- Written by Sebastian Ardemagni
There are a few things you already know about the unmistakable Tammie Brown. Like her overdrawn lips, video bytes of her clapping back at RuPaul, and quizzical one liners – “C'mon Teletubby, teleport us to Mars”! You may not know that this RuPaul’s Drag Race (RPDR) All-Stars Season One queen is a small-town Texas born boy named Keith Glen Schubert (the T is silent but more on that later). He is a fluent Spanish speaker and a Buddhist with a Wikipedia-like knowledge of cinema and Native American culture. While Tammie would snarl her iconic, Mommie Dearest-like lips at all those labels, she would like Fresno’s drag fans to know she will be bringing her own brand of weirdness to Fresno this Friday, May 17 to FAB nightclub and is ready to entertain the masses.
Having a chat with Tammie feels like a playlist on shuffle: First you're having a light chat with a friend then you're listening to a queer theory podcast with a guest professor, next song is all Faye Dunaway film quotes, then a few hits referencing lesser known artists and somehow relating those back to the trans-community found in indigenous cultures of the past. It's clear that Tammie is not only well-versed in many topics, she is curious and over-the-top and a one-of-a-kind artist and a gay man.
Wearing more than one identity at a time is a familiar tune for Brown. At 12-years-old, he was mesmerized by indigenous cultures that were being taught while enrolled in Mexico public schools. It was the stories about the “two-spirited” people, who were the shamans and respected wisdom keepers in their respective cultures, who would be referred to today as trans-women and trans-men, that struck a chord for young Brown. For Brown, this was an awakening moment. He gained confidence and empowerment to face some dark episodes of depression, self-acceptance, his eventual coming out, and going on to march to his own rhythm. It was that new confidence that led to the wry-witted Tammie that audiences got to know when she launched her career from a handful of incredibly memorable and shocking RPDR moments.
Today, the line between Keith and Tammie is blurred. She often stays in drag after performances and during some days. If you’re looking to recreate her signature curled lip look, Tammie’s current obsessions are the “Russian Red” lip color by Mac Cosmetics and her own custom, self-made lashes. Those are the same custom lashes that Tammie has made for the Linda Evangelista eyes of fellow RPDR star, Valentina.
The final aesthetic of Tammie’s look can be described as a palette of Joan Crawford, Charles Busch, Amy Sedaris, and Tootsie. If you are Millennial and need to Google those names (yes, that’s shade), the references don’t stop there. The list of known and unknown artists only gets longer when you begin to look at the inspiration and collaborators behind Tammie’s electro art-pop music. Inspired by Amanda Lear, you may have heard “Porta Potty Prostitute” from the “Little Bit about Tammie” album. If you were a Millennial and Emo, your skinny jeans may implode (shade again) when you find Tammie Brown featured in the Senses Fail’s music video for “Elevator to the Gallows”. Brown looks again to Lear in his upcoming album “Schubert” (remember the T is silent). Fresno audiences can expect to hear hits like “Porta Potty Prostitute” and “Lipsync Suicide” and may even hear debut songs from the Schubert album at Fab on Friday, May 17.
So get ready to “Shaka Buku” with Tammie at Fab this Friday. And don’t be ashamed to Google that reference either. You can find Tammie Brown’s music on all media platforms.
- Written by Tiffany “Tiffers” Niles
I was able to catch Avengers: Infinity War on opening night. The culmination of ten years of dedication to the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) was coming to a close. After being a fan of Marvel comics since I was six, this was another moment in my nerdy history that I would cherish. I smiled, laughed, cheered, and cried as the movie hit the ground running and never let up. By the end, after what I refer to as the “ashing” happened, I was thrilled. Beyond overjoyed that the film did not have a happy ending. Excited that the heroes did not win the day. Not because I was rooting for Thanos, but because it was something new. Something fresh. Something I craved because I had been denied it for so long.
