Smoke
NEWSLINKNEW2021.jpg

Issue IV, Vol. XXVII, No. 317

News and happenings for, by, about and affecting the LGBT Valley.
Project of Community Link, Inc: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Service Organization. 
EST. September 1995

Smoke
greyallianceside.jpg

Gray Alliance News December 2021
John Richardson
 

Gray Alliance, a group for LGBTQ+ seniors , will not be meeting for a potluck at the First Congregational Church (Big Red Church) Sunday, December 26 because it falls the day after Christmas.  Sorry!  However, we will have our potluck in the Fireside Room of the church on January 30th from 2-4 pm .  The Fireside Room is at the south end of the church, which is located at 2131 N Van Ness Blvd in Fresno.

 

Please note that although we are using a church facility, Gray Alliance has no religious affiliation.

Tuesday Evening Dinner Group (TEDG) from Visalia is graciously inviting members of our organization to attend their dinner at the Yardhouse in River Park on Tuesday, January 4th at 6:30 pm.  This restaurant doesn’t take reservations, so you must be there by 6:30 in order to be seated with the group. 

 

In addition, members of Gray Alliance go to movies every Wednesday at either the Maya Cinema or Sierra Vista Theater.  If you would like to join us, please text Dmitri De la Cruz at 559-480-3314.

 

If you have any questions about any of these activities, please contact John Richardson at 559-260-1565.  Happy Holidays to you all and hope to see you soon!

Youth Alliance News December 2021
David McGee
 

The Christmas season is upon us! Folks are getting their Christmas decorations up both inside and out! The stores are full of Christmas decorations and Christmas music is playing constantly now! Has anyone noticed that the stores are decking out for Christmas earlier and earlier each year? Stores were decorated for Christmas the week before Thanksgiving! They’re all trying to get some of our hard-earned cash!

Attendance at the LGBTQ Youth Alliance group has been spotty. Several folks didn’t show up the week before Thanksgiving, and others didn’t show on the week after Thanksgiving. Those who did show up after the holiday said they had been involved in family affairs and therefore couldn’t come to group. We were not surprised, considering they are all school age and don’t always get a say in what goes on at home.

The week before and the week after Thanksgiving we had discussions about how we all expected our holidays to go, and then how the holidays went. This group is young enough that they don’t argue too much with their parents when it comes to family affairs. They just go along with the status quo. They were all thankful, though, to have a few days off from school!

Our group leader, Banana, planned to have the kids work on an art project at the most recent group meeting. She said she would bring construction paper and teach the group how to make large poinsettias, which has been a Christmas tradition for the group. Since this writer didn’t get to attend that meeting, we are hoping to see the outcome of that project in the coming weeks!

In years past, the youth group has been able to walk Christmas Tree Lane during the holiday season, and the photos they took were always great! But due to the pandemic, Christmas Tree Lane is not having its walk-along evenings again this year. Maybe in the future the founders of the event will allow people to walk the Lane again, and our group can participate!

Our Grand Poobah, Jeffery Robinson, has been attending group when he can. He gets busy with other projects sometimes and tries to tune in via the Internet, but our Wi-Fi connection is still poor, meaning that some nights we can connect to the church’s Wi-Fi connection and some nights it just doesn’t work. We all enjoy the nights we get to see Jeffery!

We will be having our annual Youth Alliance Holiday Celebration on Friday, December 17th! We will be sharing a holiday potluck, pajama party, and our annual White Elephant gift exchange! The potluck is always cheery, and the White Elephant gift exchange is always a lot of fun. We ask folks to bring $5 wrapped gifts and then everyone takes turns choosing gifts and/or stealing gifts that other participants have opened. It’s always a hoot!

The youth group always takes a break on Christmas and New Year’s, so after the Holiday Celebration on the 17th, we won’t be meeting again until the week after New Year’s! We hope to see everybody back in the New Year!

The Fresno LGBTQ Youth Alliance is now meeting in person at the Big Red Church on Friday nights from 7 to 8:30 PM! We will continue to work on our virtual meeting, as well, so that youth members who can’t attend the meeting in person can attend online! We will be sure to publish the meeting number and the password for our Zoom meeting on Facebook, and now that we’ve got our Instagram account going, we’ve published on Instagram, as well! We urge all LGBTQ school-age youth to join us Friday nights, whether in person or online!

ya.png

Community Link Projects

 
QThngAd.jpg
QistoryNL.jpg
source.jpg

The Campus at The Source offers expanded facilities for programs and activities  

J. Reeves
 

The Source LGBT+ Center, serving Tulare and Kings County, invites the community to the grand opening of The Campus at The Source LGBT+ Center. The Campus is located at 109 NW 2nd Ave, Visalia. 

