With their largest attendance to date, we present the video of: Transgender Day of Remembrance 2018.
- Written by Leon Velasco
The due date for donations is Dec. 8, 2018.
Items will be delivered to:
Golden Living Center's Hy-Lond
Dec 22, 2018 at 10:30 am
Golden living Center's Country View facilities. 58 residents
There will be a Holiday Card signing (TBD) that will be included cards in each resident's gift bag.
Andrea joined our team in September and has been doing an incredible job at keeping in contact with our volunteers, finding new volunteers and implementing new programs. Her dedication to the community did not begin just last month, she has been active in other LGBT and wider causes for years. You can catch her smiling and helping at pretty much any run/walk in the city! We're honored to have her join us.
- Written by Bryan T Clark
No, no one died, but as my friend Jeff, over at thetravelinbum.com put it, October is the death of Summer! While mourning the loss of hot weather, poolside cocktails, and warm summer nights, we are trying not to think about the pending holidays on the horizon.
With the patio furniture put up, it’s now time to break out the creepy Halloween costumes, sticky spiderwebs, and Trick or Treat candy. Let’s not drop that casket down into the ground just yet. I might be able to use it in the cemetery display in the front yard!
I know so many people who say that Halloween is their favorite time of year. They love dressing up and the whole scary aspect of the holiday. Scaring the hell out of people is precisely why this holiday hasn’t worked for me. Ever since I was a kid my mantra has always been “I don’t do scary!” I do not like to be scared.
In a haunted house, I will knock you out if you jump out in front of me, yelling Boo! I once paid fifteen dollars to go into a ‘haunted house’. I ran from the moment I walked into that house, all the way through every room, until I exited out the back door. In less than a minute, from start to finish, I was out and I saw nothing! I do feel a little bad for the people in front of me who got trampled by this six-two, two hundred-pound screaming black man that they never even saw coming!
I guess for me, the part about dressing up, spending time with friends, being silly, and overall just having a good time, is still appealing. I love a good party! Some of the best and most elaborate costumes I’ve ever seen was on a Halloween visit to San Francisco, on Castro Street. If you love to people watch, there is no better show to see.
- Written by Evie Ovalle
Like many trans people and allies, I was horrified to hear that the Department of Human Health Service is proposing new guidelines for determining gender in the United States. While the DHHS refuses to acknowledge its intention to ban transgender people from federal protection under Title IX, its proposal to establish a concrete definition of sex will nevertheless retrograde the trans community to those days of seeking black market synthetic hormones and sex work in exchange for money to cover trans-related medical procedures.
As quoted in the NY Times article:
“The department argued in its memo that key government agencies needed to adopt an explicit and uniform definition of gender as determined 'on a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable.' The agency’s proposed definition would define sex as either male or female, unchangeable, and determined by the genitals that a person is born with, according to a draft reviewed by The Times. Any dispute about one’s sex would have to be clarified using genetic testing.” (Green, Erica L., et al.)
Over the past few years years, transgender people and undocumented immigrants have become the center bargaining chip between leftist and conservative politicians in this country. We are a hotly debated topic, sitting awkwardly at the crossroads of a cultural, political and economic war, a large-scale national debate between Americans of varying backgrounds and ideologies, from evangelicals to radical feminists. Depending on who you talk to, trans rights can either mean a better, more forward-thinking world where gender is no longer a rigid determining factor of one's own destiny or a godless, dystopian nightmare with little blonde pig-tailed girls in perpetual danger of rape. Having talked to several of my trans friends, I can confidently assure any inquiring party that most of us just want to lead normal lives – work and make enough money to meet our basic needs and have some funds left over for Netflix and the occasional Amazon splurge. None of us really have the desire to be the topic of headlines on 24-hour cable news networks or have our lives subjected to heated disputes between millions of Americans nationwide. Fortunately, it seems that the average American is beginning to understand that.
Even as African American and black and brown Latina trans women continue to be murdered at astounding rates, the trans community is gaining some leverage with the support of such individual American and international organizations like the American Psychiatric Association, American College of Physicians, American Medical Association, World Professional Association for Transgender Health, United Nations and more – and the list keeps growing, despite ongoing pressure from the White House. Yet, here we are, about to have it all taken away from us. Even something as trivial as the right to use public restrooms safely – without fear of arrest or harassment or physical harm – will become a far-reaching unattainability if this new proposal is passed.
