By Nicole Murray Ramirez | Conversations with Nicole
‘Traveling Butts’ … a San Diego disgrace
In 2007, I officiated the marriage between Allan Spyere to Travis Spackman at a lavish wedding (even wore a borrowed judge’s robe, compliments of District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis). Years later, Allan divorced Travis, who had become a popular acrobat and dancer.
Last November, Travis became first runner-up in the Mr. Gay San Diego 2018 contest and he also held a Crown Prince title with the Imperial Court de San Diego. Both titles have now been stripped from Travis.
Soon after Travis and Joseph Dasilva (his second marriage) made international headlines with their arrest in Thailand for exposing their butts at the very sacred religious Buddhist temple of Wat Arun … I started receiving calls from Travis and Joseph’s friends to see if I could help them.
The Dasilvas were in Thailand facing prison time. While I absolutely condemn their disgraceful “ugly American” behavior and said so to the media and outraged GLBT activists, I did not want them to rot in a prison, so I contacted some of my connections in the State Department and also got the assistance of a local member of Congress.
After some negotiations, the two San Diegans were deported back to the U.S.A. and what has been their conduct since coming home? Well, let me say that if I had to do it all over again, I would let these 38-year-old “ugly Americans” rot in prison. Once back in San Diego, these two “Traveling Butts,” as they like to call themselves, posted a holiday card paying homage to them, naked and looking at a directional sign pole that not only included the “North Pole” but Thailand!
These idiots are also selling T-shirts at $32.99 a piece with “I Support the Traveling Butts.” These two “butts” have no respect for places of cultural, historic, or religious places and monuments. So Dasilvas, you get the Traveling Buttheads Award for 2017 … congratulations!
Many of us will be traveling to our state Capitol in March for the historic swearing-in ceremony of Toni Atkins as the President Pro Tempore of the California state Senate! Todd Gloria is now a clear front-runner to become our next mayor and that means Councilmember Chris Ward will run for Todd’s state Assembly seat, which will leave a race for the 3rd District council seat wide open.
Among those being mentioned as possible future City Council candidates are: Anne Wilson, Josh Coyne, Will Rodriguez-Kennedy, Benny Cartwright, Toni Duran, Fernando Lopez, Nick Serrano, Gloria Cruz, Rebekah Hook-Held, Tyler Jenner … keep your eyes on all these San Diegans.
Word is that some are also hoping Police Chief Shelly Zimmerman will enter the mayor’s race … she would be a strong candidate.
Looks like Congressmember Duncan Hunter may be forced to resign because of his growing financial scandal and I already hear Republicans are now urging popular talk-radio show host and former Councilmember Carl DeMaio to run for this seat.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer appointed three GLBT citizens to the panel to interview the six finalists to be our next police chief and I am honored to be one of them, though I will urge the mayor to pick a local assistant chief. Many of us will also urge Governor Brown or our next governor to appoint the very qualified and respected Matt Stephens as a municipal judge. Democratic state leaders I have talked to are saying Toni Atkins has the making of a future governor. This past weekend, I met with the former mayor of Houston, Annise Parker, who will be in San Diego on March 4 for a Victory Fund brunch.
San Diego names for AIDS Memorial
Over 8,000 San Diegans have died of AIDS and the San Diego AIDS Memorial Task Force will soon be seeking names for the San Diego AIDS Memorial, set for its groundbreaking in 2019 at Olive Street Park in Bankers Hill.
On Dec. 11, 2017, the City Council voted unanimously for $500,000 to be designated to build the San Diego AIDS Memorial at Oliver Street Park.
Team Tonya Harding
Like most Americans, I have had conflicting views on the 1994 Olympic scandal concerning Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan. Not anymore after watching the documentary movie, “I, Tonya.” I am now 100 percent on Team Tonya.
Poverty comes in all colors and Tonya Harding absolutely grew up on the wrong side of the railroad tracks. The uppity ice-skating officials never liked her or gave her a fair break because she was “white trash” to them. Tonya’s mother made Joan Crawford (“Mommie Dearest”) look like a saint, as Tonya was abused by her mother and husband. I urge you to see the movie and get the real story. I am sure you will join me as her new No. 1 fan!
See you at the Women’s March this Saturday, Jan. 20!
—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.