Issue II, Vol. XXVII, No. 315
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
Gray Alliance is a group for LGBTQ+ seniors, and we get together for potlucks the last Sunday of each month.
We will have a potluck Sunday October 31 at the First Congregational Church Fireside Room from 2-4 pm. It’s located at the south end of the church at 2131 N Van Ness Blvd in Fresno. Please note that although we are using a church facility, Gray Alliance has no religious affiliation.
If you have any questions, please contact John Richardson at 559-260-1565. Hope to see you soon!
YOUTH ALLIANCE NEWS OCTOBER 2021
October has arrived with milder weather but persistent smoke from the raging fires in the hills of California. We had a touch of rain, but not enough to put out the fires. So, rain dancers, we need to keep up those rain dances so that the next rain can extinguish the fires! Our LGBTQ Youth Alliance members are firmly involved in their education this month, whether attending classes on campus or online. They always have a lot to say about their teachers and the other students with whom they interact. In fact, it is often difficult to start the meeting because they are comparing notes on students and teachers! At least they were able to describe their favorite class in school at a recent meeting and explain what they like about that class!
The Big Fresno Fair is currently in full swing, from October 6th through the 17th, at the Fresno fairgrounds, on Kings Canyon Blvd! Last year, the fair was replaced by a drive-through fast food event, which seemed rather lame, but this year, the directors of the fair seemingly came up with a way to maintain social distancing and to require that masks be worn. However, when asked if they were going to the fair this year, our Youth Alliance members mostly stated that they would be skipping it, not only because they don’t have the money for $8 corndogs, but also because they don’t trust the public to follow the Covid-19 guidelines that the federal government developed.
And, of course, with Halloween just around the corner this month, our youth are talking about Halloween celebrations! We are trying to decide if we can have a Halloween party at the end of the month and how it might look. We still need to talk to our Grand Poobah, Jeffery Robinson, to get his input about a Halloween party. Since our attendance is still rather low, a party shouldn’t be a problem if folks maintain social distancing and wear masks!
At a recent Youth Alliance meeting, we asked the youth to name their favorite Halloween movie, and of course, the Chucky movies, along with slasher movies and the undead, were mentioned. Some of our group members are Claymation aficionados, so the movies Caroline and ParaNorman also came up! We all agreed we are going to try to watch as many Halloween movies as we can before Halloween gets here, just to be sure we are in the mood for our party!
Last month, the Youth Alliance had its second potluck since we started meeting in person. In August, the choices of food were a little limited, but in September, everyone brought food and we had a feast! For a group as small as we were, we sure had a lot to eat and drink!
Everyone pitched in to clean up at the end of the meeting, which was a welcome sight! We look forward to our Halloween potluck, and to wearing costumes and dancing to Halloween tunes!
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!
KampOut Celebrates 40 Years
After surviving fire, plague, Mono Winds, Forest closures, Kampout was finally able to celebrate its 40th anniversary. It was definitely a challenging year.
This year, about 70 Kampers made the trek around the “road closed” signs and followed the new pink K signs to Kampout without any problems from the Forest Service about road closures. And all were proudly vaccinated....
Our small but mighty group had a great time…tapping a keg on Thursday night that was sponsored by Drea and singing karaoke.
On Friday, Kampout officially got started with the Progressive Kocktail Party which started at the main kamp hosted by the Kampout Committee, then headed up the hill to Dennis’ site, then back to Rachel, Alex and Tami’s kamp, and on to the IDC kamp before returning to the main kamp for the beer bust sponsored by Virgil and the Red Lantern. Thanks to all for the great stops.
Saturday was, as always, the busy day. Starting out with a wonderful breakfast provided by the Kampout Committee, kampers were ready to participate in the fun and games scheduled throughout the day.
Saturday’s beer bust was sponsored by Jeff and Alibi and was followed by a great dinner put on by the Kampout Committee’s Master Chef Rick, of sweet and sour chicken, rice and fried noodles, and salad. I confess…I had seconds….