It may seem hopeless but we are not a people that easily give up hope – not without a fight. The pendulum swings our way and it's now done so for years. The DHHS is not creating a “concrete definition of sex,” but rather an arbitrary one that can easily be discredited by doctors, psychologists, biologists and geneticists – argued into obliteration and permanently put to rest by the people qualified to do so. Amid the high murder and low-unemployment rates, there is a society that is slowly acknowledging and validating our lives. We now have a firmer grasp of genetics, we understand the nature of biology, we know other animals can also change their sex. We have evidence of transgender people living successful, productive lives when protected from discrimination and violence, of children wanting to change their gender from a very early age and of the tragic consequences of people who aren't allowed to change their gender. We see more representation of us in the media. Katie Couric is on our side and the Times declares our movement is at a “tipping point.” In other words, we can fight this!
The right's biggest weapon against the left is its successful use of “gaslighting” – manipulating us to the point where we question ourselves, our very own sanity. The right wants us to feel that we're at the brink of Nazi Germany, they want us feel hopeless and weak – this makes it easier for them to pull the rug from right underneath us. I think this is the main reason why hate groups tend to gather en masse in such progressive cities as Portland, OR and Berkeley, CA. The right knows they'll attract a large group of counter-protesters in these cities, they know it might get ugly and they want as much news coverage of it as possible. They want to discredit the left, to tell the world, "Look at how much these liberals hate free speech!" They want an even playing field, where an illegitimate ideology can gain some level of respectability and duke it out with the “angry leftist liberals.” The ploy so often works and Antifa and Black Lives Matter are labeled as “angry,” “hateful,” and “racist” by politically moderate friends and family, while reactionary hate groups, such as the alt-right and Proud Boys continue to distract us all from an administration inconspicuously aligning itself with white nationalist and fascist ideals. We won't let them win.
Unfortunately, resisting the attacks of the right will take a little more than wearing vagina hats and standing outside the Supreme Court yelling, “Resist.” It's going to take a little elbow grease too. It may take active canvassing, it may take holding the media accountable for fair and accurate coverage of trans people. Most importantly, it will take your vote. Voting candidates into office with strong ties to the LGBT community can help secure a win for Queer people. Be sure to look up every candidate's policy on transgender-related issues – even those you may believe align themselves with the democratic party and LGBT issues. Together, we can beat this and forge a world where Queers are allowed to exist freely and safely.
LGBT Fresno decries the transphobic ad by Elizabeth Heng's campaign against Jim Costa. The ad depicts Costa in offensive, emasculating, using gender stereotypes. We call on their campaign to pull this ad. Let their campaign know your thoughts: Elizabeth Heng
From Zoyer Zyndel, President of Trans-e-Motion: I think it's offensive because it is equating his change of views to being too feminine and weak. They are also insulting Nancy Pelosi because they are saying Costa is "walking in her shoes" like it is a bad thing to wear heels or be feminine. It's pretty much emasculating but can be interpreted as transphobic; anything that insults gender bending or insinuating there is something wrong with blurring the gender lines (even as a metaphor in politics) can be construed as transphobic and very offensive. It's one thing to comment on his merit and integrity as a leader but it is truly in poor taste to bring gender expression into the situation and using the heels to demean another politician, as if being feminine is a bad thing or equaling a lack of ethics in leadership.
Not only must we hold people and groups accountable, we MUST applaud them when they do something RIGHT! So, please email the Fresno Unified School District's board members who approved the Resolution for LGBT History Month.
Brooke Ashjian walks out during vote on LGBT History Month Resolution. Remaining board members all vote in favor. Watch video (begin at minute 55)
Complete video of Common Space's Fresno QueerOut Gala 2018, by CMAC:
- Written by Janet
What a great weekend it was, a new adventure at a new, beautiful site, which received rave reviews from those attending. The campground was laid out in a circle, and the roads were fairly flat, which allowed people to mingle and easily get to the common areas and explore some historic sites. This year, about 100 kampers enjoyed the beautiful weather and clean air across the road from Texas Flat.
