Issue VI, Volume XXIV, No. 282 | February 2019 

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

 

GRAY ALLIANCE NEWS
John Richardson

Gray Alliance is a group for LGBT seniors, and we get together twice a month for social functions.

 

We have a potluck the final Sunday of each month at the First Congregational Church Fireside Room from 2-4 pm. It’s located at the south end of the church campus at 2131 N Van Ness Blvd in Fresno. Please note that although we are using a church facility, Gray Alliance has no religious affiliation.
 

The second Wednesday of the month at 6 pm we meet at different restaurants. Here are the next two restaurants we’re going to:
 

February 13, Sweet Tomatoes, 7114 N  Fresno St, Fresno

March 13, Pedro’s Mexican Restaurant, 323 N Fresno St, Fresno 
 

If you have any questions, please call John Richardson at 559-260-1565 or Linda Schinkel at 559-356-7220.

Hope to see you soon!

YOUTH ALLIANCE NEWS 
David McGee

 

February arrived in the Central Valley with plenty of rain, snow-peaked mountains, and glorious days of cool, but sunny, weather! Does anybody wish they were in the frozen Midwest or East Coast? NO!!!! El Nino has blessed the West Coast!
 

For most people, February brings thoughts of love and chocolate kisses. For the members of the LGBTQ Youth Alliance, it’s just another month to play cosplay and discuss anime characters! Such is youth!

At a recent Youth Alliance meeting, our group leader, Rachel, AKA Banana, asked the group to come up with adjectives to describe themselves, from A to Z. Asking the youth to sit and think quietly was a bold move, considering the number of members with ADHD traits that attend the group! But it actually worked, and everyone came up with their list of words! Most of them even read their list to the group! Our Grand Poobah, Jeffery, was in attendance that night, so he asked permission to take the lists and add them to the LGBTQ archives he’s been amassing! The youth were glad to add something to the archives! Perhaps they’ll see their contribution displayed at the CSUF Library, or shared online in the future!

Last week, Banana had to attend a training convention out of town, so she asked Jeffery to run the group! The youth group loves Jeffery, so everyone was excited to see what he would do! Before he arrived at the group, Jeffery fashioned his own LGBTQ-version of a talking stick that he intended to pass around the group in order to maintain order in the group. He explained to the group that talking sticks have been used by

Native American tribes as a way of demonstrating authority and to get people to speak in turn. Then he passed the talking stick to members of the group and asked them questions. The talking stick worked! Everyone waited for their turn to hold the talking stick before they answered the questions! We had a great time passing the talking stick around, and we learned new things about each other! Thanks, Jeffery!
 

We save the last Friday of the month for our world-famous potluck! Everybody brings something to eat and we just eat and talk instead of doing the usual group practice. The attendance at our January potluck was a little low, but we had plenty of food and fun! Potluck nights are a great time for new people to attend the group because we don’t ask any personal questions—we just socialize with each other and eat a lot of great food! Former members of the group sometimes show up on Potluck Nights, and we have a great reunion!
 

The Fresno LGBTQ Youth Alliance meets on Friday nights, at 7 PM, in the Fireside Room of the First Congregational Church (The Big Red Church), located at 2131 N. Van Ness, in Fresno.

We welcome any and all LGBTQ youth and their allies, ages 14-25, to join us on 
Friday nights! Check out our Facebook page for reminders about the group! We usually post a reminder about the group meetings on Friday mornings! Just go to our Facebook page, “Fresno GLBTQ (yes, in that order) Youth Alliance,” to check it out!

Local

 

The Holidays are over and spring is slowly crawling to life. One day it is cold the next warm and sunny and the trees are blossoming and daffodils are in bloom. Spring brings people out of their homes and is the start of planning all the wonderful events that will start soon.


China Town New Year’s Parade is in March, IDC coronation is in May, Pride Parade and Festival in June and soon planning meetings for this year’s Fresno AIDS Walk. Mark your calendars, save the date this year’s Walk will be on Saturday, October 19, in Woodward Park.

We will let everyone know when we 
begin meetings, consider joining us this year as a volunteer and participant.
 