The Kampstravaganza Show began with Dennis G doing a tribute to Kampout in memory of committee member Eli. That was followed by IDC reigning Empress Phyliss Hole with the traditional “God Bless America”. Performers competed for the titles of Kamp King and Kamp Kween…and this year, the delightful Zack Power Howz and the how can you beat Isis De Luna took the titles.
Many winners of the weekend’s events were announced and presented with some great prizes.
So, here’s a little break from my traditional articles. At our Saturday show, I was acknowledged as being the longest attending kamper. I remember when IDC started KampOut….I was working at the Palace. I couldn’t attend, but I donated, took me a couple of years, but I worked it out and never missed a Kampout after that. That is what Kampout is…it’s where you don’t want to miss it. FORTY YEARS…and going strong.
Thank you so much to all who made this year happen. We know that it’s been a challenging year and we appreciate your continued support…Virgil and the Red Lantern….Jeff and Alibi…thank you so much. Drea…thank you for your donation. Jason Scott and LGBTFresno…thank you for your first time sponsorship…we appreciate your support. The Kampout Committee would also like to thank I Pull, U Pull for their donation, Dennis Griffin for donating prizes, and Tiana and the Fresbians for their fundraising and donation. We couldn’t do this without our great sponsors.
And I’m going to add a big thank you to our committee members who went way above.
So, what you are waiting to hear….the theme of Kampout 2022 is Mardi gras. Yes….just when you thought you could do without a mask….please join us Sept 9-11…up at our favorite Kamp!
Already at the brink of SELLING OUT.
If you haven't secured your spot yet and you still want to attend, you have to act fast! Here are the options left right now:
- General Admission for VIRTUAL attendance
- General Admission for IN-PERSON attendance (only 14 spots left)
- Table of 8 for VIRTUAL attendance
- Table of 8 for IN-PERSON attendance (only 1 left)
If you want to attend in-person still and haven't had the time or energy to fundraise, you can get your tickets or table outright at the button below. You MUST show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test within 72 hours of the event if attending in-person.
This event is going to be fabulous. Tacos Lucha and Que Concha will be providing the food, amazing auction items will be up for grabs, and at the end of the night is a custom-made ESCAPE ROOM. If you want to join us, please click the link below now!
AND... The Gala supports The Source LGBT+ Center's new buildings, which we NOW own as of September! Our new home is being updated and furnished. Your support in the gala will make this HUGE milestone a turning point for our LGBTQ community in Tulare/Kings Counties: A visible, central and permanent center!
Reach out to email@example.com if you have any questions.
Illinois bill would allow anyone to sue someone who “causes an unintended pregnancy”
Reposted from LGBTQNation.com
Illinois State Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D) has introduced a bill that allows any resident to sue someone who “causes an unintended pregnancy” or commits domestic assault. The bill is modeled after a controversial Texas law that allows anyone to sue a woman who has an abortion after six weeks.
The TEXAS Act, modeled after the controversial abortion law, also would allow lawsuits against anyone who “aids or abets” the pregnancies. As with Texas’s law, this could include anyone from an Uber driver to a bartender, but the Illinois version has a special twis
continue reading at LGBTQNation.com
Biden to LGBTQ Americans: “You are loved…”
On Monday, October 11, 2021, President Joe Biden commemorated National Coming Out Day by saying the US still has work to do to achieve equality for all Americans amid a wave of anti-LGBTQ legislation in state legislatures across the country. The President said, “Today and every day, I want every member of the LGBTQ+ community to know that you are loved and accepted just the way you are—regardless of whether or not you’ve come out.”
The President went on to say, “From defeating discriminatory bills to passing the Equality Act, we have more work to do to ensure that every American can live free of fear, harassment, and discrimination because of who they are or whom they love.”