 

Join us for the official Grand Opening of The Source's Campus on Jan 8th, 2022, at 11am! We are going to be unveiling our new grounds, buildings, and staff to everyone in the community. You'll be able to tour the facilities during our open house, visit with our staff, and get information on our programs and the future of The Source's operations. There will be a ceremonial ribbon cutting presented by the Tulare Kings Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, as well as the raising of the Rainbow Pride flag! And of course, there will be words from our directors and possibly our partners as well. 

 

Most importantly, this grand opening is symbolic of how far The Source has come. From a basement office underneath Montgomery Square to a two-building campus, The Source has grown so much thanks to your grassroots support  

Light snacks and refreshments will also be available. We hope to see you there! Please RSVP at the following link if you plan to join us: 

https://forms.gle/GVqgeQCqY4vpCAuq7 

Local

 
FCOHPW190318-Pride-Sponsorship-Quarter-Page-Digital-Newsletter-Ad.jpg
BigRedChurchAd.jpg
LGBTFrsAd.jpg
kirstenk.jpg
Policemen

Feds arrest man for threatening to blow up Pride parade
Molly Sprayregen
Repost from LGBTQNation.com

A 74-year-old Long Island man has been accused of sending grisly threatening letters to LGBTQ people and organizations over a period of many years.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York announced that Robert Fehring was arrested on Monday morning.

continue reading at LGBTQNation.com

Wonder Woman is in a queer romance in new DC Comics series
Molly Sprayregen
Repost from LGBTQNation.com

 

The DC Comics universe just keeps getting queerer.

In the new limited series, Dark Knights of Steel, Wonder Woman is engaged in a passionate romance with another woman.

Comic Book Page
continue reading at LGBTQNation.com
Astronaut

Cameron Bess becomes first out pansexual person to go into space
Juwan J. Holmes
Repost from LGBTQNation.com


Cameron Bess, the child of venture capitalist and tech executive Lane Bess, became the first out pansexual person to go into space today as the perfect way to put a cap on Pansexual Pride Week. The duo also became the first parent-child duo in space together.

continue reading at LGBTQNation.com

Joe Biden appoints out gay man to lead the White House personnel office
David McGee
 

President Biden is appointing an out gay man to run the White House personnel office. Gautam Raghavan, who is currently the deputy director of the office of Presidential Personnel, is going to be appointed the director following current director Catherine Russell’s selection as the Executive Director of UNICEF, the White House announced on Saturday, December 11. Biden said, “I am pleased that Gautam Raghavan, who has worked in tandem with Cathy [Russell] from Day One will become the PPO’s new Director—a seamless transition that will enable us to continue building a federal workforce that is efficient, effective, dependable, and diverse.”

 

During the Obama administration, Raghavan was the White House liaison to the LGBTQ community and the Asian American & Pacific Islander community. He worked to end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the military’s ban on out gay and bisexual people. LGBTQ leaders and advocates are cheering the news of Raghavan’s new appointment.

Source: lgbtqnation.com

Lisa Middleton becomes first transgender mayor in California

David McGee
 

On Thursday, December 9, 2021, Lisa Middleton was sworn in as mayor of Palm Springs, California, making her the first transgender mayor in the state and only the third ever nationwide. The Palm Springs mayor position rotates among members of the City Council.

 

Middleton, who is in her second term on the council, will serve a year as mayor. She succeeds Christy Holstege, who was the first woman mayor of Palm Springs, and the only out bisexual mayor in the nation.

 

Middleton stated, “For every elected official blocking doorways, there are others opening doors, and across the country, there are places like Palm Springs where the welcome mat is out. I am so thankful for my hometown.”

 

Source: advocate.com

 

 

 

 

Washington state florist who refused same-sex wedding job settles with the couple

David McGee
 

A florist in the state of Washington who was in an eight-year legal battle that reached the US Supreme Court will retire after settling with the same-sex couple whose wedding job she refused. Barronelle Stutzman of Richland, Washington, announced the settlement Thursday, December 9, saying she paid $5,000 to Robert Ingersoll. She also wished Ingersoll, who had been her customer at Arlene’s Flowers for almost a decade, “the very best.”