In the past few months we have been hearing rumors about The Living Room, A Project of WestCare changing locations, moving to a different area, etc. We want to let everyone know that we are not moving and will be remaining here at 901 E Belmont for the time being. We are still open for services 5 days per week from 9:00am to 4:00pm to anyone who is in need of HIV services. We do also open at 8:00am and are here until 5:00pm if you need to arrange an appointment to speak with someone or wish to test for HIV, simply pick up the phone and call (559) 486-1469 and we will arrange an appointment for a free confidential test.

Our services will be expanding to include transitional housing for those infected but clients could use some help with donations of normal household goods and furnishings. We need tables, chairs, couches, dressers, pots, pans silverware, and linens, all the usual things people need when moving into their first apartment. If you have things in good condition that you would like to donate give us a call, we will come pick it up and give you a donation receipt for your taxes.


Enjoy the rebirth that Spring brings to us all and take care of yourself.


Be well, be safe.


Toni Harrison

COMMUNITY UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST FEBRUARY NEWS

As we enter Black History month, we have several related worship services planned. Please join us in these thought-provoking worship experiences.

 

Upcoming services:

  • Feb 10 -- Doc Lewis will perform

  • Feb 17 -- We will talk about African American History

  • Feb 24 -- We will have a Music Sunday that will reflect African American culture in the U.S.

 

Worship Service Each Sunday at 10:30 a.m.

FRESNO STONEWALL DEMOCRATS FEBRUARY NEWS

Fresno Stonewall Democrats will be hosting Dr Thomas Holyoke at our March 12th meeting.  The Stonewall Democrats meet at Marie Calendars the 2nd Tuesday monthly at 5:30 p.m. for social and 6:15 p.m. for business.  The public is invited.

 

Dr. Holyoke is a specialist in American politics and teaches courses and conducts research on Congress, interest groups, social movements; and money in politics and western water politics. He has published three dozen research articles in prominent peer-reviewed journals and three books on interest groups and lobbying in America.
 

Dr. Holyoke has also worked for several interest groups in the past, as well as the United States Senate and the New York State Senate. In 2008 he received the Provost's Most Promising Faculty Award.  He has taught at Fresno State since 2005 and is currently Chair of the university's Academic Senate.

DAY OF ADVOCACY AT THE STATE CAPITOL


Join us at Equity on the Mall 2019
 

San Joaquin Valley leaders, residents and advocates will stand in unity at Equity on the Mall at the California State Capitol on March 6.

For far too long, communities across the San Joaquin Valley haven’t had access to the same opportunities that make California golden for other regions. Many families continue to struggle without access to such basic needs as clean water, clean air, quality educational opportunities, and safe and affordable housing.
 

Equity on the Mall is a day to empower the Valley, hold elected officials accountable and rise together to make positive change. San Joaquin Valley Health Fund partners will have an opportunity to visit with their elected officials to educate them on the 2019 Policy Platform and issues that are critical to the Valley.
 

Organized by the San Joaquin Valley Health Fund and The Center at Sierra Health Foundation, the day will include a powerful program at the west steps of the Capitol with remarks by elected representatives and community leaders, music, spoken word and an equity policy platform on some of the most pressing issues impacting communities in the San Joaquin Valley.
 

Together, we can create positive change. #ValleyRising!
 

Learn more and register on the Equity on the Mall web page.
 

This is a fun day that will energize you and give you hope in the future of the Valley.
 

The Source has a bus for 50 of our staff, volunteers and supporters.  We will leave the Source at 6am sharp so that we can be at the Capitol steps at 10am.  Food, drinks, snacks are provided, as well as memorable swag.  All costs are coveredthrough our grant with San Joaquin Valley Health Care fund.  
 

During the day we will hear from community leaders, elected officials and each other.  This is a signature event for the Source Youth Leadership Academy.  Come meet them, Source staff, board, and volunteers.
 

To Register: 

1. Click the button below or go to www.equityonthemall.org


2. Click on the "Open Registration Form" link at the top of the page.


3. Fill out form. Select: "Round 4 SJVHF partner (default option). Select "Tulare County-The Source LGBT+" from drop down menu.  Affiliated organization= "The Source"


4. Email us if you have questions or need help registering.
 

National

 

In honor of Black History Month, LGBTQ Nation has dedicated a channel to telling stories of the African American experience, both past and present.

