2018 In Review: A Year in the Life of LGBT SA

State Rep. Diego Bernal, Mayork Ron Nirenberg, City Councilman Roberto C. Treviño, City Councilman Rey Saldana, and City Councilwoman Ana Sandoval at ribbon cutting for rainbow crosswalk. (Photo: Sam Sanchez)

A select month-by-month recap of stories about our community reported here and elsewhere in 2018.


Rev. Elder Darlene C. Garner (Photo: Sam Sanchez)

MCC SA Pastor Resigns From Denomination’s Board After Firing of Black Female Elder
Rev. William of H. Knight, pastor of MCC SA, resigned from the governing board of the Universal Federation of Metropolitan Community Churches after the firing of Rev. Elder Darlene C. Garner, the denomination’s only black female elder.

Fiesta Cornyation Names Charlie Biedenharn as King Anchovy LIII
In a January 19 announcement, the board of directors of Fiesta Cornyation named Charlie Biedenharn as this year’s King Anchovy LIII. Biedenharn is co-owner, with Anne Ng and Jeremy Mandrell, of the three locations of Bakery Lorraine, which has been named a best new bakery by Food & Wine.

Councilman Manny Pelaez Disses Jack Finger on Facebook
In a comment on Facebook, Councilman Manny Pelaez criticized self-proclaimed homophobe and City Council gadfly Jack Finger writing, “Finger was in rare form today. His frontier gibberish was indecipherable. He yelled something about orgasms and animals. I’m not kidding.” Later on Pelaez commented that “[Finger] absolutely has a right to express himself… and so do I.”


Mauro E. Garza (Photo via Mauro Garza for Congress)

Owner of Pegasus Nightclub Runs for Congress as a Republican
Mauro E. Garza, the owner of the Pegasus nightclub on the Main Avenue Strip, threw his hat into the primary for the Texas 21st Congressional District seat running as a Republican. He was one of 18 Republicans vying to succeed Lamar S. Smith (R-San Antonio) who held the seat for the last 30 years. Alas, Garza’s political ambitions were dashed when he came in 14th place in the primary.

First-Ever NoH8 Photo Shoot Held in SA
The NoH8 Campaign was in San Antonio for the first time on Saturday, February 17 for an open photo shoot at the Woodlawn Pointe Auditorium. The event was hosted by hosted by Fiesta Youth and Woodlawn Pointe

Manuel Medina Claims Endorsement by LGBT Group Which May Not Exist
Manuel Medina, the chairman of the Bexar County Democratic Party who ran for re-election, sent out a mailer in which he claimed the endorsement of an LGBT group, the Bexar County LGBTQIA Democratic Caucus. It turns out the group was composed of three of his friends who got together and endorsed him. Medina lost the race.


Participants in Just One Night, a benefit for homeless teens, spent the night sleeping in Maverick Park. (Photo: Google Maps)

Benefit for Homeless Teens Asks Participants to Sleep in Park for ‘Just One Night’
During a local fundraiser participants spent a night sleeping in a local park in order to illustrate the plight of homeless San Antonio teens. The benefit, dubbed Just One Night, was held on April 14 in Maverick Park and benefited the Thrive Youth Center and Stand Up For Kids, both of which offer services and support to homeless teens.

Protest Planned After Judge Rules Kenne McFadden’s Death Not a Crime
LGBT activists held a protest after a local judge ruled that the actions of a man who pushed a transgender woman into the San Antonio River, thus causing her to drown, did not constitute criminal conduct.

SA Police Seek Two Males Who Beat, Robbed Man During Sexual Hookup
Police are asking the public’s assistance in identifying two male suspects who beat up a man during what was supposed to be a sexual encounter took his ATM card, withdrew money and made purchases. The incident occurred on Sunday, February 18 in the 100 block of Southwest Military Drive near South Flores Street.


(Video capture via Vimeo)

SA Filmmaker Chronicles the Colorful History of Fiesta Cornyation
After producing a 20-minute documentary about Fiesta Cornyation this year, local independent filmmaker David Sims announced he’s now working on a full-length version celebrating one of Fiesta San Antonio’s most popular events. “We’re proud of the short film, but excited to really unpack the Cornyation story and profile the dedication of many of the artists, entrepreneurs and truly passionate and talented individuals that work tirelessly to pull Cornyation off year after year,” Sims told Out In SA.

Alamo Empire President Sues Frontier Airlines After Being Removed From Flight
Ivan Cuadrado (a.k.a. Esmerelda Kane-Jaymes), the president of the Royal, Sovereign and Imperial Court of the Alamo Empire filed a lawsuit against Frontier Airlines alleging he was removed from a flight from Washington DC to Denver as a “security risk” because he had a wig in his carry-on bag.

Councilman Treviño Says Rainbow Crosswalk Medal Sales Top $10K
District 1 City Councilman Roberto C. Treviño announced that sales of Fiesta medals depicting the proposed rainbow crosswalks on the Main Avenue Strip exceeded $10,000. The medals were being sold to raise funds to install the crosswalks on Main Avenue at the corner of North Main and East Evergreen. “I designed and funded a Fiesta medal to raise awareness and money for the crosswalk,” Treviño told Out In SA.


