Issue V, Volume XXIV, No. 281 | January 2019
Community Link Projects
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’s a list of the next three restaurants we’re going to:
January 9, Santa Fe Basque, 3110 N Maroa , Fresno CA 93704
February 13, Sweet Tomatoes, 7114 N Fresno, Fresno CA 93720
March 13, Pedro’s Mexican Restaurant, 323 N Fresno, Fresno CA 93701
If you have any questions, please feel free to call John Richardson at 559-260-1565 or Linda Schinkel at 559-356-7220. Hope to see you soon
YOUTH ALLIANCE NEWS JANUARY 2019
January has arrived with its promise of new hope for a new year. Winter Holiday decorations and the nostalgia of auld lang syne have been put away for another year. Our LGBTQ Youth Alliance members are beginning to trickle back to group on Friday nights. Of course, they’re still wearing shorts! You’ve got to love their moxie! Our attendance is still low, but we get a new member here and there! And now that the holidays are over, we expect to see some of our regulars rejoin the group!
At our most recent Youth Alliance meeting, our group leader, Rachel, AKA Banana, started the evening by asking the group a question that our Grand Poobah, Jeffery, had posted on Facebook recently. She asked the group members to discuss their favorite gay (LGBTQ) moment. Her question stumped several of the youth, who had to pass the first time around in order to thinks about their answer. Eventually, everyone came up with an answer. Unexpectedly, for half of the group members, their attendance at the Annual Fresno Rainbow Pride Parade and Festival was their favorite gay moment! Who’d have thunk? We expected to hear stories about a first kiss or a favorite friendship! Their answers demonstrated how powerful and important our annual LGBTQ parade event is for the youth!
When we finished with the question about our favorite moment, Banana pulled out a book with 3,000 discussion questions, and going around the table, she asked each group member, in turn, to pick a number. She asked the group the corresponding question. With all the side talking and noise, we only got through a few questions, but we had a good time! We also learned a little more about each other, which, of course, was the point of asking the questions!
Our annual Holiday Party was a success! We had plenty of food, desserts, and beverages to keep the party going! Our Grand Poobah, Jeffery, attended the party and participated in the annual white elephant gift exchange! As usual, the gift exchange started out rather calm, but eventually, things heated up as various members tried to steal coveted gifts from each other! Rainbow unicorns seemed to be the favorite gifts, so when it was their turn, some of our members would steal a unicorn from other members, which kicked up the fun and noise! In the end, everyone had a great time and took home what they wanted!
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!
NEW PROJECT ARCHIVES LGBTQ STORIES FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS
Reposted from fresnostatecoss.com
Documenting and preserving LGBTQ voices and stories in the Central Valley for future generations is the focus of Qistory, a project under the College of Social Sciences that launched in 2018.
Women’s Studies Assistant Professor Dr. Katherine Fobear had the idea to archive the oral and digital interviews of LGBTQ elders when she came across a story in a local monthly newspaper called Community Link.
In the story, CEO of Community Link Jeffrey Robinson announced that the theme for the 2018 Fresno Pride event would be called “Raise the Bar.” One that would include the history of LGBTQ bars in the Central Valley, their owners, bar goers and the community. After reading the article, Fobear felt compelled to see how Fresno State could get involved.
continue reading at fresnostatecoss.com
FREE MOVIE NIGHT!
LGBT Fresno and Pink Panthers Movement of Fresno present a community movie night; “A Kid like Jake” .
The movie stars, Jim Parsons (Sheldon of Big Bang Theory), Claire Danes (Julia Vaugh of The Hours), Octavio Spencer (Minnie Jackson of The Help), and Leo James Davis (as Jake).
LGBT Fresno and The Pink Panthers Movement Fresno want to bring awareness towards the
importance of accepting and supporting children who are exploring gender expression. Resources will be available at an informational table. Snacks & drinks will be provided (please, no outside food)
February 27th, Doors open at 5:30 pm, Movie Begins at 6:00 PM, Discussion & Resources from 7:30-8:00 pm
Fig Garden Regional Library
3071 W. Bullard Ave.
Fresno, Ca. 93711
DRAMA AT BULLARD HIGH (AND ELSEWHERE)
It’s halfway through the first month of 2019 and indications are already the new year’s gonna be drama-filled.
First, there’s a new sheriff in town at Bullard High. Homophobe Brooke Ashjian decided not to run for a second term on the Fresno Unified School District board of trustees. Ex-Marine Terry Slatic was the surprise winner in November out of a field of three candidates.
As soon as the results were in, Slatic started talking about shaking up the district culture.
He certainly did.
He got into an altercation with a student at Bullard High after school hours on January 11th. He claimed that, out of nowhere, the student threatened to kill him. The school board scheduled an emergency meeting for January 15th, to discuss “pending litigation” behind closed doors.
According to a report by GV Wire, Slatic and Michelle Asadoorian, his chief of staff, encountered the student sitting on a picnic table on the Bullard campus. Evidently Asadoorian said something to the kid and the kid replied. What he might have said wasn’t clear. Slatic then confronted him and further words may have been exchanged. Reportedly, Slatic tried to grab him and there was a struggle before he got away.