From Richard Barthe, a gay sculptor of the Harlem renaissance, to Althea Garrison, the first trans person elected to a state legislature, we're shining a light on leaders, legends, and trailblazers. 

DNC ON TRUMP'S PROMISE TO HELP DISCRIMINATE AGAINST LGBTQ FAMILIES
 

Today, President Trump vowed to “always protect our country's long and proud tradition of faith-based adoption” and praised a Michigan adoption charity for discriminating against qualified LGBTQ families. In response, DNC LGBTQ Media Director Lucas Acosta released the following statement:
 

“President Trump has yet again attacked LGBTQ people, this time at the expense of children in need of a home. With more than 400,000 children in foster care nationwide, Trump should focus on increasing the placement of children with qualified potential parents, not supporting state-funded discrimination against LGBTQ families. Every child deserves a home, and every qualified person seeking to adopt deserves to be considered.

 

“With a new House majority -- made up of a historic amount of LGBTQ members -- Democrats will continue to take a stand against the hateful Trump-GOP agenda.”

California National Guard will defy Trump’s transgender military ban order
Alex Bollinger 
Reposted from LGBTQNation.com

A high-ranking officer in the California National Guard said this week that they will not comply with Donald Trump’s transgender military ban.

 

“As long as you fight, we don’t care what gender you identify as,” Major General Matthew Beevers, the assistant adjutant general for the California National Guard, told the California State Assembly’s Veterans Affairs Committee on Tuesday.

“I believe the ban (on transgender troops) will be lifted again.”
 

He said that he knew of two transgender people in the California National Guard, but that there is no official count.
 

“At the end of the day, we’re not compelled to measure it, so we don’t,” Beevers said.
 

“Nobody’s going to kick you out,” he said, referring to people in the California National Guard who might be considering transitioning.

continued at LGBTQNation.com

REPUBLICAN LAWMAKER: "LGBTQ PEOPLE ARE A MODERN DAY VERSION OF THE KKK."
Alex Bollinger
Reposted from LGBTQNation.com

 

A Republican legislator said that he would drown his own kids is if they turned out to be gay. West Virginia delegate Eric Porterfield appeared on WVVA, an NBC affiliate, to talk about homophobic comments he made last week, where he said that LGBTQ people are “a modern day version of the Ku Klux Klan.”
 

He wore a red MAGA cap – along with a shirt and tie – during the interview.


The reporter asked him what he would do if his son or daughter came out as gay.

continued at LGBTQNation.com

Out presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg says being gay gives him an advantage over Trump
Bill Browning
Reposted from LGBTQNation.com

 

Out presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg isn’t pulling any punches when it comes to his sexual orientation. In fact, he’s making it a selling point for his candidacy.
 

The 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, doesn’t have the national name recognition as some of the other candidates like Senators Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris, but he’s quickly raising his profile.

continued at LGBTQNation.com

GAY CATHOLIC LEADER CONFRONTS ALT-RIGHT HARASSERS

“All my options are on the table,” Aaron Bianco says after being forced from San Diego parish post
Matt Tracy
Reposted from GayCityNews.nyc

 

By his own admission, Aaron Bianco was a “nobody” until he was discovered by the alt-right.

An out gay former pastoral associate at St. John’s the Evangelist Catholic Church in San Diego, Bianco was long treated with respect in the workplace and largely accepted by

parishioners and church leaders alike.

But everything went downhill in June of 2017 when the parish’s priest left, forcing Bianco to assume more responsibilities and play a more visible role in the absence of a permanent replacement pastor.

continued at GayCityNews.nyc

This all-queer pro-wrestling event is pummeling homophobia into submission
Daniel Villareal
Reposted from LGBTQNation.com

 

Professional wrestling in America has a long and homophobic history filled with flamboyant villains but very few out-and-proud LGBTQ-identified athletes. Rick Cataldo wants to change that.

Inspired by female wrestlers he saw growing up, Caltado dropped out of high school at age 14 to start working a busboy and training twice a week to become a pro wrestler. He didn’t

care about becoming an Adonis—he wanted to become a character that would allow him to embrace his queerness.

