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Hitting the town with Benny: Comedy, nudity, football, fireworks, walking & dragging for AIDs, politics and film

This is an awkward time of year – it is officially "autumn" as of yesterday, but this weekend is supposed to have summerlike temperatures. I want to put out my pumpkin spice and cranberry scented candles but it just doesn’t seem to mesh with 80 degree temperatures outside.

Certainly, this summer in San Diego was no normal summer by any weather standards – they say it was one of the coldest since 1933. But then again, being a native San Diegan, I should know better than anyone else that weather here has always been schizophrenic.

Regardless, with the coming of "fall" brings a whole array of exciting events around town, many of them with autumn, harvest, and Halloween themes, which I am very excited about.

For now, let’s look at the upcoming week of fun around town:

Friday, September 24: Comedy and Nudity

For those who are not going up to tonight’s Gay Night at Six Flags Magic Mountain, there is so much going on around town.

There are two exciting comedy shows going on tonight that will be hard to choose from. The legendary Margaret Cho is in town, and will perform at Humphrey’s by the Bay at 9 p.m. Our own Morgan Hurley recently scored an interview with Cho and she tells us all the fabulous things she’s been up to lately. There will always be a place in my heart for Ms. Cho, even though I admit that I was one of those gays who sort of abandoned our comic queen when Ms. Griffin hopped into the D-List limelight a few years ago. I’m excited for all that Margaret has going on!

Also, MikDago Productions and FeedATwink.com have teamed up for a "Wild Card Comedy Benefit Show" happening tonight at On Broadway. Guests include Danielle Stewart and Vicki Barbolak at the 7 p.m. show. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the incredible Mama’s Kitchen, which has provided meals and services to people living with HIV/AIDS and cancer for 20-years. Best of luck to Movses Shakarian and his team who have organized this great benefit show!

If you happen to be out and about around the gayborhood tonight, look for the "Vote Naked" display. Volunteers will show you how easy it is to vote naked and might even snap your photo. This weekend, the naked team will be at Bourbon St. and Rich’s.

Saturday, September 25: Sports?!? Fireworks, too

I’m such a stereotyper. I always say gays don’t do sporting events, but everyday I hear more and more of friends 'coming out' as sports addicts. The San Diego State University Aztecs, football team of my alma mater, aren’t necessarily known for winning games. But with a new coaching staff on board, I hear the team isn’t doing so bad this year. The team is playing Utah State Saturday at Qualcomm Stadium, which will be followed by the legendary 35th annual KGB Sky Show. Check out www.goaztecs.com for tickets or more information.

Sunday, September 26: AIDS Walk & Run San Diego

I look forward to AIDS Walk every year and have not missed one since 1999 (except for last year: Ricky and I overslept and were devastated when we woke up. We have set our alarm clocks and will be up at 6 a.m. to make sure we are ready to walk with SDGLN’s team.)

It is so important that we continue to support this event each and every year. It truly raises critically needed funds for local HIV/AIDS service providers. Please consider donating or walking if you haven’t already signed up. Until there is a cure … I will keep walking! Visit www.aidswalksd.org for more information.

Monday, September 27: Do even more…

Just because AIDS Walk is over, doesn’t mean we put HIV/AIDS in the back of our minds until next year. Our friends and loved ones living with this virus need our support year round. One of my favorite local drag personalities, Franceska, is hosting a benefit at Urban Mo’s to support low income people living with HIV/AIDS. Franceska always put on an amazing show, and unlike many other drag queens, she always starts her shows on time (which is definitely appreciated). Franceska's wonderful show, called "Travelling Together," begins promptly at 9:30 p.m.

Wednesday, September 29: Support Stephen!

We all have our opinions, and in my humble opinion, we need to make some change to the make-up of our County Board of Supervisors. Growing up in San Diego, I can only remember the current five people who sit on the Board, since they’ve all been supervisors for at least 16-years each – since I was 14-years old!

It’s time for a change, and I think Stephen Whitburn is the man for the job. The Victory Fund and San Diego Democratic Club are hosting a fundraiser to support Stephen at Noel-Baza Fine Art Gallery in Little Italy. Donate, mix/mingle, enjoy some wine and snacks, and support Stephen!

Thursday, September 30: Young love never ages!

The San Diego Film Festival begins next week and our community is included! They will be premiering a documentary film called Johnny & Lyman: A Life Together at 8 p.m. at Gaslamp Theaters. Combined, these gentlemen have 130-years relationship experience and it is absolutely inspiring. I can hardly keep it together for six-months so these men certainly know how to do it right. Don’t miss this film and also check out the many others at this year’s festival at www.sdff.org.

Another busy week it will be! I look forward to seeing you out and about!

Benny Cartwright is a staff writer with SDGLN who focuses on non-profits, politics, and higher education. Also known as "Mr. Pride," he regularly informs our readers about the various Pride celebrations happening throughout California (and Tijuana). Benny also writes a social column, giving a more in-depth look at his sometimes fabulous, sometimes crazy, but always eventful, life. He has written for a number of local publications over the years, starting with San Diego’s Update! newspaper in 2005. Benny is also involved with numerous community organizations, goes to grad school, and even has a "day job" – he’s one busy guy!