Lego says it will remove gender stereotypes from its toys
Lego is working to eliminate gender stereotypes from its products after a study revealed that both parents and kids continue to view toys as gendered. A survey from the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in the Media, commissioned by Lego, found large differences remain in the toys parents expect boys to play with and those they expect girls to play with. These attitudes are also connected to the type of career paths parents ultimately encourage their children to follow.
Astronaut Sally Ride will be the first out LGBTQ person on US currency
Pioneering astronaut Sally Ride will be one of five American women to appear in the new “American Women Quarters Program.” Ride will join poet Maya Angelou, Asian American actress Anna May Wong, Cherokee Nation leader Wilma Mankiller, and suffragette
Nina Otero-Warren on the series of coins.
Ride, who in 1983 became the first American woman in space, died of cancer in 2012. Her sexual orientation was not widely known until her death, at which time her obituary revealed she was survived by her female partner of 27 years.
In 2013, President Barack Obama awarded Ride with a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Tom Daley calls for Olympic ban on countries where being LGBTQ is punishable by death
British Olympic diver Tom Daley said that he will make it his “mission” to stop countries where homosexuality is punishable by death from competing in the Olympics. “I think it is really important to try and create change, rather than just highlighting or shining a light on those things,” Daley said, on Wednesday, October 5, at the 2021 Attitude Awards. Daley, who is gay, also said that sporting events should not be held in countries that criminalize basic human rights.
There are 11 countries where homosexuality is punishable by death—including Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and Iran—and approximately 60 other nations where same-sex relationships are criminalized in some capacity, according to Human Dignity Trust, a global advocacy group for LGBTQ rights.
LGBTQ veterans discharged dishonorably for sexual orientation to get full benefits, VA says
LGBTQ veterans who were given other than honorable discharges from the US military due to their sexual orientation are eligible to receive full benefits, the Department of Veteran Affairs announced on Monday, October 11, 2021—National Coming Out Day. “LGBTQ+ veterans are not any less worthy of the care and services that all veterans earn through their service, and VA is committed to making sure that they have equal access to those services,” the department said in a statement.
Switzerland Votes to Approve Marriage Equality
Reposted from GayCityNews.com
Switzerland voted to approve a referendum on September 26 that would grant same-sex marriage rights to LGBTQ couples.
The referendum passed by a nearly two-thirds majority vote, with 64.1 percent of voters throwing their weight behind same-sex marriage, according to nationwide results provided by the Swiss federal chancellery, Reuters reports. Under the new law, LGBTQ partners not only have the right to get married and adopt children, but lesbian couples are allowed to access sperm donations, and foreign partners can gain approval for Swiss citizenship. This decision puts Switzerland in line with other western nations that support marriage equality. For years, Switzerland had remained one of the few European countries — Italy is another — without full LGBTQ marriage rights.
continue reading at GayCityNews.com
En Afghanistan, la communauté LGBTQ replonge en clandestinité
Reposted from Fugues.com
Marwa s’est mariée deux jours après la chute de Kaboul avec l’un de ses amis gais. «Terrorisée», la jeune lesbienne de 24 ans n’a alors qu’une idée en tête: passer sous les radars du nouveau régime fondamentaliste taliban.
«Quand les talibans ont pris le pouvoir à Kaboul, c’était un cauchemar, je pleurais, je restais terrée chez moi», se souvient la jeune Afghane dans une note vocale envoyée à l’AFP via WhatsApp. «Je me disais: ‘Les talibans vont venir me tuer’», poursuit d’une petite voix Marwa, dont le prénom a été modifié pour des raisons de sécurité. «J’ai fini par demander à un ami de préparer les documents de mariage» afin de «pouvoir de nouveau sortir dehors» sans crainte et, à terme, « quitter le pays ».
continue reading at Fugues.com
One thought closer to enlightenment
Would you like to be more enlightened? Well, guess what? Part of the enlightenment process takes place between your ears; it involves a state of mind. Furthermore, you can improve your chances of reaching a state of enlightenment by changing your thoughts. That’s the power of cognitive reframing.
