“A People Without History Is Like A Tree Without Roots” – Marcus Garvey
The decade of the 2010's began amidst a global financial crisis, which was responsible for an increase in bankruptcies, foreclosures, loss of revenues, effects of job losses and unemployment. The City of Tucson, State of Arizona, and United States Federal Government all struggled to try and manage the crisis in their jurisdictions. Other economic issues such as inflation, large cuts in grant funding money, and the increase in the costs of everyday items further affected Tucson's LGBT Community in many different ways as the population within the 228 square mile Tucson city limits had reached 552,247 while at the same time the United States population had reached 308,754,538.
Around the world, the economic squeeze sparked immense unrest in many lower-income countries. In some countries this unrest evolved into socio-economic crises which set off numerous revolutions, such as in Kyrgyzstan in 2010, and Tunisia, Libya, Syria, Egypt , and Libya in 2011. LGBTQ Teen Suicides related to bullying by their peers during the early 2010's across the nation surged along with a new awareness of the true face of bullyings potential damage in all U.S. school systems. Under the leadership of President Barack Obama (Democrat), the Dont Ask - Don't Tell Act of 1993 (see 1990's) military policy was repealed by a 2010 Federal Statute allowing Gay's & Lesbian's to openly serve in the U.S.Military for the first time.
Also in the early 2010's Trans Woman Amanda Simpson of Tucson (see article 2010), was appointed by the Obama Administration as a Senior Technical Advisor (Senior Technical Advisors are highly respected experts chosen for their skills and industry proficiency who assist the committees in their work and often provide new ideas and perspectives) to the Department of Commerce, working in the Bureau of Industry and Security. In January of 2011 north of Tucson Arizona's 8th Congressional District Congresswoman Gabrielle Dee (Gabby) Giffords (Democrat) (see article...Gabrielle...page #8) survived an assassination attempt when she and others were shot at a Town Hall Style Meeting she was holding north of the city in Pima County. One congressional intern working on her staff, openly Gay 21 year old Daniel Hernandez (see video), a Certified Nursing Assistant (C.N.A.) and Gay Rights Activist, while waiting for help to arrive applied pressure to the gunshot wound on Gifford's head, and made sure that she did not choke on her own blood. His actions were credited with saving Gifford's life. Hernandez was honored by both the then Governor of Arizona Jan Brewer (see video) and then President Barack Obama (see video) in separate ceremonies that same year.
Sadly, on Valentines Day February 14, 2011 between 7:30pm-8pm, 23 year old Tucson Gay man George Soto Jr. while walking on Stone Avenue was punched and beaten to the ground by Christian Guana-Castillo and then stabbed numerous times in the chest in front of 3344 N. Stone Avenue by unemployed 18 year old Gabriel Isreal Soliz (see Grand Jury indictment) who had just gotten off probation for illegally carrying concealed weapons, sporting a tattoo with the #5 on the right side of his neck, and a reported member of the 'A' Mountain Crips Gang, who only later under a court order finally revealed his address as 7710 S. Beehive Avenue in Tucson. Soliz, Castillo, and a third man Luis Ira Cheta were captured after a chase by police ending at the Desert Tree Apartments in Unit #137 located at 3450 N. Stone Avenue directly across from Amphi High School. Soliz was the only one charged and at one of his court hearings he could be seen grinning at some members of the audience in the courtroom while represented by his attorney Vincent J. Frey who would later resign from the case. At another hearing later on September 13, 2011 after his examination by doctors showing him fit to stand trial for First Degree Murder the trial date was set for Tuesday April 24, 2012 however that trial was continued (changed) to Wednesday September 5, 2012 at 1:30PM in Room # 375 and then again postponed until Wednesday February 5, 2013 at 1:30PM in the same room of the Pima County Court with the Honorable Teresa A. Godoy presiding. During the interim as more witnesses and mounting evidence came forward in the case, Gabriel Isreal Soliz on Thursday January 24, 2013 changed his plea to Guilty Of First Degree Murder thus waving his rights to a trial and going directly on to sentencing by Judge Teresa A. Godoy on Monday March 25, 2013 at 10:30AM. On that date being convicted of Murder In The 1st Degree, Gabriel Isreal Soliz (a.k.a. Little G, Pica Chu, Gabriel Obregon, Gabriel Bustamonte) was sentenced to Life Without The Possibility Of Parole After Serving Twenty Five Years (25) Calendar Years, commencing on Monday March 25, 2013.
Around Tucson at the bars in the early part of the 2010's, Colors Food & Spirits (see ad...page #7) located at 5305 E. Speedway offered fine meals and a lounge atmosphere, Coyote Moon Pub (see ad...page #2) at 915 W. Prince Road brought them in with dancing and shows, It's 'Bout Time (I.B.T.'s) bar (see video) (see ad...page #3) (see ad...page #3) at 616 N. 4th Avenue catered to the younger and college crowd, The Biz (see...Tucson Directory...page #7) (see...DAILY BAR CALENDAR...page #11) at 2900 E. Broadway Boulevard, Venture-N (see article...Bear Happy Hour...page #2) at 1239 N. 6th Avenue hosted the Bears of The Old Pueblo (see article...Bear Happy Hour...page #2) and many other events in a male atmosphere, Woody's (see ad...page #5) (see ad...page #5) bar located at 3710 N. Oracle Road offered many events and shows (see ad...page #5) including the over the top performances of the Ajia Simone produced Sunday Gospel Bible Brunch held there monthly welcoming a wide spectrum of customers, Brodies bar (see ad...page #4) (see photos...page #9) (see ad...page #4) which opened in August of 2010 and later held its Grand Opening on Saturday October 23, 2010 (see ad...page #5) welcomed patrons with a neighborhood atmosphere and grew quickly in popularity.
