Gay Fresno - Opinion


Defend Modesto?

  • Category: Opinion
  • Published: Friday, 30 August 2019 10:43
  • Written by Jess Bear

defend modestoContent Warning: Talking About the Inherent Violence of White Supremacy and supporting them through the politics of politeness.

A good friend of mine posted the image below. It is a flyer for the counter protest of the White Supremacist- er, I mean "Straight Pride" event that occured this last Saturday in Modesto.

Featured on it is a silhouette of a gun, with flowers growing out of the barrel. Bold print says
Not in our Community, Not in our -lives-
Stop Anti-LGBTQ Bigotry
Smash White Supremacy
Make Proud Boys Piss Themselves.

I want it clearly stated for the record: I LOVE THIS POSTER. It is clear, concise in its position to have folks show up to stop the spread of White Supremacy, mocking them through solidarity.

The very first comments on my friend's page were to the tune of "A gun on a protest poster? Surely they invite violence on themselves with such imagery." Several people agreed that the gun was a bit much.

I countered that the gun with flowers growing out of it is a pretty iconic image from Vietnam-era protests in this country, where non violent anti-war activists put daisies into the barrel of the guns of soldier and police lines. I also offered that the gun with a flower growing out of it is a straight forward message of peace: If a gun has a flower growing out of it, it can no longer be used for it's designated purpose. It is now a flower pot instead. Modesto and the Central Valley coming together in solidarity against such an event could and would drown out that hate rhetoric. I supposed that the only people who would see violence in this image are people who seem to think that it would be the protesters fault if violence were to occur against them for holding this sign or sharing it on social media.

Now, I am sure that there have been replies to that message, but I decided that I do not wish to start a debate on someones page who probably wasn't asking for that to happen. So I am doing it here. Because I realized that my original response was not adequate to the situation at all. I was focusing on the wrong part of the responses.

When someone, anyone, in this year of our gods 2019, finds it acceptable to suggest that White Supremacists will only commit violence unless they have been unfairly provoked is.... so deeply ignorant of what is going on in our country at this moment that I cannot begin to find words for it. But I'm gonna try.

Men, women, and children are dying in concentration camps in the US.

ICE literally ran over people last week who were doing a peaceful protest in front of detention centers.

Our fascist president has recently called Democrat- voting Jews traitors.

Violence against all minority groups has risen to insane numbers, I believe the largest number I have seen is something like 30% since LAST YEAR.

White Supremacists do not need a reason to inflict violence upon others. Their whole ideology, their function in the past and the here and now, is to kill and "cleanse" the US of people like me, Jordan, and every single one of my queer, disabled, POC, poor, minority religious friends AND to enslave child baring people.

A flower pot shaped like a gun is not the problem. And choosing to accuse activists trying to protect our communities through PEACEFUL PROTESTS of bringing violence upon themselves smacks of victim blaming ("what did you expect for choosing to hold hands with your husband in public?") and just plain wrong.

It’s Not Just About a Parade

  • Category: Opinion
  • Published: Friday, 14 June 2019 18:36
  • 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!

rainbow pole

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.

Read more: It’s Not Just About a Parade

So…..What EXACTLY IS Truth...No….Seriously…?

  • Category: Opinion
  • Published: Thursday, 23 May 2019 15:46
  • Written by Jim Forston

truth 2069843 1280It 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!

Read more: So…..What EXACTLY IS Truth...No….Seriously…?

Drag Show Etiquette: Celebrating Pride With Drag Entertainers

  • Category: Opinion
  • Published: Wednesday, 29 May 2019 09:13
  • Written by Claudia Chavez

Rupaul Queens 1With 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.

Read more: Drag Show Etiquette: Celebrating Pride With Drag Entertainers

Is It Something I said?

  • Category: Opinion
  • Published: Tuesday, 30 April 2019 13:58
  • 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.