During his career, he performed with exoticos, flamboyant openly gay lucha libre wrestlers in Mexico. Now, years later and back in America, Caltado is known as “The Boy Diva” and he runs A Matter of Pride, an all-queer wrestling event that seeks to give queer wrestling fans a place to see authentic queer representation of “all shapes, sizes and backgrounds.”

continued on LGBTQNation.com

NBC WILL PREMIER TV'S FIRST-EVER SITCOM FEATURING A BI FEMALE LEAD PLAYED BY A QUEER ACTRESS
Daniel Villareal
Reposted from LGBTQNation.com

 

On Thursday, March 28, NBC will premiere Abby’s, a sitcom filmed in front of a live studio audience that will feature TV’s first openly bisexual sitcom lead.
 

The character will be played by queer-identified actress Natalie Morales who has previously appeared in the comedies Parks and Recreation, Santa Clarita Diet and Bojack Horseman.

Abby’s will follow the titular character as she runs an outdoor neighborhood bar that’s literally in her own backyard. The show describes the bar as “the perfect gathering place for locals to find camaraderie and sanctuary.”

continued on LGBTQNation.com

ANDI MACK MAKES HISTORY WITH FIRST DISNEY CHARACTER TO SAY "I’M GAY"
Josh Jackman
Reposted from PinkNews.co.uk

 

During Friday’s (February 8) episode of the Disney Channel show about teenagers, Cyrus finally worked up the courage to tell his friend Jonah Beck that he’s gay.



The 13-year-old revealed his sexuality at a Jewish mourning ceremony for his grandmother, introducing Jonah to his family’s different foods before adding: “That’s gefilte fish—skip that—and I’m gay.”

continued on PinkNews.co.uk

FLORIDA'S MOST LGBTI-FRIENDLY CITY, WILTON MANORS, GETS RAINBOW POLICE CARS

The Florida city of Wilton Manors has one of the highest LGBTI resident populations in the US
David Hudson
Reposted from GayStarNews.com

 

Just in time for a 5K Pride run a couple of weekends ago, the Police Department in Wilton Manors, Florida, unveiled their new squad car. In a clear display of support for the local LGBTI community, it bears a huge rainbow design.
 

The Broward County city is one of the most LGBTI-friendly places in the US. It has a sizeable LGBTI population. In fact, following last November’s elections, its entire council is populated by LGBTI people. That makes it only the second US city to make such a claim, after Palm Springs in California.

continued om GayStarNews.com

International

 

UGANDAN TRANS REFUGEES SEEK FARMING OPPORTUNITY IN KENYA
Women await funding for chicken business as they endure dangers in their new home

Matt Tracy
Reposted from GayCityNews.nyc

 

A safe home. A prosperous work environment. Acceptance.

The transgender women who make up Matasia Trans Poultry Farming in Kenya aren’t asking for anything more than that.

 

Mawejje Sulah, Kasaali Brian Sseviiri, and Wasswa Chris hail from different parts

of Uganda, where they managed to escape anti-LGBTQ persecution and are now stationed outside of Nairobi, Kenya, as part of a program overseen by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

continued on GayCityNews.nyc

VICTORIA TO BECOME FIRST AUSTRALIAN STATE TO BAN CONVERSION THERAPY
Patrick Kelleher
Reposted from PinkNews.co.uk

 

Daniel Andrews, Premier of Victoria (head of government) made the announcement at Midsumma Pride in St Kilda today.



In a statement posted to his website, Andrews’ office explained that his government “will bring in laws to denounce and prohibit LGBTI conversion practices, ending the bigoted practice that has caused so much trauma to too many Victorians.”

Andrews – who has held the post since 2014 and is a member of the Labour Party – intends to introduce the ban after an extensive investigation was completed by the Health Complaints Commissioner (HCC).

continued on PinkNews.co.uk

Enlighten Me

 

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR LIFE LACKS PURPOSE
Mark Lagenfeld

 

A reader wrote me recently to tell me that the meaning has gone out of her life. She said she felt bored with nothing to do. She reported having low energy and just couldn’t get herself organized. Actually, she said she wrote me on a day that she had spent the whole day in bed. She didn’t have the flu or anything like that, she just couldn’t seem to find the motivation to get out of bed.

