Hard to believe it’s already November, the start of holiday season, with turkey day, Christhanukkwanzastice & New Year’s right around the bend. It’s also the time of year, each year, when we start caring a little more about one and other. We come together, united as a community – a human community – with admiration, compassion and a generous spirit for those less fortunate and privileged than ourselves. Gay, straight, trans, black, brown, handicapped, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, rich, poor…it doesn’t matter. This is the time of year when we tend to think about those things that unite us, not divide us. I love it, but I wish it wasn’t something so seasonal, like a change in the weather. That compassion, that caring, that humanity shouldn’t be sentiments we only choose to validate during the holidays. We should care every day. We should want to be better than we are, reach out and do good every day. It’s never too late to do the right thing. Think about that the next time you walk by a homeless man sitting on a sidewalk asking for change, or see a woman in line at the grocery store buying diapers and baby formula with food stamps, or stand next to a senior citizen ready to cross a busy intersection with bags too heavy to carry, or breeze past a donation container for the homebound elderly and ill on your way to buy yet another six pack and bag of chips.
November ushers in a schlew of fun, festive and charitable events to our fine city. From food, blanket and toy drives, fundraisers and social engagements that shed much needed light on worthy causes to themed house parties and bar nights designed to drag you out of that oh-so-easy Holiday hibernation. Two things: do your part to make a difference, and don’t forget to have fun!
Weds | Nov 3 – Men @ The Center‘s Guys, Games & Grub takes over the auditorium for its monthly dose of boys, boardgames and beer (and pizza and wine and soda.) If last month’s attendance was any indication of what’s ahead, expect 200+ men (many you’ve probably never seen out) to hit the tables for this gay ole good time that doesn’t involve a computer, television, lube or porn. The Center, 3909 Centre St. at University Avenue. Doors open at 6:30PM. 21+ FREE event, but donations are appreciated.
Fri | Nov 5 - Ophelia & I hit the stage at Urban Mo’s Bar & Grill for Fuzzy Floozie, the annual Winter Blanket Drive kick-off event produced jointly by the Alpha Project, the Imperial Court & the fabulous Joey Krzebetkowski. The show starts at 7PM and features some fantastic performances by the San Diego Kings, Grace Towers as Lady Gaga and yours truly who will be Emcee-ing the whole shebang. Urban Mo’s, 308 University Ave. at Third Ave. $5 entry or FREE if you donate a clean blanket at the door.
Sat | Nov 6 – The San Diego Young Positives social group and San Diego Pozabilities along with Being Alive and the Mission Gathering church are hosting a comprehensive HIV 102 that includes a Health Educator, HIV trained Pharmacist and an individual living with HIV. Three people with varied experience will be on hand to help attendees better understand the disease and its impact on daily life. Mission Gathering offices, 3880 Fifth Ave. in Hillcrest. Event starts at 9:30AM with breakfast and lunch served. Please RSVP to (619) 800-8245 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Sun | Nov 7 - Between Halloween costumes and holiday gifts, your wallet can get stretched pretty thin this time of year. Here’s a budget-friendly solution. Hit up the THREAD Show Clothes Swap Brunch for a massive clothes-swapping party at the W Hotel. Here’s how it works: RSVP on the THREAD Show Facebook invite, drop the clothes you want to swap at the W Hotel between 11AM & noon on Sunday (11/07) and you’ll receive tickets to shop for each item of clothing you donate, choose a ticket price at the door ($10 to get into the swap or $40 to enjoy the swap + a full brunch including 2 mimosas) and then at 1PM the doors open for shopping time. Items will be sorted into departments and sizes. You can swap new or gently worn items, trendy pieces and vintage items (NO swim wear, undergarments or shoes will be accepted.) W San Diego Hotel, 421 W. B Street at State Street.
Weds | Nov 10 - Sitting on your ass never looked, or felt, so good! Get ready as Southern California’s top designers and local celebrities converge on Hold It Contemporary Home to show off their beautifully designed custom chairs to be auctioned off for the Make-a-Wish-Foundation of San Diego. Chat up designers & celebs over appetizers and drinks while admiring and bidding on these one-of-a-kind pieces of functional art! Hold It Contemporary Home, 1570 Camino de la Reina in Mission Valley. 6PM. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door.
