gaywedding-131There’s a fair chance that US marriage equality is just around the corner.

Vox reports:

At this point, it’s looking more and more likely that the battle for marriage equality will once again reach the Supreme Court. By Paul Smith’s estimate, it’s going to take at most two years for the nation’s top court to retry the same-sex marriage issue — and this time, they’re expected to settle the issue once and for all.

Smith is arguably the leading LGBT rights litigator in the country. He led the Supreme Court case that struck down state-level bans on gay sex and is part of the law firm, Jenner and Block, that successfully contested the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which banned same-sex marriages at the federal level.

After it was decided in June 2013, the DOMA case led to an avalanche of lower court rulings in favor of marriage equality. In just May, lower courts have supported same-sex marriages in four states. In the past week, Oregon and Pennsylvania had their bans struck down altogether. The two weeks before, courts rejected bans in Arkansas and Idaho, but eventually put the rulings on hold as they work through the appeals process.

Are we really so close? And which way will Kennedy swing?

 

This one’s courtesy of Joe.My.God:

GoingDownWithTheShip-550x550

kids-day-ufarm

Bring the kids for a super fun event! We are very excited to announce Oklin Bloodworth will be singing and performing! It will be a great time to hear this talented children's musician live and with a small audience. 

Kids Day at the U-Farm is a day for kids (and adults) to play on the farm and enjoy the tree house, rope swing, face paintings, sing-a-longs, bounce houses and other farm games. Bring a picnic or eat with us. Food will be available for purchase. 

$10 per kid. Order tickets online in advance for $8 per kid. Adults get in FREE! As always, fun is included.

 

Make your voice heard!  Voting is one of the most important things you can do to determine the direction of this country.  The following guide was prepared after extensive research of the ballot initiatives full text, fiscal effects and comparisons with other LGBT service organizations recommendations.  We hope this guide proves to be a valuable resource. Feedback and discussion is welcome and encouraged in the comment box below.


Download the Voter Guide
, click on the link for a printable PDF document to take with you to the polls.

Get the guide on your phone! Text Vote to 5598624559 and we'll send you the guide election day by 6am.

 

 

2014 VOTER GUIDE

Governor - Gov. Jerry Brown

Lieutenant Governor - Gavin Newsom


Secretary of State - Sen. Alex Padilla


Controller - Assembly member John A. Perez


Treasurer - Controller John Chiang


Attorney General - Kamala Harris


Insurance Commissioner - Dave Jones


Board of Equalization Member, District 1 - Chris Parker


Congress District 16 - Jim Costa


Congress District 21 - Amanda Renteria

 

Congress District 22 - Susanna Aguilera Murrero (SAM)


State Senate 12 - Shawn K. Bagley


State Senate 14 - Trustee Luis Chavez


State Assembly 26 - Ruben Macareno


State Assembly 31 - Henry T. Perea


Judge of the Superior Court - Rachel Hill


Superintendent of Public Instruction - Tom Torlakson


District Attorney - Elizabeth A. Egan


County Supervisor 1 - Blong Xiong


County Supervisor 4 - Daniel Parra or Magdalena Gomez

PROP 41- YES

PROP 42- YES

We encourage you to read the official California State voter guide.

Please, share our Voter Guide:

 

Share the guide on Facebook

 

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Chip in today to help us keep you informed

Paid for by Gay Fresno and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

Entertainment
Live Singers / Bands
Charm Alina
Damon Pardo – Rocky Horror
Tiny Kites Band
Santa Mira
Raging Grannies
 
 
Hosts
Patricia De Leon (Miss Gay Fresno)
Leilani Price (former Miss Gay Fresno)
Justin Cider
Victoria De La Manana
 
Drag Queens
Cara Coronado (Xotica)
Cookie Cutter (Lotus)
Leilani (Lotus)
Emma Berry (Independent)
Giselle O'Ell (Doll House)
Patricia De Leon
Hazzard Strange
 
Drag Kings
A Town
Justin Cider
AndyRogenous
Alec Alnight
 
Sponsors
KFCF
GayFresno
California Endowment
Chukshani Gold Resort & Caino
PG&E's Pride Network
Imperial Dove Court
Donaghy Sales
Morgan Stanley
Rainbow Bowlers
Coco-cola
Wet
GayCentralValley
Fresno Reel Pride

Don't miss out on getting your business or organization in the 2014 Fresno Rainbow Pride Parade!

Parade entries:

Marching Unit $55; Motorcycles $5 per bike;

Animal Unit $55; Decorated Vehicle / Float $75.

Parade entries MUST provide a brief description of your parade entry for announcement at the grand stand area. The information you provide will be used to promote your entry / organization by the masters of ceremonies.

After May 18th, 2014 all application fees must be paid either in cash or with a money order.

Applications and payment information is located at Community Link's website.

 

ewwwwwwwwwww

     As many of you already know, Porterville has faced quite the controversy over the past couple of weeks. On Tuesday, May 6, Councilwoman Virginia Gurrola presented an item to the council—a Safe Zone program to be implemented into the community by local students from the Burton School District. Students would be able to place placards on community buildings, designating them as safe places for students who were being bullied to go to for help. What a crazy concept, right? Allowing an anti-bullying program that was requested by the students to make its way into our city seemed like a no-brainer. Unfortunately, other members of the council—including our mayor—did not see it as so. What happened next can only be described as ridiculous, and a total embarrassment to this city.

     After Gurrola presented the item, our oh so lovely mayor, Cameron Hamilton, proceeded to utter his now infamous remarks.

     “I mean, I am against bullying, but I am getting damn tired of it being used as a mantra for everything that ills the world when all most people have to do is grow a pair and stick up for them damn selves.”

     The emotional damages inflicted upon those that are bullied range from anxiety and depression, and can lead all the way to suicide. Imagine being bullied to your breaking point, reaching out to an adult that you trust for help, and being told, “grow a pair.” It is safe to say that if a student is to reach out to an adult, the bullying has already spun out of their control. They are likely already feeling the fears, intimidations, and feelings of hopelessness that come along with being bullied. The last thing they need to be told is to “grow a pair.” They need intervention, support, and a solution to the issue they are facing. Perhaps, you know, a safe place to go for help. Kind of like a safe zone. Cameron Hamilton’s remarks were a huge slap in the face to anyone who is being bullied, has been bullied, and to anyone who has lost a loved one to suicide that was brought on by a bullying situation. He has issued no public apology, and continues to stand by his idiotic statements. This is a true embarrassment to the community.

     One question that has been brought up again and again is, “How is this an LGBT+ issue?” This is an LGBT+ issue because the LGBT+ community was used as a tool by the councilmembers to block the Safe Zone item from reaching fruition.

     In a painfully obvious inference to the LGBT+ community, Councilman Greg Shelton asked Councilwoman Gurrola if the Safe Zone initiative would cater to one specific group over another:

     “Listen…is this thing discriminatory at all? Is it for everybody? It doesn’t favor one over another? […] I just wanna make sure we’re not going down that path.”

     If you are even slightly familiar with Porterville’s councilmen, it is simple to understand what he is getting at. Of course there is no anti-bullying program that would only cater to one specific group. Even nonprofit organizations like The Trevor Project are all-inclusive, and would not turn away anyone who needed help. Unless Shelton is truly that ill-informed on how society operates, he knew that as well.

     Later, during the oral communications segment of the meeting, townspeople got their chance to speak. This is when individuals came forth and asserted that these safe zones would be indoctrinations into a certain lifestyle. It was said that if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it’s probably a duck. I wonder what they could have possibly meant by that?

     To fully understand how and why this was painted as an LGBT+ issue by the council and the community, you can check out the video on Gay Porterville’s YouTube Channel. I cannot express enough the importance of watching this video. It’s a real gem; a perfect introduction to the attitudes and unprofessionalism of our city councilmen.

     To sum up, the LGBT+ community and our dedicated allies were once again dragged through the mud by our city councilmen. This is how this whole ordeal got painted as an LGBT+ issue. Are you frustrated with that? Trust me, so are we.

      We’ve been dealing with this kind of nonsense for years, and the homophobia is getting real exhausting. So far, under our belt, we’ve got quite the collection of shameful anti-LGBT stances from our city government. In 2008, Porterville was the only city in all of California to openly endorse Proposition 8. In 2013, we were faced with the reprehensible rescinding of Porterville’s Pride Proclamation. As a direct result, Virginia Gurrola was removed from her seat as mayor, seemingly for supporting the LGBT+ community of Porterville. That’s how we ended up with Mayor “Grow a Pair” in office. He’s been a real pleasure, as you can see…Next, in October of 2013, the council voted against recognizing National Coming Out Day, effectively belittling the struggles and hardships associated with coming out of the closet. This brings us to the “Grow a Pair” controversy, in which councilmen and community members employed harmful rhetoric pertaining to “the gays” as a way of opposing the Safe Zone initiative, throwing Porterville’s LGBT+ community under the bus once again.

     Unfortunately for the children of Porterville, the Safe Zones will not even be considered again until July. This was revealed at the May 20 meeting; the same one from which Cameron Hamilton bolted from during oral communications for a news interview (yet another slap in the face to his community). If you screw up royally, and the constituents you represent want to voice their frustrations with you, you grow a pair and you listen to them. You don’t take off in the middle of the meeting to go defend your backward remarks to CNN and Fox News. This action displayed his true colors.

     Out of all of this, one thing is for certain. Cameron Hamilton owes every single member of this city a public apology.

normal heart

Sunday night (9pm), HBO presents a new TV version of "The Normal Heart," Larry Kramer's 1985 play about the early years of the AIDS crisis. Kramer himself wrote the screenplay adaptation, which stars Mark Ruffalo and Julia Roberts. Almost 30 years later, the drama is both presented and viewed differently. If you miss it, you can catch it in reruns and on HBO Go. Those with VOD/HBO Go can also catch special extras, as well.

We have a goal to make Fresno Rainbow Pride accessible to everyone by keeping our costs down for our nonprofit service providers and smal lbusinesses, and by being able to offer such an affordable $5 admission cost to the Festival.

A simple donation to Fresno Rainbow Pride makes you a Pride Partner. No obligations. No Time committments. No labor involved.

We have been able to keep this event open and affordable to all by the kind generosity of our Pride Partners.
Community Members and our Allies have become one of our largest and most committed funding sources by giving back to the community and helping to make Pride a very successful celebration.
Our Pride Partners are our number one resource for improving what Fresno Rainbow Pride can offer and improve. Please consider joining our amazing Pride Partners by making a donation today to Pride!
$5, $10, $15, $25, or greater donations by supportive individuals like you make Pride something to be proud about.

Dear Pride Partners
This has been an amazing year of gains on the equality front for the LGBT community. The momentum continues to move in a positive direction and with it the future for all LGBT individuals looks brighter.
Pride Parades pay homage to the fight for acceptance and equality and this year we will continue this proud tradition celebrating our collective struggle for our rights.
As a Pride Partner, you have been a huge part of the change we all want to see here in the Valley we live in. Your support allows all segments of our community to come together and enjoy our success and our achievements.
We are stronger when we all stand together and support each other.
Community Link's Fresno Rainbow Pride believes in honoring our past, being in the present, and safe guarding
our future by putting on the best Pride celebration possible for Fresno and the whole Central Valley. As a Pride Partner your support helps everyone to recharge his or her batteries for the continued push for equality throughout the year to come. Achieving our goals is made possible by our Pride Partners, the good people, like you, that financially supports the overall
work of our amazing volunteers, the Pride Team.
Your patronage continues to be a major component of our success. When all of our valuable and committed Pride Partners' donations are combined the total surpasses that of our largest corporate sponsor. Our Pride Partners have the biggest impact on
our budget.

Your patronage ensures that Pride is open and accessible to all: the young, the old, families, and individuals of all socio-economic backgrounds. Your donation allows us to keep the Festival admission at a very reasonable $5, and free for those with extreme financial difficulties. It allows us to keep the fees for participation at an affordable rate for our non-profit organizations and small businesses.
Community Link is very thankful that when can keep Fresno Rainbow Pride open and affordable to all. Allowing us to contract for needed services and equipment, such as paying for insurance, security, property charges, and entertainment. This is where you and your donation make all the difference. Join the Pride Partners with a donation today and challenge your friends to do the same. Help make Pride colorful and bright and PROUD!
Community Link is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit community service organization
and your donation is tax deducible.


Send your check made payable to
Community Link to Fresno Rainbow Pride
P.O. Box 4959, Fresno, Ca.

93744 or you may make a PayPal
donation directly on our website at
www.fresnorainbowpride.com

Thank you,

Jeffery Robinson - Fresno Rainbow
Pride Coordinator
(559) 486-3464, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,
www.FresnoRainbowPride.com or
www.CommunityLinkFresno.com

SO FAR

On Friday, May 16th Tacos Marquitos and a crowd of hungry Pride supporter helped raise $317 for our first of the season fundraising events at Dine for Pride.  On Sunday, April 27th Bowling for Pride at Selma’s Freeway Lanes, raised $961.
On Saturday, May 10th, Agent Orange and the North Tower Circle put on an amazing and over the top show, “All in for Pride 2” brought in $675. The performers were all topnotch starting with Jesse I&IV. Many thanks to all of the terrfic perfomers, drag Queens, Drag kings, Fuax Queens and Faux Kings.

YET TO COME!

On Saturday, May 24th, beginning at 11pm, the North Tower Circle and the House of Hit will host their Fundraiser for 2014 Pride at the North Tower Circle at 2777 N. Maroa Ave., Fresno, CA 93704. 21+ only. You just never know waht will come out of the
Lady hit’s mouth, but it is guranteed not to be PC.
Hosted by the House of Hit, this event is sure to showcase a diverse range of entertainers, including faux and drag queens and female impersonators.
This event will feature entertainers from all over the Central Valley, from Stockton to Bakersfield.
Be entertained by some of the Valley's most dynamic and memorable performers. Come to experience the inclusiveness this event with a wide range of entertainment styles will bring. This event will also include alternative entertainment styles, and is
for mature audiences. Attendees will enjoy a classic line-up while also supporting this year's Pride.

On Friday, June 6th, from 5:30 to 7:30pm, be sure to come out for a SUPER-SIZED MEGA-MIXER. The Men's Mixer and POW Professional Out Women) co-present a SUPERSIZED MEGA-MIXER -- Celebrating Fresno Rainbow Pride's 24th Annual Parade & Festival! The two mixers will meet together on the outdoor patio of Veni Vidi Vici. Full-bar will be available. You are encouraged to
bring a friend and stay for dinner while we join in celebrating our community's diversity! The Men's Mixer + POW: Fri. June 6th, 5:30PM @ Veni Vidi Vici on Fulton St in the Tower District of Fresno.

The Fresno Pride Parade and Festival has been around for decades, and will celebrate its 24th year on Saturday, June 7th. Countless years of Fresno's Pride could not have been made possible without a community of dedicated organizers and donors
with a heart and zest for great events. The event committee, Fresno Rainbow Pride, would like to invite you to join us for this historical event, as well as help support the event before it takes place. These fundraising events will prove that supporting a cause is even more rewarding when food and great entertainment are involved. We hope to see you show your Pride!
www.fresnorainbowpride.com

Volunteers Needed

We could use your help!
If you are looking to give back to the community, how about joining the Pride Team?!
There are many opportunities possible for volunteering your time, your energy, and your skills. Contact our Volunteer Coordinator Alma Lara - (559) 740-6880
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
We are looking for:
1. Folks to help plan the annual Pride Celebration. We meet every
Wednesday at 6pm at Tacos Marquitos, 1772 E Barstow Ave.
2. Community Members to organize a fundraiser
3. People to help us at fundraisers
4. Envelop stuffers for our mailings
5. Banner Carriers in the Pride Parade.
6. Safety Monitors
7. Set-up Crews
8. Festival Workers
9. Writer/s for our Grand Marshals’ Bios for the Pride Program
10. AND many other tasks
Can you give us a hand?

GO BIG and GO HOME
with the trophy for Best, Largestest, and Most Festive
We want to honor those groups and individuals who put in a great amount time and energy into their parade entries and show their community Pride.

The Awards are:
- The Best Float
- Largest Contingent
- Most Festive Entry
- The CEOs Award

Become Our Friend on Facebook
Get updated information on Pride
happenings “like” us at Fresno
Rainbow Pride Parade and Festival

Just some of our Costs already
City Permit Fee ........................$378
Insurance................................$1,652
Traffic control...........................$880
Staging, canopies, tables, chairs..$4,205
Children’s activities..............$415.00
Equipment Transport.................$868
Dance canopy.............................$310
Equipment Storage....................$714
Parade Transport/Vehicles.........$550
Security......................................$640
Entertainment Dressing room...$305
Sound Equipment...................$1,500
Fencing...................................$2,151
Port-a-poties..............................$457
Trash Disposal..........................$250
Electical Generators.................$633

$15,908
costs so far,but by no means done

Introducing The USP

President’s Award at Fresno

State

The Bulldog Pride Fund has launched a fundraising
campaign to raise $50,000 to endow a new scholarship – the USP President’s Award that will provide $2,000 annually to the student elected as President of United Student Pride, a
LGBTQand allies student organization at Fresno State.


“The USP President’s Award will support a Fresno State student on their educational journey,” said Peter Robertson, founder of the Bulldog Pride Fund
anda three-time Fresno State graduate. “This new award will also provide the perfect opportunity to actively support emerging leaders from within our community.”Additionally, the USP President’s Award will be bestowed by the Bulldog Pride Fund. The fundraising goal is to announce the inaugural scholar by the 2015-16 academic year.“I’m so committed to this important cause, that I’ve personally pledged $5,000 to support it,” added Robertson. “It’s my sincere hope that others will do what they can to bring the USP President’s Award project to successful fruition.


The Bulldog Pride Fund is an endowed scholarship that was established in 2006 under the auspices of the Fresno State Alumni Association: "To support students at Fresno State." By next fall, its $310,500 endowment will have awarded 34 scholarships valued at $61,000
to students selected for their financial need, academic achievement and volunteer service to the community.

 

GIVE TODAY. FOR TOMORROW AND BEYOND. • www.bulldogpride.org

Alex x400 ADVOCATEAcross the country, mothers like me wait with bated breath to see what tokens of affection our partners and children endow us on Mother’s Day. When Mother’s Day arrives, we’ll kiss our spouses for their gifts of chocolate, flowers, and jewelry. We’ll thank our children for their construction paper cutout hearts and crayon-scribled love notes. We’ll glow in these hugs and kisses as we delay the naggings of our daily chores to enjoy the warmth of this day.

Since becoming a mother of two beautiful children, and as I think about my childhood celebrations for my own mom, I understand the joy Mother’s Day brings for so many. Its annual occurrence doesn’t make it feel less meaningful. It’s a feeling that — as other moms will say — is deepened by the responsibility that comes with caring for the life of another person.

This year, as I count the fortunes that give me so much to cherish, I think about how getting here wasn’t always clear or easy. As parents, we’re always challenged by the lessons our children teach us. But as a mom of a transgender child, our journey toward acceptance and understanding taught me more about motherhood than I could have ever known. For mothers like me, it’s this journey that inspires hope for the world my child lives in.

Authored By Tanya Shapiro – See the Full Story at The Advocate

 

rainbow-flag-600-250x250With thanks, we commemorate the 40th anniversary of the introduction of Bella Abzug’s extraordinary comprehensive gay civil rights bill to Congress, known as the Equality Act of 1974, and we call all who are silent, to speak out for the demise of its flawed inadequate substitute, The Employment Non Discrimination Act.

” 1974 – On May 14 U.S. Rep. Bella Abzug (D-N.Y.), in collaboration with the National Gay Task Force (Task Force), introduced the Equality Act of 1974, a federal bill to ban discrimination against lesbians, gay men, unmarried persons and women in employment, housing and public accommodations. ”

While we were not successful in passing the Congresswoman’s legislation, we have also not been successful in enacting any legislation in its stead. And to make matters worse with 40 years behind us, we have failed as an LGBT movement to even set the unified benchmark for a full equality civil rights bill for LGBTI people. Instead we have a multi-million dollar organization proclaiming entitlement to helm half baked Employment Discrimination legislation, so fraught with religious exemptions, that if it passes the House (it has passed the Senate) it will be the new DADT or DOMA for our next generation – via institutionalized discrimination. I am not sure the late Bella Abzug would have approved. In fact I am almost sure, she would have condemned it.

Authored By Melanie Nathan – See the Full Story at Gay USA

 

(OK, so we're a little late with the story/video, but in our defense, the only time ESPN is on is for the food eating competitions)
Michael SamVideo here

This is nothing short of amazing – Sam gets picked in the draft, and then the whole world sees an NFL player kiss his boyfriend on TV

Queerty reports:

College football star Michael Sam became the first openly gay athlete to be drafted by a professional sports team today, when the St. Louis Rams selected him number 249 in the 7th round of the National Football League draft. Sam, a defensive lineman, joins basketball player Jason Collins–who played with the National Basketball Association’s Brooklyn Nets with great success this season-in reaching a historic pro sports milestone this year. Sam shared tears of joy-and several beautiful kisses-with his boyfriend upon the learning of the news via a phone call from the Rams while at home with family and friends.  It's really a new world out there.

 

gaywedding-151As recently as 2011, I was still in the habit of telling people that I was against gay marriage. In my mega-liberal home state of Massachusetts, it felt like a lark to be the lesbian in favor of civil unions. “It’s not that I think we should give marriage back, now that we have it here,” I’d say, “but really, who cares about a word? If they want to keep the word, why not just let them have it?”

Marriage always seemed to me to be so lame, so totally dull and unsexy that to fight earnestly on its behalf was almost embarrassing. It seemed to me that one of the main perks of lesbianism was not having to follow the same rules as other people about what constituted a successful relationship. Even after the Goodridge decision made marriage a possibility, I continued to assume that it would never affect me one way or the other. It helped, perhaps, that I had yet to enter a relationship that lasted longer than a year–but a life of writing, travel, and serial monogamy sounded far more exciting than finding some other person to drag around for an entire lifetime.

My fiancee reports having quite similar feelings about the potential dreariness of marriage vs. the excitement of singletude, although she’s young enough not to have linked her gayness with freedom from having to marry the way I did. Like me, she was always more passionate about her work (in her case, it’s the study of insects, particularly vectors of infectious diseases) than her romantic partnerships. Also like me, she continues to have reservations about the institution of marriage and is a bit ambivalent about contributing to the expansion of it, despite being a far more consistent supporter of marriage equality than I ever was. Nevertheless, together we’re ignoring June Thomas’ advice not to become wives and going forward anyway.

Authored By Vanessa Vitiello – See the Full Story at Slate

transgender-flag ong -250x250With marriage equality at some point becoming the law of the land, and although conservative Christians and other social conservatives are aware that this is the case, they still rail against it even though the vigor is lost.

Time to change what social conservatives focus on in their culture wars. And, it’s trans people that they’re moving to. And, their new language in arguing against trans people isn’t just the “bathroom bill” meme; their relatively new talking point uses the term “privacy.”

The Privacy For All Students coalition which is still trying to get a recall of The School Success and Opportunity Act (AB 1266) states on their Web site “It’s an invasion of student privacy to open sensitive school facilities such as showers, restrooms and locker rooms to students of the opposite sex.”

Authored By Autumn Sandeen – See the Full Story at LGBT Weekly

gfm-visaliaMy name is Georgia Robinson, and I'm a sixty-nine years old, disabled widow on a fixed (Social Security) income. I'm not writing this for me, though. I'm trying to come up with enough money to give my exhausted, stressed out care provider (my son) a few days away for his birthday.

I know that this might seem frivilous on the surface, but I'm begging you to please understand how much he needs to get away, and how much he deserves to.

I suffer from post-polio syndrome, as well as several other health problems. I've had over a half dozen cancer scares over the years. As my health has gotten worse and worse over these past twenty years, my son, Amos, has had to sacrifice more and more of his own life to take care of me. He can't work outside the home anymore because of my needs. He has absolutely no social life anymore, much less a romantic life. He never goes out! He's mentioned wanting to go back to school (to take some college classes), but my health and our finances make that impossible. I have someone who comes in through In-Home Supportive Services, but the State only allows about two hours every day, and this is while Amos is asleep. When the IHSS care provider is gone, and I need something, I ring this bell and Amos comes to help me. Some days are better than others, but I don't think he's gotten a full night sleep in years! 

Every morning, my son helps me out of bed, and into my wheelchair. sometimes he has to help me onto, and then off the toilet. He Sets up my shower for me, and helps me get in and out of it, too. Sometimes he has to help me get dressed, especially since the arthritis in my hands stop me from being able to fasten buttons, or tie my shoes. Amos cleans the house. He cooks for me. He takes me to the mall to exercise and so that I can socialize (I hate going to the Senior Center here! It's so depressing!). I know he hates the mall, but he sits patiently, waiting until I'm ready to go. 

400658 513619058686297 434330707 n

Fresno Pride Pre Party Fundraiser - May 31st

Come out and party as we kickoff Fresno's 2013 Pride weekend with the hottest party for a cause!!!

>>Come party and dance with Candy Moore as she hosts the hottest show from Bakersfield @ 11:30pm
>>DJ Orale mixing the hottest top 40, dance, house and latin 
>>The hottest Gogo dancers and Direct from LA Domingo Now
>>Wet Lube giveaways through the night 
21+ with ID/ cover begins at 9pm (proceeds benefiting Fresno Pride)


More to come as you never know what we'll do

The Red Lantern 4618 E. Belmont Ave
Fresno, California 93702

Celebrate Fresno Rainbow Pride 2013 with a screening of the the award-winning film “I DO”

Reel-Pride-I-Do

Saturday, June 1st
3:30pm & 7:30pm
Tower Theatre • Fresno

A gay Brit in New York loses his immigration status and marries his lesbian best friend in order to stay in the country with his family. When his lover is forced to leave the country, he must choose between leaving with him, or remaining with his family.

“I DO” explores marriage equality in the US through the prism of immigration rights.

Join us in the Reel Pride Lounge before and after the film.

$5 VIP Members & Students (w/ valid ID) • $10 General Admission

• ONLNE: http://www.idothemovie.com/
• FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/IDoTheMovie

Boy Scouts vote to allow openly gay youths, maintain ban on gay adult leaders.  In what way isn’t this the cart before the horse?  Does this make sense to any one person outside of the scouts?  I fear their motives are more sinister.

“It is the mission of the Boy Scouts of America to serve others by helping to instill values in young people and, in other ways, to prepare them to make ethical choices during their lifetime in achieving their full potential. The values we strive to instill are based on those found in the Scout Oath and Law.”
(taken from BSA web site)

Are the scouts contemplating practicing without a license in the field of reparative therapy, a field that has never worked?  Could their agenda hold only focus on one thing, allow these boys to attend, in hopes of converting or brainwashing them before they become  adults and no one will have to leave? Their words, “instill values in young people and, in other ways. ‘  Makes me more then a little concerned.

Has anyone considered the psychological ramifications for these young men?  How heartless is this group, who are supposed to be shaping tomorrow’s future?  Does our future still has it being all right to look into the eyes of a child and tell them that they are no good, worthless and not welcomed?

I see this new tragedy unfolding and the situation can go either one of two ways.  The first one goes as such.  The children are brought in, reminded of their ungodliness and remind them they were not wanted within this elite establishment, but were forced to comply to public pressure.  These unwanted boys brought in and shown all the wonderful and fun activities the other boys are doing, but told they can only watch away from the other boys.  Thus the process of breaking the kid down and rev up the brain washing.

But there is one aspect to this mess that scares me and the thought leaves me in tears.  It is the psychological effects on these young boys, being surrounded by bullies and hater and not a chance for it to get better.  When the child voices his fears and concerns, the parents will just tell the kid to suck it up, cause he belongs to the best organizations in the world for building character and he shouldn’t worry about them, they know what they are doing.  It is hard enough being gay and afraid to tell your parents for fear of rejections.  Just imagine that feeling on a grander scale when they subconsciously agree with the scouts, that feelings of shame, belittlement, self hate are okay.  The pain of broken bones, torn skin and shattered spirits are okay, because the kids who are gay, bisexual, lesbian, and transgender have it coming to them and it is their fault for not making the right ethical choices in their lives.  It is okay if you have to sacrifice your life to be an example to others who refuse to instill our values into their sinful lives.  Your death will say, “This is what happens when you refuse to reach their full potential for you.”  Without a safe haven within the scouts for these young boys to turn to, I am so afraid that they will only see one option for themselves.  I hope I am wrong and that a new BSA motto hasn’t been created, “If you can’t throw the gay away, we’ll convert your children so you don’t have to, or the kids will die trying.  BSA: you are either with us or against us, play or pay.”

I don’t want to see the Boy Scouts doing a complete change to it rules from public outcry and pressures due to a huge spike in teen suicides within the BSA.  Most importantly I don’t want to see any precious lights snuffed out before their time due to hatred, and bigotry.  The change of rules, has those same old overtones playing just under the surface.

Fresno Rainbow Pride 2013

The 23rd Annual Central Valley & Fresno's GLBT Pride Parade and Festival will take place on SATURDAY, June 1st 2013 in the historic Tower District between 10am and 3pm.

 

The Banners have been hung with pride from the street lights, the bill board proudly proclaims pride is on its way. The cute little median signs clearly state the date. Poster and flyers and ads announce that Saturday, June 1st will shout that proud has arrived.
It just Days before pride is here and folks across the valley are readying their floats and marching units.
Polishing the wares and organizing their booths. Pride is truly going to be amazing this year.
Food, Food, Food!
We have several new food booths this year. Eastern Indian, Rave Food, Mexican, Italian Ice, Hamburgers and Hot Dogs, Shaved Ice, and Kettle Corn. Plus the LGBT Youth will be
offering their sweet baked treats and things at their Sweet Spot booth. Not to mention the Beer & Wine Garden and Community Link Drinks, Drink, Drinks booth

Dance, Dance, Dance
Get your groove on at Unison Dance Tent with the hottest DJs in the Valley. All Ages DJ Binx, DJ Dizzi & Disco Kitten - Club Legends, Hazzard Strange - Strange Productions, DJ Fresh - Club Eva/NTC, Jimmi Mac! -Red Lantern, Featuring the Club Unzipped Dancers.

Our Proud Sponsors
KFCF 88.1 FM
Fresno Reel Pride
Golden State Bears
GayFresno.com
The Imperial Dove Court’s Emperor
38 Jon Pace
Donaghy Sales
GayCentralValley

Our new sponsors:
The California Endowment
CORE Sports Nutrition
Pride Partners Needed

Its not to late to Join The Pride Partners all it takes is sending a tax deductible donation to Fresno Rainbow Pride. Go to our website www.FresnoRainbowPride.com and
click on the donation button and send your donation via PayPal. You also send it though the regular old mail. Address your envelope to Community Link, P.O. Box 4959, Fresno, CA
93744. Make your check payable to Fresno Rainbow Pride. There are plenty of expenses for us to cover and every donation counts.