Kampers arriving early on Friday were greeted by Sally and others of the HLK with a “welcome kocktail” in a special commemorative cup. Then it was on to a new event, Kampout Bingo, which was a big hit, sponsored by and prizes donated by Steve and Oscar. The Progressive Kocktail Party, our traditional “meet and greet” on Friday made 5 stops starting at the HLK and down to the Kampout Committee, then on to Eli and Dennis, then Jeffery and on to the IDC, before returning to the main kamp for the first beer bust, sponsored by the Red Lantern, and karaoke. Big thanks to all who provided stops, what a lot of fun, great food and beverage.
Saturday is the busy day at Kampout, starting out with a great breakfast by the Kampout Committee. Kampers then were ready to participate in all the fun and games, the Yacht Regatta, the Needle in the Haystack, and the always hysterical Kamptown Races.
Saturday’s beer bust was sponsored by Alibi and was followed by a wonderful dinner by the Kampout Committee, of chicken cacciatore with pasta, ratatouille,
and green salad. Big thanks to Committee members Rick, Phillip, and Rudy who worked so hard in the kitchen.
Saturday’s festivities continued with the always fun Kampstravaganza Show, which began with Rick singing God Bless America. Thank you to “Agent O” Josef for your great job as MC. Big thanks to our reigning Emperor Mario and Empress Melody and all the IDC who came out in force for this year’s kampout. And I just don’t have words to say what a fabulous bunch of performers we had on stage this year. Thank you all.
On to the winners of the weekend events. The Needle in the Haystack was won by Oscar, Rachel, and Laurie. In the Regatta, Kamp Kommordor went to Tiana and Best Boat went to Chelsea. For kampsites, the Best in Theme went to the IDC, Best in Show went to Eli and Dennis, and Best Unique Interpretation went to Jeffrey. Kampout King was Sheri and Kampout Kween was She-lah Tequila.
Congratulations to all winners.
The Kampout Committee would like to thank all of our wonderful sponsors, without their help, we couldn’t do this. Thank you to the Red Lantern and Alibi for your donation of the kegs. Thank you to Fresno Pride Lions for your donation. Special thanks to Julio, Eli, Dennis and Jeffery for all your help. LeeShe, thank you for all you do. Thank you to the IDC for sponsoring the printing of the rave cards.
Thank you, Josef for your fundraiser. Thank you to NewsLink for your continued support. And thank you to LGBTFresno.com.
Kampout officially ended on Sunday, with another wonderful breakfast provided by the Kampout Committee followed by the selection of next year’s theme. So, here is what you have been waiting for…Kampout 2019 Goes to the Circus. Lion tamers, bearded “ladies”, strong women….we’ll even stretch this out to carnival stuff…but PLEASE…no CLOWNS. This should be a lot of fun, so join us up at Kampout, Sept. 6-8, 2019.
See more photos/videos on event page and like their facebook page for updates on next year.
GSA Network is seeking an experienced organizer who wants to play a critical part in building and strengthening GSA Network’s organizing, base-building, leadership development, and campaign work in the Central Valley. This position will build the capacity of trans and queer youth of color to engage in grassroots GSA organizing and policy advocacy at the intersections of LGBTQ student safety and economic and racial justice in schools.
The ideal candidate would have a proven track record of supporting youth-led initiatives and developing youth leaders, building a base and membership of young people, successfully planning events and programs, developing and advancing campaigns, and fostering strong partnerships with local school districts, coalitions, and community organizations. Candidates should have strong communication skills and a demonstrated ability to work independently and take initiative.
The Central Valley Regional Organizer position is a full-time position located in Fresno, CA. This position is currently our sole organizer in the Central Valley office and is a part of our statewide Youth Organizing team that works to build GSA power and trans and queer youth power throughout California. This position is supervised by a remote supervisor based in Los Angeles, CA.
Submit your cover letter and resume via the application link. The position will be filled as soon as the appropriate candidate is found. It is therefore recommended that you submit your materials as promptly as possible. The ideal start date is November 15, 2018.