So often we are given things hand wrapped and tied off with neatly with a big bow and a thank you card. It is rare to see anything other than the guy winning over the girl, the bad guy going to jail or being killed, the wedding happening without a hitch, etc. It becomes repetitive and predictable. And if the point of stories is to give the reader and/or viewer something to get lost in, then the storyteller has effectively failed. Infinity War helped change that narrative. It helped us get lost in the woods.
As the credits rolled, I sat in my seat with a huge smile on my face,and one thing was different this time around; no one was clapping. Everyone in the theatre was devastated by the “ashing” and no one knew how to react (which is great by the way). The audience simply sat there stunned that over half the characters that had been introduced over the ten year run of the MCU were now gone. Fiction had finally hit too close to home. It had finally become real and it had finally taken more than we were willing to give.
During the desperation that was the entirety of Infinity War, one moment stood out to me almost over every other moment. When Scarlet Witch had been knocked down by Proxima Midnight and Black Widow declared “she’s not alone.” The camera panned up to see Natasha ready for action and Okoye coming to her aid. This fight would be three on one and I, as well as the rest of the audience, was ready for it. I have been here for Black Widow since she took down the security forces in Iron Man 2. Okoye was my instant favorite as Black Panther started. And seeing the amazing progress Scarlet Witch has made has given my heart a reason to swell with joy as the short fight went down.
There was no heart swelling during the all-women hero scene in Avengers Endgame. In fact, there was more cringe and eye-rolling than anything else. All in all, I understood the point the Russo Brothers were trying to make, I do however feel like the scene was simply unnecessary. At least the way it played out. Captain Marvel does not need backup. As the most powerful hero in the MCU to date, she is the most capable person to get through the endless sea of bad guys to help the Avengers win the day. That moment alone makes the scene difficult to get behind. There was no purpose for it. There was nothing about that scene that furthered the plot of the overall story. It was a moment of gratuitous feminism that was not needed.
I’m not suggesting that Scarlet Witch was weak and needed the saving, but in the scenario that was painted around her, she was actually in dire straights. After days of fighting off The First Order and its lesser minions, all while keeping Vision and the mind stone safe and alive, she is finally brought down by being blindsided. Captain Marvel simply had to use her powers to plow through the hoard of Outriders and Thanos. The sense of urgency was practically nonexistent. I am all for strong women being strong women, but in a contextual setting, I still need them to advance the plot. A hard thing to balance in the MCU in general. Most of the overpowered characters have been misused throughout the first three phases, but for some reason, Endgame went one step too far. Instead of focusing on the overall story, it focused on moments in the story.
The all-women hero scene was not horrible, but it was definitely done wrong. Instead of giving Captain Marvel the gauntlet, it would have been better served with Pepper Potts running the glove down the field. Pepper has ties to Tony and that relationship adds agency to the rest of the team to make sure she makes it to the van safely. She is one of the more vulnerable people in the fight and her personal connections make her someone you genuinely want to make it to the end. Captain Marvel could have been the first to come to her aid, but she should not have been the one to be supported by the other women. There really is no need for it. The difference between the Infinity War and Endgame scene is simply a necessity.
There was a lot going on in Endgame, almost too much to really sit in a moment too long. Where Infinity War is one two and a half hour long moment. It’s a story that drops you in the middle and whisks you away before the real end. Endgame is a messy epilogue to answer all of the questions one has had over the past decade. There was not enough time to fit it all in I felt. Then to add moments of pro-feminism onto that distracted from the story that was being told. At that point in the battle, you do not want Thanos to get the gauntlet. There is no time for superhero poses and one-liners. This is 4th and goal and it needed to stay that way. In Infinity War the moment mattered because it was part of the overall plot. You were invested in Scarlet Witch’s survival because she was a key piece in winning the war. She was the only one capable of destroying the mind stone, and as we see in the end, the only one powerful enough to hold off Thanos. Until then she is ash, Wanda’s life is something the viewers are invested in. With Captain Marvel being the most powerful person on the field, there is no stress about her safety because the viewer does not feel like she’ll actually be vulnerable.