On Tuesday June 15, 2010 (see ...In Memoriam-Photo...page #1) the Tucson LGBT Community (see listings...TUCSON RESOURCES...page #9) lost one of its own with the passing of 56 year old Gary Neil Clark (see ...In Memoriam-Photo...page #1) (see...LETTERS...page #4) (see ad...Nothing beautiful in...page...page #7) (see article...Celebrate The Life...page #2), a highly talented artist (see drawing...article...COMMENTARY...page #4), tireless LGBT activist & supporter (see article...COMMENTARY...page #4) (see photos...page #9) (see...LETTERS...page #2), Co-publisher & Arts-Graphics Director of the Tucson Observer (see article...COMMENTARY...page #4) and its numerous predecessor publications dating back to the 1970's (see 1970's). Gary Neil Clark, one of the founders of the Seattle Gay News, came to Tucson in the 1970's for just a one week vacation after writing a letter to the local Gay Publication for information on Tucson, and stayed after a chance meeting and employment offer on a hot summer afternoon at the Hair Tiz bar located at 343 E. Toole Avenue with then Co-Publisher of the Arizona Gay Newsletter, Robert (Bob) Ellis who would later become his life long partner and had ironicly been the one who had answered Gary Clark's letter asking for information about vacationing in Tucson. A Celebration of Life for Gary (see photos...page #9) (see...LETTERS...page #2) was held with hundreds in attendance during the day at I.B.T.'s bar (see photos...page #9) (also see Special Collections).
In 2010, Wingspan's Puertas Abiertas project's Tucson Latino Gay Pride (see article-video) event offered its 3rd Annual events at various local locations around the Old Pueblo, the Tucson Pride, Inc. group produced the successful 5th Annual Pride Parade (see video) (see...photos...page #6) held on Friday October 8, 2010 and the 2010 Pride In The Desert held at Reid Park (see video) (see video) (see video) (see...photos...page #5) on Saturday October 9, 2010, the 22nd Annual AIDSWALK Tucson (see article...SAAF AIDSWALK Draws...page #1) (see article) (see article...AIDSWALK...page #2) (see...photos...page #6) to support the benefits and services at the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation (S.A.A.F.), that offered anonomous HIV Testing in 15 minutes, was successfully held on the University of Arizona Mall (see...photos...page #6) on Sunday October 17, 2010. Out in the world, on May 2, 2011 Osama Bin Laden, the leader of the 911 Attack on the United States and other attacks around the world was killed by U.S. forces at his million dollar luxury compound hideout in Pakistan.
Around Tucson, The Pulse Tucson show bar located at 915 W. Prince Road under the ownership of Lucinda Holiday (Larry Moore) opened on Wednesday April 20, 2011, however was forced to close 33 days later on Sunday May 22, 2011 due to economic related factors (see Letters page #5). True to the old show biz adage The Show Must Go On, Lucinda Holiday a.k.a. Larry Moore could soon be seen promoting her popular business Moore Jerky Please, LLC (see exhibit from 2003) around Tucson until opening Made For A Queen which featured show performance related items. The owners of the liquor license re-opened within days at the same location as the New Moon (see ad...page #2) bar again as a Gay bar in late May of 2011. On May 25, 2011 Oprah Gail Winfrey retired from her TV Show with the words, Until We Meet Again.
The Wingspan (see article...Wingspan By The...page #1, 2) (see article...Wingspan Update...page #2) group announced that on July 1, 2011 their program director of 14 months Linda Thomas, a board member & retired Air Force Colonel who was later named the Phoenix Publication 'n Touch News Woman Of The Year For 2012, would be stepping down to accept another position and Oscar Jiménez, the Assistant Program Director and Anti-Violence Manager who had first started working with the group in June of 2006 and had been a member of the Queer Voice Youth Group in 1996 (see 1990's), would take over the reins at the top post as Program Director. Seven (7) months later on Friday February 17, 2012 the Wingspan group announced that Oscar Jiménez would be leaving the group on Friday March 2, 2012 to further his education, and pursue his long term goals. On the Gay Marriage front New York City legalized Gay Marriage on June 26, 2011 with a city spokesman announcing it would bring an additional $184,000,000.00 (One Hundred Eighty Four Million Dollars) of yearly income to New York City as the LGBTQ Community celebrated in the streets.
Nationally, a strike by the NFL Players Association ended July 25, 2011 as club franchise owners agreed to share more of the profits from fans and advertising with them and President Barack O'Bama signed into law the order allowing Gays & Lesbian to openly serve in the country's military (see articles page #1, 2) (see Certification page #12) that became effective September 20, 2011. The downtown youth collective known as Skrappy's located at 191 E. Toole Avenue which had first begun in 1995 provided services and a safe place for youth of all backgrounds and genders. On Monday August 29, 2011 the Woody's bar business (see map...page #7) located at 3710 N. Oracle Road closed its doors due to financial problems under ownership of Danny Scott , and re-opened five (5) days later at 11:30am on Friday September 2, 2011 with its original owners of the liquor license Frank Schepis & David Huff (see ad....page #5). The 15th Annual Turnabout For TIHAN (Fiesta 2011) (see article...Turnabout for...page #2) (see...ad...page #12) (see article...Turnabout for...page #1) (see... photos...pages # 9, 12) fundraiser show, first held at the Stonewall-Eagle bar (see 1990's) which had been located at 2125 N. 1st Avenue in 1996 (see 1990's), was presented on Sunday September 4, 2011 (see article...Turnabout for TIHAN...Raises $15,000...page #1) to an enthusiastic packed crowd of 517 in attendance at the Doubletree Hotel located at 445 S. Alvernon Boulevard and topped off just over one hundred seventy nine thousand dollars ($179,000.00) total raised over the fifteen (15) years of the shows (see article...Turnabout for...page #1).
Around Arizona during the Labor Day Alcohol Enforcement period running between Thursday September 1 to Tuesday September 6, 2011 authorities statewide arrested six hundred seventeen (617) drivers for being under the influence of alcohol while driving, the information resources-charitable group Tucson LGBTQ (see ad...page #8) remained active with their online Answer Line providing information to the LGBTQ Public and its 12th Annual Gay Student Scholarships in 2011, the Tucson GLBT Chamber of Commerce (T.G.L.B.T.C.C.) (see...business card ad...page #8) continued very actively with regularly scheduled meetings of its members and programs (see article...TGLBTCC update...page #7) meeting for Networking Breakfasts at the historic Manning-Johnson House located at 450 W. Paseo Redondo and other venues around the city. Tucson LGBT Commission met on the third Tuesday of each month for public meetings examining local policies and practices relating to the LGBTQ Community. Wingspan's Puertas Abiertas (see article) project presented its 4th Annual Latin@ Gay Pride (see article) (see article-video) (see article...Call To Artists...page #2) with seven (7) days of events (see article) from Friday September 16 to Wednesday September 21, 2011.