Photographer Antonia Padilla signs prints of her Selena in Concert series. (Courtesy photo)

Photographer’s Archive Yields Trove of Historic Images of Selena in Concert
When San Antonio photographer Antonia Padilla decided to go through her archives late last year, she discovered negatives and contact sheets which contained images of pop singer Selena’s 1993 concert in Brownsville, Texas. Padilla told Out In SA that after close examination of the contact sheets, she found almost a dozen images which she felt had the artistic and technical quality needed to make them attractive to collectors.

SA LGBT Artists to be Featured in Group Show at Culture Commons Gallery
The work of twelve LGBT artists from San Antonio was featured in “We Are,” a group show that opened on May 17 at the Culture Commons Gallery. “This exhibit is a reminder of the experiences, the struggles, and the realities of our LGBTQI+ community,” Mayor Ron Nirenberg said in a press release. “I thank the artists for sharing their talents and their stories – some deeply personal – so that we can all learn and understand the importance of honoring and respecting all San Antonians.”

Mayor’s LGBTQ Advisory Committee Meets for First Time
Members of San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg’s newly-appointed LGBTQ Advisory Committee had their first meeting on Thursday, May 31 at the Central Library Auditorium. The gathering marked the first time the mayor had the opportunity to meet the 15 members of the committee face to face since they were chosen.


Members of the advisory board for the Strengthening Colors of Pride project which aims to study the resiliency of San Antonio’s LGBTQ community. (Courtesy photo)

Study of Resiliency in San Antonio’s LGBTQ Community Enters Next Phase
In September 2017, three professionals from San Antonio were chosen to conduct a research project with the theme, “Building a Stronger Community: Resilience Among LGBTQ People in South Texas.” In mid-June, that team announced their study was moving into the next phase, one that involves interviewing community members.

Jury Finds SA Man Guilty of Murdering Boyfriend, Sentenced to 60 Years
A jury has found David Asa Villarreal man guilty and sentenced him to 60 years in prison for the October 2015 murder of his boyfriend, Aaron Estrada, during meth-fueled argument that led to the victim being stabbed repeatedly.

City Councilman’s Challenge Leads to 4,000 HIV Tests in SA
More than 4,000 San Antonians were tested for HIV during the month of April, in response to a challenge issued to the City Council by fellow Councilman William “Cruz” Shaw. Councilman Shaw’s challenge to his colleagues, which came during STD Awareness Month, set a goal of testing four times the average amount of people tested in an average month. Council members were asked to help motivate people in their districts to get tested.


Sheriff Javier Salazar and Bruno “Ralphy” Lozano, Mayor of Del Rio. (Courtesy photos)

Bexar County Sheriff and Mayor of Del Rio Are Grand Marshals of SA Pride Parade
Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar and the newly-elected Mayor of Del Rio, Texas, Bruno “Ralphy” Lozano were named Grand Marshals of the 2018 Pride Bigger Than Texas Parade which was held on June 30. “We are excited to have these two advocates celebrating Pride with our community this year,” Pride SA officials said in an announcement.

Some in LGBT Community Question Stonewall Dem’s Endorsement of Gallego
Some in the LGBT community questioned the Stonewall Democrats of San Antonio’s endorsement of former U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego in the state Senate District 19 special election to replace state Senator Carlos Uresti, citing Gallego’s rejection of LGBT issues when he served in Congress. Gallego went on to lose the election to Republican Pete Flores.

SA Trans Activist Petitions Tobin Center to Cancel Appearance by Anti-LGBT Lecturer
San Antonio transgender activist Ashley Smith started a Change.org petition asking the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts to cancel the speaking appearance of Jordan B. Peterson, the conservative pop psychologist known for inflammatory statements about LGBT people and . . . well, just about everyone else other than straight white men.


Maria Salazar and Rosie Gonzalez with gubernatorial candidate Lupe Valdez (center). Photo courtesy Maria Salazar.

Gubernatorial Candidate Lupe Valdez to Appears at Rally and Drag Show in SA
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Lupe Valdez was in San Antonio on Thursday, August 16 at Luther’s Cafe for an event which was a combination political rally and drag show. The event was organized by San Anto for Lupe Valdez, SATX for Beto, SA LGBT LULAC and Luther’s Cafe. The stage show was produced by Julian Garcia.

LGBT Chamber Member Eyes Run for City Council District 1
Justin Holley, partner and vice president of ABH Hospitality and member of the San Antonio LGBT Chamber of Commerce, officially appointed a campaign treasurer, initiating a possible run for the City Council District 1 seat currently held by Roberto C. Treviño.

John Barrera and Pablo Cruz Represent the Alamo City at Paris Gay Games
San Antonio realtor and fitness instructor John Barrera and Pablo Cruz, an AT&T project manager, participated at the Gay Games in Paris where they competed in tennis matches with players from across the globe.