The want and need for addition of strong women in these hero movies is warranted. My only concern is adding them for the sake of it and not for an actual purpose. These are expansive stories that can be told and include everyone, while not overlooking anyone group of people. Infinity War had it, Endgame did not. It’s as simple as that. Give me strong women with a purpose, not just strong women. Give me a story that shows strong women being awesome, not just strong women being awesome. There should always be a point. There should always be a reason for everything that is done in fiction. Nothing should be there to appease someone who might complain about the lack of diversity or lack of equality. If the moment is not there do not force it. All things have their place and sometimes less is more. I want a strong woman, but show me the respect of giving me a strong woman done well.
Editor's note: Welcome Tiffany! Can't wait to read your upcoming pieces.
- Written by Jim Forston
Let me start by saying that this should be fun, but informative. My idea is to get our community united, in one mind set, and that mindset is to UTILIZE that grey matter that we all are notorious for NOT using. Relying instead on the easy, social media related BS to cloud our own thoughts. So, BIG idea from a small man.
Let’s just get this out of the way; I am a married Gen X’er who chose to marry a Millennial. Most of my Gen X family might find that a little crazy. I however, found this to be most enlightening. I have learned some things about these crazy little millennials; they DO NOT believe what the mainstream media tells them about politics, they rely on other ways of finding answers. They search for the truth, they do not believe everything they see or hear. They DO NOT trust our generation or our mothers and fathers generation, the Baby Boomers.
Now, to be fair, they are still a little whiney, still a little in need of constant recognition, at least that’s what I tell my husband anyway! In all seriousness, they actually are more progressive, more “human” than some of the rest. I admire their ability to process through the bull and come out with the truth. It’s a quality my generation is all of the sudden lacking. No more imagination, no more truth.
So you ask yourself, “O.k. Jim, what’s the point?” Well I am getting to that; I am a Gen X’er who believes in long winded point making! The point is I hope to show you through this next election cycle some humor, some candidates, some policy, and a LOT of TRUTH.
Let’s get through this and get our country back!
Editor's note: Welcome Jim! (pictured right) Can't wait to read your upcoming pieces.
Take an hour long guided walking tour through Baldassare Forestiere's creation.
- See a hand-built network of underground rooms, courtyards and passageways reminiscent of the ancient catacombs.
- Unique fruit producing trees, shrubs, and vines growing underground - some over 90 years old!
- Ancient Roman architecture - arches, vaults and stone-built walls.
- Underground micro-climates - temperature variations of 10 to 30 degrees!
- Underground home of Sicilian visionary and self-taught artist/builder Baldassare Forestiere.
May 11th 11:00am You should arrive and pay entrance fee no later than 11:10 am. Tour will start promptly at 11:15am. Because the Gardens are generous enough to share this offer of a private tour event with us we will have a discount tour price for this time and day only. Babies 4 and under are always free, Kids $8 and Adults $16.
There is so much history and you can find that here.
Kids are welcomed. No pets allowed, unless certified.
50 YEARS OF IMPACT FROM NEW YORK TO FRESNO
MONDAY, MAY 6
SMITTCAMP ALUMNI HOUSE
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!
Food and Drinks will be served
Parking Code: 629978
Please join us for a celebration and reflection of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Inn riots with a screening of the acclaimed documentary Stonewall Uprising followed by a panel of distinguished activists and community leaders.
June 1st 2019 - Parade @ 10AM - Festival @ 11AM
Parade is FREE to attend @ 10AM. Olive Ave, beginning at Palm and ending at Moroa.
Festival, 11AM-3PM, $5 admission located on N. Fulton Ave.
This year's theme is "2GETHER". With a record breaking attendance last year, let's make 2019 Fresno Rainbow Pride Parade and Festival bigger than ever!