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 Xotica Royalty and the Beauties of The Doll House on ONE STAGE! - May 28th

Hosted by The Diva X and Deja Skye

Mark your calendars, CLUB LEGENDS is going all out for a great cause. On Tuesday, May 28th at 9pm doors will open in support for Fresno Rainbow Pride Parade and Festival. Every dollar made including the cover, tips, and side donations will go directly to Fresno Pride. Come enjoy the amazing show and support.

Guest performances by Patricia de Leon, Camilla P Davis, Shawna Downum, Britney Wildfire, and many more.

2nd dance floor will be open with DJ TIPSY in the MIX.   ****Show starts at 10pm****

Club Legends
3075 N. Maroa Ave., Fresno, California 93704

 

gaywedding-151Thoughts of the Prop 8 witness who turned and supported the opposition.

Let’s be honest: The gay marriage debate is nearly over, and nothing the Supreme Court does when it delivers its opinions on the federal Defense of Marriage Act and on the fate of California’s Proposition 8 is likely to change that astonishing fact.

A very few years ago, most Americans (including me) viewed the idea of gay marriage as both undesirable and wildly improbable. Today, most Americans (including me) believe that permitting gay and lesbian couples to marry is the right thing to do, a matter of simple justice.

Let us pause in wonder at the speed and moral meaning of this change. As recently as a decade ago, homosexual conduct itself was a crime in many U.S. states. That world has vanished. Gay rights of all kinds are increasingly protected. Gay marriage is legal in 12 states and counting. Gay families are a part of our social fabric. Whatever the Supreme Court decides about the two cases now before it won’t be nearly as important as what has already happened in the country.

Authored By David Blankenhorn – See the Full Story at The Los Angeles Times

 

Boy Scouts vote to allow openly gay youths, maintain ban on gay adult leaders.  In what way isn’t this the cart before the horse?  Does this make sense to any one person outside of the scouts?  I fear their motives are more sinister.

“It is the mission of the Boy Scouts of America to serve others by helping to instill values in young people and, in other ways, to prepare them to make ethical choices during their lifetime in achieving their full potential. The values we strive to instill are based on those found in the Scout Oath and Law.”
(taken from BSA web site)

Are the scouts contemplating practicing without a license in the field of reparative therapy, a field that has never worked?  Could their agenda hold only focus on one thing, allow these boys to attend, in hopes of converting or brainwashing them before they become  adults and no one will have to leave? Their words, “instill values in young people and, in other ways. ‘  Makes me more then a little concerned.

Has anyone considered the psychological ramifications for these young men?  How heartless is this group, who are supposed to be shaping tomorrow’s future?  Does our future still has it being all right to look into the eyes of a child and tell them that they are no good, worthless and not welcomed?

I see this new tragedy unfolding and the situation can go either one of two ways.  The first one goes as such.  The children are brought in, reminded of their ungodliness and remind them they were not wanted within this elite establishment, but were forced to comply to public pressure.  These unwanted boys brought in and shown all the wonderful and fun activities the other boys are doing, but told they can only watch away from the other boys.  Thus the process of breaking the kid down and rev up the brain washing.

But there is one aspect to this mess that scares me and the thought leaves me in tears.  It is the psychological effects on these young boys, being surrounded by bullies and hater and not a chance for it to get better.  When the child voices his fears and concerns, the parents will just tell the kid to suck it up, cause he belongs to the best organizations in the world for building character and he shouldn’t worry about them, they know what they are doing.  It is hard enough being gay and afraid to tell your parents for fear of rejections.  Just imagine that feeling on a grander scale when they subconsciously agree with the scouts, that feelings of shame, belittlement, self hate are okay.  The pain of broken bones, torn skin and shattered spirits are okay, because the kids who are gay, bisexual, lesbian, and transgender have it coming to them and it is their fault for not making the right ethical choices in their lives.  It is okay if you have to sacrifice your life to be an example to others who refuse to instill our values into their sinful lives.  Your death will say, “This is what happens when you refuse to reach their full potential for you.”  Without a safe haven within the scouts for these young boys to turn to, I am so afraid that they will only see one option for themselves.  I hope I am wrong and that a new BSA motto hasn’t been created, “If you can’t throw the gay away, we’ll convert your children so you don’t have to, or the kids will die trying.  BSA: you are either with us or against us, play or pay.”

I don’t want to see the Boy Scouts doing a complete change to it rules from public outcry and pressures due to a huge spike in teen suicides within the BSA.  Most importantly I don’t want to see any precious lights snuffed out before their time due to hatred, and bigotry.  The change of rules, has those same old overtones playing just under the surface.

Why should I personally go forward as a trans activist pushing for change? Why do anything for trans and LGBT community members when I have received a significant amount of pushback through the years from the religious right, LGBT community members, radical lesbian feminist separatists and even transsexual separatists?

I’ve written in the past about why there is trans activism and what are the major goals of trans activism, but have never really spelled out what motivates me personally.

I began by blogging and archiving LGBT stories for the SD-GLBT and transgendernews Yahoo groups. At the time I was studying for an information systems undergraduate degree – that degree being a feeder degree for a library science graduate degree. Archiving articles that dealt with gay and transgender issues was a way to combine my interests in current events and library work, and combining these with my then recent coming out as trans.

Authored by Autumn Sandeen – See the Full Story at LGBT Weekly

BillySalutations readers, I am Billy (Billie) Lewis
Artist / Writer / Photographer / Actress / Multifaceted in other areas that do not define me.
I am a 43 years young, male to female transgender in her early stages and growth towards my true self.  I am Lady Katherine’s ball and chain, for whom I have spent the better part of ten years together, six of which being legally padlocked. She is my anomaly, being the only woman, that feelings were genuine. She has proven to be the best friend a mentally messed up man and future Goddess can ever pray for. Claiming to stand by my side, with no foreseeable plans to leave, claiming not to have the strength or desire to housebreak a new partner.

I am an abuse survivor.  I have spent my time in the hell trenches of families, friends, bullies and self. Over three have past since I had enough of carrying the baggage from the past and lying and hurting the people I cared for the most, including myself. Honesty has greatly improved my life, allowing my vocal support for our community to leave the nose bleed section and place myself at the 50 yard line. And has allowed for me to find definition of my true self.

Also I am an avid reader, and consumer of many forms of musical entertainment. The eclectic taste of music carries over to my cinematic tastes. Recently I have lost faith in television and it’s programming, so I have uprooted the potato on the couch and replanted it into the pot of life.  Clicking off the television has helped me with finding the heart of information as it comes in.  I can go online and read about the happening and surf around for the same news but from another source and compile the facts with out too much between the lines issues.

I do have my faults, so of which has to do with being dyslexic and attending schools when I a child that considered me retarded.  So most of what I know I have had to teach myself, so if typos are caught in my writing, please be kind.  My other fault is that my analytical mind doesn’t allow for B.S. and has lead me to be to quick with my temper.  I no longer seek out physical fight, my wars are on the verbal battle grounds.  But as I have grown in my honesty, so has my maturity and the work I do.  I am learning that a lot of my anger has slipped on by and that words can be as strong as a rock, with out using a fist or words that would make a sailor blush in shame.  So if you, the readers are for my insight, I am ready to share.  Thank you.

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We're All In For Pride - May 25th

The North Tower Circle's THIRD Pride Fundraiser..."WE'RE ALL IN FOR PRIDE"...this show will be a Mash-Up of all kinds of Fresno Performers and Entertainers...Bringing everyone together, regardless of identity or styles...we're ALL IN for this one...come and support one of the last PRIDE fundraisers before the Fresno Pride Parade & Festival... 10pm to 2am

North Tower Circle
2777 N Maroa Ave, Fresno, California 93704

 

936849 623349067694808 306884780 n

 Xotica Royalty and the Beauties of The Doll House on ONE STAGE! - May 28th

Hosted by The Diva X and Deja Skye

Mark your calendars, CLUB LEGENDS is going all out for a great cause. On Tuesday, May 28th at 9pm doors will open in support for Fresno Rainbow Pride Parade and Festival. Every dollar made including the cover, tips, and side donations will go directly to Fresno Pride. Come enjoy the amazing show and support.

Guest performances by Patricia de Leon, Camilla P Davis, Shawna Downum, Britney Wildfire, and many more.

2nd dance floor will be open with DJ TIPSY in the MIX.   ****Show starts at 10pm****

Club Legends
3075 N. Maroa Ave., Fresno, California 93704

 

400658 513619058686297 434330707 n

Fresno Pride Pre Party Fundraiser - May 31st

Come out and party as we kickoff Fresno's 2013 Pride weekend with the hottest party for a cause!!!

>>Come party and dance with Candy Moore as she hosts the hottest show from Bakersfield @ 11:30pm
>>DJ Orale mixing the hottest top 40, dance, house and latin 
>>The hottest Gogo dancers and Direct from LA Domingo Now
>>Wet Lube giveaways through the night 
21+ with ID/ cover begins at 9pm (proceeds benefiting Fresno Pride)


More to come as you never know what we'll do

The Red Lantern 4618 E. Belmont Ave
Fresno, California 93702

williams-mapThough Salt Lake City has a high percentage of gay couples raising children, the actual number is still much smaller than in coastal hubs such as New York or Los Angeles, the data show. Besides the Utah capital, other large urban areas where gay couples are more likely to have children include Virginia Beach, Va., Detroit and Memphis, Tenn. — all places where more than a fifth of couples of the same sex are bringing up kids.

The percentages are even higher in some cities with populations less than 1 million. Gates found that in the Visalia and Porterville areas in California, the last census counted roughly 500 gay or lesbian couples, nearly half of whom were raising children.

Among them were Kristin Beasley and Candi Hood, 45 and 44, who joke that their family of eight is "the lesbian Brady Brunch."

The two women, friends long before they became a couple, married men and had children before realizing they were lesbian. After they came out and fell in love, both say they lost jobs and suffered bias while living in Visalia, which they chronicled in a recent book. They now live with the two youngest of their six children in nearby Reedley, where they grow plums and tangerines.

People have asked her, "Why don't you just move to San Francisco?" said Beasley, coauthor of "From Privilege to Pride: Love Is the Road." "Our families are here. Our children have grown up here. And the cost of living — it's difficult to raise a family of six in San Francisco."

Even if they weren't married before, gay and lesbian people often choose to have children in seemingly surprising places because they have strong ties to their families, researchers say.

"When you ask, 'Why are you living here?' they almost always say family," said Abbie Goldberg, an associate professor of psychology at Clark University in Worcester, Mass., who has studied gay and lesbian parents in rural areas. "It shouldn't really be surprising. They value family — and now they're creating families of their own."

Continue reading...

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In a highly anticipated vote Thursday, the Boy Scouts of America lifted its ban on gay youth starting next year, the latest sign of a shift in American attitudes toward gays and lesbians.

The resolution was adopted with more than 60% of the vote.

The vote to allow gay youth in Scouting — but not gay adult leaders — was held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Central time during the group’s annual meeting in the Dallas suburb of Grapevine.

After about 1,400 members of the Boy Scouts national council voted by secret ballot, their votes were tallied by an outside balloting firm, Washington, D.C.-based True Ballot, and delivered to Boy Scouts President Wayne Perry, who announced the results to the gathering shortly after 5 p.m. Central time, according Boy Scouts spokesman Deron Smith.

The new policy takes effect Jan. 1, Smith said. Gay advocates called the vote a step in the right direction for the 103-year-old group, among the nation’s largest youth organizations with 2.6 million youth members.

“Today’s vote ending discrimination of gay Scouts is truly a historic moment and demonstrates the Boy Scouts of America’s commitment to creating a more inclusive organization,” said Zach Wahls, 21, an Iowa Eagle Scout raised by lesbian mothers who founded Scouts for Equality, which advocates for gays in Scouting, and traveled to Texas for the vote.

He called it “a tremendous victory toward the fight for equality in America. … We look forward to the day where we can celebrate inclusion of all members and are committed to continuing our work until that occurs.”

Continue reading...

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lgbthomelessness-50x250This past week, there has been a massive media flurry about marriage equality, with both Delaware and Rhode Island both passing marriage equality laws and the Minnesota House voting to legalize same-sex marriage. News networks have been lauding the progress made by the LGBTQ movement, and to be fair, I was pretty excited myself. I mean, three states in one week isn’t too shabby. I was starting to think that, just maybe, LGBTQ equality could become a reality in the United States.

Then I saw this infographic.

According to the infographic jointly put out by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the Human Rights Campaign, 1.7 million young Americans experience homelessness every year, and of those, 20-40% are LGBTQ-identified. Which means that at a minimum there are 340,000 LGBTQ youth who experience homeless on an annual basis, and there could be as many as 680,000 LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness this year alone.

Now I know that infographics can often be based on somewhat-questionable statistics, but still, how are there that many homeless LGBTQ kids?

Authored By Jacob Tobia – See the Full Story at PolicyMic

 

“Dear Harvey”

image001139

Script by Patricia Loughrey • Music by Thomas Hodges
Photos by Daniel Nicoletta • Directed by Miguel A. Gastelum

Presented In Association With the New Conservatory Theatre Center Pride on TourProduced by Special Arrangement with Playscripts, Inc.

The Bulldog Pride Fund is presenting two performances of “DEAR HARVEY” on Wednesday and Thursday evenings, May 22nd and 23rd at The Painted Table located in Fresno’s Tower District.

“DEAR HARVEY” is a play by Linda Habjan about Harvey Milk (1930-1978). Told by the people who knew Harvey Milk best, this is the recounting of the life and the lasting impact of this groundbreaking civil rights activist and San Francisco politician.

Directed by Fresno State alumnus Miguel A. Gastelum, “DEAR HARVEY” features seven ensemble cast members: Joel C. Abels, Matthew Freitas, Hayley Galbraith, Jennifer Lewis, Terry Lewis, Chris Mangels, and Leslie Martin.
Proceeds benefit the Harvey Milk Hope Award, an annual scholarship provided by the Bulldog Pride Fund.

 

RESERVATIONS ONLINE: WWW.BULLDOGPRIDE.ORG

rainbow-flag-600-250x250As marriage equality sweeps the nation there are still some hurdles that need to be crossed. There are five states that have laws that treat the lgbt community unfairly.

1) Virginia is for “Lovers”: The Commonwealth has a number of laws regulating lovers, including lewd and lascivious cohabitation, fornication, and crimes against nature — which is still maintained as a class 6 felony despite SCOTUS’ Lawrence v. Texas ruling. Indeed, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli gives law enforcement a green light to arrest gays under Virginia’s statute, stating he believes it’s appropriate to formulate public policy on the premise that homosexuals engage in behavior that is intrinsically wrong and offensive to natural law. As well, Cuccinelli advised Virginia universities to remove LGBT-specific provisions from their non-discrimination policies.  The cohabitation ban was later lifted but not the sodomy law.

Virginia operates under Dillon’s Rule, which holds that municipalities may not offer more protections than the Commonwealth has decided to extend. This is unfortunate for LGBT constituents since same-sex relations of any kind are banned constitutionally and legislatively in Virginia, and there are virtually no discrimination or hate crime protections extended to LGBT individuals under the penal code. Even though the vigilance of Equality Virginia and some municipalities have made headway enacting equal rights measures at local levels, Dillon’s Rule greatly hinders their efforts.

2) Tennessee: Home of the Grand Ole Opry, Elvis, Jack Daniels, Beale Street blues, and the worst state legislature in America. Soon after stepping into office in 2011, Governor Bill Haslam signed an anti-gay bill prohibiting local non-discrimination statutes, thus overturning the Nashville ordinance because the state statute neglects to include protections for gender identity and sexual orientation. Ever since voters passed a constitutional ban on same sex marriage in 2006, the legislature began ramping up their anti-gay agenda, merrily focusing on legislation such as “Don’t Say Gay” (in the midst of two gay teens committing suicide), or changes to Tennessee’s anti-bullying law to allow students to speak against gays for…religious reasons, or this gem — the transphobic bathroom bill.

The Tennessee Democrat Party, after reigning for the past 147 years, now has so few seats in the General Assembly that they’re basically irrelevant. Party chairman Chip Forrester, after overseeing the dismantling of his party, announced his exit — 12 days before the election. In contrast, nine county GOP chapters condemned Governor Haslam for hiring gays, Democrats, and Muslims. Community acceptance ain’t no cake walk either; hate crime, bigotry, and discrimination set the stage. The coming years could leave many singing the blues.

3) Michigan: Not only is Michigan the only state in which surrogacy is completely illegal, it is one of few states that explicitly prohibit adoption by same-sex couples. A lesbian couple, who are raising three special needs children, is suing for the state’s adoption ban and has expanded their case to include challenging the constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and civil unions passed by voters in 2004. In another case, four same-sex couples are suing the governor and state for legislation prohibiting public employers from extending benefits to domestic partners.

Hate crime seems all more troublesome than norm in Michigan, especially at the hands of their former Attorney General, who stands accused of stalking and defaming a gay former student government leader at the University of Michigan. The FBI says hate crimes are down nationally, but up in Michgan and Alternate Luxury Travel by Bruvian found Detroit to be the most dangerous U.S. city for gays.

4) Mississippi: Not all too surprising, Mississippi remains one of the most socially backwards states in the country when it comes to gay marriage: only 13% of voters think it should be legal. Even among Democrats there’s only 19% support for it. Jackson, the state’s capital and most populous city, scores a whopping 8 out of 100 in the 2012 Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index. It’s tough for the few courageous souls who do venture to take a stand, when they are denied freedom to even exercise the First Amendment. You’re not likely to find a warm welcoming rainbow if you come out of the closet in this neck of the woods, nor will you find legal protection of your liberties. And don’t look for changes to come any time soon in Mississippi. If Nate Silver is right, it’ll be at least another decade.

5) California: November’s election was a watershed moment for the gay marriage movement. Voters in three states voted to legalize it, and a fourth state voted against a proposed ban. Cue California. California? Oh yes that’s right, voters in California — the poster child for progressivism — chose to ban same-sex marriage in 2008 via Proposition 8. The battle for same-sex marriage in the state has been an on again, off again affair ever since San Francisco first allowed same sex unions just before Valentine’s Day, 2004. However, blame doesn’t all fall on voters and legislators. The courts have had their hand in it too, as in blocking the law that bans therapy aimed at turning gay minors straight.

California claims it leads the nation in gay rights, and that may have been true at one time, but the Golden State has been left behind in recent years in spite of its abundance of protective laws already in existence. Perhaps this goes to show that you can only legislate so much, or maybe too much, and that you can’t simply legislate away how a state’s population feels about homosexuality. California’s attorney general did report a slight decline in hate crimes in 2011 which is a good sign, but California’s rate of hate crime and violent crime in general still just pars average among the states. It may be time for Cali LGBT Americans to consider ending their love-hate relationship and move away to friendlier pastures.

congress-250x250Senate Democrats are considering offering an amendment to include gay and lesbian binational couples to the immigration reform bill on the floor instead of in committee. The Washington Blade explains:

Late Thursday, Politico reported that Democrats are asking the White House to tell Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to withhold amendments for bi-national same-sex couples until the larger measure reaches the Senate floor — where passage will likely be more difficult. “They’re increasingly uneasy about risking Republican support but reluctant to tell gay rights advocates that an amendment allowing American citizens to seek green cards for their same-sex foreign partners may not get a vote in the Judiciary Committee,” Politico reported. Concern over the amendments follows remarks from Republican Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) — as well as comments from Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) to the Washington Blade — that including the pro-gay language would kill immigration reform.

Their mistake was to not include it in the original bill, where it would have been much harder to strip out. Senate Dems must be hoping the US Supreme Court will step in with their DOMA decision and take this decision off their hands.

medical-matters

This month's column contains a bit of advice, a bit of commentary and a bit of a warning — all aimed squarely at anyone who plans to visit a doctor's office, have a test for anything or pick up a prescription. And that biggest bit of advice is to find out what you can do and what you can't, as well as what it's going to cost you, before you make plans. Otherwise you might just find yourself reporting for that physician's appointment or procedure only to find out that unless you pay out of pocket it's not happening.
A friend of ours found out his dad's company changed insurance as of the first of the year — but dad never told him. Now he has a $77 doctor's bill he needs to pay as they changed his deductible from $0 to $1500 a year. Dinged!
At our house meanwhile insurance no longer will cover Nexium, which we've taken for acid reflux for years. They say they'd gladly cover several "as good" other meds for "only a $5 co-pay" but there's an issue: the ones they are willing to pay for don't work for us — one causing severe side effects and the other being less useful than sugar cubes. Of course, we CAN still get Nexium if we are willing to pay out-of-pocket to the tune of $1000+ for a 90 day supply. Dinged again!
So what is the point here? To remind readers that health plans change and so does coverage. And often it's not for the patient's benefit at all. Despite guarantees from Washington, a lot of the shenanigans insurance firms, employers and government pull are bad and only going to get worse, leaving us to hope for national health one of these days and meanwhile to tell readers that they'd better stay on top of what their (or their spouse's, if they are fortunate enough to have care extended to them) coverage will and won't do and pay for. And if you think for even one minute things are getting better, we'd suggest you have it all wrong. At our house and many others' the red tape associated with The Affordable Healthcare law is bad and getting worse.
Included in all this are simple, almost laughable, things. We were informed by our physician last visit that she now has to ask us our date of birth "every time I come into the room." Asked what that means she said "well, I have to ask it to confirm it's you when I first greet you and do the basics, then say I leave to get a flu shot to give you, again I have to ask when I return just so the officials know it's really you who got the shot!"
The regulations also now require that each visit we be asked "Are you in an abusive relationship?" As our doctor is very gay-friendly and sees us as a trio, it was only after a huge burst of laughter that we all said in chorus during a recent visit, "YES!" That, of course, brought even more laughter, but we aren't sure what she put down as our reply.
And speaking of putting down, say goodbye to the pen, pad and grunted "uh-huh" when you talk to the doc. By later this year fines will be levied against practices where they still use paper and not iPads or laptops when they keep medical records. At least one physician we asked in Louisville told us she was planning on paying the fine because at age 66, she declined to fork over the $100,000+ it would cost to change records from 30+ years of practice to the electronic format.
So what should you do?
As we already said: confirm and reconfirm coverage if you have health insurance. Also see what options you have. Maybe your insurance firm will allow a 90-day refill of on-going scripts but only if you use their mail order service. Also, see what generics they will cover if they refuse name brand pills. Synthroid, a common thyroid supplement, seems high on the "hit list" of pharmaceutical plans and while at least two doctors have told our family that they feel generic versions are not as good, the choice is between payment or non-payment by our health insurance. All this means that while the health coverage folks are staying within the letter of the law and allowing doctors to diagnose and prescribe, they are de facto doing the job by denying coverage for anything they feel is too costly. Same thing goes for procedures and routine tests. Doctor send you for blood work? Great, but call first and see if you have coverage or that needle in the arm will not only cost you a few ounces of blood, but will shoot right into your wallet and could cost $1,000 or more for the tests.
Also don't forget to negotiate. Yes, you read that right: Ask your doctor's office what choices you have or what they'll do for you. You may be shocked to find out that just as you don't have to buy that shirt at one department store but can instead get one elsewhere, you can sometimes shop prescriptions and care to save big bucks. Most doctors have "negotiated rates" with healthcare firms, then you hand over a co-pay. The two together amount to what the doc gets when you see him or her. If you want to save you might be able to negotiate a much lower price if you skip insurance and pay for that office visit. It never hurts to ask as at least one doc we know of gets $95 for an extensive office visit if you pay with insurance, but if you just pay out of pocket, she asks $65. She saves filing, waiting and hassle and you save cash, so it's win-win.
Also look at pharmacy plans and shop those. You know the ones where you get a 60- or 90-day supply for one cheaper co-pay. Each drugstore chain has their own list of "approved" meds on that list. They say it's much better to use one pharmacy and stick with them because interactions and problems can be easily spotted by their staff and computers. We totally agree, but what if the "pay one price for 90 days" works for some of the meds you take at ding store A, while others are on ding store B's plan, but not on As? You might find driving a few blocks can save you 10, 20 or even 50% so always ask and investigate. There's no humiliation using two drugstores. Just be sure your doctor's office checks for interactions and prescribes accordingly.
The same is tine with the mail-in pharmacies so many health plans push these days. Cost for 90 days of something you routinely take might be lower as you may have only one co-pay, but what if the generic they ship you is inferior to what you get up the street at the local pharmacy? We know one mail-in drugstore which sent such a cut-price generic nasal spray that it was lacking even the usual pleasant smell while another sent out a skin cream generic made in India. Note: There's nothing to say any of these prescriptions will not work as well as what the patients reporting them had been getting, but always ask if you suspect too many corners are being cut. It might be worth paying the extra $20 the nasal spray patient told us about because he doesn't like what he was sent. And as for the salve, that one was dispensed to this writer who told his pharmacist he wants something made in the U.S., even if it does cost more.
Finally, always remember that you are the customer. You pay the healthcare plan, the doctor and the pharmacy. That means you can shop and ask for a better price, a different doctor or a discount. You may not always get what you want, but it never hurts to ask. Stay knowledgeable about your care and needs, then remember at the end of the day it's your choice — one you might pay more for, but what's peace of mind worth?
To keep our lawyers happy, be advised that the recommendations which are contained in this column are suggestions, but are not to be taken as medical advice. Always consult your physician or a healthcare professional before undertaking any physical fitness or other exercise program.

Fresno Rainbow Pride 2013

Community Link is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit community service organization serving the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender community of the Central Valley. All donations and sponsorships are tax-deductible and are greatly appreciated.  Donations are one of our best sources for a financially successful GLBT Pride event. Please support Fresno Rainbow Pride Parade and Festival by making a tax-deductible donation today.  Becoming a sponsor of the Fresno Rainbow Pride Parade and Festival is great exposure for your business or organization. Last year’s event attracted over 3,000 Valley residents in a 4-hour period. The GLBT community is a very loyal customer base.

FESTIVAL BOOTHS (deadline is May 18th, 2013)

 PROGRAM BOOK ADVERTISING (deadline is May 18th, 2013)

PARADE ENTRIES (prices go up on May 19th, 2013) 

 

Applications and more information are available here.

* Some applications may be accepted after the deadline, but fees will need to be paid in cash and will depend on available space.  * Parade entries will be accepted up to the start of the parade.

gaywedding-06Writing for PinkNews Murray Lipp, administrator of the Facebook page “Gay Marriage USA”, shares his views about the differences between the terms “gay marriage” and “marriage equality”.

1. Introduction

Not a day goes by that I don’t think about “gay marriage” and the issues associated with it. Being the administrator of “Gay Marriage USA” on Facebook I am daily discussing all manner of issues relating to same-sex marriage and noticing how people view and present the issue. When I started the page in 2011 on Facebook I made a very conscious decision to include the words “gay marriage” in the title in an effort to tap into the high recognition value that this term has. Clearly identifying and labeling a cause helps greatly in getting people to support it.

In the last two years, however, on a number of occasions people have asked me to either change the name of the page and/or to stop referring to the topic as “gay marriage” making comments such as: “it’s not gay marriage – it’s marriage” or “it’s not gay marriage – it’s marriage equality.”

 

prop8The U.S. Supreme Court fight over California’s Proposition 8, viewed by gay-rights advocates as a historic opportunity to establish same-sex marriage nationwide, may not even settle the issue in the state.

The justices, who probably will rule next month, signaled during the March 26 argument that they might sidestep the underlying constitutional questions and decide that the defenders of the 2008 gay-marriage ban lacked “standing,” or legal eligibility, to bring the case. That could leave the status of gay marriage in California in doubt, spawn new litigation and perhaps even prompt another ballot initiative.

A standing ruling might mean “a quick death for Prop 8,” said Vikram Amar, a constitutional law professor at the University of California Davis School of Law. “But it’s also quite possible — maybe more likely — that it will take some time before we know which couples, beyond the two couples who sued, would be able to get their licenses.”

See the Full Story at Bloomberg

 

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gillette blueKing Camp Gillette died in 1932. The firm he started began in 1901. If you are like most folks, you've never heard of this self-made entrepreneur, but if you own a computer, then a business practice he pioneered is costing you.

Gillette (that's an early pack of his blades below which you can buy from www.ruby- lane.com s site) started a company which virtually gave away the handles for safety razors (that's right, Gillette Razors, still alive and well today as a unit of Cincinnati's Procter & Gamble) while he made his money on cheap, but easily-dulled blades — blades which only lasted a day or three under harsh shaving conditions and thus needed to be bought and bought and bought for that free handle to be of any use.

It's the same game computer users are playing now when we get a cheap or even "free" printer when we buy that Mac or pc. Why? Because like Gillette the big printer manufacturing firms (think HP, Canon and Epson for just three "biggies" though there are others) know that if you use their printer, you also will need their ink...and they are playing a myriad of games to make sure you use it — often at a cost that's higher per ounce than French Champagne! Read that again, because it's sadly true.

There are a variety of ploys and come-ons to get you (and I) to pay that inflated price, too. One is filling those "starter" cartridges which come with your printer "free" with so little ink that you'll only get 20 or 30 copies before you'll have to hustle out to the office supply for more "genuine" (fill in name of brand here) ink.

 

PecsnCity

In the age we live in, every flaw and misstep is recorded on film or video, then spilled like red ink over the Internet and discussed ad nauseam until even the photographic evidence comes into question.

Whether it's a grainy, night-vision sex tape, a DUI mug shot or a fashion blunder that results in exposing more than the proper amount of skin, the culture of celebrity has shown us that committing a public mistake or having a bad reputation makes for a compelling read and good television. Just because average people don't have their infelicities splashed all over TMZ doesn’t mean that the rumors which breed a bad reputation won't spread like wildfire. And just like the gossip and stories that crowd the pages of tabloids, some of these incidents are self-created. The question is: how much of our reputation is truly who we are?

As our lives unfold, our personas reveal themselves. These are the aspects of our character that the public perceives as who we are. The word “persona” itself comes from the Latin word for mask; therefore indicating that what people see isn't always what they get. The bookish nerd. The dim gym rat. The hilarious drunk. The pretty boy heartbreak- er.

These and other facades have a basis in who and what we truly are, but they are built by you to give you an identity so you can find your niche. No one wants to fade into the background, so we embellish and act out and decide who or what we want to be by the actions that we take.

So why do we create reputations that don’t reflect our true nature? Is it because our reputation is who we truly want to be? Or is it because it will mask who we really are? Is it armor to hide behind? Or is it a fictional magnet that we feel will draw in the people we really want to be with?

A bad reputation may scare off the people you're afraid of but if someone is really interested in you, they will look past your reputation and uncover the real person inside. The same goes for someone who catches your eye — believing the hype surrounding someone that you like may prevent you from realizing their true nature. Why judge someone by the mistakes they've made? Would you want someone to judge you because of a story they heard on the street from an unreliable source?