A phone app for locating where the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation (S.A.A.F.) (see article...Technology Meets...page #2) and other groups nationwide distribute their condoms in their community was offered free to the public (see article...Technology Meets...page #2) in September of 2011, Tucson Weekly readers in 2011 chose Wingspan located at 430 E. 7th Street as the best local activist-advocacy group and IBT's bar located at 616 N. 4th Avenue as the best Gay Bar in town that year, the military policy of Dont' Ask Don't Tell (see article) (see video) officially ended Tuesday September 19, 2011 at midnight (see video) (see video) (see video) (see video) (see article...'Don't Ask, Don't...pages #1, 3) (see video) opening the way for Tucson residents 33 year old United States Navy Lieutenant Gary Ross assigned to Ft. Huachuca in Arizona to be the first to marry his same sex companion of eleven years, 49 year old Dan Swezy in Vermont (see video) by Justice of the Peace Greg Trulson at exactly midnight Eastern Time.
Tucson's 6th Annual 2011 Pride On Parade (see article...Tucson Pride...page #1) (see video) (see exhibit) was very successfully held Saturday October 8, 2011 at 7PM at a new venue in the Congress Street downtown area coinciding with the Tucson Second Sunday's event and the Pink Party (see exhibit) held at the Sapphire Lounge 61 E. Congress Street with a very festive and supportive crowd. Venture-N bar hosted the Night of The Bears 2011 later in the evening on the same night in a well-attended and playful event. Within days the 2011 Pride In The Desert (see article) was held for its first time at the spacious Kino Memorial Veterans Stadium on Saturday October 15, 2011 starting at 11am located at 2500 E. Ajo Way in Pima County which marked only the second (2nd) time in history (see 1980's for the first) that a Tucson Pride Week's main event was not held in the city of Tucson.
2011 Pride In The Desert (see article...Pride In...page #2) included a noticeably very enthusiastic event staff-volunteers-numerous entertainers-attendees along with the pop singer headliner & Tucson native Dario (see interview) whose career on stage was gaining momentum and God-des & She (see video) (see video) (see video). The next day Tucson's annual 2011 AIDS Walk Tucson (see video) (see video) (see video) was presented on the Mall at the University of Arizona the morning of Sunday October 16, 2011 beginning at 7:30AM with a large fun spirited crowd of all ages in attendance including numerous local personalities along with the events walk, booths, musical presentation by Reveille Men's Chorus, and 10K Run's First Place Winner Emillio. The busy month of events brought out very enthusiastic crowds in attendance, which included a noticeable amount of LGBTQ Allied people from Tucson and the surrounding as well as out of town areas.
The Tucson Weekly publication's coverage of local LGBTQ related events, items, and listings of resources for the community continued to expand. The publications Pride Supplement of October 13-19, 2011 during the 2011 Pride In The Desert week (see exhibit) ran as its lead an article entitled The Bi Life exploring the often misunderstood world of Bisexuals (a.k.a. Pansexuals often referred to as Omnisexuals, Freesexuals, and sometimes other variations).
Tucson Weekly's article presented in depth interviews of local members of the LGBTQ community which included multi talented local activist-musician drummer (see more info)-writer-producer-film maker, and AIDS/HIV educator at the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation Jerry Diaz, Leslie a Tucson resident, Transgendered author-musician-public speaker-Tucson Commission on LGBT Issues member (see article), and founder of Eshelon Editorial & Publishing Services C. Michael Woodward (a.k.a. Morphing Michael) (see article) along with Wingspan's Anti-Violence Coordinator Kristi Smith (see article) a local anti-violence activist and performer with local performance troupe Rotten Apples.
University of Arizona researchers in October of 2011 announced receiving the award of part of a $2,800,000.00 ($2.8 million dollars) three (3) year federal grant (see article) for studying the factors, effects of LGBT Bullying (a.k.a. Gay Bashing) in school and elsewhere, and prevention of both related LGBTQ teen and those in their 20's suicides along with self destructive behaviors in conjunction with the New York University in the Manhattan section of New York City and Widener University in Philadelphia.
The study hoped to pinpoint factors including the youths increasing younger ages when coming out, young teens and adults in their 20's increased use of public media to express themselves through social media web sites, along with school, home, peer group, and workplace considerations. The LOSTBOYS Southern Arizona motorcycle group formed on Monday October 17, 2011 as a mature group enjoying the freedom of motorcycling and being themselves, while on the same day another source of enjoyment, the local bar Ain't Nobody's Business under ownership of Robin Muller and Lisa Oberstar (see article...Ain't Nobody's...Closes...page #2) located at 2900 East Broadway Boulevard closed its doors forever due to declining profits (see article...Ain't Nobody's...Closes...page #2).
In the latter weeks of November of 2011, The Observer owner and publisher Robert 'Bob' Bailie Ellis was injured as the result of a fall and the The Observer ceased publication while the LGBTQ and Allied Community wished Robert 'Bob' Bailie Ellis a very speedy recovery. In 2011 the Tucson Gay Museum®© was recognized by Wikipedia as the World's First All Virtual LGBTQ Museum. Ironically however, in Tucson on Thursday December 8, 2011, Pima County Public Library employee Jen Maney denied allowing the Tucson Gay Museum being linked to the library's LGBTQ resources page stating that local LGBTQ resources links were no longer being posted on the Library's web pages.