Vendor and Parade Entries still being accepted! All ads and payments must be submitted by May 17th. Booth applications and payments will not be accepted after May 17th, 2019.
Parade enteries will be accepted up to the start of the parade.
Presented by Community Link
Friends of Pride come 2gether to bring you the last dinner and show fundraiser benefiting Fresno Pride 2019! Always a sold out event. All ages. Come for the food, stay for the entertainment.
Saturday, May 4, 2019 at 7 PM
1772 E Barstow Ave, Fresno
Tickets available at the door. Tickets are limited, please arrive early. Dinner begins at 7PM. Show 8:30PM. $15 Dinner and Show. $10 Show only.
- Written by Andrea
Are you ready to volunteer with us during the Fresno Pride Parade on June 1st, 2019?! We sure hope you're ready!!! You are invited to our fun, informational Pre-Pride Volunteer Party sponsored by Bobby Salazar's on May 21st from 5:30-7pm, at their Tower District location. You will have the chance to make new friends, pick your volunteer position and sign-up for volunteer slots and times. Appetizers will be provided by Bobby Salazar's. There will be waitstaff for your additional food and drink purchase needs. We would like to thank our current volunteers and look forward to working with more of you within our community. We are a 100% volunteer based non profit organization. We currently have on-going open positions available to you at https://www.lgbtfresno.com/
The Central Valley should be proud!
Congratulations to three, local LGBT NonProfits.
With your help we were able to receive a $1500 grant!
COMMON SPACE received $2500 and
The Source LGBT+ Center received an incredible $10k
- Written by Bryan T. Clark
What better way to start off Spring than with the introduction of my new book, Escaping Camp Roosevelt!
If you enjoyed my previous four books containing stories brimming with real emotions and real-life situations filled with realistic life challenges and where vibrant character experience personal growth, and, of course, love, you are going to love my new book! Escaping Camp Roosevelt is an emotional and touching story of two young men, who, for very different reasons, find themselves on the streets, struggling to survive in a homeless encampment.
Eighteen-year-old Tucker Graves loves two things---his darling little sister and the thrill of playing baseball. He never dreamt that he’d be homeless, but after a series of misfortunes, he, his mother and his sister find themselves living in a dilapidated homeless encampment called Camp Roosevelt.
Homeless for six years, Dancer has mastered the tricks of living on the streets as a sex worker. The quiet, reclusive and calculating ways of this twenty-year-old help him to survive although he has learned to trust no one. When Tucker and Dancer meet, neither man can deny the attraction he feels for the other. Both men, struggling with their own emotional pain, question whether falling in love is even possible, especially when survival is on the line?
Above all else, Escaping Camp Roosevelt is about finding your truth, and the ability to forgive even when the wounds are deep.
One Book Can Make a Difference
LGBT Fresno will participate in Give OUT Day, the only national day of giving for the LGBTQ community. The 24-hour online fundraising event brings together the LGBTQ communities and their allies across the United States. Give OUT Day 2019 takes place on April 18, 2019, from 12:00 am to 11:59 pm Eastern. Last year, Give OUT Day raised nearly $1 million to support LGBTQ nonprofits.
The marathon event, which began in 2013, sees thousands of people making gifts to support a diverse cross-section of LGBTQ nonprofits across the country, leveraging social media for support and outreach. The technology platform is provided for free and hundreds of nonprofits have leveraged it to attract new donors, motivate their boards and other supporters, and raise their visibility.
Come play board games, and enjoy some snacks with us! No outside food, please. You can play with library board games, or bring your own. LGBTQ+ and Allies of all ages with positive and friendly competition views are welcome. See you there! ♥
Games in photo are not guaranteed. We might play as a group, or have individual games depending on participant wants. Join us and play Dominos, Exploding Kittens, Incan Gold, Tsuro, Sushi Go or a fast, fun game called, “We Didn't Playtest This at All"
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