 

It seemed to me that what was actually ailing her was a lack of purpose. Granted, everyone has his or her own definition of what constitutes purpose in life. However, within the context that she was sharing, it appeared that her particular lack of purpose stemmed from having run out of goals.

 

Goals are one of those things that can be a double edge sword. If you have too many goals, you feel overwhelmed and mentally fatigued. On the flip side, if you do not have any goals at all, your life can feel like it is lacking a sense of direction.

 

That’s the emotional place where I think she was coming from. I could be way off base, but I suspect that she didn’t have meaningful goals to pursue. It’s those goals that can motivate her to get out of bed and out the door. If she had a goal to get excited about, I have no doubt that she would have had better things to do than write me a letter bewailing her woes.

 

So how about you? What meaningful goals are you currently working on to improve life for yourself and those around you? What’s that? You don’t have any?! Ugh! What are you waiting for? Perhaps, you are waiting for some kind writer to give you some friendly suggestions to guide you. Ok, I accept.

 

I will share with you the personal steps I take when setting goals. Let me clarify, these are not goals for running errands or getting through a daily to-do-list. These are goals for creating a meaningful life.

 

1) To clear my mind, I sit in silence and allow myself to be still for thirty minutes.

 

2) Once I am in a peaceful state of mind, I ask my higher-self (that’s my subconscious in case you were wondering) what I can do to become a more loving person? This self-imposed question is based on my belief that love is the essence of my being.

 

3) Then, I sit and wait for thoughts to come to me, or sometimes feelings. In the past, these thoughts ranged from something as involved as volunteering to feed the hungry on an ongoing basis, to giving my senior parents a quick call on a cold night to see how they are getting along.

 

4) Lastly, I write down the details of whatever thoughts/goals have come to me. Otherwise, the information could be lost to time.

 

Now, please realize that everyone has their own technique for setting personal goals. If my steps for setting goals do not fit your personality, that perfectly OK.

 

Today’s Loving Suggestion: there are several areas in life which you could think about setting goals. Consider the following: social goals, family, financial, spiritual, health, career, romantic, educational, and recreational.

 

I think it is best to write down your goals in order to document them. Somehow this writing process makes the goals seem more real. So please either put them on paper or type them into an electronic file to be saved and reviewed often. Personally, I have a list of my goals written down on paper and sitting on the nightstand next to my bed. No, I don’t read them each night, but I do review them once a week to make sure I am mindful of what direction I want my life to be headed.

 

For yourself, you might want to answer these questions which may help you decide which goals to set in each of the categories listed above. Who would you ideally like to socialize with? How do you want your family relationships to improve? What annual income do you need to be comfortable? What area of your spiritual growth would you like to further develop? What would be the most reasonable fitness routine for you to follow each day considering your current health status? What do you most want to accomplish with your career? What are the characteristics you most cherish in a romantic partner? How would you want to expand your intellect? And lastly, how do you want to have fun in your free time?

 

These are just suggestions, of course. However, when followed, I think they can truly enhance your life and keep you from falling into that empty state of mind where you feel your life is void of meaning.

New Wellness

 

HEALTHY FRESNO = STAND UP FOR LOCAL SURVIVORS 
Rob Blake

 

Many people were advocating to believe survivors and stand up for them during the Kavanaugh Supreme Court hearings. But far too many of those same folks are reacting very differently when it becomes a local sexual assault issue in our communities all over the nation. 
 

With my local issue in my state, I’ve received a mostly apathetic response recently from the almost 50 area theater companies. I reached out to them about my concerns with an actor and his connection to a sexual assault that almost killed me one night.  

Most of those who responded back have been supportive and wanted to hear my concerns. And I’m truly grateful for that. But just eight of those theater organizations have contacted me. 
 

This particular actor sent me a letter of intimidation to try to silence me from speaking out about the sexual assault. Even worse, this actor is married to one of the three perpetrators in my sexual assault. 
 

I’ve been fortunate to have a great group of First Amendment lawyers get involved and work to try and stop this actor from any further attempts to threaten, harass, and intimidate me into silence. 
 

