By Nicole Murray Ramirez
For more than 30 years, the annual Scott Carlson Thanksgiving Dinner has fed thousands of people. While yes, it’s sponsored annually by the Imperial Court de San Diego and the LGBT Community Center, it is the always-giving LGBT community businesses, organizations, bars, friends and family that make it happen.
Yes, you — the community. We are not only able to feed hundreds at the dinner at The Center, but more than 100 seniors, 30 AIDS patients in the hospital, homeless people on the streets and the youth center.
I want to especially thank our Mayor Kevin Faulconer, first lady Katherine Faulconer and their two children; state Assembly member Todd Gloria; City Councilmember Chris Ward; San Diego Unified School Board President Kevin Beiser; and State Board of Equalization member Mike Schaefer for showing up on Thanksgiving Day and helping serve.
Also our deep appreciation goes to Sen. Toni Atkins, the Rob Benson Foundation, Robert Gleason and Mark Matys family, state Assembly member Lorena Gonzalez, Sarah Critchlow, Milo Angel, Jessica Carter, Courtney Ray, Sarah Bunney, Noel Guanzon, Ken Gough, Ashley O’Day, Michael Torres and Joey Padilla-Torres, The Rail, Tom Urbanski, T Brian Dickerson, Jaeda Reign, Mark & James, Ben Orgoven-Lee, Patty Zwolinski, Cynthia Uybungo, Dave Myers, Chris Orlando, Michael Lunstoro, Sherman Mendoza, Jack George, The Center staff, co-chairs Bike Mike and Mikie, and all the great volunteers and everyone who gave. Thank you and God bless you.
In Memory: Craig Morgan
As many of you know, I have lived in San Diego for more than a half a century and recently, one of my longest lasting friends, who I met in the early 1970s, died. Craig Morgan, aka Empress Morgana and Emperor Craig. He was a pillar and a strong, early and lasting foundation of the Imperial Court de San Diego and the community. He was a tireless charity fundraiser and a legendary auctioneer, who raised countless thousands of dollars for almost every LGBT organization and causes especially in the 1970s and 80s.
When I first met Craig, I was a wild street queen with a lot of problems, yet Craig extended his hand to me and accepted me — warts and all. When I was first elected Empress de San Diego, he was my Princess Royale and later, was my Emperor. During our one-year reign, Craig, our court members and I raised more than $100,000 and started the annual Toys for Kids drive. When I learned of his passing, my heart was broken as he was one of the most caring, accepting, kind and giving friends I have ever had the honor to know. My deep condolences go out to his family and friends, especially to the Royal House of Asia. I know Craig is now in heaven with his beloved husband of 33 years, Jon.
2018 special Nicky Awards honorees
The 43rd annual Nicky Awards are coming up on Sunday, Dec. 16, and the Board of Governors has announced this year’s very special honorees: Judy and Dennis Shepard, 18-year-old transgender advocate Sam Moehlig, The San History Museum, the “San Diego Gay Bar History” documentary film, and Fernando “Junior” Buendia. Get your tickets soon as the Nicky Awards always sell out! For further info: 619-254-6372 or 619-807-7324.
—Nicole Murray Ramirez has been writing a column since 1973. He has been a Latino/gay activist for almost half a century and has advised and served the last seven mayors of San Diego. Named the “Honorary Mayor of Hillcrest” by a city proclamation, he has received many media awards including from the prestigious San Diego Press Club. Reach Nicole at Hillcrestqueen5@gmail.com.
Editor’s Note: The opinions written in this column are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the opinions of the staff and/or publisher of Gay San Diego and/or its parent company, San Diego Community News Network (SDCNN). The newspaper and its staff should be held harmless of liability or damages.