By Nicole Murray Ramirez | Conversations with Nicole
Yes, on the same day last week there were two funerals and a wedding that brought many community leaders together. First, was a memorial for local gay icon Rev. David Farrell. His husband Gil of 43 years was there, and as always, has been a wonderful gentleman. Global icon the Rev. Troy Perry was in town to give the eulogy and as usual was so moving — one of the best gay orators in America. Chris Kehoe and Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins spoke as well as Al Smithson. Pastor Dan Koeshall made us all feel welcomed to his Metropolitan Community Church. It was a wonderful service for a legendary man.
Then I was off to the insideOut for a “Celebration of Life” in honor of the late Dr. Keith Vrhel, another San Diego icon and respected leader. Many friends showed up and we all toasted Keith’s life and all he did for our community during the early years of the AIDS crisis. His partner Eric Hall gratefully welcomed us all, but it was we who were grateful for Eric sharing Keith with us. A very special thank you to Julie Hoffman and her wife Summer for putting this together as well as Chris Shaw and Doug for hosting us.
The wedding of Brian Bazinet and Will Ritchie was one of the social events of the summer, held at the beautiful estate of Bobbie Buchanan. A classy affair with Sen. Toni Atkins being the official wedding officiate. Congratulations to the handsome couple.
Freedom Awards a great success
The San Diego Democrats for Equality held its annual Freedom Awards and the sold-out event drew major political heavyweights … including U.S. Senate candidate Kevin de León. It was great to see that the club has named awards after Dr. Brad Truax, Gloria Johnson, Douglas Scott, Steven Pope and Herb King, all LGBT heroes who are no longer with us.
I found Rep. Scott Peters’ words about honoree Charlie Brown very moving. As for Charlie he could be a future public official. Very impressive. It was good to see former Gay San Diego editor Morgan Hurley rightfully honored for her leadership and activism for our community’s veterans. Leave it to trans leaders and activists Meridith Vezino and Ellen Holzman to give us a speech that gave us all a very needed reality check when it comes to our trans community. Brava ladies! Chris Kehoe was honored on this the 25th anniversary of her historic election as San Diego’s City Council, San Diego’s Harvey Milk.
Well, I don’t always have to eat my words, but I do wish Dave Meyers the very best in his City Council campaign.
I had a good time, especially with my seatmate State Assemblymember Lorena Gonzales and we caught up with the current political gossip. A big congratulations to the San Diego Democrats for Equality’s hard-working president Will Rodriguez-Kennedy, who is also the State Chair of California Young Democrats, and his executive committee on a most successful event. Also spotted in the crowd was Stephen Whitburn getting encouragement and support for his future city council campaign. Other VIPs in attendance were: Sen. Toni Atkins, future county supervisor Nathan Fletcher, San Diego Unified School District Board President Kevin Beiser, Councilmember Chris Ward, National Democratic Executive Board member Jess Durfee, former club president Doug Case, State Commissioner Larry Baza and many others.
Nicole’s Quickie Movie Review!
“Fahrenheit 11/9” – Every American should see this movie. Both Trump and the Republican and Democrat Parties are roasted. A must-see movie!
“The Predator” – A stupid monster movie, with a monster looking like they’re wearing a costume from a Toys-R-Us sale.
“The Wife” – A flawless movie that smells like a definite Oscar winner. Simply outstanding.
“The House with a Clock in its Walls” – If you see this stupid movie you will be looking at your watch praying that this movie will end quickly!
“White Boy Rick” – Another Oscar-worthy movie filmed in Detroit, Michigan. Boy, what a dump of a city … 5 stars!
“The Bookshop” – As boring and awful as being stuck in a Christian Science reading room for two hours.
“A Simple Favor” – Run and see this movie. It’s great but you may never do any more favors for your friends.
—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 does 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.