I don’t just need the lawyers though; I need those actors and the theater people to stand with me. 
 

This is not Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, or Bill Cosby I’m talking about. He is an actor that is known in our part of the world. It should not matter though. The MeToo Movement was not just about famous people. It is about human beings. And it is about taking back our lives where we live and work. 
 

I’ve reviewed the social media posts and pictures of dozens of our area’s actors and theater directors. They are filled with the rallying cries and symbols of that MeToo Movement that reached a feverish pitch after Christine Blasey Ford became a household name this past October. 
 

However, I’m not getting that same outpouring of love, hope, and support from the theater community here that was so evident last fall for Dr. Ford. 
 

I’ve heard back from some in this tight-knit community and I’ve been told it makes them uncomfortable to get involved. Good. I hope my concerns involving this local actor make many individuals uncomfortable. That’s how we know we’re making change. 

This actor with whom I have concerns has also attacked the very foundation of what theater represents. That presents even more of a problem. 
 

Theater is about the freedom of expression. And this actor is trying to censor me and my ability to tell my story. He is trying to take away that freedom of expression. Just like many celebrities did to their victims of sexual assault. 
 

Theater has always been about the sharing of stories like Angels in America and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf despite the censorship efforts and controversies that resulted when they premiered. 
 

If this artistic community in my city largely stands by and does nothing while one of its own intimidates, threatens and harasses a sexual assault survivor from speaking out and sharing his story, then I ask…what do we really have? 
 

Without freedom of expression; theater ceases to exist. 


It’s easy to be brave from a distance. This isn’t just about DC, New York, or LA. This is now in my (our) backyard. We can’t stop at just mere words from several months ago and two thousand miles away. What will you actually do when all of this comes to your Fresno neighborhood; and it likely already has?  
 

Remember the powerful and chilling ending of the famous Holocaust poem First They Came: “Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me.”  
 

It’s a slippery slope for my community’s acting and theater community to ignore the dangerous actions of this actor. At some point, “they” will come to try and take away your freedom of expression in the San Joaquin Valley too.  
 

Believe your local Fresno survivors. And stand up for them. Our collective health and well-being depends on it.
 

This healthy article of stand up and speak out is brought to you by that guy of si, se puede. That guy with a call to action is Ron Blake and he can be reached at rblake5551@hotmail.com. 

Uncle Barbie

 

Your Intellectual Whore
"An effervescently gay
advice columnist."

 

Disclaimer: Although the author of this syndicated column holds a doctorate in clinical psychology, the tongue-in-cheek advice given is for entertainment only and is not a substitute for therapy. Barbie responds to all emails...whether you deserve it or not. Send your questions to Uncle Barbie at:
askunclebarbie@aol.com

SURVIVING A CHAOTIC CHILDHOOD

 

My Dearest Uncle Barbie,

I am a near forty something woman who was taken away from my parents as a small child and given to my aunt. My other six siblings were sent to foster homes. My mother was a raging alcoholic, and my father was present but not present. Anyway, due to health issues, no foster home would take me (thankfully things have changed a bit since then...). Growing up, I always wanted to be a part of a family. My aunt would always introduce her two biological daughters, and then introduce me as “my brother's girl.” After a decade and a half of this, you kind of get the idea that “YOU ARE AN OUTSIDER!” Thankfully, my cousins have always treated me as a sister, for better or for worse.

 

Now comes the fun part! My biological siblings and I have always held each other at arm’s length. I have watched them drink themselves into oblivion, beat their children, go in and out of jail, and use every person they have come into contact with. When I left my aunt's house and got out on my own, I allowed myself to be pulled into only one situation where my oldest brother tried to use me to get drugs and booze, and I said, “Forget it.” I felt the only way to keep out of all of their drama was to just remove myself from the situation. So I got a job on the other side of the world, met my husband, moved back to the states, and now live in Minnesota, far removed from their craziness.