Fresno police were looking into the matter.
I don’t necessarily buy Slatic’s version of events. I spend much of my time around late teenagers and young adults because I’m a student myself and am deeply involved at Fresno State. Odds are one of the adults said something insulting or threatening to the kid and he reacted. People don’t threaten people unless something’s triggered that response.
In addition, I find it fascinating Asadoorian was involved. She’s a former school board member who was infamous for sticking her nose into business at Bullard High when she was on the board. Her brother, Donnie Arax, was the Knights’ varsity head football coach at the time.
I am curious too about Slatic’s ties (to be fair, if any) to a parent/community group, Bullard Pride. The organization has been at odds with Fresno Unified administrators for years, and floated the idea of breaking the Bullard and Fresno High attendance areas off from the school district several years ago.
I live in the Bullard area and looked into getting involved with Bullard Pride a few years ago. Several neighbors warned me off, saying the group’s founder was a racist and I should stay as far away from the organization as possible.
Second bit of drama is the idea of a private business improvement district for the Tower District that’s being floated by some folks connected to the area’s anti-crime Facebook group. It’s not the first time something like a PBID has been proposed for the Tower.
In 2004, city council member Cynthia Sterling recommended the district pursue organizing a community benefit district to help fund police and other services. The idea was shot down in a contentious meeting at Fresno High. Attendees were adamant the district deserved ‘enhanced city services’ at no additional cost.
The current rendition of the PBID surfaced as the Tower became the epicenter of Fresno’s growing fentanyl crisis.
Three young adults overdosed on what they thought was cocaine on January 11th. The three were partying in a live/work unit at an old office complex just south of the canal on Van Ness. Two lived. The third person died. Toxicology testing revealed the ‘cocaine’ was actually fentanyl.
The Tower may have been hoist on its own petard finally.
The Tower first got its avantgarde reputation back in the 1960s when hippies began setting up communes in some of the larger houses. The area very quickly became the heart of Fresno’s drug scene. There is a reason many pot dispensaries and delivery services chose to locate in Tower in recent years.
Finally, there’s breaking news on the local literature front.
The Normal School, Fresno State’s literature magazine, is ceasing its print version after the coming spring issue.
According to Dr. Steven Church of the English department, “the cost and logistics of running a biannual print magazine are just one challenge, but there are others as well, related in part to the personal and professional goals of the founding editors.”
Church said the magazine will continue to operate as an online publication, through a graduate class. He added, “we’ll continue to provide opportunities for students to get hands-on experience in publishing and editing for a nationally recognized journal.”
He said all production will now be done in-house, “meaning students will do all of the copyediting, proofreading, factchecking, design and layout.”
The LGBT Pink Panthers Movement of Fresno will be holding their February Arts and Crafts Night Meeting. Participation is open for all ages. Snacks provided and participants keep what they make.
Friday February 1st 2019
The Holistic Cultural Education and Wellness Center
4876 E. Kings Canyon Rd.
Fresno, CA. 93727
Meetings begin in May for planning the 4th Annual September Spectacular Resource Fair, it is fast approaching us. Do you have extra time to join us and make a difference for the community? Then join a planning committee for Entertainment, Publicity & Promotions, Food Distribution, Sponsor/Donation Allocations, Children’s Fun Area, Vendor Registration, or just as a volunteer.
Contact Leon Velasco-Stoll 559-201-0859 or Lysing Prathammavong 559-255-8395
TRAN BALL PAGEANT
Join us in supporting and representing the transgender community, as the current reigning Mr. Tranz Fresno 2018, Zayn Anthony and Ms. Trans Fresno 2018, Tranz Jenner, step down for the crowning and investing of the new Mr. & Ms. Trans 2019, Trans X 2019 (androgynous) and first ever Youth Title, Trans Junior!
This is an all -ages, community fundraising event being held at Fresno City College’s Old Administration Building’s beautiful Sky Room. $15 pre-sale, $20 at the door. Includes Food (first come first serve), bar selection, pageant and drag show.
Online tickets may be purchased at: Paypal.me/idcfresno (Make sure to include name and event attending on the notes.)
DMV TO OFFER 'NON-BINARY' GENDER ON CALIFORNIA ID'S IN 2019
Reposted from Kron4.com
A third gender option will be available for California drivers licenses and ID’s starting in 2019.
The law, SB 179, was signed by Governor Jerry Brown in October.
It will allow people to apply for a ‘non-binary’ gender marker if they do not identify as either male or female.
“For me, it was surprising to see this change,” said Al Johnson, a transgender activist and member of Trans Family Support Services. Johnson is non-binary and uses pronouns they/them.
But with that surprise, came excitement.