 

The agreement allowed Stutzman, age 77, to “preserve her conscience” by not forcing her to act against her Southern Baptist religious beliefs, according to a news release from her attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom. Ingersoll and his husband, Curt Freed, were represented by the American Civil Liberties Union. The agreement also prevents Stutzman from having to pay “potentially ruinous attorney fees,” the release said. The settlement leaves in place two unanimous decisions by the Washington state Supreme Court that the Constitution does not grant a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people, the ACLU of Washington said.

 

Source: abcnews.go.com

National

 
TransitionsCCAd.jpg
TowerHealthAd.jpg
TMarquitosAd.jpg
Valparaiso

Chile passes marriage equality by wide margin
Bil Browning
Repost from LGBTQNation.com

 

Chile has passed marriage equality legislation and will become the 31st country in the world to legalize same-sex marriages. President Sebastián Piñera is expected to sign it into law quickly.

The country’s new law also updates some existing ones to include LGBTQ couples and removes other restrictions.

continue reading at LGBTQNation.com

“West Side Story” banned in parts of the Middle East over transgender character
David McGee

 

Disney and 20th Century’s “West Side Story,” director Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of the classic musical, has been banned in Saudi Arabia, The United Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, and Kuwait. In some countries, the film wasn’t granted a release certificate. In other countries, Disney refused to comply with cuts requested by the censors.

Reports say that the move is not entirely surprising since Middle Eastern countries have strict censorship mandates regarding sexuality, swearing, and other aspects that don’t comply with cultural views. The movie isn’t profane, but censors were not on board with Anybodys, a character who is transgender and portrayed by nonbinary actor Iris Means. “West Side Story” is due to be released elsewhere on Friday, December 10. The new version comes 60 years after the original movie (itself adopted from the 1957 Broadway show) and features Rachel Zegler and Ansel Elgort as the star-crossed lovers.

 

Source: nbcnews.com

Film Reels

International

 
RichiesPizzaAd.jpg
BPFAd.jpg

Change your attitude; change your world
Mark Lang

 

I can’t speak for you, but I for one need to learn to be a little more patience. That’s just one of many attitude adjustments I am in the process of making.

 

My impatience was illustrated quite clearly this past spring when I was in my garden anxiously waiting for one of my flowers to bloom. It already had a bud on it that was just on the verge of opening. I waited until the next day, and still, the bud had not fully opened. It was only half open. So, what was the delay?

 

Oh, I suppose I could have let it go another day, but I just couldn’t wait. After all, I had already waited the entire winter to see my flowers bloom. How can I be expected to sit by while Mother Nature took her sweet time? (You can probably guess where this is going—wait for it.) Yep, I tried to force the flower petals to open.

 

As a warm breeze blew over the garden, I ever so gently stuck my intrusive fingers into the bud and slowly peeled back some of the outside petals. Yes, many of them tore. I could see that the petals were folded in around each other like a bunch of wet socks all twisted together at the bottom of the washing machine.

 

The flower was obviously not ready to open, but my impatience would not allow me to delay my gratification one second longer. As a result of my impulsiveness, I had a shredded flower hanging from the stem looking like it had gone through a hurricane. That’s when I realized I needed to change my impatient attitude.

 

So, what lesson did I glean from this experience? Well, many things actually—not the least of which is to be more accepting of the natural order of things. (By the way, this attitudinal adjustment applies to my interactions with humans as well.) There have been numerous examples in my past where I have grown impatient and intolerant with people who did not change to meet my expectations fast enough.

 

Perhaps there is a lesson we can all learn from this. Generally speaking, we need to accept people the way they are without trying to change them. The exception, of course, is if someone’s behavior is violent, verbally abusive, or otherwise criminal. In brief, we need to practice more compassion and less criticism.

 

Accepting people without trying to change them was particularly challenging for me having worked for many years in the role of a counselor. People would come to see me seeking advice. That was why they scheduled the appointment in the first place. How could I not try to change them? Well, I eventually learned that they needed to change themselves. I could only be a guide on the side.

As you might imagine, it is more than just a little ironic that I am now writing about how to help you improve yourself while at the same time embracing the belief that I should accept you the way you are. The very act of my advising you to stop trying to change others means I’m trying to change you. (Oh, head-rush.)