Every reputation is the surface of deeper waters below. The reputation that someone gets because they date and screw a lot of people may be indicative of someone searching for true love. The reputation of someone who drinks himself blind or numbs himself into a narcotic haze may not be because they're an out-of-control party animal but someone who’s been wounded so deeply he can’t face reality without altering his feelings. Perception is not always reality.

There are also the reputations built by people to make themselves seem more interesting or to hide their pasts. People who have been around and around and around may reinvent themselves somewhere new as bright-eyed innocents to erase the stigma that comes with someone who has a slutty reputation.

Inexperienced virgins paint themselves as sexually provocative because they are scared to experiment and explore on their own or are certain no one wants to take the time to train a novice. There are even people out there who dumb themselves down because they are certain that brains are not a commodity in the dating world where sometimes a pretty face and a rock-solid body are all the currency one needs to get by.

Now a good reputation is never a bad thing, but sometimes it can be perceived as boring and the yearning for popularity will cause good people to do bad things.

People often wonder: how good is a good reputation? Its common knowledge reading a story about a whore will be much more interesting than reading a story about a nun. Doing something that goes against your values may elevate your image as a bad boy, but is that the image you want? Some people look at a bad boy as a turn-on or a project while others stay away like its poison — therefore cementing the fact that people's perception can alter how they treat you whether what they believe is really the truth.

No matter what your persona is, however, if you've got a great reputation that's taken years to build, it can take seconds for it to come crumbling down. Years of good deeds mean nothing when one bad deed or poor decision can erase everything that’s come before.

Even though there are reputations that we earn from our actions, and reputations that we build ourselves, there are times when someone’s reputation fits exactly who they are.

I’ve learned this plenty of times when I’ve heard stories about guys who were liars and cheats, drug addicts and players — even a story about a hidden fiancée. All these stories were factual but I gave each of these guys the benefit of the doubt even though it came back to bite me later.

Why did I do this when I was obviously warned away? Because we never know how much of someone's back story and reputation is actually true unless we find out for ourselves. Angry ex-boyfriends, jealous rivals and giggling gossips embellish and dramatize people's actions until truth and fiction become one.

I gave these men the chance to prove that what I heard was merely rumor because I would expect anyone to do the same thing for me. Are the things that people say about me — or anyone, for that matter — true? Maybe. But until someone takes the time to find out, it’s all hearsay.

Some people believe your reputation is merely your character minus what you've been caught doing. I believe that your reputation, good or bad, is merely the line between who you are and who you want to be. And every day we make the decision on how far over that line we want to step. The people who really want to know you will discard all the toxic words that cling to your name — and those are the people you yourself should want to know.

As far as trying to shake a bad reputation, I always go by this motto: It's better to be talked about than not talked about at all.

mormon-church-250x250The Mormon Church has been strangely quiet over the last year or so as marriage equality bills and laws have begin passing across the USA. Mother Jones reports:

But after the Mormon involvement in Prop. 8 was fully exposed, the backlash was severe–and apparently unexpected. The church became a target for public protests, and lost a considerable number of members who were unhappy with its involvement in a political issue that had caused individual LDS families a lot of grief. In the campaign’s aftermath, a top church leader even apologized to gay church members for the pain they’d suffered.

This is not to say that the Mormons have had a change of heart about gay marriage. The church is still adamantly opposed to it. On April 6, during the LDS’s annual conference, Boyd Packer, who is next in line to assume the church’s top leadership post, warned, “We need to be careful of the tolerance trend trap, so that we do not get swallowed up in it. The permissiveness afforded by the weakening of the laws of the land to tolerate and legalize immorality does not reduce the serious spiritual consequence that is the result from a violation of God’s law of Chastity.” That said, the church seems to have returned to focusing on homosexuality as a personal issue rather than a political one.

It’s a fascinating article… if only the Catholic Church would take the same approach…

Fresno Rainbow Pride is just three weeks away!

FresnoPride2013

 

Make sure you head out to support our community. So check out the gnarly waves of change and hang ten because Prides up dudes!

 

FRESNO PRIDE PARADE AND FESTIVAL 2013
 
Join your community members as they celebrate this year’s Pride Parade and Festival!  Take part in an event that happens only once a year but offers so much potential for memories and making friends and networks.  The annual Pride Parade and Festival is day in which the community is invited to celebrate the courage, culture, and diversity of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT+) community.  Pride is a way to celebrate one’s authentic identity as the LGBT+ community continues to make larger strides to full equality.  The event, on Saturday, June 1st, will begin with a parade consisting of over 50 contingents, each representing a LGBT+ or LGBT+ friendly organization or business. The parade will begin at 10am, covering Olive Ave. from Palm to Wishon, and will end at 11am.   After the parade, attendees will be admitted to the festival portion of the event, beginning at 11am and ending at 3pm. The festival will take place on N. Fulton Ave.  Admission to the Pride Festival is $5. All community members are welcome to enjoy a memorable event while supporting a noteworthy cause.
At the festival, attendees will enjoy friendly faces from numerous vendors, helpful information from various booths about local resources, and classic live performances, and an awards ceremony in the entertainment tent.  Come to meet more people and at the same time see all the diversity and talent this resilient community has to offer.   The theme for this year’s Pride Parade and Festival is “Hang Ten on the Tides of Change”symbolizing the strength and vigor this community has maintained while relentlessly striving to attain justice, representation, and equal rights.  Be a part of the change this year; it may be 2013 but we are still making history as we gain more support. 
This event is the single biggest LGBT+ event in the entire Central Valley, bringing over 3,000 in attendance.  This event is an inspiration to many who may not realize all the intricacy involved in understanding style, performance, andpride! Pride originally began as a result of the riots at the Stonewall Inn in 1969; the LGBT+ community wanted better representation and a day to call their own and that tradition continues today.  Bask in the culture, history, and fabulousness of this dynamic community; you can begin by showing your Pride!

prop8The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops wants Catholics across the country to pray to God to let them continue discriminating. SDGLN reports:

Proposition 8, the 2008 California referendum defining marriage as a union of a man and a woman, “was challenged as being unconstitutional and is now under review by the U.S. Supreme Court, with a ruling expected in June,” a USCCB flyer notes. “The USCCB urges the Supreme Court to uphold Proposition 8. A negative ruling could mean that marriage would be redefined nationwide.” The bishops’ conference has asked Catholics to fast and abstain from meat on all Fridays until the conclusion of the Year of Faith.

As we've mentioned, 62% of rank and file Catholics in the US support marriage equality.

 

Delaware just became the 11th US state to legalize marriage equality. The Huffington Post:

A divided state Senate gave final legislative approval Tuesday to a bill authorizing same-sex marriage after hearing about three hours of debate. The vote sends the bill to Democratic Gov. Jack Markell, who has promised to sign it.
The bill doesn’t give same-sex couples any more rights or benefits under Delaware law than they currently have with civil unions. But supporters say same-sex couples deserve the dignity and respect of married couples. They also hope the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down a federal law barring married gay couples from receiving federal benefits.

president-barack-obama-square-250x250President Obama stepped into the immigration reform controversy around binational couples today. Pink News reports:

US President Barack Obama has said that he thinks recognising gay couples in a broad immigration bill currently pending in Congress is “the right thing to do”. The President did not specify whether or not he would sign legislation, if it failed to protect binational gay couples. He said it would be premature to predict what he would do until he is sent a bill by lawmakers. Speaking at a news conference on Friday, Obama commented that it was the “right thing to do”, to include gay couples in the legislation, reports the Associated Press.

Are Senate Democrats listening? Too many gay and lesbian couples are in limbo – it’s time to allow gay and lesbian US citizens to sponsor their husbands and wives for citizenship.

 

bisexual-250x250Recently, when a high-profile civic leader came out more openly as bi-sexual many of you ask me questions about their bi-sexuality and how this could be.

The truth is I’ve always found that many gay people do not understand or believe that a person could actually be bi-sexual! Most of my longtime partners were bi-sexual. Yes, they had girlfriends and me and I had no problem with it.

There are people who love both sexes and often are in a male relationship, then female one and continue to go back and forth. Among our younger generation bi-sexuality is indeed growing and very common.

See the Full Story at LGBT Weekly

 

“Dear Harvey”

image001139

Script by Patricia Loughrey • Music by Thomas Hodges
Photos by Daniel Nicoletta • Directed by Miguel A. Gastelum

Presented In Association With the New Conservatory Theatre Center Pride on TourProduced by Special Arrangement with Playscripts, Inc.

The Bulldog Pride Fund is presenting two performances of “DEAR HARVEY” on Wednesday and Thursday evenings, May 22nd and 23rd at The Painted Table located in Fresno’s Tower District.

“DEAR HARVEY” is a play by Linda Habjan about Harvey Milk (1930-1978). Told by the people who knew Harvey Milk best, this is the recounting of the life and the lasting impact of this groundbreaking civil rights activist and San Francisco politician.

Directed by Fresno State alumnus Miguel A. Gastelum, “DEAR HARVEY” features seven ensemble cast members: Joel C. Abels, Matthew Freitas, Hayley Galbraith, Jennifer Lewis, Terry Lewis, Chris Mangels, and Leslie Martin.
Proceeds benefit the Harvey Milk Hope Award, an annual scholarship provided by the Bulldog Pride Fund.

 

RESERVATIONS ONLINE: WWW.BULLDOGPRIDE.ORG

gaywedding-131Now that Rhode Island is on the cusp of legalizing gay marriage, which other states could be next? LGBTQ Nation reports:

At least six states are actively considering same-sex marriage legislation, three of which could see passage this year.

Delaware: The state’s House approved a bill last week legalizing same-sex marriage on a 23-18 vote. The bill now moves to the Senate. The measure has the support of Democratic Gov. Jack Markell. Recent polling finds a majority of Delaware voters support legalizing same-sex marriage. Delaware approved same-sex civil unions last year.

Illinois: The state’s Senate approved a marriage equality bill on Valentine’s Day. Supporters in the House say they’re still a few votes short but hope a vote is held before the General Assembly adjourns this spring.

Wanna place bets on which one gets there first? I think it will be Delaware…

 

 

Fresno Rainbow Pride 2013

Festival booth space is limited and will be reserved on a first-come basis. The size of the space is 10 feet x 10 feet. No electrical outlets are available. Vendors must provide their own shade canopies. All material used to decorate booths must be treated with fire retardant. A 6 or 8 foot table and 2 chairs are included in the booth fee. Vendors will need to provide a brief description of what is going to be sold or promoted.  Only $80! (including a refundable $20 deposit)

Deadline is May 18th, 2013, so HURRY!!

 

Applications and more information are available here.

Imagine being 13 years old, lying in bed staring at the ceiling and wondering what is wrong with you because you have an unexplainable, almost uncontrollable attraction to those of the same sex. Now imagine that you are staring at the ceiling feeling you were born the wrong sex. I won’t even pretend to think I know how that feels.

Trans women and trans men are well aware that discussions around transgender make many people feel uncomfortable. Hell, most of the time they feel uncomfortable, too. They’ve spent most of their lives wishing they lived on another planet, one populated with people who would accept them for who they are.

Here are some facts surrounding transgender health: In a 2010 survey of 7,000 members of the trans community by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force more than 40 percent of transgender people in the United States have tried to commit suicide. About 20 percent have been refused medical care, and one in 50 have been violently assaulted in a doctor’s office. Yes, you heard correctly, in a doctor’s office!

See the Full Story at The Washington Blade

rainbow_ringsWhile today's ruling is a victory for equality advocates, questions about the law's premise remain to be decided by the Supreme Court.

For the dwindling number of supporters of the Defense of Marriage Act, the Clinton-era federal law that defines marriage as only between a man and a woman, the bad news Thursday from Boston actually could have been much worse.

Yes, it's true that the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously struck down the guts of the law -- the first federal appeals court in the country to do so. The ruling declares that Section 3 of the law cannot be used to deprive lawfully-married same-sex couples of the federal rights and benefits to which lawfully married opposite-sex couples are given. The case now is styled Massachusetts v. U.S. Dep't Health and Human Services.

Yes, it's true that two of the three judges who issued Thursday's ruling are Republican appointees. Judge Michael Boudin is a nominee of the first President Bush. Judge Juan Torruella is a nominee of President Reagan. When you factor in U.S. District Judge Joseph Tauro, the Nixon appointee who first struck down the law in 2010, it means that three of the four judges responsible for DOMA's current predicament are GOP infused.

And, yes, it's true, the ruling jeopardizes enforcement of the federal Marriage Act all across the country. Sure, it can still be cited (in the 1st Circuit and elsewhere) to deny same-sex couples their benefits. But those denials are more legally suspect today than they were yesterday. The Supreme Court now must resolve this conflict -- and today's decision virtually guarantees that the justices will have to act sooner rather than later.

All that is true. But the language of the 1st Circuit's 35-page ruling is no Jeremiad against DOMA or opponents of same-sex marriage. It is not something likely to be as widely quoted as other recent rulings over same-sex marriage in America. And it clearly does not purport to be the definitive or last word on the subject. We have here instead a modest ruling which accomplishes four significant things at the same time (something, not incidentally, that intermediate appellate courts are supposed to do as they funnel cases up the ladder to Washington).

Continue reading at The Atlantic

“‘The Constitution our son died for was intended to protect rights, not deny them.” Lori Wilfahrt

Memorial Day
is a federal holiday observed annually in the United States on the last Monday of May. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the fallen Union soldiers of the Civil War. By the 20th centu Memorial Day had been extended to honor ALL Americans who have died in all wars. It is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces, regardless of sexuality.

Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers help create a sea of red white and blue by placing an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries across the Country.

This memorial day, we at GAY U.S.A. the Movie are working on post production aspects of the film which includes interviews with the the family of fallen U.S. Corp. Andrew Wilfahrt.

Here is a video commemorating Corp. Andrew Wilfahrt, which we would like to share in acknowledgment that war does not discern when it comes to sexuality, and some of those who have given their lives to this Country and the Constitution for which it stands, did so knowing they were the subject of institutionalized discrimination themselves, yet were willing to die for principals that are still caste in hope. American day to day life has fallen far short of equality for all Americans under the law. Until we apply civil laws, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, equally to all Americans, we are a country that discriminates. That must change and it must be soon.

While all Americans have a right to serve openly in the military, without regard to sexual orientation, thanks to the repeal of the ‘Don’t ask don’t tell’ law, LGBT servicemembers still suffer rampant discrimination with regard to marriage equality, green card sponsorship of binational partners or spouses and a host of other missing benefits caused by lack of equality under the civil law of the U.S.A.

Jeff Wilfahrt the father of Corp. Andrew Wilfahrt is running for Minnesota Assembly. Lori Wilfahrt speaks around the U.S.A., honoring her son’s memory. The speech seen in this video was filmed at the first OUTserve Conference in Las Vegas, 2011.

SEE VIDEO AT http://gayusathemovie.com/2012/05/memorial-day-includes-gay-and-lesbian-americans-while-the-law-does-not/ Video by Kristina Lapinski

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

To start off the city has changed the time frame in which the Special Events Application may be submitted. Up until this year the application could be turned in 90 days prior to the event. We usually turned in the permit at the first of March. This year they returned the application and told us to not return until April 19th at the earliest. Which we did. Unfortunately this cuts our ability in half to work out any problems the city may have with our proposal. To just 45 days.

 

It is typical for the city processing of the permit to take quite some time. Since 2003 we usually get the approved permit one to two days before the event. It is crazy that this is the way the city does business. But it is the current reality.

We have to move ahead with our plans. Committing money to printing, advertising, insurance, and contracts that are not cancellable or easily cancelled. We have always been asked to take it blind faith that the permit will be approved and to move forward with all the work that must be done months in advance.

Due to a compliant from the owners from Sequoia Brewing about last year's parade that they log supposedly with the Fresno City Council, there have been new requirements put into place.

New hoops we have to jump though. For the first time in the 22 year history of the Pride event we had to go to any business and resident who might possibly be inconvenienced and get their written permission.

Should one business or resident have objected then the permit would have been denied. I am happy to say we obtained all the permission signatures that we needed to close the streets for the festival.

We were not required to do the same for the parade because the Fresno City Police do not close the streets for the parade, but do what is called a "rolling" blockage.

The FPD informed me Thursday afternoon that they will no longer be able to work with us next year and that we will need to contract with a private company to provide barricades and that this will create the situation where permission will be needed from every business and all the residences affected by the parade.

This will be hundreds of signatures we will need and just one bigoted person will keep our community from having a pride parade and festival.

To further complicate the process The Fresno Fire Department required a detailed site plan with the estimate possible square footage of all canopies that may be brought for shade by individual venders.

The FFD has informed us that they will be sending a fire inspector to inspect the festival the day of the event at 9am at a cost of $350. Let us all hope that they are happy with everything or that the issues they may have can be addressed in a two-hour window period. We have never had this requirement placed on us and have never had the FFD inspect us on the day of the event.

And yet are two more requirements. One is that the compliant from Sequoia Brewery is now requiring us to hire someone to clean up the entire parade route.

And two, that we must restore the area to it pre event condition, meaning that we may be required to collect all the a frame street barricades and to disassemble the festival fence. I will have no clarification until Tuesday or Wednesday what this will entail and how we will accomplish this. We will need lots of help at 3pm. If you can help that would be great.

Next year looks worse, there is a new Special Events Czar we will have top deal with, who I have been told is "pretty churchie" and the Fresno City Solid Waste Department is going to be joining the chorus of city departments that will be involved in the permitting process.

Here is what the lists of Fresno City Departments we will have deal with:

Business Tax and Licensing

Risk Management

Parks and Recreations (new Special events Czar)

Sewage and Sanitation

Solid Waste

Traffic Department

Fresno police Department (FPD)

Fresno Fire Department (FFD)

Add to these the California State Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) and the Fresno County Health Department for food safety inspection and permit for the event.

This is just the ever increasing process and costs to put on the Pride Parade and Festival. It seems as if those that oppose us can always find a way to impede us for what may pass for legitimate reason of safety and litter and lord only knows what. But the truth is there still many who what to infringe on our civil rights.

I think it is time we come together and have a "State of the Community" address and roundtable. We must come together and create an action plan to address those who oppose us. How does a meeting in July sound to all of you. We need a LARGE space and hopefully a donated space. I was think Wesley Methodist Church. Let me know what you think and if you will join us to safe guard Pride 2013.

Posted from: http://www.facebook.com/CommunityLink

naacp   The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People on Saturday announced its backing of same-sex marriage, more than a week after President Barack Obama also expressed support for the issue.

"The mission of the NAACP has always been to ensure political, social and economic equality of all people," Roslyn M. Brock, chairman of the NAACP's board of directors, said in a statement.

She added: "We have and will oppose efforts to codify discrimination into law."

Following Obama's announcement last week, speculation swirled over whether his decision would spark political backlash among some in the black evangelical community, which has traditionally been against same-sex marriage.

Continuing reading at CNN

Human Rights Campaign

With more than a million strong, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is the largest queer advocacy organization in the nation. The HRC envisions a world where all people who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Trans can be an integral part of society ensured of the most basic of equal rights under the law. They fight for the freedoms endowed to all of us in the constitution.

I’m walking on the concrete past the long parallel windows of the Bush Library. A blue square with two yellow stripes catches my eye. The Human Rights Campaign button. I look up to see dark well kept hair and a chiseled face. I didn’t know he was gay. He’s a cutie. I see his little button there and it is attached securely to a brown colored satchel. He’s got style with that blue V-neck.  But, maybe he isn’t gay. Maybe he is bisexual. I wonder if he would be interested in dating me. Maybe he is just an ally to the queer community. No, he has to be bisexual. I just know it. So I walk by him. His dark complexion and black hair. I give him the quick shot of my blue eyes which say, “Hey, I’m available.”

Support Our Troops

September 11th 2001; the World Trade Center has been attacked among the pentagon and a plane deliberately flown into a field in Pittsburg. NBC anchor reports Attack on America, “September 11th the year of 2001. A day unlike any other in the long course of American history.  A terrorist act of war against this country. President Bush said today that freedom has been attacked by a faceless coward and freedom will be defended.”

A video shows the second plane crashing into the World Trade Center.

“That is the second plane hitting the Twin Trade Towers this morning. All of them hijacked airliners. Then these two colossal icons of the American capitalistic system collapsed in lower Manhattan.”

***

“One factual observation is that the war on terrorism was not declared on September 11; rather, it was redeclared, using the same rhetoric as the first declaration twenty years earlier.” – Noam Chomsky

“So you just stay on the side and you don’t pay any attention to what’s going on. You look at something else, like the SuperBowl.” – Noam Chomsky

***

I’m in the parking lot baking inside a car. The windows are cracked letting a humid breeze periodically enter. The yellow ribbon magnet that sticks on a car next to me catches my attention. Support our troops. It was probably made in China. My brother is a Marine. He used to love, live, and breathe military. Respect, hoo-hah, nationalism, protecting our rights, and the rest.  And now after he served he finds it all messed up. Everything about it.

He tells the rest of the family that he got a concussion when he was deployed. The story goes something like this. He stands up and re-enacts the narrative. A dozen times he’s stood up and animated his story before the family who sit on couches and fold up chairs, munching on chips and salsa gobbling down piles of meat. He jogs in place, acts like he has fallen over, and shows us a small scar on the back of his head. It’s the perfect act. We soak up every word.

“I was running laps going forward and backwards in a lot and on the back run, I tripped and fell onto those lamp posts and my head slammed down onto the bolts that secure them to the ground.”

That’s not what happened. Because, when we get drunk together during the summers the story goes like this. . .

MCCAIN-PALIN '08

CNN reports people are shouting terrorist and off with his head at McCain Palin rallies. As one individual in the audience shouts during McCain’s rally speech more people begin to holler in the background. It is difficult to hear the rhetoric. McCain smiles calmly while the crowd hollers more hate speech about Obama. McCain continues to smile as the hollering continues. Pearly teeth patiently wait for the crowd to come to ease.

Bill Snyder a senior political analyst remarks, “A lot of the McCain people, I’m not sure I want to call them McCain people. There are people who come to McCain rallies who are getting very angry. A lot of them are angry over the polls, over the fact that, ah, Barack Obama has pulled ahead and they are Obama haters. Umm, some of them are racist, some of them are extreme, McCain wants to make it clear that he does not endorse those kinds of sentiments among some of the people who attend his rallies and Obama has indicated that this is an appropriate response to dissociate himself from people who express those views.”

***

Chapter three of Sarah Palin’s book Going Rogue: An American Life is titled Drill Baby Drill. It is claimed to start with a quote miss-attributed to a basketball coach from UCLA, “Our land is everything to us. . . . I will tell you one of the things we remember on our land. We remember our grandfathers paid for it -- with their lives." – The full quote reads like this.  "Our land is everything to us. It is the only place in the world where Cheyenne’s talk the Cheyenne language to each other. It is the only place where Cheyenne’s remember the same things together. I will tell you one of the things we remember on our land. We remember our grandfathers paid for it -- with their life. My people and the Sioux defeated General Custer at the Little Bighorn."

***

Oh-My –God. I’m bouncing over the curb nearly tripping myself running into Super America. I want to buy a sub sandwich.  A McCain Palin sticker stuck to the back of a deteriorating bumper catches me off guard. White letters, blue background, little star, what has the world come to. An older woman with a pony tail walks out of the swivel door. McCain Palin lost the election already, she should get over it. They don’t support her. Why is she looking at me? Why am I looking at her? Why does she hate gay people? I’m gay! Is she a one issue voter who hates abortions? Why does she hate the earth? I just want to walk into the gas station and buy myself a sub.

And it blows me away, when did Sarah Palin get a Minnesotan accent don’t yah know?

***

“But as long as people are marginalized and distracted and have no way to organize or articulate their sentiments, or even know that others have these sentiments. . .” – Noam Chomsky

“Therefore if you do think it and you answer it in a poll, you just assume that you’re sort of weird. Since there’s no way to get together with other people who reinforce that view and help you articulate it, you feel like an oddity, an oddball. So you just stay on the side and you don’t pay any attention to what’s going on. You look at something else, like the SuperBowl.” – Noam Chomsky

Minnesota for All Families

Star Tribune Reports May 22nd 2011

“After a long, passionate and solemn debate that lasted deep into the night, the Minnesota House passed a proposed constitutional amendment on Saturday to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Voters will decide the question in November 2012. The final vote was 70-62. Four Republicans voted no. Two Democrats voted yes.”

"I do not believe it is up to judges or even this body, but it should be up to Minnesotans," said Rep. Steve Gottwalt, R-St. Cloud, sponsor of the bill. But he said his beliefs are not paramount: "It is not about what I think. It is about what we think as Minnesotans."

***

I’m on the third floor of my dorms barefoot pacing in the evening. I’m waiting for my roommate to go to bed. I pass a door with a sticker that states Vote No. Minnesota United for All Families. Ahh, they support gay marriage. Thanks. I want to open up their dorm door and give all of them a free hug. Thanks. Thanks for knowing that I can love people too. Thanks for knowing that there are gay people and they don’t threaten the institution of marriage.

Michele Bachmann

Queer media headlines read like this.  

Teenager Justin Aaberg Killed Himself Over Gay Bullying. His Mom Won’t Let Anyone Forget

Minnesota teens Haylee Fentress and Paige Moravetz kill selves during sleepover in 'suicide pact'

Another Teen Suicide Triggers Talk of More Awareness 

Bullying gay and lesbian kids: How a school district became a suicide contagion area.

9 Kids in 2 Years Killed Themselves In Michele Bachmann's District -- Did Bachmann's Anti-Gay Allies Contribute to a Mental Health Crisis?

Minnesota School District Ends "No Promo Homo" Policy

In Michele Bachmann's home district, evangelicals have created an extreme anti-gay climate. After a rash of suicides, the kids are fighting back.

March 11th 2012 - Major victory in Anoka Hennepin school district bullying lawsuit.

Wikipedia - In 1978, she married Marcus Bachmann, now a clinical therapist with a master's degree from Regent University and a Ph.D. from Union Graduate School,[22] whom she had met while they were undergraduates.[13][23] After she received an LL.M. in taxation from William & Mary School of Law in 1988, the couple moved to Stillwater, Minnesota, a town of 18,000 near St. Paul, where they run a Christian counseling center.

***

I’m walking through midway St. Paul passing old houses and admiring their architecture. I count the white picket fences. What the heck, I mumble. A Michelle Bachmann campaign poster. She is directly responsible for all the bullycides in the Anoka-Hennepin school district. As for her husband who runs that pray the gay away charade. He is totally gay. Completely gay. He likes to work with gay people. Ugh. I can’t believe she represents any constituents. She does taxes and law stuff, not social work. She knows nothing of her damages. She doesn’t understand sociology. She should be accountable for every life lost in her own district. And dare she dodge another question? Iowa disowned her and the state allows gay marriage now. Ha! Ha! Hide behind a bush now. . .

***

“Early in her state Senate career Bachmann was caught spying on a pro-gay-rights rally by hiding behind bushes.”-  Minnesota Post 2008

Tom Emmer Talk Show

MPR – December 8th 2010 – St. Paul, Minn. — Former Sen. Mark Dayton vowed Wednesday to make improving Minnesota's economy his first order of business when he takes office as governor in January.

"Now the real work begins," Dayton said during a news conference at the State Capitol.

Dayton will become the first Democrat to be elected Minnesota governor since 1986, [And the first governor to speak to protestors advocating for Queer rights.] after a statewide recount confirmed he received the most votes and the state Supreme Court left his opponent with few options to challenge the results.

Republican Tom Emmer conceded to Dayton Wednesday morning at his home in Delano, saying it was time for him to let Dayton and the Legislature "move ahead with the people's business."

Tom Emmer Says Hamline University Backed out of Teaching Deal

"Isn't this exactly what certain segments of our population call bullying?" Emmer asked.

***

I’m a passenger and my mother is driving. She talks about how the Hutchinson Minnesota school district is considering cutting teacher salaries even when they are holding onto a surplus. Negotiations have been going on since fall 2011 and no deal has been forged between the faculty and union. She talks about how two of her friends she works and teaches alongside have foreclosed on their homes and have downsized their living standards. They go to the bar every Friday and drink and blabber and she tells me how her students call her a cunt. A fat bitch. A dumb fuck. Masturbate in class. And she shows me the bruise she got from the chairs thrown at her. My mom may have to foreclose.

We are heading to northern Minnesota to the Iron Range. A huge billboard shows poor Tom Emmer wearing his red tie and fancy suit. The radio talk show billboard shows him smiling, his white teeth showing. He must have a difficult life. I can’t believe the shame he has brought upon his family. Not getting elected as governor of this Minnesota Nice State. Not getting hired at Hamline. Boy did he throw a fit. Like my nephew when he doesn’t get a tootsie roll. It must be very upsetting. Those white teeth. I sacrificed getting braces because my mom was a single mother going to college. I knew she didn’t have the money to fix my slightly tangled teeth. Poor Tom Emmer.

In Hutchinson, they pay for a bug sprayer to pollute the air and kill mosquitoes. The ceilings in the public high school leak. Dripping through the new ceiling they put in below the old leaking one. Saturated tiles drop on student heads in the band room.

Peace Sign - Chicken Footprint

On the back of my brother’s green Dodge truck there is a peace sign displayed. The three pronged symbol sends a strong message. But there is just one problem. Below the sign it reads “foot print of the American chicken.” I have great contention with that symbol. My brother has come around in many ways, including accepting me as I am and still my older brother in that he feels I need to be protected from the world around me. He was brainwashed into thinking that perhaps going to war was protecting my freedoms when in fact going to war had little to do with freedom but perhaps everything to do with conspiracy and power. The media distorts the distinctions. But there are little signs and symbols that remind me to keep on keeping on. Fighting the good fight. I just want peace of mind. To not be constantly reminded of the wrongs in the world and the oversimplifications. I want to ask the boy with the HRC button on a date. That’s simple enough.

***

“There are growing domestic social and economic problems, in fact, maybe catastrophes. Nobody in power has any intention of doing anything about them. If you look at the past ten years – I include here the Democratic opposition – there’s really no serious proposal about what to do about the severe problems of health, education, homelessness, joblessness, crime, soaring criminal populations, jails deterioration in the inner cities – the whole raft of problems. You all know about them, and they’re all getting worse. Just in the two years that George Bush has been in office three million more children crossed the poverty line, the debt is zooming, education standards are declining, real wages are now back to the level of about the late 1950s for much of the population, and nobody’s doing anything about it. In such circumstances you’ve got to divert the bewildered herd, because if they start noticing this they may not like it, since they’re the ones suffering from it. Just having them watch the Superbowl and the sitcoms may not be enough. You have to whip them into fear of enemies. In the 1930s Hitler whipped them into fear of Jews and gypsies.” – Noam Chomsky


The 22nd Annual Central Valley & Fresno's GLBT Pride Parade and Festival will take place on SATURDAY, June 2nd 2012 in the Tower District between 10am and 3pm.