“Not only does it mean we’re being recognized by society and the people around us but we’re also being recognized by government entities as valid and real people,” they said.
continued at Kron4.com
WIFE OF CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR WILL GO BY “FIRST PARTNER” INSTEAD OF “FIRST LADY”
The Huffington Post recently reported that Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the wife of Gavin Newsom, the new Governor of California, has announced that she will use the title of “First Partner” to describe herself. By using the term “First Partner”, Siebel Newsom hopes to promote the idea that California will eventually have a female governor. Siebel Newsom is a filmmaker and activist who has a long history of fighting for gender equality. Gavin Newsom is also an advocate for gender issues, including women’s issues and LGBTQ rights.
PROPOSED ARIZONA LAW WOULD FIRE TEACHERS IF THEY TALK ABOUT LGBTQ ISSUES IN CLASS
Reposted from lgbtqnation.com
Arizona teachers could be fired for talking about “controversial” topics like politics, religion, racism, or LGBTQ rights if a new bill becomes law.
Republican State Representative Mark Finchem has introduced legislation that would ban public and charter school teachers from engaging in “political, ideological or religious” advocacy or discussion with their students.
Educators would be forbidden from discussing any “controversial issue” in class and “endorsing, supporting or opposing any legislative, judicial or executive action.” Teachers would need to complete three hours of mandatory ethics training per year and would have to follow a “code of ethics” drawn up by the Republican-dominated state legislature.
continued at lgbtqnation.com
CHARLESTON POLICE IMPLEMENT GENDER IDENTITY TRAINING
Live 5 News Web Staff
Reposted from live5news.com
Roughly four months after the assault of a transgender woman in downtown Charleston brought the relationship between the city’s police department and the LGBTQ community to the forefront, the department announced Friday that all new hires moving forward will receive gender identity training.
In-house training was conducted for current employees back in October and the first group of new hires received the training on Wednesday.
“The men and women of the Charleston Police Department will always work to educate ourselves thoroughly, intentionally and consistently, so we are most capable of treating everyone with the highest levels of dignity and respect, while best meeting the needs of persons of all races, beliefs and backgrounds," Charleston police chief Luther Reynolds said. "We are excited this is another step in achieving the best outcomes possible.”
continue at live5news.com
GLSEN released valuable new state-level data from GLSEN's benchmark National School Climate Survey for your state. The data tells us is that for most LGBTQ middle and high school students, our nation’s schools are not safe places.
Across the country, most LGBTQ students experience bias-based harassment and regularly hear homophobic and transphobic remarks from both fellow students. Further, many LGBTQ students still do not have access to important school resources -- such as an LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum -- and are not protected by supportive and inclusive school policies.
To help provide state-specific data illustrating this problem, GLSEN released 42 snapshot briefs, providing data from 41 states as well as Puerto Rico. This vital state-specific data allows advocates, educators, administrators, and policymakers to evaluate school climate in their state and to take action to make schools in their state safer, more welcoming, and more inclusive of LGBTQ students.
Learn about the climate for LGBTQ students in our state and share with others atglsen.org/statesnapshot
If you have questions about this research, please email me firstname.lastname@example.org.
For press inquiries, please contact email@example.com.
DRAG KID DESMOND IS AMAZING’S MUM DEFENDS GAY BAR PERFORMANCE
Reposted from PinkNews.co.uk
Desmond is Amazing – who is 11 years old and has an international following – performed at the Brooklyn bar in December, leading to considerable backlash from some bloggers and commentators.
However, Desmond’s mum has now hit back at critics in a Facebook post in which she said they had experienced “kickback from the drag community” and said she wanted to “defend all involved.”
“Articles have been coming out recently claiming that my son danced half naked and stripped in a sleazy gay bar for grown men who threw dollar bills at him and is being exploited and forced to perform,” the post said.
continue reading at PinkNews.co.uk
Appeals Panel Nixes One of the Trans Military Ban Injunctions
Arthur S Leonard
Reposted from GayCityNews.nyc
A unanimous three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled on January 4 that District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly should not have denied a Justice Department motion to dissolve her preliminary injunction against the Trump administration’s transgender military service ban going into effect. Kollar-Kotelly issued that injunction in October 2017.
The court did not issue a formal opinion — instead releasing a “Judgment” that was not designated for publication — but it indicated that “separate opinions” by the judges “will be filed at a later date."
continued at gaycitynews.nyc
ROBERT DE NIRO OPENS UP ABOUT GAY SON, LGBTI RIGHTS UNDER TRUMP: 'I WORRY'
Reposted from GayStarNews.com
Robert De Niro has spoken about his gay son’s experience of Trump’s America in a new interview.
The iconic actor revealed the two discuss his child’s ‘worries’ about being treated a certain way in the current political climate
Speaking to The Guardian, De Niro said: ‘Yeah, I worry, and one of my kids is gay, and he worries about being treated a certain way. We talk about it.’
continue at GayStarNews.com
ADAM LAMBERT CONFIRMS CAMEO APPEARANCE IN THE MOVIE BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY
Adam Lambert, who is currently the lead singer for Queen, singing Freddie Mercury songs, recently confirmed that he had a cameo appearance in the movie, Bohemian Rhapsody. In the movie, Lambert played the part of a scruffy trucker who cruised Freddie Mercury at a gas station. On January 11, 2019, Lambert tweeted a picture of himself in costume in order to
promote the availability of the digital download of the movie on January 22, 2019.
