Out In San Diego: Metropolitan Community Church San Diego

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Description: Out in San Diego (OISD) was an LGBT radio program that aired on KPBS in the mid-1980s. Producers included Rick Moore and Jeri Dilno, both active participants in the San Diego LGBT movement and local political organizations. This reel includes a show spotlight the Metropolitan Community Church of San Diego. MCC was founded in 1968, the first church group with a primary, positive focus on serving the faithful in the LGBT community. San Diego’s chapter was founded early in the church’s history, in 1970.

John Keasler Interview

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Description: Born and raised in a small farming community in northeast Texas, John would later enlist in the US Army in 1969 and serve a tout of Duty in Vietnam. He eventually would settle in San Diego in 1975 and was almost immediately swept up by the social and political activism during that time. He would be involved in the “No on 6” fight against the Briggs initiative in 1978 and was the co-chair of San Diego’s Fledgling Gay Pride March where he would fight for the inclusion of women and socialists in the planning and parade. In 1979 he became the first editor of Update Newsmagazine. During the 1980’s he would be the President and Vice-President of San Diego Veteran’s Association and member of the United Veteran Council of San Diego where he would speak out for gays in the military. In 1986 he would work with F. Stanley Berry and Dr. Brad Truax to coordinate the B-Safe campaign, the first outreach to the gay community by the CDC to test for Hep B. The eighties would also see John test positive for HIV. Undeterred John would keep advocating and fighting, being involved in Strength For The Journey San Diego, a retreat for persons living with AIDS, National Leather Association, AIDS Art Alive, Kids Art Therapy, Art Of Pride and was a Peer Advocate for Being Alive. John would become an Honoree for the Gay Center’s Veterans Wall of Honor in 2014 and has won a Special Commendation from City Council member Toni Atkins for Volunteer of the Year.

Date: 2016-05-16

Susan Jester Interview

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Description: Part of Lambda Archives’ celebratory event “Heroines, Pioneers and Trailblazers” held March 19, 2016 in San Diego, CA. Susan Jester is a 3rd generation Californian who grew up in Palm Springs and moved to San Diego to attend San Diego State University in the early 60’s. Raised in a strict evangelical home, Susan struggled with her sexuality until finally coming out at age 40 in 1983. When the AIDS epidemic struck the gay community in the early 80’s, she used her organizing skills and political experience to raise public awareness, calm the public fears and raise critically needed money. Susan mobilized the LGBT community and numerous straight allies to produce the first AIDS Walk in San Diego in 1986. At the time there was no government funding, medical care or disability status for people with HIV/AIDS and the death rate was frighteningly high. Because of the fear and stigma around HIV and it’s unknown transmission sources, this first walk intentionally avoided using the word “AIDS” in the title and instead was named San Diego Walks For Life. In addition to being a fighter for those suffering from HIV/AIDS, Susan has worked for the Human Rights Commission, was the Executive Director of the 25th Anniversary of Stonewall March on the UN in 1994 and served New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman. She serves on the Board of Pride, The Log Cabin Republican Club, the Sheriff’s LGBT Advisory Council, AIDS Memorial Task Force and was appointed by Mayor Faulconer to the San Diego City Citizens Equal Opportunity Commission.

Date: 2016-01-25

Norman Braxton Interview

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Description: Norman found his way to San Diego while serving in the United States Navy in the late 1960’s. After leaving the Navy he used his love for Diana Ross to find a job at the Showbiz Supper Club, becoming the first African American to perform in San Diego as a professional female impersonator. Norman recollects his career in the San Diego supper club scene, the early hisory of the Imperial Court and his role within it, the AIDS crisis of the 80’s and his experiences as a gay black male in the San Diego LGBT community for the past 45 years.

Date: 2016-01-28

Jose Sarria Interview

Audio:

Description: This is an interview with Jose Julio Sarria conducted by John Lockhart during research for his book,The Gay Man’s Guide to Growing Older, published in 2002. Jose Sarria, a WWII veteran living in San Francisco, was the first openly LGBT candidate to run for public office in North America. In 1965 he founded the first chapter of the Imperial Court System in San Francisco, and he ran the organization until 2007. It is now an international organization with 68 chapters through the US, Canada, and Mexico and is responsible for a great deal of philanthropic fundraising and AIDS service centers.

Date: 2000