- Written by Andrea
LGBT Fresno is beginning our first bisexual social hour(s) event. It's Bi time we got together for a chat, and some food. Where are we all hiding? I'm not hiding. I'm told we happen to blend into the Cis world more easily, therefore, it's harder to find us? Umm, ok? haha! Lets make fellow Bi friends. This will be a Bi only event for adults (18 and over), and no kids. Your Co-Hosts and Bi enthusiasts will be Sonia and Andrea. Come enjoy no-host Friday night dinner with us in the back banquet room at Denny's in Clovis on Shaw Ave. We will have Pride stickers and a raffle for our first event. We will raffle 2 tickets to Six Flags. You must be present to win.
Hope to see you there.
Location is at Shaw and Clovis AVE, just West of McDonald's
Independence Day will be here before we know it. It’s always a great day for food, friends, family and fun. Oh yes, and we can’t forget….. fireworks!
LGBT Fresno has now begun selling fireworks at our stand. This is our biggest fundraiser of the year and we really need your support. The funds raised allows us to continue our work all over the Central Valley. So, if you are purchasing fireworks this year, please consider getting them from our stand. You can visit the Phantom website and get a $15 item FREE with purchaes of $69+ coupon instantly by clicking HERE (must print and complete). NEW this year: Pre-Order and have your order ready for pickup when you arrive.
The LGBT Fresno Fireworks Stand opens June 28th
Have a Blast this Fourth & Support Your Community Too!
Free $15 item with purchase of $69 or more!
Go ahead, splurge on a spectacular display for your 4th of July party!
So please plan to get your dazzling light displays for your Independence Day celebration and have a blast this fourth while supporting your community at the same time!
South West Corner of Shaw and Clovis (just West of McDonald's)
June 28th - July 3rd: 10am - 10pm, July 4th: 10am - 12am
This year LGBT Fresno will be selling fireworks for the 4th of July. This will be Fresno's ONLY LGBTQIA Fireworks Stand and all proceeds will go to support the efforts of LGBT Community Network, a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit and their divisions.
We'll offer great deals on packages, as well as many Buy One, Get One Free offers on your favorite items!!! Make your celebration a BLAST and support your local LGBT+ community.
The Fireworks Stand (from Phantom Fireworks) will open on June 28th at 12:00pm and will then be open daily at 10 AM through July 4th. The stand closes each night at 10 PM.
Don't wait till the last minute to plan your celebration!
Pre-order, plan ahead, and make your celebration one to remember!
South West Corner of Shaw and Clovis (just West of McDonald's)
June 28th-July 4th: 10am - 10pm
Questions? (559) 862-4559
In the early morning of June 8th, a patron of FAB was was kicked out of FAB for fighting and harassing people. Her antics were captured and she was identified as the owner of Charming Autumns Boutique. (video below)
On June 9th Comments were posted on facebook saying, “Change the name of this club to Pulse nightclub since you will share the same fate.”
“I received in my Facebook messenger that we will show up tonight, you won’t see us, but we’ll be watching you,” Story explained.
Fresno police were stepping up patrol.
On June 13th Jose Isabel Lechuga, 28, of Selma, was arrested and booked into the Fresno County Jail.
Chief Jerry Dyer said He was in possession of a semi-automatic handgun, and upon a search of his Selma home, officers found two shotguns, another handgun, and thousands of rounds of ammunition.
Dyer said Lechuga admitted to making threats against FAB because he was upset about social media posts that were made about his girlfriend’s mother (from June 8th incident).
- Written by Bryan T. Clark
Happy Pride month! What’s not to like about a parade and festival? It is so fabulous watching the long procession of near naked men dancing on colorful decorated floats; seeing those that serve in public office, the military, and in law enforcement, marching side by side as one of us! Pride celebrations are festivals of great music, great food, and endless exhibitors. Yes, we do know how to throw a parade and party, party, party! But Gay Pride is not just about the party now is it?
I’ve seen so much progress for the gay community in my lifetime. I see our youth today, so young and so open about their sexuality and it makes me smile. For the first time in history, we have an openly gay man, Pete Buttigieg (not counting Abraham Lincoln!) making a serious bid for the White House. But none of that just happened. We fought for all of it!