Mutual of Omaha Agrees to provide Health Insurance for PrEP Users
After both an investigation and a lawsuit, the Mutual of Omaha insurance company will halt its practice of denying healthcare coverage to people who use pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV infection. The lawsuit argued that denying healthcare coverage to HIV-negative individuals who use PrEP was discriminatory. Kenneth Mayer, MD, the Research Director for the Fenway Institute, in Boston, MA, in a press release, stated, “Even when science unambiguously shows the way, we have needed legal advocacy to protect the health of our (LGBTQ) community.
Pat Robertson Continues the Myth that Gays are Sexual Predators
On the January 9, 2019 edition of The 700 Club, televangelist Pat Robertson responded to a mother’s letter, in which she asked for advice after finding gay porn on her 13-year-old’s iPad, by suggesting that if her son was watching gay porn on his iPad it must have been sent by somebody trying to seduce the boy. He recommended “cutting the cord.” Gay advocates took to internet to reply to Robertson’s “horrible advice.” One blogger said that Robertson’s advice is “exactly what you’d expect when you as Pat Robertson a question about computers and homosexuality.”
HAPPY NEW YEARS
News from Bryan Clark
Can somebody please pinch me! Is it really 2019? I have to say, 2018 brought me more excitement then I wanted. You know what they say, “be careful what you ask for.” Good and bad, I came through it all this year and believe I am a better man for it today. How much “stuff” was thrown at you in 2018?
I was once told that there are no ‘good experiences’ or ‘bad experiences’, just ‘experiences.’ Each experience means something, and it us up to me to learn and understand the value of the experience. Sometimes, I have found this difficult to do in the midst of what I once would have called a ‘bad experience’. Often times, once some time has passed, I am able to reflect back on the incident and say, “Oh I get it now. Had
that not have happened, this (something good) couldn’t have happened.” I think a good expression to better sum this reflection up is Phoenix Rises From The Ashes.
Is it Karma, Destiny, Faith, or God’s will that moves our life experiences forward? It is an individual choice about how we choose to define it in our own lives. It does make me wonder though, what if I hadn’t been where I was on the day that I met my spouse? How much of my life right now would be different had we not met? I don’t believe I can actually answer this question, but I do see the beauty in my life because of the life we have made together. It was just one of those chance meetings, where two people happen to be in the same space, at the same time and something beautiful happened!
Many years ago, when I wrote my first book, I had no inspiration to be a published author, nor did I know I would be writing a second, third, or fourth book. I just enjoyed writing. Now, five years later, with the loving encouragement and support of my husband, I am publishing my fifth book! In the beginning, I had no idea this was to be my journey.
In my next book, titled, Escaping Camp Roosevelt, I tackle the notion of Rising from the Ashes. The journey is a look into some of the darkest and most challenging corners of the human condition through the eyes of a homeless LGBTQ youth. This novel manages to contrast the anguish of depression and hopelessness with the loving light of humanity and generosity. It is a story of one’s own journey from despair to finding love.
The more I researched and wrote this story, the more my eyes were opened to the magnitude of the problems of youth homelessness, specifically, the lack of resources available to the community of homeless LGBTQ youth who are living on the streets. Twenty six percent of gay youth who come out before the age of eighteen are kicked out of their homes and end up living on the street! LGBTQ youth are 120% more likely to experience homelessness than non-LGBTQ youth. These statistics are staggering and alarming!
I didn’t want to just write another fictional story about this problem, I also wanted to do something about it. I believe that at the end of this very short amount of time that any of us have on this earth, we each should be able to ask ourselves a very simple question, “Did I make a difference?”
Although I am still in talks with various organizations that provide services to homeless LGBTQ youth, my plan is to donate the first year’s royalties of Escaping Camp Roosevelt to an organization that recognizes and directly serves our homeless LGBTQ youth.
I’m excited about this project and can’t wait to share more with you in the months to come about the organization I select, as well as how we, together, can hopefully lift the darkness from the lives of homeless LGBTQ youth. If you want to be a participant in this wonderful journey, all you have to do is buy the book. It is my hope that this is one of those movements, where collectively, we will make a difference in the lives of our community’s youth who so desperately need our compassion, love and support.
A CREE DOCTOR'S CARING APPROACH FOR TRANSGENDER PATIENTS
Reposted from cbc.ca
"I'm nervous," confides Allen Rodico, 33, as he and his wife, Melanie Hamlag, sit down in a small room tucked away in James Makokis's satellite clinic in Edmonton.
They drove five hours from Grande Prairie, Alta., for this moment, and Rodico's prior journey has been much longer.
Born in the Philippines, biologically female, Rodico grew up feeling he was a boy.
"I was more interested in boy stuff, in male stuff," he said.
continued at cbc.ca
CANADA ISSUES LGBTQ TRAVEL WARNING FOR THE BAHAMAS
Reposted from GayCityNews.nyc
Canada has issued a travel advisory for LGBTQ people who are planning to visit The Bahamas, drawing praise from advocates on the ground who have long called for reform in the former British colony.
