- Written by Micah Escobedo
We're in the midst of unprecedented disruption, and there's no guarantee that we'll make it to the next century or even mid-century. Institutions are more fragile than we had hoped. The news cycle is a batshit 24-hour cycle of gaslighting by the president and far-right government. Objective facts and reality are questioned to the point of tragic parody.
And yet, I'm hopeful for the future.
I can't explain it, especially at a time when we appear to be going backward at breakneck speed. That hope compelled me to move across the country. It pushes me to keep going, to keep fighting. In other words — it drives me forward on a daily basis. I refuse to let it die, no matter what overpaid pundits or prophets of doom may say.
Of course, I could cite the statistics that show how we're better off now than we've ever been à la Steven Pinker's Enlightenment Now. I could mention the fact that this era of instability and transition presents a golden opportunity for transformative change, or that renewable energy's proliferation and global climate ambitions increase by the year, making the worst-case climate scenario less likely as time goes on.
But that's not why I have hope. It isn't really a numbers thing. I've thought a lot about this since Trump won and my sense of optimism was shaken to the core. In one night, much of what I thought I knew about our progress as a country crashed like a house of cards. I felt numb. I, along with millions of others, was terrified of what a Trump presidency actually meant. I basically had a mini-nervous breakdown in the shower the next morning and continued to feel like a zombie for several days. To this day, thinking about November 8, 2016 almost feels like I'm reliving a trauma.
Why do I keep the faith alive? What's the use? Maybe I really am naive or delusional, and maybe the jaded-asshole process is still ahead. Maybe it's because I grew up with a belief that I had a duty to live for a purpose bigger than myself. Even though I'm no longer religious, that framework still largely stands. Whatever it is, I keep coming back to the fact that I have an unshakable belief in the human spirit. I know — it sounds ridiculous and corny. But it's true.
Despite the chaos of current events and our collective existential dread for what lies ahead, I won't stop believing—fighting—for a future that I know we can reach. We've defied the odds since our species emerged from Africa 200,000 years ago, and we always seem to come through fires more resilient than before.
We're all part of a story that transcends each of us. Progress is a continuous, generational struggle, one with frequent setbacks. It's maddening when it happens and easy (even natural) to feel like it's all been in vain. It isn't until we step back and see the 30,000-ft. view that we realize how far we've come. My own compulsion to explore boundaries and connect to consciousness is innate in all of us. I know it is.
No matter what 2020 has in store, the beat goes on.
In June 2015 The Supreme Court of the United States declared same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states.
The legalization of gay marriage granted over 1100 statutory provisions to same-sex couples, many of them granting rights and privileges previously only afforded to heterosexual couples.
However, the law didn't just benefit same-sex couples who want to get married, it also had a dramatic affect on LGBT youth.
The study was conducted with over 26,000 LGBT youth participants in the 32 states where gay marriage was legalized up through the 2015 Supreme Court decision. The study found that suicide attempt rates dropped 7% among all students and 14% among gay kids after same-sex marriage was legalized in each state.
The Fresno Spectrum Center has Drag Bingo tickets for $10, advance sale. $15 at the door. Proceeds to benefit The Fresno Spectrum Center and Our Saviour's Lutheran church. VIP Tables available, Brunch available for additional purchase. For details call: Fresno Spectrum Center 559-319-8471
February 1st 2020 - 11am - 3pm
Our Saviour's Lutheran Church
2101 N Fruit Ave, Fresno 93705
Ellen shocked Fresno State University student Travis Morris, who recently went viral with a video of him enthusiastically playing the cymbals in his marching band. Travis talked about how he began playing the instrument, and Ellen gave him a much-needed gift.
- Written by Jose Hernandez
It can be incredibly hard to make friends, whether you've just moved to a new city or you are just trying to widen your circle, it’s not easy to find people who you can relate to.
That’s why LGBT Fresno hosts various events throughout the year, including a game night every month for LGBT individuals and allies to come together, meet new people and make friends.
The board game night is a twice monthly event for people to have fun playing games and meeting other community members. There are handfuls of games for people to try and plenty of snacks and drinks to enjoy. Games such as Uno, Coup, and Spyfall are available, but there are plenty of other games. Tasty snacks such as cookies and chips are also available for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re a board game lover or a casual player, there are fun games of different genres for everyone to enjoy.
On top of board games, occassional raffles are offered where anyone who comes is eligible to win prizes!
It can be intimidating to go to an event where everyone is a stranger, but as soon as you walk in through the door, Kevin greets you with friendly smile and is eager to help welcmoe you. Others welcome everybody with open arms, and pull a seat for you to jump right in. They walk you through the game, if you have never played, and happily explain the rules.