Unfortunately, the fight is long from over. Just in the last two years, the United States has taken tremendous steps backwards in leveling equality for the LGBTQ community. We have seen the rights of our Trans brothers and sisters be reduced to almost no rights at all, especially those in the military defending our country. The anti-LGBTQ evangelical leaders and the GOP are becoming more brazen, more despicable and more venomous in their mission to diminish our rights to health care, adoptions, and marriage equality. Leaders are quietly planning and plotting out years into the future, placing hostile judges on the courts that will go directly to removing our rights before we could ever even see it coming.
Annual ? Pride Month ?FREE Raffle
Over $2,000 in prizes!!!
To enter, click here and fill out a quick entry form. No cost and no purchase necessary!
You can enter daily, but the contest ends July 4th, so hurry!
Special Thanks to our Sponsors
Two adult admissions $190
Four Charburger vouchers $27.95 x 2 winners $55.90
Four entries, play cards & gift basket, $140.00
One VIP pass $90
Gift Basket & $50 Gift Certificate, $86
Photo session and 8x10 print $100
Christmas family and friends photo shoot. 5 people or less, $100
Electrical service, $200
Gift Certificate $25
1 hour session with 10 professional edits in Fresno or Clovis, $75
Gift bag of swag $20
$25 Visa Card & $15 Save Mart
Signature facial $75
Four General Admission Tickets $60
Two adults + two children tickets $84.00
8bit Box $44, Rick and Morty Game $44.99
Gift Certificate $25
Various prize packages of water bottles/coffee mugs and books, total combined value of $248.07
Gift Certificate $75
(3) Incense, Energetic Spray, Jewelry $72.99
Various prize packages of water bottles/coffee mugs and books, total combined value of $248.07
2 Sunday brunches $50
Gift Certificate $50.00
Gift Certificate $20
- Written by Claudia Chavez
With pride here and in full force, there are several different celebrations going on everywhere for everyone of all age groups. Visalia Pride kicked it off this year, and Fresno Pride follows next. There are many other local events and functions to attend, places to explore and things to learn about like the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, as well as all of our local LGBTQ+ organizations. Many people will often go out to the clubs to celebrate, party and dance the night away. Some will attend local events like Drag Story Hour with Leilani Price and friends where the kids get to see, interact and chat with them, as well as take pictures, play games and munch on snacks all while being able to sit and listen to children’s books being read to them. There are also events like Drag Bingo every other month at the Cellar Door, ART HOP events centralized around the LGBTQ+ community monthly in Downtown Fresno and Tower District, as well as Fresno Drag Festival (October 5th and 6th 2019) that have different strokes for different folks.
One thing is certain, that when attending shows that feature these Drag Queens, Drag Kings and all LGBTQ+ entertainers in between, keep in mind that a lot of work and effort was put into a performance to entertain people. It takes an average of 3 hours for some local entertainers to get ready at times. In those 3 hours a person transforms their entire face to a work of art, shapes their body, gets dressed in clothing, accessorizes, and their hair (for some styles can take over a week to make), time to coordinate and detail their outfit(s) from head to toe, as well as hard earned money that is used to put back into their craft. Many people these days are learning more about the world of drag, some have started getting into drag recently thanks to shows like Rupaul’s Drag Race and Dragula, not to mention annual events like DragCon, and Austin International Drag Fest. Regardless of how big or little, how popular or unknown, how amateur or experienced an entertainer is if you enjoy watching them perform, if you smile while they perform, if you sing along to their number, if you catch yourself thinking during their number about what they are doing on stage, it is imperative that you show them your appreciation by cheering them on and paying attention, support them by buying their merch, tipping them on their electronic account like PayPal, Venmo, Cash App, etc., or even cash tips will do.
- Written by C.J. Wilson
June 1st—only about a week away— marks the 29th annual Fresno Rainbow Pride Parade and Festival, celebrating the Central Valley’s LGBTQ community. Last year’s attendance broke records and, this year, the community hopes to continue the trend with the theme: “2GETHER.”