Canada notes that “LGBTQ2 travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to The Bahamas” and that “homosexuality is not widely accepted.”
Erin Greene and Alex D’Marco, who are LGBTQ activists based in The Bahamas, said that they understood where Canada was coming from in issuing its warning, according to Tribune242, a local newspaper there.
continued at GayCityNews.nyc
LEARN WISDOM FROM YOUR INNER-ANIMAL
It dawned on me one day that much of the struggles I go through in life are a direct result of my acting in a way that is counter to my nature. For instance, in those times when I tried to be what other people wanted me to be rather than being myself, I was unhappy and stressed. On the other hand, when I did what I felt was natural for me, I was more joyful and free spirited. Consequently, I have learned to pay close attention to my instinctual feelings to keep me on my true path.
Have you noticed how desensitized humans have become to our own instincts? It’s as if our whole society has been lulled into a state of numbness. Our senses have been dulled by the comforts, luxuries and conveniences of modern day life. What ever happened to stepping outside the comfort zone?
In order to truly benefit from the wisdom of nature you need to engage with it. When I say, “engage,” I mean take an active role. Being engaged is not the same as being connected. The fact is you already are, and always will be, connected to nature because the human race is a part of it, not separate from it. Now, that doesn’t mean that you cannot be unaware of your connection to nature. You may not recognize the connection that already exists.
You cannot learn the teachings of nature unless you take an active role in it. For example, you can immerse yourself in the environment by going for a walk and experiencing the elements. Notice all the living things around you from the beings that crawl on the ground to the beings that fly in the sky.
Animals, including humans, adapt to the ever changing environment. The key to adaptation is to keep instincts sharp. So, how well do you adapt? Can you rise above your problems like the eagle and see the big picture? Are you quick like the hummingbird who flies from blossom to blossom finding opportunities everywhere? Do you have the stamina of the bear who endures the long winters? Are you as graceful as a cat that moves through the day so smoothly it resembles liquid motion?
Are you keeping the animal in you alive? Unlike what you see in popular movies, you do not need to be the fierce lion that fights to be king of the jungle. After all, a lion doesn’t need to rule the environment in order to thrive in it. So, I am not encouraging anyone to strive to be the alfa male by dominating others. Instead, I am gently proposing that you keep in touch with your animal instincts and listen to its wisdom for guidance.
Live simply. Animals know how to do this. They do not complicate their lives with unnecessary busyness and hording possessions. Yet, we humans so often do. Why? Do all these needless activities and possessions make our lives better or worse? Sure it may feel good at first to buy that little something that catches our eye in a store and we convince ourselves that we just can’t live without it. But, we soon discover that those shinny objects lose their appeal after a time, and then we are out shopping again for the next piece of glitter.
Here is something to keep in mind: the less you have, the less you have to lose. You cannot strengthen your inner-animal by accumulating possessions. In fact, being surrounded by needless objects actually weaken your ability to focus on your instincts because all that clutter distracts you.
Speaking of distraction, society seems to be obsessed with staying eternally young. Instead of cooperating with the natural order of things, advertisers act as if you can live forever if you just use the right anti-wrinkle cream, drink high-priced spring water in fancy designer bottles, and get a good facelift.
Do you really think nature meant for you to stay young forever? Physical immortality is a separation from the natural world? And, since it has already been stated that you cannot truly separate yourself from nature, you might as well just accept the fact that you will eventually die. True, all animals have a natural instinct to survive. So, live your life as healthy as you can and don’t worry about it.
Today’s Loving Suggestion: Engage with nature. Be mindful of your instincts and follow the wisdom of your inner-animal. This will give you a deeper sense of peacefulness. Please don’t misunderstand--peacefulness is not passiveness. Actually, when you experience this new type of inner-peace, your spirit will soar higher than an eagle and you will accomplish more than you thought possible. Just don’t expect applause. As the old saying goes, the higher you soar, the smaller you appear to those who are still on the ground.
PRESIDENTIAL HEALTH & MORTALITY
I love Presidential history. So it’s pretty cool that in February I can carry over some of that passion of Valentine’s Day and merge it with the birthday celebrations of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington.
To celebrate the 3rd Monday of this second month let’s get out the chips and guacamole and do a game night with a Trivial Pursuit Presidential edition. The most powerful men on our planet were immortal until they weren’t. Health and well-being did matter.
James Garfield became President after serving nine terms as a Congressman. He was riding high in 1881. Sadly, he had all of about four months to really enjoy being in the top position in the country. That’s because he was shot by a disgruntled man and spent the last few months trying to survive. He did not.
The United States had a President named Woodrow Wilson from 1913 to 1921. He was really our Commander in Chief for the first six years though. He experienced a stroke that left him unable to perform his duties. So his wife and top aide kept things silent about his illness and were essentially running the Oval Office in those last two years. This truly was the muse for Weekend at Bernie’s.