Tuesday December 20, 2011 in Tucson saw the change of ownership again for the Woody's bar business when the corporate entity Krism LLC also owning I.B.T.'s bar located in the downtown Arts District area at 616 North 4th Avenue completed the takeover and took business ownership control of the N/W side bar formerly owned by Post-Grad, Inc. amidst the ever growing competition from numerous local Straight Bars & Clubs for the LGBTQ crowd as levels of acceptance and feelings of safety in the new generations continued blurring the lines between Straight & LGBTQ patrons. Remodeling at the Woody's bar location at 3710 North Oracle Road began in January of 2012 and continued into the year. Nationally on Monday January 2, 2012 The Advocate Magazine named Salt Lake City as the #1 Gay City in the United States.
The Bears Of The Old Pueblo group held their Annual La Fiesta de los Osos event between Thursday January 12 and Monday January 16, 2012 headquartered at the Hotel Tucson City Center with events both in various locations around town and other Southern Arizona locations. On Friday January 20, 2012 at the United States Conference of Mayors, the Freedom To Marry Group (see video) comprised of eighty (80) mayors from around the United States came out in support of same sex marriage in a public announcement carried by news service throughout the nation.
Southern Arizona Congressional Representative Gabrielle Gifford's website announced on Sunday January 22, 2012 that she had more work to do on her recovery after an assassination attempt in 2010 and would resign from her congressional seat the coming week in a video release, saying that she was getting better but wanted to do what was right for her constituents. On Sunday February 5, 2012 the 46th Annual Superbowl Football Game and Half Time Show were both widely enjoyed across the nation by millions as Madonna entertained in a memorable performance.
On Saturday February 18, 2012 the Sheriff Paul Babeu of Pinal County, Arizona stepped down as a co-chairman of the Willard 'Mitt' Romney presidential campaign in Arizona after the Phoenix newspaper, Phoenix New Times OUTED him by publishing allegations that he had allededly threatened to deport or cause his former boyfriend to be deported, who was later revealed as a Mexican Citizen named Jose Orozco who had also worked on the Romney Political Campaign with Babeu. Allegations also surfaced that Orozco had threatened to go public and OUT the Sheriff about their Gay Relationship.
In a press conference on Saturday February 18, 2012, Sheriff Babeu stated that he had had a personal relationship with Jose, but denied that he had threatened to get him deported. The accusations, he said, “are absolutely, completely false except for the issues that refer to me as being Gay. Because that is the truth. I am Gay.” Within days Jose Orozco's attorney filed a One Million Dollar ($1,000,000.00) 'Notice Of Claim' required before a lawsuit against both the Sheriff and Pinal County for undisclosed reasons. In July of 2012 the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) threatened litigation against the Pinal County Jail (see exhibit) referring to the conditions in a special wing there used for federal prisoners as unconstitutional (see article...page# 4).
Later in the year the State of Arizona after an investigation into the allegations stated on Friday August 31, 2012, "The Attorney General's Office will not file charges against either Babeu or Orozco," State of Arizona Solicitor General Dave Cole said in a statement. "The investigation determined that Sheriff Babeu did not commit any criminal violations and further concluded that, although Jose Orozco conducted himself in a manner that may constitute a violation of the law, there was no reasonable likelihood of conviction on anything more than a misdemeanor charge. Months later on November 6, 2012 Sheriff Paul Babeu was re-elected to the post of Pinal County Sheriff (see article....Outed Republican...page# 5). Making LGBT History Lady Gaga on Wednesday February 29, 2012 officially announced the launch of the Born This Way Foundation (see video) to assist in stopping the sometimes rampant Anti-Gay Bullying occuring in schools and communities around the United States.
Wingspan in Tucson held a well attended farewell event for its outgoing Programs Director Oscar Jiménez at the EON Youth Lounge facility located at 430 East 7th Street the evening of Friday March 2, 2012. The Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation's 9th Annual Moda Provocateur Fashion-Style-Compassion Show (see video's ... 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 - A,) fund raising event sponsored by the Udall Law Firm was held on Sunday March 4, 2012 in the Tucson Convention Center Grand Ballroom before a large and enthusiastic crowd with local KOLD Channel 13 (see video) Meteorologist Chuck George hosting as the event's Master of Ceremonies.
The 27th Annual 2012 Miss Gay Tucson America Pageant was held on the evening of Sunday April 15, 2012 at Colors Food & Spirits located at 5305 E. Speedway Boulevard to an enthusiastic and fun loving crowd. Di Va was crowned (see video exhibit) as Tucson's 2012 Miss Gay Tucson America, with Trina Steele as the 2012 1st Alternative (see video exhibit), and Dinah Frost named as 2012 Miss Congeniality (see video exhibit). Many individuals and businesses were involved in presenting the memorable 27th Annual Event.
A wide variety of events in the early part of 2012 either entertained or experienced a sizeable involvement with different members of Tucson's LGBTQ Community including, the God-dess An She Concert, Stroke the Kitty Production, XXX A-CUPS Transgendered Fundraiser, individual performances, Take Back The Night, SAAF Stars Benefit, EON Youth Groups BB(LGBT)Q, March For Equality in Casa Grande, Way Out West by Desert Voices, Queen's for NLAAD, Shimmer, Ajia's Gospel Brunch, Second Chance Prom Promageddon 2012, and the 4th Annual Sense Of Style Fashion Show (see ...exhibit) presented onstage in the open air on a beautiful Saturday April 28, 2012 evening in Tucson produced by The Art Institute of Tucson located at 5009 E. Grant Road were among many events of the time period.
The First Lady of the United States, Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama (see article) visited Tucson on Monday April 30, 2012 as part of a $150.00 to $10,000.00 per person fundraiser at the Tucson Convention Center located at 260 S. Church Avenue for an upcoming November 4, 2012 national election in the United States in which her husband, then President Barack Huessin Obama 2nd would be a candidate in that years Presidential Election. On Friday May 4, 2012 the 5th Annual Rainbow Graduation was held at the University of Arizona in the Poetry Center located at 1508 E. Helen Street with Tucson's own Lucinda Holliday providing the events entertainment in memorable fashion. The next evening on Saturday May 5, 2012, the 15th Annual Treasures For TIHAN Auction and Entertainment Fundraiser (see articles, photos) was held along with Emcees local weather newscaster Chuck George (see photo) and journalist Mariela Gomez de Ell at the Double Tree Hotel located at 445 S. Alvernon Way.