Dine for Pride at Tacos Marquitos all day on Friday May 25th. Javier, the wonderful owner, is donating 20% of his sales for the day. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Let me say right off that I understand the skepticism and the caution. President Obama, after all, waited nearly four years to say anything this unequivocal. He sat and watched while state after state chose to pull right after right away, sometimes preemptively. Sometimes he spoke up, but generally, it was weak tea.

But, this time it was different. He said:

"At a certain point, I've just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married."

Now, there are two schools of thought. One is that he has "evolved," like he had stated, and that this is something that he has come to during his presidency. The other is that this is a political calculation, done to try and garner votes (whether he believes it or not is immaterial).

I am going to come out right now and say neither matters. This is still a good thing. This is a sitting president publicly throwing in his lot with lgbt people. After North Carolina, no one can deny that we need that endorsement right now. At the very least, it is a tiny bit of salve on the wound.

Should he have come out with this before the election in North Carolina? Well, do you honestly believe it would have made a difference? It was not a small margin that it lost by. I really don't believe that anyone who cared about gay rights would have stayed home just because the president hadn't given his endorsement. Honestly, I think it is a more likely scenario that it would have riled more bigots up to get out and vote against it because Obama supported it.

But, coming on the heels of this loss... we are angered. We are hurting. We are motivated again. We are cognizant once again of what happens when we are complacent, when we don't speak loudly enough. Once again, we see the results of those who already speak loudly, with a cable news microphone, throwing lighter fluid on the flames.

And then the President came in and sacrifices his queen for us. He knows that this will anger some people to the point that they will never vote for him again, even if they voted for him the last time. But, honestly, there were a lot of people who were going to throw this election away, because they wouldn't vote for him if he didn't come out for gay marriage. Maybe not enough to make a difference, but enough to make his election to a second term not a sure thing. And, that is too close for comfort.

Because, what would our other option be? Mitt Romney? That's not just biting off your nose to spite your face, that's lopping off the whole head. Ron Paul? Yeah, he's for gay marriage, but against rights for women and blacks. And Gingrich? He supports a federal (!) amendment to ban gay marriage.

We cannot do anything that would put any of these men and their ilk in the White House. We cannot stay home. We cannot be complacent. We cannot lose. People are waiting, with their lives on hold, for people to understand that rights are not given. That's why are called rights. But, rights have been denied and we need to change that.

President Obama is not perfect, but we don't get perfect in politics. However, when I have to chose between not perfect and perfectly awful, I will vote for not perfect everytime.

The President is no longer riding the fence. He is with us, for better or for worse. We need to have his back. We need to support him and win this election in a landslide. We also need to vote out the bigots in Congress who have been thwarting every move he has tried to make. Change cannot happen when only one person is doing it. We need to get people in there that will work with him and people who believe in fairness and equality. 

He sacrificed his queen for us. Now, let's protect his King and get her back.

President Obama, marking the end of a prolonged "evolution" on the issue, now favors allowing homosexual couples to marry, he said in a television interview Wednesday.

The announcement comes days after Vice President·Joe Biden’s comments that he was "absolutely comfortable" with gay marriage put new pressure on Obama to clarify his position on the issue.

Obama told·ABC'sRobin Roberts Wednesday: "Over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don't Ask Don't Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married."

Continue reading at the L.A. Times

medical-matters

So, you are going to see the doctor. Have you prepared? In this day and age, going to see your doctor isn't like it was for we old guys and gals who were around in the 50s, 60s and 70s. Back then you could just show up on his doorstep (his because a woman doctor was an almost unheard of commodity then, whereas today all but one of the physicians and specialists I see are female) and you'd get seen. Back then it also cost $3 for an office visit and for $7 — at least in the Highlands area of Louisville where I grew up — Dr. Elliott Podoll or Dr. Lennie Rosenblatt would come with his little black bag to the house and treat you in your own bed!


Times have certainly changed and with them there's a lot more paperwork, restrictions and that rather odious (to many of us) thing called HIPAA.


That's the well-meaning law which guarantees privacy but does so to such an extreme degree not even our lovers, best friends, rabbi, priest or sister-in-law can find out we are even in the hospital or at the doctor's much lass what the prognosis is. I could go on and on about how much I personally hate HIPAA and how I always write in a bunch of names I especially want to know how I am doing, followed by "and anyone who cares to ask!" 

 
But HIPAA aside, doctors have changed a lot since the old days and if you are caught off-guard you might find that $45 office visit or $50 or $20 co-pay if you have insurance is money wasted. That's largely because so many physicians' practices are not owned by the friendly doctor who sees you (as was always the case before) hut by some hospital or mega-corporation off in some far-flung city. 

 At HQ you aren't a patient but a client and you are known by an account number or by whether you pay the bill or not. Care has changed and for the patients, and often the doctors who don't usually like working for some big brother, either not for the best.
The bean counters determine just how long your doctor gets to see you, as well as how many patients he or she must see to have an "efficient day." This, of course, doesn't take into account that seeing someone with sniffles and a sore throat will take less time whereas someone with HIV/AIDS or a major concern will need a lot more. 
It also doesn't take into account any pleasantries like "How was your vacation?" or any "extras" you might want to ask about (like that mole which changed color and worries you but is not the prime reason you made an appointment).


So what can we, as patients, do? First remember that a doctor today is just like a store or restaurant. If you go to Macy's and want a blue dress shirt but they have nothing to fit, you try Nordstrom's or Sears Roebuck or J.C. Penney. 
If you want a crab dinner and the first place you go doesn't sell those, you go to a different restaurant. The same thing applies here: If the doctor you see sells his or her practice or just is not a good fit for your needs, then shop for another one. It's business. And unlike settling for roast beef when you want crab or white when you want a blue shirt, this is your health and life we're talking about. 

 
When searching for a new doctor, be sure you include asking while considering a physician if they take your insurance, what their office policy about time with patients is, how to get refills on your prescriptions and anything else you need to know — including no-brainers like days and hours they are open. 
If you need to, make a list before you go for your get-acquainted appointment and make sure you get the answers you want. Keep shopping if the responses aren't to your liking. 

 

I don't know what to say that I haven't said before. I don't know how to convince people if it didn't work before. I don't know how to hold back this tide of fear and hate that seems to be gaining tread in this country, in this world.

But, being quiet doesn't feel like an option.

Bigots won today in North Carolina. They won last week at the Methodist General Conference.

The definition of a bigot is a "person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices, especially one exhibiting intolerance, irrationality, and animosity toward those of differing beliefs." 

How is deciding that others should not have the very same rights that you enjoy just by existing not being irrational and intolerant? 

I am not "name-calling." I am "naming." There is a difference. This is not a word meant to hurt, but a word meant to make them open their eyes. If there is a tiny shred of humanity left in them...it just might make them listen and think about what they do.

The whole thing just makes my heart hurt and I get a feeling that we are feeling what the civil rights worker in the 60's felt. But, then, realizing that what they felt was probably even stronger and that they really were in the face of greater odds (we at least have that legislation and time to piggyback on), I feel like we can do this. This is only a blip in time and one day it'll be in a history book. And, when our grandkids read about it, we can say "We fought for equal rights. We lost friends. We lost battles. Sometimes, we lost hope. But, we picked ourselves up and we kept fighting. We did it, because it was the only right thing to do."

Hopefully, by then, this will all be over and out grandkids will be amazed that this was ever an issue.

A constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage in North Carolina, even though state law already forbids such unions, appears to have passed.

Amendment 1 had the support of more than 59% of the nearly 1 million votes tallied about an hour after polls closed Tuesday night, according to figures from the State Board of Elections. Its backers prepared to celebrate by serving wedding cake to their supporters in a Raleigh ballroom, even as Tami Fitzgerald, the head of Vote for Marriage NC, noted it was "a bit early."


Read more at CNN
Dear Methodist General Conference,

Congratulations. You’ve just re-affirmed acceptance of homophobia in the name of a man who told you to go and love everyone…without exception.

In this day and age, one would think that we have moved past this pettiness and into a space where we can allow for love to thrive, unhindered. One would expect a world that can see what is obvious: love is love is love. One would hope that we have learned from our lessons of the past: singling out a group for derision never ends well…for anyone, but most especially for that group.

You see, you can take the Bible, point to a few carefully picked verses, and claim that this is what God wants, but I would be very careful about doing that. As soon as you start using the Bible, or Jesus, as a tool of segregation, you have totally missed the point of your religion. Moreover, you seem to have completely missed the New Testament.

Jesus didn’t put caveats, disclaimers, conditions, or rules on his order to love you neighbor. He never said that anyone had any reason that they shouldn’t be able to hang with him. In fact, he chose to hang with those who most of us wouldn’t want to share a pew with on Sundays. And, he just loved them. He never told anyone they were “incompatible “with his teachings.

The main point behind almost all of Jesus’s lessons were to be kind to each other. I fail to see how telling a person that they are “incompatible” with lessons about kindness, simply because of who they fell in love with, is following Jesus’s teachings. It is simply mean. It serves no purpose other than to make a small-minded person feel big.

Homosexuality is not, nor has it ever been, incompatible with Christian teachings. However, homophobia, and the promulgation of it, IS.

I love my gay families and when you are talking to them, you are talking to ME.

Methodists vote to keep derogatory anti-gay language.

 

PecsnCity

So, you finally met the one, you've played the dating game, set the sheets on fire, learned to sleep in the same bed and left your toothbrush at his house. You finally found the courage to say the L word — that's love, not lesbian — and now you're left with that final step. Cohabitation. Terrifying, right?

Someone is going to be there with you all the time to see you at your worst. Will he still love you when he sees you every day, warts and all? Not only that, the odds are you won't be able to leave your cereal bowl on the coffee table for a week. It's scary and exciting and nerve-wracking all at the same time.

Yes, I'm fully aware that I have written about the joys of being single and living alone. I believe my exact words were: "Not only are you free to date and flirt and fuck to your heart's content, but you can watch porn any time you want, throw your clothes on the floor and drink orange juice right out of the carton. It's awesome. If you want to jump up and fly to Vegas for a weekend full of whiskey and wet Platinum, have at it. If you want to strip down and dance on the coffee table in nothing but your Asics, knock you, sell out. Freedom reigns, baby." I still believe that. If you're single.

I also revealed the other side of the coin: "You do sleep alone — that can be a blessing or a curse, I guess — and there's no one waiting for you when you get home. You have no one special to share life's amazing moments and no one to hold you close when you're feeling down. When you're alone, you are alone with your empty bedroom and uninhabited living room seemingly closing in on you."

There are pros and cons to a life lived with the person you love. Are you familiar with the saying "familiarity breeds contempt"? Let me boil that down for you: it means being around someone all the time has the tendency to make you want to slit his throat while he sleeps. Okay maybe it's not that bad, but just like every other facet of a real relationship living with someone takes a lot of work. The quirks and bad habits that you both have will be thrust into a spotlight.

Oh, you don't have any bad habits? Is that so? See the thing is what you may not consider a bad habit may actually be something that drives your partner crazy. Maybe you feel like the dishwasher has to be loaded a certain way in order to get the maximum cleaning effect. Sounds like a good idea, right? But when someone puts the dishes in the dishwasher in a way that you feel is incorrect and you complain about this time and time again, your nagging is definitely a bad habit.

Here's an example: when my boyfriend leaves half empty water bottles or glasses of water sitting around my apartment I tend to pick them up and take them to the kitchen. I feel like unless we are currently starring in the movie Signs, there's realy no need for this kind of behaviour. It turns out he leaves them scattered around so he has water nearby whenever he needs it, which is perfectly logical and apparently quite common. When I get rid of the bottles and glasses he has to go back to the kitchen for more water and this tends to irritate him. These are two perfectly normal behaviours, but each of us sees the other's actions as a bad habit.

There are plenty more extreme examples, but I used this one as one way to say how the smaller things that will annoy you about your partner are trivial, and all you have to do is shrug them off and your new life together will be so much easier. There's a huge difference between the bad habit of selling heroin from your house and the bad habit of leaving the cap off of the toothpaste. You need to always remember to pick your battles.

When you live with someone there are many decisions you will have to make and responsibilities you have to share. Just like every column I've written in these pages about every part of a mature and healthy relationship, communication is the key whether you're discussing the proper place to display your vintage Star Wars poster or whether or not to paint the house as pink as Nicki Minaj's new wig, all decisions are made together. Compromising and keeping an open mind are staples a your new two-sided decisions. Some things don't need to be discussed in a committee — like when to feed the dogs or which show to watch first on the DVR, but the things which affect you both and the things that both of you feel strongly about are definitely going to be on the table.

Believe it or not the dynamic of a gay relationship actually lends itself to faster resolutions. I'm sure you've heard that irritating and somewhat homophobic thing that straight people say: "well, which one of you is the wife?" Well, guess what? Because there is no traditional division of power — which even now in the age of empowered women seems archaic — it is a known fact that gay couples argue more constructively and with more humour than our heterosexual friends. Not only that, but fairness and power sharing are more prevalent in gay relationships than they are in straight relationships. What does this mean? It means that we can come to a civil solution a lot quicker than Dick and Jane arguing over what kind of wallpaper to put in the master bathroom.

Now let's say you can't come to an agreement about something involving your home or your money or your relationship and your discussion is now a full-blown argument. The best advice I can give you is don't go to bed until it's resolved. Going to bed angry is the absolute worst. It feels like there's a thousand miles between the two of you as you lay there waiting for the other person to apologise. So let me repeat myself: never go to bed angry. Simple, right? The one thing you have to realise, however, is that you have to be mature enough to cool down your argument, talk it out until it's resolved, and then engage in, ahem.. "making up". All before that 6.45 a.m. alarm.

So we've talked about communication and keeping your fights out of the bedroom — two simple things that often don't feel very simple — but there's one other thing that is very important: time for yourself. Like I said earlier; being around someone every day can be taxing, especially when you still haven't learned to shrug off the petty annoyances that come with cohabitation.

It's in everyone's best interest if both of you take time away from your relationship (Disclaimer: When I say time away from your relationship. I do not mean the kind of "time away" where you have sex with other people.) to do your own thing, whether it's hanging out in the clubs with your friends, spending the afternoon riding the trails or going to a movie that your partner has no interest in seeing. It can even be a trip home for a couple days to visit your parents or a weekend trip out of town to catch up with an old friend. It's surprising how much you appreciate someone when you haven't seen them for a few days. I guess that other saying: "absence makes the heart grow fonder" is veny true as well.

Now that we've gone over the ways to survive living with the person you love without going to jail for murder, let's wrap this up by talking about how awesome it can be. A smile always waiting for you when you get home. A body wrapped in your arms at night. A constant companion and friend to share all the little things that make you happy. A helping hand in repairs, yard work and even in your latest culinaly experiment. A wardrobe consultant when you need it and a voice of reason when you really need it. A sounding board when you want to rant about work or complain about the character development on The Vampire Diaries. It's all of these things and so much more. It's everything every one of us hopes for and dreams about when see are ready to settle down and share our lives with someone who is our partner and our equal. Keep an open mind and an open heart as you start your journey together. Fill your home with light, love and laughter and everything else will fall into place. And don't forget to pick up your water bottles.

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Children's book author Maurice Sendak died in Connecticut Tuesday morning. He was 83.

Longtime publisher Michael di Capua told the New York Times that Sendak died of complications from a recent stroke.
Sendak, the author of several iconic books including Where the Wild Things Are, In the Night Kitchen,and Higglety Pigglety Pop!, came out publicly in 2008. He had lost his partner of fifty years, psychoanalyst Eugene Glynn, in 2007. When asked why he had not been out previously, he said he "just didn't think it was anybody's business."

 
Although our logo has changed, you can expect the same level of commitment to the community.  We will be announcing a new partnership and more regular postings as we move forward.  Stay tuned....

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Gay Central Valley is proud to present, in cooperation with the New Conservatory Theater Center in San Francisco, THE LARAMIE PROJECT - 10 YEARS LATER.

Ten years after the brutal death of gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard, five members of Tectonic Theatre Project returned to Laramie to try to understand the long-term effect of the murder. They found a town wrestling with its legacy and its place in history.

There will be two exclusive performances in Fresno on June 16th and 17th at the Unitarian Universalist Church.  The 16th is an evening performance and the 17th is an afternoon performance.

Visit the Facebook event page by clicking HERE

Tickets range from $5 to $20. You can PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

There will also be a special Laramie AFTER PARTY at the North Tower Circle the night of the 16th. A five dollar donation at the door is requested. Horchata Fresca and Friends will be performing an Exclusive Drag Show that night and there will be free giveaways and a Sea of Green Raffle. The cast of The Laramie Project - 10 Years Later will also be at the Circle for a Meet & Greet...Visit the Facebook event for the After Party HERE

Both events are a great way for you to support the LGBT Community Center while having a great entertainment experience at the same time...

All proceeds generated from the Play and the After Party will benefit the Fresno LGBT Community Center.

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Click on the COMMENT link below for a full size flier...

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PETER ROBERTSON
BA, 1992; Jordan CAST
MA, 1995; A&H
MBA, 2005; Business

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CLASS NOTE:
Peter Robertson (BA ’92, MA ’95, MBA ’05) (pictured right), who has worked at Fresno State for the past decade, has received the 2012 "Spirit of Service Award" presented to a staff member from President John D. Welty (pictured left). The award “Recognizes his exemplary commitment to community engagement." In 2006, as a volunteer, Robertson founded the Bulldog Pride Fund (www.bulldogpride.org), an endowed scholarship that supports students at Fresno State. By this fall, the $220,000+ endowment will have provided 23 scholarships valued at $39,000 to students based upon academic achievement, financial need and service to the community.

He has also volunteered throughout the community for the past 25 years with organizations such as Fresno Reel Pride Film Festival, Fresno Grand Opera, Fresno Art Museum, Tree Fresno, Rainbow Delegation and Fresno Rainbow Pride Parade. In 2011, Robertson was bestowed the “Arthur Safstrom Service Award” by the Fresno State Alumni Association at the Top Dog Alumni Awards Gala; the “Spirit of Caring Award” from HandsOn California; as well as a “Volunteer Service Award” from President Barack Obama.

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Join with Fresno Stonewall Democrats

For Our Second Annual Spring Fundraiser

As we honor


Assembly member and California State Senate candidate Cathleen Galgiani

Eric Bauman; Vice-Chair California Democratic Party

Matt Mazzei; Founder of Rainbow Wristband Delegation

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Painted Table 1211 N. Wishon

(North of Olive next to the Tower Theatre)

VIP Dinner: 6:00 PM, Reception: 7:30 PM

VIP Dinner will include a delicious 4-course dinner and wine service with our honorees.

Reception includes appetizers, desserts, and no-host bar.

Reception tickets: $35
VIP Dinner tickets: $75 (reception included)

You may purchase tickets on line at www.fresnostonewalldemocrats.org

Make checks payable to Fresno Stonewall Democrats and mail to 5965 E. Shields #170, Fresno, CA 93727


For program advertising rates, event sponsorship or other inquiries call Michael Esswein at 559-554-8292 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tickets and sponsorships for this event are a political contribution and are therefore not tax deductible.

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We talk a lot about acceptance in the LGBT community. We are working hard to ensure our own acceptance into “mainstream” life, we consider ourselves an open and accepting group willing to come together will all sorts of different people from all over the spectrum of sexuality.

But I think before we can even begin to work on either of those things, we must first learn to accept ourselves.

Fully, completely, with all our flaws.

This is a highly personal thing, and it can be hard. We are bombarded with images of what we should be, how we should act, what we should wear, eat, care about… We face being bullied for being ourselves. We encounter discrimination, hatred, danger, and ignorant people who can make our lives miserable.

It can be hard to be proud of ourselves. It can sometimes seem like all we are is a mess of flaws, a pile of disjointed puzzle pieces that don’t fit together let alone with anyone else.

First acceptance, then pride.

I went swimsuit shopping over the weekend. I needed a new suit because I have gained a good twenty pounds in the last two years making my two piece skimpy suit no longer a possibility.  (At least not a comfortable option.)

As I stood in front of the mirror deprived of my long flowing skirts, my jeans, my loose fitting tops and chucky cardigans or earth mother flowing sundress… when I stood there, I was forced to look at myself, my whole self. I had to accept the thighs that aren’t nearly as muscular as they used to be. I had to come to terms with the slightly lumpy pale legs and the poochey stomach.

Ultimately, I found a suit that I think doesn’t draw too much attention to my legs and tummy… (a skirt bottom and a full not super tight top)… but that also accentuates a part of me I love: my boobs.

The lesson I took away from this was that only after accepting my flaws, letting them be a part of me, could I move on to dwelling on what I do really like about myself. Accepting yourself means doing both things. Being honest about all of yourself: bad and good.

We all have things we don’t like about ourselves, but we also all have our own unique sparks. Accepting ourselves for who we are, the full package, is important.

I encourage you as we all gear up for Pride, to remember to have pride in yourself. Not just for being part of this community, but for being who you are, warts and all.

I am Kaylia. I am complicated and full of contradictions. I cry during commercials. I hate slapstick. I am afraid of the dark. I am ticklish. I don’t clean the bathroom, like ever. I am energetic and outgoing. I bite my nails. I give great back rubs. I have been known to gossip. I can be extremely loyal. I make great homemade bread. I have lumpy thighs and a chubby tummy. I have a nice pair of boobs and a ready smile. I have funny shaped toes. I have strong arms. I get too loud when I drink. I often don’t know the “right thing” to say. I muddle through.

I have flaws.

I am human.

I am happy to be here.

The NORTH TOWER CIRCLEhas a Pre-Pride Party on Friday night with special guest Chip Tanner & a Pride Party Saturday Night after the Parade and Festival with the Ladies of Seduction and an Andrew Christian Underwear Fashion Show...all hosted by DivaLicious...check out the fliers for info...

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Click on the links for websites and videos...

The FRESNO RAINBOW PRIDE PARADE & FESTIVAL is a week away...in the meantime, Pride 2011 is already kicking off around the globe... Gay Pride Birmingham took place in late May...as well as Gay Pride 2011 Bruxelles ...and Belgian Pride 2011... South Beach Florida held their Pride in April, probably to try and beat the heat...and here's some pretty amazing footage of Dan Choi getting arrested at Moscow Pride

This morning a dozen supporters gathered at the corner of Fulton and Alhambra to take part in a tree dedication.

 

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Summer is just around the corner! Are you ready for Memorial Day? I still need to buy food, decorations, a swimsuit,… a BBQ… Yep. Summer sort of snuck up on me. How about you?

Speaking of something that is sneaking up on us… Pride is just over a week away! Don’t forget Dine Out for Pride… click here for a coupon… a portion of your bill will be donated to Rainbow Pride.

Also, click here to find out how you can be part of the Parade and here to help us out with a MUCH NEEDED donation.

And now… on to a few note worthy news bits you might have missed…

In order to combat the research that suggests that gay, lesbian and transgender patients were more likely than others to avoid medical care because they feared encountering unsympathetic or even hostile health care workers, New York’s Health and Hospitals Corporation, which runs public hospitals, with the help of an advocacy group, the National LGBT Cancer Network has decided that it needs to reduce the likelihood that such awkward, inconsiderate, questions, and has put together a training program for the staff.

In Maine, a gay couple won Prom King and Prom Queen

Scotland’s largest Protestant church will now allow gay and lesbian clergy.

An action alert by the HRC sent so many emails to the Minnesota Senate that their servers crashed. The gay marriage amendment is set to be voted on by the Minnesota public in 2012.

A lot of fuss and attention has been paid to the recent Gallup poll that showed “the majority of Americans support same sex marriage.” Just a word of caution… the sample size was small and the questions were about the validity of same sex marriages. Many activists warn to not over-celebrate as of yet. This fight is FAR from over. Still, it is an optimistic trend.

I know a lot of our faithful readers are aware of the situation in Tennessee. But besides the flurry of attention the media has been giving to the “Say No to Gay” campaign, something else has happened that we need to be aware of. The legislature quietly passed the equally odious "Special Access to Discriminate" bill, forbids municipalities from enacting any anti-discrimination ordinances that are broader than state anti-discrimination laws. The law doesn’t actually refer to members of the LGBT community, but the state’s current anti-discrimination laws do not include them. Read more here.

On June 1st Illinois becomes the sixth state to allow civil unions.

And lastly in the “not related but how can I resist” category… this news story about a woman arrested while driving and shaving her privates is funny and then a bit sad and then funny again.

There you have it. Have a great, and safe, weekend… and Happy Memorial Day!

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On Friday, May 27th, Dan Waterhouse - Freelance Journalist & Photographer, and Chris Jarvis and Kaylia Metcalfe of Gay Central Valley, will be guests on the local radio show Street Heat, which is broadcast on KFCF 88.1

The radio show runs from 5-6PM. Dan, Chris and Kaylia will discuss the upcoming Pride Parade and Fresno's LGBT Community Center during the first half of the show.

All three have also made contributions to the June issue of Community Alliance , on the issues of Fresno Pride, the LGBT Community Center and the state of the LGBT Community in the Central Valley.

There is still time to submit your story relating to your experience with Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual, or Transgender (GLBT+) issues!

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Due to several requests for the postponing of the submission due date, the new deadline now is AUGUST 1, 2011.

We will be happy to accept submissions from anyone who has a story to share!

The anthology will focus on various issues revolving around the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender experience. Stories will be compiled in a GLBT+ themed publication that will be made available this fall.

Details for GLBT+ Anthology Submissions:

  • 1,000 word maximum
  • Coming out stories and/or GLBT+ issues
  • Allies GLBT+ support stories
  • Poetry
  • Fiction/Non Fiction Prose
  • Artwork (size will be formatted to fit publication)
  • Must pertain to GLBT+ issues
  • Contributors do not have to identify as GLBT+
  • Due Monday, August 1st

Once again, this is a great opportunity to share your experiences with others and have a voice on your college campus.  Contributors whose submissions are selected will be included in the anthology and be made available in a publication next fall.

Please visit: http://unitedstudentpride.yolasite.com/ to download the submission file.

For more information, or to inquire about the suitability of a piece, call (559)285-0795 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The economy is effecting everything, including this year's Fresno Pride Parade & Festival. Not only are donations and support down, but new, unexpected expenses are facing Community Link and it's efforts at hosting Fresno's biggest LGBT event.

If you have not already joined Community Link's efforts by helping out financially, renting a booth space, sponsoring a parade entry or purchasing an ad in the program, we urge you to do so right now. Deadlines are on top of us as Pride is ONLY 10 DAYS AWAY.

Gay Central Valley increased our donation to the Pride Parade this year by more than 200%. Please do what you can to help out Fresno Pride...

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From Fresno Pride's website...

UNEXPECTED EXPENSES - ADDITIONAL CASH URGENTLY NEEDED

We were just informed by the Fresno Police Department that we will be charged an additional $1,600 for their services during the Parade. Topped with the county's requirement that we rent a $400 three-compartment sink for our food booths, it means that we're at least $2,000 short in our budget because of the unforeseen expenses.

If you can help us cover this gap, or make a donation towards it, contact us TODAY! Ask for Jeff - (559) 486-3464.

Seeking Donations of Services, Products, Merchandise, Gift Certificates!

We need your help!

We need money!

Please send some today!

We are "Legally Proud." We are turning 21 this year and would like to put on a fabulous birthday Party for the whole Community!

Send your donation to Community Link @ P.O. Box 4959, Fresno, CA 93744 or make a donation via PayPal (click on Donations).

If you are unable to support Fresno Rainbow Pride with a financial dontaion how about a donation of services, merchandise or product that we could use as raffle prizes at our fundraiers?

A Donation of your time would be grand as well. Come help us plan the pride celebration, we meet every Wednesday night at 1055 N. Van Ness Ave, (on Wednesdays May 4th and June 1st meeting will be held at Starline, 933 E. Fern) or volunteer the day of the Parade & Festival. Pride Day volunteers can sign up on our website.

We could use donations of services, products, and merchandise for raffle prizes for these upcoming fundraisers. We are also working on possible three other fundraising shows.

Please support our Fundraisers (click on EVENTS )!

Send your donation to Community Link @ P.O. Box 4959, Fresno, CA 93744 or make a donation via PayPal (click on Donations).


Have you ever thought “Gee, I want to support Gay Central Valley or Gay Fresno, but I just don’t have any extra money…”?

It is understandable, after all, the economy is still circling the drain, unemployment in Fresno is hovering around 20%, and as many of our local supporters and college students on tight budgets can attest to, it can be hard to donate money, even to causes you feel passionate about.

Solution!

Do you shop at Savemart or Food Maxx? Did you know that they will donate 3% of your shopping bill to Gay Central Valley if you swipe your SHARES card before you pay?

It costs you nothing, all you do is swipe the card (which is free to get) before you pay and the store will do the donation automatically.

Again, the cost to you: Nothing

Potential donations to Gay Central Valley: Well, that depends on how much you buy, but the point is, there is no cap and it is a quick and easy way to support the organization. Every little bit helps.

You can pick up a SHARES card at the Fresno LGBT Community Center (1055 Van Ness Ave Suite C, Fresno CA 93728) during business hours, call 559-325-4429.

Pretty nifty eh?

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My Final Coming Out

Leon Velasco

I had a wild teen life. I was doing both guys and girls but I knew deep inside that being with guys was more stimulating than being with girls. In my long stretch of sexual activity in search of which side to finally make my decision of which side of the fence was more to my liking; I had told certain family members that I was thinking that I was preferring guys over girls. I was told many times, "It’s just a phase you’re going through."; little did they know that it only made my decision that much more difficult to make. At age 19, I had become a parent to my daughter, I played the hetero dad (forced by society’s and family’s view of norm). A couple of years later while still in the sexual strive for determining and acceptance, I had become a father to a son. Things between females and I were just NOT in my future as far as sexual and love partner. I decided to finally come out and lock the door behind me for good; then throw the key as far as my arm can throw it.

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In April, 1997 There was a television series that was going to make television history for all past, present, and future LGBT person to come out and be proud of who we are. This was one tidal wave I wanted to ride and not let anyone or anything deprive me of my final self-discovery. I had determined to have my mom and grandmother sit in front of the TV with me and watch a TV show that would have a VERY important message.

I had made dinner early that evening for the both of them so we can just sit and chill until my "BIG MESSAGE" TV show came on. The evening of April 30, 1997 was to be the most life changing time for me. Then it became time for The Ellen Show the; ALL important, "Puppy Episode" was starting. I had the jitters all up until the starting theme song. As we sat there quietly watching; I had many thoughts of backing out and living in the closet. Then I questioned myself; "Do I REALLY want to live a life of lies and ruin other people’s lives in the process from all my deception?" Then IT came, the very scene I wanted my mom and grandmother to see. Ellen and her friend in the airport lobby. I told mom and grandma to listen up, as I put up the volume to the TV. "I’m gay" seemed to take a long time echoing in my head. When it was on a commercial my grandma asked me, "What was I supposed to see?" My mom got up very upset and angry all rolled into one and replied, (in Spanish) "Don’t you get it? He’s a Homo!" and she stormed out the room.