 

As I am getting older, I think I'm emotionally mature enough to try to bridge the gap with my biological family. I talk to my mom by email (she is no longer drinking and has been dry for years). I have tried to reach one of my brothers and his new wife, but he won't answer any of my emails. Now, a different brother is in the last stages of his battle with AIDS, and my mom has told me that he doesn't have long to live. This brother is an interesting fellow; he insisted he got the disease through IV drug use and told me many years ago that he hated having the disease because everyone thought he was a “fag.” I told him at that time that I didn't care how he got it. The cause was irrelevant to me. Well, as the years passed, it came out (or should I say, he came out?) and told us he was bisexual. He is divorced from his wife, but they still live together. Apparently, my wonderful biological siblings set upon him like a pack of wolves when they heard this news, and he has withdrawn from the family (much like I did). My mom tells me that he is now withdrawing from her, as well. She has been trying to bring him back into the family for years.

 

So, after all that, my question is this: How can I reconnect with my brother? I have a feeling that he will take my attempts to contact him as pity and will get annoyed. I don't want to get him worked up. I just want to let him know that I'm sorry we haven't been closer. I don't want my brother to die feeling like his family doesn't love him. Soooo. Any thoughts?

Signed, Confused in the City

 

Hello Confused City Girl,

Thank you for having the courage to open up your heart and share your personal story with me. It takes a special person to have that kind of strength. One of the nice things about being an advice columnist is that I have the privilege of being able to read the deeply touching narratives from readers. If the people from your childhood did not appreciate you, that’s their problem--not yours. Based on your description, your siblings are a bunch of sociopathic users who treat others as objects to be exploited. (Yeah, chemical dependency and narcissism make for an ugly mix.) If some of your brothers don’t return your emails and refuse to reconnect with you, then accept that. You have done your part in the communication process by letting them know that you would like to reestablish contact. The rest is up to them. If they do not respond, don’t push it; it will only drive them further away.

 

I am proud of you for showing support to your brother who is dying of AIDS. I have seen many cases where families have turned their backs on their own kin because of HIV and AIDS. When I was finishing my doctoral dissertation on hypnotic pain management, I did a year of volunteer work serving people living with AIDS. It was especially heartbreaking during the holiday season because most of them would not even get so much as a card or a phone call from their parents. I truly do not understand how a mother or father can abandon their own child just because that child is dying from a disease (like AIDS) that carries a negative social stigma. It’s NOT shameful to have a family member with HIV/AIDS; it IS shameful to have so much prejudice and condemnation for a loved one that you turn away when that person needs you the most. Regardless of what religion you subscribe to, every major religion in the world teaches that we should all love one another. Maybe AIDS is not so much a curse as it is a test of our love.

 

You asked how you can reconnect with your brother. There is no magical formula. Just send him a letter expressing your compassion and your love for him. If he writes you back, great! If he does not, there is really not much else you can do. Be at peace knowing that you have told him how you feel. Once again, congratulations for having survived such a crazy childhood. You are a beautiful soul.
 

Compassion with Pride, Barbie

Horoscopes

 

ARIES (Mar 21-Apr 19)
There is a change going on in you. You reflect on the part and venture into a new era of friends and the way you approach life. Embrace it.

 

TAURUS (Apr 20-May20)
Life is going to get interesting real fast here. Your insight into people and situations is very revealing. Others are drawn to you and your magnetic appeal.


GEMINI (May 21-Jun 20)
Life may seem mundane but relationships spice up your life during this period. You plan for the furutre and you work toward it. 


CANCER (Jun 21-July22)
Well finally life seems to settle down without any new surprises. New people come into your life and are a benefit to you. Try to spend time at home to recharge your batteries.


LEO (July 23-Aug 22)
Get ready for unexpected changes in your life. It's all very unsettling but you need to keep pushing forward. There are lessons to learn here. 


VIRGO (Aug 23-Sep 22)
What a shok. Everything is not about you. Stick to your morals during this change and work on things you can control. Relationships play a big part here and are enjoyment for you.

 

LIBRA (Sep 23-Oct 22)
Time to re-check your health again and any routine exercise you are doing. You are going through a transformation that proves difficult. Big payday to get through it. 

 

SCORPIO (Oct 23-Nov 21)
Unexpected events may distant you from others. No knee jerk reactions. Take time to see what is really going on or you will be by yourself in left field.


SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22-Dec 21)
Well you seem to be fairing well here. Maybe even an increase in income. Watch your tongue or you will be eating crow. Your good nature at this time gets you through it. 


CAPRICORN (Dec 22-Jan 19)
You have a revelation which will lite up your world. Time to process it all but take action at a later date. You still have a lot of hidden support going on.


AQUARIUS (Jan 20-Feb 18)
Get ready for some surprises in your life. You are ready to get the ball rolling but I am afraid you are going to step on some toes. You enjoy yourself but there is a price to pay.


PISCES (Feb 19-Mar 20)
It's really uncanny what you are capable of. You see right to the root of problems and give advice. This attracts others to you so enjoy it. Interesting time.

Not To Be Missed

 


Suzanne Westenhoefer
 

Los Angeles
 

The Renberg Theatre, in Los Angeles, will present the comedy of Suzanne Westenhoefer, on March 16, 2019, at 8:00 PM. Westenhoefer has been doing comedy for over 25 years. Life is funny, but especially when it’s fermented in Westenhoefer’s mind! Westenhoefer has shared that she could never be in the closet, which is why she became an LGBT trailblazer when she started doing stand-up comedy in the 1990’s. Westenhoefer was the first openly lesbian comedian with an HBO special and the first openly lesbian comedian on “Late Night with David Letterman.” Westenhoefer’s new show, March On, is hilarious, provocative, and just what the LGBT community needs right now! General admission for this event is $40. The Renberg Theatre is located at 1125 McCadden Place, Los Angeles, CA, 90028. For more information, go to lalgbtcenter.org.

 

Cardi B
 

Los Angeles
 

Cardi B, and many others, will perform at the Microsoft Theater, in Los Angeles, CA, on March 14, 2019, at the iHeart Radio Music Awards. Cardi B is an Amerian rapper, singer, and songwriter, born and raised in the Bronx, New York. She is nominated for 13 music awards at this year’s iHeart Radio Music Awards show. Tickets for this event start at $100. The Microsoft Theater is located at 777 Chick Hearn Court, Los Angeles, CA, 90015. For tickets or more information, go to microsoft.theatrelosangeles.com or your favorite ticket seller.

 

Billy Idol


San Francisco
 

Billy Idol and Steve Stevens will perform their Turned On, Tuned In, and Unplugged tour at the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, in San Francisco, CA, on March 7 and 8, 2019. Billy Idol is an English musician, singer, songwriter, and actor. He reached fame in the 1970’s with songs such as Rebel Yell and White Wedding. Tickets for this event start at $80. The Palace of Fine Arts is located 3301 Lyons Street, San Francisco, CA, 94123. For tickets or more information, go to palaceoffinearts.org.



Sarah Brightman


San Francisco
 

Sarah Brightman will perform at the California Masonic Memorial Temple on March 9, 2019. Sarah Brightman is an English classical crossover soprano, singer, songwriter, actress, dancer, and musician. She is best-known for her performance in the Phantom of the Opera. Tickets for this event start at $70. The California Masonic Memorial Temple is located at 1111 California Street, San Francisco, CA, 94132. For tickets, go to sfmasonic.com.

 

The Jungle Book
 

Fresno


The Valley Performing Arts Council will perform their rendition of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, at the Saroyan Theatre, in Fresno, on March 2, 2019. Journey through the jungles and forests of India with this musical tale! Tickets for this event start at $62. The Saroyan Theatre is located at 730 M Street, Fresno, 93721. For tickets to this event, go to saroyan.theatrefresno.com.



Justin Timberlake


Fresno


Justin Timberlake has rescheduled his Man of the Woods Tour from November, 2018 to Spring, 2019. He will perform in Fresno, at the Save Mart Center, on Wednesday, March 13, 2019. Timberlake rose to prominence in the late 1990’s as a member of the boy band, NSYNC. Tickets for this event start at $88. The Save Mart Center is located at 2650 E. Shaw, Fresno, 93710. For tickets, go to centerfresno.com.

 

Contact Us

P O Box 4959, Fresno, CA 93744

newslnk@aol.com  |  Tel: 559-266-5465


News and happenings for, by, about and affecting the LGBT Valley.
Let us know if you have any questions or suggestions at:
newslnk@aol.com

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