 

Allow me to clarify. (Well, it’s not so much clarification as it is a justification.) With my new attitude, I am simply putting positive messages out there for anyone who wants them. Then I let go of any emotional attachments to the outcome. If people accept my messages, that’s fine. If they don’t, that’s fine, too. That way, there is no emotional investment on my part in the act of changing people. Instead, I am just serving a buffet of friendly suggestions for anyone who wishes to dine.

 

So, at this point, you have a choice: you can either eat the real food by putting these suggestions into practice or just read the menu items and wish you could have a taste.

 

Not only is it important to be patient with other people, but it is also important to be patient with yourself. These new attitudes and perspectives take time to develop into longstanding cognitive patterns. After all, a river needs time to carve a gorge. Likewise, your new thoughts need time to develop deeply entrenched neuropathways in your brain.

 

Something to meditate on today. If you choose (no presser), you can make some changes in your life. Take an honest look at your attitude. Does it need some fine tuning? Are you as patient as you would like to be? Are you able to accept people for who they are provided they do not cause harm?

 

Now is the time to take an inventory of your perspective of the world. It’s a type of soul searching if you will. What thoughts, beliefs, outlooks, mindsets, and opinions do you want to keep, and which do you want to eliminate? It’s your choice. No one is trying to change you against your will. This inner work comes from you, not from others imposing their will on you.

 

If you indeed have a few characteristics that you would like to change, write them down. It helps to make a written list to look at from time to time. Seeing this list will remind you of your new goals, so place the list in a location where you will see it often.

I have found that changing my attitude changed my worldview. I am more patient and have fewer expectations of others. I feel more at peace with myself now. I wish the same for you.

Enlighten Me

 
OnkkaAd.jpg
MPanicAd.jpg
FSDAd.jpg
chase.jpg
BearskiAd.jpg
881Ad.jpg
SharesAd.jpg
Decorated Cookies
KBGDAd.jpg
ginak.jpg
MStanleyAd.jpg
Zodiac Chart

ARIES (Mar 21-Apr 19)
Whatever you are doing seems to work out. A little course change here and there and you are good to go. Fulfilling time.
 

TAURUS (Apr 20-May 20)
Relief is in sight. Hang in there. Money issues lighten up and you can see the hard work start to pay off.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
Now is not the time to start anything new. Plan and execute later. You're just spinning your tires for now. Try to see the humor in it.  
 

CANCER (June 21-July 22)
Try to be objective to strike some balance in your life. Concentrate on what is working and then run with it. Mixed time for you.  

 

LEO (July 23-Aug 22)
Others are coming into your life and it is a little draining for you. It all works well but you need to pamper yourself.
 

VIRGO (Aug 23-Sep 22)
Put the pedal to the metal because you are doing a lot here. Even though its a little unnerving you go with it and get it done. 
 

LIBRA (Sep 23-Oct 22)
Even though you are getting work done, your heart is just not into it. You need to test your limit.
 

SCORPIO (Oct 23-Nov 21)

The holidays are costing more money that you anticipated. Don't worry this will end. In the meantime make plans for the new year. 

 

SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22-Dec 21)

You have a lot of energy going on so be careful not to step on any toes or it can come back to bite you. Work out and reflect to keep a moral compass. 

 

CAPRICORN (Dec 22- Jan 19)
The past keeps coming up but you finally deal with it once and for all. Opportunity knocks and you take advantage of it for the new year.  
 

AQUARIUS (Jan 20-Feb 18)
The focus is on you and others seek out your advice. Go with it as it will sharpen your problem solving skill.
 

PISCES (Feb 19-Mar 20)
What with people getting on your nerves ends up with you being in a good mood. Lay ground work with hard work. You are moving forward here. 

Horoscopes

by Eric Biglione
 
ABPSAd.jpg
MCragheadAd.jpg
GGAd.jpg
JStanleyAd.jpg
NThghtAd.jpg
RainbowLockAd.jpg
PFLAG_bizcard_ad.png
posadas.jpg

Events

 
savioursad.jpg
RedLanternAd.jpg

Contact Us

P O Box 4959, Fresno, CA 93744

newslnk@aol.com  |  Tel: 559-266-5465

Success! Message received.

NEWSLINKNEW2021.jpg

News and happenings for, by, about and affecting the LGBT Valley.
Project of Community Link, Inc: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Service Organization. 
EST. September 1995

Community Link Projects