One of the organizations taking part in the parade and festival this year is LGBT Fresno, formerly known as Gay Fresno. I recently had a chance to sit down with Jason Scott, the organization’s division leader, and Andrea, the volunteer coordinator, to get some more info about the event and ask why people— whether or not they identify as LGBTQ— should attend and volunteer.
The festivities are reason enough; nestled into Fresno’s hip-but-ancient Tower District, there will be food, entertainers, and raffles for bags full of items given to LGBT Fresno by their sponsors. Bobby Salazar’s, a much-loved Mexican food chain in the Fresno area, has donated two brunch tickets as a part of the raffle. The proceeds from those raffles go straight to funding LGBT Fresno’s various community services. The parade, itself, promises to be as colorful and fun as ever and, due to the yearly increase in attendance, some national organizations are starting to pitch in.
“Free Mom Hugs,” started by Sara Cunningham in Oklahoma in 2015, is a stand-out example. Sara was a devout Christian who, after her son came out as gay, reconciled her faith and her son’s sexuality. It was a long process, but as she said in an interview with Indianwomenblog.org: “there’s no rule that one can’t be gay and practice their faith at the same time.”
Unfortunately, her response was far from typical, especially in religious communities. Many families distance themselves from LGBTQ relatives, some parents going so far as to disown their own children. Noticing the trend, Sara’s organization dedicated itself to filling in for those unloving families by giving members of the LGBTQ community the unconditional familial love they deserve. These days, she sometimes stands in as a mother in weddings, if requested.
But, coming out to Pride doesn’t have to be a big political statement, nor does it require any baring of the soul. In fact, when I asked Jason what he liked best about Pride, he summed it up in two words:
According to him, all you have to do is show up, have a good time, and hang out with people. It’s a family-friendly event, too. More and more families are joining the party, and there’s even been an increase of gay and lesbian couples arriving with their children in tow. Jason, himself, is among them. As a result, the organizers will be opening a kid’s area at Pride, complete with bounce houses.
Still, some non-LGBTQ people, regardless of their opinions of the community, can be reluctant to attend Pride events, worrying that the event isn’t “for” them or that members might be hostile towards those outside of the community. Luckily, Jason and Andrea weren’t the only members of LGBT Fresno I talked to. Johnnie Ann Huffman, a straight ally who’s been with LGBT Fresno for years, had her own pitch:
“This is not a political straight people suck parade,” she said. “This is a pride parade and a family event. You see whole families here. Mom and dad and kids and even their grandkids. It’s been made as inclusive as it can be, it’s meant to be welcoming. Everyone’s invited.”
Sure enough, that inviting atmosphere radiated through the restaurant where we had our meeting. But, there was one last topic to cover: even those in Fresno who support the LGBTQ community can be reluctant to make it out for Pride. They’d rather wait ‘til the end of the month and drive north to the bigger party, up in San Francisco. According to Jason, they avoid Fresno’s Pride Parade thinking it’s the same every year. It isn’t, of course; it’s been steadily growing.
To Jason, however, there’s a bigger issue at stake. He says that if no-one comes out to support the local community, it makes it easier to marginalize LGBTQ people: “A politican will look at an event, see how big it is. If they don’t see anyone, they won’t take us seriously or worry about our best interests, because they see us as a small group not worth their time.”
Johnnie, too, had something to say about the matter. She noted that most people know someone who is LGBTQ, even if they aren’t aware of it. And, for them, seeing someone they might not have known was an ally is like being stranded in a battlefield and suddenly finding someone who’s willing to fight alongside you. It makes them feel loved and supported.
“If you know one person who is LGBT, you should be here,” she said. “Don’t quietly support from your couch. Come out and show the community that you’re with them.”
About the Author:
Connor D. Johnson (C.J. Wilson) is a freelance writer specializing in journalism, game writing, and non-profit/advocacy work. He’s also a fantasy/sci-fi writer. You can contact him or find more examples of his work at his website, [here].
- Written by Jim Forston
It would seem these days, children, that some have forgotten what that particular five letter word means. I know, you’re saying to yourself, “I think we know what that word means, Jim.” But the scary thing is, most people I talk to, have no idea about truth, much less facts.