Tuesday May 8, 2012 the voters of the State of North Carolina passed a state law making Gay Marriage Illegal in that states Constitution. The next day on Wednesday May 9, 2012 President Barack Obama made history by being the first United States President (see video exhibit) to openly support Same Sex Marriage. The Annual Reno Gannon Memorial JELL-O Wrestling Fundraiser Event was held on Saturday May 12th, 2012 At Kennedy Fiesta Park located at 3700 S. La Cholla Boulevard with the Pre-Party that began at 3PM, and action packed JELL-O Wrestling Matches along with the Fundraising Auction that started at 4:30PM.
The well attended event featured Comedian-Hollywood Script Writer Bruce Vilanch, and local personalities Rosada Delano, Tempest DuJour, Lucinda Holliday, and Holly Woodland as the Mistresses of Ceremonies. It was publicly announced at the Saturday May 12, 2012 Annual Reno Gannon Memorial JELL-O Wrestling Fundraiser Event that the Tucson Observer, which had ceased publication the year before on Wednesday November 16, 2011, would again begin publication amidst cheers from the joyous crowd excited that the popular local Gay Newspaper was coming back. On Wednesday May 16, 2012 the Tucson Observer began publishing starting with Issue #1425 and began distribution under the Masthead listed staff of Bob Ellis-Editor In Chief, Nicholas B. Jacobs-Executive Editor, Greg Miller-Senior Editor, Christine Beall-Assistant Editor, Christopher L. Pankratz-Assistant Editor, and Ronn Smith-Assistant Editor.
Admist the backdrop of construction in the 4th Avenue and Congress Street areas downtown hindering the location of the 2012 Annual Tucson Pride Parade, the Tucson Pride, Inc. (see exhibit) (see article...'Tucson Pride...'...page #5) held a Community Feedback Forum attended by approximately 12 people on Saturday May 19, 2012 at the Armory Park Senior Center located at 220 S. 5th Avenue to discuss the future of the Annual Pride Events that the group had been annually producing. Tucson Pride, Inc. also conducted an online survey on its Facebook Page, through its newsletter and in emails to the public resulting in one hundred fifty seven (157) varied responses being received. It was announced at the forum that other Community Feedback Forums would be held in the future to make preparations for the annual events. Later, in an open letter posted in the Tucson Weekly's June 14, 2012 Pride Edition by Karon Bohlender, the groups President, on June 14, 2012 explained Tucson Pride, Inc had been steadily losing money starting in 2009 ($18,000.00 loss), 2010 ($11,000.00 loss), 2011 ($500.00 loss), board members had taken out personal loans to keep the Pride Events going with a loan balance still due of $2,200.00, and the only cash on hand being $150.00 in a bank account. Pride Fundraiser Shows held in the Gay Bars and other venues mirroring back to the original Pride Picnic's funding methods were scheduled and very successfully held, along with the continuation of the highly popular Big Gay Scavenger Hunt held around Tucson on Saturday June 23, 2012.
The 2012 AIDS Candlelight Memorial was held Sunday May 20, 2012 between 6pm-8pm co-ordinated by members and volunteers of Tucson Interfaith HIV/AIDS Network (T.I.H.A.N.), Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation, and the Tucson AIDS Ribbon at Himmel Park located at 1000 N. Tucson Boulevard. Friday May 25, 2012 witnessed the Space Exploration Technologies Corporation become the first private company to dock a unmanned spacecraft named the Dragon with the International Space Station, a distance of approximately 240 miles above the Earth as the first part of its $1.6 billion contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to begin shuttling cargo to the space station. The first Openly Gay Officers at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado graduated with their Class Of 2012 on May 23, 2012 which included an address by President Barack Obama. A 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston confirmed that the Anti-Gay 'Defense Of Marriage Act' was un-constitutional.
In Tucson on June 12, 2012 after a heated campaign to fill the remaining Congressional seat that was left by assassination survivor House Representative Gabrielle Dee "Gabby" Giffords, one of her assistants working as her district director also shot during the attempt in the thigh and face who almost died due to lack of available blood for his transfusions during surgery, Ron Barber (D) (108,358 votes) born in Wakefield, England won the election over Jesse Kelly (R) (94,321) for the $174,000.00 (one hundred seventy four thousand dollar) a year job. The Thursday June 14, 2012 edition of the Tucson Weekly Cover featured the photo of local Gay Man, OUTWEST Tucson Cable Show Host, Tucson Gay Historical Society Member, and LGBT Activist Ernie Freuler, along with an article in its Pride Section quoting him and some of his friends on Gay Bar History in Tucson. Friday June 15, 2012 witnessed the United States Department Of Defense Complex known as the Pentagon have its first (1st) Gay Pride Month observed (see video exhibit) along with a public announcement by the Secretary of Defense (and former Director of the CIA) Leon Edward Panetta (see video exhibit) (see article...page #1).
The Tucson Interfaith HIV/AIDS Network (TIHAN) which had packed up and moved from its 1011 N. Craycroft Road location between May 17-21, 2012 held a Grand Opening at the new location at 2660 N. 1st Avenue on Friday June 15, 2012 between 4:00PM and 6:00PM, on the same day the President of the United States Barack Hussein Obama in a Rose Garden Speech (see video exhibit) ordered that children who had been brought into the United States illegally (who had arrived before the age of 16, were currently under the age of 30 years old without a felony record, had been in the United States continuously for the prior five (5) years, and were in school or had Graduated High School, or were Honorably Discharged United States Military Veterans) from other countries would not be deported and could legally stay, continue their educations, and or join the workforce or military for jobs during a two (2) year deferment for them that could be renewed, "This Is A Temporary Stopgap Measure That Lets Us Focus Our Resources Wisely While Giving A Degree Of Relief And Hope To Talented, Driven, Patriotic Young People. It Is The Right Thing To Do," said the President.