What if you had a tough day? Is that good or bad? Well, it all depends on how you look at it. (Or perhaps I should say it’s how you “think” of it.) Since it’s your thoughts which determine whether you perceive something as good or bad, you can choose to view any situation from an enlightened perspective.
So how do you do this exactly? How do you reframe your thoughts from negative to positive? Well, it’s no secret. It is essentially a matter of where you place your focus. For instance, what if you were facing a stressful situation such as being stuck in slow moving traffic when you are already running late? In such a case, you can choose to think of that time in your car as an opportunity to practice slow, deep breathing. (I understand this may sound corny at first, but I do this, myself.)
So how else can you put a positive twist on negative thoughts? What if you tend to focus on only the disappointments in life and overlook the positive? What can you do about that? For one thing, you can start by broadening your point of view and acknowledging the good along with the bad. There’s always something positive in every situation if you look hard enough.
Here’s another example: what if you had a propensity to think of any given situation as totally good or bad with no middle ground and no room for mistakes? What if you believe you must be perfect at everything you do, or you are a complete failure? What would be a more enlightened perspective of this situation? Instead of holding such extreme views, you could look for middle ground and strive for a balance.
Perhaps you have a bad habit of generalizing people based on a single incident. You are quick to leap to judgment and slap labels on people. You identify everyone as a certain “type.” In this case, an enlightened way of thinking could result in a fresh view of people. Seeing others as individuals instead of lumping them together in a category could greatly improve your level of awareness.
There are a plethora of other maladaptive thought patterns. For instance, you might falsely assume you know what’s going on in someone’s head without asking that person for clarification. Or you anticipate disaster by asking yourself, “What if it happens to me?” Or you exaggerate the degree of a problem by turning up the emotional volume on anything bad, intensifying it!
One of the most common destructive thoughts is to assume an incidental scowl on the face of another mistakenly is somehow meant as a personal insult to you. It is right up there with comparing yourself to others and trying to determine who is smarter, more competent, better looking, and so on. Let these destructive thoughts go. Do not even feed them any energy.
A great way to improve maladaptive thinking is to replace the word “should” in your vocabulary with the word “could.” Why? Because “should” deals with the past which you cannot change, and it engenders a note of shame. Whereas “could” focuses on the present moment and empowers you to act purposefully. If you have a list of ironclad rules about how you and others “should” act, then you will get angry when people break those rules. And you end up feeling guilty when you violate the rules yourself. Who needs that?
Something to meditate on today. Many paths lead to enlightenment. It may help to become more aware of when you engage in negative thinking. Just deal with one cognitive habit at a time. Don’t try to change all your self-defeating thought patterns at once. That would be too much. Focus on the solution and enjoy the process of thinking more enlightened thoughts.
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:
The Irreverent Advice Columnists
Dear Uncle Barbie,
Thanks for continuing to publish your fun, and often irreverent, column. You make my day, and it's the first Newslink column I read when I go online. My friends and family are both Christian and non-Christian, and some of the Christians are even gay. And of course, many of the non-Christian ones are not gay.
Respecting diversity is a very important part of our culture, and this can be done within the Christian context; picking and choosing which Bible quotes you'd like to have apply to everyone is pretty stupid in my opinion. I know some fine Christians who respect women rather than trying to control them, and who accept that about 10% of our population is gay. God is love, and She doesn't make mistakes. The few loud, outspoken Christians are the ones who frankly scare the hell out of me, and I stay away from them. They seem almost Satanic in their beliefs and prejudices. "Jesus Protect Me from Your Followers." And Barbie, keep up the good work! Maybe I'll even kiss you again someday.
