Welcome to the online edition of ZENGER'S NEWSMAGAZINE, a monthly publication of alternative lifestyles, politics, culture and health. To subscribe to our print edition and get ALL our interviews, features, news coverage and reviews, please send $25 per year to ZENGER'S, P.O. Box 50134, San Diego, CA 92165. To correspond with us through e-mail, write to firstname.lastname@example.org
ZENGER'S pays tribute to three major San Diego County Queer activists who have recently passed on. Our November editorial below:
Welcome to Zenger's newsmagazine online. Please look at our archive page for two interviews on documentaries that will be shown on KPBS in San Diego this June.
As time allows we will be adding more reviews and articles. Here is an editorial from the June 2001 Zengers. Available here before it hits the streets in hard copy.
Of Herb, Mandy and Jay
by MARK GABRISH CONLAN, Editor
Sometimes the hardest losses to take are of people who year after year were so dependable, so committed, so passionately driven and so much there in the Queer community, so often on the front lines in our ongoing struggle for equal rights and full acceptance, that you tended to take them for granted. The fall of 2001 has been a particularly bitter time for us in that regard, for not only have we had to mourn the thousands who lost their lives to terrorists in New York, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania, but here in San Diego we have lost three of the strongest and most faithful voices for our community: Herb King, Mandy Schultz and Jay Judge.
Herb was a source of personal inspiration to me. He was already in the thick of a career as a Queer activist when I came out and joined the San Diego Democratic Club (the first Queer group I ever belonged to) in 1983. I came to know and love him, not only for his dedication and commitment but also for his spirit, his sense of humor ranging from the flamboyant outfits he affected to his desire, when I was doing a cover story on him for Bravo! Newsmagazine in 1988, to appear on our cover with his dog (we compromised and ran a shot of him alone on the cover, while using the one of Herb-with-dog inside) - and his eminent sense of reason.
Whatever the provocation, I can't remember Herb ever raising his voice in a political argument or taking disagreement personally. Whenever he and I saw opposite sides of an issue - which we did on occasion, especially over my questioning the connection between HIV and AIDS and the Zenger's endorsement of Nader for President in 2000 - he never insulted me or questioned my motives. To Herb, political differences were just that - open questions on which people of talent, commitment and good will might disagree - and I never thought of him as an enemy simply because we ended up on opposite sides of an issue.
Though Herb's obituaries didnt mention us, Zenger's was one of the many Queer publications he contributed to, not only as a subscriber and sponsor but as a writer as well. In the summer of 1995 he asked me if I would donate ad space for him to solicit contributions for Maine Won't Discriminate, the campaign committee against an anti-Queer initiative on the Maine ballot that year. I eagerly agreed, and after I'd run the ad twice I suggested that Herb expand the idea into a regular monthly column that would identify worthy campaigns or organizations and urge our readers to give money to them.
Thus was born Mother's Milk, which ran monthly in Zenger's from November 1995 to December 1997, when - with my full approval - Herb transferred the column to the Gay & Lesbian Times, where he continued writing it literally until his death. (His last column appeared in the same G< as his obituary.) We took the title from the late Jesse Unruh's famous quote that money is the mother's milk of politics. It exemplifies Herb's character that the way to get a regular column out of him was not to offer him a platform to glorify himself and his opinions, but to give him a chance to boost other organizations and causes he felt worthy of people's donations.
I didn't know Mandy Schultz as well as I knew Herb, and I never had the honor of having worked with her directly, but I certainly admired her. She had the unenviable task of taking over San Diego Lesbian/Gay Pride from Brenda Schumacher, a powerful personality and organizer, and there was some concern in the community whether Mandy - whom wed known up to that point basically as Brenda's go-fer - would be strong enough to take over. Mandy passed the test with flying colors and helped contribute to the enviable stability in the administration of the Pride events our community has come to enjoy (and rather take for granted) in the 1990's and since.
Mandy's finest hours came in 1997, when Andrew Cunanan was supposedly still at large, roaming the country looking for fresh Gay male victims. With rumors flying that he was going to return to San Diego and launch a one-person terrorist campaign against the Pride events and the people attending them, Mandy was an island of rationality in a sea of irresponsible rumor-mongering. Her unflappable calm and determination to throw an event we would truly be proud of helped calm the community and ensure that even before Cunanan's body was found three days before Pride, most of the community had given up obsessing about him and was ready to enjoy the events and have a good time that weekend.
Jay Judge was a much less well-known name than either Herb's or Mandy's, but the news of his passing October 27 nonetheless was a jolt to me. Despite his age and all the little illnesses it frequently brings, Jay was one of those people who was just there - at Being Alive-San Diego when I was associated with them, at Special Delivery and the annual Thanksgiving dinners in honor of Being Alive founder Scott Carlson, at the Sierra Club (where he encouraged me to report that there was indeed a Queer branch I should be mentioning in my articles about them) and at Zenger's, where he too was a subscriber and sponsor.
Herb King, Mandy Schultz and Jay Judge - three activists who put their community above themselves and were always there when they were needed. Let us honor them and their contributions by following their example.
This article copyright (c) 2001 Mark Gabrish Conlan