Worst Long Beach LGBTQ stories of 2022

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Long Beach has a reputation for being friendly to the LGBTQ+ community. But the reality is more complicated than that. Photo: Richard Grant/Q Voice News

Here’s a look back at the worst Long Beach LGBTQ+ stories of 2022.

The city has a reputation for being friendly to the LGBTQ+ community, but the reality is more complicated than that.

These articles shine the spotlight on a variety of failures from elected officials.

Long Beach City Prosecutor has anti-gay record

Long Beach promotes itself as a city that is LGBTQ+ friendly, but City Prosecutor Doug Haubert has an anti-gay record.

Haubert supported prosecuting a controversial lewd conduct arrest of a gay man in a public restroom, but a Long Beach Superior Court judge threw out the case during a preliminary hearing and had scathing remarks for the city prosecutor’s handling of the case. READ MORE

Did Long Beach ignore gay men in its monkeypox response?

Gay residents were frustrated at the Long Beach Health Department’s education and prevention response to the monkeypox outbreak that is disproportionately impacting them. READ MORE

LA County Sheriff Robert Luna has an anti-gay history

During his first news conference as Los Angeles County Sheriff elect, Robert Luna promised to work with community and county leaders to fix controversies that had embroiled the sheriff’s department under outgoing Sheriff Alex Villanueva.

Luna, the former police chief in Long Beach, said that during the next several months he will be working toward new policies and strategies to address crime, “repair relationships in our community and across the board.”

“Our service has to be effective, respectful, and constitutional,” he said.

We hope Luna’s actions at the sheriff’s department are an improvement compared to his time in Long Beach. READ MORE

Long Beach mayoral candidates ignore LGBTQ community

Long Beach has a reputation for being an LGBTQ-friendly city, but why did Suzie Price and Rex Richardson, the two mayoral candidates, treat LGBTQ residents like they are invisible?

During their eight years on the city council, Suzie Price and Rex Richardson have had a pattern of ignoring LGBTQ people and issues important to the community. READ MORE

Robert Garcia’s failed leadership

Since becoming congressman elect for California’s 42nd District, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia has been tweeting up a storm: trolling anti-LGBTQ Congresswoman Majorie Taylor Greene, vowing to quote RuPaul from the floor of the House of Representatives, and boasting about his love for comic books. 

It’s all very entertaining.

While his tweets are amusing, what’s not amusing is Robert Garcia’s track record of failed leadership for the queer community when he was mayor of Long Beach. READ MORE

Long Beach officials continue to look the other way on HIV problem

World AIDS Day was Dec. 1, but you wouldn’t have known that based on how Long Beach officials ignored the epidemic.

It’s the perfect opportunity for public servants and officials to announce strategic plans to end HIV, which is still very much a major health issue in Long Beach and beyond.

But nobody did that. It was another example of failed leadership from the health department, the City Council, and Mayor Robert Garcia, who identifies as gay. READ MORE

Long Beach Police Chief Wally Hebeish snubs gay community

Long Beach Police Chief Wally Hebeish attended a community forum earlier this month, where he promised transparency to the public, but that promise quickly turned to dust when he refused to answer questions from a local gay journalist. READ MORE

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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