It’s been several years, several drag performances, and several boyfriends later; I am still OUT of the closet. I kept my promise to myself to never return, look back or regret. My family has now come to grips with my sexuality and at times even ask; "Now that you have a grandchild are you Grandpa or Grandma?" My only reply is, "It depends if I’m in Drag, or not."

June is national Pride Month...Submit your coming out story to Chris Jarvis at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Pride is just around the corner and if you are looking for a way to get involved and show your support… well, you have options, options, options…

The Details. The Parade goes from 10 to 11am on June 4th. After the Parade, volunteers are encouraged to enjoy the rest of Pride.

What we need: Marchers, Actors, Costume Loans.

Marchers wear matching tee shirts and arm bands (provided). They pass out candy and handouts to the crowds. If you are interested in being a Marcher, contact Jason, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. You will be asked to meet up at Palm and Olive at 9:30 am on the 4th.

Actors: (Very little actual acting required.) These are the brave souls who wear costumes while marching! We need the following costume wearing supporters:

     *Gay Marriage Supporters: Dress as a Bride or a Groom! (You can sign up for this in pairs or let our fabulous coordinator find you a “match.” (Needed: 4-6 more volunteers)

     *Don’t ask Don’t Tell Repeal Supporters: These volunteers get to wear military type costumes to show support for our brothers and sisters in the Armed Forces. (Needed 6 or more volunteers)

     *Colors of The Rainbow! These 6 marchers showcase support ofr our awesome LGBT Community Center by wearing solid colored tee shirts (provided) that match the Gay Central Valley group of Gays… Gay Fresno, Gay Visalia, Gay Merced, etc. (We need 5 more volunteers for this!)

We need people to commit to these categories. Only by having a swell of supporters, a large cohesive force, can we make the splash of color and excitement that we need.

Costumes will mostly be provided, but….

If you have costumes or costume pieces that you think would be useful, we would love to BORROW them for the event. We especially need military uniforms.

If you are interested in being an Actor or have a costume / costume piece to loan, please contact Kate This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please pass on this information to your friends and supporters in the area, and thank you in advance!

By now you might have heard about Chicgo Bulls center Joakim Noah who was caught on video tape dropping both the F-Bomb and an anti-gay slur after getting a second foul. He will probably end up paying a fine similar to the $1000 fine paid by Kobe Bryant for use of the same anti-gay slur.

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This is sad and frustrating considering the recent pro-gay sentiments aired by many in the sports world, at least recently. However, what Noah’s words do is remind us that though we have made progress towards acceptance, we still have far to go. What I, personally, found very telling was how Noah explained himself:

“It’s very disappointing. I apologize if I offended anyone, I was just caught in the moment. A fan said something that was disrespectful toward me, and I responded. I have to take the consequences like a man. It was just a bad decision on my part.’’

First off Mr. Noah, “if” you offended anyone?

If?

The New York Times is doing something amazing this week… They are spotlighting LGBT youth with stories of coming out, hardship, and hope.

Check it out here and don’t forget to click back every day this week.

It's easy enough for "run of the mill" Christians, those who've adapted their beliefs to what's currently acceptable ("believe in a mythological god, but don't necessarily condemn such things as the mingling of the ethnicities or homosexuality, because the numbers don't skew so positively to that anymore...") to join in the mocking of the mass that predicted the world would end on May 21st, 2011.

The May 21 prediction came from the Biblical numerology of Harold Camping, an 89-year-old televangelist who owns the Oakland, Calif.-based Christian Family Radio network. Camping had previously predicted a similar end-times scenario in 1994.

This isn't the first time this has happened, or the second, or the fifth or the fortieth...people have been predicting the end of the world for thousands of years. No one has ever come within a million years.

Despite that most of those in this video aren't that devoted to the idea, it's interesting to watch people explain that, although they were previously confident, that they may have miscalculated.

"I guess no man knows the day or the hour," said Peter Lombardi, a 44-year-old from Jersey City, N.J. who had had taken an "indefinite break" from his job in April to preach about May 21.

Mark their words though, the end will come. And, of course, it will. The earth is doomed, on a grand scale. It will happen long after we're all gone, billions of years from now, when our sun will, in fact, destroy itself, obliterating our planet, just as scientists have predicted. Unfortunately for those capitalizing on theology, it will have nothing to do with religion or faith.

Of course, after the barbecue, no one will be around to tell the ashes that they never understood anything .

Lombardi had donated $1,100 to Family Radio in recent months to help the organization purchase thousands of billboards and other ads throughout the country, but said he doesn't expect any of his money back.

"What can you do?" he said. "I don't think they were scamming me, but I am definitely waiting to see what they say Monday on the radio show."

"It's not [Camping's] fault," said Ramsey, who added he also won't ask for his money back. "Nobody held a gun to my head. I read the Bible. The math added up. I don't think anybody would do something like this without meaning it."

This is fun stuff to watch. It's so easy and they're so wrong, but we shouldn't lose sight of where this all comes from and how poisonous mythological belief is. Faith, as I've stated a dozen times before, is "the belief in something for which there is no proof". Ask yourself, if you're a Christian, and particularly an LGBT Christian, trying to gain civil rights in a country where those of faith and those who feed off those of faith (politicians) are the only ones standing in your way, why a "belief in something for which there is no proof" is something you've decided to be proud of.

Or just watch the video. Then tell me that "Oh, those Christians are crazy, that's not real Christianity".

Really? Have you read the bible lately? But then, Progressive Christians, or whatever they're calling themselves these days, have decided, as millions have decided before them, in varying degrees, that the bible, and Christianity, is up for interpretation. Interpretations which allow "those of faith" to hold onto ludicrous and self destructive premises just because they give them a warm, comfortable feeling inside.

Although, so does sitting by a stream and enjoying the quiet. So do any number of anti-psychotics or anti-depressants. So does a belief in a pretty fairy tale that almost anyone will pat you on the back for, without debate.

We all make our choices.

Highlighted Content Courtesy Huffington Post


Art Night at Fresno LGBT Community Center

Friday, May 27th 2011, 5pm – 7pm

Let your IMAGINATION run wild!

Join us for a fun evening of arts and crafts. Get creative, express yourself, and inspire others through the arts. We will be getting crafty with construction paper and creating fabulous flowers and flower bouquets.

Come out and let us know what YOU want to do in the future and how often!

 

Health/Wellness workshop at Fresno LGBT Community Center

Saturday, May 28 · 12:00pm - 1:30pm

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND! LAST MONTH WE RAN OUT OF CHAIRS!

Tapping into Your Best Self: Discovering Emotional Freedom

◦Do you find yourself thinking about the past and holding onto negative emotions like sadness, hurt, anger, or fear?

◦Do negative emotions keep you from feeling good? Would you like to learn a quick and simple practice that allows you feel better in minutes?

◦In this introductory workshop, you will learn what the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is and how to use it to free yourself from emotional blocks that keep you from being your best self. There will be an opportunity to try EFT and experience the benefit of this practice.

Space is limited, please only RSVP "Yes" if you plan to attend. Thanks.

About the Presenter: Leslie Weiser, Psy.D. is a Clinical Psychologist in practice at the Student Health Center, California State University Fresno (CSUF). Leslie earned a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology in 1986 and a doctorate in Clinical Psychology in 1999. She has previously worked in college counseling centers and in community mental health clinics serving low income people with serious mental health issues. Leslie currently provides services for students at Fresno State, including an LGBT+ personal growth group called Common Ground; she is also chair of the Allies Network Task Force, a group working to create safe space on campus for LGBT+ students.

Do you or someone you know want to do a workshop, regular activity or have suggestions for the center? Please let us know!

Fresno LGBT Community Center
1055 N Van Ness Ave., Suite C
Fresno, California
(559) 325-4GAY

Happy Friday!

So… there might be a rapture tomorrow evening. But just in case, many Fresno-ians (Fesnites?) are planning on taking part in this local event that looks like fun. (Beware the street closures and parking mess on Fulton over the weekend.)

Here's some news worth noting from around the LGBT community... 

The San Francisco Giants , still celebrating their World Series win of 2010, just announced that they would be contributing an “iconic” video to the “It Gets Better” project making them the first professional sports team to do so.

The CA Senate Passes Bill Requiring LGBT Culture Competency Training for Healthcare Providers which will require that healthcare professionals receive training on providing care that meets the specific medical needs of the LGBT community.

After a three decades of debate, the Presbyterian Church has opened the door to openly gay persons in same-sex relationships for ordination as ministers, elders and deacons.

In Minneapolis Presidential Candidate Newt Gingrich was covered in glitter by a protester who said, “"Feel the rainbow, Newt. Stop the hate.”

Rhode Island's House of Representatives on Thursday overwhelmingly passed legislation allowing gay couples to enter into civil unions after a last-ditch effort to revive gay marriage legislation failed.

Tonight ABC affiliates broadcast their show “What Would You Do?” with a gay family twist. A waitress is openly rude to actors portraying gay parents in a crowded Texas restaurant. The responses of the other patrons is resounding as they put the bigoted waitress in her place.

The audio for Lady GaGa’s new single “Hair” can be found here.

And lastly something meaningful to tickle your funny bone from Goerge Takei, who promises us, “It’s okay to be Takei!”

That’s all for me… have a fun, and safe, weekend!

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HIV Vaccine Awareness Day -- May 18th

Today is HIV Vaccine Awareness Day (HVAD). This annual observance is a day to recognize and thank the thousands of volunteers, community members, health professionals, and scientists who are working together to find a safe and effective HIV vaccine. It is also a day to educate our communities about the importance of preventive HIV vaccine research.

Why is there a need for a vaccine to prevent HIV/AIDS?
Data from countries with ongoing HIV/AIDS prevention and/or treatment and care programs demonstrate that these initiatives alone are not enough to end the global epidemic. What's more, we know from history that no major viral epidemic has been defeated without a vaccine.

Why is it important to learn more about HIV vaccine research?
HIV/AIDS is one of the most serious health threats of our time – especially for people of color. One in every two people living with HIV in the U.S. is Black. And that doesn’t include those who may be infected and don’t know it. Additionally, more than 200,000 Latinos in the U.S. and Puerto Rico are currently living with HIV/AIDS. In fact, Latinos account for the majority of diagnosed AIDS cases within one year of testing positive for HIV.

Finding a vaccine is our best hope for preventing the spread of the disease. However, unless more people of color begin to support vaccine research, an AIDS vaccine may never be found. If we don’t see ourselves as part of the solution, the AIDS epidemic is only going to get worse.

It’s time for everyone – especially African Americans and Latinos – to come together and end the AIDS epidemic once and for all. You can play a very important role in helping to stop the spread of HIV in your community by simply educating yourself and others about HIV vaccine research.

An online tutorial called “Introduction to AIDS Vaccines” is a great place to start learning about it. So please take a few minutes to view the tutorial here: www.nmac.org/vt/en

Get educated about AIDS vaccines and pass the knowledge you gain along to others. Thank you for helping to stop AIDS.

To read NMAC's Spring 2011 HIV Vaccine Research Newsletter, click here »

 

The San Francisco Giants are going to make history... and it has nothing to do with another World Series.

It was announced earlier this week that the team will come together to create a "It Gets Better" ad.

As we all know, the "It Gets Better" ads are the brainchild of Dan Savage... the campaign is intended to provide "hope for lesbian, gay, bi, trans and other bullied teens by letting them know that 'It Gets Better"

A campaign by SF resident Sean Chapin asking the Giants to be part of the game changing trend of acceptance received a lot of attention, but Giants representatives say that an "It Gets Better" ad was already in the works.

The San Francisco Giants will be the first professional sports team to come together to create such an ad. No word yet on when the ad will be unveiled.  Source Here

Matt Mazzei and the Rainbow Delegation are featured in the article 193 Reasons to Have Pride in 2011 in the June issue of The Advocate

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Because
THE RAINBOW DELEGATION IS EVERYWHERE
Before he came out, [Fresno State] college student and violinist Matthew Mazzei did not think there were many gay people in his hometown of Fresno, Calif. But then a project he started by asking his friends to increase LGBT visibility has shown him just how gay and gay-friendly Fresno actually is. In only six months Mazzei and his team of friends have sent [50,000] rainbow bracelets around the world, regardless of the requester’s ability to pay (he does accept optional donations).

The goal of his organization, Rainbow Delegation, is simple: to spread awareness through a visual reminder that gay people ywhere, from Salt Lake City to Ho Chi Minh City. “This project has given me a lot more confidence in myself,” he says. “It’s given me a passion and a focus for a cause. There are so many areas like Fresno where people of any age might feel rejected or marginalized. Now some kids will know they’re not alone.”

www.rainbowdelegation.org

This month’s Spotlight is on….The Rainbow Delegation.
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On a quiet street in Clovis, behind a nondescript blue door, a grassroots movement is swelling. But this is a different sort of grassroots movement. It isn’t about changing the world, affecting public policy, or fighting for rights. At least, not directly. What it is about, however, is community building.

 

Matt Mazzei a grad student at Fresno state studying music, started the Rainbow Delegation last fall with the simple idea to give his friends a multi colored bracelet as a way of signaling their support for the LGBT community.
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The bracelets were almost instantly popular, and more and more people started asking for them. In September, Matt started the website and began sending the rainbow bracelets to anyone who requested one, completely free of charge.

3075 N Maroa in Fresno...South of Shields on Maroa...

For more info, call Victor at 559-430-9452

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In case you missed it…
Apparently a Straight Male Gamer got his boxers in a bunch over the fact that the game Dragon Age 2 was so gay inclusive that it gave gay romance options.  Speaking as the self titled “voice” of the Straight Male Gamer he started a forum to complain about how he was being treated unfairly.
Sadly, his homophobia isn’t that uncommon… Happily the makers of Dragon Age 2 had the response of “get over it” and then proceeded to out this complainer as the bigot that he is and schooled him in a forum post that ought to go down in the history books. His well phrased comeback contains this gem:
And the person who says that the only way to please them is to restrict options for others is, if you ask me, the one who deserves it least. 
Awesome!
To read the whole thing, click here.

Courtesy Huffington Post

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CNN anchor Don Lemon has come out. In a new book, "Transparent," Lemon talks about his life and his sexuality, and he revealed that he is gay in an interview with the New York Times. In a tweet on Sunday night, Lemon, who has anchored in a variety of roles for CNN, linked to the Times article and wrote, "wanted to be the firs to share with u. thanks for your support!!!"

By coming out, Lemon becomes one of a tiny number of openly gay anchors on television; the list also includes Rachel Maddow and Thomas Roberts, both of MSNBC.

READ MORE HERE

Equality California is heading back out for town hall meetings across the state to discuss a plan to bring Prop 8 back to the ballot in 2012. EQCA will be in Fresno on Monday, June 6th.

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From EQCA...

Should our community return to the ballot in 2012 to restore the freedom to marry and overturn Prop. 8? Delays in the federal case against Prop. 8 have sparked conversations about whether we should wait for the courts to restore the freedom to marry or whether we should seek to overturn Prop. 8 through a ballot measure in November 2012.

Come and be part of the conversation! Equality California is holding a series of town halls across California and online for members of the community to come together and discuss the wisdom of moving forward with a ballot initiative. After getting the input of LGBT people and our friends and allies, Equality California will conduct polling to determine the likelihood of a measure passing, as well as speaking with coalition partners and providing other opportunities for input.

No decisions have been made yet about whether to pursue a ballot measure. Please, join us and share your perspective. Help shape the decision.

Facebook Event Page

Monday, June 06

06:30 PM - 08:30 PM

Cost: free

Location:  Map Weather

Fresno City College

Staff Dining Room

Fresno, CA 93741

Event Contact Info

Andrea Shorter
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: 4155810005
Website: Click to Visit

This year, during the Fresno Rainbow Pride Festival, your favorite local LGBT DJ's will be sharing the duties, pumping out the tunes at the UNISON DANCE TENT...

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From the North Tower Circle...DJ Chris & DJ Evil Clown

From The Express...DJ Dizzi, DJ Fresh & DJ Cookee

From PURE...DJ Cookee

From Club Legends...DJ Suzy Q

From the Red Lantern...DJ Jimmy Mac

Happy Friday the 13th!

On this day in history, 1607 to be precise, Jamestown was founded. Nifty, eh? But perhaps you are more interested in more current events….

Who follows hockey? Did you see the San Jose Shakrs last night? (Well done gentlemen!) Highlights here. Another interesting bit of hockey news… New York Rangers’ forward Sean Avery came out this week as a vocal supporter of the LGBT community. His announcement had some interesting results .

For the first time ever, LGBT youth are specifically mentioned in a Senate bill to combat overall youth homelessness. Yesterday Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) introduced Reconnecting Youth to Prevent Homelessness Act—a bill designed to help homeless youth rejoin their families and escape life on the streets.

Optimistic news out of Minnesota where a recent poll shows that a majority of Minnesotans oppose amending the state Constitution to ban same-sex marriage.

Caroline Kennedy announces her support of same-sex marriage and urges Obama to do the same.

On the 9th, the California State Senate passed the Equal Benefits bill (SB 117); this legislation will bar the State of California from entering into contracts in excess of $100,000 with businesses and other entities that deny equal benefits to the same-sex spouses of their employees. The bill has now moved on to the State Assembly.

And lastly… not LGBT related, but a sign that the next generation is by far not nearly as uptight as the ones before, this endearing story about an English schoolboy who, due to vague language in the school’s dress code, has decided to wear a skirts in the hot summer months instead of the traditional pants. The best part of this story is the support of his schoolmates and the boy’s assertion that a boy in a skirt isn’t worth getting worked up about. “‘Wearing a skirt is just like wearing shorts with a gap in the middle. I don’t feel silly at all.”

There you have it. Have a great, and safe, weekend!

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I visited the Arne Nixon Center at Fresno State, a department of the Henry Madden Library, located on the third floor of the South wing in the library, to sit down with its Curator, Angelica Carpenter. The Center is one of North America's leading resources for the study of children's and young adult literature. Recently, they’ve added an LGBTQ Book Collection through the generous donations of Michael Cart, Kathleen Horning and Nancy Silverrod.

From their website...

The Arne Nixon Center for the Study of Children’s Literature is celebrating the acquisition of nearly 500 LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/ Questioning) themed books which have been given or promised in recent months. Donations from several nationally known librarians have resulted in quick growth for this genre within the Center’s larger collection, making it the largest such collection of LGBTQ books for young readers in any library in the United States.

The combined collection includes picture books, young adult novels, non-fiction, graphic novels, board books, anthologies, advance reading copies, and some bilingual and translated titles. All are comparatively recent; the first book for teens to depict LGBTQ issues was I’ll Get There, It Better Be Worth the Trip, published in 1969.

At a time when bullying, suicides, and the concept of “Don’t ask, don’t tell” are affecting the LGBTQ teen community, and mainstream society alike, these books offer hope and understanding that “It gets better.” They are not always available in school or public libraries.

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Chris Jarvis: Tell me about how the Arne Nixon Center got started.

Angelica Carpenter: Arne Nixon was a professor who taught children’s literature and storytelling on this campus for more than 30 years. He loved children’s books and to us that includes Young Adult books too. He was also quite the world traveler. He went to every reading convention and library convention there was, and wherever he went he either bought children’s books or people gave him children’s books.  He had 22,000 books, which he donated to us, but he’d never seen them in one place so he was very thrilled when he saw them here, all together.

CJ: Did his donation include any LGBT books?

AC: Yes, but there hadn’t been that many published at that time. He began collecting in the 1950’s. He really went after, for instance, African American books for kids, and they weren’t mainstream either until the 1970’s. He was born to a family in South Dakota who spoke Finnish. He spoke Finnish until he went to school, so he always had a kind of international take on things. As he got older he taught on an Indian reservation in Washington State, he went to the Sudan, he went to Finland, he went to Russia. He really like to see things from different points of view.

CJ: And after he passed in 1995 he left an endowment.

AC: He left a million dollars in addition to the books.

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CJ: Tell me about how the LGBTQ collection.  

heart  beautiful

AC: Increasingly those books have become popular. I was looking through Michael Cart’s book about the genre, and I dug out the first two books he mentions…

illgetthere  manwithoutaface

I'll Get There It Better Be Worth The Trip and Man Without A Face . In the first one the dog dies and in the second one the cat dies. Then they went from killing the dog and the cat in the first two books to often killing the gay characters in later books. It’s kind of a trendy subject now for Young Adult literature. Michael Cart has been affiliated with the Arne Nixon Center longer than I have. Our previous Dean, Michael Gormond invited him to serve on the Senator’s Governing Committee, so Michael’s been here from the start. He’s considered the national expert on Young Adult literature.

CJ: In general?

AC: In general, and then beyond that, in LGBT specifically. Arne Nixon as well was very interested in Young Adult literature. For librarians, that’s just sort of a sub-category of children’s literature. Michael Cart also reviews books, and he’s given us more than 10,000 books in the last 11 years.

Check out a cool time lapse of Las Vegas…


24 Hours of Neon from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

The Daily Show interviews Dr. Tim Seelig about San Francisco not being in the Top Ten Gay Cities in America. Seelig was just in Fresno on Sunday April 10th, conducting the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus at the Satellite Student Union at Fresno State. Toward the end of the video you can see the chorus performing one of the songs they performed here in Fresno...(the event was a fundraiser for Gay Central Valley & Bulldog Pride Fund)

Open-Door1

"Mom,

I know I have been a pain lately, and I think you deserve an explanation of what I have been up to. I really don't know where to start but you need to know that I am happy and have no plans to change my current life course.

I know you have heard rumors that I am gay, this is not true, I have told you that I have Gender Dysphoria and that I felt I should have been a girl. The fact is that I am now living as a woman and am taking hormones. It is my intent to have sex reassignment surgery at some point in the future.

My name is Kelly now and I am going to be changing it legally this year. Please understand that I love you all and it has taken me almost a year to tell you this because I know it will upset you.

I will be happy to answer any questions you may have but I will not get into an argument about my life.

With love,

Your Daughter,

Kelly Lynn Campbell"

Send your COMING OUT STORIES to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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The Central California Alliance and the Bulldog Pride Fund, with the assistance of United Student Pride, proudly present “Celebrating Local Heroes” on Wed. May 11th at the Smittcamp Alumni House on the Fresno State campus. The evening's activities begins at 5:30 PM with a reception, followed by introductions, short presentations and a Q and A session.

The greater-Fresno-area community is blessed to have three GLBTQ activists with ties to Fresno State that have been recognized nationally for their tireless efforts on behalf of our community:

ROBIN McGEHEE EQUAL and Fresno State alumna
• MATTHEW MAZZEI -- founder of the Rainbow Delegation and Fresno State student
• ANDREW McINTOSH -- NCAA Athlete, Coach and Educator; and Fresno State graduate student

Come hear their stories filled with struggles, despair, thoughts of suicide, as well as success and triumph. You will be uplifted and proud for these relentless and persistent heroes that are living and working amongst all of us. Yes, here in Fresno: The Greatest Little City in the U.S.A.

Advance Tickets: $5 Student / $10 CCA Members / $15 Non CCA Members
Event Day Tickets: $5 more per person/category
Purchase advance tickets online: www.bulldogpride.org
On facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ccafresno#!/event.php?eid=163220697068705

The Fresno Pride Parade & Festival is less than a month away, on June 4th. June is national Pride month...

For those of us who've been through the process of coming out, it's vital to share our stories in order to empower others in the community to do the same, and to let them know the feelings and fears they experience are shared by others. Mostly, we need to let them know it's possible to live an honest and fulfilling life. Life is always better outside the closet.

Open-Door1

Last year we sought your Coming Out Stories and received many touching and emotional accounts of how difficult the experience of coming out can be. We're continuing this effort in hopes of putting together a collection of coming out stories to have available at our local Fresno LGBT Community Center.

To commemorate the upcoming Pride month we're asking for your stories again...nothing too difficult, it can be as short as a paragraph or as long as you like. We also welcome videos if you'd prefer to tell your story that way...Your stories will be posted on our websites and included in the collection. Please send a photo as well.

Send your story or video to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Today local LGBT community members and allies joined groups all across the country in protests aimed to educate the public about the donation practices of Chick-fil-A, a national fast food company.

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Happy Friday!

Mother’s day is this Sunday. Last minute flowers can be found at most grocery stores… and don’t forget how far a hand-made card and a Starbucks gift certificate can go!  (Not that any of us forgot or procrastinated or anything. Right? Right? Ahem, moving on…)

In case you missed it, this week had a lot of interesting LGBT news worth noting.

Good news for the gay couple in New Jersey who were being threatened with deportation. The deportation proceedings were halted at the last minute by the attorney general who plans to review the case.

Rep. Pete Stark of California introduced the Every Child Deserves a Family Act to the House on Tuesday. The bill would prohibit organizations receiving federal funds from denying adoptions or foster care placements to prospective LGBT parents.

The Huffington Post ran an interesting article this week updating us on the LGBT fight going on in Africa.

Former President Clinton came out... in support for same-sex marriage!

Kamala Harris, our state’s Attorney General, came out... against the state's same-sex marriage ban, this time telling the state Supreme Court the proponents of successful ballot initiatives do not have the right to defend their measures in court.

Speaking of gay marriage rights, Brazil's Supreme Court just ruled  that same-sex couples should be allowed the same financial and social rights as different-sex couples.

The 5th Annual CMI LGBT Community Survey is now underway. Participation in this survey gives important feedback to our LGBT community media and organizations, and provides valid data to companies interested in serving our needs, sponsoring our charities, and supporting their LGBT employees. Last year, the survey was taken by over 45,000 LGBT citizens of 100+ countries! Get involved, let your voice be heard!

Barbara A. Lenk, a veteran Appeals Court judge, won confirmation to a seat on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, becoming the first openly gay judge to serve on the state’s highest judicial body.

And lastly, in the category of not related but too funny to ignore... this video of a conversation with the dog promises to get you LOLing.

There you have it… have a great, and safe, weekend!

 

Next Wednesday at Fresno State the Central California Alliance and the Bulldog Pride Fund will host "Celebrating Local Heroes"“  Featuring Robin McGehee (GetEQUAL), Matthew Mazzei (The Rainbow Delegation), and Andrew McIntosh (former NCAA athlete, current Fresno State grad student), the evening promises to be educational and a rallying point for activists and community members.

More though than simply a “preaching to the choir” opportunity, this event will showcase the variety of differences in our community. We can’t forget, we are an eclectic bunch that holds ground on all points of the “activist” spectrum. From grassroots, to streamlined established organizations… From quiet support, to loud demands for equality, our community has it all.  Next week’s celebration is a way for us to honor that diversity through some of the people who embody it. We are all headed to the same goal, but celebrating the different ways in which we get there is not only essential to our eventual arrival but also key in helping keep the momentum going by capturing the imagination and creative spark of the entire community.

Let's meet the heroes!

    Since our redesign, we've been unable to accept comments/feedback directly on the site.  Today, this changes and we welcome you back to comment “like” and interact with our articles.

On our old site, Gay Fresno had its own commenting system.  While this offered the ability to customize, it also lead to comment spam and required readers to create a new account to have a sense of community.

We have now partnered with a company called Disqus to provide comments. It offers our readers a lot of flexibility, is used on over 750,000 websites and has over 35 million participants.  Chances are you’ve already left a comment elsewhere on this system and never knew it, such as the Fresno Bee online.


We are confident that Disqus is the best commenting system currently available and we hope to see many of you commenting right away!  .

Thanks for reading,

Jason Scott
Gay Central Valley

Questions/Problems? Please Let me know.

Queerty.com which vanished a couple of weeks ago, has been resurrected by   Gay Cities .

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From Queerty…

For a moment it appeared Queerty would fall to the wayside, after a disagreement in strategy with the site’s contracted operators, who decided to change their business focus. The outpouring of support following that announcement showed just how much Queerty’s readers wanted the site to continue, and how it became an irreplaceable resource for so many.

And so it will remain.

I trust GayCities to carry on Queerty’s mission, which was always to inform and entertain. And the GayCities team recognizes as much as we did that Queerty is nothing without its readers.

From Gay Cities…

While we are committed to maintaining the best of Queerty, we also recognize that you have demanded change. In recent months the Queerty patented wit devolved into predictable snark, eviscerating everyone and everything in its path. Some of the comments simply piled on. We will maintain the independent voice at all cost, going with a vengeance after the powerful, the hypocritical and the just plain foolish. But now we’ll also strive for a better sense of journalistic balance and fairness.

In other words we’re going to keep afflicting the comfortable; only now we’ll take care to comfort the afflicted as well.

As always, let us know exactly what’s on your mind…

Shortly after Judge Walker made his historic decision in the California Prop 8 case, there was an uproar when his sexuality was disclosed. Those supporting Prop 8 came out saying that since he’s apparently gay, how can he be impartial in the case?

It went away for a while then came back when Walker came out himself, publically. Now another push is underway to disqualify Walker and ultimately, his decision, based on these grounds.

Dustin Lance Black sent out an email blast yesterday urging the community to rail against the current movement.

Let’s face it, the entire thing is ludicrous. There’s no basis for disqualifying Walker based on his sexuality, and that was stated over and over the first time it reared its ugly head. No one saw any integrity in the argument and no one does now. We can all really let this one go and concentrate on other things far more important.

An editorial in the New York Times said it well today…

After the trial, Judge Walker said he is gay and involved in a long-term relationship. Last week, Proposition 8’s lawyers argued that the ruling should be tossed out because he had had a duty to recuse himself, or at least disclose the relationship at the start of the case.

The claim is bogus. It is well established that personal characteristics, like race, sex, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation, do not by themselves invoke the rule that judges must step aside if their “impartiality might reasonably be questioned.”

Our justice system relies on trusting members of the nation’s diverse bench to put aside their personal characteristics and abide by their duty of even-handedness. Any other approach would invite foolish and unacceptable results — female judges being kept from hearing rape or sexual discrimination cases, or black judges from hearing cases involving racial bias or civil rights.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

The American Bar Association has launched its own anti-bullying initiative, "The Kids Are Listening."

The Opening Doors Project works to make life better for LGBTQ youth today. The project is dedicated to training and supporting the legal and social service professionals on the front lines to ensure that LGBTQ foster youth have the support they deserve and the rights they demand.

Through on-the-ground trainings, local task forces and comprehensive research and training material The Opening Doors Project provides the legal community with the advocacy tools they need to successfully represent LGBTQ youth in foster care.

The Kids Are Listening Website


The 2011 entries of the 5th annual “I AM FRESNO STATE!” student video contest have been posted to youtube!