The Desert Voices chorus group performed a free concert on Sunday, June 17, 2012 at St Mark's Presbyterian Church located at 3809 E. Third Street. Local Tucson news media reported on Monday June 18, 2012 that the Rio Neuvo Downtown Redevelopment Project financial records could not account for nearly forty million dollars ($40,000,000.00) of taxpayers money spent on a few alleged projects seemingly never actually done on the west side of the I-10 Freeway on large empty naturally flat lots that remained basically untouched or merely had some desert soil removed. United States Immigration Records that were released on June 19, 2012 revealed that Asian Citizens from Communist China, India, and South Korea made up the largest group of those immigrating into the United States while the federal governments population records noted that four (4) million (4,000,000) babies were already being born in the United States every year. Saturday June 30, 2012 marked the end of a five (5) year Center For Disease Control federal funding grant to the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation for its MShape Lounge Program causing the end of the program as the federal government redirected its AIDS Prevention funding grant focus to the major city of each state (see article ....'CDC moves Pima County's HIV Funding to Phoenix' .... page # 1)
The choral groups Desert Voices (see video exhibit) and the Reveille Men's Chorus (see video exhibit) both performed in Denver, Colorado in July of 2012 from Wednesday the 11th to Tuesday the 17th at the GALA Festival 2012 (GALA a.k.a. the Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses, Inc.) at its hosted choral conference held every four (4) years in which five thousand (5,000) singers who represented one hundred (135) choruses from across the United States, Canada, Great Britain, France, and Germany attending together to share their music, along with their lives. The choruses performed for one another in fifteen (15) and thirty (30) minutes performances, then later all together in a large choral performance for the people and visitors in Denver. The camaraderie, support, and love shared was truly unbelievable with many Reveille Chorus Members noting the event was a truly memorable life altering experience.
The 16th Annual Turnabout For T.I.H.A.N. Fundraiser themed "Invasion Of the 50 FOOT GLAMAZONS" (see article...'Turnabout for TIHAN wows'...Pages #1) (see photos...Page # 6) (see video exhibit) which brought in approximately $18,250.00 was held on Sunday September 2, 2012 to a packed enthusiastic crowd of the Tucson LGBT Community and their Allies at the Doubletree Hotel Grand Ballroom located at 445 S. Alvernon Way which featured Emcees Janee Starr, Tempest Du Jour, 'Turnabouts' of numerous employees from most of Tucson's local LGBT Bars along with other acts and special guest the 2012 Miss Gay Arizona & 2012 Miss Gay Tucson Di Va a resident of Tucson. The events stage manager and set designer for 15 years, David Zinke (see exhibit 1)(see exhibit 2), was presented with that organizations '2012 Stonewall Award' by TIHAN Executive Director Scott Blades (see article...'David Zinke receives'....Page# 11) (see exhibit). Gold Sponsors of the TIHAN event were the Tucson Gay Historical Society & the Tucson Shopper Advertising Publication, Silver Sponsors were Tucson Pride, Inc., Smirnoff Vodka/Alliance Beverage Company, Tucson Urban League, Jacoby & Meyers Law Offices, and Janette A. Bunge C.P.A. PLLC.
Starting on Sunday September 16th, Wingspan's 'Puertas Abiertas Outreach Program' 5th Annual Tucson Latin LGBTQ Pride Week ran between the 16th and 22nd of the month began with the screening of the documentary movie 'Tal Como Somos' (Just As We Are) which revealed what it was like to be Latino yet not fit into the Latin Cultural ideals of the man, woman, and family. The feature length documentary followed the lives of six (6) Latino Gay and Bisexual men and a Transgender woman capturing their shared realities and included a Potluck Meal and Discussion. The event was held at the House Of Neighborly Services from 4PM to 6PM located at 243 W. 33rd Street in Tucson, Arizona and was the start of the 5th Annual Week Long Celebration and Sharing of Tucson Latin LGBTQ Pride held all week at numerous venues around the city (see the above exhibits). On Tuesday September 25, 2012 the Communist Chinese Government put its first Aircraft Carrier 'The Liaoning', a rebuilt 1980's Russian Navy ship, displaying a military vessel number 16 on the ships bow which held up to thirty (30) fixed wing fighter aircraft into its naval service as the China News Service proclaimed, “This will have far-reaching influence on protecting China’s Territory, Safety and Development and to Make the World More Peaceful.” Originally the Chinese Communist Party had bought the vessel from the Russian Government for use as an "Amusement Park." In the September 26, 2012 "Best Of Tucson" edition of the Tucson Weekly Publication, the LGBTQ and Allied friendly performance group Musical Mayhem Tucson, which had started up earlier that year was chosen by the public and recognized as the "Best New Stage Show" in Tucson (see video exhibits...1, ...2, ...3, ...4).
Saturday September 29, 2012 (see video exhibit) in Tucson experienced a highly successful 2012 Wingspan Dinner Event (see article ... Wingspan honors ... Page # 1) with over 350 in attendance held at the JW Marriot Starr Pass Resort located at 3800 W. Star Pass Boulevard featuring Emcee David Morden and Comedienne Shann Carr, along with the 36th Anniversary of Arizona and Tucson's first Gay Publication named the 'Tucson Gay Newsletter' (see 1970's) whose first issue was published that date partially in response to the murder of visiting Gay Man Richard J. Heakin in the parking lot of the Stonewall Inn Tavern located at 2931 N. 1st Avenue (see 1970's) by its three (3) owners, and would eventually by the continued efforts of Robert 'Bob' Baile Ellis along with many other investors, supporters, community fundraisers, and contributors one day culminate into what became the 'Observer' publication which began its publication in 1984 (see 1980's). Wednesday October 3, 2012 saw the first of the televised debates held in Denver Colorado between Barack Hussean Obama(D) and Willard Mitt Romney(R) the two (2) prime candidates for President of the United States. In October of 2012 the 'Queer For Books' online resource center based in Tucson, Arizona opened as an all virtual entity.