You can expect to play more fun games and see the same friendly faces. Won't YOU join us?
We'd like to send our heartfelt thanks to everyone who has joined us at events throughout 2019.
This fabulous group of folks joined us at our free Holiday Dinner Party this month.
Won't you join us at our upcoming events?
Thanks to those who have supported us over the year, we were able to "adopt" two families this holiday.
Thank you and please consider joining us as we begin 2020!
#GivingTuesday is Tuesday, Dec. 3! Can you help LGBT Fresno meet its goal of raising $1,500? It will help pay for support and social services, referral services, events and more that are desperately needed for the most vulnerable LGBT+ community in the Central Valley. Each year we help to fight oppression and lift community members out of social isolation. On Tuesday, Dec. 3, Facebook will match all #GivingTuesday donations you receive, doubling your efforts! Ask your Facebook friends to help you raise a relatively small amount, such as $200; if many of our supporters start Facebook fundraisers, we will reach our goal!
Wednesday, December 18, 2019 from 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Yosemite Falls Cafe
4020 N Cedar Ave
Fresno, California 93726
Dinner and non alcoholic drink provided.
Please bring a wrapped gift for our white elephant gift exchange.
Our friends from Fresno Spectrum Center's Drag Bingo will be calling bingo games! No cost to play.
Tuesday, December 3rd : Starbucks in Fig Garden
(704 W Shaw Ave, Fresno, CA 93704) at 5:30pm, begin walk at 6pm.
Come enjoy the Holiday season with your fellow LGBTQA+ members. As a group we will walk the lane and wear Santa hats. Come early so you don't miss out. We will meet at Starbucks in Fig Garden (704 W Shaw Ave, Fresno, CA 93704) at 5:30pm. Look for Sal, holding a "LGBT Community Network" sign! We'll leave and walk across to start at 6pm when the lights turn on each night. We might walk half or whole...the goal is whole. Walk nights happen rain or shine so mark your calendars!
The walk is free but, donations are welcomed and can be made on the walk to Christmas Tree Lane.
Check out www.christmastreelane.com for more information.
*Wait-Staff for No host food and drink will be available for purchase.*
There will be door prizes and picture booth with Love & Thanksgiving props. This is not a couples event, this a come one or come as a pair or group to have fun with us.
1/2 Price Games
Happy Hour 4-7pm.
1/2 Price Cocktails*
$2.50 Domestic Pints
$1 Off 22 oz Drafts
$1 Off Wine Glasses
$3 Off Wine Bottles
If you sign-up for Dave & Buster's Rewards you get $10 FREE game play with $10 game play purchase – just for joining! (Must redeem prior to this date, no game coupon offers valid for 1/2 price games day.)
- Written by Jose Hernandez
For some people, it is hard to reach out for help even when they desperately need it. Fortunately, there will always be people and organizations waiting to help no matter what. An example of that is Jennifer Cruz and the organization she manages.
The Fresno EOC Sanctuary LGBTQ Resource Center is a place for LGBTQ+ individuals and allies to hang out in a safe place, get much needed resources, and for groups to meet. Jennifer Cruz was hired to be the manager of the center and has worked hard to make it what it is today.
“The goal was to open a drop-in type space that would serve all ages of the LGBT community,” Cruz explains. “To provide a safe place for people to be, even like a hangout spot where someone could watch TV, or play games, or hang with friends but also be able to access a case manager.
We’ll be able to provide housing needs assessments; they can get a meal if they’re hungry or a cup of coffee. So, that we’re providing those basic needs before we’re asking what other services you want.”
Apart from these services, the center is also able to help to individuals with other needs by directing them to the appropriate resources. Whether it’s legal or mental help, the resource center can connect people with the assistance they need. The resource center also has space to hold group meetings, such as an LGBTQ+ AA meeting, or a support group for disabled LGBTQ+ individuals. They also host fun events on every third Friday of each month; last month they had a karaoke night where they had around 20 people singing and having fun.
Located on Fulton street, the center is relatively new, but they are already making an impact. Cruz estimates that around 20 people come to the resource center on a weekly basis. She also talked about wanting the center to grow and to be able to provide more services in the future, by getting more grants and by taking advantage of the space their building has.
From an in-house attorney to a massage therapist to even a cafe, Cruz wants to expand the center so it can have as much resources as possible. The resource center wants to do everything possible to help people. They even have a phone number located on their website where people can call or text to get resources if they don’t want to go directly to the center.
“We’re aware of the discrimination that happens,” Cruz says. “Fresno can be a scary place to be for some people. Especially depending on where they fall on that LGBT category. Safety first of course, and we want everyone to have the resources they need.”
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