Imagine spending a grueling campaign to be elected as President and only get to serve in that capacity for 30 days. William Henry Harrison lived that reality. He caught a cold and died from pneumonia right out of the gate.
Just to give some fascinating perspective on all of this. Barack Obama needed $775 million to become President in 2012. Had he only lived 30 days that would have been like him spending $26 million a day to eat, sleep, and govern from the White House. That would have been one very pricey Airbnb. No lo es?
In July 1924, an incredibly heartbreaking moment occurred at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. It’s not what happened to President Coolidge; it’s what happened to his sixteen year old son. Cal Jr. was playing tennis and got a blister on one of his toes. It led to an infection and he died within a week.
Mr. Coolidge was the leader of 115 million people but he and the top doctors of the day could do nothing for his kid. Penicillin was still about 15 years away. And that would have saved the boy.
Probably the closest President to being upon that pedestal of immortality would be reserved for Teddy Roosevelt. He endured the mental anguish of losing his wife and mother on the same day (Valentine’s Day of all days) when he was a young man.
He weathered a brutal winter of ranching in North Dakota even though all of his livestock were killed. He lived through the rigors of the Spanish American War and survived a gunshot wound while campaigning in Milwaukee. It was finally tropical diseases from his extensive travels that laid him to rest in 1919.
I’m kinda like the Bill Nye the Science Guy of Presidential history. I’m a geek on this topic and I get to shine like a supernova by sharing with you all my knowledge of these leaders of the United States.
Make it a fun, fantastic February and a healthy, Happy President’s Day!
This article of Hail to the Chief is brought to you by that guy with a February 9th birthday. That guy of Aquarius is Ron Blake and he can be sent wishes of Feliz Cumpleanos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your Intellectual Whore
"An effervescently gay
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:
WHO DECIDES WHO IS A FIT PARENT?
Dear Uncle Barbie,
I gave birth to a beautiful boy last year in March. When I was in the hospital with him for a few days after the c-section, the social worker said that I wasn't learning fast enough to take care of him, and I was also recovering from a schizoaffective relapse. I wanted to give him up for adoption from the beginning, but the father wouldn't let me. Now he has our son and I feel really powerless. He raped me in the past, or at least I feel that it was rape. I would say no several times and he would tell me that I might as well just give up because he wasn't going to let me fall asleep until he got off. I wrote a letter to his mother, who is helping take care of our child, telling her what he did. So now they both probably hate me, and I find it extremely hard to get over the grudge I have with the father, and I don't know what my place should be as a mother. I don't feel like I am a mother because I'm six hours away from my son, and I don't feel confident about taking care of him. I feel like a horrible mom. I don't know what I want you to tell me, or if anything would make me feel better. I don't want to be a mom. I just want my son to be happy.
Signed, Sad Mom
Hello Sad Mom,
Don’t be so hard on yourself. As long as you are doing the best you can with what you have, there is no need to get down on yourself for not doing more. How can you do more than what you are able to do? Who is to decide the absolute definition of a “good mom?” Just do your very best, and don’t worry about what others may think. We all have our own capabilities (physical and mental). If your schizoaffective disorder limits your mental capacity, then you will only be frustrated by comparing yourself to others. (If you have a therapist, this would be a good topic for discussion during your next session.)
Since you indicated that your child was taken away from you, I am assuming that you must have gone through a court proceeding (including a psychological evaluation to determine parental competency). I have conducted such evaluations for clients who were headed to court to fight a child custody battle. As their therapist, I would give testimony as an “expert witness” on the mental state of the clients. I am telling you this because, if you went through a similar hearing, then you need to know that you have a right to an appeal. Talk to a county social worker or a legal aid service to be informed of your rights. They can give you legal advice; I can only give you emotional support and understanding.
You mentioned in your letter that you believe you have been raped by your boyfriend. Regardless of what the criminal laws say, I believe that you ALWAYS have a right to refuse sex--even with a spouse. He needs to respect your answer of “No!” To be physically forced or emotionally pressured by someone into having sexual contact, of any kind, is a violation of your dignity as a human being. (Again, this delicate issue would be best discussed privately with your therapist.)
Toward the end of your letter, you expressed concern about the possibility that the child’s father and his mother may hate you. There is no need to trouble yourself with such worries. It really doesn’t matter what they think of you. What YOU think of yourself is far more important. As to your question about how to get over the grudge you have for the father of your child, I suggest that you change your thought pattern. Stop thinking so much about him, and focus more on your child. People can only focus on one thought at a time, so make that thought about caring for your baby. You can literally push the resentment out of your mind by replacing it with feelings of love for someone else. You say that you just want your son to be happy. Then let go of the bitterness regarding this whole situation, and keep your thoughts on loving your little boy. Even if you are not able to be physically involved with your child, you can still hold loving thoughts about him in your mind. I think that would make you a much happier person.
Love & Light, Barbie
ARIES (MAR 21 - APR 19)
You are a ball of fire here, especially at work and friends. You are forgetting some details here. Slow down and try to be more methodical.
TAURUS (APR 20 - MAY 20)
Some old problems keep coming back to haunt you. Resolve to take care of them once and for all. Life is getting ready to be really exciting.