The Tucson Weekly Publication of October 11, 2012 Front Cover Story featured 'Meet six members of the LGBT Community who make Southern Arizona a better place to live for all' and its corresponding article in the 2012 Pride Section (see ..... pages# 2, 3, 4, 5, of the Pride Section) featuring interviews with Raúl Alcaraz Ochoa, Abby Hungwe, Sarah Gonzales, Dante Celeiro, Anton Smith, and Jaime J. Soto. On the same date, 2012 Pride Week kicked off with its 4th Annual Multifaith Pride Service 'Love Wins' at Grace St. Pauls Church 2331 E. Addams, on the 12th featuring Fluxx Studio Productions 'Queertopia' hosted by Ajia Simone at Arizona Riverpark Inn 350 S. Freeway, on a bright clear morning on the 13th with 'Pride On Parade themed 'Pride Links Us Together' on 6th Avenue with Parade Grand Marshals David & George Ruder along with their daughter Marianna and the Pride In The Desert Festival hosted by Ajia Simone on stage at Armory Park 220 S. 5th Avenue, which all culminated later that evening with the Pride After Party themed 'Illusions - A Fool's Paradise' hosted by Fluxx Studio Productions (see ..... 2012 Pride In The Desert Program Exhibit) (see article...'Pride in the Desert does Tucson proud'...page #1) (see photos....pages # 6, 7) (see article.... 'Gay family getting a home...'...page #1)(see ..... Queertopia Exhibit) (see ..... Illusions Exhibit).
On a clear and cool Sunday October 14th 2012 morning the 2012 Annual AIDSWALK Tucson (see .... Program-Flyer Exhibit) was held downtown around the area of the Joel D. Valdez Main Library at Jácome Plaza and along a route starting and ending on Granada Avenue. The related events started with presentations by Tucson media personalities from Kold Channel 13 Telvision News and FM Radio KROQ, Wendell Hicks SAAF Director, Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, Reveille Men's Chorus, a 'Text In' Donation Moment with the excited walkers assembled, and a live musical performance. The event later ended with the uncovering of National AIDS Quilts, a Moment of Silence and an Emotionally Moving Performance by the Reveille Men's Chorus with Jim Cullen directing (see article ....'Tucson met AIDSWALK and The NAMES Project last weekend'... photos ... page #10).
On Monday October 29, 2012 the San Francisco GLBT Museum was attacked and vandalized around 4:45 am. The Museum Staff and the San Francisco Police Department responded immediately to the GLBT Museum located at 4127 18th Street in that city's LGBT Friendly and Popular Castro Neighborhood. Hurricane Sandy, a Category 2 Event, hit the East Coast of the United States on October 29, 2012 causing over 50 Billion Dollars in damages and affecting twenty four (24) states. On Tuesday November 6, 2012 Barack Hussein Obama was re-elected for a second (2nd) term (see video exhibit) (see exhibit) as President of the United States over Willard Mitt Romney (see video exhibit) after an often heated campaign in which together both candidates spent over One Billion Dollars ($1,000,000,000.00) on advertising, while also for the first time in the United States the voters in the states of Maine and Maryland became the first states to legalize Same Sex Marriage by the voters instead of by court decisions. Saturday November 10, 2012 saw the annual 'Festival Of Life' fundraiser event held by the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation at the Chinese Cultural Center located at 1288 W. River Road (see article-photos....24th Festival for Life....page# 1, 3). November 20, 2012 Observer Publications, Inc. updated its dormant web page announcing that a new website was coming soon, and would provide an online version of the weekly newspaper, and since its re-start up the publications masthead had replaced Nicholas B. Jacobs with Nicholas K.M. Pafford as its Executive Editor. Brodies Tavern located at 2449 N. Stone Avenue served up a free Thanksgiving Dinner beginning at 2PM on Thursday November 22, 2012 with customers encouraged to bring a food dish to add to that days feast.
World AIDS Day was observed in Tucson on Saturday December 1, 2012 with activities held at the Hotel Congress and other venues, the 2012-2013 Miss Gay Tucson America Pageant Contest was held on the night of Sunday December 2, 2012 at the New Moon Lounge located at 915 W. Prince Road before a fun loving crowd with Jasmine White winning the crown to represent Tucson for 2013, Bianca Solei as 1st Alternate, Holly Woodland as Miss Congenial, with Regine Ray-Dumay, Victoria Munroe, Monster Lopez, Bella Divine, and Alex Lopez as the other very talented contestants that evening. On Monday December 10, 2012 the Wingspan Community Center completed its search for a new director hiring Carol Grimsby (see article .... Wingspan under new leadership...page # 2), a former catering company owner, executive director of CASA an advocacy group in Kansas City, Kansas, board chairman of Women With One Voice advocacy group, and director of the Neosho Hospital Foundation in Chanute, Kansas. On Monday December 24, 2012 the Newsweek Magazine announced it had ceased publishing a paper version of the magazine after a $40 million dollar ($40,000,000.00) loss a year, would lay off staff, and would instead continue as an All Virtual Publication on the internet.
As directed by the Historical Trust set up in the 1970's to oversee both the Museum and its perpetuation. Upon the last of the founders passing the Tucson Gay Museum was completed in December of 2012 with its Web/Internet presence in whatever form into the future that would take perpetually provided for as Tucson Gayly Marched Onward Into 2013 and The Exciting Future Beyond with a population in Tucson of Five Hundred Eighty Three Thousand One Hundred Sixty Eight (583,168) and in the United States of Three Hundred Fifteen Million One Hundred Ten Thousand Four Hundred Sixty Four (315,110,464) on January 1st, 2013! (see 2012 Observer Recap Articles ... Giving thanks for those...Page #6) and (The big gay 2012 year in review...Pages #1,3) and (United States Census Bureau Population Clock).