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SEE: http://www.youtube.com/iamfresnostate

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The Eagle Tavern, a gay bar in San Francisco for 30 years and a favorite of many, particularly the bear community, has closed. The last day of the current bar was April 30th.

There's a possibility the bar ownership may be taken up by someone else...

There was a time when many American cities had “Eagle” bars, a sort of label for gay-friendly. A few remain, including one in Dallas, where owner Mark Frazier contemplated buying the San Francisco outpost from its two owners, John Gardiner and Joe Banks.

But negotiations with the building’s landlord faltered after rent was increased by 20 percent, and Frazier backed out. Bar manager Ron Hennis also expressed interest in ownership but declined requests for an interview and said in a Facebook message that he won’t discuss ongoing negotiations.

READ MORE HERE...

...

 

Last week I attended the Fresno City College Pride Celebration.  Unsurprisingly, I heard a lot of talk about equality, about the need for change, about hate crime statues, about the overcoming of challenges. All those things were great to talk about, but one thing really resonated with me: the call for our allies to step up their game.

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(Logo for GSAFE http://www.gsafeweb.org/)


First, let me set the stage. The president of the Veteran’s club was the first on the microphone. “Happy Pride Day!” he called out. The audience cheered and a few hecklers off to the left started doing what hecklers do. Upon his mention of the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the hecklers booed and then jeered even louder. To his credit, he managed to finish his speech, but by then most of the audience’s attention had moved to the side of the stage.  A rather loud altercation took place, and ultimately campus security had to diffuse the situation by removing some of the more vocal harassers.

And so it was to a slightly distracted audience (the altercation and campus security intervention taking place for much of its entirety) that Jordan Burns, member of the Diversity Club, gave his speech.

A Word from the Valley (2011, Article 2)

After much consideration, I’ve decided that the word this week shall be: change.  There are a plethora of changes being made to the world in various arenas, and over the last three decades, I’ve seen more changes than most of the decades before me.  We’ve watched the end of the cold war, the failure of trickle-down economics, the fall of the Berlin wall, Desert Shield, Desert Storm,  the blooming of the age of technology, the creation of the Internet,  the dissolving of the Soviet Union, the split of Czechoslovakia, the death of many celebrities, and the rise of YouTube sensations.  I’ve seen red M n Ms replaced with beige ones only to be replaced with red ones once more.  I’ve watched Saturday morning cartoons fade and return and fade again.  Dating has been replaced with online hookup sites and matchmaking services.  The need to go to a grocery store has passed us by, as they can now be ordered and shipped with little to no effort.  Families no longer head to the drive in for the latest flick; they just have to wait for someone to upload a torrent of the latest bootleg Hollywood hit.  Of course, I can’t forget September 11 and the justice that was served a decade later with the recent death of Osama bin Laden.  I never thought I’d live to see the day when an African American would become president, when a transgender women would become a federal judge, or a Muslim would become a presidential advisor.  Yep, life has definitely changed since I was a boy.

I could spend hours talking about all the political and physical changes that the world has gone through in the last few decades, but that really wasn’t the purpose for the article.  Growing up in the country and now living in Wonder Valley, I was afforded the opportunity to see the transformation of many of nature’s creatures.  None was ever so mesmerizing to me than that of the butterfly.  It never ceased to amaze me that a creature so tiny and misunderstood as a little green caterpillar could change into a butterfly.  The caterpillar’s life is not an easy one.  From the moment they hatch, they become the subject of predatory creatures and environmental hazards.  Birds mock them from the boughs of trees only to swoop in and devour them.  Pesticides lay in wait to take their fragile lives.  The caterpillars skin is thin and frail, so much so that even the tiniest nick can be lethal.  Winds and rains ravage their bodies, and almost everything around them is a potential threat.  At some point, all of that hardship toughens them, surrounding them in a shell…a cocoon.  It is during this time that the butterfly is at its most vulnerable and most reliant on the world to survive.  If it is protected, nourished, cared for, and loved, it will remain intact allowing a powerful metamorphosis to occur.  Within months, a butterfly emerges and takes to the heavens.  Is it safe?  Not really, but more so than it was in its youth.  It’s grown and changed, learned and empowered.

This is the plight and power of the transgender community.  So many of them grow up with struggles much like those of the caterpillar.  They are born not entirely themselves.  The emotions within cause them grief, an inner voice that mocks their bodies, and for some becomes their undoing.  They live with ridicule and shame, heaped upon them by those around them.  They are bullied and pushed around for being different.  For some, it becomes too much and their lives end far too soon.  Like the caterpillar, many of them are fragile emotionally, still fighting within themselves to reconcile their mind to their bodies.  They live in ambiguity, between worlds, never really having a place…not because they aren’t welcome, but because they are waiting to become who they truly are.  When the transgender person realizes that they are something more, when they know they can belong, they begin their transformation.  Their cocoon is created from the adversity they knew as a child.  They must rely on their true friends and real family to protect them and encourage them.  They must draw nourishment from the boughs of determination and perseverance.  When they finally reach the point of discovering all that they are, when the pupa of loyalty and kindness cracks open, they emerge a butterfly…that most beautiful thing that they were born to be.

Pay attention, my transgender friends.  Some of you are caterpillars.  Some of you are in cocoons.  Some of you are on the brink of spreading your wings.  Do not sell yourselves short.  Do not be afraid of who you are and what you can become.  Everything that you have been through and all that you are going through has culminated in this moment.  Your trials and tribulations have empowered you.  When you spread your wings to fly, know that you do so with the strength of a lifetime behind you.  You have the potential to soar to heights that many of us could only dream of reaching.  You have the unique ability to see the world from a point of view that few on this planet share.  Distance and time are no longer your boundaries for you are liberated in the moment that you accept yourself.  The body you dwell within is a but a shell and holds no limit over your mind and spirit, and that is where your true power lies.  Use it! Wield it!  Make the world tremble at your dedication and strength of conviction.  Of all the groups of people on this planet, you more than other have the potential of living the words of Mahatma Ghandi: “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

I challenge you today to find a picture of a breath-taking butterfly and carry it with you as a symbol of freedom, change, and potential.  When you feel down and troubled, you look at that butterfly and remember my words.

This week’s word inspired recipe is:

Butterfly Pie

1 package Duncan Hines Golden Sugar Cookie Mix
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese
1/3 cup of white sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
6 to 7 of your favorite fruits, sliced (about a cup of each)

Prepare your cookie dough per the package instructions.  Shape the dough into one large cookie and place on an ungreased pizza pan.  Bake at 350 for 14 to 16 minutes (until the edges are light brown).  Allow it to cool completely.

While your cookie dough is in the oven, prepare the filling by mixing the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla.  Mix thoroughly and allow to reach room temperature.  After your cookie dough has cooled, frost the cookie with the cream cheese filling. Refrigerate until chilled.

While your pie is chilling, slice your fruits.  Be sure to slightly dry the fruit slices with a paper before placing them on your cookie pie.  Once sliced and the pie is chilled, arrange the fruits on the cookie to look like a butterfly or flower.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Courtesy Huffington Post

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Osama Bin Laden has been killed, through a U.S. military operation.

Osama Bin Laden is dead, President Obama will announce, according to multiple television networks.

DEVELOPING...

Authorities around the world are now gearing up with increased security, concerned about the backlash from terrorists...

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Too often, most of us tend to go through life taking small things for granted: our friends, our family, and all the good things that should truly matter. It’s unfortunate, but many times we don’t realize how much we loved something or someone until they’re gone. In that sense, life can have a bittersweet way of bringing things full circle at times.

For anyone who didn’t know Nathan Christofferson, he was a prominent activist in California fighting for equality within the LGBT community. Volunteering as a chapter leader for Equality California (though offered a job as a field rep.), he was well known throughout the state, even making friends with one of his favorite icons- Margaret Cho. Sadly, at the age of 27, Nathan passed away. Being a victim of workplace discrimination and coming from a Christian family whom loved him dearly (yet struggled to accept his sexuality), Nathan was working to bridge a gap between a community full of hypocrisy and for those led astray from the true unconditional love of Christ.

As I write this, it seems somewhat taboo to be writing for a gay column yet at the same time tie in the phrase “the love of Christ”. I ask myself, why does it seemingly have to be this way? Perhaps it’s just my jaded perception of organized religion, or perhaps it’s because I know all too well how easily even those with faith can be led astray. By now I’m sure there are readers who have a bitter taste even thinking of religion or the search for God, but I’m also certain there are those with a mustard seed of faith- who may need the reassurance that they are loved by a higher power. One thing I remember best about Nathan was that he knew and practiced the art of loving unconditionally; a virtue anyone, religious or not, should possess.      

Although it’s been five years since his death, Nathan remains in the heart of his friends and family. He was my best friend, and in my eyes a martyr used by God to show those of us that knew him, the depths of his and God’s unconditional love for all people. For whatever reason, he spent the last moments of his life (with me) praying; as if he knew his time had come. I had never experienced the pain of losing someone I loved so much. Following his death, I was contacted by a few national journalists, but in my heart I knew it would be best if someday I wrote what I felt Nathan would have wanted everyone to know (so here I am). If there was one thing Nathan would want everyone to know, it would be that they were loved by someone, whether they believe it or not. He is missed and loved by many, but I also know that his death was merely his beginning. In remembrance of the fifth anniversary of his death and National Gay Pride month, I am truly grateful for the people who have fought and continue to fight for equal rights in the name of love.

Nathan Christofferson was also a contributing journalist for GayFresno.com- if you would like to read more about his life, you can use a search engine for articles in a number of nation-wide magazines regarding his death (though I urge you to take what is written about his family with a grain of salt) – Fabian F.

From President Obama...

As Americans, it is our birthright that all people are created equal and deserve the same rights, privileges, and opportunities. Since our earliest days of independence, our Nation has striven to fulfill that promise. An important chapter in our great, unfinished story is the movement for fairness and equality on behalf of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. This month, as we recognize the immeasurable contributions of LGBT Americans, we renew our commitment to the struggle for equal rights for LGBT Americans and to ending prejudice and injustice wherever it exists.

LGBT Americans have enriched and strengthened the fabric of our national life. From business leaders and professors to athletes and first responders, LGBT individuals have achieved success and prominence in every discipline. They are our mothers and fathers, our sons and daughters, and our friends and neighbors. Across my Administration, openly LGBT employees are serving at every level. Thanks to those who came before us, the brave men and women who marched, stood up to injustice, and brought change through acts of compassion or defiance we have made enormous progress and continue to strive for a more perfect union.

My Administration has advanced our journey by signing into law the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which strengthens Federal protections against crimes based on gender identity or sexual orientation. We renewed the Ryan White CARE Act, which provides life saving medical services and support to Americans living with HIV/AIDS, and finally eliminated the HIV entry ban. I also signed a Presidential Memorandum directing hospitals receiving Medicare and Medicaid funds to give LGBT patients the compassion and security they deserve in their time of need, including the ability to choose someone other than an immediate family member to visit them and make medical decisions.

In a stunning development, the gay couple in Malawi who were recently sentenced to 14 years hard labor in prison for the crime of celebrating their engagement, have been released by the President of the country.

 

Following external pressure from various nations and individuals, President Bingu wa Mutharika stated that while he still believes the couple's actions to be "totally wrong", that he would release them for humanitarian reasons. In Malawi, homosexuality is equated to Satanism. This is an amazing victory, when the overwhelming public opinion in the country was to jail the couple.  

Madonna started a campaignfor signatures to release the couple, and had 30,000 people sign the petition. Aid and human rights groups put pressure on the President of Malawi, as did the United Nations, and the UK, Malawi's biggest donor.

Read More Here...

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There's a very valid reason why closeted gay politicians need to be outed by any means necessary. It's hard to believe big ol' closet case Charlie Crist is still alive in politics despite a multitude of sources calling him out for being gay (which he still denies). But our own li'l ol' Roy Ashburn, who was caught by police recently for drunk driving after leaving a gay bar in Sacramento is now the example of why it's simply not permissible for politicians to be closeted if they're gay. This is Ashburn's latest quote...

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"My practice in my entire political career when it came to gay issues was to prevent any kind of spotlight from being shined my way, because I was in hiding. So casting any kind of vote might, could in some way, lead to my secret being revealed. That was terrifying to me. It was paralyzing. So I cast some votes that have denied gay people of their basic, equal treatment under the law, and I'm not proud of it. I'm not going to do that again."

Now that Ashburn has started to vote with his brain rather than his fear, it's unfortunate that he'll be out of office soon.

View more news videos at: http://www.nbclosangeles.com/video.

ImageFollowing the lead of the Senate Armed Forces Committee, the House has passed the approval for a repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell. The vote was 234 Yes and 194 No. See The Complete Vote Breakdown HERE...  Read More Here...

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The Federal Advisory Committee on Blood Safety & Availability will take up the issue of the gay blood donation ban which has barred gay men from donating blood since 1983. It was instituted at the time because of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, to protect the general public.

Things are different now. First of all, we all understand now that AIDS is not a gay disease, and that it effects all populations. Second, in 1983 we didn't have the technology to detect the disease in donated blood. Now, all donated blood is screened for HIV before being allowed in to the nation's blood supply. Still, the current guidelines of the Food and Drug Administration state that any man who has had sex with another man since 1977, even if it was only once, is barred from donating blood.

The issue will be taken up on June 10th & 11th, and recommendations will be made to the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the FDA.

Read More Here...

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Dan Choi, who's promised to start a hunger strike this weekend over the recent developments in Congress on Don't Ask Don't Tell, appears on the Joy Behar show to discuss the issue.

With a vote of 16 for and 12 against, the Senate Armed Services Committee approved a repeal of "Don't  Ask Don't Tell" the 1993 policy put in place by Bill Clinton which allows gays and lesbians to serve in the military only if they conceal their sexual orientation. The proposal will next go the House for approval, with many objections and veiled threats of filibusters already making the rounds.

Some are worried about the reaction of the soldiers, who've already been told that their opinions will be taken into account while conducting a nearly yearlong study of the possible effects of the repeal, which is scheduled to be completed in December of this year.

Republican Howard McKeon of California and the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee stated that through the actions of the Senate the soldiers are now being basically told..."Your opinion, your views, do not count." I find it one of the most disingenuous acts for people to believe the soldier's opinions on this issue matter at all. The military has historically made their own rules and soldiers are expected to abide by and follow them without question. Suddenly, now that gay and lesbian soldiers might be treated equally, they're concerned with the feelings of the soldiers?

Give me a break.

Still, many are unhappy with this recent development in DADT, since it basically states that nothing has to be done formally until at least December, when the study will complete. Additionally, this proposal apparently turns over the strategy and timeline of the repeal implementation to the military, rather than Congress.

This is all mixed with the nut balls on the right who are now saying things like the repeal of DADT will create gay rape in the military, risk of infection through "HIV tainted" blood from gay soldiers, and that Hitler surrounded himself with gay soldiers, so what does that tell you?

Read More Here... 

Voting Breakdown:

Yes: Carl Levin (Michigan), Robert C. Byrd (West Virginia), Joseph I. Lieberman (Connecticut), Jack Reed (Rhode Island), Daniel K. Akaka (Hawaii), Bill Nelson (Florida), Ben Nelson (Nebraska), Evan Bayh (Indiana), Claire McCaskill (Missouri), Mark Udall (Colorado), Kay R. Hagan (North Carolina), Mark Begich (Alaska), Roland W. Burris (Illinois), Jeff Bingaman (New Mexico), Edward E. Kaufman (Delaware), Susan M. Collins (Maine) - only Republican

No: Jim Webb (Virginia) - only Democrat, John McCain (Arizona), James M. Inhofe (Oklahoma), Jeff Sessions (Alabama), Saxby Chambliss (Georgia), Lindsey Graham (South Carolina), John Thune (South Dakota), Roger F. Wicker (Mississippi), George S. LeMieux (Florida), Scott Brown (Massachusetts) Richard Burr (North Carolina) David Vitter (Louisiana)

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Click on images to enlarge for viewing...Photos Courtesy Jim Daggs...See more videos of Harvey Milk Day Events by visiting our YouTube Page  Videos are High Definition so choose the highest resolution for best viewing...

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Rand Paul, son of Ron Paul, has just won a Senate race in Kentucky. In his victory speech he aligned himself with the Tea Party and uttered "We're here to take our government back". Without knowing much else about what he means by that, I'll leave it to your interpretation. It's not nearly as disturbing as what he's being grilled about here on the Rachel Maddow show. He's made statements recently that he had problems with the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Not a lot of problems, but one very important one that he continually dodges here with Rachel. It seems he's not so sure that government has a place to step in and tell private businesses that they aren't allowed to discriminate. You know, because Americans are so, you know, "rational".

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


The Bulldog Pride Fund at Fresno State is pleased and proud to announce its 2010-11 scholars – Allison Zulewski, Leonel Barajas and Julia Scott – each will receive a $2,000 award to assist them with their studies. (Zulewski, Barajas and Scott were also BPF scholars for 2009-10). The Bulldog Pride Fund will also award the TimeOut Spirit Award of $2,000 to the student(s) that perform as Fresno State’s mascot.

“Due to the size, scope and success of the Bulldog Pride Fund’s endowment we’re awarding four $2,000 scholarships ($8,000 total) this fall,” reported Peter Robertson, founder and three-time Fresno State graduate. “With tuition and fees at Fresno State recently increased by 30 percent, the financial support that we provide these students is vital.”

Zulewski is a sophomore majoring in liberal studies; Barajas is a sophomore majoring in mass communication and journalism; and Scott is a senior majoring in fine art.

“Since 2006, the Bulldog Pride Fund has awarded a total of $21,000 to well-deserving students at Fresno State,” added Robertson. “This has been made possible by our concise and simple mission statement, the high caliber of our student scholars, our generous donors, and our business model combined with financial acumen and transparency.”

The 2010-11 Bulldog Pride Fund scholars will be publicly honored at a reception on Friday, October 15, 2009, from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. in the Jensen Library of the Smittcamp Alumni House. The event is before the Fresno State Alumni Association’s Top Dog Alumni Awards Gala at the Save Mart Center being held the same evening. A short program begins at 4:30 p.m. and complimentary refreshments will be provided.

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Follow the BULLDOG PRIDE FUND on facebook and twitter: www.bulldogpride.org

 

 

This Saturday, May 22nd, 2010, is the first official Harvey Milk Day in the state of California. Thanks to the film "Milk" starring Sean Penn, a new generation of young people are now aware of Milk's history and influence in the continuing battle for LGBT Equality. May 22nd is Harvey Milk's actual birthday. He was 48 years old when he was shot and killed by Dan White in 1978.

Harvey Milk was born to Jewish parents in New York in 1930. He grew up as any other child, played football in high school, he was gregarious, but kept his homosexuality a secret. He later joined the Navy during the Korean war and afterwards worked as a teacher.

Milk's story is very different than the stories of many of today's LGBT activists, who become involved in one way or another in the battle for equality at very young ages. Not only did Harvey Milk not get involved in the movement, and politics in general, until he was in his forties, for most of his life before that, he was actually opposed to open rebellion in the political arena. In fact, one partner's activist status and subsequent conflicts with the police disturbed Milk, and contributed to the end of the relationship.

 

       If many people drove by Naked Fish, they would not go there. It is in a seedy strip mall on the southeast corner of Fresno and Ashlan, not a known pocket for good food. Inside though, is the best sushi in the city, second to none.

         You walk inside to a Spartan interior, nothing fancy, and sit down at whatever table you desire. During my most recent visit, I went with a friend.  My friend and I ordered two sushi rolls apiece and shared them. Sushi is one of those foods that is more fun with the more people you have because you get to try more rolls.  I ordered the Tempura Roll and the Philadelphia Roll, my two favorite rolls. The Tempura Roll has shrimp fried lightly in a crisp batter.  The Philadelphia roll has salmon, cream cheese, and in this case cucumber, though the vegetable may vary. My friend ordered the Dragon Roll and the Caterpillar Roll. The Dragon Roll is a spicy tuna mixture with red roe and a little hot sauce. The Caterpillar Roll is a shrimp tempura roll, with black roe, a little hot sauce, and sliced avocado over the top like a caterpillar. I had not tried the last two yet so they were a new experience, but a very enjoyable one. The hot sauce was just enough to tease the tongue, but not so much as to make one go grabbing for water.

        The service was friendly, and all the rolls were very well done, displaying a lot of talent. To wash it down, I ordered an imported $30 bottle of sake that came in a tall crystalline bottle with a cork. All in all, Naked Fish is a superb experience. 

 

ImageShit shit shit were my thoughts as I stood there. Why me? Why now. This was the anxiety that kept running through my brain in the locker room. Andrew stood to my right. He was tall and skinny. He put off gym another year as much as I wanted to. He had these big eyes and his body was rather white. He was my friend though. We always talked with each other. Usually we discussed how we hated gym.

        To my far right there was someone I was secretly attempting not to keep my eye on. I really tried my best not to look as we all started undressing for swimming. I had my eyes in front of me staring into the locker. I was going crossed eyed as I started undressing. I kept my eyes forward as I dressed so I wouldn’t be tempted by the devil to look at Bryan who was probably now butt naked on my right. Nearly tripping as I bent over to pull up my swim trunks my eyes slip only to the left to see Andrew and his philosophy hanging out. Embarrassed and disturbed I wish I had looked to the other way to see Zeus philosophy!

 

My name is Maria I am 26 years of age. I was born in Mexico, I came to the USA when I was ten. I come from a very strong religious background and you already guess yes I am Catholic.

Well I always knew I had no interest in guys what so ever unless they were friends. Well through high school I never dated anyone just because I was too afraid to come and out and hear people talk about me since I come from a small town around the Fresno county. It wasn't until my senior year in high school that I meet the first girl that I fell for. We had a great time talking, the chemistry was there. I couldn’t deny it even if I tried, we dated for five years which, yes, it’s a long time. I broke up with her. Things were just not working out.

I was single for two years and didn’t really want to date. Until one night I met the most beautiful girl, we started talking and little by little she won me over or I won her over, we haven’t decided on that until this day. I've been with her for almost two years now and I've never been happier.

When things started to get serious with her I knew I had to come out and let my parents know I was GAY since my brothers and sisters knew about it already and they supported me. It was a week before my 24th birthday I called my parents and invited them to dinner. My mom was somewhat suspicious on why I would want to take them out to dinner. It took me about two days to convince them to come over so we can go to dinner. We ate dinner at Famous Dave’s. On our way to my apartment I told my little sister I am going to need you to go inside the apartment, I need to talk to mom and dad. But of course she wanted to know why. I told her don’t worry it has nothing to do with you, just do as I say. Then the moment of true came ahhhhhh


Me: Mom, Dad I need to talk to you guys.


Mom: About what?

Tuesday, May. 11, 2010 By Brad Branan / The Fresno Bee

The Fresno County Board of Supervisors today narrowly approved a cost-cutting plan that includes closure of the county's only AIDS clinic.

The county will eliminate 47 public health positions, 15 of which are currently filled, by June 28. The cuts were requested by Public Health Director Edward Moreno, who said they were necessary to offset a projected $5 million budget shortfall in the fiscal year starting July 1.

Supervisors approved his plan by a 3-2 vote, with Susan Anderson and Henry Perea in opposition. Perea said the move will further reduce the county's safety net for people in need of social services.

Anderson shared his concerns, and added that she thought the cuts should be discussed in upcoming budget talks.

Moreno said he wanted the cuts in place sooner so the county can experience the savings as quickly as possible. Otherwise, more cuts would be needed, he said.

The county will continue to provide testing for HIV -- the virus that causes AIDS -- but will stop providing testing and other services for other sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia and gonorrhea. The end of those services worries some public-health advocates, who note that Fresno County has high rates for such diseases.

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We're off to see the Wizard...If you love "The Wizard Of Oz", this will be a good week. As Rick Bentley of the Fresno Bee puts it... "for the next week - you won't be able to swing a Munchkin without hitting an "Oz" lover."

Read Rick Bentley's Coverage of the week HERE...

A national touring company of "The Wizard of Oz" will play the Saroyan Theatre on Tuesday and Wednesday. For more info and tickets, click HERE...There are also performances of "Return to Oz," through Saturday, at Fresno State.

Learn more from Fresno State News by clicking HERE... 

Read Donald Munro's Coverage HERE...

Currently there's an exhibition at the Henry Madden Library's Leon S Peters Gallery, Shirley Harnish Brinker Gallery and Arne Nixon Center reading room on the campus of Fresno State. Included in the exhibit are various items representing the wide range of entertainment provided by all incarnations which have sprung out of the original ideas of L. Frank Baum. There are costumes, art and books, and memorabilia from the world of "Oz". It's free to the public, and is open 10AM-5PM weekdays, 1PM-5PM on Saturday and 2PM-5PM on Sunday. The exhibit concludes on May 21st.

It's all a precursor to the big event, the OZ BOOKS CONFERENCE AT FRESNO STATE, which runs May 14th - May 16th, and is part of the 2010 National Convention of the Wizard Of Oz Club. The event includes such events as L. Frank Baum's great grandson, Robert Baum, reading letters from the author, exhibitions, and a variety of speakers on such topics as “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz:The Modernized Fairy Tale”, “Silver Slippers or Ruby Shoes—That is the Question”, “Eroticism in the Emerald City: The Awakening of Dorothy’s Sexuality in Oz as Discussed in Alan Moore’s Lost Girls”, “Girlish Boys and Boyish Girls: Oz Characters as Experienced by Gay Oz Fans”, “L. Frank Baum and Harriet Beecher Stowe: Using Sentimentalism to Inspire a Female Audience”, “The Dualities of Wicked” and  a performance of “Time Again in Oz,” directed by J. Daniel Herring, Speech Arts Building, John Wright Theatre, followed by a meeting with the cast of the play. This is but a sampling of the many events offered during the conference, which includes the author of "Wicked", Gregory Maguire.

Learn more about the Oz Books Conference by clicking HERE

And on Saturday night, May 15th, the North Tower Circle will host the Official Party for the OZ BOOKS CONFERENCE AT FRESNO STATE, the OZ PARTY. Admission is free and includes an OZ inspired nightclub, Exclusive performances, a "Twister" competition and guests from the OZ BOOKS CONFERENCE.  The party starts at the North Tower Circle at 10PM, with doors @7PM.

So take some time to participate and appreciate all the wonderful OZ inspired events in Fresno this week. No need to go out of town to revel in the world of OZ, because, there's no place like home...

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I would strongly advise any and every young lesbian against coming out this way to their mothers! At the time I was heartbroken and crying my eyes out but looking back I have to laugh.....

I took my mom out to lunch after a long morning of canvassing for No on 8 and we were having a casual conversation. I felt light and happy and my mom seemed stress free (rare for her) so I decided to break the news. "Mom, I have something to tell you......I'm pregnant......JUST KIDDING, IM GAY!" omg, she looked at me with shock..."please tell me you are actually pregnant!"
She was pissed and we didn't talk for a few weeks. Everything's great now but it turns out she had been crossing her fingers for a grandkid for awhile! Sorry Mom!

Just a little bit ago I was going through the favorites I had saved on my YouTube channel and came across this one.  It's one of my favorites by Sean Chapin.  Take a couple of minutes to watch it.  Go ahead, I'll wait.

 

I'm Leon Velasco. My coming out story was after age 20 I had become a father of my daughter Jessica.

The Ellen DeGeneres show was going to show the episode of her (Ellen) coming out in the airport. I wanted to make it as though she was speaking for me. I had my mother and my grandmother sitting in front of the TV watching it and all the while they kept asking why they had to watch this show. I was anxiously waiting for the scene to pop up and kepth telling them that there was a message behind it. Once the scene was coming up I told them to pay attention to this particular part. Then it happened, the words that I was waiting for them to hear that took what seemed forever, "I'm Gay"! Both my mom and grandmother looked at eachother and then back at me. I'd like to say that everything ended with hugs and a tinker tape parade but the truth is; we (including siblings) hardly spoke for an enitre year.

Its been several years now and I can truely say that my family has made big strides in accepting the fact that my homosexuality does not mean the end of the world. Yes, I do drag on occassions and yes, I try to do my part in protests; but it doesn't take up my entire sense of being. That is what I think my family was fearing would happen; become this limp wristed, flaming fem, that over pronounces the 'S', and fears getting my hands dirty. Not that it's a bad thing (no offense), but that just does not suit me.

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I've known I was gay since I was young. In elementary school I mentioned a crush on a close friend and my very catholic grandmother told me it was just a phase that little girl's go through, that I would "get over it." So I spent the majority of my childhood attempting to deny my feelings for every cute girl I saw. I dove headfirst into about 20 straight relationships--the longest of which lasted just over a year, the shortest 5 days. In every one of these I knew something was missing (or maybe it was that there was something there that shouldn't be).

When I made a MySpace my freshman year of high school, I would secretly add lesbians and flirt with them all day long, then go out for dinner with my boyfriend. After a horrific break-up with the person I am proud to say was my last boyfriend, I decided to actually meet one of these MySpace girls. Her name was Kaila, my red-headed water-polo-playing Spice-Girl-singing absolutely-gorgeous Kaila. A week of our secret love went by when I decided it was time to introduce her to my mom.

At this point I am 19, I have known I was gay for about 15 years and have been keeping a secret of it for just as long. My stomach was in knots as I started to explain to my mom. "Mom, this is my friend Kaila. We're going out on a date tonight." Annoying dramatic pause. "She's my girlfriend." I was pretty sure I was going to faint. Then she just smiled and told us to have fun. When I asked her about her reaction a few months later her exact words were: "Honey, I knew you were gay before you could walk." Thanks Mom!

ImageVisit Jacob's blog here.... Jacob Woods Blog

         I sat inside my house bored out of my mind. It was something that I did often on the weekends as a stared aimlessly into the computer waiting for some game to actually intrigue me. Popping balloons and matching colors was more of a waste of time than watching SpongeBob by myself on Nickelodeon. Word games and hangman as well as that stupid fishy game where you always get eaten by all the damn bigger fish just began to piss me off after awhile. I started to yell at the computer, “Piece of mother beepingly beep beep bleep!” I am not sure why but no matter how much I would swear at the stupid mouse for not working, the stupid computer for freezing, and the computer gods for spiting me, I would only manage to get more pissed off.

        In order to prevent my workout to occur while sitting I decided to exit out of the stupid fishy game I had been playing and check the weather. I didn’t check it online though. I actually got my butt off the chair and went outside to find out it was gorgeous. Earlier in the morning before it got light out it had been storming but luckily it was late afternoon and it had turned out to be a bright sunshiny day. I had guessed it to be somewhere around seventy degrees and the sky had the big marshmallow clouds flowing slowly across it. They were the type of clouds that as a kid I would stare at with my mom and perhaps my dad and say hey it looks like a dinosaur.  

