Oscar insight, more politics and travels

By Nicole Murray Ramirez | Conversations with Nicole

Oscar movie reviews

Big Mike and I go see a movie sometimes three times a week, so we have seen all of the 2018 Academy Award nominees for Best Picture. Here is a quick review of all of them:

‘Darkest Hour’ — It’s about Winston Churchill and unless you really love history, you will get bored.

‘Dunkirk’ — Seems like the sequel to “Darkest Hour” and about 45 minutes longer.

‘Lady Bird’ — A great movie about a mother/daughter relationship set in the 1990s.

‘Get Out’ — A white neighborhood who likes to use black people for their “parts” … a scary movie!

‘The Post’ — A must-see movie to remind us about presidential scandals and that “Trumpgate” may be coming soon.

‘Call Me by Your Name’ — A gay love story for the 21st century … but I didn’t like the ending.

‘The Shape of Water’ — Another type of love story between a nerd and a buff lizard.

‘Phantom Thread’ — A movie about poison … a waitress … poison … a control freak … poison … and so boring you will want to swallow the poison.

‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ —Love, love this movie about a kick-ass woman who takes no prisoners!


Many San Diegans are not wanting Rep. Duncan Hunter to be re-elected because of his financial scandal. He is in a super Republican district and word is many top Republicans are urging and wanting Carl DeMaio to become a candidate. I hope he runs.

(l to r) Col. Renee Grand Pre and Capt. Jacquie Atkinson (Courtesy Jacquie Atkinson)

Donald Trump has nominated openly gay Republican Richard Grenell as the next ambassador to Germany.

I’ve known Richard since his days in San Diego and he is probably the most qualified, openly gay nominee ever to be nominated. Grenell has an outstanding record on GLBT civil rights and is happily married.

Congratulations to Col. Renee Grand Pre (California Army National Guard) and Capt. Jacquie Atkinson (U.S. Army Reserves), on their third wedding anniversary.

Congratulations to our city’s new police chief, David Nisleit. By the way, Mayor Faulconer appointed three LGBT citizens to serve on the community selection panels.

(l to r) City Council President Myrtle Cole receives Lifetime Achievement Award from Councilmember Chris Ward at Bayard Ruskin honors. (Photo by Big Mike)

There was a great turnout for the annual Bayard Rustin Civil Rights Honors at the San Diego LGBT Community Center … Councilmember Chris Ward presented a Lifetime Achievement Award to long-time equality supporter Council President Myrtle Cole. Congratulations to other GLBT African-American honorees Tamanava Eden-McLintock, Rickie Brown, Ian Morton and Ondra Campbell.

Popular former San Diego LGBT Pride Executive Director Stephen Whitburn’s lawsuit against the Pride organization is getting many community leaders offering to testify on his behalf.

Seattle and San Francisco

Seattle is a very progressive city that has elected two gay and lesbian mayors in a row … first Ed Murray, who ended up resigning (I still respect him as a friend) and now Mayor Jenny Durkan. I just love Pike Place Market with the very best fresh seafood. Didn’t like the weather while I was giving a speech, I got distracted by the sudden falling of snow.

Been coming to San Francisco since the 1960s and am glad to report that Mark Leno is leading in the polls to become the first openly gay mayor of San Francisco. I am also very happy to report that one of the terminals at the San Francisco International airport will be named after Harvey Milk. While in San Francisco, I visited the grave of my mentor, gay icon Jose Julio Sarria at the Coma Cemetery, where parts of me will also be buried (my cheeks!).

I had a good talk with Mark Leno and got a good feeling about his campaign. It was also great to see Cleve Jones. And yes, my picture was on the Feb. 8 cover of the San Francisco Bay Times in its salute to the Grace Cathedral.

—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

Editor’s Note: The opinions written in this column are the author’s own and by no means reflect or 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.

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