- Written by Evie Ovalle
It had been a particularly warm summer in 1966 and the city of San Francisco was finally enjoying the cool Pacific winds that the month of August brought in. The Bay Area metropolis bustled alive with sailors, hustlers, immigrant families and tourists, all scurrying atop the seven peninsula hills like ants over great concrete mounds. Already reputed as an “anything goes” kind of place, San Francisco had been able to maintain a number of “libidinous” establishments open for years – including “homosexual gatherings” like The Black Cat Café and Finocchio’s Nightclub in North Beach. These bars stayed open through an extensive negotiation with local law-enforcement and assistance from the local *Homophile organizations located in the city. Cross-dressing, however, was still illegal in 1966 and SFPD could use the presence of transgender people in a place of business as a pretext to make a raid and close down a bar. As a result, many trans-people (or hair fairies, as they were often referred to) were not welcome. The only place trans-people could really congregate safely was in a little chain restaurant, on the corner of Taylor and Turk, called Compton’s Cafeteria. It is here that a civic revolt took place – one that would pre-date Stonewall as the first recorded transgender riot in United States history.
*Homophile: A term used in the 1950’s and 1960’s to describe LGBT-rights organizations. With the emergence of the Gay Liberation, the word began to disappear from the LGBT vernacular.
On this one August night, SFPD was called in under the premise that a group of hair fairies had become increasingly raucous at Compton's. The SFPD, assuming a routine deviant arrest, promptly showed up and proceeded to manhandle the clientele – as it happens, this was also a routine thing for them to do.
There are several accounts as to what occurred next or what prompted the riot itself, but the most popular version is that a trans woman, exhausted with the abuse implemented by the San Francisco police, threw her hot coffee in the face of the officer who was roughening her up. In a matter of mere seconds, dishes, furniture, wigs and high-heeled shoes went flying about the cafe. Shouts and screams were heard from the outside, and the restaurant’s plate-glass windows were violently smashed. The riot spilled out onto the dark, wet streets of the Tenderloin District. Police called for reinforcements as a sidewalk newsstand was toppled over and burned to the ground. The first night of the riots had begun.
The following night, the plate-glass windows at Compton’s Cafeteria were replaced, just as an even larger crowd of street hustlers, drag queens, transgender women and gay men picketed outside the restaurant. When news broke out that transgender people were not to be allowed inside Compton’s again, the newly replaced plate-glass windows were once again smashed. That shattered glass became a bold symbolic call to action for American transgender people, demanding equitable treatment and respect for their identities and lives.
Although the riot marked a major turning point for transgender rights in the U.S., the struggle continues somewhat-incipiently – not just for transgender rights, but for any movement that promotes freedom from oppression based on gender-identity and expression, economic status and class.
This violent, angry event resulted in peaceful demonstrations and better negotiations with the city. It is these negotiations that eventually created more access to city healthcare for trans-people, trans-support services and an annual transgender-march down Market Street – and it all began with a cup of coffee.
This year, as we move forward in fighting for LGBT equal rights, let us remember those places, events and people who fought the first rounds before us and won – or sometimes lost. Let us honor those who stood up for their rights, even when it wasn’t the coolest or hippest thing to do. Let’s never forget that it is because of these people, who celebrated themselves amid persecution and injustice, that we are able to celebrate ourselves a little more today.
I encourage you to consider actively searching for your LGBT activist ancestors, take their strengths and courage and continue to fight for your share of the American Dream.
What LGBT activists or events inspire you?
On October 20, 2018, WestCare California will be presenting the 6th Annual Fresno AIDS Walk & 5k run in support of the Living Room, a project of WestCare California.
Thanks to the efforts and generosity of our supporters and donors, previous year's events were a tremendous success and a wonderful tribute to those that we have lost and to those that are currently living with the virus. We hope to make this year's walk even bigger with your continued support.
The walk will take place at Woodward Park's Park View Shelter and will also feature a 5K run.
To register for the walk as a team or individual for FREE or for our 5k run, which will include a FREE participant shirt and race bib with the $25 registration fee, please visit: http://fresnoaidswalk.org/register.asp
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