Conversations with Nicole
Published Thursday, 09-Jul-2009 in issue 1124
San Diego Pride is next weekend. We will celebrate our community’s 35 years of struggle, victory, defeats, triumphs and growth. We will celebrate with friends, family, neighbors and allies. We will host thousands of visitors. But let us never forget that we stand on the shoulders of giants. Many are no longer with us but some are remembered on our community’s Wall of Honor in the San Diego LGBT Community Center’s auditorium. Let us never forget them.
Recently, if you have been reading the blogs, letters and e-mails, you have read some people questioning me and my activism and commitment to the GLBT and Latino/people of color communities. Well God made me a human being first, then a man of proud Mexican decent and proud member of the GLBT community. My first activism and fight for social justice was for my Latino people, for César Chávez and his “grape pickers,” for Latino visibility and empowerment, when there was hardly any. Raised as a traditional Catholic Latino, I finally accepted my homosexuality in the 1960s. I embraced the fight for GLBT equality and I have never left this fight, because it is not over. Racism, sexism and homophobia are, sadly still alive in America and, yes, even more sadly, in my two communities, my two families. I will still continue to speak out and fight for, not only our GLBT community but for my Latino, African American, Asian-Pacific Islander and Native American families. I will continue to write about social injustices wherever they are. I am, who I am. I’m not perfect. I’ve made mistakes. But I will not apologize for who I am. Thank you.
Recently you, the community, have helped two members of our GLBT community and their families mourn the lives of their young sons. Through the Ben F. Dillingham Grant and the Queen Eddie Youth Fund, we were able to help bury the 21-year-old who died at The Center’s Sunburst Youth Housing Project and send his body back to North Carolina. We were also able to give a check to the North County LGBT Coalition to underwrite the vigil in memory of the murdered gay Navy Seaman August Provost in Oceanside this coming Friday, July 10. The Imperial Court de San Diego and The Center oversee the two grants. Thank you for your continued support.
The great people of San Diego LGBT Pride have called upon our community, friends and family to display the rainbow flag in homes, apartments, bars, restaurants, organizations and businesses. Put them in your windows, lawns and doors. Display them proudly, and let people know that we, our friends, families and allies are everywhere. I attended Pride’s Rainbow Flag Raising Ceremony last week at the Naval Training Center/ Liberty Station. I was proud to be asked to be one of the speakers along with Lisa Kove, Nick Norvell, Carl Worrell, Cecilia Moreno and Rev. Albert Ogle. Thank you Ben Cartwright. Let’s all raise our flag!
Last week, GLBT community members held a reception welcoming our new San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore, his wife Natalie Gore and outgoing Sheriff Bill Kolender. It was an especially wonderful event because attendance was almost 100 and included leaders and activists from the Asian Pacific Islander, Latino, Jewish and Native American communities. Also in attendance were District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, Council President Pro-Temp Kevin Faulconer, Councilmemeber Todd Gloria, Superior Court Judge Gary Hannee, former Colorado City Councilmember Frank Tierney and City Commissioners Robert Gleason, Stampp Corbin, Shonne Henry, Bruce Abrams, Gary Lynn, Carolina Ramos and Joyce Abrams. Yes, there were eight commissioners in attendance. I was honored to emcee this event, and the buffet was outstanding. Thank you Arrivederci, Café 11, Urban Mo’s, Lei Lounge, Caliph, Hob Nob, Ortega’s, India Palace, Bangkok Thai Bistro, Baja Betty’s, Uncle Biff’s and Babycakes. A big thank you also to attorney Bill Hargreaves, Marla Marshall, Joyce Marieb, Alberto Cortez, Richard Sager, Jim Ginelli, Ben Gomez, Carlos Marquez, Allen Acevedo, Stephen Whitburn, Fernando Lopez and Bixi Craig for your support. Thank you Bruce Adams for hosting us at your beautiful home.
There is an unbelievable show that you can only catch in Vegas every Wednesday night at Urban Mo’s at 8 p.m. It has right-on-target celebrity look-a-likes, outrageous comedy, gorgeous costumes and is just a lot of fun. The Dreamgirls Revue has been the most entertaining impersonators show on the West Coast for more than two decades and is always changing and up to date. City Commissioner Bruce Abrams and I stopped by last Wednesday and the place was packed with both straight and GLBT people, and the crowd was roaring its approval and enthusiasm. The Dreamgirls Revue also plays weekly in West Hollywood, Riverside and Long Beach. The entire staff is outstanding, but a major star is Chad Michaels and his show- stopping Cher impersonation that Media Revue has called the best impersonation in the world. But it was cast member Fontasia’s impersonation of Michael Jackson that stunned all of us. Through dance and custom, Fontasia brought the late popstar back to life. Fontasia’s performance alone will leave you talking for months! Congratulations for the “Chad Michaels Day in Hillcrest” proclamation. Chaddy mama is so very proud of you and all the girls!
You’re all invited to the Annual Mr., Miss, Ms. San Diego Pride at The Center this Sunday night, July 12, at 7 p.m. This contest has been around since the ’70s and was the first in the nation. Now every city has one. It’s a contest for gay men (Mr.) lesbians (Ms.) and impersonators and transgender people (Miss). It will be an evening of entertainment and lots of Pride. Half the proceeds will go to San Diego LGBT Pride, and the other half will go to the Imperial Court de San Diego’s community projects. For more information, call 619-793-9331 or 619-288-1183.
Send e-mails to Nicole Murray-Ramirez at firstname.lastname@example.org.