Conversations with Nicole
Nicole Murray Ramirez
During those early dark years of AIDS in the 1980s, I received many phone calls every month from friends telling me they had been diagnosed with AIDS and during that time, the concept of AIDS=DEATH was a reality. Now I get more calls from friends, both men and women, diagnosed with cancer.
Last week, a friend called me very upset, naturally, because at the age of 34, he was diagnosed with lung cancer. So, we got together and I tried to comfort him as much as I could since he was scheduled to begin chemotherapy the following week and was certain he was going to lose all his thick, dark hair and then everyone would know he had cancer. And he didn’t want even his family to know.
What struck me was when he told me he had been smoking since he was 13 years old! And yes, the doctor told him his daily smoking habit was definitely the cause of his lung cancer. After I spent an afternoon with him, he agreed to let his family and close friends know so he would have a support group during this time. We both cried and I put him on my daily prayer list.
People, please listen up! Smoking cigarettes and vaping does cause cancer! There are so many young people I see out in public who have started smoking and vaping. Studies show that individuals in the LGBTQ community smoke at a higher percentage than the heterosexual community. Take those anti-smoking TV ads seriously! Talk to your friends who smoke; don’t wait until it’s too late. I know quitting smoking isn’t easy, but you have to keep trying because SMOKING=CANCER. Thank you for listening.
Bayard Rustin Honors: March 13
Mark your calendar for Friday, March 13, for the annual celebration of LGBTQ Black Pride and honoring LGBTQ African Americans and allies. Plus, the Mr., Miss and Ms. Black Pride San Diego Contest will also be held. This year’s honorees are Malcolm X Library, Damon Sheafer, Christina Griffin-Jones and Professor Ernie McCray. There will be great entertainment, authentic soul food and some surprises. Carolina Ramos and I are the proud founders of these awards and turned them over to a LGBTQ African American committee. This event is a benefit for the National Bayard Rustin U.S. Postage Stamp Campaign and is sponsored by the Imperial Court de San Diego and the San Diego LGBT Community Center. For further info: Darnelle at 619-737-7326.
The ‘homelessness’ issue
Near the top of every voter’s surveyed list of concerns is the growing homelessness issue, especially in the local campaigns. As many of you know, I do a lot of traveling and every city I have been to is grappling with this serious issue. I believe Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s proposed statewide ballot initiative is a good, solid one. I strongly urge you to vote “yes” on Prop C on March 3. Faulconer is right — many of the homeless struggle with mental health issues or drug addiction; we see it every day in Hillcrest and all over the county. Our LGBTQ Community Center is doing its best trying to cope with this issue and the homeless encampment (which grows almost every day) around it without being cruel. I believe the issue of homelessness is a national crisis and should be declared as such.
San Diego’s LGBTQ+ Most Eligible Singles
Our next issue on Feb. 13 will feature “San Diego’s Most Eligible LGBTQ+ Singles.” Do you have someone you would like to nominate? Let me know: [email protected].
This just in!
Mayor Jackie Biskupski of Salt Lake City, Utah and Mayor Robert Garcia of Long Beach, California will be honored at the annual HARVEY MILK DIVERSITY BREAKFAST of San Diego County on May 22nd!!!