Azul Barrientos with her new album. (Courtesy photo)

Azul Barrientos Premiers New Album With Concert at Carver Center
San Antonio-based chanteuse Azul Barrientos premiered her new album, Nuestro Corazón!, at a concert on Sunday, September 16 at the Carver Center’s Jo Long Theater. The new LP includes new songs as well as renditions of Spanish-language classics like La Ultima Copa, Canción de Las Simples Cosas, and Corazón, Corazón.

Local Facility Blocks SA Trans Woman From Making Blood Plasma Donation
Biotest Plasma Center in the Park North shopping center rejected a San Antonio woman from making a blood plasma donation based solely on the fact she is transgender. As a result, she filed a nondiscrimination claim with the city’s Office of Equity.

It’s a Matter of Pride for the Guardians of the Crosswalk
The group, the Guardians of the Crosswalk, was formed by Pride San Antonio to help clean the crosswalk, the colors of which tend to loose their brilliance due to weather and automobile traffic. “Every two weeks the Guardians of the Crosswalk physically clean the crosswalk so we can maintain it as a piece of community art — a symbol we are proud of — one which the LGBT community proudly invested their hard-earned dollars to create,” James Poindexter, board secretary of Pride San Antonio, told Out In SA.


Jason T. Gaffney in “Analysis Paralysis” which was screened at QFest. (Courtesy photo)

Pride San Antonio’s QFest Screens Over 80 Films From Around the Globe
Organizers of Pride San Antonio’s fifth annual QFest LGBT International Film Festival screened 85 films at this year’s festival, which ran from October 12 through October 15 at Brooks City Base Cinema.

Attorney Says Local High School Student Beaten Up and Bullied for Being Gay
A Snapchat video shows a Louis D. Brandeis High School student being beaten up on a bus. The victim said he was targeted for his sexual orientation. “There’s no question it’s a bullying incident,” attorney Gabe Quintanilla said. “You have a group of kids, surrounding another child, taunt him and call him a f——t.”

Anti-LGBT Pastor Claimed San Antonio’s NDO Can Be Repealed If Proposition A Passed
Pastor Gerald A. Ripley, a Christian extremist who for years has fought against LGBT equality, encouraged his followers to vote “for” Propositon A, saying that if it passed, the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance could be repealed. The proposition failed.


Tech. Sgt. Jamie Hash re-enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in a ceremony at Luther’s Cafe on November 15. (Photo: Parker Radbourne The PK Photographs via Facebook)

At Re-enlistment, Trans Airman Says, “I Continue to Serve for Those Who Cannot”
Tech. Sgt. Jamie Hash, a transgender airman stationed in San Antonio at Joint Base Randolph, says she chose to re-enlist in the U.S. Air Force as a way to show that trans people can serve honorably in the armed forces. “I feel that it’s critical I continue to serve for those who cannot,” she said at her re-enlistment ceremony on November 15.

Mayor Nirenberg Says He’s ‘Grateful’ for Proposition A’s Defeat
In a statement issued on November 7, San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said he is “proud and grateful” for the defeat of Proposition A, which was rejected by 54 percent of voters. The measure would have made it easier for special interest groups to challenge ordinances passed by the City Council, crippling its ability to govern effectively.

Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones Concedes in Close Congressional Race Against Will Hurd
Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones conceded in her challenge to U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, R-Helotes, ensuring a third term for Hurd in his perennial battleground district. “While we came up short this time, we ran a race of which we can be proud,” Jones said in a statement. “I remain committed to serving my community and country, and I wish Will Hurd the courage to fight for TX-23 in the way in which our district deserves.”


State Rep. Diego Bernal (Photo: Sam Sanchez)

State Rep. Diego Bernal Files Two Pro-LGBT Bills Ahead of Next Legislative Session
State Representative Diego Bernal of San Antonio filed two pro-LGBT bills ahead of the 86th session of the Texas Legislature which convenes on January 8, 2019. The first of the two LGBT bills, HB 188, relates to the “prohibition of housing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression and to the enforcement of that prohibition.” Bernal’s second pro-LGBT bill (HB 254) prohibits “certain discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity or expression” in housing, public accommodations and employment.

Pride Center to Initiate Annual ‘Icon Awards’
The board of Pride Center San Antonio announced on December 18 that starting next year, it will annually bestow five Icon Awards “to exemplary members of the community for their outstanding contributions to the LGBTQ+ community.” The honors will be presented during Pride Month at an Icon Awards Brunch to be held on June 2, 2019 at the Pearl Stable.

S.A. Family Association Leader Opposes Appointment of Lesbian to Mayoral Commission
Patrick Von Dohlen, president of the anti-LGBT San Antonio Family Association (SAFA), issued an action alert to his members urging them to oppose the appointment of a lesbian business woman to a mayoral commission. The person referred to in Von Dohlen’s alert is Ruby Resendez, a business owner and former president of the San Antonio LGBT Chamber of Commerce. District 8 Councilman Manny Pelaez nominated Resendez to the commission.


2018 In Review: Top 10 Local LGBT News Stories

2018 In Review: Honorable and Dishonorable Mentions


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2018 In Review: Top 10 Local LGBT News Stories

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