GEMINI (MAY 21 - JUNE 20)
You feel like nothing is going on but life is buzzing all around you. It's up to you to jump in and enjoy yourself a little.
CANCER (JUNE 21 - JUL 22)
A lot of demands are put on you and it's starting to get on your nerves. Do some physical activity to get rid of any negative attitude, and pay some attention to a loved one.
LEO (JUL 23 - AUG 22)
You really know how to get others to do things. You have this air of leadership and new ideas that inspire others.
VIRGO (AUG 23 - SEP 22)
Your creativity is costing you money and wearing you out. Dial it back and try to be a little more practical. Same satisfaction and costs less.
LIBRA (SEP 23 - OCT 22)
A lot is happening around the home, good and bad. You look elsewhere for relief even if only temporary. A new love, maybe.
SCORPIO (OCT 23 - NOV 21)
You feel you have the bull by the horns but tread carefully or you will be in for a surprise. Time for a review of your health to make sure you are on the right track.
SAGITTARIUS (NOV 22 - DEC 21)
You are feeling good, doing good and fixing yourself up. Time to take care of you . Don't let your enthusiasm make you spend too much money here. Happy time.
CAPRICORN (DEC 22 - JAN 19)
Others are tugging at you left and right. Look at it all as a learning expierience and it will become calm.
AQUARIUS (JAN 20 - FEB 18)
You tend to be a little self centered for this period. You do your happy dance but make sure your ducks are all in a row for what's about to happen.
PISCES (FEB 19 - MAR 20)
Unexpected expenses seem to be a norm lately. Bring others into your fold for new ideas that can have tangible results. You know what to do so do it. It doesn't make sense to others but it works for you.
Not To Be Missed
Kiss will perform its End of the Road World Tour at the Save Mart Center, in Fresno, CA, on February 8, 2019, at 7:30 PM. KISS is an American Rock Band known for its heavy face paint and stage outfits. The Save Mart Center is located at 2650 E. Shaw, Fresno, CA, 93710. Tickets start at around $80. For tickets, contact the Save Mart Center box office at save-mart.boxofficeticket.center or your favorite ticket seller.
Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band will perform their Final Tour concert at the Save Mart Center, in Fresno, on February 12, 2019, at 7:30 PM. The Save Mart Center is located at 2650 E.Shaw, Fresno CA, 93710. Tickets start at around $80. For tickets, go to save-mart.boxofficetickets.center or your favorite ticket seller
The legendary Jennifer Lewis returns to the Renberg Theatre on Saturday, January 26, 2019, to celebrate her birthday! There will be stories, songs, and readings from her memoir, “The Mother of Black Hollywood.” The party starts at 8 PM sharp! Don’t be late! Admission for this event is $25. The Renberg Theatre is located at The Village at Ed Gould Plaza, 1125 N. McCadden Place, Los Angeles, CA, 90038. For tickets or more information, go to lalgbtcenter.org, or call the box office at 323-860-7300.
Selene Luna: Pretty Special is a new one-hour stand-up comedy show featuring Luna’s original, , and heartfelt perspective on being a little person, an atheist who’s afraid of ghosts, andbeing married to a “normal-sized” man. This long-awaited show will be filmed live and will be the first-ever female little person stand-up comedy special. This special will be directed by Selene’s friend, Margaret Cho. The one-night special is set for Saturday, February 2, 2019 at 7 PM, at the Renberg Theatre, located at The Village at Ed Gould Plaza, 1125 N. McCadden Place,Los Angeles, CA, 90038. Admission is $20. For tickets or more information, go to lalgbtcenter.org, or call the box office at 323-860-7300.
In case you miss Elton John’s performance at the Save Mart Center, in Fresno, on January 15, 2019, he will performing at The Forum, in the Los Angeles area, on Friday, February 1 and 2, 2019, at 8:00 PM. Elton John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour is touted as his last musical tour in the US! The Forum is located at 3900 West Manchester Boulevard, Inglewood, CA, 90305. Tickets start at around $90. For tickets, go to theforum.arenainglewood.com or your favorite ticket seller.
Los Angeles, San Francisco
Toni Braxton will perform her As Long As I Live tour, at the Paramount Theatre, in Oakland, CA, on February 24, 2019, and at the Microsoft Theater, in LA, on March 3, 2019. Braxton is an American singer, songwriter, pianist, record producer, and actress. Tickets for her performances start around $90. For tickets for either concert, go to ticketmaster.com or your favorite ticket seller.
Fatty Cakes and the Puff Pastries
Friday Jan 18 at 7 PM - 10 PM
Tower District Records
1930 N Echo, Fresno, CA 93704
Vinyl has been released and the Pastries are going to prove it isn't all studio trickery! Come experience the live whammy! Also on the bill are Vanessa Silberman (feat Joanna Vassilatos) and Carissa Johnson. Free admission, food and drink provided. Adult beverages free with I.D. Gonna a be a happy rockin' night!