Signed, Fanny Footloose
I am proud of you for having the courage to write your feelings and thoughts in a letter. I strongly believe in freedom of speech, and I encourage people to express themselves in a constructive way. I actually don’t mind if religious fundamentalists talk about their beliefs--provided that they are not spreading hate. You don’t have to look far into human history to see the horrors of what can happen when groups of people start spreading hateful messages about minority groups. Even Christians have been targeted. And, yes, I also keep a constant vigilance on my own attitude and anger. I am cognizant of the fact that I, too, have biases and need to keep them in check if I want to stay positive. Ultimately, I want to assist people and making this world a better place.
In an attempt to be funny, my advice column can get pretty spicy--bordering on saucy--but I try my best to be a loving person. That doesn’t mean that I let people walk all over me, however. I fight ferociously for equality--for all people. As far as religious fundamentalist are concerned, I feel sorry for them. It seems that hurt people, hurt other people. I have very little respect for people who are out to hurt others. What frustrates me the most about these “cafeteria Christians” is that they pick and choose what parts of the Bible they like and disregard the parts they don’t like. (If you want to know which parts they like best, just look inside the Bible of any fundamentalist, and you will see that all their favorite verses have been highlighted with a fluorescent marker. I wonder if they ever read the verses they don’t underline.) If people want to treat their religion like a cafeteria lunch-line (picking and choosing what sweet morsels they find most palatable while skipping over the broccoli), then it’s no wonder they are so off balance.
It is absolutely disgusting when people use religion to justify their prejudice. And then, they have the gall to manipulate Bible verses to validate their bigotry. (It’s enough to make Jesus turn over in his grave.) The giver of life should never be used to rationalize hatred. And I am not just talking about the Christian religion. Fanaticism within any religion is destructive. In my opinion, religious fundamentalism is essentially a type of prejudice that is spawned when self-righteousness gives birth to intolerance. And that, folks, is the scriptures according to Uncle Barbie. Now, go and sin no more.
Blessed Art Thou, Barbie
by Eric Biglione
ARIES (Mar 21-Apr 19)
Don't assume anything as others try to persuade you into their schemes. A lot of misunderstandings. Use common sense and stick with it.
TAURUS (Apr 20-May 20)
Your health may suffer here. Time for a checkup and get back to a good health routine. You can be very intuitive. Use it to access your values.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
You are dealing with a lot of people this month. This can drain you mentally so watch what you say. It may not mean what you think.
CANCER (June 21-July 22)
You feel a little lost during this period. Look to others for guidance to get you thru this period. Be calm. Be cool.
LEO (July 23-Aug 22)
There are some who really want to give you a bad time. Don’t react but do something totally different. This will pull them to your side and you will feel good.
VIRGO (Aug 23-Sep 22)
No obstacles this month. You get things done with ease while others wonder how you do it all. Tell them its magic.
LIBRA (Sep 23-Oct 22)
It’s up to you to fulfill your destiny. Rely on others won’t work. You will be much happier on your won here.
SCORPIO (Oct 23-Nov 21)
Here we go again with the same old problems. Your overwhelmed. You need some downtime to spend alone. Then everything will come into focus.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22-Dec 21)
This is really a happy period for you. You didn’t see it coming but its here. Enjoy yourself socializing. You’ve earned it.
CAPRICORN (Dec 22- Jan 19)
Your hard work is finally beginning to pay off. Don’t be surprised if an opportunity comes your way.
AQUARIUS (Jan 20-Feb 18)
Lots of energy and spending going on here. You feel you can accomplish anything you want. Very satisfying
PISCES (Feb 19-Mar 20)
You are in a very contented mood. Enjoy life in its simplicity. The world is frantic around you but you are happy in your realm for now.
Pride, Drag, Music, Art, Beer, free blankets, and so much more at this year's Pride Visalia!
Join us at Valley Strong Ballpark on October 23rd for a day of community and celebration! The weather's going to be great and the food is going to be amazing (your fave food trucks are going to be there).
It's coming fast so sign up here now!