Image Visit Jacob's blog here.... GoodAsGay

I sat inside my house bored out of my mind. It was something that I did often on the weekends as a stared aimlessly into the computer waiting for some game to actually intrigue me. Popping balloons and matching colors was more of a waste of time than watching SpongeBob by myself on Nickelodeon. Word games and hangman as well as that stupid fishy game where you always get eaten by all the damn bigger fish just began to piss me off after awhile. I started to yell at the computer, “Piece of mother beepingly beep beep bleep!” I am not sure why but no matter how much I would swear at the stupid mouse for not working, the stupid computer for freezing, and the computer gods for spiting me, I would only manage to get more pissed off.

In order to prevent my workout to occur while sitting I decided to exit out of the stupid fishy game I had been playing and check the weather. I didn’t check it online though. I actually got my butt off the chair and went outside to find out it was gorgeous. Earlier in the morning before it got light out it had been storming but luckily it was late afternoon and it had turned out to be a bright sunshiny day. I had guessed it to be somewhere around seventy degrees and the sky had the big marshmallow clouds flowing slowly across it. They were the type of clouds that as a kid I would stare at with my mom and perhaps my dad and say hey it looks like a dinosaur.  

 

I have a couple different stories about coming out, but this one is the most concrete...This was about two years ago in the summer of 2008. I had just broken up with my girlfriend of that past year and a half and was ready to start living my life the way that I had wanted. Growing up as an identical twin meant that my life was always shared by someone else and I sort of felt like I was half of a person. I had just graduated college and as a present for myself decided to book a trip to California to visit a guy who would have been the closest thing to a boyfriend I had had. My brother knew that this guy and I had been romantic, but he was under the impression that I was cured and into girls.

I spent a week in Fresno with this guy, and during my trip ended up meeting someone named Tony. I fell hard for Tony. I really only spent a couple hours with him, but holy hell did he make an impact.

I flew back to Philadelphia shattered. All I could think about was Tony. I finally felt complete, but he was fading farther away as the plane made it from one coast to the other. In the blink of an eye I was back at work and into my usual routine. Tony and I started to talk every night/day on the phone and I quickly set another trip to go see him in Fresno. The trip came and went and I found myself head over heels in love.

Back home, my family and I were up in the mountains of PA at our cabin soaking in the last bit of summer. Everyone was asleep besides my twin brother and I, its 3am in the morning and we're hammered. Both of us were outside by the fire looking at the stars and talking when we looked at one another, smiled and decided it was a great time for a hug. When we embraced I announced (again) to my brother that I was gay at the very same time he was saying how happy he was that I wasn't gay. (Thick people in my family I'll tell you ). We both stepped back in surprise at what the other one had just said. After the awkwardness had dissipated we were able to talk and I told him about Tony and how in love I was. My twin was receptive, but upset at the same time.

It took maybe two days for him and I to start vibing as normal again, but soon he was becoming my biggest ally! He would come out to people for me, stand up to others in my family and tell everyone how great I was and how proud of me he was. I was so scared that I was going to lose him as my best friend, but knew that he needed to know the truth. Because of his acceptance, my coming out has been remarkable. I am beyond thankful to have him in my life. 

ImageWell, last week speculation abounded about who would be coming out of the closet this week, and it's now been revealed that it's Country Singer Chely Wright, who calls her revelation "magical".

Read more here......

 

Although there's been plenty of bad press in recent past, you can now chalk up the Boy Scouts of America as another shamed American Institution, at least in terms of the "purity" they claim to represent.

The Supreme Court has refused to hear the appeal on behalf of the Boy Scouts of America regarding a court decision from 7 years ago. A judge decided in 2003 that the Boy Scouts could no longer lease land from the city of San Diego for $1 a year. The agreement violated federal laws that prohibit the government from promoting religion. The Boy Scouts have consistently claimed that they are not a religious organization, although the organization believes in God and makes their members swear an oath to serve in duty to God. Yet another group that believes they are above laws requiring the separation of church and state. Consistently in America, religious groups are no longer content with their freedom to practice their religion, they are now challenging the boundaries of their beliefs on a regular basis.

That's just the beginning. As if following in the footsteps of the Catholic Church, a court has ordered the Boy Scouts of America to pay 18.5 million dollars in the case of a man who was molested by a troop leader the Boy Scouts organization kept files on as a known pedophile. In fact, for the first time, the Boy Scouts of America has been forced to reveal their "secret files". Known also as the "perversion files", they've been kept by the organization for more than 70 years. The problem is, just as the Catholic Church continues to do, finding that someone is suspected of being a pedophile is not enough for even the Boy Scouts to take immediate action. Had they done so, Kerry Lewis, the man who brought the current suit, would not have been molested. A jury awarded him 1.4 million in compensatory damages.

News organizations, including the New York Times, are attempting to gain access to the secret files, which were shown only to the lawyers and the jury in this case.

Read more here...  and here...

 ...

 

I moved from a small town in Northwest Tennessee to sunny California last March, in hopes that I could find a place to have a life.  A place where I could walk down the street without fear of a brick being thrown at my head or a cross burning in my front yard.  Some of you may think that things like that don’t happen anymore, but I am here to tell you, they do.  What does this have to do with “coming out?”  Let me tell you...

Last year, as I walked in the Fresno Pride Parade with my new friends, I heard an MC make a statement that almost made me laugh.  “Look at this group from Porterville.  We’re so proud of them.  If you think it’s hard coming out in Fresno, try coming out in a town with a population of only 50,000.”  When I came out, the county (not just the city) had a population of less than 10,000.  When I moved to California last year, I was living in a town with a population of 874 people in a county with 7988 people (as of the 2000 census).  Ladies and gentleman, I was the local “gay boy.”  Back there, being gay can be a death sentence.  I don’t know how many of you personally know someone who has been a victim of a hate crime and killed for their sexuality, but I have known several.

I’ll tell you my story in a moment, but since they can no longer tell theirs, I’d like to take the time to tell you for them.  (I’ll exclude last names.)  Joe, who became Josephine, lived his life as a woman from the time he graduated high school until his death 10 years later.  Everyone in town was aware that Josephine was once Joe, and most people avoided her for fear of catching “the gay.”  There were however, many people who taunted and beat her on a regular basis.  Josephine’s employer fired her because people refused to shop in the store while she was employed there.  In turn, she lost her vehicle and home, and eventually came to live under a bridge near the edge of town.  In the winter of 1989, Josephine was found beaten to death under that bridge.  I won’t get into details, but I will say her funeral was closed casket.  No one ever spoke of her again.

Well my coming out story started July 2nd 2004.   I was pissed at my husband because he was cheating on me with a so called friend of mine for 5 years.  I found out by reading his mail he accidently sent home instead of his moms.  He was stationed in Egypt with the National Guard!  Anyways I was pissed so I decided I was going to kiss my best friend, Susan Martorano. She had been gay for about 10 years prior to this.  So I kissed her!

She pushed me back and told me "We can't do this! You're married and you're straight!" I told her "Oh yes I can he's cheating on me why can't I cheat on him?"

So one thing led to another and I liked it a lot.  We have been together ever since!  We got married on Oct. 31st 2008 and are very happy together!  When I told my mom and friends they told me "Well it's about time! We all knew you were gay!" So that's my coming out story!
 

Robin Martorano

ImageAll videos from MEET IN THE MIDDLE are currently being processed and will be posted ASAP on the Gay Fresno on YouTube Page

ImageAll videos from MEET IN THE MIDDLE are currently being processed and will be posted ASAP on the  Gay Fresno on YouTube Page  

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MEET IN THE MIDDLE PHOTO GALLERY

PHOTOS COURTESY SHANA KASPIAN

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(THE ITINERARY OF THE RALLY AS WRITTEN BELOW IS NOT MEANT TO BE A COMPLETE REPRESENTATION OF SPEAKERS AND ENTERTAINERS WHO APPEARED. GAY FRESNO IS CURRENTLY PROCESSING VIDEO FROM THE DAY'S EVENTS AND WILL MAKE IT AVAILABLE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE ON OUR YOUTUBE PAGE. THE VIDEOS, WHEN COMPLETE, WILL REPRESENT THE COMPLETE RALLY PROGRAM FROM MEET IN THE MIDDLE.)

(Click on images to enlarge. Photos courtesy Chris Jarvis)

Image MEET IN THE MIDDLE FINALLY ARRIVED ON SATURDAY, MAY 30TH, 2009 IN FRESNO, CALIFORNIA.THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE FROM THE CENTRAL VALLEY AND ALL OVER THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA GATHERED IN SUPPORT OF THE RALLY, A DEMONSTRATION AGAINST THE RECENT CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT DECISION TO UPHOLD CALIFORNIA PROPOSTION 8, WHICH STRIPPED LGBT AMERICANS IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA OF THE LEGAL RIGHT TO SAME SEX MARRIAGE, WHICH WAS GRANTED IN 2008 BY THE SAME CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT, WHO RULED THE DENIAL WAS UN-CONSTITUTIONAL.

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THE DAY STARTED EARLY IN SELMA, CALIFORNIA, WITH A PRESS CONFERENCE AND THE START OF A MARCH FROM SELMA TO FRESNO. THE MARCH WAS MEANT TO CALL TO MIND THE CIVIL RIGHTS MARCHES IN 1965 FROM SELMA, ALABAMA TO MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA, THE CULMINATION OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT OF THE 1960'S. THE MARCHERS WERE ENERGETIC AND STRONG, AND CAME INTO FRESNO WAVING FLAGS AND SHOUTING JOYFULLY. THEY CONGREGATED AT THE "WELCOME TO FRESNO" SIGN, BEING JOINED BY ANOTHER GROUP, WHO THEN COMPLETED THE MARCH TO FRESNO CITY HALL, THE SITE OF THE MEET IN THE MIDDLE RALLY.


Live Video of Rally (please refresh page if video is not live or for a new video): 

Live Video of March (please refresh page if video is not live or for a new video): 

Video by UniteTheFight.Org

Video of March Speakers:

ImageWe've posted all the speeches separately from D-Day, on Gay Fresno's YouTube page. To visit the page click on the following link: YouTube - Gay Fresno A video of the march after the rally is in the works and will be posted shortly...(Our apologies to Pam Rank for the camera malfunction which failed to record the majority of her speech, but it was a great one...sorry, Pam)(We've been able to obtain a copy of Pam Rank's FULL SPEECH and have just posted it on our page)

Direct links: Anthony Ash, Aaron OlsonBill & Trish Stout, Robin McGehee, Pamela RankVickye AshtonPatsy Montgomery, Chris Jarvis part 1 & part 2Jay Mathew, Alifa Ali and Lilly Dale MurrayVideo by DivaX

There's a big weekend coming up. The Central Valley doesn't see this kind of weekend very often. We will be the focus of a lot of media attention and we'll have a lot of opportunities to SPEAK OUT about the California Supreme Court Decision to uphold Prop 8. We can also LISTEN, LEARN, SHARE, CONTRIBUTE, CO-OPERATE & HAVE A GOOD TIME...

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WEEKEND DETAILS

On Friday Night, EQUALITY ARMY  and  ERASETHEH8 will be hosting a fundraiser at THE NORTH TOWER CIRCLE

On Saturday, there's MEET IN THE MIDDLE

On Saturday, there's a MARCH from SELMA to FRESNO

On Saturday, there's a MARCH from FRESNO SIGN to CITY HALL

On Saturday, there's a RALLY at FRESNO CITY HALL AT 1PM

On Saturday Night, there's a FRESNO PRIDE FUNDRAISER AT THE NORTH TOWER CIRCLE

On Saturday Night there are AFTER PARTIES  at these LOCATIONS :

THE DEN

THE EXPRESS

THE RED LANTERN

THE NORTH TOWER CIRCLE (The party at the North Tower Circle is a fundraiser for Fresno Pride)

ImageJARED LINDO, CLASS of 2009
B .S., Civil Engineering
Emphasis in Structures

I have valued my time as a Fresno State student. Every moment has been filled with learning and growing experiences inside and outside the classroom. Fresno State has given me much more than a first-class education, it has given me the opportunity to build character and grow as an individual.

Three years ago, when I received my initial scholarship from the Bulldog Pride Fund, I realized there were others in the community who held the same values that I have found at Fresno State. The Bulldog Pride Fund is fueled by understanding individuals in the community who have entrusted their earnings and treasures to support students. This great generosity has made it possible for me to be here today.

My personal and professional success after I graduate won’t just be found in what I have achieved, but also in what I give back to. For the rest of my life I pledge to continue to contribute to the Bulldog Pride Fund and to donate my time as a mentor to future students.

I offer heartfelt and sincere thanks to the donors to the Bulldog Pride Fund who have helped make my educational dream come true. And, thank you to those who are joining me in helping fulfill future students’ educational dreams, too.

—Jared Lindo - May 22, 2009   www.bulldogpride.org

 

 

Unfortunately I was not surprised to hear that the California Supreme Court decided the way that they did today. The 18 thousand gay people that got married during that small window last year gets to remain married, but no other same-sex couples can get married. The decision sucks and waiting for it sucked even more. The California Supreme Court could have at least let Maury Povich read the decision. “California’s gay and lesbian citizens, when it comes to the right to marry, you do NOT have the right!” Then some gay guy would run off the stage in tears while a lesbian punches a hole in the wall. At least it would have been entertaining for two seconds. There really is no way to soften a blow of injustice. Hallmark doesn’t sell a card that says “Sorry on your being screwed by the voters and the court that is set up to protect you!” And Save-Mart’s bakery doesn’t have a “Get well soon over the fact that you can’t get married” cake.

This whole same-sex marriage issue really shouldn’t be an issue. Gays and lesbians are taxpaying citizens and they deserve everything that other taxpaying citizens get. We cannot have different classes of citizens in this country or even the world. There is a very old document in this country that says “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” We know this document as something that Nicholas Cage stole in National Treasure, but it is actually something that this country used to believe in. Now it appears that you are only equal if you believe in what the majority of the people believe in.


ImageIt's fairly stunning to read the ruling from the California Supreme Court in the Prop 8 case. The single dissenting opinion was authored by Justice Carlos R Moreno . Reading the rulings by the justices who upheld Prop 8, it's easy to feel, as an LGBT American in California, that they believe we are less human than other Americans. In the rulings of the justices who upheld Prop 8, they conclude that the amendment is not a revision because...

 "...it does not “fundamentally alter the meaning and substance of state constitutional equal protection principles as articulated” in the Marriage Cases, because it merely “carves out a narrow and limited exception to these state constitutional rights, reserving the official designation of the term ‘marriage’ for the union of opposite-sex couples . . . .”  (Maj. opn., ante, at p. 7.) 

In other words, while they won't admit that we do not have all the constitutional rights as other Californians, they admit that it's perfectly fine for the majority to “carve out a narrow and limited exception to these state constitutional rights".  That's a groundbreaking decision. It means that this court, while it won't call it discrimination, will allow a majority to tweak the civil rights of a minority. Once that door is open, we all know how  far it can go.


ImageOn June 28th, 2009, we will mark the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in Greenwich Village in New York City.  The Stonewall Riots were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations by LGBT Americans and their supporters who were being systematically abused by authorities. In this case it happened during an unwarranted police raid of a gay bar. After facing this tyranny again and again, the gay community reached their breaking point. The Stonewall Riots set off the current gay rights movement and are the reason, to this day, that in June of every year, there are Gay Pride Parades.  

The gay rights movement, and all that we've gained since that night in 1969 was because we as a group of people said enough is enough. So when do we, in 2009, say the same?


ImageCheck out a slide show of the Prop 8 protest in Hollywood, CA by clicking on the following link: Hollywood Protest Slide Show

ImageThe Courage Campaign has organized a rally for LGBT Equality to take place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, scheduled for Wednesday, May 27th at 6pm. They planned the demonstration because President Barack Obama will be at the hotel at that time. Read the story HERE

Click on images to enlarge for viewing...

D-Day in Fresno was a great success. We had about 300 people turn out for the event, with great speakers, perfomances, a fabulous emcee, Diva X, and a fantastic participation for the March from City Hall to the 41 Overpass. 

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Although this was a devastating day for all of us as a result of the Supreme Court decision, we came together as we will continue to do, fighting for our equality and showing our solidarity.

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A special shout out and thank you to the Fresno Police Department, who, throughout the entire days events, were overwhelmingly supportive. They even pursued a couple of guys on bikes who, during the march rode by and shouted anti-gay slurs at us. In fact, the two men turned out to be in violation of their parole and were arrested. Thank you, Fresno Police Department.

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And thank you to the Fresno media outlets, who stayed with us from our early morning gathering as we watched the court ruling live, all the way through the events at D-Day at City Hall.

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Special thanks to all those who stayed after the march to sign up for future activism.

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A full video of the speeches and the march will be posted soon.

Supreme Court Upholds Prop 8 - WE LOST

Day of Decision, Tuesday May 26th !
DAY OF DECISION IS TODAY!

The California Supreme Court has ruled to uphold the civil rights violations of Prop 8.
"WE LOST"
Marriages performed last year are still valid

It is now up to all of us to commit to do what it takes to restore marriage equality in California. I am calling on you to join with us at Marriage Equality USA and also with the Fresno County Equality Team to win back marriage. It will only happen if we put in the work. Please join us! - Jason Scott, Marriage Equality USA, Fresno Chapter Leader

We Unite for Equality TONIGHT!

Tuesday, May 26th at 6PM
Day of Decision Protest
Fresno City Hall
2600 Fresno Street
Gather at 6PM in front of City Hall
March from City Hall at 7PM

If you would like to volunteer anytime today, call: 559-862-4559


Please join us in front of City Hall on Tuesday, May 26th at 6PM for D-Day.
You can find more details HERE . Come and be a part of this crucial day for the LGBT Community and the marriage equality movement in California.

The future of our civil rights is finally here. The Supreme Court has upheld the civil rights violations of Prop 8 supporters, with a secondary decision as to whether the legal same sex marriages performed in California last year will remain intact. We're headed to the beginning of our next battle. Come be a part of it with us on this very important DECISION DAY.

We also encourage everyone to text their own message to as many people as possible.
Here is a sample 160 character message that can be used to text/tweet even before the decision is read:

"CA SUPREME COURT RULED ON PROP 8, WE LOST. WE UNITE FOR EQUALITY AT FRESNO CITY HALL TONIGHT. 6 PM."

 

Meet In the Middle - May 30th!
WE HAVE A DATE
MEET IN THE MIDDLE
SATURDAY, MAY 30

THEY WILL COMPARE OUR NUMBERS -
WE HAVE BUILT IT, WILL YOU COME?
Win or Lose - stand with us in the Middle & Meet the Central Valley!!!
Click the above links to see WHY we MUST reach-in to the areas that
STRUGGLE to understand US!!
Meet in the Middle!!!

EQUALITY MARCH
Leaders from the Civil Rights Movement, the United Farm Workers Movement, the Labor Movement and the Gay Rights Movement will March from Selma, CA to Fresno, CA in a symbolic sign of respect to the social movements before us.

This 14.5 mile march will take 5 hours and will arrive as the MITM rally is starting, where rally participants will be anxiously awaiting the march arrivals. If you have the desire to march in with us, here are the march details.

EQUALITY RALLY
1:00 p.m. - Rally Begins ~If you are not participating in the equality march, please know that the equality rally will begin at 1pm (rally details), with a rally warm-up "Hour of Power" by Equal Action and Youth Today starting, some time after, 12pm.

ImageHello Fresno. I am pretty sure it's safe to say that I’m the newest volunteer writer to the site. So before I get started serving our community, I’m going to introduce myself by telling you a little about me.

I am a dreamer. When I was five I used to dream of being an astronaut, turning my fort into a rocket ship and blasting off to the moon. When I was ten I dreamt I was a professional football player, turning my bed into an end zone as I dove for the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl. When I was sixteen I dreamt of my future family; consisting of a wife, two kids and a dog. At sixteen I realized my dreams were not my own anymore. My dreams had become the dreams of the people around me; I stopped dreaming the dreams of my heart. See by this time I knew I was different, a gay male fighting to survive in a very complex world. Marrying a woman was not truly a dream of my own, only a dream influenced by the fear of rejection. I figured by accepting the life that was considered normal in my families constitution, I would be loved and accepted by society. It took some time to finally realize I had been normal all along, and normality was and is much more than the definition proposed by my family. By the age of seventeen I stopped living a lie that portrayed me as “straight”, coming out to the world. At seventeen, I dreamt of finding my heart’s true desire, a loving man I could dedicate my life too. I began to dream once more.  


The California Supreme Court let it be known today that their decision in the Prop 8 case will be officially announced at 10AM this coming Tuesday, May 26th.

Please join us in front of City Hall on Tuesday, May 26th at 6PM for D-Day. You can find all the information HERE . Come and be a part of this crucial day for the LGBT Community and the marriage equality movement in California.

The future of our civil rights finally shows up on Tuesday. The Supreme Court will either overturn the unfair and unjust Proposition 8 or it will uphold the civil rights violations of Prop 8 supporters, with a secondary decision as to whether the legal same sex marriages performed in California last year will remain in tact. We're headed for either a celebration or the beginning of our next battle. Come be a part of it with us on this very important DECISION DAY.

For more information on the court case click HERE

 

 

We're celebrating married same sex couples on the one year anniversary of the first day of legal same sex marriage in California.
On Wednesday, June 17th, from 7PM, the North Tower Circle will be hosting THE ANNIVERSARY PARTY.

We welcome all same sex couples married during last year's period of legal same sex marriage. Complimentary glass of champagne, appetizers and complimentary cheesecake courtesy of Indulgence Fresno. We'll also have music, photography, party favors and entertainment.

THE ANNIVERSARY PARTY is a fundraiser for Marriage Equality and there will be a $10 door charge for couples.

The North Tower Circle is located at 2777 N Maroa, Fresno CA 93704 (559) 229-4188

Before our evening celebration at 7pm, we'll join together for an Anniversary Ceremony from 6:00PM to 6:30PM
at the Historic Water Tower in Downtown Fresno at 2444 Fresno Street, Fresno, CA 93721 (at Fresno Street and O Street).  Civil ceremony to renew vows and a group photo of couples.

Please RSVP for both events at:  http://www.GayFresno.com/rsvp

More information/Questons:  (559) 862-4559

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The Den and Fresno Stonewall Democrats commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.

Fresno Stonewall Democrats will be commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots on Sunday June 28th starting at 9 p.m. at The Den located at 4538 E Belmont Ave.

Faux cops will raid the bar and arrest selected performers and patrons and lock them up in a jail in the parking lot where they may be bailed out as a fund-raising effort to benefit the Stonewall club.

The original Stonewall Inn was a bar located in New York’s Greenwich Village area. The bar night began on Friday June 27th as a typical crowded weekend night. Raids on gay bars were not unusual in 1969; in fact, they were conducted regularly without much resistance. However, early in the morning of June 28th the street erupted into violent protest as the crowds ejected from the bar by the police and those who joined from the neighborhood fought back by throwing spare change and bottles and trash at the officers. One dyke refused to stay in a patrol car and the drag queens resisted being put into the paddy wagon. The tack squad was called as the officers retreated back inside and locked the doors. Someone uprooted a parking meter and used it as a battering ram and smashed the door open and sprinkled lighter fluid inside and lit it.


At about 3 minutes in, Jon Stewart discusses the latest casualties of Don't Ask Don't Tell, and the President's response...

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
Moral Kombat
thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Economic CrisisPolitical Humor

Julie Fucking Potter will be performing at the Fresno Pride Festival on June 6th. Below is a brief bio on the artist, as well as links to various websites where you can learn more about her and check out her music.

ImageCalifornia native rapper Julie Fucking Potter aka JFP has teamed up with her beloved violinist Caroline Dream aka CNOTE to promote love, equality, and the power within!  JFP is currently working on her sophomore release, YES PLEASE! to follow up  the underground success of her debut album EXODUS. (available on itunes & cdbaby)

JFP was an original member of the Homorevolution Tour, the first out LGBT hip hop tour in the nation, which received media attention from Rollingstone.com, The BBC, and CNN. She has also been featured in the Advocate, and Curve Magazine, for both her rap and comedic accomplishments.

JFP’s music will make you laugh, dance, think, spit out your drank, and definitely motivate to something for the Universe! She is fierce, funny, and always a good time. JFP’s latest track Never Disappear confronts the marriage equality debate head on and is a commanding reminder that the LGBT community and its allies will never disappear. You can download the track for 99 cents at www.digstation.com/neverdisappear and 50 cents will go to the CourageCampaing.org to help promote equality!

JFP & CNOTE’s high-octane hip hop show will take you to infinity and beyond! For more JFP goodness please visit

www.myspace.com/jfplive

www.TheJFPexperience.com

www.digstation.com/neverdisappear

The money raised will be going to help the LGBT youth raise money for their prom, with a portion of it going to EraseTheH8.

ImageGay Central Valley and Gay Fresno have started a YouTube page, with videos pertinent to the Central Valley and the LGBT civil rights movement. We encourage anyone with videos related to the movement and the Central Valley to email us so that we can place videos on our site. We are in the process of uploading more videos, and we have recently purchased a HD Video Camera so that we can record future LGBT stories in the Central Valley and post them on the web.

You can visit our YouTube page by clicking here:  YouTube - Gay Fresno

ImageButterfly Boy

Memories of a Chicano Mariposa

Author: Rigoberto Gonzalez

Review By: Leon Velasco

Rating: Two Thumbs up

I was able to relate a lot to the character in the book. I too am from Mexican ancestry and anyone with Mexican ancestry can say is that Mexicans are very intolerant of any homosexual; related or not. They see it as such a disgrace to the family.  Nowadays because there is more learned about it; families are beginning to open up to the idea of acceptance, not much, but still enough to embrace the person coming out. I had trouble with a few relatives at first stereotyping me and pre judging me. One uncle went as far as to tell me that if ever I baby-sit that he doesn’t want to find that I’ve done something to his kids. I was even told that it was better had I been dead or unborn than to be gay. So, this characters series of events and hardships are understandable. There are some good things that happen as well that make you feel supportive of the character. It is great to read.


(Concord, New Hampshire) The legalization of gay marriage in New Hampshire hinges on the next move of Gov. John Lynch, who remains uncommitted but has said he believes the word “marriage” should be reserved for the union of a man and a woman.

“I’m going to talk to legislators and I’m going to talk to the people of New Hampshire and ultimately make the best decision I can for the people of New Hampshire,” the Democratic governor said Wednesday evening. Read the story here: New Hampshire May Become 6th State To Legalize Gay Marriage

ImageA one, Mike Duke of 16 Pinnacle Drive, Rogers, Arkansas with the birthdate of 12/07/49 appears on a petition sheet for the Anti-Gay Arkansas Adoption and Foster Ban or Act 1.  The actual petition sheet may be viewed here and on KnowThyNeighbor.org where one may find the alleged signature of Mr. Duke and the check mark put on by the State of Arkansas indicating that this name was verified and counted for the advancement and ultimate success of the anti-gay legislation in Arkansas in 2008 otherwise known as Act 1. 

Read the story HERE

(Augusta, Maine) Gov. John Baldacci signed legislation Wednesday allowing same-sex marriage in Maine, minutes after it received final approval in the legislature. Maine is the fifth state to allow gay marriage. Read the story here:  Gay Marriage Becomes Law In Maine

WASHINGTON — The city council in the nation's capital voted Tuesday to recognize same-sex marriages from states that approve them, a step that could propel the emotional issue into Congress and draw Democrats into a culture-wars battle with each other. Read the story here:  Washington DC Council Approves Same Sex Marriage Legislation

(Augusta, Maine) With a vote of 89-58, the Maine House on Tuesday gave initial approval to legislation allowing same-sex marriage. Read the story here:  Maine House Approves Gay Marriage

More than 300 gay-positive clergy were on Capitol Hill today, urging Congress to support LGBT rights bills. Read the story here:  Pastors Lobby Congress To Support LGBT Bills

FROM ABC NEWS - By TEDDY DAVIS
May 5, 2009

LINK TO ARTICLE HERE 

Same-sex marriage backers in California, anticipating a loss in court, are preparing to make their case at the ballot box in 2010 rather than waiting until 2012.

ImageIn this file photo, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom speaks to reporters in Palo Alto, Calif. Newsom, a Democrat, is running for governor of California in the 2010 race.

(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

"The right time is now," San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom told ABC News. "And if that means going back in 2010, I couldn't be more supportive."

"Wait almost always means never," he added, invoking Martin Luther King Jr.

California voters approved Proposition 8 in November, a change to the state constitution banning same-sex marriage. Although a decision has not yet been rendered in the legal challenge to Proposition 8, many gay marriage proponents in California expect the state Supreme Court to uphold the voter-approved ban on new gay marriages while leaving intact the gay marriages performed in 2008 when a decision of the state's High Court had temporarily legalized the practice.

The inclination on the part of Newsom, who is running for governor next year, to push for gay marriage in 2010 is in step with the thinking of Rick Jacobs, the chairman of the Courage Campaign, a liberal grassroots organization that is at the center of deciding when gay marriage advocates will launch their next campaign. 

If any of the following quotes made by Mike Huckabee bother you, and they should, please join us to protest his views. We will meet Thursday, May 7th at 6:30 AM at the Visalia Convention Center. Mr. Huckabee will be speaking at the Mayor's Breakfast. The expected attendance of that breakfast is over 800 people. We will be making a huge statement with a lot of exposure. The time is NOW to speak out in defense of such ignorant ways of thinking. And these views are what he is out spreading. Help stop the hate! Join us!!

From the mouth of Mike Huckabee:

"If the federal government is truly serious about doing something with the AIDS virus, we need to take steps that would isolate the carriers of this plague."

"It is difficult to understand the public policy towards AIDS. It is the first time in the history of civilization in which the carriers of a genuine plague have not been isolated from the general population, and in which this deadly disease for which there is no cure is being treated as a civil rights issue instead of the true health crisis it represents."

“There’s never been a civilization that has rewritten what marriage and family means and survived.”

"I feel homosexuality is an aberrant, unnatural and sinful lifestyle."

"I believe to try to legitimize that which is inherently illegitimate would be a disgraceful act of government. I feel homosexuality is an aberrant, unnatural and sinful lifestyle, and we now know it can pose a dangerous public health risk."

"That’s what Jesus would do." --after being asked if Jesus would have supported the death penalty

"More than a million people who would have been in our workforce had we not had the holocaust of liberalized abortion"

  "A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ."