Tues | Nov 16 – Men @ The Center presents Two Cents, the monthly interactive talk show social introducing you to the men who move San Diego’s LGBT community. I host the casual Ellen meets Inside the Actors Studio chat fest in the Center’s Auditorium, while you drink, nosh and learn a little about our city’s gay, bi & trans men who are making their way, in their own way, in America’s Finest City. This month, we’ll get up-close & personal with those manly mens behind one of the top downloaded LGBT podcasts on iTunes, 619 Bearcast. Come meet Brian, JP, Vito, Dave & Justin, the fivesome who are living, breathing proof that ‘bear’ is the new ‘gym bunny’…cuz being a bear is really just a state of mind. The Center, 3909 Centre St. at University Ave. 7PM. Vino and vittles provided courtesy of Urban Mo’s. FREE event, but donations are greatly appreciated.
Weds-Sun | Nov 17-21 - Scarfing down vino & vittles has never been more “San Diego.” November is the time of year when hundreds of big name chefs from around the country converge on our city for five days of culinary creativity, competition and celebration. The largest food and wine festival in So Cal, the 7th Annual San Diego Bay Food & Wine Festival, takes over Embarcadero Park, the San Diego Wine & Culinary Center and several points in between for cooking & wine tasting events, classes, exhibits, lectures, auctions and the $50,000 grand prize Chef of the Fest competition which our very own Nicky Award-winning Top Chef contestant & owner of R Gang Eatery, Rich Sweeney, will be competing in. You go, boo – make the gayborhood proud! Embarcadero Marina Park North, 500 Kettner Blvd. in downtown on the Bay. Prices vary by event – check website for details.
Fri | Nov 19 - Join Mr. San Diego Leather 2010 Anthony Rollar at the San Diego LGBT Community Center for his Meatball Turkey Day Dinner to benefit Mama’s Kitchen. Come hungry, cuz this is an all you can eat spaghetti & turkey dinner with drink specials to boot. Prizes will be raffled, music will be played and entertainment will be performances by the likes of GlitzGlam, Daisy Deadpetals, Disco Dollie, Daisy Torres, Miss Conception, Ladonna Monroe of Dreamgirls Revue & Detox Icunt DJ GOD. The Center, 3909 Centre St. at University Ave. 5PM. Pre-sale tickets are $10, available at The Crypt and Obelisk Bookstore or $15 at the door the night of the event.
Sat | Nov 20 - Amanda Gonzalez-Andujar. Ashley Santiago. Dana “Chanel” Larkin. Ashley Gonzalez Oquendo. Sandy Woulard. Victoria Carmen White. Stacy Blahnik Lee.These are just some of the names of those killed due to anti-transgender prejudice and violence. These women were someone’s friend, daughter, sister or loved one killed because of hate. The Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance was created to memorialize our trans brothers and sisters who’ve been murdered because of intolerance, bigotry and hate. Those in San Diego will gather at 6PM at the Center for a silent candlelight vigil procession followed by a ceremony at 7PM in the Center’s Auditorium. All are welcome. In the spirit of the season, please consider bringing a non-perishable food item to be donated to Mama’s Kitchen Food Pantry. The Center, 3909 Centre St. at University Ave. in Hillcrest.
Thu | Nov 25 - For the past two years, I’ve worked the serving line at the annual Scott Carlson Community Thanksgiving Dinner with both new and old friends, including Councilmember Todd Gloria, royalty from the Imperial Court de San Diego, students from Poway High School, members of First Unitarian Universalist Church and many others. This year, I’ll be doing it again. Created in honor of AIDS activist Scott Carlson, the Imperial Court hosts the annual Turkey Day feast for any LGBT community member who hasn’t a place or the means to celebrate the holiday. The event, which has been held at the First Unitarian Universalist Church for the past several years, is moving back to Hillcrest and will take place in the Auditorium of the San Diego LGBT Community Center. Come hungry, leave humble and happy. The Center, 3909 Centre St. at University Ave. in Hillcrest. Dinner is served from 12 to 2:30PM and is open to all, free of charge.
Happy Turkey Day, y’all!