Some of the Performers locally during the decade included, Bunny FuFu (see ad...page #7) (see video exhibit), Ajia Simone (see ad...page #5) (see video exhibit) (see video exhibit) (see video exhibit), Lucinda Holiday...a.k.a. Larry Moore (see video exhibit) (see video exhibit) (see video exhibit) (see video exhibit), Tempest Du Jour...a.k.a. Patrick Holt (see ad...page #7) (see ad...page #12) (see article...Turnabout for...page #1) (see article...Tempest...Needs Your Help...page #2), Lady Ashley (see ad...page #7), China Collins (see ad...page #5), , Janee Starr (see ad...page #12) (see video exhibit) (see ad...page #3) (see article...Turnabout for...page #1), Celia Putty (see article...Turnabout...page #2) (see article...Turnabout for...page #1), Veronica Chase (see ad...page #2), Tori Steele (see ad...page #5), Di Va (see video exhibit) (see video exhibit) (see video exhibit) (see video exhibit) (see video exhibit), Jade Envy (see ad...page #2), Anya Foxx (see ad...page #2), Victorya Munroe (see ad...page #2), Katrina Fatale (see ad...page #2), Misti Malone (see ad...page #5), Rosie Cheeks (see ad...page #2), Ivanna Switchblade (see ad), Jenna May a.k.a. Gregory Martin Lemmon (see ad), Felicity Jade Dumay (see ad), Natalia Flores (see ad), Vivika D' Angelo, Nicholas Earl, Desiraye Dimarco, Trina Steele (see video exhibit), Rosada Delano , Aurora a.k.a. Jamie Rangel, Giovanna Ray-DuMay a.k.a. Jesse Leon, Dinah Frost (see video exhibit), Jasmine White, Bianca Solei, Regine Ray-Dumay, Monster Lopez, Bella Divine, to name only but just a few.
Passing in the decade of the 2010's were: the ever cheerful and smiling Gay Political Activist & former University of Arizona Professor Maurice Kenneth Grossman (see article....Museuming With...page #2) who died on Thursday January 21, 2010, the Pulse Tucson Show Bar located at 915 W. Prince Road, 23 year old Tucson Gay man George Soto Jr. (see article...Teen arrested) (see article...Police Arrest) murdered by an 'A' Mountain Crips Gang member on Valentines Day February 14, 2011 between 7:30 pm - 8:00 pm on Stone Avenue across the street from Amphi High School, Gary Neil Clark (see ...In Memoriam-Photo...page #1) local Tucson Artistic Director & Artist-Political Activist-Co publisher of the Weekly Observer died of Liver Cancer on June 15, 2010, 68 year old Raymond Castro the Gay man first taken out of the Stonewall Inn in New York City in 1969 (see 1960's) (see article...Ray Castro, 1968...page #3) and who fought back against the police died on Saturday October 9, 2010 from complications related to Stomach Cancer, former First Lady Betty Ford (Elizabeth Ann (Betty) Bloomer Warren Ford) (see article) an activist for children, the arts, breast cancer, arthritis and AIDS Research died on July 8, 2011, the LGBTQ civil rights pioneer Dr. Franklin (Frank) Edward Kameny (see article...LGBT Community...page # 1) who took on the federal government in 1957 after being fired for being a Homosexual (see video exhibit) and later in 1961 co-founded the Mattachine Society of Washington died on Tuesday October 11, 2011 of Atherosclerosis of the arteries, Ralph 'Bucky' Harry Lucarelli born on Monday September 23, 1940 a well loved bartender at many Gay venues and the maker of Bucky's Famous Omelets (see ad...page #6) (see ad...page #2) at numerous Tucson Gay venues who was also gifted with a great sense of humor died of cancer at age 71 on Sunday December 4, 2011, Circuit City Stores, General Motors Hummer vehicle, Tucson Gay Business Man - Long Time Men's Social Network Member - Piano Maestro Lloyd Chapman, Tucson Gay Community Supporter - Men's Social Network Member Floyd Sullivan, actor Harry Morgan (see video exhibit) born Harry Bratsberg who had roles in numerous movies including Walt Disney Productions and numerous other prior movies such as the Flim Flam Man along with his final role as Colonel Potter on the TV Series MASH died peacefully in his sleep on Wednesday December 7, 2011 at 3 am at home of Pnuemonia. Singer and LGBTQ supporter, 48 year old Whitney Elizabeth Houston died in her hotel room bath tub at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in California at 3:55PM on Saturday February 11, 2012, World Traveler, Wingspan Volunteer, and Costume Designer David A. Devincenzo (see Obituary...page #5) died in Tucson of Lymphoma on Monday July 22, 2012, Sally Ride the first known Gay Astronaut and First Woman to go into Space died of Pancreatic Cancer on Monday July 23, 2012 in La Jolla, California. Gay Actor Ronald Gabriel 'Ron' Palillo, best-known as the loudmouthed Arnold Dingfeld Horshack of the Sweathogs on the highly popular 1975 -1979 hit sitcom TV Show Welcome Back Kotter which included a young aspiring actor named John Travolta in the cast, died of a Heart Attack at age 63 on Tuesday August 14, 2012 at his home in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida and was survived by his Gay Partner of 41 years, Joseph Gramm, a retired actor. Long time volunteer and supporter of the Tucson Gay Museum Historical Preservation efforts Carla Maldenado born in 1928 in the Barrio Libre at her family's adobe in her parents bedroom in Tucson died on Tuesday October 23, 2012 during a diabetic related amputation surgery at the age of 84. Roy Frederick Walz died at home in Tucson on Tuesday November 27, 2012 at the age of 59, Roy originally from New Jersey moved to Tucson in 1971, was an active Hot Air Ballon Pilot since the summer of 1982, and was a Founding Member of the Bears Of The Old Pueblo while also active later fundraising for the Pet Watch effort. A Celebration of Life was held for Roy at the VENTURE -N Bar located at 1239 N. 6th Avenue on Wednesday December 19, 2012. Longtime partners and former owners of the Stonewall Eagle bar loacted at 2921 N. 1st Avenue in the 1990's Jerry Geller (died August 4, 2012) and Ken Sullivan (December 17, 2012) both passed away in 2012 in San Francisco, Woody's Bar located at 3710 N. Oracle Road under the ownership of the Prizim Corporation which closed its doors the night of Monday January 28, 2013 with an announcement it would re-open as Woodys Bar & Restaurant in a downtown Tucson area.
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