We will be meeting here in Fresno at the 41 and Divisadaro exit right at the Office Depot at 5:30 in the morning. We have 3 cars to fill up, so call 559-776-5630 to RSVP.   View Map Here

I found this on YouTube and had to share it with everyone. The song and video are original compositions that trace the history of the LGBTQ community up to current day...and beyond. It's a brilliant and moving tribute in honor of the upcoming Pride in June, the 40th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots...A commercial CD will be available soon, please visit the links for more information...Most of all, don't miss watching this incredible video...Chris Jarvis - Gay Fresno

"Pride 2009" - in celebration of GLBTQ pride and the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion, the birth of gay pride. From the upcoming CD "Pride at 40," (JGLsongs LLC)

Visit the website here:  http://www.jglsongs.com/pride.html

 

We are the people of the Central Valley and we need our voices heard. Come join the Courage Campaign to let the Central Valley hear OUR voices.

www.couragecampaign.com/equalityteams

Our battle is long from over and we must come together to make a difference.

For more information contact: Anthony Ash at 559-288-7537 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

ImageSo here we are, 2008, another year of Pride Celebrations. As always, Gay Fresno does our best to bring you Gay Pride Celebration Videos from around the world. We’ll update this article with new videos as they become available, so that as we celebrate our own historical moment in California with the legalization of same sex marriage, we also celebrate Pride with our brothers and sisters internationally…

ImageComcast has informed GayFresno that all Fresno Gay Pride Parades are available through their On Demand system. Read the following message from Comcast for details..."Happy pride!  As of today, Friday, May 30, 2008 Comcast is featuring all Pride Parades on Comcast On Demand. You can find these programs by going to On Demand selecting Get Local, Around the Valley and Selecting the GLBT Folder. In this folder you will find that last 5 pride parades covered by Comcast. Please show your support by going to On Demand and sharing in the fun. Spread the Word!"

ImageThe attorneys general of 10 states are urging the California Supreme Court to delay finalizing its ruling to legalize same-sex marriage. Read the story here

ImageGay Fresno’s and Marriage Equality’s Jason Scott responds to media inquiries about the impending legal date for same sex marriage in California.

Video - Local ABC News

Article - Fresno Bee

Video - Local CBS News

Sun Tsu wrote, "Know thy self, know thy enemy. A thousand battles, a thousand victories."  With that in mind, I have found it is best if our community keeps tabs on what the opposition is up to, and, as such, I read all manner of email newsletters and websites spit out by our opponents.
 

ImageOur gathering at the Fresno County Clerk’s office has been changed to June 17th, due to the recent CA state directive. If you would like to join Gay Fresno and supporters that day, we are planning on meeting there starting at 8AM. Please see the attached flyer for details and let us know if you’re planning on attending so that we will be able to update you. There’s still the possibility this date may change again.

ImageBarring a stay of a historic California supreme court ruling, same-sex couples will be able to wed in the state beginning June 17, according to a state directive issued Wednesday. The state said it chose June 17 because the state supreme court has until the day before to decide whether to grant a stay of its May 15 ruling legalizing gay marriage. Read the rest of the story here

In a dramatic reversal of decades of public opinion, California voters agree by a slim majority that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, according to a Field Poll released today.By 51-42 percent, registered voters said they believed same-sex marriage should be legal in California. Only 28 percent favored gay marriage in 1977, when the Field Poll first asked that question, said Mark DiCamillo, the poll's director. Read the story here: California Majority Backs Gay Marriage and to read the poll itself, click here: Read The Field Poll Online

ImageImageThe Bulldog Pride Fund held a reception to honor its first graduating class on Saturday afternoon, May 17th, at the Smittcamp Alumni House at Fresno State. Nearly three dozen family members, friends and donors attended the event which was held prior to the 37th annual Latino Commencement Ceremony at the Save Mart Center. Guests were welcomed by Jared Lindo, a senior majoring in civil engineering and a two-time Bulldog Pride Fund scholar and donor. He thanked everyone for attending and noted that “we are celebrating the Bulldog Pride Fund graduates of today and inspiring the graduates of tomorrow.”

No doubt most MindHubbers -- being much better informed than the average citizen -- heard last week's news of California's gay marriage ban being ruled unconstitutional.

If Richard Florida's “The Rise of the Creative Class” happens to be right in its tripartite analysis of the keys to creative class success (technology, talent, and tolerance, or "the gay index" as Florida puts it), this pro-equality marriage ruling promises a boon to California's massive multi-billion dollar creative industries of technology, entertainment and the arts, as well as to tourism.

Unfortunately, Fresno appears yet again poised for last-to-benefit status, its already-besmirched name coming up once more in an unflattering national spotlight, thanks to the public comments of Mayor Autry.

I noticed MindHubbers, who are no doubt familiar with Florida's influential work, seem to have let the historical moment slip without commentary on what could be a potential upside for Fresno's own creative class. Florida makes the sound case that a tolerant social climate parallels numerous factors that make a region flourish creatively and financially. So I believe it's worth noting that the marriage ruling is good for Fresno and the Valley in important ways.

Conversely, Autry's public stance is bad for business, and his anti-equality crowing on the gay marriage issue has earned Fresno yet more bad press. You might have seen it: In San Francisco, Mayor Gavin Newsom's first public statement -- following the court successfully striking down the ban as unconstitutional on equal protection grounds -- was nationally televised. In it, he said the ruling would be good not just for San Francisco, but for San Bernardino, as well as a variety of other Golden State cities, with mention of Fresno being saved dead last on his list, presumably due in his mind to the Valley being the nadir of ignorance and homophobia, and the generally retrograde and hospitable home for hillbillies.

 In order to better serve the Spanish speaking community, Gay Fresno is now making some of our content available in Spanish. We would like to thank Angel Sanchez for his translation services. Some articles have been posted and more will be made available soon. We have added an option, "en espanol", to our main menu on the left to access Spanish language articles. We are also accepting original articles written in Spanish for the site, just email us for more information.

Con el fin de servir mejor a la comunidad que habla español, Gay Fresno está haciendo algunos de nuestros contenidos disponibles en español. Nos gustaría dar las gracias a Angel Sánchez por sus servicios de traducción.
Algunos artículos se han publicado y se pondrá más a su disposición muy Pronto. Hemos añadido una opción, "en
español", a nuestro menú principal de la izquierda para acceder a artículos en español. También estamos aceptando artículos escritos Originalmente en español para la pagina, sólo envíanos un correo electrónico para obtener más información.

ImageAfter a few angry, hateful and prejudiced letters hit the Bee immediately after the recent Supreme Court Decision, some letter writers with intelligence and reason finally broke through. Click on below to see the letters, which highlight the voter's lack of understanding of how the court system works, as well as decrying our own Mayor Autry's outrageous condemnations aimed at the legitimate protection of LGBT American's civil rights...

...

A conservative legal group asked the California Supreme Court on Thursday to put off finalization of its decision legalizing same-sex marriage until voters got a chance to weigh in. Read the story here

Image In "What's Your Problem" Episode #14, "Up On The Roof" I hung out with actress, Jill Bennett.  Among other things such as sexuality vs. religion - we, talked about the anonymity of the internet and the pros of cons of being a part of an internet community.  For part of the vlog, we hung out with 8 AfterEllen viewers from all over the world who offer their thoughts on internet "trolling" and how they deal with it in their internet communities. In "What's Your Problem" Episode #15, "Up On The Roof: Part II"is a sequel to last week's episode where actress, Jill Bennett and I spent time on an LA roof top with 8 girls from out of town who had all met and become friends via the internet. This week, we hear more from the girls about dating, coming out, and the stories behind how they chose their AfterEllen.com user names. Oh...and I rifle through Charlie' wallet... just 'cause...

...

Image Parting Glances
Rated NR / Written & Directed by Bill Sherwood
Starring Richard Ganoung/John Bolger/Steve Buscemi/Kathy Kinney

Review by Leon Velasco  Rating: Eh, So-So

I was hoping when I watched this movie that I would see more of Steve Buscemi (Armageddon, Big Daddy), but that wasn’t the case. I was surprised how ever to see Kathy Kinney (Drew Carey Show) in her thinner years. I watched this movie twice, the first time I kept getting interrupted and the second time I kept dozing off. If your in the mood for having some background noise while taking a nap, this movie will do the job. It was ok, but it could have used something, it was flatter than a 12 year old girl’s chest. It stuck to the storyline but it just seemed to drag and the ending sucked with a capital “D” for disappointment. This movie was made in 1991 Amidst AIDS scenario and received high reviews from major periodicals.

ImageA California group fighting a proposed constitutional amendment that would overturn the state Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage has received a half-million dollar cash infusion from a national LGBT civil rights group. Read the story here

Estamos Planeando el juntarnos en la oficina del secretario del Condado de Fresno, el 16 de junio a las 8am para pedir licencias de matrimonio. Si estas interesado nos encantaría que nos acompañaras, Si no estas listo para casarte o solo quieres apoyar a aquellos que si lo están, por favor ven y únetenos. Por favor ten en mente que esta fecha puede cambiar dependiendo de las cortes. Si planeas atender, por favor mándenme un E-mail o llámenme para que pueda contactarlos con información a la fecha.

Si saben de algún negocio al que le gustaría apoyar nos con cosas/donaciones o algún miembro del clero que son amigables con la comunidad gay y que estén dispuestos a realizar ceremonias, también, favor de contactarme. Este será un momento Histórico en el movimiento del Matrimonio y queremos que seas parte de el!

¿Puedes un Voluntario en nuestra caseta de Marriage

Equality USA en el Fresno Rainbow Pride el 7 de Junio? Estamos desesperadamente en busca de ayuda para cubrir nuestra caseta y  contestar preguntas acerca de nuestro evento el 16 de Junio y ayudarnos a esparcir la voz. Tendremos una mesa, carpa, etc. pero necesitamos gente que nos ayude en la caseta a cualquier hora de las 11:00am a las 3:00pm. Si nos puedes ayudar favor de mandarme un E-mail o hacer me una llamada.

Jason Scott
Fresno County Chapter Leader, Marriage Equality USA
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Alguna información Impórtate de NCLR:

1. ¿Pueden las parejas del Mismo Sexo Casarce en California?

Sí, El 15 de Mayo, del 2008, La Suprema Corte de California Declaro que el no Permitir a las Parejas del Mismo sexo casarse es inconstitucional. Tan pronto como llegue el 16 de Junio, parejas del mismo sexo, se podrán casar en California.

2. ¿Puede la decisión de la corte Ser apelada?

No. La Suprema Corte de California tiene la ultima palabra en casos traídos bajo la Constitución de California, Como este caso, Y no Puede haber más apelaciones.

3. ¿Si ya estamos registrados con una domestic partnership en California, necesitamos  disolver nuestra domestic partnership antes de que nos Podamos casar?

No. Los estatutos de  la Donestic partnership permite a un individuo estar casado y estar registrado con una Domestic partnership, mientras sea con la misma persona. Además, puede que haya protecciones legales que estén disponibles a través de una Domestic Partnership pero no a través del matrimonio. Por Ejemplo, algunos estados que no honoran los matrimonios de parejas del mismo sexo puede que honores las Domestic partnerships.

4. ¿Tienes Que ser Un residente de California para casarte?  

No. No hay requisito de residencia para casarte en California.

5. ¿Que tienes que hacer para casarte en California?

Primero tienes que obtener una licencia de matrimonio de la oficina de un registrador/Secretario del condado (Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk)
de cualquier condado de California. Puedes obtener una licencia en la mayoría de las paginas Web de los condados y completarla de antemano, o completarla en la oficina del secretario del condado. Los dos tienen que ir juntos a la oficina del condado y presentar una identificación con fotografía expedida por el gobierno y prueba de que ambos son mayores de 18 años de edad. (Si alguno o ambos son menores de 18 años, se aplican diferentes procedimientos.) Necesitaran pagar los honorarios por la licencia($49 por la licencia publica o $69 por la licencia privada en el condado de fresno). La licencia será valida por 90 días y su matrimonio puede ser realizado en cualquier parte de California. Ningún examen de sangre o certificado de salud es requerido.

6. ¿Quien nos puede casar?
En California, miembros del clero, Jueces retirados o activos y misionarios de la corte, Y el Comisionado y Comisionados adjuntos de matrimonios civiles están autorizados a realizar ceremonias matrimoniales  con cita previa en las oficinas designadas del condado. Hay honorarios ($21 en el Condado de Fresno).

To read the complete text of the recent California Supreme Court decision to overturn the ban on gay marriage, click on the following link…California Supreme Court Decision 

Image We are planning to join together at the Fresno County Clerk’s office on June 17th at 8AM to request marriage licenses.  If you are interested we would love to have you join us.  If you aren't ready to make the leap or just want to support those who are, please come out and join us!  Please understand that this date may change depending on the courts.  If you plan to attend, please email or call me so I can contact you with up to date information.

If you know of any businesses who would like to support us with items/donations or any gay-friendly clergy members who may be willing to perform ceremonies, also, please contact me.  This will be a historic moment in the marriage movement and we want you to be a part of it!

Can you volunteer at our Marriage Equality USA booth at Fresno Rainbow Pride on June 7th?  We desperately need help covering our booth to answer questions about our event on June 16th and help spread the word.  We will have a table, canopy, etc. but need folks who can help at the booth anytime from 11am to 3pm.  If you can help us out, please email or give me a call.

Jason Scott
Fresno County Chapter Leader, Marriage Equality USA
(559) 862-4559

Este año el Artista Titular en el Desfile y festival del orgullo En Fresno será Darío. Darío esta actualmente de jira y actuara en Fresno el sábado 7 de Junio en el Festival del Orgullo. Recientemente tuve la oportunidad de entrevistar a Darío acerca de su carrera y su parada en fresno. Has Clic en READ MORE para ver la entrevista completa, una breve biografía, y Fotos actuales. (Has Clic en las Imágenes para alargarlas)
La Primera "Gran Oportunidad" de Darío llego mientras participaba en “Convención en Busca del Estrellato (Search for Stardom Convention).” El también ha participado en otros programas Más destacados tales Como:
Las del WB (Warner Brothers) “Estrellas Del pop 2 (Popstars 2),” La Segunda temporada del Salvajemente Exitoso Programa de televisión "Idolo Americano (American Idol)" En el canal de FOX, Y Disfruto de la Oportunidad de Realizar Una dramatización de Comedia en " The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (EL Show de la Noche Con Jay Leno).” Por Su Talento y experiencias únicas en la música, Fue Entrevistado por " Access Hollywood (Acceso a Hollywood)" acerca de sus Impresiones de la industria de La música Moderna. El Ultimo CD de Darío, Dedicado puede ser Encontrado en Amazon y en iTunes, La pagina de Web Oficial de Darío es localizada en: http://www.darioonline.com y Su pagina de MySpace puede ser encontrado en: http://www.myspace.com/dariofans


Michael Esswein

ImageClick on the following link to watch a video of the speech made by the ACLU and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsome, after the California Supreme Court overturned the ban on same sex marriage… VIDEO: ACLU & Gavin Newsome

Written by: Dakota M Draconi

I just came from Bobby Salazar’s in the tower, where we were holding a celebration in the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision that will give us equal human rights in the state of California, and I really was moved by the affirming atmosphere that Bobby Salazar’s provides for our community… so I wanted to just take a moment to publicly say THANK YOU BOBBY SALAZAR!!!

ImageClick on the following links to access the local media coverage surrounding the groundbreaking decision by the California Supreme Court to overturn the ban on same sex marriage...

ABC Local News Coverage

NBC Local News Coverage

CBS Local News Coverage

Fresno Bee Coverage Including Marriage Equality & Gay Fresno's Jason Scott

Image Reactions are coming in from all over regarding the historical CA Supreme Court decision to overturn the ban on same sex marriage. Just where are Ellen & Portia registered anyway?…

Hollywood Reacts: Ellen, Melissa & TR Knight

Stonewall Democrat Statement About Historical CA Ruling

GLAAD Statement About Historical CA Ruling

Watch Ellen Degeneres Announce Wedding Plans

Image The California Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Prop 22, the voter approved initiative used to block same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.The court also said that California's domestic partnership law is not a good enough substitute for marriage.

Read more here and here.

Watch a video explaining the decision here: CNN Video

ImageThe California Supreme Court announced on Wednesday it will issue its ruling tomorrow on whether same-sex couples can marry in the state. The judgment is expected at 10:00 am PT, and LGBT groups throughout the state are making plans to be in San Francisco for the decision. Read the story here:  

CA Supreme Court Ruling On Thursday

Image Every year, Gay Pride around the world is often the one day of the year that all members of the LGBT global community are free to take to the streets and let loose,  share a sense of self with millions of others and take pride in our unified presence. Gay Pride presents itself in various ways throughout the world, but for Americans, as our country slips behind the global mark in terms of civil rights, and each year begins to take on a tone which may not have been as critical since the early days of the movement. 

The Central Valley Progressive Political Action Committee (CVPPAC) has released its list of endorsements for the June 3, 2008 Primary election and in the process has redefined the term progressive.

Following on the heels of its 2006 endorsement of Margaret Mims for Fresno County Sheriff, the CVPPAC continues to break ground towards constructing a new model for progressivism in the San Joaquin Valley.

Mims, the darling of the local Democratic Party, soon after her progressive endorsement began to reveal her true nature with support for unjust legislation and ideological alignment with the likes of Mike Reynolds (Three Strikes), Jerry Duncan (Dirty Bomb), and Jerry Dyer (Occupying Force).

The CVPPAC's endorsements for 2008 include Nathan Magsig, a Christian Fundamentalist who "strongly believes that America’s traditional values must be preserved" and who supports a bigoted agenda to maintain second-class status for gay and lesbian people.

Though labeled as progressive by the CVPPAC, Magsig's political views are hardly progressive. Magsig "strongly supports incarcerating youth gang members as adults, and he is a supporter of the death penalty." He wants to "immediately build more highway lane miles" and "rewrite the Endangered Species Act."

The Central Valley Progressive Political Action Committee's endorsement of Nathan Magsig - along with some other questionable endorsements - raises a serious question. "Are you folks nuts?"

ImageThey just keep coming. It’s like a movie no one would believe. Another conservative, Republican member of Congress has fallen. Vito Fossella of New York, who’s worked legislatively to support a constitutional amendment barring same sex marriage, voted against the Matthew Shepard Act to add gays to hate crime laws, and touted himself as another one of those “family values” kind of conservative Americans, has crashed and burned in the spotlight of revelation. He’s been arrested for drunk driving and it’s been learned that he’s had an extramarital affair, and a child born of that affair. Just how full of BS are American conservatives anyway? Read the story here

ImageThe Diva is back…Donna Summer releases her first original studio album in 17 years, Crayons , on May 20th. Click on the following link to access the My Space page for Donna, where you can listen to album tracks and an interview promotional video with Donna herself about the new CD and why she’s stepping back into the spotlight…Donna Summer My Space

Critica por León Velasco

11 de Abril, 2008 fue una noche divertida para todos los que llegaron. Para nuestra sorpresa y ventaja Boomers estaba celebrando su aniversario y tuvo  una especial de tarifas para paseos ilimitados para las tarjetas de $10.00. Has clic en leer más para más fotos y más de esta Crítica...

Los participantes incluyeron a; Jasón, R.J., Justin, Adrián, Shannon, Korina, y yo mismo. Ya que yo iba solo y el echo que esta seria la primera vez que conociera a cualquiera del grupo, me estaba preguntando como iba a encontrar al grupo. Había llamado a uno de los miembros, Jasón Y "voilà" (mira allí) estaba sentado detrás de mí. El me presento a los otros miembros y dos de los nuevos miembros siendo Shannon Y Korina quienes estaban experimentando su primer evento igual que yo.

Todos habíamos decidido intentar El Golf en Miniatura. Nos habíamos dividido en dos grupos, todos los chicos que pudieran caber en una tarjeta seria un grupo y las chicas y yo fuimos otro. No preguntes quien gano porque a todos se nos olvidaba el llevar la cuenta. Pienso que unas cuantas veces añadí golpes de más. Estaba muy ocupado viendo a los otros chicos y mirando lo mucho que se divertían. Las chicas y yo también nos divertimos mucho, mientras jugábamos nos llegamos a conocer un poco mejor.

Hey Shannon Y Korina, ¿Qué tal una Revancha?

Cuando terminamos el Juego, nos dividimos. Las Chicas fueron a Jugar juegos, mientras nosotros fuimos a Los Botes Chocones (Bumper Boats). (Yo No pude ir Porque todos los botes ya estaban tomados, ¡Maldición!) R.J. Y yo Nos quedamos a fuera y tomamos fotos de los chicos y yo tome una de JRH. (¡Sonríe al pajarito!) Estaban empapados de pies a cabeza. ¡Uu! ¡Concurso de Playeras Mojadas!

Laser tag Fue lo siguiente en las lista. Estuvimos parados en línea por más de veinte minutos sólo para que nos dijeran que estaba descompuesto. ¡Que Fastidio!

Ya pasaban de las 9:00pm y algunos de los Chicos ya se habían ido y porque yo ya tenia un compromiso previo temprano a la mañana siguiente decidí terminar la noche.

A Jasón, R.J., Justin, Adrián, Shannon, y Korina, Gracias por el tiempo de diversión. Realmente disfrute de su compañía. Espero verlos a todos otra vezen el siguiente evento social para Mayo. Manténganme informado, estaré allí con campanas puestas.

ImageImageThe headline performer at the Fresno Pride Parade & Festival this year is Dario. Dario is currently out on tour and will perform here in Fresno on Saturday, June 7th at the Pride Festival. I recently had the opportunity to interview Dario about his career and his stop in Fresno. Click on READ MORE for the full interview, a brief biography, and current photos. (click on the images to enlarge)

ImageThe Stonewall Democrats have posted the results of their inaugural Stonewall Census. This past December, they conducted an in-depth survey of the opinions and priorities of their members. The Stonewall Census surveyed their membership on a range of subjects including voting priorities, Democratic participation and satisfaction with the group’s work.
  
Stonewall Democrats - Stonewall 2007-08 Census Results

Stonewall Democrats Website 

Image In Episode 13 "Chow Not So Fun",  comedian Erin Foley and I spend some time hangin' out.  Despite having just survived a night of "chow fun's revenge", Erin manages to join me for some reminiscing about how we met playing ultimate Frisbee and some fruits and vegetables come into play when we examine the large size of our hands. Lucia asks me some questions about learning how to ride while I wash the "Dinah dirt" off of my bike and my gorgeous neighbor Daniel shows up right on time with cocktails. After taking on three AfterEllen.com viewer letters and a lot of laughs, Erin takes her first motorcycle ride ever on the back of my Triumph...
For information about Erin's upcoming shows and to see video of her stand up go to www.erinkfoley.com

Enjoy! Cathy
www.cathydebuono.com
www.myspace.com/cathydebuono

Image Did you know that...

*Lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender people have been targeted by the Tobacco Industry.*Interventions to counter tobacco use are not always culturally tailored for the LGBT communities.
*The LGBTQ communities smoke at rates 40%-almost 200% higher than the general population.
The National Tobacco Control Network is working to support the many local tobacco control advocates in helping to eliminate tobacco health disparities for all LGBTs. For more information click on the following link

National LGBT Tobacco Control Network

Image Gay men longing to see San Francisco drop its ban on bathhouses should not count on the city's new HIV prevention director to champion their cause. In response to a question at a meeting with community members Wednesday, April 23, Dr. Grant Colfax said he is not inclined to support ending the decades-long policy of restricting private rooms inside the city's sex clubs. Read the story here

SIDA (Síndrome de Inmuno Deficiencia Adquirida) es causada por el Virus de Inmunodeficiencia Humano (VIH), el cual mata o desminuyen las células del Sistema inmunológico y progresivamente destruye la habilidad que el cuerpo tiene pare luchar infecciones y ciertos canceres. VIH es más comúnmente esparcido  por el contacto sexual con una pareja Infectada.

El Término de SIDA es aplicado a las etapas más avanzadas de una Infección de VIH. Oficial mente la cricteria pare la definición de SIDA es desarrollada  por el Centro de Control Y Prevención de Enfermedades o (CDCP) por sus siglas en Ingles, el Cual es responsable por seguir la esparción del SIDA in Los Estados Unidos. La definición del Sida que Dio el CDCP en 1993 incluye a todas las personas infectadas las cuales tienes menos de 200 Células T CD4+. (Adultos saludables usualmente tienen una cuenta de 800 o más Células T CD4+.) Además, La definición incluye 26 condiciones clínicas que afectan a personas con la Enfermedad de VIH avanzada.

De acuerdo con el CDCP, a fines del 2003, un estimado de 930,000 adultos y 9,400 niños menores de 15 años estaban viviendo con VIH/SIDA en Los Estados Unidos. Un estimado de 5 millones nuevas infecciones ocurrieron alrededor del Mundo durante el 2003, cual equivale a 14,00 nuevas infecciones cada día. Esto indica que la epidemia del SIDA aun esta fuera de Control. Globalmente hay 40 millones de personas viviendo con SIDA.

 

Image  El Club Diversidad (Diversity Club) de Fresno City College organizó una celebración del Orgullo que duro toda la semana, Culminando en un Festival Del Orgullo este Viernes, 25 de Abril, 2008. Varios Grupos de Fresno tuvieron Casetas en el Festival, Incluyendo El Didersity Club De FCC, Central California Alliance, United Student Pride, The Big Red Church, Imperial Dove Court, Community Link, Knights of Malta, PFLAG, and Gay Fresno. El Entretenimiento Incluido fue Ofrecido Por The Fresno Gay Men's Chorus, The Imperial Dove Court, Incluyendo Lecturas de Poesías Personales y Personas Hablando de Temas  desde Siendo Padre de una persona que es Lesbiana, Gay, Bisexual, o TransGenero (LGBT) hasta  lo que Significa el ser Transgenero. Has Clic en lee más para mirar la galería de Fotos del día del evento...

...

Image A monument will be erected in Tel Aviv honoring gays and lesbians persecuted during the Holocaust. The Israeli news site Ynet reported Wednesday that an agreement to build the monument has been signed by city council and LGBT civil rights leader Itai Pinkas. Read the story HERE

Image Speedway Junky
Rated R / Director Nickolas Perry
Starring; Jordan Brower/Jesse Bradford/Jonathan Taylor Thomas/Darryl Hannah
Reviewed by Leon Velasco / Rating: Thumbs Up

Every dream has its price…From Executive producer Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting, Finding Forrester) comes another compelling story of a teenage dreamer. Johnny (Jesse Bradford, Clockstoppers) has run away from home to pursue his fantasy to race cars – but he runs into trouble and out of money in Las Vegas. Gay street hustler Eric (Jordan Brower, Teen Angel) befriends Johnny and introduces him to his gang, including Steven (Johnathan Taylor Thomas, Home Improvement), Wilma (Tiffani-Amber Theissen, Beverly Hills 90210) and Erics Serrogate mother Veronica (Darryl Hannah, Splash). As the two boys become close, they are confronted with a life-threatening situation involving drugs, money and betrayal, and Johnny must decide if he has what it takes to follow his dream.

“ A potent mixture of sentiment and grit” – Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times

Pride for 2007 has officially kicked off…and we’ll keep you posted on all the news, from local to international…For information regarding Fresno’s Gay Pride Parade & Festival visit Fresno Rainbow Pride…For information regarding Pride events in America and around the globe, check out Interpride…or GAY.COM’S  Global Pride Page…Read on for the latest Pride news and video…

The Imperial Dove Court held it’s 2007 Coronation on May 5th at the Fresno Exhibit Hall, with Patsy Del Rey crowned as Empress 34. These photos, provided by Antonio Damian, include Coronation as well as shows performed at The Red Lantern in support of IDC.

For those wanting tips on float building, Fresno Rainbow Pride is sponsoring a float building workshop on Wednesday, May 16th. The workshop begins at 6:30 p.m., at the Living Room, 601 East Belmont Avenue, near Echo in Fresno's Tower District. The workshop is being put on by James Offen of Valley Decorating (located in Fresno). Mr. Offen has designed numerous floats for parades, including the Rose Bowl parade. His company also sells float making supplies. Want more information, come to the workshop!!

Dan Waterhouse, Public Relations, Fresno Rainbow Pride

          June 5 of this year represents 25 years that America has been fighting AIDS. This war has gone on longer than any war in the history of America.  It has out lasted the Vietnam and Gulf Wars, and will probably out last the current war in Iraq. What is interesting is that in all of this time, there is still no cure or even a plausible vaccine. We still don’t know the origins of this disease, which would have me to believe that this is a bioterrorist weapon. Until scientists can prove otherwise, America better get hip and see it in that light. With that being said, who then should be held accountable for the millions of lives lost, as well as the millions of individuals living with this disease in America; on top of the 40-60 thousand new cases popping up each year? One thing we can do is have our government invest more funds in education & prevention, treatment, and ideally, a cure.
govtprop.jpgHow much truth do we expect from the American government? What exactly are we supposed to believe in these days filled with scandal and revelation, and how much of an influence has our government had over the years in shaping our beliefs and opinions?
 
We all have ideas of right and wrong, good and bad, much of which has been influenced in no small part by the United States Government, through our leaders, public schools and public service announcements. Historically, government stamps of approval meant we didn’t have to think. Likewise, governments disapproval and warnings told us to stay away, there was danger. If you went to school in the 60’s and 70’s but have forgotten those scratchy black and white Super 8 films with the accent of a loud and overused projector, check out SOMETHING WEIRD . Their collection of classic school scare films (also available through Comcast On Demand Cable under the heading “The Cutting Edge”) will remind you of those important government sponsored teachings of the past, such as hiding under your desk in case of a nuclear attack or that masturbation can make you go blind. 

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Fresno City College hosted it’s first annual Pride Day on Monday, May 1st. The well attended event ran from 10AM-2PM in the Free Speech Area of the campus.
 
Many local groups participated by hosting booths, including Gay Fresno www.gayfresno.com , Central California Alliance www.ccafresno.org  , Fresno Rainbow Pride www.fresnorainbowpride.com , PFLAG www.pflag.org , Westcare, Planned Parenthood - Mar Monte www.ppmarmonte.org , Kampout Fresno www.kampoutfresno.com , Out Of The Closet Bookstore www.outbookstore.com and the Fresno Imperial Dove Court www.idcfresno.org
Please join us for Fresno's new LGBTQ Social Group.
No age limits or minimums...  You can join our new Yahoo Group at:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/fresnolgbtq/

Have a nice dinner/snack with some friends with a side of great conversation.
We'll be meeting the 2nd Thursday of each month.

We'll be getting together at Carrow's at 7PM
1484 E. Shaw, Fresno.
It is the one next to Red Lobster (By Fashion Fair).
The reservations are in the back room for Becki and Jason.


Hope to see you there.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email me.

Also, please note:
1. This isn't a pick up group...
If you are looking for that check out the personals link to the left.

As Sunday approaches I am reminded what the 2nd
Sunday in May is, Mother’s Day. Every 2nd Sunday since
1913 a day has been sent aside for our Mothers. Not
only in the US, but most other industrialized nations
as well. An entire day to celebrate motherhood. Being
a mother and having a mother is the essential part of
this day.

Feel free to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to me so it can be listed here
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