I know that we live in a world where certain right wing propaganda machines pour out daily diatribe about what particular person has been slighted by A.O.C. and how she doesn’t care about anything. But here’s the T kids, if you are taking what these glorified “reporters” are telling you as THE word, we have a problem you and I.
Let me explain. Too many news outlets these days are not giving us the FULL story as it relates to ANYTHING! They tell you about the Mueller report, then when that man who is supposed to be the Attorney General, looking out for ALL Americans, gives what should be the CORRECT summation, we see that he is nothing more than the personal mouthpiece of number 45. Yes, my politics are showing.
We were told by the Attorney General that there was NO collusion, I would agree on that point. But he, Mueller, CONTINUES and states that on several occasions, Mr. number 45 WAS HOWEVER, by definition of law, guilty of OBSTRUCTION of Justice…..let that sink in a moment. What the Attorney General stated was that Mr. Mueller’s report EXONERATED 45. THAT children is a BOLD FACE LIE! It did exonerate him of collusion; it DID NOT exonerate him regarding obstruction of justice. Let that sink in for a moment. There is another truth here that the Attorney General does NOT want us focusing on, these other obstruction charges that 45 has been accused of that have been passed on to “other agencies or bodies”. Again….let that sink in…
So, what have we learned so far? We know that what was allowed to be released of the Mueller report has been WRONGLY summarized by the Attorney General. The Attorney General was testifying before a senate committee on May 1st, because of a letter that Mr. Mueller sent to the Attorney General telling him that he was not pleased with his misleading the American people. Wasn’t it this same Attorney General that told the legislative body that he knew NOTHING of Mr. Mueller’s concerns? That he knew nothing of misleading the American people? OF COURSE it was him! He then is sat last week, trying desperately to cover his parts because he could be found in contempt. Lying to the senate or congress by the way, a FELONY!
- Written by C.J. Wilson
I’ve lived in Fresno for most of my life. Despite that, I’d never visited the Forestiere Underground Gardens before LGBT Fresno invited me to join their tour.
The place is easy to miss; it sits on West Shaw, right by the 99. The sign for the Gardens blends into the rest of the billboards that dot Fresno. From the sidewalk outside, you can see a Lutheran Church, an auto shop, and an In-n-Out Burger. Stretch your neck a little and a Carl’s Jr. pops into view. The spot itself is surrounded by a chain-link fence, partially overgrown by trees and vines. It doesn’t seem like the place you’d find an official historical landmark or an agricultural engineering masterpiece that has persisted for about a century.
Once inside, the notion quickly fades.
An attendant asks me a few questions and offers me a green colored popsicle stick, explaining that it marks me for the 11:45 A.M. tour. I tell him that I’m here for an event and he apologizes, leading me to my group. We pass around introductions—the organization’s higher ups, Andrea and Jason, are two of the only people here, so far—and wait for our tour. It’s a comfortable wait; there’s a latticework canopy over the walkway, pale-green vines filling in the blank spaces between the wood. Our tour guide appears, pointing out that the vines aren’t fully grown, yet. Sure enough, a close look reveals little bushels of stems with tiny green nubs at the end, smaller than a grain of rice. Bees buzz around us, jumping from flower to flower. I’m not used to seeing this much green in Fresno’s city limits, especially after all the droughts.
I find myself taking pictures and listening in on conversations, quickly realizing that most of our group has never been here before, despite having lived in Fresno all their lives. Our group swells. People split off into their own cliques and, before long, the tour guide ushers us down the staircase to the lobby to pay for our tickets. We mull about there for a while. There’s a small, unobtrusive gift shop sitting catty-corner from a much bigger bulletin board packed with information about the gardens and their creator. There’s even a soil sample from his now-deserted hometown of Filari, in northeastern Sicily. There’s a gorgeous ballroom adjacent, but it looks like we aren’t supposed to go there, just yet.
A wrought-iron fence separates the lobby from the main tunnel network, its iron bars bent and twisted like vines, hung with white and violet lights in the shape of grapes. It’s there that our tour guide ushers us, and the group gathers for a picture. I manage to wheedle my way out of it, somehow. I’ve never been a big fan of photos.
- 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.
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