The Big Gay Cabaret
Saturday Jan 19 at 3 PM - 5 PM
Our Saviour's Lutheran Church
2101 N Fruit Ave, Fresno, CA 93705
The Big Gay Cabaret is back and it’s BIGGER and GAYER than ever. We're raising money for Fresno Rainbow Pride Parade and Festival in June by showing off our own Pride! Come witness some of Fresno's most talented LGBTQ+ performers, along with a few of our favorite allies, as we sing and dance and act our hearts out, in order to raise money for a great cause. Donations accepted at the door.
IDC Closetball 2019
Saturday Jan 19 at 5 PM
Clovis Senior Activity Center
850 4th St, Clovis, CA 93612
Its time to turn those GI JOES to GI JANES and those Barbies into Kens! Closetball 2018: Mattel is the hotly anticipated event of the year! Contestants will be transformed into drag for the very first time, and the best transformation will be crowned Closetball Queen and Closetball King!
FAB presents Game Night (21+)
Tuesday Jan 22 at 9 PM
716 E Olive Ave, Fresno, CA 93728
FAB presents Game Night
Every 4th Tuesday of the month
Montly Social Dinner at Mings!
Friday Feb 1 at 7:30 PM
1414 N Van Ness Ave, Fresno, CA 93728
This Friday, come out to Trans-E-Motion's Monthly Social from 7PM to 9:30PM at Ming's Restaurant in Tower District at 1414 N. Van Ness. New members, old members, allies, and families welcome! Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.
Drag Story Time
Saturday Feb 2 at 11 AM - 2 PM
1252 Fulton St. Fresno, CA 93721
Join us for Drag Story Time! Drag Story Time is an all ages, family friendly event where our local drag queens and drag kings will read classic and LGBT+ themed children books (and only books) in the best way possible. Stick around afterwards for food, activities and a photo booth with the queens.
Saturday Feb 2 at 5 PM
Fresno City College, Old Administration Building
1101 E University Ave, Fresno, CA
TRANZ BALL: Through the looking Glass. An evening of Trans-inspired Disney Characters.
Fresno LGBTQ at Dave & Busters
Wednesday Feb 13 at 6 PM - 8 PM
Dave & Busters
212 E River Park Cir, Fresno, CA 93720
This time we'll have an entire party room, so there will be plenty of tables and space! Please ask at check in to be directed to the private room, grab your rainbow ribbon pendant and have fun and food with us!
Mr. Miss and Mizz Rainbow Gay Pride Pageant 2019
Saturday Feb 16 at 6 PM - 10 PM
The Big Red Church
2131 N Van Ness Blvd, Fresno, CA 93704
Theme: The Bright Lights on Broadway!
Queer Hiking Meetup
Monday Jan 21 at 9 AM - 8 PM
324 W 24th St Merced, CA 95340
YARTS is offering free rides on the Bus to Yosemite on all public holidays in 2019! Let's do a queer takeover on Martin Luther King day, January 21st, 2019. Anyone identifying as queer or gender non-conforming and their STRONG allies are encouraged to join us, and build a stronger community, together. This is not an educational experience for your friends or allies. Friends and allies must know how to be 100% respectful of diverse members of the group, or may be asked to leave.
Be Mine Drag Show
Friday Feb 1 at 7 PM - 9 PM
Merced Arts Center
645 W Main St, Merced CA 95340
See the QUEENS of Central Valley. Glamour and Chaos! Games and Prizes. ROMANCE AND REVENGE. This is our Valentine to you.
Drag Queen Bingo!
Saturday Jan 19 at 6 PM - 8 PM
Kiwanis Of Porterville
450 N Newcomb St Porterville, CA 93257
You are cordially invited to join us for Porterville’s 1st Drag Queen Bingo Night, hosted by the fabulous Priscilla McNamara & The Queens of the South Valley! This event is for adults only and you must be 18+older to play/win. Your $15 donation will buy you the following; 1 card for each of our 5 games with progressive prizes! 1 Free Drink! 1 Free Food Item!
Dean Jackson Discusses HIV at PFLAG Tulare & Kings Counties
Sunday Jan 20 at 3 PM - 5 PM
Congregation B'Nai David
1039 S Chinowth St, Visalia, CA 93277
Dean Jackson, the HIV Program Coordinator at The Source LGBT+ Center, will be the featured speaker at the January meeting of PFLAG Tulare & Kings Counties. Our meetings are open to the public, safe and confidential and refreshments are served.
What's Race, Skin Color, Gender and Sexuality Got To Do With It
Saturday Feb 16 at 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
East Bay Meditation Center
285 17th St Oakland, CA 94612
This is a day for us to come together as People of Color to explore one of the seminal text in the Buddhist teachings -' Non-Self'. Paraphrasing the late Pat Parker - she once wrote 'first you remember I'm a person of color and second you forget I'm a person of color'. What would it be like to be free from all our labels and not attached to the identities we give ourselves and identities forced upon us? Join senior teachers Shahara Godfrey - Vimalasara (Valerie) Mason-John for a day of meditation, dharma talks and compassionate inquiry.
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