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Back out With Benny: A very wet but very memorable Pride

Rain is not something we think of when we think about the annual San Diego LGBT Pride celebration. In fact, Pride organizers moved San Diego’s Pride events to July many years ago to ensure good weather (among other reasons).

In the 19 years I’ve participated in Pride here, never have I seen anything like we witnessed last weekend — a parade drenched by a rainstorm accompanied by thunder and lightning, followed by grey skies and showers all weekend. It was bizarre, it was uncomfortable, it was wet, but the party sure went on!

Sarah Merk-Benitez takes on volunteer coordinator role at The Center

SAN DIEGO, California -- The San Diego LGBT Community Center has announced that Sarah Merk-Benitez has taken the position as the organization’s Coordinator of Volunteer Resources.

Merk-Benitez replaces Jerry Tomaszewicz, Jr. who has joined The Center’s accounting team. In her new role, Merk-Benitez is responsible for recruiting, training and coordinating The Center’s more than 1,000 volunteers.

North County bus to San Diego Pride will be available

OCEANSIDE, California -- The North County LGBTQ Resource Center has announced a bus service to San Diego Pride’s parade and festival, July 18.

The round-trip service will be only $10 and riders may choose their departure and return times when they purchase their tickets. Morning trips are scheduled for 8:30 and 10:15 a.m. and will leave from the Resource Center, located at 510 N. Coast Hwy, Suite C. Riders are asked to park on the street, not in the Center’s parking lot.

Those riding are also invited to march along with the NC Resource Center in the parade.

Back Out With Benny: Toasting anniversaries and Pride

When I started writing this column earlier this year, we titled it “Back Out With Benny” as a nod to the “Out With Benny” column series I wrote for Update newspaper a decade ago.

This issue’s column marks the 10 years that have passed since I wrote my first-ever column, which was published on June 29, 2005. In a front-page teaser, the editors previewed that first column by saying “Ben Cartwright … has all the dish on everything that’s going around in San Diego. Entertaining, informative, and fun, Ben’s unique perspective will be a welcomed addition to Update.”

Contestants wanted for San Diego Gay Pride contest

SAN DIEGO, California -- M3 Productions will present the annual San Diego Gay Pride Contest on Sunday, July 12. Contestants are currently being sought.

The contest will include entries for Mr. Gay Pride (men); Ms. Gay Pride (women); and Miss Gay Pride (drag).

Winners of the contest, which takes place just a week before the annual San Diego Pride celebration, will have the opportunity to represent the San Diego LGBTQ community in a number of ways and participate in charitable service projects to benefit those in need.

Equality Professionals Network to host career fair for LGBT community and allies

SAN DIEGO, California -- The Equality Professionals Network (EPN), a coalition that represents LGBT business professionals and their allies, will hold their third annual LGBT & Allies Career Event on Tuesday, June 30, 4:30 pm, at the San Diego LGBT Community Center.

This free event is open to all LGBT community members and allies, and includes a job fair, professional development workshops, and networking.

The event will feature a variety of San Diego employers, including, but not limited to the following.

CareFusion/Becton Dickinson


Evans Hotels

Celebrate the next generation of community leaders at the The Center's YPC Academy Brunch

SAN DIEGO, California -- The San Diego LGBT Community Center will celebrate the most recent graduating class of its YPC Academy program at a special champagne brunch on Sunday, May 31.

The Young Professionals Council Academy engages approximately 20 up and coming leaders in a 6-week leadership development program each spring. The brunch will celebrate the accomplishments and future endeavors of the 2015 class.

'Come As You Are' Community Picnic to be held Saturday

SAN DIEGO, California -- The next "Come As You Are" Community Picnic will be held on Saturday, May 9 from 11 am to 2 pm at Balboa Park.

Everyone is welcome to the event which organizers say is free of "fundraising, attitude, or restrictions on how to dress, identify or live your life."

Organized by The Torch Guards, and Mr. San Diego Leather 2006 Buster, the free picnic is in a great location with plenty of parking, a mix of sun and shade, music, games, and lots of people watching.

#1 Fifth Avenue to host AIDS/LifeCycle fundraiser on Sunday

SAN DIEGO, California -- Local AIDS/LifeCycle participant J Alonzo Muñoz will host a Sunday Funday Beer Bust at #1 Fifth Avenue this Sunday, May 3 starting at 3 pm to raise funds for his ride.

The event will include $10 all you can drink beer, $2 Jell-o shots, raffles, surprises, and games.

AIDS/LifeCycle is a fully supported, 7-day bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise money and awareness in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

The event will also include live music by DJ MNM. Everyone 21 years and older is invited

The Center's next computer class focuses on "degunking" your computer

SAN DIEGO, California -- The San Diego LGBT Community Center's next computer class is scheduled for Friday, April 24 at 10 am with the topic, "How to 'Degunk' Your Computer."

See the description of the class below.

Degunking is the term used to describe how you can clean up your computer so that it runs like new without actually having to rebuild it or purchase a new one. Join us in the Cyber Center for this free class and learn how.

Space is limited, so reserve a spot by emailing