Nicole Murray Ramirez has been asked several times and she will not say where the funds are held.

The public has a right to know where their donated money is going, and how it’s being handled. If you look at the SDAM Facebook page it points to San Diego Human Dignity Foundation website, which doesn’t mention the memorial anywhere.

—Scott Walters, via

Again, our LGBT bars

[Ref: “Out of the Archives: The history of our bars,” Vol. 8, Issue 6, or online at].

Before I ever went to Studio 9, there was an under-age alternative club with a mixture of sexually curious young adults: gays, cross dressers, late ’80s punk, got, late ’80s mods, and bi-curious. This place was named Club Cabaret. Most of us migrated to Studio 9 once Club Cabaret closed its door.

—Burt Julio, via

I was a cocktail waitress and bartender at Sorino’s Dance Palace for several years in the early ’80s. The Lafayette Hotel (to which the Mississippi Room was attached) was not happy about a gay bar on the premises but Sorino had a good contract so they did not eject him easily!

A new manager took over and he changed the name to, I think the Copa or Copa Cabana? He wanted to attract a more male clientele. By this time, The Flame had opened up down the street, so we lost of lot of the women anyway. Many female staff were let go. I may have been the only female staff member left for a while, before I too was let go.

I loved reading all these comments and I remember every one of these clubs! WCPC’s, Barbary Coast, Studio 9, The Club, The Box Office (I was more of a lipstick lesbian and did not feel as welcome at the Box Office).

As a bar worker, I spent so much time at Gay Denny’s, right up the street on El Cajon Blvd; everyone went there for breakfast and/or for the fun scene at 2 a.m.! In 1984, a bar in Pacific Beach opened named the Manikin (spelling?) and it attracted a very mixed gay/straight crowd; great dancers b/c there was a dance studio nearby. Some of the staff were gay. Man, coming out in San Diego was the best.

—Ruthie Coyote, via

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